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.
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.”
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 .”
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
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).
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.