willieH: Hi Paul...
I am who I am and I do not ask God why I am who i am. I know from learning of Gods character that it did not enter his mind to command me to sin, but he planned for my actions knowing what I would do so there was no chance that my action could keep me from him.
IMO there is no evidence that "He planned" anything... HE is working ALL THINGS, and WE are amongst what amounts to, "ALL THINGS" -- Eph 1:11
Perhaps "planned" is not an accurate word, my point comes from two verses.
The first is Proverbs 5:21 the word "ponder" or "consider" seems to be the words used in the translations I have looked at, but the definitions primary meaning is "To prepare the way" which implies at least some similar concept.
One of the things about a "PLAN" is that it can be disruppted or fail... however, in THIS CASE... ALL THINGS are already NOTED in PERFECTION (by GOD's perfect DECLARATION made by his PERFECT FOREKNOWLEDGE), and are according to that PERFECT PREPARATION... which cannot fail to accomplish the PURPOSE for which they are intended...
Is not the idea of "PREPARED" an observation of something which is ALREADY in place? The word "PONDERETH" [#H6424] PALAC
which means to ROLL FLAT or PREPARE
... rather than "CONSIDER"
If one is PREPARING, then that PREPARATION (what is IN PLACE
) is that which is "CONSIDERED", rather than the "arrival" of the one which "experiences" that which was "PREPARED" and "in place"...
I play music, and oftentimes go ahead of the performance to set the equipment up... PREPARING to (later on) play the music... When I arrive for the performance, the equipment, which is already IN PLACE is the vehicle upon which the performance "rides"... So is the FOREKNOWLEDGE of GOD, the preparation of what we "DO"... which entails the PERFECT accomplishment of His Purpose FOR US...
The second is
1C 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Not every thing man conceives of is possible even for God.
Might I interrupt for a moment -- NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE for or with
, GOD... NOTHING! That a given observer of GOD's movements considers something IMPOSSIBLE for GOD, is about the LACK of the ability to completely observe, NOT that something is able to be concieved by Man, and because man percieves it to be IMPOSSIBLE, he therefore determines it NOT POSSIBLE for God.
This is a variation of thought, such as the -- "can God make a rock that is too heavy for Him to lift" type of observation which is often made sarcastically by Athiests... Is easily answerable. The answer being YES... but it is not due to GOD being unable to LIFT it... it is due to HIS ORDAINATION that NO ONE, including Himself
, is to LIFT IT, according to HIS WILL and PURPOSE...
For instance, if I read a verse that says "all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me" I then can feel all goose bumpy about that, but if I then say, well since all things are possible then through Christ I should be able to cheat on my wife and not sin. So we soon prove that all things are not possible and that ALL in this issue has a context.
ALL things that are POSSIBLE "through CHRIST
" do NOT include "cheating on ones wife", Paul... Those "ALL THINGS" are in accordance with the standard of morality within GOD, which does not include those TRANSGRESSIONS of that "standard"...
It is these cliche phrases that Christians don't really think about much that gets them into theological trouble. God does have what "appears" to us as limits, but it is irrelevant that we perceive them as such. The verse that "God creates evil" has been so literalized that few see that God is responsible for evil because he set forth creation, but creation was set forth on a journey to perfection, but there are things that must be in order to get us there and God cannot change them. So evil is real, it is as real as we are, but it is not a result of God purposely making evil if in his limitless power did not have to.
It is not a question of "God cannot change them", ... it is that God had ORDAINED them to BE... and they AS THEY ARE, are not IN NEED of "change"...
Obviously within God's LIMITLESS power, it is NECESSARY according to DIVINE DECREE (declaring the end from the beginning - Isaiah 46:10
)... That "we" should observe this journey as UNNECESSARY only notes our inability to "see" the BIG (Divine) Picture...
God simply says, "Look here, your experiencing evil and there is no other way for you to be like me, that's just how it is, you will understand one day as there is no other way. It is my fault because I started this, but do not fear as it has no power to prevent your arrival in my arms"
Not sure what version or where this quote is located, so I'll reserve commentary on it.
GOD did not "plan" for you (or I) to sin but you (and I) do, because His FOREKNOWLEDGE of "your (and my) sin" ...ORDAINED that you (and I) comply with that FOREKNOWLEDGE... Rom 9:11
I agree that God did not plan for us to sin. We sin because even God cannot change the path we are on to righteousness. He prepared for what must be so that nothing can fail to get us there.
What GOD "Foreknows" cannot occur otherwise... and His perfect "FOREKNOWLEDGE" is NOT determined by US (imperfect "decision makers") and our doings... it is the other way around...
Foreknowlege in the realm of a being who can see beginning to end does not mean we were not free to choose from the preferences of our own will, it simply means that God was able to ensure that freedom could not derail salvation for each of us.
That is your opinion brother P... and you are welcome to it... however... That GOD PERFECTLY "FOREKNEW" all that MEN (who had yet to exist), would DO... cannot ALTER that FOREKNOWLEDGE -- via any "decisions" those men would make, when they eventually came to "exist".
IOW... the car is designed to start upon the ignition key being turned... and the manufacturer has built it to THAT SPECIFICATION... that the "purchaser" of the car, eventually TURNS the key, does NOT make him the innovator of this parameter (the key starting the car) by his "decision" to -- turn it...
But as we know, many of us took a wide path of destruction before coming to believe and some actually took a much narrower path.
And ALL those "pathways" are being chosen by GOD to UNFOLD they way HE foreknew them, as they unfold... As is PLAINLY noted in Rom 9:11
and DETAILED in the verses following.
That is how I see it, ...each of us have a viewpoint of this... both have the potential to be inaccurate...
Of course, the main point I made with what you said is that the right to question "God" is more about questioning what we perceive or what we are told by others.
If I disagree and question what you say to me I think you know that is not the same as questioning God.
So perhaps the question is, at what point are we actually questioning our maker in opposition to where scripture makes a mention of the futility of such?
I guess we shall find out one day brother Paul... For now, I believe we each walk a pathway which is ORDAINED by God that we walk... and each pathway is directly or indirectly interconnected to everyone else which is -- GOD working all things "with us all"
, for HIS PURPOSE to be accomplished, "for us all"