Wednesday, June 7, 2017

“Why Does God Allow Satan to Live?”



I came across the above video by John Piper in which he asks the question: “Why does God allow Satan to live?” Why does he not take him out right now? Why does he allow him to cause all the trouble that he continues to cause? And he rightly observes that the Bible does not give a direct answer to that question, so he gives it the best shot he can—and bungles it in the process! But I have got some good news for him. Mormon scripture goes give the direct answer to that question.

John Piper makes several mistakes in his commentary. The first mistake that he makes is that in a sense Satan has already been “taken out”. He has already been cast out of heaven (Luke 10:18), and thus become “miserable forever” (2 Nephi 2:18); so that he is by no means a “happy devil”. Just because God still allows him to roam around and cause trouble; and even allows him to appear in the presence of God (Job 1:6; 2:1), and also to interrogate Jesus (Matt. 4:3; Luke 4:3); it does not mean that he is a happy devil. He has already been cast out of heaven and from the presence of God, and become “miserable forever.

Secondly, in answer to the question of why God still allows Satan to do what he does, that is also answered directly in modern LDS scripture, as follows:

D&C 29:

39 And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—

The purpose of this mortal existence is to allow mankind to freely choose between good and evil, and thus to determine for themselves what their ultimate end will be; and they could only do that if they were presented with a choice:

Alma 29:

5 Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men. He that knoweth not good from evil, is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires—whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.

If that choice didn’t exist, mankind could neither do good nor evil; and therefore could neither be rewarded for doing good, nor condemned for doing evil. Everything is known by its opposite. If evil didn’t exist, good wouldn’t exist either. Sin is a “transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4); and that “law” against committing evil could only exist if evil itself existed—or rather, man’s ability to choose between the two—hence the need for the temptations of the devil. And God has set aside a day of judgement to punish or reward mankind according to the good or evil that they have done: “they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:29). That is another way of saying that “faith alone” don’t work! Sorry, it ain’t biblical. :-)
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P.S.

After I had posted the above comments, I came across a podcast by John Piper in which he tries to explain the problem of evil at a more fundamental level, which can be seen here:



I am not going to comment on everything he has said, because that would take too long. I will just briefly mention one thing. At 8:50 minutes into the podcast he quotes Isaiah 64:7 as follows: “There is no one here who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you, for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities; and adds by way of commentary, “And so again it is the hiding of his [God’s] face that explains the sin …” In other words, his interpretation of Isaiah 64:7 is that Israel’s sinning was caused by God turning his face away from them. I don’t know where that translation of Isaiah comes from, but evidently it is wrong. The KJV gives the correct translation, which is as follows: “And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.” In other words, Israel’s iniquities are the cause of God turning his face from them, not the other way; and that agrees with the rest of the Bible:

Deuteronomy 31:

16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.
17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?
18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.

Deuteronomy 32:

19 And when the Lord saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.
20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

His reading of Isaiah 64:7 turns the true doctrine on its head. The true doctrine is that God turns his face away from Israel because of their sins. His reading is that God’s turning his face from Israel is the cause of their sinning! LOL! That is what Calvinism does to people I guess. It makes them turn the whole Bible on its head.

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