October 15, 2008

A Response to Anonymous on "Perfection"

I decided to post a response to an “Anonymous” Blogger who left the following remarks regarding moral perfection. I will answer the majority of his/her response in a later post, but I would first like to address a few misconceptions they seem to have about sin and obedience. I think it’s important we define the terms here so we’re both working with the same definitions.

First, Anonymous stated:

“Deuteronomy 6:24-25 is a statement of this principle from the perspective that a person who keeps the law is righteous. Up until Jesus time, the bible tells us He is the only one who fulfilled the law. “

Indeed, Jesus is the only one who was able to keep or fulfill the law from cradle to grave. But this has nothing to do with man's moral ability. Jesus did not come so that you will now have the ability to keep God's Law. Man has always had within his ability to obey God. To say otherwise is just plain false and is unbiblical. First, Jesus was able to fully keep the law, not because he had the supernatural ability to do so, but out of His love for the Father, the Holy Spirit and mankind. It was through the committal of his will that he was able to overcome self, and love God supremely. Jesus was a living breathing example of how we all should live - and that is to walk as He walked, to love as He loved. So what is the missing component that we need in order to love as Jesus loved? It is not that we lack the ability, but that we lack the desire to do so, we lack the desire to change. We know from the bible that man changes once he or she receives knowledge of the Truth (“For it is the Truth that will set you free and "whatever you ask, ask for knowledge and it will be given unto you”). It is through the renewing of our minds by the truth of Jesus Christ that will transform our will from loving ourselves to loving God and others supremely. We lack not any capacity to obey, but we lack heart or motivation of the will. It is through the cross and the blood of Jesus that allows us to walk in humility and allows us to become morally perfect (I will address this further in a later post).

Let me first address a couple of points here. In regards to your comment about Deut 6:24-25 The bible is filled with “Saints” that clearly loved and obeyed God. A saint is not one who continually sins, or is still abiding in their selfishness, but lives according to the Moral Laws of God as a result of his/her's love for God. A saint is one who the bible defines as a person who is walking according to their present amount of moral knowledge and obeys the moral laws of God out of love. I especially like Luke 1:6 whereby it states:

Luk 1:5-6 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. (6) And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Hmmmmm……interesting that Luke mentions that Elizabeth and Zacharias WALKED IN ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD & ORDINANCES OF THE LORD BLAMELESS………I would be interested in hearing how you explain this verse in the context to your statement that no one has kept the Laws or Commandments of God. This verse clearly states that the two of them were very much able to keep the moral commandments of God and did so.

There many more examples of men and women who obeyed God and were found to be righteous in the eyes of God. I suggest you look these over more thoroughly:

Noah Gen_6:9; Gen_6:22; Gen_7:5; Heb_11:7. Abraham Gen_12:1-4; Gen_17:23; Gen_21:4; Gen_22:12; Neh_9:8; Act_7:3-8; Heb_11:8-17; Jam_2:21 Bethuel and Laban Gen_24:50 Jacob Gen_35:1; Gen_35:7 Moses Num_27:12-22; Heb_3:2-3 Moses and Aaron Exo_7:6; Exo_40:16; Exo_40:21; Exo_40:23; Exo_40:32 Israelites Exo_12:28; Exo_32:25-29; Exo_39:42-43; Num_9:20-21; Deu_33:9; Jdg_2:7; Psa_99:7 Under the preaching of Haggai Hag_1:12 Caleb Deu_1:36 Joshua Jos_10:40; Jos_11:15 Reubenites Jos_22:2-3 Gideon Jdg_6:25-28 David 1Sa_18:14; 1Sa_25:28; 1Ki_11:6; 1Ki_11:34; 1Ki_15:5; 2Ch_29:2; Act_13:22 Elisha 1Ki_19:19-21 Hezekiah 2Ki_18:6; 2Ch_31:20-21; Isa_38:3 Josiah 2Ki_22:2; 2Ki_23:24-25 Asa 2Ch_14:2 –Jehoshaphat 2Ch_17:3-6; 2Ch_20:32; 2Ch_22:9 Jehoiada 2Ch_24:16 Uzziah 2Ch_26:4-5 Jotham 2Ch_27:2 Levites 2Ch_29:34 Cyrus 2Ch_36:22-23; Ezr_1:1-4 Ezra Ezr_7:10 Hanani Neh_7:2 Job Job_1:8 Daniel Dan_6:10 Three Hebrews Dan 3 Jonah Jon_3:3 Ninevites Jon_3:5-10 Zacharias Luk_1:6 Simeon Luk_2:25 Joseph Mat_1:24; Mat_2:14 John the Baptist Mat_3:15 Nathanael Joh_1:47 The disciples Joh_17:6 Cornelius Act_10:2 Paul Act_23:1; Act_26:4-5; 2Ti_1:3.

Many others were called righteous, godly, holy, or sanctified, which is synonymous with “morally perfection”. However, these do differ from Christ in that He never sinned. They did sin, but when they did so they repented and persevered in obedient faith, they were once again compliant with their moral obligation and, hence, “morally perfect”. Contrary to popular beleif
everyone does not sin! “He that is born of God does not commit sin” (I Jn.3:9)! All true Christians have repented from their sins (quit sinning) and love God supremely and thus are morally perfect (I would be curious as to how you define biblical repentance?).

Another thing, sin is not a “cancer” or something that is passed along genetically or mysteriously to our offspring. Sin is not a “thing”, but is a moral choice. God does not hold mankind accountable for the sins of our mothers or fathers (or Adam for that matter), but for our own individual actions (Ezekiel 18). As for your use of the Jewish Encyclopedia you were not as forth coming as you could have been. Here is the part you left out:

“……..Jewish theologians are divided in regard to the cause of this so-called "original sin"; some teach that it was due to Adam's yielding to temptation in eating of the forbidden fruit and has been inherited by his descendants; the majority, however, do not hold Adam responsible for the sins of mankind.”

Most Jews I know do not believe in Original Sin (in the Calvinistic sense). Its primary roots are not Jewish, but can be traced back to the Gnostics who believed evil/sin was in the “flesh” of all human beings, rather than a moral choice. It wasn’t until the teachings of Augustine, who was heavily influenced by his previous religion the Manicheans, who incorporated the belief that sin was in the physical flesh (tissue or sperm) of human beings. Judaism has for the most part always adhered to the doctrine that man has a freewill choice and requires moral accountability.

You also stated:

“The difference between the Old Testament and New Testament is that now, sin is defined against the backdrop of Jesus as the standard for righteousness. His life is the example of perfection. If you can claim that you are living as Jesus, then you can claim that you are perfect and that you have stopped sinning.”

The fallacy here is there is no difference between the OT and NT when it comes to God’s definition of sin. Sin is the willful disobendience to God. The misconception you have is that God has somehow mysteriously changed when it comes to defining sin. Nothing about God has changed from the OT to the NT – his requirements remain the same and that is for all of mankind to keep His moral law. This is the same as today as it was 4,000 years ago! It seems you view man as someone who is either unable to keep God’s Moral Law or that God's laws are unattainable and can not be kept. God’s Laws are good and whenever they have been given to mankind, man has rightfully responded that they are indeed good and just laws (Exodus 24:3!). When God commands us to “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:37) and “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt. 22:39). The moral law of God, in essence, is the law of love, love being the total and complete fulfillment of the whole of the law (Rom. 13:8, 10; Gal. 5:14; Jas. 2:8). Are you telling me that you are unable to love God fully??? Is this not the fullness of salvation? That we love God and if we love God we will keep and obey that which he loves also?? How can one Love god and therefore continue in sin?? This is an impossibility. It is like saying a man can love his wife, but yet continue to have a mistress on the side. A person who says they love God and continues to sin is a hypocrite and hypocrites will find themselves in Hell.

God's Moral Law is good and we all know that in order for a Law to be good it must be within man's grasp to adhere to it. If not then God's Law is unjust. God does not command that we love Him with faculties that we do not possess, but rather that we love Him with all that we currently possess (keyword is “currently”). The commandments are directions to man as to how he is to use his ability. The commandments of God are not impossible, demanding that we love Him with a heart, soul, mind and strength that we do not have. Rather, it is possible to keep the law of God, which demands that we love Him with all of what we do have, with all that we are capable of, to the very highest of our ability, no more and no less. It is possible to keep the law because we are capable, and we are capable because it is possible to keep the law; our God-given commandments and our God-given ability directly correspond with each other.

As for Sin and Moral Accountability ponder this. All sin is voluntary and avoidable; therefore sin must be a choice and not something we are born with. If sin is something we are “born with” then it is not voluntary, but is involuntary and therefore is not justifiably punishable. This would be like saying babies who are born with blonde hair are condemnable to hell, because they are born this way. Only that which is unavoidable is excusable, but what is inexcusable must be avoidable. If sin is punishable then it must be voluntary (a choice), and what is voluntary must be avoidable. Therefore, sin is inexcusable and punishable because sin is voluntary and avoidable, and it is voluntary and avoidable because God has given man free will. The false doctrine you have is that sin is something we are born with. If God is sending people to hell for sins they can not over come or stop committing because they do not have the ability, then God would be unjust and a tyrant! Sinners will be sent to Hell because they clearly have the ability to stop sinning, but yet they chose to remain in their in selfishness.

I would also like to address here several accusations you seem to make against me in your response:

#7: Love your enemies AND pray for them, and it can’t be that lightening strikes them. Do you love Calvinists? (Matt 5:44)

I most certainly love Calvinist (and everyone else for that matter)! As a matter of fact I would hope that every Calvinist would awaken from their false doctrine and find truth. Indeed I have been very firm at times and have even openly rebuked Calvinist over their false doctrine. But it is also commanded by God that as beleivers we openly rebuke false teachers, to do otherwise would be unloving and harmful to themselves and possible bystanders.

#8: Contentiousness is sin (Romans 2:8). Check out your answer to the person before me?

How was my previous response “Contentiousness”?? I think you need to understand the context here and what Paul means by “Contentiousness”. The context here does not mean we as Christians are not to argue or to not vigorously defend our faith. How were my comments to the previous post “contentious”?? Look at my comments and I even placed a smiley face after my comment so that it would not be taken out of context. Or maybe your just trying to find fault with me here??

#9: Judging others is sin (Matt 7:1)

Really!!??? What exactly are you doing in your response back to me - judging??? Are you not judging me and my doctrine??? Besides, where does it exactly say that to judge others is a sin?? It is indeed a sin to judge others unrighteously (hypocritically), but no where in the bible does it say it is a sin to judge?. When Jesus said “Judge not lest ye be judged” this is a warning that when we judge others we too will be judged to the same standard, so that in the event we do judge we are to be certain we don’t have sin in our own lives. Jesus calls us to judge – but to judge rightly (Luke 12:56-57, Rom 2:1) Christ does not condemn judging in a judicial sense, nor does he condemn our “opinion” of the conduct of others, for it is impossible “not” to form an opinion of conduct that we know to be evil or deceptive (ie. false doctrine).

# 11: You have to tame your tongue, according to James no man can do it (James 3:8)

James is not saying taming the tongue is an impossibility. Here he is using hyperbole to get his point across. If you read further to James 4 he clearly give us the answer as to how man can tame his tongue:

Jas 4:7-10 Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you. (8) Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (9) Be miserable, mourn, and cry. Let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom. (10) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

12: The very act of claiming to be sinless is a sin in itself, as this Scripture so ably demonstrates. A person claiming not to have sin deceives himself or herself, and in effect calls Christ a liar. I John 1:10

Again, you have taken this verse out of context. John is addressing individuals (primarily the Jews) who made the claim that they didn;t need to be saved because they were without sin. They had not fully submitted to Christ, they were lying about their rebellious condition. This verse is not addressing Christians, but non-beleivers. If you read further on in 1 John 3 he states:

1Jn 3:8-10 The person who practices sin belongs to the evil one, because the devil has been sinning since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God was revealed was to destroy the works of the devil. (9) No one who has been born from God practices sin, because God's seed abides in him. Indeed, he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born from God. (10) This is how God's children and the devil's children are distinguished. No person who fails to practice righteousness and to love his brother is from God.

Again, I hope to address the remaining topic of "Perfection" in an upcoming post shortly. In the meantime I would like to say to Anonymous that I find it somewhat disturbing that a so called Christ Follower is defending Sinning more so than "holiness" or "righteousness", but then again its hard to defend holiness when you see man as being morally incapable or that God requires the impossible from mankind (the keeping of His laws) and that God will send mankind to hell for doing that which he is unable to do.


Anonymous said...

You drew a lot of conclusions about my theology from my definition of sin. I was DEFINING sin like you asked me to. Then you post me up on your blog and say that I am defending sin and call me a so-called Christian. That is a beautiful demonstration of the love of God. It is only my aim to help people recognize reality and the truth: they will never be perfect as long as they are in the body. That is BIBLICAL! Now don’t misquote me again and say that I support sin. According to James, it befalls us all and that is what I am trying to point out. If you say you have no sin, then you have no need of Jesus and maybe that is why the Holy Spirit doesn’t convict you anymore? God chastens those He loves which means he knows there will be times when He will need to chasten us.
I think you are confusing being blameless, with being sinless. I also stand blameless before God. All the men you listed were blameless before God but they were not SINLESS. God did not assign blame to them for the sins they did commit. The bible records some of their sins. Noah was drunk, Abraham lied to Kings and Pharaohs, Jacob lied and stole, Laben switched Jacob’s wife on him and tried to cheat him, David was an adulterer and a murderer Moses was also a murderer and ended up disobeying God and not being able to enter the promised land, Aaron made the golden calf for the Israelites to worship and also could not enter the promised land. Both Aaron and Moses sinned toward the end of their life, so at what point did they achieve sinlessnes? …The BIBLE says that no one has kept the law, if you can’t accept that, you’re just going to have to take it up with God.
Like sin, cancer is NOT passed from one family member to another. You misquoted me. I never said that sin was passed from parents to children. Have you ever seen cancer?? When it so fills a person that it starts to eat away at the skin on their back? Have you ever watched the pain and suffering of someone dying from cancer? It is ugly…it destroys…it kills. How is that any different from sin?
I didn’t say that SIN was different in the Old and New Testament. You misquoted me again. I said that the only difference between the two testaments was that in the New Testament, Jesus is the standard for righteousness because we now have an example of perfection because HE fulfilled the law. That is not the same as saying that sin is different in the old and new testament.
Regarding 1 John 1:8-10, the verses say:

1Jn 1:8 If WE say that we have no sin, WE deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in US.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If WE say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

You are teaching others that John is addressing non-believers when he clearly included himself in that statement. That is a false teaching and it is changing the meaning of this verse so that it will fit into your doctrine of being sinless.
As for James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
That is not a hyperbole. A hyperbole would be, “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse.” “I nearly died laughing.” “I tried a thousand times to tame my tongue.” Without the help of the Holy Spirit, no man can tame his tongue. That is not an exaggeration.
You said “Most Jews I know do not believe in Original Sin (in the Calvinistic sense). Its primary roots are not Jewish, but can be traced back to the Gnostics who believed evil/sin was in the “flesh” of all human beings”… Most Jews also don’t believe that Jesus was the son of God, so I’m not sure that I would put all my marbles in their bag. In the end, it really don’t matter what the Gnostics or the Jews believe, you see when Jesus says “the flesh is weak,” He is the final authority, not the Jews or the Gnostics. Matt 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. But I think is sad to hear that someone who claims to be a devout follower of Jesus Christ, doesn’t believe his teachings. When you accuse me of not being forth coming about what the Jews believe, I simply stated a definition out of there dictionary. I’m sorry if you viewed that as not being “forth coming.”
According to the BIBLE, Paul taught that when we are saved, a battle begins between our spirit and our flesh. That is why Jesus encouraged the disciples to pray in the garden. Does the flesh disappear when one received the spirit? Paul writes of this battle in (Romans 7:18-25). As long as we are in the flesh, (if you pinch your arm, there is still skin there right?) it will be warring against the spirit. So, what does it mean if there is an absence of this struggle? I suggest that there is no conviction of the Holy Spirit which is not a good position to be in.
You accused me of not loving God because I have not achieved sinlessness yet, now you either have to claim to be sinless or else you’re a hypocrite, but if you do claim to be sinless, God says you’re a liar.

And also, the only way that God is sending people to hell for something they have no control of, is if He didn’t provide a way out…which you know He did, so that is a misrepresentation.

Preston N said...

Let me say this and I will say it with straight forwardness. What your doing here is nothing more than defending sin! All I am reading is a person defending sin and saying sin is nothing more than a problem of the flesh. Dear friend that is nothing more than a lie - and that's BIBLICAL! You have taken verse after verse out of context and used YOUR presupposition to fit YOUR theology - rather than allowing the fullness of scripture to form your theology. The doctrine of Original Sin is a lie. A lie I refuse to believe in, because the bible clearly tells us that sin is disobedience from the heart and the will of man - not our flesh! Indeed the DESIRES of the Flesh are sinful, but just where do our desires orginate from? - the heart! God has created us with all types of good and well meaningful desires - but those desires are not sinful in of themselves. It is what we DO with those desires that then can become sin. It is the abuse or improper use of our God given desires that is sin.

You can come here and make as many accusations about me all you want - but I know in my heart of hearts I love the Savior - and his Spirit does reside within me and I hear Him just fine! I am obedient as a result of coming to the full knowledge of my sin and rebellion - as a result I have forsaken my "old" self and crucify myself daily - and yes this means I do not sin everyday in word, thought and deed! I have fallen on my face before our wonderful savior and repented from my sin - and that is to love Jesus Christ with every part of my being. I will not deny my love for God nor will I deny the motives or the actions that pours forth from my heart! You can waste all your breath telling me and everyone else here how you can't seem to stop sinning because of some so-called problem with your "skin". Your problem is not with your skin dear friend - its your heart and your theology. All I seem to hear is excuse after excuse defending sinfulness rather than sinlessness! Just what part of "Stop Sinning" don't you seem to get?

Here is one last thing for you to consider: If you seem to think that by getting your resurrection body that this will somehow magically prevent you from sinning on the other side of eternity - then how is it that Satan had no problem sinning in heaven? The issue here is friend, God isn't interested in changing out your flesh - He's interested in changing your HEART! And your heart and will is the one thing that is eternal and if your heart is not right here on earth then it will not be right on the other side of eternity either.

It would appear I am beginning to run out of pearls. I pray that you find truth and that the Lord moves your heart closer to understanding of what sin and holiness truly is.

Anonymous said...

I'll answer this last question. You asked, why I think that the resurrection body will magically prevent me from sinning when satan had no problem sinning in heaven. Well, it really doesn't have that much to do with my magical new body but really the circumstances in which it will live.

1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
Revelation 21:4 --And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

The strength of sin is in the law and now the law is gone. Sin no longer has any power.

1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

The wages of sin is gone.

Revelation 21:27 -- And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

There is nothing in heaven that defiles, that is abomitable, or that lies. How can we sin if there is nothing that will defile us?

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire... The deceiver is gone.

We will never be deceived again.

1Co 15:50-54 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption...the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this (happens) then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

God removed the tree of life from Adam and Eve because He did not want them to live for all eternity in their present condition which was in the knowledge of good and evil. All things are made new, the curse and the effects of the tree of knowledge of good evil are gone and that will not change for all eternity.

Satan had no problem sinning in heaven because he was a liar and a murderer from the beginning.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Preston N said...

Anonymous - It seems your contradicting yourself here. In your first response you stated:

"It is only my aim to help people recognize reality and the truth: they will never be perfect as long as they are in the body. That is BIBLICAL!

Now it seems your now saying that sin is a condition of our circumstances. So which is it? Our flesh or our circumstance? I agree that we are confronted with many "moral" circumstances, but again it is not our circumstances that CAUSES us to sin, but how we individually respond to those circumstances. Jesus clearly says that we are NEVER tempted beyond that which we can handle, so I would agree that our circumstances has an influence, but never beyond the point that we cannot turn from those circumstances and choose to do that which is right.
So which is causing people to sin??:

a.) Your flesh?
b.) Your "circumstance"?
c.) Your heart?

Clearly I would say based upon what the bible says it would be "C". People are sinners by choice, not by birth, not by constitution, not by nature, or anything else external to their own free will. Sinners own will is the reason for their sin (Isa. 14:13-14; Lk. 19:14, 27; Jn. 5:40). They are rebels who choose to rebel (Ps. 5:10; Isa. 1:2; Eze. 2:3). They have chosen to become sinners or to make themselves sinners (Gen. 6:12, Ex. 32:7, Deut. 9:12, Deut. 32:5, Jdg. 2:19, Hos. 9:9, Ps. 14:2-3, Isa. 53:6, Ecc. 7:29 Rom. 3:23). Men choose to become dead in their sins (Rom. 5:12, Rom. 5:14, Rom. 7:9, Rom. 7:11, Col. 2:13).

As a matter of fact here is what God himself says regarding sin and choice:

“Turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions . . . make you a new heart and a new spirit . . . For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye” (Eze. 18:30-32)

Clearly God agreed that Israel could turn from their circumstance and He was asking them to do that which was well within in their capability to do!

As for 1 Cor 15:56, you have again proofed text. There is nothing in these verses that corroborate or support your position. As a matter of fact if you read further onto v58 you will see what I feel is a verse that supports that an individual must maintain moral perfection or be sinless.

1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Paul is saying that the hope of the resurrection and the future glory of being with Christ should inspire us to honor of Him by living a life free of sin. Sinners are influenced and excited by the things of this world so shouldn’t Christians be excited and inspired to live a life of self-denial by the future prospect of being in eternity with Jesus?

As for your comment regarding the law consider this. Paul illustrated his take on the law at length in Rom_7:9-13. He made this statement to show that the moral laws of God had no power to take away the fear of death, there was need of the gospel, and that the gospel alone could take away that fear. The Jews maintained that a man might be justified and saved by outward obedience to the law. Paul shows that it is the law which gives its principal strength to sin, and that the gospel does not tend to subdue or destroy it, but actually upholds the law to its fullest (Luke 16:17). This verse has nothing to do with saying that once we are removed from earth that our freewill will also be removed. As a matter of fact God desires his children to love him and therefore love, real genuine love must always be freely choosen.

Furthermore, Satan has a moral freewill just as we have a freewill. Your comments here regarding John 8:44 seems to imply that Satan has been evil since the “beginning” – beginning of what?? Since his creation!? Since the beginning of the word? If your implying that God created Satan being evil, then you have essentially made God the author evil. It has been widely accepted that this verse means the "beginning of the world" and not the beginning of Satan’s creation or existence.

I would put forth that Satan had a freewill and that he freely chose to sin or rebel against God, as well as the remaining 1/3 of the heavenly host. Did God just allow Satan to take these angels with him against their will? Or did they also rebel along with Satan? If God allowed these angels to be taken by Satan against their will, then God is damning these moral beings to Hell for all eternity for nothing they did on their own accord. God desires we CHOOSE to love him and this requires moral freedom. I would highly recommend you read my post on the principles of freewill.

As for the reference to 2 Peter 2:1 – I guess this is your way of telling me I am a “false teacher” or heretic. That’s fine I’ve been called worse. But let me ask you this……..Anonymous do you ever have to sin??? Is there ever a circumstance that you can’t choose between doing that which is right or wrong? Do you teach your children that it’s OK to do “wrong” because it all depends upon their circumstances? Jesus tells us that we are never tempted beyond that which we can handle, but yet it seems you deny this very statement and toss blame on either your flesh or circumstances here on earth. As for me I am simply saying sinning is never something that is unavoidable, but is a choice. As for your position regarding sin, I am still confused as to what your position really is. Is Sin a choice or not - a simple answer will do.