Common Misrepresentation of Arminianism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Calvinists often misrepresent Arminians objections to their views. (which I'm sure is common on both sides)

    The mistake they make is assuming that Arminians must be objecting to their soteriology for one of these reasons:

    1. Arminians don't know their bibles
    2. Arminians are not willing to accept what their bible teaches
    3. Arminians are too stupid to understand what their bible teaches
    4. Armininans think God owes everyone salvation and they think the Calvinistic view of God is unjust because he condemns certain people to hell and not others.

    These are not true of this "Arminian" (I use that label with some reservation but you know what I mean). Nor were they true of Jacob Arminius, or many non-Calvinistic scholars throughout Christian history.

    Arminians don't believe the Calvinistic view of God is unjust because he condemns certain people to hell. We believe the Calvinistic view of God is unjust because He offers a pardon to all mankind while only granting a few of them the ability to willingly receive it.

    It is deceptive to offer someone a gift you fully know they cannot willingly receive. Especially if you, the giver, are the one who determines the receivers desires and thus ability to willingly receive. That type of offer cannot be geniune!

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Earth Wind and Fire

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  3. InTheLight

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    It's standard practice for Calvinists to misrepresent Armenian views by creating strawman arguments. It's standard practice for Armenians to misrepresent Calvinist views by creating strawman arguments.
     
  4. ReformedBaptist

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    My thoughts with regard to your misrepresentations is...nothing. THe only part of your post that I find of any value is what I am quoting here.

    In previous threads you have seen me decry that new Arminians, old Arminians, quasi-Arminians, non-calvinists, or whatever else one wishes to call themselves, keep raising the same, tired-out old arguments that have been answered countless times.

    Why is this frustrating? Because you raise this objection, this one I have quoted specifically, as if it has not been raised and answer before. But rather than re-hash out the reply, I will ask you a question or two.

    1. Do you believe that God foreknows all things whatsover come to pass? I am not asking here is you believe he foreordains it, but at bare minimum, knows before whatever will happen in space and time. Most Arminians would say yes.

    2. If God foreknows all things, including those who will choose Christ and those who will not, then how can the Gospel be sincerely offered to them whom God knows will most certainly reject it?

    Those questions specifically relate to your OP. But I will go further...and speak to those who believe God knows from all eternity all things, whatever may come to pass.

    Since you agree that God is All-Knowing, then how is it that man is free to reject the Gospel? If it was known in the mind of God from eternity past, who would recieve Christ and who would not, then the number of them that are saved is fixed, and the number of them that are damned is fixed. Not one person beyond the knowledge of God can added to the number of the redeemed, and not one who are known to God beforehand to reject the Gospel can be saved. To suppose different is to do harm the knowledge of God....and some have...hence, the spectre of Open Theism.
     
  5. Jarthur001

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    1 John 2:1
    My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous
    Do you sin?
    Exodus 20:17
    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."
    Do you go a full month without coveting something on TV? I'm not sure I can go a full day, unless I'm sick in bed, but then I covet others mobility
    Philippians 4:8
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
    Do you always have Lovely mindsets? Do you praise everything that is worth of praise, or do you miss some?
    Matt 5:48
    Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
    Are you perfect?
     
    #5 Jarthur001, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2011
  6. Skandelon

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    The same could be said of the new Calvinists, old Calvinists, quasi-Calvinists, non-Arminians, or whatever and their raising of the same, tired-out old arguments that have been answered countless times. This offers nothing to the discussion. If the merit of a post is really about what has been "answered" and what hasn't then you might as well shut this board down because it all has been discussed in one fashion or another. The fact you take this approach only reveals a lack of objectivity in dealing honestly with a valid argument being raised.

    Depends on what you mean by "foreknows." Most Calvinist interpret "foreknows" to mean "predetermined" by necessity of their finite logical constructs (i.e. "If God foreknew everything before creating it then he must have predetermined it to be") Calvinists deny that God can be "informed" by men through "foreknowledge" thus redefining the term.

    Because he only FOREKNOWS of their rejection, he doesn't cause their rejection...a distinction that Calvinists don't allow for in their system for the reasons stated above. Why does the word foreknow even exist if it can only mean "predetermine?"
     
  7. InTheLight

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    Do you always ask off topic questions when you respond to people?
     
  8. Skandelon

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    Yep, and as the verse says we have an advocate by which we can be "sinless" (righteous) just as he offers. Good support passage, thanks!

    Are you asking, "Can I be righteous or sinless?" Yes, through the righteousness of Christ, I can. The law was never intended to be the means of righteousness, it was meant to lead us to Christ, which it does. God gives a command and then supplies the means by which we can fulfill that command. Thanks again, great support passage!

    Yep, in the eyes of the father who looks upon me and sees me clothed in the righteousness of his Son, I am PERFECT! Praise God! That is why it is called GOOD NEWS.
     
  9. Jarthur001

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    Hello InTheLight,

    I hope you are having a blessed day.

    It was stated..

    Is it also deceptive to command a person not to sin? All people sin...right? (see my list of verse)
    Is it also deceptive to command people to not covet? We covet...do we not?

    It seems to me that the logic is in error here. What do you think my dear brother in Christ?
     
  10. Jarthur001

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    Yep, in the eyes of the father who looks upon me and sees me clothed in the righteousness of his Son, I am PERFECT! Praise God! That is why it is called GOOD NEWS.[/QUOTE]

    Yes we are...made holy in Him.

    Do you covet? I do. I wish I could say I did not..but I do.

    All people do. That does not make it right. But God commands us not to covet.


    Is that unjust?
     
  11. Van

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    Hi Skandelon, I can see if you base Calvinism on the behavior of the posters on this forum how you might conclude they are a tad judgmental, assuming the problem is not with their beliefs, but with the beliefs of others. Hence, the majority of rebuttals include slurs against the character and qualifications of those who hold differing views.

    But, as you know from personal experience, there are plenty of 5 point Calvinists who are secure in their beliefs and do not feel any enmity toward those who understand the bible differently.

    I think Calvinism misrepresents the Arminian view in these ways:

    If you do not believe in the Calvinist understanding of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, you do not believe Christ is all powerful.

    If you think God credits your faith as righteousness rather than God supernaturally causes you to come to faith, you believe in a salvation of works based on merit.
     
  12. ReformedBaptist

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    You haven't really answered the questions. All you really did is raise more objections in your jihad against Calvinism. Calvinism, as you should know, is a response....not postulate. It is a response to Arminus and specifically the Remonstrants. So there is no old agruments as though Calvinist teaching was something new. The new kid on the block was when Arminius rejected the doctrines of his church and began teaching publicly against them.

    To reiterate, all you did was really dodge the questions I raised, and understandably so because your position is no better off answering the dilemma than mine. I allowed the answer to include, NOT the calvinist understanding of foreknowledge, but what the Arminian owns as their own, namely, that God foreknow who would and would not received/accept Jesus.

    I understand the need or desire to deflect. The Arminian has to answer your OPs objection just as much as the Calvinist. The Arminian system isn't excluded from the same perplexity. So the question and challenge STANDS:

    If God foreknows who will and will not accept Jesus, then how can the Gospel be sincerely offered to those God foreknew would reject Him?
     
  13. Jarthur001

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    Hello Van,

    I hope you are having a great day in the Lord.

    Maybe you can add some of your wisdom to this. This is what has come up from the OP.

    It was stated..

    I wonder if ...Is it also deceptive to command a person not to sin? All people sin...right?

    1 John 2:1
    My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous

    I don't think its deceptive, even though no one can keep from sinning. How about you Van? What do you think about this my brother in the Lord?


    Also I kinda wondered about this.....Is it also deceptive to command people to not covet? We covet...do we not?

    The bible says...
    Exodus 20:17
    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."

    Brother Van, do you feel this is deceptive by God? I don't. What do you have to add to this?

    It seems to me that the logic is in error here. What do you think my dear brother in Christ?
     
  14. Skandelon

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    Do you have to covet?

    Take the last time you coveted something. Could you have done otherwise? Could you have resisted that temptation? If so, you have affirmed the ability to of contra-causal freedom. If not, you have denied the truth of 1 Cor 10:13 which teaches that God will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bare.

    God, through the work of Christ and the indwelling of the HS, has given us the power to resist temptation. The fact that you and I don't in every situation doesn't negate the ability to do so in that given situation.

    Plus, this is about God holding man accountable for what he demands and he doesn't condemn you, a believer, for your covetousness, does He? Thus, in that manner he has provided the means for you to fulfill the command. He has NOT commanded or demanded from you something He has not allowed/permitted/enabled you to do. And He certainly hasn't condemned you for eternity in hell for it.

    You are attempting to equate God's command to obey the full demands of the moral law with God's appeal to be reconciled through faith in Christ, but this is the fallacy of non-sequentior.

    The bible never equates the two. The law was never meant to be fully fulfilled by anyone but Christ. It was meant to reveal our sin and lead us to the one who fulfills the law for us. It was meant to be a tutor leading mankind to Christ. No one will be judged by the demands of the law. They will be judged for their unbelief. The gospel appeal to be reconciled through Christ is meant to be followed and we will be judged accordingly.

    So:
    A. Command to obey Law = not meant to be fulfilled by man
    B. Appeal to believe in Christ = meant to be fulfilled by man
    C. A not equal to B

    In fact, to suggest that man cannot believe in the one who fulfills the law for the same reason they cannot obey the LAW is a jump that is NEVER biblically supported. Christ and the gospel is the solution for the problem of the law, yet you just make the solution an extension of the original problem by making mankind as equally unable to believe in the one who fulfilled the law as they are unable to fulfill the law themselves.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    Yes, RB, I am now a terroristic Arminian with a bomb strapped to my chest ready to walk into the nearest Calvinistic congregation and blow it to pieces. You are so objective and reasonable.

    That is just factually incorrect. The debates surrounding these issues far preceded the time of Calvin. Augustine was the first to record more "Calvinistic" interpretations of the scripture. Most writings of the apostolic fathers seemed to support a more non-Calvinistic perspective, but that is a discussion for another thread if you want to start it, feel free...
    The perplexity is only created when one doesn't accept that God has active decrees and permissive decrees. When one doesn't accept the difference between what God does by his own active agency and what he foreknows and allows to exist then this difficulty arises. I accept that God is informed by the choices of man through divine foreknowledge, you do not. For him to foreknow it is not equal to his predetermining it. To presume so is question begging at its worse.
     
  16. Jarthur001

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    Hello Brother Skandelon, I hope you are well.

    I believe your point was this. If a person does not have the ablity to do as Christ says, it would be unfair of God to command them to do.

    Yes...I believe you said it like this..
    Deceptive of God if God KNOWS they cannot.

    Brother Skandelon...do you think God knows we will covet?
    Do you think it knew we would covet when he commanded us not to covet?

    I think God knows everything, both then and now.

    I'm sure you don't think this is deceptive of God...do you?
     
  17. ReformedBaptist

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    So, in sum, you can't answer the question. Rather, you have moved into some weird doctrine where God is learning things from man. Just admit it to the board that you have departed from basic orthodoxy.

    Of course I don't accept that God is informed by man. It's ludricous, illogical, and heterodox. And you think by your explainations here that somehow your going to convince me or another of your views? To follow you in your theological journey? Really? Your path has already taken you down the road of deny the omniscience of God.

    Since your theology has already taken you into heterodox beliefs, I shun to imagine where you might end up and feel sad for those who may follow you.

    And please don't interpret my metaphors as literal.
     
  18. Jarthur001

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    I'm sorry brother, I overlooked this. Please allow me.

    Brother Skandelon, I do believe both are commandments.

    1 John 3:23
    And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.


    Exodus 20:17
    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."

    To me Skandelon, these sure seem like commandments. Do you agree?
     
  19. JesusFan

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    trying hard to see how allowing God to be ultimate judge of all things is really a bad thing...
    How would a Gospel be in that man could decide totally IF Jesus death was in vain or not?
     
  20. Van

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    Yet another old chestnut from the Calvinism 101 library of the absurd, God does not mean what He says.

    We are to love our neighbor and not envy or covet what God has bestowed on him or her.
    Did God mean that? Surely not because He knew we were unable to love our neighbor as ourselves and rejoice in his blessings from God.

    The nut of this absurdity, and nut is an apt word, is God does not mean it when He says what we should strive to do, because He knows we cannot do it perfectly. I kid you not, that is the argument. LOL

    Now lets see if we are comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges. God through believers begs the lost, unregenerate folks to be reconciled to God. Now if He knows they cannot put their own faith in Christ such that He could credit that faith as righteousness, then that would be a deceptive offer. And since we all know God is not deceptive, that view is flat wrong. What if there is a range of receptivity in the populous at large, some in fact unable to understand and respond, some able to understand but unwilling to trust completely, from the heart, and others willing to trust but unwilling to turn from the treasures of this world, possessions or relationships. But the choice is theirs, they could and with some cultivating, some planting and some watering, they might come to their senses and seek the righteousness of God through faith in Christ.

    So the fields are white with the harvest, but not every plant is ready to be harvested. So we need to go into the fields every day and beg, be reconciled to God, showing the love of Christ to the world.
     
    #20 Van, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2011

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