I know you don’t agree with this line of reasoning, …

Comment on Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull by Bill Sorensen.

I know you don’t agree with this line of reasoning, so why pick a bone with me?

Sean Pitman

I guess we disagreed on how the word “paradox” was used and what it means in light of God’s kingdom and government.

The whole controversy between Christ and Satan is over the issue of justice and mercy and who is responsible for sin.

Satan’s claim is this, because God is the creator, He alone should hold the final responsibility for who we are and how we act. So, if we do anything wrong, it must be God fault, based on two possible reasons.

1. He created us wrong.

2. He did not give us enough viable information so we could make a responsible choice.

or, possibily both of the above. At any rate, we know Satan has accused God of being held accountable for the final responsibility of sin.

As Christians, we deny both claims of Lucifer and God has demonstrated in the incarnation of His Son that both claims are false.

We agree that it was ethical for God to create moral beings and hold them accountable for their actions if they rebeled against Him because they have/had enough information to make the right choice and the ability to do so.

We understand that “sin is transgression of the law”, and “whatsoever is not of faith is sin”.

So, Lucifer understood that if there was no “law” (meaning moral law) there would be no need of grace. And he solved the paradox by doing away with the idea of moral law. We can’t sin if there is no law to transgress.

So, Lucifer was opting for natural law and reasoned that by the simple rule of trial and error, all could and would eventually do what is right without commandments by an authority that would define right and wrong. God’s authority was not necessary, nor the threat of punishment for transgression.

Neither would anyone need the mediation of Christ as the mediator of creation so Christ could simply be eliminated from the equation.

But sinless angels are not sinless in themselves as all created beings “come short of the glory of God.” They all approach God by way of Christ.

Sin then is not simply an attack on justice, but an attack on grace as well. So the word “law” as used in the bible includes grace, just as the word “grace” includes law. They stand and/or fall together.

Christ stands in the middle of the paradox of justice and mercy, and thus the paradox is workable and viable. And so the paradox can be explained, but it is still a paradox.

None the less, since God creates something from nothing, and our existence is not primarily at the outset based on any law or justice from our perspective, it is pure grace and nothing more as the reason God created us.

Any reason for God to create us is found solely in Himself. Since we had no choice or decision in the creation scenario, it is Satan’s contention that we should have no choice in our on going existence.

God is ultimately and solely responsible for existence. And according to Satan, should be held solely accountable for our on going existence as well.

His logic is beyond challenge. But we can not discern all the implications of the kingdom of God by human logic. The bible has a spiritual sense of “logic” that goes beyond finite reasoning. And it is only by revelation by way of the bible that man can discern the reasonableness of God’s kingdom. Even though it is paradoxical, it can be understood as “spiritual things, are spiritually discerned.”

The meaning and value of our existence is bound up in the way God has created us and the “responsible freedom” He has ordained to give value to our being.

So, while God alone by His own freewill created us, He has ordained that our continued existence is dependent on our own choices and decisions. And in this way, value is attached to our choices and the more both of penalty and reward results from our decisions, the more value we can discern in making a correct decision.

If we agree with Satan who contends for “irresponsible freedom” then our decisions have no value at all and our quality of life is zero.

So man must be informed that all his actions and decisions will determine his own going existence, and without this motivation, he will never obey the law of God nor see any need to.

Any implication that we can be “saved” without obeying God’s law is Satanic in its origin and final meaning. It ultimately destroys the value of man and his existence. It is the ultimate false idea of “entitlement” philosophy that claims God owes us eternal life, even if we do nothing to sustain it.

If a political entitlement philosophy is bad and destroys the motivation for humans to better themselves by effort and responsibility, it is nothing compared to a spiritual entitlement where God is held solely responsibility for our ongoing existence.

Only if and when the paradox is maintain and sustained can people comprehend, appreciate, and participate in the responsible freedom God has ordained for all His created beings.

Bill Sorensen

Bill Sorensen Also Commented

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
@Sean Pitman:

Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.

Paul says, “Sold in in.” and “Children of wrath just like everyone else.”

You may not like this biblical reality, but it is true none the less.

And yes, God has also provided a way of escape so that all who He has created “in sin” can be “born again” spiritually and escape their heritage of sin and shame.

I know a lot of people don’t like this idea, but it is true anyway. We are born lost with the potential to be saved if we accept Jesus and His atonement that is provisional for “whosoever will may come.”

Cain didn’t like it either and resisted the exhortation of his brother, Abel, to offer a sin offering because he was a sinner. Cain says, “No, I’ll bring a thank offering, but no sin offering. Sin is not my fault. God created me this way.”

Most people will be outside looking in because they agree with Cain but a few will be inside looking out because they agree with Abel.

Bill Sorensen

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
@Sean Pitman:

Sean said…..

“God is not the cause of sin or the actions of the sinner – or the results of such actions that naturally follow. Such are the result of the free-will actions of free moral agents. God created free moral agents with the ability to act independent of His own will.”

Your explanation affirms that there is a sense in which God is responsible for sin. He did not have to create free moral agents.

But it also explains why God is not responsible for sin. As long as He gives every moral being the ability to comprehend the results of their actions, and the information to make the right choice, then God is not responsible for the choice.

And this is the whole issue of the Great Controversy, isn’t it? Who is responsible for sin?

Lucifer’s argument is this, if God has made us correctly and given us all the right information to make a correct determination, it would be impossible to sin. So, either we were not make correctly, or, we do not have enough information to make the right decision.

More than a few of the angels followed his reasoning and agreed with him. And by far the majority of humanity agrees with Lucifer as well. Sinner always impute sin to God and God alone.

Those of us who believe the bible take a biblical view. God created us and has given us enough viable information in the word and by His Spirit to agree with God that He is not ultimately responsible for sin.

While we don’t know everything there is to know about God or anything else for that matter, we do know enough to be held accountable for our decisions and actions.

And thus the Great Controversy is being played out on this earth and will be culminated in the end with everyone who agrees with God inside the city and everyone who agrees with Lucifer outside.

Let’s not charge God with being responsible for sin by continuing in rebellion against His kingdom and will for His created beings. We have enough information to make the right decision and the Holy Spirit to confirm and affirm us in doing it.

Keep the faith

Bill Sorensen

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
Sean said…..

“You mean God does not cease to create good things just because evil is present.”

That’s what I said, Sean. “God does not cease to create just because sin is present. So babies are born in sin.”

But the final point is this, if you know something can happen or will happen when you do something, there is accountability on some level.

On the other hand, since what God created were free moral agents, the only question is whether what He created had enough understanding and ability to make the right choice and not sin.

As Christians, we believe they did. And in this conclusion, each being is held responsible for their own actions. Even if God knew they would sin before He created them.

This enigma is not resolved by human reasoning but by divine revelation. For human reasoning alone must necessarily conclude that since God knew they would sin, He is in some way responsible for their doing it. By virtue of the fact that He did not have to create them.

But we see that God’s foreknowledge can not be considered a factor, and only the element of their ability to make a right choice can be considered in the end.

So, we conclude that God is not responsible for sin when there was no viable reason for any to do so. In fact, we must conclude that apart from God’s foreknowledge, He has no way of discerning that any would ever sin, since as you agree, sin is a kind of spiritual insanity.

In which case, sin can not and will not happen because there is no viable cause. Even the possibility of sin is not a viable cause since their is no legitimate motivation for its existence.

Thus, the plan of salvation was formulated by God before sin was a fact based solely on His foreknowledge. He had no reason to assume it would ever exist. There was no fault in the way He had created moral beings. And there was no viable cause for sin and rebellion.

None the less, the wicked still accuse God of sin since He created the possibility of it. We see that God created moral beings in the framework of responsible freedom. As long as they continue to act accordingly, in harmony with God’s will, they will continue in responsible freedom.

The wicked opted for irresponsible freedom like the “entitlement” society in our world today. Such a concept is impossible and have people remain what God created them to be. Ultimately, they want no quality of life based on the responsible freedom God has ordained. And God grants them their wish by their final destruction.

Bill Sorensen

Recent Comments by Bill Sorensen

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
@Sean Pitman:

Well, Sean, I was not as confrontational as Wesley who said, “Those who deny the doctrine of original sin are heathen still.” … [deleted]

[Oh please…

If you want to have a real conversation, great. However, unless you actually respond substantively to the questions and counter arguments posed to you, without your needless pejoratives, I’m not going to continue posting your repetitive comments on this topic in this forum…]

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
And the topic at hand is “What does it take to be a real SDA?”

It takes someone who is willing to follow the bible and its teaching in every particular. If you don’t believe this, you are not a “Protestant” SDA.

You then bring up the Trinity. Which is fine. But that is certainly not the only thing that qualifies for the topic of your thread.

So, here is what you stated to me…..”To be morally “guilty” of something, however, requires that one is consciously aware of what is right, but deliberately chooses to do what is wrong instead (James 4:17). Without the interplay of free will, there is no moral “guilt”.”

So a person is “born” selfish, proud, coveteous, vain….etc, but not “guilty” of being, selfish, proud, coveteous, vain….etc. Your limited view of “guilt” is not biblical. Half a truth is equal to a lie. There is certainly conscience guilt. But guilt is more than awareness of right and wrong. “Sin is transgression of the law”, and the law doesn’t care what you know, or don’t know. If you break the law, you are guilty of breaking the law.

Just admit the truth, Sean. But don’t accuse me of going outside the intent of this thread when it was not specifically stated as a thread about the Trinity.

Just “man up” once in a while and admit you are wrong. We are all born guilty in the eyes of God. And our ignorance does not free us from this fact.

Bill Sorensen

Science and Methodological Naturalism
Well, Sean, this article is about Dr. Taylor and his argument to negate the bible. Maybe you and Goldstein can persuade him with your arguments.

The evidences of nature function as a “law that is a schoolmaster” to lead us to the bible. “The heavens declare the glory of God…….” but still does not tell us who God is nor the function of His government concerning the moral law.

In fact, natural law is so convoluted by sin that “survival of the fittest” is the only logical conclusion.

At any rate, I wish you well in your endeavors to support the creation account in scripture.
Take care.

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
@Sean Pitman:

I read Kevin Paulson’s article and he “double talks” around the obvious to deny and/or ignore the reality of what the bible teaches and EGW confirms.

Babies are born guilty of sin because they are born with the spirit of sin. They have no power to do anything but sin unless and until by the special grace of God, they are given the ability to “choose”.

If you add God’s grace to the bible definition of original sin, you can make man free to act all you want. Original sin has to do with the fall of Adam and the results. It is not about God’s grace that has been added by way of the cross. So EGW has stated clearly in support of the fall and its effects on Adam’s children.

” God declares, “I will put enmity.” This enmity is not naturally entertained. When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy. The apostate is never at rest, except as he obtains sympathy and support by inducing others to follow his example. For this reason, fallen angels and wicked men unite in desperate companionship. Had not God specially interposed, Satan and man would have entered into an alliance against Heaven; and instead of cherishing enmity against Satan, the whole human family would have been united in opposition to God.” {GC88 505.2}

Those who deny original sin and its effects on the children of Adam always appeal to the atonement and the grace of God. But we see that God “put” enmity between Satan and the human family.

As Luther said to Erasmus in their discussion on this matter when Erasmus claimed the will was free by way of grace,
“Once you add grace you can make the will as free as you like.”

Original sin is not about grace nor what man can do once grace is implied and involved. Original sin is about what man is after the fall apart from grace and/or God’s special action super-imposed in the situation. So, if there is no original sin, neither is there any need for grace.

Kevin Paulson convolutes the issue just like other SDA scholars by making no distinction between how man is after the fall with or without grace.

So, in light of original sin, David says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.” Ps. 58

David knows apart from God’s grace, no one can do anything but sin. Original sin highlights the necessity and value of the atonement and what it truly means to be “born again.”

Hear the words of Jesus, “That which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit, ye must be born again.”

Original sin is exactly why Jesus made this comment. No one can read and understand the bible who denies the reality of original sin and its effects on all the children of Adam. We are all born guilty of sin, even before we act. So Isaiah says, “Write the vision and make it plain, that wayfareing men, though fools, need not err therein.”

In closing, original sin is not about the atonement nor its meaning and application to humanity. It is about man as he comes from Adam lost and without hope, power, choice or any ability to do anything about his situation.

LSU memorandum confirms Educate Truth’s allegations
Dr. Stone said…..

” Undermining a doctrine usually occurs in small steps so as not to attract too much attention from the higher ups.”

And this was my point in my post above. And some of the “higher ups” are involved in the change and attacks on the message.

As we near the end, the issues will eventually bring a final polarization. Everyone will eventually “lock” into what ever view they subscribe to. We see this more and more on the forums. Nobody changes their mind.

Those who “lock” into the bible will necessarily band together and those who attack it will do the same. This is really the final test. The creation/evolution discussion will culminate in the near future with many simply acknowledging they don’t really believe and accept the biblical account. Not only on creation, but more than a few other issues as well.

Politics will cease and truth will be defended without the ongoing patronizing of all those who attack bible Adventism. The bible is not as ambiguous as many would like to claim. So, while the Sabbath is still a unifying doctine, it will also be the devisive factor as well.

Those who believe and understand historic bible Adventism, also know it will stand against opposition from within as well as without. But the struggle will intensify and as EGW has well said, “Everything that can be shaken, will be shaken.”

Isn’t this the scenario today? Looks like it to me.

Bill Sorensen