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Featured Corporate Election

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by JonC, Dec 11, 2023.

  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Arminianism holds that God elected individuals based on foreseen faith. Calvinism holds that God elected individuals via decree based on His own will, not randomly but the reasons being a mystery to man.

    There is a third view which has not been discussed on this forum....or at least not discussed much. And that is Corporate Election.

    Corporate Election is the view that Christ Himself is God's chosen, or God's Elect. When we are saved we are numbered among the elect, or numbered among those who are "in Christ". Individuals are elect based not on God choosing them individually or God knowing that they would believe, but on their position in Christ.

    The difference between unconditional or conditional election and corporate election is that corporate election holds that God has chosen us in Christ (rather than chosen us to be in Christ) before, or from, the foundation of the wold and as such we are predestined unto adoption by Christ Himself (our predestination is based on Christ rather than the prior knowledge or decree of the Father).

    Anyway, I thought since this hasn't been discussed much it would be an interesting topic to examine.

    What are the strengths and weaknesses of Corporate Election? Is it biblical (and why or why not)?
     
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  2. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

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    Clarify this please.
    Would this view hold that all humans are found in Christ, but God has chosen a select group out of Christ to be redeemed?

    Your explanation is vague to me.
     
  3. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    This view holds that Christ Himself is God's elect.

    Individuals who are numbered among the elect are so because they are "in Christ".

    No, this view does not hold that all men are in Christ.
     
  4. Piper

    Piper Active Member
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    Corporate Election is the creation of Church of Christ theologians. They are totally Arminian, believing that if you are "in Christ" you are elect, and that if you decide to abandon your faith, you are no longer in Christ, hence being able to lose your salvation. I read this book in seminary at Calvary Baptist Lansdale. I disagree with it. I believe that Romans 9 overwhelmingly and powerfully present Individual election.


    upload_2023-12-11_10-13-41.png
     
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  5. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

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    In that scenario would all humans be "in Christ" until a time where they openly reject Christ? In other words, would all children be in Christ until some undefined "age of accountability" where they make a conscious choice in rejecting Christ?
     
  6. Piper

    Piper Active Member
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    NO, they'd say when you ""Decide" to believe, you are then in Christ.

    And I was part of that church for 2 years. I was first baptized in the Church of Christ.
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Yes, it is a minority view in Arminianism (the most common is conditional election). And it is also a fairly common view in non-Calvinistic/ non-Arminianism churches.

    I should have mentioned that Corporate Election is not always at the exclusion of individual election.

    Many view Christ as God's Elect or Chosen while also believing that people are individually elected.

    Jewish Christians (those with a strong Jewish religious background) seem to identify with Corporate Election because it is the Hebrew idea of election (with God choosing Israel as His people, those comprising the group being elect by virtue of this corporate election).

    Corporate Election is very grounded in the Old Testament, particularly with God choosing a people group. I'd point out that God also chose Abraham and Jacob individually.
     
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  8. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

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    Why wouldn't thinking Jesus was God's elect not diminish Jesus as less than equal with God the Father?

    It seems that a cult, like Mormonism for example, could easily teach Jesus as a created being who was elect of God.

    The opportunity for significant heresy seems extremely high in this theory. As it stands, what is the biblical proof texts being claimed for corporate election?
     
  9. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Off hand, God calls Jesus His Elect in Isaiah, Luke, and 1 Peter.

    Here are two instances where Jesus is called God's Elect:

    Luke 9:35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”

    1 Peter 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is chosen and precious in the sight of God,

    While Calvinism focuses on individual election, most (like T.C. Sproul) also have spoken of Christ as God's Elect.


    Why do you believe that sounds like a cult?
     
  10. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

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    The context around Luke 9 is the Mount of Transfiguration and Peter wanting to make a booth for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus as equal prophets. God tells Peter that Jesus is greater than the others. He is chosen. What is Jesus chosen to do? Answer: Be the sacrificial, substitutionary atonement for those who believe.

    That verse isn't useful for corporate election.

    1 Peter 2:4 is the same principle. Jesus was chosen as the sacrificial substitutionary atonement for all who believe.

    That verse isn't useful for corporate election either.

    As to your last question, I voiced my concern in the previous post. The Church of Christ, as with 7th Day Adventists, makes Jesus a lesser being, created by God the Father. This is also what Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Muslims do with Jesus. Therefore to lump the saints in with Jesus, when these groups do not have a trinitarian understanding of the Godhead, makes our being in Christ something less than what it is.

    Does the Bible teach a corporate adoption in Ephesians 1?
     
  11. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Actually, it is a perfect verse because we are elected in Christ.

    As far as damaging the doctrine of the Trinity, it doesn't any more than the idea that the Father forsook Jesus or punished Him (and that is within Christian orthodoxy).

    It would go back to roles as the Son submitted to the Father.

    You also need to add Presbyterians to your list (as R. C. Sproul was Presbyterian).

    Ephesians 1:3-6 is often used as a primary support for Corporate Election. Aside from the OT, it's probably the best explanation.

    • Ephesians 1:3–6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    @taisto ,

    I do need to point out that I'm just discussing and not advocating.

    Probably the best explanation I have read regarding Corporate Election is C. H. Spurgeon's sermon "Choice Portion".

    "The Lord’s portion is his people.” How are they his? We answer, first, by his own sovereign choice. . . The Church, then, as God’s portion, is his peculiar care. When she lay at first in her barrenness, as a corner of the waste howling wilderness, he took her under his care. He fenced and hedged her; he began to dig up by the roots her nettles, her thorns, her briers; he sent the spirit of burning into her, by which the weeds of evil were consumed; he ploughed her deep with convictions; he harrowed her with the law; he scattered into her the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. When he saw her tender blades springing up, he watched over every one of them; sending the dewdrops, and the rain showers, and the sunbeams, and the wind, just when they were needed; and he continues still to watch, even when her harvest groweth ripe, and the blade has given place to the full corn in the ear. "


    Now...we do have to remember that while Corporate Election does not exclude individual election, some do reject individual election.
     
  13. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

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    I don't see this as corporate election. I see it as covenantal relationship. All who are individually elect are held as one within the New Covenant. Jesus blood is the New Covenant.
    (Luke 22:20)
    After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
     
  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    It is covenantal. Corporate Election views the Elect One as Christ and this includes men who are "in Christ" (based on the New Covenant).

    But the reason that those who hold Corporate Election view it as such is because it is directed to a people rather than individuals....particularly on Christ as the Elect One with individuals within that group.

    It could be a minor thing....with the disagreement being conditional vs unconditional and whether individual election is even biblical.

    But that's why I chose to look at corporate election rather than individual election (it is obvious that God speaks of the eject as a group and Christ as His Elect).

    I mean, we all know the elect are a group, nobody is spoken of as being elected to salvation except they are a part of this group, and even that we test ourselves to know we are among the elect.

    I figured Corporate Election would be a pretty level discussion and maybe after that is examined to look at individual vs corporate election.
     
  15. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    @JonC

    Well how did they get into Christ in the first place ? It was a sovereign act of God the Father 1 Cor 1:30

    30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

    The Father Chose them in Christ before the foundation of the World Eph 1:4

    4 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:

    Now the us here is a corporate group of individuals, the Church or Body of Christ. A corporation is by definition:

    an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.

    CORPORATION Definition & Usage Examples | Dictionary.com

    Its funny how some people attempt to eliminate individual election by promoting corporate election in Christ, its the same thing !
     
  16. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    There is a corporate choosing which precedes election per Epheians 1:4, ". . . 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: . . ."
     
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  17. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    The argument would be that the passage is not describing individual election but instead the work of God as the way men enter the elect.

    1 Corinthians 1:25–31 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

    One advantage corporate election has is that the Bible never speaks of the elect except that they already are in Christ.
     
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  18. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I gave you my argument.
     
  19. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Yes, and thank you. I'm not arguing against you but instead looking at Corporate Election (I'm not arguing for corporate election....or against it).
     
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  20. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    @KenH - comment?
     
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