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10 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2008 - 2:12AM #21
jeanette1
Posts: 738
Caleb
I love the psalms but aren't they written from a Jewish perspective? Weren't the psalms written mostly while they were in captivity and of course hated their enemies?

I think on this topic I'm very much in line with what Rjak and Dutch . God wants us all to love Him but he won't force himself on us. Love does not force or bully. Where Paul sums up what "Love" is ,in his letter to the Corinthians ,he is describing a way we should try be and the way God is.
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2008 - 2:27AM #22
calebevans218
Posts: 454
[QUOTE=jeanette1;427696]Caleb
I love the psalms but aren't they written from a Jewish perspective? Weren't the psalms written mostly while they were in captivity and of course hated their enemies?

I think on this topic I'm very much in line with what Rjak and Dutch . God wants us all to love Him but he won't force himself on us. Love does not force or bully. Where Paul sums up what "Love" is ,in his letter to the Corinthians ,he is describing a way we should try be and the way God is.[/QUOTE]

Jeanette,

I respect your opinion and acknowledge the fact that many of the greatest minds in the history of the Church have disagreed on this matter. I'd like to see exactly why you feel the way that you do, from a scriptural perspective. I'd particularly like to see you engage the biblical texts I cited earlier in the thread.

In Christ,
Caleb (Who has apparently been reading too much J.I. Packer :))
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2008 - 10:51AM #23
withfearandtrembling
Posts: 138

Christ absolutely pursues every last one of his lost sheep. Having said that, Jesus recognized that not all are children of God in the fullest sense.



Then why does he "pursue" them if He recognizes they are not God's children and He has absolutely no intention of extending to them His "irresistible grace"? What does he pursue them FOR? Or are you saying that when he said he left the 99 sheep to seek out the one, those 100 sheep were ALL his "elect", and when he left the 9 coins to seek out the 1, those 10 coins were ALL his "elect"? And we he left the elder son to run to the prodigal, those 2 sons were ALL his "elect"?  It appears to me that this argument can only be maintained by adding to countless scriptures the qualification of "elect" where no such word exists.

I absolutely cannot reconcile in my mind the picture of a God who withholds his irresistible grace from some and the Father who flies down the lane and falls on the neck of his son even before he repents. I cannot reconcile it with the Christ who prayed on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing." If he MEANT that prayer, and he has this "irresistible grace," how could he possibly withhold it? Or were His crucifiers His "elect" too?

I think you are reading too much into John 6:37 if you think it means that God elected, before the foundation of the world, certain people to be saved. When David prophesied that God would “give” the “nations” (i.e. the Gentiles) to Christ as an inheritance, does that mean that all Gentiles were predestined to salvation? Furthermore, read on to verse 45—"It is written in the Prophets: they will ALL be taught by God. Everyone who listens to the Father AND LEARNS from him comes to me." Doesn't that imply that all are exposed to His grace, and some receive it and come to him and some resist it and don't come to him?

I don't see why John 8:42-44 can't be interpreted as referring to people who choose, of their own free will, to reject the wisdom Christ, and who therefore shut their ears to Him, making themselves incapable of understanding Him. I don't think he's speaking in a LITERAL sense, that some children are children of God and some of the devil, for we are all God's children, all His creation.  What he is saying is, if you've really chosen to believe in God, then you should recognize me, because I AM God, and I'm standing right in front of you at this moment.  Perhaps those God-believers who have heard of Christ only through human channels can be forgiven for not recognizing Him, but if He is LITERALLY standing right in front of you, the only way you can NOT recognize Him is if you haven't truly accepted God as your Father.

At the root of all this, however, is the emotional problem for me: I can't worship this God who predestines some to be saved and some to be damned, who has this thing called "irresistible grace" and yet chooses NOT to extend it. Not to get too polemical, but I tend to react, viscerally, as does John Wesley: "To say, then, he did not intend to save all sinners, is to represent him as a gross deceiver of the people. You cannot deny that he says, 'Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden.' If, then, you say he calls those that cannot come; those whom he knows to be unable to come; those whom he can MAKE able to come, but WILL NOT; how is it possible to describe greater insincerity? You represent him as mocking his helpless creatures, by offering what he never intends to give. You describe him as saying one thing, and meaning another…then especially, when, drawing nigh the city, He wept over it, and said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often WOULD I have gathered thy children together, -- and YE WOULD NOT"…Now, if you say, THEY WOULD, but HE would NOT, you represent him (which who could hear?) as weeping crocodiles' tears; weeping over the prey which himself had doomed to destruction!. . . And here I fix my foot...You represent God as worse than the devil; more false, more cruel, more unjust. But you say you will prove it by scripture. Hold! What will you prove by Scripture? That God is worse than the devil? It cannot be. Whatever that Scripture proves, it never can prove this."

I could be a Methodist, I suppose, if I didn't love the Anglican liturgy and my particular congregation so much.

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10 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2008 - 1:29PM #24
calebevans218
Posts: 454
[QUOTE=withfearandtrembling;428048]Then why does he "pursue" them if He recognizes they are not God's children and He has absolutely no intention of extending to them His "irresistible grace"? What does he pursue them FOR? Or are you saying that when he said he left the 99 sheep to seek out the one, those 100 sheep were ALL his "elect", and when he left the 9 coins to seek out the 1, those 10 coins were ALL his "elect"? And we he left the elder son to run to the prodigal, those 2 sons were ALL his "elect"?  It appears to me that this argument can only be maintained by adding to countless scriptures the qualification of "elect" where no such word exists.

I absolutely cannot reconcile in my mind the picture of a God who withholds his irresistible grace from some and the Father who flies down the lane and falls on the neck of his son even before he repents. I cannot reconcile it with the Christ who prayed on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing." If he MEANT that prayer, and he has this "irresistible grace," how could he possibly withhold it? Or were His crucifiers His "elect" too?

I think you are reading too much into John 6:37 if you think it means that God elected, before the foundation of the world, certain people to be saved. When David prophesied that God would “give” the “nations” (i.e. the Gentiles) to Christ as an inheritance, does that mean that all Gentiles were predestined to salvation? Furthermore, read on to verse 45—"It is written in the Prophets: they will ALL be taught by God. Everyone who listens to the Father AND LEARNS from him comes to me." Doesn't that imply that all are exposed to His grace, and some receive it and come to him and some resist it and don't come to him?

I don't see why John 8:42-44 can't be interpreted as referring to people who choose, of their own free will, to reject the wisdom Christ, and who therefore shut their ears to Him, making themselves incapable of understanding Him. I don't think he's speaking in a LITERAL sense, that some children are children of God and some of the devil, for we are all God's children, all His creation.  What he is saying is, if you've really chosen to believe in God, then you should recognize me, because I AM God, and I'm standing right in front of you at this moment.  Perhaps those God-believers who have heard of Christ only through human channels can be forgiven for not recognizing Him, but if He is LITERALLY standing right in front of you, the only way you can NOT recognize Him is if you haven't truly accepted God as your Father.

At the root of all this, however, is the emotional problem for me: I can't worship this God who predestines some to be saved and some to be damned, who has this thing called "irresistible grace" and yet chooses NOT to extend it. Not to get too polemical, but I tend to react, viscerally, as does John Wesley: "To say, then, he did not intend to save all sinners, is to represent him as a gross deceiver of the people. You cannot deny that he says, 'Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden.' If, then, you say he calls those that cannot come; those whom he knows to be unable to come; those whom he can MAKE able to come, but WILL NOT; how is it possible to describe greater insincerity? You represent him as mocking his helpless creatures, by offering what he never intends to give. You describe him as saying one thing, and meaning another…then especially, when, drawing nigh the city, He wept over it, and said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often WOULD I have gathered thy children together, -- and YE WOULD NOT"…Now, if you say, THEY WOULD, but HE would NOT, you represent him (which who could hear?) as weeping crocodiles' tears; weeping over the prey which himself had doomed to destruction!. . . And here I fix my foot...You represent God as worse than the devil; more false, more cruel, more unjust. But you say you will prove it by scripture. Hold! What will you prove by Scripture? That God is worse than the devil? It cannot be. Whatever that Scripture proves, it never can prove this."

I could be a Methodist, I suppose, if I didn't love the Anglican liturgy and my particular congregation so much.[/QUOTE]

It is very clear from those passages that not all are Christ's sheep, just as not all are children of the Father. There is no way of getting around that without doing disservice to what the text actually says. Christ's sheep always hear His voice. Those who do not believe in Him are not Christ's sheep; it's as simple as that.

Of course those who choose to reject God do so of their own free will. I am not arguing against the free moral agency of man; I am simply arguing that the will of man is always, always, always inclined to evil, until liberated by the Holy Spirit. The full beauty of God is revealed and the veil is lifted. It's not as if it is some mechanical, robotic process. After regeneration, we have free will in the fullest sense. We can choose to sin and we can choose not to sin.

Of course, we must keep things in the proper perspective. God does not predestine the reprobate to be damned in the same way that he predestines the elect to eternal life. Election is active, while reprobation is passive. What I mean by this is that God performs an active work of grace in the elect.  The reprobate are simply left to their own devices.

Indeed, on the day of judgment, none will be able to say that God showed them no lovingkindness. God, in His common grace and general benevolence towards all of humanity causes the sun to rise on the righteous and the wicked. The offer of the Gospel goes out to all men. When all is said and done, none of us deserve eternal life. God would be just if, this very instant, the sun ceased to shine, judgment came upon us all, and we were cast into the depths of hell. God owes us absolutely nothing, nothing at all. Before regeneration, we are rebels who deserve nothing but death.

Here is an article on the passage concerning Christ weeping over Jerusalem from a Reformed perspective:

http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/arti … il.php?436

In Christ,
Caleb
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2008 - 1:04AM #25
jeanette1
Posts: 738
Ok ...I'm the world's slowest typer as some of you know,so I will keep this short.

Many are called, but few are chosen (Mt 22:14), the chosen being those who are in Christ.. I believe the call is to all people, all are invited to share in the inheritance but many will choose of their own free will to have no part of it.
I find it difficult to take a verse and try to make arguments on it because you can always find a verse that will counter the argument. As a Christian I believe that all who come to Christ on their own free will are Christ's own..although he did speak of another flock who were also his..lol...you're right about great minds disagreeing! My mind isn't very great. I'm just a simple woman with a simple faith  who simply doesn't get it sometimes. :)
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2008 - 2:05AM #26
calebevans218
Posts: 454
[QUOTE=jeanette1;440113]Ok ...I'm the world's slowest typer as some of you know,so I will keep this short.

Many are called, but few are chosen (Mt 22:14), the chosen being those who are in Christ.. I believe the call is to all people, all are invited to share in the inheritance but many will choose of their own free will to have no part of it.
I find it difficult to take a verse and try to make arguments on it because you can always find a verse that will counter the argument. As a Christian I believe that all who come to Christ on their own free will are Christ's own..although he did speak of another flock who were also his..lol...you're right about great minds disagreeing! My mind isn't very great. I'm just a simple woman with a simple faith  who simply doesn't get it sometimes. :)[/QUOTE]

Jeanette,

I agree that many are called, but few are chosen. Of course the call is to all people. My belief, however, is that all people will, because all are naturally inclined to evil, choose to reject it. I believe that only the chosen will accept the call because of irresistible grace. Like I said, though, it's not as if it makes people into mindless robots. John Calvin had this to say:

"The will is not destroyed but rather repaired by grace."

I would certainly assert that you're mind is far greater than you're willing to admit. Having said that, there's nothing wrong with simple faith. We're not saved by theological systems, but by faith in the Lord Jesus. :)

In Christ,
Caleb
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2008 - 1:24AM #27
jeanette1
Posts: 738
Caleb
I will certainly think about what you've presented ..you know I have a great respect for your understanding of scripture and you always argue your position beautifully...I really hope you do become a priest because I know you will make a great one and Lord knows the Church could use a few of them! :)
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8 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2009 - 5:44PM #28
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

The 39 articles started my journey from TEC to Protestantism. In many ways, it was antithetical to what I was taught in my local parish church. We have the Oxford Movement to thank for that. My rector dismissed them as "historic documents"  but I tend to take seriously what the Church publishes as articles of Religion.  


The 39 Articles is quite Protestant in nature and is sharply critical of Roman Catholic  beliefs and practices such as Transubtansiation, the use of images and invocation of saints which was delared by the Articles as being"repugnant to the Word of God."


The 39 Articles present a more stout system of belief than what Episcopalians are getting today. They are the application( albeit Protestant) of both the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds.


Even without the 39 Articles, but most especially with them, the faithful teaching and application of the Nicene and Apostle's Creeds would defend the Church against accusations of apostasy and against apostasy itself. (Apostasy by definition is departure from and denial of the Faith once and for all delivered to the Saints.)

For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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