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God creates the wicked?

Discussion in 'Ask a Calvinist' started by Ann77, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Ann77

    Ann77 New Member

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    I have a question. Does God create people to send to hell and then still calls for them to repent when they're unable to? Would this make God responsible for evil? Someone told me this. It's frightening me.
     
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  2. JM

    JM Orthodox Protestant Supporter

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    Yes.

    God is omniscient.

    The London Baptist Confession of 1689 reads;

    ch.14
    The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts,”

    “By this faith a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word for the authority of God himself”

    “and so is enabled to cast his soul upon the truth thus believed”

    ch.15
    “This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin”

    The idea that all men everywhere must repent is biblical, BUT, the repentance required of the reprobate is legal. All men are guilty of breaking God’s law and therefore must repent of their deeds and they never do. Sure, unsaved people feel guilt or regret over their sins but they still rage against the holy and living God. Only the elect are given the “evangelical grace” of repentance and faith that leads to eternal life.[​IMG]
    John Gill’s comments on Acts 20.21 are useful in understanding this subject and so, I post them below.

    Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks,…. To the Jews first in their synagogue, and then to both Jews and Greeks, or Gentiles, in the school of Tyrannus; opening and explaining to both the nature and use, urging and insisting upon, and proving by undeniable testimonies the necessity,

    of repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ: the former of these is not a legal repentance, but an evangelical one; which flows from a sense of the love of God, and an application of pardoning grace and mercy, and is always attended with hope, at least of interest in it, and as here with faith in Christ Jesus: it lies in a true sight and sense of sin, as exceeding sinful, being contrary to the nature and law of God, and a deformation of the image of God in man, as well as followed with dreadful and pernicious consequences; and in a godly sorrow for it, as it is committed against a God of infinite purity and holiness, and of love, grace, and mercy; and it shows itself in shame for sin, and blushing at it, and in an ingenious confession of it, and forsaking it: and the latter of these is not an historical faith, or an assent of the mind to whatsoever is true concerning the person, office, and grace of Christ; but is a spiritual act of the soul upon him; it is a looking and going out to him, a laying hold and leaning on him, and trusting in him, for grace, righteousness, peace, pardon, life, and salvation. Now these two were the sum of the apostle’s ministry; this is a breviary or compendium of it; a form of sound words held fast and published by him: and as these two go together as doctrines in the ministry of the word, they go together as graces in the experience of the saints; where the one is, there the other is; they are wrought in the soul at one and the same time, by one and the same hand; the one is not before the other in order of time, however it may be in order of working, or as to visible observation; repentance is mentioned before faith, not that it precedes it, though it may be discerned in its outward acts before it; yet faith as to its inward exercise on Christ is full as early, if not earlier; souls first look to Christ by faith, and then they mourn in tears of evangelical repentance, Zec 12:10 though the order of the Gospel ministry is very fitly here expressed, which is first to lay before sinners the evil of sin, and their danger by it, in order to convince of it, and bring to repentance for it; and then to direct and encourage them to faith in Christ Jesus, as in the case of the jailer, Ac 16:29 and this is, generally speaking, the order and method in which the Holy Spirit proceeds; he is first a spirit of conviction and illumination, he shows to souls the exceeding sinfulness of sin, causes them to loath it and themselves for it, and humbles them under a sense of it; and then he is a spirit of faith, he reveals Christ unto them as God’s way or salvation, and works faith in them to believe in him. Moreover, these two, repentance and faith, were the two parts of Christ’s ministry, Mr 1:15 and are what, he would have published and insisted on, in the preaching of the word, Lu 24:47 so that the ministry of the apostle was very conformable to the mind and will of Christ. end quote

    God is not the author of sin, so no.

    Zanchius explains how the ultimate end will result in good, even if it seems evil…somehow.

    God, as the primary and efficient cause of all things, is not only the Author of those actions done by His elect as actions, but also as they are good actions, whereas, on the other hand, though He may be said to be the Author of all the actions done by the wicked, yet He is not the Author of them in a moral and compound sense as they are sinful; but physically, simply and sensu diviso as they are mere actions, abstractedly from all consideration of the goodness or badness of them.

    Although there is no action whatever which is not in some sense either good or bad, yet we can easily conceive of an action, purely as such, without adverting to the quality of it, so that the distinction between an action itself and its denomination of good or evil is very obvious and natural.

    In and by the elect, therefore, God not only produces works and actions through His almighty power, but likewise, through the salutary influences of His Spirit, first makes their persons good, and then their actions so too; but, in and by the reprobate, He produces actions by His power alone, which actions, as neither issuing from faith nor being wrought with a view to the Divine glory, nor done in the manner prescribed by the Divine Word, are, on these accounts, properly denominated evil. Hence we see that God does not, immediately and per se, infuse iniquity into the wicked; but, as Luther expresses it, powerfully excites them to action, and withholds those gracious influences of His Spirit, without which every action is necessarily evil. That God either directly or remotely excites bad men as well as good ones to action cannot be denied by any but Atheists, or by those who carry their notions of free-will and human independency so high as to exclude the Deity from all actual operation in and among His creatures, which is little short of Atheism. Every work performed, whether good or evil, is done in strength and by the power derived immediately from God Himself, “in whom all men live, move, and have their being” (Acts 17.28). As, at first, without Him was not anything made which was made, so, now, without Him is not anything done which is done. We have no power or faculty, whether corporal or intellectual, but what we received from God, subsists by Him, and is exercised in subserviency to His will and appointment. It is He who created, preserves, actuates and directs all things. But it by no means follows, from these premises, that God is therefore the cause of sin, for sin is nothing but auomia, illegality, want of conformity to the Divine law (1 John 3.4), a mere privation of rectitude; consequently, being itself a thing purely negative, it can have no positive or efficient cause, but only a negative and deficient one…[end quote]

    Before Zanchius brought us to this point, showing that God acting “directly or remotely” is not the “Author of them in a moral and compound sense,” he teaches in Position 2;

    That God often lets the wicked go on to more ungodliness, which He does (a) negatively by withholding that grace which alone can restrain them from evil; (b) remotely, by the providential concourse and mediation of second causes, which second causes, meeting and acting in concert with the corruption of the reprobate’s unregenerate nature, produce sinful effects; (c) judicially, or in a way of judgment. “The King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of waters; He turneth it whithersoever He will” (Prov. 21.1); and if the King’s heart, why not the hearts of all men? “Out of the mouth of the Most High proceedeth not evil and good?” (Lam. 3.38). Hence we find that the Lord bid Shimei curse David (2 Sam. 16.10); that He moved David himself to number the people (compare 1 Chron. 21.1 with 2 Sam. 24.1); stirred up Joseph’s brethren to sell him into Egypt (Genesis 50.20); positively and immediately hardened the heart of Pharaoh (Exod. 4.21); delivered up David’s wives to be defiled by Absalom (2 Sam. 12.11; 16.22); sent a lying spirit to deceive Ahab (1 Kings 22.20-23), and mingled a perverse spirit in the midst of Egypt, that is, made that nation perverse, obdurate and stiff-necked (Isa. 19.14). To cite other instances would be almost endless, and after these, quite unnecessary, all being summed up in that express passage, “I make peace and create evil; I the Lord do all these things” (Isa. 45.7). See farther, 1 Sam. 16.14; Psalm 105.25; Jer. 13.12,13; Acts 2.23, & 4.28; Rom. 11.8; 2 Thess. 2.11, every one of which implies more than a bare permission of sin. Bucer asserts this, not only in the place referred to below, but continually throughout his works, particularly on Matt. 6. § 2, where this is the sense of his comments on that petition, “Lead us not into temptation”: “It is abundantly evident, from most express testimonies of Scripture, that God, occasionally in the course of His providence, puts both elect and reprobate persons into circumstances of temptation, by which temptation are meant not only those trials that are of an outward, afflictive nature, but those also that are inward and spiritual, even such as shall cause the persons so tempted actually to turn aside from the path of duty, to commit sin, and involve both themselves and others in evil. Hence we find the elect complaining, ‘O Lord, why hast Thou made us to err from Thy ways, and hardened our hearts from Thy fear?’ (Isaiah 63.17). But there is also a kind of temptation, which is peculiar to the non-elect, whereby God, in a way of just judgment, makes them totally blind and obdurate, inasmuch as they are vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” (See also his exposition of Rom. 9.)end quote

    Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
  3. Ann77

    Ann77 New Member

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    Because God is omniscient, does that mean He causes all things or allows certain things to happen like sin and unsaved people to be born? When I talk to certain Calvinist's, they almost make it out to be because God is all knowing, He is the cause of all things and actions done by humans. Doesn't man have a will. I'm so confused.
     
  4. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hello Ann77, God created us upright and in His image .. Genesis 1:26-27; Ecclesiastes 7:29. That means that, just like Him, we are free to choose what we want most at any given moment in time, be it good or evil (unless our free will is overwhelmed by the actions of a 3rd party).

    If God actually worked iniquity into the hearts of certain men and women, such that they were rendered unable (by Him) to repent from their sins and turn to Him, then yes, God would be responsible for the evil they commit.

    But He doesn't do that.

    Rather, people choose to remain unrepentant, and they do so freely, and because of they do, they will be held responsible for their sins on the Day of Judgment.

    God bless you!

    --David
    p.s. - It looks like you are pretty new around here, so I should also say, WELCOME TO CF :wave:
     
  5. JM

    JM Orthodox Protestant Supporter

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    Let's pause here for a moment. Consider what omniscience means, it means God knows what will be exhaustively, He doesn't learn anything. Now consider the non-Calvinistic understanding of salvation, if you acknowledge that God knows all then yes, He knew he was going to create people that would never be saved and end up in hell. Even the Roman Catholic Thomas Aquinas taught and believed this.

    The Bible doesn't teach that God learns what will happen and then decrees what He learns. That makes God's decree contingent upon human action.

    The will of man is fallen and sinful, the natural inclination of fallen, sinful man is to sin. Freewill in this case is sin because fallen man willingly and freely chooses to sin. Jesus said, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
    PS: "And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not."
     
  6. Ann77

    Ann77 New Member

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    "The Bible doesn't teach that God learns what will happen and then decrees what He learns. That makes God's decree contingent upon human action." @JM

    Sorry, I don't understand how this correlates with my response. We could be talking past one another or maybe I wasn't clear. Are you saying God authored men to be the way they are? He can never permit something that is outside of His goodness like in the case of Jeremiah 19:5 ? Why not also wickedness of man to grow and flourish?

    "The will of man is fallen and sinful, the natural inclination of fallen, sinful man is to sin. Freewill in this case is sin because fallen man willingly and freely chooses to sin. Jesus said, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8"

    Yes, of course. This is still man's will and it is freely chosen by them.

    "jm PS: "And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not."

    I hope you don't think of me as hostile to Christ because I ask these questions. Forgive me if I caused any offense.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  7. Ann77

    Ann77 New Member

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    Thank you! For your response. Do you hold to supralapsarianism or Infralapsarian? I think I'm struggling with supralapsarianism.
     
  8. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hello again Ann, I'll take a shot at answering this one too (I hope that you and @JM don't mind?). God being "all-knowing" does not mean that God "causes" everything that happens. Granted, He ordains whatsoever comes to pass, but He is hardly the cause of moral evil (for instance, He allows us to sin, but He does not cause or force us to do so).

    Man was made in God's image (as I mentioned earlier). We have free will, and when we sin, we do so freely and willingly, not because God made us do it.

    It seems like you may have received some bad information about Calvinism/what Calvinists teach and believe.

    God bless you!

    --David
    p.s. - I just noticed your last post. I'm infralapsarian. I do not doubt that you are struggling with supralapsarianism. This is a belief that is principally held by Hyper-Calvinists, not by Calvinists, and I believe it is heretical.
     
  9. Ann77

    Ann77 New Member

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    Yes. I'm getting so confused about it. Even James White at times sounds like a Hyper-Calvinist. I'm having trouble with some verses and I don't know really which interpretation is the right one. But if supralapsarianism is true...I don't know how I can go on without doubting God's goodness.
     
  10. JM

    JM Orthodox Protestant Supporter

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    I do not believe anything comes to pass without God decreeing them to come to pass including sin. God doesn't ordain or decree passively. Look at Genesis 50 where we read, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." We have one sinful act that God ordained to happen. From mans perspective it was a moral evil but from God's perspective it was "unto good." God used the morally sinful act to "save much people alive." That's why I posted, "God, as the primary and efficient cause of all things, is not only the Author of those actions done by His elect as actions, but also as they are good actions, whereas, on the other hand, though He may be said to be the Author of all the actions done by the wicked, yet He is not the Author of them in a moral and compound sense as they are sinful; but physically, simply and sensu diviso as they are mere actions, abstractedly from all consideration of the goodness or badness of them."

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
  11. JM

    JM Orthodox Protestant Supporter

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    1. Hyper-Calvinism: Beliefs: God is the author of sin and man has no responsibility before God. The Gospel should only preached to the elect. i.e. duty faith. and anti-missionary Belief in the five points is a prerequisite for true salvation, also known as Neo-Gnostic Calvinism. Proponents: Joseph Hussey John Skepp and some English primitive Baptists.

    2. Ultra High Calvinism: Beliefs: That the elect are in some sense eternally justified. A denial of: The Well– Meant Offer; Common Grace; and God having any love for the non-elect. Proponents: John Gill, some ministers in the Protestant Reformed Church of America

    3. High Calvinism: Beliefs: That God in no sense desires to save the reprobate, Most deny the Well-Meant Offer. Supralapsarian viewing God’s decrees. All hold to limited atonement. Most believe in particular grace and see the atonement as sufficient only for the elect. Proponents: Theodore Beza, Gordon Clark, Arthur Pink

    4. Moderate Calvinism: Beliefs: That God does in some sense desires to save the reprobate, Infralapsarian in viewing God’s decrees. Affirms Common Grace. Proponents: John Calvin (some argue that he was a High-Calvinist), John Murray, RL Dabney

    5. Low Calvinism: Beliefs: That Christ died for all in a legal sense, so one can speak of Christ dying for the non-elect. That God has two distinct wills. Affirms the Well-Meant Offer and Common Grace, Proponents: Amyraldrians , RT Kendal

    6. Lutheranism: Beliefs: That Calvinist over emphasize God Sovereignty over man’s responsibility. That Christ died for all in legal sense, that some are predestined on to life but none are predestined onto death. That the sacraments are means of grace regardless of one’s faith. Proponents: Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, Rod Rosenbladt

    7. American Baptist: Beliefs: That God has given man libertarian freedom, that God’s knowledge of future is based on His foreknowledge. That Christ died for all and desires all to be saved. Once a persons believes the gospel, he is eternally secure. Rejects Calvinism, some would even call it heretical. Proponents: Jerry Falwell, Adrian Rogers

    8. Arminianism Beliefs: That God has given man libertarian freedom, that God’s knowledge of future is solely based on His foreknowledge. That Christ died for all and desires all to be saved. A person can fall from the state of grace i.e. lose ones salvation, since it is our free will that chooses Christ at conversion. Proponents: Jacob Arminius, John Wesley some Methodists

    copyright Rev Jonathan James Goundry
     
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  12. Ann77

    Ann77 New Member

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    Thanks. Which one are you out of the bunch? I can’t decide from 4, 5 and 6 ...I do disagree with the sacrament views of number 6
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  13. JM

    JM Orthodox Protestant Supporter

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    I would be ultra high but not a hyper.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Ann77

    Ann77 New Member

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    @JM

    On the view of God having no love for the non-elect He created, not even common grace. Why does Christ command us to love our enemies when He has no love for His in this view? How do you square this away?

    "God doesn't ordain or decree passively. Look at Genesis" If I accept this interpretation, I don't see any biblical grounds of this being the rule in all situations of sinful acts. Especially since there's passages like Jeremiah and another in Luke that would prove contrary of this being the case. A decree can allow the premission of sin to occur without God being the maker or the cause of it. Man is naturally evil.


    *Added Sorry, I'm not trying to debate..I'm not really a fan of that, I'm just wanting to understand. Most of my friends hold your view.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  15. BBAS 64

    BBAS 64 Contributor Supporter

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    Good Day, Coffee

    Lets use the context to determine.... lets play follow the pronouns.

    With RC Sproul.

     
  16. JM

    JM Orthodox Protestant Supporter

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    Jesus is referring to the Law found in Leviticus 19:18 and Deuteronomy which basically instructs us how we should treat one another. Love means to treat people lawfully and according to the Law.
    Not a problem. Reformed Christians are usually attack and maligned by other Christians because of what we believe.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
  17. coffee4u

    coffee4u Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, didn't realize I had posted in the Calvinist area. I just saw the question and answered.
    That is my answer, it will not change, you are welcome to whatever beliefs you hold.
    Leaving.
     
  18. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    What? If we do what Dr. Sproul recommends and we don't take passages and verses out of context (like so many do with 2 Peter 3:9), then we'd end up being stuck with a proper exegesis of the text and no ability to have it support our extra-Biblical presuppositions :eek: Where's the fun in that ;)

    St. Peter's 2nd Epistle was written to/about the elect/saints (and saints to be) alone, as was 2 Peter 3, as was the passage that 2 Peter 3:9 is found in.

    Quite frankly, the Lord waiting patiently on those who He knows will come to saving faith makes perfect sense, but why would He wait patiently for those who He knows never will :scratch:

    2 Peter 3
    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    --David
     
  19. Ann77

    Ann77 New Member

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    @JM
    Is ultra different from absolute predestination? There's not much info about ultra high when I do a search. Hyper Calvinism mostly pops up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  20. JM

    JM Orthodox Protestant Supporter

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    The biggest difference is that I believe God uses means to save his elect, Hyper Calvinists do not, that means we must preach the Gospel to all, people are not saved apart from the preaching of the Gospel.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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