Skip to comments.As Baptists Prepare to Meet, Calvinism Debate Shifts to Heresy Accusation
Posted on 06/21/2012 8:24:00 AM PDT by fishtank
As Baptists Prepare to Meet, Calvinism Debate Shifts to Heresy Accusation Hundreds, including seminary presidents, have signed a statement on salvation criticized by both Reformed and Arminian theologians. Weston Gentry [ posted 6/18/2012 ] A statement by a non-Calvinist faction of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has launched infighting within the nation's largest Protestant denomination, and tensions are expected to escalate Tuesday as church leaders descend on New Orleans.
(Excerpt) Read more at christianitytoday.com ...
He still drew a bright line not to be crossed. It wasn't a capricious command. There were consequences. To disobey was to fall from holiness. It's totally up to Him to decide the way back, not us.
Not an accurate representation of the Catholic position at all.
The reason why Paul wrote Romans 9 is to explain why not all Jews were saved. Paul himself was troubled by this that he wished that if it were possible, that he himself would be condemned to hell for all eternity in exchange for the salvation of his fellow Jews.
Back in the first century, there are many Jews who believed that because God made a covenant promise to Abraham, all Jews are considered elect. Paul explained it is not necessarily Abraham’s physical descendants who are elected to inherit salvation, but rather those who has the faith in God that Abraham has. He used Ishmael and Esau (forefathers of the Ishmaelites and Edomites) as examples of those who despite being a physical descendant of Abraham, are not considered elect.
“The reason why Paul wrote Romans 9 is to explain why not all Jews were saved.”
Ok, but what does Romans 9 say?
“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
“Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”
“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,”
He speaks here of His sovereignty in saving people, it says He has mercy or He hardens, He prepared the vessels of mercy afore. . .
This is predestination, this is election, this is God’s revelation of His ways. There are many other verses that speak of this, I already cited Ephesians and there are so many others.
We all must embrace the whole of Scripture, even if it is difficult to understand.
The issue with the Calvinist/Arminian/Neither soteriological debate isn’t about embracing Scripture, because this soteriological debate is among those who already embrace Scripture, but have different interpretations of what Scripture says.
This is similar to the credobaptist/paedobaptist debate, where both sides already embrace Scripture but have a different understanding of what the Bible teaches.
Both Calvinists and Arminians believe in predestination, but they differ on whether predestination is based on foreknowledge. Both Calvinists and Arminians believe that Jesus died for sinners, but they differ on whether Jesus tasted death only for the elect or for everyone without exception. Both Calvinists and Arminians believe that God shows grace to sinners, but they differ on whether this grace is irresistible or resistible.
And needless to say, Calvinists and Arminians may very well have different definitions for words such as “sovereignty”, and “foreknew”, just like Baptists and Presbyterians have different definitions for the word “baptize”.
(If Arminianism is true, it means that some Christians chose to believe in Calvinism instead of Arminianism out of their own libertarian free will, even though they could have chosen otherwise. If Calvinism is true, it means that God predestines some Christians (whom He has elected before the foundation of the world and whom Jesus died for) to be Arminians, and these Arminians whom God has elected before the foundation of the world could not have chosen otherwise.)
I think perhaps I should have made it clear that my statement:
No election, no faith, no salvation. Order matters.
Was me describing Calvinism, not my own theology.
I’m the Anti-Calvin.
“But if the Bible clearly states that God elects some of us, then it states that. We cant reject it because we dont like it.”
~ ~ ~
Chapter title of the Douay-Rheims ~
Prayers are to be said for all men, because God wills the salvation of all. Women are not to teach.
1 Tim 2:4
 I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men:  For kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,  Who will have ALL men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth
“However, God has rescued those who will be in Heaven. He snatched us from the fire. We didn’t do it on our own and that’s why we say “we’re saved” (passive tense).”
~ ~ ~
And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.
Yes, I didn't agree with this part. All analogies fall short (which is why I normally don't like them) and this is no exception. Some Arminians would probably question lost of salvation as some of them believe in "once saved always saved". But I thought it explain the various position reasonbly well.
I agree with your views on the Council of Orange. However, what really help my understanding of what true heresy the "free will" concept was, is in Predestination of the Saints by Augustine.
What did He believe? What did He ask, that He should attain to this unspeakable excellence? Was it not by the act and the assumption of the Word that that man, from the time He began to be, began to be the only Son of God? Did not that woman, full of grace, conceive the only Son of God? Was He not born the only Son of God, of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,not of the lust of the flesh, but by God's peculiar gift? Was it to be feared that as age matured this man, He would sin of free will? Or was the will in Him not free on that account? and was it not so much the more free in proportion to the greater impossibility of His becoming the servant of sin?
NOTE WHAT AUGUSTINE SAYS ABOUT PELAGIUS...
"Therefore," says the Pelagian, "He foreknew who would be holy and immaculate by the choice of free will, and on that account elected them before the foundation of the world in that same foreknowledge of His in which He foreknew that they would be such. Therefore He elected them," says he, "before they existed, predestinating them to be children whom He foreknew to be holy and immaculate. Certainly He did not make them so; nor did He foresee that He would make them so, but that they would be so."
For they think that "having received God's commands we are of ourselves by the choice of our free will made holy and immaculate in His sight in love; and since God foresaw that this would be the case," they say, "He therefore chose and predestinated us in Christ before the foundation of the world."
It's baffling to me.
Typical answer from the Catholics.
I hope I redeemed my very strong Calvinist belief. ;O)
Which does mean that He actively chooses those who will go to Hell (See omniscience)--according to calvinism.
Which also means--according to calvinism--that God created most of us for the express purpose of sending us to Hell.
Who in their right mind would follow a god like that?
In this you are terribly wrong. God does have faith in us. That we have a Savior we must have faith in proves it. Think about it.
We are spiritually dead in sin, this gives the double meaning to the “you shall not surely die” lie of the Adversary. We will “die” spiritually without faith in Jesus Christ.
Are you a Calvinist?
Yeah, Catholics are such strange people for thinking they understand their own beliefs better than you do. Truly a bizarre bunch of folks. /s
The same Augustine wrote this:
Here is the whole quote: He was handed over for our offenses, and He rose again for our justification (19). What does this mean, for our justification? So that He might justify us; so that He might make us just. You will be a work of God, not only because you are a man, but also because you are just. For it is better that you be just than that you be a man. If God made you a man, and you made yourself just, something you were doing would be better than what God did. But God made you without any cooperation on your part. For you did not lend your consent so that god could make you. How could you have consented, when you did not exist? But he who made you without your consent does not justify you without your consent. He made you without your knowledge, but He does not justify you without you willing it. (Sermon 169)
(Augustine did not write the words “Here is the whole quote,” obviously.)
Of course but He still has a Father's heart; the best earthly fathers' hearts are just a shadow in comparison. The example of course it does not show all truth but as an example of the dynamic we're talking about it's fairly apt.
It's not apt at all. God is the master and creator of everything. That changes things. He made people the way they are.
Again, you can't pick and choose which things God is "responsible" for when your theology is based on God's absolute sovereignty.
have that God then withhold grace, and then say its not Gods responsibility.
You don't have the right definition of grace. Grace is not responsibility...it's pure gift.
I don't know what you are answering. Read it again. I'm talking about God being responsible for His decisions about whom to grant grace to.
God creates people who need grace in order to avoid damnation. God does not give them grace. This is God's plan. So how is it not God damning them? He is responsible because He is absolutely sovereign. Right?
So if God wants us to be Saved but we can thwart His desires, who is really in change of Salvation? It sounds like we are in charge. We do the Saving.
I realize I'm coming into this discussion late, but I've read the posts to this point and haven't seen this brought up yet....
Paul makes the point twice in Romans (4:14 & 5:13) that apart from the law, there is no transgression. They were still subject to physical death, "even over those who did not sin by breaking a commandment (5:14)".
Paul says in Romans 7:9 that he was "once alive apart from the law.." the implication seeming to be that his knowledge of the law brought conviction which led to repentance.
The story of Josiah in 2 Kings 22 provides a similar example. The book of the law was found. Josiah became aware that they were violating the law and immediately initiated repentance.
The story doesn't mention any intervention of the Holy Spirit causing them to repent. In 22:19 God responds, "Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard..." It appears that God's grace and mercy was a response to their choosing. There is no indication in the scripture that God chose them to be responsive.
In Romans 5:18, Paul says, "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men." If God chooses the elect, is Paul offering a false promise, or is he ignorant of God's intentions?
All people are in the water drowning. They are born drowning. This is the natural habitation of all humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water.
Not an accurate depiction of the Catholic understanding of original sin, which is a lack, absence, or deprivation; not a place, condition, or state. Starting off wrong won't get you to your destination.
But they must do their part by swimming along with Gods pull (grace plus works; synergism).
Not an accurate depiction of the Catholic understanding of works at all, which is that they are (a) motivated and prompted by and through grace (they aren't "swimming along with God's pull," but are part of "God's pull"); and (b) strengthen the life of grace within the justified man (almost a word-for-word quote from Trent).
I'm certain you would not want to engage in "strawman" or "sandbag" debate tactics by misrepresenting someone else's beliefs in order to easily refute the misrepresentation. Would you?
“Who in their right mind would follow a god like that?”
Someone who believed in an omnipotent God?
The whole problem with the Arminian doctrine is that it supposes this “Everyone must accept Christ as their Savior to get into Heaven”. If you bring up babies who die, they then have to refute their own argument.
There's no such thing as chance.
“Omnipotent” does not mean “monstrous.”
But calvinism doesn't believe in an omnipotent God. It can't accept that God is sovereign in a universe of billions of separate, totally free wills.
The whole problem with the Arminian doctrine is that it supposes this Everyone must accept Christ as their Savior to get into Heaven.
All who know what evil and/or the difference between right and wrong must accept Christ as his/her Savior to get into Heaven.
Babies, obviously, do not fall into that category.
So what is your point? If God were to withhold grace would He be unjust? What is wrong with God giving sinners what they justly deserve?
“All who know what evil and/or the difference between right and wrong must accept Christ as his/her Savior to get into Heaven.”
The prisons are full of people who obviously don’t know right from wrong.
Your doctrine is growing holes in it.
My point is that Calvinism’s God is unjust.
He created a world where countless people are damned and they can’t do anything about it.
A just God would not do that.
This statement is demonstrably incorrect. People who have been proven to not know right from wrong are not sent to prison.
Omnipotent does not mean monstrous.
Do you remember what God told Saul to do? Wipe out everyone, women, children and animals. Same with Sodom and Gomorrah. Babies got it too. And then there was Noah.
Whichever of us is right, we are judged already. It’s ok. I do not need to convert anyone. That’s another great thing about Calvinism. It is all up to God.
It's very apt in describing the aspect of the Fall I wanted to illustrate; that God the Father told man the rule he had to obey in order to not incur retribution. The example did not intend to illustrate all aspects of God's character, just the aspect of the complete justice of the follow-through to what he told Adam & Even. They blew it...not Him. Just as the son in my illustration blew it. It doesn't mean the father was unloving or a "monster". On the contrary, he had given almost complete freedom with only one rule. The one rule was intended to show that He was God, not them.
He is responsible because He is absolutely sovereign.
God's sovereignty does not negate the fact that man is responsible for things...like his own sin for example.
I reiterate a point I made earlier...when you stand before God on judgment day you will not be justified in saying "my sin is your fault".
If you think killing someone for disrespecting you is the right thing to do, you don’t know right from wrong. In your scenario, man saves himself because God is powerless to do it without man’s help.
Yup. Calvinism does tend to throw away some scripture they feel is uncomfortable to its doctrine.
That is incorrect. Please learn your opponent's position before arguing against it.
"Powerless" is the incorrect word to use. God chose this way of salvation--He offers it (and His plan) to everyone, and those who choose to accept will be saved. Arguing against this is merely arguing against Scripture.
Omniscience means that God knows all..which He does. It's doesn't have anything to do with His actions.
We all choose Hell in ourselves. God has chosen to rescue some of us from that choice.
There is no such thing as "free will". There is God's will and there is man's will. "Free will" implies that one, on their own volition, is fully capable of doing the will of God, which is Pelagius heresy. Christians mistakenly carry this heresy over into their Christian life believing they can make decisions that would be beneficial to God or if they don't do something God might be unhappy or disappointed but that's OK. He still loves us anyway. Every soteriology be it Pelagius, Semi-Pelagius, Catholic/Orthodox, or Arminian teaches this in some degree. But this is not what the scriptures teaches.
The real question is how many of us are willing to burn our life's work over something that we know is wrong like the faithful Augustine did?
“those who choose to accept will be saved. “
What about those who don’t accept it?
Do you read what you write?
Then they do not get saved.
So babies who die go to Hell?
There is no point to going further.
I find Catholics are fond of telling other people are wrong and misrepresent their beliefs rather than simply providing a correction of the item in question. Undoubtedly next will be directing me to some nebulous and muddled Church Catechism and saying this will explain everything.
You're a classic example of the person Paul addresses in Rom 9:19-20.
That passage addresses the very argument you're bringing up.
But the fact is that God would be perfectly just if He chose to burn up the world this minute.
All the time.
Sadly, your description is spot on accurate.
... celebrating my 26th or 27th year of freedom from Rome, the “Early Church Fathers”, the papacy, the “Magisterium”, et cetera, ad nauseaum.
ALSO, I’m now celebrating the eternity future with the assurance of the Blood of the Lamb, sealed in the Word of His testimony.
“Augustine tells how once he understood God’s sovereignty, he not only realized how great was his error but he sought to recall many of his writings to burn them. I understand completely what Augustine realized because I went through the same thing.”
While I suppose they exist, I’ve never met anyone who was saved upon hearing the Calvinist message. Every Calvinist I’ve ever met started their Christian life believing they had repented, and been born again. Only later did they come to believe they were given life, born again, and THEN believed and repented.
So if free will and the need to repent to be born again - life following repentance - is heresy, why are [most] Calvinists saved by heresy?
“...but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
I won't. Then again, I'm not a Calvinist. I believe God has given me what I need. If I choose differently, it is surely my fault.
On the other hand, if I believe God has rigged the game so there is no way I can do anything other than sin, since he has not graced me, then I could indeed disclaim responsiblilty.
Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim.
Happy to hear it. But no one will be justified in making the statement.
if I believe God has rigged the game so there is no way I can do anything other than sin, since he has not graced me
If a person has gotten as far as believing in God (and Christ's work) and having an understanding of what grace really is and is anguished about their condition without Him, he/she may very well be on the road to salvation.
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