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Gideon88
Sep 12th 2007, 08:31 PM
I'm quite new on the forum. So I apologise if this subject has been discussed here recently.

Can someone please give me some thoughts, viewpoints, Scripture etc. on the doctrine of predestination? Will appreciate.

SemperReformanda
Sep 12th 2007, 08:39 PM
This is the Westminster Confession, chapter 3.

3:1 God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass (Rom_9:15, Rom_9:18; Rom_11:33; Eph_1:11; Heb_6:17): yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin (Jam_1:13, Jam_1:17; 1Jo_1:5), nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established (Pro_16:33; Mat_17:12; Joh_19:11; Act_2:23; Act_4:27, Act_4:28).

3:2 Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions (Mat_11:21, Mat_11:23; Act_15:18; 1Sa_23:11, 1Sa_23:12), yet hath He not decreed any thing because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions (Rom_9:11, Rom_9:13, Rom_9:16, Rom_9:18).

Steven3
Sep 12th 2007, 08:45 PM
Hi SemperReformanda :)

This is the Westminster Confession, chapter 3.

3:1 God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass (Rom_9:15, Rom_9:18; Rom_11:33; Eph_1:11; Heb_6:17): yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin (Jam_1:13, Jam_1:17; 1Jo_1:5), nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established (Pro_16:33; Mat_17:12; Joh_19:11; Act_2:23; Act_4:27, Act_4:28).

3:2 Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions (Mat_11:21, Mat_11:23; Act_15:18; 1Sa_23:11, 1Sa_23:12), yet hath He not decreed any thing because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions (Rom_9:11, Rom_9:13, Rom_9:16, Rom_9:18).

So, basically, God knows what people are going to do, but doesn't force them to do it??

enarchay
Sep 12th 2007, 08:46 PM
I think such subjects are and indeed should be above our small human heads ;)

SemperReformanda
Sep 12th 2007, 09:04 PM
Hi SemperReformanda :)


So, basically, God knows what people are going to do, but doesn't force them to do it??
God knows what people are going to do, because in an eternity past he ordained that they would do it. However, this doesn't mean that man is not responsible for his actions, and also doesn't mean that God has done any violence to the will of man.

One of the great mysteries of the Bible is the idea of compatibilism, the reconciliation between God's sovereign will and man's will. It is something clear in Scripture, but the answer will not be known until the kingdom comes, maybe not even then!

Bandit
Sep 12th 2007, 10:07 PM
Hi SemperReformanda :)


So, basically, God knows what people are going to do, but doesn't force them to do it??


God knows what people are going to do, because in an eternity past he ordained that they would do it. However, this doesn't mean that man is not responsible for his actions, and also doesn't mean that God has done any violence to the will of man.

One of the great mysteries of the Bible is the idea of compatibilism, the reconciliation between God's sovereign will and man's will. It is something clear in Scripture, but the answer will not be known until the kingdom comes, maybe not even then!


I hate to say it, but this thread contains a fair amount of calvinistic philosophical gobbly-gook. It is so sad that so many think this is biblical understanding at its best. If God ordained it, then he is responsible for it, and this includes sin. In its "confessions" calvinism claims that God controls all without being responsible for all. What a bunch of philosophical gobbly-gook. There is another way to understand predestination. And if calvinism is correct in its view, then God Himself predestined me to believe something different, and not only that different thing, but to believe that calvinism is itself a crock, which I do! I believe that God allows us to believe what we want, and that calvinism is not at all true, but is rather a distortion of Christianity.

Bandit

SemperReformanda
Sep 12th 2007, 10:33 PM
I hate to say it, but this thread contains a fair amount of calvinistic philosophical gobbly-gook. It is so sad that so many think this is biblical understanding at its best. If God ordained it, then he is responsible for it, and this includes sin. In its "confessions" calvinism claims that God controls all without being responsible for all. What a bunch of philosophical gobbly-gook. There is another way to understand predestination. And if calvinism is correct in its view, then God Himself predestined me to believe something different, and not only that different thing, but to believe that calvinism is itself a crock, which I do! I believe that God allows us to believe what we want, and that calvinism is not at all true, but is rather a distortion of Christianity.

Bandit
Please deal with the Scripture I have presented in my original post before making insulting comments about what I believe.

EDIT: And might I add, you are making a lot of unverified philosophical assertions for someone who claims that "Calvinists" spout off "philosophical gobbly-gook (sic)".

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 12:38 AM
God knows what people are going to do, because in an eternity past he ordained that they would do it. However, this doesn't mean that man is not responsible for his actions, and also doesn't mean that God has done any violence to the will of man.

One of the great mysteries of the Bible is the idea of compatibilism, the reconciliation between God's sovereign will and man's will. It is something clear in Scripture, but the answer will not be known until the kingdom comes, maybe not even then!

What may appear to be gobbly-gook to some... is beautiful, glorious, liberating truth glorifying God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ!... to others. (Like me.) Very much appreciated your clear statement of such profound mysteries.

My simple answer: God is Love. God's sovereign will, most ultimately, is the power of Love at work in our lives. And who could resist such Love? When truly felt, known, and experienced... and opens one's eyes?

To know Jesus is to love Him. We love God because He first loved us.

Great post.

Love in Christ,

js

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 12:43 AM
I'm quite new on the forum. So I apologise if this subject has been discussed here recently.

Can someone please give me some thoughts, viewpoints, Scripture etc. on the doctrine of predestination? Will appreciate.

Ephesians 1:9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillmentóto bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

God has predestined to bring all things in Heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. We have been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. God is actively working by Love, by His very own Spirit, to bring us to Christ according to His own plan, purpose, His will.

kejonn
Sep 13th 2007, 01:34 AM
I've rarely touched the subject of "predestination". After all, if you believe in it (or not) what is there really to discuss? I mean, if our "plans" are already laid out, we don't know what they are, so how does this make a difference? You can discuss the concept until you are blue in the face and what have you accomplished?

Some people use the concept of predestination as an excuse not to witness. They feel that if God is going to call someone He will do it whether they witness or not. Well guess what? People who believe this have been predestined to be a non-witness and basically useless to building God's Kingdom :rolleyes. So God knows who will work for the Kingdom and who will sit back and let others reach and teach.

Since I don't know God's plan for me, I forge ahead looking to be in the center of His will.

Bandit
Sep 13th 2007, 02:17 AM
Please deal with the Scripture I have presented in my original post before making insulting comments about what I believe.

EDIT: And might I add, you are making a lot of unverified philosophical assertions for someone who claims that "Calvinists" spout off "philosophical gobbly-gook (sic)".



Hello,

You know there are many more scriptures than the select few you mentioned. By emphasizing what it thinks it sees in select sets of verses, while neglecting (or reinterpreting into irrelevance) the rest of scripture, many groups (and many of them cults) have claimed many different things from the bible. Calvinism is no different. It wants to emphasize certain sets of verses (often at the expense of local context) while at the same time ignoring a vast body of other passages.

But letís go back to the philosophy of calvinism and my earlier response for a moment. If what you quoted previously from the westminister confession is true (that "God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass"), then God ordained not only my disbelief of calvinism, but He also ordained my previous response, as He ordained this and all responses to come. And if that is true, then God surly ordained your dislike of my ordained comments. It would seem to me that you are at an ordained impasse: I have been predestined from eternity past to believe and to say things which you were ordained from eternity past to disbelieve and to find insulting. Funny how God works, isnít it? He then is responsible for the wrong belief system to which I was ordained, since what I think I believe was actually chosen by Him and not myself. (And besides, who am I to resist God?) But on the other hand, if I am right and calvinism is not correct, then I have chosen the correct view of scripture in this regard while you have chosen (of your own will, I might add) the wrong one. So who is right?

May I suggest that there are many, many scriptures which just donít fit easily into the calvinist paradigm. And the truth of scripture, whatever it is, is best found by considering all that the bible has to say, and not just the relatively few selected sections which calvinism prefers. So, rather than limit our discussion to your selected proof-texts, I would rather that all of scripture be discussed. What we would find is that there are many passages which do not support your position, and some (perhaps as many as you think support calvinism) which are contrary to it.

Gideon88 asked for some thoughts and viewpoints concerning predestination. It is simply not the case that the reformed view of predestination (calvinism) is the only view of predestination. Calvinism has some fundamental premises, which it then claims are not only supported, but taught by scripture. But many persons (including myself) would claim that such premises are in conflict with a great many other passages, so that such premises are not really biblical (since they conflict with these other portions of scripture). I just hope Gideon88 and others are willing think outside the calvinist box.

Bandit

P.S. It is not my intention to offense and insult, but to stir up and provoke thought. But then, if calvinism is correct, then it is not I who offends and insults, but the Spirit who works within me to stir up and provoke for whatever purpose He might have, which God only knows.

SemperReformanda
Sep 13th 2007, 02:26 AM
Well, you begin by refusing to even engage on Biblical grounds. Secondly, you set up a straw-man of reformed theology by associating it with fatalism. You are not arguing with any Calvinism I believe in.

I believe you are going to be held responsible for your disbelief in God's sovereignty in predestination, which God has foreordained for the good of His elect (Rom 8:28).

I will not respond to any more of your posts until you decide to put away the strawman, and engage with me Biblically. And no, saying "there are plenty of verses that disagree with you" is not enough. I am calling, show me your cards.

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 02:36 AM
[quote=kejonn;1379975]I've rarely touched the subject of "predestination". After all, if you believe in it (or not) what is there really to discuss? I mean, if our "plans" are already laid out, we don't know what they are, so how does this make a difference? You can discuss the concept until you are blue in the face and what have you accomplished?


Predestination gives comfort and peace because God, who is good, is in ultimate power sovereignly. We know that God works all things together for good to those who love the Lord. It is a comfort and peace to know that God, who is Love, is working in a manner that cannot be thwarted for our ultimate good. It does matter in that respect... and produces, in my experience at least, fruits of the Spirit... and a big sigh of relief.

:)


Some people use the concept of predestination as an excuse not to witness. They feel that if God is going to call someone He will do it whether they witness or not. Well guess what? People who believe this have been predestined to be a non-witness and basically useless to building God's Kingdom :rolleyes. So God knows who will work for the Kingdom and who will sit back and let others reach and teach.
Fatalism can be a wrong response in the flesh, I'd agree, to the truth of God's ultimate grace and sovereignty. How we respond and react to grace and truth in the flesh doesn't change the truth... or the beneficial fruit and effects of truth known and walked in by the Spirit.


Since I don't know God's plan for me, I forge ahead looking to be in the center of His will.Amen. I can take comfort in knowing God knows His plan for me:

Jeremiah 29:11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=30&chapter=29&verse=11&version=31&context=verse)
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Predestination, by sincere conviction of the Spirit, is not fatalism... but rather is comfort, peace, faith, and hope inspiring courage, trust, and confidence in God and His ultimate plans for our prosperity, our good, our hope, and our future. To me, it's really quite basic to my Christian faith in God. My vision of God is not limited by my willingness, ability, and sufficiency to reach Him... but rather His willingness, ability, and sufficiency to reach me.

I've left the driving in good hands. And am free of many baseless fears as the result. My God cannot get any bigger in that I'm believing He is sovereign and good and in charge of all things. Now, if He can get bigger and better in my heart and understanding.. . because there is something basic, and foundational, that I've missed... I want to know! And I'm ready to change my beliefs on the basis of scripture.

God bless,

js

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 02:50 AM
P.S. It is not my intention to offense and insult, but to stir up and provoke thought. But then, if calvinism is correct, then it is not I who offends and insults, but the Spirit who works within me to stir up and provoke for whatever purpose He might have, which God only knows.[/quote]

Dear brother,

I am neither offended nor insulted (nor, literally, a Calvinist) though I believe in predestination and God's absolute sovereignty... which is good news!!... at least as I see it. :)

Now, if these aspects of Calvinism are correct that you are stirred up about, then it would be your own sinful nature raging against God's sovereign rule in rebellion of His authority as God. And God, in His infinite grace and love.... by His very own Spirit, would be "stepping back"... and giving you space to repent. When God "steps in"... to restrain you... then grant you the gift of revelation, faith in His sovereign grace and goodness, and repentance... then, dear brother, you shall change. Until then, but by the grace of God... we'd say the same things having the same sinful nature (if these aspects of Calvinism are true).

Praise God that He loves us all just the same... and knows our heart in Christ... and is of such great mercy. He sees us all in Christ... who are in Christ... and holds nothing against us... even as we rail against His rule and reign over us... by His Love. We're forgiven. Someday, we will all believe, understand, and submit fully in and to Jesus Christ. Until then... our God of grace... the God of all grace... is longsuffering towards us giving us space to repent. God is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If a person doesn't believe something is loving... how can they receive it peacefully? I guess maybe I might possibly understand why if you see it as you see it, you'd respond as you have. :)

Love in Christ,

js

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 03:14 AM
I'm going to be perfectly honest and state that when it comes to things such as predestination and such, it's just way above my head and too much for me to comprehend at this point. Maybe the Lord will reveal something to me someday in regards to this, but until then . . . well, whatever. I'm not going to concern myself with it to tell the truth. I'm just going to continue with preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I'm just thankful that the Lord has me along for the ride and has decided that He would like to use me a little bit.

Steven3
Sep 13th 2007, 10:21 AM
Hi SemperReformanda :)
God knows what people are going to do, because in an eternity past he ordained that they would do it. However, this doesn't mean that man is not responsible for his actions, and also doesn't mean that God has done any violence to the will of man.I don't have any particular problem with either that section of the Westminster Confession (1646?), nor with your reading of it, nor particularly with your reading of the Bible verses, nor with the first paragraph of clarification above.
One of the great mysteries of the Bible is the idea of compatibilism, the reconciliation between God's sovereign will and man's will. It is something clear in Scripture, but the answer will not be known until the kingdom comes, maybe not even then!But, I don't know whether compatibilism (big word ;)) is one of the "great mysteries of the Bible" or not. True Paul basically tells the person asking the freewill question in Romans 9:20 to shut up. Ro 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” But then he goes on to clarify at least part of that mystery.



Re the verb "predestinate"

The KJV translation "predestinate" in Ro8:29,30 Eph1:5,11 KJV is not as true to the meaning of the Greek verb PROORIZW, as the alternative translation "foreordain" in 1Co2:7 KJV or "(pre)determined" in Acts 4:28 KJV.

All of these verses largely refer to God establishing a framework of major events, and in minor events as well - the hairs on our heads, the sparrow falling from the sky. Events indeed which confirm Esau in his hateful behaviour, Pharoah in the hardness of his heart in Exodus, or "send an evil spirit" between Abimelech and his partners in crime at Shechem in Judges 9. But being almighty / omnipotent and omniscient God can still stack the cards perfectly to achieve the desired result without having to "(pre)determine" an event happening in a man's brain.

I honestly believe that God does turn hairs grey or white, and numbers them. But none of the "(pre)determined" verses relate to internal circumstances, the free will to "choose death or choose life". This has to be the case even with Christ who was "crucified, from the foundation of the world", and yet in Gethsemane still had the freedom to choose between "thy will not my will". So fundamentally we cannot say that God predestines/predetermines anyone to choose death - because of 1Tim2:4 among other verses.
God bless
Steven :)

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 12:48 PM
I think such subjects are and indeed should be above our small human heads ;)

The Holy Spirit reveals the "mysteries" of these things. They are actually very simple. They allow for no pride. The difficulty in seeing them is not intellect but rather spiritual humility... and spiritual "comprehension" of God's Person, grace, and love.

When man becomes nothing... in his own estimation... and Jesus becomes everything... the mystery is revealed by the Holy Spirit. As long as man believes he is something... Christ is not all in all. But when Christ is all in all in one's measure of a man... God is Love completely... and the mystery is revealed.

Try again. This time, kneel. :) In the kneeling position... and especially in lying prostrate before God... one's head shrinks... and enters the atmosphere of grace, revelation, insight, and knowledge. One's mind enters Heaven's glory in submission to God's sovereignty... and then, and only then, does the mind of Christ become sufficiently alert and conscious... to comprehend.

Riddles of entering revelation...

What the natural mind cannot comprehend... the mind of Christ knows... by nature and fellowship... and communion. Seriously, God hides these things from the proud and reveals them to the humble. This is why it is necessary to kneel before God and bow one's head... or, better yet, fall flat on one's face before Him. (Seriously... That's how I receive revelation... lying flat on my face in my prayer closet calling on the name of the Lord... seeking abject complete humility before Him... that I may gain perfect knowledge of grace and love in the Lord Jesus Christ.)

Luke 2:26 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=49&chapter=2&verse=26&version=31&context=verse)
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
Luke 2:25-27 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=49&chapter=2&verse=25&end_verse=27&version=31&context=context) (in Context) Luke 2 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=49&chapter=2&version=31&context=chapter) (Whole Chapter)
Luke 10:21 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=49&chapter=10&verse=21&version=31&context=verse)
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
Luke 10:20-22 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=49&chapter=10&verse=20&end_verse=22&version=31&context=context) (in Context) Luke 10 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=49&chapter=10&version=31&context=chapter) (Whole Chapter)
1 Corinthians 2:10-11 (New International Version)

New International Version (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/?action=getVersionInfo&vid=31) (NIV)

10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Ephesians 3:4-6 (New International Version)

4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 1:12 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=67&chapter=1&verse=12&version=31&context=verse)
It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

Bandit
Sep 13th 2007, 02:02 PM
Well, you begin by refusing to even engage on Biblical grounds. Secondly, you set up a straw-man of reformed theology by associating it with fatalism. You are not arguing with any Calvinism I believe in.

I believe you are going to be held responsible for your disbelief in God's sovereignty in predestination, which God has foreordained for the good of His elect (Rom 8:28).

I will not respond to any more of your posts until you decide to put away the strawman, and engage with me Biblically. And no, saying "there are plenty of verses that disagree with you" is not enough. I am calling, show me your cards.



Hello SemperReformanda,

It is not that I am unwilling to "engage on biblical grounds," but proof-texting usually never proves anything if a person is not first willing (if one can be "willing") to consider the alternatives. I believe calvinism does a great disservice to Godís character, and I believe that though its proponents (like yourself) believe it fits a number of passages quite well, I believe it does significant violence to many other passages. The fact that calvinism is such a poor fit to a significant body of scripture should be an indicator that it is not the biblical truth it is claimed to be. The point being that if it can be shown that there are numerous and significant disconnects between calvinism and scripture, then calvinism should be abandoned and the search for a better overall interpretation of scripture should continue. To me this means that any discussion concerning the viability of calvinism is more driven by its overall fit to all of scripture rather than the certain select "proof-texts" where calvinists think it fits well. In other words, if there are significant areas where it is a poor fit to scripture, then calvinism should rightly be rejected. And I believe such poor-fitting areas are many.

And as far as associating calvinism with fatalism, you were the one who quoted the part of the westminister confession which says, "God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass," and then wrote the following to Steven3, "God knows what people are going to do, because in an eternity past he ordained that they would do it." Now this sure sounds like fatalism to me. If every human action was ordained by God, then every human action was ordained by God. I have friends who are calvinists and we recently had a discussion over the simple act of choosing among the different flavors of ice-cream available. They were arguing that I had no real choice, that all had been fore-ordained so that even the "choice" I thought I was making was not really a choice on my part. Are you perhaps hinting that you do not believe that God ordains each and every action? I know there are a range of views held by different calvinists, but if you believe that all is ordained, then you will have a tough time trying to persuade me that this is not the same thing as fatalism. My calvinists buddies believe that even my "choices" were preordained so that I am only under the delusion of choice. To me the connection between such thinking and fatalism is hard to deny.

You also said that I am "going to be held responsible for [my] disbelief in God's sovereignty in predestination." Who ever said that I didnít believe in Godís sovereignty or in predestination? It wasnít me. I do believe in both those concepts, but just not the calvinist versions of such. And who knows, perhaps I have the far more biblical view of these. And as far as showing my cards goes, please allow me a little time to stack the deck (and I know I have some spare aces somewhere ;)).

Actually, I have a very busy week and weekend ahead of me, but I will try to squeeze a post out sometime latter today.

Bandit

P.S. It is my prayer that God has ordained a good day for the both of us, or if not, that He can at least be persuaded to help us through this day. "Give us this day our daily bread..." Now why pray such as this if God has already decided if our daily bread would be supplied on any given day? Is it really possible that the prayer of a righteous man avails much? Oh, but I forgot, there is none righteous, no not one. Man, I can't win for losing. (Iím sure glad I had breakfast already. ;)) But in all seriousness, I wish a good day upon you all.

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 06:35 PM
I honestly believe that God does turn hairs grey or white, and numbers them. But none of the "(pre)determined" verses relate to internal circumstances, the free will to "choose death or choose life". This has to be the case even with Christ who was "crucified, from the foundation of the world", and yet in Gethsemane still had the freedom to choose between "thy will not my will". So fundamentally we cannot say that God predestines/predetermines anyone to choose death - because of 1Tim2:4 among other verses.
God bless
Steven :)[/quote]

Hi Steven :)

The scripture below clearly states that those who do not believe on earth, the disobedient, those who choose death were destined and fated by God. The Bible clearly teaches that those on the left on Judgment Day were destined and fated by God to choose death. (KJV & NIV quoted)

1 Timothy 2:4, therefore, is explained elsewhere. The fact that who is on the right and who is on the left on Judgment Day was ordained, destined, and fated by God, God teaches as truth.

1 Peter 2:6For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame."[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=67&chapter=2&version=31&context=chapter#fen-NIV-30390a)] 7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
"The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,[b (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=67&chapter=2&version=31&context=chapter#fen-NIV-30391b)]"[c (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=67&chapter=2&version=31&context=chapter#fen-NIV-30391c)] 8and,
"A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall."[d (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=67&chapter=2&version=31&context=chapter#fen-NIV-30392d)] They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

1 Peter 2:6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.


God bless,

js

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 06:54 PM
P.S. It is my prayer that God has ordained a good day for the both of us, or if not, that He can at least be persuaded to help us through this day. "Give us this day our daily bread..." Now why pray such as this if God has already decided if our daily bread would be supplied on any given day? Is it really possible that the prayer of a righteous man avails much? Oh, but I forgot, there is none righteous, no not one. Man, I can't win for losing. (Iím sure glad I had breakfast already. ;)) But in all seriousness, I wish a good day upon you all.

I believe you chose the ice cream you liked. :) Why do some like one flavor over another? Taste buds vary? We get our choice when we can choose. But none of us creates our own DNA or builds our own taste buds. ;)

We're created beings. We're not robots. If God were a Robot... and He created us after His own image and likeness... we'd be robots. God is a Person. That He can inspire, motivate, create, build, form, influence... or restrain us... by His own Spirit... even allowing evil... does not make any of us robots. Our choices may result from... physiology, influence, nature, and nurture, etc.... but we are fully people. (When the Lord wills for me to buy something... He motivates the store to to cut the price to 75% off! lol hee hee.)

The Lord wills for me to minister. I like my prayer closet. I have an aversion to being a public person. I don't want to minister for that reason, for one primary. And I sat there thinking, "How's the Lord going to motivate... me????"

It is also my personality to "stand up for" people... and "step in" when I can help someone who is being wrongfully treated. I am very empathetic...and I will forget about myself to aid another.

The Lord got me good. He brought before me a person who has paid a very heavy price and, imo, is being shamefully mistreated. Something happened inside of me. The "turning point" happened inside. Though, personally, I love people and know God could use me to benefit others... still, I don't want to be a public person!!! ;) But because I know that my involvement and willingness to minister will vindicate this other person and restore to them what they have lost... and I feel so motivated that this cause is just... and it's just awful, imo... how this person has been shamefully treated...

I'm coming out of my prayer closet... if the connect happens... with my "hesitation"... overridden.

Did God "set me up"? Of course.

He knew just what it would take... and this is it.

If this person asks for my help, I see no possible way within me to say, "No."

And I've said no to many others... who, to me, wanted me to come out of my prayer closet... them to accompany me... because they desired to become public figures in association with me... as the result of my gifts and callings.

If this happens, it was only the Lord. He knows us. And He knows exactly how to "push my buttons"... and lead me by His Spirit. I just cannot resist the Spirit drawing... combined with a real extreme hearttugging need I can be used to meet... at this level of His initiation. It's past my "breaking point". Past the point of my ability to resist... past the point of "no return".

It's the "tipping point". We all have them... and we don't create them. They are how we are created, etc. They are part of who we are. I don't feel like a robot. I feel like a person walking with God.

Love in Christ,

js

Bandit
Sep 14th 2007, 02:57 AM
Hello justsurfing,

I was going to post something just for SemperReformanda, but I thought I would address some things contained in some of your posts so as to try to engage the both of you at once. I would at least like to start here and then in a later post bring up one or two of the major passages which I feel do not easily fit into the calvanist paradigm. (And thank you js for being thoughtful in your posts.) So here we go. Iíll quote then address a brief portion of each of your 3 previous posts. Iíve added underlining for emphasis in some of your quotes.


What the natural mind cannot comprehend... the mind of Christ knows... by nature and fellowship... and communion. Seriously, God hides these things from the proud and reveals them to the humble.



I totally agree that God hides much from the proud which He only reveals to the humble. For example, consider Jesusí words in Matthew 11:25-30. (And I know there is much contained in this passage which I am not now addressing; I am sure we will get to that.)

At that time Jesus answered and said, "I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. "Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight. "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." [Matt. 11:25-30]

Notice that God, as Jesus says, does hide things from "the wise and intelligent" but does reveal these things unto "babes." But then notice the invitation given beginning in verse 28, "Come to Me... and I will give you rest... Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentile and humble..." The point I would like to make first is that Jesus says God hides from one group (or class) while He reveals to another group (or class). It is very important to note that Jesus does not claim that God makes individuals one way or the other. The next point is that Jesus gives an open invitation. It is as if He were saying, "Become a Ďbabeí so that I and the Father will reveal these things to you." Similar notions are repeated throughout scripture, take this excerpt from Proverbs:

The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. [Prov. 3:33]

Such is not a indication that God makes certain persons righteous or wicked, but it indicates that God judges between them.




The scripture below clearly states that those who do not believe on earth, the disobedient, those who choose death were destined and fated by God. The Bible clearly teaches that those on the left on Judgment Day were destined and fated by God to choose death. (KJV & NIV quoted)

1 Timothy 2:4, therefore, is explained elsewhere. The fact that who is on the right and who is on the left on Judgment Day was ordained, destined, and fated by God, God teaches as truth.




Here is this passage from the NASV.

For this is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." This precious value, then, is for you who believe, but for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone," and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense;" for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. [1 Pet. 2:6-8]

Actually, the Greek text is ambiguous in verse 8 so that the intended meaning is not clear. It is kind of like the following statement.

"John told Pete to get his keys."

There is ambiguity here because we donít know who "his" refers to; it could refer to John or to Pete. The Greek in verse 8 is likewise ambiguous. The first part of verse 8 indicates a cause and effect relationship: those who are disobedient will stumble as a result of their disobedience. Now the ambiguity is this: Was the disobedience itself appointed, or was the stumbling appointed (as a consequence/judgement upon their willful disobedience)? Since the Greek is ambiguous, neither side can use this text as a proof-text, sorry. But I do agree that God has predestined the wicked to detstruction and the righteous to life, but I believe this is a predestination of groups and I do not see that God predestines individuals to be in one group or the other. In fact, I claim God desires all to join in the elect group which obtains life, and He does not predestine individuals to be wicked.



If this happens, it was only the Lord. He knows us. And He knows exactly how to "push my buttons"... and lead me by His Spirit. I just cannot resist the Spirit drawing... combined with a real extreme hearttugging need I can be used to meet... at this level of His initiation. It's past my "breaking point". Past the point of my ability to resist... past the point of "no return".

It's the "tipping point". We all have them... and we don't create them. They are how we are created, etc. They are part of who we are. I don't feel like a robot. I feel like a person walking with God.




Yes, God can and does push our buttons, but this does not mean that the results are guaranteed, nor are they normally automatic. This now gets into a lot of the kinds of scriptures I had in mind when I said that calvinism doesnít always fit scripture. As a quick example, take Paulís conversion on the road to Damascus. Paul was called by the Lord to be an Apostle (see Romans 1:1 for example), but is that all there is to the story? Please consider Acts 26:19 as evidence that perhaps the Lordís calling was not all there was to the story. In that verse Paul says,

"Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." [Acts 26:19]

This points to the possibility that Paul could have been disobedient to his calling (but, of course, that would have been very foolish). So it appears that Paul is acknowledging his own obedience to the call. In other words, he chose to submit to the call Jesus placed upon him. So, I agree, God can and does push buttons, but I would also maintain that we still have a choice to make in regards to His callings: we can accept and submit, or we can resist and refuse. The scriptures are full of both kinds of responses. And there is no place where scripture indicates that God is calling while at the same time pushing away (or refusing to assist) the one being called. I do not believe God is schizophrenic.

It is very late here, and I have to get up early, so I am done, whether I want to be or not, so, goodnight all.

Bandit

RogerW
Sep 14th 2007, 03:48 AM
Here is this passage from the NASV.

For this is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." This precious value, then, is for you who believe, but for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone," and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense;" for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. [1 Pet. 2:6-8]

Actually, the Greek text is ambiguous in verse 8 so that the intended meaning is not clear. It is kind of like the following statement.

"John told Pete to get his keys."

There is ambiguity here because we don’t know who "his" refers to; it could refer to John or to Pete. The Greek in verse 8 is likewise ambiguous. The first part of verse 8 indicates a cause and effect relationship: those who are disobedient will stumble as a result of their disobedience. Now the ambiguity is this: Was the disobedience itself appointed, or was the stumbling appointed (as a consequence/judgement upon their willful disobedience)? Since the Greek is ambiguous, neither side can use this text as a proof-text, sorry. But I do agree that God has predestined the wicked to detstruction and the righteous to life, but I believe this is a predestination of groups and I do not see that God predestines individuals to be in one group or the other. In fact, I claim God desires all to join in the elect group which obtains life, and He does not predestine individuals to be wicked.


There is no ambiguity if you don’t read over the word ALSO. You are not considering some very important words in the passage. Perhaps in another translation you can better see who is appointed to what.

LCV - Wherefore it is included in the scripture, “Lo, I am laying in Zion a corner capstone, chosen, held in honor; And he who is believing on it may by no means be disgraced.” To you, then, who are believing is the honor, yet to the unbelieving “The Stone which the builders reject, This came to be for the head of the corner.” And “A stumbling block and a snare rock;” who also are stumbling at the word, being stubborn, to which also they were appointed.

Some are unbelieving because God lays in Zion a Capstone to which becomes a stumbling block, and a snare rock to them (unbelieving). But this is not all they stumble at, for they also stumble at the Word, being stubborn, to which ALSO they were appointed. So it appears they were not only appointed to stumble at the Capstone, but also appointed to stumble at the Word.

Unbelievers who stumble at the Capstone, and stumble at the Word to which they were appointed, are contrasted with those who believe in the very next passage. These are called “a chosen generation.” Some are appointed to stumble and reject the Stone, while others are chosen people, called out of darkness into His marvelous light. In other words predestined to belief or unbelief.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Blessings,
RW

justsurfing
Sep 14th 2007, 07:50 AM
[quote=Bandit;1381104]Hello justsurfing,

I was going to post something just for SemperReformanda, but I thought I would address some things contained in some of your posts so as to try to engage the both of you at once. I would at least like to start here and then in a later post bring up one or two of the major passages which I feel do not easily fit into the calvanist paradigm. (And thank you js for being thoughtful in your posts.) So here we go. I’ll quote then address a brief portion of each of your 3 previous posts. I’ve added underlining for emphasis in some of your quotes.



Hi Bandit,

I sincerely believe it is only by the grace of God that our eyes are "opened" so that we can see. The Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit truly... of Glory... must be shed abroad upon our hearts and fill us with His Love... or else we are blind and cannot see. :) We are all equal in the Lord Jesus Christ... and should the spirit of revelation be given unto us in full measure... why then... we would all agree. :)

Until then... some of us see some things, some of us see others... and I am always open to learn. :) And so thirsty... for the Spirit of Glory - the Holy Spirit to fall. We discuss on the board. But I am thirsty for the Spirit of Glory to fall.

Until He falls, we discuss... and iron sharpens iron. But when He falls... then we shall see. (He's weaning me off the board in heart... causing me to desire even more to minister in an arena where I can truly be a blessing. It's too easy, for me even, to "clash" on this board. We only "clash" because we need the Holy Spirit to reveal. I don't like to argue or debate really. What's the point? That truly is man seeking to "convince" man... or "press others" into agreement. We cannot do the work of the Spirit... even if we are "right"... (or so we all think... ;) )


I totally agree that God hides much from the proud which He only reveals to the humble. For example, consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:25-30. (And I know there is much contained in this passage which I am not now addressing; I am sure we will get to that.)
Amen. And all our hearts in the Lord Jesus Christ truly have that humility. :)


At that time Jesus answered and said, "I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. "Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight. "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." [Matt. 11:25-30]
Amen. He longs for us to rest... just rest. If we'd just relax sometimes... we'd just plunge right in to the Spirit. :)


Notice that God, as Jesus says, does hide things from "the wise and intelligent" but does reveal these things unto "babes." But then notice the invitation given beginning in verse 28, "Come to Me... and I will give you rest... Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentile and humble..." The point I would like to make first is that Jesus says God hides from one group (or class) while He reveals to another group (or class). Amen. Clearly stated in the Word.


It is very important to note that Jesus does not claim that God makes individuals one way or the other. The next point is that Jesus gives an open invitation. It is as if He were saying, "Become a ‘babe’ so that I and the Father will reveal these things to you." My personal faith is that we are all equal. In sin, we are all equal in that we have the same fallen nature incapable of receiving revelation from the Lord:

1 Corinthians 2:14 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=53&chapter=2&verse=14&version=9&context=verse)
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

We are all equal. We are all the same as sinners, imo... at the root level of spirituality.



Similar notions are repeated throughout scripture, take this excerpt from Proverbs:

The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. [Prov. 3:33]

Such is not a indication that God makes certain persons righteous or wicked, but it indicates that God judges between them.
I would agree with you that this scripture does not state how the wicked... (because we are all wicked as sinners separated from God by sin...) become righteous. And, yes, the scripture does make clear that God judges between them. The Spirit of the Lord is a Spirit of blessing. For God to be with us is to be blessed and for His blessing to be upon us. To be separated from God by sin is to be cursed... for the curse is the absence of God.

John 3:36 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=3&verse=36&version=9&context=verse)
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

The wrath of God is upon unbelievers. I believe the "wrath of God" is Satan the destroyer. Satan is the curse personified. Where God is not... there is no "spiritual void". Satan is present... and this is the "spirit" upon those who are separated from God.


Here is this passage from the NASV.

For this is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." This precious value, then, is for you who believe, but for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone," and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense;" for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. [1 Pet. 2:6-8]

Doom. It's a terrible wrath to be swallowed by doom.

Isaiah 5:14 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=29&chapter=5&verse=14&version=9&context=verse)
Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

That's the scripture I think of... hell enlarging and swallowing a multitude of people: doom.



Actually, the Greek text is ambiguous in verse 8 so that the intended meaning is not clear. It is kind of like the following statement.

"John told Pete to get his keys."
Personally, I would not want an "appointment" or "fate" or "destiny" of the doom that awaits those who do not believe.


There is ambiguity here because we don’t know who "his" refers to; it could refer to John or to Pete. The Greek in verse 8 is likewise ambiguous. The first part of verse 8 indicates a cause and effect relationship: those who are disobedient will stumble as a result of their disobedience. Now the ambiguity is this: Was the disobedience itself appointed, or was the stumbling appointed (as a consequence/judgement upon their willful disobedience)? Since the Greek is ambiguous, neither side can use this text as a proof-text, sorry. I believe each of us "sees" a "larger picture"... and we see various scriptures within the larger framework developed by our growing understanding of the light of God's plan. So, I can see where it would be ambiguous in your view.


But I do agree that God has predestined the wicked to detstruction and the righteous to life, Amen. We agree there.


but I believe this is a predestination of groups and I do not see that God predestines individuals to be in one group or the other. I believe, well, I'll just say what I believe. I believe God has predestined the wicked not to believe in this life. I cannot believe that we distinguish ourselves in any way from those who perish by our own thoughts, words, or deeds solely born of self. I believe that there is a grace that has been applied to us... or we would have made the same decisions they made.

I do not believe they "decided" to be "unbelievers". I believe they were born that way... and did not receive a grace we did so that we have come to believe. I don't believe we can "decide" to believe. I believe unbelievers would be believers if they were given that revelation of the Spirit so they would believe.


In fact, I claim God desires all to join in the elect group which obtains life, Amen. And I believe His predestination cannot and will not be thwarted in the end.


He does not predestine individuals to be wicked.I believe Adam was predestined to eat from the "bad tree"... and, thus, we were all predestined to be born according to the flesh in Adam with natural spirits conceived in sin. All our hearts are desperately wicked.

Jeremiah 17:9 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=30&chapter=17&verse=9&version=9&context=verse)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The Holy Spirit must not work the same work of revelation in the hearts of all people on earth... or we would all have revelation whereby to believe in Jesus Christ.

Yet, I believe all are predestined to the adoption of sons in Christ.


Yes, God can and does push our buttons, but this does not mean that the results are guaranteed, nor are they normally automatic. I believe it is the "rock of revelation" of "who Jesus is" on which God builds His church. A "button" of spiritual revelation that turns unbelievers into believers with one revelation of Jesus Christ.


This now gets into a lot of the kinds of scriptures I had in mind when I said that calvinism doesn’t always fit scripture. As a quick example, take Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Paul was called by the Lord to be an Apostle (see Romans 1:1 for example), but is that all there is to the story? Please consider Acts 26:19 as evidence that perhaps the Lord’s calling was not all there was to the story. In that verse Paul says,

"Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." [Acts 26:19]

Amen. He was obedient.


This points to the possibility that Paul could have been disobedient to his calling (but, of course, that would have been very foolish). So it appears that Paul is acknowledging his own obedience to the call. In other words, he chose to submit to the call Jesus placed upon him.Yes, He did choose to submit. But he did not do so before he received revelation of Jesus Christ in him.


So, I agree, God can and does push buttons, but I would also maintain that we still have a choice to make in regards to His callings: we can accept and submit, or we can resist and refuse. The scriptures are full of both kinds of responses. And there is no place where scripture indicates that God is calling while at the same time pushing away (or refusing to assist) the one being called. I do not believe God is schizophrenic.
Amen. Yet, at a certain point... God can push our "tipping point". Consider Jonah. God did allow Jonah to resist Him... as Jonah got on the boat to flee. But God created an environment that "pressured Jonah" into speaking forth the result God intended. And even though Jonah was a bit of a "pistol"... God never stopped working with Jonah... even after Jonah was angry that the Ninevites repented. God still worked with Jonah and spoke to Jonah and maintained His side of the relationship. God held onto Jonah... in relationship... a relationship of God the Father's love (no matter how wayward or defiant Jonah was before, during, and after his "mission")
.

It is very late here, and I have to get up early, so I am done, whether I want to be or not, so, goodnight all.

BanditI watched 2 movies with my son... and thought I'd respond a little. I feel the Lord changing me inside by His Spirit... taking all the "fight" out of me. There's no possible way I will "evade" His call on my life. He has influence within me as well as outside. And I have no question I am straight in the center of the palm of His hands.

I also have no question that if He had not reached down and picked me up in His hands... I would have split hell wide open upon my own death. It's very humbling to look at those who will be on the left on Judgment Day... and to know with absolute certainty (I do have absolute certainty) that I did nothing to distinquish myself from them.

God reached down and took hold of me in "stooping mercy"... and picked me up. And, Bandit, they did not receive the same grace in this life... I know that to be true.

It's very late... and I can't believe I stayed up so late.

My Jonah days are nearly passed... ;)... and I think that's why talking on this board... is an evasive pastime of mine... that will not long last.

:)

lol

Love in Christ,

js

Sold Out
Sep 14th 2007, 12:38 PM
I'm quite new on the forum. So I apologise if this subject has been discussed here recently.

Can someone please give me some thoughts, viewpoints, Scripture etc. on the doctrine of predestination? Will appreciate.

Gideon88 - I would suggest you do your own independent study on predestination/Calvinism. You are going to get a lot of opinions on this board, and you might end up more confused on the subject.

VerticalReality
Sep 14th 2007, 12:43 PM
Gideon88 - I would suggest you do your own independent study on predestination/Calvinism. You are going to get a lot of opinions on this board, and you might end up more confused on the subject.

Predestination and Calvinism are not the same thing, and just because you believe in predestination does not mean you are a Calvinist. Just wanted to clarify that.

dailysun@
Sep 14th 2007, 01:24 PM
Here is my take on the issue....

I believe in free will. I have no choice but to believe it!

In some ways that sums it up, doesn't it.

I really am not too concerned about HOW I became a Christian. Whether God called me or I chose, I am not sure. I just want to live faithfully day by day and trust Him to reward me how he sees fit.

I see a lot of good and bad from both views. I think it is sad that there has been a lot of nastiness here in our answers. To me, that has been the worst outcome of the centuries of debate over this. Becoming alienated from one another over this must really have God frustrated.

Either system when taken to the extreme is not good. When Calvinists believe that they are so assured of salvation that it really doesn't matter what they do, it isn't good. It isn't good when Calvinists assume that people have not been chosen so it doesn't make any sense to be missionaries. On the other hand, Wesleyan thought can reduce Christianity to a code of conduct with rewards granted based on the person's merit, not in God's grace. It can leave people so scared of losing their salvation that they lose the joy in their salvation.

I know that to many people, this is a big serious issue, but I can't take it to the level of calling one group heretics and beheading them literally or figuratively. More than likely, the truth is somewhere in the middle and since God is the only one that has it figured out, I will leave such things in His capable hands.

Meanwhile, I think I should live a life in accordance with Scriptures, not because my salvation is based on it but because it is what God wants and it is the best thing for me. I continue to witness and support missions who actually preach the word of God. (I know too many calvanists in this area that do social ministry only, believing that if the people they are feeding are predestined, they will accept Christ based on the behavior of the Christians and not because of teaching them.) I will trust God to save me, believing that He does want all people to be saved, and not fret about whether or not I am one of the elect, which I have had people tell that I am NOT due to some issues I have with the Church in general.

Please, let's stop the quarreling and get on with living with Jesus.

AJ

Sold Out
Sep 14th 2007, 02:58 PM
Please, let's stop the quarreling and get on with living with Jesus.

AJ


amen! Let's just all go out and witness to the lost and then we are covered no matter what believe in regards to this.

justsurfing
Sep 15th 2007, 02:50 AM
People who have not studied this doctrine... or think it's "just an idea that doesn't pertain to our Christian walk or witness"... have not pressed through to the anointing on this topic. There is such a powerful anointing on this subject matter. People who say "since people argue... and it's pointless"... don't understand.

To see the truth is worth a full descent into hell... and coming back... to attain revelation of the truth of God's 100% grace. I can say that and mean it... and back up what I say by experience.

We should avoid knowing the truth of God's grace because it can be painful to our souls?

I can't agree.

God bless,

js

Bandit
Sep 16th 2007, 03:38 PM
Here is this passage from the NASV.

For this is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." This precious value, then, is for you who believe, but for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone," and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense;" for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. [1 Pet. 2:6-8]

Actually, the Greek text is ambiguous in verse 8 so that the intended meaning is not clear. It is kind of like the following statement.

"John told Pete to get his keys."

There is ambiguity here because we donít know who "his" refers to; it could refer to John or to Pete. The Greek in verse 8 is likewise ambiguous. The first part of verse 8 indicates a cause and effect relationship: those who are disobedient will stumble as a result of their disobedience. Now the ambiguity is this: Was the disobedience itself appointed, or was the stumbling appointed (as a consequence/judgement upon their willful disobedience)? Since the Greek is ambiguous, neither side can use this text as a proof-text, sorry. But I do agree that God has predestined the wicked to detstruction and the righteous to life, but I believe this is a predestination of groups and I do not see that God predestines individuals to be in one group or the other. In fact, I claim God desires all to join in the elect group which obtains life, and He does not predestine individuals to be wicked.



There is no ambiguity if you donít read over the word ALSO. You are not considering some very important words in the passage. Perhaps in another translation you can better see who is appointed to what.



Hello RogerW,

Perhaps you didn't get the jist of what I was saying; there is ambiguity in the original Greek, so appealing to any English translation (which must defer to the Greek) is a moot point. Many Greek scholars have agknowledged this ambiguity; so, again, this text cannot rightly be used as a proof-text of predestination by God of certain individuals to unbelief.


Bandit

Bandit
Sep 16th 2007, 04:10 PM
[quote]

Hi Bandit,

...

My personal faith is that we are all equal. In sin, we are all equal in that we have the same fallen nature incapable of receiving revelation from the Lord:
...

I believe, well, I'll just say what I believe. I believe God has predestined the wicked not to believe in this life. I cannot believe that we distinguish ourselves in any way from those who perish by our own thoughts, words, or deeds solely born of self. I believe that there is a grace that has been applied to us... or we would have made the same decisions they made.

I do not believe they "decided" to be "unbelievers". I believe they were born that way... and did not receive a grace we did so that we have come to believe. I don't believe we can "decide" to believe. I believe unbelievers would be believers if they were given that revelation of the Spirit so they would believe.

...

Love in Christ,

js


Hello js,

I think you have told the truth here when you say that this is what you believe, but I would claim that this is not what scripture actually teaches (what you are recounting is a particular interpretation of scripture). There is another way to view scripture, one which I claim has much less conflict with scripture than calvinism does. However objectionalble you may find it, I believe scripture is clear in that we, in the end, determine where we will spend eternity.

God through Christ has provided attonement for all men. God does not call all men to repent while also holding some back from it. We may not understand all things, but God's fairness and justice and mercy should be understood by faith. God is love. If, while I am walking past a swimming pool, and I see two children drowning, and I have the ability to save both but I save only one, how is that love? And how would almost any modern court rule on this. Now God allows men to die physically every day, but to extend this to spiritual death for all eternity is quite a stretch! You may not know this, but I have a form of cancer which is considered incurable. Now it is God's perogative to take my life (or any life) if and when He choses to do so, but I would disagree that God would condemn individual persons spiritually for all eternity just because He felt like it. That is just not revealed in the bible. Please rethink what you believe and allow for the possibility that God does love all men and that salvation is available to all men. I believe God loves all men and give all men opportunity for repentance (even in those situations where we don't see when or how or where it is offered).

Sincerely,
Bandit

P.S. And pray that I might not die too soon. I have a family to support; but I believe God does and would supply even in my absence.

Bandit
Sep 16th 2007, 04:46 PM
I really am not too concerned about HOW I became a Christian. Whether God called me or I chose, I am not sure. I just want to live faithfully day by day and trust Him to reward me how he sees fit.

...

Meanwhile, I think I should live a life in accordance with Scriptures, not because my salvation is based on it but because it is what God wants and it is the best thing for me.

...

Please, let's stop the quarreling and get on with living with Jesus.

AJ

Hello AJ,

To my way of thinking you stepped right into two of my biggest objections to much of common theology. You say that you are not concerned with how one becomes a Christian, and that you do not believe salvation is tied to how one lives. These are very big questions: how one becomes a Christian and whether or not one's life has any bearing on salvation. The point being that if one has to do something in order to be saved (believe by faith) and if one has to do something to continue being saved (live by faith), then these are the most important kinds of questions one can ask. If we answer these questions wrongly, it will possibly have negative eternal repercussions. It is very important to try to get such things right.

Bandit

9Marksfan
Sep 16th 2007, 04:58 PM
Predestination was the biggest stumbling block to my coming to faith over 25 years ago, but one of the first things I learned to appreciate is that is NOT the same as fatalism - it is a deep truth and one that does not cancel human reponsibility - indeed, Scriptrue teaches both. All that the Father gives to Christ will come to Him, but we MUST COME!!!!

I also discovered fairly soon that it does matter very much whether I chose Chirst or God chose me in Christ - what is commonly known as Reformed theology gives all the glory for dalvation to God - while other views (in particular Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism - ie those who believe that we are Christians because we "wisely"/"shrewdly"/"sensibly" exercised our free will to choose Christ, steals some of the glory from God and gives it to man, taking the credit by exercising his so-called "free will" - taken this to its logical extreme, it makes salvation by faith salvation by works, because the "faith" is a work of man's free will, not a gift of God's grace, enabled by regeneration, which is God's monergistic work alone.

So, no matter how hard we find predestination to accept (and I was only able to do so by the grace of God - I imagine it will be the same for everyone else) - if we are going to be biblical and give all the glory to God for our salvation, I believe we have to do so.......

Bandit
Sep 16th 2007, 07:45 PM
Predestination was the biggest stumbling block to my coming to faith over 25 years ago, but one of the first things I learned to appreciate is that is NOT the same as fatalism - it is a deep truth and one that does not cancel human reponsibility - indeed, Scriptrue teaches both. All that the Father gives to Christ will come to Him, but we MUST COME!!!!

I also discovered fairly soon that it does matter very much whether I chose Chirst or God chose me in Christ - what is commonly known as Reformed theology gives all the glory for dalvation to God - while other views (in particular Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism - ie those who believe that we are Christians because we "wisely"/"shrewdly"/"sensibly" exercised our free will to choose Christ, steals some of the glory from God and gives it to man, taking the credit by exercising his so-called "free will" - taken this to its logical extreme, it makes salvation by faith salvation by works, because the "faith" is a work of man's free will, not a gift of God's grace, enabled by regeneration, which is God's monergistic work alone.

So, no matter how hard we find predestination to accept (and I was only able to do so by the grace of God - I imagine it will be the same for everyone else) - if we are going to be biblical and give all the glory to God for our salvation, I believe we have to do so.......


Hello 9Marksfan,

I too believe in predestination, but probably not the way you understand it. I believe that those who believe in Christ have joined the elect group - a group which has been predestined by God. So what I believe would be called a corporate view of predestination (the church being the predestined group, a group which is open to any individual by faith), while many such as yourself believe in individual predestination (God predestines only certain persons individually to salvation, and this collective of predestined individuals is then call the church). These are the two fundamentally different perspectives on election and predestination. So don’t get me wrong, I too believe in predestination, just not the reformed definition of it.

But concerning human responsibility and salvation, I have issues with the reformed definition of election and how it fits with the many warning passages, which is but one of the reasons I hold to a corporate view of election. Here is the problem I see. I see and acknowledge the great many warning passages in scripture which I believe clearly tie salvation and human moral behavior. (Take for example the Parable of the Hard-hearted Servant in Matthew 18.) Now if individual election to salvation is truly the case, then why are there any warnings at all? I mean, unconditional individual election surely precludes the possibility of apostasy. (Unless that too was predestined, but the warning not to do it is still just as meaningless.) But since there really are a great many warnings against falling away, how can individual election to salvation (which denies any role for man in such election) be true? The answer is it can’t! (This really is an either/or situation: either God does all and decides all, or there is a role for man to play in his own salvation.) There is simply no legitimate way to reconcile the reformed concept of individual election with the many warning passages. (But of course, the warning passages are circumvented by reformed scholars by various means.) But to me, and to many others, the "explanations" offered by such theologians concerning these warning passages amounts to nothing more than merely sweeping them under a rug. I simply can not accept such an approach. There has to be a better way to handle the warning passages. This is where a corporate view of election comes in. It is able to understand election and predestination in a corporate sense which allows the warning passages to be taken seriously.

Now concerning the glory which you have been taught would be stolen by those who believe they have responded of their own will. I believe this is one of those false arguments offered by calvinists. I believe it is a well-intentioned argument, but nevertheless a wrong one. First, there are a number of passages, in both testaments, where God calls certain persons wise and others foolish. He in many places praises the wise and upbraids the foolish. For instance, the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins in Matthew 25. And in the same chapter there is the praise given to the faithful servants in the Parable of the Talents, "Well done, good and faithful servants..." And do you not hear the praise given by God to the righteous in the Parable of the Sheep and Goats? I think an appropriate analogy is this. A man is slowly sinking in quicksand and cannot save himself. Another comes along and says, "Grab a hold of this rope and I’ll pull you out." To which the man in the quicksand says, "I will do no such thing, for that would be saving myself! If you are going to save me, then you are going to have to pull me out all by yourself, because otherwise I will be able to glory in my own rescue!" Now doesn’t that sound absurd? That is exactly what I think of the calvinist claims that those who take part in their own rescue will glory in their own actions. Yea, I grabbed onto the rope, but consider the alternative! And when I finally get to that final shore, do you really think I will be dancing a little jig saying, "I saved myself, I saved myself?" No. The person who hung on for dear life will be very thankful that someone came along, threw him a rope, and pulled him to shore. The calvinist argument here is very misguided.

Bandit

9Marksfan
Sep 16th 2007, 09:45 PM
Hello 9Marksfan,

I too believe in predestination, but probably not the way you understand it. I believe that those who believe in Christ have joined the elect group - a group which has been predestined by God. So what I believe would be called a corporate view of predestination (the church being the predestined group, a group which is open to any individual by faith), while many such as yourself believe in individual predestination (God predestines only certain persons individually to salvation, and this collective of predestined individuals is then call the church). These are the two fundamentally different perspectives on election and predestination. So donít get me wrong, I too believe in predestination, just not the reformed definition of it.

I'm interested in what kind of "corporate" election you believe in. I've not come across this before but can see how you would arrive at it (the passages I rely on do indeed speak of believers in the plural) - but yet you seem to believe that the church is not "safe" and that certain members who fall away can lose their salvation - am I correct? Why believe in corporate election at all, then? Does it offer any kind of assurance in the way that individual election does?


But concerning human responsibility and salvation, I have issues with the reformed definition of election and how it fits with the many warning passages, which is but one of the reasons I hold to a corporate view of election.

Again, please expand.


Here is the problem I see. I see and acknowledge the great many warning passages in scripture which I believe clearly tie salvation and human moral behavior.

So do I - in fact it is a particular hobby horse of mine!


(Take for example the Parable of the Hard-hearted Servant in Matthew 18.)

Or the parable of the talents! Ot John 15 etc etc!


Now if individual election to salvation is truly the case, then why are there any warnings at all?

Because (a) the elect are still prone to fall away because of their ongoing sinfulness; and (b) because God knows that our being warned of the consequences of disobedience is one of the best ways of ensuring that we will be "kept on our toes" and so persevere in the faith - God uses means! It would be ridiculous for there to be any exhortation in Scripture for the elect simply to rely upon their election and "cruise" through life - everyone (including God!) knows that, were He to say that, NO ONE would persevere in faith and holiness! Scripture NOWHERE encourages a fatalistic view of salvation, hence the warning passages!


I mean, unconditional individual election surely precludes the possibility of apostasy.

Only from God's perspective - Scripture teaches human responsibility and the uses of means, hence the need to persevere/endure to "make our calling and election sure".


(Unless that too was predestined, but the warning not to do it is still just as meaningless.) But since there really are a great many warnings against falling away, how can individual election to salvation (which denies any role for man in such election) be true?

Man has no part in saving himself - his only contribution is the sin that makes it necessary - so regeneration is monergistic - but sanctification is synergistic - we are commanded to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling because it is God who is at work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" Phil 2:12b-13.


The answer is it canít! (This really is an either/or situation: either God does all and decides all, or there is a role for man to play in his own salvation.)

As a good friend of mine keeps saying, it's not "either/or", it's "both/and"!


There is simply no legitimate way to reconcile the reformed concept of individual election with the many warning passages. (But of course, the warning passages are circumvented by reformed scholars by various means.) But to me, and to many others, the "explanations" offered by such theologians concerning these warning passages amounts to nothing more than merely sweeping them under a rug. I simply can not accept such an approach. There has to be a better way to handle the warning passages.

Well, I'm not sure if you've heard my approach before, but I'm conscious not all Reformed folk would hold to it, because it comes "dangerously" close to us keeping our salvation by our own efforts. Yet I believe my approach is both truly Reformed and (more importantly) truly biblical.


This is where a corporate view of election comes in. It is able to understand election and predestination in a corporate sense which allows the warning passages to be taken seriously.

How so?


Now concerning the glory which you have been taught would be stolen by those who believe they have responded of their own will.

No human taught me this - it is a conclusion I believe the LORD taught me as a very young Christian - "they will all be taught of God".


I believe this is one of those false arguments offered by calvinists. I believe it is a well-intentioned argument, but nevertheless a wrong one. First, there are a number of passages, in both testaments, where God calls certain persons wise and others foolish. He in many places praises the wise and upbraids the foolish. For instance, the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins in Matthew 25. And in the same chapter there is the praise given to the faithful servants in the Parable of the Talents, "Well done, good and faithful servants..." And do you not hear the praise given by God to the righteous in the Parable of the Sheep and Goats?

Yes, but their "wisdom" and "righteousness" were not their own (1 Cor 1:18 - 2:16 and Rom 3:20-28 respectively), otherwise they could have taken the credit for being naturally so "wise" (ie "smart") and "righteous".


I think an appropriate analogy is this. A man is slowly sinking in quicksand and cannot save himself. Another comes along and says, "Grab a hold of this rope and Iíll pull you out." To which the man in the quicksand says, "I will do no such thing, for that would be saving myself! If you are going to save me, then you are going to have to pull me out all by yourself, because otherwise I will be able to glory in my own rescue!" Now doesnít that sound absurd? That is exactly what I think of the calvinist claims that those who take part in their own rescue will glory in their own actions. Yea, I grabbed onto the rope, but consider the alternative!

That's PRECISELY my point! The man in that situation would be boasting of his own smart behaviour and would no doubt be congratulated by his friends when he shared the story! Yes, of course we all "grab the rope" - but why doesn't everyone? If we go for the "free will" argument, then we're basically saying here and now that we received salvation because we were somehow "smarter" (ie better) than the next man! And that robs God of His glory in saving us. To go back to your analogy, the truly grateful person would focus entirely on the mercy and kindness of the one who rescued him and say nothing about anything he did!


And when I finally get to that final shore, do you really think I will be dancing a little jig saying, "I saved myself, I saved myself?" No. The person who hung on for dear life will be very thankful that someone came along, threw him a rope, and pulled him to shore.

But of course! And if he truly understood grace and mercy, He would speak this way NOW!


The calvinist argument here is very misguided.

Sorry, I don't see how it is! For the record, I would agree with you that the two "extremes" of Calvinism - hypercalvinism (ie fatalism) and "free grace" (ie antinomianism) are false doctrines and nowhere taught in Scripture - and the latter is one of the most dangerous heresies taught in churches today. But please do not throw out the baby with the bathwater!

Turning to your comments on another thread (the "delicate balance" one), I do believe that when Paul was speaking of being a "castaway" in 1 Cor 9 he really [I]meant that he could be "lost" after all - but NOT that he would lose his salvation. Instead, he was never presumptuous - I believe he knew that even he could deceive himself - and that falling away from either the faith (Gal 1:8) or the Christian life (1 Cor 9:27ff) would be proof he was never saved in the first place.

Hopefully some food for thought!

Nigel


Bandit

Bandit
Sep 16th 2007, 11:59 PM
...
Hopefully some food for thought!

Nigel


Yes it is food for thought, but I have a presentation to give on Tuesday morning, so I might not have time to respond until Tuesday evening. I will try to address your questions and comments at that time.

Sincerely,
Bandit

Serve-N-Protect
Sep 17th 2007, 05:13 AM
So, basically, God knows what people are going to do, but doesn't force them to do it??

But chooses to create them anyway. ;)

Bandit
Sep 24th 2007, 02:33 AM
I'm interested in what kind of "corporate" election you believe in. I've not come across this before but can see how you would arrive at it (the passages I rely on do indeed speak of believers in the plural) - but yet you seem to believe that the church is not "safe" and that certain members who fall away can lose their salvation - am I correct? Why believe in corporate election at all, then? Does it offer any kind of assurance in the way that individual election does?




Hello 9Marksfan,

Sorry for the long absence, but this was a rather busy week for me. I should be able to put more time in this week than last. For now I only have time to address parts of your last post.

Concerning corporate election, I believe it is best understood by how it differs from individual election. Individual election (to salvation) is the belief that God has predestined (or chosen) certain select individuals to salvation. This election resided solely with God. So the election of the individual is all of God; the individual playing no role in his own salvation. And since the individual has no part in his salvation, he can not affect his salvation in any way. Corporate election, on the other hand, believes that God has predestined (or chosen) a select body (the church) for salvation. This election resided solely with God. Thus corporate election is also all of God. But here is the difference. In corporate election, since an individual must join the elect body (the church) to be saved, then an individual does have a role to play in his own salvation. And since the individual has a role to play, he affects his own individual salvation (though the election of the corporate body is unaffected by his individual choice).

So, in corporate election, it is the elect body (the body of Christ) to which all promises are ultimately addressed. Any particular individual is a recipient of those promises only so long as that individual is a member of the elect body. So, whereas individual election prohibits apostasy, a corporate view of election permits such possibilities. Safety in salvation, if that is what your concern is, is to be found in the elect body; any individual shares in that safety only so long as he/she remains a member of that secure body.




Quote from Bandit:
This is where a corporate view of election comes in. It is able to understand election and predestination in a corporate sense which allows the warning passages to be taken seriously.



How so?



If one acknowledges the many warnings against apostasy, then apostasy must be a real possibility. But such a possibility can not be reconciled with a belief in individual election (for in that case one can not affect his predetermined destiny). But if one understands election in a corporate sense, then apostasy of an individual (and the warnings against such apostasy) can be readily understood. So, apostasy occurs when one turns away from the elect body, and the election of the body is not affected by the apostasy of an individual, just his participation in that body. Real apostasy is something reformed theology can not explain, or even allow for, for apostasy violates its most fundamental premise.







Man has no part in saving himself - his only contribution is the sin that makes it necessary - so regeneration is monergistic - but sanctification is synergistic - we are commanded to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling because it is God who is at work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" Phil 2:12b-13.


Quote from Bandit:
This really is an either/or situation: either God does all and decides all, or there is a role for man to play in his own salvation.



As a good friend of mine keeps saying, it's not "either/or", it's "both/and"!



I am sorry, but I must disagree with you and your friend. You are simply stating the calvinist views of monergism and an imagined complete separation of salvation from sanctification. It really is an either/or situation: either God decides the salvation of each individual (apart from any role of that individualís will), or the individual has a willful role to play in his own salvation. You canít play games on this. There is no middle ground here. Anyone who claims otherwise is fooling themselves. And I still think the calvinist argument which says man can claim to have saved himself by accepting Godís gracious offer is misguided. I didnít understand the portion of your post which addressed this - sorry. You can try to explain yourself again, but I donít see how the calvinist argument works. As per my analogy, I donít see how the one hanging onto the rope which was thrown to him can claim to have saved himself. He was merely doing his part to cooperate in his own rescue. I think it is ludicrous to think that such a person would then claim to have saved himself. Such a person would not be in his right mind if he did so.

Here is a part of what you said concerning my analogy.




Yes, of course we all "grab the rope" - but why doesn't everyone? If we go for the "free will" argument, then we're basically saying here and now that we received salvation because we were somehow "smarter" (ie better) than the next man! And that robs God of His glory in saving us. To go back to your analogy, the truly grateful person would focus entirely on the mercy and kindness of the one who rescued him and say nothing about anything he did!




Ah, so at last perhaps we have gotten to the real crux of your objection, that being the question over why some would choose one way while others would choose another. But your objection really just begs the question. You assume that if all persons were given equal choices, that all would chose the same, but this objection is nothing more than an assumption that the ability to choose ("free-will") doesnít exist. That is exactly what the ability to choose means - all things are not equal because the person himself is a part of the equation. Even if God makes effectively equal offers to different men, they do make different choices, and this is because God has created men with the ability to choose. Some chose darkness and some chose light. And somehow you think that it robs God of His glory if men actually have a part in determining their own destiny. I simply donít have the philosophical hangup calvinists do over this. I accept that men were created by God with the ability to choose. Here is another analogy to consider. Letís say God (Jesus) walks into a room with two chairs: does He have the "free-will" to choose which chair to sit in? I would hope so. Now let you or I enter the same room with the same two chairs. Do we have the same "free will" choice between chairs as God did when He entered the room? I would say, "Yes." You see, I believe that when God created man, He gave him the same power of choice which God Himself has. Now, moving on to the salvation realm, God has chosen to offer His hand through Jesus. Man now has a choice: he can accept Jesusí offer or he can reject it. And every man will use his God-given ability to choose, just as he chose between the two chairs in the room.

I would write more, but it is late here and tomorrow is another day.

Bandit

ikester7579
Sep 24th 2007, 10:43 AM
Without getting into a huge debate on this and how it connects to the Calvinist doctrine and OSAS (once saved always saved). I do not believe that God runs a controlled matrix. Where every one is a string along puppet. Where we will all go to hell, or heaven, and we have no says so on the deal. That it was basically predetermined even before we were born.

Just because God said that he knew us before we were born, does not mean we are predestined.

Example:
Why did Adam and Eve have a choice about the tree of knowledge if we are all predestined?

Why did Christ go to the cross if we are predestined?

Why do we have to say the sinners prayer if we are predestined?

Why even have a bible if we are predestined?

Why preach or teach the word of God?

Predestination means our actions have no bearing on our eternal destination. So God's word becomes void because why would we need to follow it if our future is already predetermined regardless?