Calvinists and Arminians both use Scriptures

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by rufus, Mar 1, 2003.

  1. rufus

    rufus
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    Calvinists and Arminians both use Scriptures to prove their respective positions, and both make some very valid points. A person can be very easily persuaded to whole-heartedly embrace one view or the other if he looks at only one side of the argument.

    Think of salvation as a house. The place of salvation is inside the house, and we are outside. In order to be “saved”, we must enter the house. In the front yard there are signs telling us what we must do to get inside the house. These signs have Bible verses that state what man must do to be saved, Scriptures that we could call “Arminian verses”:

    - “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)

    - “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)

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

    We follow the instructions on these signs and we enter the house. Inside, we find ourselves confronted with signs on the walls. Written on these signs are verses which emphasize the role God played in our salvation, the “Calvinist verses.”

    If we say to ourselves, “I came to Christ,” then we are confronted with a sign that says “No man cam come to Me, unless the Father draws him” (Jn. 6:44). If we say, “I entered into Christ,” we see a signs with 1 Corinthians 1:30: “But of Him [God] are ye in Christ” (“By His doing you are in Christ,” NASB).

    “But didn’t God put me in Christ because I believed?”

    “As many as were ordained [appointed] to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48).

    “But wasn’t I ordained to eternal life because I had faith?”

    “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).

    “But wasn’t the gift of faith given to me because I repented?”

    “The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” (Rom. 2:4).

    “Okay, but I chose to respond to that goodness; I chose You, Lord!”

    “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you” (Jn. 15:16).

    “But I exercised my free will. Didn’t my entry into this place of salvation ultimately depend on my own free will?”

    “It does not depend on man’s will or effort, but on God…But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them which believe on His name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Rom. 9:16, TEV; Jn. 1:12f).

    People who are outside the house of salvation need to be pointed to the signs outside the house. People who are inside the house need to look at the signs on the inside. These inside signs tell us saved folks how little we had to do with our salvation. We were “quickened” – which means made alive – when we were “dead in trespasses and sins,” the Bible says (Eph. 2:1). A physically dead man cannot make himself physically alive, and a spiritually dead man cannot make himself spiritually alive. Our salvation and regeneration by the Holy Spirit is every bit as miraculous as the resurrections which took place in the Bible. Furthermore, we can give ourselves no more credit for our salvation than Lazurus could give himself for his resurrection.

    “But didn’t Christ make me spiritually alive because I came to Him?”

    With all due respect, you did not exactly come to Christ. You were carried to Christ by others and/or by Divinely-ordained circumstances, just like the dead man who was carried to the tomb of Elisha, where the touch of Elisha’s bones brought the dead to life.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  2. William C

    William C
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    But since in reality we don't do anything in salvation these signs are deceptive. They just lead us to believe that we have a decision to make but in reality the decision has already been made for us.

    Ok, so you believe the Bible lies to us, by making us think we have the ability to respond, in the verses leading to salvation and then corrects those lies once we get mature enough in our faith to handle the truth of of Calvinism's teachings.


    Scripture does not contradict itself by leading us to believe we are saved by our free will in some verses and then correcting this intentional deception in other verses. It's only Calvinistic dogma that contradicts the scriptures by misapply them to prove that man is Totally unable to respond to the call of the gospel.
     
  3. KenH

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    Scripture does not contradict itself by leading us to believe we are saved by God's power and work alone in some verses and then correcting this intentional deception in other verses. It's only Arminian dogma that contradicts Scripture by misapplying it to attempt to prove that man is totally able to save himself.
     
  4. William C

    William C
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    Hey Ken,

    Why don't you read the argument I was repling to.

    I'm not the one making the claim that some scriptures imply one thing while other scriptures correct that implication once you become mature enough to understand it.
     
  5. sturgman

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    Bro Bill you act as though calvinist believe that the elect need not to decide to trust Jesus as Lord. That would be a contradiction in scripture. We believe that man must believe in Christ to be saved. We merely see that only the elect will believe. How does that contradict scripture?
     
  6. KenH

    KenH
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    I am fully aware of the point that was made. I have heard it made by Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike. It is an effort to bring peace to the two sides. It is called an antinomy - two ideas that are both true but appear to contradict each other.

    I have also heard a description of free choice and predestination as two lines that do not intersect until they get to the throne of God.

    It is a point that emphasizes man's action while also acknowledging that ultimately God is the One bringing about the action.

    It is a nice way for most Christians to sum up soteriology in order to avoid butting heads like we do in this forum. [​IMG]
     
  7. William C

    William C
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    I am fully aware of the point that was made. I have heard it made by Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike. It is an effort to bring peace to the two sides. It is called an antinomy - two ideas that are both true but appear to contradict each other.

    I have also heard a description of free choice and predestination as two lines that do not intersect until they get to the throne of God.

    It is a point that emphasizes man's action while also acknowledging that ultimately God is the One bringing about the action.

    It is a nice way for most Christians to sum up soteriology in order to avoid butting heads like we do in this forum. [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]So, are you saying you don't agree with Rufus' post? Why? or Why not?
     
  8. KenH

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    I agree with the antinomy. It is what is taught in the Scriptures. Man acts and God is the reason behind the action. From our human perspective, all we see is the human action. We see the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

    What we are arguing over in this forum is why one person believes and another person doesn't believe.

    I am quite willing to let the issue lie with the illustration of the gate entering Heaven that says "whosoever will" as one is going in and "predestined before the world began" on the other side of the gate once one has entered.

    If the non-Calvinists would simply lay down their theological daggers and admit that both ideas are taught in the Scriptures, this forum would cease to exist. Or at least the debate would be much more cordial. [​IMG]
     
  9. William C

    William C
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    Wow, I really disagree with this Ken. You wrote: "Man acts and God is the reason behind the action." This is the problem with the Calvinistic view. It makes God responsible for man's actions. I don't believe God wants to be seen as being responsible for our actions.

    Why is it that a person doesn't believe?

    Do you actively teach these doctrines or are you a "closet calvinist"? Why?

    Yes, I agree it would be much more cordial for us to just accept lies as truth, but what fun would that be? [​IMG]

    Don't you see that if you believe that the Bible's general call to salvation leads people to believe that it is their decision to make, while in reality its not their decision at all that makes the Bible deceptive. If both truths are really taught, this is a book that leads people to believe a lie at least until they gain the "wisdom and maturity" to adopt Calvinism. I just can't accept that.
     
  10. romanbear

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    Hi Ken;
    A quote from you;
    ------------------------------------------------
    It's only Arminian dogma that contradicts Scripture by misapplying it to attempt to prove that man is totally able to save himself.
    ------------------------------------------------
    The Arminian view does not say that man can save himself. This is what you see because you refuse to see the truth. You really should study the Arminian view before making such statements.

    Arminian's admit that God is the one who draws all men to Him. It is Calvinism that clearly states we have no choice. Which makes God a dictator.

    When choices are put before us we choose. There is no doubt that God laid choices before us. To either believe in His son or not. You believe you are made to believe, that you had no choice. This in my opinion is wrong because God Him self pleads with man to come to him. You believe that Christ died for only a few. But God's word says He died for the world.

    Romanbear [​IMG]
     
  11. Brutus

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    When Paul says,"Those whom He predestined He also called:and those whom He called He also justified"Rom.8:30, he indicates that calling is an act of God. In fact,it is specifically an act of God the Father,for He is the one who predestines people "to be conformed to the image of His Son"Rom.8:29.Other verses describe more fully what this calling is.When God calls people in this powerful way,He calls them"out of darkness into His marvelous light"1Pet.2:9;He calls them "into the fellowship of His Son"1Cor.1:9;Acts 2:39,and "into His own kingdom and glory"1Thess.2:12;1Pet.5:10;2Pet.1:3.People who have been called by God"belong to Jesus Christ",Rom.1:6. They are called to "be saints",Rom.1:7;1Cor.1:2,and have come into a realm of peace,1Cor.7:15;Col.3:15,freedom,Gal.5:13,hope, Eph.1:8,4:4,holiness,1Thess.4:7,patient endurance of suffering,1Pet.2:20-21,3:9,and eternal life,1Tim.6:12. These verses indicate that no powerless,merely human calling is in view.This calling is rather a kind of"summons" from the King of the universe and it has such power that it brings about the response that it asks for in the people's hearts.It is an act of God that guarantees a response,because Paul specifies in Rom.8:30 that all who were "called"were also "justified". This calling has the capacity to draw us out of the kingdom of darkness and bring us into God's kingdom so we can join in full fellowship with Him:"God is faithful,by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son,Jesus Christ our Lord"1Cor.1:9. This powerful act of God is often referred to as effective calling,to distinguish it from the general gospel invitation that goes to all people and which some people reject. This is not to say that human gospel proclamation is not involved.In fact,God's effective calling comes through the human preaching of the gospel,because Paul says "To this He called you through our gospel,so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ"2Thess.2:14. Of course,there are many who hear the general call of the gospel message and do not respond.But in some cases the gospel call is made so effective by the working of the Holy Spirit in people's hearts that they do respond;we can say that they have received "effective calling". We may define effective calling as follows: Effective calling is an act of God the Father,speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel,in which He summons people to Himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith.
     
  12. rufus

    rufus
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    Romanbear said:"You really should study the Arminian view before making such statements."

    And, good sir, you ought to study the Bible in context with good hermenuetical principles before twisting verses around to teach unbiblical heresy.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  13. KenH

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    1) I know it quite well as I used to go further than Arminians, I was a Pelagian.

    2) And your view has God unable to save a single person.

    3) I do not believe that. [​IMG]
     

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