Question for Arminians. What is so hard to "swallow" about Calvinism?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by UMP, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. UMP

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    I know for myself, a Primitive Baptist "Calvinist", the most difficult thing to "swallow" about Armininism is choice. I view the perceived choice as a work.
     
  2. Skandelon

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    The thing I think Calvinists miss is the fact that Paul IS NOT condemning people who believe salvation is by Grace through a faith based choice of men. He is condemning those who believe savlation is through the works of the law and their own righteousness. He is debating those who don't think they need grace or even forgiveness because they are perfect in their keeping of the law.

    Even Calvinist believe that salvation is conditional. (Election in your system may be unconditional but not salvation). There is a condition. That condition is that a man must in faith choose whom he will follow. Calvinists believe its a choice that men really have no choice in, because the elect can't willingly refuse and the non-elect can't willingly accept. Nevertheless, it is a decision that must be realized and thus it is a condition for ones salvation.

    If you insist to refer to faith based choices as works then you too MUST believe that we are saved through works. Why? Because we are saved through faith, regardless of the effectual nature of God's calling.
     
  3. UMP

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    Scandelon writes:
    "Even Calvinist believe that salvation is conditional. (Election in your system may be unconditional but not salvation). There is a condition. That condition is that a man must in faith choose whom he will follow."

    It's irresistible grace, therefore not necessarily conditional, in the traditional sense. Given the correct knowledge of a life and death situation that you were involved in and you had the choice between life or death. Is it really a choice which one you would pick. If someone gave you the choice between $100,000,000 or bankruptcy, is it really a choice?
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Doesn't matter. Its a condition that must be met by the man. Whether God causes them to meet that condition or not doesn't change the fact that it is a condition that must be met. Men must believe in order to be saved. That is conditional salvation, period. If you insist on calling that condition a "work" by which men can "boast" as in what Paul is rebuking then you create the same problem for yourself as you do for us: Salvation by Grace through a work. The only difference is that its a work that you believe God irresistably makes some men do.

    That is not a fair comparison of the choice we are called to make in regard to salvation. Christ clearly points out that we must consider the cost of being his disciple and that in order to live we must die and that we may very well suffer in that process. The road to heaven is difficult and sometimes painful which is why Christ describes it as being narrow in contrast to the board and easy road that has temporary pleasures all along the way.

    Plus, are you suggesting that people even when faced with the obvious implications of their choices that they will choose what is best? Smokers are continually told that if they smoke it will likely kill them and they continue you to do it. Why? It feels good. People choose to the wrong thing for temporary pleasures all the time, so I don't think your analogy really fits in the bigger picture.

    A better analogy might be. If you could have 100,000,000 after faithfully serving and working an entire lifetime or go bankrupt after doing whatever you wanted an entire lifetime, which one would you choose?
     
  5. Pete Richert

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    I agree with Skandelon. I am a Calvinist but I believe salvation is conditional. The condition of salvation is to trust in God. The great act of God was not to provide an unconditional salvation but to provide one conditioned on our continued faith in Christ and then unconditonally and unilatery work out that condition in us.
     
  6. UMP

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    Skandelon writes:
    "That is not a fair comparison of the choice we are called to make in regard to salvation. Christ clearly points out that we must consider the cost of being his disciple and that in order to live we must die and that we may very well suffer in that process. The road to heaven is difficult and sometimes painful which is why Christ describes it as being narrow in contrast to the board and easy road that has temporary pleasures all along the way."


    I disagree because:
    Matthew 13:44 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field."
     
  7. UMP

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    Skandelon writes:
    "That is not a fair comparison of the choice we are called to make in regard to salvation. Christ clearly points out that we must consider the cost of being his disciple and that in order to live we must die and that we may very well suffer in that process. The road to heaven is difficult and sometimes painful which is why Christ describes it as being narrow in contrast to the board and easy road that has temporary pleasures all along the way."


    I can actually make a strong case for the exact opposite.
    Matthew 11. 28-30
    "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
     
  8. Sularis

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    Well 3 things are hard to swallow

    1. Limited Atonement - for if God loves all equally while we were yet sinners - then dying only for some makes a lie of His Mercy only to elevate His Justice - what makes everything so difficult is that Love is a balance. No healthy person solely chastises the person they love without balancing it out with acts of kindness

    2. Irresistible Grace - The Bible says I can quench and grieve the Spirit - dont give me claptrap, about grace being irresistable

    3. Perserverance of the Saints - Ive not yet seen a Christian who hasnt sinned - and I believe that since not all CHristians will recieve the same amount of crowns - and some wont receieve crowns at all but still be saved - that Christians sin - they should strive against it - but it does happen - so I change Perservance from its more human centered focus to Preservation which focuses on God keeping us saved no matter how stupid or foolish we are or behave
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Thank you Pete for your objective view.

    We can agree that faith is the condition. You might believe its a condition that God causes, but so do I. I just don't believe He causes it irresistably. Faith comes by hearing the word and the word comes from God, so in that respect God gets the credit for causing men's faith.

    Now, I don't believe that was caused irresistably by God but does that mean faith is now a "work" by which we can boast? Of couse not! By what authority or foundation could one make that claim? Well, Calvinists point toward Paul's writings concerning "boasting" and "works salvation" as proof, but it is clear that Paul is not addressing those who believe faith is the only condition, as WE BOTH DO. Instead, Paul is addressing those who believe the works of the law is the condition for salvation. So to apply his teaching to us is very poor hermeneutics and bad theology all around.
     
  10. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi UMP;
    Some people really have a problem with making life choices. There afraid they'll choose the wrong path.
    IMHO works are the doing for others. Teaching the gospel, telling others about Christ. Feeding the poor, caring for the sick. Helping others is helping God. To chose who you will follow is not a work, and is not called a work anywhere in scripture.
    Yes it is a choice even though receiving Christ doesn't guaranty you wealth. Many are tempted by the things of the world. $100,000,000 is a temptation if we were offered this instead of Christ. Most would take the money. The path to righteousness is straight and narrow and hard to follow righteously. We don't head up that path alone. Other wise we wouldn't make it, but we do have to choose Christ in order to start up that path.
    Calvinist believe they are elected. They're many who study and know God's word at least outwardly are following Christ and aren't saved. What makes you so sure you're one of the elect? How do you know you aren't fooling your self?
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  11. Skandelon

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    Still, UMP it doesn't matter. One who is heavy laden may choose to remain in sin because of the temporary pleasures or for whatever reason he wants. We, as ones who have partaken of his grace and have given him our burdens, may not understand why others wouldn't want to do the same, but that certainly doesn't negate the fact that the choice is theirs and they are responsible for it. Like I said, many people are confronted with was appears to be the "obvious" choice but yet refuse to make the right one. Read Romans 1 again. These people KNEW God and clearly saw and understood what they need to see and understand in order to acknowledge him as their God, but they refused and will stand before God without excuse because of that fact. What you are arguing makes it seem as if people don't clearly see and understand the facts because if they did they would certainly choose correctly, but in Romans Paul is seeking to show just the oppposite. Eventhough these people DID clearly see and understand the truth they refused to follow God and thus their hearts became defiled. The very reason they stand without an excuse is because the choice was made very clear to them. Some people allow their hearts to grow hardened by continually rejecting what they can clearly see and know. That is why they are held accountable.
     
  12. UMP

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    For Sularis:
    1. "Limited Atonement" - Who am I to say what God can or cannot do. He does His pleasure.

    2. "Irresistible Grace" - Saving grace IS irresistible.

    3. "Perserverance of the Saints - so I change Perservance from its more human centered focus to Preservation which focuses on God keeping us saved no matter how stupid or foolish we are or behave" ...I agree.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Matt. 23:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

    Sounds like saving grace being resisted to me! :confused:
     
  14. UMP

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    Skandelon
    Matt. 23:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

    Sounds like saving grace being resisted to me!

    UMP writes:
    Actually, that sounds like my misbehaving 7 year old son. Sometimes he really ticks me off, however, he is, and always will be, my son.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    So you believe these who were "unwilling" will be saved despite their unwillingness?
     
  16. npetreley

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    I think calling the choice a "work" leads to useless arguments over semantics.

    But let me get right to the point.

    What's so hard to swallow about Calvinism? The fact that you can't take credit for having made the right choice. To quote as best I can from memory what Al Pacino said as he played the devil in the movie Devil's Advocate: "Pride. It gets 'em every time."
     
  17. UMP

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    Skandelon writes:
    So you believe these who were "unwilling" will be saved despite their unwillingness?

    How about I answer you this way. To ME, God's grace seems irresistible. Of that, I am glad.
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    Skandelon writes:

    Even Calvinist believe that salvation is conditional. (Election in your system may be unconditional but not salvation). There is a condition. That condition is that a man must in faith choose whom he will follow.


    Oh, no, Skandelon. Not from you. I expected something better. That kind of comment I'd expect from some Doctor in this board.

    Calvinists do not believe eternal salvation is conditional. Blessings and chastisings, though, AFTER the fact of salvation, are conditional.

    At least, that's what PB's believe, who are often mistaken for Calvinists.
     
  19. Ray Berrian

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    For me the whole system is flawed except the eternal security of the true child of God. Basically, the first four points of Calvinism are a contradiction of Biblical exposition.

    The thing that I hate most is the unfounded idea that God, in eternity past, elected some to Heaven and willfully damned the rest of His created human beings. This concept completely either ignores or attempts to try to destroy the Divine Justice of the Lord God. Here we have God telling us to love our enemies, while He hates the majority of human sinners so much so that He willingly, of His own free will and accord, damns them to Hell forever. In other words, Jesus tells we Christians to love our enemies, but Christ does not have to love any except His elect. This turns God into a monstrous hypocrite. He challenges us to love our enemies, but He allegedly does not have to love all of the 'children of disobedience.

    All sinners are 'children of disobedience.' [Ephesians 2:2c] All who believe in Jesus and trust in Him for everlasting life, become the children of God. [I John 5:13] We do the believing for ourselves; God receives us and keeps us to eternal life with Himself. [Hebrews 7:25]

    Berrian, Th.D.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    And I'm glad that you admit that your doctrine is based upon what something "seems" like to you based upon your experience rather than upon the clear teaching of the text.
     

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