Unconditional Election means Unconditional Reprobation

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by JohnB, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. JohnB

    JohnB
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    Here's a story about the meaning of "unconditional:"

    Before any of my children were conceived, I decided that I would love my first child unconditionally. Any subsequent children I would hate, unconditionally.

    I had three children. As they grew, I gave them a rule book. I promised blessings if they loved me and obeyed me, and punishment if they disobeyed me. Only I knew that their compliance was meaningless. I had already determined their fates. However, in the meantime, I provided for all their needs, giving them food, shelter, schooling, etc.

    On my oldest child's 13th birthday, I gave him a million dollars to use as he wished. Not because he behaved any better than his brothers, but because I chose him before he was born. In fact, he had always demonstrated an antipathy toward me. Despite this, my benevolence overwhelmed him and he was grateful.

    My other two children I gave to a pedophile to imprison, abuse and torment. When they protested, I told them that I had made this irrevocable choice before they were born. As they cried out in agony, I reminded them that they had misbehaved quite often and so, really, deserved their fate. "But why did you conceive us then," they cried? "Because this is my good pleasure and it glorifies me" I rebuked them.

    Upon seeing my actions, my neighbors praised me for being so wise, just and loving. Wasn't it wonderful for me to give my oldest child that money? After all, he didn't deserve it. And my other children were fortunate to get what they did before I turned them out. My friends were so pleased, they voted me "Father of the Year."
     
  2. ScottEmerson

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    What a terrible father, you'd be. :(

    [edited to shorten length of quoted post; Let's please remember to refrain from quoting entire posts just to make a short comment on it. Thanks, rlv.]

    [ October 04, 2002, 07:18 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  3. KenH

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    Your premise is totally wrong. People go to hell because of their sin. God didn't make them sin. Going to hell is absolutely conditional.

    If you desire to refute the Biblical doctrine of unconditonal election, you will have to try again. Your present attempt is a total failure.

    Salvation is all of grace, damnation is all of sin.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite [​IMG]
     
  4. Rev. G

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    You would be a terrible father! This very poor analogy shows you to be a terrible theologian.

    Rev. G
     
  5. JohnB

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    Ah, I love an inconsistent Calvinist. Unconditional election but conditional reprobation. Here's what a leading Calvinist says:

    "Predestination is double predestination, or it is not at all. It is impossible to maintain election without maintaining reprobation. You can readily understand that this is in the very nature of the case. It makes no real difference here whether you speak the mild, infralapsarian language of a "leaving" or "passing by" in reprobation, or whether you speak of a positive rejection, election itself implies that there are those who are not included in that divine decree of election, but excluded. In the second place, - and this is important, too - reprobation is also sovereign, not conditional. It does not take place on the basis of foreseen sin and unbelief. It also proceeds from God's eternal good pleasure. Again, whether you speak of an active and positive rejection or merely of a passing by - and we need not quibble about that here - it is sovereign. It takes place according to God's good pleasure, though the decreed damnation is historically realized in the way of man's own unbelief and sin. It is of the utmost importance that this be maintained. You cannot maintain an unconditional election and a conditional reprobation. If the one is sovereign, the other is also sovereign. If the one is conditional, the other is necessarily conditional also." (H.C. Hoeksema)
     
  6. KenH

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    I will assume you have not studied much about Calvinism. There are double predestinationist Calvinists, but the majority are single predestinationists. A further study in historical theology should help get you up to speed on this matter. [​IMG]

    Another error in your thinking is that you are looking for a parallel between salvation and damnation. Since salvation is something that God's action brings about and damnation is something that man's action brings about, they are not parallel.

    "Turn to the ninth chapter of Romans, where we have selected our text, see how careful the Holy Spirit is here, in the 22nd verse. "What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore preparded unto glory." But it does not say anything about fitting men for destruction; they fitted themselves. They did that: God had nothing to do with it. But when men are saved, God fits them for that. All the glory to God in salvation; all the blame to men in damnation.
    If any of you want to know what I preach every day, and any stranger should say, "Give me a summary of his doctrine," say this, "He preaches salvation all of grace, and damnation all of sin. He gives God all the glory for every soul that is saved, but he won't have it that God is to blame for any man that is damned." That teaching I cannot understand. My soul revolts at the idea of a doctrine that lays the blood of man's soul at God's door. I cannot conceive how any human mind, at least any Christian mind, can hold any such blasphemy as that. I delight to preach this blessed truth—salvation of God, from first to last—the Alpha and the Omega; but when I come to preach damnation, I say, damnation of man, not of God; and if you perish, at your own hands must your blood be required. There is another passage. At the last great day, when all the world shall come before Jesus to be judged, have you noticed, when the righteous go on the right side, Jesus says, "Come, ye blessed of my father,"—("of my father," mark,)—"inherit the kingdom prepared"—(mark the next word)—"for you, from before the foundation of the world." What does he say to those on the left? "Depart, ye cursed." He does not say, "ye cursed of my father, but, ye cursed. "And what else does he say?" into everlasting fire, prepared"—(not for you, but)—"for the devil and his angels." Do you see how it is guarded, here is the salvation side of the question. It is all of God. "Come, ye blessed of my father." It is a kingdom prepared for them. There you have election, free grace in all its length and breadth. But, on the other hand, you have nothing said about the father—nothing about that at all. "Depart, ye cursed." Even the flames are said not to be prepared for sinners, but for the devil and his angels. There is no language that I can possibly conceive that could more forcibly express this idea, supposing it to be the mind of the Holy Spirit, that the glory should be to God, and that the blame should be laid at man's door."
    - from Charles Haddon Spurgeon's sermon entitled "Jacob and Esau"

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  7. JohnB

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    If you read the story, you would see that

    1. I unconditionally determined their fate.

    2. And even if I had unconditionally rewarded only my "elect" child, my "reprobate" children still deserve their fate due to their sin and disobedience.

    How does this story not cover both single and double predestination? Either way, would I still not be a "good" father according to Calvin?

    I think Calvinists forget that Hell is not an abstract principle, it is conscious, unending torment at the hands of Satan and his demons.
     
  8. Robert J Hutton

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    Warm Christian greetings!

    I don't want to be rude but I rather think that our brother JohnB is misrepresenting calvinistic theology.

    God does not predestine people to Hell, we all deserve to go there because of our sin. However, God in His mercy predestines a people for Heaven and gives them the gift of faith upon hearing/reading the Gospel (though not always on the first hearing). The elect get mercy, the rest of mankind get justice.

    Look at it this way: the whole of humanity is on a broad way, God reaches down and draws out an elect people, the rest just carry on to their just punishment.

    Look at it another way: if a millionaire went to India, took pity on some of the starving and brought them home, gave them education, etc. would we say he was unfair because he didn't do it for all of them? The millionaire didn't have to do it for any of them, but he chose to. In a similar way God was not under obligation to save any, the fact that he saves the elect is testimony to His goodness.

    I do hope this clarifies things, and makes it a little easier to understand.

    Kind regards,

    Robert J Hutton
     
  9. KenH

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    JohnB wrote: "My other two children I gave to a pedophile to imprison, abuse and torment."

    In your story you make the father active in the children becoming reprobates. That is not found in single predestination.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite [​IMG]

    [ October 04, 2002, 03:08 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  10. JohnB

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    I guess we can all be Calvinists if we get to make up our own definitions. I was born in the U.S. so I must be a Native American, right?

    There has been one post referring to single predestination and another that said God does not predestine any man to hell.

    Well, here's a quote from the premiere apologist for Calvin, R.C. Sproul: "I once heard the case for "single" predestination articulated by a prominent Lutheran theologian in the above manner. He admitted to me that the conclusion of reprobation was logically inescapable, but he refused to draw the inference, holding steadfastly to "single" predestination. Such a notion of predestination is manifest nonsense."

    So, you all need to tighten up your definitions and come to a common agreement.
     
  11. JohnB

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    Ken,

    As I noted before, you are not advocating "single predestination" as commonly understood. You are advocating passive reprobation vs. active reprobation or asymmetrical reprobation.

    This concept is just double talk.
     
  12. Rev. G

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    John:

    Quite frankly, you don't know what you are talking about. Even in the "double predestination" scheme one is sent to Hell - the place of eternal torment and punishment - because of their own willful rebellion.

    Hell is an awful place, and no one who claims the name of Christ can take joyful delight in the punishment of the wicked. Your tone, quite frankly, reverberates with a condescending self-righteousness. I know that I deserve Hell. The reason I'm not getting what I deserve is this - God's grace alone. "I have no other argument, I have no other plea, it is enough that Jesus died and that He died for me." Do you understand that you DESERVE Hell? Do you understand that ALL PEOPLE deserve Hell? If God consigned every one of us to eternal punishment "without a chance," it would be fair. Hell is fair. Salvation is all of grace.

    Rev. G
     
  13. JohnB

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    Rev G.

    I apologize if I came across as condescending. It was not my intention.

    The purpose of my story was to show that a God who predestines (for whatever reason) a man to Hell is not the Biblical God. As Warren Wiersbe points out in his commentary on Romans 9 and Ephesians 1, no where in the Bible is reprobation taught.

    I am merely saying that an inconsistent Calvinist is no Calvinist at all.
     
  14. KenH

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    Really? And your understanding of Calvinism is woeful, to say the least.

    But I'll tell you what. Once all of you non-Calvinists agree on every facet of soteriology then you talk with us Calvinists about our disagreements among ourselves. Deal?

    Remember that this is a Baptist Board. That should be enough to explain to you any lack of agreement among any group posting on this board. :D

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  15. JohnB

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    But I'll tell you what. Once all of you non-Calvinists agree on every facet of soteriology then you talk with us Calvinists about our disagreements among ourselves. Deal? Ken,
    I gotta give you that point. Deal.
     
  16. KenH

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    So you are saying that in order to be a Calvinist one must be a supralapsarian? :confused: So, if we single predestinationists are not Calvinists, what new term do you propose?

    As I have already told you, so I tell you again. There are double predestination Calvinists but most are not. If double predestination Calvinists want to kick we single predestinationists out of their small circle, that is fine with me. But I really doubt they do.

    I'm a Spurgeonite anyway. [​IMG]

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  17. Nimrod

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    Yes, hell is an awful place. I do not take joyful delight in having my loved ones perish and sent to hell. I believe I WILL have joyful delight when I am in heaven with the Lord and as He casts out sin into hell I would be saying "Holy Holy Holy LORD".
     
  18. Ray Berrian

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    Ken Hamilton,

    The Spirit directed inclination and the use of the will leads to salvation by grace. Remaining in a sinful and wilful condition before God through the use of human decision leads to His Divine justice and His decision to place that person in everlasting destruction. {Hell}.
     
  19. KenH

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    I agree, Ray. Or as I have heard it stated - response results in salvation, rejection results in damnation.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite

    [ October 04, 2002, 08:55 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  20. Ray Berrian

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    Someone quoted John Gill, I take it that he is Dr. John Gill, and he said something very close to the idea that God elects His saints autocratically, but ‘merely passes by the rest.' Not matter if God elects the rest to Hell or politely ‘passes by' the rest of the people--they will still be damned. Isn't this a last ditch attempt to tone down the harsh view of Unconditional Election? Any Christian sees the sheer injustice of such a hypothesis.

    I have noticed that Dr. Gill, in the quotes offered on this board, seems to sermonize the issue rather that exegeting, looking at the total context, and or explaining the Greek and Hebrew meaning of various words. This leads to private interpretations. [II Peter 1:20] ‘Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.'

    I must say that this view is no longer a ‘private interpretation' because it has been accepted by pockets of Christianity since Augustine/Calvin and now by torch bearers of Reformation Theology. The question is – is there a difference between Biblical and apostolic Christianity and that of Reformation Theology?
     

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