Comment on Academic Freedom Strikes Again! by Sean Pitman.
Neither the bible or EGW agree with your evaluation. The objective definition of sin just what you stated and quoted, “Sin is transgression of the law” and it does not require that we know we are transgressing to be a transgressor. This is the foundation of all your error. The law is objective and doesn’t care if you know what the law states or not.
The moral law, the Royal Law of Love in particular, is not like state laws since it is written on the hearts of everyone – even those who have never read the Bible (Romans 2:15).
Beyond this, you claim that sin exists before the Law is even transgressed! You claim that sin exists simply when someone with a fallen nature exists – before a single transgression is committed! This is like your police officer giving a ticket to someone for speeding just for being tempted to speed – even before the law is actually broken.
That’s your position and it is this position of yours that makes no sense whatsoever, paints God as arbitrary and capricious, makes it look like Jesus didn’t really live as I have to live and is not a valid representative, and goes against what both the Bible and Ellen White have to say about this issue:
“He took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature… He was made like unto his brethren, with the same susceptibilities, mental and physical… Christ did in reality unite the offending nature of man with His own sinless nature, because by this act of condescension, He would be enabled to pour out His blood in behalf of the fallen race.” (Ellen White, Manuscript 166, 1898, p. 9, 10 and Manuscript 181.3 and RH February 10, 1885 par. 7)
He had the same nature as the sinner although He knew no sin, in order that He might be able to condemn sin in the flesh and might be able to sympathize with those who were in the difficulties, dangers, and temptations that beset His own path while He walked with men. (EGW, Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, p. 176)
“It was in the order of God that Christ should take upon himself the form and nature of fallen man, that he might be made perfect through suffering, and himself endure the strength of Satan’s fierce temptations, that he might understand how to succor those who should be tempted.” (EGW, RH December 31, 1872)
“He would take man’s fallen nature and engage to cope with the strong foe who triumphed over Adam. He would overcome Satan, and in thus doing he would open the way for the redemption of those who would believe on him from the disgrace of Adam’s failure and fall.” (EGW, RH, February 24, 1874)
Why does Jesus make atonement for sins of ignorance if there is no guilt to make atonement for? You convolute objective guilt with subjective guilt and then claim there is no objective guilt, period. Any rational person can see that your view is not only non-biblical, but nonsense. But all this to defend a false and bogus view and claim we are not born sinners.
That’s just it. Jesus did not die for sins of ignorance. Jesus died because of a deliberate rebellion against the Royal Law. Did Adam and Eve sin because of ignorance? No. They knew that what they were doing was against the will of God. If they had not known this, then they would not have been guilty of sin (John 9:41). It’s as simple as that. God does not accuse anyone of sin because of honest ignorance. It was the deliberate rebellion against God that required the death of Jesus as atonement.
Gen. 3:15 is an act of grace by way of the atonement because we are born in sin and God says, “I will put enmity between Satan and the sinful children of Adam.”
Of course! It was the promised sacrifice of Jesus that allowed God to put enmity for sin within the hearts of mankind – all of mankind. And, it is for this reason that everyone with a rational mind has also been given freedom of will. One does not need to have ever read the Bible or hear the story of Jesus in order to have freedom of will – in order to be able to choose right from wrong. One need not be a “born again” Christian to have freedom of will either – contrary to your claims. The heathen individual who chooses to listen to his/her conscience and act in line with the Law of Love will be saved.
You might do well to plead grace and leniency based on the circumstances, just like Jesus does for us in the final judgment for sins we have committed in ignorance. He would never plead innocence. He will plead pardon by His blood for the guilt of the sins of ignorance.
You just don’t get it. If the Law is written on your heart, there is no such thing as a “sin of ignorance”. You might make “mistakes of ignorance”, but these mistakes are not the same thing as “sins” if they do not break the Royal Law that was written on the heart. Your mistake is to believe that all mistakes are “sins” that require the blood of Christ. That’s simply not true. As previously discussed, even the angels in heaven make “mistakes of ignorance”, yet are not guilty of sin.
Give it up, Sean. You are so wrong, no rational thinking person would agree that a person is not guilty of breaking a law just because they don’t know what the law is.
Come on Bill, carefully consider that not all mistakes are in the same category and not all laws are “written on the heart.” The Royal Law is written on the heart and this is the basis of morality and the very definition of “sin”. It would simply and very clearly be unfair and arbitrary for God to define the sin of rebellion against the Law of Love as someone making an honest mistake. That’s just nonsense Bill. It makes God look petty and evil. And, this concept of yours is specifically spoken against by the Bible. Nowhere does God accuse anyone of sin when one honestly didn’t know any better. Such mistakes of ignorance are overlooked by God as being a simple matter of additional education – not requiring the blood of Jesus since the Law of Love was not broken.
As for Georges comment below about Mother Teresa. If she kept Sunday in her ignorance she is still breaking the law, but Jesus may plead pardon by way of His atonement if she did not know the truth of the matter. Jesus will never say she is innocent and if so, she would need no atonement nor the blood of Jesus to apply pardon for her guilt in breaking God’s law.
This is like arguing that if Jesus has been born in a culture that didn’t know about Sabbath observance that Jesus Himself would have been sinning if He was brought up as a Sunday-keeper. That’s a mistaken view of the Law. Mistakes of ignorance simply are not the same thing as deliberate rebellion, or sin, against the Royal Law of Love.
Original sin is so clearly biblical that you have to “song and dance” around the obvious to deny it. All the fancy footwork in the world will not support any false idea that some one is not breaking the law if they don’t know it.
Again, Jesus specifically and repeatedly said that not knowing means not being guilty of sin. You simply re-word what Jesus actually said so that it fits better with your theology. However, the words that Jesus actually said are quite clear.
In the end, it is a blatant attack on the gospel of forgiveness of sin. And the way you butcher up the nature of Christ is tragic and despicable. We are born sinners. Get over it and follow the format God has ordained for the salvation of humanity.
Again, you fail to address the numerous statements in the Bible and Ellen White where it says that Jesus Himself was born with “sinful flesh” – yet without sin. As Mrs. White very clearly explains, “He had the same nature as the sinner although He knew no sin, in order that He might be able to condemn sin in the flesh and might be able to sympathize with those who were in the difficulties, dangers, and temptations that beset His own path while He walked with men.” (EGW, Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, p. 176)
How do you get around such clear statements that undermine your own claims? You simply don’t address such statements . . .
Again, we are born with a fallen nature, but that’s not the same thing as sinning – as actually breaking the Law. Such requires an actual action, an actual choice of the free moral agent, before actual sin can spring into existence.
Well, you are still better than other forums who are bigots who refuse to even dialogue on this issue and think they will “save the church” from all apostates when they are apostates themselves. What a mess the church is in with no evidence of any real desire to know the truth that Jesus said, “Will set you free.”
Your defense of creation is reasonably commendable. But in this subject of sin and atonement, your view is far from biblical teaching.
You have a long way to go in your understanding of the nature of God and the nature of true sin and rebellion – the reason why we are here and why Jesus had to die to save us. May God continue to lead you toward the greater light on such things as I do believe that they are important to understand – though not vital to salvation.
Beyond this, however, this really isn’t the topic of this forum and I don’t think I will allow future comments along these lines under future articles. Lots of people try to post comments that are completely off-topic and generally I do not allow it. I’ve been lenient with you because of your past history of generally being on topic in this forum. However, I think you’ve pretty much presented what you have to say a great many times without presenting anything new or substantively addressing the main counterarguments against your position. So, I really see no need to continue to address the very same claims over and over again.
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
While serial killers may hear voices and attribute these voices to the voice of God, it is not crazy or schizophrenic or otherwise insane to recognize the voice of God speaking to us. While the voice of the one True God is not usually an audible voice (unlike the voices that often speak quite loudly to the insane, criminal or otherwise), it is still clearly recognizable for those who are in line with the Spirit of God speaking to the heart and mind.
As King David once pointed out, God’s voice can be recognized in nature (Psalms 19:1-3). God’s voice is also present in Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16) with the Divine Signature especially noticeable in the prophecies of Scripture (2 Peter 1:19) – since only a God can know the future so perfectly (Isaiah 44:8). There is also the undeniable power of conversion from a life hopelessly sunk in sin and self-destructive behavior that, with a prayer for Divine help, has been lifted from the pit and turned into something beautiful and productive. Such a changed life is, perhaps, the greatest illustration of the voice and power of God working with fallen humanity. Of course, it is also hard to deny those moments of inspiration and insight that seem to come out of nowhere at just the right time (Luke 12:11-12). Let’s also not forget answers to prayer that are, in my own experience, simply unexplainable outside of Divine power – a very real form of Divine communication if you ask me.
Of course, as our friend Wesley has artfully described, many of these revelations are only detectable by the mind that is already open to hearing the voice of God – already open to the leading of His Spirit. If the mind is not open to Spiritual things, then Spiritual communications will not be perceived – even if someone is literally raised from the dead before one’s very eyes (Luke 16:31).
Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
The problem is that sin makes us so insane that we don’t really know what is “good”. That’s is why God has to specifically remind us not to “kill, steal, murder… etc.” He wouldn’t have to do this if we were actually sane on this planet. But, we’re not…
Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
No one actually believes that intelligent design is not rationally detectable behind various artifacts and phenomena that are clearly the result of deliberate design and intelligent intent. It is only in an effort to avoid acknowledging “God” that secular scientists who have taken on philosophical naturalism put forth superhuman effort to avoid admitting what is otherwise obvious.
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
Science and Methodological Naturalism
Very interesting passage. After all, if scientists are honest with themselves, scientific methodologies are well-able to detect the existence of intelligent design behind various artifacts found in nature. It’s just the personal philosophy of scientists that makes them put living things and the origin of the fine-tuned universe “out of bounds” when it comes to the detection of intelligent design. This conclusion simply isn’t dictated by science itself, but by a philosophical position, a type of religion actually, that strives to block the Divine Foot from getting into the door…
Why is it that creationists are afraid to acknowledge the validity of Darwinism in these settings? I don’t see that these threaten a belief in God in any way whatsoever.
The threat is when you see no limitations to natural mindless mechanisms – where you attribute everything to the creative power of nature instead of to the God of nature.
God has created natural laws that can do some pretty amazing things. However, these natural laws are not infinite in creative potential. Their abilities are finite while only God is truly infinite.
The detection of these limitations allows us to recognize the need for the input of higher-level intelligence and creative power that goes well beyond what nature alone can achieve. It is here that the Signature of God is detectable.
For those who only hold a naturalistic view of the universe, everything is attributed to the mindless laws of nature… so that the Signature of God is obscured. Nothing is left that tells them, “Only God or some God-like intelligent mind could have done this.”
That’s the problem when you do not recognize any specific limitations to the tools that God has created – when you do not recognize the limits of nature and what natural laws can achieve all by themselves.
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.
God did not create the broken condition of any human baby – neither the physical or moral brokenness of any human being. God is responsible for every good thing, to include the spark or breath of life within each one of us. However, He did not and does not create those things within us that are broken or bad.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?'” Matthew 13:27-28
Of course, all humans are indeed born broken and are in a natural state of rebellion against God. However, God is not the one who created this condition nor is God responsible for any baby being born with any kind of defect in character, personality, moral tendency, or physical or genetic abnormality. God did not create anyone with such brokenness. Such were the natural result of rebellion against God and heading the temptations of the “enemy”… the natural result of a separation from God with the inevitable decay in physical, mental, and moral strength.
Of course, the ones who are born broken are not responsible for their broken condition either. However, all of us are morally responsible for choosing to reject the gift of Divine Grace once it is appreciated… and for choosing to go against what we all have been given to know, internally, of moral truth. In other words, we are responsible for rebelling against the Royal Law written on the hearts of all mankind.
This is because God has maintained in us the power to be truly free moral agents in that we maintain the Power to choose, as a gift of God (Genesis 3:15). We can choose to accept or reject the call of the Royal Law, as the Holy Spirit speaks to all of our hearts…
Remember the statement by Mrs. White that God is in no wise responsible for sin in anyone at any time. God is working to fix our broken condition. He did not and does not create our broken condition. Just as He does not cause Babies to be born with painful and lethal genetic defects, such as those that result in childhood leukemia, He does not cause Babies to be born with defects of moral character either. God is only directly responsible for the good, never the evil, of this life.
Again, your all-or-nothing approach to the claims of scientists isn’t very scientific. Even the best and most famous of scientists has had numerous hair-brained ideas that were completely off base. This fact does not undermine the good discoveries and inventions that were produced.
Scientific credibility isn’t based on the person making the argument, but upon the merits of the argument itself – the ability of the hypothesis to gain predictive value when tested. That’s it.
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Don’t be so obtuse here. We’re not talking about publishing just anything in mainstream journals. I’ve published several articles myself. We’re talking about publishing the conclusion that intelligent design was clearly involved with the origin of various artifactual features of living things on this planet. Try getting a paper that mentions such a conclusion published…