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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, September 22, 2013

More Nonsense from the Van Tilian Pariah of Paradox: R. Scott Clark Says God Did Not Ordain Evil


By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death. 

-- Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 3:3



Somewhere along the line R. Scott Clark got brave and decided to tackle the question of why homosexuals are homosexuals.  The trouble is he contradicts Scripture and himself all along the way.  Of course, R. S. Clark is right when he says that God created Adam and Eve perfect, and there were no sexual deviants prior to the fall. But Scotty cannot decide if he agrees with Scripture and the Westminster Confession of Faith when both declare that all things come to pass by God's particular providence and divine decrees.  His response is that God did not "make" homosexuals that way:

So, no, it’s not true that “God made me this way.” All sin, including homosexuality, is a consequence of the fall but God did not make anything fallen. Our sinful dispositions, attitudes, and acts are the consequences of our fall in Adam. We sin because we’re sinners. On analogy with the other sins forbidden by God’s law, why can’t the idolater, the coveter, the thief, the heterosexual fornicator or adulterer or the murderer make the same argument? Of course he can’t! God has not violated his own law. God did not sin. He did not corrupt the world. We did.

“That may be,” one might argue “but isn’t God in control of all that happens? If so, why did he ordain that I should be born with these inclinations?” Again, as a consequence of the fall, every human is born with sinful inclinations. There are as many ways to transgress God’s law as there are imaginations and people. We are deeply corrupted by sin. Every faculty of our soul is corrupted by sin. We do not think as we ought. We do not will as we ought and we do not love as we ought. By nature, Scripture teachers [sic], we are inclined to hate God and our neighbor.

If you’re asking if I can explain how God can be sovereign over all things and not morally liable for the evil that happens in the world, I reply by saying that’s a great mystery to which no one has ever offered a completely satisfactory answer.  [From:  Gay Christians? (2)]

Dr. R. Scott Clark must be reading a different Bible than the one I read.  Or maybe he just cannot bring himself to accept what the Bible plainly says.  Any plow boy can read the text and see that God ordains evil.  And the Westminster Confession of Faith says plainly that this particularized providence extends even to the original fall of Adam.  Although God is not the author of sin, Scripture plainly says that all that comes to pass is ordained by God.  For Clark to say that he does not know where evil comes from or that God "did not corrupt the world" is to equivocate.   If he means that it was Adam's fault that God cursed the creation and all of Adam's progeny, then it would be correct that God "did not corrupt the world."  But if Clark means to say that evil just happens by itself (Proverbs 16:33), and that God did not curse Adam and the creation because of Adam's original sin, then obviously Scott Clark is not following Scripture or the Westminster Confession of Faith.  The Belgic Confession in Article 13 likewise says that nothing happens by chance, and everything that happens is ordained by God.

The clearest examples of Scott Clark's deliberate equivocation on this issue come from Scripture.  For one thing, the text in Genesis 3 clearly says that God cursed creation and all Adam's progeny because Adam disobeyed God.  So the evil we see is the result of both Adam's rebellion and God's curse placed on mankind.  Furthermore, the providence of God extends even to the original fall.

To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you." 17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying,`You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return." (Genesis 3:16-19 NKJ)

So it would appear that God's curse is the punishment and the justice He rendered as a result of Adam's rebellion.  Evil, therefore, is a result of God's curse.  Romans 5:16 and following shows this to be true as well:

And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. (Romans 5:16 NKJ)

All moral evil is the result of God's curse.  This is obvious because the tree of the knowledge of good and evil makes man aware of evil:

"but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:17 NKJ)

The clincher here is that the Bible does say that God creates some vessels for destruction, which implies reprobates of every variety.  That would include by implication the homosexuals who refuse to repent.

The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom. (Proverbs 16:4 NKJ)

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, (Romans 9:22 NKJ)

God turns wicked men over to reprobation, according to Romans 1:18-32.  And in Romans 9:11-13, God hates Esau before he was born or had an opportunity to do good or evil.   Pharaoh is raised up for the very purpose that God would display His justice against the evil of men:

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." (Romans 9:17 NKJ)
Clearly, God's display of power in Pharaoh was demonstrated in the ten plagues and the wiping out of Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea.  God was not exercising so-called "common grace" when He cursed Pharaoh.  The display of power mentioned in the text is clearly the execution of God's justice.  Furthermore, God predetermined everything that happened to Pharaoh.  Exodus 4:21 plainly says that God had predetermined to harden Pharaoh's heart, not that Pharaoh was punished because he first hardened his own heart.  Pharaoh could not have willed otherwise because he had no free will.

And the real clincher is that the Bible does tell us why there are homosexuals in the world today:

. . . because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man-- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; (Romans 1:21-28 NKJ)

So homosexuality is a curse placed on idolaters by God.  Furthermore, God cursed all mankind after Adam's rebellion.  Homosexuality is one of the curses God placed on the reprobate.  Although some homosexuals may be elect and will be given the grace to repent and change their minds, the fact that homosexuals in general refuse to repent and are unable to change is proof of their reprobation.  Their excuse that God made them that way is no excuse; because even if God did make them that way, it was not a gift but a result of the curse God placed on Adam and all his progeny.  Even R. Scott Clark knows this, but he pretends he does not know it because he is more interested in appeasing worldly objectors than following the plain teaching of God's Word (2 Peter 1:19-21).

We can see this because R. Scott Clark admits that nothing God does is wrong:  "God has not violated his own law. God did not sin."  (Ibid.) Of course, what R. Scott Clark does not say is that God is subject to no law (Psalm 115:3; 135:6-12; Daniel 4:35).  The law is revealed to man for man's obedience, not God's obedience.  God needs no law outside Himself.  The moral law of God reveals our sin (Romans 3:20; 7:7).

Something else that R. S. Clark fails to mention is that total inability is no excuse for the sins of anyone who is reprobate, including homosexuals.  Simply because homosexuals are unable to change does not render them excused from obeying God's law.  This argument goes all the way back to Pelagius' and Augustine's debate.  Augustine's prayer seems to upset even Van Tilians:  "Lord, command what you will and grant what you command."

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (Romans 8:7 NKJ)
[See also:  Article 9 and Article 10 of the 39 Articles of Religion].

Furthermore, in response to R. Scott Clark's skepticism about God's decrees in regard to evil I must say that Isaiah 45:7 does not restrict "evil" to "calamities" but extends also to moral evil:

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7 KJV)
I find it ironic that Scott Clark says that he does not know where evil comes from.  The Bible says that both blessings and curses come from God:

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? (Amos 3:6 KJV)
God not only creates homosexuals for destruction but He made them that way to display His justice (Romans 9:22; Proverbs 16:4).   Yet God is not the author of sin nor does He violate the volitions of moral agents.  They willingly do what they do even if they cannot will otherwise (James 1:13-17).  God will show mercy to whom He will show mercy and He will harden whom He will harden (Romans 9:16-18).  Paul's response to the objector here is that God can make any man whatever He wants to make him.  Shall the pot complain to the Potter, "Why did you make me a homosexual?"

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (Romans 9:20-22 KJV)


And lastly, I will quote the Westminster Confession and the Belgic Confession to show that both say that God's providence leaves nothing to chance, including homosexuality:


Westminster Confession of Faith


Chapter 3: Of God's Eternal Decree

1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:1 yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,2 nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.3

See also: WLC 12 | WSC 7


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1 Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15,18.

2 James 1:13,17; 1 John 1:5.

3 Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27,28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33.

2. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions,1 yet hath He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.2


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1 Acts 15:18; 1 Sam. 23:11,12; Matt. 11:21,23.

2 Rom. 9:11,13,16,18.

3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels1 are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.2

See also: WLC 13


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1 1 Tim. 5:21; Matt. 25:41.

2 Rom. 9:22,23; Eph. 1:5,6; Prov. 16:4.

4. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.1

See also: WLC 13


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1 2 Tim. 2:19; John 13:18.

5. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory,1 out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perserverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto;2 and all to the praise of His glorious grace.3


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1 Eph. 1:4,9,11; Rom. 8:30; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Thess. 5:9.

2 Rom. 9:11,13,16; Eph. 1:4,9.

3 Eph. 1:6,12.

6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto.1 Wherefore, they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ;2 are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified,3 and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation.4 Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.5


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1 1 Pet. 1:2; Eph. 1:4,5; Eph. 2:10; 2 Thess. 2:13.

2 1 Thess. 5:9,10; Tit. 2:14.

3 Rom. 8:30; Eph. 1:5; 2 Thess. 2:13.

4 1 Pet. 1:5.

5 John 17:9;Rom. 8:28; John 6:64,65; John 10:26; John 8:47; 1 John 2:19.

7. The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.1


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1 Matt. 11:25,26; Rom. 9:17,18,21,22; 2 Tim. 2:19,20; Jude 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:8.

8. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,1 that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election.2 So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God,3 and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation, to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.4


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1 Rom. 9:20; Rom. 11:33; Deut. 29:29.

2 2 Pet. 1:10.

3 Eph. 1:6; Rom. 11:33.

4 Rom. 11:5,6,20; 2 Pet. 1:10; Rom. 8:33; Luke 10:20.

Notice that there is nothing in the Westminster confession that says predestination and foreordination are not to be preached!  (Isaiah 46:9-10).  Rather, it is to be handled with care so that unbelievers are not let off the hook.  They are compelled to believe.  If they do not believe, they are still fully accountable to God for their own disobedience.  They are the authors of their own sin, even if God is the ultimate cause of their hardening (Exodus 4:21; Isaiah 46:10).

Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 5, Of Providence


4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men,1 and that not by a bare permission,2 but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,3 and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends;4 yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God; who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.5

See also: WLC 19


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1 Rom. 11:32,33,34; 2 Sam. 24:1; 1 Chron. 21:1; 1 Kings 22:22,23; 1 Chron. 10:4,13,14; 2 Sam. 16:10; Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27,28.

2 Acts 14:16.

3 Ps. 76:10; 2 Kings 19:28.

4 Gen. 1:20; Isa. 10:6,7,12.

5 James 1:13,14,17; 1 John 2:16; Ps. 50:21.




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