Predestination

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Predestination

Postby Wowboy on Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:57 pm

As a baptist, I see this topic coming up more and more lately as it seems there are a growing number of Calvinist pastors. I was wondering what everyone's views on this are?
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Re: Predestination

Postby destros_elite on Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:37 pm

It does seem to be growing. A friend of mine recently lost his funding (he was planting a church) when he went to Calvinism. I, too, as a baptist do not believe in it. There is a book out that I would like to read addressing Calvinism and the Southern Baptist:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Calvin ... 351/?itm=1

Has anyone read this?

I will post more tonight when I have time.
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Re: Predestination

Postby Darko on Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:49 pm

I don't buy into it. I went to a Presbyterian college, so I became pretty familiar with hearing people espouse the doctrine of predestination, and the one thing that always bothered me is that they could never really answer the question "if we're all predestined for either heaven or hell at birth, then what's the point of missionary work, which Jesus Christ instructed us to partake in?" It wasn't that they had answers that I didn't agree with, they didn't really have an answer at all. I even asked a guest speaker who was a Presbyterian pastor who had come to our class specifically to speak on the subject of predestination. First off, he seemed offended that I asked (...and I wasn't trying to be a jerk, I was honestly curious and phrased my question as respectfully as possible), and second, the best response he could come up with was "well, you don't know that a person predestined for heaven isn't supposed to come to known Christ through you, so that's why missionary work is important." But that doesn't really answer the question, because if that's the case, then that implies that I could decide not to talk with anyone about Jesus ever again, and therefore the person I was supposed to bring to Christ will go unsaved (thus not really being predestination at all), or God will find a way to bring them to Jesus apart from me, in which case, why bother trying?

I don't know, I'm sure there's a more official, articulate answer out there to the question, but everything I've heard up until now has just been a big convoluted mess.
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Re: Predestination

Postby Matthew on Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:13 pm

i agree that I don't agree.

I think predestination is a mistake that someone made thinking that if God knows everything and knows what we will do, then he knows who will be saved. The mistake was trying to understand the infinite wisdom and power of God (if that makes sense :D)
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Re: Predestination

Postby chad_ghost on Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:28 pm

Our recently departed youth pastor proclaimed 'Calvinism' and was asked to leave the church. He didn't teach it at all to the youth, but the wrong folks found out. If you've been in a church, you know what I mean.

Here is my explanation:
- God calls Himself 'I am"
- He is the Alpha and Omega
- He is not bound by time
- He knows us before birth (because He already knows the end of the story)

These things allow God to know all things yet gives us the freedom of will.
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Re: Predestination

Postby destros_elite on Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:35 am

chad_ghost wrote:Our recently departed youth pastor proclaimed 'Calvinism' and was asked to leave the church. He didn't teach it at all to the youth, but the wrong folks found out. If you've been in a church, you know what I mean.

Here is my explanation:
- God calls Himself 'I am"
- He is the Alpha and Omega
- He is not bound by time
- He knows us before birth (because He already knows the end of the story)

These things allow God to know all things yet gives us the freedom of will.


Well said, Chad. I would agree with the fact of asking the fellow to leave the church because he may not have been teaching the youth Calvinism, but he probably also would not have been teaching them about missions and outreach.

I really like your explanation. God is all-knowing, thus He can know the choices we will make without forcing us to make them. Also, in Calvinism, to me, God is not all-loving. How could He be if He was to choose who went to Heaven and who went to Hell?
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Re: Predestination

Postby Wowboy on Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:57 am

What are everyone's thoughts on this scripture?

Ephesians 1:4-6 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
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Re: Predestination

Postby Darko on Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:50 pm

Wowboy wrote:What are everyone's thoughts on this scripture?

Ephesians 1:4-6 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.


The verse isn't talking about predestination in the Calvinist way, it's talking about how God, from the beginning, had a plan for our (humanity's) salvation (Jesus). Gaining that salvation, of course, still requires faith in Christ.
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Re: Predestination

Postby chad_ghost on Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:12 pm

destros_elite wrote:Well said, Chad. I would agree with the fact of asking the fellow to leave the church because he may not have been teaching the youth Calvinism, but he probably also would not have been teaching them about missions and outreach.

My friend, Gomer, is convinced that Kurt will eventually turn from Calvinism. He heavily supports missions/outreach, has been on two trips in the past year, and is planning another in February. A great guy with a great vision, but I've heard that Calvinism can be very compelling if presented by someone with knowledge of the topic.
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Re: Predestination

Postby Wowboy on Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:16 pm

Darko, I would be interested in hearing some of the scriptures they used to back up the claims of predestination that you heard at your Presbyterian college. The main ones I have been getting fed are in Ephesians, Thessalonians and throughout Paul's letters. Basically, do a search for "Elect" and "Election" or just straight up "Predestined" and you will come up with all the ones I have been getting crammed down my throat pretty much every time I try to attend a Southern Baptist church.

On the subject of missions, I have actually had this argument before, so I can give you the cliff's note on what I remember. Keep in mind, I am not a Calvinist myself, I am only having this discussion because I feel like I need to learn more on the subject in order to better defend my own point of view, so I won't be able to respond as well as a well read Calvinist would to this argument.

It all boils down the absolute sovereignty of God. We can all agree on this, which is where the Calvinist philosophy can sort of "get its foot in the door." They believe so profoundly in this sovereignty that they think God "predestines" us for everything we are going to do. Missions included. In your example above in which you "decided" not to be a witness to someone... to a Calvinist, this wouldn't be your decision, but God's, so it is God's decision that those lost people don't have the gospel shared with them at that time. It is up to him if they ever hear it and receive it at all.

I think Southern Baptists are especially susceptible to this philosophy because of their adherence to the doctrine of Eternal Security, which by nature abrogates a bit of free will of the believer. Because Southern Baptists actually do revise their doctrines periodically, it creates an atmosphere of debate and differing opinions on various points of their doctrine. This is in contrast to other Baptist sects such as the Independents who never really meet each other and discuss anything, therefore their doctrines are never to be questioned, end of story.

My personal thought is that Calvinism belies the foundation of scripture. In Genesis, God created man, placed him in an idyllic existence, but created a tree that man was not supposed to eat of. This entire setting of the fall of man becomes the ultimate metaphor for free will. Because man took the fruit and ate it with no assistance whatsoever from God, it was man who chose to fall. I would think if the Calvinist idea of predestination prevailed, then God would have picked the fruit, gave it to man, placed it in his mouth, manipulated man's jaw to force him to chew, then rubbed his neck to get him to swallow, and then said "AHA YOU ATE THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT!"

Again, I'm having this discussion to better be able to defend the free-will point of view. I see something going on in my sunday school class that I don't think is a good thing at all. Our Sunday school teacher is a dyed in the wool Calvinist, and every single lesson he presents is basically Calvinist indoctrination. We have a young lady that is one of the most devout Christian women that I have ever met, and is ultimately going to enter the missions field, and she is questioning the idea of free will and trying to incorporate these views of Calvinism into her belief system. I see a day coming when I will be able to hold my tongue no longer and I will have to speak out on the side of the just God that I serve.
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Re: Predestination

Postby chad_ghost on Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:38 pm

Free will is the point to be noted. God's love is eternally shown in Him giving us free will. Without it, can we ever accept or deny Him? It is ridiculous to deny this fact.
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Re: Predestination

Postby camper on Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:44 pm

I suubscribe to something more like predetermination, in the sense that God has chosen some specific people to fulfill certain specific needs at the specified time and those people are specifically chosen to be saved--and they would have done so completely out of free will if we were to say (for arguments sake) that free will didn't exist. David is an example of this. As is John the Baptist, Moses, any of the disciples, Abraham, etc. God's plans were set into motion due to His infinite knowledge and His hand directly involved in the lives of a person and the lives of those around them (even generations before).

How this ties into predestination is that an infiniately knowledgable God who is fully in control knows that people will choose Him or not, and that since His hand is at work it may seem like our free will is not very free. But it's like this--if you play chess with a pro, you'll lose. The pro has such skill in the game he can anticipate your moves well before you make them, and can setup the board to win a specific kind of victory. In essence, he can get you to move your pieces on the board exactly where he wants them to be, and all the while YOU are exercising your freedom to put them where you want since you have no idea what his tactics are.

The idea that a person can choose to be a christian, believe fully in Christ and rely fully on Him for salvation and still go to hell with the unsaved--or say...Anton Levine would be saved depite his worship of satan would be in heaven--is IMHO unbiblical, and I'm not sure that's what Calvin was trying to get across, but I'd have to really go back and re-read, I thought Calvin's idea on unconditional election was for a very narrow group of poeple and not intended to be applied as a theory to all of humanity.

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Re: Predestination

Postby Wowboy on Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:03 pm

I'm about to dive into Calvin's biblical commentaries, so I'll let you know what he has to say on that.

I kind of think of it like this:

If I take an open briefcase filled with neatly arranged $100 bills and set it on a streetcorner, I have a foreknowledge that someone will take it. It is still their choice to do so, but I know it's going to happen. The way predestination is often presented would be more akin to setting the briefcase down, and then picking it up and forcibly handing it to someone in lieu of others.
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Re: Predestination

Postby RevSears on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:14 pm

Camper and I seem to be on the same page here. There are elect, or chosen folk like David etc. That are really worked on for the specific role. In a way though we are like that. This does not eradicate free will, or force anyone to be saved or lost. God knows who will be open to him, and of course works before they are even born to put them in the situation he wants for his greater plan.

If Calvanism was true, i would still love God, but i wouldn't bother working for him anymore. I love my wife and i've been helping out around the house whle she is working on long hours. Love her or not, if i knew we had, say a maid , and that all those dishes were going to be done anyways, i would spend my time enjoying the day instead.
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Re: Predestination

Postby destros_elite on Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:22 am

camper wrote: The idea that a person can choose to be a christian, believe fully in Christ and rely fully on Him for salvation and still go to hell with the unsaved--or say...Anton Levine would be saved depite his worship of satan would be in heaven--is IMHO unbiblical, and I'm not sure that's what Calvin was trying to get across, but I'd have to really go back and re-read, I thought Calvin's idea on unconditional election was for a very narrow group of poeple and not intended to be applied as a theory to all of humanity.


I have been doing a lot of studying on Calvinism in the past few months. The scenario you set forth here, Camper, would not happen because of Total Depravity, meaning that no one has the ability to go to God on their own. If the person accepted Christ as you stated, then that would mean they would be one of the "Elect" or "Chosen" and will only have come to Him because He called them (Irresistable Grace...hence the "I" in T.U.L.I.P.). Total Depravity means that man's rebellion against God is so total that there is no way we would ever seek out the Lord on our own.

Now, I'm not saying I believe this, but I am studying to examine the what the Word of God says on the matter.
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