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Featured Does God Try His Best to Save Everyone?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by jimmyjimmy, May 29, 2017.

  1. TaylorSexton

    TaylorSexton 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith

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    It doesn't really matter whether or not you were talking to me. This is a public forum, friend, and I took great exception to your characterization of my faith. It is certainly within my rights to comment and to report. If you do not wish either of those to happen, I would suggest using more careful and fair language in the future. Your personal experience, although no doubt real, is no basis for such bold assertions and accusations.

    Neither those men nor we claim them to be. I don't understand what you're complaint is. You are acting as if we are basing our arguments on these confessions, when in reality we are just trying to get people to understand what we believe.

    Absolutely everyone does that: They form their theology, and then they defend it because they believe it to be the best representation and summary of biblical teaching. You're doing it right now, and so is everyone else hereā€”me included. What else would you expect thinking Christians to do?

    What you are asking in essence is that no one have a confession or creed. But, of course, that's impossible, because everyone has a confession, regardless of whether it is written.
     
  2. RisenInJesus

    RisenInJesus Well-Known Member

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    I know it is a public forum. I do apologize and am sincerely sorry if my words caused you to feel I was attacking your faith or you personally. Yet, I feel just as sincere and concerned about the teachings of Calvinism because I honestly see them as contrary to the scriptures and maligning the character of God. And here is something I don't understand, why do Calvinists seem so much more identified with Calvinism than with Christianity? It comes across as if Calvinism or Reformed theology is a different faith.
     
  3. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    Lol! I always find it very telling when some armchair theologian comes along and makes a comment like this. "You take the word of these learned biblical scholars over the Word of God!" No...we recognize the credibility of these people to properly understand and convey the Word of God. You sit there acting like your practice of trusting your own interpretation is, somehow, more reliable than trusting their interpretation. Is it that you think we should trust your unbiblical understanding of Scripture as if you have some insight that these renowned scholars don't have? The confessions are their understanding of the Word of God. The only difference between you and us is that we're trusting the understanding of learned, devout, scholars and you're trusting you're own interpretation. I think it's obvious who is more reliable.

    Hmmmm...RisenInJesus or Jon Calvin...yeah, not so hard a choice.
     
  4. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    The only time I've ever heard a reformed Christian refer to themselves as anything other than simply a Christian is when they're discussing theological issues with a semi-Pelagian Christian like yourself. More often than not, someone recognizes something we say as being identified with the reformed teaching on the doctrines of grace and they label us "Calvinists."
     
  5. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    And for the record, reformed theology IS a different faith...than the man centered nonsense peddled from the pulpit in most mainstream evangelical churches. It's the biblical faith.
     
  6. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    If this alone doesn't tell you that such a view of God should be placed in the round file, nothing will.

    Good luck with that pitiful non-god you worship. I'll continue to trust that nothing happens apart from the will of God. Sovereignty has meaning for me. For you it may as well be a sno-cone flavor.
     
  7. Strong in Him

    Strong in Him I can do all things through Christ Supporter

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    I don't know if I can answer this all in one go; it's quite long.

    No I don't.
    Christ IS the life preserver. He doesn't stand on the shore throwing out ropes and waiting for half dead people to locate and grab hold of them; he wades into the sea and rescues them.
    Someone who is in the sea and in distress will very likely call out for help. Does their calling save them? No, but maybe it alerts someone to their condition so that the appropriate help can be sent. The lifeguard, coastguard, air ambulance or whoever is the one who saves them.

    No I don't. But Christ's work is more than standing at a distance and tossing out a life preserver.

    No. Christ saved me.
    If you were in the sea, in great trouble and actually in the act of drowning, it would be because the conditions were too bad/you were blown out to sea/tangled in seaweed or whatever, and unable to save yourself. In that situation, you may not realise someone had even thrown you a life preserver, never mind have the strength to physically grab hold of it. Someone who stood on the shore and did nothing else but throw a rope would be rather callous if they later said "well I threw the rope; it's his fault if he didn't grab it." They would probably be told that the way to save you was to go into the sea, grab hold of you, bring you to safety and provide whatever medical treatment that was needed. They might face prosecution for failing to save you, or alert the right people to save you - and any attempt to blame you, the drowning man, would no doubt be dismissed.

    That analogy doesn't work exactly for salvation. I would say that most non Christians aren't aware/don't believe that they are drowning. Are they in trouble and realise they can't save themselves? The people I talk to either don't believe in God, so therefore there is no one to sin against, or do believe but don't count themselves as sinners, "I help others and lead a pretty good life really." Did Christ die for them? Yes, but they don't realise it. They don't realise they are drowning and WILL die spiritually unless they call on their Saviour.

    If I was in the sea in trouble, called for help and someone stronger than I waded in to save me; that person is the one who saved me. Did my calling out save me? No, although it may have got someone's attention and alerted them to my plight. And I would have been calling out for help because I knew that I was in trouble and could not save myself.
    If I was in the sea and didn't call for help because I didn't realise I was drowning, how would I be saved? Only by a lifeguard realising what was happening and swimming out to save me. If I then turned to him and said "what are you doing?", he would probably say "you would have drowned if things had carried on as they were; I saw that danger and saved you before that could happen." At which point I'd probably feel very grateful that he had seen a danger that I hadn't seen, and that I was still alive.

    Most non Christians, I would say, have no idea/don't believe that they are drowning. Christ has died to save them, and is doing everything to make sure both that they realise their condition and that he has provided the answer. But it's not exactly the same as the lifeguard scenario; he doesn't zap people and say "you are now saved/born again whether you realised you needed, and wanted, it or not."

    No; Christ saved me.
    All is from God. He created me, loved me, saved me, filled me with his Spirit and gave me eternal life. I did nothing to earn this or make it happen. All I did was to say, "I agree that I am a sinner and cannot save myself. It is only Jesus who can save me; please save/help me." And God didn't say, "you are already saved; Jesus' death benefits and saves you whether you realised it or not." Otherwise, the logical argument is that since Christ died for everyone, everyone in the world now has, and is living in a state of, salvation.
    In the Bible, God issues invitations; "come, let us reason together", "come, all who are thirsty", "come to me all who labour and are heavy laden". Jesus did not order people to follow him, he invited them. They still had to respond. Were the Pharisees, generally speaking, Jesus' disciples? They could see him, hear his teaching, see his miracles etc, but they didn't believe in him and they opposed, rather than followed, him.

    Scripture says that people were saved, baptised and born again after they confessed their sins and called upon the Lord.
    This is the spiritual equivalent of a drowning man calling for help.

    Unless the Spirit is already, maybe through the prayers of others, at work in that person; convicting them of sin, producing a thirst for life and drawing them to Jesus.

    Yes, we respond to Christ through the Spirit; because he has provided people to preach the Gospel/teach us and then convicts us that what we are hearing is true. Not because we have done enough good deeds, or whatever, to earn God's attention/favour.
    Even then, I don't believe that God forces anyone to accept the Gospel.

    Will try to finish this later. I need to go out.
     
  8. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    A being who has the power to create an entire universe, yet has no control over it, can certainly not be trusted with one's life. How could one trust a God who isn't sovereign over all? I wouldn't trust him with a $5 bill, let alone my life. He might lose either one - to both.

    This impotent and incompetent, "god" - a mad scientist who's lost control of his experiment, is more to be pitted than worshipped. Though, perhaps he is to be feared, as he might just flip he wrong switch as he mutters, "I wonder what this one does?"
     
  9. Adstar

    Adstar Well-Known Member

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    We must always go back and test what we have been told against scriptures.. So one trusts in God and His word and not in men..
     
  10. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    That's not what you originally said.
     
  11. Adstar

    Adstar Well-Known Member

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    Well now i have clarified my POV, :) At least i hope so..
     
  12. TaylorSexton

    TaylorSexton 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith

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    That's a good question, and truly a valid one. You are certainly right in saying that Calvinists often refer to themselves as Calvinists before Christian. But, again, let's be fair: Don't all groups do this? Of course, many people, in trying to sound pious, say that they are Christians only a nothing else, but even they realize that the title "Christian" in today's world is virtually meaningless. Catholics consider themselves Christians, as well as the Orthodox, Baptists, Presbyterians, and even the Mormons! So, while people would like to think that "Christian" means something to everyone, it in reality means nothing in particular to anyone. Therefore, we have to have secondary titles to make sure that we are understood to believe what we believe. If I say, "I am a Christian," to someone, there is nothing that would differentiate me from the local Catholic or Mormon. However, if I say that I am Reformed (or Calvinist, although that is regrettable nomenclature, and Calvin himself would no doubt complain about it), that is very specific: I am a Reformed Christian. It is sad we have to be identified by our differences, but such a thing is made necessary by the sheer plethora of heresies today.

    In the end, I really do think that your perception of the Reformed in this regard (i.e., the use of "Reformed" over "Christian") is truly because you just don't like our theology. That's okay, but please realize the bias, and what misconceptions that bias leads to. Every Christian group does what you see the Reformed doing, otherwise words have no meaning.
     
  13. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    As Jesus said,
    If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid.
    John 5:31

    I am not right person to say am I righteous, but if I am, I think you can see it by yourself.
     
  14. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    I agree with that, but if we are righteous, we do righteous actions.
     
  15. Strong in Him

    Strong in Him I can do all things through Christ Supporter

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    Oh yes; we are saved to do good deeds, Ephesians 2:10, we show our faith by our works and if we are to love as Jesus loves, that means showing it.
    I do lots of voluntary work now. Once upon a time I would have done it because I didn't believe God could love ME, so I wanted him to at least be impressed by what I did. Now I do it because I know how much he loves me, and I want to show him that I love him. To other people, the results are the same; but God sees my heart and I know what the difference is.

    Jesus gave his life fr me when I was a sinner; not because I somehow made myself righteous.
     
  16. Strong in Him

    Strong in Him I can do all things through Christ Supporter

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    It depends on how you're defining "righteous."
    Christ has made you righteous and holy; i.e right with God, set apart for him and his child, and you have every right to say that. Some people think of righteousness as goody two shoes, holier than thou, disapproving of everything sinful or risque. "He's righteous" could be seen as an insult.
    But if God calls you righteous, it's not an insult; it's beautiful.
     
  17. RisenInJesus

    RisenInJesus Well-Known Member

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    I find that it is a problem to be in discussion with Calvinists because this charge always comes up. The language used by those defending or explaining the "doctrines of grace" is so slippery that it makes it difficult to have reasonable conversation. I have found this same problem in having discussions with Mormons with their different definitions/meanings applied to biblical words and I am always charged with ... you are misrepresenting what Mormonism teaches or you don't actually understand Mormon doctrine. Yet, prior to being saved by Jesus Christ and delivered from darkness I was a Mormon, baptized into the LDS Church, married in the Mormon temple. I do understand Mormonism, but because I now see it as false and contrary to the biblical scriptures, my experience in the Mormon Church and understanding of their doctrine is disregarded by Mormons as invalid.

    Later after a few years as a Christian, I spent five years in a Reformed/Covenant/Presbyterian church. Every Sunday School class was a video lecture by R.C. Sproul, Piper, or another Reformed/Calvinist. The pastor spent a few months preaching through the five points: T.U.L.I.P. The ladies made a pretty TULIP banner to hang in the sanctuary during the series. The books recommended and shared among the congregation were books by a variety of Calvinistic authors and teachers. I admit I am not a theologian, but I at least have a basic understanding of Calvinism.
     
  18. Hammster

    Hammster Melanin Level - Low Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    If you have all of this knowledge of reformed theology, then why misrepresent it? Why not just argue against what it really taught as opposed to putting up straw men?
     
  19. RisenInJesus

    RisenInJesus Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate your response and I do understand and agree with you. The term "Christian" is very ambiguous today. It is very discouraging to hear Mormons or JW's and others who promote false teachings called Christians. Although I was raised a Catholic, I know I was not a Christian all those years.
    I guess I have just been around too many in Reformed circles who display such an attitude of proud superiority and consider themselves so much more enlightened than those other Christians. I don't really like labels, but prefer to consider myself a Bible-believing Christian.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  20. RisenInJesus

    RisenInJesus Well-Known Member

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    Okay, if you help me out I will because I am not trying to misrepresent it. Can you give me an example of what you think is a straw man and then tell me or explain why and what the actual point of argument should be according to Reformed theology or Calvinism.
     
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