Is Fairness an Attribute of God?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by KenH, Jul 7, 2002.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    1) Is there any Biblical basis for insisting on the idea that God is "fair"?

    2) For those of you who are parents, how do you respond when your child says, "But that isn't fair!"?

    Ken

    [ July 07, 2002, 07:02 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  2. ScottEmerson

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    If God were fair, we'd all be going to Hell. Instead, He chose to die for the sins of all men, in spite of whether they would accept him or reject him. That's most definitely unfair.
     
  3. Ray Berrian

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    There is no attribute called the Fairness of God; we do, however, know of the justice of God which indicates to us that He just in all of His dealings with humankind.

    God is totally fair because those who believe and trust in Him as Savior have everlasting life within their being, now, and never ending life with Him forever.

    Dr. Berrian
     
  4. KenH

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    Then, Scott, from a fair/unfair standpoint, you have no problem with God regenerating(giving the new birth) to some but not to all based on His free, sovereign grace, right?

    Ken
     
  5. KenH

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    Justice is a doing what is legally correct. That is not fairness. Fairness means everyone is treated exactly alike. If God must treat everyone exactly alike to be "fair", then He not sovereign and free to act according to His purposes as stated in Romans 9 as the Potter.

    Ray, you said there is no attribute of God called fairness, then you you turn right around and say that God is fair. So, are you saying that God is fair but it doesn't matter if He is or isn't?

    Ken
     
  6. Helen

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    I think it is interesting that even children understand the concept of 'fair.' This may very well be part of what Paul is referring to in Romans 2 when he speaks of those who have the law in their hearts. In Colossians 4:1, slavemasters are told to provide their slaves with what is right and fair. Why? because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

    Why the appeal to fair if fair is not a quality whose meaning God Himself has not put into the human heart? In Proverbs 2 we find the following:

    For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
    He holds victory in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
    for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.

    Then you will understand what is right and just and fair -- every good path.
    For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.


    Fair is a concept God has given to man for a reason. It has a lot to do with God Himself.

    ============

    By the way, Ken, if fair is a good path, and if it means to treat equally, then yes, we are treated equally by God. In other words, He is not willing that ONE should perish. And that He so loved the WORLD, and that each person was knit together in the womb by Him.

    As Psalm 34 says in closing, "none of them that trust in him shall be desolate." The NIV puts it this way, "no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him."

    And also, to Pastor Larry -- you were awfully quick to take offense when I said only the Holy Spirit could change your mind. To me that is a compliment -- would you really want anyone else to change your mind? We have very different views and I respect that; I was not insulting you, OK?

    [ July 07, 2002, 06:05 PM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    Fairness is not an attribute. It is a term with limited theological value. I use it because it has been brought into the conversation. The term we should be using is justice.
     
  8. KenH

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    Ah, but Helen, one man is not sovereign over another man, he is answerable to God. God is answerable to no one but Himself, He is the Potter.

    If someone can tell me that they have ever heard a real physical piece of clay talking back to the potter and complaining about what it was being made into, I will cease to be a Calvinist.

    Yet that is exactly what Romans chapter 9 says. God is the potter and we are the clay.

    Things could have been a lot different but Adam blew it as our federal head in the Garden of Eden. I think that is the root of most of our difficulties in our theological arguments - some of us think we are in the same position as Adam - that we can choose to eat the fruit or not eat the fruit. We cannot. We will always eat the fruit. We sin because we are sinners. Before Adam sinned he was not a sinner.

    If God was fair, we would all die at the instant of conception - that's how we would all be treated exactly alike. But God is just so He sent His Son to die for His people so that He can legally save them. As sovereign God He will save Whom He wills to save and those passed by have no legal basis to complain(Romans chapter 9).

    My God actually, not potentially, redeems.

    Hallelujah! [​IMG]

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...

    [ July 07, 2002, 06:29 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  9. Eric B

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    While it's true that God is the Potter and man is the clay, once again, Romans 9 is being misused to teach a supposed application of this that the context and the rest of the scripture does not support-- namely, people created only for destruction (as a corollary of Him deliberately passing them over for salvation).
    The context shows that the "Potter" makes his vessels for a purpose, not just to damn people "just for the hell of it" (pardon the pun!)
    Helen is right that our notions of "fairness" come from God. While He is sovereign and we are not, still, He does set an example for us, to become like Him. Once again, the problem is people seeming to think that creating people for destruction is the exclusive defining mark of "sovereignty".
     
  10. KenH

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    Unless one is an Open Theist, one must believe that God created humans whom He knew would not be saved and end up in hell. Arminians or Semi-Pelagians or non-Calvinists(whatever you want to call them) don't get a pass on that issue.

    The purpose for those who end up in hell is, according to Romans 9:22 is to "show His wrath and to make His power known".

    One can kick against the concept all he wants but the Bible as a whole teaches that God is the Potter and man is the clay. And the apostle Paul anticipated such resistance in Romans 9:19-21. Man's natural reasoning is unable to accept the concept(1 Corinthians 2:14).

    (Just to clarify, I am not saying that anyone not accepting the concept is unspiritual as a whole, just on that point.)

    May God grant us all a clearer understanding of His word. [​IMG]

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
     
  11. ScottEmerson

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    Then, Scott, from a fair/unfair standpoint, you have no problem with God regenerating(giving the new birth) to some but not to all based on His free, sovereign grace, right?</font>[/QUOTE]He allows all a chance. Those who say yes, he regenerates. Those who say no, he does not. That is fairness, wouldn't you say?
     
  12. KenH

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    No, Scott. Everyone doesn't get the exact same equal chance to hear the gospel. Everyone doesn't get the exact same equal chance to say yes or no, even in the system you advocate.

    A Calvinist has no problem Scripturally with the unequalness of opportunity. It's the free-willers that have to work through that difficulty in their system.

    I'll stick with believing in God's free, sovereign grace.

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
     
  13. TomMann

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    I find it unimaginable that anyone would or could classify God as unfair. God is the creator, of all things, seen and unseen. He made not only the players, but also the rules. Everything he does is right and righteous. No lies, no deciet, no bending the rules..... If God says it was, if God says it is, if God says it will be, then it simply is. Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    Just wait til you get that first glimpse of heaven, when all fear, doubt, and emotion drain away, and you are overwhelmed by just how fair and just, and righteous, and blameless, and holy God is..... At that first glimpse you won't, can't restrain the joy as your laughter swells full and tears of joy run down your face.... and you realize at once that it is all perfect, God's plan is perfect, and has always been perfect, from the beginning of time. God's plan for us is perfect, without flaw, without error. And you will then wonder why you spent the majority of your life trying to change it.
     
  14. ScottEmerson

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    I never said anything about equal chance now, did I? Calvinism states that the majority of people don't even have such a chance. I would maintain that Scripturally, there is no such unequalness of opportunity. Such a notion is built more on logic than Scripture - see my reply to Pastor Larry for that.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    These types of statements are extremely inappropriate and out of place. We do not borrow the blasphemy of the world for theological purposes. This will not be tolerated, intended or not.

    Moderator
     
  16. Eric B

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    I don't try to argue on something like that, as God's timeless realm is vastly different from what we understand. But trying to use this logical premise (God knows who will go to Hell) to argue for Him deliberately decreeing them there is going beyond the scripture.

    So His wrath and power are only made known by sending people to Hell? We don't even know who will end up in Hell in the end, so what is being shown to anyone in that case? Something is being shown to people NOW, and the context makes this clear.

    My point was, the passage is about Israel, not everyone who will end up in Hell. They are the ones who Paul anticipated resistance from, because this was very offensive to their whole notion of salvation by inheritance and works of the Law. That is the whole theme we see in both Paul and Jesus when it comes to their dealing with the Jews. They were hardened to show the Gentiles grace, and to make them jealous as other passages point out. V.33 on support this as well. We must not read some new meaning into it, thinking it is right just because what we've concocted is "hard" to the man's reasoning.

    It's not a statement that I go aroung using, but I didn't realize it was considered "blasphemy". (Blasphemy is against God, not Hell). But sorry if you see it that way.
     
  17. KenH

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    I am a single predestinarian. I don't believe anyone is decreed to end up in hell.

    The verse does not use the word "only". But the verse does say that God's wrath and power are made known in the punishment of the wicked.

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
     
  18. Ray Berrian

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    Read God's Word carefully. Romans 9 has absolutely nothing to do with saving souls or sending the majority off to Hell. The Potter is not fashioning some for paradise and others for the deep reaches of the abyss.

    The Potter is making Pharaoh a person who refused to let God's people leave Egypt. If you will, by working this directive into Pharaoh God could 'show His greater power' [Romans 9:17] over a mere, mighty world leader. The purpose of Pharaoh was to magnify the great Name of the Lord throughout the earth. Pharaoh obviously heard of the God of Israel, but because of many reasons refused to believe in the one true God.

    Esau was molded by the Potter into a lesser person than Jacob, while later Jacob became the seed/lineage through which Jesus was born. Esau was fashioned into the lesser of persons by way of importance. Each had a place in His mighty plan.

    No where does it say that the Lord is fashioning some for Heaven and the other poor souls for Hell.

    Think! Don't just parrot some esteemed theologian.

    God's justice/fairness would not even begin to think of such an atrocity as picking and choosing among human beings. People end up in Hell because they will it to happen. Calvin's wrong exegesis suggests that the Lord was repeatedly committing spiritually, barbaric acts.
     
  19. KenH

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    Ray,

    Where do you get the idea that a majority of all people who have ever lived will end up in hell? Is that an Arminian teaching?

    And you are quite right, it is the person's own fault when he ends up in hell.

    And it all God's grace when a person ends up in heaven.

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
     
  20. ScottEmerson

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    Not an Arminian teaching. A common sense one. Simply look at the stats, man.

    BTW, a multitude is a large number of people. Nowhere does it say a majority of people. We say "few" because we're using it in comparison. Even Christ said that "few were chosen" and "few take" the road that leads to heaven.
     

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