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Reformed Question

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Shortandy, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Shortandy

    Shortandy New Member

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    My brother and I have been reading, studying and discussing reformed theology in order to grow and sharpen each other.

    He has been listening to a guy named Steve Gregg and from that he asked me a question last night that I struggle to answer.

    More or less the question was......IF God doesn't love all people the same (elect, non-elect) then isn't it ridiculous that He would call the elect to love all people and not be a respecter of person?

    How would a reformer answer that question? Thanks for the help!!
     
  2. jbh28

    jbh28 Active Member

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    Are we commanded to love all people the same? I love my wife more than anybody else.
     
  3. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

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    Matthew 5:46
    If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.
     
  4. Ruiz

    Ruiz New Member

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    Shortandy had a great short response. I do not think we are called to love everyone the same. Yet, we are also told not to be a respecter of persons. God, for instance, does not love everyone the same and is no respecter of persons. We can see the differences in love in this verse, "Jacob I Loved, Esau I hated" (Romans 9:13). Does this mean he does not love all people? No! John 3:16 clearly conveys there is universal love for all people. Yet, His love is different.

    The primary evidence of the different type of love is the distinct and unique love God has for His church.

    Covenant is a special type of love that is unique from general love. Shortandy stated love for a spouse which also comes under covenant love. We, Christians, are in Covenant with God in the New Covenant. We enjoy a unique love that, as God pointed out, should be the model for how we are to love our wife (Ephesians 5:23). It is not that I don't love you, but my covenant love of my wife is called to a much higher standard by covenant and when trying to convey this higher standard, Paul pointed to God's love for the church.

    Is there a general love for people that we should enjoy? Yes! Does God show that His Covenant love is unique and powerful? By all means!
     
  5. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

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    Ruiz,
    You have a lot of good points. It is the type of love, not a division of love and hate. The fact is Scripture says He chose us, we did not choose Him. Aside from all of that, even if God chooses to love some and hate some (which He does not), then that is His right. He is the Creator. We, being the created, are commanded to love everyone. What seems fair to us is immaterial to the situation. We either obey or we do not.
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    Here is a verse which which should shed some light on the matter:

    Deuteronomy 7:7-8
    7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

    It is clear that God did not set his affection on the Egyptians. God chose the children of Israel for the specific reason that he loved them. And he loved them to the exclusion of the Egyptians, the Philistines and many other nations.

    If, on the other hand, God did love the Egyptians, etc., he certainly loved them in a different way from the way he loved the Israelites. And the passage seems clear that he loved Israel apart from any merit on their part.

    From another angle, God has demonstrated his love to those to whom he has sent the gospel. Since there are people in this world who have never heard the gospel, it is obvious that if God loves them, he has a strange way of showing it.
     
  7. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member

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    There is no command from God to love all mankind.
    There is an instruction to live peaceably with others.
    The command to love is for the "brotherhood", the brethren, to fellow saints, those who call on the same Name we all call on.
    Christ was very specific in His instruction to His disciples, that they love one another.
    Paul follows suit.
    He speaks of loving brethren.

    It allows me to sleep peacefully if I am unable to help people in great disasters, the same way it bothers me greatly if I am unable to help a known brother who is in distress. Remember James ?
     
  8. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

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    Remember the Good Samaritan?
    Walk on by.
     
  9. RAdam

    RAdam New Member

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    I've got one question for those who hold that God loves every single person in existence: what do you do with Romans 8:38 and 39?

    If there is absolutely no chance of ever being separated from the love of God, then noone God loves will be separated from Him. If this is the case, then either God doesn't love those who will end up in hell, Paul was wrong, or the bible is wrong when it declares that some people will go to hell. The last two options are unacceptable, therefore I must conclude that God doesn't love everyone.
     
  10. Cypress

    Cypress New Member

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    Not a logical conclusion. Love in only one direction is quite possible. If one chooses not to return Gods love then they are separated. We are also commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. Also Matthew 5:43-48
     
  11. Shortandy

    Shortandy New Member

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    Great post guys...keep them coming!

    The issue that this Gregg guy poses is that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves and love our enemies. This seems to be a love everyone type of logic. So his problem (not mine but his) is that God calls us to do something that He is not doing....if in fact Calvinism is correct.

    My question is how would you specifically respond to that type of assertion?
     
  12. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member

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    God loves everyone (with the exception of those he hates).
     
  13. MB

    MB Active Member

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    Christ loved those who crucified Him. Loved those who hated Him. Those who mocked Him. He asked the Father to forgive them. We are Christian, if so then shouldn't we be trying to be Christ like? Isn't that our expected conduct.
    MB
     
  14. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

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    Christ intercedes for His elect only, so when He said "Father forgive them", he was only referring to the elect.:thumbs:
     
  15. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member

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    As far as I understand the story, the good Samaritan is not about loving all mankind.
    It is about legalism involving a priest and a Levite, both Jewish offices involved with the law.
     
  16. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

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    Luke 10:25ff [emphasis added]

    And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
    He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
    And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
    And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
    And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. . . .
     
  17. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist Well-Known Member

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    I would first say to Gregg that He has misunderstood the Scripture concerning God's general and special love. I would answer that, indeed, Christians are not being commanded to do something that God doesn't Himself do. We have Him as our example.

    I would add as a side note to this brother, that God, however, has every right to command us to do whatsover He wills, whether He does so or not. HE is God.

    I would then conclude that his charge against Calvinism is not a biblical one, and that he must try some other route.
     
  18. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member

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    I am not going further than this reply, Jerome, without causing this thread to be hijacked.
    You win.
    I am evil.
    You are good.
     
  19. Darrenss1

    Darrenss1 New Member

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    I really hate arguments framed by this allegation charging God with keeping some kind of double standard as if God has to follow the laws He has set for man to follow. What God does He does as an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient being, whom cannot do evil nor is any darkness found in Him. I think everything God does relating to mankind is set with eternity in mind.

    I think while God can "love everyone" He loves them for the saving of their soul, I guess in similar fashion we love everyone hoping they would come to Christ because of their lost condition but loving the brethern as we are all in Christ and in the family of God... I guess the biggest difference is, we don't know all who will be saved or whom are saved or the identity of the elect, despite the difference in "how God can know" I think God does know all whom are His...

    That's my suggestion anyway.

    Darren
     
  20. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith Active Member

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    I John 2:2

    He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
     
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