Really, REALLY struggling with calvinism

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Emily25069, Jun 23, 2006.

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  1. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    Not sure what Im looking for here, maybe just a vent.


    Calvinism is not something that I understand. I have a livejournal in which I was just throwing out some feelings about it, mostly my feelings that it and the study of it is an awful waste of time, because we ought to just be sharing the gospel and going about our way reguardless of if what they say is true.

    A friend on there told me that she had a really good book about the doctrines of grace, and sent it to me. Its actually called the doctrines of grace, but I cant remember who it is by.

    Anyhow.. Im about half way through, and it is starting to change my thinking a little bit.

    But, along with that, I am having a huge crisis of faith, and Im wondering if I am even saved, because its hard for me to understand why I would be chosen for a regeneration, and the fact that others are passed by, doesnt really make me love God, so I wonder if there has been regeneration in my heart, because Im not extremely thankful to be one of the ones chosen to be a Christian. I mean, on one hand I am extremely thankful, but on the other hand, I just feel an extreme compassion for the lost and wonder how its fair that they will never ever have a chance. They were born to go to hell, and there is nothing that they can do about it, even if they wanted to...and I wonder if I am one of those? I dont think that I am. I think that I am saved, but how can I really know?

    ugh.. I really wish that I hadnt started this book. I hate that it makes sense and yet is still the most singlehandedly confusing thing I have ever read.

    :Fish:
     
  2. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    May I suggest something?

    Put the book down. Begin to study the Scriptures about issues thast we can be sure of. These issues have been argued about for centuries and willcontinue to be argued about right up until the moment that Jesus takes us home and tells us that both sides in the debate were partly wrong.

    The Lord is not the author of confusion. As you study the Bible, you will begin to understand as He gives you understanding. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth. But He doesn't do it with a fire hose. He does it as we are able to take it, understand it and live it.

    Whether God chose us because he willed it or because he foreknew it is really not the issue. Whichever way God did it, His purpose in it was that we would begin to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8)

    Let God reveal the truth to you in His own time. Until then, do what He's already taught you.
     
  3. Dale-c

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    Fist of all, once you realize that is is God that saves us, it is totally reassuring.

    Do you have faith in Christ? Have you repented of your sins? Do you believe and understand the Gospel?

    The Bible says that you will not understand that in your natural state.
    So if you do understand this, that is proof positive of your conversion.

    When you realize that you are saved of NOTHING of your own, it shouldn't give you less of a desire to share the blessed Gospel with others.
    What it will do is let you realize that it is God that does the saving, the "winning of souls" and we are just the messenger.

    We do not know who GOd intends to save and we are commanded to share with everyone.

    This should make you love GOd even more knowing that it was NOTHING that you did to gain your salvation.
    You were totally hopeless to save yourself or even to accept the gift of God on your own.

    Keep studying, and keep praying. God will give you peace as you grow!
     
  4. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    Emily,

    Just sent you a PM that I pray will help!
     
  5. Scott J

    Scott J
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    It was a crisis of faith the helped my understanding of grace crystalize. I kept doubting that I had done all I should do or said the right prayer or been good enough, etc. It was when I realized that God's good decision led to my salvation and not my own that I stopped doubting.
    That is difficult until you put the lost in perspective. God doesn't pass them by while they somehow deserve to be saved. They deserve precisely what they will get. We deserved it too and still do if taken by our own merits.

    If you and your best friend were both drunks, passed out while smoking cigarettes, were in danger of being burned up, and a fireman came in and saved you... would you blame the fireman because your friend burned up? Would you resent them or love them?
    That is a very, very good thing. Many calvinists like Spurgeon for example burned themselves out with a burden for the gospel and people. Many calvinistic missionaries gave up their lives and fortunes to reach the lost.
    They do get a chance but won't take it. They have a chance at this very moment... but not the good will to act on it.

    You could rightly doubt the fairness if they were worthy. But you can't say "They were just as worthy as me so it is only fair they get a chance too"... because if they are just as worthy as you or me... they still deserve hell.
    Certainly there is. They could repent and accept Christ.
    That's the key. They DON'T want to.
    Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? Repented from your sin?

    [quote I hate that it makes sense and yet is still the most singlehandedly confusing thing I have ever read.

    :Fish:[/quote]You have to leave behind the human concepts of "fairness"... and belief that man is "good". Man isn't good. Even when he seems to do good, he is selfishly motivated in some way or another. Even if you include things like soldiers diving on grenades to save their friends... you still cannot attribute it to a desire to obey God's will... and that is the only "goodness" He recognizes/rewards.
     
  6. webdog

    webdog
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    I was in the same boat as you a couple years ago. Don't only read the work of one side, you will see plenty of twisting of Scripture from both Calvinism and Arminianism to fit man made theology. Study the Bible. If you find something that seems to contradict something else in Scripture, study further, as the Bible never contradicts.

    I really enjoy www.faithalone.org , as this, to me, is a view of both sides from the outside.

    TULIP

    T... http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2003i/badger.html

    U...
    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2003ii/badger.html

    L...
    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2004i/badger.html

    I...
    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2004ii/badger.html

    P...
    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1998i/Hodges.html
     
    #6 webdog, Jun 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2006
  7. pituophis

    pituophis
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    You mention the word "fair." Where does God's Word say He is "fair"? We need to be careful about trying to make God into our own image (or an image that we "think He should be")
     
  8. Brother Bob

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    Yea, they want you to put the book down and go and get the books by John Calvin and study them.

    Emily;
    I guarnatee that pm from J.D. is telling you some books to go and read and not the Bible either.
     
    #8 Brother Bob, Jun 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2006
  9. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
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    God fair? I think it say He hath no respect of persons.
     
  10. Dale-c

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    That is exactly right. And he doesn't respect ANYONE. Salvation is ALL of God.
    Lest ANYMAN should boast.
    The doctrines of grace prove that God is not a respector of persons because he does not simply "help those that help themselves"

    BTW, I never read any books to come to this conclusion, I simply read the bible and didn't skip over Romans (chapers 1,8-9 in particular)
     
  11. webdog

    webdog
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    Col 4:1 Masters, supply your slaves with what is right and fair, since you know that you too have a Master in heaven.

    Eze 33:17 "But your people say: The Lord's way isn't fair, even though it is their own way that isn't fair.
    Eze 33:18 When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he will die on account of this.
    Eze 33:19 But when a wicked person turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live because of this.
    Eze 33:20 Yet you say: The Lord's way isn't fair. I will judge each of you according to his ways, house of Israel."

    Psa 92:15 to declare: "The LORD is just; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him."

    Psa 119:75 I know, LORD, that Your judgments are just and that You have afflicted me fairly.

    Psa 119:137 You are righteous, LORD, and Your judgments are just.


     
  12. Brother Bob

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    Yea, but you skipped over James
     
  13. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    I hope so.
     
  14. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    I understand that no human is good, and that we all deserve Hell.

    You are definately correct in that I dont understand fairness anymore.
     
  15. Emily25069

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    Thank you everyone for your responses.


    I will read over James.


    My interest in calvinism started when I started to read the bible through the year here on Baptist board, and it got to the part where God hardened Pharoahs heart. I coudlnt wrap my brain around it. I understood it for good in the end, but felt bad for Pharoah in the meantime.


    I know humans are not good.

    I know the God is sovereign and just in His own eyes.

    What I have trouble doing is worshipping Him and telling Him that I love Him right now, because I cant understand His concept of fairness and justness.

    I tell Him this when I pray to Him. I want to understand this so badly, and I fear that I never will.

    In short, I am terrified that I am not saved, and there isnt anything I can do. Even if I cry out for mercy, He may not answer.

    Basically, Im a lost Christian. I havent given up, but I feel like I have lost my direction.
     
  16. Andy T.

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    Webdog, the FaithAlone website is just as much man-made theology as C or A. If you want to avoid "man-made" theology just read verses without any intepretation. Can't do it? Exactly. We're all in this together. Don't act like you're above the fray.
     
  17. Deacon

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    Sometimes the best advise is to let go and allow God to be Himself.
    We don't always have to know the WHY or the HOW of God.
    I believe that in this debate we put God in a box...
    AND He is bigger than any box I can concieve of.

    We know He is faithful, He is good, He is trustworthy.

    Step away from the free-will vs.determinism question and enjoy the goodness of God in areas that you feel secure in.

    Maybe sometime later the answers you are searching for will pop-up out of nowwhere unexpectedly.

    Rob
     
  18. Dale-c

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    Not so! 1 John 5:14 says :"[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:"

    You don't have to fear. If you honestly and sincerely seek him, you are doing so by His good pleasure.

    And he WILL hear you!
    If you are coming to Christ on God's terms, it is evidence that God HAS indeed softened your heart!
    Your then ARE a Child of God and there is nothing to fear.

    When God is sovereign, we have a god that really saves. A God that saves surely and forver!
    [/FONT]
     
  19. webdog

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    I never claimed it wasn't mans theology, just another viewpoint. I'm not above the fray, as I have you to constantly remind me of that:smilewinkgrin:
     
  20. webdog

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    The key to that is knowing HOW God hardened his heart. Calvinism teaches that man is a spiritual corpse. Ak yourself why would a corpse need their heart hardened?
     
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