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Predestination & Free Will


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#181 chipwag64

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 07:06 PM

As I have read through this topic, I have seen a lot of misunderstanding about "foreknowledge", "predestination","election", mans responsibility for his actions, Gods sovereignty etc.
We have to be careful when we don't understand the clear teaching of verses, not to tweak them to fit a system of thought we may have, not to pass over even one word in the text, to keep things in context, to compare scripture with other scripture etc.
I myself would be foolish to say that I understand everything that I read, but I rely on the fact that God is righteous and just, who cannot lie, and is gracious and merciful.
If we do not understand how God can foreknow a people before they were born, and predestinate them while passing over others, lets labor in prayer to God that He would give us the grace and faith to trust Him in this.
Let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4).
When we try to exalt mans "free will", we then strip God some way of His attributes or abilities.
Another thing to consider when talking about "free will"; it may be worth discussing the doctrine of faith and what exactly it means to "believe" in God towards everlasting life. I truly believe that a proper view of this doctrine would help to clear up misconceptions about "free will".

Chip

#182 Fred Williams

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:26 PM

Thirdly, I see this ALL the time, predestination does NOT in any way whatsoever mean that EVERY action and/or thought of a predestined individual was predestined, this is NOT in the Bible!!

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I agree. I never suggested you believed otherwise. You’ve made it clear you are not a strict Calvinist and I believe you.

…but in other posts it seems like you’re saying that God has no knowledge whatsoever of anyone’s future actions or choices because the future does not exist yet.


No knowledge whatsoever? I don’t think I have ever taken it that far. See my response below.

I just happened to notice post # 70 and I want you to see how you contradicted yourself THREE times!! This is your exact answer to someone who asked the same question:

"You assume Peter was predestined to deny Christ, but there is another possibility. Couldn’t God, with his infinite wisdom, look into Peter’s heart & mind and know with certainty Peter would deny him? The Calvinist often claims such a statement denies God’s sovereignty, but doesn’t it also deny his sovereignty to say He can’t look into a person’s thoughts and know how they are going to react to certain situations? I think every person in the world have certain thoughts that betray them to God such that God knows with 100% certainty how they will react to certain situations."

Fred, You used the word “know(s)” three times!! Ooops! 


This may come as a shock, :) but If I felt I contradicted myself I would tell you and then admit my mistake. I’ve made plenty of mistakes before and have admitted them (including believing in the pagan Greek philosophy that God is outside of time). But in this case I honestly see NO contradiction. I have given many examples of how God could “know” something in the not yet existent future. He can either make it happen, or, because he knows everything knowable, He can certainly know how someone is going to react because He knows their every thought, in the minutest of details. Just assume for a moment that I am correct, that the future does not exist until it happens. Are you telling me God could not know Peter’s response, and Judas’ betrayal?

The interesting thing is, there actually is a verse in the Bible you could zing me with for my statement above, but then you can't use it because you'll zing yourself at the same time! Consider this:

Gen 22:122 And He said,"Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."

Is there anyone reading this who is willing to take this verse literally? Even I have a hard time with it, because, taken literally, it suggests there wasn’t an absolute certainty of Abram’s decision until he actually made it.

I again submit that Old Earthers avoid the literal interpretation of far fewer verses than the large majority of YECers who dismiss the mighty cauldron of verses that contradict the belief God is outside of time. I again ask, why would God be longsuffering for all to be saved if He determined ahead of time who would be saved? How do you deal with this dilemma (2 Peter 3:9)?

Do you agree with the responses in this thread I have received to Matt 23:37-38? No one seems to want to take this verse literally, because it overturns much of what they thought they knew of scripture. How do you deal with Matt 23:37-38 (also Luke 13:34)?

The verses you provided (thank you, BTW, since, as this thread has proven many times over, I am more likely to get philosophical arguments than scriptural arguments) are easily accommodated by the Open View. Surely you don’t think God is not powerful enough to “motivate” the man to bring the pitcher of water at the time of His choosing?

Fred

#183 Fred Williams

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:33 PM

We have to be careful when we don't understand the clear teaching of verses, not to tweak them to fit a system of thought we may have, not to pass over even one word in the text, to keep things in context, to compare scripture with other scripture etc.
Chip

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Wow! AMEN! Now I just ask you to take your own advice, because as I believe I have clearly shown, there are far, FAR more verses that you have to "tweak" to support your position!!!

I am not trying to provoke you in any way, really (chances are we probably agree on 90% of scripture). But when I read what you wrote above, I couldn't believe you would write this and be completely blind to the fact that it is EXACTLY what you are doing! Even if I grant you that the pre-destination verses you cited are tenuously explained by my POV, we are only talking what, maybe FIVE verses? I have HUNDREDS that contradict your position! Doesn't it make sense to find a reasonable explanation for the TEN, rather than “tweak” the HUNDREDS!

Fred

#184 Fred Williams

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 12:01 AM

I think you are so smart to think it´s an answer. Are you kidding or do you think your example really refutes what I said ?

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No, I am not kidding. Maybe' I'm just dumb. :) I understand the logical dilemma you raised, my point is that the same dilemma exists by extending into the infinite future instead of the past, yet in this case includes a created entity (man) that has a beginning. To me your dilemma is frankly silly, because in “outside of time” eternity there cannot exist a “moment” since infinity (eternity) exists before the moment and therefore makes the moment non-existent. To me it is not much different than asking if God is powerful enough to create a Rock too big to move.

I had incorrectly assumed your next statement would be that humans when they die and enter eternity (either in the smoking or non-smoking section) are themselves removed from the dimension of time. Is this not where you are ultimately heading with this? Since I think it is, :), there is a verse mentioned in this thread that precisely refutes the belief that time does not exist in heaven. The verse has to be rejected as literal, yet it is as literal as you can possibly get. There is no way to make the verse poetic, allegorical, or hyperbole. Do you know which verse I am talking about? To me it's a lot easier for our finite minds to talk about scripture, than infinity and really big rocks.

Fred

#185 chipwag64

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 02:50 PM

Fred,

I think "The Deacon" and many others have answered your "contradictory" verses well and I can't do any better.
I would just absolutely LOVE to discuss Genesis 22:12, if I thought that you might understand what I was talking about!! it would further support my view of foreknowledge, thank you for bringing that one up!!
Maybe some other time.
:lol:

#186 Fred Williams

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:20 PM

Fred,

I think "The Deacon" and many others have answered your "contradictory" verses well and I can't do any better.

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"..and many others". What "many" others?

You said we should not tweak scriptures. You seem uncofortable with the ones I have raised, and you'd rather default to "someone else already did". THen you said "many others" have done the same. I'd like to know who. Better yet, don't go back and try to prove your point and spend gobs of time, instead please try to explain these why these verses can't be taken literally, in your own words, so the interested reader can see who is "tweaking" scripture, and who is not. Here is another one:

Jonah 3:10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

Did God really mean what He said, or do we have to "tweak" this into an anthropomorphism?

One last thing. You said you had some good reasons why you should still evangelize and pray even though God already has pre-determined who gets to go to heaven. I am curious to hear these good reasons. :lol:

Fred

#187 deadlock

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 03:16 AM

No, I am not kidding. Maybe' I'm just dumb. :) I understand the logical dilemma you raised, my point is that the same dilemma exists by extending into the infinite future instead of the past


Only if time flows backwards.But time flows from past to future, so your point does not stand.

#188 chipwag64

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 02:42 PM

Fred,

If you do not accept other peoples answers to scripture, and I would give you the same answer, what would make you accept mine and not theirs if it's the exact same answer? Why repeat the same arguements that have already been made; not only here but everywhere these topics are debated????
I have a clear understanding of foreknowledge and predestination and obviously so do you.
I see no reason not to take that verse literally, as well as many others.
I also have no discomfort with one single verse that you have brought to my attention.
Why evangelize the lost?
#1 it is called the Great Commission, it's what disciples are "commissioned" to do, to make other disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).
#2 those who reject the gospel have no excuse, they cannot say that they have never heard it.
#3 I understand Mark 16:15 as a command, not a suggestion from the Lord Jesus.
#4 When Christ, the only begotten Son is proclaimed as Lord, as Savior, as Redeemer, as King, as the only way, as truth, as life etc. it brings Glory to God; whether or not one person believes into Him.
#5 Gods chosen are "called" through the Gospel (2 Thess. 2:14)
#6 We are to warn those who do not obey the Gospel that they are to come under judgment (1 Peter 4:17, 2 Thess. 1:8)
And yes, I take each verse literally. :)

#189 Fred Williams

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:14 PM

If you do not accept other peoples answers to scripture, and I would give you the same answer, what would make you accept mine and not theirs if it's the exact same answer? Why repeat the same arguements that have already been made; not only here but everywhere these topics are debated????
I have a clear understanding of foreknowledge and predestination and obviously so do you.
I see no reason not to take that verse literally, as well as many others.
I also have no discomfort with one single verse that you have brought to my attention.


And so it goes, the usual way this ends with a Calvinist. You are right that many times the same argument is made by both sides. I’ve made many of the same arguments throughout this thread, but they are no less powerful because you disagree with them and have trouble taking the time to explain why you think you are taking them literally. Saying you take them literally does not mean you are taking them literally. I can claim I’m good at golf, but this does not make it so (I'd still love to hear you try to explain how God can be longsuffering for all people to be saved, yet He pre-determined most for hell!")

Let’s get down to the most important part of this debate – your belief that God pre-determines who goes to heaven, and who goes to hell. There is no middle ground on this particular issue, either you believe this, or you don’t. So why am I so passionate about this and take it so seriously? Because I misrepresented God for over 30 years, beleiving in an old earth, buying in to parts of Calvinism, praying to a Saint, etc. I reached a point where I decided I would do my best to trust God’s Word as it stands, and not my own understanding. I strive very hard to take the Bible at face value, literal where clearly literal, poetic where clearly poetic, allegoric where clearly allegoric. After all, the Bible was written for both the PhD and simple alike: “Ps 119:130 The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” Prov 8:8-9 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them. They are all plain to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge.’

Bottom line, you are dishonoring God and making Him look bad to other Christians you may influence, and you make Him look bad to the unbelieving world. Your position, without mincing words, is irrational.

Webster’s Dictionary: Irrational - lacking usual or normal mental clarity or coherence.

Case in point:

Why evangelize the lost?
#1 it is called the Great Commission, it's what disciples are "commissioned" to do, to make other disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).
#2 those who reject the gospel have no excuse, they cannot say that they have never heard it.
#3 I understand Mark 16:15 as a command, not a suggestion from the Lord Jesus.
#4 When Christ, the only begotten Son is proclaimed as Lord, as Savior, as Redeemer, as King, as the only way, as truth, as life etc. it brings Glory to God; whether or not one person believes into Him.
#5 Gods chosen are "called" through the Gospel (2 Thess. 2:14)
#6 We are to warn those who do not obey the Gospel that they are to come under judgment (1 Peter 4:17, 2 Thess. 1:8)


Chip. I’ve heard this same lame argument year after year, that “it’s a command” and “it brings glory to God”. This is as irrational as irrational can get, it is just plain dumb. It does not bring Glory to God, it make Him look illogical and an author of confusion. This Satanic doctrine provides an excuse to not evangelize, at the same time the Bible sceptic is given more fodder, and the secular world laughs their way down the street at us. You are misrepresenting God, and His Word. I asked you to give a reason why we should evangelize to someone whose fate was determined before they were even conceived. You reply by saying we are to warn them, yet you’ll turn around and say their fate is pre-determined! Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows you’re your view means that evangelizing HAS NO IMPACT WHATSOVER. ZERO. NADA. Why warn someone with the bad luck of a bad destiny, if it has ABSOLUTELY NO IMPACT, SINCE HE'S GOING TO HELL ANYWAY? You want the world and all the family and friends you influence to know that the reason to do it simply because “Jesus told us to!”, and “It brings God glory”. This is a textbook case of something “lacking usual or normal mental clarity or coherence.”

Fred

#190 Fred Williams

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:21 PM

Only if time flows backwards.But time flows from past to future, so your point does not stand.

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It doesn't matter which way the arrow points, either direction is infinity, so the logical dilemma is that any one point of "time" on that line :unsure: :o :blink: :D can't exist. :)

#191 chipwag64

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 03:19 PM

I can see why people are tossed to and fro and all over the place with new and unusual doctrines, they must read the Bible the same way they read these posts.They accept whatever fits their view and deny anything else, they put words in your mouth and then draw their own conclusions from those and insist that people use Scripture while not using ONE in their own defense. :blink: :unsure:

#192 Fred Williams

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 10:30 PM

I can see why people are tossed to and fro and all over the place with new and unusual doctrines, they must read the Bible the same way they read these posts.They accept whatever fits their view and deny anything else, they put words in your mouth and then draw their own conclusions from those and insist that people use Scripture while not using ONE in their own defense. :D  :lol:

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I'm more than comfortable in letting the reader decide who has made a good faith effort in reasoning with scripture, and who has not.

BTW, if I put words in your mouth, I would be interested in knowing where.

Fred

#193 chipwag64

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 07:28 PM

Fred,

I apologize for responding harshly and I would rather have deleted the post but it's now too late.
You may call me a "Calvinist" if you like although in post #99 I stated otherwise.
You may not accept my reasons for evangelizing but that’s what’s in the Bible and that is where my allegiance is, not with Calvin.
I did not say that God was longsuffering for all people to be saved yet pre-determined most for hell, that is your doing, even though that verse was explained to you. ( 2 Peter 3:9).
I would love to hear how I am dishonoring God and making Him look bad? Evil exists and people do wicked things; your “openness theology” doesn’t have an answer for the presence of evil does it?
If God “knows” it will happen beforehand, He allows it. If He sees it as it’s happening, He still allows it to happen. Am I missing something here? I just don’t understand.
As I have stated before, I see no reason to continue in this thread .
I find many inconsistencies in some of your posts, and would love to hash them out, but that could go on for a VERY long time.
This is not to say that my theology is perfect, just that I see you committing the same logical errors that you accuse “Calvinists” of committing, but you don’t see it.
I would love to hear your view of how someone comes to faith, step by step and by what power or ability.
If you wish to start a thread like that I would read it, and interact with it as time permits.

Chip

#194 ikester7579

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:03 PM

Having freewill when unsaved, to not having it after being saved. Makes one a prisoner to his or her decision to become saved. Can someone be a slave unto salvation?

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Servant: One who serves another, providing help in some manner; One who is hired to provide regular household or other duties, and receives compensation.

Slave: Slavery is a form of forced labor in which people are considered to be the property of others. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to receive compensation (such as wages). ...

Once saved always saved = Salvation as slavery because freewill is removed. This does not fit the definition of being a servant. Neither does it fit the definition of being a covenant.

Covenant: A covenant, in its most general sense, is a solemn promise to engage in or refrain from a specified action.

Predestination: previous determination as if by destiny or fate. Being determined in advance;

If your fate is predetermined, then your whole life consists of no freewill (slavery). Did God create slaves in His creation? No freewill = slavery. One does not make a covenant when ones fate is predetermined. Also you could not make even one choice if we are destined to a predetermined life.

Calvinist TULIP.

Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

#195 Fred Williams

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:15 PM

I apologize for responding harshly and I would rather have deleted the post but it's now too late.

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There is no need to apologize; I certainly have not been pulling punches. :blink:

You may call me a "Calvinist" if you like although in post #99 I stated otherwise.
You may not accept my reasons for evangelizing but that’s what’s in the Bible and that is where my allegiance is, not with Calvin.
I did not say that God was longsuffering for all people to be saved yet pre-determined most for hell, that is your doing, even though that verse was explained to you. ( 2 Peter 3:9).


I don’t recall your explaining how you deal with the conflict that exists with 2 Peter 3:9.

You may not be a “strict” Calvinist, but the theology you have raised in this thread is definitely Calvinistic. Please hear me out. If you say God pre-determined all those who get to go to heaven, then by logical extension, all those who were not chosen for heaven were chosen for hell. Its two sides to a coin, there is no in-between (it is similar to the dichotomy in the origins debate – either life originated naturalistically, or supernaturally). Pre-determined salvation is the foundation of Calvinism, and the basis for the other 4 TULIPS of Calvinism (see Ikester’s post above regarding the TULIPs).

I would love to hear how I am dishonoring God and making Him look bad?


It’s been hard to pin you down on specifics, but please know I completely understand, it seems you probably don’t have a lot of time to dedicate here. So I am forced to make some assumptions. I think it is safe to assume you either 1) remain logically consistent and believe God also pre-determines those who go to hell, or 2) believe that God pre-determined everyone who is going to heaven, but somehow He did not pre-determine those who go to hell (MANY Christians hold this view). It appears you are the later, but let me address them both:
1) The problem with the former is obvious, it makes God out to be capricious and the author of evil (if you remember, one Calvinist in this thread tried to defend the notion that God is the author of evil!!!).
2) The problem with the later, is that it is completely and utterly irrational and impossible to defend, yet Christian after Christian, including many dear friends of mine, will continue to blunder away at it. This dishonors God because it makes Him look like an author of confusion, and it dishonors God because the unbeliever rightly, by sheer common sense, sees the contradiction. Thus the mocker has more ammunition, and the fence sitter wonders what kind of God this is of the Bible. Christians then dig their hole deeper by offering some of the arguments you already made when challenged with contradictory verses. Even before I became convinced Calvinism is bad theology, I have long heard your same response to the question of why we should evangelize in the first place, if we have zero impact on the outcome (“Jesus commands us to”, “it brings honor to God” etc). There is one verse I hear from Calvinists all the time that, kudos to you, you haven’t raised. It’s the “I don’t get it”, the “God of the gaps verse”, which is “God’s ways are higher than our ways!” Christians try to take comfort in this verse when they can’t explain an obvious contradiction, meanwhile the unbeliever laughs and shakes his head as he walks down the street.

Evil exists and people do wicked things; your “openness theology” doesn’t have an answer for the presence of evil does it? If God “knows” it will happen beforehand, He allows it. If He sees it as it’s happening, He still allows it to happen. Am I missing something here? I just don’t understand.


Openness Theology has a solid answer for evil! If the future doesn’t exist until it happens, then God does not “create” or “for-ordain” those things that are evil. On the other hand, in the strict Calvinistic view God for-ordains everything good and bad.

BTW, I said God knows all things knowable, and that he “knows” the future in the sense of what He has planned and is going to do – “Isa 46:11 Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass.” However, God himself said He did not know people would throw their kids into a fire. We can either take God’s word at face value, or we can ignore the literal interpretation (Jer 19:5, Jer 32:35). Most Christians choose to explain away these verses as not literal, I choose to take them literally!

This is not to say that my theology is perfect, just that I see you committing the same logical errors that you accuse “Calvinists” of committing, but you don’t see it.


You are right, I don’t see it. :o I won't see it, unless you or others keep trying. In this particular dispute, I do not see any logical inconsistencies with my position. The beauty of Openness theology, is that it is both very scriptural and easily accommodates the difficult passages, and therefore remains logically consistent. That being said, I obviously do not have all the answers, and there are some challenging verses for the open view. But they pale in comparison to the sheer volume of problem verses for Calvinism and other “settled future” theologies.

I would love to hear your view of how someone comes to faith, step by step and by what power or ability. If you wish to start a thread like that I would read it, and interact with it as time permits.


Such a question is completely pertinent to this thread. A person comes to faith by first being drawn by the Holy Spirit. Man does not seek out God without God first seeking out man first. God’s primary method of drawing men to Him is through the law (Psalms 19:7, Gal 3:24). A person comes to faith when he hears of God’s free gift, and he accepts the free gift. It is not work to accept something free (please see the final paragraph about Teddy Roosevelt and Clara Barton in the closing chapter of my online “Bible Evidences” here).

Fred
PS. Just as an antidote, pre-destination is also a very secular idea, the world loves the word “fate”. How many times do you hear "fate" in movies? God outside of time is also a very secular idea, and has its roots in Greek pagan philosophy. Sci-fi movies love to promote the idea of time travel (ie. Back to the Future, Star Trek, etc). “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” - 1 Cor 1:20

#196 Fred Williams

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 07:13 AM

I would like to re-iterate something that is probably the most important point I am trying to make. I believe the thing that is most dishonoring to God isn’t the insults and other ammunition that comes from the 'individual pre-destination' baggage, it’s the sheer fact that it gives people an excuse not to witness, and this is surely what causes God the most grief. Yes, God is emotional and does grieve, despite what strict Calvinists teach (such as Deacon earlier in this thread). I’ve had Calvinist friends tell me that some of the best evangelizers they know were Calvinists. I too know of many prominent and not so prominent Calvinists who have won many to the Lord. But what we can’t measure, what is impossible to measure, is the negative impact it has. There is no way for us to know of the person who otherwise would have been a good evangelizer, if it were not for a theology that gave him absolutely NO reasonable motivation to witness.

We should always be suspicious of a theology that gives us a reason not to witness, since such a theology only benefits one being, the prince of this world. Of those reading this who believe in individual pre-destination, I just ask you to consider the regret you will have when you meet the Lord and find out you were wrong, and learn of the damage your theology caused. Please don’t take this theology lightly. I know many believe this theology because they see the certain scripture support it, but in the same breath they can’t explain the scores of verses against it, and do calisthenics in their mind and ultimately appeal to the God of the Gaps verse, “God’s ways are higher than our ways”. Pre-destination theology would be hard to refute if ANY of the pre-destination passages were singular. But they are not. They are ALL plural. Pre-destination is NOT individual pre-destination, as the breadth of the Bible shows. If Pre-destination is not about individuals, then the Bible remains logically consistent and rational, and can be taken just as it is written.

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#197 chipwag64

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 05:13 PM

Fred,

2 Peter 3:9 - no conflict seen. The verse is about the supposed delay of the rapture. Your interpretation overlooks who the epistle is written to, as well as the words “beloved” in verse 1 and 8 and “you” in verse 9 (ESV version).
The Bible NEVER uses the term “chosen for hell”; choosing, or election, is always for the positive NOT the negative. Now this does imply that those not chosen will finally end up in hell, yes.
How this makes God capricious and the author of evil I have no clue, you will have to explain.
To say that evangelizing has zero outcome makes you someone quite special with some super human abilities; by the way, do you evangelize? If so, why? I have read the book of Acts and LOVE to see the gospel at work!!!
As far as evil, your version of God allows it, just like my version, or even worse, your version doesn’t see it coming and allows it.
"Predestination" is not written in the singular because the epistles that contain the word were not written to one person alone. When I asked you how God “knew” that even ONE person would believe and be saved, your reply was “But don't you think it is reasonable that God would have expected that there would be a body of believers who would accept the death of his Son on a cross?”
That, to me, sounds like there is no definite knowledge, just an expectation. How could you possibly believe that God would let His only begotten Son suffer as He did without a hint of anyone even benefiting from it, come on, really?? Now, you gave two options of how the future is created. 1) if God would “make it happen” because He is God (as you say) how does He do this without violating someones “free will”?
2) The only other option that you have given is that God “looked into their hearts” and knew which ones would believe, which would of course contradict your definition of predestination.
Another problem I have is that foreknowledge in Romans 8:29 is about a “whom”. Plans are not a “whom”, plans cannot be “conformed to the image of His Son”.
How you can read Romans 8:29 and say that it refers to a plan that includes an unknown number of people is beyond me!!
As I read through your responses throughout this thread, I can plainly see what you have a problem with, I really do; but if you understand that everything in the Bible is a revelation to us to explain who God is, who we are, and how God interacts with us and communicates to us, you might realize what these “problem” verses mean.
Just because God says “Now I know...” does not have to mean that He just learned something, or just realized something. I believe that “knowledge” has at least two aspects to it, facts and experience.
It’s one thing to “know” that 2+2 = 4 in the classroom, but it’s fuller and deeper when you make your first purchase at a cash register and “experience” 2+2=4.
When the Bible in Genesis 4:1 says that Adam “knew” Eve, I think there was a little more than facts being exchanged.
So, just because God says “Now I know…” I firmly believe that He already “knew” the fact, but had not “known” the experience.
Can this be proven? Not that I know of, but it really bothers me to even consider for a second that God doesn’t have knowledge of certain things.
I’m sure your 100 or so “problem” verses can be narrowed down to a handful if you read in context and keep in mind that God is “God” and not just “above human”.

#198 Fred Williams

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 09:11 PM

2 Peter 3:9 - no conflict seen. The verse is about the supposed delay of the rapture. Your interpretation overlooks who the epistle is written to, as well as the words “beloved” in verse 1 and 8 and “you” in verse 9 (ESV version).


Even if it is about the rapture, even if there is a “you” in verse 8, verse 9 says he is longsuffering for ALL to come to repentance. You don’t see a conflict because methinks your mind is already made up. OK, let's go to another verse:

1 Tim 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Is this one also about the rapture? :) BTW, are you sure you want to keep trying to tell the reader you are not a Calvinist? Only a Calvinist would use the rebuttal you offered above.

The Bible NEVER uses the term “chosen for hell”; choosing, or election, is always for the positive NOT the negative. Now this does imply that those not chosen will finally end up in hell, yes.


Imply? Come on. It doesn’t imply, it is clear that those unfortunate to not be on the list before they are even born are going to hell. BTW, “chosen” and “election” does not necessarily mean “salvation”. Wasn’t Judas chosen? Weren’t there two Sauls chosen, and one of them didn’t pan out so well? Wasn’t Israel both chosen, and the elect? Why have people decided that election as a word can take on an entirely new meaning when used in the Bible?

How this makes God capricious and the author of evil I have no clue, you will have to explain.


MY goodness Chip, if God decides who gets to go to heaven, and by your own admission this means those unfortunate enough to not be chosen get to spend eternity burning in hell, this doesn’t sound capricious to you? It does to me - thank God it is not scriptural!

To say that evangelizing has zero outcome makes you someone quite special with some super human abilities


I haven’t the foggiest idea what you meant by this statement. I said that your belief makes evangelizing a completely pointless venture, since, by your theology, the person’s salvation was long decided ions ago before the person was even conceived.

by the way, do you evangelize? If so, why?


Yes, but not near as much as I like or should. I evangelize because I want people to find the truth. God has worked in my life, set things up, to do certain ministries. In many ways I have failed, mostly because of worldly influences and my fleshy nature that often makes me a heartless SOB. :D I know people won’t find the truth because of me, but instead because of God, and I'm just happy he puts up with me and let's me play a role when I'm not too lazy to not help out. God wants to use me, you, and all Christians, to reach the unsaved. If He already pre-destined the saved, then this is an excercise in complete futility. I'm two things, logical, and lazy. A horrible combination if I were to believe in individual predestination (Calvinism). :o :)

As far as evil, your version of God allows it, just like my version, or even worse, your version doesn’t see it coming and allows it.


Doesn’t see it coming? Maybe certain twisted aspects of it (such as burning babies) but surely he knows every thought and knows every heart.

"Predestination" is not written in the singular because the epistles that contain the word were not written to one person alone.


I’m glad you acknowledge that it wasn’t written in the singular! At least that’s a start. Now consider that your theology has one thing in common with evolution – it is either falsified, or not falsifiable. What kind of verse would convince you that individual predestination is wrong? I'm real curious to hear your answer to this. Apparently none, since there 100s of clear-cut, plain English verses against it. Corporate election, on the other hand, can easily be falsified by providing just one verse where God predestined an individual.

When I asked you how God “knew” that even ONE person would believe and be saved, your reply was “But don't you think it is reasonable that God would have expected that there would be a body of believers who would accept the death of his Son on a cross?”  That, to me, sounds like there is no definite knowledge, just an expectation. How could you possibly believe that God would let His only begotten Son suffer as He did without a hint of anyone even benefiting from it, come on, really??


You really are not comprehending much of what I am saying. If God knows every single thought of every person who has ever lived, including Adam and Eve after the fall, don’t you think He would have “a hint” of someone benefiting from the death of His son? What if Adam & Eve had utter and complete hate in their heart, would God have stopped there and given up on his plan? Why wouldn’t God have thought of a virtually infinite number of contingencies before even creating man? Yet you would have us believe that his grand plan was to have His son die only for those who he decides to save beforehand.

Now, you gave two options of how the future is created. 1) if God would “make it happen” because He is God (as you say) how does He do this without violating someones “free will


Again, you said you read this whole thread yet I’m having trouble figuring out why you are not comprehending my argument. Maybe I’m just a bad writer. ;) I never said that free will was unlimited. Satan, nor any man has the free will ability to keep God from interacting and carving out history as He sees appropriate for His Will. A great example is Moses free will anger the 2nd time he struck the rock against God’s will. He had the free will to do so, it wasn’t what God wanted because it was an affront to the symbolism of Christ’s completed work on the cross, but did Moses’ behavior prevent God from continuing with His plan? Of course not. HE still made His point in his rebuke of Moses. Another great example is Esther. If Saul had listened to God and wiped out the Amelekites, there would have never been a book of Esther, God would not have needed to use Esther to finish the job and preserve the Jewish people. Saul's failure didn't mean God failed, it meant God had to find someone else to accomplish this.

I’m sure your 100 or so “problem” verses can be narrowed down to a handful if you read in context and keep in mind that God is “God” and not just “above human”.


If I said 100 or so, I misspoke, because its literally 100s, somewhere between 200 and 1000 verses. Here is another one for you to consider:

1 Sam 2:30 Therefore the LORD God of Israel says:'I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever .' But now the LORD says:'Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

If you read further, you’ll see just how successful Eli’s household was in fulfilling their calling.

The point is, I have verse, after verse, after verse, I can keep 'em a coming, plus my position isn’t illogical and irrational. I don’t have to believe two contrary things at the same time. You have barely a handful of verses to appeal to, that is why you have to continually go back to the same 3 or 4 verses, like Romans 8:29, which I’ve explained in prior posts (why is it hard to see that God would pre-determine that his followers would be conformed to His Son?).

I'd rather try to seek solid explanations for your 3 or 4 verses, than ignore the plain meaning of the 100s of verses that starkly contradict them.

Fred

#199 ikester7579

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 09:30 PM

Evil is evil when ones will is forced upon another who does not want it.

Removing freewill means the choice is forced. And all that the individual does is not their fault.

Example: If a person holds a gun to the head of another person. And "makes" them break the law. The gun becomes the device that removes freewill. And is the person responsible for what he was made to do while a gun was held to his head?

The device that is used to remove freewill you talk about is salvation. So salvation makes you do what you don't want to do. So once the control of the individual becomes not his own. There is no way they can be accountable for good or bad of what they do. saved or not, is not by freewill they do it.

Your belief makes us the puppets, and God the puppet master. Sorry, I'm no puppet. I make my own choices, and I also choose to stay saved.

If you like a fully controlled salvation, that's your problem.

Question: The Bible says that we are created a little lower than the angels. If we cannot loose our salvation, how can they be cast out of Heaven?

#200 ikester7579

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 02:10 AM

The reason the angels can be cast out of Heaven is because freewill even exists in Heaven. You don't think so? Why do you think there is that thousand years we spend here before we go to Heaven? It is to teach us how to live in Heaven with freewill and not get cast out. This is why the 1000 year reign:

1) Christ will rule and reign with a rod. A rod is a tool of correction. Now if we were without freewill, why would we need correction? Spare the rod and spoil the child, right? Why do you think we are called a child of God. And God is called our Father?
2) There will be judges during the 1000 years. What is there to judge unless there is correction. What is there to correct unless we have the freewill to choose the wrong things?
3) Satan will be let out for a short season at the end of the 1000 years. Now why let Satan out? It's because we need to be reminded by example as to why we were made to sin by the one who tempted us. It is to remind us that the tempter was here on earth, but will not be in Heaven. and because there is no tempter to sin, the only reason we would sin is because there was evil in our hearts. Because without the tempter, there is no excuse for sin.




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