WHOSOEVER believes

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    I realize that John 3:16 has been overdone here but I had a thought I wanted to throw out for consideration.

    Total Depravity ultimately teaches that only some men are able to believe and yet this verse along with many others that say such things as "anyone who" or "any man" seems to indicate any one could believe. In other words there are no qualification for whosoever.

    If I were to say, "Whoever registers can be a member of the Baptist Board." It would imply that ANY ONE could register, but if I said, "Whoever the moderators have chosen will register and become a member." Then it would imply that only some can register and that they certainly will become members. Its very simple language which is why most people refer to John 3:16 when the first reject to Calvinism's dogma.

    Why did Christ and others make these statements as if ANY one would be able, if indeed most are not?
     
  2. BrotherJoe

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    BROTHER SKAN SAID:I realize that John 3:16 has been overdone here but I had a thought I wanted to throw out for consideration.

    Total Depravity ultimately teaches that only some men are able to believe and yet this verse along with many others that say such things as "anyone who" or "any man" seems to indicate any one could believe. In other words there are no qualification for whosoever.

    If I were to say, "Whoever registers can be a member of the Baptist Board." It would imply that ANY ONE could register, but if I said, "Whoever the moderators have chosen will register and become a member." Then it would imply that only some can register and that they certainly will become members. Its very simple language which is why most people refer to John 3:16 when the first reject to Calvinism's dogma.

    Why did Christ and others make these statements as if ANY one would be able, if indeed most are not?


    MY REPLY (BROTHER JOE): Brother Skandelon, this is part of a response I gave to Brother Ray when we were discussing this same verse....it should answer your question.

    John 3:16 is perhaps one of the most famous verses that Arminians like to use as a proof text to show that one has the ability by his own free will to believe the gospel. However, the verse itself says NOTHING EXPLICITLY regarding human ability. It simply says whoever does A will get B , that is, whoever believes doesnt perish. The verse says nothing regarding:
    1)Who will believe or
    ****2)Who CAN belive.

    Correct?

    The following verses are much more EXPLICIT regarding their commentary on human ability AND how one comes to a knowledge of the gospel. Please review them before commenting to this post:

    "NO MAN CAN COME TO ME, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)


    "neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" (Matthew 11:27)

    "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." (Luke 10:21)

    "flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew
    16:17)

    "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5)

    "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing..." (John 6:63)

    ""So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:8)

    "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7)


    The preaching of the cross to an unregenerated person is foolishness. Morever, only a person that ALREADY the Holy Spirit will receive the gospel. This truth is apparent for Paul stated "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish (the unsaved) foolishness; but unto us which ARE SAVED (present tense) it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18)


    A good rule of Biblical interpretation is always interpret the implicit verses of the Bible in light of the explicit ones we already know. The Bible clearly states that

    1) fleshly human beings "cannot please God (Romans 8:8)". It even goes so far as to say that those we are born spritually NOT " of the WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD (John 1:13)" and that it is " NOT OF HIM THAT WILLETH, nor of him that runneth, BUT OF GOD that sheweth mercy." (Romans 9:16) Therefore, in light of these verses to develop a human ability doctrine from John 3:16 (which can only be done by IMPLICATION only), runs contrary to what the Bible has already EXPLICITLY said regarding human inability to respond elsewhere. This would be and is poor biblical interpretation, nevertheless, most arminians continue to err in this manner to this day.


    Brother Joe
     
  3. Skandelon

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    I would love to refute all your proof texts but I'll save that for another thread. I want to stick with John 3:16 here.

    You seemed to miss my point entirely. I realize and even acknowledge that the verse says "whoever does A gets B."

    Go back to my analogy with the baptist board. "Whoever registers can become a member." What does that imply? It implies that anyone can register. Right?

    It certainly doesn't imply that there are only certain people that the moderators have chosen who will certainly register.

    So John 3:16 DOES imply ability, you just don't want to recongize that.
     
  4. npetreley

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    Preach it, Brother Joe!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. BrotherJoe

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    Brother skan:

    BROTHER SKAN SAID:So John 3:16 DOES imply ability, you just don't want to recongize that


    ME BROTHER JOE: Like I before said, "A good rule of Biblical interpretation is always interpret the implicit verses of the Bible in light of the explicit ones we already know. The Bible clearly states that

    1) fleshly human beings "cannot please God (Romans 8:8)". It even goes so far as to say that those we are born spritually NOT " of the WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD (John 1:13)" and that it is " NOT OF HIM THAT WILLETH, nor of him that runneth, BUT OF GOD that sheweth mercy." (Romans 9:16) Therefore, in light of these verses to develop a human ability doctrine from John 3:16 (which can only be done by IMPLICATION only), runs contrary to what the Bible has already EXPLICITLY said regarding human inability to respond elsewhere. This would be and is poor biblical interpretation, nevertheless, most arminians continue to err in this manner to this day.


    Brother Joe
     
  6. Skandelon

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    Joe,

    You just can't deal with John 3:16 can you? I know you want to move to other texts and if you read through my posts you will see that I deal with every single one of these verses you have brought up, but that is not what this thread is about. If you don't want to deal with John 3:16's implications, post it somewhere else.

    BTW, I agree that we need to use scripture to interpret scripture, but even so we still must explain the text before we move on to others.

    If you don't want to deal with this verse just deal with this statement:

    "Whoever registers can become a member of the Baptist Board."

    Joe, please tell us how can that POSSIBLY imply that the moderators have preselected a few members who will certainly register and become members?

    OR

    Please JUST ADMIT the implications of this verse can't possibly mean what you say they mean and that you have to IGNORE these implications and look at other proof texts to support your premise.
     
  7. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Joe is correct in his hermeneutic here. You are trying to isolate one implicit verse from the rest of the explicit teaching of the Bible. This is bad hermeneutics.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  8. Joseph_Botwinick

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    The difference between the Baptist Board statement and the John 3:16 statement is as follows:

    1. The BB statement has no other statement explicitly clarifying who the "whoever" and establishing a doctrine of the elect as it pertains to participation on the Baptist Board.

    2. The Bible does.

    Therefore. if you have an implicit statement that has no other clarifying explicit statements, then one can reasonably imply what the message is as in the Baptist Board statement that you presented. If, however, you have an implicit statement, and other explicit statements that clarify the implicit statement, then the explicit should be used to clarify the implicit. It is just common sense that explicit statements are usually more reliable than implicit statements. Does that make sense to you?

    Therefore, if you want to take John 3:16 and say that the implied doctrine of whoever will meaning free will arminianism, then you are going to have to:

    A. ignore the explict Biblical statements that say otherwise and go with your own man-made doctrine

    or

    B. deal with the explicit Biblical statements that say otherwise and make a case for why you don't think it contradicts your doctrine that is based on an implicit statement in the Bible.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  9. Gina B

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    Those who go with the free will doctrine do not deny that faith and salvation are of God though. The main point of contention is not going to be able to be shown scripturally, because both Cals and Arms and everyone in between can isolate verses and ideas in the bible and use them as proof texts.
    It's the teaching of irresistable grace that needs to be refuted or defended from scripture before any of the verses listed in the last few discussions can be used in the argument.
    So...go for it. :D
    Gina
     
  10. Skandelon

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    Joseph,

    I understand your point. I really do. And in other posts I have dealt with each of the verses brought up here clearly showing they are being misapplied, just as John 3:16 is.

    But really your answer proves my point. If John 3:16 stood alone it would imply that ANY person would have the ability to believe, but because you feel that there are other verses that contradict that implication you are willing to overlook this clear implication.

    So going back to our analogy...

    There is a statement, "Whoever registers can become become a member of the Baptist Board."

    But then later in the contract it states, "No one can register on the Baptist Board unless the moderator invites him."

    Ahaaaa! That is explicit and it must help us understand the first statement, right? Now, if the first verse stood alone then we would assume anyone could join, but now we understand that only those invited by a moderator can actually register. Ok, that makes since.

    BUT, what if you see that the second statement was made before everyone was being invited to be on the baptist board. What if the explicit statment was being made back when the Board was just starting and they hadn't opened it to the public? What if when that second statement was made when the board was secret and being hidden from most Baptists while the creator of the board was training moderators? Follow me, I'm going somewhere with this.

    Its fine to use explicit verses but they should be understood in their context. When Christ was here on earth he hid his message in parables and told his disciples to keep his miracles secret. Have you ever wondered why he did that. Think about it. If no one had the ability to believe it anyway why hide it?

    You must understand that Jesus had a purpose to accomplish while here on earth. He didn't want everyone to believe while He was on earth. Only those given to him by the father were to be directly taught by him and commissioned to go spread his message after he was raised up. Until that time, the Jews were being hardened and the Gentiles remained in the dark. Only a remnant of Israel was given by the father to the Son for him to train and send out.

    After he accomplished that mission he would be raised up and draw all men unto himself and send out the message to be preached into all the world. No more hiding the message or keeping secrets. Shout it from the roof tops! Jesus is LORD! The Spirit of the Bride, THE CHURCH, says COME. ALL who are weak and heaven laden can find rest.

    This is what causes Calvinists confusion. They have systemitized a soteiology based upon a time when the Jews were being hardened and the Gentiles were being ingrafted. They think Romans 9 is about their elect (those being shown mercy) versus the non-elect (those being hardened) when its really about the Gentiles (those being shown mercy) and the Jews (those being hardened). They think John 6 is teaching that men are unable to come to Christ because they were born Totally depraved when John 12:39 tells us exactly why these people couldn't believe in Christ. They were being HARDENED by God so that He could accomplish His purpose on the cross. This hardened was temporary and some of those hardened may have been saved (Romans 11:14).

    Yes, we must use the whole counsel of God! But really guys I'd like to stick with John 3:16 here. Ok?
     
  11. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Ok. Here is the problem with your logic. Implications are not clear. They are ambiguous and open to interpretation. That is why it is implied. Explicit statements, however, are clear and unambiguous. Explicit statements are certainly more reliable and valid than implicit statements. Therefore, if you have an implied statement, but then comes an explicit statement that clarifies the implied statement, you must go with what the explicit statement says, or prove somehow that the explicit statement doesn't mean what we think it does and that it is a misunderstanding on our part based on ignorance. Can you do that? If so, then you have made your case. If not, then you have no case because you are trying to isolate the implicit from the explicit.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  12. npetreley

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    Extremely well put. Personally, I don't believe there is anything implicit (for either side) in "whosoever believes", but for the sake of argument, I will say there is.

    Some here have a much bigger problem than simply harmonizing the explicit with the implicit.

    They take an implicit statment (like whosoever believes) and an explicit one (no one can come unless). Instead of applying the explicit statement to the implicit in order to understand its meaning, someone creates an elaborate theology around a tangled web of unrelated or distantly related verses in order to harmonize the two verses into his/her pre-conceived theology.

    Personally, I think there's no way to debate that, since:

    1. It's such a convoluted mess, it would take days just to untangle it well enough to address the important points.

    2. Anyone who has gone to that much trouble to concoct such a fantastic (as in fantasy) explanation of their beliefs is not going to admit to the simple truths in the explicit verses, so it's a total waste of time.

    Anyway, I thought your points were excellent.
     
  13. Doubting Thomas

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    Which begs the question(s): Which statements are "implicit" and which are "explicit"? Which are the clear statements by which we interpret the obscure statements and who decides? The Calvinists have their own set of "explicit" statements by which they interpret verses which seem to clearly support the Arminian position, while the Arminians have their set of "clear" passages by which they explain those favorite proof-texts of Calvinists in a non-Calvinistic manner. Yet the two systems cannot both be right. Who decides between the two?
     
  14. Joseph_Botwinick

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    "Whosoever believes" is implicit because nobody really knows who the whosoever is? Do you? Who knows who these people will be? God does. Why does he know? Because they were predestined by him.

    However, on the other hand, Biblical statements like this:

    "NO MAN CAN COME TO ME, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

    are very explicit and clear. Who can come to God? No man except those whom the Father draws.

    This is very clear and explicit.

    Do you see the difference?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  15. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Even the Arminian Skandelon admits that this verse is an implicit statement.
     
  16. Doubting Thomas

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    Do I see the difference? No, not really.

    While John 6:44 is explicit about the fact that:
    "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him," what is not necessarily implicit is the meaning Calvinism derives from (or gives to) this text. This is true for two reasons:
    (1)It doesn't explicitly say that the Father only draws some and not all.
    (2)It doesn't explicitly say that all those drawn will come.

    It can be argued by the Arminian that God draws ALL men to Himself, for this is what Christ says in John 12:32. Of course, the Calvinist rejoinder is that "all" doesn't necessarily mean "all"...and round and round we go....

    Thanks--your post proves my point. :D
     
  17. Kiffin

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    Actually Scripture never says Christ draws every single person to himself. Certaintly a person in Mongolia who has never heard of Jesus is not drawn. John 12:32 is showing the universality of the Gospel message and God is certaintly drawing all people unto Himself through the Gospel that declares Christ crucified.

    No one denies WHOSOEVER WILL MAY COME. The Grandfather of all Calvinist Confessions -The Canons of Dort which systemized the 5 points declares this

    The Canons of Dort, Second Head of Doctrine
    The Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby - Articles of Faith

    Article 5
    Moreover, the promise of the gospel is that whosoever believes in Christ crucified shall not perish, but have eternal life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of His good pleasure sends the gospel.


     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    So, Calvinists, how do you all interpret this ? Because if an Arminian interprets this, to him this section of the Canon is saying that not perishing and/but having eternal life is conditional upon the ability to believe. Or, in other words, believe and you will not perish but have eternal life.
     
  19. Gina B

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    The answer will be that man is incapable of believing unless God grants him the faith to believe, and faith is granted only to those He has elected by His will.
    Gina
     
  20. Doubting Thomas

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    Hmm...
    "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." (NIV)
    "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." (NASB)
    "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." (KJV)

    It seems pretty clear--indeed, explicit--to me, but as predicted the Calvinist suggests that "all men" here can't refer to every single person. Yet that is the apparent meaning of the text. It doesn't say "all kinds of men", or "from all groupings of men", or only "all the elect". Such meanings, however, need to be imported into the text by Calvinists to make it fit within their interpretive system. [I suspect, though, that even if the passage did state "every single person" (rather than "all men" which is basically the same thing), Calvinists would still find some way around it.]

    BTW--I wouldn't be too confident that a person in Mongolia who has never heard of Jesus is not somehow being drawn. Afterall, the Spirit can work where He wishes. [​IMG]
     

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