NightCrawler
06-22-2007, 01:09 PM
[a 'will' may be defined as a desire, want, or wish. "I am willing" is english present tense 'will']

[title should actually be 'God has (at least) two wills for our salvation']

Will (1):
He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Yet there are many, many people who are going to have everlasting punishment in Hell.

So, what could possibly trump that?

Will (2a): Many appeal to the idea that God predestines people for glory in His mercy, and actively demonstrates His justice on the rest. His will which trumps the verse is that God desires maximal glory for Himself.

Will (2b): Others appeal to the idea that God gives mankind the choice to ultimately choose Him, allowing them to have an uncoerced personal relationship. His will which trumps the verse is that God desires us to not be like robots in our relationship with Him.

a) Is there something wrong with thinking like this? If so, what?
b) Where do you stand?
c) Is it a fair dichotomy? Are there any missing alternatives?

theelectric3
06-22-2007, 07:20 PM
personally, i believe in the second "idea." i believe that God gives mankind a free will. 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. Love does not force itself onto another.

i think salvation is predestined in that Jesus met the requirements to make it available to all who call on His Name.

However, it is our choice as to whether or not we want His perfect gift. That, He left up to free will.
because He is love.

NightCrawler
06-22-2007, 08:07 PM
personally, i believe in the second "idea." i believe that God gives mankind a free will. 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. Love does not force itself onto another.

i think salvation is predestined in that Jesus met the requirements to make it available to all who call on His Name.

However, it is our choice as to whether or not we want His perfect gift. That, He left up to free will.
because He is love.
Why doesn't love force itself on another?

Personally, I think that if God didn't force His love on me, I would be a wretched, lost, hopeless, empty man. (if you could still even call me a man)

skynes
06-23-2007, 02:08 PM
Opinion alert:

I think God has two 'wills' though I think will is a bad word to use.

1. His Sovereign Will. This is the end all do NOT SCREW WITH ME will. Christ's coming and death, Christ's second return. Ultimate defeat of evil, those are in this category. The stuff that will not under any circumstance be changed. It will happen, period.

2. His desires. This is the 'I do not want anyone to perish, but if you choose to perish, I will not stop you' He wanted to be the only King for Israel, yet Israel wanted a human king, so God gave it. God wanted Israel to be true and faithful, they weren't.

More the He wants the best for us and knows what it is, yet we choose second best.

The Lamma
06-25-2007, 01:32 PM
I dont exactly know what you are asking, Jonathan, but I will tell you where I stand. When God created man, he gave him a free will, a will to do what he desires. He also gave him power over the whole earth. Also, he does NOT want ANYONE to perish. Why would there be predestination in this case? In a nutshell, I believe we have the choice to die or live, he does not force his salvation upon us.

NightCrawler
06-25-2007, 04:38 PM
I dont exactly know what you are asking, Jonathan, but I will tell you where I stand.
God wants several things, but cannot have all of them for some necessary reason.

For example, I don't want to ache, but I want strength. However, exercise is the means by which one gains strength and it makes you ache. Therefore, which will supercede the other?

Likewise with God. He doesn't want anyone to perish, but there must be something superceding that desire, simply because there are many people who are going to Hell.

When God created man, he gave him a free will, a will to do what he desires.
I agree. To an extent.

He also gave him power over the whole earth.
Dominion. Authority != power. Just clarifying.

Also, he does NOT want ANYONE to perish.
I gave the verse for that.

Why would there be predestination in this case?
Because then you contradict strong, obvious doctrine laid out in Romans 8 and 9. It is kinda hard to miss, especially because Paul addresses the common question regarding God's predestination of salvation. ("One of you will say to me: 'Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?'"[Romans 9:19 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=9&verse=19&version=31&context=verse)]

In a nutshell, I believe we have the choice to die or live, he does not force his salvation upon us.
I disagree with you.

But still, this thread is supposed to be a discussion on what God values more than His desire to not let anyone perish.

NightCrawler
06-25-2007, 04:40 PM
Is there any other thing that God desires more than what I posed in the OP?

DarkestRose
06-25-2007, 05:07 PM
How do we know that we're (as individuals) picked by God (or predestined for salvation) then? Because we call ourselves Christians?

BarlowgIRL
06-25-2007, 05:51 PM
After reading the clarification I am still confused as to what this is saying. That God didn't give us free wills?

DarkestRose
06-25-2007, 06:01 PM
It is the concept of predestination, that we don't have a choice, what we have is the illusion of choice.

bob
06-25-2007, 06:05 PM
My thought is, does it matter? If we have free wills then woo hoo. If we don't, it doesn't matter. :P

BarlowgIRL
06-25-2007, 06:22 PM
oh okay.


So are we gonna sit around arguing in circles a theory that can't be proved when you're better off trusting God and following Him? After all, you're going to heaven so why does it concern you? Unless this is so that you can argue the fact with non believers that bring it up. In that case go ask a smart person.

skynes
06-26-2007, 12:16 AM
After all, you're going to heaven so why does it concern you?

If predestination is true, praying for unbelievers and preaching the Gospel is a pointless activity. For God will save whoever He wants. So outreach events, street preaching, evangelism. ALL becomes pointless.

So most of the worldwide church is engaging in stupidity :)

So yeah it does matter.

when you're better off trusting God and following Him?

I can't trust in Him unless He predestined it. I am not allowed that choice.

DarkestRose
06-26-2007, 07:51 AM
Is it possible for predestination and free will to co-exist in a paradoxical truth?

skynes
06-26-2007, 07:57 AM
Is it possible for predestination and free will to co-exist in a paradoxical truth?

Some say that.

Quadripedman
06-26-2007, 10:46 PM
hmmmm...thats complex.

i think that what i believe, is that we have free will to the extent to do whatever we want on this earth. God has given that to us. But, we dont have free will in the sence that if we belive in Him we go to heaven, and if not hell. meaning, if you dont believe in Him, youll go to hell, weather you like it or not. but, we have free will because God doesnt force us to believe in Him. if He did, that our love/belief wouldnt mean anything because it was forced.

if that made any sence whatsoever...

but, in my openion, i think that it is best to trust God, and what He has done for us becuse He is Truth and whatever He has done is Right.

Some say that.

i think that that might be what im saying...im not sure lol, its late and ive been traveling all day. not the idea thinking conditions.

NightCrawler
06-26-2007, 10:57 PM
How do we know that we're (as individuals) picked by God (or predestined for salvation) then? Because we call ourselves Christians?
Technically because you're a Christian. Technically if you persevere until the end. (only difference is if you agree with the doctrine of once-saved-forever or not -- whether they are synonymous or not)

It is the concept of predestination, that we don't have a choice, what we have is the illusion of choice.
Well, that's hardcore. I think we have free will, but at the very least cannot determine our destiny -- for God has predestined those who will be saved (Romans 8 and 9, Eph 1-2, etc. etc. ...etc.)

My thought is, does it matter? If we have free wills then woo hoo. If we don't, it doesn't matter. :P
Meh. It does matter to me because I think if you recognize God's intervention and your impotence then you will submit to Him with humility. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. I think anyone who believes he had any part of salvation ultimately up to himself is a) arrogant, b) misinformed, and c) an Arminian. Not trying to make an argument ad hominem, that is just my take on the importance of this discussion.

oh okay.

So are we gonna sit around arguing in circles a theory that can't be proved when you're better off trusting God and following Him?
Those aren't exclusive.

After all, you're going to heaven so why does it concern you?
Perspective is key. Which perspective gives God most glory?

Unless this is so that you can argue the fact with non believers that bring it up. In that case go ask a smart person.
:P ... sometimes arguing with Christians is bad enough.

If predestination is true, praying for unbelievers and preaching the Gospel is a pointless activity. For God will save whoever He wants. So outreach events, street preaching, evangelism. ALL becomes pointless.
Complete BS.

Why pray to God for people's salvation if God is ultimately hands-off? :P

So most of the worldwide church is engaging in stupidity :)
So yeah it does matter.

I can't trust in Him unless He predestined it. I am not allowed that choice.
By the way, fatalism is bad. So let's avoiding the concept because it is unnecessary.

Is it possible for predestination and free will to co-exist in a paradoxical truth?
http://www.xanga.com/LeetVajda/440597914/tisk.html
http://www.xanga.com/LeetVajda/431733136/item.html

Two of my posts regarding this concept.

Quadripedman
06-26-2007, 11:13 PM
Why pray to God for people's salvation if God is ultimately hands-off? :P

thats sorta relating to what i think i said about God predeturmining that we will be saved by sending Jesus to die for our sins, but yet giving us the choice to come to Him. But, that also goes to the thread about influencing Gods will when we pray...

its also confusing though, when the Bible talks about the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 21:27 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2021:27;&version=31;)), making it seem (if you take the Bible literally) that it is predeturmined weather you are going to go to heaven or not...

skynes
06-26-2007, 11:46 PM
Complete BS.

Why pray to God for people's salvation if God is ultimately hands-off?

No its not! It's my main problem with Predestination, one which not A SINGLE FREAKING PERSON HAS GIVEN ME A GOOD ANSWER TO!

I have read the subject, I have asked Calvinists. Every answer was sub-par.

The only remotely plausible answer I got was from a Church of Ireland minister who said "Because He told us to"

If God predestined everything then we should not pray. We should not evangelise, we should not strive for holiness. For God has already decided how each of us would be.

Perspective is key. Which perspective gives God most glory?

1. God chooses who to be saved. They get no choice

2. God desires people to be saved, He sets up circumstances and people to lead a person to him, He plans for every outcome, every possibility and every contingency.

I'd say the second one. It shows off more power to plan for literally everything than it does to make people do what you want.

By the way, fatalism is bad.

How is fatalism any different from realising we have no choice in life? That every sin. every action and every task has all been written beforehand?

weebird20
06-27-2007, 02:26 AM
its also confusing though, when the Bible talks about the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 21:27 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2021:27;&version=31;)), making it seem (if you take the Bible literally) that it is predeturmined weather you are going to go to heaven or not...

Revelation 21:27 "Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life."

if you accept Christ and his gift of salvation your name shall be written in the book of life...how does that verse show that God has predetermined who goes to heaven?

i did find another interesting verse in Revelations though...

Revelation 3:5 "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."

so does this mean that everyone's name is already in the Book of Life and that it is removed if during your lifetime you do not accept Christ...is it that once your name has been written in the Book of Life that it can be removed...or is it relating to something else?

-------------

But still, this thread is supposed to be a discussion on what God values more than His desire to not let anyone perish.

His desire for justice?

Deuteronomy 32:4 "He is the Rock, His work is perfect;For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He."

skynes
06-27-2007, 07:08 AM
To add to the book stuff:

Exodus 32:33 "And the Lord said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. "

NightCrawler
06-27-2007, 09:14 AM
No its not! It's my main problem with Predestination, one which not A SINGLE FREAKING PERSON HAS GIVEN ME A GOOD ANSWER TO!

I have read the subject, I have asked Calvinists. Every answer was sub-par.

The only remotely plausible answer I got was from a Church of Ireland minister who said "Because He told us to"

If God predestined everything then we should not pray. We should not evangelise, we should not strive for holiness. For God has already decided how each of us would be.

Calvinism is not anti-missionary, but gives the biblical foundation for missions. John 6:37; 17:20, 21; 2 Tim. 2:10; Isa. 55:11; 2 Pet. 3:9, 15.

Calvinism does not destroy the responsibility of man. Men are responsible for whatever light they have, be it conscience (Rom. 2:15), nature (Rom.1:19, 20), written law (Rom. 2:17-27), or the gospel (Mark 16:15, 16). Man's inability to do righteousness no more frees from responsibility than does Satan's inability to do righteousness.
Calvinism does not make God unjust. His blessing of a great number of unworthy sinners with salvation is no injustice to the rest of the unworthy sinners. If a governor pardons one convict, is it an injustice to the rest? (1 Thess. 5:9).
Calvinism does not discourage convicted sinners, but welcomes them to Christ. "Let him that is athirst come" (Rev. 17:17). The God who convicts is the God who saves. The God who saves is the God who has elected men unto salvation. He is the same God who invites.
Calvinism does not discourage prayer. To the contrary, it drives us to God, for He it is who alone can save. True prayer is at the Spirit's prompting; and thus will be in harmony with God's will (Rom. 8:16).http://www.founders.org/FJ40/article1_fr.html

If that's not enough (which would assume you weren't skeptical), I'll take it even further. For evangelism: Imagine you're in a boat, you don't know which fish you are going to catch... but then God says "There are fish that you will catch." You throw your net in, and drag in many fish. Every single fish you caught was what God was talking about. Whether God told you or did not tell you that you that fish were ordained doesn't negate your actions or motivation... actually, it spurs it on because God is saying that there are some you are guaranteed to catch.

As for prayer, God commands you to pray. What kind of relationship would you have with God if you didn't pray? Requests-- God causes you to request His will if it is His will. I am losing my train of thought. Odd page you might want to consider:
http://www.oldtruth.com/calvinism/blog.cfm/id.2.pid.98


1. God chooses who to be saved. They get no choice

2. God desires people to be saved, He sets up circumstances and people to lead a person to him, He plans for every outcome, every possibility and every contingency.

I'd say the second one. It shows off more power to plan for literally everything than it does to make people do what you want.
1. Everyone is unworthy of heaven, therefore instead of everyone going to Hell, God chooses whom he wants to have mercy. They [those saved] don't have a say, like a pile of clay doesn't control what shape the Potter makes him out to be. The Potter receives glory by making pots how He wants and using them.

2. How is it a plan if it is changed by (or rather, accommodated for?) ...well, 6.3 billion people every day? That sounds like hands-off-foreknowledge. And even then, if God knew what you were doing tomorrow... could you do anything else except which He knows will happen? That's logically impossible.

How is fatalism any different from realising we have no choice in life? That every sin. every action and every task has all been written beforehand?
We do have choices, we make genuine choices. But regarding salvation, at least, it is God who moves through us and leads us on to salvation -- something we could never do in our flesh. This gives God more glory because He displays His love and mercy, when otherwise we would be damned and stubborn.

"God works in the hearts of the elect, not to take away their will, but to lovingly change it, by softening their heart so that they will want to believe and repent. If He does this, you will be saved, no if's and's or but's. Now there's a lot more to it, but that's just an over-simplified synopsis."
http://www.oldtruth.com/blog.cfm/id.2.pid.260

The Lamma
06-27-2007, 02:16 PM
Jonathan, you're Calvinism facts didn't seem to point to predestination. In fact, it seemed a bit contradictory. Either some Calvinists somehow dont believe in predestination, or they believe everyone is somehow predestined. Thats what it kinda sounded like.

1. Everyone is unworthy of heaven, therefore instead of everyone going to Hell, God chooses whom he wants to have mercy. They [those saved] don't have a say, like a pile of clay doesn't control what shape the Potter makes him out to be. The Potter receives glory by making pots how He wants and using them.
If he loves every one of us, why would he condemn 90% of the world's population? Why would He make a pot them either smash it or leave it on the shelf until it cracked from age? The God I grew up knowing and learning about would never do that. He wants everyone of us to be with him in heaven. Even John 3:16 shows that.

DarkestRose
06-27-2007, 02:20 PM
John 3:16 says that whoever believes in Him (Jesus Christ) shall not perish. That doesn't contradict predestination, which would claim that God has predestined those who will believe in Him.

The Lamma
06-27-2007, 02:45 PM
If he has predestined those who believe in him, wouldn't that mean that either 1) certain people CAN NOT ACCEPT HIM NO MATTER WHAT, or 2) if you believe in Him, you somehow pop into his predestination plans.

DarkestRose
06-27-2007, 02:50 PM
It would mean there are certain people who would never come to belief in God (i.e. their hearts have been hardened toward God) because God predestined it. In a sense, they have the ability to believe but they won't ever exercise this because they've been hardened against God.

But if you believed in Jesus Christ than it would be because you were predestined to be so.

The Lamma
06-27-2007, 02:54 PM
I still dont get how if predestination is true, how God can just toss those he loves out the window.

NightCrawler
06-27-2007, 04:55 PM
Jonathan, you're Calvinism facts didn't seem to point to predestination. In fact, it seemed a bit contradictory. Either some Calvinists somehow dont believe in predestination, or they believe everyone is somehow predestined. Thats what it kinda sounded like.
I didn't catch any of that on the sites I was looking at. Typically, Arminians tend to look at the verses where "chosen" or "elect" are in them as meaning "everyone has been chosen" or "everyone has been elected"... but how can everyone be elected? The definition of the word doesn't allow that to be a possibility.

If he loves every one of us, why would he condemn 90% of the world's population?
The same question applies to freewill.

Does God actually value our freedom of choice over our eternal destiny, or even our relationship with Him?

Why would He make a pot them either smash it or leave it on the shelf until it cracked from age? The God I grew up knowing and learning about would never do that.
If you haven't, please read chapters 8 and 9 of Romans. Paul tries to answer similar questions.

He wants everyone of us to be with him in heaven. Even John 3:16 shows that.
The "world" actually means universe/all creation [greek, kosmos]. And you're asking the same question as I did in the OP: God wants every single person in Heaven, "that none should perish." Yet God values/wants something that supercedes this desire. What is it?

NightCrawler
06-27-2007, 04:56 PM
I still dont get how if predestination is true, how God can just toss those he loves out the window.
I don't think God does without remorse.

skynes
06-28-2007, 12:52 AM
Calvinism does not destroy the responsibility of man. Men are responsible for whatever light they have, be it conscience (Rom. 2:15), nature (Rom.1:19, 20), written law (Rom. 2:17-27), or the gospel (Mark 16:15, 16). Man's inability to do righteousness no more frees from responsibility than does Satan's inability to do righteousness.

Satan was once righteous and had a choice. Men are born sinners with no choice. Bad comparison there.

Do you hold an epileptic responsible for seizures? Is he somehow able to stop them and doesn't? Do you blame an ADHD kid for having a 3 second attention span? Do you hold someone with amnesia responsible for having no memory?

God condemning those with no choice is no different from kicking a paralytic for not being able to stand.

What kind of relationship would you have with God if you didn't pray?

What kind of relationship would I have if I didn't choose anything in that relationship. If my every action toward God was predestined. That is no relationship, that is a master puppeteer with his string puppets.

1. Everyone is unworthy of heaven, therefore instead of everyone going to Hell, God chooses whom he wants to have mercy. They [those saved] don't have a say, like a pile of clay doesn't control what shape the Potter makes him out to be. The Potter receives glory by making pots how He wants and using them.

And the Bible says to pots to cleanse themselves from dishonour and they will be a vessel for honour.

We do have choices, we make genuine choices. But regarding salvation, at least, it is God who moves through us and leads us on to salvation -- something we could never do in our flesh. This gives God more glory because He displays His love and mercy, when otherwise we would be damned and stubborn.


I don't deny that God needs to act in order for people to be saved. But what you're stating is that God condemns people to hell for not making a choice they were never allowed to make. They did not accept Christ, so they perish. But they were never ABLE to accept Christ and God holds them responsible for something He didnt do (soften their hearts).

NightCrawler
06-28-2007, 06:57 AM
I don't deny that God needs to act in order for people to be saved. But what you're stating is that God condemns people to hell for not making a choice they were never allowed to make. They did not accept Christ, so they perish. But they were never ABLE to accept Christ and God holds them responsible for something He didnt do (soften their hearts).
I'd say they are condemned for a failure to make a choice that they were never going to make. Not that they were not "allowed." It is logically possible for everyone to be saved. However, no one would have made the choice unless God caused them to have faith and therefore salvation.

skynes
06-28-2007, 08:31 AM
I'd say they are condemned for a failure to make a choice that they were never going to make. Not that they were not "allowed." It is logically possible for everyone to be saved. However, no one would have made the choice unless God caused them to have faith and therefore salvation.

Which is another way of saying:

God's inaction condemns people.

NightCrawler
06-28-2007, 08:42 AM
Do you hold an epileptic responsible for seizures? Is he somehow able to stop them and doesn't? Do you blame an ADHD kid for having a 3 second attention span? Do you hold someone with amnesia responsible for having no memory?
We do make choices, just we are born with the sin nature. A better comparison is a criminal before a judge recieving a verdict of guilty, death penalty. And another criminal, who is pardoned at the judge's mercy.

Or a two men who have a debt with a guy. The first one he doesn't pay it off, and suffers the penaly, while the second one doesn't pay... but it is because the guy canceled the debt Himself.

Those are ones Jesus used, if my memory hasn't failed me.

God condemning those with no choice is no different from kicking a paralytic for not being able to stand.
I grow very tired of this BS rhetoric. You seem to just be trying convey that this view is heartless. But that couldn't be further from the truth as it really just emphasizes God's love and grace even more.


What kind of relationship would I have if I didn't choose anything in that relationship. If my every action toward God was predestined. That is no relationship, that is a master puppeteer with his string puppets.
You do choose things in the relationship. Let's not have a strawman.

And the Bible says to pots to cleanse themselves from dishonour and they will be a vessel for honour.
Heh. I don't know where that verse is, but I won't dispute it because it is true, ja? But so is this:

Isaiah 64:
6 All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Kinda blatent.

I don't deny that God needs to act in order for people to be saved. But what you're stating is that God condemns people to hell for not making a choice they were never allowed to make. They did not accept Christ, so they perish. But they were never ABLE to accept Christ and God holds them responsible for something He didnt do (soften their hearts).
I clarified the difference between wouldn't and couldn't.

NightCrawler
06-28-2007, 08:43 AM
Which is another way of saying:

God's inaction condemns people.
No, people stand condemned already because of their sin. God's inaction does not cause anything to make things worse, it simply doesn't save them.

Bama Panther
06-28-2007, 01:41 PM
I could not disagree with the concept of predestination anymore than I do. The entire concept negates the "relationship" that one has with God.

God is omniscient, meaning having all knowledge. Predestination is determining what will happen before it actually does. This is where I think a lot of people get confused. Knowing what will happen equates in no way to preordaining what will happen.

DarkestRose
06-28-2007, 01:44 PM
That concept is not the only place where people get the theology of predestination. For instance, Romans 9.

Bama Panther
06-28-2007, 02:01 PM
I can see both sides of the reading of Romans 9. However, based on the context of the entire New Testament, I take Romans 9 as God saying that He chooses to give mercy only to those that have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. I do not think that He chooses who can accept Him.

NightCrawler
06-28-2007, 06:52 PM
I could not disagree with the concept of predestination anymore than I do. The entire concept negates the "relationship" that one has with God.

God is omniscient, meaning having all knowledge. Predestination is determining what will happen before it actually does. This is where I think a lot of people get confused. Knowing what will happen equates in no way to preordaining what will happen.
Okay, that's what I thought 3 years ago. Now, working with your definition of predestination, explain how these verses DON'T mean what you said.

Act 4:28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Rom 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Eph 1:5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

Eph 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

{verses in NIV}

I especially want you to look at Romans 8:30. Those who were predestined by God ("determining what will happen before it actually does") were then called, then justified, then glorified.

Now, as I said... I could not reconcile that obvious Scripture with my previous views. The ones you seem to hold.

I can see both sides of the reading of Romans 9. However, based on the context of the entire New Testament, I take Romans 9 as God saying that He chooses to give mercy only to those that have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. I do not think that He chooses who can accept Him.

It isn't so much a matter of "can", but rather "would." No one would choose God, that is why God had to choose us.

Joh 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Mat 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

{verses in ESV}

And before anyone says "But God chooses all people then!" ... Then who is Jesus comparing those chosen to? What would be the point of even saying it if there was no differentiation?!

skynes
06-29-2007, 12:14 AM
You draw a line between he who Destroys and he who chooses not to save.

I see no distinction between the two. In fact I'd say that the one who chooses not to save is more evil than the one who openly destroys.

Answer me this:

1. According to what you say, we have no choice in salvation. God chooses us, grants us faith and grace, thus we are saved.

2. Therefore God is the sole author of salvation in a persons heart.

If 1. and 2. are true, then

3. Anyone, anyone God gives faith and grace to, will be saved (in other words, anyone God predestines will be saved)

4. Not everyone will be saved.

5. Therefore God chooses to not save some.


The way you say this...

I'd say they are condemned for a failure to make a choice that they were never going to make. Not that they were not "allowed." It is logically possible for everyone to be saved. However, no one would have made the choice unless God caused them to have faith and therefore salvation.

...suggests that God chooses someone, then they get to choose for or against Him. Which is against the Calvinist teaching of "Irresistable Grace"

NightCrawler
06-29-2007, 12:57 PM
You draw a line between he who Destroys and he who chooses not to save.

I see no distinction between the two. In fact I'd say that the one who chooses not to save is more evil than the one who openly destroys.

James 4:17 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=66&chapter=4&verse=17&version=31&context=verse)
"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."

Is God ought to prevent all death and evil?

Answer me this:

1. According to what you say, we have no choice in salvation. God chooses us, grants us faith and grace, thus we are saved.
We have a choice, technically. But it is hard to call it a choice when no one would choose God themselves.

2. Therefore God is the sole author of salvation in a persons heart.
Amen.

You yourself quoted Romans 12:3, which shows that faith is given by God.

If 1. and 2. are true, then

3. Anyone, anyone God gives faith and grace to, will be saved (in other words, anyone God predestines will be saved)
That's my take on it. The following verse sounds to me like it means that. Tell me if there is another good interpretation:

Romans 8:30
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

4. Not everyone will be saved.
Sadly true.

5. Therefore God chooses to not save some.
Right.

The way you say this...

...suggests that God chooses someone, then they get to choose for or against Him. Which is against the Calvinist teaching of "Irresistable Grace"
I have re-read it, and I still don't know why what I said suggests that. I may have miscommunicated -- which part?

[edit]
That they make a choice? I still said that God causes them to have the faith, which gives them salvation. So, God ultimately makes the decision. Because of their 'will' they make a choice... but the 'will' has been conformed to God's plan.

skynes
06-30-2007, 02:21 AM
James 4:17
"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."

Is God ought to prevent all death and evil?

Answering a question with a question only serves to annoy me and tells me you don't have an answer.

I'd say they are condemned for a failure to make a choice that they were never going to make. Not that they were not "allowed." It is logically possible for everyone to be saved. However, no one would have made the choice unless God caused them to have faith and therefore salvation.

That first line says to me that people are condemned because they did not choose Christ and that even if God WERE to soften their hearts, they still would not choose Christ. That the reason God does nothing for them, is that they will reject Him regardless of what He does.

Because of their 'will' they make a choice... but the 'will' has been conformed to God's plan.

This line screams manipulation.

This is my whole problem with Calvinism. In order for it to work, God must be a manipulative destroyer.

He has to manipulate people's wills to turn them to Him, He must also not save others, inevitably destroying them. It entirely contradicts His nature of love.

We know that God is love and wills for none to perish. This suggests God would strive to save everyone.

God is not going to get that will.

So it's going to be one of these: (not exhaustive)

1. God does not have the power to save everyone, so He can only choose a few.

2. God does not love the world.

3. God does not force people to accept Him.


1 is impossible, as God is Omnipotent. 2 is impossible because we know God IS love. That only leaves 3...

No matter what way I look at this, cut it up or dissect it. The teaching of God forcing people to accept Him cotnradicts too many other Biblical doctrines to be true.

When I get the time and find my concordance, I'm going to look up the word predestined, find the Greek and/or Hebrew of it.


---

Oh and Nightcrawler, you've told me nothing new. Everything you said has been the same stuff I hear from every other Calvinist. I'm still unsatisifed with the answers I'm getting.

NightCrawler
06-30-2007, 07:35 AM
Answering a question with a question only serves to annoy me and tells me you don't have an answer.
1. Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it sins.
2. God does not sin.
3. God is omnipotent.
4. Not all death and sin are eliminated.
-------------------
:. God is not ought to eliminate all sin and death.

Sorry. You know I don't want to bother you.

That first line says to me that people are condemned because they did not choose Christ and that even if God WERE to soften their hearts, they still would not choose Christ. That the reason God does nothing for them, is that they will reject Him regardless of what He does.
Hmm ... Odd way of looking at it. But doesn't that suggest God's impotence?

This line screams manipulation.

This is my whole problem with Calvinism. In order for it to work, God must be a manipulative destroyer.

He has to manipulate people's wills to turn them to Him, He must also not save others, inevitably destroying them. It entirely contradicts His nature of love.
Okay, let's assume God manipulates.

What makes manipulation wrong? Humans are not to manipulate because they have no right to do so. Humans are not to manipulate, because their wills are not inherently more valid or important. Humans are not to manipulate, because it is selfish.

I don't think any of those apply to God. So, even if He manipulates, it isn't wrong.

We know that God is love and wills for none to perish. This suggests God would strive to save everyone.

God is not going to get that will.

So it's going to be one of these: (not exhaustive)

1. God does not have the power to save everyone, so He can only choose a few.

2. God does not love the world.

3. God does not force people to accept Him.


1 is impossible, as God is Omnipotent. 2 is impossible because we know God IS love. That only leaves 3...

4. God loves the world, but chooses to love some more than others.

Jacob I loved, Esau I hated [Mal 1:2-3]. For God so loved the world [John 3:16]. God is totally capable and within His rights to do this -- something I thought you agreed with me on (http://www.panheads.org/boards/showpost.php?p=339166&postcount=45).

No matter what way I look at this, cut it up or dissect it. The teaching of God forcing people to accept Him cotnradicts too many other Biblical doctrines to be true.
Dude. I think the same way about Arminian doctrine. :-\

Romans 9:16
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.

When I get the time and find my concordance, I'm going to look up the word predestined, find the Greek and/or Hebrew of it.
But didn't you previously reconcile the definition of predestination with God's timelessness?

Oh and Nightcrawler, you've told me nothing new. Everything you said has been the same stuff I hear from every other Calvinist. I'm still unsatisifed with the answers I'm getting.
Yeah, I don't think you're ignorant. Sorry if I am wasting your time.

skynes
06-30-2007, 09:07 AM
What makes manipulation wrong? Humans are not to manipulate because they have no right to do so. Humans are not to manipulate, because their wills are not inherently more valid or important. Humans are not to manipulate, because it is selfish.

I don't think any of those apply to God. So, even if He manipulates, it isn't wrong.

But is God not manipulating for a selfish reason? To satisfy His own wants and needs? Is it not a contradiction for the one who taught others not to seek their own, even when they deserve it and not to concern themselves with those who speak evil of them... is it not contradictory for that person to do the opposite?

4. God loves the world, but chooses to love some more than others.

Jacob I loved, Esau I hated [Mal 1:2-3]. For God so loved the world [John 3:16]. God is totally capable and within His rights to do this -- something I thought you agreed with me on.


I understand and agree that God loves some and hates others, our difference in thought is the why. You say God loves those He's predestined and hates those who He hasn't. I say God loves those who are His and hates those who aren't. Sounds very similar but has a subtle difference.

The difference being that before I was one of God's, He hated me. He hated what I spoke, what I did and how I loved. I was a sickening rotten being in His sight.

According to Calvin, God always loved me even before I was His.

Dude. I think the same way about Arminian doctrine.

Is it possible then that they're both wrong?

But didn't you previously reconcile the definition of predestination with God's timelessness?

Here's how I perceived Predestination.

That God in His foreknowledge, knowing the development of things to come, set up events so that those who would choose Him would be able to.

How Calvinists have said it is:

He predestined some to come to know Him before they were born. no foreknowledge required, no choice on their part required.

Yeah, I don't think you're ignorant. Sorry if I am wasting your time

If noone is answering my concerns, why should I pay this doctrine any heed? If this doctrine is so true and so crucial, why does no answer satisfy me? I ask questions out of a desire to learn, not out of flamebaiting. I want to know the truth of this point.

Arminianism I have tossed out the window without opening it first. I see it as arrogant ideology that places too much emphasis on man's glory and how awesome man's choice is.

But on the other spectrum you have Calvinism which places so much emphasis upon God's glory and what God wants, that everything is a puppet to satisfy His pleasures.

God is our Father and neither of these show God as a loving Father. One shows Him as a fickle being who accepts and casts away people based upon their works. The other as a manipulative destructive monster that won't save people despite it being in His power.

NightCrawler
06-30-2007, 11:22 AM
But is God not manipulating for a selfish reason? To satisfy His own wants and needs? Is it not a contradiction for the one who taught others not to seek their own, even when they deserve it and not to concern themselves with those who speak evil of them... is it not contradictory for that person to do the opposite?

I don't think it is contradictory for God to deserve worship, yet tell us to only worship Him -- why would it be so different for His 'selfishness' or glory?

I understand and agree that God loves some and hates others, our difference in thought is the why. You say God loves those He's predestined and hates those who He hasn't. I say God loves those who are His and hates those who aren't. Sounds very similar but has a subtle difference.

The difference being that before I was one of God's, He hated me. He hated what I spoke, what I did and how I loved. I was a sickening rotten being in His sight.

According to Calvin, God always loved me even before I was His.
No offense to anyone, but I don't care what Calvin says. I don't even agree with all of T.U.L.I.P. -- the L is unbiblical.

Meanwhile, Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

And in line with what you were saying -- we were sickening, rotting and disgusting. But God changed that, Eph 2:4-5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph%202:4-5;&version=31;).

Is it possible then that they're both wrong?
I posted some links before about what I said on my xanga. I have concluded that neither Calvinism nor Arminianism are right. I think we have freewill, but cannot control our destiny/salvation.

Here's how I perceived Predestination.

That God in His foreknowledge, knowing the development of things to come, set up events so that those who would choose Him would be able to.
I could say the same thing, and mean it only a little differently. :: sigh ::

For example, could they choose Him if He didn't set it up that way?

How Calvinists have said it is:

He predestined some to come to know Him before they were born. no foreknowledge required, no choice on their part required.
Meh. I wouldn't require foreknowledge, except that God knows all. And I would say God causes us to make the choice He wants, not that we don't make a choice. Meh.

If no one is answering my concerns, why should I pay this doctrine any heed? If this doctrine is so true and so crucial, why does no answer satisfy me? I ask questions out of a desire to learn, not out of flamebaiting. I want to know the truth of this point.
The doctrine doesn't change your actions themselves, it changes your motive and attitude. I think that's important. I don't think I will have all the answers for anything, even this.

Arminianism I have tossed out the window without opening it first. I see it as arrogant ideology that places too much emphasis on man's glory and how awesome man's choice is.
:: nods ::

But on the other spectrum you have Calvinism which places so much emphasis upon God's glory and what God wants, that everything is a puppet to satisfy His pleasures.
How could it be emphasized too much?

God is our Father and neither of these show God as a loving Father. One shows Him as a fickle being who accepts and casts away people based upon their works. The other as a manipulative destructive monster that won't save people despite it being in His power.
I can see your concern. Again, I am not trying to push Calvinism per se, but rather a step away from it. Why would a manipulative, destructive monster ever do anything loving... like saving people from their sin or bringing the spiritually dead to life? Why would He care about us? meh. That's why I don't see Him as a destructive monster.

skynes
06-30-2007, 12:49 PM
I think we have freewill, but cannot control our destiny/salvation.

I would take one step the other way and say that God is in full control of reality, but we can choose our destiny/salvation.

The doctrine doesn't change your actions themselves, it changes your motive and attitude.

If I were to believe in Calvinism, I would stop praying for people and stop preaching the Gospel. For their salvation or lack of it has already been determined. Praying and preaching is in vain. If God's plans cannot be interrupted (which you showed with scripture) and if God predestined us before time began, then my praying for people's salvation and preaching the Gospel is of no effect. For their destiny is fixed.

How could it be emphasized too much?


Sorry that came out wrong. I didn't mean to say God shouldn't receive glory. But that to take it to the point that nothing else exists outside His Will and glory is too far.

And in line with what you were saying -- we were sickening, rotting and disgusting. But God changed that, Eph 2:4-5.


You're right. I was and He did.

Why would a manipulative, destructive monster ever do anything loving... like saving people from their sin or bringing the spiritually dead to life? Why would He care about us? meh. That's why I don't see Him as a destructive monster.

It wouldn't be out of love. It would be out of a selfish desire to receive worship. Anything He would do is not out of love or care, but out of knowing that He'll receive praise for it.

Lawful Evil in a nutshell. Does good things not to do good, but for the reward of doing them.

The more I consider this, the... sorry to be offensive... but the more satanic calvinism sounds. The god of calvinism sounds no better than Satan himself!

Seeking his own worship to the exclusion of everything else
manipulating people into worshipping him
playing favourites, picking and choosing people
destroying everyone else
caring not for people, their souls, their wellbeing, all about glory glory glory...

that is evil.
that is not God.

NightCrawler
06-30-2007, 01:11 PM
If I were to believe in Calvinism, I would stop praying for people and stop preaching the Gospel. For their salvation or lack of it has already been determined. Praying and preaching is in vain. If God's plans cannot be interrupted (which you showed with scripture) and if God predestined us before time began, then my praying for people's salvation and preaching the Gospel is of no effect. For their destiny is fixed.
:(
But you don't know who is or who is not -- hence why actions shouldn't change. Essentially, God wouldn't use you. Good grief.


It wouldn't be out of love. It would be out of a selfish desire to receive worship. Anything He would do is not out of love or care, but out of knowing that He'll receive praise for it.
Mind addressing my point about God's 'selfishness'?

Does good things not to do good, but for the reward of doing them.
Does that make 3-6 year olds' disobedience evil? Just a question.

The more I consider this, the... sorry to be offensive... but the more satanic calvinism sounds. The god of calvinism sounds no better than Satan himself!

Seeking his own worship to the exclusion of everything else
manipulating people into worshipping him
playing favourites, picking and choosing people
destroying everyone else
caring not for people, their souls, their wellbeing, all about glory glory glory...

that is evil.
that is not God.
Somewhat related to the entire debate and thread... who would you say God values the most, or deems as most important? And a similar question, who does God love the most?

skynes
06-30-2007, 01:16 PM
But you don't know who is or who is not -- hence why actions shouldn't change. Essentially, God wouldn't use you. Good grief.


I don't understand...

I don't think it is contradictory for God to deserve worship, yet tell us to only worship Him -- why would it be so different for His 'selfishness' or glory?


I didn't respond to this because I wasn't sure what you were saying.

Does that make 3-6 year olds' disobedience evil? Just a question.


What does that have to do with it?

Somewhat related to the entire debate and thread... who would you say God values the most, or deems as most important?

Himself.

NightCrawler
07-03-2007, 07:12 AM
I don't understand...
If you refuse to pray for people or evangelize, then God obviously won't use you.

I didn't respond to this because I wasn't sure what you were saying.
It is possible that God be selfish without it contradicting His nature. In fact, the wrongness of selfishness only applies to persons who are not God.

Himself.
Okay, now who does God love the most?

skynes
07-03-2007, 10:36 AM
Okay, now who does God love the most?

I've mulled over my previous statement. I retract my answer.

My answer is: I don't know.

This is the God who forsook His glory and forsook His power and embodied Himself as a weak human, let Himself get kicked around then let Himself be murdered.

He gave up so much to do that. He had so much love for us that He did that. He let His own Son die for us.

Now I'm really uncertain as to which is most important.

My gut says it would be wrong to say us. But the evidence at hand makes it hard to say Him.

Possibly both?

In that giving up glory and showing us unending love, He is gaining even MORE glory for Himself while at the same time showing mass love?

bob
07-03-2007, 10:51 AM
Okay, now who does God love the most?

John referred to himself as "the loved disciple" or "the disciple whom Jesus loved". I always thought he was a bit arrogan referring to himself in the third person, but that's just me.

Another interesting thing to look at is God didn't punish Abraham for sleeping with Hagar while he punished Moses for hitting a rock with a stick. He didn't punish Jacob for stealing Esau's birth right while he punished David for sleeping with Bathsheba. There are a few instances where God isn't consistent in his judgement. To me, that shows favoritism. So yes, God loves everyone, but I don't think he loves everyone the same.

NightCrawler
07-03-2007, 12:38 PM
I've mulled over my previous statement. I retract my answer.

My answer is: I don't know.

This is the God who forsook His glory and forsook His power and embodied Himself as a weak human, let Himself get kicked around then let Himself be murdered.

He gave up so much to do that. He had so much love for us that He did that. He let His own Son die for us.

Now I'm really uncertain as to which is most important.

My gut says it would be wrong to say us. But the evidence at hand makes it hard to say Him.

Possibly both?

In that giving up glory and showing us unending love, He is gaining even MORE glory for Himself while at the same time showing mass love?
I think God loves Himself more than us, simply because we are a lowly creation, whereas God is exalted and deserves all praise. While Jesus died on the cross, the triune-godhead did not die. I think from the beginning to end, it has always been about God.