Posts Tagged ‘Human Responsibility’

Own Your Own Sin

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

In my last post I asked if God was responsible for sin? I argued that God is, as least secondarily, responsible for the existence of sin because although he had the power to prevent it he chose not to.

I offered the analogy of someone aware that a bank robbery was about to occur and did not call the police. That individual is secondarily responsible for the robbery because they had the power to prevent it, and chose not to. Does this remove culpability from the one committing the robbery? Does this excuse his action? Absolutely not!

Let’s say that you knew that I was going to rob a bank and did nothing to stop me. You would not be directly responsible for the fact that I robbed the bank. I still had the choice not to rob the bank. I am responsible for the choices I make.

Applying this to our conversation, we can see that, although God may be indirectly responsible for sin, each individual is directly responsible for every sin that they commit. God is therefore just in judging sin.
In response to some of the comments from Tuesday’s post this is why we cannot justify our sin be putting it back on God. By God’s design we are free moral agents. Although God allows for the potentiality of sin we are still responsible for the free choices that we make. We must own our own sin.

Is God Responsible for Sin?

Monday, June 14th, 2010

I love having conversations with people who disagree with me. It forces me to think. It forces me to understand why I think or believe the way I do. A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with a Pentecostal friend of mine. We were discussing how sin entered the world. My friend believes that sin entered the world through the agency of free moral agents and there was nothing that God could do to stop it. The way I understand what he was saying, sending Jesus was God’s reaction to sin and his way of fixing something that went horribly wrong.

Let’s take a closer look at the argument. First, we both agree that sin is in the world. Second, we both agree that sin is offensive to God. The question then is, how did something offensive to God enter the world. I see two possibilities. (1) God was unable to prevent sin from entering the world because of either a lack of knowledge or a lack of power. (2) God was able to prevent sin from entering the world but chose not to prevent it.

The problem with option 1 is that it denies God’s omniscience, omnipotence, or both. The problem with 2 is that it makes God, at least secondarily, responsible for sin entering the world by allowing sin to enter the world. Now, I know some of you are going to balk at the second problem but pause and think about it for a moment. If my dog bites my neighbor, who is responsible? Me. If I know that my neighbor is going to rob a bank and I don’t call the police, am I responsible. In a secondary sense I am and the law hold me responsible. If God had the knowledge that sin would enter the world and the power to stop it and he chose not to he is, at least secondarily, responsible for sin entering the world.

So either God could not prevent sin or God is partially responsible for sin. For my friend, he is more comfortable with saying that God could not stop sin than saying that God is partially responsible for sin. I can’t accept that. I can’t sleep at night thinking that there is something outside of God’s ability to control. Outside of God’s sovereignty. How can I trust that God will fulfill all his promises if he sin was able to enter the world against God’s will. To me this makes sin in a sense more powerful than God. That not only gives me fits philosophically but it is not biblical. Therefore, I accept that God is secondarily responsible for sin entering the world because he could have stopped it. But, I trust that since God is all good and all loving his choice to allow sin is the good loving choice. I don’t understand it. But God has always been faithful and good to me so I trust him in spite of my lack of understanding.

Now, I know that someone reading this post is going to argue that I am making God responsible for the fact that they sin. Well, that’s not what I believe but this post has already gotten too long so come back Thursday and I’ll explain what I believe about that. Please leave you comments below. Like I said, I like to talk to people who disagree with me. That’s how we all learn and grow. It’s how we love God with all our minds.