CALVINISM MAKES THE CALL OF THE GOSPEL DECEPTIVE

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Jimmy J., Mar 2, 2003.

  1. Jimmy J.

    Jimmy J.
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Calvinists on this board admit that their are certain passages that would natually lead one to think that the choice to believe in Christ is up to us. Several Calvinists have made statements like this one quoted by Rufus: Almost all truly born-again Christians begin as Arminians

    Here are some of those verses that might lead someone to "begin as an Arminian":

    - “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life” (Deut. 30:19)

    - “Choose this day whom ye will serve” (Josh. 30:19)

    - “Repent…unless you repent you shall perish” (Mt. 4:17; Lk. 13:3)

    - For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

    - “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31)

    - “Repent and be baptized” (Acts 2:38)

    - “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10)

    - “Come unto Me” (Mt. 11:28)

    - "God desires that none perish but that all come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Tim 2:4)

    - “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come” (Rev. 22:17).

    These passages all lead the average readers to believe that humanity has a choice to make. That the free gift of Salvation has been made available to all and the only thing keeping us from it is our acceptance through faith.

    Some Calvinists even say "preach like an Arminian but believe like a Calvinist." Meaning call all people to faith and repentance as if all have the ability to respond. But what they fail to recognize is that by doing so they are being deceptive to their audiences. They are leading people to think they have a choice when in reality the choice has already been made for them. If Calvinists are correct in their understanding of scripture then the Bible is deceptive.

    In other words, Calvinist teach that the bible decieves its listeners into thinking they are the ones who have to make a choice and that disciples should also decieve our listeners by telling them that they everyone can be saved if they repent and believe, when in reality they know that not everyone has that ability.

    I don't know about the rest of you but I don't believe that the bible intentionally leads people to believe lies.
     
  2. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jimmy J,

    So do you think Jesus was deceptive when he says,.."there are some of you who do not believe. For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to me unless it has been given him from the Father"? The reason Jesus gives for some not believing is that it is necessary to be given to come by the Father in order to come to Him.

    Remember, this is the same Jesus who says "whosoever believes in Him should not perish." Was Jesus deceptive in His statements?

    Just because there is more to something than meets the eye initially does not point to deception. It just points to depth of truth, things beyond the surface, things unseen.
     
  3. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    People really do have a choice. When presented with the gospel they either choose to remain as they are, or they choose to follow Christ. They consider both of the options and choose one. That's a real choice.

    The fact that a choice to follow Christ is always an influenced choice does not make the choice less real. The fact that a choice to follow Christ results from a choice God makes does not make it any less a choice.

    Unless of course, that we love Him because He first loved us makes our love somehow less real as well.
     
  4. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    If he means what you say he means, yes he is being deceptive. If you are correct, Jesus leads people to believe that anyone can believe in him, when in reality not everyone can. That is what I think Jimmy is saying and what I've been saying for weeks.

    In John 6 Jesus was addressing Israel who had rejected God's ways for Generations. They were hardened as you can read in John 12:37-41. Notice it tells us exactly why his audience couldn't believe--they were hardened.

    When Jesus says "come to me" he is literally talking about coming to follow him, the incarnate Word, as the apostles did. Why? One, they were being hardened for the ingrafting of the Gentiles. Two, Jesus was reserving the place of the apostles for those he had specifically chosen for that purpose. Notice throughout the scripture that the apostles are seen as apostles because they learned directly from the Christ. There were only certain people who were selected for this divine purpose.

    Mark 4:10: Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him, "What do your stories mean?"11He replied, "You are permitted to understand the secret about the Kingdom of God. But I am using these stories to conceal everything about it from outsiders,12so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:
          `They see what I do,
                but they don't perceive its meaning.
          They hear my words,
                but they don't understand.
          So they will not turn from their sins
                and be forgiven.'
     
  5. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've heard Calvinists make the argument but it is absurd.

    Saying that the elect and the none elect both have a choice is as proposterous as someone claiming that birds and man both have the choice to fly on their own power. The bird was physically enabled to fly, man wasn't, therefore their choice is limited by their physical abilities. So, too if Calvinism is correct then some men are not "spiritually able" to choose Christ, therefore their is not choice at all!

    A choice necessitates ability! You can't have your cake and eat it too. It is one or the other. Either man is able to choose and the Bible is not being deceptive, or man in unable to choose and the bible is deceptive by presenting a choice that's not really a choice at all.
     
  6. Frogman

    Frogman
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    5,492
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."

    2 Cor. 2.14-17

    This is why I do not accept anything short of the Sovereignty of God, anything else distorts itself into foolish questioning even unto the questioning of the sincerity of God.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  7. Jimmy J.

    Jimmy J.
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Yes, you are correct Bill! Thanks.

    Honestly, I hadn't really considered the hardening of Israel as affecting our understanding of John 6, but after seeing John 12:37-41 and Mark 4 in light of Jesus' words I think that may be exactly what Jesus had in mind when he spoke those words to Israel about their inability to come to him. I had never really connected the two concepts before. Thanks.

    I've always seen John 6 as simply speaking about the need for the general call of the Holy Spirit as we see in Rev. 22 as enabling or drawing men to Christ. But really your perspective seems more likely in light of the fact that Jesus points out that he chose the 12 in verse 70, thus showing that God had "given them" to Christ. Do you know if this terminology of God "giving them to Christ" is exclusive to the apostles or is that term used for all believers?
     
  8. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jimmy,

    Great posts!!!

    I was raised in an Arminian home and later was introduced to Calvinism and that is the way I viewed John 6 as well. It was only after I had been a Calvinist for several years that I began to look at the teachings on the Hardening of Israel specifically in Rom. 11 that I began to question my Calvinistic beliefs.

    Just as when one first becomes a Calvinist they begin to spot all the scriptures that seem to support that view, I too began to see how the Hardening of Israel is seen in so many passages. This is really a huge part of the mystery that Paul speaks of in Ephesian and many other passages, to ignore its significance causes one miss a large portion of the scriptures context, which is essential to correct interpretation.

    As for the term "the Father has given me," I am only aware of this terminlogy being used in reference to the apostles. For example we see it used again in John 17:

    I have revealed Your name to the men You gave Me from the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.

    I hope this helps. It's great to have you aboard! [​IMG]
     
  9. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Assuming for a second that this is the case, how does this make you see Jesus as any less "deceptive" than under the Calvinistic interpretation of this scripture?

    He still is saying that "whoever believes has eternal life", when there are those (hardened Israelites" who can't believe because it isn't given them to come, isn't He?

    Personally, I don't think it would be in the least bit deceptive either way. If the cause of anyone not coming is only their natural intransigent refusal to come, how is it deceptive to say that if they do come they will be saved?

    Let me use your flying men as an example. Let's say men were born with working wings, but a hatred of flying, so that every single man ever born looked at his wings and said, "It'll be a sweltering day in the arctic before I ever use them babies." They are born with functioning wings, which they could use to fly, if they so desired, but they don't want to fly and they never will. Does this mean that they don't have a real choice to fly or not?

    Likewise, if men are born with functioning wills, which they could use to make a choice to follow Christ, if they so desired, but they don't want to follow Christ because they are born with a hatred for Him, and because of that hatred, they never will want to follow Him, does this mean that they don't have a real choice to follow Christ or not?
     
  10. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  11. romanbear

    romanbear
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Russel and Bro.Bill; [​IMG]
    This hardening you guys are talking about. If all Jews were harden. Who were the 5000 people listening to Christ as He preached the sermon on the mount. Were they all Philistines? I would think that if these 5000 men and who knows how many women and children were all harden then why were they even following Christ, just to hear Him?. I don't think they were all Philistines. Maybe some, but this would be rare since even then the Jews were hated by the Philistines.
    Romanbear [​IMG]
     
  12. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    How does your "unlikely" correspond to Christ's "cannot"? It seems that you leave open of a possibility than he does. No matter who you apply this text to, the word "cannot" does not mean "very difficult" or "very unlikely." It means "cannot." So obviously, these people had no choice, as you define choice.
     
  13. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    How does your "unlikely" correspond to Christ's "cannot"? It seems that you leave open of a possibility than he does. No matter who you apply this text to, the word "cannot" does not mean "very difficult" or "very unlikely." It means "cannot." So obviously, these people had no choice, as you define choice. </font>[/QUOTE]It should be obvious that at least 12 out of Israel were not hardened, but in reality it was many more than that, for there were hundreds of followers of Christ. The first church was nearly a readymade church with more people than it was "economical" for one person to manage, so there were 7 faithful man elected to tend the flock. Those that were truly hardened were the Pharasees and Sadducees, and the Priesthood the leadership of Israel. If the leadership of a nation is opposed to something, the common folk are not "led" to it or by it.

    [ March 03, 2003, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: Yelsew ]
     
  14. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    5,178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Russell55,

    I read you post dated 3/2/03 at 7:22 p.m.

    Every pre-school, child in Sunday School has been taught that God knows everything. Your statement, 'Do you think Jesus deceived the people by saying, 'there are some of you who will not believe,' is about as weak as "Camomile" caffeine free tea.

    When Jesus said, 'No one can come to Me, except it be given him of My Father' He was not placing some kind of restriction on people coming to Him, [John 5:40}] as {Particular Elect} has humanly designed, but He is saying that no one could have come, or will come to God if God's plan was not for a clear and general (all inclusive) call to repentance. All human beings would not be able to come to Jesus if this was not planned by the Divine Godhead in eternity past.

    John 6:57 c,d-58 says, ' . . . so he who eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that Bread which came down from Heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He who eateth of this Bread shall live forever.'

    No contrite sinner has or will ever be led away from God's throne of Divine forgiveness, as the Calvinists apparently have been entrapped into thinking and believing.

    The last call of the Holy Spirit recorded in the Word is found in Revelation 22:17 four verses away from the closing of the canon of Scripture. And what did God say? 'And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.

    God invites to the table of the Lord. The human being ' . . . will's' vs. 17 to either drink or not to partake of the water of everlasting life. Lo and behold, human beings do have a free will, after all. These words do not come from human lips of dust and clay, but from the holy One who is seated on His throne. [Revelation 22:17 & Hebrews 1:3]
     
  15. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, it only lasts until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in. But doesn't that include the entire life span of many Israelites?

    Yep. Those who don't continue in their unbelief would be part of the remant according to God's gracious choice. God uses means, like Paul's provoking to jealousy, so that His elect remant will obtain what Israel is seeking.

    Then why does Jesus say that the reason some do not believe is because they have not been given to come? Jesus equates the two--believing and coming. You can't have true faith without being given to come.

    True faith is not superficial and temporary, but enduring. Jesus did not commit himself to these guys because he knew what was inside of them--that their belief was superficial, because of the excitement of the miracles, but was not of the sort that endures when things get tough. These guys may be some of the disciples who left Jesus in John 6--some of the very ones Jesus is speaking of when He says, "But there are some of you who do not believe. For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to me unless it has been given Him of the Father."
     
  16. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those of the 5000 who truly believed were part of the remnant according to God's gracious choice who were not hardened. See Romans 11.

    Remember too, though, that there were a whole lot of people who followed Jesus around, but did not really believe on Him. Some of these people left Him at the end of John 6 because they found His teaching too difficult and offensive.
     
  17. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    How does your "unlikely" correspond to Christ's "cannot"? It seems that you leave open of a possibility than he does. No matter who you apply this text to, the word "cannot" does not mean "very difficult" or "very unlikely." It means "cannot." So obviously, these people had no choice, as you define choice. </font>[/QUOTE]Ok, fine hardened Israel "cannot" believe unless they are enabled. But, you missing the point. The point is the reason they were hardened in the first place. THEY HAD CONTINUALLY REJECTED GOD'S WAYS. They already made their choice and God turned them over to be hardened in their choices. Is it possible for them to turn from their unbelief? Romans 11 seems to say yes, but maybe that is in reference to after the temporary hardening has come to an end, which most definately hadn't occured when John 6 took place. Honestly, I'm not sure if and when the temporary hardening of Israel will end or if it has already ended. Many scholars are divided on this issue, even among Calvinistic groups.

    Either way, the reason that Christ is not deceptive in my view is because he says "whosoever believes" and many other passages that lead people to believe that the choice is ours, because the choice really is ours to make.

    Israel made its choice when the prophets presented them with the words of the Lord and we must make our choice when the Apostles present us with the words of the Lord. If there is not a choice on our part, the bible and Christ were being deceptive with these passages.

    Many Calvinist recognize this dilema and try to create a way that choice still does exist in humanity, but it's none sense that is purely illogical, confusing and most definately not found explained anywhere in scripture. This is one of the primary reasons that I abandoned Calvinism.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ray,

    This is an outright dishonest statement and we have told you that many times. No one who "will come" will be turned away. That is part and parcel of biblical soteriology, which has been nicknamed Calvinism. You are completely wrong and you know it. You have been corrected on this many times. Why do you not change?? Why do you persist??
     
  19. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    At least you admit that your rejection of calvinism was not based on Scripture but on the "illogic" of it. I am pleased to see this. I for one am willing to let God deal with the "illogic" of his revelation, believing that my finite mind is the problem rather than his infinite perfection.

    As the first line of the post admits, you have based your whole theology on a wrong understanding of Scripture and then you blow it with "well whatever" kind of attitude. The word of God is more valuable than that approach.
     
  20. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure when or if the temporary hardening has come to an end? But the point is: Why was Israel hardened in the first place? They continually rejected God.

    They already made their choice, God was just turning them over to being hardened in that choice. The Remnant were chosen out to accomplish God's plan of redemption. They deserved to be hardened too because of their rebellion, but God chose them by His grace to be used for a "noble purpose."

    This is what I believe has caused Calvinists so much confusion:

    1. They see passages that have to do with the election of Israel and the gracious choice of the Remnant from Israel and apply those teachings to "Unconditional Election" of all mankind.

    2. Then they take teachings concerning the hardening of Israel and their lack of ability to respond to the gospel and apply that to "Total Depravity" or "Total Inability" of all mankind.

    3. Then they take the teachings concerning the "effectual calling" of the apostles who were divinely appointed for a very unique and divine purpose and apply it to "Irresistable Grace" or "Effectual Calling" of all mankind.

    Calvinism takes unique passages which are in a particular context and try to apply them to a universal soteriology of mankind which has caused thousands of years of confusion and debate among believers.

    The entire Calvinistic system is based on ignorance of the context in which these passages were written. Most, if not all, of the earliest Church Fathers did not hold to "Calvinistic" views and they knew Greek fluently. It wasn't until Augustine that these doctrines were systemitized and he did'nt even know Greek, he was basing his work on translations. Unfortunately, once a "system" is adopted it is very difficult to see the scripture in any other light.
     

Share This Page

Loading...