A place for limited moderation of a formal discussion between two people on a particular topic in a public meeting, in which opposing arguments are put forward.

Calvinism vs Free WIll

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Calvinism vs Free WIll

    I don't believe in Calvanism, because the verses referring to predestination in the Bible are not referring to salvation, but rather the idea that God can do what he wants, assuming it isn't contradicting his just and loving nature. However, obviously, Calvanism does contradict God's nature.

    It makes a literal joke of free will, obedience, and justice. How can one be condemned to hell, knowing his/her own actions did not send him/her there? Normally Calvanists have some weird story to explain the situation. However, common sense can tell you it's wrong.

    #2
    Originally posted by Jason76 View Post
    I don't believe in Calvanism, because the verses referring to predestination in the Bible are not referring to salvation, but rather the idea that God can do what he wants, assuming it isn't contradicting his just and loving nature. However, obviously, Calvanism does contradict God's nature.

    It makes a literal joke of free will, obedience, and justice. How can one be condemned to hell, knowing his/her own actions did not send him/her there? Normally Calvanists have some weird story to explain the situation. However, common sense can tell you it's wrong.
    Hi Jason, let's start from the top with your comment about "verses" that refer to .. well, anything actually ;) First off, it's very helpful in a discussion like this one to give some examples of what you mean, IOW, you need to back up what you are claiming by giving us a reference or two rather than simply making a blanket statement that we are all supposed to accept at face value.

    For instance, there are a couple of passages that come immediately to my mind when I think about the Biblical uses of the word, "predestination", and the ones I'm thinking of seem to be referring to at least one aspect or more of our salvation (at least, that's what they mean to me). Now I could just leave it at that, but I'd rather let everyone here consider the passages that I'm thinking of for themselves, and whether or not they believe what I do about them. So here they are (Romans 8:29-30 is often referred to as "The Golden Chain of Redemption", and my second example, from Ephesians 1, is also about our redemption in Christ, so I'm having difficulty understanding why you believe these passages have nothing to do with our salvation!):
    28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
    29 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.
    30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. ~Romans 8
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
    4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
    5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
    6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. ~Ephesians 1
    So if these verses, which not only talk about "predestination", they actually use the word itself, are not referring to our salvation in some manner, what are they referring to then?

    Thanks!

    Yours and His,
    David



    "As many as had been appointed
    to eternal life believed"

    Acts 13:48
    Last edited by David Lee; 10-18-2016, 02:22 AM.
    Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

    "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

    "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

    "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

    "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
    Comment>

      #3
      In reference to the second part of your opening paragraph, could you give us some examples, with references, of course ;), of the various aspects of God's nature that you believe are contradicted by Calvinism, and why/how you believe they are?

      Thanks again!

      --David
      Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

      "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

      "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

      "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

      "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
      Comment>

        #4
        Originally posted by Jason76 View Post
        How can one be condemned to hell, knowing his/her own actions did not send him/her there?
        Hi again Jason, let me start by saying that, according to Calvin, Calvinism and the Bible, no one will be condemned in the Judgment and sent to Hell who does not deserve to be there, and who has not PERSONALLY sinned against God .. i.e. Romans 2:12-16. Why do you believe that Calvinism teaches that God will send to Hell, those who do not rightly deserve to be there?

        Thanks!

        In Christ,
        David
        p.s. - I'll stop and give you a chance to respond before I go on with anymore of your OP.
        Last edited by David Lee; 10-18-2016, 02:38 AM.
        Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

        "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

        "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

        "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

        "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
        Comment>

          #5
          John 15-4:5 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
          The verses on predestination as interpreted by Calvinists clearly contradict other verses showing salvation to be an ongoing and free choice. Therefore, common sense will tell us, that there must be another explanation. However, note some theologians try to sidetrack the issue by claiming certain verses like John 15-4;5 are not referring to salvation, but rather to Israel the Kingdom.
          Comment>

            #6
            Hi Jason, "predestination" speaks of an action taken by God prior to the time that it actually happens. What does Jesus' command to His children about our need to continually, "abide in Him", have to do with God's predestination of the elect to adoption and salvation?

            Thanks!

            Yours and His,
            David
            Last edited by David Lee; 10-19-2016, 05:43 PM.
            Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

            "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

            "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

            "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

            "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
            Comment>

              #7
              Originally posted by Jason76 View Post
              The verses on predestination as interpreted by Calvinists clearly contradict other verses showing salvation to be an ongoing and free choice. Therefore, common sense will tell us, that there must be another explanation.
              Hi Jason, that's certainly one possibility. However, for those of us who believe that "eternal life" is something that we come to possess from the moment we first believe (i.e. see John 5:24), "common sense" tells us that the verses concerning our sanctification (which you seem to be referring to) are necessarily qualified by the verses that concern our justification (rather than the other way around*).
              He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. ~John 5:24
              So the question is, do we abide in Christ to BECOME saved, or do we abide in Christ because we already ARE saved? While you seem determined that it is the former, my answer would be that our love for God and for others, our obedience and continual choice to "abide in Him" and to please Him in all that we do, say and think, is the RESULT of our salvation, NOT its cause. The Apostle Paul tells us that we are saved by grace through faith, apart from works of any kind, and that the work that He performed in our hearts and minds to save us in the first place has a purpose, that it "results" in something, in "good works", but he never says that what "we" do is what saves us, does he?

              Here's the short little passage that tells us all of this:

              8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
              9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
              10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them ~Ephesians 2
              V10 tells us that we (His saints) are His masterpiece, and that we were saved/created in Him FOR good works, not because of them, right?

              It seems you may have a different opinion however? If so, please elaborate.

              Thanks!

              Yours in Christ,
              David

              "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which
              we have done in righteousness, but
              according to His mercy"

              Titus 3:5






              *The verses about our "sanctification" help to give us the assurance that we are who we claim to be, IOW, that we "pass the test" and are truly saved and in the faith .. 2 Corinthians 13:5; James 2:24). Or they condemn us and help us understand that we are not who we claim to be, and that we were never really and truly saved to begin with.
              Last edited by David Lee; 10-19-2016, 07:03 PM.
              Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

              "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

              "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

              "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

              "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
              Comment>

                #8
                Originally posted by St_Worm2 View Post
                He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. ~John 5:24
                However, that's a thing of the moment. It's not forever, unless the person avoids mortal sin, which would be the sins that St. Paul claims kill the soul. However, I don't think 99 to 100 percent of people are strong enough to do that.

                Originally posted by St_Worm2 View Post
                "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which
                we have done in righteousness, but
                according to His mercy"
                True, someone walking in the spirit, in other words, not commiting mortal sin, is saved totally due to mercy. Nonetheless, that person has a free will to commit mortal sin after they've been saved.

                Note in the Parable of the Vine, Jesus speaks of abiding in him. In other words, our righteousness flows from him, not our own doing. Nonetheless, the same parable speaks of certain branches being cut off and burned.
                Comment>

                  #9
                  I do not want to interrupt your debate. However, Jason, perhaps if you find time, you may enjoy this video series. If for nothing more than to understand better the position you're opposing. A lot of history is found in this series, including the five points of Arminianism: Amazing Grace - The History and Theology of Calvinism -Christforums

                  God bless,
                  William
                  Comment>

                    #10
                    Hi again Jason, I used John 5:24 as an example and you commented about it, so lets take a little closer look at what the Lord is trying to teach us there .. and what He isn't ;) Here's the verse again:
                    He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. ~John 5:24
                    Now about v24, you wrote:

                    Originally posted by Jason76 View Post
                    However, that's a thing of the moment. It's not forever, unless the person avoids mortal sin, which would be the sins that St. Paul claims kill the soul. However, I don't think 99 to 100 percent of people are strong enough to do that.
                    Actually, I believe the Lord worded v24 to make absolutely sure that no one can miss the fact that "eternal life" is just that, IOW, that it IS "forever" (which is what "eternal" actually means, isn't it ;)). Here are several reason why I believe this:
                    1) αἰώνιος [aionios] always means "eternal", "everlasting", "without end", "never ceasing", etc., IOW, when the Lord speaks of "eternal" life, He doesn't have "temporary" or "probationary' life in mind. If He did, He wouldn't have used αἰώνιος [aionios].

                    2) ἔχω [echo] which is translated "hath" or "has" most times is in the present tense. This gives us the sense not only of something that someone has just come into possession of, but also of something that they have both now and forevermore.

                    3) And as if that isn't enough, the Lord continues to make His point (so that no one can miss it) by explaining to us that those who "hear and believe", and have therefore come to possess "eternal life" will no longer be condemned or face judgment with the lost, but have, in fact, from the very moment they believed, passed from death to life! The verb that He employs here, μεταβαίνω [metabaino], "has passed", is again helpful to us as it is in the perfect tense (which indicates a completed action). IOW, the one who "believes" is already saved because he/she has already passed from death to life (amen)!
                    "Eternal life" is exactly that, ETERNAL, and the Lord has gone to great lengths to make sure that we understand exactly what He meant when He used the term :)

                    Yours and His,
                    David
                    Last edited by David Lee; 10-20-2016, 05:07 PM.
                    Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                    "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                    "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                    "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                    "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                    Comment>

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jason76 View Post
                      ...unless the person avoids mortal sin, which would be the sins that St. Paul claims kill the soul ... someone walking in the spirit, in other words, not committing mortal sin, is saved totally due to mercy.
                      Hi again Jason, we haven't discussed my last post on John 5:24 yet, but I'll move on with this anyway.

                      First off, you said that a person who is "not committing mortal sins, is saved totally due to mercy". My question is, "why would a person who's not sinning need God to be merciful"?

                      Second, are there really sins that you believe God is "ok" with? Our first parents got themselves in BIG doo-doo for taking a bite out of an apple :eek: What sin could possibly be more innocuous than that?

                      Finally, you believe that we're saved by God's grace at a moment in time, but ONLY for that particular moment, right? After that, our salvation becomes a matter of our obedience.

                      The thing is, our progenitors (who I will point out had no fallen nature to contend with like we do) couldn't do it, and they only had ONE commandment to obey. We have 1,663 written commandments that we need to obey perfectly, so where does that leave us?

                      If we are required to be obedient to be saved, how can we claim to be saved by grace? (i.e. Romans 11:6)

                      Thanks!

                      --David




                      "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on
                      our behalf, that we might become the
                      righteousness of God in Him"

                      2 Corinthians 5:21

                      Last edited by David Lee; 10-20-2016, 10:57 PM.
                      Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                      "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                      "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                      "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                      "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                      Comment>

                        #12
                        Originally posted by St_Worm2 View Post
                        First off, you said that a person who is "not committing mortal sins, is saved totally due to mercy". My question is, "why would a person who's not sinning need God to be merciful"?
                        Well, that's because the reason the person isn't commiting mortal sin is due to the fact he is seeking God's help constantly thru prayer, confession, going to church etc... However, if he refused that help then he would fall into mortal sin, as that's just a natural human tendency. People would suffer eternal damnation because they refuse help. That's the only reason.

                        Originally posted by St_Worm2 View Post
                        Second, are there really sins that you believe God is "ok" with? Our first parents got themselves in BIG doo-doo for taking a bite out of an apple :eek: What sin could possibly be more innocuous than that?
                        Some sins are known as venial sins, but of course, they're not the fun kind, lol. Basically, St Paul spelled out certain sins which kill the soul and therefore, unless repentence is done, would seperate one from God upon death. However, those sins are so numerous that nearly everyone does them who isn't in God's favor. I mean, sure most of us don't murder, but many of us lie as well as exhibit other imperfection.
                        Comment>

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Jason76 View Post
                          Well, that's because the reason the person isn't commiting mortal sin is due to the fact he is seeking God's help constantly thru prayer, confession, going to church etc... However, if he refused that help then he would fall into mortal sin, as that's just a natural human tendency. People would suffer eternal damnation because they refuse help. That's the only reason.
                          A dead man cannot refuse or accept without first being regenerated (an act of monergism). Ephesians 2:5 speaks of the timing that regeneration occurs. When you are dead, God made you alive, you were then born again, born from above, or regenerated. John 3 how can a man do the will of the Father, when he cannot see let alone enter the kingdom of God, he cannot even draw himself towards the object of faith John 6:44 lest he be born again.
                          • Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

                          You quoted John 15:4-5:
                          • 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
                          • 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.


                          Christ has no other object in view than to keep us as a hen keepeth her chickens under her wings, (Matthew 23:37) lest our indifference should carry us away, and make us fly to our destruction. In order to prove that he did not begin the work of our salvation for the purpose of leaving it imperfect in the middle of the course, he promises that his Spirit will always be efficacious in us, if we do not prevent him. Abide in me, says he; for I am ready to abide in you And again, He who abideth in me beareth much fruit. By these words he declares that all who have a living root in him are fruit-bearing branches.

                          Without me you can do nothing. This is the conclusion and application of the whole parable. So long as we are separate from him, we bear no fruit that is good and acceptable to God, for we are unable to do anything good. The Papists not only extenuate this statement, but destroy its substance, and, indeed, they altogether evade it; for, though in words they acknowledge that we can do nothing without Christ, yet they foolishly imagine that they possess some power, which is not sufficient in itself, but, being aided by the grace of God, co-operates (as they say,) that is, works along with it; for they cannot endure that man should be so much annihilated as to do nothing of himself. But these words of Christ are too plain to be evaded so easily as they suppose. The doctrine invented by the Papists is, that we can do nothing without Christ, but that, aided by him, we have something of ourselves in addition to his grace. But Christ, on the other hand, declares that we can do nothing of ourselves. The branch, he says, beareth not fruit of itself; and, therefore, he not only extols the aid of his co-operating grace, but deprives us entirely of all power but what he imparts to us. Accordingly, this phrase, without me, must be explained as meaning, except from me. - John Calvin
                          Believers are branches of this vine, which supposes that Christ is the root of the vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree (Romans 11:18), diffuses sap to it, and is all in all to its flourishing and fruitfulness; and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, some on one side of the house or wall, others on the other side; yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all good Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, yet meet in Christ, the centre of their unity. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and insufficient to stand of themselves, but as they are borne up. See Ezekiel 15:2.

                          We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes (Isaiah 5:2), and from a Christian we look for Christianity; this is the fruit, a Christian temper and disposition, a Christian life and conversation, Christian devotions and Christian designs. We must honour God, and do good, and exemplify the purity and power of the religion we profess; and this is bearing fruit. The disciples here must be fruitful, as Christians, in all the fruits of righteousness, and as apostles, in diffusing the savour of the knowledge of Christ. To persuade them to this, he urges,

                          (1.) The doom of the unfruitful (John 15:2): They are taken away. It is here intimated that there are many who pass for branches in Christ who yet do not bear fruit. Were they really united to Christ by faith, they would bear fruit; but being only tied to him by the thread of an outward profession, though they seem to be branches, they will soon be seen to be dry ones. Unfruitful professors are unfaithful professors; professors, and no more. It might be read, Every branch that beareth not fruit in me, and it comes much to one; for those that do not bear fruit in Christ, and in his Spirit and grace, are as if they bore no fruit at all, Hosea 10:1. It is here threatened that they shall be taken away, in justice to them and in kindness to the rest of the branches. From him that has not real union with Christ, and fruit produced thereby, shall be taken away even that which he seemed to have, Luke 8:18. Some think this refers primarily to Judas. - Matthew Henry
                          We are by nature dry and fit for nothing but the fire. Therefore, in order that we may live and be fruitful, we must first be grafted into Christ, as it were into a vine, by the Father's hand: and then be daily molded with a continual meditation of the word, and the cross: otherwise it will not avail any man at all to have been grafted unless he cleaves fast to the vine, and so draws juice out of it. - Geneva Study Bible
                          Judas now being removed, to whom he may have some respect in this verse; though it may be applied to anyone who has made a profession of Christ, and denies the truths of the Gospel, neglects the ordinances of it, or walks unworthy of his profession: of whom the following things may be truly said, he is cast forth as a branch; that is unfruitful, and is therefore taken away from the vine, and cast forth out of the vineyard.

                          A branch must bear fruit, that is, saving faith is when we place our trust in Christ alone. This is something Judas never did, although he was considered a disciple, he was never saved, but from the devil. I think it is an error to assume that all people in the visible church are saved, to be a Christian or disciple does not mean that a person has a saving faith. Nor is it our job to determine who is saved or not, though by their fruit we shall know them. Faith is an action based on belief sustained by confidence in God. Without an action, it is a dead faith, one that bears no fruit, and shall be taken away by the vine dresser. This is not to say that the fruit of the branch is from the branch but from the root which is Christ from where our life springs. Regeneration puts in us a desire for God, a desire that never existed before for spiritual things, thus we were dead in sin and trespasses. We were made altogether alive, and our old nature, which were slaves to sin is replaced by a new nature animated by the Holy Spirit.

                          Calvinist do not define free will as having a choice, in this regard you are putting up a strawman or red herring. Calvinist reject an autonomous will or libertarian will. Another words, you have a sin nature, a nature that prevents one from doing what God considers good works in your natural state (the branch bears no fruit of its own without the root). Unless you reject original sin, or are Pelagian? Are you Catholic? I just thought to ask because of your use of Venial or Mortal sins allusion. Are you suggesting that a mortal sin like those committed by Moses or Saul prevent them from Salvation? Or are you suggesting that there's a sin that is unforgivable by God? Which sin makes Jesus' atonement insufficient?

                          On the topic of an autonomous or libertarian will, an argument from a Calvinist might suggest that you have a choice to flap your arms like a bird and fly towards the heavens. Just because you have the choice does not mean you're capable of reaching heaven by your own efforts. Flap away! You are grounded by your human nature. The same can be said about our sin nature, which prevents us from doing any Good works in the eyes of God, all our works are nothing more than filthy rags Isaiah 64:6. This is not to say that man cannot do works considered good by other men, but this does mean that in the eyes of God our good works are nothing more than filthy rags. Works which unbelievers do as much as believers, example, helping a lady across the street, giving to charity etc, "without being compelled by the law" (biblical free will).

                          God bless,
                          William
                          Comment>

                            #14
                            A person who commits mortal sin, whether or not, they had previously converted to Christianity is a dead man. The scripture is very clear mortal sin kills the soul. It doesn't just kill the soul of someone who never converted to Christianity.

                            However, on the bright side, every time someone repents, then the game starts over at zero. Therefore, regeneration is not a one time event, but rather a continuing thing. Also, baptism is simply a sign of the covenant, not an indication of eternal security.

                            Another deep thought is the following: "If Satan fell from a perfect position in heaven, then why can't we?".
                            Comment>

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Jason76 View Post
                              "If Satan fell from a perfect position in heaven, then why can't we?"
                              What do you mean by a "perfect position"?
                              • Mark 10:18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

                              And, there is no atonement for the fallen angels but the lake of fire.
                              • Revelation 20:10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
                              • Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

                              God bless,
                              William

                              Comment>
                              Working...
                              X
                              Articles - News - SiteMap