If Calvinism is true, then why did Christ hide his message in parables?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

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    Notice that this passage tells us that Jesus used parables so that certain Jews wouldn't believe and be forgiven. But why?

    If Calvinists assumption, that men are born unable to believe in Christ without an effectual calling, is true, then why would Christ need to hide the message in parables to prevent them from believing?

    Jesus must have believed that they could have believed and "returned" to Him, otherwise why would he say this?

    In short, why would you hide a message from people so they can't believe it when those people were born unable to willingly believe or even understand that message in the first place?
     
  2. Monergist

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    Why do some believe and some don't? Is it because some are smarter than the others? Less fallen? Less dead? I just don't believe that anyone can take credit for salvation, not due to intelligence, not due to anything else.

    Its apparent from the passage quoted that Christ did not intend for all to understand and hence believe His message. I just accept that without question.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    This doesn't answer the question, it changes the topic. We can discuss that in another thread if you would like.

    Could it be that your desire to change the topic and avoid my question reveals the problem that your system of interpretation has with this passage? Just a question.

    And I agree. Jesus didn't want all to undersand and believe His message while He was on earth. If many of them had believed think about what might have happened. The Jews would not have insisted upon Christ's death, the apostle wouldn't have been uniquely trained and commissioned and the way would not have been made for the salvation of all mankind.

    Jesus didn't want them to believe because it wasn't there time. However, scripture clearly shows us that the Jews may be saved at a later time, after the veil has been ripped open and removed and God's purposes have been fully accomplished through their continued unbelief. It's not as you assume because God didn't ever want them to be saved. For Christ said to these same people:

    Why weren't the children gathered to God? Was it because God didn't want them? NO! It was because they were unwilling! God was willing, but they were not, period.
     
  4. Me2

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    Because these jews that were listening to Jesus were being paralleled with those to be called out after pentacost. Those not hearing, who were to be chosen, as "vessels of wrath".

    Today the same principle applies. God draws two groups of people. Some are vessels of wrath and some are vessels of mercy.

    Some will hear and understand the messages within the parables while others will read the parables and not hear and not understand. (Just as in the example of the jews in the days of Jesus.)

    ***

    How else is the elect within those called out of God to tell whos telling the truth and whos lying?

    God is teaching the remnant truth here, Isnt he?

    although the elect might be temporarily drawn away with the craftiness of some. the nature of the non-faithful can easily be seen in their inconsistant lack of understanding. especially seen in their interpretations of Jesus parables. (hint,hint)

    Me2
     
  5. Skandelon

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    Me2,

    You regretfully didn't address my argument.

    Calvinism teaches that man's nature is such that they can't believe in Christ's message regardless of whether its in parables or not. So, why would Christ say, "Otherwise they might return and be forgiven."

    He is stating what might have happened had he not spoke in parables, how is that possible if indeed their nature is as you teach?
     
  6. Me2

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    Skandelon,

    It is you that has overlooked a hidden ingredient.

    the jews are called Gods "chosen" people. they are already called out of the world. they are given Gods law.

    the next logical step would be to accept Jesus spirit within them.

    ***

    You are supposing that this statements about understanding Gods message are among all who verbally "hear a sermon" (called and uncalled alike). you are comparing those outside the church with those within the church.

    the message that jesus speaks specifically of those who have already received the "seed" of God. they can "hear" the message. the problem here is that they cant understand it.

    they cant make heads or tails of the message even thought they hear: "some are CHOSEN to not hear, and some are CHOSEN to hear".

    so they make up their own personal interpretation as their carnal mind dictates it should be interpreted. they never receive the correct interpretation as God originally intended it to be understood.

    Me2

    if you would really think about it. before the resurrection. NO ONE UNDERSTOOD JESUS PARABLES. only until after they had received his resurrected spirit within them could they recall the enigmatic parable and understand.

    [ February 22, 2004, 07:05 PM: Message edited by: Me2 ]
     
  7. Monergist

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    That was not my intent, friend. My point (that we appear to agree on) was that the message of Christ was made plain only to those whom He chose to make it plain. 2000 years later, that has not changed. That is not contrary to calvinism, but is the essence of at least two biblical doctrines: Unconditional election and Irresistable grace. If you take your argument to its logical conclusion, you ultimately will decide that election is based upon some condition (here it would be those smart enough to figure out the riddle) which would be contrary to the plain teaching of scripture.
     
  8. Monergist

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    Since you are asking why our Lord spoke in parables, lets ask the Lord himself. Matthew 13:10-11 (KJV)
    And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? [11] He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

    Calvin comments on this
    I see no contradiction here.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    double post
     
  10. Skandelon

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    Again, I agree that it is quite clear from this passage that Jesus didn't want to make his message known to certain people. I do agree with this (though I believe it to be for much different reasons than you do which we can discuss later). I'm not calling that into question here. And I'm not claiming that Christ's revealing himself to certain people is any kind of contradiction of Calvinism.

    I'm speaking toward the nature of man referred to in this passage, not Jesus' apparent choice of whom to make that message known. Please stop focusing on the argument to which we do agree to the neglect of the other in which we don't agree.

    Calvinism's view of man's nature is that he is born unable to believe or even understand Christ's message, yet in this passage Christ says that he speaks in parables so that they won't understand and believe which leads to the question that no one has answered to this point:

    If man is born unable to understand and believe Christ's message, as Calvinists claim, why must he speak in parables so that they won't understand and believe?
     
  11. Skandelon

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    This is not the subject of this post. My last post has the question that I'm still seeking an answer for, but while I'm waiting I will address this passage.

    Who were these mysteries not given too? You say its the non-elect reprobates, but if that were the case then these non-elect reprobates would never be saved. The bible shows that many of the same people who Christ didn't choose to come to him while on earth did later come to know him and be saved. In fact, those who the Father temporarily hardened while Christ was on earth are still able to be saved as Paul clearly explains in Romans 11.
     
  12. LaymansTermsPlease

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    I'm sure every scripture imaginable has been overly subjected to proof-text wars between Arminanists and Calvinists, but since I haven't seen this one addressed anywhere yet, I'll throw it out for discussion.

    BTW, I'm a simple layperson...no formal theological training, just personal reading...who hasn't quite figured out how I stand with Calvinism/Arminianism. I don't like using those names of men...makes me feel like saying "I'm of Paul, I'm of Apollos", but I guess they are as good a short way as any to sum up the views espoused by each of the men.

    So please go easy on me, rather than assume I'm with one camp or the other and jump on me like a pack of wild dogs [​IMG]
    What about in Luke where Jesus admits that there were some folks in Tyre and Sidon who would have repented and been saved if they had seen the kind of works He had done in Chorazin and Bethsaida?

    So we have people in Chorazin and Bethsaida who don't believe despite seeing the mighty works, and some folks in Tyre and Sidon who would have believed had they seen the works.

    What's everybody's take on these verses? They seem to be right along the same lines with the first post about parables instead of plain truth.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    LTP,

    You are right. This passage also seems to assume that man's nature is not so "depraved" that they couldn't have believed had they been exposed to such signs.

    Calvinists point to this text, as they do the passages I mentioned here, as proof texts because they do point to God choice to reveal himself to certain people in unique ways at times and not to others, which I can accept. (I think God does it for different reasons than Calvinist do, but there is no denying that God has dealt with people differently throughout history)

    But these same verses also contradict their views on Total Depravity by clearly showing that these people could have believed had God (1) not hid the message in parables, or (2) shown them greater miraclous signs.

    This PROVES mankind's nature is not so "depraved" that it needs the effectual calling in order to believe. Apparently mankind could be persuaded through an unveiled message, like the one our Bibles give us today. And apparently it would also still be helpful to have the persuasive motivator of the "mighty works" of God. Neither of which would make one iota of difference within the Calvinistic system.
     
  14. Skandelon

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    Maybe the Calvinists could have understood and actually have addressed my argument if I had titled the tread,

    "If Total Depravity is true, why did Christ need to hide his message in parables?"

    Does this help?
     
  15. BBNewton

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    Skan,

    I think you are asking some very good questions that need to be addressed.

    You stated:

    "This PROVES mankind's nature is not so "depraved" that it needs the effectual calling in order to believe."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe that people, within their own nature, have the ability to believe aside from the grace of God.

    You use the argument that God hardened people and hid things from people, therefore people, within their own natures, must have some inclination to good.

    But Paul in Romans 7:18 stated that nothing good lived in his sinful nature (flesh). God stated in Genesis 8:21 that there is no good inclination in men. Your argument is false.

    Why did Isaiah make the prophecy that Christ quoted in the gospel?
     
  16. Skandelon

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    Thank you. I agree these are issues that should be addressed but it is very difficult to get Calvinists to deal with them.

    Wrong. I believe God by his grace sent his Son to die, the apostles to preach and the scripture to persuade all mankind to believe and be saved. But, yes, I do believe that people, within their own nature, have the ability to believe aside from the effectual calling of God.

    Apparently so did Christ, for why else would he have said that he was hiding his message in parables lest they believe and be forgiven?

    Why is the ability to believe God's general calling by the gospel an inclination to good, but the ability to believe God's effectual calling is not? Neither is addressed in scripture as being a "good work". Faith is set up in the place of the works of the law, yet Calvinists seem to think that faith is a work of the law. Paul never does that. Why do you?

    These passages don't even mention the gospel or faith, so how can you apply them to a belief that people are unable to believe the powerful Holy Spirit wrought message of the gospel? These passages talk about man's inability to submit to the law of God and their inability to please God while living in the flesh, both of which I have no problem with. They don't discuss man's inability to leave the flesh by faith when confronted by the gospel, also known as the "power of God unto Salvation"

    Notice that you still haven't answered the questions that I have presented in this thread. You have to deal with the passages that I have presented and not merely refer to other texts. Don't get me wrong, I'm not faulting you for quoting other passages, I just don't want you to ignore the passages that I have presented.

    You need to be more specific. Thanks for your time!
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Me2

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    Joh 4:24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

    Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

    you must differentiate between the literally described physical realm and the spirit.
    Gods words seem literal to our carnal minds yet they are spirit. within the literally spoken parables are signs and symbols. they are physical representatives of spiritual truths.
    Jesus spoke spiritual truths within that we have to deciphered within the literal stories spoken to his surrounding onlookers.
    To "hear" what he was speaking of in terms of spiritual truths. we must first contain his spirit "within us" and be allowed to "hear" and "understand" the messages.

    although some say that jesus spoke in literal terms. They are not literal stories. they are Spirit. he spoke in spiritual truths that were to be heard by those with his selfsame spirit. there were none around him.... none understood him when he first spoke them.

    those without his spirit will only see literal terms. finite terms that they recognize. those terms relating to their world. they can not decipher the signs and symbols that the stories and terms within the stories represent or point towards.

    the absolute spiritual truths contained within.
    the realm of Gods spiritual kingdom.

    the bible is a spiritual book. although its termonologies are seen by our carnal minds yet there within the parables, revelations, visions, prophocies and proverbs are woven spiritual truths that only those having the spirit of Christ can understand. for it is truth of God and only the spirit of God can accept and understand and relate to such truths.

    Now you Ask why he hid these truths from others. all were not to hear "at the moment they discovered the stories". This is Gods methods and his sovereignty to withold until the proper moment that truth can be discovered by each individual.
    For if he treats all without partiality. yet he chooses who and when will be chosen and come to the understanding of every spiritual truth..
    Of who He is, What his kingdom is. and his plans for mankind and his methodology of receiving all men into his kingdom.

    heres the funny part I find. why does people complain as they say. "your "spiritualizing" everything away!!".

    the spiritual message within the pages of Our bibles IS the final truth we are seeking.

    1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
    1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
    1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.


    1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
    1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

    1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

    1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
    1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.


    1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
    1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.


    1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.


    1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?

    But we have the mind of Christ.

    How? The spirit of Christ is "within" us. but not only his spirit. we also receive the fullness of his knowledge.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    We can't understand the "deep things of God" without the Spirit of God "within" us, these verses say nothing about the ability or lack thereof to understand the gospel which Paul calls the power of God unto salvation. In fact, if you go on to read 1 Cor 3 you will see that the Corithian "brethern" couldn't recieve these "things" either, therefore he can't be refering to the gospel, otherwise they wouldn't be called "brethern.'

    You still seem to be missing a key point in the original verse we were discussing. Jesus says that they can't understand because it is in parables. He never implies that they can't understand because they don't have what is needed internally. In fact, the passage seems to indicate that they very well might believe and be saved if the message wasn't in parables. That seems to be the very point Jesus is making. They ask, "Why do you use parables?" And he is saying to them, "Because I don't want others to understand and believe at this time, if I didn't keep these teachings hidden until the right time then they might repent and believe and then the plan of my being killed would be twarted. God didn't want them to believe yet so Jesus taught in parables only explaining his teachings to a select few.

    He didn't leave that message hidden. He commissioned his followers to go to the world after God's purposes had been fulfilled in the death and resurrection of the savior. The gospel is no longer being hidden from certain people as Calvinists seem to imply.
     
  19. Me2

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    keep in mind that these (OT people) Jesus spoke to, were jews. they were Gods chosen people. they had the oracles of God. the next logical step was for them to accept Jesus as messiah. the reason why they could'nt accept Jesus as messiah was that they were not invited. they were not called to be members of the bride.
    they were chosen to be vessels of wrath. representatives of those living by the law yet without faith. (yet a few there were members of Gods remnant that later understood)

    in corinthians. consider all those who received the seed of God. they had the law written upon tablets of flesh. some refused to allow the law to destroy the works of their flesh. some were not prepared to receive the spirit of christ by faith. they are all called brothers because they also contain the oracles of God (law) and are chosen to receive Jesus into their flesh IF they are prepared properly. (ie law kills carnal works = prepared soil)

    unfortunately I believe your mistaken. for many on this board cannot properly interpret parables or revelations today. 2000 years later. paul, peter, john, james,..well, all writers used parables, analogies, figurative statements..

    were back to the same point. these letters are spiritual. they are spirit. various words, terms discriptors, signs and symbols instructing those that have within them the spirit that is necessary to interpret the letters correctly.

    we always come back to the chosen vessels of wrath and mercy.
    one group partially understands yet eventually rejects all.
    while the other group understanding not only Gods spiritual messages but all things concerning carnal man.

    those chosen to be members of the group called vessels of wrath can not understand parables because they have the seed within them, yet it is Gods choice to what degree they can understand his hidden messages. while the law has not completely prepared their life to receive the spirit of Christ. the spirit is necessary to further their journey of sanctification.

    Skandelon, Why dont you ask the right question?.

    Why DOES Jesus Hide knowledge from some, while revealing his knowledge to others?

    my answer. to fulfill his will.

    What is the purpose of revealing knowledge to some while witholding from others?

    my answer..To provide choices and to reveal contrast between the two choices. both in wisdom and in expereince. what is the two choices?.

    the knowledge of...Good and evil.

    imagine God using people he chose to fulfil his will of teaching others the knowledge of Good and evil. providing contrast and experience. proving to all which is greater in Gods Kingdom.

    and thats whats happening today. we are the chosen vessels. of wrath and mercy. we are being trained to deliver our message. Our lives are examples of Good and Evil. We are witnesses. for 2000 years the vessels of wrath and mercy have been being chosen of God until the sons of God are prepared to begin teaching..
     
  20. Skandelon

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    Skandelon, Why dont you ask the right question?

    You don't want to answer my question, so you insist on focusing upon another. Don't skip over the verse we are discussing. Jesus clearly indicates that had he not spoke in parables the Jews might have believed. True or False?

    Why DOES Jesus Hide knowledge from some, while revealing his knowledge to others?
    my answer. to fulfill his will.
    I agree. Was that will to save some people to the neglect of others? NO! His will was to accomplish redemption for the world and if the Jews believed they wouldn't have killed him.

    Why do you think Jesus told the disciples to keep quiet? Was it because Jesus didn't want people to know the truth and be saved? NO. It just wasn't time for them to know YET. There time was coming.

    What is the purpose of revealing knowledge to some while witholding from others?
    my answer..To provide choices and to reveal contrast between the two choices. both in wisdom and in expereince. what is the two choices?.
    the knowledge of...Good and evil.


    I'm not sure how your response answers this question. God's purpose in witholding knowledge to some had nothing to do with his lack of desire to save them. The scripture is quite clear he desired to save them. He withheld it because had they believed God's purpose on the cross wouldn't have been accomplished. Believers wouldn't have killed Christ.
     

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