Does God “Want” Men to Sin? Does He “Ordain” Sin?

Does God “Want” Men to Sin? Does He “Ordain” Sin? June 24, 2020

I’ve often heard Calvinists deny that they believe God is the author of sin, and I try to be as charitable as I can in accepting their report of their own belief-system. Information such as the following makes that difficult to do. I think that logically their system requires Him to be exactly that. The words below (in blue) are from “Turretinfan”: whom I call “The Anonymous One” (TAO): one of the most exasperatingly illogical, incoherent amateur theologians I have encountered online, in my nearly 14 years, and a Calvinist. They are from his own blog (“Axe, Saw, and Staff Theology” — 6 January 2010; in the comments section). These are five separate comments, separated by line breaks.

* * * * *

Now I’ll repeat my earlier, more immediately relevant question: Does God want men to sin or not?” Recall that I had asked: “Is it your understanding of the issue that the Father didn’t want Christ crucified or that the Father did want Christ crucified?” I think you know that the answer is that [the] Father wanted it. If so, then it would seem to follow that God wanted men to sin.

[E]vil deeds of wicked men, even though ordained by God, merit punishment.

He commands them not to sin. He ordains that they will sin. They do so freely, though according to his foreordination.

Perhaps you’re failing to see that God’s commands relate to the moral law, whereas his decrees relate to His providence. Let’s give you an example of God wanting men to sin and commanding them not to. God commanded men not to kill an innocent man. However, God wanted Jesus to be crucified. Do you see that as a conflict also? . . . no one coerces the wicked to sin.

Do you think that simply because no one is able to resist God’s predestining decree they shouldn’t be subject to the moral law?


John E. Taylor  (words in green) is another Calvinist, from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
Acts 4:27‭-‬28 ESV

So what exactly is your quarrel with Turrentin??

How does that prove that God ordained them to sin, and wiped out their free will to do otherwise? It’s just as consistent with God using the free will choices of men (both good and bad) in order to accomplish His will, in His providence.

In fact, we know that from the example of Pharaoh, where one passage says he hardened his own heart, and another says that God hardened it. God used the sin in His providence. He didn’t ordain it and “okay” it.

God didn’t ordain that David would kill a man and commit adultery. But He knew it would happen and chose David to make an eternal covenant with anyway.

The “plan” (above) is predestined. It doesn’t follow that every particular and all the persons’ free will is also predestined by God.

Calvinists say God isn’t the author of sin. So it seems that you must interpret as I have.


Related Reading


Do Catholics Believe in Predestination? Yes! But . . . [8-29-06]

Reply to a Calvinist: Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart (vs. Colin Smith) [10-14-06]




(originally posted on 2-17-10 and 3-16-17)

Photo credit: Portrait of Jean Calvin, by Titian (1490-1576) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]


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