Friday, March 13, 2009

AM I AN ARMINIAN?

For most of my Christian life I was unaware of both Calvinism and Arminianism and the conflict between those different theologies.
My first knowledge of Calvinism came through participation on an internet forum; and I couldn’t believe that any professing Christian could believe such things about the God I’d grown to know over the previous 30 years.

Arminianism remained out of the picture until I started to be labelled as an Arminian by the Calvinists I was increasingly coming into contact with. While some used the label reasonably benignly, as if it was merely an alternative to their personal preference for Calvin; others used it as an accusation, as if an “Arminian” was something to be loathed.

From the first time I was identified as an “Arminian” I have objected to the label. Having not even heard of Arminius to that point, I knew that I was not a follower of the man or his doctrine. However, considering the number of times I was being associated with his teaching I eventually decided to find out more about him.

While I still object to be labelled as an “Arminian”, it is not because I have an objection to Arminius or his basic theology. My brief investigation into this matter has introduced me to some very worthwhile blogs associated with Arminian teachings. Through reading some of the articles I have been surprised how much I can identify and agree with their ideas and understanding. I have provided links to some of these on the sidebar.
In my previous blog entry I addressed my concerns about the use of none biblical “theological terminology”. That would perhaps be my main disagreement with the Arminian writers on the recommended blogs.
My experience with both charismanic and highly traditional churches has shown me how dangerous mans’ traditions can be, so I have a strong aversion to teachings that rely too much on sources other than the scriptures (this includes the use of non-biblical theological terminology). If these sources become too influential, then it becomes likely that we start to interpret scripture according to those sources rather than vice versa.

I was becoming increasingly discouraged by the apparently increasing influence of Calvinist thought among the Christians with whom I’ve come into contact in recent months. My first real contact with “Arminian” believers has given me a great deal of encouragement and I look forward to keeping up to date with their blog contributions.

At the moment I have the enjoyment of reading through some of their archived articles. One I found particularly interesting was “ON THEOLOGY” by Billy Birch found at the following link:

http://classicalarminianism.blogspot.com/2007/07/on-theology.html

His point about valid theology bringing glory to God draws a clear distinction between the Arminian and Calvinist views.

51 comments:

Cia W said...

I was in a similar situation, I have a blog post or 2 over on my blog -- one book that helped me is by George Bryson called 'The Dark Side of Calvinism'. He coined a term of 'Biblicist' rather than Arminian or Calvinist / Reformed.

I also want to read Dave Hunt's 'What love is this?'; I just need to put it in my budget. I'll check out some of your links too, since I don't have enough blogs to read. (not really!) But I always like finding a good blog. Thanks for the post.

Preston N said...

A good book to read regarding Reformed theology and what they actually stood for and represented is "The Reformers and their Stepchildren" by Leonard Verduin. It is one book that will utterly change how you view and understand Reformed theology. If you find Calvinism repulsive, then this book will cause you to find it repugnant! It is one book that most Calvinist do not want people to know about.

Onesimus said...

G'Day N Preston,
I made enquiries about the recommended book but found it would cost me $65.00 Australian.

However, while I’m sure I’d find it interesting reading, I don’t need any books to show me how abhorrent Calvinist doctrines are. When I first came across their teachings a few years ago (on an internet forum) I couldn’t believe that anyone could seriously fall for such a warped view of God and His ways.
Since that time I have come to know several Calvinists personally. The frustrating thing is that they seem totally incapable of following the logical outcomes of their own beliefs. While claiming that God alone determines who will be saved, they refuse to recognise that this also means that God and God alone determines who will be damned. Somehow they see that damnation results solely from man’s own Depravity – but again they blind themselves to the fact that (according to their doctrine)God and God alone determined that each of us would come into the world in that “depraved” state.

They can base a whole theology of unconditional election & limited atonement on a handful of out of context proof texts – while ignoring countless texts that make it clear that God desire NO ONE to be lost, and that salvation is open to ALL who believe.

Is that blindness merely an intellectual flaw? I don’t think so – there are some very intelligent Calvinists around. Or is it more likely that the blindness is a spiritual condition, that promoters of those doctrines have been blinded to the truth by the god of this age?


Hi Cia W,
I'll have to check out that 'Dark Side of Calvinism' - hopefully it will be more affordable and accessible than the book N Preston recommended.

On another note I have to say I have concerns about so-called Spiritual warfare and "emotional freedom" techniques. I noted on your blog that you had a couple of articles relating to "Theophostic prayer". Not having time to read your articles yet, I don't know whether you are for or against it.
I did quite a lot of research into the practice when my local church started to promote it. Their involvement was one reason I ended up leaving that church.
It is a totally unbiblical system of "inner healing".

Preston N said...

Onesimus - try Scroll Publishing for the book. Here is their website:

http://www.scrollpublishing.com

Although the book would need to be shipped from the US - it only costs $9.95 USD and I can't imagine it costing no where near the $65 AUS to have it shipped to you in Australia.

BTW - I started a new website that you might find interesting. Let me know what you think.

www.thegodtheyneverknew.com

darren said...

Proverbs 16:4
The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Psalm 145:20
The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked He will destroy.

The scripture says--and scripture cannot be broken--the LORD has made the wicked, and all the wicked He will destroy.

Oney, Oney, Oney--will you, a sinner, charge the LORD God with unrighteousness? You blaspheme what you do not understand, and your philosophical arguments will not save you.

Isaiah 57:20
But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt.

Matthew 22:14
"For many are called, but few are chosen."

Hypocrites go by the light of the gospel itself down to utter darkness. Many are called to the wedding-feast, that is, to salvation, but few have the wedding-garment, the righteousness of Christ, the sanctification of the Spirit. Then let us examine ourselves whether we are in the faith, and seek to be approved by the King. (Mt 22:15-22)

And Oney, I am not a calvinist as you suppose. I am a Christian.

darren said...

What about the rich young man who went away sorrowful?

What of those Christ Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:21-23?

"Many are called, but few are chosen."
The purpose of God with having the gospel preached to the reprobate sinner (whom God alone knows) is to expose his wickedness and to leave him without excuse.

Onesimus, why do you attempt to refute (or to deny the truth of--yes, English is tricky for some) the teachings of the scriptures concerning the wicked heart (will, mind, etc.) of man?

"While claiming that God alone determines who will be saved, they refuse to recognise that this also means that God and God alone determines who will be damned."

They?

Do you mean the apostles and the prophets and the Lord Jesus Himself?

"So then He has mercy on whomever He wills, and He hardens whomever He wills."

Your man-centered philosophical arguments stand opposed to scripture. As a promoter of such, you surely have been "blinded to the truth by the god of this age."

Cia W said...

Onesimus - thanks for your response. It's funny you mention leaving a church due to their using TPM. The Reformed (Calvinist) friend I have that brought me to research the whole topic, has some new folks at his church because the Reformed church they'd been attending has a pastor who is apparently using 'tapping' as part of his pastoral counseling.

As for TPM and 'inner healing' -- TPM is primarily about replacing lies with truth. And wouldn't the following reference to the man being 'in his right mind' indicate some sort of 'inner healing' ?
Luke 8:35 {The people} went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened. (NASB) see also Mark 5:15

What about 'being transformed by the renewing of your mind'? (Rom 12:2) Wouldn't that indicate some sort of 'inner healing' (of the mind)?

I don't go in for the 'inner child' work, but at the same time Jesus came to set the captives free. I see EFT and TPM as tools to help set us free from emotional pain and darkness. I think they have a lot more to offer than psychology or psychiatry do.

Cia W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cia W said...

Editing the comment I deleted (then it's off to sleep!):

Sorry, I wanted to add... depending on how long ago you researched Theophostic Prayer, you may have heard about the earlier 'versions', as it were. Apparently it used to involve a lot more along the lines of binding the devil, etc. I have the 2007 training manual and the focus is on discovering lie-based belief(s), with the premise that negative emotions are the bridge back to the beliefs.

It may not fit into the 'conventional' psychology model -- but how has that model worked in real life? That track-record is not very good; which might explain why so many people are on anti-depressants.

Onesimus said...

Cia W,
It was just over a year ago that I did my research on TPM - and I have no doubt at all that it is a totally false practice based on a totally false philosophy.

There is NO biblical support for TPM - despite attempts to quote "proof-texts" to give it some backing.

All of the stuff about "lie-based beliefs" is itself a HUGE lie.
SIN lies at the root of the human condition - not "lie-based- beliefs".

Onesimus said...

No Darren,
unfortunately you are first and foremost a Calvinist, it is CALVINIST doctrine you promote – your doctrine is not remotely comparable to clear Christian doctrine as revealed through the scriptures. You work with Calvinist proof texts and like other Calvinists you redefine the meanings of words and concepts to fit those perverted doctrines

Proverbs 16:4 is yet another Calvinist proof text taken out of its context and therefore given a wrong interpretation.

This verse is referring to the wicked finally getting their day of trouble. It is not saying that the Lord has made the wicked for His purpose. Have a look at the next two verses:

5 Everyone with a proud heart is detestable to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
6 Wickedness is atoned for by loyalty and faithfulness, and one turns from evil by the fear of the LORD.

I suggest you learn to FEAR the Lord Darren – instead of maligning His holy name with your Calvinist blasphemies.


Darren asked:
“What about the rich young man who went away sorrowful?”


He went away sorrowful because HE chose his riches above obedience to Jesus. Jesus told him what he needed to DO and he wasn’t willing to do it. Faith in Christ results in obedience to Christ. That man loved his riches more than he loved Christ.

Darren also asked:
“What of those Christ Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:21-23?”

“21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only HE WHO DOES the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”

Interesting – only those who DO the will of the Father will enter the Kingdom. Maybe you should correct Jesus on that point and tell Him that He was preaching a gospel of works.

Darren also quoted:
"Many are called, but few are chosen."

Yes Darren – many do not respond to the call in faith and therefore are not chosen. Also note in Revelation it refers to those who are called, chosen and faithful – there is an additional level of response – FAITHFULNESS, that presents us with a further sifting of those who are “chosen”. It is the faithful who go on to salvation.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that WHOEVER CONTINUES believing in Him will not perish but will continue to have everlasting life.”

As I’ve said to you elsewhere Darren. You are promoting a different God to the one I follow. Your God is not the God revealed throughout the whole scriptures. Your god is a figment of the imaginations of men who pride themselves on being their god’s “elect”.

The ONLY way you can be free from the delusions of your theology is to put aside those teachings of men and be freed from the reliance of their interpretation of a few select proof texts. Turn to the scriptures and see what the Bible says in context. See how the Bible shows us God’s relationship with His creation. See what God shows us (through practical example) of His dealings with sinful man.
See God demonstrate His mercy to ALL who would turn to Him.

You claim that my gospel is man centred and that yours is God centred. Unfortunately your “gospel” is centred on the WRONG God – it is centred on a FALSE God.

The gospel I believe is centred on the God who has revealed Himself through scripture. A God who loved THE WORLD, a God who desires ALL to benefit from His mercy. A God who has made salvation possible and gives man the responsibility of responding to the salvation He has provided.

I pray that you’ll repent of the falsehood you have swallowed and that you now try to promote.


Heavenly Father, In the name in the name of Jesus I ask that Darren’s blind eyes would be opened by the power of your Holy Spirit. That Darren would be freed from the blinding influence of the god of this world. That Darren would be freed from the lies that bind him to a false understanding of You.
I ask that your mercy be extended to him, that You would present him with Your truth, the truth that would set him free.
Thank you Lord. You are the God who makes His mercy available to ALL.

Onesimus said...

Darren,
I suggest you have a look at these two blog entries;

http://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/what-purpose-does-regeneration-serve-in-calvinism/

http://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/addressing-dominics-response-to-the-purpose-of-regeneration-in-calvinism/

Anonymous said...

Oney

you finally have confessed your camp--so sorry if I was of any assisstance in clearing your blind eyes to the errors you held in common with the apostate arminian pelagians

you certainly have jumped in with both feet!

darren

Onesimus said...

Sorry to say it darren,
but your satanic father has well and truly blinded you.

Until you repent of the heresy you have adopted, yor eyes will remain closed to truth.

Turn from the deceiving theological heroes you worship and turn to the one True God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is the only way you can be freed from the lies you have swallowed from your satanic father.

You have made it absolutely clear that in your blindness you are incapable of accepting the clearest of evidence and you continue to throw accusations against me and others that are based on the indoctrination you have willingly submitterd yourself to; accusations that clearly have no basis in fact.
Instead of parroting your theological gods I suggest you trun SOLELY to the scriptures, asking for the Holy Spirit to give you understanding.
Only HE can free you from your blindness. If you choose not to do that and prefer to remain at the feet of your theological gods, you will eventually find that they have carried you along with them into hell itself.

Anonymous said...

Tim,

Do you not remember your boasts? "Scripture alone, Scripture alone, I follow no man's theology!" Yet did I not expose that lie long before you were aware of your straying? You follow the lie of your own prideful heart, that you may pull yourself up unto salvation by your own bootstraps, which is the lie of your father Satan; you have stumbled over the cornerstone and think to stand righteous by the works of religion.
Yet, one who follows the wide path
would so boldly counsel, "Instead of parroting your theological gods I suggest you trun SOLELY to the scriptures..." Oh, how your pride wells up to blind you! So I give back to you your own words: "Turn from the deceiving theological heroes you worship and turn to the one True God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is the only way you can be freed from the lies you have swallowed from your satanic father."
Look at your blog, Tim! You who escaped the apostate word-faith camp, you who sought not God but gifts--now you parrot the idolatry which has deceived so many!
"If it be so very absurd to worship the work of other men’s hands what must it be to worship the works of our own hands? Perhaps you may say, ‘God forbid that I should do so’. Nevertheless, let me tell you, that trust, confidence, reliance, and dependence for salvation, are all acts, and very solemn ones too, of divine worship: and upon whatsoever you depend, whether in whole or in part, for your acceptance with God, and for your justification in his sight, whatsoever you rely upon and trust in for the attainment of grace or glory: if it be any thing short of God in Christ, you are an idolater for all intents and purposes.
Very different is the idea which Scripture gives us of the ever-blessed God from that of those false gods worshipped by the heathens; and from that degrading representation of the true God which Arminianism would palm upon mankind. 'Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he pleased.' This is not the Arminian idea of God: for our free-willers and our chance-mongers tell us, that God does not do whatsoever he pleases; that there are a great number of things which God wishes to do, and rags and strives to do, and yet cannot bring to pass … Is their god the Bible-God? Certainly not. Their god ’submits’ to difficulties which he ‘cannot help’ himself out of, and endeavours to make himself ‘easy’ under millions and millions of inextricable embarrassments, uncomfortable disappointments, and mortifying defeats. …This said scheme ascends on the ladder of blasphemy, to the mountain top of atheism; and then hurls itself from that precipice, into the gulf of blind, adamantine necessity, in order to prove mankind free agents!
… One great contest between the religion of Arminianism and the religion of Christ is: who shall stand entitled to the praise and glory of a sinner’s salvation? Conversion decides this point at once; for I think that, without any imputation of uncharitableness, I may venture to say that every truly awakened person, at least when he is under the shine of God’s countenance upon his soul, will fall down upon his knees with this hymn of praise ascending from his heart: Not unto me, O Lord, not unto me, but to Thy Name, give the glory: I am saved not for my righteousness, but for Thy mercy and Thy Truth’s sake."--Augustus Toplady

The regenerate person sees that man’s wisdom is pure foolishness to God and that we are mere children in the things of salvation. When our natural mind is not led by the Holy Spirit, it provides us only with wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and devilish, as James 3:15 declares.
He also sees that if he were to be led by his natural mind, he would fall into the pit of ruin, for, as Christ says, “if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matt 15:14).

Tim, you wisely counselled me against following the theology of men. Yet why do you not follow your own counsel? Will you lie--look at your blog! What delusion encompasses you? The flesh? The father of all those in Adam? Or perhaps it is the work of God (read Ezekiel 14). You are searching for acceptance in one camp after another, for you have not the peace that comes only from the gift of God's grace in Christ alone. You jump from here to there to hear what your itching ears desire, and for that which will confirm the boasting of your prideful heart in making "right decisions".

Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
who equip yourselves with burning torches!
Walk by the light of your fire,
and by the torches that you have kindled!
This you have from my hand:
you shall lie down in torment.
--Isaiah 50:11

--darren

Preston N said...

Darren - I have no idea who you are but you are indeed full of hate and pride. You came onto this mans blog and left a provoking and rude comment and then when Onesimus responds rebuking you - you come back with such venom.

So I'll ask you this simple question Darren and it requires a simple Yes or No answer: "Does God desire Mankind to be righteous at this very hour?"

As for your cute little quiz all I will say is this. This is the typical tripe I see Calvinist pull all the time. Each question you provided is a typical example of someone "proof texting" and taking scripture out of their intended context. Verses are not to be used for such games Darren. The bible is not something we can just takes bits and peices of to suit our theology - but one must look at the whole of scripture. How you framed each of those questions is deceptive as you have not provided the entire book or the chapter from which the verse was taken from.

Anonymous said...

John 10:28 I [Jesus] give unto them the (true followers, or ‘sheep’) eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Q. How many sheep do you think have been snatched from either God’s or Jesus’ hands?

Could a person whose name was written in the book of life from the foundation of the world not have become a Christian (or have saving faith in God if born before Jesus)?

That's prooftexting? Scripture out of context?

You simply cannot answer without exposing the lies of the man-centered religion of Arminianism.

Nay, arminian, swing upon your skyhook of prevenient grace--and show in Scripture whereupon you might prove that falsehood.

Anonymous said...

And Preston,
In response to your question,
I'll ask you a simple question: Yes or No--"Does mankind have the inherent ability to be righteous at this very hour?"

Take care how you answer, lest you deny the teachings of Christ and His apostles.

Anonymous said...

"your satanic father has well and truly blinded you"

"the lies you have swallowed from your satanic father"

"you continue to throw accusations against me and others that are based on the indoctrination you have willingly submitterd yourself to..."

"you are indeed full of hate and pride"

Hypocrites!

Again, I say:
Tim, you wisely counselled me against following the theology of men. Yet why do you not follow your own counsel? Will you lie--look at your blog! What delusion encompasses you?

Preston N said...

Darren - ANSWER THE QUESTION!!

IS IT GOD'S DESIRE FOR MANKIND TO BE RIGHTEOUS AT THIS VERY HOUR?

SIMPLE CHOICE: YES OR NO.

Preston N said...

Darren - and to answer your question - the answer is YES! Man has the ability to obey God, but he does not obey God, not because he lacks the ability, but that he lacks the will to do so and thus is in rebellion. WE ALL ARE LIKE SHEEP WHO HAVE TURNED ASTRAY!!

Besides, are you suggesting that God would demand us to do the impossible? To obey his commandment but yet give us the inability to do so!! Silly Augustinian!

Onesimus said...

Darren continually displays the characteristics of his father, the father of lies and the accuser of the bretheren.

Unfortunately in his two years as a professing believer he has chosen to believe the theology of his teachers and has swallowed their use of out of context proof-texts.

If only those two years had been spent in God's word instead of being brainwashed by his calvinist heroes he would have had more chance to find the truth.

However, many start in error and later find themselves repenting of heresies they learned from their first teachers (I know I had to do that), so all we can do is pray that darren receives the deliverance he needs from the satanic delusion that currently blinds and binds him.

Onesimus said...

N Preston said:

Darren - ANSWER THE QUESTION!!

IS IT GOD'S DESIRE FOR MANKIND TO BE RIGHTEOUS AT THIS VERY HOUR?

SIMPLE CHOICE: YES OR NO.

--------------


N Preston.

Man’s theology lowers man’s expectations to conform to man’s weakness.
Instead of recognising what salvation is REALLY about, man prefers to change the nature of salvation to suit his own purposes instead of God’s. Therefore “salvation” becomes all about being saved from eternal punishment instead of being saved from the sin that condemns man to eternal punishment.

Man’s theology wants the reward without experiencing the change that makes that reward possible.
Jesus did not come merely to save a chosen few from an eternity in hell. He came to make it possible for all to be changed from a life sin and disobedience to a life of righteous obedience.
He provided a means of obtaining forgiveness for our sins and He provided the means of maintaining an obedient life through the indwelling of His Spirit. If we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.
Additionally, should we lapse from a continued walk in the Spirit; He has provided a means of continuing forgiveness and cleansing from unrighteousness through the confession of our sins.

In Calvinist theology man can not turn to God unless God has chosen them to experience His irresistible grace. Yet what effect does that “irresistible grace” have on their life in the here and now?
It seem like it has NO effect – because Calvinists still consider themselves to be totally incapable of ever living in obedience to God.

How weak and powerless is the god they follow if he is unable to use that “irresistible grace” to make obedience to him "irresistible"?
But should we expect anything else of that god? Considering he is the author of both sin and evil he would have no problem leaving his followers in a sinful state.

Anonymous said...

Though your belief or doctrine of Christianity may not agree with mine, God asks us to present Him to others gently: "Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth." (2 Timothy 2:23-25 NIV) I must say I probably fail at this command as much as I succeed. I pray that the Holy Spirit will override my unreliable flesh more and more in the future on this issue.

"Man has the ability to obey God, but he does not obey God, not because he lacks the ability, but that he lacks the will to do so and thus is in rebellion."--Preston

But Preston that denies Scripture.

In effect, you are saying that a man may stake his claim to the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ based on his own obedience. He does not lack the ability to keep God's perfect moral law, he simply needs to will to do so. That is the essence of all false religions (all of which are of Satan)--and bases justification on our own works and not the finished work of Christ.
No one can stake a claim to this righteousness based on his or her own obedience, for all people have sinned and fall short of what God demands, and to make such a claim is to pridefully boast of one's ability and righteousness before God. It also negates the necessity of the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit. If people were sinless and perfectly obeyed all of God's perfect moral standards, they could be justified or “declared righteous” on the basis of their own merits. But Paul says that this is impossible for any Gentile or even for any Jew to do. In Gal. 2:16, “works of the law” means not only circumcision, food laws, and Sabbath, but any human effort to be justified by God by obeying a moral law. “But through faith in Jesus Christ” is the opposite of depending on one's own good deeds for justification, since justification comes through faith in Christ alone. The contrast "and not by works of the law" shows clearly that no human effort or merit can be added to faith as a basis for justification. (This verse was frequently appealed to in the Reformation by Protestants who insisted on “justification by faith alone” as opposed to the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification by faith plus merit gained through the “means of grace” administered by means of the Roman Catholic sacraments such as penance and the Mass--and now appropriated by similar pelagians such as Arminians.) Paul concludes decisively: by works of the law no one will be justified.
Paul saw that Christ had taught justification by faith, and so he called God the one “who justifies the ungodly” (Rom. 4:5). If people were sinless and perfectly obeyed all of God's perfect moral standards, they could be justified or “declared righteous” on the basis of their own merits. But Paul says that this is impossible for any Gentile or even for any Jew to do (cf. Romans 1–2).

Does your Bible have Romans 9:16 in it?

"So then it depends not on human will or exertion (Greek: not of him who wills or runs), but on God, who has mercy."

Salvation, then, is not ultimately based on human free will or effort but depends entirely on God's merciful will.

How abasing that is to the pride of man!

Paul answers your arguments in Scripture (may your eyes be opened):

But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world?--Romans 3:5-6

Here Paul considers a false implication that could be drawn from his argument. If the Jews could repent only by God's grace, then it would be unrighteous, according to Paul's Jewish opponents (and today's Arminian opponents), for God to pour out his wrath on those who did not repent, since as sinners they were unable to respond to him. Paul does not provide a full answer to the objection here (for that, see chs. 9–11). He shows that the Jewish (and our Arminian)objector's position is untenable, for then God could not judge the (Gentile) world either, and no evil behavior would be punished.
So, then--cheap grace? No, no. Paul answers that in 3:7-8; he emphatically rejects such a view (as “slander”) but waits until ch. 6 to examine this charge in more detail.

And here is a Greek word study of 2Corinthians 4:7--
We have (hold) His treasure this in earthenware (made of clay) that (to the end that--with the emphasis on the purpose, design, and result) the abundance, the inherent power, is God's and not out of (or from among) us.

Yes, I know the answer of the Arminian--prevenient grace! That mystical man-made skyhook! Though it is unfounded in Scriptural reference, and unworthy of argument, I say that prevenient grace still opens the gate of man's prideful boasting in ability which is Scripturally condemned.

Anonymous said...

"Calvinists still consider themselves to be totally incapable of ever living in obedience to God."

Tim,
Are you without sin?

Onesimus said...

Anonymous darren asked:

"Tim,
Are you without sin?"


In God's eyes?

The same God who promised forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness? the same God who promised that He would remember my sins and iniquities no more?

If God says He has forgiven my sin and cleansed me from all unrighteousness and He Himself has forgotten my sin then who am I to contradict Him?

God has filled me with His HOLY Spirit to equip me to live according to His will, so that if I walk in the Spirit I will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

And God promises that I won't be tempted above my ability to resist that temptation. So is it possible to live without giving in to tempation? Well God says it is...

Maybe you should seek the TRUE God about the possibility of living in freedom from sin instead of relying on the sin-ordaining calvinist god.

And to answer your question, am I without sin?
In God's eyes yes!

If I find myself with sin then I need to confess it so that sin is forgiven and I will be cleansed from ALL unrighteousness.

Onesimus said...

Darren said:
“Yes, I know the answer of the Arminian--prevenient grace! That mystical man-made skyhook! Though it is unfounded in Scriptural reference, and unworthy of argument, I say that prevenient grace still opens the gate of man's prideful boasting in ability which is Scripturally condemned.”


Darren if you had bothered to read what I have said on the issue, I am no more in agreement with the term “prevenient grace” than I am with the Calvinist concept of “irresistible grace”. Grace is grace.
Your criticism of arminians because their reference to “prevenient grace” is unfounded in scripture is the pinnacle of hypocrisy considering there is absolutely NO hint of anything that resembles your calvinist “irresistible grace” in scripture.

Onesimus said...

Darren,
I don’t know about you, but personally I am not in a state in which I am constantly sinning. I don’t sin every second, every minute or every hour of my life.
There are times when I do lapse into sin, and I have to recognise that my sin in those cases will have consequences if I allow it to continue. But the Lord has provided a way of dealing with that sin through confession. Through confession my sin is forgiven and I am cleansed of its effects. Scripture also promises that God Himself will not remember the sin He has forgiven.

If you asked me that question at another time the answer would perhaps need to be different – but how long do I need to remain bound by that sin? As long as human theology determines? Or as long as God determines?

To continually consider myself to be a sinner – even when God has forgiven and cleansed me and wiped out the account of my sin from His memory – is that not putting myself and my own opinion above God’s?

The truth is, I WAS a sinner but I have been saved by grace and I am seen as righteous in God’s eyes because of the continuing provision that Jesus made through His death and resurrection.

Anonymous said...

"Additionally, should we lapse from a continued walk in the Spirit; He has provided a means of continuing forgiveness and cleansing from unrighteousness through the confession of our sins."--Onesimus

True. And by implication--one is incapable of continuously living in total obedience to God's will.

And then, like a hypocrite, you attack another who would cry out "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."
God's commands promise eternal life if one keeps them; and yet they lead to death, since everyone violates what God ordains. This happens when sin deceives a person and uses the law as its instrument.
See Romans 7:10-11. Paul later argues that the fault lies with sin, not with the law. Through the law, sin is revealed in all its hideousness, and the law is vindicated as good. So we see Paul is not absolving himself of personal responsibility but emphasizing the power of sin in verse 17.
And now let us go to Romans 6:6 and we see that the power of sin has been broken in those who believe, for their old self (lit., “old man,” meaning who they were in Adam) was crucified and put to death with Christ. They were born into the world as sinners, with the result that their bodies were ruled by sin. Body of sin refers to the rule of sin, but without excluding the involvement of the personal self that lives through the body. Sin's rule, however, was broken when Christians died with Christ, and therefore they are no longer enslaved to sin. Paul does not argue that Christians do not sin at all (a view called sinless perfection); instead, the tyranny, domination, and rule of sin have been defeated for them. This means that the normal pattern of life for Christians should be progressive growth in sanctification, resulting in ever greater maturity and conformity to God's moral law in thought and action. In verse 11 we see: Dead to sin means dead to the pervasive love for and ruling power of sin. Christians must realize that the mastery of sin has been broken in their lives. And verses 12-18: The tension surfaces here between what God has already accomplished and the responsibility of his people to obey. They are still tempted by desires to sin and must not let those desires gain control. Each day they must give themselves afresh to God. True Christians will never live as slaves to sin, for God has transformed their hearts at conversion, so that they will now grow in their love of righteousness and in living according to God's Word.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Free gift? Did I earn it by my willing? No, that would be a wage.

Oh, the sinful, boastful, self-aggrandizing pride that dwells in man's heart!

Who will deliver me? The living presence of Jesus Christ is the answer to the problem of sin in one's life.

Not your willing nor your running, but His work alone; and to Him be the glory and honor and praise for ever.

Anonymous said...

"If I find myself with sin then I need to confess it so that sin is forgiven and I will be cleansed from ALL unrighteousness."

So you recognize the impossibility of consistent obedience?

Good. So did the apostle John. Notice his use of "we" and the present tense "have" in 1John 1:8.

A problem arises when we have not seen the absolute pervasive depth of our sin--that it is not just in our acts, but is in our being--the very depth of our "hearts" (our minds, wills, etc.)--which is bent absolutely toward rebellion.

Salvation belongs to the Lord.

Not to your will, not by your will, not by your doing, but to Him who called you to His Son. And by His grace He holds you there--"the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints".

May God bless you, Tim. His grace be with you. Let us remember that we were washed, we were sanctified, we were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Peace.

Onesimus said...

darren said : "A problem arises when we have not seen the absolute pervasive depth of our sin--that it is not just in our acts, but is in our being--the very depth of our "hearts" (our minds, wills, etc.)--which is bent absolutely toward rebellion."

Darren do you see that there is any effect in the new birth?
Do you think man CONTINUES in rebellion despite the work of God in his life?
Is God incapable of changing man's sinful ways and corrupt nature?

That is what the new birth is all about - being made a NEW CREATURE in Christ. The old has passed away and the NEW has come.

When we walk in the Spirit we WILL NOT fulfil the lusts of the flesh.
God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist.

Those facts leave us no excuse for continuing in sin. However the Lord has graciously provided a means for the believer to be cleansed and restored IF they should sin.

Anonymous Darren said:


"Additionally, should we lapse from a continued walk in the Spirit; He has provided a means of continuing forgiveness and cleansing from unrighteousness through the confession of our sins."--Onesimus

True. And by implication--one is incapable of continuously living in total obedience to God's will.

-------

And where do you find this implication? It’s definitely not found in scripture?


If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you WILL NOT sin. But IF anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

(1 John 1:8 onwards)


Yes we have all sinned, but God has provided a way of being cleansed from that sin. And IF WE KNOW HIM we WILL obey His commandments and we MUST walk as Jesus did. That is what is required – it is not an unattainable condition that God tauntingly dangles out of our reach.

And also note:

“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of THE WHOLE WORLD.” – No room for limited atonement there, just as there is no room for not doing what he commands.

Is the Calvinist god incapable of equipping his elect to be obedient? Or does he need the disobedience of man as a comparison to his own “glory”: he can only be exalted by leaving mankind (inclusing His "elect") in degradation?

Onesimus said...

I have now created a new thread on which I have written some thoughts on the issue of sin and the believer.

Anonymous said...

Tim,
Even when I simply expound upon the Scriptures and what is plainly there, you cannot withstand to read and answer to them. Why? Pride? Ignorance? Hatred? Hardness of heart? Inability to constrain yourself? None of my posts have pointed to calvinist doctrine. Yet you hate me. Such is the depth of your sin.
Your hatred of calvinism has blinded you to your own ignorant following of other dangerous teachings. You admitted elsewhere that you were ignorant of church history and the teachings that you now so blindly follow--including now the form of sinless perfection heresy championed by Wesley (whom you refer to on your blog page).

There is no Bible doctrine of a state of sinless perfection for the believer, which makes it a false teaching. However, you took this error a step further and have gone into major heresy. Do you intend to teach that this state of sinless perfection is not only possible, but it is necessary for the new birth?

Your ignorance of Scripture is astounding for one of so many years.

"True. And by implication--one is incapable of continuously living in total obedience to God's will."

"And where do you find this implication? It’s definitely not found in scripture?"

Do we sin, Tim?
Yes.
Then can we claim to be living at all times in His perfect righteous will?
No.
That is why we must trust only in Christ Jesus the Lord and His finished work upon the cross and His priestly intercession for us now at the right hand of the Father. Only He is worthy of trust and glory and honor--not our wills.

And you totally miss the implications of 1 John 1:8-2:6. John certainly is not teaching the sinless perfection of the believer.

"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." WE--born again Christians, and here John includes himself--HAVE--present tense--SIN. Say that you don't--well, you deceive yourself and the truth is not in you.

Doing okay so far?

That destroys the heresy of the sinless perfection of the believer.

But now where does beloved John go?
Does he teach cheap grace? No, no.
Just like Paul explained in Romans 3--If the Jews could repent only by God's grace, then it would be unrighteous--according to Paul's Jewish opponents (and today's Arminian opponents)--for God to pour out his wrath on those who did not repent, since as sinners they were unable to respond to him. Paul does not provide a full answer to the objection here (for that, see chs. 9–11). He shows that the Jewish (and our Arminian)objector's position is untenable, for then God could not judge the (Gentile) world either, and no evil behavior would be punished.
So, then--cheap grace? No, no. Paul answers that in 3:7-8; he emphatically rejects such a view (as “slander”) but waits until ch. 6 to examine this charge in more detail. And that is just plain Scripture truth there, Tim. Nothing but the Word.

So John tells us to confess (the Greek implies: to speak or say the same together with another, that is to say to speak the same language, to say the same things, that is to say to assent, accord, agree with, hence, to concede, admit, confess); thus we agree with God that we are sinners and in need of grace. And John is talking to believers! Born again Christians! Sin (generically, all forms, phases, and movements of sin, whether entertained in thought or consummated in act) is not confessed by the unregenerate in this way! Why? They cannot repent without an act of God's grace! And you, foul sinner, accuse God of unrighteousness! See Paul's argument with His detractors above--you are not arguing with me, Tim; you are denying the truth of Scripture! The natural mind thinks this is foolishness and cannot comprehend it.
This is the work of God's grace in His new creation. And our Father is faithful and righteous to forgive His children of their unrighteousness (Greek: adikia--unrighteousness;
what is not conformable to δίκη dikē--right, what ought not to be; that which ought not to be because of revealed truth; hence, wrong, unrighteousness). Catch that part, please: that which ought not to be because of revealed truth.
John knows the Christian life is a battle; he doesn't want us to despair if we stumble. He wants us to know that our Father hears us when we cry out to Him for forgiveness. In verse 10, he's talking about a person who may have heard and assented to the gospel message, but until it brings him to acknowledge his sin, it has not taken root.
Then he points to the Lord. Jesus is an advocate, taking up the cause of believers in the presence of God the Father. Otherwise their sin would bring judgment upon them. Paul speaks of Christ as mediator in 1 Tim. 2:5, and Heb. 8:1 refers to him as high priest.
"He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but a also for the sins of the whole world." And here we find another of your universalist, man-centered, ignorant-of-Scripture-as-a-whole errors (Yes, Tim, you who so hypocritically bash others for proof-texting are incredibly guilty of the same). Propitiation (Gk. hilasmos) here means “a sacrifice that bears God's wrath and turns it to favor,” and that is also the meaning of the English word “propitiation.” (See Rom. 3:25--Jesus' blood “propitiated” or satisfied God's wrath (1:18), so that his holiness was not compromised in forgiving sinners. God's righteous anger needed to be appeased before sin could be forgiven, and God in his love sent his Son--who offered himself willingly--to satisfy God's holy anger against sin. In this way God demonstrated his righteousness, which here refers particularly to his holiness and justice. God's justice was called into question because in his patience he had overlooked former sins. In other words, how could God as the utterly Holy One tolerate human sin without inflicting full punishment on human beings immediately? Paul's answer is that God looked forward to the cross of Christ where the full payment for the guilt of sin would be made, where Christ would die in the place of sinners.)

As the perfect sacrifice for sin, Jesus turns away God's wrath (see also 1 John 4:10). For the sins of the whole world does not mean that every person will be saved, for John is clear that forgiveness of sins comes only to those who repent and believe the gospel (see 2:4, 23; 3:10; 5:12; cf. John 3:18; 5:24). But Jesus' sacrifice is offered and made available to everyone in “the whole world,” not just to John and his current readers. And who are those who truly repent and believe? Is it according to him who wills or runs? I'll let you find the answer.

And John wants us to have assurance. He has just told us that we will stumble, and we must confess--he wants us to know how dreadful sin is; but he wants us to also know that assurance of salvation is possible. First John gives numerous means of self-diagnosis (cf. 1 John 1:7; 2:5; 3:14; 4:13; 5:2). Here the test is ethical: do professing Christians have a changed life and keep the Lord's commandments? Obedience to God does not bring about justification (which comes by faith alone), but obedience as a pattern of life does give evidence that one has been born again. To know him involves a personal relationship that transforms practical behavior. And he says we ought to walk in the same way in which Jesus walked. And what way is that? The way that led to the cross. Believers need not and cannot repeat Christ's unique saving death, but they can mirror his faith, love, piety, obedience, and self-sacrifice, and this pattern of life will give greater assurance “that we are in him” (v. 5).

Now what about 3:9-10? Because the Word is present in the believer's heart through the work of the Spirit, the believer cannot keep on sinning. Thus the hearts of genuine Christians (those who are truly children of God) have been so transformed that they cannot live in a pattern of continual sin—though this does not mean that Christians are ever completely free from sin in this life (see 1 John 1:8–10). "By this it is evident" or, as Jesus said of false prophets, “You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16).

"Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall." (1 Peter 1:10)
Christians should be diligent to make their calling and election (Gk. eklogē) sure (Gk. bebaios, “reliable, unshifting, firm”). God calls believers to faith through the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14), but he has also chosen (elected) them “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). But God's grace in salvation should not be taken for granted. Growing in the Christlike virtues mentioned in 2 Pet. 1:5–7 will give believers increasing confidence that God really did call them and really did elect them to salvation before the foundation of the world. Thus their election becomes “sure,” as a sure foundation. Those who practice these qualities . . . will never fall, probably meaning apostasy (falling away from the faith). Good works are evidence of and give assurance of salvation, though they are never the basis for it. Peter's wording does not imply that true followers of Christ can ever apostatize; those who do so were never really “called,” “elected,” or born again (cf. John 6:39--"All that he has given me" implies that everyone who has been chosen by the Father and has been “given” by the Father to the Son for salvation will in fact be saved. In v. 40 Jesus further explains that these people whom the Father has “given” him are also those who believe in the Son and
have “eternal life.”; 6:40--This verse implies that no true believer will ever lose his or her salvation, since everyone who believes in the Son will also have eternal life and will continue as a believer until the final judgment (the last day), when Jesus will raise him up into the fullness of eternal life.; 10:26–29--Those who belong to Jesus' flock (i.e., those who are chosen by him) are those who believe. The reason people do not believe is because they are not part of Jesus' flock, implying that God must first give them the ability to believe and make them part of his people with a new heart (see 1:13; 6:44). Eternal life (10:28) by definition can never be taken away.; 1 Thess. 1:4--The ultimate reason for Paul's certainty regarding the Thessalonians' election is that they are brothers loved by God. God's love undergirds election (Eph. 1:4–5; cf. Rom. 1:7; 9:13) and is demonstrated by it (Rom. 8:35–39; 11:28). Chosen (lit., “elected,” using Gk. eklogē, “choice, selection, election”) refers to God's antecedent sovereign act of appointing people for eternal life.).

Nothing but the Truth. To the Scriptures, Tim; study to show thyself approved. And try not to simply vent your venom. Look into these things for yourself, look to Christ Jesus, look to the Cross.

Onesimus said...

Darren said: “None of my posts have pointed to calvinist doctrine.”

Darren, your whole viewpoint is saturated in Calvinist doctrine. Your whole approach to, and interpretation of, scripture is from a Calvinist angle. You also point to your Calvinist influences in the way you label anyone who disagrees with you as an “Arminian” or a “Pelagian” or something similar that you personally find offensive. No Darren I do not hate you. I hate the teachings that have blinded you.

Like so many human theologies, Calvinism pulls verses out of their context; treating scripture as if it’s a collection of individual “texts” that can be cobbled together to prove a point.
The sad thing is that you perhaps don’t realise how much your understanding has been affected by Calvinism instead of by scriptural truth.

Please take careful note of what I say here. It is vitally important.
Scripture as a WHOLE reveals God’s nature, God’s purposes and the way God relates to mankind. Become familiar with God first through the practical revelation He has given through the WHOLE of scripture, where He actually DEMONSTRATES what He is like and how he relates to mankind. THEN you may start to understand individual parts of scripture in their context.
Don’t’ continue with the error of human tradition that tries to force understanding into the whole of scripture according to an (erroneous) interpretation of a single section of scripture. We cannot correctly interpret the whole of scripture according to an assumption made from the reading of an isolated verse or chapter.

I’m not sure where I refer to Wesley on my blog page – maybe you’re referring to a link I have to another blog? If so that blogger takes responsibility for any association with Wesley. But on saying that I personally have no problem with Wesley and I certainly will not judge him according to the same standard you have demonstrated in the judgement and accusations you have directed towards me.
Have I promoted sinless perfection? …Again you twist what I have said and make false accusations. And you wasted how much time arguing against a doctrine that you attributed to me? A doctrine that I do not support and have not supported in anything I’ve written.

I agree Darren. My knowledge of church history and historical teachings was not and is not very extensive – and I thank God for that. It has allowed me to approach His word with a relatively clear mind unpolluted by the traditions and theologies that have led sections of the church into heresies such as Calvinism. I don’t rely on historical teachings to tell me what I should believe or how I should interpret scripture.

You said:
“John knows the Christian life is a battle; he doesn't want us to despair if we stumble. He wants us to know that our Father hears us when we cry out to Him for forgiveness.”

I have no disagreement with that. There’s nothing in my article that contradicts this. But this is FAR different to the view that we can not prevent ourselves from sinning. When a *believer* sins it is NOT because of any innate sinful or depraved nature; it is because we have CHOSEN to sin – we have chosen to put aside the provision God has given to help us overcome temptation.
Or is God lying when His word tells us:
“God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

We all sin – but that is NOT because we have no choice in the matter. Any sin in the believer’s life comes about when they neglect what God has provided to enable them to live free from sin. Thankfully God has also given believers a way to deal with sin in our lives whenever we fall into disobedience. If we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When our sin has been forgiven and we’ve been cleansed from all unrighteousness are we still sinners in God’s sight?

You say: “Obedience to God does not bring about justification (which comes by faith alone), but obedience as a pattern of life does give evidence that one has been born again. To know him involves a personal relationship that transforms practical behavior. And he says we ought to walk in the same way in which Jesus walked.”

I agree. No one is saying that we are justified by obedience. But we are NOT discussing those who have NOT been justified. We are looking at BELIEVERS and their attitude to sin. What effect does the new birth have on the believer? Does it leave them in their former sinful state, unable to be obedient to God? Does the believer’s relationship with God transform his behaviour or not?

D. L. Talley said...
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Onesimus said...

Darren said:
“I don't have a blog praising Calvin like you praise Arminius”

Darren are not only a calvinist, you are an absolute LIAR.
In no way does my blog praise Arminius as can CLEARLY be seen by anyone who reads what I have written. I have made it totally clear that I disagree with several aspects of Arminian teaching.

And at that point Darren I will put an end to this pointless discussion. There is no room for me to continue with a blatant liar, so it is likely that any future comments you submit will be deleted until you demonstrate that you are repentant.

Onesimus said...

I have decided to remove the last comment made by darren. That comment included a brief quote in which he accused me of praising Arminius on this blog.

The decision was not made lightly, but comes as a result of darren's regular false accusations made against me both here and on other sites.

The comment I quoted above provided clear and final evidence of the continual lying accusations he persistantly makes.

Until now I have given him more than enough space to have his say.

Preston N said...

Sadly it seems Darren just wants to use his knowledge of theology to do what the Pharisees did and that is have a false sense of humility, while yet he is empty and full of darkness on the inside. He is indeed a man of contradictions.

Onesimus said...

His knowledge of "theology" is disturbing considering he has been a professing believer for little more than two years.
If only he had put in the time and effort with scripture instead of studying church history and church teaching then his understanding of scripture would not have been so polluted by the traditions and theologies of man.

D. L. Talley said...
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Preston N said...

Darren, Darren, Darren

First - you simply asked the question: "Does mankind have the inherent ability to be righteous at this very hour?"NOTE: YOU ASKED DO WE HAVE THE ABILITY AND NOT BY WHAT MEANS TO OBEY Next time ask a better question!

I answered your direct question with a direct answer Darren. Man has always had the ability - but lacks the means. This is why Christ commands us to "Repent and Beleive", "Be Perfect as I am perfect", "Go and SIN NO MORE", "Be Holy as I am Holy". If we are unable to obey, then is Christ asking us to do the impossible - your answer is of course a resounding yes!

Let's look at Luke Chapt 1 who speaks of Elizabeth and Zachariah who were,"both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless" Hmmmmm....all this was before the Holy Spirit and prior to being able to be regenerated to - as defined by Calvinist!

Man has always had the ability to obey God's commands - just look at the Pharisee's. They kept every aspect of the law, but what did they lack? They lacked the love of God, they lacked Faith! What is faith (Saving Faith)? Faith is to completely rely on and be persuaded by God, through Christ, for salvation and all other temporal and eternal matters. It is simply to Love God with all our heart mind and strength supremely. God commands ALL MEN to love Him - as he rightly should!

So Darren my response to you was not to deny scripture - but that I simply answered your question. I am not foolish enough to deny the requirement of faith - but I also know we have far different ideas as to what "faith" is and how one recieves or obtains it.

D. L. Talley said...
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Preston N said...

Darren

Apparently you don't have eyes to see (or read) nor ears with which to hear. You're intentionally taking my words and twist them around. I never once held up the Pharisee's but simply said they obey the commandments - but did so without love.

Elizabeth and Zacharia were blameless and righteous in the eyes of God. Are we to really believe then from this statement that God has two sets moral standards? Why then was God saying they were blameless and righteous? This verse is showing us that Elizabeth and Zacharias were Jews who loved God and as a result obeyed his commands. Again, emphasizing that one obeys God's commands from the heart - and that it is not the commandments themselves that make one holy and righteous, but their love for God! When Jesus speaks of us exceeding the righteousness of the Pharisees he is speaking about not keeping the moral laws outwardly - but obeying them out love, our Love for Him! For LOVE FULFILLS THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW! David speaks of God's wonderful moral laws - are we really to believe that he is speaking of not eating pork here or that he should not mix two different types of fabric? How ridiculous! Try reading Psalm 119 and tell me what David is speaking of here?

Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, That seek him with the whole heart. Yea, they do no unrighteousness; They walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us thy precepts, That we should observe them diligently. Oh that my ways were established To observe thy statutes! Then shall I not be put to shame, When I have respect unto all thy commandments.
(Psa 119:2-6)
David obeyed the moral laws of God from his heart.

Darren - sadly you just don't get it my friend. God could care less about your Calvinism and really just wants a relationship with you. But it seems your more interested in going around telling everyone just how knowledgeable you are about Calvinism. Good Luck with that. You deny that God desires the very thing he rightfully requires and that is the ability to love Him and the obligation to do so. In your attempt to disavow salvation through "works" you have over emphasized your theology to the point that you've made your own theology a "work" unto itself. If anyone here is a Pharisee it is you. You come to do what they did and that is deny that God is a loving God and that mankind through Truth, Christ and the Holy Spirit can enter in. You like the Pharisees have not the key of knowledge and you are witholding it from others. I am through here as I see I am throwing pearls to swine. Good Luck Darren and may God truly open your heart and your mind to the truth and may you repent of your Gnostic and Pagan based theology - also known as Augustinianism......

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Onesimus said...

D. L. Talley said...
Very deceitful, Tim.

Go ahead--delete this too.

You know why you deleted the other.

You simply could not answer, "where does our choice come from".
------

Yes I know why I deleted your other comment and it is not for the reason you have stated.

Our abibilty to choose comes from God. He does not want mindless robots who are forced to follow Him through the exertion of some mythical "irresistible grace". God sets before us a choice: to repent and follow Him or to continue in rebellion and suffer the consequences.

I deleted you earlier comment for the very reason I stated: because you have proven yourself to be a willing and unrepentant liar. Therefore I will not waste any more time than I already have dealing with your perverted theology.

And yes, I'll be deleting any further comments you make until you prove you have repented of your lying. I will also be reinstating the moderation option to the comments on this blog.

Onesimus said...

Another remark which shows why Darren’s welcome on this blog has well and truly passed:

Posting again as “anonymous” he said to N Preston:

“Truly you are a dog and a pig.”

Then later:

“Tim, I know you do not trust me--but beware who you follow!

Open theism is incredibly heretic!...”


While I appreciate the concern darren showed here, he certainly hasn’t got the message yet that I don’t follow anyone and I don’t intend to follow anyone.

I appreciate fellowship and discussion with other believers and I am open to considering their insights; but too much of my past was lost on following man-made doctrines. I trust the Holy Spirit to be the teacher that He was promised to be.
Fellowship with other Christians is a valuable aid in discerning what IS revelation from the Holy Spirit and what is a result of our own mind.

Be assured Darren I am not an open theist and have no more interest in that than I have in any other of man’s attempts to define the ways of God.

Whether N Preston is an Open Theist or not – he is just as welcome to comment here as anyone else who is willing to contribute respectfully and truthfully.

ANY attempt from ANYONE, to promote doctrine that I consider to be false will be addressed in an appropriate manner at the time.

Onesimus said...

Anonymous (Darren) posted the following quote that I assume he is attributing to N Preston:

"I must say this is the one time in my life I actually agree with a Calvinist! Essentially Calvinist are saying to have both contingency (freewill) and God having absolute foreknowledge is logically inconsistent and therefore impossible. Personally, this is why I am Open Theist."
---------------------------------

Firstly,
I’m not in the habit of invading other people’s personal blogs with the sole intention of digging out their errors so that I can I attack them. That is why I do not visit Calvinist sites to attack their beliefs. However if they come here and try to push their views in a rude and abusive manner they will not be tolerated.
I also do not make a habit of checking out the websites of people who contribute here with the intention of finding information that I can use against them*. Each visitor will be addressed on what they say HERE and not elsewhere.

Since the above has been raised here – I will say that I DISAGREE TOTALLY with the comment above that “God having absolute foreknowledge is logically inconsistent and therefore impossible”.

The Calvinist viewpoint redefines “foreknowledge” to “foreordination” – considering that God could only foreknow something because He had already ordained it.

I can’t say that I’m aware of what the Open Theist believes – and I’m not interested. I have NO trouble accepting that God has absolute foreknowledge AND that mankind has a degree of God-given free will.

David Servant has a couple of EXCELLENT articles that deal with this issue, which I will try to find and post in the near future.

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* I recall that I did do this once in the earlier comments on this thread (sorry Cia W), but later saw that it was not a fair or relevant practice.

Preston N said...

Tim - I respect your decision to disagree with my belief in Open Theism. It was never my intentions to come to your blog to proselytize others to my view. I think my comments proves this. If you recall I came to know your blog due to the fact that you came to my blog and left a comment about one of my post.

As for my view on Open Theism I will say this. Many have very little idea of what an Open Theist believes. This is because much of what we has been said by Calvinist and others is a gross distortion of the theology. I always find it interesting in matters of theology people will often make accusations about others certain beliefs and yet they have taken little time to research the matter. I have probably studied Calvinism more so than my own theology so that I will at least know if what I believe is true.

Thanks Tim for your gracious attitude and I hope to continue to visit your blog.

Onesimus said...

G’Day N Preston,
You are very welcome to visit and to leave your comments. I welcome anyone who is willing to offer constructive input without trying to push an agenda that is clearly at odds with the nature and purpose of the blog.
Disagreement is no problem as long as it isn’t abusive, and as long as it isn’t continued beyond reason. While there are many issues regarding my faith about which I am totally convinced, I know there are more areas in which I need to learn and grow.
Personally I have little interest in “isms” of any kind. I am content to put my trust in the Holy Spirit and the scriptures He inspired.
Many find offense in this simple approach and accuse me of elitism, of being a “lone ranger”; of thinking I’m the only one to discover the truth. However I have never adopted a new belief or understanding from my own study of scripture until it has been confirmed from other sources – so far this confirmation has come through other believers at times when I was not expecting it.

I have mentioned previously how my own investigations proved to me that Calvinists grossly misrepresent Arminianism; and considering how easy it is to find clear statements of Arminian belief, I can only conclude that many Calvinists will stoop to anything (even wilful lies) to protect themselves and their doctrinal position. I therefore pay little attention to their assessment of other people’s doctrines.