Questions For A Calvinist Father

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    How does a Calvinist father tell his ten year old son that:

    1. He may or may not be one of the ones pre-selected by God to be saved?

    2. That, statistically speaking, he is probably not one of the pre-selected?

    Also, how does a Calvinist father pray for his son to be saved when he knows in his heart that it is already a done deal?

    Mark Osgatharp

    [ October 22, 2002, 06:29 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  2. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    This Reformed father does not dwell on the "you may be or may not be," but rather focuses upon what is revealed in Scripture. As Calvin said, "To know who are His is a preorgative belonging solely to God." The Scriptures declare that children are to be brought up by their fathers "in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). This is from the same letter where the Apostle Paul declares that believers are chosen in Christ "before the foundation of the world" (1:4), are "predestined...to adoption" (1:5), and are "predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will" (1:11).

    Paul makes it clear that he prays for the Ephesian believers because these things are true of them (1:15-21), and asks that they pray for him so that boldness would be given to him for the proclamation of the Gospel (6:18-20). So, pray for boldness in sharing the Gospel with your son/children and pray that the Lord uses the "training and admonition" to plant the seed of the Gospel in his/their heart(s) and blossom into faith.

    Pray the Scriptures over your child/children (those that deal with salvation). Of course, this is not only for our children, but for the lost as well. For example, pray that the Lord would remove the veil of darkness and deception that the evil one has placed over their minds, and that the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ would shine in their hearts (2 Cor. 4:3-4).

    Belief in sovereignty does not negate belief in responsibility. Belief in predestination does not negate action, but rather advances it. I will not go into detail here, but I would encourage anyone questioning this to read Boettner's THE REFORMED DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION, at least the section towards the end where he deals with this very issue. Predestination is not the same as fatalism.

    I think St. James points these things out very well when he declares that "if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that" (see Jas. 4:13-16), and then goes on to speak about prayer (5:17-18).

    As far as "statistics" go, there will be an innumerable host in heaven - so it sounds like the "chances" are excellent! :D

    Rev. G
     
  3. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Rev.G,

    I have read Mr. Boettner's book and would have found his attempt to rescue Calvinism from the charge of fatalism to be ammusing, were it not so sickening; especially the part where he tried to make some contrast between Islam and Calvinism. He said:

    "As a matter of fact, however, Mohammedanism places such an emphasis on God as the sole cause of all events that second causes are practically excluded."

    Now isn't that a hoot! God is the sole cause of all events but don't believe that too strongly or you will end up thinking that he is the sole cause of all events! Then he tells this little tale to "illustrate" his nonsense:

    "A ship crowded with Englishmen and Mohammedans looked after him with indifference, saying, 'if it is written in the book of destiny that he shall be saved, he shall be saved without us; and if it is written that he shall perish, we can do nothing'; and with that they left him. But the Englishmen siad, 'Perhaps it is written that we should save him.' They threw him a rope and he was saved."

    This sort of anecdote may salve the Calvinist conscience, but the fact still remains that if a man is predestinated to be saved or lost, nothing we decide to do will make one ounce of difference in the matter.

    Furthermore, I suggest that the Muslims are not so ambivilent to "secondary" causes as Mr. Boettner would have us believe - for they sure are zealous in their cause, as 9-11 clearly demonstrates. Muslims, like all other fatalists, are not so nearly consistent in practice as they are in theory.

    All your rhetoric boils down to one thing: God predestinated the salvation of the elect, but we will go on and behave as if He didn't.

    Mark Osgatharp

    [ October 22, 2002, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: Mark Osgatharp ]
     
  4. Monergist

    Monergist
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    This is where this calvinist father will direct his child:

    Acts 2:39 (ESV)
    For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."

    That may get me into some trouble on a Baptist Board, but its Bible.
     
  5. Rev. G

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    Timothy:

    It certainly won't get you into trouble with this Baptist. This is one of the verses I pray when asking God to be gracious to my children. [​IMG]

    Rev. G
     
  6. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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  7. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Rev.G,

    How can you ask God to be gracious to your children when you believe that He has already made that decision? Do you pray that God will have done this or that He will do it?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  8. Rev. G

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    Mark:

    I pray that God will be gracious to my children. Please read my first post on this thread, if you haven't already. I will leave my answer(s) on the subject with that post.

    Rev. G
     
  9. BobRyan

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    But notice - the Calvinist response on THIS thread is that God DOES love the children and texts given in response are NOT "WHy do you find fault for it is God that Chooses" when asked about the children.

    Notice that the scenario above is "blocked from the mind" in the responses above - though the doctrine pretends to exault its every implication.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. Rev. G

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    Romans 9 deals with the matter of election. God is just. No one can ask Him, "What have you done?" No one can find fault with Him. Before Paul addresses the issue of election, he deals with his compassion for his lost kinsmen. In chapter 10 he shows us that we are to proclaim the Gospel. Both responsibility and sovereignty are evident in these chapters. So, the question that was asked dealt with prayer, which is a responsibility of believers. It is also a responsibility to share the Gospel. I am absolutely dependent upon God to save my children, therefore I ask Him to have mercy. It is that simple.

    Rev. G
     
  11. Mark Osgatharp

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    Romans 9 deals with the matter of election. God is just. No one can ask Him, "What have you done?" No one can find fault with Him. Before Paul addresses the issue of election, he deals with his compassion for his lost kinsmen. In chapter 10 he shows us that we are to proclaim the Gospel. Both responsibility and sovereignty are evident in these chapters. So, the question that was asked dealt with prayer, which is a responsibility of believers. It is also a responsibility to share the Gospel. I am absolutely dependent upon God to save my children, therefore I ask Him to have mercy. It is that simple.

    Rev. G
    </font>[/QUOTE]Rev. G,

    Please don't respond to this question with theoretical answers. Please tell me what is truly in your own heart when you prayer for lost people.

    When you pray for God to have mercy on lost people, let's say your child, do you have thoughts in the back of your mind that the prayer will not make any actual difference in whether or not the person for whom you are praying will be saved since you know that God has already decided that matter before you prayed the prayer?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  12. Rev. G

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    Theoretical? I have already told you what is on my heart. I pray because I see that the Scriptures teach both sovereignty and responsibility (as in the section of Romans I pointed out in the previous post). I'm not looking to my prayers for making a difference, I'm looking to God to make a difference. I don't know what He has planned, and it isn't my prerogative to know - except for what He has revealed in His Word. "The secret things belong to the Lord."

    Rev. G
     
  13. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Rev.G,

    This is a simple "yes" or "no" question: when you pray for a particular unbeliever, do you have thoughts in your mind that the prayer will not actually effect whether or not the unbeliever will become a believer?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  14. Rev. G

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    I pray believing, with expectation. If God says, "No!" to my prayer, that is His prerogative. I will humbly submit to His will and His wisdom.

    Who do you think the "greatest" pray-er in the history of the Church is? Personally, I think it is George Mueller. I highly recommend his autobiography. Anyway, he was a Calvinist. He prayed with expectation - yet he humbly submitted himself to God's will (particularly in the death of lost relatives).

    Rev. G
     
  15. Mark Osgatharp

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    Rev.G,

    You say "I pray believing" even though you think it may not come to pass and even though you think it is already a done deal?

    I must confess, your concept of "believing" and mine are so totally different that there is really no point in continuing this discussion.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  16. Rev. G

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    You're right, our concepts are different. You think it all hinges on your activity, I believe it all depends upon God.
     
  17. Rev. G

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    Let me ask you - Do you believe that God has the right to tell you "No," or "Not in that way," when you pray? Is God subject to you, or are you subject to God?

    Rev. G

    P. S. (Is it your theology that makes you so gracious to others on this board?) :rolleyes:

    [ October 25, 2002, 01:25 PM: Message edited by: Rev. G ]
     
  18. Mark Osgatharp

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  19. BobRyan

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    The point was to ask how you justified that answer in the case where God simply "did not care to save your precious little child".

    Are you hoping then to be so quick to respond "Well at least I am saved and I won't suffer in hell. At least it is not ME sufferging the indescribable torment my precious child now suffers. How gracious! Who am I to want anything other than this blessed result?
    My salvation!"??

    What is the Calvinist response to that problem of "THE FEW" and ONLY the "FEW" of Matt 7 being arbitrarily selected to be elected? The concept of "FEW" and "nothing about You recommends you to God" means that your child is "likely" to be among the "MANY" and not the "FEW" by all accounts. NEITHER can you claim that anything about you, or about THEM, or about Christ argues that in Christ's arbitraryt selection - He should have selected "THEM".

    IN Christ,

    Bob

    [ October 25, 2002, 09:36 PM: Message edited by: BobRyan ]
     
  20. Rev. G

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    In YOUR "Calvinist" scheme, that is correct. Mark, you once stated that you define "Calvinism" according to your own terms, and not according to what "Calvinists" have to say. That is why our conversations go nowhere. May I be a pray-er in the likeness of George Mueller and Charles Spurgeon, two men who believed strongly in the absolute sovereignty of God. Have you ever read Mueller's biography? If you haven't, you should. It's very inspiring.

    Bob, there is not a nice way to say what I'm thinking about this comment. Have you ever wept over the lost, Bob? Do you love your children to the point of sacrificing your own life for them? If so, please don't ask such condescending questions of a fellow Christian and a fellow father. It lacks grace, among other things. I pray for my children, and yet your responses seem to imply that I really don't. I witness to the lost, yet your responses (here and elsewhere) seem to imply that my concern for the Great Commission is illegitimate. My!

    Rev. G

    Rev. G
     

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