On obligation and ability

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by whatever, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. whatever

    whatever
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    I'd like to keep this thread centered on a single topic. That's probably like asking for a miracle, but I'm asking anyway.

    A common non-Calvinist assumption is that ability limits obligation - that is, if we are unable to do a thing then God does not hold us accountable for not doing it. A common example is God's command that all men everywhere should repent. The assumption goes like this - since God requires all men to repent then all men must be able to repent.

    Can this assumption be proven? I think it can easily be disproven, but I'd like to hear from some of you non-religionists (JUST KIDDING!!) first.
     
  2. whetstone

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    We are also commanded to be perfect (Matt 5:48). While the non-Calvinists are at it, make sure to prove that we are capable of being perfect too.
     
  3. Wes Outwest

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    In the Beginning man was perfect! We started out that way. If we began in perfection, we must have the ability to be perfect again!

    Define "Perfect", so I'll know whether it is a Theological definition of a definition "common to man".
     
  4. whatever

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    In the Beginning man was perfect! We started out that way. If we began in perfection, we must have the ability to be perfect again!

    Define "Perfect", so I'll know whether it is a Theological definition of a definition "common to man".
    </font>[/QUOTE]We started out as an infants, so we must have the ability to be infants again! Hey, maybe that explains the way some people behave around here.

    Anyway, can you prove the assumption from the OP?
     
  5. Wes Outwest

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    Before I engage this topic fully, I must know from you, your knowledge of the image of God.
    Can you provide for us a clean explanation of what it means to be "in the image of God". If you cannot, then it would be fruitless to engage you in this topic, because you would have no understanding of the truth.
     
  6. whatever

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    Come on, Wes. Enlighten me, please. You know I need it so here's your chance. Please explain to me what it means to be "in the image of God", and then prove that obligation is limited by ability. Then show me what one has to do with the other, if it's not too much trouble.
     
  7. Wes Outwest

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    Come on, Wes. Enlighten me, please. You know I need it so here's your chance. Please explain to me what it means to be "in the image of God", and then prove that obligation is limited by ability. Then show me what one has to do with the other, if it's not too much trouble. </font>[/QUOTE]NO sir, you must get it from the same source that I got it, the Holy Bible! When you get it come back and explain it and we'll continue this topic.
     
  8. whatever

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    Would anyone else like to try?
     
  9. whetstone

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    haha. NO KIDDING! [​IMG]
     
  10. icthus

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    Whatever, you said:

    "The assumption goes like this - since God requires all men to repent then all men must be able to repent"

    Don't you think, that if God required something of us, that He konws whether or not we are able to perform it? If, for argument sake, God commanded everyone to be sinless in this life, He could only have said so if this was something that could indeed be done. Likwise, when God "commands all men everywhere to repent", are you saying that He does not really mean this? If God does mean this, then how could He expect it from everyone without exception, since they are not able to do so, and the Clavinistic theory that Jesus has not made provision for them in His Atonement?
     
  11. whatever

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    Of course He does.

    Actually He has commanded us to not sin. Are you saying that it is possible for us to not sin?

    Yes He means it. That's not the point.
     
  12. icthus

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    Of course He does.

    Actually He has commanded us to not sin. Are you saying that it is possible for us to not sin?

    Yes He means it. That's not the point.
    </font>[/QUOTE]"Actually He has commanded us to not sin. Are you saying that it is possible for us to not sin?"

    Where exactly?

    When it says in 1 John 3:9, "whosoever is born of God, does not commit sin", it refers to according to the Greek, "a habit of sin"

    Again, it says in 1 John 2:1, "that you sin not" (lit, "that you might not sin), then it goes on to say: "If any should sin", which acknowledges that we do sin.
     
  13. whatever

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    Are you saying that some sins may be OK with God, or that maybe there are some sins that He hasn't told us to not commit, so it's OK if we commit them?

    I Peter 2:14-16 says:

    "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'"

    How can God command believers to be holy when, as you said, He knows that we are going to sin?
     
  14. TC

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    Jesus told at least one person to go and sin no more. For example, John 8:11
    She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
     
  15. icthus

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    Are you saying that some sins may be OK with God, or that maybe there are some sins that He hasn't told us to not commit, so it's OK if we commit them?

    I Peter 2:14-16 says:

    "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'"

    How can God command believers to be holy when, as you said, He knows that we are going to sin?
    </font>[/QUOTE]No, I am NOT saying that God says any sins are ok. My point is, we are ALL fallen humans, and like Paul's personal struggle, as accounted for us in Romans chapter 7, "we do the very things we hate to do". No where does God "command" that we do not sin, He expects that we live godly lives. Have you met a sinless Christian? There is an ongoing struggle in all our lives, and this will only be "over" when Jesus returns, for then our bodies will be transformed to be like His own.
     
  16. icthus

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    Jesus told at least one person to go and sin no more. For example, John 8:11
    She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
    </font>[/QUOTE]TC, you will find that the Greek word "hamartane" (sin) is in the "present tense", which in this case would refer to her adultery. God nowhere condones any sin, but I don't see anywhere that we can live a "sinless perfection"
     
  17. terriloo

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    My grandson (age of 2)is ALREADY destined by God to be mentally retarded--thus perhaps never mentally OLDER than the age of 2--does HIS disability limit his obligation? He may never even understand that anything he does is right or wrong in a moral sense.

    Conversely, my niece (now 20) was saved at the age of 12--but due to a bipolar disorder, she tends to "fall into sin" when she is off her medications. Will God some day hold her accountable for the sins she commits (and they're pretty bad, BTW) while she's off her meds?

    I ask these questions not to be argumentative, but truly in the spirit of discussion within this thread.
     
  18. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Whetstone;
    You know what, it is possible.
    Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and turned away from evil.
    Sorry to burst your theological bubble. What is so unusual is that He had not been born again. He lived under a much harder covenant and God's word says he was perfect. Imagine that!
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us All;
    Mike :D
     
  19. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Terriloo;
    For those who have no understanding of the Law have no law.
    Rom 4:15 for the law worketh wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there transgression.
    One has to know right from wrong to be held accountable. I have no idea what by polar means. Is this a medical problem or a psychological? If the latter I simply do not believe in the religion of psychiatry
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  20. Wes Outwest

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    This should be obvious, but since it is not, 1 John 1:9 says "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from All unrighteousness."
     

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