@Bill Sorensen: Inherent in her self defense, she is blaming …

Comment on Biblical Interpretation and Credibility by Sean Pitman.

@Bill Sorensen:

Inherent in her self defense, she is blaming God for not giving her enough “evidence” to make an intelligent decision. So, she claimed she was innocent of any rebellion.

This is like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar blaming his parents for leaving the jar where he could reach it.

Eve’s excuse was of the same character. She knew that she had been given plenty of evidence and warning. She really had no valid excuse – and she knew it. She was simply desperate at this point to point the finger anywhere but at herself where she knew the blame really belonged.

Let me repeat, it was God who had provided the significant weight of evidence in this case – not the Serpent. Consider, the comments of Mrs. White in this regard:

Our first parents chose to believe the words, as they thought, of a serpent; yet he had given them no tokens of his love. He had done nothing for their happiness and benefit, while God had given them everything that was good for food and pleasant to the sight. Everywhere the eye might rest was abundance and beauty; yet Eve was deceived by the serpent, to think that there was something withheld which would make them wise, even as God. Instead of believing and confiding in God, she basely distrusted His goodness and cherished the words of Satan.

EGW, SR, p. 37-38.

Note again that Eve’s trust of the words of the Serpent over those of God was sinful precisely because she was rejecting the one who had shown her real evidence of his love for her. If God had not done all of these things for her, she would not be guilty of deliberately severing a loving relationship that had been built on abundant evidence.

Again, if any valid excuse or reason for sin could be presented, it would cease to be sin. It would no longer be a form of insanity – of deliberate rebellion against known truth.

Did she have “adequate” evidence? As Christians, we say “yes”. Did she have absolute evidence? The answer is “no”.

There is always room for a free moral agent to claim that he/she has honest doubts if he/she so chooses – however crazy that choice may be. That’s the very definition of moral freedom. However, only God knows if those doubts really are truly honest – if one has or has not deliberately rejected known truth or has deliberately turned down the opportunity to know the truth. God knows, with absolute perfection, what a person knows and to what degree.

It is for this reason, of course, that only God can perfectly judge the heart of a person – their true moral character. You and I cannot judge in this manner because we do not know if another person is or is not being sincere with the same degree of perfection that God uses.

The only question to be decided is if created being have “adequate” evidence to make a decision in God’s favor.

Those who are saved at last all say, “yes”. And the lost all say “no”.

You’re mistaken. The lost are not lost because they don’t have adequate evidence. Even they will readily admit, at the end of time, that all the evidence is in God’s favor and that they fully recognize the justice in God’s actions and in their exclusion from Heaven. They will all bow the knee before God, even Satan, and fully admit their own errors and God’s goodness. If it were just a matter of evidence, God would provide it. The problem is that it isn’t a matter of evidence, but of motive. That’s why the case of those who will be eternally lost is hopeless. There really is nothing God could have done to save them – to change their minds. It is also for this reason that sin is a form of insanity. It makes no rational sense. If it were just a matter of information or evidence, it would make rational sense. There would be a rational reason for its existence – i.e., a lack of enough evidence.

Consider again the words of Mrs. White in this regard:

In the day of final judgment, every lost soul will understand the nature of his own rejection of truth. The cross will be presented, and its real bearing will be seen by every mind that has been blinded by transgression. Before the vision of Calvary with its mysterious Victim, sinners will stand condemned. Every lying excuse will be swept away. Human apostasy will appear in its heinous character. Men will see what their choice has been. Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy will then have been made plain. In the judgment of the universe, God will stand clear of blame for the existence or continuance of evil. It will be demonstrated that the divine decrees are not accessory to sin. There was no defect in God’s government, no cause for disaffection. When the thoughts of all hearts shall be revealed, both the loyal and the rebellious will unite in declaring, “Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? . . . for Thy judgments are made manifest.” Rev. 15:3, 4.

EGW, DA, p. 58

The only difference between the righteous and the wicked will be motive. Both will fully know and understand the truth and recognize it as the truth before God. However, the wicked will hate what they know is true while the righteous will love what they know is true.

He claimed if God had always given them clear light, there never would be any rebellion and there never could be.

This is also not true. Lucifer knew from the beginning that he was in the wrong. Yet, because of his pride, he refused to admit the error of his ways and come back into a loving relationship with God. It is for this reason that he is eternally lost.

So, he concludes with all his followers, that God alone is responsible for sin.

Nope. He concludes, as do his followers, that God was right all along. It is just that this conclusion of truth does not change their hearts to love the truth.

Yes, there is evidence. But it is in the scriptural revelation. And I suggest that nothing transcends prophecy which is more than adequate to build a viable Christian faith.

As I’ve already explained to you many times, even prophecy is dependent upon empirical evidence (i.e., empirical science) for its rational validity.

Sean Pitman

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
To All,

Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of this thread and this website. There are many hot potato issues within the Adventist Church. Other topics that are not directly related to the limited scope of this website will most likely not be posted or will be deleted. You are welcome to carry on such conversations privately via the chat group that is provided by this website.

Thank you.

Educate Truth Staff

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
@Bill Sorensen:

Everything anyone does outside of Christ is sin. Even honest mistakes made by the angels of heaven are “forgiven” by virtue of their relationship with Christ.

Yes, it could be called “sin” in a comprehensive and generic application. In the bible “sin” has many aspects and defined in application in many ways.

Don’t you think that Jesus may have accidentally stepped on someone’s foot, or accidentally bumped into someone, while on this Earth while subject to limited knowledge as we are subject? Did Jesus “sin” when making such honest mistakes?

Your problem is that you define “sin” as any and all mistakes – even an angel accidentally stepping on his friend’s foot would be sinful or evil according to you. And, it seems, as if such “sins” will continue on for eternity in Heaven due to a lack of perfect knowledge.

What then makes the sin of eating the forbidden fruit so different? Adam and Eve were created “in Christ”, just as unfallen angels are. Why then did their sin cause them to be removed from their garden home and place them in the need of the sacrificial suffering and death of Jesus on the cross? Why wouldn’t an angel accidentally stepping on his friend’s foot require the same actions on the part of God?

What you don’t seem to understand is that there are different types of mistakes or “sins” if you want to call them all by the same word. Certain mistakes are not sins against one’s conscience and are therefore not moral wrongs and do not lead to a lost relationship with God – i.e., they do not lead to death.

The difference between accidental mistakes and deliberate sins against one’s neighbor is that accidents are not sins against one’s conscience; against God. Therefore, they do not lead to a loss of one’s relationship with God. Deliberate sins against one’s neighbor, on the other hand, do lead to a loss of relationship with both one’s neighbor and with God.

It is for this reason that sins against one’s conscience are in a whole different class altogether from truly honest accidental mistakes. The conscience is what defines the morality of an individual – what defines true obedience and/or rebellion against God or “sin” – i.e., true iniquity.

You know, at this point I’m not sure if there is anything further I can share with you on this topic that will help you see the difference between honest mistakes and true moral sins? I think you’ve made your position look pretty silly by now. I don’t think very many people are going to find it very difficult to see the difference between accidentally stepping on someone’s foot vs. what Adam and Eve did in eating the forbidden fruit.

For these reasons, comments regarding the supposed moral standing or “sinfulness” of those who hold to opposing doctrinal perspectives from me or you or anyone else contributing to comments in this forum will not be posted. While we disagree with what certain staff members have done and are doing at LSU, and think that these individuals should either resign or be removed from their positions as paid representatives of the Adventist Church within our schools, we do not judge their moral standing before God.

There will be no further discussion along these lines.

Sean Pitman

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
@Bill Sorensen:

Even your angel in heaven illustration will not support the idea that Gabriel is innocent and/or not guilty. It just means forgiveness is a natural result of ignorance. It is a spiritual faux pau. Not unlike a simular incident in this world where you might bump into someone by accident and say, “Oh, excuse me, I didn’t see you there.”

Oh, but are such errors sinful? – in the same sense that they would require the blood of Jesus for atonement? Why wouldn’t such errors be classified in the same manner with the sin of eating the forbidden fruit? – which did require the blood of Jesus for atonement?

The issue is pardon, or no pardon. Not, guilty or not guilty. People are pardoned because they are guilty, and we don’t plead innocence before God just because we didn’t know better.

You’re mistaken. People have successfully used the argument of ignorance with God many times. – Gen. 20:3-7 NIV.

Ignorance means that one has not sinned against one’s conscience. A deliberate sin against one’s own conscience, against what one knew to be right, is what demanded the blood of Jesus for atonement.

According to your view, sin will always continue in Heaven for ever and ever. As long as we are subject to imperfect knowledge, accidents will happen – even in Heaven. While we will no doubt apologize for these accidence, they will not be classified as moral “sins”.

Note that Mrs. White and the Bible both point out that moral sin will not arise a second time in God’s universe.

Never will evil again be manifest. Says the word of God: “Affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:9.

EGW, GC, p. 504

This situation would be impossible given your view of sin and your misunderstanding as to what makes sin so evil.

Sean Pitman

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

After the Flood
Thank you Ariel. Hope you are doing well these days. Miss seeing you down at Loma Linda. Hope you had a Great Thanksgiving!

The Flood
Thank you Colin. Just trying to save lives any way I can. Not everything that the government does or leaders do is “evil” BTW…

The Flood
Only someone who knows the future can make such decisions without being a monster…

Pacific Union College Encouraging Homosexual Marriage?
Where did I “gloss over it”?

Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
I fail to see where you have convincingly supported your claim that the GC leadership contributed to the harm of anyone’s personal religious liberties? – given that the GC leadership does not and could not override personal religious liberties in this country, nor substantively change the outcome of those who lost their jobs over various vaccine mandates. That’s just not how it works here in this country. Religious liberties are personally derived. Again, they simply are not based on a corporate or church position, but rely solely upon individual convictions – regardless of what the church may or may not say or do.

Yet, you say, “Who cares if it is written into law”? You should care. Everyone should care. It’s a very important law in this country. The idea that the organized church could have changed vaccine mandates simply isn’t true – particularly given the nature of certain types of jobs dealing with the most vulnerable in society (such as health care workers for example).

Beyond this, the GC Leadership did, in fact, write in support of personal religious convictions on this topic – and there are GC lawyers who have and continue to write personal letters in support of personal religious convictions (even if these personal convictions are at odds with the position of the church on a given topic). Just because the GC leadership also supports the advances of modern medicine doesn’t mean that the GC leadership cannot support individual convictions at the same time. Both are possible. This is not an inconsistency.