Is God unjust?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

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    Calvinists often misrepresent Arminians objections to their views. (which I'm sure is common on both sides)

    The mistake they make is assuming that Arminians must be objecting to their soteriology for one of these reasons:

    1. Arminians don't know their bibles
    2. Arminians are not willing to accept what their bible teaches
    3. Arminians are too stupid to understand what their bible teaches
    4. Armininans think God owes everyone salvation and they think the Calvinistic view of God is unjust because he condemns certain people to hell and not others.

    These are not true of this "Arminian" (I use that label with some reservation but you know what I mean). Nor were they true of Jacob Arminias

    Arminians don't believe the Calvinistic God is unjust because he condemns certain people to hell. We believe the Calvinistic God is unjust because He offers a pardon to all mankind while only granted a few of them the ability to recieve it.

    It is deceptive to offer someone a gift you fully know they cannot recieve. Especially if you, the giver, are the one who determines the receivers abilities. That type of offer cannot be geniune!

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Robert J Hutton

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    I would respectfully draw your attention to Romans 9 v 18-20. We do not understand all the workings of God's sovereignty when it comes to salvation but rather than questioning Him we should bow before Him and acknowledge that He knows what He is doing when He chooses some and by-passes others.

    Bob [​IMG]
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Robert,

    Romans 9:18-21 says, "18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?"

    And then you said, "
    With all due respect your words concerning "salvation" and choosing some while "by-passing others" has absolutely no connection to Paul's words in this text.

    Paul did not say, "Therefore He saves whom He wills, and whom He wills He condemns."

    Calvinists often make this mistake with Romans 9. Being shown mercy is not equivilant to salvation and condemnation is not equivilant to hardening. In fact if you read on into chapter 11 you will see that very same people Paul is referring to as being hardened (Jews) may be saved. And the very ones God is showing mercy (Gentiles) could be "cut off."

    You misinterpret Romans 9 because you seem to think Paul's is referring to the elect (saved) and the non-elect (condemned). He is not! He never speaks of being saved and condemned. He speaks of being shown mercy and being hardened. There is a BIG difference.

    Paul, a Jew, was being shown mercy as a vessel of honor because he was chosen from a hardened people to apostleship. The Gentiles, as a people, were being shown mercy because God was grafted them into the covenant through faith. Paul's Jewish brother next door was not being shown mercy but was being judicially hardened for a time in order for God to accomplish his purpose of Christ crucifixion and the ingrafting of the Gentiles. God is just in doing so as this passage you point out clearly explains.

    He is speaking about Jews and Gentiles. The Gentiles were believing and the Jews were being temporarily hardened (for the most part--the exception was the Remnant of Jews God had preserved for himself to carry the gospel to the gentiles, namely the Paul and the other apostles).

    The mistakes you have made are common ones but I think if you do an honest study of the text you will see that Romans 9 in no way supports the Calvinistic premise.
     
  4. Ignazio_er

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  5. russell55

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    This is a quote from something Skandelon wrote on another thread. I hope no one minds if I respond to it here.

    I just wanted to clarify something. Calvinists think that men retain their natural capacity to understand about God/Christ/the gospel. The problem is that they don't much like what deep down they do know, and so they don't think its of any value to them. They think the "words of life" are useless words. Sort of like lots of kids are in math class. They certainly could understand it, but they don't think it will every be of any use to them, so they don't bother with it.
     
  6. Skandelon

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    So, you are saying Calvinists believe men can see and understand the gospel they just won't like what they hear unless the Holy Spirit intervenes?
     
  7. Yelsew

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    Is this a case of convict evaluating the jury?

    Who are we to say whether or not God is Just?

    What can we do about it if we determine that He is not?


    Let's deal with that which we have power over, leaving that which we do not to the one who does.
     
  8. Trotter

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    God is perfectly just. All men have to choice to accept His generous offer through His Son, Jesus Christ. Even those who have never heard the name of Jesus have all of nature to point them to Him.

    Not all men will receive this free gift. It is not God who comdemns them. They comdemn themselves.

    Is God unsure who will and who won't? No. God already knows who will refuse the salvation offered.

    Basically, God knows who will, and who will not, accept His Son. But God has not shared this information with us.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  9. Lorelei

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    Exactly! Hopefully this point will finally be recognized and addressed in this thread. Good post.

    ~Lorelei
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    Did God sin ? Is God to be blamed for the consequences of sin, which is eternal death ? Did God predestinate anyone of Adam's race to hell ? Or are men going to hell as a consequence of an incorrect choice in the garden.
    There are three instances where the Bible uses the word mankind in the New Testament, two in connection with the sin of homosexuality, therefore indicating that the intent of the word is to denote genus. Doing that which is unseemly with somebody of the same sex, the same kind, the same gender (1 Cor. 6:9 and 1 Tim. 1:10). The third indicating that the genus of man is far superior than any animal genus (James 3:7). Look these verses up, if you will, which I doubt you will do. At any rate, the term mankind is never used in connection with salvation.

    The words "all" and "men", however, have been used by the Bible in connection with salvation, and, an honest look and study will show that God does not intend and never did intend salvation to be for men in the genus term, but rather for men in all races (as Paul said, to the Jew, first and also to the Greek), social position as when Paul exhorts that we pray for all men, all languages, and all nations, the implication being that while man-kind is a fallen and condemend race because of their sin and not because God predestined them to hell, God in His mercy elected many among all races, tongues, social position, and nations, unto salvation. Now, if that is not mercy, I don't konw what is.


    Arminians talk as if God has the obligation to save anyone. Where in the Bible does it say that God has that obligation, and if He does not save everyone, but chooses to save some, and leave the others to the just punishment of their sins, then He becomes an unjust God ?

    The cross, while securing the salvation of some, was intended for God's glory, to show His justice and at the same time His mercy.

     
  11. Me2

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    Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?
    Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

    Is God in this illustration stating his unjust sovereignty?. in the least his unfairness towards one of the two vessels, For both vessels can only serve as it is created and does not have a stronger will over its creators purposes and plans.

    this illustration clearly denounces the existence of free will of man, for man must follow the will of his creator.

    for the vessel of honor (mercy) as well as the vessel of dishonor (wrath).

    if we determine the predestination of the vessel of mercy. then clearly one can see the predestination of the vessel of wrath. both vessels having a will predetermined by God to accomplish.
     
  12. Skandelon

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    Pinoybaptist,

    First, you seem quite hostile. Are you having problems at home for which we can pray?

    Second, do you believe the gospel is to be preached indiscrimately to all mankind?
     
  13. Yelsew

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    Who are we to judge God?


    Is that not what we do when we question His JUSTICE?
     
  14. Skandelon

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    Me2 and Pinoybaptist, look at this passage as a whole and try not to view it from a Calvinistic/Arminian debate. View it from the context in which it was originally written.

    What is the big issue of their day? Is it Calvinism versus Arminianism. Of course not. Its the fact that God has now revealed his Son who brought salvation not just for the Jews but for those dirty old Gentiles. That was a big deal then. The arguments Paul anticipates in Romans 9 are not arguments from an Arminian but from a Jewish theologian who sees a few Jews and a whole bunch of Gentiles becoming apart of this new religious group.

    Here are the two objections Paul answers in Romans 9:

    1. If this gospel you preach is truth then why are Gentiles believing it?

    You must remember that Jews HATED Gentiles and there was a great amount of anamosity to work through in those days. If Gentiles were believing and endorcing this "new faith" then in their minds their must be something wrong with it. In the Jews mind God would have been unjust to promise them salvation and then go and let the Gentiles in on it too. They just couldn't accept that. Thus, Paul's quote from the OT, "He can have mercy on whom He wants to have mercy and he can have compassion on whom he wants to have compassion." It doesn't depend upon the keeping of the Law but upon God who chooses to have mercy on any group of people He desires.

    2. If this gospel you preach is truth why aren't good Jewish men believing it?

    Think about it. If some guy was walking around today preaching a new message and RC Sproul, JI Packer, MacArthur, Piper and every other author you might admire was denouncing him you would have second thoughts about accepting his words as truth. In like manner, if people who were known to be heathens were accepting it as truth it would only add to your skepticism of this guys message.

    Plus, in the mind of a Jew God has promised to save Jews, not dirty Gentiles.

    This is why we see Paul establish several key points in chapter 9.

    1. I desire with all my heart for Jews to believe and be saved.

    2. True Israel is not determined by geneology, but through the covenant of faith.

    3. God can justly have compassion and mercy on sinful Gentiles.

    4. God can justly harden "law abiding" Jews.

    Paul is talking about three groups of peopel here, not just two as some think. Calvinists make the mistake of thinking he just talking about the elect (saved) and the non-elect (condemned). That is wrong. He is contrasting the Jews and Gentiles. And we can't forget that there are two types of Jews at this time. Those who are hardened and those who have been selected to carry the message to the world. (Called the Remnant, namely the apostles)

    For the most part the Gentiles are the ones who are believing and receiving his message and the Jews are hardened. But there is another group. The Remnant. Who is this? Jews who are not hardened. Jews who have been selected from a hardened nation to carry the message to the world. Paul is one of these. He is a vessel who was chosen for noble purposes. He was chosen to apostleship. Why? Because he was better? No. His illustration of Jacob and Esau showed that he was chosen based upon God's elective purpose alone, not his own righteousness. He was as hardened as the rest of his countrymen. Paul's Jewish friends, like Esau, were chosen for more common purposes...to be hardened. Does this mean they were certain to be condemned in hell? No, read on into chapter 10 and 11 and you will see that Paul indicates they too can be saved.

    Paul is simply saying to his accusors, the harden Jew, you are like Pharoah. God has hardened you and he is just in doing so because for generations he held out his hands to you and you did not follow him so what if he demonstrates patience with the Gentile nation who have been know as objects of wrath for generations in order to demonstrate to the Jews, known as ones He had prepared for glory, the depth of his mercy. The fact is God has prepared Jews and Gentiles for glory. This is what Paul was saying when he wrote:

    Paul is introducing the concept that he goes on the explain in the next two chapters. That is that God has chosen to reveal salvation to the Gentiles in hopes that this will provoke the Jews through jealousy. Which is why he writes:

    Sorry this is so long. There is a lot to say. But just go back and read chapters 9-11 with this in mind and I think if your objective you will see what I'm speaking about is true.
     
  15. pinoybaptist

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    No, skandelion. I am not having problems at home that needs intercession from others, thank you. My God, whom you call the Calvinistic God, is quite able to supply all my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

    I do get upset when I hear people talk as if God has been remiss in his duties, and misrepresented his mercies, for failing to love all of man-kind as if any man, including the elect, were deserving of his love and mercies.

    As for preaching the gospel, there is a command to preach the gospel to all creatures. But I think it is the purpose of the preaching that you and I will not agree. You will undoubtedly say that the purpose of the gospel is to win souls to Christ.

    I say the gospel is preached for the purposes of instructions for righteousness, for doctrine, for reproof, and to bring life and immortality, already possessed by the child of God, to light.

    I believe God is able to regenerate, quicken, bring back to life, all that he elected unto salvation and whose names he wrote in his book from before the foundation of the world, apart from any means and that Christ is able to present them clean and spotless before the Father apart from any human help.
     
  16. pinoybaptist

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    Oh, and also, I apologize for not having addressed this issue you raised.

    First, the offer of pardon, if there is such an offer in the Bible, is not for all man-kind. Salvation is not an offer, it is a gift. You do not offer a gift. You give a gift.

    God elected certain individuals to receive that gift. He gave them the gift, secured for them by Christ, on the cross. And then he quickened them, in order for them to receive faith. They were not quickened because they had faith, they had faith because they were quickened first.

    The Bible is clear that the faith that God honored and the faith that justified the elect child of God is Christ's faith, imputed to him as Christ's righteousness is imputed to the him.

    Paul says in Galatians:

    So, you see, the deception lies in man who would bring God down to his way of thinking and of perceiving things. God said: ...For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8).
     
  17. Skandelon

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    What is it exactly that I said which gave you the impression that I believed anyone was "deserving of his love and mercies?"

    We are debating who recieves God's love and mercy based upon what we each believe the Bible teaches, NOT based upon what we do or do not deserve. Let's stick to the scripture instead of feeling "upset" when someone debates in favor of Arminianism on an Arminian/Calvinism debate board. If that "upsets" you then you may be dealing with anger management issues and it may be best for you to refrain from reading Arminian's posts.

    Well, that was good enough for Paul [​IMG]



    Hmmm. Where does the scripture teach us that the primary purpose of the gospel is to reveal something to certain people about themselves that they already possess?

    So what is the power of God unto Salvation? It must be something that comes before the gospel, right? Once again, I must ask for the scriptural support.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    The gift may be given but it also must be taken or accepted by the one to whom the gift is presented.

    The gospel presents the gift to all, therefore the gift is offered to all who hear it. Do all accept the gift that is presented to them in that gospel message. No. Therefore, it is offered and denied by some.

    No matter how hard you try you can't get around the univeral offer of the gospel message.

    I need some biblical evidence here.

    So, you see, the deception lies in man who would bring God down to his way of thinking and of perceiving things. God said: ...For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8). </font>[/QUOTE]There is a lot resting on the little word "of" in your theology here. That is certainly debatable being that many translators opted for the the word "in" which if you know your Greek is a valid option for that case form of the noun.

    Plus, there is still another option if you are unwilling to accept that one. The "faith" of Christ can simply be understood in the noun form of the word. Like the "Islam faith" or the "Hindu faith." This simply referrs to the faith or teaching established by these groups of people. So too, "the faith of Christ" can be referring to the faith or teaching established by Jesus Christ in which men must believe. In fact, this is a much more likely translation than what you imply. You make it seem as if Christ enters us and has the faith for us. This is the verb form of the word faith. Pistis is a noun in this verse. If you check your grammar you will see that translation doesn't work. I wouldn't rest the crux of my doctrine on such shaky grammatical foundations..

    Plus, I could point to numerous verses which refer to faith as being "of man" but I think my point has been made.
     
  19. Me2

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    Skandelon,

    Paul in Romans brings about the parallel of the jews and Gentiles, alongside the introduction of the relationship of a creator and his creation.

    the creation follows the parameters of its existence.
    nothing more and nothing less.

    man within the plans set forth before him, follows Gods will into wrath or into mercy. He follows the law to please God or follows the path of accepting mercy via faith.
    I do not focus specifically on jew and gentile other than to designate the actions of theose living under law and those living under grace.
    As today within THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.

    there are those who live under the law and those who live by grace trough faith. the two groups are clearly identifiable and serve to represent vessels of wrath, or children of diobedience and there are those who represent vessels of mercy or children of obedience.
    this observation is clearly observable and more fully taught of the difference by paul within the bible.

    calvin and arminians both believe that vessels of wrath are reserved for an afterlife of torment and torture when we read in Romans 11. paul clearly states that all of israel or those representing followers living under the law are saved.

    this is my arguement. the statement that paul makes by observing the two groups that God CALLS oppose themselves yet for the reason of saving all.

    still nobody is raising a stink when we read God calls obedient and disobedient to live within specified lifestyles. or that HE wills their life after the call is received. they have no choice in the matter.

    Phi 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

    Me2
     
  20. russell55

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    Well, yes. In a technical sense, they can understand it. They don"t however, understand the value of it, and they don't understand the value of it because they are naturally biased against it. And it is the call of God through the inner work of the Holy Spirit that changes that.

    My server has been down for a day and a half, so I've been slow responding. Right now, I don't have much time, but I can respond with scriptural evidences of that later, if you are interested.
     

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