Dispensational fairness doctrine?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by npetreley, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yet another strange conflicting doctrine seems to be emerging from these discussions on Arminianism. I'm not quite sure where this view has come from, or whether or not it is a new doctrine, but it is certainly one I've never heard before. Can someone please explain how this contradiction is not actually a contradiction?

    The Arminian position seems to be that in Jonn 3:16 words like "whosoever" must refer to all mankind. Why must it refer to all mankind? Because if God did not enable all men to choose to believe of their own free will, God would not be "fair". And since God is "fair", then John 3:16 must refer to all mankind.

    Then this unusual explanation emerges when the Arminians are confronted with verses like John 6:64-65 But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."

    The Arminian explanation of the above now seems to be that at the time of John 6:65, not all were called. At some point afterward (perhaps after the resurrection, or after pentecost, or whatever), the Holy Spirit began calling all men.

    The verse used to support this position is John 12:32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." (Note that the English word "men" does not exist in the Greek, but that's another story.) The reasoning is that after Jesus is crucified, He draws all mankind to Himself, but not necessarily before.

    This doctrine also assumes that the drawing and enabling from Jesus and the Father is the same as the "calling of the Holy Spirit". Again, no scripture is given, but the assumption is made.

    The problem

    It occurred to me this doctrine or hypothesis -- that there is a universal enabling call that occurs at some point after John 6 -- actually proves the Arminian position from human reasoning to be self-contradictory.

    1. Arminians believe that "whosoever" must refer to all mankind, and Jesus must be saying "draw all [mankind] to myself" because to think otherwise would mean God is unfair

    2. Arminians then admit that John 6:65 means not everyone is yet enabled to respond?

    Then why is it impossible for God to be unfair after John 6:65, but it is possible for God to be unfair beforehand? Is this some sort of dispensational unfairness doctrine? Pre-crucifiction was the dispensation of unfairness, and now we're in the dispensation of fairness?

    So I would be interested in hearing the Arminian explanation, especially if someone can provide scriptture to support that explanation.

    [ January 29, 2003, 01:20 PM: Message edited by: npetreley ]
     
  2. 4study

    4study
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the points you’ve defined are accurate and the general Arminian view is as you’ve expressed it, then I would have the same questions as you. It does seem contradictory.
     
  3. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    npetreley,
    I've been debating this for years and I haven't seen this argument before. Let me see if I understand what your point is:

    Your saying that the Arminian viewpoint is contradictory because God is apparently fair now since the Holy Spirit's drawing of all mankind came after his assention into heaven. But he was also apparently unfair to those on earth before the assention of Christ because they all had not yet been "enabled" by God as taught in John 6.

    Great point! I'm interested in hearing a response to that as well.

    4study, I know you don't carry the label "Arminian" and therefore have avoided this apparent contradiction, but I would be interested in knowing how you handle Jesus' teaching in John 6 that speaks of only some being enabled by God?

    Sam

    [ January 29, 2003, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: Samuel ]
     
  4. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't have a problem with John 6:65. The word translated enabled or granted, depending on your translation, comes from the word didomi, which means, simply, to give. I see nothing from an analysis that says that if a person is given an ability to say yes, that person MUST say yes. Through Christ, all men are called - the ability to say "yes" was granted - though not all say "yes." Through his foreknowledge, God, indeed knows, what every man's free choice is, which is what Jesus says when he knows who will say yes and who would betray him.

    Concerning the call of the Holy Spirit, it seems that John 16 refers to this, so upon Pentecost, He began the work of convicting men of their sin.
     
  5. 4study

    4study
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Samuel,

    I don't understand John 6 in either the general Calvinist way or the Arminian way that npetreley has documented here. My view of it comes from my conviction of what the words "believe" (Gk. pistis or pisteuos) and "come to" (Gk. erchomai pros) mean.

    I also do not understand the scriptures to teach that the Holy Spirt began convicting the world only after the resurrection of Christ (or the day of Pentecost).
     
  6. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    And I see nothing in the analysis that says we all have to eat popcorn. Fortunately, neither has anything to do with the question or topic.

    The question is simple, and I'm sorry you missed it.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    This same word is used in 6:37 to say "All that the Father gives will come." So your point here is contradicted. The giving of v. 65 without which no one can come is also in . 37 where all who receive the giving do come. The whole passage teaches that no one can come unless given and that all who are given do come.

    But again, vv. 64-65 say that Jesus statement is based on his knowledge of God giving, not on his knowledge of who would believe.

    What about the OT people?? Were they not convicted of sin? If so, then your statement above is wrong. If not, then how is that "God giving all men a chance" when he doesn't convict those "unlucky" enough to be born in teh wrong dispensation?
     
  8. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Please, don't leave us in suspense any longer. What new understanding of these ancient texts have you, in your superior wisdom, come up with?
     
  9. Primitive Baptist

    Primitive Baptist
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways." (Acts 14:16)

    Before the cross, God dealt almost exclusively with Israel according to the flesh. Arminians force their preconceived ideas on John 12:32, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." In verses 20-32, it is clear that "all men" refers to both Jews and Gentiles because there were certain Greeks which came to to the feast to worship. Arminians, is it not fair that Jesus did not draw "all men" before Calvary?
     
  10. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    It seems to me, from reading about the nature of Paradise, and Hades, that those who died before Christ's death were sent to Hades (see the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.) Peter attests that Christ went and preached to the spirits in Hell. They then had the chance to truly accept Christ.

    And so it wasn't that they were "unlucky" at all.
     
  11. 4study

    4study
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sameul,

    There's nothing new about the words "believe" and "come to" in John 6 that I understand. It's simply my view of those words in the context of John 6 that is different. In a nut shell, I'm not convinced that anything in John 6 concerns being "lost" or "born again". Please, take that with a grain of salt.

    Regardless of what I believe, I thought npetreley had some good points to those who view John 6 as he stated.
     
  12. TheTravelingMinstrel

    TheTravelingMinstrel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can someone give me support from scripture of a 'fair' God

    Romans 9:18-20
    "So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?"

    This doesn't seem to illustrate a 'fair' God.
    Remember folks, God does as he pleases. And it may not be 'fair'

    'fairness' is something the Arminist have cooked up with their image of a giant loving fuzzball in the sky of a God.

    [ January 29, 2003, 06:59 PM: Message edited by: TheTravelingMinstrel ]
     
  13. 4study

    4study
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    TheTravelingMinstrel,

    "Fair" is relative so it depends upon what you think is "fair" and comparing it to someone else's concept of "fair". You might say "God isn't fair" but to someone else you're saying "God isn't Just".
     
  14. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Right! And then there's man's concept of "fair", and God's concept of "fair". And then there's man's concept of "just" and God's concept of "just". And then there's this little issue of all of what God knows, all of what God created, and all of what God's intentions are for everyone and everything above and below.

    That's why I am continually amazed that free-will advocates so often base their arguments not on scripture but on:

    1. What they think is fair from God's perspective
    2. What God would or would not do if He were perfectly fair
    3. What they think is just from God's perspective
    4. What God would or would not do if He were just
     
  15. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    5,178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Romans chapter nine has nothing at all to do with the salvation of some and the damnation of the vast majority of human beings. The chapter points out that Jacob, as we find out more in other passages, is the lineage by which Jesus was born of the virgin. Esau is loved less, as the Greek suggests, and had lost all of the benefits of the elder son of Isaac. Esau had a lesser position in the family and overall Israelite historicity because God sovereignly ordained it His way.
     
  16. Primitive Baptist

    Primitive Baptist
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    0
    "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8, 9)

    I suppose that God would be just if He damned every last one of us. I don't know about ya'll, but God has blessed me to see my ruined condition. When I think of God and how holy He is, it frightens me sometimes. I count it a blessing that God has let me see where I stand compared to His law. That only makes me cling more to the cross and depend on Him and His righteousness, not my own. After all, I don't have any. Total Depravity is what divides the Calvinists from the Arminians because Arminians don't understand man's fallen condition in the same way that Calvinists do.
     
  17. TheTravelingMinstrel

    TheTravelingMinstrel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Be carful to not set fair = just.

    They are different things.

    God's justice was satisfied by the crucificion of Jesus.
    We deserved death, but recieved it not. If God was perfectly 'fair' then he would send us to hell, as we deserved.

    My point is that God does as he pleases. the bushman in africa born before the time of Christ didn't get a 'chance' (if there is such a thing.) But, I however, have recieved eternal life.

    Is this fair, the bushman wasn't even exposed to Jesus, and I was exposed to it since childhood.

    My point is, that God may not always be fair from out perspective.

    Also @ Berrian.

    you say 'love less', but scriptures say 'hate', they are very different.

    in this portion of scripture we are making a comparison between 'love' and 'hate', 'pharoah' and 'mosas'

    Now, I ask you, does God 'hate' any beleivers or was pharoah saved?

    [ January 30, 2003, 12:07 AM: Message edited by: TheTravelingMinstrel ]
     
  18. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the bushman in Africa born pre-Christ didn't get a chance for salvation, then how can one possibly assert that "whosoever" in John 3:16 means all mankind? Maybe it wasn't you, but Arminians here insist that everyone gets a chance, even if it isn't an equal (in quality) chance. How did that guy in Africa get left out when God was handing out his free will lottery tickets to "whosoever" in all mankind?

    [ January 30, 2003, 12:54 AM: Message edited by: npetreley ]
     
  19. sturgman

    sturgman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    First of all who said God had to be fair? He said to Moses in Ex 4, "Who made the deaf, the blind, and the mute?" and notice there is no apology there made by God. Why did he make me fat and someone else really athletic? I mean is it fair that they don't have all the benefits of a curvy body? [​IMG]

    Second, when is salvation a chance and not a condition? Like we are saying that some have a chance and others don't. That is crazy. I think arminians view the calvinist line of thought like that of a natzi, sending jews to the gas chamber or to the camps. It isn't like that at all. Either God lets me do what I long to do, or he violates my will and causes me to long for him. It isn't something I do, so it isn't a chance. Some will say that is unfair, but like I said who says God has to be fair. On the other hand, I have never heard anyone say, "I wanted to be a christian, but God wouldn't let me."
     
  20. sturgman

    sturgman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh by the way, I think the bushman in Africa are more of a sect and people group, and not part of the "mankind" group. :D
     

Share This Page

Loading...