Misconceptions

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Drew, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. Drew

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    Greetings all!

    I have found that there is a great deal of misconception regarding the doctrines of grace. “Calvinism” has taken on such a different meaning from its original intention (as put forth by the response of the Synod of Dort to the Remonstrance from November 13, 1618 - May 9, 1619) because many people often misrepresent it. On one side we see types like Norman Geisler who call themselves “moderate Calvinists” yet, by definition, are merely Armenians in sheep’s clothing (pardon the pun) and on the other side we see hyper-Calvinists (who never recognize themselves as hyper-Calvinist’s) that pervert the truth to the other extreme. So very often we get so hung up on what something is that we forget to look at what it is not, thus the purpose of this thread. I would like to share with you what historic “Calvinism” is NOT:

    - Calvinism does not claim that you have to be “Calvinist” to be a Christian.
    - It does not say that God is the author of sin and evil.
    - It does not say that men have no will of their own, and secondary causes are of no effect. (See later quote from the 1689 LBCF)
    - It does not say that men may know the number of the elect.
    - It does not say that it is wrong to evangelize.
    - It does not say that men who once sincerely profess belief are saved regardless of what they do in the future.
    - It does not say that children dying in infancy are definitely damned.
    - It does not say that God does not command everyone to repent.
    - It does not say that the grace of God does not work for the benefit of all men.

    I am sure I have left out many other misconceptions but my point may be contrasted to reading the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith which was very careful to express with clarity such things as the concept of “Free Will”:

    “9. Free Will

    God has indued the will of man, by nature, with liberty and the power to choose and to act upon his choice. This free will is neither forced, nor destined by any necessity of nature to do good or evil.

    Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, but he was unstable, so that he might fall from this condition.

    Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has completely lost all ability of will to perform any of the spiritual good which accompanies salvation. As a natural man, he is altogether averse to spiritual good, and dead in sin. He is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself for conversion.

    When God converts a sinner, and translates him into a state of grace, He frees him from his natural bondage to sin, and by grace alone He enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good. But because of his remaining corruptions he does not only (or perfectly) will that which is good, but also wills that which is evil.

    The will of man will only be made perfectly and immutably free to will good alone in the state of glory.” – 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith

    Scripture must harmonize (in other words, it cannot contradict itself) and as such we cannot use one scripture reference to negate another scripture truth. We must analyze our traditions and modify them to bring them in compliance with God’s word.
     
  2. rc

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    Drew, nice...

    If you know that much about Calvinism.. why didn't you know what a Semi-pelagian was? It's o.k. you'll find out well enough.. Or go to an OUTSTANDING website "monergism.com" You'll be like a kid in a candy store there...
     
  3. Drew

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    Actually, I do know what a semi-Pelegian is but most professing Armenians are actually semi-pelegian. Armenianism gets its very roots from Pelegianism / Semi-Pelegianism.

    BTW: monergism.com is my favorite website.
     
  4. Kiffen

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    Hey rc, where did you get that Calvinist insigna in your profile? :cool: Looks like that would make a cool T Shirt! [​IMG]
     
  5. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Drew;
    I agree Calvinism has waverd hasn't it.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    Mike,

    How is that an agreement with Drew? Where did he say that Calvinism has wavered?
     
  7. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Pastor Larry;
    Are there not Hyper Calvinist who take things to the extreme.
    Do you agree with everything Drew has posted as to what Calvinism really is?. If so then why don't all Calvinist believe the same thing?. I've found from reading these post from many different Calvinist right here that not many Calvinist actually follow there mentors
    Theories.

    If Calvinism doesn't say all these things then most of the Calvinist here have wavered from the Original intentions of Calvinism.

    You asked;
    He doesn't say that anyone wavered but his description of the misconceptions is the result of wavering.
    In context of this sentence Drew states;
    Who is misconceiving Calvinist, or Non Calvinst.
    This misconception as drew states is not a misunderstanding but, a wavering in the Calvinist doctrines. We have one Calvinist that says one thing about a given doctrine and another that says it is different.
    This one statement for example;
    We have Calvinist here who believe some are predestined to destruction. So how could destruction be to his benefit? I'll bet the one going to destruction would disagree that this is to his benefit.
    Drew on the other hand seems to be more reasonable than most I have met here.
    I believe that even you disagree with this statement.
    You might say well man will choose according to his nature. and by that statement you have taken the free out of will. because you have denied him the right to choose something other than his nature. If nature were in control.
    But here in this next statement we have a contradiction of free will;
    This in it self is a waver in what Drew believes.
    Either we have the ability to choose good and evil or not. And yes we do have that ability before Salvation. Scripture says we can choose good over evil.
    Eze 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
    Eze 33:12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.

    When you get down to it. Misconception is not what it is, but a wavering of Calvinism.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike :
     
  8. Hardsheller

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    "Either we have the ability to choose good and evil or not. And yes we do have that ability before Salvation. Scripture says we can choose good over evil." And then Mike quoted Eze 33:11-12 as proof.

    But Scripture also says -

    (Rom 3:10 KJV) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

    (Rom 3:11 KJV) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

    (Rom 3:12 KJV) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Now if the Unsaved could choose good over evil why does Paul say Not One of them did?
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    Mike,

    When you say you agree with someone, it means you agree. It doesn't mean you get to take their words and invest your own meaning. You may be right, but you do not agree with him. Please refrain from that approach to debate.

    As for the points Drew made, yes, he seems to be right, at least at a surface glance. Those things are not departures from the "intentions of Calvinism." You have routinely revealed that you do not know much about Calvinism and are unwilling to learn. I will make just a few comments.

    Sure, and that is usually what you are addressing, not actual Calvinism.

    As a general rule they do. But like arminians, they see some things differently.

    Really?? And what were the "original intentions" of Calvinism? Please enlighten us.


    Then you appear to have lied. You said you agreed with him; you didn't, and now you admit it. Please refrain from that. If you agree, then agree. But don't say you agree and then contradict him.

    You for one. Typically non-calvinists have misconceptions. We have shown that many times. That doesn't mean that Calvinism wavers. It means that you have no idea what you are talking about. We have clearly demonstrated that.

    We have Calvinist here who believe some are predestined to destruction. So how could destruction be to his benefit? I'll bet the one going to destruction would disagree that this is to his benefit.</font>[/QUOTE]The grace of God works even for those who are predestined to destruction, no matter what that means. The grace of God causes it to rain on the just and unjust alike. You appear not to understand the grace of God. The grace of God is what gives life and breath and all things to men (Acts 17).

    With what statement?

    No, you don't understand what "free will" means. God does not have free will by your definition. Do you really want to go there?

    Yes, man can choose that, but his sin nature has made it impossible for him to do such. Again, you simply show that you don't know what you are talking about and are not listening to learn.

    As I have often said, you don't have to agree with us, but at least try to learn what we actually believe.

    Then you don't agree with Drew, and you first post was untrue.

    [ January 21, 2005, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  10. J. Jump

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    See here in lies the problem in my earthly mind . . . there are misconceptions on both sides of the issue. As a person that has been taught one way most all of his life, I have now come to understand the arguments of the other side of the fence. And the problem is there are misconceptions on both parts.

    Not only are there misconceptions on both parts, but there are extremists on both sides of the fence. And from what I've gathered the posts have been trying to deal with the extremists from both sides.

    The debate needs to come to the middle where I actually see common ground in a hope that there in the middle is where the answer to both sides can be found. But instead all we get is an "I'm right and you're wrong attitude."

    Come let us reason together in the middle. Let us all come to the table with the possibility that we might be wrong instead of I'm right and there's no other way. When we empty ourselves and let God fill in . . . that is where we find learning.

    God's Word was given to us so that we could understand things about Him, but when we convince ourselves that we have it all together and we have it all figured out - that's when we have to be careful. God is God and we are merely men.
     
  11. billwald

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    Left out one thing, does not say there is a test for election (being elect or "saved") except good works.
     
  12. Drew

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    Greetings, all!

    How ironic. ;) I am speaking of misunderstandings but I will extend that in agreement with J.Jump, in that there are misconceptions on both sides. The problem comes about because truth is relative to some and/or definitions take on new meanings. People often redefine terms (at least in their minds) either on purpose or in most cases out of ignorance. They also tend to misrepresent other people’s beliefs and setup straw-man arguments. I stated the misconceptions because Armenians tend to make claims that historical Calvinists believe (agree with) the teachings of hyper-Calvinism. This is simply not true and is like comparing apples and oranges. Calvinists find hyper-Calvinism deplorable and heretical. In a like manner, some Calvinists tend to treat semi-Pelegians as Armenian; however, the majority seems to come from the other direction. I too was on both sides of the fence.

    I believe that all men are condemnable before God and that He leaves some men to their sins and thus in this passive way then some men are predestined to destruction. However, this is not an “active” work of God. So by definition I do not hold to what I call a dangerous double-predestination doctrine and neither was it the intention of the Synod of Dort. It merely takes reading their statements to see this. However, this is not what is being said in the first place (you have put words into one’s mouth) it is referring to the fact that all men benefit from the special grace given to God’s elect. God gives a common grace to all men; otherwise, we would be as evil as we could possibly be. When we say “Totally Depraved” we are not stating that man is as evil as he can possibly be, we are stating this from God’s perspective that such a man is in a helpless state, unable to please God.

    </font>[/QUOTE]This is referencing man’s pre-fall condition. Please do not take my quotes out of context. By doing so, you misrepresent my beliefs.
    I have not taken the “Free” out of will…. SIN has. His nature has changed from it original state. The image of God, in man, has been made corrupt by SIN. You are making an assumption that there is nothing wrong with man’s heart.
    Just because God says “obey” doesn’t mean that man has the ability to obey. In man’s created nature, he had the ability, but after the fall he has lost the ability. Scripture does this to prove to man his inability to choose, that which is good and pleasing to God, all the more reason to cling to Christ for salvation once you have been raised from spiritual deadness. Man is completely free to choose evil in his sinful state. It’s all his heart desires. We sin because we want to.
    Those of you who do not believe in man’s depraved sin nature after the fall need not call yourselves “Armenian”. You at best, and by definition, believe in Pelagianism. Here is what classical Armenianism states straight from the articles put forth by Armenius’ followers:
    I believe Pastor Larry makes his point perfectly:
    If I disagree with Pastor Larry, I will voice it in another post. So far, in my reading of his post above, he’s correct. Thanks for the fair evaluation Pastor Larry.
     
  13. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Larry;
    You keep insisting I lied, but just because you insist it doesn't make it so. I explained my words to you. I made a statement that is true and I will not change my mind about it. I'm sorry that you're so upset about it that you feel you have to take me down a knoch. If I've broken some unseen rule that I desever to scolded by you please point it out. There have been countless times where Calvinist have made like statements about what I believe as well.
    May Christ shine His light On Us all;
    Mike
     
  14. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Drew;
    I posted the entire paragraph I didn't take it out of context. You said, what you said. You didn't say that this is mans prefall condition.
    Mans condition did not change to total depravity.
    It is not supported by Romans 3, because Calvinist take this out of context to support there view. What is quoted by Paul, there is what a sinner or fool says in his heart, nothing more. If Paul had quoted the whole of what david wrote then everyone would know that this is what the sinner thinks not what is fact. It says man doesn't seek God but Josiah did at 8 years old and the Bible says he did.
    2Ch 34:3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.
    Now I know your going to try and say this isn't what is said here but you only kidding your self. If you'd like more proof that man seeks God just let me know.
    If this is so you should be able to back it up with scripture.
    May Christ shine His light On Us all;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    Kept insisting? I didn't insist at all. I made one statement that said Then you appear to have lied. You said you agreed with him; you didn't, and now you admit it. And one statement that said, Then you don't agree with Drew, and you first post was untrue. That hardly qualifies for either "keep" or "insisting." I made a statement of fact and backed it up with evidence. The truth is that you did not agree with Drew. You should not have said you did.

    If you agreed with Drew, then you would be a Calvinist and argue that people have misconceptions about it. You do neither. That means your statement was not true.

    I am not upset and I don't feel like anything. You made a false statement and I pointed it out, after asking you first to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    The rule is not unseen. Ephesians 4 says to speak truth to your neighbor. You didn't do that. However, I didn't scold you. I merely pointed out a factual error in your post.

    When did a Calvinist ever say he agreed with you and did so while misrepresenting the intent of your post? If you can point out a time, I will gladly take a look at it. I really don't care whether you are a calvinist or not. But when you say you agree with someone, that means you agree with them. It does not mean you differ with them. You do not agree with Drew and you should not have said so.
     
  16. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi JJump;
    I'm a fellow Texan my self. Wish I was back home in Dallas right now.
    I don't know if you're Calvinist or Arminian but the argument has gone on for over 400 years someday we'll all know all the answers for sure. However for me they aren't any where close to the middle. I'm sure that most Calvinist will say the same.
    Calvinist all want to place you in some category but as far as I'm concerned I'm just a follower of Christ trying to show some light.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  17. Drew

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    You didn’t post the complete thought of the subject at hand and thus took it out of context. If you had continued in the context you would see that the quote does indeed (via the context) state that this is referring to the state of man’s innocence before the fall.


    Additionally you wrote,
    Have I anywhere on this board quoted Romans 3? Again, you have put words into my mouth. Please refrain from doing so. You have misrepresented my beliefs on several occasions and it has already been stated elsewhere that you do not have an accurate understanding of Calvinism.

    You should also be careful to follow the context in which Paul was speaking in Romans 3. It is very clear, or are you saying that Paul was not inspired in his writing this and that Paul made a mistake? Was God inept to keep this mistake from being in His Word? Please be more careful of what you say friend.

    If this is so you should be able to back it up with scripture.

    </font>[/QUOTE]"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—"(Romans 5:12)

    From Adam on we see man being brought forth from the womb in sin:

    "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me."
    (Psalms 51:5)

    "The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth." (Psalms 58:3)

    "The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done." (Genesis 8:21)

    "Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. "The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:34-36)
     
  18. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Drew;
    This is a complete thought according to the English we speak in this country. A sentence is a complete thought. A pararaph is a grouping of complete thoughts of the same subject. I posted the entire paragaraph which should have been the entire subject.
    Even if you lumped both paragraphs together you would still be contradicting your self.
    You made two seperate statements then you accuse me of taking it out of context. The mistake was your's and I didn't see it because you typed it as two seperate subjects. I read the entire post and then went back to look for what you said so I could coment on it. The fact that you made two paragraphs out one that you intended isn't my doing. If it is out of Context then you are the one who didn't place it in context properly.
    I understand that Calvinism isn't the truth and have proved it yet Calvinist are so blind they refuse to acknowledge it. Regardless of Larry's oppinion of me it is only his oppinion. I'm not in agreement with his oppinion. This is a debate forum what we do here is argue the issues of doctrine. I have as much right to my oppinion as anyone.

    Don't misunderstand Larry's intent. He may be Calvinist but he is still suppose to be impartial as a moderator.

    All these scriptures prove is that man is a sinner. There nothing about being totally depraved. This is why these two words do not appear in scripture together. THERE IS NO SUCH THING. :D
    Not one of these scripture says anything about taking the free out of will. Are you sure you're not just imagining they back you up. To be free from sin has nothing to do with the will. Natural man as Calvinist call him. Can't stop sinning on his own. Seemingly neither can the saved man. But of course maybe you don't sin any more, but just in case you do. Why do you? Are you still a slave to it? If man is a sinner that can't choose good over evil then why did God plead with the Jews to turn from there sin.
    Eze 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
    If God makes men turn to him as Calvinist suggest with there ideas of predestination and election then why plead with someone who can't turn any way?

    May Christ Shine his Light On Us all;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  19. Drew

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    Hey ILUVLIGHT,

    I quoted chapter 9 from the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. The subject of hand was the their statements regarding the “Free Will” [of man]. Point by point they bring the whole concept of their belief concerning “Free Will” into understanding. They put these things in a manner like we use bulleted points (they used paragraphs). I merely cut and pasted the information for everyone’s benefit. Please reread it as one complete thought. How is this:

    I believe you are splitting hairs here. The context is there and you picked what you wanted to use.

    You know, the word “Trinity” is not there either but the concept is. The words “Jesus died for ILUVLIGHT” are not scripture either, but the concept is, Praise God! Your logic is flawed.


    What does Paul mean about being dead through sin or what Jesus means by being a slave of sin?

    The concept is there ILUVLIGHT.


    God doesn’t make men turn to him, he enables them to turn by freeing them from the bondage of sin. You are still misrepresenting “Calvinism”. You cannot disprove what you do not understand.

    BTW: Pastor Larry has been very fair with both of us. He has not stated his beliefs in this thread. He has only pointed out your misinterpretation of my statements by trying to help you understand the correct interpretation of what was being said. Pastor Larry correctly interpreted what I said and you misinterpreted it... and of all people here I should know what I was saying.
     
  20. johnp.

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    Hello Drew. Nice to meet you.

    I wonder why you chose the 1689 LBCF to support Calvinism especially the free will article.
    Since Calvinism is scriptural then you must admit that Calvin and company must have made mistakes because scripture tells us we are always falling short. You say that hyper-Calvinists never recognise themselves as such but this is just a sweeping generalised statement meant to disparage? Hyper-Calvinism is essential and healthy and can be forward looking. It is a continuation of the work of the reformers and should be encouraged otherwise we really do follow man. Stuck with their beliefs, afraid to take a step in case we are labeled hyper.
    I would suggest that Calvinists refrain from using the word hyper in favour of saying of such that 'they go beyond scripture' when a person has gone beyond scripture. Not all hyper-Calvinists go beyond scripture. :cool:

    I don't know now if this is the right place to discuss this now. I was going to write this last night but was too tied. Let me know if it is the wrong place and I will desist.
    The above article on free will is scripturally wrong. The scriptural proofs used do not give proofs at all that we are able to do spiritual good. We are, after all, mere sinners and incapable of good.
    Col 1:13 just tells us of our rescue from darkness. It does not say we can do but we can see. John 8:36 says that we are free, not free to do but free from the consequences of sin and free because we can see and we believe Jesus died for our sins. Philipians 2:13 tells us that any good work that comes from us is in fact God that does not man and the Romans passages are all about the inability of Christians to do.
    I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    RO 7:21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Romans 7:15-25.

    Does that make me a hyper-Calvinist? That I believe we are still incapbable of good but that we have begun to overcome. That we are still sinners where every action would result in condemnation if it were not for the fact that Christ died for us?

    Whatcha think?

    johnp.
     

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