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Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Monergist, Aug 12, 2005.
The author of THIS ARTICLE brings up a good point:
What say you?
What is meant by Decisional Regeneration:
I say he does make a good point. This is the unfortunate result of placing more emphasis on man than on Christ. It is all about me - my situation, my need, my decision, my future, what I can get out of the deal.
I agree that both are opposed to the Calvinist idea that first one has to be born-again and in UNION with Christ and THEN they can "do" something like choose baptism or choose Christ etc.
But decisional regeneration is no more opposed to Calvinism than is Rev 3 showing the sinner ON THE INSIDE and NOT in UNION with Christ - with Christ on the OUTSIDE knocking and insisting that the one ALONE and on the inside must first CHOOSE to OPEN the door before the UNION with Christ happens.
I don't get it. Justification is a rather elementary decision for Jesus Christ. It encompasses a knowledge of judgment for sin and the Cross. I could see a series of questions like the following:
__1. Are you a sinner?
__2. Do you know that Christ paid for your sins?
__3. Do you trust in Jesus?
Three "yes" answers is good enough for me! Dissatisfaction with a list of questions like this sounds like the something from denominations that embrace human self-righteousness depending on water baptism, faithfulness and patient enduring to the end.
Your denial sounds like Satan's ploy in denying the sufficiency of Jesus' Cross. Either the Cross is sufficient or it is not. Which is it for you?
If the Cross is sufficient, then a simple YES to Jesus saves! Destiny is secure!
If the Cross is not sufficient, then one best be perfect to supplement, add to, and modify what Christ did for us. Good luck. You'll need all of this and far more!
Perhaps you could find time to provide the list of questions. I'd also like to know what is so wrong about a public testimony of sound biblical theology. You've left out a lot in your initial presentation.
Anxiously awaiting more details!
Ascund/Lloyd, I think what Monergist was getting at is that many Evangelicals try to manipluate people into salvation - we push and push just to get someone to walk the aisle or sign a card. Then we get them dunked, and whammo, they're on our church rolls for life, no matter what evidence remains of their salvation. And with crusades and the like, most of the time the person doesn't get on a church roll, which can be just as bad. They just put their decision card in their back pocket as an insurance policy and go on their merry way living life like they always have, never cracking open their Bible or darkening a church door.
"Decisional Regeneration" is fluidly defined, and the line to crossover into it can be blurry, but it is something that the Evangelical church has definitely fallen prey to over that last couple of centuries.
I agree andy,
we have lost the meaning of the word repent.
v 1: turn away from sin or do penitence [syn: atone] 2: feel remorse for; feel sorry for; be contrite about [syn: regret, rue]
Many use the word as in the 2nd meaning. The bible uses the word repent as a "change"...thus..new life...old man vs new man.
Or..Turning from our sins...or turning from our will....or turning from the worlds ways.. and following Gods will....or worshipping God.
This is way more then "feeling sorry" we have sinned.
I still don't get it. Isn't it right to "push" the gospel message?
While it is our sincerest interest that people walk the talk, this is an issue of sanctification. And truthfully, no one walks the talk. Sanctification depends on justification; not the other way around. The primary emphasis must always be on justification.
Yeah, this is not a desired outcome but it is certainly not worthy enough to stop preaching the gospel message of salvation. It is far better to secure destiny without rewards like the foolish vain believer of I Cor 3:11-15 than it is to have a lot of vain good works without an eternal destiny.
Your concerns about sanctification, though valid, have no bearing on justification and the crusades to preach the gospel message of faith in Jesus Christ.
I still don't get it.
Tell me something wrong about decisional regeneration that directly impacts justification.
Don't become confused about sanctification. This is a non issue for the unsaved. Sanctification is an issue for you and me. Don't make the baby walk and talk before it is born.
I'm not saying we shouldn't preach the gospel or that we shouldn't do crusades, etc. Of course we should do those things.
I'll answer your question - How does decisional regeneration impact justification? Many times, it produces false converts, giving people a false sense of security when they are not really saved.
I still don't get it. False professions of faith occur with every method of evangelism. Is this the only reason why you put down decisional regeneration? If so, we all are in trouble. We humans simply cannot see into the heart to know. Until we can see like God, what other method do you use?
Well, o.k., many times with DR, the content of the Gospel message is confused or blurry, or certain emphases are placed above the message - like do this (insert you preferred method) and you will be saved. The Gospel message is repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Many times the act of walking the aisle or agreeing to sign a card is emphasized more than the message itself. And sometimes the message itself is flawed, like, "God loves you and has wonderful plan for your life." No discussion of sin and the judgment of sin; no bad news just all "good" news.
Again, it is fluid, but many times that has been the m.o. for the Evangelical church for a 100 years. And look at what is has produced.
Repenting is not what you see in “MOST” crusades. Only God knows the heart, yet one can see the action. Sad to say but, If they even come to church most do not stay long. Repent is changing who you follow, and you follow with your whole being. Repenting is turning from the world and not following the world.
'Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob-
for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD's anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.
but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.
So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.'
1 Kings 14:8
I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes.
[ h He ] Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will
"Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: " 'I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown.
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
[ The Calling of Matthew ] As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
60Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good bye to my family."
62Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
[ The Validity of Jesus' Testimony ] When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
This is what the LORD says: "What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.
[ Fear God ] The LORD spoke to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people. He said:
"I myself said, " 'How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.' I thought you would call me 'Father' and not turn away from following me.
The LORD said, "It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law.
But you have behaved more wickedly than your fathers. See how each of you is following the stubbornness of his evil heart instead of obeying me.
They keep saying to those who despise me, 'The LORD says: You will have peace.' And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, 'No harm will come to you.'
Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not provoke me to anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you."
If truly repent we will change and follow. If one never goes to church, what did they repent from? In a mass city wide crusade you will find the real ones still in church mean years later. The ones that did NOT mean it in the form of repenting, only have a card they signed to show Christ their love for Him, for it will not be in their service for Him.
When you tie this to something beyond feeling sorry for sins, you take good exegetical work and transform it into an absolutely horrible piece of analysis.
John wrote an entire gospel for the purpose that his readers would believe and have eternal life through Jesus (John 20:31). He never once used the word "repent." Did he make an oversight?
The word repent is a change of mind. Believers can repent over sins; unbelievers must repent about Jesus. Personal sins have no bearing on one's justification. Personal sins have a big bearing on sanctification. It is a grave error to confuse justification with sanctification. Let's see how repentance is used in God's Word.
I. The Greek word metanoia has four uses in the NT. First, it is a synonym for eternal salvation as in 2 Pet 3:9, "The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to metanoia. This has no reference to personal sins.
Second, it is a change of mind regarding sinful behavior as in Luke 17:3-4. We are to forgive those who sin against us and repent. This has nothing to do with justification.
Third, it is a change of mind about Jesus as in Acts 2:38 where the Jewish audience had to change their minds about their Messiah. Here, metanoia is a virtual synonym for faith.
Fourth, it is a change of mind regarding idols as in Acts 17:29-31.
metanoia can be used via a metonymy as a synonym for eternal salvation. One must be aware of context to avoid making the absurd leap that some passages that speak of sins for the already saved also applies to the unsaved. This is terrible hermeneutics abusing the most basic of semantic rules. Let me give you an example.
1. I run a race.
2. My nose is running.
It is a terrible mistake to take the definition of run from sentence 1 and force it upon sentence 2. Likewise, just because the word repent is sometimes used with respect to personal sins, it is a grave error to assume that this is the definition everywhere you see the word repent.
II. The basic meaning of metamelomia is to feel regret as in 2 Cor 7:9 where Paul feels no regret for writing a nastygram. This word never refers to turning from one's sins.
II. The basic meaning of the strepho compounds is to turn from sins and relates to the OT word shub. Here one turns to the LORD as in Acts 15:3 where the Gentiles were turning to the Lord.
CONCLUSION: nowhere in the NT does one have to turn from sins to obtain eternal life. Jesus Himself used the murmuring Israelites to verify a simple LOOK and LIVE proposition.
Beware of confusing the semantic definitions of the word repent and using personal dogma to propogate error.
Repentance for salvation is only a turning to Jesus in faith. No one has to clean up their act in order to believe. If you required that, no one would get saved, for we are the based of sinners and perfection is impossible without Jesus.
Ascund, I don't want to get into the repentance debate. This is the whole MacArthur/Ryrie thing all over again.
I will say this, even if I agree to your doctrine of repentance, I still see DR (back to the original topic) as producing many false converts of people feeling secure in their damnation. If someone repents about their belief in Jesus and is sorry for their sins, then there will be a change in their life. Some will change more than others, but there will be a change. Many times with DR emphases, there is no change whatsoever.
Where I think we could both agree is that a Gospel message that does not concern itself with the bad news of sin and judgment is not a true Gospel message. And that is where DR fails many times.
I in no way am speaking of "Lordship" salvation. The view i paint in repentance is a new path. Once in life our full goal was to live for self and or follow the world.
In Christ we should be on a new path. This does not mean we always are going forward on this new path. Sometimes we run down the path in great growth. Other times we just sit there and do nothing...no growth at all. Other times we step off this path and give into our sinful nature that we still carry. But as a whole..we are now on a NEW path. That path is to follow Christ.
Repentance should be preached. A new path should be found in a believer. Yet this does not mean some are babes in Christ..and some are doing nothing...or maybe living in the past of things they ONCE did for Him. Over all...we follow Christ.
Our goal should be that He is Lord and live like He really is. Yet even in this we at times slip from this view. But those that really call Him Lord will not go far from this path. Those that He calls His own, will be "pulled back" inline.
Works does not save you, but we are confined to this body while on earth. Anywhere we go the body is with us. At salvation our body comes with us too. Our bodies animate our soul. What you see in our works shows our hearts.
This is not to be used to look at others as much as it is our very own life. If we have no desire to go to church or read His Word, we need to ask where is that Love? Christ said...if you love me..feed my sheep.
Over all there should be a form of repentance...not for justification but as a walking witness of our hearts.
Hey Andy T.
This is rather judgmental. The gospel message of faith in Jesus Christ makes only justication, historic and future sanctification certain. Present sanctification is not at all certain or predictable.
You have set yourself up as able to determine what level of change is acceptable and what is not. How can you tell there is no change whatsoever?
There will be many foolish vain believers who get all of their works burned in the fires of judgment but ARE YET SAVED (I Cor 3:15). Be not so quick to condemn faithless believers to hell.
I made no claim to know who is saved and who is not. I was just pointing out a common characteristic of DR - that we have many people running around who walked the aisle or signed a card, but show no evidence that they were truly saved. Whether they are saved or not is not for me to know, but I do know that we have a pretty pathetic, anemic Church here in the U.S. because of such "conversions" through DR emphases.
But your common characteristic is common to every evangelistic scheme. It is not right for you to arbitrarily single out one of these schemes just for your own fanciful reasons.
The reason we have pathetic, anemic churches is not because of the gospel presentation. Justification is by faith alone in Christ alone. The Bible urges everyone to make this decision resulting in regeneration.
What you are complaining about is human faithfulness in sanctification. This has nothing to do with the moment of justifying faith in Christ. It is a serious mistake to confuse justification with sanctification.
Because of your confusion, you are susceptible to judgmentalism. Your accusations are founded on ignorance of justification - the chief article by which both the Church and individuals stand.
Sounds like you are judging me. Oh well.