God Made Me This Way, So I Cannot Sin

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The moral logic backing up the statement above, if it can be called logic, leads to amoral confusion. If accepted, it  would create a world of moral chaos, a world without any possible judgement of any action as right or wrong, good or bad, moral or immoral. It would be a world without conscience and without evil, and without good.

Some Possibilities

Consider two people, Dick and Jane.

Jane, unmarried, says, “God  made me to be sexually promiscuous, so, when I am, I do not sin, even in cases that would come under some definitions of ‘adultery’. So, when I am sexually promiscuous, and resolved to keep on keeping on with my promiscuity, and therefore acting in accord with God’s will, I am being virtuous and doing what I need to do to enjoy eternal happiness with God in heaven. If I would be what some call ‘chaste,’ that would be a sin for me.”

Dick says, “God made me to torture people who say what Jane says above, so when I torture Jane and her ilk, I do not sin. This torture, in accord with what I know is  God’s will  for me, is an act of virtue for me. I can torture my way to heaven. And God made me, if needs be, to include, if I wish,  rape of both men and women in my torture of others. Such rapes, for me, will be acts of virtue. If I do not  torture these people, that would be a sin.”

Consider  Sally.

Sally says: “God made me to want, to need, to use, and to have human slaves as my property. If I sell them, or any children they may have – which would be mine too – this would help me to get to heaven even more .”

Consider  Zerna.

Zerna commits adultery every Friday of every week. On all other days, she is faithful to her husband. She says that “God made me like this, to be faithful every day except Fridays and to commit adultery every  Friday. I thank God when it’s a Friday. If I was not unfaithful to my husband on Fridays, that would be a sin.”

Problems, Logic & Proof

In addition to the moral and societal chaos that  flows from examples like the ones above, there are other problems with  the ‘God-made-me-this-way’ (“GMMTW”) position; e.g.:

How to prove the truth of this when someone asserts it?  And, other than stating as proof merely that this is what one wants right now,or it is what one feels is right and good,  is there any way to prove that God did, or did not,  make one this way?

Does this mean there really is no free will and, like a robot, people are forced to act as God, allegedly, made them?

Can God,  as the voice of conscience, tell different people contradictory things? Can abortion, perversions, and adultery be mortal sins for some and acts of virtue for others?

Is there no such thing as evil, and is nothing intrinsically evil?

Implicit in a GMMTW assertion are more basic problems for some, such as atheists. These assertions assume the existence of God, or of a god, or of my god; that He, or the god, makes people; and that He, or the god, makes only people who can do, and do do,  good actions so long as they can say God made me this way, or my god made me this way

Intrinsic Evil

In fact, there are intrinsic evils, actions that are always morally wrong, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the intent of the person acting.  The  Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

. . . There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery.  (1756) . . . There are concrete acts that it is always wrong to choose, because their choice entails a disorder of the will, i.e., a moral evil.  (1761).

Saying ‘God made me this way’ when one has done an intrinsically evil act does not make the act neutral, or good. Allowing a GMMTW justification of an action would mean that no act, no matter how abhorrent, no matter how heinous, is intrinsically evil. Not abortion, not racism, not genocide. Nothing woule be intrinsically evil.

Saint John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom (349-407 A.D.) was an early Father of the Church, and an archbishop of Constantinople. He discussed the GMMTW justification in terms of “nature:”’

But when we say these things, they make other objections again, asking, And why did God make them such? (Homily LIX, Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 1, p. 364, The Works of St. Chrysostom, originally published 1888; in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 10, ed. Schaff).

In replying to  the question above, Chrysostom answers:  that “God did not make them such.” He continues by posing another question:

But if we should say that by nature the one are good, the other bad, which would not be reasonable (as we have shown), these things must be unchangeable, for the things of nature are unchangeable. (Id., p. 365).

Chrysostom also addresses the claim that God could have made everyone good:

But wherefore did He at all make worthless men, when He might have made all men good? Whence then are the evil things? says he. Ask yourself; for it is my part to show they are not of nature, nor from God. Come they then of themselves? he says. By no means. (Id., p. 366).

He goes on to make the point that men often do good things and bad things, one and the same man staying sober one time  and getting drunk another, staying chaste and using prostitutes, doing bad and doing good. For Chrysostom, this cannot be due to God making the man so that sometimes one action is good and other times the other morally opposite action is good:

For to those that are desperate, and are continually in wickedness, and are in a state of senselessness, and are mad, and who are not willing so much as to hear what will amend them, I will not even discourse of self restraint; but to them that have been sometimes in the one, and sometimes in the other, I will gladly speak. Did you once take by violence the things that belonged not to you; and after this, subdued by pity, imparted even of your own unto him that was in need? Whence then this change? Is it not quite plain it is from the mind, and the choice of will? (Id.).

Chrysostom addresses the absurdity of the GMMTW explanation for sin and how it would be the end of morality, with no act being either good or bad:

Do not then bring forward, I beseech you, perverse reasonings, neither sophistries and webs slighter than the spider’s, but answer me this again: Did God make all men? It is surely plain to every man. How then are not all equal in respect of virtue and vice? Whence are the good, and gentle, and meek? Whence are the worthless and evil? For if these things do not require any purpose, but are of nature, how are the one this, the others that? For if by nature all were bad, it were not possible for any one to be good, but if good by nature, then no one bad. For if there were one nature of all men, they must needs in this respect be all one, whether they were to be this, or whether they were to be that. (Id.).

Regarding freedom of the human will, Chrysostom realizes that the GMMTW assertion is simply an excuse for saying that anything one freely wills is good, which  of course would mean the abolition of all morality:

But if after all this you would still inquire, whence are evils?  . . . Since of them surely who do right no one inquires about these things, of them that are purposed to live equitably and temperately; but they, who dare to commit wicked acts, and wish to devise some foolish comfort to themselves by these discussions, do weave spiders’ webs . . . But if evils were by nature, superfluous were all this admonition and advice, superfluous the precaution by the means that have been mentioned. But if it be not superfluous, as surely it is not superfluous, it is quite clear that wickedness is of the will. (Id., p. 367).

Conclusion

Chrysostom’s work, discussed above, is from his commentary the gospel of St. Matthew and a discussion of Jesus saying we  need to become like little children.  His discussion of ‘nature’ if from his focus on this verse:

Woe to the world because of things that cause sin!  Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come. (Mt 18:7).

Instead of “things that cause sin,” other translations say evils, offenses, scandals, temptations to sin, and stumbling blocks.

Later in this chapter of Matthew, Jesus is very clear.  He does not preach a comfortable, temporary VIP hell:

It is better for you to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out, and cast it from you. It is better for you having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. (Mt 18:8-9).

Jesus’s words in verse 7, above, begin with the exclamation translated as “woe.”  The word in the Greek for this ‘woe’ means moral catastrophe, tragedy, and fatal, eternal  ruin.  The unrepentant sinner will receive this self-inflicted ‘woe.’ Jesus adds no exceptipon. He, God the Son, provides no justifcation for sin such as “God made me this way.’

Jesus makes no provision for a less-than-forever hell or for any GMMTW get out of hell free card. He loves each of His sheep, and He leaves no wiggle room for the nonsense and the moral emptiness of a God-made-me-this-way  sinless sin.

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. Many say, “what does it matter what I do, as long as I’m not hurting anyone else”. Unfortunately all the acts which you mention involve another person and therefore there is no such thing as an action which “does not hurt another person”. Even if the sin starts off with a single person, sin has a way of drawing others along and eventually this is what happens. Look at sexual perversion- paedophilia is the result of the sexually unhinged individual which once started off “innocently” whether it be watching pornography or partaking in adulterous acts with others. Paedophilia is always the end of a very slippery moral slope.

  2. Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is innocent and it is He who is injured by our sins.
    God created all men equal in original innocence. Adam and Eve chose to be more than they were created to be, created by God. Adam and Eve, as we already know chose to try to be God. Adam and Eve were promised by Satan that they would be equal to God if they disobeyed God. Adam and Eve were already like God, made in the image and likeness of God. The Great Liar promised Adam and Eve something that he did not have to give, the image and likeness of God whom (The Holy Spirit) they already had.
    Satan promised Adam and Eve infinity. Having already been created by God, infinity could not be brought about by the sheer wishfullness of want.
    We, the people are created by God as finite beings. God made us this way and we, the people are finite having been created. It says so in our Founding Principles…“that all men are created (by their Creator) equal”, endowed with unalienable, innate human rights. Unalienable, innate human rights are finite as God created unalienable, innate human rights for man.
    Innate, unalienable human rights are our legacy to our constitutional Posterity, all future generations conceived in original innocence. Our Posterity is to be secured in their original innocence as their inheritance from the people, their ancestors.
    All men will live in eternity for better or for worse. Men cannot live in infinity because men are not infinite. The Supreme Sovereign Being is infinite.
    Man can recreate himself; procreate himself. Man cannot create himself. Only God can create man and God creates man for Himself. This is borne out in the Sacrament of Penance. The priest cannot forgive himself. The priest needs another priest to forgive him. Even Jesus petitioned His Father in heaven to “forgive them for they do not know what they do”
    Jesus’ whole life was in complete and perfect accord to His Father’s will. The Blessed Virgin’s will, body and soul, was completely and perfectly sublimated to the will of God as daughter, spouse and mother of God.
    Jesus said: “If thou be perfect, come follow me” I am the Truth, the Life and the Way”. Jesus came to redeem mankind and present all creation to His Father.
    God does not create evil. Adam too, is created in original innocence.
    Michelangelo’s painting is God, the Father, sending His Son to become the Son of Man.
    The “pursuit of Happiness” is the pursuit of Truth in accomplishing our destiny in time and in eternity. God gives us eternity.
    Man wills to survive in the womb or he becomes a miscarriage. (Sometimes, however, the soul cannot abide a broken human body and miscarries).
    Man can will with his original innocence to remain in complete and perfect conformity in sublimation of his will to the will of God as our Blessed Mother did at her Immaculate Conception…and Mary said “YES”. “O Mary conceived without sin pray for us”
    The sins of Adam and Eve are VISITED on man. Man has free will to avoid the near occasion of sin.
    For those who blame God for their sins, they add blasphemy to their guilt.

  3. If the murderer of homicide in the first degree, murder in stealth, cannot be executed at capital punishment for his crime, then the murderer of homicide in the first degree, murder in stealth, must be executed for denying his victims, all of our constitutional Posterity, their patrimony, their innate unalienable human rights.

  4. Nary D V, Great minds think alike re your “they add blasphemy to their guilt.” St. J. Chrysostom in the work cited above makes your point: “Oh malice of the devil! How great an evil has he invented! With what blasphemy has he persuaded men to surround God! With what cloak of godliness has he devised another profane account? For desiring to show, that not of Him was the evil, they brought in another evil doctrine, saying, that these things are unoriginate.”

    Guy McClung

  5. “God made me this way.” Does that mean there is no Free Will, and no Original Sin? Those questions are way above my pay grade.

    Reminds my simple mind of the part in the Gospel where Jesus says there are sins that cannot be forgiven: sins against the Holy Spirit (The bad guys said Jesus drove our demons because he was from Satan). Does the “God made me” is meme approach that?

  6. God made me this way.” Does that mean there is no Free Will, and no Original Sin?

    Only if you’re an animal and not a man.

    Human being for those of a somewhat sensitive nature.

    Ironically, the fact that one chooses to live like an animal proves that one is in fact not an animal, but a slave in need of deliverance from the Deliverer.

    But good luck trying to explain that these days.

  7. Made me this way goes hand in hand with the pope saying sexual sins are the least significant. Either way my wife won’t give me a pass for adultery. She judges so harshly!

  8. St Matthew is clear and precise.
    This pope, his lieutenants and the US bishops will have none of it, of course. They reject clarity when it comes to homosexual sins. They either embrace of fear the lavender mafia.

  9. What the GMMTW homosexuals and/or transsexuals will say is “Unlike adulterers or ordinary fornicators or pedophiles, venerable peer-reviewed bodies such as the AMA and APA, have said OUR particular predilections are perfectly normal. The only reason YOU are grossed out by it is your prejudice. The current mayor of Sound Bend might add, “Since God is Love, and we are only after love and since venerable scientific bodies have judged us normal, God loves us just as we are and we don’t have to change anything or deny our particular impulse to love”.

  10. If God has made us the way we are we are still bound by his commandments. Unless married in the manner prescribed by Christ, (biological man and woman) joined by God then we need to remain chaste no matter what sexual orientation we may lean to. We all have sexual temptations but all are obliged to obey the 6th and 9th commandment no matter who we are is we are not married.

    Homosexual unions or any other union except man and woman are not marriages. Man may say it is a marriage and allow it by law but it still doesn’t make it a marriage anymore than the Supreme Court declaring a cat is now a dog or a house a car.

  11. The Jansenist controversy that convulsed the church for almost a century rested on a usually unspoken assumption: that of two conflicting desires, the stronger must prevail. That is what all their wrangling over concupiscence, efficatious grace, delectation victrix [victorious delight} amounted to; hence, the Jansenist claims that “In the state of fallen nature one never resists interior grace,” that “In order to merit or demerit in the state of fallen nature, freedom from necessity is not required in man, but freedom from external compulsion is sufficient” that “The Semi-Pelagians admitted the necessity of a prevenient interior grace for each act, even for the beginning of faith; and in this they were heretics, because they wished this grace to be such that the human will could either resist or obey.”

    No one paused for a moment to reflect that “of two conflicting desires, the stronger must prevail” is a piece of picture-thinking; it rests on an assumed analogy between desires on the one hand and commensurate physical forces on the other. Once exposed, the learned arguments on both sides that had “deceived if possible the very Elect” collapse like a house of cards.

    The proponents of GMMTW are equally the slaves of an unexamined metaphor. It assumes the existence of an immutable underlying essence (invisible, intangible and, hence, unknowable) which can be used to predict unobserved similarities between members of a class

  12. BPS: Such revolutionary speculations about homosexuality and transgender (formerly seen as pathologies) are only two of a million reasons I have no respect for the (soft) social sciences.

    Objective truth is not susceptible to illogical changes in times and opinion (“Opinion is not truth.” Plato) “

  13. GUY MCCLUNG
    Thank you for your vast expertise in the work of J. Chrysostom and sharing. I did read the article four times and could not comprehend it, but I am glad that it is written.
    Some people say that I am negative, so, “Nary“ amused me.
    God has a sense of humor. I am called to write.

    “Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come. (Mt 18:7).”
    The original sin of Adam is visited on mankind. Man can master sin and sublimate his will to God. It is called sovereignty with integrity.

  14. “Since God is Love, and we are only after love and since venerable scientific bodies have judged us normal, God loves us just as we are and we don’t have to change anything or deny our particular impulse to love”.
    God is love. Love is to desire the good of the beloved. Jesus Christ died for man to present man back to His Father, as all men belong to “their Creator”. Without God, man cannot know what love is.
    The image and likeness of God in man is free will, God made man free to name things and free to choose good, but not evil.
    All future generations are our constitutional Posterity. Citizenship is good will for the common good.
    Pedophilia denies minor children their freedom to mature in safety until emancipation. Law secures a minor child’s informed consent in all things, sexual informed consent, contract, patrimony but especially, the law protects a minor child’s bodily integrity.
    If the AMA and the APA care nothing for our minor children’s bodily integrity, they are no longer citizens of good will for the common good. Perhaps the AMA and the APA ought to be declared persona non grata and deported or prosecuted for malpractice.

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