• 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.

Featured The righteousness of God in His creed that evil take place.

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by His student, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. His student

    His student Member

    200
    +116
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    **** "CREED" IN THE TITLE OF THE THREAD SHOULD READ "DECREE" INSTEAD. i'M JUST NOT SURE HOW TO CORRECT IT AT THIS STAGE.

    To anyone wanting to understand the position of so called Reformed believers like myself on various questions concerning the absolute sovereignty of God in all things:

    The scripture says that God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked (or the just for that matter). In fact – it says quite the opposite. It breaks His heart.

    What God takes pleasure in is the final resulting good that those deaths played a part in. In most things in life we cannot see what the final result is that God has decreed to be brought about by tragedy. We can surmise. But we cannot know for certain everything God is doing. Like Job’s friends – we may be way off the mark if we try to be dogmatic.

    Examples from scripture have to suffice in most cases to assure us that He does indeed have a reason even when everything seems to be going wrong. Even when evil appears to win the battle – God shows us from scripture that He will win the war. All will, eventually, turn out to be good and He will be glorified eventually in the display of that good.

    He even uses the evil done by the likes of Satan, or the Chaldeans, or the Egyptians, or the Assyrians, or Judas, or Titus, or Nero – the list goes on and on – to bring Him glory through the display of the good He has decreed to be eventually apparent to all.

    The selling of a brother to slavers was shown in scripture to be a good thing. It was allowed, or even planned, for good purpose. Therefore, the scriptures tell us, it was God who did it as well as the evil brothers – for whom it was sin.

    It was God’s good pleasure to “crush” the innocent man Jesus – and that for good reason. But it came to pass through the altogether sinful actions of evil men. The scriptures couldn’t be more clear that it was God who decreed that Jesus die at the hands of those evil men.

    For that matter – God will eventually even use the rebellion of Satan and his minions and the fall of man as well to bring about and display good in the ages to come.

    It would take page after page of cut and pasted passages from Bible Gateway to prove all this from scripture. But, to put it bluntly, if you are not aware of this aspect of how God operates – you just haven’t been paying attention when you’ve read your Bible. This is a fairly basic Bible principle.

    All of God’s decrees are good. He is altogether good and it could be no other way. But His decrees that they fall out according to evil often appear from our perspective to be evil decrees.

    He shows us again and again the good results in scripture that He decreed to be brought about by evil.

    The principle from scripture might be stated thusly: God only decrees that which is good. He often uses temporary evil to bring to light the good that He has decreed. God does everything according to his good and perfect will. Therefore His decree that evil be allowed to take place to accomplish good is righteous.

    OF COURSE SOME, EVEN MOST IT SEEMS, WILL ATTEMPT TO GET AROUND THIS BY SIMPLY IGNORING OR CHANGING WHAT THE SCRIPTURES SO OBVIOUSLY TEACH.

    Some say that a God who makes such decrees (and carries them out by His indwelling Word) would be Himself doing evil. I have wrestled through that temptation myself many times.

    Why would anyone think that I have not had such thoughts myself? I have – of course – as has any thinking student of the scriptures.

    The difference between me and many others is that I now always take it by faith that God is doing good even as He uses evil for His purposes. Without faith, of course, it is impossible to please God.

    Some – lacking the faith to believe every aspect of His Word – pick and choose which concepts they will believe and teach. This is the manner that people who lack faith use to handle apparent contradictions from God’s Word. It seems to me that it is a lot like what must have been the thoughts of the first couple before that fateful fall into sin.

    Imagine what might have been the thoughts of Adam and Eve as they contemplated the apparent contradiction concerning God’s nature that He set before them in the Garden. Then bring it over to what is often said about the same kind of apparent contradictions that we are given concerning many doctrines from scripture – like the Trinity, predestination and related doctrines, eternal security vs. the tendency of believers to sin, and even the huge overall mystery of good and evil vs. the absolute sovereignty of God.

    “God told us not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil lest we die. The God we know is good and doesn’t tempt people (He has told us so) – especially with things that might kill them. Since God is only good and He doesn’t tempt or kill His creations – we must have misunderstood Him. Surely the God we know must have said something else than what we thought we heard Him say.”

    The serpent hisses his question to reinforce their dilemma. “Oh come now, let’s reason together, – hath God really said?”

    It would have been better if they had believed God, acted on that belief, and then asked Him for an explanation concerning the apparent contradiction when they saw Him face to face. But of course the rest is history.

    “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” It was lack of faith in His Word pure and simple that manifested in the fall. It is, in my view, altogether appropriate that faith in His Word be the vehicle for the salvation of His fallen creation.

    That goes for salvation in the basic sense. It goes for our sanctifying walk with Him. It also goes for our wrestling with the difficult doctrines of the Bible.

    Another – even more basic paradox - is our very existence as real people vis-a-vis God’s constant indwelling of His creation and the fact that we work only because He works.

    I’ll spare you an imaginary conversation that Lucifer might have had with God concerning this. Suffice it to say that the problem we have before us, so often heatedly debated here in the forum, is really no different than Lucifer’s “problem”.

    He wanted to be independent of God. Essentially he wanted to be like God – totally self sufficient. You know the statements He made that are given us in scripture. I’m thinking that he might even have made a few comments about being a computer or a puppet or a robot since he only had his being in God and was not really independent. He simply couldn’t accept God’s assurance that he was a very real person, a person of worth, and someone whom God could love and have true fellowship with in spite of his being a creation of God and one where God was involved in everything about him down to the finest detail.

    He could not accept the fact that nothing can exists apart from the constant “Lordship” of the indwelling Word. “In Him we live and move and have our being” is no different for Lucifer than for us - or a rock or a tree or the smallest particle of matter.

    Concerning His Word, God says, “All things were created by Him, for Him, and in Him all things consist.”

    Well – enough for now. There is a lot more to Reformed beliefs than these things of course. But these - basic and inescapable concepts from the scriptures - form a firm base from which many other things in Reformed theology flow. (That is not to say that all of the theology associated with so called Calvinism is correct.) But if you reject the sovereignty of God in all things you will fall into a theological ditch. Even what you think you have will be taken from you. Accept it and you will likely prosper in your theology. Even more will be given to you.

    God is God. We are His creation. His Word is our constant companion and Lord and must be so if we are to continue to exist and function in any way at all. We are very real people with whom God has a relationship in spite of us not being independent from God. We can never be completely independent. We should worship Him because of it – not chafe at His Lordship. It seems to me that that’s what the scriptures are all about teaching us.

    Jesus once told us that His “meat” was to do the will of God. He told us that He could only do what He saw God doing. He rejoiced in being dependent on God for every aspect of His being.

    Call me “Reformed” or call me a person with a strange view of the nature of things. But count me in on that sentiment expressed by the Word of God.

    I can hear the possible questions now. But! But! But!

    My advice to everyone is to believe the Word of God first and act and teach accordingly and only then ask your questions of God. Ask for wisdom only after believing Him (would that Adam had done that). Only if you “have”, will more be given to you.

    By the way – NEWS FLASH – I have no more insight into how these things could possibly be so than what the Bible shows. I see through the glass darkly just as the rest of men – even if acceptance of the sovereignty of God allows me to see a bit more clearly than those who will not receive it. I can’t explain these things any deeper than what the Bible provides for us.

    But - my inability to explain how these things can possibly be has absolutely no bearing at all on whether the Bible teaches that they are indeed so.

    I’m sure someone along the line will ask what possible good will come of the holocaust if God was sovereign in it’s coming to pass. I suppose that I could venture a few sanctified ideas. But they would undoubtedly fall short of the final truth of the matter which God will reveal someday.

    I’m willing to wait.

    I’ve been told directly here in the forum that unless we know the answers as to exactly the how or why of the sovereignty of God in everything including evil – we cannot build sound doctrine.

    To the contrary, as I see it – unless you accept the sovereignty of God in everything – you cannot build truly sound doctrine – even concerning basic salvation.

    According to some, there should be, can be and are no mysteries in the scriptures. I couldn’t disagree more.

    COMMENTS?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Dungeon Master

    +4,547
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    Try shorter posts.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  3. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    +7,924
    Anabaptist
    Why do you think it is that there is so much more in volume and in the last 2000 years that is not only not sound doctrine,
    but is doctrine opposed to Yahweh and against His Purpose, Plan and Word ?
     
  4. royal priest

    royal priest debtor to grace

    +1,195
    United States
    Protestant
    Married
    Your perspective on this topic isn't entirely in line with Reformed Theology.
    For a fuller understanding of the Reformed position, I recommend you read "The Sovereignty of God" by Arthur Pink.
     
  5. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    +4,987
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    The problem is that there are too many different points being made which makes it difficult to see what the main point actually is. I read through the post and my question is: "What's he actually saying?"
     
  6. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    +7,924
    Anabaptist
    "Yahweh is always RIGHT"


    ?
     
  7. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    +7,924
    Anabaptist
  8. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

    +513
    Canada
    Non-Denom
    Private
    Quick question... can you clarify what Reformed means? Regrouped or altered thinking?
     
  9. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Well-Known Member

    +1,048
    United States
    Reformed
    Single
    US-Republican
    Reformed has varying meaning to different people. Historically, it refers mainly to people who share or stem from the same theological heritage of the Reformers of the 16th century, specifically John Calvin and many of the puritans.

    The OP defines "Reformed" theology soteriologically, that God is salvifically sovereign. However, Reformed theology in the most strictest sense is someone who is historically covenantal in their framework understanding of the Scriptures (and other issues I didn't feel like listing). Reformed can overlap different denominations (Presbyterian, Baptist, Anglican, etc).
     
  10. redleghunter

    redleghunter Abide Boldy my friend Supporter

    +24,863
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Man
     
  11. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

    +513
    Canada
    Non-Denom
    Private
    Ok thank you, so not regrouped then. i've seen the name on many Dutch churches.
     
  12. His student

    His student Member

    200
    +116
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    They will be.

    Give and takes between posters must be short to speak directly to the other's post. Yours would be an example.

    OP's, not necessarily so much. There has to enough raw meat in an OP to explain one's position thoroughly and draw pithy comments and questions. Mine has what it takes to do that and that's why I'm having trouble figuring out why someone wouldn't understand my main point. i.e.
    While that is a correct statement and encapsulates one of the points I made very simply - there is much more to it than that. Most everyone here (except those of other or no religions) would agree to that outright.

    "Not only is God always right in what He decrees - He is also in charge of executing all He decrees including the means to the end - even if those means appear evil to His creation."

    That's saying quite a bit more than you stated - which is precisely why a longer OP was necessary in order to say it in a way that no one could mistake my intent for something less than it was.
    Not sure what the point is. The originator of a an OP doesn't have to stay online forever and answer every reply or question within a minute or two.
    Not really so - at least in this case. While I agree with certain aspects of the soteriology of the Reformed camp - I also disagree with some of it.

    It would be more accurate to say that the OP, at least in this case, is defining "Reformed" doctrine as related to the absolute sovereignty of God in all that happens in the history of His creation.
    I hope the above answers your question.

    For the record - I most definitely disagree with what is called 5 point Calvinism with regards to so called "limited atonement". I also disagree with most Reformed regarding how they have historically view and teach eschatology.
    I have read it. It's on the shelf over my desk where I am typing this.

    In what way does the OP differ from Him in this matter?
    I touched on that when I said,
    Many of the thing I said in the OP outline how and why they do that kind of thing (shipwrecking their doctrine). It could be said simply that many are uncomfortable in accepting all that God has taught us - believing that He would be contradicting Himself if they believed it all.

    Therefore thy leave out or distort some doctrines with which they have trouble.

    I hope I didn't miss anyone. I can't promise that I'll stay online this time around long enough to satisfy everyone. :)

    P.S.
    I'm sure someone will feel that I should have answered here with 8 or 9 completely separate post. I disagree.

    People in forums often misrepresent what a person has said in the past.

    I like to keep things nice and tight so that I and others can easily reference what I did and did not say without cruising pages of script to do it.

    People just don't like to take that kind of time - which is, I suppose, what those who misrepresent are counting on when they make false charges. I'm not necessarily pointing to anyone here in particular.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  13. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    +4,987
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    You correctly said that God is sovereign and does what He sees is right. The Scripture says that when God created the universe He saw that it was good. There was no evil in it until Adam disobeyed Him and brought evil into the world.

    Evil is not part of God's nature and character. This is proved through the fruit of the Spirit which is essentially God's nature, and part of that fruit is "goodness".

    Good and Evil are absolutes. They have always been there, and always will be. Satan chose evil when he tried to overthrow God. Adam and Eve chose evil when they ate of the fruit. The Scripture says that the natural unconverted person will always choose evil because, as Jesus said, he or she is a child of the devil and is in the kingdom of darkness and only a sovereign work of God will cause them to have saving faith to receive Christ as Saviour and be transferred from the kingdom of darkness into God's family.

    Therefore, because God is a good God, He does not decree evil for anyone. Sinners, under the control of their father, Satan, choose evil - against God's wishes. God has extended grace and mercy to sinners and when they choose to reject God's offer, they frustrate His grace and God has to stand by and see them perish, and it does not give Him any pleasure at all.
     
  14. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Well-Known Member

    +1,048
    United States
    Reformed
    Single
    US-Republican
    I'll be honest, take back my comment on what the OP said. This was the one thread I didn't read the OP, and still haven't, so I don't know if he even represents Reformed soteriology at all.
     
  15. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

    +513
    Canada
    Non-Denom
    Private
    It existed. Man had not yet put His will before God's. God said it not only did exist but they were aware/knew of good and evil.

    Otherwise scripture wouldn't say Genesis 3:22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
     
  16. His student

    His student Member

    200
    +116
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    That is correct if you are limiting the word universe to this physical creation and not including the spirit world.
    The scriptures are very clear about that.
    I disagree.

    While there has always been the potential for evil to exist through disobedience to God - it was only a possibility until God decreed that it be allowed to come forth and then brought it to pass through Satan in the Heavenly creation and through man in the physical creation.
    That's absolutely Reformed soteriology and I'm glad you agree with us there.
    You'll probably have to nuance what you mean by "for" anyone.

    If you are saying that God does not "make" men or angels do evil and thereby be considered the author of their sin - you and I agree completely. If you are saying that God does in no way will sin to take place, we will have to disagree.

    To help us in this kind of intramural debate - good theologians differentiate between God's absolute and permissive will.
    All Reformed believe this to be true.
    God's grace cannot be frustrated. He does not "have to do" anything He does not intend to do.
    The end result brings Him pleasure. The means that He uses to bring that result to pass often brings Him pain and sorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  17. His student

    His student Member

    200
    +116
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    I think you'd find that I represent Reformed soteriology pretty much down the line - except for the way 5 pointers present so called limited atonement.

    My view on that doctrine is more in line with that of John Calvin than current hard line so called Calvinists.

    A FEW QUOTES BY JOHN CALVIN:

    1 John 2:2--"he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world"----------------------- "CHRIST SUFFERED FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD. and in the goodness of God is OFFERED UNTO ALL MEN WITHOUT DISTINCTION, HIS BLOOD BEING SHED NOT FOR A PART OF THE WORLD ONLY, BUT FOR THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE; for although in the world nothing is found worthy of the favor of God, yet he HOLDS OUT THE PROPITIATION TO THE WHOLE WORLD, since without exception he SUMMONS ALL TO THE FAITH OF CHRIST, which is nothing else than the door unto hope."

    Mark 14:24: "This is my blood of the new testament, WHICH IS SHED FOR MANY"..................... "The word 'many' DOES NOT MEAN A PART OF THE WORLD ONLY, BUT THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE: he contrasts many with one as if to say that he would not be the Redeemer of one man, but would meet death to deliver many of their cursed guilt. No doubt that in speaking to a few Christ wished to make His teaching available to a larger number...So when we come to the holy table not only should the general idea come to our mind that THE WORLD IS REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST but also each should reckon to himself that his own sins are covered.

    Romans 5:18: "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
    "Paul makes grace COMMON TO ALL MEN, not because it in fact EXTENDS TO ALL, but because IT IS OFFERED TO ALL. Although CHRIST SUFFERED FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD. AND IS OFFERED BY THE GOODNESS OF GOD WITHOUT DISTINCTION TO ALL MEN, yet not all receive him"

    Calvin's "LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, April 25, 1564":
    "I testify also and declare, that I suppliantly beg of Him, that He may be pleased so to was and purify me in the blood which my Sovereign Redeemer HAS SHED FOR THE SINS OF THE HUMAN RACE, that under His shadow I may be able to stand at the judgment-seat....
     
  18. His student

    His student Member

    200
    +116
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    It certainly existed in the spirit world (if we take the scriptures to teach that Satan and his followers rebelled sometime before the creation of man). But not in the physical creation.

    Adam and Eve were not and could not be aware of it until they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
     
  19. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

    +513
    Canada
    Non-Denom
    Private
    Don't you mean it existed in the physical world all along (the universe consisting of opposites) but went unrecognised by man? Until today all animals except for man still don't recognize it..
     
  20. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    +4,987
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    I am talking about our physical universe.

    Satan was never a programmable robot. He had the power of choice, along with us and the other angels in heaven. Satan chose evil and suffered the consequence for it. Jeremiah's prophecy supports that God does not choose or decree evil for us.
    "For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11).

    My theology is Puritan as well as Pentecostal. Many Pentecostals are more Arminian, and that is why they often have problems with the assurance of salvation when they have battles with the flesh.

    God never "makes" anyone evil. Unconverted people choose evil because their nature is depraved though the sin of Adam. Only the finished work of Christ on the cross and the free grace of God can change a person so that they will be able to choose good instead of evil.

    God cannot force anyone to anything. He has given all men and angels free will to choose. If not, then no one would be held responsible for sin, because they could rightly say, "I was forced. I couldn't help it." If God made Satan rebel, then He would have to take responsibility for it, and He could not condemn Satan and his angels to hell, because He would be unjust.

    If that is the case then Paul would be lying when he said:
    "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Galatians 2:21). This shows that God's grace can be frustrated under certain circumstances.

    If God decreed evil, then why would He have pain and sorrow? Wouldn't the cause of pain and sorrow result from Him not being able to save all whom He desires to save? If the perishing of the wicked brings Him pain and sorrow, it means that He couldn't just save them just because He wanted to. He planned a way in which people could be saved, and that involved the sacrifice of His only Son, and the need for sinners to receive Christ as a condition for salvation. His grace caused Him to extend the invitation to all, but to His sorrow and pain, not all will accept the invitation.
     
Loading...