Presbyterians Modify Salvation Views

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Cindy, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Cindy

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    PRESBYTERIANS SAY JESUS MAY SAVE THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW HIM
    (Columbus, Ohio-AP) -- Mainline Presbyterians have reaffirmed
    their belief that only Jesus saves, but have stopped short of
    saying that Jesus only saves those who know him.
    A committee at this week's annual meeting of the Presbyterian
    Church U-S-A in Columbus, Ohio, approved a six-page document
    entitled "Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ." While it declares that
    "Jesus Christ is the only Savior and Lord," it adds that Reformed
    theologians do not "presume to limit the sovereign freedom of
    God," who the Bible says "desires everyone to be saved and come
    to the knowledge of the truth."
    In approving the document, the committee said it could not
    "restrict the grace of God to those who profess explicit faith in
    Christ."
     
  2. CatholicConvert

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    Hmmmmmmmmmmm.......interesting.

    I keep rolling this idea around in my mind: is it necessary for one to have an intellectual understanding of God in order to be "saved". This is the Evangelical understanding of salvation: that one must be able to explain everything about Jesus and God.

    Scripture seems to teach otherwise. Jewish children were "saved" in the sense of being delivered from pagan idol worship before they could even speak. Circumcision made one a member in good standing of Israel and partaker of all the promises of God. Only then when one made a conscious decision to reject the messages of the prophets and the reveal religion of Judaism was one said to be "cut off" from the kingdom. IN other words, there is a mercy of God for those who are not intellectually developed.

    Calvinist soteriology teaches along the same lines, i.e., that a God, out of His own sovereign good will and divine fiat, may save one who is not even aware of being "born again". This giving of new life then results in the one converted becoming increasingly set aside from the world and increasingly interested in finding out about the true God. The soul of such a one will not rest until that God is discovered.

    Now the question then becomes this: what if the missionaries never come to the place where God has a number of His "elect" who have been saved by His divine and sovereign work? Is it indeed possible that they will live and die without coming to full knowledge in this life of the name of Christ Jesus the Savior, and then obtain that fullness of knowledge and grace at the Judgement Seat of Christ?

    Orthodox theology allows for the sinner to respond to God's love even after death. That decision is then final. It would seem that the sinner who has been "born again" without knowledge of it would respond positively to God in the next life, while the wicked who want nothing to do with Him will continue to reject Him also in the next life.

    And ultimately, can we not say that God "does as He wills among men" and that the Spirit "listeth where He wills" according to John 3? Can God sovereignly do as He wills without our theological okay on it? Can He not be merciful to those upon whom He will have mercy? I think so.

    In closing though, let me say this: it would seem that once a person has heard of Jesus and His saving work and rejected His Lordship and sacrifice for sins, then that person has taken a step from God and towards eternal separation from Him. Many such steps, many such denials of Christ must lead the heart to coldness and the spirit to hatred of God which results in eternal condemnation:

    "Pr 29:1 ΒΆ He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."

    I see that you are concerned that people not dilute the Gospel nor make it wider than it is. Let us hope that it is not too narrow in mercy either. I am troubled by two kinds of theologies rampant in the world today: one says that God is going to be merciful to almost everybody (this is the predominantly Catholic view) regardless of their acceptance or rejection of Christ. This takes away from the exclusivity of the salvation message and the Lordship of Christ. Muslim, Buddhist, and other pagan religions are NOT the same as the Christian faith and these folks need to be kindly told the truth, not fellowshipped with. If someone stays a Muslim after hearing the Gospel, he is rejecting Christ, which is a deed of rebellion against God.

    The other says that God ONLY saves those who have a certain intellectual understanding of the Gospel, which therefore damns those in pagan countries who cannot hear the Gospel. This makes God unmerciful, and unfair and unable to save men. Our Father desires the salvation of all, and is able to do as He wishes, since this creation is His. Romans 2: 13-15 speaks of this situation and says that God will judge men by their obedience to the knowledge which they have, not the fullness of the Gospel. If a man has the love of God in His heart, placed there by the Holy Spirit, and lives in obedience to that love, then as an obedient child he will be rewarded as such. Not all men have the same degree of light and understanding.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed
     
  3. Kiffin

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    Bro Ed,

    Your teaching my friend is a form of universalism which is common in the modern PC Vatican II Catholicism. I would also say that your view is in opposition to the Athanasian Creed (If that means anything to modern day Catholics or Protestants anymore :( ) People are not lost because they haven't heard the Gospel. They are lost because they are sinners. And a simple belief in a generic God is insufficient.
     
  4. Kathryn S.

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    [PRESBYTERIANS SAY JESUS MAY SAVE THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW HIM]

    I believe Jesus' death on the cross makes it possible for Jesus to save anyone he chooses. Jesus Christ is the judge of all.
     
  5. Monergist

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    Elizabeth,
    For what its worth, please understand that the PC-USA has long ago departed from true Reformed Christianity; and their use of the word "reformed" is really meaningless. I mention this so that someone won't identify true reformed theology (or Presbyterianism) with this nonsense.
     
  6. CatholicConvert

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    Have to agree with Timothy. If you want real Presbyterian Calvinism, you should be in the PCA or OPC, not the USA branch.

    As for Kiffin's statement about universalism, I was not trying to say that God automatically has "saved" everyone regardless. Isn't that the definition of universalism. I was trying to say that He can have mercy upon those who have not heard through no fault of their own. As I said in the first post, once a person has heard of and rejected the Lordship and salvation of Jesus the Christ, I would say that they are under a different responsibility. They have chosen to reject God's Savior. This makes them GUILTY!!

    Orthodoxy rejects the idea of men as sinners by birth. We are bearers of the image of God, even in its distorted form. A baby is not a sinner because a baby cannot chose to sin. Men are condemned because they chose to reject God, but if they have not heard, then how can it be said of them that they have willingly rejected Him?

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed
     
  7. SolaScriptura

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    I agree, but I don't seem to remember any 'Orthodox' other than you ever saying this.

    "But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world." (Rom 10:18)

    "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" (Rom 1:20)
     
  8. HankD

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    There are (or were) even some Baptist elements which have/had a form of universalism.

    I remember reading of a Boston Baptist pastor in the early 1800's who claimed that although Christ is/was the only way to be saved, all people would eventually be saved.

    He taught that the spirits of pagans and unbelievers went to a kind of purgatory where they eventually would believe on Christ and be saved.

    He used out-of-context iso-gesis of the following passages to support his universalism.

    1 Timothy 4:
    10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    1 Corinthians 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
    14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
    15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    If this theory is correct why then did Christ give the great commission? Why bother?

    I have also read that even now some Primitive Baptists hold to this kind of universalism.
    Can anyone verify or deny this?

    HankD
     
  9. rsr

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  10. SolaScriptura

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    Universalism seems to be a general belief in America that just about crosses all denominational boundaries.
     
  11. Karen

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    However, this Presbyterian view may be closer to the Primitive Baptist view than to Universalism.
    The Primitive Baptists on this board seem to be saying something very similar, and they are not Universalists.

    Karen
     
  12. rsr

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  13. Me2

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    What Is So wrong About The Concept Of Universal Salvation Provided That God The Father Has Sufficiently Provided Himself With A Satisfactory Sacrifice For Sin ?

    Would It Be Wrong To Say That Jesus Did Not Take All Sin and All Wrath of The Father To Death

    If All Sin Past Present and Future is in Death..How is there be any wrath towards mankind seeing that Mankind can not be held liable for its penalty.?

    Where does Hell Fit Into This Senerio seeing that The Penalty for Sin Has Been Paid For ?

    If It Is Gods Plan That All Creation Be Reconciled Back To Himself...Can Any Be Forgotten?

    The Bible Says That Every Knee Bow, Every Tongue Confess That Jesus Is Lord..A God Of Love Would Want This Action To Be one of Free Will with Full Knowledge and Submission..

    Wouldnt We Want To Believe Our God Is Perfect Enough To See That This Outcome Occur?

    Heres The Biggy..If Jesus Died For All Sin and Has Taken 100% of The Penalty That All Mankind Deserved..wouldnt God The Father Sin If He Caused Wrath To Occur On Any Human Being Thereafter ? or Wouldnt Man Be Calling Himself A Liar if He Held Onto Sin And Believing That It Was Not Already Forgiven By Jesus and the penalty was not paid for By Jesus Already.

    Isnt one Called An Anti-Christ if They Believe That Jesus Has Not Forgiven Every Sin Committed Past Present and Future ? And Died For All Penalties incurred ?

    That Is Universal Salvation..only with Jesus as The Propitiator

    There Are Many Scriptures That Can Be Used To Support This Outcome
    Can We Investigate Them.? Many Would Be Surprise with the supporting passages :eek:

    [ June 23, 2002, 03:01 AM: Message edited by: Me2 ]
     
  14. DHK

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    2Cor.5:18-21
    18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
    19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
    20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
    21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

    In verse 21 it tells us that God has provided a sacrifice for sin through Jesus Christ, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. He has provided salvation for ALL who will believe, or, as it is put "be reconciled" to Him.

    In verse 18 Paul says that God has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. But this is Paul addressing the believers at Rome. He is talking to those who have been born again already. Then Paul says that God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. God not only desires that everyone be saved, he desires that you and I be the instruments by which they get saved. He has given us the ministry of reconciliation. Further, in verse 20, Paul says that we are ambassadors for Christ. We (that are saved) represent the King of Kings. We represent Christ. He has sent us forth as His ambassadors. Accordingly we are to plead with those who do not believe to be reconciled with God through Jesus Christ. That ministry, that responsibility is now placed on us. There is no universal salvation, except if you will go to everyone in the world and tell it to them. Then they have to receive it. God is not going to force his salvation or his heaven on anyone. It is our responsibility to carry out the Great Commission, to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. If we fail in our duty, God has no back-up plan.
    DHK
     
  15. tyndale1946

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    Hank D said:
    Brother Glen here and you all know me or will after this. Like your various denominations Primitive Baptist also have divisions. They can be Absoluters, Two Seeders, Progressive, New School, Old School and No Hellers to name a few.
    I can assure you Primitive Baptist of the Old School which are now called Old Line have never adhered to the beliefs of the other Primitive Baptist mentioned. Progressive and New School believe in Missions, Sunday Schools, Paid Clergy, Seminaries, Musical Instruments In Worship... The list goes on and on... No Hellers well there name says it all! Absoluters believe that every act you ever do whether good or bad you had no choice but to do the will of God.

    Old Line Primitive Baptist believe none of this and we believe if there is a Heaven there is a Hell. We have none of those practices of the New School and Progressives mentioned in our church and split from those brethren of those practices in 1832! We believe in Predestination that all Gods children were predestinated before the foundation of the world to live with him in glory. This is a doctrine also taught by the Calvin brethren but our understanding differs from theirs as this saving is accomplished by Jesus Christ alone. When we say Jesus Christ alone without any works of man we mean exactly what we say. Grace by the Son of God and Works by the Son of God by the Faith of the Son of God. Man is saved eternally... Without any intervention of the Man being saved. We also believe in Election and that God chose his people and Jesus saved the people that God chose.

    We are not Universalist I assure you as a Universalist believes God will save the whole Adamic race of Mankind. The Bible teaches Election whether we want to believe it or not and God WILL save all his elected blood bought children out of every nation, tongue, kindred,and people mentioned in Revelation. Since it is out of not ALL belong to Christ and there are Non-Elect also.

    Then what is the purpose of the written Gospel? The written Gospels only purpose is to feed the sheep of God. The written Gospel is to tell the sheep what the Living Gospel accomplished. The Living Gospel is the life, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The written Gospel does have saving properties but its just to save us from error, untruth and unsound doctrine.

    Now having said all that let me add this... The Primitive Baptist brethren know that many do not see things the way we do nor understand them the same way we do. Until this forum many of you never heard of a Primitive Baptist and that is who we are and what we stand for... So if anyone ask you what is a Primitive Baptist you can tell them a little about us... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ June 23, 2002, 04:36 AM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  16. Me2

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    Hello DHK,

    This could be great if we take it slow.. The Scriptures mentioned 2 cor 5:18-21 was referring to those chosen to be ambasadors of the ministry of reconciliation. I Think It Wasnt Referring to anyone else other than that group of people..

    Those Scriptures speak of Forgiveness..ie ambassadors of CHRIST..the people who offer forgiveness of sins before god...

    My Beliefs are that during pauls time to the present, God is assembling his sons for a specific task..yes, reconciliation..but at the present time there still is a veil over mankinds eyes..

    You can almost see the specificity of god and whos eyes are unveiled and whose are still kept veiled. Gods forgiveness should be the greatest thing to man but they refuse it?..God Is In Total Control. He Is Teaching Us How To Reconcile. This Will Take A Long Time. This Specific Job Will Last For Gods Sons Until All Mankind Is Perfect.

    Arent You Curious Just What Drives You To Be The Best You Can Be..Perfect..Dont You Just Love To Give Yourself Away..ie Knowledge About Jesus..Just Being Yourself..Be Prepared To Be Doing It For A Long Time..Reconciling Mans Imperfect Knowledge of God In Exchange For A More Perfect One..Right...Well This Is Your Moment To Learn..Theres Time Enough For Everyone...Just Later.. At The Present Tiime Your Moment is Special..You Are Becoming A Rare Individual That Will Retain Your Character,Your Memories, your Treasures of Individuality..The Very Things That Will Make You Shine Like The Stars Before Your Fellow Citizens in Heaven..Forever

    Qualities that many other spiritual beings will not possess and will have to rely on you and honor you because you Will retain them and remind them of how great God has blessed Mankind. Crowns...Yes Memories, Knowledge, Wisdom, Experiences, Character Traits

    Think of When We Die..Does Eternity Start Then..No Way..We Have To Learn To Be Perfect
    which means Time Is Still In Effect.. I Dont Know About A Millinium, But It Will Take A Very Long Time..

    In 1 Cor 15: 24 Then Cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

    Wouldnt you think that all participants must be perfect by that time. Gods Not Going to Snap His Finger. It All Going to have to be painstakingly taught and learned.

    Thats Reconciliation... When Perfection Exists, Eternity Begins
     
  17. HankD

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    I hope no one thinks I was demeaning Primitive Baptists because some/a few may hold a universalist view.

    No one would be happier than myself if this turns out to be the truth (God will eventually save all, through Christ of course).

    But my question remains, if so, why the Great Commission?

    OK, Me2 answered my question above before I could post it, so I've edited this comment in.

    Thanks Me2.

    HankD

    [ June 23, 2002, 09:57 AM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  18. tyndale1946

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    You asked about the Great Commission and I know what each and everyone of you believe on that but I will answer this from a Prmitive Baptist point of view.

    Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    Look at the context of the whole verses... The Great Commission as it is called was given to the Apostles only... Never given to or passed to the authority of the church. Did not the Apostles go into all the world at that time and preach the gospel to every living creature?

    Notice the sign that shall follow them as they do not exist today. If you believe they do join the Pentecostals as they believe this too. There is one power that was passed down to them that has never be performed after they left. They had the power to raise the dead and there are many instances in the scriptures where the did just that.

    Read the report of the seventy that were sent out and what they said after they returned.

    Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

    17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

    18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

    19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

    No church on the face of the earth even has one of those powers that were given to the Apostles and those in there circle only... The seventy chosen by the Lord are the only ones that qualify.

    We believe in being kind to our neighbors and friends and helping those out not to get them to believe like we do. If you are Catholic, Buddist, Hare Krishna or Christian my christian duty and obligation is to help my fellow man when able. We have many brethren that give to various charities but not in the name of religion.

    Now before you say that these different beliefs are not Gods children be very careful. The Gentile brethren 2,000 years ago said the same thing about the Jewish brethren. They were given a good tongue lashing for it to.

    Notice Romans 11... It starts out with a question... 1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. Not only is the question asked the question is answered. Then the chapter tells all of his blood bought children that no matter what belief they are they belong to him. The grist of the whole chapter hinges on the Gentile brethren thought they were given special favor over the Jewish brethren and they were better than the Jews. Paul by the unction of the holy spirit is giving the highminded Gentile brethren and insight into how God brings his promises about.

    Now after all this if anyone wants to disagree with me fine. I have no problem with that and will not have a battle of words with those who believe different. Only to tell you this believe what you will but take this to heart. If you believe in God you are Gods blood bought redeemed child... And NO ONE can ever take that away from you!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  19. Me2

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    HankD,
    If You Were To Ask Anyone They Would Say That They Would Want Everyone To Be Saved..or So That Is The Will Of our Leader

    Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in Himself.
    Eph 1:10 That In The dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one ALL Things in Christ, Both which are in Heaven, and which are on the Earth; Even in Him:

    or..
    1 Tim 2:1 I Exort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, Be Made For ALL Men;
    1 Tim 2:2 For Kings and for all that are in authority: That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty,
    1 Tim 2:3 For This is Good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
    1 Tim 2:4 Who Will Have ALL Men to be saved; and to come unto the knowledge of the Truth
    1 Tim 2:5 For There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.
    1 Tim 2:6 Who Gave Himself a Ransom for ALL, to be Testified in due time.

    This is A Key To Universal Salvation..."To Be Testified In Due Time"...As Long As Time Exists Christ Effective Work As The Propitiator is In Effect To All Who Will Accept..Does Death Stop This ?..Does Grace Stop At Death? Is Fate Sealed In The Human Being At Death..Does Reason and Logic End..or the Capability to Choose..or Accept What Already Is..We only shed our physical bodies at death..reason and purpose still continue..time does not end at death..

    .. .Thy Will Be Done..on Earth..as it is in Heaven...When I Look At These Few Passages I Can Say God Saves All or God Says One thing and does another..like not saving ALL..My advise... God Controls Time, God Is Love, God Is Perfect

    Tyndale..if you were not different, you wouldnt be any fun :D

    DHK, I Dont Understand God Not Getting His Way....Didnt He Create Billions Of Galaxys..
    and you think God Is Not Completely Sovereign over his Entire Creation..
    Destruction of ones spirit was never an option of mans. God Made You and will Keep Your Existence for His Good Pleasure..You Might Have To Change Your Mind about a Few Misunderstandings about whos in control...or whos will to follow
    Can Man Control Time..How Long Can Anyone Hold onto their opinion against God Being in Total Control..No Created Being That You or I Will Ever Meet.

    So Were Back To The Character and Will Of God...at least thats my reasonings

    Does Anyone Think God Will Not Get His Way Eventually..
    Or That His Character Will Not Be Known and Accepted by All Eventually..

    [ June 23, 2002, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: Me2 ]
     
  20. trying2understand

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    I get the feeling from the responses, that many here do presume to limit the sovereign freedom of God and do wish to restrict the grace of God to those who profess explicit faith in Christ.

    So, God then is subject to your interpretation of Scripture? No soul liberty for God, apparently that belongs to Baptists alone. [​IMG]

    [ June 23, 2002, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: trying2understand ]
     

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