Friday, March 30, 2007

What is the origin of sin?

Adrian Rogers answers: “Did you know that there are many people who are not believing, and their problem is not a scientific problem. They’re not wrestling with ideas like evolution or creation. Their problem is a problem of history. They say, ‘If there is a God, and that God is a good God, then look at all of the suffering. Why, if God is good, why do we have sin? Why do we have suffering?’ And they have a little argument, a little syllogism, and here’s the way the syllogism goes: If there be a God, He would be the author of everything. Evil is something, so God is the author of evil. What kind of a God is it that has created evil? And so they say, ‘I can’t believe in a God who made everything and made it like He did, and so therefore He must not be a good God, if He is a God at all.’ But that’s not straight thinking. Let me tell you the way it truly is. God is the author of everything. God made everything perfect, and when God made man, God made His creature perfectly free. Free Will, then, man’s perfect free will, is the origin of evil. God created perfection, and God made man perfectly free, and freedom, therefore, gave rise to this evil. You see, this is what makes us moral creatures. Somebody says, ‘Why didn’t God just make us where we couldn’t sin?’ Well, if God had made us where we couldn’t sin, He could have no more fellowship with me that I could have with that pulpit or that speaker. ... Love is highest good, and God wants us to love Him. This is the first and great commandment: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, with all thy mind.’ Love is the highest good, but forced love is a contradiction in terms. Forced love is not love at all. In order to love, we must be free to love, to choose to love, and in order to choose to love, we have to be able to choose not to love. And so God gave us perfect choice. Adam chose in the Garden of Eden, and the sons of Adam after him, to sin, and that’s where the heart-break, and the pain, and the groan, and the moan come from.” (Turning Hurts into Hallelujahs: Romans 8:8-11)


Here is a link to an article examining the Calvinistic perspective on the origin of sin:
http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Complaints/ac_sin.html

6 comments:

Turretinfan said...

EC:

A more detailed rebuttal will be forthcoming.

For now, a couple of quick jabs, where I take what you said and apply logic to produce apparent conclusions that are according to you, if you hold what you just wrote consistently:

- So, according to you, man's free will is the source of evil, and God is the source of man's free will, yes?

- So, according to you, something perfect (man's free will) is the source of evil?

- So, according to you, Jesus does not have fellowship with the Father or the Spirit?

- So, according to you, God will have as much fellowship with us in heaven as we do with the pulpit here on earth?

- So, according to you, Jesus' love of the Father is not true love?

- So, according to you, God is no more the author of sin than of salvation, since he just makes both possible and then leaves it up to man's will?

See my blog for my recent challenge to anti-Calvinists regarding authorship of sin vs. authorship of salvation.

Also, why not link to actual Calvinists for the Calvinist perspective, instead of to your own works. You're not a Calvinist posing as an Arminian to make Arminianism look foolish, are you?

-Turretinfan

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

To Turretinfan,

While I might not have linked to Calvinists, look at how many times I quoted Calvin, Sproul, Lutzer and the Westminster:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Complaints/ac_sin.html

In answer to your questions, when God created sex, did He create evil? Is sex evil? Rather, God created something good, but man's abuse of sex, outside of marriage, is what turns what God made perfect, into sin. Sin is disobedience to God, and God gave Adam & Eve freedom to obey or disobey. Giving them freedom is not evil. Rather, the misuse of freedom in order to disobey, is what gives rise to sin. As for fellowship, are you suggesting that Jesus was the subject of forced love, where He had no choice to love His Father?

Anonymous said...

you didn't respond to his comment about heaven.

you wrote:"Well, if God had made us where we couldn’t sin, He could have no more fellowship with me that I could have with that pulpit..."

we should agree that there will be no sin in heaven...which demonstrates that your comment above is nonsense.

comparing the act of sex to the concept of free will is pretty dishonest. we know from the scriptures that the act of sex has a proper context. free will only allows us the opportunity to choose whether to commit obedient acts or disobedient ones. there is no proper context for ANY exercise of our free will to commit disobedient acts. yet any will which is "free" to commit ONLY obedient acts isn't exactly "free" by your standard definition. (and if you are arguing that Jesus is or was free to sin or stop loving the Father, you have a steep uphill climb from scripture.) so you clearly have a problem.

beyond the basic philosophical problems, there is a lot of scripture:

- "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases." prov21:1 (if this is true of the king, how is it less true of a commoner, who would have had far fewer options?)

- prov 16:9 - we see paul freely choosing to kill and imprison the christians in damascus, yet God thwarts that choice by knocking him to the dirt and blinding him. (could God have acted earlier to save stephen? could God have blinded mohamed atta on 9/10?) God clearly limits some freedom to sin while openly greenlighting other cases. (habakkuk, isaiah 10)

- judicial hardening. God not only "allows" some to choose evil, He blinds them, hardens them and sends powerful delusions to further cement the wicked in their evil. (rom9; 2thes2:11; john12:40; 1 kings 22:22 among others)

- any prophecy or foreknowledge: if Jesus told peter he would deny Him, peter had zero freedom in choosing not to do so. you can claim that God merely foresaw that peter would deny Jesus, but peter had no true "freedom" to do otherwise.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

To Anonymous:

Adrian Rogers states: "Well, if God had made us where we couldn’t sin, He could have no more fellowship with me that I could have with that pulpit..."

Anonymous responded: "we should agree that there will be no sin in heaven...which demonstrates that your comment above is nonsense."

I agree that there will be no sin in heaven. I agree that the elimination of sin from our lives will not eliminate our fellowship with God. The key is what initiates fellowship. For instance, if you forced someone to love you for a thousand years, then not even for one day could you say that you ever had true fellowship with them. But, if you empowered them with a free choice, and they voluntarily choose to love you, THEN and only then, could you have a basis for true fellowship with them, and that's Adrian Rogers' point. Once this fellowship is born, its born. I'm voluntarily saying to God: Yes, I trust in your Son, and I voluntarily choose to love Him, having been empowered by You, since You first loved me, and I wholeheartedly welcome a future nature in which I cannot sin. This is my voluntary free choice. Question: Will this coming new nature destroy my fellowship with God? Of course not. The fact of fellowship is already born, and cannot be lost. And here is what Jesus therefore says of the Father in His response: "The Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father." (John 16:27) Bingo! A relationship is born.

You wrote: "If you are arguing that Jesus is or was free to sin or stop loving the Father, you have a steep uphill climb from scripture."

Jesus states: "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative." (John 10:17-18)

Doesn't this statement prove that Jesus has a free will? If so, how far will you extend the boundary of His "initiative."

As for Proverbs 21:2, here is my writeup on that passage. Feel free to comment: http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/OT/Prov21_1.html

--Richard Coords

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Your last statement: "peter had no true 'freedom' to do otherwise."

Prescience is not predetermination. It is perfectly logical to say that God, an eternal being, has foreknowledge of someone else's free choice. The real question is whether by telling Peter of his future free choice, that he then had the ability to make a different free choice, and that answer would logically be "yes." For instance, if you tell me that by your omniscient foreknowledge that my plane trip to New Jersey is going to crash and burn, then I'm going to use your foreknowledge to make a different free choice, and drive.

Anonymous said...

Richard
You stated that it is only of free will that we have true feilowship, The Trinity has perfect fellowship, and does not have the ability to do otherwise. What say you?