Is It Biblical To Say That God Foreordains Sin?

, posted by Matthew Murphy

Calvinism teaches that: “God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeable ordain whatsoever comes to pass.” (Westminster Confession of Faith, Ch. 3:1) It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if all things whatsoever are foreordained by God, then God foreordains sin. The idea that God foreordains sin should be abhorrent to Christians, yet it is simply the logical conclusion of Calvinism. Not only is it the logical conclusion of the Calvinistic system, but Calvinists themselves freely declare that God foreordains sin:

“God moves the tongues of men to blaspheme.” (Franciscus Gomarus, as quoted in Laurence Vance, The Other Side of Calvinism, p.254)

“Sin is one of the ‘whatsoevers’ that have ‘come to pass’, all of which are ‘ordained’.” (W.G.T. Shedd, Calvinism: Pure and Mixed)

“Nothing comes to pass contrary to His decree. Nothing happens by chance. Even moral evil, which He abhors and forbids, occurs ‘by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.'” (W.G.T. Shedd, Calvinism: Pure and Mixed)

“All things including even the wicked actions of wicked men and devils – are brought to pass in accordance with God’s eternal purpose.” (J.G. Machen, as quoted in Laurence Vance, p.254)

“It is even Biblical to say that God has foreordained sin.” (Edwin H. Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism, p. 82)

But is it really Biblical to say that God has foreordained sin? God Himself declares the opposite:

Jeremiah 7:30-31

“For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the LORD. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.”

Jeremiah 19:3-6

“You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind – therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.'”

Jeremiah 32:35

“They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”

Not only does God say that He did not decree these sins, He also says that these sins didn’t even enter His mind. The Calvinists have their work cut out for them. They need to show 1) how God can foreordain something that He did not decree, and 2) how God can foreordain something that never entered His mind.