Free Choice

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by J.D., Apr 3, 2006.

  1. J.D.

    J.D.
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    Thought I would start a new thread since this topic is running in several different threads.

    I'm asking my fellow calvinists to help me clarify what we mean when we say that man's will is bound but he can freely choose.

    It's my understanding that Adam had true free choice. When he chose sin, he sort of "flipped the switch" for all mankind. The unregenerated have inherited a will that is in bondage to sin.

    So the unregenerate are free to choose sin, and they are free choose what color shirt to wear today; but they are not free to choose God until God regenerates them, infusing his nature into them, yet leaving the old nature in place, so that we experience trouble in the flesh as described in Rom 7.

    Am I on track?
     
  2. Helen

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    Maybe with Calvinists, but not with the Bible!
     
  3. johnp.

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    Hello JD.

    Hope you don't mind I'd like to be part of this but I can't really say I'm a normal sort of Calvinist though.

    I think they mean that man in sin is sovereign. :cool: Altough he cannot choose to do good he can and does choose sin. This choice negates God's Sovereignty I believe.

    It is mine that God bound all men over to disobedience and Adam was never sovereign. Rom 11:32.
    I do not believe God permits others choice as I believe sovereignty resides in choice.

    The sinful man is in bondage to his fallen nature and his desires reflect his sinful nature. Still, the choices he makes originate in God's will. God cannot permit him a choice relinquishing His Sovereignty.

    God chooses my socks. :cool:

    That's right. :cool:

    I wanted to come back to this. I saw it on another thread and was surprised to learn that it is held that the sinful nature is dead and gone but I have always believed that the old nature is still alive and kicking. I have not really studied this area and just accepted what I'd heard, and scripture seemed to support it, without looking deeper into it.

    Whatch it man, this must have touched a nerve before it began. :cool: The fog of war has decended fast. :cool:

    john.
     
  4. Gina B

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    I wouldn't say they aren't free to choose God, but that they simply won't do it on their own. It is there, but the natural inclination of man, the sin nature, chooses sin. It is his first choice. There is no person that will not sin in his/her life. There simply isn't. That's what people choose. If they had a choice and the odds were 50/50, we'd have half the people choosing not to sin. Or 25% of them. Or even one person, but there has never been even ONE.
    The only logical conclusion is that man is incapable, on his own, of choosing not to sin. That means they have not chosen Christ. Even one sin is a rejection of Christ.

    What changes that choice? God, through the Holy Spirit working in the person.

    Can people choose to try to be good on their own? Yes. We see that in many people. There are a number of kind-hearted, giving atheists. What do they lack? A choice? No. They lack Christ.

    The question remains "why do they lack Christ?"

    I guess if I could answer that, I'd...well, answer that.

    Calvinist? I do call myself that, although some would disagree. I've pretty much come to the decision that for the most part, except for the most polarized positions on Cal/Arm, it's simply an issue of semantics. The rest, no matter what they call themselves, still believe in and teach Christ, which is the point of Christianity, so I can't have very many negative feelings about that with those that disagree with me, unless they're mean about it!
     
  5. J.D.

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    Technical question in the middle of a thread: JohnP, how do you separate those quotes with lines like that?
     
  6. Calvibaptist

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    There is a link to the left here that says "UBB Code is enabled" that gives you hints. For quotes you will uses brackets [] with the word "Quote" in them at the beginning and [] with the word "/Quote" at the end.

    It will end up looking like this:
     
  7. rjprince

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    For me the clearest passage on this is...
    Hey, that quote thing works pretty well!

    We were dead in our sins, till the lifegiving grace of God drew us to Himself. It was God, through His great mercy, not our wise choice, who made us alive in Christ, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins.

    Calvinism (as far as our salvation is concerned) teaches that we were dead in our sins; without life; unable to save ourselves; unable to even move toward the cross. Arminianism teaches that we are sin-sick; hurting in our sin; but none-the-less able to drag ourselves to the foot of the cross for salvation.

    That is the real choice here, are we dead, as the Bible declares, or are we just sick.

    I know there is a conflict with a general call extended for all to come for salvation and a recognition of the fact that we are dead and cannot come of our own accord. I also know that there is a conflict with this deadness and inability to come without God first making us alive and the fact that the Bible does present the Gospel as being freely given to all who will believe. If they cannot believe apart from God's grace, how can the gospel be freely given? I DO NOT KNOW. It is not my task to understand it. It is my task to declare it. Can I balance it all out? Frayed knot. After 30+ years of working on it, this is as far as I have gotten.

    So, who chooses? Does God choose us for salvation? Yes. Did I choose to come to Christ that I might have life? Yes. BUT the determining factor was God’s grace, not my own wisdom or goodness. Apart from His grace, I would never have come. Apart from Him giving me life, I would still be dead in my trespasses and sin. How does the fact that Scripture indicates that I have made a choice and that God first chose me balance out? I have no idea.

    But I MUST insist that it is His choice that was the determining factor, not mine. Otherwise, as noted, His sovereignty is made subservient to the will of man. Is that JUST? It would have been PERFECTLY JUST, if God had let us all go to hell forever. It is what we deserve. The doctrine of election does not send anyone to Hell! It only guarantees that the chosen will go to Heaven. It is all by His wondrous grace, and not by own self-effort!
     
  8. genesis12

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    Has anyone else noticed that....

    .....nearly every forum ends up Calvin vs. whatever? Are there any other topics in the Bible that prompt Q&A?

    If we can't get out of this quicksand, why fight it? Why not just let go and let God? I've never, ever, ever seen anyone won over to an opposite viewpoint.
     
  9. rjprince

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    G12,

    This one DID start out that way...

    and, yes, I do agree, we cannot win someone over to an opposite viewpoint, but sometimes TRUTH can. Be that as it may, for me, the purpose of debating these issues is to thoroughly examine my own beliefs about a Biblical issue and determine if I am as thoroughly Biblical as I think I am.

    Whether you hold to one side of this or the other, debating it will challenge you to at least think about the arguments for the other position, it may help you learn to state your position in a more effective way, and it may even help some of to align our position more closely with the Word of GOD.

    That is what this is all about for me. No one has ever changed my mind about something that I was determined to believe. But, after thoroughly going over some issues and pouring over the Word more, and letting the Spirit of God pour the Word over, TRUTH has sometimes helped me to change my mind. The other day, I told my wife, "Honey, I've changed my mind". She said, "Sweetheart, that is great news! Does the new one work any better?" [​IMG]
     
  10. Petrel

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    I don't know about that, I used to lean towards Calvinism until I spend a good deal of time thinking about the implications.

    I do think we need the Calvinism/Arminianism forum back to segregate these topics, which otherwise tend to take over the whole forum.
     
  11. rjprince

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    Why did it go away? I was gone at the time...
     
  12. Petrel

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    People kept getting carried away and saying things they shouldn't, so the whole forum got deleted. I don't really see the point because since the topic wasn't forbidden it just carried over to this forum. :confused: I think things have been better since then. I wish we had it back, though.
     
  13. J.D.

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    I think this thread, so far, is a good example of why forums like this are so valuable to us. Ideas have been exchanged, beliefs have been challenged, and name-calling has been reserved - like it said - SO FAR! [​IMG]

    I agree that it would be better to have a separate forum for calvinism. The reason it dominates the discussion is because it is the issue of the times. There was a time when there was a more important battle, that of Bible Believers vs Bible Doubters. Having vanquished the liberals, it seems that now, as many of us have converted to the calvinist doctrines, we must deal with it. It's not going away, especially among Baptists.

    I think Rjprince said it well:
    There is a forum on www.baptistfire.com that strictly forbids any defense of calvinism. If you're the type of person that can't stand to have your beliefs challenged, then I suggest you go over there and commiserate with them. In the mean time, iron sharpens iron, and I receive as many or more blows than I deliver in this debate. But I believe it’s good for me, and you too.
     
  14. johnp.

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    Hello JD.

    Like Calvi said. :cool: I type my post into notepad then cut and paste it into the reply box when I'm ready.

    [*quote]This is a quote.[*/quote]

    Leave the asterisks out and that will turn into the quote. :cool:

    john.
     
  15. J.D.

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    THANKS JOHN AND CALVI, LOOK AROUND THE FORUM, THIS IS CATCHING ON!
     
  16. UnchartedSpirit

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    JD, are you talking about the ShaperIron froums, or just using the phrase?
     
  17. J.D.

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    JohnP, I was suprized to see some of your comments earlier. Webdog on another post somewhere said that you had flipped from C back to A, but that clearly is not the case.

    When you said "God chooses my socks", were you joking or were you serious? For some hold to the predestination of all things, including the socks you wear. I've read Zanchius' treatise on that, and it makes a lot of sense to me.

    You said you're not a "normal" calvinist. You have your own particulars, and I have mine. That's fine with me. If we were "normal" at all, we would be arminian, or lost.!!!yikes
     
  18. J.D.

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    Just using the phrase. It's from the Bible, somewhere in Proverbs I think.
     
  19. UnchartedSpirit

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    I know, it's a forum too :D
     
  20. J.D.

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    I've heard of it but never been there. Recommend?
     

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