Sermons

Summary: The YouTube teacher named Joe Scott (Answers With Joe) once shared questions about Christianity that troubled him. And one of those questions was "Did God Make Sin?"

OPEN: A woman had volunteered to teach a Sunday School class for toddlers. She was teaching them about Creation, and she started the class by asking questions like “Who made the trees?” and “Who made the sun?” The children responded, “God did” and the woman She was pleased the children were quickly learning that God made everything.

But she admitted that teaching her daughter at home was more of a challenge. For example, she was struggling to teach her daughter to pick up her toys, but her daughter wasn’t learning very quickly. One day she walked into the living room to find toys scattered everywhere and exasperated the mother said, “Who made this mess?” Her daughter looked up at her, and with a proud smile said, “God did!” (Carol J. Rivest, “Heart to Heart,” Today’s Christian Woman)

GOD MADE EVERYTHING. He made the trees and the sun, the moon, the stars, and the birds and the fish - everything. So it seemed only logical to this little girl that God made… the mess too.

In our text today, we’re going to talk about the mess that got started in the Garden of Eden. It’s the mess (we know of as) the sin of Adam and Eve eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now in this month’s sermon series we’re focusing on some very sincere questions about religion by one of my favorite YouTube hosts named Joe Scott. And his show (on YouTube) is called “Answers With Joe” Joe said this in his monologue on the question of “Is There A God” where he tells of us of struggling with his faith. He said: “A lot of the little idiosyncrasies of the dogma, just didn’t add up for me anymore. Like, if God is all-powerful and all-knowing, then why does He need my help? And my money? Why did God have to kill His Son in order to forgive my sins? Why couldn’t He just forgive me? For that matter, why did He make sin in the first place? (see footnote)

So, DID God make sin? Did God make the mess? Well, Joe Scott thought so - that’s why he asked the question.

We’ll get to Joe’s question in just a few minutes, but first we need to realize that people have all kinds of views on sin. For example, there’s a lot of people who REJECT the idea that sin even exists. The liberal talk show host Bill Maher claimed that “We wouldn’t even know what sin was if it wasn’t for the bible.” In other words: The Bible made it up! Sin doesn’t exist. And he’s not the only one - there’s lots of people who try to DENY that sin exists.

ILLUS: The advice columnist - Dear Abby - was once asked: “Dear Abby, I’m having an affair with two women. I can’t marry both of them. What should I do? And please don’t give me that stuff about morality.” Abby’s response was priceless: “Dear sir, the only difference between animals and humans is morality. I suggest you write your veterinarian for advice.”

In other words: if you’re going to behave like an animal go talk to your vet. Don’t ask me for advice!

Sin has been downplayed so much in our society that a famous Psychiatrist named Dr. Karl Menninger once wrote a book entitled “Whatever Became Of Sin?” where he stated: “(Sin) was a word once in everyone’s mind, but now rarely if ever heard. Does that mean that no sin is involved in all our troubles…? Is no one any longer guilty of anything? Guilty perhaps of a sin that could be repented and repaired or atoned for? Is it only that someone may be stupid or sick or criminal - or asleep? Wrong things are being done, we know; tares are being sown in the wheat field at night. But is no one responsible, no one answerable for these acts?”

To acknowledge sin is to acknowledge personal responsibility. There’s a lot of people out there who don’t want to do that. They don’t want to acknowledge they have sinned. But the fact of the matter is sin does exist. Every world religion recognizes this truth. And even unbelievers can feel the pain that their sins have left behind the guilt and shame of past behavior that causes a kind of self-hatred.

ILLUS: A clinical psychiatrist named Jordan Peterson said he rejected the popular idea that people felt “valuable” all the time. “Well, it’s NOT obvious to me that people think they are valuable all the time. They certainly don’t think that when they’re depressed… or suicidal. They don’t really think that when they’re ashamed, or guilty, or frustrated, or disappointed or angry or waking up at 3 in the morning and tormenting themselves with their consciences. They don’t necessarily think that …when they’re fighting with their family or when they’re upset at work or, you know, when things go wrong in life.” (https://www.facebook.com/drjordanpeterson/videos/2322886067950271/?sfnsn=mo&d=n&vh=e)

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Lance Smith

commented on Apr 25, 2021

I thoroughly enjoy reading your sermons. I felt compelled to comment a few thoughts after reading. It seems that this question "Did God make sin" is rooted in deeper dilemmas. Firstly, right off the bat... it exalts the person who is doing the asking. They find it reasonable to stand before God and question Him. I agree, often times it is the humble seeker who is asking such a question, but far too often it seems to me that humility is tossed aside for the person whom asks such things. I might be inclined to ask from where does a person draw such esteem to be exalted to the point of demanding answers from a Just and Holy God. I might assume this individual would have doubts of the existence of God altogether. If this is the case, I assume this person would need to address that question prior to demanding answers to questions about a God that they don't believe in. If the asker does believe in God, it might be important to consider what source we search for answers to these questions. If we dig down to the root of such a question, I think a person has to decide what they believe about God to be true prior to the asking... AND from where do they draw their beliefs. Is this an objective source? Is is subjective? The Bible is objective by nature, and speaks of a loving God. If we are to take God's Word as it is, aside from our own subjective ideas, we'll find that it describes God as love. Yes we are told of the tree of knowledge, we are told of sin, and we are told of hell. However, we are very much told that God is love. I personally do not believe that there can be two truths that stand in opposition to one another. Truth is truth and it is absolute. So, either God is love and retained this status alongside hell and sin... or God is not love. If God is love... how can we ever entertain the notion that God would do something vile or deceptive? If God is not love, why does the Bible (the source from which we are told of sin and hell) tell us that He is? If you've ever made something of your own, you likely went through a trial and error process. You devised questions and answers, and dealt with them until you arrived at your finished product. Afterwards, individuals can take your creation and, while examining its finished state, ask questions that seem reasonable and yet were answered by you during the design process. To them, it might not make much sense because they were not there for the process. "Why in the world does this particular piece have to even be there in the first place?"...they might ask. You could then provide insights to the design process. Perhaps this is the same with God and his wonderful creation.

Jeff Strite

commented on Apr 25, 2021

I'm glad you find my sermons useful. I tailored this sermon series to answer Joe Scott's questions and I'm answering as if I were talking directly to him... which in essence I will be, because I'm anticipating e-mailing the series to him in hopes it will help answer his questions. Keep this in your prayers.

Lance Smith

commented on Apr 25, 2021

Yes sir, I will do. My mind was racing and my thoughts kind of spilled out here. I was commenting as if I were talking with someone like Joe about it. I also hoped that some of it might be useful to you, but you always do such a great job of explaining things in a simple way. I’ll be sure to pray about your conversations with Joe.

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