[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)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is this Heresy?

by Rose

Here is a quote for the consideration of those who want to charge other orthodox Christians with heresy for having differeing views of the content of saving faith:

“I believe that the Bible teaches that God regenerates the elect apart from specific doctrinal considerations. A person can hear some truth about the Lord and God begins to work on their heart, bringing new life where there was a dead soul. This is salvation! The person can be assured of entrance into God’s presence because God has elected him to eternal life. Whether or not he understands everything about Jesus Christ is inconsequential to his being sealed for pardon. If he is elect, he will be saved. If he dies before he hears of the trinity, it doesn’t matter. Election stands. If he dies before he understands the sacrificial atonement that Christ paid on his behalf or how Christ conquered death on his behalf, it doesn’t matter. Election stands. If we view salvation as all of God and all God’s decision, these questions about “what must the lost believe to be saved” are really a moot point. The lost will be saved if they are elect. Period.”

53 Comments:

  • Hi Rose,

    Not the most balanced of comments in my view. I assume that in the all important context that the writer is not speaking abou the salvation of infants?

    Whether it is a heresy or not is another matter, but I think that if God has ordained the end, then He has ordained the means thereto.

    Dare I ask who wrote these words?Although not that it matters when we judge them on their own merits.

    Do you think that they are heretical?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 11:41:00 AM  

  • Rosie,

    What a brilliant quote! What a tremendous quote!

    You know, this quote is the bottom line answer to Reformed Lordship Salvationists who disagree with Free Grace theology.

    It was just last night that I was thinking about leaving a comment on The Moor saying something like this:

    Jonathan, why is it that you have a sharp disagreement with my doctrine? The elect, whom God chose before the foundation of the world, will be saved no matter what, and the reprobates, chosen for damnation before the foundation of the world, will never believe the true gospel no matter what.

    There is no point in discussing evangelistic practice when it could be as simple as a Calvinistic preacher saying:

    "Mary had a little Lamb"

    And the Holy Spirit of God regenerates them (Taken from something John Piper said).

    It is moot to discuss practical evangelism with a Calvinist when their doctrine teaches that the elect will believe no matter what.

    My two cents!

    Again, awesome quote, Rose. You hare going to keep us in suspense a while longer with the name of this person, arntcha?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 2:01:00 PM  

  • Antonio writes: "The elect, whom God chose before the foundation of the world, will be saved no matter what, and the reprobates, chosen for damnation before the foundation of the world, will never believe the true gospel no matter what."

    * Sigh *

    Antonio: Have you nothing better to do?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 2:17:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Gojira, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 3:00:00 PM  

  • Personally, I would have words with this person. Based on just the quote, as it stands and without knowing the context, I disagree with it. Not a very thought provoking quote, but as I have said, I do not know the context, as it ***appears*** to sounds like someone who neither understands the gospel, nor what election means.

    (There, that's better...I had a boo-boo in the first one....LOLOLOLOL)

    By Blogger Gojira, at Saturday, May 24, 2008 3:02:00 PM  

  • Good morning Rose

    There was a Philosophy that I once heard that went something like this: There are some things in life you can change, but others you must just accept because they are unchangeable. So don’t get all worked up about things you have no control over.

    I see this same Philosophy in Calvinism, if you don’t just wake up one day, don’t worry about it, it’s out of your control, so eat drink and be marry for tomorrow you will die and go to hell.

    At least this Calvinist has the sequence right (hear-believe-regeneration).
    A person can hear some truth about the Lord and God begins to work on their heart, bringing new life where there was a dead soul. This is salvation!



    As far as being an heretic, I guess it’s what you consider orthodox. To some a Catholic is orthodox, to some a five-point Calvinist is orthodox. Some would attack RFG as a heresy but at the same time sleep with ones who say your dead like a rock and regeneration has to take place first.

    But what does the Bible say:

    Ephesians 1:13
    In Him you also trusted after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

    Heard-believed-sealed

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, May 25, 2008 8:41:00 AM  

  • Hello Rose,

    Long time no comment.

    About your question, "is this heresy?":

    Short answer, Yes."

    Long Answer, "Absolutely yes."

    Hear, Believe/be regenerated/sealed.

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

    By Blogger ExPreacherMan, at Sunday, May 25, 2008 4:52:00 PM  

  • Hey Gojira,

    Nice to see you around.

    I saw your comment about my Grandpa. Costco sells these 13 lb. boxes of naval oranges. I must say I go through them pretty quickly myself.

    Your fg host,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Sunday, May 25, 2008 6:33:00 PM  

  • Intersting quote.

    Are you going to tell us who wrote it?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 26, 2008 5:45:00 AM  

  • I just want to say that I would not call this heresy. It is a THEORY about salvation. It is a "what if" scenario. Would a person who believed this kind of a a thing witness to the lost the same way as a moderate Calvinist or a non-Calvinist orthodox Christian? Probably. It is a THEORY about what the minimum content of saving faith is. In this person's view, the minimum content of saving faith is rather low, because they view salvation as by election. They aren't a heretic because of that view, though. I would have much tolerance for such a person.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 6:11:00 AM  

  • GNSH,
    No, not about infants, but I'm sure infants could fall under the reasoning. This was in reference to people who are converted but who get limited exposure to doctrine.

    No, I don't necessarily think this THEORY is heretical, as long as the one who held it expressed, like you, that salvation is all of faith and that their emphasis in evangelsim was on making sure the means, that you also speak of, are made available.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 6:26:00 AM  

  • Antonio,
    I am glad you appreciated it.

    Hey Gojira!
    Long time no see! I hope youa re well and that thing are going OK for you now. I actually have thought about you with concern several times over these last months.
    Thank you for your thoughts. Just as the quote stands, would you call it heresy??

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 6:33:00 AM  

  • Alvin,
    Thank you for your thoughts, brother.
    Some would attack RFG as a heresy but at the same time sleep with ones who say your dead like a rock and regeneration has to take place first.
    In my understanding, both are THEORIES about the underlying cause or trigger of salvation. Both would probably preach the same thing when evangelizing. Catholics would preach a different message and for that reason their beliefs are more dangerous than theory. The same could be said of the message that demands visible commitment and surrender in behaviour from the convert.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 6:42:00 AM  

  • Expreacherman,
    Thank you for commenting! If you read my comments above, I explain why I think it is not necesssarily heresy, although I disagree strongly with it. Can you elaborate on why you would go so far as to call it heresy?

    Matthew,
    It came from an email discussion on the controversy over the minimum content of saving faith.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 6:46:00 AM  

  • Hi again Rose,

    Here is my humble answer to your query -- a tad late though.

    He said:
    “I believe that the Bible teaches that God regenerates the elect apart from specific doctrinal considerations."

    God does not regenerate "the elect."

    When a person trusts Christ as Savior, he is regenerated at that moment -- and thereby becomes the elect (elected for service).

    "A person can hear some truth about the Lord and God begins to work on their heart, bringing new life where there was a dead soul. This is salvation!"

    There is no salvation until the unregenerate soul decides to trust Christ as Savior. The unsaved is still a dead soul until he makes the specific decision to trust the Savior for his salvation.

    "The person can be assured of entrance into God’s presence because God has elected him to eternal life."
    [...]

    "If he is elect, he will be saved."

    No one is elected to eternal life/be saved. Such a statement is heresy -- to suggest that God elects some to Heaven and leaves the rest to hell.

    "Election stands. If we view salvation as all of God and all God’s decision,"

    This is heresy. This writer neglects the responsibility of man to decide to take God's offer of Salvation in Christ, by His Grace. The provision of salvation is all of God, and it is God's will that all would be saved.. but God will not overrule a man's decision to reject Christ nor will He force an unbeliever to believe. Among other statements in the Bible, "Whosoever believeth" is a choice, a decision.

    The very meaning of the word "heresy" is that one makes a choice -- in this case either to believe the Bible (not heresy) or propagate a false doctrine, heresy.

    Thanks for the question,

    In Christ eternally, by God's Grace and my decision,

    ExP(Jack)

    By Blogger ExPreacherMan, at Tuesday, May 27, 2008 4:59:00 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/ExPreacherMan:

    XP: You write In Christ eternally, by God's Grace and my decision,

    Do you attribute your being “in Christ” eternally to God’s grace and your decision in such a way that your decision contributes to salvation? In other words, do you separate your decision from God’s grace?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 5:49:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    I agree with Jack, they can't both be true. Either Calvinism is false or the Bible is. Either you believe John 3:16 or you believe John 3:16 after the Calvinist has got through with it. God desires ALL men to be saved, either that is a lie or the truth. Either God has paid for ALL men’s sins or He has not. The Calvinist can make it sound very palatable but it's poison in the pot. Just as God gave Adam and Eve a choice set before them, God has set a choice before man concerning his eternal destiny. I believe the choice is in the having ears to hear. When a person does then the Holy Spirit is able to persuade them and illumination comes. I believe Jesus weeping over Jerusalem showed His desire and also weeping when seeing Mary and Martha's pain even though He new He would raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus is the Spiritual Good Samaritan, He has NOT passed anyone by but has made a way for EVERYONE. And it's ALL of grace because without Christ sacrifice there would be NO salvation. But there is and it is offered to everyone not just and elite elect group who are made willing.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 6:58:00 AM  

  • Jack,
    I agree so much with your specific criticims of the quote! I reject this kind of theology strongly. I think everyone knows that. Thank you so much for your comments.

    Alvin,
    You know I feel very strongly against this kind of a statement. I agree so much with brother Jack's last comments. I am just not as quick to throw out the word heresy. To me, things like what the JW's and Mormon's teach... and the virgin worship and transubstantiation heresies of the Catholic church are the kind of things the label "heresy" fits better.

    I hope I can find tolerance for myself from you and Jack, though, in spite of my views on this.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 8:37:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Just keep in mind this teaching can destroy peoples lives. Anyone who has a low self image of themselves and believe they are unloveable have a easy time of believing they just aren't one of the elect. Because of the way the Calvinist changes the meaning of John 3:16 that love doesn't really mean love and world doesn't really mean world and whosoever really doesn't mean whosoever but the elect. I've seen first hand what this belief can lead to in the mentally ill person. We can try to dance with them but we'll always be steping on their toes if we stand up for the truth.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 8:54:00 AM  

  • Alvin,

    You seem to be moving back towards the days for which, on another occasion, you expressed some regret.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 9:24:00 AM  

  • Not at all Goodnight! I regret of judging ones heart whether they are truly saved or not. I can not say if at one time they have believed the true saving message, but then later bought into Calvinism.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 9:39:00 AM  

  • G'Morning Rose,

    And, to GoodNSH,

    Titus 2:11
    For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,


    God, by His Grace, freely gives everyone the opportunity to decide to believe in Christ or not believe in Christ -- Once believing (a decision), we are regenerated, sealed and secure in Christ eternally..

    John 3:18
    He that believeth (a decision) on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not (a decision) is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (a decision).


    In 1964, at age 35, I heard the Gospel of salvation in Christ and decided to take God up on His Gracious offer to be "not condemned." I believed in Jesus (trusted my eternity to Him) and now I am safe and secure in Christ alone.

    So simple -- yet so often (I pray unintentionally) obfuscated by some who prefer mental and theological gymnastics. I am not a cerebral gymnast.

    In Christ eternally by God's Grace and my decision,

    ExP(Jack)

    By Blogger ExPreacherMan, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:00:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:11:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:11:00 AM  

  • XP writes: So simple -- yet so often (I pray unintentionally) obfuscated by some who prefer mental and theological gymnastics. I am not a cerebral gymnast.

    I'm sorry that you seem unable to discuss it further. Maybe some one else can take up the thought raised? Maybe not...no harm done.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:11:00 AM  

  • Hey Jack,

    I know that you have distanced yourself from some of the things I have said in the past. I would like you to please review and consider my words both in the post and the comments section of this article from my blog:

    Free Grace Theology is a Great Concern of Min

    Your free grace host,

    Antonio da Rosa

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:59:00 PM  

  • Jack,

    when I read your statement:

    So simple -- yet so often (I pray unintentionally) obfuscated by some who prefer mental and theological gymnastics. I am not a cerebral gymnast.

    I said amen more than a dozen times!

    I agree!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 3:00:00 PM  

  • Hello Rose,

    Indulge me a note to GNSH,

    GNSH, I appreciate your evaluation of my abilities but you miss the mark. (Gr. root Harmatano)

    I clearly answered the thought/theory that Rose raised -- and apparently you choose to disagree. That's OK.

    It is not a matter of my ability -- but my complete disinterest in re-hashing Calvinism. I gave my opinion to Rose as she asked and then, at her request, illuminated my point.

    I was "christened" as a child, raised in and rejected Calvinism by age 12 or 13. Some in my extended family are still blinded by Calvinism. I love them dearly but they are theologically blind. I pray regularly for them to decide to trust Christ as their Savior. We have had long discussions but they see no need to decide to trust Christ since they presume themselves to be "elected" to salvation from the foundation of the world. How pitiful! Please pray for them.

    Rose, I appreciate you and your thought provoking questions.. and I am also tolerant of your opinion, But as you can see, I am intolerant of Biblical error. However, some of my best friends are Calvinists. ;-)

    In Christ eternally by God's Grace in giving me a choice to trust Christ,

    ExP(Jack)

    By Blogger ExPreacherMan, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 3:25:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    Glad you agree -- I will look over your post -- but no guarantees that I will agree, disagree, respond, ignore or say "Amen."

    In Christ,

    ExP(Jack)

    By Blogger ExPreacherMan, at Wednesday, May 28, 2008 3:27:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    The salint determinant is the tremendously damaging nature of the Calvinistic system. The doctrines of Calvinism, if really believed and consistantly practiced, are detrimental to evangelism, personal soul winning, prayer, preaching, and practical Christianity in general. This is even unintentionally admitted by a Calvinistic Baptist: "The doctrines taught in the Bible relating to the sovereignty of God, refered to in religious circles as 'Calvinism,' also as 'the doctrines of grace,' are doctrines of the Book that are the occasion for many people 'choking' on the Word. The misuse and abuse of these doctrines will deaden and kill. Engelsma, Defense of Calvinism, p 3.
    Calvinism is therefore the greatest "Christian" heresy that has ever plagued the Church.
    Vance ch 1 page x

    So Rose this is not just my opinion. Below here is something people can really choke on. Remember Goodnight takes up the Calvinist mantal.

    Calvin:
    The decree Calvin said I admit is dreadful and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before He made Him, and foreknew because He had ordained by His decree. God not only forsaw the fall of the first man and in him the ruin of his posterity but also at His own pleasure arranged it. And since the arrangement Calvin said of all things are in the hand of God, since to Him belongs the disposal of life and death, He arranges ALL THINGS BY HIS SOVERGNTY COUNCIL IN SUCH A WAY THAT INDIVIDUALS ARE DOOMED FROM THE WOMB TO CERTAIN DEATH AND ARE TO GLORIFY hIM BY THEIR DESTRUCTION.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 8:53:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    It is impossible that the power of choice could challenge God's sovereignty since it is God's sovereignty which has bestowed this gift upon man and set the conditions for loving, for receiving love, and for giving and receiving a gift. In contrast, however, both to Scripture and common sense, as Zane Hodges points out:

    If there is one thing five-point Calvinists hold with vigorus tenacity, it is the belief that there can be no human free will at all. With surprising illogic, they usually argue that God cannot be sovereign if man is granted any degree of free will. But this view of God actually diminishes the greatness of His sovereign power. For if God cannot control a universe in which there is genuine free will, and is reduced to the creation of "robots," then such a God is of truly limited power indeed. Hodges, op. cit., 7:12.
    from Dave Hunt "What Love Is This" page 140

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 10:24:00 AM  

  • Alvin,

    All you are doing here (once we sort out what Calvin actually said and your comments stuck on as well) is raising the old chestnut which has troubled Christians of all camps: How did sin come into the world and why did God allow it to be so. We both know that it came into the world through one man’s sin (Romans 5:12) Unless we are ready to deny God’s omniscience (His knowing of all things beforehand) then we are both faced with the fact that God knew that Adam would fall, even before Adam was out to the test. Why did God still proceed with His plan when it was known to Him that the end result would be Adam falling, sin entering into the world and consequent (and ongoing) misery of stupendous portions? We do not know why, except this: Whatever reason God had, it was not inconsistent with any of His divine attributes i.e. holiness, wisdom, love etc., and would, like all things, fall out for His own glory. The mud that you are determined to spread on Calvinists falls back upon all Christians as any debate with an atheist clearly shows.

    I find it telling that there seems to be an inordinate slowness to relate that Calvin held man to be responsible for his own actions, which is far from your puppet idea that you can get. For instance, Calvin comments on Genesis 3:

    Here, indeed, a difference arises on the part of many, who suppose Adam to have been so left to his own free will, that God would not have him fall. They take for granted, what I allow them, that nothing is less probable than that God should he regarded as the cause of sin, which he has avenged with so many and such severe penalties. When I say, however, that Adam did not fall without the ordination and will of God, I do not so take it as if sin had ever been pleasing to Him, or as if he simply wished that the precept which he had given should be violated. So far as the fall of Adam was the subversion of equity, and of well-constituted order, so far as it was contumacy against the Divine Law-giver, and the transgression of righteousness, certainly it was against the will of God; yet none of these things render it impossible that, for a certain cause, although to us unknown, he might will the fall of man.

    Calvin continues:

    I hold it as a settled axiom, that nothing is more unsuitable to the character of God than for us to say that man was created by Him for the purpose of being placed in a condition of suspense and doubt; wherefore I conclude, that, as it became the Creator, he had before determined with himself what should be man’s future condition. Hence the unskilful rashly infer, that man did not sin by free choice.

    To sum up:

    The problem you see with Calvinism falls into your own lap since, if you believe the Bible, you admit that God could have prevented sin and did not, setting up a situation that allowed sin to enter into the world.

    Calvinists believe that Adam was fully responsible for his sin (as every sinner is) and therefore your projection that Calvinists believe that sinners are puppets is more the fruit of your imagination than anything else.

    Regards,

    P/s I apologise for the length of this post, but it is considerably easier for Alvin to lie the hares out into the field than it is for me to try and round them up.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 10:25:00 AM  

  • Alvin (again)

    What is the significance of

    "Hodges, op. cit., 7:12."

    As it stands, I find it pretty meaningless to this debate, as I imagine, most of the readers will do.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 10:27:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight

    I believe the point is clear, and well made by Hodges only those looking through rose colored Calvinistic glasses will not be able to see.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 10:31:00 AM  

  • Alvin,

    If you could actually tell us what Hodges actually said then (and only then)we could evaluate the point that you are seeking to make. At the moment, all you have done is give us a second hand reference which means absolutely nothing. To say that it is a bit cryptic is to understate it.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 11:02:00 AM  

  • When the ture postion of a Calvinist is finally exposed, he will usually claim that he is being misrepresented. Therefore, another type of Calvinism has been invented, and it is to it that every objection against the Calvinistic system is consigned. The adherents of this fictitious scheme are referred to by various terms: “ultra-Calvinist,” “extreme Calvinists,” “high-Calvinists,” “hardshells.” The favorite designation for this group is “hyper-Calvinist.” (Arthur W. Pink, The Doctrine of Sanctification (Swngel: Reiner Publications, 1975), p. 9; Morton H. Smith, Reformed Evangelism (Clinton: Multi- communications Ministries, 1975), p. 13; Palmer, p. 84; Good, Calvinists, p. 72; Talbot and Crampton, p. 76; Spurgeon, Sovereign Grace Sermons, p. 14;)
    The trouble is, hyper- Calvinism is an ambiguous term. To an admirer of Spurgeon, any Calvinist to the right of him could be a candidate for a hyper-Calvinist. To one group of Calvinist Baptists, another Calvinistic group they don’t like might be dismissed as hyper-Calvinists. Many consider a hyper-Calvinist to be a Calvinist who goes beyond the teachings of John Calvin. (E.D. Strikland, in “The Bera Baptist Banner Forum,” The Berea Baptist Banner, March 5, 1990, p. 51; Talbot and Crampton, p. 76) But to say that a person could go beyond the teachings of Calvin is not accurate, for when we examine Calvin’s views in chapter 7, we will see that Calvin was (as is to be expected) true to his name. Vance p.28

    good evening
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 12:08:00 PM  

  • I have a question for you, Colin, if you would oblige me, please.

    Would you call the quote on this post "hyper- Calvinist"?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 12:11:00 PM  

  • Alvin: I wish you would engage me on the doctrinal end of things rather than the somewhat easier path of quoting non Calvinists. I have put some doctrinal matters to you and you have signally failed to engage me on them. I am not particularly interested in Vance's views on the various strands of Calvinism. Please engage me on what I have written here.

    Rose: Yes, I would consider the statement to be "Hyper Calvinist" in tone.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 2:05:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Goodnight, here is some Calvinist thought.

    The Bible has well over a hundred examples in which God brought sin to pass...This is the awesome biblical asymmetry: God ordains sin, and man is to blame. We cannot comprehend this...if all things are ordained by God - including sin and unbelief - then God has ordained who will be unbelievers...it is essential to establish the biblical data on the foreordination of sin. (Palmer, op. cit., 87.)

    Calvin

    "That men do nothing save at the secret instigation of God, and do not discuss and deliberate on anything, but what he has previously decreed with himself, and bring to pass by his secret direction, is proved by numberless clear passages of Scripture." (Op. cit., 1:xviii, 1

    Puppets!!!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 3:41:00 PM  

  • Good evening Rose

    Hi Goodnight , here is something to chew on about your Westminster Confession.

    Across the Westminster Confession could justly be written: "The Gospel for the elect only." That Confession was written under the absolute dominion of one idea, the doctrine of predestination. It does not contain one of the three truths: God's love for a lost world; Christ's compassion for a lost world; and the gospel universal for a lost world.
    Quoted in Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology (Judson Press, 1907), 779.)


    very telling indeed!

    alvin
    P/s I believe I've shown enough evidence,,,,plenty of "rightness" without any "lightness."

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 4:01:00 PM  

  • Hmm...

    "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

    To me, if there are those who God has chosen from the beginning for salvation and those for destruction, with no free will on the part of those chosen, frankly the god would be a sadistic tyrant merely playing games with mankind.

    But...

    "And the LORD God commanded the man, " You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;" Genesis 2:16

    "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life , so that you and your children may live" Deuteronomy 30:19

    "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve , whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."" Joshua 24:15

    "I will destine you [says the Lord] for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter, because when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen or obey. But you did what was evil in My eyes, and you chose that in which I did not delight." Isaiah 65:12

    This could be reaching the level of overkill... ;-) But the point is freedom to choose. Without the freedom to choose or reject Him, we are not children, we are puppets in some bizarre game, which does not paint the picture of a god to whom we would cry, "Abba! Father!" And of what value would the 'choice' be if it were not freely entered into by and act of the will?

    Just my 2 cents worth (will, and some change, maybe ;-)

    Katherine

    (All emphasis mine.)

    By Blogger Katherine Gunn, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 5:23:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    a finishing touch!

    Horsch comments, "According to Augustine's teaching, the history of mankind would, from a religious and spiritual point of view, be little more than a puppet show..." (John Horsch, History of Chritianity (John Horsch, 1903), 104-105)

    R.C. Sproul

    "God wills all things that come to pass. It is wrihin His power to stop whatever might come to pass...God desired for man to fall into sin. I am not accusing God of sinning; I am suggesting that God created sin." (R.C. Sproul, Almighty Over All (Baker Book House, 1999), 54.

    Palmer

    Foreordination means God's sovereign plan, whereby He decides all that is to happen in the entire universe. Nothing in this world happens by chance. God is in back of everything. He decides and causes all things to happen that do happen... He has foreordained everything 'after the councel of his will' (Eph. 1:11): the moving of a finger, the beating of a heart, the laughter of a girl, the mistake of a typist - even sin." (Palmer, op cit., 24-25)

    Gordon H. Clark

    ...every event is foreordained because God is omniscient; and no detail...escapes his foreknowledge and deliberate counsel. Everything is part of his plan. Of everything God says, 'Thus it must be...' Must not they who say that God does not foreordain evil acts now hang their heads in shame? (Gordon H. Clark, Predestination (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1987), 63-64)

    final thought to chew on:
    There is no escaping the fact that in Calvin's entire Institutes of the Christian Religion there is not one mention of God's love for the lost!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, May 29, 2008 8:21:00 PM  

  • Alvin,

    No one is disputing the fact that God planned a world that would entail sin entering in to it. I don’t think anyone believes that God created man, gave him the choice of obeying or not obeying, but did not foresee the consequences of His actions. God was not in the least surprised in Genesis 3:6 when Adam ate the forbidden fruit. I notice that you have forgone answering the great question that presents a problem to all Christians, whether Calvinist or otherwise:

    Why did God still proceed with His plan when it was known to Him that the end result would be Adam falling, sin entering into the world and consequent (and ongoing) misery of stupendous portions?

    My take on this is that God ordained that this would happen to His own glory. None of us charge a Holy God with sin, because the sin belongs to the willing sinner and not God. Adam did what he did because he wanted to do so, just as Cain wanted to kill Abel and wicked Nimrod wanted to terrorise the earth etc.,

    If it is wrong of God to ordain that a sinful event take place for His own glory, then you have to disown the Cross. Listen to the inspired NT commentary on what happened there. The praying people of God offered up their prayer to God and said:

    For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, (Acts 4:27)

    Note the sin here: Both Jew and Gentile gathered together against the Lord Jesus – a definite example of sin. Yet how is this sinful occasion described? Next verse:

    For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. (v28)

    What did God’s hand and counsel predetermine that these wicked people would do? Crucify the Christ. God determined from eternity past that Pontius Pilate and Herod and each and every one who willingly cried “Crucify Him!” would partake in that wicked deed. Does this make God the author of and a participater their sin? I say “No” but by your previous arguments, then you must consistently say “Yes”

    I could take you up on your other arguments, but I feel that we have come to a crux matter here and that within the pages of Scripture.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, May 30, 2008 12:38:00 AM  

  • Good mourning Goodnight

    Talk about spin!

    You said:
    Does this make God the author of and a participater their sin? I say “No” but by your previous arguments, then you must consistently say “Yes”

    I was proving my original points by posting evidence to the fact by Calvinist writings. You are now trying to turn it around and say I'm saying what the Calvinist are saying. That's a good one but if anyone has been following it all I've proved that according to Calvinist thought that God plans ALL sin and we as well as Satan are puppets in a play. That comes straight from the Calvinist themselves not me as you try to imply. That is dishonerable on your part!
    You chanllanged me to prove it! And I did! End of debate! The spin stops here as O'Rielgy would say! You have proven your gymnastic theology beyond a doubt!!!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, May 30, 2008 4:15:00 AM  

  • Alvin,

    You have proved nothing. I reject your use of the word "puppet" because it suggests [i] that man has absolutely no willingness in what he does and [ii] that he is not responsible for his deeds. Calvinists heartily affirm that man is both willing in and responsible for their sins. You have signally failed to connect any Calvinist with the use of this word. You introduced it in this debate and have foisted it unto the Calvinists and that despite our continual protests. So, as I say, you have proved nothing in this regard.

    Furthermore, (and here's your chance to prove me wrong) you have no answer to the Scripture raised (Acts 4:27-28) where those who put Christ on the Cross did so at the predetermining directions of the counsel and hand of God. Were they "puppets" too and if not, (they weren't) wherein in your state of thinking, does the matter differ?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, May 30, 2008 4:43:00 AM  

  • Colin,
    So you don't agree with the extreme way in which the quotee takes the idea that salvation is based on election?

    I would love to know what exactly about the quote - maybe a sentence or two - that you don't appreciate. Or how about a line by line critique? :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, May 30, 2008 10:04:00 AM  

  • Alvin,

    Please take a gentler and more appropriate tone with Colin. I disagree with him on much, but he is a valued guest here, as you are, and his contributions and patronage is welcomed and encouraged. Please let the emotion ease in your comments.

    Colin, thank you for your patronage. I do enjoy your comments even though I scratch my head often.

    Your fg host,

    Antonio da Rosa

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, May 30, 2008 11:21:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose: I'm too busy this weather for a line by line critique - an outreach team is coming down over the weekend and then I have a trip away at the beginning of the week. My main gripe with the article as it stands is that it seems to emphasise election to the exclusion of evangelism. It is right to say that the elect will certainly be saved, but I would hotly dispute the "saved no matter what" tone of the quote. This is imbalanced. IMO. It does nothing to enhance the doctrine of election, but rather detracts from it.

    Antonio: You remarks are too kind. I can understand you scratching your head, but then “all things are plain to him that understandeth” :0)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, May 30, 2008 12:16:00 PM  

  • Antonio I don't know if you were following everything that was said. But it is upsetting when someone is twisting your words to say you believe what you were arguing against.
    Here is an overview of what was said.
    I said:
    I can't see how it would make any difference, isn't Satan just a puppet in the hands of a Sovereign God? No one can really make a choice of their own but must be made to do what they do isn't that Reformed thought?

    alvin
    Wednesday, May 28, 2008 8:41:00 AM

    Colin challenged me to prove my remarks by giving evidence. He said:

    To recap, I’m looking for definitive evidence that shows that Calvinists believe that:

    1) That Satan is just a puppet in the hands of a sovereign God.

    2) No one can really make a choice of their own but must be made do what they do.


    In reply to that I provided these Calvinist writers as evidence that I did not just imagine this.

    Calvin

    "That men do nothing save at the secret instigation of God, and do not discuss and deliberate on anything, but what he has previously decreed with himself, and bring to pass by his secret direction, is proved by numberless clear passages of Scripture." (Op. cit., 1:xviii, 1

    Horsch comments, "According to Augustine's teaching, the history of mankind would, from a religious and spiritual point of view, be little more than a puppet show..." (John Horsch, History of Chritianity (John Horsch, 1903), 104-105)

    R.C. Sproul

    "God wills all things that come to pass. It is wrihin His power to stop whatever might come to pass...God desired for man to fall into sin. I am not accusing God of sinning; I am suggesting that God created sin." (R.C. Sproul, Almighty Over All (Baker Book House, 1999), 54.

    Palmer

    Foreordination means God's sovereign plan, whereby He decides all that is to happen in the entire universe. Nothing in this world happens by chance. God is in back of everything. He decides and causes all things to happen that do happen... He has foreordained everything 'after the councel of his will' (Eph. 1:11): the moving of a finger, the beating of a heart, the laughter of a girl, the mistake of a typist - even sin." (Palmer, op cit., 24-25)

    Gordon H. Clark

    ...every event is foreordained because God is omniscient; and no detail...escapes his foreknowledge and deliberate counsel. Everything is part of his plan. Of everything God says, 'Thus it must be...' Must not they who say that God does not foreordain evil acts now hang their heads in shame? (Gordon H. Clark, Predestination (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1987), 63-64)

    Calvinist thought.

    The Bible has well over a hundred examples in which God brought sin to pass...This is the awesome biblical asymmetry: God ordains sin, and man is to blame. We cannot comprehend this...if all things are ordained by God - including sin and unbelief - then God has ordained who will be unbelievers...it is essential to establish the biblical data on the foreordination of sin. (Palmer, op. cit., 87.)

    Then Colin responded by saying this:
    Does this make God the author of and a participater their sin? I say “No” but by your previous arguments, then you must consistently say “Yes”

    Antonio, Colin is being dishonest by insinuating that I believe that God is the author of and participater in sin. When in fact that was what I was proving that Calvinist writers have stated that very thing. Colin was insinuating by my previous arguments I was saying what the Calvinist were saying which is a flat out lie!!!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, May 30, 2008 7:52:00 PM  

  • Antonio to clarify this a little better, this was all having to do with my comment to Matthew's Post on "Something To Think About" having to do with Satan. I wasn't even speaking to Colin, but then was challanged by him on my comment to Matthew. So we were debating it on two different places. I thought Roses post on "Is This Heresy?" was also an appropriate place to discuss it. Being I do believe it's an heresy just as Vance calls it which I bought through GES.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, May 30, 2008 8:54:00 PM  

  • Alvin:

    In your report as to our dealings, you have missed out reporting on the fact that I introduced a vital verse of Scripture which links the sinful events at the Cross (Acts 4:27-28) with the pre-determinate counsel of God. I then suggested to you that if Calvinism teaches (as you allege) that men are mere puppets, then consistency would demand that you believe that the early Christians in Acts 4 did so as well. I have not put words into your mouth nor attributed to you something that you don’t believe. Apart from the fact that it would be morally wrong to do so, it is advantageous to neither side. Reread it again. As it stands, I cannot even attribute this consistency on Acts 4:27-28 to you.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, May 31, 2008 12:46:00 AM  

  • Good Mourning Goodnight

    You asked me to give evidence to my comment to Matthew and I did. Beyond that were all your thoughts not mine.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, June 01, 2008 4:30:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I hope you see this. I apologize about the delay.

    "Hey Gojira!
    Long time no see! I hope youa re well and that thing are going OK for you now. I actually have thought about you with concern several times over these last months.
    Thank you for your thoughts. Just as the quote stands, would you call it heresy??"

    Thank you very much for your thoughts. Things are VERY tight, but, hey, they could be worse. I have been doing ok. One day I will be doing fine! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Seriously though, thank you for your concern.

    I wouldn't call it outright heresy as it stands. Misinformed? Sure, but not heresy. Leading to the concept of equal ultimacy? No doubt. The only problem is, I can only say that to a certain degree. If this was just an average joe, then what I wrote above would apply. If it were not some mere novice, then they should be whacked up beside the head! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Just kidding.

    After reading around the blogosphere a little, I can certainly understand your reason for posting this. Some, I think, from not knowing that, may have slightly missed your very well made point.

    Regardless, I hope that you have been doing great and I know that bundle on joy you got is growing like crazy! How old is he now?

    Blessings to you!

    By Blogger Gojira, at Wednesday, June 04, 2008 3:55:00 PM  

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