I probably shouldn't start this thread but I can't "resist" (my Calvinist should understand that) to preach on this just a bit. “Quit worshipping the creature and start worshipping your Creator.” I do, but does the Calvinist? I find that odd coming out of the mouth of a Calvinist, even a wishy-washy one, C1, that keeps backpedalling with words that “God always initiates, God is always looking, God initiates the conversion, and God goes them first.” - Which deny the deterministic doctrines he now loves to espouse which in effect makes these aforementioned gestures of initiating ANYTHING logically meaningless if God is going to choose for them. Why is this accusation that others should, “Quit worshipping the creature and start worshipping your Creator.” being examined more closely? It was brought up by a supposed Calvinist and to the contrary of being applied to those who maintain human free will/volition this statement actually fits the Calvinist view.. I bring this up because it gets right to the point of what the fall of all mankind was about: Man wanted to be as God. The Calvinist says man lost his free will abilities but these desires remain. Man didn’t suddenly lose this desire or some part of his nature. That God miraculously designed in His own likeness and image with sense, reason and intellect during creation. Humans GAINED an attribute to his nature which was to have knowledge of good and evil. The fall didn’t take away from the nature of humans it added to it. And at the same added a responsibility to surrender of such desires. Yet, the Calvinist (still) says, "Can't do it!" I guess he has learned from the story of the fall... So what’s odd is the Calvinist formulates this excuse that he can no longer worship the Creator of his own BECAUSE God took that ability away. It’s like a continued protest that man cannot be as God. Yet, nowhere can it be seen or does it line up with God’s plan of redemption with this suggestion that man somehow lost this ability to respond to God and to repent of wanting to be as God. The C says, “Nope, can’t do it, I’m not free enough to do it, I lost that ability when I gained knowledge.” To me this sounds like, “Boohoo I can’t be as God, I’m so proud of the nature I have and my desire hasn’t changed and won’t change, I want to be as God!" Then he starts preaching it: "LOOK PEOPLE, EVERYONE LOOK, LISTEN TO MY DOCTRINE: this God has to RECREATE me, He didn’t get my nature right in creation the first time and it’s not good what He did, - you know, giving me this kind of life, because He gave me a will that caused me to desire be a God of my own and I just can’t worship Him as God freely enough. God has to force me to do this against my will, He has to rip out the heart He originally gave me to make me worship Him. Yea, amen brothers, this is the God I know!” ..and they wonder why the opposition refers to their view as claiming to like be a robot. BUT, when man fell God never answered that by saying, Aha! Surprise, now your nature doesn’t have the abilities I created you with anymore and you can’t love Me for creating you or ever worship Me as your God on your own. This is the real plan, I didn’t really create all the world in love and as only good, what I really did is just pick out a few of you, that I’ll call my elect whom I reselcted, and I have another Surprise, a Message coming to make this picture clear, BUT, …teehee you won’t have the ability to understand see the Light it brings either unless you are one of the lucky ones I preselected before creation that I will recreate you by forcibly ripping out of heart and will which will have the effect to make you worship me. The Calvinist declares the message of the God’s Word, the Bible, spells out that God made all humans too deprived to respond to His loving offer of their own. Therefore, the Calvinist screams in all the earth to anyone that will hear, SEE!! I DON’T HAVE FREE WILL, ABILITY TO CHOOSE, NEVER DID, IF I DID I WOULD BE AS GOD, BUT I CAN’T!! GOD DIDN’T ALLOW ME THAT FREEDOM! HOW is that being thankful for one’s creation? How is that worshipping one’s Creator because of accepting that He is Love??? It ISN’T, it is a CLAIM matching the disobedience of Adam and Eve who wanted to be as God. This CLAIM of unwillingness, this CLAIM of inability, this CLAIM rooted in pride amounts to believing in the same lie that Satan gave Adam and Eve in the Garden!! I.e., Satan: “LOOK at what you are, you are lacking just one thing, knowledge of good and evil! Once you have that you can be as God!” NO! NO! NO! My friends, there is but One God, He is a God of Love, He created YOU in love and this GOOD!! Matter of fact God said all His creation was VERY GOOD! God specially made, to be more precise MIRACULOUSLY made human kind to have these wonderful human attributes BUT with these attributes He designed the human in he MUST still worship Him as the ONLY God. The Calvinist declares: “NO CAN DO! NOT BY MY WILL” What a continuation of PRIDE! What a continuation of the LIES that man SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE AS GOD! It is a statement that speaks for itself as a complaint, “LOOK I am NOT FREE unless this freedom includes the ABILITY to be my own God. THAT is the only definition of free will I will accept, a definition equal to God’s. Therefore, I am not capable of my own to worship Him! God made me a lessor being than Himself! THAT IS NOT FREE WILL!!!” Like God didn’t know man would have this pride because of the way he was made?!? People, God not only knew, He had a loving plan from the beginning for ALL His creatures He designed to have these MIRACULOUS “UNCHNAGING” HUMAN ATTRIBUTES. And they MUST use them – just as they would naturally and FREELY choose to WANT to be as God and would lust after this SINFUL DESIRE – they MUST use those same miraculous God given abilities and FREELY REPENT of this and NOW take his hand and take of the tree of Life! (Gen 3:22) And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and NOW, lest he put forth HIS hand, and TAKE ALSO of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: That is the human freedom you have, that is human free will! You a choice to choose to not be as God after all. Use that HUMAN FREEDOM and repent of your lustful desires to be as God. NOTHING has changed about this freedom what has changed is that you have another choice to make. God will show all these creatures who He is, the Only Good and that He created them in love. God will send this message in all the world and you will have no excuse not to believe it. God will prove it with the sacrifice of His Son how much He loved the world. Why? So you CAN take that human freedom and know that He is the greatest Love! What is use is this message, this work of God, this sacrifice of His Son, if it was true that predetermined whether or not a person could respond and has to recreate their nature before they can do so??? Can’t you see this work of has a purpose and that is to INFLUENCE His creatures to freely choose to love Him as their as their creator?! The doctrines of determinism void all these truths and make them of no effect! When one surrenders his pride and takes of the merciful gift of our loving God who is full of grace has provided for us he will be saved as God LOVINGLY promised from before the foundation of this world within which His miraculous creatures would exist. Or you can continue to complain about the way you were made: (Rom 1:20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Rom 1:21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. The Calvinist definition of human freedom insists upon equality with the nature of Divine Attributes or they do not see it as being free. They will accept no less as a definition of free will, they will tell you the Word of God has hidden it that God has made all His creatures for destruction, unable because of the way He made them to respond to love in doing so, but has decided to change because of their disobedience. God failed in His plan, He NOW has to recreate the heart of a few to allow them the ability to choose to love Him in truth. I’m afraid the Calvinist has heard the message of Divine creation being given in love but has chosen to deny this love can be known, in fear he believes there is only One God, but in resentment of his nature of a lessor being fabricates a theological system that changes the loving promises of God into a fantasy and tells fables about the truth being that God knew His love in creation would not be enough to influence them to choose Him as their God. God would have to recreate the nature of the creatures during their life on this earth before they could surrender to their pride… Good luck with that response or should I say excuse at the judgment seat of Christ who died to bring this message my Calvinist friends!