To those who abhor Calvinism

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by npetreley, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    I find it fascinating when someone says they abhor Calvinism specifically because it makes preaching the Gospel of no effect.

    I find this statement terribly ironic, precisely because of the reason why most people I know who came to believe in predestination and election came to it with with difficulty.

    It naturally makes one uncomfortable to think that God selects certain people to grant the faith to be saved and not others, and yet God does not share with us WHY He chooses one over another. So we who believe scripture unmistakably teaches this doctrine must rely on a simple assumption: That whatever scripture teaches must, indeed, be true. And whether or not the truth makes us uncomfortable, we assume that God knows what He's doing, and follow what scripture says no matter how it makes us feel, or whether or not we can make sense of the WHY behind it.

    (I must add that, in the long run, I personally found that I can derive no greater security and satisfaction from knowing God is perfectly sovereign in election, but that is another story.)

    Now, if we trust scriptural truth whether or not it makes us feel this way or that, then what are we to make of the great commission? Shall we ignore it, because we know God can and will save whomever He will, no matter what we do? Of course not! If God commands us to share the Gospel, then share the Gospel we shall! Why? Because no matter what we think about predestination and election, we trust that God knows what He's doing, no matter how it makes us feel or whether or not we understand the WHY behind it. So if He commands us to do this, we shall do this, and if He commands us to do that, we shall do that -- precisely for the same reasons we trust God when He says He elects this person over that person according to His own good pleasure and not according to the will or desire of man.

    Now, as to the Gospel itself.

    What is the Gospel? It is good news.

    From John 6 "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me." [...] Spurgeon says...

    If that's not GOOD news, I don't know what is.

    If you want some BAD news, let me offer some: That people will perish in spite of the fact that God wanted to save them. Why? Because God is not able to save people if someone doesn't reach them with the Gospel. Yet this is what Arminianism teaches, not Calvinism. Arminianism not only places the responsibility on man to decide of his own free will whether or not to accept the Gospel, it places the responsibility on man to share the Gospel, otherwise those who might want to be saved may never have the chance, because someone out there chose not to share it at the opportune moment. Can one think of any worse news than that -- that salvation hinges not only upon man's free will to choose salvation, but man's free will to share or not share the "good news"?

    And yet what does Spurgeon -- who equates election with the Gospel itself -- say at the end of his sermon?

    Once again, now THAT is good news.
     
  2. Skandelon

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    I agree that we shouldn't allow "feelings" determine our doctrine. However, the fact that Calvinistic doctrine does make believers feel uneasy and confused should be a big red flag, especially in light of the fact that the scripture never anticipates nor answers such objectionable feelings about its teaching.
     
  3. BobRyan

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    Calvinism - (at least most of it) is wrong and can not be supported from the Bible.

    However what "is" fascinating is that Calvinism must resort to "preaching Arminian doctrine" when it evangelizes. Why? Because Calvinism can not be "preached" to the lost - it does not call them to Christ.

    Imagine the Calvinist preacher who stands and speaks "The truth" as he really believes it. The message would be...

    "You are not here today because you chose to come here - but rather because God willed you here. Nothing I say, and nothing you choose today will change your destiny. God loves the FEW of Matt 7 and does not care at all for the MANY of Matt 7.

    But let us pause for a moment and see if God might Just-so-happen to decide that some here should become saved tonight. Perhaps this is the moment He will act. Lets sit here and see what happens after that - we all go home".

    Basically you just can't "preach" calvinism as a form of evangelism. It doesn't work.

    But you can preach the Arminian views found in scripture. Calling the lost to choose Christ before it is too late.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. npetreley

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    The fact that Calvinism makes SOME believers uneasy and confused (usually at first, after which they see it as supreme comfort and assurance), can be interpreted in many ways. But it is in no way a "big red flag" because YOU happen to believe scripture doesn't answer questions you think should be answered. Scripture clearly states, unapologetically, that the will and way of God is above man's understanding. The fact that this is true (and so stated in scripture) makes your red flag analogy meaningless.

    Indeed, the true Gospel and role of the Messiah made many/most Jews uneasy (and often still does), and they would claim that scripture never anticipates nor answers such objectionable feelings. So, in order to reconcile their expectations of what the Messiah should be, they simply read into scripture what they want to see. You know, like Arminians do regarding free will.

    I cannot put a smiley on that, because IMO, that is exactly what Arminians do. They hinge their doctrine on words like "whosoever" and "all" in spite of the mountains of scripture that plainly says God elects whomever He pleases, and only those He elects and enables can come to Him.
     
  5. npetreley

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    I have no idea what you're talking about. The Gospel is very simple. We've defined it here a number of ways and times (directly from scripture) in another thread. None of these declarations of the Gospel include the issue of free will. Yet they communicate the Gospel beautifully.

    Here is a beatiful evangelistic declaration of the Gospel from one of the most staunch Calvinists, Spurgeon:

    Where's the free will and Arminianism in that? Nowhere.

    Indeed, Spurgeon took this attitude:

     
  6. Gina B

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    LOL! If one feels uneasy or confused about a doctrine that's a red flag?
    Most of the entire WORLD feels uneasy or confused about Christianity. Red flag?
    Gina
     
  7. Skandelon

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    Gina,

    I didn't say if "one" feels uneasy....

    I said if BELIEVERS feel uneasy or confused then there should be a red flag.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    Only to some. Most believers never accept these doctrines as truth, much less "comforting or assuring."

    The ways of God are above our understanding but that in no way proves that His message, spoken in human language is beyond man's understanding.

    Yes, and scripture clearly answers objections Jews would have had. In fact, most of the objections would have had to do with God chosing Gentiles while hardening the Jews, which ironically you Calvinists use to support your dogma against completely different Arminian objections.

    Notice that he is electing and enabling GENTILES to come to him thus causing the chosen people of Isreal to OBJECT. It is in this context that Calvinists pull out their proof texts and interpret them to mean that God elects and enables certain people to the neglect of all others.

    You miss the simple point that Christ did select a few of the Jews to carry the message to the world while hardening the rest. You miss the point that the message was being hidden from the world in parables but was being revealed to the remanant of Israel. This was TEMPORARY while Christ was accomplishing his purpose here on earth. When he was raised up he sent the apostles into all the world and thus draws all men to himself.

    Notice the difference. While on earth he told his apostles to keep quiet. When he asended he told them to go into all the world. There is a before and after. You are taking the before passages and appling them to after. That is your error. Please open your eyes and read the text again with objectiveness and a willingness to learn and I believe you will see it.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    I agree that the Gospel does not preach Calvinism - however that does not stop Calvinists (and by that I mean 4 and 5pt Calvinists) from preaching it.

    In our Arminian evangelistic "appeal" we "Appeal" for the lost to "choose Christ" - we say "Choose you this day whom you will serve" .. we ask them to choose to "COME to Christ all of you who are weary and heavey ladened".

    We appeal to the lost - to accept Christ TODAY - while it is called today - "Seek the Lord WHILE He may be found"...

    You know - Arminianism.

    IN Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. Tangent

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    I often feel uneasy that some people will end up in hell. Does that mean hell doesn't exist? The "uneasiness" argument is possibly the weakest I've ever heard. It may just be that some believers are uneasy simply due to their own lack of understanding.
     
  11. Skandelon

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    Yes, if scripture didn't clearly explain the existance of Hell then I would say it would be a good reason to doubt its existance. My point is that the scripture reflects the reactions of people and addresses the issues and questions they have. I don't believe scripture addresses the objections that believers have in reaction to the Calvinistic dogma.

    BTW, that is not the ONLY reason to reject it, its just the one we are talking about here.
     
  12. npetreley

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    Yet there are people - famous Christians, in fact - who believe there is no hell because it makes them uncomfortable. They manage to interpret it out of scripture because it does not fit their idea of how God should be (that God is so loving that He could not possibly send anyone to hell). One famous Christian psychologist and author comes to mind, but his name escapes me at the moment.

    It is for the same kind of reason I believe Arminians are willing to rewrite scripture in their own heads so as to remove (or rewrite) all the obvious messages of election, sovereignty and predestination with respect to salvation. The concept doesn't fit their image of what their God should be like, so they refuse to face the plain meaning of scripture.

    Yet it is astounding that, having concocted such convoluted explanations to remove election from scripture, these same people will obsess not on plain statements, but on words like "whosoever" and "all" (but only in the passages where "all" supports THEIR view, not in those passages where it would refute it) to "prove" their view.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Npetreley,

    What have we rewritten or removed?

    We believe in election, just not the Calvinistic form of it.

    You seem to enjoy making broad sweeping accusations without any real merit. I can specifically point out where scripture speaks of Hell's existance, now could you point out where scripture clearly teaches men cannot respond in faith to the word of God by which he judges us?
     
  14. Skandelon

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    Or to stay on topic with this particular thread could you show me where the scripture explains or anticipates such uneasiness as is common with your beliefs?
     
  15. npetreley

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    And those who believe there is no literal hell can explain to you why those references are symbolic and mean something other than what you say they mean.

    There are many such scriptures. The very fact that we must receive faith as a gift, and cannot attribute it to ourselves (Ephesians 2:8) tells you that we cannot respond in faith by our own power.
     
  16. Hardsheller

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    The quote npetreley made below is a good one that I have not seen addressed by those who reject Calvinism. Perhaps maybe some of them would care to speak to the point?

     
  17. psr.2

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    Hmm..This thread is on page two and absolutely void of scripture.

    Calvanism is not supprted by scripture but rather refuted.
    Total depravity?
    Proverbs 1:20-24 blows that out of the water.
    20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
    21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
    22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
    23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
    24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
    Why would God call if you were not able to answer? That would be unjust and cruel.
    Matt. 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
    Why ask if you can't get it?
    Matt 15:26-28 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and cast it to dogs.
    27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
    28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
    The promises of God are there for "whosoever will"
     
  18. psr.2

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    Unconditional election?
    Unconditionally anti scriptual;
    II Thes. 2:13 "13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:"
    Salvation is through santification and belief of the truth.

    II Tim. 1:9 "9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,"
     
  19. psr.2

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    Limited atonement?
    Limited knowledge of the bible is what it sounds like to me.
    II Cor. 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

    1Tim 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    Christ is the Saviour of all men specially of those that believe.
    He died for all and will be their Saviour if they will believe.
    The bible is so plain when you come with an honest seeking heart rather than coming to prove your pet doctrine.
    More to com.
     
  20. npetreley

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    psr.2

    I appreciate your wanting to inject scripture into the discussion, but instead of helping it you're derailing it by discussing the points of Calvinism. You can always start a new thread to refute the points of Calvinism.

    I had wanted to hear from those who "abhor Calvinism because it makes it meaningless to spread the Gospel" address what I had written in my opening post.
     

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