Double free will and other problems

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by npetreley, Jan 25, 2003.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    I have to say it makes me absolutely nurtzy to read the same non-scriptural arguments from human reason against Calvinism. But since these never seem to go away, I'd like to suggest that one can lodge the the same type of complaints from human reasoning against Arminianism. Some folks have already covered some (if not all) of these points in various places, but I haven't seen the points enumerated anywhere, so I'll try to do that now.

    Some Arminian assumptions:

    1. God gives everyone a chance to be saved.

    2. Everyone chooses of their own free will whether or not to believe and be saved.

    3. There is some sort of age of accountability (the details vary among Arminians, but there seems to be some agreement that up until a certain point, everyone qualifies for heaven).

    4. The above system is somehow more "loving" and "righteous" than views where free will is not the determining factor in salvation.

    The questions and problems for Arminians:

    1. Does everyone get an equal chance?

    If so, how is that possible, since everyone's life, environment, parents, upbringing, experiences, etc., are all different? Some people have been hardened by their environment in things unrelated to God, so one might suspect this could harden them to God, as well. Different people hear the Gospel presented differently. Some people are brainwashed into error, others never hear the Gospel at all. (Please don't bother trying to argue that they hear the Gospel directly from God, because one of your complaints against Calvinism is that it does not motivate anyone to preach the Gospel -- so you are claiming that spreading the Gospel by man is somehow necessary in Arminianism).

    How did God manage to equalize the chances among a nearly infinite number of possible scenarios where people get dramatically different amounts of information upon which to make their choice, and dramatically different life experiences that would influence how they might choose?

    2. Assuming you somehow manage to come up with an explanation as to how God gives everyone an equal chance, that creates the problem of "Double Free Will". For every person who "decides" to believe in order to gain heaven, there must be a person who "decided" not to believe in order to gain hell. If the latter person was not aware that he was gaining hell by his decision, then he was not as informed as the former person, and therefore God did not give them an equal chance.

    So you're stuck with one or the other: God does not treat everyone equally, or God created a system of double free will. Either way, the Arminian God seems to be arbitrarily partial and cruel.

    3a. Does God have perfect foreknowledge of who will choose salvation and who will not?

    3b. God clearly causes both saved and unsaved people to die when He feels such a measure is necessary. (I know I'm wandering out of Arminian territory by referring to scripture instead of logic, but one cannot deny that God caused some Corinthian believers to fall asleep, etc.) Regardless, if you are pre-age-of-accountability, you are neither saved or unsaved, so you can't dismiss the possibility based on the assumption that God only kills unbelievers.

    If 3a and 3b are both true, then God creates people fully aware that they will go to hell. Yet God withholds the simplest act of mercy that would prevent it - to make sure the person doesn't live until the age of accountability. Why is this approach more loving than election? Once again, the Arminian view of God seems arbitrary, ineffective and cruel.

    Final words:

    The above is meant only as a demonstration of what Calvinists and believers in election have to put up with in terms of meaningless arguments based on human reasoning instead of scripture. Arminians can feel free to respond with answers, but that wasn't the purpose of this exercise.

    [ January 25, 2003, 03:19 AM: Message edited by: npetreley ]
     
  2. ScottEmerson

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    Let's examine them, huh?

    God desires all men to be saved, correct.

    God is graceful, and He will not send a young one to Hell (nor those who are unable because of defects) who are unable to make this free choice. It is not about qualifying for Heaven, but based upon the grace of God.

    Might I make a change here? The above system is a better indicator of the overall nature of God and Christ that is seen in the Scriptures. It is also built upon a strong Scriptural foundation.

    Everyone gets a chance. Some hear the gospel more than others, some hear less. Some hear "better preachers," some don't. Yet, everyone gets a chance. Arminianism is the most fair system of theology available, because absolutely NO ONE is excluded from the possibility of salvation at all.

    I doubt that anyone here would say they have an "equal" chance in the way that you define it. However, with the understanding that "equal" means that everyone is called by the Spirit to repent and that everyone has the equal ability to say "yes," then, yes, we are all equal in that regard.

    See above - you are placing an erroneous label on equality that is not supported by the theological system of Arminianism, so your point falls. Care to rephrase?

    Or God, out of his love, offers salvation freely to every person, who all have an equal chance to say yes (as defined before.) The eunuch on the side of the road that Philip led to Christ surely did not have as accessible a life as Simon Peter, yet the call went out to him, and he said yes. Thousands upon thousands are being led to Christ in Africa, after hearing the gospel message once, while those who are inundated with the gospel here in America continue to say no, dying, and spending eternity apart from God.

    Depends who you ask. I would say that He does.

    Death is a measure that is the result of our sin. God does, in certain circumstances, have people killed - just look at the OT, the NT accounts of Ananias and Sapphira. He's God, and I trust His judgment!

    This is true. He could save all people, but this would be akin to making them robots, forced to serve and worship Him. People choose not to serve on the same free will that others choose to follow. Again, He's not sending them there because they had NO choice, He's sending them there because they did.

    Then the human race would have been extinct from the first generation. You forget that part of the CHristian life is to mature in Christ, to live the abundent life, and so on - those things are important to God as well!

    Simple - Freedom equals the ability to choose God or not. Election - denies the non-elect the ability to chooes God or not.

    And yet, He's not. See above.

    I realize that the purpose of this wasn't for answers, but you so miscontrued several of the terms, that you've ended up acting like the same group of people you were trying to admonish.
     
  3. npetreley

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    How is it that the people who do not hear the Gospel get a chance?

    Here is where you truly let the cat out of the bag. You Went shopping for a theology and picked the one that seemed the most fair to you. Sure, it's a shame that it's not truly fair (not everyone gets an equal chance), but it's more fair than election, so you picked the lesser of two evils.

    Now let's look at what you said previously: "The above system is a better indicator of the overall nature of God and Christ that is seen in the Scriptures." So what you are saying is that God created a system where everyone gets a chance, but not an equal chance. That makes for a very interesting concept of the character of God. He is either an underachiever (He recognizes that one person gets a better chance than another but chooses to do nothing about it), or incompetent (He recognizes that one gets a better chance than another but can't do anything about it). And you say this reflects the nature of the God of scripture. That's a fascinating view of scripture, I must say.

    See above. If I am placing an undue amount of emphasis on equality, then your concept of God is either an incompetent or an underachiever.

    This is fun. Now I am beginning to see why arminians engage in futile reasoning like this. It proves nothing, but you get to make up all kinds of clever arguments without being restricted to what it says in the scriptures.

    So all those aborted babies are dead because of their sin? Wow! Arminians are much more cruel than I had ever imagined!

    See below: Saving someone by making sure they don't live to the age of accountability is not akin to making that person a robot, otherwise everyone who dies before the age of accountability must be a robot. You can't have it both ways.

    How could that possibly be? In your system, God would only have to kill those people before the age of accountability whom he foreknew would reject Him. If we truly have the free will to choose Him, then He knows which of us would choose Him, and God would allow those people to survive. THe only reason God would have to kill EVERYONE before the age of accountability would be if nobody would ever choose Him of their own free will. Thus your conclusion proves Calvinism, not Arminianism.

    That doesn't help the lost. If God really loved us, He'd kill all who would reject Him before the age of accountability. Those who are saved would enjoy the abundant life, and those who wouldn't be saved after the age of accountability would have eternal bliss in heaven. Anything less would make God an underachiever, incompetent or unfair.

    That tells me why you think Arminianism makes men more free. That doesn't tell me why it makes God more loving. As I have demonstrated above, it actually makes God much more cruel, incompetent, and unfair.

    What? You mean there's something wrong with that? How could a theology that is based so deeply on love and fairness produce a way of acting that you, yourself, seem to think is bad?

    [ January 25, 2003, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: npetreley ]
     
  4. Yelsew

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    Npetreley,
    Look at kindergarten children. Are all of them equally ready to go into first grade? Or, are some of them better kept back until they are fully ready to accept the next step in their education?

    Look at High School Seniors, are all of them equally ready to enter College? Not hardly, when so many of them cannot read beyond the seventh grade reading level.

    Now look at man in general, are all man equally ready to believe in Jesus? NO! But at some point in life all must face their mortality, and All must make a choice based on what they have in their lives. All have been exposed, to some degree, to the things of God. God made man (all men) in His image thus man has an identity with God.

    For God to choose among those with his identity, and say that this one's in, that one's out, makes no sense whatever. Instead, God gives man (all men) the choice of whom they will serve, and God provided the options, either the Devil ('evil) or God (gooooooood). That, by the way, is why infants first communication sounds are ooooooo sounding and not eeeeeeeeil sounding! [​IMG] Bet cha never thot 'bout that!

    The absolutes of Calvinism simply do not exist in reality!
     
  5. KenH

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    So, Yelsew, are you admitting that your soteriological system is unfair? It sounds like it to me. Unless there is a level playing field for everyone to repent and believe, then your system is unfair.
     
  6. Yelsew

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    So, Yelsew, are you admitting that your soteriological system is unfair? It sounds like it to me. Unless there is a level playing field for everyone to repent and believe, then your system is unfair.</font>[/QUOTE]No, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that the very same redemption is available to all, there are not favorites or elect. However, it is in each individual's time as to when they accept or reject that redemption. It is not predetermined who will or when they will.

    It is predetermined that we will ALL have the opportunity, and has been that way for at least 2000 years. God equipped us all alike in his image, he gave us an identity with him, and the ability to make choices for ourselves.

    He now leaves it up to us to make that choice. Otherwise, he would be a respecter of man, making it possible for only some to believe in him, and that is a premise of Calvinism.
     
  7. npetreley

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    So here's an "arminianism" fair scenario for you. One person is raised and brainwashed by cult fanatics who fills his head with lies, after which the poor kid dies at age 10. As you have testified here, you were raised by a warm Christian mother whose influence taught you the love of Christ.

    Now both of you have time, experience, and free will. Unfortunately, the former kid had a lot less time, a lot less life experience, and what experience he had was hateful and torturous. So this led him to choose to reject Christ whereas your pleasant experience led you to choose to accept Christ.

    Now all of this is perfectly fair to you because despite the completely different motivating factors that influenced their free will decisions, you both still had free will in common, you were both given an "opportunity" to choose, and that's all that matters.

    Wowee. To repeat a Barry the Bearism, that's some weird wiggy mojo. :eek:

    [ January 25, 2003, 05:51 PM: Message edited by: npetreley ]
     
  8. ScottEmerson

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    The first two chapters of Romans seem to indicate that God has a special provision for those people, based upon their choices, since they did not hear the Gospel.

    Isn't it possible that you are jumping the gun here? I never said anything about my choice of theology built upon what I thought was the most fair. That is about the most illogical thing I've seen you post.

    Again, EVERYONE HAS AN EQUAL CHANCE! You've ignored the meaning of the word "equal" in the scheme of the Arminian system of belief. All people have the ability to say "yes" and the ability to say "no." Equality is NOT based upon who hears, how often, and how elquently - it is built upon the idea that every person is free to decide for themselves whether to follow Christ or not. How could you miss me writing that?

    See the above definition of equality. If you are going to debate what I am saying, why are you not arguing using the terms I set out.

    Fallacy of false dilemma here. God is not willing that any perish, and provides an opportunity for all to be saved. Sounds like He's a loving, all-knowing, merciful, and just God!

    Love, all-knowing, merciful, and just - yes - Arminian theology fits in with the the BIblical account of God!

    Not emphasis - you're blowing the whole definition as I define it. You're arguing a straw man in this instance, because I'm not even arguing that God is "equal" the way you are defining it. God is "equal" the way I define it, though - this is what you must argue.

    You began it, and there is nothing I have said that goes outside the bounds of Scripture.

    "Our" stands for the human race - not the individual's baby. David's child did not die because of the child's sin. He died as a result of David's sin - who, of course, had this nature because of Adam's sin. Somehow, I think you knew that.

    It is making them a robot, because they never have the chance to say "no" to God. A choice only truly exists if there is an alternative. IF God killed all people who would say "no" before the age of accountability, there would be no true choice.

    That was your idea, not mine. Why are you trying to make me defend an argument I did not even imply?

    See above. You really enjoy the straw man, huh? Why not stick to the arguments I actually make?

    Perspective #1: God is in charge of who is saved and who is not.

    Perspective #2: God gives all men an opportunity to be saved.

    Reality: In either perspective, the same number of people are saved or lost.

    My understanding of both perceptions have either God withholding the opportunity for salvation from those who will say "no," or God giving the opportunity for salvation for those who say "no."

    Yep. Perspective #2 is more loving than perspective #1.

    YOu're the one admonishing people - was that not the intent of your initial post? Also realize that I didn't say a thing about the virtue of such an exercise. You added that in.

    Can you please read closer next time before responding? You missed several of my points in a zeal to respond. Please understand what I'm talking about with the word "equality" before replying. Thanks.
     
  9. KenH

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    Natural revelation is not sufficient for salvation. The hearing of the gospel is necessary in order to repent and believe. Otherwise, let's just bring all of the missionaries home and stop sending Bibles overseas.

    Sorry, but that is still an unlevel playing field to base one's soteriology on. The system thus taught is inherently unfair.
     
  10. npetreley

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    No, according to you, everyone has a chance. You call it equal because it is not denied to anyone, but that doesn't make it equal, it makes it universal. So you create the illustion of equality by redefining it, and then you contradict yourself later. (See below.) So the chances are neither universal nor equal by any reasonable definition.

    So your theology says there will be a mixed population in heaven. All those people who die before they reach the age of accountability will be robots, and those who made a choice will not.

    So what happened to your definition of "equal" as in "everyone gets the opportunity to choose?" Are you now saying that aborted babies get a theology lesson and then a pop quiz on what they will decide before they are allowed in heaven? How did they get a choice, and therefore make your system "equal" (which really should be "universal").
     
  11. ScottEmerson

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    Now you are merely dealing with semantics. My definition of "equal" is a correct one - the context can be seen in any English dictionary. It's 3(a) in the dictionary I use.

    The chances remain equal. You are using a smokescreen in order to get out of answering the questions. For those who are of the age to be able to make a choice, the ability to choose yes or no is equal. I have mentioned on this board several times that the young children and those with physical or mental handicaps that do not allow them to make such a choice will be dealt with by the grace of God. So if I must add that now, I will.

    Still enjoying jumping to conclusions, huh? As a result of our sin, (and lest you misdefine "our" I mean the sins of humanity), there is death in the world. People die from all ages, from birth to one hundred-something. God's grace covers those who are unable to make such a choice. Had they continued in life, they would have been able to make such a choice - therefore, they are not robots. They still maintained a free will - even though they may not have been of an age (or mentality) to exercise it.

    Free will exists with the child who dies after that first breath - they are unable to use it until the point where they can exercise it, whatever that age may be.

    Come on, you're still attacking the straw here. There are several things you haven't (or weren't able to) answer from my previous post. Instead, you chose to deal with semantics. Equal is equal, and trying to change the term to universal to tie it into universalism is folly.
     
  12. ScottEmerson

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    Then hundreds of millions of people are dying and being sent straight to Hell because of the disobedience of believers. That would result in both Calvinist and Arminian theology - the damnation of billions because they had not been preached the gospel.

    Personally, I believe that God will judge those who have never heard the gospel based upon their response to general revelation.

    There is no doubt that any human has been presented God’s general revelation, which is through nature, conscience and culture. According to how they respond to it, the Apostle Paul proves (in the first three chapters of his Epistle to the Romans) that all humans are sinful and deserve condemnation, even in the absence of any coherent Christian message. This is the result of consciously rejecting general revelation; both the external one, that of creation, and the internal one, that of conscience. Creation is by itself a testimony about the Creator available to any human, as a kind of symbolic preaching that anyone can understand (Romans 1:20).

    Out of all things that have been made by Him, man is the highest of all. Man was created in God's image and likeness, as a personal agent that is now in search of meaning and fulfillment. If the external revelation of nature is not enough, then the internal one, that of conscience, is even more significant. Man’s conscience knows intuitively God’s moral standards and warns when they are trespassed (Romans 2:14-15)

    Anyone who performs evil is consciously acting contrary to the demands of his conscience. (However, conscience can become perverted itself, but only after a process of constantly rejecting its natural right demands.) The true problem of man is not the lack of revelation, but a wrong way of responding to it (Romans 1:21-23). Therefore, God could find enough reasons to judge and condemn those who never heard about Christ. Due to the fact that He could condemn them on the basis of their response to general revelation, the next point is to see how they could still be saved.

    If all people have the ability to say "yes," it is a level playing field.
     
  13. KenH

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    Sorry, but the answer is no, it is not a level playing field as each individual in this age has an environment that influences him that is different from the environment that influences another individual. This means that one person's opportunity and ability to say "yes" is not equal to each other person's opportunity and ability to say "yes".
     
  14. npetreley

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    Quite the contrary, it is you who are playing games with semantics. If I had meant to ask if everyone got a chance (an "equal" chance according to you, a universally given chance according to me), I would have asked that. But there was no need to ask that because I had already stated it under the list of Arminian assumptions:

    1. God gives everyone a chance to be saved.

    What I asked was the following: Does everyone get an equal chance. To repeat the question, in case you still don't get it:

    1. Does everyone get an equal chance?

    And in case that's not clear enough, here is the Webster's definition of equal:

    Main Entry: 1equal
    Pronunciation: 'E-kw&l
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English, from Latin aequalis, from aequus level, equal
    Date: 14th century
    1 a (1) : of the same measure, quantity, amount, or number as another (2) : identical in mathematical value or logical denotation : EQUIVALENT b : like in quality, nature, or status c : like for each member of a group, class, or society &lt;provide equal employment opportunities&gt;
    2 : regarding or affecting all objects in the same way : IMPARTIAL
    3 : free from extremes: as a : tranquil in mind or mood b : not showing variation in appearance, structure, or proportion
    4 a : capable of meeting the requirements of a situation or a task b : SUITABLE &lt;bored with work not equal to his abilities&gt;
    synonym see SAME

    Are we getting this yet? So if you want to say that everyone gets an opportunity, say so. If you want to say everyone gets an equal opportunity (the deck is not stacked for or against accepting Christ in any way), then you still have to demonstrate how that is possible.

    You're just restating the same thing, only now you've introduced the word "ability" to throw the discussion off track. Yes, I can see that the Arminian assumption is that everyone has equal ability to choose. That is your definition of free will.

    But that isn't waht I'm asking. What I am asking is does everyone have an equal chance. Opportunity, not ability. Is the deck stacked for some and against others? If so, then your God is unfair. If not, then show us how God manages to equalize the influential factors.

    Still enjoying jumping to conclusions, huh? As a result of our sin, (and lest you misdefine "our" I mean the sins of humanity), there is death in the world. People die from all ages, from birth to one hundred-something. God's grace covers those who are unable to make such a choice. Had they continued in life, they would have been able to make such a choice - therefore, they are not robots. They still maintained a free will - even though they may not have been of an age (or mentality) to exercise it.</font>[/QUOTE]Let's go over this one more time. I suggested that if God wanted to save everyone, He could take the lives of those who have not yet reached the age of accountability, thus preventing them from making the wrong choice. You objected with the response:

    Unless you've introduced a whole new train of thought here (and I'd have to wonder why you would do that), you are talking about those who are taken to heaven before they reach the age of accountability. Then I responded, "So your theology says there will be a mixed population in heaven. All those people who die before they reach the age of accountability will be robots"

    Now you have backpedalled and say that these people are not robots but have have free will. They simply haven't been able to exercise it yet, so they are shown mercy and sent to heaven.

    So, assuming we're on track again, that puts us right back where we started. If you've changed your mind and they're not robots because they died before the age of accountability, then my first suggestion remains perfectly valid. If God wanted to save all those folks whom He foreknows will make the wrong decision, He could take their lives before they reach the age of accountability.

    But He doesn't. So if, as you presume, God is not willing that any humans ever born should perish, then the Arminian view of God is ineffective, incompetent or perhaps just cruel. Heck, even some bozo on a BBS named npetreley can even figure out a way to accomplish His will, and do so without violating the requirements of rightousness and justice! You'd think the Arminian God would be able to do the same.
     
  15. Bible-belted

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    Maybe a little real life illustration wil help the arminians understand the foolishness of dsaying that a universal chance is the same thing as an equal chance.

    Up here in Canada we have universal healthcare. The healthcare system exists to be acessed by all.

    An arminian would say this means equal access.

    But it does not. I have lived in places where one can acess the healthcare system at no fewer than 5 hospitals by driving no more than 25 minutes.

    I have also lived in places where you cannot acccess the healthcare system without driving for one hour to get to the nearest hospital. And that's if it isn't serious. If it is then yo must go a further hour.

    See, universal availability is not the samre thing as equal access.

    It is an arrogant presumption to say otherwise, something said by those who have the luxury of debating the matter from the place where acess is easy.
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    If I offer a hundred dollars to the first person to get into my office, do you have an equal chance compared to my wife???

    Hardly. Your approach makes God a respecter of persons because it leads to a situation where people living in particular times or locales have a "more equal" chance than others. The view that we hold maintains the impartiality of God by not giving preference to some who happened to be born in the right place. Only in our view is everyone on equal ground.
     
  17. ScottEmerson

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    But there was no need to ask that because I had already stated it under the list of Arminian assumptions:

    1. God gives everyone a chance to be saved.

    What I asked was the following: Does everyone get an equal chance. To repeat the question, in case you still don't get it:

    1. Does everyone get an equal chance?[/quote]

    Everyone gets an equal chance. Everyone has the ability to say "yes" or "no." People have unequal opportunities (perhaps that's a better word), but everybody has an equal chance in that they can respond with an affirmative or a negative.

    And here's another set of definitions:

    1. Having the same quantity, measure, or value as another.
    2. Mathematics. Being the same or identical to in value.
    3. a. Having the same privileges, status, or rights: equal before the law.
    b. Being the same for all members of a group: gave every player an equal chance to win.

    4. Having the requisite qualities, such as strength or ability, for a task or situation: “Elizabeth found herself quite equal to the scene” (Jane Austen).
    5. Adequate in extent, amount, or degree.
    6. Impartial; just; equitable.
    7. Tranquil; equable.
    8. Showing or having no variance in proportion, structure, or appearance.

    3(a) states exactly what I am trying to maintain.

    I never said that everyone had an equal opportunity - I stated that everyone has an equal chance. Every person has the equal ability to say "yes" or "no." Why is this so hard?

    It is not a new thing: See my first post, where I wrote, "I doubt that anyone here would say they have an 'equal' chance in the way that you define it. However, with the understanding that 'equal' means that everyone is called by the Spirit to repent and that everyone has the equal ability to say "yes," then, yes, we are all equal in that regard."

    See, you just missed it the first time. It is not new.

    Why is God unfair if some people have more of a chance than others? Isn't there a wonderful verse of yours that states something about questioning the fairness of God?

    Again, if we are talking about fairness, and it sounds like you are, do you deny that God giving all man a choice is more unfair that God handpicking a select few (or many, I don't care to quibble the small stuff), withholding choice from the remainder of those He has created and passed over?

    It is not about the deck being "stacked" at all. God has provided a way for all men to receive Him.

     
  18. npetreley

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    Me:

    If God foreknows that people will choose to reject Jesus, He could kill them before they reach the age of accountability, thereby saving them from their mistake.

    You:

    And again:

    Me:

    "So your theology says there will be a mixed population in heaven. All those people who die before they reach the age of accountability will be robots, and those who made a choice will not."

    You:

    Me:

    "So, assuming we're on track again, that puts us right back where we started. If you've changed your mind and they're not robots because they died before the age of accountability, then my first suggestion remains perfectly valid. If God wanted to save all those folks whom He foreknows will make the wrong decision, He could take their lives before they reach the age of accountability."

    You:

    The bottom line seems to be that they are or are not robots depending on the line of reasoning that helps the Arminian case at the moment. That's very flexible theology, but it's hard to follow since it keeps changing.

    I've given up on the chance thing. I think we both understand each other, and I think people reading the thread can see where that went, too.
     
  19. Yelsew

    Yelsew
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    Npetreley
    I am not an Armenian, however I find flawed thinking in what you posted. Therefore, I respond to what you said,
    Man is known to believe even the tiniest of lies. So the tiniest of truthes is also believeable by man. So the amount of knowledge is not in question, what you do with the knowledge you have is. One person can actively choose heaven, and 2 Billion can simply not choose, and end up in hell. Some of the nicest folks will be in hell ya know! And some of the worst will end up in heaven. It's all in what you choose to believe.

    Each individual's choice is either active or passive. Man cannot passively choose Jesus, because that is not in man's nature, but you can passively be sent to hell because you did not so choose. And of course by open rejection you lose.

    This is like catching the train. You must actively board the train, or you passively get left at the station as the train pulls away. And of course you can leave the station before the train departs.

    Let's see that takes care of the second of your questions.

    Now for the first. Since each person has not only the ability to choose, but the responsibility to do so. And, since each person must act on the information at hand, that pretty well levels the playing field. So now question #one is answered, leaving us 'unstuck'.
    Of course! Omniscient God is not subject to surprises. But he doesn't take the element of mystery out of it for us by telling us ahead of time. And He never gossips about us.
    God feels it is necessary for every man to die! Quoting scripture, "it is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment." Every man faces and passes through the first death. Those who's names are not found in the Lambs book of Life, that is, do not have the mark of Jesus in their spirit, also experience the second and final death.
    Just as in our human courts, those who are not able to plead their own case are not judged as those who are. This applies to the "immature" and the infirm. Don't forget, Eternal life is a matter of spirit and not flesh, so it matters not how old or in what condition the flesh may be in. What does matter is the condition of the Spirit. For the physically immature, I think the spirit is also immature until the spirit is able to respond to the call of God. For the infirm, I don't know but I have faith that God takes special care of them. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    [ January 26, 2003, 03:16 AM: Message edited by: Yelsew ]
     
  20. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    The idea of people being "robots" is not my main argument. You're still constructing a straw man. What about the other parts of my posts. Have you nothing to say to them?
     

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