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Thread: Calvinism / pre-destination

  1. #1

    Calvinism / pre-destination

    I was wondering what people thought about this doctrine. I find it quite disturbing, as it appears to implie that there is no such thing as free will. Some people are chosen, pre-destined to be saved, whereas others are not. Things like irresistible grace I just cannot get my head around. I think it is at least partly because I am very new to all this, and envy some people their doctrinal certainty. I am not yet in that place of full assurance.

  2. #2

    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    You'll find lots of people here on both sides. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Regardless of what we "think", God's got it under control. Put your trust in Him, and not on any man made doctrines.

  3. #3

    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    Thanks. It's quite a slow process for me to find trust, having been used to self-reliance for a long time. It has been said that I "think" a little too much!

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    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_C View Post
    I was wondering what people thought about this doctrine. I find it quite disturbing, as it appears to implie that there is no such thing as free will. Some people are chosen, pre-destined to be saved, whereas others are not.
    Generally those who believe in it also think that they're one of those lucky ones predestined to be saved.
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

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    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    You sure pick your topics Alex! You looking for an argument again?

    blessings to you
    My soul does GLORIFY the LORD, my spirit REJOICES in GOD MY SAVIOUR
    ------
    "To be entirely safe from the devils snares the man of God must be completely obedient to the Word of the Lord. The driver on the highway is safe, not when he reads the signs but when he obeys them." A.W.Tozer

    The Lifehouse Skit

  6. #6

    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Generally those who believe in it also think that they're one of those lucky ones predestined to be saved.
    Yes, I take your point!

  7. #7

    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    Simply put I believe our free-will exists inside of God's sovereign will. I too have thought long and hard about this and I believe this is about all the closer I can get to "the answer". God is big, REALLY, REALLY BIG, and our minds are NOT big enough by design to comprehend God's will. If you want proof pick up the bible and read through it. You will find story after story where people simply don't see the bigger picture of God's plan. We get to see it because we get to see the past written out in the bible. I believe the issue of our free-will and God's sovereign plan is a paradox to us, too big to figure out and it was meant to be that way.

    Few truths that I believe in that seem to be at conflict with each other but I believe to be biblical and thus true regardless of my inability to fit it all together neatly:
    1 - I have free-will to choose
    2 - God is ultimately in control of all things and NOTHING happens outside of his sovereign plan
    3 - God does not initiate or create sin
    4 - Sin is real and happens through our free-will
    5 - God saves, we don't
    6 - We are responsible for choosing or rejecting God (seems to be in conflict with point 5 but I believe both to be biblical truths and I trust God that they are both true)
    7 - God loves ALL (can be hard to grasp when viewed next to point 5 but I believe it is biblical none-the-less)
    8 - Everything in the end is for the glory of Jesus, even the dark stuff that we can't fathom how good can come of it somehow glorifies God in His sovereign plan

    Biggest hurdle for me was to quit trying to rationalize everything around human life and grasp the concept that all of creation was truly for CHRIST and not ME or us on an individual basis. Once you start to view theology and philosophy through CHRIST'S purpose and not your own, a lot of the bigger hurdles get a lot smaller or go away. At times I lose this focus and veer back into trying to rationalize everything to myself and I think when you do that you will run into a brick wall hard and possibly become confused and flustered.

    I think it is good every now and then to return to Romans 11 and be reminded of why creation and life exists at all... its not for us, its for HIM.
    33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? 35 Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

  8. #8
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    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    Quote Originally Posted by keyzer soze View Post
    Simply put I believe our free-will exists inside of God's sovereign will. I too have thought long and hard about this and I believe this is about all the closer I can get to "the answer". God is big, REALLY, REALLY BIG, and our minds are NOT big enough by design to comprehend God's will. If you want proof pick up the bible and read through it. You will find story after story where people simply don't see the bigger picture of God's plan. We get to see it because we get to see the past written out in the bible. I believe the issue of our free-will and God's sovereign plan is a paradox to us, too big to figure out and it was meant to be that way.

    Few truths that I believe in that seem to be at conflict with each other but I believe to be biblical and thus true regardless of my inability to fit it all together neatly:
    1 - I have free-will to choose
    2 - God is ultimately in control of all things and NOTHING happens outside of his sovereign plan
    3 - God does not initiate or create sin
    4 - Sin is real and happens through our free-will
    5 - God saves, we don't
    6 - We are responsible for choosing or rejecting God (seems to be in conflict with point 5 but I believe both to be biblical truths and I trust God that they are both true)
    7 - God loves ALL (can be hard to grasp when viewed next to point 5 but I believe it is biblical none-the-less)
    8 - Everything in the end is for the glory of Jesus, even the dark stuff that we can't fathom how good can come of it somehow glorifies God in His sovereign plan

    Biggest hurdle for me was to quit trying to rationalize everything around human life and grasp the concept that all of creation was truly for CHRIST and not ME or us on an individual basis. Once you start to view theology and philosophy through CHRIST'S purpose and not your own, a lot of the bigger hurdles get a lot smaller or go away. At times I lose this focus and veer back into trying to rationalize everything to myself and I think when you do that you will run into a brick wall hard and possibly become confused and flustered.

    I think it is good every now and then to return to Romans 11 and be reminded of why creation and life exists at all... its not for us, its for HIM.
    33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? 35 Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
    Excellent post! I believe in both predestination and free will. I believe that God has a purpose and a plan for each of us, but we can accept or reject that plan. God predestinated that those who believe on Jesus would be conformed to His image, ( become like Him) and receive an eternal inheritance in heaven! What a glorious thing! I can reject that offer or I can accept it. Here is what I posted on this issue in another thread.

    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

    I believe in both. God has before ordained a path of life for us to walk in...

    Ephesians 2:10- For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

    ...but we can choose to take that path or reject it.

    I also believe that God predestinated that those who would be "in Christ" would be conformed to the image of His Son, and He foreknew who would believe, but His Foreknowledge was not necessarily causative. ( In other words, just because God knows what is going to happen, doesnt mean that He is the cause of everything that happens). He prepared the feast, sent out the invitations, all things are ready, but it is up to us whether we accept the invitation or not.

    No one can come to the Father unless He is drawn, yet Jesus draws all men to Himself, and the calling can be rejected. So God has a purpose for us, He has a plan for us, and He is calling us, but we have the free will to reject the call once we hear it, even though that is the most foolish thing we could ever do. I don't think we are free to choose before we hear the call, for we are bound by sin, wicked desires, and are in the lap of the wicked one. But once Jesus calls us, we have the ability to rise up, shake off the grave clothes, and run to Him and be free, for He has broken the chains.

    This is why the preaching of the Gospel is so important.

    In response to the question, "Does God predetermine who will be saved and who will not, ( on an individual basis), my answer was...

    I would personally say that I do not fully understand all the things of God, but it seems to me that since God is Love, takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, is not willing that any should perish, and desires that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, I would say that He is inclusive in His invitation to salvation.


    In conclusion,
    I believe that it is God's predetermined plan that all who savingly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved, receive an adoption, be conformed to Christ's image, and receive the inheritance.
    1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  9. #9

    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    You sure pick your topics Alex! You looking for an argument again?
    Sorry! I wasn't looking for confrontation. I do think, in my defence, that there are a lot of strong personalities on this board! But I'm new, as I say, to the faith. Everything is confusing for me right now. This particular issue is a thorny one. I hope, if people disagree with each others' opinions, they can do so politely and humbly!

  10. #10

    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    To be truthful and honest, I should add that if pushed I side on God's sovereignty over everything else. Jesus himself states that had some received the evidence of others that they would have repented and believed. Also the bible makes it clear that we are responsible for what has been revealed/given to us and who controls that? God. Therefore, at the end of the day I put everything (all my trust in everything) on God but fully recognize that I have free-will (which by the way God provides and can remove any time He wants) and am responsible for it. Free-will (and every breath I take) is a gift from God.

    I believe GRACE, SALVATION and FAITH, all be GOOD GIFTS from above. Who do I credit these things to?

    James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

  11. #11

    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_C View Post
    I hope, if people disagree with each others' opinions, they can do so politely and humbly!
    One can hope.

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    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Generally those who believe in it also think that they're one of those lucky ones predestined to be saved.
    Yeah, kinda like all those pro-abortion folks who have already been born!

    Watchman
    Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

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    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_C View Post
    This particular issue is a thorny one. I hope, if people disagree with each others' opinions, they can do so politely and humbly!
    Quote Originally Posted by -SEEKING- View Post
    One can hope.



    Ummm....I mean, Amen! (Really, though, hope is the confident expectation of good. Given the track record of the discussions of this topic, do ya really think hope is the right word?)

    Watchman
    Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

  14. #14

    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_C View Post
    I was wondering what people thought about this doctrine. I find it quite disturbing, as it appears to implie that there is no such thing as free will. Some people are chosen, pre-destined to be saved, whereas others are not. Things like irresistible grace I just cannot get my head around. I think it is at least partly because I am very new to all this, and envy some people their doctrinal certainty. I am not yet in that place of full assurance.
    Funny, I was looking up that very thing the other day & discussing it with my friend. The biblical references they use for the pre-destination are a matter of interpretation in my opinion. I personally take them as that we were all created & known, even prior to physical birth, with the intent of eternal relationship & life but things changed after the fall. And that we do have a free will which was a gift from God. Plus, I would think it's always nicer to be loved by choice.

    Here's an interesting site about it:

    http://www.cerm.info/bible_studies/T...estination.htm

    wikipedia also has info on the history of these beliefs.

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    Re: Calvinism / pre-destination

    Quote Originally Posted by One Fine Day View Post
    I would think it's always nicer to be loved by choice.
    Love requires that one choose to look away from themselves toward others, or toward another...love requires a choice. IME, the crux of the matter re: Calvinism and the TULIPians is our free will...whether we have it.

    blessings,

    Watchman
    Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

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