Monday, June 28, 2010

Arminian Crossfire

Greater power>greater responsibility

[Quote] The first movie I saw at movie night while in college was Spiderman One. And to this day, although it’s been about six or seven years since that movie night, I still remember the words that, in my mind, defined the entire movie: “With great power, comes responsibility.”

And these words are words that we’ve heard before, right? Yep. Chances are, when you were growing up, mom and dad once made this same exact statement to you. My mom said this to me. And I think this is why Scripture tells us, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in THE POWER OF YOUR HAND to do so” (Proverbs 3:27, NKJV).

My sister heard these same words time and time again. She is the oldest of five grandchildren (me included), and she was always put in charge of the other four. Whenever my grandparents had to leave the house and go to the store (five to ten minutes up the street), they always left my sister in charge. No matter what went on in the house, Danielle was always responsible for what happened. If something was broken, or someone misbehaved, Danielle was held responsible for it. Because she held the power of overseer, she also had the responsibility for so doing and suffered the consequences, whether good or bad. Now she liked being in charge of all the grandchildren; she liked being the oldest and being labeled the authority in the house when the grandparents were gone. But she didn’t like accepting responsibility for the other four grandchildren’s actions in the house.

Greater power>lesser responsibility

[Quote] To get around this, some Calvinists raise dramatic counter-examples about a man not actually committing, but allowing (for example) a mass-murder to take place while not preventing it when he has power to. Indeed this would generally be wrong for people, but this ultimately tells us nothing about God. We as people aren’t God, we don’t hold the absolute power of life and death, therefore it’s generally not our place to decide who dies even by way of passivity, and thus we’re under general obligation to save human life if we can, except in cases such as just execution by higher authorities. God, on the other hand, has absolute power over life and death from the littlest babe to the mightiest warrior to the loftiest king to the oldest sage. He’s not required to prevent death, harm, pain or destruction without authorization by some higher authority, because He is the final Authority. I do believe that God’s attribute of justice does compel Him to settle the accounting of sin, but there’s no evidence of any principle of obligation making Him morally responsible to prevent us from harming each other or ourselves.

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