"What can a ruined soul, like mine, effect towards the redemption of other souls?—or a polluted soul, towards their purification?"

This blog has been moved to www.fallenpastor.com.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sovereignty and Adultery: The Bathsheba Factor

In the midst of the unfolding of my story, I feel I need to pause and consider this topic: God's sovereignty.

I am a believer in God's sovereignty. I'm not sure where I stand now, as I am confused theologically, but when I was a pastor, I was a strong five-point Calvinist.

After my fall, I had lunch with another Calvinist who told me that our every movement, our every word is preordained by God. However, like a good Calvinist, he also held that all of us are depraved and responsible for our misdeeds.

Agreed. I am responsible for my sin. But since my fall from the lofty height of the pulpit, I must admit that my theology has suffered. Theology has become practical. Some of it can be discarded, I think. Because some of it is extremely impractical.

Here's where the rubber meets the road for me: I violated the seventh commandment. It was my fault, all the way. But if I'm a good Calvinist, a good sovereigntist, I believe that God had it in His plan from the beginning to glorify Him for His glory. I have suffered great pain and horror in my fall because of it.

My fall, my sin, my fault. But His glory, His plan.

I don't really matter. I'm just a former Virginia Southern Baptist pastor.

How about David? Would he have ever been the leader God wanted if he had not sinned with Bathsheba?

Never mind that for a moment, Christians. We call what he did "adultery." Really? Really?

The man had 8 wives. And several concubines. And it was adultery? Come on. How does that fit into God's sovereign plan.

You see, being a seminary trained individual, I know the answer. David's actions were not prescribed. God "frowned" on David's polygamy. The Bible doesn't "prescribe" David's actions, it merely "describes" David's actions.

But we call David's actions, "adultery".8 + 1 .

We stand in the pulpit when we preach about David's horror and we talk about morality and sin. You know who we never think of? Bathsheba. What did David do after his sin? He took Bathsheba for his own. He married her. He loved her as his own. He made her his wife.

How many sermons have you ever heard on Bathsheba?

Few ever consider that there was a real woman involved with real feelings. When stories break of unfaithful pastors, what do you ever hear of the woman they were involved with?

Bathsheba was the mother of Solomon. How do you think Solomon felt about his mother? How do you feel about your mother?

Better yet, what was God's sovereign plan for Solomon to come into this world? It was through Bathsheba.

I'm not saying that God condones adultery. He doesn't. He hates it. But you'd better know that He has a plan for all things since before time began. And we are not the judge of all things - He is.

Post edited 2/11/11 - thanks to a heads up from a Twitter friend . . .


  1. You have posed some very good questions here and it seems that you are making a VERY good point. I can't wait to hear more!

  2. Although I don't believe God condones (and certainly doesn't orchestrate) adultery or any sin, and although I am only partially Calvinistic, I do believe that "in all things God works for the good good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Rom 8:28). I don't believe that things necessarily work out better than they were before, but God does make good out of all things... including our sins.

    (btw... my url is surviving2thriving.net (not .com as I previously mentioned by mistake)

  3. David,

    You have an excellent blog and a heart for ministry. I love what you're doing.

    I would a agree that God does not condone any sin. I love the example of Joseph in Genesis. God saved His people through Joseph's painful suffering for years. Joseph suffered through the sins of others - which God allowed. Same for Paul who suffered at the hands of the Philipppians and was beaten and jailed just so he could save the jailer and his family.

    My situation is different, of course. I active sinned and brought shame upon myself, my family and church.

    But you are absolutely right. God does make good things out of bad for those who love Him.

  4. Well, I think you're a narcissist who keeps sidestepping the real issues of the harm you have done. Your time and devotion were rightly put to use working on your relationship with your wife. Of course God is sovereign, but He's also not stupid, and He tries us and proves us by giving us time to repent of our sin. Looking around and saying, "See how He has blessed us" is often just a brightly colored way of ignoring His mercy that gives you time to repent.

  5. Thank you, Jeri, for you comment.

    God is not mocked, you are right. Neither is He stupid.

    Maybe not a narcissist. Possibly a sinner to the core, depraved beyond depraved, yet forgiven. But I've been called worse names by others in the past few months.

    I am well aware of the harm that has been caused to those around me, if you'll stay tuned.

  6. I am shocked and disappointed in the name calling. While what Mr Dimmsdale did was clearly out of bounds, there is a real man here attempting to tell his story. Giving a confession of his sin. Knowing that there are many others out there who have fallen from God's grace in one way or another. Attempting, possibly, to minister to those people. In my opinion, he poses some good questions just to make us think a little outside the box. We are all entitled to our opinion on his actions but I hardly think name calling is the best way to express them. I would be more easily swayed to see things in the direction of a person who commented with a less judgmental attitude. I am most likely far less educated on the biblical matters as most of you are. However, I know enough as a young Christian to see people from the perspective of a forgiven sinner. Let us not forget we were all born sinners. Lack of compassion and understanding for those who have fallen is a sin in itself is it not?

  7. "But you'd better know that He has a plan for all things since before time began. And we are not the judge of all things - He is." .... AMEN.

  8. I know exactly the feeling. I am a Calvinist. I am strongly on God's sovereignty side, but I know I am responsible for my sin, and I have a hard time reconciling those 2 things.

  9. Fallen,

    I know, right? I've had many conversations with other Reformed pastors. They all go along the lines of, "We're responsible for our sin, God is not. Yet He is sovereign." The conversation ends up with, "Yet it's all a mystery. Leave it there."

    So I do. But that doesn't mean I like it.


  10. It should also be noted that Bathsheba was one of only 5 women mentioned in the lineage of Christ, in a time where women were never mentioned. She played an important enough role that she earned a place in the recorded lineage of the most influential person in all of history, the very Son of God...

  11. @ Fallen and Arthur: Molinism is the way to go and think. Calvinism and Armenianism don't make sense if taken to their full conclusion.

  12. Thanks for the comment.

    I did a paper on Molinism in seminary. I'm not completely convinced that it's the best alternative either. It just doesn't seem too practical in it's beginning and there's just no Scriptural support for it either. Of course, you could be dealing with a different type of Molinism than I did. I'm talking about classic Molinism with God creating infinite universes in the beginning and choosing the one that came out with the best options.

    I'd rather deal with sovereignty as the best alternative, trusting that God knows more about the issues than I do. I gave up trying to figure it all out a long time ago.

    Thanks for stopping by, friend.

  13. Good post, and I appreciate your transparency. I've studied Bathsheba extensively and she's a remarkable woman, a victim who can give all victims hope.

  14. Thanks for stopping by, Ros.

    She is a unique woman to be sure. Under appreciated and often left beside in Bible study.

    Take care,

  15. re. Bathsheba. Coveting a neighbour's wife is followed by adultery, and then the posting of her husband to a position where he was sure to be killed. That sounds like three broken commandments. How often is that mentioned in the story of King David?

  16. Good call. Not to mention, like me, David's doing this in the face of a sovereign God, stubbornly, pridefully and arrogantly.

    That's why it's always good to read Psalm 51 and see David's heart after God broke it with Nathan's visit and humbled him.

    God will always find our sin out and humble us one way or the other.

    Thanks for the comment, John.


  17. I committed the same sin to my husband and though I absolutely detest what I did and in many ways wish I hadn't. My sin brought me back on the path to God, I appeared to have strayed away from him for 8 years then through my sin, God drew me back to him, convicted me and I confessed all, and knowning my husband I never thought in a million years he would have forgiven me or stayed with me, he's not a christian himself, so there was no obligation from Christ to do so, but everytime I doubted the survival of my marriage God kept revealing Matthew 14:17-21. I knew he was saying "know that I have already saved your marriage." We lived apart for almost a year but continued working on our marriage now we are living back together. I love my God, he took everything away from me, and I learnt to live on him alone, I was at times living off £10 a week in which the Lord would tell me to give to the church and in times of struggle the Lord met my every single need, I have had some amazing out of this world spiritual experiences I wouldn't know where to start on God's blessings and love. I am overwhelmed by his Grace, my God is hope, he is love, he is amazing. God's glory and grace has been an eye opener for my family non of whom are christians,they can't believe how my life has turned around, not because I deserve, I deserve nothing, but because my father in Heaven loves me. My brother is turning to the Lord now too, and already I see God's light breaking through, refining him. I hope anyone who's reading this and is going through what I've gone through will not give up hope in the Lord, he is a God where the impossible is made possible, I love his logic because it is something I cannot comprehend, I love that I have a God who wiser than myself that can solve anything. If you are struggling to see the light in any situation this proverb helped me and still does 3:5 trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.Finally, there will always be times of struggle, but this is necessary because God doesn't want you to be ordinary he wasnts you to be extraordinary, you may not see it now but you will look back on trials and love God for what he taught you and more to the point love him more and be content in any situation because Christ dwells within you!