If....then....

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Apr 19, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    I've really tried to resist this board for a number of reasons, one of them being I know I don't have the time to follow through the way I would like to.

    Nevertheless, let me tell a bit of my story and then ask a question.

    A number of years ago I became involved with R.C. Sproul's Ligonier Ministries as the West Coast coordinator for deaf interpreters for his conferences out here (in San Diego then, I don't know about now). At the time I began, I did not know what Reformed Theology really meant. I just knew the Bible and wanted to make sure my dear deaf friends did, too. We were even able to get deaf people in for free at his presentations, which I thought was very generous of him!

    Then, during one presentation, the impact of what Reformed theology meant hit me like a bomb. I was deeply disturbed and spent the following two years reading the Bible cover to cover again and again, wanting to make sure of what it was saying.

    I had to inform the Ligonier Ministries that I could no longer work with them as I had become convinced that the Bible itself denied the Reformed position. Many of the reasons have already been discussed to death here, but there is one which I have not seen:

    From the time of Adam on, God has been telling men "if you do this, then the consequence will be...." It is a major recurring theme in the Bible. We see it very strongly in speeches by both Moses and Joshua and repeated over and over again all the way through the New Testament.

    Almost as if man really did have the ability to choose...

    So many time, in fact, that if man did not have the freedom to choose (not necessarily to do anything about that choice, please understand, but simply the freedom to want one way or the other -- to choose his master, if you like), then one of the major themes of the entire Bible is a farce and a sham. Since I know the Bible is God's Word to us, I knew that there was no farce or sham in it. So I knew that we did, indeed, have the gift from God of freedom of will. Yes, our hearts in their natural condition TEND toward evil from childhood, but we expect everyone to resist that tendency. That is what childhood training is all about, Christian or not. Even the vilest man has some concept of something other than evil toward which it is possible to aim. The Christian message is simply that it takes God to get us there, and that He did the work making it possible and takes the burden of the trip we must make on Himself after our rebirth in Him. He is the Good Shepherd leading us the whole way.

    Nevertheless, if the if...then clauses and warnings in the Bible mean anything at all, then we can, indeed, choose this day whom we will serve.

    How do Reformed followers deal with these if...then statements?

    [ April 19, 2002, 09:43 AM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    The "if ... then" statements of Scripture are true without doubt. "If" these things are done, "then" these thigns will happen. I don't think this is at all in contradiction with reformed soteriology. I think these statements tell us why man is in the condition he is in today -- because the "then" is not enough of a motivation to the then. I think these statements are a far greater problem for the non-reformed position. The statements are clear and forceful. Since they paint such a horrible picture, why doesn't everyone respond? We have an answer; the other side doesn't.

    Most have this view of calvinism where there are all kinds of people out there dying to choose God but because they are not elect, they can't. The truth is that the people who reject God do so because they want to do so. They do not want to do anything else. They hate God, they are turned away from God, they ignore God, etc. Do they have a choice? Absolutely. They can choose anything consistent with their nature and they make that choice joyfully and without remorse. They can see the demands of God and they make the choice to reject them.

    The position that you have articulated here is really driven by a misunderstanding of the effects of sin on man. We think that man is morally neutral. Scripture presents man from Gen 3 onward as dead in sin and morally opposed to God. This supposed neutrality does not exist. I have come to believe that bad soteriology always stems from a bad view of God and a bad view of man.

    The Reformed position on soteriology is what gives me hope in ministry. I am glad that success doesn't rest on my frail shoulders. I am glad I can walk away from those who reject the gospel knowing that another five minutes would not have made the difference ... knowing that different words or different illustrations would not have made the difference. God uses our personal witness to accomplish his purpose. But it is his purpose that is being accomplished.

    [ April 19, 2002, 10:01 AM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  3. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    The London Confession of Baptist Faith, Chapter V

    Of Divine Providence


    I. God the good creator of all things, in His infinite power and wisdom, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all His creatures and things,[1] from the greatest even to the least,[2] by His most wise and holy providence, to the end for which they were created, according unto His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will; to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness, and mercy.[3]

    1. Heb. 1:3; Job 38:11; Isa. 46:10-11; Psa. 135:6
    2. Matt. 10:29-31
    3. Eph. 1:11

    II. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly;[4] so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without His providence;[5] yet by the same providence He ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.[6]

    4. Acts 2:23
    5. Prov. 16:33
    6. Gen. 8:22

    III. God, in His ordinary providence maketh use of means,[7] yet is free to work without,[8] above,[9] and against them[10] at His pleasure.

    7. Acts 27:31, 44; Isa. 55:10-11
    8. Hosea 1:7
    9. Rom. 4:19-21
    10. Dan. 3:27

    IV. The Almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in His providence, that His determinate counsel extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sinful actions both of angels and men;[11] and that not by a bare permission, which also He most wisely and powerfully boundeth, and otherwise ordereth and governeth,[12] in a manifold dispensation to His most holy ends;[13] yet so, as the sinfulness of their acts proceedeth only from the creatures, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.[14]

    11. Rom. 11:32-34; II Sam. 24:1; I Chr. 21:1
    12. II Kings 19:28; Psa. 76:10
    13. Gen. 1:20; Isa. 10:6-7, 12
    14. Psa. 50:21; I John 2:16

    V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for a season His own children to manifold temptations and the corruptions of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and to raise them to amore close and constant dependence for their support upon Himself; and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for other just and holy ends.[15] So that whatsoever befalls any of His elect is by His appointment, for His glory, and their good.[16]

    15. II Chr. 32:25-26, 31; II Cor. 12:7-9

    16. Rom. 8:28

    VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous judge, for former sin doth blind and harden;[17] from them He not only withholdeth His grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understanding, and wrought upon their hearts;[18] but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,[19] and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin;[20] and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan,[21]whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, under those means which God useth for the softening of others.[22]

    17. Rom. 1:24-26, 28; 11:7-8
    18. Deut. 29:4
    19. Matt. 13:12
    20. Deut. 2:30; II Kings 8:12-13
    21. Psa. 81:11-12; II Thess. 2:10-12

    22. Exod. 8:15, 32; Isa. 6:9-10; I Peter 2:7-8

    VII. As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so after a more special manner it taketh care of His church, and disposeth of all things to the good thereof.[23]

    23. I Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8-9; Isa. 43:3-5
     
  4. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    Acts 2:22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know——
    23 "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
    24 "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

    Helen:

    IF evil men had not nailed Christ to the cross, THEN there would be no atonement for the sins of the elect, and God's redemptive-historical plan would have come to no avail.
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    Hello, Helen:
    Re ur post, have you noticed that the "if-then" in the Old Testament were addressed to Israel, God's chosen ? And that they were not connected to eternal salvation, but temporal consequences of blessing or curse for obedience or disobedience ?
    The New Testament stressed twice that whatever things were written down were written for &lt;b&gt;our&lt;/b&gt; instructions, not the whole of mankind
    but exclusive to those whom God had called and chosen unto salvation, those referred to as "spiritual Israel".
    Then, again, Israel's repeated failure to obey God
    and follow His standards repeatedly stress how man, Jew or Gentile, is unable, by choice, to completely obey. Man is corrupt by nature. He constantly misses the mark.
    Without a regenerated heart &lt;b&gt; first &lt;/b&gt; no conversion can occur, even if he is bombarded with gospel, and no striving to follow Christ.
     
  6. tyndale1946

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    Who made anyone on here Gods judge? What gets me is that God knows who his children are period and not anything we do or not do will change that. Helen knows I have a Deaf son and brethren no matter how you slice it he can not hear the Gospel. I know about Helens children as I have met her and her husband Barry and to say that God needs any of us to carry out his Salvation plans is to limit God plain and simple.

    I do not know who Gods children are in an eternal sense as that is Gods business and none of mine. God in times past has dealt with his children the same way we should deal with ours. When your child is disobedient you should punish him in some manner and when he is good reward him. Is not our heavenly Father any different? We are all sinners and its not an act brethren its a condition. We are sinners at birth and if we are not how come we are born to die? Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Can a baby lie? Psalm 58:1 Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?

    2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

    3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

    Even though that is our sin nature and we can't escape it because as good as we think we are without the intervention of Jesus Christ in our lives we are nothing and hellbound. Much as we want to believe that we are not guilty, we are as guilty as those that drove the nails in his hands and crucified the Lamb Of God!

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

    2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

    3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

    The God who saved you can never disown you in the same sense that your biological father can never disown you because your blood says you are his son or daughter. Romans 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.

    Romans 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

    12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

    Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

    14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

    Just like in the days of old we can choose who we will serve and we will reap the benefits if we do and not reap the benefits if we don't. These are for time and for time only and does not follow us into the glory world. The only one that deserves any reward there is Jesus Christ and not the sinners he died for!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  7. Helen

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    Hi Guys,

    Well, let me attempt to defend what I believe. I'll respond to each in turn.

    Pastor Larry:
    You stated that since the if/then warnings paint such a horrible picture that people would respond to them if they could. But this is not what we see either in human nature today or in history. We see people do incredibly strange things simply because they either want to or because they believe in something pretty strongly. Take your pick: suicide bombers (if you do that you will die…), unprotected sex with multiple partners (if you do that then your chances of getting sick, pregnant, and/or dead are very great), massive credit card spending (if you do that you will end up bankrupt or even in prison), etc. etc.

    Even Adam, told that he would surely die, chose to join Eve in disobeying God. And up to that point Adam was sinless!

    So, no, the severity of the 'then' part of the if/then warnings in the Bible are not enough of a motivation to do right - for any of us! So I don't think that argument holds, actually.

    You wrote, "the people who reject God do so because they want to do so. They do not want to do anything else." Yes, they do want something else. They want to please themselves and gain approval from others. They also want to protect themselves. The more I look at people, the more I am convinced that the main (and maybe, at the root, only) motivation for non-Christians is fear - thus what they do, they do to try to protect themselves, one way or another. This idea is perhaps driven home by the statement by John that perfect love casts out all fear.

    At any rate, I think it is far more than simply wanting to reject God; it is a wanting to protect oneself and not trusting God to do that. An awful lot of Christians also seem to not trust God enough to do that, either, but that's another post.

    Nor do I think that those who reject actually hate God. They don't know Him. How can you hate what you don't know? What they turn away from is the truth God presents to them in one way or another.

    You said they can choose anything consistent with their nature. Reformed theology says that nature not only tends toward the evil (God's words), but is always evil (man's idea). But that is not what I see. I see remarkable acts of charity coming from unsaved people. This doesn't save them, nor do these works please God, as God judges the heart and didn't need their help anyway, truth to be told. But the very fact that non-Christians can be moral, ethical, and charitable shows they know and recognize something other than the evil and to some extent they are striving for it under their own power. It's the 'under their own power' bit that will do them in, though, if they do not give up to God.

    Please remember that Romans 1 states that it is the truth that is rejected, not the person of God Himself.

    You seem to think that I consider man to be morally neutral. I never intended to imply that in the slightest. Man is naturally morally corrupt. BUT, we would have no concept of morality at all in our fallen state if we were unaware of any good or incapable of recognizing it. The very fact that all people, saved or not, recognize the meaning of morality means they are aware of something besides evil. Yes we are naturally opposed to God and yes we are dead spiritually once we have sinned volitionally. But why did Paul say that once he was alive? Why did he say that without the law sin itself is dead?

    First of all because spiritual death is not spiritual unconsciousness. If it were, hell would have no meaning. Spiritual death is separation from God in the same way that physical death is separation from the body. No baby or profoundly retarded person is separate from God. Their angels, Jesus says, always are before the face of God! They are His. Not because they have not sinned. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But they do not know the law and therefore their sins cannot separate them from God, as they are also covered by Jesus' sacrifice in the same way there was a sacrifice for unintentional and unknown sins in the OT.

    It is when the law is known and consciously rebelled against that the person dies spiritually and is separated from God. But in every fairy story ever written, in every mythology ever told, there is a longing for what is higher and better and without pain. Men have a deep longing for the very thing they cannot achieve on their own. If this longing were not there, there would be no fairy stories, no idea of 'happily ever after' or any Prince Charmings. In fact it is the very longing to be better or find a better life that is the impelling force for every religion ever subscribed to by men. So to say that spiritual death means men cannot even comprehend anything other than evil simply is not borne out in the real world.

    And yet we still tend toward evil from childhood. The frustration of that is intense for many, many people. We are not only not capable on our own of achieving that for which we long and dream, but our very natures are tending in the opposite direction! It is to deny the first part while affirming only the second which is the faulty view of man. Take a look around you and watch people. They may reject God in rejecting the bits of truth they are presented with, but almost every one of them longs for what only God can give: joy, love, peace, fulfillment. Sin has separated them from God, but it has not left them unconscious of the very attributes of His they long for.

    You also said that I was faulty because of a 'bad view of God.' Larry, I know God. I know His character and His love. I know His kindness, His mercy, His patience, His leading. I also know His discipline and sternness in judging some of what I have done. And in the same way I knew my own children well enough to know what their choices would be when they were little, without hindering their right to choose, God knows me well enough to know my choices, even though He has left me free to choose. He is big enough for that. He is omnipotent and omniscience 'enough' for that. One thing I have seen over and over again is that many who hold to Reformed theology do not seem to have a comprehension of the power and might of God. It is as though God must fit into their understanding of things, regardless of what the Bible is saying.

    I cannot claim to understand how God can be so big that the universe is a speck to Him in reality. I cannot claim to comprehend how He always knew who I would be and what I could choose in my life while at the same time preparing the way for me all along. But I know both these things are true. The Bible says so. My lack of fully comprehending either does not in any way negate them - their reality most certainly does not depend on my brain!

    It is your last paragraph which I actually found almost painful to read:
    The Reformed position on soteriology is what gives me hope in ministry. I am glad that success doesn't rest on my frail shoulders.
    I am glad I can walk away from those who reject the gospel knowing that another five minutes would not have made the difference ... knowing that different words or different illustrations would not have made the difference. God uses our personal witness to accomplish his purpose. But it is his purpose that is being accomplished.


    Of course success does not rest on our shoulders. And of course God's purpose is being accomplished. But what you said in the middle is honestly horrid to me. First of all, the gospel is in our lives far more than in our words. We are only supposed to give answers, not bang people over the head with the Bible! The Holy Spirit told Phillip to walk alongside the Ethiopian, not walk way! We are to LOVE our NEIGHBOR (not just our Christian brothers and sisters) as ourselves. That means permanent service and care, not walking away. It is God's KINDNESS through us that leads others to repentance, and that kindness is not nearly so much words as actions. James makes an incredible point of that.

    Jesus said that those who seek will find. Many really do seek the truth. They may not know it is God - my father didn't until very near the end of his life, due to the way God had been presented to him - but they know they want the truth, and they seek it. And if we do not present the gospel every day to everyone in our lives, but instead walk away, then they spend more time in pain and confusion and darkness. Oh yes, they will find what they have been seeking in the long run, just as my Dad did, when he joyfully realized who Jesus was at the end. But the days and months and years they spend in pain first will be on the shoulders of us who have walked away.

    Please, please don't walk away from anyone. You are in no condition to know the position of any man's heart or to judge his salvation. That extra five minutes of kindness just might mean a world of understanding and joy in someone's life because they come to Christ earlier rather than later. We never know. We just never know. That is why it is absolutely imperative to obey the Holy Spirit, and to walk alongside when we are asked to. Let those who reject walk away. We never should.

    I'll get to the other responses later. This has taken awhile and I have to get to the store for some shopping before the kids are home from school!
     
  8. Helen

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    Chris,

    I appreciate your posting of the confession of faith. I hope you don't doubt mine. But you know something I learned? The Bible is the best source. As brilliant and as insightful and as Christian as any man or woman can be, their thoughts really cannot compare to God's.

    And I know God does not contradict Himself. And I also know that it is not wise to take single verses as proof verses for anything. The Bible is sometimes a little different in context than it is verse by verse. In addition, Bible explains Bible. So I admit to having a problem with any statement, right or wrong, which uses individual 'proof' verses. I know a woman who maintained an adulterous affair for years saying God approved because "God is love." Straight from the Bible that...

    In your second post you used an if…then which has nothing to do with the argument at hand, actually, because you were positing a situation which could not happen, as Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. It was simply a matter or working it out in God's perfect timing. Nevertheless, those involved still had a freedom of choice about their involvement. If not, then the righteousness and justice of God would have no meaning for us humans. But because God defines righteousness and justice in terms we can understand, so that we will know Him better, we cannot claim that the righteousness and justice of God are totally beyond our comprehension. We cannot fully grasp them, because He is God. But the simple fact is that in Proverbs 1 as well as in many other passages, we are told that by fearing, or being in total awe of God (if any prefer that term), we can begin to understand these qualities and attributes.

    Therefore they must mean something to us from out point of view as well. And there is nothing in our frame of reference which allows righteous or just judgment of guilt if a person has no choice about his actions. That would sort of be like prosecuting a person for breathing or eating. The idea makes a farce out of justice.

    To pinoybaptist :

    I think you will find plenty of inferred, and even direct if/then passages in the New Testament.

    [If you] seek and [then] ye shall find… etc.
    If you love me [then] you will obey me.
    [If a man] comes to me [then he] will never go hungry…etc.
    And so it goes, right up to Jesus' letters to the seven churches in Revelation.

    It started with Adam - long before the nation of Israel.
    And it most certainly applies to salvation as well. If we reject the truth then we will be finally handed over to the lie. That is in Romans 1.

    Please do not misunderstand my position. I agree with you that there is no action a man can take to facilitate or maintain his salvation. But giving up to God is NOT an action. It is finally quitting trying to act on one's own behalf and trusting in, or at least desperately hoping for, God's mercy. He not only will not turn anyone away in this position, but the Father will lead each to Christ, as promised. Thus it is all God in terms of what is done, but if a man cannot make a choice regarding giving himself up or not, then man was created no better than any animal and evolutionists might as well be right.

    This is why:

    When asked the most important law, Jesus said it was to love. First God, then one's neighbor. Love itself is a decision, it is not a robotic action. It is the decision to care and to work for another over and above one's care and work for oneself. God so LOVED the world (all of us) that He gave… If we love Christ, we will obey… That, also, is a decision. Obedience means nothing if one has no choice but to obey. Obedience is a service of love when one has the choice not to obey. Of course, once one belongs to Christ, one is disciplined for a lack of obedience, for it is only by our obedience - and that, as with Christ Himself - through suffering a good part of the time, that we become more and more completely formed into His image. No robot could be matured into the image of Christ, for He is not a robot.

    Jesus commanded us to love. That means two very important things.

    1. It is not our natural inclination to love (one does not have to command another to follow a natural inclination).
    2. We can, nevertheless, make a choice where love is concerned. Since God Himself is love, however, that means making a choice for God in the long run.

    There is something else I see in Reformed theology which seems deadly to me: a spiritual pride that goes with "I am chosen and you are not". This was what chilled me about Pastor Larry's last paragraph in his response to me. He can walk away. He figures it does not make any difference.

    Love does not walk away. It is just that love does not prevent someone else from walking away, as Paul states regarding marriage with an unbeliever in 1 Corinthians 7.

    Because God does not change, we cannot push Him away. He is not going anywhere. But when someone rejects the truth, and thus rejects God as well, this person is pushing himself away from God.

    An excellent example is Pharaoh during the plagues of Moses. He hardened his own heart five times before God stepped in and hardened it for him. And even then, with the plague of hail, later, when Pharaoh appears to repent, God does not harden Pharaoh's heart. Exodus 9:34 tells us that Pharaoh again hardened his own heart. It was only after that God hardened his heart for good. That sequence of events is something I wish Reformed followers would look at more closely.

    Finally, you stated, "without a regenerated heart first no conversion can occur, even if he is bombarded with gospel, and no striving to follow Christ." I would simply want to remind you that conversion IS a regenerated heart.
     
  9. KayDee

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    Helen

    I did not want to believe in election for the very same reasons you have stated. I fought it with every part of my being for over a year. But, after an in depth study of the Word, letting Scripture interpret Scripture, precept upon precept, not letting my presuppositions cloud my understanding (and much prayer and many tears, I had to yield to what the Word of God says. I would love to respond to some of your statements but they are not addressed to me and Brothers Chris, Larry, & Pinoybaptist will do a much better job than I would anyway. I beg you not to close your mind to the wonderful truths in His Word. It will make you bow your knees to the awesome wonder of His grace.

    In His Grace
    KayDee
     
  10. KJV1611only

    KJV1611only
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    Helen I enjoyed reading your posts very much and it seems that the Lord has given you much wisdom.

    The old testament is given to us for an example. as so stated in 1 corinthians 10:6 so you can most certainly go back to the old tesament to get spiritual applications. and see how things were done to learn from the mistakes.

    The 10 commandments were given to unregenerate men who were not born again who were never quickend by the Holy spirit..they had the option of following the 10 commandments or die..notice each one of them carried with it a death sentance. so it was their choice.

    The Bible tells us that the 10 commandments were a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. you know what the Calvinst would try to tell you? They would say.. that God gave the commandments knowing that men couldn't keep them ( even though God commanded that they be kept)

    so God gave the 10 Commandments knowing we couldn't keep them, so they could lead us to the realization that we were dead in tresspasses and sin and deprived without hope and could not keep the law( The carnal mind is emnity against God,neither can he keep the commandments) this would show us our need of Christ. and so when we SAW our need for Christ,we STILL couldn't recive him even though God COMMANDED us to do it..of course they will deny this but it is what they believe and teach.

    How absurd when God COMMANDED that man belive on Jesus Christ (1 John 3:23) then try to teach man can't go to God for salvation....

    also the Bible says in John 3:36 He that Beliveth on the Son of God hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth(present tense) on him.

    Now, if you were one of the elect and predestined to be saved, how do you account for the fact that the wrath of God abode upon you constantly before you believed? Is that any way to treat the "elect"?? What is the wrath of God doing abiding on you if you can't do anything about it? Does that sound like the Lord? Do you really believe that Lord would pour out his wrath on an unsaved man when man could do nothing about his condition?

    Helen, you keep on! You're on the right track and don't be open minded. the open road leads to destruction..it's the narrow path that leads into life.

    Enter ye in at the staight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which fo in thereat: Because straight is the gate and NARROW is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Be narrow minded Girl and stick to the Bible.
     
  11. KJV1611only

    KJV1611only
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    One last thing. Helen, they are Calvinst because they follow the teachings of John Calvin..

    John Calvin got his teachings from Augustine. Both were Roman Catholics. John Calvin was a priest who had "supposedly" left the church for the reformation. however his teachings didn't change. and you can check that in History. Maybe this will help you out in some way..if not it's good information to know.

    If you compare Augustine teachings with Calvins you won't see much differance at all. and just for your information here is a little about what Clavin taught, that is still going on in the Calvinist church today. I realize that some Cavinist churches may not teach these things..but this is what your name is attached with if you claim to be a Calvinist.

    Calvin believed in Baby sprinkling....Catholic teaching

    Calvin belived in Limited atonement..Catholic teaching taught by Augustine

    Calvin denied the literal Millennial Reign of Christ

    Calvin used John 3:5 and acts 2:38 to prove Baptismal regeneration.. another Catholic teaching

    Calvin taught all sinners do not have the capcity to repent and believe

    Calvin taught that God damned sinners before they were born and elected them to hell by making sure not one drop of Jesus's blood was shed for them.

    Calvin would Kill you ( literaly) if you disagreed with the way he WORDED his explination of the trinity

    Calvin taught that conversion begins with the new birth without any repenting or believing on the part of the convert..he taught repentance and belief occur AFTER the sinner is saved..

    These are just a few things he taught and if anyone wishes to deny this I would tell you to go and take a close look at whom you follow and check out the background of the church you associate yourself with.
     
  12. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    KJV1611only stated

    No, actually we are Calvinists because we follow the teachings of the Bible. The Apostle Paul's writings especially are rich with what is called "Calvinist" theology. Long before Calvin... Augustine, The Waldenses, and Luther were teaching Calvinist theology (though no doubt Calvin helped systemize it).

    It is true Calvin was a former Roman Catholic but Roman Catholicism did not exist in Augustine's day. The term Catholic in the first few centuries is not synomous with Roman Catholicism which evolved in the 7th and 8th centuries. Calvin's teachings were a combination of Holy Scripture, Augustine and Luther.

    True, but so did most of Christianity for the past 2,000 years. Many of the early Fathers were Premill, the later Fathers mostly Amill, The Reformers mostly Amill, The Anabaptists most Premill, Early Puritans and early Baptists mostly Postmill. Christians have argued for 2,000 years on the Millennial Reign of Christ.

    Hohum :rolleyes: Michael Severtus again...Calvin did not kill Severtus. The authorities in Geneva did and this was a shame but Calvin personaly killed no one.

    Actually Calvin did not believe in baptismal regeneration as Lutherans will point out in their debates with Calvinists. A superficial reading of the Institutes of Religion may lead one to believe that but he believed baptism was the sealing of the covenant of grace. Calvin's error on baptism was his holding to baptizing infants not baptismal regeneration.

    True, Conversion does begin with the new birth (Titus 3:5, John 3:5-8) and repentance and faith are the product of that. Your statement actually misrepresents the Calvinist position in possibly implying one can be saved without faith and repentance from the Calvinist viewpoint. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit produces faith and repentance in the sinners heart since our will is unable to believe without us being regenerated (John 1:12-13).

    If you are Baptist then your Church itself has it's roots historically in Calvinism for that is the background of the churches you associate yourself with. (Unless you are a Free Will General Baptist) [​IMG]

    [ April 20, 2002, 03:02 AM: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  13. Helen

    Helen
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    Midnight
    One more night without sleeping...


    Jet lag is a BUMMER as you get older, folks.

    OK, responding to some of this will probably tire my brain out, eh?

    KayDee -- There is a mutuality about love. We are the bride of Christ. No one is holding a gun to our heads or to His regarding this marriage! We elected Him as much as He has elected us. The 'problem' is that there is nothing we could do to follow through on our choice -- He did everything for us.

    In the meantime, there are several statements which MUST be reconciled (without being subtracted from or added to):

    God is not willing that one should perish
    God so loved the world...
    Many are called but few are chosen.

    Why would the author of Hebrews have pleaded with them "today" if they did not have a choice to make? Why did Jesus say "Come to me ALL ye that are heavy-laden..." if He did not mean it? Do you think only those God has already chosen since before creation are the only ones to feel the burdens? Or is it just possible that God so loved the entire world that He sent His only-begotten Son that WHOEVER believes in Him should have eternal life?

    I guess I should add that I don't respond very well to emotional arguments -- I've raised too many teenagers! I'm almost immune to that sort of approach. "Just give me the facts, m'am", or, in this case, the Bible.

    And please know that I don't just bow my knees, but my head and my entire being in worship and praise of His incredible and awesome grace.

    Now, about the Calvinism exchange which followed KayDee's post:

    Let me be the first to say that John Calvin was a great man and a great Christian. His emphasis on Bible and the majesty of God was needed then and needed now. Too many people seem to see God as a Pal in the sky. Read any of Calvin's writings and that will be quickly dispelled. God is GOD -- holy, majestic, awesome, deserving of all praise through all eternity and our absolute worship and obedience. Is that strong enough? If not, let me know. I can continue... :D

    Please recognize as well that only Jesus Himself could have straightened out all the blasphemy and nonsense of the Roman Catholic church. Calvin, Luther, Zwingli -- they were raised in the Roman Catholic Church. While attempting to correct what they saw was wrong, let's us not criticize them because they didn't get everything done in one fell swoop. There is no way they could have detached completely from everything they had been brought up with. I don't suppose any of us can. It is the Holy Spirit who leads us, as He led them, closer and closer to the full truth. They, however, like us, saw through a dark glass during this life on earth. Let us be thankful for what they did accomplish but never forget to rely entirely on God, trusting primarily and finally in HIS Word and not the word of others.

    God will do something through each of us who are His, but He will never do everything through one of us. Only God is God.

    Kiffin -- one point, please. To say that Calvin did not kill Severtus when he was the ruling authority in Geneva is the approximate same as saying Queen Mary did not kill the Protestants -- the executioners did. The authority is responsible for those over whom authority is held.

    However, if true Reformed theology is applied to that situation, only God is to blame. To quote the statement of faith Chris Temple put in his post,
    II. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably
    and infallibly;[4] so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without His providence;[5] yet by the same
    providence He ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or
    contingently.[6]

    4. Acts 2:23
    5. Prov. 16:33
    6. Gen. 8:22


    I think that might show up a major problem with Reformed Theology rather explicitely...
     
  14. Kurt The Baptist

    Kurt The Baptist
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    Joh 8:31 If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

    ARev 22:17 nd whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
     
  15. KJV1611only

    KJV1611only
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    Kiffin your responses were typical of a Calvinist.

    Helen, I hope that you will stick to the truth God has shown you. you obviously have common sense as well as a heart wanting truth.

    Kurt the Baptist..Amen on those scriptures

    Acts 16 lets the world know exactly how a man is to be saved.

    Acts 16:30 a man who was a Gentile,who was dead in tresspasses and sin asked "what must i do to be saved?" He is seeking knowledge, he is seeking eternal life. The response that is given has nothing to do with election, nothing to do with quickening of the spirit so that he could belive.

    he is told simply.."belive on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved..." if the epistles were so full of Clavinist theology as Kiffen stated why isn't it represented the in the response? this would be the perfect place to put it if it were true. but it isn't and simple Belief is there instead. Romans 10:9-13

    in case anyone wants to say that this man was elect why then didn't Paul tell him so? there was no mention of the man being elect. to say he was "elect" would be putting your own imaginations in.
     
  16. Monergist

    Monergist
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    ..and how many people do you know who've kept the ten commandments? God knew that we couldn't keep them, and He was right!
     
  17. KJV1611only

    KJV1611only
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    well timothy..there are people who have kept there are many a good catholic that keep them as well as Jews.

    If you couldn't keep the commandments why do you think God commanded them to be kept? for laughs?

    What military leader would command his troops to do something that was impossible to do??

    anyway lets look at the Bible for an example. Mark ch.10 18-20 this man obseved the commandments from his youth up. at least that is what he told Jesus.. Notice Jesus dosent call him a liar either. he agrees with him. he says that there was only one thing that the young man lacked..

    this though is also another example of man's choice to follow Jesus. he is told what he could do in order to inherirt eternal life and he choses not to follow what Jesus said do..he cared too much for his possessions.

    but there you go Timothy..yes..people can if fact keep the commandments.
     
  18. Monergist

    Monergist
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    Helen said:

    Helen, what you've stated is true, and very important. God has always commanded men to follow in obedience to Him, and often has made promises of blessing conditional upon obedience. But that does not in any way limit His sovereignity. While we may struggle to understand this, and must consider all of what the Bible says, we must be careful not to carry the meaning of these passages too far (as some have, for instance, and came up with the idea that God's knowledge of the future is limited and hence He does not know how men will respond to His commandments.)

    This week I've been reading through II Kings, and something I read there really caught my attention. King Josiah had brought revival to the land and Judah had turned back to God. Yet the Bible says:

    2KI 23:25 And before him there was no king like him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.

    2KI 23:26 However, the LORD did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath with which His anger burned against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him.

    2KI 23:27 And the LORD said, "I will remove Judah also from My sight, as I have removed Israel. And I will cast off Jerusalem, this city which I have chosen, and the temple of which I said, `My name shall be there.

    I found this rather shocking. Had God not promised blessing upon His children if they would worship and obey Him? Scriptures like this may be difficult, yet they reveal something to us of the nature and character of God.

    I find three groups of people here: 1) those who readily and enthusiastically affirm the doctrines of grace (of which group I am), 2) those who are adamantly opposed to them, and 3) those like yourself who are sincere and open-minded in their desire to understand the truth, yet struggle with these doctrines. Unfortunatley, those of you in this group don't often post here (you should more often ;) .) I've been there, so I know what the struggle is like.

    I believe the "whosever will" passages to be true. But I cannot ignore the scriptures that teach man's depravity and reveal God's purpose in electing, calling, and saving sinner's, by His good and perfect will. I have to understand and accept that these scriptures, like the one above, do not present a condradiction. They may present something difficult to understand, but not a contradiction. Any apparent contradiction is merely a result of our weakness, for "His ways are far above our ways."

    We all have a responsibility to rightly interpret God's word. All of us who struggle with understanding have a right to ask questions. And those who teach us the truth have a duty to do so with patience.

    I'm a Calvinist because I believe that's what the Bible, taken in it's entirety, teaches. It is not because, as some will say, that I'm following after a man and merely accepting his ideas as gospel, without considering the whole counsel of God. I'm a Calvinist because that's what Paul, John, Peter, James, Jude, and our Lord Jesus all taught. I'm a Calvinist because the arguments of the other view does not accept equally all of scripture. And that to me is unacceptable.
     
  19. rsr

    rsr
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  20. Kiffin

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    Hi Helen,

    You said,

    That is a common misconception. Calvin was not the ruling authority in Geneva but the pastor of the Church there. If I remember right he was not even a citizen. Severtus would have been put to death regardless since the Reformers (with the exception of the Anabaptists) and the Roman Catholics had a flawed belief of Church-State marriage that used the sword to enforce doctrine.

    I do not defend Calvin's action with Servetus (actually I condemn them)since he did not oppose his execution but historically he did not literally light the fire.
     

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