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God's Effectual Call?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Bible-boy, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. cysperus

    cysperus New Member

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    Bibleboy:

    I normally don't participate in message boards but this one really caught my attention since this is particularly close to my heart. I just have a few questions about your concept of "calling" or the lack of it. My background in theological studies is zero and whatever ministry training I have practically comes from the Leadership training provided by Campus Crusade.

    I do get your point that the word "call" in these days may not be biblical if we are referring to the direct manner in which God spoke to his servants before. Will it be careless for me if I view "God's Effectual Call upon your Life to Ministry" as a work of the Holy Spirit in trying to lead a person towards a particular ministry. As one member here stated...this (traditional view) had been used for a long time already...and one cannot just negate the fact that a certain compulsion was felt by some who think they were called to the ministry. Yes most of them left the ministry but do you think the ones who stayed will not say that they "felt" something when they were "called".. Yes we are called to disciple men as Christ discipled the twelve and this "spritual multiplication" should not only serve as a model but should be seen as a command to all christians. But allow me to set that aside and I hope you can enlighten me further of your views about one's calling to full time ministry(whether as a pastor, church planter, OM, parachurch worker...etc)? What do you say to a person who maybe after a long period of time still struggles with a burning desire to serve the Lord full time? Should he try to suppress his feelings since it doesn't really count in trying to determine God's will?

    Do the words "aspire" and "desire" ascribe to normal human emotions and thereby discounting any possibility that it's the work of the Holy Spirit? If the feeling of compulsion has no biblical basis...then is it safe for me to conclude that I am just being taken by my emotion for the past 18 years? I'm quite satisfied with my business right now but I do still feel the "desire" to serve full time. If I use 1 Timothy 3 as a basis...I will just say that I can still serve him in whatever capacity even in a secular field. But my question is why do people "feel" called to full time ministry if this is not how God sets apart somebody for a particular ministry/work? The bottom line is can the "inner compulsion" be totally discounted?

    Although this is addressed to Bibleboy....I'm really hoping the others could also enlighten me on this.
     
  2. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    Many a man has claimed to be called and has no proof of his leadership. Many have claimed to be called as though it were some magic pill for God's blessing in leadership. All are called to make disciples. If men and women are discipled it is a known fact that more men and women will have an intense desire to reach others for Christ. Out of those there will be those who have a burning desire to lead a church and others who see it as a waste of time because the church has so many who want to be baby sat and not get up out of the pews with an eager desire to learn and make disciples.

    The simple question to ask is this: can that man lead the church?

    It is a fact that when you become pastor your number of contacts with non-believers will reduce by about one-half.

    Sometime read http://www.bibleteacher.org/Dm118_8.htm
     
  3. cysperus

    cysperus New Member

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    Based on gb93433, one can conclude that a proof of leadership, in the context of discipleship, should be presented before one can even consider entering the full time ministry. I may not totally agree with this but I do believe in the importance of discipleship both as a command and as a model to follow. Are there any pastors or missionaries out there who may have felt some form of "calling"? I do hope you will refer to my original post.
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    If one cannot lead another then how can he lead the church of God? The early church made disciples. Jesus commanded it.

    As a whole the churches in America have been dying on a very slow decline for about the last 50 years. Show me a church that is making disciples which is dying. There are none. If a church does not make disciples it dies. If it does then it grows.
     
  5. cysperus

    cysperus New Member

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    Again you are making a valid point about the importance of Discipleship. Yes if we will follow Christ's command to make disciples then we will have a growing church. Pastors should do this and I believe most missionaries are heeding this call.

    However my question was about the concept of one's "calling" whether it is biblical to assume that God sets apart some people to do a particular work. I just find it odd for most full time workers to share a common reason in entering the ministry -- that most of them felt an inner compulsion or irresistible desire to serve. All christians are called to make disciples but are all christians called to be Pastors, Missionaries, Theologians, or Evangelists? If nobody was called...why do we have these people today.

    Bibleboy made some interesting arguments against those who claim that "calling" is biblical. I just wonder if we can just discount the possibility that the Holy Spirit can convict some christians for a specific purpose/work. I know this type of "leading" is dangerous and risky but again this is the reason why I am asking this question.
     
  6. EdSutton

    EdSutton New Member

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    Unbelievable! A post that has traversed 18 pages and still stayed on the topic. I gotta' change something I believed. Obviously, I was wrong for I thought 'Miracles' had ceased in the first coupla' centuries!
    Ed
     
  7. Me4Him

    Me4Him New Member

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    Whe you can "SEE/HEAR" the "Spirit of God" in a person, then you know they are in the "position" which God "CALLED" them.

    1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

    1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

    1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

    1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    The "Gift" isn't just a "Gift", it is also the "Ability" to do the Job, and proof of the gift is in the ability.

    "God doesn't just call, he also "equip".

    Ro 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (God won't change his mind)
     
  8. El_Guero

    El_Guero New Member

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    WHEW!

    Ya' got me a serious talkin' to! You should have seen the professor when he said, "Surely this young man does not come from the 'Baptist' heritage? 'Calling' was one of the reasons that Baptists became baptists."

    Just to let you know, I told him that I do not hold to what you were preaching. He settled down after that. Evidently, 'calling' is a hot button for some Baptists.
     
  9. Bible-boy

    Bible-boy Active Member

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    Hey El-Guero,

    My parents are Baptists, I was reaised in a Southern Baptist church, I've been a Southern Baptist ever since I was born again when I was 12 years old. The point I am trying to make is not whether or not there is a "calling;" rather it is how the term is defined and used. Additionally, I would caution you about trying to explain my position on the subject to a professor because I have not yet fully expalined it to you. I am trying to walk through this issue with you step by step asking you questions and responding to your answers and hopefully we will come to agreement on a biblical definition and understanding of the term and its use. It the Socratic method unfolding step by step.

    And you still have not answered my previous questions.

    If you have received such a call how do you know it? What makes you so certain that you received such a call? Did God speak to you in His audible voice or by means of a Divine vision (like He did to the O.T. Prophets)? If not, how do you know you are called to be a pastor?

    How would you go about determining if a young man [who expresses an interest in becoming a youth minister] had received such a call?

    What passage (or passages) of Scripute would you cite to indicate that the Bible clearly and explicitly says that he must have received such a call?

    [ January 21, 2006, 01:16 AM: Message edited by: Bible-boy ]
     
  10. El_Guero

    El_Guero New Member

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    Bible boy,

    So you grew up in the SBC, then your church should have felt that you had a 'call from God' when they endorced your application for SEBTS.

    I did not mis-represent your position.
     
  11. El_Guero

    El_Guero New Member

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    Bible-boy,

    Define the Trinity. Show me one scripture defining the Trinity in a representative manner, so that I can show you a scripture that would satisfy your biblical definition of God's 'call' of men into ministry.

    Give me an example. Once I can understand what kind of support you are looking for, I can provide a scripture to meet that.

    The call of God to men to enter the ministry is an easy biblical concept. It is much EASIER than the Trinity.
     
  12. Bible-boy

    Bible-boy Active Member

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    Red Herring. :rolleyes: The topic here is not the Trinity. If you have had one systematic theology class you know as well as I do that the word Trinity is not found in the Bible; however, it is the very nature and essence of God that He has prorgressively revealed about Himself throughout the Scriptures. There is plenty of biblical support for the doctrine of the Trinity. You can look it up for yourself and there is no need to introduce it into this discussion. [​IMG] Now just answer the questions that I asked you to the best of your ability. [​IMG] [​IMG] You should have no problem since you hold that it is such an easy biblical concept.

    [ January 21, 2006, 08:13 PM: Message edited by: Bible-boy ]
     
  13. Bible-boy

    Bible-boy Active Member

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    Hello Cysperus,

    I understand your quetions. Please keep following the dialogue between El_G and I and hopefully your questions will be answered in due time. There is a method to this form of discussion and I do not want to jump ahead of myself and cause the discussion to lose its focus. Keep reading.
     
  14. JBHorn

    JBHorn New Member

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    Just passing by [​IMG]
    I John
    5 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
     
  15. superdave

    superdave New Member

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    Christian mysticism aside, I've never really heard God speak, but somehow he led me where I am.

    Same goes for those who have chosen/been chosen for vocational ministry.

    Those we see "called" in scripture were literally called. We call them apostles. There aren't any today, pretty basic stuff here folks.
     
  16. El_Guero

    El_Guero New Member

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    Bible boy,

    The topic at hand is a much easier doctrine than the Trinity.

    The warrant for the statement that you misunderstood as a Red Herring was that not all theology is 'neat and tidy'. The Trinity is an example of a difficult concept that is not clearly delineated in the Bible. The call of God is much easier.

    You believe in the Trinity easily enough. But, with the 'call of God', you have found countless difficulties to ignore the traditional biblical interpretation.

    Same Bible: so, why apply a different hermeneutic? What standard do you utilize to change your hermeneutical principles?

    There is only ONE gloss showing the Trinity directly. I have provided a dozen or more Scripture passages showing that God did call His men into ministry. And I believe (applied hermeneutic) that God still calls men to His ministry.

    I have answered most of your pertinent questions and illustrations that I am aware of. However, I have ignored several of your red herrings. Your confusion on this doctrine does not warrant my being blinded by a little smoke on this AO.

    God has always called His men into ministry. I see no reason intra or extra biblically to believe that God has changed His method of operation with this doctrine. It just does not make sense for Him to change and not tell us that He changed.
     
  17. Bible-boy

    Bible-boy Active Member

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    Hey El-Guero,

    It is a Red Herring to introduce a topic (other than the one being discussed) in order to avoid talking directly about the topic under consideration. Attempting to introduce a discussion on the doctrine of the Trinity, no matter how much you think it helps make your case, is simply off topic.

    I don't think I have fallen prey to any use of a Red Herring fallacy so far in this discussion. If you believe that I have done so please quote where I did it. Otherwise, don’t throw out groundless accusations.

    Nope. Neither you or I (or anyone else) in this entire thread has provided a definition of exactly what is meant by "the traditional biblical interpretation" of the "Call to Ministry." Likewise, we have never agreed on exactly what is the "Call to Ministry."

    So if you would please be so kind to provide a definition of what you mean when you say "the traditional interpretation of the Call to Ministry," and then provide clear Scripture references that show:

    1. That God does indeed "call" all who serve in ministry today.

    2. That such a "calling" is required (by the Scriptures) for all who serve in ministry today.

    Furthermore, the key to what you are asking above is that I find no difficulties in the traditional doctrine of the Trinity when I apply a literal historical grammatical reading and understanding to the relevant texts. However, I do find numerous difficulties when applying the same literal historical grammatical reading and understanding to what you appear to be saying is the traditional interpretation of "the call."

    Yes, it is the same Bible. No, there has been no change in hermeneutic. I am using a very simple literal historical grammatical reading and understanding of the text. The Trinity is clearly revealed throughout the entire Bible. However, the "Call" (as you appear to be defining and using the term) is not found using that same simple literal historical grammatical reading and understanding of the text.

    Sorry, but no you have not. When you used certain passages of Scripture in an attempt to make your point I was left with questions regarding your use of those passages because it looked like you applied eisegesis (added outside words and meanings to the text) in order to support your presupposition. You have never rebutted, refuted, explained further, or attempted to address the concerns I raised regarding your use of those Scriptures.

    Sorry, but you have not. Specifically you have not answered:

    1. How does one know he has been "called" (in the way you appear to be using the term) by God to serve in ministry today?

    2. How are we, as church members, to recognize this "call" (as you appear to be using the term) upon someone's life?

    3. Where does the Scripture say that such a "call" (as you appear to be using the term) is required of those who serve in ministry today?

    4. If you have received such a call how do you know it?

    4a. What makes you so certain that you received such a call?

    4b. Did God speak to you in His audible voice or by means of a Divine vision (like He did to the O.T. Prophets)?

    4c. If not, how do you know you are called to be a pastor?

    Previously you said:

    5. How would you go about determining if a young man had received such a call?

    5a. What passage (or passages) of Scripture would you cite to indicate that the Bible clearly and explicitly says that he must have received such a call?

    These are the questions directly related to our discussion that you have not answered. There is no smoke here. As best as I can tell, from the view that you seem to be espousing, you should have clear biblical answers to each of these questions.

    Here is another one of the problems with the view you are attempting to support. I would argue that God has called (by means of His audible voice or divine visions) men to specific biblical offices such as the OT Prophets and the NT Apostles. However, we do not see Him doing this same thing with respect to Elders (pastors) in the early church. Paul told Titus to appoint elders and then gave him a list of qualifications to help him (Titus) identify the right kind of men for the office (Titus 1:5-9). There is no indication that Titus was to seek out the one's "called" (as you seem to be using the term) by God to fill the office. He was simply to find men who fit the qualifications listed in the Scripture.

    Finally, I have still not had the opportunity to discuss the Scriptures you referenced with Dr. Akin. However, I did find myself in the company of one of our Vice Presidents (who is also one of our Deans) and I talked to him about it. For what it is worth he pretty much agreed with me.
     
  18. El_Guero

    El_Guero New Member

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    What is your premise this time? Make a stand and stick to it. Or change your position to a cogent proposition.

    Several times there has been a clarification and you have fallen back upon a position that you had previously disavowed.

    Above, "I would argue that God has called (by means of His audible voice or divine visions) men . . ." But, then you argue from silence that He no longer does so. Why should I believe that the Eternal Sovereign has changed His mind? Show me some scripture. Or, at least show me a cogent statement that sounds like something other than a conversation about the weather.

    1. Previously discussed. How did Peter know that he was called? James? Isaiah? Jeremiah?

    2. New premise - using YOUR definition of a Red Herring - this is a red herring. BUT, it is in the Bible.

    3. Previously discussed. Further, your argument from silence that God no longer behaves in the manner that He has exhibited for over 2,000 years is interesting.

    4. You do not want to take this to an ad hominem do you? I have previously discussed all that I need to about my call.

    5. You go on another rabbit chase. Again: Every conservative (baptistic and otherwise) source that I have found supports my argument. A small minority of minor scholars should not outweigh the majority of major scholars.

    PS: "He pretty much agreed with me." Did he? What argument did you discuss? Which of your varied arguments did you discuss with him. Did he say that "Calvin, Graham, Spurgeon, et., al. were hermeneutically wrong?" Did he say that the calling of Jeremiah, John, Mark, and Paul was only applicable for their time. Did he say, "God no longer calls men into ministry?"

    PSS: After 19 pages, I should have a cogent understanding of what you would define as the traditinal view of the call. I do not. I have gone back and read your posts many times. I simply do not understand what you are trying to posit. I have held and still hold to the view that God calls (sends &/or appoints) his men to ministry. After 19 pages, you still want to say, "God did do it that way, but you cannot show that God still does it that way." You showed that the traditional view had a claim for validity. If you want to disallow the tradtional claim, then you must show why that claim is no longer valid.
     
  19. El_Guero

    El_Guero New Member

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    There is no indication to support your eisegetical hermeneutic that Titus was to NOT look for men called by God. I do not believe that Titus, Timothy, or Paul held that God did not call His men to service. I doubt that many early Church Fathers held that men were not called by God to service.
     
  20. Bible-boy

    Bible-boy Active Member

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    I have not introduced a new premise. I am making a stand and sticking to it. No change in position or proposition.

    Really, please quote my posts where this happened. The only thing that I remember disavowing was where I said the passage in Jeremiah said nothing about pastors. However, after going back and re-reading the passage I saw that it did use the word shepherd and I agreed that the word pastor means shepherd.

    First, if you are going to quote me do so in full and in context. What I said in the material that you have only partially quoted above is that God has called (by means of His audible voice or divine visions) men to specific biblical offices such as the OT Prophets and the NT Apostles. However, we do not see Him doing this same thing with respect to Elders (pastors) in the early church. Then I referenced the passage in Titus, which makes no mention of men being “called” to be Elders, and I pointed out that Titus was told to appoint Elders and given a list of qualifications to help him identify the right kind of men for the position. Again, please note that the text of Titus makes no mention of Titus being instructed to go find the men the God had “called” to be Elders.

    Second, I have shown you previously that an argument from silence is not always inappropriate (or invalid) as long as in is done properly. Then I showed you the fact that the Bible uses the exact same “argument from silence” in the exact same way that I am using it. The writer of the book of Hebrews clearly says that Jesus could not function as a priest while on earth (Heb. 8:4). So we ask why could Jesus not function as priest while He was here on earth? The answer is because the Lord was from the tribe of Judah, and the law “said nothing” (i.e., was silent) regarding priests from Judah (Heb. 7:14).

    Additionally, I showed you that God has not been silent about His silence. The Bible warns us not to go beyond that which has been written:

    Your critique against me that claims that I “argue from silence” and therefore, that my position must be invalid has been soundly refuted. Furthermore, the witness of the objective truth of the Scripture has proven your accusation against me to be false. Therefore, stop throwing out the groundless claim.

    Jesus spoke to NT Apostles with His physical audible voice. The OT Prophets heard God’s audible voice or received Divine visions. Are you trying to imply that all modern day pastors are to be likewise “called” in one of these exact same ways?

    Nope. My definition of a Red Herring said that it was to introduce an unrelated, off topic discussion in order to avoid talking about the subject at hand. I did not introduce a new unrelated subject. My question is directly related to the position you seem to be attempting to defend. Therefore, it pertains directly to the subject under discussion. Please answer it in detail.

    I am glad that you find it interesting. However, I have shown you previously that an argument from silence is not always inappropriate (or invalid) as long as in is done properly. Then I showed you the fact that the Bible uses the exact same “argument from silence” in the exact same way that I am using it. The writer of the book of Hebrews clearly says that Jesus could not function as a priest while on earth (Heb. 8:4). So we ask why could Jesus not function as priest while He was here on earth? The answer is because the Lord was from the tribe of Judah, and the law “said nothing” (i.e., was silent) regarding priests from Judah (Heb. 7:14).

    Additionally, I showed you that God has not been silent about His silence. The Bible warns us not to go beyond that which has been written:

    Your critique against me that claims that I “argue from silence” and therefore, that my position must be invalid has been soundly refuted. Furthermore, the witness of the objective truth of the Scripture has proven your accusation against me to be false. Therefore, stop throwing out the groundless claim.

    No I don’t. There is no reason that our discussion of your call should become a personal attack against you. The details that you would put forth and how well they line up with the clear teaching of the Scriptures would determine whether or not I would find your story/experience to be biblical. However, that would not be a personal attack against you. If I were to disagree with you regarding what is biblical and what is not it would have nothing whatsoever to do with you personally and everything to do with what the Word says (and does not say) about the subject.

    That’s nice. You make a claim regarding your steadfast assurance in your position and when I question you on it you tell me that I’m chasing rabbits! :rolleyes:

    Sounds like something the Pope would have told Luther when he challenged the church on the selling of indulgences. ;)

    Yep. He did… I laid out our debate over the issue as best as I could. I fully explained my position to him. I don't think he ever mentioned the positions of those scholars. We just talked about what the Bible says (and does not say). No one is saying that the “calling” of those men in the Bible was only applicable for their time. However, their calling was specifically for them. You and I are not Prophets and Apostles. We do not hear the audible voice of God or receive Divine visions from God for the express purpose of a continuing progressive revelation of His Word. We ended the discussion when he said that he agreed with my position on the subject.

    I know what I think it is. However, I don’t know exactly what you think it is. It is your position to define and defend. I will not attempt to do that for you. So again I ask you to please provide your definition and we will stick with it.

    That is because I am trying to address your position fully to determine if it is as biblical as you say it is. However, you have refused to cooperate and provide even a basic definition of your position for me to examine against the Scriptures. Likewise, you consistently dance around my direct and applicable questions that would shed light on your position. Once we have fully examined your position under the authoritative spotlight of the Word I will fully explain my position and we can do the same.

    Again, here is one more of my problems with the position you seem to be espousing. You want to force the term “call” to mean “sends and/or appoints.” This is yet another reason why I need for you to fully define what you mean when you use the term “call.”

    You misunderstand my position. Yes, I say that God called specific men to be OT Prophets and NT Apostles. However, it is my position that there is no logical jump in assuming that because He spoke to them in that way, that it necessarily dictates that He does the same with modern day elders/pastors. This is particularly important in the light of the fact that we do not see God “calling” elders in that same way in the early NT church. His Word gives us a set of qualifications that helps us identify the right men for the position. However, the lists of qualifications found in the Bible never use the term or imply that a “calling” is necessary.

    Where did I show that the traditional view had a claim for validity? All I ever said was that the traditional view uses the biblical term “call.” The Bible does use the term "call;" however, not in the exact same sense that the traditional view seems to be using it. I never said that I agreed that the traditional view used that term correctly (as it is used in the Bible). I have shown that it is not valid to use the term in the way that the traditional view uses it because the Bible does not use it in that exact same way when referring to elders in the early NT church.

    [ February 04, 2006, 06:46 PM: Message edited by: Bible-boy ]
     
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