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Does God Change His Mind?!

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Marcia, May 13, 2006.

  1. Me4Him

    Me4Him New Member

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    Mt 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

    You, and everyone else will have to say the same thing Jesus said,

    not as I will, but as thou wilt.

    "BEFORE" you or they, will ever "conform to Jesus's image". (be saved)

    God doesn't exercise his "sovereign will" over our will, the "Choice" to serve God or Satan is ours to make, man reaps what man sows, nothing else influences that decision, man can't blame Satan for going to hell, being tempted is not a sin, nor can man blame God, Jesus died for the sins of the whole world so the whole world "Might be" saved.

    When man attempts to place the blame on either God or satan for his sins/soul going to hell, he's missed everything the scriptures teach.
     
  2. standingfirminChrist

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    Amen, Me4Him
     
  3. Calvibaptist

    Calvibaptist New Member

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    So, both Me4 and SFIC (through his "amen") have now said that they think I am unsaved.

    All this because I hold the orthodox view that God does not change (even His mind). This is a scarry thought that you guys call yourselves Baptists. It almost makes me want to drop the name Baptist from my name if this is what Baptists believe today.
     
  4. Calvibaptist

    Calvibaptist New Member

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    Classic case of interpreting the didactic sections through your preconceived notions derived from stories. When God or any other writer of Scripture makes a statement such as "God does not change," then that is a definite statement as to the character of God. If we then, in a story, see something that looks like God changing His mind, we must form our interpretation from the didactic statement.

    It is called the "analogy of Scripture" in hermeneutics. Scripture interprets Scripture. We cannot allow stories to contradict clear teaching of biblical doctrine. Stories in Scripture must be interpreted in a compatible manner with the doctrinal sections.

    Let me quote (once again) the clear statements of Scripture:

    Malachi 3:6 6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change;

    James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

    Now, the stories (and the apparent changing of God's mind in them) MUST be interpreted in light of these clear statements. You cannot reinterpret these statements in light of the stories. That is backwards.
     
  5. standingfirminChrist

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    I can say exactly the same, Calvibaptist.

    Since God did change His mind in Genesis 6, and many other places in the scriptures, then obviously He meant something entirely different in Malachi 3:6 than how you are interpreting it.

    His nature does not change, but He has, can and will change His mind according to many verses in the scripture.

    The Bible is true. If it shows that God changed His mind in the story of the flood, then that is just what He did.

    God was sorry He made man. He said He would destroy man in 120 years. He changed His mind and decided to save Noah and his family... along with many species of animals. No getting around that.

    God did indeed change His mind.
     
  6. Calvibaptist

    Calvibaptist New Member

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    Let me repeat myself again. When a clear statement of fact is made from the Scripture, you must not reinterpret it by seeing something in a story of the Bible and changing the meaning of the clear statement. You must interpret the story by a clear statement of fact. Otherwise you will come up will all sorts of heresy.

    Example: God cannot sin and cannot even look on iniquity. But we see in stories of the Bible that God commits murder often. So, God must really be a murderer and a sinner, even though He says He is not.

    Do you see what dangerous hills we start rolling down when we interpret the Bible based on the stories instead of the clear statments.
     
  7. standingfirminChrist

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    God changing His mind cannot be compared to a statement like God is a murderer. That is just plain nonsense.

    If the Bible says He was going to destroy man and all living creatures, then that is exactly what He had in mind. But then, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He was spared after God said 'I will destroy man whom I have created.'

    It is obvious He changed His mind. No question about that.

    The statement I change not has to refer to something other than His thinking.

    I do not see how one can explain away the obvious change of mind in the Flood account, no matter how one looks at it.
     
  8. Benjamin

    Benjamin Well-Known Member
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    CalviBaptist,

    Apparently you do not see yourself contradicting your own interpretation of orthodoxy in saying God cannot change? In that on the sixth day God said the world was “very good” and it was not just a story, or a lie, God had placed the tree of knowledge in the garden and gave Adam “man” a spirit and the free will being made in His image and likeness to choose within these circumstances He created between good and evil. Nothing has changed.

    God knew Adam and all that came from Adam (not Christ of course, -part of His unchanging loving promise before the foundation.) would fall to sin with this gift given to His creatures being created with a free will, nothing changed.

    (1Co 15:21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

    (1Co 15:22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    Everyone that asks, every man was given the measure of faith, everyone should hear the Gospel of God’s abundant love, not to exclude His wrath against evil, but He is Love and through a promise of adoption for those who believe in His Love of giving His Son, we, His creatures, can be with Him in eternity (nothing changed there either) every man should knock and God will open the door ( an unchanging promise) He draws us through love of the truth, He is Love and He is Truth, straight is the gate and narrow is the way, again nothing changed.

    We shouldn’t think higher of ourselves for having received this gift of grace, nothing’s changed…well at least as far as God is concerned.

    (Rom 12:3) For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

    I don’t question or judge you not to have faith brother, but sure find it hard to understand saved men not being humble enough to receive this gift of loving grace and remain soberly minded that God is not a respecter of persons and has no evil in Him and has not lied-never including how He created the world and its creatures.

    In the scriptures you are presenting, for me there is only confirmation to the truth that God cannot change, He can not lie, sin, be evil. Nor will I ever believe for God to be sovereign means He had to be the author of evil as I do not believe that is the Truth in His nature of existence no more than God being sovereign means He can create a square circle in truth.

    Anyway, I will apologize for the heresy outburst earlier (it was meant in the context of me perceiving you saying God can change in His existence and truth of creation, but that was not clearly stated) I get bugged by the arrogance of intellect in man defining God’s sovereignty while going against His Nature (we will have to disagree) … and as I grow weary of this type of debate I will be trying to stay out of them as I find myself more and more drawn to speak the truth as God has shown it to me with more importance in exercising my efforts toward spreading the Word of God’s love to ALL men.

    Peace, Out
     
  9. Calvibaptist

    Calvibaptist New Member

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    OK, follow the logic here.

    1. God is perfect in all of His attributes. There is no aspect of God that is in any way inadequate.

    2. God lacks absolutely nothing. He needs nothing. He forgets nothing. He misses nothing. He is surprised by nothing.

    3. God is omniscient. He knows the future completely because He wrote it (He declares the end from the beginning).

    4. Therefore, God knows every action that every human being is going to take. He knows every decision that every human being is going to make. He does not lack knowledge in any area.

    5. IF God changes His mind about anything, it necessitates that He did not know something. If God says, "I am going to destroy this people," and Moses prays and the Bible says that God repented of His pronouncement to destroy the people, this CANNOT mean that God didn't know that Moses was going to pray that way. It CANNOT mean that God is about to do something that He hadn't already planned to do. God is not good on the fly. God is perfect for eternity. He does not need to change His mind because there is no defect in Him at all (including His knowledge).

    6. This is the orthodox position and has been for 2000 years. To suggest that God changes His mind because He doesn't know the decisions that man will make is to suggest that God is less than perfect and complete.

    Look at what the Baptists said about this in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith:

    " God is all-sufficient, and all life, glory, goodness and blessedness are found in Him and in Him alone. He does not stand in need of any of the creatures that He has made, nor does He derive any part of His glory from them. On the contrary, He manifests His own glory in and by them. He is the fountain-head of all being, and the origin, channel and end of all things. Over all His creatures He is sovereign. He uses them as He pleases, and does for them or to them all that He wills. His sight penetrates to the heart of all things. His knowledge is infinite and infallible. No single thing is to Him at risk or uncertain, for He is not dependent upon created things. In all His decisions, doings and demands He is most holy. Angels and men owe to Him as their creator all worship, service and obedience, and whatever else He may require at their hands."

    Now, while church councils and statements of faith are not infallible, it is unwise (at best) to go against what a majority of the church has held to for thousands of years just so you can cling to the freedom of man's will.
     
  10. standingfirminChrist

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    God chose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.

    I do go against what the church has taught for hundreds of years if they teach God did not change his mind at the time of the flood. And when Hezekiah prayed.
     
  11. Andy T.

    Andy T. Active Member

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    Just a few weeks ago, I had people laughing at me for saying that Open Theism is an issue among Baptists. Any questions now?
     
  12. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    No questions Andy . You were right .( But then I wasn't one of the number doubting you . )
     
  13. doulous

    doulous New Member

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    Andy/Rippon - those in this thread who advocate that God can change His mind are "practical Open Theists." They would reject the Open Theist label but their theology places them in that camp.

    CalviBaptist said:

    I can empathize with him. Herein lies a systemic problem within Baptist churches. We are all over the map theologically. The independent nature of Baptist churches allows for all manner of false teaching. It is inherent to the Baptist movement.

    We can learn something from our Presbyterian brethren. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, The Reformed Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America are three of the more conservative wings of Presbyterianism. All three of them are confessional. This means that they are held accountable by confessions that came out of the Reformation. Most Presbyterians follow the Westminster Confession of Faith. While this confession is not scripture, it is based on scripture. It is a concise statement of what scripture teaches on essential doctrinal matters. Our Presbyterian brethren have held to this document for hundreds of years. It has helped to stem the tide of numerous heretical teachings that have threatened the church.

    We Baptists have our own confession, the London Baptist Confession. For those Baptist churches that subscribe to this document they have the same tool to fight false teaching as the Presbyterians. Sadly, this would be exception to the rule.
     
  14. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    God was grieved at what he saw man do on earth -- the phrase does not mean that God was sorry in the sense that he had made a mistake. How could God make a mistake? It means that he had a godly sorrow for what man was doing. Was this a surprise to God? Of course not, unless you think that God cannot know the future.

    The Bible tells us that God planned to destroy all the earth, then Noah finds favor in God's eyes. God does destroy everyone except Noah and family and some animals. Does this mean that God changed his mind? No, it means that we see God could have destroyed the earth but out of his grace, did not do so.

    If it meant God changed his mind, it would mean one of the following, which you must accept if you hold this view that God changed his mind:
    1. God did not know that Noah would find favor in God's eyes, which means that God is not omniscient and does not know the future (so he didn't know about Noah?)

    2. God's plan to destroy the earth was wrong and God made a better decision, which means God had made a bad or less than good decision (God's plan to destroy the earth was wrong -- God makes wrong/bad decisions and has to change them?)

    You guys who say God changes his mind are not thinking through what this means. For God to change his mind means that his original idea or plan was wrong or bad and now he has a better one. Or that he did not know something was going to happen.

    So you end up with a God who makes mistakes and/or is not ommiscient. You have to accept these consequences of a God who changes his mind.
     
  15. standingfirminChrist

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    Ok Marcia,

    God does not change His mind.

    He in fact said that He would destroy man and every living thing. He did not do as He originally said. So, that means He either changed His mind, or He lied when He made the first statement.

    Notice it was only Noah that found grace in the eyes of the Lord, yet He did not kill Noah's family. He said He would destroy all of the animals on land, in the air and in the sea... yet He did not.

    So which is it? Did He change His mind? or did He lie?
     
  16. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    If he changed his mind, then did he not know about Noah ahead of time? And did he not know that he would save Noah?

    Where does it say here that God "changed his
    mind?"

    God in verse 13 is still stating that he will destroy what he said he would destroy in verse 7. Apparently, destroying all the earth and the "end of all flesh" did not change even with the rescue of Noah.
     
  17. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow Active Member

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    We're not talking about God's changing His nature. We're talking about God's changing His mind. On the other hand, who or what is forbidding God to change? Certainly not man. Not the angels. Not Satan. Who?
     
  18. standingfirminChrist

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    By saying God cannot change His mind or will not change His mind limits God.
     
  19. DeeJay

    DeeJay New Member

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    I hate to nit pick, but I have to weigh in.

    Saying God cannot change His mind is limiting God.

    Saying God does not, or will not change His mind is only speaking about His nature.
     
  20. doulous

    doulous New Member

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    Have you ever heard of anthropomorphic statements? For an example let's compare the story of Sodom with Nineveh?. When God said that He was going to destroy Nineveh, did He mean it? Consider the following:

    The word for LORD in this passage is Yahweh, which is the covenant name for God. Does anyone really think that God did not know what was going on in Sodom? Was God saying, "Gee Abraham, I really don't know all that is going on in Sodom. I hear rumors once in a while, but I don't know anything for sure. Perhaps I should go visit and find out for myself." No, Yahweh was using anthropomorphic terms in communicating with Abraham. It had desired effect. Look at the response of Abraham:

    Abraham was displaying his concern for Lot. It is obvious that Abraham considered Lot righteous. Yahweh's intention to check out Sodom caused this reaction in Abraham. It was purposed.

    In verses 24-33 of Genesis 18, Abraham persists in questioning the LORD as to whether He would spare the city on account of the righteous living there. To each question the LORD responded by saying He would spare the city. This continued all the way down to ten righteous. Abraham was concerned greatly over Lot. Considering that Lot's family may have had at least ten members (sons, daughters, grandchildren, wife etc.), this may have been the reason Abraham questioned the LORD.

    In Genesis 19 we read of the final destruction of Sodom. Lot is rescued but the city utterly perishes. Do we suppose that the LORD arrived at Sodom and said, "Okay, I'm here now. Let me see how things are going?" Of course not. The LORD knew the condition of Sodom and His decision to destroy the city was not only planned but carried out. Parallel this with the story of Jonah.

    We read about God's intention towards Nineveh in Jonah 3:

    Any ambiquity here? Yahweh told Jonah to tell the city of Nineveh that He would destroy the city in 40 days. You can read into it if you like, but nowhere does it say that the people were going to be allowed to repent and be saved. God promised destruction. Yet Jonah, after three days in the belly of fish, preached this message to the city of Nineveh. The reaction of the people:

    Pretty impressive, wouldn't you say? The people repented. Why do you think that is? Now here is a question to consider, "Why didn't Yahweh give that same opportunity to the people of Sodom?" I mean, if Yahweh had sent the Sodomites a prophet to proclaim God's impending destruction of their city, might they not have repented and be spared? How would God have known either way if He can change His mind? Did not the people of Sodom have free will? God would not have known if they would have repented unless He gave them a chance, the same chance He was now giving Nineveh as we see in this next passage:

    My, oh my. What just happened here? Did God change His mind? Was He taken by suprise at the repentance of the people of Nineveh? Jonah 3:10 certainly seems to indicate that very fact. So I put to you the question: did God change His mind in the book of Jonah?

    The fact is that God had planned to spare the city of Nineveh from the beginning. It was always part of His plan. God also planned on destroying Sodom from the beginning. It was always part of His plan. In both circumstances the LORD spoke in human terms...anthropomorphic terms. This was not for His benefit, but for ours. When the LORD spared Hezekiah's life, was it because of the pity He had for Hezekiah's plea? No, it was because God had willed it to be so. He caused the sorrow in Hezekiah's heart and used it to accomplish what He had already intended.

    If God can truly change His mind, then our salvation is on precarious ground. What is to say that God did not change His mind after the bible was written? I mean, He is God. Oh, you'll probably cite some passage that says God's word will never pass away. But if God can change His mind, what good are definitive statements? You're left with an insecure faith. You're no different than the followers of Islam in that regard. Not only does your view place you on the doorsteps of Open Theism, it pushes you to the brink of losing faith altogether.

    Can God be trusted to keep His word? When God says He will do something, does He mean it? Can we trust it will happen/not happen? Carefully consider your answer.
     
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