Has God prevented people from believing unto repentance? ;)

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Yes. I, as an Arminian, believe God, in His sovereignty, has prevented people from believing.

    It is clear in scripture that Jesus hid the gospel in parables so that those on the outside wouldn't understand and repent. (Matt. 13; Mark 4))

    It is clear in scripture that God sent the Jews a spirit of stupor so they couldn't see and understand. (Rom. 10)

    It is clear that the Jews were being temporarily judicially hardened by God while the Gentiles were being grafted into the covenant of grace. (Acts 28; John 12; Romans 11)

    WHY WOULD GOD DO THESE THINGS TO PREVENT MEN FROM BELIEVING, IF INDEED ALL MEN ARE BORN UNABLE TO WILLINGLY BELIEVE?

    (There is a big difference between God never allowing people to believe from birth and God temporarily preventing people from believing in order to bring the world salvation. Calvinists make the mistake of taking passages that refer to the latter to support the former.)
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    The obvious answer is that he is with-holding the miraculous power of God working within their lives that is able to get beyond their ability and save them despite themselves. Just because God prevents men from believeing doesn't mean they have the ability to make that choice on their own. The only ones who can believe are the ones whom God has enabled.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. Hardsheller

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    So Skandelon, you believe that God made it up as he went along?

    That after he chose Israel and that didn't work out that he had to come up with another plan that would include the Gentiles?

    Inquiring minds want to know!
     
  4. Skandelon

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    So, your saying that God prevents people from doing something that they couldn't do anyway? Is that right? :confused:

    That would be like walking up to a man who was born lame sitting in his wheel chair and tieing him to his chair so he couldn't walk. What would be the point of that unless it was POSSIBLE for them to gain the ability to walk (ie through the hearing of the gospel)?
     
  5. Skandelon

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    No, it has been God's plan all along to ingraft the Gentiles. Its even taught in the prophets as Paul points out in Romans 10. God chose to take his message to the Jews first with the plan that they would be the nation that would bring the plan of redemption to the world. Beleive it or not there are Arminians who believe in the Sovereignity of God. You should read Jacobus Arminius sometime, he sounds like a lot of Calvinists today in that regard.
     
  6. Hardsheller

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    I'm not doubting that it has been God's plan all along to ingraft the Gentiles.

    I don't doubt that Some Arminians believe in the Sovereignity of God.

    What I'm asking you is this - Did (does) God have to change his approach at any point and in any way in order to accomodate the Free Will of man?
     
  7. npetreley

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    Just like some Calvinists believe in free will. We just don't agree on what "Sovereign" and "free will" means.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Will you at least admit that you are imposing human logic on the text of Scritpure with this argument?
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Depends on what you mean by "change." I don't believe that God was surprised by anything and then changed his original plan or anything like that. I believe its always been his plan to bring redemption through Israel to the whole world. Of course things have changed over time in the way God has chosen to deal with humanity in that he deal uniquely with different individuals throughout time, but his plan has always been the same. Is that answering your question?
     
  10. Hardsheller

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    Yes, Thank you.

    Does your answer then when taken to its logical conclusion mean that God judicially hardened the Jews according to and within the scope of his original plan - not because of their sin which they committed of their own free will?

    I guess I'm confused.
     
  11. Hardsheller

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  12. Brett

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    Good luck getting an answer, Hardsheller.
     
  13. npetreley

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    Well, he MIGHT get an answer. Now, a RATIONAL answer, that's another story...

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. Skandelon

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    Because of even simple foresight we all must admit that everything God does is within and according to the scope of his orginal plan. Nothing surprises God. Its difficult for our minds to wrap around that but I don't believe God sees things in linear time as we do. His ways are higher and I admit we can't understand all of that on this side of heaven.

    However it IS clear from scripture that despite the fact the Jews rebellion and hardening was used by God in his plan of redemption that they are still very much responsible for that rebellion. God didn't cause their rebellion but he certainly knew about it and used it for his own purposes...just as God used and even hardened Pharoah in his rebellion to teach the world.

    I realize that many Arminians throw out the baby with the bath water, so it is difficult to think of an Arminian who still confirms the clear teachings of scripture in regard to God's sovereign intervention. That has been lost and watered down over the years in Arminian camps because most Arminians don't even know the issues at hand and many are ignorant of such things. This is what I believe has lead to such a resurgance of Calvinism. Calvinists continually confront ignorant Arminians who don't the first thing about judicial hardening or sovereignity and Calvinists simply become all the more convinced their dogma must be correct. The truth is most Calvinists haven't really dealt with the issues either, they just think they have because they so easily run over the Arminians in our churches today.

    But, what goes around comes around. History is cyclical and it seems that one group surges in popularity for a time until the other group gets back into the word and rebuts them and then the cycle starts over. After some time of Calvinistic silence we are now in the midst of Calvinistic resurgance, but Arminians will begin to study again and the tides will change. Its usally a 50 to 80 year process.
     
  15. Joseph_Botwinick

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    So, your saying that God prevents people from doing something that they couldn't do anyway? Is that right? :confused:

    That would be like walking up to a man who was born lame sitting in his wheel chair and tieing him to his chair so he couldn't walk. What would be the point of that unless it was POSSIBLE for them to gain the ability to walk (ie through the hearing of the gospel)?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Are you questioning God's justice?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  16. Skandelon

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    No, I asked you to clarify what you stated and then I made a statment refuting what you appeared to have claimed.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    Will you at least admit that you are imposing human logic on the text of Scritpure with this argument? </font>[/QUOTE]Sorry I missed this Larry, it must have popped up right before my response to Hardsheller because this is the first I've seen it.

    We always "impose human logic on the text of Scripture". Human logic and reasoning is what God has given us to descern words, concepts and ideas. While I agree that human logic or reason should not overrule the clear teaching of the text, I would disagree with the notion that logic and reasoning don't play a part in understanding every text.

    Fully understanding such concepts such as infinity are really beyond our logic or reason, just as concepts of incarnation, atonement or trinity, but the fact is that our logic and reason are still a part of decerning such concepts, which is why God calls us to come reason together with him and Christ warns his followers to consider the cost of discipleship and the apostle calls us to test ourselves to see if we are truely of Christ. We are called to be renewed in our minds which do play a part in our UNDERSTANDING of the text.

    I do agree that we shouldn't dismiss a biblical concept simply because it doesn't seem logical, however we should at least be willing to exaimine if the concept is really biblicial in the first place. God is not a God of confusion and illogical concepts are quite confusing and cause much questions, therefore we must at least be willing to objectivly question concepts that seem illogical, unjust or unbiblical in nature. That is what I am attempting to do here...to point out that the concept is not only illogical but its unbiblical.

    If you'll notice Larry in my first post I refer to 6 passages all of which support my statements and then I draw a conclusion based upon those passages in light of what your doctrinal system teaches. That is called a biblical argument. Don't dismiss it just because it also happens to be logical as well.
     

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