What If?


#1

What if if creatures could be created perfect?

Men and angels would be as incapable of sin as God’s Son.

We’d all be supremely happy, fully aware of our own blessedness, and appropriately grateful to our Creator ( otherwise we wouldn’t be perfect. )

On the other hand, what would happen if creatures couldn’t be created perfect?

Sooner or later they’d sin, and they’d need someone who was perfect ( someone who was not a creature ) to deliver them.

That’s starting to sound like something I’ve read somewhere.

Now what if the first creature to sin were extremely powerful ( an angelic being, for example ), and what if he were allowed to retain some of his power after he fell?

You’d have a devil, and there would be no need to create one as such ( but there might be a need for his judgment and correction, if the Creator’s ultimate purpose were to reconcile all that He had created. )

This sounds a lot like something I’ve read somewhere.

Any thoughts?


#2

Hi Michael,

I believe all heavenly agents and the first humans were created perfect, but some heavenly agents and all humans apart from Christ decided to sin nonetheless.


#3

Perfect in all their outward ways, maybe.

But if they were truly perfect ( as God is ) they couldn’t sin.

My point was that even if the devil serves some useful purpose, there would be no need to create a devil as such.

As soon as an angel sinned you’d have a devil ( and I believe that’s what happened. )

I doubt any heavenly agents ( apart from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ) are completely perfect.

Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. ( Heb. 9:23. )

…in him the all was created, in the heavens, and in the earth, visible, and invisible, whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether authorities; all through him, and for him, have been created, and himself is before all, and the all holds together in him. And himself is the head of the body – the assembly – who is a beginning, a first-born out of the dead, that he might become in all – himself – first, because in him it did please all the fullness to tabernacle, and through him to reconcile the all to himself – having made peace through the blood of his cross – through him, whether in the earth or in the heavens. ( Col. 1:16-20. )

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? ( 1 Cor. 6:1-3. )

God Bless.


#4

Hi Michael,

I agree with your main point, but I don’t see any of your verses teaching that holy angels are being made perfect. Can you show me any verse that says that holy angels are less than perfect or once were less than perfect?

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31 NASB)

I see no imperfections in the original creation, but imperfections emerged when angels and then humans started to sin.

Also, I believe God doesn’t sin because God decided not to sin while God is omniscient and omnipotent. However, I believe that God has always had free will. God choose not to sin while he could have decided otherwise. For example, Christ was tempted to sin yet never sinned.


#5

Sorry Michael - I don’t see why this statement should be taken as true at all. I don’t mean the ‘sooner or later they’d sin’ part, but the ‘they’d need someone who was perfect ( someone who was not a creature ) to deliver them’ part - what mechanism requires the imperfect to be delivered by the perfect? Why is one contingent on the other?

What is the mechanism that makes sin have to be delivered from by a perfect sacrifice and how does it work?
Why on earth should pre-christian sin have to be dealt with by the blood of animals - how does it work???

An answer of - ‘because the Bible says so’ is not sufficient. :wink:


#6

Wow. That is quite a statement James. Of course, this also relates to the Lucifer myth thread. So God had to choose to be good eh? And I thought He was good just because He IS light and in Him is no darkness (at all). Dang, this ‘choice’ philosophy is taking over everything!!! :mrgreen:


#7

This brings up the dilemma of ‘are right and wrong independent of God?’. If they are then we don’t need God in order to be good - and also there is something that exists independently outside of God (which He chooses to adhere to according to Jim G.). If they are decided by God then He could say anything is good and we couldn’t complain - e.g. the slaughter of the Amalekites for example.

This kind of thing again turns me against theism because it requires this ‘perfect’ being which I think only exists in our imaginations - we do bad things so there must be some meta-reality into which we are embedded which is run by a ‘really good guy’.

Just for a minute contemplate no God (just for the purposes of this point)… That would mean that in an arbitrary universe through evolutionary processes we have developed our own morality which in the main consists of the golden rule type of thinking - what a great achievement - we don’t HAVE to be moral but in the main we are. I don’t want to hear charges of setting up man as God because that would be a gross diatortion of the point I am making. Yes it is moral relativism - but regulated by evolution that has lead to Biblical morality and beyond (gay rights etc…).


#8

Your conscience is working *‘perfectly’ *here Jeff, and that’s a God, uhmmm, err… I mean, good thing. :blush: :mrgreen:

I know you have read my views in depth (and they resemble the above statement to some extent) but I would like to point out that I believe in a Creator who (outside of time) is not a ‘good guy’ or a ‘bad guy’. ‘He’ has no need of moral perfection because in static eternity there are no choices, just existence. ‘He’ is not a male nor did ‘He’ ever give orders to kill or to ‘hate your enemy’ or even to ‘love your enemy’ (easy Christians - I don’t mean Jesus didn’t say that - I’m saying in static eternity there is no need for such a statement). That’s why I see Genesis as pure genius because it is recognized that the knowledge of both good and evil was a part of the fall into temporalness - ie: that GOOD is a part of the fall as much as evil :bulb: Light and darkness, love and hate etc - the contrasts exist only in time/space.

It is also recognized (in Genesis) that the way to the tree of ‘life’ is cut off - and is later stated that “few there be who find it”. That’s why about 99% of people I speak to about this have no clue what I’m talking about (I know this reeks of a type exclusivism, but it is all inclusive in ultimate participation if not in conscious understanding). It was also grasped (in Genesis) that it would be a terrible thing to exist permanently in the contrasted state. DEATH MUST OCCUR BEFORE ONE CAN EAT OF THE TREE OF LIFE :bulb:

As far as all this Perfect God stuff existing only in our imaginations, I will just say He does exist in our imaginations. :wink: and maybe other places as well…

How about “No finite good/evil God”? Or “No God as most picture God”?
(Okay, I’m stubborn, but I’ll try to go along here) :smiley:
Focusing Okay, contemplating: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

It’s quite the paradox, isn’t it? I see the evolution of conscience you are speaking of as the nature of God’s perfection emerging within man, as in: “Awake you who are sleeping - and Christ will give you light”.

You just want to be your own God, you rebellious, you… you… thinking you… oh…you are such a
TEMPORAL HUMAN!!! That’s what you are!!! :mrgreen: (in some ways)

What’s funny Jeff is that almost EVERYONE understands exactly what it means when we say “Treat others as you would like to be treated”. MOST would even say (in principle) “I should be like that” or "It would be good if I was like that. That’s the fingerprint if God on the heart of man. Going from evil-to good THEN transcending both into life again. Paul (the apostolic) recognized “I want to do it - but I can’t” and the death clause is the good news “Through death destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the devil”.

Okay Michael - here you have it. All the evidence you need to turn me into the orthodox tribunal for ‘processing’ :confused: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :arrow_right: (JK)

PLEASE choose dry wood though… is that too much to ask? (You know - Treat others and all…) :open_mouth:


#9

Goodness, I can tell I’m going to be very behind when I come back to full posting status this autumn… :laughing:


#10

I rushed on this one, as I typically do except when working on a major paper. I’ll back up a little. God has always been intrinsically good. And God has a free will and decided to remain good literally forever while he could have chosen otherwise. And God’s decisions are enforced by his omnipotence and omniscience.

Also, created heavenly agents and the first humans were also created intrinsically good. However, some of the heavenly agents and the first humans decided to make evil decisions. They had the free will to it. Since then, all new humans were born with a fallen nature.


#11

You’re quoting John.

This 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. ( 1 John 1:5. )

James went even further.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man ( James 1:13. )

But Jesus had both a human and divine nature ( being fully God and fully man ), and He was tempted ( as a man ) “in all points like as we are, yet without sin” ( Heb. 4:15. )

This is why ( as a man ) He could say “Why do you call me good? …No one is good - except God alone” ( Mark 10:18. )

“Very good” isn’t “perfect” ( and that’s as true in the Hebrew text of Genesis as it is in English. )

They weren’t created perfect in knowledge, or there would not be things that they still “desire to look into” ( 1 Peter 1:12. )

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. ( John 15:12-14. )

Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. ( John 17:17-19. )

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps ( 1 Peter 2:21. )

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. ( Romans 5:6-10. )

Pre-Christian sin was never dealt with by the blood of animals.

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. ( Heb. 10:1-7. )


#12

I’m not sure where you see imperfection in the Hebrew word for “good” or the English word “good”. And I’m not sure what you’re implying about perfect knowledge. Angels will never be omniscient. Are suggesting that everybody but God will be imperfect until they become omniscient? If that’s the case, then no created agent will ever be perfect.


#13

“Good” means “of a high quality or standard.”

“Perfect” means “complete, whole, or ideal.”

Every school child knows the difference between being told that a paper they’ve written is “good,” and being told that it’s “perfect.”

And if angels weren’t created perfect in knowledge, the fall of angels probably came as a surprise to all of them.

Those who remained faithful would have had to trust God ( much the way we do ), and would have been closer to perfection than they were when they were created.

That’s the whole point of this thread.

Temptation and adversity may be necessary for growth and character development, but God doesn’t have to create impersonal forces ( or mindless robots ) to provide these things.

Imperfect creatures will create their own trials ( and will either be better or worse for the experience. )

They may never be perfectly omniscient, but ( if they’re growing ) they’ll always be approaching omniscience ( and the Holy Angels are closer to it now than they were when God created them. )

God Bless.


#14

Hi Jeff,

You bring up a big challenge when you talk about Old Testament war ethics. I cannot do justice for this challenge. I don’t completely understand it, but I know a little about it. First and foremost, it doesn’t apply to New Testament believers in the physical. Jesus affirmed the Old Testament as the word of God while he inaugurated the Messianic Age with a modified approach to life. Other aspects of this include that God doesn’t lightly decided to judge a culture. And these are ideas [that] were comprehensible to many ancient people while they are incomprehensible to many modern people.

Concerning your proposed cosmology, there are many extraordinarily improbable events that would lead naturally generate the initial conditions of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution resulting in intelligent life. That would be a zero probability unless we appeal to an infinite number of previously existing universes that are nearly identical to the our universe, which is ultimately relying on an infinite regression of chance to explain our universe and our life.

Perhaps this needs to spun into a new thread.: )


#15

According to the rules of war that were laid down in Deuteronomy, an offer of peace was to be made to all cities ( and city-states ) outside the land that God was giving Israel.

The whole city was to be spared if the offer was accepted, and the women and children were to be spared if it was refused ( and this was very civilized by contemporary standards. )

Different rules applied to the Amalekites ( and other “people of the land” ), but if we take the biblical record at face value ( and look at the artifacts left by these people ), there are obvious reasons for this.

These people practiced human sacrifice.

They placed the charred bones of infants offered to their gods in the foundation stones of their homes ( presumably for luck. )

They made the sons and daughters who lived past the infant stage do community service in the Temples of their fertility gods ( as prostitutes. )

God had judged these people ( and He didn’t want the people He replaced them with to be corrupted by their culture. )

I have no problem with that.

I see nothing immoral in God ( the giver of life, the moral judge of the universe, and the judge of men and nations ) deciding to close the book on a particular civilization ( and He was as free to use the children of Israel to do this as He was earthquake, flood, or fire. )

Now Jeff, what about the ethics practiced by secular humanists in the 20th century?

Didn’t the Bolsheviks execute Tsar Nicholas, his wife, and their five children for “the common good”?

And didn’t secular humanists attempt to apply Darwin’s “law of the survival of the fittest” to the human population of their country ( with the intended purpose of eliminating “inferior races” )?

We’ve had some great achievements based on moral relativism ( like the French Revolution, the Bolshevik revolution, and the Third Reich ) , and we may have more ahead.

God help us.


#16

Hi Michael,

If that is the definition, then if God created all heavenly agents and humans with perfect knowledge, then everybody would be omniscient from their beginning and forevermore after. And if God created all heavenly agents and humans with perfect strength, then everybody would be omnipotent from their beginning and forevermore after. Likewise, by this definition of perfection, any creature less than omniscient and omnipotent is imperfect.


#17

I know people who believe that God’s perfect Son is a created being, but I don’t believe any creature is perfect ( and I don’t believe Christ is a creature. )

God Bless.


#18

That’s how I see things as well

I was an atheist before Christ because of the no physical proof thing, but now I can’t comprehend that this complexity could come about by chance. It’s not even a spiritual thing per-se, I just can’t logically see this intricate balance randomly forming. Even if I were to reject a personal God or Jesus I would still think “Something or someone started this”.

I’m curious how your mind approaches this Jeff. Maybe in another thread as suggested? :slight_smile:


#19

I think another thread would be good - what you describe Byron is usually known as the argument from personal incredulity or ‘I can’t comprehend how all this came about so it must have been x… y… or z… - in this case the Christian God’.

If I am not careful I could be accused of the same thing regarding God, i.e. I don’t see any miracles, have no messages in my head personally from God , tend to see all things as naturalistic therefore I just can’t see how the Christian God could ‘work’ ipso facto He doesn’t exist.

For me a problem with an eternal being who predates time is that being static He can’t change from a God who hasn’t created anything to a God who has created something (because that would require eternity to display some of the attributes of linear time). If He is truly eternal then He is frozen cannot display emotions etc… So how does a static entity change it’s state without time? If the kickstart for the universe is not a personal God but just some other existant ‘thing’ whatever that is then it at least alleviates the problem of an eternal being who is as complex emotionally as any created human being but who cannot change state and has to be thought of as existing in all states simultaneously.

As for the ‘improbable’ events Dawkins tackles that very subject in his book ‘Climbing Mount Improbable’ as well as many other authors who deal with the notion of ‘improbability’ here’s a link to a page of refutation of the fine tuning argument


#20

Yes, that cuts both ways. I feel like a spoiled brat though having experienced a personal miracle which convinced hard headed rational me.

Never heard that one before. Hard to grasp eternity :bulb:

That’s why I said something like “Well, He does live in our imaginations - and maybe other places too” :wink:

Read some of the links. Some crazy math goin’ on there. :open_mouth: