A (Reluctant) Response to Rey

Normally, I just ignore Rey, but this time he brought up an interesting point. In a comment on my previous post, he said:

If we are really born at enmity to God and He is causing this to happen as his punishment of Adam’s sin, then He is as much at enmity with us by His nature as we are at enmity with Him by our nature. We both are then equally guilty, and shall not the equally guilty just mutually forgive one another if they are rational?

I agree that our natures are equally at enmity, but it doesn’t follow that we are both equally guilty. To be sure, there is a breach between the nature of God and the nature of man. We need to ask ourselves: who caused the breach?

There is a cause, and Scripture clearly reveals it. Therefore, it follows that someone caused it. Causes, and their resultant effects, follow in a logical chain. An agent caused the Fall, and we turn to the pages of Scripture to find out who caused the rift.

Go back to the text in Genesis 3. Read it carefully. As far as I can tell, humanity bears full responsibility for causing the breach between God and man, and therefore putting enmity between the nature of man and the nature of God. God, in all his wisdom, tried to prevent that and protect us by forbidding us to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It was by disobeying him that the rift was created, for up to that moment everything in nature had obeyed God’s commands. The first act of disobedience was man’s fault, not God’s. Man transgressed God, not the other way around.

God is not equally guilty with us, I’m afraid. The text won’t allow that conclusion. But it would be evil for God not to offer forgiveness, a way out of this bind.

God does offer forgiveness, Rey. All those who call on his name will be saved (Joel 2:32). Not just some, but all who call on his name. Isn’t that a glorious promise? Repent of your sins, embrace the totality of Scripture, and call on the name of Jesus (Rom 10:9), for there is no other name by which you can be saved (Acts 4:12).

About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on August 28, 2009, in God, Heresy, Sin, Theology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. “We need to ask ourselves: who caused the breach?”

    And we need to give an honest answer: both. God gave Adam a law he didn’t intend for Adam to keep, and Adam (predictably) broke the law that God intended him to break. Both are equally guilty and therefore both are immediately acquitted because their guilt cancels each others’ guilt out.

    Remember that before breaking this law Adam did not know the difference between good and evil. He, therefore, didn’t comprehend that disobeying was evil. He also didn’t comprehend that death is an evil. Only after eating the fruit did any of that set in, because the forbidden fruit was the fruit of the tree of knowledge of what? Good and Evil!

    The story of Adam and Eve is clearly like Moses’ proclamation allowing divorce for reasons that God doesn’t actually support, as when Jesus says “For the hardness of your heart MOSES wrote you this precept.” Also it is like Moses’ invention of the system of animal sacrifices and the tabernacle, of which the prophet Amos says in Amos 5:25

    “Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
    (26)But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
    (27)Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.”

    The tabernacle that Exodus tells us was built by Moses on divine instructions was in reality, according to AMOS the prophet, a manmade idea, and an idolatrous one, in reality the tabernacle of Moloch and Chiun. This Chiun is represented by a star, namely the star of David which Jews still venerate today. The sacrificial cult came out of the worship of Moloch and Chiun, and as a result of its continuance, that is the continuance of animal sacrifices (read all of Amos chapter 5) God brought the Babylonian captivity on the Jews.

    Only the original ten utterances, the 10 commandments were given by God, and the rest Moses made up by himself to which was added the additions of later innovators, until the prophets like Amos decried it all to no avail, and finally God sent Jesus to abolish the animal sacrifices and the rest of the superstitious manmade Jewish observances and traditions once for all, but Paul tried to bring many of them back by declaring they were truly authorized by God when they were not. Jesus Himself says in John “all who came before me were liars” which applies as equally to Moses as to Confucius, yet moreso to Moses for the target audience is Jewish, and the gospel of John also says no man ever saw God, yet Moses features stories of many seeing God in his 5 books, including himself.

    • The Parable of the Tares is really not about God and the Devil both sowing their people into the world, as if the Bible is dualistic (this is the interpretation given in Matthew 13 after Jesus moves on to another parable and returns to interpret this one) but is in reality about the Devil having sown tares in the Scriptures themselves, like claiming that God gave permission to Moses’ armies to rape foreign women or to fathers to sell their daughters into sexual slavery or commanded genocide, or that God gave Adam a law he intended him to break so he could condemn us all tyrannically for no cause. The interpretation of the parable that comes after Jesus has already moved on to a different parable, is itself an example of the devil sowing tares in the Scripture to confuse us. We are to leave the tares in the field, but to only gather the wheat into the barn. Leave the story of Adam’s fall there in the Bible, but don’t gather it into the barn of your soul.

      This interpretation is as old Dionysius of Corinth, an orthodox writer from about 170 who is quoted by Eusebius in his church history, book 3 and chapter 23(?) or 26(?), not sure exactly where because that citation is from memory. The same interpretation is used against Augsutine by Faustus in Augustine’s “Reply to Faustus” in which Faustus makes a reasonable case against inerrancy based to some extent on this parable. The Catholics accuse Faustus of blaspheming the prophets because he says there are errors in the Old Testament, but he retorts that he did not write the accounts that make Abraham a philandering paedofile who uses his position to force a young woman to sleep with him and bear his child, nor did he write the stories that make Moses and David murderers and polygammist nor the adultery of David. No, my friends, he says, the writers of the Old Testament wrote these stories which blaspheme the prophets, and therefore either the writers wrote lies or the prophets were evil men–choose the option you want, but I am not the blasphemer in either case, for either the stories are true in which case they are not blasphemy, or they are false and thus the writers of the Old Testament are the ones blaspheming the prophets!

      • I’ve asked you this before: What is your criteria for determining what is wheat and what is a tare in Scripture? It seems to me that if you cast doubt on some Scripture, then you cast doubt on ALL Scripture.

    • “We need to ask ourselves: who caused the breach?”

      And we need to give an honest answer: both. God gave Adam a law he didn’t intend for Adam to keep, and Adam (predictably) broke the law that God intended him to break. Both are equally guilty and therefore both are immediately acquitted because their guilt cancels each others’ guilt out.

      First of all, how do you figure that both God and man caused the rift between God and man? Man clearly is on the breach end; God did nothing to cause the breach, even though he did everything to repair it. Can you back up the assertion that God intended Adam to break the original commandment from Scripture? Because I gotta say that I don’t see it.

      Secondly, in the world I live in, two wrongs don’t make a right. So even if God is equally guilty as you assert, the situation isn’t automatically corrected by two people sharing equal guilt. If that were the case, then both parties should be making amends to each other. But the way I see it, we owe God everything and he owes us nothing. Therefore, we are the ones who should be making amends. Instead, God offers us salvation by his own doing at the cross. God healed the rift that we created, which is the beauty of the Gospel.

      Remember that before breaking this law Adam did not know the difference between good and evil. He, therefore, didn’t comprehend that disobeying was evil. He also didn’t comprehend that death is an evil. Only after eating the fruit did any of that set in, because the forbidden fruit was the fruit of the tree of knowledge of what? Good and Evil!

      It matters little what Adam comprehended. What matters is that God gave a command that Adam had every reason to obey, and he didn’t obey it. Adam is guilty as charged. As a parallel, consider child molestation laws. There is no mental component involved in the way those statutes are written; if you have sex with someone under a certain age, you are guilty of a crime even if you think that said person is over the age of consent. Even if you were led to believe that said person is over the age of consent! You don’t need to know that you’re guilty or even that you are committing a crime, you only need to commit the act.

      Now if we have such provisions built into our legal code, I don’t see why God can’t have such provisions built into his. Considering the severity of the consequences–the Curse–it is obvious why no mental component was necessary!

      The story of Adam and Eve is clearly like Moses’ proclamation allowing divorce for reasons that God doesn’t actually support, as when Jesus says “For the hardness of your heart MOSES wrote you this precept.” Also it is like Moses’ invention of the system of animal sacrifices and the tabernacle, of which the prophet Amos says in Amos 5:25

      “Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
      (26)But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
      (27)Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.”

      The tabernacle that Exodus tells us was built by Moses on divine instructions was in reality, according to AMOS the prophet, a manmade idea, and an idolatrous one, in reality the tabernacle of Moloch and Chiun. This Chiun is represented by a star, namely the star of David which Jews still venerate today. The sacrificial cult came out of the worship of Moloch and Chiun, and as a result of its continuance, that is the continuance of animal sacrifices (read all of Amos chapter 5) God brought the Babylonian captivity on the Jews.

      Interesting, but not correct. God is denying the sacrifices not because they are being offered incorrectly but because they are being offered to other deities and in the wrong spirit. The entire chapter of Amos is replete with images of the people living incorrectly. This is a call for right living and right frame of mind, which goes back to the Greatest Commandment. You’re twisting it into evidence that Scripture is full of tares.

      Only the original ten utterances, the 10 commandments were given by God, and the rest Moses made up by himself to which was added the additions of later innovators, until the prophets like Amos decried it all to no avail, and finally God sent Jesus to abolish the animal sacrifices and the rest of the superstitious manmade Jewish observances and traditions once for all, but Paul tried to bring many of them back by declaring they were truly authorized by God when they were not. Jesus Himself says in John “all who came before me were liars” which applies as equally to Moses as to Confucius, yet moreso to Moses for the target audience is Jewish, and the gospel of John also says no man ever saw God, yet Moses features stories of many seeing God in his 5 books, including himself.

      Again, interesting. Jesus, in reference to the whole law of Moses, also said that we should obey the scribes and the Pharisees because they sit on Moses’ seat. He also said that not a jot nor a tittle of the Law will pass away until all has been fulfilled. My friend Craig French has a good post on the applicability of the Law right here. We are free of the ceremonial law, but the moral standards of the Law still apply.

      Interesting that you think Paul tried to bring back the Law, since Galatians was written specifically to combat the error of people trying to live out the Jewish Law. Paul was very much against the whole idea of the Law being used in that way, though I doubt he would share your view.

  2. To anyone reading this who might not have read my comments on the other post (https://josiahconcept.org/2009/08/21/c-michael-patton-nails-it-again/) the last post, notice that I am not saying that because Adam and God are both equally guilty in the Garden of Eden debacle that murderers and rapists are going to heaven. I am only arguing against the notion that we are born guilty of sin because of Adam. See my last comment on the other post about the Soteriology of the Synoptics.

  3. I see you have replied to me with some plausible arguments well suited to convince yourself for a few minutes longer, but only partially have you replied, for you ignore my mention of Deuteronomy 21:10-14 like the plague. But I only refered to it by subject matter however as the place where God is said to give permission to Moses armies to rape foreign women, so perhaps you were not aware of what passage I meant. There the kjv and others use the unfortunate lying phrase “wouldest have her to wife” but there is actually no word for wife in Hebrew, only woman, and here the woman even if she is made a “wife” so-called is done so by force and that by a conqueror whose army (perhaps the very solder who “courts” her) has killed her husband and her family, as the passage says she must bewail them. And in verse 14 it is specifically stated “thou hast humbled her” which is a euphemism for rape which is also used again in Deut 22:29 where it is said that a man who lays hold on a virgin to lay with her cannot ever put her away “because he has humbled her.” Ezekiel 22:10 also refers to the wickedness of men who “humble” a woman while she is on her period. It is therefore certain that according to Deut 21, God gave Moses’ armies express permission to rape so long as they also shaved the women’s heads, and he even goes so far as to allow them to put her away when they get bored with raping her, although if a man rapes an Israelite woman this is not allowed. Not only then does Moses depict God as giving permission to rape foreign women but he shows partiallity in allowing the man to “divorce” the foreign rape-wife while a man cannot “divorce” an Israelite rape-wife, yet God is supposed to be no respector of persons. This also combines with Jesus saying that MOSES wrote the precepts on divorce himself, not that God gave them, for surely you must admit God did not truly give permission to rape? Or will you use the tired old Calvinist “might makes right” defense that since God is Almighty he can do any wicked thing and still remain good because he has the power to crack your head if you complain? Will you say “because God made humans he may do to them whatever he pleases, including rape them himself”? For my part, I see this passage as the utmost in blasphemy, for even if murder might could be excused in some instances, rape certainly can NEVER be excused; and I have Jesus Himself as my witness that Moses wrote such passages based on his own think-sos rather than divine revelation, just as Jesus also says that Elijah called fire down from heaven to kill the 100 soldiers by a different spirit according to Jesus in Luke 9:55 where he rebukes James and John as not knowing “what spirit ye are of” for seeking to emulate Elijah on this point, and truly that spirit is “the prince of the power of the AIR, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2) which explains how he could enable the miracle of fire from the sky to kill one’s enemies.

    • I may have only replied partially, but you have not replied to any of my arguments. So let’s look at the Scripture I have allegedly avoided, and see what’s really there. I believe that you’re twisting again, and I can argue from Scripture and scholarly sources to prove that case. You, on the other hand, can only offer your opinion, since you fail to back any of these bare assertions with source material.

      The Scripture in question is Deuteronomy 21:10-14, which in the English Standard Version reads thus:

      When you go out to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.

      First of all, there are certain rules that are given in this passage for how the captive is to be treated. One is that she is not to be treated like a slave. I deduce that that means that she shares equally in the covenant with God, and is saved according to the Old Covenant. Slaves were saved, too (cf. Gen 17:12 and Ex 12:43), so I imagine that someone in Hebrew society who is above that caste is also saved. For a more definitive answer, check here for what the Bible says about slavery. Slaves in Hebrew society were treated better by far than any other society in the ANE. I make the point because the wife is above the slave status, and therefore would be treated even better.

      Notice the rule that the captor has to wait a month before marrying the captive. This is designed to curb a heat-of-the-moment decision and allow the captive time to adjust to her new circumstance. It’s an ancient “cooling off” period. It is beneficial to both captor and captive.

      Now, what does the euphemism “humiliated her” mean, if it is indeed a euphemism? The Matthew Henry commentary says this:

      If, upon second thoughts, he that had brought her to his house with a purpose to marry her changed his mind and would not marry her, he might not make merchandise of her, as of his other prisoners, but must give her liberty to return, if she pleased, to her own country, because he had humbled her and afflicted her, by raising expectations and then disappointing them (Deu 21:14); having made a fool of her, he might not make a prey of her. This intimates how binding the laws of justice and honour are, particularly in the pretensions of love, the courting of affections, and the promises of marriage, which are to be looked upon as solemn things, that have something sacred in them, and therefore are not to be jested with.

      So, there’s one commentary that takes the passage at face value and doesn’t indicate that the euphemism means “raped her.” I’d like to see your source on that.

  4. If God were only denying the sacrifices because of the sinfulness of the offerers, Amons would not have called the tabernacle of the wilderness wandering the tabernacle of Moses nor revealed that the star of David is an idol. Nor would he so blanketly say he desires not sacrifice but only righteousness, which is said by Amos here and also other prophets. And, logically, sacrifice is intended to be offered by sinners not righteous men so the notion of rejecting their sacrifices because they are sinners is silly, and rather the sacrifices are rejected because they are sin, for “he that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man, and he that sacrificeth a lamb as if he cut off a dog’s neck…” In Isaiah 66:3. Nor would Stephan the first Christian martyr in Acts 7:42 preface his quote of this verse by saying of the Israelites “Then God turned and gave them up to worship the hosts of heaven” by which it is clear that Stephan views the sacrificial system as worship of the host of heaven not of God who is not worshipped with mens hands.notice however how Stephen’s speech has been reworked by a second hand so that after saying such he is represented as claiming Moses made the tabernacle on divine instructions. But if God had indeed given them up to worship heavenly bodies then he did not give the sacrificial system as worship of himself, even as in Ezekiel 20:25 “I gave them also statutes not good, and judgments by which they should not live.”

  5. It does not say he cannot treat her as a slave but that if he decides to get rid of her he cannot sell her as a slave. Your version is a corruption of a corruption which seeks to positively spin it. Furthermore the “if thou have no pleasure in her” is after she has already become his wife. As to my reference on “humbled her” being a euphemism for rape, I already gave two, one of which is in the very next chapter and cannot be denied.

    • It does say that he can’t treat her like a slave. Plain as day, in black and white. Read verse 14b again: “But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.”

      The NET Bible agrees that there are sexual overtones to the Hebrew word translated “humiliated,” so I’ll concede that it could also refer to rape. But still notice that there are rules for dealing with the captive wife; that’s markedly better than other ANE societies.

      I’m done with this thread unless you actually answer my arguments.

  6. The translation you are using is nothing but a dishonest positively spun PARAPHRASE that ensures that it covers up anthing in the Bible that might be objectionable. Look at the Kjv of verse 14 “And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou has humbled her.”. Note first of all that the rules of what he can do with her only apply if he has no pleasure in her. If he has no pleasure in her then he cannot sell her as a slave. But if he does have pleasure in her he can rape her like as slave just as he is already doing, for he has already “humbled her.”. And to translate that as “humiliated” is wrong because it is “humbled” which is a well-known euphemism for rape, which you are still ignoring. See the next chapter in 22:28-29 “if a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not bethrothed, and @lay hold on her@, and lie with her, and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath @humbled her@, he may not put her away all his days.” Aside from another point I could make about the rape-victim being forced to marry the rapist and how sad that is for a supposedly benelovent being to enact such legislation (or rather be falsely accused of doing so), but I will just move on and say that this establishes that the meaning of “humbled her” is “raped her” because he layed hold on her (forced her) according to the text.

    • I conceded your point. Stop beating dead horses and start answering my arguments.

      • So, you concede that you believe God is a tyrant who can and does do just anything he wants because “might makes right?” That’s the real difference between us. I can’t believe that God would do such things, but you bask in accusing him of such and then saying “although he did this horrible thing, he’s still good because he’s almighty.” It is sickening.

      • I said no such thing. I conceded the point that that verse was talking about rape. Just because something is in the Bible doesn’t mean that God condones it; but he did offer some things to the people because of their hardness of heart. That would have undoubtedly been one such example.

        Now, stop grasping at strawmen and start answering my arguments.

  7. Actually, Jesus does not say that GOD allowed anything for the hardness of their hearts but that MOSES did. Moses may very well have given explicit permission for rape, but to say that God did is blasphemy. Hence the passage can only be viewed as blasphemy, and that explains why Jesus would say MOSES (not God) wrote such things.

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