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Offline Reformer

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Calvinism vs. Heaven's Oracles #5
« on: Sat Jul 24, 2021 - 15:27:55 »
REFORMATION RUMBLINGS
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
_______________________
 
The Calvinist Mindset vs. Heaven’s
Oracles #5
   
A Favorite Scripture Of Calvinists

    To bolster their creedal stance that man cannot choose to obey God, the average Calvinist will quote Romans 8:7, which reads, “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

    The carnal mind—or the mind set on the flesh—is against God. It is under condemnation as long as it remains in that state. Paul is not saying it is impossible for a wicked man to change his moral and spiritual status, but that such cannot be achieved as long as he retains a carnal, fleshly, immoral mind.

    In other words, he need not be mastered by a carnal mind. It is not imperative that he remain its slave. God has granted him the ability—“enabled” him—to redirect his life, should he so choose. As Peter told the 3,000 who were quickened or aroused by his message, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation” [Acts 2:40]. “Save yourselves”—or make it possible for the Lord to save you—by complying with His conditions. God does His part. Man does his part. If man has no role in his conversion, not only is he a mechanical robot, but the scriptures relating to this matter are incoherent, incomprehensible, mystifying, and meaningless.

God Chooses or Rejects Nations, Romans, Chapter 9

    In this portion of the Roman letter, the great apostle speaks of God’s mercy and compassion, as well as the objects of His wrath. Paul says that before Esau and Jacob, twins, were born, God elected that Esau would serve Jacob [vs. 10-13]. The twins represented two nations or races. One race was loved and the other race disliked or “loved less.” God asserted His right to choose or reject nations. Paul does not seem to be addressing the election of persons to eternal salvation and others to damnation. God’s purpose in election on this occasion related to nations. It was promised—elected—that Jacob should become the father of a great nation.

God and Pharaoh

    Then the apostle talks about Pharaoh and how God “raised him up” so that His power might be displayed [vs. 16-18]. Again, the election was not of an individual to destruction, but of a man to be king for a special reason—to display God’s glory. Pharaoh’s hardening was at first his own decision. On five occasions, in Exodus, it is said that the king hardened himself. This being the case, God simply helped him along. God’s judgment made it harder for him! God gave him over to his own way [see Rom. 1:26].

    It should not be argued that God arbitrarily hardens the hearts of some people, thereby compelling them to be lost. Nor should we decipher from Paul’s message that because of God’s mercy, he requires others to be saved. This is not what Paul is advancing. I think it safe to conclude that God will have mercy and compassion upon those who are merciful, compassionate, and obedient, but he will demonstrate his wrath upon those who turn away from Him.

    But did God prepare some people for destruction and others for glory without giving them a will to contest His decision, as some feel verse 22 implies? If this is what Paul is advocating, we might as well trash our Bibles for they are surely contradictory! In verses 22-24, Paul is saying that the ungodly will receive God’s wrath. The “objects of His mercy”—those who show mercy—will receive His glory. Verse 24 speaks of “even us whom He has called.”

    Called? Yes! Called, not compelled; not forced, but called. God summons or calls all men to be saved. That “summons” relates to the message of salvation for the exposed but “to the things that have been made” for the unexposed [see Rom. 1:20].

God’s Preparations

    God prepared wrath aforehand for the ungodly, and glory aforehand for the righteous. God foreknew who the ungodly would be. These he “prepared for destruction.” God foreknew who the righteous would be. These He “prepared in advance for glory” [vs. 22-24]. To conclude from Paul’s remarks that our Lord is unmerciful by forcing a portion of the world’s population to be lost and the remainder saved, is not the God I personally know. Those who perish will be of their own accord. It will not be forced upon them. “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” [2 Thess. 2:10].

Concluding Question

    Is heaven behind the Calvinistic persuasion? It seems that if heaven is behind the main thrusts of this belief system, God failed to communicate it in terms the average man can understand. I like to think of myself as possessing the intellectual capabilities of decoding understandable communiqués. But if God is the author of this theological belief system, He has communicated His will in such a way that I’m incapable of assimilating it. It is a “mess” of jumbled entities. Furthermore, I’m always suspicious of a belief system that takes volumes to explain.

    Yes, I know, there are scriptures that are difficult to understand. “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand” [2 Peter 3:16]. The scheme of redemption does not fall into that category, however. But this facet of Calvinism, which relates to the scheme of liberation, is complicated and almost impossible to “put together” in a comprehensible manner. Yes, I am more than suspicious of it.

[Thanks for joining me in this travel.]
« Last Edit: Sat Jul 24, 2021 - 15:30:52 by Reformer »

Offline 4WD

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Re: Calvinism vs. Heaven's Oracles #5
« Reply #1 on: Sat Jul 24, 2021 - 16:03:31 »
Furthermore, I’m always suspicious of a belief system that takes volumes to explain.
It doesn't take volumes to explain.  All it takes is acceptance of the false doctrine of Total Depravity, then everything else falls in line, no matter how much misinterpretation and eisegesis it takes for everything else.  The belief in Total Depravity drives everything else.  Even backing down to just a belief in Original Sin doesn't help a whole lot. If you believe that God condemns anyone for the sins of another, even Adam, you can believe nearly anything about God.
« Last Edit: Sat Jul 24, 2021 - 16:06:07 by 4WD »

Offline Reformer

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Re: Calvinism vs. Heaven's Oracles #5
« Reply #2 on: Sat Jul 24, 2021 - 22:15:47 »

4WD:

"It doesn't take volumes to explain" [Calvinism].

    I agree, it should not take volumes plus volumes to explain a belief system, particularly the redemptive and convictive parts of the system.

Buff

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Re: Calvinism vs. Heaven's Oracles #5
« Reply #2 on: Sat Jul 24, 2021 - 22:15:47 »