| Foundation of Moral Obligation|
Here is a very old question:
"Is it wrong because God says it or does God say it because it's wrong?"
I affirm that the divine Law was derived from the benevolent nature of God and His infinite intelligence!
God's own well-being has intrinsic value and we were made in His image, so our own well-being has intrinsic value, unless we forfeit the right of well-being by sinning against anothers well-being.
The divine law is in no sense grounded upon the arbitrary will of God, but is derived from God's benevolent nature and infinite intelligence to secure the highest well-being of all.
God is against lying, because lying is destructive to the highest well-being of all.
God is against stealing, because stealing is destructive to the highest well-being of all.
God is against homosexuality, because homosexuality is destructive to the highest well-being of all.
God commands that we love Him supremely and our neighbor equally, because love promotes the highest well-being of all.
God is no way arbitrary gives commands, but has a loving and wise reason for all that He commands. He is interested in the well-being of all, and is wise enough to see what is good and what is bad for us.
To say that God's arbitrary will is the grounds of moral obligation is to say that God has no good reason for what He commands, and could have just as easily established the law of hate as moral law. But God does have very loving and very wise reasons for His commands, His divine Law is derived from His divine nature and infinite intelligence, which seeks to secure the highest well-being of all, because of the intrinsic value of well-being.
Is it wrong because God says it or does God say it because it's wrong? I affirm that God says it because it is wrong. The revealed law of God was in no way originated, but rather declared. The will of God does not originate moral law, but it is rather declaratory. Moral Law has existed as long as God has existed, as long as God's nature and intelligence has existed.
This is not God establishing morality by some outside standard, rather it is an internal standard, His own nature and intelligence. God declares and enforces moral law, but does not originate it arbitrarily. God expects us to live by the same law that He Himself lives by, the law of benevolence.
The intrinsic value of well-being has existed as long as God has existed, and it is that intrinsic value which is the true ground for morality, which God seeks because of His nature, and God knows how to secure because of His intelligence.
I would highly recommend Charles G. Finneys lectures on The Foundation of Moral Obligation. Finney lectured on theology for over 40 years at Oberlin College.
You can find his lectures here: http://www.gospeltruth.net/1851Sys_Theo/index1851st.htm
| 2007/3/11 20:34|
| Re: Foundation of Moral Obligation|
Did you want argument on this? Or were you simply stating something for the record?
Actually, I see the situation as a paradox, both occuring at one and the same time, because as God decrees, it is, yet as He decrees, He is making his decision. Thats the problem with being God. You are finalizing your decision, and making something so at one at the same time.
| 2007/3/12 0:31||Profile|
This seems to be saying the same thing I attempted to say in the thread [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=15243&forum=36&12]Defining Sin[/url]. I think an arguement will be made regarding the sovereign nature of God. But this misses the point. That being that His ways are not arbitrary.
Forrest, take note that this is apparently a transcript or article from Finney.
Growing in Grace,
| 2007/3/12 1:15||Profile|
I just found this article on Finney on another thread, posted by True Witness. [url=http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/finney.htm]Finney and Calvinism[/url]
Regardless of anything else this infamous 'man of God' may have said or believed, I still agree with the article above. Here's another article that relates to Finney. It has to do with the relatively obscure intercessor known as [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=2428&forum=34&18]Brother Nash[/url] but has a direct connection to Finney. Well worth the read.
Still growing in grace,
| 2007/3/12 1:38||Profile|
| Re: Moral Obligation & Finney etc.|
I am not so well read in regard to denominational
apologism as I am in Commentary on the Bible, and the Commentaries on the Commentaries.
I am always disputing arguments made by men no longer living, not that I mind, so long as I make my point for the current readers, for they have no trouble taking me up on what I have said.
Thanks for the links - they should be very interesting.
| 2007/3/12 1:48||Profile|
[u]Here is a question:[/u]
Is morality subjected to God, or is God subjected to morality?
The answer is neither. It's a false dilemma. [b]GOD IS MORALITY[/b]. God did not create morality. God does not define morality. God's nature is morality. God does not create the standard. God does not define the standard. [b]GOD IS THE STANDARD [/b]and God has never changed, neither can His nature change. And His Word declares this standard - Ten Commandments - The Two Greatest Commandments etc.
[u]Here is another question:[/u]
What came first, God or morality?
The answer, neither. It's a false dilemma. Neither God was created, nor was His nature created, and His nature is morality.
The standard is as old as God Himself, because [b]God Himself is the standard[/b]. And God submits His own will to His own nature. God's will must answer to God's nature. God checks His will by His nature.
God has free-will and can do whatever He wills to do. But His nature is never changing and His nature is the standard. God cannot rightly go against Himself. It would not be right for God to will against His nature. God cannot rightly act in opposition to His own intelligence. God cannot rightly give commands that are contrary to His own nature, to His own intelligence.
If God commanded anything that was contrary to His nature, it would be sin. But God is so wonderful, He ALWAYS submits His will to His benevolent nature!
| 2007/3/14 15:52|