Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Sin and God’s Perfect Design

Life ChangeThis is not a typical devotional thought. Today, I have been caught up in a theological discussion on Facebook (not the best place for such things but it is a tool to use to reach folks one might not be able to reach otherwise). I’m caught off guard – some – by those who differ with my understanding of God. The following – without names – is part of the discussion. I would welcome your thoughts and understanding on the issue at hand – namely – can we say we were born a certain way by God’s design or has sin caused a deviation or atypical altering of God’s perfect plan for us? I will identify my comments and will not post all  comments here. You can read all on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ramonmcdonald).

This theological understanding is deep in a thread. If you are not following the thread, you may not have seen it. It was my theological explanation for why we see deviations from God‘s perfect design of humanity, even of the world. I would be interested in your theological take?

(I wrote) I believe that all deviations from God’s perfect design are a result of our brokenness from God (sin). That brokenness can be personal sin, the sin of others, or our collective sin (humanity). God did not, as I understand it, create these deviations. Now God can use them, even to His glory, but let’s not say God made me or designed me with these deviations from His perfect design. Somewhere along the line, brokenness (sin) has caused the deviations we see. Sin or brokenness is the ultimate issue we face. In the case of birth defects, somewhere our genetic makeup has changed. For instance, a person’s use of drugs or alcohol could cause genetic change for their descendants (personal sin). This same change in genetics could’ve been caused several generations back and passed on unknowingly (the sin of others). This same change in genetics could be caused by environmental change (think ozone destruction or the chemicals in our food or water)(sin of humanity). This is not meant to place blame, it is an attempt to explain deviations from God’s perfect design in creation.

(someone wrote) So my son was born with Down syndrome, which is a “defect”, a deviation, a mutation of the 21st chromosome in which he has an extra half chromosome. Something has changed, and something caused it. According to your thinking, my child’s chromosomal differences is a deviation from God’s perfect plan. Following this logic, you’d have to conclude that he is less than the perfect design.

(I wrote) So, how would you explain the deviations from the norm? How would you explain a child born without arms or with their heart outside their body, or someone like me with Tourette Syndrome, or someone like your child, with Down Syndrome? Did your God create them that way by design? That wouldn’t be the God I know and worship. Is God Sovereign – yes – and ultimately God allows our sin through free will – but God did not – in my understanding of God – design the deviations we find in nature.

I am not taking away from anyone’s sacred worth or value. I am suggesting that deviations from God’s perfect creation are caused – because of our brokenness – our sin. I’m saying that all brokenness is a consequence of sin – mine – others – or humanities.

We cannot say God made me this way and assume that all of our deviations are God blessed or ordained. If you are saying God created these deviations – we understand God differently.

(someone wrote) Also, and I know this may sound harsh, but the line of reasoning in your argument has been used historically to justify racism, antisemitism, and the kinds of eugenics that are still in place to eliminate generic conditions like Down Syndrome from our population (accounting for the shrinking Down Syndrome population). I know you’re in no way using your thinking that way, but in making the argument that homosexual orientation is a sinful defect, you’ve headed down the same road others have used to eliminate people groups seen as inferior, defective and evil.

(I wrote) When did I connect my thinking to anything or anyone – specifically? I do suggest that not everything biological is of God’s plan. Homosexual orientation has not been conclusively determined to be biological. I suggest that deviations from God’s perfect plan is because of sin – a separation from God’s perfect will. I do not name the deviations – other than to say genetic abnormalities. I also wrote – God can use all to His glory. You can go wherever you wish with your thinking – don’t suggest I went there with mine. I also never suggested eliminating anyone. My argument was really for us to not call something God’s will simply because we were born that way.

(I wrote) Obviously (I hope), I am not trying to degrade anyone. I have Tourette Syndrome (among other deviations), but I do not blame God or say God wanted me to have this deviation from His perfect creation or will. I am not advocating hate or exclusion. We are all of sacred worth – even with our deviations – caused by sin in the world. My main point is – being born a certain way does not indicate God’s will for us. We (humanity) have broken from God’s perfect will and plan and the deviations from that will and plan are caused by sin in the world. (end of FB comments)

What is your understanding of why we are born with deviations from God’s perfect plan or will? Or – like some – do you believe God makes us all as God planned and our “deviations” are not really issues – they are blessings from God?

I know there is more to be said on this topic – but this gives you an idea. Thanks for your thoughts and comments.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

March 1, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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