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Quickened
Oct 17th 2008, 05:16 PM
Topic purpose: I am seeking personal insight from believers as to why they may be opposed to Calvinist doctrine. In attempt to maintain some structure I will elaborate on my thoughts and intentions for this thread.

I am not intending, nor am i interested, for this to turn into a debate.

I mainly seek heartfelt simple answers from those that post here. The idea for this thread came earlier in the week when i was thinking about God's Word at work. Now that some time has passed I think it may be good to seek the thoughts of others.

Another thing i would like to note is that I am not interested in any quotes from any such authors outside of scriptures if one is intending to reference something to elaborate on their thoughts. Referencing a work of an author would be fine but copy and paste quotes out of various texts isnt needed. I am interested in the thoughts of the individual poster behind the avatar.

I would prefer (for the time being) that posts not become excessively long as no one really like being pounced with a wall of text. Short responses would be great too!

That said from my time here this board was prodominately Arminian and that is the essence which i seek to capture.

So now that all of that has been typed i feel safe hitting "Submit". If at any time the moderators feel the tone of this thread takes a wrong turn or if for any such reason they may feel free to close the thread for a time or lock it indefinately. I am a guest here and I both know and respect the rules.

Thanks in advance for any that partake in posting and or any discussion that ensues! :)

Firefighter
Oct 17th 2008, 05:37 PM
I believe that God has given us the right to choose to serve him or not, so I reject the doctrine of Irresistible Grace.

I believe that God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life, so I reject the doctrine of Unconditional Election.

I believe that we are saved by grace through faith, and as such, if we do not maintain our faith then we are no longer saved, so I reject the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints. I.E. - If someone wants to no longer serve God, he is not going to drag them kicking and screaming into heaven. (I do not however think that we can earn our way to heaven by being "Good enough" or "holy enough" or "without sin enough")

I believe that Romans teaches us that we can have knowledge of God (and hence the ability to recognize good) by nature and our conscience, so I reject the doctrine of Total Depravity.

I believe that Christ once and for all paid the price to reconcile man to God, and that He did so for the whole world. Further, I believe the only thing that will send you to hell is unbelief, so I reject the doctrine of Limited Atonement.

RoadWarrior
Oct 17th 2008, 05:38 PM
Topic purpose: I am seeking personal insight from believers as to why they may be opposed to Calvinist doctrine. In attempt to maintain some structure I will elaborate on my thoughts and intentions for this thread.

I am not intending, nor am i interested, for this to turn into a debate.
...

That may be your heart, but for sure this will quickly become a debate!

Personally, I am opposed to Calvinist doctrines that do harm by causing people to not seek after God with their whole heart. I have not only seen this happen to other people, but I experienced it myself. When anyone says that "there is nothing you can do" then it goes against the greater part of Bible teaching. I'd encourage anyone wanting to know God, to seek Him. There are numerous places in scripture that say if we seek God, we will find Him.

To understand the history of the Calvinist doctrines, we need to begin with Augustine. He is the one who wrote the original positon on predestination and free will. He "invented" the western conception of both of those terms, according to the sources I have studied. Martin Luther quoted Augustine in the formulation of his doctrine; Zwingli did the same, but those two disagreed with each other, vehemently. Calvin is a second-generation member of the Reformed group (Zwingli.)

The bottom line of why I disagree with Calvinist doctrines is that they do not agree with the Bible, in spite of the "proof texts" used by Calvinists.

I also do not call myself Arminian, but Christian; I am a disciple of Christ, not of Augustine, or Luther, or Calvin, or Arminius, etc.

Literalist-Luke
Oct 17th 2008, 05:44 PM
My problem with Calvinism (if I understand it correctly) is that it seems to eliminate choice in regard to salvation. Now, I could be understanding it incorrectly. I've never really gotten all that excited about the Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate. But the way I understand Calvinism, we are "predestined" to salvation to the point that those who are going to be saved are going to be saved and there's nothing anybody can do to prevent it from happening. Conversely, those who are going to be lost are going to be lost and there's nothing anybody can do to prevent it happening. I have seen the belief expressed by some people of the Calvinist persuasion that witnessing and preaching the Gospel is a waste of time, because there's no point in trying to alter the inevitable. To me, that's so contrary to God's "Watchman" message in Ezekiel 3 & 33 as to be unspeakable.

Plus, why did Jesus bother sending out his disciples if that were true?

In addition, the example given us by the Apostle Paul is that we need to go far and wide to spread the Gospel as much as possible. To me, the only role of "predestination" is simply that God already knows the outcome of the end of time and who will be saved, but that doesn't mean that we have no responsibility in making it happen.

So I suppose that I would tend more to be of the Arminian persuasion. I'm not even sure about that, however. I really don't care all that much about Calvinism or Arminianism.

I Corinthians 1:12-17 - "One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."

I follow Christ - not Calvin, and not Arminius.

Literalist-Luke
Oct 17th 2008, 05:45 PM
I also do not call myself Arminian, but Christian; I am a disciple of Christ, not of Augustine, or Luther, or Calvin, or Arminius, etc.Move over and let me join you. :D

Quickened
Oct 17th 2008, 05:58 PM
That may be your heart, but for sure this will quickly become a debate!



Unfortunately this may be so. I do humbly ask that this thread is not utilized for that purpose. There are many thread pre-exsisting on this theological debate that could be bumped or perhaps new ones that could be created. That said all i can do is ask. Mainly i dont want to sort through what can tend to be pages of bickering because it defeats the purpose i had for this thread. So again i would humbly ask of my fellow brothers and sisters that if they feel the need to debate an individual they do so either in PM or in another thread (which could easily be achieved).

I will return shortly as this is not a "hit and run" style thread. I must attend to some yard work and look forward to all your answers and perhaps some mild disucssion!


I also do not call myself Arminian, but Christian; I am a disciple of Christ, not of Augustine, or Luther, or Calvin, or Arminius, etc.

I would just like to note that most Christians on either side would agree with you. I am not of Calvin or Paul but of Christ. The term being merely a theological term that encompasses a set of beliefs.

theBelovedDisciple
Oct 17th 2008, 06:02 PM
Move over and let me join you. :D


My sentiments exactly... was Calvin crucified for you.. or Luther? Armenius? Augustine? The Only True Living God who was manifest in the flesh, Jesus the Christ.. was the only One Sent to be crucified... and Him........ you follow....

RoadWarrior
Oct 17th 2008, 06:06 PM
Move over and let me join you. :D

There is plenty of room here at the foot of the cross. :hug:

RoadWarrior
Oct 17th 2008, 06:21 PM
Unfortunately this may be so. I do humbly ask that this thread is not utilized for that purpose. There are many thread pre-exsisting on this theological debate that could be bumped or perhaps new ones that could be created. That said all i can do is ask. Mainly i dont want to sort through what can tend to be pages of bickering because it defeats the purpose i had for this thread. So again i would humbly ask of my fellow brothers and sisters that if they feel the need to debate an individual they do so either in PM or in another thread (which could easily be achieved).

I will return shortly as this is not a "hit and run" style thread. I must attend to some yard work and look forward to all your answers and perhaps some mild disucssion!

I would just like to note that most Christians on either side would agree with you. I am not of Calvin or Paul but of Christ. The term being merely a theological term that encompasses a set of beliefs.

Quickened, I really appreciate your intent and desire. As a member, I will enjoy sharing my own understanding of this issue. As a moderator, I will also work toward helping keep this from being a debate thread. If necessary, we can move it from Bible Chat into the Maturing in Christ forum.

RogerW
Oct 17th 2008, 06:28 PM
Topic purpose: I am seeking personal insight from believers as to why they may be opposed to Calvinist doctrine. In attempt to maintain some structure I will elaborate on my thoughts and intentions for this thread.

I am not intending, nor am i interested, for this to turn into a debate.

I mainly seek heartfelt simple answers from those that post here. The idea for this thread came earlier in the week when i was thinking about God's Word at work. Now that some time has passed I think it may be good to seek the thoughts of others.

Another thing i would like to note is that I am not interested in any quotes from any such authors outside of scriptures if one is intending to reference something to elaborate on their thoughts. Referencing a work of an author would be fine but copy and paste quotes out of various texts isnt needed. I am interested in the thoughts of the individual poster behind the avatar.

I would prefer (for the time being) that posts not become excessively long as no one really like being pounced with a wall of text. Short responses would be great too!

That said from my time here this board was prodominately Arminian and that is the essence which i seek to capture.

So now that all of that has been typed i feel safe hitting "Submit". If at any time the moderators feel the tone of this thread takes a wrong turn or if for any such reason they may feel free to close the thread for a time or lock it indefinately. I am a guest here and I both know and respect the rules.

Thanks in advance for any that partake in posting and or any discussion that ensues! :)

Greetings Quickened,

I am not Arminian in theology, however since this has already turned into a thread against those who hold to Reformed doctrine of grace that generally aligns with Calvinistic doctrine, I felt compelled to state what I view as some of the problems with the thought process of some holding to Arminian theology.

1. The doctrines of Sovereign grace clearly align with Scripture. They do not originate with Augustine, or Calvin, but with Christ and His Apostles.

2. The doctrines of Sovereign grace do not deny free choice, as some imply. They do however affirm the Bible's teaching that God alone is truly free, and man is free only in the sense that he/she will always choose according to their nature. Natural fallen, spiritually dead man can choose any way he pleases, but he cannot choose to come to Christ that he might have life, unless/until he is enabled. When man is given Spiritual life in Christ, he will always freely, willingly choose to serve the Lord, and bring glory to God by faith.

3. The doctrines of Sovereign grace do not teach that God chooses to leave some men to be condemned because He has elected only some to receive eternal life. The doctrines of Sovereign grace teach us that God sees the hearts of every man, and that no man will come to Him that they might have life, and therefore every man is on his/her way to condemnation apart from His intervention. So instead of leaving every man, thereby insuring He has no man to call His own, no man to bestow His love upon, no man to show His glory, He gives grace to whosoever He chooses. In this He preserves or redeems the human race so that they are not all lost.

4. Those holding to the doctrines of Sovereign grace take very seriously the command to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. We understand that faith comes by hearing the Word. Since we don't know who are predestined elect unto salvation it is imperative that all mankind hears the gospel of salvation. After hearing we acknowledge that God will open the ears of whosoever will hear, and be given the faith to repent and believe.

Here's the rub...Arminians speaking very loudly against a doctrine they really know very little about, and why they are opposed to so-called Calvinistic doctrine of Sovereign Grace. And truth is that most attempts to set the record straight as to what Reformed Christians actually believe falls mostly on death ears. Arminians as a whole do not want to hear that God is Sovereign over His creation, they are content with believing that God needs them, and without their help, through their own fallen free will, God will not save them.

I didn't write this to cause those of the Arminian persuasion grief or to be confrontational or offensive. But I don't think it's a fair discussion to say I want to hear from Arminians, and then not expect Calvinistic, Reformed Christians to set the record straight. I mean how can you have a noble or honorable discussion about why Arminians are opposed to so-called Calvinistic doctrine when in truth very few Arminians clearly understand what Calvinistic, Reformed doctrines of Sovereign Grace actually teach?

Many Blessings,
RW

Firefighter
Oct 17th 2008, 06:34 PM
In fear of stating the obvious...

Calvin's five main doctrinal points do not contain "Sovereign Grace".

Total Depravity

Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible Grace

Perseverance of the Saints

Literalist-Luke
Oct 17th 2008, 06:37 PM
I am not Arminian in theology, however since this has already turned into a thread against those who hold to Reformed doctrine of grace that generally aligns with Calvinistic doctrine, I felt compelled to state what I view as some of the problems with the thought process of some holding to Arminian theology.

1. The doctrines of Sovereign grace clearly align with Scripture. They do not originate with Augustine, or Calvin, but with Christ and His Apostles.

2. The doctrines of Sovereign grace do not deny free choice, as some imply. They do however affirm the Bible's teaching that God alone is truly free, and man is free only in the sense that he/she will always choose according to their nature. Natural fallen, spiritually dead man can choose any way he pleases, but he cannot choose to come to Christ that he might have life, unless/until he is enabled. When man is given Spiritual life in Christ, he will always freely, willingly choose to serve the Lord, and bring glory to God by faith.

3. The doctrines of Sovereign grace do not teach that God chooses to leave some men to be condemned because He has elected only some to receive eternal life. The doctrines of Sovereign grace teach us that God sees the hearts of every man, and that no man will come to Him that they might have life, and therefore every man is on his/her way to condemnation apart from His intervention. So instead of leaving every man, thereby insuring He has no man to call His own, no man to bestow His love upon, no man to show His glory, He gives grace to whosoever He chooses. In this He preserves or redeems the human race so that they are not all lost.

4. Those holding to the doctrines of Sovereign grace take very seriously the command to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. We understand that faith comes by hearing the Word. Since we don't know who are predestined elect unto salvation it is imperative that all mankind hears the gospel of salvation. After hearing we acknowledge that God will open the ears of whosoever will hear, and be given the faith to repent and believe.

Here's the rub...Arminians speaking very loudly against a doctrine they really know very little about, and why they are opposed to so-called Calvinistic doctrine of Sovereign Grace. And truth is that most attempts to set the record straight as to what Reformed Christians actually believe falls mostly on death ears. Arminians as a whole do not want to hear that God is Sovereign over His creation, they are content with believing that God needs them, and without their help, through their own fallen free will, God will not save them.

I didn't write this to cause those of the Arminian persuasion grief or to be confrontational or offensive. But I don't think it's a fair discussion to say I want to hear from Arminians, and then not expect Calvinistic, Reformed Christians to set the record straight. I mean how can you have a noble or honorable discussion about why Arminians are opposed to so-called Calvinistic doctrine when in truth very few Arminians clearly understand what Calvinistic, Reformed doctrines of Sovereign Grace actually teach?

Many Blessings,
RWWell, you've just certainly given me a better understanding. In that case, I suppose I'm somewhere in between. Thanks, Roger. :)

RogerW
Oct 17th 2008, 06:38 PM
In fear of stating the obvious...

Calvin's five main doctrinal points do not contain "Sovereign Grace".

Total Depravity

Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible Grace

Perseverance of the Saints

Which is exactly why I termed it "so-called Calvinistic" doctrine.

Firefighter
Oct 17th 2008, 06:41 PM
I am lost, I thought we were talking about Calvinism...

drew
Oct 17th 2008, 07:31 PM
I am of an Arminian disposition, as I understand the term. Perhaps it is more correct to say that I find Calvinist arguments unconvincing, and sometimes the Calvinist will simply deny the Scriptures.

The clearest case of this in recent memory is in regard to Paul's statement about the "election" of Jacob and Esau in Romans 9. The world "election" does not mean "election to salvation", it means something more general - choice. In this context, Paul tells us that what the choice is about - that the Edomites are "chosen" to serve the Israelis. And yet many Calvinists think they know better than Paul and have him making a statement about eternal destinies. When people engage in this form of revisionism, anything goes. Let's be clear here: if you say that Paul is talking about eternal destinies here, you are denying his own plain words. I know I am sounding confrontational, but you did ask....

Another problem with Calvinism is that its view of the world as being made up by two groups - the "elect" and the "non-elect" goes strongly against one of Paul's major arguments. In Romans and Galatians (if not elsewhere), Paul bends over backwards to say that the Jews, by virtue of being born into a certain ethnic family have no "inside track" in the purposes of God. It would be strange indeed for Paul to make such impassioned pleas that "there is neither Jew nor Greek" and yet at the same time also believe that there are indeed those who are "born" into a priveleged position, that is, the elect.

Quickened
Oct 17th 2008, 07:36 PM
Quickened, I really appreciate your intent and desire. As a member, I will enjoy sharing my own understanding of this issue. As a moderator, I will also work toward helping keep this from being a debate thread. If necessary, we can move it from Bible Chat into the Maturing in Christ forum.

Thank you and i appreciate the tone of your post!

When i returned here i was going to start it in the "theology" section. I had forgot there wasnt one. It seems to be not so popular nowadays. That stemming from a local trip to a local Christian book store. But i am straying off topic.

Quickened
Oct 17th 2008, 07:52 PM
Greetings Quickened,

I am not Arminian in theology, however since this has already turned into a thread against those who hold to Reformed doctrine of grace that generally aligns with Calvinistic doctrine, I felt compelled to state what I view as some of the problems with the thought process of some holding to Arminian theology.

1. The doctrines of Sovereign grace clearly align with Scripture. They do not originate with Augustine, or Calvin, but with Christ and His Apostles.

2. The doctrines of Sovereign grace do not deny free choice, as some imply. They do however affirm the Bible's teaching that God alone is truly free, and man is free only in the sense that he/she will always choose according to their nature. Natural fallen, spiritually dead man can choose any way he pleases, but he cannot choose to come to Christ that he might have life, unless/until he is enabled. When man is given Spiritual life in Christ, he will always freely, willingly choose to serve the Lord, and bring glory to God by faith.

3. The doctrines of Sovereign grace do not teach that God chooses to leave some men to be condemned because He has elected only some to receive eternal life. The doctrines of Sovereign grace teach us that God sees the hearts of every man, and that no man will come to Him that they might have life, and therefore every man is on his/her way to condemnation apart from His intervention. So instead of leaving every man, thereby insuring He has no man to call His own, no man to bestow His love upon, no man to show His glory, He gives grace to whosoever He chooses. In this He preserves or redeems the human race so that they are not all lost.

4. Those holding to the doctrines of Sovereign grace take very seriously the command to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. We understand that faith comes by hearing the Word. Since we don't know who are predestined elect unto salvation it is imperative that all mankind hears the gospel of salvation. After hearing we acknowledge that God will open the ears of whosoever will hear, and be given the faith to repent and believe.

*snip*

I didn't write this to cause those of the Arminian persuasion grief or to be confrontational or offensive. But I don't think it's a fair discussion to say I want to hear from Arminians, and then not expect Calvinistic, Reformed Christians to set the record straight. I mean how can you have a noble or honorable discussion about why Arminians are opposed to so-called Calvinistic doctrine when in truth very few Arminians clearly understand what Calvinistic, Reformed doctrines of Sovereign Grace actually teach?

Many Blessings,
RW

Greetings Roger!

I hope you dont mind me highlighting and snipping part of your post. It actually gives me something to think about. I guess i really didnt view much difference between so called "Calvinistic" teaching and the doctrines of grace. I might have made my own error there. :hmm:

Either way i am grateful that you pointed that out and emphasized that for me.

You make some valid point and made me remember something that i find important....


Here's the rub...Arminians speaking very loudly against a doctrine they really know very little about, and why they are opposed to so-called Calvinistic doctrine of Sovereign Grace. And truth is that most attempts to set the record straight as to what Reformed Christians actually believe falls mostly on death ears. Arminians as a whole do not want to hear that God is Sovereign over His creation, they are content with believing that God needs them, and without their help, through their own fallen free will, God will not save them.

To be frank I was once just like that. It was for my own reasoning but i wanted to avoid the discussion from Reformed/Calvinistic believers. I would go into that further but i dont want to derail the thread. Perhaps i will drop you a PM.

Quickened
Oct 17th 2008, 08:02 PM
Another problem with Calvinism is that its view of the world as being made up by two groups - the "elect" and the "non-elect" goes strongly against one of Paul's major arguments. In Romans and Galatians (if not elsewhere), Paul bends over backwards to say that the Jews, by virtue of being born into a certain ethnic family have no "inside track" in the purposes of God. It would be strange indeed for Paul to make such impassioned pleas that "there is neither Jew nor Greek" and yet at the same time also believe that there are indeed those who are "born" into a priveleged position, that is, the elect.

Drew,

Let me first thank you for your candor. To further aid me in my understanding of your thoughts/position could you please kindly cite some scripture references and perhaps expound a bit further for clarification?

RoadWarrior
Oct 17th 2008, 08:13 PM
Quickened, I am sorry to see that there are some who are unwilling to allow your thread to go as you hoped. :cry:

Hopefully you (and others) will be able to recognize those who wish to promote Calvinism, and ignore those while we continue the discussion.

When I struggled with this issue, I used the encyclopedia to help me gain some understanding of the history. It goes back to the "church fathers" who debated the issue. Then Palagius stepped onto the scene. Augustine, being his contemporary, disputed with him.



Pelagius (ca. 354 – ca. 420/440) was an ascetic monk who denied the doctrine of original sin, later developed by Augustine of Hippo, and was declared a heretic by the Council of Carthage. His interpretation of a doctrine of free will became known as Pelagianism. He was well educated, fluent in both Greek and Latin, and learned in theology. He spent time as an ascetic, focusing on practical asceticism, which his teachings clearly reflect. He was not, however, a cleric. He was certainly well known in Rome, both for the harsh asceticism of his public life as well as the power and persuasiveness of his speech. His reputation in Rome earned him praise early in his career even from such pillars of the Church as Augustine, who referred to him as a "saintly man." However, he was later accused of lying about his own teachings in order to avoid public condemnation. Most of his later life was spent defending himself against other theologians and the Catholic Church.




Pelagianism was opposed by Augustine of Hippo, who taught that a person's salvation comes solely through a free gift, the efficacious grace of God, and that no person could save himself by his works. This led to Pelagianism's condemnation as a heresy at several local synods, including the Council of Diospolis[2]. It was condemned in 416 and 418 at the Councils of Carthage.[3] These condemnations were summarily ratified at the Council of Ephesus in 431, although it was not considered a major act of that council. Its strict moral teachings were influential in southern Italy and Sicily, where Pelagianism was openly preached until the death of its follower Julian of Eclanum in 455.[4] As a movement, Pelagianism ceased to exist after the 6th century although its ideas continued to cause disputes.[5]


Augustine (354-430) was a contemporary of Pelagius. Augustine's writings became foundational to western Christian theology, and it is in his writings that we take our understanding of both predestination and free will. However, modern theology does not understand the two concepts in balance, as Augustine did.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) leaned heavily on Augustine's writings for much of his theology. Zwingli did also, but Luther and Zwingli (who were contemporaries) disagreed with each other on some key issues, bringing about the split between the Reformation (Luther) and the Reformed (Zwingli).

Calvin (1509-1564) is a second-generation follower of the Reformed. He also leaned heavily on Augustine, but split the thinking yet again.


Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609)
was a Dutch pastor and theologian in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He was taught by Theodore Beza, Calvin's hand-picked successor, but he rejected his teacher's theology that it is God who unconditionally elects some for salvation. Instead Arminius proposed that the election of God was of believers, thereby making it conditional on faith. Arminius's views were challenged by the Dutch Calvinists, especially Franciscus Gomarus, but Arminius died before a national synod could occur.


Sorry for all the Wikipedia quotes, but I want to put the structure out there for people to understand how this came to be. A serious student will spend much more time than I have in tracing the history. However, I hope that this is sufficient for some honest examination of the issues.

For me it is important to realize that the dispute is one between men who were trying to understand doctrines of God. We are each limited in our knowledge, intellect and ability to understand the deep things. So also were these men. None of them are perfect human beings. But their stance affected the lives of thousands, of those who have followed them.

If this was helpful at all, please let me know.

threebigrocks
Oct 17th 2008, 08:17 PM
To be frank I was once just like that. It was for my own reasoning but i wanted to avoid the discussion from Reformed/Calvinistic believers. I would go into that further but i dont want to derail the thread. Perhaps i will drop you a PM.

If your intent is to have this be only Reformed/Calvinistic believers - then this cannot continue. A thread on the open board is open to all. Please let me know in C2M Quickened if this is what you are getting at. I'm going to lock this until we can figure it out.

Also - goodness! :lol: Man, you've been here long enough that to come into BC and say no debate - you've lost before the first keystroke! :rolleyes: New in Christ is the only place that isn't debate, and if you started it there it would get moved to BC. ;)