You may search among the definitions for “conflict of interest” and will mostly find it in reference to, positions of trust, legal, law, courts, businesses, etc., but you will have a hard time finding it addressing religious doctrines. Of course with individual cases, and news reports you will find it being used with pastors, church boards and so forth, but this has to do mostly with the abuse of their positions of trust, their acts and policy decisions. A pastor “strong arming” the board of deacons into making the decision to buy land that the pastor owns at an exorbitant price is a clear example of a conflict of interest. But what is seemingly unheard of is the examining of classic Christian doctrines for the presence of a conflict of interest being contained in a churches message, doctrines or gospel being offered to the hearers.
A classic example of Christian doctrines containing or eliciting a response from the hearers that contains a conflict of interest is telling them that they already have the sentence and of hell on their heads and must do something in order to have that sentence lifted. Whether it be “good works” to please God, or to do a ritual, or to believe certain things and make certain professions before men, all such false doctrines are tailored for a conflict of interest response from the hearers. If a person is doing a ritual or a “good work” because they seek to escape the sentence of hell, that is a clear conflict of interest. There are of course different types of false doctrines within Christianity, each tailored to different people types. There are false doctrines that are not designed to deceive people, because some people are not “seeking the good”, they are seeking the unreal in order to appease their conscience, with the unreal. These kinds also seek to use the unreal in order to live in the delusion that they have ascended and occupy a higher estate than they actually abide in. Satan is the originator of this type of false doctrine, and of course he is the originator of all false doctrines that exist. There are clearly different demographics of people and people types based upon their own interests and personal preferences. The main dividing line is whether the person personally prefers good or evil, seeks the real or seeks to use the unreal. This is why some people will say “You have to be really messed up or loony to believe such a blatantly false doctrine!” This is because some false doctrines are designed to appeal to those who are seeking the unreal in order to appease themselves, and some are designed to deceive those who seek the real and seek the good. Obviously the more subtle, artful and most crafty false doctrines are the ones designed to fool those who seek the good and the truth, into believing what is not good or true…and yet to get them to believe that they have found the truth and believe a lie as if it were true. Thus the deceived hearer does realize that his sense of preference for the good has been violated, by the hearer himself. And since all false doctrine contain a conflict of interest as well as the love for that which is evil and a lie, the deceived believer who prefers the good simply does not realize that this is taking place, that he has a conflict of interest and loves that which is false and evil. A lie about God and God’s policies is an evil thing and regardless of how much a person prefers the good, if he believes a lie about God he is believing in an evil thing. This ties in with absolutes in which it does not matter how much a person believes something that is evil is good, his belief cannot make what is evil, good. One cannot make a lie true by believing and thinking what is actually a lie, true.
Since a conflict of interest is unjust in reality, every false doctrine must and does portray God as unjust across the boards, from God’s personal attitude, policies, judgments etc. Since it would be unjust and evil to make an offer or to present something like a contract to a person that has circumstances, situations, policies or a solution presented that offers the possibility of a conflict of interest to be present in the hearer being offered it by agreeing to it, the truth and true message from God must be devoid of any possible conflict of interest within it. Offering a person something such as a bribe in order to do or say something contains just as much a conflict of interest a intimidating or threatening a person into doing or saying something. Peter when he denied the Lord 3 times had a real conflict of interest as he still valued his own life more than speaking the truth, at that particular time in his life that is. Judas had a conflict of interest that needs no explanation. All who do evil and prefer evil have a conflict of interest, and even those who prefer the good but are deceived by false doctrines also had a conflict of interest and operate by it, but are unawares.
A person knowing that they will face justice and wrath if they engage in criminal wrongdoing, may or may not restrain themselves from such acts because of a motivation containing a conflict of interest. One must admit that it is definitely “not right” for the reason behind a person refraining from harming his neighbor unjustly because he simple fears facing justice, losing his freedom, suffering financial loss, and being punished if he did so. The presence of the fear reveals he fears losing something that he values and in order to keep from suffering loss, he restrains himself from committing certain criminal acts. Such policies exist in prison that do contain conflicts of interest. If a prisoner is on good behavior he keeps his privileges and if he is bad his privileges are taken away. Though some prisoners may have the right motivation and restrain themselves from committing crimes in prison, the policies must be tailored to to appeal to those prisoners that are self interested and operate with a conflict of interest mentality. In courts it is not uncommon to make the charge against “prison snitches” that they are only testifying or saying what they are saying in order to have their own sentences reduced. This is why it is typical for prison informants to be asked “did you receive a reduction in your sentence for your testimony today?” This is to bring out the possibility of the prison informant having a conflict of interest behind his reasons for testifying and for the content of his testimony.
With respect to the classic penal substitution doctrines held by many churches, one can pretend that such doctrines do not contain a conflict of interest, or do not appeal to people with a conflict of interest motivation, and pretending is just what one would be doing. The term “infinite wrath” is used incessantly and if asked they could not actually define it and they certainly could not cite the verse in the bible where it is found because their is none, and liberal interpretations of words like “thanatos” isn’t exegesis…eisegesis isn’t exegesis. In penal substitution it is typical to first get the hearer (especially the non criminal class that prefers the good) to believe that they deserve the same wrath as if they were no different than Hitler or Charley Manson. Secondly “justice” must be portrayed as something to be feared as if it were the most unfathomable nightmarish experience. This is to elicit fear in the hearer. Then Christ is portrayed as having gone through this nightmare horror called “justice” in the place of all men, and suffered what the hearer supposedly deserves. This doctrine is ripe with the conditions, policies and presentation for a conflict of interest response and motivation within the hearer. Naturally the trick is to keep the hearer unaware that this is exactly what is going in the hearer. This is one of the reasons why God is portrayed as overly severe, in fact maximally so. The false premise is used and present things that are irrelevant as though they are relevant. “God being infinite in power and infinite in majesty the penalty for an offense against Him requires an infinite penalty”, is a typical example of the false premise and irrelevancies being used. One would have to explain how the belief that no matter what sin or crime one commits that he will not be punished for it, but that Christ was…does not contain a conflict of interest and how such a belief system would not appeal to someone who does have a conflict of interest. After the hearers being told that some one else was punished in their place for every act of wrongdoing that they have and will commit during their lifetimes, penal substitutionists then switch back to another conflict of interest which is “fear”, in which the only “sin” that can send the hearers to hell is the rejection of their conflict laden false doctrine. That is why they will state plainly, that all sins except one has been punished…that one sin being the rejection of the false doctrine the hearers are being offered. Hell or Hades or the lake of fire or eternal death, is also portrayed as an ungodly nightmare experience. It is typical to hear hell and the people that will reside their as burning with fire and feeling the same agony that a living person would experience when burning to death in a fire in this lifetime…BUT ONLY MUCH WORSE AND MORE SEVERE AND IT LASTS FOREVER WITH NO RELIEF OR RESPITE EVER FOR ALL ETERNITY! One would have to ask why the unbelieving world (which isn’t supposed to be able to understand the truth) and seemingly virtually all the classic false churches and false teachers…ALL BELIEVE THE SAME THINGS ABOUT HELL? Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Lutherans, Mennonites, Pentecostals, Bereans, Calvinists…all hold the same doctrines concerning the lake of fire or hell. Why is that? Is wanting to go to heaven a sign of righteousness? Even Hitler and Satan himself wants to go and abide in heaven forever. Do you know anybody who wants to go to hell other than goth morons, idiots in heavy death metal rock bands, sadomasochists and people just saying stupid things to act cool?
Does not penal substitution appeal to a person with a conflict of interest who never wants to face justice and in fact would rather some one else, even an innocent to face justice in their place? And to further add that no matter what they do for the rest of their lives, some else will pay the price and in fact already has according to them? The rod is for the back of a fool and that is because the fool has a conflict of interest. If the rod is given to someone else other than the fool, the fool will assuredly continue acting like a fool with reckless abandonment.
A man who refuses to let anyone else face justice in his place, a man who takes responsibility for his own actions (and the definition of responsibility here isn’t the liberal one where the man simply admits it and nothing further happens to the man), a man who refuses to let anyone else take punishment or suffer loss in his place…DOES NOT HAVE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST WHATSOEVER. I have asked this question before and will ask it again, “do you want it to be so that another faces justice in your place, do you want it to be so that when you do wring that someone else suffers the loss that you deserve…DO YOU WANT IT TO BE THAT WAY, AND IS THAT THE REASON BEHIND YOUR BELIEFS?” Does an evil man prefer to not face justice? Does an evil man prefer not to face justice, even to the point that the evil man would prefer that an innocent person face justice in his place if that were possible? Another tactic or conscience soother used to mask the conflict of interest that is appealed to in the hearer, is making God the author and originator of it. “See, it wasn’t my idea it was God’s and since God is just it surely must be just, noble, pure and good!” If you tell a liberal spoiled rich kid that no matter what he does, damages, destroys and harms he commits against others, that someone else will foot the bill…but the only thing that will get the rich spoiled liberal into trouble is rejecting the idea that someone else will pay…need I say any more? I will say one thing more. The rich spoiled liberal will surely act with a lack of restraint and be operating with a conflict of interest. You would think the exact opposite of justice is the innocent being punished and the guilty getting off scott free. One would have to explain why penal substitution isn’t exactly just that.
Again, a Christian must advocate what they say is the truth and must advocate their own doctrines, from salvation to the administration of justice, and “they must personally want it to be that way themselves”. Do you think a person wanting another person punished instead of themselves is even remotely a pure motive and without a conflict of interest? If so, then explain how a person not wanting another punished in their place and in fact insisting that they face justice themselves does contain a conflict of interest? Because only one of the two is true and ONE OF THE TWO DOES CONTAIN A CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
During the time that a man is testifying falsely or doing wrong in order to avoid suffering mere physical death, the conflict of interest is apparent and the man is confronted with it and the choices that come along with it. With penal substitution, the message is presented in such a way as to have the hearer avoid facing the conflict of interest, by having the choices that a person would make with a conflict of interest, already having been made…but not by the hearer but by God Himself, before the hearer was even born. In this case, God having supposedly made the decisions and choices in man’s place, man does not have to make the choice to avoid “the unfathomable nightmare abyss called divine justice for sin”. It is as though Peter being told beforehand that he could avoid mere physical death by denying the Lord, because the Lord is the one who would not just die by Peter lying, but it is the Lord who would suffer infinite suffering and wrath for Peter lying. In this hypothetical, Peter does not make the decision to sin in order to avoid infinite wrath, but Peter makes the decision knowing that another will suffer infinite wrath a as a consequence. Should Peter feel good about this, should Peter celebrate this afterward and call this “perfect justice”? In this hypothetical the motivation and goal of Peter never changes, in which Peter did wrong to escape infinite wrath, which resulted in some one else suffering that same infinite wrath…Peter is still glad that he escaped the infinite wrath afterward, just as he was before he made the decision to lie in order to escape it. Entertaining the penal substitutionists views, are not believers of such doctrines very joyous that they have allegedly escaped infinite wrath and justice? (and this is long after the event). And so aren’t penal substitution believers “thankfulness and appreciation” to God that they escaped justice and the infinite nightmare was put on Christ instead of them? So suppose a penal substitution believer today is in a middle eastern country today and is asked “where are the other Christians hiding? Tell us or you will be killed! Convert to Islam or you will die!”, and the believer tells them, escapes physical death, makes a false profession of converting to Islam, the other Christians are discovered and put to death…One could then ask does the Christian fear infinite wrath much more than dying a mere physical death, and isn’t the belief that Christ supposedly suffered the infinite wrath allegedly deserved for handing other Christians over to be killed to save ones own life, OPERATING IN THE BACKGROUND OF THE TRAITOR’S MIND? The traitorous believer does not have the idea of he himself suffering infinite wrath for his wrongful acts, and it surely can be argued that the traitor has much less to deter him from such a traitorous…and much less to restrain him from a conflict of interest determining his actions. For who has more to fear, the one that believes he will suffer divine wrath for handing others over to be murdered, or the one who believes he will not suffer divine wrath for handing others over to be murdered? It surely can be argued that it is much less a deterrent to have the view that someone else will suffer for your bad decisions and conflicts of interest, rather you yourself. A rather weird analogy would be a person saying “If you tell the truth I will have your brother killed”, as opposed to saying “If you tell the truth I will kill you”. Of course someone can claim that they love their brother more than themselves and would refuse to testify to prevent their brother being killed. If person were offered the choice of themselves being killed or their brother (and this is when neither deserve to be killed)? Surely many would boast that they would choose to die themselves so that their brother may live! And what if a person actually deserves to die and are given the choice of having their “dear innocent brother” die instead, while the one who deserves to die goes on living? Penal substitution believer think they are spared that choice or decision, by God having made that decision for them…therefore God is assigned as making the decision in their place, therefore it does not rise up and hit them in the face. The subtlety is in having the believer operate like one who has a conflict of interest without knowing it, by having God make the decision instead of them. The result is the believer does not have make the choice of they themselves being punished or another in their place. And so for those (if given the choice) would prefer that another suffer in their place…penal substitution is tailor made for them and those that have a conflict of interest. In a hypothetical question: Imagine that Christ was not punished in your place and you were offered the choice today, of you being justly punished and you being given what you deserve, or you are given the option or choice to have another suffer in your place, someone else being given what you yourself deserve…which would you choose? Suppose in another hypothetical you handed out bibles in a country hostile to Christianity and had the choice to admit that you did it yourself and will suffer death, or that another person who did not, did and will be put to death instead? So if you were given the choice today of whether to suffer for your own crimes, or to decide that Christ will instead…what would you choose? One decision is not very loving toward Christ, and the other is very loving toward Christ…guess which one? If some one says “it is not that we loved God but that God loved us first!”, I say no no, you are not allowed to put this decision on God to make, in this hypothetical you are the one who gets to make the decision. One of the two loves Christ more! As for the person handing out bibles, which loves his brother more (or at all), the one who chooses to suffer death for his own acts, or the one who chooses to have his brother be put to death instead in order to save his own life? How can the one handing his brother over to be put to death, say he loves his brother more than the one who refuses to hand his brother over? If you were given the choice today to be put to death or to have Christ be put to death in your place…how could you possibly claim that you who would hand Christ over to die, love him more than those who would not hand Christ over? Someone looks like a sack of dirt in this hypothetical! It is one of the two. Take a wild guess which one it is and which decision contains a conflict of interest?