I'm no Calvinist but...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by MrJim, Mar 28, 2010.

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  1. MrJim

    MrJim
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    ...I wouldn't shy away from the "difficult" verses by utterly changing what they say.

    Wed nite bible study at the SBC the preacher was expositing the passage in Mt 22 about the wedding and the guests:

    Mt 22:1 –Mt 22:3 KJV
    And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
    The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come....


    It was very good up until the last verse:

    Mt 22:14 KJV
    For many are called, but few are chosen.


    He said called can be translated as "invited", which..ok, but then when he finished the verse he said, "but few are chosen, few accept the invitation."

    It simply struck me as avoiding the meaning of the text~I expected better. This isn't the first time I've noted this behavior. I'm (or anyone else) is not going to agree with every expositional point, but what happens is when he gets to these points there is no exposition, he just glosses over and moves on. And during this parable teaching time the primary point ~~the "moral of the story" is contained at the end of the parable, just where he tends to smooth over the rough spots.

    If he would have exposited that section as well as he did the rest of the passage, and even if I didn't agree with it, at least I had a valid POV presented, and I can easily live with that.

    I just expected different better...
     
  2. Amy.G

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    Many are called. But the called (or invited) are only chosen "in Christ". Jesus was calling the Jews, but those that refused to believe in Him were not chosen to attend the wedding.
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    There is more than one scripture which described believers as those who are called. And at least one (Romans 8:28) describes believers as "the called."

    Since all who believe are chosen. Therefore, the called are the chosen.

    This is true whether you're a Calvinist or non-Calvinist. The argument here is not over the basis of God's choice.

    There are other verses which speak of a call to all to repent and believe. The general call is for everyone. But not all those called will believe. They are called but are not "the called" of Ro 8:28)

    So, to make the passage in the OP all about election seems to me to miss the boat.

    I'm saying more than I know here, so help me fill in the blanks.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    Have you spoken with your pastor?
     
  5. Winman

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    What?? That is an error in logic. Yes, it is true that the chosen were called, but not all the called are chosen. Only those who obeyed the call and came to the wedding with the proper wedding garment (Christ's righteousness imputed to those who believe) were chosen.

    Many were called and refused to come.

    Matt 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
    3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.


    Were these people called? Yes. Did they obey and come? No.

    Everyone is called, that is what Jesus meant when he said many are called. But only those who came were chosen.

    Jer 7:13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;
    14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.
    15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.


    The call of God is not irresistable, but it is a serious matter to refuse to listen to God when he calls you.
     
    #5 Winman, Mar 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2010
  6. MrJim

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    No~~he just started in January and we're still technically "visitors" so we've not officially met yet.
     
  7. Tom Butler

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    It's not an error in logic, it's a failure to communicate clearly on my part.

    Let me take another stab at it. No one questions (Calvinist or non-Cal) that the call to repentance and faith should be extended to all. Paul, in his Mars Hill sermon, said "God commands all men to repent." The response to that command (in Acts 17) was "and some believed." So that call is not always effective, and some of those who are called are saved, some not.

    This same Paul, in Romans 8:28 identifies believers (the justified) as "the called." This is a class of people (believers). Thus those designated as "the called" and designated as believers are the same. This group was the recipient of a call that is always effective, for all of "the called" are believers.

    This call (some call it the Inward Call) applies to the Roman believers to whom Paul wrote (Ro 1:6) "And you are among those who are called to belong to Jesus."

    Paul equated this type of call to Corinthian believers in I Cor 1:24 "...but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

    Paul described himself in the same way, in Galatians 1:15 "But when God, who set me apart from birth, and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me....

    There are several other verses that I'll not quote at this point that equate the called with the chosen.

    I made this point in an earlier post that this is not a Calvinist/non-Calvinist debate. Both believe in election. Both hold that God will save his elect. Both hold that the salvation of the elect is by repentance and faith. And both ascribe the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting, illuminating and regenerating.

    Both Cals and non-Cals agree that the lost are saved through the hearing of the gospel. Both agree that some will respond and some won't.

    But over and over in his letters, Paul refers to the recipients of his letters as those who were called. And Paul never refers to unbelievers (even those who heard and rejected his preaching) as "the called" or "called."

    That suggest to me that believers (the elect, the chosen) hear an Inward Call that is always effective; the Outward Call, on the other hand, is not.
     
  8. Winman

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    Something just stuck me in your post, you said the call is not always effective.

    What do you mean effective? Is God not able to effectually call everyone?

    Saying the call is effective places failure on God.

    See, that's the problem when you argue that unregenerate man does not have the ability to choose God, then you make all failure God's fault. If a person is not saved it must be God's fault.

    And I know this is off track, but if you believe in unconditional election then sin is meaningless. You are chosen for no reason whatsoever, not because you are either good or bad.

    If you go to heaven did Jesus have anything to do with it? No, because you were chosen unconditionally.

    If you go to hell did sin have anything to do with it? No, because you were passed by unconditionally.

    I really do not see how any thinking person can accept this doctrine, it makes all of scripture non-sensical. Unconditional means unconditional.

    Why did God tell the non-elect to turn from sin? What difference does it make if they were never chosen? It would actually make more sense to tell the non-elect to have as much fun and pleasure as they can while they can.
     
  9. Tom Bryant

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    My point would be that if you feel he is in error, go to him alone at first rather than bring it to a public forum. I think this would be the scriptural process.
     
  10. MrJim

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    This is public but anonymous~~and insight is helpful; this simply may not be the congregation for my family.
     
  11. donnA

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    this statement makes man soverign over God.
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    I am really trying to not make this a Cal/non-Cal debate. I know our views differ on the ground of election, but we both believe that God elects those who will be saved, and will arrange the means and circumstances to achieve their salvation. That will include the work of the Holy Spirit to convict, illuminate and regenerate the chosen. That includes the preaching of the gospel through which the lost are called to repentance and faith.

    Even though the gospel is preached and the call to repentance is given, some will not respond. To them the call (which I label the Outward Call) is always ineffective. They, and those whom God has not chosen, are the same people.

    On the other hand, some do respond. They are the chosen, the called. This is the Inward Call, and it is always effective. Is there a single instance where one of God's chosen failed to be saved?

    One does not have to hold to unconditional election for all this to be true. If you are a foreseen faith kind of guy, the result is still the same. If you believe God elects on the basis of foreseen faith, even that view does not permit one of God's elect to not be saved. God will always arrange the circumstances that will bring about the salvation of his chosen.

    This is the only way I can make sense of all the uses of "called" and "the called" in the scriptures.

    And you are correct, the last half of your post is off track, and so I won't chase that rabbit.
     
    #12 Tom Butler, Mar 28, 2010
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  13. Tom Butler

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    Since I didn't answer this question in the previous post, let me answer here.

    The answer, of course, is yes. The fact is that he does not, and I don't pretend to know why.
     
  14. Rippon

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    No, it just means you have a failure to understand. Theological Point # 1 : God never fails.

    You have the habit of blaming God for the sin of humans. Stop that. In your theological grid many folks are not saved.Yet, you don't blame God -- why are you inconsistent here?

    as it has been pointed out a trillion times -- God does whatsoever He desires -- whatever He desires is good. He does everything to the praise of His glory.

    All are born in sin -- there is no one that is good or does good -- not even one. No one is chosen because they are good. That's elementary.

    I should try to count all your deliberate mischaracterizations of Calvinism sometime. No, on second thought -- that would be a giant waste of time.

    Of course. It has everything to do with it.

    [A minor edit]. AMEN!
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    In my post #13, I misread Winman's question and answered my misreading.

    He asked:
    For some reason I did not see the "not." So my answer may have given the impression that God cannot effectually call everyone.

    I want to make clear that God IS able to effectually call everyone. It is not that he cannot, it is that he does not.

    Why God does or does not do anything is ultimately for his own glory. Beyond that, I do not know why.

    That's what I meant to say.

    I think.
     
  16. Winman

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    The problem is, the lays all responsibility upon God. It presents several other problems as well. If can can indeed effectually call every person, but chooses not to effectually call some, then God is partial. But the scriptures are very clear that God is never partial to one man over another.

    And, if your doctrine is true, it is neither accepting Christ that causes a person to go to heaven, nor is sin the reason a man goes to hell. You will deny that, but it is impossible for this not to be the case. After all, don't you call it UNCONDITIONAL election?

    According to Calvinism, God simply chooses some men unconditionally to be saved and passes by all the rest and lets them perish. Some say he does this for his pleasure, but even that cannot be so, because then it would not be unconditional. This would also violate God's own word, because God says he has no pleasure when the wicked perish. This would make God a liar.

    No, unconditional means unconditional. It means God elects to save some men for no reason whatsoever, and therefore also chooses to pass by the rest for no reason and causes them to perish.

    God doesn't choose you because you trusted in Christ, he chooses you for no reason and then imposes faith in Christ upon you. It must be forced and imposed, because according to your doctrine the unregenerate man will never willingly come to Christ. So God is actually forcing faith in Christ upon the unregenerate man against his will.

    And if a man goes to hell, it is has nothing to so with sin. The reason the man goes to hell is because God chose to pass him by. God could easily regenerate this man against his will just as he did the elect. Remember, it is unconditional, there is no reason whatsoever for choosing one man to be saved and choosing another to be lost.

    If you cannot see how absolutely absurd this doctrine is, I can't help you. And if you cannot see how it makes God 100% responsible for a man going to hell, then I can't help you there either.
     
    #16 Winman, Mar 29, 2010
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  17. Tom Butler

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    In my previous posts, I held off from quoting all the scriptures to support my contention that believers and "the called" are one and the same. I didn't want the post to be so long as to cause eyes to glaze over.

    Here are a few more (I found at least 25):

    Acts 9:11-12 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand,
    12 not by works but by him him who calls.--she was told, "the older will serve the younger."

    Galations 5:8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.

    Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called.

    I Thessalonians 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

    2 Timothy 1:9 Who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace.

    Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance...

    Those believers are described as having been called. This calling appears to be a direct call through the Spirit to the elect.

    We know this from I Cor 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    The Holy Spirit takes the gospel and applies the word to the heart in regenerating power (which happened to Lydia in Acts 16:14).

    This kind of call is always effective. Romans 8:28 "..whom he calls, he justifies..."

    So, that's why I see two types of calls--Outward (General) and Inward (Particular).
     
  18. Winman

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    Calvinists use Rom 9:11-13 to argue that it supports Unconditional Election.

    Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; )
    12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
    13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.


    They will say, "See, God chose Jacob and rejected Esau for no reason, he choose to elect one and reject the other before they were ever born, or ever did good or evil, so this shows God's election is Unconditional".

    Problem is, Jesus said if we hate someone without a just cause it is sin.

    Matt 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    Jesus here said that if a person is angry with his brother without a cause he shall be in danger of the judgment.

    But then Calvinists will say it is OK that God hated Esau without cause. This makes God a sinner.

    So, the problems with this doctrine are endless.
     
  19. Winman

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    Tom, there are many verses that shows God called men, but they refused to come to him.

    Pro 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

    Isa 65:12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.

    Notice in Isa 65:12 that not only did God call these men and they refused to answer or hear him, but God also said they chose to do that which he did not delight in. This shows man has the ability to chose God. This contradicts the Calvinist concept of Total Depravity.

    Jer 7:13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;

    You can't just go through the scriptures and cherry pick verses that support your doctrine and ignore those that contradict it. This is exactly what the Jehovah's Witnesses and other cults do.
     
    #19 Winman, Mar 29, 2010
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  20. Tom Butler

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    Except, of course, God revealed himself to Abraham, but not to his father Terah. Except, of course, God chose Abraham's descendants as his covenant people instead of the Philistines. Except, of course, God favored Jacob instead of Esau.

    I am going to continue to resist making this discussion about Calvinism. I have tried to consistently point out that when it comes to God's calling and choosing, what Calvinists hold as true is also held as true by non-Calvinists.

    Do you not agree with Paul that whom God predestines, he calls?
    Do you not agree with Paul that whom God calls, he justifies?
    Do you not agree with Paul that believers are "the called" according to His purpose?

    I will certainly agree with you (and Paul) that God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17)

    I will certainly agree with you (and Isaiah) that we should say "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat." (Isa 55:1)

    I went back and looked at Mr. Jim's OP. He asked for comments on Matthew 22:14 "Many are called but few are chosen." That is what I have tried to do, without chasing rabbits all over the place.

    I have tried to make sense of the fact that some who are called to repentance and faith reject the call; while some joyfully embrace God's extended grace and mercy. That difference requires us to make some distinction regarding the use of the terms "called" and "chosen."

    But the distinctions are valid for non-Cals and Cals alike.
     
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