Question About Calvinism & False Converts

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by BlackSheepBaptist, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. BlackSheepBaptist

    BlackSheepBaptist
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    Hello, I have, as the title says, a question for Calvinists about false converts and, specifically, how they relate to the fifth point of Calvinism: Perseverance of the Saints. Okay, here it is, Reformed theology says that you must "persevere to the end to be saved", right? So, if you're saved, you won't "fall away from the faith" by becoming an atheist/agnostic or joining a different religion, etc., right? You also cannot lose your salvation, because God has already chosen you to be saved before he even created the world, right? So what do you do with people who "seemingly" (in the Reformed mindset) have faith, but then stop believing? These people are classified as "false converts", correct? And don't you guys always go to 1 John 2:19 to explain this phenomenon? "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." So you take this verse to mean that everyone who says they have faith, and seems to believe and be saved, who then falls away are people who God decreed would do that in order for it to be manifested that they were never really saved in the first place (unless it's someone who falls away, but then comes back later, like one of John Piper's sons? Does he have more than one son? I don't know), true? Assuming that I understand your position and have characterized it correctly, this is my question: Do you believe that it's impossible for someone who's a false convert to die before they fall away, and thereby have their false conversion manifested? Do you think that everyone who has died having persevered in the faith is definitely saved, or that some (or maybe many) of them could have actually been false converts who just died before their false conversion was made manifest? Has God decreed that every false convert will be made manifest before they die, or not? I hope my question makes sense, and I appreciate whatever response you have. Thank you. :love2:
     
  2. Van

    Van
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    I expect this thread will be moved to the forum designated to debate Calvinism and Arminianism.

    First, I am not a Calvinist or an Arminian. But I believe once actually saved, its settled - OASIS. According to Calvinism no one would actually profess belief in Christ, because no one seeks righteousness, unless altered by "irresistible grace."

    However, depraved folks like foreign spies, might pretend to seek righteousness hypocritically, but really are just in it to manipulate others.

    Matthew 7 tells us of folks who thought they were born anew, for they had said "Lord, lord" and served in ministry. But Christ said I never knew you. Note He did not say, I knew you once but you fell away.

    In Matthew 13, we learn of folks who received the gospel with joy, and no suggestion is made they were faking their joy. Thus scripture does not teach total spiritual inability, the Calvinist position, but rather limited spiritual ability, the unsaved can understand the milk of the gospel, but not spiritual meat, because only those indwelt (born anew) can understand spiritual meat.

    So to answer your questions as I understand them:

    1) False converts, folks who profess Christ, yet are unsaved, exist within the church, which is made up of wheat (saved) and tares (unsaved professing Christians).

    2). Matthew 7 clearly teaches some false converts die in their delusion.
     
  3. 12strings

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    Van's points 1 & 2 are excellent summaries.

    1. False converts exist.
    2. Some will cry "lord, Lord" in vain.

    I can only add a slightly different perspective as one who is moderately calvinistic in soteriology:

    3. 1 John 2:19, Philippians 1:6, Jude 24-25, John 10, Ephesians 1:13-14 & 4:30, and other passages convince me that God's spirit will keep those who are truly his...not from sinning, or doubting, but from full abandonment of the faith.
    These verses would keep me convinced of that even if I someday come to a different understanding of the Doctine of Election. They do not depend on a calvinistic interpretation to teach the security/perserverance of the believer.

    4. There have been some well-know preachers who take OSAS so far as to teach that a person who at any time recieved the Gospel, but who now totally repudates the faith and christ, is still saved...but I don't anywhere in scripture see a picture of a Christian who does not now believe the Gospel.

    5. It is true that there are some difficult passages such as Heb. 6, but the verses in point #3 compel me in a different direction.
     
  4. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Richard Wurmbrand told a story about a church in Communist Romania. Armed Russian soldiers went in and commanded them to disband or be shot. A handful got up and left. When they left the soldiers lowered their weapons, announced they were Christians and sat down in the pews. They had wanted to ensure that no spies or counterfeits were among them.

    They judged those who left a Sunday morning worship service to save their lives as false disciples. Were they wrong?

    I think if you look at John's verse in that light, you will see a more true applicaton. I know of no Calvinist who cites that verse to explain a temporary lapse in devotion, or of one who is overtaken in a fault and ultimately needs church discipline. I have only known it used to answer the question of apostasy.

    Of course.

    Yes.

    If on never starts out in faith, in what is he persevering?

    No. Quite the contrary. Many tares are allowed to grow with the wheat until the harvest.
     
  5. Van

    Van
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    I fully agree with post #3.
     
  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    Key here is how do they end up?

    ALL of us can go through a time where we chose to not be as close to Jesus as we ought to be, but did we come back to him after a time, or just forever stay out wandering in the desert?

    Bible suppots that ALL who are really saved shall in the end be found to be walking in him, not perfectly, but still doing it!
     

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