[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sincere Question

by Rose~

Here is a sincere question for Calvinists of the "Doctrines of Grace" persuasion. I really do want your answer to this because I am thoroughly confused:

What difference does it make?

If God has ordained before time all who would be saved and chosen them based on no other reason then His electing choice --- regardless of foreseen faith --- regardless of faith in the proper Gospel --- or any other thing ....

Why do Calvinists lament over gospels of "Cheap Grace" --- "Easy-Believism" --and-- "Mere Intellectual Assent"? I see many Calvinists decrying the fact, (and I do believe they are sincere about it), that there are so many people who are "fooled" into thinking that they are saved. I don't understand why it matters. If such a one is elect, He will be saved, if he isn't he won't. Why does it matter who is fooling himself and believing an alleged false gospel? Won't God sort it all out in the end and lose none of His sheep? Will a false gospel limit the number? What difference does it make?

If you're not a Calvinist, you can post a theory.

79 Comments:

  • It matters because the name of Christ is defamed. Pardon me for wanting the name of my LORD to mean something in this world. When we have countless people walking around who say they are 'christian', and yet they live as rank pagan, the name of Christ gets dragged through the dirt.

    Ultimately it doesn't matter I guess. If they're unelect, they won't be saved. If they are elect, God will save them. If Christ's name is dragged through the dirt, I guess it can be no different than hanging naked upon the cross...

    I guess it comes to alittle bit of a pride issue. But a pride that I am willing to accept and rejoice in. I am proud to be Christian, I love my LORD, and proud to bear His name. I would rather MY name be dragged through the dirt than that of my Lover's.

    I guess I could pose a similar question back to you my friend. What difference does it make if we do lament about heresy taught? It is our lamenting. Or do you think our lamenting over the heresy harms the gospel cause in some way?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 11:58:00 AM  

  • HA! I came here before I went to my own site and saw your comment...

    We must have been thinking the same thing at the same time.

    That was grand.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 11:59:00 AM  

  • Yes, that was really quirky. So, you would say that your reason for being upset over it is not because of compassion for the people themselves who are "being fooled?" ... but more something of a concern over God's reputation and glory. I think I get that.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 12:08:00 PM  

  • Equally, Christ is defamed when we cast doubt on His work in saving those who are His. It works both ways.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 1:13:00 PM  

  • Rose, your questions are similar to asking why Calvinists would be interested in missions. The reason we witness is because we are commanded to. God uses means to accomplish His will. Additionally, the elect do not run around with a red dot on their heads.
    The reason we are concerned with shallow confessions is because we don't want people to have false assurance. There are miriads of testimonies of this, particularly of people that have grown up in church. I also agree with Sofyst that living like the devil while claiming to live in the light says something about the ministry of the Spirit. Being "born again" and being a "new creature" are radical concepts that necessitate change. To deny this is an afront to the Spirit.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 2:01:00 PM  

  • Matthew,
    That is a grave concern.

    Jonathan,
    I wasn't exactly asking about missions. I was asking, what difference does it make if people have false assurance? Will God lose any of His elect? Maybe if the reprobate ---having been predestined to such-- live life thinking they are saved, at least it will eliminate some of their torment (fear of hell) while living this life, since they have no way of avoiding the torment of eternity. Wouldn't that be compassionate?

    You still didn't really answer the question. What is your concern? Is it out of concern for lost souls ... or for God's glory ... or some other concern? What difference does it make to God's plan? Really ... I want to know. Can you articulate it more precisely so I can grasp what your answer is? I'm sincere here.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 2:12:00 PM  

  • Sofyst,
    I was also thinking more about your answer. Your answer would make so much more sense if you thought of these ones as brothers and sisters. That would be a disgrace to His name - if true believers are living like the hell. "False professors" are not a denigration to God, they are not even part of the body, right?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 2:59:00 PM  

  • I think this is a great question, Rose!

    But if the Calvinist were to agree with the intent of your question, this would logically lead them to the "HYPER-Calvinist" label--which most would rather avoid ;-)!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 3:20:00 PM  

  • Hi Bobby,
    I just wish they could shed some light on this. I just want them to answer the question, not to agree with anything. :~)

    Verification word/image: "raauh"
    This is so close to my maiden name (rauh) it freaked me out when I saw it:

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 3:28:00 PM  

  • Well your question is a bit loaded, Rose! And its definitely the logical conclusion to viewing God through the double-predestinarian decretive lens that Calvinists do.

    I think Jonathan gave the "best" answer (for a Calvinist that is ;)--and the "party-line" answer--that God not only ordains (or determines) the end, but also the means (i.e. proclamation of the gospel).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 3:38:00 PM  

  • Hmmm... I wasn't really trying to load a question, but if it is loaded, so be it.
    I have asked before about the mssions (why evangelize) and had gotten the answer "because God commands us to" to which I thought "OK, so, logic rules the day in the early inferences of Calvinism, but doesn't matter as you move on." I do accept that answer, though. I think "because God commands us to preach the gospel" is a good answer. Obedience.

    I think this is different, though. Why the concern over false assurance? Is "bringing down false assurance" also a command?

    One very kind double predestinarian (who has commented here before) really expressed concern to me over people who are deluded by "Easy-Believism". I would ask him: why does it matter? (MW)

    Jonathan, if you return here, can you clarify?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 4:45:00 PM  

  • Rose,
    I think as long as non-calvinist doctrine is compatible with orthodox Protestant Christianity, then it probably does not matter that much. In the PCA, to which I belong, there are five fairly short affirmations for membership none of which are Calvinist. One does not have to believe in unconditional election to be a member. As you know a point can be reached where doctrine does matter as Titus 1:9 points out.

    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:39:00 PM  

  • Jazzy,
    I don't think you get my question. I'm not asking why does it matter if church people believe in "the doctirnes of grace" or not. I am asking, from your perspective, why does it matter if false professors have false assurance?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:43:00 PM  

  • Surprisingly, Rose the way you talk about calvinism is kind of like how I see fatalism. I thought our discussion on God's sovereignty was helpful to this. (On your blog a bit ago).

    It's a miriad of reasons.
    -------------------------
    I care about missions!
    I care about God's glory!
    I care about the lost man!

    I do think Matthew is right the body can be very harmed by excessive introspection.

    I'm very surprised by the calvinist answer that say "ultimately it doesn't matter I guess".

    We are never to forget the "means of grace" are so important for the body of Christ. It's like saying the gospel isn't the power of God unto salvation. If we care about the gospel we care about discipleship.

    Should we neglect telling our children the gospel as we think they trusted Christ, yet they didn't. I remember a pastor friend of mine stating that he had a camp where over 100 children he didn't know accepted Christ. I remember thinking yes many of them could be saved, but without them continually being pointed to the greatness of Christ how we would know as we didn't have any way to get ahold of their parents and get them in a church that helped their children continue to grow in the gospel.

    For example if I thought this way I wouldn't train up my children and continually teach them the gospel.

    The ordinary means of saving people is through hearing the gospel and putting their hope in Christ. Yes we all know that God does work in spite of our failing but we should be concerned about this because the farther we get away caring for lost people the farther we get away from the body of Christ and the gospel.

    We must never forget the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Let's keep God's gospel pure and keep pointing people to the Savior.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:46:00 PM  

  • Why do I care about false professors who have false assurance?

    Well for one thing if they are lost and going to hell, we can tell them today is the day of salvation turn and run to Christ!!! It's as simple as that.

    For example, many times I'm sad for those who are in the health and wealth gospel because many times I'm pretty sure it's not just a deficient gospel, but a gospel that leads many people to hell if they aren't trusting in Christ. What some really want is the health and wealth, they don't want Christ. I say this with sadness.

    Should I give up on them and not tell them to stop using Christ as a way to get what they really want (Health and Wealth).

    By Blogger Shawn L, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:57:00 PM  

  • I don't know if that makes any sense, but if we are the body of Christ we deeply care about the lost, we care about the gospel being preached so that people come to Christ, and we care about God's name being proclaimed among the nations.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:59:00 PM  

  • Shawn,
    great thoughts! I would say, judging from your comments, that you don't contemplate or focus too much on the ideas of predestination. That is very healthy, I think. Thank you. Your answer was very refreshing!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 7:07:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    You might want to look into a topic of calvinist discussion of the "means of Grace". This might help you out a bit if you want to see the historic calvinistic understanding.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 7:14:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose :)

    I'd never thought of it that way...

    Good question.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 9:48:00 PM  

  • Dear Rose,
    Your question is excellent. Calvinism makes everything to be the will of God. But, the reality is that there are many things God despises and will dispose of when His will is truly done on earth as it is in heaven. According to calvinism we are not calvinists because God decreed we should not be so. Your question is a starting point for a good look at Paul and his own motivation. A few readers here said "obedience" is the motive, or the "glory of God".
    Those are good and true. But, not total or complete. They are the most favorable to their position, and also most pious in tone.(not a judgement but an observation)
    The motive of Paul was obedience and the Glory of God, but he went beyond raw observance of the "right" or the "pious" into the "joy of sacrificial love". He "waved his rights" as an apostle and christian to go into a shpere of "more than obedience".
    Why? Out of love to God and compassion for the world, that some by any means might be saved.He was a "task theologian", not a speculative professional author or lecturer. And then note(in 1 Cor.9:19-23) what he says,"I may save some." Wow! Paul said that! He was primarily a pioneer evangelist and church planter who "did" theology as a means of building up and protecting the ones being built up. 1 Cor.9:19, "in order to gain even more people". Do you hear calvinists talking like that? I've been on the mission field many years and have not yet heard it.
    In fact I have heard the opposite. One young calvinist missionary told me he stays in his office and waits for people to come to him. I asked how many believers there were in his town. His answer and attitude were not Pauline to say the least. Paul's ambition was always,
    2 Corinthians 10:16
    "TO PREACH THE GOSPEL in the regions beyond you."
    And to do so as a love offering to the Lord in his presentation or "waving" of the gentiles.(Romans 15)

    1 Cor. 9:

    19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more.

    22 To the weak I become weak in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some.

    23 And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it (1 Corinthians 9:19,22,23).

    Paul was concerned that people created in the image of God and for whom Christ died would be damned. He laid aside rightful rights and wept for them, and travelled with little rest or comfort. Today men discuss unknowable intricacies on Cruise Ships laughing and bloating their bellies with rich food. We should listen little to the person boasting defense of God's character as their central motive until we see the spirit of 1 Cor.9 in their life.


    Evangelism is the redistribution of spiritual wealth.
    John Blanchard

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, April 30, 2006 11:56:00 PM  

  • Rose, they do defame the name for the simple reason that we don't know who is truly of Christ or not. We don't know who are brothers or not.

    So Joe comes up, claims to be Christian, and yet openly and unashamedly had adultery with everything in a skirt.

    So, the pagans see Joe, the Christian, and think that 'Christ' is no different a god than any other...

    So, the name of Christ is defamed.

    I mean, we are not to question Joe's salvation are we? He claims Christ...the whole once saved always saved. He needn't Jesus as LORD of his life now does he?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, May 01, 2006 7:07:00 AM  

  • Rose, I think that for many it is probably about upholding what we understand to be the truth. As Paul said in Galatians 1:9, "As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed." A false gospel is an affront to the true gospel. I would hope that we would be reasonable in assessing what constitutes a false gospel, however.

    blaurock, you said, "According to calvinism we are not calvinists because God decreed we should not be so." To say that is like saying that Calvinists believe that everything a Christian does, including sin, is because that is what God decreed that they should do. This Calvinist finds that offensive because that is my no means what I believe. What Bobby said about hyper-Calvinism is true - most of us do not want to be associated with that view.

    Winning souls for Christ is the point of missions, and I am sorry that you met a Calvinist missionary with such an approach. What he said does not sound consistent with a Calvinist at all - we would be far more likely to say that none will ever just come looking on their own and that sitting in an office waiting for someone to come is foolish. I can tell you that there are many out there who are actively involved in sharing the Gospel with a lost and dying world who do it for compassion for the lost - I have met them and have seen their ministry first hand. We also believe that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word. Whether a Calvinist is correct in believing that we are called to salvation or not, the call to preach the Gospel does not change. We do not know who will believe and who will not so we must tell all.

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at Monday, May 01, 2006 8:45:00 AM  

  • Soyfst, that is why we have church discipline, so that those like this guy may be publicly disowned.

    Nevertheless, the Scriptures are clear that fornication, may be found among Christians (1 Cor 6:15-19).

    Let us take Joe the adulterer.

    There are three pieces of counsel that might be given to him.

    The Arminian says 'You will loose your salvation if you carry on like that.'

    The Calvinist says 'You are probably not really saved at all.'

    The Free Gracer says 'If you carry on like that you will die physically and you will not inherit the Kingdom of God.'

    Any of these warnings might lead Joe to repent, but that does not make them all true.

    The ultimate question in determining how to respond to Joe's behaviour is to determine what the Biblical strategy for warning such a believer is.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 01, 2006 8:50:00 AM  

  • Dear Ibex,
    Good Afternoon! I want to greet you with open kindness and not in antagonism at all as a person. What I am going to say may be offensive to your sensibilities, but it is in no way intended to make you feel attacked.

    You wrote,(concerning decreed sin)
    "This Calvinist finds that offensive because that is my no means what I believe."

    This is not hyper-calvinism, but just plain calvinism that you find offensive. It is as equally fatalistic as Islam.

    See the following quotes:

    "To put it now in its strongest form, we insist that God does as He Pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases; that whatever takes place in time is but the outworking of that which He decreed in eternity." (Pink The Sovereignty of God p.194).

    "All things whatever arise from and depend on, the divine appointment;" John Calvin Commentary on Romans

    Curt Daniel writes "Thus, it is absolutely essential to see that God foreordained everything that will come to pass. He predestined everything that will ever happen, down to the smallest detail." (Biblical Calvinism p.2)


    "...not only had God a perfect foreknowledge of the outcome of Adam’s trial, not only did His omniscient eye see Adam eating of the forbidden fruit, but He decreed beforehand that he should do so. (A.W. Pink The Sovereignty of God p.249

    That is decreed sin.

    Now look at the Muslim:


    "Allah has written for the son of Adam his inevitable share of adultery whether he is aware of it or not:" Bukhari Hadith vol.8 no.609 p.397-398.

    "Say: ‘Nothing will happen to us Except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our Protector’..." Qur’an Sura 9:41.

    Note that contrary to what a few Calvinists say, the idea, that God decrees all, is not foreign to the carnal mind.

    You either have freedom of will or not. If not, then God is the author of evil and has planned with desire our every blasphemy,lust and act of selfishness. Whoever says different is running away from himself.

    I too have met evangelistic calvinists and have heroes who were thorough calvinists. But after many years in the field, and with friends in all kinds of places, I am stretching to say that 10 percent of the truly calvinistic people I know are evangelistic in any practical sense. Most of them are starting institutes or in training mode. There are some, and they are great men and women.

    Consider your statement:

    "We also believe that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word."

    This is not so for a calvinist.

    Dr. R. C. Sproul sets forth this position when he writes:
    In regeneration, God changes our hearts. He gives us a new disposition, a new inclination. He plants a desire for Christ in our hearts. We can never trust Christ for our salvation unless we first desire Him. This is why we said earlier that regeneration precedes faith. [R. C. Sproul, Chosen by God, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale Publishers, 1986), p. 118]

    Calvin has our children secured(as in covenant with their parents)before they’re born:
    He writes:

    Our children, before they are born, God declares that He adopts for His own when He promises He will be a God to us, and to our seed after us. In this promise their salvation is included. [John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Vol.11; (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmanns, 1962), p.525]

    The calvinist has a man regenerated prior to faith. He literally has the cart before the horse.

    Berkhof taught that regeneration and conversion are two distinct works and may therefore have a chronological time sequence. In other words, one may be regenerated at one time and be converted (repent and believe) at some later time. "The new life is often implanted in the hearts of children long before they are able to hear the call of the gospel" (Berkhof). This is similar to the statement quoted above in the Reformation Study Bible which said that infants can be regenerated as babies, and not come to faith in Christ until years later!

    With all respect, perhaps you're not a calvinist after all.

    Yours in our Lord,
    Blaurock

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Monday, May 01, 2006 11:37:00 AM  

  • Great question Rose and one I've asked the Calvinist before, but never received an answer.

    By Blogger Dawn, at Monday, May 01, 2006 2:31:00 PM  

  • Matthew, publically disowning Joe in one church will simply send him to another.

    But regardless, that rebuke offered by the freegracers is one the Calvinist offer as well.

    The Calvinist would say to Joe, 'you're probably not saved, but if you are saved, get your act together or get out.'

    So the disicpline aspect wouldn't be different between the freegracer and the calvinist.

    That is of course if the freegracer does practice discipline. But I don't think it too much of a generalization to say that most who believe this grace is so horridly free that it is so free it is without any requirement.

    Joe is saved, he has accepted that wondrously free gift, now, he can go and do whatever he wants. God requires nothing else of him except to believe. He has inherited that eternal life.

    Isn't that the freegrace position?

    Your whole spill about not inheriting the kingdom and 'destruction of the flesh' doesn't sound like a freegrace position, it sounds like a Calvinist position?

    Aren't you then putting a requirement upon salvation? Namely that he must repent of his actions and continue in his salvation (sanctification) or have his flesh destroyed?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, May 01, 2006 3:32:00 PM  

  • Sofyst, I am appalled at the ignorance of Free Grace theology that you have just shown it that last comment. I find this astounding given that you have visited this blog many times. If you had never visited before I can conceive how you would ask the questions that you asked in that post, but this is not the case.

    It would appear that you do not even bother to read most of what is posted on this blog. Are you just here to argue or do want to try and understand what we are saying?

    If you are just here to argue and ignore much of what we write, I find it impossible to see how I can dialogue with you any further.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 01, 2006 4:12:00 PM  

  • Truthfully, I have never read anything here save that of Rose's posts. I have read before Antonio's works, and found myself unable to swallow the false characterizations that he cast upon Calvinist. Therefore, I withdrew from reading any others. I have found Rose to be delightful, and perhaps I should consider the rest of y'all to be along her caliber rather than Antonio's.

    I do not think I have misrepresented the freegrace position, if I have, please show me specifically.

    I was under the impression that the LORDship/freegrace controversy was over what was required for salvation.

    LORDship teaches that while faith is the means through which men are justified, their sanctification is still an ongoing process. The aspect of salvation that is called sanctification has within it inherent requirements such as maturation.

    Freegrace teaches that when we say men are 'saved' we should only speak of the justification aspect. And as faith is only required for this 'salvation' it is wrong to say that anything else is required of the believer, lest we add to 'salvation' needless requirements and make grace no longer free.

    I was under the impression that the freegrace camp rebuked we LORDship adherents for adding unscriptural requirements to salvation. When we say that if a person is elect, and comes to Christ, they will mature in their faith. We are rebuked as adding maturity to the free grace of salvation.

    If this is not your position, and if you do not fault LORDship for doing so, then I think you stand as an exception within your camp.

    I would love to dialogue more with you on this matter. I would love clarity from both sides. I think the entire discussion between LORDship and freegracers is mainly one of misconception...

    Do not cast me aside too fast my friend. While I do live to argue, I normally love those I argue with more than they will ever know...

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, May 01, 2006 4:45:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    Great topic!

    I must admit I find Blaurock's comments quite pointed and revealing. It seems he has a solid grasp on the man centered philosophy of fatalism and it's subtle introduction into the world religions, including calvinism.

    If you read through the OT, you will find many prophets who were not willing to accept a fatalistic outcome, but earnestly interceded for the nation of Israel and in doing so succeeded many times in averting destruction.

    So to, we must stand in the gap today for our families, our nations, and our churches. While God is sovereign He has also chosen to work through his creation.

    In every great movement of God, He has seen fit to equip men for the task of evangelizing the lost, and warning the wayward. It is men operating through the power of the Holy Spirit that have led revivals, awakenings, and massive evangelistic campaigns.

    Therefore let us labour diligently, warning every man that we may save some.

    There is much more on the table than simply arguing over the means of salvation. We are commanded to become stewards and labourers in the kingdom of God. As such, we will either receive a reward or suffer loss at the Judgement seat of Christ.

    God bless,
    Jim

    By Blogger Jim, at Monday, May 01, 2006 6:42:00 PM  

  • Blaurock,
    Thank you for the visit here. I appreciate what you are saying about missions. I appreciate what you are doing about missions! I do think Angie is right that there are many a fine Calvinist missionary and evangelist. You are right about compassion on people and how it motivated the apostle. Also - Christ wept over people. I need to weep more for people and give up my comforts to tell them. You challenge. Thank you.

    Angie,
    I appreciate your answer. I think it is a very good thing to uphold the truth as we see it, and to always be convinced by the Word that the way we see it really is the truth ... or ... to change our mind if the Word causes us to. But really, Angie, you are a logical person. If God had already designated someone for salvation, there is not anything that will stand in the way of that one being saved. What do you think about my question to Jonathan:
    Maybe if the reprobate ---having been predestined to such-- live life thinking they are saved, at least it will eliminate some of their torment (fear of hell) while living this life, since they have no way of avoiding the torment of eternity. Wouldn't that be compassionate?

    If people are a consideration and compassion plays a part, why not let people think they are saved by simple faith without complete submission to Christ's Lordship over their actions? What can it hurt? I know for me it lifted a big weight off my shoulders. If that is a false gospel, He will sort it all out in the end right? He will lose no sheep to this false gospel if sovereignty is as the D.O.G. teach. Is logic not good when thinking about these things?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, May 01, 2006 6:47:00 PM  

  • Sofyst,
    You say:
    When we have countless people walking around who say they are 'christian', and yet they live as rank pagan, the name of Christ gets dragged through the dirt ... is defamed.

    The same could be said of the fact that billions of people march into "churches" every week and EAT the body of Christ in the form of a wafer and DRINK His blood -- this is very degrading to Christ. That a priest says He can call God almighty out of heaven by saying hocus pocus - humiliating!

    Think about the JWs - they rewrote the first chapter of John's gospel and took away Christ's deity! Istead of the Word being with God and being GOD, He is a god (among many). Now that is an affront to my Lord!

    Consider the DaVinci Code which seeks to make Christ out as a married man tangled up in fleshly concerns. Heresy! Is God's glory compromised by these things? Is Christ's name ultimatley defamed?

    These are all false forms of recognizing Him ... which is what you say about "easy-believism." I think you proabbaly feel more upset about EB because it hits closer to home, right? I think Matthew hit the nail on the head - we must discipline the body. But -- what if we have such a friend that is outside of a church wherein he can be disciplined? What to do? We encourage that one to follow the Lord, we entreat him to walk in the light, we tell those lookers-on that this is not how Christians SHOULD conduct themselves. We ask this person about their conversion. If they say they placed faith in Christ, how can we defame the cross of Christ by saying that His work is not enough to save this man from damnation? That, to me, like Matthew, is the greatest affront. This type of person needs help and admonishment and even seperation or ... shunning from believers if he won't repent. However, I don't think one who sincerely professes that he has believed in Christ for salvation is one that we should evangelize -- and tell him that he is not saved, but lost -- based on behavior. I think this would be shameful ... and counter-productive!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, May 01, 2006 7:44:00 PM  

  • Sofyst,
    He will triumph. I am reminded of this passage:
    The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 "I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill." (Psalm 2)

    Does this sovereign God need our help with His reputation? Does He wring His hands over these things? Now, if you held to the idea that things are in play here, then this would really matter. If souls were hanging in the balance, this would be very grave!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, May 01, 2006 7:45:00 PM  

  • Sofyst,

    "But I don't think it too much of a generalization to say that most who believe this grace is so horridly free that it is so free it is without any requirement."

    Get a grip on yourself. Calvinists or the Totally Depraved doctrine claims man is unable to believe. All others hold to the scriptural claim that belief in the Son is the requirement. You say, "without any requirement"? The scriptural requirement is one that even you yourself cannot satisfy, while you claim that you don't have the ability to believe.

    Think about what a mess your doctrine makes of scripture in relation to doctrine from other than Calvin.

    By Blogger Todd, at Monday, May 01, 2006 7:45:00 PM  

  • Rose, it is an interesting question that you raise. I do not think it is compassionate to give people false hope. False hope is pathetic and it traps people in foolishness. There are many who think that living life as a good person is enough to get them into heaven. Clearly we know that it is not so. Is it compassionate to let them think that only to find out when it is too late that they were wrong? I do not see how it is ever compassionate to idly sit by and watch someone blissfully travel the road to hell.

    Yes, if God choses those who will believe He will save them, but we do not know whom He will save, therefore we must preach the truth to those who are lost regardless of what they think. God's children bear the message of the gospel - this is how He has chosen to spread the truth that is the power of God unto salvation.

    Compassion must be part of our message and if we see one among us living a life of habitual sin, we have a responsibility to confront them. If in confronting them they show no concept of the fact that God commands obedience from His children we might want to change our approach to determine what it is that they believe. If we find that they place their faith in a "false gospel" is it not most loving and compassionate to share the truth with them?

    If we knew that someone was not chosen unto salvation, perhaps it would be just as well to let them think that they're okay, but we don't, so I don't see how that is an acceptable option.

    Do you understand what I am saying?

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at Monday, May 01, 2006 8:15:00 PM  

  • Angie,
    Yes, I do understand what you are saying. If you actually have contact with such a person, you would be compelled to tell them of your concept of the true gospel. I was thinking more of the outcry over large groups of people that are nameless and faceless - you know, large groups that people write books about, not an individual that you caome into contact with. I guess I just don't understand the lamenting over it, (I see a lot of this) because of the C concept of sovereignty.

    What do you think about remote places in the world where no missionaries go? Could there be elect people there?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, May 01, 2006 8:25:00 PM  

  • Dawn,
    Thanks for visiting here! You and I maybe think alike? Feel free to jump in the discussion.

    Jim,
    Thanks for your thoughts as well. I think these ideas are very fatalistic. If everything is completely mapped out and humanity has nothing to do with their individual eternal destinies because of the T of TULIP, then truly it is strange for Christ to have wept over Jerusalem.

    37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, May 01, 2006 8:36:00 PM  

  • Sofyst,
    I am sorry if my comment was harsh, but you must surely realise that if you are trying to challenge our theology without reading what we have written on the subject, I must wonder whether you are going to read my comments all that carefully and whether youa re really beign all that sincere.

    If you read the material on this blog and also Hungry 6 and Free Grace Theology (I know you might find that blog painful sometimes) and even Zane Hodges' book 'Absolutely Free!', you ought to find that in fact Free Grace people place a huge premium on discipline in the Christian life and have a very heavy emphasis on sanctification and the Lord's chastening.

    Bobby Grow actually contends that Free Grace theology places too much emphasis on works.

    Brian has commented on this blog that growing up in a Free Grace background, he was often very fearful of the Lord's judgment.

    Whether you agree with this emphasis or not is one thing, but I think you have a very mistaken impression about Free Grace theology.

    I would encourage you to do a bit more reading before you argue with us about it.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 1:03:00 AM  

  • Blaurock,

    I would recommend a good study on the sovereignty of God in the midst of evil that we did on Roses' blog awhile ago. Very refreshing study of the Word of God.

    It was quite helpful because it stayed in the scriptures primarily. I would have to say my understanding from Rose and Matthew and such were pretty close to the same conclusion related to sin and God's Sovereignty. This is something we should consider from scripture with great care. Then Antonio brought up some good points and possible deviations from our thinking.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 4:00:00 AM  

  • I was thinking more of the outcry over large groups of people that are nameless and faceless - you know, large groups that people write books about, not an individual that you caome into contact with.
    This is where "zeal for truth" comes in. A lot of nameless and faceless people are giving a lot of lost souls false hope.

    What do you think about remote places in the world where no missionaries go? Could there be elect people there?
    This is a difficult question, and one in which the Calvinist has to say that if there are elect God will save them and send someone to them to preach the word. There will be those from every tribe and tongue and nation who are saved, but their numbers may be small and they may come to faith very near the end. I don't like this aspect of Calvinism, but then I don't think that theology should be about what makes us feel good or appeals to our sense of "fairness" - it should be about the truth that Scriptures teach, and for now I still believe that the Bible teaches "election."

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 4:09:00 AM  

  • Blaurock, I am not ignoring your reply to me, but I think it may be a few days before I have a chance to give a decent response as I have quite a lot going on right now. I am a Calvinist, but a moderate one. I do plan to explain myself better as soon as I get a chance.

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 4:15:00 AM  

  • Shawn and Angie,
    Let us make this really specific: If the "Cheap Grace" --- "Easy-Believism" --and-- "Mere Intellectual Assent" gospel is a false gospel, will its flourishing or propegation limit the number of sheep? Will it hurt the cause of Christ in this way, by keeping some from coming to the fold? That is the question in my post. I think we have maybe rabbit-trailed a little bit.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 5:43:00 AM  

  • In the context of your question, no, because God is not limited by human folly, whatever form it may take.

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 6:53:00 AM  

  • Rose, the JWs, the 'DaVinci Code', the pagan members all do defame the name. These are just more examples. I wouldn't say easy believism hits closer to home. If anything the pagan members is more upsetting to me. Your question though revolved around the easy believism, hence my response in regards to it. If you want me to go off on the pagan members, I most certainly can...

    ;)

    I understand completely the admonition for church discipline. I am one of the strongest adherents and promoters of this biblical practice.

    However, I'd say that we wouldn't need as much practice as is necessary in America today if it wasn't in the mind of most people that all they must do is repeat a prayer and then they are considered saved.

    I would put the problem, and the cause of the problem back further. I don't think teaching LORDship would turn all of the pagan acting Christians back from their wicked ways. But I do think it would keep more pagan acting Christians from being made.

    The problem I see with the easy believism gospel is it focuses too much upon justification. It seems to ignore the whole sanctification process that is a necessary part of salvation. It teaches that salvation (justification) is given through faith, and then leaves the hearer alone to either believe or not to believe.

    It doesn't go into the whole idea that God works in His Israel, or that God grows His harvest, or that God disciplines His children. It only tells everyone that 'salvation (justification) comes through belief'.

    The adherents to LORDship, myself in particular, would want the whole message of salvation to be taught. We are only asking for this.

    We want everyone to know the good news that God justifies the ungodly through their belief. We likewise want them to know that God doesn't leave His children alone. That He sends His Spirit within their lives to convict them and help them to grow.

    We want the whole message of salvation taught.

    My diagnosis is that the whole message has not been taught. People have been taught that if they believe, they will receive justification for their sins. They then are sent along their merry ways with an idea that heaven is guaranteed them and God smiles happily upon them.

    They are never told of the Holy Spirit's work within the Christian's life. They are never told that Paul says He was 'being saved'. They are never told such as they do not want to add anything 'extra' to the gospel message. To add the life-long process that is 'salvation' (all of it, every aspect) would be too long to fit upon a little trac. We wanna say wam-bam-welcome to the kingdom in as short of words and as simple as possible.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 8:40:00 AM  

  • Rose, no the sovereign LORD needn't our help in anything. You know my position. I would even say God doesn't NEED us to save people. He uses us, but He could very well save His elect without ever using another one of His children...my concern and my worry is, admittably, one of human folly. But even Paul wished that he could give up his own life for his brethren, knowing that he could not; why then can I not wish God's name would not be defamed, knowing it will be?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 8:43:00 AM  

  • Matthew, very well. I am up to the challenge. I love to learn.

    email me please,

    sofyst@gmail.com

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 8:43:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    Your question exposes what I believe is a major weakness of Calvinism. It is a strong, theoretical system (designed by a former lawyer). But it cannot be consistently lived out in the real world.

    A Calvinsist must live as a "functional Arminian." He must live as if people have the ability to make real choices.

    (And before all the Calvinists accuse me of not understanding what Calvinism teaches, I know that they believe that people have real choices. But their definition of "choice" and everyone else's are radically different.)

    The materialist is forced to live as if there is meaning and purpose in human life. The Calvinsist is forced to act as if people can choose to accept or reject God's grace.

    Rod

    By Blogger Pastor Rod, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 9:03:00 AM  

  • Sofyst,
    I think it would be rather presumptuous of us to say that we don't want low quality Christians, so we will raise the bar (I do believe that is the intention of some in this movement). How can we set the bar any higher? Who are we to keep men from entering? I think what you need to focus on is the fact that we need to disciple converts more fervently. But they are converts, Sofyst, if they have placed faith in Christ for deliverence form sin's punishment. It is as simple as that. But you are right - Christians should not disgrace the name of the Lord, we should walk in the light.

    Hi Rod!
    Thanks for visiting. How did you happen upon this blog? I have heard that said before, that Calvinists must function as Arminians, but I have also heard it said that Arminians pray like Calvinists! Come again!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 10:15:00 AM  

  • I know that this series of posts has chased a rabbit... Here is my attempt to catch it, followed by my attempt to answer the original question:

    Let’s scripture speak,

    1 John 3:7-10 NASB Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; (8) the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. (9) No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (10) By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

    This does not give the "requirements" for salvation, but it does say who is and is not saved.

    "what difference does it make?"
    (the Scriptures below are not to be read as a response to the Grace/Lordship discussion, rather they are presented as a response to "what difference does it make" if the true Gospel is proclaimed or known.

    Galatians 1:8 NASB But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

    Galatians 2:11-13 NASB But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. (12) For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. (13) The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.

    Galatians 3:1 NASB You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

    People are being bewitched, the one who presents the false gospel is accursed, and, as we see Paul doing, we must stand up to the false gospel and rebuke them publicly.

    Basically for a Calvinist it is a zeal for the truth of God to be known. God will not use a Gospel contrary to the one of Scripture to save. Scripture says that faith comes by hearing. True faith can only come by hearing the truth. So does God need the true Gospel for to be preached for people to be saved? YES!!! Not because God is in adequate in His own merit, He can save however He wants to, but He has revealed to us how he would save and thus God will not violate His own written pattern. If He did He would be inconsistent and not God, but He keeps His word, and it is by His word that men are saved. So for God to be true to His word men must believe the truth of God's word to be saved.
    1 John 4:6 NASB We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

    The “us” are the apostles. We must believe the apostles to be saved. It is important to get it right, the Gospel, because that is the way God said He would save people.
    If God were going to use something other than the Gospel to save, then it would not matter if we got it right.

    It personally matters for me because if I preach another Gospel Paul said I should be accursed. Neither I, nor you, want that!

    Wade C.

    By Blogger KeepingThought, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 2:03:00 PM  

  • Calvinists do have a zeal and it is a zeal based on many truths. They are very desirous of us knowing that God will have mercy on whom He will and whom he will, he hardeneth. We all need to step back on Romans 9 and say God you are sovereign and leave it at that. Of course as Joseph noted, Islam also has an understanding of Sovereignty and I think what many Calvinists are not able to see, is that there is indeed an issue of pride that can spring from this truth for man to seize on. I understand that this should humble us, yet unfortunately it does indeed feed pride. You see, as in Islam, Gods justice becomes the wellspring of their hope of vindication against others and breeds a lack of love for others. Should we boast in that we are Chosen? Did Joseph's brothers delight in this truth when Love was shown to them? No, they finally saw that Joseph was indeed the elect of the dream and so it is true of Christ being the firstborn of the elect. Our eyes must be on him being the elect and chosen and delight in that though we meant it for evil, He meant it for good. The Calvinist would say, well we see this. But in their ideology and presumptions about regeneration and Covenantal theology, Jesus instead becomes a footstool. Consider Joseph's brethren delighting in their election. Doesn't that seem appalling to us? Consider how it settles with God. In Romans Paul cautions us to not boast against the branch and say, well we have been chosen and they have been cut off. God hates any boasting, in any form. Consider the Pharisee who thanked God for bearing good fruit in his life. Let me say that again. He thanked God. i.e-gave glory to God. The word here is the one for eulogy I believe. He was heartfelt. I think he understood that only goodness comes from God. Jews were well schooled in this thought. Why do you think the blind man was told to give glory to God and call Jesus a sinner. You see the Person of Christ was taking a backseat to their theology. Caiphas even preached Christ(the gospel) before he killed him. Herein lies the extreme danger in embracing systems of theology and joining the cause and embracing any name other than the Eternal I Am That I Am Saves.

    I have seen the account in Luke 4:16-30 used as making the case for election. This is not the focus. The deity of Christ is the purpose of this text. In fact Jesus ripped the carpet of election and the hope of the Jews trusting in them being Chosen out from underneath them, by telling them because they though Him only to be the son of Joseph and a common human they would not see the works that others would. He was trying to tell them that He was in their midst fulfilling prophecy and because they thought him to be common and they to be elect and chosen, he wasn't good enough for them. The culprit? Unbelief in Him. He tells them that He works where He wants and mentions the widow of Zaraphath as well as Naaman. Here he makes the case for election as the wind blows where it wants and so is everyone that is born of the Spirit. But can't you Calvinists see that with one stroke of the pen he is speaking to this yet at the same time calling men not to trust in their election(i.e-the Jews assuming themselves to be Abraham's children by Covenantal rights) Can't you see that trusting in anything other than the Deity and Person of the God-man Jesus Christ as our sinbearer at the cross alone( Hebrews 10:14) is anathema? Calling men to trust in anything outside of childlike faith in Christ alone is to be accursed. Not election. Election isn't the gospel. Christ is. He is the firstborn of the elect. If men do not enter in at that door, they shall never be saved. Anything that deviates us from this truth is to be accursed. Yes God is Sovereign, but that truth is not the gospel. Yes we are Chosen, but that is not the Gospel. Faith in Christ as our sinbearer and trusting in Him alone is. Can't you see that in calling men to see that they cannot believe, you also tamper with this truth. You may understand some biblical truths, but in your zeal would you ask yourself if the Person of Christ is being lifted up, or the understandings of Calvin? Christ will not honor anything or anyone that exalts himself to this position in place of Himself. Please consider this.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 5:40:00 PM  

  • 3 other notes:

    Jesus *loved* the Rich Young Ruler that rejected him.

    Jesus wept over Jeruselam that also rejected him

    Paul wished himself to be accursed for the non-elect brethren according to his flesh. He wished himself accursed. Did that love come from Paul or Christ in reality.

    "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

    Don't try to help God out in understanding His Sovereignty as well as his love. For in doing so one may help themselves *out*. That is the tragedy that concerns me. Placing doubt in any form on God's love and trying to pull him into our courts and make him answer to us. Who can know the mind of the Lord or understand How His Spirit that is vexed at unbelief...moves.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 5:50:00 PM  

  • BTW,

    Being Chosen is a precious truth. My point is not to abase that, but to show that our focus is to be only on the Person of Christ and that if we try to help God out by getting men to look to election and all those truths, we run a risk of undoing the very thing we are called to do and that is to call men to believe the Gospel. And that man can still be lost even believing in election and even believing that they are elected.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 5:58:00 PM  

  • Hi Angie,

    You said: "This is where "zeal for truth" comes in. A lot of nameless and faceless people are giving a lot of lost souls false hope."

    I understand your zeal for truth, however, I'm still not clear on how it really matters, in the grand scheme of things, that these people have a false hope as far as salvation and election are concerned. If they are of the elect, then God will send the right person along with the true gospel at the appointed time. Right?

    Angie: "Is it compassionate to let them think that [they're saved when they're not] only to find out when it is too late that they were wrong?"

    I don't understand what you mean by it being too late. If a person is one of the elect is it ever too late? If they are of the elect, God will bring someone along to preach the truth to them at the appointed time and they WILL believe. Right?

    By Blogger Dawn, at Tuesday, May 02, 2006 11:26:00 PM  

  • Dawn, for how I ultimately answered the question, see the comment from May 2, 6:53 AM. (Rose's comment directly before mine will put the answer into context.)

    By too late I meant that they were dead. The point is that nobody knows who will be saved, regardless of our own personal soteriological position, so we must share the truth with all. God will send somebody, yes, so why not us?

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 2:05:00 AM  

  • Brian,

    Very legitimate concerns and well stated. Those are some great thoughts and I would add a hearty amen about the concern and conclusions.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 5:36:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    I found you by following a link from sofyst. Interesting point you make about prayer. I have come to believe that prayer is an action with consequences much the same as any other human action. I would say that most Christians have an illogical theology of prayer.

    If our prayers really make a difference, then we are looking at real choices with real consequences. If they don't, then they are meaningless.

    The answer, "We do it because God told us to" may be satisfactory for discipleship. But it is not satisfactory for theology.

    Rod

    By Blogger Pastor Rod, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 7:24:00 AM  

  • Keepingthought,
    How did you happen upon this blog? What you said makes a lot of sense if men's souls hang in the balance, which I believe they do. Therefore, I have a false teacher in mind who I believe is keeping men from entering. Anathema! Thanks for the visit.

    Brian,
    Can't you see that in calling men to see that they cannot believe, you also tamper with this truth.

    What an excellent point. It seems fruitless.

    ... if we try to help God out by getting men to look to election and all those truths, we run a risk of undoing the very thing we are called to do and that is to call men to believe the Gospel.

    Why, you sound so sensible. That is just so well put. I can deal with that. It is as I have thought before, why is this any of my business?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:24:00 AM  

  • Rose, I actually think it presumptuous to say that a desire to teach the full story of salvation, and not leave out the inconvenient aspects, is 'raising the bar'. It is not.

    Salvation is not only justification. If you want to teach justification, by all means, go ahead. But to say that the LORDships who want to teach justification and sanctification (i.e. SALVATION) are attempting to 'raise the bar' is unfair.

    I think this whole quarrel would be ended if our English language didn't bastardize the text. If we didn't use 'salvation' as such an all encompassing word the confusion wouldn't arise.

    People that are the elect of God, those that believe are justified by our LORD, sanctified by the Spirit and glorified by Him.

    It seems to me that LORDships want to teach all of this, whereas freegracers want to make entrance to the kingdom as easy as possible. It is faster and easier to tell someone that they must only believe to be justified, than it is to sit them down and explain the whole scope of the LORD's work.

    We are not raising the bar, we are telling the whole truth.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:26:00 AM  

  • I meant that in all love, please don't take offense.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:27:00 AM  

  • Both Rose and Shawn,

    What can certainley be said of both of you is that Christ appears to be the focus and what drives you in spite of your differances in soteriology. Rose you helped me see how drifting from the promise of God is a danger, and Shawn, I still have that monergistic leaning in my Soteriology convictions, but I just don't understand it all as many things Jesus said hold me at bay from fully comitting myself. It is not that I glory in myself as if I had faith of my own free will and pride, but its just that I must believe what the word of God says and not bring Christ himself into court. This is why I leave what many believe to be clear as yet a mystery for only the mind of God. Shawn, I really believe you to be a godly man and an encouragement to many of us, but let God receive all the glory as we would have nothing had it not been given to us from above. This is the truth that Pilot needed to understand as well. Terry Rayburn calls it a wonderful conspiriacy of God. Isn't it true? It keeps us all puzzled.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:39:00 AM  

  • Adam, Free Gracers see more to salvation than justification, but they see justification as fundametally by faith and other aspects as conditional.

    Have you ever visited HK Flynn's blog, 'Hungry 6'? She refers to Zane Hodges teachings of 'Eternal security and radical accountability.' Eternal Security is only one side of the coins. Those who reject Free Grace theology forget that we teach radical accoutablity. We do not think that the discipleship is free. We do not think that the Christian life is easy.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:54:00 AM  

  • I was directed to your site by way of the protestantpub.com

    Christ is the elect, and all who are in Him are elect. I urge all humanity to abide in Him.

    We may need to read Romans 10 and not just 9. It says in vs.6-11:

    Romans 10:6-11 NASB But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, 'WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?' (that is, to bring Christ down), (7) or 'WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)." (8) But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, (9) that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; (10) for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (11) For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."

    It seems that vs 6&7 tell us not to ask who will go to heaven and who will not, but Paul, it seems, in the following verses tell us to just preach the Gospel, to all men.

    I know where I'm going,
    Wade C. a loving brother.

    By Blogger KeepingThought, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 9:30:00 AM  

  • Matthew, that then is a starting point. I would agree that justification is fundamentally by faith. It is through faith and only through faith.

    We would then set that 'aspect' of salvation aside, as we agree upon it and its nature.

    We then speak of sanctification. Would you say that sanctification is a fundamental necessity of 'salvation' or is it an extra unnecessary aspect?

    I'm sure you know my opinion. The elect will of necessity be justified, sanctified and glorified.

    My assumption is that you would say the elect are only necessarily justified. Some are sanctified, but not all are. Is this a correct assumption?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 9:36:00 AM  

  • All Christians undergo sanctification and the this process is completed at glorification when we are freed from sin.

    However, during our earthly pilgrimage we are involved in spiritual conflict and our flesh may lead us to resist the Holy Spirit. If we are lead by the flesh then we are lead to ruin adn destruction, which can be the fate of a carnal believer.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 11:26:00 AM  

  • Amen Wade C. Ironically I was meditating on this very passage earlier. Good words brother.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 7:27:00 PM  

  • Yes, thank you , Wade - I think those are things that all Christians can agree on.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:01:00 PM  

  • Rose & Brian

    I am weary a bit with excessive work lately so I haven't really decided to go into 'disputable' verses indepthly like we have much in the past on your site or my site. That might be more like a cope out but I'm not sure. I'm sorry about the rabbit trail.

    I love reading the groups of many sites because I'm around very very like minded believers, but I am noticing that they seem to focus on what they disagree with as well and I feel we are sometimes missing out on alot in the Christian life.

    Mostly because I just lately so much want to sit at the Savior's feet and look at the glory of His face and soak in the Word of God and remember His love and not be so concerned with those verses that reflect lots of disputing back and forth, but see in the joy and hope in the Word more for times of trials and temptations and seeking Christ.

    I want to be reminded of his grace and mercy and how thankful I am.

    I remember my sister talking about this awhile ago trying to find the way to see His mercies as new every morning, is sometimes very hard because we don't know how to rest in God's promises the way we should. I mean just thankful that the Lord is a strong tower and putting hope in that and rejoicing more and more.

    I'm surprised that doesn't seem to be the focus of bloggint, but the focus seems to be on our disagreements. Not this blog in specific, but blogging in general.... I don't know if I am making any sense.

    I wonder if God wants us to spend more time at his feet praying and pondering his greatness in greater ways than cutting up the verses back and forth so much. We must contend for the truth and do this wholeheartedly in the face of clear error, however sometimes as Christians how much we take time on exactness and not enough time on praying and hoping and reflecting on God's greatness and love and how that works out in our daily lives.

    I don't know if anything makes sense now it being 1 am and all.

    All By God's Grace,
    Shawn

    By Blogger Shawn L, at Wednesday, May 03, 2006 10:44:00 PM  

  • We are called "hagios" that is, "holy ones" because Crist is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. (1 Cor.1:30)

    Hebrews 10:10, "..we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

    We are as holy as Jesus Christ Himself. That is the result of identification through the positive side of Justification(the imputing of the infinite holiness of God Himself through the blood and resurrection life of Christ).

    Through the filling of the Spirit we live out in time what is true already of us. We are practically putting on what is already positional and real.

    What does it mean to say that justification is "fundamentally" by faith? (for Sofyst) And what is a moderate calvinist? (for Ibex)
    A justification fundamentally by faith implies that it is partly by something else.

    Pardon the extreme illustration that follows but it is for emphasis:

    A Nazi that was moderate, ceased to be a Hitlerian Nazi. Calvin was a fatalistic, theocratic king who persecuted and murdered. To be named after him and yet undermine his theology and character would be contradictory. Why not rip off the insignia and cast his salute to the moles and bats while exiting the cave?

    Our identiy is not in men or their systems. How we define ourselves is very revealing and important.

    Part of the outworking of our "already" condition is in letting go of weights that hinder and give us baseless pride of identity.

    As believers in Jesus Christ we are free to fly and grow into our skin, according to the measure of grace and the knowledge of truth which we have received and are open to receiving from our Father.

    Sofyst said,
    "The problem I see with the easy believism gospel is it focuses too much upon justification. It seems to ignore the whole sanctification process that is a necessary part of salvation."

    One can not be justified and not be sanctified. They are both simultaneous and complete at new birth. Sanctification then works out in time the effect of maturation. The Lordship position is faulty in making the maturation a measurable indicator of justification's presence. If this is so, then legalism and conformity to a man are the standard and results in a bad bondage to whoever is the strongman of the particular circle you're part of. Even the so-called tests of salvation are subjective. How much practice is practice? How much love is love? How much darkness is darkness? Have you hated a brother lately? Have you loved the world lately? Who passes the test? Who determines the curve? These are intended to be open and corrective, protective, and subjective. To make them other is to make justification a steeple chase.
    This is why the majority view of Lordship position holders only hope they are elect. They are literally, "hoping for the best".

    The Free-grace position is just as faulty. An unbelieving believer is not a real animal. An immature believer is real, and is all we deal with most of our lives. If sanctification is not the stand of a man, he is lost.(since God calls even the Corinthians, "hagios"). If sanctification is a requirement for justification, he is still lost.(since the already "hagios" are the only ones who are justified). These are serious issues, and not a cause for brother beating. I am linked to Sofyst and Ibex with blood and Spirit, and I would gladly die for either one right now. And, we are not battling flesh and blood in these discussions. They do in fact hinder the greater purposes that Shawn was talking about. Calvinism is an extreme as is Armininaism.
    "Biblical theology" as compared to historical or dogmatic (or even systematic) is the only source of
    balance and deliverance from the apologists desk to the field of battle.

    We're all on a limited time schedule. Calvin died. Let him rest.

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Thursday, May 04, 2006 1:49:00 AM  

  • Blaurock, Free Grace theology does not deny the reality of sanctification for all believers. It merely takes the process element of it more seriously than other theologies do.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, May 04, 2006 2:05:00 AM  

  • Dear Matthew,

    Good Afternoon! I hope you are well and enjoying the day.

    Didn't you say in response to another:

    "Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
    Adam, Free Gracers see more to salvation than justification, but they see justification as fundametally by faith and other aspects as conditional."

    That is not accurate and true to scripture. Sanctification is not conditional. It is as necessary as justification. Christ is made unto us Sanctification. That is not a conditional aspect of our redemption.

    You're right when you say that Free grace people believe in sanctification, as do the calvinists. Whether one takes it more serious is not a group decision. The mistake is in losing sight of Positional Sanctification as the true identity of the believer and emphasizing the changing daily devotedness of the christian. Do most of the people on either side even think of themselves as Holy Sons and daughters of God? The lack of clarity on sanctification was the real culprit behind the old MacArthur-Hodges clash. It developed into a Justification battle as a result. This debate should have been over 20 years ago.

    The camps became polarized and now men and women refer to themselves by these identifying titles. God will work holiness into all He indwells. It is inevitable. The Holy Spirit is The "Holy" Spirit.
    Grieving and quenching are realities, but God is patient and has all types of tools in his shed. We are Holy, we have been Justified. We are being renewed after the image of the one who created the new man. This is the emphasis of NT theology.
    To emphasize subjective sanctification without a solid grasp of the positional truth leads to extreme distortion on either end of the debate.
    With You in the Battle He Won,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Thursday, May 04, 2006 8:51:00 AM  

  • Thanks for your thoughts, Blaurock.

    Yes, I was foergetting the positional aspect of sanctification earlier. That is vitally important.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, May 04, 2006 9:46:00 AM  

  • Shawn,

    There is much truth to what you are saying. Terry and Michele Rayburn were telling me that if we don't watch it, we can try to make this blogging fill the emptiness instead of Abiding and seeking Christ. I have been guilty of this in the past. Pray that I stay online with Christ as you are exhorting us to.

    Blaurock(Joseph),

    I do so appreciate your wise insight brother as well as your missionary work to the Muslims. We are involved in missions work as well as our Church is very evangelical and for that I greatly rejoice, although at times I envy men like you with a Godly envy:-)

    Keep whittling away at our trusting in religious systems and pointing out how we err when we get away from "Biblical Theology" alone.

    Solomon trys to help us see the danger here as well:

    "The words of the wise ar like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings: they are given by *one* Shepherd. My son *beware* of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is weariness of the flesh." Ecclesiastes 12:11-12

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, May 04, 2006 1:09:00 PM  

  • Blaurock,
    I am so glad you said what you did. You are very wise, I think.

    Shawn,
    I am really wondering about the benefit of a lot of these discussions. I honestly wish I had never heard of TULIP or "regeneration preceding faith" or "inabilty to believe" or any of it - it has done nothing but befuddle me and wrench my gut.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, May 04, 2006 3:06:00 PM  

  • Rose,
    I agree with your last comment totally - except that I did have a couple of final questions about Calvinism answered - thanks to blaurock among others.
    Now I need to get off the computer and back to living for Christ, seeking after God and sharing the good news - rather than debating it.
    Thanks for being a wonderful source of learning for me.
    Eunice

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, May 05, 2006 8:44:00 AM  

  • Oh, thank you, Eunice. God bless you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, May 05, 2006 11:59:00 AM  

  • I would like to pull out what I would have thought to have been Jodies or Matthew's ace in the hole: Is it? Maybe, maybe not. I would like to offer it as a stumper that will hopefully stump all of us.

    "They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord *WHO BOUGHT THEM*, bringing swift destruction on themselves." 2 Peter 2:1b

    You have a few choices, with this text; but either way you slice it; there is a dilemma for all systems of theology. The only possibility is to submit this to the Lordship of Christ:-) and as a child say, "Lord, I don't understand!" You see, either way you slice this text, it proves the unlimited atonement, yet proves predestination at the same time. Quite frankly...I don't understand. But thanks be to God, that we are retarded and He is all wise; thus making our presumptuous prideful systems obsolete.

    "Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings...." 2 Peter 2:10b

    Who is the celestial being on the stand of our human court and debate? God Himself and His Word.

    "But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand." 2 Peter 2:12a

    Listen to what God once told even Job: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?" Job 38:2

    and: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know?" Job 38:5a

    He also told Job this: "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? LET HIM WHO ACCUSES GOD ANSWER HIM!" Job 40:22

    And another rebuke to one of the godliest men of all time:
    "...Would you condemn me to justify yourself?" Job 40:8

    Hey if he did this to God, then we better beware, should we not?

    Spurgeon believed self-righteousness sleeps under any bush it can find. I believe it.

    Is Jodies interpretation going to be correct that she might offer here in apology of Zane Hodges theology? I DON"T KNOW.

    How about JMOOR and DOXO in defense of splinters of Calvin theology more Owen sided? I DON"T KNOW

    I think Richard Baxter understood how to honor the truth of election along with the unlimited atonement as he pleaded ignorance; yet, I am told that later in his life he ventured into unscriptural ideas concerning universalism. I am ignorant of his other views. Perhaps someone would school us. He probably should stop with saying....I DONT KNOW.

    With regard to this text with Peter speaking of false teachers denying the Lord that BOUGHT them, I could(BUT I DARE NOT BE DOGMATIC) make a case that Peter is referring to teachers who love the Law and mingle Christ with it, making Christ's sacrifice of no avail to themselves. These men tend to trust in self-reformation instead of resting on Christ and the cross alone. Jesus spoke of self-reformation in the house that was cleaned out and the demons left, but later returned with more and the later state being worse than the first. This is where, pick yourself up by your own bootstrap Christianity leads. What do I base this on? Well at the end of the chapter Peter echoes this idea in speaking to the proverb of the dog returning to his vomit. Jesus said a strong man must be bound and only HE and HE alone can bind that strongman. If anyman not trust in Him and Him alone for their salvation, then they are not gathering with Christ and will eventually scatter. The command is "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!" His deity is in that command as well. You must rest in Him as the God-man Person who alone can bear your sin as He did on Calvary. Claim His eternal Spirit's blood in His flesh begotten of God the Father and conceived of the Holy Spirit. That is your only plea. In this we can be certain and the Bible makes this crystal clear. How hard it is for man to believe this and the more religious and self-righteous he gets, the farther he gets from resting here alone. Hard for adults, but simply for a child. Have the mind of a child.

    If you are trembling because you are guilty of committing the crime of Judging God, then wonderful. There is hope...Flee to the cross if you have not already. If you already are a child of God, then confess and repent of this horrible arrogance and pride. When are we going to learn that in some mysteries, they are just that...Mysteries, and with a mystery we should say "I DON"T KNOW!"

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Friday, May 05, 2006 2:08:00 PM  

  • Good Morning Brian!,
    (and All!)

    Maybe some of these thoughts will be helpful on 2 Peter 2:1-22

    From Bob Deffinbaugh on Bible.org:

    "In some cases, they do not even recognize their own condition. They not only deceive, they are themselves deceived (2 Timothy 3:13; see 2 Peter 2:13).Both Peter and Jude inform us as to how far these false teachers will go:

    1 … even denying the Master who bought them (2 Peter 2:1).

    4 … ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 4).

    Jude says they pervert grace, twisting it so that it becomes a pretext for sin. Peter might say that rather than seeing grace as an escape from our former lusts (1 Peter 1:14; 2:11; 2 Peter 1:4), it is an excuse for our former lusts
    "(Bob Deffinbaugh)

    The passage in Peter is a twin to Jude. Together they make a "they're coming" and "they're here". (2 Peter 2:1.,will infiltrate..future) and Jude 1:4.,have secretly slipped in..past)

    These men are satanic plants in the church. Hell's CIA. Many don't even know who they work for!

    The goal of the devil is seen in 2:2 of 2 Pet. "the way of truth will be slandered" this is the enemy's way of bringing the way of God into disrepute so that it is blasphemed.

    The Galatian heresy weighs down the church under Law(Lordship teachers),while the 2 Peter heretics make holiness optional,impugning God's character and creating a stumbling block as a result.(Free Grace teachers) Of course both of these teachings would have their follow up excuses, coming in sideways at the truth og God. The MacArthur advocate has his election card, and Hodges,Dillow and Faust followers each have their own version of a Protestant purgatory. Either way it is a mockery of Biblical salvation.


    One writer put it very well:

    "This is ever Satan's way. In his blind hatred he may desire to ruin souls, but he even more ardently desires to discredit God and His truth."(F.B. Hole)

    One says, "If He isn't Lord of all, He isn't Lord at all." (Lordship)(Galatian)

    The other say's,"He need not be Lord at all even though He's Lord of all."(Free Grace)(Partial Petrine heresy)

    Both are "destructive heresies" (2 Pet. 2:1b) that are destructive by nature(as a viewpoint) and in destination.(as a result of holding it and promoting it, or being subjected to it)

    It is not an accident that Lot is
    given in the context. God knows the ones who are mixed among the erring. Some here may be unknowing Lots in the midst of a doctrinal Gomorrah. What looks like a well watered plain may actual be a future salt mine.

    If a false teacher were easy to spot do you think we would let him in to our minds ? These men are satanically charismatic (not in the theological meaning) and look like you in most every way! The Benny Hinns are obvious(though,not to many)to the Bible reader. But, the truth of the old ryhme still rings full of warning:

    "Whenever God erects a house of prayer,
    The Devil always builds a chapel there."

    The point of unlimited atonement is not the emphasis of the text, but it is obviously clear, as is 1 John 2:2 that the blood of Christ absolutely was (is) propitious for the sins of the whole world. The false teacher refuses to come under the Master-servant relationship. He knows, but it does not appeal to him, so he chooses eternal misery instead.

    Not all heretics want more money. Some just want more influence and followers! God forbid. Pride is still the sin of choice. Evangelical christians are feeding the Luciferian weakness of many leaders without even knowing it.

    In Love of Holy Freedom,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Friday, May 05, 2006 11:37:00 PM  

  • Hey Joseph,

    Good thoughts. I think both still can be seen in this text, but you are right to bring up what you did. It is amazing that you said this>It is not an accident that Lot is
    given in the context. God knows the ones who are mixed among the erring. Some here may be unknowing Lots in the midst of a doctrinal Gomorrah. < I was thinking this very thought last night after writing this. Amazing.

    Cleary this does illustrate that these men denied being bought and that the blood was given to them. Brother Joseph at the heart of everything whether it be liscentiousness....at the heart of it lies a love for the law, self-righteousness and self vindication. Man is incurably self-righteouss and like Israel insists that they can keep the law and be just before God. Would you consider this? Man hates the idea of resting in Christ and admiting his desperate need of Him. Whatever extreme in theology...a hatred of his divine Person lies at the heart of it all. Either he can choose the Law or choose Christ. These are the only two options man has. The Law enables Satan to try to seize his own holiness and be a god by his own rules and on his own terms. The world is crying out for vindication and is trying to make God their arbiter. God instead crys out pleading for the Father to forgive. When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we let go of a love for the Law and rest in his forgiveness, filing bankruptcy at the cross. We then have a new an living hope. The joy of the Lord. Whether it be religious man or wanton pleasure...the culprit is a despising of the Joy of the Lord.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 5:47:00 AM  

  • another thought. Did you know Historians note that Sodom and Gamorra had their own laws and that taking a mans daughter from the town was a shame and so some believe that Lot was actually throwing that thought up in their face trying to get them to see that they were doing a worse evil with angelic beings.

    In the Marines, we were trained in discipline...so much so that we began to look down on those not disciplined as us. Other branches despised us because of our reputation as we would bump into this in chow halls and on other bases. Always hearing..you guys think your the best. During the Veitnam war there was ambivilance between those that opposed as well as supported. We could site that both groups had a level of self-righteousness. As you well know that many of the peace seekers were at times anything but peaceful and they had their own rules governing there thoughts in spite of their rampant drug use and anarchy. Do you see my point?

    Perhaps many were weary of the Authoritarian and had some excuse for mistreatment in areas, even though that never gives anyone liscense to rebel, yet in their rebellion and acceptance of communism, they erected their own laws and established other rules even though they lived and continue to live in lasciviousness, in some lifestyles. Not all of them though. I am just trying to make a point that I hope some will see. Until man is broken by the cross and places their faith in Christ alone, his yoke will always be on his terms. Some see Christ as the Law and so discipline, though it be a good thing, can still reak of pride like some that I did see in the military. Mankind will stop at nothing and even use religion to seal his arrogance. It is a hard thing for us to become honest with God at the foot of the cross. Even after we are saved, these ghastly thoughts and ideas have to be chastened out of us as we learn more each day how valuable the blood of Christ is.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 10:21:00 AM  

  • Blaurock,

    I have been out of town for several days and thus have not had much opportunity to give you a fair response. I see that the last comment was three days ago, so if you do wander back to this post, I have an answer for you about what I mean by moderate Calvinism, and apologize that it comes so late.

    Calvinism is not a system that is equivalent to Calvin's personal understanding of theology. By moderate I mean that I believe in predestination. I believe that man cannot believe in Jesus Christ as Savior until his eyes have been opened to the truth. I personally do not equate this "eye opening" to regeneration and believe that regeneration, salvation and justification are simultaneous and come as a result of faith that we can have when and only when the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of the word of God to us (we hear, the Spirit reveals, faith results). That's not really "standard" Calvinism. Christ's blood has the power to atone for all sins, but not all are saved and it therefore does not cover all sins, only the sins of those who are saved. You cannot lose your salvation, and I believe that the saved will bear fruit, although they will not live lives of completely totally faithfulness. We are still fallen human beings and will be until we are glorified. Sanctification is a process by which we become like Christ, but it is not a straight line and not all Christians will achieve the same degree of Christlikeness during their lifetimes.

    Predestination is not determinism or fatalism outside of a purely soteriological sense. We have the ability to choose our actions. If I choose to sin, that is my decision for which I am responsible. I believe that when our eyes are opened to the truth of the gospel that we cannot help but respond with faith. Did I do then choose freely to believe? You could say that, but we only choose to believe because we have been allowed to.

    My theology is subject to change as I study the Bible, but this is where I stand now soteriologically. It is closer to Calvinism than anything else I am aware of, so what else am I supposed to call myself?

    I hope that clears things up for you.

    Angie

    By Blogger The IBEX Scribe, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 4:58:00 PM  

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