Exposed: False Illustrations to ‘Prove’ Doctrine – Part 1

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Protestant, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Protestant

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    It is with great zeal and fervor that a well-meaning board member habitually cites his own version of earthly illustrations to allegedly ‘prove’ the truth of the doctrines which he holds most dear. Below I give an example followed by reasons why they ‘fall short of the glory of God' and the truth of Scripture.

    Example # 1: “The word of God only effectually works in those that believe.
    It is like shouting fire in a theater, it is easy to see who believes, because it will work in them, they will run to the exits. Those who do not believe will remain in their seats.”

    Refutation: In the illustration a liar shouts ‘fire’ in a theater. There is no fire. Some deceived patrons believe the lie and flee. Others recognize where there is no smoke, there is no fire and remain in their seats. No supernatural power or revelation is necessary. The voice they hear is human. They all hear with the same human ability with which they were born.

    However, the Bible teaches a much different truth.

    God is Spirit and is no liar. There is a spiritual Lake of Fire awaiting all men. For all men are born guilty, sinful God-haters.

    The Devil is a liar, the god of this world. He preaches ‘God loves you. Recite a simple Sinners Prayer. Then all will be well with your soul.’ This sermon men hear because it appeals to their flesh. Men willingly believe Satan over Christ…..there is no Hellfire awaiting them, for they acknowledge facts about Jesus.

    Christ came to Earth as the Light of the World. But men love darkness [Satan] and hate the Light [Christ]. Despite the many proofs of His being the Messiah --- fulfillment of prophecy, miracles, teachings, lifestyle, His own testimony, etc. --- Jesus was hated, persecuted and murdered. Evil men willingly did this despite Jesus’ many truthful warnings of Hell fire and Brimstone Judgment coming upon those who will not believe on Him.

    All men are born of the flesh, sons of Satan; enemies of God. They hear and obey Satan, their father. As a result, all men are born spiritually deaf to the spiritual truth of God and Jesus Christ.

    Only the miraculous, supernatural power of God heals man’s spiritual deafness.

    “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” (Deut. 32:39)

    “And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he [Jesus] maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” (Mark 7:31-37)

    “He that hath ears to hear [spiritual truths], let him hear [with understanding].” (Matt. 11:15)

    “He that hath an ear [to hear spiritual truths], let him hear [with understanding] what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Rev. 2:7 and numerous other citations in the Revelation)

    Conclusion: The board member introduces many profound errors through his illustration.

    • He denies the biblical view of the gravity of man’s inherent sin nature.

    • He denies the biblical view of Satan’s power over mankind, as well as man’s natural kinship to him.

    • He glorifies man, in effect exalting him to godhood by claiming his power to reverse spiritual deafness, a miracle as stunning as that which Jesus performed when He healed those deaf from birth.

    • He denies the need of God’s miraculous spiritual life-giving, healing power in order for man to hear and act upon God's spiritual truths.
     
  2. Winman

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    I am the "well meaning" board member you write about. Obviously you worry that my arguments are convincing to others and feel you must attempt to counter them.

    Who said that a person shouting fire in a theater is lying? They could very well be telling the truth, theaters do catch fire at times.

    The analogy was a good one, those who believe the warning will immediately head for the exits. Those who believe the warning is false will likely remain in their seats.

    The point is, faith works. If a person believes the word of God, they will call on Jesus for salvation, if a person believes the scriptures are a myth, they will not.
    This is easily refuted. Jesus told his disciples to "take heed what ye hear".

    Mar 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

    This warning is nonsensical if men are unable to hear spiritual truths unless God causes them to hear and learn these truths. Why warn those whom God causes to hear? They are going to hear and learn no matter what. And why warn those who are unable to hear spiritual truths? It will not do them one bit of good if God chooses not to enable them to hear.

    Warnings like Mark 4:24 are sure evidence that Calvinism is false doctrine. Anyone with a lick of common sense can see scripture like this completely contradicts and refutes Calvinism.

    The only ones unable to see this spiritual truth are Calvinists themselves.
     
    #2 Winman, Sep 5, 2013
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  3. Inspector Javert

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    Illustrations..."ILLUSTRATE" doctrines, not "prove" them.

    Who says there's no fire? That wasn't in the illustration. Obviously, we know the legal background wherein there was not in fact a "fire"....but, it doesn't matter whether there is or isn't a fire. The illustration still holds.....

    This illustration actually pre-supposes that there IS in fact a fire. "Flee the wrath to come" is the background notion behind the idea of this illustration.
    You don't understand the illustration. In that illustration, there IS a fire, and those who don't flee burn, because it was never a lie.....

    Gravity isn't the right word...because it isn't "gravity" which is being spoken of. What the poster denies is not the depravity depth or gravity of sin nature.....it's the notion of the will's inability which is being denied. Whether inability is true or not has nothing to do with sin's gravity or horror.
    No he doesn't.
    I am willing to bet that the poster believes that man has no natural ability to hear and believe except through the power of the Spirit and Word of God to heal their "deafness". Whether or not that voice compels or simply enables the sinner to hear has no effect on either man's natural abilities nor his state of depravity nor God's power to awaken the totally Spiritually dead.

    Either view demands the miracle of the power of God's awakening Word. And NEITHER view holds that man is naturally capable within himself (without Divine intervention) to hear and believe.
    \
    This is merely a re-statement of what you said above.

    Unless I misunderstand the poster you mention (I can only guess who that poster is). Than, I bet you misunderstand him/her.
    IF that person denies the necessity of the mighty calling of God unto salvation, than they are indeed wrong. But, I'm willing to bet that poster doesn't. However, denying that the call is compulsory (which is what is actually meant by those who call it "effectual") is no denying of it's necessity or it's veracity.
    God's word accomplishes whatsoever he wills it to accomplish, and the question isn't one of either man's ability or God's but rather what God wills it to accomplish. If God indeed wills that it compels the response, than it is so....if God wills that it only enable response, than so be it. You are pre-supposing your own P.O.V. in order to make that accusation. If God doesn't indeed intend for his word to compel but rather only to enable...than it is precisely as "effectual" as God wants it to be. Words have meaning. The general tendency amongst Calvinists to euphemize and disphemize terms gets them confused and knotted up in circles all the time.

    But his illustration has nothing to do with elevating man to "godhood" or any other ill-thought-out accusation such as you pose here.
     
    #3 Inspector Javert, Sep 5, 2013
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  4. Inspector Javert

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    Ah.....another great mind seeing precisely the flaw I saw!! :laugh:

    The illustration actually pre-supposes the fact that the theatre is actually on fire....it has no teeth if it ISN'T!!!

    Pity the poor fellow who spent such time on this O.P. to miss something so immediate and glaringly obvious. :flower:
     
  5. Inspector Javert

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    I would ask you Winman if you believe that man is naturally pre-disposed in his sin nature to be unable to hear and respond UNLESS there is a super-natural calling of God however. I would not argue that a man completely dead in sin is able to SIMPLY hear and respond.

    I would argue that the Spirit must "knock" and "call" or else they remain dead in sin and indeed unable to believe. I believe God can "harden" hearts essentially by merely ceasing to draw them.

    Do you believe man's inherent sin nature implies an ability to believe without some super-natural intervention? (Even if that simply consists of the power of God's word rightly preached or contained in his word)?
     
  6. Winman

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    He's talking about me, I am the person who gave the analogy of a person shouting fire in a theater. The scripture I was using this analogy to apply to was 1 Thessalonians 2:13;

    1 The 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

    Calvinists say the effectual call of God causes men to believe. That is the exact reverse of what scripture truly says. The scriptures say the word of God effectually works in those that believe.

    As an analogy I said imagine someone shouting fire in a theater, it is easy to see who believes this warning, they will immediately run for the exits. Those who do not believe the warning will likely remain in their seats. It is faith that causes the word to work, not the other way around as Calvinism falsely teaches.

    And I have probably said many dozens of times that no man could possibly believe in Jesus Christ unless God had revealed him to us through his scriptures that were revealed through prophets and teachers. This is why Paul asks how any man can believe in Jesus unless he has HEARD of him, and how can he hear unless someone is sent to PREACH the gospel.

    Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

    Does Paul ask HOW shall they BELIEVE unless they are supernaturally regenerated? NO, he simply asks how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard.

    Does Paul ask HOW shall they HEAR unless they are supernaturally regenerated? NO, he simply asks how shall they hear without a preacher.

    If the ability to believe in Jesus requires regeneration, Paul completely forgets to mention it here. If the ability to hear the gospel requires regeneration, Paul completely forgets to mention it here.

    In fact, Paul forgets to mention the necessity of regeneration to believe and hear throughout the scriptures, it is not mentioned once. Calvinists cannot show even one verse of scripture to support this man-made fiction.

    That said, no man is born with the knowledge of the true God and salvation through his Son Jesus Christ. That requires revelation from God through the preaching of his word just as Paul implies in Romans 10:14.

    But man does not need to be regenerated to believe God's word, that is never taught anywhere in scripture.
     
    #6 Winman, Sep 5, 2013
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  7. InTheLight

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    Ahhh...is Protestant misrepresenting someone's theology in order to knock it down and "correct" it again? Tsk, tsk...
     
  8. Winman

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    First of all, you cannot separate God's word from his Spirit;

    Jhn 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

    So, God's word are not ordinary words, Jesus said they are spirit and life, they are supernatural.

    Nevertheless, God's word only effectually works in those that believe.

    1 The 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

    It is like those persons bit by the fiery serpents in the wilderness. God commanded Moses to place a brass serpent on a pole, and every man who was bitten, if he were to look to this brass serpent would live.

    Num 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
    9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

    These fiery serpents represent sin. Just as a man died from the bite of these fiery serpents, when a man sins it causes death.

    God told Moses to set a brass serpent on a pole. Every man (no Limited Atonement) that was bitten, if he looked, he lived.

    Calvinism teaches that a man has to be healed of sin before he is able to look.

    Scripture teaches the exact opposite, scripture teaches that a man has to look in faith to be healed.

    And this is the analogy Jesus used in John chapter 3 when he explained to Nicodemus how to be born again. A person must look to Jesus in faith to be healed of sin.

    And just like my signature, God says we must look to live. Calvinism teaches you must live to look.
     
  9. Winman

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    I believe what men naturally lack is KNOWLEDGE, not ability.

    Jhn 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

    Calvinists love John 6:44, but tend to ignore verse 45 which explains exactly how men are drawn by the Father. Men are drawn when they are TAUGHT by the Father, when they HEAR and LEARN from the Father.

    And how do men get this knowledge? Are they supernaturally zapped with this revelation? NO, men are taught by the scriptures, by the word of God.

    Again, this is why Paul asks HOW (ability) can a man believe in Jesus if he has not HEARD (revelation/knowledge) of him?

    Paul does not imply or hint in the least that a man needs to be supernaturally regenerated to believe in Jesus, he simply implies he must HEAR of Jesus.

    But a Calvinist will object and say a man is unable to HEAR. Paul answers this too, his next question is , and HOW (ability) shall they HEAR without a PREACHER? Paul does not imply or hint in the least that a man must be supernaturally regenerated to have the ability to hear the word of God. NO, Paul simply implies a preacher must be sent to preach the gospel.

    So, what men lack is KNOWLEDGE, not ability.
     
  10. Inspector Javert

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    You need say no more..........you are right on! :thumbsup:
     
  11. Inspector Javert

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    I don't honestly think he is trying to "mis-represent" it....he doesn't understand it. By that I mean that he is used to perceiving certain terms in a specific Cal-only context (such as "effectual"). The penchant for euphemism and dysphemism confuses many Calvinists IMO. Frankly....although he may think that we don't believe God's call is "effectual"...that's the wrong word. Because it is PRECISELY as "effectual" as he intends it to be. Which renders him as Sovereign over man's salvation as any Theology. What a Calvinist REALLY means is that it is compulsory (whether by force or a compatibilistic compulsion makes no difference).
    I like this article:
    http://evangelicalarminians.org/calvinist-rhetoric-euphemism-and-dysphemism/

    ............The end result is a lot of confusion, misdirection, and sometimes outright lies (though I will clarify the lie point at the end). What you usually have is what is known as poisoning the well. Poisoning the well is essentially creating a bias before any real conversation has taken place
     
  12. Ed B

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    And that hardly ever happens around here. At least no more that a few times each day.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. InTheLight

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    Yeah, you got that right.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Moved to general discussion for NON-BAPTISTS - would ask "Protestant" to please NOT post in Baptist-Only areas.
     
  15. DocTrinsoGrace

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    Ignorant, Sick, or Dead

    That teaching is historically called Pelagianism, named after its chief proponent, a British Monk in the 4th century. One of the last of the ecumenical councils, the Council of Orange, sought to mitigate the teaching Biblically.

    If I understand it correctly, the Pelagian idea is that men are ignorant. Untaught men need an instructor. Later teachings, took the perspective that men were not so much ignorant, as diseased. Sick men need a doctor. The Biblical teaching is that men are dead (Ephesians 2:1-3). Dead men need a miracle worker -- a Savior (Ephesians 2:4-6).
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    Basically, the view is that we were not hurt much by the fall of Adam, just a bit damaged, still basically morally good, and once we hear the gospel, we have free will to come to Him and choose Him totally independent of God!
     
  17. Winman

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    Wow, really? Are you calling me a Pelagian? Or are you calling me a semi-Pelagian?

    Boy, I bet Augustine didn't like him.
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    Do you deny Original sin?

    Deny that we are sinners by birth and choice?
    Deny that we can come to God ONLY by him granting/apply us grace to do such?

    Do you affirm that our salvation based upon our own free will, and that faith is what saves us?

    that we chose jesus first, and that our action then causes God to save us?
     

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