Let’s be honest. The only ones breathing who can call Good Friday, “Good Friday” are the covenantal Reformed. Roman Catholics can’t say that. Wesleyans, Nazarenes, and the Arminians can’t say that. Pentecostals can’t say that. Reformed Baptist can’t say that. Even Lutherans can’t consistently talk about “Good Friday.”
And why is that?
Because Good Friday is only “Good” because “Jesus paid it all.” For all other expressions except the covenantal Reformed Jesus didn’t pay it all or if He did pay it all, it all depends at which point in their systematic theology they are teaching from. This is just a way of saying that their theology is contradictory. At one point some will teach that “Jesus paid it all” while at other points man likewise has to pay along with Jesus.
The semi-Pelagians and the Arminians can’t consistently talk about “Good Friday,” because they insist — even if not explicitly so — that they must add their good works in order for Good Friday to be really “Good.” I know this is true because once upon a time I studied their theology closely. I read their theologians. The grace found in Arminianism is the taking advantage by dead men of a grace proffered. Dead men don’t respond to offered grace. Dead men are dead. There is very little “Good Friday,” in Wesleyan schemes of “Good Friday.”
The Reformed Baptist can’t talk about “Good Friday,” because whatever it is that an adult can bring to be considered saved and so worthy of Baptism that an infant can’t bring to be Baptized is a work that makes Good Friday not really good.
Lutherans can’t talk about “Good Friday,” because in their insistence that Jesus died for every one we find the distinguishing difference between those who are saved and those who are not saved is a something that the saved did that the unsaved didn’t do whereby they are saved. You see in these schemes fallen man is the one who really makes his “Good Friday,” “Good.” Anyone who believes that Jesus died to pay the sins of every man and woman who has ever lived does not believe that “Good Friday” is really “Good.” Anyone who believes what Lutherans believe can’t say “Good Friday” with all the gusto that the covenantal Reformed can say when the covenantal Reformed say “Good Friday.”
Roman Catholics don’t believe that “Good Friday,” is really “Good.” Their system especially empties the goodness out of “Good Friday.” For Rome Jesus doesn’t really pay for sins. Rome calls that idea “a legal fiction.” Rome is a soul-eating machine that forever casts man back upon the search for his own goodness. In Rome, Jesus paid it all as long as the penitent continues to eat and drink Jesus in the Mass, as long as the penitent continues to go to confession, as long as the penitent does some time in purgatory, as long as the penitent prays to dead people and as long as the penitent brings adds their own performance to Jesus’ work. Roman Catholicism is Arminianism formalized. Roman Catholicism is the high octane version of Arminianism. No “Good Friday” allowed.
Good Friday is “Good” because I, who could never add anything contributory to my salvation, don’t need to worry about that because Jesus is all my goodness. Jesus Christ because of His work on the Cross did all the saving and all that there is left for me is to relish in the goodness of that first Good Friday.
None of this is to say that Wesleyans, or Reformed Baptists, or Lutherans are not saved. Praise God that God can save us despite our theology that is amiss from His express Word. However, we can and do say that such expressions of Christianity are really sub-Christianities not worthy of the name Christianity.
So… how Good is your Good Friday today?