What We Believe...Are You Listening?!?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Rev. G, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    Historic orthodox Protestants believe that human beings are in bondage to sin. The most classic work on this belief is undoubtedly Martin Luther's BONDAGE OF THE WILL.

    Human beings are born into this bondage, and they also willingly choose to remain in this bondage because they love sin and hate Jesus (see Jn. 3:19-20).

    Human beings remain in this bondage unless they are set free by the power of the Holy Spirit, who uses His Word to do the work. Once liberated, an individual sees the beauty and sweetness of Christ and freely chooses Him.

    A believer is in the state of Adam prior to the Fall - able to sin or able not to sin (in the classic Augustinian formula).

    Unbelievers, while they remain in bondage, are free to make whatever choices they desire. The problem is their DESIRE. They do not love the Light, because their deeds are evil, and they WILL NOT COME to the Light. This is not the fault of Jesus Christ, this is the fault of the rebels. Nonetheless, unbelievers do whatever they want.

    The real contention between us, that is between "Calvinists" and "Arminians", is over the magnitude of sin (total depravity, if you will).

    We believe that Jesus Christ has been sent by the Father because God loved all peoples - those from all tribes, tongues, peoples and nations ("the world"). Jesus who lived perfectly, died on the cross for sinners (see Rev. 5:9), and rose again from the dead. Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now makes intercession for His people - for believers. The Holy Spirit is now applying the work of the Son, convicting the world of sin, righteousness and the judgment, as well as using His Word to bring about the new birth. The Holy Spirit also seals believers.

    God holds all people accountable for their actions, words and thoughts. This is because all individuals are free moral agents.

    Now, you may want to dispute these points, but it is what Reformed folk believe.
     
  2. Helen

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    You know something? If God had wanted Martin Luther's or Augustine's material in the Bible, it would be there. But it isn't. So appealing to either of them or anyone else is simply trumped by Bible.

    In the meantime, free moral agents?

    "Yes, you may choose any sin you want. You are a free moral agent. You may not choose Christ, however, you are only free to choose sin. You may not choose salvation."

    This is a free moral agent? give me a break!
     
  3. Bible-belted

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    Talk about missing the point!

    Rev. G was not sying we follow Luther's writings rather than the Bible. He is saying that historically protestants have accepted Luther's work on the bondage of the will as being an accurate summary of biblical teaching.

    And yes, free moral agents. To say that there is a context within which freedom can be exercise id something that Arminians accept as well.

    So you can say you disagree with the limits that have historically been acepted on human freedom to choose, but you cannot deny that there are limits.
     
  4. ForumChaplain

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    Rev. G., please remember that I did graduate from elementary school. Now; with that in mind. Let's see if you have presented us with a coherent, logical belief system...

    Human beings are born in bondage, bondage implies that one has been overpowered in whatever area that their lives are in bondage. Human beings willingly chose this bondage. My question is, what good would it do them to choose otherwise. Now check this out... They are in bondage.

    The will is in bondage, they were born that way. You could not escape it, God had to overpower your will in order for you to escape. You were not punished, how can they be justly punished.

    Again in order to establish your theology, normal and accepted truths are thrown into the trash.

    Simple truths.. A will that is in bondage is not free to choose. Bondage can only be effected by a power that is greater than the power of that which is in bondage. Bondage implies a desire to escape. Yet you say that these fellows are having the time of their lives. THAT IS NOT INDICATIVE OF BONDAGE.

    Words have meaning reg. G. That meaning does not change because you are a Calvinist. Once liberated by a power that is greater than what is holding us in bondage, now we are free to choose.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Not a logical and coherent belief system rev. G...

    Yes, God loves all peoples, we say that people end up in hell because they reject God's provisions for salvation. In your theology, God filled his quota before he got to them..

    Rev. G., this is a very sad attempt to describe a belief system. All men are free moral agents. One side of the mouth.. All men are born with their will in bondage. The other side of the mouth. Rev. honestly, please. You have to do better than this.

    Everything that you have posted says, I do not understand anything that I have posted.....

    It is so confusing and incoherent that it needs no refutation.... Just prayer...

    [ October 28, 2002, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: Chappie ]
     
  5. Pete Richert

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    Here is a question. If free moral agency is being able to choose anything, including Jesus, then does Satan have the ability to repent of his sins and love the Lord once more. Regardless of whether God would forgive him, does Satan have this ability. And if so, are your praying that he does? And if you do believe he can and are not praying for it, why not?
     
  6. npetreley

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    I strongly recommend Bondage of the Will. For those who haven't read it, it's actually a lengthy response to an essay on free will written by Erasmus. The sarcasm in Luther's response is priceless.
     
  7. ForumChaplain

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    If Christ's death on the cross covered angels, then the answer is yes, if not; then no. We come with the will to repent, Christ supplies the ability. Yet even the will is in total rebellion without the persuasions and callings of The Holy Spirit.

    Satan is in as much trouble as Calvins so called non elect. Yet should God determin to use irresistible grace on that buggar, he would repent in a blink of the eye... Well, at least; God would be repenting him...

    [ October 28, 2002, 06:49 PM: Message edited by: Chappie ]
     
  8. Frogman

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    As simply put as possible, the idea of the free will of man being what causes one (anyone) to choose Christ is ludicrous. It denies the need for the regeneration of that will, and simply, when this need is denied, there is no need of the garment of righteousness, for we are thus able to stand before God in our own righteousness.

    It is because of the knowledge of good and evil which man fell; the "free" moral agency of man came into bondage to the sin nature man took upon himself.

    Somewhere, I believe in the book of Job, it is said, "I came to bring back what I did not take away." Is this the first Adam, the second Adam, or is it myself speaking?

    To expound a gospel of free willism is to teach men we are able to bring back what? That we did not take away? Hardly, for it is our race who fell in the first Adam, was Adam able to provide a covering of his nakedness and that of his wife, yeah, one of works of man, which he sewed together, the seams providing places of weakness, rendering them inadequate before the searching God, (remember, though Adam had sown together fig leaves and covered himself and Eve, they still hid themselves from the voice of God) why, because of their nakedness and inability to cover this nakedness.

    It is God and God alone who provides this covering, it is providing in Christ Jesus and Him alone and it is provided to those whom the Father have given to Him, who in due time come to Him.

    Apart from this anything else is works, or mixture of works and Scripture simply nowhere will support any system of works, no matter how we try to stretch it.

    If we do not rest in Christ, there is not rest provided. Like it or not, when we stand before the Judgement of God, were it declared I had never truly received this garment of righteousness, my wife (assuming hers is a true work) would necessararily proclaim Amen upon my condemnation, why, because she had no feeling for me? No, Because the Judgement of God is righteousness and He is worthy of all honor and Glory.

    When we teach such things as man may choose, then we begin down a road of error and confusion.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  9. ForumChaplain

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    "Ludicrous". This isn't Mike Tyson is it?? We catagorically deny anything that is irresistible in bringing man to a saving knowledge of his grace..

    We deny it, it is ludicrous....
     
  10. Pete Richert

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    I think if I understand you then, we both admit that the Holy Spirit must "regenerate" or do something in order for us to have a "will to repent". The difference would be that you would say the Holy Spirit has done this for everyone while the calvinist would say that he does it only for those God chooses and that all of those who God chooses will come to Jesus. And this is the difference between man and satan, in that all man have been "regenerated" or what not while Satan has not so Satan will not ever have the will to repent (regarless of whether God would resond). If it were possible for Satan to repent, even if he is destined for Hell no matter what, I would still pray for it, for he would do a whole lot less damage to my believing and unbelieving friends and family alike.
     
  11. KenH

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    I say it is the power of God. Plus you can see whose side you are on in calling the power of God ludicrous. And it is sad for a Christian to be on the wrong side of a precious Biblical doctrine, Chappie, very sad. :(

    (1 Cor 1:18 NKJV) For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite [​IMG]

    [ October 28, 2002, 07:20 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  12. Rev. G

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    For someone who likes to talk a lot about 'The Two Babylons' by Hislop (sp?) and the works of Dave Hunt, this is a poor statement. I bring up Luther because his work summarizes the biblical doctrine of depravity.

    Helen, you did not get this quote from my post - here or elsewhere.

    Rev. G
     
  13. Helen

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    For someone who likes to talk a lot about 'The Two Babylons' by Hislop (sp?) and the works of Dave Hunt, this is a poor statement. I bring up Luther because his work summarizes the biblical doctrine of depravity. </font>[/QUOTE]Sir, both Hunt and Hislop reference their works extensively as both are presenting historical as well as biblical material. Luther and Augustine went soley on their own logic as taken from Scripture. The Scripture part is fine, but human logic is quite prone to error. Augustine was the one who said that since God is everywhere that He must be in hell, too. Luther was the one who agreed that Jews should be persecuted and that one could be regenerated via baptism. I prefer referencing where scholarly work is concerned and basic Bible if that is what is being talked about.

    Helen, you did not get this quote from my post - here or elsewhere. </font>[/QUOTE]Oh, then the unregenerate are all quite free to choose Christ, right? That's a switch for you!

    In a forum above, I just did a line by line of part of Romans 7. Here it is:

    ================

    there are some things to notice about Romans 7, I think.

    Regardless of how you view it, verses 7-11 are describing death due to sin -- spiritual death, or separation from God.

    v. 9 "...I died"
    v. 10 "the...commandment....brought death."
    v. 11 "...sin...put me to death"
    v. 13 "...become death to me...produced death in me..."

    At this point v. 14 states, "...but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin."

    cross reference that to ch. 6, v.6 where Paul, speaking to the redeemed says of them that "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin."

    A person who is a slave to sin is not regenerate by Paul's definition. Therefore in Romans 7:14, Paul is speaking of himself as he was in his unregenerate state, sold as a slave to sin.

    It is of this person he says, "For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."

    In other words, this person wants to do something other than what his sin nature is dictating he is doing. I do think this flies in the face of Calvinism.

    A further indication of the fact that this person is unregenerate is in the next verse: "And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good."

    This person is still under the law.

    Then there is verse 17 -- a rather remarkable claim: "As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me."

    He has separated HIMSELF, who he is, from the sin he is a slave to. This is not at all what Reformed theology teaches.

    Verse 18 adds a little fuel to this fire: "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out."

    This person obviously has a will apart from his sin nature!

    More indication this is an unregenerate person? Next verse: "For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do -- this I keep on doing."

    Now we know that the redeemed do sin. But would a redeemed person EVER make that statement? -- that the evil he does not want to do he doesn't just occasionally slip into, but he KEEPS ON DOING? That is not a redeemed person, who is not a slave to sin, but is rather a slave to righteousness.

    In verse 20, Paul then makes this statement:
    "Now, if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

    He is, indeed, a slave to sin. And an unwilling one at that!

    He continues a little more until, near the end of chapter 7, there is that heart-rending cry, "Who will rescue me from this body of death?"

    and the only possible answer is the precise one he gives: "Thanks be to God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

    The last sentence in that chapter reiterates that he is speaking of the unredeemed, or unregenerate soul, when he states that his mind is a slave to God's law and his nature a slave to sin.

    To me, this chapter, more clearly than any other section of the Bible, describes the battle in the heart of the unregenerate. Far from being, as the Calvinists claim, incapable of even wanting good, this person wants it and is totally frustrated in his attempts to achieve it. He is truly a slave to sin and sin will not let him go.

    Given the descriptions Paul uses and the number of times at the start he refers to his own death spiritually, I am amazed that anyone could consider this section of this chapter a description of a regenerate person. A regenerate person is NOT under the law and NOT a slave to sin!
    ============

    In other words, I guess Paul was not a Calvinist. He clearly represents a person who is unregenerate -- a slave to sin -- as wanting something else. Wanting good.

    Every time I turn around, the Bible is contradicting Reformed theology.
     
  14. Bob Krajcik

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    Limited atonement, particular redemption.

    According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

    1) The decree of the Father by which He gave to the Son those whom He elected to salvation in the Son

    2) The decree of the Son to receive those to be redeemed and to assume the human nature to accomplish their redemption. Christ died for the sheep.

    3) The decree of the Spirit to accomplish in them by regenerative activity the total ends of the decree.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Rev. G

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    Chappie:
    I'm glad that you graduated from elementary school, and I trust that you went past elementary school because you are a smart chap. Because of that I trust that you will make comments that are not just merely "smart alecky," but intelligent.

    How have I thrown "normal and accepted truths into the trash"? Of which "normal and accepted truths" do you speak? If you are speaking of "Arminianism," then those are doctrines which were not "normal and accepted truths" in Church History. Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism have been condemned by more church councils than any other system of belief through the ages.

    Not so. Does a man in prison make choices? Yes he does, everyday. Bondage does not necessarily imply a desire to escape. People can, and do, grow very comfortable in their "cells."

    No kidding, Chappie.

    From YOUR perspective, no it isn't, because you still haven't come to the point of accepting that Scripture teaches both divine sovereignty and human responsibility.

    No, actually, my theology is the same as yours on this point. God is not at fault. People end up in Hell because they are sinners who deserve judgment, and they have rejected either Christ or the revelation that God has given them (Rom. 1).

    I don't doubt that it may very well be a sad attempt, but again, the problem you are having is that you don't see that the Scriptures teach both divine sovereignty AND human responsibility. I suppose I'm sad, just like poor ol' Mr. Spurgeon (and hosts of others) who have believed the same thing. That's alright with me - I'm in good company with tons of soul winning evangelists and missionaries and godly pastors. :D

    I was actually praying for you this morning, Chappie, that God would help you to understand. If I'm wrong, may He change my perspective.

    Rev. G
     
  16. Frogman

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    "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."

    God Bless you bro. Chappie in your life, walk and service to Him.

    Bro. Dallas (Eaton)
     
  17. KenH

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    1) You say that because you agree with Hunt, et al. Dave Hunt's Anti-Calvinism book is a disgrace to the idea of Biblical scholarship. He outright lied about Spurgeon's view on Jesus' atonement and even after it has been clearly proven to him he still won't admit it. Dave Hunt is not fit to even carry Charles Spurgeon's shoes. And his outright vicious slander of John Calvin, a fellow believer, is a disgrace to anyone who claims to be a Christian of any stripe.

    2) Romans chapter 7, as you know Helen, has been subject to several competing interpretations as any thorough commentary on Romans would explain. As I would expect, you prefer the one that fits in with your desire to defend your own position, as I would prefer the one that defends what I believe to be Biblical truth, as another person would choose the one that fits their position. Perhaps you should try to make your points with texts without so many disputed intrepretations.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite [​IMG]

    [ October 28, 2002, 08:46 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  18. Rev. G

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    Ma'am, neither Hislop nor Hunt is a scholar - this is particularly true of Hunt who went so far as to fallaciously state that John Newton and John Bunyan were not "Calvinists" but "Arminians." Of course, he has said a lot of other things which are untrue.

    Augustine and Luther and Hislop and Hunt are all human, sinful writers who have flaws in their writings (some with many more than others), but Augustine and Luther are considered giants in the Christian faith. Hislop and Hunt are not.

    As far as Augustine using "logic" over Scripture...Well, perhaps you are the one who is taking YOUR logic over Scripture.

    Psalm 139:7-8 - "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Hell, behold, You are there."

    Your study of Romans 7 has been dealt with elsewhere, so there is really no point in dealing with it here.

    Helen, again, what you quoted above was not MY post. The unregenerate are free to choose what they want, the problem is that they hate Christ. They freely reject Him. They freely hate Him.

    As I stated on the first post, this is the issue that divides us - the magnitude of sin.

    We have claimed that the unregenerate are haters of God and cannot please God. We do so because the Scriptures declare this.

    Rom. 1:30 - "...haters of God..."

    Rom. 8:7-9 - Because the carnal mind is enmity against God...So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of God, he is not His.

    Jn. 3:20 - And everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light...
    [John's context: Christ is the "light" - Jn. 1]

    We maintain that it is impossible for the unregenerate to understand the things of God. We believe this because the Scriptures teach it.

    1 Cor. 1:18 - For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing...

    1 Cor. 2:14 - But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Just with those two things, hating God and being unable to comprehend the things of God, please tell me how a lost person comes to love God and understand what He has revealed.

    Rev. G

    Rev. G
     
  19. ForumChaplain

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    I say it is the power of God. Plus you can see whose side you are on in calling the power of God ludicrous. And it is sad for a Christian to be on the wrong side of a precious Biblical doctrine, Chappie, very sad. :(

    (1 Cor 1:18 NKJV) For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Cheer up Ken. Your efforts to frighten me are ludicrous also. Considering on whose side one is on. You do not see Spurgie listed as my claim to fame.

    If I am not a calvinist, i'm not on the lords side. Claims like that give calvinism a bad name. Make that badder... You do need help, i'll pray for you...

    If this is how you defend your faith, you and your faith have my sympaties.
     
  20. shilo

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    Bob.
    There are a number of problems with trying to use this verse to prove your point.

    First of all the word "ELECTION" isn't in this verse Neither is decree, or "The decree of the Spirit to accomplish in them by regenerative activity the total ends of the decree."

    and the choosing is said to be "that we should be holy ad without blame"
    Not that we should be "in Christ"

    the proper interpretation can be found by noting the words "ACCORDING AS" at the begining of the verse which connects it to the previous one.

    "Blessed be the God and Father of our lord Jesus Christ, Who Hath blessed us will all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundatuon of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."

    The choosing had nothing to do with Salvation but had to do with our position in Christ. And this can be confirmed by reading on additional verse

    "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ"(eph 2:6)

    Once a man get's in Christ he gets in on the choosing. God chose that whoever was in his son would be "blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places" and holy and without blame before him in love"

    Also grace was not Physically given to any man "before the World began" for the simple reason that Man was not around to give it to.

    "where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare it if thou hast understanding."
     

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