Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I think we did it!!

Here is some more interesting reading on the subject of salvation. We got great input from everyone. . .I'm a poor advocate for the side of the "people" who may or may not be saved. I'm not qualified to do so at this time! CP and KB did great...so did Don and Missy and everyone who participated. We can keep going, of course, but there was something specific I was desperately searching for in starting this dialogue. ** (Scroll down to the** if you're in a hurry!)


Kansas Bob said...
Referring to CP's comment on my comment in Karen's earlier post:I thought it was interesting that CP pointed out that Calvinism is in some respects really Universalism on a much smaller scale because people are seen as powerless ones having no choice in this most important matter.My point in bringing in the timeless perspective is to say that God predestines people based on His foreknowledge (as He is outside of time) of their choices. That said I have to say that my theology is not so narrow that I think that God has a litany of choices that people make but I do think that we are not simply
Divine Calvinistic/Universalist Pets ... but I could be wrong ... been wrong before :)
codepoke said...
It's a really slow night in codepokeville, so I hope you'll forgive me if I continue. You know it's a favorite subject of mine, anyway. > My point in bringing in the timeless perspective is to say that God predestines people based on His foreknowledge (as He is outside of time) of their choices.I don't know whether it was clear in my reply to you that I heard and understood your point. Yes, seeing the end from the beginning, God would know at the beginning whom to "choose" to get His eternal will to align with what our human will eventually determined. This just doesn't make enough sense to me, though. And it leaves out God's part in the drama of conversion. God plays an active role in the whole show. The question is, "What role?"> I do think that we are not simply Divine Calvinistic/Universalist Pets You surely remember just how very, very much I loved that post of yours, right? You hit on real gold when you put it out there. You wrote as a purely anti-predestinational post, but it's 100% true. God is looking for lovers, friends, and confidants, not pets. Needless to say, I don't believe being predestined makes me a pet. It's being saved by my free will that could make me a pet! Predestination certainly makes me a child. Do you think I can back that preposterous statement up?Picture a young couple. They can't seem to have any children yet, and are pretty depressed, but one day a dog adopts them (of its own free will.) They keep the dog. The dog gets lonely, so they go out and buy a dog. Now they have two dogs, one of its own free will and one enslaved. One glorious day, though, they discover the young lady will soon be a young mother. Several months later, they have a child. One dog chose them and the other didn't, but neither of them is human. Only the child is human, but the child had no free will in the issue. The child cannot even choose to run away, though both of the pets is free to do so at any time. Just so, as a human, I can choose to "be christian" but what does it mean? It just means I'm hanging out in God's house of my own free will. That makes me one of God's pets. I'm not really a child of God yet, but I'm exercising my free will and calling myself a Christian. Only that which is born of Spirit that is spirit. It is the transformation from dead to alive that matters. It's the point at which we quit being human, and start being spiritual that life begins. We "believe" and are saved the same way a baby cries at birth and everyone rejoices - it's a reflex action to being alive and suddenly surrounded by pneuma. You could say the baby was alive because it breathed and not exactly be wrong, but the life had to come before the breathing. Look at John 3:18 this way. John 3:18He that breathes is alive: but he that breathes not is already dead, because he is not breathing. 3:18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. It never says that the believing saves. It says the opposite. And yet, we are required to believe. The baby must breathe, and we must believe. If we did not believe, we would quit being alive, but that will never happen. This perspective is the only thing that makes John 1:12,13 make sense:But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Somehow we all believed without our will being involved. But that's not hard to imagine if we find it was the will of God that gave birth to us so that we could believe. And if that means that we have no more choice in our salvation than a baby has in being born, is that so hard to believe? > but I could be wrong ... been wrong before :) Yeah. Me too. Praise the Lord He accepted us, by whatever means - even if it's yours. :-)

codepoke said...
Karen,> My thoughts are that perhaps those who do not believe, or do the most wicked of things are punished for what may seem like an eternity, but may only be for a time.Have you looked at those 62 uses of the word, eon, Karen? If so, do you not see the same problem I do? The authors use the exact same word to describe how long the dead will be dead as they use to describe how long the living will be alive. For example:Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal (eon) life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. The people who want to limit "eon" limit it only in select places that suit a preconceived argument.So, when Matthew says:Mt 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world (eon). He seems to me to say that this age, this eon, will end with the destruction of the tares. In the next eon, there will be only the saved. Or what does this verse mean?Mr 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world (eon) to come eternal (eon) life. If eon means a limited time, then the verse is really saying, "... in the age to come you will have life that ends with that age."The Greeks well understood the concept of eternity. And this is the word they used to describe that concept. There is no other word that means "even longer, ageless age." You have "eon" and that's it. The 62 verses make it clear that there are ages that end and ages that do not, and there's no reason within the texts in question to assume that the age of hell in particular is limited. Of course, as I've said before, I believe this age ends, and it ends with the destruction of the unbelievers.
Karen said...
wow...this is all good stuff, I love it.I'm going through your comments. Hmmm. I feel stupid.... :-)CP...what's the point of evangelism if only some are saved? What's the point of spreading the good news if it doesn't apply to some? And, seriously, for me...if we don't have a choice in our salvation, what's the point? I could be talking to God every night, thinking I have a relationship with Him, and BOOM...off to Hades I go after falling into a hole. Frankly, with a God like that...I don't know if I'd want to be with him. I don't think He's like that. What's the point of Jesus sending his disciples out to the Gentiles if salvation is already decided beforehand? The "sent ones" or apostles weren't necessary, and Paul's journeys would be pointless. God would already have instilled the belief in His saved.The problem with free will to believe or not to be saved is that WE are the key to being saved. I agree that it isn't a free will thing, but for different reasons than you state. You say, if I'm understanding, that it's already in our spirit to believe...those of us that might be saved. I say, we do have free will...but we could ALL be saved...because:We aren't saved because we believe....we believe BECAUSE we are saved! Re:"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."It does indeed sound to me like you have to believe to be saved which is contrary to what you said--you said it was the opposite? If God gave us our belief, or has withheld it in others (Romans 11:8 and Romans 11:32..and Romans 9:)that indeed seems pretty meddlesome--and a very sad set-up.
karen said...
I'm still studying eon. :-)
Kansas Bob said...
CP wrote:You wrote as a purely anti-predestinational post, but it's 100% true.I believe in predestination ... that He predestines us based on his foreknowledge of our choices and actions. Karen wrote:The problem with free will to believe or not to be saved is that WE are the key to being saved.Here in is the rub :) Calvinists(and others) believe so much in the depravity of man that they MUST exclude man when they think about the important things of the Spirit. It reduces man to a higher form of ape. Why not believe that we are created in God's very own image with the ability to be drawn (or not) to the Father?It is what I mean when I say that we are not simply divine pets with no choice at all in the matter - we are more than pets ... we are gloriously made by an awesome God. I think that when we exclude man from any part in salvation we call man to a dark place where it is normal to liveout his depravity.Then again who knows?
Missy said...
Ahhh... the chicken or the egg thing, again.depravity: the quality of state of being depraveddepraved: to make morally bad or evil, or to be morally bad or evilSo was man made bad or does man make bad?

**And then:
chris said...
I don't really want to get involved in this discussion, but it's cool that it is being discussed with kindness and dignity.

And THAT'S what I was searching for!!! :-D ><>

4 comments:

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

This could be a chapter in a book if you plan to write one! Great stuff and I also LOVE what Chris said!

chris said...

Funny, I figured my comment to be trivial.

karen said...

One drop in the water makes a big ripple, Chris.

Missy said...

True, that.