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U/C Unconditional election vs. Conditional election

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by Blackhawk, Apr 11, 2002.

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  1. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson I Like Traffic Lights

    366
    +0
    Christian
    The majority of Southern Baptists are NOT calvinists. They believe the once a person is saved he will always be saved, but Baptists generally believe that Christ died for all men and that men have a choice to follow or reject Christ.
     
  2. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    Dear all,

    Ben digs himself a hole.

    He says:
    quote:
    It seems that it is just a theoretical argument to you devoid of the stuff that makes up reality. Maybe not, but please explain why you ignore this point I keep raising.
    I have answered it before---but you are not ready to receive it. You assume that a man must hear the Gospel to acknowledge the reality of God. According to Romans 1, the creative-force-of-God (which is JESUS), is observable through what has been made. Why do you think he boldly writes, "They are therefore without excuse"? They have no excuse, because He is revealed, in some measure, to all men...

    In Rom2, Paul writes: "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law, nevertheless demonstrate the Law written in their hearts, they become a law unto themselves". And their conscience will alternately accuse and defend them (on the day of judgment). If they are condemned (for not HEARING the GOSPEL), then the defense is of no accord. But Jesus, being now "the fulfillment of the Law", can be in their hearts. You see, we serve a real, sentient, omnipotent-omniscient-omipresent God. As the Old testament proclaims, "He who seeks Me will find Me, when He seeks with all his heart".


    My reply.

    I assume nothing. I am not talking about acknowledging the reality of God; I am talking about having faith in Jesus through the Gospel. The Bible plainly tells us that they can not believe until they hear, and they cannot hear unless someone tells them. Romans 10:5-15. You are being heretical to think otherwise. Salvation is through faith in Jesus and what He has done on earth, the cross and resurrection –in other words- the Gospel. Simply acknowledging that there is a creator God [as Muslims certainly do] is not enough to save anyone].

    Why is man condemned? Because he sins. There is no reason for you to say God needs a ‘defense’ for condemning sinners. Likewise Jesus [and hence the Gospel], did not come into the world to condemn anyone {John 3:17].

    Both of your reasons are simply conjectures without scriptural basis. Your main premises are:

    +a+ Man does not have to hear the gospel to believe in Jesus.
    +b+ God has no reason to condemn sinners if they don’t hear the gospel.

    Both are major departures from established Christian doctrine. Let me take each of your scriptures and discuss them.

    . According to Romans 1, the creative-force-of-God (which is JESUS), is observable through what has been made. Why do you think he boldly writes, "They are therefore without excuse"? They have no excuse, because He is revealed, in some measure, to all men...

    They have no excuse because despite knowing that there is such a Creator-God they have not submitted themselves to Him and have disobeyed, doing wrong when they knew what was right. In other words they violated their own consciences and sinned against God. There is nothing in the Law [read obedience] that can save a man. So they are without excuse, and God needs no further reason to condemn them [rejection of the Gospel, even if they did hear it.]

    The next Scripture:
    In Rom2, Paul writes: "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law, nevertheless demonstrate the Law written in their hearts, they become a law unto themselves". And their conscience will alternately accuse and defend them (on the day of judgment).

    Obviously the Law is what is being discussed here. Why do you think anyone should believe in a Jesus they never heard of simply because their conscience condemned them for lying? Like I said, your position is devoid of reality, and is to me heretical.

    Third one:
    You see, we serve a real, sentient, omnipotent-omniscient-omipresent God. As the Old testament proclaims, "He who seeks Me will find Me, when He seeks with all his heart".

    This Scripture neither adds to your argument nor subtracts from mine. We do not disagree that those who truly seek Him will find Him. This scripture by the way was not written to the world at large, but to the Hebrews, a nation already in a relationship with God whose individuals needed to seek Him out.

    SALVATION IS BY FAITH IN JESUS AS PORTRAYED BY THE GOSPEL.
    Without hearing the Gospel, one cannot believe. Therefore my point stands, many cannot believe because they have not heard and therefore they stand before God without excuse because they have willfully decided to sin.

    Likewise your points are shown to be false, since not all men can believe [since not all men hear] and therefore since God knew that, He didn’t intend to save all men. Neither then does He love all men.

    Ben
    The premise behind "unconditional election" is that God calls some but not all. Those whom He calls WILL BE SAVED. Those whom He DOESN'T call, WILL NEVER BE SAVED.
    quote:
    They claim the truth IS hidden from some BY God. That God chooses whom to reveal it to.
    I never said God saves men before they believe, or installs faith. You are not going to get a lot of Calvinist junk from me. I learned what I know from the Word before I knew what Calvinism preached. The faith we have, or the confidence we have in God so as to trust Him and be saved comes from the sure knowledge He gives us. That revelation of Himself to us is limited to those who believe, or will believe.

    Choose one, only one. The RED quote says that God installs knowledge/faith/belief towards salvation, in keeping with "predestined-election". The GREEN quote says "man believes/has-faith FROM HIS OWN HEART". You must choose ONE, holding to BOTH is contradictory...


    My reply.
    You are simply being illogical. One does not negate the other. Man is the one who believes, who chooses to submit to God. But man cannot submit to that which He knows not. God as seen through the Gospel is hidden from each man until the Spirit reveals the truthfulness of it. It is not about what man does, but it is about WHY he does it. Man has reasons to do as he does. Some men think the gospel foolishness and perish. They never had a reason to trust the Jesus of the Gospel. Those who do trust Jesus do so because He has been revealed to them as true by the Spirit.

    Ben.
    quote:
    There I explained to you that the reason they no longer had a stony heart towards God is because he softened it.
    And I explained to YOU that He DID soften their hearts, AFTER THEY TURNED TO THEM. But "those whose hearts go after abominations and destestable things He will bring their actions down upon their heads". If He had SOFTENED their hearts unilaterally, there would BE no "going-after-abominations". You cannot deny the Scriptures because you do not like what they say...


    My reply.
    Maybe your explanation got left out of your posts. But I never said He softened all their hearts unilaterally. He obviously only softens some sinners hearts, and leaves the rest hard. Why does he need to soften their hearts IF they had already softened themselves to Him? And if the difference between the one and the other is what they do themselves, then they have reason to boast, and not just in God. For what God did was only because of what they did and the others didn’t do.

    Read Ezekiel 36:16-36 for a parallel scripture to this one. God does what He does not because of the uprightness of His people, but to their shame. [v. 22 and v. 32] He does it for His great name, similar to what we saw in Ephesians 1 where He does it to the praise of His glorious grace.

    Ben;

    quote:
    Ben there is no absence of free will in my position. I have never stated there was. That is a tired old horse why don’t you get off of it?
    Of COURSE there is asbsence of free will! God is revealed to SOME but not ALL! And only those whom He CHOSED, are SAVED! There is no CHOICE by MEN, only choice by GOD Why do you persist in saying, "There is free will"---when the very nature of predestination is, well, PREDESTINATION!!!!!


    Me.
    Ben, at this moment, I am simply using the Arminianist definition of predestination as YOU YOURSELF posted. Are you saying that Arminianists don’t believe in free will because they believe some are predestined? Second, If I ask 20 people at my church if they want a $1000 to go to their favorite charity, don’t they have a choice? Sure they do. Just because I don’t ask the other 600 or so, does that mean the 20 I did ask, not have a choice? No of course not. You again are simply being illogical.

    God does not violate the free will of those He chooses simply because He limits who He reveals Himself to.

    In His love,
    mike
     
  3. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    Dear all,

    Part two


    Ben.
    quote:
    Every post Ben, you fail to answer all my questions. Some posts you ignore all together. And then when you do answer them, and I follow up, you become silent again. Scroll back and see.
    I have difficulty following you, Mike. I find your points disjointed and broken. That is why I repeatedly ask for you to clearly state them again. I do not have this problem with other posters...


    My reply.
    Maybe you are not spending enough time on them Ben. Let me ask the other readers.

    Are my points disjointed and broken?

    Ben
    quote:
    Do you believe in foreknowledge and if so what does it consist of? 3rd time asked
    And asnwered, again and again. God knows all things, past and present. Foreknowledge is not fore-ordained. For God to be JUST, the ONLY option is for Jesus to have died for ALL, and each man (or woman) bears his own responsibility for believing, or not. There is no justice if it is GOD'S decision on who goes to Heaven or Hell. The damned must be so because of their own choice. Justice demands, "there to be no excuse".


    My reply.
    Really Ben, mind letting me know in which posts you answered me?

    First your assertions, then foreknowledge.

    You said: For God to be JUST, the ONLY option is for Jesus to have died for ALL, and each man (or woman) bears his own responsibility for believing, or not. There is no justice if it is GOD'S decision on who goes to Heaven or Hell. The damned must be so because of their own choice. Justice demands, "there to be no excuse".

    I will repeat myself here since this seems to be a sticking point.
    Lack of faith in Jesus does not condemn, sin does!
    Those who are responsible for any certain thing and act responsible in that thing can certainly boast of their responsible behavior. But in obedience to God, one sin breaks the whole law. James

    Therefore we have all been irresponsible before God and therefore we all deserve Hell. It is not unjust for God to choose to save some of us as to bring praise to His glorious mercy. Those condemned have no excuse because they don’t deserve mercy, they don’t [as we don’t] deserve the blood of Christ. God treats everyone with justice, and treats some with mercy. Do you think God gives you mercy because you are responsible Ben? Obedient? What a laugh! Your assertions show how little you understand God.

    Now to foreknowledge.

    Thank you Ben for responding.

    God knows all things, past and present. God doesn’t know the future Ben? Where then is the ‘fore’ in foreknowledge? How does He know the beginning from the end, if he knows not the end? The Arminianists think God knows the future because the say He looks into the future and sees who will choose Him and designates these the ‘elect’. So says what Ben posted about Arminian beliefs and what He also agreed with.

    The definition of foreknowledge I use also says God knows the future. Using that definition I ask…
    Now since God knew who would not hear the Gospel, and therefore could not accept it. And since God knew who would NOT benefit from sending Jesus. And since God knew who would ever trust Him, not even His revelation through nature, please tell me just how it is that since God made the world knowing these would go to Hell, how is it that He loves them? He made the world knowing they would go to Hell. He made the world and despite His best efforts [as some might think], He knew these would go to Hell. Would they have been better off not being made then spend eternity in Hell? That is LOVE? Please explain that to me, Ben. Thanks.



    Ben.
    quote:
    The rest of your post is off subject and I deleted it. I have told you this is NOT a debate about OSAS versus OSNAS since both Slavenomore and I believe in OSAS and we are debating the ELECT.
    Of COURSE you deleted it. Because you could not DEAL with it. If GOD ELECTS, then there CANNOT be ANY TRULY-SAVED who become UNSAVED. Yet I explained in great detail, how SOME of the ELECT, BECAME UNELECT. Incontrivertibly in the Scripture. Which completely destroys the premise of "predestined-election".
    quote:
    Arminianists believe that God predestines those He sees by His foreknowledge of them choosing Him and call s those people the Elect.
    No, Mike---not it at all. The only PREDESTINATION that is IN the Bible, is for BELIEVERS to become CHRISTLIKE. Which is FOUNDED upon their belief/faith/surrender.


    My reply.

    Really Ben. Don’t you read what you post and agree to?

    Here on page 7 of this thread, post #67

    You quoted this from a web site:

    The main tenets of Arminianism are:

    1.God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ those of the fallen and sinful race who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in him, but leaves in sin the incorrigible and unbelieving. (In other words predestination is said to be conditioned by God's foreknowledge of who would respond to the gospel)
    2.Christ died for all men (not just for the elect), but no one except the believer has remission of sin.
    3.Man can neither of himself nor of his free will do anything truly good until he is born again of God, in Christ, through the Holy Spirit. (Though accused of such, Arminius and his followers were not Pelagians.)
    4.All good deeds or movements in the regenerate must be ascribed to the grace of God but his grace is not irresistible.
    5.Those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith have power given them through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit to persevere in the faith. But it is possible for a believer to fall from grace.


    THEN you said this about the first tenet of Arminianism:
    [q] The first tennet of Arminianism I accept. [/q]

    Again what you agreed to and what you said was the first main tene of Arminianism is this:
    [q] 1.God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ those of the fallen and sinful race who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in him, but leaves in sin the incorrigible and unbelieving. (In other words predestination is said to be conditioned by God's foreknowledge of who would respond to the gospel) [/q]

    Are you even sure of what you believe Ben? Are you even sure you understand Arminianism? One day you post it and agree to it, a few days later you deny it. Do you change your doctrine to suit the prevailing winds? It is hard to debate somebody whose main tenets keep shifting around.


    Ben.
    quote:
    We are saved BY GRACE ALONE, according to the good pleasure of Him and to the praise of His glorious grace.
    Wrong. We are NOT saved by grace alone. NOWHERE does it say we are saved by grace alone.


    Nowhere? Please turn to Ephesians Chapter 2 verse 5. Grace stands alone. There is no there way, since God is not constrained to save anyone but our salvation is a free gift from Him. We not receive salvation because we deserve it any way. No we deserve hell like all the rest. But God has mercy on us [for we still sin and still deserve Hell] and saves us.

    Ben.
    "For with the heart man BELIEVES..." Not "GOD INSTALLS BELIEF/FAITH", it says the heart BELIEVES. Why do you not believe Paul?


    Mike
    A straw man Ben. I never said God installs belief. I said we must believe from the heart. I simply said God gives us a reason to believe from the heart that He doesn’t give all men.

    Ben.
    Mike, with all respect, I do not know if future discourse with you will do any good. Your heart is not open to the Scriptures. Whatever you cannot refute, you delete. You respond in ways that are fractured, not answering direct questions, then accusing me of doing just that. Is there any praise or worship in these discussions? Is there any building or edifying?

    I persist in these kinds of discussions, because in my spirit burns a great passion---to encourage my brothers and sisters towards the TRUE GOSPEL, that we ALL may grow into Christ. I have not all of the answers---but I have a lot of them. THose I have, HE HAS GIVEN ME. The Word backs me in my understanding.

    It would pain me immensely to even THINK that I sew dissention or damage anyone else's walk. That would grieve me to no end. That is not my purpose.

    I am not one to "bail"---but my heart is weary; I see no future in discussion. I present clear truths, give you the opportunity to either prove or disprove me, with Scripture. But neither happens.

    I have great hope for you, Mike. I really, really believe that your heart DOES long for God's presence. I will pray for you with all my strength that you will grown into Him, that all Scriptural and Spiritual truths will be made real to you. The same as I pray for myself.


    Ben,
    What is the TRUE GOSPEL? Is it what we preach so that men might believe? Not according to you. You believe men can discern the truth unto salvation by NATURE or by their CONSCIENCE [see beginning of your last post]. Since you obviously have been deceived as to the nature of the TRUE GOSPEL, then by all means bow out. I believe in unity but NOT at the price of truth.

    And just because I do not wish to discuss OSAS here on this thread does not mean I won’t discuss it all. In fact, Ben, on the last thread you and I discussed OSAS you gave up there as well. If you want to discuss it, go back there and answer my questions. And we will continue discussing OSAS in the proper forum.

    In His love,
    mike
     
  4. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    quote:
    Originally posted by mjwhite
    Again this is wrong. Southern Baptists are Calvinistic and have the largest Protestant denomination in America and the most missionaries. So we see this writer is either misinformed or biased.

    Scott said.

    The majority of Southern Baptists are NOT calvinists. They believe the once a person is saved he will always be saved, but Baptists generally believe that Christ died for all men and that men have a choice to follow or reject Christ.

    my reply.

    Aaah there are different varietiies of Calvinists. Well i agree and that still goes to my point. One shouldn't lump everyone under a narrow heading.

    Thanks Scott for the info.

    in Him,
    mike
     
  5. Caedmon

    Caedmon kawaii Supporter

    +538
    Catholic
    US-Others
    One is either a Calvinist, or one is not. There are not "varietiies of Calvinists". Either all 5 points are held, or none are. The 5 points are interdependent; if someone disagrees with one point, she MUST disagree with them all.
     
  6. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    Dear all,

    I was told:
    quote:
    Originally posted by mjwhite
    Aaah there are different varietiies of Calvinists. Well i agree and that still goes to my point. One shouldn't lump everyone under a narrow heading.



    One is either a Calvinist, or one is not. There are not "varietiies of Calvinists". Either all 5 points are held, or none are. The 5 points are interdependent; if someone disagrees with one point, she MUST disagree with them all.

    Maybe and maybe not. But my point wasn't that i am an expert on Calvinism. But rather that to lump every Calvinist church together and say they don't evangelize is a bit much. Any Calvinite who does not witness of His salvation in both word and deed needs to examine his or her relationship with God. God calls us to be witnesses for Him wherever we are and to participate in the church as she seeks to witness for the Lord in all the ends of the earth. Since I do both, I know that not all Calvinists fail to evangelize. And surely i know of others, whole churches that do evangelize. So that is my point.

    in His love,
    mike
     
  7. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    Dear all, is their a supalasparrina Calvinist, and one who isn't?

    My ignorance shows (-:
     
  8. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +374
    Christian
    Tell me, Mike---is there anyone, to whom God has revealed the truthfulness of the Gospel, that will NOT be saved? Can someone who has been SHOWN God's truth, can he NOT believe?
    From page 7, I cited a randomly-searched listing of Calvinism and Arminianism. The first listed tennet of Arminianism reads: "God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ those of the fallen and sinful race who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in him, but leaves in sin the incorrigible and unbelieving. (In other words predestination is said to be conditioned by God's foreknowledge of who would respond to the Gospel)."

    Perhaps the wording of this is giving you trouble. I shall word it in accord with my understanding of the principle from Scripture: "God purposed from the beginning Jesus, providing salvation through grace for all men; the Holy Spirit is the helper let-out-on-Earth from the day of Pentecost. God calls all men, and those who call HIM (Receive Jesus) are saved. It is not the GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT that CAUSES the belief, it is the grace of the Holy Spirit that operates THROUGH man's belief. Predestination is defined as us growing towards the image of christ, which is conditioned on His foreknowledge---this is not to say "He saved those he KNEW WOULD BE SAVED", but rather He FOREKNEW who WOULD BELIEVE, and THESE He predestined (because of and founded on their belief) to grow to the image of Christ.

    Is that clearer?
    Mike, where have I claimed to be an Arminianist? I do not study Calvinism, I do not study Arminianism. I do not HOLD to EITHER. I am NOT a Calvinist. I am NOT an Arminianist. Do you understand that? Of COURSE I do not have all points of each memorized, because I do not care what they say. I only care what the Bible says. If any points of Calvanism or Arminianism are SCRIPTURAL, well-and-good. If they are not, then they are rejected.
    Ah---so, on this thread, you are willing to discuss "predestined-election", which is part-and-parcel of the first facet of OSAS. (The second facet being "carnal Christian", the third "eternal security"). But you CHOOSE not to discuss OSAS, where it suits you. If the Bible is true and congruent, then it should be appropriate to discredit "predestined-election" simply by reading accounts of TRUE BELIEVERS who became UNSAVED. Which of course is not possible if there WAS such a thing as "predestined-election".

    But you decline to participate in this part of the discussion, preferring rather to dictate the course of the debate. Rather a position of control, quite difficult to dispute, when whatever-counter-point offered, is subject to your approval.

    I hope you will deign to answer the first question of this post...
     
  9. Slave2SinNoMore

    Slave2SinNoMore Active Member

    477
    +15
    Christian
    Actually Ben, to be fair, every Christian that I personally know is an OSASer (with the exception of one). Of those, how many believe in predestined election? None. I think in this day and time, the belief in predestined election and OSAS hardly go hand-in-hand anymore. I think that the majority of Christians are neither strict Calvinists or strict Arminiasts.
     
  10. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    Dear All,

    Ben replied.
    quote:
    You are simply being illogical. One does not negate the other. Man is the one who believes, who chooses to submit to God. But man cannot submit to that which He knows not. God as seen through the Gospel is hidden from each man until the Spirit reveals the truthfulness of it.
    Tell me, Mike---is there anyone, to whom God has revealed the truthfulness of the Gospel, that will NOT be saved? Can someone who has been SHOWN God's truth, can he NOT believe?


    Me.
    Not according to Scripture. According to 1st Cor. 1:18, for example, there are two types of people, they who are perishing who think the gospel foolishness and the other s who know it is the power of God unto salvation. Now those perishing think it foolishness, not truth. Who does that leave but those who are not perishing.?

    But does this mean you were forced to believe? Not quite. I ask you again, WHY do you believe? You said because you were convicted of the truth. But is that all there is? If so, then I could say, only those who were convicted of the truth believe. And the Holy Spirit blows where he wills and convicts whom He chooses. So is there more to WHY you believed?

    Ben.
    quote:
    Ben, at this moment, I am simply using the Arminianist definition of predestination as YOU YOURSELF posted.
    From page 7, I cited a randomly-searched listing of Calvinism and Arminianism. The first listed tennet of Arminianism reads: "God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ those of the fallen and sinful race who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in him, but leaves in sin the incorrigible and unbelieving. (In other words predestination is said to be conditioned by God's foreknowledge of who would respond to the Gospel)."

    Perhaps the wording of this is giving you trouble. I shall word it in accord with my understanding of the principle from Scripture: "God purposed from the beginning Jesus, providing salvation through grace for all men; the Holy Spirit is the helper let-out-on-Earth from the day of Pentecost. God calls all men, and those who call HIM (Receive Jesus) are saved. It is not the GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT that CAUSES the belief, it is the grace of the Holy Spirit that operates THROUGH man's belief. Predestination is defined as us growing towards the image of christ, which is conditioned on His foreknowledge---this is not to say "He saved those he KNEW WOULD BE SAVED", but rather He FOREKNEW who WOULD BELIEVE, and THESE He predestined (because of and founded on their belief) to grow to the image of Christ.


    Me.
    First you are obviously ignorant of Scripture if you think that sentence you quote is from Scripture. To make claims that Scripture says certain exact things by bracketing them in quotes when they are not quoted from the Word is totally wrong. I have got on you before for doing this. Please stop. If it is your beliefs, then it doesn’t need quotemarks around it. If you are quoting someone else than you should give some sort of reference. Honestly Ben, it is an act of deception when you do such things. Truth needs not deception to shine forth.

    So maybe the idea of ‘predestined’ is giving you trouble. Given what you say as true [not that I necessarily agree, but simply as a point to make a point], my position on what God KNEW before He sent Jesus still stands. I can just as well leave out the word ‘predestined’ and still make my point. A point by the way you still haven’t addressed.

    Let me go back over it.
    God [as in your words] FOREKNOWS who will believe.
    God also then FOREKNOWS who will not believe.
    God then [before creation] KNOWS the destiny of all people.
    God also KNEW then that only certain people would believe, and therefore ONLY those would believe.
    Since what God KNEW would happen must happen then we see this:
    When He sent Jesus into the World only those whom God already KNEW would believe would believe.
    God KNEW the rest would not believe.
    So I ask how is sending the Son an act of LOVE towards those He KNEW would not believe?


    Here is another thing.
    How is it God can foreknow who will believe and yet fail to know whom He will save?
    And what meaning does predestining have in “predestining one to be conformed to the image of Christ” if one who so predestined loses their salvation? I understand you think it is all relative based on belief, but then why does God use the word ‘predestined’? Your idea of it robs it of the meaning associated with the word in every language it has been translated into.


    Ben.
    quote:
    Are you even sure of what you believe Ben? Are you even sure you understand Arminianism?
    Mike, where have I claimed to be an Arminianist? I do not study Calvinism, I do not study Arminianism. I do not HOLD to EITHER. I am NOT a Calvinist. I am NOT an Arminianist. Do you understand that? Of COURSE I do not have all points of each memorized, because I do not care what they say. I only care what the Bible says. If any points of Calvanism or Arminianism are SCRIPTURAL, well-and-good. If they are not, then they are rejected.

    me.
    Ok Ben. But you agreed to the first point of Arminianism, maybe you don’t understand what you agreed to. You certainly mix up the definition of predestination with what we have predestined for.

    You said: Predestination is defined as us growing towards the image of christ, which is conditioned on His foreknowledge---this is not to say "He saved those he KNEW WOULD BE SAVED", but rather He FOREKNEW who WOULD BELIEVE, and THESE He predestined (because of and founded on their belief) to grow to the image of Christ.

    Predestination is the act of predestination or predestining. To predestine means to destine in advance, foreordain, predetermine. To destine means to set apart for a particular purpose or use. To appoint or ordain beforehand, to foreordain, predetermine. [from the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary]

    That is how predestination is defined. You are simply giving the objects so predestined, not the definition. So when God predestines, He foreordains, He appoints, He foreknows. Those then predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ WILL be so conformed. This includes all who believe, even as you said. The plain definition of the words show how you misinterpret the meaning of the passage and twist it to mean what it does not say.

    You.
    quote:
    And just because I do not wish to discuss OSAS here on this thread does not mean I won’t discuss it all.
    Ah---so, on this thread, you are willing to discuss "predestined-election", which is part-and-parcel of the first facet of OSAS. (The second facet being "carnal Christian", the third "eternal security"). But you CHOOSE not to discuss OSAS, where it suits you. If the Bible is true and congruent, then it should be appropriate to discredit "predestined-election" simply by reading accounts of TRUE BELIEVERS who became UNSAVED. Which of course is not possible if there WAS such a thing as "predestined-election".

    But you decline to participate in this part of the discussion, preferring rather to dictate the course of the debate. Rather a position of control, quite difficult to dispute, when whatever-counter-point offered, is subject to your approval.


    I have told you why [at least one reason] I was not discussing the end of belief [OSAS versus NAS] because there are those who belief in OSAS who happen to be in dispute with me on the nature of the elect. It would be more confusing than it is now if for example Slavenomore had to split his posts to both defend my position and attack my position. Not only that, but I prefer to deal with one subject at a time.
    Secondly, One does not have to talk about the one to discuss the other, so I am not controlling the subject of the ‘elect’ by not speaking of eternal security. Sure they are interconnected, more so in my beliefs than yours, but that does not mean they are they same subject. Third, Arminianist types of belief of the elect are the main alternatives to my belief, and even non-Arminianists like yourself referred to them so I wished to discuss them.

    I personally think that your doctrine is Arminianist, and whether it is or not, your doctrine as well as their doctrine is self contradictory. The self contradictions start with John 3:16 and the elect. So answer my questions and we will see where it goes.

    Ben
    I hope you will deign to answer the first question of this post...


    I will answer it again due to the importance you put on it.

    Tell me, Mike---is there anyone, to whom God has revealed the truthfulness of the Gospel, that will NOT be saved? Can someone who has been SHOWN God's truth, can he NOT believe?

    Me.
    Not according to Scripture. According to 1st Cor. 1:18, for example, there are two types of people, they who are perishing who think the gospel foolishness and the other s who know it is the power of God unto salvation. Now those perishing think it foolishness, not truth. Who does that leave but those who are not perishing.?

    But does this mean you were forced to believe? Not quite. I ask you again, WHY do you believe? You said because you were convicted of the truth. But is that all there is? If so, then I could say, only those who were convicted of the truth believe. And the Holy Spirit blows where he wills and convicts whom He chooses. So is there more to WHY you believed?

    In His love,
    mike
     
  11. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +374
    Christian
    I see---I think I understand now. Mankind has free will, and can freely choose---thus God does not dictate man's decision receive Jesus.

    HOWEVER, man, without God's revelation, absolutely cannot ever receive Jesus ("total depravity"), so without God's interference is by nature and definition, condemned.

    And God, for reasons He understands, chooses to impart "SAVING-WISDOM" to SOME but not OTHERS. And each and every one to whom He imparts saving-knowledge WILL ABSOLUTELY BE SAVED.

    ...but it's still not GOD'S decision, it's man's OWN RESPONSIBILITY, his OWN CHOICE...

    ...does the term, "shell game" mean anything to you?

    In my perspective, God gives me the same revelation as he gave an unsaved neighbor. I chose to receive Jesus, the neighbor did not. Why? Why did you have sausage and buiscits yesterday, and I didn't? Are you sentient? Free moral agent? Or do you embrace "fatalism"?
    Some of the verses used in support of "predestined-election" can, in appearance, have dual meaning (predestined or free will). But the Bible, inspired by God, is a complete text. You really cannot separate sections to support an issue. Good theology takes the text in its entirity. So that when I respond to questions of "predestined-election", with passages that speak undeniably of "falling-from-salvation", the latter ruins the validity of the former. And it is very much theologically sound, intellectually valid, morally honest.

    As someone else posted, "When I discover contradictions between Scripture and my beliefs, and do not accomodate those contradictions IN my belief system, error is the result"...
    :)
     
  12. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    Dear All,


    Ben replied thus to me.
    quote:
    Not according to Scripture. According to 1st Cor. 1:18, for example, there are two types of people, they who are perishing who think the gospel foolishness and the others who know it is the power of God unto salvation. Now those perishing think it foolishness, not truth. Who does that leave but those who are not perishing.?
    I see---I think I understand now. Mankind has free will, and can freely choose---thus God does not dictate man's decision receive Jesus.

    HOWEVER, man, without God's revelation, absolutely cannot ever receive Jesus ("total depravity"), so without God's interference is by nature and definition, condemned.


    Me.
    Well Ben, total depravity is not my word. I never used it. Some Calvinists use it to mean a certain thing, but I don’t need to use the word. We are all sinners by choice and the veracity of the Gospel is hidden from our view because of our fallenness, Now if that is what you and them mean by ‘total depravity’ then okay. If not, please define that term as you think it means.

    Second, we are not condemned simply by nature. We choose to violate our consciences when we know what is right and we fail to do it. The Law convicts us through our conscience. We purposefully choose to treat others how we ourselves would not like to be treated. We sin against God’s creatures and therefore against God. It is for that reason all men deserve condemnation and you and I still deserve condemnation as well. We still sin. It is only by the mercy of God that He has provided us a way to escape.


    Ben continues.
    And God, for reasons He understands, chooses to impart "SAVING-WISDOM" to SOME but not OTHERS. And each and every one to whom He imparts saving-knowledge WILL ABSOLUTELY BE SAVED.

    ...but it's still not GOD'S decision, it's man's OWN RESPONSIBILITY, his OWN CHOICE...


    Me.
    Not quite. It is not man’s responsibility at all. Man is not responsible before God. You failed to fully explain why believed. I know why man believes. He knows the truth same as we know 2 + 2 = 4. What man chooses to do is act on that belief. Our belief is not based on our own fickle decisions, but on something deeper and more sure. The Gospel is not true simply because we believe it to be true. Likewise we don’t choose what our conscience tells us is right. But we do choose how to act from that belief. You know it is wrong to murder because your conscience tells you. But you still might choose to murder. But the basic belief is written on your heart. Likewise the Spirit writes the truth of the Gospel upon our hearts, and we choose to act upon that belief.

    Ben.
    ...does the term, "shell game" mean anything to you?


    Me.
    Instead of stooping to such a low level, why don’t you just (a) be patient and draw your opponent into a contradiction, or (b) just come out and say what is on your mind.






    Ben again.
    In my perspective, God gives me the same revelation as he gave an unsaved neighbor. I chose to receive Jesus, the neighbor did not. Why? Why did you have sausage and buiscits yesterday, and I didn't? Are you sentient? Free moral agent? Or do you embrace "fatalism"?


    Me.
    Well that raises a few points. One, revelation can only come where the Gospel is first preached. Since your neighbors Ben include everyone who ever lived, I have asked you repeatedly to explain how they all could receive this same revelation, since they all have not heard the Gospel. But you have not responded.

    Secondly, you are simply assuming your neighbor has received the same revelation as you. Why do you make that assumption? That raises two points. First, the Bible tells us that this revelation is hidden from some and not others. Just hearing the words of the Gospel does not mean one believes it as truth. Just as many in Israel did not believe in Jesus despite hearing Him speak. You therefore are making an unwarranted assumption. Secondly, Ben, you also make a distinction between you and your neighbor. You believed he did not? Why? This goes back to my unanswered point of WHY we believe. Why do you believe Ben, and he does not? Are you smarter, more wiser, hate sin more, or what BOAST will you make to explain WHY you are saved and your neighbor not?

    Thirdly, you believe God knows the future, and therefore He knows what choice you will make concerning the Gospel. It is a straw man argument Ben, to accuse me of fatalism. Since God already knows your choice does that rule out your free will in making it? No of course not.


    Ben.

    quote:
    I have told you why [at least one reason] I was not discussing the end of belief [OSAS versus NAS] because there are those who belief in OSAS who happen to be in dispute with me on the nature of the elect.
    Some of the verses used in support of "predestined-election" can, in appearance, have dual meaning (predestined or free will). But the Bible, inspired by God, is a complete text. You really cannot separate sections to support an issue. Good theology takes the text in its entirity. So that when I respond to questions of "predestined-election", with passages that speak undeniably of "falling-from-salvation", the latter ruins the validity of the former. And it is very much theologically sound, intellectually valid, morally honest.


    Me.
    Okay Ben, using your logic lets also discuss which if any feasts days should be observed, why we shouldn’t eat meat, are you a post-trib or a pre-trib, do you believe in dunking or sprinkling, is Mary the Mother of God or the Mother of the man Jesus, Should we have a Presbyterian type church government, and if not why not, and etc. and etc. I mean after Ben you can’t just talk about just one topic without including the whole Bible, right?

    As to your last question, it is only ruins it in your eyes. There are those who disagree with your definitions of both predestined and the elect. Arminians generally believe that God looks forward into the future and sees who will chose Him and these He elects. Calvinists generally believe God chose before time whom He will save, and these are the elect. Both are predestined to election but for different reasons. You simply want to hew a new road using false definitions of your own imagination. So it is not theologically sound, intellectually valid or morally honest.


    Ben finishes with”
    As someone else posted, "When I discover contradictions between Scripture and my beliefs, and do not accomodate those contradictions IN my belief system, error is the result"...


    My reply.
    And error is what you have.

    In His love,
    mike
     
  13. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +374
    Christian
    There is no "stooping"---only statement of fact. You believe:

    Man has free will HIMSELF to believe. Man accepts God by choice. But man canNOT accept God without "saving knowledge". God reveals "saving knowledge" to SOME men but not OTHERS. EVERY LAST PERSON who is GIVEN "saving knowledge" is saved, while EVERY LAST PERSON who does NOT receive "saving knowledge" perishes. But somehow there is still FREE WILL. Mankind because of his "fallenness" is incapable of understanding salvation without "saving knowledge". But it is HIS FAULT if he is not saved, it is HIS CHOICE, his FAULT, it is not GOD'S FAULT. But not man's RESPONSIBILITY. Man has FREE WILL, but is not responsible. Although he CANNOT choose without the SAVING KNOWLEDGE that God gives to SOME and not OTHERS. But he has no responsibility. GOD CHOOSES, but man has FREE WILL...

    Do you see? Which shell is the pea under? (The pea has slipped to the floor...)
    That's right! And if we READ the Bible, in context, these questions are ANSWERED! And if ONE PASSAGE contradicts our ANSWER, then the answer CHANGES! ;)
    Where in the Bible does it say that God elects anyone? Peter says, "Therefore be diligent to make certain of your calling and election, ...that the EISODOS-GATE of HEAVEN be PROVIDED to you." (2:1:5-11) Did Peter believe than man had something to do with his own election??? (yes...)
    Wellll, Paul very plainly says "it IS because of our own "fickle decision". "For with his heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with his mouth he confesses resulting in salvation". And all the Bible says it is ALSO our decision to ABIDE/REMAIN in Him. "Although formerly hostile, yet reconciled through Him, IF you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast and NOT MOVE AWAY from Jesus" (Col1)"Do not throw away your confidence (Jesus!)". (Heb10:19-39) "KEEP YOURSELVES in the love of God,waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus to eternal life". ON AND ON...
    The Gospel is TRUTH. Yet to those who are perishing, it is FOLLY. (1Cor1:18) WHY? Because of "special-revelation-knowledge"? NO! In John 10:24ff, the Jews demanded that Jesus tell them plainly if He was the Messiah. How did He answer? "I TOLD you and you DO NOT BELIEVE. Because you are NOT MY SHEEP." Jesus was the Messiah. But they did not BELIEVE His Messiah-ship, because they did not first believe in Jesus. (Remember, the sheep CHOOSE to COME IN to the fold---Jn10:9) Peter KNEW Jesus was the Messiah, because Peter believed in Jesus. (Mtt16:13-17)

    Do you understand now, Mike? Saving-knowledge does not precede our "receiving Christ", but exists BECAUSE of it! Our own hearts CAN receive Jesus on hearing the Gospel, and His presence and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit bestows Spiritual knowledge! Cause-and-effect, not vice-versa!

    :)
     
  14. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    Dear all,

    Ben replied to me.

    quote:
    Instead of stooping to such a low level, why don't you just (a) be patient and draw your opponent into a contradiction, or (b) just come out and say what is on your mind.
    There is no "stooping"---only statement of fact. You believe:

    Man has free will HIMSELF to believe. Man accepts God by choice. But man canNOT accept God without "saving knowledge". God reveals "saving knowledge" to SOME men but not OTHERS. EVERY LAST PERSON who is GIVEN "saving knowledge" is saved, while EVERY LAST PERSON who does NOT receive "saving knowledge" perishes. But somehow there is still FREE WILL. Mankind because of his "fallenness" is incapable of understanding salvation without "saving knowledge". But it is HIS FAULT if he is not saved, it is HIS CHOICE, his FAULT, it is not GOD'S FAULT. But not man's RESPONSIBILITY. Man has FREE WILL, but is not responsible. Although he CANNOT choose without the SAVING KNOWLEDGE that God gives to SOME and not OTHERS. But he has no responsibility. GOD CHOOSES, but man has FREE WILL...



    me.
    Just because every man whom God reveals Himself to chooses to serve God doesn’t negate man’s free will. If 20 people in my church accepted my offer to give $1000 to their favorite charity, that wouldn’t negate their freedom of choice would it? If I didn’t offer it the other 600, there would be no lack of freedom of choice,.


    Ben [/]
    Do you see? Which shell is the pea under? (The pea has slipped to the floor...) [/I]

    Me.
    The only shell game being played is by you. You duck most of my questions and points and just snipe at my position, instead of engaging me point by point. The very heart of your position has been questioned and you remain silent in response.

    Ben
    quote:
    that God looks forward into the future and sees who will chose Him and these He elects.
    Where in the Bible does it say that God elects anyone? Peter says, "Therefore be diligent to make certain of your calling and election, ...that the EISODOS-GATE of HEAVEN be PROVIDED to you." (2:1:5-11) Did Peter believe than man had something to do with his own election??? (yes...)


    Me.
    I am using the Arminian doctrine of the elect, as you posted. The elect are by definition, those CHOSEN by God. The Arminianists believe that God looks forward into time and ‘elects’ those that chose Him. The Calvinist doctrine says that God elects those He chooses based solely according to His will.

    You twist 2nd Peter. He is talking about a rich welcome versus a not so rich welcome.. He is not talking about a rich welcome versus no welcome. Otherwise, salvation would be by our own works.

    You do a lot of flip-flopping on this issue. Why is it that you cannot stay with a single position? First you agree with the Arminian doctrine, posting it and wholeheartedly agreeing to it. Now when I assume that position for the sake of establishing a point, you now stand against the very thing you once agreed to. You should debate from a sincere heart and if you are not sure of what you believe, maybe you should find someone to teach you truth.

    Ben
    quote:
    Our belief is not based on our own fickle decisions, but on something deeper and more sure.
    Wellll, Paul very plainly says "it IS because of our own "fickle decision". "For with his heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with his mouth he confesses resulting in salvation". And all the Bible says it is ALSO our decision to ABIDE/REMAIN in Him. "Although formerly hostile, yet reconciled through Him, IF you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast and NOT MOVE AWAY from Jesus" (Col1)"Do not throw away your confidence (Jesus!)". (Heb10:19-39) "KEEP YOURSELVES in the love of God,waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus to eternal life". ON AND ON...


    Me
    Well maybe you do not know the difference between WHAT a decision is and WHY one makes it. We simply don’t decide BECAUSE WE CAN, but rather we DECIDE based on REASONS. So I ask you again, WHY did you decide for Jesus and your neighbor did not? Are you going to boast on yourself again and say because you love sin less? Yet you still sin. You are like the Pharisee you talked humbleness before man, but failed to give all the glory to God. Can you answer the WHY question without boasting on yourself?

    Ben
    quote:
    The Gospel is not true simply because we believe it to be true.
    The Gospel is TRUTH. Yet to those who are perishing, it is FOLLY. (1Cor1:18) WHY? Because of "special-revelation-knowledge"? NO! In John 10:24ff, the Jews demanded that Jesus tell them plainly if He was the Messiah. How did He answer? "I TOLD you and you DO NOT BELIEVE. Because you are NOT MY SHEEP." Jesus was the Messiah. But they did not BELIEVE His Messiah-ship, because they did not first believe in Jesus. (Remember, the sheep CHOOSE to COME IN to the fold---Jn10:9) Peter KNEW Jesus was the Messiah, because Peter believed in Jesus. (Mtt16:13-17)


    Me.
    What a twist of scripture. Do you expect people to believe in Jesus BEFORE they know who He is? What a inane idea. Why should anybody trust a person they do not know? Peter only knew who Jesus was because God revealed the truth to Peter. The rest did not know who He was. You are being completely illogical here. Would you but land in the everglades if you didn’t know what it was? But you want people to trust their eternity to an unknown Galilean. Find someone to agree with you on this point before I give it any more of my time.

    Ben.
    Do you understand now, Mike? Saving-knowledge does not precede our "receiving Christ", but exists BECAUSE of it! Our own hearts CAN receive Jesus on hearing the Gospel, and His presence and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit bestows Spiritual knowledge! Cause-and-effect, not vice-versa!


    Me.
    Yeah I understand you have taken leave of your senses. First, just because the Spirit gives us knowledge doesn’t mean He indwells us. He indwells us after we are saved. Second, you have again departed from every well-respected Christian teacher from the very first up to now with that inane doctrine. Third, you still haven’t explained about those who never hear the gospel. Fourth, I find it completely inane that you think we simply believe what we hear without knowing its truthfulness. Maybe you think that is sound thinking, but I doubt you will find many people who will agree with you. You might find a couple of people wanting to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge or a fancy thing-a-ma-jig that mows the lawn, dusts the furniture and makes the bed for 4 easy installments of $39.99. Finally, you have not one shred of Biblical proof for your imaginations.

    Can I get another debating partner. One that has their ideas grounded somewhat in reality?
     
  15. Slave2SinNoMore

    Slave2SinNoMore Active Member

    477
    +15
    Christian
    It's called faith, Mike. When you came to Jesus, did you know him, or did you start knowing him once you became a Christian? I would say you knew about him, of course, before you became a Christian, but you didn't know him. Because, to know him, you must be in a relationship with him. Therefore, when you say "I want you to be my Lord and savior", you are stepping out in faith.
     
  16. Slave2SinNoMore

    Slave2SinNoMore Active Member

    477
    +15
    Christian


    I decided to accept Jesus because I heeded the calling and wooing of the Holy Spirit. That is not boasting of myself at all. That gives all the glory to God, because it was only when I realized that I am weak but he is strong did I come to him. If my neighbor rejects Jesus, it is because he believes the lie that Satan feeds him that says he doesn't need a Savior, that he's quite okay on his own.
     
  17. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +374
    Christian
    EXACTLY that! AWESOME post, s2snm! :D

    Mike, you are a test of my patience. You accuse me of many things, when many of them you do yourself. You engage in ad hominem and circular logic, and accuse me of avoiding the questions, when many questions you will not answer.
    Vice versa, sir.
    I am not "Arminianist". I am not "Calvinist". Which part of that are you not understanding? I never professed to subscribe to either.
    Really! Their SECOND STATE, where they are AGAIN ENTANGLED IN THE DEFILEMENTS OF THE WORLD, that state is WORSE THAN BEFORFE THEY WERE SAVED. Far better to have never KNOWN THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, than HAVING KNOWN, to have TURNED FROM THE HOLY COMMANDMENT...

    OH, but you embrace the idea that God, in His infinite faith, will SWOOP DOWN in the END, and snatch them up WHILE THEY ARE IN THE VOMIT AND THE MIRE, and will DELIVER THEM TO HEAVEN! That they are "despoiled by the defilments of the world", that they are "overcome" is of no consequence! ...they are STILL SAVED!

    If you will not receive the very words written by Peter, how can I expect you to receive words written by me???

    ...and then you say "I have an insincere heart"... uuhhhh, huhhhhh..... :rolleyes:
    Oh I have ANSWERED this, and ANSWERED this. But, why not---I shall answer it again. THe answer will not change, so predictably you will not receive it---you will just pretend that I have not answered it...

    THe Word of God was delivered to me. My heart was convicted. Though I did not fully know Jesus, I understood Who He was, and what He did for me. I received Him into my heart. In my conviction, I realized what I was. There was no "pride" or "smugness" in my view. I could not "think myself so clever to have received Him"---rather, in recognizing what I WAS, my heart was filled with shame. THIS was my attitude, THIS IS my attitude now about what I was. I realized that it was MY HAND on that hammer that pounded those nails, those terrible nails, into my Lord. I realized the infinity of His love for me---that He would do such a thing FOR ME. Boast? I boast only in HIM. Apart from Him, I have only shame. Such is my conviction. The work of my salvation, was, and is, done entirely by Him. He could have come down from that Cross any time He wanted to. But He didn't. Why?! I ask myself. I KNOW the answer. Because He loves me. ME. I don't get it. But I don't care---I am so terribly grateful. All of this I realized BEFORE I WAS SAVED---and when I received Him into my heart, I KNEW WHAT IT MEANT. I figured, "You MADE me, use me as, and where, You will. I shall rejoice in Your presence---for You are perfect love, and in You, I AM COMPLETE!"

    Yeah I understand you have taken leave of your senses.
    Ad hominem.

    First, just because the Spirit gives us knowledge doesn’t mean He indwells us. He indwells us after we are saved.
    He is revealed to each man, He calls and HELKUO-DRAGS-ALL-MEN (women inclusive), and He indwells all who receive Him...

    Second, you have again departed from every well-respected Christian teacher from the very first up to now with that inane doctrine.
    No I haven't. I have only departed from the "well-respected-Christian-teachers" with whom you happen to agree...

    Third, you still haven’t explained about those who never hear the gospel.
    Sure I have. Do children go to Heaven? (Matt18:3-4) Do mentally retarded? God is perfect JUSTNESS. Each man is held accountable to that which he KNOWS. In Rom2, verses 14-16, Jesus now being THE LAW, Paul writes that "they show the Law (Jesus) written in their hearts"; and their conscience will accuse and defend them on the day of judgment.

    Fourth, I find it completely inane that you think we simply believe what we hear without knowing its truthfulness. Maybe you think that is sound thinking, but I doubt you will find many people who will agree with you.
    Many people do agree with me. And that, is because I agree with Scripture. Scripture says that "He calls ALL MEN". It says that "while we were dead, He died for us, the just for the unjust". It says "faith comes by hearing". And "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as LORD, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation". It says "all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved". When we hear the Gospel, we BELIEVE, because it CONVICTS us---in plainer words, we recognize its TRUTHFULNESS...

    You might find a couple of people wanting to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge or a fancy thing-a-ma-jig that mows the lawn, dusts the furniture and makes the bed for 4 easy installments of $39.99.
    Derogatory, and unproductive.

    Finally, you have not one shred of Biblical proof for your imaginations.
    Ah---then all of these Scriptures I have been quoting, have all been for naught. Don't worry, Mike---there are lots of lurkers reading these posts---and I guarantee THEY have been thumbing their Bibles, asking themselves: "Is Ben RIGHT? Is THAT in the WORD?" And they have found, it is.

    Can I get another debating partner. One that has their ideas grounded somewhat in reality?
    You mean, one that you can refute with success???

    :)

    PS: Confession time---I worried that I would lose my patience. I worried that the message would suffer because because of my Humanness. I have prayed, I have striven for my words to be His. To always speak in love and good fellowship. I was grieved at the thought that I might fail in my attitude of love.

    Mike, I believe your patience has been exceeded. Though I was grieved at the thought of MY failing, I am equally grieved at the thought of YOUR failing. There is no FIGHT here, there is no WINNER. THere is, or there should be, only brotherly love, contending for the truth, seeking that-which-is-written in Scripture.

    If I have, in any way or measure, Mike, provoked you, or come across in an "unchristian manner", then I very sincerely, and to the depths of my soul, apologize. Theological discussions are about growth, admonishment, purity of doctrine, fellowship and love.

    "In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity of doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the other may have nothing bad to say about us..." Titus 2:7-8

    :)
     
  18. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    Dear all,

    Slavenomore responded
    Originally posted by mjwhite
    What a twist of scripture. Do you expect people to believe in Jesus BEFORE they know who He is? What a inane idea. Why should anybody trust a person they do not know?


    It's called faith, Mike. When you came to Jesus, did you know him, or did you start knowing him once you became a Christian? I would say you knew about him, of course, before you became a Christian, but you didn't know him. Because, to know him, you must be in a relationship with him. Therefore, when you say "I want you to be my Lord and savior", you are stepping out in faith.


    My reply.

    Not quite. Jesus is the object of our trust. Stepping out in belief is what faith is. Belief and action equal faith. Before you confess you believe. Faith is acting on your beliefs.

    If I asked you to send me $10,000 in order to save your soul, would you? I am asking you to step out in faith and trust me. Likewise Jesus is asking us to surrender our lives to Him. What we do is not why we do it. We do believe Jesus will deliver on His promise, so we confess Him as Lord. That is faith. Read Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. IT says by faith they DID these things, because they believed God. Because they believed God they acted.

    Now knowing Jesus as who He is not quite the same as hearing who He is. Knowing about Him and knowing Him are not the same. But knowing about Him means you trust those who tell you about Him. That is not the same as trusting Jesus. If Jesus is to be both the object of your faith and its foundation, you must know Him and trust Him. Therefore your salvation is based not on your own fickle will or some other man’s idea but on Jesus Himself.

    Did you send me the $10,000? Why not? Don’t you trust me? Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you believe me? Yet you want salvation, and your eternal future riding on a guess. If you say that you didn’t know who Jesus was before you trusted Him, you simply guessed He was who other men claimed Him to be. I do not think we ‘guess’ our way into the kingdom. Rather faith is built on knowledge. Knowing who Christ is gives us the reason we have confidence to step out in faith.

    Take a devout Muslim for an example. Do you think he will simply guess you are right that Jesus is as you say? Would that be enough to throw away the god of his childhood, his family, and his country? Why should he believe you? Why should your opinion be the foundation of his life changing choice? How does he know you are right?




    Then it was said:
    quote:
    Originally posted by mjwhite


    Me
    Well maybe you do not know the difference between WHAT a decision is and WHY one makes it. We simply don’t decide BECAUSE WE CAN, but rather we DECIDE based on REASONS. So I ask you again, WHY did you decide for Jesus and your neighbor did not? Are you going to boast on yourself again and say because you love sin less? Yet you still sin. You are like the Pharisee you talked humbleness before man, but failed to give all the glory to God. Can you answer the WHY question without boasting on yourself?
    B]


    I decided to accept Jesus because I heeded the calling and wooing of the Holy Spirit. That is not boasting of myself at all. That gives all the glory to God, because it was only when I realized that I am weak but he is strong did I come to him. If my neighbor rejects Jesus, it is because he believes the lie that Satan feeds him that says he doesn't need a Savior, that he's quite okay on his own.


    My reply.

    The post before you said you simply said that you knew about Jesus and now you say the Holy Spirit called you and wooed you. You are not playing fair here Slavenomore.

    Several things. Last first.

    How do you know the Spirit calls and woos your neighbor? You don’t, you simply make an assumption that He does. You believed, not because you guessed, and simply decided to have faith, but because God Himself revealed Himself as loving you through the cross by the Holy Spirit. How did Peter know that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of the living God? The Holy Spirit revealed it to him. The others thought that Jesus was a prophet, or Elijah, or John the B. many people, maybe like your neighbor, think Jesus a good man, or even a teacher from God. But you had the witness of God to your heart of the truth.

    Abraham, the father of the faith, was once a pagan who worshipped many gods in his father’s household in Ur. But God called him out from there and persuaded Abraham to go into the wilderness and trust in the one true God. Abraham left the safety and comfort of all he had ever known to walk where God wanted him. But how did Abraham know/ There was no bible to read. There were no preachers for Yahweh. God via the witness of the Holy Spirit revealed Himself to Abraham as the one true God and persuaded Abraham that as Romans 4 tells us was fully convinced that what God had promised, he could and would do. So Abraham stepped out in faith. Likewise, you were convinced by that calling and wooing of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was your Savior and so you confessed what you believed and was saved.

    So we see that it just wasn’t you knowing ABOUT Jesus, but God Himself calling and wooing and convincing you of Jesus. You knew that you weren’t okay without Jesus [as your neighbor thinks he is okay ‘on his own’] Why did you think different? Because you had the witness of God in your heart telling you that as a sinner and rebel against God you were lost and damned without Jesus.

    How did you KNOW you were weak and He was strong? Because the Holy Spirit opened the eyes of your heart to the spiritual reality of your lost position. It is not a boast on yourself to give the glory and honor of your salvation to God. That is what you are doing in that paragraph. God wooed you. God called you. And though you do not say it explicitly, God showed you your lostness, your weakness, your need for Him, and His provision for you at the cross of Christ. You knew all these things as true and you confessed them and were saved.

    What I am saying is, seeing how you and I are no better, nor more spiritual, nor more righteous than your neighbor, that the reason we got saved is because God wooed us and convinced us of our need and His provision. He didn’t force us, but persuaded us by opening our eyes to the truth. Seeing our lostness we willfully chose to serve Him. Our neighbor who is no worse a person than we are, has not had what we had and so thinks he does not need Christ. To him, the gospel, the words of the cross are foolishness, but to us, they are the power of God unto salvation.

    We believe because God revealed and because we believe we confess Him and are saved.

    In His love,
    mike
     
  19. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    Dear All,

    Ben

    Mike, you are a test of my patience. You accuse me of many things, when many of them you do yourself. You engage in ad hominem and circular logic, and accuse me of avoiding the questions, when many questions you will not answer.
    quote:
    The very heart of your position has been questioned and you remain silent in response.
    Vice versa, sir.


    My reply.
    You have not asked about my views on the elect and how they came to be, so how could you question the heart of my position on that subject? The only questions I have not answered are off subject when you decided to argue about eternal security. Giving my opinion is not an ad hominen attack. It is my opinion that anyone who trusts in what they do not know is inane. Here is Ben’s take: Yeah I understand you have taken leave of your senses.
    Ad hominem.


    But as we will see by his own testimony, he will negate his own position. He claims one thing but his testimony claims another.




    Ben
    quote:
    I am using the Arminian doctrine of the elect, as you posted. The elect are by definition, those CHOSEN by God. The Arminianists believe that God looks forward into time and ‘elects’ those that chose Him. The Calvinist doctrine says that God elects those He chooses based solely according to His will.
    I am not "Arminianist". I am not "Calvinist". Which part of that are you not understanding? I never professed to subscribe to eithe



    Me.
    You claim not to be either, but that is not the point. On page 7 of this thread you posted the Arminianist doctrine of the elect and agreed to it.

    Ben

    quote: WHY did you decide for Jesus and your neighbor did not? Are you going to boast on yourself again and say because you love sin less? Yet you still sin. You are like the Pharisee you talked humbleness before man, but failed to give all the glory to God. Can you answer the WHY question without boasting on yourself?

    Oh I have ANSWERED this, and ANSWERED this. But, why not---I shall answer it again. THe answer will not change, so predictably you will not receive it---you will just pretend that I have not answered it...

    THe Word of God was delivered to me. My heart was convicted. Though I did not fully know Jesus, I understood Who He was, and what He did for me. I received Him into my heart. In my conviction, I realized what I was. There was no "pride" or "smugness" in my view. I could not "think myself so clever to have received Him"---rather, in recognizing what I WAS, my heart was filled with shame. THIS was my attitude, THIS IS my attitude now about what I was. I realized that it was MY HAND on that hammer that pounded those nails, those terrible nails, into my Lord. I realized the infinity of His love for me---that He would do such a thing FOR ME. Boast? I boast only in HIM. Apart from Him, I have only shame. Such is my conviction. The work of my salvation, was, and is, done entirely by Him. He could have come down from that Cross any time He wanted to. But He didn't. Why?! I ask myself. I KNOW the answer. Because He loves me. ME. I don't get it. But I don't care---I am so terribly grateful. All of this I realized BEFORE I WAS SAVED---and when I received Him into my heart, I KNEW WHAT IT MEANT. I figured, "You MADE me, use me as, and where, You will. I shall rejoice in Your presence---for You are perfect love, and in You, I AM COMPLETE!"


    My reply.

    That is a wonderful testimony Ben.

    We are talking about the difference between you and your non-believing neighbor. Your testimony, like Slavenomore’s, illustrates my position. God convicted you of what you were. God showed you Who He was and what He did for you. God made you realize Jesus had suffered and died for you and for the sins you willfully commit. To you it seemed like you had nailed Him to the tree. You saw your sin and His salvation. You had knowledge of the truth of whom Jesus was and what it meant to surrender to Him and you willfully chose to do so.

    Now all those things you knew, did you know them simply as words some other guy believed and told you, or did you really know them as true? From your testimony it would seem that you really knew them as true, and not just as words from some other guy thought was true.

    Based on that, I think it is safe to say that these truths, these spiritual truths, were revealed to you by the Spirit into your heart. In believing these things as true, you did as every other person would do, you willfully surrendered to God.

    So I ask you this, does your neighbor, the one who thinks the gospel foolishness, know these spiritual truths like you know them? No he does not. These things are NOT truth to him, but foolishness. God has not revealed the truth to Him like He has to you. Now you might assume he knows them like you do, but you will not find any place in the Word that backs you up. Neither will the actions or the words of your neighbor back you up.





    Ben.
    First, just because the Spirit gives us knowledge doesn’t mean He indwells us. He indwells us after we are saved.
    He is revealed to each man, He calls and HELKUO-DRAGS-ALL-MEN (women inclusive), and He indwells all who receive Him...


    Me
    Not so Ben. He doesn’t drag all people. That is your imagination. The Word says all those drawn by the Father to Christ are saved forever. John 6.

    Ben
    Second, you have again departed from every well-respected Christian teacher from the very first up to now with that inane doctrine.
    No I haven't. I have only departed from the "well-respected-Christian-teachers" with whom you happen to agree...


    My reply.
    Name one well-respected teacher in each century of the church who agrees with you that we believe on Christ before we know who He is?
    Let me remind you of your very own testimony:

    . Though I did not fully know Jesus, I understood Who He was, and what He did for me…. I received Him into my heart. In my conviction, I realized what I was. …I realized the infinity of His love for me---that He would do such a thing FOR ME. …He could have come down from that Cross any time He wanted to. But He didn't. Why?! I ask myself. I KNOW the answer. Because He loves me. ME. …All of this I realized BEFORE I WAS SAVED---and when I received Him into my heart, I KNEW WHAT IT MEANT. I figured, "You MADE me, use me as, and where, You will. I shall rejoice in Your presence---for You are perfect love, and in You, I AM COMPLETE!"

    Ben, your own testimony negates what you are arguing with me about. Listen to yourself. Before you believed and were saved,
    +a+ you understood who He was,
    +b+ realized what you were
    +c+ realized the infinity of His love for you
    +d+ Knew He stayed on the cross because He loved you
    +e+ knew all that before salvation
    +f+ knew it in your heart as true.

    But here are the disputed words from the previous post: Do you understand now, Mike? Saving-knowledge does not precede our "receiving Christ", but exists BECAUSE of it! Our own hearts CAN receive Jesus on hearing the Gospel, and His presence and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit bestows Spiritual knowledge! Cause-and-effect, not vice-versa!

    Yet above I list all the things you knew before you were saved, as per your own testimony. On the one hand you gave your doctrine but that differed from your own personal experience.
    On the one hand you say we receive Christ first then comes knowledge, but on the other hand you say All of this I realized BEFORE I WAS SAVED---.[Emphasis yours.]
    So you see why I called the one inane, it doesn’t even match up with your own splendid testimony.
    Likewise, Slavenomore agreed with you, but his testimony also belied that doctrinal belief. It seems you both hold one position as doctrine, but your own testimonies negate it. I believe your testimonies, they match the Word, but your doctrine, I dispute for they neither match the Word or your own testimony.



    Ben
    Third, you still haven’t explained about those who never hear the gospel.
    Sure I have. Do children go to Heaven? (Matt18:3-4) Do mentally retarded? God is perfect JUSTNESS. Each man is held accountable to that which he KNOWS. In Rom2, verses 14-16, Jesus now being THE LAW, Paul writes that "they show the Law (Jesus) written in their hearts"; and their conscience will accuse and defend them on the day of judgment.


    Me
    Two things .
    First, if a person doesn’t need to hear the gospel to be saved, why send missionaries [kinda like how they attack calvinism]. The problem with your reading of Romans like that is that you are prooftexting and not reading in context. reading the 1st 3 chaps of Romans will show you that all are held accountable to God under the law for their violation of it. But, there is salvation through faith in Jesus. So each man is held accountable for what he knows and is justly condemned unless he has faith in Jesus.

    Second, children before the age of accountability and those mentally retarded who can give no account are not held accountable. The law condemns those who break it. There is only no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is no salvation in any other name, but all that call upon Him will be saved.

    It seems you are telling me that one can worship false gods sincerely, be a sinner and still go to heaven. If that is not what you are saying, then please explain to me how sinners can go to heaven outside of faith in Jesus?


    Ben
    Fourth, I find it completely inane that you think we simply believe what we hear without knowing its truthfulness. Maybe you think that is sound thinking, but I doubt you will find many people who will agree with you.
    Many people do agree with me. And that, is because I agree with Scripture. Scripture says that "He calls ALL MEN". It says that "while we were dead, He died for us, the just for the unjust". It says "faith comes by hearing". And "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as LORD, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation". It says "all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved". When we hear the Gospel, we BELIEVE, because it CONVICTS us---in plainer words, we recognize its TRUTHFULNESS...


    Me.
    Well Ben does not agree with Ben. Ben’s testimony says that he knew the truth of Jesus, the cross and his own sinfulness before he got saved. Yet now Ben says that all who call on the Lord will be saved, but the previous paragraph he allows for salvation without believing, trusting or confessing Jesus. Please make up your mind. In fact in this very paragraph, he starts out disagreeing with me and ends up agreeing with me.
    I said: I find it completely inane that you think we simply believe what we hear without knowing its truthfulness
    and then he said:
    “When we hear the Gospel, we BELIEVE, because it CONVICTS us---in plainer words, we recognize its TRUTHFULNESS...”

    So true Ben. I wish you wouldn’t flip-flop so much. First you stand against that idea, now you stand for it.

    Ben
    You might find a couple of people wanting to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge or a fancy thing-a-ma-jig that mows the lawn, dusts the furniture and makes the bed for 4 easy installments of $39.99.
    Derogatory, and unproductive.


    Me
    I am sorry you took it that way. It was purposefully satirical to make a point. People should know whom they are dealing with even with temporary things like money. All the more so when dealing with eternity.
    It is hard for me to understand just what you believe Ben since you flip-flop on this very idea. Do you know what you believe? Did you know whom it was you believed in before you were saved or not? Your earlier words say no, your testimony says yes. Which is it?

    Ben
    Finally, you have not one shred of Biblical proof for your imaginations.
    Ah---then all of these Scriptures I have been quoting, have all been for naught. Don't worry, Mike---there are lots of lurkers reading these posts---and I guarantee THEY have been thumbing their Bibles, asking themselves: "Is Ben RIGHT? Is THAT in the WORD?" And they have found, it is.


    Me
    What scripture? You have not given any recently. I must leave the lurkers to the Holy Spirit. You may assume you know their hearts, but I do not.

    Ben
    Can I get another debating partner. One that has their ideas grounded somewhat in reality?
    You mean, one that you can refute with success???


    Me
    Nah. I got you for that. I meant one that doesn’t flip-flop so much. (-:

    Ben
    PS: Confession time---I worried that I would lose my patience. I worried that the message would suffer because because of my Humanness. I have prayed, I have striven for my words to be His. To always speak in love and good fellowship. I was grieved at the thought that I might fail in my attitude of love.

    Mike, I believe your patience has been exceeded. Though I was grieved at the thought of MY failing, I am equally grieved at the thought of YOUR failing. There is no FIGHT here, there is no WINNER. THere is, or there should be, only brotherly love, contending for the truth, seeking that-which-is-written in Scripture.

    If I have, in any way or measure, Mike, provoked you, or come across in an "unchristian manner", then I very sincerely, and to the depths of my soul, apologize. Theological discussions are about growth, admonishment, purity of doctrine, fellowship and love.

    "In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity of doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the other may have nothing bad to say about us..." Titus 2:7-8


    I also apologize to you, for it is obvious that you have been provoked by me. Ben examine your testimony, it supports my position wholly. You knew as truth before you were saved what most do not know. As your testimony declares, God saved you. God revealed truth to you. God can save all he chooses in the same way. Do you know any non-Christians? Ask them if they know and believe that Jesus died for them, that He truly loves them, that they are lost without Him. You will find that those who answer yes to all of that are saved. No one believes and knows what you knew before you got saved and yet doesn’t get saved.

    In His love,
    mike
     
  20. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

    210
    +0
    Dear All,

    Where are those who dispute with me? Do they now agree, or is their truth unable to answer?

    God alone gets the glory and honor for saving each one of us, from the cross to the throne, He does it all. It is neither something we can be responsible for, nor is it due to anything we do [like love sin less] or don't do. God saves those he loves, and loves only those He saves.

    In His love,
    mike
     
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