I'm Sorry, We all make assumptions--let's START OVER

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by William C, Feb 8, 2003.

  1. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, in my first post I accused Calvinism of basing their system on an assumption, as if others don't do the same. That was wrong. We do all make assumptions, I approached that in the wrong manner. I'm sorry, please forgive me.

    But, I don't want you to miss the point of my arguement because my methods are flawed, so please bear with me as I approach this another way. Let's START OVER

    Calvinism's assumption: When the Bible speaks about "effectual calling" and "Sovereign election" (ie John 6, Rom 8-9, Eph. 1, etc) it is instructing us as to how all the apostles and all believers are saved.

    Mainstream Arminianism's assumption: When the bible speaks about "effectual calling" and "Sovereign election" it is instructing us as to how all believers are saved but it doesn't really mean that what it appears that it says. (I know this is not a perfect representation of all Arminians, but you get the point)

    Bro. Bill's Assumption: When the bible speaks about "effectual calling" and "Sovereign election" it is instructing us as to how the apostles were UNIQUELY and divinly appointed in God's Plan to usher in the New Covenant of Grace.

    Assumptions should be made based upon:
    1) Clear evidence from the text that provides valid basis for your claims. (We'll call this SCRIPTUAL SUPPORT)

    2) An overall knowledge of the text and it's context, so as not to draw assumptions that contradict the authors intent. (We'll call this PROPER HERMENEUTICS)

    3) The Ends to which the assumption will natually lead ones system of belief. (We'll call this REASON)

    Now that we have some type of structure to this debate, I can hopefully follow all of your arguments.

    I don't mean to "take over" this debate, but being that I'm the only one who apparently supports my assumption on this board, I feel that in order for me to properly answer all of your arguments concerning it I must limit myself to just one post topic at a time. I hope you understand. Please be patient with me as I try to get to all of your posts.

    I respect you all and don't mean to come across as prideful or arrogant in my posts. My confidence comes across that way in written form when it is not intended in that way, as does many of yours. So, forgive me in advance if I seem less than "Christian" with my words, you can be sure that is not my desire.

    With this in mind, I am going to begin working on my next post, under this same thread which will provide Scriptural backing for my assumption. I'm warning you now that some of it might be a repetition of some of my previous post on other threads. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and the Scriptural backing for your assumptions as well.

    Thank you for your time,
    Bro. Bill
     
  2. KenH

    KenH
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    32,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very well. Here's what I understand your assumption to mean -

    According to your assumption as I understand it, election only applies to these particularly elected individuals so that their salvation is a sure thing. But the rest of us can only read about these things so our salvation is now in our own hands and is anything but a sure thing.

    Furthermore, it sounds like you are saying that God has what we would call "teacher's pets", like you are teaching that God makes sure they get their A's for grades while the hoi polloi are left to fend for themselves.

    How do you answer?
     
  3. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ken,

    Like you I believe God elects a particular number of people to be effectually called. But, I also believe that we are not those people. God chose in intervene in the lives of certain people during the apostlotic age to ensure that His plan of redemption was accomplished in Christ.

    To use a comparison to the OT. Jonah was effectually called. His will was violated, he was forced or compelled by God to fulfill His plan.

    The Ninevehites were not effectually called but were left to respond to God's geniune call through the voice of His divinly appointed prophet.

    Jonah was divinly appointed in the same way the apostles were divinly appointed. Paul is a good example because we can see how his will was violated by God's divine intervention.

    Like the Ninevehites, we are left to respond to the geniune call of the divinly appointed apostles.

    In other words God divinly appoints his messengers, but not necessarily the audience of his messengers.

    Why? He wanted to ensure that the message was carried out and correct. He leaves the response up to the will of those who hear it.

    I hope this clarifies my position.
    Bro. Bill
     
  4. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    First, I'm going to address the Calvinistic Proof texts concerning Predestination/Election. I'll handle one verse at a time for clarity sake. I'll begin with Ephesians chapter one, which is one of the only two passages where the term "predestined" and "elect" appear together.

    Eph. 1: Notice the language he uses in verses 3-12: He uses phrases that are unique to apostles. "chose US in him before the foundation of the world"; "have predestined US to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ"; "Having made known to US the mystery of His will"; and the clincher---"being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that WE WHO FIRST TRUSTED in Christ should be to the praise of his glory.

    Who is Paul speaking about? "We who FIRST trusted" Can we all agree to that?

    Now, does that mean that none of what he has said also applies to us? No. He clarifies this in the following verses, "IN HIM YOU ALSO TRUSTED, AFTER YOU HEARD THE WORD OF TRUTH, THE GOSPEL OF YOUR SALVATION; IN WHOM ALSO HAVING BELIEVED, YOU WERE SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE WHO IS THE GUARANTEE OF OUR INHERITANCE UNTIL THE REDEMPTION OF THE PURCHASED POSSESSION, TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY."

    He has two different groups of people in focus here. How do I know that? Verse 13 says, "In Him YOU also trusted" after he said in verse 12, "WE who first trusted in Christ." He is setting these two groups apart from each other. WHY??????????? If they are the same, why does he separate them???????????????

    He draws the similarities between the two group which are:
    1. They both trusted (vs 13: but it was after the second group heard the gospel from the apostles)

    2. Both believed the message

    3. Both were sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee

    4. Both are saved to the praise of His glory.

    Notice the differences between the two groups:
    1. There is no mention of the second group being "predestined"

    2. No mention of the second group being "elect" or "chosen before the foundation of the world"

    3. No mention of the second group having the "mysteries revealed to them" (which gives the apostles the authority to reveal these "mysteries" to us)

    There is a distinct difference expressed here. And my question to you all is, WHY? If they all were 'predestined' and 'elected' and had the 'mysteries' revealed to them to the 'praise of God's glory', why would Paul seperate his audience into two group in this passage?

    If you try to deny that Paul makes any distinction, then why did he repeat himself in verses 13-14, by refering again to trust, and again to the praise of his glory. Also, if there is no distinction, why is the Greek word "kai" (and/also) at the beginning of verse 13. And why change the pronouns from "we/us" to "you?"


    IMHO, the only reason Paul would make this distinction is if there is a distinct difference between the "us/we" and the "you?"

    The Calvinistic assumption is not supported here! As a matter of fact, it not only doesn't support your assumption it support my assumption that their must be a difference between the salvation of "us/we" (the apostles) and "you" (believers by faith in their message).

    I await your responses.

    With Respect,
    Bro. Bill
     
  5. sturgman

    sturgman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bro Bill, I asked you a question on the other post, answer it if you will.

    Second, We both agree that there are many examples of God's election. What are some examples of those in scriptures who came to God on there own from a salvific sense?
     
  6. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sturgman, I'll be glad to answer your questions, but you must return the favor and answer my questions presented in this thread concerning Eph. 1. OK?

    To your question here. Not even Jacobus Armininus himself believed that someone could "come to God on there own," in any sense. So, I'm not sure how that question applies to me.

    On the other posts you ask: "If God has preordained the work and not the workers, then there is a possibility that that work may fail if man does not cooperate with God, therefore he couldn't have preordained the work without preordaining the worker or he would have only had too cross his fingers and hope that some may be saved to get the work he had preordained done.
    It is the save principle as limited atonement. Did God save men on the cross, or did he just make it possible for men to be saved? If he does not ordain the means, how can he ordain the ends?"

    Your assuming that God can't "effectually call" someone who is already a believer to fulfill a preordained task. For example, we both agree that you are already a believer who has submitted to Christ's Lordship in your life (presumably). Let's say God wants you to become a missionary to a remote tribe in Africa called the "Gards." Could God not influence you as he did Jonah to become a missonary to the Gards if he Sovereingly willed for that to happen? Sure he could. God could "elect" in a sense, from those who have already submitted their will to his, in order to carry out his will. This is of course assuming that God Sovereignly wills something to occur.

    When it came to the Sovereign plan of redemption God uniquely appointed particular individuals of his choosing to usher in the New Covenant of Grace.

    Now it's your turn to answer my questions.

    With Respect,
    Bro. Bill
     
  7. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can I "ASSUME" that everyone agrees with my translation of Eph. 1, since no one is refuting it?

    :rolleyes:
     
  8. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jesus, speaking of a yet future time even for us, identified as the great tribulation (emphasis mine):

    According to Billism, the great tribulation will be shortened for the sake of the apostles who won't be there to experience it.

    As for your question regarding Ephesians 1, if I were you, I wouldn't assume anyone agrees with you about any scripture just because they don't respond.
     
  9. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Npetreley,
    Why so much bitterness? Your words cut through me like a knife. :(

    The Greek author often uses the word "elect" in reference to a Jewish believer. They were from the "elect nation" therefore they would have been seen as a part of the remnant that were spared spoken of in Romans.

    So too, at the end times there is talk about 144,000 being chosen to carry out a plan. I don't claim to be any kind of expert on the book of Revelation but neither did Calvin, so I'll leave it at that.

    So, your not going to even address my interpretation of Eph. 1? I see how its going to be. You're going to hammer me about not presenting enough scriptural backing and when I present some solid scriptural support your going to pull the ol' bait and switch on me?

    Please deal with the scripture I've presented, I'm sincerely interested in your opinion.

    With Respect,
    Bro. Bill
     
  10. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    I answered this question for you, and I've tried to reply to everyone's serious arguments. Is no one willing to deal with the direct scriptural support that I have provided for my assumption?

    I'm still waiting.
    :rolleyes:

    Bro. Bill
     
  11. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    No. It doesn't merit a response.

    I doubt it. I could certainly be mistaken, but you strike me as a game player of the worst kind. There is no such thing as having an intelligent, honest discussion or debate with such a kind.
     
  12. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    No. It doesn't merit a response.</font>[/QUOTE]Ok, brother. I'm truly sorry you feel that way, I really put a lot of thought and effort into this, but if that's the way you feel about it I'll look else where for someone to challenge me in my search for truth. If you change you mind, I'd be more than happy to discuss this with you. No hard feelings.

    Once again, I'm sorry I've given you that impression, that has not been my intention. You couldn't be further from the truth, I assure you. I seek nothing but to engage in good healthy debate of the scripture so as to challenge and sharpen our doctrine. The last few days I have been on this board have been a real encouragment to me. I love good honest debate and challenging words, but we all must be careful to speak the truth in love and I'm sure I haven't always done that as I should, for that I ask for forgivness.

    I hope as you read my future posts your opinion of me will change. God bless.

    With Respect and brotherly love,
    Brother Bill
     
  13. Frogman

    Frogman
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    5,492
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Calvinistic assumption is not supported here! As a matter of fact, it not only doesn't support your assumption it support my assumption that their must be a difference between the salvation of "us/we" (the apostles) and "you" (believers by faith in their message).


    Now I understand; and you have been sovereignly elected to renew this message among those of your audience and whether or not we believe it is our choice.

    But wait, what if really I have been divinely appointed to be among the numbers of that audience and have been seperated by the Spirit to the believing of your message;

    NAW...this follows that other guy, Calvin, too closely, so we won't ask that question and if anyone else does we will only dismiss it.

    You still haven't gotten beyond 2 Thess. 2.13 Bro.

    God Bless.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. tnelson

    tnelson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eph 1:1

    Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

    apostle- means messenge and served as an official title for Paul and the 12 disciples including Matthias, who were eyewitnesses of the resurrected Jesus and were chosen by God to lay the foundation for the church by preaching, teaching, and writing Scripture, accompanied by miracles.

    saints- those whom God has set apart from sin to Himself, made holy through their faith in Jesus Christ.

    Verse 1 says that this letter is addressed to the saints or church.


    mike
     
  15. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've never said I was sovereignly elected. The apostles were. But yes, it is your choice to believe it or not [​IMG]

    I've told you a viable interpretation of 2 Thess. 2:13 before but I'll restate my view for you, if you'll deal with this text.

    2 Thess. 2:13
    He is speaking to a primarily gentile audience. The biggest issue of that day has nothing to do with free will or Sovereignty, it has to do with the Gentiles being allowed into Covenant with God. That is the issue that Paul is having to fight all the time with the Judiazers and non-believing Jews. That has to be understood when appling interpretations to the text.

    Your right, this text does seem to support your assumption in light of the Calvinism vs. Arminian debate. But in light of the historical context of what Paul is dealing with each day, your assumed intent is probably not correct. It's possible, I agree, but not probable.

    You're looking at this text with Calvinistic colored glasses. Step back and look at if from Paul's perspective, one who has written chapter upon chapter confronting Jews who are persecuting him for teaching that the Gentiles can enter covenant with God. Even among the believing Jews (Judiazers) there was opposition to allowing the Gentiles to be saved without becoming a Jew first (Gal. 5 addresses this further)

    In light of that, could Paul be saying to the predominantly Gentile audience, "We thank God for you (Gentiles), brothers loved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you (the Gentile nation) for salvation....through belief in the truth." I think if you're honest you can see that this COULD be a viable translation of this text.

    If you think I'm appling unfair hermeneutics here, don't speak to quickly. Calvinist use this same principle when confronted with the word "all" or "world". They say, "all" means "all of you" or "world" means "elect of all nations in the world" not just the Jews any longer.

    Now, that I've dealt with the scripture you presented, please deal with the scripture I've presented here in Eph. 1, instead of just poking fun of my doctrine. Eventhough that was pretty funny. [​IMG]

    With Respect,
    Bro. Bill
     
  16. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike, you're right this letter is addressed to everyone you mention. But just because you address a letter to your mom and dad, does that mean you can't talk about you own testimony. Sure you could. How would you seperate the parts of the letter where you talk about yourself and let's say your closest buddies and the part where you talk to your parents. Your pronouns would change from "us/we" to "you". Right?

    There is no debate here as to who the audience of this letter is. This entire letter is clearly addressing the saints. The issue I'm pointing out is that their are two groups of believers that are spoken about in this letter. Apostles and Saints. Verse 3-12 deal with Apostles, while verses 13-14 deal with all saints. If its not clear here look over in Eph. chapter 3 and he spells the differences out with even more clarity.

    He is says in verse 3: "...by revelation He [Christ] made known to me the mystery (as I have breifly written already, by which when you read, you may understand my knowledge iin the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets..."

    The same mystery that is revealed to the apostles is what he is referring back to in chapter 1.

    Why do Calvinists assume that the part about the "mystery being revealed" only applies to the apostles, but the part concerning predestination/election applies to all saints? It's an assumption that is not supported in this text.

    With Respect,
    Bro. Bill
     
  17. tnelson

    tnelson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Then what you are say is God chose some and let the rest to chance.


    Mike
     
  18. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think he is saying choice, not chance.

    Am I right? Bill
     
  19. tnelson

    tnelson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    1 Thessalonians 1:3-5
    remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.

    Paul said these were elected by God.

    mike
     
  20. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Correct. Sam

    There is not such thing as chance. God leaves us to choose if we will follow the message of God's divinely appointed apostles or prophets.

    God chooses to Sovereingly intervene in throughout the course of human history. How does he do that? He chooses people to work through.

    Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, Paul etc. All of these were men that God chose to use in order to guarantee that His divine will was carried out at that time in human history.

    The rest of the time he allows the world to act, respond and chose as it wills, so to speak. Now all things must "pass through" his Sovereign will obviously and all happenings must be "allowed" by Him, which is a maintaining of his Sovereignty.

    He does not rule over the world controlling all happenings as some Calvinists assert in their teaching. He limits his control in the world to allow for human responsibility.

    Like Jonah was "effectually called" to preach to Ninevah, even against his will, so too Paul was "effectually called" to preach to the Gentiles, against his will. The audiences in both cases are left to decide whether they will heed the message of God's divinely appointed ones.

    I hope this clarifies my position.

    With Respect,
    Bro. Bill
     

Share This Page

Loading...