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Can True Salvation Be Forfeited?

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by Ben johnson, Aug 27, 2006.

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  1. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Calminian and I were having a pleasant conversation on another thread; I would like to pursue one of his posts, but doing it there would have de-railed the thread. So, with his permission, here is most of his post:


    And again you are confusing reasons with causes. A reason is not a cause. This is where everyone gets confused in my opinion. This is where Edwards and many Calvinists miss the mark (in my humble opinion). We may have a reason for sinning, but that reason is not efficacious. Thus the cause is the agent who not only determines the decision, but the reasons he will base it on. This is why the actual agent gets the blame for his decision and not the reason he chose. We may steal because of greed, but greed did not effectually cause us to steal.

    Geisler wrote a book called "Chosen But Free." I highly recommend the first half of the book. He's great on this particular issue. The rest of the book was so so, IMO.

    I don't find anything in scripture that says belief is a consequence (or effect) of appointment either. The reckoning of faith is an effect of God's determination. But I don't see anything in scripture that shows faith in the gospel to be caused by God. He only ordained what would follow according to His foreknowledge.

    You are getting into eternal security now. I don't believe that true believers are free to leave Christ. All the apostles referred to themselves as slaves of Christ. This seems to imply we have freely entered into a freedom-restrictive relationship.

    There are two kinds of faith. A productive one and a non-productive one. The latter is spoken of by James, and Jesus explained it in His sower parable (Matt 13, the 2nd and 3rd soils). But I see no evidence in scripture that a fruit bearing faith can be forfeited.

    Now I can at least see why you lean toward corporate election. Yes if salvation can be lost, Acts 13:48 becomes very difficult. As does Romans 8:29-30.

    One other thing that would distinguish us is that I believe God actually predestines our post salvation faith.

    James 2:5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

    I believe God chose to conform future believers to the image of Christ. Thus He keeps us, perfecting our faith day by day. I believe we freely enter into a relationship with Christ, but can't freely leave it.

    Well I now understand your logic and can agreeably disagree with it, while still respecting it. If salvation can be lost, then you have a very strong case.

    I believe all the warnings like this one by Paul are directed at those who have not entered rest as of yet—those like the 2nd and 3rd soils. The book of Hebrews has really helped me in this position. The author uses the analogy of Moses' generation who did not trust that God would deliver the Canaanites into there hands. Thus they failed to enter (Heb. 3-4). God warns us not to be like them, but rather to believe and enter the rest of Christ. They are not warnings to those already resting in Christ.
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Do you agree that we are the "agents", therefore we bear the full responsibility?

    Many get caught up in perceived conflict with such a statement of responsibility. In my understanding, our being responsible does not break God's sovereignty; nor does it elevate us to "self-righteousness". It simply means that we CHOOSE to receive Him into our hearts, and therefore BY His power resist sin. Does that make sense?
    It looks like we agree on this.


    ...if faith is something God RECEIVES, then how (and why) would faith suddenly exit from our will? Rom1:17 says "the righteousness of God is revealed from BEGINNING faith to ENDING faith" (you hafta go to the Greek for "beginning/ending" concepts). What does that mean to you all (especially Calvinists)?
    In Rom6 is the idea of "enslavement"; either to sin (and death), or to obedience (and righteousness) --- enslavement to God. A couple of points that seem important:

    1. Enslavement is voluntary, "from our hearts" (vs17)
    2. We "present ourselves" as slaves, either to sin OR to God

    In verse 11 Paul plainly says, "Therefore CONSIDER YOURSELVES dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus".

    Throughout Scripture it seems clear to me that walking in Him (and therefore overcoming sin) is constant choice...
  3. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    I really want to talk about this.

    What kind of faith is "unproductive"? In Matt13, I see only one "soil" that is saved. He who resides in worry --- does not reside in Christ, does he?

    Where in James does he speak of "non-productive-SAVED-faith"? In ch2, he speaks of a "faith that produces no good works". Sadly, all the translations I've read get verse 14 wrong; in using "me-dunamai" construct, it should be translated:

    "That faith can NOT save you, CAN it!"

    This is really the "argument behind the argument". Many doctrines entertain the idea of "backslidden-saved". But if one is BACKSLIDDEN, he is living in sin (by definition); and one who dwells in sin does not dwell in Jesus. See 1Jn3:5-10 --- it's absolute.

    The essence of salvation is "Christ in us", and "us in Christ". His person truly indwells us, so too the person of the Holy Spirit. As such, neither Jesus nor the Spirit will PARTICIPATE in willful sin (which they would DO if they continued to indwell a "backslidden" or "unproductive" person).

    So, really, "backslidden", and even "unproductive", don't seem compatible with the term "believer", imho.

    I'm hoping there will not be a large disagreement with this...
  4. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    It's not difficult for me; it simply conveys "as many as were inclined to eternal life, believed."
    Neither does that; verse 28 speaks of "those who LOVE Him"; and the rest of ch8 speaks clearly of "setting our minds on the Spirit, or setting our minds on the flesh". And, "if WE walk in the flesh, we MUST DIE; but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will LIVE. THEREFORE we are under obligation not to live by the flesh, but by the Spirit."

    I don't see how "obligation" can co-exist with any form of "predestination"...
    I don't think that means "predestined faith". I'm looking forwards to hear responses from you (Calminian) and the others as to what I said about James...
    Jude 24 is often used in a "predestined-election" argument. "God is ABLE to prevent you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy".

    ...but consider two other verses from Jude:

    "But you, beloved, building YOURSELVES in holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, KEEP YOURSELVES in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ".

    Do you see the duality of perspective? He keeps us blameless, but we keep ourselves in His love.

    He is faithful, we are responsible.

    If we become unfaithful (not keeping in His love), will He still keep us "blameless"? How could He?
  5. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    I respect you, Calminian; and I respect Calvinists here. It is a delight to have considerate conversation like this; though we will never come to agreement on all things (no two people will), the world will know that we love each other as "brothers in Christ".

    It is the prayer of my heart, to the depths of my soul, that the attitude I embody will present Christ to the world, that they want what I have. :)
    Well, I disagree (Ha! You knew I would. :D )

    By using "us", the writer (likely Paul) includes himself.

    But the entire letter presents to me as "warnings against falling from salvation".

    In ch2, "we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we DRIFT AWAY FROM it. ...how shall WE escape if we neglect so great a salvation?"

    In ch3, "do not harden YOUR (own!) hearts". Then it speaks of the deceitfulness of sin, warning us not to be hardened to falling away from God. Verse 14 says "we are partners in Christ IF we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end".

    Ch5 speaks of how we should be MATURE, not still "eating milk". Then immediately follows 6:1-6, where it speaks of those who "WERE enlightened", who "WERE tasters of the good world of God and of the powers of the world to come", who WERE 'metochos-partakers of the Holy Spirit". Many have contended that they weren't saved; but "taste" is the same word (geuomai) as in 2:9 (Jesus tasted death), and "metochos" conveys "PARTNERS". See metochos in verse 3:1 (partners in a heavenly calling), and in 3:14 (partners in Christ). I don't see how this could be referring to the "NEVER-SAVED".

    Then verse 6:7-8 follows, speaking of how the FRUIT (not the tilling) determines the "blessing" or the "curse". In verse 6:11-12, it speaks a warning us AGAIN to excercise diligence SO AS to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, THAT we not be sluggish BUT imitators of those who by FAITH and PATIENCE inherit the promises."

    Heb10 --- goodness, we might as well quote the entire chapter. Verse 26-29 prominently, verse 35 (do not throw away JESUS-your-confidence), verse 36 too.

    Heb11 encourages us in faith (why would he, if faith was "done" by God?).

    Heb12 speaks of discipline, and our ability to REFUSE it. If we do not submit to His discipline, then we are not His children but illegitimate. Look at verse 9: "SHALL we not much rather BE subject to the Father of Spirit, AND LIVE?"

    12:25 is another verse about "refusing Him", and also uses "shall not escape (if we turn away from Him)".

    I'll be very interested to read the responses to these posts. NO person is unwelcome to respond. You're all invited!

    (Uhmmm, who's bringing the ice-cold apple soda???)
  6. cygnusx1

    cygnusx1 Jacob the twister.....

    in the last days many shall fall away !

    True , but what is there for the Christian to hang onto to show that God's Church , His chosen people remain secure from this mass apostacy ?

    many will say "nothing" and admit that they believe Christianity can be undone by the masses and that no matter what God wishes , chooses , or loves and protects , He still will lose a multitude back to Satan whom He has paid for!!!

    but what sayeth the word of God ?
    What can the Christian cling onto when faced with the truth of massive apostacy ?

    simply this :

    "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (II Timothy 2:19)

    Note well , this is said straight after the Apostacy of two individuals Hymenaeus and Philetus !
  7. A Brother In Christ

    A Brother In Christ Senior Veteran

    why argue ... we all now your stand ben

    yet you continue to argue with scripture
  8. CCWoody

    CCWoody Voted best Semper Reformada signature ~ 2007

    I'm rather curious to even know what Ben thinks salvation is.

    Your friendly neighborhood Cordial Calvinist
  9. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Either I "contend earnestly for the faith" (as Jude3 says), or I promote heresy.

    Either way, you (and everyone) is required to deal with me. If "heresy", then you must correct me, lest I lead people away from Jesus.

    ...but if what I say is truth, Gamaliel's advice comes to mind. If my words align with Scripture, then you must listen.

  10. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Why don't you give me your understanding, and we'll see if mine agrees?

    When Jesus returns, He will separate the "sheep" from the "goats". What's the difference? What do the sheep have, that the goats to not?

    What does "born again" mean?
    Is "fellowship with God" important?
    Is there such a thing as "backslidden-saved"?
    Is "righteousness" desireable, or essential?
    How are we righteous?

    This should be enough for a good discussion, Woody; I look forward to your response (and others').

  11. A Brother In Christ

    A Brother In Christ Senior Veteran

    we are talked in many[more than ten] threads

    2 tim 2:16,23

    titus 3:9-10 two times admonish then reject

    luke 12:51
  12. cygnusx1

    cygnusx1 Jacob the twister.....

    Apostacy .........

    The arguement that man has a free-will and is therefore placed in a responsible Practical and OPPORTUNE situation regarding salvation has yet to be proved

    ... the whole basis of the arguement is that Unless God created us with the Free-Will to reject Him then we cannot really Love Him , so as a lever , the arguement about Apostacy is used to strengthen the concept of man's amazing free-will power , this is seen by saying that God will not prevent a Born Again Christian from Apostacy , the arguement is that God who loves us enough to give us a free-will to thwart Him , is now unable or unwilling to stop the TRUE Believer from Blaspheming Against the Holy Spirit .........

    This arguement is severely FLAWED !

    It basis it's emphasis on Man's need to be always CAPABLE to choose for or against God , and God is said to not have a genuine Love for His people UNLESS this is so!

    But here is the fatal Flaw , if it were true that God counts Human Freedom and independance from Him as supporting His Loving relationship with and in His True Flock , then THE WAY MUST STAY OPEN FOR AN APOSTATE TO RETURN TO THE LORD , he must be able to find Repentance and Faith yet again!!!!!

    But anyone who knows Hebrews 6 , knows that far from The Apostate having independance from God , and being able to twirl Salvation around his fingers , rather the truth is that the Apostate can NEVER Come BACK ........

    Read the account of Esau for a detailed study of Apostacy , and notice He brought it upon himself , yet though he sought to have it back even with TEARS , he could not!

    This account of Esau repenting with tears should put to bed any notion of God's equipping men with the ability to do whatever they want , especially in regards to Salvation , for God SHOULD have forgiven Esau and all returning Apostates IF the arguement holds up , but it just doesn't .........

    So much for the boast about man's Free-will in salvation and Apostacy , Hebrews 6 flatly denies it.

    Also just what PRACTICAL advice should Christians give to Apostates ....... there is none , we are even told NOT to pray for them!
  13. CCWoody

    CCWoody Voted best Semper Reformada signature ~ 2007

    Ben, you are the one using it in this thread and asking the question. I can't ANSWER the question until you define the terms.

    A better spiritual IQ to know to accept????

    Recognize that all true Christians will be Calvinists in glory....

    Your friendly neighborhood Cordial Calvinist
  14. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    Heh heh heh --- in that one statement is a wealth of theology.

    "Man is totally depraved, is committed to wickedness and rebellion, unable to even consider believing in Jesus, because his only desire is to sin. God must regenerate his heart BEFORE he is at all ABLE to believe, and once regenerated his heart WILLS to follow Jesus. So in the platform of "Responsible Grace", what is it that causes ONE man to believe, and another to DISBELIEVE? The believer must be SMARTER and BETTER than the other; he can take PRIDE in his clever choice to believe in Jesus."

    Does that reflect your view? Is that what was written "between the words of your "better-IQ" statement?
    Very well. We are depraved. TOTALLY depraved. We have no redeeming qualities of our own, our own "righteousness" is as filthy rags to God. We follow the nature we inherited from our ancestor, Adam.

    Jesus came to Earth to speak of God's love and grace. He was "Immanuel", God-with-us; truly divine, though born without beginning. "Begotten and not made". They crucified Him, He was dead and buried. A day and a half later He broke the bonds of death and arose, and ascended into Heaven, now is seated at the right hand of the Father.

    Jesus called for all men to repent and believe. Time after time after time, He rebuked His listeners TOWARDS repentance and belief. He answered every challengeer of His message AND authority, saying "God sent Me; if you had KNOWN the Father, you would love Me. Why do you ask to see the Father? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father."

    Each and every person is truly called to salvation; the call is sufficient to OVERCOME man's depravity, in enough measure to believe. Belief is therefore CHOICE. WHY does one person believe and another not? Is there some quality or virtue in one person in which he can take pride, that LEADS him to belief (while another disbelieves)?

    BEFORE man hears Jesus, BEFORE he is called to salvation by the words of the Gospel, he does NOT seek God nor seek to be righteous. Thus the "quality of desiring holiness" comes from OUTSIDE the man.

    Man is conscious; he thinks and reasons. THOUGH depraved, he can hear the Gospel, can hear of Jesus' reality and message, and can become convicted. "Conviction" means recognition of his own depravity and his need of a Savior. The Gospel carries sufficient power to OVERCOME his rebellious nature, so that he CAN believe.

    So instead of CONCEIT over his "wise choice to believe", he who comes to belief suffers GRIEF by his recognition of sinfulness and condemnation. He BELIEVES in Hell, and his own terrible destiny. He understands Jesus' reality, love, and deity. He begins to understand the concept of "indwelling". In anguish and despair (rather than pride and conceit) he falls to his knees at the foot of the Cross, and implores Jesus to save him, to indwell his heart and lead him towards righteousness.

    A believing heart is not a regenerated heart; this is a major difference between us. When a man receives Christ, he also receives/is-indwelt-by the Spirit. The INDWELLING Spirit brings regeneration, and reveals to the man's spirit the "spiritual things of God", God's deeper truths.

    Because of man's volition TO believe and TO receive Jesus, he then faces the same volition --- to pursue Jesus, and by His power resist sin, OR to turn back to sin. Really "sin" is equivalent to "unbelief". And "belief" is "conviction towards Christ".

    Scripture charges us over and over and over again to turn FROM sin TOWARDS Jesus. See Rm6:11. Because we CAN sin, it's clear that God is resistable. And therefore diligence to walk IN Him is replete in Scripture.

    Because man believes "with his heart", that belief is causal in receiving Jesus' graceful gift, and unbelief is causal in resisting His rescue from condemnation. "Unbelief" is the only thing in Scripture that condemns (Mk16:16, 1Jn5:10, Jn3:18).

    Thus "forfeitable salvation"; we are saved BY belief, not by a "good" or "boastable" quality, but by conviction of our hopelessness and by believing on Jesus-our-hope. Nowhere can it be demonstrated that "belief is consequential"; as one of Jesus' listeners implored, "I believe, HELP my unbelief!"

    "You believe BECAUSE you have seen? Blessed and holy are those who have NOT seen and yet believe." Jesus' words clearly acknowledges "GREATER faith" in those who have not seen; and it fully conflicts "monergistic-granted-faith".

    "I tell you, if Tyre and Sidon and even Sodom had seen what YOU have seen, THEY would have BELIEVED. It will go better for THEM in the judgment, then for YOU." WHY would it go better for them (Tyre/Sidon/Sodom), than for His listeners (Capernaum/Bethsaida/Chorazin)? The only answer is the listeners' "WILLFUL UNBELIEF". This fits perfectly with what He told Thomas.

    Paul worries for our continuance in Christ, in salvation. He conveys the possibility of HIMSELF falling. Paul, Peter, Jude, James, John --- all of them admonished us to BE diligent IN Christ. And such diligence in Him (seeking His might in us, not persevering by our own strength), clearly carries eternal consequence.

    So, my friend and brother Woody, salvation is CHRIST IN YOU; it is belief, it is "dying to self and sin daily". It is choice.

    ...and if we do not persevere, if we do not excercise due diligence, if we do not commune with Him and walk in His light, it is forfeitable...
  15. seekingpurity047

    seekingpurity047 Why am I not surprised

    Interesting how I am working on a devotional about pride and humility, because this is an interesting part that I brought up while writing it.

    Jer. 9:23-24

    23Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."

    It's interesting that God would bring up a scenario where He declares that the one who is wise shouldn't boast in his wisdom, but instead, ought to boast in the Lord, that he knows Him. Of course, to the person who believes in free will to the extent that you do, Ben, these verses look rather contradictory. Becuase I mean, if it was by our free will that we gain wisdom and knowledge to know God, then we wouldn't be boasting in the fact that we know God, but instead, in the fact that we chose to know God, we got to know God by our own free will, by our own wisdom. Basically, what free will is declaring is that we know God by our own wisdom. Of course, that is just heinous, becuase God tells us not to boast in our wisdom, but in the fact that we know Him. And we know Him solely becuase of Him, since if it was for us to know Him as a result of our wisdom, then we would hvae something to boast about in ourselves, namely, our wisdom. However, God will have nothing to do with us boasting in ourselves. Remember: Pride is a Sin.

    Every single person is commanded to repent and believe the gospel. If the call to salvation was sufficient to overcome man's depravity, then why hasn't it overcome man's depravity in some? Clearly, that call isn't all-sufficient. It's just a sad sad situation, isn't it, Ben? God can't do what He decided to do becuase Man has become too powerful for Him. *sigh* Might as well agree with nietzche in that Man killed God. :doh:

    Slow down a second. You just said that all men are called to salvation (that is, I'm assuming you meant every single person oin the face of the earht without exception), however, in order to be called to salvation in your sense, they need to hear the Gospel. Yet, that would be totally contradictiing yourself, since not every single person on the face of the earth has had the gospel preached to them yet. There's a logical inconsistency in your argument, Ben, please correct it.

    Now, if I were to assume that you were correct ("he is called to salvation by the words of the Gospel"), then Man being called to salvation is something initiated by Man, since it is Man who preaches the gospel.... Hmm... So, Man then seeks for God as a result of Man telling other men about God. Now, I'm also going to assume that you mean All Men who have the gospel preached to them seek after God. So, what about the people who hear about it, and want nothing to do with it, and frankly, never want anything to do with it? Did they seek after God? Hmm...

    Slow down a second here Ben, I thikn you are missing something. How does Man then become convicted? Does he become convicted as a result of the gospel or as a result of him thinking about the gospel? Ok. If conviction is becuase of Man's free will, then what convicts man to choose to be convicted? Ben, recognize that the will is not self-determining and never will be self-determining.

    Why does he become convicted? Why does he come to belief? Why, Ben, why? Oh please answer me! We would love to know!

    So, it takes belief to overcome unbelief? Well, how can someone believe if they don't believe? Doesn't make much sense to me. How can belief overcome unbelief if unbelief is ever present prior to belief? What suddenly makes the person go from unbelief to belief if in order to overcome sin, you have to believe? Recognize that unbelief is in itself a sin (unforgivable, for that matter). If I believed your logic to be correct, then nobody could ever be convicted toward Christ because they are under the sin of unbelief. There's something missing in your argument, Ben, there must be! Unbelief doesn't just turn into belief if belief in the power of Jesus is necessary to overcome sin, namely the sin of unbelief.

    Hmm... "Why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?" Rom. 9:19

    However, in order to overcome the sin of unbelief, we must first believe in Jesus and His power to overcome the sin of unbelief, like you said. Ben, this doesn't make any sense though. Why? Your arguments beg the question: What happens in between condemning unbelief and saving belief?

    Well, hold on another second here. You said, "We are saved by belief, not by a good or boastable quality", but that takes away God's work in salvation. Instead of God doing the saving, instead, it's us doing the saving of ourselves, and therefore, makes our choice of belief in Him a good and boastable quality. "To assume that whatever God requires of us to do in order to be saved is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." Thank You, John Owen.

    You haven't checked the context of that verse lately, have you? Recognize that Jesus is talking about physical sight.

    Another thing about this one, your argument here again has an error. There error here is that you assume that in order to see, you must first believe, but how can you come to believing in order to see if you are always unbelieving, and therefore, blind (that is, in your unregenerate state)? Do blind people have the free will to choose to not be blind anymore? And can they see as a result of their free will to see? No, becuase the will is not self-determining, and it doesn't cause something else, but it in itself is affecting by the circumstances at hand. The decisions that we make are effects of things that have occurred and are occurring at the moment. Our decisions do not cause the things to happen.

    I don't know what you are trying to argue here.

    Yet to say that truly saved individuals can fall is to assume that we would be persevering by our own strength. We'd instead be trusting in ourselves to keep the faith rather than trusting in Christ Alone to be sufficient for our salvation. It's almost as if your view of salvation is that Christ can't accomplish something without first having permission from Man.

    Umm... Ben. If salvation is belief that we do by our own choice, then it is no longer God who saves, but instead, it is us. And, if we got to heaven and thought to ourselves "Oh, we saved ourselves because of the choices we made. We made the right choices. I did it. It was my choice of believing that saved me." Then we would be spitting in God's face and raping Him of His glory, the glory that He has because He alone saves, His Grace saves, and the Cross saves. But if you want to take pride in the choice of belief that you made, fine. There isn't much that I can do about that except pray that God would show you that pride is a sin.

    To the glory of God,

  16. nobdysfool

    nobdysfool The original! Accept no substitutes!


    Excellent post, and spot on! :thumbsup: :amen:
  17. beloved57

    beloved57 Well-Known Member


    ben says:

    Ben, you are still espousing a saviour , who wants and desires to save people from sin, but refuses to do so because of sin ?
  18. beloved57

    beloved57 Well-Known Member

    cyg says

    cyg , did God love easu ?
  19. Calminian

    Calminian Senior Veteran

    Hi Ben. Just saw this thread.

    I think the metaphor of slavery is very important to this issue. To fully understand what Paul is speaking about in Romans 6 and other places, we first need to delve into his understandings of the institution of slavery. I have this theory about american calvinists that I've been pondering for a while. In America, we unfortunately had a very brutal evil form of slavery, and to our shame, some of our theologians wrongly used the Bible to support it. (of course to our credit, christians were at the forefront of the abolitionist movement) But the slavery in this country was not at all analogous to biblical slavery and the slavery which existed in ANE culture. I'll explain.

    This may be more on the money than you know. One of the distinctives between ANE slavery and early american slavery is that, in the later, the slave/master relationship was often initiated by the would-be slave! Back then, finding a good master was often a matter of survival for you and your family. Contrast this with the evil practice of ripping people from their homes from other nations and making them slaves involuntarily. Perhaps you can see where I'm going with this. Therefore (and this theory's still in the works) I can see why one with a different understanding of slavery, may come to wrong conclusions about human freedom.

    In Exodus we find this piece of legislation.

    Ex. 21:2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. ....5 “But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 “then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever..

    While slaves were by no means free, prior to being slaves they often had choices as to whom they would be enslaved to, and whether they would be slaves at all.

    In the above illustration you have a man voluntarily becoming a slave —freely choosing not to be free!

    5 “But if the servant plainly says, ...I will not go out free,’ 6 ...his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.

    That's why, in light of these N.T. metaphors, I think it's a mistake to think were are always free, but equally a mistake to think we are never free.

    I believe men are born depraved—slaves of sin. Our wills are in bondage and we have no power to free ourselves. In order to free us form this master, Christ died on the cross and paid for our freedom. He then asks us to make Him our new master. Many of course reject Him and chose to serve their old master, thus enslaving themselves to sin once again. Perhaps this is what Hebrews 6 is speaking of. But those who receive Christ become slaves of a new master, whom they will be in bondage to forever.

    A similar metaphor is used in Romans 7 regarding marriage. A woman is not free while her husband is alive. But when he dies she is free to remarry. Again you have this brief moment of freedom where we are free to chose a new husband. Christ nailed this old husband to the cross, freeing us to choose a new husband. That may need some refining, but I think that's the basic idea.

    This is why I like the arminian framework over the pelagian and calvinistic frameworks. The idea of prevenient (forerunning) grace that enables us to choose, seems to work with these metaphors best. And I think eternal security fits nicely with it as well, though many arminians disagree. Our freedom from sin was purchased. Who's going to purchase us from Christ? Would He ever sell us? Some seem to think of our relationship with Him as an employer/employee relationship where we're free to leave anytime. I don't think that's what the Paul and the other N.T. writers had in mind. Our choice was binding and permanent.

    I trust you have some comments.
  20. cygnusx1

    cygnusx1 Jacob the twister.....


    Love and hatred are not exclusively contrary.

    Ask someone who has been married for years and discovers their partner has been unfaithful , ask them if they can speak of love and hate in the same breath for the same person for obviously different reasons.

    Ambivalence ;

    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1)
    –noun 1.uncertainty or fluctuation, esp. when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.
    2.Psychology. the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.

    It is possible to Love and Hate a person/s at the same time for very different reasons ..........

    Why does God bother at all with the Non-Elect if He doesn't have some Love for them ?

    Why did Jesus weep over Jerusalem ?

    Why did Paul weep over FALLEN Israel ?

    Does not the Old Testament show us that God Himself can be in extreme turmoil over sinners ........ see Hosea 11:8

    even Esau was left with a Blessing , and God hated him.

    Look at Ishmael , God didn't Elect Him , but still left him a blessing !

    and Cain was even protected by God after he killed Abel ... Under the Law there is no protection.

    Also God's Great Love for Israel , lead some to think God couldn't love those He hadn't chosen ........... ENTER JONAH !

    If these illustrations do not depict something of the WIDENESS of God's Love , I fail to see what better word could describe it.

    Did God's love for His Elect have a beginning ? No , it was an everlasting love , He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world , Yes?
    But remember we are also said to be like others "children of wrath" prior to being saved. (a real antimony)

    I used to have real problems with this issue , here we go , why should we be loving to all men if God isn't ?
    If God hates some men why should we not also join in with David and say "we hate as well" ?

    The answer is given us in the Gospels .................if we love those who love us what reward is that , even the pagans (unbelievers) do as much. we are told to love our enemies and THUS be like God , for he loves men in general by sending upon them gifts , undeserved gifts , of rain and food , so from the passage can we not see God showing His universal Love for mankind as an EXAMPLE to us to follow!

    43"You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    The truth is there are legitimate theological antinomies throughout scripture.

    Sincerely Cygnus
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