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  #101  
Old 03-27-2009, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: "CALVINISM: Sound Doctrine?"

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Originally Posted by CKG View Post
I was saved in 1983 and early on in my Christian walk I became aware of Calvinism, but it didn't seem to be that big of an issue back then. It seems like in the last 10 to 12 years (especially in the last 5 years) it has become quite a contentious issue and I'm wondering if this is due to a surge in Calvinistic theology during this time frame or has Calvinism always been prevalent, but now more people are starting to question it?

Along those same lines it seems there is more emphasis on rightly dividing Scripture. I rarely heard that term in my early days as a Christian, but now its become quite common. Maybe as people learn to rightly divide God's Word one of the results is it exposes long held teachings and doctrines such as Calvinism. I'm sure the advent of the internet is also responsible as people are now able to share the truth of God's Word in a way that was not possible before.

Aloha brother CKG,

I personally believe that Calvinism appeals to those people who are "academically inclined"; the "scholarly type”; or the "intellectual". Calvinism, as "a SYSTEM of biblical interpretation and theological formulations", appeals to the mind of man and is based on the "intellect", i.e. human knowledge, discernment, understanding, and wisdom - and NOT on the Holy Scriptures and spiritual knowledge, discernment, understanding, and wisdom.

Calvin and the Reformers lived in the age when the “University System” was becoming the center of learning and influence in the Western world. All of the Protestant Churches (as the Catholic Church before them) established Universities – ostensibly to teach Christian values and further whatever Denominational beliefs the churches held. And every single one of them (without exception) became corrupt; and then apostate; and eventually reprobate!

There is something about the nature of “SCHOOLING” (no matter WHO does it, or for WHAT motive) that eventually corrupts those involved in it - regardless of the purest and very best of intentions! {Harvard, Yale, & Princeton being the prime examples in the U.S.A. – and there are literally dozens more now}

I believe part of it has to do with people (teachers), who have had little or no practical experience in life, and who live in an academic world (the world of the “mind”) and apart from ordinary people, and who, because of KNOWLEDGE, get puffed-up and full of PRIDE, and “think of themselves more highly than they ought”, and who are honored and revered by many because of their “learning”. Remember - it was the desire for KNOWLEDGE that was the cause of Eve’s downfall, and which (after she received it) corrupted her “mind”!

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, AS the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

In our Humanistic culture, SECULAR SCHOOLING has become the predominate way of obtaining knowledge (and practically the only “acceptable” way). As a matter of fact, if a person (in our society) has not gone to college and obtained a college "degree", they are considered (by society) "ignorant" and can therefore be ignored. {Peter, Andrew, James, and John wouldn’t even get "a hearing" in Western Society today, and neither would the Lord Jesus Christ – none of them were “schooled”, none of them held “degrees”!}

SCHOOLING (Scholasticism & Philosophy) was the downfall (or undoing) of Origen, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin (and countless others since). A School (College, University, or Seminary) CANNOT teach spiritual discernment, understanding, or wisdom; ONLY the Holy Spirit can teach those things [
1 Corinthians Chapter 2]. Schools can only teach the kind of "knowledge" that is directed at the MIND, with an emphasis on a "curriculum" {pre-determined subjects, pre-determined courses of study, modules, syllabus, etc.; i.e. educational programs - all with built in biases.}

On the other hand, when a person studies the Holy Scriptures (without the "guidance" of a School, or a pre-determined course of study) the Holy Spirit can teach SPIRITUAL knowledge, discernment, understanding, and wisdom which is directed at the HEART; and the SPIRIT; and the CONSCIENCE of a man - not only the MIND. [
Deuteronomy 32:46; 1Samuel 21:12; 1 Kings 3:12; Job 22:22; Proverbs 4:4, 22:17; Isaiah 59:13]

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine HEART, that I might not sin against thee.

Proverbs 23:12 Apply thine HEART unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine HEART: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine HEART as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

Ezekiel 3:10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine HEART, and hear with thine ears.

How can I (or a school) teach the HEART, or the SPIRIT, or the CONSCIENCE of a person? I can’t, and neither can a school (i.e. teachers). We CAN only teach to the MIND - it’s up to each individual to “apply thine HEART unto instruction”. I may appeal to a person’s heart with the Holy Scriptures, but they must “receive in thine HEART” – “ALL MY (GOD’S) WORDS”, I cannot “receive” for them. When it comes to sin – it’s up to each individual to “hide” God’s word in the heart – I cannot do these things for them (and neither can schools (or teachers), although many think they can; or that rules, regulations, and ordinances can.

What happens to a child if the courses, subjects, and educational programs that are being taught to him (or her) are not centered on God and His Holy word? What if the curriculum is centered on the values, beliefs, ideals, and morals of the predominate “Culture” in which we live? I will guarantee you, if that child’s mind, heart, spirit, and conscience is not firmly rooted and grounded in the Holy Scriptures, his or her mind will become “corrupt”.

People are born with a heart that is naturally “deceitful” [Jeremiah 17:9], but their minds are a “clean slate” (so to speak). Whereas a child’s heart is naturally deceitful, their minds are not naturally corrupt – this is where our culture, entertainment, the media, and “schooling” come in; especially SCHOOLING!

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, AS the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

How many Christian parents are there (who raised their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” and who trained them up according to the Bible as best they could) have sent their children off to SCHOOL (Secular or “Christian”) only to see their sons (and daughters) turn their backs on God and His Holy word and become reprobates? The number is in the thousands! Just what is going on? The schools (Secular or “Christian”) have become the repository of a Philosophy (Religion) - HUMANISM that is so subtle and perverse, that most of today’s Christians don’t even recognize it for what it is.

Along with whatever subject matter is being taught within these schools (Secular or “Christian”) – Humanistic VALUES are unknowingly being inculcated into the MINDS of Christian children. That is - their minds are being “corrupted” by a godless, atheistic philosophy (“belief system”, i.e. religion) while at the same time they are acquiring a secular or religious “education”!

The Scriptures state: “Knowledge puffeth up” [1Corinthians 8:1]. You would think that would be warning enough for Christians (especially Bible believing Christians) to beware of Schooling.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches DECEIVE the HEARTS of the simple.

But sadly, most of today’s Christians are so ignorant of the Bible, (God’s words) they cannot discern between good and evil. John Calvin was raised and educated a Roman Catholic. He went to Catholic schools and Universities; and much of his personal philosophy and “belief system” was shaped by the men he studied under (all Catholics); and the written works of the “fathers” (Augustine foremost - Catholic); and without doubt (because of “similarities”) Thomas Aquinas (the greatest Roman Catholic “Theologian”).

John Calvin is a perfect example of WHAT & WHO a Bible believing Christian should avoid. We should avoid the kind of “education” he received, and we should avoid the kind of works that he produced - a Persecuting Theocratic Dictatorship! The Apostles are our examples of who we must follow, and ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; We don’t need to follow John Calvin or his writings.
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  #102  
Old 03-27-2009, 02:49 PM
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There is a calvinist resurgence.

There are even websites about it

www.theresurgence.com

Lots of young people are taking it up, mainly for the reasons George says. It also puts them in an elite group, something that all young people desire.

I don't see much fruit coming from it.

What I am interested in seeing is what happens to these young people who are "restless and reformed" in 10 years time. At the moment, a lot of testimonies from them on youtube are all about how they stopped sinning after God made them stop, and then rebuking other Christians who struggle. I wonder what happens in 10 years when the trials of life really set in.

It seems as though becoming a Calvinist gives you 400 years of education in a split second, and the right to rebuke anyone and everyone else as teaching "works based salvation" and "easy believism".
  #103  
Old 03-27-2009, 05:37 PM
peopleoftheway peopleoftheway is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke View Post
There is a calvinist resurgence.

There are even websites about it

www.theresurgence.com

Lots of young people are taking it up, mainly for the reasons George says. It also puts them in an elite group, something that all young people desire.

I don't see much fruit coming from it.

What I am interested in seeing is what happens to these young people who are "restless and reformed" in 10 years time. At the moment, a lot of testimonies from them on youtube are all about how they stopped sinning after God made them stop, and then rebuking other Christians who struggle. I wonder what happens in 10 years when the trials of life really set in.

It seems as though becoming a Calvinist gives you 400 years of education in a split second, and the right to rebuke anyone and everyone else as teaching "works based salvation" and "easy believism".
So very true Brother, you are around the same age as myself (Im 34) And most of the youth around where I live that are "Christians" are either pentecostal or calvinists. I find it so very hard to find Bible believing, rightly dividing fellowship.
I hope things are better with you ,the devil is certainly trying to give those that walk in truth a battering in his final days. But his end is near.

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

God Bless
  #104  
Old 03-28-2009, 03:00 AM
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chette777 chette777 is offline
 
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People sounds to me there is a calling there to start a fellowship of Bible Believers. You should pray about that and if the Lord is leading start one by faith.

I can give you 100 testimonies (if not more) as to God providing for him who he calls. I started this fellowship with a $20 a month promise. went to nothing and now I have a regular amount (not enough to live on in the States but enough for here). The car we bought by faith last July has been fully paid off as of this month. that was our latest testimony to God's provision by faith.
  #105  
Old 03-28-2009, 07:01 AM
peopleoftheway peopleoftheway is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chette777 View Post
People sounds to me there is a calling there to start a fellowship of Bible Believers. You should pray about that and if the Lord is leading start one by faith.

I can give you 100 testimonies (if not more) as to God providing for him who he calls. I started this fellowship with a $20 a month promise. went to nothing and now I have a regular amount (not enough to live on in the States but enough for here). The car we bought by faith last July has been fully paid off as of this month. that was our latest testimony to God's provision by faith.
Thanks for that Brother.
You know way back in 1957 my grandfather and 3 or 4 friends disagreed with the Church system here in Northern Ireland and the apostate nature of most of them so they, through prayer and faith built a Gospel hall. Not a massive hall, a decent sized Gospel hall seats about 100, baptismal tank and prayer room. They trod miles on foot every day to witness and to invite the local community to the hall for Gospel meetings, I even recall my Grandfather and his friend building a bridge over a small stream (Cut almost 2-3 miles of a journey) so that the young folks of the area could come to the Hall to hear the Word of God in Sunday school. I remember as a small child going to Sunday school there and sometimes the meetings spilled outside due to lack of room. Last year I visited the hall again and I was quite disheartened to learn that some had come in with peculiar teachings and modern versions and the numbers had greatly dropped. I ask if you could pray for me to get in touch with my Grandfathers old fellowship (those who are still alive) and possibly help to bring back the Zeal to the Hall and encourage the young people to attend again, if that is the Lords will for me.
I would very much like to visit the Philippines one day and come and see you and your Church.

Much Love in the Lord
  #106  
Old 03-28-2009, 06:50 PM
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we will most definitely be praying for God still has souls that need teh truth there where you are at. I would love to help so prayers is the first step. you can visit our web page for now seeing airfare is so expensive. It should be on my profile.
  #107  
Old 04-16-2009, 12:29 PM
boaz212 boaz212 is offline
 
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Default Question on Romans 9

Hi George, my name is Tim. I just joined the forum. I have been studying Romans 9. I understand that the context of the chapter is on the election of the nation of Israel. But a calvinist would twist it to mean predestination of the saved/lost. I have some questions on your study on this chapter. I have a few things I am not understanding so I can't put the whole chapter together. I need your help.

[I]Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.[/I]
To whom is the mercy/compassion referring to?

Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Rom 9:22 [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
What does it mean "made me thus"? What's the complaint? Is the vessel of wrath referring to just the pharoah? What how do you define "fitted"? and the meaning "fitted to destruction"? And lastly, what is the "glory" in v23 referring to?

It has been a bit frustrating for me trying to sort through the maze of calvinism. Your explanation in this thread has been a great blessing to me. Thanks for your help.
  #108  
Old 04-16-2009, 12:35 PM
boaz212 boaz212 is offline
 
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I just remembered another question I have.

2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
My understanding of repentance is a change of heart/mind that we have to make. So I am having a difficult time with this verse that sounds like repentance is given by God. I know this verse will come up as I talk to calvinists in my church. I think they might say that without God's help, no one can repent and believe Christ. Thanks again for the help.
Tim
  #109  
Old 04-17-2009, 03:16 AM
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The problem with being against Calvinism's "sovereign" God that decrees everything, is that sometimes, we make ourselves a God who does nothing...

God DOES draw people to himself. God does touch hearts. God does move men. God does bring conviction.

The Bible clearly says that no one can come to Jesus unless God draws them.

What the Calvinist does is say that this "drawing" is the new birth, and no one can come to God until they are born again. Basically, they are regenerated before they are saved.

The Bible has it the other way around. We are convicted by the word, by the Holy Spirit. We come to God because we see our need, and He has provided, and He regenerates us by grace through faith.

Having said that - I'm not sure who that verse is to be applied to. It refers to someone who has been decieved by the devil. They oppose themselves. I am not sure what that means. False doctrines perhaps.. They are saved but their false doctrines confuse them. Not sure.
  #110  
Old 04-17-2009, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: "CALVINISM: Sound Doctrine?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by boaz212 View Post
Hi George, my name is Tim. I just joined the forum. I have been studying Romans 9. I understand that the context of the chapter is on the election of the nation of Israel. But a calvinist would twist it to mean predestination of the saved/lost. I have some questions on your study on this chapter. I have a few things I am not understanding so I can't put the whole chapter together. I need your help.

[I]Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.[/i]
To whom is the mercy/compassion referring to?

Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Rom 9:22 [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
What does it mean "made me thus"? What's the complaint? Is the vessel of wrath referring to just the pharoah? What how do you define "fitted"? and the meaning "fitted to destruction"? And lastly, what is the "glory" in v23 referring to?

It has been a bit frustrating for me trying to sort through the maze of calvinism. Your explanation in this thread has been a great blessing to me. Thanks for your help.

Aloha brother Tim,

I am working on an answer to your questions, and will reply soon. However, let me say that although I have been a student of the Bible for 50 years (a serious student for about 40 of those years), I do not have all of the "answers" to some of those Bible issues that "are hard to be understood" and the Apostle Paul had more than his share! [2Peter 3:16]

If you ask me to "rightly divide" the Book of Matthew or the Book of Acts (where many a "Bible scholar" stumbles) I have very little problem, BUT when it comes to the Book of Romans or the Book of Hebrews, that's another story.

I believe that the reason for my difficulty is that the "KEY" to understanding the Books of Matthew & Acts is the "JEWS" - if a Christian can rightly divide between the Jews; the Gentiles; and the church of God (i.e. Christians) [1Corinthians 10:32], rightly dividing the word of truth in those Books is not that difficult. On the other hand Paul's Letters are another matter!

The Apostle Paul's Letters require much more discernment than keeping track of the Jews, the Gentiles, and the church of God. Much of what Paul writes requires spiritual discernment and understanding [1 Corinthians 2:1-16] that only God can give. No church, no "Bible school", and no man (myself included) can teach or give another man this kind of "discernment" and "understanding"; and I don't claim to understand ALL THINGS, nor do I claim to have the ability to be able to "transfer" what little discernment and understanding I do have to others.

Paul's Letters basically deal with two main issues (i.e. "weightier matters") - Bible "DOCTRINE" & Christian "CONDUCT". I "get" most of what Paul has to say about our "conduct", but I confess (with Peter) that "in all of his epistles" - there are "some things hard to be understood". And your questions are dealing with some of those "things".

Quote:
2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
I see the New Testament as the complete "Testimony" of and about our Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospels = God's testimony to Christ's earthly "ministry" (almost exclusively to the Jews); The Acts = Christ's return to His Father and His working (through the Holy Spirit) using His Apostles and Prophets (servants & ministers) to establish HIS church; The Apostles Letters or "Epistles" (especially Paul's) = WHY He came; WHAT He accomplished; and HOW He accomplished it. In other words the Gospels are a PICTURE or illustration of the Lord Jesus Christ's life and ministry here on earth; and the rest of the New Testament is a COMMENTARY about Him, His Life, His Ministry and the fact that He is coming back (Revelation and the rest of the New Testament prophecies.) In other words, the whole of the New Testament is all about THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!

Your questions deal with the "WHY" (God did what He did); and the "HOW" (the manner in which He accomplished His "work"); i.e. "strong meat" indeed; and not "easy" questions - to which there are no "easy" answers. I will try to answer your questions, but you must understand, better men than I have stumbled over these issues, and my "understanding" of them is incomplete - at best. [1 Corinthians 13:9-12]

From your testimony I perceive that you may be a bit "frustrated" (either with those people who may be mistaken, or possibly your inability to understand some of the word of God). My advise to you is don't let "Christians" get you down - keep your eyes on the Lord, He will never fail you. And don't get discouraged trying to understand God's words. The worst thing that Christians do (when it comes to studying the word of God) is FORCING the Scriptures into some "system" so that they can understand it (.i.e Calvinism, Hyper-Dispensationalism, Arminianism, or any other "ISM"). If you don't understand something in God's Holy word - Let it be; get on with your studies; don't "FORCE" a "private interpretation" upon it in order to understand it. If God wants you to know something - He'll show you (in His time), and if He doesn't show you, all of the books, schools, and Bible teachers in the world are NOT going to be able to give you the discernment and understanding that God will give you (if, and when, He sees fit to give it to you).

Your questions are dealing with the "strong meat" of God's word, and I sometimes have difficulty "digesting" God's "strong meat".

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

At my age (considering how long I have been saved) I should have a much better understanding of some of these issues; and if I had spent as much time studying "The Book" - as I did studying ABOUT "The Book", perhaps God would have given me more light on the matter.

You have asked some excellent questions. I hope that I can answer them satisfactorily.
 

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