Man Goes Bankrupt After Refusing to Sign Check

Local resident Calvin deKlein declared bankruptcy today after refusing to sign a check that would have paid off the debt for him. deKlein was reportedly heard muttering, “If I sign the check, it means I did all the work.”

Judge Peyda Piper says she has never come across a case like this before. “I repeatedly asked deKlein why he refused to sign the check, and he was unable to provide a coherent answer.”

Wealthy philanthropist Jesse Pagotodo was left shaking his head. “I wrote the check out to deKlein, put it in his hand, and even drove him to the bank.  But he refused to sign it when we arrived”.  Pagotodo went on to say. “I don’t know what else he expected me to do, I couldn’t sign the check for him, that would have been forgery.”

Advertisements

69 Comments

Filed under Arminianism, Calvinism, humor

69 responses to “Man Goes Bankrupt After Refusing to Sign Check

  1. Adrian

    I would suggest it’s more like:

    As per his plan devised a long time ago wealthy philanthropist Jesse Pagotodo last night used EFT transfers to the bank accounts of a number of people of his choice to completely wipe out their debts.

    Disappointingly a number of these people, upon finding that their debts had been wiped, claimed this morning that Jesse only did this for them because he had first asked them could he and after considering it they had said yes. This is in spite of the fact that even last night, though they wouldn’t admit it, in their hearts they actually “hated his guts” (excuse the French) and didn’t want to have anything to do with him.

    Jesse knew that this would happen, and it speaks well of his character that he would do this for people who he knew would want to make this gesture “all about themselves” rather than acknowledge the totally undeserved generosity of Jesse.

  2. Adrian

    Na, if he’s left the Coke (r) on your desk for you without asking and then you bragged about accepting it ….

    But in the end, being right or wrong on our understanding of how God does things won’t get us into heaven; being born again will. I wonder if we’ll care about it then?

    • No doubt I would brag about it! I must be pretty special if someone is putting cokes on my desk without asking. Especially since he (or she?) is not doing it for anyone else.

      The point is, it’s absurd to brag about the act of receiving a gift. No one does this in regular life, because we all recognize that the thanks goes to the gift giver.

      I do care if God leaves most of humanity without the possibility of salvation.

      • Adrian

        I don’t think any sensible person of any belief system would actually brag about how He was saved though unfortunately not everyone is sensible and perception has a lot to do with it.

        And on that note, does “God leaves most of humanity without the possibility of salvation” imply that you don’t believe that God has the right to choose to do what He wants to with what He created and which only exists because He chose to create it?

        Or the other way around, man did not exist; God decided He’d create man; God then creates man; as man belongs to God cannot God then do with man whatever He wants?

  3. br.d

    “God leaves most of humanity without the possibility of salvation” ….implies that you don’t believe God has the right to choose.

    By this line of reasoning, it should be of no moral or ethical concern to assert God has the right to choose to sin, to be unholy, or be the author of evil, or be Lucifer himself. Its interesting we don’t see the appeal to “God has the right”…. taken to all of its logical conclusions. This is the ethical/moral baggage inherent with assertions that extend beyond scriptural representations of God.

    • Adrian

      Sinning is not a part of God’s character
      Being unholy is not a part of God’s character
      Being the author of evil is not a part of God’s character

      But why bring these things up? Are you suggesting that the idea of God having the right to do what He wants with what is His, God having a choice in what happens to His creation, could somehow be sinful, unholy or even evil?

      • If God is moral, if God is love, if God is holy, he can only things which are consistent with his character. Thus God cannot create man, ordain man to be evil, and then send mankind to hell for doing what he decreed. That is immoral, unloving, and unholy. If God behaves that way, the only distinction between him and Lucifer is raw power.

        It’s equivalent to going into a house, tying up the residents, lighting the house on fire, “saving” one of the residents on the way out, and then blaming those who burn for not leaving.

      • Adrian

        “It’s equivalent to going into a house, tying up the residents, lighting the house on fire, “saving” one of the residents on the way out, and then blaming those who burn for not leaving”.

        I think differently because (a) I didn’t make those “residence”, I don’t own them; and (b) They and I are on the same level.

        I’d more see it as when I was shredding all MY paperwork before our last house move I shredded most stuff but chose to not shred my Wedding Certificate.

      • The one who built the residence, and owns the occupants has MORE responsibility, not less.

      • Adrian

        Depends on what things were made for doesn’t it?

        Clay pigeons are made to be shot out of the sky. They may not like it but that’s their purpose.

        Stock is bred to be killed and eaten.

        Infantry are trained for close quarter combat and to kill or be killed. Perhaps 3000 Allies were killed on D-Day (1944) alone but that’s what they were raised and trained for, to fight to the death.

        “The LORD has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster.” (Prov 16:4 NLT) and when discussing this topic in Romans Paul asks “When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?” (Rom 9:21 NLT). I know (in part) why God created me, but I don’t know why He created my next door neighbour. God knows though, so who am I to tell God that He MUST treat my neighbour in a certain way, in a way that may be at odds with why God made Him?

      • And there lies the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism. Arminianias believe God created us in his image, and because we are made in his image, every person is of value. So we are not comparable to clay pigeons or slaughtered stock, or shredded paper.

        The potter/clay reference in Romans 9 comes from Jeremiah 18 and is an Arminian passage. It is conditional (not ordained) based on the behavior of Israel. If Israel chooses evil, God will treat them as garbage pottery. If they choose good, he will relent and bless them. God doesn’t create people for evil. But if they choose to reject him, he will use still use them for his purpose.

        “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.”

        The man centered question is to ask “what does man deserve”? The God centered question is to ask what is God like? Does he keep his promises? Is he perfectly holy? Can he contradict his goodness?

        That’s the primary difference between Allah and Jehovah. Allah does whatever he pleases with his “clay pigeons”. Jehovah does only what is best and right for his creation. He can’t lie, he can’t be deceitful. He can’t deny himself.

      • Adrian

        More on “Arminians believe God created us in his image, and because we are made in his image, every person is of value”

        I have a device on each wrist. The one on the right tells me the time and date; is a stop-watch; counts my steps; tells me how far I’ve walked; is an alarm that wakes me each morning etc. The one on the left only tells me the time.

        But which is most valuable to me? The watch on the left which was my Dad’s then my Mum’s, because value is individual and subjective. And it can be situation dependant, Esau at a point of time valued his stomach over his birthright and lost out big time.

        See Pharaoh was valuable to God, but not as a son, not as a child, but as someone who would demonstrate to us what can happen when one considers God to be irrelevant, to be “a powerless entity who needed not to be feared or served”.

        Could someone in integrity have said to Pharaoh that God “(knew) the plans (He) have for (him), … plans for welfare and not for evil, to give (him) a future and a hope”? Of course not as it would be a lie, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth”, and God’s power was demonstrated in the destruction of Pharaoh, of his army, and of the land of Egypt.

        As man we should value all men but again it’s subjective, I value my family more than yours and I bet you value yours more than mine. But the value God has for man, and in what way he is valuable, is up to Him is it not?

      • I find it telling that your analogies in reference to people are nearly always lower species or inanimate objects. Clay pigeons, slaughtered cattle, shredded paper, watches, etc. We are not watches. We are people created in God’s image. The value of a watch is subjective. The value of a person made in God’s image is not subjective. Especially not to God.

        Regarding Pharaoh, No doubt God loved him and reached out to him in grace as he does with every person. But Pharaoh was never interested in repentance. If he had been, no doubt God would have treated him differently. I’ve written a post about Pharaoh which is here, if interested. The Hardening of Pharaoh’s heart.

      • Adrian

        The reason my “analogies in reference to people are nearly always lower species or inanimate objects” is to highlight that fact that we are a lower species than God. We are objects that He created for His purposes. Now I understand the Father/Son relationship WE (emphasis intentional) have with God but not all do. In John 8 the Jews said “we have one Father: God” (v41) but Jesus’ response was “You are of your father the devil” (v44).

        “The value of a person made in God’s image is not subjective. Especially not to God” – Consider Abram. We see God say:

        Go forth from your country,
        And from your relatives
        And *** I will *** make you a great nation,
        And *** I will *** bless you,
        And *** I will *** bless those who bless you,
        And the one who curses you I will curse.

        A bit later God says:
        The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land” (land belonging to others by the way)

        Which He repeats saying:
        On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying,
        “To your descendants I have given this land, from (Y)the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”

        Now we know it took a while for this promise to be fulfilled but to Moses God said:
        For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them.

        Can you read these verses and come to the conclusion that God valued the Amorites and the Canaanites etc. as much as He valued Abram? If you were a Canaanite and God was going to kill you to give your land to Abram’s descendants would you feel valued and loved by God? Would you claim that God valued you as much as He did Abram whom He chose (a specific choice of one man from the ten million or so people in existence) for greatness (Gen 18:19)?

      • God chose Israel to be the people group through which Salvation came to everyone else. In that way they are special.

    • Adrian

      The examples I gave are only there to demonstrate that things exist for a purpose, the purpose being determined by who made them. In man’s case, yes we are “created .. in (God’s) image, and because we are made in his image, every person is of value” but also every person has a purpose as Paul mentions in Romans 9.

      Rom 9 is quiet telling. It says “it is not as though the word of God has failed” but the explains in saying “it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise” (get that? most people are “children of the flesh” who are NOT children of God, that also requires God’s promise).

      Then Paul goes on “so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, .. The older will serve the younger” (i.e this is all about what God wants to achieve, it’s about what He chooses to happen, not us).

      What are we told then? “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy”. So then we get to Pharaoh whom God raised up for a specific purpose “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.” (and we know He did harden Pharaoh so that His mercy would be chose to Israel (according to the promise) and not Egypt whom he punished.).

      Then we get to the potter bit which better x-references Isaiah 29:16 “You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay,
      That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”;” because although Paul says “The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?” the answer is “Yes”, people do it all the time. But they have no right to.

      Which leads to something interesting (to me anyway), why, from and Arminian point of view, did God allow us to exist. Billions of people will spend eternity in hell and God has always known this? So why did he not end things after Adam sinned? Or why create Adam in the first place? Seems pretty cruel on the surface.

      • Side note: The superfluous u’s are pointless. but I do like the way y’all pronounce “Isaiah”. I could never remember how to spell it until I started mentally pronouncing it your way. ;)

        Seems our differences can be summed up as follows:

        Arminianism: God can use people who have turned evil for his purpose.

        Calvinism: God turns people evil so he can use them for his purpose.

        Romans 9-11 is about the nation of Israel and it’s behavior. How Israel is treated is conditional, and is based on their response to God.

        Romans 9:3-4 “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel.”

        Romans 10:1 “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.”

        Romans 10:21 ” But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

        Romans 11:11 “Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.”

        Even though Israel has chosen to reject God, he still can use them. Their loss is our gain. And they can participate as well, they have not fallen beyond recovery. The promise is conditional to us too (believing Gentiles).

        Romans 11:22 “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.”

        Paul’s conclusion in Romans 11 summarizes his argument “As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”

        Pauls closing argument in Romans 9-11 is very Arminian. “God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”

        The potter reference in Isaiah 29:16 is also in reference to God’s response to the behavior of a group of people. Specifically the city of Ariel, Israel. Just as in the Jeremiah passage, God is punishing them because they have chosen to reject him.

        You ask “why, from and Arminian point of view, did God allow us to exist…seems pretty cruel on the surface” That’s a good question, and now you’re thinking like an Arminian. ;) It is cruel to create someone only for the purpose of destruction.

        I hold to Simple Foreknowledge, which can be summed up as God knows what we will do because we will eventually do it. If we didn’t exist, there would be nothing for him to know about us or what we would do. So if God had created Adam and then killed him, there would have been nothing for him to know about us, because we would have never existed. This is different than Calvinism (God knows what we will do because he decreed it), Open theism (God knows only the things that he has decreed) or Molisnm (God has counterfactual knowledge of what people who never exist would do in any situation). Not all Arminians hold to Simple Foreknowledge, but I think it provides a good answer to the question.

      • Adrian

        Actually I pronounce it eye-zi-ah and don’t say “y’all” as it’s not part of our local vocabulary. But that’s btb.

        As God said to Noah “the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth” I’m not sure that God needs to turn people evil.

        Simple Foreknowledge, … can be summed up as God knows what we will do because we will eventually do it. If we didn’t exist, there would be nothing for him to know about us or what we would do.

        My issue with this is that we only exist because of God’s intervention in history. If God didn’t throw Adam out of the garden we wouldn’t exist; if God had chosen someone other than Noah none of us would exist; if God had chosen Lot rather than Abram I doubt if we’d exist but we wouldn’t if he’d chosen someone from China rather than Israel.

        So he wouldn’t have known if you or I would exist till He’d thought His way through everyone who existed before us, because if at some point He’d decided to pair one of our ancestors up differently then no more us.

        Also with Simple Foreknowledge how does that apply to Adam and Eve? Was God ignorant of what Adam would do until He created him at which time He said “Jesus, what have we done? looks like we need a Plan “B”!” Makes Him l little less than God in my opinion, that does.

      • I’d call it a calculated risk God was willing to take in order to create beings with genuine free will, It certainly beats decreeing evil.

  4. Adrian

    To look at this another way, one of the first things God’s says about man is “the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen 8:21) and the Apostle John puts it well saying “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). These descriptions apply to us too btw.

    We all deserve hell.

    Now we know that God provided a way (the way) of salvation. But in the statement (and maybe it’s perspective here) “God leaves most of humanity without the possibility of salvation” is there the suggestion that we somehow deserve an opportunity to be saved, that God had no choice but had a duty to save us?

    • The question is, since in Calvinism God ordains everything that comes to pass, how did man become evil in the first place?

      And to be biblical, we should not only consider what man deserves, but also what has God promised. What God promises trumps what we deserve. How does true love display itself in action? God could leave humanity in a helpless estate, but that is not consistent with what scripture teaches about his character.

      John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

      Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”

      John 1:9 “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”

      Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”

      Romans 11:32 “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”

      • Adrian

        “And to be biblical, we should not only consider what man deserves, but also what has God promised. What God promises trumps what we deserve.”

        Exactly, But back to the original question; we know God made a promise but did He HAVE to?

        On the one hand we seem to have people who seem to be saying that YES He had to, and to everyone equally. On the other we seem to have people who seem to be saying NO He didn’t, but that HE chose to, and only to a limited number of people whom He wanted to be part of the new Heaven and new Earth (Rev 21;1).

        Sometimes I wonder if we’re so earth centric that we miss what God’s doing. He has spent an eternity with Himself (doing we have no idea what) and then decided to create some physical beings to spend eternity with Him in a Heaven and Earth which He was to create doing, again, who knows what.

        He could have just gone Zap!!, but He didn’t, and this very very very short period of time, while this Earth exists, is when He is creating for Himself those people who He wants in His eternity.

        Have you ever built something Kevin? Seen a house built or extended? Baked a cake even? You start off with something that is good in itself; it goes through a stage of what appears to be a mess, with waste; but eventually something better comes out the other side, something that the person doing the work expects and is planning for.

        Isn’t earth like that? It was “very good” (Gen 1:31), it’s now a bit of a mess and there is wastage while God moves His creation to the next phase, but soon when we’re in the New Heaven and New Earth and New Jerusalem (Rev 21) it will be very good (even better) again.

      • Did God “have to” do certain things? In one sense, no. In another sense yes.

        When we say we “have to” do something for someone else, we think in terms of having to submit to the demands of another. So asking if God “has to” do something immediately triggers the idea that he must be submitting to the demands of another. Since God is above all, that can’t be.

        But when God “has to” do something, it means he is true to himself and keeps his promises. He is submitting to himself. Since he’s perfect, he always does what’s best. He doesn’t lie. So in that sense, yes, there are things that God “has to” do. He is always true to himself.

        2 Tim 2:13 “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

  5. Adrian

    As one of the tags is “humor” (or humour as we spell it here), after my last post I happened to go to this page which I’d never seen before:

    http://www.gocomics.com/brewsterrockit/2007/01/07

    Seems a lot of people have purchased one; like men who think they’re women or supporters. :)

    • I thought you were from Sacramento? I must be confusing you with another poster, cause I’m pretty sure they spell “humor” the correct way down there there in California (without a superfluous u.) ;)

  6. Giles

    May I pose a question to Adrian? If you take a passage like “”how often would I have gathered you together but you would not” how can that make sense on a Calvinists view? God is holding his hands out to sinners whilst also preventing them from coming to him by withholding his grace? That turns the whole scene into an absurd pantomime and inverts the plain sense. I know Calvinists believe they are faithful to scripture but they render passages like this into nonsense. It’s no good saying it can’t be nonsense as the Bible teaches it. The absurdity of the Calvinist reading in so many places is enough to show that the Bible doesn’t teach any such thing.

    • Adrian

      God is holding his hands out to sinners whilst also preventing them from coming to him by withholding his grace

      It is God’s intent to save the elect. How does He do this? By the preaching of the Gospel; in fact we are commanded to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mk 16:15). This makes sense as WE don’t know who is elect and who isn’t. But God does and when the Gospel is preached He will quicken the heart of the elect but harden the heart of the reprobate.

      Is this OK? Well you’d know of Romans 9 where God speaks of Him being the potter and we made of clay and He asks if the object made has a right to complain about how it’s made and God says “No it doesn’t”? as the following 18 scriptures support this relationship of we being made of clay and God moulding us how He wishes I feel it is OK. (Gen 2:7; Gen 3:19; Gen 3:23; Job 33:6; Psa 2:9; Psa 104:13; Ecc 3:20; Ecc 12:7; Isa 29:16; Isa 30:14; Isa 45;9; Isa 64:8; Jer 18:4-6; Jer 19:10-11; Lam 4:2; Rom 9:20-21;1Co 15:47; and Rev 2:25-27)

      Again you’d know “so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand” from Romans 9, but what was His purpose? It seems to me that Arminians see God’s purpose as saving mankind. But to me He’s saving mankind for His purpose.

      See 1Co 3:8 says “we are … God’s building” and Eph 2:21 says that what God is building “is growing into a holy temple in the Lord” and that is what I see as God’s purpose in the current age.

      If you’ve ever built a building you’d know that you don’t just chuck things together and hope for the best. You have a plan and you get the correct product to match that plan. Romans 12 says we’re the Body of Christ. It seems to me that Arminians see God’s purpose as being to save man and the Body of Christ as being made of whatever parts God just happened to be able to get whereas the Calvinist see God’s purpose as building Christ’s body and see it as being made of specific parts that God made/chose for it.

      Anyway I’ve transgressed. Here’s something I read on Mat 23:27 recently:

      Mat 23: 37   O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to her, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not!

      How many times I’ve heard an Arminian try to quote this verse to me from memory.   It is usually along the lines of “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to her, how often would I have gathered you together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not!”   One time the verse was so quoted to me, the Arminian followed it up by exclaiming that Calvinists take Scripture out of context and distort it!

      Perhaps it took you a while to see the distortions of the Arminian.   Perhaps you still do not see it.

      The term “Jerusalem” in this verse might refer to the ground, the walls, the trees, the streets, or the sewage system of the city named Jerusalem.   It might refer to the some of the inhabitants of the city.   It might even refer to all the inhabitants of the city.   It might refer to the current city itself, which includes all these things.   It might even include all the past inhabitants of the city as well.   The verse itself does not define the term Jerusalem, so it might seem hard to know.   But before we go looking elsewhere for the definition, there are a few things the verse does say that may be helpful.

      The verse is addressed to, and attributes the killing of the prophets to, Jerusalem.   This then might allow us to narrow the scope of Jerusalem to individuals who kill prophets, either in the past, present, or future.   The verse also indicates that Jerusalem has children.   This then might allow us to narrow the scope of Jerusalem to parents of children, and perhaps even allow us to exclude the children themselves.   It is not clear that these are parents in the biological sense, but perhaps it is more likely from the surrounding verses that these are parents in a spiritual sense, perhaps with pastoral care responsibilities.

      Starting with verse 1, we see that Christ is speaking to “the crowd and to His disciples”, warning them about the “scribes and the Pharisees” who “sit in Moses’ seat”.   He tells the crowd to obey what these scribes and Pharisees tell them, but not to follow their examples, for they are “hypocrites”.

      Then Jesus addresses the scribes and Pharisees, pronouncing eight woes against them.   He accuses the scribes and Pharisees of killing the prophets when He says, “you are the sons of those who killed the prophets; and you fill up the measure of your fathers.   Serpents!   Offspring of vipers!”.   Jesus condemns the scribes and Pharisees when He says, “For you shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men. For you neither go in, nor do you allow those entering to go in.”

      This then indicates that the term “Jerusalem” in verse 37 means the scribes and the Pharisees and the children refer to the people that the scribes and Pharisees are responsible for teaching about salvation.

      Jesus has indeed intervened against the scribes and the Pharisees, speaking directly to their children in verse 1, condemning the scribes and the Pharisees throughout the chapter, and then removing the children from their care.   Jesus concludes the matter, with, “Behold, your house is left to you desolate.”

      In summary, what the Arminian neglects to mention when they quote this verse is that God’s desire is to gather together the children of Israel.   These are the true seed of Abraham who were currently living under the hypocrisy of the scribes and the Pharisees.

      From Hauck, John Michael. Predestination – A Survey of Scripture (Kindle Locations 1577-1578 etc). Lulu.com. Kindle Edition.

  7. Adrian

    No worries Giles, but I’ll do that in the next post. First I’d like to put one to you.

    The Arminian view, and what I hear in most salvation calls, is that “God loves everyone”. How do you see that fitting in with what Jesus says in John 14:21-23?

    21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
    — V23 repeats this, but doesn’t this say that to be loved by the Father we have to love Jesus first?

    22 Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?”
    — The Arminian view is that Jesus will disclose Himself to anyone who wishes isn’t it, but doesn’t this verse say He’s not going to?

    23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.
    — Isn’t this the typical IF (condition) THEN (consequence) [ELSE (alternate consequence)] END structure? IF anyone loves me (condition) THEN (a) he will keep My word; (b) and the Father WILL LOVE HIM; (c) …. (consequences) END. But again isn’t the consequence of being LOVED by the Father conditional on loving Jesus?

    24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

  8. Giles

    Thanks for the question. As I mentioned on another thread on this site I am Arminian with respect to justification and Calvinist with respect to salvation.
    Jesus said the tax collector who prayed “God have mercy on me a sinner” went home justified. I conclude all who sincerely pray this prayer are justified. One may also be justified by believing Jesus has risen. But one can only be saved by confessing Jesus as Lord.
    Meanwhile Paul says Christians will judge the world whilst the parable of the sheep and goats (and Revelation by implication) seems to show that some of those judged are saved. So I conclude those who are justified and saved are appointed judges, those who are merely justified are acquitted at the judgement. I believe we all have libertarian freedom to repent and be justified but that God chooses some of those ready to repent to be saved and passes over others. These others are separated down (the literal translation of “condemn” in Mark 16:16) into the category of those who will be judged. So with respect to your question I interpret the verses much as you do whilst affirming free will with respect to repentance. That won’t satisfy you or Kevin, but “here I stand” etc.

    • Adrian Gallagher

      Thank you, as one knows one does not know everything it’s interesting to see how other think, though I think lack of doctrinal teaching leads to many unusual views.

  9. Giles

    Yes, I’m full of unusual views. It worries me as novelty is not a good thing in theology. But that cuts both ways. Are you aware of a church father who held to Calvinists prior to Augustine?

    • Giles

      I meant Calvinism not Calvinists of course. Though obviously it is anachronistic in the context.

    • Adrian

      One of the books I’ve Kindled for free is “From Ignatius to Augustine” but I haven’t read it yet. Never done any of that sort of stuff as it’s not the stuff my local church values.

      But that obvious answer is the Apostle paul.

      • Giles

        Aha! Good answer, though of course I disagree. Part of the reason for my theological quirks is a belief in sola scriptura. If the text seems to lead to conclusion x I feel obliged to affirm x even if I can’t find ancient precedent. Fortunately I think the fathers got the fundamentals right.

      • Adrian

        I’m just reading an interesting book on predestination. In one bit the author is showing an accepted understanding of a verse which is speaking of God’s purposes. He then lists 10 verses that say that God’s purposes are always fulfilled. He then goes on to say that if we add the understanding of that verse to the clear verses that show that God’s purposes are always fulfilled then “we have to admit this verse teaches universal salvation”.

        What I’m suggesting is that though a text may seem to lead to a conclusion x we need to know the implications of the rest of the Bible on that conclusion. Unfortunately I suspect most of us don’t know the Bible well enough to be able to do that.

      • Here’s post I wrote on Augustine a while back. He was a brilliant thinker, but definitely a mixed bag of tricks.
        https://wesleyanarminian.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/augustine/

        Augustine was the first father to teach determinism. He did not speak Greek. In my view, he didn’t understand the inherent Jewish nature of Paul’s letters. He was exiting the Gnostic/ deterministic heresy of Manichaeism, and over reacted to Pelagius’ teachings that man was not sinful. The other thing that bothers me was his persecution of the Donatists.

      • Adrian

        Thanks I’ll have a read later.

        However the title of “The Idiot’s Guide to Augustine” is of-putting and (to me) suggests bias. If it was “Augustine for Dummies” I wouldn’t have see it that way.

        But then perhaps I don’t understand the inherent nature of your title selections :-)

      • No doubt that’s because you don’t speak proper Yankee English. ;). It’s not intended to dis the reader or Augustine. Here’s another one I did on NPP (a view I tend to agree with). The Idiot’s guide to the New Perspective on Paul. At one time I planned to do many “Idiot’s Guides”, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

  10. Giles

    Of course Adrian is right that we can be wrong in our exegesis. My views are perpetually evolving. But I have yet to meet someone who can persuade me that none are acquitted at the judgement. I hear people say the sheep in the parable must be Christians who are raised to receive the reward for their works (rather than being judged with respect to their salvation) and the goats unbelievers. But the problem is that if that’s so the sheep should be judging the goats. Also the surprise of the sheep “when did we see you hungry etc” indicates non Christians as Christians would know the parable of the sheep and goats. Also Revelation portrays the Book of Life being examined to see if people’s name are in it. If this isn’t just pantomime this implies the possibility of acquittal. So unless someone shows me why the Bible doesn’t teach that particular x I cannot but affirm it.

  11. Giles

    Also with regard to the passage about loving Jesus it seems to me to say he (Jesus, not just the father) will reveal himself to those who already love him. So he reveals himself to those who respond to prevenient grace.

    • Adrian

      If it was “a calculated risk God was willing to take” then that implies that God didn’t know what was going to happen doesn’t it? which would deny His omniscience and therefore His being God would it not?

      • The Arminian view of foreknowledge (or one Arminian view I should say) is that God knows what we will do because we will eventually do it. His knowing is not the cause of our doing, our doing is the cause of his knowing. If we didn’t exist, there would be nothing to know about us. So yes, there was a risk at the moment he decided to create. The risk was that we would be sinful. This is opposed to Calvinism, where God apparently took no risk, yet man is still sinful (which is incoherent in my view).

        I like the way A.W. Tozer said it “A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”

      • Adrian

        o- His knowing is not the cause of our doing, our doing is the cause of his knowing.

        Wouldn’t that put’s God’s knowledge as subservient to the will of man? Are you happy with that idea?

        o- So yes, there was a risk at the moment he decided to create.

        How does that compute in the light of Jesus being “chosen BEFORE the creation of the world”, He who redeemed us with His precious blood, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1Peter 1) and God choosing “us in him BEFORE the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Eph 1)? If Jesus was chosen as the Lamb who would be slain BEFORE the creation of the world then where is the risk when God decides to create? unless God is impotent (rather than omnipotent) and could not create us any other way.

        Unless the sequence is:

        God: “I think I’ll create a universe. Oh my self, it’s going to be a total stuff-up, Jesus you’re going to have to sort it out”.

        Jesus: “Dur! Can’t you create it differently, Maybe an oxygen based life-form would work better than a carbon based one?”

        God: “Jesus, you and I are one so you know the answer to that. No, I (well you actually – we’ll get that in writing later) have no choice but to create a universe in which there are men who do have a choice but will reject us (ironic we having no choice but to make someone who has a choice isn’t it) and you’ve got to pay the price. Oh why did I ever have this idea in the first place?”

        [In the above the sequence is important, not my attempt at humour.]

        Another “left wing” thought I just had: Sometimes Arminians see verses as corporate (e.g. “he chose *us* in him”) yet seem to look to the goal being saving individuals; while Calvinists see the same verses as about individuals while looking to a goal of building the Body of Christ. Totally different.

      • You can read my detailed explanation of Simple Foreknowledge here. It addresses most of your questions. If God is timeless, much of what we are discussing here is a logical order, not necesseraly a temporal one.

        Churchill once said “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest.” I think the same applies to Simple Foreknowledge. Am I “happy’ with the idea? It certainly has its weaknesses, but it hands down beats the other views. It’s the only one (in my opinion) that has a legitimate explanation for the problem of evil.

        So my question for you Adrian is, where does sin come from? If God ordains everything that comes to pass, then the only honest answer is that God is the source of sin and evil.

        My brother-in-law died in a car wreck in October when another person went to sleep, and swerved into his lane killing him, leaving my little niece and nephew without a dad, and my sister without a husband. So you’re telling me THAT was all part of God’s optimal, perfect, eternal plan, and was purposfully ordaind BY HIM before the creation of the world? I have a hard enough time understanding why it happened at all and why God didn’t prevent it from happening, but I’d sooner chuck my faith entirely than say God decreed it.

        There’s also the matter of 6 MILLION of God’s chosen people being murdered by a sadistic dictator (I know…Reductio ad Hitlerum, but there you have it). That was planned, decreed, ordained by God? That event was required to enable him to optimally maximize his glory?

        Sorry to be so blunt, but that’s the way I see it. You can’t prove to me that God is the devil.

      • Adrian

        Sorry, but I’ll be a bit blunt too and start at Rom 9:20 the Rom 13:3

        “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”” … “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you.” BSB

        We are God’s creation Kevin, God’s creation. We belong to Him and He can do with us what He wants (Remember the 18 Scriptures on we being clay in His hands? Gen 2:7; Gen 3:19; Gen 3:23; Job 33:6; Psa 2:9; Psa 104:13; Ecc 3:20; Ecc 12:7; Isa 29:16; Isa 30:14; Isa 45;9; Isa 64:8; Jer 18:4-6; Jer 19:10-11; Lam 4:2; Rom 9:20-21;1Co 15:47; and Rev 2:25-27)

        Now it being a few days off a year since my Mum died I’m not too fussed with some of the things that happen but like Job I don’t know what God’s doing except that He’s currently building the Body of Christ for something He’s got planned for eternity.

        Now I don’t know why your BIL was killed but doesn’t it have to be one of two things? something totally random that God let happen or something purposeful that God decreed would happen. My understand is that despite the (what i call) bad bits God is purposeful.

        And remember that in the death of His Only Son Jesus God has suffered a lot more than any of us ever will.

      • You haven’t answered my question Adrian. Where does evil and sin come from? If you can’t answer that basic question then your theology is worthless.

        Actually it’s worse than that. Your skewed understanding of God’s nature drives people away from him. You can’t use scripture to prove that God is worse than the devil.

        I’m talking back to you. And you are not God.

  12. Adrian

    I was up to the last sentence in my reply and I accidentally closed the window. Guess you get an abridged reply.

    Evil and Sin come from man. That’s what the Bible says so where else could it come from. “Sin and evil have their origin not in God or creation, but in the personal will and action of creatures.”

    We know that “God “works all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:15); (and that), God does not — in fact, cannot — do evil”. In Genesis I’m just up the bit where “Joseph recognizes that … the intention of his brothers in selling him into slavery was evil, (but) God (who works all things after the counsel of his own will) meant it for good”. “The challenge is to affirm what Scripture teaches without venturing any further. We know from Scripture that both are true, but not how”.

    Which is why I suggest don’t answer back to God. If God says things are true then they are true. We are but men and so cannot understand everything, especially the ways of God.

    ** Quotes from http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/reformed-theology-vs-hyper-calvinism/

    P.S. There are lots in the Bible we can understand, but that doesn’t mean we can understand everything. A lot of its “by faith”, you just have to trust God.

    • “Evil and sin come from man”

      That’s the Arminianism view. We sin because God has given us free will, and we do things that he does not prefer.

      You’re just spent the last half dozen posts arguing that God predestined everything that has ever happened from before the creation of the world.

      So try again. Given that you believe that God predestined everything that has ever happened from before the creation of the world, where do sin and evil come from?

      Or let’s try another approach. You’re watching a puppet show. The puppet whips out a gun and shoots someone in the audience. Who is responsible for the murder? The puppet, or the puppeteer?

      John Wesley was right when he said that the God of Calvinism is worse than the devil.

      • Adrian

        Sorry going away for the weekend so I’ll just cu/paste from the previous reference:

        We read in the same breath in Acts 2:23 that “lawless men” are blamed for the crucifixion, and yet Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God….” The challenge is to affirm what Scripture teaches without venturing any further. We know from Scripture that both are true, but not how. Perhaps the most succinct statement of this point is found in the Westminster Confession of Faith (chap. 3.1): “God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;” — there’s one guardrail — “yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creature; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established,” and with that, the second guardrail. The same point is made in the Belgic Confession of Faith (Article 13), adding that whatever God has left to His own secret judgment is not for us to probe any further.

        Two important lines from above:
        o- The challenge is to affirm what Scripture teaches without venturing any further. We know from Scripture that both are true, but not how. and
        o- whatever God has left to His own secret judgment is not for us to probe any further.

      • There is a difference between a paradox and a contradiction. A paradox is when something is true but we don’t understand how. There is one God in three persons. I don’t understand how this is, but I believe it. A contradiction is holding to two mutually exclusive statements that invalidate each other. God causes everything. God does not cause everything.

        If your theology is build on a paradox, it can be true. If your theology is built on a contradiction, it is false. It is a contradiction to say 1) God causes everything, 2) God didn’t cause sin, humanity did. Because humanity is part of “everything” in statement 1.

        “The challenge is to affirm what Scripture teaches without venturing any further.”

        That’s why you affirm unlimited atonement, right? It is affirmed in scripture.
        1 Tim 4:10, Titus 2:11, Hebrews 2:9, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:14, Luke 19:10, John 1:29, John 3:14-17, John 4:42, John 8:12, Acts 2:21, Romans 5:6

        A couple of my favorites, which explicitly state that the atonement applies to those who don’t believe.

        2 Corinthians 5:14-15: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

        1 John 2:2: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (Note the distinction between “ours” and “the whole world.”)

        1 Timothy 4:10: “We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.”

        In addition Calvinism also breaks your “affirmation” rule in the first half of the WCF statement. There is no Bible verse that says God unchangeably ordains everything that comes to pass. There are verses that state God brings good out of everything according to his purpose through Christ (Romans 8:28, Eph 1:1-15). But what they DO NOT say is that God causes everything that happens.

        So Calvinism fails on multiple accounts. It’s self contradictory, and it speculates beyond scripture in multiple ways.

        And what’s your answer to the puppet analogy? Who is to blame for the puppet shooting the member of the audience? The puppet, or the puppeteer? What if I say that the puppeteer was fully controlling the puppet, yet in such a way that the puppet is responsible for the shooting? Is that coherent to you? You think that will be a good argument to take to jury? If the jury convicts the puppeteer, are they “venturing on” into speculation? Or are they instead making a just decision?

      • Adrian

        Flashback while having my Weet-Bix (or maybe my morning coffee makes me annoying)

        you said “We sin because God has given us free will,”

        Can you show me where the Bible says we have been given and still have free will? (btw, not verses that tell us to choose because we know we can choose and that God holds us responsible for our choices, but something that say says we sin entirely by choice and are not influenced by our nature for instance)

      • Scripture teaches the original free will of Adam (Genesis 2:16-17), In the Old Testament God gave people the free will of whether or not to follow him (Joshua 24:15, Deut 30:19-20, Isaiah 55:6-7, Ezek 18:30-32). And today we have a will that is in the process of being freed through the universal drawing of God’s grace (John 1:9. John 3:16, John 16:7-8, Titus 2:11, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-10, 1 Cor 10:13, 2 Peter 3:9, Galatians 5:13, John 7:17, Mark 8:34, Rev 3:20, John 1:12-13).

        If God asks us to do something, does he not give us the strength we need to do it? Or is God a liar?

        Free will comes from God and is part of his plan. The Imago Dei. God wants creatures who love him freely rather than puppets. Jesus didn’t need to die for puppets, he needed to die to make a way for fallen humanity created in his image. It takes a sovereign God to be able to endow creatures with free will. In this way Arminianism better portrays a perfect, loving, and sovereign God, rather than a weak micro-managing God who creates puppets and then blames them for doing what he caused.

      • Adrian

        You’ve given me scriptures that show that God has commanded us to make choices and that there are consequences to those choices but have you really showed me “where the Bible says we have been given and still have free will” as I asked?

        You’ve also asked “If God asks us to do something, does he not give us the strength we need to do it?” to which you add “Or is God a liar?”. So where does scripture say that God gives us the strength to do as He asks? What scripture would have me suggesting God lies? (which He can’t).

        P.S. Decades ago I sat a Math 2D final exam and it was based on what was required of me, not what I could do. The consequence of not doing as required was a huge FAIL.

      • So are you now spending life in prison since you were commanded to take the math test, and failed? And did the teachers prevent you from learning math, cause that’s how they maximize their glory?

      • Adrian

        No, I’m not in prison for failing Math 2D but it illustrates that just because you’re asked to do something it doesn’t mean you can.

        No illustration properly illustrated God because He’s unique; like the dog illustration, the relationship between a person and their pet would only get to be like the relationship between God and man if the person created that pet; and it would still be imperfect.

        Anyway ignoring that nice tangent I’ll repeat:

        You’ve given me scriptures that show that God has commanded us to make choices and that there are consequences to those choices but have you really showed me “where the Bible says we have been given and still have free will” as I asked?

        You’ve also asked “If God asks us to do something, does he not give us the strength we need to do it?” to which you add “Or is God a liar?”. So where does scripture say that God gives us the strength to do as He asks? What scripture would have me suggesting God lies? (which He can’t).

      • Glad to hear you’re not in prison. :) The point is your math analogy isn’t representative of your theology. You are not in prison for failing a test that you were commanded to take, and your teachers did not maximize their glory by causing you to fail. The analogy makes no sense when made consistent with Calvinism.

        You argue that God commands the reprobate to repent without giving them the grace to do so, and maximizes his glory by doing this. But where does scripture teach this? God always tells the truth, and always does what is right. I don’t think God is a liar. I think Calvinism turns him into one.

        You didn’t even address any of the verses I quoted, but just outright rejected them, because they don’t fit your philosophy. Here they are again.

        Scripture teaches the original free will of Adam (Genesis 2:16-17), In the Old Testament God gave people the free will of whether or not to follow him (Joshua 24:15, Deut 30:19-20, Isaiah 55:6-7, Ezek 18:30-32). And today we have a will that is in the process of being freed through the universal drawing of God’s grace (John 1:9. John 3:16, John 16:7-8, Titus 2:11, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-10, 1 Cor 10:13, 2 Peter 3:9, Galatians 5:13, John 7:17, Mark 8:34, Rev 3:20, John 1:12-13

      • Adrian

        Gen 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man ….

        My Math analogy was just to show you can be asked to do something that the ask-er knows you cannot do. When God said that to Adam He knew that Adam would follow his nature and disobey.

        There is nothing in the verse that says anything about the type of will Adam had. You suggest I reject them, I don’t, but neither do I add to them what’s not said.

      • You omitted an important part of the verse. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden….”

      • Adrian

        I agree, the NIV does translate the verses as “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,”

        As the words form part of a command isn’t “free to eat” and “must not eat” about permission rather than ability?

        The NASB puts it this way: “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat”

      • Freedom is about both permission and ability. Or else (in this case) God caused the fall.

    • Curious George

      I think that as long as Adrian affirms that evil comes from man then, even if he affirms determinism at that same time he avoids the “evil God” charge. You can charge him with contradiction maybe but not that. CS Lewis though affirming free will strongly also affirmed determinism sometimes. Like Adrian he left it to God to resolve the contradiction.

      • I’m not saying Adrian believes that God is the source of evil, but instead with exhaustive determinism, that is the only coherent option. A contradiction as you say.

        We all believe that God determines sone things. But not all things. Exhaustive determinism is what I disagree with.

        CS Lewis definitely affirmed an Arminian view of free will. He also held to the eternal now view of foreknowledge, which I think is a plausible view. Take the following quote. Very Arminian.

        ” God has made it a rule for Himself that He won’t alter people’s character by force. He can and will alter them – but only if the people will let Him. In that way He has really and truly limited His power. Sometimes we wonder why He has done so, or even wish that He hadn’t. But apparently He thinks it worth doing. He would rather have a world of free beings, with all its risks, than a world of people who did right like machines because they couldn’t do anything else. The more we succeed in imagining what a world of perfect automatic beings would be like, the more, I think, we shall see His wisdom.

  13. Adrian

    Hi Kevin,

    Just trying to understand how you see things, based on your belief that Genesis 2:16-17 says we have free will, may I ask how you feel when God steps in and doesn’t give a choice.

    God chose to save Noah and his family only, the others didn’t get a chance to repent.

    Abram was chosen with no reason given.

    Isaac was promised then chosen

    Jacob was chosen “so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand,”

    Joseph was sent to Egypt (including time in prison) by God “God sent me before you to preserve life” “God sent me before you to preserve for you” “it was not you who sent me here, but God;” (Gen 45:5.7.8)
    Moses was told to lead Israel out of Egypt

    God declares to Moses that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart (“When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.” Ex 4:21) in fact God said that he didn’t just select someone suitable but “RAISED YOU UP to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.”

    As a result of one man’s hard heart a nation suffers to the extent that the first born “Moses said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.” (Ex 11:4-5) Note the LORD says “I am going out …” “Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt” (Ex 12:29).

    Are you comfortable with God getting in there, getting dirty, but doing things that He wants done for His purposes without giving people a choice?

    • We interpret the Old Testament through the person of Jesus Christ. So when John says that Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, we use that to guide our hermeneutic of the Old Testament. Not the other way around.

      And we know that God is patient. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.

      Again, the OT hermeneutic is understood in the light of what the NT says. We can be certain that God’s judgement comes after he has exhausted all other options. This is true of Pharaoh, the flood, Sodom, and any other punishment that God gives. Sodom is an insightful example, because God said he would spare the city if there were only 10 righteous people. But there were not.

      God’s love for all is seen in the OT too. “The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” Psalm 145:9. Jonah understood the patience of God, and was angry at him for it. “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:2. God’s reply to Jonah was to buck up. That’s a paraphrase. :)

      Regarding election of individuals to a purpose, Arminians agree God does this. God chooses certain people and groups through which his blessings will flow to all other people. Abraham, Jacob (Israel), and Mary are examples of this type of blessing. For example Genesis 12:3 says (of Abraham) “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” This is election to a purpose, not election to salvation.

      • Adrian

        Thanks, I remember now how some consider election being to a purpose not salvation, though I don’t understand that thinking in light of scriptures like:

        From Jesus
        – but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened
        – For false messiahs … will appear … to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
        – his angels … will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other
        – But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.

        From Paul & Peter
        – What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened
        – As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,
        – I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
        – Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect
        – Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces
        – Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election.

        P.S. If I were to make a “puppy” from scratch, i.e. from nothing and there being no “puppies” in existence at the time, would it not be up to me to decide if I’d make one that pooped or not, and if so if I would hold it responsible for such actions and also my response if it did? Also if I was making billions of “puppies” would I not have the right to decide to treat some differently to others?

      • Your previous comment was dealing with the OT, so that’s why my response was specific to that. Abraham, Issac, and Jacob are all examples of election to a purpose. This comes to play in Romans 9 too, as Paul’s argument is tailored to God’s right to elect Israel to fulfill his plans, even when they refuse to obey him. Same with Pharaoh. Same with Joseph’s brothers. This is not unconditional individual election (or reprobation) to salvation, nor does it entail that the “objects of wrath” had to commit evil in order for God’s plan to come about. Rather, God used them even though they were evil.

        There is another kind of election to purpose, and that is God’s choice of Christ as the elect one. We become in Christ when we believe in him. So election in that sense is Christ centered, cross centered, and corporate (in Christ). This is the kind of election in Eph 1. God chooses believers (the corporate group) in Christ before the foundation of the world. We are sealed “in him” (become members of the corporate group) when we hear and believe (Eph 1:13). When election in the NT refers to believers, it is always used in that sense.

        The important thing to note is no where in scripture does it state God unconditionally chooses or reprobates individuals to salvation. Election when it is related to believers is always Christ centered, cross centered, and corporate.

        Regarding the puppy analogy. If you command your puppies to not poop, and then never train them or let them outside to take care of business, then yeah, you’re to blame. I have a dog, and he knows to stand by the door when he wants out. He was pretty easy to train. For further insight, see the puppy meme above. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s