Arminians, Open Theists, and Jehovah's Witnesses?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Daniel David, Jan 28, 2003.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    I would like to relay a quick encounter I had with a couple of JWs.

    They knocked on my door with their literature about the kingdom of God (they are postmillenial) and suffering. I listened for a few minutes politely and waited for the opportunity to explain the person and work of Christ.

    As I discussed the issue of suffering with them, they revealed some very interesting points of their theology that I did not know.

    1. God did not know that Adam and Eve would disobey.

    2. Redemption (whatever that means to them) was a plan that God came up with after the fall.

    3. All men have a free will to do right or wrong. Her reasoning was that we are not robots.

    These are just three points that I am posting.

    ___

    I would like to add some thoughts to each point.

    1. I was interested to to hear that they are open theists! I guess I just never imagined a cult with such a belief. I was mildly shocked to hear such a point.

    I asked her about the passage in Revelation 13 where it says that Christ is the lamb slain from the foundations of the world. I encouraged her to study the issue and come back.

    2. This would closely relate to the first point. To them, God is a person that is wise enough to fix the problems that we create. Therefore, they push for a righteous society (she clarified that she was not talking about righteous individuals).

    This is a classic arminian position. God is not actively working all things for God. He must after all respect this "free" will of man. God is like an armchair quarterback cheering people on.

    3. This point will not be settled here. Suffice it to say though that freedom is the ability to act within one's nature.

    God is free. God cannot sin. God is therefore not free to sin.

    Man is free. Man cannot do good or be righteous. Man is therefore not free to do good (which is why we need Christ to set us free).

    ___

    This is how this particular group of lost people deal with the issue of suffering.

    1. They say that God does not know the future.

    2. God is not have exhaustive foreknowledge.

    3. God is not really sovereign.

    If all you read was the previous paragraph, you wouldn't know if I was talking about Arminians, Open Theists, or Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Hmmmmm.....

    [ January 28, 2003, 11:56 PM: Message edited by: Kal-El ]
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    I'm not going to bother debating the points with you because that would likely be a fruitless exercise, but Open Theists and most "Arminians" believe that God is truly sovereign. (I am not well-versed in JW theology - I know much more about Mormons.)

    I also realize that you can't comprehend that Open Theists and "Armenians" believe that, but it is true.

    God is sovereign and gives us free will. It is not good rationalistic thinking, but it is biblical theology.
     
  3. Monergist

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    Huh? :confused:
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    Huh? :confused: </font>[/QUOTE]Yes.

    Read up on what Open Theists say. They just understand sovereignty to be something that is much more complex than double predestination.
     
  5. Daniel David

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    1. Open Theists don't even recognize that God knows exactly what is going to happen in the future. At best, he is an educated gambler.

    Also, if they believed God was sovereign, they wouldn't say that man has the final decision in salvation.

    2. Perhaps they believe in their own version of sovereignty. Open Theists redefine who God is at his very nature. That is idolatry.

    3. I believe God is sovereign. I believe man has a free will. I just don't ignore that the "free will" of man will do whatever he wants to do (which is ALWAYS evil). No man is good enough to choose to do good, ever.
     
  6. Daniel David

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    Surely you don't think that all people who deny the sovereignty of man believe in double predestination do you?
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    Surely you don't think that all people who deny the sovereignty of man believe in double predestination do you? </font>[/QUOTE]Of course not. But double predestination was the simplest perspective I could think of while I was typing a response.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

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    1. Open Theists don't even recognize that God knows exactly what is going to happen in the future. At best, he is an educated gambler.

    Also, if they believed God was sovereign, they wouldn't say that man has the final decision in salvation.

    2. Perhaps they believe in their own version of sovereignty. Open Theists redefine who God is at his very nature. That is idolatry.

    3. I believe God is sovereign. I believe man has a free will. I just don't ignore that the "free will" of man will do whatever he wants to do (which is ALWAYS evil). No man is good enough to choose to do good, ever.
    </font>[/QUOTE]As I said, I'm not going to debate you on this although I strongly disagree with your first two responses and a qualified agreement with your third. I do not think the Baptist Board is an ideal forum for this discussion because of the way it is structured.

    If someone wants to know about "Open Theism", they should read authors who support open theism to learn what they actually say before reading the opponents of open theism. Both sides should be studied very carefully.
     
  9. Bartholomew

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    Hey, guess what?

    The Christadelphians believe in special creation.
    The Papists believe in the Trinity.
    The Muslims belive in Jesus.
    The Jews believe in the Old Testament.
    The Hindus belive we should love our neigbour.
    The Mormons belive that Jesus died on a cross.
    The Jehova's Witnesses believe in free will.

    Just because a cult teaches something, doesn't mean it's false.
     
  10. Bartholomew

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    Quite. But being saved isn't about DOING GOOD. It's about BELIEVING.
     
  11. Scott J

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    Is unbelief a sin? If so, then it is doing good to believe. If not, please explain Romans 3:3, Hebrew 3:12, and Revelation 21:8.
     
  12. Bartholomew

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    Is unbelief a sin?</font>[/QUOTE]If you refuse to believe biblical truth once you have been shown it (whether as a Christian or not), then, as far as I know, that IS a sin...
    Why??? Please back this up with scripture.
    :confused:
     
  13. Sularis

    Sularis
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    You know what

    You "people" who go around blathering about how no one can do good - should first take yer heads out of whatever sticking in them and by the grace of God think for maybe the first time in yer lives!

    If no one could do good - youd be dead - because someone near you would be daily:
    a) shooting you
    b) stabbing you
    c) strangling you
    d) clubbing you
    e) sexually assualting you
    f) lying to you
    g) stealing from you

    My neighbours havent done any of the above to me and yet they oppose Christianity.

    The fact is since you havent been (a-g) by everyone you encounter - it is obvious that you have sorely misinterpreted the Word of the Lord.

    The good deeds are unto salvation which we cannot accomplish for all our good deeds which we can do count as filthy rags before the holiness of God
     
  14. ruthigirl

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    Actually, even "good" deeds are seen as wicked before God because they are not done by faith (without faith it is impossible to please God).
     
  15. CompassionFlower

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    Dear Kal-El

    You said a JW believes that God did not know Adam and Eve would disobey. JW's thinking if God created Adam and Eve knowing that they would one day sin, why did God bother to create them? Why would God allow such suffering?

    Jehovah allows all men free will to chose whether they want to serve Him or not it is up to the indivdual.

    A Jehovah Witness does think God knows the future in fact the JW has the whole book of Revelation already figured out. Every JW believes that Jehovah is revealing things to the people thru the JW organization. Thus the term if a prophecy fails the light is getting brighter. Meaning they can than change the date or thought, because God has directed the organization into newer light.

    God is not really sovereign. A Jehovah Witness believes that God's sovereignty was called into question when Adam and Eve were deceived by the serpent (Satan). Adam and Eve chose against God's sovereignty, they will never be resurrected, their judgement is death. Everyone today has a choice to obey Jehovah as the Most High, than you are for His Sovereignty.

    Jesus Christ is Jehovah's Son who was the first to be created by Jehovah, before the angels or the earth, ect. Jehovah took the spiritual life of Jesus and placed it in the womb of Mary and Jesus was born. So Jesus existed before the earth was created. Remember also a JW thinks Jehovah is God, Jesus is God's Son, and Holy Spirit is God's active force.

    Just a few thoughts to help you clarify some of Jehovah's Witness doctrine.

    Revelation 13 I also have what the JW say that chapter is about. I was a Jehovah Witness for 26 years, my story is the introduction if you would like to read it, I just joined.

    In His Grace, Pam
     
  16. CompassionFlower

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    Dear Kal-El

    A Jehovah Witness does not believe at all in predestination. Where the word predestined appears in the NIV bible at Romans 8:30, the JW's bible the New World Translation Reads at Romans 8:30 Moreover, those whom he foreordained are the ones he also called....

    Rather the JW believes that Jehovah had a sure purpose they quote Isa. 55:11 so my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted.

    What is Jehovah's purpose Gen. 1:28 Further God blessed them and God said to them; Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is upon the earth.

    To fill the earth with people and live and work here on the earth, thus comes also the belief that someday the earth will be a Paradise, God's original purpose for the earth.

    All individuals are given the choice of serving God. John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.

    Thus individual choice to serve Jehovah or not.

    Phil 2:12 Consequently, my beloved ones, in the way that you have always obeyed, not during my presence only, but now much more readily during my absence, keep working out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    One serves Jehovah by obeying, working at their salvation. Working would be going to meetings, going door to door, ect.

    Kal- El, I would be glad to answer any of your JW questions, just I can't pull apart what is Theists or Arminians. I have not been in Christ that long only about 2 years.

    Hope this helps you when a JW comes again to your door.

    Did you know that JW's believe that Jesus is the Arch Angel Michael in Revelation?

    In His Grace, Pam
     
  17. TheOliveBranch

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    When you have a religion that is based on a lie, the only way to disprove it to a JW is to expose the lie, or they will always fall back on one of the twists of their beliefs to try to prove themselves.

    JW's do believe that God knows the future, as Compassion has stated. But if faced, or cornered, that this is not what they believe, they will fall on one of the "twists". They believe God created, and had a plan, in which He didn't know A & E would sin. But He knows what He wants, and what the future holds, but man's free will, He doesn't. They can choose a path that God won't know, but that is beside the plan in the Bible. With this thinking, the JW's make God's plan vague, and generalized. That is why they can predict, but will change the predictions. God knows, but we, as people, may not get the right message, or the message changes.

    They are Open Theists, and have a really close idea of salvation. They just miss it by an inch. [​IMG]
     
  18. CompassionFlower

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    Dear Kal-El

    I was wondering if anyone has some good links to read up on Open Theists, and Arminians. Am very curious about things. Once you have been a JW you don't want to ever again be deceived....

    Thanks So Much,

    Pam
     
  19. Baptist Believer

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    A starting place for Open Theism is www.opentheism.org
     
  20. Daniel David

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    This is a link to a site that deals with Open Theism:

    Click here

    This is certainly not exhaustive. A brief examination of the site Baptist Believer linked demonstrates their need to be accepted as Christian. Most assuredly, they are not. It is impossible to redefine who God is at his very nature and not be guilty of idolatry.

    I will point out that the old time Arminians would have rejected Open Theism. It is very telling of just how far these people stray from the mark. [​IMG]
     

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