Why so difficult?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Helen, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    The Bible is easy to understand. Its message is clear and wonderful. Jesus' call to Himself is clear and simple. I understood the basic message of the Bible as a child.

    But Calvinism? Over and over again the response to critics is "You don't understand."

    If Calvinism is the message of the Bible, then it should be just as clear and easy to understand.

    But it isn't. In order to get Calvinism to sound like something biblical, meanings of words have to be changed. "All" no longer means "All." "Whoever" only means those God predestined, and "every" only means the elect, etc.

    There is that about Calvinism which reminds me of Roman Catholicism: you can't 'really' understand the Bible unless 'we' interpret it for you.

    The way I see it, if fishermen could understand, so can I.

    "What must I do to be saved?"

    "Believe." The Bible is clear that 'believe' is not intellectual acknowledgement by itself, but a complete giving up to God and trusting Him.

    It can be hard, but it most certainly is not complicated or un-understandable!
     
  2. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    But Helen, as a little girl you sat in church with other little girls and boys who didn't understand what you understood so simply.

    What was the difference?

    God had made the Gospel alive for you and in you!
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is. The difficulty comes when people import their own ideas into the text to determine what the text "must mean." When the Bible says that God chose us to salvation, I have no problem understanding that. But you seem to ... So you try to redefine it in a way that fits the ideas that you brought to the text. I think God chose us from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of hte Spirit and belief in the truth. Notice that the choosing precedes the work of the Spirit and the belief in the truth. Choosing of God to salvation always precedes belief in Scripture. It is clear when you look at the text with an unwillingness to redefine what doesn't fit a scheme.

    The fishermen understood it to. That is why we see it in their writings in the NT. That does not mean it is all equally clear. Scripture has some thigns that are hard to understand, as PEter reminds us about Paul.

    The problem with understanding is that people come up with an idea about what Calvinism believes and then base their whole objection on that understanding. We are seeing that in another thread at this time. Problem is, the understanding was wrong to start with. Repeating that misunderstanding does not change the fact that it is still a misunderstanding. Making accusations based on that misunderstanding is building a house on the sand. It is a bad foundation and it will not stand.

    Let me illustrate: You said, In order to get Calvinism to sound like something biblical, meanings of words have to be changed. "All" no longer means "All." "Whoever" only means those God predestined, and "every" only means the elect, etc. Helen, in all the times you hvae brought this up, we have patiently answered every single time. You know that we do not redefine these words. It is inconceivable why you continue to level this charge. It is a misundderstanding on your part.

    We beelieve that "whosever" means "whosoever." Guess what? "Whosoever" does not include anyone who doesn't believe. That is what Calvinism teaches. You talk about "all" but seem unwilling to realize that "all" is always followed by "of what"? What does "all" refer to? In Scripture, with respect to salvation, it usuaally means "all who believe," or "all who come," which is exactly what Calvinism teaches. What seems to be an unwillingness to learn on your part does not compromise the truth of our position.

    And what you have just given is the message of Calvinism. Why don't you begin to learn this stuff, Helen?? We have been through it many times but you keep repeating teh same old charges? Can you imagine why that is frustrating? Why not apply the same diligence to this field as you ahve to the field of science. This is a whole lot less complicated (which is why I gave up science). This is a whole lot more clear because it is drawn from the express statements of Scripture.

    If I were in your shoes in a science thread and someone keeps repeating false statements, I would keep on addressing them by telling them that their presupposition is wrong. You practice that very thing in your field of science. But you get mad when we practice it in theology. What is the difference?? In science, it is their misunderstanding. In theology, it is your misunderstanding.

    I would like to see us make some progress here, but so long as you continue to make charges about us redefining words and the like, there won't be much made because I won't concede to your misunderstanding.
     
  4. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    The gospel is easy to understand. All we need to know in order to be saved is easy to understand.

    But to say that all of the Bible is easy to understand goes against what the bible itself teaches. Peter says some of what Paul wrote in his epistles is hard to understand. The writer of Hebrews says that some of what he is teaching is hard to understand.

    I don't even know why we'd think that the workings of an infinite, eternal, transcendent, omniscient, omnipotent God, Someone so "other" than what we are would be EASY for us to understand.
     
  5. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    But according to Calvinism, you don't need to know ANYTHING in order to be saved! You don't even need to 'believe'. After all, God chose you, so you say, from before your own creation, so you had no choice in the matter anyway, no matter who you were or what you did or what you knew or accepted or anything!

    That's just not what the Bible says...
     
  6. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    What Calvinists say you don't have to believe? That would be a direct contradiction of the Scriptures! :eek:
     
  7. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
  8. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen

    That’s b/c Calvinist will explain verses such as John 3:16, by systematically changing the words such as all and world to elect and church.

    It sad and disturbing how Calvinist treat this simple verse of John 3:16, a verse that’s probably every kids first memory verse in Sunday school.

    R.C. Sproul, a leading contemporary Calvinist says that The world for whom Christ died cannot mean the entire human family. It must refer to the universality of the elect (people from every tribe and nation).

    John Owens states, That the world here cannot signify all that ever were or should be is as manifest as if it were written with the beams of the sun… No proof here, just another Calvinist decree!

    Edwin H. Palmer states: Because God has loved certain ones and not all, because He has sovereignly and immutably determined that these particular ones will be saved, He sent His Son to die for them, to save them, and not all the world.

    (above emphasis mine)

    I know somewhere in the Book of Revelation, John says woe to those who add to or take away from this Book. There’s no justification to explaining away a simple verse as John 3:16 to mean anything other than what it means…Sad…
     
  9. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen

    That’s b/c Calvinist will explain verses such as John 3:16, by systematically changing the words such as all and world to elect and church.

    It sad and disturbing how Calvinist treat this simple verse of John 3:16, a verse that’s probably every kids first memory verse in Sunday school.

    R.C. Sproul, a leading contemporary Calvinist says that The world for whom Christ died cannot mean the entire human family. It must refer to the universality of the elect (people from every tribe and nation).

    John Owens states, That the world here cannot signify all that ever were or should be is as manifest as if it were written with the beams of the sun… No proof here, just another Calvinist decree!

    Edwin H. Palmer states: Because God has loved certain ones and not all, because He has sovereignly and immutably determined that these particular ones will be saved, He sent His Son to die for them, to save them, and not all the world.

    (above emphasis mine)

    I know somewhere in the Book of Revelation, John says woe to those who add to or take away from this Book. There’s no justification to explaining away a simple verse as John 3:16 to mean anything other than what it means…Sad…
    </font>[/QUOTE]You forgot to mention the word "whosoever." :D
     
  10. BrianT

    BrianT
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,516
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't sweat it too much Helen. If Calvinism is true, then those of us who don't accept it were predestined not to accept it, and there's not a dang thing anyone can do about it. ;)
     
  11. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    Now that's an absolute truth if I ever heard one! :D
     
  12. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    But you, Brian, have been predestined to accept it. I know 'cause I was recently appointed to God's privey counsel. Just wait and see! :D
     
  13. BrianT

    BrianT
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,516
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nah, you were just predestined to say that. ;)
     
  14. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen, once again I must caution you against this kind of untruth. You know that is not what Calvinists believe. We have fully affirmed for you in the past the necessity of knowledge for saving faith. For you to repeat that here is disingenuous and unacceptable for reasonable discussion.

    Most people who believe what you have said above do not claim to be Calvinists. They are primitive baptists for example and in this forum many of them distinguish between themselves and Calvinists because we Calvinists believe in "gospel regeneration."

    It gets very old to hear you say things that simply are not true about what we believe. Please resist that temptation.

    Incidentally, your last statement that "This is just not what the Bible says" applies very well to your first paragraph. And that is why Calvinists reject your first paragraph.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is unfortunate to continue to have to point out outright untruths. Calvinist don't redefine "all" and "world." The question is "What did Johm mean to begin with?" If we would study in light of Scripture, it becomes clear. When you insist on isolating verses and carrying your theology into Scripture with you, you come up with stuff like this.

    And there is no justification for your rejecting the teaching of Scripture either.
     
  16. BrianT

    BrianT
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,516
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does she really have a choice in the matter?
     
  17. BrianT

    BrianT
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,516
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sure there is. Maybe he was predestined to post what he did.
     
  18. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Helen, once again I must caution you against this kind of untruth. You know that is not what Calvinists believe. We have fully affirmed for you in the past the necessity of knowledge for saving faith. For you to repeat that here is disingenuous and unacceptable for reasonable discussion.</font>[/QUOTE]You can't have it both ways, sir. If you were predestined to be saved, then your believing or not believing has nothing to do with the matter. If your believing has something to do with the matter, then you were not predestined. Or are you saying that someone predestined to salvation could lose it by not believing? You and I both know Calvinism strongly denies anything like that. What you are trying to do is affirm both A and non-A and that is simply not possible. If you were foreordained to be saved, then nothing you do or believe matters a whit. And if you are saying that God foreordained you to believe, then the command in the Bible to "Believe and you will be saved" is nonsense, because that is essentially an if/then clause. Calvinism carried through to its logical consequences makes us programmed.

    In which case you don't dare speak against anything I say for I was programmed by the God we both worship to say it!

    In other words, if one does not hear the Gospel, then one was never predestined to salvation, right? So you go out and preach the Gospel just in case someone who was predestined to be saved might not have heard it? But if you don't go out and preach does that then mean they lose their predestined salvation or that they were never predestined in the first place because God knew you wouldn't go out and preach???

    You are right. I have this horrid temptation toward logic. I know that doesn't fit well with Calvinism, but it does seem to do OK with Bible... "Come, let us reason together" says the Lord. Do you think He was talking to the saved at that point? I think not, for His words are about changing their sinful state immediately after that. So evidently the unsaved can reason with the Lord, but are you saying the saved don't dare?

    Oh, I know Calvinists reject it. But I have already quoted what the Bible says and I don't think it has magically changed what it says since this morning when I was here last.
     
  19. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    You, once again in spite of past conversations, miss the obvious. What God predestines, he brings to pass. Why do you think that God would predestine someone to be saved but no take the step to bring them to belief?? That makes no sense, but yet that is what you think we believe. That is ridiculous. I don't want it both ways. I want it one way ... I want us to focus on Scripture and what Scripture actually says.

    The is not A and non-A. That is what the Scriptures teach. Your logic must be driven by Scripture, not your Scriptures by your logic. You are not demonstrating critical logic here anyway. You have approached this issue on teh basis of a couple of verses and those verses have lead you to discount or ignore the rest of Scripture. I cannot believe that to be a sound method of theology. A theological position cannot simply ignore the parts of Scripture we don't like. We have to deal with all of it.

    [qutoe]]In other words, if one does not hear the Gospel, then one was never predestined to salvation, right?[/quote]That would be right. Which removes charges of unfairness from God. If a person in Africa might get saved if he were born in America, then God would be a respector of persons (those living in America) since the chances of hearing the gospel in America are astronomically greater than the chances of hearing it in Africa. But the Scriptures tell us that God is no respecter of persons. Therefore, your view in inadequate.

    Again, you miss the obvious. What God ordains, he brings to pass. When God ordains the ends, he ordains all of the means to get there. Why does that pass you by? You are smarter than that Helen. If God ordains that they be saved, then it is certainly no problem for him to get the gospel message to them ... at least not a problem for my God ... but then my God is not subject to the fickle will of men. He works all things after the counsel of his own will. He is in heaven doing whatever He pleases.

    Then use it. I am ready for you to logically explain how God sends someone to hell for sins that have been paid for. I am ready for you to explain how God can be sovereign when he is subject to the choices of men. I am ready for you logically explain why God said he sends people to hell for sin but you say he doesn't. I am ready for you to logically explain why it is necessary for you to setup straw men because you can't debate Calvinism on the merits of what we actually believe. I am ready for you to explain why you think the clear revelation of Scripture should be submitted to your logic.

    But in the end, we must submit our logic to the revelation of God. That should not have to be said, but too often it does. Our minds are not the test of truth. Whether or not we understand something or can put the pieces together is not the test of whether or not we should believe. You are trying to determine the truth of a doctrine on the ability of your own mind to understand it. That is an invalid method of theology.

    There are some tensions left by the divine writ. Our finite minds cannot understand the ways of God and when we do not, we are the pots who are not supposed to question the potter. Too often we do, because of our pride and desire to understand more than God has revealed. WE need to take Scripture for what it says. If we don't understand it, that is our problem, not Scriptures.

    I have never said that and you know it. The unsaved will reason but will reason their way right out of the existence of God according to Rom 1. Their minds are darkened and confused (Eph 4:17ff). This is the clear testimony of Scripture. Do you want to talk about that, or continue to substitute your logic?

    It is interesting to hear you say that Calvinism is not logical. You are in the minority of people on taht view. One of the long standing objection to Calvinism is that is based on logic rather than Scripture.

    Oh, I know Calvinists reject it. But I have already quoted what the Bible says and I don't think it has magically changed what it says since this morning when I was here last. </font>[/QUOTE]I think if you had read more carefully, you would know that I was saying that Calvinists agree that your first paragraph is not what the Bible says. Based on what you have said here, you think your statement was right and I was agreeing with it. Wrong on both counts.

    When you quote the Bible, you quote it selectively and you quote it without understanding it in light of other inspired Scripture. The net result is that your view is not what the Bible says either. Refusing to take all of Scripture into account leads to a deficient theology.

    Then, you took my words and appear to have made them mean something that they don't. That is invalid debate tactics.

    We need to actually discuss what Scripture says rather than what we wish it said.
     
  20. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    We are discussing what Scripture says. What it really says. It is the Calvinist who is twisting words and meanings.

    God so loved the WORLD. Even those who have not heard the Gospel. I would have to echo Dave Hunt's question "What love is this?" regarding a God who requires a redefinition of 'fair' and 'just' and 'mercy' and 'love' etc. in order to somehow be other than the very concepts of those which He has placed within our hearts.

    I would still say that Calvinism requires that an unsaved mother could love her child more than God does.

    Impossible.
     

Share This Page

Loading...