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ikester7579

Theistic Evolutionists: Is Evolution A Salvation Issue?

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Again and again scripture shows us that works are a testament and evidence of our salvation. We are called to LIVE and BEHAVE as Jesus told us to live and behave. To be an example to others. Where then is the evidence that we belong to Christ if we are living a life of sin? Of course we are all sinners - we are faulty! We can fall into sin. The difference is, we repent, we ask forgiveness, get back up and with the grace of God, we continue on our journey. We are called to give up our sinful lives and follow Jesus.

 

We are called to walk away from sin and follow after Christ. To leave our old ways. That does not mean we won't fall INTO sin, or slip up, or that we do not have faults, but we GET BACK UP and continue our walk. It is with God's grace that we are able to overcome the sins in our lives. Peristance and cooperation with God's grace on our part, which makes holiness possible for even the worst sinner. Prayer is essential! We cannot do this by our own strength, but we can in Christ.

 

Even if one wants to disregard what I've said here - let's simply read what God's word has to say. Here is just a few examples:

 

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)

 

James 2:14-21

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,†but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.†Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believeâ€â€Âand tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c

 

   Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him. (John 3:36)

 

Matthew 7:24-26, Who knows my teachings and Does Them, is a wise man. Who knows my teachings and does them not is a foolish man. If you hear these words and do them, the Father will come unto you and dwell in you and teach you all things; bringing all things to your REMEMBERANCE.

 

…you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen.  (Revelations 2:5) Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Ibid.)

 

…work out your salvation with fear and trembling… that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.  (Philipians 2:12, 15)

 

All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people. (Rom 10:21)

 

"Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Matt 7:21)

 

…live for the rest of your earthly life, no longer by human passions, but by the will of God. (1 Pt 4:2)

 

Everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined. (Matt 7:26-27)

 

For it is time for the judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, how will it end for those who fail to obey the gospel of God? (1 Pet 4:17)

 

See! Like storm clouds he advances, like a hurricane his chariots; Swifter than eagles are his steeds: "Woe to us! we are ruined." Cleanse your heart of evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved… When the time comes, you shall fully understand. (Jeremiah 4:14; 23:20)

 

Psalm 5:13 You bless those who obey you, Lord; your love protects them like a shield.

 

Psalm 119:1-2 "Our Lord, you bless everyone who lives right and obeys your Law. You bless all of those who follow your commands from deep in their hearts"

 

"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God." - Hebrews 13:16

 

‎2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

 

Psalm 5:13 You bless those who obey you, Lord; your love protects them like a shield.

 

John 14:15

If you love me, keep my commandments.

 

“For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.†(Matthew 5:18-19)

 

"It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid." (Luke 16:17)

 

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place." (Matthew 5:17)

 

 

"Father, in JESUS' name I ask you to forgive me of all my sins. I repent Lord. Come into my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. With your help, I will "stop sinning" (John 5:14). Amen."

 

 

Edited by Bex

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Ron, I would ask that going forward we refrain from comments like “I’ll err on the side of His scripture”, accusations of taking verses out of context and not reading entire passages, disregarding and cherry-picking, allegations of strawman arguments, etc. It doesn’t server either of us, or the reader, to make these allegations (again, notice a said “we” are doing this, not just you). Let’s remember we just jumped into a topic that is wide-ranging and can’t be solved in a couple posts.

 

Before starting on the theology, I wanted to address and apologize for something you took offense to:

 

And to call my adherence to the scripture and the context with which it is held together as “legalism” is usually only asserted by Biblical scoffers, liberal theologians, atheists and agnostics.

Somehow I get myself into trouble with things I do not realize are insulting, rather I think they are descriptive. My view of a legalist is one who still mixes law with gospel. This is what Isaac sent in a PM on the definition: “Legalism, in Christian theology, is a sometimes-pejorative term referring to an over-emphasis on discipline of conduct, or legal ideas, usually implying an allegation of misguided rigour, pride, superficiality, the neglect of mercy, and ignorance of the grace of God or emphasizing the letter of law over the spirit. Legalism is alleged against any view that obedience to law, not faith in God's grace, is the pre-eminent principle of redemption. Its opposite is the doctrine of Sola Fide, which is the traditional Protestant view that believing in Jesus Christ is the only requirement for receiving eternal life.”

 

So, while I do think some of the above applies to my view of legalism, its way too slanted to one side - to the degree that you neglect mercy or the ignorance of grace is not what I was implying. My definition is simply that you are mixing law and gospel, that is how I always interpreted “legalism” to mean. So my apologies to you and Isaac for any implied or otherwise pejorative aspect of my using the term "legalism", it was not wholly meant in the definition given above.

 

I’m going to focus on answering areas you seem to be emphasizing, and I will ask just three questions in return. I would suggest we emphasize (bold) no more than 3 questions we expect answered per exchange, is this agreeable? I believe this would keep the debate more stream-lined and easy to follow.

 

Are you insinuating that once we are “saved by grace”, that we now have a free ride, and can then do as we wish, because we can then go against the Words of Christ (and God) and not do the “good works” we were supposed to “live our lives doing”? I repeat… “LIVE OUR LIVES DOING”!!!

No, I am not insinuating this at all. I’ll answer based on the following snippet, which also addresses Romans 6 and other places you mentioned:

 

“In the Lord’s name, I tell you this. Do not continue living like those who do not believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing. They do not understand, and they know nothing, because they refuse to

listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. They have lost all feeling of shame, and they use their lives for doing evil. They continually want to do all kinds of evil” (Eph 4:17-19) So, according to the scripture, after we receive salvation, are we to live in “ Christ Jesus” and do the “good works” that “God made us to do” which “God planned” for us to “live our lives doing”? Or are we to “continue living like those who do not believe” and end up not having “the life that God gives”?

The answer is yes, we should “not continue living like those who do not believe.” What I am saying is that once you have accepted the free gift of salvation, the only possible way to lose it is by giving that gift back. How did we get the gift? It was free, we did NOTHING to deserve it. How do we give back a gift we did nothing to earn? You say by not doing works! I say, if at all, by disowning Christ as Lord and Savior.

 

Question #1: If one accepts Christ’s free gift, and does not do any good works afterward, how does he get his salvation back? Explain this in light of Ephesians 1:13-14, 2:8-9 and 1 Cor 3:15?

 

Since Jesus told his followers “Those who know my commands and obey them are the ones who love me, and my Father will love those who love me. I will love them and will show myself to them.” (Jn 14:21) How can those who don’t “KNOW” and “OBEY” Jesus’s “COMMANDS” then “LOVE” Him, and “SEE” Him and be “LOVED” by the Father?

Question #2: Based on the criteria Jesus established in John 14:28, did the apostles meet Jesus’ requirement to love Him?

 

First – Revelations, for example, is POST resurrection AND it is quite explicit concerning lost salvation.

 

And how is that? (optional question only). I know you would agree with me that many churches have members who are NOT Christians. For example, my Pastor told me once where he asked a person if he was Christian, and he said “no, I’m a Catholic!” :) (I’m not saying all Catholics are not Christians). The United Method Church, Church of Christ, etc are probably chalked full of unbelievers since in some circles within those denominations, you don’t have to believe Christ rose from the dead. I could go on and on. The point is, you say the churches in Revelation represent Christians who lost their salvation, I’m saying the text easily accommodates the position that those where the letter gives an air of condemnation, they never believed in the first place.

 

When Jesus is speaking, His word is every bit as relevant to us today as it ever was (Heb 13:8).

Wow. That’s not what that verse says at all. I hope you reconsider: Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

Let’s consider again what you said:

 

All quotes by Ron:

"When Jesus is speaking, His word is every bit as relevant to us today as it ever was (Heb 13:8). "

"When Jesus was speaking in parables (i.e. the parable of the sower) He was speaking of a “General Truth” that is applicable for everyone at ALL TIMES"

"Indeed, but this in no way renders the WORDS of Jesus (i.e. His parables etc…) of no affect today."

 

This is very easy to refute by asking you my final question for this round:

 

Question 3: Jesus said we should put to death those who work on the Sabbath. Is this “every bit as relevant to us today as it ever was”?

 

 

Fred

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We can and do it all the time, at least at the "forest" level. If someone denies the core gospel, isn't it a completely accurate statement on our part to recognize them as an unbeliever? Have you not rightly recognized unbelievers amongst you? Do you think Richard Dawkins, in his current state, is going to heaven? I can say with complete rational certainty that he isn't. What I can't say is that it is too late for him. It becomes too late the moment he dies without Christ.

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Yes, I was speaking in certain contexts. There are unbelievers, and we can usually discern them by what they say. I was speaking in context of say believing doctrines like TE, that the Holy Spirit may lead out of. I can't make a judgement on say Geode, because he is a theistic evolutionist. But I can tell him that he believes a false doctrine, and could be endangering his soul because of it.

 

Sorry, I have to again disagree. You acknowledge that Paul's particular application in Galations is to those adding works to the gospel of grace. How does TE add works to the gospel?

It is adding man's teaching--which is deadly leaven. I think you know that the cross was legal action, in response to one man's sin--Adam. At least circumcision was in the law--evolution is a lie of Satan--totally outside the bounds of the word, to mix it is a blaspheming faith, as it infringes on the work of Calvary.

 

I have also heard Christians tell me that Calvinism also falls under Galations as a false gospel. As much as I despise Calvinism, I certainly wouldn't go so far as to put Calvinists under the 'false gospel' moniker, since the admonishment in Galations clearly implies a major salvation issue.

Calvinism and Armenianism are not transgressing the central docrine--Redemption. Theistic evolution transgresses the work of the Second Adam by stating a false or non-origin of sin. Sin was put on Christ, and is part of the cross. It is part of the story of redemption. It is why Jesus bled.

 

Calvinism, and diferent escotolgies, like the pre-trib/post-trib/mid-trib debates, or pre/post/amellinialism are not transgressing the work of the cross. They are in my opinion peripherial doctrines which may do harm when taken to extremes, but the are not attacking the work of redemption as theistic evolution does.

 

OK, we agree on most things, I'll close this post by saying your rationale on the OSAS verses makes good sense and why I tend to lean against OSAS.

So do I. I believe in strong grace, just not unconditional eternal security.

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So do I.  I believe in strong grace, just not unconditional eternal security.

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Gotcha, I guess I'm just a little more to the right of strong grace. I totally agree with everything as far as TE corrupting, in fact I find it simply amazing anyone could believe it given that evolution has either been falsified, or isn't falsifiable. I'm going to break the civility rule of my forum and say that evolution is flat dumb, dumb beyond words. But if someone truly in the heart accepts Christ as Savior, that spirit side of them, I can see how they could still fight with their flesh side and continue to believe something as boneheaded as evolution. There are many Christians who have accepted God's gift and truly believe Jesus is Lord and rose from the dead, who also hold some other strange and incorrect beliefs. I guess I have to go back to the thief on the cross. What saved him is what saves everyone else, that Jesus is God who died for our sins, nothing more - Sola gratia.

 

Fred

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Gotcha, I guess I'm just a little more to the right of strong grace. I totally agree with everything as far as TE corrupting, in fact I find it simply amazing anyone could believe it given that evolution has either been falsified, or isn't falsifiable. I'm going to break the civility rule of my forum and say that evolution is flat dumb, dumb beyond words. But if someone truly in the heart accepts Christ as Savior, that spirit side of them, I can see how they could still fight with their flesh side and continue to believe something as boneheaded as evolution. There are many Christians who have accepted God's gift and truly believe Jesus is Lord and rose from the dead, who also hold some other strange and incorrect beliefs. I guess I have to go back to the thief on the cross. What saved him is what saves everyone else, that Jesus is God who died for our sins, nothing more - Sola gratia.

 

Fred

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I agree with you Fred, and I hope I didn't sound like I was saying all TE's are going to hell. I just believe that if a Christian is going to live a life of faith and be a disciple, there will come a day when the Holy Spirit will put his finger on the lack of faith. All that is not of faith is sin.

 

But I do believe there is a difference between those who struggle with doubts, and those who outrightly teach TE. I doubt that leaders who advocate this have any leading of the Spirit in their lives, and are probably liberal in all their theology. They have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof--from such turn away. Seeya, AFJ

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And if evolution is true, it also means that a descendant of apes died for our sins on the cross.

Did a descendant of apes die for your sins?

 

Another way of looking at this is: Man is made of bust. (Genesis 2:7; Genesis 3:19)

This means that a descendant of dust died for our sins on the cross?

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I would not want to be responsible for such a false report--namely that Adam's father died before Adam, and that death was in the world as a result of natural processes, rather than by decree of God.

Please help me understand.

 

God told Adam that if they eat from the tree (tree of the knowledge of good and evil) they will die.

He used the word “dieâ€ÂÂ.

Does this not mean Adam had knowledge of deaf?

Genesis 2:17 Genesis 3:3

 

If we see this deaf as an earth deaf, are we not making the same mistake as Adam when Satan said he will not die if he eats from this tree?

Genesis 3:4

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I agree with you Fred, and I hope I didn't sound like I was saying all TE's are going to hell. I just believe that if a Christian is going to live a life of faith and be a disciple, there will come a day when the Holy Spirit will put his finger on the lack of faith. All that is not of faith is sin.

 

But I do believe there is a difference between those who struggle with doubts, and those who outrightly teach TE. I doubt that leaders who advocate this have any leading of the Spirit in their lives, and are probably liberal in all their theology. They have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof--from such turn away. Seeya, AFJ

 

My confusion around theist evolutionists is about just how human did a human have to be to gain salvation eg will neanderthal be saved? What about Homo erectus? What about Lucy and Ardi?What was Adam? Was Adam a miraculous mutation from an ape as was Eve where God brought both mutatants to the Garden of Eden to begin the rest of the human race? I have difficulty around their reasoning here.

 

I do not subscribe to any faith as many preach exclusivity, where I beleive the bible offers a resurrection to all into a world, either heavenly or earthly where there will be no longer a need for faith. Likewise if there is an armageddon, signs of some sort will leave no need for faith, where all will see the truth and have an opportunity to choose life or death. I believe God, in the end will be very fair. Many faiths that preach exclusivity will have to pass a final test as illustrated in the parable of the slaves all getting the same pay despite some coming in at the last minute..or will they turn into wicked slaves because of feeling entitled to more pay or beter status because of their hard preaching and other works.

 

So believing in evolution is not a death knell, but just the result of being overcome by the reasonings of man in a corrupted world, as prophesised. Belief in TOE appears to be not as grave a sin in comparison to fornication, adultery, murder and abortion.

 

I can excuse some errors in the bible due to copying, language and the agenda of various translators and copiers. I can cope with some of the text being rearranged and altered a little. I can cope with literal days or periods of time. However, once one starts suggesting the whole of Genesis is based on myth or the geneologies are not factual as to the timing of the rise of mankind, then I ask myself why believe in the bible at all?

 

Yes the bible is only meant to be a spritual guide, not a science book. However, for me, to disregard huge swathes of biblical scripture in Genesis, looses the basis of belief that the bible has any credibility at all. Indeed the bible is accurate on many scientific fronts and I believe will be shown to be even more accurate as time goes on. Theists evolutionists have thrown their hat behind TOE way too soon, as did previous popes. These days, TOE does not look credible at all and is much less convincing now than it was 20 years ago.

 

http://www.raptureforums.com/BibleProphecy/101science.cfm

 

So my biggest concern re theist evolutionists, particularly biblical style God believers, is answering when did mankind become human enough to gain salvation. The responses to this question are usually given relating to language or brain function and are vague at best.

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