Why I left Calvinism after 10 years...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    In the election thread Winman requested that I start a new thread describing the teachings that lead me to reject Calvinism after 10 years. I began by explaining that much of the journey centered around the doctrine of Judicial Hardening, which is not to be confused with "self-hardening," as explained in detail below:

    1. Self-Hardening of the heart goes beyond the tragic obtuseness of our inherited condition in the Fall of man. Working on the fertile soul of our innately immoral hearts, the act of sinning hardens the heart into a stubborn rebellion against all that is good. So, people may harden their own hearts, in sinful rebellion, in bitterness, or in sheer self-will. (Ex. 9:34-35; 2 Chron. 36:13; Zech. 7:12; Dan. 5:20; Eph. 4:18; Heb. 3:12-15)

    This type of self-hardening is most clearly seen in Zech. 7:11-13:

    "Your ancestors would not listen to this message. They turned stubbornly away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing. They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the law or the messages that the LORD Almighty had sent them by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the LORD Almighty was so angry with them. ‘Since they refused to listen when I called to them, I would not listen when they called to me,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

    2. Judicial Hardening -- In a few instances such as Pharaoh and the Egyptians (Ex. 7:3; 9:12), Sihon, king of Heshbon (Deut. 2:30), and the Hivites living in Gibeon (John 11:19-20), it is said that God hardened their hearts. Apparently these people were so irremediable in their rebellion against God that God entered into the hardening process so that he could accomplish his purposes in spite of, and yet in and through, that hardenness. It is God's prerogative, as God, to do this (Rom. 9:18-21). That they are morally responsible for their condition is a theological given, and we are warned not to harden our hearts as they did, a command that would make no sense if hardening were simply God's act (1 Sam. 6:6).

    Israel's hardening as a nation was an act of self-hardening followed by God’s act of judicial hardening as clearly portrayed in the scripture (Matt. 23:37; Rom. 10-11).

    God tells Isaiah that Israel, with its calloused heart, will reject him as God's messenger when he goes to them (Isa. 6:9-10). The event was taken as prophetic by Jesus (Matt. 13:14-15) and Paul (Acts 28:25-27) as referring to Israel's rejection of Jesus as God's Messiah. For Paul, Israel's hardening paved the way to a ministry of ingrafting the Gentiles (Rom. 10-11; Acts 28:28) and was not intended by God to be final, but only until the fullness of the Gentile’s ingrafting was accomplished.

    Only the Word of God has the power to cut or pierce a hardened heart (Heb. 4:12) and he has given that word through his Son, the Apostles, the scriptures and by his Spirit all of which can be resisted and ignored as seen throughout the Bible as the hardenness and callousness of the heart only grows thicker with each act of rebellion.

    According to scripture only those in a hardened state are unable to see, hear, understand and believe (Acts 28:26-28: John 12:39-40). Calvinism’s doctrine of Total Depravity teaches that everyone is born in this condition due to the Fall of Man. The doctrine of Original Sin can clearly be seen in the scripture, but the Calvinistic system takes this foundational truth one step further by teaching that after the Fall God removed men’s capacity to respond to the call of the gospel, yet God, according to Calvinism, still holds men responsible for that response. I can no longer see this as being a biblical position.

    Feel free to comment or question these matters, but I will only engage with civil discussion. Blessings.
     
    #1 Skandelon, Dec 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2009
  2. Tom Butler

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    Greetings,

    I think the Calvinist view of man's inability springs from a couple of scripture passages.

    One is Romans 8:7-8
    Thus one could reasonably conclude that the fleshly mind is not only unwilling to submit to God's laws, but cannot.

    The other is I Corinthians 2:14
    Here, Paul clearly says the natural man cannot know spiritual things. Looks like inability to me.

    Skandelon, what is your take on these passages?
     
  3. webdog

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    Weren't both passages written to believers that possess both the "natural" and "new" man?
     
  4. AresMan

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    How do you interpret these verses?
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    I agree that this is erroneous, and makes God a monster, if indeed such is what Calvinism teaches regarding the responsibility of men. But we need to hear from them regarding this, as well.

    As for me and many of my PB brethren, we hold that only the elect are held responsible for their obedience, disobedience, or response to the gospel, and such response or obedience not resulting in eternal salvation but in gospel salvation, because as I have pointed out many times, Romans 15:4 states that "whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope".

    The elect, and only they, are called upon to repent and to turn to Christ and only Christ from whatever false doctrine, religion, worldview, or the like that they are, or were, caught in, when they heard gospel teaching.

    The unelect are already subject to the judgment of God, and will be subject to the judgment of God, and will not escape the judgment of God, for the simple reason they had no Savior who took their sin upon Himself, and the Holy Spirit has left them to their blindness according to the good pleasure of His will.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    So, let's discuss this aspect a bit further. You might make the case for the first scripture, but I don't think it would hold up for the second.

    My view is that the Roman's verse contrasts the Roman believers with unbelievers, not Roman believers with Roman carnal Christians.
     
  7. Amy.G

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    But scripture says:

    Eze 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: [and] not that he should return from his ways, and live?

    or:

    1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

    or:

    1Jo 5:19 [And] we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.



    John says that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the "whole world". A few verses later he says that the "whole world" lies in wickedness. He is obviously referring to the "world" in the sense of sinful people. Yet he says Christ died for these people (the world). 1 Jo 2:2

    Where is the scripture that says that Christ only died for a certain group of people and not all sinners?

    And God, according to scripture does not take pleasure in sending sinners to hell.
     
  8. Winman

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    I agree with Amy.

    It is clear that Jesus died for all men, not just the elect.

    2 Pet 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

    This verse speaks of lost men, men who shall bring damnable heresies into the church, and it says the Lord bought them. That is, he died and paid for their sins. But you must believe on Jesus to take hold or receive of this payment.
     
  9. zrs6v4

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    I would agree that this is for the most part addressed to believers. The key issue Paul is teaching them is that the flesh "natural man" does not submit to God, therefore to please God one must walk by the Spirit.

    Now, how would this not apply to an unbeliever? the flesh is still the same right?
     
  10. Amy.G

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    That is a good point. According to this verse, either Christ died for all men, or you must believe a person can lose their salvation.
    "Swift destruction" can only refer to unbelievers, as God does not destroy believers.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    The false doctrine that some men were created to never have a savior is one of the most damnable heresies to ever be spread across the earth.
     
  12. zrs6v4

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    Amy- I love discussing this, I realize that this is slightly off topic, and I know that there has been endless threads on it. I would enjoy a thread on the elect and limited atonement if you would like to start one. Its totally up to you, and maybe someone can get a new idea who knows :). There are a lot of factors and scriptures that bring us to the conclusion of limited atonement. I would guess that this is the least accepted view of God's sovereign work. I could use a refresh and openings of new refutes against it.
     
  13. zrs6v4

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    Why? and would this be wrong?
     
  14. drfuss

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    I think you mean forfeiting their salvation, not losing their slavation. Losing one's salvation involves continuing believing, but resisting the conviction of the Holy spirit over a long period of time. Forfeiting their salvation would come from denying the Lord who bought them.
     
  15. Winman

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    Would it be wrong? You are only calling God a liar. If God through the scriptures says that Jesus died for 100% of all men, and you say that Jesus only died for the few elect, you are calling God a liar. You are misrepresenting God.

    I would say that is wrong. I know that comes across rough, but I am not saying this in a mean spirit.
     
  16. David Michael Harris

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    Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. Answer in there somewhere.

    God's foreknowledge is beyond us. Christianity is in my opinion live and it's happening now.

    Calvinists jump too far ahead and neglect other important things.

    In one sense I would say that they are right but on the other hand I would say that their way of theology and life distracts from the Gospel which is happening right now.

    Please pray for my mum. Then again maybe God does not love her or ever loved her?

    Surely we can all see the error there.
     
    #16 David Michael Harris, Dec 22, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2009
  17. webdog

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    Can you clarify, I'm not sure what you mean. I interpret this in the same light, as it was written to believers who could understand the conflicting natures. An unregenerate person cannot.
     
  18. webdog

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    In context, I think the second is even clearer :laugh:
    The greek for natural man is literally "animal man"...fleshly, which conflicts the Spirit given to us.
     
  19. webdog

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    Justice. Is it justice to condemn a man for not believing in a God who didn't come to die for them and save them in the first place?
     
  20. Johnv

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    Calvinism and Arminianism are theological models, they're not religions. You don't "leave" them any more than you leave, say, premillenialism. Calvinism is not only permissible in Baptist belief, it's permissible in Christian belief.

    Arguing calvinism or Arminianism to the point that is often done here does nothing but demonstrate how insecure the arguer is in their own faith.
     

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