On Emotional Grenades

“If a ram’s horn is blowing in a city, will the people not also tremble? If there is a calamity in a city, has Jehovah not even done [it]?” (Amos 3:6)

” … I [am] Jehovah, and there is none else; forming light, and creating darkness; making peace, and creating evil. I, Jehovah, do all these things. Drop down from above, O heavens; and let the clouds pour down righteousness. Let the earth open and let salvation bear fruit; and let righteousness spring up together. I, Jehovah have created it. Woe [to] him who fights with the One who formed him! A potsherd among the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to its former, What are you making? Or does your work say, He [has] no hands?” (Isaiah 45:6-9)

“Remember former things from forever, for I [am] God, and no one else [is] God, even none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from the past those things which were not done, saying, My counsel shall rise; and, I will do all My desire; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My counsel from a far off land. Yes, I have spoken; yes, I will cause it to come; I have formed; yes, I will do it” (Isaiah 46:9-11).

My interaction with Vincent Cheung’s writings about objections to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. [This is not an endorsement of Vincent Cheung as a true Christian.  He does, however, say some correct things here.]

From Cheung’s post on “Emotional Grenades“:

“One of the attempts against the doctrine takes this form:  ‘If God ordains and causes all things, then this also applies to the rape of a child.’ Whether this is stated as an observation or a rhetorical question, there is no argument here that compels an answer that is more than a simple ‘Yes.’ If God ordains and causes all things, then of course this applies to the rape of a child, or to five billion children. There is no refutation.

This is an emotional grenade. Its power is in the popular sentiment that the welfare of children is one of the supreme principles under which all other things are subservient” (Cheung, Emotional Grenades).

Many God-haters of “theistic” variety (e.g., Arminians, Open-Theists, Process Theologians, etc.) spend much of their frenetic and hypocritical lives fighting with the One who formed them, saying, “What are You making?” Such fulminating and emotional grenades are being hypocritically lobbed since their “god” was in the room as the wickedness transpired. Other professing Christians who are bold and brazen enough to command the Potter (and yet do not precisely fit any of the aforementioned “theistic” labels), are admonished to quarrel with their fellow potsherds.

I agree that, generally speaking, the emotional power is nested inside the popular sentiment concerning “the welfare of children” (though some professing Christians actually support the decision to murder children in the womb for the welfare of reproductive control, Womens’ Rights, and obtaining that University degree).

Cheung used the plural, “supreme principles.” It seems that the principle higher than that of the welfare of children is the free will of the sinner. Thus, the God-hating hypocrites sacrifice the welfare of children on the Altar of Free Will.

Cheung continued:

“In this case, the grenade is thrown against the honor and power of God. Even so, it is one that has a considerable chance of success, because even those who call themselves Christians would eagerly place the welfare of children far above their reverence for God. These are, of course, bad Christians. But there are many bad Christians. In fact, many people would put their pets above their religion. Thus one could expect success with:

‘If God ordains and causes all things, then this also applies to your dog’s indigestion.’

At this, it would not surprise me even a little if someone would either abandon the doctrine of divine sovereignty and retreat to a finite theism, or turn against God for hurting his innocent puppy” (Vincent Cheung, Emotional Grenades).

It, too, would not surprise me if an adherent of finite theism retreated to some mishmash of atheistic materialism. They must reject ALL FORMS of personal theism since they cannot stomach the idea that ANY GOD (no matter how well-meaning, small, finite, or helpless) could play ANY ROLE in their dog’s indigestion.

I do not believe it is hyperbole AT ALL to say that many “bad Christians” (i.e., God-hating potsherds) would play the mutinous mercenary and recant of their empty allegiance to the God of Scripture and retreat to something “less cruel” to canines.