Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#76

Post by Philip » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:43 pm

So Philip, I'm not sure if I'm reading you correctly. Are you a Calvinist?
Disobeyed my own advice, eh, Rick? :? It's like baiting a trap - just can't resist the urge to defend.

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#77

Post by RickD » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:46 pm

Philip wrote:
So Philip, I'm not sure if I'm reading you correctly. Are you a Calvinist?
Disobeyed my own advice, eh, Rick? :? It's like baiting a trap - just can't resist the urge to defend.
:pound:
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24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, 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.

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#78

Post by Philip » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:08 pm

I'm guessing a large percentage of guys on this forum have wives that would swear they would argue with a sign post! Not mine, of course. :mrgreen:

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#79

Post by narnia4 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:08 pm

Philip wrote:
But Calvinists do believe that God desires all repent.
Yeah, sure they do. And according to the Five Points, we can see how He so well made sure that was even possible. :shakehead: Truly, that statement is the equivalent of calling black, white! :shakehead:
No wonder you have trouble with these conversations...

I can only say what I believe Scripture to say or what Calvinists in general believe. Calvinists believe that it is man separating himself from God, same as most other Christian groups/denominations/traditions. If you just don't believe me, well, then you're right that we won't get very far in any conversation.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#80

Post by RickD » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:10 pm

Philip wrote:I'm guessing a large percentage of guys on this forum have wives that would swear they would argue with a sign post! Not mine, of course. :mrgreen:
If arguing here, keeps you from arguing with your wife, then what's so bad about that?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, 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.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#81

Post by 1over137 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:22 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:My question is this:
If the apostles are saved through Faith in Christ and that faith is given By Christ, why would God be concerned about them perishing?
So concerned in fact that he "delays" the end of days" so that those already saved by faith will not perish?
Doesn't seem to make sense to me...does it to you?
God is concerned about them not perishing.
But what you probably really ask is why he delays the end of days. This question contains many subquestions. I will answer only that connected with those saved. Well, why not directly create Heaven and send them there? Maybe, so that they appreciate the good when also seeing what bad does. And maybe the transformation from sinner to a saint takes some learning. Does this answer your question?
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#82

Post by Philip » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:44 am

Narnia wrote: No wonder you have trouble with these conversations...

I can only say what I believe Scripture to say or what Calvinists in general believe. Calvinists believe that it is man separating himself from God, same as most other Christian groups/denominations/traditions. If you just don't believe me, well, then you're right that we won't get very far in any conversation.
Narnia, when you say, "Calvinists believe that it is man separating himself from God, same as most other Christian groups/denominations/traditions," you are only stating half of what most other Christians believe. But Calvinism states that those separated from God for eternity will be so only because of ONE ultimate reason - because God chose to separate them from Himself, not because of anything they have done - because He made this decision FOR THEM, and did so BEFORE they had even been born or sinned even the first or least sin.

Narnia, according to Five Point Calvinism, God must regenerate one BEFORE they will ever be able to believe.

Let me ask you some questions:

- Does God love ALL men?

- You say God desires ALL men repent, but yet, according to Calvinism, He has already chosen (before they were ever born or had sinned the first sin) that some men (the non Elect) He will never regenerate, and thus - per Five Point Calvinism - they will never be able to do what you nonetheless insist He desires they do (repent). Please explain.

- Did God give some men a command (to repent) that He doesn't want or expect them to obey? Does He DESIRE their continuing rebellion?

Rebellion is sin. Calvinism states that God has trapped some/most? men in their sins, as He has provided no escape from them. So, He has (supposedly) insured that they would forever sin. So does God want them to continue sinning or not? Does He DESIRE them to sin - because trapping them without the ABILITY to repent means He must want them to keep sinning - think of the horrific ramifications this would mean - that BILLIONS were created to only suffer lives of despair and often unthinkable misery, die, and then be sentenced to eternal damnation - doesn't sound much like a God of love, to me. And just contrast that thought also with how God has instructed us to treat unbelievers - with love, kindness, forgiveness - AND - He told us to PRAY for them. Something doesn't add up here!

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#83

Post by narnia4 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:15 am

Philip wrote: But Calvinism states that those separated from God for eternity will be so only because of ONE ultimate reason - because God chose to separate them from Himself, not because of anything they have done - because He made this decision FOR THEM, and did so BEFORE they had even been born or sinned even the first or least sin.
How much more clear do I have to be that the bolded is not what Calvinists believe?
Narnia, according to Five Point Calvinism, God must regenerate one BEFORE they will ever be able to believe.
That's correct.
- Does God love ALL men?
Some more adamant (and to be honest, what has been in my experience less friendly kind) might say no, I say yes.
- You say God desires ALL men repent, but yet, according to Calvinism, He has already chosen (before they were ever born or had sinned the first sin) that some men (the non Elect) He will never regenerate, and thus - per Five Point Calvinism - they will never be able to do what you nonetheless insist He desires they do (repent). Please explain.
God desires that all men repent but allows some to try it their own way and wallow in their own sin. Its hard I know, but Calvinists believe this is Biblical.
- Did God give some men a command (to repent) that He doesn't want or expect them to obey? Does He DESIRE their continuing rebellion?
I already answered this, God does desire that all men repent. But just as with other views, he knows that some (all who are not regenerated) will continue in rebellion.
Rebellion is sin. Calvinism states that God has trapped some/most? men in their sins, as He has provided no escape from them. So, He has (supposedly) insured that they would forever sin. So does God want them to continue sinning or not? Does He DESIRE them to sin - because trapping them without the ABILITY to repent means He must want them to keep sinning - think of the horrific ramifications this would mean - that BILLIONS were created to only suffer lives of despair and often unthinkable misery, die, and then be sentenced to eternal damnation - doesn't sound much like a God of love, to me. And just contrast that thought also with how God has instructed us to treat unbelievers - with love, kindness, forgiveness - AND - He told us to PRAY for them. Something doesn't add up here!
We seem to be banging our collective heads against the wall on the same issue. That of God allowing man to sin with no escape of his own, no grand free will choice. But I think you know what I'd say here.

One small thing that has changed a bit of my perspective, God does allow non-believers to enjoy their earthly lives. We are to treat them with love and kindness and forgiveness and prayer. And honestly I side with Piper, even though it might put me at odds with some Calvinists, that prayer does make a difference.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#84

Post by Philip » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:11 pm

Narnia, basically you are saying that words don't really matter, that black is indeed white. So we're to believe that God desires one thing but yet orchestrates another thing entirely - as these are in complete contradiction to each other. He says one thing, but really means something entirely different. God is Holy, loves ALL, but has orchestrated ongoing rebellion that insures the destruction of billions. Oh, but wait - He tells us to pray for them and love them - these very ones that God has chosen a fate for that is the exact opposite of love. You see, this is why people need to get their heads out of some 16th century theologian's mindset and see that the theological construct is hugely contradictory, changes the plain language and context of a huge amount of Scripture, all to make it fit the construct. And then you end up with actions asserted to be of God that are so unspeakably hideous that it is truly mind-boggling that you don't see the problems. And why do you think that God took 15 centuries to make a Church preaching salvation is available to all that supposedly is not? Why do you think the VAST majority of truly saved, spirit-filled Christians today are spiritually disturbed and greatly angered over these FP teachings? Did God save countless millions over 15 centuries through the preaching of a counterfeit Gospel?

I'll tell you this, I truly believe that anyone who harms one struggling over belief by talking about this Five Point stuff, God is going to deal harshly with. The first thing is the devil is already telling people that they are not good enough or whatever to be loved by God enough for him to want, love and save them - and then they hear some Calvinist saying that most men were never created to be saved to begin with, but only to be damned eternally. So, if you don't really know what the heck you are talking about - and as Calvinists debate all of this stuff to varying degrees, I'd say you don't - are filling much with speculations from a man-made theological construct, then I'd keep quiet about it! And the very fact that the subject is highly divisive is another reason to not talk about it. And the Reformed churches I've been to do the very same.

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#85

Post by narnia4 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:21 pm

There's this assumption (and I've seen it here and other places in the past) that Calvinists don't actually believe what they're saying and are purposefully preaching a false Gospel. That we think that Calvinism is a man-made construct instead of what the Bible teaches. I'm just going to flat out deny that, I'm saying what I believe God's Word is saying. Believe I don't know what I'm talking about, that's your prerogative, but Scripture and God and theology are worth talking about. Of course I understand context, I've been around Arminians all my life and most of them don't even know I'm essentially Calvinist. I should really be talking about it more probably.

For the rest, its been dealt with before. Calvinism has older roots than just five centuries ago (and even if it didn't, there's some interesting questions related to revelation and clarification of Scripture that I won't get into now) and Calvinism is really just a name for it. The fact that word "Calvinism" doesn't appear in the Bible doesn't mean more to me than the fact that the word "Protestant" or any other number of commonly used phrases don't appear in the Bible.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#86

Post by RickD » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:32 pm

To lighten the mood:
Image

And:
Do Calvinists ever wonder if their opponents are predestined to Arminiansm? Or are they convinced that Arminians can become Calvinists by an act of free will?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, 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.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#87

Post by Philip » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:11 am

God desires that all men repent but allows some to try it their own way and wallow in their own sin.
So God has not extended His sovereignty to making men behave as HE wishes? The Creator has said, "I want you to be like THIS," but the creature says back to Him, "No, I don't want to be like YOU say, but as I so desire." Also, as God supposedly has not given such men ANY ability other than the desire to continue doing as they please, until death, then God, in His sovereignty, has allowed rebellion and also insured it's continuing. Yet somehow, God's sovereignty cannot give us free will to choose Him and the salvation HE has made possible, obey and repent, without also giving up His sovereignty - as that is what Calvinists say about free will. Sounds to me that Calvinists are very selective in saying what sovereign God can and cannot do with His sovereignty. Again, picking and choosing, according to their man-made construct, of which Calvin himself didn't totally agree with. And so you end up with the hideous contradictions of what God's supposed character is, and as to what unScriptural actions He supposedly has done and caused, and of which the construct is arrived at by decimating the plain meaning of so many straight-forward Scripture verses.

And building a foundation of confidence upon what the God described by Calvinism might mean to us and those we love, who we desire to be saved, is totally impossible. So, according to Calvinism, that mother, brother, father, sister, aunt, grandmother and close friend that you know died unbelieving, that is now likely in hell, that you have long prayed for, loved so much, shed so many tears over, agonized over their spiritual state, etc. - it was all POINTLESS, as THEY NEVER HAD EVEN THE SLIGHTEST CHANCE, as God had doomed them all BEFORE their very births. And so we're to believe that it was GOD who actually doomed them, and NOT per ANYTHING they had or hadn't ever said or done, as that damnation (not the knowledge of it, but the damnation itself) supposedly happened before any of that. You loved them, but God hated them. It's unbelievable anyone can believe this! :crying: :shakehead:

And I challenge anyone to show the Five Points articulated before 1534, and certainly not as a cohesive doctrine until after 1536. And if the conclusion reached by the Five Points were true, then the Apostles have to be the poorest communicators of all time! They certainly did not clearly connect the dots as per the Five Points, and in fact said much that would lead the vast majority (and for 15 centuries) to believe ALL men could be saved if THEY desire to be - that God had given them the ability to accept (Jesus/the Cross/to repent), and has made this available to ALL men. Not only did the common man not understand a Calvinist construct from hearing Scripture, but no theologians articulated such a system before Calvin's time. And even when the beginnings of the doctrine began to arise, it was originally due to the influence of only a few, influential theologians. Even today, a relative minority of those in the pew in Reformed churches truly understand the implications of this core doctrine - and that's why their churches survive in any significant numbers - and their leaders KNOW it - and thus their basic ignoring of its teachings from their pulpits.

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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#88

Post by narnia4 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:20 pm

You kind of talk about Calvin as if he's some sort of demi-god in Calvinist circles and there's only interest in the man-made construct. Like Spurgeon said, Calvinism is just a nickname. They are preaching the sovereignty and conquering love of God, the gospel.

Calvinists don't deny free will either, God did give us free will. They believe man is broken, and it wasn't God that broke him. What Calvinists don't believe is that God made man sovereign.
And so we're to believe that it was GOD who actually doomed them, and NOT per ANYTHING they had or hadn't ever said or done
Damnation is... well, a very hard doctrine. But this isn't what Calvinists believe.

And I challenge anyone to show the Five Points articulated before 1534, and certainly not as a cohesive doctrine until after 1536. And if the conclusion reached by the Five Points were true, then the Apostles have to be the poorest communicators of all time! They certainly did not clearly connect the dots as per the Five Points, and in fact said much that would lead the vast majority (and for 15 centuries) to believe ALL men could be saved if THEY desire to be - that God had given them the ability to accept (Jesus/the Cross/to repent), and has made this available to ALL men. Not only did the common man not understand a Calvinist construct from hearing Scripture, but no theologians articulated such a system before Calvin's time. And even when the beginnings of the doctrine began to arise, it was originally due to the influence of only a few, influential theologians. Even today, a relative minority of those in the pew in Reformed churches truly understand the implications of this core doctrine - and that's why their churches survive in any significant numbers - and their leaders KNOW it - and thus their basic ignoring of its teachings from their pulpits.
The five points are a helpful shortcut. I actually think that many Christians throughout history have been at least functional Calvinists. Part of the reason you may not hear the parts of Calvinism that are popular to debate about is because much of Reformed doctrine is what just about every Christian believes. That's why you don't notice, not because you the leaders are "hiding" something (it isn't often that I see the accusation that Calvinists are "quiet" about their beliefs. Much of it is just a matter of timing of the core principles of the Bible. Not to make light of it, that timing has tremendous implications, but I don't think the Calvinist and his opponent have to be as angry as you sound. In fact, Calvinists and many other Christians have exactly the same goals and end results in mind- the difference is that Calvinists believe (based off of Scripture and logic) that the "goals" or "conclusions" can't be arrived at without the acceptance of certain doctrines. Those who aren't Calvinists disagree.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#89

Post by CallMeDave » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:06 am

Tina wrote:I'm concerned about something. Does GOD make it impossible for some people to believe? I read something about Jesus speaking in parables So that some could not understand? And something about GOD hardening people's hearts? Why? I don't understand and I'm concerned. =,<

God has made it painfully EASY to believe in his existence for Creator and Sustainer . He did that thru the physical creation around us that is thoroughly immersed in incredible complexity, obvious design, all of which appeal to our human senses. Jesus spoke in parables so his audience could grasp his teachings better by giving analogies that they could relate to ... common everyday situations and events which were part of the Audiences life. He made alot of comparisons , scenarios, and equated the simple things of life to explain far deeper and more important issues concerning The Kingdom of God , Heaven, Hell, materialism, hedonism, narcissism, and getting reconciled to God, et al... Scripture tells us that 'It is NOT Gods will that any should perish' but he gives us a freewill choice whether we want to harden our hearts toward Christ and his teachings, or, to move closer in that direction . God is very interested in breaking thru mans hardened heart and mind --- the wise among us cooperate with that.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#90

Post by Philip » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:50 am

Philip wrote: "And so we're to believe that it was GOD who actually doomed them, and NOT per ANYTHING they had or hadn't ever said or done"
Narnia4 wrote: "Damnation is... well, a very hard doctrine. But this isn't what Calvinists believe."
It would appear that the BOTTOM line is that this EXACTLY what you believe.

Would you say that God gives the unrepentant the right to choose their eternal fate or is HE in control of that?

Does the unrepentant man have any TRULY free choice - defined as TWO available/accessible options BETWEEN choosing to believe/repent/be saved AND remaining unrepentant?

Or can the unrepentant only choose per God's secretive will - which is for them to "freely" choose the ONLY option He's made available to and also desires for them: rejection/remaining unrepentant?

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