Free Will Baptist

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by HAMel, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. HAMel

    HAMel
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    Would someone enlighten me, please, on why the FWB believe that one can either "lose" their salvation or otherwise "forfeit" it and perhaps provide some scripture they rely upon to support their beliefs.

    I believe once saved...always saved.
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    They believe you can lose your salvation because they have a more consistent view of free will than most non-reformed Baptists.

    They are consistent in that they hold that if you can will to trust Christ as Savior, you can will to un-trust him.

    Most non-Calvinist Baptists will go to the mat over your free will to believe, but will deny that you have the free will to un-believe.

    That's why Southern Baptists are not Free-Will Baptists. They don't hold to complete free will, just the believing part.

    This is curious, too. General Baptists are called that because they believe in a General Atonement--that is, that Christ died for every person without exception. The majority of SBC-ers believe the same thing, but nobody calls them General Baptists.

    I wonder if that's because in early SBC history, the majority did not hold to a General Atonement? They were Particular Atonement Baptists.
     
  3. Luke2427

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    You are absolutely right Tom. The Free Will's believe man's salvation is absolutely dependent upon man's ability to endure in faith. Man is saved because he had the good sense to trust Christ, and is thus smzarter than those who don't get saved, and he stays saved because he is smart enough to keep trusting.

    Many SBC's believe that men can have the good sense to trust Christ but then his ability to slide into ignorance is no longer available to him.

    If it is not that those creatures endowed with Free Will who get saved are not smarter than the other creatures with Free Will who don't get saved- what is it?

    Is it that some of these free will creatures are more depraved than others?

    Both are terrible. Both pat man on the back. Both give man cause to boast before God.

    The Bible is clear. God does the choosing. I'm glad- if it were left up to us we all would certainly be damned.
     
  4. Luke2427

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    I was a Free Will Baptist for years. I pastored Free Will Baptist churches. They are plagued with a horribly man centered and God debasing philosophy. They believe that faith is not a gift from God but that it is something that man can do. Man can choose to believe in Christ and thus when man's faith and God's grace get together- salvation is spawned.

    Man must also grit his teeth, pull himself up by his bootstraps daily, dig in and endure in the faith, and keep himself in the grace of God by his determination to trust Christ continually. He is at the helm of his salvation. God has made the down payment of grace- man must keep up the monthly installments of faith. If man misses enough payments of faith- God forecloses on his salvation.

    If man makes it to heaven then he can say to Jesus- "You and me- we did a good job getting me here didn't we?"

    That is Free Will Baptist doctrine.

    The Bible teaches that faith is a gift from God. God draws the sinner to Christ, gives him faith to believe and saves him and keeps him and will glorify him as sure as there is a Heaven.
     
  5. Jerome

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    Were they?

    A real founder tells the truth about which view was generally held by early Southern Baptists:

    From James B. Taylor's (the first Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the SBC) Virginia Baptist Ministers (1859), s.v. "David Jessee" [emphasis added]:

     
  6. HAMel

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    Thanks for your responses. All your comments are appreciated.

    I like this. Quote: "If man makes it to heaven then he can say to Jesus- "You and me- we did a good job getting me here didn't we?"

    Quite clearly, "we" are helpless to do anything except follow.

    Quote: "The Free Will's believe man's salvation is absolutely dependent upon man's ability to endure in faith."

    Quote: "They are plagued with a horribly man centered and God debasing philosophy."

    ...how do things get so horribly off track?

    Thanks again for your insights.
     
    #6 HAMel, Sep 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2010
  7. Zenas

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    Can you please explain Ephesians 2:8-9.
    It's difficult to tell from the syntax which is the gift of God--grace or faith. It can't be both because they are followed by the singular pronoun "it". Since grace is obviously a gift from God, it seems to rule out faith. Maybe I'm being too systematic in my approach to these verses but I don't see how you can you can take them any other way. And it that is the case, faith must be a act of the will.
     
  8. HAMel

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    It appears to me, Zenas, the "IT" is making reference to Salvation.
     
  9. Zenas

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    Could be. It just seems like saying that would be a waste of words, like saying the sun rises in the east. Everybody knows that already.
     
  10. glfredrick

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    What a great description of Pelagianism...

    I am SBC and "reformed" in perspective (though I choose the term "biblical" rather than the older labels of Calvinist or Arminian, neither of which accurately describe the entire biblical picture) but have led a General Baptist church and association for 5 years. My congregation (then, I've since left) did believe in utter free will of man, including loosing one's salvation -- especially for un-confessed or un-repentant sin. When I asked a simple question they got rather angry... What did I ask? "Do you truly know ALL your sins? What of the sins that you don't even know you commit -- the ones where God desired for you to do something but you never responded because you were exercising your free will?"

    With sins of commission, omission, intentional, and un-intentional, we are all rather doomed and damned if not for the amazing grace and mercy of God through our Lord, Jesus Christ who paid it ALL -- 2000 years before the fact of our birth, and long before we first committed an act of sin (or before we were born sinners).
    The Bible teaches that faith is a gift from God. God draws the sinner to Christ, gives him faith to believe and saves him and keeps him and will glorify him as sure as there is a Heaven.
     
  11. glfredrick

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    Dumping the term "High Calvinist" without checking to see if by that the cited individual meant the hyper-Calvinist position often used as a straw man in debates like this is silly... A quick review of church history suggests that the entire realm of the Baptist world at that point in time was seriously more Calvinistic than now -- and the ones called "Calvinists" were indeed "hyper" according to our current standards. The story of Benoni Stinson (founder of the General Conference of General Baptists) comes readily to mind. In his railing against the "Calvinists" he moved his church far to the free will side -- and ended up (almost) a centrist in the continuum between Pelagian and Hyper-Calvinist.
     
  12. Winman

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    This is correct, once you trust Christ you are born again. You cannot fall back into unbelief after this.

    1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

    If you truly trust Christ you are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus said the Holy Spirit would abide with us forever (John 14:16).

    Unbelief is sin. But those truly born of God cannot sin, and the Holy Spirit never leaves us, therefore we cannot fall by unbelief.

    Where folks get confused is that when we receive Christ we now have two natures, the old man in the flesh and the new man in the spirit. The old man can and does sin. But we still retain the new man that cannot sin. So, we cannot fall back into unbelief.
     
  13. glfredrick

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    "Sin" in the Scriptures most often refers to our original sin -- the thing we are born with that makes us "dead in our sin..." "Sins" in the Scriptures generally refer to those things we do to transgress God's law, miss God's mark, break relationships, do the work of the enemy, accuse the brothers and sisters, etc.
     
  14. Winman

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    How can you be dead in sin simply by being born? Is being born a sin? It is remarkable how people overlook what is so obvious, you are dead because of your trespasses and sin, not because you were born.

    Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

    Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

    You can't be born dead, that is impossible. Children are born stillborn, but they were alive for a period of time. You have to be alive to die.

    Little children are not born sinners. I have listed many scriptures that shows God does not hold little children accountable for sin. Are children born with the sin nature or flesh? Yes. But you have to understand sin and the consequences to be held accountable for it.

    Deut 1:39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

    When the children of Israel sinned against God in the wilderness he said that none of them would enter the promised land which is a figure of heaven. They all died in the wilderness. But their children who in that day had no knowledge between good and evil were allowed to go in.

    This is the "age of accountability". Yes, little children can and do wrong, but they do not fully understand what they are doing and therefore are not held accountable. When a person reaches a certain point of maturity that only God knows and can know between good and evil, then they are held accountable and spiritually die when they knowingly and willingly commit sin.

    But nowhere does the scriptures say you are simply born dead which is absolutely illogical and impossible. You have to be alive to die.
     
    #14 Winman, Sep 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2010
  15. Luke2427

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    David said, "Behold I was shapen in iniquity; in sin did my mother conceive me."
     
  16. Luke2427

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    For time's sake I cannot do the proper exegesis of Ephesians 2:8-9 right now. But I would say to you that, logically speaking, faith must be a gift. Man's will is depraved. Jeremiah said that a leopard could change his own spots as soon as a man can change his own nature. There is none that doeth good. The heart is deceitful above all, desperately wicked. Man is a thoroughly wicked being which desires only evil continually. He does not WILL to serve, worship, honor or yield to Christ. His will is bound by his sinful nature.

    There is none that understandeth, none that seeketh after God.
     
  17. Zenas

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    Matthew 18:21-35 and James 5:19-20 come to mind. There are probably others as well.
     

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