Is Election totally random?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by JonathanDT, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. JonathanDT

    JonathanDT
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    I read somewhere that election was totally random, picked by God from before time with absolutely no bearing on earthly events. Is that accurate?

    Ok, now if that's true, then shouldn't Christians be evenly dispersed throughout time and geography as according to a percentage of population? For instance, if God randomly elected a specific number of people as elect, lets say 1% to make it easy, then at any given time in any given place roughly 1% of the population should be elect. So China would have roughly 22 times the number of elect in China as there are in England since there are 22 times the number of people in China. Likewise there should have been twice the number of elect on the earth in 1950 as there were in 1850 since the population doubled in that hundred years.

    So what am I doing wrong?? Am I wrong that the elect are randomly selected? Am I off somewhere else?

    I'm asking these questions because I'm trying to figure out where I stand on Calvinism. I know I'm not Arminian because I believe in once saved always saved. But Calvinism seems to have a lot of problems too. So I'm starting with the questions which jump out at me and I'll work my way up to the more complicated stuff. Thanks for your patience.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I don't think there is anything random about it. I think God's gracious purposes are unknown, not random.
     
  3. Major B

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    If I choose to buy item X and not buy item Y, that by definition is not random, because choice was involved. Whatever one believes about election, the word "random" cannot be applied to it unless one believes God is a mindless force, and I doubt any of us want to go there.
     
  4. Johnv

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    I'm asking these questions because I'm trying to figure out where I stand on Calvinism.
    Don't confuse Calvinism with Hypercalvinism. Calvinism as attributed by John Calvin states that man has the free will and responsibility to choose to follow God. Hypercalvinism says that man has no free will whatsoever, and that man is a pupper creation, while Calvinism implies that, while God knows in advance who will choose Him, He created persons, not puppets.
     
  5. JonathanDT

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    But depending on HOW that choice was made, it could have been random. By random I mean picking one over the other without any reason that has to do with the chosen or the unchosen. For instance if you flipped a coin to decide. If it ISN'T random, then you must have a purpose for choicing product X over product Y. It might be price, maybe taste, maybe the color, but whatever it was if it wasn't random there is a reason for it.

    So now my question is what is God's reason then for choosing those? Do we have no clue? Do we have a hint? In another thread it was decided that God only allowed elected babies to be killed, so is that then part of his equation?
    I'm guessing the answer is that we simply don't know, right?

    Do we know some ways in which he DIDN'T choose the elect? Such as choosing the elect because they are the ones that searched for God.

    God can do all things but pick something at random?
     
  6. JonathanDT

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    Thanks John, I'll do a post about that.
     
  7. Eric B

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    The way they have explained it here from time to time, is that God preordaines thinga, and then they work out in time (often according to the natural laws of life), so then he places His elect only in places where the Gospel will reach, and anyone not reached was just not elect. On my page, I use the following scenario:
    I hope the Calvinists will see this as a fair presentation of their views. I think of it as akin to a "script", rather than a "puppet show".
    Primitive Baptists and some others would say that God elects people anywhere, regardless of whether they hear the Gospel.
     
  8. JonathanDT

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    That's sorta what I assumed because nothing else makes sense without contradicting itself. It explains why we were commanded to evangelize which was another question I had. Many thanks.

    So basically God chose his elect and has already taken all possible circumstances into account and then puts his elect into places where they need to be to be saved.

    So election IS random, it's the placement of those elect on earth that ISN'T random.
     
  9. tyndale1946

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    I'm a Primitive Baptist you are right in what you say about us... Question explain Romans 9:11 unless you just want to cut it out of the Bible and say it doesn't apply. It is not in my Bible to take up space and it states that election is not a work of ours. It also state election is not based on anything we have done or will do both good and evil. Also and underline this in bold letters... The elect are composed of a great multitude that no man can number... of ALL NATIONS... KINDREDS... PEOPLE... and TONGUES. You Arminian brethren can have your choice or chance Salvation... Put in who you want to put in and leave out who you want to leave out... Election is the only doctrine that will get you to heaven and without it there is no heaven... Choice will get you nowhere... Adam had a choice! :eek: ... Brother Glen
     
  10. JonathanDT

    JonathanDT
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    So how does the Great Commission apply?
     
  11. tyndale1946

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    To feed the sheep that God has made!... Three times Peter is admonished by Jesus to FEED SHEEP because only sheep will eat the food that God provides!... Those not interested in God will not partake of spiritual food until their heart is prepared to receive it... God prepares the heart to receive it and the food or holy manna to nourish the changed child of God... FEED MY SHEEP... FEED MY LAMBS!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  12. russell55

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    No, election isn't random. It just isn't based on any sort of merit within the person elected. It is based on God's purpose, and we are not privy to what that purpose is. But God always has a reason for everything He does, so "random" isn't a proper word for anything God does, nor is the word "arbitrary".

    God elects His people before creation, and then works inside creation with the circumstances of their lives (including their exposure to the gospel) and the condition of their hearts so that they come to faith.
     
  13. BobRyan

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    The word is "arbitrary". It is "arbitrary selection" without any reference to the will, actions, merit, value, family relationship, status of the person selected. So in fact - it is ALL of God.

    This means you have no reason at all to think that just because God loves you - HE ALSO loves your precious child - if you are 4 or 5 point Calvinist that is and you remain consistent on that point.

    IN Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. BobRyan

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    I have to admit - I did not expect "dead silence" from the 4 and 5 point Calvinists after that last post.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Why?? We have corrected you many times and you haven't listened yet. Are you prepared to listen and learn this time??
     
  16. BobRyan

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    So nothing "about that person" - not their "Status", their family ties, their "Abilities", their intelligence, their choices -- nothing "recommends one for selection instead of another".

    Then "obviously" my point in the previous 2 posts - remains. Unfortunately "the obvious" is not as hard to see as some of our Calvinist bretheren had hoped.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    You got it. It is based wholly on God's gracious choice.

    Two posts ago was your misunderstanding of it by calling it arbitrary and you last post was complaining that no one was any longer willing to address that issue with you since you weren't trying to learn what is really believed. Obviously, neither of those have to do with this topic.

    In Christ,

    Bob [/QB][/QUOTE]
     
  18. russell55

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    Arbitary means for no reason. Calvinist believe God has reason for his choice, that reason just has nothing to do with anything within the person being elected.
     
  19. BobRyan

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    Arbitrary means that you have no assignable reason for the action. Calvinism maintains that the choice with absolutely without condition. It is unconditional as it pertains to any attribute ABOUT the FEW that has them selected over the MANY. It claims that IF you find a reason for it - (I.E something that goes like "This person was chosen because this person has this or that attribute making them selectable by God, or differentiating them in some way from the MANY next to them that are not selected") then it is NOT unconditional.

    Calvinism is NOT claiming "The FEW are selected because THEY CHOOSE life and the MANY do not - but God is not telling us that, so we can claim it is UNCONDITIONAL - even though in fact the condition is that unspoken attribute".

    Again - merely stating the "obvious" AND noticing that "the obvious" is more apparent than our Calvinist bretheren would prefer to think.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. russell55

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    And there is an assignable reason for God's election--His purpose. The reason is found within God, and not within any human being. It is "of him who calls".

    Well, if you find a reason within the person chosen then it is NOT unconditional. How in the world can you argue that statement? And if you find a reason within the person chosen, then God is showing partiallity, is he not? He would be choosing one person over the other because they have "this or that attribute" or because they are different in some way from those standing next to them, wouldn't He? Wouldn't that make God a "respector of persons"?

    I am not sure what it is you are saying here, but I have a hunch repeating my motto for the day might help:

    Salvation and election are not the same. Salvation and election are not equal. Salvation is conditional, election is not.
     

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