The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Commands Of The Monster God Of The Old Testament

I find “No,” that much of the Bible assumes that people often have choices for which they are responsible, and which can involve sinners doing evil things, indeed acts contrary to what God prefers.

You’re right… ‘SURELY DIE’ was no empty threat — BUT you’re also wrong for nor was it some nebulous warning… God’s command and that’s what it was (2:16), was very real!

So then… your doctrine is 100% in lockstep with the serpent’s affirmation…

Gen 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

Nice :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

:innocent: No, I’m not in lockstep with the serpent. I never said God gave a “nebulous” warning in Gen. 2:17; in this instance, it was a very explicit warning, but certainly not a divine command. (But I have often said that God does no harm; rather, He warns about danger, and offers the way of escape, that is, salvation).

Yet Luke 6:35 does not deny that God kills His enemies now, in the past or in the future.

God is the giver & the taker of mortal human life which lasts but a moment in eternity. Whether that moment is a day or decades. All die. He has the power to keep many innocent babies who die every day from dieing, but He chooses their death. By omitting to choose their life He is practically speaking killing them. Therefore Love Omnipotent kills many innocents every day, that is He is responsible for their deaths. Considering many of them may have lived lives of great suffering, if He had spared them from death, relative to this momentary mortal life their deaths can be considered a mercy. Though i don’t support the view, it seems most Christians believe they get a free pass into an immediate and endless heaven at the instant of their death. In which case killing them could, arguably, be considered for their own good. Killing is not immoral in and of itself. Death is not necessarily a bad thing for anyone. Death is merely the moment of passing from one life to the next.

It’s called:

Which is what the Eastern Orthodox church, gives theological credence too. And even the famous Evangelical Wheaton College…just established a department of Patristics.

Well Hermano, you clearly affirm… “No. I would argue God does not threaten death in this example, or anywhere; He only warns against it.” — this certainly IS exactly what the serpent also affirmed in Gen 3:4 in dismissing any threat of death.

Now you seem to be agreeing… ‘YOU SHALL SURELY DIE’ is indeed “a very explicit warning” — so to what then are you NOW saying God’s command that carried this “very explicit warning” referred? IF not death, which any natural reading affirms, then to what exactly?

That would be an interesting justification that in not intervening to stop it, God endorses abortion and killing one’s children (as the OT admittedly commands be done when they disobey). But I explained to MM above that I don’t see the Bible saying that every time evil men slaughter the innocent, it means that was God’s choice, and tantamount to God choosing their death. I.e. some acts are genuinely evil and violate God’s will.

I think your contention is logical under Calvinism, but does not follow under an Arminian view, and that Scripture sometimes reflects the view that human acts that God allows sinners to commit do not actually mean that God “endorses” those acts. In simplest terms, I don’t see God not intervening in the laws of nature, nor stopping evil men’s deeds, as equivalent to proving that God necessarily calls men to kill the innocent, or endorses every such thing that they do.

Genesis 2:17
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

In this verse, God is warning against eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God states the consequence for doing so would be death.

But God is not saying that He will bring about that consequence, or kill anyone. In fact, as I have argued elsewhere, God is never an agent of harm. The devil is an agent of harm (John 10:10); “The god of this age“ (2 Cor. 4:4) wields the power of death (Hebrews 2:14), not God.

This distinction was, and still is, lost to many believers. It is doubtful Moses, the editor of Genesis, himself distinguished that the gracious God was not threatening Adam about what He, God, would do in the event of Adam’s disobedience; rather, God was warning Adam about what the legalistic Satan would do through the open door provided to him by Adam’s disobedience: Satan would bring in death.

In Genesis 2:17, Moses got the wording right; wording that does not explicitly implicate God as the cause of death. Nevertheless, from Moses’ other misattributions of the satanic to God, we see he was virtually uninformed about Satan.

No! He does not. God could have total control, but He has chosen not to. Instead, He has chosen to respect man’s free will, expecting all people eventually to choose to come under His authority.

If the armies of the King of Country A wipe out the armies of the King of Country B, then he has won a great victory. But the King of Country A would have an even greater victory if He could persuade the King of Country B to surrender and come under his authority. Likewise, God will have a GREAT victory when "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10,11). So eventually, all people will willingly place themselves under the authority of God.

No! Also, He doesn’t even allow wrongdoing in the sense of giving His permission. It’s just that, in His respect for man and his free will (Man was created in the image of God who has free will) , God does nothing at the present time to prevent evil acts from occurring.

I think you’re on the right track.

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I agree with everything you said except this last point. God indeed does things at the present time to prevent evil acts from occurring: He answers prayer.

Further, He has provided angels from the beginning to watch over Creation and prevent tragedy. Athenagoras (133-190 AD) summarized the early Church’s cosmology as follows:

“The Maker and Framer of the world distributed and appointed….a multitude of angels and ministers…to occupy themselves about the elements, and the heavens, and the world, and the things in it, and the godly ordering of them all…" A PLEA FOR THE CHRISTIANS, 10. (From Murray.)

I believe there is a certain measure of divine protection around every individual, including unbelievers. But we have a free will, and we, our family members, our governing officials, can, through sin, open that divine hedge of protection and let in the enemy to take further advantage of us.

Fair enough… So does God (the one who gave free will) then punish the so called evil that happens, in other words the things people do that are ‘contrary’ to what God prefers?

So if I look out the window and see my grandson putting lighter fluid on the neighbors cat and getting out the lighter he lifted from my work pants should I stop him or not? :pleading_face:

In what way?

I believe the Holy Spirit is a restraining force against evil throughout the world. As Jesus said about Him in John 16:8, “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”

Satan is quoted as complaining about a divine hedge of protection around Job (Job 1:10). And, as I mentioned, I believe in, and am thankful for, guardian angels (see, for example, Psalm 91).

Me too.

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You certainly have a conveniently vacillating view, so no wonder it seems unbalanced.

If a Judge (God) decrees a given consequence, i.e., ruling (death) then the matter of agency (electrocution-hanging-lethal injection-stoning-decapitation) whereby said consequence might occur becomes totally moot. The agent (whatever that be) carries no intrinsic or independent authority ONLY fulfilling the task to which that agency has been permitted by that higher authority, e.g., Job 1:12.

So it is interesting David that you seemingly put ‘judge’ and God in the same place, or seeming to…

Can you expound on that thought… How is the modern justice system doing God’s will? Or maybe that is not what you were saying?