Looking at the Westminster Confession a little more closely, it seems that the "God brings whatsoever comes to pass" language should be interpreted as "God foreordains" (predestines) or God wills all events. That is to say, God foreordained the suffering and death of Jesus, he willed the rape of Tamar, the adulterous affair between David and Bathsheba and the Holocaust along with chattel slavery which wreaked such havoc on many Africans who were brought to America. Yet it is odd that God has condemned many of the acts he supposedly foreordained (willed) and even punished humans for committing them. That still makes little sense to me along with other implications of the Confession.
Am I being uncharitable in my interpretation of the Westminster Confession? I don't think that is the case, and here is why I make this claim.
John Hendryx, when composing a reply to Roger Olson (who is critical of Calvinism) writes:
We acknowledge that we cannot explain all of God's secret acts since God has chosen not to reveal many things about Himself. But one very prominent feature of the Bible is that it frequently declares that God meticulously ordains all that comes to pass (Eph 1:11) AND that men are responsible for their actions. One major example sticks out: the greatest sin ever committed by men in history -- the crucifixion of Jesus ---when the Apostle Peter, preaching at Pentecost declares:
"...this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men." (Acts 2:23)
So Hendryx declares that God "meticulously ordains" all things eternally and immutably--even wicked actions that include the execution of Christ and genocide, cruel slavery, homicides, rape, child sacrifice, abortions, terrorism and a host of other evils that are manifestly ungodly. But yet humans are still fully responsible for all of the previously mentioned actions that God has putatively foreordained.
Or take the much stronger assertion made by Donald E. Hartley:
"No sin imaginable is more horrific than the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Yet, Scripture indicates that this was done by God the Father to God the Son (mediately) through the immediate agency of sinful human beings in the crucifixion (Isa 52:13-53:12; Acts 2:23; 4:28). If this is the worst possible evil that can be imagined, and God is clearly the ultimate cause behind it, then why be repulsed by divine causality when it comes to the rape of a child as if this is a greater evil?"
Hartley insists that God is the agent (doer) of all things (even sins performed by human agents), but God himself is not the author of sin. How this all works is said to be a mystery.
But there are further comments made by Hartley that bear on how one understands the Westminster Confession. He points to Aquinas who apparently thinks that every act undertaken (whether morally good or evil) is good insofar as God has willed all that comes to pass. Hartley therefore raises the possibility that while the rape of a child is evil in one sense, it's potentially good in a "decretal sense." Yet even Hartley admits that hardly anyone wants to hear this view espoused. See http://books.google.com/books?id=nnUrwTkP4iwC&pg=PA80&lpg=PA80&dq=god+foreordained+rape&source=bl&ots=5BGOa1yoRj&sig=Xhhg-VeAQgOBQ-jw_gC6K4SGvWs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fA_UU4maLIrs8QGtqICgAQ&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=god%20foreordained%20rape&f=false
So the "come to pass" language of the Westminster Confession should be understood to mean that God wills or foreordains all that happens. And we have not even touched on double predestination which is likewise addressed in the Confession. I'm still left with many questions that have not been satisfactorily answered. Hendryx, whom I quoted earlier, says:
"Likewise, nowhere in the Bible did God call us to work out the details of this doctrine by philosophical means, or pry into the secret things of God. Rather He calls us to be faithful to the Text that says God ordains all things, even evil, and that, at the same time, God is blameless in doing so. That He ordains sin sinlessly. I do not have to hold these truths together rationally (according to human knowledge) or philosophically but because they are axiomatic in the Bible. My understanding the intricacies of how this comes about is secondary. God is God. DO our finite minds have to understand HOW He does this in order for it to be true?"
While I'll concede that many aspects of God's purposes are not immediately understandable and rightly can be described as "incomprehensible," to retreat into the "mystery corner" is a hackneyed and unsatisfying way to evade the tough questions.