I’ll ask you yet again, would Adam and Eve have …

Comment on GC Delegates Vote to Tighten Language of Fundamental #6 on Creation by Sean Pitman.

I’ll ask you yet again, would Adam and Eve have been guilty of sin if they had eaten from the “forbidden tree” without first having been told by God that it was forbidden? Would Jesus have had to die to save humanity given such a situation? It’s a simple question…

You see, the Bible also talks about “sins of ignorance”, especially in the Mosaic Laws like in Leviticus 5:17-19. There are even punishments for those who commit “sins of ignorance”. However, this implies, does it not, that the ignorance among the Israelites was itself deliberate ignorance since the opportunity for knowledge for all regarding God’s commands to Israel was clearly available. If God had not made His commands easily available to all, it would have been completely unfair for God to punish anyone who happened to be ignorant of His commands. This is not consistent with the character of God.

The same is true of Mrs. White’s statements on “sins of ignorance”. Such sins only exist if there was opportunity to know but such an opportunity was deliberately rejected. Again, Adam and Eve would not have been guilty of a sin if God had not first told them about the “forbidden fruit”.

“We shall not be held accountable for the light that has not reached our perception, but for that which we have resisted and refused. A man could not apprehend the truth which had never been presented to him, and therefore could not be condemned for light he had never had.” – Ellen White, R&H, April 25, 1893.

Also, contrary to your position on the concept of “original sin”, the Bible specifically speaks against children being held responsible for the sins of the parents. According to the Bible children may inherit the parent’s weaknesses or tendencies, but they do not inherit the moral guilt of the parents (Deuteronomy 24:16, Jeremiah 31:29-30, Ezekiel 18:20). We are therefore born in a state of separation from God, which would inevitably lead to our own deliberate rebellion against the Royal Law if not for the atonement of Jesus. However, the guilt of such a rebellion against the Royal Law would be our own entirely – the result of our own deliberate freewill choices to rebel against the Law. The guilt is not inherited from our parents or from their parents all the way back to Adam and Eve. Each member of the human race can only point the finger of responsibility for the guilt of sin right back at his or her own self. That is why there is no good excuse for sin – for anyone. All have deliberately rebelled against the Law of Love. There can be no claim to the argument that “I didn’t know any better.” Everyone who sins knows better… and all have deliberately sinned. No one can claim honest ignorance here. Otherwise, there would be a good excuse for sin and, according to Ellen White, this would mean that there was no sin. True sin has no valid excuse or reason for its existence.

“Could excuse for [sin] be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin.”

– Ellen White, GC, p. 493

What better excuse than honest ignorance of a command of God?

Sean Pitman Also Commented

GC Delegates Vote to Tighten Language of Fundamental #6 on Creation
There’s no such thing as being “amoral” (unless one is born mentally handicapped) since all intelligent humans are given an inherent knowledge, as a Divine gift, of the Royal Law written on the heart (Hebrews 10:16 and Romans 2:14-16).

This is a key difference between humans and animals since animals are indeed amoral creatures. It is for this reason that all humans will be judged on a moral basis according to the Royal Law. This is not true for animals. Unlike humans, animals with not face a “Judgement Day”. Why not? Because, unlike humans, they are not morally responsible for the things that they do.

GC Delegates Vote to Tighten Language of Fundamental #6 on Creation
I disagree. This hypothetical situation speaks to your argument that “sins” can be and are committed in complete ignorance – which is nonsense. Being born in a state of separation from God isn’t the same thing as “sinning” against God. Such a condition may be the result of sin, but it isn’t the same thing as sinning – according to both the Bible and according to every sense of justice and fair play.

In any case, I do not care to rehash all this, yet again, with you. This ends our discussion on this topic – at least in this forum.

GC Delegates Vote to Tighten Language of Fundamental #6 on Creation
Obviously we disagree – as I’ve explained regarding this quote and many others like it from both the Bible and Ellen White in some detail already.

You erroneously equate simple “errors” (due to honest ignorance) with things like the deliberate rebellion of Adam and Eve – which did in fact require the blood of Christ as an atonement. Your view of “sin” here would make anyone who is not omniscient (and who is therefore inevitably bound to fall into various errors from time to time) a “sinner” – even the angels in Heaven! That’s simply a mistaken view of why Jesus had to die – an error that causes you to modify the actual words of Jesus Himself on this topic (John 9:41; John 15:22-24). Honest errors, which are not against the fundamental moral code or “Royal Law” of love, would simply require additional information to correct – not the blood of Jesus.

Again, I suggest that you move on and start your own blog on this topic. This forum simply isn’t the place for it.

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…

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull

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.

Sean Pitman

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
@Bill Sorensen:

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.

Sean Pitman

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull

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.

Sean Pitman

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…

Sean Pitman