[I wrote this a while back, and found the relevance of it when I went through again the issues concerning sin in man. It is interesting to note that Pelagians and Semi-pelagians (which includes Arminians of various degrees) do not think that sin corrupted the will of man in making a choice. That is an error in logic, as a will that is uncorruptible by sin does not need Grace from God; which is equivalent to ‘works of man’.]
I have problems when I read how ‘cheapened’ the God of the bible is made up to be among evangelicals. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one with this line of thinking. Anyway, how is God cheapened or domesticated?
Well, one way is by likening God to that of an earthly father or an employer. E.g. It is inconceivable for a father to be justified in condemning a son who had no ability in passing his examinations. And therefore, the argument given is that God must be really cruel nor can He do such a thing because by the analogy, it is unjust to do so.
Answer: A father who does that of course is cruel and idiotic. And has no sense of humility. But can God be likened to that? Does a father create the child? Can a father have total ownership of the child? Of course not.
Now if we were to put out the true basis of God’s actions, which is defined by God (not our own sense of what justice is), it then is reversed: Imagine a Creator who has created a creature. The creature was made to fulfill an objective as determined by the Creator. Unfortunately, the creature messed it up and by so doing short circuited its entire being, resulting in an inability to fulfill its objective. The Creator who owns it definitely would have the right to command of the creature to meet its objective. But it cannot. Yet, the Creator is now commanding the creature to do as it was created to do. Is that not just?
Creature messed up. Creature is unable to do as it was created due to itself. Creator has no right or just cause to command it to fulfill its objective created for? If that’s the line of thinking, then don’t we ever dare be frustrated with our possessions (creatures which we have ownership in) when they are broken or spoilt. For if you ever were to do so, you’re just being stupid. Well, experience tells us that if your car is totalled, you as the owner have all the right to send it to the junk yard to be scrapped. It is useless, therefore you would still wish (in our limited human way) it was able to transport you, but because it cannot, you have all the right to decide its fate.
Unless you as the owner, repair the damage, fix the engine, and then it becomes ready and willing to do as it was created for.
Do not cheapen God with wrong analogies.
One of the chief reasons why many are unable to grasp the concept of total depravity of man, is because they fail to see the frame of reference from God’s point of view, and merely see it from a human, experiential way. Choose good. Sure, anyone can choose things that are described as good, but real spiritual good is defined not by actions, but the heart condition. Therefore, good people are going to hell! Yes, people who ‘choose good’. That is why, it is a universal blanket that original sin is pervasive in all nooks of the human being, in all aspects. Even in the total corruption of will. Can they choose good works. Of course. That is why they can choose good, and die in their ‘goodness’. But true goodness is only given by God and attributable to Him. That is why those who are righteous are righteous by the presence of the Holy Spirit (God Himself) in their lives, so that whatever good done is not by themselves, but by God. Why then are people not as sinful as they can be? Why are some ‘externally good’? Because God has given grace (common grace is the technical term here) more on some and witheld the greater corruption of sin from permeating more in that society. Are those external good, good in the sight of God? No. What then is their external good? Their external good is just a semblance of True Goodness, that brings benefit to society (in a physical sense) and thus have no true bearing on spiritual matters — since their hearts are unconverted and not dwelt by God)
Grace is grace, when sin is seen as sin.
Any cheapening of sin in its totality and effect, cheapens salvation likewise.
[With the publication of this, I have no more ‘drafts’ in my blog system 🙂 Finally!]