HEY CALVINISTS! Are we "Totally Depraved" from birth???

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by William C, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. William C

    William C
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    I wanted to hear more of a response to this question:

    Calvinist teach that we are born totally depraved meaning that we are born unable to see, hear, understand and convert to God. This also just so happens to be the scriptural definiation of hardening as seen in Acts 28: Matt. 21; Mark 4; John 12 and Romans 10-11.

    However it seems quite clear in scripture that people are not born hardened but they become that way after years of God's continual patience, persistance in "holding out his hands to them" and their rebellion.

    Romans 1 clearly states that this hardening or depravity also takes place following ones "knowing God" through his revelation and his refusal of acknowledging His glory:

    21 For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.

    Notice that their thinking BECAME nonsense and their minds WERE darkened, not that they were born that way.

    Also, we clearly see that later God "gives them over" only after they have lived in sin and rebellion toward him for some time. This shows that they weren't born "given over" as Calvinism's total depravity teaches but that they BECAME that way through rebellion.

    I, as do most Arminians, admit that man is born with a sinful nature and guilty as objects of wrath, but were in scripture does it ever teach that they are born "totally depraved" or "hardened" in their sins?

    Thanks.
     
  2. tyndale1946

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    Absolutely!... We have hashed and rehashed this arguement over and over to our satisfaction... Though not to yours... scripture upon scripture proof has been given but you don't accept it... That is fine with me... Being of the Primitive Baptist brethren I have been where you are now and know the stuggles... So do those who understand the the gravity of the situation... ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God... Cursed body... soul... and spirit and totally depraved... You are not going to believe in total depravity until you see it and understand it for what it is... All you see it for is a term John Calvin coined and not biblical doctrine... Where we see it as biblical doctrine that John Calvin gave a name to... You are not going to see it as the biblical doctrine we belive it is and we are not going back into the bondage we came out of... This horse has been beat to death and go to the archives of 2001 and 2002 to see proof... If any of you Calvinist brethren want to answer this go ahead... I feel there are other things we can discuss and as the moderator I'm bowing out of dragging total depravity through the mud again... I stand where I stand unmoved!... Brother Glen The Primitive Baptist
     
  3. Scott J

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    I will answer with a question that might help.

    Is there anything within a person's natural will at birth that leads them to choose to meet God's requirements for righteousness?

    If no then all of the other logical implications one might draw from the term "total depravity" are just that- logical implications. If we are born unwilling then we are effectively unable, blind, deaf, etc.

    If yes then you have introduced the error that it is possible for someone other than Christ to live a life meeting God's requirement for righteousness.
     
  4. William C

    William C
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    So I guess we could say that you have been "hardened" into Calvinism. :D

    I have little doubt that any argument on this entire board hasn't been dealt with several thousand times but you choose not to answer this one because.........

    Hmmmm? Revealing

    I can testify for a fact that this question has not been answered to me to my satisfaction and though I know you don't believe this I'm sympathic toward Calvinism and would actually enjoy finding a reasonable answer to this question from the Calvinistic perspective. I, unlike you, am not at all hardened to my beliefs. I debate with confidence because that's my style, but I've always been honest enough to admit I could be wrong. I was twice before in my lifetime on this issue alone.

    One thing I've learn in my lifetime is that just when you become sure of something you realize that your not near as knowledgable on the subject as you thought you were. I think that is God's way of keeping us humble and sharp. However, Glenn, if you want to stop thinking and being challenged by debate, go right ahead, but I don't see any reason for you to be on this board since afterall that is its purpose.
     
  5. William C

    William C
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    No and Yes

    No -- If a person is left alone there is absolutely nothing that would lead them to meet God's requirements for righteousness.

    Yes -- Yes, when a person is confronted with the calling of the HS through the gospel which informs them of the knowledge that God's requirements for righteousness are to believe upon Christ in faith this could lead them to believe that is true. The less hardened they are in sin the more likely it is they will believe it. I think if your honest, personal experence will also bear that out.

    This might be so if God did leave people alone. People are born sinful, not unwilling, they can't be unwilling until they have been confronted with the call to do something.

    That's like if I said, "My child is unwilling to take out the trash so I am going to go spank him hard."

    You might reply, "Really, you asked him to take out the trash and he wouldn't do it?"

    "No, I never actually told him to take the trash out; he is only 2 and doesn't know where the trash is yet, but he was born unwilling so I'm spanking him anyway!"

    This is completely illogical and unbiblical.

    No, he meet the requirements so that we could be clothed in his righteousness through faith. Faith is not a work in which we can boast. Look at Rom. 3:27-31.
     
  6. KenH

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    I see it that we are not born hardened but we are born with a sin nature that exhibits itself in our thoughts and actions as soon as practicable. The very bent of our lives is to rebel against God. After all, Jesus died for us while we were God's enemies. Just look at how we sin grievously even after we are regenerated.

    I see hardening as a process of going further and deeper into very heinous sins, as noted in Romans chapter 1.
     
  7. Yelsew

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    NO! at birth, the only thing influencing the infant is survival, and its survival is totally dependent upon its caregiver(s)! There is no sin in the infant just as there is no righteousness! The infant is devoid of both! That is why parents are instructed to raise up the child in the way he should go.
     
  8. tyndale1946

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    Brother Bill the reason I am on this forum is because I am the moderator... I won't jump in unless I have something to say... Right at this moment I don't but don't think I'm not here... I am watching this post and all other posts and let all brethren have free course to express themselves as they see fit. I know the question has not been answered to your satisfaction... Will it ever?... As long as brethren behave themselves and conduct themselves as christian men and women they will not hear from me... Cross that line and you will... I let ALL speak their mind!... Brother Glen The Primitive Baptist [​IMG]
     
  9. William C

    William C
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    Ok, now we are getting somewhere.

    When would you say someone does become hardened?

    Actually the quote is Jesus died for us while we were still sinners, but I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your statement just specifing it.

    I do agree that the "bent" of our lives is toward rebellion but that is a far cry from Calvinism's teaching of "total depravity;" don't you think?

    Just think you have gone from being born completely unable to see, hear, understand or believe the things of God to being "bent toward rebellion." I think your beginning to see it. :D

    I agree (for the most part). Which is why I'm not a Calvinist. Look at this passage again Ken:

    He persuaded them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets. 24 Some were persuaded by what he said, but others did not believe. 25 Disagreeing among themselves, they began to leave after Paul made one statement: "The Holy Spirit correctly spoke through the prophet Isaiah to your forefathers 26 when He said, Go to this people and say: 'You will listen and listen, yet never understand; and you will look and look, yet never perceive. 27 For this people's heart has grown callous, their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted--and I would heal them.' 28 Therefore, let it be known to you that this saving work of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen!"

    That phrase that I have emphasized for you shows us that anyone who has not been hardened is capable of this. OTHERWISE means, if not for the hardening, they MIGHT, this is the subjunctive meaning it's only possible not definate (so we know it's not applicable to Calvin's "elect"), they might see...hear...understand...and be converted.

    Notice that those who have not been hardened in their sin MIGHT be fulfill these things. And notice it even says what they will see with---THEIR EYES; and hear with---THEIR EARS; and understand with---THEIR HEARTS.

    Ken, I honestly don't know how you can possibly believe that hardening is only in regard to becoming involved in "heinous" sins and still be a Calvinist while this passage exists along with a few others that are very similar. You need to change your view of hardening or your view of the nature of man because right now they conflict with eachother in light of the scripture.

    BTW, one of the sins mentioned in Romans 1 is being disobedient to parents, so I don't think is so much about how "heinous" the sin is, but instead its about how righteous the One is who makes the law. So, one is hardened as they rebel against God regardless of the "heinousness" of the sin they rebel in. I hope that makes sense.
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    Brother Bill,

    You in speaking about Calvinists said this. 'Calvinist's teach that we are born totally depraved meaning that we are born unable to see, hear, understand and convert to God.

    The truth is that we do received the Adamic nature, the nature of sin, as we come into this world. One of the Scriptures that back this idea is Psalm 58:3. 'The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.'

    The receiving of this old nature, the Adamic nature, causes us to have a depraved nature but not to the point where we cannot read, hear or understand the Gospel and the forgiveness of God. While we have an Adamic nature of Original Sin, we also have only an effaced 'image of God' in human beings that keeps sinners from being totally debased. Calvinist's would like to make believe that God has not said after the era of Noah and the Flood that humans still are made in 'the image of God.' [Genesis 9:6] and a few thousand years later the half brother of Jesus said, in James 3:9 that no one should ' . . . curse men, who are made after the similitude of God.'

    A well balanced theology will surely admit that we do have a depraved nature coming from Adam, but also we have the likeness of God because He has willed it this way. It is true that if Total Depravity were true, no one could ever even respond to the Gospel. After all, why would He make sinners to have a Total Inability and then turn around and change His original decree?

    Truth is found in the fact of our Original Sin but also that HE HAS LIGHTED every person who comes into the world.' [John 1:9] The New Century Version says, 'The true Light that gives light to all was coming into the world.' Just think Christ gives light rather than Total Inability. Brethren, let's keep it balanced!
     
  11. Frogman

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    I agree brother Ray. Christ came to return that which he did not take away. It was Adam who lost the position of creation man was made in and it is Christ who raises men even above that original position. It is the sin nature which darkens man. As you said it is Christ who lightens this all must be worked according to the Word of God through the Holy Spirit. Or else your hurry to show your point negates scripture such as 1 Cor. 2.14. We would rather to hold to the whole of Scriptural Revelation than to pick and choose based on a humanistic system designed to apologize to the world on the behalf of God.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  12. Scott J

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    No and Yes

    No -- If a person is left alone there is absolutely nothing that would lead them to meet God's requirements for righteousness.</font>[/QUOTE]
    Agreed.

    You are answering a question that wasn't asked. If man is capable of making one decision by his own sinful will that satisfies God's required righteousness then why not two or three or four... or how about all of them?

    To further refute this answer, some people sit hear the gospel continuously during their lives and never, ever see their need for it. They believe they can come to God on their own terms. They have faith. They believe in God. They even believe the facts of the gospel- yet they are never born again.
    My personal experience is that I heard the gospel numerous times in church. Through the church's ministry, I knew facts. But then one night for no discernable reason, I became aware of my need. I didn't choose to- it was just suddenly understood. I was tormented for several nights then accepted Christ on a Wednesday night at church.

    Besides my experience, numerous completely hardened people are changed in a moment even after hearing the gospel for years.

    There is none that seeketh after God, there is none that doeth good. If your answer were true, there would be no reason for a spiritual rebirth- just spiritual reformation.

    No your analogy doesn't fit. It is instead like asking your kid to take off and fly a couple of miles. He is lighter at 2 so you might try to argue that he is less incapable of making that choice. None the less, it will never be in accordance with his physical nature to choose to fly.

    Only if his nature is changed, like at the resurrection, will his nature allow the choice to fly.


    No, he meet the requirements so that we could be clothed in his righteousness through faith. Faith is not a work in which we can boast. Look at Rom. 3:27-31. </font>[/QUOTE]See verse 30. It is not man that justifies himself by choosing to have faith it is God that justifies man by means of faith. You still want to confuse the "why" with the "how". Faith is the "how"- the means provided by God to reconcile men to Himself through Christ. God's choosing is the "why".
     
  13. William C

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    Ray, I agree all men are born with a sin nature, objects of God's wrath, and in need of a savior. I don't agree, as I know you don't that mankind is born unable to see, hear, understand and be converted but that is a result of hardening (Acts 28:24-28; John 2:37-41). There is a self-hardening in which one desides for himself to rebel and disobey becoming set in his ways and their was the unique Sovereign hardening of God in which he sealed those who were self-hardened in their hardening so that they would not be converted by the miracles and teachings of the Christ before it was the right time.


    Scott,
    Here is your question: Is there anything within a person's natural will at birth that leads them to choose to meet God's requirements for righteousness?

    My answer: Yes, if there is the outside influence of the call of the HS through the gospel a person's natural will is capable of responding in faith.

    I don't know how that doesn't answer the question.

    I know you don't want to consider the powerful impact that the gospel and the calling of the HS can have, but I don't believe that can be ignored in regard to this question, do you?

    The capasity to believe is implied throughout all scripture that calls all men to believe the only possible way I would believe that anyone didn't have that capasity is if scripture specifically told me they don't have that capasity. Oh wait, it does tell me that certain people can't believe in John 12:37-41, but it doesn't have anything to do with being born under the imputed sin of the fall, it has to do with God's active and temporary hardening of the Israelites. If no one was able to believe why did John point out that these Israelites were unable to believe because of God's hardening? Why not just say, "No one in the world can believe ever." Or even, "Only my chosen elect can believe, the rest can't."

    So you admit someone can have faith without being born again? Surely you mean dead faith, as spoken of in James 2 right?

    This doesn't refute anything. It only streghtens my claims. A person can see and understand the gospel but just decide I'm not willing to give up my life for that. They can "count the cost" of being a disciple and decide the costs are too high.

    Thus the various soils of the heart. I know people all respond differently to the gospel which proves to me that God doesn't call everyone by the same effectual means. He uses outward motivators like tragedy, fear, envy, hardships and the like to provoke man's will to respond. He desires all men to be saved but he also desires all men to choose whom they will serve, He doesn't make that choice for them.

    We are made alive through faith (Col. 2:12). Before that point, I agree we don't seek God, nor are we good. Which is why Christ is good in our stead and seeks us through the calling of the HS and the Gospel.

    Ok, we'll go with your analogy.

    "Johnny and Jordan go fly a couple of miles."

    "No daddy."

    "You better fly or I'm going to throw you in the dark basement with snakes and scorpins for the rest of your lives."

    "But daddy, we can't fly."

    "I know that was apart of my plan."

    "So, why are you telling us to fly if we can't do it?"

    "To show my glory. Here Jordan I've got you an airplane so that you can fulfill my command and not be judged."

    Jordan says, "What about Johnny Daddy."

    "He can't son. So, he will be punished."

    "But daddy he doesn't have an airplane like you gave me."

    "Son, that his own fault, now isn't it."

    "Daddy, thank you for the airplane but I want my brother to have a plane too, do you have one for him?"

    "No, I only chose you"

    "What's going to happen to Johnny?"

    "He will be thrown in the basement for not obeying me."

    "But, daddy, you never gave him an opportunity to obey you."

    "Who are you son to question your daddy, get on the plane and you will find the Institutes of the Christian Religion to help you understand that bible."

    Yeah, that belief makes God seem really glorified. NOT!


    You even said it yourself, "THE MEANS OF FAITH."

    We are justified by the means of faith. Faith must come first it's the means by which something is accomplished. The why is also answered for us in this book, "Because of his great love for us, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Not only for us, but for the sins of the world.
     
  14. Ray Berrian

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    Brother Dallas,

    I agree with much of what you said in your post.

    It is true that the sinner, the 'natural man' cannot understand the deep things of God. Hey, even some brethren don't comprehend or don't want to understand Scripural truth if it disagrees with their denominational dogma.

    We do know that the sinner will understand the Gospel of the Cross and that Christ can cleanse from all their sins. The Holy Spirit even goes ahead of the sinner's regeneration in convicting and convincing men and women of their lost condition before the Lord God.

    None of us apologize to the world in trying to 'sugar coat' the Gospel. It is more than true that sinners are responsible for their Original Sin plus the numerous sins that are attached to the lives of all sinners. We were all worthy to be escorted into destruction, save for the Cross of Jesus Christ.

    Preach the Word in Alaska! {we know you will} People will be drawn to His Gospel.

    Brother Ray
     
  15. Frogman

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    Brother Ray,
    You and others may not agree with what I am about to say. Nevertheless I believe this and this is why I say it.

    There is a difference in scripture I believe that is often over-looked or severely down-played by Arminians. This is the fact that all men are sinners, even when we are saved we are yet sinners, though with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we are sinners saved by Grace. Thus this leaves the group to be the lost who also are sinners.

    Of course all men are lost, it is the individuals who do hear the Gospel and are regenerated are then sinners saved by Grace, the others remain lost sinners.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  16. tyndale1946

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    A side note to that William Huntington one of the great English preachers in the 1800s used sign his signature William Huntington S.S. The intials meant Sinner Saved... Just a little piece of history [​IMG] ... Brother Glen S.S. :D
     
  17. Ray Berrian

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    Brother Dallas,

    As much as I respect you I take a somewhat different view of your concept of Christians. I know we are sinners saved by grace, but we drag the grace of God down to the trenches of human depravity if we proclaim that there is not a whole lot different between Christians and non-Christians.

    The Bible declares that when we are regenerated by the Holy Spirit we become the sons and daughters not totally depraved sinners or human agents, but rather the adopted sons of God through faith. [Romans 8:15, 23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5 and Ephesians 1:5] I do not deny that we still have a proclivity toward sin; this is a fact.

    The concept of adoption most strongly affirms that the sinner is taken out of one family [I John 3:8] {the children of the evil one} and placed as sons into the family of God. [I John 3:2] The youngest of the apostles has said, 'Beloved, now are we the sons of God . . . '

    When I was in Bible College my friend was a Five Point Baptist and used to say, "We are only sinners saved by grace." To me this gives the Devil too much credit and does not fully assert our true standing in His Presence.

    When we are first saved we are 'sanctified in Christ Jesus' [I Cor. 1:2] Our standing is perfect before God. During our Christian life we are being sanctified more fully into His likeness. [Romans 8:29 b] 'conformed to the image of the Son.' And at death or at the rapture we will be perfectly sanctified [I Thess. 5:23] ' . . . at the coming of the Lord Jesus . . . ' and we will receive a spiritual body likened unto our Lord in Heaven. [II Cor. 5:1-4.

    Before I get lengthy let me say that we are more than sinners who have been regenerated, we are the sons and daughters of the living God. [Romans 8:14]

    I made a study once jotting down all of the things that happen when a person is 'born of the Spirit.' Many events take place. To get someone started let me say that a sinner is justified, regenerated, adopted into the family of God, redeemed, sanctified in Christ Jesus, baptized into the Holy Spirit, indwelled by the Spirit, anointed by the Spirit, {II Cor. 1:21; Heb. 1:9} faith in Christ [Romans 5:1] reception of grace [Ephesians 2:8]; given everlasting life [John 3:16] removed from future judgment [Romans 8:1] and several other things that the brethren can suggest. If any new preacher needs a twelve point sermon it can be found within this paragraph.

    This is why I believe that there is a extensive difference between the concept of 'a sinner saved by grace' and a person who is born of the Spirit and adopted into the family of God through His precious grace.

    We have a higher calling than to repeatedly stumble into sin; but, if we do we must confess it to God, [I John 1:9] and return to a closer fellowship with God. [I John 1:7]
     
  18. Frogman

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  19. KenH

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    Here is the passage:

    Romans 5:8-10(NASB)
    8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
    10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

    I understand that I mixed phrases from two verses. We were reconciled while enemies of God, Christ died for us while we were sinners.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Ray Berrian

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    Brother Dallas,

    I can happily accept that you do not quickly making a decision on what you think might be right or incorrect. Study is vital! Being a pastor you sure know how to investigate things from different theological resources.

    I was really surprised that you think that adoption into His family takes place in the future. There is a true sense that our completed adoption will take place at His coming. 'And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our bodies.' {a pointing to the bodily resurrection}

    I am wondering if you missed the fact that when a person has faith/trust in Jesus, that person becomes a child of God, [John 1:12] and becomes a son or daughter of the living God. No Christian can become a 'son or daughter of God,' while on this earth [I John 3:2] without changing families from sinners to saints without God, at the point of our regeneration, adopting those persons into His family. Otherwise, why would God say that now because of justification we are children of God? [John 1:12] As you well know, God in Romans eight that there is ' . . . now no condemnation' and as we close out the chapter, no separation for those who are in Christ. Justification and regeneration take place at the time of the immediate transition from being a sinner into that of men and women of God. These events happen only one time during our earthly journey.
     

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