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Predestination & Free Will


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#41 Guest_92g_*

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 06:05 PM

A comment or two about unlimited attonement.

ROM 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.

This verse clearly contrasts Adam's failure with Christ's accomplishment. All were condemned with Adam's sin, and justification is made available, by means of faith in Christ, to all through the work of Christ.

The Lord said he died for the world:
JOH 3:16 ¶ "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
JOH 3:17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.
JOH 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
JOH 3:19 "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.

IMO, its a stretch to replace "the world" with "the elect" througout that passage.

The offer for salvation is unlimited:
ROM 10:13 for "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved."

Regarding Jewish Idiom:
Most of the new testament was written in koine greek, and I'm not sure how far you can go with exegesis about jewish idiom from a greek text. Understanding idiom is fine, but scripture has to agree with scripture 1st, and as Fred pointed out, the evidence would seem to be on the side of unlimited atonement.

Terry

#42 ChristianSoldier

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 11:16 PM

:) These Calvanists are a tough nut to crack, eh? ;)

I found this forum while doing a bit of research - looks like a good place to spend some time.

My 2 cents to add to this discussion is my contention that...

Hebrews 6:

4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.


...creates a problem for the Calvinist view in as much that, if only the elect are saved, how is it that God's preordained plan can be thwarted by the saved elect falling away?

:)

#43 ikester7579

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 02:14 AM

:) These Calvanists are a tough nut to crack, eh?  ;)

I found this forum while doing a bit of research - looks like a good place to spend some time.

My 2 cents to add to this discussion is my contention that...

Hebrews 6:

4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
...creates a problem for the Calvinist view in as much that, if only the elect are saved, how is it that God's preordained plan can be thwarted by the saved elect falling away?

:)

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I will be starting a thread on where I figured out that both osas and no-osas are right. I know it sounds weird. But have you ever asked yourself why both doctrines have supporting verses? It can mean only one thing. They both work together. And there is certain point in which you graduate from one to the other.

Just to give a little insite on the thread I will do....

Osas is actually the goal. No-osas is what we go through to reach it. Until a believers foundation is set very firmly in the word of God. Which makes one's faith unshakable. They are in the no-osas stages of growth. But, while in those stages, God makes a way for us to be tested, fall away if needed, and come back.

This is why Hebrews 6 says what it does. It gives a guidline of what you have to recieve in order to reach the level of where if you fall away there is no return. The level of osas, is at the top level of our faith. it is where God has given us all the gifts of the spirit. Once done, if we turn away, it mocks God to a point to where to recieve forgiveness Christ would have to crawl back onto the cross.

Even Christ says there are levels of faith.
1) O ye of little faith (no-osas). Allows us to be tested, fall away, come back etc... All of this to the goal of reaching osas.
2) Great faith (osas). We have recieved the 7 gifts of God. We are locked in. And we have no excuse because we know the absolute truth. So to decide to fall away at this point, secures us for damnation. This is why there is a verse that says: God is not mocked.

So why did I come to this conclusion?

Both doctrines make the believer do something they should not be doing. Because both doctrines have supporting verses, the believer of each side has to deny verses for their doctrine to look work and look true.

Example: In order to believe osas, you have to deny all verses that say, or imply you can fall away.
1) All verses that contain being able to fall away.
2) All verses that say you can fall from grace.
etc...

In order to believe no-osas, you have to deny all verses that say you can't lose salvation.
1) Can't pluck them out of the hand of Christ.
etc...

So shall we deny verses to make one doctrine correct?

Or shall we make them mesh so that the word of God does not separate us within the body of Christ?

#44 ikester7579

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 10:25 PM

One more thing. I still do not believe predetination before we are even born. I only believe in predetination after we reach the level of osas, where God has given us all His gifts of the spirit. At that point we are predestined for heaven unless we truly have evil n our hearts.
And we turn away from God.

So their is always a choice. Just one level of faith makes us more secure in the choices we make.

#45 Countic16

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 02:30 PM

I do not want to debate much on this topic, as I have spent many-an-hour on this topic and well....I just don't want to type for weeks on end! hehe. However, I do have a few pointers to help you guys out in your discussion of scripture. I am a Calvinistic Christian, willing to change away from Calvinism at the drop of a hat if it were to ever conflict with scripture, but I have not found that so thus far. You guys brought up good scripture for the anti-Cal side of the debate. I would like to 1) point out a few scriptures for you to chew on in the meantime, 2) point out a potential devastating definition error, as well as 3) give my two cents worth.

2) Potential definition errors: The link you provided when this thread was started that explained TULIP is actually not an accurate portrayal of Calvin's theology. There are some Calvinists who hold the TULIP concept, but unfortunately "Calvinism" does not equate to "Calvin." I am a Calvinist, yet I do not believe the TULIP...so obviously there is an issue hehe. This occurred because of his followers who took his theology to an extreme, and made incorrect statements towards scripture as a result. Its a deep subject that if you want great detail in, please read the history of Calvinism as I do not wish to type it all out hehe. But for now, I will address TULIP.

T-Total Depravity: That Weslayen site was un-modest in that it states the human condition could never change by Calvin views. By Calvin views, it cannot change without the grace of God. It most certainly can change by the grace of God. I.E. similar to the Weslayen version (but subtly different...not relevant at this point for me to discuss).

U-Unconditional Election: Again, the left definition is not accurate to describing Calvinism, or at least not explained well enough to make the meaning understood. Calvin has always recognized that humans have the choice, the opportunity, to choose righteousness over sin. However, we as humans just seem to never really do it prior to salvation. This is because any action committed, and not committed to glorify God, is a sin. Extreme Example: If you feed the poor and it wasn't to glory God, it is a sin. Sure, it may have been a secularly good thing to do, but if it wasn't to glory God, then it was probably for some self-motivated reason such as "feeling good about one's self and having a sense of pride."

L-Limited Atonement: Both the left and right sides are true according to Calvinism. The Weslayen side conveniently places "whomever wills" as the last two words in the statement...which throws the wrench in that busts the machine. Up until those last two words, both the left and right sides are "calvinistic."

I-Irresistable Grace: The left side is Calvinistic, as well as the first statement on the right side "God’s grace is free and offered without merit." The rest of the right side is not Calvinistic. (How convenient they try to put an evil depiction on Calvinism by not placing such descriptions for both sides!)

P-Perseverance: Only the left side is Calvinistic.

3) My two cents on how I view predestination in light of free will: The questions people ask about how could there be free will and predestination at the same time are good questions. I believe I have the answer, and I will use it via an analogy that people often refer to when talking about this topic...robots. I have heard it suggested that God would gain little or no glory to be worshipped by robots. This is true. However, we also have no knowledge of robots having true emotions. What if we, as humans, are doctored-up robots that have true feelings of emotion? Then I say such robots certainly would give praise and glory to God EVEN IF they were robots just doing as they were programmed to do. The emphasis is that glory is created by emotional response, not by freedom of the will. So if we, as humans, are pre-destined to the paths we live but do so with great emotional response, that brings glory to God. As for wondering whether God is the creator of evil, refer to Isaiah 45:7 KJV "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." All of a sudden the axiom that "God creating sin would mean God himself sinned." is put into question. I said KJV because NIV downplays the verse by replacing the word "evil" with "disaster", which is a detriment to the meaning of the Bible especially since the Hebrew specifically says evil, not disaster. We have to remember that God formed this world and everything inside of it. If he were to ever stop eminating his power through spoken word into this universe, it would cease to exist instantly. Typical rules and laws that apply to mankind do not apply to him. So sometimes the things we take as obvious...aren't so obvious in scripture.

Lastly, I would like to point out a key point about the term "elect" which is riddled throughout scripture. When a person is "elected" it is not done by their will. Infact, in all of history and in all cases, the word "elect" has never been used in conjunction with internal, personal choice. When something is elected, it is chosen from an external source, not of its own. To belief otherwise will take a large amount of rationalizing and re-interpreting of scripture and definitions of terms.

1) Related scriptures to chew on:

Isaiah 45:7 KJV (I always use KJV as NIV distorts meanings about 25% of the time)

Matthew 24:24 (Notice the "If it were..."...use of rhetoric, thus meaning its not possible)

Mark 13:20-22

Romans 9:11 "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth"

That one is a real doosey. If a person could actually free-will choose to accept grace, they would be able to boast that they were able to make the choice. Not of works = no choice or option for action available.

Romans 11:7 "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."

This one is also a real doosey. If only the election obtained salvation and the rest were blinded, then how could all of us be his chosen elect when the statement clearly states that the elect are one group of people, and there is another group of people who are not the elect? One of the statements from that TULIP link was that all humans are the elect, but some refuse to accept. This is a logical contradiction.

1 Peter 1:2 "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father"

I could have swore I have read passages talking about God choosing the remnant he will save before time ever started...Plus the countless scripture about "eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear" that makes it clear that God purposely makes those non-elect that way, to not be part of the remnant. Romans 11:8

To me, it is very clear that if any person become saved it was due to God saving them with his hands, not by our will to choose ourselves to become saved. In my own testimony of faith, I never wanted salvation until it came to me from outta nowhere.

#46 ikester7579

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 02:16 AM

The first sign of a cult is that choice is taken away. And what is promised becomes forced, and who is rejected is done so according to no love.

Can God hate someone before they are even born?

And is "everyone" Choosen before they are born?

#47 Countic16

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 08:40 AM

"The first sign of a cult is that choice is taken away." -Ik

Pretty strong words there. Are you suggesting my belief is cultish? Thats dangerously close to a personal attack. Nonetheless, your statement needs clarification and detail, as I *might* agree with it IF there is more added to it. For example: The first sign of a cult is that choice is taken away from the members, and absolute power is granted to its human leaders. The major difference here is the leader of Christianity is not a human....but a God (the God).

There is also another point to make about cults. Up until the last 100 years they were not considered a negative thing. Only recently have cults had a negative impression on people. If you wish to go to the ancient meaning of cult, which means a group of body who is ruled by an absolute authority figure, usually a God or demi God, then I have no issues with calling Christianity a cult. Christianity, the universe, and the human population, afterall...are all ruled by God.

"Can God hate someone before they are even born?" -Ik

Romans 9:11: "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil" I do not think that God can hate something that has not sinned. But there is still plenty of potential waiting at birth.

"And is "everyone" Choosen before they are born" -Ik

Ephesians 1:4: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."

John 15:16 (Jesus talking...refer to context if need be): "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."

#48 Fred Williams

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 12:12 PM

Let me begin by saying that I have plenty of Christian friends who are Calvinists in one form or another. So while I may offend you with some comments below, I don’t question your salvation. But I don’t mince words with Calvinists. :lol:

I am a Calvinistic Christian, willing to change away from Calvinism at the drop of a hat if it were to ever conflict with scripture, but I have not found that so thus far.

View Post


You must not have been looking hard enough. :) One thing to consider is that Calvinists far, far, more often have to explain away the simple, straightforward meaning of a relevant passage, than does the anti-Calvinist. It should raise a red flag when scores of verses have to lose their plain meaning and instead be described as allegory or anthropomorphisms to accommodate thier chosen theology.

2) Potential definition errors: The link you provided when this thread was started that explained TULIP is actually not an accurate portrayal of Calvin's theology. There are some Calvinists who hold the TULIP concept, but unfortunately "Calvinism" does not equate to "Calvin." I am a Calvinist, yet I do not believe the TULIP...so obviously there is an issue hehe.


The issue is that like with any system of belief, there will be variations. This doesn’t mean the definitions are wrong per se, it’s just that not all Calvinists are hyper-Calvinists, hold to the entire TULIP, etc.

U-Unconditional Election: Again, the left definition is not accurate to describing Calvinism, or at least not explained well enough to make the meaning understood. Calvin has always recognized that humans have the choice, the opportunity, to choose righteousness over sin. However, we as humans just seem to never really do it prior to salvation. This is because any action committed, and not committed to glorify God, is a sin.  Extreme Example: If you feed the poor and it wasn't to glory God, it is a sin. Sure, it may have been a secularly good thing to do, but if it wasn't to glory God, then it was probably for some self-motivated reason such as "feeling good about one's self and having a sense of pride."


Calvin says we have choice, then says we never ever choose right? This is really a contradiction. Plus, it is refuted by scripture. Where in the Bible does it say that doing something good is a sin if it wasn’t meant to glorify God? Also, there are scores of scripture where non-believers can do good, such as the good Samaritan, the king in the book of Esther, etc. But like all of us they will also sin and fall short of the glory of God. But to say that holding a door open for an old lady is a sin unless you are a believer just shows how bad the theology of Calvinism can distort common sense. We’ll see many more cases of common sense being thrown out the door below! :)

So if we, as humans, are pre-destined to the paths we live but do so with great emotional response, that brings glory to God.


Susan Smith surely had emotions when she was predestined, according to Calvinism, to kill her kids. Somehow the Calvinist thinks this brings glory to God. It is refuted by scores of scripture, literally the whole Bible. The God of the Bible is a God of unimaginable love, yet Calvinism, taken on its plain meaning, renders God cruel and ruthless. Again, I know many fine Christians who are Calvinists, but they can’t defend their position with scripture but instead must write long analogies and refer to anthropomorphisms to explain their position. Remember that Calvinism clearly and indisputably has its roots in Greek pagan philosophy (note that the person I debated in this thread did not dispute this fact, since it is well-documented and frankly indisputable – Augustine was a huge fan of Aristotle and incorporated many of Aristotle’s beliefs into his theology).

As for wondering whether God is the creator of evil, refer to Isaiah 45:7 KJV "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."


Note here that the Calvinist quickly tries to defend God as the creator of evil. They have to explain away the scores of verses that say God is not capable of despicable acts. One of many examples:

Job 34:12 Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to commit iniquity.

So how does one explain Isaiah 45:7? Easy, it’s a matter of semantics. The Hebrew word used for evil in this verse can also mean calamity, destruction, distress, grief, etc. God can retain his righteousness and still cause all of these when he brings down righteous judgment on those who hate him and deserve calamity. So I ask you Countic16, why take the hard (and false) route where you have to explain away scores, and scores, and scores of scripture where God is shown to be completely incapable of doing wickedness, instead of the simple and straightforward route where Isaiah 45:7 is simply confirming what we already know, that God will bring calamity upon those who hate Him? Do you really think God predestined all the violent rapes and murders over the centuries, that it somehow brings him glory instead of making him look like a despicable ogre to the common man?

Not only does Calvinism make God look bad to the unbeliever and therefore lessen the chance to reach that person, Calvinism also deters its followers from witnessing since everyone is predestined to go to heaven or hell anyway! Why bother witnessing in the first place? Why bother debating me on this, if you think I was predestined to oppose you anyway? I can’t help it, right? Calvinism, is silly, man. :)

All of a sudden the axiom that "God creating sin would mean God himself sinned." is put into question. I said KJV because NIV downplays the verse by replacing the word "evil" with "disaster", which is a detriment to the meaning of the Bible especially since the Hebrew specifically says evil, not disaster.


What is a determinant to the Bible are the scores of verses you will have to ignore to support your interpretation of Isaiah 45:7. Let’s not mince words here. You think the word evil in Isaiah 45:7 means “despicable, wicked act”, don’t you? You have to, to be a Calvinist. So say what you really mean about how evil is used here, so I can show scores of verses that contradict it.

We have to remember that God formed this world and everything inside of it. If he were to ever stop eminating his power through spoken word into this universe, it would cease to exist instantly. Typical rules and laws that apply to mankind do not apply to him. So sometimes the things we take as obvious...aren't so obvious in scripture.


Do you think God is required to to be eminating his power in every molecule of filth travelling in every sewer? Or can he design and create things within a designed framework to operate without him being required to eminate his power? Yoru statement sounds a bit like pantheism, but I really don't want to detract from the debate at hand, so I admittedly digressed a bit here...

Lastly, I would like to point out a key point about the term "elect" which is riddled throughout scripture. When a person is "elected" it is not done by their will. Infact, in all of history and in all cases, the word "elect" has never been used in conjunction with internal, personal choice.


You’ve got it precisely backwards. In all of history and in all cases except Calvinism, an election almost always involved a personal choice. The person being elected has to make a free-will choice to be elected. Did George Bush become elected without having any say in the matter? If I recall, he announced he was running, he made commercials, and he appeared in debates. If I am wrong about this, then please someone correct me. :) But I could have sworn I saw him campaigning. Hmm. It’s funny that the Calvinists always get this wrong, and then claim the opposite. Calvinism is a chasm of illogic and contradiction.

When something is elected, it is chosen from an external source, not of its own. To belief otherwise will take a large amount of rationalizing and re-interpreting of scripture and definitions of terms.


I’ve just shown how ironic and silly the above statement is. Further, in Isa 45:4 God calls Israel the elect. Is all Israel saved? Or is it possible that God can elect or choose someone or some nation that can by their own free will choose not to follow God? More on this in the follow-up post since the entire context of Romans 9 is God’s grafting out the Jews and grafting in the Gentiles, something that Calvinists refuse to grasp because it offers a solid and valid explanation of the verses in Romans 9 (the Calvinist’s favorite stomping ground).


Isaiah 45:7 KJV (I always use KJV as NIV distorts meanings about 25% of the time)


I also don’t like the NIV, but it’s a little bit much hyperbole to say it is wrong 25% of the time. More like maybe less than 1% of the time, but that’s still too much for my taste. I personally favor the NKJV.

Continued with next post, due to the 10 quote limit…

#49 Fred Williams

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 12:17 PM

CONTINUED FROM LAST POST...

Countic16: Matthew 24:24 (Notice the "If it were..."...use of rhetoric, thus meaning its not possible), Mark 13:20-22


Already refuted in prior post. Being elected is like being chosen, but we have many examples in the Bible where the elect and chosen failed to come through. Ie, see Israel, Saul (the first one), two of Arron's sons, etc.

Countic16: Romans 9:11 "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth" That one is a real doosey. If a person could actually free-will choose to accept grace, they would be able to boast that they were able to make the choice. Not of works = no choice or option for action available.


We can’t choose our salvation, but we can choose whether or not to accept the free gift. No one can really boast of receiving a free gift.

Let’s also take a look at Romans 9. I ask the reader to note the number of pluralisms used. It is very clear that Romans 9 is referring to groups, not individuals as Calvinists would want you to believe. Even the Calvinist favorite “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated." (Rom 9:13) refers to nations, God already said so explicitly! Romans 9 is simply quoting the Old Testament, where you will find the proper context that it is nations that are being spoken of (see the relevant Genesis passage, and also the Italian book, Malachi 1 :lol:)

Romans 11:7 "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."


But wait a minute. Isn’t Israel the “elect”? It says so in Isa 45:4 and Isa 65:9. But here you say Israel isn’t the elect? You Calvinists are so silly. :)

There are plenty of verses where God blinds people or turns them over to their debased minds after he gets fed up with them, ie the last half of Romans 1. So Romans 11:7 is no problem for the anti-Calvinist. Infact it actually turns Calvinism on its head when read in its straightforward and proper context. So the Calvinist cannot make a strong case even with their own heavy artillery.

This one is also a real doosey. If only the election obtained salvation and the rest were blinded, then how could all of us be his chosen elect when the statement clearly states that the elect are one group of people, and there is another group of people who are not the elect? One of the statements from that TULIP link was that all humans are the elect, but some refuse to accept. This is a logical contradiction.


It’s only a logical contradiction if one were to accept the Calvinist’s special, exclusive definition for the word “elect”. George Bush would have never been elected had he not chosen to run. If someone doesn’t run but gets elected on a mail-in, he can choose to not hold the office. Only Calvinists have a skewed view of what “elect” means, and with this skewed view is the only possible way the above becomes a contradiction. It will never cease to amaze me that Calvinists refuse to grasp the concept that it is they alone in all of history who are misusing (and redefining) the word “elect”.

1 Peter 1:2 "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father". To me, it is very clear that if any person become saved it was due to God saving them with his hands, not by our will to choose ourselves to become saved. In my own testimony of faith, I never wanted salvation until it came to me from outta nowhere.


I agree in part with what you said, but the Calvinist view darkens what really happened to you. Scripture shows that predestination involves groups, not individuals. God before the foundation of the world predestined Christ to save those willing to accept the free gift. God predestined a train to go from Cleveland (hell :)), to Denver (heaven :)). God will draw us to the train, but we have the free will to accept or reject the free train ticket. You were drawn to the train, even though you didn’t want to be. I didn’t want to be drawn there either. But I did opt for the free ticket and hoped on board, just as you have done! I thank God for both of us — through Jesus Christ our Lord! We have nothing at all to brag about, just as in real life receiving something free is never anything to boast about. Some words from Paul offer an appropriate close:

“I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:21-25)

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#50 Dave

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 04:12 PM

Gentlemen,

I don't wish to enter into debate over this, but I was wondering if I could insert a thought or two.

My favorite Bible teacher, Chuck Missler, has this to say about the ages-old debate between Calvinists and Arminians: "Our own view is that both views - Calvinism and Arminianism - are correct in what they assert, but both are wrong in what they deny." http://www.khouse.org/articles/1997/3/

Another commentator who I think very well of, Henry Morris in his New Defender's Bible, has this to say, specifically about Romans 9:20 (my bold on the relevant part):

Why. We have no right to ask God: “Why?” Remember that He answered Job’s pleas for understanding merely by reminding Job of the fact of creation (Job 38–41). As our great Potter, He has the right to make His pottery vessels both for honor and dishonor (Romans 9:21). We who have been redeemed by His mercy should be grateful that He did choose us even before the world began (Ephesians 1:3-4; II Timothy 1:9), confident that He—by whatever means He chooses—is preparing His “vessels of mercy” to receive the full manifestation of His glory in the ages to come (Romans 9:23; Ephesians 2:10). The fact that our finite minds cannot comprehend the simultaneous operation of divine election and human responsibility is irrelevant. Both Scripture and human experience demonstrate both to be true. We must both rest in that fact, and act in light of it.


So, this is the direction I go with this issue. I believe that strict, uncompromising adherence to either side prevents proper understanding of God's total word. There are elements of truth in both, and elements of misunderstanding in both. It would have been much better for all if there were no such thing as Calvinism or Armninianism.

Just my opinion, but you can see how it has divided the body. Whose main goal is it to divide the body, to harm the church? That's a rhetorical question, because you know the answer.

I believe that predestination vs free-will is something we'll just have to wait to ask God when we see him. Perhaps with our glorified minds we'll be able to understand then what is so difficult for us to comprehend now. :lol:

Dave

#51 ikester7579

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 07:41 AM

Gentlemen,

I don't wish to enter into debate over this, but I was wondering if I could insert a thought or two.

My favorite Bible teacher, Chuck Missler, has this to say about the ages-old debate between Calvinists and Arminians: "Our own view is that both views - Calvinism and Arminianism - are correct in what they assert, but both are wrong in what they deny." http://www.khouse.org/articles/1997/3/

Another commentator who I think very well of, Henry Morris in his New Defender's Bible, has this to say, specifically about Romans 9:20 (my bold on the relevant part):
So, this is the direction I go with this issue. I believe that strict, uncompromising adherence to either side prevents proper understanding of God's total word. There are elements of truth in both, and elements of misunderstanding in both. It would have been much better for all if there were no such thing as Calvinism or Armninianism.

Just my opinion, but you can see how it has divided the body. Whose main goal is it to divide the body, to harm the church? That's a rhetorical question, because you know the answer.

I believe that predestination vs free-will is something we'll just have to wait to ask God when we see him. Perhaps with our glorified minds we'll be able to understand then what is so difficult for us to comprehend now.  :)

Dave

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The reason so many are against Calvinism is because it points to the old covenant. The chosen people, so to speak, don't exist anymore. This is because anyone can now get into heaven because through their faith in God they can be saved. We have been grafted into the tree.

Calvinism means that God creates people to go to heaven, and people to go to hell. Now why create people to go to hell if we are to have choice?

Example: Calvinism preaches that man is predetermined for heaven or hell, and we have no say so. Now, let's put that the way that it really is. Man is forced to either go to heaven or hell and basically has no say so. Now, does that sound like an all loving God? Loved that is forced is not true love and neither is it a gift to be given.

Would you call a gift that is forced upon you a gift of love? Since marraige is what salvation is referred to being, let's use it as an example. If you are forced to marry someone you do not love, would you consider that person a gift of love?

If you have a choice to marry someone who you grow to love and cherish. And they feel the same about you. When you get married, would you considered it a gift of love because you loved them before and after you were married?

A gift of true love is always a choice, it is never predetermined or forced. Also salvation that is predetermined cannot be judged. How can a person be judged to hell for his actions if his destination to go to hell was already predetermined?

So you see, this does not work with the word of God. But, I do see where someone can get caught up into thinking this is true.

#52 Countic16

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 07:56 PM

"Calvin says we have choice, then says we never ever choose right? This is really a contradiction" -Fred

No, its not a contradiction, but I can understand how you might have misunderstood me with it. Allow me to try to clarify a bit by showing an example.

A child is presented with the option to eat green beans or a cookie. The child absolutely loves cookies, and hates green beans. Every time that child is given the choice by his mother "would you like green beans or a cookie?" the child chooses the cookie. He absolutely always makes that choice, never sways. Now, would you say the child did not have the option to eat green beans? Absolutely not. The choice was there, it was never made for green beans. Now assuming green beans are better for a child than a cookie...This is the Calvinist view: That we have the choice, yet we never choose the right choice. In other words, our Will is enslaved to our fleshly desires and our choices are manipulated by it. I am not a very good explainer of the Will, and its a difficult subject. However, there is a man who does it very well besides Calvin himself, and that is Jonathan Edwards. Really, I cannot do a good job of explaining it beyond this paragraph. So for further explanation read Jonathan Edward's works, or at the least Martin Luther's. One is titled "Freedom of the Will" and the other is "Bondage of the Will" I think, ironically.

"Plus, it is refuted by scripture." -Fred

Please present said scripture, because I think scripture supports it, not refutes it.

"Where in the Bible does it say that doing something good is a sin if it wasn’t meant to glorify God?" -Fred

I would just like to re-iterate that I said "secularly good" meaning what is perceived as good by secular terms. I do not want a general term such as "good" to be misperceived later down the road. But here is the scripture to support my stance and answer your question:

For starters, since I am having difficulty locating it, scripture that reflects the negative opposite of my position even though it is out of context:

Luke 6:32-34

"For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again."

Ooo...ok found some goodies:

John 15:5, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Timothy 2:21, and lastly, from my personal favorite book: Romans 8: 5-8

"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

Actually, I found a website that does a thoroughly good job of explaining all of this. I do not know the rest of the site, but this link is sound to what I am trying to address:

http://www.spokanebi...s/GoodWorks.htm

"One thing to consider is that Calvinists far, far, more often have to explain away the simple, straightforward meaning of a relevant passage, than does the anti-Calvinist" -Fred

Actually, I posted a bunch of scripture that statements pretty much exactly what I said. You would have to "explain away" those scriptures to mean something else in order for them to not mean what I said.

"Susan Smith surely had emotions when she was predestined, according to Calvinism, to kill her kids. Somehow the Calvinist thinks this brings glory to God." -Fred

No, because Susan was working in direct contradiction with scripture. She may have "felt" she was doing the work of God, but the odds are she was either possessed or insane, and at the very least was not doing the work of God since it contradicts scripture.

"It is refuted by scores of scripture, literally the whole Bible." -Fred

Right, /agreed. And thus why it does not hold as a Calvinist position, as a Calvinist position always does its best to uphold scripture. Direct contradiction to scripture = not gonna go so well with a Christian, Calvinist or not. Your refutation was the case of Susan murdering her children, for that very reason, the glory of God. However, the Bible states that your will need be for the glory of God for a good work to be performed, not "that any work done for the glory of God will end up being good." They do not flipflop back and forth. It is not a proper refutation. A proper refutation would be to cite scripture in which a human had done a good work for the wrong intent, and yet pleased God. An even better refutation would be to find scripture in which the person selfishly did a good work (for the wrong intent), and yet raised their personal relationship with God.

"Again, I know many fine Christians who are Calvinists, but they can’t defend their position with scripture but instead must write long analogies and refer to anthropomorphisms to explain their position" -Fred

Well, I gave the scriptures that give direct contradiction. So, its there, with very little argumentation brought forth. Please address them.

"Note here that the Calvinist quickly tries to defend God as the creator of evil. They have to explain away the scores of verses that say God is not capable of despicable acts. One of many examples:" -Fred

This is not a position for Calvinists to defend God. This is a position for all Christians to defend an apparent contradiction. Job and Isaiah present some obvious conflictions.

"Easy, it’s a matter of semantics. The Hebrew word used for evil in this verse can also mean" -Fred

Thats pickin' an choosin'. It also means straight evil. The scripture also states he creates darkness and scripture is riddled with the contrast of darkness and the light meaning good and evil. It takes a lot of "explaining away" to make the passage mean something other than what it says.

I would reply to the rest of what you said, but unfortunately I've run outta time and gotta hit the hay. Will do that later.

#53 Countic16

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 07:01 AM

Ok, sorry for the delay, but this will be only another partial addressing, as my time is still yet limited. I did do a search to find a suitable understanding of good and evil. I came up with a quote that actually is very reasonable, and would be good "just for thoughts" though I have not evaluated it to scripture yet. I will be sure, also, to ask my pastor today for passages referring to everything happening at the manipulation of God. Meaning: If God were to ever stop twiddling and sparking creation to life, it would cease to exist. I have come across scriptures addressing this, but cannot find them on my own at this time. Thus, why I will ask my pastor as he is a very learned man.

"Question: "Did God create evil?"

Answer: At first it might seem that if God created all things then evil must have been created by God. However, there is an assumption here that needs to be cleared up. Evil is not a "thing" - like a rock or electricity. You can't have a jar of evil! Rather, evil is something that occurs, like running. Evil has no existence of its own - it is really a lack in a good thing. For example, holes are real but they only exist in something else. We call the absence of dirt a hole - but it cannot be separated from the dirt. So when God created, it is true that all that existed was good. One of the good things that God made was creatures who had the freedom to choose good. In order to have a real choice, God had to allow there to be something besides good to choose. So God allowed these free angels and humans to choose good or non-good (evil). When a bad relationship exists between two good things we call that evil, but it does not become a "thing" that required God to create it.

Perhaps a further illustration will help. If I were to ask the average person "does cold exist?" - his/her answer would likely be yes. However, this is incorrect. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Similarly, darkness does not exist. Darkness is the absence of light. Similarly, evil is the absence of good, or better, evil is the absence of God. God did not have to create evil, but rather only allow for the absence of good."

From site: http://www.gotquesti...reate-evil.html

Also, I would like you to address Ephesians 1:4: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." Fred, as that refutes your claim to the word "election." I had stated election is a person is chosen from outside sources, of no merit or energy of their own. Your refutation was that my statement was incorrect because in every election you have ever seen, the person had to at least sign up to be elected. Ephesians 1:4 states the election was done before any of us even existed, and thus we would not have the ability to "sign up" to become elected. So though you had a point, your point did not actually refute this specific passage.

I would also like you to address the passage John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day" which is specifically saying that God initiates all salvation, and no man can choose prior to that. This refers to obtaining a new heart upon which an individual is capable of making a choice for good instead of evil. I can find more scripture for more details on that, but for now I will stop as it is church time and my wife is doing the pictures for the directory!

#54 Countic16

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 10:07 AM

Sorry for having 3 posts in a row. I just do it because too long, too lengthy = too boring, and I have a hard time addressing everything at once when on a time table. So I am back from church. I noticed something I should have included in the last post, but did not. Here it is:

Ephesians 1:4-6 "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved"

I posted Ephesians 1:4 in the last post, but really, 5 and 6 are really important also. So when I asked you to address Ephesians 4, please extend that to 5 and 6 as well, as they are abundantly clear that predestination is a truth of the Bible. Infact, it is brought up a couple more times in the following verses as well, if you feel the need to read further.

I also asked my pastor what he thought of the existence of evil, and whether God created it or not, referring to the scriptures I posted previously here. His answer, which I was pleased to hear, was that God ordained evil, but did not commit it. What this means is evil could not have existed in this world without God having ordained it to happen, however the ones who commit the action of evil in this world are the ones held responsible. A good example of why it is necessary that God has ordained evil to exist, and that "free will" is not the "easy out" answer to the ordination of evil, is Satan. God created Satan. God created Satan to do exactly as he does. Satan, however, is the one held accountable for all of Satan's actions. If you would deny God having created Satan, then you are placing Satan on a level of "the uncreated"....which as we all understand there to be only one uncreated thing in all of reality, and that is God....that would lead to Satan being on the same level of deity as God....a bad conclusion to have. I think we can all agree Satan is only a minion, a created being, who has no authority or power that God himself does not already grant to him. To deny God's ordination of evil is to accept Satan as having true deistic qualities to contend against God in authority and power, as Satan is clearly evil, always intended to be evil. God must have created him, and with that very intention as ordained. Its a hard concept to swallow. Often the refutation given is "He who creates evil IS evil." but often we forget the necessity of the existence of evil to glorify righteousness. The creation of evil by God is an ordained order, not an action of committing evil himself. I do not know how better to explain it, and for that I am sorry. Either way, if anyone disagree with this paragraph of thought, I still ask that you address the scriptures I provided as they clearly contradict the non-Calvinist view of free will and the non-Calvinist view that a person could choose grace without God having first invoked it in the person's heart.

Finally, I want to clarify as some terms might have been wishy washy. Calvin does not deny the existence of Free Will. Calvin denies the ability of a human with Free Will of being able to choose God over sin without God first planting a new heart. The choice is there, the option is given, and the human mind has the capacity to make the choice. Those are understood by Calvin. But because of mankind's depraved mind, no human ever, not even once, ever chooses the path of God unless God chooses to give them a new heart first. I know IK asked if God purposely ordain some for evil and hell, and others for righteousness and heaven. The answer to that is "yes." Scripture states it as so. If need be, I will search for the scripture if you like, IK. So if you an have issue with that, then I suppose the answer you are looking for would be related to the necessity of evil to magnify God's glory and righteousness, as well as the extension of God as the creator of all morality, good and evil. We as humans have a tendency to try to captivate/subjugate God to innate laws we have created in our own minds of what is good and evil. In Greek philosophy, for instance, there was discussion of morality as its own self-evident truth that was subject to no one. But there is one that morality and truth is subject to...and that is God. He created all and everything, according to scripture. Whatever is righteous is righteous because he made it so. If an extreme example need be made to make the point: If God created murder as righteous instead of evil, murder would be righteous instead of evil. Obviously, he did not, but the point is made. If you have an issue with this point, please refer to the countless scriptures regarding the clay questioning the potter, the created questioning the maker.

#55 Countic16

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 05:27 AM

Sorry again for another post before your response, but take it as a compliment! Each time I re-read your statements I find nice little juicy morsels that are worthy of response, usually scriptural response.

"Calvinism also deters its followers from witnessing since everyone is predestined to go to heaven or hell anyway! Why bother witnessing in the first place?" -Fred

Scripture actually addresses this in that evangelizing is not a means to an end, but a command from God to do it. In other words, the evangelist is only a third party to the process of a conversion.

"Further, in Isa 45:4 God calls Israel the elect. Is all Israel saved? Or is it possible that God can elect or choose someone or some nation that can by their own free will choose not to follow God? More on this in the follow-up post since the entire context of Romans 9 is God’s grafting out the Jews and grafting in the Gentiles, something that Calvinists refuse to grasp because it offers a solid and valid explanation of the verses in Romans 9 (the Calvinist’s favorite stomping ground)." -Fred

Romans 9 is not about the grafting out of Jews and the grafting in of Gentiles. You can refer to both the OT and the NT in regards to who "Israel" is. Scripture makes it clear there are two Israels. There is the Israel of geneology, and there is the Israel of promise. If a Jew by bloodline should accept Christ, he also would be a child of promise. This is made clear before Jesus' time when scripture points out that lineages such as:

Genesis 17:20-21 "And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year."

So God has been choosing his covenant people for quite a while before the NT.

And in the new testament such as:

Romans 9:6-8 "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed."

Now, why only Isaac's seed? And what does God mean when he says "counted for the seed"? Well, certainly not because of a bloodline otherwise his brother Esau would have been included. Infact, verse 8 spells it out....the children of promise. Now, I know early you had asked if God would choose some and not others for salvation. As for who are "the seed", I can only guess those who are to be reaped for the harvest and not cast into the fire? To me this seems abundantly clear that the answer is "yes, God chooses certain for harvest and other for fire."

"But wait a minute. Isn’t Israel the “elect”? It says so in Isa 45:4 and Isa 65:9. But here you say Israel isn’t the elect? You Calvinists are so silly." -Fred

This isn't an issue just for Calvinists again. It would be an issue for all Christianity. However, I believe I have answered the question with the above, since the scripture I gave specifically states that "Not all of Israel is Israel."

Ok, I think I have addressed all that I wanted to address and answered all that you asked me to answer. For now I will await a response and new questions (or re-iterated ones if I missed something), as I am sure you have plenty to chew on for the next week from me lol.

#56 Fred Williams

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:46 PM

Just my opinion, but you can see how it has divided the body. Whose main goal is it to divide the body, to harm the church? That's a rhetorical question, because you know the answer.

View Post


Its not just the free will debate, but proably 100s if not thousands of other doctrines that have split the body. It's the nature of the beast, sorta speak.

I believe that predestination vs free-will is something we'll just have to wait to ask God when we see him. Perhaps with our glorified minds we'll be able to understand then what is so difficult for us to comprehend now.

View Post


I have to admit I had the same position for a long time. I don’t want this taken in the wrong way so as to sound like a know-it-all, or like I’m on some special wavelength with God, etc, but I do think it is a topic given enough time that we can know the truth from the Bible without having to wait to ask God. I hope everyone keeps searching and studying the issue, because if you say it can never be solved then it reduces the chance it will be solved for you and it can become ignored as a topic. What if Missler and Henry Morris are wrong on this? I too respect both of them very much (I have many of their tapes and books), there are many great things I have learned from them and I’m sure there is plenty more to learn. But I do think on this issue, and I don’t want to speculate why, they are very much wrong to dismiss it as either not solvable or “both right in their assertions and wrong in their denials”. I am not saying I have all of the free will stuff solved in my mind, but what I am convinced of is that Calvinism in its major tenets is wrong. It’s not possible for both sides to be right at the same time on many of the Calvinist doctrines. Note that I also do not think Arminianism is correct, but I won’t go there (yet :rolleyes: ).

Note that at one time I even had a hard core Calvinist running this board! I too thought it was an unsolvable issue we would have to wait to hear from God on, but not any more, not even in the least. I’m now as convinced Calvinism is wrong as I am that an old earth is wrong. Over the years, time after time, I was noticing that Calvinism stumbles if we try to take the plain, straightforward meaning of the text. It’s like a puzzle with a thousand pieces. The Calvinist have ten pieces that fit very well together, but they are a bad fit with scores of other verses in scripture. Therefore it has to be discarded. I just ask the reader and Countic to consider the following: Would you be willing to make some friendly wager that the Calvinist will appeal to “allegory, anthropomorphism, symbolism” (in other words, the text doesn’t mean what it plainly says) far more often when confronted with verses that contradict their position?

A scripture that resonates for me is Proverbs 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.


I’m not saying scripture can't be challenging, but this verse tells me that among other things, when in doubt take the plain meaning of scripture. If we apply this test, you will find that Calvinism fails over and over again (as does Arminianism).

I plan on addressing Countic’s posts as soon as I can, but please bear with me as I’m real busy right now. Just please take note going forward in this thread how many times I have to jump through hoops and say the text means something other than the plain meaning, and how many times the Calvinist (in this case Countic) has to reject the plain meaning and do a hoop dance. :) There are already plenty of examples of this in the earlier debate in this thread, but going forward I will try to highlight them as they occur, keep score if you will. :)

Thanks for your patience.

Fred

#57 Dave

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 08:34 PM

Hi Fred,

I appreciate your comments here.

I won't be entering the Calvin debate, but I was wondering if I could inject a thought or two along the lines of my previous comments.

What I'm thinking is that what you said makes a lot of sense. But, it also leaves me with the impression that you are debating the points of Calvinism that Missler, et al, already admit are wrong. In other words, you're finding faults with the extreme (which are truly there, no doubt) but not realizing that some of the more moderate precepts of Calvinism might hold biblically true.

I'm picturing a bell curve. Extreme Calvinism on one end, extreme Arminianism on the other end. Missler, et al, say that both ends are wrong. But, there is the hump in the middle where Calvinism and Arminianism sort of blend together, and where they are both right. Cut the ends off, and you have some sound doctrine.

Do you suppose that is possible?

I believe the main problem is that both ends have names. They have adherents who are loyal and defensive, and who are basically blind to the other sides virtues as they work their way toward the middle.

Anyway, I'll look forward to watching how the debate proceeds.

Dave

#58 Countic16

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 08:51 PM

Yea I agree its definitely not something to bust the church up about. If the TULIP you provided is what you consider the main tenets of Calvinism, then I have no issues in agreeing also that I have contention heh. I really do not care so much about what a term is defined as. What I care about is the meaning behind the terms, and a general agreement on any one board of discussion to what the terms are, and to not change those terms at the whim of manipulating an argument. If your main issue is TULIP, then we might be arguing much in agreement with each other. I never really defined Calvinism according to TULIP, personally.

"Would you be willing to make some friendly wager that the Calvinist will appeal to “allegory, anthropomorphism, symbolism” (in other words, the text doesn’t mean what it plainly says) far more often when confronted with verses that contradict their position?" -Fred

Well, though I generally have no issues with small friendly wagers, I'd prefer not to when the Bible is the contest hehe. But I do not think the concepts that I have held as Calvinist, or predestination, as having allegorical, anthropomorphism, or symbolism. I do my best to interpret scripture for what it plainly says. Predestination, election, a chosen people before the people had the option to put their names on the ballots....is all plainly stated in the Bible. That much I think is not contendable. From there it gets more juicy and difficult, and more negotiable I thinks.

I guess you and I might have a different conception of Calvinism. It might be wise to set a certain definition to it. If you set a definition that I do not believe in, I will let you know. That right there might settle it lol.

#59 ikester7579

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 03:28 AM

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.

Cool verses, thanks Fred.

#60 ikester7579

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 04:10 AM

Yea I agree its definitely not something to bust the church up about.  If the TULIP you provided is what you consider the main tenets of Calvinism, then I have no issues in agreeing also that I have contention heh.  I really do not care so much about what a term is defined as.  What I care about is the meaning behind the terms, and a general agreement on any one board of discussion to what the terms are, and to not change those terms at the whim of manipulating an argument.  If your main issue is TULIP, then we might be arguing much in agreement with each other.  I never really defined Calvinism according to TULIP, personally.

"Would you be willing to make some friendly wager that the Calvinist will appeal to “allegory, anthropomorphism, symbolism” (in other words, the text doesn’t mean what it plainly says) far more often when confronted with verses that contradict their position?" -Fred

Well, though I generally have no issues with small friendly wagers, I'd prefer not to when the Bible is the contest hehe.  But I do not think the concepts that I have held as Calvinist, or predestination, as having allegorical, anthropomorphism, or symbolism.  I do my best to interpret scripture for what it plainly says.  Predestination, election, a chosen people before the people had the option to put their names on the ballots....is all plainly stated in the Bible.  That much I think is not contendable.  From there it gets more juicy and difficult, and more negotiable I thinks.

I guess you and I might have a different conception of Calvinism.  It might be wise to set a certain definition to it.  If you set a definition that I do not believe in, I will let you know.  That right there might settle it lol.

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Have you ever pondered that you might be wrong? Christ told us to test what we believe to the fullest. That is what I did with the losing salvation thing. I can find about 5 times more verses supporting losing salvation than keeping it forever. If you go along with a group doctrine that you want to be part of. And if that group doctrine is wrong. Then their sin becomes your sin and you would really have no excuse.

phil 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

What this verse is actually saying, is that we will stand before God and give an account for our own belief in what we think is true. And the only person there to defend us is Christ. But how can He defend something if that something is not true? So we will stand alone on all things we have determined as true, unless they are really true.

It took me 3 years of research and debates to determine if OSAS or NO-OSAS was true. If I took 3 years, it means I wanted the real truth. Not some group truth. Anyone can make a good arguement for anything they want to believe. Look at evolution. Look how good they have become in argueing it.

Let me ask you a question: When you pray, are you taught to ask for Christ to use His blood to cover your sins and make you as white as snow? Did you know that this very prayer makes Christ an on going sacrafice? Why should he shed His blood again when it was finished the first time?

And which religion promotes Christ as a on going sacrafice? So now you know where the OSAS belief actually branched off of. Don;t believe that Christ cannot shed His blood more than once?

heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

You see the Catholic religion (worship of Mary) is always inserting itself into the Christian religion (worship of Christ). On the outside they can present themselves as just like any other Christian denomination. But when you research it, you find a very different belief all together.

Example:
http://www.qofa.org/parishprayer.html




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