Calvinism

i dont like to say this about religious groups, but i can’t stand calvinsists. i’ve been debating a calvinist kid on another website because i came across his rants about catholics and have been trying to set him straight. he is convinced that basically only calvinists and a few select others from different protestant denominations are going to heaven. he stated that anywhere from 86% - 92% of the world is going to hell.
now not only this, but they believe that everyone is predestined to go either to heaven or hell before they were born. there is no such thing as free will. the thing that kills me is that the biggest sign you’re one of the saved is if you’re a calvinist…real convenient for them.
i have explained that what he has said about catholicism is wrong and i have explained what it is we really believe but he tells me that i am wrong; we dont believe the way i say we do. all he does is quote the bible and claim it’s the only book ever written that we can be 100% sure is 100% accurate.
oh, and when the pope died and someone made a thread about him and what a good man he was, this calvinist comes in and says he went to hell. unbelievable.

how do you get these people to see the truth???

I would focus not on getting him to accept the truth, but rather show him how his arguments against Catholicism are false. Remember, Truth comes from God, not from us…

You can’t make them see reason. Reason can only come through the action of the Holy Spirit. You don’t have to just relent and not try, but realize that it won’t be through your own actions.

And, Rand, are your stories ever going to get back on track and be as good as “Eye of the World”? :smiley:

John

i meant the truth about catholicism.

and i’m hoping my next book will be back on track, lol.

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]i meant the truth about catholicism.

and i’m hoping my next book will be back on track, lol.
[/quote]

Actually, the truth about Catholocism/reason/wisdom are related in my little internal thought process.

I hear the next book should be out in October, I usually wait for it to come out in the Science Fiction Book Club though…

John

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]he stated that anywhere from 86% - 92% of the world is going to hell.
[/quote]

Most Calvinists wouldn’t put the figure higher than 89%. He must have been in a bad mood.

I usually tell them that God predestined me not to believe in Calvinism.

this guy even told me that ted bundy was a testiment to God’s glory when i asked what the point would be of creating someone for the sole purpose of breaking His commandments and at the same time telling us to follow them in the bible.
and just now, after telling me numerous times that the catholic church broke away from the teachings of the church fathers (ie, true christianity) and i posted some bible verses and commentary by the church fathers from this site, he tells me that he “only goes by some of what the fathers say”.
the funniest thing is that he started a rant about gay people and how God hates them, quotes a verse, i point out that nowhere does the word “hate” or even “dislike” appear in it, and says “well, that’s what it means”. i guess you only take literally what works for your argument at the time after saying that everything in the bible should be taken literally…

Not trying to offend, but Scripture does teach predestination. Rom 8:29-30; Eph 1. I’ll leave the free will part alone.

As a Calvinist, all I can say is “This kid does not represent me.”

I have no idea what the percentage is of people who will be saved. I can only say that it is less than 50%, because of what Jesus said about the wide gate and the narrow gate.

I don’t think you have to be a Calvinist to be saved either.

I consider myself quite open to reason. It was reason that caused me to be a calvinist in the first place. I’ve been a Christian most of my life, and I’ve believed in free will and all that this whole time. I decided a while back that I needed to inform myself about the whole Calvinism debate, and I read some Calvinist literature with the idea that I was going to figure out how to refute it, but in the process, I ended up making the switch. After making the switch, I still believed in free will with respect to everything except whether we accept or reject Jesus. Jonathan Edward’s book on The Freedom of the Will had a lot to do with me becoming a compatibalists. I found his arguments to be persuasive. Some compatibalists still use the term “free will” but they mean it in a different sense than libertarians.

Maybe the reasoning was all faulty, and I’m just not very smart, but it was reason that brought me to the Calvinist point of view. I was pursuaded by the arguments.

I haven’t really looked into Catholicism enough to say that I’ve really given it a fair hearing.

Sam

[quote=sonseeker]Not trying to offend, but Scripture does teach predestination. Rom 8:29-30; Eph 1. I’ll leave the free will part alone.
[/quote]

The problem is that Scripture also clearly teaches free will. We have verses scattered all over the place talking about works and tying them into justification, and not just in the so-called ‘straw epistle’ of James.

The problem, IMO, with Calvinisim is twofold:

  1. It is far too reliant upon human logic to attempt to explain the infinite mystery of God. One takes a couple of verses in the Scripture and builds an entire theology around them, in spite of other verses that at least give one a reason to call them into question. Instead of doing what we should do (chalk it up to a Mystery), we try to explain it with our human logic… and we wind up calling one another heretics over the issue.

  2. God repeatedly says in Scripture that he wills that ALL would come to repentance and knowledge of his Son, and thus Salvation. He does not limit that desire, and it is indeed God’s earnest desire that the Gospel would reach all places. Calvinisim falls apart because if it’s inconsistent arguments. First, regular calvinisim states, as I understand it, that while God positively elects those who are predestined for eternal life, he never positively elects those who are damned (that is a feature of hypercalvinisim). My question to single-predestinarians is, “What is the real difference?” Through his inaction, God has condemned them to eternal death. It’s no different than God just chalking up a list and tossing it into the pit… wether through inaction or through specific determination, anyone who is not predestined for salvation is, by default, predestined for damnation. To me, it is intellectual dishonesty to argue otherwise (though I know that several hypercalvinists I speak with would love to challenge me on this issue), and to claim that such is the way that a merciful God works… hrm… I can’t buy into that.

In the end, the mystery of the working of our salvation is a mystery of our faith that we will never understand. Free will is involved… obedience is involved… and yet grace and faith are involved as well… as is some element of predestination.

We cannot understand it for, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, says the Lord.”

Rob+

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]i dont like to say this about religious groups, but i can’t stand calvinsists. i’ve been debating a calvinist kid on another website because i came across his rants about catholics and have been trying to set him straight. he is convinced that basically only calvinists and a few select others from different protestant denominations are going to heaven. he stated that anywhere from 86% - 92% of the world is going to hell.
now not only this, but they believe that everyone is predestined to go either to heaven or hell before they were born. there is no such thing as free will. the thing that kills me is that the biggest sign you’re one of the saved is if you’re a calvinist…real convenient for them.
i have explained that what he has said about catholicism is wrong and i have explained what it is we really believe but he tells me that i am wrong; we dont believe the way i say we do. all he does is quote the bible and claim it’s the only book ever written that we can be 100% sure is 100% accurate.
oh, and when the pope died and someone made a thread about him and what a good man he was, this calvinist comes in and says he went to hell. unbelievable.

how do you get these people to see the truth???
[/quote]

Calvanism in itself seems to be dieing off as well as their counterpart, Presbyterianism.

[quote=yochumjy]You can’t make them see reason. Reason can only come through the action of the Holy Spirit. You don’t have to just relent and not try, but realize that it won’t be through your own actions.

[/quote]

Best of luck – I used to be a die-hard Calvinist myself and I know I gave those who disagreed with me a pretty hard time over it. Never “did any battle” with Catholics, but I wish now that I had – maybe they would have set me straight. I feel lucky that I reserved judgment on the RCC until actually taking an RCIA class and learning in-depth, it almost felt like de-toxification getting all of that bad doctrine and anti-Catholic bias out of my spirit.

Michael

[quote=surfinpure]Best of luck – I used to be a die-hard Calvinist myself and I know I gave those who disagreed with me a pretty hard time over it. Never “did any battle” with Catholics, but I wish now that I had – maybe they would have set me straight. I feel lucky that I reserved judgment on the RCC until actually taking an RCIA class and learning in-depth, it almost felt like de-toxification getting all of that bad doctrine and anti-Catholic bias out of my spirit.

Michael
[/quote]

SORRY! I accidentally posted this under my wife’s login. Many apologies . . .

Michael

Rob,

I’m having a bit of trouble understanding your post. That could be because I’m trying to see it all logically or something. First, you say that Calvinism relies to heavily on human logic. I’m not sure what you mean by “human logic.” Are there different kinds of logic? How do you understand anything at all without logic? Does logic not apply to God?

Second you accuse Calvinists of being inconsistent. By that, I’m guessing you mean that some things they say contradict other things they say. If so, then they aren’t really being logical at all, are they? Why, then, do you accuse them of using “human logic”? By “human logic” do you mean some kind of logic that doesn’t include the law of non-contradiction?

You suggest that instead of trying to use human logic to figure out what the Bible means, we should chalk it up to “mystery.” When you say “mystery,” do you mean the same thing as “contradiction”? Or are you saying there’s some things in the Bible that God never intended us to understand?

If human logic does not apply to the Bible, then does it really matter if there are any contradictions in it? I mean in ordinary logic, contradiction indicates error, but if we are not to apply logic to the Bible, then that would seem to imply that it doesn’t matter if the Bible contradicts itself. But there I go again using human logic.

Sam

the thing that always gets me is when people repeatedly say something like: “well, it says this in the bible, clearly it means ___”. i point out to them that they are reading it in english, a language the bible was never meant to be read in, as that language didnt exist for about 1500 years after the bible was written.
greek is a difficult language to translate, and though i dont speak any myself, people who do have told me this. there are a number of words in greek that have no translation into other languages. i have two copies of the Iliad by two different translators, and they are both different. the overall story is the same, and the scenes happen the same way, but the words used to describe them are at times very different.
then people say “well, that’s the iliad, and the bible is God’s word.” yes, God’s word as translated by humans with error. that is the main reason you can’t take the bible literally. because of the translation issue (and let’s just remember that the bible wasnt translated into english until about 1535) what is perfectly clear in saying one thing may be perfectly clear in saying something else. that is the big problem luther and the reformers in england ran into.

[quote=FrRobSST]The problem is that Scripture also clearly teaches free will. We have verses scattered all over the place talking about works and tying them into justification, and not just in the so-called ‘straw epistle’ of James.
Rob+
[/quote]

Rob, I’d like to give the “Calvinist” position on free will, first, and then if you would like I’ll continue with the rest of your statement.

I’ll make it brief.

We are made in the image of God. God being volition, we too are volition beings. The question: in what way is man’s will free?

Gen 6:5 says that "every intent of the thoughts of his [man’s] heart was only evil continually (see also Gen 8:21; Ps 14:1-3; Pro 6:18; Mt 15:19; Rom 1:28-32).

Rom 3:10ff expands: “There is none righteous, not even one; none who understands…none who seeks God…they are all useless.”

Christ, Paul, and Peter say that the man (and his will) are in bondage to sin (Jn 8:34; Rom 6:16; 2 Pet 2:19). God and Paul add to that the man (and his will) are also dead spiritually (Gen 2:17; Eph 2:1).

Unregenerate man can do evil and nothing but. That is God’s statement throughout Scripture. Unregenerate man’s will is in bondage to sin/evil. It is, therefore, limited freedom at best.

[quote=sonseeker]Rob, I’d like to give the “Calvinist” position on free will, first, and then if you would like I’ll continue with the rest of your statement.

I’ll make it brief.

We are made in the image of God. God being volition, we too are volition beings. The question: in what way is man’s will free?

Gen 6:5 says that "every intent of the thoughts of his [man’s] heart was only evil continually (see also Gen 8:21; Ps 14:1-3; Pro 6:18; Mt 15:19; Rom 1:28-32).

Rom 3:10ff expands: “There is none righteous, not even one; none who understands…none who seeks God…they are all useless.”

Christ, Paul, and Peter say that the man (and his will) are in bondage to sin (Jn 8:34; Rom 6:16; 2 Pet 2:19). God and Paul add to that the man (and his will) are also dead spiritually (Gen 2:17; Eph 2:1).

Unregenerate man can do evil and nothing but. That is God’s statement throughout Scripture. Unregenerate man’s will is in bondage to sin/evil. It is, therefore, limited freedom at best.
[/quote]

sounds like what you’re saying is that only think anyone can ever do is sin…that is definitely not true at all. we have the NATURE to sin because of adam and eve. that’s what those passages mean; not that we can do nothing but evil.

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]sounds like what you’re saying is that only think anyone can ever do is sin…that is definitely not true at all. we have the NATURE to sin because of adam and eve. that’s what those passages mean; not that we can do nothing but evil.
[/quote]

I am saying that. But notice, I said “unregenerate” man can do only evil. That is what the Scripture says. That is why there is so much evil in the world. My statement is based on the word of God. Which you it seems to me, by your post #15, that you reject.

All of those passage indict every person ever born.

We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.

But there is hope…Christ

Wasn’t Calvin also a tyrannical dictator over a small town in Switzerland who was eventually thrown from power?

[quote=JackmanUSC]Wasn’t Calvin also a tyrannical dictator over a small town in Switzerland who was eventually thrown from power?
[/quote]

Yes, he was born during the time of the deadly inquisition.

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