Originally Posted by Gadgeteer
I may regret offering a reply point by point, for I don't want to go through a debate about interpretation -- but here are my thoughts to your 'points'
[G-Man] 1. "Predestination" violates the essence of LOVE, which cannot demand its own way. God is love. But God is NOT love under that doctrine, for the majority --- He is HATE
<RbG> This is interpretive on your part... God is the great I Am. And has revealed to us that He is also a jealous God. A holy God. A Name above all names. A God of vengeance. A God of Mercy and Grace. He declares His love for His Son, and through His Son, loves all who believes in Him. He declares that He loves Himself and what He has created, in a perfect way. We love not from within our selves, but because He first loved us.
[G-Man] 2. Scripture says that God LEADS all men to salvation, but their response determines their own destinies.
<RbG> More interpretive than factual. All men do not seek after God, do not comprehend the light, for they [we] enjoy darkness. This view declares that the power of faith lies within the man to comprehend and understand, when God declare that man does not nor cannot.
[G-Man] 3. Scripture says God calls ALL men, gives the word-of-faith to EVERYONE, makes it possible for all to believe.
<RbG> Interpretive. Scripture does declare that God desires for all men everywhere to repent and believe. The calling is open to the hearing of the Gospel thru those for whom God have given to preach it. The calling is an open call. Yet left to a man's sinful heart untouched, it is not a desire not responded to. [Romans 3]... Thus, God does not give all men the 'word-of-faith; for there are those who have died who never heard. And there are those who have heard and reject... equals n faith at all.
[G-Man] 3a --- in the face of God sincerely opening salvation to all, and He patiently waits for all, and each man decides to love God or to love sin; even Jesus said this in Jn3:20-21
<RbG> This position places God subservient to man's will thus lowers God under man's will to decide right form wrong. Salvation is never a decision, but a divine understanding that God has given Christ as one's savior from the penalty of sin.
[G-Man] 3b --- ALL men are commanded to love God and to repent; "predestination" simply brushes this aside, thinking "NOT REALLY".
<RbG> This is a mixed sentence with two disjointed statements trying to be connected as one. There will be a day coming that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord and God... Those who believe in this life will live forever in His presence, Those who reject him in this life will then be separated from Him forever. To Part B, this ignores the sovereignty of God in not having the knowledge nor the power to not only declare His future will as what the Prophets and Jesus Himself has stated will be. For example, not only did He tell His disciples that before he set's up His kingdom on this earth, He must die to rise again, but he also told Peter that he would deny Him in the hour when Jesus would be heading to death, for which Peter did not believe until it came to pass. God holds the future, He knows it, He has designed it, He brings it to be the past in accordance to His will.
[G-Man] 4. We are warned time after time against DECEIVERS who can really deceive us away from Jesus
<RbG> Guess what... we agree. The bible is replete of warnings of false teachers and false faith. Those for whom have the Spirit of God within, will hear or read and it will make sense and take to heart the warnings. Again, like your mother and father reminding you of how to drive in the snowy weather or to watch out for the deer where the country road has a history of interactions with cars that travel through, those warnings are to only those for whom the parents care for and have trained... thus those warning are valid.
[G-Man] 4a --- we are warned against being deceived away from Jesus and eternal life by our own SIN
<RbG> Another AMEN! See above!
[G-Man] 4b --- we are warned against deception away from Jesus by demons and evil spirits
<RbG> This one is a stretch for me, so will disagree based on who Christ is within a believer. He who is in me is greater than he who is within the world. These may be for those searching and not for those who are. For I think one of the misnomers many Christians have is to say that everything written is for me to apply...
[G-Man] 4c --- these warnings are written as REAL, not mere hyperbole/effect-means-by-which-God-KEEPS-us
<RbG> Agree Amen!
[G-Man] 5. Time after time DILIGENCE is required of us to remain saved. Peter said it, Jesus said it, Paul said it often.
<RbG> Make certain of your calling is so true... Self-examination is crucial... But that is not what I see you declaring G-Man, sorry to say... for you preaching against a part of the body of Christ that give salvation attribute of God keeping all those he has deemed His. But that diligence is not without it's place. That diligence is the evidence of one's salvation. You and Slug seem to say that a man will lose his salvation is he does XXXXX And the truth is, because one now sees where he is saved, by God's Spirit within him, works out his salvation that God has prepared for him to walk in. Salvation is not conditional when Christ is within the heart of the faithful, salvation is firm and secure - and is confirmed via testing. God gives a man faith;God tests for faith. Not that God does need to know, but for us who believe to be sure ourselves. If one's faith has never been tested, then my question would be make sure who know the metal of your faith, is of God or of your own heart?
[G-Man] 6. We affect who will be saved, and who will not
<RbG> We are share the gospel to any and everyone, and God calls all for who He wants to hear. If for some way God has purposed me to help another see His glory, then praise God. But I know it was not my words that were important, for it would be Christ within me to deliver the testimony to the ears of the prepared listener.
[G-Man] 6a --- it is by OUR preaching that men can be persuaded to be saved, in multiple verses
<RbG> God is the potter, I am the clay, the implement. I view that it is never my words that save, for who am I but a lowly sinner, saved by His Grace upon me. The God being sovereign in all things provide the wisdom that behind the 'freewill' actions of a man, lies the will of God in control. So I save no one. Jesus saves.
[G-Man] 6b --- it can be by OUR bad choices that men who WERE saved, can be RUINED/DESTROYED/SHUT-OFF
<RbG> Of all your dogmas, this is the one I disagree the most with... Flip Wilson in the 60s comedy show use to say 'the devil made me do it, honey'! If a man changes his heart, He never had a heart birth by God in the first place, and your bad choices are not held accountable for that 'man losing his faith'. You are held accountable for the bad choice you make, but God will hold each man accountable for what they do with Christ.
[G-Man] 7. The whole doctrine of "predestination" founds on redefinitions and rewritings; "all" becomes "some", "free will" becomes "irresistibly-led-by-God", "responsible" becomes "God-sovereignly-controls".
<RbG> I'm just the messenger, for God is what He states He is. He 'knows the beginning from the end'.
Isaiah 46:9 "Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, 'My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';
All that you do, all that you think, is within the hands and knowledge of God... God reads all hearts, knows all thoughts, knows the day of your conception and the day of your death, and items in-between. There is nothing that is outside of God's will. All things work together for good. You fail to grasp the awesomeness and Power of our almighty God, if you deny just one point of His sovereignty. Thy kingdom on earth is coming. He has given us the signs of the season as to when. The future, just as the fulfilled past, will happen. You can either choose to believe this, or you can continue to reject it... for you cannot declare to me or yourself that there is nothing that God doesn't 1) know about you or 2) that you would do outside of God's will, whether it be for Good or for evil. So fear God, and love Him with all your heart!
[G-Man] 8. The doctrine of "predestination" impugns God's character and nature, fully casting Him as causal in sin and fraudulent in judging, for really He has ordained and determined everything
<RbG> G-Man, that is your understandings that are casting Him in that way. I can appreciate your sincere heart here... wrongly placed in my opinion. That has never been my beef - but with your views. My concern is that you are quick to judge other members of the body who give God attribute not only to His saving grace within our lives, but His sovereignty in the universe and the Glory He desires and deserves. I know you'd again with His glory comments, but to this point you have been blinded to think men must save themselves in endurance and also say that men can sin all they want if God saves them outside of themselves, which is also a misnomer.
[G-Man] I neglected to add Scripture citations to these points, because I've cited them before --- can easily do so again if anyone wishes.
<RbG> G-Man, I actually like what you wrote here because it's more from your heart than lecture... It's detailed enough to understand you, yet short enough that it's not a burden to pick and choose what to read and comment to. Thank you!
[G-Man] You have a doctrine that you cling to tightly in your arms, and you're so sure of it that you won't consider critically verses that oppose it; either you brush them off, or consciously look for ways they don't mean what they seem to say.
<RbG> Another misnomer on your part. No one here is defending a doctrine, just conveying the word of God as we understand it. As you may remember, I have never read one book of John Calvin until this year when another poster suggested a work, and have been called a Calvinist since I got here in 2006. I have to stand firm in my faith to the calling God has given me, yet I haven't yet charged you or Slug that you hold to a false doctrine as I and other have been so charged. I even offered you folks to walk through the Westminster confession of faith, with is a very common Protestant statement of faith, and would think we would agree to 90% of it understanding of scriptures as applied to what we all understand. But thus far no takers.
[G-Man] No, it's the ignoring that wastes time; hopefully passers-by gain knowledge from the discussions, as they look up and ponder the verses that you will not.
No intent to offend you, Roger.
<RbG> If the goal is to show others one is right and the others are wrong, then that goal is not my objective... But if the goal is to Glorify God and to find a common love between us... I'm all in as my time permits. Again, I'm not interested in taking a point counterpoint to each of your tenets in a debate, trusting my honest reply will be recied for what it is.