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  • Discussion A Question for Arminian Christians

    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!
    Originally posted by Job 34:19
    God is not partial to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of His hands.

  • #2
    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.
    For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? ~ Deuteronomy 5:26

    If you're not prepared to risk your very life for your "enemy" you have no right to speak to him of love. ~ Daughter

    Many say they are called... but I am pretty convinced that with many of them it was the wrong number. ~ Project Peter

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Quickened View Post
      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.
      Blessings,

      Road Warrior


      Proverbs 4:23
      23 Guard your heart above all else,
      for it determines the course of your life.

      Comment


      • #4
        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 gospelónot with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."

        I follow Christ - not Calvin, and not Arminius.
        ----------------------------------------------
        When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RoadWarrior View Post
          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.
          ----------------------------------------------
          When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RoadWarrior View Post
            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!

            Originally posted by Roadwarrior
            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.
            Originally posted by Job 34:19
            God is not partial to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of His hands.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
              Move over and let me join you.

              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....
              Many appear Righteous and Just because they say 'yes' to Jesus Christ , yet they don't do His Will.
              ------------------------------------------------
              Verily I say unto thee, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the Kingdom of Heaven before you do.
              ------------------------------------------------
              The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying. YEA, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with LOVINGKINDESS have I DRAWN THEE.
              Jeremiah 31:3

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
                Move over and let me join you.
                There is plenty of room here at the foot of the cross.
                Blessings,

                Road Warrior


                Proverbs 4:23
                23 Guard your heart above all else,
                for it determines the course of your life.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Quickened View Post
                  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.
                  Blessings,

                  Road Warrior


                  Proverbs 4:23
                  23 Guard your heart above all else,
                  for it determines the course of your life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Quickened View Post
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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
                      For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? ~ Deuteronomy 5:26

                      If you're not prepared to risk your very life for your "enemy" you have no right to speak to him of love. ~ Daughter

                      Many say they are called... but I am pretty convinced that with many of them it was the wrong number. ~ Project Peter

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                        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
                        Well, you've just certainly given me a better understanding. In that case, I suppose I'm somewhere in between. Thanks, Roger.
                        ----------------------------------------------
                        When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Urban Missionary View Post
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am lost, I thought we were talking about Calvinism...
                            For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? ~ Deuteronomy 5:26

                            If you're not prepared to risk your very life for your "enemy" you have no right to speak to him of love. ~ Daughter

                            Many say they are called... but I am pretty convinced that with many of them it was the wrong number. ~ Project Peter

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

                              Comment

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