Recently, I had an occasion to interact with someone who was clearly not understanding the dynamic/dialectic of Scripture. As I mentioned in part 1, I was at another website, on a post dealing with Unconditional Election and Irresistible Grace. The author of the post gave the standard Arminian position, and I responded. Another commenter going by Onesimus accused me of sin and blasphemy.
Here's my first post, followed by Onesimus and then my reply. I haven't heard back. I hope he answers.
Please feel free to comment, especially if you don't agree.......
and, pardon my use of ‘unresolvable’ in the post. I meant to say irresolvable. I always forget that one when I’m typing quickly. I’m sure I’ve done it elsewhere.
It's both. Grace is in one sense irresistible but in another sense resistible. Election is unconditional, but in another sense the gospel offer is universal.
From the eternal perspective which God sometimes reveals to us in certain passages of Scripture...we see a Sovereign God on the throne, predestining all things, even those who are saved. They will indeed be saved...no fear.
This doctrine is meant to be a comfort to believers. It's not for the normal day to day operations of the church...the preaching of the gospel etc...
When we look at John 3.16 or 2 Peter 3.9 or 1 Tim 2.4, we shouldn't be thinking about election.
This is His revealed will. Election deals with Decretive or Eternal will. We are told something of it, but not with respect to individual persons today. We are sometimes told in the Scriptures....Jacob and Esau, Ishmael, Judas, but for today we are not given specific Special Revelation on any one person.
Can we be outside of God's will? Yes and no.
When he gives a commandment like don't bear false witness and we lie, then we're outside of His will.
But on the other hand even when we lie, it's all part of His overall plan which cannot be thwarted.
And yet I told the lie willingly and I'm responsible.
It's a mystery...God predestines our free choices.
The Scriptures teach both sides...he desires all to be saved...and yet only the elect are saved.
But I don't who the elect are...including myself. I'm told to continue in the faith, make my calling and election sure, work out my own salvation with fear and trembling, put to death the deeds of the flesh, die daily etc....
And when I meet people...as far as I know they're all elect. I'm too preach the gospel, share Christ, and let the Holy Spirit do the work.
What about how I view my fellow Christians?
If you're baptized and professing Christ, then you're a brother or sister. If I run into you ten years later and you're living in sin and denying Christ...I have no basis to call you brother or sister anymore.
Were you really and truly saved? Elect?
I have no idea. I can't crawl up onto the throne of God and look into your heart and see if you were regenerate. That's not my concern.
Election is true...but a comfort.
Calvinists or I should say hyper-Calvinists set up Election as the centerpiece, the foundation of all their theology. They read the gospel, the church, baptism etc... all these things through the lens of election and that's where they get into trouble.
We should place Christ at the center of our theology.....Fully God and Fully man.....another unresolvable tension, a glorious mystery.
When anyone lies they lie because your god predestined that lie?
I suggest you repent and turn to the One True God who is NOT the author of any sin. A God who makes us responsible for our OWN sin because WE chose to sin.
He does not choose sin for us and then punish us for the sin that He predestined us to do.
Oh Lord Jesus – how some would pervert Your Name and Your ways in the name of man’s theology!
I specifically said, I'm responsible for my own sins. But there's another level, a tension between what we do and God's overall plan.
The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
It was written in the plan of God, predestined before the foundation of the world that Christ would go to the cross and would be betrayed. It was prophesied in Psalm 41.9 that he would be betrayed by a friend. This was part of God's plan. Judas fulfilled this purpose in His plan. Let me phrase that differently. The sin of Judas was part of God's plan...yet woe indeed unto Judas, he was responsible.
Both sides are true. God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Too often people err by focusing on just one of the sides and excluding the other. They then build a whole theology on top of that presupposition and then they start finding lots of other 'problem' texts. I don't want a system with problem texts. I want to bend my system.
Be careful you don't allow your reason or notions of fairness to trump what the Scripture plainly says. God is not unjust. He can be just and non-just (mercy) but never unjust. Judas deserved hell, just like you and me.
How do we reconcile the two sides? We can't. We're not supposed to.
It's a mystery I'll admit, but can we finite beings bound by space and time understand the workings of an Eternal God? Maybe think about that a little before you start charging people with sin.