Category Archives: Christianity
One of the most used arguments I run across when dealing with God’s sovereignty and hyper-Calvinism is over God’s “creation” of evil. You can use the Bible to point this out. John 1:3 says “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” and this would appear to be traumatic to the believer, but rest assured it isn’t. Here we need to look at a few more scriptures and get more information.
We can find a good description of the relationship good and evil have with one another in Isaiah 5:20:
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!
There are more, but this one should suffice. In it we see that good and evil are diametrically opposed one another by their comparisons to sweet/bitter and light/darkness. One is definitely not the other.
Now let’s look at Genesis 1:31 which says “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good…” Now God has declared all of His creation “very good.”
If God created evil then that would mean that God would think evil is good, but that is an absurdity when we read Isaiah 5:20. When we look at John 1:3, which shows nothing was made without Jesus, Isaiah 5:20, which illustrates good and evil as polar opposites, and Genesis 1:31, wherein God declares His work “very good,” we can come to two separate conclusions:
(1) Evil is not a created thing, and (2)God did not create evil.
So where does evil come from? It is, as best I can tell, what happens in the absence of God’s glory and became known to man at the Fall, in accordance with God’s judgment. It is nothing more than the absence of God and His eternal goodness, much like darkness takes over in the absence of light and cold takes over in the absence of heat. It is not a thing that can be interacted with, but a quality which we ascribe to people and their actions according to the laws of objective morality. So, while I’m not arguing for hyper-Calvinism, I am arguing that God did not and could not create evil.
P. S. Don’t fall into the trap of the KJV in Isaiah 45:7. That is simply a transliteration issue and almost every other version says “create calamity” which is typically in concert with God pronouncing judgment on a nation.
Observation – people resist change until change becomes irresistible.
Point A. – our job as Christians is to build one another in Christ so that we help one another.
Point B. – some Christians hold wrong beliefs. These are not always heretical, but can be demonstrably wrong and likely absorbed through the world instead of scripture.
Conclusion – it is quite often necessary to tear down one’s ideas (not the person himself, though it is very often taken this way) so that one can continue to grow.
Example A – Imagine the pear tree – It grows quickly and in a few years it bears fruit. If we do not trim the tree back at the top it will grow long and slender. It will produce fruit, but not near as much as it would if we simply snip the top once it reaches a desired height. The tree then grows outward, increasing its yield ten fold.
Example B – Imagine you are remodeling your home. You need more space or you need to make better use of what space you do have. Sheet rock has to be torn down. Flooring must be ripped up. Studs must be broken out. All these things must take place before newer and better walls, flooring, and sheetrock can be installed.
As we grow in Christ it is often necessary to get our ideas and stances torn down in order that new building and growing can occur. It hurts – we have to readjust our lenses. The initial outlook is bleak as we only see the destruction and confusion, but the end result is worth it if done correctly. When a fellow Christian calls out a belief he thinks is in error consider his heart and his maturity in the word. It might just be that God is using him to help you grow to be more like Christ even if you consider yourself to be mature.
I don’t blog very often, but when I do it’s usually because something is deeply troubling me or is just begging to be let out. This time, it’s the latest argument about Phil Robertson’s comments to GQ and his subsequent suspension from A&E. This isn’t a new thing. Television shows in the past have cancelled shows and hosts for voicing their personal beliefs, but that doesn’t make it okay.
Nor does it make it wrong.
A&E received some correspondence from the LGBT community, and it was enough to cause A&E to suspend Phil. Now, I’m not going to get into the details of what Phil said except for this – that he was not directly equivocating bestiality and homosexuality in any sense other than from a biblical world view that both are sins and are equal in that light. The non-Christian population does not understand this viewpoint. They want to claim that Phil is trying to make that point from a pop-culture perspective that largely adheres to moral relativism in which there is no absolute right or wrong and “whatever is right for you may not be right for me.”
While there are many logical problems with moral relativism, we must understand that this is not where Phil was coming from. In the Christian worldview, there is sin, and everyone is subjected to it, not just gays, racists, thieves, etc. With God, there is no graduated scale of punishment for sins. One transgression is equal to the next whether it’s a little white lie or murder. That’s hard to comprehend from a non-biblical worldview because, in our government, different punishments exist for different crimes. We base punishment upon how much harm is suffered by the victim. A white lie can be seen in a good light (it usually prevents someone’s feelings from being hurt) while a murder is seen as the ultimate crime since it robs someone else of life.
However, with God all sins require a verdict of guilty to be conveyed upon the offender. There is only one sentence – eternal suffering in hell. It’s a horrible place and it’s hard to fathom that if we mess up just once that’s all it takes. But the horrible truth is that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, “the wages of sin is death”, and “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (Rom. 3:23; Rom 6:23; James 2:10). But this death isn’t the physical death that we all experience; instead it is the spiritual death that God’s law requires as a result of our sin.
You may think that’s harsh. And it is—according to our world. But this isn’t our world we’re dealing with but God who is perfect in all His ways. However, the good news is that it is not His intention to abandon us to eternal suffering with no hope. Didn’t I say that God is perfect in all His ways? To illustrate His perfection He sent His son, Jesus Christ, who lived among us and bore God’s wrath on the behalf of those who would believe in Him. You see, not only are God’s mind and law perfect, but His heart and love are also faultless. He knew beforehand what Jesus would go through in order to bring about the salvation of man and fulfillment of His law, and He did it anyway because He loves us.
So you see, Phil isn’t uttering hate speech as many would see it. Instead, he is making us aware of our sins before God so that we would seek to be reconciled with Him and not suffer. And that is what real love is. Love isn’t turning a blind eye to your friend or neighbor when he is doing something you know will end badly for him. Rather, love is trying to help him see a better way so he would not suffer the consequences of his actions. And this is what the Bible teaches us that Jesus did – He spent years on this earth enlightening and giving us knowledge of a better way. Then He made the way possible by dying in our place so we wouldn’t have to suffer God’s wrath.
If you are gay, you need Jesus. If you are straight, you need Jesus. If you are involved in porn, you need Jesus. If you are a child, you need Jesus. If you are rich, poor, middle-class, homeless, black, white, or Hispanic, you need Jesus. Basically, if you are human you need Jesus! Some time ago, Christians made homosexuality out to be some super sin that is worse than all others. The truth is that all sins are equally deadly and all require forgiveness, which is what Jesus offers us.
If you would only be reconciled to Him today! Be done with all of the insecurity of wondering what will happen to you when you die. Accept Jesus as Lord of all creation, the son of God, and profess it with your tongue, begging Him today to forgive you for your transgressions against Him. He will be listening and waiting as He has all this time.
“Though we have sinned He has mercy and pardon, pardon for you, and for me.”