WHAT CALVIN DIDN’T UNDERSTAND and you probably didn’t either.

Calvin has been put on a pedestal by some. It should be understood by anyone that knows the God that created everything, that no man except Jesus should be viewed as a hero. Calvin especially should not be viewed as a hero, because he paints a picture of an unfair God. The more one learns about the one true God the more it becomes obvious that our Father would not be unfair to anyone. Perfect justice demands perfect fairness or it is not just at all.

I have found that most people do not understand the very basics of the Word of God. I suppose that is the result of listening to others and believing what they say without carefully comparing it to Scripture. Look what God recommends that any student do. (Acts 17:11 NIV) “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

Paul had even worked miracles and yet it is said that those who doubted him were of more noble character than those who did not. Be noble of character and doubt what I say, but do not stop with me. Doubt what any man says about Scripture, no matter his or her position in the Church. What man in the Church could be more important than Paul? Compare everything, everyday to Scripture to see if what anyone said is true.

OK, so what did Calvin say that does not agree with Scripture? Many things, but I will show you just one basic thing today: more later.

Calvin said that the original sin was imputed to all mankind, but the truth is Calvin didn’t even know what the original sin was. Most teachers teach that the original sin, or first sin happened when Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and most students, not being Bereans just accept what is said, because it sounds right. Student, it is time to get more noble.

First, notice that the tree is called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. God told them that when they ate from it they would surely die. They did not have the knowledge of good and evil, and they did not until they ate from the tree, in other words they did not know right from wrong and because they didn’t know God did not condemn them and they lived. But when they knew God did condemn them, what could be fairer than that? “O” it would only be fairer if God had warned them and of course He did!

When they ate from the tree and acquired the knowledge of good and evil, they hid from God. When God called to Adam, “Where are you”? Adam didn’t say ‘We hid from you because we disobeyed you by eating from the tree in the middle of the garden. He said “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked”.

If you think about what I said it is clear that Adam had already sinned by being naked before God. (Gen 2:25 NIV) “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” They should have felt shame because they were sinning. Though it was a sin to disobey God by eating from the tree it was not the first sin.

The first sin is being uncovered before God. It is the unforgivable sin and the whole Word of God is about the Spiritual covering that God made, how and where to find it, and how to put it on. And of course when the need for it is understood, and it is found, only a fool would not put it on.

Adam was free to eat from the tree and free not to. God only warned Adam and Eve. He did not make either eat or not eat, but when they did, and yes He knew they would, He condemned them both. He did not condemn one and not the other. It would not have been fair or just to condemn one and not the other for the same thing.

Calvin’s exegesis is dangerous because he comes close to truth like the serpent did in Genesis when he said (Gen 3:4 NIV) “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” It probably seemed to Adam and Eve that the serpent was right because they did not immediately die and they did both know good and evil.

Calvin said the first sin was imputed to all mankind and he was right in that all mankind need a covering for their sin, but that covering is for their own sin and not the knowledge of sin and not the sin of Adam or anyone else. The knowledge of sin is what allows us to understand that we need the covering. The knowledge of sin comes from the Law and just as everyone shares the same breath of life that God breathed into Adam we also share the knowledge of good and evil. No one will be able to claim ignorance of the Law at the end of time.

Calvin claims God chooses some to be saved and others not to be, but God says it is sin that separates man from Him. If Calvin would be right then God would be unjust to those who will not be allowed to don the Covering that God made. If I am right it is the man that condemns himself and God is not guilty of anything unjust: and rest assured I am right, God is not guilty of anything unjust.

Calvin claims that when a child dies it is condemned, but if the child has yet to sin it needs no covering. And just like Adam and Eve, if the child does not yet understand even though it has sinned, it will not be condemned.

I have more to say, but that is enough for now. Be like a Berean and test what I said against Scripture to see if what I said was true. Be wise and do not test it against what Calvin said or even worse what some man said that Calvin said.

18 Responses to WHAT CALVIN DIDN’T UNDERSTAND and you probably didn’t either.

  1. Susejevoli says:

    “If you think about what I said it is clear that Adam had already sinned by being naked before God.”

    I’m either missing something big or this sounds completely ridiculous. Where in the Bible does it explicitly say appearing naked before God is a sin? This sounds completely warped to me. It is more likely that you interpreted it wrong than Calvin or other scholars being wrong. I mean after all you are the one operating under the delusion that God’s Word is written for you.

    Maybe you should take your own advice and be more like a Berean. They probably examined the Scriptures correctly by reading God’s Word in context of the relevant time and culture, and therefore extracted the timeless PRINCIPLE that is applicable to all.

    It wasn’t them being naked that was wrong; it was their REALIZATION that they were naked after they sinned that made them conclude it was wrong (they knew what they had done could not be hidden from God). At that point, they sought a covering for their nakedness.

    It is more likely a metaphor: when each of us realizes we are sinners, we feel “naked” and crave a “covering.” Just as God provided the covering for Adam and Eve by sacrificing something innocent, He provides a “covering” for our sins by having sacrificed His innocent Son.

    If some of my sins were laid bare before others, i would feel pretty shameful, but being naked in itself before say… my wife, or God. There’s no shame in that. Sin is what causes shame.

    I sincerely hope God would pour His wrath onto your pride soon. Not only has it blinded you to some major personal faults, but also caused you to be a little too quick to denounce Godly men who were blessed by God more abundantly than yourself.

    I’m so glad the Church still has enough sense not to let you say the things that you come up (if there be any truth in the slogan of your blog). “Test it against the Scriptures?” Doing this and pointing out the flaws in your interpretation is about as productive as doing the same to a Mormon.

    Could you do me a little favor and delete my comment about you on the about page. It’s the last one, i would do it myself but i can’t, leaving it there will just deceive others who come here.

    Thanks, i’m starting to understand what the face of danger from within the Church looks like.

  2. charles says:

    You said: “Compare everything, everyday to Scripture to see if what anyone said is true.”

    Correct. While you ignorantly speak of imaginary people who put Calvin on a pedestal, I have done nothing BUT quote scripture to explain why I believe as I do. You have done nothing but appeal to your own imaginary sense of fairness – derived merely from the human philosophy you truly worship. At best, you attempt to quote one or two verses out of context…when I have already shown clearly that 1Tim2 is not referring to every single person, but rather “all kinds” of people.

    You said: “If you think about what I said it is clear that Adam had already sinned by being naked before God. (Gen 2:25 NIV) “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” They should have felt shame because they were sinning. Though it was a sin to disobey God by eating from the tree it was not the first sin.”

    As a Berean, I would note that the Bible does NOT say they were sinning by being naked. They spoke to God daily and were unashamed because they had no reason for shame. If their nakedness had bothered God, He would have clothed them. God made them like that and called it good. God walked with them – their relationship was marked by intimacy and openness because there was NO sin dividing man from God. When they needed clothing AFTER they sinned by eating the fruit, God acknowledged their new shame by providing a covering by shedding blood. (Yet you argue that God left them naked while they were sinning against Him before the fall…nonsense!)

    You said: “Adam was free to eat from the tree and free not to. God only warned Adam and Eve. He did not make either eat or not eat, but when they did, and yes He knew they would…”

    If God knew for certain that they WOULD eat from the tree, then there is no reality in saying that they were “free” not to eat. God did not make them eat…God did not compel or force them to eat…but “the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world” – there is no truth to saying that they were “free” in any real sense to do otherwise. It was written in stone.

    You said: “Calvin claims that when a child dies it is condemned…”

    You have lied about what Calvin taught before and continue to invent imaginary quotations with no context. You seem to be at home with the father of lies. Your quote is untrue…it only took 5 minutes on google to uncover this lie – if you claim to be a student, I will presume you are not being just lazy but deliberately dishonest. Someone committed to truth would have admitted that Calvin teaches that many children should be presumed SAVED, but that some are still subject to judgment – and disagreed with Calvin on that specific point rather than misrepresenting the truth – and many Calvinists would have agreed with you (though they would have consulted scripture, which you have NOT done). You presume to judge others, saying they don’t “understand the very basics of the Word of God”, yet you base your arguments on your own imagination rather than facts… But you will answer for your continued pride and dishonesty to Someone else.

    As a Berean, I know that while you continue to lie, that scripture is true:

    Psa 51:5Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

    Gen8:21The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though EVERY inclination of his heart is evil from CHILDHOOD.

    Psa58:3 Even from BIRTH the wicked go astray; from the WOMB they are wayward and speak lies.

    Eph2:1As for you, you were DEAD in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were BY NATURE objects of wrath.

    You teach that babies are innocent but scripture teaches that we are sinful from birth and by nature, objects of wrath. We grow up to commit acts of sin because we are sinners by nature – we merely reveal what has been in our hearts all along.

    When God commands Israel to commit all of those living in the promised land to destruction, men and women, young and old, was He wrong to demand the deaths of children and infants and judge them just as He judged their parents? You assume that those infants are too young to be guilty of sin, yet God requires their death. Isn’t that “the wages of sin?”

    And why does Paul teach that children with 2 unbelieving parents would be UNCLEAN?

    1Cor7:14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be UNCLEAN, but as it is, they are holy.

    This brings up what it means for children of believers to be “clean” or “holy.” As Peter teaches in Acts “The promise is for you (believers) and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Calvin certainly believed in this promise of God. While Rom9 teaches us that faith has nothing to do with genetics, faith does relate entirely to the promise of God – therefore, Christian parents have a foundation for teaching their children to obey God and pray to Him. Outward obedience and mere words of a child without faith are worthless, but if a parent can count on God to provide faith, then prayer and acts of faith become genuine. And if faith/belief is a gift of God, then God is free to give it to anyone He wishes…even a baby…such as when John the Baptist leapt in the womb to acknowledge the Son of God.

    Is it as simple as pagan babies go to Hell while the babies of believers are all saved? Based on actual scripture rather than imaginary and unscriptural teachings that nakedness was sin before the fall, Calvin definitely leaned that way. You imply that Calvin taught that ALL children who die are condemned but that is ignorant at best. (You arrogantly claim to teach “what Calvin didn’t understand” yet what you teach about Calvin is consistently shown to be nothing but lies.)

    On the other hand, most Calvinists today just leave it up to God. What Calvin believed is not an issue, despite your ignorant claims of putting Calvin on a pedestal. God does not give us a lot of details in scripture and it is unproductive to speculate. We know that God is good and He will do good. Is it possible that He chooses all infants who die as His elect and gives them saving faith…Yes. (It is true that infants are not guilty of the “deeds” in Rev 20:12.) But is God obligated to consider all infants as innocent because some people defy scripture to claim that is true? No. God has the right to judge them, but He also has the freedom to give them grace…and we trust that He will do right.

    You strike me as very simpleminded and the word “Calvinist” may be causing you a lot of confusion. If you prefer, you can just use the word “Reformed.” Being a “Calvinist” implies no allegiance at all to Calvin, it merely means someone who agrees with Calvin that salvation is of the Lord…that it is because of Him that we are in Christ Jesus. Most “Calvinists” never bother to read Calvin. Far from putting him on a pedestal, most would disagree with him on several issues – political, baptistic, whatever. But it’s simpler to be identified by a single word when discussing issues of salvation rather than reciting doctrinal lists every single time something comes up. We prefer to be known simply as Christians, but to clarify that we are not like those of you who boast in yourself…we use the word “Calvinist” to specify what kind of Christian.

    You said: “Calvin’s exegesis is dangerous because he comes close to truth…”

    Then your so-called “exegesis” should be as safe as cotton, because you run from truth. You barely manage to quote a single verse and then babble on about what you imagine it means…with no connection to the rest of scripture. The bible teaches that Adam and Eve talked with God daily…He never suggested that they ought to wear clothing, yet you foolishly do, assuming that God would not even teach them to avoid sin.

    You are no “student” – you lack teachability. You lie and say that Calvin taught “If Calvin was right then no one can make disciples, baptizing has no worth, and neither does teaching. If it is only God that chooses then nothing matters.” But you are the one who claims that only the Holy Spirit can teach you and that men are flawed and useless for discipling you. You blame Calvin, who did NOT teach that…Yet you are the one arguing that human teaching has no value. The bible teaches that you will be judged by the same measure you use to judge others: you have condemned yourself.

    You say that “Calvin preached basically that man is totally worthless.” Calvin actually taught that “We ought to consider…what excellence he has bestowed upon them above the rest of living beings.” Your lies are again obvious.

    When called out for your lies…you refuse to admit them and learn. Regardless of your age, you are merely an arrogant punk. You claim to “believe” in Jesus, yet you deny what He says. He is the Truth…If He were your Lord, you would desire to obey Him yet you continue to recklessly spread lies. Who is your real father then? Will you demonstrate the repentance that comes from true faith or continue to harden your heart?

    It’s fine if you disagree with Calvin, he was flawed and would be the first to admit it. But start to disagree with honesty and integrity. Put aside your willingness to lie and misrepresent the truth and learn balance. Stop proudly assuming that you know more about the bible than everyone else, and begin to understand that you have a lot to learn and need to ask more questions than you need to offer answers based in your own imagination rather than based in scripture.

  3. astudent says:

    charles,

    Well, I didn’t know that you were imaginary!

    I have to ask what makes you think my sense of fairness is in any way imaginary? Do you really think that if you had the power that it would be fair to condemn one man and save another, when both are guilty of the same sin just because you wanted to? That is what you are saying our Father will do. My sense of fairness comes from the Spirit within: the natural man has no sense of fairness.

    I don’t see that 1Tim 2 is referring to all kinds of people. Though all people would include all kinds of people. The definition of “pas” is pas; includ. all the forms of declension; appar. a prim. word; all, any, every, the whole:–all (manner of, means) alway (-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no (-thing), X throughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever. It is not “all kinds”. Well unless it has to be to fit your theology. What is the definition of “is”?

    The NIV and the KJV both say God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. It does not say “all kinds”. That is Scripture with out human philosophy. To say otherwise is human philosophy. I am not changing the meaning though it seems as if you are.

    God uses physical or worldly examples to teach man spiritual lessons. After all this world is all we know as we have not seen the spiritual world, so God has to use examples that we can understand. Of course God knew what Adam and Eve looked like unclothed. The lesson was spiritual and it was that we all need a covering for our sin. To repeat myself Adam did not say, ‘we hid from you because we sinned’, but he said “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And God did not say ‘The man has now sinned so he must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.’ He said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” It was because Adam knew the difference between good and evil that led to his death.

    If eating from the tree was a sin then how is it that it made Adam like God? (The man has now become like one of us) God doesn’t sin, so sinning could not make one like God: it would show him different from God. It was eating from the tree that made Adam like God. If knowing good and evil is an act of sin then why was God pleased when Solomon ask for a discerning heart to distinguish between right and wrong? Solomon was actually asking for more fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    You say that because God knew that they would eat from the tree then there is no reality in saying that they were free not to eat, but just because God knows what a man will do does not mean He makes them do it. If God made them, which is the only other possibility that I see, then God made them sin. Surely you would not argue that God makes men sin, would you?

    I have not lied about what Calvin taught. If Calvin taught that even one child was condemned he was as wrong as if he said all children were condemned. Children who are not old enough to know good and evil would no more be condemned by a just God than Adam and Eve were; until they knew.
    If it is the nature of a child to sin and yet the child has not sinned then he or she is not guilty. Just because one is prone to sin does not make one guilty of sin. Only actually committing sin makes one guilty. I am sure God would not judge any baby guilty of sin when they could not have committed any.
    When God demanded Israel to destroy all of the people living in any land the children were saved because He did so. Though they were slain they went to live with God, because they were innocent and their parents were condemned because they were guilty and they knew it. What seems cruel to those who do not understand God’s mercy is really not. Everyone must die the first death, whether it is by a sword or it comes in one’s sleep. The important thing is where one ends up. God does not condemn the innocent: no way, no how.
    If one reads 1 Cor 7:14 with a preconceived idea that God chooses without any regard to what a man does then it seems as though the child is made holy because the parents are believers. One thing that we would have to do is disregard Ezekiel 18:1-32 (NIV) The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “‘The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?” As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son–both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die. “Suppose there is a righteous man who does what is just and right. He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife or lie with a woman during her period. He does not oppress anyone, but returns what he took in pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. He does not lend at usury or take excessive interest. He withholds his hand from doing wrong and judges fairly between man and man. He follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws. That man is righteous; he will surely live, declares the Sovereign LORD. “Suppose he has a violent son, who sheds blood or does any of these other things (though the father has done none of them): “He eats at the mountain shrines. He defiles his neighbor’s wife. He oppresses the poor and needy. He commits robbery. He does not return what he took in pledge. He looks to the idols. He does detestable things. He lends at usury and takes excessive interest. Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he will surely be put to death and his blood will be on his own head. “But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things: “He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife. He does not oppress anyone or require a pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. He withholds his hand from sin and takes no usury or excessive interest. He keeps my laws and follows my decrees. He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people. “Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. “But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? “But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die. “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin, he will die for it; because of the sin he has committed he will die. But if a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will save his life. Because he considers all the offenses he has committed and turns away from them, he will surely live; he will not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust? “Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
    God says in Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” The child that grows up in a home with no believers receives no proper training and when he or she is old enough to understand will be condemned. But a child with even one parent that believes will be trained.
    It seems inconsistent to me to say God chooses regardless of what man does and then say God chooses because a parent was a believer. Yes, I know a Calvinist will say that God made the parent believe, but that would be unfair to the child that God didn’t make believe.
    I need some help here. How could it be fair to everyone if God made some believe and not others? I am looking for the basic reason that separates our views and that is, if not the only one, certainly a major one.
    Have you considered that Paul makes it clear in verse 1 Cor 7:12 that it is him speaking and not the Lord? Would you ascribe the words to God when Paul stated it was only his own words?
    I do not argue that God can give faith to anyone that He wants. God is God and God can do anything. The basic question is would it be fair to everyone to give faith to some and not to others? And because it would not be fair there is something basically wrong with any doctrine that would promote such an idea.
    Why do you say that I am defying Scripture when I say babies are innocent until they sin? That is just common sense. It seems to me that anyone who would say that God would condemn the innocent is the one who is defying Scripture.

    A perfect man could ignore the things that you have said about me. Though I am far from perfect I am trying. You have judged me, not from Scripture, but from your ideas of Scripture and you have added a requirement for salvation and that is I must understand as you do, even though it would show God as unjust if I did. If I believe in free will then I am lost. There can be no doubt that I am free to believe God is just or not. And I believe He is.

    You accused me of proudly assuming that I know more about the Bible than “anyone” else when I made no such claim. I do claim to know more about free will than you or even Calvin. Someone that doesn’t even believe there is such a thing as “free will” could not know much about it. If I am guilty of a sin for proudly assuming that I know more about the Bible than you then how would you defend yourself for proudly assuming you know more about the Bible than I do?

    I said that I was not going to convince you that man has free will and you certainly can not convince me that God would be unjust to anyone: no matter what you call me: or how many times you say it: or what “Godly man” you claim backs you up. Just means “Honorable and fair in one’s dealings and actions” and that describes the character of God. Any doctrine that even hints at God being unjust is not acceptable to me and it makes no difference to me who tries to teach it. God is not unjust. And at the risk of angering you further “You didn’t understand either” and you still don’t!

    Thank you for showing me so blatantly clear that I am just wasting my time here. I can get anyone to call me a liar. At least when an unbeliever does it they do not claim to be a great Christian as they do so.

  4. J Gomez says:

    I will definitely say that I disagree with your conclusion here, brother. Let me explain.

    We are always naked before God. His presence, especially for a believer, is always around us. So, I don’t see how that could be evil in and of itself. But, the act of eating of Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil provided man with the experience of disobeying God, and losing the fear of doing so in the future. It is like the first time a man looks at pornography. He is permanently hooked on what he has seen, whether for more porn or for the real thing. The impulse, the addiction, stays and grows. This is the essence of temptation and sin.

    God created righteousness, but at the same time created the capacity for evil. Adam and Eve’s act of disobedience consumated that capacity and validated its presence in their lives. It was at that moment that their innocence was lost, like a child growing up that doesn’t want their mother seeing them naked anymore. They now knew that those things that caused uncontrollable desire needed to be hidden from sight.

    As our world has “taken off it’s clothes”, we have seen a manifestation of the evil that has been there since that time. Nakedness is not the evil, but a major cause of sinful impulses, much like the tree was. We try to control it, but we can’t. Original sin is not about the sin we HAVE, but the sin we YEARN FOR once we “taste” of the “fruit”.

    That’s how I see it, anyway, At least until God explains that whole ordeal! I do believe that Calvin was completely off in much of his theology. But, we are all just trying to understand. Who knows how close any of us are?

  5. Lucas says:

    It is utterly wrong to presume the things of God. In Isaiah 41 he says that His ways are beyond our ways, His thoughts beyond our thoughts and in Proverbs, there is a verse that says “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is destruction”. This in itself should make us stop right in our tracks and examine our conduct first. Have we presumed about God? Have we made assumptions that would seem right to us but ultimately are in total contradiction to the bible? My basic faith is that Scripture is infallible, therefore it is my perfect reference point for all matters. About the conduct of God, I would not contend because my hope is that one day i shall know as I am known, then i shall have acquired the knowledge of the infinite one, God. Does then this absolve me from my guilt? Certainly not. I say this because the same scriptures teach that He delights in those that seek after him, and they shall find Him if they seek diligently! So what about Adam and eve? I would again reference the bible and say that man was created a little lower than angels. Angels are holy, man is not, therefore i would conclude Adam was not holy, sin was inherent in him, only the knowledge was lacking, and when he ate of the tree, he was enlightened, thereby sin entered the world.

  6. astudent says:

    J Gomez,

    Good, you disagree with me. I somewhat agree with you when you say that we are always naked before God. Perhaps I was a bit hasty to say that anyone has put on a covering for their sins. I think that it would be more accurate to say Christians have been promised a covering for their sins. The more one studies the Bible the more sure they become sure that a promise from God will not be broken, so please forgive that slight error on my part. In my defense I think that I am in good company when I say we can put on a covering for our sin. (Rom 13:14 NIV) Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

    Of course the Bible says it better than I can (2 Cor 5:1-5 NIV) Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

    It seems as though no one is accepting that eating from the tree was not the first sin, because I did not list a specific sin that was committed before Adam and Eve ate from the tree. I believe that God has opened my eyes a little farther and allowed me to see such a specific sin.

    Geneses 3:2&3 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”

    We know that God did not say “you must not touch it, or you will die”. It was a sin to say that God said something when He did not say it. I could describe that sin many ways. I could say that it was a lie, because it was, or I could say Eve bore false witness to what God said, or I could even say that Eve added to the Words of God. Take your pick as to how it is said the clearest; however it is obviously a sin and it happened before she ate from the tree. Test what I said in your own mind. Would it be a sin for you to say God said something when He didn’t? If it would be a sin for you then wouldn’t it also be a sin for Eve?

    The most important part of the lesson about Adam and Eve eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is, after they had the knowledge they had no excuse for sin. They understood that and made it plain that they understood when they said they were naked (exposed).

    It is not being physically exposed that is the point of the story. God has written in our hearts that it is wrong to be physically exposed, but it is only a physical example of a much more important spiritual principle. God can not speak to us using spiritual examples because we are physical in nature and can not understand spiritual examples, so He uses something that we can understand; though it does require some thought on the matter.

    You see, I do agree with much of what you said. I do agree the Adam and Eve lost their innocents when they ate the fruit. From that point on they were no longer innocent because they knew right from wrong. I also agree that it was a sin. The only basic thing that I disagree with is that it was the first sin.

  7. astudent says:

    Lucas,

    You seem to be implying that I am presuming something about God. What is it that you think I am presuming?

    I too believe Scripture is infallible and it should be everyone’s reference point for all matters. I have found that some who would say the same things that you have said add what some man has said and demand acceptance of that doctrine. I am not accusing you of it, but it does happen.

    As I pointed out in my last comment sin had already entered the world before Adam and Eve ate from the tree (Geneses 3:2&3). They just didn’t know what sin was until; they ate the fruit that made them like God, knowing good and evil. I am not presuming anything. Scripture says that Eve told the serpent that God said ‘you must not touch the fruit’ and it is a sin to lie about, add to, or bear false witness about what God said. That happened before she ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve didn’t know what sin was before she ate. What exactly is it that I have presumed?

    I would agree with your last statement up to the point where you said sin entered the world. It was enlightenment that entered the world, sin was already here.

  8. charles says:

    where to start…where to start…

    you said: “I don’t see that 1Tim 2 is referring to all kinds of people. Though all people would include all kinds of people. The definition of “pas” is pas…It is not “all kinds”.”

    1 Timothy 6:10
    For the love of money is a root of ALL KINDS of evil.

    there is that SAME word “pas” right there in the SAME letter to timothy. if you believe it means “all kinds” of evil instead of “every single individual” evil, then you have just contradicted what you said above. the greek is the same – the only difference is in the choices made by the english translators. if there are certain kinds of evil that are not rooted in the love of money, then you would have to conclude that it can also be true that God does not love every person in the same way that He loves His Bride.

    you said: “You have judged me, not from Scripture, but from your ideas of Scripture and you have added a requirement for salvation and that is I must understand as you do…If I believe in free will then I am lost.”

    where do you imagine that i said this? you don’t have to be a calvinist to be saved…to be a christian. but if you claim that “calvin preached basically that man is totally worthless” and when that is shown to be a lie (even if it was unintentional), you ignore the truth and continue in the lie…then yes, i do wonder whether you really know “the way, the TRUTH and the life.” we don’t have to agree on a number of details in how the bible fits together but i am very surprised by the simple lack of integrity.

    so don’t get me wrong, i’m not just attacking you for fun. i would genuinely love it if, as a result of our exchange, you learned to read books by people you disagree with in order to get a sense of their line of thought and understand their arguments even while you continue to disagree – and not just to skim for quotes that you can pull out of context to make them look bad. and if you learn to reference where the quotes you use are coming from, it would make it a whole lot easier to understand those writers so that you can represent them accurately. this is all just very basic to any discussion of ideas.

    you said: “Do you really think that if you had the power that it would be fair to condemn one man and save another, when both are guilty of the same sin just because you wanted to? That is what you are saying our Father will do.”

    that is what He has already done and continues to do. one example is His miraculous interaction with the apostle paul. paul was a pharisee JUST LIKE those that Jesus condemned:

    matt23:13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to…

    15″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! 16″Woe to you, blind guides! …17You blind fools!…19You blind men! …23″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! …24You blind guides!… 33″You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.

    37″O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you…

    paul persecuted the church and participated in the stoning of stephen. God condemned many of the other pharisees but pulled paul off that doomed course by means of a miracle. did God owe similar miracles to the other pharisees in order to satisfy your sense of fairness? were they not all guilty of the same crimes? yet God chose to mercy one man and condemn the others. God was good to paul in giving him grace to change his course and transform him into a new creature…yet God was not unfair to the other pharisees in giving them what they deserved according to their sin.

    you said: “I need some help here. How could it be fair to everyone if God made some believe and not others? I am looking for the basic reason that separates our views and that is, if not the only one, certainly a major one.”

    i never said that God was “fair” by your definition. God chose to reveal Himself to the jews for thousands of years. with very few exceptions, the prophets of God went to teach the jews about God…the scriptures were inspired by God and given to the jews…God chose to dwell with them as fire and smoke…then even in a temple. was God equally fair to the chinese or other nations during those millenia?

    i quoted Psa147:19-20 before: “He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the LORD.”

    do you say “praise the Lord” or “that’s not fair!”? which response is really biblical?

    you said: “I have not lied about what Calvin taught. If Calvin taught that even one child was condemned he was as wrong as if he said all children were condemned. Children who are not old enough to know good and evil would no more be condemned by a just God than Adam and Eve were; until they knew.”

    you said “Calvin claims that when a child dies it is condemned…” which is slanted and misleading at best. if it makes you happy not to call it a “lie”, consult your own conscience. God will judge. Calvin at least argued from the scriptures while you continue to argue from your notion of what a just God is allowed to do or not.

    at any rate, Calvin did not find this topic worthy of much time – God will judge correctly and there is no verse in the bible that absolutely states that every child below a certain age will be saved or not. if you’d prefer to believe that, it should not be a divisive issue. also, you would find that many calvinists agree with you anyway.

    you said: “You say that because God knew that they would eat from the tree then there is no reality in saying that they were free not to eat, but just because God knows what a man will do does not mean He makes them do it. If God made them, which is the only other possibility that I see, then God made them sin. Surely you would not argue that God makes men sin, would you?”

    we agree that God does not make men sin – He doesn’t have to make us, we do it because our natures desire it. certainly, adam’s nature was originally different…his nature did not compel him towards sin – adam was free from the standpoint of his nature not to sin…but that doesn’t change the fact that adam was certain to choose to sin in that instance – and if God knew adam would sin, then he could not have chosen differently than he did. God has freedom as the eternal Creator which we as his more limited, timebound creatures simply do not possess.

    if this distinction doesn’t make sense to you, it’s fine to put it aside. but certainly, we agree that God doesn’t MAKE people sin, even if we disagree that God deals with sinners differently.

    (such as Jesus willingness to warn peter of his sin and satan’s desire to “sift” him – followed by Jesus’ promise to intercede so that peter would ultimately be restored: “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when (NOT “IF”) you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” OTOH, Jesus knows of Judas’ coming destruction from the beginning but doesn’t seem to make much of an effort to save him.)

    you said: “One thing that we would have to do is disregard Ezekiel 18:1-32 (NIV) The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “‘The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?” As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel…”

    just out of curiosity, how do you interpret these verses? if God ever really punished “the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation” would He have been wrong?

    Exodus 20:5
    You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

    Exodus 34:7
    maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

    Leviticus 26:39
    Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away.

    Numbers 14:18
    ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.’

    Deuteronomy 5:9
    You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me…

    you said: “The child that grows up in a home with no believers receives no proper training and when he or she is old enough to understand will be condemned.”

    this is interesting. how do they gain an appropriate level of understand without training?

    you said: “I can get anyone to call me a liar. At least when an unbeliever does it they do not claim to be a great Christian as they do so.”

    of course an unbeliever would not claim to be any sort of christian…yeah. have you noticed that Jesus had some strong words for the pharisees and paul had some nasty suggestions for false teachers (such as gal5:12). do you believe that christians should always respond to lies with “niceness?” i am attacking very specific things that you are saying – which you refuse to correct. i don’t understand why someone who claims the name of Christ would continue to post things that are demonstrably not true and refuse to correct untrue writings. you seem more eager to make calvin and calvinists look bad than you are in the truth. you claim to love God whom you have not seen and yet what about your brothers and sisters?

    i am just asking you to represent the teachings of calvin and calvinists fairly. you could have accurately said that “calvin taught that some infants may be subject to condemnation because scripture says that we are ‘sinful from birth'” and attempted to address the scriptural arguments. this would be fine and we would all be disagreeing peaceably. instead you distort the truth (and worse, wind up merely appealing to a logical argument with yourself and your sense of “fairness” at the foundation rather than scripture: “i believe condemning an infant would be unfair and that God is fair, therefore God cannot condemn any infant.”)

    you said: “The basic question is would it be fair to everyone to give faith to some and not to others?”

    absolutely NOT!

    the basic question is “what does the bible teach?” if it offends your sense of fairness then you may need to let your personal opinions go.

    i have listed several scriptures which teach that God gives faith to some and not to others. the gospel is hidden from some and revealed to others.

    Luke10:21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”

    you said: “If I am guilty of a sin for proudly assuming that I know more about the Bible than you then how would you defend yourself for proudly assuming you know more about the Bible than I do?”

    my only defense is that i continue to base my arguments in scripture while you continue to appeal to your personal notions of fairness and what you believe is right. the bible teaches that God is just but it also teaches that sometimes that may not seem “just” to us because of our sin. and this again, is why i claimed initially that your belief system is ultimately founded in human philosophy and not ultimately in scripture. you need to let scripture speak and submit to what it says.

    if it conflicts with your notions of fairness or justice, you should nevertheless admit that scripture is right and you will need to change. that can be a very difficult and frustrating process, but it’s what you may have to look forward to, if you are willing to be conformed to the likeness of Christ.

    but if you are making an effort to represent calvin and calvinists accurately, then i don’t have a problem with it. we do believe things that seem unfair when judged by human philosophy – i completely concede that. you think God would be unfair and arbitrary to choose some and not others based on His good pleasure…i think that is what scripture teaches and that God’s choices are rooted in His goodness and wisdom. you seem to prefer that if everyone is hardhearted and spiritually dead and no one seeks God, then it’s better for everyone to go to Hell based on their free will…i’m grateful that God saves some by softening their hearts and raising them from the dead spiritually.

    if you want to discuss what the bible says, i am game. but if it all comes back to what you believe is fair and unfair, then yes, i would have to say without any malice that i am concerned that you are just wasting your time here. (but you are welcome to do it, if you enjoy it…)

  9. astudent says:

    charles,

    You didn’t quote the KJV version of 1 Tim 6:10 although I would bet you knew that it was different. (1 Tim 6:10 KJV) For the love of money is the root of ALL evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
    The word “kind” is not in Strong’s and because of that it isn’t in the KJV either. Now you will say ‘well what about sexual sins’ and the truth is the NIV seems right to me because I would ask the same question. However I still must say that “pas” means “pas” or all means all and I don’t think either of us understands 1 Tim 6:10. Perhaps we should study the verse with faith that God meant what He said, instead of trying to justify our wealth!

    The Greeks had a word for “kinds” it is “genos” and that word is not in 1 Tim 2:4 or 1 Tim 6:10. God knows the word “genous” and if He wanted to say “kinds” that is what He would have said.

    I don’t think that I said that God loves every person the same way He loves His Bride. Perhaps you didn’t or don’t understand me. Our difference is I believe man chooses his own destiny and you believe God makes the choice. Let me say it one more time “BECAUSE GOD KNOWS HOW WE WILL CHOOSE DOESN’T MEAN HE MAKES THE CHOICE FOR US!”

    God knew my choice even before He made me, so to Him I was always chosen and He refers to those who He knew would choose correctly as His elect. I think that is what confuses some who search Scripture.

    Diligently searching Scripture does not guarantee understanding (John 5:39-40 NIV) You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

    If I believed Calvin it would not be possible to refuse to go to Jesus and yet Jesus said they did refuse!

    Charles exchanging comments with you is depressing. I said that you have judged me from your own ideas and you say “where do you imagine that I said this” and of course you did not come right out and say it! But you did prove it when you called me a liar, among other things. You seem to be more offended by what is said about Calvin than what is said about God!

    I said you try to put conditions on salvation that are not in the Bible. You say that you do not and then go on to say “I do wonder whether you really know the way, the TRUTH, and the life”. It seems to me that you are even twisting what you, yourself are saying.

    You accuse me of believing that I know more than you about the Bible and then you go to great extremes to attempt to show that you know more than I! Even as far as to attempt to show God, Himself as unjust! You ask was God equally fair to the Chinese or the other nations? What do you know about the Chinese or the other nations? Were you there?

    Everyone has the requirements of the law written on their hearts. Therefore no one is without guilt. If God condemns anyone it is because they are guilty of sin. Everyone will or has had the chance to repent and turn to Jesus whether or not they lived before Jesus came or after he came. It would not be fair or just if they did not.
    (John 10:16 NIV) I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

    You say “I never said that God was “fair” by your definition”. I said that this was becoming an argument about words and you prove me right.
    Fair – 6.a. Having or exhibiting a disposition that is free of favoritism or bias; impartial: a fair mediator. b. Just to all parties; equitable (The American Heritage Dictionary)
    You are trying to tell everybody that God has a different definition of fairness! The truth is you must, to keep from accusing God of being unfair.

    Picture yourself standing before God and saying ‘I knew you were unfair to the Chinese, but I thank you for saving me’.

    I wouldn’t say such a thing, but then I am sure God is fair and just.

    You accuse me of lying about what Calvin said, but most know the acronym “TULIP”. I did not use the exact words that Calvin and others used when describing his doctrine, but I have been accurate enough to convey my thoughts: if you were really interested in my thoughts. I said that Calvin claimed man was totally worthless when he actually claims man is totally depraved. Totally depraved is actually worse than totally worthless. Because I didn’t use the word depraved you said that I misrepresented the teachings of Calvin!

    You did surprise me when you said that you are not just attacking me for fun. First you admit that you are attacking me and then not just for fun. Then why do you attack me? Finally we reach somewhat of an agreement. You are attacking me, but I am sure we will disagree on the purpose.

    (Acts 20:29-30 NIV) I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

    Do you have followers?

    No one can be my disciple nor can anyone follow me. You do not even know who I am. You would not be wise to follow a student nor would you be wise to follow any man. And you certainly would not be wise to accuse God of being unjust!

  10. charles says:

    You said: “You didn’t quote the KJV version of 1 Tim 6:10 although I would bet you knew that it was different.”

    I did, in fact, quote the KJV version in my post on May 1, 2009 at 8:30 am. You again demonstrate that you have little skill at reading comprehension. You again prove that you make no effort to understand those you disagree with.

    You said: “Our difference is I believe man chooses his own destiny and you believe God makes the choice.”

    This at least is true. You believe that man is sovereign and master of his destiny. You call Isa55:11 a lie and believe that man has the power to void God’s Word and send it back a failure without accomplishing God’s purposes.

    I believe that God is truly sovereign, which is fortunate since the bible is clear that no one would seek God if He did not act to save them.

    You said: “God knew my choice even before He made me…”

    If God made you, shouldn’t He get the credit for how you understand the world? That you were born in a situation that provided opportunities to hear the Word?

    1Cor4:7For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

    Do you believe that you chose randomly and arbitrarily? Was your choice based in your nature or not? Did the experiences God provided help shape you?

    You said: “…so to Him I was always chosen and He refers to those who He knew would choose correctly as His elect.”

    You think that He loved you because you first (or at least foundationally) loved Him. How very opposite of scripture.

    You said: “If I believed Calvin it would not be possible to refuse to go to Jesus and yet Jesus said they did refuse!”

    If you believed Jesus, you mean:

    John12:37Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
    “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
    39For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
    40“He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts,
    so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.”

    Luke10:21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
    22All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

    The problem is that you imagine that Jesus INTENDED to draw every single person to Himself and failed. (Romans 9 teaches that God intends for some to oppose Him – He doesn’t force them to oppose Him but He does intend for it to happen and accomplishes His purposes through their sinful opposition.) So it is not only possible for people to refuse to accept Christ – it is IMPOSSIBLE to for them to come to Him unless God first acts to bring them to Himself. Their refusal was no surprise…God had not given them birth spiritually…as Jesus further explains:

    John6:63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 64Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65He went on to say, “This is why I told you that NO ONE CAN COME TO ME UNLESS THE FATHER HAS ENABLED HIM.”

    John8:34Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” 42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because YOU ARE UNABLE to hear what I say… 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. THE REASON YOU DO NOT HEAR IS THAT YOU DO NOT BELONG TO GOD.”

    So I ask you again: Is Jesus mistaken here? You would claim that He has it backwards – you believe that the reason that someone does not belong to God is because they will not listen to Him and believe in Him. He says the same kind of thing when He claims that His sheep hear His voice, while you’d claim instead that those who hear His voice and choose Him can become one of His sheep. Again, you’d be in disagreement.

    You said: “I said you try to put conditions on salvation that are not in the Bible. You say that you do not.”

    And you have yet to start to make a case. I say that we must believe in Jesus to be saved. Is that condition not in the bible? What condition do you believe I am adding? I am merely explaining what Jesus said – that IF we believe, it is only because God first acted to enable and draw us – “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus.” 1Cor1:30

    John3:21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

    You said: “Even as far as to attempt to show God, Himself as unjust! You ask was God equally fair to the Chinese or the other nations? What do you know about the Chinese or the other nations? Were you there?”

    I believe that God is perfectly just…and unlike you, I believe what the bible says about Him without adding to it by bringing my personal presuppositions about fairness or freewill to it. The bible teaches that God revealed Himself uniquely to Israel during most of the Old Testament period. Do you actually believe the bible or not?

    But you actually DO accuse the God of the bible of being unjust by your human standards. You are the only one requiring God to kneel before your personal standards of fairness. You might accept a Morgan Freeman-like godling from the movie Bruce Almighty…one who is helpless before the sovereign will of human beings but that is only Hollywood fiction.

    You quote: (John 10:16 NIV) “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

    This verse is clearly in a context of Jesus teaching the jews. I have already explained that Jesus came for the “world”, meaning both jews and gentiles. This verse is clearly speaking of a future circumstance: “they WILL listen to my voice.” It is in order to fulfill this verse that God called Paul away from his sin.

    As for the past, Paul clearly teaches that gentiles “WERE separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.”

    Eph2:11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But NOW in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
    14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

    19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

    There were a few gentiles who heard about God through interactions with Israel: Ninevah, Ruth, Rahab…but to suppose that others were exposed to the one true God is just that, a supposition.

    You said: “Picture yourself standing before God and saying ‘I knew you were unfair to the Chinese, but I thank you for saving me’. I wouldn’t say such a thing, but then I am sure God is fair and just.”

    This is really, really random. I have never claimed that I would judge God as “unfair” regardless of how He handles the Chinese from 800 B.C. He is the Creator and He is free to do as He wishes with His creatures. Every single person other than Jesus has sinned and deserves condemnation. God would not have been unfair to keep Jesus from death on the cross and instead condemn every single person. Salvation is only by grace.

    You on the other hand, HAVE stated your intention that if Calvinists understand the bible correctly, that on the last day you will accuse God of unfairness and condemn Him as evil. I think this will truly make for an interesting spectacle…

    You said: “I have been accurate enough to convey my thoughts.”

    You lack the humility and honesty to speak the truth, so being accurate “enough” seems to be your only goal. How sad.

    You said: “I said that Calvin claimed man was totally worthless when he actually claims man is totally depraved. Totally depraved is actually worse than totally worthless. Because I didn’t use the word depraved you said that I misrepresented the teachings of Calvin!”

    So you admit you deny Romans: “There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become WORTHLESS; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

    It is the bible which teaches that man is totally depraved. Even Arminians agree with this.

    Calvin considered the whole of the scriptures’ teaching on man. Ethically, the image of God in man was “frightfully deformed.” Our depravity is TOTAL in that it extends to all aspects of our nature: emotions, intellect…even our will…such that the scriptures repeatedly say that we CANNOT come to God on our own and we are UNABLE to even understand the gospel. We were originally created to have an intimate relationship with God, and for that purpose, we are indeed “worthless” while we lack the gift of faith. Yet at the same time human beings “bear the image of God engraven on them…man is possessed of no small dignity; and…we ought to consider for what end he created men, and what excellence he has bestowed upon them above the rest of living beings.”

    You surely continue to misrepresent the teachings of both calvin and the bible, preferring as you admit, to believe in the human notion of “free will” in spite of what the bible teaches.

    Psa 51:5Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

    Psa58:3 Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies.

    Gen6:5The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

    Gen8:21The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.

    Jer17:9The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

    Eph2:1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

    1Cor2:12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    2Cor4:3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

    Rom8:6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

    John14:16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

    You said: “Everyone will or has had the chance to repent and turn to Jesus whether or not they lived before Jesus came or after he came. It would not be fair or just if they did not.”

    AGAIN, you toss aside scripture and appeal to your true ultimate foundation: your personal opinion of fairness. What does Paul say?

    Rom10:12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
    14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

    It sure looks like you are making an argument that people will normatively be saved apart from someone preaching about Jesus to them – that ultimately you believe that missions are unnecessary. And yet you have the HYPOCRISY to claim this is something that calvinists teach? Amazing.

    You said: “You did surprise me when you said that you are not just attacking me for fun. First you admit that you are attacking me and then not just for fun. Then why do you attack me?”

    Proverbs 9:8
    Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
    Proverbs 17:10
    A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.

    I had hoped to find you were a wise man who could learn from correction. That you would have the humility to admit that you have read very little of Calvin (which is obvious) and were basing your statements more on what you’ve read others say about him…that you would be ashamed to have said “If Calvin was right then no one can make disciples, baptizing has no worth, and neither does teaching” when it is you who deny the value of teaching and making disciples.

    I seem to be quite mistaken, as your definition of “truth” seems equally personal to you as your definition of fairness. I would encourage you to aspire to more than just being “accurate enough.” For a change, actually begin to interact with scriptures rather than telling me what “must” be true because your sense of fairness dictates it. That is my hope – but it will not shock me if you value your pride and personal opinions above all else.

  11. charles says:

    You said: “Have you considered that Paul makes it clear in verse 1 Cor 7:12 that it is him speaking and not the Lord? Would you ascribe the words to God when Paul stated it was only his own words?”

    Had you studied this passage, you would have discovered that Paul is not claiming this as merely his personal opinion.

    1cor7:10To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

    In the above verses, Paul is not claiming this as a personal revelation from God, but is merely quoting the words of Christ. Just like the Corinthian church, we also have Jesus’ words:

    Matt5:31″It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

    Matt19:9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    Mark10:11He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

    So in v12, Paul is clarifying that he is not merely quoting Jesus but is still giving them a command directly as an APOSTLE. Paul spends a lot of time in his letters defending his apostleship and the authority that apostleship entails. (You’ve quoted Galatians 1 in a mistaken notion that leaving fellowship with other believers is normative rather than a unique function of Paul’s apostleship. Most believers – including you – receive the gospel from OTHER PEOPLE rather than directly from God as Paul did.) This section of 1cor is clearly telling them what they MUST do. It is not merely an opinion.

    12To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he MUST not divorce her. 13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she MUST not divorce him.

    OTOH, there are parts of 1cor7 that are merely Paul expressing his personal opinion – where he recommends remaining single “because of the present crisis” – a wise recommendation but not a command or something that they MUST do:

    1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. 2But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband…6I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that…25Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. 27Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. 28But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this…39A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

  12. astudent says:

    charles,

    What does quoting a verse on May 1st have to do with your comment on May 16th?
    That is not logical or even rational! This causes concern for me.

    Because we push on each other you may get the idea that I don’t care about you, but that would be a false assumption. I do care.

    I do not know what pressures that you face in your life, but I feel like I am adding to them and I am not comfortable with that.

    I would feel better if we took a week off and enjoyed this long weekend with no further pressure: for a week anyway.

    If I am wrong please humor me. It just may be a wrong assumption on my part and if it is I apologize. But once I sense a problem, whether or not I am correct I can not continue with out a break.

    I will comment on your comment next week. Who knows maybe I will even agree with you about something!

  13. charles says:

    You said: “What does quoting a verse on May 1st have to do with your comment on May 16th?
    That is not logical or even rational! This causes concern for me.”

    Your sense of the logical and rational continues to mystify me.

    My point was that you said: “You didn’t quote the KJV version of 1 Tim 6:10 although I would bet you knew that it was different” when, in fact, I HAD already quoted it and commented on it.

    This is not a verbal conversation. Since I quoted the KJV version of 1 Tim 6:10 on May 1, I would reasonably expect you to have read that discussion on May 1 and made an effort to understand it before responding on May 16. If nothing else, it’s not that difficult online to use a search function and review a previous discussion rather than start it again from scratch. Your answer indicates that you have not bothered to read my previous discussion of the meaning of “pas.” Your conclusion surely must strike you as problematic (King David obviously did not pursue relations with a married woman to gain money) – even if you are unwilling to admit it – and it also discounts that acts2:17 is obviously not about God pouring out His Spirit on “every single person.”

    “Pas” clearly does not have to mean “every single individual one.” When you merely ignore any discussion to the contrary and simply repeat your view over and over, it just demonstrates your unwillingness to learn from scripture. You seem to be imposing your preferences on scripture rather than learning from it. Your statement at the end of your most recent post that doing something that God forbids is not necessarily a sin would be the most problematic example of this trend.

    But I do understand how many people want to interpret words in the bible like “all” and “world” according to their personal, cultural preferences, rather than considering the context of scripture – it’s very natural. It is difficult to consider that there might be alternatives, I know. But if we are going to discuss words like “all” and “world”, I would ask that you at least read what I wrote on May 1 and deal with the issues raised, rather than pretending like they don’t exist.

    PLEASE do take time and consider what I am saying. Take a week or so. Don’t feel rushed to fire off a response. (And I am much more concerned about your teaching in your current post that doing something that God forbids is not necessarily a sin, and your claim that the Holy Spirit would be teaching you some “secret knowledge” that contradicts the rest of scripture than I am with whether you agree with the Calvinists about how to interpret certain details of scripture.)

  14. astudent says:

    charles,

    OK we have had a little break so let us begin anew. We do agree on some major points that we seem to disagree on because we are viewing them from our own prospective.

    First is election. I agree that God has already chosen the elect. He knew who the elect were even before He made us. Those who will be saved will be and those who will not be saved will not and that cannot be changed.

    I’m beginning to sound like you aren’t I? Let us agree a bit more. Jesus didn’t die for everyone’s sin. He only died for the sin of the elect.

    Now let me try to answer your comment point for point.

    If I can kind of lump your comments about the love of money as the root of all evil, you might want to consider that David was rich and if he had not been he would not have been on the roof of his palace, because without money there would be no palace and he would not have had a servant to find out about Bathsheba without money and he sent messengers to get her, again, no money, no messengers. I haven’t thought it all out, but the Bible does say that if you want to be perfect to sell everything you have, and give it to the poor. God just might mean “pas”. Well, after all that is what He said!

    You say that I believe that man is sovereign and master of his destiny. I do believe that man is the master of his destiny when we are referring to his spiritual destiny. I do not believe man is sovereign. That is an assumption on your part. Instead of making statements about what I believe, which is really what you think I believe, why don’t you ask me what I believe?

    No man knows the mind of another. I am trying to explain what I believe and why I believe it, so please refrain from attempting to tell me what I believe: stick to your part, what I believe is my part of the exchange.

    You said that I called Isaiah 55:11 a lie and that I believe that man has the power to void God’s word and send it back a failure without accomplishing God’s purpose! If you think that I believe this then why don’t you ask me if I do instead of making a statement that you know what I believe. Though you didn’t ask I am not calling Isaiah a liar and I don’t think man has the power to void God’s word. I believe that God made everything and that includes, not only creating the choice of whether a man can obey or not obey Him, but also giving man the power to choose and I believe God, being fair and just too all men, gave them the opportunity to choose.

    You chose Isaiah to accuse me so let me show you what Isaiah says about men and choosing. (Isa 56:3-7 NIV) Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely exclude me from his people.” And let not any eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.” For this is what the LORD says: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant– to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant– these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

    You say ‘shouldn’t God get the credit for how I understand the world?’ Haven’t I always claimed that what ever I understand it is a gift from God through the Holy Spirit? I have the perfect teacher. All I am is a student and I have not, nor do not make any claims of great mental powers. Stop attacking me and stick to the subject, so that we can learn.

    You cite John 12:37-40 as proof of Calvinism, but don’t you see that God has blinded everyone? He didn’t just blind some and not others! God will open the eyes of everyone that will examine themselves and admit to God that they are sinners and in dire need of a Savior! Then they can see Jesus for what he is and that is our Savior! Why would God give a Savior to someone who is too proud to admit they need one? The people that Jesus was talking to were blind, but they could have walked in the light if they were honest enough to look for light. They were walking with their own hands over their eyes. Though they were blinded by God they didn’t have to remain blind!

    Do you even understand that you are constantly attacking me? Instead of saying that I think something you say that I imagine something!

    I do think that Jesus came to save everyone. But everyone will not accept Jesus, so it is not God that failed, it is man that failed! And it is not man as a whole, but each person as each person can accept Jesus or deny him. God is not going to enable anyone to come to Jesus who will not even admit they need a Savior. Why would He?

    The reason that anyone DOES NOT HEAR IS THAT THEY DO NOT BELONG TO GOD! BUT ANYONE CAN BELONG TO GOD (ROM 10:9 NIV) THAT IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, “JESUS IS LORD,” AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED.

    Charles, all you are doing is attacking me because I understand Scripture differently than you do. If you were really trying to comment on Scripture in order to better understand it you would not attack me personally. Let’s try to comment without accusing the other.

    Now there are a few questions that I would have no answer for if I were to accept Calvinism. What is God’s plan of salvation? If God is going to save only those that He has decided to save, with no consideration for the lost, then where is the plan?

    Why did Jesus have to come at all? If it is only God that saves and men have no choice then why did Jesus have to die on a cross? It seems to me that it would not be sin that separates us from God; it would be only God that separates us from God.

    What is the difference between Judaism and Calvinism? Do not both believe it is only God that chooses? Even Muslims believe only God chooses and because of that they do not believe they have any need for a Savior.

    Well, I believe that I was blind, and blinded by God, until I came to my senses and realized that I was a sinner in need of a Savior and I believe it was the conscience that God gave me, the same conscience that He gave all men, that made me realize this and I honestly confessed with my mouth and ask God to give me a Savior and He did. Then He gave me eyes to see and ears to hear so that I could understand all things.

    I know that I was blind, I know why God opened my eyes, I know why Jesus died on the cross, I know why I am saved, I know the way of God, and I know that I am saved, because Scripture says that I am. (Rom 10:10 NIV) FOR IT IS WITH “YOUR” HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH “YOUR” MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED.

    God didn’t MAKE me confess. A God that would stop someone from confessing and then condemn them for not confessing is not the God I know.

    I am not a robot that is programmed to do the will of my maker. Man makes robots and though they do not know how to make one with freewill, they write science fiction stories about the evil that would happen if robots could rebel.

    God makes humans that have freewill and man’s fiction is proved correct when humans rebel against their maker! It is not the Makers fault! Sin, rebellion, and the condemnation that results from free will is man’s fault! If we have no freewill then sin, rebellion and the condemnation for these things is God’s fault! Is that really too hard to comprehend?

    Well, I kind of got off my plan of answering your comment point by point, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.

    I am tired of your unchristian slander of me. It’s not that it brothers me personally, because it doesn’t. Like Popeye ‘I yam what I yam’. However those who are not Christians are free to read my blog. What example is set by those who profess to be Christian when they attempt to slander and assassinate another’s character?

    Charles you are not welcome here any longer. I want to exchange comments with others that want to study the Bible. Not with teachers that have an axe to grind, or a reputation to defend: at all costs I might add.

    I will read your comments, but I sure doubt that I will attempt to answer any. This is my blog and if you don’t like what I say then don’t read it.

  15. charles says:

    “I am not a robot that is programmed to do the will of my maker. Man makes robots and though they do not know how to make one with freewill…”

    in heaven, when believers have all been conformed to the image of Christ and there is no more “freedom” to sin. i do wonder if those like you who cling to “free will” will be left outside in the darkness, as you continue to babble on about having to be “free” and not wanting to be a “robot.”

    i will not apologize for “slandering” you when i pointed out that you claimed to quote calvin yet you lied – and when that was pointed out, you lacked the integrity to correct your original statement – nor for pointing out that when you do what God tells you NOT to (as eve did in the garden), that that is SIN…and for you to claim the Holy Spirit taught you that shows you are in fact listening to evil spirits and being led by them.

    i am sad for you. as you prefer, i will not come back but i do hope God eventually gives you to repentance.

    but for now, since you hate calvinism, you will have to throw out calvinist hymns such as amazing grace, rock of ages (cleft for me), when i survey the wondrous cross and in Christ alone (my hope is found). so i will offer a suggestion for a noncalvinist alternative that you may find more palatable:

    Arminian “grace!”
    How strange the sound,
    Salvation hinged on me.
    I once was lost
    then turned around,
    Was blind then chose to see.

    What “grace” is it
    that calls for choice,
    Made from some good within?
    That part that wills
    to heed God’s voice,
    Proved stronger than my sin.

    Thru many ardent gospel pleas,
    I sat with heart of stone.
    But then some hidden good in me,
    Propelled me toward my home.

    My poor, dead neighbor,
    Such a fool!
    Chose not from sin to flee
    I had the sense to change my heart
    But he’s not smart — like me!

    When we’ve been there
    ten thousand years,
    Because of what we’ve done,
    We’ve no less days
    to sing our praise,
    Than when we first begun.

  16. astudent says:

    Everyone,

    I am really tired of trying to answer this bully when he doesn’t really want an answer. When I was younger I would have taken a ball bat to his knees, but I am older and wiser now.

    This man is only trying to prove himself right to prove me wrong. He seems to be afraid of being wrong. His personal attacks on me prove his motives, at least they do to me, but his comments are here for you to read and you are free to make up your own mind. Well there I go again suggesting we have free will!

    All I can say to those who have read all of these comments is to be careful that Calvinism doesn’t become more important than Christianity. One sure indicator of this can be if you feel that you must resort to slander and personal attacks while claiming it is part of Bible study.

    I apologize to Charles if anything I said angered him and I am sure some of what I said did. Charles I love, but the actions of Charles I do not. Charles has become my enemy and I will pray for him.

    By the way I really like wisdom and understanding. The Bible says it is worth everything that that you have. (Prov 4:7 NIV) “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” But wisdom it’s self doesn’t please God and if you think it does then consider the end of Solomon’s days.

    Wisdom doesn’t come from my mouth or from Charles’s. (Prov 2:6 NIV) For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Ask God to give you wisdom. I only post so that others will have the questions to ask God. You have the free will to ask and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    God’s plan includes the free will for anyone to accept Jesus as their Savior and it doesn’t mean you are attempting to take God’s choice from Him. However you must choose one way or the other. The freedom not to choose is not an option. Just try to understand that even though God knew what your choice would be, even before He made you, it doesn’t mean that He made that choice for you.

    God’s plan of salvation was completed on the cross (John 19:30), but your part will not be finished until this life is over.

    The game ain’t over till its over.

  17. tony says:

    pip,
    it,s obvious to me that both you and charles are thoughtful and well spoken. however i detect a little pride in your replies to one another. (self defense being common in disagreements). reconciliation being a hallmark of Christ’s sacrifice, i hope and pray that both of you can truly forgive each other.
    now to my point of commenting on calvinism vs. arminianism, or God’s sovereignty vs. mans free will. it seems to me that the scripture is clear on this subject. that God is sovereign and that man makes freewill choices. just as it is difficult to see both sides of a coin at the same time, perhaps it is the same with the doctrine of grace.
    when debating among brothers becomes bitter i believe more harm than good is the result. we should all be ever mindful of Job 38:2 and Isaiah 55:8.

  18. astudent says:

    tony,

    Thanks for caring enough to comment about Charles and me. I didn’t think that I became bitter. I certainly didn’t mean to give that impression. I really do not try to defend myself, because I am a man and therefore a sinner and “anything” that is said about me is partially true. I only stopped answering Charles because this blog can be viewed by those who have yet to turn to Christ and I want them to “Do to others as they want others to do to them”, and we have a responsibility to set the example.

    Still, if we are not critical of others and they are not critical of us we would never change, because, like all men, we seldom consider that we are wrong and it is good when someone else criticizes us.

    Ha, John 14:26 trumps Job 38:2 and Isaiah 55:8!!

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