Let's Cut to the Chase -- Does God Will Rebellion Against Himself?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Bismarck, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Bismarck

    Bismarck
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    Let us just cut to the chase. I have read numerous threads on numerous 'Christian forums, all of which boil down to this:

    We are discussing the various rebellions of sinful man against the Will of God...
    and someone says, at the end of the day, "but it is God's Plan"​

    There are a 1001 variants and nuances of this argument. But, at the end of the day, it all boils down to, the Israelites (say) rebel against YHWH in favor of Ba'al & Asherah worship (say) which leads to them being punished by God's Wrath in the form of Sargon II and Nebuchadrezzar.... but that is all according to God's Plan.

    So, once and for all, does mankind ever actually rebel against the Will of YHWH-Elohim? Does mankind ever actually do anything that YHWH-God doesn't wish/will/desire? Or, is every decision mankind makes always in strict accordance with God's (mysterious) plan?
     
  2. Allan

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    *grabbing a coke and some popcorn*

    *climbing into my chair and getting comforatable as the curtains opens on another action thriller.*

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  3. AAA

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    This is a very interesting subject, because if GOD did will man to go against HIS own will, then, will it be a sin to rebel agianst GOD if GOD desire and told you to do so?

    This will eliminate sin in evey area of life if this were the case....

    Sin...is the sinful rebelling AGAINST the will of GOD....

    GOD does NOT tempt anyone to sin....
     
  4. johnp.

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    Never. God is Sovereign.

    Happy crunching Allan. :)

    Yes. :)

    Why? It is the case. Are we not sinners if we sin regardless of the cause? RO 9:19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?"

    I'll take to mean 'wilful' ? Babies are conceived in sin. PS 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
    RO 2:12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law...

    JAS 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
    PS 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

    john.
     
  5. Brandon C. Jones

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    Bismarck, this may be the "cut to the chase" argument in many forums, but it seems to employ a false either/or. Namely, that either men disobey God's will or everything they do is within it in a way. Frankly, this lets contemporary philosophical debates about divine and human free will set the terms of the discussion. It also presents a view where God competes on the level of creatures as if there's a give and take between God's actions and his creatures. This really isn't the view of those in the tradition. Herbert McCabe's presentation of Thomas surely defends what I said above about God competing with creatures (the newest book of his writings "Faith within Reason" is worth reading).

    The tradition had a different view of things. For instance, the position of most members of Reformed orthodoxy was known as "synchronic contingency" (a Scotist label but there are some differences).

    I don't have the time to lay it out but it doesn't fit into the typical categories today of compatibilism, molinism, etc. I think this view is not much of a departure from medieval scholasticism, but I won't go into that much either. Some may see this as compatibilism, but there are key differences.

    Paul Helm's blog has some decent articles on this issue and I recommend giving them a looksee since they're free. I'd wait until Richard Muller presents the Reformed orthodox writers on the issue soon to see how accurate Helm is, but he is on the right track in presenting historical "calvinism" instead of people like John Feinberg, James White, or Bruce Ware (whom Helm responds to in the second link below):

    Here's his presentation: http://paulhelmsdeep.blogspot.com/2006/12/classical-calvinist-concept-of-god.html

    Here's his response to other positions: http://paulhelmsdeep.blogspot.com/2007/02/three-responses.html


    Enjoy,
    BJ
     
    #5 Brandon C. Jones, Apr 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2007
  6. Helen

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    There is a difference between God's perfect will for any and all of us, and what He allows. He does not allow that which He cannot use (Romans 8:28), nevertheless, He does not ordain rebellion against Himself, which would be ludicrous, illogical, and denying His own character.

    What is comes down to, essentially, is why we were created. Jesus told us that if we pay attention to something He said. When asked what the greatest commandment was, He responded that it was to love, first God with everything in you and then your neighbor as yourself (not just your Christian or blood brother, please note, but those God has put near you in your life). We were created to love. Love is not love if it is not a choice. Love is not a feeling, although plenty come along for the ride. Love is a choice to commit and care for someone (or something) at least as much, if not more, than you care for yourself. "God so LOVED the world that He gave His ONLY begotten Son...." In other words, He was willing to go through the unimaginable for our benefit.

    And we are commanded to love. That definitely means it is not a feeling, but a choice. And upon this choice, we are told by Jesus, hang all the law and the prophets.

    If 'love' is programmed into someone, or decided for them that this is what they will be like, then it is not a choice. The command is worthless, silly.

    But if it is a real choice, then the option must be considered that some will not choose this. And to go against THAT command, and the very reason we were created -- that is true rebellion, no matter what outward form it takes. God did not command us to love and then ordain that a goodly number would not. His character is not contradictory and He does not plan rebellion against Himself. If, somehow, that were possible, then you are right in saying there is no such thing as sin, for each person would be doing what they were created to do, and there is no sin in that.

    As Paul reminds us, in order for sin to be shown as truly horrid as it is, God has allowed it and shown the results (for which so many manage to blame God anyway....go figure...). So sin is allowed and, as we read in Revelation 13:8, accounted for from the beginning. But did God WILL it? No, He did not. But He did will that we should be created to love and for love and this demands true and real choices, independently made by each man. God has allowed this, and many make choices that result in their death, or spiritual separation from God. But we also read that God Himself is not willing that any should perish. This does not sit well with Reformed theologians and believers, but the Bible says both things. We are allowed, but it is not His perfect will for it.

    To assume He has actually willed what He has allowed is to assume God deliberately created rebellion against Himself. That is not His character. His character is one of love -- of caring and commitment to us. That is the message of the Bible, start to finish -- His love and also His anger against those who refuse it.

    How could He be angry with those He created to rebel against Him if that is exactly what He planned to begin with? To try to argue for that means words must be twisted in meaning and all kinds of verbal and other games must be played. It is far better to accept what the Bible is saying all the way through and to understand that we are each accountable for choices truly and really made -- some of which actually go against our own sin natures to begin with in a determination to seek and find the truth of things.
     
  7. npetreley

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    Yes.

    These letters added to meet the required minimum.
     
  8. webdog

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    So you are basically saying our God is not a God of common sense and justice.

    Can I punish my son for doing something I specifically told him not to do...but made him do? Are we more just than God? Come on...
     
    #8 webdog, Apr 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2007
  9. Pastor Larry

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    So what about when Peter said that God ordained the death of Jesus? That was certainly sin, and it was ordained.

    When the Psalms tell us that God is in heaven doing whatever he pleases, it seems to indicate that what happens is what God pleases to happen.

    As usual, Helen, your post is filled with a lot of man's logic and emotional arguments, but very little interaction with Scripture in its context. That continues to be disappointing.
     
  10. webdog

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    Define "ordained".
    It pleases God for man to sin against Him when He tells us in Scripture He loathes it?
    Why be dissapointed? She only did what God wanted her to do. Your dissapointment is in violation of God's will.
     
  11. russell55

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    Yes, yes and no, yes

    There is equivocation in the questions because there's a failure to see that we commonly use the words will and desire in different ways with different definitions. So does scripture.

    Will, used in regards to God's will can refer to
    • God's perfect standards for behaviour—the things he commands people to do.
    • God's plan for history.
    What answer you get when you ask whether mankind ever rebels against God's will depends on how the word is defined.

    People rebel against God's standards for behaviour all the time. They can't rebel against God's plan for history because, first of all, they don't even know what it is until it unfolds in history.

    The Bible has examples of people who tried to rebel against God's plan for history, but ended up carrying it out perfectly. The king of Assyria in Isaiah 10, for example, whose arrogant purpose is to defy God by overpowering Israel and completely plundering it. However, unbeknownst to him, he's doing exactly as God planned for him to do, because God wants to use him as a tool of God's judgment against Israel.

    In the sense of God's will as God's perfect standards for behaviour, the Assyrian king is certainly rebelling. He's spitting in God's face by his actions. In the sense of God's will as God's plan for history, he thinks he's rebelling against it, but instead he's fulfilling it.
     
  12. tinytim

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    Let's Cut to the Chase -- Does God Will Rebellion Against Himself?

    Sure, why not?

    He can do anything He wants. If He wills it.
     
  13. npetreley

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    No, I'm not.

    You could, but it wouldn't be the same thing. You're not God.
     
    #13 npetreley, Apr 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2007
  14. Helen

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    If Jesus' (who IS God) death was a sin, then are you saying we were saved by sin?

    That is not a logical jump. Whatever happens is the entire of set A. God doing what He pleases is the entire set of B. There is nothing which says A=B. You are not even using human logic on that one! Does God control everything? Yes. Is that because everything that happens is His perfect will for us, or for Himself? Please show me that in the Bible. Romans 8:28 certainly shows us that He only allows those expressions of sin which He can use for the benefit of those who love Him, but remember that God judges the heart first, and what a man wants is not always (and sometimes is very rarely) what he is able to do.

    Our wants are free. And even the unredeemed can want the truth and want the good and want to benefit others. For those who want the truth (Seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given...), the Father leads them to the Son, who IS The Truth.

    Because God has chosen for it to be this way does not mean He could not have done things any way He chose. It's just that He has made it very clear to us that He chose this way -- giving man the freedom to want -- in the Bible.


    "Choose this day whom you will serve"

    "For God so loved the world"

    "He is not willing that one should perish"

    "He suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."

    "...that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

    I think you know where in the Bible to find those, Larry...
     
  15. Helen

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by webdog
    Can I punish my son for doing something I specifically told him not to do...but made him do?


    npetreley: You could, but it wouldn't be the same thing. You're not God.

    That response does not work, npetreley. Jesus used the father/child relationship a number of times to help explain about God's relationship with us.

    "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
    Matthew 7:9-11

    So webdog's response was right on target.
     
  16. Helen

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    I disagree, Tim. God cannot violate His own character. Willing rebellion against Himself violates the character of God which John gave us: God is love. It violates that He so loves the world that He gave His only Son. It violates that He is not willing that one should perish.

    You put in the escape, "If He wills it", and so I'm pretty sure I know how you will come back about His will...nevertheless, God cannot violate His own character -- He could not will that.
     
  17. Rippon

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    Helen , I do believe you are using SNIPPETS ! I thought they were only to be employed in my domain .
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    It is usually defined as God's eternal decree of all things that come to pass.

    It evidently does not please him to stop it.

    Again, you are revealing misunderstanding. We are responsible for sin, including wrong beliefs, even though it might be part of God's eternal decree. As Jesus said, The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    I didn't say the death was a sin. Death is death. I don't think death is sinful. But the murder was. Acts 2:23 makes it plain that the murder of Jesus was God's predetermined plan. How can you disagree with that?

    Eph 1:11 does.

    [quoet]Does God control everything? Yes. [/quote]So he controls the sinful actions of man? Aren't you contradicting yourself?

    Yes, his perfect decreed will. If he had decreed it to be different, then it would have been different.

    The Bible says that no one seeks after God. And your normal exegesis of this passage still doesn't work. It contradicts what the passage says.

    I agree.


    Yes, and I affirm every single one of them, as all Calvinists do. Why do you think we don't? As much as you have studied Calvinism, surely you do not still believe we don't believe those verses.
     
  20. Helen

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    Larry: I didn't say the death was a sin. Death is death. I don't think death is sinful. But the murder was. Acts 2:23 makes it plain that the murder of Jesus was God's predetermined plan. How can you disagree with that?

    Helen: But Jesus was NOT murdered. He gave up His own life:
    "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life -- only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." John 10:17-18

    Now the DESIRE to murder Jesus, which is evident throughout the Gospels, was a sin, but Jesus was most definitely not murdered.

    *************

    Helen: Does God control everything? Yes.
    Larry: So he controls the sinful actions of man? Aren't you contradicting yourself?

    Helen: You are taking me out of context, first of all... Second, God controls the expressions of men's desires. But He does not control their desires -- that is where man is free to want what he will. His expression of that want, or lack of it, is totally under God's control, but not the desire itself, and that is why God judges the heart. I am not aware of anyone arguing here that man is free to do anything he wants to do. That is obviously not true. The point of argument is a man's desires, or will. That is free, and that freedom to want, to will, is a gift from God so that we can choose to love. We may not be able to love in truth until we are born again, but we are free to want to, even as an unredeemed person. Or do you think that romance, parenthood and such are only the province of the saved?

    ************

    You say that sin and rebellion against Him are part of His perfect decreed will. In that case the Bible is full of massive and very disturbing contradictions. Sin is not part of God's perfect will and that could not be more plain in the Bible than it is. It angers Him and He speaks against it consistently, as do those who represent Him. God is not schizophrenic.

    ************

    The Bible does not say that no one seeks after God. This is a misrepresentation of that Psalm and Paul's quotation of it. In fact, the Bible commands people to seek God.

    If you check Psalm 14 you will find it is the fool who says in his heart there is no God. THEY are corrupt, THEIR deeds are vile. None of THEM does good. It is the SONS OF MEN who refuse to seek God, and they are consistently referred to in that psalm as the fools who deny God and the evildoers who delight in evil. This is most definitely NOT the majority of even unbelievers. Please read and quote from context, not from your pre-existing philosophy.

    However, over and over again the Bible tells people to seek God, and refers to those who do:

    "Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
    Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always."
    1 Chronicles 16:10-11

    "And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever."
    1 Chronicles 28:9

    "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
    2 Chronicles 7:14

    "Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to obey his laws and commands."
    2 Chronicles 14:2-4

    "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you."
    2 Chronicles 15:2

    "They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul. All who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. They took an oath to the Lord with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side."
    2 Chronicles 15:12-15

    "In the eighth year of his reign [Josiah], while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David."
    2 Chronicles 34:3

    "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
    Those who know your name will trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."
    Psalm 9:9-10

    "In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes of his devises.
    He boasts of the cravings of his heart;
    he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
    In his pride the wicked does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God."
    Psalm 10:2-4

    "The poor will eat and be stisfied;
    they who seek the Lord will praise him --
    May your hearts live forever!"
    Psalm 22:26

    "The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."
    Psalm 34:10

    "Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek your name, O Lord."
    Psalm 83:16

    "Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice."
    Psalm 105:3

    "Blessed are they who keep his statutes, and seek him with all their heart."
    Psalm 119:2

    "Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
    Let the wicked forsake his way
    and the evil man his thoughts.
    Let him turn to the Lord and he will have mercy on him,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon."
    Isaiah 55:6-7

    "Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt.
    And they will seek my face;
    in their misery they will earnestly seek me."
    Hosea 5:15

    and so it goes. In other words, Larry, to use that verse out of context is a lie. The Bible is very clear about who it is who do not seek the Lord: the wicked and the fools. Others are encouraged and commanded to seek Him and promised good things for doing so. References are many to those who seek God.

    Finally, when you said you affirmed all the verses I quoted in the post before I know that you affirm them -- as long as you can change the meaning of the words and the clear meaning of the verses. I'm very aware of the games Calvinists play with words. It is frustrating and discouraging.

    But if you are an honest man, you will never again use the quote about no one seeking the Lord the way you have above. The Bible is very clear about who that group is, and it is not the average unsaved man and woman. Those people are encouraged to seek God.

    In the meantime, to get back to the topic of the thread, God did not will sin, but He allowed it, for that was necessary in order for love to be freely wanted by man, both to give and to receive. Love is not love if it is not a free choice. It is on this that all the rest hangs, as Jesus indicated.
     

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