Disturbing Trends, Doctrine as Idol, J.D. Hall

Indoctrinating Your Children with Doctrine

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Someone sent me a link to this book for children.  The book was just recently published – just over a month ago – April 2013.

arminians

Here is the book description from Amazon:

Come along on a journey with Mitchell, as he recalls his nightmare for his mother. Mitchell was in a land of darkness and gloom, when due to no cooperation of his own, a Knight in shining armor saved him and all the other captives He intended to save. “Help! Arminians are Giving Me Nightmares Again!” is a children’s allegory designed to teach your kids the Doctrines of Grace through the use of creative story-telling.

So check this out.  Here’s this book for children advertised on Amazon, right?  A book written specifically for children, mind you.   Go read the one negative review and all of the comments following.  We’ve got a doctrinal war going on, people.  A doctrinal war going on in the review section of a children’s storybook.

Here is that one negative review (as of June 1, 2013 – because you can be sure more will be coming):

I apologize. The decription is enough to give me the heebee-jeebees. Didn’t buy or read the book; don’t intend to. Since only a very few are chosen for salvation and many, many will go to eternal damnation (along with all and every infant), the chances of my grandchildren being those for whom God intended to save is awfully slim. Don’t want to give them Calvinistic nightmares. (Source)

As of right now, there are three pages of bantering back and forth Calvinism vs Arminianism.  Here are a couple of more comments following the negative review (man, see what happens when you leave a negative review somewhere – I sure hope this guy doesn’t get sued).

Actually, the fear that God won’t choose someone because they are too bad dovetails with the classic Arminian doctrine of conditional election, whereas unconditional election isn’t based on how good or bad the sinner is. So thanks for shooting yourself in the foot. Conditional election would give a kid nightmares. (Source)

And here’s a response to the above comment:

Keystone, your comment shows that you do not know Arminian doctrine rightly.

That’s the point of “unconditional election”. It has nothing to do with merit or demerit. Calvinism teaches man is not worthy of salvation, and that is right. However, it also essentially teaches that others are damned without any reference too their deserving it (although, that is denied; nevertheless, it is the logical conclusion).

Conditonal election would not give nightmares for the Arminian can truthfully tell the child God loves him and will save him; all he need do is trust Christ.

If the Calvinist were honest, he would need to tell the child that he might be of the elect or you might be damned to hell forever and there is nothing you can do about it. While the child cries that God can’t be like that, in good Calvinist fashion, you can tell him, “Who are you, child, to answer back to God.”

If I were 7 years old and heard Calvinistic doctrine, I’d have stinking nightmares…along with wetting my pj’s! (Source)

You all have got the picture that these are review comments on a CHILDREN’S BOOK, right? Let me rephrase it, these are reviews for a book that was written for us to read to our cute little munchkins/offspring/heritage/blessings/arrows/passel/whatever-you-want-to-call-your-kids.

We all know that Christianity has basic tenets:  Christ’s death and resurrection, virgin birth, Christ is Son of God, saved by grace through faith, etc.  Silly me – I thought I just needed to know those kinds of basics to be a Christian.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that I had even heard of the names “Calvinism” and “Arminism.”  It confused me.  It still confuses me.

We’ve talked about the idolatry of doctrine before.  I believe the idolatry of doctrine can create an environment in which abuse is allowed to continue in churches.  The obsessive focus on doctrine can become a distraction to the message of Christ and what it really means to live out the life Christ intended:  loving God and loving others.

I have a problem with training children this stuff at such a young age.  What is the purpose? To raise up little like-minded warriors to defend your brand of Christianity?  Yea, I know, train up a child in the way he should go passage in Deuteronomy – – and that’s based on your interpretation of scripture because we all know your interpretation is the right interpretation and it doesn’t matter whether this stuff has been argued and debated for centuries, you’ve got it all figured out.  Uh-huh, I’m tracking with you.  I bought into this stuff in the Homeschool Movement when we were told to produce as many babies as possible so our little children could become spiritual warriors on the battlefield.

If the Bible has everything we need for life and godliness, why do my children need to learn Calvin’s stuff or the Arminian stuff?  Why can’t it just be solely from the Bible?   LDS carry their Bibles, too, along with the Book of Mormon when they go to their wards to worship.  I have seen some combo versions that include the Pearl of Great Price and The Doctrines and Covenants.   These are all part and parcel of LDS.

The way I’m seeing it, there are some Christians who behave the same way as Mormons. They have their Bible along with the Institutes of Calvin.  I wonder if there is a combo Calvin Institutes/Bible in publication yet?  By the way, I’m picking on the staunch Calvinists because that is my frame of reference.  Do Arminians have a “bible” like Calvin’s Institutes?  If they do, then add them to this paragraph.  I’m picking on anyone who adds another book to their Bible and elevates it to the level of Bible.  Ask a Mormon which book is more important to them.  They have a hard time saying that the Bible is #1.  When I talk to some people, I get the feeling they read more about their brand of doctrine than they read from their own Bibles.

I have a problem with people elevating men’s ideas as gospel above the Bible and especially when those men’s ideas become so divisive that somehow Christ and the true meaning of Christianity somehow gets lost.

Yea, I think I’ll stick with just the Bible for my kids.  Men and their ideas complicate Christianity for me.  For realz.

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608 thoughts on “Indoctrinating Your Children with Doctrine”

  1. JoeJoe,
    You had said:
    “I am complementarian”.

    I am an American. What continent are you from? Just kidding. I personally find all these strange words just that…strange. Can’t we just be humans that are Christians without the strange wording of labels? Treat your wife as you would want to be treated. The two are one flesh, not separate fleshes. You are of the same body, and you take care of your body.

    I give a compliment to the waitress when she pours me a cup of coffee, or to the waiter that brings me my food. I sometimes will get a free complimentary breakfast when I stay in certain hotels.

    I find these labels very strange, when we should just do things that come natural

    Romans 2:14-15 (DO BY NATURE, based on conscience)
    14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

    Ed

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  2. Hey Ed: Note the spelling difference:

    Compliment and complEment.

    I agree with you. Quit with the made-up words and do what Gid says. It’s simple.

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  3. Julie Anne,

    Yes, I remember the different spelling long ago when you did a piece on this topic, however they both sound the same, and so my point was about the made up words, and making it sound like a long lost country on an uncharted Island, such as the citizens of Gilligan’s Island being called Gilliganist’s, and the people from ComplEmentary are called Complementarianists. I live in Christ, so I am a Christian.

    The waitress/waiter/breakfast was just in my attempt at “dry humor”…lol

    Ed

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  4. Julie Anne,

    In re: Tween on Complemtarianism

    OMG…lol…there’s that thing again about God’s good will and pleasure thing again, repackaged as a JOY for us, which gives God the glory. Slavery is slavery is slavery, and it isn’t a joy. It isn’t God’s will, either. God’s will is to SET US FREE. Slavery does not give God glory.

    Ed

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  5. The latest incarnation is “Help Mom! This blog won’t let me sleep!” Photo credits go to the film Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Words?

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  6. I have only partly followed this debate over the doctrine of sin, but these folks have put forth some scriptures I intend to look at. One important thing about doctrine is that it helps formulate our answer from “because the Bible says so” or “I just believe God wouldn’t do that” or “just have faith” to a reasonable explanation of why you believe or have the hope you have. What got me interested in this particular exchange is I believe it started over do babies go to heaven or hell? (I may be wrong, but it was my impression anyway) We lost our first grand baby at 33 weeks in the womb last October. The best I could say then to my daughter was we know he is in heaven. And if asked why do I believe that I would have said, cause I am sure we have a good God who would not send a child who has not had a chance to understand the Gospel and accept or reject Christ to hell. Y’all threw out some verses that give me a starting points of reference. I am just now getting to where I can explore this topic more.

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  7. And while all these Defenders of the Faith are arguing Theology, pastors’ widows are still eating out of dumpsters.

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  8. Darrell – – – Wow – now we’re talking nuts and bolts of doctrine. Am I understanding Calvinist doctrine correctly by saying that we don’t now if all babies who die will go to heaven, that only the elect will be there, right? That would be a tough pill to swallow for anyone to take – especially under tragic circumstances as the loss of a 33-wk baby. My heart goes out to you, Darrell. How is your daughter?

    I’ve had a few miscarriages – none of those pregnancies had I heard the heartbeat. 33 wks is a time in which babies born can be viable, baby is squirming and kicking in the womb. That would be such a difficult loss. I can’t imagine. 😦

    I hope to read some responses to your comment.

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  9. Hi Darrell,

    I am not a Calvinist, so I do not believe that any babies go to hell at all.

    I am going to throw the first pitch with Deuteronomy 1:39.

    The context of the story is:

    Who gets to go to the Promised Land (Heaven).
    When you read the story of the men that Moses sent out into Canaan, only two came back and said, “We can kick their butts”. the rest were afraid. So, the generation that had doubt did not get to go to the promised land…except for those who had faith. Now, Deuteronomy 1:39 indicates that others get to go to the promised land as well. Who are they? Those who have no knowledge of good and evil.

    To sum up, Who Gets to go to the Promised Land?
    1. Those who have faith, and
    2. Those who have no KNOWLEDGE of good and evil (WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THAT TREE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN?

    I firmly believe that no child has knowledge of good and evil, and therefore, they are NOT LOST to begin with. We are only lost once we GET KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil. Once we get that knowledge, THEN we DIE a spiritual death. We are NOT born spiritually dead, we die a spiritual death.

    Romans 7:9
    For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

    Spiritually alive before he got knowledge, spiritually dead once he got knowledge.

    The law of Moses is: The KNOWLEDGE of sin.

    Romans 2:14-16 indicates that we ALSO have a conscience, and that our conscience either convicts us, or excuses us. Babies do not have even that knowledge.

    I could go on and on and on. We are born IN sin, not WITH sin. These and more are the reasons why I do not believe in a doctrine that many espouse called, “Original Sin”. We do not hold the guilt of Adam. We die a spiritual death as a result, but we do not hold Adams sin as a guilt.

    Ed

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  10. Sorry to hear that, Julie Anne. We had a miscarriage. It was heart wrenching for my wife. I believe God welcomes babies into His kingdom because God is love. David said he would go to see his dead baby. we are fearfully and wonderfully made. If Solomon had said it in Ecclesasties I would take it to mean just the opposite. Perhaps those who rule and reign with Christ in His millennial kingdom will be in charge of a heavenly nursery.

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  11. Darrell,

    We lost two to miscarriage, just about a year apart, in October. The next October, we were again in the same part of pregnancy and there were minor problems, but the Dr. put spouse on bed rest for a couple of weeks. The result was a wonderful child, now a wonderful woman and the mother of our grandson. A little less than three years after the birth of the daughter, we welcomed a son, who has also become a fantastic adult.

    Losing a child or grandchild that late in pregnancy is difficult on everyone. Please accept our condolences and our sympathy.

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  12. JA,
    Well, as a Calvinist would say, it was predetermined from the foundation of the world to happen. I just hate the way their doctrines tell them how to treat women and children. Nothing comes from the heart from that false doctrine.

    I got a great example. One of my daughters female friends has a boyfriend. She is madly in love with this guy.

    Well, one day she goes over to his house, and he is asleep. She loves him so much that while he was sleeping, she cleaned his house. She had a HEART to please him, because she loves him so much. That is the real submission that the bible discusses. It’s from the heart.

    On her twitter account, she stated that while her boyfriend was asleep, that she cleaned his house, and she hashtagged it with, #bestgirlfriendaward

    Submitting is a natural thing, because of a deep deep desire to please, based on love. When will the Calvin camp get that?

    But these Calvin folk think that submission is a demand, which is in like manner of a slave, based on a twisted interpretation of the bible of the word submit…their version is SLAVERY.

    I see that just in how ole JD makes fun of feminists. He treats women like DIRT…and based on the book, and his beliefs, I see that he treats children like dirt, too…calling it LOVE. What a whack job. I don’t understand how anyone could buy off on complementarian thought process, either. Spouses are to treat each other as to how they want to be treated themselves. If these men were treated the same that they treat women, they would be crying like a baby. And to espouse that this is the submission that the Bible talks about, that is crazy. The submission discussed in the bible is RELAX, and let God.

    Ed

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  13. Ah, the “age of accountability” question. That is one of those doctrines that we do not read directly from scripture, but is implied from it (such as with the doctrine of the Trinity). I always thought that everyone believed babies and young children who died went to heaven. I was brought up in a Southern Baptist church, and this was the idea that was taught and is expressed explicitly in the Baptist Faith and Message. Apparently not everyone does. RC Sproul, Jr. for example chided Billy Graham when he told families who lost children in the OKC Federal Building bombings that they would be reunited in heaven.

    “Age of accountability” is probably a poor name for the doctrine, as it seems to suggest a specific age. Most people I know don’t believe it is a specific age, as children mature at different rates.

    Ed said: “We are born IN sin, not WITH sin. These and more are the reasons why I do not believe in a doctrine that many espouse called, “Original Sin”. We do not hold the guilt of Adam. We die a spiritual death as a result, but we do not hold Adams sin as a guilt.”

    On this point, I agree with Ed. We are born with a sin nature due to Adam’s sin, but we are not born and automatically start sinning. We cannot be held guilty for the sin of another person. We are born with a sin nature, and given enough time (varrying from person to person), we all sin and rebel again God and his nature, choosing our own path over his. We are born with a fallen nature that leads to sin though, not with marks already against us.

    Ezekial 18:14,17b-20 says, “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. 17b He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. 18 But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people. 19 “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. 20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.”

    We cannot be held guilty for the sins of another, only our own. I also believe that young children are incapable of understanding mentally, emotionally, or spiritually the consequences for the choices that they make. Much research in developmental psychology has helped us to learn how people grow, develope, think, and learn. The bible speaks over and over of God’s mercy, goodness, and love. Jesus is also shown in the new testament of having a deep love for children, and we are told we should have a faith like a child. These verses and aspects of God’s character lend secondary support to the idea that God would not sent a baby to hell.

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  14. Thanks for all the kind words. Her and her husband are still grieving but are planning to try again. Both her and her husband both love God. They have lots of support from God loving families on both sides and from her home church where she grew up, which is still my church, his home church where he grew up and their current home church where they go and serve God and others with a great loving pastor. She is surrounded by friends and family at the hospital where she works including my wife who is not her mother but grew up around knowing she is loved by her also. But they still have a long ways to go. She saw thru a couple I stayed friends with and tried to help that lost 2 boys on separate occasions not long after birth and saw what it did to their marriage and their walk w Christ & said Daddy, I don’t want that to happen to us. We live in a small community where everybody knows everybody and is concerned about them. We believe God has a plan in all of this for good. On a lighter and happier note, my son informs us we will be grandparents of a baby girl in Oct.

    I think some may believe I am Calvinist. Well I don’t consider myself either Calvinist or Armenian. Probably somewhere in between. I know there are different levels of Calvinistic thought. The most extreme being some are born for heaven and some for hell (Westboro, who I have been attacked by on twitter before) So I have never believed babies can go to hell. But it would seem logical that some of the extreme Calvinistic thought would have to believe this.

    Ed I had read your previous post that said pretty much the same thing and will consider it prayerfully. Again thanks for the kind words.

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  15. Darrell,

    I must have missed the part where you mentioned losing a grandbaby last year. I’m so sorry to hear that. Losing a child is a truly tragic thing. I can’t fully understand that kind of heartbreak, but I do have friends and family who have lost children in miscarriages. I hope your children continue in their recovery and finding peace. Congrats on the newcoming grandchild as well. I’m still too young to be a grandparent, but I am just very recently a new first time father, as my wife and I just adopted a less than month old baby boy, so I can understand the excitement from that perspective!

    Like you, I consider myself somewhere between Calvinist and Arminian, though I think I have Calvinist leanings. I do believe your lost grandbaby is in heaven where you will be reunited someday.

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  16. Darrell – You seem like such a great and supportive dad. I’m glad to hear your daughter is surrounded by many who love and care for her and your family. That must be of great comfort to you. Thank you for sharing. I really think you sharing this story is important because when it comes to living out our lives doctrinally, this is what many of us are faced with.

    I remember the very strange comments I got from Christians after one of my miscarriages that got public at church. Now it makes me wonder if they were simply projecting their doctrinal beliefs onto me in their responses that were meant to be comforting (similar to the Piper tweet after the devastating Oklahoma tornado.)

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  17. Joe Joe, thanks and congrats on your adoption. Like you, I have grown up and still am SBC. Can I just mention something to you that I have mentioned in one of my sermons (I am just a fill in preacher). Your adoption of this child is so much like what Jesus did for us. He wanted us so much He was willing to pay a big price and go out and bring us into His family, just like y’all paid a big price, went out of your way to bring this child into your family to be loved and cared for. As I have worked with youth for years, most from broken homes, they may feel unloved, and your adopted child may feel someday that since they were adopted they were not wanted, cause that’s the thought of the world, but in this teaching they can find out just how special and wanted they were by not only God, but by you and your wife. We should also realize that each person we meet, whether we like them or not, including ourselves is special because God wants to bring each one of us into His family so He can enjoy time with us and He paid that ultimate cost for us through His son. Adoptive parents and adopted children are so representative of what was done for us, that they are some of my favorite people. I pray one day you will hear your child say to you, “Daddy, I am not saved, will you tell me how I can be saved” like my daughter did with me years ago and become children if the King like mine did. God bless you and your family.

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  18. JoeJoe – Congratulations on your new baby. How wonderful and exciting for you to build your sweet family. Love it! My bio-dad abandoned me, but my 2nd father who came in my life legally adopted me. Although he was the dad who abused me my whole life (a whole ‘nuther story), there was something very powerful in that he “chose” me. Yes, he had his issues – obviously – but he chose to make it legal and for me to “belong” to him. Those quoted words are very significant to one who is adopted. To be chosen and to feel a sense of belonging is a wonderful thing.

    Sadly, because of the abuse issues, I do sometimes have trouble feeling that God has chosen to love me and that I belong to Him. I have to repeat scripture “truth” to myself to remind myself and also I have dear friends who also remind me.

    Abandonment issues are huge for adoptees, so if you can give your child the sense verbally/nonverbally that your beloved son was chosen and a sense of belonging not only to you, but God, wow – what a gift that will be. This sometimes ranting redhead sure gets teary eyed when getting on sensitive subjects. Pass me the kleenex. I’m so happy for you and your wife, JoeJoe. What an amazing gift you are giving a precious life. I love this:

    For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[f] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Rom 8:14-17

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  19. JA, I am sorry for what some people may have said. I have learned over the last few years, just to keep my mouth shut, listen and grieve with those who are grieving.

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  20. JA, many of the youth that came thru my youth group over the years had lives just like you and I wanted 2 primary things for them. To be loved, properly as Christ loves them & true salvation in which they can live their lives loving Christ and others the way Christ loves them.

    God can use situations to make us better. I heard a pastor say one time, and I still haven’t checked to see if its true, but a pearl is formed inside a clam at the spot it was injured. God can take those who are injured and make pearls out of them if they allow it.

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  21. Darrell, JA, JoeJoe, An Attorney, Gary,

    Beginning with Darrell today, THIS is Christianity. Love, and compassion for other fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, whether grieving or happy.

    Ed

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  22. Darrell – – I had 2 great youth pastors and came to Christ in such a deep way through their modeling Christ’s unconditional love to me. What you describe is beautiful.

    I love the pearl illustration and have heard the same thing. Our 2nd daughter’s middle name is Pearl for that very reason. God can create something beautiful in brokenness. I had seen God’s work in my brokenness and wanted her name to reflect His work. I’ve told her the story before, but need to tell her again.

    Ed – that’s the daughter you met 🙂 And I concur with your comment, too!

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  23. Darrell,
    So sorry to hear about your grand baby. My husband and I have two children in heaven. One daughter we lost to SIDS and the other was a little boy who had a serious chromosomal disorder which was diagnosed when I was 20 weeks pregnant. We continued the pregnancy knowing that unless the Lord healed, he would not live long. He came about 3 months early and only lived one hour.

    One thing I treasured while grieving was an article sent to us by a family friend. In the article the idea that God would create a baby for only an hour was posed. Why? Well, the answer is that He made us for eternity. Not just for a little while on this side, but forever. That made so much sense and helped me. I hope that helps you as well.

    I believe we’ll get to see our little ones again on the other side. It doesn’t change the fact that I’d rather have them here and now, but I look forward to the reunion.
    I’ve had to deal with the anger at God, questioning Him regarding this, but believe that they really are not gone forever.

    I’ll be praying for your daughter and family during this time.

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  24. Thank you everyone very much! We are very excited. We’re tired (did I mention he’ll only be a month old tomorrow?), but very excited. I really do appreciate the sentiment!

    Darrell,

    Those are the thoughts and feelings of my wife and I exactly. It is a big part of the reason that we wanted to adopt. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” As Christians, I feel we are called to show the love of Christ to others, and especially to the most innocent and those most in need. Adoption isn’t for everybody, but my wife and I have a great love for children and felt it was right for us. We wanted to give a child the kind of home and love that they wouldn’t otherwise have. We fell in love with him the moment we saw him. He is already my son, even though we don’t share genetics. Genetics don’t determine who loves you. I love our little guy like crazy and I am SO looking forward to sharing the love of God with him. We have adopted this baby into our family as we have been adopted into God’s, and antipate the day when he says he wants to be a part of God’s family too.

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  25. Saw this on my Facebook feed. I love this.

    This could very much apply to theological debate. On the topic of salvation, we have a choice between only Calvinism and Armininism. For end times prophecy, we have a choice only between pretrib and post-trib. We have boxed God into our tiny world and limit him in the name of “sound doctrine.” Within it, we sure have “lively” debate.

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  26. I guess we can’t embed images. Here is the image I was talking about.

    The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.
    – Noam Chomsky.

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  27. David,

    Why not “mid-Trib”? I have sometimes described myself as “amillennial”. That is, I take no position on the millennium. And I defined “theology” as the study of what people have written and said about God, rather than the study of God himself.

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  28. (I’m Pro-Millenial and Anti-Trib, BTW)
    This morning as I dropped daughter off for college, toddler grandkids became agitated— Mommy! Mommy! Rolled down window and grandkids reminded their Mommy, “Watch out for Dinosaurs!”
    “And Arminians!” I reminded her. She laughed, but it meant nothing to the toddlers.
    They KNOW dinosaurs are scary!

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  29. An Attorney,
    If I am not mistaken, the simple definition of theology is “study of God”. A theologian would be the person who studied, written and said about God. And, I think we are all theologians for that matter. We don’t need a college education for that, however, as some seem to think that is a prerequisite for a title of Dr., when they heal no one, as Jesus did.

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  30. Hey Dave AA

    it’s been awhile – Nice to see your still kicking….

    And I did NOT know you were a song writer.
    ““Jesus loves all the little children he intends to love” and
    “Jesus might love me, this I hope”?”

    Keep it up and the Calvinists will make you an honorary member…
    Or is that an Ornery Member?

    Oh – And Just for the record
    I’m a Pan-Millenialist…

    How ever it “Pans-out” is fine with me… 😉

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  31. Anti-Trib? That’s a new one for me…And A Amos Love, Pan-Millenialist? That’s a new one for me, too. I hope it’s a FRYING pan, cuz I want chicken.

    How many more strange trib and millenial words can we come up with?

    Anti-trib, is that like anti-christ, that there will be a trib, but a fake one?

    Call me stupid, cuz I never heard of these different tribs before. Either we go thru it, or we don’t.

    Noah’s Ark…Noah was protected in the ark ABOVE THE EARTH, while people suffered in a flood BELOW the Ark.

    Come hell or high water, I will be protected from the trib in the air, while God’s wrath takes place below.

    Where are the spiritual lenses, you guys? It’s all in the Law, and the Prophets!!! Not just Daniel and Revelation.

    The End from the Beginning…it means that the end is written in Genesis. Work backwards.

    Ed

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  32. Ed

    Hmmm? “The End from the Beginning”

    Are you saying – We don’t know our End from our Beginning?

    Was wondering…
    Who is “The Beginning?”

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  33. A Amos Love

    Isaiah 46:10
    Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done,

    Ecclesiastes 1:9
    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    Ecclesiastes 3:15
    That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

    ***************

    It began in the Garden, it will end in the Garden.

    The mysteries of the prophesies of the future is things that already took place in the past.

    Ed

    These are deep spiritual studies…while most people argue over carnal things, I am more interested in the spiritual side of things.

    Ed

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  34. You are discussing Jesus, and he is the author of the “end from the beginning”. It is the prophesies of action that I am discussing. Let’s not get that confused here.

    Ed

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  35. Ed

    You write…
    “It began in the Garden, it will end in the Garden.”

    How about…

    “The Beginning” is in “the Garden?”

    “The End” is in “The Garden?’

    Who is “the Garden of God?”

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  36. OK, A Amos Love, Jesus is the Tree of Life in the Garden. And, in a sense, that is what I am talking about, but in reality, we were still discussing trib and millenial reign (not rain, by the way…It’s already rained a thousand years in Seattle…lol).

    I pointed to Noah’s Ark as the spiritual prophesy of PRE-Trib.

    That is in the book of Genesis…The end, written in the beginning (another word for Genesis).

    Ed

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  37. Ed asked, “Anti-trib, is that like anti-christ, that there will be a trib, but a fake one?’
    I should have put a smiley face next to that. I had in mind–There will be a trib, but (like most sane people) I’d rather not participate.
    JA Was hoping to purchase the $300+ version where the Arminians are hiding under the bed.
    Amos– Looking to build new career as calvinist children’s song-writer!
    I would have participated more in the conversation, but my usual computing device was overwhelmed with the near-500 comments and closed the window each time!
    Briefly, any system of thought which requires one to make exceptions for some children, ie the children he loves, OR which logically makes the “loving” thing to do for them to abort them before they become ‘accountable’ is a system which can use some work. Hopefully you all can think of some examples since my time on this computer is done!

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  38. Monique, Wow!! My friends I referred to earlier that lost 2 children had the same thing happen. The first boy was normal, the second boy died of SIDs after 2 months, the third boy was normal and the 4th boy had that same Chromasomal thing and she was told the same thing and decided to carry him to term and he died within a couple hours after birth. It crushed them and their marriage.

    Thanks for the words you shared, I will take them to heart. They are a comfort. I had found this in my Bible study the other morning from J. Vernon McGee after he lost a child and thought I would share it. Again thanks.

    Heaven Should Be More Real To You

    The Lord Jesus has gone to prepare a place for those who are His own. Part of this preparation is the taking of your child. Heaven will mean more to you now—your dearest treasure is there. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). He takes the family here to form the family there. Baby hands are beckoning to you, and a baby voice is calling you home.
    I did not realize how many parents there were who had lost children until our first baby was taken. One after another in the congregation came with tears in their eyes to tell of their secret sorrow. One dear lady and her husband always sat down in the front pew. They were elderly and they had a son who was a great sorrow. In spite of this, they were always smiling and seemed never to be defeated by life. I shall never forget my surprise when I discovered the reason for this as they told me of the loss of their firstborn and of their happy anticipation of seeing the little one in heaven someday.

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  39. chapmaned24 –

    You wrote: “Sin is not imputed where there is no law, therefore sin does not exist to a dead person. We are dead. You cannot sin if you are dead. Dead in sin is different from dead to sin.

    See 1 John 3:4, does it say ‘should not’ or ‘cannot’?”

    My reply: 1 John 3:4 – “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.”

    It says neither “should not” nor “cannot.”

    You wrote: “Dead people cannot sin, period:

    Romans 7:7
    For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

    My reply: Are you saying that believers cannot sin?

    1 John 1:8 – “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

    Romans 7:7 – “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

    This does not say “For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

    Verse 6 says, in part, “But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound…”. This says that we have died to the Law, not to sin.

    You wrote: “Verse 11:
    Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    My reply: Rom 7:11 – “for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.”

    Which translation are you using? Or are you saying that that is the meaning of the verse?

    You wrote: “Being dead to the law means that you are dead to sin. The law does not pertain to dead people, and therefore, sin is no more. The strength of sin is the law.

    1 Cor 15:56”

    My reply: Once again: 1 John 1:8.

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  40. Jeff Brown,

    OK, OK…Romans 6:7…I said 7:7…sorry. If you had a biblegateway.com, you could have did a word search and found it…exact words:

    Romans 6:7
    For he that is dead is freed from sin.

    verse 11
    11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Bottom line, it is LAW vs. NO LAW.

    You Calvin leaning people have absolutely NO CLUE how free you can be. You voluntarily subject yourselves to bondage.

    OK, you are just not getting me. 1 John 1:8…good. I am glad you have an opposing view of the same person that wrote 1 John 3:9 which states
    “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

    The question to me is “What version are you using?” The word cannot is there.

    Other than that, I stand by everything that I laid out.

    Sin does NOT exist to us, in regards to salvation.

    BUT if you want to live in the flesh, that means that sin is alive.

    SIN IS DEAD if you are dead in the flesh. Sin is alive if you are alive in the flesh.

    Dead people do not sin.

    I stand by what I said. You are free to pick it apart. I quote scripture, so it is not opinion.

    Ed

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  41. I think Darrell is on the right track as to the importance of doctrine. In hard times those nuts and bolts that are the foundation of our faith do comfort us regardless of whether you are an Arminian, Calvinist or unlabeled. Today in Houston there are 4 firefighters being laid to rest after losing their lives while fighting a fire last week. One of those courageous firefighters was the sister of a dear college friend. It has been such a hard week and my friend has put out repeated requests for comfort and over and over we have responded with those “nuts and bolts” of our faith – the verses of God’s love, of the death and resurrection of Jesus, of salvation. And we have chosen to love on this friend, to allow him to talk and grieve however he needs to. Please keep the families of these brave men and woman in your prayers today. Their journeys are just beginning.

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  42. I see that just in how ole JD makes fun of feminists. He treats women like DIRT…and based on the book, and his beliefs, I see that he treats children like dirt, too…calling it LOVE. What a whack job. — Ed

    A textbook example of redefining words into their diabolical meanings, My Dear Wormwood…

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  43. On the topic of salvation, we have a choice between only Calvinism and Armininism. For end times prophecy, we have a choice only between pretrib and post-trib. We have boxed God into our tiny world and limit him in the name of “sound doctrine.” Within it, we sure have “lively” debate. — David C

    More like cutting each others’ throats over whether to crack an egg from the big or little end. Burning each other at the stake over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin while pastors’ widows have to eat out of dumpsters.

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  44. chapmaned24 –

    I guess we’d both like to wind it up soon. Thanks for clearing it up about those verses.

    Calvin’s “Institutes” 3.19.2: “Christian freedom, in my opinion, consists of three parts. The first: that the consciences of believers, in seeking assurance of their justification before God, should rise above and advance beyond the law, forgetting all law righteousness. For since, as we have elsewhere shown, the law leaves no one righteous, either it excludes us from all hope of justification or we ought to be freed from it, and in such a way, indeed, that no account is taken of works. For he who thinks that in order to obtain righteousness he ought to bring some trifle of works is incapable of determining their measure and limit but makes himself debtor to the whole law. Removing, then, mention of law, and laying aside all consideration of works, we should, when justification is being discussed, embrace God’s mercy alone, turn our attention from ourselves, and look only to Christ.”

    This is what Calvinists, not phony “Calvinists,” believe.

    When you say that it’s “LAW or NO LAW,” is this what you are saying? If so, I completely agree, fwiw.

    But if you are saying it in regard to sanctification, I disagree. The commands in the Mosaic Law and in the NT are not to be put completely aside. Obeying them has nothing to do with our justification – that’s a done deal. However, If we are to become more like Jesus, there is no better *guide* than God’s commands throughout Scripture.

    Concerning sin: I haven’t done a language study on verses like 1 John 3:9, but I think they are referring to a continual *practice* of sin, not all sin. Otherwise, what hope do we have? Don’t all believers sin sometime?

    You wrote: “Sin does NOT exist to us, in regards to salvation.”

    If you mean that sin, like the law to which it is so connected, is irrelevant as far as our salvation is concerned, I believe that you are correct.

    You wrote: “BUT if you want to live in the flesh, that means that sin is alive.

    SIN IS DEAD if you are dead in the flesh. Sin is alive if you are alive in the flesh.

    Dead people do not sin.”

    I assume you are referring to the first part of Romans 8, or passages like it. I think Paul is saying there that a believer’s life is a mixture of sometimes being in the flesh, sometimes in the spirit, but that we should strive to live more in the spirit than the flesh. We are dead when we are living in the spirit, and when we are living in the spirit we do not sin. When we are alive to the flesh, we sin.

    Or, once again, do you think that believers live all of the time in the spirit, and, therefore, never sin?

    I’m sorry if I come across as picking apart what you write. I just want to understand.

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  45. “If you mean that sin, like the law to which it is so connected, is irrelevant as far as our salvation is concerned, I believe that you are correct.”

    Does that mean exactly what it says – that its correct to say that ‘sin is irrelevant as far as our salvation is concerned’?

    If so, how can that be? The central issue that the message of the gospel addresses is the problem of sin. Our salvation is from the penalty of sin (past), the power of sin (in our lives), and the presence of sin (at our glorification).

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  46. Born4Battle –

    Thanks for pointing that out. I could have written that better. I was responding to what I thought Ed meant when he wrote: “Sin does NOT exist to us, in regards to salvation.”

    I merely meant that we are saved in *spite* of our sin, so in that way sin is irrelevant. But I see now that that’s so obvious that it’s a truism. I’m not saying this about Ed’s statement, only mine.

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  47. I think I understand what you are saying.We still have sin in us, however Christ’s sinless life, and death as our substitute (he drank the cup of the Father’s wrath for out sin) means that He is our righteousness. He lived a perfect life, the requirement of the law, on our behalf. That’s how I try to explain it. Sometimes I come across as ‘picky, but that’s probably because I work with words as a technical writer/editor. No offense intended.

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  48. Actually, I think our choices concerning salvation are that 1) God alone saves or 2) God made it possible for us to be saved, but we actually save ourselves. That those two views happen to have been labeled after two men is true, but they didn’t invent the concepts.

    Concerning end times prophecy, limiting such a large area to just two options might not be a good idea. There are more things in view here than just the ‘rapture’, And even with the rapture, there are at least five options; 1) pre-trib, 2) post-trib 3) mid-trib and 4) pre-wrath.

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  49. Jeff Brown,

    You had said:
    “When you say that it’s “LAW or NO LAW,” is this what you are saying?”

    You had asked that question based on your write up below:
    “Calvin’s “Institutes” 3.19.2: “Christian freedom, in my opinion, consists of three parts. The first: that the consciences of believers, in seeking assurance of their justification before God, should rise above and advance beyond the law, forgetting all law righteousness. For since, as we have elsewhere shown, the law leaves no one righteous, either it excludes us from all hope of justification or we ought to be freed from it, and in such a way, indeed, that no account is taken of works. For he who thinks that in order to obtain righteousness he ought to bring some trifle of works is incapable of determining their measure and limit but makes himself debtor to the whole law. Removing, then, mention of law, and laying aside all consideration of works, we should, when justification is being discussed, embrace God’s mercy alone, turn our attention from ourselves, and look only to Christ.”

    My response to your question:
    Kinda sorta. How do YOU see it, without Calvin Institute write up’s? Why do we need to see what dead people said about it? What does the living say? You say that’s what Calvinists believe…WHY? Can’t they get their beliefs based on their own study of the Bible alone, or do they need to have a dead person tells them what they are to believe in an “Institute”? Just wondering.

    I don’t know any better way to explain it except how I have been, and below: It’s all taken from the Bible.

    The law is dead, and THEREFORE sin is dead. That means that BOTH the law and sin does not exist. It only exists IF YOU WANT IT TO, and if it exists for you, then you ARE under the law. The wages of obeying the law is DEATH, NOT ETERNAL LIFE. If you want eternal life, the law does not exist, THEREFORE sin does not exist, either.

    Yes, Abraham was a sinner, as I am (present tense) but NO SIN could ever be IMPUTED to Abraham, because he BELIEVED God’s promise of eternal life. Faith. Our FAITH is BASED ON a PROMISE given to Abraham. If you believe THAT promise, then you have faith, and IF YOU HAVE FAITH, you LIVE OUT YOUR LIFE BASED ON THAT BELIEF (Faith without works is dead). Obeying the law won’t get you eternal life…faith does. Faith does not impute sin, the law does.

    Are you seeing it yet?

    Maybe you aren’t if you still promote “obedience” to the Mosiac stuff. The ONLY thing that we are to be “obedient” to, is the law of faith…yes, faith is indeed a law.

    Romans 3:27
    Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

    Abraham did not have any of the Law of Moses. None. He ONLY had faith. The promise given to Abraham was UNCONDITIONAL. The covenant of circumcision was ONLY TO DETERMINE WHICH SON that the promise went thru, Ishmael, or Isaac. God chose Isaac. That was the ONLY thing that Abraham had to be “obedient” to.

    Our only two commandments in the NT is Love God and Love People. If you do ONLY THOSE TWO THINGS then you FULFILL all of the law of Moses.

    IF YOU LOVE, then you cannot, nor will you murder, or steal, or covet. Each and everyday you MUST KILL THE FLESH (BODY). The Apostle Paul said that he dies daily. If your focus is on God, it is impossible to sin. What is your focus on? Yes, you and I sin, each and every day, but it does not get IMPUTED to us, just like sin was NOT imputed to Abraham, even tho he sinned.

    Sanctification does not end until we die. We are still sinners, but as I said, it is not imputed to us. We focus on faith alone and we do not focus on the Law of Moses. We focus on the NT COVENANT, not the OT Covenant. The OT Covenant begins with the Ten Commandments.

    By the way, I never mentioned Romans 8. My focus is on Romans 3-7.

    Ed

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  50. Born4Battle:

    Your characterization of the non-Calvinist position is skewed and slanted unfairly. No one believes that we “save ourselves”. Everyone recognizes that Jesus does the saving. The question is, whether we have to accept the gift of salvation to make the gift complete, or whether we have no choice but are automata, pre-programmed to be saved or to burn in hell for eternity, in the latter case, without any hope from before the world was created.

    If salvation is a gift, like every other gift, the recipient must accept the gift. A gift is not imposed on the recipient, but offered, and then must be accepted or rejected. And a just God offers that gift to all, and the penalty for rejecting his gift is eternity outside the presence of God, but the benefit is eternity in his loving presence.

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  51. Mr. Attorney,

    I agree with you that know one thinks that they save themselves. ‘Jesus’ saves! we ALL cry. The ‘Arminian’ position, (I hate to use the ‘A’ & ‘C’ terms, but since so many people seem unable to converse without them) goes something like this: God has cast his vote and Satan has cast his vote for your soul, now you must cast the deciding vote with your natural free will. Another way to express it is this: Either Christ’s death ‘actually’ saved somebody (Calvinism) or Christ’s death only made it possible for anyone to be saved. Again, it is a natural human decision that ‘seals the deal’. Although Cirist’s death was necessary for anyone to be saved, it is our decision that completes the transaction. That is nothing more than man ‘saving himself’, or at the very minimum, contributing to his/her salvation (synergism).

    You’re a lawyer, examine the logic. BW, there was a time when I was the fiercest of ‘Arminians’, however scripture convinced me otherwise. It had nothing to do with Calvin. It wasn’t until later I actually studied the man – and a lot of studying I have done.

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  52. Synergism would require that you do something more than accept the gift that was offered, by faith that the giver and the gift are real. It would be more like having to pay a fee to receive a gift (like many current marketing scams). A true gift is free, but still must be accepted or rejected. That is not the same as the recipient having a major role in the gift. Again you are making a very skewed and biased characterization of the Arminian position, which I do not hold. But I do believe that we must by faith accept the gift, and if we do not, we reject the grace that the cross and the empty tomb represent. There is no “voting”.

    Please stop being so adamantly biased. IT is not a Christian way to behave.

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  53. Exactly! If my ‘acceptance’ DETERMINES if I have the gift or not, I have in effect ‘cast’ the deciding vote!” I call that a logic bomb. If my decisin determines if I am saved or not, it is human decision that accomplished the salvation made possible by the death of Christ. Logic bomb. Nothing to do with Calvin.

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  54. Salvation is accomplished by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All one must do is accept it. Otherwise we are robots, and might as well not have a brain. We become dolls in a doll house world. Held to account and burned in the fire without any fault of our own.

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  55. An Attorney,
    As a non-Calvinist, I agree with everything you said, 100%. This is to acknowledge to B4B that your position and my position is the same, which we know that no one can save themselves, but that the gift is offered, the path was made, but it is our choice to accept or reject based on our own free will. If B4B calls that saving ourselves, then so be it.

    Ed

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  56. IF our choice is made from a ‘natural’, come from the womb ability to do so, our choice DETERMINES our salvation, ‘contributing’ to our salvation, although Christ had to live a sinless life and die in our stead to make it possible. I cannot express myself any simpler than that.

    Read what the bible says about the ‘will’ of the fallen man. It is free to choose whatever it wants, but guess what? It doesn’t want God and cannot please God. It cannot understand spiritual matters. By nature, we do not and will not seek after the God of the Bible.

    Rom 3:10-12 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (See also Psalm 14)

    Rom 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. (The unregenerate mind is set on the flesh)

    2Co 4:4 In their case (the unregenerate) the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

    It’s what the Bible tells us of the state of fallen men.

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  57. B4B,
    First of all, the unbelievers are the ones who “reject” by free will.

    Your references to back up your notion is flawed. You referenced Romans 3:10-12.

    Your reference to Romans 3 is discussing those who are under the law of Moses.

    They are not righteous BECAUSE they are being “obedient” to the law, rather than to “faith” Law vs. No Law.

    BUT NOW…

    Verse 20-21
    21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

    22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:

    You seem to leave out the REST OF THE STORY, because Abraham was righteous, where you say that no one is righteous BECAUSE he believed.

    No law.

    Under the law, the deeds of the flesh does not get you righteousness.

    Next, you reference Romans 8:7…STILL discussing the deeds of the flesh, which is being “obedient” to the law of Moses. No one can obey, or be “obedient” to law. Once you know the law, you spend so much time attempting to obey the law, that you disobey the law.

    The law=flesh, Faith=spirit (kill the body).

    Finally, you reference 2 Cor 4:4

    By their OWN FREE WILL they don’t believe, and THEN (AFTERWARDS) the god of this world has blinded their minds. The minds are not blinded SO THAT they won’t believe, the minds are blinded because they don’t believe.

    Ed

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  58. Ed:

    B4B,

    First of all, the unbelievers are the ones who “reject” by free will.

    Me:

    Such is the nature of fallen men, they by ‘nature’ reject God.

    Ed:

    Your references to back up your notion is flawed. You referenced Romans 3:10-12.

    Your reference to Romans 3 is discussing those who are under the law of Moses.

    Me:

    “There IS NONE righteous, no, not one; 11 There IS NONE who understands; There IS NONE who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There IS NONE who does good, no, not one.”

    Paul disagrees with you. The obvious reference to OT passages plus the present tense Paul uses can only mean that PAUL believed that what was true then was also true for the Christians in Rome to whom he was speaking.

    Ed:

    Finally, you reference 2 Cor 4:4

    By their OWN FREE WILL they don’t believe, and THEN (AFTERWARDS) the god of this world has blinded their minds. The minds are not blinded SO THAT they won’t believe, the minds are blinded because they don’t believe
    .
    Me:

    3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

    The human will, free or not, is not in the text.Look up ‘eisegesis’. ALL who are perishing have ‘blind’ minds. the phrase ‘who do not believe’ merely describes ‘the perisning’. They are perishing because the do not believe. Again, it’s in the text.

    Apart from Christ we are’ by nature children of wrath’(Eph 2:3), thus ‘perishing’.

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  59. Again, B4B, the context of Romans 3-7 is Law, vs. No law.

    NO ONE is righteous by obeying the law. But righteousness is imputed to those who have faith.

    All of you exegesis folks miss Jesus, because you look at the carnal, rather than the spiritual. If you would put your spiritual eyes on, then you would see, but the god of this world has blinded you because you claim that you can see.

    You might want to read your bible again, because Abraham was righteous.

    Romans 4 is after Romans 3.

    People are perishing BECAUSE they don’t believe, not because the god of this world blinded them so that they won’t believe. The god of this world blinded them BECAUSE they don’t believe.

    Ed

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  60. Ed,

    “You might want to read your bible again, because Abraham was righteous.” I have no idea where you were going with that and do not wish to even go there. I know that Abraham was saved by faith.

    And you misread me AGAIN. OF COURSE people are perishing because they don’t believe! Our minds are spiritually blind by birth because we are spiritually DEAD and cannot SEE the kingdom of God. I agree there is also an aspect of ‘being turned over’ and becoming permanently ‘blind. (Romans 1). That means that there is more than one aspect to spiritual blindness. Our natural (fallen nature) inability to see or understand things spiritual (1 Cor 2:14) as well as the possibility of suppressing truth in unrightwousness for so long we are ‘turned over’.

    Once again, you are making hasty generalizations. “Exegesis’ folks? Do you have something against developing sound principles of interpreting the Bible? Exegesis and eisegesis are two terms that should be really important to us, two approaches to the biblical text, accepting it first for what it SAYS on its face, or reading into it what we want to see.

    I think I am done over here. All I want to do is read the text and get to what it is saying to us, in the immediate context, the context of the surrounding scripture, the theme of the chapter/book and finally the theme of the Bible. If all we are doing is playing tennis, I should go.

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  61. An Attorney and Born4Battle –

    I think B4B is correct in his distinctions between Calvinism and Arminianism. Arminianism posits potential salvation for any single individual. If the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit make it merely *possible* for anyone to be saved, how can it be anything but potential salvation? If it is *determined* by God that any single individual is to be saved, that person will be saved, period (the Calvinist position). There is no “potential” there.

    In Arminianism, what changes one’s status from potential to actual is the individual’s will to accept the gift of salvation. This is what makes the operation synergistic. And, yes, it does give the final “vote” to the individual. But what if the individual is unable to will this because he is dead in his sin(s);spiritually dead? Then, no matter the potential for salvation, the number of people who will be saved is zero.

    Calvinists believe that the Bible says that everyone who is born is spiritually dead, and remains that way, unless God makes them spiritually alive, regenerates them. When God does this, He even gives the person the gift of faith. This is labeled monergistic (there is One who works). It is true that the individual must exercise that faith, and he does, because, being spiritually alive, he wants to. But because God’s working is so much greater, it’s called monergism.

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  62. God’s working is the greater in the Arminian position, which is more extreme than my own. But it allows for faith. Calvinism gets to its position on salvation by selective interpretation of scripture, ignoring other passages, and by substituting a different set of terms.

    It is a fact of logic that a gift must be accepted or it is not a gift. There is NO grace in an imposed salvation or damnation. And it makes God the author of evil.

    It is not synergism. The individual does nothing to obtain the gift, but merely accepts it. Synergism is the idea that humans earn their salvation by works. That is not acceptance of a gift, it is the purchase of salvation by works.

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  63. chapmaned24 –

    As I’ve written on at least one other blog, if Calvinism does not line up with Scripture, then to hell with it. There are parts of it that I believe do *not* line up with Scripture. I see nothing wrong with being aided by another mind who has studied Scripture more than I have. Have you never consulted a commentary of any kind?

    I used the Calvin quote because I wanted people who give him a bad rap to have a sample of what he actually believes, and of what actual Calvinists believe. Where did I ever “promote ‘obedience’ to the Mosaic stuff”?

    In several emails, you have written “The Law is dead. Sin is dead.” Or “The Law doesn’t exist. Sin doesn’t exist.” I do not try to imagine what the writer really means; I assume that he means what he writes. When you write that, for the believer, sin doesn’t exist, or sin is dead, how can I know for sure that you don’t think that a believer never sins? There are those who believe that. Only in your last comment do you explicitly state that a believer sins. Thank you, but it’s been like pulling teeth.

    “That means that BOTH the law and sin does not exist. It only exists IF YOU WANT IT TO, and if it exists for you, then you ARE under the law.”

    Do you see any lapse of logic in saying that the law and sin do not exist – except when they sort of do?

    “If you want eternal life, the law does not exist, THEREFORE sin does not exist, either.”

    However, believers have eternal life and yet they sin, so sin does exist. Correct?

    “Yes, Abraham was a sinner, as I am (present tense) but NO SIN could ever be IMPUTED to Abraham, because he BELIEVED God’s promise of eternal life. Faith. Our FAITH is BASED ON a PROMISE given to Abraham. If you believe THAT promise, then you have faith, and IF YOU HAVE FAITH, you LIVE OUT YOUR LIFE BASED ON THAT BELIEF (Faith without works is dead). Obeying the law won’t get you eternal life…faith does. Faith does not impute sin, the law does.

    Are you seeing it yet?”

    Yes, I see it, and I’ve seen it for a long time. This is the first time I’ve seen that *you* see it, because you spelled it out rather than just writing things like, “There is either LAW or NO LAW.”

    You wrote: “By the way, I never mentioned Romans 8. My focus is on Romans 3-7.”

    I had written: “I *assume* you are referring to the first part of Romans 8, or passages like it.”

    Sorry for the snarkiness. Only please don’t assume that others know just what you mean because *you* know just what you mean.

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  64. Excellent summary, Jeff. In fact, one could propose that the Arminian position actually ‘limits’ the atonement more than does the Calvinist position, which guarantees the salvation of ‘some’, called the elect of God.

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  65. Mr. Attorney,

    I think you have a really distorted view of both Arminianism and Calvinism, ‘scholastically speaking, Faith is a prerequisite in both positions, The difference is that the Arminian position holds that faith is something inherent to the ‘free will’ of the fallen human being. Calvinism holds that even faith is a gift of God. Do a good study of Eph 2:8-9, paying specific attention to the Greek grammar and sentence construction.

    Have a good evening.

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  66. Born4Battle,
    Yes, you exegesis folks. Calvinists are always talking exegesis and forget about exeJESUS. Let me put it another way. YOU, and MOST ALL Calvinists get their doctrines NOT FROM the Bible, but from dead men. I think you said stupid dead men. Your opinions are based on what someone else already decided for you.

    All cults can make the Bible say anything that they want it to. And, those cults are influential into convincing you that the Bible states what they say it states by using gramatical words, such as exegesis, making it sound as if they really know God’s Word. So, they become Dr. of Theology, and teach their garbage to future Dr.’s of Theology, who in turn teach their garbage to those in the pew. It’s all garbage.

    What that means is, NO ONE ASKS the tough questions themselves, and searches the answers out themselves, WITHOUT OUTSIDE “INFLUENCE”. You have a cheat sheet that tells you the questions that someone else already came up with, and the answer sheet that gives you the answers that THEY want you to have.

    Bottom line, YOUR exegesis is NOT accurate by a long long long long long shot.

    Here is a video that I would like you to see in regards to righteousness, because you tell me that NO ONE IS RIGHTEOUS, NO NOT ONE.

    Ed

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  67. Jeff Brown,

    Let me start by saying that I have NO PROBLEM with snarkiness, sarcasm, CAPS for shouting, etc. Just as long as you have the coffee pot going, I am game.

    Moving on:

    You said:
    ” I see nothing wrong with being aided by another mind who has studied Scripture more than I have. Have you never consulted a commentary of any kind?

    First of all, Everyone needs to read the whole Bible as if it were a Harry Potter book, five times…yes, 5 times. Not 2 or 3, but 5 times. We should read it in 30 days, if possible…not bible in a year stuff, either. That’s for woosies. Little kids can read a Harry Potter book in how long? Come on, no one has excuses that they can’t do that.

    This gets your mind set, by reading it 5 times as a book, that you will always say to yourself, “I know I’ve read that before SOMEWHERE”. And, if you can’t remember, BEGIN AT GENESIS 1:1, and read until you find it.

    Why can’t you MAKE the time to study Scripture WITHOUT outside influence, asking the TOUGH questions, and researching them out for yourself? THEN form your own opinion, which is commentary, THEN you can present what you believe the answer is to the tough questions after MANY MANY MANY weeks of personal study. Go over it many times in your head. Read and study about it again, on the just in case you missed something. Then, and only then, bring it up to someone, and bounce what YOU think or believe what it states. I guarantee you that YOU will know more that most, because all they are going off on is what someone else already decided for them, where as you have GENUINE answers. Get spiritual, and forget the carnal. It’s not easy to forget the carnal, such as the PROMISED LAND (land of Canaan for the Jews) is CARNAL, but it is ALSO SPIRITUAL (heaven for those justified by faith).

    It takes a PEN AND PAPER (NOT COMPUTER…stay away from the computer), college ruled paper. Hand write all verses down, whether you know them already or not. Make sure that you also HAND WRITE your question. Match words and phrases together. Use the concordance. Learn about the HEBREW lettering (Hebrew words are spelled backwards). Learn the ways a Hebrew word can be broken down. Know that the Original Hebrew has NO VOWELS. Practice at writing Hebrew words).

    Bottom line, dude…MAKE THE TIME…on your own. Forget that Calvin existed. Forget that Catholicism exists, forget that Luther existed, forget that ANY so-called church father ever existed.

    In the NT, in the NIVr, anytime something is referenced from the OT writings, the NIVr folks were nice enough to annotate the actual reference so that you can go back to it yourself, and read about it.

    Finally, again, ask the tough questions that are NOT Calvin related…ask any and all of the who, what, why, when, how questions.

    If you do what I say here, it might take about ten years, as it did me…THEN I search out the goofy beliefs of others.

    Bottom line…make time. No ones personal life is more important that this.

    Ed

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  68. Moving on,

    You had said:
    you quoted me first:
    ““That means that BOTH the law and sin does not exist. It only exists IF YOU WANT IT TO, and if it exists for you, then you ARE under the law.”

    Do you see any lapse of logic in saying that the law and sin do not exist – except when they sort of do? ”

    No, I do not see a lapse of logic here.

    You had said that I said”
    “There is either LAW or NO LAW.”

    My response:
    Jesus said:

    Matthew 9:5
    For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?

    So, I say, which is easier, for me to spell it out in a thousand words, or to say, There is either Law or NO Law?

    It can all be condensed to just that.

    Ed

    Like

  69. Ed said: Let me start by saying that I have NO PROBLEM with snarkiness, sarcasm, CAPS for shouting, etc. Just as long as you have the coffee pot going, I am game.

    This is a true statement. ^^^^^

    Like

  70. Born4Battle,

    Your Ephesians 2:8-9 does not say that faith is a gift…it states that the gift is thru faith. You can tout your grammatical words, i.e. “paying specific attention to the Greek grammar and sentence construction” all you want. It just doesn’t say what you say it says.

    Ed

    Like

  71. chapmaned24 –

    I genuinely admire your diligence in studying the Bible. You are serious about it and you take the time.

    When I became a believer 24 years ago, I simply read Scripture. I still read it without consulting commentaries, but other times I do consult them. In any case, I agree that one should begin by simply reading Scripture, and if something is difficult, just keep reading. After some time has passed, consult commentaries when coming across something difficult.

    It was at least ten years before I began to be aware of Calvin. At first, I was rather shocked and pretty much rejected what he said. I’ve read that this is a common reaction. But when I checked it with Scripture, I noticed that I had never come to grips with many passages that Calvin dealt with. I came to agree with what he said about election, and saw how it tied in with God’s sovereignty.

    You say that difficult passages should be figured out by yourself only, and that Doctors of Theology teach garbage. Is it possible that *your* conclusions are garbage? Why should you have more credibility than anyone else? I would say that the majority opinions of people for over 2000 years have more credibility than my opinion or yours. Why does God give the gift of teaching to some? Didn’t the eunuch gain by being taught by Philip?

    Some of your conclusions are startling. You wrote, to B4B:

    “Your references to back up your notion is flawed. You referenced Romans 3:10-12.

    Your reference to Romans 3 is discussing those who are under the law of Moses.

    They are not righteous BECAUSE they are being “obedient” to the law, rather than to “faith” Law vs. No Law.

    BUT NOW…

    Verse 20-21
    21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

    22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:

    You seem to leave out the REST OF THE STORY, because Abraham was righteous, where you say that no one is righteous BECAUSE he believed.

    No law.

    Under the law, the deeds of the flesh does not get you righteousness.”

    Do you really believe that Paul was saying that Jews used to be under the Law of Moses, but things have changed now, because Jesus has arrived, and Jews are no longer under the Law of Moses?

    Paul is saying that Jews are *still* under the Law of Moses unless they believe in Jesus (v. 22), not that there was Law then and No Law now. I think you get in trouble by applying the template of Law vs. No Law to too many passages and in an absolute way.

    Another example is your interpretation of Mt 9:5. When Jesus heals the paralytic, He is proving that He in fact has forgiven the man’s sins. He’s not saying that the Law no longer exists. Those under the Law have their sins reckoned to them; only Jesus can forgive them their sins. Law vs. No Law is simplistic and misleading.

    Finally, I love this: “Your Ephesians 2:8-9 does not say that faith is a gift…it states that the gift is thru faith. You can tout your grammatical words, i.e. “paying specific attention to the Greek grammar and sentence construction” all you want. It just doesn’t say what you say it says.”

    Yeah that pesky grammar of the language that the NT was actually written in. Who cares about that? YOU know what it REALLY means.

    Well, you said that you didn’t mind snark.

    Like

  72. chapmaned24 –

    Looking over what I wrote, I see that you didn’t say that Jews used to be under the Law of Moses but that they aren’t now. You stay in the present tense.

    But it’s not a matter of trying to be obedient to the Law. B4B brought up the passage to say that the natural man does not do good; no, not one. He doesn’t need to know anything about the Law to be in this condition. Before the Mosaic Law was written, God said that “man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time.” It’s not a matter of knowing or not knowing the Law. It’s a matter of this being man’s natural condition.

    Like

  73. Jeff Brown,
    I was just getting ready to respond to you first, but then I saw your last. I will address the last first.

    I never ever ever stated that the Jews are not under the Law now. They don’t believe in Jesus, so they are still under the law of Moses. The Law exists for them.

    For those who believe in Jesus, the law does not exist. For those who reject Jesus, they will be judged on judgment day by the law of Moses. For those under ignorance, they will be judged based on their conscience.

    Now, you and B4B speak about the natural man, blah, blah, blah, coupling that with Calvin, blah, blah, blah.

    If you Calvin leaning folks would CONCENTRATE on “It’s either law, or no law” then you might get it.

    The law is for the flesh, and so you constantly need to kill the flesh, because when you kill the flesh, as Paul said that he dies daily, then you live in the spirit (What’s left when you die is spirit (James 2:26).

    When you live in the spirit you are not a natural man.

    When you live in the flesh, you are a natural man.

    Either way, it’s still FREE WILLY, without the Y.

    Finally, in your last, you had said:
    “Before the Mosaic Law was written, God said that “man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time.” It’s not a matter of knowing or not knowing the Law. It’s a matter of this being man’s natural condition.”

    But I say:
    Romans 5:13
    13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    It’s a matter of IS SIN IMPUTED, OR IS SIN NOT IMPUTED.

    Many of us believe that the spirits that Jesus preached to that is mentioned in one of the epistle of Peter was none other than those “oh so pesky wicked and evil people” of the days of Noah.

    We do not believe that sin was “imputed” to them, but that Jesus set them free, as well.

    Wicked or not, is sin IMPUTED to the ignorant? NO.

    I need coffee, so I will delay a few moments and answer your first in a bit.

    But, in the mean time, I still say get rid of Calvin thinking, and begin again, but this time consentrate on Law vs. No Law.

    Some of the questions to ask
    1. WHAT EXACTLY IS DEFINED AS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD?
    1a. What was it in the OT?
    1b. What is it under the NT?

    Specific definition, and what book, chapter and verse can both be found?

    Ed

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  74. Jeff Brown,

    OK, coffee is in hand. Now to respond to your first:

    You had said:
    ” Law vs. No Law is simplistic and misleading.”

    My response:
    Simple, yes. Misleading, no.

    It is FLESH vs Spirit, or, as I have been saying, Law vs. No Law, which is the same as saying FLESH vs. Spirit.

    Now in regards to that man that was healed, and Jesus said that his sins were forgiven, are you indicating that after that, this man didn’t follow Jesus until that man’s dying day? If he did, then when Jesus died on the cross, the law did not exist for that man from that day (Jesus died on the cross) forward.

    I think it is misleading to think that the man that Jesus healed remained a non-believer.

    Finally,
    1. WE give God faith.

    2. IN TURN, God gives us Grace.

    I 10000000 per cent believe that the Calvin definition of the Sovereignty of God is wrong.

    Example:
    You and I both know that Jesus is God. The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that. They make the Bible say what it does not say.

    In regards to the Sovereignty of God, Calvin makes the Bible say what it doesn’t.

    All of a sudden we have a TON of Greek Grammar experts out there, and none of them can agree on JACK DIDLEY SQUAT, but hey, they know the Greek!!!!

    A bunch of Novices claiming that they know Greek. They say, “Let’s use the Greek card”, even tho they have no clue themselves, it’s way too easy to use the Greek card, because they think that card trumps the conversation, and shuts all mouths. I say hogwash. Yes, I have a problem with people that make the Bible say what it does not say, and then injecting their Greek knowledge.

    Besides, there is another side of the house to consider, and that is the Hebrew side. Most of our Greek experts concentrate on the NT so much that they forget about what was written in Hebrew. Greek experts are a dime a dozen.

    Ed

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  75. Jeff Brown,
    One more thing in regards to the Jews and the Law. The Law has rules and regs in regards to sacrifices. Under the law, sacrifices must be done in the temple. When Moses first began the Law of Moses, sacrifices were done at the Tent (a like figure of the Temple that would be built by Solomon later).

    The Jews do not have a Temple. The Ark of the Covenant is “missing”. The Jews cannot do sacrifices. Their sins are piling up, because they have no means to do sacrifices. Again, they are still under the law of Moses, and their sins are piling up.

    But Romans 9-11 shows that with all that sin that KEEPS piling up, God will show mercy to them, regardless of what others like Calvin, and many who bad mouth the Jews think. That is backed up even in the Prophets of old.

    There was once a time that protestants believed that the Jews would never make it back to their homeland, thinking that the Bible should be re-interpreted in all references that indicated that the Jews would indeed return, substituting the word Israel to that of Christians. I say, “NOT SO FAST”. Prophesy from the the law and the prophets in regards to the Jews is NOT DONE YET.

    Ed

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  76. Born4BAttle,
    You may quote scripture, but your explanations of the quote is dead men’s opinion thru and thru, which makes the quote say something that it doesn’t.

    Ed

    Like

  77. Well, I kinda fell asleep way too early, and I woke up at about 2:45. My Friday nights aren’t so exiting as they used to be in the 80’s and 90’s when I would stay awake til maybe about 3 in the morning, ending it with a breakfast at Denny’s to settle the alcohol, and do it all over again on Saturday night. Oh, the good ole days…hehehe.

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  78. Jeff Brown:
    You had said:
    “Why does God give the gift of teaching to some? Didn’t the eunuch gain by being taught by Philip?”

    If God gives the gift of teaching, then those who teach do not need to go to college to learn what to teach, now do they?

    Philip was a WITNESS to Jesus…was Calvin a witness?

    Basically, the Eunuch was asking “WHO IS ISAIAH TALKING ABOUT?”

    And Philip preached Jesus.

    After that, the Eunuch wanted (FREE WILL) to be baptized.

    Philip responded:

    If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he (The Eunuch) answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    People believe with their heart…all THEIR heart. God does NOT force the belief.

    So, like I began this, if teachers really have the “GIFT”, they don’t need to be college educated…they don’t need to have a title of Doctor of Theology, because the teaching, being a GIFT, is not taught in Bible College, but by God alone.

    Otherwise, it’s not a gift at all.

    Ed

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  79. chapmaned24 –

    Of course, you realize that all translators of the NT into English are, with varying degrees of talent, Greek scholars. So how can you trust any of the English translations?

    I will say, though, that too many of these scholars do not understand Hebrew contexts and concepts, and the kind of “Jewish Greek” in which the NT is written. I know you don’t like to be influenced by the opinions of scholars, but, on this subject, I recommend a book called “Copernicus And The Jews,” by Daniel Gruber. It was certainly eye-opening for me. He’s also written a NT translation called “The Messianic Writings.”

    “The Jews do not have a Temple. The Ark of the Covenant is “missing”. The Jews cannot do sacrifices. Their sins are piling up, because they have no means to do sacrifices. Again, they are still under the law of Moses, and their sins are piling up.”

    So Jews are still obligated to perform animal sacrifices? Even after the God-man who takes away sin forever has come? Wow.

    “They don’t believe in Jesus, so they are still under the law of Moses.”

    I asked this much earlier, but I’m too lazy to look up whether or not you answered. Do you think it’s possible for a Jew to be saved (to believe in Jesus) today? Please include a “yes” or “no” in your answer.

    “There was once a time that protestants believed that the Jews would never make it back to their homeland, thinking that the Bible should be re-interpreted in all references that indicated that the Jews would indeed return, substituting the word Israel to that of Christians. I say, “NOT SO FAST”. Prophesy from the the law and the prophets in regards to the Jews is NOT DONE YET.”

    Thank you for that.

    Calvin rarely mentioned Jews, which is nothing to be applauded, but I reject his teaching that the “church” replaced Israel.

    You played the Rom 5:13 card. I play the Rom 2:12 card. “All those who sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all those who sinned under the law will be judged by the law.” As I said in another comment, I think 5:12 means that sin was not imputed as an infraction of the law, but it still killed spiritually and physically. I think 1 Pet 3:19-20 is too ambiguous to settle on one interpretation, no matter what it is.

    If you answered this earlier, I apologize: Do you think that all people who lived before the Mosaic Law eventually reached heaven?

    “I never ever ever stated that the Jews are not under the Law now.”

    I corrected my mistake in the follow-up comment.

    Like

  80. Jeff Brown,

    I don’t have much time, as I have to get ready to go for quite a few hours, but this caught my eye:

    You had said:
    “So Jews are still obligated to perform animal sacrifices? Even after the God-man who takes away sin forever has come? Wow.”

    Yes, the Jews who don’t believe in Jesus are STILL obligated to OBEY THE LAW.

    You have one of two choices…obey the law (which sacrifices are mandated), or follow Jesus.

    The law is a binding contract (covenant) with God forever (until the time of the end).

    Sacrifices accomplished two things:
    1. COVERED THE SINS when they sinned…that was the whole purpose of sacrificing. It was mandated in the law for that specific purpose.

    2. MAINTAINED A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. As long as sacrifices took place, the relationship with God continued…NO MATTER WHAT SIN THAT THEY DID.

    If you would read the Bible as a Harry Potter book, you will see that ever so plainly.

    Once they see Jesus, then ALL OF THOSE “COVERED” sins are wiped away, erased, gone…poof.

    I will respond to the remaining later tonight sometime…could be as late as in the a.m. Who knows?

    Ed

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  81. Jeff Brown,

    Oh, I just had to respond to this one before I go…

    You said:
    “You played the Rom 5:13 card. I play the Rom 2:12 card. “All those who sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all those who sinned under the law will be judged by the law.” As I said in another comment, I think 5:12 means that sin was not imputed as an infraction of the law, but it still killed spiritually and physically. I think 1 Pet 3:19-20 is too ambiguous to settle on one interpretation, no matter what it is.”

    My response:
    You are close…very close. Romans 5:12 needs to be in play with Romans 4, because Romans 4 began the conversation About Abraham who didn’t have the law. NO SIN could ever be “imputed” to Abraham, EVEN THOUGH “for all have sinned”.

    However, this is the 2nd time that you mentioned that the punishment is the death of the Body. That isn’t true. Adam was going to die a natural death whether he sinned or not. That can be found in 1 Cor 15:36-50. Adam NEVER had a spiritual body…he had a natural body…a dirt body.

    There was another tree in the Garden called the tree of life. Adam never ate of that tree. Adam would have had to have eaten of that tree to have obtained eternal life.

    It was STILL POSSIBLE to obtain eternal life in a fallen state, which was why God had to put an angel in front of that tree.

    Again, Adam was going to die a natural death REGARDLESS.

    You mention Romans 2.

    Romans 2:14-16 is in regards to the IGNORANT, that they will be judged based on their conscience. They don’t have the law. Even those Amazon people with bones in their noses with spears in their hands…they are ignorant…they don’t have the law…they are judged by their conscience.

    In regards to 1 Pet 3:19-20, either you have a position on it, or you don’t. I have a position on it. I don’t see it as ambiguous at all. I see it in light of the story of Noah’s Ark.

    It had never rained before. WHY SHOULD anyone believe that it was gonna rain? Cuz Noah said so? If someone said to you that the noon temp in the North Pole was going to be 199 degrees in 120 years, would you believe them? I wouldn’t. God has mercy on people. The God of Calvin is not merciful to the ignorant at all. His God is NOT my God.

    Ed

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  82. Oh, yeah, your last comment.

    The gift of teaching doesn’t preclude learning. There are learned people who do not have a gift for teaching.

    Scripture is filled with admonitions to learn the Word. As far as I know, It doesn’t say that you must or mustn’t have a teacher to learn it. It does say there is wisdom in having many counselors.

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  83. Jeff Brown,
    I am on my way out the door, but here is a question for ya in regards to your last.

    How did the Bereans learn?

    They searched the scriptures daily to see if THOSE THINGS were so. What things? The things that the best teacher in the world (Apostle Paul) told them. They didn’t just TAKE HIS WORD on it. And it was written of them that they were MORE NOBLE because of it.

    This shows that we are NOT to believe things from the pulpit, just because the big dog states something.

    Ed

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  84. It’s me, Daisy, from The Wartburg Watch, though I am using a slightly different e-mail account to log in and post here than I do at TWW.

    I tweeted to this Hall author guy the other day, just to give my two cents. I was not looking to get into a prolonged, back- and- forth argument over any topic with him or with anyone else on Twitter reading our posts.

    In the midst or tweeting to Hall, some other guy started tweeting me, wanting to argue with me all day about gender roles and women as preachers, a dispute I was not interested in having. I dread logging into that Twitter account again, because I just know he will have left me new tweets.

    (Among other things, I had tweeted to Hall that his pot shots about women preachers was out of line and off topic; nobody had mentioned the topic prior to him bringing it up, as far as I could tell, so I assume he brought it up first to shame or insult Julie Anne in some fashion, to shut her up, which was very sexist of him.

    I love how these “women should not be preachers” types think such a view can be twisted to include or mean “no woman can or shall ever disagree with, or challenge, any man ever, for any reason.”

    Please show me the Bible verse that says Christian women cannot have opinions, can never challenge a man, and cannot Tweet her opinions. You won’t find such a passage or verse.)

    Anyway. I picked about 4 or 5 of Hall’s most obnoxious tweets and replied to those.

    After that, Hall tweeted at me to “stop bombing” his Tweeter feed and to “play nice.”

    I replied I was merely replying to his public tweets – which I was. I was not trying to spam or litter his Twitter feed.

    When I later clicked on one of my replies to him to see if I could follow the conversation, I got a message from Twitter saying that tweet on his feed is now hidden or erased, so he apparently blocked me, or removed a tweet or something.

    I thought the “play nice” on his part remark was hypocritical, as he has, from what I could see on his Twitter page (and on comments here, and by his book above) a penchant for being rude, condescending, and pretentious towards anyone who doesn’t share his views, and to those with whom he is corresponding.

    About Hall’s comments about post modernism (that Julie Anne is being post modern, or her views are the result of) – oh please, I spent my teens and 20s reading many books and sites about Christian apologetics, so I know all about post modernism, moral relativity, etc.

    Hall needs to be aware that someone merely disagreeing with his particular interpretation of a Bible passage, or with his brand of theology, does not automatically make that person a post-modern, nor does it mean that her views on doctrine have necessarily been influenced by post modernism, or other aspects of secular culture, such as feminism.

    I am disappointed that Chris Rosebrough of the “Fighting for the Faith” podcast favorably reviewed and featured one of Hall’s speeches on his site a couple of weeks ago.

    Anyway, I’m one of those people who, while very opinionated, tends to be fairly laid back about differences of opinion.

    I usually only get teed off and begin arguing back strongly if the person whose views are opposed to mine acts very condescending and obnoxious, and unfortunately, many, many Calvinists, Neo Calvinists, YRR, and gender complementarians are extremely condescending and obnoxious.

    Many Calvinists I’ve come across in my time on the internet over the past ten years also tend to be incredibly intellectually prideful, putting way too much stock in education and study.

    If you are not as learned as they, or don’t read as many books, or did not attend seminary, or don’t know koine Greek, they have a tendency to behave as though you are a moron an unqualified to comment at all on theological issues, which is funny, since Christ said one has to be like a little child to enter the kingdom of God – not a phD who is fluent in koine.

    There’s nothing wrong with studying church history and patrisitic writings, but Calvinists are way too fixated on all that.

    As I said on TWW the other day, pure doctrine alone won’t win most people over – the Bible even talks about this in James 2:16 a little bit, so does the book of Job.

    If you are spouting off “sound doctrine” all day long, but if you are acting like a rude, condescending jackass while doing so, you will be turning away any potential converts to your position. Apparently, this is not a bad thing to people such as Hall and other Calvinists.

    Being right intellectually is more important to them than helping hurting, needy, or wounded people.

    By the way, people who are seriously hurting (see the book of Job) don’t give a rat’s behind about “sound doctrine” and don’t want to hear theological musings from brainy, articulate Bible thumpers. This is a point that seems lost on certain types of Christians.

    I suspect that many of the very legalistic fundamentalist Christians, or the smug, intellectual, unloving Calvinists I see so often, have not experienced deep pain, loss, or sorrow in their own lives.

    If they did, they would likely seriously question God, God’s nature, and the old answers and systems of theology they thump on about now would not satisfy them or comfort them. If they experienced deep pain and loss themselves (and not just read about other people’s pain), they would re-evaluate their theological beliefs.

    I’m not saying defending sound doctrine is always bad, but that some of these guys consistently place it above people and their pain at all times, no matter the situation, to the point where it gets unbiblical, because they, like the Pharisees, are failing to carry out the spirit of the Bible’s teachings.

    And, despite their claims to be “biblical,” the Neo Calvinists (and legalist Christians) actually violate some basic biblical teachings to defend the Bible or doctrine, which Christ spoke out against (e.g., Luke 13:10-17, John 5: 39-40, Luke 6:1-10, Matthew 23:15-28). It’s a little ironic and sad.

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  85. As far as Calvinism. My views are probably closest to the Attorney guy who posted above.

    I am neither Arminian or Calvinist.

    My understanding is that God maps salvation out to where a person has to accept the work of Christ via their free will.

    So a person’s choice is at play, but the choice does is not “meritorious,” nor does it mean that the person gets credit for his or her salvation, as Calvinists like to twist it to mean (see above conversation where a Calvinist tries to argue that personal decision for Christ = synergism, and to them, synergism means a works-based situation, or that man gets partial credit for salvation.)

    It really is not works-based.

    Merely accepting a gift is not a “work,” nor does accepting a gift mean you are responsible for buying or making the gift, or that you deserve any credit for the existence of the gift, for the gift itself, or for taking the gift.

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  86. Ed –

    I see your point about the animal sacrifices. If Jews are under the Law, they are under the entire Law. But whether whole or in part, they are not going to fulfill it perfectly.

    When Scripture speaks of death, we sometimes need to look at the context to see if spiritual or physical death (or maybe both) are meant. Clearly God meant spiritual death when he said that Adam and Eve would die on the day they ate the forbidden fruit.

    But when he talks about physical death (3:19), it is part of the curse. This is speculation: God never told them not to eat from the Tree Of Life. It is possible that if they had passed the test, God would have told them to eat of it. Then the dust that they were would become immortal. In other words, God’s favored plan was for humans to never die.

    In 1 Cor 15:26, Paul says: “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” This is in the context of a discussion of Christ’s death and resurrection. Since Jesus did not die spiritually, Paul is talking of physical death. Why would Paul call physical death an enemy if God’s original plan was for Adam and Eve to die physically?

    Rom 5:12 is also in the midst of a discussion of Christ’s death, which was physical. It says that sin came into the world through Adam, “and death through sin.” So it was not God’s original plan for man to die physically; it entered through Adam’s sin.

    I played the Rom 2:12 card, not the Rom 2:14-16 card. But since you bring up the subject, I agree that people who respond to the light God gives them will be saved.

    When you speak about the Bereans, you’re preaching to the choir. Didn’t I say that if Calvinism doesn’t accord with Scripture, to hell with it? And sometimes it *does not* accord with Scripture. And this applies to anyone who teaches and preaches,

    Like

  87. Jeff Brown,

    You do it to me every time…I am dog tired…big time…and you said something that I have to respond to. Oh, how I wish I could wait until I got some sleep…dog gone it!!

    You had said:
    “God’s favored plan was for humans to never die.”

    NOT TRUE.

    In the book of Revelation it is stated that Jesus is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

    Now sleep…then I can look at these last posts of yours that I did not respond to.

    Ed

    Like

  88. Jeff Brown,
    “the light God gives them”? Last time you used the word “illumination”.

    You sound too religious to me. I would go nuts hanging out with you with all of these “religious” terminology.

    Can’t we just say, “conscience”? That is what the passage states. None of this “illumination” or “light” stuff in that passage.

    Like

  89. Jeff Brown,

    You had said:
    “Rom 5:12 is also in the midst of a discussion of Christ’s death, which was physical. It says that sin came into the world through Adam, “and death through sin.” So it was not God’s original plan for man to die physically; it entered through Adam’s sin.”

    NOT TRUE.

    Adam was going to die a natural death regardless of his sin or no sin.

    I already pointed to you 1 Cor 15:36-50.

    Natural Body vs. Spiritual Body.

    Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

    The Death that Romans (your reference) is discussing is NOT NOT NOT physical death, but spiritual death ONLY.

    Adam did NOT start off in a spiritual ETERNAL body, but a NATURAL DIRT BODY…FLESH AND BLOOD THAT CANNOT INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE.

    There is NO BLOOD in the resurrected eternal body, aka spiritual body. Adam had blood in his veins.

    Ed

    Like

  90. Jeff Brown,
    You had said:
    “Since Jesus did not die spiritually,”

    Jesus did die spiritually when he said, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

    It was at that point that our sin went upon him.

    But that sin still had to be judged, AFTER he died.

    Hebrews 9:27
    for it is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment.

    Again, 1 Cor 15:36-50 discusses two types of bodies. One is natural and one is spiritual. I will break it down.

    VERY IMPORTANT: WHAT CAME “FIRST” WAS THE NATURAL BODY.

    Verse 46
    Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

    Verse 44
    There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

    Natural Body (Dirt Body)
    1. Planted in Corruption
    2. Planted in dishonor
    3. Planted in weakness
    4. Planted a natural body
    5. First man (Adam) is of the Earth
    6. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy
    7. we have borne the image of the earthy
    8. flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God

    Spiritual Body
    1. it is raised in incorruption
    2. it is raised in glory
    3. it is raised in power
    4. it is raised a spiritual body
    5. the last Adam (Jesus) was made a quickening spirit.
    6. the second man is the Lord from heaven.
    7. as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
    8. we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

    Again, what came FIRST was the NATURAL BODY, NOT THE SPIRITUAL BODY. The above shows what the natural body was all about.

    Lastly,

    Revelation 13:8
    And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

    If Jesus is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, then it was already a plan before Adam came along. Adam was going to die a natural death anyway.

    Your ref to Genesis 3:19 is “incomplete” in light of 1 Cor 15. So, this tells me that the topic of his dust the he came and dust that he shall return was that he would not live in rest (Garden of Eden), but that he would be working til he died.

    God knew that Adam was going to sin. That is why it is stated in Rev 13:8 that Jesus is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Which came first, Adam or the world?

    Adam did not spoil God’s plan by sinning. It was all part of the plan.

    Put a chocolate bar in your kid’s face and tell them not to eat. See how far that goes.

    Ed

    Like

  91. Jeff Brown,
    You had said:
    “I see your point about the animal sacrifices. If Jews are under the Law, they are under the entire Law. But whether whole or in part, they are not going to fulfill it perfectly.”

    Do you see the similarities between them and us? The sacrifices covered their sin, maintaining the relationship, no matter what sins that they committed?

    Jesus is our sacrifice, and the relationship is maintained no matter what sins that we commit.

    Hebrews 13:5
    I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

    Here is a spiritual look at the similarities between them oh so evil Jews that reject Jesus, and us Christians:

    1. Egypt is spiritually known as “sin”.
    2. Moses is spiritually known as Jesus
    3. They left Egypt LED BY MOSES, we left sin LED BY JESUS
    4. They wandered the desert for 40 years struggling/wrestling with God. The “biblical” meaning of Israel is “struggles/wrestles” with God. Jacobs name was changed to Israel after he wrestled with God and PREVAILED. PREVAILED.
    5. They crossed the Jordan and entered the PROMISED LAND. When we die, it is a spiritual meaning that we cross the Jordan, entering into the PROMISED LAND (Heaven).

    And who gets to go there?
    1. Those who have faith (Caleb and Joshua)
    2. Those who have no knowledge of Good and Evil

    There are songs written about that whole scenario.

    You see what happens when Calvinists spend too much time on CARNAL exegesis? They miss the spiritual story. They can’t see it. They never will see it. They just think it’s all about THEIR VERSION of God’s sovereignty, and being “OBEDIENT” to a set of rules and regulations, and law. It’s sickening.

    Grace is not found in graceless churches, even with the name Grace in the title of their church.

    Ed

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  92. Ed

    Amen… @ JUNE 9, 2013 @ 6:25 AM…

    “Adam did not spoil God’s plan by sinning. It was all part of the plan.

    Put a chocolate bar in your kid’s face and tell them not to eat. See how far that goes.”

    1 Cor 15:56 …the strength of sin is the law.

    Like

  93. A Amos Love,
    Absolutely. Take away the law, sin has no strength. Like I have been saying, it’s Law vs. No Law.

    But some REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY want to be “obedient” to law. I don’t understand those folks.

    Those are the ones who “live in the flesh”, the Natural man who cannot understand, because the law is for the flesh. No Law=No flesh=No sinning=understanding=NOT A NATURAL MAN. Dead people cannot sin, and we died with Christ. No sin can keep us from God, as the blood of Christ is upon us. We are not separated form God, nor can we be, no matter what sin we do, as God said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.

    Ed

    Like

  94. Jeff Brown,
    One last thing before I get ready for church.

    Since Jesus is the lamb slain from the FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, IF, and that is a big IF Adam was indeed sinless, then SOMEONE down the line would have indeed sinned, and then what would scripture say?

    It certainly would not say “For all have sinned”. It would have said, “For all have sinned, except for Adam.

    And if Adam could do it perfectly, then it is possible that ALL PEOPLE could do it perfectly.

    And if that be the case, then Jesus WOULD NOT HAVE TO DIE FOR ANYONE, because it would be possible to get eternal life because Adam could do it, AND we would have NO EXCUSE.

    We have to take a look at all of the ramifications on the BIG IF of IF ADAM WAS SINLESS, then how would scripture read? Jesus wouldn’t have to die on the cross, because if Adam could do it, anyone could, and Jesus would not be the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

    These are the types of questions that I ponder when studying scripture. The lamb slain from the foundation of the world…long before Adam came along.

    Ed

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  95. Ed –

    Thanks for fitting your replies into your schedule. I hope you’ll answer the question about whether it’s possible for Jews today to have a saving belief in Jesus.

    Well, God created Adam in His own image, and he pronounced everything He made good after creating Adam and Eve, so I find it likely that He created them sinless. Then how could Adam choose sin, and where did sin come from if God did not create it (which you may disagree with)? We don’t know. Although it may tie in with the freedom God gave A&E.

    Lamb slain since the foundation of the world means it was always God’s intention that Adam sin? Comes fairly close to saying that God made Adam sin. Again, it’s the mystery of His sovereignty and man’s free will. Though I can’t explain it, I think it was God’s desire that Adam not sin, and yet he saw that Adam would sin. God desires that no one perish, yet people perish, whether it means physically or spiritually.

    “Jesus did die spiritually when he said, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?'”

    Whatever happened, we know that He atoned for our sins through some type of death. I find it hard to imagine that He died as God.

    “But that sin still had to be judged, AFTER he died.”

    I think when He said “It is finished” and immediately died, the judgment was over.

    Like

  96. Jeff Brown,

    Briefly home to change clothes, and I am out of here for a few more hours.

    I am just here to say that I am GLAD that you asked those questions, because I CAN ANSWER them.

    These are the kinds of quesions that I seek out answers to, because these kind of questions are LEGIT QUESTIONS.

    Again, I MUST stress that I DO NOT buy into the Calvinist VERSION of the Soveriegnty of God.

    We MUST keep that in mind. It seems to be a thing that you and other leaning Calvinists seem to always come back to is the Soveriegnty of God, CALVINS VERSION.

    Be back later…I am glad of your questions. I am excited to respond later.

    Ed

    Like

  97. You guys – Jeff and Ed – I really love this back and forth stuff. Now will someone please give me extra hours in the day so I can really absorb it?

    Like

  98. I think the ‘what’ that was finished wasn’t necessarily judgment (not sure what you meant by that), but that the perfect sacrifice had been made for God’s elect people, the remnant chosen before the foundation of the world. Jesus had lived a perfect life as a man, so that he could satisfy the requirement of God’s law that a perfect sacrifice be made for the sins of men. He drank the full portion of his Father’s wrath against our sin. He had come to fulfill the law, and fulfill it he did. There definitely will be another judgment, when Jesus comes the second time, as judge of all the earth rather than savior of God’s people.

    Just the thoughts of an old guy reading more than talking these last couple of days.

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  99. Jeff Brown,

    I just got home…been a long day. I am going to ask you a question for you to ponder until tomorrow (Monday). I am not working tomorrow, so I can continue our back and forth conversation.

    Also, Born4Battle, I am glad to see that you are still here. One question for you is this: When you say “fulfill the law” you missed out on the rest of Matthew 5:17 which states “the prophets”. That puts it into a different “exegesis” than the one that you project. There is prophecy in the law. That is the Torah, aka the first 5 books. When most people say “the law”, in that Jesus fulfilled the law, they interpret that to mean that he “obeyed” the “Ten Commandments”, or “The Law of Moses”. The Law of Moses, or The OLD Test/Covenant begins in Exodus 20, not Genesis 1:1, as the Torah begins there. In other words, “The Law and the Prophets” have nothing to do with Jesus being “obedient” to any of the law. It was all about Jesus FULFILLING PROPHECY about himself, in that he accomplished what he set out to accomplish, that is, to die on the cross.

    The Question that I wish to ask Jeff is this:

    Since MOST Christians are under a false notion that Adam was created to live forever, meaning that Adam ALREADY HAD an eternal body, then:

    1. What was the purpose of the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden?

    Based on your belief in the matter, the Tree of Life has NO PURPOSE FOR BEING IN THE GARDEN IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    It always amazes me that this seems to be missed, that it just goes right over peoples heads.

    You reference Genesis 3:19
    In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

    You say that this is proof that Adam had eternal life already, and that he lost it.

    Well, 1 Cor 15 tells me otherwise, in that what came first was a natural body that is sown/planted (God planted/sowed).

    Now, I need to expound on this for a minute.
    Adam was going to die a natural death anyway. The Tree of Life was in the Garden, and the purpose of that tree was for Adam to eat of it, SO THAT he could obtain eternal life. He failed. Instead he at of the tree of death.

    He lost the OPPORTUNITY to gain eternal life, THEREFORE, dust shall he return, just as he was FORMED to do. I capped the word FORMED for a reason, as it will be my topic tomorrow along with the word “CREATED”.

    There was a purpose for that Tree of Life in the Garden, but by your belief system in that he was already in an eternal body before he sinned, then there is no need for a tree of life in the garden at all.

    What was it’s purpose if Adam already had eternal life to begin with.

    Since I don’t work tomorrow, I can take the time to go thru this, and re-read your other posts and finally get to responding to the unanswered questions.

    During the early part of the day, I was thinking to myself, should I really tell him what I know? He asks the right questions…why isn’t he searching out the answers himself? The answers to his questions can be found. IF I answer his questions, does God get the glory, or do I. Or, am I believed, or judged as a liar, since I don’t buy off on Calvin, a mere man, a former Catholic, fresh out of Catholicism. I am already told by Calvin folk that I don’t know what I am talking about.

    But here’s the deal. I KNOW that I know more than Calvin ever knew. And that seems to bother those Calvin folk. It gives them nightmares, that they have to call out to mommy to save them.

    All in fun…remember that!!

    Talk at ya tomorrow.

    Ed

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  100. Julie Anne,
    My mom used to say, “I’ve forgotten more than you will ever know”. Was she telling me that she has Alzheimer’s, or that she was smarter than me? Hmmm.

    The difference between me and JD is, he was serious, me, I’m just sarcastic. I already know that women are smarter than me!!

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  101. I don’t think I missed, it just didn’t need to be included in my comment concerning Jesus’ fulfilling the Law. I wasn’t quoting a particular passage, only that Christ came to fulfill the Law. I was speaking to the “LAW, NO LAW” phrase. Of course he came to fulfill all prophecy also. It doesn’t put anything into a different ‘exegesis’ because I was not exegeting the text, only making a point about Jesus and the Law. I know more about the Torah than you think, I suspect. Jesus fulfilled BOTH the Law and the prophets. They represent what was written and what was spoken (rule and revelation). Jesus came to “save his people from their sins”, as the angel told Joseph. Therefore, Jesus fulfilled God’s law concerning SIN, whether it’s specifically written, spoken by the Prophets, or in the mind of God. That Jesus lived a perfect life according to the written Law was a huge part of that. Take it to the bank, my friend. Both his perfect life and perfect sacrifice for our sins enter into the ‘fulfillment of the law’ of which we speak, both the written and moral law of God .

    Nevertheless, to say that the passage has nothing to do with Christ’s obedience to the law, does great violence to the text itself and the theme of the entire Bible. I won’t get into all of the Bible commentaries that, not to mention what a whole bunch of Bible commentators (living and dead ones). Some emphasize the OT Law here, some the ‘moral’ law, and some both.

    Ed, I think your “LAW/NO LAW” paradigm might be clouding your thinking a bit. Whatever it means, It IS a bit simplistic and confusing and you seem to be reading it into much of what are saying in here, rather than just setting it aside, and analyzing the text, with or without the thoughts of other men, living or dead.

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  102. Born4Battle,
    You didn’t mention a book, chapter, or verse, but I can guarentee that you were discussing Matthew 5:17, and if you read it properly, it does not say that Jesus came to obey the ten commandments. I know this one very well. The Legalists, such as The 7th Day Adventists, and the Herbert W Armstrong clan, seems to think that Matthew 5:17 states that Jesus did not come to destroy the Ten Commandments, that he came to fulfill the Ten Commandments. NOT TRUE. You state that it does a great disservice if it has nothing to do with being obedient to the law?

    When Jesus rose from the dead, he used the Law (not the ten commandments) and the prophets to reveal himself to his disciples. None of that has to do with the Ten Commandments.

    He came to fulfill prophecy. Yes, he was sinless, but that has NOTHING TO DO WITH that he came to fulfill the Ten Commandments. And no where can you find that he came to fulfill the Ten Commandments.

    Oh, and there is no such thing as separating the Law of Moses between “Moral” law, and “Civil” law, and “Ceremonial” Law. Cuz if you break even ONE of the “Ceremonial” laws, you have also broken the Moral law, and the Civil Law (The Whole Law).

    Lastly, No, Born4Battle, it all boils down to Law vs. No Law. You side of the house really preaches “obedience” on the slavery mindset. Christ set us free. When I first became a believer, I said to myself, Free From What? I learned what I am free from, and that was SIN. How is sin imputed, and how is it NOT imputed?

    “From Faith to Faith” the Bible states.

    In between that was the law.

    Ed

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  103. I hope this doesn’t make your blood pressure go to high, but the text actually goes more to the written law, specifically, than it does the larger concept of also the moral law of God.

    I don’t have a ‘side of the house’ unless you refer to the text of scripture itself. We are NOT free from sin, but the penalty, power and later the presence OF sin. , which I am sure you do not. Concerning the laws of God, you are correct in saying that it is about the HWOLE law, and that is what Christ fulfilled – the WHOLE law. It is useful, and even necessary, to separate the different aspects of the law during certain discussions. So to say that there is no such THING as separating the Law of Moses between “Moral” law, and “Civil” law. If you have broken a ceremonial Law you HAVE NOT broken a moral or civil Law, but indeed are ‘guilty of breaking the whole law.

    I’m not even getting into your HOW is sin imputed or not imputed. I am certain your mind is made up, and no amount of talking about it is going to change it. Afte all, your ‘steel trap’ mind is impervious to even straight quotes from the Bible can change it.

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  104. Born4Battle,
    Now I know you don’t read your Bible. The following verses trumps your statement that we are not free from sin, but from the penalty of sin.

    Romans 6:7 (We are dead, as we died with Christ)
    For he that is dead is freed from sin.

    Romans 6:18
    Being then made free from sin,

    Romans 6:22
    But now being made free from sin

    Romans 8:2
    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    Like

  105. Wow, the comments and discussion continue to evolve here. Haven’t read through all of them, but wanted to chime in briefly on a couple little things if ya’ll don’t mind.

    Ed- While there are certainly some things we disagree with, one thing I do agree with you on is this: “Adam was going to die a natural death anyway. The Tree of Life was in the Garden, and the purpose of that tree was for Adam to eat of it, SO THAT he could obtain eternal life. He failed. Instead he at of the tree of death.

    He lost the OPPORTUNITY to gain eternal life, THEREFORE, dust shall he return, just as he was FORMED to do. I capped the word FORMED for a reason, as it will be my topic tomorrow along with the word “CREATED”.

    There was a purpose for that Tree of Life in the Garden, but by your belief system in that he was already in an eternal body before he sinned, then there is no need for a tree of life in the garden at all.”

    This is something I’ve come to think in recent years. I think that God formed us to die naturally (physically). I see a couple of possibilities for the purpose of the “Tree of Life” in the garden of Eden. One possibility is that it was meant as a means for humans to live forever (physically). I have even heard it theorized that in heaven (more accurately on the New Earth)that we will once again have access to the Tree of Life, and that is why we will be able to live forever (again, this is just a theory).

    Another possibility is that it created for Adam and Eve an option. It would be an option opposite of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I believe humans were given a choice to choose to follow God. Forced love is not real love. Real love involves one being allowed to choose to not to return that love. When Adam chose the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he choose against following God, instead desiring to be like God (very similar to what the Bible says Satan’s sin was). Eating from the tree of life could have been the tree that Adam would eat from as a declarationof his choice to follow God.

    These are the theories I have come up with (and I’m sure others have as well). I thin kit is possible for both to be true as well, as they are not mutually exclusive.

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  106. Ed,
    You’ve got to be kidding. We are free from in three aspects, the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and later, the presence of sin. They ALL mean ‘free from sin’. Romans 8:2 is specifically to which one of those three? You answer it. I’m done spoon feeding. And you tell me I don’t read the Bible?

    Is English your second language, or something? that’s a serious question, not being snarky.

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  107. Ed

    You write @ JUNE 9, 2013 @ 7:44 AM…
    “But some REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY want to be “obedient” to law.
    I don’t understand *those folks.*”

    Best I can figure, *those folks* have a hard time understanding because they are in bondage to what “Mere Fallible Humans” taught them. Over and over again, *those folks,* heard, and believed, “The Commandments of Men,” “The Doctrines of Men,” “The Traditions of Men,” that we are warned about in the Bible.

    Like I was – When I was a part of “The Corrupt Religious System.”

    Mark 7:13
    KJV – Making the word of God of “none effect” through your tradition…
    ASV – Making “void” the word of God by your tradition…
    NIV – Thus you “nullify” the word of God by your tradition…

    *those folks,* like I was, have been told their whole life – In many different ways…
    By their “Church Leaders.” (Hmmm? Where are “Church Leaders” in the Bible?)

    If – God gave us the Ten Commandments?
    Then – You can Obey the Ten Commandments? Just keep on trying – trying harder…

    You now have the Holy Spirit to help you stop sinning. And obey the Law.
    Just try a little harder. Fast a little more often. Fast longer.
    Pray a little harder. Pray kneeling. Pray kneeling on hard rice.
    Give a little more. Volunteer a little more. Go to church a little more.
    But – You can stop sinning – Just put your mind to it.

    Yeah – I had met some – Wonderful “Church Leaders” – AAARRRGGGHHH!!!! 😦

    For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne,
    and lay them on men’s shoulders;
    but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
    Mat 23:4

    It ALL depended on Amos. And I never could measure up – I could NOT stop sinning.

    And the focus is now on Amos – And what Amos is doing – Try harder? Pray more?

    And the focus is NOT on Jesus – And what Jesus is doing – With Amos – For Amos…

    Loving me – Forgiving me – Showing me Mercy – Giving me Eternal Life as a Gift – Being my Friend – NOT remembering my sin – NOT imputing my trespasses unto me – NOT imputing my sin – Blotting out my sin – Blotting out my transgressions – Shedding His Blood to cleanse me of ALL sin. – etc…

    I like Jesus — a lot. 😉 “Church Leaders” that bind heavy burdens – NOT so much. 😦

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  108. .
    Thank you Jesus…

    For Christ is **the end of the law** for righteousness to every one that believeth.
    Rom10:4

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  109. Born4Battle – What was finished was the atonement, which necessitated Jesus being judged for our sins. Ed said that Jesus was judged after His death. His suffering and death itself was His judgment.

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  110. Ed –

    You wrote: “The Question that I wish to ask Jeff is this:

    Since MOST Christians are under a false notion that Adam was created to live forever, meaning that Adam ALREADY HAD an eternal body, then:

    1. What was the purpose of the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden?

    Based on your belief in the matter, the Tree of Life has NO PURPOSE FOR BEING IN THE GARDEN IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    It always amazes me that this seems to be missed, that it just goes right over peoples heads.”

    Sometimes I think you don’t read what I write. I wrote:

    “This is speculation: God never told them not to eat from the Tree Of Life. It is possible that if they had passed the test, God would have told them to eat of it. Then the dust that they were would become immortal. In other words, God’s favored plan was for humans to never die.”

    Also, since Scripture interprets Scripture, I wrote:

    “In 1 Cor 15:26, Paul says: “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” This is in the context of a discussion of Christ’s death and resurrection. Since Jesus did not die spiritually, Paul is talking of physical death. Why would Paul call physical death an enemy if God’s original plan was for Adam and Eve to die physically?

    Rom 5:12 is also in the midst of a discussion of Christ’s death, which was physical. It says that sin came into the world through Adam, “and death through sin.” So it was not God’s original plan for man to die physically; it entered through Adam’s sin.”

    You may (ha-ha) disagree with me, but at least I attempted to answer your question.

    [I confess that my head spins when a discussion becomes too abstract, or the distinctions become too fine. I know you hate labels, but you might unwittingly be a dispensationalist. Which is fine, because I am also. One can be that and a Calvinist. But you sometimes seem to be an ultra-dispensationalist, making ultra-fine distinctions. Or, yes, maybe I’m just too dumb to do so. At any rate, I’m mainly kidding around – don’t want to get on a rabbit trail with this.]

    As far as Christ fulfilling the law – can we all agree that He loved God and Man perfectly throughout His life?

    “During the early part of the day, I was thinking to myself, should I really tell him what I know? He asks the right questions…why isn’t he searching out the answers himself? The answers to his questions can be found. IF I answer his questions, does God get the glory, or do I. Or, am I believed, or judged as a liar, since I don’t buy off on Calvin, a mere man, a former Catholic, fresh out of Catholicism. I am already told by Calvin folk that I don’t know what I am talking about.”

    Yes, you’re a former Catholic alright.

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  111. Jeff said: Julie Anne – You don’t have to take the time to read Ed and me. Just read me.

    Who is JD?

    ROFLOL Yes, that would cut down on my time. 🙂 But I admit, I am drawn into Ed’s snarky attitude.

    JD? JD is the author of the children’s book – – go up to the top of the screen – – remember that article? I know it’s been 1-1/2 wks since it was posted 🙂 haha

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  112. JoeJoe,
    Hey, welcome back. I liked what you had to say.

    For everyone else, I did have to work a little this morning, and I am just getting to wind down for a bit, so I will be back in a couple of hours or so.

    Ed

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  113. Born4Battle,
    You are spinning it to say something that it doesn’t say. As Bill Oreily states, I am in the NO SPIN ZONE.

    It states exactly what I stated. Please don’t put a spin to it.

    Ed

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  114. A Amos Love,

    You said it exactly right:
    “And what Jesus is doing”

    Those “folks” concentrate on what they are doing (stop sinning, which is the same thing as saying “be obedient to the law”), that they don’t have GRACE, because under Grace, JESUS is keeping us from sinning, so that we don’t have to worry about a thing if we put our trust in him. We can either do (works) it our selves, or we can let Jesus do it for us (Grace).

    Ed

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  115. Sin is not judged until after death (Hebrews 9:27). Death, in and of itself is a civil penalty, not judgment of sin. The word “after” is in Hebrews 9:27.

    The suffering that Jesus had prior to and on the cross was nothing compared to the punishment that he had after death. There is a “spiritual” story about that written in Samuel and Psalms and Jonah, but you have to take off the carnal lenses to see it.

    Ed

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  116. Speculation? I have a hard time with that word. If one studies, there is no speculation. 1 Cor 15 is clear, and the info of that needs to be brought back to Genesis.

    You mention 1 Cor 15:26, in that the last enemy to be destroyed is death, and yes, since the context of 1 Cor 15 is the resurrected body, you are correct in that, however, my context of 1 Cor 15:36-50 was discussing the difference between the natural body, and the spiritual body, and that which came first was not a body that is eternal, but a body that dies. It is very clear.

    Your Romans 5:12 is NOT discussing the death of the body, but “separation from God”, which is spiritual death, not the death of the body.

    Adam missed his opportunity at eternal life, hence the Tree of Life, which had to be blocked. The tree of life had to be sought out. Just because God didn’t tell them about the tree does not negate out that in order to have “receive” eternal life” that he would have had to have eaten from it. There is no speculation about that based on 1 Cor 15:36-50.

    Nope, I am not a former Catholic. I was discussing John Calvin. He was a former Catholic.

    Give me a couple of hours, and I will get to CREATION vs. FORMATION.

    Ed

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  117. Trust in Jesus for what, Ed? How does that work when we still do sin, and that because we are drawn away of our own evil passions? Where did Paul say ‘just trust Jesus’ and you won’t have any sin issues. I guess he just wasn’t as smart as you, Ed. He described having issues with sin. His letters were also laced with a lot of ‘action’ verbs concerning how to behave as believers. You sound like not sinning is a walk in the park, if you just ‘trust’ Jesus.

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  118. WOW!!!!! Death is a ‘civil’ penalty? Who’d a thunk it? I thought physical death was first a result of the fall. And I can’t even remember a ‘death’ penalty handed down in a ‘civil’ court.. there I thought it was a penalty handed down in a criminal court. Maybe Ed’s saying silly stuff on purpose in a spirit of snarkiness, or something.

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  119. I still say you have to be kidding. Pulling our legs, are you? I could provide you with a bucket load of passages that indicate that our freedom from sin has those three aspects. I could add to that a bus load of Biblical scholars who agree with that. If they had only know YOU, Ed! They could have gotten it right!

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  120. I’m not quite sure who “TheTonePolice” is. I haven’t received any applications for moderating duties and not quite sure what to make of the above comment.

    If someone is offended by a comment, my e-mail is always open. spiritualsb@ gmail dot com. ~ja

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  121. Is it really John Calvin that the Calvin ‘bashers’ hate, or the notion that the human will of fallen men isn’t as ‘free’ as they think it is? The sport of ‘Calvin bashing’ does seem to provide a reason for not investigating what the Bible says about fallen men. By the way, I was one of the Calvin bashers until I did just that – study what the Bible says about fallen men.

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  122. Ed –

    Sorry, I misread the Catholic thing.

    “The suffering that Jesus had prior to and on the cross was nothing compared to the punishment that he had after death. There is a “spiritual” story about that written in Samuel and Psalms and Jonah, but you have to take off the carnal lenses to see it.”

    I hope you won’t say that Jesus had to enter Hell to be judged for His/our sins, and that he had to outwit Satan or something; similar to Jonah having to go to the bottom before he was “raised.”

    “Give me a couple of hours, and I will get to CREATION vs. FORMATION.”

    I’d rather hear about whether Jews are able to believe in Jesus today.

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  123. So, here we have a blog dedicated to the task of ministering to victims of spiritual abuse. And what topic explodes into a now-almost-600 comment thread? Anything to do with spiritual abuse? Anything to do with means by which we might reach out to its victims? Well, no. What draws great interest is a discussion centered on the various points of the pentagram of five point TULIP Calvinism.

    Now, I can be as interested in theology as the next person. However, I have also noticed that I can get so wrapped up in examining the theological traditions of men, and even in forming my own theological opinions, that I forget not only the Bible, but Jesus Himself.

    And where do I find Jesus? I submit that I do so in ministering to “the least of these” (Mt. 25:31-46.), among whom are those who have been and are being spiritually abused. I do not know who to credit, but it has been said that we do not minister to the least of these to save them, but to save ourselves. I suppose I would concede that this saying is not true if applied to our having been saved, in the past, from the consequences of sin. However, it is my testimony that it is certainly and profoundly true as applied to the present tense sense of being saved from the power of sin. To the unfortunately all too limited extent I have tried it, I find that my Lord, Jesus, works to transform me as I minister to Him through the “least of these.”

    Discussion of theology is interesting enough, but it also can be extraordinarily divisive. The fruit can be very bad indeed.

    So I say, just give me Jesus!

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  124. “I think the doctrines of grace are biblical (NOT the way they are taught by the neo-Calvinists),”

    Where can I find out more about these doctrines of grace, not as they are taught by the neo-Calvinists?

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  125. JA, I live in your area. The churches with people that we know have ties to SGM (past ties, in some cases, with church splits in their history) or DP. Perhaps we hang with the wrong crowd… but these are our children’s friends, and cutting them off from their entire social life is a frightening prospect. Trying churches by word of mouth makes me fear we’ll get sucked in to the same unhealthy mess.

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