Is God the Author of Sin? Calvinism Refuted – Jesse Morrell

IS GOD THE AUTHOR OF SIN?

CALVINISM REFUTED

BY JESSE MORRELL

This is an excerpt from the book, “The Natural Ability of ManA Study on Free Will & Human Nature” by Jesse Morrell. To order this book: Click Here

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CHAPTER THREE 

THE CREATION & SIN OF MAN

In the beginning, when God created Adam and Eve, He created them in His image (Gen. 1:26). Just as God has the power of thought (intelligence), the ability of feelings (emotions), and the power of self-determination (free will), so do those created in His image. God created them free moral agents, with all the necessary conditions or qualifications of moral agency.

Adam and Eve were free to choose their behavior for themselves and consequently they were free to decide what their moral character would be. Created morally innocent, they were now free to choose what is good and as a result have a good character, or to choose evil and as a result have an evil character. While God created their constitution and gave them a free will, they themselves would create their character by how they would use their free will.

Jed Smock said, “God can create beings with the potential for virtue, but God cannot create by fiat a morally upright person. He formed Adam in his own image, that is Adam was a sentient and rational being with the potential to be God-like in character through his moral choices.”1

Since God created man a moral being, capable of virtue or vice, He gave them a moral law to influence their decisions. The moral law was not impossible for them to obey, since they were created in the image of God. By giving them a moral law, He gave them the opportunity to be obedient or disobedient. By forbidding the tree of knowledge, God gave them the opportunity of forming good moral character.

God is good and He wanted the good of His creation; therefore, He did not place them in the Garden with the forbidden tree so that they would disobey Him, but so that they would obey Him. As Eusebius said, “Every rational soul has naturally a good free-will, formed for the choice of what is good.”2 Clement of Alexandria said, “This was the law from the first, that virtue should be the object of voluntary choice.”3 By granting Adam and Eve the freedom of doing wrong, God gave them the freedom of doing right. God gave them free will and a moral law so that they could do what was right. A person has good moral character if they could do what is wrong but choose to do what is right instead.  For that reason, temptation can be considered good in this sense, which is why we should count it a joy when we are tempted (Jas. 1:2), because there is a blessing for those who overcome (Jas. 1:12). The opportunity to do what is wrong is a good thing, because every opportunity to do what is wrong is an opportunity to do what is right.

Pelagius said, “Our most excellent Creator wished us to be able to do either but actually to do only one, that is, good, which he also commanded, giving us the capacity to do evil only so that we might do his will by exercising our own. That being so, this very capacity to do evil is also good – good, I say, because it makes the good part better by making it voluntary and independent, not bound by necessity but free to decide for itself.”4

Clement of Rome, who was the Apostle Paul’s companion, said, “But, you say, God ought to have made us at first so that we should not have thought at all of such things. You who say this do not know what is free-will, and how it is possible to be really good; that he who is good by his own choice is really good; but he who is made good by another under necessity is not really good, because he is not what he is by his own choice… Since therefore every one’s freedom constitutes the true good, and shows the true evil, God has contrived that friendship or hostility should be in each man by occasions. But no, it is said: everything that we think He makes us to think. Stop! Why do you blaspheme more and more, in saying this? For if we are under His influence in all that we think, you say that He is the cause of fornications, lusts, avarice, and all blasphemy. Cease your evil-speaking, ye who ought to speak well of Him, and to bestow all honour upon Him.”5

            While God granted Adam and Eve the ability to sin or not to sin by giving them a free will, and He gave them the opportunity to sin or not to sin by placing them in the Garden with the forbidden tree, it was not God who actually tempted them to sin in the sense of suggesting it to their minds. God does not tempt anyone to sin (Jas. 1:13) and we are to pray for God to lead us away from temptation (Lk. 11:4). But just as God allowed Satan to tempt Job, not to destroy his character but to prove his character and faithfulness (Job 1:8-12), God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve, not so that they would sin, but to give them the opportunity of being genuinely loyal to Him.

It was the serpent who tempted Adam and Eve to sin (Gen. 3:1-4; 3:13-14). He suggested to them that they should disobey God. It was God who had commanded them not to sin (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:11; 3:17). God was completely sincere in His command. He really did want them to obey Him and motivated them to obey Him by warning them of the negative consequences of sin if they were to choose that course.

Mankind was created with the ability to obey the law of God or to disobey the law of God, which is why God commanded them to obey and the devil tempted them to disobey. It would make no sense for God to command them to do what they cannot do, or for the devil to tempt them to do what cannot be done. God knew that they were capable of obeying His law, which is why He commanded them to do so; and the devil knew that they were capable of disobeying God’s law, which is why he tempted them to do so.

There was a war going on between God and the devil for the will of man. Man was a moral being and therefore neither God nor the devil could force him to do their will. Man was created free and therefore could not be coerced. That is why God used the means of commandment and the devil used the means of deception. The devil only has the power of suggestion over man, so that man is able to “resist the devil” (Jas. 4:7). Therefore those who are “taken captive by him” (2 Tim. 2:26) are taken captive by their own consent to his deceptions. Thus they can “recover themselves out of the snare of the devil” (2 Tim. 2:26) if they choose to.

It is important to understand that the decisions of will caused by a free moral agent occur after the motives presented to the mind are considered and contemplated. Both God and the devil presented to the minds of Adam and Eve considerations in order to influence the decisions of their free will. God, motivated by love, was trying to govern man by moral law, by presenting the truth about the consequences of sin, thus giving them motivation for the right choice (Gen. 2:17). God was trying to govern them with truth.

On the other hand, the devil was motivated by selfishness and was trying to govern man through deception, by lying about the consequences of sin (Gen. 3:4) and motivating them to make the wrong choice by making empty promises (Gen. 3:5). The devil was trying to tear down God’s influence over their will by questioning and contradicting God’s warning, while trying to set up his own influence over their will by making empty promises and deceitful incentives.

The declaration of consequences for violating moral law are a moral influence upon the will of a moral being when they are perceived and understood by their mind. That is why the devil challenged and questioned God’s declaration when He wanted to influence the will of man to disobey God. This was the fight for the allegiance of man’s will.

God is good and wanted man to do what was good. The devil is evil and wanted man to do what was evil. The devil put forth effort to get them to sin by tempting them to do so; while God put forth effort to get them not to sin by commanding them and warning them. God was trying to form in man a good moral character like He has, while the devil was seeking to create in them an evil moral character like he possesses.

After placing man in the Garden with the forbidden tree, God had warned Adam about the consequences of his possible choice ahead of time (Gen. 2:17). This is because God did not want them to sin and hoped to influence them not to by bringing to their attention the negative consequences of such a choice.

The objective of warning is that the one who is being warned would make the right choice. Warning a person about the consequences of their choices takes for granted that they have the ability of choice and assumes that they can choose between two alternatives. They were free to make the right or wrong choice and God wanted them to make the right choice. Yet, despite the effort and influence of God, they sinned. God had not failed man, since He had done all of His responsibility; but man had failed God by violating his obligation. “And when the women saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6). They sought to gratify their natural desires in an unnatural and unlawful way, through means which God did not plan for them.

God had created them for a relationship with Him; but now through sin, that relationship with interrupted and disturbed. Because of their sin, they “hide themselves from the presence of the Lord” (Gen. 3:8). I can hear the pain in God’s voice and the grief of His heart as He asked, “What is this that thou hast done?” (Gen. 3:13). But as the Moral Governor of the Universe, the One who has created them as moral beings and gave them the moral law, and as the One who was responsible for the well-being of His creation, He had to hold them responsible and call them into account for their choices. Adam and Eve were justly held responsible for their sin because the law that God had given them was not at all impossible for them to keep.

Is God The Author Of Sin?

Just as there are self-evident truths, there are self-evident falsehoods. A good, God authoring sin, is a self-evident falsehood. Jesus stated a self-evident truth of reason when he said “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matt. 7:18). Apart from any reasoning or explanation, the truth of this statement is automatically affirmed simply by the truth being stated. The devil is evil and is therefore not the author of good, while God is good and therefore is not the author of evil.

We know that Adam and Eve did not have a “sinful nature” because when God made everything He made it “very good” (Gen. 1:31). The Bible says, “For every creature of God is good…” (1 Tim. 4:4) and that “God hath made men upright…” (Ecc. 7:29) God created Adam and Eve with a good nature, but the relation between your nature and your will is not causation, but influence. The condition of their nature did not necessitate the choices of their will. Their nature did not force them to do what was good, nor did their nature force them to do what was evil. Doing what was right or doing what was wrong was not determined by their nature, but was determined by their free will. If their good nature necessitated good choices, they never would have sinned. If their nature necessitated their choices and they sinned, God must have given them a sinful nature. The only way to explain their sin, without making God the author of sin, is to say that they sinned by free will and not by necessity of nature.

Though God created everything “very good” (Gen. 1:31), including the natures of angels, many of them did not remain good. Though the Bible says that Satan was a “liar from the beginning” (Jn. 8:44), this references his lie in the garden. It is not saying that Satan was a liar from his creation. We are told about Lucifer “Thou wast perfect in all thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Eze. 28:15). Lucifer’s sinfulness was not something that he was created with but something which he himself created. In fact, when he decided to rebel against God, he said in his “heart” “I will” five times. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isa. 14:13-14). Therefore Lucifer sinned, not because of the good nature that God created him with, but because of his own will or decision to do so.

Adrian Rogers said, “When God created Satan, He created him in perfection. God did not create evil. God created a perfect being… He gave that perfect being perfect freedom. Now why did God give the angels freedom, and why does God give us freedom? Because God wants worship, and God wants love. Now, if God made me where I was not free, or I could not choose to do evil, then correspondingly I could not choose to do good…  I would only be an animate object or a robot… So God created a being perfect… and that being choose to sin.”6

Just as Lucifer sinned against his nature, not because of his nature, but by his own free will, so the sin of Adam and Eve was not the result of their nature but was caused by their free will. Your nature does not cause your will. That is, the state of your nature does not necessitate the choices of your will, but the will is free to choose according to or contrary to your nature.

Clement of Alexandria said, “In no respect is God the author of evil. But since free choice… originates sins… punishments are justly inflicted.”7 Tatian said, “Nothing evil has been created by God. We ourselves have manifested wickedness. But we, who have manifested it, are able again to reject it.”8 Augustine even said that the “free choice of the will was present in that man who was the first to be formed… he sinned by that free will… ”9 Cornelius Van Til said, “If God does exist as man’s Creator, it is as we have seen, impossible that evil should be inherent in the temporal universe. If God exists, man himself must have brought in sin by an act of willful transgression.”10 R. C. Sproul said, “Adam and Eve were not created fallen. They had no sin nature. They were good creatures with free will. Yet they chose to sin.”11 James Arminius said, “The efficient cause of that transgression was man, determining his will to that forbidden object and applying his powers or capability to do it… Man therefore sinned by his free will…”12

There are those who believe that Adam and Eve did not have the power or ability to obey the law that God had given them. They teach that sin is not the result of man misusing his free will but that sin is the result of God’s secret, eternal, irresistible, sovereign will. They teach that God did not want Adam and Eve to obey Him, but actually wanted them to disobey Him.

John Calvin said, “The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should.”13 Piscator said, “God made Adam and Eve to this very purpose, that they might be tempted and lead into sin. And by the force of this decree it could not be otherwise but that they must sin.”14 Dr. John Edwards said, “He might have hindered the fall, but he would not. The reason was because he had decreed their fall, as we may gather from God’s creating the tree of good and evil before their creation…”15 Even Martin Luther unashamedly said that God was actually the cause of sin, so that all sin is caused by God and all sin is unavoidable. He said “God… effects, and moves and impels all things in a necessary, infallible course…”16 He also said, “This is the highest degree of faith – to believe that He is merciful, the very One who saves so few and damns so many. To believe that He is just, the One who according to His own will, makes us necessarily damnable.“17

Where Martin Luther got the idea that man’s sinfulness was “according to His own will” or that God “makes us necessarily damnable” is a very good question. It is not taught anywhere in the Scriptures between Genesis and Revelation. God does not make men damnable because God does not make men sinful. Men make themselves damnable because men make themselves sinful. Sin is the result of man’s free will, not the effect of God’s predetermination.

While I was street preaching outside of a club in OttawaCanada, a girl said to me “God wants us to be out here and have fun. God wants us to get drunk!” She thought that God wanted her to sin! I realize now that she basically believed in Calvinism. John Calvin said, “Creatures are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed.”18 Of course, that girl did have a point. How could I rebuke her for her sin and call her to repentance, if God wanted her to sin?

I have often wondered if everything is caused by God, why do Calvinists get upset with me for rejecting Calvinism? My rejection would not be my own free will choice but would be caused by the secret decree of God! Or why would they be upset with me writing an entire book defending free will and refuting total inability, if this too was His Sovereign and irresistible will! If they are upset with me rejecting Calvinism or for my theology, they would be upset with the secret, immutable, irresistible, and eternal will of God! It shouldn’t be me that they are upset with, it should be God! According to Calvinism, every word in this book was predestined before the foundation of the world; and since God’s will is sovereign and irresistible, I could not but have written it.

I have also wondered how could any lover of holiness be expected to accept Calvinism? Calvinism teaches that God prefers sin over holiness in every instance that sin occurs. God could have decreed righteousness in those situations, but He chose to decree sin instead! It means that God preferred a sinful universe over a sinless universe, that God preferred rebellion over obedience, and that He preferred the misery of His creatures over their well-being! If a believer wants the world to be perfectly holy, are they more righteous and loving than God? If God wants sin to occur, so should we! If we don’t want sin to occur, but God wants sin to occur, then we would be ungodly for not wanting sin to occur! Imagine that! If Calvinism is true, a person is ungodly if they don’t want sin to exist!

According to Brown’s Dictionary of the Bible, the Nicolaitans “imputed their wickedness to God as the cause…”19 Jesus said, “…the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate” (Rev. 2:15). Jesus hated their doctrine! And is there a doctrine more worthy of our abhorrence and hatred than the doctrine which makes God the author of sin? It is Allah of the Quran of whom it is said “whom [he] pleases he causes to err, and whom he pleases he puts on the right way.”20 But when Paul asked the question, is “Christ the minister of sin?” he promptly answered the question with a stern “God forbid!” (Gal. 2:17) It is not the God of the Bible which is the author or cause of sin.

Yet ultimately Calvinism teaches that God is the author or cause of sin. Dr. John Edwards said, “If God by his decree did force men’s wills, and so necessitate them to be vicious and wicked, then he might justly be called the Author of Sin.”21 He then went on to say, “The eternal decree is the cause of the necessary futurition of evil acts, for the acts inevitably follow on the decree.”22 And “God did from all eternity will or decree the commission of all the sins of the world, because his permissive will is his true and real will.”23

Toplady said, “Hence, we find every matter resolved, ultimately, into the mere sovereign pleasure of God, as the spring and occasion of whatsoever is done in heaven and earth.”24

Dr. Twiss said, “It is impossible that any thing should be done, but that to which God impels the will of man.”25 He also said, “God is the author of that action, which is sinful, by his irresistible will…”26

Zuinglius said that “God makes angels” and “men sin…”27

Tucker said, “It is certain then, that the existence of sin was the ordination of the divine will… Sin could not have existence, without, or contrary to the divine will: its being, must be the consequent of the divine purpose… Sin is the wise and holy ordination of God…”28 He also said, “As nothing exists contrary to the will of Him who says I will do all my pleasure. It certainly was his will that sin should have being…”29 And he said, “If God had not determined its existence, it could not have had being; unless we suppose sin to be greater than God.”30

Piscator said, “We neither can do more good than we do, nor less evil than we do; because God from eternity has precisely decreed that both the good and the evil be so done.”31 And he said, “God necessitates man unto sin.”32 He also said, “God does holily drive and thrust men on unto wickedness.”33 And finally, “God procures adultery, cursing, lyings.”34

Peter Martyr said, “God…. is the cause of those actions which are sins…”35

Vincent Cheung said, “God controls everything that is and everything that happens. There is not one thing that happens that he has not actively decreed – not even a single thought in the mind of man. Since this is true, it follows that God has decreed the existence of evil, he has not merely permitted it, as if anything can originate and happen apart from his will and power.”36

If God commanded Adam and Eve not to sin, when He secretly wanted them to sin, God was misrepresenting His own character and intentionally misleading or deceiving them. Truthfulness is the foundation of trustworthiness, but what confidence can one have in the character of a person who doesn’t mean what he says? It may be simplistic, yet it is true, that the mere fact that God commanded them not to sin and warned them about the consequences of their sin is absolute proof that He did not want them to sin. It shows that they sinned despite or contrary to the influence of God. Unless the Bible was written to give us false impressions, God did not want Adam and Eve to sin.

It is the devil who is considered the father of lies (Jn. 8:44) because he was the first being to ever tell a lie. That means that when God gave Adam and Eve the impression that He didn’t want them to sin, He was not lying, since the first lie came from the devil after God gave them this impression. God cannot lie (Tit. 1:2) and therefore He did not give Adam and Eve a false impression when He commanded them not to sin, but He actually did not want them to sin.

While Calvinism says that “God has decreed the existence of evil,” the God of the Bible says, “Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees…” (Isa. 10:1) The God of the Bible did not secretly decree that men should sin. God’s eternal decree for sin was “thou shalt not” (Exo. 20:1-17). God said “thou shalt not” and He meant it!

Calvinism, however, makes God insincere in His commandments. God does not tell us to obey, only to decree our disobedience! God does not even tempt anyone to sin, let alone cause anyone to sin (Jas. 1:13). God is not the author of sin! We are! God never wanted sin to occur at all! God gave us a moral law and gave us the ability to obey it or disobey it. The reason that God calls sinners to repentance and punishes them for their sin is because their sin is not His will. It would make no sense to rebuke sinners for their sin and call them to repentance and obedience if they were already doing the will of God. We would be rebuking the will of God when we rebuke sin, if sin was God’s will! Why should we ever be upset with sin, if sin is God’s plan or if He secretly causes it? We would be upset with God’s plan! If sin is God’s plan, we should rejoice over sin! If God wants men to be sinful, we should want them to be sinful too! If God decreed the existence of sin, or if God took away our free will so that sin is unavoidable, then sin must be the will and plan of God.

The Bible explicitly tells us that God hates sin (Prov. 6:16; Isa. 61:8; Zec. 6:18; Heb. 1:9). And God commands us to hate sin (Ps. 97:10; Amos 5:15). But if sin is God’s plan and God hates sin, God would hate His own plan! If sin was God’s will and God commands us to hate sin, then God commands us to hate His own will!  If sin was God’s will, and we ought to love God’s will, then we ought to love sin! The fact that God hates sin and that He commands us to hate sin should be all the evidence that we need to see that sin is not God’s will or plan.

All throughout the Bible, we see God’s condemnation of sin. Is God condemning the fruit of His own activity or the work of His own hands? Is God condemning His own plan? Shouldn’t the will of God be commended, not condemned? A simple Bible study reveals that God has a serious problem with sin, but is God the cause of His own problem?

I have asked Calvinists, “Is God angry and grieved with sin?” They have answered, “Yes.” Then I’ve asked, “Was sin the secret Sovereign plan of God?” They have answered, “Yes.” Then I’ve asked, “So you’re saying that God is angry and grieved with His own secret Sovereign plan?” They don’t know how to answer that.

Consider this syllogism which assumes their premise:

  • Sin is the plan of God
  • God is angry and grieved with sin
  • Therefore God is angry and grieved

with His own plan

Logically, if God is angry and grieved with sin and sin is His plan, then God is angry and grieved with His own plan! That is the rational conclusion of their premise. But if God’s plan is good, He should not grieve over it but rejoice over it. Therefore if sin was God’s plan, God should not grieve over sin but should rejoice over sin! This of course He never does, because sin is not His plan and sin is not good.

If sin was God’s plan, and God is angry and grieved with sin, then He should also be angry and grieved with Himself because He is the one who caused it! He is the one who secretly eternally decreed it! Sin is not self-existent. Therefore sin has a cause. But to be angry and grieved with the existence of sin, but not to be angry and grieved with the one who caused the existence of sin, would make no sense. Therefore God ought to be angry and grieved with Himself if God secretly decreed the existence of sin. But God is angry with sinners for their sin (Ps. 7:11). Therefore, sinners are the cause of sin, not God. Even Prosper, the disciple of Augustine, said, “By no means would there be a day of judgment, if men sinned by the will or decree of God.”37

It was actually Paganism which taught that God or the gods controlled and planned all things exhaustively and irresistibly through an eternal plan. Sermonides of Amorgos said, “Zeus controls the fulfillment of all that is, and disposes as he will. We live like beasts, always at the mercy of what the day may bring, knowing nothing of the outcome that God will impose upon our acts.”38 Theognis said, “No man, Cyrnus, is responsible for his own ruin or for his own success: of both these things the gods are the givers… the gods will bring all to the fulfillment that they have planned.”39 Vettius Valens said, “For it is impossible for any man by prayers or sacrifices to overcome what was fixed from the beginning and alter it to his taste; what has been assigned to us will happen without our praying for it, what is not fated will not happen for our prayers.”40

Ben Sirach, the Jewish scribe during Old Testament times, rightly reasoned, “Say not: ‘It was God’s doing that I fell away’; for what he hates he does not do. Say not: ‘He has caused me to err’; for he has no need of wicked man. The Lord hates all abominations; and they that fear God love it not. When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice. If you will, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice. He has set fire and water before you, stretch forth your hand to whichever you choose. Before man is life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him.”41

Julian of Eclanum said, “We maintain that men are the work of God, and that no one is forced unwillingly by His power either into evil or good, but that man does either good or ill of his own will; but that in a good work he is always assisted by God’s grace, while in evil he is incited by the suggestions of the devil.”42 The Bible explicitly says, “God hath made men upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Ecc. 7:29). This passage shows that sin was the result of man’s own free will and God is not to be blamed in any way.

John Calvin actually blamed God for Adam’s fall by saying, “I freely acknowledge my doctrine to be this: that Adam fell, not only by the permission of God, but by His very secret council and decree…”43 How contrary this is to the Word of God which says, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works” (Ps. 145:17). “To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him” (Ps. 92:15). “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (Jas. 1:17). “The just Lord… will not do iniquity” (Zep. 3:5). The Hebrew word “do” that is used here means to “accomplish,” “advance,” “appoint,” “bring forth,” “provide,” “make,” “procure,”44 “produce,” or “ordain.”45 That means that “The just Lord will not make, procure, produce, or ordain iniquity.” We are told that, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deut. 32:4). “Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity” (Job. 34:10). “Yea, surely God will not do wickedly” (Job 34:12).  “Who… can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity?” (Job 36:23) To “wrought” iniquity, in the Hebrew, means to “make” or “ordain” it.46 How could we say “I will…ascribe righteousness to my Maker” (Job 36:3), if God is the maker of sin? How could anyone praise God for His holiness, saying “holy, holy, holy” (Rev. 4:8), if God secretly decreed the existence of sin when He could have decreed holiness in those instances? How could we worship Him at all if the existence of all sin and misery was secretly His fault?

A secret is that which is intentionally or deliberately hidden from others. Organized crime will seek to commit their crimes in secret or to hide their actions because if their activity were publicly known, it would not be approved of by the public. Their dealings are contrary to the well-being of others; and therefore, they hide them.

If God has a “secret counsel” or a “secret will,” then God too has something to hide. What would be so wrong with His counsel or with His will that He would need to hide it from His universe? Is God’s activity contrary to the well-being of His universe that He needs to hide, or keep secret, His will? Certainly, if the sinfulness and damnation of mankind was the will of God, He would need to keep His will a secret because this would be contrary to the well-being of His universe and would demand the disapproval of the minds of the moral beings in His universe.

The God of the Bible, however, willingly welcomes the examination of His character, knowing that He has done nothing wrong and has nothing to hide. “Thus saith the Lord, what iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?” (Jer. 2:5) “O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me” (Micah 6:3). “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard” (Isa. 5:3).

God invites men to “judge” and to “testify against” Him, knowing that none can find fault with His moral character. God is so confident in the moral character that He has chosen and is sure of the moral sense that He has placed in man that He does not discourage man from doing this, but He actually encourages it. God places His actions before the minds of moral agents so that they can see the righteousness of His ways and the rectitude of His doings. When we see the moral character of God as it really is, we see how trust-worthy and praise-worthy He actually is.

However, R. C. Sproul Jr. said that God secretly wanted Adam and Eve to sin and gave them the desire to sin because He wanted objects upon which to pour out His wrath. He then said, “I am not accusing God of sinning; I am suggesting that he created sin,”47 as if creating sin and sinning were two different things. What is a sinner? A sinner is someone who creates sin. When a being originates sin through their own free will, they are sinning and consequently become a sinner. If a person says that God “created sin,” then they are in fact “accusing God of sinning.” But the Bible explicitly says that the Lord will not make or fashion iniquity (Zeph. 3:5).

Consider this logical syllogism:

  • A sinner is someone who creates sin.
  • The god of Calvinism creates sin.
  • Therefore the god of Calvinism is a sinner.

It is self-evident that a sinner is someone who causes sin to exist, someone who chooses to bring about its existence. The “workers of iniquity,” according to the Hebrew word that is used, are those who “makes” or “ordains” sin.48 Calvinism says that God “ordained” all sin from eternity. If sin is the work of God, then God is a worker of iniquity. If Adam sinned because God secretly caused him to, God is the real sinner, not Adam! Adam would not be a criminal deserving of punishment since he did not make a free choice. Adam would be the victim of God’s eternal and secret bullying.

If God caused all the sin of men, if we are puppets of God or marionettes in the hands of the Divine, and are not free moral agents, then God is the only real sinner in the entire universe and we cannot be justly responsible and accountable for our actions. God would be the only one who actually has moral character since God would be the only one who causes moral choices to occur.

For example, if a man uses a gun to kill another person, the courts will hold the man accountable, not the gun! That is because the one who controlled the gun is the one who caused the crime. The gun itself had no moral character. The weapon itself could not be blamed or punished. There can be no blame or punishment where necessity, instead of liberty, reigns. The one who freely causes sin is the one who ought to be blamed for the existence of that sin.

While Adam blamed God and his wife for his sin (Gen. 3:12), and Eve blamed the serpent for her sin (Gen. 3:13), God blamed each individual for their sin. This shows that their sin was their own free choice. It reveals to us that they could have obeyed the law that God had given them. God said to Adam, “Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof Icommanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” (Gen. 3:11) God was not to blame since God commanded him not to.  God was sincere in His command. He didn’t want Adam to sin. God warned Adam ahead of time about the consequences he would face if he made that choice (Gen. 2:17). The objective of commanding and warning is that the one who is being commanded and warned would make the right choice in light of what was warned about. Therefore, the fall of Adam occurred despite the efforts of God to avoid it.

He went on and said to Adam. “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife…” (Gen. 3:17). Adam’s sin was the result or product of his own volition or choice. God said to Eve, “What is this that thou hast done?” (Gen. 3:13) and God said to the serpent, “Because thou hast done this” (Gen. 3:14). Before assigning their consequences, God said that it was their own fault. If it was not their fault, but was secretly God’s fault, then they would not have deserved any punishments whatsoever. Moral beings, with freedom of will, are rightly subject to consequences for their choices. The fact that God punished Adam and Eve for their transgression shows that their transgression was not His will, but was actually the result of their own power, ability, or free will.

Tertullian said, “…it is not the part of good and solid faith to refer all things to the will of God…as to make us fail to understand that there is something within our power.”49 To deny that mankind has genuinely rebelled against the will of God is to actually deny the fall or rebellion of man. If sin was the will of God, mankind was not rebelling against God’s will by choosing to sin, but was rather acting according to it! Man would be a puppet of God, rather than a rebel against God. If sinners have acted according to the actual will of God, they are not really rebels at all. Our world would not be fallen; mankind would not be a race of rebels, but would be obedient servants of God who always do the will of God in every instance.

It does not solve the problem to say that God has a “revealed will” and a “secret will.” For if holiness was God’s revealed will, but sin was God’s secret will, then God is insincere in His commands, His revealed will is a lie, and His secret will is His actual will. But God’s revealed will cannot be a lie, because God cannot lie (Tit. 1:2); and therefore, God says He doesn’t want us to sin and He means it! God’s will is always that we live victorious over sin and never that we live surrendered to sin. But if God publicly favors righteousness, for appearance or reputation sake, but secretly favors sin, what kind of being is He? A person’s character is what he is in secret! If God secretly decrees sin, God would secretly be sinful!

God said, “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth… I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right” (Isa. 45:19). If God has a secret will, which is contrary to His revealed or declared will, then that secret will would be “wrong” because His revealed or declared will is “right.” If God tells us that He doesn’t ever want us to sin, but he secretly wants us to sin every time that we do sin, then we cannot trust God because He is a liar. Yet the Bible says that God cannot lie (Tit. 1:2). But if God has a secret will, which is the opposite of His revealed will, we can never trust anything that God says! All the public threatening and promises in the Bible would be questionable and untrustworthy, since God says one thing when the opposite is the truth! This would lead us to believe that the opposite of the Bible might be true if God was in the habit of publicly saying one thing when secretly the opposite is true. But it is the devil, not God, which was a liar from the beginning (Jn. 8:44).

After one young convert heard a Calvinist describing Calvinism, he said to him, “Your god is my devil.” There is a lot of truth in that statement. That is because God’s plan was for holiness, but the devil’s plan was for sin. The world chose to do the devil’s will instead of God’s will. That is why the devil is called the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) and the “prince of this world” (Jn. 12:31). There is a real war going on between God and the devil for the allegiance of man’s free will. It was God who commanded obedience from Adam, but it was the devil that tempted Adam to sin. To say that God wanted Adam and Eve to sin is to confuse God with the devil!

The Bible describes God and the devil as enemies, not friends. God and his angels actually fight against Satan and his demons (Dan. 10:13). But if God causes all things, including all the actions of the devil, then the two are not really at odds with each other but are in perfect harmony. John Piper said, “God is sovereign over Satan, and therefore Satan’s will does not move without God’s permission. And therefore every move of Satan is part of God’s overall purpose and plan.”50 If it is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to prescribe the works of the Holy Spirit to the devil (Matt. 12:24-32), then certainly it must also be blasphemy to prescribe the works of the devil to God! To credit the works of the devil to God is just as much blasphemy as it is to credit the works of God to the devil.

Martin Luther credited the works of the devil to God when he said, “Since, therefore, God moves and does all in all, He necessarily moves and does all in Satan and the wicked man…”51 So God forced the devil to sin and then condemns him for doing what God decreed him to do! He is punished by God for being what God predestined Him to be! Poor devil! This false theology makes you feel bad for the devil because he merely a puppet or marionette in the hand of the Lord.

This type of theology makes us blame God while removing blame from the devil. But if the devil is a free moral being, who has chosen to sin contrary to the will of God, then it is God who is good and the devil that is evil! But Calvinism makes God the cause of sin, while the devil is only his accomplice who has been forced to go along.  No wonder John Wesley said that Calvinism destroys “all the attributes of God, his justice, mercy, and truth, yea, it represents the most holy God as worse than the devil, as both more false, more cruel, and more unjust.”52 The devil has only tempted men to sin, but Calvinism says that God makes them do it!

Theodore Beza, the friend and successor of John Calvin, said, “The fall of man was both necessary and wonderful.”53 Calvinists have taught that God secretly predestined the fall of Adam, and consequently the damnation of our race, so that the atonement of Christ would be needed and He can get the glory of our salvation. Zanchius said, “Both the elect and the reprobates were foreordained to sin, as sin, that the glory of God might be declared thereby.”54 The Bible expressly condemns the maxim: “Let us do evil, that good may come” (Rom. 3:8). Yet, this is maxim is precisely what Calvinism teaches. Cornelius Van Til said, “…it was God’s will that sin should come into the world. He wished to enhance his glory by means of its punishment and removal.”55

This would be like firemen, who secretly started fires throughout the community so that their rescue work would be necessary, and they can get the glory of putting these fires out! While it is good to put out fires, it is not good to start them! The end does not justify the means in this scenario. If their secret activity is revealed, their rescue work doesn’t seem so wonderful anymore. If the public knew they started the fires, they would not praise them for putting them out! They would not be viewed as heroes but as heinous monsters! Their actions would not be praiseworthy but punishable!

Calvinism says that God caused the damnation of all, so that He could predestine the salvation of the few. They say that many are on the broad road, and few are on the narrow road, because God wants it to be that way. This would be like a doctor, who infected a community with a deadly disease, resulting in the death of masses, so that He could give the cure to those few whom he wanted to. Nobody would ever call such a man benevolent or good.

There are insecure mothers who will cause their children to be sick, that they can appear to others to be good mothers for taking care of their sick children, and so that they themselves will feel needed. Is that really what God is like? How awful it is to view God as causing the wickedness of our race, just so He can cause the salvation of “the elect.” How blasphemous it is on the character of God to say that God causes the sinfulness of man just so that the atonement of Jesus Christ would be needed.

God certainly would not appear to His universe as “just” for punishing men for doing what He caused them to do. And God would not appear to His universe as “merciful” for pardoning men for doing what He caused them to do! The idea that God causes the sinfulness of the world so that He could appear to His universe as just and merciful is nonsense and blasphemous.

Felgentius, who was a disciple of Augustine, even said, “Justice could not be said to be just if it did not find, but made man an offender. And the injustice would  be  still  greater,  if  God,  after  having  predestined  a man  to  ruin when  he  stood,  inflicted  punishment  upon  him  after  his  fall.”56

However, Calvinists imply that the fall of Adam was part of God’s plan by asking, “But wasn’t the atonement planned before the fall of Adam?” The answer to this question is both yes and no. God was prepared in the same way that an airplane would have a parachute on it before it crashes. It is a precautionary measure knowing the possible danger. But that doesn’t mean that the airline, who secures the airplanes with parachutes, is planning to crash the plane! Likewise Christ was ordainedbefore the foundation of the world (1 Pet. 1:20), because God prepared for the possible fall, knowing that man had free will. But Christ was not actually slain until the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8), because that is when the fall actually occurred and atonement, therefore, became necessary for our salvation. This is the reason why the Bible distinguishes between Christ being ordained before the foundation of the world and Christ being slain from the foundation of the world. The application of this plan was not executed until it became necessary. The atonement was first spoken of in definite terms after the fall, when God predicted the crushing of the serpent’s head by the seed of the women (Gen. 3:15).

God was ready for the fall, but God did not plan the fall. We must remember that God does not desire sacrifice but desires a holy people (Ps. 51:16-17; Hos. 6:7; Mic. 6:7-8). God said, “…to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22; Mk. 12:33). “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Prov. 21:3). With that in mind, it would seem that God would have preferred a sinless universe that needed no atonement at all than a sinful one that did. God did not cause the fall of our race so that He could secure the redemption of a few. God prefers holiness over sinfulness. God created everything “good” and He wanted it to stay that way. The fall of Adam and Eve was not the result of God pushing them down. Their sin was their own free choice, which God was deeply grieved with. God is not the author or creator of sin in any way whatsoever.

Calvinists will even try to use the Bible to teach that God is the Creator of sin. They misuse Isaiah 45:7 which says, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” The Hebrew word used for evil means “calamity.”57 Calamity is physical evil. It does not mean that God created moral evil. God talks about bringing “evil” or calamity to a city to punish their sins (Neh. 13:18; Jer. 21:10; 25:29; Amos 3:6). God did not say, “I make righteousness and create evil.” Evil is not contrasted with righteousness but is contrasted with peace, because the evil referred to is calamity. God gives peace to the righteous but God destroys the wicked. That is because God never wanted sin to occur but wants men to be righteous. God told His people to “put away evil” from among them (Deut. 13:5; 17:7, 12; 19:19; 21:21; 22:21; 22:22, 24; 24:7; Jdg. 20:13; Ecc. 11:10; Isa. 1:16). This command shows that evil was not God’s will for them. God wants us to be holy all of the time. God wants us to be sinful none of the time.

God does not take pleasure in sin but is grieved and angry with sin (Gen. 6:5-6; Ps. 7:11). God loves righteousness but hates sin (Prov. 6:16; Isa. 61:8; Zec. 8:17; Heb. 1:9). God is pleased with men when they live holy (1 Thes. 4:1; Heb. 13:16; 1 Jn. 3:22). And all things were created for the pleasure of God (Rev. 4:11). Therefore, we can conclude that God did not create sin, neither did God create us for sin! God did not create what He hates; neither did He create us to do what He hates! God takes pleasure in righteousness and God created us for His pleasure. Therefore, God created us for righteousness. We were created to live right, to walk in love and live free from sin.

God even regretted the creation of our race when He saw how we became sinful (Gen. 6:5-6). And hell was not created for mankind (Matt. 25:41). Therefore, sin was not in the mind of God when he created man, neither was man in the mind of God when he created hell. Man was created for God’s pleasure. Therefore nobody was created to live in sin and to die in sin, since God takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Eze. 33:11), but “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps. 116:15). “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness” (Ps. 5:4).

Consider these truths in logical syllogisms:

  • We were created for the pleasure of God (Rev. 4:11).
  • God is pleased when men live holy (Isa. 61:8; Heb. 1:9; 1 Thes. 4:1; Heb. 13:16; 1 Jn. 3:22).
  • Therefore, mankind was created to live holy!
  • We were created for the pleasure of God (Rev. 4:11).
  • God takes no pleasure in sin or in the death of the wicked (Gen. 6:5-6; Ps. 5:4; 7:11; Prov. 6:16; Eze. 33:11; Zec. 8:17)
  • Therefore, mankind was not created to sin and go to hell!

If God’s will was always done, sin would never have occurred and everyone would be saved. The sin and damnation of man proves the resistible will of God and the free will of man. Sin was actually an interruption in the plans of God (Gen. 6:5-6). Sin was not the will of God but was a rebellion against His will. This is contrary to the words of Tucker who stated, “Sin, or moral evil, is… a wise and holy ordination of God.”58 and “Not an impure thought, word, or act, more or less, can arise among the creatures, than God has actually determined the being and permission of. Omnipotence cannot pervade, or absolute wisdom guide his arm; if any thing comes to pass and he commands it not.”59 In other words, he is saying that sin is the command of God, instead of what the Bible says, that sin being transgression of God’s commands (1 Jn. 3:4).

Tucker asked, “Does, or can, any thing come to pass, and the Lord command it not?”60 We should let the Lord Himself answer this question in vindication of His own character. When men would worship idols and false gods, the Lord said that they were doing what “he commanded them not” (Lev. 10:1; Deut. 17:3). In other words, they were not choosing in accordance with His Divine plan or will. But if all things are the will of God, the reason that millions worship idols is because of “the good pleasure of His will.” It would be completely empty of any meaning or value for God to say that they did what “he commanded them not” if they were doing what He had decreed.

When Israel would sacrifice their children to the false god of Baal, God said they did “which I commanded them not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind” (Jer. 19:5). When Israel sacrificed their children to the false god Molech, He said they did “which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination…” (Jer. 32:35). If God decreed that they would worship these false gods and sacrifice their children to them, God would not be able to say “neither came it into my mind” with any honesty. Either God is lying, or God has not decreed and ordained “whatsoever cometh to pass” as the Westminster Confession teaches.61 Either the Bible is right and the Westminster Confession is wrong; or the Westminster Confession is right and the Bible is wrong, but they both cannot be true. God could not say “neither came it into my mind” if it was in His mind that their sin was planned!

Someone might say, “But the Westminster Confession says that God’s decree of sin does not take away second causes, so that He is not the author of sin even though He decrees all sin.” Yes, their confession says that. But if they say that mankind is the second cause of sin, then that would make God and His decrees the first cause of sin! So while they might deny teaching that God is the “author of sin” because He is not the “second cause,” they essentially say that He is the cause of sin because they say He is the first cause of it. They object to the specific phrase “author of sin,” but they do not ultimately object to the notion or concept of it, since they say that He decreed the existence of sin and is its first cause.

But Israel was told, “…loathe yourself in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed” (Eze. 20:43). The Hebrew word “committed” actually means to “make,”
bring forth,” and “fashion.”62 It makes sense that they should loathe themselves for their sin, since they are the authors and creators of their sin. On the contrary, how could they loathe themselves in their own sight for their sins if their actions were caused by God or if their evils were created by the Lord? Unless their actions were caused or created by their own free will, they could not loathe themselves in their own sight. If we knew in our minds that God caused our actions instead of ourselves freely causing them, it would be impossible for our minds to loathe and condemn ourselves for those actions. Men cannot blame themselves for their sin unless they know that they are the cause of their sin.

When Israel would sacrifice their children to idols, God said to them, “ye pollute yourselves” (Eze. 20:31). But if they sacrificed their children to idols because of God’s fatalistic plan, God could not charge them with polluting themselves since He was really the one who polluted them. He could not charge them for what He was guilty of! God blames them and them alone for their sin, clearing Himself from all responsibility.

But Reformed Theology charges God with causing all the child sacrifices and abortions of the world, causing the slaughter of millions of innocent babies. Yet, God speaks very differently of His character when He says that He hates the hands that shed innocent blood (Prov. 6:16-17). It is no wonder that many Christians consider “Reformed Theology” to be “deformed theology.” Instead of exalting God, it insults Him! Their view of “The Sovereignty of God” is really a mockery to God! The doctrine of free will makes man the author and cause of sin, but Calvinistic sovereignty makes God the author and cause of sin. Strangely, the former is labeled as heretical and the latter is considered orthodox! If heresy is teaching that man is to be blamed for sin, not God, then call me a Bible believing, happy heretic!

Contrary to the teachings of men like Luther and Calvin, that God is the cause of all sin, the Bible explicitly says that God is not the author of everything. Paul said, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Cor. 14:33). But if Calvinism is true, God is not only the author of confusion, but He is the author of everything! He would be the author of sin, which is far worse than confusion! If God causes all things, Paul would be lying by saying He is not the author of confusion. And if God causes sin, it certainly would not vindicate the character of God to say that He is not the author of confusion.

The Bible, in the Hebrew, says that the Lord will not “ordain” or “work”63 iniquity (Zeph. 3:5). Yet the Westminster Catechism says that God “ordained” all the sins of history! And John Calvin said, “Whatever things are done wrongly and unjustly by man, these very things are the right and just works of God.”64 God cannot be a worker of iniquity and not be a worker of iniquity at the same time. Therefore, either the Bible is right and God does not ordain and work iniquity, or Calvinism is right and God ordains and works evil; but they both cannot be right because they are saying the exact opposite.

James White is a modern apologist for the Reformed or Calvinist faith and he gave us an example of the “right and just works of God.” He was asked, “When a child is raped, is God responsible and did He decree that rape?” James White answered, “Yes.”65 All sinful actions, according to Calvinism, are the just and right works of God.

In my mind, this would make both the child and the rapist victims of Gods fatalistic will! Consider the consequences of what Calvinism is saying here. If Calvinism were true, when we pray “Thy will be done” (Matt. 6:10; 26:42), we would be praying for children to be raped! In fact, if Calvinism is true, Jesus taught us to pray for children to be raped because Jesus taught us to pray “Thy will be done…” If Calvinism is true, Jesus taught us to pray for the occurrence of all the sins of the world! How could any Christian pray thinking that? We are supposed to pray “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven” because God’s will is better than what is occurring on earth, not because everything that happens on earth is already God’s will!

The best criminal defense a person could have in court would be, “It’s not my fault. God made me do it.” Is God the “the mastermind” behind all the crimes of our society? If He was, every crime that is prosecuted is really the work of God being prosecuted! Every sin that is condemned is the condemnation of the work of God! You can forget about praying, “…lead us not into temptation” (Matt. 6:13), God straight out forces you to sin by His irresistible will!

Remember how Martin Luther said, “Since, therefore, God moves and does all in all, He necessarily moves and does all in Satan and the wicked man…”66 He also said that God is a worker of iniquity by saying, “God worketh all things in all men even wickedness in the wicked…”67 Are we to blame God for all the acts of wicked men? Think of all the awful stories you have ever heard on the news. Are we to credit to God’s “Sovereignty” or “the good pleasure of His will” all of the tragedies of our world? Is God to blame for all the kidnappings each year? Or for how many girls are sold into the sex trade? Or for how many people die by drunk drivers? Is God the cause of all the suicides in the world?

This was not the wonderful picture that God had envisioned and planned for the world at creation! These events were not secretly decreed by God, as if God were such a heinous monster! These events are caused by man’s own free will, because our race has become a heinous monster! If God decreed sin then sinners go to hell for doing the will of God. In the Scriptures, we don’t see God sending sinners to hell for doing His will, but for rebelling against it.

We are to pray “Thy will be done in earth” (Matt. 6:10).  This prayer presupposes that God’s will is not always being done on earth. The moral condition of the earth is that of degeneracy, a state of corruption. We live in a fallen world. Morally, this world is chaotic and in disarrangement. It is in rebellion against the will of God, not in a state of submission and loyalty to Him. The Bible says that men “rejected the counsel of God against themselves” (Lk. 7:30). This presupposes the free will of man, which can reject and rebel against the will of God.

An example is the nation of Israel. Israel was God’s vineyard which He cultivated to bring forth good grapes. But He was disappointed when they brought forth wild grapes. The Bible says, “he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes… What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” (Isa. 5:1-4).

God willed one thing to take place and it didn’t take place, because there are other wills involved. God said, “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me” (Isa. 1:2).  Clearly the will of God is not always being done on earth. That is because mankind has been created by God as free moral agents, who have wills of their own, who are capable of choosing His will or rejecting it.

The Bible speaks of those who “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord” (Num. 32:13; Deut. 4:25; 31:39; Jdg. 2:11; 3:7; 3:12; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6; 13:1; 1 Sam. 15:19; 2 Sam. 12:9; 1 Kin. 11:6; 14:22; 15:26; 15:34; 16:7; 16:19; 16:30; 21:20; 22:52; 2 Kin. 3:2; 8:18; 8:27; 13:2; 13:11; 14:24; 15:9; 15:18; 15:24; 15:28; 17:2; 17:17; 21:2; 21:16; 21:20; 23:32; 23:37; 24:9; 24:19; 1 Chron. 2:3; 22:4; 33:2; 33:6; 33:22; 36:5; 36:9; 36:12; Jer. 7:30; ). That means that God did not approve of what they did and He did not want them to do it. The Bible talks about those who did “that which was right in his own eyes” (Jdg. 17:6; 21:25), as opposed to doing “that which is right in the sight of the Lord” (Deut. 6:18; 12:25; 12:28; 21:9; 2 Kin. 12:2; 14:4; 15:3; 15:34; 16:2; 18:3; 22:2; 20:32; 24:2; 25:2; 26:4; 27:2; 28:1; 29:2; 34:2). Regarding those who “would not hearken” to the Lord, God said “I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels” (Ps. 81:11). “Yea, they have chosentheir own ways” (Isa. 66:3). Clearly, God did not force them to do His will but let them go their own way. Jesus said, “If any man will do his will” (Jn. 7:17).  Jesus said “if” because the will of God is not automatically chosen by man. If God’s will was always done, there would be no “if” about it.

Jesus even mourned over Jerusalem and said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt. 23:37). So the will of Jesus was resisted by the will of man. This proves the freedom of man’s will and proves that God’s will is resistible. The fact that “Jesus wept” (Jn. 11:35) shows that He does not always get what He wants.

Despite all these Biblical examples of the will of God being resisted and rebelled against, Tucker said, “What God does not will to be done, cannot be done: and what he wills, must be done.”68 Nothing could be any plainer from the Bible but that the will of God is not always done! John Benson said, “There is no Scriptural evidence for asserting that God decreed the existence and entrance of sin. The doctrine is based upon stoic philosophy, logical argument, perverted Scripture and human assertions. But as for a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ for the doctrine, there is no such thing to be found between the backs of the Bible.”69

Contrary to John Calvin’s blasphemous charge that “God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasurearranged it,“70 the Bible explicitly and plainly describes God’s great heartache and disappointment with mankind because of their sin. What a great tragedy to read “…it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth (Gen. 6:5-6). The fall of our race did not bring any “pleasure” to God. It was not arranged for “his own pleasure.” God was deeply upset with mankind’s sin because that is not what He had planned for us! That is not what He created and designed us for! God did not publicly grieve over man’s sin when secretly He had caused them to do it! Mankind’s sin was not the result of God’s secret decrees, but was the result of man misusing and abusing the free will that God gave them.

Gordon C. Olson said, “Beloved, when God had made such glorious and blessed plans for His creature man, and man had forsaken the great heart of God for sinful pleasure, and further, grew worse and worse, can we form any conception of the sorrow and grief that came upon the blessed Trinity when they ‘saw’ such wickedness? And further, when God contemplated man’s glorious endowments, created so that man might fellowship with and understand his Creator, now being used to devise means of sinful gratification, who shall measure God’s sorrow…?”71

M. W. Gifford said, “A being cannot be infinite in goodness that does not desire the happiness of every intelligent being, and feel an interest in its welfare. God must, therefore, be mindful of man, or he cannot be God.”72

God is a real person with real experiences. He has real pains and real pleasures. God grieves over man’s sin and God rejoices over man’s repentance. We must not project Greek ideas of perfection unto the Hebrew God. God is not some impassible being that is unaffected by His creation. God has taken a great interest in His creation and is deeply concerned with it.

God is an infinite being. His love for righteousness is infinite and His hatred for sin is infinite. Therefore His grief over our sin must be infinite. With infinite desire, He wants our universe to be sinless and perfect. And with infinite sorrow, He mourns over the sinfulness and corruption of our race.

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This is an excerpt from the book, “The Natural Ability of ManA Study on Free Will & Human Nature” by Jesse Morrell. To order this book: Click Here

NOTES:

  1. Jed Smock (Comment on Facebook, posted August 11, 2010)
  2. Eusebius (The Christian Examiner, Volume One, Published by James Miller, 1824 Edition, p. 66)
  3. Clement of Alexandria (Stromata 7:2)
  4. Pelagius (Pelagius: Life & Letters).
  5. Clement of Rome (The Ante-Nicean Fathers, Volume Eight, Published by BRCCD, p. 740)
  6. Adrian Rogers (A YouTube Video called “Adrian Rogers Refutes Total Depravity & Destroys Calvinism”)
  7. Clement of Alexandria (Stromata 1:17)
  8. Tatian (A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 286, Published by Hendrickson Publishers)
  9. Augustine (Augustine, Manichaeism, and the Good by Kam-lun E. Lee, Published by Dissertation.com, p. 122)
  10. Cornelius Van Til (The Defense of the Faith, Published by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, p. 63)
  11. R. C. Sproul (Chosen by God, Published in 1986, p. 30)
  12. James Arminius (The Works of James Arminius, Published by Baker Book House, p. 371, 373)
  13. John Calvin (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 8).
  14. Piscator (Objections to Calvinism As It Is by R. S. Foster, Published by Swormstedt & Poe, 1854 Edition, p. 266)
  15. Dr. John Edwards (On the decrees, B. 1, Ch. 111, p. 102)
  16. Martin Luther (Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther, translated by J. I. Packer & Johnston, Published by Revell, 1957 Edition, p. 265)
  17. Martin Luther (Martin Luther on The Bondage of the Will, by Rev. H. Cole, 1823 Edition, Published by T. Bensley, p. 58)
  18. John Calvin (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 16, Paragraph 3)
  19. Brown’s Dictionary of the Bible
  20. Quran 6:39
  21. Dr. John Edwards (On The Decrees, B.1, C. III, p. 125)
  22. Dr. John Edwards (On The Decrees, B.1, C. III, p. 125)
  23. Dr. John Edwards (On The Decrees, B.1, C. III, p. 104)
  24. Toplady (Volume Five, p. 211)
  25. Dr. Twiss (The Revival and Rejection of an Old Traditional Heresy by John Benson, p. 40)
  26. Dr. Twiss (Objections to Calvinism As It Is by R. S. Foster, Published by Swormstedt & Poe, 1854 Edition p. 266)
  27. Zuinglius (Objections to Calvinism As It Is by R. S. Foster, Published by Swormstedt & Poe, 1854 Edition, p. 267)
  28. Tucker (L 16, p. 119, 121. — L15, 112)
  29. Tucker (L. xvii, p. 209)
  30. Tucker (L. xvii. p. 124)
  31. Piscator (The Revival and Rejection of an Old Traditional Heresy by John Benson, p. 41)
  32. Piscator (The Revival and Rejection of an Old Traditional Heresy by John Benson, p. 39)
  33. Piscator (The Revival and Rejection of an Old Traditional Heresy by John Benson, p. 41)
  34. Piscator (Objections to Calvinism As It Is by R. S. Foster, Published by Swormstedt & Poe, 1854 Edition, p. 266)
  35. Peter Martyr (Objections to Calvinism As It Is by R. S. Foster, Published by Swormstedt & Poe, 1854 Edition, p. 266)
  36. Vincent Cheung (The Problem of Evil)
  37. Prosper (The Works of the Reverend John Fletcher, Volume Two, Published by Lane & Scott, 1851 Edition, p. 205)
  38. Sermonides of Amorgos(E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the irrational (Berkley: University of California Press, 1951)
  39. Theognis (E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the irrational (Berkley: University of California Press, 1951)
  40. Vettius Valens (A. D. Nock, Early Gentile Christianity and Its Hellenistic Background (Harper, 1964, orig. 1928)
  41. Ben Sirach (Sirach 15:11-17)
  42. Julian of Eclanum (Letter to Rome)
  43. John Calvin (Secret Providence, p. 267.)
  44. Strong’s Definitions
  45. Brown Driver Briggs Definitions
  46. Strong’s Definitions
  47. R. C. Sproul Jr. (Almighty Over All, Published by Baker, p. 54)
  48. Strong’s Definitions
  49. Tertullian (Exhortation on Chastity 2)
  50. John Piper (Sermon preached on August 19th, 2007)
  51. Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will, Sovereign Grace Publishers, p. 87)
  52. John Wesley (Sermon Entitled Free Grace)
  53. Theodore Beza (The Christian Faith).
  54. Zanchius (Objections to Calvinism As It Is by R. S. Foster, Published by Swormstedt & Poe, 1854 Edition, p. 266)
  55. Cornelius Van Til (The Defense of the Faith, Published by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, p. 160)
  56. Felgentius (Fulg. l. 1, ad Mon. cap. 22.)
  57. Strong’s Definition
  58. Tucker (L. xv, p. 112)
  59. Tucker (L. xxiv, p. 192-196)
  60. Tucker (1. vii, p. 49)
  61. Westminster Confession (Bibliotheca sacra, Volume 38, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1881  p. 496)
  62. Strong’s Definitions
  63. Brown Driver Briggs Definitions
  64. John Calvin (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p. 169)
  65. James White’s Debate with Hank Hannegraaf and George Bryson
  66. Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will, Sovereign Grace Publishers, p. 87)
  67. Martin Luther (Top. Vol. V, p. 210)
  68. Tucker (L. x. p. 67)
  69. John Benson (The Revival and Rejection of an Old Traditional Heresy, or The Doctrine of God Decreeing All Sin Examined and Refuted, Published by the Author, 1836 Edition, p. 44)
  70. John Calvin (Institutes of the Christian Religion” Book III, Chapter 23, Paragraph 7)
  71. Gordon C. Olson (Explanation of Ephesians 1:3-14)
  72. M. W. Gifford (Laws of the Soul, Published by Cincinnati: Cranston & Curts, New York: Hunt & Eaton, 1893 Edition, p. 46)

This is an excerpt from the book, “The Natural Ability of ManA Study on Free Will & Human Nature” by Jesse Morrell. To order this book: Click Here

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2 Responses to Is God the Author of Sin? Calvinism Refuted – Jesse Morrell

  1. Skyknight says:

    I think what’s going on with the likes of Sproul and Cheung is essentially a differing emphasis on which aspect of God is the keystone. With ones such as you, it is essentially love and nobility–God as arch-philosopher, as I tend to think of it. Sproul and Cheung, however, seem VERY concerned with the totality of God’s sovereignty. That whole bit about the reprobate being created for the sake of dispensing wrath…Cheung, somewhere in “The Author of Sin”, said it was to make sure the elect knew EVERY aspect of God, the wrath included, so every aspect could be glorified (he couldn’t very well dispense unalloyed wrath on the elect, could he?). Thus, God as arch-…lord? I’d consider arch-archon, but I don’t think the Gnostic concept really works that well here. (Arch-dandy? No…)

    Effectively, it boils down to what defines a “proper” divinity–perfect ideals, or perfect power? To the Calvinists (and other supralapsarians), love and wrath are essentially subordinated to glory. (In fact, it seems like EVERYTHING is subordinated to glory and power.) Can such a divinity be said to be capable of genuine, spontaneous, sincere, uncalculating love (or, for that matter, genuine, spontaneous, sincere, uncalculating outrage)? Putting everything in the service of one’s own glory, at least among humans, usually gets labeled along the lines of “sociopathic”. Might do a great job of fearing such a one, but I’m not so sure about loving.

    But perhaps it betrays a free-floating dread in Calvinism. One statement I found said that if God abjured absolute authority over even one molecule, that molecule’s careening path could easily lay waste to everything else God had created. In other words, a God who abjures literal omnipotence has rendered himself incompetent, and this cannot be abided. Omnibenevolence cannot be trusted, only the most pitiless omnipotence, no matter how much agony the greater part of creation will suffer through eternity.

  2. IS GOD THE CAUSE OF TEMPTATION AND CONFUSION?

    Jonathon Edwards said, “The eternal decree is THE CAUSE of the necessary futurition of evil acts, for the acts inevitably follow on the decree.”

    If God causes all things… why does the Bible say:

    Jas 1:13 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man

    1Co 14:33 – For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    If Calvinism is true and God causes all things, then God causes all temptations and all confusion.

    Calvinism is false teaching. It is not biblical.

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