Monday, November 12, 2007

Free WIll by Michael Tait

I don't know if any of you have ever heard this song, but this Arminian theology in the ears of teenagers. A song called free will, can you imagine? I am sure a song called depravity, or limited atonement, or predestination probably wouldn't sell many records. With music like this, it is no wonder Calvinism is difficult for people to accept, because Arminian Theology put to contemporary christian music just seems to ring true in the hearts of modern Christians... and the song sounds really good...it has a good ring to it...you know...one of those songs that get stuck in your head. I can't find an mp3 of it or I would link it here, but here are the Lyrics and a comment on the song by Michael Tait:

Lyrics:
To the maker of this house
The holder of the key
I gave You my heart
But held some back for me
Someday I would give You
Everything I am
But I stole my road to freedom
I took the key and ran
Disconnected
With my hands over my ears
You said You would meet me
If I’d reach out

Chorus
I got a free will
I’m gonna use it
I got a free will
Yes, I do
I got a free will
I’m gonna use it
I got a free will
Yes, I do

Thank You for this gift
It’s still a mystery
My freedom in Your hands
Is how it’s meant to be
It’s only when I give You
Everything I am
Bittersweet surrender
Take me

Chorus
(I’m gonna choose it)

Something ain’t right
You gotta let it go
Something ain’t right
You gotta let it go

I’m gonna make it right
I’m letting go
And it’s up to me
I got a free will

Chorus
(And I’ve got to lose it)

So I give my free will
Back to You
Yes I do
The Son has set me free
And I am free indeed


Behind the Song:
'I know that God knew what He was doing when He gave us free will, but sometimes it’s hard to believe that He doesn’t regret it. Human beings have messed up just about everything we can. It’s an amazing and sobering thing to begin to realize the implications of our own choices; both in our own lives and in the lives we touch. What path are we choosing? What are we doing with this free will? Are we living selfishly, or are we learning to love?' - Michael Tait
Nada

Sure...we've messed things up by sin...but is God not in control of it all? Apparently, Michael Tait does not believe God is Sovereign. But then again...how can he if all of his creatures possess Libertarian Freedom. IF they can choose A or B, then how can God be in control of whether they will choose A or not? Just a thought.

46 comments:

Rhett said...

Ah yes, a song of praise for the old Pelagian idol!

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

When I first heard this song...even as a Calvinist....I enjoyed singing the chorus....its really easy and is one of those cheesy melody lines like that of the worship songs youth groups sing over and over and over again..."I've got a free will I'm gonna use it...Ive got a free will...yes I do....sung about a million times with hands lifted up and people getting excited about nothing....very similar to youth camp.

ketch22 said...

Who cares? As a Calvinist, don't you believe Michael Tait and all those who believe his way haven't had their hearts opened up by God yet? And if this is the case, we must continue to believe what we believe until God has mercy on us and changes our hearts. Cavinism is difficult to accept because God hasn't let us accept it yet. Our free will has nothing to do with it. Hopefully God will come around soon so I can believe the truth.

kelly said...

I'm trying to set it to music in my mind but my love for Bluegrass just is'nt helping(:

Oh ketch22, its called the pride of man that can't embrace a Truly Sovreighn GOD. You do choose willingly after your heart has been reborn, it will never precede it.

ketch22 said...

Oh kelly, its called the pride of one that claims he has the truth. There is only one truth and that is the Word... and I have studied Calvinism, and you my friend are reaching... true salvation only comes from acceptance of the gift of grace, which is the blood of Jesus, which is freely offered. We have the "choice" to accept this gift. God gave us free will, because love is not given any other way. You cannot force love. And the definition of sovereign does not leave out the ability to assign free will... if He chooses to allow free will preceding salvation, a Sovereign God can do that... your definition of a Sovereign God disallows this and attempts to limit Him.

ketch22 said...

Here is a post I read regarding Calvanism and atonement from this blog site: Did Jesus die for every single individual, yet only those who trust in him actually be saved? I answer no.

1. This would mean double punishment for those who do not trust in Christ. If Jesus atoned for the sins of every individual then they sould go to heaven, necessitating universalism. If universalism is not accepted, then Jesus is paying for unbelievers sins on the cross, and unbelievers are paying for their own sins in hell. This is a double punishment for sin and is illogical.

The bible never states that Jesus atoned for everybody's sins, it states that whosoever believes. so there is no double punishment and your argument is null. Besides, you state that your thoughts are not Gods thoughts but here you are stating that this would be illogical... maybe to you.
2. This makes the atonement theoretical and not actual. This view means Jesus is just making salvation possible and not actually saving anybody. In this view, salvation depends not on the cross, but ultimately on the believers choice.
The Bible explicitly states that the atomement is actual for those that accept it which makes it dependent on believer's choice but doesn't negate the cross as you state.

3. This would provide a weak trinity. If God wills that everyone be saved, and Jesus dieds for everyone, and the Holy Spirit is drawing everyone to Christ, yet not all are coming, then the will of man is stronger than the power of God. Man's will is stronger than the will of God.
Once again you claim to know God's thoughts and His will... you claim throughout this blog that you don't even attempt to claim to do this, yet you do it over and over again here... Your statement above is inaccurate and that is why you are able to blindly argue your point. You claim God's will is that everybody be saved... when in actuality, His will is everybody wants to be saved and chooses salvation... so His will is for everbody to choose and that is what we do... so His will is being done... pretty powerful God.

The truth is, God has had a plan before the foundation of the world. God has chosen to enter into a covenant relationship with a people and Jesus is the means by which those people enter into that covenant relationship. Jesus Christ died for those whom God has set his love upon, whom God foreknew. The Holy Spirit is drawing those whom God has chosen and for whom Christ died. Jesus actually saves. OUr salvation rests upon Christ, and not upon us. May we never boast that our salvation was the result of our own will, but upon the efficacious work of Jesus Christ on the cross
This is so fully of fallacy I don't know where to start... Is God so wasteful that he would create people whom He knew never would be saved without giving them a choice? If He already had the one's picked out that would have salvation, why create the rest? Just to see them suffer? Did the thief on the cross have a choice or did God just choose him at the last minute? And how do you know if you are one of those people God chose? Maybe your pride and sin has you believing you are the elect... now that would be interesting.

kelly said...

Ketch22,
Do you think by posting on this blog that you are going to change anybody's mind? What % does man contribute?
Ephesians 2:8-13 For by Grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of GOD, not of works, lest any man boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

I know that the scripture given will not change your mind but i put that in there because you insinuated that we are just sitting around writing our oppinions and you are just studying and bringing us lost poor souls the true light.

Oh,You would I hope agree that God knows everything; even if he did give free will to man,so what would be different about him letting men be born that he knew that they would choose the wrong thing and go to hell. Would'nt a loving God have just let the ones he knew would choose him be born? You are in no better position in free will than Calvinist. The only other option is to say that God dos'nt know everything and that is impossible.

kelly

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Kelly...the Open Theist and Process Theologians have seen the same conflict...If God knows who is going to hell, yet he created them anyway...how is God loving? They concluded that God doesn't know anything...Ketch22...you are going to have to either embrace Open Theism or realize your view has the same issue as ours...We bank on Romans 9, that God can do what he wants...If he wants to create vessels of wrath to make his power known...then he is free to do so? Paul says...is there any injustice with God? Certainly not...Paul deals with these topics in Romans 8-10...which you accuse us of just coming up with.

And I can tell by your various comments that you havent read completly what I have written in other posts...Perhaps you need to go back and reread and get what I was saying.

ketch22 said...

No... I did not post to try and change your mind. I simply posted to try and your thought process on beliefs that make no sense to me.

Ephesians 2:8-13 For by Grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of GOD, not of works, lest any man boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
I don't understand why you quoted this verse. How does this argue in your favor for anti-free will prior to being saved? I never argued that works saved us... the blood of Jesus saves us... where did you get the argument that works save?

Oh,You would I hope agree that God knows everything; even if he did give free will to man,so what would be different about him letting men be born that he knew that they would choose the wrong thing and go to hell. Would'nt a loving God have just let the ones he knew would choose him be born? You are in no better position in free will than Calvinist. The only other option is to say that God dos'nt know everything and that is impossible.
I agree God know everything. God let man be born knowing which ones would choose life and which ones would choose death. The difference is... in the true version of the scripture, God gives man the choice... you see, even though God knows, we don't... and because we don't know, we have the option of life or death... your version only has God creating some of man without a choice and what is the purpose of that? The only other option is not that God doesn't know everything... you keep saying this but it is not true... the option is God knows everything, but we don't... this is construed as free will for us... because we don't know what God knows. Why don't you get this?

Rhett said...

"in the true version of the scripture, God gives man the choice"

In the Canon of Scripture, "it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." (Romans 9:15-16 ESV)

;)

ketch22 said...

Actually, Joshua, I have read completely for the past few days many of your posts, and have studied at length the basis on which you derive your beliefs. I have to again bring up your statements indicating that some believe that God does not know anything... since that is not me, I don't know why you keep bringing this up... unless these are the only people your argument holds water to. My belief, for the last time, is God knows everything. And because I say this, it does not negate His decision to give free will prior to salvation. Salvation is worthless without free will. If it is already chosen who will be saved and who will not be saved, what is the point of salvation... why not just create perfect beings without sin who don't need God to come down and suffer for our sins. Perfect beings would understand God and wouldn't need to be taught. No, you know your belief has flaws and that is why you keep bringing up people, I don't know any, who believe God doesn't know anything. Laughable.

reformed trucker said...

"Well,yeah, GOD is sovereign...[as long as HE checks with me first!]".
Arminian theology...in a nutshell. Ketch 22, I trust that your church doesn't have a prayer ministry; or if it does,
you only pray for 'blessings and things'. You couldn't pray for lost family and friends; after all,GOD did all HE can... the rest is up to them. You couldn't ask GOD to change their heart and open their eyes because that would be violating their Libertarian Free Will. That would make HIM a mean GOD, imposing HIS will upon them! Think it thru, bro. Ideas have consequences. Your argumentation is as weak as the god you have created in your head. I hope one day you reject the god you created through your eisegesis and traditions of men, and start worshipping the GOD who IS! Michael

ketch22 said...

Anyone can quote bible verses and hear what they already believe... I do that as well. You have to believe and love with what God gives you... and I personally could not nor would I want to worship and love a god who creates those who stand no chance of eternal life... as I and you could be among them... if this is the case then why even try... why not just live the way you want and not care about anything... unless God imparts irrestible grace upon you, you don't go to heaven anyway. Just because I have accepted Jesus as my savior, apparantly I didn't do it correctly because I don't believe what you believe, which I should if God gave His mercy to me. The fact that I believe in free will and that I had a choice to decide to accept this gift, means that I believe the wrong thing and am not truly saved by the god you preach. So if I am going to hell, I would rather be there than in the presence of your god who cares not about most of us, but only a few.

ketch22 said...

it is not too strong of a statement to say that Calvinists believe that God causes people to believe in Christ and be born again against their wills, because they would never and could never have chosen to believe and be born again otherwise. Given the choice, they would have preferred to stay in sin, not repent or believe, and never be born again. Just before God bestowed His “irresistible grace” upon them, had you asked them if they wanted to repent and follow Jesus, they would not have answered in the affirmative. But, moments later, God forces them into doing what they would have resisted moments earlier, would never have wanted, and could not have done. Thus, every person whom God causes to be born again, He causes them to be born again against their wills, and that is what Calvinists believe even if they say they don’t.

ketch22 said...

Tucker... your problem is that you assume too much, you think if he is not a Calvinist, he must be an Arminian... My church is so far out of your grasp of understanding, you would be blown away. We pray for blessings (if it is God's will) we pray for others to be saved (because we know it is God's will)... for God to open somebody's heart doesn't mean he is taking their free will, it means he is showing them up close and personal another option they hadn't considered as well as they should have. If you had never tried skydiving, and never plan on doing it because it really didn't interest you, but then your friends surprise you with a skydiving packaged trip, it might open your eyes to "hey, I might try this!!" It doesn't take away your free will, it only opens your eyes to other opportunities. That is what God does when we pray to send an influence into somebody's life.

ketch22 said...

I I hope somebody will really read this, I didn't write it, but it is quoted quite profoundly. I would like to see if there is an explanation that explains these contradictions by John Piper which clearly states your belief. This is my main cause of doubt in your belief on salvation but would like to know your honest opinon of the following:

"When a person hears a preacher call for repentance he can resist that call. But if God gives him repentance he cannot resist because the gift is the removal of the resistance. Not being willing to repent is the same as resisting the Holy Spirit. So if God gives repentance it is the same as taking away the resistance. This is why we call this work of God “irresistible grace”

Directly after this explanation, Piper declares: “Note: It should be obvious from this that irresistible grace never implies that God forces us to believe against our will. That would even be a contradiction in terms”

I must ask, how could irresistible grace work on a totally depraved person so as not to be forcing him to believe against his will? If the unregenerate person is initially able to resist God’s grace as he hears the gospel preached, then God must at that time be sending him a grace that is resistible. The totally depraved man, according to Piper, will always continue to resist God’s grace as long as it is of the “resistible” type. But as soon as God bestows some “irresistible grace” the man immediately can no longer resist (because the grace is irresistable, which means it can’t be resisted for even a second), and so he is immediately born again and believes. But just a moment ago, he was resisting! How can Piper then say that “it should be obvious from this that irresistible grace never implies that God forces us to believe against our will”? Not only is that not obvious, it stands in direct contradiction to what Piper has just said!

Piper’s logic becomes even more convoluted as he continues: “On the contrary, irresistible grace is compatible with preaching and witnessing that tries to persuade people to do what is reasonable and what will accord with their best interests” Piper apparently realizes that the concept of irresistible grace raises an immense problem regarding the necessity of persuasive preaching, a problem he hopes to avoid with a one-sentence disclaimer that only exposes his problem. Piper’s concept of irresistible grace is clearly not compatible with persuasive preaching.

Here is my question to the Calvinist: Why must we preach the gospel in order for people to be saved? If man plays no part at all in his conversion, why must he hear the gospel to be saved, as Paul says he must in Romans 10:14? A consistently logical Calvinist could never say that persuasive preaching influences the unregenerate person to yield to God, because the unregenerate person will always use his freedom to resist God. Thus the only way an unregenerate person becomes regenerate is if God sovereignly bestows upon him His irresistible grace. So all the persuasive preaching in the world won’t make a bit of difference in the saving of anyone. In fact, to even attempt to persuade someone is an attack on God’s supposed sovereign grace in salvation, because to do so implies that salvation rests, in part, on the hearer and also rests, in part, on the preacher.

Rhett said...

(Time out for some housekeeping)

" So if I am going to hell, I would rather be there than in the presence of your god who cares not about most of us, but only a few"

ketch22,

You are free to disagree with us, but such comments as these are bordering on blasphemy and will not be tolerated on this blog. I urge you to choose your words more carefully in future comments or you won't be interacting on this blog much longer.

Sincerely,

Rhett Kelley
Blog Founder

ketch22 said...

You are free to disagree with us, but such comments as these are bordering on blasphemy and will not be tolerated on this blog. I urge you to choose your words more carefully in future comments or you won't be interacting on this blog much longer.

Rhett, I figured this would happen. As with any debate, if a question is too difficult, or an answer can't be found, people usually result in name calling or harassment. I have not "blasphemed" once on this post, nor would I ever do that to a God I love wholeheartedly. I merely disagree with your version of God and pointed out why. You merely dispute my questions and queries by assigning me character I do not have and answering questions I have not asked. Your main schtik is that I "think God doesn't know anything" and that I "don't believe God is sovereign"... when in actuality I do believe that God knows everything and that He is sovereign. The difference is that I don't misinterpret these word definitions to say that because God is sovereign He has to exert control in everthing, all the time... God has the right and ability to let us choose, despite the fact that He could go the other way. And just because God knows everything, doesn't mean we do and that He doesn't give us choice.

The question you never answered, which I know you can't, is that if God created man in absolute depravity, the only way man can come to Jesus is by God "giving him faith" or "opening his eyes" or "irresitable grace". If this is true, and man would choose to sin rather than to find God without this happening, then God is basically imposing His will on man, forcing him to choose God. Because in our natural state, we wouldn't choose God with our will, but the irristable grace causes us to go against our will, thus forcing us to choose God.

And last, but not least, why the need to preach this good news to others. How can our, human words and attempts to reach others, have any effect? Doesn't God already know who is saved? What good is preaching and reaching out to others going to do as Peter stated that we need to do? How can we in our human state, decide that we know how to reach others, when God has that already decided, without our help? In fact, to even attempt to persuade someone is an attack on God’s supposed sovereign grace in salvation, because to do so implies that salvation rests, in part, on the hearer and also rests, in part, on the preacher.

And I don't appreciate the person on this site who dedicated my email address to all those different websites for subscription. this is the only website I have used my new email on and the day I enter this blog, I have joined astrology.com, and other sites with email coming daily. If this is how true Christians behave, we know what Michael Tait meant when he said, "The biggest cause of atheism to an unbelieving world, is Christians who proclaim Christ, but deny Him with their lifestyle". Thanks for proving us right. Good luck and I pray that you find the truth.

Now you may knock me off this blog.

Love,
Mark

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Mark...are you asserting that we are unsaved? And also...none of us know your email address to be frank with you...SO I have no idea what you are talking about...You got spammed, but it wasnt out blogsite that did it. Stop throwing around silly accusations. Assuming we worship a different God and are unsaved is not CHristlike either my friend. On this Blog you have two pastors, a youth pastor, a seminary student, and several dedicated lay people. You should get to know us on a personal level. We love Christ and love the Word of God and want people to come to salvation. I can't believe you would come on here and make the statements you have. Please try to get to know us and engage with us concerning these issues...I have answered several of your questions, but my comments do not appear here, I dont know why. Anyway...if you are asserting we are unsaved, you need t get to know us better.

gordan said...

Calvinists don't believe that God saves people against their will. We believe that God sweetly and lovingly brings such life to our deadness that we can no longer hate Him. My will changes because of the work of God.

When I was converted, it was something I wanted quite badly. Nobody forced me. And yet it was truly and only the work of God that made the change in me.

God changed my mind. I fail to see why I ought to be offended by that, especially since it has resulted in my coming into an inheritance I don't deserve.

The only option would be: I changed my own mind. I used to hate God, but then from somewhere (I don't know where) I managed to scrape up love and faith, thus earning all that I have received.

If it's wrong to change someone's mind in the direction of truth and beauty and goodness, then a heckuva lot of bloggers are in sin (along with some blog commenters.)

kelly said...

Someone like Mark comes on this blog and blame calvinist for everything under the sun but whats interesting to me is that calvinism has'nt been embraced in the church as a whole in 100 to 150 years. So we can actually see the fruit of each Doctrinal system and I don't personally believe things have improved,the Bible even warns us that in the end times people would want ther ears tickled and so on.
So Mark, if calvinist are'nt even in the main stream of the evangelical movement today,Should'nt you be more worried about whats coming out if the Arminian pulpit?(looking at the state of the church)
I believe the modern arminian church should be the ones being held accountable not calvinist Whether you disagree with my theology or not!

Rhett said...

Mark,

Nobody here even knows what your email address is... By making such an accusation, you are now guilty of breaking the 9th commandment.

Please tone down the rhetoric and stop the slander.

This is your final warning.

Rhett Kelley

ketch22 said...

Someone like Mark comes on this blog and blame calvinist for everything under the sun...

What? What? Where the heck did I blame calvinists for everything under the sun? And who cares if you aren't the main stream? Why are you so defensive, when all I am doing is asking questions... don't you have a duty to answer and inform me? I haven't once accused you of anything anti theological... I have only asked questions... that you still haven't answered. And you keep bringing up the Arminian Church to which I don't belong nor defend. I am simply debating whether or not God gives free will prior to salvation and you keep bringing up accusations and condemnation and state I think you are horrible Christians. Get a life!

reformed trucker said...

Ketch 22, you also assume too much because:
a)Your church is not so far out of my grasp of understanding, and
b)There is nothing I love more than entering the throne room of GOD to spend time at the feet of our SAVIOR with a bunch of brothers and sisters in CHRIST [and I probably would be blown away!].
I hope I didn't come across as being too snarky. I don't doubt your salvation, or your love for the LORD.
We all get to the point in our study of the bible when we have to deal with the "hard passages"; the ones we skipped over for years, the ones where you scratch your head and think,'does that say what it looks to be saying?'. Sometimes it is hard to tell if someone is searching, or just looking to pick a fight. If you are truely searching, by all means, keep asking questions. That's how the LORD grows us.
I think part of the problem is that we underestimate the totality and extent of the fall. A few good books that helped me sort things out were "Willing To Believe" by R.C.Sproul, and "The Potter's Freedom" by James White.Believe me, there were more than a few books I wanted to whip across the room because they clashed with my presuppositions. Keep asking, keep reading, keep learning.

Your [mean calvinist] brother in CHRIST,
Michael

ketch22 said...

Michael,
Thank you for the nice response. I too look forward to the day we are "kneeling in awe", or "shouting with joy", at the foot of our Lord. But to be honest with you, those verses do not have me scratching my head (I am referring to the most commonly used verses to support calvinism). I have what I believe to be a good understanding of the Bible and no amount of reading those verses is going to change my mind about my interpretation... that is why I am asking questions here, to see if you guys have insight that I don't. I changed careers a few years back from a youth pastor to a Hospice Nurse, and it gnaws on my heart to think that some of the people I witness to don't stand a chance no matter what I say... this is where I differ on this than you guys. My life would be empty were it not that I could witness to those in need about my Lord, knowing they might not be among those God had chosen, whether they wanted it or not. I believe God is open to anybody seeking, not just those he "predestined" from the beginning. Does this make sense?

Rhett said...

Mark,

"I changed careers a few years back from a youth pastor to a Hospice Nurse, and it gnaws on my heart to think that some of the people I witness to don't stand a chance no matter what I say... this is where I differ on this than you guys."

Ahh... I see. I totally understand where you are coming from.

When I first was confronted with certain passages of Scripture and with Reformed theology, I struggled with it alot...

I asked the questions like:

"Why even pray?"

"What's the use in preaching?"

"Why go to church?"

"Is God the author of sin?"

"Are we robots?"

Over time I found the answers to my questions and found that my initial fears were really unfounded.

Honestly Mark, It's not our job to figure out if a person is Elect or not. It's our job to preach and witness. Just continue to do what you do.

Think of it like this, perhaps God has chosen you to be in that position just so you can share the gospel with these people. God has chosen to give you the awesome responsibility to reach Christ's sheep at the last minute.

It's like Dr. David Jeremiah said:

"Who are the Elect? I don't know. That's God's business, not mine. He's called me to preach the Gospel and that's what I'm going to do."

Take care.

Rhett

P.S. Please email me if you would like to discuss things more. My address is in my profile.

ketch22 said...

Why is it our job to preach? If we can't reach the unsaved... and we don't need to reach the saved, whether they are saved now or in the future by God's grace... what is the purpose of our ministry? Why did Peter try to teach us to reach out to others and preach the gospel? Is it only for our benefit that we preach? Does God use us to reach those he has predestined? If so, why? If He is in control, why does He need a sinful man to tell others about His salvation? Especially those who are already saved whether we tell them or not and those who aren't saved whether we tell them or not. Does not the Bible talk of God changing His mind? Does not Lot try to change God's mind? Why would he even try unless he knew that it was possible? Is Lot mistaken? And if so, how do we know Peter or Paul weren't mistaken? If it is in God's word isn't it true?

Rhett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

God doesnt need is...He could use some other method of bringing his chosen vessels to himself. But Scripture has showed us that God has chosen the means to the end, it is the preaching of the gospel that opens the minds of the foolish. It is through the Word of God sinful souls are changed to reflect Christ.

Predestination does not mean the elect are already saved...We believe like you do, that one must repent from sin and trust in Christ to be saved...there is no difference there...but we repent and believe not because we were so smart to figure things out, but because God took our heart of stone and changed it. He changed our wills. Our wills that were set on sin, God changed so that we would see who he really is and desire to follow him...I don't see the problem in that. Praise God that he changed me! I will forever tell others, for that is the means by which God has chosen to change others?

Robert said...

Ketch22,
Please provide some scripture references that state that man has a free will that can choose God.

We'll wait.

In the mean time I will provide a few that state that we have a sinful nature, that we cannot and will not seek or choose God, and one that clearly states that God chooses us for His purpose. (He even says that He raised Pharaoh up for His specific purpose; and hardened him for His specific purpose)

Please INTERACT DIRECTLY with these passages in an exegetical way; do not restate your opinion about free will. If I've gotten the context, or grammar wrong in the passages I've quoted...please correct me.

Here are my passages:

Genesis 6:5
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.


Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Romans 3:9-19
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Romans 9:14-18
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

ketch22 said...

Thank you for the opportunity;

Deuteronomy 30:15-18

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.

For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them,

I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
This verse indicates that even though a sovereign God can command obedience, He still allows us to choose to turn away. If irrestible grace were as you indicate then we wouldn't be able to turn away from His command.


Acts 7:51-55

"You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him—

you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it."

When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
This indicates that we have the free will to resist the Holy Spirit

John 15:6-7

If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
This indicates that some that have already been saved, can and do turn away from the Lord, thus revoking their salvation.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Self explanatory... I know you have a different interpretation of "whosoever", but to me it indicates anybody, not just the elect.

Revelations 22:17

Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Again, indicates that we can freely take of salvation as opposed to our wills being changed by God.

How can man be held accountable to God for his actions in judgment without freewill?


2 Corinthians 5:10

"We must all appear before the judgment that each may be repaid for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."

Is it fair to send someone to hell for sins he was forced to commit having no freewill?

It contradicts the parable of talents where man is held accountable for his actions in Mathew 25:19. It negates the importance of man's obedience.

Calvinists teach that only the "predestined saved" are personally called by God
The Bible teaches that all men are called through gospel: 1 Th 2:14 some accept, others reject!
Humans are the means that God always uses to preach the Gospel and to save men. God may have directly or indirectly sent a minister to the unsaved, but only humans preached the actual message.

Do you believe our eternal destiny (heaven or hell) is based entirely upon God's choice not our own???
If this is true, why does God not will that any perish but all be saved: Tit 2:11; 1 Ti 2:4; 2 Pe 3:9
This also makes Satan no enemy for the saved to worry about, if predestined 1 Pe 5:8 Why beware?

Robert said...

Ketch22:
First of all, the verses you sited did not contextually have anything to do with God’s choice and election or the fact that man has a fallen will and cannot “choose God.” Notice that nobody here has said that man "has no choice" it's just that our nature will not allow us to make a choice to choose God.
The only thing that your scripture passages did was to illustrate man’s fallen nature and it did very nicely at that.

When I asked you to INTERACT EXEGETICALLY with the text, I wanted you to do the following: See below at my comments on John 3:16; the passage that you feel is an illustration of free will.


Here is an example of being fair with the text:


John 3:16:
For (gar)
A Greek particle signaling a continuation of the previous verses; In this case Jesus was telling Nicodemus the account of Moses “lifting up the serpent” and the people who were bitten having to look on the serpent and how they’d be healed when that happened. It was directed to a specific group not all of the people of Israel)

God (ho theos)
self explanatory

so loved (houtōs ēgapēsen0
“in this way” or “this is the way” as opposed to the common idea of “sooooo very much” as is commonly taught.

the world (ton kosmon
Used to refer to many different things such as: people-groups, geographical areas, world affairs, riches and goods. Check the NT usage to see that rarely it is used to mean “everyone who ever lived inclusively” as you are taking it here. Contextually, there is nothing here to say that it is. In fact, the context is that a certain group is being spoken about, see the comment on “pas ho pisteuōn “ below. This is such a common mistake that Strong’s concordance even has a paragraph explaining that kosmos almost never speaks in a universal manner as you take it)

that (hōste)

He gave (edōken)

His only Son (ton monogenē huion)
His “unique Son” is a better reading of monogene but it doesn’t change anything for us)

that (hina)
For the purpose of

whoever believes (pas ho pisteuōn)
Now this is where the meat of our verse is. This is literally translated “The believing ones.” This is referring to a specific group of people just as the account of Moses and the serpent and the people who looked upon it. It is not making a comment on WHO will believe, but it’s referring to “the believing ones” as a group. This is very common in the scriptures to refer to a certain group of people.

I don’t think we need to hash out the rest of the verse as seen below:
in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

The point of John 3:16 is that “in the same way that Moses lifted up the serpent and it was the thing that saved the people who looked upon it; God is using a similar way to save the group who will believe.

There is no compelling grammatical, or contextual, or textual, reason to say that this is a universal “offer” of eternal life to “everyone who will ever live or who has ever lived” in these verses. It’s just not there. It’s something that your presupposition has read in to it.


Now, can you interact with my scripture references in this way and give them a fair hearing?

Let's NOT GO ANY FARTHER UNTIL this passage and the others have been dealt with...ie no rabbit trails.

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

The Free Will Song from Pensacola Christian College.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=IrczyFvkv8Q

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Oh gosh...don't remind us of that song.

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

"He owns a cattle on a thousand hills...he sets the music to the whipper whills....but gives you freedom...to use your own will.

Translation: He is in meticulously in control of every single thing, except human choices and action...He doesnt mess with that.

That idea is not in Scripture...but it sure does make for a pretty song.

ketch22 said...

robert,
I entirely and totally disagree with you... each and every one of the verses I present explicitly show the free will of man. I have to assume you didn't read them... or if you did, can you explain what you mean... they each state very clearly that man has the freedom to choose or not to choose God.

But, I will try and meet your demand. I am no language expert, so I will not give definitions or spelling in original languages... instead I will dissect not only the original verse, but the surrounding verses to show you that your assumptions are illogical.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

I don't know where you get your information on the meaning of the word "world" in this verse, but it is not logical and I will explain why: If the word “world” in verse 16 actually means the “elect,” then the word “world” in verse 17 should also mean the same thing, because these two verses are related in the immediate context of this passage. However, it would make no logical sense to replace the word "world" with the elect in this passage. It simply does not work.


17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

God sent his son into the “world” which is the physical realm of the earth and it is referenced in a way that includes all the people who inhabit it. He did not send his Son to the world, but into it, a wording that makes no sense if the world is to mean the elect. At the beginning of the book of John we read: John 1: 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world , and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

It is obvious that Jesus was sent into the “world” which has nothing to do with the elect. He made the world (created the earth), was “in” the world (became flesh and dwelt among us) and the world did not recognize him (his own new him not). This is the same meaning in John 3:17 when it says the Son was sent “into” the world.

In fact, the phrase, "the world did not recognize him” cannot mean the elect, because the elect are those who “do” recognize Him and accept Him.

If you look closely at the way John uses the word "world" in all of his writings, you will find that it is usually referring to those who are not Christians. It is not typically a term used for the elect, but rather one used for those who reject Christ. Look at a few of these examples:

John 15:18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world , it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

John 17:14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world , I have sent them into the world . 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world , the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.


The world hates Christ, so are we to assume the elect hate Christ? No, that is not a logical or Scriptural conclusion to come to. Christians used to be part of the world but were taken out of it when they believed.

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Hey Robert...no one ever said the world "world" means elect...Perhaps you need to go back and read his post...It was extremely exegetical. The word "world" never means "elect", but it very rarely means every person who has ever lived, ever will live, or currently lives. You are reading that into the verse...

Do what he said...go read every passage where the Greek word kosmos is used....and study that. You will be surprised...More often it does not mean every single individual at all times in all places.

Robert said...

Ketch,
I did look at the verses you sited...none of them had anything to do with salvation...as I said...they do highlight mans depraved nature...none seeks God.

There is nothing in those verses to suggest that man participates in his own salvation, or that God "tries" to woo someone into salvation but they refuse his best efforts...

On the contrary...I was asking you to do to your verses what I did with John 3:16.

I clearly showed on exegetical, grammatical grounds that it's not an offer of salvation to every man who ever lived....there is no reason to take it like that...It merely states that God loved the world that He gave His son for a sacrifice so that "the believing ones" would not perish...there is nothing either for or against limited atonement in that verse...it's just a statement of what God did.

Now I'll say again...let's not play "dueling scriptures" because that's a waste of time...

Please either point out SPECIFICALLY how what I did with John 3:16 is off base by good sound exegetical method...or lets call that one a neutral verse...not "Calvinistic" or "Arminian" ok?

Let's move on to the next set of verses that I sited...the ones detailing mans "depravity." is there anything in those verses that you'd disagree with?

Do you think that they are saying that man is totally depraved but still has the ability to please God by choosing Him while they are "dead men?

Please answer that one then we can move on...

thanks, I'll be waiting...

bob

Robert said...

Ketch22,
I'm going to deal with your verses and then do another exegeting of 2 Peter 3:9 at the end...here we go:


Deuteronomy 30:15-18
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.
For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them,

I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
This verse indicates that even though a sovereign God can command obedience, He still allows us to choose to turn away. If irrestible grace were as you indicate then we wouldn't be able to turn away from His command.
------------------------
Response:
These verses have nothing to do with our discussion. They simply recount that Moses exhorts the people of Israel to keep God’s commands; if they do…they live long and prosper, if not…they won’t…nothing about God’s choice in election.
--------------------------

Acts 7:51-55

"You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him—

you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it."

When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
This indicates that we have the free will to resist the Holy Spirit.

-----------------------------
Response:
(See above)

-----------------------------

John 15:6-7

If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
This indicates that some that have already been saved, can and do turn away from the Lord, thus revoking their salvation.

-----------------------------
Response:
What in these verses makes you think that true believers are being addressed? I don’t’ see that at all, I see “false believers” or the ones who Jesus will say “depart from me” at the end. There are plenty of them in the church. If we say that one can fall away after being saved…then we have a HUGE problem with scripture contradicting itself

-------------------------

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Self explanatory... I know you have a different interpretation of "whosoever", but to me it indicates anybody, not just the elect.

-------------------------
Response:
Ketch! Cmon! We are here to see what the word says…if we aren’t willing to be serious about it let’s stop discussing it…What evidence do you have to just arbitrarily say that you have a “different interpretation” of whosover? What did you base this on? Your close examination of how “pas ho” is used in the word? Or are your presuppositions keeping you from doing this word study?
A believer cannot say that he is over scripture…if it’s pointing to something, we have an obligation to surrender…now…do you have ANY REASON to keep to “whosover” meaning all men who ever lived except your unwillingness to submit?

-------------------------

Revelations 22:17

Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Again, indicates that we can freely take of salvation as opposed to our wills being changed by God.

How can man be held accountable to God for his actions in judgment without freewill?

---------------------------
Response:
(Whosoever has been dealt with…”the ones believing, let them take the water of life freely”…nothing to do with an offer of eternal life to everyone. Secondly, how can man be held accountable without free will? I believe Paul answered that in Romans…you are bringing up the EXACT argument that Paul KNEW would come up! Check it out:
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

(So God raised Pharaoh up for a purpose, and God hardened Pharaoh for His purpose, and God on to state that God can harden or mercy whomever He wants! )

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?

(So here you are…bringing up the EXACT same objection that Paul answers! And what is the answer to your question? How can we be punished if we don’t really choose with a free will???
Paul says you have no right to question the Potter being that you are just the clay pot! Just a thought; but if you find you are on the OPPOSITE SIDE of Pauls argument…you might want to rethink your positon)


------------------------

2 Corinthians 5:10

"We must all appear before the judgment that each may be repaid for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."

Is it fair to send someone to hell for sins he was forced to commit having no freewill? “

Response:
(We, and Paul have dealt with this objection…can we put it to bed?)

Calvinists teach that only the "predestined saved" are personally called by God
The Bible teaches that all men are called through gospel: 1 Th 2:14 some accept, others reject!
Humans are the means that God always uses to preach the Gospel and to save men. God may have directly or indirectly sent a minister to the unsaved, but only humans preached the actual message.



Response:
(You are mischaracterizing Calvinism; it says no such thing. Calvinist believe that all men are commanded to repent and we do preach the gospel to every man. Some will respond positively and repent and put their faith in Christ; these are those who God has chosen to eternal life.)

Do you believe our eternal destiny (heaven or hell) is based entirely upon God's choice not our own???
Response:
(If you mean that God can choose us but that we have to “make the choice” of our own “uninfluenced free-will”..then I’d say it’s based on God alone.”
If you mean that we make a real choice…then yes, I believe we do make a real choice…the point is not that we don’t make a real choice…but that we CANNOT make a choice FOR GOD without Him calling us and choosing us first.

If this is true, why does God not will that any perish but all be saved: Tit 2:11; 1 Ti 2:4; 2 Pe 3:9

--------------------------------

Response:
(I’ve dealt with these verses before many times, if you are willing to be fair with them, I’m willing to give them a fair exegesis…but if you do what you did before by refusing to believe anything except your preconceived understanding of “whosover” a word that’s NOT EVEN IN THE GREEK…then we are done….


Here is an exegesis of 2 Peter 3 8-9
Here is our verse:
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Let’s begin with context; who is this addressed to? Who are the “beloved?”
Let’s go back to verse 1:
This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved

So this is Peter’s second letter; let’s go to 1st Peter chapter 1 and see just who Peter is addressing:


Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
So Peter is addressing THE ELECT brothers that are dispersed. So far so good; back to 2 Peter 3:9

9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Let’s start with what Peter is saying; he’s reassuring THE ELECT brothers that God is in control over world events; He is patient in unfolding His plan to save His people.
He goes on to say that God is patient toward “you” (which is THE ELECT,) not wishing that any should perish…but that all should come to repentance.
So what word is “any” in Greek? It’s tis and is the SAME WORD that was translated SOME just 8 words ago!
Tis range of meanings is as follows:
1. a certain, a certain one
2. some, some time, a while
So this could just as easily be translated as follows:
9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as (certain ones) count slowness, but is patient toward (the elect), not wishing that (certain ones) should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Having said that; let’s turn our attention to “all” as in “all should reach repentance. We already know a few things about this passage:
1.) Peter is addressing the elect and the scope of his references are to them.
2.) The words some and any are able to be translated “certain ones” and not do any damage to the text.
3.) So here we go…what does “all” mean in this context? Everyone who ever lived or who will ever live? That can’t be…there is no reason to think that. In fact the context argues against that doesn’t it?
But let’s analyze “all” shall we? It’s “pas” in Greek. Let’s look at the definition:
3956 πᾶς [
1 individually.
1A each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything.
2 collectively.
2A some of all types.
Isn’t that interesting? See 2A: “some of all types.” That would be entirely consistent with all we’ve been saying wouldn’t it?
Pas has been mistakenly taken to mean everyone in the world without distinction so much, that Strong’s even adds this to the definition:
Additional Information: … “the whole world has gone after him” Did all the world go after Christ? “then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan.” Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem, baptized in Jordan? “Ye are of God, little children”, and the whole world lieth in the wicked one”. Does the whole world there mean everybody? The words “world” and “all” are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture, and it is very rarely the “all” means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts—some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted His redemption to either Jew or Gentile …—C.H. Spurgeon from a sermon on Particular Redemption.
So our verse is finally put together with all of the elements as follows:
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, (the elect) that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some (certain ones) count slowness, but is patient toward you,(the elect) not wishing that any (certain ones) should perish, but that all (some of all type of people) should reach repentance.

Whew! I’m sorry this is so long but these are deep issues and they deserve to be dealt with clearly.

Now…can we dispense with the notion that 2 Peter 3:9 is the idea that God wants EVERYONE to be saved but He just doesn’t have the power to make it happen?

ketch22 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ketch22 said...

Ketch,
I did look at the verses you sited...none of them had anything to do with salvation...as I said...they do highlight mans depraved nature...none seeks God.


Come on Robert! Each and every one of those verses clearly shows how man has the given freedom to choose or deny God. How can you say they don't? If you can't even see this, how are we supposed to debate or share God's Word?

-----------------------------

John 15:6-7

If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
This indicates that some that have already been saved, can and do turn away from the Lord, thus revoking their salvation.

-----------------------------
Your Response:
What in these verses makes you think that true believers are being addressed? I don’t’ see that at all, I see “false believers” or the ones who Jesus will say “depart from me” at the end. There are plenty of them in the church. If we say that one can fall away after being saved…then we have a HUGE problem with scripture contradicting itself

My Response to Your Response:
Well, Robert, for one... how can a false believer ever be in Jesus? They might think they are in Jesus, or might pretend to be in Jesus, but how can a false believer remain in Jesus? Part of believing is a continual walk with Jesus. One has the free will to turn away from Jesus once he is accepted. Ezekiel 33:18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. (19) But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.


-----------------------------

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Self explanatory... I know you have a different interpretation of "whosoever", but to me it indicates anybody, not just the elect.

-------------------------
Your Response:
Ketch! Cmon! We are here to see what the word says…if we aren’t willing to be serious about it let’s stop discussing it…What evidence do you have to just arbitrarily say that you have a “different interpretation” of whosover? What did you base this on? Your close examination of how “pas ho” is used in the word? Or are your presuppositions keeping you from doing this word study?
A believer cannot say that he is over scripture…if it’s pointing to something, we have an obligation to surrender…now…do you have ANY REASON to keep to “whosover” meaning all men who ever lived except your unwillingness to submit?

My Response to Your Response:
Robert, my evidence is the Word of God in its whole. Not scriptures taken out of context to fit your neat little package. You ask if I am not willing to be serious... did you really ask that? Or do you ask questions like this to avoid serious answers you can't answer? I have never once questioned your seriousness, so my interest in this discussion and my salvation should not be questioned by you. And I never stated I was "over scripture", I stated the scripture speaks for itself without my suppositions or yours.
The Scriptures are very clear in stating that "whosoever will" may come to Christ. Please read the following Scriptures--

John 3:15,16, 4:14, 12:46, Acts 2:21, 10:43, Rom. 10:13, Rev. 22:17.

The word "whosoever" means all, any, every, the whole. Since I believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Word of God we are forced to believe that when God moves the Scripture writers to say "whosoever," then that is exactly what He means. That there is a condition to be met in order for one to be saved is proved by our Lord’s words in John 8:24--"for if ye believe not that I am he, ye. shall die in your sins." Other Scriptures have already been quoted under Total Inability to bear out the conditional requirement of believing in order to have salvation.

That God loves all men in this world and sent His Son to die for them is abundantly clear from John 3:16... not just the elect. The word "world" is used 77 times in the Gospel of John, I would encourage you to take Strong’s Concordance and look up each utterance, then insert the wards "the elect" behind each usage of it. You do not have to go far before you see how ridiculous it is.

You see, Robert, if God does not love all men then we should not love them either. Since our Christian character comes from the indwelling of our Lord, we cannot show forth a character or attribute that is superior to His. Yet strangely enough, the Word of God says we are to love our enemies, our wives, our husbands, our children. If we must love lost sinners, and our Lord is holier than we are, we must believe that He loves them too. I’ll believe John 3:16 as it stands unaltered.

-------------------------

2 Corinthians 5:10

"We must all appear before the judgment that each may be repaid for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."

Is it fair to send someone to hell for sins he was forced to commit having no freewill?

Your Response:
(We, and Paul have dealt with this objection…can we put it to bed?)

My Response to Your Response: If you mean by having dealt with this is to your satisfaction and not mine, by all means.

------------------------

Calvinists teach that only the "predestined saved" are personally called by God
The Bible teaches that all men are called through gospel: 1 Th 2:14 some accept, others reject!
Humans are the means that God always uses to preach the Gospel and to save men. God may have directly or indirectly sent a minister to the unsaved, but only humans preached the actual message.



Your Response:
(You are mischaracterizing Calvinism; it says no such thing. Calvinist believe that all men are commanded to repent and we do preach the gospel to every man. Some will respond positively and repent and put their faith in Christ; these are those who God has chosen to eternal life.)

My Response to Your Response:

This is the response I find the most perplexing... at first I had to read it a few times to see that you really meant what you said. So I ask you, why would God command all men to repent? It is most illogical for a logical God to ask a man to repent, when that man was created not to repent. If God created the elect and the damned, why would He command the damned to repent? He knows the answer because He is not going to open their heart with His irristible grace. And if He knows it is already an impossiblity, why would He command the opposite. And then why would that sinner be judged for something he had no control over all along? If God's grace demands salvation, and the lack of it denies it, how can a denied heart be held in judgement. This makes no sense and this is why your belief cannot be taught to a logical crowd.


The word 'kosmos,' and its English equivalent 'world,' is used very differently throughout the New Testament. Not just the definition you supplied. Below we will refer to a few passages where this term occurs, suggesting a tentative definition in each case:

'Kosmos' is used of the Universe as a whole: Acts 17:24 - 'God that made the world and all things therein seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth.'

'Kosmos' is used of the earth: John 13:1; Ephesians 1:4, etc., etc.- 'When Jesus knew that his hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world He loved them unto the end.' 'Depart out of this world' signifies, leave this earth. 'According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.' This expression signifies, before the earth was founded—compare Job 38:4 etc.

'Kosmos' is used of the world-system: John 12:31 etc. 'Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the Prince of this world be cast out'— compare Matthew 4:8 and 1 John 5:19, R. V.

'Kosmos' is used of the whole human race: Romans 3:19, etc.—'Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.'

'Kosmos' is used of humanity minus believers: John 15:18; Romans 3:6 'If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.' Believers do not 'hate' Christ, so that 'the world' here must signify the world of unbelievers in contrast from believers who love Christ. 'God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world.' Here is another passage where 'the world' cannot mean 'you, me, and everybody,' for believers will not be 'judged' by God, see John 5:24. So that here, too, it must be the world of unbelievers which is in view.

'Kosmos' is used of Gentiles in contrast from Jews: Romans 11:12 etc. 'Now if the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them (Israel) the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their (Israel’s) fulness.' Note how the first clause in italics is defined by the latter clause placed in italics. Here, again, 'the world' cannot signify all humanity for it excludes Israel!

'Kosmos' is used of believers only: John 1:29; 3:16, 17; 6:33; 12:47; 1 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Corinthians 5:19. Robert, I ask you to turn to these passages, asking you to note, carefully, exactly what is said and predicated of 'the world' in each place.

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

Ketch22,

It might help all of us if you can tell us how someone can will coming to Christ.

Robert said...

Ketch...

Please do me a favor...

go to your Greek lexicon and find me "whosover"...it's not there...

So quit siting John 3:16 as proof that God will give salvation to all ok?

If you believe that I "mis-exegeted" this passage...then site your evidence...or don't keep bringing that one out.

I'll discuss your comments one by one:

1.) You keep alluding to the fact that people choose or reject God as proof that God does not choose people and that once He chooses them; they can reject that choice...you still haven't sited scripture that say that...on the contrary...Romans says just the opposite.


2.) Vine and branches...give it an exegesis to prove your point or let that one die also...


3.) Whosover is NOT in the Greek...can we let that one drop now?


Ketch22;
You have not once done what I asked...exegetically dealt with any of these texts.

As for myself, I've dealt with two of them; John 3:16 and 1 Peter 3:9...both of which I've shown to be not what you want them to be. there is nothing in my exegesis that is reckless or "out there"...this is standard stuff.

You keep throwing out arguments about how God should be or "how could He do this or that" if this is true...

The one thing you haven't done is deal with the text itself...all you've told me is what you BELIEVE IT TO MEAN....that's NOT an exegetical argument from the text of scripture.

When I said that you felt you were "above" scripture; this is what I was referring to...although I've shown you that "whosover" is not in the Greek..and that it's not a universal call....you refuse to let the text change your thinking...that's what I meant.


You have no exegetical, grammatical, syntactical, or historical grounds to think that...it's not there. If you persist to keep saying, in effect "I realize that you've carefully exegeted the text but I refuse to budge in my thinking"...then you're putting yourself above scripture.


You keep saying how the idea that God created a human race, chose some, the others go to Hell, doesn't make sense without free choice to choose Him or not...

As I said in another post...that's the EXACT argument that's brought up in Romans 9.

I won't even comment...I'll let Paul answer you:


What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!


For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”


So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.


For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”


So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?”

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”


Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?


Please, by all means...interact with that bit of scripture that is RELEVANT TO OUR DISCUSSION...tell me how you interpret "he hardens whom He will..and mercy whom He will"...?

How about "What shall we say? Is there injustice with God?"


These are your questions...Paul is answering them...

ketch22 said...

Robert,
We both know that the average person looking for salvation is not equipped, nor should they be to do research on which words are in the Bible's original text and which one's man added at a later date. We have to assume God is leading the reader in the right direction. If you don't assume this then you are vain and pride keeps you thinking you have the answer while the little folk don't. While you may insist that an exegesis approach to the text is what is needed, this disallows the hermeneutic approach which is needed to really intrepret the Bible and the meaning of it's authors. Contemporary relevance of the times is needed in the theory of interpretation of the scripture. Here is my summary and then I am outa here.

I believe most of what you say, you guys are most likely good Christians who think they have the truth. But, I cannot rely on mankind for my salvation, I must rely on my relationship with God and the knowledge He chooses to reveal to me. I don't claim to know everything, and every day I struggle with my faith and what I know to be true. This is why I was here at this blog... I saw something I hadn't addressed before, and I wanted more knowledge before I dismissed it as false doctrine. After lots of prayers, talking with Rhett on the phone, and now a day of fasting, I believe God has revealed the following to me:

1. No word "whosoever". OK, then you can't form it to mean what you want it to mean... you have to use it in the text you find it... that is how God wants it. He would not allow a word that would distract or deviate from His message.

2. "I am the potter, you are the clay." I believe this to be true. However I believe it is distorted, or not understood by you. If a potter molds clay to his liking, he cannot then judge that clay on what it did not become. The potter is at fault in this scenario, not the clay. If the potter molds clay to have the ability to become more, and then that clay stays a lump, while others become beautiful pottery, then he has a right to judge... because he gave the ability to become something more during this creation. You believe God creates some for dishonor, then He needs to judge them accordingly. They fulfilled His purpose for their creation and couldn't become righteous because God wouldn't allow it. How are they accountable? God creates us with a free will. Without free will to choose the path to salvation, then we cannot logically be judged by God for our choices.

3. The Bible is our path to salvation. God is not a confusing nor wasteful God. When you read and study the Bible, you should get some meaning each and every time you read it. You shouldn't have to go to a school of theology or language to understand God's message to us. A man with a Master's in Divinity all the way down to a remote tribal elder in Africa should be able to read the Bible and get the knowledge and spirit they need for salvation.

4. I don't allude to the fact that God does not choose people... I just happen to know that He chooses those that search for Him. Not some predestined worksheet He has that indicates those He will not call even after a long search for salvation. I don't believe God crated people simply for dishonor. I believe He created all for the purpose of seeking salvation and then He chooses to reveal himself to those who are really seeking. And it is not with irrestible grace. We always have the power to resist His calling even after His revealing. If this is not the case, then the entire Bible ceases to make any sense. There are many instances in the Bible referencing this.

5. God calls all mankind to repent. Why? Unless He assumes they have a choice. God is not dumb... He wouldn't look at a piece of clay and say repent, knowing that without His irrestible grace it would not do so.

6. You claim "who is man, the clay, to question the God, the potter?" We are what God created. Rhett claims that God has ordained and set forth the contents of each and every day. If this is the case then you must also believe that God created us with all that we are, including the ability to ask questions we don't understand. We question God because God allows it and even requires it. How else do we understand Him and His requirements of us? How can you state you know the truth unless you question God? If God has all the answers, then in order to get those answers we need to question Him... this is the first step to true salvation and the search for God and His ways.

7. God commands us to love everyone, including our enemies. Since you have no way of knowing whom God has chosen, you have to assume when God means everyone and enemies, He means the un-elected as well. In this case, He must love them, also, because He could not require us to love somebody He, Himself doesn't love... His character is far superior to ours.

7. Romans 8:14 refers to those who are "led," not dragged, forced, imposed upon or imputed to. This supplements what Jesus says in this verse. Some of the verbs in this sentence demonstrate that free moral agency is still involved. "Guide," "speak," and "tell" show that God has chosen to persuade rather than force us. In addition, they give the distinct impression that the followers and hearers will need to do something on their own. They will have to make choices, pay attention to what is said or written, and set their wills and follow through on their choices in order to accompany and learn from the Guide. Without these, they will not produce fruit because they are doing insufficient or the wrong activities.

A teacher cannot impose knowledge, understanding, and wisdom upon a student. The student must cooperate in the process. Without this, little or no fruit is produced. The Bible shows the Spirit of God as influencing, suggesting, and, if we choose to permit it, dominating—perhaps even controlling—our lives. This is good because God is good, and if we will yield, the fruit of His Spirit will be produced in our lives.

The following was copied from an article I read:

God's influence is drawing us away from the corrupting passions and vanities of this world. Are we conscious of a desire to yield to that influence and be conducted along the path of holiness and life? Do we resist, or do we follow cheerfully and energetically, mortifying pride, subduing passion, destroying lust, stifling talebearing, humbling ambition, and annihilating the love of the wealth and fashions of this world?

God will not lead us astray. Our real love, joy, and peace consist only in yielding ourselves entirely to Him and being willing to be guided and influenced by His unseen hand. To be led by the Spirit is to choose voluntarily and consciously to submit to the Word of God.


My search of truth has been a long one. I started 20 years ago and am still mortified by all the doubt that plagues me daily. I don't, as you have stated, have a problem listening to other interpretations of scripture... in fact that is my nature... to always question what I know to be true... which is what led me to this blogg. I have searched out logical answers to questions your beliefs have asked of me. For the most part, we agree that the cross and resurrection is the path to salvation... we do, however, disagree on whether or not everybody in existence has the ability to choose that path. I could not find any argument that you put forth that persuades me to believe that God does not allow free will to find Him. I do agree that God's grace and influence is needed to finish the final step in salvation, but it is not limited to a select few, the elect. God is sovereign and retains the right to allow all to have free will. To limit God's ability in this manner is to challenge His sovereignty... stating "He is sovereign, so He must not allow free will prior to salvation." God has no such limitation. If He wants mankind to have free will to seek Him, then He can do it.

So, I love you guys and thank you for this enlightening discussion so now I can put this particular understanding of the scriptures behind me. I pray and will continue to pray that all, including me, will always search God's heart for the truth using the Bible as our map. In the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour, Amen.

PS... don't ask for exegetical examples anymore... most people don't even know the meaning of the word. If you witness your idea of salvation, use words they know and speak on their level. If you can't convey parts of your message this way, perhaps those parts of your message are wrong?