Discussion - Enyart vs. Ask Mr Religion (One on One)

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godrulz

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In case I am pressed for time, let me pre-respond :) to the usual crowd now:

godrulz: "No, it is not a nuanced motif and I disagree with what {so and so} writes."


Get on with it now.

I usually describe Greek grammar as nuanced (semantical range of meaning for words).

I usually describe the two motifs as some of the future is open/unsettled, while other aspects is settled by God's intentions and ability to bring these to pass. This takes both of our proof texts at face value, while closed theism must make one set figurative, without warrant.

I tend more to agree with so and so.

AMR: Have you heard of Calvinism's God lisps?

http://www.untothebreach.com/CalvinAccommodation.html

Scripture does not mean what it says (at least the open theism verses) because God is talking baby talk to us?! Cmon.

You accuse OT of elevating attributes. We know that God is love, but it seems to me that you elevate hyper-sovereignty above other attributes (verse for 'God is sovereign'? Yes He is, but other attributes are more predominant).
 

Lon

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BEQ1: Do you agree with me that the classical doctrine of utter immutability needs reformulation in order to explicitly acknowledge that God is able to change (for example, as Ware says, especially to allow for true relationship)?

AMRA-BEQ1: "On the contrary...I was unaware that the relationship a Christian has with God was not already a true relationship. Inexplicably it has only been in the last twenty years or so that some philosophers masquerading as theologians (PBS: Pinnock, Boyd, Sanders) resurrected earlier humanistic writings, wrapped them in some biblical double-speak, hoping to set everyone straight, including apparently God Himself."

Q1 is directly addressed in my opinion. Perhaps it is an OV perspective that discounts the answer? I'm seeing it as addressed.

BEQ2: Do you agree that righteousness is the foundation of God’s sovereignty.


AMRA-BEQ2a: "No I do not, nor should anyone who understands the nature of God’s attributes."

Lamerson (same question - SAL-BEQ2): "I believe that the true attributes of God are inseparable. We cannot speak of one attribute as being the ground for another simply because they are both necessary."

Psa 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

This in my mind seems to be saying something different from Enyart's question. He is equating and that can be a slippery slope. The Psalmist is saying that God is just and righteous. He rules because He is God (righteously, because He is righteous). I'm in agreement with Lamerson and AMR here. There is no reason to read 'into' the text.


AMRA-BEQ2b: "In summary, when discussing how God can be righteous, loving, omnipotent, etc., we must be careful to avoid separating the divine essence and the divine attributes. We must also guard against false conceptions of the relation in which these attributes stand with each other. This is the most egregious error of unsettled theism. God’s attributes are very real determinations of His Divine Being, that is, qualities that inhere in the being of God. God’s perfections are God Himself as He has revealed Himself to mankind. God’s attributes are not parts composing the Divine Essence. The whole essence is in each attribute, and the attribute in the essence. We should not conceive of the divine essence as existing by itself, and prior to the attributes. God is not essence and attributes, but in attributes. Indeed, knowledge of the attributes carries with it knowledge of the essence."

This seems a fair and accurate address of the question to me.


BEQ3: Do you agree that the five divine attributes of living, personal, relational, good, and loving, are more fundamental and take precedence over matters of location, knowledge, stoicism, power, and control?

AMRA-BEQ3: "No, I do not...To be clear, we have absolutely no warrant to elevate any one of God’s attributes above another. Nor do we have a warrant to fixate, as do unsettled theist’s, upon one attribute at the expense of all of the others."

Again I see a clear answer here that directly responds to the question. I think it can simply be answered by all with another question:

"Is it more necessary for a police chief to be 'relational' or 'able'?"
"Is it more necessary for a nuclear physicist to be relational or able?"

If you are like me, you want more information. If we add "...to do his job?" to the end of each it colors our answer significantly. I agree here with Lamerson and ARM.
Moses, after asking "Who am I to say has sent me?"
"I AM" was the answer that said God would be all Moses needed Him to be. All attributes there at Moses' need. God's attributes do not change, 'my' need changes and He is and always is what we need Him to be. There are no jokers, no wild-cards in this discussion.
 

Lon

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Divine Simplicity

Good link with good philosophical presentation but I think he'd have to go into the P1 & P2 discussion for strength of his counter because he merely suggests a different approach rather than weighing them alternatively.
 

Chileice

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I think the problem most Christians have, including Calvinists and Open Theists is that we can't live with ambiguity and do it well. I think that in this life we will never fully be able to explain God or understand him and NO hermeneutic that we build will ever be able to fully enfold the complexity and simplicity of almighty God. I think AMR really did a good job in this post. He just needs to remember that it applies equally to Calvinists as it does to Open Theists.


The choice of a theological and hermeneutical key on any biblical topic will inevitably reflect the pre-understanding of the interpreter and not the objective teaching of Scripture. The use of such a key is also inconsistent with the evangelical doctrine of plenary inspiration. Including all texts on a given subject allows each text to have its distinctive input and avoids interpretations that are slanted by human bias. God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent as Psalm 139 so beautifully recognizes (Psalms 139:1-16). To allow any of these other qualities to overshadow God’s love would be equally misleading as allowing the greatness attributes (omnipresence, omnipotence, etc.) of God to overshadow His love.

We ALL have a human bias based on our own experiences and needs. I find it interesting that Jesus did not just say he was the door. Some people needed a door. Others needed a fountain of living water, others needed him to be the light of the world or to share the yolk with them. He is and does all of those things, but we tend to focus on the aspect that was most helpful to us in our need and we try to universalize that one aspect or attribute above all others.
 

Evoken

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Clete said:
Nonsense!
It is not necessary for AMR to response to "all the complete entries made by Enyart in the debate" in order for him to answer the questions IN CONTEXT.

If he ignores the context he isn't answering the question, plain and simple.

Here is what you said: "As an example of what I'm talking about, in "answer" to BEQ2, AMR never even brought up the Scripture which Bob quoted in the debate which comes right out and says that God's thrown (i.e. His authority) is founded upon His righteousness. He never even brings it up!"

Your objection is founded on the fact that AMR did not bring up some particular thing (the Scripture cited by Enyart) in answer to a question that did not include such a thing. Lamerson didn't bring it up either. In fact, doing so is not strictly necessary to address BEQ2 and as I said in my previous post, AMR agreed to answer the questions only.

Should he answer the questions in context? Sure, but that does not means that by doing so he is forced to include in his responses something Enyart said beyond the questions he asked. And as you can see in AMRA-BEQ4, he is doing so anyway.


Augustine and Thomas Aquinas are the real culprits of course but the doctrine is commonly held throughout Calvinism. In fact, Calvinism is little more than Reformed Augustinian theology. The doctrine of Divine Simplicity is one of those doctrines Bob referred to in the debate when he mentioned how the Reformation parted from Rome but not from the Greeks.

Not to derail the thread into this subject, but that God is simple is something that has always been believed by The Church, even long before St. Augustine or St. Thomas came along. And in fact, the greeks had certain errors on their idea of God which the early Fathers rebuked, while at the same time they acknowledged the elements of truth they had and attributed their origin both to divine inspiration and to the prophets of the Old Testament.

By saying that the doctrine is Calvinistic, you are implying that it either originates from Calvinism or that it is exclusive to it. But this is not true when it comes to God's simplicity.


Yes! That is, unless given some reason to believe that the individual is Arminian. Generally if a person quacks like this particular sort of duck he's either a Calvinist or a Catholic and since Catholics are usually pretty easy to spot the term Calvinist works in most situations rather nicely. Even people who don't call themselves Calvinists believe most of these things because of John Calvin any and so the term really isn't as inaccurate as you would probably like to think it is even in your own case.

Last time I checked, the majority of Arminians are classical theists, that is, they believe in the attributes of God rejected by unsettled theists. So, it is simply inaccurate to label all classical theists as Calvinists. Even without taking Arminians into consideration it is inaccurate to include Catholics within the "Calvinist" label.

As far as John Calvin goes, I came into any serious contact with him and Calvinism long after I was Catholic.


It seems perfectly clear to me that the intent was to have AMR respond to the questions as he would have had he been in Lamerson's place debating against Bob in Battle Royale X, which would be an interesting exercise both for AMR and for all the rest of us.

Perhaps so, but you have to remember that AMR does not necessarily agrees with everything Lamerson said or even with the manner he said it. So, there should be some flexibility as to allow him to explain things on his own terms and make any additional commentary he feels is necessary. The agreement was not that AMR would simply be Lamerson taking another shot at answering Enyart's questions.


As it is, so far, AMR has had all the fun in the world getting to write his brains out about his theology and the rest of us are going to check out in about another 2 or 3 "answers" of the sort that have been offered so far because frankly no one gives a crap about reading the "Ask Mr. Religion Commentary on Classical Theism" blog.

The only advice I gave to AMR when he agreed to respond to Enyart's questions was that he be as succinct as possible in his responses. So, I understand what you mean and I would not like things to turn out the way you perceive them to be now. That said, I believe that in the first few posts, since there is the need to clarify certain things, we are to expect longer responses. Later on, I believe, we are going to see more compact replies that presuppose what he stated early on.


He didn't answer Bob's question number two at all. He never even addressed it. He answered a question but it wasn't Bob's.

I disagree, here is the question and both Lamerson's and AMR's answers:

BEQ2: Do you agree that righteousness is the foundation of God’s sovereignty?

SAL-BEQ2: I believe that the true attributes of God are inseparable. We cannot speak of one attribute as being the ground for another simply because they are both necessary.

AMRA-BEQ2: No I do not, nor should anyone who understands the nature of God’s attributes. The attributes of God appear to be a primary source of the doctrinal errors of unsettled theism, whereby its proponents spend inordinate amounts of time attempting to redefine and prioritize God’s very nature [....] In summary, when discussing how God can be righteous, loving, omnipotent, etc., we must be careful to avoid separating the divine essence and the divine attributes.


Lamerson does not clearly states wether he agrees or disagrees, and provides no explanation for why God's attributes are inseparable. AMR on the other hand, clearly answers the question in the negative and then proceeds to explain the reasons why God's attributes are inseparable. You may not agree with his answer, you may not like the length of his response or the fact that he spends some time defining the concepts involved, but to say that the question was not addressed is incorrect.


And please don't tempt me to actually delineate each of AMR's fallacious comments, it wouldn't go well for your side and I think you know that.

Go ahead, isn't that what this thread is for?


Evo
 

Clete

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AMR's "answer" number five is rather silly.

He basically complains that Bob ignores the rest of the Psalm and so quotes it all for us as if it does something to support the Settled View, which it obviously does not.

At the end he talks about the evidence being in. What evidence? The Psalms? Its difficult to know for sure what he's referring to since AMR didn't explain how the Psalms helps his position or refutes Bob's use of the passage in support of that which it plainly states. Bob never suggested that God did not reign nor did he suggest anything else that is in contradiction to the context of the Psalm. Further the statement that God's thrown is founded upon His righteousness is repeated in at least one other place. The context of neither suggests any reason for us to believe that they do not mean exactly what they say. Indeed, where would be the reason for rejoicing in the reign of God if the idea that God's authority is founded on His righteousness were not so?

Does AMR deny that God's thrown is founded upon His righteousness? One would have to conclude that he does based on this so called "answer" to BEQ5, which by the way is more of an answer to BEQ2 than that which he actually wrote in AMRA-BEQ2.

This is only "answer" five!! :noway:

:yawn:

Resting in Him,
Clete
 

Lon

Well-known member
BEQ4: Will you retract your criticism that my Attributes Hermeneutic was “so broad as to be virtually pointless?” Now that you've seen my NOAH interpretation method demonstrated again by using it in the exact same way I did in my first post to resolve an apparent conflict in Pauline passages, but this to answer your question about Judas. Please remember, I am not here asking you if you agree with the method, but just if it is a clear method.

AMRA-BEQ4 - "Unsettled theism hermeneutics present numerous problems for the orthodox historical-grammatical approaches to hermeneutics...all orthodox classical theists reply that this kind of selective interpretation hardly deserves the name of hermeneutics or exegesis. The proper name to be given to unsettled theism’s NOAH, JONAH, etc., is hermeneutical malpractice."

The question was specifically addressed to a Lamerson comment. It might have been better to have reworded this question or eliminated for AMR, but I believe AMR answers it directly by supporting Lamerson's statement and then explaining that support.

BEQ5: Which describes something deeper within God, descriptions of Him that are dependent upon His creation, or descriptions of God that are true within God Himself, apart from any consideration of man?

AMRA-BEQ5 -"Firstly, as posed, your question assumes descriptions of God “dependent upon His consideration” are somehow linked to “any consideration of man”. They are not."

BEQ5 is similar to BEQ3:
"Do you agree that the five divine attributes of living, personal, relational, good, and loving, are more fundamental and take precedence over matters of location, knowledge, stoicism, power, and control?"
Again the answer is virually the same and AMR addresses it in a like manner. Anyone lost at the end isn't reading carefully and missed the initial statement AND the virtual similarity or rephrasing of the question. That it is asked twice in virtually the same way? :nono: <dunno>

BEQ6: Which is greater, God’s sovereignty over creation, or God’s love?

AMRA-BEQ6 - "Likewise, my answer to you question is that there is no attribute of our perfect God that has primacy over another attribute."

"... I am certain that most unsettled theists do not fully understand God’s love."

I'd augment this statement with "...as revealed in traditional hermenutics."
or in some other way indicate that this was a comparative statement.

Where is the broken record/dead horse icon? :stuck:

Shall I start counting the same question for repetition here? Perhaps BE wanted every nuance of answer.
 

Lon

Well-known member
Summary

Summary

BEQ1: Do you agree with me that the classical doctrine of utter immutability needs reformulation?

AMRA-BEQ1 - No

BEQ2: Do you agree that righteousness is the foundation of God’s sovereignty?

AMRA-BEQ2 - No

BEQ3: Do you agree that the five divine attributes of living, personal, relational, good, and loving, are more fundamental and take precedence over matters of location, knowledge, stoicism, power, and control?

AMRA-BEQ3 - No

BEQ4: Will you retract your criticism that my Attributes Hermeneutic was “so broad as to be virtually pointless?”

AMRA-BEQ4 - No

BEQ5: Which describes something deeper within God, descriptions of Him that are dependent upon His creation, or descriptions of God that are true within God Himself, apart from any consideration of man?

AMRA-BEQ5- NoBiblical/traditional foundation to the question

OR a rephrase to Q3

AMRA-BEQ3,5 - No

BEQ6: Which is greater, God’s sovereignty over creation, or God’s love?

*see answers 3 and 5
 

godrulz

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We cannot pit sovereignty vs love, I agree (AMR). The root problem is a wrong understanding of hyper-sovereignty in Calvinism, not that Open Theists reject sovereignty in favor of love. Likewise, a wrong understanding of sovereignty and free will leads to wrong conclusions. There is a way to resolve these tensions, and it is not Calvinism :noid:

AMR will object to my assertions, so I point him to my 1000s of posts and the wealth of non-Calvinistic theology through the centuries.

In fairness, AMR should read and quote John Sander's Second Edition (I am rereading it now) of 'The God who risks'. He has responded to his critics and changed or clarified ideas over time from the first edition.
 

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We cannot pit sovereignty vs love, I agree (AMR). The root problem is a wrong understanding of hyper-sovereignty in Calvinism, not that Open Theists reject sovereignty in favor of love. Likewise, a wrong understanding of sovereignty and free will leads to wrong conclusions. There is a way to resolve these tensions, and it is not Calvinism
Good to see you agree to something every now and then.

The "root problem" is unsettled theism's misunderstanding and mis-characterizations of God's sovereignty, which inheres God's love. A point that unsettled theist's will not appreciate for they remain locked in one of God's attributes at the expense of all others. Hence they diminish the full revelation of God to His creatures.

AMR will object to my assertions, so I point him to my 1000s of posts and the wealth of non-Calvinistic theology through the centuries.
Your 1000s of posts are merely more assertions. The wealth of non-Reformed literature you refer to is Arminian in nature. Unsettled theists claim to not be Arminian, hence the wealth of non-Reformed literature relevant to the discussion comprises the paltry works of philosophers masquerading as theologians: Pinnock, Boyd, Sanders.

In fairness, AMR should read and quote John Sander's Second Edition (I am rereading it now) of 'The God who risks'. He has responded to his critics and changed or clarified ideas over time from the first edition.
If you are reading the book, then illuminate us all with Sanders' newfound insights. I am having enough trouble playing wack-a-mole with the ever-moving theologies of unsettled theism herein. :chuckle:
 

godrulz

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Arminians and Open Theists are free will theists, not determinists. We disagree about simple foreknowledge and exhaustive definite foreknowledge, but have more in common than differences (soteriology, etc., and certainly more than with Calvinists...TOL Enyart OT distance themselves from Arminianism). Calvinists argue against Arminians on many of the points that they also disagree with Open Theists over. I would say OT are similar to Arminians as opposed to Calvinists. The John Sander's link you had on your email forum classified these things. Have you refuted that link somewhere? I was pleased to agree with Sanders over Ware, if you care.

Is your 'one on one' a monologue? Where is Pastor Enyart's contribution? You have substance and style, even if you are still wrong:p
 

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Is your 'one on one' a monologue? Where is Pastor Enyart's contribution? You have substance and style, even if you are still wrong
Per the terms of the proposal, Enyart is under no obligation to respond to anything until I have finished answering all of his questions. Enyart has agreed to respond to my single question regarding the eschaton I posed in another thread (see the three links in this post) after I have answered all of his BR X questions. The One on One was not to be a debate in the spirit of BR X. So, yes, it is a monologue that I am enjoying. In effect, I am trading 50 responses for 1. Not a bad deal in my opinion, assuming I get an honest response.
 

Clete

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We cannot pit sovereignty vs love, I agree (AMR). The root problem is a wrong understanding of hyper-sovereignty in Calvinism, not that Open Theists reject sovereignty in favor of love. Likewise, a wrong understanding of sovereignty and free will leads to wrong conclusions. There is a way to resolve these tensions, and it is not Calvinism :noid:
godrulz,

Why do you shoot your mouth off giving credence to liars and heretics without using your brain first? I swear sometimes you, as an ally to the Open View, are more destructive than any enemy anyone ever had!

Which came first, God's love or God's sovereignty over creation?

Did not God love long before He was ever sovereign over creation?

Was the act of creation as great as God's love or isn't it so that God created BECAUSE of His love and for the sake of it?

Was it not Love Himself which created? God is not sovereign over love, that would be saying that He is sovereign over Himself, which wouldn't make any sense at all. God is however very definitely sovereign over creation. Thus God's love is much greater than His sovereignty over that which was created by and because of His love.

Please think it through before agreeing with AMR! I have found almost nothing that he says to be worthy of giving that much credence too and I don't just say that because I hate him but because everything he says is a convoluted mess of question begging nonsense that bears very little or no resemblance to Biblical Christianity.

AMR will object to my assertions, so I point him to my 1000s of posts and the wealth of non-Calvinistic theology through the centuries.

In fairness, AMR should read and quote John Sander's Second Edition (I am rereading it now) of 'The God who risks'. He has responded to his critics and changed or clarified ideas over time from the first edition.
Now this was an excellent point! You've pointed out just the sort of error that AMR is prone to making, only it isn't really an "error" as that term, at least in my mind, suggests it was done on accident, which I don't believe is the case with AMR. It would be more accurate in his case to say that you've pointed out just the sort of lie that AMR like to tell in support of his theology.

Resting in Him,
Clete
 

chatmaggot

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Mr. Religion,

Your answer to the question:

BEQ6: Which is greater, God’s sovereignty over creation, or God’s love?

Was:

"...all of God’s commandments were the great commandments"

Does the command to obey the Sabbath stand equal with healing someone (loving your neighbor)?

Did God's command to obey the Sabbath take precedence to loving your neighbor or did loving your neighbor take precedence over the Sabbath?

Or...did the command to obey the Sabbath take precedence over circumcision...or did circumcision take precedence over the Sabbath?

How can all laws be the greatest when some laws had to be broken to obey others?

Doesn't that imply that some commands are greater than others?
 

Chileice

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Per the terms of the proposal, Enyart is under no obligation to respond to anything until I have finished answering all of his questions. Enyart has agreed to respond to my single question regarding the eschaton I posed in another thread (see the three links in this post) after I have answered all of his BR X questions. The One on One was not to be a debate in the spirit of BR X. So, yes, it is a monologue that I am enjoying. In effect, I am trading 50 responses for 1. Not a bad deal in my opinion, assuming I get an honest response.


I must say that you are certainly earning that answer. I don't know too many people who have the time or the gumption or both to respond to all 50 questions. I have enjoyed reading your comments, even if I don't comment on them all. I'm not convinced that Calvinism is the response to Open Theism, but I give you credit for doing a bunch of hard work for the benefit of all of us, even your detractors.
 

Chileice

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godrulz,

Why do you shoot your mouth off giving credence to liars and heretics without using your brain first? I swear sometimes you, as an ally to the Open View, are more destructive than any enemy anyone ever had!

A gentle answer turns away wrath. Maybe Godrulz remembered that verse from Sunday School. You don't have to be confrontational to disagree. In fact he may be more of an asset for the cause than someone who just discounts everything the other guy says as a lie.

Please think it through before agreeing with AMR! I have found almost nothing that he says to be worthy of giving that much credence too and I don't just say that because I hate him but because everything he says is a convoluted mess of question begging nonsense that bears very little or no resemblance to Biblical Christianity.

I think most people will see that AMR is trying to be fair and is trying to be biblical as he interprets the Scripture. Saying you hate someone just because of their theology seems to cross out your words about God and his love.
 

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It is obvious that this thread will not likely foster open communications, for anyone who may think that some of my responses in the 1:1 thread are on point will be subjected to much verbal abuse.

This is the common tactic of a cult-like mentality--to berate presumed members (allies) of the group that disagree with the group's dogma. Keeping everyone holding to the party line is essential for such groups. Those that step outside of the boundaries of mandated behavior are quickly shut down.

See here for another example of how this behavior works.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

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Mr. Religion,
Does the command to obey the Sabbath stand equal with healing someone (loving your neighbor)?

Did God's command to obey the Sabbath take precedence to loving your neighbor or did loving your neighbor take precedence over the Sabbath?

Or...did the command to obey the Sabbath take precedence over circumcision...or did circumcision take precedence over the Sabbath?

How can all laws be the greatest when some laws had to be broken to obey others?

Doesn't that imply that some commands are greater than others?
The Scriptures are clear in affirming Christ's words cited in my 1:1 response:

Mat 22:37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the great and first commandment.

This first commandment summarized the first table of the law written on the stone tablet.

Mat 22:39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

This second commandment summarized the second table of the law written on the stone tablet.

In the next verse of Matthew 22 Christ clearly stated that all the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments, i.e., all the Old Testament develops and amplifies these two points: love for God and love for others, who are made in God’s image.

The context is not the many ritualistic Mosaic laws, e.g., circumcision, but the Decalogue. If we obey Christ's words, in effect, we will keep all of the commandments. Is murder a greater sin than stealing? Is adultery a lesser sin than murder? To our human minds, we answer 'yes'. To God, all sin is grievous sin. God does not wink at what we think are the lesser sins. That some sins carry a greater burden of guilt is clear (e.g., John 19:11), but the penalty is the same for the unregenerate.
 
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