Since the days of John Calvin (or at least just after), there has been a branch of theology called “reformed theology.” It focuses a lot on the sovereignty of God. Reformed theology has always taught that God permits sin, knows it will happen, works it into His plan for greater good, and even decrees that this will be so. Some Christians do not agree with this, but whether or not we agree, it is within the realm of orthodox Christianity. People who teach classic reformed theology are Christians.
It seems rather amazing, but we have Christians now days who have taken the doctrine of the sovereignty of God to an extreme that few ever dared. In an attempt to bring glory to God, and to hold His absolute sovereignty, these men have ventured too far. In attempting to give God as much credit as they can conceive, they give Him control of all things. All well and good, for scripture does tell us that “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:36).
But these men tell us that “all things” includes sin. People are now running around the countryside telling us that God is the originator and first cause of sin. One fellow on an online message board recently wrote “When Adam contracted the arm that brought the forbidden fruit to his own mouth, God contracted that arm. God powered the biceps that brought the forbidden fruit to the mouth of Adam. When Adam bit into that fruit, God flexed the jaw muscles. . . There is no action that is not empowered by Him.”
In response, I provide the following quotes from several historical creeds. These creeds do not replace scripture, and the writers of them would quickly agree. But these explain what has been taught in Christian circles for centuries. These are all highly-regarded reformed statements of the nature of God:
The Belgic Confession (1561): “. . . nothing happens in this world without [God’s] appointment; nevertheless, God neither is the author of, nor can be charged with, the sins which are committed.” (Article 13)
The Canons of the Synod of Dort: “The cause or guilt of this unbelief, as well as of all other sins, is nowise in God, but in man himself“(Article 5)
Westminster Confession of Faith (1647): “God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.” (Chapter 3)
Westminster Confession of Faith (1647): “The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men, and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends; yet so as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God; who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.” (Chapter 5)
Further, a more modern quote from John Piper, speaking of Jonathan Edwards: “Is God the Author of Sin? Edwards answers, “If by ‘the author of sin,’ be meant the sinner, the agent, or the actor of sin, or the doer of a wicked thing . . . . it would be a reproach and blasphemy, to suppose God to be the author of sin. In this sense, I utterly deny God to be the author of sin.” But, he argues, willing that sin exist in the world is not the same as sinning. God does not commit sin in willing that there be sin. God has established a world in which sin will indeed necessarily come to pass by God’s permission, but not by his “positive agency.” (see here)
Thus we must all agree in this point with Edwards, that those who make God the author of sin are a reproach and a blasphemy. They have extended beyond the bounds of Christianity to some other religion.