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Discussion in 'Bible Answers' started by Chad, Oct 4, 2009.

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  1. I believe you are mistaken. My answer was in general response to the motive of "challenging destiny", not the idea of saving or preserving one's own life.
    The motive of your question was to challenge destiny (or God), and my response addressed such a wicked motive.

    The question is open. A car wreck may be someone else's fault, or my own. It depends on the situation. And cancer may or may not be my fault, depending upon whether I took care of myself, or whether I was predisposed to it genetically. Sometimes it is no ones fault, perhaps it is environmental..they don't call them "acts of God" for nothing.
    But the bible says every hair is numbered and every sparrow falls with the Father's consent.
    That is, He knows and He consents.
    IF it is my fault, then God is still sovereign in my failures, and that all things work together for good. Do you believe all things, good and bad, sins and successes, work together for good?
    The bible says Christ died for us while we were still sinners.
    So how much more will God save us if we fall short as believers?
  2. #222 james1523, Jul 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
    The implication of one truly understanding that God knows all things, and is all-powerful, is that they would become a Calvinist.

    Choices which, are made according to the nature God gave you and the environment He placed you. If you are a Christian you have His nature, if you are an unbeliever you have the nature of Satan. If you made yourself Christian, then and only then, can you say you determine your own destiny by your self. But if God made you a Christian, and your nature is from Him, you can only credit Him with the choices you make.

    The problem is we still think we are something, have something , know something.
    The reality is we are really nothing, blades of grass, only Christ is everything Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
    Phil 3:8
    What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.
    1 Pe 1:24 "For, "All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,"

    Risk is associated with the concept of probability or chance. Risk is the chance of losing in making a certain decision or taking a course of action. There is inherent risk in every decision we make. But if we know the end result of that decision, there is no risk.
    With God there is no such thing as chance, so there is no such thing as risk.
    Prov 16:33 "We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall." (NLT).

    Every time you throw a dice in the air, God decides how they will fall.

    The apostle's cast lots to determine the Lord's will (Acts 1:26).

    It seems you need to broaden your concept of God, to a real experience of His omnipresence and omniscience.

    It makes no sense because you are still thinking like a mortal man, and must believe that you, rather than God, is in control of your ultimate destiny. God renews our mind and our thinking over time , the more we experience Him and know Him. At the start of our Christian life we are Arminian, we think more of ourselves, and what we must do to be saved and keep God happy, but as we grow and know more of God we become more Calvinistic, we place more trust and rest in Him, and realize our self-effort gets us no where, particularly when we realize that God has already prepared the way before us. To truly enter into His rest, is to first cease from our own efforts, and rest in Him. We can try less hard to make the right choices once we realize the right One (Christ) is in us, to give us the right choices to make.
  3. have you guys ever seen The Matrix, part II? If so, remember the Merovingian character? He gave the Calvinist theology in one of the most honest and forthright ways I've heard. He was also a "very bad program", and Neo's quest to find freedom was also a battle for him to not just make choices...but more importantly to understand his choices.

    Calvinists conveniently avoid such messy, opaque, and carnal exercises. Not sure how they dismiss verses like Phil 2:12 "work out your salvation with fear and trembling"...but again, that's a little messy and inconvenient.

    For those who haven't been introduced to the attention and ask yourself how predestination may dance along with this kind of ideology...

    Merovingian: Aha, here he is at last. Neo, the One himself, right? And the legendary Morpheus. And Trinity of course, si belle qu'elle me fait souffrir. I have heard so much, you honour me. Please, sit, join us. This is my wife, Persephone. Something to eat? Drink? Hmm... of course, such things are contrivances like so much here. For the sake of appearances.
    Neo: No, thank you.
    Merovingian: Yes, of course, who has time? Who has time? But then if we do not ever take time, how can we ever have time? Chiteau Haut-Brion 1959, magnificent wine, I love French wine, like I love the French language. I have sampled every language, French is my favourite - fantastic language, especially to curse with. Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculis de ta mire. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.
    Morpheus: You know why we are here.
    Merovingian: Hmph... I am a trafficker of information, I know everything I can. The question is, do you know why you are here?
    Morpheus: We are looking for the Keymaker.
    Merovingian: Oh yes, it is true. The Keymaker, of course. But this is not a reason, this is not a `why.' The Keymaker himself, his very nature, is means, it is not an end, and so, to look for him is to be looking for a means to do... what?
    Neo: You know the answer to that question.
    Merovingian: But do you? You think you do but you do not. You are here because you were sent here, you were told to come here and you obeyed. [Laughs] It is, of course, the way of all things. You see, there is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect.
    Morpheus: Everything begins with choice.
    Merovingian: No. Wrong. Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those without. Look there, at that woman. My God, just look at her. Affecting everyone around her, so obvious, so bourgeois, so boring. But wait... Watch - you see, I have sent her dessert, a very special dessert. I wrote it myself. It starts so simply, each line of the program creating a new effect, just like poetry. First, a rush... heat... her heart flutters. You can see it, Neo, yes? She does not understand why - is it the wine? No. What is it then, what is the reason? And soon it does not matter, soon the why and the reason are gone, and all that matters is the feeling itself. This is the nature of the universe. We struggle against it, we fight to deny it, but it is of course pretense, it is a lie. Beneath our poised appearance, the truth is we are completely out of control. Causality. There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the `why.' `Why' is what separates us from them, you from me. `Why' is the only real social power, without it you are powerless. And this is how you come to me, without `why,' without power. Another link in the chain. But fear not, since I have seen how good you are at following orders, I will tell you what to do next. Run back, and give the fortune teller this message: Her time is almost up. Now I have some real business to do, I will say adieu and goodbye.
  4. I do believe you forgot the next verse in that passage. vs 13. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
    I believe this passage is saying, and anyone who believes in Sovereign Grace correct me if I'm wrong. You work out your salvation with fear and trembling means we have to prove in a humble way that we are saved. It doesn't mean we make salvation happen. That would be works salvation.
  5. #225 Thiscrosshurts, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
    It's really hard to make a sphear out of a box.
    All these lines of thought are linear and based on our understanding of linear time.
    Before the foundation of the world there was nothing to ...uhh..hang...time on.
    "Before the foundation" did not end with the creation of space-time.
    It's still there before and after time.
    It is still now..right now.
    So if I decide now I am deciding in time but I am also deciding before the foundation of time.
    From here(in time-space) it looks like predestination but really both are simply now.

    John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
  6. Really?? This is merely one heretical underpinning of the framework that John Calvin build his "ism" upon.

    Isaiah 13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

    Matthew 10:29-31

    Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
    But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
    Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
    Not to mention that we are made IN HIS IMAGE, and God's own response when He made man was not only that it was GOOD...but it was VERY GOOD. The only time out of the 7 days that he used "very".

    Can we respect ourselves in the way that He does? Yes, absolutely, God is sovereign.

    But are you? If you aren' are you not a robot? How are you not a dog? You are as the Merovingian sees you. You are merely responders. Reactionary. All you know is cause and effect....and worse, you are unaware that this is all you know!


    God called you VERY GOOD. Your are IN HIS IMAGE. Repent of building your theology around a man-made framework. For your own hearts sake. This is a sick lie, and deceives you to your core.
  7. Prove? To whom? Why prove? Why bother proving? Who needs to hear the proof?

    In the end, we die, and stand naked and alone before our Maker. We certainly can't prove anything to Him, as He knows all...already. Anything my mouth says deceives His ears, as He knows all. And since I can't prove anything to Him who already knows...and there is no one else I might need to hold my eternal life accountable to...then this makes no sense.
  8. I don't base my beliefs on what John Calvin says. If John Calvin agrees with the Bible then I agree with John Calvin. I believe the bible not John Calvin. Sometimes we can't understand scripture because of our immaturity. Whether you are immature or I am that's between God and ourselves.
  9. The lost. To ourselves. Why prove, maybe it helps us to grow in our faith by acting out our faith.
  10. You are a sovereign being.

    You choose.

    Whether you know it or not, believe it or not, or fight against it. It's a good part of what makes you human. What makes you you.

    And you are very good. More valuable than fine gold.

    If choice is absent, you cannot know love. There is no love. Love is impossible.

    It is only imagined by us. It can only ever be a feeling. At its best.

    John Calvin was a true tyrant of the heart and towards the freedom offered us in Christ. One of the worst in Christendom's fabled history.
  11. #231 james1523, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
    You need to read a bit further than Genesis chapter 1. We were made in His image. Mankind fell, and sinned, and fallen man is not in the image of God, except for the outward shell, and even that is corrupted by sin, death, disease, but we now are in the image of the serpent, unless, we are conformed to Christ's image (Romans 8). So we are not very good any more, we are very bad. Jer 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" If men are grass, then sparrows are even less than grass.

    A dog has no worries, no troubles, and has full confidence in its master. That is, believing we are nothing, gives us as sense of security and peace.
    On the other hand, you could be something, but you may be insecure because you are not sure if you are good enough to get into Heaven, and you are careful to make all the right choices, even though many times (due to your nature) you cannot...

    The Bible says we will be even less than dogs or robots, will be pillars in the temple:

    Revelations 3: 12 "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.

    What does a pillar do? It does nothing but support the house. If a pillar decided to leave the house of its own free choice and do its own thing, the house would fall.

    Isaiah 2:11 "Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment."

    As a model for us, Jesus made Himself nothing and became a servant/slave:
    Phil 2:7 "rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
    So if you have the Spirit of Christ, you too will be made nothing with the nature of a servant.
  12. #232 Bambi, Jul 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
    Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
    15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
    16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
    17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
    18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
    19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
    20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
    22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
    23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
    24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    Matt 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    1 John4:
    7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
    8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
    9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
    10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
    11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
    12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
    13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
    14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
    15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
    16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
    17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
    18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
    19 We love him, because he first loved us.
    20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
    21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

  13. James / Bambi - my words are not to oppose you, but a heresy.

    James -- I do not consider myself smart enough to fully understand what the metaphor of a "pillar in a church" might mean or imply...but I do believe it is a little careless to land where you landed, in that regard. That said, the biggest lie in your supposition is this:

    And believing that will change everything else. Like dominos. Everything from your world view, to your view of God, yourself, others.

    As for the other verses, etc: yes, Christ gave us a perfect example of what it looks like to "empty yourself" and become "nothing" -- and this is the trajectory of our travels too. It is all about The Lord being exalted, no doubt..and none of this I would refute.

    But this thread is about Calvinism. Choice vs. predistination, among other things. And in that regard...

    Bambi: your post? These are such things that John Calvin put his tent stakes in because he interpreted such verses presumably in the same way as you. On the surface, it's easy to conclude that since God is sovereign (which He certainly is!) that we inherently must not be...or, be able to "really" make a choice in our lives. But...

    Is 5:21 tells us what? "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight."

    Can we conclude from such verses how the infinite and the finite intertwine? How our constraint of living through time even works? Much the concept of causality comes into play in all of that? From just a few verses?

    I like what ThisCrossHurts posted earlier. Perhaps everything we do is really all in the "now"...for all we know? I can't in the end, it's probably most helpful for me to simply not care about that. draw a hard conclusion on such things???

    Risky not only to your theology...but to your heart. Your perspective. Your view of God.

    And what's the risk? Caging yourself in, locking the door, and handing some usurper the key.
  14. I would gladly give the key to God then to keep it to myself.
  15. #235 Thiscrosshurts, Jul 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
    It is quite possible that we have already done that.

    Perhaps we have locked ourselves in a box or formula called "the knowledge of good and evil".
    One might say we can't define good without the contrast of evil and I find that to be the case.
    The question is why do I need to know good,why can't I simply experience good apart from evil,why must I know a formula to trust in,why must I harness and control it?

    Thanks for reading my post,I beg thee suffer me a little longer.

    Maybe you can know in your heart,faith is not fantasy,it does require some evidence.
    How much evidence is debatable but I think it's safe to say the more the better.

    Exhibit A
    God is Love

    When faced with the pro-choice/no-choice debate I always end up feeling like I'm trying to make a circle with straight lines.
    Neither camp can explain how "God is Love "fits into the picture.No scenario between the extremes includes love either.
    I can find plenty of scripture to back up both sides and I could debate both sides so well that in my mind scripture is either in absolute contradiction or there is an answer that we have not yet discovered.An answer that includes love.

    Exhibit B
    According to scripture we were raised with and seated in Christ.

    Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
    Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
    Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

    Exhibit C:
    We need this to fit somewhere.
    Job 38:21 But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!

    There are many more scriptures to use as evidence that both camps are in error.
    My previous post I offered 1 possible explanation and I was sort of looking forward to
    one of you smart guys/gals to show me my error.
    So here it is again and feel free to fire away.

    God did not create the worlds inside space and time,he created space and time and everything else.
    Eternal means no beginning and no end so there is no middle so you can't die and go to heaven but you can die and go back to heaven.
  16. Unfortunately, that is not an option.

    You "would", but you can't. You don't believe in your own sovereignty to "would" or will anything on your own volition. Perhaps especially towards anything that has to do towards God, the puppeteer.

    Calvinism is truly paradoxical. It doesn't stand on its own two feet. It was never supposed to. John Calvin should never have tried to suggest that it could. Christian's like things black and white. It's easier that way. It's more understandable.

    It sells. And oh how it has been sold to the masses
  17. See, this is where I will disagree. The ONLY way LOVE can fit into the picture is if there is CHOICE. I'm talking free choice. Free will. Free wheelin'. Do what you want. Whatever that looks like. You may see love. You may find love. You may not. You may die in hate. You may die in bliss having found love abounding.

    I pray the latter for all of us.

    But either way, love CANNOT exist without FREE choice. Impossible.

    Think about it in the simplest way Mankind can relate: a marriage relationship. If YOU were the only sovereign person in your marriage relationship...and had all-knowing all-powerful omniscient forces about you...and pre-willed your spouse to either love or hate you...what have you got?

    Certainly NOT love. And it's not even that fun either. It would be utterly boring. Trivial, at best. I guess it would be a game you could watch unfold...but then again, why would you? You know utterly boring!

    I don't care what web the Calvinist may want to spin on this: Love is absent without free and unfettered CHOICE. We are sovereign to choose.

    If it's any other way, your God is some form of the Merovingian. And he wasn't a good guy. He was a control freak, power-player, and downright bad-dude.
  18. #238 Bambi, Jul 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013

    Paradox is definitely the way to describe God. How does God become a man(100%) and still be God(100%)? How does God who is eternal become mortal? How does man who hates God come to love God?

    When you prayed for your salvation how did you do it? Like this?

    "Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not-that is the difference between me and them."
    Charles Spurgeon

    You would sound arrogant. Don't sound arrogant, come humbly before your God who created you.

  19. Bambi - why go Ad Hominem on me? Why get personal? If I offended you...I'm sorry...but you should ask yourself why you're feeling the need to get defensive about this man-made "ism" and heresy?

    What is so important about this particular ideology to you? What does it "do" for you? What does it "get" you? Comfort? Some sort of assurance that you wouldn't otherwise have with knowing just the simplicity of His great Love for you? Some sort of control or power? A sense of authority, perhaps?

    I know exactly why I reject this lie: because of the things I've already stated above -- it lies against God, and his created beings. It lies against Love.

    And frankly, yes, I get angry about that.

    But you (and other Calvinists) --- why? Why adhere to such ideology? It must do something for you somehow, someway. You should understand what that thing is. I don't believe it is humility, and I don't believe it is born in love.
  20. #240 Thiscrosshurts, Jul 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
    Thanks for taking the time to respond.
    A few issues with free choice prevents me from seeing clearly,perhaps you have already considered them and have answers.

    The least being the question of why bother to pray for anyone if God can't touch their freewill(I ask the Calvinists the opposite).
    Why pray for safety,my safety might violate anothers freewill to kill me(I ask the Calvinists the opposite)..
    How is God able to do anything anywhere without stepping on someones freewill.
    My choices seem somewhat hindered by things like gravity and sickness and unexpected death,not to mention the stuff that my culture nourished me on or whether I was doted on or hated by one or more parents,well there are many factors I seem to have no control over.
    Do you really choose who you will love or did input from something other than self have some say in the matter.I can choose what kind of ice cream I want but I had no choice of what flavor I like and I usually choose a flavor I like.We can choose to force ourselves to like or at least try something though like tobacco but this would probably not be good advice when choosing a mate.
    Do sight,smell,touch and taste have anything to do with it?
    A selfish cat can suddenly appear to love when it has offspring,but we call that instinct.
    Can we choose to love at all?How much of that is simple gravitation toward that which is more pleasant toward the senses and ego mixed with instinct.For me I find the love I have for my children seems more instinct than choice but I have no way to gauge that.
    Your version is more romantic though and my ego adores it because it gives me the right to pat myself on the back.
    But what do I do with scripture that seems to indicate something else other than what has been presented.

    Romans 11:32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
    Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.
    Proverbs 20:24 A man’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?

    Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.
    Prov 16:1 The preparations of the heart of man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
    Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
    Jer 10:23 I know, Jehovah, that the way of man is not his own; it is not in a man that walketh to direct his steps.
    Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
    John 3:27 To this John replied, "A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.

    John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

    I have more scripture but if this is not enough then volume is not an issue.
    I have just as much scripture to back up the freewill position so you see I am not smart enough to figure out which camp is correct.
    I tend to believe the answer is "something we have not yet considered".

    Job 38:21 But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!
    Does anyone care to explain this verse or should we continue to choose to ignore it?

    Thanks to any who take the time to consider why these doctrines are tossing me to and fro..

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