Is God Partial?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    Was God partial when He chose Noah and his family to be saved while destroying all others, or Adan and Eve to walk in the garden and all others to be born outside of it? Was God partial when He chose to make a covenant with Abraham as opposed to all others? Was God partial when he chose Isaac instead of Ishmael for a seed? Was God partial when He anointed certain to be priest, kings, and prophets without granting the same privilege to all others, or choosing a mere twelve as His closest disciples?

    Was God partial when He gave land to His chosen people, allowing them to come in and destroy all others to obtain it? Was God partial when He sent His Son for a time to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, instead of all the Gentile nations? Was God partial when He healed some and left others to face their diseases?

    Is God partial today when he obviously grants far more light, opportunity, and far more righteous influences to some, while leaving others in the dark of heathendom, often to die in infancy from disease and starvation?
     
  2. DHK

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    James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

    Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

    Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
     
  3. BobRyan

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    God did not declare that "MANY preflood saints were walking with God at the time of Noah and God then arbitrarily picked ONE to survive the flood" -- rather when we read Gen 5-6 we find FEW walking with God until it came down to NOAH who as "preacher of righteousness" preached for 120 years for MORE to come in -- and NONE did!

    The idea that this world-wide world saving effort that SHOWS that the world had come down to just "Noah and family" as the faithful servants of God - is some kind of "God is arbitrary" example for calvinists - is hardly believable sir.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. BobRyan

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    You must be on the right path to be approved in perseveringly staying on the right path. It is obvious I know, but worth noting.

    So God has now contrasted the good and the wicked, those who persevere on the right path and those who are not even on it. The opposite of such a just, objective just system would be “arbitrary selection” of the saved vs lost. It would be to arbitrarily select some for favor instead of “So loving the World”.

    We already know that in the judgment there are two classes - those that receive immortality and those that do not. If it is not clear to us by now that this chapter is dealing with both classes - we need to engage in some remedial reading comprehension.

    By contrast some have argued that God is partial – inexplicably selective.




    Let's look "in depth" at the Romans 2 argument that Paul makes as to WHY that complaint against God is not true at all.
     
  5. BobRyan

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    Romans 2 is filled with the "contrast" language showing the failing case and how it is contrasted with the successful case.

    Yet many who choose a "sifting and snippet" approach to scripture - turn a blind eye to the contrasting language in Romans 2 - hoping to see only "condemnation for Jews".

    Still - there are Christians today that have faithfully shown a deep appreciation for all of God's word - and all of Romans 2. for them there is perfect harmony between Romans 2, Romans 6 and 1John 3 – hence they are not easily deceived by the traditions of man designed to contradict the commands of God …



    1John 3
    7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;
    ...
    9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
    10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

    Romans 6
    15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
    16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness

    Romans 2 actually deals with the impartiality of God wrt to Jews and Gentiles, those who have the bible and those who do not. (this means it addresses everyone - the saved and the unsaved) all come from either the group that has the bible or the group that does not. All come from either the Jews or the non-Jews. This is a globally applicable chapter. And it starts with the call to repentance (and there for confession and forgiveness).




    Now from Romans 1 to 2:3 we have had introduced the subject of God's infallible judgment and contrasted it to man's faulty judgment

    Lets pay special attention to the details of the starting Context that PAUL gives in his letter to the Romans and SEE how "choice" plays out in this IMPARTIAL system where the IMPARTIAL God calls ALL to repentance. Instead of this chapter saying “all deserve hell so God is simply sending everyone there” this chapter STARTS with the call of ALL to “repentance”. The mercy and goodness of God that “leads” us to repentance in the Gospel.

    Rom 2
    4 or do you think lightly of the riches of his kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?[/b

     
  6. BobRyan

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    Rom 2
    4 or do you think lightly of the riches of his kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?[/b


    .

    Vs 4 shows us that the mercy - kindness - grace leads us to repent. This chapter starts with the Gospel basics of God's offer to grant repentance and that all need to repent.

    Note: The Context for Romans 2 is STARTING with judgment, AND of the mercy of God that leads to repentance.

    Let's continue letting the scripture speak for itself;




    Paul is adamant that there is a future judgment “according to deeds”. Paul here identifies the “impartial” basis of God’s judgment. Instead of His simply “arbitrarily selecting” some to favor and others to ignore – ALL are judged according to deeds IN the context of the “call to repentance” of vs 4.

    He speaks of this again in 2Cor 5 talking about future judgment and judged based on deeds “whether they be good or evil”.

    Notice that in these first 6 verses we have an Arminian-style motivation - not to engage in man's faulty judgment of others. And there is no sense or expectation that this sin is not to stop or just to continue because we are totally depraved. Rather the argument is to stop.

    Romans 2 - if this chapter is only about the failing case, only about the wrath of God - then we will not find success, mercy, reward but only condemnation, wrath, punishment. Let's now let the text reveal which way it will go.

    Here is the “succeeding case” explicitly listed by Paul. And it is in the context of God - leading to repentance. We also have the people of God - persevering, doing good and seeking glory and honor. What is the result? The text says immortality and eternal life.


    Instead of arguing “God arbitrarily selects some for immortality and eternal life” Paul makes the case for the just and impartial judgment of God that uses the rule of Matt 7 “Not everyone who SAYS Lord lord will enter”.

    Barns commentary agrees –



    Some have supposed that a “judgment” that is impartial as Paul points to in vs 6 and 11 must “only have failing cases”. But Paul shows in vs 7 that such is not the case. The “Good News” does not require God to arbitrarily be “partial to the FEW of Matt 7” as some have supposed. Rather it allows for God to be “impartial” and to SAVE mankind on that basis!




    The “Failing case”: Clearly a contrast is being introduced "but to those who are selfish" - contrasted with what? And notice that the contrast is not of the form “but those whom God did not select will not obey” as Calvinism would have it.

    Rather it is in the impartial nature of God to show His impartial justice in the lives of those who freely choose evil while others freely choose repentance. Those who repent, seek eternal glory and honor and persevere. Persevere in what?

     
  7. BobRyan

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    No Partiality – for Christians and not caring for the lost.

    God shows no partiality between unsaved people. (Unsaved Jews vs Unsaved Gentiles)
    Acts 10:34
    [ Gentiles Hear Good News ] Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,


    God shows no partiality in determining who goes to heaven – who is justified.
     
  8. BobRyan

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    Notice the "text" perhaps for the first time – as it speaks about our IMPARTIAL God whose process of judging in the matter of salvation (and IN the context of the call to repentance (Rom 2:4)) "results" in some saved and some lost JUST as He describes IN Romans 2...

    Rom 2
    5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the [b]righteous judgment of God,
    6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: [/b]

    7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
    8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
    9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
    10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    11 For there is no partiality with God.
    12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
    13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

    Let "the text" speak.

    #1. Romans 2 provides BOTH successful and failing cases for BOTH Jews and Gentiles.

    #2. Romans 2 SAYS they are ALL judged based on DEEDS and the RESULT of that impartial judgment is that SOME fail and some succeed.

    This is devastating to Calvinism.

    #3. Romans 3 is IN the GOSPEL CONTEXT of the kindness and goodness of God - and the call to repentance.

    This means that WITHIN the Gospel scenario there IS impartial JUDGMENT that results in SOME having eternal life and some not.

    #4. Paul declares that the JUDGMENT is "according to my gospel". The judgment he speaks of is part of the Gospel.

    #5. The Judgment results in "JUSTIFICATION" according to the text. It does not simply happen in a Gospel VOID where ALL those judged are condemned because of course - ALL are sinners.

    #6. The DEEDS mentioned are the same FRUITs of MAtt 7 that Christ shows as "determining" outcome.

    #7 The ENTIRE thing is said to occur in an impartial manner and is GUARANTEED to be impartial because GOD HIMSELF is impartial when it comes to salvation according to
    Rom 2:11

    The "obvious" point in both Romans 2 and Matt 7 is that it is NOT a scenario where God "arbitrarily selects out from among the doomed a few to FAVOR".

    Both texts are going out of their way to START within the context of the Gospel and to SHOW that in that context of the goodness of God as our Father - and the call to repentance and forgiveness - WE HAVE a judgment of "deeds" where some fail and some pass.

    It is NOT the more "general" case of Romans 3 where ALL are condemned WITHOUT the need for a "future judgment" since ALL have sinned.

    Why treat ALL in this way?

    ANSWER: Because "God is not partial"??


    How then does Calvinism accept this chapter?

    ANSWER: It does not.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Interesting that there are two different systems – one to address those who HAVE scripture and one to address those who do not. But BOTH having the potential outcome of loss or salvation. To this point Paul presents BOTH failing cases AND successful cases.

    Paul appears to be in harmony with Christ here as Christ said that those who knew there master's will and did it not receive many lashes but those that did not know the master's will and yet did deeds worthy of punishment - receive few



    Notice that Christ does not assume everyone goes to hell (both those who KNEW the Bible and those who did not) anymore than Paul would make such an absurd statement in Romans 2. Rather the chapter is in context with the call for repentance as noted at the start.




    Having shown us both the group that in the future obtain immortality and the group that in the future suffer the wrath after the future judgment of God - Paul now sums it up - the justification that is future will be for the doers and not for those who are proven to be merely hearers. The test is the same Matt 7 indicator “NOT everyone who SAYS Lord Lord – but he who DOES” for the good tree produces good fruit.

    This is not a fact that Paul then goes on to deny in the rest of the book of Romans. Rather he continues to strongly endorse it (note particularly Romans 6). John McAarthur did an excellent series on this point - titled "the power over sin".
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: We agree in these things concerning God. The OP addresses the question whether or not He is partial, and whether or not what He does for one necessitates that He do it in the same manner for all.
    The issue has been raised by BR as to God allowing all men to hear the gospel and opportunity to respond, as if though God would not be just unless He allowed the same opportunity for all.
    How would you answer these questions?
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: BR, in all candor, it does little good to post seven posts in answer to my simple straight forward list of questions. I will not respond in depth to all of them due to the fact any meaning I might have to add would be lost in the excess verbiage it would take to respond.

    I will say this. Just because God indeed does choose some while leaving others without hearing the message, is no indication that His means or individuals chosen are arbitrary or arbitrarily chosen. I see you forming yet another box for God, in essence stating that if God does not fit in your box God is simply not God.

    You say this about the Calvinist model. “BR: The Calvinist model is that "God can not be God if there is free will" that is a "remove God when Free will is taken into account" model my opinion.”

    I say the following about your model: The model BR paints is that God cannot be God if God allows anything but a necessitated universal approach to salvation and implements a plan that is unfailingly universal in its dissemination of it. God cannot be God if all do not have an opportunity to hear and respond. That is a “God is only just if His offer of salvation is disseminated to all men equally” model. Sorry BR. Scripture refutes such a model plainly.

    Ro 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.


     
  12. BobRyan

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    If ignoring the data is the only way to keep insisting that God "simply selects out some to be saved no matter what the Bible says to the contrary in Romans 2" -- then I can see the logic in ignoring the details being highlighted there.

    (I assume this post is suitably short and of the kind of single-point content such that it can now be read).

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: The question that you need to come to grips with is the process whereby God selects. From your response it is obvious that either you did not read or did not comprehend my last post. I am sure that as we go along I will improve on the way I explain it, just the same I would have hoped that you would be able to at least sense the reality of God’s selection as not being arbitrary.

    Give us your take on the verse I quoted. Ro 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

    You should know with certainty that I do not accept the Calvinistic notion of election, for I agree that such a concept involves arbitrary selection. Just the same, I fully believe God selects those that will be saved as well as the process, 'the means by which' God has chosen to disseminate His gospel message, which does not lean towards arbitrary selection in the least. Just as it can be rightfully stated that God selects any and all that will be saved, the question that must be answered is what does that selection consist of and how is it implemented. I believe I have shown clearly how that can be totally and completely compatible with free will, and avoids the pitfalls of an arbitrary process. I also believe that the selection process as I illustrated, helps give clarity to Roman 9:18, again without falling into the confusion and error of an arbitrary selection process. Sure God chooses and hardens. It is the manner in which those are done that the key lies in avioding arbitrary error.

    God can indeed choose and harden within the confines of a free will system and avoid all charges of being seen as arbitrary in doing so. The key again lies in how God accomplishes it.
     
  14. BobRyan

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    You "appear to argue it two ways".

    #1. The capricious choices of man limits the reach and range of the Gospel. Choices made by those who are sent and those who hear and choose to accept or not -- result in "the selection". But that leaves God as a "bystander". And God tells even the Jews "if these were to keep silent the very ROCKS would cry out"

    #2. You also appear to presume that "story telling at a certain level" is what saves. So those who do not have access to "the right level" of story telling CAN not be saved and DO not have ACCESS to the saving Gospel solution.

    Basically - both of your assumptions are wrong.


    .

    #1. Please SHOW how your view is not arbitrary selection.
    #2. I already gave a response to Romans 9 showing that Paul's point was not the RESTRICTED mercy and grace of God but rather God's own sovereign choice to NOT ONLY show mercy to the saved but ALSO to bear with long suffering and patience (Giving His son to DIE for them and convicting them of sin and righteousness and judgment etc) those "vessels of wrath". Instead of simply "not caring for them".


    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. BobRyan

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    wonderful assertion -- please show that it is actually "true"/
     
  16. Alcott

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    "Is God Partial?"





    No, he's complete.
     
  17. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    Is God partial?
    "God is not a respecter of the person." That's something else!

    I think to remember I somewhere read something like this: "Jehova is my part." It could have been in the Psalms. If so, then God certainly has to be partial -- to have favoured me! Nothing but impartial favouritism; DIVINE favouritism namely, and therefore not to be objected to or suspected! Can the clay argue with the Potter?
     
  18. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    Calvin objected to the free-willers' insisting on a reason be found for God's good pleasure. He reckoned it very sinful.

    The free-will humanists got clever. Instead they began speaking of 'the arbitrariness of election'. It's the same arrogance against the doctrine of free grace. If some human explanation cannot be given for God's own pleasing, it is 'arbitrary'.
     
  19. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    Example:

    Originally Posted by Heavenly Pilgrim

    HP:
    I will say this. Just because God indeed does choose some while leaving others without hearing the message, is no indication that His means or individuals chosen are arbitrary or arbitrarily chosen.




    BobRyan:

    wonderful assertion -- please show that it is actually "true"/
     
  20. Rippon

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    BR : You still have failed to grasp God's mercy . He has been merciful to some . That is His perfect right as God . Since all deserve condemnation He is "allowed" to choose a few brands from the burning . God is not be to faulted for permitting Himself to choose who He wants . As a matter of fact , God can do anything He wants and no worm of the dust can say otherwise .

    You seem to want to besmirch God's character with your constant refrain of "Calvinists believe in a capricious God " or some similarly phrased hogwash . You believe in a God of justice , right ? So do we . He does everything in decency and order , right ? We believe the same . Nothing He does is whimsical -- agreed ? Fine , of course we concur . Do not charge us with your blasphemous representations of God and His character . So far you still sound like those objectors Paul was dealing with in Romans 9 . So I join with the Apostle in saying to you -- Who are you O man to argue with God ?
     
    #20 Rippon, Jun 30, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2007

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