A quiz for Arminians.

I found the following quiz for Arminians at Chosen by Grace Alone via Bob Hanks’ blog.

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Eph. 1:11 …[W]ho [God] worketh all things after the counsel of His will.

Q. If God works all things after the counsel of His will, how much does He work to the will of you, me, Satan, etc.?

A. None.
B. 20%
C. 50%
D. 85%

Is. 14:24 Jehovah of hosts hath sworn, saying , Surely, as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.

Q. How much of what He wants to come to pass, doesn’t?

A. All of His thoughts will come to pass
B. Some of His thoughts will not come to pass
C. A few of His thoughts will not come to pass
D. A lot of His thoughts will not come to pass

Rom. 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also foreordained to be conformed to to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many bretheren: and whom He foreordained, them He also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.

Q. How many do you think have been called, justified, or glorified that He did not first foreknow or foreordain?

A. Write in your answer: ___________________

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd; and I know my own, and mine own know me, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Q. Where does this scripture say that Jesus laid down his life for the sheep and the goats

A. It doesn’t
B. It doesn’t, but I just know He meant the goats, too

John 6:65 No man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father.

Q. How many come to Jesus that were not first given to him by the Father?

A. 0
B. 5,000
C. 5,000,000
D. 10,000,000

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me

Q. How many that the Father gave Him will not come to Him?

A. Two
B. A couple of thousand
C. A couple of million
D. Trick question, it says they will all come unto him

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?

A. None
B. 50,000
C. 500,000
D. 1,000,000

Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Q. Considering this, and other related scripture, God having to blot out a name from the book of life would mean:

A. God makes mistakes.
B. Some have been snatched from Jesus’ hands?
C. God didn’t know that some of His sheep were really goats.
D. None of the above.

Q. 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)?

A. No
B. Yes
C. This confuses me, but I’m going to believe the Bible.
D. This confuses me, and I’m going to pretend this isn’t in the Bible (be honest).

Matt. 13 10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Q. Jesus himself declared that one of the reasons why He spoke in parables was that the truth might be concealed from whom it was not intended. Is this fair?

A. No.
B. Yes.
C. Who are we to question God?
D. I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that verse.

Rom. 8:28 To them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to His purpose.

Q. How many things do not work for the good of those who love God?

A. 10% of all things
B. 40% of all things
C. 85% of all things
D. Trick question, the Bible says all things work for the good of those who love Him

Mark 14:30 And Jesus said unto him (Peter), Verily I say unto thee, that thou, today, even this night before the cock crow twice shall deny me thrice.

Questions:

A. Could Peter not have denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed twice?
Answer here: ____________________________
B. Did Jesus make Peter deny him, or did Peter do it of his own free will?
Answer here: ____________________________

Exodus 4:11 [God Himself asks the rhetorical question] Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who gives him his sight or makes him blind? Is it not I the Lord?

Q. Is this fair?

A. Yes.
B. No.
C. Who are we to question God?
D. I’m going to pretend this isn’t in the Bible.

54 thoughts on “A quiz for Arminians.

  1. What do you do with these verses, when it comes to predestination?
    Jeremiah 7:31

    31 ”They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.

    Jeremiah 19:5

    5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind ;

    Jeremiah 29:23

    because they have acted foolishly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken words in My name falsely, which I did not command them; and I am He who knows and am a witness,” declares the LORD.’ “

    Jeremiah 32:35

    35 ”They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

  2. Ray says:

    Quote:
    “What do you do with these verses, when it comes to predestination?”

    I don’t believe that the verses you have quoted have anything whatsoever to do with predestination. The doctrine of predestination is one of God choosing those who He will /has reconciled to himself, and if anything , those verses that have been quoted highlight the plight of those who God has left to their own desires, they wallow in their own sin.

  3. todd3588 says:

    @wbmoore and
    @Ray,

    I believe wbmoore, in his comment, was attempting to highlight a seeming contradiction in the Scriptures. We all know that proper interpretation of the Scripture is best done by the Scripture (i.e. proper hermaneutics), and God is a God of order. There is, therefore, NO CONTRADICTION in His holy Word.

    Perhaps this somewhat lengthy snip below will provide some clarity to the whole topic of predestination, and I am quoting the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Scripture references (and there are many) have been omitted. Please read carefully…

    “From all eternity God decreed all that should happen in time, and this He did freely and unalterably, consulting only His own wise and holy will. Yet in so doing He does not become in any sense the author of sin, nor does He share responsibility for sin with sinners. Neither, by reason of His decree, is the will of any creature whom He has made violated; nor is the free working of second causes put aside; rather is it established. In all these matters the divine wisdom appears, as also does God’s power and faithfulness in effecting that which He has purposed.”

    OR (if you prefer, and again, read carefully)….

    “God who, in infinite power and wisdom, has created all things, upholds, directs, controls and governs them, both animate and inanimate, great and small, by a providence supremely wise and holy, and in accordance with His infallible foreknowledge and the free and immutable decisions of His will. He fulfills the purposes for which He created them, so that His wisdom, power and justice, together with His infinite goodness and mercy, might be praised and glorified.

    Nothing happens by chance or outside the sphere of God’s providence. As God is the First Cause of all events, they happen immutably and infallibly according to His foreknowledge and decree, to which they stand related. Yet by His providence God so controls them, that second causes, operating either as fixed laws, or freely, or in dependence upon other causes, play their part in bringing them about.

    Ordinarily, in His providence, God makes use of means; yet He is free to work without them, to give them efficacy above what they normally possess, and even to work contrary to them, at His pleasure.

    God’s almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness are so far-reaching and all-pervading, that both the fall of the first man into sin, and all other sinful actions of angels and men, proceed according to His sovereign purposes. It is not that He gives His bare permission, for in a variety of ways He wisely and powerfully limits, orders and governs sinful actions, so that they effect His holy designs. Yet the sinfulness involved in the actions proceeds only from angels and men and not from God who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.”

    Todd
    Texas

  4. The following is something that I found in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer:

    This account of a meeting between the young Charles Simeon and the aged John Wesley
    appears as a footnote in the Preface to Volume 1 of Simeon’s Horae Homileticae (expository
    outlines on the whole Bible).
    “A young Minister, about three or four years after he was ordained, had an opportunity
    of conversing familiarly with the great and venerable leader of the Arminians in this
    kingdom; and, wishing to improve the occasion to the uttermost, he addressed him
    nearly in the following words: ‘Sir, I understand that you are called an Arminian; and I
    have been sometimes called a Calvinist; and therefore I suppose we are to draw
    daggers. But before I consent to begin the combat, with your permission I will ask you
    a few questions, not from impertinent curiosity, but for real instruction.’ Permission
    being very readily and kindly granted, the young Minister proceeded to ask, ‘Pray, Sir,
    do you feel yourself a depraved creature, so depraved, that you would never have
    thought of turning unto God, if God had not first put it into your heart? – ‘Yes,’ says the
    veteran, ‘I do indeed.’ – ‘And do you utterly despair of recommending yourself to God
    by any thing you can do; and look for salvation solely through the blood and
    righteousness of Christ?’ – ‘Yes, solely through Christ.’ – ‘But, Sir, supposing you were
    first saved by Christ, are you not somehow or other to save yourself afterwards by your
    own works?’ – ‘No, I must be saved by Christ from first to last.’ – ‘Allowing then that you
    were first turned by the grace of God, are you not in some way or other to keep
    yourself by your own power?’ – ‘No.’ – ‘What then, are you to be upheld every hour and
    every moment by God, as much as an infant in its mother’s arms?’ – ‘Yes; altogether.’ –
    ‘And is all your hope in the grace and mercy of God to preserve you unto his heavenly
    kingdom?’ – ‘Yes; I have no hope, but in him.’ – ‘Then, Sir, with your leave, I will put up
    my dagger again; for this is all my Calvinism; this is my election, my justification by
    faith, my final perseverance: it is, in substance, all that I hold, and as I hold it: and
    therefore, if you please, instead of searching out terms and phrases to be a ground of
    contention between us, we will cordially unite in those things wherein we agree.’
    “The Arminian leader was so pleased with the conversation, that he made particular
    mention of it in his journals; and notwithstanding there never afterwards was any
    connexion between the parties, he retained an unfeigned regard for his young enquirer
    to the hour of his death.”

    The meeting with Simeon is referenced in John Wesley’s Journal under 20th December
    1784.

  5. Linda says:

    I’ve never agreed with Arminianism. Their god is not the GOD of the Bible and their god is a god of their imagination. They are not the same

  6. todd3588 says:

    @Linda
    I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say an Arminian’s God is not the God of the Bible. After all, it was only 8 or 9 years ago that I became non-Arminian…..and that was a progression. You know, I’m a 2/3point-Calvinist, and then it was a 3 or 4 point-Calvinist, then a one-point Arminian, and then the full transformation to a “raging” (as my parents say) full-fiver!

    I prefer to say I’m just a plain ol’ Christian who considers himself a Bible guy.
    Same God that I did have though, just a vastly different soteriology, to be sure.

    Todd
    Texas

  7. Ray says:

    Quote
    @Linda
    I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say an Arminian’s God is not the God of the Bible.
    end quote

    I think that what is at issue here is the gospel that is preached, and really , Sovereign Grace and Arminianism are two very different gospels. Does God simultaneously draw some to himself and accept those who elect themselves? , this would be gross inconsistency. Jesus is the author of one gospel, and that is salvation to his people. The messiah of the Arminian gospel is altogether a different one, one who’s sovereingnty hinges on mans free will.

  8. May I add the free will gospel robs God of glory as well. Those who choose Jesus or invite Him into their hearts or make their decision take credit for having a part in their salvation. This truly is an accursed gospel, it robs God of glory, denies grace, and exhalts man as having the will to choose. I would ask the free willer, our decisions are based on what we comprehend, what we understand to be true and right correct? How can a mind that is totally depraved, riddled with sin and dead to spiritual matters ever hear about what Christ has done and respond favorably? A mind that loves sin, will choose sin every time over God, and hates God? I know many will argue that they do not hate God, but we all do until God draws us to Christ {John 6:44}. The only way anyone can choose Jesus is if God has first done a work in their heart, regenerating them and opening up their mind to their own vileness. Charles Spurgeon does a wonderful job explaining the human will at http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0182.htm

    This is an excerpt from Dr. James Boice’s book ‘Whatever happened to the gospel of grace’ concerning the human will…

    “The deepest and most significant thinking ever done on the subject of the will and its impotence was by Jonathan Edwards in a treatise called ‘A Careful and Strict Inquiry into the Prevailing Notions of the Freedom of the Will’.
    The first thing Edwards did was to define the will. We think of the will as that thing in us that makes choices. Edwards saw that this was not accurate and instead defined the will as ‘that by which the mind chooses anything’. That may not seem to be much of a difference, but it is a major one. For it means that what we choose is not determined by the will itself [as if it were an entity to itself] but by the mind, which means that our choices are determined by what we think to be the most desirable course of action.
    Edward’s second major contribution was his discussion of what he called ‘motives’. He pointed out that the mind is not neutral; it thinks some things are better than other things, and because it thinks some things are better than other things, it always chooses the better things. If a person thought one course of action was better than another and yet chose the less desirable alternative, the person would be irrational. This means, to speak properly, that the will is always free. It is free to choose [and always will choose] what the mind thinks best. But what does the mind think best? Here we get to the heart of the matter. When confronted with God, the mind of a sinner never thinks that following or obeying God is a good choice. His will is free to choose God, nothing is stopping him, but his mind does not regard submission to God as desirable. Therefore, he turns from God, even when the Gospel is most winsomely presented. People do not want God to be sovereign over them, they do not want their sinful natures to be exposed. Their minds are wrong in these judgments, of course. The way they choose is actually the way of alienation and misery, the end of which is death. But human beings think sin is best, which is why they choose it. Therefore, unless God changes the way we think, which He does in some by the miracle of the new birth, our minds always tell us to turn from God, which is exactly what we do.” Dr. Boice

  9. abidingthroughgrace says:

    We have had this discussion before…in fact you can find it here: http://defendingcontending.com/2011/12/04/angry-arminians/#comments

    The dialogue found in the comments of the “Angry Armenian” post are something to see.

    We must be very careful to assume that someone who has an inaccurate position on doctrine is NOT saved because they believe in a different God. Similar to Todd above, I was saved and a raging free-will Armenian type…until I was taught the Doctrines of Grace. To say that I wasn’t saved then because my doctrine wasn’t accurate removes God’s sovereignty as much as the Armenian gospel to begin with since that is equivalent to the claim that God can’t save without proper doctrine, therefore God is dependent on doctrine and not sovereign over salvation.

    Salvation is by faith and not by doctrine…otherwise no one would be saved except theologians of a certain small group. Then we must ask, well what of other doctrines? Is a pre-mil dispensationalist saved because he believes in an inaccurate doctrine? (I’m properly reformed in my eschatology as an Amil of course.) Or is a non-cessationist who believes in gifts of the spirit still active today not saved? These could be argued as believing in a different God as well.

    We must all come to faith and learn the doctrine through the spirit and through maturity as God sanctifies us through the beauty of progressing more into the image of Christ and knowledge of Him.

    In the immeasurable love of Christ,
    -atg

  10. todd3588 says:

    Wow! Hot-button issue, no? Hey ATG….you must be either a peado-baptist Presbyterian or a Spurgeon-esque Reformed Baptist. Just guessin’. Same with Ray as well.

    Speaking of Ray and ATG….I agree with you gentlemen relative to this topic. I believe we all agree it’s not about having different Gods. It really all comes down to this: in which gospel is God sovereign?

    Todd
    Texas

  11. Ray says:

    On a lighter note , one of my fondest memories of debating an Arminian was over John 6:70

    And Jesus answered them, have not I chosen you twelve , and one of you is a devil.

    His charge to me was that i had taken this verse out of context [typical reaction] and that Jesus only chose His disciples, the rest of man kind chooses Christ. Priceless.!!

  12. abidingthroughgrace says:

    @Pilgrim, I figured you’d like that.
    @todd, good call. I’m in fact a Spurgeonian and a baptist. However, the bulk of my theological and systematic reading come from Presby’s. I am NOT paedo-baptist, as I believe in believers baptism. In addition, I’m not very reformed in that I’m not a pietist, not creedal, and not puritanical. I am very much into the sola’s and the Doctrines of Grace, evangelistic, and missional.

    There you go! That’s me!

    In His matchless grace,
    -atg

  13. Ray says:

    Todd
    I’m not really fond of labels , but as far as labels go , I would be a Reformed Baptist, in reality though , I am humbled by Gods grace toward me.

  14. Manfred, great account. There is a difference between classic Arminianism and much modern anti-Calvinism. Classic Arminianism is in many ways similar to Calvinism except for the narrow question of the exact basis / working of election. A classic Arminian such as Wesley answered those questions just like a Calvinist, AND liked the wording. Many modern anti-Calvinists might answer the same way, but they wouldn’t like the wording and would feel pinned down.

    A classic Arminian would not use manipulative evangelism techniques, and would entirely reject the idea that somehow I can do the right thing or figure out the right way to get people saved. Many modern people, both Calvinist and anti-Calvinist, fall into those errors in practice.

    You can tell more about how big someone’s God is by their approach to evangelism and their ecclesiological practice than you can by how they describe election in their doctrinal statement. I’m more interested in what someone >does< than in how well they understand what happened before the foundation of the world. There's just a chance my understanding of that isn't quite right, either.

  15. todd3588 says:

    @ATG
    @Ray
    @Katy
    @Pilgrim
    @all

    I don’t really like labels either, but it’s good to know I’m among friends here. Here’s me: Native Hoosier, Boilermaker, former Bob Jones University-like, walk-the-aisle-raise-the-hand-sign-the-card, door-knockin’, soul-winnin’, non-snake-handlin’, indy-fundy Baptist, who by the grace of God was shown truth in the Bible about 15 years ago.

    Now I would consider myself simply a 44 year-old, prematurely gray-headed, 6’3″, formerly above 225 lbs-but-now-below-200 lbs, Reformed Baptist (lot of time in western Michigan), ‘ragin’ full-fiver (Calvinist, if you want), but trusting (and believing I’m not a caustic Calvinist), Amil as well (which after having been pretrib, makes a whole lot more sense), non-paedo baptist, former Ohioan, Michigander, Utahan, Kansan, now Texan, Father, Husband, engineer, Roadie cyclist, 14 year veteran basketball official, and lastly (or should be firstly?) a Christian.

    Have a great Wednesday folks…

    Todd
    Texas
    ———–
    Oh yeah……….and I’m a southpaw, non-antinomian, cessationist, non-dispensational, Reformed, non-Puritan, non-creedal (although somewhat confessional), blue-eyed, a Conservative, Pro-Lifer, NRA-supporter, Tea-Partier, and a member of the vast-Right-Wing-Conspiracy to boot!

    Todd
    Texas
    ———–
    But I’m not in to labels.

    ;-\

  16. Linda says:

    Unworthy said it well for correct doctrine and the correct view of God.

    abidingthroughgrace said-“To say that I wasn’t saved then because my doctrine wasn’t accurate removes God’s sovereignty as much as the Armenian gospel to begin with since that is equivalent to the claim that God can’t save without proper doctrine, therefore God is dependent on doctrine and not sovereign over salvation.”

    Very well put and true. However the view of arminianism is still false nevertheless. and we do need to be very careful with who is saved or who is not.

    I get very concerned though with people whose wrong doctrine of and view of God is modalism. Are you saying that they too might be saved and we just don’t know?

    I’ve struggled with people who possibly are saved and caught up in cults. I would think that God would eventually in his time bring them out

    Also to add to this, take Matt that’s on here claiming he’s a Christian. He’s a Catholic. His doctrine is inaccurate and maybe according to your argument if we apply that to him well maybe he’s saved ?? your argument just is troubling to me really

  17. todd3588 says:

    Hi Linda,

    I don’t believe you’ll have disagreement from Unworthy, Pilgrim, ATG, Ray, or myself about correct doctrine being vitally important. Nor do I believe any of the aforementioned people believe Romanists are Christians. I think where we’ve struggled in this thread is with the assertion which was made toward the beginning that the god of the Arminian is not the same God as the Calvinist.

    Lastly, it is indeed wise to examine the lives and beliefs of other folks who claim the name of Christ, but with charity, gentleness, reverence, patience, and IMHO, extending to them the “benefit of the doubt” until they prove otherwise.

    Todd
    Texas

  18. abidingthroughgrace says:

    @Todd – that is a lot of fun. Thanks for the description without labels. :)
    @Katy – Thanks for the support we Amil folks always get railroaded by the Darby/Scolfield/Ryrie/Lahane steam train.

    @Linda – Please rest assured that I don’t not take the position you suggest. You are letting the pendulum swing too far to the other side. I do not believe that any member of cults or Catholiscm are saved. When I mentioned “inaccurate doctrine” I mean within Biblical Christianity. Armenianism has been around forever because there is Biblical evidence of man’s free will. The argument can be made from a strong Biblical position. However, the evidence of election and God’s sovereignty over salvation is much greater and therefore we fall on that side. There is a tension between our resposibility and our percieved free will and the sovereignty of God. We should feel this tension because it is Biblical. With that said though, cults that believe that Jesus is Satan’s brother or the archangel Michael, or religions that believe in works righteousness or word of faith/word power, modalism, whatever in those categories are not saved because those are not the God of the Bible.

    There are many doctrines in the Bible that solid, Biblical, saved Christians will argue about until Christ returns…Election, free will, spiritual gifts, end times, Israel vs the Church for example. These are great doctrinal arguements within the Body of Christ.

    I end with this thought from personal experience. I was saved in my early 20’s and was by default an arminian. I said a prayer, I believed, I went to free will churches and was learning from free will pastor (who was also premil dispensational). The more I read my Bible and more I studied and grew in my understanding of God and seeing the whole picture of redemptive history, I began to change my view from free will to God’s soveriengty and from pre-mil dispy to Amil (I add this for Pilgrim’s sake) and it was all very clear to me as God opened my eyes to it. I suggest that this is probably true for many in the reformed circles today. So, I didn’t understand the picture of redemptive history or God’s sovereignty on day 1 when I was saved and said a prayer. I believe now that back then God called me, regenerated me, gave me faith and I was justified before I really new what I believed. :)

    I hope that helps clarify my position and is not so troubling. I think we need to approach our armenian brothers and sisters as brothers and sisters (not all are saved becuase the big free will yuppy social club community churches are full of non-believers pretending) with grace and humility and love.

    In the matchless grace of God,
    -atg

  19. I think most people are born again as Arminians (don’t know how many Armenians are born again!), because all we know at that point is what our flesh can discern. This is why babes in Christ must be taken to the Scriptures – to see how Sovereign God worked before the foundation of the world to save certain sinners, who have nothing to bring to the most Holy God except our sin. Noboday has perfect theology and nobody needs such in order to be saved. Yet we who have been purchased at such a high price need to work and diligently study the Word of God so that we, as HIs ambassadors, accurately proclaim His message.

    As for those who say they have no creed, they declare their creed by such a statement. Creeds and confession are held by everyone – some deny this yet let you know when you violate one of them. It is good, even if never 100% accurate, to be open about what your creeds are.

  20. Matt says:

    as a Catholic i truly enjoy reading the various perspectives of my fellow Christians, yes, i said Christians and i mean Christians. what do i mean when i say Christian, give a look and see if you agree: I believe in the One True Triune Eternal God (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit) who, in His love, created all things (both seen and unseen), i believe that God created man (inclusive meaning all humanity) in His image and likeness, i believe that the first man fell from grace through his selfishness and disobedience to God and by doing so strained the relationship between God and man in such a way that man could not repair it by any action, thought, act of will, or deed, but that, even then, God promised that He, the one capable of all things, could and would renew this relationship with His beloved creation, man. i believe that God, through His faithfulness to His promise of renewal, began a convenant relationship with man through Israel, revealing Himself more deeply with each covenant and with each covenant His people grew (Adam and Eve, Noah and his family, Abraham and his tribe, Moses and his nation, David and his kingdom). at the fullness of time, i believe that God sent His only Son (God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, consubstantial with the Father) to be born of the Virgin Mary (Mother of God, you see Jesus is God and Mary is His mother, thus… Mary the Mother of God). Jesus, the Son of God, was crucified, died, and was burried, on the 3rd day He rose from the dead, ascendend into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. i believe that He, Jesus, sent down the Holy Spirit to His apostles to spread the Gospel unto the ends of the Earth.

    As a Catholic i also believe in the inerrant Word of God recorded in the Bible, i believe that the Bible is Divinely Inspired, that is to say God-breathed. i believe that through the Pascal Mystery (Christ’s suffering, death, and ressurrection) Christ makes a once for all eternal sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, and it is by His stripes i am healed. there is nothing, i repeat NOTHING that i can do to deserve the great and glorious gift of salvation, all is accounted for in Christ and my hope is in Him, Amen!!

    i do think, on the matter of free will that one aspect has not been accounted for in these previous discussions. and that is the assumption that Eternity is just infinite time, with a past, present, and future. i’m not quite sure about that. it is very difficult to explain my perspective on this, and, i want to be clear, this is purely speculative, this is Matt breathed not Church teaching, but i think an interesting thought experiment nonetheless. ok here we go. Eternity exists outside of time and space, in Eternity all “time”, so to speak, is present, therefore, the entirety of history is ever present to God and all who dwell with Him in Eternity, in romantasized terms: Eternity is before always and beyond forever. in other words Eternity is not just more time, it is all time and more still. in the case of free will, as i’ve heard a friend of mine say, God puts obvious limitations on our itelligence, but none whatsoever on our stupidity. what do i mean by that, here in “time”, we live from moment to moment, we are continually being called by God to enter into His joy so that His joy may be our joy, and that our joy may be complete, and here we enter into the Grace of God or else we don’t, and ultimately that state is where we end up, with or without God. from the perspective of Eternity that choice is made, but from our perspective we have to make it. i hope this makes some sort of sense and i apologize if i have confused people on my persepctive. feel free to disagree.

    thanks for your time, and your thoughts, i’m learning so much about how others worship and relate to God, or better yet how God relates to you, i hope that i can share my relationship with God as well.

    God bless you and God love you

  21. Linda says:

    @ abidingthroughgrace and @ todd3588 You guys are so kind and gentle in your answers. Thank you so much for being men of understanding like Jesus.

    abidingthroughgrace said–“I said a prayer, I believed, I went to free will churches and was learning from free will pastor (who was also premil dispensational). The more I read my Bible and more I studied and grew in my understanding of God and seeing the whole picture of redemptive history, I began to change my view from free will to God’s soveriengty and from pre-mil dispy to Amil (I add this for Pilgrim’s sake) and it was all very clear to me as God opened my eyes to it”

    I know what you’re saying. Sometimes I look BACK on when I was 9, 10, when my brother told me the gospel and I prayed the sinners prayer-Arminian–nothing happened then. I knew the gospel. When I was 33 God saved me. Was I saved when I was 33 though or back when I was 9 or 10? I had a very dramatic conversion and my whole life changed 190degrees-I did an about face~

    Lemme quote a point R.C. Sproul made when he was talking about experiences-this is not verbatum,,,”it’s very dangerous when we make categories by which we suspect people who don’t meet our experience. In fact as much as I talk about my conversion experience, I can tell you the day and where I was etc, but that experience may not actually correspond to the work of God in my soul. God the Holy Spirit may have regenerated me a week before that, a month before that, 4 years before that before I experienced the REALITY of what had happened internally.”–
    The same applies with our knowledge of the TRUTH. I think in relation to what R.C. Sproul was saying, It’s really easy with the progressive revelation a seasoned Christian has been given by God to look at other Christians such as Arminians and fail to accept the growing truth of God which leads to error. I also think from what RC Sproul said, we cannot say that the “prayer we said”, the arminian prayer does not correspond TO the work of God when he saves someone.

    Your answers have clarified some areas such as that a CULT does not believe in the same God and thus are not saved. Arminianism is not a cult. So we’re not really dealing with something in the same category. That’s what I’m reading from your reply

    I thought of the fact that GOD saves a person FIRST and THEN he has to clean up our thinking. Many a Christian has errors in his thinking and presuppositions-or baggage that’s brought in their new relationship with the Lord.

    however,,,,

    I think the problem I have is this: Arminianism is inconspicuously works based which is against
    · Sola Fide, by faith alone.
    · Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
    · Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
    · Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
    · Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone

    (If there’s no progressive revelation of truth)GROWTH and sanctification evidenced and a person who is Armininan remains stagnant in their beliefs, I personally don’t think their conversion was genuine. The Holy Spirit does not let us stay stationary in our beliefs. But true conversions progress to knowing God and the truth.

    This is a much lighter position compared to Roman Catholicism that is full blown. That leaves me very worried for many “free willers” (not all) because this is (not) the gospel of grace. Paul even said “the central issue of the Gospel is justification by faith and if you read the book of Galatians that was the very doctrine that was under attack in the Galatians’ Churches by men who profess to be Christian. They affirmed probably 95% of the Apostolic Doctrine but,,, on this ONE POINT-one point they differed with the Apostles and said no,no,no,no,no, you’re justified by faith alone you have to be circumcised—You’re justified by faith plus works something you do becomes the instrument of justification. Paul said if anyone comes and brings a different doctrine, let him be damned-accursed eternally condemned-Gal. 1:8-9. Paul says it twice just so nobody misses it. Paul is essentially saying you can’t teach such a twisted notion of the Gospel and be an authentic Christian.” That to me is essentially saying the same thing but in a more subtle hidden inconspicuous way. Listen, I’m not trying to put words in anyone’s mouth but it reads the SAME: You’re justified by faith alone but (Man has FREE will). God saved me but man WORKED for it when he CHOSE JESUS. Man did something that adds TO him being SAVED when the Gospel is by Grace through faith—and THAT is not of yourselves… Catholicism lends lip service to the same verse and YET they are conspicuous with their WORKS. It’s easy to spot them a mile away that they clearly don’t believe in bygrace alone by faith alone.

    I don’t want to dish out on Arminians–“ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”-Ephesians 2:8-9.

    ~ Sigh~

    I’ve grieved in my heart over those who hold to arminianism simply because they are inhibited in the fuller revelation of the TRUTH the ability to extol the highest and greatest praises to GOD who alone is worthy of ALL glory and honor. In other words they are living in poverty not knowing the truest delights in God as unique and set apart as HOLY high and lifted up since their view is limited to give such.

    Ohh, I can’t quite put it into words. All I can say is my greatest JOY has always been in giving GOD ALL the credit, due his name and if man has anything to do with it then it just steals and cheapens the relationship not because God is any less but because the person has lessened themselves in having their filthy hands in on doing something for God.

  22. ATG said: “I end with this thought from personal experience. I was saved in my early 20′s and was by default an arminian. I said a prayer, I believed, I went to free will churches and was learning from free will pastor (who was also premil dispensational). The more I read my Bible and more I studied and grew in my understanding of God and seeing the whole picture of redemptive history, I began to change my view from free will to God’s soveriengty and from pre-mil dispy to Amil (I add this for Pilgrim’s sake) and it was all very clear to me as God opened my eyes to it.”

    That is *exactly* what happened to me! :) I felt I could have written those exact same words! :) What I don’t understand is the fact that I *know* I am no better than any other person…so why would God open my eyes to this and not many other Christians?

    Linda said: “I’ve grieved in my heart over those who hold to arminianism simply because they are inhibited in the fuller revelation of the TRUTH the ability to extol the highest and greatest praises to GOD who alone is worthy of ALL glory and honor.”

    I completely agree Linda! It bothers me as well….almost to the point that I feel terribly frustrated with people (because many arminian friends and family of mine think I am *nuts* now…since they don’t truly understand the Doctrines of Grace).

    Soli Deo Gloria

  23. todd3588 says:

    @ATG
    @Katy

    i echo your words.
    After having attended a “decisional” Baptist church until I was approximately 30 years-old, the Lord opened my eyes and heart to the truths contained in the Doctrines of Grace. Those truths literally revolutionized my faith. My parents, who both still cling to their respective “free will-ism” have expressed “grave concern” over my change to a more “Reformed” perspective. Hurts me too – not that they’re concerned, but that they don’t see what’s clearly taught in the Bible.

    @Matt
    I’ve read your post on this thread, and although I am glad that you personally uphold the basic tenants of the Christian faith as a Roman Catholic, I believe it is best to offer you, on behalf of the regular Christian readers of this blog site, the following Romanist contradictions to Christianity:

    1 Salvation: Through The Church
    2 Salvation: Through Good Works
    3 Forgiving Sins: Through The Church
    4 The One True Church
    5 Baptism: Regeneration / Saves
    6 The Pope: Vicar of Christ
    7 The Pope: Infallible
    8 The Sacraments: Save
    9 The Sin of Presumption
    10 Infant Baptism
    11 Degrees of Sin
    12 Transubstantiation
    13 Eucharist: Infused Grace / Preserves from Sin
    14 Eucharist: Helps the Dead
    15 Mary: Saves
    16 Mary: Saved from Birth
    17 Mary: Perpetual Virgin
    18 Mary: Source of Holiness
    19 Mary: The Intercessor
    20 Mary: Recipient of Prayers
    21 Mary: Queen Over All Things
    22 The Mass: Immolation (resacrificing Christ….that’s why He’s still on the Cross)
    23 Purgatory
    24 Praying to Saints
    25 Praying for the Dead
    26 Statues
    27 Confirmation
    28 Confessing Sins to a Priest
    29 Indulgences
    30 Interpreting God’ s Word
    31 Catholic Prayer
    32 Penance
    33 Are Catholics Christ?
    34 Could 850 Million Catholics be Wrong?
    35 Reconciliation
    36 Celibacy
    37 Last Rites

    Todd
    Texas

  24. Wow there’s a lot of contempt in the comments here.

    I’ve known people of various denominations (and doctrinal positions) to have evidence of saving faith in their lives, just as I have known people of every denomination (and doctrinal positions) to have evidence of denying Christ by their lives.

    None of us have perfect doctrine. We are to love everyone. How is condemning others being gentle or loving or kind, which are all things we are called to do?

  25. Linda says:

    @wbmoore, funny because contempt is the furthest thing from my comments and my motivations. You’ve undoubtedly misunderstood people who are motivated by the love of the TRUTH.

    contemptuous~I just wonder where that thought actually originated from?? could it be from your own heart? – “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he”

  26. Linda, i guess its the name calling (labeling) and the fact that it appears you all think you have the only correct doctrine and everything else is heresy and.the idea that no one who has different doctrine can be saved that makes it seem people have contempt for those who disagree.

    If I am wrong, then so be it, I appologize.

    —–

    Btw, I think it likely that honest, god-fearing, god-loving, bible believing, truth loving people can look at scriptire and come to different opinions about the same text. This does not make them unsaved or not lovers of truth. It just means they come at the texts with different histories, presuppositions, etc, and are in different places in their walk with God.

  27. todd3588 says:

    Contempt

    con·tempt   /kənˈtɛmpt/ noun
    1. the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn.

    My question, in regard to the comments here, is: Contempt for what? Comtempt for whom?

    I would assert there isn’t much contempt in here at all. There is passionate discussion, and thoughtful discourse. I would also assert there is lively debate, and some erroneous deliberation as well. Isn’t that one of the purposes of this blog anyway? Challenging people’s minds, hearts, and, in some cases, presuppositions?

    Why’s everybody so sensitive these days?

    Todd
    Texas

  28. We should never form an opinion when we study God’s word, we should let scripture interpret scripture, study the background and history of the text, go into the original language if possible, and first and foremost…pray for understanding. Opinions formed come from human wisdom and understanding, which leads to a misunderstanding and interpretation of God’s word. What does the Bible say about the human mind? Jer. 17:9, ‘”The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” I certainly would not want to trust my opinion on something so crucial and holy as the word of God. We should tremble at God’s word, not read it and form some opinion based on what we think a text may mean.

    The problem we face today is a shallow understanding of essential biblical truth, i.e., man’s depraved state and hopeless condition, Christ’s complete and finished work {no help needed from man-made manipulative methods or added works} the doctrines of grace, the attributes of God, and absolutely NO fear of the Lord. The watered-down accursed gospel that most hear is one of the sinner doing something as God waits for the ‘invitation’ or ‘decision’.
    I recently encountered a homosexual who insists they are a Christian, even though they cling to and defend their homosexuality; how can they make such a claim? Because we have ‘free will’. Here lies the result of the accursed free will gospel.

  29. 072591 says:

    I am going to ask this simple, simple question, unworthy. It is a question that I suspect I know your answer to, but I want to make sure that when I give my response to this thread, I do not misrepresent what you are saying by imputing views to you.

    It is a simple “yes or no” question.

    Is it possible for a person that is a genuine Christian to believe in “free will”?

  30. my comment about contempt is still awaiting moderation.

    But it strikes me that those who are certain they have the only correct doctrine are forgetting they didn’t start with perfect doctrine. As a matter of fact, the only one I’ve ever known with perfect doctrine all the time would be Christ. Everyone has some doctrine incorrect.

    But it seems many here believe they have the only correct doctrine and everything else is heresy, as well as the idea that no one who has a different doctrine can be saved is what makes me think people here are contemptuous of those who do not believe like they do.

    Jesus never said to believe in reformed theology to be saved – He said to believe in Him to live forever.
    John 11:25-26

    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

    The other teachings come later.

  31. Salvation is based on grace, not free will. To be a genuine Christian will be made evident in that new creation.
    So it isn’t a simple yes or no, your assuming salvation is based on what we believe, not what the Bible says. I answer using God’s word, ‘for by grace are you saved, through faith and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man boast’ Eph. 2:8-9

    I also answer using this Eph 2:1 ‘And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins’

    It is only possible to be a Christian if you are born again {John 3:3}.

  32. Yes, we are saved through by grace through faith, which is a gift from God and not by works. We were dead in our sins and made alive by God when we were born again.

    But our salvation IS based on the object of our belief and what He did.
    Romans 10:9

    That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    If we dont believe in God, then we are not saved. If we dont believe God sent His Son to live a sinless life, suffer and die for our sins, and raised Him again on the third day, then we are not saved.

    Christ is clear, we must believe in Him.

    16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

    This is the gospel Paul said he taught:
    1 Corinthians 15:1-5

    1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

    But where did Christ say we need to be 5 pointers to be saved? Paul taught us after salvation that it was not something that depended upon us, but upon God. But we still have to believe.

    I think to claim someone is not saved merely because they believe their salvation depended in some part upon their choice is missing the fact that God didn’t claim believing God did it all is a prerequisite for salvation.

  33. Getting the Gospel right is essential; if we give methods or conditions, we pervert the gospel of grace. The visible church is filled with false converts who think they’re saved because some preacher led them in the sinners prayer, or told them to invite Jesus into their heart, make a decision, or choose Jesus; I’ve already given one example of the result of teaching free will.
    The Bible does not teach free will, so why do we say we have it? The Bible teaches men are depraved, dead in sin; how does a dead person responed to the gospel call?

    You can be saved and have a wrong understanding of soteriology.

    You cannot be saved and not be changed by that saving power. We seem to think we have to get results when we present the Gospel, thus, the methods have been tacked on, such as the altar call.

    We are called to give the Gospel – ‘that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures’ – in this I see no mention of free will. What I do see is the sovereignty of God, we present His truth and He uses it to either save or condemn – here is the doctrine of election. It isn’t for us to know, it is only for us to proclaim. If you understand that, you will NOT give methods at the end of your gospel proclamation.

  34. I agree, we NEED to teach the gospel. But most people are not learning the gospel. They are learning everything BUT the gospel.

    I think the gospel is clear, and it is also clear that we are making people who claim to believe but who are not true disciples because they are not being made to count the cost.

    Paul taught we must turn from sin, repent, and to God, and have deeds appropriate to repentance.
    Acts 26:12-20

    12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

    19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.

    But again, I do not see anywhere that being Arminian or Calvinist is a prerequisite to salvation. The only prerequisites I see is that we must be sinners (boy do I have THAT one down pat!), believe God exists, sent His Son to suffer and die for our sins and raise Him again on the third day.

    The thing is, many people dont teach the fact that they NEED salvation. These people dont believe they are sinners, nor that God will judge, nor that they must be changed and not live a life of sin. So for these people, a saving prayer or a confession is a one time event which allows them to have “peace” or “an abundant life” or “fill in the blank”, instead of new life, forgiveness of sins, justification, sanctification, reconciliation with God.

    And I agree with what Todd originally say, I was trying to point out some scriptures which tend to be used to say scripture contradicts itself. I am honestly trying to figure how these particular verse should be understood, given that God saved us.

    If you dont believe in free will, what do you do with these verses?

    Jeremiah 7:31

    31 ”They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.

    Jeremiah 19:5

    5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind ;

    Jeremiah 29:23

    because they have acted foolishly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken words in My name falsely, which I did not command them; and I am He who knows and am a witness,” declares the LORD.’ “

    Jeremiah 32:35

    35 ”They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

  35. Linda says:

    wbmoore said-“But it strikes me that those who are certain they have the only correct doctrine are forgetting they didn’t start with perfect doctrine. As a matter of fact, the only one I’ve ever known with perfect doctrine all the time would be Christ. Everyone has some doctrine incorrect.”

    There’s only One correct doctrine wbmoore because there’s only one Author of Scripture-the Holy Spirit and he interprets Scripture for us. Every single bona fide believer has the Holy Spirit within him. The Author of Scripture — the Holy Spirit -He determines the Meaning and the reader only discovers the meaning that the Author determined. -“For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”-1 Cor.2:16.

    Who determines what you mean by what you say? You do. You know exactly what you mean. Who knows best what you meant? Well you do of course. The same is with the Author of the Bible. He knows what He is saying -not me not you. In order to understand the Bible Correctly and objectively we have to know the Author first-(be born again). So yes there’s only one correct doctrine and all others are heresy. Does that mean I will interpret everything perfectly? No, but when it comes to the Essentials all genuine Christians DO hold to and believe in all of them. Anyone who calls themselves a Christian and yet does not agree with the essential doctrines of the Christian faith missing even ONE is not Christian. Many people claim to be Christians. But the true genuine Christian Believes IN Jesus {{{AS the Scripture has said.}}} You cannot have the Genuine Jesus if you fail these tests. There are many who are saved that misinterpret Scripture here and there but the Essentials of the Christian faith to prove you are IN the faith are Genuine. Any doctrine that contradicts what the church as a whole (in all times and places) has regarded as essential to the faith should be regarded as heretical. When I say “Church” I mean the universal Church all true believers who through all ages have been indwelt with the Holy Spirit

    wbmoore said, “But it seems many here believe they have the only correct doctrine and everything else is heresy, as well as the idea that no one who has a different doctrine can be saved is what makes me think people here are contemptuous of those who do not believe like they do.”

    Phil Johnson said — “Doctrine is vital-yes..Doctrine is essential and Doctrine is paramount and we may not agree with everything to the finest minutia and we should not let “insignificant” disagreements rupture our fellowship. But, we (MUST) agree on the Gospel. The Gospel is the (only basis) for Christian fellowship. So doctrine parse is not extraneous or superfluous.
    Some truths are vital especially the rich tapestry of truth that is at the heart of the Gospel. Some truths are (so vital) that if you deny them or try to alter them in any way you are an “anathema” accursed.”
    —-. and you need to “get this” there are certain principles of sanctification and personal conduct that are so vital we are (required to break fellowship) with those who ignore them.1 Cor.5:11 “But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

    In other words if someone calls himself a Christian (it’s one thing to be friends with “sinners and befriend and associate with them” BUT if someone CALLS Himself a Christian and (His lifestyle and language) is chronically incompatible with a sanctified heart and mind and certainly if he is given to casual blasphemy or obsessesed with things that are lewd or indecent, Paul says don’t associate with such people.. Paul’s point is sanctified “behavior” is the essential companion to authentically sound doctrine. It’s essential.. It’s one thing to acknowledge that the Gospel is essential-we need to acknowledge to a certain degree that some of the aspects of sanctification are absolutely essential. And Paul’s point here is that, you may verbally affirm the finest confession of truth ever written, but if your words and your deeds deny it, Paul wouldn’t have affirmed you as an authentic Christian at all much less would he lay hands on you for ministry and he says so right there in verses 15-16

    Look at people who call themselves Christians and yet they remain Catholic- Incompatible.
    You cannot have both. It’s just like a man being married and wanting to continue his paramour. It’s either that you’ve surrendered your ALL by abdicating your all to Jesus Christ who ALONE is worthy of all or it’s your religion but it’s not both. We cannot tack onto Jesus ANYTHING-ZERO. No, It’s not Jesus plus Catholicism. Jesus even said, “You cannot serve 2 masters you either hate the one and love the other. you are devoted to one and despise the other” A person can’t bow to statues and then turn around and bow to Jesus.Unacceptable to God who is HOLY and the ONLY Righteousness that comes from God. A person cannot pray to Mary and the bible makes it clear that there’s only ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”. WE go directly to God through Jesus Christ. Anyhow the Bible condemns necromancy-Deut. 18:10-12– it’s “detestable to the LORD” We cannot have BOTH. That’s spiritual adultery.

    God will not honor a man-centered false gospel, any additions to Jesus, for His name is Jealous

  36. wbmoore,

    God is not the author of sin. We do that completely in accord with our own nature. Does He decree all that happens…yes, because He has the ability to allow or disallow it….but this does not make Him the author of sin.

    Now, in Jeremiah 7:31, what was happening was that people were sacrificing their children as burnt offerings to other false gods. God was expressing His anger with this…as this was not a command from Him. Did the people still do it? Yes. Did God allow it? Yes. (Same goes for the other scripture you cited) So while He never *commanded* it…they acted with their own evil desires…He did allow it.

    Now, we know that God knows all…(as other scripture clearly portrays that)..so when it is said that it never entered His Mind…it doesn’t mean He didn’t know it would happen…but rather that the act of burning children to sacrifice to Him was never commanded by Him nor would it ever have been because it never even “entered His Mind”.

    As in the case with ALL of our sin, God doesn’t command our sin. We do it of our own sinful natures…but as I mentioned before, He does decree every single event because He has to either allow it or not (as in the case with Job). Dr. James White does some really good sermons/discussions on this on youtube if you care to look him up! :)

    Everything (absolutely everything) works all to the glory of God!

    Kindly,
    Katy

  37. todd3588 says:

    Friday Food For Thought…

    Man has free will, but not absolute free will, and his will is only as “free” as his nature allows.

    The real question is: what nature does a man/woman have? Is that nature still enslaved to sin? Is it dead? Is it “of Adam?”

    OR

    Is his/her nature converted? Is it alive to Christ? Is it seeking to please his/her Savior? Is it seeking to live obedient lives as appreciation for not having to die the death the old nature deserves? Has it been changed from the old nature to the new nature (Ezek 36)?

    One more crumb for today:
    RE: Salvation….Romans 9:17: “So then it depends NOT ON HUMAN WILL or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”

    Todd
    Texas

    P.S. Finally figured-out how to post my picture. Woohoo.

  38. Linda says:

    Excellent Todd3588 in keeping with the topic since I digressed. Wonderful that you figured out how to post your picture-Praise the Lord!

  39. @katy,

    Thanks for that. That’s pretty much how I would address it, but even so, we still come at it with a certain presupposition (God does not make people sin) that not everyone has.

    @Todd,

    Thanks for the reminder that we are free to act in accordance with our nature.

    @Linda,

    I realize that God knows what He meant when He said what He did (in scripture and otherwise). I also realize Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead us to all truth. But not everyone is as spiritual as everyone else – Paul addressed the Corinthians as worldly, rather than spiritual.

    1 Corinthians 3:1-3

    1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?

    Paul was writing to people who were in the church, yet Paul addressed them as worldly. They were not ready for the more spiritual food, even though they were in Christ.

    Apparently the Holy Spirit at least sometimes leads people to a different understanding of truth. Paul said we each have to be convinced in our own mind:
    Romans 14:5-6

    5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

    Some will say that God is not a god of confusion (1st Corinthians 14:33), and that is true, but in context, God is “not the author of confusion” He didn’t design for there to be chaos in His church by the misuse of the gift of tongues. This does not mean He does not allow people to be convinced of conflicting things (such as whether to eat certain food or not celebrate certain holidays).

    By the same token, I think that Christ Himself said what we need to believe to be saved. Anything beyond that is more spiritual and we need to not condemn people for disagreeing with us, but educate people without being condemning them.

    Linda wrote:

    Does that mean I will interpret everything perfectly? No, but when it comes to the Essentials all genuine Christians DO hold to and believe in all of them. Anyone who calls themselves a Christian and yet does not agree with the essential doctrines of the Christian faith missing even ONE is not Christian.

    I’m glad you admit to not always being right. It seems to me that many who hold strongly to either the Calvinist or Arminian position are unable to admit that. Unlike you, I happen to think that some people led by the Holy Spirit ARE led to what appear to be contradiction positions. I dont think that is the case for the most important things, such as God’s existence, His having sent His Son to be human and suffer and die for our sins and be raised again on the third day (all as predicted in Scripture). But I think for the lesser things, that IS what God does or allows.

    Yes, correct doctrine is important to help us mature and not be led astray. But few people have correct doctrine in all areas, even if they believe otherwise. Only God knows the truth, and if they trust Christ for salvation, they HAVE GOD in them – even if they end up with different doctrinal positions on some issues. No, God is not a god of confusion, and there IS only one truth. But sometimes we dont understand that truth even if we think we do. An example would be that we have freedom in Christ, but this can be modeled by some in thinking they must follow certain holidays or eat certain food; while it is modeled by others in thinking they are able to do what they want when they want how they want; while it is modeled by others in thinking we are to live holy lives (some by our own doing, others by the power of God). Each is in a different place in their walk with God. Some are more spiritually mature than others. But this does not mean they are not saved.

    The thing is, there are some people who are of one position of doctrine who would claim anyone who is of another position of doctrine can not be saved.

    We dont have to have a perfect understanding of God to be saved. Who and what we believe DOES matter for salvation, but its a limited set of knowledge we must have to be saved – think of the multitudes of people in communist countries who have never read scripture but are saved and then suffer and die for their faith! These people are bound to have incorrect doctrine, yet they love God! I hope you would not consider them to be unsaved, just because they may not have correct doctrine.

  40. Matt says:

    thank you all for hearing me out earlier and i apologize that i didn’t get-back-on-the-horse, so to speak, but life happens. Todd3588, first off, congrats on the photo, nice helmet btw. i’m all set to address as many of your list of 37 as my time allows, and i have every intention of returning to address those list items that i may miss today, i ask for your patience and attention as i make a small time apologist’s attempt at clarifying the Catholic position.

    1 Salvation: Through the Church; 2 Salvation: Through Good Works:
    The Catholic Church does not, nor has it ever, taught Salvation anywhere outside of with/through/in Christ. the Church provides the office of teacher/proclaimer in the continuing mission of Christ in Matt 28:18-ff, so it is not that through the Chruch we are saved, but it is the Chruch that teaches us that it is through the Pascal Mystery of Christ (sufferning, death, and ressurrection) that we find Salavation. the expression of the Love that Christ fills us with, that Christ is, are the “Good Works”, in other words, the works that one does in Christ is the expression of the Faith in Christ (wwjd, [sigh], this is too cheesy even for my taste, but it is the point). ready for a Catholic goto scripture passage, James 2:14-26, please read the whole passage, basically St. James makes it abundantly clear that Faith without Works is dead. works in this context, as an expression of faith or as St. Peter put it in 1 Peter 3:13-17, “to give an account for the hope that is in you.” Isn’t it St. Paul who tells the Philipians, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12-18). agian, the Catholic Church does not teach that we can add anything to the PERFECT Sacrafice of Christ, but good works are the expression of the faith, hope, and love that we have in Christ; the goal is to be Christ-like, to be transformed in Christ so that it is Christ who shines through the work that He calls us to. It is not I who live but Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:15-21). and before you get all excited that i just played right into your hand with St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, read that passage carefully. each time St. Paul mentions “works”, he clarifies it by saying “works of the law”. the context of this expression of “works” is of “the law” not of Faith in Christ. “the law” being the Law of Moses, remember, the law that Jesus came to fulfil, not abolish (Matt 5:17). so what St. Paul is saying, in this context, is that it is not through the law that he is justified, but Christ who justifies him, to which i, and my fellow faithful and orthodox Catholics throughout the history of the Church, say a resounding, AMEN!!

    4 The One True Church:
    i did my best to address this issue with unworthy1 (hey Lyn) in a previous comment on a previous post and here that is (sorry i don’t know how to link to specific parts in a comment page, mea culpa):
    So where is the Catholic Church in the Bible, here’s how i see it (feel free to disagree): Christ founded the Catholic Church on Peter and Promised that that church would never die (Matt 16:18-19), i believe that Christ sent His church out into the world to preach the Gospel (Matt 28:18-ff), with the very same Authority that the Father had given Him (John 20:21-ff), i believe that Christ intended that this chruch be the ultimate authority in matters of faith and morals (Matt 18:15-20), i believe this church survived by the passing on of sacred traditions, word of mouth, letters, and study of scriptures (2 Thes 2:15; 1 Cor 11:2; 2 Tim 3:16; btw the scriptures that St. Paul refers to here cannot include the New Testament because it had yet to be assembled at the writing of this letter to Timothy), i believe this church is the pillar and bulwark (defender) of Truth (1 Tim 3:15), and finally, i believe that only one Church has existed as long as described above and operates as described above, and that Church is the Catholic Church. the first people to be named/identified as Christians (not a title they gave themselves but a name their persecuters gave them) and later in their history when other traditions broke away from this Chruch they then labled/identified those who belong to that Church as Catholic (meaning universal; not bound by a region but open and available to all; and again not a self imposed title but a title given to them by others, and it caught on).
    unworthy1 responded to this, and getting back to the Greek language of Matt 16:18-19 to which she provided a link, i’d check the link out, the post was “Book Review: ‘Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal’ by Sarah J. Richardson”. i was not able to directly respond the objection because of my lack of understanding of the Greek language, but i have since spoken with others more educated than myself and here’s the jist of that conversation, in response to unworhy1’s objection to my above explaination:
    one should look not at the words there (because they are irrelevant and a matter of subject/verb agreement determining the word ending). “this rock” would use the “a” (feminine) ending because “petra” is the word for rock/stone, etc. However, Peter is guy (masculine), so his name can’t be petra, can it? It has to be Peter (fyi peter means rock, kephas). Then we have to look at the next phrase: “And I will give YOU the keys . . .” 2nd person singular pronoun. Even if there is a pronoun in this passage that is 2nd person plural (y’all), He is still talking to His apostles. it was in the apostles that Christ put the future of His teachings, how else would the Gospel be able to be preached to the ends of the Earth without His guidence. and it wasn’t a Bible that He gave them, it was a Tradition (see above 2 Thes 2:15), guided with the Will and Authroity (see above John 20:21-23; “as the Father has sent me”, how did God the Father send Christ, with “All authority on hevan and on earth” [Matt 28:18]) of God Himself.

    i’ll cut myself off here, but i think with these basis i can address the other issues, but it will most likely be very long, and i like to rant, so it’ll be even longer, but i hope that the length is warranted.

    thanks again for your attention and patience.

    God Bless you and God Love you

  41. Matt,
    Shalom.
    Peter was a leader in the church. I don’t think anyone disputes that. Was he an infallible pope? No. The Keys he was given was the Gospel. He was the first to take the Gospel to the Jews. He was not to lord authority over anyone.

    http://www.justforcatholics.org/a46.htm

    About faith and works. We are not saved by works. We are saved and then work for FREE BECAUSE WE LOVE HIM. If you are counting your works on a tally sheet in hopes to get into heaven, you’ll never stop counting because works are not a heaven ticket. When we trust Jesus’ blood to cover us, then the Father sees His blood over us when we die. That is what saves. Is it a laundry list of do-gooder projects? no. Please remember the passover, it is the blood that covered the door that saved them from destruction. I’m sure there were some “good persons” whose door was not covered. They died. All our own righteousness is but filthy rags. .

  42. Amen and amen, praise the Lord His never ending mercies on wretched sinners! sueliz1 – you nailed it! Praise the Lord for His infinite grace!

  43. Ray says:

    Quote from Matt
    “So where is the Catholic Church in the Bible, here’s how i see it (feel free to disagree): Christ founded the Catholic Church on Peter and Promised that that church would never die (Matt
    16:18-19)”
    end quote

    Matt, there lies a fundamental error within the Catholic church , well might Catholics believe that their church was founded on Peter , but biblical christians believe that Christ is founder of the church , and indeed , He is the cornerstone.

    Colossians 1:18
    And he is the head of the body, the church:who is the beginning, the firstborn
    of the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    Its pretty clear , isn’t it , we are the spiritual stones that are built into the spiritual temple , of which Christ is the cornerstone.[ 1 Peter 2:5-6].

    Quote from Matt
    “and finally, i believe that only one Church has existed as long as described above and operates as described above, and that Church is the Catholic Church
    end quote”

    Matt , there is one church that has existed from the humble origins of the church first established by the Apostles , and that is the church founded on the truth of the word of God . The Catholic church has time and again proven itself as an imposter because of its persistent abuses . It has placed itself as an arbiter of the scriptures, a role that is specificaly designated for the Holy Spirit.

    John 16:13
    Howbeit when he , the Spirit of truth , is come, he will guide you into all truth :
    for he shall not speak of himself , but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he
    speak:and he will show you things to come..

    I could go on here, but I think you get the picture , the Catholic church is a false church, well might they speak of Christ , but their hearts are far from Him.

  44. I (in no way) intend to argue…and I am not Catholic…however, sueliz1, as I read Matt’s post just above yours…it seemed to say the same as you. He said we do the works as an expression of our faith. I completely agree with you that it is all of grace and we are but wretches here…but I thought, as I read, that Matt was in agreement. Maybe I am misunderstanding something in his post?

    Kindly,
    Katy

  45. Linda says:

    What does this mean to you Matt? -Keep in mind “context”– “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling”??

    I know what it means in Context but i would like for you to elucidate what you believe it means please?

  46. Katy,
    I was catholic all my life until 2 years ago when I understood the gospel of grace for the 1st time. When you go to church on Sunday in the RC church it is called an Obligation (in their words). If you do not go, you are condemned and in mortal sin (if you died you would go to hell). The only excuse not to go is if you are sick or a family member is sick or if traveling. The same is true with holy days of “obligation.”
    It is a Work. The church emphasizes works to be saved. Even if Matt doesn’t elaborate.
    When I was a devout catholic I couldn’t understand the free gift mentality. I’m trying to share my perspective from a former Catholic view.

  47. Ah! Okay! Thank-you for explaining that to me! I am very uninformed about Catholics. I know *some*…but not what you would know, being from it. Thank you! :)

  48. Linda says:

    @ Katy…

    Matts statement is in error. It’s just very hard to see because it’s cloaked so well.

    As the great Walter Martin put it– “We must be able prepared to scale the language barrier of terminology” unless terms are defined when one is either speaking or reading cult theology, the semantic jungle that the cults have created will envelope him. The vocabulary of the cultists is not by definition the vocabulary of the Bible.”

    “Trick terminology is a powerful propaganda weapon”

    “Terms are what they are by definition just like if a doctor is to perform open heart surgery it is to be open heart surgery not your gall bladder.”

    “The power of Christianity IS NOT in its terminology but in the relationship of the individual to the historical Christ of revelation. The divine human encounter must take place. God must reach down and grant his grace and save them.” end quotes

    The Gospel is what it is by definition (according to God’s word)—Just like Paul stated several times in 1 Cor.15 “According to Scripture.

    Pray That God grants the increase

  49. T. I. Miler says:

    The invisible church is the only one true church. All of Todd’s 37 points are well documented in their own official writings.
    To this day we protestants are still officially considered to be anathema. To this day all who advocate by faith alone through grace alone are anathema. As with most LDS I assert that most RCC members have never read the official church position papers. Blind faith and devotion to any “denomination” is idolatry. Back to the topic at hand RCC theology is Arminian. Therefore they cant be saved, sorry, for the genetic fallacy joke.

  50. T.I., while there is certainly a church that is in prospect, true believers are constantly exhorted in the New Testament to interact within the local church. Each of Paul’s letters were either written to a local church or to an elder of a local church.

    I would venture to guess though that not only do most LDS or RCC members not read or know the official church position or doctrine, but sadly, many within evangelical or Protestant churches do not have a clue about what or why they believe.

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