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

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

#16

Post by RickD » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:00 pm

I don't believe even five-point, "double predestination" Calvinists would present the situation quite like the OP does.
If God chooses who will be saved, and He chooses who will be damned(double predestination), then God doesn't allow those He chose for eternal damnation, to believe on Him. Isn't that another way of saying that God, by not choosing those He damns, makes it impossible for them to believe?
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.

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

#17

Post by CallMeDave » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:00 pm

Beanybag wrote:I'd love to know. For me, I can't even conceive of the possible evidence that would convert me to theism without flat-out mind control. I'd always have some measure of doubt.
Its really quiet easy Beany....WHen you were approx. 4-7 years old, you went to your Parents and because you noticed the Creation around you which you knew didnt come from nothing by accidents....so you asked :' WHERE did all this come from ?' 'WHY are we here?' and 'WHO made all this?' Today as an adult, you are able to use all your senses including coming to understand that this enormous amount of complexity , the intriquite way things are constructed , the precision of our cosmos/solar system/and earth being JUST right for life, some of the 150+ Life Enabling Constants you may have heard about to the 120th decimal point critical precision otherwise we arent here, the workings of a DNA molecule being akin to the infrastructure of a major U.S. City, your own human anatomy with its 60 some systems all needing to work in unison with one another, et al, ad infinitum..... allows you TO KNOW that there must have been an original source that was and is : Personal, of supreme intelligence, of supreme power, of supreme sustaining ability, of a willful nature, and of a loving nature to have provided all we have when it didnt need to even exist.

The next choice is yours , and what you will do with the Creator who is theistic by necessity , nature, and character. PLEASE, make the correct decision for your own sake . That means no more excuses for personal ulterior motives as i once did. Regards.
"I never asserted such an absurd proposition, that something could arise without a Cause" -- staunch atheist Philosopher David Hume.

"What this world now needs is Christian love or compassion" -- staunch atheist Bertrand Russell.

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

#18

Post by RickD » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Here Narnia:
Unconditional Election
Unconditional Election is the doctrine which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel. God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation (Romans 9:15,21). He has done this act before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4-8).
From:http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/

Reading the blue, tell me how, according to Calvinism, God hasn't made it impossible for some to believe. He has elected "others for damnation". If God has "elected" them, how can they then believe?
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?? =,<

#19

Post by narnia4 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:12 pm

But atheism is a position. I don't really like the whole semantic debate over the definition of atheism, its mostly just an unhelpful distraction imo... but here's how I see it. Whether or not God exists, its a "yes", "no", or "I don't know" question. You can say "I believe in God" without being certain if you lean in that direction, or vice versa. But it just makes the most sense to me to say that theism is "the belief that there is a God" and that atheism is "the belief that there is no God". Neither would have to speak about level of certainty. So given this as my position, a simple lack of belief wouldn't make one an atheist, because atheism entails certain consequences.

If others disagree, however, its not something I'd be adamant about. If people want to call themselves atheists when they are, imo, actually closer to a sort of agnosticism, ok. Its just something that you have to clear up before seemingly every discussion because when someone calls himself an atheist he might mean any of a dozen things.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#20

Post by narnia4 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:17 pm

Rick, I just don't think most Calvinists would appreciate the wording "makes it impossible for some to believe". It makes it seem as if the reprobate skeptic is desperate to believe but he just can't, when in fact he is actively running from God while God passively allows him to do so.

Maybe that doesn't sound exactly like double predestination, but I think there's a "spirit of the law" thing here that the wording wouldn't lend one to appreciate.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#21

Post by 1over137 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:21 pm

Beanybag wrote:I'd love to know. For me, I can't even conceive of the possible evidence that would convert me to theism without flat-out mind control. I'd always have some measure of doubt.
I am curious about this: How long have you been debating with really intellectual Christians?
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
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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.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#22

Post by Beanybag » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:25 pm

narnia4 wrote:But atheism is a position. I don't really like the whole semantic debate over the definition of atheism, its mostly just an unhelpful distraction imo... but here's how I see it. Whether or not God exists, its a "yes", "no", or "I don't know" question. You can say "I believe in God" without being certain if you lean in that direction, or vice versa. But it just makes the most sense to me to say that theism is "the belief that there is a God" and that atheism is "the belief that there is no God". Neither would have to speak about level of certainty. So given this as my position, a simple lack of belief wouldn't make one an atheist, because atheism entails certain consequences.

If others disagree, however, its not something I'd be adamant about. If people want to call themselves atheists when they are, imo, actually closer to a sort of agnosticism, ok. Its just something that you have to clear up before seemingly every discussion because when someone calls himself an atheist he might mean any of a dozen things.
I call myself an agnostic atheist. I think the two words answer different questions. In answer to the question "Do you believe in God/Are you a theist?" (the two questions can be considered identical, although you may have a broader view of a theist), I say no. If you ask me whether or not there is a God, I'd say I don't know.

I agree, it's mostly semantics. The only reason I think it's better to say that atheism is a position of non-belief is because it doesn't get you anywhere - it only tells people what they aren't: They aren't theists. Does this mean they hold the positive belief that there is no God? Perhaps. But there's dozens of different beliefs that would lead to that conclusion. Just because most atheists are naturalists doesn't mean all are. Buddhists and Taoists are also atheists, generally. They wouldn't call themselves atheists, however, they'd say they are Taoists and Buddhists! Why say what they aren't? I only say what I am not because I'm really not much of anything.
1over137 wrote:
Beanybag wrote:I'd love to know. For me, I can't even conceive of the possible evidence that would convert me to theism without flat-out mind control. I'd always have some measure of doubt.
I am curious about this: How long have you been debating with really intellectual Christians?
Only since I joined this board, really. I really really enjoy my discussions here, I should add. I recognize that you all are very smart Christians and it's refreshing to see well-reasoned and well-supported arguments and very respectful discussion. I came here because I wanted to get a new perspective from intelligent people, and possibly offer more of the same. I thank you for that. :]

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

#23

Post by 1over137 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:43 pm

Beanybag wrote:Only since I joined this board, really. I really really enjoy my discussions here, I should add. I recognize that you all are very smart Christians and it's refreshing to see well-reasoned and well-supported arguments and very respectful discussion. I came here because I wanted to get a new perspective from intelligent people, and possibly offer more of the same. I thank you for that. :]
That was really an honest answer. Honestly, I was debating years with one friend of mine. He is very smart, biblically very literate, is pastor, is now around 60, is missionary, has big heart and peaceful mind. He is great person.
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

#foreverinmyheart

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

#24

Post by Jac3510 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:45 pm

Ivellious wrote:Just curious, how can you say that it was God's "plan" for the pharaoh to harden his heart, but the pharaoh still had a choice about whether to sin or not? I mean, are you saying that God's plan would have failed had he accepted Moses and God? It just seems odd that the all-powerful God's plan just happened to rely on certain people acting in an evil manner over the course of time, and yet somehow those certain people had an opportunity to do the right thing...Or would it have been the wrong thing to defy God's plan?
"Harden" isn't the best translation (although it isn't a bad one). Literally, the word (both the Hebrew word being used--both of them, actually, as there are two Moses uses--and the Greek word the LXX translates it with) has the idea of making stubborn or obstinate. "Harden" implies, to me anyway, that God is doing something to Pharaoh that he didn't want. But when you see it as "making stubborn," the idea is clearer that God is keeping Pharaoh in his original position.

The word aside, the text itself is instructive. God certainly tells us that He will harden Pharaoh's heart. So we have a future tense there. But the Pharaoh's first words are very important and, I think, the key to understanding the entire account.
  • Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” (Ex 5:1-2, ESV)
So notice what he says. He asks, "Who is the LORD?" where "LORD" here is literally Yahweh. He is not asking the identity of this God of Israel. He's familiar with the fact that Yahweh is the God of the Hebrews. He demonstrates the meaning of his question in the next clause: "that I should obey His voice." To put it in modern colloquialism, he's saying, "Who does Yahweh think He is?!?"

Read that way, it's natural to see the Ten Plagues as God's answer, not merely to Pharaoh, but more importantly to Israel. God is demonstrating several important truths, one of which is this: He is sovereign enough to use someone's rejection of Him to accomplish his purposes. That would be true of Israel's own history and finally did prove to be true later at the Cross.

So to your question, Pharaoh did have a choice whether to sin or not. He chose to sin in rejecting God. God, then, in response to that sin, passed judgment on Pharaoh. That is, Pharaoh's hardening was a matter of judgment. Now we can go on from there and get into the deeper theology of that and how God did it and the place of free will in all of that. But for me (personally), it is sufficient to note that what happened to Pharaoh happened precisely because he had willfully rejected God's testimony to him as he encountered God in Israel. More than just rejecting God, he enslaved God's people. Pharaoh, then, was being punished. "You want it your way?" God is saying. "Then fine, let me show you and the rest of the world where your way leads."
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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

#25

Post by RickD » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:27 pm

narnia4 wrote:Rick, I just don't think most Calvinists would appreciate the wording "makes it impossible for some to believe". It makes it seem as if the reprobate skeptic is desperate to believe but he just can't, when in fact he is actively running from God while God passively allows him to do so.

Maybe that doesn't sound exactly like double predestination, but I think there's a "spirit of the law" thing here that the wording wouldn't lend one to appreciate.
I understand what you're saying. And I would actually like to believe that most Calvinists believe as you do. But, as far as double predestination, I can't see it any other way. God chooses some to eternal damnation. God chooses who will be eternally damned "not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel". That tells it all. God is not saying, "I know Joe Schmo will not accept my gift of salvation, no matter what, so I am damning him to hell before he is ever born". In 5 point double predestination Calvinism, "God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel. God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation (Romans 9:15,21). He has done this act before the foundations of the world ".

So, whether or not someone wanted to believe, is irrelevant. Because according to DP, God chose them to go to hell, just because He wanted to, for His glory.
Or, it is impossible for some to believe, because God made it impossible.
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?? =,<

#26

Post by narnia4 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:23 pm

I'll have more to say about this later. Couple points though.

1. I really dislike the term "double predestination", I think its very misleading even in characterizing those who some would say fall on the "hyper-Calvinistic" side.

2. Don't you think there could be a distinction between "electing some to damnation" (the wording of that is misleading and confusing once again imo, and I might try to touch on that later) and "making it impossible for some to believe"? Or are they necessarily the same thing?
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#27

Post by RickD » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:59 pm

1. I really dislike the term "double predestination", I think its very misleading even in characterizing those who some would say fall on the "hyper-Calvinistic" side.
Narnia, I think double predestination, as a term, is used to differentiate that belief from another Calvinist belief( that maybe more Calvinists believe), that God elects some to glory, and leaves others to themselves. When the others are left for themselves, according to Calvinism, they are totally depraved, and can't find God by themselves. Double predestination simply means God elects some to glory, and elects others for damnation. I think it is a pretty accurate term, and I don't see it as misleading. Maybe you could explain why it's misleading.
2. Don't you think there could be a distinction between "electing some to damnation" (the wording of that is misleading and confusing once again imo, and I might try to touch on that later) and "making it impossible for some to believe"? Or are they necessarily the same thing?
Narnia, I got the term "electing some to damnation", from a reformed website that August pointed me to. I didn't want to reference a non-Calvinist website. I wanted to be accurate in what Calvinists say they believe, not what others say Calvinism is. As it is written in the site I linked, how can God elect some for damnation, "based solely upon the counsel of his own will", NOT be the same as "making it impossible for some to believe"? I don't see a difference. According to Calvinism, once God elects one way or the other, their fate is sealed, correct? Then that leads to the L in TULIP. Limited atonement. Those that are elected to glory, are those that Christ's atonement is efficacious for. Christ's atonement, according to Calvinism, wasn't for those God elected to damnation, correct? So, what is inaccurate or misleading from the website I'm getting my quotes from? Here it is from their own point of view:http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/.

The Calvinist site is the one saying that Calvinism teaches "electing some to damnation". I'll post it again for reference:
Unconditional Election

Unconditional Election is the doctrine which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel. God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation (Romans 9:15,21). He has done this act before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4-8).
If you have an issue with "electing some to damnation", then maybe you have a problem with the doctrine. Maybe you just didn't know what the doctrine really said. Read it again, and tell me how else it should be interpreted, if I'm reading it wrong.
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?? =,<

#28

Post by 1over137 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:48 pm

This question in the topic sounds like to blame God that unbelievers do not believe. We are to be blamed. We fell. It is His mercy that some believe.
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

#foreverinmyheart

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

#29

Post by RickD » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:35 am

1over137 wrote:This question in the topic sounds like to blame God that unbelievers do not believe. We are to be blamed. We fell. It is His mercy that some believe.
Hana, let me play devil's advocate here. Then why don't "all" believe? Is God withholding His mercy from some?
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?? =,<

#30

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:39 am

1over137 wrote:This question in the topic sounds like to blame God that unbelievers do not believe. We are to be blamed. We fell. It is His mercy that some believe.
That depends, are we to blame that we don't believe if God has already chosen which of us will NOT believe?
Of course not, there is no logic to that.
Yet, some believe it to be so.

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