Ah the Calvinist rub Rbanks. This is what they mean. Man has no choice in doin what he does because of total depravity, yet is he is held accountable.If you read the Institutes, you will find that Calvin believes this......FrankPS. Its called a "mystery."
2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
[quotewisevirgin wrote:"Again, God is the ultimate cause of their doing their doings as He controls their every thought, move and act. As this is according to His Word"
The scriptures refute you(r) logic!
God is Love. This is no debate.So let us ask how does Love deal with the wicked hearts of men?Shall we say, "man is TULIP, therefore, it is impossible for him to turn to God and be saved. That is, unless, God comes and Sovereignly Wills (forcefully controls) the will of man to turn to Him."Your scripture quoting and terminology garble would seem to prove so.Allow me to give you these Scripture.Jesus said, [b]Matthew 5[/b] (Sermon on the Mount),[b]43[/b]. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. [b]44[/b]. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; [b]45[/b]. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. [b]46[/b]. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? [b]47[/b]. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? [b]48[/b]. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.Thus, we see here a connection between loving our enemies and the perfect will of the Father.And, again, Paul says in emphasis of this teaching, [b]Romans 12[/b][b]16[/b]. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. [b]17[/b]. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. [b]18[/b]. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. [b]19[/b]. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. [b]20[/b]. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. [b]21[/b]. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."But overcome evil with good."This sums up everything here. It is very plainly revealed throughout every book of the Bible that God calls men unto repentance. Turn and be healed, return to Me and be saved, repent and believe, etc.. Well how does God do this?[b]Romans 10[/b][b]10[/b]. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. [b]11[/b]. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. [b]12[/b]. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. [b]13[/b]. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. [b]14[/b]. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? [b]15[/b]. And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! [b]16[/b]. But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias (Isaiah) saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? [b]17[/b]. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. [b]18[/b]. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. [b]19[/b]. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. [b]20[/b]. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. [b]21[/b]. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. Now, if we were to follow wisevirgin's leading of Scripture, [b]verse 21[/b] would be an obscure contradiction. For God says, "All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." Yet, they did not repent nor put their faith in Him. How could this be if God was stretching forth His hands unto them?It is the principle of a broken spirit, and a broken and contrite heart. Well, how does God break the wicked hearts of men?Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.Love is able to overcome the wicked hearts of men without any forcefulness whatsoever. For we know love is patient and kind. Elsewhere we read, "the patience of God is our salvation." Yet, that very same Love will either harden or break our hearts, depending on whether or not we hate the Light, for though our deeds being wicked, we may yet love the darkness. The sympathetic and passionate loving-kindness of God sweeps over everyone and will break us if we will humble ourselves before Him.[b]James 4:10[/b], Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. [b]1 Peter 5:6[/b], Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.[b]Ezra 8:21[/b], Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. Well now, this is an interesting verse here:[b]Exodus 10:3[/b], Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, `How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me.'"[b]Exodus 8:15[/b], But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the LORD had said. And, again, [b]1 Samuel 6:6[/b], "Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharoah hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?"But wait a minute ...[b]Exodus 9[/b][b]12[/b]. [b]And the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart[/b], and he did not listen to them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses. [...][b]34[/b]. But [b]when Pharaoh saw[/b] that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, [b]he sinned again and hardened his heart[/b], he and his servants. [b]when Pharaoh saw[/b] ... [b]he sinned again and hardened his heart[/b]. So exactly, who hardened Pharaoh's heart? The LORD or Pharaoh?I say again, that very same Love will either harden or break our hearts, depending on whether or not we hate the Light, for though our deeds being wicked, we may yet love the darkness; this was the sin of Pharaoh.It is the same with healings and miracles. I spoke with a man once who called Jesus, "the magic-man himself!" He did not understand [b]Luke 4:18[/b], "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." You see, where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. It is a natural consequence that where Light is darkness flees. Where the Healer is the works of death are swallowed up in Life. Where the Forgiver is there is the atoning Blood of Jesus to cleanse away all sin. Where the Baptizer is there is the promised Holy Ghost ready to be poured out upon all flesh. Yet, even in Jesus' hometown, [b]Mark 6:5-6[/b], "He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief."A strange phrase to say that Jesus, the Son of God, "wondered at their unbelief"? Of all people, if God was controlling the hearts of men, I would think Jesus to have expected and understood this turn of events.The will of God is not a strange thing. Look at Jesus, how did Jesus deal with wicked men? How is it that we so often look at the Scriptures and say, "this is how to live in righteousness." And, yet, we completely ignore that God is also righteous. [b]2 Peter 3[/b][b]13[/b]. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. [b]14[/b]. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. [b]15[/b]. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; "And account that the longsuffering (patience) of our Lord is salvation." And what is Patience but that which Love is?This is very straightforward. God is Love and the Love of God hates sin and those who practice iniquity. Therefore, all who are in darkness are under judgment. Yet, the patience of God towards all unrighteous men is generous and kind and affectionate. Again, Luke 6:35, "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for God Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men."Thus, we understand that the kindness of God is persistent upon every wicked heart. Also, those who are forgiven much love much; and those who abide in love abide in God.To say, "God is controlling man, and the effect is manifested by their action," and, "Here we see that God controls nature even as He does men. The heart is the man himself, for out of it are the issues of life." Shows how little you understand of God and God's Love.In [b]John 17[/b], Jesus prayed that we would be one with eachother and with Him, just as He is One with the Father. It is God's desire to join Himself with men in Spirit and fellowship and relationship. By implication that "we are to be one" indicates that we are not yet one, we are seperated ([b]Isaiah 59:2[/b], "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear"). Thus, the cry of our Lord's heart is unity (peace and reconciliation). With your theology there is already perfect unity in sin, for all sin is controlled by God and there is none disobedient to the will of God. Although, last I checked, disobedience was the heart of all sin, as it is written "to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams." If all sinners then are obedient to God's control then what is sin? This is an old question that has been debated over and over; yet as to why it still needs to be asked is beyond me. Here is a challenge for you, wisevirgin,So, then, answer me this: is God a liar?[b]Hebrews 6:18[/b], "it is impossible for God to lie."[b]John 8:44[/b], "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies."[b]If as you say,[/b]
"Knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly," "God is the ultimate cause of their doing their doings as He controls their every thought, move and act. As this is according to His Word,"
wisevirgin wrote:"Again, God is the ultimate cause of their doing their doings as He controls their every thought, move and act. As this is according to His Word"Logic wrote: How do you make room for the responsibility of Man?
Excellent reply bog. My hardcore Calvinist friends always amaze me when they suspend their contextual intellect, ignore what Scripture cries out to them in favor of a theory put forward by Mr Calvin and brother Knox. Its kinda like people who cling to Darwins theory, even althoug science itself refutes it. Again its the reason I love brother Tozers take on it. I attended a Bible College that were four point Calvinists, most of the profs were Dallas theological allumni but they could not bring themsleves to go along with the L in the Tulip. Limted atonement was not an option for them and they could not find a definition of the word "world," that God so loved that fit. Also the word "all," was a problem for them :)I admired their courage on the one hand, but it seems to me that the five points build upon each other, if you take one out then the whole theory fails.God bless them for refusing to water down the atonement though......Frank
Rather than reply,to the last four posters,in a manner of justifying what I have written regarding God Almighty,I have only this to say. There is no God but this God. If my LORD and my God is not yours,I have no argument with you there. The accusations and apparent questions(I say apparent because they only appear to be so) have been answered elsewhere numerous times, as this is not new but has been going on since the garden. I give all the readers of this thread a few brief testimonies of God's Grace and Truth which came by Jesus Christ, from four men, one for each of the posters who'd deny my God and the God of these men and many others. Still more wonderful and deplorable it is, that some, who even make profession of spiritual religion, and talk of an inward work of God upon their hearts, should so far lose sight of humility and of truth, as to dream, either that their own arm helped the Almighty to save them, or at least that their own arm was able to have hindered Him from saving them. What can reflect deeper dishonour upon God, than such an idea? And what can have a directer tendency to engender and to nourish the pride of heart which deceiveth men?It pleased God to deliver me from the Arminian snare, before I was quite eighteen. Antecedently to that period there was not (with the lowest self-abasement I confess it) a more haughty and violent free-willer within the compass of the four seas. One instance of my warm and bitter zeal, occurs just now to my memory. About a twelvemonth before the divine goodness gave me eyes to discern, and an heart to embrace the truth, I was haranguing one day, in company, (for I deemed myself able to cope with all the predestinarians in the world), on the universality of grace, and the powers of human free agency. A good old gentleman (now with God) rose from his chair, and coming to mine, held me by one of my coat buttons, while he mildly addressed me to this effect: "My dear Sir, there are some marks of spirituality in your conversation; though tinged with an unhappy mixture of pride and self-righteousness. You have been speaking, largely, in favour of free-will: but, from your arguments, let us come to experience. Do let me ask you one question. How was it with you, when the Lord laid hold on you, in effectual calling? Had you any hand in obtaining that grace? Nay, would you not have resisted and baffled it, if God's Spirit had left you in the hand of your own counsel?"I felt the conclusiveness of these simple, but forcible interrogations, more strongly than I was then willing to acknowledge. But, blessed be God, I have since been enabled to acknowledge the freeness and omnipotence of His grace, times without number; and to sing (what I trust will be my everlasting song when time shall be no more), "Not unto me, O Lord, not unto me, but unto Thy Name give all the glory."We never know so much of heaven in our own souls, nor stand so high upon the mount of communion with God, as when His Spirit, breathing on our heart, makes us lie low at the footstool of sovereign grace, and inspires us with this cry, "O God, be mine the comfort of salvation, but Thine be the entire praise of it." (Augustus Toplady) If I admit that God's Will regulates the great movements of the universe I must admit that it equally regulates the small. It must do this, for the great depend upon the small. The minutest movement of my will is regulated by the will of God. And in this I rejoice. Woe is me if it be not so. If I shrink from so unlimited control and guidance, it is plain that I dislike the idea of being wholly at the disposal of God. I am wishing to be in part at my own disposal. I am ambitious of regulating the lesser movements of my will, while I give up the greater to His control. And thus it comes out that I wish to be a god to myself. I do not like the thought of God having all the disposal of my destiny. If He gets His will, I am afraid that I shall not get mine. It comes out, moreover, that the God about whose love I was so fond of speaking, is a God to whom I cannot trust myself implicitly for eternity. Yes, this is the real truth. Man's dislike at God's sovereignty arises from his suspicion of God's heart. And yet the men in our day, who deny this absolute sovereignty, are the very men who profess to rejoice in the love of God, - who speak of that love as if there were nothing else in God but love. The more I understand of the character of God, as revealed in Scripture, the more shall I see that He must be sovereign, and the more shall I rejoice from my inmost heart that He is so.(Horatius Bonar) George Mueller -- George Mueller is famous for the orphanages he founded and the amazing faith he had to pray for God's provision. Not many people know the theology that undergirded that great ministry. In his mid-twenties (1829) he had an experience which he records later as follows:Before this period [when I came to prize the Bible alone as my standard of judgment] I had been much opposed to the doctrines of election, particular redemption (i.e. limited atonement), and final persevering grace. But now I was brought to examine these precious truths by the Word of God. Being made willing to have no glory of my own in the conversion of sinners, but to consider myself merely an instrument; and being made willing to receive what the Scriptures said, I went to the Word, reading the NewTestament from the beginning, with a particularreference to these truths. To my great astonishment I found that the passages which speak decidedly for election and persevering grace, were about four times as many as those which speak apparently against these truths; and even those few, shortly after, when I hadexamined and understood them, served to confirm me in the above doctrines.As to the effect which my belief in these doctrines had on me, I am constrained to state for God's glory,that though I am still exceedingly weak, and by no means so dead to the lusts of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, as I might be, and as I ought to be, yet, by the grace of God, I havewalked more closely with Him since that period. My life has not been so variable, and I maysay that I have lived much more forGod than before (Autobiography, pp. 33-34). George Whitefield -- Whitefield was a greatevangelist in the 18th century. He said, "I embrace the Calvinistic scheme, not becauseCalvin, but Jesus Christ has taught it to me. Alas, I never read anything that Calvin wrote; my doctrines I had from Christ and His apostles; I was taught them of God. I know Christ is all in all. Man Is nothing: he hath a free will to go to hell, but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him to will and to do his good pleasure. Oh, the excellency of the doctrine of election and of the saints' final perseverance! I am persuaded, til a man comes to believe and feel these important truths,he cannot come out of himself, but when convinced of these and assured of their application to his ownheart,he then walks by faith indeed!"
Dear Wisevirgin, just because I and others do not shate you beliefs and interpretations of certain Scriptures and hold to certain theories of man, does in no way suggest that you are not a sister in Christ. All genuine men and woman of Christ who study the Word of God and who love that God, will also exhibit that very love for each other. There is no one infallible. I have many brothers in Christ that I love dearly who hold to the Calvin doctrine. Indeed, I come from Scotland, a bastion of Calvanism(and now a post Christian country) So, this statement that you made is really not appropriate "If my Lord and God is not yours, I have no argument with you there."For the history buffs amongst us, you will know that there was a vicious partisan spirit at the synod of Dort which actually led to the death of some that held to one view over another, what a tragedy for all who call themselves Christians. One can hold to any view one wants, yet that in no way, and never should suggest that simply because someone holds a view that differs from your own, that this one is not a brother or sister in Christ. If I gave you that impression by my post or any of my replies, I apologise to you personally wisevirgin. Let love be all in all.For we can have all things, yet if we have not love, then we have nothing........Frank
Readers should check out the current thread "Woman terrified she is not one of God's Elect." There are many good points there....Frank