“If ye — walk contrary unto me, then will I also walk contrary unto you” (Lev. 26:23-24)
Most Christians are naturally aware of that the Bible is replete with examples of people acting contrary to God’s law and recommendations, but Calvinists must assume that God makes people disobey – or else they believe that God is not sovereign.
“If” … “then” … God often (or constantly) acts depending on man’s actions:
Lev. 26:2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.3If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. —14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. — 21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. —23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. —27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. —40If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also THEY HAVE WALKED CONTRARY UNTO ME;41 And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
People can apparently choose their own ways, contrary to God’s ways, or is God making the choice for them? Why then can we read that “they have chosen their own ways” if it is in reality God who is doing the choosing?:
Is. 66:3 — Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
Surely the people corrupted themselves, rather than God doing it to them. “They ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way” – would this be God’s fault?
Judg. 2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their owndoings, nor from their stubborn way.
Prov. 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Is. 56:11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
Rebellious people oppose an authority, and in this case it is God himself. They walk after their own thoughts and not after God’s thoughts:
Is. 65:2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
God is not culpable for that fact that people delight in detestable things and their own abominations:
Is. 66:3 — Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
Ez. 11:21 But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God.
God would have no reason to pour indignation over people if they always act according to his will:
Ez. 22:31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God.
God should not be blamed for people who defile themselves because they act contrary to his will:
Ez. 35:17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.
We are not born in sin but we are fearfully and wonderfully made. If God’s ways always pan out the way he prefers, why can we read about the Spirit and the Flesh being contrary to one another? Paul’s solution is that we should be led by the Spirit (obey the Spirit), and in doing so we will not serve the flesh. The choice is ours and God will not make the choice for us or instead of us. If we sin, it is always our fault and God should never be blamed.
Gal. 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Gal. 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Rom. 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.— 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
If the root cause for our thoughts and actions is God, then there is no free will. And that is true.
You have a conflict because you think God can be blamed unless we have free will. But it’s impossible to blame God under any circumstance, because everything God does is good, since God is the existence, and the existence cannot do anything bad, by definition. You take for granted that God created beings for whom He has no redemptive plan, no option for salvation, no payment for sins with Jesus’ blood, no mercy – fallen angels, and you don’t blame God for that. But you think if some humans, sinners, also have no option for salvation, God is to blame. That’s contradiction in thought, a hypocrisy of sorts.
God’s judgement on sin has no correlation on whether sinner has free will or not.
Read again what I wrote. God created us, and without his creation we would not have any bodies and we would not be able to think and act. God is the cause for our existence, but he is certainly not steering our thoughts.
Either man has free will or God’s will always happens – which makes God alone the author or sin. This is the common Calvinist dilemma.
If everything God does is good, and if God is the one forming our thoughts and actions, then abortion, murder, rape, pedophilia are all good things which should be praised.
The Bible, however, is replete with examples of people acting against God’s will. This makes man responsible for his actions/sins and not God.
You also speak about hypocrisy, but surely you must believe this also happen according to the will of God? Why would God first force people to sin, and judge them for this sin that he wanted them to commit?
If free will is true, you’ll be able to provide logical answer to this question: What is the root cause that makes one man have saving faith, and the other not?
Free will is definitely true or else God alone must be blamed for all of our actions. Why are some saved and others not? Due to their own choices and actions. We cannot save ourselves, however. God created us to seek him and find him (Acts 17) so we can thank him for our life and our ability to make choices, but he does not force us to choose his way. Love is based on free will.
It is impossible to blame God for any action God makes, under any circumstance. You didn’t provide an answer, though. You said – one’s own choices and actions. That could be a cause, but not the root cause, because the question is still – what is the root cause that makes one man make good choice and other not? If they are both created with the same potential to have saving faith (keyword: the same), what makes the difference that results in one men making good choice and actions, and the other not? What is the root cause?
The root cause for our existence is God and his creation. We would not be able to make any choices had God never created us. We can choose to obey/disobey love/hate, and we are created with the potential to make our own choices – and will be judged accordingly. This means, that if someone refuses to seek and obey God so, he/she must be blamed for it and not God.
If we have no free will, then God must be blamed for our thoughts and actions. Each sin would be God’s fault and we would be innocent victims.
We will be judged precisely based on our thoughts and actions:
Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.