Free Will vs. Predestination

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Brother Adam, Aug 26, 2001.

  1. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam
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    On another thread Gina said "But let me guess, it wasn't anything to do with (enter scary drum roll here) FREE WILL?
    Ha, just kidding. Couldn't resist, please don't answer that. "

    I'm wondering about some opinions here on the whole free will/predestination issue (and i know as you are Baptists i will get some interesting answers :D ). I am also making it the topic of my next essay.

    Myself I believe that paradoxily (sp?) free will and predestination co-exist together. We are 100% predestined and have 100% free will.

    What do you think?

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  2. DocCas

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    Nobody has free will. We are either in bondage to sin or bound to Christ. The only thing an unsaved sinner is free to do is go on sinning.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    Man's will is subject to man's sin nature. I cannot change that, any more than a leopard can exchange its spots for stripes, or a black man become white (except for Michael Jackson [​IMG])

    Man's sinful nature is totally, completely evil. So man's "free will" is bound to be totally, completely sinful.

    THANKFULLY, God intervenes in His elect and "regenerates" man, giving him a new nature (we call this being "born again").

    Now, regenerated man's new nature controls his will so that man can become more and more like Jesus! PTL!
     
  4. Chris Temple

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  5. Michael Wrenn

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    I am about as strongly a free-will Baptist as you are likely to find and equally opposed to Calvinism--I think Calvinism is an evil theological system.
     
  6. Chick Daniels

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    I agree strongly with Dr. Bob, Tom, and Chris. There is nothing "free" about being dead in trespasses and sins.

    Michael, you may not understand Calvinism. Calvinism basically says that God is totally sovereign in the universe and in the affairs of men. It says that what God determines to do will most certainly be done. His plans are never cancelled, delayed or altered by another being. It says that God will keep his promises, to those that He has elected out of their dead condition, He gives life, and will bring them, without exception, into progressive conformity to the image of Christ.

    The following quote from John Calvin was found in his last will and testiment:

    "I give thanks to God, that taking compassion on me whom he had created and placed in this world, he not only delivered me by his power out of the deep darkness of idolatry, into which I was plunged, that he might bring me into the light of his gospel, and make me a partaker of the doctrine of salvation, of which I was most unworthy; that with the same goodness and mercy he has graciously and kindly borne with my multiplied transgressions and sins, for which I deserved to be rejected and cut off by him; and has also exercised towards me such great compassion and clemency, that he has condescended to use my labor in preaching and publishing the truth of his gospel."

    Hard to believe that this quote was from someone promoting an evil system of theology! ;)

    BTW: Calvin was an extremely moral man, squeezing out more work for Christ in his 54 years than 10 average men did in their lifetimes. He preached every day in his church, wrote commentaries for almost the entire Bible, trained and sent out scores of missionaries, and turned Geneva, Switerland into a kingdom of heaven on earth (according to John Knox).

    Chick
     
  7. John Wells

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    But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13 KJV)

    Faith is the first act of a will made new by the Holy Spirit.

    For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. (1 Th 1:4-5 NIV)

    Man's will participates in response to God's promptings as Paul makes clear when he says the Thessalonians received the Word. Two or more unsaved people may hear the same message of the gospel, but the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon only whom God chooses, and they are convicted.
    Did you ever hear a powerful convicting sermon and say to yourself, "How could anybody hear that and not respond to God's call?" But the truth of the matter is, a number of unsaved people probably walked out the doors of your church that very day, unsaved and untouched by the message, because:

    The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor 4:4 NIV)

    All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:37 NIV)

    "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44 NIV)

    The combination of v. 37a and v. 44 indicate that the divine drawing activity which Jesus referred to cannot be reduced to what theologians call "prevenient grace," i.e., that somehow the power to come to Christ is allegedly dispensed to all of mankind, thus enabling everyone to accept or reject the gospel according to their own will alone. Scripture indicates that no "free will" exists in man's nature, for man is enslaved to sin (total depravity) and unable to believe apart from God's empowerment (Rom. 3:1–19; Eph. 2:1–3; 2 Cor. 4:4; 2 Tim. 1:9).
     
  8. Michael Wrenn

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    Chick,

    I can assure you I have thoroughly studied Calvinism, and I can also assure you that, as a result of that study, I totally reject all five points of Calvinism. And I still contend that Calvinism is an evil theology.

    Calvin was a state-churchist, persecutor, and murderer. I wonder if Michael Servetus thought Calvin's Geneva was a kingdom of heaven on earth.
     
  9. John Wells

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    Michael,

    Perhaps you would do all us gentlemen a favor and use the scriptures to defend your position? Since you have "thoroughly studied Calvinism," then you should be up to the challenge. It's sure to prove quite interesting! ;)

    [ August 27, 2001: Message edited by: wellsjs ]
     
  10. John Wells

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    Michael Wrenn said, "Calvin was a state-churchist, persecutor, and murderer. I wonder if Michael Servetus thought Calvin's Geneva was a kingdom of heaven on earth."

    While I don't condone burning Michael Servetus at the stake, the man was more than a mere dissenter of Calvin's theology. He was an enemy of Catholics and Protestants alike, as a Unitarian who denied the trinity. Certainly you can pick a better martyr for the "free-will" cause.
     
  11. Brother Adam

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:
    Adam:

    Did you miss the entire Predestination Thread ?

    If so, please also see The Myth of Free Will and Predestination at the Highway Web site
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes I did miss those threads, haven't been here long- but 7 pages?!?! that's a long read. I think i will take a look at the websites.

    Let me explain my position a bit better though:

    100% free will: We have the ability to passively accept the gift of God given to us through the death & resurrection of Christ

    100% predestination: God knows those who will be with Him in heaven.

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  12. Michael Wrenn

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    wellsjs,

    Tomorrow, not tonight--got to go to bed so I can get up and teach a bunch of unruly seventh graders!
     
  13. Michael Wrenn

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    wellsjs,

    Almost forgot: So, I guess you believe that Michael Servetus's being a Unitarian makes Calvin's murder of him more acceptable.
     
  14. John Wells

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    Michael,

    Read what I said! ;)
     
  15. Chick Daniels

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    Michael Wrenn said, "Calvin was a state-churchist, persecutor, and murderer. I wonder if Michael Servetus thought Calvin's Geneva was a kingdom of heaven on earth."

    John Calvin did not murder Michael Servetus.
    You have to understand the times, and allow people of medieval period to live by the cultural standards of that time, not the 21st century. I am not saying that those customs were always right, but the facts of life back then was the union of church and government. The city councils settled disputes in the church. The winner of the debates had his doctrine officially legalized, and the loser was labelled a heritic and persecuted. Thankfully, separation of church and state came at a later point in the Reformation. Don't blame Calvin for the structure that had been in place for a thousand years. Calvin wasn't there to light the flame to burn Michael Servetus, who was a victim of the city council's determination that he was a heretic. As was stated, Servetus had his problems, and certainly no one should ever be put to death for their beliefs. This fact is one of the reasons that I am proud of my Baptist Heritage--that Baptists have usually scorned opportunities to persecute those of differing beliefs. The episode with Servetus hardly invalidates the wonderful ministry of John Calvin. Calvin's only involvement with Servertus' death was that his doctrines were officially legalized, and Servertus had the misfortune of taking an opposing view, which in that culture was just as much of a crime as murder--a capital offense.

    Furthermore if you are going to eliminate all of the points of Calvinist theology from the Scriptures, I hope that for your sake you have large scissors, because when you are done, there won't be many pages left.

    Chick
     
  16. Chick Daniels

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    Furthermore, Michael, you stated that you reject all of Calvinism, so then, if the God of the Bible is not sovereign in the universe and in the affairs of men, please tell me Who is, so that I may go and worship Him.

    Also, if man is not totally depraved, and has some ability to come to God on his own, why did fundamentalism reject wholesale the early 20th century modernism/liberalism that attempted to fan the flame of man's inner goodness?
    Chick
     
  17. Michael Wrenn

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    Calvin was as much a murderer and persecutor as any Catholic Inquisitor.
     
  18. Chick Daniels

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    Okay...I dismiss your statement out of hand...Calvin was not "as much a murderer and persecutor as any Catholic Inquisitor"--what is accomplished by your dismissal of my comments without interacting with my assessment of the historical situation? Calvin is no more a murderer than President George Bush was when Tim McVeigh was killed. In medieval custom, violation of city ordinance in matters where the council made a decision over a religious dispute was just as prosecutable as murder. Neither of us agree that such as custom was right, but don't blame Calvin for being alive at the time. Had the council ruled against Calvin at any time, he could have just as easily been killed. In fact, for three years he had to run for his life from Geneva, when his views fell out of favor, only to be later invited back to lead the church.
     
  19. Michael Wrenn

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    If the Anabaptists hadn't arisen, that "custom" you're talking about would have continued for maybe hundreds of years. Do you not blame the Protestants and Catholics for their persecution and murder of the Anabaptists? If not, why not--because they just happened to be alive at the time, as you put it, and because they were simply following a centuries-old tradition?!! Please!!
     
  20. John Wells

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    Can we get back to the topic of "Free will vs. Predestination?"

    And I believe you're up to bat Michael with some scriptural argument to support free will?
     

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