Is God the Author of Sin?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Humblesmith, Jan 13, 2011.

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  1. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
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    Reformed theology has always taught that God permits sin, knows it will happen, works it into His plan for greater good, and even decrees that this will be so. Many Christians do not agree with this, but whether or not we agree, it is within the realm of orthodox Christianity. People who teach classic reformed theology are Christians.

    It seems rather amazing, but we have Christians now days who have taken the doctrine of the sovereignty of God to an extreme that few ever dared. In an attempt to bring glory to God, and to hold His absolute sovereignty, these men have ventured too far. In attempting to give God as much credit as they can conceive, they give Him control of all things. All well and good, for scripture does tell us that "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things" (Romans 11:36).

    But these men tell us that "all things" does indeed mean all things, including sin. People are now running around the countryside telling us that God is the originator and cause of sin. One post on this board recently said "When Adam contracted the arm that brought the forbidden fruit to his own mouth, God contracted that arm. God powered the biceps that brought the forbidden fruit to the mouth of Adam. When Adam bit into that fruit, God flexed the jaw muscles. . . There is no action that is not empowered by Him."

    In response, I provide the following quotes from several historical creeds. These creeds do not replace scripture, and the writers of them would quickly agree. But these explain what has been taught in Christian circles for centuries. These are all highly-regarded reformed statements of the nature of God. Again, these are the standard reformed position on the subject:

    The Belgic Confession (1561): ". . . nothing happens in this world without [God's] appointment; nevertheless, God neither is the author of, nor can be charged with, the sins which are committed." (Article 13)

    The Canons of the Synod of Dort: "The cause or guilt of this unbelief, as well as of all other sins, is nowise in God, but in man himself"(Article 5)

    Westminster Confession of Faith (1647): "God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established." (Chapter 3)

    Westminster Confession of Faith (1647): "The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men, and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends; yet so as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God; who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin." (Chapter 5)

    Further, a more modern quote from John Piper, speaking of Jonathan Edwards (both men about as far Calvinist as can be): "Is God the Author of Sin? Edwards answers, "If by 'the author of sin,' be meant the sinner, the agent, or the actor of sin, or the doer of a wicked thing . . . . it would be a reproach and blasphemy, to suppose God to be the author of sin. In this sense, I utterly deny God to be the author of sin." But, he argues, willing that sin exist in the world is not the same as sinning. God does not commit sin in willing that there be sin. God has established a world in which sin will indeed necessarily come to pass by God's permission, but not by his "positive agency." (see here)

    Thus we must all agree in this point with Edwards, that those who make God the author of sin are a reproach and a blasphemy. There are those of you on this board that know this is so, and know the classic teachings of the origin of evil, and yet are silent. The moderators seem more interested in the image of the board than preventing the teaching of heresy.

    This is not an issue with Arminian or Calvinist, but of Christian and non-Christian. Saying that God is the author of sin and enabler of sin is blasphemy. Those who teach it are heretics who have left the faith. Even Edwards admits it to be so!
     
    #1 Humblesmith, Jan 13, 2011
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  2. freeatlast

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    [SIZE=+0]Interesting topic and post. No one seems to want to tackle it. I can say that I do not agree that God is the author of sin and at the same time wrestle with Romans 9. He certainly is above our understanding and His ways are not our ways.[/SIZE]
     
  3. pinoybaptist

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    I have asked the poster you quoted if he was hinting at Double Predestination.
    Still needs to be clarified by the subject poster.
    Until then, I will not pass judgment.
     
  4. Iconoclast

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    5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
     
  5. Luke2427

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    I agree. God is absolutely not the author of sin. I figure I am the one who stirred this firestorm and so I am saying once again, as I have said several times before, that God is most certainly not the author of sin.

    It was a quote by Edwards weeks ago that I brought to bear that started this firestorm.

    Let me say, I thoroughly appreciate, the vigor with which people are defending the reputation of God on this matter.

    But like many things, I believe it is due to a zeal without full understanding. I appreciate any who oppose any others on the accusation that God is the author of sin. I commend you.

    But I encourage you to slow down and read the words of the person who you might think is saying this and see if that is REALLY what they are saying or is it rather just that what they were saying struck a particular emotional chord within you.

    The same Jonathan Edwards said (and Piper in exposition of Edwards)

     
    #5 Luke2427, Jan 14, 2011
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  6. glfredrick

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    I am a rather staunch Reformed theologian, and I say that it is heresy and blasphemy to say that God is the author of sin.
     
  7. Luke2427

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    Let us get a working definition of "double predestinatioin" and I will be glad to answer.

    Define it the way you understand it and I will gladly respond to whether or not I agree with it as you see it.

    Terms like these can be slippery things.

    I attended a debate last night where an Arminian considered himself to be infralapsarian.

    I was not aware that Arminians could really claim that term. But with just a slight change in the definition, they can.

    So we need a working definition before we can go forward.
     
  8. Luke2427

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    I agree.
    ________
     
  9. pinoybaptist

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    That God predestined some to heaven, some to hell, and all other events that transpire in a believer and non-believer's life are ordained of God, including actions, good or bad, consequential to one's eternal destiny, or not, such as, in your example, "Adam flexing his elbow", or in mine: expelling foul air in my uncle's wedding right at the moment when everybody and everything is quiet except for the ringing of the "eucharist" bell.

    That sort of double predestination.
     
  10. Luke2427

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    It depends now on what you mean by predestined.

    You know that I believe that God ordained ALL THINGS. You know my arguments from Scripture and logic.

    I think it is time for you to share what you believe and share some counterarguments to my position.
     
  11. Amy.G

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    Is there a difference between God being the author of sin or being the cause of it?
     
  12. Luke2427

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    Yes. Read the Edwards quote above. I cannot improve upon it.
     
  13. Amy.G

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    Edwards seems to be talking about God "permitting" sin. This is not the same as "causing" it.

    Can you define "cause"?
     
  14. pinoybaptist

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    I'll have to wait till I'm home.
     
  15. Luke2427

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    "the permitter . . . of sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted . . . will most certainly and infallibly follow."

    I always qualify "cause" with the word "ultimate".

    God ultimately caused evil the same way you are the ultimate cause of darkness when you turn off the light.
     
  16. freeatlast

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    No there is no difference and God has no responsibility in either case.
     
  17. Luke2427

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    That's not an argument. Support this.
     
  18. freeatlast

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    These words we are using to describe theology need to be chosen carefully. God is not the cause, author or permitter of sin!
    God has created man. In the creation He gave man commands. man rejected the command. That is not God's will or His permission. In the same way we have laws. The law does not permit the breaking of the law. it simply states what must be done. Knowledge that it can be broken is not permission or authorship from the giver. We are beings that can override laws and commands, even God's and yes without His permission. What happens next as in any lawlessness is the consequences which we cannot override so God made a way to escape the consequences by causing Another to serve our sentence IF we accept His terms.
     
  19. Luke2427

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    You cannot compare the giving of civil laws by human beings to the giver of God's laws by God.

    A human can make a law and demand that people keep it. But he cannot enforce it all day every day. God can.

    In order for Adam to sin God must have permitted it. If God had not permitted it, it could never have happened.
     
  20. freeatlast

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    Actually it is an argument, but just not extensive. The word author and cause certainly could hold two different meanings. However in this case as given by Amy there is no evidence that she was offering the words with different parameters.
    However to satisfy let's take the word cause. That means that without a certain event or person with direct intervention something cannot happen. So did God directly cause sin? No.

    Second word, author. An author is one who designs or creates something. Did God create sin? No the devil did. So the answer I gave though short is correct in that they are no different in result to the answer, NO.
     
    #20 freeatlast, Jan 14, 2011
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