Comment by Ryan Cavanaugh — July 13, 2010 @ 2:58 am
Yea, thats pretty much how it goes when i get into a debate (in christian love of course) with some of my friends.
Comment by OPtimizer — July 13, 2010 @ 4:16 am
again u would see me sitting with an open mouth in front of my monitor..i u could see me. You are so creative in creating intelligent jokes that I mis the words to express my joy about.
THX! Go on!
More! I´m addicted to Sacred Sandwich.
Comment by Robert — July 13, 2010 @ 8:48 am
Leave it to the Arminian to blink. But it could just as well have been the Calvinist shouting “illogical!”
Comment by Chris Bloom — July 13, 2010 @ 9:22 am
I’m surprised the Calvinist waited so long to throw Romans 9 in. In my experience, they usually shoot the big gun first … and then repeat it, over and over and over …
Comment by Kendall — July 13, 2010 @ 9:24 am
In a short time you will you will persuade me to become a Calvinist.
Comment by Angus — July 13, 2010 @ 10:22 am
Yes, it is all part of my devious “Calvinism by humor” initiative. Bwahahaha!
Comment by Seth — July 13, 2010 @ 10:40 am
Alternate Arminian Response: but … but … Kant said …
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Comment by Kendall — July 13, 2010 @ 2:45 pm
Angus, is that like Adventisms “salvation by soy”?
Comment by Angus — July 13, 2010 @ 2:49 pm
Uh, hope not!
Comment by Bereanwarrior — July 13, 2010 @ 6:09 pm
Calvinist – “The Bible” , Arminian – “Dave Hunt”.
Comment by Kendall — July 13, 2010 @ 7:40 pm
Calvinist-Calvin,The Bible-God,Arminian-Arminius,Dave Hunt -Dave Hunt….not quite sure about Arminius
Comment by Russ — July 13, 2010 @ 8:26 pm
The correct answer to “Romans 9” is “read the context.” While the joke here is supposed to be on Arminians, the real joke is on the entire church –we’re addicted to “proof verses,” rarely knowing what the context actually is (as in the case of Romans 9:10-23, which has nothing to do with individual predestination either way.
Comment by ELizabeth — July 13, 2010 @ 10:05 pm
Comment by stranger.strange.land — July 13, 2010 @ 11:24 pm
Fortunately for my keyboard, I had already finished my A&W Rootbeer when I read this post.
Comment by Dominic — July 14, 2010 @ 3:10 am
How (on earth) do Romans 9:15 & 16 have nothing to do with individual pre-destination?
I suppose if you really don’t want them to have anything to do with it you could convince yourself of that, but…
More seriously than such opposition, great post. Thanks, Angus.
Comment by Rick Presley — July 14, 2010 @ 6:15 am
Do Calvinists ever wonder if their opponents are predestined to Arminiansm? Or are they convinced that Arminians can become Calvinists by an act of free will?
Comment by Presbus — July 14, 2010 @ 12:20 pm
Look, freewill is all over the Bible:
“No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever” (Deuteronomy 23:3 ESV)
Comment by Bereanwarrior — July 14, 2010 @ 12:51 pm
Rick – In all seriousness, it’s been a matter of maturity for most of the calvinists I know, including me. It’s been asked “What does the text mean when you’re dead?”. It’s not a matter of interpretation, but rather letting the text speak for itself. The only way that the harder verses make sense is if God is in full control, and not hoping that this or that turns out in a positive way. I fought hard and long as an Arminian for 14 years until I quit defending a dogma and started letting the Word say what It says. Instead of coming to a calvinist site and posting your little drive bys, why not spend that time discerning an intelligent and reasonable understanding of Romans 8 and 9, Ephesians, and John 16-17 among the many? You don’t even understand what freedom is until you are freed by God’s grace. If you think you came to Christ through your own decision, you have not let the text (or context) speak for itself.
Comment by stranger.strange.land — July 14, 2010 @ 1:36 pm
Rick Presley —
Do Calvinists ever wonder if their opponents are predestined to Arminiansm? Or are they convinced that Arminians can become Calvinists by an act of free will?
I think what we call “Arminianism” is the natural propensity of our hearts to think we can do something, however small, that is meritorious toward our salvation. This emerged in the Roman Catholic Church and made the Reformation necessary. It emerged in the days of Augustine with the heresy of Pelagius; it emerged in the churches of Galatia with the controversy about circumcision, and in the legalism of Jesus’ day. The very first emergence of it was in Adam and Eve’s hiding their nakedness with coverings of their own making.
Comment by LAurie — July 14, 2010 @ 1:51 pm
II Timothy 2:14-19, keeps my praying and striving to handle His Word accurately, not wrangling, or causing dissention among believers……
Comment by Angus — July 14, 2010 @ 2:46 pm
I shouldn’t be surprised that a post called “Debating Calvinism” would cause a debate in the comment thread, but I was hoping that both parties could see the humor in poking fun at those moments when we all stray from the Bible as the source of our doctrinal position. For the sake of a more lighthearted interaction, can’t we just leave it at that?
Granted, in this instance the “Arminian” becomes the focus of the joke (I guess), but it’s based on the too-frequent use of the Servetus red herring and shouldn’t be something that an Arminian reader deems unfair. Believe me, I’ve skewered my share of Calvinistic faults in the past and will continue to do so as I examine the whole landscape of Christiandom. As Christians, I hope we can handle the satirical scrutiny, especially when it hits too close to home.
Comment by Kendall — July 14, 2010 @ 5:46 pm
Comment by Carol — July 14, 2010 @ 9:17 pm
Completely over my head…being that I don’t know the “debate” with these two positions.
There are these little jokes commenting on Calvinists and Arminians…and you can lose folks with these kind of things. For those, like myself, who doesn’t know these things, it makes it seem like Christianity is either this, or that…and the twain shall never meet.
I know there is a reason for these kind of jokes…but for those of us who are not scholared on Calvinism and Arminian teachings…it loses us.
Comment by stranger.strange.land — July 14, 2010 @ 10:37 pm
Well said, Angus.
With your permission, I would like to invite those who wish, to join a polite discussion that we have been enjoying on my blog.
Comment by Angus — July 15, 2010 @ 1:06 am
stranger, that would be a more appropriate forum for a continued discussion. Thanks for the offer!
Comment by JB — July 15, 2010 @ 9:45 am
It simply amazes me that people actually think this has anything to do with real Christianity…
Comment by Mark — July 15, 2010 @ 9:35 pm
Comment by The Squirrel — July 15, 2010 @ 10:29 pm
Thanks for that… now I have to clean iced tea off of my monitor…
Comment by cubsfan — July 15, 2010 @ 10:44 pm
Comment by Jay — July 15, 2010 @ 10:49 pm
This was very well-designed humor, in that the reader really doesn’t need to know the details of the arguments used by either side, nor even what those specific verses are or mean, yet they can still ‘get’ or appreciate the humor of the dude on the right panicking and quoting something extrabiblical.
Comment by Jeff — July 15, 2010 @ 11:23 pm
I guess it’s funny for some, but for others like me, this debate is causing a lot of confusion for me. Anyway, it wasn’t just Servetus but what about all those Anabaptist the Calvinist/Protestants drowned and persecuted? Or is the Church History as presented by David Cloud wrong? What do you do with the very Catholic infant baptism stuff Calvinist/Protestants killed others over? Or Augustine’s fierce persecution of the Donatists?
This is probably the wrong place to ask such questions, I’m sure to be chastised or edited, or censored anyway. (I’m used to IFB they do it too when I ask them questions)
Comment by Kehinde Omotayo — July 16, 2010 @ 5:21 am
Hilarious!! but true
Comment by John Orlando — July 16, 2010 @ 6:19 am
Though the discussion is, as you say, lost on many today, the fact is tha the discussion actually is found within the Bible itself (though it is not called “calvinism/arminianism). We see the discussion between the two competing theologies of who does what in salvation throughout the pages of Scripture. Two of the more popular places are in John 6, and Rom 8-9 (Paul’s question in Rom 9:19 is telling: “You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” – notice, he anticipates an objection to what he has been saying concerning the soveriegnty of God’s grace, which evidently was a common objection that he had to answer frequently. One should also note that the objection that Paul anticipates is essentially the same objection that is raised by our Arminian brothers and sisters against what is now labeled “calvinism.”
As we turn to church history, we discover that the “discussion” continued, from Augustine all the way up to Reformation. It was only in the years after the Reformation that the competing views were labeled “Calvinism” and “Arminianism” due to the significant debate that took place within the Reformed church in the 17th century. There arose a group within the church who, following the teachings and objections of a man named Jacobus Arminius, put forward 5 articles of objections to 5 different areas of church teaching. The church responded to those 5 articles with what came to be known as the 5 points of Calvinism (named after the great Reformer John Calvin, and really key figure of the Reformed church). Of course, Calvin didn’t create anything new. What he and the other Reformers put forward was a return to historic, Biblical Christianity as expressed first in Scripture, and then in other places in church history.
Lastly, the discussion between Calvinists and Arminians is an “in-house” discussion. You can look it as an incredibly important discussion between those who are brothers and sisters and have (or at least should have) a deep love for one another, but, they disagree over some very important issues. Unfortunately, like real brothers and sisters, they don’t always “disagree” well–they sometimes say and do very nasty things to one another and treat each other contemptibly, which is a disgrace to both when this happens.
By His Grace and For His Glory,
Comment by Don — July 16, 2010 @ 6:36 am
“Or is the Church History as presented by David Cloud wrong?”
Yes. It is Fundy biased. But this is not the place to get into revisionist history. (those who interpret history according to the presuppositions they wish to defend)
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Comment by Tim Bushong — July 16, 2010 @ 8:45 am
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Comment by Carol — July 18, 2010 @ 11:25 am
Thanks John, for helping me out!
I could add this, some people feel they are sound because they hold to church “Traditions” that may not be Scripturally sound but have been supported for centuries, like infant baptism. We need to know the Word of God and be guided by it, rather than allowing other people to “interpret” things for us.
We need to be careful in what we read and who we hold as sound leaders of our faith. Some like to be lured into warm fuzzies with positive thinking messages…but we need to be careful what is considered Biblical truths regarding our minds..and what to think upon…and not just things that are “positive”….
Comment by BJ Mora — July 18, 2010 @ 10:01 pm
Comment by Kirk — July 19, 2010 @ 7:43 am
Freewillism is a False Gospel —> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChFyB2_XF5w
Comment by Darren — July 19, 2010 @ 1:03 pm
What an excellent comic. I looked up scripture, read the wiki on Servetus, paused in thoughtful consideration of the arguments presented and then chuckled at the joke. Thanks for that.
Comment by Chris Bloom — July 19, 2010 @ 4:06 pm
I’m just happy to know that as an Anabaptist, I’d be able to get both sides to bury their differences long enough to burn me at the stake. Just doing my part for Christian unity, brothers and sisters! 😉
Comment by Mike — July 19, 2010 @ 8:03 pm
So here’s the deal…I’m gonna go ahead and assume it’s cool if I repost this on my blog (with full credit and a link of course) and you agree not to thump me. A polite “remove or be throat punched” is all that is needed to get me to remove it.
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[…] A very funny illustration of Debating Calvinism. […]
Comment by Maverick — July 24, 2010 @ 6:43 pm
If either position were correct, I would choose one, but since both have errors I choose to stick to the Bible and not dead theologians.
Comment by Clay — July 25, 2010 @ 7:04 pm
What fun, sort of. Just discovered this enticingly tasty blog. This post is a reminder to me of the folly of historically entrenched systematic theology over a Spirit-driven biblical theology. If you have to believe in Calvinism before you can truly understand Scripture, as we have been told many times, then forget Servetus (if you can) and let’s talk about neo-Gnosticism. I don’t need the secret decoder doctrines to understand the Scriptures; I need the Holy Spirit, the witness of the church, and good scholarship. A plain reading of Scripture, with no “God goggles” on, affirms both God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. Just deal with it. The early church did.
Comment by JohnP — August 25, 2010 @ 7:21 pm
Why view Romans 9 as dealing with individual salvation? It specifically names Jacob and Esau, who were individuals. Oh, how I didn’t wake up in the morning and, by my own goodness, choose to believe in Jesus. No, salvation wasn’t a reward for my good choice. I only chose because God first regenerated me, a sinnner who hated Him, and I responded by seeing Jesus as my crucified Savior! Does the fact that John said that the New Birth doesn’t originate with human decision (John 1:12-13) bother any Arminian out there?
Comment by Dominic — August 26, 2010 @ 2:49 am
JohnP – I’m with you, or rather, with Jesus on this one.
However, if someone is saved at least they are saved, so along with George Whitefield as he looked at John Wesley, although I know the fundamental error being made it doens’t stop them being saved so I’m prepared not to get overly hot under the collar about it.
Comment by Mike D'Virgilio — August 26, 2010 @ 3:05 pm
I remember when I was at my most hard core Calvinist many years ago reading something about A.W. Pink, I think it was. He was so tenacious for the purity of Calvinist doctrine that over time he became convinced that he was the only Christian in the world! I would say I’m still Reformed in my theological perspective, but my view of God’s mercy and grace have expanded greatly since those days. If someone affirms the Nicene and Apostles creed their good in my book.
Just found this site via Breakpoint, and look forward to coming back often.
Comment by Joseff — September 2, 2010 @ 5:24 pm
“A plain reading of Scripture, with no “God goggles” on, affirms both God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. Just deal with it. The early church did.”
Clay, where does the Bible teach man’s free will? I see Jesus speaking of men being enslaved to sin (not free), and Paul speaks of men being dead and in need of a resurrection (not sick and able to choose some medicine), and Jeremiah asks “How can you do good if you are accustomed to doing evil?”
Insofar as you are referring to “free will” the way Arminians understand it, where is it taught in the Bible?
However, if you simply mean by “free will” that men may always choose what they desire to choose, there never has been, nor ever will be contention between “God’s sovereignty and man’s free will”, so why make the statement “The Bible teaches both. Deal with it.”?
Another way to word my statement here is, yes, the Bible teaches both 1) God’s sovereignty and 2) that men can choose what they desire, but since when was that a problem for Calvinism?
Comment by Caryl — September 14, 2010 @ 2:57 am
BereanWarrior said: ‘Instead of coming to a calvinist site and posting your little drive bys, why not spend that time discerning an intelligent and reasonable understanding of Romans 8 and 9, Ephesians, and John 16-17 among the many?’
Just the kind of condescension, arrogance, us vs. them attitude exhibited by enough Calvinists to persuade me that I want to be on the other team.
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Comment by Steve — February 21, 2011 @ 4:59 pm
“What love Is this?” by Dave Hunt.
The man did his homework and I’ve yet to hear a Calvinist argue reasonably against Hunt’s book. They usually just malign Hunt, which is no argument at all.
Comment by Angus — February 21, 2011 @ 10:21 pm
Funny you should mention Hunt and his book. He’s a prime example of someone who uses the Servetus argument himself. The Sacred Sandwich believes that we should debate the doctrinal issues from Scripture alone and drop the attempted character assassinations. “Calvinists” are not followers of Calvin.
Comment by Bereanwarrior — February 21, 2011 @ 11:10 pm
Caryl said- “Just the kind of condescension, arrogance, us vs. them attitude exhibited by enough Calvinists to persuade me that I want to be on the other team.”
A little late to reply, but I just noticed it so…
What is ironic is that Caryl quoted just enough of the post he/she protested against to rip it out of context, which is precisely what a person has to do to Scripture to defend an arminian position. It’s not condescending to ask someone to read the text and let it speak for itself.
If by the “other team” you are referring to arminians, then you mistakenly believe that Calvinists and arminians cannot BOTH be Christian. The issue that separates the two groups isn’t salvation, but rather who is responsible for the attainment of salvation.
If however the “other team” is unbelievers, then what else can be said?
As to the other person’s challenge to refuting Dave Hunt’s effort to strip God of His full glory in salvation, just click on my “handle” which will take you to James White’s website and search out his debates with Hunt.
Comment by Mike Hari — February 27, 2011 @ 4:44 pm
I cannot understand how Calvinists and Arminians could fellowship with one another. If the 5 points of Calvinism mean anything at all, they mean that if you depend on your works in any way for your salvation, you are lost. Arminian teaching is clear that you must depend on your own works, or you are lost. There is no bridge across that chasm, only a leap of faith.
Comment by Don — March 2, 2011 @ 4:29 pm
I love the website, and the cartoon! This is my first time to visit “sacredsandwich.com”. I’ve encountered the same scenario with a dear Arminian brother or two (well, except for the last part of the cartoon, the Arminians don’t usually apologize, they just get more frustrated and mad the more you pull out Scripture. When they see they can’t win against Scripture, they resort to red herrings, straw men, etc. while the Calvinist usually remains calm and collective). After reading the 60 posts, what I said above is affirmed; many feathers seemed to be ruffled by this innocent humorous cartoon.
I came across your website today while searching for information on Rick Warren’s S.H.A.P.E. workbook my Southern Baptist Church is currently doing, which the discernment of the Holy Spirit immediately led me to question. You had an excellent article about his ties with Carl Jung’s unBiblical pschycology. Thanks for the info…I’ll be back, and plan to link your blog to mine for easy reference!
Comment by Nathan — March 27, 2011 @ 7:02 pm
That’s the rub isn’t it. Arminian Christianity is the only morally palatable kind, but the Calvinist doctrinal argument is much stronger. That’s why I’m an Atheist.
Comment by Angus — March 27, 2011 @ 9:05 pm
Wow, that’s quite a jump!
Comment by Sean — June 9, 2011 @ 9:36 am
Some books (non-Bible) that I have found make very solid and sound arguments for what is referred to as Calvinism are:
Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God by Packer
The Sovereignty of God by Pink
Comment by Tater2000 — June 9, 2011 @ 3:42 pm
>>>Comment by Steve — February 21, 2011 @ 4:59 pm
“What love Is this?” by Dave Hunt.
The man did his homework and I’ve yet to hear a Calvinist argue reasonably against Hunt’s book. They usually just malign Hunt, which is no argument at all.<<<
That's hilarious because I see it the other way around.
Did you read "Debating Calvinism" by James White and Dave Hunt?
James White kept quoting the Bible and Dave Hunt kept talking about Calvinists. It's like the whole point was flying over his head. Ulrich Zwingli died in a battle. Okay. Great, but he didn't die for me. Neither did Calvin.
What about Ephesians 1:4–5 clearly teaching election?
Dave Hunt just keeps bringing a knife to a gun fight.
Comment by Chris — June 11, 2011 @ 6:12 pm
“The Bible unfolds a scheme of redemption which is Calvinistic from beginning to end, and these doctrines are taught with such inescapable clearness that the question is settled for all those who accept the Bible as the Word of God. It is quite evident that the objections which are raised are emotional or philosophical rather than exegetical.” Lorraine Boettner
Comment by CJ — June 11, 2011 @ 9:10 pm
A. Not all non-Calvinists are Arminians
B. The answer to Romans 9 anything is to read the rest of Romans! Romans 9 must be takin in the context of the whole Bible, but the context of all of Romans should be sufficient.
Comment by A Soldier for Jesus — June 14, 2011 @ 5:16 am
Did anyone else get the “Burma!” remark by B.J. Mora? Look for the Monty Python sketch with the penguin on the TV set.
I have serious issues with Calvinism, and with the way I have heard some Calvinists whine (yes, really), “But it’s in the Bible!” Yeah, and so are a bunch of other verses they are excusing away. But I am not willing to argue for the Arminian position, either. But I must say that the “proof texts” are lacking in light of the whole. “Whole world”…”whosoever”…”any man”…does not mean what it says, apparently. I would like to tell Matt Slick, James White and other vehement Calvinists that people who read the Scriptures and disagree with the gospel of Calvinism are not necessarily heretics.
Since everyone and his uncle has a Bible version, I was thinking of rewriting the Bible for Calvinists: “For God so loved the elect in the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever of the elect believes on him shall not perish, but the non-elect were created so they can go straight to Hell”.
Comment by Tater2000 — June 14, 2011 @ 9:25 am
>>>Comment by A Soldier for Jesus — June 14, 2011 @ 5:16 am
“Whole world”…”whosoever”…”any man”…does not mean what it says, apparently. “<<<
Go on… Quote the REST of the passages.
"Whole world" that does what?
"Whosoever" that does what?
"any man" that does what?
There is no argument that ANYBODY that believes and wants to come to Christ "may".
The debate is over ability to believe. Romans 3:11 says that there are "none" that seek God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 says, "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor CAN he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
No one is saying ALL "may" not come. The Bible says unless God grants the gift of faith to come, (Eph 2:8-9), they are unable to know the need.
If you believe… You ARE "elect".
(The Bible we got will do just fine.)
Comment by Tater2000 — June 14, 2011 @ 11:22 am
>>>Comment by A Soldier for Jesus — June 14, 2011 @ 5:16 am
I would like to tell Matt Slick, James White and other vehement Calvinists that people who read the Scriptures and disagree with the gospel of Calvinism are not necessarily heretics.<<<
Two gentlemen who were very good friends were also on the opposite sides of this discussion.
John Wesley (Arminian) and George Whitefield (Calvinist) http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/wesley.htm
The two preached in England and America during "The Great Awakening".
They had a deal that whichever of them died first, the other would preach at his funeral.
Whitefield died first.
Wesley was asked if he planned on seeing Whitefield in heaven since they disagreed over this matter.
Wesley said, "Probably not, for George would be so close to the Throne of God that I would be prevented from seeing him!"
There are issues that require separation and dis-fellowship and they are centered around Jesus.
Who He is, what He is, where He is. His virgin birth, His deity, His sinlessness, His atonement, His literal resurrection.
These are “essentials” (1 John 4:1-3).
These are non-negotiable and those in disagreement are not in fellowship with the one true living God.
They are NOT “bothers” or “sisters”.
They are lost or even worse, heretics. I don’t mean we should kill them but I do mean just what I said. They are not Christians. They are not saved and not to be treated like they’re family. They’re not.
They should be treated like the lost and by that I mean evangelized.
But… within the family. We are in agreement and enjoy fellowship when we are within the essentials.
But still we have our disagreements.
KJV only, pre, mid, post rapture, literal millennium/amillennium, futurist/preterist, sprinkle or dunk, hymn or praise chorus, no instruments in the church or instruments, free will or predestined, once saved always saved or lose salvation?
We do not agree but when we have the essentials settled we are now in an area that is a “family matter”.
We’re going to the same heaven and somebody is going to be told they were wrong.
I don’t think we’ll lose reward for being wrong, (1 Cor 3:12-15). I think we’ll suffer loss for being un-loving and un-Christlike.
I think it’s important to remember as we have our “family quarrels”.
And I’m not saying we can’t have a good healthy row (Pro 27:17). I have a family that is passionate about our disagreements.
And we have Church Family who are passionate about freewill or predestined and hymns or praise songs.
But God strike me dead if I ever said something that was hurtful or a weapon or is going to burn at the Bema Seat Of Christ, (Romans 14:10).
Let’s take Romans 14 at face value.
Who’s the “one who is weak in the faith”?
Let’s say it’s ANYBODY you are disagreeing with.
How does Romans 14:18-19 say to treat them?
Comment by Matt — July 13, 2011 @ 12:16 pm
Hilarious. I have to confess, though, that when discussing theology with an Arminian brother who is a highly skilled debater, I’ve “panicked” and resorted to, “Oh, yeah, well it’s your group’s fault we have to have grape juice during the Lord’s Supper!”
Comment by Dwain Minor — July 30, 2011 @ 9:52 pm
I listen to James White and have never heard him call an Arminian a heretic. He has only told them they are wrong. And yes it is a family matter, but good Christian discussion on these topics is not unloving when both sides are seeking the truth. Hurtful slander is bad, but is passionate discussion over Scripture wrong?
Comment by Dwain Minor — July 30, 2011 @ 10:44 pm
I guess I am not a big fan of agreeing to disagree…
Comment by Gabriel — September 23, 2011 @ 12:13 am
Let me put it in a small story: There were two christians discussing as they walked. Suddenly Jesus Christ himself joined the walk, but they couldn´t realize who He was. When the turn came for Him to speak, He showed them that the whole Bible spoke about Him. The thing is, these two disciples knew the Bible, but their eyes were veiled and could only use the Bible to argue and not to see Jesus. This is the scenario in the evangelical church today. Everybody argues, but nobody sees Jesus. The purpose of the Bible is not providing us with bullet-verses, but seeing and knowing Him. I hope our eyes are not veiled. Lord, deliver us from veiled discussions, let us see you.
Comment by Bereanwarrior — September 29, 2011 @ 11:13 pm
“That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory, but they are not. The fault is in our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.” –
Comment by Jeynin — September 30, 2011 @ 11:05 am
Hmmm I didn’t get it at first – I thought Servetus was a character in Harry Potter. Had to look him up. Most Arminians I know just don’t bother debating unless we are baited by Calvinists after all, we aren’t that worried about being elect or not and see no need to bother. Your choice to believe there is no choice after all.
Comment by Adam Cummings — October 17, 2011 @ 9:13 am
I got it! 😉 Hilarious. lol. Good work humor. And very true points by Angus in the comments. Back in my hit ’em hard college days, I had gotten myself into some anonymous poster board debate (very interesting method). He actually listed Servetus in one response. The ridiculous thing is that Calvin, although yes… in the wrong, didn’t actually “burn” Servetus as I understand it historically, he simply argued against him and had him tried. I admit that Reformers probably erred in combining government and the church too often, but “Michael Servetus” has nothing to do with the argument. Definite red herring.
Jeynin: allow me to bait you. 😉 One: Romans 9:16. Two: 2 Peter 1:10?
Comment by Adam Cummings — October 17, 2011 @ 11:05 am
Also, gotta disagree with Tater2000’s comments somewhat, or at least add a sidenote to them. I think it is unsafe and unwise to say, “Jesus, check. God, check. Resurrection, check. Ok, all else are non-essentials.” I understand not wanting to be a brutal, blood sucking Hyper-Calvinist. But, I wouldn’t go with the “non-essential” route either. I think the issue is discernment. For example, do I think Arminians are Christians? Yes, I do. However, Arminianism stems from Pelagianism. Can you be a Christian and deny who you are (Pelagianism denied original sin), and who you are now in Christ? Pelagianism was heresy. So, a little doctrinal error opens the door to a slippery slope. Same thing with the second coming. Preterism, an outright denial of a literal second coming of Christ, denies too much Scripture and a very important aspect of Christ, the church, and the final judgment. Preterism is heresy. Denying a literal interpretation of Revelation, as most Amillennialists do, could possibly lead down that route. So, point being, a little doctrinal error can lead to a big doctrinal heresy. The whole essentials verses nonessentials debate is, to me, sort of moot.
Comment by Kim Staskus — December 20, 2011 @ 2:03 pm
How do you reconcile Romans 5 with the doctrine of election? Also, I understand that Surah 6 from the Quran states that Allah “closes the breast of the unbelievers,” preventing them from believing, and then “punishes” them for their “unbelief.” Wouldn’t Jesus have been doing the same when he severely chastised the pharisees for their unbelief, and for making their followers 7 times the sons of hell? I mean, if he chose not to save them then what sense does it make to ridicule them like that for not believing?
What does everyone think of William Lane Craig’s view on election as a “corporate” designation of all the saved?
Comment by Bereanwarrior — December 20, 2011 @ 9:39 pm
Good question about Romans 5. Let’s start back at 1:17 and remember that the original autographs did not have 16 chapter divisions. Therefore the whole letter interprets itself, and then Paul’s other writings as well as the rest of the Bible (as we work outward) also provide correct interpretation. We’ll deal only with Romans for now.
1:17 : “For in it the RIGHTEOUSNESS of GOD is revealed from faith to faith as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith”.
How do you get the righteousness of God? It is imputed to you from Christ. Christ TOOK your sins and in return gave you HIS righteousness. It is because God looks at you and sees you clothed in Christ’s righteousness that you are accepted into Heaven. How did you get that righteousness? Back to Romans 5:6-11
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
You were justified WHILE you were still hostile and hating of God. He didn’t look at you and find something worth dying for, but rather chose you in spite of your rebellion and rescued you from death. If this is not the case, then these verses MUST apply to everybody on earth (universalism) which makes God a liar.
So what about verses 18-21? Taken by themselves out of the context of the rest of the letter gives you a great foundation for universalism. But that’s why you must consider, first, the letter as a whole, and then second, the teaching of the rest of Scripture.
“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”
John 6:65 “And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” (The entire 6th chapter is actually incredibly helpful, but this is the “key” verse.”
John 17:9 “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;”
Acts 13:48 “When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”
Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
2 Tim 1:9 “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity”
Isaiah 46:9-11 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”
Spurgeon once commented that we don’t pray to God and join with Him as He desperately HOPES things will happen. We pray because it aligns our will to His, and He MAKES things happen according to HIS will. The same is true when you are saved. He called you because you would not call on Him.
As long as this is, there are still volumes of writing that can be said. I honestly suggest that instead of debating the deep answers theologically on a satire board, you grab a faithful manuscript (Yes, I like NASB) and study it all for yourself using Scripture to interpret Scripture. If you can honestly say from a complete and thorough study of the words, author’s intent, and a systematic compiling of what Scripture teaches on each topic thinking that you were the one who initiated salvation, then there is nothing that anyone else can write or say that will change your mind.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Comment by Anne — December 24, 2011 @ 10:58 pm
What I am going to share comes from painful experience not a book or what someone else thinks. I found myself looking for another Church after being in one Church family for 20 years and another for 8 this lead to my eyes being opened in regard to differant and varied understanding of the Scriptures and error in their understanding of God’s Truth and Nature this of course affected those who were members. God tells us in the end times their will be shepherds who let their flocks down.
I will just share about one Denomination which taught Calvinism, with me not even knowing what it was it came as a shock, let me assure you it is mostly not confirmed in the Scriptures and has great error. It’s impact on me was not good and if I had not been strong in my faith and knowledge of God’s Truth and Nature and had gone through my life experiences I would have never gone back to Church and would have believed God to be a hurtful, vengeful God. I was told that my 7 babies were in Hell because I was not a Christian when they were conceived. I was told that God does evil to bring good out of it and also chooses people according to what He decides whether they agree with it or not. That God changes peoples mind to suit His purposes, that he causes us to suffer for our good … I left this Church grieving not for myself but for those who were members. I am happy to share if wanted why each one of these beliefs is not supported by Scripture and also denies the True nature of God which is Love.
Christian Love Anne
Comment by Bereanwarrior — December 25, 2011 @ 9:59 pm
While I’m very sorry you’ve had this type of past, I could tell you nearly as painful experience stories from Churches I’ve attended over the years from the opposite perspective. The problem is that my experience, your experience, or anybody else’s experience doesn’t validate Scripture. Just because you’ve been deeply hurt, along with millions of others at churches around the globe, doesn’t prove or disprove doctrine.
Scripture alone validates scripture, and feelings or experience based interpretation does not. Unless you’re new to the study of doctrine, you know that the “church” has been debating this issue for 2000 years. Truth will always be attacked – and God will still be sovereign thru it all.
Be assured that if what you relate about your former church’s teaching concerning your children’s destiny is accurate, then they clearly were not teaching from the whole of Scripture. However, and just honestly here, if you stayed there for 20 years while they were teaching in error, you are also guilty of not testing the teaching with Scripture to see if it was true. (Acts 17:11) Scripture holds the Shepherd accountable for what he teaches, but also holds us as sheep accountable for what we learn. If 28 years of this teaching went on before you figured it out, then it could be you were being spoon fed instead of searching the Scriptures for yourself.
As far as God being a God of love, well…. of course He is. He demonstrated that on the cross by sending His Son to die for YOU, and ME, and everyone else that calls on His name by faith. He did that because He is also the God of justice, righteousness, and reconciliation. He also shows love in that He gives common grace to all that are living, but like Scripture says, we are appointed once to die, and then comes the judgement. (Hebrews 9:27) God’s love is shown to all who have been rescued from that terrible fate.
God does not just overlook your sin. If you are saved, then Jesus took God’s FULL wrath upon Himself in YOUR place. That is love. It’s not “God has a wonderful plan for your life and everyday is Friday”.
I’m all for you bringing your refutation of whatever is on your heart, but make sure you do so with Scripture in it’s proper context, and not your feelings or experiences. If in any way you are a part of your reasons, then they are not valid. Scripture is sufficient.
Comment by Kim Staskus — December 27, 2011 @ 2:39 pm
Thank you very much. I see your point. You definitely have some scripture verses supporting your reasoning. However, I struggle with your reference to universalism. Yes, we can agree that no one comes to the Son unless the Father draws him/her. I agree. We can agree that Christ “quickens” our spirit, and “enables” us to believe. I agree wholeheartedly. He shines the light into our darkened and hopelessly depraved eyes. We can do nothing of ourselves, as our hearts are hopelessly wicked and we are totally depraved. On this we are in firm agreement.
Yet I struggle. The question the Lord has me struggling with at present is whether mankind having an ability to choose the light, to repent in the face of the light shining before us, constitutes a compromise of the Sovereignty of God. (I firmly believe that our ability to repent comes from the Holy Spirit, who brings conviction of sin).
Its funny, but as I have been pondering this question suddenly I thought about Adam in the garden. I believe that “right reasoning” of the Genesis account leads us to the inescapable conclusion that Adam sinned, and the whole human race fell, through a “choice.” i.e., Adam had a choice. God could have prevented this choice, but he chose not to. I would like to know if God’s decision not to prevent that choice by Adam compromised His Sovereignty. Isn’t it possible that God in His Sovereignty could give man that ultimate choice after leading him to the light? Why would this compromise His Sovereignty? He still is the first mover in Salvation. He quickens us and gives us the opportunity to believe. Right there. In front of our face. Choose you this day whom you shall serve. I made a way for you to be saved. Take it. Just as all mankind fell through a choice by Adam, you can have eternal life by choosing to acccept the free gift of salvation. God says “I don’t refuse to save anyone. I don’t look at members of my creation, doomed to an eternal torment, whom I could save, but whom I choose not to save.” I believe you would say that God definitely does choose not to save. I struggle with that.
Thanks for your thoughts. God Bless You and have a Happy New Year.
Comment by Cal — December 27, 2011 @ 3:33 pm
I don’t think one can easily explain it as matter of factly as the Arminian or Calvinist positions claim to. I think both are flawed, but there is some major misrepresentation going on.
Only Hyper-Calvinism is fatalistic, as Calvin conceived it, mankind still has responsibility but it is grace that saves which is entirely the prerogative of God.
Arminianism, as conceived by the Remonstrants and John Wesley, is not free-choice decisionism. Though modern day Evangelicalism is flirting with Pelagianism, traditional Arminianism is not pelagian. It says mankind is wholly ‘depraved’ (not entirely morally evil but every faculty is corrupted, as Calvin expounded rightfully from Scripture), it agrees on the T of TULIP. It also agrees that it is the Grace of God that saves and is not merited, but with Calvinists disagree that it is irresistable, and unloseable.
In fact the “once saved, always saved” is not of Calvin either (nor the Bible), Perseverance of the Saints means something else. If someone departs, Calvin would say he was never apart of the Brethren, if he were he would not have departed. The Remonstrants would say he was a brother but he apostatized. The OSAS would say he is still a brother who may or may not return, but will come to terms by his death. Here I think Calvin is closest to the Scripture.
I guess I’m a 3 point Calvinist (TUP)? All the silly labels we dish out are absurd. Have we forgotten about Paul talking about those of Paul, those of Apollos, those of Cephas and those who say “I’m of Christ”. Be one body. The Scriptures present the reality that God is Sovereign and we are responsible. God will keep us but do not harden your heart.
The Elect is Christ Jesus, the New Israel of which the people of God belong to who were forknown to Christ and predestined to conform to His Image. Romans 9 is an argument over Israel, not individuals. Jacob and Esau represent Israel and Edom, not the individuals. Though Salvation comes to the Individual, to use Romans 9 out of context is bending Scripture.
Comment by Cal — December 27, 2011 @ 3:37 pm
Just wanted to state only God initiates regeneration. Monergistically He saves but we can harden our hearts, which God by presenting His grace further will only cause to harden more.
Though I disagree with him on his open theism, brother Greg Boyd (an elder at Woodland Hills in Minnesota) says neatly in a sermon he gave that only by the Spirit of God can we say ‘Yes’ to Him, but without the Spirit we can either say ‘No’ or not say ‘No’, but never ‘Yes’.
Comment by Kim Staskus — December 27, 2011 @ 4:19 pm
Hurray! Someone else says Romans 9 is about the elect of Israel. (i.e., Not spiritual Israel but the Israel of the Jewish race).
Comment by richard — December 27, 2011 @ 6:43 pm
Everyone’s favorite Christian debate, and the topic which all others come down to!
That pesky Philippians 2:12-13 (“work out your own salvation…..for it is God who work in you….”) seems to have something for everyone but no complete answer for either Calvinist Cal or Arminian Al….but if I may be allowed to reference a totally secular source, here’s a question that to me seems laden with an answer: in the movie Star Wars, Darth Vader is the near-embodiment of evil. But in the soap-opera’s last act, he makes an about-face and performs an act of redemptive ‘goodness’ – his own “choice”. Why?
Is it because he suddenly “sees” the truth? or because his love overcomes his hatred? Or has Luke Skywalker’s persuasive argument changed his mind?
Of course not. Whatever it may look like to the characters *in the movie*, we have the luxury of knowing that this was all George Lucas’s doing – that ultimately, from the perspective of ultimate reality, none of them has “free will” except as Lucas gives it to them. Any choice of their’s, moral or otherwise, is ultimately their Creator’s, made for the ultimate good of all concerned.
Trouble is, if we have great difficulty in imagining that story from the viewpoint of the characters in it, it’s beyond impossible for them to see the story from *our* – or their Creator’s – vantage point. They have no hope of ever understanding the true nature of Reality and their place in it, certainly none of finding their Creator, no matter how hard they seek, unless George Lucas goes to the bother of writing himself into the movie, as a celluloid character himself, if you see where I’m going here. One can imagine Luke and Obi Wan going into the Canteena bar and meeting a raspy-voiced George Lucas who tells them obliquely “before any of your worlds were, I am”.
But leaving that digression of analogy to the incarnation aside, this seems to me to be our status vis-a-vis God: characters in his movie, bound to progress frame by frame thru the movie altho He is equally present to every moment; with perfect free will *from our perspective*, yet perfectly in his control from the perspective of Ultimate Reality. I suppose where the analogy breaks down is that in our case, the whole thing is really staged for our benefit, so that God can show how much he loves us – the more sin abounds, the more grace he can show – and so that ultimately he can lift us off the screen and into his world.
Comment by Cal — December 27, 2011 @ 8:08 pm
Richard that is a very logical argument but it just doesn’t fit with what Scripture says.
The Phillipians passage never even enters my mind. Without getting into the issue of this idea making God the author of Sin; the major problem is the call to Repentance that is placed before the people by the Apostles. The call to not harden your hearts for Today is the day of Salvation (Hebrews). We are repeatedly reminded and told we will be judged for what we say, how we act in regards to what we know, to those who wield authority etc.
It can’t possibly be that it is just from ‘human concerns’, we really are responsible for our actions and must account. God does not will disobedience or want any to perish, but desires all to repent and believe.
Now it is also explicitly stated that it is only the movement of the Spirit that regenerates. But the movie/storybook analogy just doesn’t compute unless your advocating soteriological universalism, which has many other problems.
Comment by Cal — December 27, 2011 @ 8:31 pm
I guess I’d say the argument of Romans 9 is using physical Israel to make a point about spiritual Israel.
Paul is responding to the bitterness of Jews in Rome who may say, “Ok, so God chose to remake Israel around the Messiah, inviting the Gentiles in. Being a descendent of Jacob (and thus Abraham) no longer matters”. Paul says, “No! Israel is how the Messiah came. We are the ones who possessed the oracles, the law. Remember not all of Israel was Israel, bloodline doesn’t matter. Is God unfair? No, He is merciful to choose us!” To which a man would respond, “Well what am I suppose to do? How can I go against God is Israel was to be transformed and renovated? Why bother preach to the Jews if they were to disobey?” But Paul responds, “How can you talk back to the one who made the nation what it is? What if he put up with the physical nation of Israel and the idolatrous nations abound to show the true grace, the fulfillment of the promise, destroying them and bringing together a new nation, us -both jew and gentile- of which prophets have spoken of retaining Israel from seeming destruction and promise of calling the Gentiles His own people”. Then Paul continues, “So what happened? Did the Gentiles succeed where the Jews failed? It is because the Jews have thought they have provided works to be apart of the covenant where the Gentiles enter by faith”.
Paul then goes on to ask for prayers for the Israelites so that they too may come to salvation. It is a lesson in history showing God’s mercy and how Israel is not a failure, but apart of what God intended to bring forth His Grace. The Election of Israel (Physical nation) was the means of fulfilling the the spread of Grace by election in the New Israel, Christ, of which both Gentiles and Jews will constitute.
This is how I read it anyway. I know this was a jokey forum and I’m late on the game; but I think it is fair to merit that both Calvinism and Arminianism are both right and both wrong and instead of slinging verses and insults (pelagian on one side and fatalist on the other) and realize there is merit in both and both have Scriptural precedent.
Comment by Cal — December 27, 2011 @ 8:33 pm
That should read ‘Election of the New Israel’
Comment by Manny — December 30, 2011 @ 12:16 pm
This post started out great. it has come down to rocket science. I would like to say in looking at Calvins picture, i am a little leary of a dude with a pointy beard.
Comment by Kim Staskus — December 30, 2011 @ 1:33 pm
Cal, That is compelling. Well said. Let me ask, if I am to go with your teaching, does it require me to let go of Israel the blood Jews? (i.e., not spiritual Israel but the actual nation and race of Israel). I frankly have a big problem with that. I mean, how can someone look rationally at the regathering of the Jewish nation in 1948 and not marvel, in light of Ezekiel’s prophesy about the dead bones? Where are the Amalakites or the Jebsuites? In the hostory of the cosmos no nation has mysteriously regenerated itself. And the Hebrew language has been preserved. How is this possible?
Must I be a preterist, and believe that Jesus’ descent to the Mount of Olives to rescue His people has already happened? When did the Sun not give its light, or the moom not shine? When did the Mount split in two? None of this happened in 70 AD. If there is only one Israel now, and it is spiritual Israel, made up of Jews and Gentiles, why does the Lamb come back with sword and His garments dipped in blood from avenging His people by trampling out His wrath against Edom, as Isaiah and Joel tell us? Why are there none who will help Him? (because the church is gone (they would help, you would help) and all the remaining world will hate the Nation of Israel).
Anyway, too much to argue here, but the one point is, does adopting your teaching require one to relegate the Nation of Israel to a discarded divorcee whom the Lord has forgotten?
Comment by Cal — December 30, 2011 @ 9:54 pm
I suppose not. I don’t want to say what I put up above is “my teaching”, rather that is my understanding of Paul. I don’t want to be arrogant and say “This is what Scripture says”. I firmly believe it is, but I’m among many who’ve read and interpreted the words of the Apostle Paul, of which he was inspired by the Spirit to write down to the churches of Europe and Asia.
Without getting into much of it, I’d highly encourage you to do more reading about the founding of Israel from different sources and what Jesus meant in a lot of the apocalyptic language used to describe His vindication and judgment of Jerusalem. I love Israel, so very much. I speak Hebrew (though I’m still poor compared to a native). But I’m not convinced by biblical, historical and sociological evidence pointing the other direction.
Comment by Dean Graves — December 31, 2011 @ 11:41 am
You do have a gift for thought provoking humor.
Many years before I ever heard of Calvinism or Arminianism I believed the scriptures taught of the total depravity of all mankind. I also believe the scriptures taught of God’s great love for mankind — every individual one of us. I believed His call to repentance, His gift of Love and His desire for restoration was equally extended to every human being.
Those who respond positively to God’s call, gift and desire for all could not do so except that God call them first – but PRAISE GOD, He’s already done that! It’s already been granted by the Father to us all — and without this being granted first none of us would taste salvation. Now, concerning those who are still struggling to make the better choice, let us pray that God will open their hearts also, because without being initiated by God they will not have the opportunity to respond positively to Him but will thrust the gospel away again. We must convince them that they may also choose to respond to God’s call, accept God’s gift, and live by God’s desire for them. (They didn’t work for it, they don’t deserve it, but they must accept it as it is freely offered to them but not forced upon them). I’m not so high-minded as to believe that this call is for me and only a few others. I am convinced that few (compared to the possible total)will be willing to choose what pleases God; reserving that God-given right for themselves.
In God’s perfect will every one is predestined unto the adoption of children by the heavenly Father. If all would submit to God’s will then that would give Him the ultimate pleasure. But God’s perfect will is obviously not always accomplished, mainly because He has allowed His favorite creature to affect it. But still He instructs us to pray every day that His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. More of His will and less of mine!
Have you ever argued with someone thinking from the start you were totally correct and they were absolutely wrong only to discover after a few minutes that there was a misunderstanding and that you both actually were in agreement on the issue? I have a suspicion that, if God allows it, a lot of Arms and Cals will experience that feeling — in Heaven.
Dr. Charles Swindoll, on his radio program, said something along these lines: I can imagine as we approach Heaven we see a large engraving over the entrance with the words “whosoever chooses to believe.” And then once we pass through this entrance and look back we see mounted above the same gateway the words “saved from the foundations of the earth.” I believe Spurgeon was on to something (see comment by Bereanwarrior – Sept. 29,’11 @ 11:13pm).
My God is a big enough God to handle human rejection. Jesus said that He could only do what He saw the Father do and Jesus handled a lot of rejection. God does not need to create beings that are without option to praise, worship, serve and please Him because He can handle it if we don’t. He may have rocks calling out to worship Him, but one way or another He will handle it. (Why would God even tell us this about rocks if there were those created without option to worship Him?) And, what kind of God punishes His creation for being and doing exactly as He designed the creation to be and do?
Finally, grooms prefer brides that love them because they choose to of their own free will; not because they were programed to love them and have no option to do otherwise. I desire my bride’s freely given adoration, love and commitment. Choose me because you want to. Say I do because you do. Say I will because it is your will (in harmony with mine); not because any outside force; not because of ulterior motives — just simply cause you love me, because I first loved you and demonstrated this love to you. Jesus is a groom who desires the same in His bride.
Comment by Dean Graves — December 31, 2011 @ 12:04 pm
Funny. By the way, they both have pointy beards.
Comment by Dean Graves — January 1, 2012 @ 9:50 am
I believe that we must accept the fact that when we use our human minds to conjure up what God is like or how God does things that we are going to fall far short in our reasoning. My mind is no better, but to picture God’s role in our lives as that of a movie director with his cast is falling short. It may work for some illustrations but it falls short of communicating the true freedom God gives mankind. If someone could ask God ahead of time, and God wants to, then God, with His omniscience, could tell you what the future holds. But, why can’t someone who accepts the Trinity and the virgin birth as truth, also accept the fact that God can be omniscient and allow man the freedom of choice at the same time. Eve did not have to bite the fruit when she did, nor at all. Neither did Adam. They were faced with a serpent enticed, but God-allowed choice. God’s direction has the uncanny ability to adapt to the choices of man and the scene progresses from there to the next variable in the human story.
To me, it just seems that to accept God the way Calvin draws the picture is to have a more cruel God than the scriptures reveal Him to be. I know that God demonstrates His wrath from time to time, I know that He is a God of war, I know that He has established certain universal laws that He rarely makes exceptions with, and I do believe there is a hell for those without Christ. But mostly, in scripture, I see a God of great love and compassion. Do you really think He created the vast majority of us in His own image just to ultimately send us to an eternal hell without even a chance? If those who fail to accept His Son, Jesus, as their savior were just to cease being, then it would still seem unfair of God not to give them a chance. If just fifty percent of those He created were destined for this phase of non-existence it would still seem unfair, if they weren’t given a choice. But Calvin’s God sends 90%+ (Matt. 7:14; [but who knows, with a heart like Jesus’ all but one may be too few] ) of those created in God’s own image to an eternal torment without allowing them any chance of salvation. Searching the scriptures for my answers, I find this is too great of a contradiction in the character of God for me to accept. But I do find ample support for man’s freedom of choice.
I do wish Paul would have taken advantage of the opportunity he had to better clear this matter up for us when he was in front of King Agrippa (Acts 26:28). Paul could have told the king that his powers of persuasion had nothing to do with whether the king could be a Christian – now that would have helped support Calvin’s view. Of course that’s not true, unless you exclude the power of God altogether. Instead, Paul’s comments serve more as a detriment to Calvin’s view. Agrippa seems to think, after hearing Paul, that he is free to choose to accept Christ or not. Paul expresses his desire that all that hear him that day accept Christ. Don’t you think that is too much to expect when the best Calvin would allow you is 10%; the others don’t stand a chance? To me, it instead makes it clear that Paul sincerely believed that every single person he spoke to that day had a decision to make, and all could choose Christ or all could deny Christ or the percentage could fall anywhere between.
Comment by Anne — January 5, 2012 @ 6:40 pm
Hi Bereanwarrior, I’m sorry that I have been so long in responding to your comment, I blog all over the World and sometimes get caught up with posts that need much more time and detail then just a few words. I assure you I have all the Scriptural confirmation I need and it was not this Church that I attended for 20 years which you would have realised if you had read my comment in full. I left this Church after a few mths realising they didn’t want Scriptural confirmation of their error but wanted to continue in what had no Scriptural basis only man’s understanding, sadly this happens in a lot of Churches today as you shared, this is why I’m a Christian not a Denomination. But just to further enlarge on your understanding in your comment, the Scriptures are full of True life experiences they are important and are not to be dismissed as Invalid, yes if they are not confirmed by Scripture, like it is ok to sin till you die because you are under grace and so your experiences testify to this, of course we reject them but we need to remember The whole Story of the life and death of Jesus is based on what He experienced on earth in the outer garments of a man and there is amazing Truths to learn from Jesus’ and other peoples lives then and today, we don’t just ignore feelings , experiences etc.
Christian Love Anne.
Comment by Anne — January 5, 2012 @ 7:00 pm
Hi again Bereanwarrior your comment on — December 20, 2011 @ 9:39 pm has much Truth, whenever we seek to share what God has shown us we look at the Big picture to get the complete overview on whatever part of His Truth we are explaining, so after reading your comment and pondering on it’s message I would like to add to the Scripture you quoted to Kim, but first let me assure you that we are indeed saved by grace by God’s forknowelage of our hearts repentantance, which will be shown in our lives and this then shows we really believe in Jesus Christ and our repentance is not just words…
John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to itforever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
1John 3:4-10 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.
Comment by Bereanwarrior — January 7, 2012 @ 9:20 pm
Hi Anne. No problem on the timing.
Okay, you wrote “…but we need to remember The whole Story of the life and death of Jesus is based on what He experienced on earth in the outer garments of a man and there is amazing Truths to learn from Jesus’ and other peoples lives then and today, we don’t just ignore feelings , experiences etc. ”
Let me submit this to you for your consideration. I would take the position that Jesus did NOT come to earth to go through any experiences, or at least any experiences to see what being a man was like. Scripture isn’t the “3 years to a better you” book that some pulpit occupying hacks would have you think it is. As Creator, as the Sovereign God of the universe, as the Alpha and Omega, and knowing the end from the beginning, it would be unimaginable to conclude that Jesus wanted our perspective on life or to show us how to be fulfilled with the things of this world.
Rather, He came just as the Bible says – to fulfill the law, to call His sheep, to live the perfect life we could not live, and then to be the unblemished and perfect sacrifice as our propitiation and atonement so that we could be ransomed and bought for the Sovereign and perfect pleasure of His Holy Father to His Glory. The Bible is NOT a book relating the outcome of Jesus’ collective experience and lessons to us so we can overcome the trials as He did. It DOES show us how wretched and sinful we are, and the extreme that Christ had to go to and through in redeeming us as we are worthless and vile creatures with the righteousness of used menstrual clothes. This was an “experience” that He would have rather not gone through at all as evidenced in the garden of Gethsemane, yet Christ demonstrated complete submission to the will of His Father and died for us anyway. Yes, He loved us, but He was not excited to be crucified. Because if it, we can now become the “spotless bride” as we are clothed now in His righteousness.
As to your assertion that we should not ignore feelings, experience, etc…, that’s not what I said in my other post. What I wrote was first… “Scripture alone validates scripture, and feelings or experience based interpretation does not.”… and then later in the post…”I’m all for you bringing your refutation of whatever is on your heart, but make sure you do so with Scripture in it’s proper context, and not your feelings or experiences. If in any way you are a part of your reasons, then they (your proofs) are not valid. Scripture is sufficient.” I still hold to that comment because it’s Biblical. The Bible is not subject to how someone feels about them due to experience or where they are emotionally in life.
You also wrote… ” I assure you I have all the Scriptural confirmation I need and it was not this Church that I attended for 20 years which you would have realised (sic) if you had read my comment in full.”
But what you wrote in that first post which I DID read in full was… “I found myself looking for another Church after being in one Church family for 20 years and another for 8 this lead to my eyes being opened in regard to differant (sic) and varied understanding of the Scriptures”
I’m reading through it again, and I guess I missed what part of the story went where. I promise, I don’t skim posts, but could misunderstand sometimes. Thanks for straightening that out.
You wrote…”I left this Church after a few mths realising (sic) they didn’t want Scriptural confirmation of their error but wanted to continue in what had no Scriptural basis only man’s understanding,”
Now this is a tough one because I truly struggle with my own sinful arrogance at times, but I’m asking you to carefully consider this question. Do we actually have anything OTHER than man’s understanding of Scripture? If a person was to come to you and say (as it seems you doing here) “I have an understanding of the Word that you don’t because you only have man’s understanding of it”…. well …. what would you test that with? Scripture says that God’s Word is TRUTH, that the Holy Spirit is the helper in our understanding of the Truth, and that all Scripture is the breath of God. So, if you are saying that you have some enlightened understanding of Scripture, but that understanding violates Scripture, then again, I would reject your claim based on its impossible logic. Perhaps you could explain this too so that I understand what you are saying.
( By the way, the problem with written text is that you can wrongly imagine the “tone of voice” being used. When I capitalize, it is only because there is a point I want to make sure is being understood, and the capitals do NOT mean I am yelling or even raising my voice. If this was over coffee at Starbucks, I promise that nobody would be turning their head to see what the fuss is about.)
As much as I’d like to just stay focused on those issues, I’m puzzled here in your second reply as you wrote… “but first let me assure you that we are indeed saved by grace by God’s forknowelage (sic) of our hearts repentantance (sic), which will be shown in our lives and this then shows we really believe in Jesus Christ and our repentance is not just words…
John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to itforever (sic). So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
1John 3:4-10 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.”
So let’s discuss this section too I guess. What is your implication here? The first thing you wrote here sounds like “doctrines of grace” which I of course love, but then you seem to go on to use only enough Scripture to make it sound like if a person is in Christ, he/she doesn’t sin anymore. Are you a member of the United Methodist “church”? (That’s a serious question by the way because it will help me understand your viewpoint.)
Comment by Anne — January 8, 2012 @ 5:12 am
Hi Bereanwarrior perhaps you would be interested in an e-mail I created about using upper case, only I call it Higher case, I will give you my Temp e-mail address but you can use my main one and if interested I will send it to you. I know exactly what you mean, it came as a shock being told off for shouting and being angry when I just forgot to turn off the caps lock, well it got me to pondering and as I create e-mails and Power points with a Christian focus but no chain commands to forward so you will be saved…( sorry ) I put a few thoughts together. Right now I’m still smarting a bit from some of the Blogging rules in America… Wow if I didn’t tell you how great you were, well I just wouldn’t rate and boy I’m in big trouble if I correct you with Scripture …big trouble and yet we are all called to do it. firstname.lastname@example.org
First – I have no doubt that what I share is God’s Truth and can confirm it with Scripture but it’s a lot of wordage so would I rather send you an e-mail or a link, let me know.
Second – If Jesus hadn’t experienced what we have but did not give into temptation He could not have been the sinless Lamb, experience matters and so do emotions and feelings even Laughing they are from God and there is a time for everything.
Third – Any Church that Tries to tell me that God would send a baby to hell to suffer for eternity because of my sin is WRONG – WRONG – WRONG and yes I’m shouting!
Forth- No we don’t go on sinning after we have been Born again it is what Freedom in Christ Jesus is all about.
Fifth – Bereanwarrior lets try one question at a time in future but not just to keep the wordage down another American blogging rule no just to keep focused even if takes more wordage then 5 questions and that is ok with me what about you?
Sixth – No I’m not a member of the Methodist Church, I’m part of The Body of Christ, God’s real Church and there are members all over the world and God calls us all by name.
Seventh – I’m enjoying sharing with you -Bereanwarrior but yes you do need to lean some of God’s Truth that has not been taught for many many years but you still have some very uplifting thoughts – Wow I bet that had a reaction but it is true – Take care, contact me if you want the e-mails and links – Christian Love Anne
Comment by Bereanwarrior — January 13, 2012 @ 3:17 am
I wish I would have visited your blog site before now. I’m going to make a few whiplash points here, and then sum up what I’m hoping for.
I absolutely cannot fathom the pain you’ve been through, but the answer to it all is not that God is our cosmic pep-talking cheer-leader who has our picture on His refrigerator.
Follow me here… God is most assuredly a God of love without a doubt. BUT God is ALSO a God of wrath, and His wrath is perfectly just. While it is true that God desires that nobody would perish, His perfect justice demands such a punishment for sin which is condemnation to hell. He is glorified in both those He saves, and those who perish. My feelings about it make absolutely no difference to Him because I, as a finite being, cannot even come close to understanding the mind of God and I’m good with that. The Bible teaches that we are responsible for the decisions that we make, but God also has sovereignly orchestrated everything according to His will, and not mine. That includes men of old age being saved on their deathbed, and infants never seeing the light of day.
I am in no way trivializing your loss. I believe whole-heartedly that I have one child in heaven as well, but if I die and find out that I was wrong about that, I’m okay with it because God is absolutely sovereign and His decisions are just and perfect. My love for God doesn’t hinge on where my child is, it hinges on what He has done for Me which was planned before the foundation of the world! He planned out my life, and if He hadn’t of saved me by His will, I would not have sought Him by mine.
Make no mistake about this one fact as well, and that is that you indeed sin. You can’t not sin even for one day. Jesus said that the greatest commandment, which sums up no less than half of the ten, is that we love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. I assure you that as much as you love Him, you have not kept that command. As long as you dwell in that body of corruption, you will never be sinless. You can sin less, but not stop completely. Sin is doing, saying, or thinking something that is contrary to the nature and character of God and only Christ lived life without doing those things. Salvation declares that we are not guilty – it does not say we are innocent.
Thanks be to God however if you are His child, that in the imputation, your sins were placed on Christ, and He paid the penalty for each and every sin you ever have and will commit. In return, His perfect righteousness was cloaked around you so that now, when God sees you, He sees His Son’s glorious righteousness as it was given to you when He regenerated you, and Christ took up His life again from the grave, arose, testified to at least 500 people, ascended to Heaven, and now intercedes for you while He sits at the right hand of the Father. You are being sanctified daily in preparation of being presented to Christ as the spotless bride at the great wedding feast!
He did this for those who repent and put their faith in Christ.
This repentance is also not a self-generated emotion. It is given by God Himself.
Acts 5:31 “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. ”
Repentance also was given by God to the rest of us!!
Acts 11:18 “When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, ‘Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.'”
And the repentance that God grants us understanding of the truth.
2 Tim 2:24-26 “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”
He also gives us our faith, but I’m trusting that you will search that out now if you disagree. (Start at Gen 15:6 and chain reference it all the way to Hebrews first.)
So Ma’am, if you are believing the questionable and borderline heretical things you are speaking and blogging about because you are trying to make sure your babies are in heaven, you need to stop and read the Bible for what it says concretely which is that God is sovereign, and you will be amply satisfied with His decision. My prayer for you is that you are truly saved and that you will study to show your self approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. Until that time, I’m quite sure we will not come to any other agreements.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Comment by freedomborn — March 3, 2012 @ 10:13 pm
Hi Bereanwarrior, I feel you made some good points but you are also in much error, first we are not like those who lived in the Old Testament times, Pentecost has come and in Christ Jesus as you can see in the Scripture below we do have understanding of the things of God if you don’t then what you Preach is in error and is just natural man’s understanding which means you lack God’s wisdom.It seems indeed very evident in your reply to me you could not offer any Scripture that refutes if that was possible the Scriptures you are rejecting that I gave you.
If you are continuing to sin Bereanwarrior you have not been Born again of God’s seed, 1John 3:9 or have you put your evil flesh to death Colossians 3:4-6 or accepted your freedom in Christ Jesus John 8:34-36 and you also do not have the mind of Christ 1 Corinthians 2:16 He does not choose to sin ever, also you are tempted by Temptation which means you are saying God is not faithful Corinthians 10:12-14 and that He is lying when He tells us no Temptation will be too hard for us to resist because He will provide a way out… this means you are also walking in the flesh…Romans 8:1-4
As for my not having assurance that my Babies are in Heaven, unlike you who doesn’t I have no doubts, because I know the heart of God, He is not a God who sends babies to hell to suffer for eternity because they did not understand about Salvation or because of my sins, God is Love and can do no evil to say He does even to bring good out of it the Scriptures say is slander.
Lamentations 3: 33 For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of men.
1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that Love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with Spiritual. 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. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the Mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? but we have the Mind of Christ.
Comment by Kindoalkun — March 30, 2012 @ 6:54 pm
The unbiblical teachings of John Calvin (1509-1564) are referred to commonly as “Calvinism.” John Calvin was a total heretic. All of John Calvin’s religious tenets are FALSE! Calvinism has crept unawares into many of our churches today.
Calvinism is a subtle set of lies, used by Satan to begat a host of destructive false teachings which corrupt the simplicity of salvation, deny the redemptive work of Christ for all humanity, and deny the free will of men to freely receive or reject God’s gift of eternal life. Calvinism is of the Devil in all it’s aspects. Phooey on John Calvin!
Many people today have fallen prey to the lies of John Calvin and don’t even realize it. Dr. John MacArthur is one of the most followed religious leaders of our time and is a staunch Calvinist. Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort are followers of John MacArthur’s heresy on Lordship Salvation, which is based upon a wrong view of what repentance means. These men have been corrupted by Calvinism. Lordship Salvation is rooted in Calvinism.
“Calvinism” is a set of tenets which sinfully conform to the heresies of one man, John Calvin. Mr. Calvin was a heretic who lived centuries ago; yet foolish and ignorant men still follow his heresies today. Calvin taught a bunch of unscriptural ideas, including the satanic lie that God chooses who will be saved, and who won’t. Calvinism is a destructive set of tenets.
The great Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) was a one-point Calvinist, admittedly. I believe that Spurgeon succumbed to one of the popular religious views of his time in an attempt to appease peers in the clergy. We see this much today in the religious world, where preachers are tempted to go along to get along. The only explanation is woeful apostasy in our churches! Many pastors are hen-pecked by some apostate pulpit committee. I’ll tell you what brother, it’ll be a cold day in Hell before anyone will ever tell me what to preach or not to preach. I get my sermons from God alone through the teachings of God’s Word in the Bible. Hebrews 1:2 teaches that God Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son. Anyone today who claims to receive private revelations, visions, or dreams from God is a liar. God speaks through the Bible, which is why the world hates Jesus Christ, the Living Word, so much (John 7:7; John 15:19; John 3:20).
Spurgeon believed in “Limited Atonement,” i.e., the heresy that Jesus only died for those whom He foreknew would be saved. The Bible does not teach that. The Bible plainly states that Christ died for all men (2nd Corinthians 5:15, “…he (Christ) died for all…”). There are many Scriptures which teach that Christ died for THE WORLD (John 3:16, “For God so loved THE WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son…”). The Bible tells us that Jesus died for false prophets (2nd Peter 2:1, “…even denying the Lord that bought them…”). Spurgeon got caught up into the wrong theological crowd (Calvinism) and was somewhat tarnished in his beliefs. Yet, Spurgeon is a brilliant speaker and has left to us treasures of excellent sermons to read.
Though Spurgeon was a professed Calvinist, he openly condemned Hyper-Calvinism (and he called it that). Hyper-Calvinists are people who reject some of the basic teachings of Calvinism. The Greek word for “hyper” means over or above. Thus, hyper-Calvinists are said to be those who go over and above the teachings of Scripture and have strayed from what Calvin meant and taught. But please understand that Calvin did not correctly teach the Scriptures, so Calvinists are incorrect in their definition of Hyper-Calvinism.
In researching, I couldn’t find a group of professed believers who call themselves “Hyper-Calvinists.” This is because there are NO groups who call themselves “Hyper-Calvinists.” It is a derogatory term given to them by their critics. So what do they call themselves? “Calvinists,” what else?
Those who are labeled as “Hyper-Calvinists” by orthodox Calvinists don’t accept the term, because the term accuses them of going over and above the Scriptures in their beliefs. In actuality, both Calvinists and Hyper-Calvinists go over and above what the Scriptures teach. They are all a bunch of misled heretics, who have erred from the faith.
What we all ought to do is SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES (John 5:39) instead of follow the heretical ideas of John Calvin. The claim that John Calvin is Scriptural is complete and utter nonsense. Anyone who claims that Jesus didn’t die for all men doesn’t know the first thing about the Word of God. John 3:16 evidences that plainly… FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD. Calvin taught that Jesus only died for those who would one day get saved, and that Christ DIDN’T die for Christ-rejecters. That goes against everything that the Bible teaches about the unconditional love of God. Luke 19:10 says that Jesus came to SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST. That means everyone! Romans 4:5 says that Jesus justifies THE UNGODLY by faith. That means everyone!
NONE of Calvin’s teachings can be legitimized when the Light of God’s Word is shone upon his works of darkness. Calvin taught 5 main heresies, which Pastor Curtis Hutson refutes.
Tragically, millions of misguided religious people today are following a modernist John Calvin—whose name is John MacArthur of GRACE TO YOU ministry. In the Afterward written by John MacArthur Jr. for the unscriptural book, THE FIVE POINTS OF CALVINISM: DEFINED, DEFENDED AND DOCUMENTED, MacArthur openly states that he wholeheartedly agrees with the doctrines of John Calvin. John MacArthur is the most prevalent teacher of the heresies of Calvinism today.
Phil Johnson of Spurgeon.org is a professed 5 point Calvinist and promoter of John MacArthur…
Should it be surprising that Dr. MacArthur teaches Lordship Salvation? (i.e., the lie that a sinner must cease from committing sins and surrender one’s life to Christ in order to be saved). MacArthur states in his book, HARD TO BELIEVE, pg. 93:
“The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny”
SOURCE: Dr. John MacArthur Jr., HARD TO BELIEVE, pg. 93.
John MacArthur is very wrong in his teachings. All 5 points of Calvinism are a lie of the Devil. Woe unto those who are deceived by the heresies of John Calvin and John MacArthur!
God NEVER chooses anyone for salvation. Scriptures such as Acts 17:30 make this abundantly clear (“…but now commandeth all men every where to repent”). Why would God command ALL men to repent if only certain men have been chosen for salvation? There really is NO debate concerning Arminianism, Calvinism, and Hyper-Calvinism if you simply take the Word of God at face value… they’re all messed up!
The Bible is so clear on all these matters. There are problems with all three views. Arminianism is wrong to teach that a person can lose salvation. Romans 5:15 declares that eternal life is a “FREE GIFT.” A gift CANNOT be taken back if it is freely given. Salvation is God’s gift to man, paid for by the blood of Jesus (Romans 6:23; Colossians 1:14). Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism teach “limited atonement” and “selective salvation,” which are both Satanic lies. 1st John 2:2 couldn’t be any clearer, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Calvinism is unbiblical heresy!
Jesus told us to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES in John 5:39. (Who came to earth as the Godhead manifest in the flesh, see Colossians 2:9 and 1st Timothy 3:16, King James Bible).
I say this not to be unkind; but rather, to speak the truth of God’s Word. Beware of false prophets Jesus said who come to us in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). The Bible is our false prophet detector.
Heresy Means “an opinion”
I said that to say this: we ought to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES as Jesus told us in John 5:39, and not allow deceived and wicked men to lead us astray in their heresies.
We’ve all heard the saying: “Everyone has an opinion…” Interestingly, the word “heresy” in the Bible comes from the Greek word hairesis. Here is what VINE’S COMPLETE EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT WORDS (Page 303) states concerning the word “hairesis …
…”a choosing, choice”; (from haireomai, “to choose”) then, “that which is chosen,” and hence, “an opinion,” especially a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and the formation of sects…
In John 5:39 Jesus commanded His disciples to… SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!!! It is dangerous to form one’s opinions apart from the Bible. There is no controversy if you believe the Bible! People who express teachings not taught in the Scriptures are guilty of spreading heresy. There are sincere people in every church, who attempt to help others by offering unsought advice. Unfortunately, much of this advice is heresy, even damnable heresy. Any opinion that contradicts the Scriptures is HERESY! Calvinism in all its aspects is of the Devil.
Luke 6:32—Biblical Proof That God Loves Sinners!
Calvinism teaches that God doesn’t love Christ-rejecters, and that Jesus didn’t die for them, and that God hates them for it. In sharp contrast, the King James Bible proclaims that God loves all humanity, so much that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Luke 6:32, For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.”
Is God less righteous than the wicked?
Read carefully what the Bible says in Luke 6:32, “For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.” God says that if we only love them who love us, what virtue is there? What thank have ye? We read the same truth in Matthew 5:46, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” If God expects us as His children to love those who hate us, then you can rest assure that God does the same my friend.
God tells us to love our enemies (Romans 12:18-21). Jesus said that we’re no better than unrepentant sinners if we only love those who love us. The world only loves their own (John 15:19). That’s what the wicked do, i.e., only love them who love them back. Now why would God teach us to love those who don’t love us, and then turn around and hate those (as Calvinists claim) that don’t love Him? Luke 6:32 is solid evidence against the foolish lie of John Calvin and those today who claim that God hates sinners. Is God less righteous than the heathen? Certainly not!
I heard a man once say to Evangelist Ray Comfort in public that “God hates sin, but loves the sinner”; to which Mr. Comfort replied with a question, asking the man where he had read such a thing in the Bible. Luke 6:32 gives us the answer. If God only loves those who love Him, then how is the true God of the Bible any better than the false god of Islam, Allah, who only loves those who love him? How is the God of Christianity any better than the gods of the heathen who only love their worshippers? The God of the universe is much bigger than that!!!
God loves all mankind, unconditionally, which is why God sent His only begotten Son into the world to SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST (Luke 19:10). That means everybody! John 3:16, “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Comment by Angus — March 31, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
You, sir, are obviously a Hutsonist!
Comment by TroyG — April 3, 2012 @ 1:55 am
I shouldn’t read this at work: people wonder why I’m cackling, in spasms with tears running down my face. They might think I’m into the whole ‘slaying in the Spirit’ malarky.
This has got to be one of the best on this site – better even than the camel hitched to a buggy under the “What would Jesus drive” campaign.
Comment by Stephen Cracknell — April 4, 2012 @ 5:36 am
@ Kindoalkun. That must be one of the worst critiques of Calvinism I have ever read. Seriously. Initially I thought it was a joke and was waiting for the ‘LOL’! Very poor scholarship, wild and inaccurate generalisations, historical revisionism; errors abound, disturbing self-promotion written with a devisive tone. There is certainly a degree of arrogance and an almost total lack of humility and love evident in this ramble. I regret that you have actually posted this Kindoalkun and advise all those who would like to be acquainted with ‘Calvinism’ to ignore what has written. It does not represent ‘Calvinism’ at all. Excellent critiques abound; start with RC Sproul and Mike Horton to name just 2 men who know their Bibles, and Church History, intelligently and warmly.
Pingback by Does Calvinism Kill Evangelism? | The Cripplegate — April 26, 2012 @ 2:52 am
[…] 1); but I would start in Romans 9–10. Pardon the anachronism, but it is no accident that the most “Calvinistic” chapter in the Bible (Romans 9) is partnered with the most “evangelistic” (Romans 10). Clearly, the apostle Paul saw […]
Pingback by “Does Calvinism Kill Evangelism?” by Nathan Busenitz | Reformed Bibliophile — April 28, 2012 @ 4:03 pm
[…] of God. There are many passages to which we could turn (from John 6 to Acts 13 to Ephesians 1); but I would start in Romans 9–10. Pardon the anachronism, but it is no accident that the most “Calvinistic” chapter in the Bible […]
Pingback by Debating Calvinism (From the Sacred Sandwich archives) « sola5comix — June 24, 2012 @ 1:23 am
Comment by Freedomborn — June 30, 2012 @ 10:50 pm
Re, Kindoalkun, Sir we felt your defence against the teaching of Calvinism was good in most points, any teaching that claims God does evil or does not Love sinners is in error but Jesus did say go and sin no more and He would not of done so if it was impossible. Some forget He has set us free from the slavery of sin, (John 8:34-36 )and when we are Born again we no longer sin,(see below) we don’t choose to sin because we have the mind of Christ and He does not choose to sin and being perfected in Love means we don’t sin because Love rejects evil.( 1Corinthians 13 ) Salvation is indeed a free gift but we will show we have it as the Scriptures confirm.
(1John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.)
God also does not fellowship with sinners, yes He Loves everybody but good and evil are not in Unity. Paul also confirms this in(Romans 6&8)
(John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth.)
(Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.)
I’m sure you will agree with us Kindoalkun God knows all things including those who are His redeemed Children even before we are conceived and He knows us in the flesh when we are. The Scriptures confirm that by His foreknowledge of our heart repentance He chooses us to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ and Paul tells us as well that before we die we are perfected in God’s Love(1 John 4:17-19)
One thing that is very important for us to remember is we don’t know anyone’s eternal destiny only God does, they may repent on their death bed, we cannot judge them for this but we can know if they are sinning as you said by their actions but also at times by their words, as they will reflect their heart focus. But we are to Love everyone and witness of the Hope we have in Jesus Christ.
We don’t reject any Scripture Kindoalkun including the Prophesy that confirms in the end times there will be besides false Miracles and Signs and Wonders genuine ones and having experienced them in our own lives and seen them in others, we have no doubt and we are not Pentecostal nor did we seek them out, God chose to reveal himself to us Miraculously through both these ways. God’s Children will also Prophesy by The Holy Spirits empowering, we are not to put God in a box of our own understanding, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
If wanted Kindoalkun, we will share with you again in regard to Spurgeon and other Theologians of the past but we remember there is only one way we can understand God’s Truth and that is with His wisdom by the empowering of The Holy Spirit (1Corinthins2:9-16)
Kind regards from both of us.
Comment by Bereanwarrior — July 4, 2012 @ 11:42 pm
If God is not sovereign, then He is not God.
There is nothing further to say than that really, but…
Unless you rip the first chapter of Ephesians, 1st and 2nd Peter, Galatians, John… okay, most of the New Testament out of your Bible, you have no way of defending an arminian viewpoint.
If you want to stand before God and tell Him that you had anything to do with your salvation, then by all means, kick against the goads.
Somehow, I don’t believe that you will hold that position any longer when you see God in all His glory, and see how you have none what-so-ever outside of what He Himself clothes you in.
Comment by Dominic Stockford — July 9, 2012 @ 4:25 am
In 1552 an obscure English Christian called Thomas Cranmer wrote:
“Almighty and most merciful Father; we have erred and strayed from they ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against they holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord.”
Calvin thought Cranmer was an old softy, and Cranmer was very clear – it is God who has mercy upon us, who brings us to salvation, because we cannot in any way bring ourselves there. All these years later people are STILL ignoring the Bible evidence and the wise words of brothers in Christ like Cranmer, and claiming some part in their own salvation. It’s a good thing he is indeed a patient God!
Comment by Freedomborn — July 26, 2012 @ 11:19 pm
If Bereanwarrior you are referring to Freedomborn and who knows you don’t give a name, we don’t accept any man made title regardless if we agree with some of it’s doctrine that fits into that slot, and we do not agree with any man made doctrine as you will soon see…..
What we share is God’s Truth not man’s worldly fleshy, wisdom understanding, reason and logic, which is often presented because God’s Wisdom has not been sought after and received, so sadly what is often taught is not confirmed by The empowering of The Holy Spirit through Scripture as He gives us revelation 1Corinthians2:1-16(9-16)……
We agree 100% that Salvation is a free gift we cannot earn it but we will show we have it as the Scriptures affirm ( see Scripture below)…..
1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has Been born of God…….
1 John 5:18-20 We know that no one who is Born of God sins; but He who was Born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life……
The Scriptures also tell us the Devil is in control of this World meaning all evil and those who do evil, God does not do evil, to say He does contradicts Scripture, He is Love and Love does no evil 1 Corinthians 13 and 1 Galations 5, He does not cause us to be afflicted or have hardship ( see Scripture below ) to do so would conflict with His Devine Loving Nature, that seeks to forgive and rescue, protect and strengthen., equip and heal all good things come from God and all He created was good and so is all He does……
Lamentations 3:33 For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men……
Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”…….
Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope…….
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah……
Psalm 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made Heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore…….
Psalm 107:16-18 For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted…….
Proverbs 10:20-22 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom. The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it……
Christian Love from both of us.
Comment by regularsandwicheatingwoman — July 27, 2012 @ 7:58 am
@ Freedomborn and Kindoalkun: As regards whether GENUINE regenerate (born again) believers (as opposed to false converts)continue to sin or not,following convertion, BOTH are true to the extent that there is an element of truth in both.
True, 1 John 3:6 says “No-one who lives in him keeps on sinning.” The Lordship Salvationists are right to say therefore that a changed life of obedience is evidence that your repentance and conversion were genuine, whereas a life marked by CONTINUAL sin, suggests there was no inward change of heart and mind, ie you were never saved in the first place.
Whoever has my commands AND OBEYS THEM, he is the one who loves me. (John 14:21)
I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.(Acts 26:20)
Faith by itself, if not accompanied by action is dead.(James 2:17)
By their fruit you will recognise them. (Matthew 7:20)
On the other hand, genuine believers DO continue to sin, because we are fallen and will not be perfect till Christ comes again. (Heb 11:40) Most of Romans 7 explains our ongoing battle with sin, even after conversion. “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…it is sin living in me. (Rom 7:15-17)
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just,and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10) – Note, this is addressed to BELIEVERS,not to those outside the faith, so is ongoing.
We all sin everyday, even the best Christians, because we are none of us perfect, and none of us give God the full glory he deserves. BUT, genuine Chritians will want to please and obey their commanding officer (2 Tim 2:4) by putting to death whatever belongs to the earthly nature. (Colossians 3:5)
Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (Romans 6:12)
IF A PERSON IS NOT CONSTANTLY BATTLING SIN AND GROWING IN HOLINESS,HE IS LIKELY NOT SAVED,ie a false convert.
Comment by regularsandwicheatingenglishwoman — July 27, 2012 @ 8:47 am
@ Freedomborn: You say “He does not cause us to be afflicted or have hardship” (because he is loving.) This is not true: God does sometimes allow affliction and hardship to shape and refine us for our ultimate good:
“My son,do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
Endure hardship as a discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline),then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best;but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but PAINFUL. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (HEBREWS 12:5-11)
“In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16;33) In fact, the whole of John 14-17 shows how belivers are not protected from trouble and difficulties: “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:20)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,… who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives,so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2 Cor 1:3-5)
Comment by Bereanwarrior — July 28, 2012 @ 5:21 pm
Freedomborn / Anne,
What more can be said that hasn’t been said already? You appeal to the “Holy Spirit” in your defense, but from what you’ve said previously, I would have to conclude that you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit by claiming He reveals to you the aberrant teaching you have posted here and on your blog site.
I do not need you to accept anything that I’m telling you, nor do I need defend Scripture to you any further. I will simply warn you one last time that you are way out of line with your reasoning, and that not one thing goes on in this world that God didn’t ordain to His glory. God will receive all the glory in both the elect’s salvation AND in the righteous condemnation of those who are eternally damned.
Your personal experience does not trump the Bible and it’s clear teachings on how a man is saved.
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