It is a common objection against Calvinism that we make God the author of evil. There are several problems with this objection, the main of which is the ambiguity of the words. What would it mean for God to be the author of evil? The second problem is that those who assert the evils of Calvinism do so on the basis that they think God is actually obligated to the same set of standards we are obligated to, namely, God’s law. But, as I shall prove, the law is meant to govern man, not God.
1. “Thou shalt not steal” (Ex. 20:15)
Application: how does God steal? Can God steal? How could He since He owns everything? (Ps 50:10-12, Eze 18:4)
2. “Thou shalt not murder” (Ex. 20:13)
Application: Murdering is taking life on our terms. Since God gives life, He is the only one who decides the extent and bounds of man’s life. But how could God murder?(Job 14:5, Ex. 22:24)
3. “Thou shalt not have any other gods before me”. (Ex. 20:3)
Application: All men are accountable to give God supreme reverence and worship in accord to God’s dictates (2nd commandment). How could God break the first command when it asserts that God is to have the preeminence in all things?
4. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Ex. 20:7 )
Application: How could God take his name in vain? What would that entail?
5. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Ex. 20:16)
Application: God cannot lie; it is part of His nature. (Tit 1:2)
6. “Thou shalt not covet” (Ex 20:17)
Application: How would God covet? Again, God not only has legitimate ownership of everything, and He is the be the supreme object of our desires. How could God covet?
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Ex. 20:14)
Application: God does not have a body and does not have the passions of men. He does not have emotions. How could God commit adultery? (Ac 14:15)
To break these commands is for us to sin, that is, to commit evil. Evil, then, is not abiding by God’s law. But God cannot do evil, as I have above demonstrated. It is not a matter of God not willing to do evil (although that could be in view as well), but that God, by the very nature of law and Law-giver, cannot sin; He cannot do evil. If there was a law that said, “God cannot cause men or spirits to lie”, then yes, that would be evil for God to do that. But this would be setting God’s law above God Himself, the Law-giver and thus even this is an impossibility.
Law, then, is not for God, but for man. It tells man how he is to live before God. It does not say what God is obligated to obey. It can’t. God cannot sin for the sole reason that law is given to show how man is to abide himself by, not what God abides Himself by. To know what it is that God does, or how He governs among the nations, this would need to be entirely different study altogether. Nevertheless, what is demonstrated here is that God is above the law. He is accountable to no one and nothing other than Himself.