Hello again! After awhile away from WordPress (but not from sharing Jesus) I’m back to update and add an extra long exchange I had on the instagram page of Jesse Morrell, the semi famous open air preachers and open theist. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading as we pick through Calvinist lingo.
solo.man5: God is sovereign and to deny this is heresy
TC: what does the word sovereign mean in your opinion? Is it what people sometimes call “meticulous sovereignty”?
solo.man5: “Our God is in heaven! He does whatever he pleases!”
TC: and does it please God to meticulously determine?
solo.man5: “In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”
TC: that’s knowing all things, not determining. We don’t want to bully scripture into saying things it doesn’t say.
solo.man5: “’I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted'” (Job 42:2). “The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths” (Psalm 135:6). “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:11-12).
“The LORD works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster” (Proverbs 16:4).
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).
If God knows all things, does whatever He pleases and brings about his purpose, predestines, brings all things about for His glory — this is sovereignty. there are no varying degrees of it. either He is, or isn’t. either he rules over the earth because its his, or he doesn’t. dont run from the text – God is sovereign and God is good. that is our hope!
TC: has anyone ever told you that the royals were sovereign over England? It’s true.
solo.man5: the royals are not God, infinite in being, possess life within their hands, holy, have supreme power, nor did they create the world.
solo.man5: He changes times and seasons, deposing some kings and establishing others. He gives wisdom to the wise; he imparts knowledge to those with understanding; Daniel 2:21
TC: mmhmm. The royals are not God yet people called them sovereign. Are you seeing my point? You have overlaid a philosophic concept over the word sovereign. Do you know what the word behind sovereign is in the Bible? Do you think when the writers of the king James addressed king James the first as “dreaded sovereign” they were writing something about him that could only apply to God? I’m writing to say you don’t understand that word. You’re robbing it of its meaning like how you overlaid meticulous determination over the sparrow saying.
have you ever read up on what a modal fallacy is, my friend? When you see God knowing all future events as meaning he determines all future events you’re committing a model fallacy.
solo.man5: please show us where in the Bible we have freewill. the will is not free, but bound to desires (slave to sin, or slave to Christ)
The natural man has no desire for Christ – he is by nature an enemy of God, a heart of stone, morally dead, and cannot (because he wants not to) choose God. in terms of your freewill, does bot God choose to make some vessels for destruction, and some for glorification? “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD like channels of water; he turns it wherever He wants.” Proverbs 21:1
georgie_shore: John 7:17 how do U exclude that from free will? We’re u free to ask this question, or did God make u ask me?
revelation 3:20 Here I am, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me….does it sound like he’s forcing u or do u have a choice?
keep following a man made reason and see where it leads u!!!
lmk when ur done I have at least 16 more verses to share…..either way we play for the same coach I just hope u figure that out, I wish u nothing but the best in Christ.
when u say slave to sin or slave to Christ isn’t that a choice to begin with?
TC: “choose this day whom you will serve.” “if you do well will it not be accepted?” “how often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” Polycarp’s disciple Irenaeus said “This expression, ‘How often would I have gathered thy children together, and thou wouldst not,’ set forth the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man a free agent from the beginning, possessing his own soul to obey the behests of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God.”
sanctified_weapon: So then why does sin still exist, if GOD could of easily have stopped it in eternity past?
TC: sin exists because we’re not objects moved by another. We can choose to disobey God. Your choices weren’t necessitated by God’s choices. If your choices were necessitated by God’s choices they wouldn’t really be your choices, they’d be his choices upon your behalf for you to act out.
all of the ante nicene fathers believed in a similar view of freewill. For about 300 years after Christ’s resurrection this was the view of the church.
sanctified_weapon: that’s not the point I’m trying to make. I know we have a choice to sin or not. Jesse said that sin was not part of GOD’S plan and I believe it is to a degree. HE is not the originator of sin, but in HIS will permitted it. If HE did want sin on earth, HE would have done away with satan or not made him at all. GOD knows all and sees all.
TC: so in an effort to keep disobedience out of His created order God should have refused to fashion any creature that went on to disobey Him? Like a cosmic “minority report.”
do you believe God has decreed the means as well as the ends? For example, does God decree (1) who will be saved, and (2) how they will be saved (e.g. a preacher reading the gospel.)
sanctified_weapon: sorry I don’t get that reference. I never watched that movie.
Ephesians 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his owndby giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
TC: were there answers to my questions in that quotation? Listing scripture or sharing quotations as if it just says what you think it does is a bit “out to lunch,” if you don’t mind me saying.
do you believe God has decreed the ends of a thing as well as the means by which they arrive at their end? The answer can be as exhaustive as you want but just a “yes” or “no” would be helpful before the exposition into Pharaoh, Joshua, Pilate and the usual scripture suspects.
synghlee: So God was surprised by man’s decision to fall in the garden? God doesn’t know all things? He’s not in control? Seriously? We can not know what God knows, we r not on His level. He is God, we are not.. the Calvinism Armenian debate goes no where because we simply cannot grasp this. We must just trust God in our limited understanding. Yes He does choose, He does use good AND bad ppl to accomplish His Will. The delicate waltz between mans free will & Gods mighty purposes is beyond our level to ever comprehend
TC @sanctified_weapon: thank you. 🙂 And if you and I fall into some heinous sin tonight, God forbid, was that something we could’ve avoided, or was that one of the means God has set out to achieve in His infinite wisdom (meaning unavoidable “who are you O man to question God.”)?
sanctified_weapon: jonah is a great example of GOD’S sovereignty and our will in action. I think it’s the best story to exemplify what we are talking about.
TC: God’s using things in those portions of the scripture. Sea beasts, preachers, bright lights, making Moses’ arm leprous, persuasive or even coercive means. He could just turn the man’s heart couldn’t he? The miraculous means point towards something else. Johan sinned in disobeying God though, did God preordain that particular sin?
did Jonah have the power to not sin then, could he have said “send me, Lord!”?
sanctified_weapon: the thing is GOD chose him to go preach and he ran away but in the end he still did what GOD wanted him to do.
We should forget all this and just preach the gospel, which has the power to save.
TC: God got His man. But here’s something I’ll take exception with, if we say like you have “he ran away BUT IN THE END he still did what God wanted him to do,” that’s not appropriate. Jonah, if God is “sovereign,” did what God “wanted him to do” at the start, in the middle and at the very end. God wanted Jonah to refuse him didn’t he, he wanted Jonah to run and jump a nearby ship and be thrown overboard and the entire thing. God doesn’t even end this situation on a feel good moment for Jonah, I remember the man being very bitter and upset by the end of this entire ordeal. Jonah wants to die by the end (maybe just being overdramatic.) Good news for Nineveh sure, but Jonah was a grieved man. So again to my question, could Jonah have done anything other than the sins he did?
he couldn’t right. He couldn’t choose God and do the right thing because his motives and desires are entangled in sin. A sin nature. It’s not depravity that’s the issue, it’s the hidden doctrines of inability and determinism that the T of the Tulip systematic conceals. Jonah was determined by a “sovereign” God to do those terrible things no?
lots of people say Calvinism simply IS the gospel, my friend. That’s why Christians show up to fight this thing. God bless you.
TC @synghlee: or the debate goes on because there are wicked and unstable men and women who wish to divide the body by absurd, indefensible doctrines. Of course labeling this as a great mystery absolves us all from getting deep into the topic. Election “in Christ” explains how the faithful are chosen without turning God into a deterministic tyrant. God chooses categories like He will save all of the believing ones. It’s not a mystery, it’s shared by God to us in scripture. The church for the first 300 years after Jesus’ resurrection defended human freedom of the will and an ability to refrain or not to refrain from any given action.
Polycarp disciple Irenaeus taught, “This expression, ‘How often would I have gathered thy children together, and thou wouldst not,’ set forth the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man a free agent from the beginning, possessing his own soul to obey the behests of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God.”
synghlee: I have every respect for first century church fathers & disciples of John and I have listened to speakers of both sides and respect the arguments but I would rather focus on the proclamation of the Gospel & leave the details of the fruits of the Spirit & the “conditions of the soil (soul)” in God’s hands. Jesus prayed a very long prayer (Gospel of John) for unity of His Church..
TC: which would be to define all parties involved in the debate as belonging to his church. Which might be a big mistake, as big as calling for unity when the gnostics were about and trying to penetrate the church.
Mormons also define themselves as Christian and appeal for a greater unity with the body. Calvinist call their system the gospel, that is a lie. Writing against that lie is a defense of the gospel. So if proclaiming the gospel is a good thing, defending what the good news is must be good too.
sanctified_weapon: I’m sorry calvinism is not the gospel.
TC: if only the five point Calvinists knew that. If they knew that their view on man’s will and nature was against over 300 years of the church’s beliefs would these guys stop. Polycarp, Irenaeus (and by extension John), Justin martyr, Ignatius, Clement, Tertullian, these guys were in the heat of the freewill debate and gave a resounding no to the Augustinian theory of man’s nature. They said no way this is not what followers of Jesus teach. And nearly 2000 years later we’ve got a visible church filled with Augustinians, Calvinists, “doctrines of grace” people in the high seats of power. It’s all different names for the same lie. It’s term switching madness because when these guys get caught they rebrand.
sanctified_weapon: Not that HE planned it but foreknew them and has allowed them. Sin is used to demonstrate a part of GOD that other wise can not be demonstrated. I am by no mean giving an excuse for sin. Just as Paul said in Romans 6 when he said shall we continue to sin? By no means. HIS faithfulness and mercy are shown through the forgiveness of sin.
TC: using words like allow is the language of “permission,” right?
sanctified_weapon: to permit something and to originate it are two different things.
TC: mmhmm, but you’re using the permit language, right? Even when other theistic determinists like John Calvin called a support like that foolish, frail and frivolous.
sanctified_weapon: GOD was not caught off guard by anyone’s sin. Not satan’s or Adam and Eve’s. HE could of stopped both from happening. I will say this, without sin you would never know that GOD is merciful, gracious and forgiving.
TC: were Adam, Eve and the snake in the garden free in the sense that they could choose to sin or not to sin?
sanctified_weapon: yes they were free to sin. They had no sin nature. They chose in their naivety. well I dont speak for John Calvin.😄
jim_jernigan: That’s hitting the nail on the head !!
TC: they were free to sin, but were they also free to not sin? Were they free not to sin or was it inevitable. You believe God is “sovereign,” right?
sanctified_weapon: HIS sovereignty doesn’t excuse our choice to sin.
TC: was God sovereign over Adam, Eve and the devil’s choices to sin?
Adam, Eve and the devil couldn’t choose to do anything other than sin when they commited their first acts of sin?
be.transformed.7: Of course, God allows sin to take place. He allowed all the Jews to sin against His perfect son Jesus Christ. He also uses sin for for His own purposes. Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
that was Joseph speaking to his brothers after they caused him to be brought into slavery and imprisoned.
solo.man5: you are correct; it is also true in principle – God is never changing, therefore one principal, one truth, applies for eternity
solo.man5: please show us where in the Bible we have freewill. the will is not free, but bound to desires (slave to sin, or slave to Christ)
TC: @be.transformed.7 @solo.man5 @sanctified_weapon @jim_jernigan thanks for the many contributions guys, the thing is I don’t see a clear answer to my questions coming out of anybody. I do appreciate the large amount of exposition, but I’m asking a very simple question. I’d like to add a follow up question but because getting just one answer is seeming so hard I’m reluctant to bring more into it and risk talking past each other. I’m asking about a very specific pair of people, namely Adam and Eve. So when Adam and Eve sinned, could they have not sinned? Were they free in the sense that they could have chosen to do other than what they did?
solo.man5: yes they could not have sinned
TC: so they were free in a libertarian sense of that word?
solo.man5: im not sure what you mean by libertarian sense
TC: the ability to refrain or not to refrain from a given action. So did the first man and woman have the ability to refrain from sin in the first instance where sin occured? The ability to do otherwise. Agent causation. The cause of a choice isn’t necessitated by anything bar the chooser, it could be influenced, but not necessitated.
be.transformed.7: Adam and Eve were the only humans born with an actual free will since they were not born under the bondage of sin. We do have a creaturely free will to make choices based upon our nature (Ephesians 2:3). We are not robots and can still make choices (what we eat, drink, speak, dress. Etc.) But in our natural unregenerated statewe are slaves of sin. We have no desire to become born again to become slaves of righteousness (Romans 3:10-12). In fact, even our so-called good deeds are as filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). So really nobody is actually “good” enough to choose God but it is Him who shows mercy and chooses us (Romans 9:11-23). I know that is hard to wrap our brains around but that is clearly what the Bible teaches.
preaching_jesus_christ: Genesis says God cursed the soil not human nature. In all the consequences God declared in Genesis, the loss of free Will was not one of them. Cain and Abel inherited the same nature from Adam and one chose to be wicked and the other righteous. That means we inherit free Will from Adam, not a sinful nature.
be.transformed.7: not according to Ephesians 2:3 which says, “among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, LIKE THE REST OF MANKIND.”
preaching_jesus_christ: Ephesians 2:3 in context is talking about a lifestyle of sin. Anything you do habitually becomes second nature to you. That is why the Thayer Greek Lexicon for that word nature says a mode of feeling or acting which by long habit has become nature. And why Adam Clarke, who Himself believed we were born with a sinful nature, commented that Ephesians 2:3 does not support that doctrine but refers to the habit of sinning.
see Romans 1 for how homosexuality is “against nature” and Romans 2 for how the Gentiles “do by nature the things contained in the law.”
TC: when Adam and Eve were truly free in your perspective, could God know the future? Was he “sovereign” as that word is often used, or did he need the fall to become sovereign? [Don’t hold your breath on an answer to this one readers!!]
be.transformed.7 @preaching_jesus_christ: When we are not born again, unbelieving unregenerate and corrupt from the heart then I would say that is a lifestyle and would make you by nature a child of wrath. In Ephesians 2:3 It clearly says that we ALL once lived in the passions of our flesh, and we’re by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind. Romans 3:9-12 says “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” In Romans 6:6 it says that we were once “slaves of sin” before we were crucified with Christ. It also says in Psalm 51:5, 58:3, that man is born dead in sin. In 1st Corinthians 1:2-14 it says that “the natural man” does not accept the spirit of God because they are foolishness to him and that he is unable to understand them because he is not spiritually discerned”.
What is this natural man Paul is speaking of? In Romans 8:7 it says that we are unable to submit to Gods law “indeed it cannot”. In John 3:3 Jesus says that UNLESS one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (regeneration precedes faith).
be.transformed.7: @TC God is completely sovereign and always has been even before the fall. Isaiah 46:10 says He “declared the end from the beginning”. He knew the fall would take place before creation.
TC: so God knows the future choices of truly free people without causing those choices. What does it mean to be sovereign? Calvinists everywhere use “sovereign” to mean meticulous determination of all things, is that the proper use of this word, or are you happy to say that’s a false teaching on their part?
TC: @be.transformed.7@sanctified_weapon Sometimes I can’t help seeing this verse chucking as disrespectful to scripture, and I hope other reformed guys can see it that way too. It’s not instructive to learning but destructive to engaging. Rather than go through everything you’ve shared I’ll just look closely at two of the verses. Psalm 51:5 says “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
But in the original language and in literal translations there are two different words being used here, not one word. David’s sin isn’t in view in that verse, his mother’s is. “In sin my mother conceived me,” that’s the verse. David is confessing his bad doings with Bethsheba and says he’s brought forth in “iniquity,” not sin. Sin is the conception and being applied to his mother’s actions but not his birth.
David’s birth is a matter of controversy elsewhere in Psalms and he’s initially less favoured than all of his brothers in the historic books. When it’s time to choose a king he’s not even considered by family. Believing as you do would make babies into sinners and worthy of hell, babies who are called innocent in the Bible. Does any baby ever go to hell?
Psalm 58:3 is a song filled with hyperbolic statements about how wicked rulers behave, not about being “dead in sin.” Read the verse with me: “Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies. Their venom is like the venom of a snake. . .Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!” Do you believe an unborn child contains venom? If you were to throw a two week old baby at me would it distract me with a lie and then sink their powerful fangs into me? This use of “dead in sin” isn’t biblical. The church in Sardis is called “dead” in Revelation.
TC: @be.transformed.7 Wait wait, I’ve got one more. Picture it. Little baby pops out of his mum with a chunky talk radio microphone in his hands, he looks the doctor directly in the eye and says “Oooh coke and Pepsi are the same thing, pro wrestling is for real, Avatar was an incredible movie.” 0;)
be.transformed.7: well I understand that a baby is not developed/matured to do sinful actions but they are by nature corrupt and have sin within there hearts. Even as a toddler they act sinfully. You don’t have to teach a child to lie, steal, hit etc. You have to teach them the opposite. John 3:6 says “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” which is why Jesus says in verse 3 that we must be born again. Genesis 8:21 says “the intentions of the heart is evil from his youth”.
Psalm 143:2 says “no one living is righteous before you” (that means NO ONE, not even babies). I believe that God has mercy on who he wills (Romans 9), so if a baby/child were to die then yes, God could completely sovereignly decide to save them. Also Romans 5:12 is very clear that the sin of Adam cause death to spread through ALL men. The only one since the fall, who was born in a perfect state was Jesus Christ and to say otherwise is contrary to what the scriptures have said. You should not ignore the verses laid out for you in previous comments.
I think one of the problems Arminians have is they take away Gods sovereignty and replace it with “mans sovereignty”. Is Jesus not the author and perfector of your faith (Hebrews 12:1-3)? Why do you pray for others to come to Christ (like a Calvinist) if God doesn’t change them, but they have to be “good enough” to make the choice for God to save them? The fact that I know I was never “good” enough to make the choice to choose God just shows his grace and mercy even more. I have no room to boast.
TC: well much of that is just strawmanning. I’m not an Arminian and there are more perspectives out there. Notice what you did though. I pointed out how you’ve misused two portions of scripture, and you went on quoting different scriptures. See again Psalm 58 starts with the words “Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge people with equity? No, in your heart you devise injustice,” then the material goes into writing about the deeds of wicked people in clearly extravagant language.
You ignored the extravagant language and tried to make the text argue for total inability. That’s very inappropriate. The psalm goes on into contrasting the wicked with the lot of the righteous. Are wicked rulers justing justly in the opener? No. So God’s psalm ends teaching “The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.”
if you scripture bomb people with 1000 out of context verses and punctuate the whole thing by saying “glory to God, solar da gloria!” That’s just madness isn’t it?
be.transformed.7: I disagree that the scripture that was used in psalm was misused in any way. In Psalm 58 it says that the wicked FROM BIRTH are wicked and God astray FROM THE WOMB. That is from the original language. Can you at least address some of the verses from my previous comments? How about a quick summary of Romans 9 which non-reformed love to skip? Do you pray for others like a Calvinist? Do you pray that God will change the heart of that person to know Christ, even though they can “sovereignly” make that choice with there so called “free will”?
TC: And don’t forget their VENOM, like the VENOM of a SNAKE. LIONS with FANGS. FETUS LIES in the WOMB. Again shoehorning inability into the text is an outrageous misuse of the verse, it’s a crime against scripture. You’re not respecting the genre. The context and overall structure is clear, it’s a rebuke of the wicked rulers and an encouragement to the righteous. We could do this 100 times over with 100 different misused verses.
The non reformed? Has anyone ever told you that the World Communion of Reformed Churches include Arminians who deny meticulous determinism? Even the dreaded Arminian is reformed. I honestly believe what’s happened here is that you’ve been misled by common internet talking points that Calvinists share together against the followers of Jesus. I’d like to correct you on more scripture but if you won’t own that first misuse going further would just be to harden you. The stuff about men changing their hearts themselves isn’t something I believe so again this is a common talking point used against believers in Jesus by Calvinists.
If you’d like I’d be happy to recommend some writers who don’t dodge that single chapter of Romans how believe is happening, these guys even include chapters 10, 11 and 12. They draw on the whole context and are very convincing. Although just as a freebie I’d like to recommend you get some of Jessie’s free ebooks. I don’t agree with him on absolutely everything but he’s composed some very readable books and it’ll do us good to listen to other voices without all of the mud slinging that many popular level Calvinists do. The Natural ability of man is something I’m reading myself now.
God bless you.
be.transformed.7: You sound a little condescending. Hopefully, you can learn to humble yourself [resisted the urge to put out Calvinists need God to humble me 😛]. I know what reformed means. Reformed theology started during the protestant movement with Luther. It is broadly recognized today as Calvinism. There are such beliefs as “reformed Arminians” but generally when speaking of reformed people refer to Calvinism. If you type into google, “reformed theology, the first result is on Calvinism [and if google says it you know it’s true]. So when I say non-reformed, I meant it in the sense as non-Calvinistic. Basically the general use of the term. I’m sorry I confused you.
You say that you believe that man cannot change his own heart, then why ask if Adam had free will or if God is sovereign over man’s choices? I guess I’m just confused and have no idea where you sit theologically. You haven’t presented any verses for whatever you do believe, but just asked some questions about the fall of man, and try to attack my use of scripture. Also you never actually told me where you disagree with me theologically. I hope you humble yourself and pray you actually read all the versus press ted to you (which you won’t even address). You say I misuse all these scriptures, I will respectfully disagree. God bless, and have a great day!
prodigals_prodigy: When you try to say Calvinism places God and Satan on the same team, you question the Omnipotence and Omniscience of God. You expect God to be fair by YOUR standards, when in fact He clearly states He is not like us. You are blinded by your own pride.
I just want you to know that there are people praying for you
TC: Surely when Jesse questions Calvinism he’s just questioning Calvinism. Does questioning Calvinism = questioning God?
prodigals_prodigy: Deuteronomy 13:1-5. Here is a perfect example of how the Bible clearly states that God tests us. Does it mean God and Satan are on the same team? Satan does the will of God and glorifies God no matter how much he (Satan) may dislike it. God is in control and we are at His mercy the minute we are conceived.
TC: but is questioning Calvinism the same as questioning God or God’s attributes? If you check out some of my other conversations with Calvinists on Jesse’s page it’s getting really hard to get a straight answer on questions. :p
prodigals_prodigy: The answers are in the Bible. Misinterpretations lead to bad doctrine. Taking singular verses out of scripture and away from whole passages lead to palagianism and Armenian belief systems. God is fully in control and is sovereign.
TC: can you define the word sovereign for me. What does that word mean? Myself and @solo.man5 have been exchanging on this in the same comments section and I’d be happy to get your input.
TC: Thankfully I’ve already read from the late R. C. Sproul and the Westminster confession. God bless him. So the idea is that God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass. You know that word in the original translation simply means Lord right? Rightful authority. It’s just the right to rule and not in any way an explanation of how God governs. Preordaining doesn’t enter into it. Anybody who uses the word differently is misusing that word. The American government is sovereign, the British parliament is a sovereign body, even kings were sovereign.
That’s why if I open up my small king James Bible the preface says (addressing King James) “Great and manifold were the blessings, most dread Sovereign, which almighty God, the Father of all mercies, bestowed upon us the people of England, when first he sent your majesty’s royal person to rule and reign over us.”
solo.man5: sovereign means “supreme authority.” Humans can never truly be sovereign, though we wish to be (so called the royals.), but that has led to sin. We are not sovereign because we have no power of ourselves – in God, is all life All good things come from Him, and in Him there is no darkness. God is sovereign of people because they are His creation, He owns us and the world. He is not limited to, or subjected to our will – the very will He created, mind you.
For example, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD like channels of water; he turns it wherever he wants.” Proverbs 21:1. God directs us to Himself. when He does not direct us, or refrains from acting, sin is our natural output – yet God is still sovereign because He allows such sin to occur, though He does not sanction it. this is important to understand. It is similar to having a dog on a leash, with meat a few yards from him. we hold the leash and prevent the dog from getting the meat. though if we remove ourselves and let the dog go his own way, he will devour the meat.
TC: “a supreme ruler, especially a monarch.” I don’t mind us using any of the synonyms or wrangling the words now and again but my point is that when you say God “. . .brings all things about for his glory — that is sovereignty.” That’s not sovereignty. Our hairs being numbered and God doing everything that pleases him isn’t sovereignty. Sovereignty doesn’t even tell us that God does rule over your life, just that He ought to. It says God is the Lord whether you know it or not. He’s Lord whether you bow or not. And heaven knows meticulous determinism is not sovereignty.
Ruler, monarch, supreme ruler, Crown, crowned head, head of state, potentate, suzerain, overlord, dynast, leader, these are synonymous with the word sovereign. The king James translation simply had to introduce sovereign because they were already translating God’s name as LORD, for which they couldn’t translate the word lord as lord. If they did they’d be writing lord LORD which makes no sense. 🙂 As @prodigals_prodigy wrote, “misinterpretation leads to bad doctrine.” The word sovereign does not mean meticulous determination of all things and the people who say it does are misleading themselves.
prodigals_prodigy: That’s fine with me. In my opinion, God Almighty will always be Sovereignly in control of all things. I will happily bow before Him when He comes and proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.
TC: “Jesus is Lord” is the way, it’s what Christians proclaim. Still, what happens when people translate Lord as sovereign and then they pervert sovereign into “predetermining all things”? The “Christian” statement of faith now becomes “Jesus is predetermining all things.” Or “God is predetermining all things.”
I’ll simply write this and say @solo.man5 and yourself can receive it or reject it, either way it’s a fact and it’s in the history books. For over 300 years after the resurrection of Jesus and when the freewill debate was at its hottest, the Christian community repudiated every school of thought that would resemble what was later called Augustinianism, Calvinism, doctrines of grace, you name the coat of paint.
The ante Nicene fathers battled every one of them in principle. I wrote to a nice enough person named @synghlee and pointed out that both Polycarp and Irenaeus believed in freewill in the true sense of the word. John the beloved’s disciples taught libertarian freewill, and they taught that Jesus believes in it too. True undetermined freewill was what they taught. @synghlee replied from John’s own gospel calling for unity, they said they “have every respect for the first century church fathers,” she added “let’s talk about something else, let’s talk about the gospel.” (To paraphrase.)
But if we have every respect for the first century church, let’s put our money where our mouths are and defend their doctrines. If we love John, Polycarp, Ignatius, Jesus, if we love them like I feel many of us do, then let’s stop believing in attractive lies and start defending their faith. Let’s strive for Christian authenticity.
prodigals_prodigy: Armenians always twist Biblical scriptures and history to make themselves have the last say. They talk with condescension and pride. There is so much Biblical basis for Calvanistic Theology. Many of the early Church and later the Reformers paid with their blood and lives for their beliefs in God. Catholicism and Armenianism have close ties in their beliefs of inner good in their selves and their sinners prayer which doesn’t exist in the Bible.
TC: I’m not an Armenian and have never read directly from Jacob Arminius. Augustine is called “the father of Roman Catholicism.” Disagreeing with your beliefs means running the gauntlet of insults you’ve been trained to throw, I believe that is the work of a condescending and prideful community with no strong rebuttal.
one of the telltale signs that Calvinism is so wrong is the large amount of insults they’re taught by their gurus and the Calvinist culture. Consider it yourselves @solo.man5, @sanctified_weapon, @synghlee and many others I’ve been exchanging with. You’ve probably learnt several derogatory taunts. Maybe I’m a Pelagian or a semi Pelagian. A freewill idolator. Man centered, not god centered. Non-reformed. More into philosophy than the Bible. A secret Catholic to boot.
In my own studies I remember a lightbulb moment where I realized something, “Calvinists have more arguments against Christians than against anyone else.” They didn’t come out in the same way or with the same force against Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists or even atheists. I had already believed in Jesus for years without knowing the details of the denominations or the ins and outs of high Christian theology, so I didn’t grow up prejudiced against you guys. I didn’t and still don’t hate anyone, I just love Christ and the things He suffered to save us. Still keep that thought in mind, pound for pound you’re probably taught more arguments against followers of Jesus than against anybody else. God bless you all.
prodigals_prodigy: I won’t continue to argue, but can’t help see that your last refute to me was on a page that regularly attacks Calvanism.. This is one of the points I never get. We are considered rude in defending the Bible, and what we believe the original, not a translation or version, has to say. When passages are offered, often times the refuting scriptures given in return are verses pulled out of middle of greater passages. I will agree however, that more time needs to be spent doing what God ordered us to do, and that’s spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
TC: we’ve only outlined one real error in our back and forth though. That’s the misuse of sovereignty by the community you identify with. Our buddy @solo_man5 even went so far as to say it’s heresy to deny God is “sovereign.” Now was that condemnation for people who deny God is lord (the true meaning of sovereign,) or was it for people who deny meticulous determination of all things? Notice how vicious this deception is on the part of the Calvinist community.