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The Handful?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by tyndale1946, Jul 8, 2002.

  1. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Pastor Larry,

    Remember that our actual audience is not those on the other side of a particular theological issue, but those who read these threads who are trying to understand the Bible better but don't participate by posting. We cannot expect those with whom we are discussing to come to believe as we do, but we can influence, if it is God's will, those who are seeking for truth and read these threads.

    Ken
     
  2. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian New Member

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    Primitive Baptist,

    'What if God . . . .' Purely hypothetical! I guess if He chose to damn souls at will He could; but He doesn't do that. Try to read all the words, and better yet, try to understand all of the words.
     
  3. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller Active Member
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    Just a few Questions....

    Why would God choose Abraham as the Father of the Nation of Israel and claim Israel over all other nations as His Chosen People?

    Is that fair?
    Is that not an arbitrary decision?
    Did He not know that China was populated at the time?
    Why would he pick Abraham over Ming Fu?

    And Why would he Choose Saul instead of Gamaliel or another of Gamaliel's Students to be the Apostle to the Gentiles? Was that fair to all the other Pharisees who were persecuting the people of the Way?

    I suspect we have have always had a God who acts sovereignly in ways that often seem arbitrary to us. Rather I know it because He chose me.
     
  4. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    Better yet, with his logic, God could still send all of us to Hell, even after saying we were saved. The Daniel and Romans passages he quotes would justify it just as much as what he is suggesting. All that stuff about "wouldn't be fair to punish for paid sins" or "God said He does not lie"? Who are you O man that replies back to God? See the can of worms such misuse of that verse opens? So obviously, this means God does not do everything He "could" do as the Sovereign. Else, we could have no hope for what He will do with us.
    As to Hardsheller, nobody has a problem with those temporal examples of deciding one over another. It's the idea of choosing people for eternal damnation people question.
    (And PB still hasn't shown how his use of the scriptures is not double predestination.)
     
  5. Calvinist Dude

    Calvinist Dude New Member

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    Ray said:
    The "hypothetical" here is Paul's reasoning as to the "fact" of God's having mercy on some and hardening others. Look at the context of the passage:

    God hardens some and has mercy on others. Paul states that as a fact. He then hypothesizes as to why that fact is the case. Notice his "what if" comes well after he has stated fully the position that God does as He wills among humanity. You're the one who needs to read all of the words...in context.

    The fact of the matter is that Scripture is clear that God does whatever He pleases to bring about His own glory. In many cases, the things He does may be discomforting or even distasteful to us. It doesn't matter. Our sense of ethics is thoroughly perverted to the point that we don't have the capability of understanding God's reasoning behind His will. Just a short (or maybe not so short) listing of what God can do and does among His creation:

    He can withold people from sinning.

    He can make people choose a course of action that he later punishes.

    He commanded the wholesale slaughter of men, women, children, and animals.

    He created people with handicaps and disabilities and then refused to allow them to serve in His temple.

    He does whatever He pleases.

    He sent an angel to lie to a prophet to lead Ahab to his death.

    He offered Job as a challenge to Satan.
    He gave multiple wives to David as a gift and even offered to give him more.

    He forced Jonah to go to Nineveh when he absolutely did not want to go. (Another violation of man's free will! :confused: )

    He allowed Satan into the Garden of Eden.

    I could go on and on with examples like this. The fact of the matter is that God absolutely does whatever He pleases whether we like it or not. This is what truly makes Him God. Unfortunately, our sinful natures rebel against Him being God. We want to place Him in a box and make Him subject to our own moral codes and ethics. To all of you Arminians, GOD IS NOT SUBJECT TO OUR MORAL STANDARDS AND DOESN'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THAT! That 's the thrust of Romans 9. You don't have the right to question God. As for me, I take comfort in the fact that God is truly God and that He's not in heaven biting His nails wondering in what direction mankind is going to steer human history.

    Eric B said:
    You obviously don't understand that the two are inseparable. In going to the nation of Israel and revealing Himself and His covenant of redemption, He left the poor Chinese, American Indians, Europeans and anyone else that wasn't living in Israel at the time in the cold. Israel, by virtue of being God's elect nation, was the only nation with knowledge of God's redemptive purposes. That means that all of those other peoples lived and died without knowing about God's redemptive plan. So God's choosing an elect nation carried a redemptive purpose also.
     
  6. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    Still, with this logic, He could still torture all of us, and the idea that He said He wouldn't lie is just "our moral standard". God said he takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (as people claim damnation is for His "sovereign pleasure"), and if you can override that with His "decretive will", then you can override His promises (He would be "obligated" to us).
    And as far as this "Questioning God" business, enough is enough! God has not posted on this board, for anyone to be "questioning" Him. What is being questioned is an interpretation of men, which has to be questioned just like any other theory men come up with. (Acts 17:11)

    As for God calling Israel and leaving others in the dark, this is a hard to address subject, but for one thing, keep in mind that being apart of Israel was no guarantee of salvation, which is the whole point Romans 9 is showing us!) For this very reason, trying to fit Romans 9 to this to explain "people who have no chance" is not true to its context, which is the "chosen" (but now "hardened") group Israel, NOT "all who will be in Hell".
     
  7. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Actually, He cannot as His Son has paid the just penalty for the sins of His people, the elect.

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
     
  8. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    But if one insists that God can do ANYTHING He pleases, than He can change the rule on that as well. Of course, that is ridiculous, scripturally, but if preterition is true, it must be defended purely on scriptural exegesis. People are attempting to do that, but with many, the final word seems to be a hypothetical "God can do as He pleases" to the point of even overriding His character (as some have actually said here).
     
  9. russell55

    russell55 New Member

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    God can indeed do anything He pleases, but the key words there are HE PLEASES. What pleases God is always in keeping with His nature.

    He is by nature one who keeps His promises, and He has revealed that to us, so "whatever He pleases" will never include not fulfilling His promises to us.

    There isn't some set of rules that God has to keep in order to be righteous; rather, it is what God is that determines what is righteous. So He can do whatever He pleases, and whatever He pleases will always be the right thing to do.

    Well, I would never say that God can override His character, but what I mean when I make a statement like "God can do as He pleases" is really something like this: It doesn't really matter much what I think of what God does. My judgment on these things (as a human being, and a fallen one at that) is not really such that it can be trusted in these matters. Therefore, I have to rest in the truth that if God tells us He does something, then that something is the right thing to do.

    As an example, I don't much like that when God sent judgment upon Sodom and Gommorah, babies and little children died alongside their very wicked parents. To be honest, to me, that just doesn't seem like the best way to go about things. I just have to accept that I am in no position to make any judgment about anything God does. He can do as He pleases, and even if I can't figure out why it is right, I must accept that it is right.

    So when people say, "God can do as He pleases," I think they are trying to say that we don't have to be able explain WHY something that God does is right in order for it to be right. If God does something, then we must accept that it is right, even if we don't understand it.
     
  10. russell55

    russell55 New Member

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    So, does that statement (God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked) mean that when God sends the wicked to eternal death, He is somehow doing it against His will?

    [ July 13, 2002, 07:34 PM: Message edited by: russell55 ]
     
  11. Calvinist Dude

    Calvinist Dude New Member

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    Eric B said:
    If God so chose, He could do that however He has stated clearly that He will not. He has also stated clearly that He will not lie so we can trust what He says. However, God is not bound to do those things because of any ethical or moral code. God is free to do whatever He chooses; yet, Scripture informs us that God's actions are solely for His glory. This is what pleases Him. God is righteousness; therefore, He doesn't do something because it's righteous, it is righteous because He does it. Everything that He does and everything that is done on Earth is solely for His glory and nothing else.

    God only allows what is necessary for His glory, both in humanity's actions and in His actions. He is, however, free to do whatsoever He pleases to do. A good analogy is the physical laws of the universe. God created those laws, such as gravity, motion, relativity, etc., for us, but He is not bound by them. In the same sense, He created a moral law for us, but He is not bound by that moral law Himself. That is why He can and does command us to not murder; yet, He is free to take and give life as He pleases. God's ordering of Saul to totally annihilate the Amalekites, men, women, children, and animals is not murder on God's part.

    The reaction by humanity to these types of actions by God as being unfair, horrible, or whatever is simply a reflection of our sinful natures rebelling against the idea that we have a Creator who can do whatever He feels like doing with us. That is why Calvinistic doctrines are so hard for people to accept, because most people don't want a God who is totally free. They want a God who is predictable and does things the way they think they should be done. Our God doesn't do that.

    The Arminian view deep down does not acknowledge the gravity of this verse. It portrays a God who does what people expect He will do and is somehow bound to provide mankind with some kind of fair dealing. He is not bound to do anything for us and He only provides redemption to us because it will ultimately glorify Him.

    This is not to say, however, that our God is capricious or cruel, or that He does not love us. He has chosen to "set His love" upon His elect and He does truly love us and will keep His promises to us because Scripture and His character affirm that. But don't ever get the idea into your head that He MUST do these things. He must do them only because He promised to for His own glory, but He could just as easily chosen to create all of us and send every entire one of us to hell if He had felt like it.

    russell55 said:
    Amen, brother. What a gracious, mighty, and powerful God we serve

    [ July 13, 2002, 10:23 PM: Message edited by: Cartesian Kid ]
     
  12. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian New Member

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    Eric B,

    You are correct again. God never overrides His absolute and immoveable character. This is because He is God and also so we can depend on His fairness and faithfulness among other things.

    The truine Godhead is just/fair and is not willing that any should perish, unlike some who portray Him as autocratically selecting the majority for everlasting destruction. This is supposed to make the saints stand up and shout because of this alledged aspect of His sovereignty. I'm glad that I have never told other people that He is bigotted or biased toward certain of His humanity created in the Image of God.

    The true God is not arbitrary nor is He a partially loving God. He is the all-just and all-loving Savior of the world.

    The above view of extreme Calvinism is due to a faulty view of Total Depravity. We all agree that Adam and Eve were created in God's Image.

    Please, notice after the Fall and Noah's flood, Almighty God is still saying that humankind is created in the Image of God. [Genesis 9:6] 'Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the Image of God made He man.'
     
  13. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Eric B said:
    I personally resent that statement... You are saying we can no nothing of my God... Well my God has shown us again and again we can... I believe what my God has shown us through his doctrine that we can see with spiritual eyes... The same as the Burean brethren which btw was not the doctrines of men. I'm sure all the brethren like me question our God all the time and if you didn't how would you learn! I don't see my God in heaven rolling dice!... Brother Glen :eek:
     
  14. Primitive Baptist

    Primitive Baptist New Member

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    After reading some of the posted statements, I wonder if some of you have ever read a Bible in your life. I see people going to unreasonable and stupid extremes to prove their doctrine. Please, if you're going to discuss something, atleast act sensible.

    [ July 14, 2002, 03:00 AM: Message edited by: Primitive Baptist ]
     
  15. russell55

    russell55 New Member

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    Ray,

    When you say God is all-loving and not partially loving, do you mean that God acts benevolently toward all people all the time?
     
  16. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member
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    Show me, Dr. Berrian, please, one scripture where it is evident that mankind is not an already condemned race, fallen thru Adam, and that mankind is still to undergo condemnation or about to undergo condemnation and I will agree with you that the Lord damns (as in present tense) men to hell.
     
  17. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    From russel and Cartesian Kid:

    So along the same line, God says He does not purposely give people no chance to repent and then "hold them responsible" and danm tham as "vessels of wrath" anyway. It's to this everyone responds "Who are you that replies to God", but God did not say that, people are reading it into scriptures. In this light, tyndale said:
    I'm not saying we can know nothing of God. But people are using a verse to try to silence everyone else as if God spoke here in person, when it's a human interpretation of God's words that's being "questioned" or "replied" to.
    But the Bible clearly says He does this, and none of here are questioning that. That's far different from the questionable premise of reprobation or preterition. In fact, people can even see mercy in the killing of the infants, because they were already polluted with horrible atrocities (seeing their siblings sacrificed to pagan gods, etc), and would have grown up warped, demonically oppressed/posessed, etc. and this goes along with God's character of love.
    Calvinism takes these issues and then thinks it can extend the principle to eternal destruction in Hell. But God does not extend it to that. It's not predictability according to the way we think, it's trustability according to what He says His will is. (You're doing the same thing you accuse Arminians of when you determine how He must manifest His "sovereignty" and then read it into the scriptures).

    [ July 14, 2002, 05:05 PM: Message edited by: Eric B ]
     
  18. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    I had wanted have another discussion of the "wills" of God, to bring up a point, and here is the perfect opportunity.
    Basically, many of us contrast God's eternal will (in which he desires good and for all to be saved) with His permissive will (which allows evil and people to reject Him and perish). From what I've seen, the Calvinist speaks, instead of an "eternal" will, of what they call a decretive will. The difference is that while the non-Calvinist places the destruction of people in Hell in God's permissive will (in contrast to His eternal will for all to be saved), the Calvinist places people's consignment to Hell in His decretive will (The realm of His decrees, which overrides His other desires). Where does this place His desire that none should perish or not taking pleasure in the death of the wicked? In His permissive will? That wouldn't make sense. This is why the so-called "tension" of the Calvinist side is an irreconcilable and unjustifiable contradiction, and not the "tension" of the non-Calvinist position.
     
  19. russell55

    russell55 New Member

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    Well, I don't think God gives anyone NO CHANCE to repent (and neither do most other Calvinists, at least as far as I know.). God gives people every chance to repent, it's just that given their obstinate hearts, they won't do what God asks of them. There is no barrier keeping them from repenting save the barrier against God in their own hearts. God holds people responsible because deep down, every single person knows that there is an eternal, invisible, all-powerful God who they ought to be worshipping, but to a man, they refuse to acknowledge Him.

    And, BTW, every calvinist I have ever met, supra/infra/whatever, believes that preterition (or reprobation) is from God's inactivity rather than His activity. (There may be some who think that God actively works unbelief in the reprobate, but I don't know any.) Men reprobate themselves, by remaining in their state of unbelief.

    Well, I think its pretty clear from scripture that there are those to whom it has "not been given to come", and that without this, they will choose to continue in unbelief. But my point with the example is that none of us are really in a position to judge what God does, because what we think God ought to do and what He actually does can be different things.

    But we are never told that God was being merciful rather than just judgmental, are we? We are never told what the eternal fate of those little ones was, are we? What we are left with is simply the knowledge that killing those infants was the right thing to do, because the righteous God did it, and then we can speculate all we want as to the reasons God did things the way He did.
     
  20. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson Active Member

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    Scott,

    If you don't like the fact that God saves some but not all, I cordially suggest that you bring the issue up with Him during your devotional time, and ask for His guidance in the matter. I can only tell you what I believe the Bible teaches and I can go no farther.

    One who accepts God's purposes,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
    </font>[/QUOTE]Because my God doesn't pass anyone by. It's not a problem of ethics for me.

    Again, will you answer the question? Why is this not a problem of ethics for you?
     
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