April 9, 2010

Dr. Brown Answers Your Questions (including The Place of Repentance in Salvation; The Corporate Nature of Election; and Jesus Hates Me, This I Know?)

Article on Misconceptions of Election by Brian Abasciano

The New Chosen People

Elect in the Son

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32 Comments
  1. Blessings, Dr. Brown.

    “Jesus hates me this I know, for the Bible tells me so….”

    Or we could put it this way….

    “Jesus hates most of the children, most of the children of the world….
    red and yellow, black and white, they’re reprobated in his sight…
    Jesus hates most of the children of the world.”

    What a theology.

    What you immediately noticed is that the caller said….

    “no one can sing that type of song, because we don’t know who the reprobate are.”

    What? After all those quotes you provided on the radio and that clever little tune and THE REASON no one can sing it is BECAUSE WE DON’T WHO THE REPROBATES ARE? Not because it isn’t true, or because it is a total misrepresentation of the God of the Bible, but because we just don’t know who they are.

    Both sad and pathetic. Welcome to Reformed Theology. Welcome to The Doctrines of Grace.

    And even when you directly asked the caller if quotes like those are misrepresentative, he immediately changed the subject to the mercy and grace of God. Here was his chance to rebuke and denounce those quotes on the air, but he chose to change the subject entirely.

    The caller said that a reprobate is someone who dies without Christ.

    No. A reprobate is someone who is born without Christ. Again, according to Calvin…

    “Now, since the arrangement of all things is in the hand of God, since to him belongs the disposal of life and death, he arranges all things by his sovereign counsel, in such a way that individuals are born, who are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction.”

    There is absolutely no chance of a reprobate ever coming to faith in Jesus Christ.

    The caller said that God has a “general” love for mankind. He gives them rain and sunshine. He puts air in their lungs and blood and their veins.

    But what is rain and sunshine, or even life itself, when the consequence of God’s plan and purpose is eternal torment? What are a few drops of rain or rays of sunshine compared to “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched”? The habitual weeping and gnashing of teeth? Like Jesus said concerning Judas, “It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

    No. It would have been better for him if he hadn’t been reprobated. Again, unconditionally.

    The caller said Adam had a choice and sinned because of his “own free will”.

    From his “Institutes” Calvin wrote…….

    “They deny that it is ever said in distinct terms, God decreed that Adam should perish by his revolt. As if the same God, who is declared in Scripture to do whatsoever he pleases, could have made the noblest of his creatures without any special purpose. They say that, in accordance with free-will, he was to be the architect of his own fortune, that God had decreed nothing but to treat him according to his desert. IF THIS FRIGID FICTION is received, where will be the omnipotence of God, by which, according to his secret counsel on which every thing depends, he rules over all? But whether they will allow it or not, PREDESTINATION is manifest in Adam’s posterity. IT WAS NOT OWING TO NATURE that they all lost salvation by the fault of one parent. Why should they refuse to admit with regard to one man that which against their will they admit with regard to the whole human race? Why should they in caviling lose their labour? Scripture proclaims that all were, in the person of one, made liable to eternal death. AS THIS CANNOT BE ASCRIBED TO NATURE, IT IS PLAIN THAT IT IS OWING TO THE WONDERFUL COUNSEL OF GOD. It is very absurd in these worthy defenders of the justice of God to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. I again ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy UNLESS THAT IT SO SEEMED MEET TO GOD? Here the most loquacious tongues must be dumb. The decree, I admit, is, dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknow what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, BECAUSE HE HAD SO ORDAINED BY HIS DECREE. Should any one here inveigh against the prescience of God, he does it rashly and unadvisedly. For why, pray, should it be made a charge against the heavenly Judge, that he was not ignorant of what was to happen? Thus, if there is any just or plausible complaint, IT MUST BE DIRECTED AGAINST PREDESTINATION. Nor ought it to seem absurd when I say, that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; BUT ALSO AT HIS OWN PLEASURE ARRANGED IT. For as it belongs to his wisdom to foreknow all future events, so it belongs to his power to rule and govern them by his hand.”

    Now where do you see “free will” in this?

    And when you, Dr. Brown, challenged the caller on this, he fell back on the calvinistic escape clause of “mystery”.

    Just more calvinistic confusion.

  2. Dr. Brown,

    I commend you for leading your Calvinist caller, to a logical
    conclusion concerning the fall of man. There was no “mystery”
    there. Many Calvinists say that God is gracious in not destroying
    the non-elect the moment they are born (common grace).

    What if a non-elect individual lives until he is eighty, stores
    God’s wrath for himself by living a prodigal life those eight
    decades, (God of course sustaining him) and then dies
    and gets judged for that life, although he couldn’t have
    genuinely chosen another? Even if this person were to hear
    the Gospel, he would reject it because he isn’t elect,
    and would receive greater condemnation (Romans 2:5). Wouldn’t
    it be more gracious of God to destroy that person as soon as they
    were born? Or would it be better if that person wasn’t born to
    begin with (Matthew 26:24)? Just some thoughts.

    -Lucius

  3. One more thing, to clarify any confusion to those who may have been flummoxed, I believe the Calvinist caller meant [Compatibilist free will] when he used the term… “free will.”

    -L

  4. Is it Biblical to say we inherit “guilt” from Adam ? as the caller said at the end of the show.

    Just stirring things up here, This would have huge implications for the Moshiach being sinless no ? He was fully human and He was the Fullness of the Godhead bodily. We inherit the consequences of the fall death fallen nature ect. but Guilt is attributted the first time we sin is it not ?

    BTW we are all sinners as the bird flies and the fish swims the man sins, i’m not denying that. I’m not sure about guilt being inherited this has consequences for peole who cannot think for themselves (fetus, mentally ill, children under a certain age, ect)

  5. Is it Biblical to say we inherit “guilt” from Adam ? as the caller said at the end of the show.

    Just stirring things up here, This would have huge implications for the Moshiach being sinless no ? He was fully human and He was the Fullness of the Godhead bodily. We inherit the consequences of the fall death fallen nature ect. but Guilt is attributted the first time we sin is it not ?

    BTW we are all sinners as the bird flies and the fish swims the man sins, i’m not denying that. I’m not sure about guilt being inherited this has consequences for peole who cannot think for themselves (fetus, mentally ill, children under a certain age, ect)

    I also thin repentance is part of the Gospel check out my website http://www.repent-believe.com lol

  6. The enlightened NT scripture distinguishes Godly sorrow, or true guilt, from false guilt (nonprogressive shame). Yet scripture upholds that we inherited a sin nature–a propensity to be of sin and to sin–from the actions of Adam and Eva. So, guilt was assigned since exclusion from the dominion of the Garden, and the changes associated with eating of the tree of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil–with an inherited fallen state of shame. It was a fundamental enough change in human nature for G-d to clothe Adam and Eva with animal skins, and break the dominion order as it had been.

    Humankind was forbidden reentry to the Garden, and the Tree of Life thereafter, until the coming, teaching, and work of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of this world (the fallen world inherited from Adam’s choice). You have to define guilt in Biblical original language assignment of shame w\since the Fall. jj slater, you seem to want your definition of guilt to be what psychology works so hard to dissassociate from human nature by its own assumptions. Not only is guilt to be ignored and displaced from human souls by its outlook, but too a view of human nature which G-d’s actions rendered to those of the Fall,

  7. as powerless to change our inheritance. Only Jesus ushered in the New and Living Way with the Spirit’s empowerment (not our self empowerment) to restore the effaced image of God through the new Adam.

  8. Jesus as the new Adam, father of a new race, as established by Him being the firstfruit raised from the dead. That is not reducible to an intellectual concept, even though it can be conceptually talked about. When we receive the Spirit, and its promise, we receive the promise of restoration of the once pure and dedicated human nature–to hope, faith, and the greatest love. That love is the calling on every believer’s heart and soul. That love is the basis of the New and Living Way which all other religious efforts and conformities of G-d’s people cannot bring to pass. Only the Messiah has made it so.

  9. I found the quote below on a website while studying this doctrine of reprobation. No name or author was provided……

    “God’s eternal decree of whom He would not saved is called reprobation. Whereas election means that God chooses whom He will save, reprobation means that God chooses who is not saved. Reprobation necessarily follows from election. Since God could have saved everybody, but not everyone is saved, then we must conclude that God deliberately chose to leave some people in their sins.

    Reprobation, like election, is unconditional. The non-elect are not rejected because of their sins– because they were worse sinners than the elect. Instead, just as Christians are chosen based only upon the purposes of God and nothing in them, so also the non-elect are rejected solely due to the good pleasure of God’s will–not because of anything in them or anything they have done. However, the reason that this rejection leaves them to eternal punishment is because of their sins. If they weren’t sinners, this rejection wouldn’t result in their eternal torment. So while they are not reprobated because of what they have done, they are punished for what they have done (sin). That is, God’s rejection of the reprobate is not because of their sins (just as God’s choice of the elect was not because of any goodness in them), but God’s punishment of the reprobate is because of their sins.

    …..it is important to see the importance of understanding the truths of unconditional election and unconditional reprobation. These truths are not ugly, but beautiful!”
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….

    I doubt if the Lost would consider this “truth” regarding reprobation as something “beautiful”. This is why every street sign outside of a calvinistic congregation (Reformed, Presbyterian, or other) should say….

    “You didn’t reject God, God rejected you!”

    Unconditionally, of course.

    Now here is a quote from a calvinistic pastor with whom I was discussing this issue regarding reprobation….

    “Don’t let the doctrine of reprobation frighten you. It simply means that those who show that they never wanted to be saved and who loved darkness rather than light and their sins rather than God were passed by and given their heart’s desire. It really is as simple as that.”

    Simple? THAT is the HEART of Calvinism. Absolutely no remorse for the Lost. Talk about “a heart of stone”.

    Come, Lord Jesus.

  10. Hello wingedfooted1,

    Thanks for providing that quote, that is an honest and accurate representation of what exhaustive determinism/Calvinism leads to when it comes to election (i.e., God chooses who will be saved AND God chooses who will not be saved, and these choices are made in eternity completely independent of anything these people will do when they live, God picks some to be heroes in the total plan and others not to be).

    At the end of the quote it states: “These truths are not ugly, but beautiful!” That has got to be one of the most mistaken statements ever made. If this view of reprobation is true it makes God into a moral monster who toys with his creatures as Jonathan Edwards put it: like a person dangling a spider over a flame ready at any moment to gleefully drop the poor creature into the flames. Reprobation as understood in this quote that you provide (which is the way all calvinists would present it if they were consistent and honest) is not “beautiful” but is sickening. It means not only that God hates the reprobates and never has any intention of saving them, but it also means that God is lying in His Word. When he says His nature is loving, not if this version of reprobation is true. When he says he desires the salvation of all and does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, not if this version of reprobation is true. While God may say things in the word like don’t murder, don’t mistreat others, etc. etc. in his secret will he desires this to occur and then ensures it of occurring by puppet master like control over human persons.

    You wrote that:

    “This is why every street sign outside of a calvinistic congregation (Reformed, Presbyterian, or other) should say….

    “You didn’t reject God, God rejected you!”

    Unconditionally, of course.”

    Actually it is worse than that.

    First he rejects the reprobates and does so unconditionally as you say. THEN by means of exhaustive determinism, of puppet master like control of human persons he then ENSURES THAT THE PLAN OCCURS. Calvinists believe in perseverance of the saints, well the flip side is MAKING SURE THE REPROBATES ARE REPROBATES AND STAY THAT WAY. And that is where this conception of God’s actions is sick and twisted and deranged. Because as many others including Wesley have noted: if God does the actions that the determinist says that he does, then his character is more like the devil than the God who reveals Himself in scripture.

    You then cited a calvinist pastor as saying: ““Don’t let the doctrine of reprobation frighten you. It simply means that those who show that they never wanted to be saved and who loved darkness rather than light and their sins rather than God were passed by and given their heart’s desire. It really is as simple as that.”

    That is like saying let me tell you about the actions of someone with the character of a sadistic serial killer, but “don’t let that bother you!” What?

    And this pastor either is unintentionally ignorant of what exhaustive determinism entails or if he does understand then he is being intentionally misleading in what he says here. Allow me to explain.
    There are two possibilities here it seems. Either he knows and understands his own theology sufficiently to see that if God preplans and predecides EVERYTHING: then that would include the thoughts, desires, actions of every person including the “reprobates”. That would mean that God made sure that they would have unbelieving thoughts, sinful desires and sinful actions, all which God decided they would have and do. He then ensured that “everything would go according to plan” by controlling them in a way similar to the way a puppet master controls his puppets.

    Or he does not really understand his own position sufficiently to see this. Take his statement that “those who show that they never wanted to be saved and who loved darkness rather than light and their sins rather than God.” If God predecided their thoughts and actions and ensured these things would occur via puppet master like control over these persons, then if they “never wanted to be saved” God gave them that desire and kept giving it to them for a lifetime. And if they “loved darkness rather than light” who gave them this love? God did. That’s right, just like everything else about them their desires, thoughts or actions are all exactly what God wants for them and PLANNED FOR THEM. So this pastor’s comments attempting to make the bad tasting medicine go down easier completely fail if one really understands the nature of theological determinism. If you understand what exhaustive determinism entails, then “It really is as simple as that.”

    Wingedfooted1 thanks for sharing these comments. This kind of thing needs to be brought into the open so that people can see what the Emperor without clothes really looks like! And it is not a pretty sight at all. In fact it is quite ugly and repulsive.

    Robert 777

  11. Dr. Brown, I was wondering if you believe that someone has to confess/name everything they did/thought/said to the Lord in order to receive forgiveness. For instance, I love the Lord with all of my heart. Let’s say I am on a plane that is about to go down and I know that I am about to die. Do I need to try to confess and ask for forgiveness specifically for things? I just feel like there is no way I can remember everything I have ever done wrong and name them specifically. Here is how I believe, I believe when something specific does come to your mind, then you ask for forgiveness for that thing. But I believe that God looks at my heart and knows that I do not sin deliberately. Say I did something during the day like complained once. But I never stopped and confessed it to the Lord. I feel like God knows I don’t want to do that, it is something I want to grow in, and He see’s my whole life and walk with Him. It’s like we are not perfect, and we don’t always do things perfectly, but we can have a perfect heart towards God. I hope this makes sense. Anyway, that is how I believe. But if I needed to be corrected in this I welcome it. :0)

  12. Blessings, Robert 777.

    So there will be no misunderstanding of the notion of reprobation, please read the comments below from Loraine Boettner’s “Unconditional Election: Reprobation”….

    Calvin did not hesitate to base the REPROBATION OF THE LOST, as well as the election of the saved, ON THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD. We have already quoted him to the effect that “not all men are CREATED with a similar destiny but eternal life is foreordained for some, AND ETERNAL DAMNATION FOR OTHERS. Every man, therefore, BEING CREATED FOR ONE OR THE OTHER OF THESE ENDS, WE SAY, HE IS PREDESTINATED EITHER TO LIFE OR TO DEATH.” And again he says, “There can be no election without its opposite, reprobation.”3 That the latter raises problems which are not easy to solve, he readily admits, but advocates it as the only intelligent and Scriptural explanation of the facts.

    Luther also as certainly as Calvin attributes THE ETERNAL PERDITION OF THE WICKED, as well as the eternal salvation of the righteous, TO THE PLAN OF GOD.

    “This mightily offends our rational nature,” he says, “that God should, of His own mere unbiased will, leave some men to themselves, harden them and condemn them; but He gives abundant demonstration, and does continually, that this is really the case; namely, that THE SOLE CAUSE why some are saved, AND OTHERS PERISH, proceeds from HIS WILLING the salvation of the former, AND THE PERDITION OF THE LATTER, according to that of St. Paul, ‘He hath mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.’”

    And again,

    “It may seem absurd to human wisdom that God should harden, blind, and deliver up some men to a reprobate sense; that He should first deliver them over to evil, and condemn them for that evil; but the believing, spiritual man sees no absurdity at all in this; knowing that God would be never a whit less good, even though He should destroy all men.”

    He then goes on to say that this must not be understood to mean that God finds men good, wise, obedient, and makes them evil, foolish, and obdurate, but that they are already depraved and fallen and that those who are not regenerated, instead of becoming better under the divine commands and influences, only react to become worse. In reference to Romans IX, X, XI, Luther says that….

    “all things whatever arise from and depend upon the Divine appointment, whereby IT WAS PREORDAINED who should receive the word of life AND WHO SHOULD DISBELIEVE IT, who should be delivered from their sins and WHO SHOULD BE HARDENED IN THEM, who should be justified AND WHO CONDEMNED.”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………

    In my discussion with the calvinistic pastor I mentioned earlier he added….

    “The bottom line here is that whatever God has done, is doing or will yet do, HE HAS ALREADY PURPOSED TO DO IT AND ENSURES THAT ALL EVENTS LEADS TO THAT PURPOSE COMING TO PASS.”

    Notice the language. He is saying that God has already purposed to damn billions (the reprobate) and he is going to ENSURE that ALL EVENTS leading to that purpose coming to pass.

    According to Calvinism there is absolutely no “free will”. Man is not a “slave to sin”. He is enslaved to the secret decree of God. Everyone keeps the secret divine will perfectly. And yet billions are damned for doing so.

    You said…. “this pastor either is unintentionally ignorant of what exhaustive determinism entails or if he does understand then he is being intentionally misleading in what he says here.”

    I contend that the Calvinist leaders know full well what this theology leads to. You even get a hint of that in Dr. Brown’s discussion with the caller (its like the caller was thinking “oh no! the secret is out!”) However, it is not something they will share with the congregation (possible exceptions) or outsiders. For instance, I was visiting a small church for a while when Calvinists from a much larger church took over. Knowing what they believed I approached the pastor, associate pastor, and an elder regarding the Lost. Each time, my questions and concerns went unanswered. The elder told me that “we should not question God.”

    So much for “come, let’s reason together”.

    When a Calvinists talks about evangelizing, what they usually mean is find Christians (believers) and make them Calvinists. I prefer to call it “removing the heart of flesh and replacing it with a heart of stone”.

    Calvinism is Catholicism.

  13. Hello Wingedfooted1,

    Thanks for providing more quotes concerning the nature of reprobation according to calvinism.

    Couple things, first Wingedfooted1 you continue to provide strong arguments against calvinism, have you considered joining SEA (the Society of Evangelical Arminians)? Or are you not an Arminian in your theology?

    Second, Wingedfooted1 and all out there who want to hear a very clear presentation of reprobation by a calvinist, I have a link that will take you to what is in my opinion the best example that I have ever heard or read of a calvinist consistent with his calvinism telling us what Calvin believed and taught about reprobation (he is discussing Calvin’s disagreements with Pighius in Calvin’s book: CONCERNING THE ETERNAL PREDESTINATION OF GOD
    It is here:

    http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_details/12927/039Calvin-versus-Pighius039/c-205/

    One of the most chilling comments (and yet true if calvinism is true) is where he says that reprobating someone in the calvinist sense which he describes is the **most hateful thing** that you could do to a person. It is chilling because he openly admits it and at the same time has no problem with this false doctrine. His quotations from Calvin show exactly where Calvin stood on the subject as well. Wingedfooted1 if you get a chance to listen to it I would be curios to see you response here.

    Robert 777

  14. After reading the last two posts, a couple of verses came to mind…

    1 John 3:15
    Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

    John 8:44
    You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

    When considering Calvinism, the lines are blurred when trying to determine exactly who the murderer was from the beginning.

  15. Blessings, Robert 777.

    In regards to the link….that was extremely painful to listen to. I wonder if it’s the Irish pastor I have had discussions (mentioned above) with giving the lecture. So many things were said that I can’t remember them all, but this came thru very clear regarding the Lost….

    “God does everything to ensure their eternal damnation……that’s Calvin.”

    Yes. That’s Calvinism. A very “scary thing” indeed.

    So its not God’s intent nor desire to save everybody. All I have to do is think of it this way……

    If I can convince Christians that God has no intention of saving everyone, in fact, he has no intention of saving the vast majority of mankind, who does that benefit? Who benefits from convincing Christians that God wants the vast majority of mankind to suffer for all eternity?

    I’ll give you a hint. His name is 5 letters long and starts with an “S” and ends with an “N”.

    In regards to your Arminian inquiry, no, I do not consider myself an “Arminian”. To be completely honest, I am not even sure what an “Arminian” is. The only thing I know regarding Arminianism is what Calvinists say about it and I obviously don’t put any value in what they have to say. For them, an Arminian is someone who rejects Calvinism.

    I believe that by laying claim to Arminianism, we fall into the trap of the Calvinists (which is to their benefit). They insist that you are either in one camp or the other. There’s no third option. However, one does not have to be a republican simply because he isn’t a democrat. You can be neither.

    I don’t have any of the works or writings of Arminius. I don’t celebrate his birthday, nor do I know even when he was born. I don’t even know if he was saved. I am simply a Christian. I follow Christ. And I am content with that.

    Not so for the Calvinist. They are surrounded by his writings. Their libraries are full of his sermons. They read his works and can quote Calvin just as well as Paul, or our Lord himself (both sad and pathetic). They celebrate his birthday and dress up in costume. They even have colleges and Seminaries named after him.

    Yet when I reflect on Calvin, his following quote is what I remember most…

    “One should not be content with simply killing such people, but should burn them cruelly.”

    That is the heart of Calvin. And that is the heart of Calvinism. The scriptures say “God is love”.

    According to Calvinism, “God is hate” too.

    Grace.

  16. j.j. s. Thanks for the clarification, and, I wonder, is it possible to discuss the meaning of guilt without its emotional/psychological baggage factor (which many carry in social outlook)? It also seems like the entire “positive thinking” movement is founded to combat this, is it not? Even its newest leaders state that they only mention sin by mentioning positive possiblities rather than a negative focus emphasis or fixation as a result of it. This seems to leave little room for conviction however, for turning over daily struggle to the Father, and confession seeking forgiveness. Is it possible to come to a position where struggle, standards, or simple trust is replaced by only seeing what is positive potential in any situation or circumstance?

  17. If I understand the position of most of you, God will extend saving grace only to those who bow down and love him first. If someone is mocking God and spewing hatred of God then God will not extend saving grace until the person changes his mind. The Calvinist is saying that God will show that exact same man saving grace before the man ever takes a knee. Isn’t it a greater act of love to give grace to someone who hates you then someone who has chosen to love you first?

  18. Doug,

    You’re certainly not understanding our position at all. Quite the contrary, God extends saving grace to the hardest, worst sinners in the world. Jesus died for those very people! Of course He extends saving grace to them.

    Where you would take any of us to be saying what you allege we say? That’s somewhat baffling to me.

  19. Wingedfoot
    It all boils down to the question of what the Bible teaches about mans ability to come to him. I hope you realize you are taking some credit for your salvation.
    I understand your 12:02 rant but you believe that God knew in eternity past that many would reject him and go to Hell and yet he created them anyway. Why? Why is God asking you to preach to those that God knows for sure will never believe?
    ” Absolutely no remorse for the Lost. Talk about “a heart of stone”.”..don’t know who you spoke to that gave you that impression but that is an ignorant comment to make.
    “When a Calvinists talks about evangelizing, what they usually mean is find Christians (believers) and make them Calvinists”… ignorant comment to make.
    Don’t look at an imperfect sinner like Calvin to draw your conclusions. Look at how God works from Gen-Rev.

  20. Dr. Brown
    One example: A king has a man at his closed and locked front door. He is hurling insults and hatred at the king and his family. The man may hate the king but the man loves the sorcerer down the street who gives the man little trinkets and rotten food to eat. The sorcerer gives the man maggots to eat and the man loves them. The sorcerer gives the man trinkets to lure the man to his death and the man loves the evil trinkets. The man hates the king’s food, spits at the kings daughters and curses the king and his family night and day with a megaphone. Even though the man has given the king not one reason to give him grace, the king opens up the door and even though the man hates the king, the king grabs the man, pulls him inside, thrusts his hand into the mans chest and pulls out the man’s kind king hating, bitter, black, evil, maggots for dinner loving, heart. He puts a new heart into the man that loves goodness and so he now loves the good king and loves his castle and loves the filets and lobsters and all the good things the king wants to give him. No requirement on the mans part.
    But what I see on this blog is..A man is at the kings closed and locked front door. He is hurling insults and hatred at the king and his family. The king prepares a place at the table for him and tells him if he will change his mind about him he can come in. The man doesn’t change his mind and he doesn’t want to come in. So the king slides him a glass of lemonade through the mail slot because it’s hot out. He still hates the king. It starts to rain so the king slides an umbrella out to him. He still hates the king. Until the man changes his mind and loves the king he can not come in and enjoy the all you can eat lobster and filet mignon feast at the kings table and the warm bed and shower and all the king wants to give him. The man is outside eating bugs and weeds and loving it. The king makes chocolate chip cookies and slides them through the slot with a glass of milk. He throws the cookies and the glass at the king’s dog and screams his hatred of him. Until the man changes his heart towards the king, the king will not let him in. The king tells him about his warm guest room and all the ameneties and kind things he has done but until the man apologizes(confesses his sins) and loves the king, the king will not let him in. The king leaves him out in the rain and cold because of the man’s choice. The man must change his mind. If the man changes his mind(the requirement) then he is in! If not he is out forever.

    Do you not believe in the requirement of #2? The man had to be repentant and want the kings offer first before he could go in. Do you not believe that about salvation? If you do respond can you please use chocolate chip cookies in your response? It helps me understand.

  21. Doug,

    I am absolutely not going to around this subject again here, but in response to your words to Wingfooted that I or any other non-Calvinist take credit for our salvation, you could not make a more absurd statement even if you tried, and if you can’t understand by now that is absolutely not what I believe (or have ever believed), you really should just drop the subject.

    However, if you want to make ludicrous statements, I’ll say this to you: As a Calvinist, you obviously take credit for your salvation, since everything God does is perfect and not arbitrary, and therefore He must have seen something good in you to choose you. Otherwise you hit the divine lotto by chance!

  22. Oh sorry..remove my comments then if you would. I was just trying to intreract with all the old and tired anti-calvinist comments on the site. Won’t post here again and sorry again if it was inappropriate.

  23. Doug, there’s no need to remove your posts, but if you’re going to post here, it’s important that you don’t misrepresent what others believe, and since over the course of many hundreds of posts, these issues have been stated clearly, I consider it a waste of time to rehash what has already been dealt with.

    That being said, if you find fault with an argument against Calvinism posted here, or if you feel that Calvinism is not being fairly represented, then by all means, interact with that. Just don’t put false beliefs into the mouths of those you differ with.

  24. Doug, one quick question for you: When you came to faith in Jesus, did you understand Calvinism? If so, then there’s no question. If not, may I ask you if you felt that you were somehow deserving of credit for accepting God’s offer of totally unmerited mercy?

  25. Blessings, Doug.

    I appreciate you taking the time to come here to discuss and interact in regards to these issues.

    You said “It all boils down to the question of what the Bible teaches about mans ability to come to him”.

    I understand what the Bible says about man’s ability to come to, or believe, in Him. What I disagree with and reject is Calvinism’s interpretation of what the Bible says regarding coming to, or believing, in Him.

    The scriptures make it very clear that faith is not a work (Romans 4:5). If faith was actually a work, then I would be somehow contributing to my salvation. However, salvation is “the gift of God” (Romans 6:23 and Ephesians 2:8). Any gift that is freely offered must be freely received. And the recipient of that gift would have nothing to boast about just by accepting the free gift. Paul confirms this in Romans 4:3…

    “What does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’”

    Notice because of Abraham’s faith, it was “credited” to him, not “debited” to him. If faith was a work, then God would owe him eternal life. Paul never accused Abraham of contributing to his salvation. I’m confused why a Calvinist would?

    In regards to the Lost, God certainly knew who would be saved and who would be lost before he created them. But there is a BIG difference between creating people who you know will reject your love and grace and thus perish, and people being created out of hatred specifically for the purpose of eternal damnation. For the non-Calvinist those in the lake of fire could have had eternal bliss, which makes their rejection of God and his Son that much more tragic. For the Calvinist, eternal bliss was never an option. This is why the Lost can justly say…

    “We hate God, because He first hated us.”

    In regards to “no remorse for the Lost” and “evangelizing Christians”, I was a little taken back by your “ignorant comment” remark. I was just speaking from personal experience and observation.

    Again, when I wished to discuss the Lost with a pastor, associate pastor, and elder at a Reformed Church which I visited, each and every time my questions and concerns went unanswered. The article I mentioned and posted earlier considered “the unconditional reprobation” of billions of souls as something “beautiful”. Another Calvinist pastor considered the eternal suffering of billions of souls as something “as simple as that.” I have never had a Calvinist describe the eternal damnation of the Lost as “tragic” or “unfortunate”. I’m sorry if you find this as “ignorant”.

    You said “Don’t look at an imperfect sinner like Calvin to draw your conclusions. Look at how God works from Gen-Rev.”

    I couldn’t agree more. I wish all Calvinists would do the same.

    In Him.

  26. Wingfooted1.

    Calvinism is Catholicism

    Once again this is correct, I agree with your conclusion but I differ as to why it is so.

    Many people do not know that Calvin was once a Lutheran. Yes, he signed a version of the Augsburg Confession, and he and Melanchton were friends. Luther never met him in person but Calvin wrote to Luther via Melanchton.

    So what happened? Calvin wanted to be the via media between Luther and Zwingli who was Calvin’s mentor. He modified many aspects of Lutheran understanding of things one of them is the idea of faith and repentance. Calvin’s idea of repentance did not deviate from the Roman idea. For Lutherans repentance is being sorry that you are a sinner, that it is your nature and that you are not able to change yourself, – leopards do not change their spots, so to speak. It is realization that by God’s Laws you are doomed. However, Calvin modified this understanding, he adopted a language similar to Romanism which is to improve yourself. Hence, where Lutherans believe that repentance is turning your mind about your assessment of your self, that you are a no good sinner worthy of damnation – should God mark your iniquities you will not stand, and that your only hope is the forgiveness of sins won for you by Christ, hence without Christ you are dead on the water. That is what repentance in the nutshell to the Lutherans. One thing to note, Calvin likes to use Lutheran lingo but he often puts his own spin at it. This is the reason why in the end, in so far as Calvin tilts the idea of repentance, towards Rome, Calvinism is like Romanism except no Sacraments. It leads to legalism.

    LPC

  27. To clarify – repentance is recognition that you deserve hell and you cannot save yourself. In Lutheran theology – repentance has two parts, a.)contrition, sadness at your sorry state of being a sinner, you recognize you deserve hell b.) belief, faith in that for Christ’s sake God is forgiving you, that Christ has paid for your sins, receiving the hell you deserve.

    True repentance does not want to be justified before God by any other means, it only wants to be justified before God for the sake of the death, resurrection, the bitter suffering of Christ . That is what a repentant person is.

    Also Lutherans believe that saving faith cannot coexists with the attitude of sinning as a right – technically they call mortal sin (or sins that destroy faith). In other words a repentant sinner does not say that sin is his right to do or right to have.

    I guess this boils down to how you interpret Romans 7. For Lutherans, Roman 7 is the state of St Paul as a Christian, unlike the usual Arminian thinking ala Wesley, that Romans 7 was St Paul before he became a Christian.

    One must be warned that in 1 John 1:7-9, if we say we have no sin, the truth is not with us.

    Here is the quote from the Augsburg Confession
    Article XII: Of Repentance.

    1] Of Repentance they teach that for those who have fallen after Baptism there is remission of sins whenever they are converted 2] and that the Church ought to impart absolution to those thus returning to repentance. Now, repentance consists properly of these 3] two parts: One is contrition, that is, 4] terrors smiting the conscience through the knowledge of sin; the other is faith, which is born of 5] the Gospel, or of absolution, and believes that for Christ’s sake, sins are forgiven, comforts 6] the conscience, and delivers it from terrors. Then good works are bound to follow, which are the fruits of repentance.

    LPC

    LPC

  28. In regards to Calvinists having no remorse for the Lost, I wanted to share what one Calvinist posted at another blog under the subject of preaching the gospel to every creature. He said….

    “Sometimes I think that we’re too afraid that some of the non-elect might be saved by accident.”

    God forbid someone created and predestined for eternal damnation end up in heaven.

    You still don’t think what we believe about the Word of God doesn’t effect how we witness to others? Just another example of….

    “…removing the heart of flesh and giving you a heart of stone.”

  29. LPC, I found what you shared most interesting, past affiliating with the Pres USA church for several years. Yet this was the fellowship which moved to not support Israel’s economic enterprises because of placing NT standards of graceful conduct on that people group in regard to their posture toward so-called Palestinians. Increasingly this led me away from that association toward a more natural Messianism for my person. And this offers a calling, devotion, and purpose as afflilated with present waves of the Spirit on the chosen Land.

    I write this with the notion that what I shared earlier, about the postive thinking movement among believers, may be the ultimate Armenian offshoot? One realization that strikes about this whole discussion is that the numbers of believers on both sides of the classical theological positions may have shapeshifted into other assumptions, and regardful positions on the whole issue of sin, sinfulness, and its inheritance according to the Bible.

    So, what we have today, with many many denominational fellowships waining in attendance and devotion–along with these other movements moving away almost totally from emphasizing Paulene theology on sin, the spirit, and the ongoing tension between the two–is a kind of Christian reconstructionism happening among churches which seem to have vast numbers of hearfelt attendees. The need for affirmation and identity accompanying ah actualization philosophy in a materialistic, and attention scattering culture may have become so great (due to facts of isolation and alienation) that fellowships with numercial growth have almost abandoned mention of sin as Paul described it to be.

    This I would label a post modern phenominological social-emotional Christian philosophy/theology, set on rediscovering a positive basic human identity in the face of an increasingly disassociative world. This being the preoccupation, the more traditional believers have been increasingly captivated by the counter view of the Warren ideated “purpose driven life” (while I question the term “driven” applying to the descriptors he brilliantly illustrates the organizational particulars in his book of the same title). If the Satan is the disassociator, along with that which grabs the affections of the heart in our culture (in the scriptures through what is called sin, or the wisdom of this world): has the now reformation argumentation of the Refomers vs the Armenians been eclipsed in religious devotion in the ever-evolving phenomena of American religion?????

    Perhaps we are having the wrong discussion regarding what is relevant now to capturing the devotion of the religiously preoccupied heart? Does this mean that the Paulene concerns and explanations are now being reframed anew? And, where so, what are the implications on American faith futures?

  30. How does Calvinism deal with the notion of the here and now,and Romans 12-15? Is this a discussion worth having?

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