A Very Simple Defense

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by BBNewton, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. BBNewton

    BBNewton
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    “As human beings we have the power to submit our own independent natures to perfect dependence upon God. God will never interfere, unless we give him that right. As an earthly father rejoices in the love of his children and their steps toward him, so does the heavenly Father rejoice in all those who come to Him of their own free will. God rejoices in the willing and genuine love that we exercise towards Him through our free choice to obey.” ---J. Doug Stringer, from It’s Time to Cross the Jordan (13)


    In the book of Romans, Paul wrote of people being in two states:

    1. Those controlled by the flesh.
    2. Those controlled by the Spirit of God.

    In the 8th chapter, the Apostle stated:

    Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (vs. 5)

    You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. (vs. 9)

    Paul is very clear in his statement that those who are controlled by the flesh (sinful nature) are the unregenerate and those who are controlled by the Spirit are the regenerate. However, the Christian struggles with the sinful nature as long as the flesh lives (Gal. 5:17).

    Likewise, Mr. Stringer is very clear in his statement of the fundamental presupposition of the Arminian (Pelagian, Semi-Pelagian, Open-Theistic, Romish) belief system. “so does the heavenly Father rejoice in all those who come to Him of their own free will.” God is depicted as being pleased by the one good action man can do.

    Paul goes on to state:

    The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (Romans 8:7,8 NIV)

    Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (NKJV)

    Paul clearly believed that people (within their own fallen flesh) cannot and therefore will not do anything that pleases God. “The carnal mind is enmity against God”--this is a statement of total depravity. “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God”—this is a statement of total inability. The entire argument that because God commands something good of man therefore implies that man has the ability to do good is an utter fallacy. “It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”

    Arminianism is false.
     
  2. Apostle Paul

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    Ben,

    How does Romans 8 and Galatians 5 correlate with your argument about the fallacy of free-will that Springer endorses? There are those Arminian folk that are saved and living by the Spirit, not by the flesh. Are you saying (ALL) armianians are without the Spirit of God? Just the Calvinist/Reformed folk have the Spirit, and the Arminian folk do not and are just plain carnal.

    Paul
     
  3. Yelsew2

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    We hear this very same thought nearly every day on the evening news. "So and so has anti-American beliefs. Therefore, so and so cannot please American government." Same thought! The one who holds anti-beliefs is always a sinner against that which they are anti against.

    So those who are against God are not for God. That is the reason for Persuasion. Those who are against us can, through persuasion, become our friends. Spiritual warfare is a battle of Persuasion!

    Before you jump all over me for that, it is God's way, not mine! If it were up to me I'd beat you over the head with a club until you submitted to my will! But Not God! He is behaving in accordance with Grace and allowing us to be persuaded through HIS word to become friends and subjects to HIM. If we don't, He has no allegience to us, and he destroys our unbelieving spirit in the Lake of Fire. BUT, If we do, he is faithful and Just and treats us as his beloved children.
     
  4. BBNewton

    BBNewton
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    Paul,

    First off, I posted the quote by Mr. Stringer to clearly show the Arminian position. That might not even be fair, because he seems to deny the effect of the fall, stating that humans have independent natures whereas Jesus said we are slaves to sin. I did not post the quote to argue that he is not a Christian. That is between him and God.

    In the quote, two ideas were set forth:

    1. Humans have independent natures and therefore independent wills.

    2. God rejoices in the good actions of a human's free will.

    The position set forth by Paul in Romans 8:7,8 turns the two ideas laid out above into a pile of flaming wreckage.

    To dig deeper in the matter, the Apostle made this statement in Romans 7:18a:

    I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature (flesh).

    I believe there are two aspects to why Paul made this statement:

    1. He understood the total depravity and inability of the flesh through his personal spiritual experience.

    2. He knew it was true in accordance with scriptures:
    The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. (Gen. 8:21)

    Nothing good=everything bad


    I don't know who is and who is not a Christian. I'm not arguing against individuals, but wrather against doctrinal systems. Paul taught total depravity, inability, and predestination. In light of what he declared in Galatians 1:8,9, this is a matter that worries me greatly. I don't care about the intellectual doctrinal dispute; I care about the wellfare of the souls who fill the pews around me.
     
  5. Yelsew2

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    There is a third, and that is caused by introspection while in a depressed state of mind. When one is depressed, for whatever reason, one is not thinking clealy or rationally. Paul was a mere mortal just like all the rest of us. As we have our ups and downs, Paul had his. You can see that throughout his writings. When in prison, or some other oppressive situation, Paul is much harder on himself than when he is free and doing what he loves to do...Just like us! So don't take everything Paul wrote so literally! When you do, you come to wrong conclusions! No one stays at the top of their game all the time.
     
  6. tnelson

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    2 Tim.3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;"

    by His Grace
    mike
     
  7. BBNewton

    BBNewton
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    Certainly, then, Paul was no advocate of an undogmatic religion; he was interestedabove everything else in the objective and universal truth of his message. So much will probably be admitted by serious historians, no matter what their own personal attitude toward the religion of Paul may be. Sometimes, indeed, the modern liberal preacher seeks to produce an opposite impression by quoting out of their context words of Paul which he interprets in a way as far removed as possible from the original sense. The truth is, it is hard to give Paul up. The modern liberal desires to produce upon the minds of simple Christians (and upon his own mind) the impression of some sort of continuity between modern liberalism and the thought and life of the great Apostle. But such an impression is altogether misleading. Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of Jesus; he was not interested merely in general principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeemining
    work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its center. If Christianity is to be made independent of doctrine, then Paulinism must be removed from Christianity root and branch.

    Christianity & Liberalism
    by J. Gresham Machen (1923)
     
  8. Hamtramck_Mike

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    There is a third, and that is caused by introspection while in a depressed state of mind. When one is depressed, for whatever reason, one is not thinking clealy or rationally. Paul was a mere mortal just like all the rest of us. As we have our ups and downs, Paul had his. You can see that throughout his writings. When in prison, or some other oppressive situation, Paul is much harder on himself than when he is free and doing what he loves to do...Just like us! So don't take everything Paul wrote so literally! When you do, you come to wrong conclusions! No one stays at the top of their game all the time. </font>[/QUOTE]1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said? (Gen 3:1)
     
  9. Hamtramck_Mike

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    28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
    29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
    30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
    31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
    32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
    33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
    34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
    35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
    36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
    37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
    38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
    39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
    40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
    42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
    43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
    44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
    46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
    47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
    48 I am that bread of life.
    49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
    50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
    51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
    52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
    59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.



    60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
    61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
    62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
    63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
    64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
    65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
    66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
    67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
    68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
    69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
    70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
    71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. (Jn 6:28-71)

    Now, remember, according to some here we should not take the words of Jesus so literally! :eek: :confused: :rolleyes:
     
  10. Yelsew2

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    We were talking about Paul, now we are quoting the words of Jesus then posting funny faces along with some sarcasm.

    What ever could the meaning be?
     
  11. BBNewton

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    1. The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature (flesh) cannot please God. Romans 8:7,8 NIV

    2. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature (flesh). Romans 7:18a

    3. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. Gen. 8:21

    These are clear statements of the total depravity and the consequent inability of the fallen natural man.

    Arminianism teaches that the Holy Spirit woos and draws a man through the gospel message. This is true. But the problem is that Arminianism stops there. The man is left to make the ultimate choice. The Holy Spirit effectively saves nobody unless the man cooperates. According to Arminianism, God's plan of redemption has been an utter failure in that hell is now filled with millions of souls who he could not save, but who he wanted to.


    I know that you can do all things;
    no plan of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)


    Can anyone put forth a position explaining how man, by merit of his own free will, can cooperate with God if indeed nothing good lives in his flesh, every inclination of his fleshly heart is only evil, and his natural mind is in a state of hatred (emnity) against God?
     
  12. Yelsew2

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    What does depravity have to do with ability? Depravity is a condition, while ability is a factor of desire. Scriptures tell us that if we have the desire, or FAITH, we consequently will have the ability. Faith is a condition that is the antithesis of Depravity. Depravity means that we have not the desire or faith with which to act, or that our desire is for the antithesis of what God says is good for us.

    For those who's desire is for the antithesis of Godliness, God allows them to continue on to their own destruction. Jesus said in John 3:18, "...but whoever does not believe is judged already, because that person does not believe in the Name of God's only Son." One who does not believe is depraved, and is self-condemned to the 2nd death. God did not condemn the unbeliever individually, but He did establish the means and the parameter (FAITH) that man must meet in order to be saved, and those who fail to meet that parameter do so to their own peril, not because God "elected them" to the 2nd death from the foundation of the world. You see, if God elects those who are to be saved, then by default He elects those who are to be lost. That is contrary to Jesus' teaching which says, "...whosoever believeth,..."! God cannot contradict God!
     
  13. Sularis

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    prevenient grace - its disgusting but true

    If people in Hell what is greater mercy

    guaranteed group of people in Hell

    OR

    possibiility of no one or everyone in Hell
     
  14. Yelsew2

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    Prove to us all that there is such a thing as a separate grace that is identifiable as a separate grace that you call "prevenient". Prove to us that such a grace does what you attribute it to doing.

    Just as there is but one God who was and is and will be, there is but one God's Grace that was, is and will be!

    "Prevenient Grace" belies the truth of God!
     
  15. John Owen

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    Newton, thanks for bringing up Machen's Christianity & Liberalism, it should be required reading for all Christians who have to deal with Liberal (per)versions of Christianity... and, as an added bonus, its available free online in its entirety at http://www.reformed.org/books/chr_and_lib/
     
  16. John Owen

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    Arminianism:

    Christ died for everyone in general;
    and no one in particular
    :(
     
  17. Yelsew2

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    Well said John, That's what Jesus said when he declared "whosoever believeth in Him..."!

    If you can't believe the author of Life, who will you believe?
     
  18. pat_from_oz

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    I think that to take an extreme view, in either direction, it is unwise in this debate. If one takes an extreme Calvanist position, then human free will is a fallacy. If human free will has no bearing on our salvation, then God is making the choices of who will and won’t be saved.

    2 Peter 3:9 says: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    If it is God’s will that none should perish, then how can he make a decision to save some but not others? Surely he would be making a decision that is contrary to his own will.

    Likewise, an extreme Armenianist position also runs into problems. The fact that those whose names are not written in the book of life are condemned (Rev 20:15) and that those names that are recorded have been there since before the foundation of the Earth (Rev 13:8) presents a difficulty.

    We should be careful not to be too wise in our own eyes. While sitting on the fence is something that doesn't feel too comfortable for me, I accept that there are some things only God can fully understand.
     
  19. pinoybaptist

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    pat_from_oz said:(italics mine)

    You hit the nail dead center on the head there. [​IMG]

    The Scriptures say so:

    pat also quoted 2 Peter 3:9

    This is an often misapplied verse to mean that God wants all men to be saved, Pat.

    Read the context. Adressee, message, writer, were the recipients already believers in a local church ? Was the writer a believer ? What was being said ? What was being warned ?

    Why can't he make that decision if he wants to, in the first place. While we're at it, why didn't he decide to just destroy the entire creation and do it all over again. He can, if he wanted to, can't he ?

    And, oh, yeah, where in the Bible does it say that God is beholden to man ? Where in the Bible does it say that He has an obligation to save all men ?

    Oh, and, sorry for being rude, welcome to the Board, mate ! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. Yelsew2

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    Pinoy Baptist,
    You hit the nail dead center on the head there.

    The Scriptures say so:
    </font>[/QUOTE]Pinoy Baptist, your use of Roman's 9 for proof text of your doctrine is faulty.

    Rom 9:11 describes a fulfillment of Prophesy as shown IN CONTEXT verses 8-13, and was a single event UNDER THE LAW. It has nothing to do with God's normal modus-operandi, especially under GRACE. Why don't you give us scripture that applies universally for Jews and for Gentiles, for LAW and for GRACE. Give us proof-text that is not the fulfillment of a prophesy.

    The question of 9:15,16, IS GOD UNJUST? What is the "it" in vs 16? What precedes "it" The question of God's Justice! God's justice is not a matter of what we, his creation, will or do, but of God who is merciful (gracious) to whomever HE chooses to be Merciful to! But again Paul goes back in time to events "Under the LAW" in an effort to show his reader the differences between LAW and GRACE. UNDER THE LAW, God was merciful to whomever God chose to be merciful. However, under GRACE, God established that "WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH..." There is a huge Chasm of difference between the strictest form of Law and very liberal form of GRACE.

    This is an often misapplied verse to mean that God wants all men to be saved, Pat.

    Read the context. Adressee, message, writer, were the recipients already believers in a local church ? Was the writer a believer ? What was being said ? What was being warned ?</font>[/QUOTE]This verse is not a stand-alone scripture, and every time is it applied as such it is miss applied. The context of this verse is a WARNING against FALSE TEACHERS (verses 3-10), and not a support for the Doctrine of Election!
    It is God's will that ALL men come to him. Notice the word "COME", a willful action of the one who does it. There is a 'Draw', an 'Attraction, a 'Marquee' that brings men to God, and HE, God, is pleased with ALL who do come through faith. All who come to Him in faith, he will in no wise cast out. That does not mean that God makes anyone come, because God accepts any and all who come to Him in FAITH!
    HE HAS MADE THAT DECISION FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, and HE called his decision GRACE, He provided his only begotten son, Jesus, to be the MEANS OF GRACE, thus we have "FOR BY GRACE..." HIS decision was to allow MAN, his created man, to choose, and HE promised that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in His only Son, should have everlasting life. He further made the decision to remove the penalty of sin from ALL OF MANKIND through the sacrificial death of this Son, for the penalty for sin was established to be 'death'. But now we, MAN, are no longer so penalized because THE SON obeyed THE FATHER. God established that SALVATION OF MAN is no longer based on man's performance of the LAW, but upon the faith that man has in God's only Son. God gave man every reason to have FAITH, but did not give man the needed faith, while requiring faith in man in order for the man with faith to receive SALVATION. ALL MEN are capable of having faith! And, in fact every small child has faith in abundance, until by acts of men the child loses faith and becomes in need of being 'born again'.

    He also decided from the foundation of the world, that HE would destroy this present Heavens and Earth, and REPLACE THEM with new heavens and earth. Peter says it this way:
    As you can see in 2 Peter 3:9 God is not being slow, but is being patient so that ALL WHO WILL come, may come. God 'self-obligates' to allow mankind to come to him. Those who don't or won't, He has no obligation to save, those who do come, HE HAS PROMISED EVERLASTING LIFE, the choice is OURS.
     

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