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Old 12th February 2005, 07:10 PM
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Predestination - Election and the non-reformed

Is it possible for someone who believes in salvation through faith and the perseverence of the saints but does not hold to predestination (as our good friend Van over on the Soretology forum) to be truly saved. In other words - they believe that on the basis of their own "will" they chose to believe in Christ and are thus saved. Also - what about those who believe its possible to loose your salvation? Are they really saved?

The reason I ask this question is because I have recently learned that the church that I go to (which is Reformed Baptist) is considering aligning with the "Soverign Grace Ministries" out of Gaithersburgh, MD. What I have read about them on their website is very encouraging - however two things about them have me concerned.

1) They are Charismatic - and do believe in the effectual working of the gifts in this day and age. Though I don't necessarily disagree with this per se - I have yet to find a church that practices the gifts that doesn't abuse them or misuse them....

2) Although they specifically reference TULIP as core to their doctrinal beliefs and display a comprehensive understanding and acceptance of election - I came across a statement in which they basically said it is very possible to be saved and not believe in predestination or in the perseverence of the saints. For some reason the fact that they made this statement bothers me. I'm not sure why. Perhaps its because it leaves the impression that you can have membership in one of their churches even if you don't buy into election. I am also torn in that I have to ask the question how much a person really knows what salvation is if they think they can loose it?

Anyway back to my origonal question - I would appreciate some your thoughts and insight on it.
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Old 12th February 2005, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Behe's Boy
) Although they specifically reference TULIP as core to their doctrinal beliefs and display a comprehensive understanding and acceptance of election - I came across a statement in which they basically said it is very possible to be saved and not believe in predestination or in the perseverence of the saints. For some reason the fact that they made this statement bothers me. I'm not sure why. Perhaps its because it leaves the impression that you can have membership in one of their churches even if you don't buy into election. I am also torn in that I have to ask the question how much a person really knows what salvation is if they think they can loose it?


Salvation is not based on works, but comes by God's choice. Having the right theology does not save you. I'm sure there are Calvinists in hell just as there are Arminianists.
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Old 12th February 2005, 10:41 PM
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I agree with theseed but no one is in hell yet because there has not been a trial yet(standing before the throne of Judgment i.e. Last Day)
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Old 12th February 2005, 11:03 PM
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This does bring up a good point. Calvin doesn't save anyone. You can believe that the Lord saves and not be granted faith and repentance. It is unlikely that you would accept this doctrine if the Lord hasn't elected you, but I suppose it could happen.

About the merge you mentioned, I'd discuss this with your pastor and ask him if your church would be including charasmatic practices into the service. If someone stands up and begins speaking in tongues, would this bear the same weight as the scriptures, for example.

Question: do you mean that your denomination is considering such an alliance or is it your church itself? Also, how much freedom does your local church have to govern its own affairs? Some denominations send a listing to the churches regarding what is to be preached and sung each week, and I would be cautious if that is the case.
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Old 12th February 2005, 11:53 PM
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Good points - thanks guys!

In answer to your question Coffee Swirls - it is just the church (not denomination) that is seeking the alliance.
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Old 12th February 2005, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by theseed

Salvation is not based on works, but comes by God's choice. Having the right theology does not save you. I'm sure there are Calvinists in hell just as there are Arminianists.
I would agree mostly because God does save and to understand the Five Points and except them is not what gets you to heaven.
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Old 13th February 2005, 12:31 AM
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I believe that there are gifts of the spirit in use today, but not all gifts are still used. Before the Bible was complete, there were certain miracles used to help those who didn't believe see that the church was of God. Healings, tongues, prophesy and other gifts were granted, but only until the Word was complete. Teaching, encouragement and other gifts go on today. I would ask for a more comprehensive list of what they mean by "spiritual gifts" to see if they are truly charasmatic in the sense that a spoken word could be as valid in the service as scripture.

Revelelation 22:18-19
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

Also, though the doctrines of grace do not save, I am concerned that they don't believe in predestination in any sense. The Bible seems pretty clear in this.

Romans 8:28-30
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 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. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

And no belief in the perseverence of the saints? Where is the blessed hope? If you can be chosen by God, as they do preach the 5 (or 4) points, why would they doubt that one? Limited Atonement is usually the one that people are more likely to stumble on, not perseverence! I'd let the decision makers of the church know that you are concerned about this proposed alliance. Why do they think such a merge is necessary for a church that teaches something different than this group?

Sola Scriptura:
We reaffirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation,which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.

We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christianís conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.
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Old 13th February 2005, 07:43 PM
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Hi Coffee Swirls -

I think you misunderstood me. The "Soverign Grace ministries" definately believe in all the five points of Calvanism and aggressively teach them - at least from what I see on their web site. But they did make the statement that they would accept and attempt to find common ground with those who do not accept all the five points of Calvansim. In other words - they wouldn't shun someone just because they disagreed on the five points. I suppose that is not a bad thing - but it causes me some concern since I believe they are integral to a clear understanding of grace/salvation.
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Old 13th February 2005, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by James1979
I agree with theseed but no one is in hell yet because there has not been a trial yet(standing before the throne of Judgment i.e. Last Day)
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Old 13th February 2005, 08:32 PM
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I'd be more concerned about extra-biblical instruction than about the five points. Do you know if they will be seeking "new" ways to worship God? Is this a way to get the emergent church movement ideals included in your worship? What does your pastor plan to teach and how involved with this organization be in your ministry? I can handle a < 5-pointer, though I will debate him. I wouldn't allow my family to be subjected to extra-biblical worship, though.
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