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Clint #37744 Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:02 AM
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Quote
CMH states,

I ask very intrigued here, what do you see this as saying? I try to come to scripture from an unbiased perspective so that I may not see it and jump to OH MEN HAVE FREE WILL!! or visa versa, OH HOW WE WERE ALL CHOSEN!!! type of attitude and I see a little of both in this set of scripture.. I downloaded VIA e-sword the LITERAL TRANSLATION and so that is what I am reading, (in hopes of not getting a poor translation)..
It is “impossible” to come to scripture from an unbiased perspective. No one has a tabla rasa [blank slate] approach. Thus, our presupposition(s) need to be scriptural, not personal.

PS: Stick with the ASV and you will have a better translation.

Quote
CMH states,

Starting in verse 37 of John 6 I would see a reformed view.. Who ever the FATHER GIVES will come and in no way be cast out.. I see that much so I would assume that is what you meant for me to get? and then into verse 38 I see that Jesus is saying that he came out of heaven NOT FOR HIS WILL but for the will of HIS FATHER whom sent Him. and then He continues to say that the will of the Father is that all He was given will not be lost but raised up on the last day..
God is not like Sybil, is not schizophrenic, and does not have multiple personalities that in one area He speaks Reformed and other Arminian. Since Arminianism and Reformed theology are opposing systems one must be a lie. Thus, if God embraced BOTH, then God would not be God since He would be embracing a lie.

Quote
CMH states,

So far I see a reformed theme here.. God is giving Christ the people, and of these people NONE shall be lost and in fact the will of God is not only to keep from losing any, but to raise them up.. Verse 40 is kinda where I start to see the other side, (I would never call myself or my view of Armenian true Armenian because I do not believe that I could or anyone could lose there salvation)... Between verse 40 and 43 Jesus is talking to the crowd at His home town and they ask in a very con deciding way, is this not the same boy who grew up here who now tells us He is God?? They are mocking Him.

Yet verse 44 gets thick.. No one is able to come to Christ unless God draws them, and they will be raised on the last day. Verse 45 however quotes Isa. 54:13 saying ,"It has been written in the Prophets, They "shall" all "be taught of God." So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me;

So EVERYONE will be taught OF God but not all will learn from Him or in other words, believe in Him. I see that much as well.. Yet it still sounds like they were all given equal opportunity. They were all taught OF God and therefore were able to believe or not to believe..
No. EVERYONE will not be taught of God. This is just your presupposition. This is NOT what these scriptures teach. What you espouse is a salvation by works – a salvation by mere intelligence (taught of God). What of being born again of the Spirit?

This scripture is merely saying that in the Messianic age all the citizens of the true Israel (the invisible church) would be taught of God. Compare: Isa. 54:13; 60:2- 3; Jer. 31:33-34; Mic. 4:2; Zeph. 3:9; and Mal. 1:11. As Hendriksen states,

Quote
Here again the divine and the human activities in the work of salvation are juxtaposed, for immediately after “And they shall all be taught of God” there follows, Everyone who listens to the Father and learns of him will come to me. In this connection, however, it should be emphasized that in showing how sinners are saved Scripture never merely places side by side the divine and the human factors, predestination and responsibility, God’s teaching and man’s listening. On the contrary, it is always definitely indicated that it is God who takes the initiative and who is in control from start to finish. It is God who draws before man comes; it is he that teaches before man can listen and learn. Unless the Father draws, no one can come. That is the negative side. The positive is: everyone who listens to the Father and learns of him will come. Grace always conquers; it does what it sets out to do. In that sense, it is irresistible. The absolute character of the cooperation between Father and Son, which, in turn, is based upon unity of essence, is stressed once more as in so many other passages in this Gospel: he who listens to the Father (not merely in the outward sense but so that he actually learns of him) comes to the Son, “will come to me.” Such a person will embrace Christ by a true and living faith. This listening and learning, however, does not indicate that any human being would ever be able to comprehend God (or to have an immediate knowledge of him apart from his revelation in Christ). Such fullness of knowledge is the prerogative of the Son. Hence, we read: Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who comes from God, he has seen the Father.

William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 1-2, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Gospel According to John. New Testament Commentary, 1:240 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001).
What your view conveniently (not taught of God) overlooks is,

Quote
Matthew 13:13-17 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Clearly, the ONLY ones taught of God are the ones enabled to hear God. Clearly, it is God who acts first to heal spiritual ears that His voice may be heard. Clearly, God is not Arminian.

Quote
CMH states,

Because I am not real familiar with this book, I was a little lost …
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/comfort.gif" alt="" />

Quote
CMH states,

Verse 64.. But there are some of you who are not believing. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were, the ones not believing, and who was the one betraying Him. And he said, "Because of this, I have told you that no one is able to come to Me except it is given to him from My Father."

Here it seems as if Jesus said Because He knew from the beginning who was going to betray or believe, that He told them that no one was able to come to Him except that which was given by the Father.

Towards the end it seems as if there was a more equal choice for everyone who was taught OF God, and because there was a foreknowledge of who would believe or betray, that Gods choice was made.. I understand that Calvinists definition of foreknew or knew is different than most.. ??
When the Bible speaks of God’s foreknowledge by definition, it also speaks of His foreordination. How can you have foreknowledge on God’s part with foreordination or how can you have foreordination without foreknowledge? These are flip-sides of the same coin when speaking of God’s character. You can’t have one without the other.

Using your philosophical approach God could be run off His throne. Carried out to its natural ends, you state that God ordains what man thinks and desires. If mankind thought that God should no longer be God and lose all power, then by your definition He could be run off His throne. However, the tower of Babel (Gen. 11) reveals that God does not do what man thinks and desires (Prov. 14:12), but does what He desires (Isa. 14:27; Dan. 4:35). If God did what man desired then hell would await us all, for every imagination of the thoughts of [man’s] heart is only evil continually (Gen. 6:5).

In addition, your presupposition that EVERYONE is taught of God continues to lead to faulty interpretation(s). Only the ones that God gave to Jesus, come to Jesus (6:37). No man can come to Jesus except the Father draw him (6:44). God draws and gives and He does not draw and teach all for Christ, for He hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil (Prov. 16:4). Thus, verses 64ff echo what have been said in verses 37 and 44. None can come to Christ in faith, but those that are persuaded and enabled to do so by the Spirit; but all these will come, drawn by the irresistible grace of heavenly love, and none who come is rejected. Furthermore, the unbelief, though inexcusable, was to be expected, for faith is a gift of God, and it is not given to all men (Eph. 2:8-10).

Quote
CMH states,

I have a 2 year old sister that I know.. I love her and interact with her, and I could tell you her actions in certain situations BECAUSE I know her.. I could not walk down the street to a random house, look at their 2 year old child and tell them what their kid would do in ANY situation because I DO NOT know that child.. Am I wrong in this assumption?
Once again, you speak of your assumptions as opposed to what you stated at the beginning – “I try to come to scripture from an unbiased perspective.” Which is it? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

Once again, your assumption is incorrect. What you are saying is that God knows some people (my sister), but He does not know others (other 2 year olds) – in others words God is not omniscient, that God is still learning, God does not foreordain, God does not have knowledge or foreknowledge. Are you an open theist?. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
J_Edwards #37745 Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:41 PM
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I would like to start out saying this; I TRY to come to the scripture unbiased.. I never said I SUCCEED at coming unbiased.. I would have hoped that one who is so quick to rebuke one who is just trying to learn would have seen that.

Secondly, why do you say ASV is better than any other translation? I posted a quote from scripture the other day and I was informed that the Literal Translation was supposed to be just what it says, LITERALLY translated.. Not the translators opinion of how the scripture was written.. I ask only because I have access to the ALT, ASV, KJV, LITV, NIV, and maybe another one or so and because I cannot read Greek or Hebrew, I do not know which of these stands closest to the original text.

Thirdly, I again say that I would have hoped that one so quick to rebuke me would have read more into my question/statement rather than the wording I used.. When I said that I can sort of see both Armenian and Reformed views, I did not mean to suggest that I believe both are present.. This ties into my ATTEMPT at an unbiased approach and it seemed to make sense both ways I looked at it. J_edwards, I hope that you do not feel threatened by this, but I feel that you were in an argument mode where the entire point of your post was to argue me.

"Clearly, the ONLY ones taught of God are the ones enabled to hear God. Clearly, it is God who acts first to heal spiritual ears that His voice may be heard. Clearly, God is not Arminian"

I never said that God did not act first.. Again, YOU make assumptions into my questions/statements that were not intended by me. My question is probably better asked, and I say this now because I have inadvertently while reading some scripture today found my own answer; the original question was; Of the men who would be taught of God, do THOSE men still have a choice? I asked this because of the scripture pointing out Judas who would betray Christ was always with Him and being taught of God. Did Judas choose to give up Jesus to the guards, or did God "make" him? I have since my last post read about Grace always winning and therefore found my answer to "could they still choose no".. My question still remains though, did God "make" Judas give up Christ or did Judas choose it? I say "make" because in another post someone made the comment that God uses your circumstances and such things to "direct" the steps of men.. I feel that the only gain Judas had for giving Christ up was money, and in that way did God foreordain those men to offer him money, or did He allow Satan to use those men? I guess my real question is this, how does Satan play into our world if God has put everything into its place? Is Satan not then doing what he was made to do? If all this is true then how can we call this "evil vs good" battle a "war" as the Bible makes it out to be?

The Bible makes perfect relevance of this in talking about the armor of God.. To fight.... But fight what? What God has made to happen?

Please do not treat me like an idiot or get huffy puffy about my posts and ASSUME that I hold all I post here as truth.. I do not.. I am merely asking so that I may understand HOW and WHY a reformed follower would rebuke this line of thought.. Most of my family and friends would consider themselves Armenian and these are questions I am asked all the time.. To tell you the truth I lean more towards Reformed than anything else.. I just have doubts because I seem to be in a minority especially around my family and friends.

I have 2 more things real quick before I end this post..

J_edwards.. You assume a definition that I did not state about foreknowledge.. You did not even quote my whole statement into your own post.. I stated in my post that I understand that a Reformed definition of foreknow or to know is strictly speaking of PERSONS and NOT their actions.. I was merely asking if your definition also included the idea that if you really know a PERSON and their HEARTS and MINDS, do you not also know their actions?

and lastly..again, another assumption made by J_edwards..My question about knowing my sister and not knowing another 2 year old was just a way of trying to explain my thought.. God "knows" everyone.. He created them, I would surely hope that He "knows" them.. I never meant for it to come off as He would have to learn about that person.. My use of KNOW was supposed to show an INTIMATE knowing.. Because unless I am mistaken, that is what separates me from a, what do you call them.. an unregenerate person? I am able to intimately know God and speak with Him.. others who have not turned to Christ cannot do the same.. My other point was that God already knows us, our most intimate thoughts to ourselves, our deepest darkest secrets and everything about us and so my question from here came as this.. Would He NOT ALSO know the actions of the thing He created?

Clint #37746 Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:58 AM
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C.M.H. said:
I would have hoped that one who is so quick to rebuke one who is just trying to learn would have seen that.

and:

Thirdly, I again say that I would have hoped that one so quick to rebuke me....

J. Edwards and others in this forum have taken the time to answer your questions directly, scripturally and compassionately. It appears to me that the only "rebuke" being offered anywhere here is your own to J Edwards for not being more "sensitive". You claim that you are "learning" and "ignorant" in certain matters but at the same time you are refusing their teaching and counsel. Do you believe that on this Reformed Website you will not be criticized for the illogic of attempting to hold any portion of the Arminian as opposed to the Calvinist view of God's predestinating sovereignty at the same time?

The simple fact is that the Arminian or semi-Pelagian assertion from outside of the Scripture, always eventually leads to the anthropocentric and upside-down Gospel of the "free will" of men. J Edwards and others are not rebuking you but out of concern, simply offering you the truth of Scripture. From what I can see in your posts is a continuing refusal to even acknowledge the truth in the sound and orthodox biblical perspective of their replies and answers to your questions.

Quote
There is a way which seems right to a man but its end is the way of death. [Prov. 14:12, NASB]

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Clint #37747 Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:06 AM
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Quote
CMH stated,

Secondly, why do you say ASV is better than any other translation? I posted a quote from scripture the other day and I was informed that the Literal Translation was supposed to be just what it says, LITERALLY translated.. Not the translators opinion of how the scripture was written.. I ask only because I have access to the ALT, ASV, KJV, LITV, NIV, and maybe another one or so and because I cannot read Greek or Hebrew, I do not know which of these stands closest to the original text.
Literal translations (and there are MANY) are made by authors. Translations use words. Words have different meanings in different contexts and thus choices have to be made in translation. Authors have presuppositions. Thus, presuppositions come into play. The authors with presuppositions closest to Scripture (thus far) are those that translated the Bible into the ASV. ASV is closest to the original text. It is available here. BTW, the church (as far as we know) does not have the “original” text, only copies – and thus I use the phrase accordingly – ah, translation.

Quote
CMH stated,
Thirdly, I again say that I would have hoped that one so quick to rebuke me
Quick? To date there have been 62 replies available to read in this thread! There have been numerous articles mentioned. You do not understand how patient we have been. Some are not even responding to you now (Matt. 10:14-15; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5; 10:10-12; Acts 13:50-51) because you have displayed and continue to display your unwillingness to learn (Rom. 16:17).

Rebuke is biblical! We learn from it. We grow by it. Faint not the writer of Hebrews says (Heb. 12:4-13).

Quote
<font size="4">Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent</font>.
I will not “secretly love” you, but I will rebuke you “openly” that you may hear “your Father’s instruction.” I will not flatter your lies with acceptance, so you may wallow in the “song of fools.” When you embrace Arminianism you embrace a lie – a sin – and as Paul said to Timothy, “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” When we preach “the Word” we “reprove and rebuke,” because we openly love and embrace the truth. The essence of our loving rebuke is that you “might be sound in the faith” and not be a protector and a promoter of lies. Christ loves you and thus He uses secondary causes – like us here at the Highway and many others – to rebuke and chasten “with all authority.” This is biblical: grow, learn, listen, and believe.

BTW, when we respond to “your words” we are not condemning you as a person, but correcting and challenging “your position.” I can hate your words and doctrine (Rev. 2:6) and still love you. You and your position are different entities. Being a former homicide detective, if I desired to hate your person, I could be much more imaginative. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Quote
CMH stated,

would have read more into my question/statement rather than the wording I used.. When I said that I can sort of see both Armenian and Reformed views, I did not mean to suggest that I believe both are present..
This is good. However, be advised we are not mind readers – we try, but …. Thus, you need to write what you mean and mean what you write. Explain yourself. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. After you have been here for a while we will begin to understand you more, but for the time being, explain EXACTLY what you mean. Be specific with your wording, because all we have to evaluate you with is your words – or lack and misuse of them.

Every time you post you are either teaching the truth or a lie. We take this seriously.Thus, clarification will always be sought and correction and understanding made accordingly.

Quote
CMH stated,

My question is probably better asked, and I say this now because I have inadvertently while reading some scripture today found my own answer; the original question was; Of the men who would be taught of God, do THOSE men still have a choice? I asked this because of the scripture pointing out Judas who would betray Christ was always with Him and being taught of God. Did Judas choose to give up Jesus to the guards, or did God "make" him? I have since my last post read about Grace always winning and therefore found my answer to "could they still choose no".. My question still remains though, did God "make" Judas give up Christ or did Judas choose it? I say "make" because in another post someone made the comment that God uses your circumstances and such things to "direct" the steps of men.. I feel that the only gain Judas had for giving Christ up was money, and in that way did God foreordain those men to offer him money, or did He allow Satan to use those men? I guess my real question is this, how does Satan play into our world if God has put everything into its place? Is Satan not then doing what he was made to do? If all this is true then how can we call this "evil vs good" battle a "war" as the Bible makes it out to be?
There is a difference in being taught outwardly by God and inwardly by God (1 Cor. 1:17-31; 2:14). Judas was never taught inwardly by the Spirit of God – he only heard the outward call of the Gospel – nothing more. What Judas did receive was “common grace” (Matt. 5:45).

God did not force Judas into His position. Satan did not play a Flip-Wilson (“the devil made me do it”) and make Judas do anything. Satan tempts us. Satan tempted Judas. Judas fell to the temptation because it was in his sinful nature to do so. All men “naturally” hate God (Rom. 3:10-18, etc.). This is our character – this is our disposition – no matter how much outward teaching we ever receive, without grace we would NEVER change.

God MUST judge all sin or He would not be holy God. Without election all would be condemned – and rightfully so. However, election allows God to operate in a life differently than in a person that is not elected (I say “allow” because otherwise God would be acting against His nature – He must judge sin in the sinner – and in the elect Jesus takes the judgment, et. al.). Because of what God predestined by His grace alone, elect man, when changed by the Spirit of God, will choose Christ “naturally” because he is a “new creature in Christ Jesus” (2 Cor. 5:17). The choice of Christ is a genuine choice by a new creation. It is a irresistible choice in that the new creation genuinely desires God – as opposed to his old nature that hated God (Rom. 1:30).

Just because God predestined Judas to do what He did, does not mean that God forced Judas to do what He did. While this is difficult to understand for our finite minds (this is for all of us, not just you), the best, yet not perfect example, is that of someone writing a play and then it being acted out. The Playwright (God) writes the script. Everything is written, as He desires it to be. It is a perfect script. In it, He writes of two types of people – elect and non-elect. He writes all the secondary causes – including Satan and his host. Each actor acts out his part “according to his nature.” The actors desire to act out their respective part. They each desire the part they are playing. The Playwright does not have to force the actors into anything – they do what comes naturally to them. Thus, the Playwright has written a perfect play that is being acted out by actors that desire their parts. The Playwright did not force a single actor to act out a part that was against their nature, but still wrote the script. Each actor acted out his part of the Playwright’s script willingly. Thus, we have predestination and the human will in the same play. (as with any example it cannot be taken too far …).

Another example I do not like as well still may help. A semi-auto pistol is made of several parts. It has a frame, a slide, a barrel, a safety, an ejector, an extractor, etc. All the parts are perfectly made – to exact specifications (God’s part). Now, I know that when I assemble a weapons’ parts together that they will all function a particular way (predestination) – God’s part. Now, though I assemble the weapon in a particular way, I do not force the parts to function against their nature – I merely make the weapon (draft the redemptive story) – God’s part (Eph. 1:11). All the parts function according to their own nature – the frame holds the magazine and trigger, the slide steadies the barrel and helps in the shell ejection, the ejector ejects the spent shell, etc. Now, I have manufactured a perfect gun, and though I have placed all the parts in a particular place, so they will function in a particular way, I have forced none of the parts to do anything against their nature – I did not say to the barrel to act as a slide, etc. I have placed each part perfectly. It is a prefect design. Adam pulled the trigger on God’s creation and everything was fine until he put some corrupt ammo in the gun, and then …. he and his descendants have continually missed the target every since. The gun now misfires, does not always extract spent shells, its aim is off, etc. …. The weapon was manufactured to function in a particular way and when “the way” was corrupted it followed yet another predetermined path of mis-function. Predestination and the will can co-exist. (remember, no finite example of that which is infinite is perfect).

Quote
CMH stated,

I just have doubts because I seem to be in a minority especially around my family and friends.
Those who hold to “the truth” will normally always be in the minority. How large was the group that desired Christ not to be crucified? Many, like Festus will think your mad (Acts 36:24) and hate you without a cause (Luke 21:17; John 15:19; 17:14). You will finally be in the majority when you reach heaven.

BTW, if I think your stupid or an idiot, I will tell you directly. Don’t assume it otherwise. Again, you need to learn how to distinguish between what is “you” and what is “your position.” I never called your position stupid or idiotic -- just unbiblical.

Quote
CMH stated,

Would He NOT ALSO know the actions of the thing He created?
God not only knows what actions you will take, but every action you would have taken if ……….. (fill in the blank). However, God’s predestination is not based upon what He knows will happen, rather His predestination is, or will be, reality -and this without violating another's will. He knows because He predestined and predestined because He knows. Remember that if God desired to change ANYTHING He could have (as long as it did not violate His nature) – He is God. However, the mere fact that He did not shows what – that He desired it “this way” and not another way, as He “worketh all things after the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11).

Now, I apologize if made you sorry with my previous post, however, I do not regret it,

Quote
2 Corinthains 7:8-10 For though I made you sorry with my epistle, I do not regret it: though I did regret it (for I see that that epistle made you sorry, though but for a season), I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Clint #37748 Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:49 PM
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C.M.H,


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C.M.H said:

Secondly, why do you say ASV is better than any other translation? I posted a quote from scripture the other day and I was informed that the Literal Translation was supposed to be just what it says, LITERALLY translated.. Not the translators opinion of how the scripture was written.. I ask only because I have access to the ALT, ASV, KJV, LITV, NIV, and maybe another one or so and because I cannot read Greek or Hebrew, I do not know which of these stands closest to the original text.

In MHO you can perhaps read Leland Ryken's article on Bible translation. Go to http://www.gnpcb.org/product/1581347308 and download the pdf file. Or you can get hold of the little book: Translating Truth with chapters by Grudem, Ryken, Collins, Poythress, and Winter.

Am not sure what Ryken's standing is among those on this forum but I think his article is good and gives some valid reasons for using an essentially literal translation like eg. the ASV, NASB, and the ESV.

Johan

Clint #37749 Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:04 PM
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C.M.H

Sorry I took a while to respond to you.
But I am actually glad I did, because of the other posters who were able to respond to you.
I have to admit that at first I was quite sympathetic to you with the way J_Edwards responded to you. However, given the fact that there are so many posts in this thread already I definitely can understand where he is coming from.

I will not boar you with replying directly with your attempt to exegete John chapter 6, which has already been done. But I will say that if I had done so, it would have been very similar to Machaira's response.

I do not know you and I can only assume you are serious about learning the truth about this matter. But take my advice and read and pray over the responses you have received on this thread. Then if you have any questions, please ask away. But do so in a manner that shows you want to learn.

In Christ
Tom

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I did not wish to start an argument over whether I felt J_edwards was being "sensitive" or not.. I do not care about the sensitivity that I may or may not be shown.. I know that I myself if put in his situation would have probably been even more harsh. I was merely trying to explain that he made assumptions as to what I was asking..

I thank him for telling me that he was not sure exactly what I meant, and because of his most recent post I am now aware that at least for a while, I need to write my EXACT thoughts.. I am too used to being around people who know me so well that they can pick out what I mean even in an unclear example.

I wish everyone would stop telling me however that I am not learning or refusing to learn.. I am actually learning a lot.. As I have tried to say in previous posts, yet it seems to have been in vain, I am more of a Reformist than Arminius.. and I would never label myself "Armenian" because I do not agree with all their theological points.. I have always found myself somewhere in the middle until I came here in which case I lean much more heavily towards the reformed.. I believe it was in my most previous post to this that I mentioned that not everything I ask or state here "I" think or hold to be truth.. Many of my questions are ones that I hear from family and friends and so I ask them in an attempt to find an explanation. I never explicitly say, "well my mom and dad, or My friend Bob or Joe want to know," because I feel that answers coming from you guys here on the site will not be the same as if I were asking it personally.. So I ask the question as best I can for them.. I talk to my wife nightly about the things I read here on this site.

I am not going to lie, Reformed theology is a hard thing to swallow especially growing up in a home and church that would oppose it as far as to try and kick a Reformed follower out..(unfortunately this has happened at my old church.. A student professed his belief in Reformed theology and the pastor tried to get him out of the youth group by setting age requirements for EVERYTHING and in doing so made it impossible to attend)

As much as I hate to admit it because until I found this site, I was always trying to find flaws in the Reformed faith in an attempt to make myself feel better for not agreeing.. While I still wont call myself a "Calvinist" (I feel that by calling myself that I am saying that I am a follower of Calvin, and not God), I will however agree that I mostly agree with Reformed theology..

I still have questions of my own that I want/need answered before I would really call myself Reformed however.. I will try to keep them as simple and clear as possible as to keep confusion out of this..

Prayer: What is the purpose of prayer? If all has been planned out, and my mom were supposed to die in the hospital after an auto accident, and I were to be praying for her safety would not matter. I ask this because until I had even heard of Reformed theology, every time I passed an accident on the freeway or highway I would say a little prayer for those affected by it.. Those IN the accident would be safe and recover physically and emotionally, and that their families would be able to handle all that was happening.. Yet now I feel as if my prayers mean absolutely nothing because they will have no affect on the outcome.. Yet I remember as a kid being told that a group that comes together to pray will definitely be heard.. And I see and hear of countless books that talk about the power of prayer.. yet I still feel as if it means nothing...

I will have more later.. It is time for me to leave for a dinner reservation but I hope that I have cleared up some of the "junk" that has created what seems like a small ruckus here on what should be a fun and friendly site.. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />

Clint #37751 Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:00 AM
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CMH, your latest post is most refreshing and it is good to see the Lord at work in your life. The extra explanation helped out immensely in seeing where you are coming from.

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CMH stated,

Prayer: What is the purpose of prayer? If all has been planned out, and my mom were supposed to die in the hospital after an auto accident, and I were to be praying for her safety would not matter. I ask this because until I had even heard of Reformed theology, every time I passed an accident on the freeway or highway I would say a little prayer for those affected by it.. Those IN the accident would be safe and recover physically and emotionally, and that their families would be able to handle all that was happening.. Yet now I feel as if my prayers mean absolutely nothing because they will have no affect on the outcome.. Yet I remember as a kid being told that a group that comes together to pray will definitely be heard.. And I see and hear of countless books that talk about the power of prayer.. yet I still feel as if it means nothing...
Prayers are powerful. Don’t ever stop praying and NEVER discount that prayer works. God ORDAINS everything – even our prayers. Let’s put this into an “accident example,” since this is the context of your post. God ordained car A and car B to be in an accident. God did this without sin. People in both cars are injured – one badly. God also ordained that as you passed by that you would pray. Now, if you did not pray, one of the people would not have made it. However, God knew the compassion of your heart toward accident victims (because He put it there), God ordained that you would pass by an accident at a particular place and time. God ordained that you would pray – and since He ordained it, it would be done. God ordained that the person would make it – and He did. See, God ordains not only the final result, but the secondary causes that lead up to the final event as well. God answered your prayer. Without prayer the person would not have made it. Prayer is precious. Prayer is ordained. Prayer has cause and effect, because God makes it so. Please note that God always answers pray, but the answer is not always yes …. God is also allowed to work outside of out prayer desires -- He knows what is best.

The WCF, On Providence states, (look at part II and III especially)

Quote
I. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[1] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[2] from the greatest even to the least,[3] by his most wise and holy providence,[4] according to his infallible foreknowledge,[5] and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,[6] to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[7]

1. Neh. 9:6; Psa. 145:14-16; Heb. 1:3
2. Dan. 4:34-35; Psa. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 34:1-41:34
3. Matt. 6:26-32; 10:29-31
4. Prov. 15:3; I Chr. 16:9; Psa. 104:24; 145;17
5. Acts 15:18; Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5
6. Eph. 1:11; Psa. 33:10-11
7. Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 917; Gen. 45:7; Psa. 145:7

II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly;[8] yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.[9]

8. Acts 2:23; see Isa. 14:24, 27
9. Gen 8:22; Jer. 31:35; Isa. 10:6,7; see Exod. 21:13 and Deut. 19:5; I Kings 22:28-34

III. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means,[10] yet is free to work without,[11] above,[12] and against them, at his pleasure.[13]

10. Acts 27:24, 31, 44; Isa. 55:10-11
11. Hosea 1:7; Matt. 4:4; Job 34:20
12. Rom. 4:19-21
13. II Kings 6:6; Dan. 3:27

IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;[14] and that not by a bare permission,[15] but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,[16] and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends;[17] yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.[18]

14. Isa. 45:7; Rom. 11:32-34; II Sam. 16:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; see II Sam. 24:1 and I Chr. 21:1; I Kings 22:22-23; I Chr. 10:4, 13-14
15. John 12:40; II Thess. 2:11
16. Psa. 76:10; II Kings 19:28
17. Gen. 50:20; Isa. 10:6-7,12-15 (particularly v.12)
18. James 1:13-14, 17; I John 2:16; Psa. 50:21

V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave, for a season, his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;[19] and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.[20]

19. II Chr. 32:25-26, 31; Deut. 8:2-3, 5; Luke 22:31-32; see II Sam. 24:1, 25
20. II Cor. 12:7-9; see Psa. 73:1-28; 77:1-12; Mark 14: 66-72; John 21:15-19

VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden,[21] from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;[22] but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,[23] and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin;[24] and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan,[25] whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.[26]

21. Rom. 1:24, 26, 28; 11:7-8
22. Deut. 29:4; Mark 4:11-12
23. Matt. 13:12; 25:29; see Acts 13:10-11
24. Gen. 4:4; II Kings 8:12-13; see Matt. 26:14-16
25. Psa. 109:6; Luke 22:3; II Thess. 2:10-12
26. Exod. 7:3, 8:15, 32; II Cor. 2:15-16; Isa. 6:9-10, 8:14; I Pet 2:7-8; Acts 28:26-27

VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.[27]

27. I Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8-9; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 4:28; Isa. 43:3-5, 14


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Clint #37752 Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:01 AM
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Thank you for your consolatory reply.

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C.M.H. said:
I am not going to lie, Reformed theology is a hard thing to swallow especially growing up in a home and church that would oppose it as far as to try and kick a Reformed follower out..

Indeed Reformed theology is hard to swallow as it tells us the not very pretty truth about our depraved condition and the truth of our absolute need of God's grace and the perfect work of His Son in our salvation. The natural man will not and cannot believe that he plays no meritorious part in God's sure and predestined plan of salvation.

Quote
As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. [John 6:66, NASB]


Without exception, no unregenerate man wants to hear that the God of Scripture is All and All.

Quote
C.M.H. said:
While I still wont call myself a "Calvinist" (I feel that by calling myself that I am saying that I am a follower of Calvin, and not God)

I don't particularly appreciate this name either and I much prefer "Reformed", but it's a name that was given to us by the enemies of the doctines of grace. These are enemies who always attack and kill the man when it is really his (among many others, such as Luther) biblical message that they despise. It is my belief that Calvin himself would fly into a rage if he knew that his love for the God of the inspired Scripture was being called "Calvinism".

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Clint #37753 Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:14 AM
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C.M.H said:
Prayer: What is the purpose of prayer? If all has been planned out . . .

Yet now I feel as if my prayers mean absolutely nothing because they will have no affect on the outcome . . .

Good morning C.M.H, <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/coffee2.gif" alt="" />

The first thing to consider is the fact that God commands us to pray in His word. That is to say, we can rest assured that if God commands it, then is certainly has a purpose. Second, we can observe in Scripture how God is pleased to use so-called "secondary causes" to accomplish His purpose. Lets apply your question to praeching. Why preach to anyone if God has chosen His elect from before the foundation of the world? Number one, it's a command. Two, the Apostle Paul tells us:

. . . it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe.

Could God draw His elect some other way if He wanted to do so? Sure, but He has determined to use a secondary cause like "the foolishness of preaching" to do the job. In the same way, God is pleased to use our prayers. For example, Abraham's prayers were used to save Lot and his family when God was about to destroy Sodom, (Gen. 18:22-33). Job's friends were told by God that Job will pray for them and He will accept his prayer on their behalf.

Job 42:8 Now therefore, take unto you seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt-offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you; for him will I accept, that I deal not with you after your folly; for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

In every situation God ordains the "means" as well as the "ends." For us to insist that this just isn't logical is to exalt our wisdom over God's, (I know you're not doing this, I'm just trying to make a point).

I'm sure more could be said on this topic, but it's time for work.


Jim

Jud 1:3 . . . contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

J_Edwards #37754 Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:43 PM
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Okay.. I can and do understand that God would ordain my prayers to fulfill a purpose He set them out to fulfill.. (the accident victim being saved because of it).. But what about the times I forget to?? I am not going to lie and say that EVERY time I pass an accident anymore that I pray.. I know I at least think to myself that I should, but I end up thinking about why should I pray, (especially recently with the thought of predestination and what not), what should I pray for, and so on and on; and so I know that I should and still dont.. if God ordained me to pray, or not to pray, why not make it more clear to me?? I seem so confused all the time because I have a habit of trying to figure out why certain things are/happen the way that they do.. If all that I experience is ordained, why am I always confused?

On a brighter note.. I am happy to hear that my most recent post before this one has helped clear up some of the confusion.. I hope no one has any hard feelings for as I said before.. I never meant to "pick a fight"..

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C.M.H. asked:
I seem so confused all the time because I have a habit of trying to figure out why certain things are/happen the way that they do.. If all that I experience is ordained, why am I always confused?

You are confused because it is God and not you that ordains events. I highly recommend to you Calvin's opus, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, chapter 16 concerning God's providence. The following is an excerpt from 1-16-9

Quote
9. But since our sluggish minds rest far beneath the height of Divine Providence, we must have recourse to a distinction which may assist them in rising. I say then, that though all things are ordered by the counsel and certain arrangement of God, to us, however, they are fortuitous,—not because we imagine that Fortune rules the world and mankind, and turns all things upside down at random (far be such a heartless thought from every Christian breast); but as the order, method, end, and necessity of events, are, for the most part, hidden in the counsel of God, though it is certain that they are produced by the will of God, they have the appearance of being fortuitous, such being the form under which they present themselves to us, whether considered in their own nature, or estimated according to our knowledge and Judgment.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Clint #37756 Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:48 AM
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Quote
CMH states,

But what about the times I forget to?? I am not going to lie and say that EVERY time I pass an accident anymore that I pray.. I know I at least think to myself that I should, but I end up thinking about why should I pray, (especially recently with the thought of predestination and what not), what should I pray for, and so on and on; and so I know that I should and still dont.. if God ordained me to pray, or not to pray, why not make it more clear to me?? I seem so confused all the time because I have a habit of trying to figure out why certain things are/happen the way that they do.. If all that I experience is ordained, why am I always confused?
When you forget? God knows when you will forget – before you forget (it is in His plan). While, you were responsible to pray (and when you didn’t it was sin), fear not, for all things work together for those that love God and are called according to His purpose. Remember, God is free to work “outside” of those secondary causes (i.e. your prayers) that we are responsible to do. God’s plan(s) includes what we do right, what we do wrong, what we do, and what we do not do. It all works together. Nothing catches God by surprise. All the pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly. It could go something like this:

Quote
There is an accident.
CMH prays
God acts

There is another accident 10 miles down the road
CMH is tired and just passes by
however, XYZ prays
God acts

There is another accident 5 miles down the road
CMH says, you have got to be kidding 3 accidents
XYZ says, I just finished praying
God still acts

XYZ gets too close to CMH
CMH skids
Both pray
Angels intervene
CMH and XYZ are ok
God has all the bases covered. Things will still turn out the way God desires. However, though they turn out the way God desires, this does not negate our responsibility to pray. Though Christ was crucified according to God’s plan, He still assigned moral responsibility to those that crucified Him (Acts 2:23).

This should bring us GREAT comfort. Every soul that is elect WILL BE saved – none will overlooked, none will be lost. See the comfort here of a perfect plan that cannot be stopped? God’s will, will be done. It can’t be stopped and it is perfectly just.

Confusion. We are all somewhat confused about “something.” None of us have all the answers. None of us can answer the WHY God of every situation. Notice when you read Paul and the others how many questions they are answering – the church had a lot of questions, confusion, misunderstanding, etc. Thus, this causes God’s church to: (1) realize that we STILL need God, and (2) to live by faith and not by sight, etc. God is molding and forming us. He uses the confusion to make us think things through – thus we begin to understand God, and His ways, better. (renewing our minds, Rom 12:1-2)

However, (what should not be too confusing) it is our responsibility is to always follow God’s Word – no matter what. Now sometimes you have to make a decision which of God’s words to follow – However, in the process we grow in faith.

I have found that it is best not to belabor topics such as predestination, election, etc. too long. We may only go so far in our understanding and after this we fall into dangerous territory. Thus, I change subjects, study something else (systematic theologies are good here as they keep you moving building precept upon precept -- look what Adopted posted -- good stuff), and return later – afresh desiring and more enabled to learn more. In addition, you we never fully understand everything, you will always have questions, … this is good, questions seek answers, thus causing growth ….


Reformed and Always Reforming,
lacknothing #37757 Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:59 AM
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From the human side of the salvation issue, I believe it is faith alone in Christ that results in the salvation of the lost (Eph. 2:8–9). In effect, Calvinists have confused the biblical truth that God requires a lost person to believe in Jesus Christ (as a condition of salvation) in order for him or her to be saved by God with the unbiblical error that a person can or does make a contribution to his or her salvation and thereby becomes a cosavior with God. It would seem that to avoid the latter error, Calvinists have needlessly denied the former truth. Just because the candidate for salvation has some presalvation responsibility (i.e., to believe in Jesus Christ), does not make him or her even partially a Savior.

ROMANS Chapter 9:
In choosing Jacob and rejecting Esau, God both chose and
rejected with exclusive reference to time, and with no reference
to eternity. As to the final destiny of the children, the choice
and rejection had no known effect upon it. It left each as free to pursue those things which would save him, and to shun those that would condemn him, as though it had never been made. Had each changed place with the other, it would not, in the slightest degree, have altered his prospects for heaven. What men wilfully do, not the divine choice, determines their final doom. God's choice, it is true, rendered the outward, temporal circumstances of Jacob and his posterity far superior to those of Esau and his; but, at the same time, it so increased responsibility as to leave the balances of justice level, and the chances of salvation equal.
The passage in hand has had assigned to it a very notorious conspicuity in theories of election, and, in my judgment, has been greatly abused. It was not penned in the interest of dogmatic Calvinism, and therefore does not countenance its offensive tenets. Interpreted as it should be, it teaches nothing contradictory of other portions of holy Writ, and shocking to our human sense of justice. In it God stands out still in a lovely light, and not as the arbitrary, inexorable Judge, who appoints one man to heaven and another to hell, not only without reason, but in defiance of it, so far as man can see. As I do not feel called upon to hunt up and notice all the various abuses to which the passage has been subjected, I shall leave that task with those who imagine that they can derive any profit from it.
12. The elder shall serve the younger. We have no account of Esau ever having personally served Jacob. The reference then must be to their respective posterities; and with this agree the facts of history. For in 2 Sam. viii: 14 it is distinctly said that "all they of Edom [Esau's posterity] became David's servants." Indeed, the Edomites were long subject to the kings of Israel, the latter often slaying them in great numbers. But the Edomites frequently asserted their independence; and at such times they became most barbarous and cruel. They seem to have taken especial pains to cultivate Esau's ancient hatred of Jacob; and they never let pass an opportunity to display it. About the time Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus, they seem to have disappeared as a separate people. After this we hear no more of them.
13. As it is written: I loved Jacob, but hated Esau. This quotation is from Mal. i: 2, 3- The extent to which God
loved Jacob was shown in preferring him to his brother; and the extent to which be bated Esau, in rejecting him from being one
of the heads of bis chosen people. More than this, the words need not be supposed to mean. Hatred, especially, we may assume to be used in the bold exaggerating sense so common with the prophets. It denotes not so much positive hatred, as not love.

SUMMARY.
Is it not unjust in God to choose one and reject another, as in the case of ( Jacob and Esau? Not at all; for in doing so, he acts according to his own avowed principles of conduct, which must be assumed to be right. Accordingly he says to Moses, I will make my own sense of right my rule in showing mercy. It was on this principle that he set up Pharaoh to be king. But all these choices create mere worldly distinctions. They are not choices to eternal life. But If God makes men what he pleases, why does he still find fault with them? He does not do so. He finds no fault with them for being what he makes them, but only for their own voluntary wrong. Again, in these choices, God's creatures should not presume to question him. They must take for granted that he acts justly. He has the absolute right to do what he does. and as he can do none wrong, he must not be questioned, but we can try to understand.

Jim_M #37758 Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:39 AM
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Again, it seems that the objection to the doctrine of predestination has much more to do with Total Depravity than with predestination.

The wonder is not that holy God should should show mercy to some and justice to the rest, the wonder is that He shows mercy to anyone at all! He is under no obligation to forgive anyone's sins. Nor can the guilty become judges of who should and who shouldn't be pardoned.

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