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

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

#61

Post by RickD » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:24 pm

But I next to NEVER see a new point made over this. It always comes off like a test of egos battling over who is smarter or more knowledgeable. Even that wouldn't be so bad if it didn't push hot buttons and damage relationships between CHRISTIANS - and extremely disturbing, damage the potential faith of unbelievers. But what really blows my mind is those who assert that GOD prevented and has never even desired belief in some, but yet they will debate apologetics evidences with unbelievers all day long. And so if one believes that one cannot believe before first being "regenerated," please enlighten me as to why they would find apologetics aimed at unbelievers of any value at all? Why were Paul, Barnabus and Peter engaged in it? What would be the point?
I agree with what you're saying here, but... Actually, there is no "but". I agree with what you're saying :pound: .
And, these debates, especially debates involving Calvinism, usually don't end well. But, the alternative, is don't even discuss it. There are many doctrines within the Christian church, that cause divisions. I guess I tend to see the doctrines as what cause the divisions, not the discussions about the doctrines. I guess that's how I see it anyways, because my family has had some pretty bad experiences. I seem to have little tolerance for what I see as false doctrine, and corrupt religious leaders.
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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?? =,<

#62

Post by Philip » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:25 pm

Rick said: I seem to have little tolerance for what I see as false doctrine, and corrupt religious leaders.
Amen to THAT! And I agree with the general viewpoint you have been "debating" from.

But why some people think that a theological construct like Calvinism should radically change the plain meanings of so many Scriptures impacting such a foundational understanding as for who can have repentant/spirit-filled belief in Jesus, and of which their plain meanings, as understood by the common, theologically unsophisticated man, which were also embraced by the Church as a whole, for 15 centuries, and of which its theology was only initially nuanced by a few, key theologians over the last 500 years, is beyond me. Did the church fail to understand for 15 centuries that God had prevented the ability for some to believe? How and who Calvinists believe can and cannot have repentant faith in Jesus have filled countless volumes, spilled mountains of ink, worn out more than a few keyboards. No simple man reading such stuff would in a million years glean a Five Point view of Scripture. So did God give it in such a way that only theologians and the theologically savvy would understand it? Really?

And we can play games with and debate the definitive definitions of various theological terms all day long, but what is the real bottom line here? What did God construct, provide, offer, limit or prevent? ONLY the bottom line is what truly matters! All of this debate over terminology - which by the way even Calvinists themselves debate over - really is so often a smokescreen over what the bottom line, END RESULT is of what God SUPPOSEDLY constructed/purposed. I think this is also what Rick was referring to.

So, who cares whether or not one has a definitive understanding about what a term like Double Predestination means IF the bottom line is that God decided before any of us were ever born or had even committed our first sin, whether he wanted us in heaven or in hell for an eternity - and based upon nothing we would ever do, decide, or even would be given the ability to decide? And to use Double Predestination as an example, I would say most Calvinists are uncomfortable with the term because its focus and cause is not people's unrepentant sin, but more the supposed first action - that God also FIRST elected to hell the unrepentant BEFORE they had ever sinned once. This is why the first comment from Calvinists is so often, "it's not like the unrepentant WANTED to repent and follow the Lord."

So I'd say let's stick to the bottom line impact of what GOD has supposedly done, and not to whom is skewing whose theological term. And while I well realize defining terminology within the debate is quite important, it's so often used as a smoke and mirrors debating technique.
Last edited by Philip on Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

#63

Post by narnia4 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:52 pm

I don't believe I've ever done any flaming or damaged any relationships in debating this topic here. There have been some passive aggressive and just plain aggressive posts about Calvinists in general, however. Maybe some of it is directed at my posts too, I don't really know. I don't think there was anything in this thread that really came close to being heated either, I was enjoying the conversation.

The issue is trying to uncover the truth. If you misuse a term like double predestination then what you're doing is raising a straw man, if I believe you're attacking something Calvinists don't believe than of course I'm going to take issue with it. If there's a misunderstanding about a term (and sometimes it isn't an issue of right or wrong, just different interpretations about terms that are ambiguous) and I concede a definition I don't agree with, the entire conversation will end up being a non-starter.

Of those who were most influential in my coming to a Calvinist understanding in many areas, at least half of them expressed how uncomfortable they were with Calvinism at first. It wasn't how they were raised, it wasn't what they wanted to believe. But they honestly came to the conclusion that Calvinism best fit what we know through Scripture. Argue they were wrong and its a tragic misinterpretation of Scripture, fine. But there's this implicit idea that they were just lazy or just wanted to identify with Reformed doctrine for some reason or other, and to be honest I find that insulting. Of course a Calvinist might argue that a simple man might not come up with "TULIP" specifically on his own, but he might come to accept the basic Calvinist ideas. And a Calvinist might also argue that there's reasons why "a simple man and his Bible" might not be the best way to uncover the truth.

As far as engaging in apologetics, the funny thing is that apologetics don't really convert people. I have never, ever seen a case where apologetics alone changed a person's mind. Not once. If a person isn't open to hearing, no arguing is going to change their minds. That's not to say apologetics are bad, I like apologetics. But it isn't apologetics that works in a person's heart. So as far as the question for why Calvinists preach the Gospel, well that isn't a new question and it isn't a hard one. One, we were commanded to do so. Two, God can use whatever tools he wants and it is a great thing to be used by God. I don't understand why so many non-Calvinists object to this? Do you really want to say that a person is "your" convert and save the glory for yourself? Or do you want to glorify God by preaching His Word? Its an act of worship and really a no-brainer.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#64

Post by 1over137 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:19 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Faith equal and faith of equal standing are probably two different things.
Yes, God was wanting them to not perish.
So the scripture of "by faith we are saved" is NOT applicable here?
If we are saved by faith and their faith was like of the aspostles and given to them, like the apostles, the the righteousness of Christ, why was God concerned about them parrish so much they he delayed the "end of days" ?
When saying "scripture of by faith we are saved" which verses are you reffering to?
What parrish means?
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?? =,<

#65

Post by RickD » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:34 pm

1over137 wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Faith equal and faith of equal standing are probably two different things.
Yes, God was wanting them to not perish.
So the scripture of "by faith we are saved" is NOT applicable here?
If we are saved by faith and their faith was like of the aspostles and given to them, like the apostles, the the righteousness of Christ, why was God concerned about them parrish so much they he delayed the "end of days" ?
When saying "scripture of by faith we are saved" which verses are you reffering to?
What parrish means?
Hana, I think PaulS was referring to Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
If that's not the verse he was referring to, I'm sure he"ll correct me.

I think Paul meant "perish".
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."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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

#66

Post by 1over137 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:55 pm

Rick, I created new thread in the Bible and Scripture forum to discuss further 2 Peter 3:9.
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?? =,<

#67

Post by Philip » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:32 am

Narnia said: I don't believe I've ever done any flaming or damaged any relationships in debating this topic here. There have been some passive aggressive and just plain aggressive posts about Calvinists in general, however. Maybe some of it is directed at my posts too, I don't really know. I don't think there was anything in this thread that really came close to being heated either, I was enjoying the conversation.
Narnia, I was in no way referring to YOU in my comments, but to the negative impact of the debate in general. I've seen little good come from it. But when some would assert that our loving, righteous God has created a destiny for most men that He nonetheless tells us is a hideous thing that is to be avoided at all costs, and yet a breath later they tell us that HE orchestrated their nightmarish lives and their even worse eternal destinies - well, that is gonna cause just a bit of friction. All those warnings, pleadings and anger at the unrepentant's disobedience in refusing to change, AS IF they COULD obey, ring absurdly and perversely hollow to those who believe that God loves all men, desires all repent, and knowing that Jesus died an unspeakable death to make that possible. And all of those Apostles efforts at trying to CONVINCE people in the synagogues would appear pointless. And as it is obviously so divisive, why keep unnecessarily asserting something that is so repulsive to most believers and is the cause of great friction?

In the far, distant past, before I was aware of Reformed theology, I attended two different churches that were Reformed, each for well over a year. Guess what? Although they referenced their reformed views, they NEVER detailed them from the pulpit, as to what such views ultimately mean God has done. They also weren't available in their printed materials. Why? Because they well realized that the average member and attender do not understand what Calvinist views actually mean, and thus church leaders well know that they can be very upsetting and divisive - even within their own Reformed churches. They know that to tell people that God has orchestrated an eternal nightmare for billions of people is a pew emptier, and that it would decimate the numbers of those faithfully attending. Basically, I'd say that the leaders of these two churches have concluded, and rightfully so, that articulating Calvinist views in DETAIL can be hazardous to the harmony within their churches. And so ignorance can still remain blissful. Of course, this is just my experience. But I spent a year doing a Bible study led by a Presbyterian pastor from a solidly Reformed Church. Same thing - not a peep about God damning billions before they had been born or ever committed even the first sin. Wonder why?

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

#68

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:31 am

RickD wrote:
1over137 wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Faith equal and faith of equal standing are probably two different things.
Yes, God was wanting them to not perish.
So the scripture of "by faith we are saved" is NOT applicable here?
If we are saved by faith and their faith was like of the aspostles and given to them, like the apostles, the the righteousness of Christ, why was God concerned about them parrish so much they he delayed the "end of days" ?
When saying "scripture of by faith we are saved" which verses are you reffering to?
What parrish means?
Hana, I think PaulS was referring to Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
If that's not the verse he was referring to, I'm sure he"ll correct me.

I think Paul meant "perish".
Rick has kicked the correct in the groin.
Thanks Rick.

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

#69

Post by 1over137 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:49 am

PaulSacramento wrote:So the scripture of "by faith we are saved" is NOT applicable here?
If we are saved by faith and their faith was like of the aspostles and given to them, like the apostles, the the righteousness of Christ, why was God concerned about them parrish so much they he delayed the "end of days" ?
God was concerned about them perish so much? I do not understand you now. Sorry.
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?? =,<

#70

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:16 am

1over137 wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:So the scripture of "by faith we are saved" is NOT applicable here?
If we are saved by faith and their faith was like of the aspostles and given to them, like the apostles, the the righteousness of Christ, why was God concerned about them parrish so much they he delayed the "end of days" ?
God was concerned about them perish so much? I do not understand you now. Sorry.
Sorry, I was not clear, I apologise.
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?

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

#71

Post by narnia4 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:27 am

Philip wrote: But when some would assert that our loving, righteous God has created a destiny for most men that He nonetheless tells us is a hideous thing that is to be avoided at all costs, and yet a breath later they tell us that HE orchestrated their nightmarish lives and their even worse eternal destinies - well, that is gonna cause just a bit of friction. All those warnings, pleadings and anger at the unrepentant's disobedience in refusing to change, AS IF they COULD obey, ring absurdly and perversely hollow to those who believe that God loves all men, desires all repent, and knowing that Jesus died an unspeakable death to make that possible. And all of those Apostles efforts at trying to CONVINCE people in the synagogues would appear pointless. And as it is obviously so divisive, why keep unnecessarily asserting something that is so repulsive to most believers and is the cause of great friction?
But Calvinists do believe that God desires all repent. But for a Calvinist, he believes that its Scripture, that's why he keeps asserting it. And again, I don't know if I'd say that God "orchestrated their nightmarish lives". Its the human's choice.

Same thing - not a peep about God damning billions before they had been born or ever committed even the first sin. Wonder why?
Maybe the same reasons most pastors don't talk about hell and damnation?
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#72

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:10 pm

Maybe the same reasons most pastors don't talk about hell and damnation?
Most pastors/preachers/priest are very will aware of the issues in telling even their faithful that there co-worker, who is a great guy, loving father and husband, honest to a fault and an all-around- super generous guy, is going to hell and damnation because he is a Hindi or muslim or simply agnostic.
Especially since those believers know at least one other believer that is a total jerk and supposedly ISN'T going to hell.
Know what I mean?

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

#73

Post by narnia4 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:19 pm

Oh I definitely do.
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Re: Is GOD making it impossible for some to believe?? =,<

#74

Post by Philip » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:59 pm

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:

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

#75

Post by RickD » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:36 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:
So Philip, I'm not sure if I'm reading you correctly. Are you a Calvinist? :troll:
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."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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