Perhaps the weirdness of the idea will wear off as we learn what it means for God to be a transcendent creator.That one is just too weird for me to even respond to.
The Bible presents God in both is Transcendence and his Immanence. We know him directly in his Immanence, i.e. manifested in the material world. For instance, we see God in his Immanence in the things he created. Paul points this out in Romans 1.Well, then, according to your way of thinking, God must be "authoring me" to call Him a hypocrite because that's how I see Him for writing me in His little story and having me sin and then getting all hypocritically indignant about it as if I chose to sin when it was really Him doing it for me. It's like a dad telling his kid he'll punish him if he takes a cookie out of the cookie jar before dinner and then the dad grabs the kid's hand, puts it in the cookie jar, and makes him grab a cookie. Then, the dad has the nerve to start swatting the kid's rear end for taking the cookie that he himself made the kid take. That's the kind of God you are presenting.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Paul argues that mankind can deduce the presence of God from what he can see around him and draw some conclusions about his divine nature from the things he has made. But a simple question still remains, did God find stuff laying around to use as material from which to make other stuff, or did God make the stuff himself? An immanent creator would need to build things from the stuff he found laying around. But a transcendent creator wouldn't need to search and find building materials. Things would simply come into existence directly from his mind. The Bible describes creation both ways. At some point it says that God made Adam from the dust of the ground. This sounds like God in his immanence. But at the beginning of Genesis it is written that God spoke things into existence, which describes the act of a transcendent creator.
If God were merely an immanent creator, then yes, he would be a hypocrite for blaming a sinner he created. And yes, if God were merely an immanent creator, it would be absurd to think in terms of God creating us doing stuff. I understand your objection and your line of argument. However, if I may say, your argument assumes an immanent creator, and recognizes nothing concerning a transcendent creator. Your analogy of the father and the son is very much apropos to an immanent father, who is not also a transcendent father. But God is not only an immanent father; he is also a transcendent father. When we experience the divine, holy, immanent father of creation, we experience him as the one who motivates us through persuasion, proof, evidence, logic, reason, education, training, and things such as these. But remember, whatever the transcendent father wants, he simply speaks into existence. The transcendent creator doesn't need to manipulate mater or energy or angels or human beings or anything like that. He simply speaks and things pop into existence.
I agree. As I said, we have the freedom of will to do the things we want to do, when we want to do them. Inside of this created order, we have freedom of will and our free choices reflect our own, personal, motivations, preferences, likes, dislikes, and etc. At the same time, however, we are making contact with our creator in his immanence as he reveals himself to us, while at the same time, he has also revealed that he transcends this creation.People "not having created themselves" has what to do with anything? God created humans. I get that. Once we're in existence, however, there's nothing that says we can't then start making decisions on our own, some obviously good and some bad.
We see this, sometimes, in his miracles. Some of the miracles can be explained in terms of a super-being working within our material existence. Water gets changed into wine, for instance, everyday through natural processes. Jesus commanded that the water become wine in an instant. How did this come about? We don't know, but the issue can be seen from two different paradigms. On the one hand, a super-being might have access to time and space such that he is able to empty the water pots and refill them with wine in what seems to us as a split second, but what seems to him as an hour or so. If this was the case, the miracle finds its explanation within the material world as we experience, albeit, an advanced technological world. On the other hand, a transcendent creator need only speak. Let the pots of water now be pots of wine. Such a creator is NOT manipulating the material world, albeit, according to the skills and abilities of a super-being. Such a transcendent creator simply changes the script.
This is a common response, because we CAN imagine what it must be like to be a character in a novel. However, what we tend to forget is that a character in a novel doesn't act randomly, outside of history, outside of the reality of the novel, and mimics the actual world, which contains real people, making real choices, not randomly, but according real motivations, and with the context of real history. If an author creates a novel in which a particular character commits a sin, the reader will understand that sinful event found in the book in terms of the plot, the setting, the circumstances, and perhaps the motives of the character. In other words, it is absurd to think that a novelist would simply write about random actions, which have no basis in the plot, the circumstances, or the motivations of characters. And likewise, it is absurd to think that a transcendent creator would create someone sinning, but not also be creating that person's motives, his history, his sense of morality, and all the rest.Well, thank you for pointing out that I have a license to sin. After all, I'm just a "character" in "God's story" and I'm only capable of doing what God writes out for me to do. Apparently, He wants me to sin, so that's what I'll do, I suppose.
This may seem like an odd question at this point, but how do you explain forgiveness then? Does true forgiveness exist?Yes, I believe God created everything that exists. I also believe that He allows His creation (humans and angels) to make decisions that He doesn't write out for them ahead of time. I also believe God holds His creation accountable for their decisions and punishes and rewards those decisions. Again, though, they're decisions that God lets humans and angels make completely on their own.
Jacob and Esau... What decision in Esau's life did he make that was against his own will? If you ask where free will is, implying it does not exist, shouldn't you give an example of such? YOu did not. You made the accusation, but you provided no evidence or example of such.
As for God showing compassion and mercy upon whom He chooses, show me a man that is seeking God and I will show you a man upon whom God has chosen to have compassion and mercy. Further, the Bible has many examples of those that were in fact not seeking God and yet He chose to show compassion and have mercy upon.
Question. If God chooses to show mercy and have compassion upon someone that is not even seeking God, that doesn't even know of God, would you call that an example of someone not having free will when they accepted Christ? I doubt you would.
Finally, because you do not understand, you accuse God of being unjust. Therefore, your indictment and standard are your own based upon your understanding of a matter, even if you don't fully know or understand. How fair of you that is concerning God!
you are correct,and congratulations for seeing and reading what many cannot see or believe. I don't know that it is random choosing on his part. there is no freewill
but many believe that there is. is it fair? from a human perspective if fairness was expected ,then no,but then you must take into account fairness was not implied or promised. is GOD just? yes very much so,he is just in all he does, he has the power to create something from himself and so also has the power ,authority and right to destroy that which he has created . is it just from human perspective ? for many perhaps it isn't.
Freewill exist although it is sometimes misunderstood. Limited it is,. We cannot choose to be a bird for instance but, we can choose to do the right thing. Even so our freewill is most always influenced by the pro's and con's of what ever we are about to decide.
Lot's of people believe they are particularity elected for Salvation over others who are left to suffer the consequences of not having God in there lives. Those consequences mean spending eternity in hell. None of these people really know if they are elect or not they just assume they are because they believe they understand the Bible. They believe like you've stated that men have no control over their own lives or destiny. What an easy way to get out of being wrong. They can always say God made me do it. Funny it use to be the devil made me do it. Actually we do it and there is no excuse for it.
Depending on fate means you have about as much chance that God will save you as you have to win the lottery. That means you have a better chance of being struck by lightening than being elect to Salvation. This does not mean that God does not choose people for Salvation, certainly He has. Although those He chooses, are those who already believe in Him. They will show verses like the ones in your post to prove election, the only thing those verses were speaking to a specific people. Then they will show you this verse.
Eph 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:
They then claim they them selves were chosen before the foundation of the world. They hope you don't see those two little words underlined above because they want to keep this as a particular election.
The verse above does not lie. It's true every word of it . It just depends on whether or not you want to allow them to interpret it for you..
This verse shows clearly who Christ died for;
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The who so ever's are who was chosen because Christ died for the whosoever's
The under lined shows who Christ died for. He died for the whosoever believes in Him. This is anything but a particular election because a whosoever is anyone who believes. Then they will tell you we can't believe unless we are saved first but they use a different word for save. They use the word regeneration which means to be made new or Saved. They claim the reason you can't believe is because your spirit is dead. If your spirit is dead believe me you are too. They claim you cannot hear or understand the gospel and are really hoping you're just plain ignorant and will believe it. Paul is who said we are dead spiritually but this death is not like the death of the body. It simply means you are with out God in your life. It does not mean you cannot hear or understand the gospel. The spirit of man never dies. It's fate depends on what we believe. It's fate is either with Christ in eternity or hell for eternity with out God and in torment.
There is not one scripture in the Bible that suggest we are disabled from hearing or understanding the gospel, yet they will tell you what was meant for the Jews applies to all. The Jews during the time of Christ first advent rejected Christ and for this rejection they were temporarily blinded that the Gentiles might be grafted in. They try real hard to apply this to everyone and unless you know scripture you may just fall for this very old Catholic doctrine.
Concerning the above, verse 11-13 were spoken prophetically to Rebekah:
Genesis 25:21 And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
Furthermore, if these events are important in regards to God working out salvation within human history (which it is), then we can't limit Him in bringing that about, especially as regards to prophecy as well.
As Bandit points out, Genesis 25 says that these are "two nations", not merely two individuals. What does Paul say of the nation of Israel (Jacob) just above your starting point?
Romans 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Paul quickly summarizes God's invervention into human history in verses 4-5; the adoption through the line of Abraham, the covenants, the law and so on; but the most important thing is "of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all". All of this was set into play to bring about the revelation of Jesus Christ in human history.
So, Jacob was selected to bring forth this line in history. Paul says in verse 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy; showing that even though Abraham thought that Ishmael might be heir, or Isaac thought that Esau might be heir, it is not who men choose or desire but rather God.
Anyway, in reading and understanding the Bible, we must allow God to reveal His word and will by prophecy and we must allow Him to work that out in human history. That is, after all, the story of the Bible!
Now, we must be careful to not apply choices that God reveals and makes in the history of salvation to our individual circumstance. Jesus has come and fulfilled the prophecies and promises of God; we should not assume that when twins are in the womb, God will make choice of which He will bless. I hope that makes sense.
I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
Calvinism has 5 doctrines and every one of them is written by man and are unprovable from scripture. Sure they put on a good show but all they will show is what they hope you will believe their interpretation of.
By the way there is not one scripture in all the Bible that says a gentile is elect. Only Jews are elected, Gentiles are adopted. The whosoever's in Jn 3:16 is anyone who believes in Christ and surrenders to Him. Surrender is a decision to give up the rebellion. Romans 10:1-4
Makes me think of Lazarus .
If Yahweh calls you respond
He cried with a loud voice Lazarus come out
The dead man came out
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee O Jacob and he that formed thee O Israel Fear not for I have redeemed thee.I have called thee by name,thou art mine..
It’s true, we don’t have much control over our life. We can’t control who our parents are, our gender, our race, where in the world we are born. The government has millions of laws we have to obey. I could go on, and on, but we do agree, there is much we have no control over.
One thing we do have control over…and it’s a biggy. When we are in the womb, one little piece of flesh splits apart. One piece becomes the brain, the other the heart. These two pieces are always connected. What you think about goes into your heart. Yeap, it’s a medical fact. We have control over the type heart we build. Good thoughts build a good heart, bad ones…well, were in trouble. That’s why God reads the heart. Sure he looks ahead even before we are born. But, it is we who build our heart condition…God picks, or rejects us by out heart condition. Those with a bad heart, can rebuild their heart into a good one God will like. You can take that to the bank. The only thing we have to keep in mind, is will we have the time to rebuild? If one needs to start, today is not a bad time to put things in motion.
I believe it is God who makes softens our heart at Salvation. He gives us a new heart post 71 is what works for Salvation is all about.
I disagree that a deeper understanding makes us Christian. What does is The blood of Jesus Christ. Our strife does nothing for our learning. It's all done by God. He began the work in side us and he will finish it.
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
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