‘GOD IS NOT A TYRANT – HIS LAWS ARE NOT IMPOSSIBLE
[Read also “The Nobody is Perfect Myth“]
During my preaching, I explained that God is not a tyrant. God does not command us to do the impossible, at the threat of eternal hell. Sinners go to hell because God has given them the ability to obey Him, but they refused to do so. God is just, not tyrannical. A command implies ability. The very wording of the law shows that man is able to obey. The law says to love “with all thy” and “as thyself”. Therefore our moral obligation is perfectly proportionate to our moral ability. God commands us not to sin and He gives us the ability not to sin. Therefore God is not a tyrant.
After my preaching, a Calvinist approached me and objected to my statement that God is not a tyrant. He said, “God is a despot”. I explained that God is a Ruler, but God is not a tyrant. God requires us to do what is just and reasonable, what we are capable of. The Bible says that God never allows temptation to exceed our ability, but always provides a way of escape. We see this when God tried to persuade Cain to overcome temptation and master sin.
GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF SIN
[See next title for links]
Upon further reasoning with him, he told me that God is the author of sin. He believed that sin was God’s plan, that God chose the existence of sin when it did not exist by decreeing its existence from eternity past. He said God is the ultimate cause of all things, including all sin. I said that God created the possibility of sin, when He gave us a free will. But the actuality of sin is our own fault, because it is originated in our free will, not God’s.
He said that God could cause us to sin, yet still hold us responsible for sin. Therefore, he argued, we are responsible even though we don’t have a free will. I argued that if man is a mere machine, which God operates, then God is ultimately, and in reality, responsible for what we do. If God causes us to sin, sin is God’s fault. In this scenario, God would be the only real sinner in all of the universe, because God is the only real agent that causes sin to occur. If I took a car and ran over innocent people, the Police would arrest me not the car! If I took a puppet with a knife and killed someone with it, I would be guilty, not the puppet. If man is just a puppet in the hands of God, God is responsible for all that man does, God is guilty of all the sin in the world.
THE “SECRET WILL OF GOD” HERESY
[Read also “God’s Lordship and Man’s Free Will“]
I argued that God, in the Bible, always tells us not to sin. God commands that we be perfect. God is angry with sinners when they sin. God’s eternal decree regarding sin is “thou shalt not”. The Calvinist said that the revealed will of God is that we shouldn’t sin, but the secret will of God is that we should sin. God actually prefers sin over holiness in every instance that it occurs. I argued that if God has a secret will which is contrary to His revealed will, then we cannot believe or trust anything God says, we could not believe or trust the Bible at all! God says that Jesus is the only way, but in his view, there secretly might be many ways! God cannot lie. The revealed will of God is the actual will of God. God says He doesn’t want us to sin. Therefore sin must not be God’s will, or else God is a liar. The fact that sin has occurred, contrary to the will of God, is proof that man has a free will. The fact that God gets grieved and angered over sin proves that sin is not God’s plan and that man has a free will.
I asked this Calvinist, “Did God want to have a sinless universe of a sinful universe?” He said that God wanted a sinful universe, so that He could exercise His mercy. I argued that if God causes sin, just so that He could pardon sin or cure sin, He is like a fire man who starts a fire just so He can put it out! In this scenario, we could not truly praise God for His efforts for man’s salvation.
It grieves my heart deeply that men can believe that God is a despot or that God is the author of sin. I find that the beliefs of the religious on campuses can be even worst than the beliefs of the heathen on the campuses.’
Source: Jesse Morrell, “Campus Preaching, North Carolina State University, Raleigh (Newsletter)” (injesus).
Notes between brackets “” are added by crosstheology.