He wants us to choose Him by our free will instead of His capable force, though He reserves the right to guide you through in your decision making. In the end, your free-will will have to participate.Designist responds with:
That statement is synonymous with the one you made in post #45, which I handled in post #55 Ron quoted Designist who asked:
How is it possible to reconcile a God who knows all things (including all future actions and events of all beings, including Himself) and a God who is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence" with a God who makes some vessels for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony?Ron addressed the quote in the following way:
The problem youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re running into here is your assumption that God makes some vessels for no other reason than Ã¢â‚¬Å“destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agonyÃ¢â‚¬Â, which is clearly a misconception on your part.
God has provided a way for Ã¢â‚¬Å“Every manÃ¢â‚¬Â to go to heaven, through His Son Jesus Christ. God makes Ã¢â‚¬Å“No manÃ¢â‚¬Â go to Ã¢â‚¬Å“eternal agonyÃ¢â‚¬Â. Any man who suffers Ã¢â‚¬Å“eternal agonyÃ¢â‚¬Â does so of his own accord and volition.Designist responds with:
If, in your first sentence, you are suggesting that I am misinterpreting Rom. 9:11-23, then I would sincerely hope that you would be merciful enough to show me where I have gone wrong. For, as Ezekiel 3:18 sayeth, Ã¢â‚¬Å“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.Ã¢â‚¬Â
After all, it does appear quite obvious to me that whoever composed the words that are found in Romans 9 intended to give those of us who are the recipients of its message the impression that God deliberately brought some people into this world knowing full well that by so doing He was dooming their souls to eternal agony, especially since the author clearly appeals to the same Ã¢â‚¬Å“might is right
Ã¢â‚¬Â principle that Darwinists have introduced and utilized in support of their anti-Scriptural thoughts concerning Ã¢â‚¬Å“the origin of speciesÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“survival of the fittestÃ¢â‚¬Â, and especially since the Scripture clearly teaches that those whom God used to demonstrate His power and/or mercy certainly did not have any of the characteristics would have made them fit to dwell for eternity in any place other than Ã¢â‚¬Å“the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second deathÃ¢â‚¬Â.
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you see? When you view Rom. 9:11-23 in the light of everything the Scriptures clearly tell us about those who think, speak, and behave as Pharaoh, for instance, did, you are compelled to believe that the soul that dwells within any vessel that was used in the same sense that God planned for PharaohÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s vessel to be used would never be fit to dwell anywhere for eternity outside of the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone? If we take Romans 9 seriously, there can be no possible way for any soul like that of PharaohÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, from birth to death, to experience a second birth. There can only be a second death for such a soul, if all the plainest texts in Scripture that deal with the final state of the soul that sinneth are to be taken seriously as well as in their proper contexts.
If, in your second sentence, you are suggesting that souls like PharaohÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s would ultimately wind up in Ã¢â‚¬Å“the lake which burneth with fire and brimstoneÃ¢â‚¬Â of his own volition, then I would think you are suggesting that Romans 9:11-23 is not to be taken seriously or interpreted in its plainest sense.
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you see?
If Romans 9:11-23 and all the passages of Scripture which teach us about salvation are to be taken seriously and in context, then it is virtually impossible for rational minds to avoid the conclusion that the Bible clearly teaches that certain souls were set-up (or doomed) to eternal damnation and certain others were set-up to be saved from eternal damnation. In other words, it would appear, from what Romans 9 says, that manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fall and eternal damnation are part of a set-up.
Romans 9, when taken in its plainest sense, does not allow logical minds to avoid the conclusion that God (certainly not unlike any ruthlessly cruel tyrant) can do whatever He likes with whomever His wills and no one can argue with Him about it on any terms (even reasonable ones) simply because He has all might and He is therefore all right
or always right.
Oh! And I almost forgot to remind you of Matthew 1:28.
That passage certainly does not lead me to believe that man sends himself to hell (as some Christians have suggested) of his own volition. In no possible way, does it do so. It makes it virtually impossible for me not to be terrified of God because it makes it seem as if, since God can do infinitely more than any man or devil can to take vengeance on those whom He considers to be His enemies, He alone is to be the one of whom everyone else should be terrified (not merely revered or respected, as some evangelical Christians have suggested in the past).Ron says:
You obviously haven't addressed my response, nor have you shown me to be narrow minded. You have, although, shown yourself to be torn between what the Bible does say, and what you want it to say. Designist responds with:
I obviously have in post #55 and it was in response to your post #45.
Besides, if I could open the eyes of the blind, then I might be called a miracle worker! But I cannot and therefore am not.Ron says:
It must be, because the Word has yet to be proven wrong, no matter how you've tried. And your ignorance of the Word of God had bound you to contextual misinterpretation. Designist responds with:
It appears as if you are suggesting that I am trying to prove the Word (I presume you are referring to the Bible) to be wrong and that my interpretation of its context is wrong also.
Please show me where I have gone wrong! Ezekiel 3:18 compels you to do so and please remember what James 5:20 and similar passages say about converting the sinner or wicked from the error of his ways.Fred Williams says:
Very, very interesting, that you are now admitting that part of your problem is based on your own philosophical assumption that GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s punishment doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fit the crime! If man rejects God (remember, God is Light) then the opposite of this is darkness. Crime = crave darkness, punishment = darkness. Seems perfectly reasonable, eye for an eye, to me. When God removes His presence light is gone. Some good scholars make a reasonable case that this is what hell ultimately is, complete separation from God, and utter and complete darkness. Designist responds with:
Far from it!
I am suggesting that part of my problem is based on the justice (or fairness, if you will) that I see and wholeheartedly agree with in Ã¢â‚¬Å“the eye for an eyeÃ¢â‚¬Â doctrine and the golden rule principle that are clearly taught in the words of the Bible alone. The plainest sense in which I understand those words is the only sense that makes sense to my mind.
Are you suggesting that I do not take them in their plainest sense or that I take them in the same sense in which OECÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s are used to taking them in?
Some of our greatest evangelical theologians have rightly pointed out that:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense, lest you come up with nonsense.Ã¢â‚¬Â Fred Williams says:
No, the individual is the ultimate cause of his own eternal human suffering, this is what the Bible clearly teaches. If a parent teaches his child right from wrong, yet the child still decides to go rob a bank, was the parent the ultimate cause for the childÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s jail time? That is what your logic demands, and it shows just how off, now that your assumptions have been shown to be invalid, your logic has quickly become. What youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done with your opening statement is move the goal posts by adding philosophical arguments very similar to what JobÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s friends did.Designist responds with:
Right on! That is part of my point!
The Bible does clearly teach that.
In fact, it insists that!
However, on the other hand, the Bible also clearly states things in ways that compel rational or sensible (prudent
or sober, to be Scriptural), as opposed to simple
(foolish or irrational) minds to conclude that:
Fred Williams says:
- God is the ultimate Creator of creators (a statement of fact that, although it cannot be found anywhere in Scripture, naturally follows from everything else the Bible teaches about GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s omnipotence), King of kings, or Lord of lords
- that God is where everything (which would ultimately include man and everything that man willed) begins and ends
- that God did not need to create man or anything else since He has never needed and shall never need anything outside of His own tri-une self
- that God could have allowed but chose not to allow any of his creatures, except perhaps lower life forms (e.g., animals, insects, and germs), to return to the unconscious state that they presumably were in before they were born, once they have finished their lives in the biological forms that they were clothed with when they first arrived on this planet or entered this dimension of reality or
- God is ultimately responsible for everything since He is the ultimate or primary cause of all things that have ever existed and shall ever exist
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s now time to circle back to your original question in the OP, just to show how far you've moved the goal posts:Designist responds with:
That is an interesting way of putting something that you perceive to be true of me. I like it and will certainly add it to my list of things to say to others whom I perceive to be as you perceive me to be.Fred Williams says:
As has already been pointed out, your concerns only make sense if three assumptions are true:
1) The future is already settled,
2) Vessels of Ã¢â‚¬Å“destructionÃ¢â‚¬Â is based on the Calvinistic interpretation (God specifically created certain people for hell).
3) God punishment of eternal damnation doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fit the crimeDesignist responds with:
With regards to the first assumption:
In the Bible I have noticed a mixed message. There is little doubt in my mind that Calvinistic thinking may have much to do with it. And Roy Elseth has pointed out things that contradict one another, concerning the same, in our Calvinistic translations of the Bible. You also have pointed some of them out.
With regards to the second assumption:
I am not so sure if it is entirely Calvinistic as I have never read or studied the Bible in it original languages. Fred says:
Yet all three of your assumptions have been overwhelmingly refuted WITH SCRIPTURE. Your entire argument vanishes if:
1) The future is not settled;
2) God does not select certain individuals for hell
3) The punishment fits the crime - those who reject the Light will get their wish, no Light!
You seem to agree with #2, and for the sake of argument you accepted #1, so all you really have to rely on is #3, a personal philosophical argument. Why has #3 above crept in to your argument? Does your argument live and die by this premise?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has." - Job 42:7Designist responds with:
With regards to the third assumption:
I think you are mistaken in calling it an assumption rather than a fact.
Making it a crime to choose to see nothing (whether one chooses to see no light or anything else is neither here nor there), in my mind, is legislation that I can understand if it comes from a real and ruthless criminal or bully. But it is not something that I can understand if it comes from the one who would suggest that Ã¢â‚¬Å“an eye for an eyeÃ¢â‚¬Â or the golden rule is fair or virtuous.
Furthermore, meting out eternal
punishment for any temporal
crime, whether it be a real crime or not is, logically speaking, disproportionate
with the crime.
Perhaps another way of helping you to understand what I am trying to say might be to go about it like this:
The Bible clearly teaches that adulterers, those of the same gender who coppulate with one another, fornicators, and others who may have done nothing to harm anyone else should be treated as if they had harmed others. It goes even further by condemning or damning such people to eternal torment.
In other words, the Bible teaches that certain people, though they may have done absolutely nothing to harm anyone else, should be stoned (another way of saying harmed) and ultimately tormented forever and ever ad infinitum
in hell. But, on the other hand, and ironically, the Bible clearly tells us that we should not harm anyone who has shown no evidence of having harmed anyone else and it also commands us to treat others as we would like for them to treat us.
If the God of the Bible is that inconsistent with Himself, how can it be fair to condemn anyone for thinking that the Bible could only have been inspired by men who did not necessarily agree among themselves on important issues or that it could only have come from the mind of some schizoid personality?Hawkins says:
The difficulty in this case is that noone in human history ever understood what pre-destination is. We only make assumption about what pre-destination is in our conception/understanding. So God may be able to destine your life while allow you to have a choice.
IMO, free will is more like a processor of your computer, choices are more of an option list you are going to choose from. Destiny is more of a series of option lists you have to go through in your life span. You are fully responsible for what you choose. Designist responds with:
Dictionaries were created to help us understand words.
Predestination is a word.
The dictionary defines it, according to how it is used in everyday language.
What good is a word if it cannot be understood? Why have words if they canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be understood? Why speak, if the words you use canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be understood by those with whom you are speaking? What is the purpose of any word if it has everything to do with assumptions and nothing to do with a common understanding of its meaning?
If that is how you think, then I am afraid that you and I are not communicating with one another.
Incidentally, if you look at post #55 you will discover where I addressed your statement about free will.