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 ...
You keep changing your position. Your position is that people are required to do something to be Saved unless they can’t. If they can’t, then God chucks Free Will out the window and decides for them.
And what about all those people who never knew there was a decision to be made? Does God send them to Hell because they didn’t get Saved because they never heard of such a thing?
The Methodists believe that God goes after us and woos us into a relationship with Him. It’s like quasi-Calvinism.
That’s what I find so disturbing about Calvinism. It’s not the poor interpretation of scripture, but the passivity and presumptuousness.
Bad doctrine leads to bad outcomes. If the Devil were to trick Christians it would be through a theological device very much like Calvinism.
“Who will have ALL men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth”
If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll see I am not denying that. God does desire the salvation of all men.
Yet, we see elsewhere that he elects, he foreordains, he predestines.
Both concepts are true. Not just one of them.
I find your summary to be very accurate.
Your prayers for my growth and wisdom in these matters will be greatly appreciated.
“If God chooses the elect, is Paul offering a false promise, or is he ignorant of God’s intentions? “
No, I’d never say that Paul or any inspired writer of Scripture is offering a false promise, or that he is ignorant.
You are walking into the purpose of the law now, which is an entire other subject. A very deep subject.
“It appears that God’s grace and mercy was a response to their choosing.” Yes, it does appear that way in the verses you cited. If that was all the Bible had to say about mankind repenting, I wouldn’t be talking about foreordination, election, predestination etc.
But we have the Romans 9 lengthy passage which I’ve cited quite a bit, as well as many other verses which talk about God foreordaining, electing, and etc. So you have to take the Scripture as a whole.
Consider that Esau tried in some manner to repent, but could not; that Pharoah hardened his heart yet God hardened Pharoah’s heart; that the dry bones were dead and gone yet it was God that gave them life; that God CHOSE Abraham, chose Israel, chose David, and etc., and speaks repeatedly about Him being the one that did the choosing; many other OT references to God’s sovereignty in salvation as well as everything else. Then when you get to the New Testament it is spelled out as in a theology handbook. It is simply declared.
Yet another example (I have posted many):
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover, whom He predestined, those He also called; and whom He called, those He also justified; and whom He justified, those He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30
William Carey (some call him the father of modern missions) was passive, presumptuous?
The Pilgrims were passive? Really? Never heard that before.
And the ones I hear calling the Pilgrims presumptuous are usually God-hatin liberals.
Sure, that is typical of our prideful self at work. It's only after one really thinks about what happens in their salvation that they may understand. To illustrate let me ask every Christian here a simple question.
If people answered that question and ponder their answer, they would be Calvinists. I have yet to find a Christian who didn't say, "Christ saved me."
The Methodists believe that God goes after us and woos us into a relationship with Him. Its like quasi-Calvinism.
As a methodist- you’ve quasi irked me.
Preveient grace is NOTHING like Calvinism
The Methodists believe that God goes after us and woos us into a relationship with Him. Its like quasi-Calvinism.
As a Methodist- you’ve quasi irked me.
Prevenient grace is NOTHING like Calvinism
But doesn’t God choose that person to woo?
“In the above illustration of hearing the message, do you believe God opened up your heart and mind to help you come to Christ?”
But that only makes me a Calvinist if I ALSO believe:
1 - He did so irresistibly, and
2 - He refuses to allow others the same opportunity, because he wants to send them to hell instead.
Agreed. A very deep subject, but arguably necessary to this discussion as far as the idea that man would never choose God on his own.
So you have to take the Scripture as a whole.
Again, agreed. But this means we must reconcile your quote and mine, "justification that brings life for all men" vs "Moreover, whom He predestined, those He also called; and whom He called, those He also justified; and whom He justified, those He also glorified."
Since Calvanism seems to make the more absolute statement, how does Calvanism reconcile those two Biblical statements?
But that only makes me a Calvinist if I ALSO believe:
1 - He did so irresistibly,[sic Like Abraham, Moses, Samson, David, Paul, etc] and
2 - He refuses to allow others the same opportunity, because he wants to send them to hell instead. [sic Man is destined to go to hell anyway. What you are actually saying is it's not fair of God not to give people a choice of where they should go. ]
“Since Calvanism seems to make the more absolute statement, how does Calvanism reconcile those two Biblical statements?”
I think we just have to confess them both.
-God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Moreover, whom He predestined, those He also called; and whom He called, those He also justified; and whom He justified, those He also glorified, having predestined us to be His own adopted children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will. .
The above paragraph is all Scripture, and it is all true. How to understand it? God is sovereign, yet man is held responsible. In all things, God does what is right.
I do not wish to deny one concept OR the other.
And Who created the universe that operates like that?
Christians assume everyone wants to go to heaven if given a choice.
Assume for a moment that people really want to rebel against God and simply don’t care if they go to hell. This is the world we ACTUALLY live in. Simply look around.
That also means God has to exert extra effort to save some of us from ourselves.
And Who created the universe that operates like that?
The question isn't Who created a universe that operates LIKE this. The question is WHY did God create a universe that operates like this.
The question is “could Adam have done otherwise?”
Was Adam perfect or did he have a flaw?
You see Adam's desire for rebellion as a flaw. What if it's neither? What if it's neutral? And what if that same desire for rebellion against the things of God could be turned to rebel against ungodliness? Isn't that what the Holy Spirit does inside each believer?
All the arguing and I am noticing here between Calvinists and Methodists. Now I see why. I really think Methodists
will be very open to the “Great Warning” (non-Catholic
Christians know it as the “awakening”) Rev 6:15-17, more
than other non-Catholic Christian denominations.
Back to the subject, for the rest of Jimmy’s writing
check the link.
~ ~ ~
Predestination means many things to many people. ALL Christian churches believe in some form of predestination, because the Bible uses the term , but what predestination is and how it works are in dispute.
In Protestant circles there are two major camps when it comes to predestination: Calvinism and Arminianism . Calvinism is common in Presbyterian, Reformed, and a few Baptist churches. Arminianism is common in Methodist, Pentecostal, and most Baptist churches .
Even though Calvinists are a minority among Protestants today, their view has had enormous influence, especially in this country. This is partly because the Puritans and the Baptists who helped found America were Calvinists, but it is also because Calvinism traditionally has been found among the more intellectual Protestants, giving it a special influence.
Calvinists claim God PREDESTINES people by choosing which individuals will accept his offer of salvation. These people are known as “the elect” . They are not saved against their will. It is because God has chosen them that they will desire to come to him in the first place. Those who are not among the elect, “the reprobate,” will not desire to come to God, will not do so, and thus will not be saved .
Arminians claim God predestines people by pronouncing (but not deciding) who will accept salvation. He makes this pronouncement using his foreknowledge, which enables him to see what people will do in the future. He sees who will choose to accept his offer of salvation. The people who God knows will repent are those he regards as his “elect” or “chosen” people.
The debate between Calvinists and Arminians is often fierce. These groups frequently accuse each other of teaching a false gospel, at least on a theoretical level, although on a practical level there is little difference between the two since both groups command people to have “FAITH ALONE” in order to be saved .
The debate is centered on the well-known formula TULIP. Each letter of this acronym stands for a different doctrine held by classical Calvinists  but rejected by Arminians. The doctrines are: Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints. ...
All the disagreement in this thread plus Catholic Apologist Jimmy Akin’s writing on the non-Catholic Christian differences plus his sharing the Church teaching, it’s not
a one time read to understand.
Why you have ask by whose authority do you believe what you do? The reason we have the Church. God gave her the authority.
~ ~ ~
The Council of Trent (1551-52)
“If anyone says that it is not in the power of man to make his ways evil, but that God produces the evil as well as the good works, not only by permission, but also properly and of himself, so that the betrayal of Judas is no less his own proper work than the vocation of Paul, let him be anathema.... If anyone shall say that the grace of justification is attained by those only who are predestined unto life, but that all others, who are called, are called indeed, but do not receive grace, as if they are by divine power predestined to evil, let him be anathema.”
“He did so irresistibly,[sic Like Abraham, Moses, Samson...”
You confuse foreknowing with forcing. What does it say about Abraham?
“6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”
Abraham believed, not Abraham received belief. Noun, verb. He believed. Active: he DID it.
“Man is destined to go to hell anyway. What you are actually saying is it’s not fair of God not to give people a choice of where they should go.”
If we access grace by faith, and God gives faith to some (which never, ever happens in scripture) and refuses to give it to others, then God chooses to send people to hell, for his pleasure.
That most will go there is not in dispute. That God wants them to go there, and refuses to allow them to repent, is. When Jesus said, “Whosoever believes...”, I think he meant it. I don’t think he meant, “Whosoever I give belief to...”
Part of the problem with Calvinism is that it makes God a liar, and the words of scripture false. If Calvinism is true, there ought to be at least one verse in scripture saying God gives men saving faith as a gift. There is no such verse.
And there should be no verses showing God seeking to save men - yet that is how he is consistently portrayed.
Yes Abraham believed God. The reason Abraham believed God was because Abraham was part of the flock.
Joh 10:26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.
Everything is done according to the will of God and for His pleasure. God deliberately hardens peoples hearts to enact His plan. Right now a hardening of the hearts of the Jews is happening until the fullness of the Gentiles come to past. This is part of His plan. You may think this is rather mean of God but as CS Lewis points out, most people would rather reign in hell than to serve in heaven.
Part of the problem with Calvinism is that it makes God a liar...If Calvinism is true, there ought to be at least one verse in scripture saying God gives men saving faith as a gift.
Faith comes to us from God and this is saving faith. It is GIVEN to us by God through hearing His words.
And there should be no verses showing God seeking to save men
Well, there is Christ's mission. Do you believe this verse to be correct? Do you believe Christ is actually saving all the lost or are there people who He has failed to save? Do you believe that every person that God wants to be saved will be saved and Christ is triumphed in His mission?
Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Faith comes to us from God and this is saving faith. It is GIVEN to us by God through hearing His words.
Actually, Romans 10 supports the non-Calvinist.
“6 But the righteousness based on faith says, Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or Who will descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us? 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Notice this is about how God seeks us out. God reaching to us, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved...For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.”
Faith is what exists when someone hears the Gospel and believes. That is the definition of faith:
“1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.”
If you believe what someone says, you have faith in them. If you believe the Gospel, you have faith in the promise of God. Saving faith is something that YOU do. It is not something God gives, nor does it follow regeneration. It is the cause of regeneration, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
It is not given irresistibly by God to enable someone to hear - for that is what Calvin argues, that a man cannot hear the Gospel unless God first regenerates him.
The call goes out, but not all respond. “But they have not all obeyed the gospel.” The Gospel starts with the command to repent, and not all do. Most do not. Their choice.
“Do you believe Christ is actually saving all the lost or are there people who He has failed to save? Do you believe that every person that God wants to be saved will be saved and Christ is triumphed in His mission?”
I believe what Paul wrote: “But they have not all obeyed the gospel.” Or as he said in Acts: “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.”
He doesn’t say God has denied them life, and thus they cannot believe. He says “Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life...”
There is no claim here that God prevented them from believing. No claim that God refused them, or that God hardened their hearts to prevent their belief. Many reject the Gospel, and many reject the revelation God has given every man:
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Notice: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him...”
Not that they were dead, and God chose not to regenerate them so they could understand, but “although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him...”
Romans 10:17 does not, in any way, suggest that faith is given by God to man. It instead teaches that men may respond with faith to the Gospel message proclaimed by Christians:
“14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!
You have the doublethink down pat, I'll give you that.
Adam's sin was caused by his perfection. That's amazing.
Hi, no reply, this is fine.
I looked for a simple explanation for why Calvinism is heresy. Read the question and answer, the answer sounds like God’s way of doing things.
~ ~ ~
I have a question about predestination. I think I believe in it, I believe that some people from the very beginning are chosen, by God, to be either good or bad, go to hell, purgatory or straight to heaven. Think about Hitler in Germany or about Stalin in the Soviet Union. People commit sins and that’s why wars break out and will always break out because people will never stop committing sins. I think, as a punishment, God chose Hitler as his tool to punish people, isn’t it predestination. Now think about Father Pio (bore the wounds of christ on his person for fifty years), at a very early age father Pio had visions of his Guardian Angel, Holy Mary and Jesus, because God has chosen him, as a tool of salvation for many other people whom he managed to help during his life, isn’t it predestination, I think it is. What are your thoughts about it? Thank You!
The definition of predestination that you are describing comes from the heresy of John Calvin. If we think about it a minute, how can a loving Heavenly Father predestine someone to hell? What father would do that?
John Calvin had this notion that some are predestined to hell, others to heaven, and there is nothing the person could do about it. Obviously, there is no free will in this economy. Some go to hell whether they like it or not, and others go to heaven whether they like it or not.
To resolve that problem, Calvin came up with the notion of “irresistible grace”. This means that those on the list to go to heaven WILL accept God’s grace even if they don’t want to. God’s grace is “irresistible” and therefore cannot be refused.
These notions are NONSENSE, unbiblical, and offensive to a God who is love.
St. Peter, our first Pope teaches us: “The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 PET 3:9)
So what is predestination?
+ + Predestination is not a willing of God to assign someone to heaven or hell, rather it is a FOREKNOWLEDGE where God KNOWS from all eternity which people will CHOOSE Him and which will not. He has predestined heaven for those who accept Him and hell for those who reject. BUT MAN IS FREE to choose good or evil. + +
How this foreknowledge and man’s free will are compatible is a mystery. We can speculate and grab on to some notions of how this is possible, but in the end it is a mystery hidden in God.
An imperfect analogy might be an old married couple, married for 50 years. They know each other so well that they can “know” what the other will do in advance of them doing it. This foreknowledge does not force the husband, for example, to do what he does, he does it out of free choice; it is just that the wife “knows” he will do it.
Such foreknowledge does not interfere with free will, it just knows what choice the husband will make.
Although this analogy is very imperfect, it does give us a clue to how foreknowledge does not interfere with free will.
As for God choosing people for certain things, yes, He does that with all of us, but He DOES NOT force anyone to live out that calling. Even the Blessed Mother, who was called to be the Mother of God, was not forced. She could have refused God’s plan. We see in the book of Luke that Mary made a free will choice to accept God’s plan. This is called Mary’s Fiat. The same choice must be made to accept God’s plan for us whether the person is Padre Pio, or you and me.
As for Hitler and Stalin being instruments of God’s punishment, we need to be very careful about such notions.
God does not perpetrate material evil upon people. He offers them love and justice, but does not perpetrate material or actual evil.
The evil that harms us is created by ourselves — mankind — and by the devil. Hitler was a product of his upbringing, his decisions, and maybe a mental disease, and maybe demon possession. He decided to do what he did, and Stalin too. The evil perpetrated upon the world by them was accomplished through their free will choice to do what they did.
I do not believe God “willed” the horror of Hitler or Stalin, or “willed” the AIDS epidemic or the like in any way. Hitler, Stalin, AIDS, hunger, war, etc. are all products of human sin. Thus we punish ourselves, God doesn’t have to zap us, we zap ourselves.
Nope. I didn't say Adam's sin was caused by his perfection. What I said was
2) God created him just the way he was,
3) while in this perfect state Adam sinned,
4) God knew that what He was creating would rebel against Him, and
5) God knew the punishment laid out for Adam even before his creation and rebellion.
If people wish to understand what caused Adam to sin and fall in a state of absolute perfection, I would suggest they ponder this verse which holds the clue:
Jhn 5:44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
This is the trouble with all of us.
I normally do a lot of reading on Catholic websites to understand Catholic positions. I would suggest you look at more informed sources on Reformed sites if you are serious about understanding the Reformed view.
I do not believe God willed the horror of Hitler or Stalin, or willed the AIDS epidemic or the like in any way. Hitler, Stalin, AIDS, hunger, war, etc. are all products of human sin. Thus we punish ourselves, God doesnt have to zap us, we zap ourselves.
It's as if they are trying to defend God's actions.
The truth is that God tells us that He does these things in many places throughout scripture to call His people into repentance. One should consider the following passages of Amos:
Amo 4:7 "I also withheld the rain from you when there were yet three months to the harvest; I would send rain on one city, and send no rain on another city; one field would have rain, and the field on which it did not rain would wither;
Amo 4:8 so two or three cities would wander to another city to drink water, and would not be satisfied; yet you did not return to me," declares the LORD.
Amo 4:9 "I struck you with blight and mildew; your many gardens and your vineyards, your fig trees and your olive trees the locust devoured; yet you did not return to me," declares the LORD.
Amo 4:10 "I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt; I killed your young men with the sword, and carried away your horses, [fn] and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils; yet you did not return to me," declares the LORD.
Amo 4:11 "I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were as a brand [fn] plucked out of the burning; yet you did not return to me," declares the LORD.
If God isn't afraid to say so neither should we. The source of the problem is the hardness and corruption of our hearts. If we can't acknowledge the problem, we certainly won't acknowledge the remedy.
I’d never heard of William Carey, but his wikipedia page shows a quite tragic figure. It doesn’t say who christened him with the title “the father of modern missions”, but it sounds more subjective than definitional as missionary work was continuous in the Catholic Church.
As for passivity and presumptuousness I was referring to Calvinism’s heresies, not any specific persons who may or may not be active and/or humble. If I understand the doctrine correctly, please feel free to explain it better to me if I don’t, Calvinism essentially believes that Calvinists will be the only ones saved because they were elected to be saved by God in advance. You know you are saved because you believe this. It makes the rest of humanity mere window dressing.
It leads to a passivity about the salvation of others and a “I’m saved now pull the ladder up” attitude among its professors. At least that is my personal experience with Calvinism. I am certain that exceptions exist, though.
What is “amazing” is that your definition of “perfect” includes the ability to sin.
He had some tragedy in his life. I think may missionaries have...I don't know what this has to do with the point. My point was he spent years evangelizing in India (a founder of the Bapitist missionary society) and one of his major achievements was translating the Bible into many indian languages and dialects.
This is not a passive person. Rather, it depicts a person who because of a knowledge of who God is and what he does in people's lives is activated to spend his whole life in working to spread the Gospel. Why would he bother working to allow the Indians to know what was in God's word if he was passive about the Gospel?
Calvinism essentially believes that Calvinists will be the only ones saved because they were elected
No, you've got your facts wrong. Calvinists believe that christians across the spectrum are saved. The theology that God has elected His people before the foundations of the earch is shown very clearly in passages like Eph 1. Whether you believe in that particularly theology or not doesn't mean you are or aren't saved. The difference is that if you believe it it brings assurance. It doesn't mean we have no will or choices in life. But it means God is sovereign.
Calvin emphasized God's sovereignty and he was not the first to do so. Augustine also dwelt on God's sovereignty and was well aware of his own fickleness as a man. He had tossed and turned through many years of his life. In the end Augustine knew that he in his frailty would not have chosen God and that knowledge brought him rest and assurance; it is God that puts His church together and makes Himself known.
Your ideas about "pulling the ladder up" idiotic if I may be so blunt. (I say that not to you...I say that to many who twist what Calvinists are saying). NO Calvinist would say he/she does not now have to obey God. They know the Great Commission is out there and they are intent on obedience. EVERY Calvinist will tell you they don't know who God is drawing to Himself; thus, there is a need to preach/teach the truth to anyone God puts in their path. You only have to look at history (and the active calvinists out there in the world today) to know that passivity among them is a myth. The very premise of this article (that Calvinism is growing in the SBC) shows that Calvinists are not "pulling the ladder up". The movement is not shrinking, it's growing because in general Calvinists are working to spread a message of assurance among His people.
The plan was going to happen whatever choice Mary made. The angel starts by saying God was with with her (even though she was troubled He was still with her). Then He tells her she is going to be with child and give birth to the Son of the Most High.
I don't see God leaving the plan up to her choice.
She then believed the message and said she had been blessed by Him.
If a Christian wishes to know or describe God in human terms, s/he looks to Christ, God Incarnate.
Now, if you can imagine Christ "willing the horror of Hitler or Stalin" in order that they may "return to Him" somewhere along the way, you made a wrong turn in your view of God.
This, IMHO, is the primary heresy of Calvinism - it posits a cruel and capricious god, a god that kills and tortures so that humans will love him. An absurd view for orthodox Christians.
This is the god portrayed by atheists and the view of God that has produced more atheists than Christians, IMHO. It is nowhere near the God the Father that Jesus taught.
You describe a cosmos where human life and decisions are meaningless.
A desired goal of many christians is to exercise our will in conjunction with God's
What's meaningless about that?
Sounds like a peaceful (little enmity with God) and pretty rich life to me.
This reply is at odds with your previous one.
Is Mary’s choice the only meaningless one?
Well, that comment rakes up there with comments coming from Nancy Pelosi these days. Was Christ perfect and was He capable of sinning? That in itself should shed light on your statement.
Nonsense. God is neither cruel or wicked. Instead He is perfect love and kindness. What your statement shows is truly a lack of understanding of the depths of the depravity and wickedness of man.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the exact same God of the Old Testament as He is of the New. It is He that rain fire on Sodom and brought the plagues on Egypt. And He was right to do so. It is justice and God trying to get our attention and we are better off for it, still talking about it all these centuries later. This statement is silly and simply shows a lack of understanding on the wickedness of man, a refusal to acknowledge our sinful state, and an inability to reconcile what God has revealed about Himself in ALL of the scriptures. People have far more regards for themselves then they should and in doing so they simply lower the glory of God.
Our Lord Jesus had no problem in saying what He would do in the last days, comparing the final destruction of man to the days of Noah or Sodom (some of the worst destruction)-and neither did Peter:
2Pe 2:6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
2Pe 2:7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked
2Pe 2:8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);
2Pe 2:9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
2Pe 2:10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,
2Pe 2:11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord.
2Pe 2:12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction,
I believe your initial point was laying the wickedness of Hitler and Stalin on God - not man. Which is it? I think your argument tries to have it both ways.
***I do not need to convert anyone. ***
You CAN’T convert anyone, that is up to the Holy Spirit. We are all called to share the gospel to everyone we meet. The Holy Spirit does his work, we do our responsibilities. We tell others about God because he loved us.
If it were up to us, all we would need is a good arguement, be a solid conversationalist, have a snappy comeback, and be convincing. And, if we weren’t convincing enough, and the person we were talking to went to Hell, WE FAILED!!! So, how many people have you failed to convince yet?
Please show me where I lay the "wickedness of Hitler...on God". I'd be interested in see that.
What I've stated is that God raises these wicked people up to bring His people back to Him when we stray from Him. This is what the ENTIRE book of Judges teaches us.
What I've stated is that God raises these wicked people up to bring His people back
God is omnipotent and he created man with free will.
Contemplating the two, we often come to paradoxes. Some wish to resolve the paradoxes by denying one or the other.
Calvinism denies the latter and makes God responsible for all sin, and man not responsible at all.
since I belong to no religious denomonation, I have a qustion about God forcing us to do something.....With the wedding of the bride and groom (jesus and his bride) doesn’t the new testiment say that God saw that the hall was not full and sent his angels to force people into the wedding feast....not sure which NT book it is in...
“I have a qustion about God forcing us to do something. . .”
Most of us do, “forcing” isn’t the world I’d use, although I understand why you are using it. But in the parable you mention, the word “compel” is used, it’s a synonym for “force,” so maybe saying “force” is correct.
The parable about the wedding goes like this:
“Then He said to him, A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, Come, for all things are now ready.
But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused. Still another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came and reported these things to his master.
Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind. And the servant said, Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.
Then the master said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.
From Luke chapter 14.
Jdg 3:2 It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before.
Jdg 3:3 These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath.
Jdg 3:4 They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.I'm always amazed at how clearly God can write His text and yet we simply ignore what He has written.
Perhaps there IS no paradox. Perhaps there is God's will and man's will-ONLY.
Calvinism denies the latter and makes God responsible for all sin
Actually Calvin states that man has free will. It just that it tends to be driven towards evil. After we're saved then that will is driven towards good. People here keep saying man has "free will" yet they fail to explain WHY they don't follow Christ completely. I find Calvin's explanation far more plausible simply by knowing my own heart.
Even as a Christian I do the things I don't want to do and the very things I should do, I don't do them. This is the nature of our hearts. The ONLY reason I do anything good is because Christ has promise me that I would produce good works by working through me. I rest upon His promise that I'll do good things. I don't keep tallly of trying to do good because I don't presume to know what are the things that are pleasing to God. I don't worry about WHAT good things I'm trying to do. I only have to be faithful to God's commands-which keeps me busy enough.
Free will presumes that a person REALLY knows those things that will make God happy and does them. If a person knows that, then why don't they do it?
As far as making "God responsible for all sin" I would call your attention to the following verse:
Cain HAD a choice. In fact God told Cain that he COULD rule over sin. But Cain doesn't want to. As soon as God tells this to Cain, off Cain went to murder his brother Abel. You see, sin is what we WANT to do unless God changes our heart. This is the nature of man. That doesn't make God responsible.