Arminian God cruel and arbitrary

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Paul33, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Paul33

    Paul33
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    Since Arminians believe that God foreknows who will respond to the gospel message and elects them on that basis, the God of the Arminians must be cruel, arbitrary, unfair, and unjust.

    Billions of people have never heard the gospel message and therefore cannot respond in faith. Only a cruel, arbitrary God would base election on human response, and then not give the mass of humanity an opportunity to hear the gospel.

    God is completely arbitrary in allowing some to hear the gospel message while withholding it from others. This is cruel and unfair, and proves that God is partial and shows favoritism.

    To those who actually hear the gospel message, God is unloving. What kind of God creates human beings in which he knows all along that they will reject his offer of salvation and be condemned to hell. This God is vindictive and sadistic. A loving God would never create people he knew would go to hell. That he knew what they would do with the gospel message, and created them anyway, shows that God is unloving.
     
  2. Sularis

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    I would have thought that others would have jumped on this - Oh well - first try to me then

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    Since Arminians believe that God foreknows who will respond to the gospel message and elects them on that basis, the God of the Arminians must be cruel, arbitrary, unfair, and unjust.
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    Wow - such a nice wide broad sweeping statement - God gets hosed because He knows everything - man God just cant catch a break - Maybe if He gives up some of His foreknowledge - ah nuts if He's all powerful He can use His power to forsee the future - I guess we'll just have to neuter God a little or is it spay? Well in my case Im not going to be the person asking God to come down and get lobotomized - perhaps you will....

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    Billions of people have never heard the gospel message and therefore cannot respond in faith. Only a cruel, arbitrary God would base election on human response, and then not give the mass of humanity an opportunity to hear the gospel.
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    Yes - preach it brother - all those OT saints we know arent gonna be in heaven because God in His vast cruelty didnt give the Bible to them!

    You think that the Bible is all God uses to call people - to tell them of Himself - you think He waits around on frail humanity to do the job that He assigned us to do? Golly Gee Gosh Paul33 - NO!

    He is actively displaying His Word and calling all mankind unto Himself through avenues - spiritual and physical that we have no clear understanding of - but yet they exist. This of course in no way gets us as mankind off the hook for being such poor purveyors of propitiation! Every soul that is damned is not God's fault it is ours! We have the resources, the talent, the time, but not the faith to Go Ye into all the world....

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    God is completely arbitrary in allowing some to hear the gospel message while withholding it from others. This is cruel and unfair, and proves that God is partial and shows favoritism.
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    Ahh now we reach into the higher purposes of God - First perhaps the people who hear the gospel message have a responsibility? Perhaps God foreknew that they would be pigheaded white folk that would need His extra effort? Perhaps God foreknew that North America would come about and thus expect the burden of world evangelism to come from countries that He has richly blessed?

    As to the withholding - from whom has God withheld the mercy of a new morning alive and not sent straight to hell? From whom has God withheld the evidence of one's eyes? From whom has God denied the need for something more that man most often fails to fill? From whom has God withheld the innate human desire of curiousity. From whom has God withheld a conscience?

    The answer is NO ONE - There is NO ONE that has a right to complain based on place of birth. All have heard what is needed to come unto Him - and those that come will He in no ways turn away but gather them unto Himself and He shall lead them in the ways that they should go

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    To those who actually hear the gospel message, God is unloving. What kind of God creates human beings in which he knows all along that they will reject his offer of salvation and be condemned to hell. This God is vindictive and sadistic. A loving God would never create people he knew would go to hell. That he knew what they would do with the gospel message, and created them anyway, shows that God is unloving.
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    Wow - see - Hrm even in Calvinism - God's pretty sadistic in creating unbelievers - except that there is this wierd little thing that God gave us called a will. A free one at that....

    So yes God did know that we would sin - He also foreknew a place where we did not - He also foreknew a place where Lucifer did not fall; and He made a plan for all of them - No matter what you do God has the fastest simplest plan to bring everyone to repentance - but we fall short of it

    Yes it must be God's fault that we screw up - It cant be ours! It must be God's fault that we dont choose His gift of salvation - It can't be ours!

    There exists right now the possibility should we as Christians have the guts, the vast temerity, the sheer stupidity to just do what God wants us to do that the whole world down to the last unfertilized ova would be saved - of course if just one person skimps or doesnt do his/her part at all - well then tons of people are going to be damned - and of course that's God's fault - It can't be ours!

    God is love - there exists no other precursor to that - all that is God flows through that absolute into the subsets of Justice and Mercy - of course this is a bare and extremely poor description of God - God is our Father our Creator - He desires that we as His children grow up to be like Him - Do you not punish your child when they do wrong? Do you not let your children make their own decisions and learn about consequences? How more will God who is the perfect Father do likewise!

    Rail not against God lest it be counted against thee - you could have phrased your objections as less of an attack upon God and rather more against the Arminian view which was your intent
     
  3. GeneMBridges

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    Err,

    I hope y'all Arminians realize that what Paul33 wrote is pretty much the exact way you all speak to us Calvinists.

    Calvinism is the poster child for an arbitrary, unloving God. The God of Calvinism plays favorites. The God of Calvinism is...insert statement here.

    That's the point of this thread...it's simply a way of pointing out how absurd such statements sound and pointing them back at you.

    I have answered several times within the past few weeks that Calvinism's theology of election is not at all arbitrary. I assert that if one of the two views is more arbitrary, it is Arminianism's view. The classic view rests the deciding factor in man, not God. Strong and Moderate Calvinism support unconditional election, which grounds or anchors election in God ALONE. What could be less arbitrary than that? Unless you believe what God does is random, this is the least arbitrary place to ground election. The only way that the Calvinist or the Arminian view of God could be truly arbitrary is if there was a random quality to God's actions. The false allegation leveled to us is that God is arbitrary, which tells me that you think that we think God is being random. That's just isn't so. Election is done with a purpose.

    "'But you admit you don't know what that is. You admit that it is just "the good pleasure of His will,'" you say. We respond, "So what, are you saying we can't trust God." It's as if you don't want to give God one right, you demand that He reveal with that purpose might be in full before you will accept that it is good and that it is not random.

    I also very fervently assert that Arminianism's point of view does in fact have God playing favorites. Arminianism implicitly anchors itself in man, not in God alone. There's a great many of y'all that say that when God elects He does so on the basis of who He already knows will accept Christ and will reject Christ. Favoritism is, by definition to anchor your actions in qualites intrinsic in one set of people over and against qualities in another set of persons. Conditional election is just that CONDITIONAL, and the condition is in man, not God. The anchor is not in the mind of God, but in the will of man. Foreknowledge is sometimes said to operate with a focus on the very things named above. To look into the future and base election on something that persons will do or won't do is the very definition of partiality, because it grounds foreknowledge in a quality that exists within those individuals. That is favoritism.
     
  4. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Paul33;
    No man has the excuse of not knowing there is a God.
    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:

    So how is it that men don't know, when this is with in man.Just as His Laws are in man. It's up to man to search God out. To seek Him. All of God's creation speaks of Him. How can we not know?
    May God Bless You;
    Mike
     
  5. Matt Black

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    You are assuming they haven't heard the gospel or have not encountered Jesus

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  6. johnp.

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    Sularis.

    Is He? This is news to me. Could you elucidate please.

    GeneMBridges.

    And a very good job he made of it as well if you don't mind me saying so.

    'election on human response' is particularly good. :cool:

    johnp.
     
  7. Ray Berrian

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    First there is only one true God who we as Christians believe in as our Savior. There is no God of the Calvinist and a different one for the Arminian believers. The two groups explain Him in very different ways.

    We believe that God has left open the realm of Heaven to every sinner [I John 2:2] and that He has not arbitrarily selected some for eternal life with Him. We believe God could not remain a loving and just/fair God and damn the majority of human sinners to Hell without an opportunity to believe in Him. His love and justice is immutable and unending toward sinners until the Great White Throne Judgment. [Revelation 20:11]. For sinners His love will be turned into vengeance but His immutable love will continue in eternity toward Christians.

    It may be, as one of the other brethren said, that He might have a different standard of judgment for those who have never heard the Gospel. His point of reference was Roman 1:19-21 and there are other passages that hint at this. And isn't there a passage that suggests that if there is no Law to guide sinners toward Jesus, then there is no sin? Perhaps Jesus will judge many people on the basis of their amount of knowledge or illumination as to His Being.

    We do know from Scripture that there will be degrees of punishment in Hell, and there will be Christians who will have greater rewards in Heaven than others, plus some will have more authority in the eternal Kingdom than other brethren.

    One thing we do know for sure. Jesus will be the Judge of all souls. [John 5:22] 'For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed ALL judgment to His Son.'
     
  8. Paul33

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    Romans 1:19-21 teaches that general revelation (creation)leaves all men without excuse. Whether we hear the gospel or not, we are without excuse. So the billions who do not hear the gospel are without excuse and will not be saved because they did not respond to the gospel message they never heard. This is a cruel God.

    Acts 4:12 teaches that there is no other name given to men by which we must be saved. So don't postulate that unsaved people can get saved in some other way. John 14:6 makes the way clear.

    But looking at history, billions have never heard the name of Jesus, so the Arminian God will damn the vast majority of people to hell.

    And you haven't answered the problem of a God who knowingly creates humans that he knows will reject the gospel. What kind of God creates people that he knows he is going to send to the fires of hell? This is a vindictive tyrant of a God. If he knew I was going to reject the gospel, he shouldn't have created me. If I knew an act of conception was going to produce a "Hitler", wouldn't I have refrained from that act of conception? That God didn't, shows just how cruel he is.

    For God to be fair, every single person ever born needs to be presented with a detailed explanation of the gospel message. Anything less than that makes God arbitrary, partial, unjust, unfair, and unloving.

    If just ONE person doesn't receive this opportunity in life, God must be arbitrary and unfair.
     
  9. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Paul 33;
    Are you hoping for an excuse?
    Let's go over it again;
    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:

    What part did you not understand. Does it say they are with out excuse. Yet because they didn't seek out what was placed inside of them you claim it is an excuse. Prove it with scripture, not of your own logic. Your logic doesn't prove anything because it is only you. The bottom line is God's word says they are without excuse. do you disagree with the Word?
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  10. Paul33

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    No, I agree with you. Every person is without excuse before God. We have seen the created world and that alone is enough to leave man without excuse before God.

    But the Arminian says that in order for God to be fair, every person must have an opportunity to hear the gospel so that they can accept and reject. After all, every person has a free will.

    So, I am making the point that in the Arminian system, God is cruel because he doesn't give every person an opportunity to hear the gospel. By their own words this must make God cruel, arbitrary, unfair and unjust.

    If just one person seeks out what is inside of him, as you say, and does not hear the gospel, the Arminian God is unfair and arbitrary.

    So now, man must seek out what is inside of him, in order to be saved. So if man doesn't seek out what is inside of him, God is not obligated to present the gospel message to that person? Is that what you are saying? That's what it sounds like you are saying.

    So God knows who is going to respond in faith and is only obligated to present the gospel to them. The rest don't need the gospel, because God already knows they are going to reject. Well how fair is that? In order to exercise my free will fairly, I must be givin the opportunity to hear a clear presentation of the gospel. Anything less in practice violates my "free will."
     
  11. av1611jim

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    Paul 33 said,"So, I am making the point that in the Arminian system, God is cruel because he doesn't give every person an opportunity to hear the gospel. By their own words this must make God cruel, arbitrary, unfair and unjust."

    I am neither Calvinist, nor Arminian.

    With the afore mentioned disclaimer in mind, Paul, I must also remind you that Calvinism must also be unfair, arbitrary, and cruel. For, why would a just and loving God purposely create someone just ot instantly damn them to the Lake of Fire for eternity. This is also what Calvin taught. That God in his sovereignity chooses who to save and who not to save. Election in this way is arbitrary, unjust, unfair, and cruel.

    So you see, while your charges against Arminianism may be justified in your eyes, those very charges are leveled against your position as well. So what is right?

    I do not hold to either Calvin nor Arminius. I believe the Truths of salvation are not either/or but rather, perhaps, somewhere in the middle.

    That's my $.02 worth.
    In His service;
    Jim
     
  12. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Paul33;
    I wonder do you think I'm a Calvinist? I'm neither Arminian or Calvinist. I have objected to being called by such labels but to some it makes no difference. I'm a born again Christian I follow no man, but Christ.

    I have to disagree with you as to why no man has an excuse. We have no excuse because we all have with in our own selves the knowledge of God If we do not seek God out that is our fault not His. Just as we all know right from wrong we all instinctively know there is a God. A lot of men are just plain to lazy to search Him out so they create God's of there own, or they just ignore it all together or seek to prove there is no God.
    God's word says;
    Pro 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

    I don't think every Arminian believes that at all. It is true we do have a choice in whether we follow Christ or not. Salvation is an offer not a mandate.

    Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    This invitation is for all men. because we are all heavy laden with sin.

    Rom 5:17 For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
    Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

    what ever person who told you this it would be true for them. However The Calvinist and Arminians worship the same God I worship. We cannot judge one's Salvation based on any other doctrine than that of;
    Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    If a man believes that Christ is who He said He is the Bible says He is saved;
    Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    Even though we may disagree with our breathern we should be careful not to offend our breathern by saying there God must be cruel. Especially when we cannot see there hearts to know if they be in Christ. If they are in Christ you are making the foul statement about your own God. I know this wasn't your intention but I ask would you consider this.
    You are really assumming You know what I'm going to say. But you don't. We are all capable of seeking God out.
    Man is responsible for His sin in accordance to the Law. God does know everything including who will and won't choose Him, but we don't. What I'm saying is that, We know that there is a God from the beginning of our intelligence. God is not obligated to seek us out but we are obligated to seek Him out, for His Word If we fail we are lost.
    May God give the light to see;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  13. GeneMBridges

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    First, ONE MORE TIME FOR EVERYBODY TO UNDERSTAND...it is an oxymoron to say "in his sovereignty God chooses," and then accuse Him of being arbitrary, no matter what your position is on the matter. To be arbitrary a choice must be RANDOM. God is only being arbitrary if God is also being random or grounding something in something that has potentiality in it, because potentials (contingencies) are not all equal and have a capacity for being random.

    Some people say that it is arbitrary to not ground the choice in something a person does or a quality in the individual. However, that would violate God's sovereignty.

    God, by definition, is pure actuality without any potentiality in Him. If He grounded ANYTHING AT ALL...meaning if He anchored a decision He makes or any action He takes in something other than Himself, or if He so much as chose to share the grounding of His actions and decisions in things other than Himself, that would, by definition, require God is doing something contingent. In order to do something contingent, God would have to have contingency in Him. Contingency is a quality of something that has potentiality in Him. To have potentiality in you, by definition, means you are not purely actual. In other words, if God did something like that, He would not meet the requirements of being a necessary uncaused Being. Only an Uncaused Necessary Being can be purely actual without any potentiality in Him.

    Calvinists do not believe God grounds election in anything other than Himself. Thus, He can not be arbitrary. This is supported by Scripture, eg. Eph. 2. Just because God does not tell us anything more than the fact that He does this and that He grounds it in Himself and that He has a purpose in it, does not mean He is arbitrary. In fact, the very fact that He does tell us that much shows that He isn't "arbitrary."

    Now, you also write this: "For, why would a just and loving God purposely create someone just ot instantly damn them to the Lake of Fire for eternity. This is what Calvin believed."

    No, this is NOT what Calvin believed. This is what HYPERCALVINISTS believe. Classical Calvinists believe that God chooses whom He will save. The rest He passes over. Calvin never advocated the doctrine of equal ultimacy. The elect do not get what they deserve, hell. The rest get what they deserve, hell. If Calvin believed what you say he believed, then it would mean that he believed God actually creates fresh evil in the hearts of the reprobate. This is NOT what Calvin believed. Election predicates regeneration. If one group is non-elect, in order to be symmetrical, God would have to do a corresponding work of reprobation. Equal ultimacy is rejected because Scripture does not support it.

    The classical Calvinist view is NOT arbitrary. It is NOT unjust, (justice is satisfied for the elect at the cross, for the nonelect via hell, moreover God is the ultimate standard of justice. In the Arminian view the standard is the person. What could be less just than election grounded in God?). It is NOT unloving (because some are saved, when they deserve only damnation; it would be unloving if there was symmetrical reprobation, which there is not; also, what makes mercy merciful is that not all are granted it, otherwise, it is something owed, a debt paid, something we all somehow merit); it is NOT cruel (because some go to heaven and others do not, when everybody deserves it; it would be cruel to either not create them at all or to do a symmetrical act of reprobation); and yes, it is UNFAIR. If it was fair, everybody would go to hell and NOBODY would be saved at all.


    The Arminian view GROUNDS or ANCHORS election in the human being. That is unjust and unfair, because God is playing favorites.

    First, it is unjust because, IF GROUNDED IN THE INDIVIDUAL, which is what the view is, then all individuals do not have the same backgrounds or experiences. This is unjust, because justice grounded in human beings requires all their backgrounds be equal. That is the nature of human justice. Some people are more skeptical than others. People have different temperaments. They have a hard time believing people, much less God. Not only that, God IS being arbitrary for these exact same reasons.


    If election is grounded in a person, then God is playing favorites, because He is doing something based on either a knowledge ahead of time regarding their own belief or unbelief or in some quality inherent in that person. That, by definition, is what partiality/favoritism is.


    Mike wrote: "Salvation is an offer, not a mandate."

    Uh, it is BOTH, Mike. Read I John 3:23 "This is His commandment that we believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

    Is salvation, offered? YES...We all agree...but believing is not a mere request, it is a COMMAND from God. Thus it is also a mandate!

    You write: "You are really assumming You know what I'm going to say. But you don't. We are all capable of seeking God out.
    Man is responsible for His sin in accordance to the Law. God does know everything including who will and won't choose Him, but we don't. What I'm saying is that, We know that there is a God from the beginning of our intelligence. God is not obligated to seek us out but we are obligated to seek Him out, for His Word If we fail we are lost."

    Calvinists agree that we have a natural ability to make choices. We have a natural ability to seek God out. However, we do not. We have a moral inability to seek God out. Left to our own devices, we will choose the benefits but not the Benefactor Himself.

    [ October 28, 2004, 08:26 PM: Message edited by: GeneMBridges ]
     
  14. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Genembridges;
    As far as not being able to seek God I disagree. Total depravity is not supported by scripture. The only passage I've seen thus far that Calvinism claims supports it is the rantings of a fool quoted by Paul from the Psalms. How ever seeking God is talked about all through the Old Testament.Pauls statement was not made while thinking of all those who saught God before Him. Every time a man prays we are seeking God even sinners pray to God a God they may not know but are never the less seeking.

    My Statement of it not being a mandate was meant that we are not predestined unalterably ("as in made to be Christian"). Being a Christian is a relationship with God and not something we have no control over.
    Being left to our own devices does not mean we are helpless to answer an invitation to come to Him.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  15. BobRyan

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    Well we are not in the "no spin zone" anymore todo.

    That is an "assumption" not a fact.

    In Romans 2 God says that EVEN those with NO access to the Gospel text are available to be reached by the Holy Spirit.

    In Romans 10 the point is drawn from Psalms that nature itself instructs them.

    And of course - there we find that "to EACH one is given a measure of faith".

    So -- failed premise.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. BobRyan

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    Let's see how the Arminian view "really" goes.

    But some Calvinist could “really” think that the Arminian idea of “God who so loved the WORLD” (as described above is) in fact an “awful” idea.
    ===============================================================================================================
    Calvinist posts to that effect will be in no short supply as (instead of addressing each of the salient points listed above) – they repeat Calvinism as IF that were the Arminian view stated above.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Next up to bat... the Calvinist future scenario -- by contrast.


    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. BobRyan

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    5 and 4 pt Calvinist Future Scenario:
    “Showing” the requirement of 4 and 5 point Calvinism to have the “luxury” of a cold disregard for the non-elect “When the non-Elect are finally Known”. This scenario simply removes that “luxury” in order to emphasize the point 4-5 Pt Calvinism makes about God Himself – vs the view that “God so Loved the World that He Gave…Really” (something that both Arminians and 3-pt Calvinists seem to Agree on).
    Here is a direct quote of one of our Calvinist brethren overjoyed on this very point.
    August 2004 quote
    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/35/1154.html#000014

    quote: Bob said
    ________________________________________
    What Calvinism "needs" is for the text to say "I DRAW ALL the FEW of Matt 7" or it needs to say "I draw A FEW of mankind" or it needs to say "I draw a FEW of the Jews and the Gentiles...
    ________________________________________

    Nick said --
    It does not need to say anything of the sort. If Jesus is saying that He draws both Jews and Gentiles, this is a revelation to the people of the time, who thought Jesus came only for the sake of the Jews. It says nothing about whether Jesus will draw each and every Jew and each and every Gentile.

    Indeed, it cannot possibly mean that Jesus will draw every human being, both every Jew and every Gentile. Why? For the simple fact that the Bible goes on to say that God deliberately blinds some people so that they will be condemned.
    ===============================================================================================
    HERE is a direct quote for Charles Haden Spurgeon
    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/35/1148.html#000000
    Spurgeon’s quote is the best introduction to the "Calvinist future scenario" that contains the central point "Sure I COULD have IF I had CARED to".

    ===================================================================================
    Notice the “focus” is always on “you” the one that is arbitrarily selected and then justifying the callous disregard of your precious child under the guise of “Well God does not HAVE to care about ANYONE just be glad YOU made it”.
    Fascinating!

    All well and good for the Cavlinist position - but what about the Arminian view?

    And for us Arminians (and our 3-Pt Calvinist Bretheren) - well we will just have to be content with the fact that God really DOES "So Love the World" not merely the "Few " of Matt 7 - and He is the "Atoning sacrifice for OUR sins and NOT our sins only - but for those of the WHOLE WORLD" 1John 2::2.

    We (Arminians) will just have to be content in all eternity with the God that DOES Love ALL and died for ALL and "IS not WILLING for any to perish but for ALL to come to Repentance". Somehow that will have to help us enjoy eternity too.

    It is a big challenge for us to comprehend such an all-loving all-knowing God who "really" offers Himself as the Savior of the World and really "so loves the World" and not "the few" of Matt 7 - only. But it seems that it is an even more difficult concept for Calvinists.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. GeneMBridges

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    As far as not being able to seek God I disagree. Total depravity is not supported by scripture. The only passage I've seen thus far that Calvinism claims supports it is the rantings of a fool quoted by Paul from the Psalms. How ever seeking God is talked about all through the Old Testament.Pauls statement was not made while thinking of all those who saught God before Him. Every time a man prays we are seeking God even sinners pray to God a God they may not know but are never the less seeking.

    My Statement of it not being a mandate was meant that we are not predestined unalterably ("as in made to be Christian"). Being a Christian is a relationship with God and not something we have no control over.
    Being left to our own devices does not mean we are helpless to answer an invitation to come to Him.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Jer. 17:9, "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?"
    Rom. 3:10-12, “There is none righteous, not even one; 11There is none who understands. There is none who seeks for God; 12All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.”
    Rom. 7:18, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not."
    Rom. 7:23, "but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members."
    1 Cor. 2:14, "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."
    Eph. 2:1, "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins."
    Eph. 2:3, "Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
    Since God's word declares that the unregenerate man has a deceitful heart, does not do good, does not seek for God, cannot understand spiritual things, has nothing good dwelling in him, is dead in his sins, and is by nature a child of wrath, we maintain that he is incapable of making a moral choice to decide to trust in Christ on his own. We maintain that his will is also affected by sin and, as the word of God says in Romans 6:14-20, he is a slave of sin. This means that he is incapable of coming to God on his own because he cannot and will not choose contrary to his fallen and sinful nature.

    Jesus' intellect has no corruption. His speech always glorifies God. His motives are always pure. His character is without stain and completely flawless. How many of us would dare say that the unregenerate, like Jesus, are able to equally choose good and evil and make the right choices. Not I. The truth is that we have all been touched by sin and Jesus Himself teaches us that our natures are corrupt and fallen.
    Jesus said of the unregenerate...
    in Mark 7:21-23 Jesus said, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23"All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."
    and....
    Matt. 15:19 He said, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20"These are the things which defile the man."
    and...
    John 8:34, "Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin."
    and also...
    John 3:19, "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil."
    Why are their deeds evil? Because Jesus said, "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18"A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit," (Matt. 7:17-18).
    Jesus speaks of the nature of a thing. The nature of the fallen is that he is sinful, completely touched by sin in all that he is.

    Unsaved people do not want to be born again. Since they do not want to be born again, they will not chose Christ. Why? Because the Bible says that no one seeks for God on his own. Rom. 3:10-12, “There is none righteous, not even one; 11There is none who understands. There is none who seeks for God; 12 have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.” Furthermore, in Rom. 7:18, Paul says, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me."

    Choosing Christ is a good thing. If nothing good dwells in us, then we can not do truly good things.

    Calvinists agree: the will is free. The MIND is not free. It is a slave to its desires. Since none of them are good, how can it choose Christ on its own?

    It can not.

    You continue to say that we believe people can not seek God. They can, but they do not want to do so, because sin goes to the radix. If they want to, it is because God has enabled them to do so. "Then why do they not all get saved?" Because they do not want to. They are not seeking the Person of God, they are seeking the benefits not the Benefactor. No person has the ability to come to Christ ON THEIR OWN. This is not supported by Scripture. When Jesus said, "no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by my Father, this is a universal negative proposition. This is a plain statement of universal inability. "Can" does not indicate permission, it indicates ability or power. To say no one can do this is to say, no one is able to do it.

    Moral inability does not mean the will in unable to choose at all. It means the ability to will "any good accompanying salvation has been lost."

    Does God have the moral ability to sin? NO. Why? It is not in his nature to do so. I continue to be amazed at how inconsistent Arminians are with their beliefs about the will. If we can choose Christ and be the immoral creatures we are, then the same logic must apply to God. He must be able to sin. However, none of you would dare say that. This shows either you don't understand how inconsistent you are being, or you don't understand what we believe.

    God is totally free. He is totally free in one direction. He can not sin. It is not in his nature. We affirm that we are free as well. We are free in one direction as well, to sin.

    Does this mean we can do nothing good. Well, it depends on what you mean by "good," doesn't it. We believe our choices are determined. This isn't determinism. It simply means our choices are determined by our desires. Our desires define show our nature, just as God's desires show his nature. Do unregenerate men love God? NO. Paul said nothing good dwells in me. Since nothing good dwells in us, then how can we love God? We can do good things. We can perform acts of civil virtue, deeds that conform outwardly to God's law, but so did the Pharisees, and they very clearly loved themselves, not God. The supreme motive for doing these acts must be love of God. If the heart is alienated from God, then nothing it does can be truly good. Secretly, unregenerate persons do good and "seek God" for selfish reasons. They are seeking peace, relief from guilt, an answer to purposelessness, fulfillment, and other benefits, but not God Himself.

    The unbeliever CAN respond to God. His response will be in accordance to scripture that says he cannot do good, is a hater of God, is full of evil, etc., Therefore, we conclude that his free will response will be to reject God, according to the limits described by scripture itself.

    It is God who appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48), chooses who is to be holy and blameless (Eph. 1:4), chooses us for salvation (2 Thess. 2:13-14), grants the act of believing (Phil. 1:29), grants repentance (2 Tim. 2:24-26), causes us to be born again (1 Pet. 1:3), predestines us to salvation (Rom. 8:29-30), makes us born again not by our will but by His will (John 1:12-13).
     
  19. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Looking at the arguments so far, ISTM that unless you're a universalist either you have an atonement limited in extent (Arminianism) or intent (Calvinism). The latter results in God as an ogre, the former does not. The God I know and love desires all men to be saved, not willing any to perish, the Calvinist 'God' wills that some do perish

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  20. ILUVLIGHT

    ILUVLIGHT
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    Hi Genembridges;
    All the arguments over what and who He is and of what Character is really senseless. We know that God is Love we know He is patient and good, meek and lowly. It amazes me how Calvin ever could sit down and read the Bible and come away with such an impression as you have presented.
    You must deny that sinners Pray, in order to seriously believe that there is no man who seeks God. Every man woman and Child has the ability to seek Him you agree but deny the obvious fact they do. I must admit that this is something that makes no sense to me. When all you have to do is open your eyes and look at the world.

    If spiritual death was as Calvinism claims then those who experience the second death which is also spiritual death would not know they were being place in Hell and tortured for eternity. What would be the point if they were not aware of there punishment. No where in God's word is spiritual death described as being anything like physical death. Yet Calvinism persist this is the way it is. How is it you can compare two different things with out knowing all the facts. Seems to me this is just a way to come up with speculation and speculation isn't good enough for me.

    Salvation is offered to the whole world;
    Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    Who is there that doesn't labor in some way in life. Who isn't heavy laden with sin.

    His atonement is offered to the whole world;
    1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    We have an awesome God who cares for everyone enough to die for us all.

    And all men are drawn to Him:
    Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
    Isn't it wonderful we can all come to Him. All our sins have been paid for. Not only this but he draws all men to Him.
    The Ball is in our hands. It's our responsibility to come to Him. To answer His invitation.
    If our Salvation was dependant upon our predestination why doesn't the Bible say so?. If our election is individual then why isn't there scripture to support it? Instead there is scripture to support election of entire nations as well as all the Gentiles;

    Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

    For our election to be sure we have to make our calling and election sure.

    2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
    Election is general to the whole world. Just because we all have been chosen to receive doesn't mean we are made to.
    Rom 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
    Rom 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
    We have all been created for righteousness Sake.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     

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