Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Thus spake Epicurus, the Greek philosopher who lived from 341-270 BC. The riddle is undoubtedly a clever one, and yet it turns out to be loaded with a couple of erroneous presuppositions: firstly, a flawed presupposition, and secondly, a really flawed presupposition.

So what is the flawed presupposition? In a nutshell, it is the idea that to deal with evil, God must do so in exactly the way we think he ought to, and if he doesn’t, we’re going to get all uppity and tell him that he doesn’t exist. In our wisdom, we know that he ought to deal with evil, and we also know just how he ought to do it. Yet the problem we have is that any of the ways we can come up with to deal with evil end up destroying not just evil, but humanity itself. Let me explain.

Take the simplest example of the kind of evil that Epicurus might have envisaged: Cain and Abel. “Okay,” says Epicurus, “so if God is good, willing and omnipotent, why did he allow Cain to kill his brother?” Now how could God have prevented it? There are only really three options: he could have simply prevented Cain from doing it either by natural or miraculous means; he could have destroyed Cain either before or after he did his deed; or he could have “reprogrammed” Cain so that he never again had such a thought in his head.

But with each of these “solutions” there is an insurmountable difficulty. The problem with the first option – preventing Cain doing the deed – is that Cain’s heart remains unchanged, and he will simply look for another opportunity to carry out his crime. The problem with the second – destroying Cain – is that not only must Cain be destroyed but Abel too, because he is also a guilty sinner before God. And the problem with the third – reprogramming Cain – is that Cain loses one of the characteristics that make him to differ from the beasts.

With the first option, sin is harboured within Cain’s heart to be brought out into the open on another day. With the second, all humanity is wiped off the face of the earth, because all – not just the Cains and the Hitlers of this world – are guilty before God. And with the third, Cain is no longer made in the image of God. None of these options deals with evil in a satisfactory way, and if God were to choose any of them, humanity dies.

Now in his riddle, Epicurus castigates God for not doing something about Cain, but for choosing another option instead, which was “do nothing.” Here is exactly where the presupposition is flawed. Epicurus assumes that God must deal with Cain in one of the first three ways, and if he doesn’t, this is evidence of his inability, unwillingness or malevolence. Yet God does choose another way, but rather than it being “do nothing”, it is something that not only deals with the evil, but which does so in a way that overcomes all the other problems as well.

So how can this be done? Well God’s method, which may well sound like foolishness to the likes of Epicurus, is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the only method which not only deals with the problem of evil, but does so at the same time as overcoming the three problems mentioned above. It deals with evil by God taking evil upon himself. It deals with the heart problem by drawing men to God through the Cross, changing their hearts and bringing them into a right relationship with God. It deals with the problem of destroying humanity by offering hope of salvation to sinful humanity. And it deals with the reprogramming problem by restoring men to righteousness, so that they learn to choose the good and forsake evil. Whether Epicurus can accept the “folly” of this method is another matter entirely.

So much for the flawed presupposition, what of the really flawed presupposition? Well if Epicurus happened to be around today, the one question I would want to put to him would be this: “Mr Epicurus, your famous riddle about evil and the impotence of God has wowed many an atheist with its cleverness, and no doubt stumped many a Christian with its difficulties, but what I am really keen to know is this: what do you actually mean by evil.”

At this point it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Epicurus’ face contorting in barely concealed contempt, implying that I am some sort of a dimwit for not knowing what evil is. Have I never heard of murders and wars and rapes and thefts and that sort of thing? Well yes I have, but contorted faces notwithstanding, that still doesn’t answer my question: what do you mean by evil? Is it just a bunch of actions such as those you have mentioned, or is it something far deeper than that? What actually is it?

The problem with Epicurus’ riddle is that it never gets around to telling us what this “evil” is that God ought to be stopping, and so it seems a pretty safe bet that Epicurus had in mind a bunch of things “out there”. But since his riddle assumes the existence of God before apparently going on to disprove him it follows that the riddle really ought to allow God to define evil, rather than leaving it to Epicurus to assume that his half-baked definition will suffice.

If God is God, then evil is not defined merely as a bunch of bad actions “out there”, but rather as “anything and everything which is opposite of God.” Now if this is the case, then what this means – amongst many other things – is that Epicurus’ riddle itself falls into the category of evil. I doubt very much whether this possibility actually crossed his mind when he wrote it, but if evil is defined by God as being that which is opposite to him, then Epicurus is guilty of that very thing in even proposing his conundrum. In which case, his only legitimate questions would be these: why doesn’t God come and strike me down for even daring to state such a thing? Why doesn’t he come and deal with my evil?

The answer, once again, is the mercy of God. Epicurus had an evil heart, just like the rest of us. He was opposed to God, just like the rest of us are by nature. He calls on God to come and deal with evil, but does he include his own in this? Is he really prepared for God to come and deal with his evil? If he really does desire this, is he prepared for God to leave his heart unchanged, or to strike him dead or to reprogram him? Does he really want God to deal with it in that way? Or will he not rather hope that God can deal with it in such a way that changes his heart for good, leaves him alive, and doesn’t turn him into a machine?

The good news is that this is exactly what God does. It took some thorns, some nails and the death of the Light of the World to achieve it. But it is finished. The grave is empty and the throne is filled. So come, Epicurus, God has found a way to deal with evil and he invites you to join him. Now are you willing to accept?

21 thoughts on “Is Epicurus Neither Able nor Willing to Understand Evil and the Mercy of God? Then Why Give Him the Time of Day?

  1. Thank you Rob for answering my question. It’s always good to hear a quote from G.K.Chesterton. However, I am still confused. But I think that’s because I don’t understand precisely what the doctrine of original sin is and therefore we were talking past each other like Thrasymachus and Socrates! I should do my homework before opening my mouth!

    One other major theological question, how do you include a yellow smiley face in your comments?

    1. Oh the theological question is really easy. You just have to make sure you’re smiling while you’re doing it, like a proper Calvinist 🙂

  2. Hi Rob
    Nice, though after consideration I approach Epicurus’ riddle in a different way.
    Weh we rely on logic and we ignore knowledge of the Bibile for an instance, his riddle (as I call it) makes a lot of sense from which one can build a valuable argument pro-Bible.
    From a logical/worldly point of view the riddle is insolvable as you clearly point out. But it is the Bible that solves the insolvable. Is there any other religion that gives a solution to his riddle?
    I don’t agree that his theory springs from wickedness but rather from ignorance. But then again we should be far more aware of how ignorant we are, and when our logic seems impregnable we become arrogant. It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so (Mark Twain).

  3. You’ve probably never argued with a real Catholic. I’ve from a large family, a cradle Catholic, and I only have met a handful of people who really understand and accept the Catholic faith as it was taught and understood for centuries prior to Vatican II. That doesn’t mean there aren’t thousands, but that most all mainstream, modern Catholics (including the putative “Pope”) hold to a wishy-washy ill defined pabulum. It isn’t even a “faith”. It’s about “being nice”. And in my limited circle I know very few.

    You are right in your retort. Obeying God’s laws are sufficient (the best) reason to oppose abortion (or for any action), and not the temporal (or even eternal) consequences. But most moderns don’t think that way – and being a Calvinist, I am especially surprised to find that you do. Maybe one of us doesn’t understand Calvinism. I thought once you accepted “Christ” (whatever that means) your salvation is secure. No need to fret about God’s will anymore. It is all predestined anyway. Please correct me.

    BTW – the Church teaches (dogmatically) that the unbaptized are barred from Heaven (specifically the Beatific Vision), but do NOT suffer fire. This would also be true of unbaptized infants or children who die before the age of reason (assumed to be about 7). They go to a place where they may enjoy natural happiness, they do not suffer Hell. This is generally referred to as Limbo, as I sure you know. It too is biblical. And I think this definition is compatible with your particular citation from Job.

    Christ himself specifically states the absolute necessity of Baptism. And for centuries the Church universally accepted it. It is astonishing to me how easily moderns dismiss it as somehow silly or unjust. It is after all so easy, and we don’t get to make the rules.

    1. Thanks once again Bill. I’ll take you up on a few things, and then I’m off to bed 🙂

      You said: “Maybe one of us doesn’t understand Calvinism. I thought once you accepted “Christ” (whatever that means) your salvation is secure. No need to fret about God’s will anymore. It is all predestined anyway. Please correct me.”

      I think that this is the highly caricatured version of Calvinism you’re talking about. What does real Calvinism teach? Actually, it’s not really Calvinism, as such, but simply Pauline theology. Here’s what Paul teaches:

      “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:4-6)

      That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Paul states that God chose a people before he even made the world. Furthermore, he states emphatically that those who were chosen were predestinated. In other words, if anyone wants to argue to toss about predestination, it’s not Calvin that they need to go to, but God’s Apostle, Paul.

      Now the highly caricatured version stops there: Predestination. Election. Period. Whereas Real Calvinism listens to another of God’s great Apostles, who after giving us a list of stuff that we should be doing, says:

      “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:10).

      What does he mean? Isn’t he contradicting Paul? No. He still talks about calling and election, just as Paul does. But the fact that God chose a people and predestined them to be grafted into Christ, as Paul emphatically states, is the mere fact of God’s eternal decrees. This is, in other words, the mechanics of God’s plan of salvation. But that doesn’t mean that we can know what that means here on earth, since none of us was party to that eternal decree. Although there are many, many people that I believe are truly God’s people, I can in no way be 100% certain who it is that is chosen and predestined. I believe that there is a people that is chosen and predestined, because Paul tells me so, but I don’t know who they are.

      But whilst Paul is talking of heavenly and eternal things, Peter is addressing the reality on the ground, here on earth, and he basically says our duty is not to second guess who is predestined, elect, saved etc, but rather to make sure that we are, and that we are helping others in this as well.
      And so I don’t assume that my salvation is sure because I know that I’ve been chosen, or predestined. I assume that my salvation is sure because I love God, trust in the death of his Son as the only payment for my sins, believe in His resurrection for my justification, and am striving to keep his commandments. But these things that I believe and that I do are what the Bible tells me are the evidence that I was “chosen in him before the foundation of the world” and that I was “predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself.”

      As for Limbo, I believe it was biblical, but I don’t believe it is biblical. That’s a deliberate conundrum, which I suppose I should explain. In the Old Testament, all the dead went to the underworld: “Sheol” in Hebrew. That included both the righteous and the wicked. So, for instance, in Numbers 16, the rebellious Dathan and Abiram, and all their households went down to Sheol: “So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.” But so too did the righteous. Jacob, although righteous in God’s sight, expected to go to Sheol (Genesis 37:35). Righteous Samuel, in 1 Samuel 28, is not brought down from heaven, but brought up “out of the earth”.

      When we get to the New Testament, we get a little more detail. In Jesus’s parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man goes to Hades (Greek for Sheol), whilst Lazarus goes to “Abraham’s bosom”. Although this parable is, in my view, likely just a parable and not a real life event, I don’t think Abraham’s bosom is heaven, or that Sheol/Hades is the final resting place of the dead.

      Why did the righteous not go to heaven when they died? Because Christ had not yet died for their sins, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. The righteous could only enter heaven when the penalty for their sins had been paid. This is, I think, the meaning of this passage:

      “Therefore it says, ‘When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.’ In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.” (Ephesians 4:8-10)

      In other words, at his ascension, he led the righteous captives who had been in Sheol – “the place of the dead” – to heaven. As he entered the Throne Room of God, and sat down at the right hand of God, he opened way for the righteous who had died before his death and resurrection, to enter the Throne Room with him.

      …And so. If there was any place that we might call limbo, it no longer exists for the righteous. Anyone who dies in Christ now goes into the presence of God and awaits the resurrection of the body and the new heavens and new earth. Anyone who dies outside Christ, as I understand it, still descends to Sheol, awaiting the resurrection of the body at the end of time when they will be cast into Hell (Gehenna as it is in the Greek).

      And finally, I don’t believe that Jesus teaches the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. It is impossible to imagine that the thief on the cross was a baptized believer, since moments before he asks the Lord to remember him, he is railing on Jesus. And yet, Luke records his change of heart, and that Jesus tells him that “this day you will be with me in Paradise”. No water involved.

      But what Jesus actually says on baptism in Mark’s gospel is this: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Yes, he affirms that baptism is the ordinary state of affairs for those who are saved, but he doesn’t go on to say “but whoever does not believe and is not baptized will be condemned.” Ultimately, it is lack of belief that condemns a person; not lack of water.

      Blessings,

      Rob

      1. Rob,

        It is a pleasure to communicate with one who knows how to think and knows how to argue. The Good Thief was saved under the old dispensation, just like Abraham or Moses. Baptism did not become necessary until after the Resurrection – with the issuance of the Great Commission. This is also when Peter was given formal primacy, when the Apostles were given the power to forgive sins and such. It is actually quite an easy answer, but it is a common objection offered by those who don’t acknowledge the necessity of Baptism. It’s ironic though that I usually have this argument with “Catholics” – modern ones, who believe in something called Baptism of Desire. Otherwise – you and I have a more in common than I have with the vast majority of today’s putative “Catholics”. You acknowledge at least that non-Christians cannot be saved. I guarantee you that the so-called Pope today, does not believe this. At Vatican II, the church’s offices were usurped by formal heretics. Anyway, I’d happy to carry this on if you are. But would prefer email. You have mine, let me know. Thanks. Will be out of touch until Monday.
        Regards, Bill

        1. Thanks Bill for all your comments.

          I will try to get in touch in the coming days, as it would be good to continue the discussion, but can’t promise anything as I’m pretty snowed under with a ton of things to do at the moment.

          Rob

    2. Hi Bill,

      I’m not competent to engage in a debate about baptism, and this comment is not necessarily contradicting anything you have said. But just a comment about unbaptised infants who die before the age of reason (assumed to be about 7). People who object to infant baptism sometimes argue that adult faith involves reason and that because a baby cannot reason it therefore cannot have faith. But I don’t see why we should expect babies to exercise faith in an adult way. A newborn baby has lain against his mother’s body, experienced her cuddles, felt her heart beat, and recognises her voice. Can it be said that this baby ‘knows’ his mother? I would say Yes, even though the baby is not sentient of this relationship and cannot articulate it. And if that’s true of a newborn baby, perhaps it is also true of an unborn baby, who is even closer physically to his mother’s heart.

      If that’s true for a baby and his biological mother, perhaps it is also possible that a baby, even an unborn baby, can have faith in God? I’m not saying this is necessarily true for every human baby ever conceived, but I am open to the possibility of it in the case of the offspring of true Christians. Two examples from the Bible spring to mind: (1) John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth’s womb when he heard Mary’s voice, and (2) Jesus spoke about God ordaining praise from the mouths of children and infants (he did not just say children over 7 who can reason – the addition of the word infants implies babies too.)

      1. Just to clarify my comment Bill, I know you are in favour of infant baptism. I’m only commenting on your idea that children who die before the age of reason end up in a place called Limbo.

        1. Understand (and perhaps you do) that they cannot go to Heaven sans Baptism, yet they are also incapable of actual sin (they only bear Original Sin) prior to attaining the age of reason, as mortal sin requires consent. This is why the Church teaches they go to “Limbo”, a part of Hell where they suffer no torments. And when I say the “Church”, I mean the Catholic Church, which was of course the only Church until the 16th Century, and these notions were universally held by Christians. Since the original fracture (Luther, Henry VIII, followed by Calvin) – Protestantism has split into thousands of divergent sects, with everyone essentially his “own Pope”, and that thing in the Vatican isn’t Catholic anymore, in fact it is less “Catholic” than Rob’s version of Calvinism. But that is the sorry state of the world.

          I like your examples in support of Children having the Faith. The Church (the real one, when it was still Catholic) teaches that true faith is supernatural, and one receives it at Baptism.

      2. Thanks Phil. I don’t necessarily agree with the idea of 7 being an “age of reason”, but I do think the Bible speaks of there being a time before children truly know right from wrong, evil from good, in a way where they can be held to account for their sins. So Isaiah 7, for instance:

        “He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.”

        …seems to me to teach that there is a time before a child comes to know and understand the true moral or immoral nature of their actions. I also think that experience and common sense can weigh in here. My youngest son, just 3, has clearly inherited his father Adam’s sin (as did all my children), but I don’t get the sense that he even remotely understands what he’s doing yet.

        But you are absolutely right that babies, and even unborn babies can have faith, albeit a faith without what we might call reason attached to it. You mentioned John the Baptist, and the other great example is Jeremiah. If we pay close attention to what God says to Jeremiah, we see that all the arguments about whether a baby can have faith or not just melt away, and we find that we have been looking at things from entirely the wrong direction:

        “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;
        I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5)

        In other words, the onus wasn’t on the unborn Jeremiah to have faith in the God even in the womb. God had already set him apart, before his birth, and even before his conception. And so what we find here is that horrible old Calvinist doctrine 🙂 of “predestination” where God chose that he would save Jeremiah and make him a prophet, even before his birth.

        Plug that into the “Can unbaptizsed infants be saved” question, and the answer becomes obvious. Of course they can. If they are those that God has chosen, foreordained, predestined to eternal life, like Jeremiah and John the Baptist, then they will be saved and granted eternal life, whether or not they know anything very much about it this side of heaven. It is God who elects. It is God who chooses. And it is God who is able to confer the gift of faith even on those who don’t make it to birth.

        Best,

        Rob

  4. How does God deal with evil? That’s a loaded question for us, not because of anything we have done, except to ask for the truth and to share it, but because we are, as our mentor before us, faced with evil every day in bucket loads and have seen His hand in dealing with it.

    First off, when Delamer Duverus first came in 2001 He quietly through a Letter Campaign exposed a 50+ man illegal drug cartel comprised of prominent professional men to themselves, appealing to their conscience, and we don’t know how He felt, but we sure hoped they would put down what wasn’t serving God and turn to serving their people and, most importantly, the Youth and Children. He didn’t want to incarcerate them, because that would have destroyed the lives of their children and families.

    When evil is identified, true evil, it thinks of weapons, and a number of the men in their satanic coven and cartel would attack again and again, but as Psalm 91 suggests, He protected us and we survived. This was our understanding of the terms “sorcerers and magicians” who JeSus condemned. They are men who use their minds like weapons. Empaths. They can make you hurt so bad and think such bad thoughts and several times they put us in the hospital. Sometimes we did, under their influence, want to kill ourselves just to stop the pain and mental torment, but we really did not want to do so, we just wanted the intense pain to stop. Of course, this is why our veterans are killing themselves, 22 a day at one time. They don’t know what is attacking them.

    However, DD would write the wayward ones again and again, until such time He took us away to another city to repeat the process. We really never knew who was attacking or what, because there are some things which are not human, so He lumps them all together under the title of those lost to the Alien Mind, “anything and everything which is opposite of God,” as you say. He told us one time He was coming to clean house, and it meant He was separating as much of humanity as He could from the Alien Mind, before He took it from the planet. Revelations speaks to this. 1000 years will give us time to evolve.

    It is written that when God came to destroy the Tower of Babel of a previous generation, He changed 1/3 of those involved into swine, and 1/3 into apes, and for the last third He took away their ability to speak in a Triadic tongue which left them without a way to communicate by mind and they all went a little crazy. Some might think changing humans to pigs and apes is impossible, but God controls us through the Speciel Mind and can change the genetics so that they revert to a lower species, because as Noah understood, he could take the embryo of a human and arrest the development at any given time to create all the mammals on the planet. He didn’t take them two by two into the Ark, but in test tubes. Noah was a geneticist, but Noah only did the science he was guided to do by God. That is the Perfect Pattern JeSus was trying to show us. He always followed the will of His Father in Heaven.

    God won’t destroy His creations, but He will give them another chance to evolve at some time. DD use to joke with the men in the letters and would say, “Do you want to be a man or a mouse?” He could devolve them, or demote them, and He was very patient and gave them many chances to change their hearts, much to our dismay. It’s not much fun suffering under the attacks as did JeSus, as did my mentor, as did Job, as did Prometheus. If God doesn’t take the Alien Mind from the planet from time to time, the Alien Mind would hide, twist, and make us forget the understandings which can bring us into the future. Just look how far JeSus’ teachings brought us!

    Bill or Rob, would you please help us understand what you mean by Original Sin. DD has never addressed this subject for us in that term. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jenny,

      I thank you for your regular comments here.

      I hope you don’t mind me saying, but I do wonder whether you have allowed the teaching of a man to cloud your understanding of God and of the scriptures. For instance, terms such as “Alien Mind” and “Empaths” or even some equivalent, find no place in the Bible. Nor is there any reference in the account of Babel of God changing men into animals. In fact, the very thought is somewhat of a blasphemy, since men are created in the Image of God, and can never be anything other than image bearers of God. Even in hell, men will still bear the image of God, but it will be marred beyond all recognition (I would actually suggest that at least part of the torment of those there will be that they know they are made in the image of the thing they hate most).

      Nor is there any scriptural basis for what you have written about Noah, or of God giving men another chance to evolve (I would actually argue that macroevolution is incompatible with what is written in the Bible – but that’s another point for another time).

      I would really urge you to go back to the Scriptures, read them through from start to finish, and to weigh up everything you have learned from your mentor with what is written in God’s word. Where there is agreement, continue holding to it; where there is a conflict (such as the idea that God controls us through the “Special Mind”, and some of the things I’ve mentioned above) reject it.

      As for Original Sin, this is the doctrine that we are all covenantally connected with Adam, who was the federal head of the human race. When he disobeyed God in the matter of taking the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he not only sinned for himself, but sinned on behalf of the whole human race that came after him. And so his Original Sin, passed to every one who came after him, without exception, and so we are all by nature under the wrath of God.

      People generally hate the doctrine, which I suppose is understandable. “Why should I bear the sin of Adam” they say. The response to this is that Adam was holy and righteous, and therefore the perfect candidate to keep the commandment. You and I would have fared no better.

      Put it like this: If you were offered $1,000,000 (if you cared about money that is) for running 100 metres in under 10 seconds, but you could choose Usain Bolt as a substitute, would you run it yourself, or get him to do it? Not much choice really. But what if he then stumbled during the run and came in over 10 seconds? You could hardly complain could you? It’s a bit like that with Adam. He was perfectly placed to obey, and to obey on our behalf. However, the fact that he stumbled meant that we all stumbled with him.

      But thanks be to God, he has given humanity another federal head – Jesus Christ – who obeyed God the Father in all things. And if we are joined to him, both Original Sin, and our ongoing sins, are forgiven, wiped away and held against us no more.

      Best wishes,

      Rob

      1. Greetings, Rob,

        Please excuse the delay in responding to your comments, we were out-of-pocket, as they say. And, thank you for your kindness and patience in allowing us to post comments, even though they are not always Sola Scriptura, is that the correct term?

        Although we hold the Bible most dear, we stand in horror of thinking that God could never give us new understandings outside of the Bible.

        The understandings of Nimrod and Tower of Babel did come from the Original Book of Jasher, not the spurious editions, and this book was brought out line for line by a monk from the book held in the Vatican library, and published, and when discovered by the powers that be, stolen from humanity, every edition, as was our mentor’s, so that this knowledge has been lost. This is why God has to come from time to time to teach humanity. Satan, the Alien Mind, would like to keep us forever in the dark.

        We are actually 100 years behind because Tesla’s invention for free energy was never utilized, but stolen, and used for an elite few, and they have kept us in the petroleum mindset because that is one of the factors they use to control us. Dr. Steven Greer speaks about this in the video, “Unacknowledged” which is available on Netflix.

        I need to explain that my mentor and myself are not Delamer Duverus, but we both hear or heard His voice and know His fruits. He is a Man, as JeSus Himself said He was the Son of Man, and they are also called Angels, God’s Messengers, cherubim, and the Lord God, but not all the Lord God’s in the Bible are Man.

        Delamer Duverus also told us that we are the fourth generation of humanity upon the Earth, each having a time to mature, but our present generation is thwarted continually by the Tares He had to allow while our Newly Planted Wheat grew up, the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares.

        He is beginning to give us the Seven Thunders, which we can share with you. The First is the understanding He gave us about male homosexuality and the Second is about the wider understanding of the word Adultery. He also gave us the understanding of Dissimulation, which is how the maggots are trying to separate us from God by cutting us off from our Speciel Mind and our conscience, which is our Speciel Mind’s counseling of us and our connection to God. None of this is in the Bible, but we are so thankful because it makes sense of the problems today. We can share all of these with you.

        Delamer Duverus says that I am not under the wrath of God, nor are you, unless we decide to live contrary to the Laws of God. Now the only way we can live without His wrath is to Identify with Him, as we have both done, and He will keep us under His wing, so-to-speak, working through the conscience. We must cast out the seven deadly sins of fear, hate, shame, greed, lust, guilt and prejudice, and we must Love God, our brethren, even our enemies, and we must continually seek out understanding. The Bible was just a starting place for us.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with your “really flawed” supposition – that is to say, without God (God = good), then any notion that humanity has regarding what is evil, is merely “one man’s opinion”. Though a particular thing may be regarded by 100% of men as “evil”, in an accidental universe, where our very existence is just an accident of chemistry, then I say “so what?”. Who is to say that this opinion, this “feeling” about what is bad, has any meaning beyond personal preference whatsoever? After all, isn’t this essentially what the modern spirit tells us about centuries old and universally held attitudes about sex and sexuality are? Nothing more, and therefore we must accept whatever counter propositions come along. In short, without God, you can’t even define good vs. evil.

    This occurred to me many years ago, but I have never really found anyone who seemed to understand my argument – now I think you are making the same one.

    But one quibble – option 2 of your merely ordinarily flawed supposition: Why would God have to also destroy Able? Christians who understand Original Sin (nowadays only traditional Catholics I think) will understand. But most of the modern world will not follow.

    1. Thanks Bill,

      Exactly right. Trying to define good or evil without a transcendent law-giver is as plausible as trying to describe the colour purple to a blind person. There is no anchor point and all we have is one person’s word against another’s, or perhaps the elite’s word against the people, or the majority against the minority. And if that’s the case, these things are subject to change in any generation or era.

      Regarding your point about Abel, yes I fear that most people aren’t going to understand this, but it is a vital point nevertheless, and one on which the Bible is emphatic. Which is that we are, by nature, creatures of wrath (Ephesians 2:3), covenantally joined to Adam, unless we are transformed by the grace of God to be covenantally joined to Christ. People hate this doctrine of Original Sin for a number of reasons, and yet we see the effects of it all around us. The question to ask anyone who disputes the doctrine is surely this: “Have you ever met a sinless, perfect person? No, thought not. In which case the point is proven, no matter how much you might feel uncomfortable with the doctrine.”

      Just one quibble on my side about your point: Not just traditional Catholics that will get it. We Calvinists are also pretty hot on the doctrine too 🙂

      Best wishes,

      Rob

      1. A fascinating rebuttal of Epicurus, Rob. Thank you.

        I don’t think many people would cry “Unfair!” if God were to credit them with the status of being righteous on the basis of another person’s actual righteousness (in this case, that of Christ), so by the same token they can hardly object in principle to God treating them according to the actual sin of another person (in this case, that of Adam).

        I think I read somewhere that the Eastern Orthodox Church unanimously rejects the doctrine of original sin. If true, it would be interesting to know how they interpret those parts of Scripture that Calvinists and Catholics derive their view from.

        Regarding the challenge you suggest posing to someone who disputes the doctrine of original sin, I conjecture he may answer by saying that no-one is sinless or perfect because all Adam’s descendants have inherited a sinful nature from him (i.e. Adam’s sin corrupted his progeny’s natural predispositions), which is not the same thing as his descendants sharing in the guilt of his sin. So I don’t follow how your question would prove the point (but I’m ready to be enlightened!)

        1. Sorry Rob, my last paragraph is badly worded. What I meant to say was:
          You suggested posing a question to someone who denies the doctrine of original sin. I would guess the answer you would receive is that no-one is sinless or perfect because all of Adam’s descendants inherited a sinful nature from him (i.e. Adam’s sin corrupted his progeny’s natural predispositions), but that is not the same thing as believing that Adam’s descendants inherited his guilty status. So I don’t follow how your question would prove the doctrine of original sin.

        2. Thanks Phil.

          Good point. Allow me to quote Chesterton:

          “Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved.”

          I think he’s more or less saying what I was trying to say. What he means, I think, is this:

          1. Sin is an obvious and demonstrable fact of everyone’s life, from the earliest age.
          2. Therefore, we can safely say that we were all born in sin.
          3. Therefore, since everyone who came before us was born in sin, and so presumably everyone who will come after us will be born in sin, we can conclude that this is the inherent and basic condition of all humanity, at all times and in all places.
          4. Yet since sin can be defined as rebellion against God, and since rebellion against God must of necessity incur guilt, it is safe to say that everyone who is born in sin — which is everyone — must also be born with the guilt of sin. Not their own personal guilt, but the guilt of humanity in general, since the federal head of the human race who stood on their behalf failed.

          Having said that, my understanding is that although we are conceived in sin and are counted as guilty before God, the Bible teaches that we shall be judged according to our deeds and not for the deeds of our first father: “Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6).

          Anyway, I think that’s what I was getting at. I don’t know if that helps. Probably not.

          Rob

      2. I am quite surprised to learn that you are a Calvinist. I find it ironic actually. Let me back up before explaining. When I said “traditional Catholics”, what I really meant were pre-Vatican II, Sedevacantists, or practical sedevacantists like SSPXers. (Bishop Richard Williamson understands the root of our modern problems, but won’t say there is no Pope). Mainline, post Vatican II Catholics, in my opinion (which could be demonstrated) no longer believe in Original Sin, or if they think they do, they don’t understand it. One example – pro-lifers think that unborn babies go to Heaven. I would say to them: “the why be pro life?” Abortion would be the kindest thing one could do! Understand? So that’s the state of the modern, institutional Catholic Church.

        It’s become at best a social club – like most mainline Protestant churches became 100 years earlier.

        Here’s the irony I see. Calvin is at the root of all the problems of modernity which you correctly diagnose! He was the original (or at least most successful) revolutionary. Henry VIII was a mere lecher who wanted to dump his wife and loot the monasteries. Calvin made it seem “decent” (eventually). He fractured Christendom. Without Calvin, there could have been no Marx.

        You understand Original Sin and therefore you understand who Christ is and why He is necessary. But He gave some very clear instructions on what we must do to be “joined to Him” as you said to Jenny. We have to be Baptized – with water. If we sin after Baptism, we need absolution from a Priest. (“I give you the power to forgive sins, whomever you forgive is forgiven, whomever you hold bound is held bound”). He gave primacy to Peter, as well as the power to bind and loose. He prayed for Peter specifically and exclusively “that thy faith won’t fail” (infallibility). The doctrines of the Catholic Church are quite Biblical (contrary to popular belief), quite rational, and quite necessary for salvation. But again, understand that the abomination in the Vatican today isn’t remotely Catholic. And therefore most self described “Christians” haven’t a clue. But it BEGAN with Calvin.

        1. Thanks Bill,

          Surprised to learn I am a Calvinist? Ha! Many are. I remember one Roman Catholic lady who assumed I was also a Roman Catholic since I have six children. I told her, “No, I’m just a Protestant who can read Genesis 1:27-28 and all those other verses about children being a blessing.” 😊

          There’s probably not much point in doing the Catholic / Calvinist back and forth, as from personal experience, Catholics have about zero chance of persuading me that I’m wrong, and I’ve got about zero chance of persuading Catholics that they are wrong.

          Just one point I do want to respond to though:

          On the issue of pro-life / abortion, I very much disagree with your point. I am obviously very pro-life, and believe in Original Sin, and yet I also believe that unborn babies go to be with Christ. What I am not doing in that is saying that those unborn babies were sinless or without guilt. What I am saying, however, is that I believe the blood of Christ is a sufficient propitiation for them. It is God that chooses that they die at that state of development, and it seems to me to be completely contrary to the character of God — and in fact monstrous — to banish an unborn baby to eternal misery when they never saw the light of day, or understood anything.

          I also believe that there is good scriptural warrant for this. For instance, consider these verses from the book of Job:

          “Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck? For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, with kings and counsellors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves; or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest” (Job 3:11-17).

          It seems to me to be clear from this that Job, who is described as perfect and upright, knew that babies who died in the womb went to the place where there is rest and no wickedness.

          However, the argument that this negates the argument to be pro-life and means that abortion is the kindest thing one could do does not hold. We are not to act according to the results of what God may or may not do, but simply according to his law, which forbids the killing of the unborn. If you used the argument of it being the kindest thing you could do, the logical conclusion would be that the kindest thing you could do with any Christian is to kill them, since they end up going to heaven. But this would be absurd and monstrous and totally contrary to God’s will of preserving life until he decides to take it.

          If an aborted child goes to heaven, that’s just one amongst innumerable examples of God’s mercy and sovereignty overturning the wickedness of men and women to bring blessing. But we can never use that as a reason not to call out the wickedness for what it is.

          Thanks for engaging,

          Rob

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