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“Divine foreknowledge [of God]…takes away neither…moral freedom nor…accountability. For God, all things are a present reality; He foresees all human actions, but does not cause them…Our God is a peaceful and gentle God. We can lose this awareness if we blame God for the consequences of the free will and decisions of others, such as negative events in our own lives.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Mark 14:21, Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“…just as mankind has continued to hide from the face of God ever since that fateful day in Eden, so too we have persisted in placing the blame for our countless troubles, misfortunes, and sorrows absolutely anywhere other than on our own shoulders. Indeed, humanity’s cries of accusation, fault-finding and blame have perhaps never reached such a fever pitch as they have now in our own day. From behind the safety and anonymity of our electronic screens, we eagerly heap scorn, indignation, hatred, vitriol and disgust upon one another in a worldwide frenzy that cannot possibly be called anything other than demonic. We immediately and insistently call to account other people, other parties, and other nations for every real and imagined fault under the sun; moreover, we are convinced that such mercilessness is itself the true path to justice, that somehow it is only through the proper assigning of blame that paradise can return once again to this earth. And in the blindness of such folly, when tragedy strikes or when disaster befalls almost never does it even occur to us to think: “Perhaps I too had a hand in this. Perhaps my own sins have been a cause of this.” And so an untold multitude of the sins and transgressions of mankind remain unrepented and unhealed.” (Hieromonk Gabriel)

“…humbling events and afflicting circumstances do not necessarily indicate that a man is evil or sinful. In God’s good-but-fallen world, our present state – whether we are enjoying the good things in life, or whether we are afflicted and deprived of worldly pleasures – cannot be directly attributed either to sin or to blameless living.” (Dynamis 8/9/2019)

“Following his tragic moral failure, the penitent King David confesses to God: “Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil before Thee” (Ps 50:4). In his full disclosure of his sin, David neither sidesteps nor glosses over his misdeeds. He does not explain his sin nor qualify his guilt. He fully exposes his soul before God, saying, “I have sinned. I have done evil,” adding, “that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged” (Ps 50:4 LXX or 51:4). As part of being completely forthright, King David exonerates God. The fault is entirely his. If anyone questions whether God might have prevented David’s sin, or intervened so that he would not have been tempted, the king would have quickly responded, “The blame is mine entirely. God has no culpability or fault in this matter.” (Dynamis 10/31/2020)

“Chrysostom questions this grumbling against God, “Who was the aggrieved one?” he asks…Misled by their sinful ways, human beings get it all wrong. Their hearts are blind (Eph. 4:18) to the truth that God is not at fault for mortal sin. He was not to blame for the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden. And He is not responsible for the sins of the descendants of Adam and Eve outside the Garden. We should get it straight. The Holy God did not have to reconcile Himself to us, for He had done nothing against us. But He chose to “reconcile all things to Himself.” In 2 Corinthians, Paul puts it, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their sins against them (vs. 5:19). The word “impute” has the basic sense of taking an inventory…That means that the blameless God did not count the world’s sins on the deficit side of the ledger.” (Fr. Basil)

#OrthodoxStudyBible #FrJoshuaMakoul #HieromonkGabriel #Dynamis #FrBasil

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