Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sovereignty of God - Unwanted Results - Inexplicable Teachings

The Sovereignty of God

Unwanted Results of an Inordinate Emphasis on the Exercise of Sovereignty

Another interpretation inconsistency as a result of an inordinate emphasis on the sovereignty of God is found in Exodus 4:10-12.  One author, in an effort to attribute to God’s sovereignty sweeping exercise latitude, claimed that God made everyone.  Then, he proceeded to attribute all human deformity to God by His deliberate intervention in the birth of humans.  I can only assume that he means that God overrides genetic transmission in the normal process of birth.  He said that God does this in all who are born deformed in particular.

His support for this is found in Exodus 4:10-12.

Exodus 4:10–12
10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

As a person who helps people all over the world, this claim is particularly vulgar and odious.  I have seen deformity in the world, and it is a horrible picture to behold, especially in an under-developed nation.  There is not glory for God in such terrible deformity and mental deficiency.

It is even harder to accept that in this life a person is decreed by God to suffer untold agonies of deformity or mental deficiency; and then, this person is also deemed unworthy of salvation because God declared him reprobate as Calvin taught.  Then, that person would burn in hell forever only because God took pleasure to do this.

I believe that our author has lifted a statement out of context and made a sweeping claim of doctrine.  The context of this passage is not deformity and mental deficiency.  This is not an admission by God that he is personally responsible for each horrible deformity or deficiency in the world.  It does not approach the level of importance that would make us believe that God pre-imps the standard birth process which he established just to make sure that there are deformed or deficient people in the world.

The specific context is Moses feeble excuses about his ability to do God’s work in the deliverance of Israel.  This is all that is addressed; not a universal statement that makes each individual, deformed human being a special object of God’s negative attention.

Moses is not speaking of a deficient speech because of physiology, but he is speaking of needing God's great sufficiency to help his ability to communicate.  There is no indication in scripture that Moses was physically unable to speak clearly, because of deformity.  The thrust of Moses entire argument is who will listen to him; he is not gifted in elocution and articulation of thought; and he is fearful that he will be unbelievable to those listening to him.  It would be inconsistent to assume God’s answer is a broad admission of horrible physical actions against human beings because of this lame, at best, rebuttal from Moses.  This is made clear in verse 12.

The context is accomplishment of God's will, and God can control speech and sight if it is necessary to accomplish His will.  Here God clarifies that he can make the deaf and dumb, blind and seeing for the work of his will.  That is all he is saying.  Zacharias is a perfect example of this argument in favor of God’s will.

Luke 1:18–20
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

This type of interpretation lends itself to the thinking that God can do things strictly for the purpose of his good pleasure apart from the other attributes he possesses.  God can do horrible things to man because he wants to, and because He is sovereign.  From that argument comes the thinking that God can reprobate men into hell as Calvin taught, simply because he is sovereign, no matter how horrible it might be.

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