Monergists & Synergists: Divide or Unify?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Reformed, Feb 14, 2015.

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  1. Reformed

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    The BB is similar to Baskin Robbins 57 Flavors. You do not like that flavor of Baptist? No worries. There is a scoop to fit every taste. The BB is also an artificial representation of how we live our lives. Few of us carry Monergism vs. Synergism debates into our non-Internet relationships. If we did I daresay we would have few friends and family members who avoid us. No. The BB is like a greenhouse where differences of opinion flourish in cultivated soil.

    So, how do those of opposing views interact outside the BB? I have thought about this for a while. I am not a Southern Baptist, but I have read, and watched videos, of the rigorous debates between Monergists and Synergists within the SBC. If nothing else it makes for great entertainment. But there is something of value to be learned from the SBC intramural squabbles.

    Let me begin this thread by asking some questions.

    1. Is it appropriate for Christians to divide over this issue?
    2. Does the debate effect one's view of the Gospel and salvation?
    3. If so, is that a minor or major issue?
    4. If someone belongs to a church that holds to a different view, should that person advocate for their view and cause dissension in the church?
    5. If the issue does come up in real life, should we be charitable in our behavior even if we disagree?

    The reason I am making a distinction between real life and life on the BB is because the relationship between Monergists and Synergists on the BB is somewhat contrived or artificial. It is a collection of people with strong opinions who are not shy about making their opinions known. That is not necessarily a bad thing, because good debate stimulates individuals to prove their position. The bad side of relationships on the BB is some relationships are prone to deteriorate. I confess that I have been involved in some of those deteriorated relationships to the point where separation between me and another BB member have occurred. That is why I created this thread. I am not really concerned about other BB member's opinions on how the two sides should interact on the BB, but rather how we should react in real life. Or is it best that we do not interact and we stay within our own circles?
     
  2. Earth Wind and Fire

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    So as not to start a war, let me just say that monergism is the only position I want to associate with. But let me say that I can at the same time respect the other side as their understanding and we are all entitled to our own understanding.....wrong as I might think they are.
     
  3. kyredneck

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    By far the majority of my Christian friends are/were free willers including my parents, many of which are more spiritual and loving than I probably ever will be.
     
  4. convicted1

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    All I am about to say is IMO....

    Synergists get it right in that we cooperate with God in our conversion. Where they're wrong is in their understanding of what, and where, regeneration takes place. They understand regeneration to be salvation/conversion. The monergists understand that regeneration takes place prior to salvation/conversion. Once regeneration, the 'birth from above', takes place, they then 'cooperate' in salvation/conversion. They/we had no faculties to believe prior to regeneration. By regeneration, faith, repentance, and salvation/conversion takes place.

    What I mean is we're passive in regeneration and active in salvation/conversion...
     
    #4 convicted1, Feb 14, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2015
  5. convicted1

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    Bring your enemies to your still and they won't be your enemies anymore. :saint: :D :) ;)
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    He has a still!:D
     
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Rogue...:tongue3::laugh:
     
  8. convicted1

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    Yeah, but shhhhh!! Don't tell anyone.

    I have a image of Brother Larry whilst he was at it testing the quality of that 'white lightning'...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. convicted1

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    Sorry Brother Reformed for derailing your OP...


    Bumping this to get it back on track...
     
  10. steaver

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    I personally do not find the two terms accurate definitions of Calvinism verses anti-Calvinism. I believe God has given man the freewill to make a choice to be saved, I don't see this as cooperating with God in regeneration for regeneration is solely the work of God.

    Where the monergist is wrong is in their understanding of what, and where, regeneration takes place. They do not understand regeneration to be salvation/conversion. The monergists erroneously believes that regeneration takes place prior to salvation/conversion. The non-Cal understands regeneration/salvation/conversion are all one in the same and all happen at once.

    As far as division? As I said before, Calvinism is what has created division, and for what end? It adds nothing to Christian living that is not already expressed in the Scriptures.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    Well they need to misrepresent us so that have something to argue against.
     
  12. Reformed

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    Most Synergists do not view their view as man cooperating with God in salvation, but it is true nonetheless. If man has a self-autonomous free will in salvation, then God is not completely sovereign in the process. God comes to a point and then He must stop. He has to place the decision into the hands of the individual. God has done what He can or what He will. The rest is up to the individual. That is as good an illustration of cooperation between two parties than you will ever get.

    What I have noticed is that no one is really responding to the OP. I wanted to see some answers before I commented.

    Steaver, if you and I met outside of the BB I am sure we would be cordial to each other. I doubt we would get into a debate. In here it is different. I do not see your face and you do not see mine. If I block you or you block me, so what? It is not like we have a relationship in person. That is part of the problem. Too many people are one way online and another way in person.

    I believe it is preferable if we worship at a church in which we are in general agreement with in regards to doctrine. We will never agree with everything in a church. But how the church views theology and doctrine is vitally important. My conscience would be vexed if I had to regularly sit under a doctrinal system that I am diametrically opposed to. I expect that opinion to go both ways. Would you want to regularly sit under the teaching of a Monergist pastor?

    There are times when we are providentially hindered from going to the church of our choice. I know someone who had to attend a Synergistic church while stationed overseas in the military. It was a church that catered to American military personnel in Okinawa, Japan. There was no Monergist church in the area. It was very difficult for him. He choose to remain silent about his beliefs. While he loved the people, he could not join the church for conscience sake. Some people are providentially hindered because of health reasons or lack of transportation. In those cases I believe it is important to worship with God's people, but I would remain silent about my doctrinal beliefs so as not to cause division in the church.
     
  13. steaver

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    I assume you mean divide as in not fellowship together? If so, my answer is no.

    Yes, and it is a major. TULIP is written by man, yet many Calvinist place it equal to Scripture. Even declaring belief in Calvinism comes by Divine Enablement. Major issue!

    Churches should not take a doctrinal "What we believe" position on Calvinism/TULIP since it is a man made composition. Discussing it within teaching sessions is appropriate.

    Yes
     
  14. steaver

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    Herein lies the problem. Calvinist believe that God giving man the freewill to choose somehow makes God less sovereign in salvation. Actually, it is Calvinist who take away God's sovereignty by declaring God cannot allow freewill. Same as saying God cannot send an angel or Jesus Christ Himself to preach the Gospel. It is the Calvinist who restricts God's sovereignty.

    Another view Calvinist have is that if God gives man the freedom to choose then God must sit back and wait and see who will choose him. Nonsense, God knows everything, before He ever put the whole plan in action.
     
  15. steaver

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    At the end of the day, what does it matter if TULIP is correct or not? Calvinist preach to the lost the exact same way Non Calvinist preach to the lost. As far as Christian living goes, the Calvinist lives no better no worse than the Non Calvinist lives, each having their own personal walk going on with the Lord, one no more holy than the other. So why does it bother you so much??
     
  16. Reformed

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    Not necessarily fellowship. I had church membership in mind. I think it is appropriate to divide. Does it make sense (unless providentially hindered) to join a church that teaches contrary to your convictions?

    We agreed on something!

    You do know the history of TULIP, right? TULIP was an acronym given by a Dutch Reformed synod. It was a refutation against the Remonstrants, those loyal to the teaching of Arminius. Was TULIP written by men? Yes. Absolutely. Somehow you think you have Monergists in a "gotcha" moment due to the fact that TULIP was written by a Dutch Reformed synod. But your "gotcha" moment is not very convincing.

    All TULIP does is summarize what the Dutch Reformed Church believed scripture taught on God's sovereignty vs. free will. The biblical case for God's sovereignty (a.k.a. the doctrines of grace) trace all the way back to the teachings of Augustine. I would be cheeky and say they are traced all the way back to the writings of Paul, but Synergists are going to claim the same thing, so what is the point?

    I do not know what you mean by "many Calvinists place it equal to scripture". I chalk that up to you being convinced that is the case, but it certainly is not. No Monergist I know considers TULIP or the writings of John Calvin to be equal to scripture. Monergists to tend to be confessional. The two great Reformed confessions (WCF & 1689 LBC) summarize what the two prospective camps (Presbyterians and Baptists) believe scripture teaches about the most important doctrines of the Christian faith. These confessions are not scripture, nor should they enjoy parity with scripture. They are works of men that serve a lesser purpose than scripture. Their purpose, the same as TULIP, is to say, "Here is what we believe. Compare our findings with scripture to see if what we say is true." And trust me, steaver, theologians have been doing that for centuries; comparing the great confessions of the faith against scripture to see if the framers of these confessions were accurate in their interpretation.

    So, when you bring out the TULIP card you are really making a straw man argument. TULIP serves a limited purpose. Do not elevate it to a higher place than even Monergists view it.

    I never said churches should take a stand for or against Monergism. Read what I wrote.
     
  17. Reformed

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    God cannot act contrary to His nature. God is completely sovereign. It is part of His nature. To allow a creature to possess a self-autonomous free will is for God to act contrary to His nature.

    You are contradicting yourself. God knows because God causes to be. As Augustine said, "Grant what thou commandest and then command what thou wilt."
     
  18. Reformed

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    It does not bother me. I am asking questions. I am glad to know that you would sit under the regular teaching of a Monergist pastor.
     
  19. steaver

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    You must not have been following all the threads I created on this topic. I posted a couple of quotes from a Calvinist here on the BB and asked if his views on TULIP and Calvinism was within the Calvinist camp. Not one Calvinist here opposed his quotes. He declared No Belief in TULIP = No sheep. He also declared one can only believe Calvinism by Divine Enablement, the same way one gets saved. No one disagreed. I can only go by what you Calvinist say and how you react to other Calvinist whom you may or may not find in error. Nobody found this man's quotes in error. So what am I to conclude??
     
  20. steaver

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    Well, here again. I have debated with Calvinist here who declared Adam had freewill to choose, just nobody else. So what am I to believe?

    So says Augustine. I believe he is wrong, you believe he is right.
     
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