Do these scriptures deny human RESPONSIBILITY?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Dec 10, 2013.

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  1. Skandelon

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    "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh....I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 11:19 - 36:26)​

    Does this prove that men have no control over the condition of their hearts?

    Ezekiel 18:31
    Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?


    Or, does the context still validate the NEED for mankind to respond?

    No one denies the need for man to receive a new heart, we are only saying that the person is not born totally unresponsive to God's revelation. In fact, the text indicates that they are RESPONSIBLE for the condition of their hearts.

    Calvinists make this same mistake many times. Two other examples are listed below:

    1) They teach that men have a veil covering their eyes as proof that they have no response-ability or control over not being able to see (as if man can't do anything about this veil), but they ignore the text just before which clearly teaches, "a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."

    2) Calvinists do this with the potter and the making of vessels for noble and common use, in the all too overused passage in Romans 9. They ASSUME that to mean men aren't response-able or in control over this in any way, because after all they aren't the potter. But they ignore the text which clearly states, "If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes..." (2 Tim 2:21)​

    Of course God is the one who gives a new heart, cleanses the vessel, and removes the veil but only if the man turns to Him for cleansing/veil removal/forgiveness. IF you confess, THEN He is faithful to forgive, not the other way around.
     
  2. pinoybaptist

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    Are the dead responsible for their rotten smell and inability to move even if where they are is about to catch on fire ?

    Did Lazarus know he was dead, saw he was dead, and said, "okay, it's up to me to bring myself back to life" ?

    Is God such a monster that you would have Him requiring accountability and responsibility from those who are spiritually dead and detached from Him, the source of life, when He Himself knows they cannot and then chastise them for their unrepentance and disobedience ?

    Take a look at the scriptures you say require responsibility to God, and see that they are addressed to ISRAEL, the ONLY PHYSICAL NATION on earth to whom God revealed Himself and to whom God gave His oracles, His words.

    Did He reveal Himself to the Jebusites ? Or all the other ITES in the Old Testament other than to prove there is a God in Irael, among Israel, and who fights Israel's battle for them ? Even the imprecatory psalms indicate that.

    Even to Nineveh, He sent His prophet, an Israelite. Did He reveal Himself to the Babylonians ? No. But He did use, again, Israelites.

    If there is responsibility that is being unheeded, that blame belong to those who name the Name of Jesus as their own. Are Christians, the ones who live both in Spirit and in Truth, living up to what they are supposed to be on earth, that is, a people separated unto the Lord God their Creator so that the crooked generations they live among in this time world know that ''there is a God in Israel" ?
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Further, if you read the immediate context of the Ezekiel passages you will find that human responsibility is very much validated:

    "Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel."' 18 "When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it. 19 "And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God. 21 "But as for those whose hearts go after their detestable things and abominations, I will bring their conduct down on their heads," declares the Lord GOD.

    Their receiving a new heart and spirit is a direct response to their 'removing the detestable and abominations' just as in Chapter 18, where it goes on to say, "31 "Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit ! For why will you die, O house of Israel ? 32 "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live."
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Yes. Men are responsible for their condition. God doesn't even tempt men to sin. He is completely Holy.


    My point exactly. Hopefully Biblicist acknowledges this as well.

    Yes. See Romans 1.
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    This thread and post does not answer the new thread I provided. It only ignores the real contextual issue, the issue that my new thread emphasizes. Please attempt to respond to my thread and the numerical steps that, I believe demand the conclusion I drew. In your thread, you remove the problem by simply not quoting Ezekiel 36:27. If you had included it then you would have to deal with stated cause and effect relationship that is plainly stated.

    Taken by itself, Ezekiel 36:26 is mallible in the hands of the interpreter to make of it what they will. However, when verse 27 is include then we have a complete cause and effect relationship which directly contradicts how you are using the text. However, when verse 27 is included then giving the new heart in verse 26 provides ability to do what is described in verse 27 just as Deuteronomy 5:29 and 29:4 explicitlly declares is inseparable from the new heart, without which there is no ability to perceive, to see or to hear. You just eliminate the relationship and so manever around the whole issue.


    Other scriptures equally call on sinners to circumcise their own hearts, not because they have ability to do that, as it is a creative act of God that only God can do, but because it is their duty to do so even though they are without the ability to perform that duty.

    By insisting on your definition of "respons-ability" you effectively deny it is possible for anyone to be judged by God for forfeiting any kind of ability, and so abilties once convyed are eternal without the possibility of any kind of loss or forfeiture that they can be justly held accounted for. So I will drop the term "responsibility" and "accountability" and simply say they are to account for their own forfeiture or loss of ability when they acted in unison as one insepable human nature in the person of Adam so as to willfully forfeiture their ability to "perceive, and eyes to see and ears to hear" due to sin.


    Here is the real issue! By omitting Ezek. 36:27 and ignoring Deuteronomy 29:4you effectively ignore the very stated reason why the new heart is essential because without it there can be no ability to "perceive, eyes to see and hears to hear" and thus no ability to obey (Ezek. 36:27). Instead, you reverse the cause and effect relationship and make the ability to perceive, eyes to see and ears to hear the cause for the new heart instead of the consequence of the new heart.

    Now, that I have addressed your thread, Please attempt to go back to my thread on Deuteronomy 5:29 and point out any error in my logic and application of those two scriptures. I made it easy as I gave a numerical sequence of my logical steps. Just point out any of those steps and demonstrate why it is error.
     
    #5 The Biblicist, Dec 10, 2013
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  6. BobRyan

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    God enables all the lost to respond. One person calls that "natural" another (like me) calls it supernatural

    But I think it happens because of God "Convicting the WORLD of sin and righteousness and judgment" John 16 and it is "Drawing ALL men unto Me". John 12:32.

    Yet even so - if a man can harden his heart - it means the starting point for man cannot be "fully hardened". Though man may be in need of that "Drawing of ALL mankind to Me" even in his not-fully-hardened state - it still tells us that there is a change over time.

    A change toward fully hardened.

    Or a change toward the Gospel.

    And that is what probationary time on earth for mankind is all about.

    Not God "sabotaging His own will that there should not be any who perish - but rather all come to repentance".


    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. The Biblicist

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    That is the subject of our debate and thus to use it as an argument to prove is circular reasoning. There is not one scripture in the entire Bible that states that God enables all men to respond. That is a theological presumption based upon nothing but wishful thinking.

    Calls what "natural"????? We do not call it "natural" but we deny it even exists as the fallen nature "is" a STATE of enmity and a STATE of enmity cannot be subject to the law of God and neither indeed can be and that is precisely why all who are "in the flesh CANNOT (not "may not" as your theory demands) please God - Rom. 8:7-8.

    Conviction is one thing, ability to respond is quite another and salvation as a consequence is completely something esle.


    Before I left I provided a contextual based exposition that proved your interpetation of this verse is impossible. Your interpretation is historically false as we have historical evidence of missionaries bringing the gospel for the first time to cultures where their former generations had no knowledge of Christ, the gospel or the Bible. Their fathers and grandfathers now dead did not know of the gospel and it was completely absent from their culture when these missionaries came to their culture.

    No one argues that fallen men come into the world "fully hardened" and all sides admit it is a process. The argument is what aspect of human nature is bieng hardened. Is it a "new" heart? Hardly, because those "in the flesh" do not have the "new" heart and so the only source for hardening is the old heart or fallen nature. The natural conscience of the fallen nature has ability to recognize light but reacts to light as clearly described by Christ in John 3:19-20 because of its actual CONDITION or STATE described in Romans 8:7-8.


    All lost men disobey God's revealed will continually including His revealed will that all should repent and believe the gospel due to their own sinful resistant fallen nature. God does not have to sabotage what sin has already sabotaged.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    The fact that God holds all men responsible strongly implies men can respond (given that is the very meaning of the word), thus only a very clear teaching which indicates otherwise would bring that implication into question.

    Romans 1 goes a very long way to suggest that all men are indeed responsible and even without excuse. To suggest that all men are born unable to even understand God's revelation, much less respond to it is the best excuse in the world. The very basis of Paul's conclusion that all men are without excuse rests on the fact that God's revelation is clear and understandable, yet your dogma undermines that very premise.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    It most certainly does. You may not see it, but it does. It is all based on the same reasoning. You think if you can show that God must give us a new heart that it somehow proves men aren't responsible for the condition of their current heart, nor are the responsible for doing anything to be cleansed. I have already pointed you to several texts which CLEARLY and UNDENIABLY indicate man must TURN to God for healing, cleansing and forgiveness....not the other way around.

    Calvinists continually put the cart before the horse. You think one must be brought to life in order to believe yet what does John say? "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life..."

    How much more clear can he be? Life, like cleansing, like a new heart, like new birth, like forgiveness all come AFTER the turning, not before.

    We have been over this before brother. WE are NOT talking about man's responsibility for sin, as we already agree that men are sinners by nature. We are talking about responding to God's appeal to be reconciled FROM THAT FALLEN CONDITION. To PRESUME that a fallen man can't respond to a message sent for the purpose of reconciling him from the fall is like suggesting that a new found cure for cancer can't cure a man from his cancer because he has cancer. You'd have to heal him from his cancer in order for him to willingly accept the cure for his cancer, which is absurd. And that is exactly what pre-regeneration doctrine is....it absurdly suggests that a man must be cleansed, saved, made new to even be willing to be cleansed, saved and made new. It is simply absurd and backwards.

    Now, I know you don't see it that way. I didn't see it that way when I was a Calvinist either. I get it. You don't have eyes to see it my way. I'm okay with that and I know nothing I'll say will probably convince you otherwise, so we may just have to agree to disagree on this point.
     
    #9 Skandelon, Dec 10, 2013
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  10. The Biblicist

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    Romans 1:18 also infers but one response of the fallen nature to exposure of light and that is it is "held down" and thus resisted. Can you find any other response in Romans 1:18-32?
     
  11. Skandelon

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    Can you reword this question? I'm not understanding it.
     
  12. Skandelon

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    Okay, I think I know what you are asking...

    I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth...

    Look the entire context without the verse numbers or chapter breaks.... It shows the truth (righteousness can be attained by faith) and then those who suppress that truth and the wrath being revealed against them. Abraham's belief was credited to HIM as righteousness, thus he would be an example of one who did NOT suppress this truth and thus receive the wrath being revealed.

    How can it be that Paul declares 'no one is righteous' while just a few chapters later teaching that Abraham was righteous? See my signature line below for the answer.
     
    #12 Skandelon, Dec 10, 2013
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  13. The Biblicist

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    You are missing the obvious point. Spiritual ability is inseparably connected with the new heart not with the old and the only heart possessed by the lost is the old heart.


    Actually you have diagnosed your own problem. You make the old heart capable of spiritual discernment when the Scriptures attributes that ability only to the "new" heart - Deut. 5:29; 29:4; Ezek. 36:26-27.

    Spiritual life is inseparable from spiritual knowledge (jn. 17:3) which is given only to "as many as" the Father has given to the son (Jn. 17:2). Hence, there is no chronological order between spiritual life and faith but one cannot exist apart from the other any more than repentance can exist without faith as they are two sides of the same coin and inseparable graces.


    There is a clear distinction between spiritual life due to new birth and judicial eternal life due to justification.



    You state our position in the terms of your own choosing in order to draw your own predetermined conclusions.

    No, the cure is not the issue but the issue lies deeper in the willingness of the cancer patient to submit to the cure. Curing him of cancer also cures the deeper problem of the will.
     
  14. convicted1

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  15. Iconoclast

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    :wavey::applause::thumbs::love2:
     
  16. Skandelon

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    I know Calvinists don't say they deny responsibility, but I believe the doctrine of Total Inability does just that. Total Inability in essence is teaching that men are un-response-able...totally un-able to respond unless first regenerated. That, IMO, undermines the very core of human responsibility. I believe what Calvinist mean to say is that men are punishable or culpable despite their inabilities to respond or choose otherwise.
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

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    The "Will" ...... I fail to understand how this addresses the Will.

    Earlier, LUKE had a thread where he emphasized "Persuasion" as a ground braking event in a new believers life. This is something I questioned because persuasion is a tool to get someone to buy into something.....I called it a "Salesmans" tactic. But when I examine my own regeneration I have to comclude that George Whitfield's Sermon "Method Of Grace" became a persuasive tool in my conversation. But brother, there was another element unearthed......ENLIGHTENMENT.

    An excerpt if you will permit me is below:

    And now, my dear friends, examine your hearts, for I hope you came hither with a design to have your souls made better. Give me leave to ask you, in the presence of God, whether you know the time, and if you do not know exactly the time, do you know there was a time, when God wrote bitter things against you, when the arrows of the Almighty were within you? Was ever the remembrance of your sins grievous to you? Was the burden of your sins intolerable to your thoughts? Did you ever see that God"s wrath might justly fall upon you, on account of your actual transgressions against God? Were you ever in all your life sorry for your sins? Could you ever say, My sins are gone over my head as a burden too heavy for me to bear? Did you ever experience any such thing as this? Did ever any such thing as this pass between God and your soul? If not, for Jesus Christ"s sake, do not call yourselves Christians; you may speak peace to your hearts, but there is no peace. May the Lord awaken you, may the Lord convert you, may the Lord give you peace, if it be his will, before you go home!

    But further: you may be convinced of your actual sins, so as to be made to tremble, and yet you may be strangers to Jesus Christ, you may have no true work of grace upon your hearts. Before ever, therefore, you can speak peace to your hearts, conviction must go deeper; you must not only be convinced of your actual transgressions against the law of God, but likewise of the foundation of all your transgressions. And what is that? I mean original sin, that original corruption each of us brings into the world with us, which renders us liable to God"s wrath and damnation. There are many poor souls that think themselves fine reasoners, yet they pretend to say there is no such thing as original sin; they will charge God with injustice in imputing Adam"s sin to us; although we have got the mark of the beast and of the devil upon us, yet they tell us we are not born in sin. Let them look abroad into the world and see the disorders in it,
     
  18. convicted1

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    Brother, find anyone who God isn't dealing with, and present the gospel to him/her and see what kind of a response you will get. My mom and dad, especially mom, kept telling me I needed to go to church. I knew that, I admiited that, but I wanted to live a worldly life. I had no desire to go around the churches they went to to hear them shout, preach, praise God. I wanted to run the bars, chase the girls, go to the chicken fights, etc. It was when God truly shook me to the core, that I truly saw how wicked, how vile, how putrid I was. I then fled to Him for salvation. Man in a fallen, dead state, has not the faculties to come to God. After regeneration, we now have these faculties to come to Him in faith believing......
     
    #18 convicted1, Dec 11, 2013
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  19. Skandelon

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    Biblicist, much of your argument hinges on the distinction in what you refer to as "natural" ability versus "spiritual" ability.

    Can you explain to me how one is naturally able to 'see, hear, understand and turn to be healed' and someone who is spiritually able to 'see, hear, understand and turn to be healed.' Maybe give us an example of someone who has seen, heard, understood and been healed naturally but not spiritually?
     
  20. Skandelon

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    Experiential feelings are never a good foundation for doctrine, but I understand what you are saying and how you felt. I have had similar experiences. And I'm not denying the calling power of God's gracious appeal, I'm just not going so far as to suggest that such calling is limited to a preselect few and effectually applied.

    I believe Calvinists get the cart before the horse on this issue as John 20:31 states, "by believing we may have life..." not the other way around. Scripture continually places man's response to God's appeal FIRST....we confess to be forgiven...we turn to Christ to have the veil removed...we repent to be cleansed... we believe to gain life...etc etc. This is at the heart of human RESPONSE-ABILITY...the ability of man to respond to God's invitation...his appeal for all men everywhere to be reconciled to God.
     
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