• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.
  6. We are no longer allowing posts or threads that deny the existence of Covid-19. Members have lost loved ones to this virus and are grieving. As a Christian site, we do not need to add to the pain of the loss by allowing posts that deny the existence of the virus that killed their loved one. Future post denying the Covid-19 existence, calling it a hoax, will be addressed via the warning system.

Featured Is temptation, in and of itself, sin?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by public hermit, Apr 7, 2021 at 4:49 PM.

  1. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal: Quipping the Saints! Supporter

    +4,681
    United States
    Charismatic
    Married
    US-Others
    That teaching from Matthew 5 seems to have context to it.
    1. The marital status of the "woman" is never declared.
    2. The marital status of the "man" is assumed to be ineligible to the woman in question; that he is married, already.
    3. It doesn't seem to apply to a single man who might be sizing up an eligible wife, though it would still apply to unmarried promiscuity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 7:48 PM
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  2. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

    +867
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    BALONEY! . . .you think like a sinner.
    1. MORE BALONEY!
    2. RIGHT!
     
  3. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

    +6,547
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Others
    I agree with what you are saying in that temptation has its root in good inclinations.
    But, temptation, per se, is not simply a good inclination, but a good inclination misplaced.

    If Jesus was tempted, as we are, then it wasn't just his good inclination that was aroused, but his good inclination was aroused to do that which was contrary to the will of God. Otherwise, it wasn't a temptation to sin.

    Take greed, as an example. If he was so tempted, it wasn't simply a temptation to self-preservation. That's not a sin, and thus not a temptation. The temptation would have been to squirrel away more than he needed, something that could have benefited someone in need. I'm not saying he did that, only that he would have been so tempted.

    Same with adultery/fornication. It wouldn't have been that he was tempted to have sex, in general. Sexual arousal is not a sin. It's natural. If he were so tempted, he would have been tempted in relation to a specific person that was not his wife. I'm not saying he gave in, or even dwelt on such a temptation. But that is what temptation is, and if he was tempted as we are then he would have had the same experience. No?
     
  4. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

    +2,410
    United States
    Catholic
    Single
    One option is that Calvin is being somewhat equivocal or at least analogical in this usage of "sin." For example, we could read him in a Pauline sense as saying that "sin" is not only an act against a law of God, but is that evil nature that resides within us and which we are enslaved to.

    Yet given Calvin's understanding of how culpability and necessitation work, I don't think he needs to be interpreted in this way. The modus tollens argument that someone like Augustine would give against Calvin's position is as follows: If nonvolitional desires were sinful, then sin could occur in the absence of the will; but sin can never occur in the absence of the will; therefore nonvolitional desires cannot be sinful. It seems to me that, given Calvin's theology and understanding of culpability, he would be perfectly happy to reject the second premise.

    I don't think this follows. I don't think Calvin believed that Jesus was tickled by sinful desires. He would probably say that Jesus was prompted to sin by external solicitation (such as occurred when Satan tempted him) but that these incidents did not include a desire within Jesus towards sin.

    Most modern theologians would scoff at that, but in the 16th century it would have been a common view.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  5. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

    +380
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Pardon my rambling thoughts:

    One of the ways I've looked into this is in the Scriptures re: Jesus in the garden with His disciples before His arrest and execution. His struggles between flesh and spirit were at a peak there. Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22 (re: sweating blood).

    Note how He goes back and forth from private prayer to His disciples 3 times. Just for them or looking in some way for some support in this intense struggle? Luke says an angel ultimately came to strengthen Him.

    He obviously had a thought/desire to not have to go through this ordeal - "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me;"

    But His in the same breath mindset is to do God's will: "nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will." (Mk. 14:36 NKJ)

    I think this is the divider. In any test/temptation, it needs to be our will to do God's will. Jesus had the struggle between flesh and s(S)pirit. But He never crossed the dividing line into His own will against God's will. He was never at cross-purposes with God, nor in disobedience to Him.

    But, Luke's writing shows His great agony:

    Luke 22:42-44 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak).

    I think this event is what Hebrews is addressing:

    Hebrews 5:7-9 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

    It's obvious Jesus was struggling with obedience, because the flesh is weak, while successfully submitting to obedience, because the spirit is willing. And Hebrews says He learned obedience from this.

    And, for us:

    NIV Hebrews 12:1-4 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (literally "until blood").

    I think James addresses the dividing line that Jesus never crossed, because His true and to-His-core desires and ultimate abilities were to always do what He saw the Father do, and say what He heard Him say. He was never "dragged away" and enticed (which means lured [into sin] / caught with bait) - by His own desires being opposed to God:

    James 1:14-15 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

    Paul addresses his and our battles and failures with this in Rom 7, before he breaks into the solution in Romans 8. Jesus won this battle at every test/temptation, even when He had to basically break His body/flesh to do so. And He was taught from infancy what God's will is.

    I don't see temptation as a sin. Temptation can be sin as James explains it.

    Jesus handled temptation/testing perfectly. He's training us to get better and better at handling it. We have a promise from God about it in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

    When Jesus said this: NKJ Matthew 5:28 "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." - the grammar in the Greek is speaking of a purpose. The following translations are bringing this out:

    CJB Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that a man who even looks at a woman with the purpose of lusting after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    ESV Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    What's your purpose? Self-deceit is quite the thing to overcome, even in Christ by His Spirit.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  6. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

    +6,547
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Others
    I agree that I don't think Calvin would say Jesus was tempted by a subjective desire to sin. The temptation was objective. But is that really being tempted as we are? Is a temptation really a temptation if there is no internal desire to do that which tempts? What would Aquinas say?
     
  7. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

    +6,547
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Others
    The passage that keeps coming up in my mind is Hebrews 4:15

    "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin."

    What does being tempted "in every respect" mean if not in the sense of our subjective experience of being tempted?
     
  8. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

    +6,547
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Others
    I'm sorry, but you'll have to clarify this statement.
     
  9. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

    +867
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    Not necessarily.

    I just bought a pair of new shoes. That beautiful flowing cool stream tempts me to walk in it over the jagged rocks in my new shoes. No sin is involved in the temptation, or in yielding to it.
    Temptation to sin is sin.
    He wasn't tempted to sin.
    He was tempted to preserve his life, which is good, not sin.
    He chose to forego that life for a greater good, obedience to God.
    And just why would he be tempted to greed?
    I know poor sinners who aren't tempted to greed.
    WRONG!
    Having never been sinless, how would you know that?

    Jesus was SINLESS (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; John 8:46). . .that excludes temptation to sin, which is sin.
    NO!

    And not just NO, but uh-uh.

    Being urged ("tempted") by natural desire to preserve his life is not sin, and certainly would be expected in his case, which he would have to frequently overcome. He spent a lot of time in prayer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 8:29 AM
  10. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

    +6,547
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Others
    I don't have to be sinless to know what it is to be tempted and not give in. If he was tempted in every respect as we are, then he knows what it means to be tempted. I don't mean simply an objective temptation, but the subjective experience of having a desire, however slight, to sin and yet refraining.
     
  11. NomNomPizza

    NomNomPizza Active Member

    253
    +112
    Poland
    Christian
    Private
    Temptation is never sin
    whoever u quoted doesn't matter just another antichrist probably
    why?
    Because Jesus was tempted by the devil and had to reject temptation to use his powers or authority to cause something.
    Saying temptation is sin is like saying Jesus is sinner simple as that.
    I also suggest leaving these fools who profess to be wise and thier agenda driven books and go back to Bible.
     
  12. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

    +6,547
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Others
    Are you saying Calvin would reject the notion that nonvolational desires cannot be sinful? I'm just not sure I'm tracking.
     
  13. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

    +867
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    Hopefully what GDL says in post #65.
     
  14. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

    +6,547
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Others
    I'm not sure what you're saying here. Could you elaborate?
     
  15. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

    +6,547
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Others
    Which part? Where he says temptation is not a sin, but can be a sin?
     
  16. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

    +380
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    On the one hand, a temptation is a temptation, even if there is no desire for it.

    On the other hand, a temptation is a temptation, when there is a desire for it.

    Sometimes a temptation is unsuccessful at tempting. Sometimes a temptation is successful at dragging us into it and catching us by bait.

    Jesus was tempted in every respect. Jesus was never dragged away or caught by bait by His desires when tempted. His struggle in the Garden He immediately countered with "Your will be done."

    A personal experience rather than a story: During a lengthy period of intense studies and teaching, one morning I woke with amazing and immediate clarity. My first thought as if thrown at me with intensity was towards a sin. With precise immediacy and the same intensity, my mental response within the smallest fraction of a second was to literally say, No, and the sinful thought was gone.

    It was one of those experiences some have when they know a lesson has been taught. I was astounded at how fast and precise was my response to reject sin at the thought level. As far as I'm concerned, I got a glimpse into the mind of Christ, and how fast, vivid, and precise it is.

    I don't think enough of us obediently exploit this command from our Great High Priest:

    Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

    Struggling with temptation at the thought level?
     
  17. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

    +867
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    We've never sweat drops of blood in overcoming our desires.
     
  18. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

    +380
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Sure. "Your" is general and not directed at you.

    For what purpose are you (whoever) looking at that woman? Thoughts and intents of the heart.
     
  19. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    +3,411
    Canada
    Baptist
    Married
    CA-Conservatives
    Think: "T" of T.U.L.I.P. That's all Calvin is asserting here.

    Consider the virgin birth.

    No. Yielding to it in any way is.
     
  20. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

    +2,410
    United States
    Catholic
    Single
    I saw you make this point earlier in the thread. I think it is a strong objection against traditional theology on this topic. On the other hand, in a prima facie sense it seems like Jesus just wasn't tempted as we are... That is, it is hard to know where that objection ever stops, precisely because it is hard to know where temptation ends and sin begins. Yet I tend to think that no matter where we place that dividing line, it will feel a bit arbitrary, and thus the objection will retain some degree of potency.

    I think he would agree with the traditional view, although he does try to nuance it somewhat. Some quotes:

    And we understand Him to have been taken up by the devil, not, as it were, by force, but because, as Origen says (Hom. xxi super Luc.), "He followed Him in the course of His temptation like a wrestler advancing of his own accord." (ST III.41.1.ad2)​

    As the Apostle says (Hebrews 4:15), Christ wished to be "tempted in all things, without sin." Now temptation which comes from an enemy can be without sin: because it comes about by merely outward suggestion. But temptation which comes from the flesh cannot be without sin, because such a temptation is caused by pleasure and concupiscence; and, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix), "it is not without sin that 'the flesh desireth against the spirit.'" And hence Christ wished to be tempted by an enemy, but not by the flesh. (ST III.41.1.ad3)

    Yet he also affirms that temptation shapes itself to the particular desires of the person being tempted. It would then seem that there would be a high probability that some of our desires would have sinful ends:

    I answer that, The temptation which comes from the enemy takes the form of a suggestion, as Gregory says (Hom. xvi in Evang.). Now a suggestion cannot be made to everybody in the same way; it must arise from those things towards which each one has an inclination. Consequently the devil does not straight away tempt the spiritual man to grave sins, but he begins with lighter sins, so as gradually to lead him to those of greater magnitude. Wherefore Gregory (Moral. xxxi), expounding Job 39:25, "He smelleth the battle afar off, the encouraging of the captains and the shouting of the army," says: "The captains are fittingly described as encouraging, and the army as shouting. Because vices begin by insinuating themselves into the mind under some specious pretext: then they come on the mind in such numbers as to drag it into all sorts of folly, deafening it with their bestial clamor." Thus, too, did the devil set about the temptation of the first man... (ST III.41.4.c)

    So to extrapolate, Aquinas would probably say that the Devil tempted Christ to turn stones into bread because he was hungry. Yet to be hungry or to desire food are not sinful in themselves. It would only be sinful to consent to desiring food in an inappropriate way (Thomas says that the temptation consisted in satisfying his hunger by supernatural means when natural means would have sufficed). Christ allowed the Devil to present the temptations, but his internal desire for food remained rightly ordered and thus the desire came from the Devil but not from "the flesh."

    (I would phrase your objection in this way: If Christ had no internal, non-volitional desires towards sin that he had to deal with, then he was not tempted in the same way that we are. I think traditional theology accepts the antecedent but denies the consequent, and thus denies the conditional itself. So traditional theology would say that Christ was tempted externally in the same way that we are tempted externally, but not internally in the same way that we are tempted internally.)

    Yep, that's what I'm saying. Or more strictly, "sin can occur in the absence of the will." For example, in Calvin's Reply to Pighius he affirms the view that human acts are necessitated, but that necessitation only precludes culpability when it is coerced (by an external force). So for Calvin we are culpable for internal necessitation to evil ("the flesh").

    I think most of us would say that the will is not really involved in a necessitated act, at least not in a culpable way. Calvin doesn't seem to view things this way, and he has a fairly different view of the relation of freedom to sin than the more philosophical theologians like Augustine and Aquinas. Now that's not a proof, and I haven't read Calvin in some time, but given what I know about his understanding of culpability I think he would be happy to disagree with Augustine on the nature of culpability. (Some of it is definitional, for Calvin seems to define freedom and volition in ways that are compatible with necessitation, but I think the substantial differences remain.)
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
Loading...