Christian Forums

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

  • Christian Forum aspires to be an online community where Christians can come together in fellowship with the purpose to encourage, inspire and build up our faith in Christ Jesus. John 13:34-35
  • Focus on the Family

    Strengthening families through biblical principles.

    Focus on the Family addresses the use of biblical principles in parenting and marriage to strengthen the family.

  • Guest, Join Papa Zoom today for some uplifting biblical encouragement! --> Daily Verses

Predestination and Calvinism

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
I respect your feelings even as I know you respect mine. That is, I am compelled to be thankful for correction and edification from those who are made willing and able to provide it.

As I recall, after lengthy discourse over the semantics inherent in the term free will, we both agreed that in the moral/'immoral context there can only be one true freedom, and that is serving God. God is Love, the impetus of goodwill in every man.
Hi Childeye
Finally made it back. Wanted to give this some attention.
Edification is good. Correcting - well, we each have to come to our own understanding of God's Word and also of His concepts. Discussion is always good.

Yes. We DID agree that the one true freedom is in serving God.
When one serves satan, he isn't free at all. He's only free to do evil. We are functioning fully in our sin nature when we do not know God. If you do not serve God, it means you're serving satan. No middle ground.
So, yes, before regeneration, you serve satan. You're doing his will. You're whole being is sin - and thus you cannot choose to do good for even when you do something good, it's of no value to God since your servitude is to satan.

Instead when you're serving God, you are freed from the dominion of the sin nature. You are free to choose to do good or even to do evil. And sometimes we do choose evil otherwise we would be perfect beings!

A more complex explanation as pertains to fate and God: As I understand it, scripture indicates that we all have inherited sin/corruption through Adam, which our will cannot change of it's own volition. For this reason Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and was not born of the seed of Adam, so that he was born without sin, and that he may become a worthy propitiation for our sins, as pertains to deliverance from death according to the law.
I agree with all of the above. I'd just like to make something very clear.
You said that our will cannot change of its own volition. This is true, it takes the grace of God. It's a supernatural happening. I just want to make sure that you don't intend Calvin's depraved nature theory- that says that we are so depraved that we cannot reach out to God and that He has to do ALL the work, including looking for us and finding us. Man CAN search for God and although he has the sin nature, he is not depraved - there will always exist some grace in man. Otherwise how would one ever get to know God? it IS by His grace that he draws all men to Him and man has the capability of answering this call - AFTER this, God will justify. He does not force man to be justified.


Not only this, but that he may be the first born of many brethren amongst mankind through faith in Him, Who is become God's grace to those who believe. This is therefore an intervention in the events in time through the sovereign will of God, where otherwise mankind would have been fated to death without any hope of Life. And this is in keeping with God, who had stated from the beginning, that if mankind ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would surely die as the result.
Perfect. This explanation is found in Romans 5:12
God made provision, from the beginning of the world, for the forgiveness of man's sin - which is the Christ.
Notice in Genesis 3:21 God makes garments of SKIN for Adam and his wife.
An animal had to die for that skin. I'm sure you know this and am just repeating - that was the first sacrifice. God clothed Adam and Eve - He made provision for His creation.

So contrary to the dictionary definition of free-will, here in scripture is the will of man, either subject through fate to die through the knowledge of good and evil and condemnation under the law, or subject to God through His self-sacrificing intervention unto life. These are the absolutes of life and death and everything on the pathway in between is relative.
Right. In scripture free will means that man is free to choose. The dictionary meaning might mean that man is free from outside influence - but that's not scriptural. Man is ALWAYS influenced; both by satan and by God. As we said, if by satan his choice will be evil as counted by God, even if he is doing good, IF, instead man is serving God he has true choice.
Choice also will refer to the ability to choose God or satan. This is the first and most important choice. It's the beginning of everyghing.
Deuteronomy 30:15
Deuteronomy 30:19
God places before us the choice. We could choose Him or we could choose satan. That is the choice - and it's made by our own freedom to choose, our own free will.
Our WILL (choice and desire) chooses.

I'll just say that I don't discount that God has ordered every event in time down to every single molecule. For the Christ has said that every hair on your head is numbered and not one single sparrow can fall from the sky apart from the will of God. I would not presume to put any limits on His power. Matthew 10:29, 30.
Do you mean Mathew 10:39? I don't understand the relevance. About the sparrow. Yes. Nothing happens unless God so wills it. He is sovereign. No limit should be put on Him. Who are we to put limits? Job 38:4
But did God plan things this way? That He would order every single event in line down to every molecule? If He ordered every event, where's our free will? If He already planned everything, there is NO free will. We're just puppets on a stage carrying out the puppetmaster's orders. Simple concept. We're either free or we're not. God will not intervene in the system He has set up on a continuous basis. When He does intervene, it's called a miracle. Miracles don't happen every second of the day.

I believe that the cause of what happens is known to God and it is indistinguishable from His purpose. Hence He is both author and finisher of our faith.
If by this you mean that God authored, or created, or brought into being the concept of faith for His creatures, then I agree. He is also the finisher of our faith.
Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus is the perfecter of our faith. it's God's supernatural grace that sustains us in order to do the works of sanctification. On our own we can do nothing. Philippians 4:13 - we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

As far as my limited understanding goes, from the eternal point of view, the future as we know it, is as unchangeable as the past. God has constructed the present temporal heavens and earth with an end goal of populating an eternal heavens and earth, which is the scroll with seven seals written on both sides. So I believe that this temporal existence is meant to filter out the elements that would otherwise corrupt an eternal heavens and earth, and/or put in place an eternal order from first to last, where the greatest is the one who serves the rest.
How do you arrive at this idea that we're here so God could populate heaven?
I'm not very good at eschatology and cannot comment on the seven seals. Why we are here will always be speculation. Maybe God wanted company? Maybe God is a creator and is creating as we speak? How can anyone know for sure? We just know that we are to know, love and serve Him. This is the reason we are here, but we don't know why. Do you have scriptural evidence for your belief? It's interesting.


To explain these elements is to understand deeper how we are controlled. Mankind in his innocence, is like the irresistible bait for a vanity that begins at the top order of creation residing in heaven. What we see as freely made choices between good and evil, is God sifting and refining through a temporal flesh existence that was made subject to vanity through belief in a lie. And we are molded and sculpted by the events which we experience because of it. The unwanted elements are therefore pre-disposed to choose a path that will turn what began in vanity into a sincere and ever renewing appreciation for God with all humility, which then become treasured elements. Where ever the lie exists, the Truth of God's glory is manifested through it. Satan is like the quicksilver that refines the gold, and vanity is the sieve that sifts the nations.

Since God is sifting, that would depend on what is hidden from us in the subconscious, but is not hidden to God. I would argue that with Love as the cause and purpose of one's will, God would not have to tell us not to do something wrong. To me His Word is first Spirit. But in this temporal existence subject to vanity, the letter was introduced first so as to establish for the record, the need for the Spirit.

Since free is a subjective term, it would be necessary to qualify what you mean. If you mean not free from slavery to sin, then no , since being subordinate to God is to be free from sin. If you mean not free from Love, then yes, since God is Love. I would say then, that you are free to do whatever you want, but you are not free to want whatever you want to want which determines what you will do.


Satan rules by lies, while God rules by Truth. So then according to what you say above, you don't actually believe in the free will definition posted above from Merriam Webster, since it proposes that a will is free when not controlled by God, and God is Love. Without Love, one cannot love one another. Hence when you say God gave us a free will, anyone who understands the definition of the term free will, believes that you are preaching that we were not created subordinate to God. But that He made us enabled to sin whenever we choose to. The choice to sin is then portrayed as an ability given by God, rather than a disability attributable to Satan and vanity.

Must go.
tomorrow...
 
Last edited:

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
For Childeye

I've pretty much said everything important. The only paragraphs left that I'd like to comment on are these:

Childeye:
Since free is a subjective term, it would be necessary to qualify what you mean. If you mean not free from slavery to sin, then no , since being subordinate to God is to be free from sin. If you mean not free from Love, then yes, since God is Love. I would say then, that you are free to do whatever you want, but you are not free to want whatever you want to want which determines what you will do.


Wondering:
You say that being subjective to God is to be free from sin. How could you say this? You mean I will no longer sin because I'm serving God? Our sin nature does not disappear - it is only put under submission. We can still choose to sin precisely because we have a sin nature.

I'm free to want whatever I want to want. That will not necessarily determine what I do.
Wanting is not a sin. Doing is a sin. Wanting could become a sin if we dwell on it and let it rule our lives.

Satan rules by lies, while God rules by Truth. So then according to what you say above, you don't actually believe in the free will definition posted above from Merriam Webster, since it proposes that a will is free when not controlled by God, and God is Love. Without Love, one cannot love one another. Hence when you say God gave us a free will, anyone who understands the definition of the term free will, believes that you are preaching that we were not created subordinate to God. But that He made us enabled to sin whenever we choose to. The choice to sin is then portrayed as an ability given by God, rather than a disability attributable to Satan and vanity.

No. I do not agree with Merriam Webster. It might be right for the worldy explanation, but not for the Christian one.
It says that since my choice is dependent on an outside force (God) it cannot be free.
I've explained that my choice is free above.

In a nutshell:
If one is obeying satan, he cannot be free because he is a slave to sin. His very being is sin.
if one is obeying God, he is truly free, and thus can choose to sin or not to sin.

Romans 6 explains this well.

Wondering
 

Jim Parker

Member
From
People's Socialist Republik de Norte KKKalipornia
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
11,259
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
I do not agree with Merriam Webster. It might be right for the worldy explanation, but not for the Christian one.
That is an important point.
Modern English Dictionaries provide the current meaning of modern English words based on how the words are being used by the current population.
There is no direct connection between how modern Americans use a particular word and how an ancient Hebrew or Greek word that has been translated into English was used. That's why translators are regularly updating and revising modern translations of the Bible. Our language is a "living language" and it keeps changing.

For example: Hank William's 1952 song "Jambalaya" has the following line: "Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh".
That doesn't mean the same thing today as it did in 1952.

So, while we look up English words to be sure of the meaning, it may not be what Paul or Isaiah had in mind.
In a nutshell:
If one is obeying satan, he cannot be free because he is a slave to sin. His very being is sin.
if one is obeying God, he is truly free, and thus can choose to sin or not to sin.
Amen.
True freedom is found in choosing obedience to God.

iakov the fool :confused2
 

childeye

Member
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
6,291
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Instead when you're serving God, you are freed from the dominion of the sin nature. You are free to choose to do good or even to do evil. And sometimes we do choose evil otherwise we would be perfect beings!
No one is perfect while yet on their way to perfection. While in a transition from carnal to spiritual, we begin more carnal and end more spiritual. Therefore it's not so much about choice, as it is about faith.
Philippians 2:13
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

I just want to make sure that you don't intend Calvin's depraved nature theory- that says that we are so depraved that we cannot reach out to God and that He has to do ALL the work, including looking for us and finding us. Man CAN search for God and although he has the sin nature, he is not depraved - there will always exist some grace in man. Otherwise how would one ever get to know God?
I can't speak for Calvin. If you want me to weigh in on depravity I will say that it depends on how the debate is framed. You make an excellent point about having to have some degree of decency to recognize decency. But I can therefore also see that without God's Word ( residue of Spirit, inner man), we wouldn't even have the decency to recognize decency.

Right. In scripture free will means that man is free to choose. The dictionary meaning might mean that man is free from outside influence - but that's not scriptural. Man is ALWAYS influenced; both by satan and by God.
Actually, free will (the noun), does not appear in scripture. But the adjective and adverb do. That means that some choices are free will choices (voluntary) and some are not. That is why there is no free will noun in scripture. Moral/immoral choices can never be free will choices simply because there are two wills at play competing over which will lives and which will dies. As you know, we cannot serve two masters.

As we said, if by satan his choice will be evil as counted by God, even if he is doing good, IF, instead man is serving God he has true choice.
Choice also will refer to the ability to choose God or satan. This is the first and most important choice. It's the beginning of everything.
This is where semantics come into play. For if you notice, we start out in the garden subordinate to God and obedient through trusting God, that we are free to eat of any tree except for one, lest we die. The choice between Satan and God is proposed by Satan. That is an important distinction, because it will define all the connotations and inferences that will occur in all our moral/immoral terms between what is true and what is a lie. To say it is a free choice is obscuring the reality that there is only one Truth.

Deuteronomy 30:15
Deuteronomy 30:19
God places before us the choice. We could choose Him or we could choose satan. That is the choice - and it's made by our own freedom to choose, our own free will.
Our WILL (choice and desire) chooses.
This is the Old Testament given while sold under sin. This choice to live or die, be blessed or cursed, is not a voluntary choice. It is in fact designed to prove that men cannot keep the law, and choose life. Therefore through the law, God condemns every man as hopeless sinners, so that any person who wants to live, would have only one option, and that is to hope in God's Christ. Romans 3:19, 20. Romans 5:20. Galatians 3:24.

But did God plan things this way? That He would order every single event in line down to every molecule? If He ordered every event, where's our free will? If He already planned everything, there is NO free will. We're just puppets on a stage carrying out the puppetmaster's orders. Simple concept. We're either free or we're not.
I don't like the term puppets, since we are animate creatures with our own individual wills capable of choosing. They're just not free wills aimlessly or randomly doing whatever.

What most people don't know, is that when God first created Adam, He did gave Adam a free will. And God placed Adam on a high cliff and showed him the earth before him and said, "This is all your domain, now go out and do whatever you will." So Adam took his first step and fell to his death. Then God scratched his head and began to think. And seeing His mistake, He quickly constructed a New Adam, and this time He placed him on the flat ground in front of all the animals. And the animals were gathered there with the reptiles and bugs in the back, the grazers in the middle, and the higher animals like the elephants and the lions, were at the front. And God said to Adam, "You have been given dominion over all of these animals, now go out and name them according to your volition". So Adam looked at the animals and straightaway walked up to the lions who immediately devoured him. And God scratched His head, and again began to think. And then he saw His mistake and began a New Adam while the lions anxiously awaited God's handiwork. This time God did not give Adam a free will, and this is the Adam in scripture.


How do you arrive at this idea that we're here so God could populate heaven?
Actually I said populate a new heavens and earth. God willing, we'll be on earth. 2 Peter 3:10, 13. Revelation 21:1, 2, 3.
 
Last edited:

childeye

Member
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
6,291
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
You say that being subject to God is to be free from sin. How could you say this? You mean I will no longer sin because I'm serving God? We can still choose to sin precisely because we have a sin nature.

I'm free to want whatever I want to want.
We still have the flesh to deal with in all of it's weakness and vanity, but it is no match for the Grace seen on the cross. For we know that the Christ was scourged and beaten, stripped naked and crucified. And in the midst of his suffering, he opened his pure heart and he poured out a prayer for those who were brutally crucifying him, saying "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do". And when he had said this, those who had been mocking him with such a vicious scorn, suddenly went silent, and their cruelty lost all zeal.

Therefore there is a conversion that takes place from the carnal to the spiritual. I'm not saying that it happens over night, but it begins immediately upon receiving Christ as Lord into your heart. There are a load of lies that need to be exposed for the renewing of the mind to take place. This is the definer of sin, when we don't love God with all of our heart mind and soul, and when we do unto others what we would not want done to us. If you can honestly tell me that you are not moved by God's grace, as seen on the cross, and that you can choose to willingly want to see others suffer, then I'll believe that you are free to sin and want whatever you want to want. But I will not say that you are in Christ.
 
Last edited:

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
We still have the flesh to deal with in all of it's weakness and vanity, but it is no match for the Grace seen on the cross. For we know that the Christ was scourged and beaten, stripped naked and crucified. And in the midst of his suffering, he opened his pure heart and he poured out a prayer for those who were brutally crucifying him, saying "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do". And when he had said this, those who had been mocking him with such a vicious scorn, suddenly went silent, and their cruelty lost all zeal.

Therefore there is a conversion that takes place from the carnal to the spiritual. I'm not saying that it happens over night, but it begins immediately upon receiving Christ as Lord into your heart. There are a load of lies that need to be exposed for the renewing of the mind to take place. This is the definer of sin, when we don't love God with all of our heart mind and soul, and when we do unto others what we would not want done to us. If you can honestly tell me that you are not moved by God's grace, as seen on the cross, and that you can choose to willingly want to see others suffer, then I'll believe that you are free to sin and want whatever you want to want. But I will not say that you are in Christ.
Childeye,
You must be a perfect person!
Cruelty lost all zeal.
Okay. I'm good with that.

Therefore there is a conversion that takes place from the carnal to the spiritual.
I'm still with you. Also agree that it doesn't happen overnight. Although it does start immediately.
It's called sanctification. And it takes your whole life. And everyone doesn't make it to the same level.
Seems we each have our own speed, our own path to follow. God is nice to respect the creature He made.

This is the definer of sin, when we don't love God with all of our heart mind and soul, and when we do unto others what we would not want done to us.
Sin means missing the mark; missing what we are aiming for.
But I'm good with your description. To get into the description of what you've stated would be splitting hairs, so it's good.
I'll only refer again to my statement above about each one of us having our own path to follow. It's a PERSONAL relationship.

If you can honestly tell me that you are not moved by God's grace, as seen on the cross,
We're still good. Being moved by God's grace is why people get saved - or they are moved by it immediately afterwards, although the full understanding of grace, IMHO, is never achieved.

that you can choose to willingly want to see others suffer, then I'll believe that you are free to sin and want whatever you want to want. But I will not say that you are in Christ
Here we must part company.
Because I'm not as perfect as you are.
We may not WILLINGLY want to see anyone suffer. Does that mean we never do it?
If not, you're a pretty perfect person.

Free to sin. Of course we're free to sin. And you have never sinned?
That's perfection.

Want whatever I want to want.
I saw this really nice diamond ring down in the city here about a year ago. I mean, I Iived in NYC and had access to 47th Street. I don't know if this means anything to you. I'll just say this thing staring up at me created a want in me. I stared at it for minutes. Then I came to my senses and walked away.
Was that a sin?
Was that a Want?

So you're saying I'm not in Christ?

Wondering
 

childeye

Member
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
6,291
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Childeye,
You must be a perfect person!
It takes one to know one, so quite boasting.

that you can choose to willingly want to see others suffer, then I'll believe that you are free to sin and want whatever you want to want. But I will not say that you are in Christ
Here we must part company.
Because I'm not as perfect as you are.
Did I say something that brought you down? I feel responsible. I don't believe that you want to see others suffer anymore than I do.
We may not WILLINGLY want to see anyone suffer. Does that mean we never do it?
If not, you're a pretty perfect person.
I was born stepping on peoples toes, and when I lifted my foot, I bumped into somebody else. I quickly learned that we all share a planet, and it is inevitable that offence occurs without willing it. I'm pretty sure that I have caused more suffering than I know. I need God's grace.

So you're saying I'm not in Christ?
Of course not. I'm saying that any mindset that thinks sin is something we get to do, is yet carnal, that's all. God alone is good.
 
Last edited:

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
It takes one to know one, so quite boasting.

Did I say something that brought you down? I feel responsible. I don't believe that you want to see others suffer anymore than I do.
I was born stepping on peoples toes, and when I lifted my foot, I bumped into somebody else. I quickly learned that we all share a planet, and it is inevitable that offence occurs without willing it. I'm pretty sure that I have caused more suffering than I know. I need God's grace.

Of course not. I'm saying that any mindset that thinks sin is something we get to do, is yet carnal, that's all. God alone is good.
Sometimes it's the wording that makes the misunderstanding.
In your last sentence above you say:
sin is something we get to do

I think you mean that those with a mindset that believe sin is ALLOWED are yet carnal.
I agree with this. Maybe your wording is the same and it's ME.
The way you word it makes me think that you mean we don't sin anymore. I understand now that this is not
what you mean or meant.

God alone is good.

Amen.

Wondering
 

childeye

Member
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
6,291
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Sometimes it's the wording that makes the misunderstanding.
In your last sentence above you say:
sin is something we get to do

I think you mean that those with a mindset that believe sin is ALLOWED are yet carnal.
I purposefully said "get to do". Temptation can only exist by making a sin desirable. I don't look at things through a free will lens. I look at why people choose to do acts of sin and why they choose to do acts of righteousness. I look at the wants/desires of the will, and where they come from. For instance you had a want for a ring that you did not want to want, and seeing that it was impractical, you walked away from purchasing it.
 

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
I purposefully said "get to do". Temptation can only exist by making a sin desirable. I don't look at things through a free will lens. I look at why people choose to do acts of sin and why they choose to do acts of righteousness. I look at the wants/desires of the will, and where they come from. For instance you had a want for a ring that you did not want to want, and seeing that it was impractical, you walked away from purchasing it.
No. I DID want to want that ring.
And it would not have been a sin to purchase it, as I have done in the past.
I was trying to show that one could walk away from wanting something. It's just a choice we make.

You try to understand why people choose sin or choose righteousness.
The desires of the Will and where they come from.

The desires of the will can only come from two places:
God
Satan

There is no other place. You choose for God or you choose for Satan. Once you know this, life becomes simple to understand.

WHY does one choose sin or choose righteousness.
Now we get to complicated matters. It depends on many factors. Not the least of which is that we're human and are going to make mistakes. Or it could be something else. Maybe it's our pride, maybe it's fear, maybe it's distraction - the list goes on.

You have an interesting pass time Childeye!

Wondering
 

childeye

Member
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
6,291
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
No. I DID want to want that ring.
And it would not have been a sin to purchase it, as I have done in the past.
I was trying to show that one could walk away from wanting something. It's just a choice we make.
The want did not come by choice but by looking at the ring. You said that you walked away because you came to your senses.


You choose for God or you choose for Satan. Once you know this, life becomes simple to understand.
Christ on the cross is simple. But Satan is an accomplished liar. We need the Holy Spirit to be able to see through a maze of lies. 2 Corinthians 11:3.
 

wondering

Supporter
From
Italy
Gender
Female
Messages
17,324
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
The want did not come by choice but by looking at the ring. You said that you walked away because you came to your senses.

Christ on the cross is simple. But Satan is an accomplished liar. We need the Holy Spirit to be able to see through a maze of lies. 2 Corinthians 11:3.

You always have interesting comments Childeye.
You always force me to think. It's good!

Looking at the ring. Eve looked at the apple - it looked good.
I came to my senses. Yeah. And boy was my husband happy about that!
Too bad Eve didn't come to her senses!

I love what you said about Christ being simple.
2 Cor 11:3 Perfect!

The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy.
John 10:10

We should always be vigilant to his lies. He has the ability to make bad look like good.
But God never makes good look like bad... because God does not lie.

Thanks, as usual.

Wondering
 
Top