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Thursday, July 20, 2006

God did not determine sin

Does God determine that we sin or does He allow it? We know that God is consistent and unchanging. We also know that when He looked on His creation He declared that it was very good. Had God created evil He would not call it good. Had He created Adam with a sinful nature He would not call it very good.

The scripture explains that we are tempted when we are drawn away by our own lust and also declares that God tempts no man. It is not possible that God ordains sin for He would have to do that which the scripture says He does not do and tempt a man to sin. This is most critical when considering the fall. God did not grant Adam or Eve with a sinful nature. He granted them the ability to reason and to make determinations for themselves. Adam, being tempted by his own lust, determined to trust in his own understanding rather than God’s word.

There is a difference between being in control and being controlling.

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18 Comments:

Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

Totally agree. Such a great post Kc. Have been missing you brother.

7/20/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Is this a quotation?

I agree.

7/20/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

I have missed you, too! I also wonder if that is a quotation. I think it is great.

7/20/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Preaching freedom to the sockpuppets...well said, bruthaman.

7/20/2006 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kitty thanks. I keep getting sidetracked but I won't quit trying! ;-)

Thanks Matthew. Just the ramblings of a foolish old man (I just brought my last comment from the previous post forward hehe)

Thank you Rose. You're always so encouraging.

Just doing my part as a Dorsiest (hehe)

7/21/2006 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Hey brother,

All of these are great points and we certainley cannot charge God with sin. Romans 9:19-20.

There is a realm though that I believe so many overlook and assume that they have an understanding of. What do you make of this? "If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you." Your case is certainley made here in part, but this part should leave you scratching your head if you are honest..."Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravanger to destroy.." Isaiah 54:15-16

Perhaps I'll get into the realm of choice and the greak words thelos and ethelos a little later. This is a good discussion.

Also read the account of God using a lying spirit to go to the prophets in order to decieve Ahab into going into battle here:

1 Kings 22:19-23.

Remember also that Joshua would call Israel to make the choice of life and then later in the same discourse would bear witness against them that they had not the power to choose what is right. he would later be proved right. God himself commanded Moses to call Israel to a song of unbelief even before they entered the promise land to bear witness of how incapable they were to make the right choices.

I don't think these sound biblical truths negate faith, but rather give hope in the person and work of Christ and his Holy Spirit. Anyway, take a look at those passages and tell me what you think.

7/21/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brian, welcome back! It is wonderful to have your thoughts and I am often challenged and blessed by the depth of your perspective.

In Romans 9 I find Paul arguing for the sovereignty of God in His determination concerning justification by faith against the logic of the Israelites who claimed justification by law. These two verses are a critical part of Paul’s explanation of God’s authority to do so.

I have strong suspicions concerning the prophecies in Isaiah and though I suspect these verses refer to a future time I still believe they portray the sovereignty of God, that is that God is in control but not all controlling.

I would greatly appreciate any exegesis you would offer on the verses that use thelo! I’m wondering how to provoke you to it! ;-)

Your remaining references are illustrative of my perception of God’s sovereignty and clearly negate the determinist view. In these examples we see God interacting with creation as opposed to creation acting in a predetermined manner as the determinist propose. Men do make determinations and God allows what He will and alters what He will according to His purpose.

I will not evade the object of your point though. If we make judgments against God’s determinations then we would be making the same mistake that the Israelites made when they judged that God would be unfair to justify through faith rather than the works of the law. God is not bound as we are. A very clear example of this is vengeance.

I totally agree with your conclusion!

May God continue to bless you brother. ;-)

7/22/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Hey Kc,

Thanks so much for your thoughts. They were very good.

The word Thelo is the word of choice and will it is used here:

"So then it is not of him that *willeth*, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." Romans 9:16

I do not agree with all Calvinist views, but I do believe like they do that the fall was complete and that we are like Slaves in bondage to Satan. Like Adam we hide and do not seek after God. I see us being made in the image of God, but after the fall having lost that. Hence when we are called lost, I believe that is what is being in referance and when God is seeking after what he lost...that is the point.

Like all slaves we do have the ability to groan and cry out in the dark groaning for freedom like blind Bartimaeus. This is where I deviate just a hair from the Calvinist viewpoint. You see they would say that nothing spiritual can be desired until after you are given sight, but in the blind crying out you see that they desire what was lost as well.

Jesus also wept over Jerusalem. What you have here is a mystery and a seeming paradox. I don't believe we can unlock it. If we do then we place merit on Old Adam or we make God out to be disengenious to some degree; therefore, I leave it as a mysery as the Bible says all of creation is groaning. So we have fallen man not wanting God, yet at the same time groaning for deliverance.

To help with this dichotomy consider a word picture in the new movie "Superman Returns". In it Superman leaves for 5 years to explore his fallen world and in the meantime Lois Lane writes an article.."Why the World doesn't need Superman."

Out of misunderstanding of his plans she is hurt and rejects him out of ignorance. That is a picture of us in our ignorance of even trying to understand all the facts. My Dad says he doesn't believe in Atheists because he feels they are all just hurt people angry with God as Lois Lane was angry with Superman. They don't have all the facts. All of us to some degree if we are to be honest have this within us as well.

At night Superman would go just to the edge of the atmosphere everynight and listen to crys and panic on the earth below and then go deliver temoral relief to whomever needed it.

He takes Lois Lane up there and tries to help her understand the scope of what he is against and tells here

"You wrote that the world doesn't need a savior; but I hear people crying for one everyday."

Now go read Psalms 107 and meditate on how God has to open our eyes to cry for eternal deliverance while at the same time getting us to see our ignorance and rebellion.

7/22/2006 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Shawn L said...

A great quote from my pastor in a question and answer.

"Is all suffering a result of the sin in Eden?

Yes, all suffering is the result of the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. However, how did Adam and Eve’s sin result in a world full of evil and suffering? I want you to look with me at Romans 5:12 and 8:20-21. In Romans 5:12 we are told that death entered the world through one man. This is referring to Adam and his sin. Death is not merely the actual physical death of biological life but the entire principle of death that governs this world. Sickness, accidents, famine, pestilence, war, tornadoes, all of these agents of death entered the world when Adam sinned. This principle of death came into the world through Adam and all humans live under the reign of death because of their own sin. However, Romans 8:20-21 tells us that the whole creation was subjected to this principle of death and decay by the decree of God. It is by God’s design and decree that decay and death have entered the world. He is the one who permits sin to run riot and who decrees disaster as his judgment upon human sin. So it is not an impersonal process that brings suffering into the world because of sin, but the personal and purposeful decree of God. This is why God tells Moses, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” This is why Isaiah says, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”



We are surprised and shocked that there is evil in the world. We are horrified that men fly airplanes into office buildings. We complain that God permits babies to starve to death and millions of people to be slaughtered in acts of genocide. But what the Bible is surprised by is that any human being ever experiences a moment of happiness. The Bible is shocked that God is kind to this world of human beings when we are such an offense to his holiness and justice. How would you feel if your mother or sister was raped and brutally murdered but when the criminal was caught, rather than being thrown in prison, the judge ruled that the state had to pay him a million dollars a year and make him governor of the state you live in? He was given a life of ease by the very person who you thought was supposed to uphold justice. You’d be furious and rightly so. This is what is going on in the world. God is being kind to criminals and even promising some of them that they will reign over angels with him. What’s shocking is not that there is evil in the world. What is shocking is that any of us ever have any joy and that some humans are going to live forever with God in infinite joy."

7/23/2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Shawn L said...

KC,

I can't reconcile your quote at the beginning of the statement above with Romans 8:20-21.

Romans 8:20-21

"Future Glory
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because [6] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, [7] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

7/23/2006 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Shawn L said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/23/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Shawn L said...

I do agree the scriptures do truly say that God is not the author of sin, however it does say that he subjected the creation to principle of decay and death. I think we must be careful on all sides of this as we can be very clear that God does not sin, yet we must keep God's sovereignty as central to our thinking and believe with Moses "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?”

I think there are errors on all sides of this if we don't keep all scriptures in mind when considering these very weighty topics.

7/23/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

"When you were slaves of sin, you were *free* in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set *free* from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life." Romans 6:20-22

7/23/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brian I usually don’t care for most analogies but I must confess I’ve enjoyed the ones you offered on your site and I smiled when I read this one. I believe your superman analogy fully explains the meaning of “paradox”. A paradox is simply a warning sign in logic that indicates a faulty premise. It is further verification that we “see through a glass darkly”. ;-)

Shawn I really appreciate having your thoughts here and I enjoyed the quote from your pastor and what I read at your Church’s web site. I didn’t know you were a Yankee (grin).

I think if we can distinguish between the curse of sin and the origin of sin we can have a much better understanding of God’s sovereignty. I think it will also give understanding to the scriptural meaning of submission. I will offer an alteration to your admonition that I hope will clarify my position. Rather than keeping God’s sovereignty central to our thinking I believe we should accept that He is sovereign and keep His will central to our thinking. I believe that is submission. To the determinist submission is a determination by God upon a man. I find the scripture to indicate that submission is the determination by a man to surrender His will to God’s will.

7/24/2006 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger sophigirl said...

KC, It's good to see you posting again - for a while I gave up looking there :)

I thought your last comment was very good as you referred to "through a glass darkly." You know I am Reformed in my theology so I would tend to disagree with your position here, but I would not be on a hard-core determinist side either. Rather, I see a tension in the Bible (as Brian and yourself have pointed out), which, in my opinion, results from both our createdness and our fallenness. I am more and more content to call this a mystery - like Trinity, Incarnation, physicality of heaven, etc. But in the end, if I do err, I prefer to err on the side of God's sovereignty. ;)

7/24/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Nellie Bellie said...

...I believe we should accept that He is sovereign and keep His will central to our thinking.
I like the way you put this KC.

7/24/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Alina I am honored to have your thoughts and especially when we tend to disagree. You do it so kindly. ;-)

I very much like the idea of remaining open on all these issues while still knocking and seeking. They should not be a point of contention.

Nellie thanks so much and for all the fine poetry recently as well from both you and your thought bender. ;-)

7/24/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Kc,

Thanks for your gracious response. I will admit that analogies are indeed weak in comparison to the absolute truths that we are seeking to understand here. Including this one.

I'll agree that we can look at the will, but what is so clear is that the will for God cannot be without the New Creation. This is where the tension lay as the other kind blogger pointed out.

7/24/2006 07:04:00 PM  

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