A question for Calvinists

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Steven2006, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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    Have you, or do you ever take pause or even fear having children? As a parent I cannot think of anything more horrible than the thought that my children would go to hell rather than spend eternity in heaven. Before anyone misunderstands what I am saying, I am not in anyway saying that being a Calvinist will send anyone to hell. But if you believe it is completely out of their hands and already predetermined if they are saved, does that give you any reservation about have children? I mean if no amount of guiding or teaching on your part will have any effect on them, does it give you concern? Especially a large family, the more children you have that is just increasing the odds that one might not be saved. If it is all set already that means no prayers for them will matter (in regard to salvation), you really would have no influence on them at all. I know I cannot save my children, but I like to think I can raise them up right in order they be exposed to the truth. I can pray daily for them and believe God will hear my prayers and draw them to Him. I am genuinely curious, I am not trying to insult anyone. I would appreciate if this doesn't turn into insults or name calling, just honest feelings on the topic. Thanks in advance for your replies.
     
  2. Dale-c

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    Well, whether you believe in freewill or in predestination, it is out of the parents hands either way.

    The main problem with your premise is that it makes no difference what we do.
    It make a huge difference what we do.
    Though not all who grow up in CHristian homes get saved, many many do, probably a lot more than those that grow up in pagan homes.

    I don't think you truly understand calvinism if you are asking this question, though it is a VERY good question.

    One thing to consider though is that we have just as much control of the number of kids that God blesses us with as we do in their salvation.
    Children are a gift from God.

    I believe in an all wise God and I trust Him.
    I do not worry myself with what He may or may not do.

    The book of Job is a good place to read about this.
     
  3. Steven2006

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    See, I agree with that 100%. But that is where I have the question. If you believe it is already predestined, how does anything you do really make any difference in your children's lives as far as salvation goes. Of course I am not talking about what type of person they become, So I am not suggesting you would not teach them.


    This brings up another question. Since you believe that more children that grow up in a Christian home do get saved, how do you explain that. With free will the reason is obvious, but if predestined, then why? Are the children of non Christians paying for their parents sins? Or is it just that children of Christians are more favored in Gods eyes?

    Thank you for your reply by the way.
     
  4. webdog

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    These two statments collide. For instance, if my son never has faith in Christ, and dies lost, that would mean God gave me a "gift" that He hated. I would love my "gift" more than God does.
     
    #4 webdog, Jul 17, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2007
  5. webdog

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    In the calvinist camp...it doesn't. It has already been decided.
    Good questions...
     
  6. pinoybaptist

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    How does being a free willer guarantee that your children will be saved ?
     
  7. webdog

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    Who said it did? The difference is our children perish justifiably so and does NOT mean God hates their guts.
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    And who is the Calvinist on this board that said God hates their guts ?
     
  9. webdog

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    Plenty! I see "Jacob I loved, Esau I hated" thrown around quite often. The calvinist believes God hates the reprobate...creating them AS a vessel of destruction, no?
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    I don't know, webdog. But I think that if you study the word "hate" as used, it does not mean what you say it does, as in extreme, prejudicial, unreasoning hate.

    There are many ways the word "hate" is used, in this case, I think it means rejection, as when one selects something over another.

    Also, if we think about the holiness of God, against man's unholiness, we can readily see why God "hates" those whom He has not chosen in Christ, whose lives He has hid in Christ, and whom He had accepted in the beloved. These people would as equally be rejected by God because of their unholiness, had it not been for the fact that they are hid in Christ, and God is the One who put them there.

    "Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated" was penned by Paul, not by any of the Calvinists here on this board, and unless you have Scripture to show that God loves all mankind and hates no one, and that said Scripture is a misprint and wrongly attributed to Paul, I am sorry to say you are not being honest about what Calvinists really mean, which I have a feeling you know, just that you have an extreme bias against the Doctrine of Grace.
     
  11. webdog

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    I have heard "before they were even born..." also used to describe such an action.
    then, here you and I agree. Your view is unorthodox for the reformed view, however.
    Now you contradict what you say above, and line with the reformed view.
    Do all mankind fall under kosmos? John 3:16 is your answer!
     
  12. Dale-c

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    What you have to realize is that God uses means to bring about His ends.
    How shall they hear without a preacher?
    The preaching/teaching of the gospel is the means that God has ordained to bring the lost to salvation.

    God not only predestinated me to salvation, He also predestinated the means to that salvation.
    In my case, He predestinated that I would be born in a Christian family, that I would be raised in church and taught the gospel.

    If you are interested, you can check out a good series of sermons on the topic.
    It shows that even with predestination, certain physical things must happen.

    When you separate the means from the ends, that is what we call hyper-calvinism.
    In my opinion, hyper-calvinism is worse that arminianism.
    It is that doctrine that makes an excuse for laziness.
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    Well, is the salvation of your children in your hands ? Did you have anything at all to do with your own salvation ?


    This is not true, if you understand that there are two aspects of salvation spoken of in the Bible. One is eternal, which is absolutely out of anyone's hands. A parent can begin to raise his child with Scripture from the womb, if you will, but not even you, I believe, will claim that that will in anyway result in his being eternally saved.

    If you are truly a child of God, then your presence, your faith, influences your children. Because of the believing parent, the children are deemed holy (1 Corinthians 7:14).


    I am sure you know of an entirely "Christian" family with at least one so-called "black sheep".
    Again, you have to understand that the eternal salvation of God's own is already finished. It is done. No one can pray anybody into eternal salvation anymore.

    And raising them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord is in fact a Biblical command. There is no Calvinist on this board, I believe, who will tell you, that because they believe God is the One who does the choosing, they just let their children "do their own thing". I believe everyone of them strive to raise their children in the Word, if anything else, for the moral benefits doing so will give their children.

    well, you have to worry about those here who have a vehement dislike for the Doctrine of Grace and those who adhere to them. They are the ones who might start insinuating and eventually turn this into another bout of sarcastic exchanges.

    And I must admit, I am rather short-fused when I see insinuations, whether it be Arminian against Calvinist, or vice-versa.
     
  14. Dale-c

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  15. TCGreek

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    BTW, a great set of questions! As Dale-C has already said, quoting the Scriptures, "Children are a gift from God." With that in mind, if God gives me four or five, I gladly welcome them and praise him for them.

    For the one who believes that salvation is in the hands of man, whether he chooses to receive or reject it, doesn't resolve the issue of your children going to hell or heaven.

    In fact, what God would it be to pray for your children's salvation if they are sovereign and God cannot do anything.

    Whoever said that the Doctrines of Grace were easy to understand? I rather trust in the sovereign will of God at this point; He alone is truly sovereign.

    But neither does the so-called "free-will" position resolve the issue, since man is himself sovereign, and can choose to receive or reject.

    But when you say you can pray daily for them and believe God will hear my prayers and draw them to him, you are actually affirming the Calvinist position (John 6). The so-called "freewill" position does not allow for the drawing of God, since man is sovereign at this point.

    The thoughts and ways of God are untracable (Isa.55:8,9; Rom 11:33-36).
     
  16. pinoybaptist

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    I'm sorry, but God uses no means at all for the eternal salvation of His children, except the blood of the Lamb, if you can call that "means". When He saved us, He did it all by Himself, when He regenerates us, He does it all by Himself.
    The preaching of the gospel has nothing to do with the eternal aspect of salvation.
    If at all, it is to bring His regenerate children to obedience to gospel instruction.
    If you will read that part of Romans which you just quoted, you will see that, in context, Paul was talking of that part of the elect which is still in the clutches of Judaism.


    But, then, we can also say that if a man turns out to be a devout idolater then God predestinated him to be thus by being born into an idolatrous family.
    In other words, one can blame one's circumstances for one's eternal destiny.
    Yet, you and I know this is not true.
     
  17. npetreley

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    Justifiably so? You mean sinners don't deserve to perish unless they're free-willers?
     
  18. TCGreek

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    A great perspective! Neither do Calvinists presume upon the grace of God. None would be saved if God didn't show his favor. Obsolutesly, none!

    I don't think we humans want to know what the full justice of God is like. Lord, help our unbelief in these troubling matters.
     
  19. webdog

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    Justice demands man pays the penalty for refusing Christ. If man is created with no other choice...no justice.

    It's like a child being born into a room full of candy, with no other food source, and telling them they are not allowed to eat candy.
     
  20. npetreley

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    So people don't perish because of their sin, they perish because they refused Christ? Does this mean that if you never hear of Christ you don't perish, because you didn't get a chance to refuse Him?
     

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