The hopelessness of Calvinism

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, May 7, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    Connieman posted this in the general discussions forum. This is approximately the same thing I have heard over and over again.

    Bateman....you SHOULD believe in God in Christ, because if you do not, your sins are going to sink you into everlasting
    death, hell, and punishment in the Day of Judgement. HOWEVER, you won't believe in God in Christ unless He wants
    you to believe, and enables you.

    There is the possibility that you are REPROBATE, rejected by God, and you will never believe. We will have to wait until
    you die to know this...for, as the old folks used to say, "As long as there is life, there is hope."

    If you are not chosen of God, and called by His Spirit, you will not believe. But, in your natural unbelief, you won't truly
    care; you will think it all foolishness, until the day you are thrown into the Pit.

    Regards, connieman


    Jesus spoke directly in opposition to the entire Calvinistic scheme when He said

    Come to me, ALL you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

    and it is claimed that an unredeemed man can know nothing good, do nothing regarding his salvation, but Jesus said differently:

    The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
    Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and wold everything he had and bought it.


    In neither case did the man/merchant create the treasure or the pearl. But in both cases, the man was looking ("Seek and you will find"), and in both cases gave up everything for it as a choice. The decision was his. He did not earn the treasure. He did not create the treasure. But he had to react to the finding of it, and he had been searching.

    People like connieman have looked Calvinism straight in the eye and have no illusions about what it is really saying. It is a message of despair, not hope, unless, of course, you are one of the 'lucky few.'

    Or considere the implications of this:

    If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be trown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it awayl It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

    Now please consider the implications of that. We know salvation cannot be lost. Therefore Jesus cannot be talking to people already saved where this is concerned. Therefore there IS that which a man must do first. If you think about the fact that your hand, your foot, your eye cannot CAUSE you to sin, but that your sins come from your heart's condition, then you will see (I hope!) that what must be cut off is what you do, where you go, or even your own understanding, -- this is called repentance.

    And it is something a man must do to be saved. At least, that is what Jesus is indicating here.

    Or consider Jesus' response to the rich young man, when He finally says, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. THEN COME, FOLLOW ME.

    That sounds like an invitation to me, like grace extended, ready for the taking. But the rich young man "went away sad." He refused grace extended, an invitation from Christ.

    Calvinism says God's invitation cannot be refused. That's not what Jesus said. Remember the parable of the wedding banquet? The invited guests did not come, so the servant was instructed to go out and gather anyone on the streets. The last line in that parable is the warning, For many are invited, but few are chosen. It is obvious then that there is more to the whole thing than just the inviting.

    And then, when someone asks, "Why should I believe in God?" and I attempt to start a conversation, two people come in with the Calvinist bit -- it doesn't matter a bit if you believe or not because if you are chosen you are chosen and if not you are going to hell and there is nothing you can do about it.

    That is a lie. Jesus says today the same as He said then: "Come, ALL ye...."

    FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. FOR GOD DID NOT SEND HIS SON INTO THE WORLD TO CONDEMN THE WORLD, BUT TO SAVE THE WORLD THROUGH HIM. WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM IS NOT CONDEMNED, BUT WHOEVER DOES NOT BELIEVE STANDS CONDEMNED ALREADY BECAUSE HE HAS NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF GOD'S ONE AND ONLY SON.

    "World is mentioned a number of times there, and it is not qualified once by indicating a particular group of predestined people.

    When you put these verses, and hundreds more, alongside the verses the Calvinists like to use to 'prove' their point, it becomes extremely evident that there is a mutuality in the choosing. Just because those clinging to Calvinist dogma cannot understand that is NO reason to deny hope to the unbeliever.

    Yes, I'm angry. How can the kindness of God, expressed through anyone, lead people to repentance if they have been taught that the Bible actually teaches Reformed theology?

    Whereas God is not willing that one should perish, evidently Reformed theologians don't have any trouble with the idea.
     
  2. Bro. Curtis

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    Nice job, Helen. When I saw Connieman's post, it got me all worked up also, but I could not have articulated it as well as you have. My patience (hoping somebody else would say what I was thinking) definately paid off this time. [​IMG]
     
  3. Chris Temple

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    Helen:

    Its a shame that a woman of your obvious intelligence should be so easily ensnared in strawman argumentation and non sequiter. To argue against some perverted form of Calvinism or hyper-Calvinism is no argument at all.

    The true hopelessness is in believing in a god who wants to save but can't; A savior who died to save his people from their sins but didn't; A god who claims to be divine Sovereign but isn't; and a god who is dependent upon the will of sovereign man, sitting in heaven wringing his hands, hoping against hope that some will come to him and be saved, if only they would let him.

    The only hope is in the One True God, who came as Savior to save His people from their sins, who saved them at calvary, who effectually calls them to himself, and who preserves them until the end for they cannot do it themselves. Your non-sovereignty doctrine is in direct opposition to Scripture.

    I'd cite all the Scriptures, but you know them. There is ignorance of truth, and then there is open rejection of it. You are dangling dangerously close to the second.
     
  4. swaimj

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    Chris,
    Come on! Helen has clearly articulated the danger of calvinism as expressed on this board and as she has experinenced it in her own life. Rather than refute her, you threaten her with the possibility of damnation because she disagrees with you. Speak to the issue, please, don't make un-Christian threats!

    [ May 07, 2002, 09:37 AM: Message edited by: swaimj ]
     
  5. Monergist

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    "But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, 'Why have you made me like this?'"
     
  6. Chris Temple

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    This is the true danger: arguing from "experience" rather than Divine Revelation.

    What dangers are there in Calvinism; that God is Sovereign and we are not?? That He who chose to make us may actually have our life in His hands? The danger is plain: Arminianism is a different gospel with a different god. While no one is saved by theology, but by the Savior, arguing against the God of grace is dangerous ground indeed. UnChristian? (and I made no threats, just a warning):

    Luke 12:46-48 (ESV)
    the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. [47] And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. [48] But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

    [ May 07, 2002, 09:47 AM: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    This is disappointing to see this thread. Helen claims that Christ spoke to the whole Calvinism issue in a verse that Calvinists fully believe. I think Christ was speaking about the whole sovereignty issue in John 6 when he said no one can come unless the Father draws him.

    Helen has, both here and in previous threads, defined theology by her experience. Yet we must remember that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. When people don't like the truth about salvation, it is a confirmation of revealed theology, not a contradiction of it.

    I have commented before, I do not see how in the world a belief in the sovereignty of God is hopeless. Why is it that a God who works all things after the counsel of his own will is so distasteful to people? If I live to be 100 years old, I will never understand that.
     
  8. KJV1611only

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    Connieman's post spoke adequatly for Calvinism. And what Helen pointed out definatly goes against what you believe as do score of other scripures. and as a matter of fact a whole book of the Bible goes against what you believe.

    Yeah it would be hopeless if we actually worshiped the God you discribed there. Fourtunatly for us the Lord said:

    Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

    Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

    Ezekiel 33:19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.

    Jeremiah 18:8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

    Jeremiah 26:3 If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.

    Proverbs 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

    Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

    James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

    Thank God he will give us a chance to repent of our evil and give everyman a way to obtain salvation.

    John 3:17 for God sent not his son into the world to condem it but that the world through him MIGHT be saved.

    1 timothy 2:3 For this is GOOD and ACCEPTABLE in the sight of God our Saviour; Who WILL have ALL men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.

    Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

    John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

    Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

    Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    PRAISE BE TO GOD THAT HE IS NOT A CALVINIST!

    1 Chronicles 28:9 .... for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

    Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

    Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
     
  9. Frank

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    Helen:
    Thanks, for the post. I enjoyed the texts posted.
    You are a sincere seeker of truth. This is a good thing. I encourage you to continue your studies.
    Frank
     
  10. Helen

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    Let me see if I have this right, Chris: IF I don't agree with you, THEN I will probably be damned.

    Let me see if I have this right, too: You believed that if God chose me there is nothing I can do about it and if I am not one of the elect there is nothing I can do about that either.

    So it seems to me you are in no position to tell me if I am 'near' to being damned or not! And if I am, there is nothing you or I could do about it anyway! So you are clearly being inconsistent even in warning me. Of what use is the warning? To make you feel better in your own theology?

    In the meantime, in refuting Calvinism, I have done the following:

    1. Showed how it affects other people, and the sense of hopelessness it can engender. If a teaching is known by its fruits, that is something you need to be aware of.

    2. Shown literally dozens of Bible passages (as have others) showing that the TULIP interpretation of the Bible simply does not hold up if Bible is used to interpret Bible.

    3. Shown where my experience AGREES with the Biblical position of choice.

    This is not, contrary to your knee-jerk reaction, basing my theology on experience. Far from it. When Bible and experience disagree, I know my experience was one of a wrong interpretation of the data at the very least. But when my experience agrees with what the Bible says, then I know I am on the right track.

    I am NOT Arminian! That is a total straw man argument. I know for sure salvation cannot be lost. Born again is born again and, as Nicodemus said, a man cannot crawl back into the womb a second time -- either physically or spiritually! I know I am a sheep and I know sheep cannot care for themselves. I know there is nothing I can do to earn, achieve, or keep my salvation. Let's get THAT VERY clear! Do not accuse me of believing otherwise.

    But I can also see where God caused it to be written, over and over again, that man has a say in the matter of his salvation. He can accept the Promise of a Messiah (BC) or Jesus Christ (AD) or reject and depend on himself. That is the story of Christ mourning Jerusalem, of the merchant in the field, of the buyer of pearls. That is the crux of the entire Sermon on the Mount. The call goes ringing through the Bible and through all of life itself, "CHOOSE this day whom you will serve!"

    Being a servant does not mean you constructed the house you serve in! It does not mean you provide your own food, clothes, or even training. It means you agree to serve and then you learn to follow directions and serve.

    You said I was arguing against a perverted form of Calvinism. In what way? The logical conclusion to the Reformed theological argument is exactly as connieman posted it, even if he was mocking it. What did he say that was essentially wrong? You may not like the way he said it, but what he was talking about was very clear -- the Calvinist position.

    Nor is what I am talking about the 'non-sovereignty' of God. If anything is a strawman argument, that is it. The problem is that your definition of sovereignty has to be something you understand. That is trying to cram the real sovereignty of God into the box of your imagination and that simply won't work.

    God is MORE sovereign than Calvinists give Him credit for. He is sovereign enough to have chosen to do exactly what He wanted to do: allow men to choose to accept or reject Him. He knew all along what each person would do, but that did not contradict their freedom of choice. Now THAT is sovereignty; THAT is omnipotence. But in making the way clear for everyone, whether they chose that way or not, that is also compassion, justice, fairness. These are also qualities of His.

    It is His KINDNESS that leads people to repentance.

    He prepared the way, He prepared the gifts, He did everything...

    but people still have to do their own walking. He gave the legs, the muscles, the ability to walk.

    But people have to do their own walking.

    He set up the destination, will give the new heart, will provide the help and direction.

    But people still have to do their own walking.

    And they can refuse.

    Anecdote here, to provide a bit of a picture. Most people here know I have a profoundly retarded son (who, by the way, is firmly with God spiritually regardless of the fact that he does not have the ability to conceptualize enough to 'accept Jesus' into his life!) who is seventeen years old and taller than I am now. I used to try to take Christopher with me into the grocery store and let him help push the cart. I can't do even that now because when he gets tired of that, he sits down. Just sits. In the middle of an aisle. A big seventeen-year-old body sitting there. And should he not choose to be moved, I can't move him!

    And there are those who just sit where God is concerned. They don't want to move. They don't want to follow.

    What you are saying is that if God has chosen that person anyway, He will move the person. Granted He can do that. Unlike me, He is strong enough for any of us!

    But like the little boy who was ordered several times to sit, and finally sat with a scowl declaring that he was still standing in his heart, God forcibly moving a person against the person's will is not glory to God! Glory to God is the person who follows with his whole heart, through hard times and stony places, falling, getting bruised and thorns and exhausted, but following still, with his eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. THAT brings glory to God!

    Like Jesus said to the blind man, "Do you WANT to be healed?"

    Same question to each of us. We cannot heal ourselves, but we can say yes or no to Jesus.

    He's big enough for that.

    He is sovereign enough to accomodate any choice we make. And that's a lot more sovereign than the Calvinists will admit Him as being.
     
  11. Chet

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    Helen Has done an excellent job here and in all her post showing the fruit of what five point Calvinism is. Helen, I applaud your efforts and your time being willing to take some heat.

    Chris Temple you said:
    Chris, I feel the same way but about you and others. I read from your own words and by many other Calvinist what you believe and I shake my head just bewildered. The concept of Christ calling everyone is so overwhelming throughout the Scripture its unbelievable that an entire doctrine such as Calvinism can be made. And I must say this Chris, it is the same exact argument every single time, that is, when a non-Calvinist such as Helen reveals Calvinism then we are somehow misrepresenting Calvinism! We are somehow not able to fully able to grasp such a difficult theological doctrine, that we are constantly being accused of not fully understanding it. But the first person who claims the title of Calvinist, they are somehow an expert theologian having all the answers. I don’t believe there is a perverted form of Calvinism, but Calvinism is perverted.

    Calvinism presents a God who maybe wants to save but don’t A savior who died for only a selected people because He was able to save all but didn’t A God who claims to be divine and Sovereign and Love but condemns people to hell because he wouldn’t provide salivation to them even though he could have. All because of His glory?

    Pastor Larry said
    I am disappointed also, but in you and your misunderstanding of the plain teaching of Scripture. I don’t think Helen claims that those passages speaks to the whole of Calvinism but to Calvinism. I can hardly read a chapter in the Gospels or Epistles and not see refutation of Calvinism. Especially in John 6, of which you are grossly taking out of context and making it say what it does not say. I wrote on this chapter in the other thread and did not get a response.

    That statement has changed the way I will ever read any of your post again. Pastor Larry, what are you saying again? Are you claiming a non-Calvinist is not really Christian and is indeed perishing? You have made similar statements before.

    KJV1611only It is amazing to me how a person can build a doctrine on such a few passages of Scripture that are miss-understood and yet ignore the vast amount of Scripture you have posted. Thanks for putting them before us brother.

    [ May 07, 2002, 01:49 PM: Message edited by: Chet ]
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    May I quote from Helen: Jesus spoke directly in opposition to the entire Calvinistic scheme when He said. So you see that my comments were based directly on hers. I think she has read these passages in isolation from the rest of Scripture. I can explain those passages in light of what the rest of Scripture says. She, like many others here, cannot and will not explain the passages that refute them (for obvious reasons). You say you can hardly read a chapter and not see a refutation of Calvinism. In my reading of Scripture, I cannot see a refutation of Calvinism anywhere. This morning, reading in Ezekiel, I see a clear testimony to the sovereignty of God without which his sovereign control over all things cannot bring to pass his promises. I realize that you, Helen, Ray, and others are comfortable in your belief. I challenge your belief on the basis of the teaching of Scripture regarding the sovereign control of God over all things including salvation.

    You speak of John 6 and say that I have taken it out of context. Yet when we look at the context, we very clearly see Jesus referring to eternal life and the necessity of individuals (not groups) to come to him in order to get eternal life. In the immediate context of vv. 64-65, Christ has just said that the flesh profits nothing, it is the words that bring life. Then he says, “There are some who will not believe. For this reason I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father." (I purposely omitted John’s narrative insertion to show the flow of thought.) Yet we must ask ourselves the question, How did Jesus know that there were some who would not believe? Because no one can come unless it was granted to him by the Father. Then we think of Jesus previous words, the all that the Father gives to him will come to him (v. 37 where the same word is used). Chet, I do not see how you get around this. I have not seen you address this anywhere. This is a serious conundrum in which you, Helen, and other find yourselves. If you are right, then why did Jesus say that no one can come unless given and all that are given will come.

    It is interesting that the next verse tells us that some people found this doctrine too hard to swallow and thus walked away from following Jesus. This is exactly the experience that Helen talks about that she has had. She says she has seen people who cannot grasp a salvation of this sort. The problem she faced is the same problem Jesus faced. And we note that Jesus did not run out to change his teaching on the matter. He let it stand and asked his disciples if they too would abandon him because of this hard teaching.

    That is disappointing Chet. What I am referring to is Helen’s statements here and other places where she claims that this teaching about grace in salvation drives people away from salvation. My response is that the world does not understand it; it is foolishness to them. As for what that says about non-Calvinists, each will have to determine for himself. I think a non-Calvinist can be saved but it is in spite of his doctrine and not because of it.

    I have not seen one verse of Scripture that contradicts anything I have said. These verses offering and promising salvation for those who will come are certainly true. If I make the offer to you that if you get here by 6:00 this evening, I will take you to dinner, it is a real offer. However, you won’t come. You can’t get here by 6:00. That does not change the validity of the offer. Now of course, that is a human analogy which all have their flaws but it goes to show the reality of Christ’s offer to mankind. All who will come will have rest. People are not kept away from God by an unloving, autocratic God (as Ray would say). They are kept away by their own free will doing exactly what they want to do.
     
  13. Kiffin

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    It's amazing to me that all the scriptures put out to refute Calvinism only helps validate it. [​IMG] The only argument I see is some twisted hardshell or hyper calvinist statement that is used as a strawman argument. :(

    Non Calvinist theology actually is hopeless. Jesus just made salvation a possibilty for all people but actually secured none on the cross. In that sense Non Calvinists teach a extreme form of Limited atonement. Jesus predestines to be saved only those he knows will accept Him which teaches salvation by human merits rather than grace or the more extreme form is that Jesus is the elected one and by accepting him we become elected which has as much Biblical authority as baptismal regeneration. :rolleyes: :eek:
     
  14. Chris Temple

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    All I can say Chet is that this is so disappointing. The whole a priori assumption of anti-Calvinism is rooted in a man-centered theology and system of belief which says how God should be and act. The Scripture is clear as to who is sovereign, and all of that evidence is presuppositionally overlooked because people do not believe that man is actually incapable of moving toward God, that he actually hates God in his unregenerate state, and he wishes to be left to his own sinful state and damnation.

    If the argument appears “the same exact argument every single time ... then we are somehow misrepresenting Calvinism” it is because it's true. I and Larry and others have posted biblical soteriology until we’re blue in the face, but it is rejected and misrepresented. So be it. God is the God who opens eyes and hearts, and until he does, you will not understand it.
    Chet, that is what I’m talking about. Misrepresentation in ignorance (hopefully). If not, it is a purposeful falsehood your part. Christ wants to save but doesn’t?

    Matthew 1:21 (ESV)
    She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

    Col. 2:13-14 (ESV)
    And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, [14] by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

    Ephes. 5:25 (ESV)
    Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

    Again, either misrepresentation – or intended falsehood. Man is condemned by God for their sins.

    Psalm 1:1-6 (ESV)
    BookOne
    Blessed is the manwho walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
    nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
    [2] but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
    [3] He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
    that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
    In all that he does, he prospers.
    [4] The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
    [5] Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
    [6] for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.


    Romans 2:8-9 (ESV)
    but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. [9] There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,

    Romans 2:12 (ESV)
    For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.

    Yes, all because of HIS glory, not man’s comfort.

    Isaiah 43:5-7 (ESV)
    Fear not, for I am with you;
    I will bring your offspring from the east,
    and from the west I will gather you.
    [6] I will say to the north, Give up,
    and to the south, Do not withhold;
    bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the end of the earth,
    [7] everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made."

    Isaiah 48:8-11 (ESV)
    You have never heard, you have never known,
    from of old your ear has not been opened.
    For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,
    and that from before birth you were called a rebel.
    [9] "For my name's sake I defer my anger,
    for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
    that I may not cut you off.
    [10] Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
    I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
    [11] For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
    for how should my name be profaned?
    My glory I will not give to another.

    [ May 07, 2002, 03:08 PM: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher
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    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

    Jesus was talking to "all ye that labour and are heavy laden." He was talking to them and them alone.

    If you take all the Scriptures and put them together, it is amazing what you will find.

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (Matthew 7:7)

    There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (Romans 3:11)

    Jesus did die for the world; people out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation.

    And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (Revelation 5:9)
     
  16. JAMES2

    JAMES2
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    Chris Temple, and Pastor Larry;
    I agree with you totally. Great job!!
    James2
     
  17. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Chris Temple,

    Blaming God for damning the majority, through His unconditional, authocratic election is perhaps the worse accusation that one can attribute to Almighty God. His death according to this view, accomplished very little, because only ' . . . the few . . . find it.' [Matthew 7:14].

    Our view is that we should ' . . . lift up our eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.' [John 4:35] Our view is that we don't have to search for the {white} of an almost unseeable, future elect, but rather Christ has summoned all to receive His grace. [I Tim. 2:4 & 6] Those who believe in Him, [John 3:16] He has already elected before the foundation of the world. [Eph. 1:4] God is not surprised with how many elect are coming into the Kingdom, or what that final number of them will be.

    Regards,

    Dr. Berrian
     
  18. Daniel David

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    To all non-Sovereigntists, how is it that God is demonstrating His love to the native that never hears the gospel? He can't be saved apart from the gospel. So I guess God is impotent throughout all centuries just hoping that a missionary will go and represent Him.

    Ray, explain how God is showing grace to that poor native?

    I don't think so. That native that never believes is just like every other person who never believes. God didn't choose them and they don't want to believe.

    People are not seeking God and then being turned down. People are running from God. It is God who is the seeker in the salvation process.

    II Thessalonians 2:13
     
  19. Chet

    Chet
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    Pastor Larry said:
    It is here where we have a problem don't we. How can two people who are Christian's, who does have the illumination of the Holy Spirit arive at two totally different understandings of Scripture? And what is serious Pastor Larry is that you think my view is a distortion of God's grace, where I believe it exemplifies it along with His abounding mercy. Yet I believe your view is in opposition to God's mercy, grace and love and has a devastating impact on his true justice. One of us is reading the Bible with a pair of theological presumptuous glasses. This is why this issue is vital. I believe that God's grace is free for all, you believe God's grace is limited. Therefore when I witness to people and tell them of God's love, mercy and forgiveness I can say that with complete assurance that this person could come to Christ. You must say it wondering if they are elect. If they are not the elect then are in essence deceiving them? You claim to have a zeal for evangelism, yet claim to walk away thinking God has either elected or not. And bottom line, regardless of all that could be said, Calvinism's evangelistic endeavors result eventually with no need for evangelism.

    I agree that God is sovereign. I disagree that He has to dictate all things in order to be sovereign. That really takes away from God's sovereignty. God is in control, He does not have to "U.L.I" us into Salvation in order to be all powerful. He, as God, can determine to give us a free choice to come to Him, and even know what our choice will be. I don't see the problem here. It is you who is attributing things to God that the Bible does not declare to be so.

    About John 6, here is where I commented. Various Passages

    The this is referring to Calvinism view of grace and she is right. That view drives people away and I can only pray that it drives people away from this theology and not from the Bible. Imagine, Jesus in plain words using Calvinistic terms, saying to people,

    "Believe on me for Salvation! Truly I say to you that you simply can't believe. Its impossible to do so unless your part of an elect group that we chose before the world began. Now of course the Father must give you an irresistible grace in order to be saved. And if you don't believe, which you can't anyway, then you will be going to hell and it will be your fault because we simply passed over you in our election process because we knew you wanted to live a sinful life. No provision for you because I only died for the elect."

    If this sound horrible then it should. This is not the Jesus I read in the Bible. I don't believe for a second that the non-Calvinist on this board believes in a lesser graceful God. You on the other hand have limited that grace.

    I agree with you that most analogies are flawless. And I certainly am not faulting you from using them as I do so all the time. But let me continue your analogy if I may. We agree in the invitation. But your call is not really genuine is it? It can't be. For all I know your laughing somewhere knowing how there no way I could hop a plane and get there for dinner. It would take all day to even board the plane. Yet you can fall back on the fact that you offered! And it is somehow my fault I can't come! And to go a bit further. If you were so powerful that you could offer me this dinner, then you could make a few calls and have a limo take me to a private jet so that I could be there on time no problem at all then that would be genuine! If I declined then it would be my fault. You are presenting this all mighty powerful sovereign God who you say is powerful enough to save all, yet will not. This God is deceiving people. That is not the God of the Bible. God desires for all to be saved, its in His will, He makes provision for that and makes it available for anyone.

    Chris You said:
    Chris, my friend, it is you who is teaching us how God should act. We are declaring how man should respond. You are the one who is putting the limits on God. He offers limited atonement for a limited (few) people because He only chose a limited amount, when he didn't give us but one limited choice, to stay in unbelief. (which is not a choice!)

    That is correct, I do not believe man is incapable of responding to the Gospel that is powerful to bring us to Salvation. I believe man can and does respond to God's call in a positive way. I believe that the Bible says that His Word is alive and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword and is a discerner of the thought of the heart. I believe that applied to anyone, not just a elected people. I believe that God offered Salvation to all, but not all do respond. I believe the Bible has a great deal to say about our natural state, it is capable of a lot of wicked things. But it does not speak of inability. No it does not.

    Chris Matthew 1:21 is speaking of Israel not some elected for Salvation. Col 2:13-14 does teach us we are dead. You define dead differently than I do. Physically dead cannot be equated with spiritually dead people. In that case we would not be able to sin, because we are dead. We could do nothing moral or non moral we are dead. Spiritual death is not the same as physical death. And yes, part of the gospel is that Christ gives us life. Eternal life.

    You quote Isaiah 43:5-7 and Isaiah 48:8-11 yet I can see nothing in these passages declaring God's glory in allowing multitudes go to Hell (that was made for Satan). Show me a passage that say's God will get glory out of sending people to Hell because He did not chose them.

    Christopher So only the elect are those who labour and are heavy laden? Non elect don't have a difficult yoke?

    Could you reconcile please the following passages please?
    Acts 15:15-18
    15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
    16 "'After this I will return
    and rebuild David's fallen tent.
    Its ruins I will rebuild,
    and I will restore it,
    17 that the remnant of men may seek the Lord,
    and all the Gentiles who bear my name,
    says the Lord, who does these things'
    18 that have been known for ages.
    NIV

    Acts 17:26-28
    26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
    NIV

    Rom 2:6-9
    6 God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
    NIV

    Heb 11:5-6
    6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
    NIV

    [ May 07, 2002, 05:48 PM: Message edited by: Chet ]
     
  20. DocCas

    DocCas
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    Personally, I believe this argument is a waste of time. The participants on both sides are entrenched, committed past the point of reason, and are determined to stay the course, whether or not it's good or true to do so.

    The "Calvinists" are accused of believing in a mean spirited God who condemns people to hell on mere whimsy, and the "non-Calvinists" are accused of denying the Sovereignty of God.

    What both sides need to acknowledge is that both sides are based on the philosophy of men. All of men's philosophical reasonings are doomed to fail in some area for man's intellect is fallen. There are elements of strict Calvinism which cannot be explained without causing problems with first cause and double predestination, and there are problems with the free will position in the area of man's involvement in his own salvation.

    What we must come to understand is that God is sovereign in all things, and man must come to Christ for salvation. However, we cannot understand the mind of God, nor can we understand the depths of our own sinfull condition. Man can not, and will not, come to Christ unless the Father draws him. We don't know why the Father draws some and not others, if He, in fact, does not. It is our duty to love the Lord, our fellow men, the brethren, and preach the gospel. The rest is in God's hands. Instead of calling each other names, why not just admit we don't know as much as we think we do, and get on with loving the Lord, our fellow men, especially the brethren, preach the gospel and let God save souls in whatever way He pleases.
     

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