It has taken me 2 days to get here (took me that long to read this last several pages of this thread!!

I am not like many of your here with a background in Greek or any formal Christian ed. at all. But I am a born again Christian. All I can give you is my experience. I'm not all settled on the whole Calvinism - Arminianism issue myself and don't know if I'll ever be. But just from my experience and from what I read in Scripture I lean in the Calvin direction.

What I can tell you for sure is that God definately chose me. I can't explain why (except for the vigorous prayers of my Mother) God chose to reveal Himself to me at age 17 1/2. I prayed "sinners prayers" a few times at camp growing up. But I knew in my heart there was something missing. And I did pray the verses to God - where God says - seek me and you will find me - as a teenager. I began going to Youth For Christ meetings and this is when God revealed himself to me. But it's not even going to Youth For Christ that did it. I remember when I began to see things very differently. I had a friend quote a few verses to me and and I got out my confirmation bible from under my bed (already 4 years old and in still brand new looking condition). I read these verses and it was like a big light bulb went on!! And I had apparently read these verses before somewhere because they were underlined. I was kind of shocked seeing they were underlined because I did not at all remember reading these verses before at all. And I started just devouring the Word and read the NT many, many times over the next couple of years. Why did this happen then? I don't know. God totally did it. I have to say I side with the Calvinists on this site that the regeneration totally starts with God and not us and our faith or believing the Word in our heart,etc etc.

I like seeing this "debate" on here and hope Zion Seeker can stay with us and just not get so defensive. Why get defensive?? Ok you don't want to believe in all the Calvinist views, then fine. But if somebody else does, then that's fine too. That's how I feel about it. Just remember you're on Calvinist territory here and you need to respect that. I know I'm saved and that's what matters and I'll be learning for the rest of my life.

I went on a Mormon discussion board once (when I was researching Mormonism thoroughly because of a neighbor I've gotten to know who is Mormon). I read their rules on the board. I wanted to respond (against the rules of the board) to one person who was questioning some things, but I didn't do it because that wasn't right because I would have had to break their rules to do it. (of course they had strick rules and didn't want any Christian like me coming on to change anyone's minds) I was on their turf and it wouldn't be right to not respect their wishes on that board.