You Might Be an Arminian If…

Here’s one we can all enjoy. My Arminian buddy Albino Hayford can listen and be inspired and affirmed. The rest of us can enjoy it as satire.

If you enjoyed that, you might also enjoy this:

and this:

(Hat tip to pastor BTall)

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45 Responses

  1. I like the middle one best. “O come let us adore me, O come let us adore me …” :-) Ha! A wonderfully effective use of sarcasm, causing us to laugh at ourselves.

  2. Pensacola College would brand me a wild-eyed freak for following the Apostle Paul’s instructions concerning spiritual gifts. I don’t share their eschatology, their legalism, or their fear of being contaminated by the 21st century. They should put a huge fence around their college and charge admission to see what Christianity was like in the 50’s. The way they look and sing is SCARY, almost a caricature of Christians by the media. BUT, I agree that God has given us the precious gift of choice and free will. I refuse to be classified as “Armenian” however…nice try, Reuben.

    As to the other two videos, they are hilarious. I sent them around my e-mail list a few months ago.

  3. Pensacola College’s doctrinal statement makes it clear that “students who are a part of the modern-day tongues movement should seek their college education elsewhere”. However, I wouldn’t do too well there either, since they “do not believe that God pre-elects persons to heaven or hell”.

    I know you are not “Armenian” — you are Swedish, like the part of me that is named Settergren. But I contend that you are a 5-point ArmInian. Do you refuse to be classified as such because you can state how you differ from Arminian doctrine, or because you refuse to wear a shoe that fits?

  4. Sigh…I refuse to be classified by somebody else’s system. That would be as silly as me classifying everyone as an “Albinan” or “Anti-Albinan”. I reject your labels. I am a Bible-believing Christian…period.

    As to where I stand on Calvinism…hmmmmm…how many million times do I have to state this? I believe that God is sovereign. I believe that Jesus died for the sins of the world, not just a few Calvinists :-) I believe that the Holy Spirit, and by default, God, can be resisted by human free will which God has given us. I believe that man is fallen, and because of his free will and evil choices, has brought evil into the world, and causes evil to fall on the righteous as well. Is God surprised? No, because he knew through His foreknowledge what consequences our sins would have.

    Do I agree with any of Calvin’s ideas? I am leaning more and more toward perserverence of the saints as I get older, and total depravity is a pretty solid idea, though Calvin should have left room for God’s sovereignty to provide for us to respond positively or negatively to God’s wooing.

    I guess that makes me a solid 1.5 pointer.

    But your boy Arminias would not be happy with me either.

  5. In other words, you refuse to wear the shoe, whether it fits or not. You assert that Arminius would not be happy with you, but I still don’t know specifically how.

    BTW, using a label of Arminian or Calvinist is nothing like making up a new label of Albinian. The labels are not labels they made up about themselves, or labels that were even in (common?) use in their lifetimes. It’s just what happens when somebody has enough influential ideas in their lifetime that they have a significant effect long after they are dead. That’s why it’s still a meaningful statement to say “Augustine was a Calvinist”, or “The historic Christian church in the British Isles centuries before the arrival of the Roman Catholic church, was a theologically ‘Reformed’ church”.

  6. Nope…still refuse your labels. Call me a Bible-believing Christian.

    BTW, regarding an earlier thread about Hyper-Calvinism, would you accept definition and, by default, rebuke?

  7. Ok…snicker…getting back to Pensacola…they are apparently King James only and get a load of their social interaction rules against “eye kissing” or “making eye babies” or “optical intercourse”. Man, we couldn’t make this stuff up! These guys have an obsession!

    Rules and regulations

    Regulations govern all aspects of student life, including clothing, hairstyles, dorm room cleanliness, types of outside employment, borrowing, magazines, and music. PCC only permits students to listen to classical music or traditional Christian music.

    Mixed-gender interaction has the strictest rules. Stairwells and elevators are segregated by gender, members of the opposite sex are not permitted to touch in any way (even shaking hands is against the rules), mixed-gender meetings (including off-campus) are forbidden unless a PCC chaperon is present, and staring into the eyes of a member of the opposite sex, called by students “eye kissing”, “optical intercourse”, or “making eye babies”, is discouraged by the administration.

  8. In this previous post about hyper-Calvinism, I did link to and exposit exactly the same 5 definitions of hyper-Calvinism, and I explain that I specifically deny all of them, and thus by those definitions I am not hyper-Calvinist. None of those definitions mention determinism or free will, by the way.

  9. Albino,

    Re: 6

    Christian is a label.

    Do you still think you transcend labels?

    Why do you think you transcend labels? Are you above all the “groups” and “camps” that are out there? You understand the Word of God better than everyone else who has gone before you, with the possible exception of the apostles?

    By refusing to be labeled, do you really understand the implicit claims you’re making? You do realize that you’re saying that you’re just in a camp of one. You don’t transcend labels, you’re your own label. You understand the Bible better than everyone.

    So you demand to be labeled a Bible believing Christian.

    Well, I can’t, in good conscience, call you that. I won’t deny that that’s what you are. Feel free to call yourself that. But you have failed to demonstrate to my satisfaction that you are any of those things.

    You have failed to demonstrate that you believe what the Bible says. In fact, in many instances, you have denied many of its clear teachings. I cannot affirm that you therefore believe the Bible. To believe the Bible is to submit to it by faith. You don’t seem to want to submit to the Bible by faith. Rather, you seem to want to submit only to your own intellect and understanding of the Bible. In other words, you won’t submit to what you don’t understand, but you’ll only hold what you can comprehend and understand. Thus it seems to me that the Bible is not what guides you at all, but your own understanding.

    That’s the impression I get.

    That doesn’t mean it’s true of course, but that’s the impression I get.

    I see it demonstrated almost every single time you post. And by every single time, I don’t mean lots of times, but every single time you post you say something that indicates that you conceive of yourself as the standard of truth, and that you see your own wisdom as ultimately authoritative.

    I hope I’m wrong. Only you know, and only you will know.

    And if you want to reply that I’m arrogant and mean and that I don’t even know you, go ahead, but it’s not me that you need to convince that my impression is wrong. I’m telling you for YOUR benefit, not mine. I don’t know you. Only you and God really know you. Don’t try to convince me that I’m wrong. Convince yourself. Convince God. Don’t worry about me. I don’t matter.

    E

  10. Rube,

    Re: videos

    Hahahahahaha

    Seriously, was that first one a JOKE??? I thought it MUST be a joke, but then I realized it wasn’t. I kept expecting to hear laughing.

    The best is in the third one: I want a pony! Check in the back yard. Then the kid’s mouth just drops open. hahahahaha…

    No, I mean it, I want tickets to the Superbowl. Hahahahaha

    I lift my name on high…hahahahahaha

    It’s funny cuz it’s true…hahahahahaha

    Oh man, irrational anti-intellectual liberal/fundies are funny. Woo hoo!!!

    But seriously… Those people are dumb! hahahahahaha

    I can’t be serious. I’d really like to be. I’d like to lament how so many of our brothers and sisters are so deeply in error, and how way, way off they are, but it’s kind of like lamenting a clown for making a fool of himself. Hahahahaha…

    Sigh…catching breath…

    I don’t want to give, but I want to know what everyone else is giving…hahahahahahahahahahaha

    Ahhhhhh…funny…

    What a crazy world.

    E

  11. Echo,

    Your impression is wrong. I am a Bible-believing Christian. If you would rather use the “Calvinist” label, feel free. And it’s not a category of one…there are millions of us.

    Peter was recently giving a new resident of Heaven the obligatory tour. As they entered the gates, they noticed a group of guys huddled in a corner whispering. “Who are they?,” asked the new arrival. “Shhhh,” Peter responded. “Those are Calvinists. They think they’re the only ones here.”

  12. Re: 4

    “Is God surprised? No, because he knew through His foreknowledge what consequences our sins would have.”

    Doesn’t God’s foreknowledge of a thing necesitate that thing?

  13. A classic joke. Right up there with “A Calvinist tripped and fell down the stairs, and then said ‘I’m glad that’s over!'” Praise God that you don’t have to be a Calvinist (or in any other way have perfect doctrine) to enter Heaven! To quote a FV friend of mine (something I try to avoid), “We are not justified by our understanding of justification”

    Echo, I’m sorry that video #1 is not a joke. They mean it with all of their hearts. It’s just easier for you and I to pretend it’s satire, because it is ridiculous, and it’s too scary to contemplate the fact that it’s not a joke.

  14. Albino,

    Re: 12

    Let’s see if what you say is actually consistent with what you’ve said.

    Let me ask you this, am I a Bible believing Christian? How could I be if you are a Bible believing Christian?

    I believe in “calvinism”, but you don’t think that’s in the Bible. So according to you, I believe something other than the Bible. I believe tongues that are practiced today are the fruit of satan’s work, not the Holy Spirit. According to you, I am blaspheming the work of the Spirit, perhaps even the Spirit himself when I say this. I’m certainly rejecting at least parts of the Bible when I make these claims.

    So it looks to me like, according to you, I really can’t claim to be a Bible believing Christian, since I reject so much of the Scriptures.

    Of course, on your view, anyone who rejects today’s so called “tongues” as demonic nonsense and pagan is rejecting Scripture. Well, to say the least, that’s the majority of people who claim the name “Christian”.

    But you’re right, there are still millions of people who claim to be Christians, claim to believe the Bible, and agree with you on tongues, so in your view, there still can be millions of Bible believing Christians.

    I mean, you’ve said before that I wouldn’t allow Paul to speak in tongues in my church if he were alive today, so I’m obviously rejecting the clear teachings of Scripture. But this is of course a silly thing to even discuss because Paul is not alive today, and if he were, he wouldn’t be an apostle anymore – or would he be? Would he be able to bring us new revelation or something else? Silly. Paul isn’t alive today, there is no NEW or ADDED revelation today to add to the canon, so there are no apostles, and consequently no signs and wonders to lend the new message credibility. Nope, we’ve all the signs we need in the preaching of the Word, the Sacraments, and the indwelling Spirit.

    But anyway, by saying these things, I’m necessarily excluding myself from the Bible believing Christian group in your mind. I have to be.

    But what about the – what – maybe 3 million tongue speakers in our country? Are they all Bible believing Christians? In your view? I mean, Calvinists surely cannot be Bible believers. We clearly deny the plain teachings of Scripture in your mind. Don’t we? Then how can we believe the Bible?

    Wait, before we go any further narrowing things down so as to prove that you are an Army of one, let me ask you this.

    By “Bible believing Christian” do you mean someone who truly believes what the Bible says, or do you mean someone who truly THINKS they believe what the Bible says?

    Because I mean the Bible doesn’t say both Calvinism is right and non-Calvinism (which is Arminianism, or perhaps Romanism if you’d like to make that distinction) is also right. Both can’t be right. They disagree with each other. The Bible cannot be saying that both are right. Either the sky is blue or it isn’t. It can’t be both. Either the Bible says yes or the Bible says no. It never says maybe.

    So ok. One of us is right. Or at least more right than the other person. But we can’t be equally right. And we are asserting two different gospel messages. No matter what you think, our gospel messages are different from each other. You say one thing about the gospel, I say something else.

    Does the Bible affirm that there’s more than one gospel?

    Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

    I guess not. It says there’s only one gospel.

    Eph 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call–
    Eph 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    Eph 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

    Boy he uses that word “one” an awful lot, doesn’t he? Would it be fair to say that the Bible only puts forward ONE message? But you and I don’t have the same message. That means there are two messages when we add your message to my message. Two is not the same as one.

    The Bible only asserts ONE message. But you and I are asserting TWO messages. Either one or both of us has not got it right. We can’t possibly both believe in the ONE message of Scripture, the ONE gospel and yet proclaim TWO DIFFERENT MESSAGES.

    So, either you believe the Bible or you don’t. You may THINK you do, and I’ll be happy to concede that point. I grant that you THINK you believe the Bible.

    But if I thought or admitted that you actually DO believe the Bible, then that would logically imply that I couldn’t POSSIBLY believe in the Bible too. You see, if you believe the Bible, then it’s because you believe its ONE message. But I don’t believe the same message you do. If I don’t believe the same thing you do, but I admit that you believe the Bible, then I only have two options left.

    1. I have to admit that the Bible is TWO messages rather than ONE message. Or maybe I even have to admit that it contains many conflicting messages and that they’re all right.

    2. I have to admit that I don’t actually believe the ONE message of the Bible.

    Now, I am not at all ready to accept either of those options. The Bible clearly states that there’s only ONE message found in it, not many. To assert otherwise is called anathema by the bible. That means it is HERESY. It is a lie. It’s of the devil.

    I guess I won’t take that option. I don’t want to be a heretic, after all.

    But that desire also drives me to reject option 2, because if I admit that I don’t really believe the Bible, then that makes me a heretic by default.

    Sidenote bonus: look at this fascinating discussion of the words heresy and heretic:
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=heresy

    Anyway, you are pushing me into a corner here. You’re trying to get me to either admit that I don’t really believe the Bible, or that the Bible teaches more than one thing. I can’t do either. So, as a result, I cannot affirm you to be a believer of the Bible. I’m sorry. You don’t believe the message of Scripture, you’re bringing another gospel, and well…

    Sorry. I can’t compromise on that.

    E

  15. Rube,

    Re: 14

    Unfortunately, your friend’s comments aren’t exactly right.

    If you think you can be justified based on your own works, you’ll only be sent to hell for it. Sorry.

    While he may have a point that PERFECT AND COMPLETE knowledge of how justification works is not required to be sure, yet SOME knowledge, some basic understanding must be there.

    We are justified by faith alone. Well, faith without works is dead, but faith without content is meaningless. Faith entails having faith IN something. We have to believe certain things. One of those things is that we do not save ourselves, but only Jesus saves us.

    Some Arminians would say that no, we don’t save ourselves, but Jesus saves us. Of course, this is inconsistent with their Arminian beliefs, but nonetheless they believe it, and they really are trusting in Christ for their salvation. Such a one is inconsistent, but will be in heaven anyway.

    Of course, for those who TEACH this…that’s a different matter altogether. I wouldn’t want to be an Arminian pastor on judgment day. It makes my spine tingle to think of it. I hope God is merciful on them, but I don’t ultimately know. Jesus said that whoever causes one of his little ones to sin…and unbelief is sin. Arminian pastors are not only in sin themselves, but they are teaching others to embrace their sinful unbelief. I think God can surely save them despite that, if they are truly trusting in Christ alone for their salvation. But I don’t know if they really can be said to be trusting in Christ alone for their salvation if they’re insisting on adding this one work. I just don’t know. But I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.

    E

  16. Sorry to barge in like this but I just can’t take the non sense anymore. Albino sounds like you “really hit a nerve” with that clear discription of what a Hyper Calvinist is. Ruben I’m glad to hear you wouldn’t classify yourself as a Hyper Calvinist. Echoe, you have some serious issues calling out Tongue-Talkers and labeling it as fruit of Satan. You have a serious pair. I also refuse to label myself and set up camp on one side or the other I am a Bible Believing Christian and if I don’t agree with your(Echoe) interpretation that’s OK. Maybe that thing called God’s Grace will “aboundeth much.” Sounds like Echoe skipped over the many passages of scripture on Grace, Love and Compassion.Echoe, you must remember that we will never have all of the answers to the questions we have regarding God’s Word and to pretend that we have them would just be silly. This obviously doe not take the responsibilty away to “search out the scriptures” but one thing I find is that very intellectual people have a hard time saying “Maybe I don’t completely understand.” Don’t get frustrated in your search to conquer the true meaning of God’s Word but instead remeber Romans 10:14But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

  17. Barge away, Alex, but note that it has already been repeatedly addressed “I also refuse to label myself and set up camp on one side or the other I am a Bible Believing Christian” doesn’t cut it in this discussion. That statement doesn’t separate you from a JW or a Mormon (i.e. they will all say that too). What is it about the way YOU believe in the Bible that is different from the way they “believe in the Bible”? As soon as one word comes out of your mouth (or fingers) to answer that question, BAM creed, confession, or label.

    In any case, I’m inclined to cut you more slack, as you are not a pastor. Albino got a degree in this stuff and preaches the word to his congregation every Sunday, so when he says “I refuse the labels Calvinist and Arminian”, he is to be expected to know precisely what he is talking about. He has explained at great length, and with many Bible verses, how and why he disagrees with 3.5 points of Calvinism (ULIp), but we’re still waiting wrt. Arminianism. And I’m still predicting 5 Arminian points for Albino…

  18. Alex,

    There’s a difference between saying that we’ll never be able to understand it ALL, and saying that no one has any right to say: this is what the Bible says.

    Since you hate labels so much, I’ll simply tell you that your comments are consistent with a certain group of people who think that we can’t have any access to truth, so whatever you think the Scriptures are saying is simply what it says to you.

    Do you really believe that? Do you believe that no one has any right to say definitively what the Bible says? Do you believe that no one has the right to say that the Bible says something, and anyone who disagrees is simply wrong because they’re disagreeing with God?

    If you do believe that, then what on earth are pastors doing when they get into the pulpit? Are they just voicing their own opinions? Boy I hope that’s not what they’re doing. If that is what they’re doing, the Bible has some rather sharp things to say about it in Jeremiah 23. I’d encourage you to read the chapter as a whole, but here are a few samples about how God feels about people who voice their own opinions, claiming that it’s actually the Word of God:

    Jer 23:16 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.

    Jer 23:26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart,

    Notice the common thread here. In v16 he says that what they are speaking to the people is a vision of their own mind. They are making it up. It’s their own opinion. God calls these LIES. In v26, again, the prophet is said to be prophesying not the Word of God, but the deceit of his own heart.

    So it seems like there are two, and only two choices for the man who brings the Word of God. Either it’s the Word of God that comes out of your mouth, or lies, deceit and your own opinions.

    So my point is simply this. How could it be that all we can know about the Bible is our own opinion? If no one can claim that “this is what the Bible says”, then what do we have the Bible for? What good does it do us?

    No one has a problem at all when someone says that the Bible condemns Hinduism. But where is Hinduism mentioned in the Bible? You have to actually connect a few dots and think a little bit before you can say that the Bible condemns Hinduism, because the word “Hinduism” appears nowhere in the Bible. By the same token, nowhere does the Bible say that women should be given communion as well as men. But can’t we also say that the Bible clearly teaches that communion should be given to all believers? But again, we have to connect a few dots to reach those conclusions.

    Does anyone have any right to say that Muslims are going to hell? Does anyone have the right to say that Muslims have rejected Christ, and that because of this, they clearly hate him? Does anyone have the right to say that the Bible clearly teaches this, even though Islam didn’t even exist when the Bible was written? Does anyone have the right to say that homosexuality is a sin, or that child molestation is a sin or that women cannot be ordained? Does anyone on earth have the right to make these kinds of judgments?

    Is there at least one person on planet earth that can figure out at least something about what the Bible is saying, and then declare that anyone who disagrees is simply wrong and violating Scripture, whether they know it or not?

    Is there a single human being on this entire planet that is smart enough or holy enough to figure out whether the Bible teaches Calvinism or Arminianism or some other doctrine? Is there no one who is qualified to figure it out? If so, who are they? If not, what good does the Bible do us at all? Why did God give us the Bible? Did he give it to us to confuse us or to reveal himself to us? Isn’t the Bible “revelation”, meaning that it reveals something? Isn’t that what the title of the last book of the Bible means? What does it reveal? If it reveals something, how can we figure out what it’s revealing? If it doesn’t reveal something, then what did God give it to us for?

    At LEAST you have to admit that the Bible reveals the way of salvation, don’t you? Otherwise, how on earth do we get saved if we don’t know how? Doesn’t the Bible tell us how we can be saved? But if no one has the right to say, “This is how the Bible tells us we are saved…” then how does anyone GET SAVED??? How can anyone be saved if no one on planet earth can figure out how salvation works?

    Aren’t there, honestly, certain things that we must believe in order to be saved? And aren’t those things explained to us in the Bible? If so, then who is capable of telling us what those things are? Someone must be, otherwise we won’t be able to believe in those things, and then we won’t be able to be saved.

    Our salvation depends on our ability to understand what the Bible says. Yes, the Spirit is the one who helps us to understand it. Nevertheless, the Spirit cannot understand it for us. We need to understand it in order to believe it. If we can’t understand it, we can’t believe it.

    But you believe certain things, don’t you? And you trust that believing those things allows you to be saved, don’t you? After all, we’re saved through faith in Jesus Christ right? Is that the only thing the Bible says? Is that the only thing we need to know about what the Bible says?

    E

  19. Alas, here I am at the keyboard, but I can’t do justice to my thoughts on Arminius, because we must aim our Malibu toward San Antonio in 2 hours, and I’m not packed.

    I will be trying out my new toy on this trip. It is a hybrid camera/camcorder/media player/mp3 player made by Aiptek that comes with 2 gb of sd card memory for all our needs. http://www.amazon.com/Aiptek-MZ-DV-MPEG4-Camcorder-Optical-Zoom/dp/images/B000FVZSYC

    I am also packing my relatively new Pioneer Inno (xm satellite and mp3 player). http://www.xmradio.com/pioneerinno/index.xmc

    I will miss you fellas, but, as you have already demonstrated, you can share what you think I would say back and forth even without my presence.

    And remember, faith is not a work,
    Jim

  20. Wow! I think I finally made it through one of your posts Echo. You see the problem still remains that you believe what you see “so clearly” in the Word just like I believe what I see “so clearly” in the Word as well. How can this be? Can two believers(Elect)co exist if they don’t have the exact same Theology? Maybe that is the question that you need to ask yourself Echo. Read all of the posts again. You don’t agree with everything Ruben believes but yet you guys can come together on TULIP (except actually I think Ruben mentioned that he was having a rough time with the L) You and I come from different worlds Echo. It’s just funny how you feel qualified to be the “whistleblower” of your fellow elect’s faith. Do you not see that you are measuring with Echo’s measurements? I’m not a Mormon. JW, Muslim, Buddihst,New Ager etc… I don’t believe in salvation via works. I was raised reading the same bible you read(possibly different versions). I believe that God sent his Son to die for my sins and that the faith I now recognize having is from God. Do you believe that? I think you do, you just may state it differently. You are very knowledgeable about the Bible, Echo, I recognize that, but use it to spread the Gospel to unbelievers. Don’t give me the old “iron sharpens iron” argument because I’ve been involved myself and I seen how it has become a wall between family and friends. Is that what God intended his Word to be used for? After the last “blow up”(of many) I experienced I realized that there was no iron being sharpened.
    Ruben to answer your question about not labeling, I read in another post someone stating that an Armenian is someone who opposes all 5 points of Calvinism and for this reason I refuse to be labeled either. You want to put me in the Armenianism box because I don’t agree with ALL of the points, and I refuse. Why can’t there be a third head to this monster? Who said it had to be one or the other?

  21. Alex, If you carefully read What is an Arminian? (even just the post, not all 100+ comments) you’ll see how I eventually (finally) looked up what the 5 points of Arminianism actually are, and acknowledge that, at face value, a 5-point Classical Arminian is a 1.5-point Calvinist (Tp), and a 5-point Wesley Arminian is a 1-point Calvinist (T). (Not?) concidentally, those are the same 1.5 points that Albino claims, yet he (so far) maintains he is not an Arminian. His promised self-test on the Arminian scale will unfortunately have to wait until he gets back from vacation.

    But the point is, TULIP were specifically designed to reject, refute, and be precise opposites of the 5 Arminian Articles of Remonstrance. So you either believe that individuals are elect Unconditionally (because God individually elected them to be believers or unbelievers) (tUlip), or you believe that whether individuals are elect is Conditional on their free-will belief/unbelief (article I). Where is option (C)? You either believe that God’s grace is Irresistible (tulIp), or you believe it is Resistible (article IV). Where is option (C)? You either believe that faith is a result of God making you born again, or you believe that God making you born again is a result of your faith. Where is option (C)? Etc. I just don’t see any middle ground on these questions. If you can find some, I’d be interested in hearing about it…

  22. Ruben, see if you can understand where I’m coming from. Take a look at Article II. Now as I am someone who agrees that the Word is very clear that not all are chosen I cannot just choose to ignore for example 1 John 2:2. Even in context that verse means the same thing. The WHOLE WORLD means the WHOLE WORLD. How can you ignore this? This does not imply that Christ died in vain. I did not eat from the apple in the Garden yet I was apart of the seperation or total depravity when I was born in this sinful nature of mine. The decision that was made by the first Adam affected All mankind. The second Adam(Christ) payed the penalty for All mankind. I hear the argument that if Christ died for all then all will be saved. I say “NO” the Bible says time and time again you must believe and to believe you must have faith. The Bible is a testimony of Christ.I must believe. I must have faith. I never walked and talked with Jesus and even some of the people who did still did not believe. Don’t read into it anymore. Christ died for the WHOLE WORLD. He also knew that the WHOLE WORLD would not believe. Just the Elect. I hope my explanation makes sense.

  23. Here are three verses with very similar messages (with some of MY emphases):

    1 John 1:5-2:2: This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

    1 Tim 2:3-6: …God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for ALL, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

    1 Tim 4:9: …we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of ALL people, ESPECIALLY of those who believe.

    First, taking all of the context of 1 John 2:2 into context, we see that not everybody receives propitiation, only those who confess their sins, only those who walk in the light and fellowship with each other.

    Second, the ALL in 1 Tim 2:6 seems to say the same thing. But if you are going to reconcile that (and 1 John) with 1 Tim 4:9, you will have to come to some understanding that “God saves ALL” has some different sense of “save” than when it says “God saves the elect”. That difference is Universal, free OFFER (call) of the gospel to ALL, ALL, ALL, but actual atonement and propitiation only to those effectively called (Rom 8:28…). Many are called, but few are chosen.

    Third, you have to put yourself in the perspective of a 1st century Christian, as the direct recipient of these epistles. Until very recently, the religion you are in used to have a very different form; it was given to the Jews, it had a national identity, it required inward-focused self-separation. All of a sudden, this national, private religion is blown up. The Jewish Messiah died not just for the Jews, but for The Whole World! But Jesus did not secure forgiveness for every individual in the world, any more than every individual Jew received forgiveness under the covenant of Moses, when the high priest offered annual sacrifice for “all”.

    God told Abraham that through him (through Jesus), “All” nations would be blessed. Was OT Babylon, or Assyria, blessed by Abraham? How many individuals within a nation would be required to receive blessing in order to say that the nation has been blessed?

    Fourth, when Paul says “not just ours”, who is “ours” referring to? You make it sound like he is saying “not just for us Christians, but for everybody else too”. He is writing a letter to a church. “ours” means “I, Paul, and all you in the church to whom I wrote this letter”. Thus the end of I John 2:2 should be understood (I believe) as “not just the sins of you and me, but the sins of [elect] people throughout the world [therefore let’s go spread the word, that the elect may be regenerated and have faith and be saved]”

    Propitiation = Forgiveness requires repentance. Where there is no repentance, there is no forgiveness. Where there is no faith, there is no repentance. Where there is no regeneration (new birth), there is no faith. Where there is no Grace from God, there is no regeneration. Propitiation exists only for the elect.

  24. Re: 23

    The second Adam(Christ) payed the penalty for All mankind.

    Christ paid the penalty for exactly what of All mankind? I would assume he paid the penalty for the sins of all mankind, right? Does that include the sin of unbelief? If not, why not?

    The Arminian believes that Christ atoned for some but not all of the sins of each and every individual that ever lived or that ever will live. How they defend this recasting of Christ’s work as insufficient to cover our most heinous sin is beyond me.

    It all started for me when I began to reflect on what exactly happened, what exactly Jesus did, for me on that cross. Either he did or did not propitiate God’s wrath for all of my sin. And it is because of God’s effort to make me believe (John 6:29) that I in fact do believe that God’s wrath has been propitiated. Were it not for that fact, I can tell you right now that I wouldn’t be a believer.

  25. Humans don’t go around wondering if they are Elect or not. We know we are Elect because we believe the testimony of Christ through His Word. Knowing that I am Elect is huge. This is what triggers me to want to preach the Gospel to others. I pose a question for you, were you Elect first or did you have faith in Christ first? My guess is you will answer with Elect first. This is true, however we don’t know this unless we first have the faith to believe in God. We have to have faith that God’s Word is true in our own lives because it’s in His Word that we know that we are Elect. Do you understand how this is almost like the old Chicken and Egg question. On the other side of the coin we have faith in God in the first place only because we are Elect.

  26. The second Adam(Christ) paid the penalty for All mankind.

    That is a true statement with which you apparently don’t actually agree. If Christ paid the penalty for all mankind (if Christ truly has propitiated for all mankind), then all mankind is forgiven.

    What you (and Arminians, via Article II) actually believe is that no forgiveness actually happened on the cross. Forgiveness was made possible on the cross, and forgiveness happens later, after people believe.

    Calvinists believe that forgiveness for all the sins of all the elect ACTUALLY HAPPENED at the cross.

    Arminians believe that Jesus deposited a lot of money in a bank account, but didn’t pay the bills until later.

    Calvinists believe that Jesus paid the bills.

    this is almost like the old Chicken and Egg question

    Not really. Election came first, then faith. Our experience starts at faith, but that has nothing to do with the fact that election came first. It is chicken-and-egg for the Arminian, however, because election is just foreknowledge, which chronologically comes before faith. But since it is man’s free choice to believe, and God’s election is the recognition of that choice, faith logically, causally comes before election.

  27. Bruce, he payed the price for ALL sin including unbelief. I have to believe that. I, just like any believer, had unbelief. I specifically remember you and I discussing this before. I said Christ died for ALL. You said that he only died for the Elect. When I read the many verses that say he died for ALL that encompasses just that, ALL. The Word doesn’t say that he defeated death only for the Elect(Romans 5:12-20). It says he defeated death(sin). I acknowledge that in verse 19 of this passage it says “through the obedience of the one man the MANY(my emphasis) will be made righteous” I don’t disagree with the fact that not ALL men will be saved but it doesn’t take away the fact that the through Christ the oppurtunity was made available to ALL.

  28. Alex, you have to admit that it doesn’t make sense to say that Jesus paid the price for all sin. If that’s the case then what are people in hell paying for?

  29. he payed the price for ALL sin including unbelief.

    This is universalism. Hitler could be your bunkmate in Heaven,no?

  30. Daniel, the answer is unbelief. The Bible is very clear that you must believe. Faith in God(believing in God) is not a work, it is a gift from God.
    Bruce, are you implying that Hitler believed in the Gospel message?

  31. (a) faith, belief, accepting the gospel, at least one of these is a work, but (b) whether unbelief is a work or not, it is a SIN. And if Jesus paid the price for all sin, then he paid the price for the sin of unbelief. So what are people in hell paying for?

  32. Bruce, are you implying that Hitler believed in the Gospel message?

    No. If Christ forgives all the sins of every single human without exception, the Hitler’s sin of unbelief [assuming he had such sin] is forgiven, not to mention being forgiven of his sin of murdering millions of people, and he is in paradise. [All dogs go to heaven, in other words.]

    Either Christ propitiated God’s wrath for Hitler’s unbelief [a sin] or he didn’t.

  33. Ruben, to answer #27, Even before I even heard the Gospel message He died for my sins. I however, did not recognize this until I was 18 years old. This means that in my carnal mind my Faith, which is always followed by works, was not expressed until I was 18 years old. I understand NOW that I am Elect but my first 17 years I did not. I didn’t have Faith. God gave me faith at the age of 18. Faith to believe that the Gospel message of Jesus Christ was true. That the Bible wasn’t just some big book of great stories but that it had a message of Salvation for me. I could tell you the story of Jesus and what he did for me at a very young age but was it just a mere saying of words? I think that’s why Calvininsts panties get all in a knot when they hear preachers say that 20 people came up to the altar and accepted Christ, isn’t it? Anyone can say they believe in something but do their actions express this? Do people know (by my actions) that I believe in the Gospel, that I believe in God? Or is just telling someone I do, enough?

    So am I Calvinist because I also believe that my sins were forgiven at the cross? Or do I need to know the secret password to get into the club?

  34. As far as I can tell, the by-laws of the Calvinist Club authorize me (as a full member) to grant you the label “4-point Calvinist”. Wear it with (80%) pride.

  35. I’ll take it!

  36. I understand NOW that I am Elect but my first 17 years I did not. I didn’t have Faith. God gave me faith at the age of 18. Faith to believe that the Gospel message of Jesus Christ was true.

    To put a squeeze on this: Let’s say you had been killed in some sudden violent accident at the age of 15. What would your eternal status have been?

  37. Seems like a pretty easy question for a TRUE Calvinist to answer — look sharp Alex, or I might have to renounce your label!

  38. Alex,

    Re: 21

    Can two people be elect and disagree? Sure! Of course. But they can’t both be right if they disagree, can they?

    For example, Albino thinks we should speak in tongues, and he thinks the Bible teaches that. I say that the Bible teaches that tongues have ceased. We both THINK we’re following the teaching of the Bible, but that doesn’t make it true. One of us agrees with the Bible, one of us is confused and diluded. One of us is correct, one incorrect.

    But if one of us is correct, it isn’t because I’m smart or because Albino is smart. It isn’t because Albino made it up or I made it up. If I’m right, it’s because the Spirit taught me to understand what the Bible says. If Albino is right, same thing. Whichever one of us is right, he got his ideas from the Bible. It is not his opinion, it’s God’s Word.

    I admit I am sinful and prone to error and wandering. That’s why I’m so grateful for the teachers God has given me. But let me ask you this: do you really think I would make up these ideas on my own? I’m flattered you give me that credit, but I’m really not that smart. Albino didn’t make up his ideas either. He was taught them as I was.

    Thus, when Albino and I are arguing about tongues, neither one of us is trying to seek our own glorification and pride. Both of us are under the impression that we’re fighting for the truth of Scripture.

    But the fact is, one of us is wrong. Tongues can’t be both true and false at the same time. It’s impossible. One of us is right, the other is wrong. One of us sees the Bible clearly, one of us is clouded by sin and needs to repent. That’s just a plain fact. Neither one of us can deny that.

    But both of us have argued consistently with that. Albino has told me that Paul couldn’t be a member of my church, for example. What he’s saying is that I’m violating Scripture’s clear teachings. I too have sought to explain my views by appealing to Scripture.

    Neither one of us is claiming that I and I alone can understand Scripture. We’re both saying Scripture is the highest authority, and you need to conform to it. We both do so rightly.

    Yet we can’t both be right.

    You asked, “Do you not see that you are measuring with Echo’s measurements?” I say, no, no I don’t see that at all. Do you know why I don’t see that? Because I’m not saying, “I don’t care what the Bible says, I say differently.” I once spoke in tongues, but gave up the practice when I became convinced it wasn’t biblical. I once was Arminian in my thinking and believed in a works based salvation, and believed that infant baptism was wrong, and thought lots of different things that didn’t stand up to Scripture. And when I became convinced of what the Scriptures said, I gave up my previous beliefs.

    So you can claim that I’m only elevating myself and my opinion, but my questions remain: does anyone on planet earth have any right to say what the Bible says? Do pastors, who get up and make that claim every week? Do they have a right to tell us what the Bible says? Are they competent to figure it out?

    e

  39. Alex,

    Re: 26

    I don’t know what you mean by this chicken or the egg dilemma with regard to faith and election. The Bible says:

    Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

    Ummm…our election, our being chosen by God, seems to have taken place before God created anything at all. So that means I was elected even before I was born. So I guess I’d have to say that election comes before faith, since I have to exist in order to have faith. What do you think?

    E

  40. Bruce, at the age of 27 I can assure you had I passed away at the age of 15 I would be in heaven. Hindsight is always 20/20? At the age of 15 years old I had heard the Gospel many times and I too had gone up to the Altar and “accepted Jesus Christ” prior to. I would have to ask you, as a 5 point Calvinist, was my confession of faith at the age of 14 (summer camp) good enough, or should my life have actually portrayed a regenerate life? Here is another question to ask, Did God actually hear the many prayers from my parents for my life or were all my mothers prayers prayed in vain? I’m asking this because I know what my life was like from 14 to about 18 years old and it was in pure rebellion(at least in my humanly mind).I was Defiant! I hated church! Just ask my parents.
    Well I believe the Bible when it says in Romans 10:9-12:
    9″because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (ESV)

    At the age of 14 when I confessed with my mouth and believed in my heart did the sanctification process start for me? I really would like to hear your feedback.
    Echo,
    You must admit the “Tongues Talk Debate” has gone on for a really long time. I have found that people try to “tackle” Thelogy and Pneumotology in the same way you would mathematics.It would be a huge mistake. If you do, you will either live a life of confusion or you will find yourself playing Judge on every believer you run in to that doesn’t agree with you. Being critical comes naturally. Finding faults in others is a piece of cake for me to do. No one taught me how to be negative. It comes naturally. The Spirit allows me to “love my neighbor” and to even want to pray for my neighbor. I try and fight(empowered by the Spirit) my negativity by being an encouragement to others. I speak in tongues and you wouldn’t have a clue unless you ask me because it’s for me and my devotion time with God. Is that a problem. Show me where it says that speaking in tongues is the “fruit of the devil”(see post #15) or however you so eloquently put it. Many things in the Bible are black and white(salvation,homosexuality, etc..) and should never be compromised but somethings are just not that clear.(style of worship,speaking in tongues,etc…) That’s hard to swallow. I know. We want ALL of the answers and we want them now!

    Echo re: #40

    Again, you did not know this FACT(Eph.1:4)to be truth until God gave you the Faith to believe his Word. I’m not saying that it wasn’t truth just because you didn’t have the faith to believe, i’m saying it didn’t become truth to Echo(your life) until God gave you the Faith to believe his Word. We are looking back to the beggining of our existence and can now say that “yes, I was elect” but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re born in a depraved state and before God gave me the Faith to believe I could not and would not turn to God on my own. Our depraved state is real. It’s not a figment of our imagination. It’s real.

  41. Alex 41

    I don’t understand why you’re questioning whether you were saved when you professed faith in Christ or when you actually started living it. Is it by faith alone or isn’t it? Yeah, the faith that justifies is never alone. Aren’t you claiming that your life has borne some fruit now? So then is your faith real? I don’t think anyone demands that faith instantly begin producing dramatic fruit. Sometimes you can’t hardly even notice it, but I’d say that your public profession of faith is certainly fruit. You got up in front of people and claimed the blood of Christ. That’s no small matter. You went to church, that’s fruit. Sure, it’s not dramatic, but it’s still fruit. Who knows what your life would have been like at that time without faith?

    I didn’t bring up tongues to debate tongues. There are numerous threads on this blog where tongues was debated, and you will find no shortage of entries from me. Frankly, since you admit speaking in tongues, I think you’re probably just trying to get me to rehash my argument, not because you want to give it a fair hearing, but because you are offended at what I said about tongues, and you want the occasion to rebuke me. You don’t need to hear my arguments to rebuke me. Just rebuke me. Just pull up 1 Cor 14, pretend I never read it, quote it to me, and write me off as someone who believes in dead orthodoxy, who denies miracles, who favors rationalism over emotions as if emotions were inherently feminine and evil, and be done with it. That’s all you’re going to end up doing anyway. Why should I have to work to get you there?

    In your last paragraph, I’m afraid I’ve totally misunderstood you. You’re talking about when we know we were elected, and I’m talking about when we were actually elected by God. You’re saying that we only know we were elect when we have faith, and it seems like, seems like you’re saying that when we KNOW that we’re elect, then we actually ARE elect, and not before. I’m not sure if that’s what you’re saying. If it is what you’re saying, I would respond that our knowing something doesn’t make it become true. Something can be true independent of anyone knowing it to be true. For example, the Bible never talks about whether or not Jesus ate alphalpha sprouts. So no one knows whether or not he did eat them. Nonetheless, he either did or he didn’t. If he did, then “Jesus ate alphalpha sprouts” is a true statement, even though no one knows that it’s true. Anyway, if that’s not what you’re saying, then I have no idea what you are actually saying, and I’m totally confused. Sorry.

    E

  42. I would have to ask you, as a 5 point Calvinist, was my confession of faith at the age of 14 (summer camp) good enough, or should my life have actually portrayed a regenerate life?

    Good enough to do what? I don’t believe that you are saved by your confession.

    As for portraying a regenerate life, I tend to see sanctification as the process of more and more realizing how great a sinner one is. So, I don’t see why God couldn’t have allowed you to really “eat with the pigs” so to speak. The tendency to rehearse to oneself the “good things” one does and view them as a sign of sanctification is a dangerously misleading self deception. I think that if a Christian expects to hear the “well done good and faithful servant” he is looking to himself and not to Christ’s righteousness.

    Here is another question to ask, Did God actually hear the many prayers from my parents for my life or were all my mothers prayers prayed in vain?

    That would depend on whether God is a Calvinist or an Arminian. If he is an Arminian, then your mother’s prayers were in vain, since God never messes with man’s autonomous free will.

    Of course if God is a Calvinist, then your mother’s prayers were a means by which God comforted your mother when she was worried about you.

  43. Bruce,

    Q75: What is sanctification?
    A75: Sanctification is a work of God’s grace, whereby they whom God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit [1] applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them,[2] renewed in their whole man after the image of God;[3] having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts,[4] and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened,[5] as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life.[6]

    1. Eph. 1:4; I Cor. 6:11; II Thess. 2:13
    2. Rom. 6:4-6
    3. Eph. 4:23-24
    4. Acts 11:18; I John 3:9
    5. Jude 1:20; Heb. 6:11-12; Eph. 3:16-19; Col. 1:10-11
    6. Rom. 6:4; 6:14; Gal. 5:24

    Q76: What is repentance unto life?
    A76: Repentance unto life is a saving grace,[1] wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit [2] and word of God,[3] whereby, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger,[4] but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins,[5] and upon the apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ to such as are penitent,[6] he so grieves for [7] and hates his sins,[8] as that he turns from them all to God,[9] purposing and endeavoring constantly to walk with him in all the ways of new obedience.[10]

    1. II Tim. 2:25
    2. Zech. 12:10
    3. Acts 11:18, 20-21
    4. Ezek. 18:28, 30, 32; Luke 15:17-18; Hosea 2:6-7
    5. Ezek. 36:31; Isa. 30:22
    6. Joel 2:12-13
    7. Jer. 31:18-19
    8. II Cor. 7:11
    9. Acts 26:18; Ezek. 14:6; I Kings 8:47-48
    10. Psa. 119:6, 59, 128; Luke 1:6; II Kings 23:25

    Q77: Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?
    A77: Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification,[1] yet they differ, in that God in justification imputeth the righteousness of Christ;[2] in sanctification his Spirit infuseth grace, and enableth to the exercise thereof;[3] in the former, sin is pardoned;[4] in the other, it is subdued:[5] the one doth equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnation;[6] the other is neither equal in all,[7] nor in this life perfect in any,[8] but growing up to perfection.[9]

    1. I Cor. 1:30; 6:11
    2. Rom. 4:6, 8
    3. Ezek. 36:27
    4. Rom. 3:24-25
    5. Rom. 6:6, 14
    6. Rom. 8:33-34
    7. I John 2:12-14; Heb. 5:12-14
    8. I John 1:8, 10
    9. II Cor. 7:1; Phil 3:12-14

    Q78: Whence ariseth the imperfection of sanctification in believers?
    A78: The imperfection of sanctification in believers ariseth from the remnants of sin abiding in every part of them, and the perpetual lustings of the flesh against the spirit; whereby they are often foiled with temptations, and fall into many sins,[1] are hindered in all their spiritual services,[2] and their best works are imperfect and defiled in the sight of God.[3]

    1. Rom. 7:18, 23; Mark 14:66-72 ; Gal. 2:11-12
    2. Heb. 12:1
    3. Isa. 64:6; Exod. 28:88

    E

  44. Referring to video #1, since God apparently gives us the free choice of saying yes or no (according to the song), and the Bible teaches us that nobody seeks after God, I guess we’re all going to hell because we all by nature say no.

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