An unanswered question for Calvinists

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by William C, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brian posted these questions and I was curious as to how a Calvinist would answer them.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    All Christians make choices everyday regardless of whether they are Arminian or Calvinists.

    Predestination does not include every thought we think and every motion we make and every action we take.

    Would God predestine someone to salvation then predestine that they sin and be a terrible witness of the gospel? I don't think so.

    Predestination is about Salvation not Robotics.

    Predestined Believers still can choose to sin. Their sin is not preordained. It is their choice.
     
  3. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    You are starting to sound like an Arminian.

    So the saved can "choose to sin" though God does not want them too - He ALLOWS their CHOICE - and the LOST can "CHOOSE" to accept the Gospel or reject EVEN though "God is not willing for ANY to perish but for ALL to come to repentance".

    Welcome to the light my friend.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was an Arminian before I saw The Light! :D

    I hope I'm sounding like a Biblical Christian.
     
  5. BrianT

    BrianT
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,516
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Brother Bill for the repost! I was a bit disappointed when nobody took my questions seriously. [​IMG]

    Yes, several Calvinists have claimed this, but nobody seems to be able or willing to explain *why* predestination does not include this. Other Calvinists on this board repeatedly stated that God's sovereignty means he's in control of ALL, ALL, ALL things. Well, a thought is a thing, a motion is a thing, and an action is a thing. I'm not so much talking about predestination of the believer specifically, but of the foundation of predestination, which is God's absolute sovereignty and control over EVERYthing.

    I don't think so either. But if Calvinism's view of God's sovereignty is true, what other conclusion can there possibly be?

    Yes, it's *about* salvation, but it *requires* robotics to work.

    But how can they "choose" anything except what God has orchestrated they "choose"? God made them, he put them in certain environments, he formed their neurons in their brains, he determined and controlled everything up to their "choice", did he not? How can there be possibly any alternative but to "choose" what has been predetermined?
     
  6. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I have a dear couple who are my friends who are Calvinists and strongly would disagree with you! In fact, when another of our friends husbands left her for a teenaged girl and cocaine, they assured her that God had ordained this! I just assumed all Calvinists believed that way!

    Diane
     
  7. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a dear couple who are my friends who are Calvinists and strongly would disagree with you! In fact, when another of our friends husbands left her for a teenaged girl and cocaine, they assured her that God had ordained this! I just assumed all Calvinists believed that way!

    Diane
    </font>[/QUOTE]There are many different kinds of Calvinists just as there are many different kinds of Arminians.

    As a Christian who happens also to be a Calvinist I am free in Jesus Christ to make choices every day. My choices have consequences in my life and in the lives of those I come into contact with everyday. I can make choices that bring honor or dishonor to the Name of Christ.

    The difference between my saved state and former lost state is simple. I could not make choices that brought honor to Christ before He Saved me. I was in bondage to sin, unable to please God and unable to even choose Christ before His Spirit enabled me to receive His Salvation. Now as a Christian I am the recipient of a real free will.
     
  8. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Diane, there are several different kind of "calvinist."

    1. Those who believe 75-95% of what Calvin taught, and are neither aware of it nor would admit it if they were aware of it. (Justification by faith, the work of the Holy Spirit, Biblical Inerrancy, expository preaching, etc.).

    2. Those who teach some perverted version of what Jean Cauvin taught.

    3. Those who teach lockstep with him.

    4. Those like me who, from independent study have come to similar ideas on some controversial doctrines and can't escape the tag "calvinist."
     
  9. BrianT

    BrianT
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,516
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fair enough. Although I am not a Calvinist, I have no problem with your position. I guess my focus has been only on those Calvinists who allow for no other option, at any time, than what God has predetermined to happen.

    I know people who are not Christians, yet have good morals. For example, they have remained married for many, many years because they believe divorce is "wrong". They chould choose to leave each other, but they have chosen to remain faithful. They are following God's will in this aspect, but not intentionally (they aren't specifically trying to please God). How does your brand of Calvinism view such situations?
     
  10. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fair enough. Although I am not a Calvinist, I have no problem with your position. I guess my focus has been only on those Calvinists who allow for no other option, at any time, than what God has predetermined to happen.

    I know people who are not Christians, yet have good morals. For example, they have remained married for many, many years because they believe divorce is "wrong". They chould choose to leave each other, but they have chosen to remain faithful. They are following God's will in this aspect, but not intentionally (they aren't specifically trying to please God). How does your brand of Calvinism view such situations?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Of Course there are "good" people in the world in the sense that they have "good morals" - But then we know because scripture teaches us that No one does good or is good.

    I think you answered the question fairly. They aren't specifically trying to please God - I would simply add - They cannot please God by their good works.
     
  11. Felix

    Felix
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Calvinism is not the same as determenism. Predestination, which is one of the main doctrines of Calvinism (and of the Bible, I believe) is a part of Determenism. Most Calvinists would agree that God 'determens' who gets saved and who does not in such a way that ALL who ultimately will be saved can say: I am saved because of God's Grace, whereas one who will ultimately be damned could say: I am lost because of my own free will. And there is no contradiction between the two.

    The Bible reads that God considers 'all good deeds' performed by us humans as 'filthy rags' in His holy sight. Scripture is clear that regardless how 'moral' or 'good' some of our deeds may look like, in God's sight it is still sin if it is not done by faith and for his glory.

    God's eternal councel, will, purpose shall always stand and be accomplished, regardless what we think about it. Just consider Christ's crucifiction? Was that predetermined? Absolutely? Was it sinful? Yes. Is God the author of that sin? NO! Yet, it was done according to the eternal plan of God! None of us will fully comprehend with our limited mind the infinite, eternal wisdom of the Almighty.
    Glory be to Him alone!!!

    Felix
     
  12. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Which part of salvation?

    I know that we are predestined to "be conformed to Christ's image" and "to be adopted as sons." But none of us have had these things accomplished in our lives at this point. We are still waiting for to be adopted as sons and conformed to Christ's image. Nothing is said about being predestined to believe. It only speaks of what believers are predestined to become. There is a difference.
     
  13. David Mark

    David Mark
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]Why couldn't he set things up that way? I know how weird that sounds. What if he allowed it just to see if we would love each other.

    Not in just this controversy but many of the other controversies and disagreements between believers. You know what I see a lot of? Division.

    I know that I am absurd, but God's thoughts and ways are way above mine. It is indeed very possible that he is in such control that he allows this to happen.

    Why not just raise up some rocks to preach the Gospel? Why not just send a talking donkey over to my house and say this or that and snap me out of my unbelief? He could couldn't he?

    Do you know how much good a talking donkey sent from God could do today? I have to use my faith to see the daily miracles in my life. I cant see them with my eyes.

    Do you disagree with the Death, burial and resurrection of Jesus? Do you disagree with the commandments he gave? I don't think so. Do any of us here deny those things? Not me.

    Dave
     
  14. David Mark

    David Mark
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    0
    Additionally, Think about how generally unmovable we are. We know what seems to be working for us. We want to share it and have it confirmed, but in the end we remain unmovable, steadfast and prepared to argue. This is just an observation I've made.

    This topic is not the only paradox or controversy I am referring to. I can find many complex issues with unmovable sincere believers on each side.

    I wouldn't be posting here if I thought it wasn't helping my faith. Indeed it is helping me and I thank you all.

    Dave.
     
  15. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  16. Gina B

    Gina B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    16,944
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]God predestinated you to conform to the image of his Son.
    Not many Calvinists deny that humans have choices, while at the same time we declare that God has control over every action we have. So, here's the schmeal.
    God is all-knowing. He knows everything. He knew everything. If he knows it, it's gonna happen. So, it ain't gonna change if he knew it was going to happen. Nothing will happen that he does not allow to happen.
    Allow doesn't mean it's right that you're going to do it, and doesn't absolve you from responsibility for it if God knew and didn't stop it.
    God knew and predestined his Son to die on the cross. The men who did it still were responsible for their actions, were they not? Could they NOT have crucified him? Was it there choice? No, they had to because it was predestined to happen, but they were still wrong to do it.
    Someone said before that you have to put things in their proper perspectives.
    One is our view of things.
    The other is God's.
    From God's point of view nothing happens apart from him.
    From our point of view we have a choice.
    We will always choose wrong unless God has ordained that we won't.
    So in answer to your question, no you have no choice, it was only on God's authority that you refuse to believe in the truth of his sovreignty. But you're still gonna be held responsible for that. :D
    Actually, I don't think many arminians deny God's sovreignty, they just interpret the words different!
    Example: Sparrow falls from the sky. Did God know it was going to happen? Yes, he's with it while it's falling. It doesn't mean he batted it out of the sky. But if it wasn't in his will for it to fall it wouldn't have fallen. He isn't sitting there feeling helpless watching the sparrow fall, and thinking of ways he might turn it into a good situation. He knew it was going to happen, so it happened. He allowed it to happen. There's a difference between making sin happen and not changing that it's going to happen.
    That's how regeneration works, and why we believe that we didn't meet God half-way for salvation. We would have chosen sin. Every time. All of us. He actively changed us to choose him. So, from God's eternal perspective we had no choice. From our small minded bound by earthly concepts of time perspective we did.

    Gina
     
  17. Felix

    Felix
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very well put Gina! Informative and to the point!
    [​IMG]

    Felix
     
  18. Felix

    Felix
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    You and I can not be sure that He actually did. What if He predestined that you tomorrow cross over to Calvinism? ;)

    Again, because you do not know what God's will is regarding this issue and neither do I. God's will is only certain (at least in our eyes) when we reach the end of our lives.

    Serving Him together

    Felix
     
  19. David Mark

    David Mark
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand your reasoning.

    Since anyone can visit this board, they can read that message. Could they believe on Jesus after reading that? Have I not just proclaimed the simple gospel message to a vast audience? I have proclaimed that message without considering anybody else's worthiness to hear it.

    Why is such a simple gospel like this rejected? There is so much riding on the belief of it and the message is so very clear. How could anyone not believe it?

    I believed it and I was as lost as anyone could be. I was just as entangled in the cares of this world before I believed and I am still just as vulnerable to the cares of this world today. Why after 23 years do I still believe? Why is it when I stray, disobey, sin, hate my neighbor or practice unbelief, I am chased around and led to repentance? I have been unable to hide from Him. When I doubt, I am comforted and encouraged. Why is that? What have I ever done to deserve this continued kindness and long-suffering on God's part for my sake?

    Why are we (believers) different from each other? Knowledge, Education, Jobs, income, married, single, etc. If I am wealthy and you are poor, is it my place to consider that you are less favored by God than I am? I think some people teach that. If I am poor and you are wealthy, do I despise you or covet what you have?
    If I have anything that I need, do I think that I obtained such things by myself? The world thinks that way and that is why they mistreat each other and do not thank God for what they have. That is why they pour gasoline on each other and try to set each other alight. Meditating on Paul's questions helps me to avoid grumbling over the fellow that has more than myself. More of anything.

    The disciples came back to Jesus rejoicing about how even the demons were subject to them. But Jesus said rejoice not in that, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven. I often feel the temptation to be "puffed up" over knowledge or ability. It is then that I rejoice not in any knowledge or ability that I have but in the fact that my name is written in Heaven and at best, I am an unprofitable servant.

    Isn't it God that maketh us to differ? If so, why is that?

    Dave [​IMG]
     
  20. Felix

    Felix
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Before we become believers, we are all Satan's slaves! That's why Christ said that whomever the Son sets free, he is free indeed. If we are free before we believe, why do we need to be set free again by Christ?

    And yes, you are right, pure Calvinism is rooted in God's unconditional election of some to everlasting life! Why He chose to operate this way I don't know, but all is according to His purpose, without any merit foreseen in anybody. I wrestled with this myself for years until I ended up bowing my knee to Him and accept it, not because my mind and my reason and human philosophy would have wanted it to be otherwise but because Scripture stands behind it. And that alone is what we all need to follow.

    God bless

    Felix
     

Share This Page

Loading...