Born a Sinner?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Kathy, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. Kathy

    Kathy
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    The thread about Jesus' lineage got me to thinking about this. I'm curious to know who believes if we are born or conceived sinners? I personally believe that we are conceived in sin. I know there is a verse in Psalm where David mentions he was sinful even in the womb...but I can't find it! GRRRR...

    Kathy
    <><
     
  2. paul hadik

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    Kathy:

    psalm 51:5

    I deal alot with members of the LDS church who feel that we are untainted by original sin. Even among some evangelicals the idea that babies are the enemies of God is often considered distasteful. Many quickly pounce on verses like David's believing his child to be in heaven and how often Christ spoke well of children to back up the belief that children have a free pass into heaven.
    While I HOPE that is true (having lost a daughter myself)
    the fact is we are born in sin.
    Cain and Abel were born outside of the garden. How many babies died in the flood...sodom and gomorrah...when the Amalekites were defeated. In fact, it was God Himself who struck down the child of David and Bathsheba. They all died due to sin. either that or God was unjust.

    paul
     
  3. tyndale1946

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    Here is an interpretation by John Gill which might be of interest to you.

    Ver. 5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity,.... This cannot be understood of any personal iniquity of his immediate parents; since this respects his wonderful formation in the womb, in which both he and they were wholly passive, as the word here used is of that form; and is the amazing work of God himself, so much admired by the psalmist,
    Ps 139:13; and cannot design any sinfulness then infused into him by his Maker, seeing God cannot be the author of sin; but of original sin and corruption, derived to him by natural generation: and the sense is, that as soon as ever the mass of human nature was shaped and quickened, or as soon as soul and body were united together, sin was in him, and he was in sin, or became a sinful creature;... Hope this helped... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  4. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kathy:
    The thread about Jesus' lineage got me to thinking about this. I'm curious to know who believes if we are born or conceived sinners? I personally believe that we are conceived in sin. I know there is a verse in Psalm where David mentions he was sinful even in the womb...but I can't find it! GRRRR...

    Kathy
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Kathy all are sinners from the very beginning. Since human life begins at conception, one can say one is a sinner at that point. However conception itself is not a sin. I believe it was Augustine who felt so strongly the conception itself was sin, that this later permeated catholic thought and led to the celibacy of the priesthood.
     
  5. Helen

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    I disagree, Chris. We have a sin nature from the beginning, but we are not sinners until we disobey some law! This is Paul's point in Romans 7:7-11. Without the law, sin is dead -- and a dead thing cannot harm anyone. Sin 'springs to life' when we know the law. If you look at Genesis 8:21, God did NOT say that men's hearts tend toward evil from infanthood, but from childhood. It takes awhile for a child to disobey volitionally, thus needing to be held accountable for it, rather than simply expressing a sin nature.

    Another way of looking at it is this -- if a baby is a sinner, then a baby can also repent, and then the baby is quite eligible for baptism. For the sin is not 'alive' in the child until the child knows enough to actually disobey a known law; in which case he is also old enough to feel badly about it and repent!

    So while a baby may be conceived and born WITH a sin nature, meaning he or she will inevitably sin, given even a modicum of basic intellence, that baby is not yet a sinner in the sense of having done something which he or she must be held accountable for.

    Death is a WAGE. That little one has not worked for it yet!
     
  6. Michael Wrenn

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    Helen,

    Agreed!
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    Two questions, Helen -

    (1) "Are we sinners because we sin?"

    (2) "Do we sin because we are by nature sinners?"
     
  8. HankD

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    I heard it put this way,

    when we sin we put our stamp of approval on what we are.

    HankD
     
  9. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Helen:
    I disagree, Chris. We have a sin nature from the beginning, but we are not sinners until we disobey some law! This is Paul's point in Romans 7:7-11. Without the law, sin is dead -- and a dead thing cannot harm anyone. Sin 'springs to life' when we know the law. If you look at Genesis 8:21, God did NOT say that men's hearts tend toward evil from infanthood, but from childhood. It takes awhile for a child to disobey volitionally, thus needing to be held accountable for it, rather than simply expressing a sin nature.

    Another way of looking at it is this -- if a baby is a sinner, then a baby can also repent, and then the baby is quite eligible for baptism. For the sin is not 'alive' in the child until the child knows enough to actually disobey a known law; in which case he is also old enough to feel badly about it and repent!

    So while a baby may be conceived and born WITH a sin nature, meaning he or she will inevitably sin, given even a modicum of basic intellence, that baby is not yet a sinner in the sense of having done something which he or she must be held accountable for.

    Death is a WAGE. That little one has not worked for it yet!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Helen:

    We are not condemned only for personal sin, but for our very sin nature, which God cannot allow into his holy presence. We are by nature, children of wrath. Your analogy toward infant baptism is non sequitor. Infant baptism is not the answer to sinless infants - infanticide is! If they are blameless, less kill them as soon as possible before they sin! But the sin of Adam is imputed to us all. As the 1689 LBCF states:

    II. Our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and we in them whereby death came upon all;[3] all becoming dead in sin,[4] and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.[5]

    3. Rom. 3:23
    4. Rom. 5:12-21
    5. Titus 1:15; Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10-19

    III. They being the root, and by God's appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the guilt of the sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation,[6]being now conceived in sin,[7] and by nature children of wrath,[8] the servants of sin, the subjects of death,[9] and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, an eternal, unless the Lord Jesus set them free.[10]

    6. Rom. 5:12-19; I Cor. 15:21-22, 45, 49
    7. Psa. 51:5; Job 14:4
    8. Eph. 2:3
    9. Rom. 6:20; 5:12
    10. Heb. 2:14-15; I Thess. 1:10

    IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil;[11] do proceed all actual transgressions.[12]

    11. Rom. 8:7; Col. 1:21
    12. James 1:14-15; Matt. 15:19
     
  10. Helen

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    We sin because we have a sin nature from conception.

    But we are not held accountable for that sin until it comes alive in us, like a disease going active after dormancy. Paul could not be clearer about this in Romans 7.

    Are we condemned to death under sin because of our nature or because of our sins? In a funny way, it doesn't matter, for Jesus was the one sacrifice for all. The unintentional/unknown sins are just as much covered under OT law as all other sins, and Jesus died for the unknown sins, too. So the babies, who are not yet old enough to sin volitionally, but who nevertheless are operating according to their sin natures, are saved regardless.

    Here is an example from everyday life. Most the people here know I have a profoundly retarded son, Chris. He had encephalitis when he was 3 and today, although physically active, has a 19 IQ, cannot speak, and will always be in diapers. He is seventeen and taller than I am now. It makes life interesting.

    We have to lock Chris in his bedroom at night. If not, he will wake up whenever he happens to wake up and go have a really good time in the kitchen. We woke up, one morning a couple of years ago, to about 3 pounds of Tang powder all over the kitchen, the wrapper of a loaf of bread which had been cheerfully shared with the dogs, a melted plastic bag in the microwave, and ashes from the wood stove (I thank God we had not used it the evening before and everything was cool) all over the hearth and family room.

    Could I hold him accountable for a mess that took me, literally, several hours to clean up? No, I could not. Chris knew I was upset, but he didn't connect that with anything he had done. That sort of connection comes hard to him. But I still had to clean up.

    Now, if my seventeen year old daughter, who gets over a 3.0 average in school and is very verbal and understands the rules of the house and the reasons behind them quite well, were to scatter a few pounds of Tang across the kitchen, melt a plastic bag in the microwave, share a loaf of bread with the dogs, and scatter ashes all over the place -- she would be grounded until she was about 95 or so!

    In both cases, however, I would have to clean up. In both cases she did (would) help, while Chris could do nothing.

    Now we can't help Jesus clean up after our messes, but whether we are in a position to be held accountable for what we do or not, He has cleaned up.

    As we grow we can follow our rebellious nature or allow Christ to put it to death and grant us a new nature -- thus being born again.

    That new nature WANTS to keep the kitchen clean, although spills and accidents will still occur at times.

    The kitchen, then, can get dirty one of three ways:

    1. Via Chris -- he likes Tang, and bread, and the lights in the microwave and the warmth of the wood stove. So he tried to help himself to all without having a clue what he was doing. Unknown sin.

    2. Via direct, conscious rebellion -- if Bianca had done the same thing, knowing what she was doing and either doing it out of spite/anger, or just because she felt like it ('if it feels good, do it!'). Volitional sin, which demands accountability.

    3. Accidental mess despite trying not to -- that's me. I don't want to make a mess but I manage to on a rather frequent basis anyway.


    Jesus has cleaned it all up. That's the point. Whether or not we choose to accept that gift of cleanliness for ourselves is the choice we have.

    As a believer in the straightforward reading of the Bible, I am, of course, a YEC. This same straightforward reading says that God truly does love the WORLD (or all men), John 3:16, and that He truly is not willing that ANY should perish (2 Peter 3) and that Jesus truly was the priest who "offered for all time one sacrifice for sins" (Heb. 10:12). So why are only a few chosen? Because most prefer themselves and refuse the gift of salvation.

    Those of us who accepted did nothing to earn that gift, establish it, wrap it, keep it -- it is all a matter of grace. But the Bible makes it very clear that a man can suppress the truth that he knows (Romans 1), thereby starting to follow a lie and will end up in death and degradation.

    Or a man can seek. Jesus told us to FIND the narrow gate. That is an activity. That has nothing to do with having constructed the gate, opening it, or building the path. All that is already done. But we are told to ask, seek, knock.

    I can't get away from those verses.

    Does it mean a man can actually do anything about his own salvation? No, it does not. That is something Jesus established for us. But nowhere in the Bible do I read that God so hated most of the world that He denied them forgiveness and salvation from before their conception. The Bible teaches exactly the opposite, in combination with the freedom of man to choose one way or the other.

    Is God surprised by who chooses yea or nay? Not at all. He is omniscient, knowing the end from the beginning. He is big enough to not only know, but to still allow us the freedom to choose.

    In conjunction with this, the babies, and Chris, are safe in God's hands forever (until they grow up, which most babies do and Chris never will), because ALL their sins are unknown and still covered by Christ's sacrifice.

    So yes, we sin because we are subject to our sin natures. But, again Romans 7:7-11, a baby or child is alive in Christ until that sin comes to life and kills, or separates, him or her. There is no other meaning that can be taken from Paul's words there. Apart from the law, sin is dead. If sin is dead, sin cannot hurt a person. It is only when, using the example of coveting, Paul KNEW what the law was that he, in his original perverse nature, found himself coveting more and more as a matter of desire, thus dying spiritually, or being separated from God.

    And, finally, yes, all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. That is never in question. But little ones are not, and cannot be, held accountable. And Jesus has taken care of them, too, with His sacrifice.
     
  11. Love43

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    Helen, I really enjoyed your analogies. That was probabely the simplest yet through explaination I have ever heard on the subject.

    THINKS A LOT!!!
     
  12. paul hadik

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    Helen:

    I have a severely handicapped brother who is now in his late 30's so I think I can comment on your post honestly without sounding like I have no heart.
    The very fact that they were born the way they were is an evidence of sin. God never meant it to be this way.
    I understand the point you are trying to make that certain people may not understand that they are sinning or sinful but the question you still need to answer then is why so many babies were killed in the flood and Sodom and Gomorrah.
    In a bible study I held last night we studied Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Their whole families (including babies) were judged and killed. If these babies are without sin/innocent of sin, then God was unrighteous.
    My prayers for you and your son. one of the greatest impacts on my life was the love my parents (both now with the Lord) had for my brother even though I know he tried their patience to no end. My mom carried with her, everywhere she went, a poem stating that a handicapped child was a special gift from God given to grow love in the hearts of parents He trusted.
    paul

    [ January 07, 2002: Message edited by: paul hadik ]
     
  13. Chris Temple

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    From Is there ‘original’ sin?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Question: Is there ‘original’ sin, meaning men are sinners because of an ‘inherited’ sinful nature passed on by Adam?

    Answer:

    The answer is an emphatic Yes, because the Bible specifically teaches this. People (and this includes children) sin because they are sinners. The modern world tries to say people sin because of their environment, but this is contrary to Scripture. The only ones who ever sinned without a sinful nature were Adam and Eve—who also had a perfect environment.

    But let’s let the Word itself speak to this issue and answer your question:

    David wrote in Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” (NASB). The NIV’s translation is even clearer. “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

    In Psalm 58:3 David wrote, “Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies.”

    Then note Paul’s statement in Eph. 2:1-3, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” (NIV)

    Note two important points here: First, speaking about his readers’ former life (a statement which applies to all of us before salvation) he states they were dead in their transgressions and sins and as a result they followed the ways of the world. Following the sinful ways of the world and the typical lusts patterns of men is the product of spiritual death; the issue of root to fruit. Men sin because they are sinners. Second, he shows this sinful condition and a further consequence, being under the wrath of God, is “by nature,” a condition received by nature, i.e., inherited from our parents, just as David pointed out in Ps. 51:5.

    This is further supported by Paul’s statements in Romans 5. Though this passage is dealing with the imputation of Adam’s sin as the federal head of the human race, it also shows us man is sinful because of his relation to Adam.

    12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—13 for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

    15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.

    The point is, after Adam sinned, he and his descendants could only beget sinners, so all men are under the sentence of death, the penalty of sin (see Heb. 7:9-10 for the principle of imputation).

    In essence then, all men are behind the eight ball or constituted a sinners for three reasons:

    (1) Inherited Sin: They are sinners by nature; possessing an inherited sinful nature (Ps. 51:5; 58:3 and see also Gen. 5:3).

    (2) Imputed Sin: They are sinners by imputation; Adam’s sin is imputed to man’s account (Rom. 5:12f) just as Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us when we believe in Christ.

    (3) Individual Sin: They are personal sinners; all men sin as individuals since they posses a sinful nature. Even in a godly environment children naturally are selfish and tend to tell lies, etc. (Rom. 3:23).
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    [ January 07, 2002: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  14. Chris Temple

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    From Theology Hamartiology (sin) at Bible.org

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Question: Isn’t Ps 58:3 a hyperbole meaning as soon as children are old enough they start sinning?

    Answer:


    One should not call Psalm 58:3 a hyperbole without adequate justification. There is, of course, the use of hyperbole in Scripture, but only bias against the plain statement of this passage leads one to do so here, in my opinion. But even to call this hyperbole does not do away with the plain statement of the passage that even from birth children go astray. Note that it clearly says, they are wicked from birth. It does not say that they speak lies from birth, but that being naturally wicked even from birth, they then speak lies when old enough to do so. It’s clearly a matter of root and fruit or cause and effect. Remember also, David is the author of this Psalm and this interpretation fits with his statement in 51:5. They begin to devise evil from their very youth in that there is no evidence of good or possibility of change in their hearts.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     
  15. Helen

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    Chris,

    I have never argued that all human beings sin. My point is that not all are accountable. Babies and the profoundly retarded will certainly do wrong things. We all have sin nature from conception. That was never my point.

    My point had to do with accountability.

    And spiritual death.

    Paul says he was alive before he knew the law. No way reincarnation, so that had to mean spiritual life -- which means being in communion with God. That doesn't make them anytheless sinners -- but they are covered by Jesus the same way those are who died spiritually and then were given a new life by Christ. Otherwise Paul's words there in Romans 7 have no meaning at all.

    Paul -- I agree with you that yes, handicaps and all manner of problems are the result of sin. IN genetics we have something called 'genetic load,' which is the building up in a population of negative mutations. These mutations are NOT the result of a man's individual sin, for they were present in the egg and/or the sperm which joined to form his body. Nevertheless, these defects are the result of sin. The world-wide, the creation-wide, effects of sin.

    You asked about the babies killed in the Flood and Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible study today (below) includes the Sodom and Gomorrah incident. The answer you are seeking is in the Lord's discussion with Abraham in Genesis 18. Abraham asks if the Lord of all the earth will not do right -- what if there are 50 righteous men left in the city. God will spare the city.

    45?
    He will spare it.

    40?
    He will spare it.

    And so it goes, on down to ten. If only TEN good men are found in the city, that is enough.

    Enough for what? Enough to provide an example so that the people of the city can never say they did not have a choice.

    What kind of a God would let children grow up without a choice? He wouldn't. And when sin had reached its full measure before the Flood, how much more merciful to simply call the children and babes home before they grew up in a world that gave them no choice other than violence and evil.

    And in Sodom, that is the way it was, too. There were not even ten men in the city who could point the way toward righteousness. So what choice did the children have? What God did was totally merciful on their behalf. Take them home. They are in heaven now. They who did not know what they were doing are covered by Christ's blood in the same way the sacrifice for unknown sins covered those.
    As for the other families, I don't know. But I know the character of God. And I know that James was speaking correctly when he wrote that mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13).

    Because of Jesus, we are no longer condemned either because of our sin nature or even because of sin itself. He did for those sins, and they are completely taken care of.

    Look at the verses AFTER John 3:16 -- "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."

    It is thus not sin which is the condemning factor, whether natural (original), imputed, or personal. That death was taken by Jesus, paid in full.

    We are condemned or saved because of our response to God's Son. Do we throw that back in His Holy Face, refusing to believe? Or do we believe, and thus gain life through Him?

    Yes, we are all totally and permanently guilty of sinning. Even born again, I sin. The difference is much more in my heart and becomes expressed imperfectly through my life -- I no long WANT to sin.

    I am not arguing that we all sin, perhaps from conception, although I have no way of knowing that myself! But Jesus died not just for my sins, or the sins of those who are saved in the long run, but for the sins of the world. That debt is paid.

    That is why Jesus said that all sins could be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of truth. The same truth willingly suppressed by those who prefer to worship the created rather than the Creator -- those who prefer a lie. And if you prefer a lie, and follow it, you will never find the truth -- and it is only in the truth that forgiveness may be found.

    We are not passive robots. Robots cannot love. You cannot program love into anything. Love is a decision. That is why Jesus could command it. But while we may want to love, we cannot outside of Christ. He fulfilled that law, too, and it is only in Him and through Him that we can do what we were created to do: love God and love each other.

    And that is what brings glory to God -- for us to be as He created us to be: images of Him.

    Our sins still bring consequences here on earth. For all of us, saved or unsaved! But I do not see in the Bible where ANY person on earth will be judged in terms of eternity because of his or her sin, but because of his or her rejection of Christ Jesus, who paid the price for those sins. There is judgment on earth because of sins. That is a good part of the legal systems of each culture as well. But eternal judgment has to do with Christ and only with Christ.

    All we have to do, ever is LOOK to the Son, and believe in Him (John 6:40). And then it is God who draws us, God the Father who gives us to the Son. But our response to Christ is absolutely the crucial matter for us.

    Turn, and look, and be healed.

    Or refuse the truth and be damned eternally.

    Why do some people long for the truth more than life, and some prefer a lie? I can't answer that. It is at that level that Reformed theology has a point. But the truth is that each person has a choice. That is the whole rationale behind killing the children in the civilizations which were full up with evil -- those kids would never have had a choice.
     
  16. PackerBacker

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Helen:


    You asked about the babies killed in the Flood and Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible study today (below) includes the Sodom and Gomorrah incident. The answer you are seeking is in the Lord's discussion with Abraham in Genesis 18. Abraham asks if the Lord of all the earth will not do right -- what if there are 50 righteous men left in the city. God will spare the city.

    45?
    He will spare it.

    40?
    He will spare it.

    And so it goes, on down to ten. If only TEN good men are found in the city, that is enough.

    Enough for what? Enough to provide an example so that the people of the city can never say they did not have a choice.

    And in Sodom, that is the way it was, too. There were not even ten men in the city who could point the way toward righteousness. So what choice did the children have? What God did was totally merciful on their behalf. Take them home. They are in heaven now.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Helen,

    While I have enjoyed your insight to this topic, red flags went up over the assumptions you made using the Gen.passage. I must be honest that I looked at this passage in Genesis 18 and do not see how Paul H is going to find the answer he is looking for from this. While I think I see where you’re coming, I must question your explanation of that section of scripture:

    1. You kept referring to “Good Men” found in the city and even made a point that there were not 10 good “men” to point the way towards righteousness, leaving the “children” with no choice. You tried to make a point between the word “men” and children as if there was an obvious difference in the passage. I’ve checked several English translations and have not seen the use of this “men” and “children” that you try to show a difference in.

    2. I also question your assumptions of “enough.” God did not need 10 righteous persons in that city to leave an example wherefore He could not be accused of giving them a choice. For the life of me I do see that at all. God let Abraham take the number down as far as He wanted because God knew already he was going to destroy the city because they were not righteous. Make it fifty or 10, God righteously judges regardless of what man can say about a choice or lack of.

    3. What happened to the cities and all the people in them (other than Lot and his two daughters)? They were destroyed. This means, according to God’s agreement, that there were not even 10 righteous people in the city. If all the children were righteous and unaccountable, then God seems to have not kept His word to Abraham.

    4. While I hope you are right about God burning up the little children as a way of mercy, and taking them all to heaven, I fail to see how you can support that from this passage or in the other examples Paul H gave.

    5. When the smoke settled and all the wicked of Sodom and Gomorrah were consumed in God’s wrath, A righteous God had done righteous, regardless of Abraham’s questioning His ability to judge right.
     
  17. Helen

    Helen
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    Thank you for your response.

    I have to go back to Paul in Romans 7:7-11, where he points out that sin has no power without the law: "Without the law, sin is dead."

    That can only apply to babies, children, and the profoundly retarded I think.

    I have also seen that a good part of the Bible is composed of 'if....then' material from God directly, through Moses and Joshua, and through the prophets in the OT. So I know there are choices that people have.

    But people have to know the choices in order to choose.

    In Genesis 15:16, God tells Abraham that now is not the time for his family to have the land because "the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." That idea of 'full measure' seems to also be the point of the conversation with Abraham. The city is so full of evil, the measure is full. There are not ten righteous men in the city. There is no influence, no example left which would give any person growing up there a choice of which way to go.

    He allowed Adam and Eve a choice in the Garden. There all was permitted except one thing. In a sense, all was good except a very little which could usher in evil. Still, there was a choice.

    In our lives, no matter how much evil and violence we see around us, God has enough people of His scattered to be an influence, so that every child growing up can see that influence and make choices as he or she grows.

    In Sodom with no choices left, every child in it was doomed to grow up knowing only evil. God hates evil.

    It is not a matter of the specific incident at Sodom producing these conclusions, but of the rest of the Bible, too. Jesus said the little ones have angels who are always before God. But little ones have to grow. They can help us remember innocence, but they cannot influence us in the same way an adult will influence a child. So I did not mean to cause confusion between 'men' and 'children', and I apologize for that. I have been trying to put everything together, because I know the Bible does not contradict itself.

    In Isaiah we read, "The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart;
    devout men are taken away, and no one understands
    that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil."

    If righteous men, how much more the children?

    If I'm wrong, please show me. But it all comes together this way. God's character is the same. If the Amorites were not to be destroyed until their sin had reached full measure, then wouldn't Sodom be the same? And Gomorrah? Wouldn't that be the whole point behind the 'not ten rightous men'?

    I'll look forward to your response, and thank you. I'm not trying to be stubborn or heretical! I'm trying to fit it all together because, in part, I am so tired of unbelievers using examples like the Flood and Sodom to say God is unjust because He kiiled little kids. I understand why they think that, but this is a door I'm knocking on with the Lord, and if this is not wisdom from Him, then I need to be corrected very quickly, please!
     
  18. PackerBacker

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Helen:
    Thank you for your response.

    I have to go back to Paul in Romans 7:7-11, where he points out that sin has no power without the law: "Without the law, sin is dead." That can only apply to babies, children, and the profoundly retarded I think.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Helen,

    I went back through your posts and noticed that this passage in Romans seems to be the main glue that the rest of your points come back to stick on. You note later in your reply that you know scripture does not contradict itself. I’d like to note several problems you are going to have if you interpret Romans 7 as you have stated here and in your earlier posts. By your interpretation Paul contradicts the point he labored to establish in the first three chapters of Romans about Gentile, Jew, and all being sinners, with or without the law, and having no excuse. It also contradicts most of chapter 5 that establishes the fact that all of us are dead and condemned because of being part of or associated with Adam.

    Based on your thinking of this passage I see why Chris mentioned infanticide as the best way to go (if such thinking is correct). I could run with your interpretation of Romans 7 and also make the case that people in the Jungle or even some places in the USA that never hear the Law, will be saved because “Without the Law, sin is dead” which if I understand you correctly, means non-accountability. In that case the most humane thing to do would be to leave those people alone and not let them hear about the Law.

    Here is another problem with using the Romans 7:7-11 passage as a proof text that the law makes a person actively a sinner. You told Chris in your Jan 6 post that, “we are not sinners until we disobey some law!” Then by your definition the law is bad news to all that hear it because it brings accountability. It seems Paul knew that this kind of thinking might logically happen because he deals with it in the verses following the ones you listed. Note verse 12 and 13 in that chapter. It is not God’s holy, just, and good law that brings death. Paul say’s “God forbid” to this idea. What was working death? Sin. The law only makes the sinfulness we already have, become “exceedingly sinful.”

    I briefly dealt with a few contradictions you will create with your interpretation of Romans 7:7-11, within the book of Romans. You should already see from the other passages of scripture Chris brought to your attention, that your proof text on this issue is running into some tough contradictions.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>In Genesis 15:16, God tells Abraham that now is not the time for his family to have the land because "the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." That idea of 'full measure' seems to also be the point of the conversation with Abraham. The city is so full of evil, the measure is full. There are not ten righteous men in the city. There is no influence, no example left which would give any person growing up there a choice of which way to go. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Just like the last time you explained the Sodom incident, you’re again adding a lot of speculation to a pretty clear incident in Gen. 18. While I’ll grant you the liberty of speculating and bringing in other accounts for interpretation (even though this account is lacking for need of outside help), you’re still going to have a tough time selling this one to me. I’m sure your not trying, but the way of Faith folks and cults use the same kind of speculation you used in this Gen. 18 account to make the Bible say what ever they wish it to say, to meet their already preconceived idea.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>He allowed Adam and Eve a choice in the Garden. There all was permitted except one thing. In a sense, all was good except a very little which could usher in evil. Still, there was a choice. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I agree that God gave Adam and Eve a choice in the Garden but did Cain, Abel, Seth, and everyone else have the same choice? No. We do make a lot of choices, I agree, but one thing we do not have a choice about is who we are born from, where we will be born, or what characteristics we will be born with. Cain, Abel, and you and I did not get a choice to be born into a perfect world in a perfect relationship with God. Without a choice, because Adam made it all for us, we did not even get a shot at keeping one rule as Adam did. Being a sinner, born outside Eden, into a sin cursed world, with suffering and death is not one of the choices we make. Adam made this one for us (Rom. 5). If we are undeserving of the curse of sin, then why has God allowed us to be born with it?

    This is getting long so I’ll respond to the rest of your note in a separate post. Please don't see my replies as a personal attack. I like you am trying to understand this issue better.

    [ January 08, 2002: Message edited by: PackerBacker ]

    [ January 08, 2002: Message edited by: PackerBacker ]
     
  19. paul hadik

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    Kathy:

    I understand that some passages in Scripture are magnets to the unsaved. The killing of the Amalekites by Saul in I Samuel 15 :3 where he is told not to spare babies etc. But lets be honest. The unsaved have no love for the death of Christ either. We have to be careful of trying to make God more comfortable for our own understanding.
    If your argument is simply that God was doing these babies a favor then there are several things you must answer biblically.
    1)Does Scripture clearly teach that those without understanding of sin automatically receive God's mercy? (as I mentioned I have a severely handicapped brother who I know doesn't understand, I have also buried a baby daughter...so I have a double stake in this)
    2)If these children are innocent is God just in killing them?
    3)If these children are innocent, and God's killing them is a straight path to eternity with Him ( as an argument used to show His mercy and fairness) do you not raise other objections against His fairness in allowing that He wills millions to grow up in countries where there is no presence of the Gospel?

    paul

    [ January 08, 2002: Message edited by: paul hadik ]
     
  20. PackerBacker

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Helen:


    I'll look forward to your response, and thank you. I'm not trying to be stubborn or heretical! I'm trying to fit it all together because, in part, I am so tired of unbelievers using examples like the Flood and Sodom to say God is unjust because He kiiled little kids. I understand why they think that, but this is a door I'm knocking on with the Lord, and if this is not wisdom from Him, then I need to be corrected very quickly, please!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Helen,

    Here is the 2nd part of the reply I said I’d be sending. I’ve read through a number of your posts on other issues and know for sure your not trying to be heretical. You have a big heart, and seem to be one of the nicer posters on this board.

    I know what you saying about unbelievers using examples in the OT to accuse God. It bugs me also, but like Paul H mentioned in his post, they also reject Christ and about everything else about God. I remember well the first time, a claiming atheists, made the point of God being a blood thirsty God and rattled off more OT examples than I even knew of. Growing up only talking about God as love, left me feeling really ignorant and unable to answer this man’s questions with anything other than an emotional, “I think” answer.

    I know you want a way to explain those situations to the accusers of God but the main argument you have been using is really all based on the same kind of speculation that the accusers use. Saying God kills babies to do them a favor, to keep them from growing up to be accountable sinners (pagans), or to “take them home” is just not based on God’s Word. I know you are trying hard to justify God’s actions but in reality His actions are just, regardless of what man says. If I was unregenerate, you would not be able to even logically convince me that God is loving and doing anyone a favor by commanding their death, drowning them, burning them, sucking them into the earth, sending poison snakes to bite them, etc. You’re just not going to sell that one to too many thinking people, without some clear proof.

    Whenever these questions come up on this sight I notice guys like Chris offer a biblical answer usually based on God’s sovereignty and elective choice. While those responses tend to be viewed as cold hearted and result in feathers being ruffled, they are biblically based instead of emotionally based. As point blank or cold as they my sound, they have more biblical basis than a position coming mostly from speculation or emotion.

    I found in the past that I used to spend much time trying to prove that God is loving but I failed to understand that God does not have to be loving. He can be, and often is, but love does not control Him. He is though, a holy God that always acts in accordance with His holiness. While he hates sin and must judge it, He can be merciful and gracious to those who are unholy. I no longer skip over or try to rationalize the many accounts in the Bible showing God’s wrath against sinful mankind (The stuff the lost accuse God of being bloodthirsty). I actually use these accounts to try to show the lost I deal with that God acts according to His holiness and not according to some manmade standard of fairness the lost and even some believer’s demand of Him. God’s righteous wrath falling upon even the smallest of us sinners can’t help but show us that we being Adam’s race are separated, condemned, and perishing because of our sinful nature. Our only hope, man, woman, and child is that God does not give us what we deserve but instead He gives us mercy, which we do not deserve. Instead of trying to force love into accounts where it is not mentioned, I use those accounts, as they are, to show the lost the holiness of God. The mockers will never understand the love of our God until they first understand their helpless condition.

    I do understand your frustration with these accounts people use to accuse God. Hope this explanation, while not exhaustible, is of some help as you deal unbelievers and the frustrations of their accusations.
     

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