Thank you for that correction, Hermano. I should have said, “God seldom intervenes at the present time to prevent evil acts from occurring.”
[quote=“Origen, post:163, topic:13832, full:true”]
God… bears much of the responsibility for sinful acts (as if He had committed the acts themselves) since He could have stopped them, but chose to allow the sinful acts to be committed, thereby making Himself complicit in the act. [/quote]
I was critiquing MM’s position and you and I share many apologetic assumptions here, such that our difference may be semantic. For I would never say that not stopping someone’s perversity that one could stop makes one “complicit” in their sin, or even gives one the “responsibility” for their acts.
E.g. I often could physically stop members of my family from executing sinful choices, but I’m not convinced in the big picture that it would always be the healthiest for me to stop them from making their own decisions. Yet while I am responsible for that choice, I would not put it that my failure to control them makes me “complicit” in their sin, or is the same as if I myself committed their sins. Indeed, I think sometimes the most responsible thing is to let others make their own choices and to let them bear the responsibility for those choices.
Definitely agree with this.
Not many people go around pulling cigarettes out of the mouths of other people. OTOH if it were one’s child that may be an exception. To use another example, if you had the power, as God does, to stop the rape, torture & murder of a child but chose to simply observe it, then many people, perhaps even most courts, would consider you just as responsible, guilty & evil as the perpetrator of the immoral act. Many, therefore, blame God for such evils, yet He is no more or less sinful in allowing them than if He had committed the act Himself. He bears responsibility for freely choosing to allow such acts while He watched & did not stop them & therefore the responsibility to make it right with those who suffered, which He is capable of & shall do.
“The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Rev. 13:8. What was foreknown to, and ordained by, God is spoken of as having taken place.
God has disallowed all evil through the finished work of Christ.
[quote=“Origen, post:169, topic:13832, full:true”]
“God is NO (more or) LESS sinful in allowing evil acts than if He had committed the act Himself.”
Thanks Origen, you make a good point that many would say our failure to stop crimes that we could have would mean that we share in responsibility for them, and thus similarly believe God shares in responsibility for evils that God does not intervene in. That makes sense, and if we assume that God is omnipotent concerning all actions, I think it puts the burden on Arminians to explain why creating an existence where God does not stop each evil action is a greater value than creating one where only good acts are allowed. (Of course as you implied above, many of them will argue that an essentially non-interventionary practice of allowing genuine freedom including evil choices is that good.)
I also agree that if God allows such freedom for evils, He properly bears responsibility to make it right. But in the line cited above, I remain confused about apparently describing God’s role in designing a free creation as making him equally responsible (“no less sinful!”) for such acts as the one who chose to do them. That seems tantamount to saying that God then is as sinful as sinners who choose to do the evils. But in your previous note, you affirm that God does not sin in bearing this ‘responsibility’ because he allows it for the greater good.
Again, apart from differing semantics, it appears to me that we are actually saying the same thing. Except, my own sense is that even though human failures to stop a crime means we do culpably share in responsibility for it, I would say the sin of doing the crime is more egregious, rather than “no more sinful” than not intervening. More to the point, agreeing with you that God has good reason not to intervene (and thus did not sin), I would not put it that his choice to do that makes him “no less sinful” than the person choosing to do the evil. Am I missing something here?
[quote=“Bob_Wilson, post:171, topic:13832, full:true”]
My position is that God does not sin in either being the killer (e.g. Sodom, the flood) or watching the killer kill (e.g. Israel slaughtering its ungodly enemies). In both cases He is responsible for the act. Or, as per your quote of me above, no more or less sinful in either case. The God of the Scriptures (OT/NT 66 books) never sins, i.e. misses the mark. Even when He sends lieing spirits to do His bidding, blinds people from knowing the truth, causes them to eat grass like an animal for 7 year or subjects them to torments in this life, Hades & the lake of fire.
Bob said…I perceive that much of the Bible assumes this happens in various ways. E.g. I think the notion that God disciplines and chastens those he loves, and that we will all appear for judgment as well as the warning that we’ll reap what we sow assumes that we can face punishing consequences for doing evil things.
My contention is that you’ve been taught this… Your professors or who ever have taught you this is what the scripture says… And you believe it, and rightly so.
My understanding is that you are right within the context of the history of the scripture you quote. If you want it to mean that the verbiage is relevant to today, we’ll go to war. I will disagree with you.
Hope you will have a good new year brother.
Love you Chad.
Well…first of all, God doesn’t ALLOW evil (in the sense of giving his permission for it to occur). It’s just that he usually does nothing to prevent it.
I disbelieve that God bears ANY responsibility for the evil acts that people do. It’s true that He COULD prevent the murder, torture, and rape of little girls. But at what cost? The cost would be the removal of the free will of mankind.
If God prevented intervened in some of the acts of people, and not in others, there would be an inconsistency in nature. For example, suppose one of God’s choice saints unwittingly was about to fall over the edge of a cliff, and God arranged it so that he would float down like a feather instead of falling down and getting killed by the impact. Then we would never know when ordinary gravitational pull would operate, and when it wouldn’t.
Well, most bible believing Christians would turn to stories like Shadrach Meshach and Abednego, as places where God delivers. Same as the Egypt story of Moses and the Israelites. And we can’t forget Daniel in the lions den. Gideon is another good example, Abraham was delivered from having to sacrifice Isaac. And a host of other deliverances of Israel by YHWY,
It’s not that I disagree with you it’s that you don’t have a leg to stand on. At some point, God himself does denote that He is the author of calamity, so I’ll leave it at that.
That right there IMO is the nub of the issue… where EVIL is portrayed either as SIN or CALAMITY; depending on the given context BOTH can be correct. God does not sin but He can bring calamity — humans can do both.
Chad, No one misses that you oppose anyone finding Scripture relevant in our theological discussions. It’s easy to hear your regular refrain as, leave any external data aside, and just open your mind to my ideas. I like many of your instincts, but if it’s illicit to wrestle with Scripture citations, there is less common ground for us to sort out together. I appreciate you and hope that you have a good new year also.
Yes, that’s true, and sometimes even the word evil is used in place of the word calamity. For example, consider Isaiah 45:7, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”
But then there is this example, which seems to counter the above version of the Isaiah verse. What’s a person to think?
1 John 2:15-16: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.”
[quote=“Origen, post:163, topic:13832, full:true”]
“God bears responsibility for sinful acts (as if He had committed the acts themselves) since He… chose to allow the sinful acts to be committed, thereby making Himself complicit in the act.”
“My position is that God does not sin in watching the killer kill (e.g. Israel slaughtering its ungodly enemies).” [/quote]
Origin, I fear we speak past each other. I already realized that you do not see God as sinning in the O.T. slaughters, such as the genocide of innocent children at issue, but see such deeds as righteous. But I never presented my rationale for questioning that here. My query to you followed your first statement above about what you called “sinful acts,” which you followed with the assertion that God is “no less sinful” than those who committed the sinful act.
Specific examples cited were rape and abortion. So to refocus my query: Do you consider those who do such acts like the abortionist to be sinful, and committing sinful acts? Or in saying that God bears responsibility for allowing such ‘sins,’ and yet remains non-sinful, and “no more sinful” than the perpetrator, are you implying that those committing such deeds are not sinful? Or if you take the traditional stance that doing such deeds does make one sinful, how can you in such evil deeds equate the sinfulness of God and those who commit the deeds?
Those are rare instances of God’s intervention. I have never denied such. That’s why I said He USUALLY He does nothing to prevent evil. I agree that occasionally He does—but such occasions are rare.
I suggest that it is not wise to unquestioningly accept the Hebrew Masoretic text and the translations made from it. The Masoretic text was not completed until the tenth century. Jesus and all the NT writers quoted either from from the Greek Septuagint translation, or from the more ancient Hebrew such as has been found in Cave 4 of the Dead Sea Scrolls. I suspect that it was the former, since Greek was widely spoken in the first century, and the NT writers wrote in the language.
The Greek word (in its lexicographical form) is “κακος.” This word sometimes means “bad” or “troublesome” but never “calamity.” All of God’s judgments are remedial. He may create that which is troublesome to people, not to punish them, but in expectation that they will learn from it.
The translators of the Orthodox Study Bible translates the Old Testament from the Greek Septuagint.
Isaiah 45:7 reads as follows:
I am He who prepared light and made darkness, who makes peace and creates troublesome things.
Jeez Bob, I kind of thought I was wrestling. And I see I am getting under your skin. And I do find scripture relevant, though just in a different way.
And I like the banter!
It is interesting that as I go through the various postings on this forum, that Bob you really think that God ‘WILL’ through his love ‘Redeem’ all of humanity. Somehow in the disconnect, you fail to realize that I believe he has ‘ALREADY’ done this. Our difference is very small.
It’s always obvious that you believe all humanity is already redeemed. What made you think I don’t realize that?