Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Chosen by God

Yesterday's post about the reformation and what we now call Calvinism barely scratched at the surface of the issues regarding how we regard God's sovereign rule over us. Before reading this offering please read the previous post, and links provided would also be a good read in preparing to approach the topics that I hope to touch on.

In debating with "anti-Calvinists" three things that irritate them the most come up, and I'll try to talk a little about them in separate posts. The three things are:

1. God not giving us the choice of being saved or not

2. Universal atonement vs. limited atonement

3. Perseverance of the saints (or what it has degraded into with "OSAS")

We'll start with #1.
Did God leave the saving power on our side? To choose or not to choose, that is the question....

I recently had a discussion over this with a couple of men who vehemently oppose Calvinism and promote the idea that John Calvin is a "pope of the Calvinists". One man boasts that he is very knowledgeable on the topic of evil Calvinism, stating that he has researched this for 40 years, yet in my discussions with him he acknowledged that he has never read anything written by John Calvin, or even Charles Spurgeon, stating that he doesn't want to poison his brain with such things. He said some other quite remarkable things that left me wondering why anyone was still giving his comments "likes" and calling me some kind of heretic for trying to tell others to go to the sources to read these things for themselves. I was going to share some of these characters' comments which reveal just how little they understand about this subject, but the one with the most ridiculous comments has deleted them all. Therefore we will look at what Mr. P has to say regarding unconditional election:

 First I'll start with a very brief overview of how God saved me in answer to his question:

Mr. P: "Susan did God force you to love him Or did you see God and run to him and love him because he first loved you"

Me:  "I was brought up "religious" in SDA, reading the Bible, asking and not receiving, yet God did it later after I went through all kinds of paganism and witchcraft, and He got me while I was on drugs and not able to help myself. That is grace"

Mr. P:  "I was brought up in catholics then I read the bible and saw the truth and make the free will choice to love my God who saved me"

 Me: "Believe whatever you want to Mr. P, I'll take God at His word in what He says in His word to me. He chose me and I take full comfort in it, you can thank yourself for choosing Him, I'll thank God for choosing me."

then he says

Mr. P: "Your God a raper and Calvinism just as bad as all the other false stuff you were in.. Susan get save ask Jesus to forgvie (sic) your sins he will .He ask you he does not force you to love him .He not a rapist .God seek ALL to be saved . Love does not force itself bible says plainly"

hmmm, alrightythen...yeah, I can see where Mr. P found THAT in scripture.

Me: "You choose to see a Sovereign God as a rapist because you still judge with the "eyes of the flesh", if you don't see it I cannot force you to understand things of the Spirit because you still judge by your lusts of your flesh. Take care, I'm done"

Mr. P:  "Susan did God force souls to go to hell . .God cannot judge someone he force to sin and force to reject him"

Me:  "the fall of man in the garden of Eden caused all to be destined for hell, but grace of God allows some to not receive justice instead receive mercy, gift, not earned through choosing, God chooses some, His word is everywhere but not all choose because most have not been given that ability, even many who hear the word preached cannot hear because the gift of hearing is not given, those who repent are given sight to see the truth about their utter depravity and are given the gift of repentance. We have nothing that hadn't been given to us by God."

The difference, bottom line, is that Mr. P thinks the person being saved is the primary object of importance, when in fact the Bible reveals that everything that happens is not for man's sake but to reveal the truth and mercy of God. The problem with most "Christians" today is they do not admit or understand what complete and utter depravity is. They believe there is still a little bit of their own innate goodness that gives them the freedom to choose God. The Bible reveals that we all are utterly hopeless and slaves to sin, worse than that, we are "dead in our trespasses" (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13) which is....well, dead is dead. Dead people don't make choices any more than Lazarus "chose" to come forth when Jesus called to the dead man Lazarus and said "Lazarus! Come forth!" (John 11:32-43)

So in the next episode I will explore the utter depravity of our natural condition prior to the saving power of God who transformed us by the power of His will.

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