We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The hermeneutics of sin

The great error of Calvinism is conceiving that election could be discerned through signs of material success (and vice versa). Predestination is an entirely different matter altogether.

From Archibishop Cranmer:

[One]... may apportion his fall to personal wickedness or sin, as though the universal moral order functions like clockwork, meting out rewards to the righteous and punishment to the corrupt, perverted and immoral. But God doesn’t work like that: righteous people are afflicted by suffering (Ps 13:1). Moreover:

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (Jn 9:1-3).

Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay.. (Lk 13:4f).

Jesus separates calamity and suffering from moral wrongdoing: there is no automatic imputation of guilt. Death, disaster, suffering and failure do not damn the victim with the stain of particular sin: none is pure ..., and none is more worthy than another of suffering. To be innocent and righteous, as Job undoubtedly was (Job 9:15, 20; 10:1-7), is not to be exempt from calamity. And to be corrupt, perverted and guilty is no guarantee of retribution:

There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous (Eccl 8:14).

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