Does God Change His Mind?!

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Marcia, May 13, 2006.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Some comments on the Christianese thread indicate a belief that God changes His mind. I've been through this before with an Open Theist and passages in scripture that indicate God changes his mind can be explained as anthropomorphic.

    I made a statement that God does not change his mind and someone responded:
    If God changes his mind, it means he is not omniscient. Don't you think God knew Hezekiah would ask for another 15 yrs.? If God changed his mind, it means he did not know this.

    For God to change his mind entails a view of God as needing to change his plans. Think of all the things God had planned that were changed with Hezekiah getting 15 more years (like Hezekiah's wicked son)!

    It also means God would not know the future - which is why Open Theists take this stance (that God changes his mind).

    When people prayed and asked God to change his mind, they were being aligned to God's will, which was already set, not the other way around. God is not influenced by us. If He is, then He is not a perfect, ominiscient God who can know the future.

    [ May 18, 2006, 04:05 AM: Message edited by: DHK ]
     
  2. doulous

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    Marcia,

    You're on target. God doesn't change His mind, and when scripture seems to indicate the opposite IT IS an anthropomorphism. Just label it for what it is....heresy.
     
  3. Calvibaptist

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    Always allow the clear statements of Scripture to give us doctrine. The stories MUST be interpreted in light of the clear didactic sections of Scripture. If you interpret the didactic portions in light of the stories, you get Open Theism and God changing His mind.

    When God makes a clear statement (Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I do not change) it is unwise (foolish) to determine that a story shows that He does change His mind. You must interpret the story in light of the clear statements.
     
  4. doulous

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    You know, I'm sure glad no one else from my church is posting at this time of night. *cough*
     
  5. Benjamin

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    God’s Omniscient nature has nothing to do with whether or not God can allow things to change as God omnisciently knows the future within the truth of the circumstances that He created the world in. God can not lie, or sin, and He did not predetermine all events. God is Omnipotent and clearly is able to abide in the truth that He created this world in, to say otherwise is for the purpose to fit ones doctrinal agenda of predetermination and is where I would label it as……..yep…….heresy.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    God, speaking through His OT prophets and through the NT writers inspired by the Holy Spirit, declares that He does not change.

    What God things today He has always thought. What God decides today He has decided from eternity. For God to have a new thought would mean He has changed.

    I first heard this quote from R. Charles Blair, a regular contributor to this forum: "Did it ever occur to you that nothing ever occurs to God?"

    I agree with CalviBaptist. Any scripture passage which seems to teach that God changes His mind, must be interpreted in light of clear, unequivocal passages that say He doesn't.
     
  7. Calvibaptist

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    You know, it really bugs me when people label as heresy what has been considered the orthodox viewpoint for over 1900 years. You had better really examine your viewpoint before you label the orthodox view heresy.
     
  8. 4His_glory

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    You know, it really bugs me when people label as heresy what has been considered the orthodox viewpoint for over 1900 years. You had better really examine your viewpoint before you label the orthodox view heresy. </font>[/QUOTE]I agree. And it really bugs me when people will belittle God by saying they can make Him change His mind. That is an insult to His power, sovereignty, and holiness.
     
  9. Rippon

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    The biblical Benjamin realized the preordering and predetermination of God . He was the youngest son of Jacob and went through all those events all to hear Joseph say it was meant for good by God .The Most High planned all . The Lord is not taken by surprise and He is not a fortune-teller . Forget about C vs.A for a moment and read your Bible to see God as the Grand Author of all .
     
  10. Ransom

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    Benjamin said:

    God’s Omniscient nature has nothing to do with whether or not God can allow things to change as God omnisciently knows the future within the truth of the circumstances that He created the world in.

    And I would label this as . . . yep . . . gibberish.
     
  11. tinytim

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    To properly understand this issue, we must remove the limitations of "Time". God is not limited by Time.. He created it. Changing a person's mind is related to the laws of Time.

    Time operates sequentially. past, present, then Future. It operates one way always going toward the future.

    You must have all three properties of time in order for someone to change their mind:

    First, there is a plan for the future which is made in the past.
    Second, there is a change of plans, made at that present time.
    Third, The change effects the future.

    When a person (God) can operate outside the limitations of time it appears to the persons (us) that are *inside* time that He (God) has changed His mind.

    It is all in the perspective.
    This can also be applied to Predestionation.

    One day we will all be outside the limitations of Time... anti-time, known in the Bible as Eternity. That is why 1 day is as a 1000 yrs with God..

    One day, we will all look back and laugh at our finite understanding.
     
  12. Marcia

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    And yet we have at least 3 Baptists who think God changes his mind (from the other thread). This disturbed me so much that I started this thread.

    tinytim, you explained it well.

    Believing that God changes his mind leads naturally to Open Theism.

    I notice that so far, none of the 3 from the other thread have posted here. I hope they changed their mind about this! :D
     
  13. J.D.

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    Marcia, good thread and a very important subject. This is NOT a C vs A issue at all. This has to do with open theism. Arminius is rolling in his grave at what some of the anti-calvinists are saying around here. Arminius would have never taught that one day Almighty God scratched his head and thought "what am I going to do with these rebels?", and in confusion and frustration, God changed his mind about the whole thing.

    That's why folks like myself and Calvibaptist and Rippon and others have begun labeling some people as Pelagians, because unfortunately to call them Arminian is an unworthy compliment and a smear of Arminius' semi-worthy reputation.

    Of course, the theology that Arminius spawned does lead, by logical conclusion, inevitably to open theism, but Arminius himself would have never went that far with it.
     
  14. Ransom

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    I'm not so sure that Pelagius would have denied God's absolute foreknowledge either, however.

    Perhaps "Socinians" is more appropriate.
     
  15. J.D.

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    Ransom, I've no doubt that you've got that right, the amature theologian/historian that I am. Thanks for the correction.
     
  16. StraightAndNarrow

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    Whenever you say that God CAN'T do something you're trying to put a restriction on His omnipotence and sovereignty. He can do anything He choses. Whether we can understand how He can do something doesn't matter. We simply can't tell God what He cannot do.
     
  17. Me4Him

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    AMEN

    With God sitting outside the frame of time, he can see both ends of the time frame, the past, present, future, and like playing "checkers", he can reach down into the past, present, future and move one little thing, make any "adjustment" he desires, and man would never know the difference.

    Take the "book of life" for instances, God seeing the end from the beginning could have wrote all the names, but he also could have waited until we were saved in the present, future, reached into the past, wrote our name in the book and for all we know, it was written there from the beginning.

    God can change not only the future but also the past, if he choses, and man would never know the difference.

    I see comments made all the time that:

    God Can't,

    1. change his mind
    2. his sovereign will
    3. predestine plan
    4. the past, present, future
    5. have a book published, precisely according to his wording.

    Man's doctrines attempts to explain God within the frame work of time, which can't because God is outside time.

    Any doctrine that, "states/implies" directly/by default, that God can't clearly isn't one of understanding or the "truth".

    The Scripture say God can't lie, but He can change the Past, present, future, to make "whatever" he said "true", and who but him can see both ends of time to know the difference???

    Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

    God is love, but yet the love of God is not big enough to cover the whole world. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  18. Calvibaptist

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    You guys are missing the point. When God says He does not do something (like change) then it doesn't matter whether we think there is a limit on His omnipotence.

    Malachi 3:6 6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change;

    James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

    These two verses make it clear that God does not and cannot change. There is no variation. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. For God to change would mean that there must be some defect in Him that He needs to correct, for that is the only reason for changing. No matter what you think that might do to what you know about Him, the Bible is clear.
     
  19. Calvibaptist

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    Me4, this sentence has absolutely nothing to do with the topic being discussed. It is, once again, your poor attempt to make a slam-dunk attack against Calvinism. It fails miserably.

    If you take your view of God's love, it is an emotion that covers everybody but is powerless to do anything about them. God loves people that He sends to hell for eternity (in His wrath) because they did not love Him. He loves them the same amount and with the same feeling that He loves those who repent of their sins and believe and enter into His joy for all eternity. He loves the apostle Paul with the exact same amount of love that He loves Judas Iscariot. He just couldn't do anything about Judas because Judas' will was too strong for God's love to overcome.

    Do you see how ridiculous your argument is? You talk about the omnipotence and sovereignty of God and not wanting us to say that God can't do anything, and yet you say that God can't overcome human rejection because that would interfere with man's free exercise of his will. You contradict yourself.
     
  20. Diggin in da Word

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    Maybe it is not so much as God changing His mind as it is God having determined the outcome of two paths.

    If my people... humble themselves, pray, seek my face, turn from their wicked ways, then will I...'

    God wants His people to change. But if they change, God has determined that He too will change His mind toward them.

    God was going to destroy the whole world in the book of Genesis. 'But' Noah found favor with God.

    Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

    God determined that all mankind would die in 120 years.

    Genesis 6:6-8 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

    But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

    Wait! You say God cannot change His mind, and yet He evidently did change His mind. He said He would destroy man from the face of the earth. Man, beast, creeping thing and fowl would all be destroyed.

    But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

    One must also look at the book of Jonah and one would see God changing His mind there as well.
     

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