Is this the Arminian Stumper?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Hello everyone,

    I'm new on this board and I'm currently in the process of writing my thesis on the issues of Soteriology (salvation).

    I have run across a Calvinistic line of reasoning which, in my current view, seems to present an unanswerable question to those who attempt to hold to an Arminian view of salvation. (I speak of the Arminian view in general terms--as those apposed to at least a portion of the "5 points of Calvinism")

    Here is the question: "Why did you choose Christ while others reject Him?"

    That may seem simple at first glance, but I dare say you better watch your answers because they will most assuredly come back to bite you. I know from experience. I'm trying to find a satisfactory answer from the Arminian viewpoint. And collect as many responses as possible. So please give me your reaction to this question, especially if your not a Calvinist.

    Let me give you a warning of some pitfalls to avoid:

    If you answer, "Because I had faith." The response is, "From where does faith come?"

    If you answer, "Because I'm smarter." Which I'm sure most Christians would avoid saying, but nevertheless the response would be, "From where does your intellengence come?"

    If you answer, "In my humility I realized my need for a savior." Then the response would be, "From where does humility come?"

    If you answer, "My parents, or environment, softened my heart to the things of God." The answer will come, "Who gave you your parents, and who places you in your enviroment."

    If you answer, "God draws me to himself by the power of his Spirit." Then the Calvinist, watering at the mouth, has you right where he wants you and responds, "Oh, well then it must be God who is the determining factor in Salvation."

    "No," you may argue in vain, "God merely 'woos' us, we are the ones who must choose to follow." The Calvinist grins with delight, knowing you have stepped in his trap, and says, "Reeeeeeally, so what is it about you that causes you to say 'yes' to His woos while others obviously resist it?"

    And the question goes right back to the beginning. If God is not solely responsible for salvation, there must be something in you, or about you that gives you the ability to believe that certain others do not posses.

    If I can find that one characteristic, that one determining factor for the Arminian thinker, then I could draw some final conclusions for my thesis.

    I'm starting to believe that this question is truly unanswerable for the Arminian theologian; thus, proving the Calvinistic thesis that God is solely responsiable for salvation.

    Please prove me wrong. Help me find a satisfactory answer for this question (biblical support would be nice).

    Thank you,
    SAM
     
  2. ScottEmerson

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    The choice springs from an ultimately free will to choose Christ. It is not about intelligence. It is not about wisdom. It's comes down to the willingness to surrender my life to a Savior. It comes down to exercising faith in the One who died for my sins.

    I chose Christ because I found in Him the answers to what I was looking for - because I wanted to experience true love, true peace, and true joy.

    How's that?
     
  3. 4study

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    CHOICE.

    1. Holy Spirit convicts (convinces) all.
    2. Individual chooses to accept or reject the truth of what is revealed in #1.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    To follow up out of curiosity ...

    Would you say that rejecting Christ is a stupid choice?

    Would you say that rejecting Christ is a wise choice?
     
  5. npetreley

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    That doesn't answer the question, it just repeats it. Why does one person choose to accept the truth and another choose to reject it?
     
  6. npetreley

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    Again, you haven't answered the question, you've only repeated it. Even assuming we have the free will to choose or reject Christ, for what reason does free will choose to accept in one case and reject in another?

    Are you saying that the people who don't choose Christ reject Him because they don't want to experience true love, true peace and true joy? Why not?
     
  7. 4study

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    Because of the inherent human attribute of CHOICE.

    When the Holy Spirit convinces someone of truth, they either 1) Choose to accept it (i.e "I know the truth and yes, I accept it") or 2) Choose to reject it (i.e "I know the truth, but want nothing to do with it"). The similarity here is that both sides of the chioce "know the truth". I realize you may not agree with this, but it is my theology of conviction and choice.
     
  8. Primitive Baptist

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    I'm reading all these replies about "free will" anc "choice," but read what Paul said:

    "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" (1 Cor. 4:7)

    God made all the difference! We had nothing to do with it.
     
  9. Yelsew

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    Why does one choose Chocolate Ice Cream while others choose Strawberry, Mint, or even Vanilla?

    Why does one choose a Buick, while others choose Ford or Chrysler or foreign?

    The better Question is When did YOU Choose Christ? What was happening in your life at that time?

    Faith, like life is not a game show with doors 1, 2, and 3 where you can choose only one. Faith is the culmination of many things like experiencing, hearing, doing, seeing, etc., that meet at a point I call Belief. That is the place where understanding becomes somewhat explainable.

    Faith is not an object one can possess, like a car, house, or boat, but you can have faith in each or all of those.

    Faith is the substance of what you hope for, and the evidence of that which you cannot see or have not seen!

    Before I bought my first house, I had faith that I could in truth do so, even though I had not yet lain eyes on the house that I would buy.

    Not the same you say? Prove it, I say!

    Whether your faith be in temporal things or eternal things, faith is faith. We do not come equipped with more than one faith, and neither does God! There is no such thing as "Prevenient Faith"

    [ January 20, 2003, 02:41 PM: Message edited by: Yelsew ]
     
  10. 4study

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    Primitive Baptist,

    I also believe that we have "nothing to do with it". IMO, CHOICE does not suggest a "synergy", to use a term I've seen on this forum, between God and man to accomplish anything. To you, however, I'm sure it does and thus our controversy.
     
  11. Scott J

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    Sorry Scott, but not very good. Your answer demands that you evaluated intelligently before making your choice. Your desires might be instinctive (then again where did your instincts come from) but your determination on how to satisfy them is based a personal evaluation according to you.
     
  12. Yelsew

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    The thrust of your reply indicates that you believe that God made robots that only obey God's Commands, or that God has each and every human that ever lived on some kind of tether, and that he 'leads' some to heaven and all the rest God leads to hell!

    It don't work that way my friend!
     
  13. Eric B

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    I had this experience as well on a Reformed board before I came here. I learned that it's a "Calvinistic line of reasoning" alright, but not necessarily a scriptural line of reasoning, when used to support the theory that God chooses some while deliberately passing over others (i.e. He did not even intend ot ever save them). God is responsible for salvation, but how He does it in our world of time where a follows b, cannot be fully understood.

    In my own testimony on my page on predestination (http://members.aol.com/etb700/predestination.html- about midway down) I point out how God drew me when I was running, but I don't see Him as having passed over everyone else who is not coming to Him.
    Besides, our mission is to give the Gospel to the lost, not speculate as to why they're still lost.
     
  14. Ray Berrian

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    The infinity of God's love, mercy, justice and sovereignty among other Divine attributes cannot be divided in some kind of partiality. He is honorable toward all of His created beings. The fallen angel, Adam and Eve and every human being has been honored with the human response of decision making. This does not frustrate His Divine attribute of sovereignty because this is His plan.

    In Matthew thirteen God is telling us there will be different responses to the hearing of the Word of God. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the Sower or the seed, the Word of God. The problem was with the human heart, depicted as the soil. The soil points not to the diversity of God's choice in election but rather the human response toward the seed, the Word of God, and the rebellion toward the Sower in spite of His sincere effort to produce.

    In verse four the seed barely touched the ground, the human heart, when the fowls devoured the Word of God, as depicted as seed. The enemy of the Sower and His message is the evil one. While human response toward God is viable, He also in His sovereignty has ordained human testing, a response that will deliver either a positive response or a negative one toward the Gospel message.

    What keeps some people away from being saved? Again, the Word of God, the Bible is quick to give difinitive answers. Some are greedy of money, success in this life, or prominence in society that does not want to be tainted with Christianity. There are many other sins that keep men and women from yielding to Christ, the Author of everlasting life.
     
  15. npetreley

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    Because of the inherent human attribute of CHOICE.

    When the Holy Spirit convinces someone of truth, they either 1) Choose to accept it (i.e "I know the truth and yes, I accept it") or 2) Choose to reject it (i.e "I know the truth, but want nothing to do with it"). The similarity here is that both sides of the chioce "know the truth". I realize you may not agree with this, but it is my theology of conviction and choice.
    </font>[/QUOTE]It's not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. You simply haven't answered the question. All you're doing is repeating the assertion that people choose one or the other according to their free will. That does not explain why one chooses one way and another chooses differently.

    If you said they choose differently because one is inclined to choose accept the truth, and the other is inclined to reject it, that would be an answer. It would undermine the concept of free will, but at least it would answer the question. Of course, it leads to another question - where do they get their different inclinations?
     
  16. tyndale1946

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    Sam you might also add this to your thesis... I'm of the Primitive Baptist brethren and though not full Calvinist we lean that way and have variations in Calvinism... Now to the question... If one person on here can show me that they had choice and contol over their natural birth... You woke up in the womb after the set time and said... Today I will be born?... Then I will believe that you had choice and control over your spiritual birth?... John The Baptist and Nicodemas come to mind!... John was born again in his mothers womb and Jesus explained how the natural and spiritual work hand in hand to Nicodemas and all that read his words of truth. This is truely the Arminian stumper!... So brethren let go and see the true beauty of your Eternal Salvation! [​IMG] ... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  17. npetreley

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    Because you are inclined to like one of these flavors more than another. Your inclination may have something to do with genetics, or it could have something to do with the kinds of ice cream you ate when you were growing up. You may have a different inclination today because you ate pizza for lunch, and that changed your body chemistry to prefer a different flavor than you would normally choose. Some people always prefer a single flavor, and others are affected by such things as what they ate earlier. Regardless, one's choice is always driven by inclination.

    Now we are not always able to choose any flavor of ice cream. Perhaps the stores are closed. Perhaps you don't have any money. But let's assume it's always possible.

    Likewise, if one assumes we are born with the ability to accept or reject the Gospel of our own free will (something I do not believe, but will assume for the sake of argument), the question is now this: Where does one get the inclination to accept the Gospel, and where does one get the inclination to reject it?
     
  18. npetreley

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    [​IMG]

    Excellent.
     
  19. 4study

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    npetreley,

    Perhaps I've answered the question from my own perspective. This is due to my view of "choice". "Choice", IMO, is the reason why some accept and some do not.

    Let me put it this way...

    I believe human beings have the same inherent capabilities as Adam did before the fall. IMO, the reason people choose to accept and others do not is the same reason Adam chose to obey one day, and chose to disobey on another.

    I believe Adam was created with the inherent attribut of CHOICE. I also believe this attribute (part of his nature) was not affected by his sin. Calvinism, on the other hand, states otherwise. If I understand correctly, you believe "choice" was affected by the fall and thus humans no longer have the same capability that Adam had. I think this is primarily our difference and the reason why you are not satisfied with my responses.

    So the answer to the question at hand, "why do some people accept and others do not?" actually depends upon one's view of Adam and Total Depravity.
     
  20. 4study

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    tyndale1946,

    The fallacy here is the assumption that "choice" suggests "control" or "synergy" with God. Personally, I do not belive, nor, IMO, do I believe the scriptures teach, that we have any "control" over the new birth. However, I do not conclude that we are thus "elected" to be born again. I would argue that none of us truly knows when, where, or how the new birth occurs. Using the physical birth analogy, isn't an infant completely oblivious to the birth itself? Is the new birth experience any different?

    The problem with analogies like these is the question, how far do you take them? Could we not take this and have a fatalistic approach? For example, if I were Calvinist and believed the physical birth was like the new birth in ALL of its points, why wouldn't I believe that every human child was appointed by God to its day of birth? What would keep me from believing that God then appoints every time, event, and season for human beings?
     

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