Originally Posted by flo
tee hee, I know, at first I didn't realize you meant "poppycock".
It also means candy.
Anyway, this is an interesting discussion. I see what you mean, I don't know if their actions were "preordained" since we have free will.
Well thats the debate.
Calvinists dont really believe in free will. They believe that we are so sinful its impossible for us to choose to be with Christ. Ergo, Christ chooses for them. The Bible uses the word "The Ellect" a Group of people who were born, with the outcome of their lives being Saved.
This leads to Three Paradoxes for them. 1) if some people are MADE, CREATED for Heaven, that means that those who end up in Hell were created without the ability to be saved....for they couldnt choose Christs Salvation for themselves due to sin, and Christ did not choose to impose it upon them.
Whilst they can counter that to say we all deserve Hell due to sin...it still nevertheless means GOD creates people especially for hell...apart from the fact thats so cruel...why would he bother?
It also calls into question what free will do we have...and if we cant freely choose christ, whats the point in having any?
The Second Paradox is that the Great Commission is pointless. Why would Christ tell them to spread the good news...if it will make no difference to the people that hear it? If I am destined for Hell, no amount of telling me the Gospel will save because GOD has already decreed
The final Paradox is the nature of Love. Love is a verb, it is a choice and then a practical doing. If you remove the choice you have robots who give duty because that is what they are programmed to do...a little, dare I say it, like the heavenly Host. They were created to adore GOD and to praise him all day long and do his bidding. Why would he need to create SOME Humans to be, pretty much the same...why the sacrifice of Christ for a small chosen few?
Now those who are not Calvinists may argue about this on three main grounds. First, the word "ellect" may not mean in English what it means in the original languages of Ancient Greek, Aramaic, and Ancient Hebrew. Secondly, Some say the Ellect only relates to Ancient Israel, and is another way of saying GODs chosen race...which incidently, doesnt mean they have been chosen for Salvation as individuals...but chosen as an Example of His People, those who are good an obay are credited with righteousness to be redeemed come Christ, and some remain as a remnant to the end, simply because GOD attached his name to them, and must now redeem them, and make them holy, so as not to reflect on him...ah yes...he chooses Israel...and is then clearly stuck with them because he attached his name to them, and his name must be forever preserved.
The final counter is that the Ellect is just another name for a Christian who has been "grafted" into the chosen race. GOD extended his gracious gift of eternal life beyond the blood clans of the twelve Jewish tribes, and now their is the twelve tribes and the adopted family of converted heathen.
People often call into question the ambiguity of all this "planned before birth" by saying that it doesnt specify what is planned, and doesnt say whether GODs plans are vauge and capable of intereaction...which for a personal GOD would seem logical...or absolute and to the second calculated. Many people say that its simply an illustration of his foreknowledge and NOT of a calculated form of predestiny which undermines the earths entire existance.
if all this was planned to the letter...why bother with such an elaborate game? Simply create what you want to love you and stick it in the heavenly realm...there is no need for a temporal life...unless we have the ability to choose life as it says in deuteronomy...unless we want to believe that Christ doesnt create anyone for Eternal Damnation, but would rather that every sinner turn to him, as Ezekiel points out.
Its a fundemental Theological Premise of mine that ALL Humans MUST have the FREE WILL to ACTIVELY choose or reject Christ in order for ANYONE to TRUELY LOVE Christ.
Remove the Freewill issue over salvation and its all duty...noone loves Christ, noone can love christ under those circumstances. Christianity falls apart, Relationships with the Lord are impossible, all is dust and ash.
This is as central a Premise to my Christian Faith as Once Saved Always Saved, and the whole Incarnation, Crucifixition and Ressurection of Christ....it seemed to be pretty central to Nate...until he suddenly changed his mind...maybe about a year or so ago. In times gone by he would take on the Calvinists and tell them they are wrong to.