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Thread: Theological controversies and disputes

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlyfavored View Post

    This part is true.

    Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
    Thanks Greg. It is so often forgotten isn’t it that the Love of God actually results in something, the salvation of the elect; Jacob being the example. God didn’t love Esau and that has been revealed to us in scripture, but most can’t accept that simple statement made by God.

    Instead they want to make sun and rain into love, when in actuality it is the good providence of God as He upholds and governs His creation.

    Eileen~
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Hello Kevin--I sense that you and I, in temperament or personality, are very much alike. We are gentle people, who hate conflict--amazing that I married "another son of thunder", huh? (It's true--opposites attract!)

    Anyway, I wanted to tell you that there was a time about two years ago when I left the forum, for much the same reason as you are expressing now....I felt what was being taught here could lead to nothing but an unloving, harsh attitude toward those around me. I stayed away from the forum for over a year, convinced that the fruit of these discussions was spiritual "poison", so to speak--doing nothing but pitting believers against each other. During that time I watched my husband closely, to see if he would become more and more harsh toward others, and what I saw was the opposite. Although he holds to his predestinarian beliefs very strongly, I actually saw his demeanor toward others become more and more gracious as time went by. He always spoke the truth when presented with an opportunity, but he was doing it with more and more love.

    During this period of time our marriage almost fell apart because I couldn't embrace the doctrine Bryan held to--not because I thought it wasn't true (this is important), but because it seemed to be so devisive! It was pitting me against almost everyone I loved! Why would predestinarian beliefs cause such division? Because people absolutely hate to be told that there is no such thing as free will. They hate the idea that God is absolutely sovereign over all things, including their choices, and that he has predestined some to eternal life and some to damnation. I finally realized that you can be the most loving person in all the world, but people will hate you if you believe this.

    I came back to the forum for two reasons: 1) Because I had seen a change in my husband, and since the forum was such a big part of his life, I felt I should reexamine my thinking about it. 2) Because I had heard the truth here, and I knew it. I was drawn to the truth like a moth to a streetlight!

    Kevin, I know you're having second thoughts about a lot of things, but the truth is the truth, and Mary was absolutely right--it's not loving to agree with error just for the sake of getting along with others and not being viewed as harsh or judgemental. I'm still struggling in this area myself, because my old nature is very much into people-pleasing and is convinced that everyone must consider me a kind, loving person. However, Jesus said, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way." (Luke 6:26)

    The truth will bring division--we can count on that. But we can also count on the Spirit to do His work of transforming us into the image of Christ, and the genuine fruits of the Spirit will be manifest in our lives as He continues to grow us.

    I'm hoping you'll continue to hash things out with us here!
    After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (Jn. 6:66-69)

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I am not denying God's sovereign choice. I am not denying the fact that we cannot choose God in our depravity, and that God chose us. But on the other hand, God tells us to choose life. God isn't playing around here. We are still accountable to God, whether we can or cannot choose. The simple fact is, we have all sinned. We sinned because ware sinners. We are responsible for our sin.

    If someone commits a crime, who is responsible, and who has to pay the punishment for the crime? The person who committed the crime. Simple. People get thrown into hell because of their sin. If we are not responsible for our sin, why would God send people to hell, and why would Jesus have come in the first place?

    The reason God sends people to hell is because He has ordained them to hell in reprobation. Fine. But, we are not robots.
    The fact is, we make choices every day. Sure God directs us, but we still make choices. It is a mystery, but that is just the way it is.

    The problem is, you have to play down scriptures about choice in order to bolster your own position. Why not just let the bible speak, and accept that both God's Sovereignty and us being responsible christians are equally true? It would cut down on useless debates, which God is not happy with.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker View Post
    It is a mystery.
    http://www.pristinegrace.org/media.php?id=409
    This is my signature.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Hawker: "Sure God directs us, but we still make choices"


    We can't forget: "for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" Phil. 2:13
    Col 2:9, (NASB), For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by trav6574 View Post
    Hawker: "Sure God directs us, but we still make choices"


    We can't forget: "for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" Phil. 2:13
    Agreed.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I am simply going to be quiet now. Thank you for your input.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker View Post
    I am simply going to be quiet now. Thank you for your input.
    Kevin, I am confused on what you believe that is different from us? If you say that man cannot choose God that He chose us. If your saying that salvation is from the Lord alone, that God is sovereign over all things, causing all things to happen because of His Will. how are we so different than you? That is the Gospel message, what I wrote in my last response to you.. all those verses are the Gospel message. That is what we believe here, and what we teach to others.

    Do you think we do whatever we want and just go on sinning? Or dont care to be obedient to Christ in our daily lives? I mean are you talking about responsibility in our daily lives with God after our conversion? Or are you talking about responsibility within our salvation as if we ADD something to it apart from God working in us?

    Honestly Kevin I dont think your thoughts are different than ours at all. I think the devil has decieved you into thinking they are... and is trying to confuse you so that you stray away from your brethren here. We believe we have choices in life to either choose to obey Gods Word and do the right thing, or to sin. However, whatever the outcome is God has ordained it.. He is sovereign over all. We are held to the highest of standards more than anyone, because we know God, God wants us to act like Christ. He wants us to put off the old self and walk in the new. he wants us to stop sinning. When we sin yes we are held accountable for that sin, and we should ask God for forgiveness. The difference bettween us asking forgiveness and other so called religions... is we know that its for our daily walk with the Lord and Him teaching us, NOT so that we can stay saved or be saved. Asking forgiveness or feeling responsible for our sinning doesn't affect our salvation. Thats the only difference.

    So Honestly after all you have explained I Do not understand what is so different between people here at pnet and your thoughts??? If you care to, please private message me I would love to talk with you about this. And to discover what it is that you feel is so different and unloving about us here. Why you think we may be harsh??

    You mentioned something about loving our enemies. We do love our enemies, we show kindness to them and we teach them about Gods Word. We do not lie to them, example my friend who doesn't know Gods Truth he is more of a catholic sometimes even mystical I have told him that He is believing lies from the devil, that what he believes is untrue. I have showed him bible verses about it. But ya know what? He is one of my closest friends apart from my brethren in this world. I have loved him very much, I have talked to him online often, I have encouraged him. He used to be so lonely, this world honestly hates people like him I wont go into why. But this world thinks that looks is what makes a person, and if you dont look good they shun you, even so called CHristians. I have befriended this person.. much like Christ befriended tax collectors, sinners, etc. The only difference is I know he is walking in darkness, that he isn't my brethren at the moment. So he doesn't understand like I do, he doesn't understand Gods truths and I dont have the same connection as I do with those here.

    So I think in some ways you may have mistaken the people of this forum, in thinking we are unloving.. or that we dont love our enemies. All you see is what we talk about when it comes to theology, but you dont see our lives. How we are living things out, many of us have friends who are unbelievers... we love by being their friend and by teaching them Gods Truths. As I said before it would be unloving not to say anything to them, and for htem to go on thinking that they are a child of God even though they believe they choose God, or that they have a free will. Which from what you've said you dont believe... you dont believe arminists or those who believe they added to their salvation are your brethren do you?

    Again please continue to think about these things.. we dont want you to leave. We dont want the devil to confuse you and drive you away from us. Please continue to dialogue with us, we can work through this and help each other... like Gods family is supposed to do. We all have experienced LOTS of trials lately... many are still to come. But instead of seperating we need to pull together as family, to encourage and uplift each other. PLease think upon what we've said.. know that you are loved here.
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Also think about this verse, we are to love our enemies and yet theres also this verse in the Bible:

    Psalm 139:20-24: For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies that Your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there by any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Thanks Mary. You're right. I don't know the lives of anyone here. In fact your lives are probably better than mine.

    The point is, God is responsible for salvation, period.

    We are still accountable to God for our sin, and whether or not we believe Christ.

    We will have to give an account of our lives before God. There is no escaping that.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker View Post
    Thanks Mary. You're right. I don't know the lives of anyone here. In fact your lives are probably better than mine.

    The point is, God is responsible for salvation, period.

    We are still accountable to God for our sin, and whether or not we believe Christ.

    We will have to give an account of our lives before God. There is no escaping that.
    Right, we do have to give an account to God for our lives and we are accountable for our sin. The good news as well though is that Christ died for our sins so that we can be in Heaven. And God causes us to believe in Him, and opens our eyes to His Truth so that we can have a relationship with Him. I think its fine that you believe in accountability. Just also remember who is in control behind it all. We are held accountable but we also need to remember that it is God who chose us, and made us believe. We dont have a free will that allows us to believe in God or not.

    So when people here talked about those things we wanted you along with others to realize that God is the cause of all things. Though we may be held accountable its not to the degree that some false teachers believe. Where they think it is our choice and our accountability which saves us. We're held accountable on a different level that has nothing to do with our salvation but with our walk with God. When we sin we are disciplined by the Lord because He loves us, wants us to grow to become more like Christ. In that sense yes we are accountable for the things we do. However, God loves all His children the same no matter the sin they do.. and God is well please with His children because He sees them in Christ. And in Christ we have no sin.

    So just because you believe in accountability doesn't make you different from us. So please continue to join us and fellowship with us Kevin. We very much like you here on the forum. And theres many believers who believe in accountability and also believe that salvation is not conditioned upon anything they do. That God is the one who chose them, and it is God who is at work in us, the one who made us believe. And many people who believe in accountability and also believe there is no such thing as free will.

    Im very glad to hear though it isn't the Gospel which you question. For awhile I thought you were saying that you believe people have a choice whether to believe in Christ or reject Him... as if they have a free will apart from God, and it isn't God that causes them to choose to follow Him. The way you were wording things it sounded as if you believed man has some free will.

    I do not though believe in duty faith and thats something else you might want to be careful of. Duty faith implies that its man's belief which saves them or sends them to hell, man alone nothing to do with God being the cause of either. Thats where we have to be careful.. duty faith and accountability are quite different. I dont know a whole lot on this though, Im sure others here do if you are interested in it. I just know that us being held accountable is different than what most religious people believe.

    Heres some verse to think on they speak of pry what you are thinking. Its different though than duty faith, or free will, or us choosing God. Its more how God disciplines us, in that sense holds us accountable for our sins. But we know that Christ died for our sins, and thus we are not held accountable in the sense of still being condemned or held guilty. So I guess it depends on what you mean by accountability??

    "For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world." 1 Corinthians 11:30-32
    Also Hebrews 12. Let me extract just a bit; "For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives." Again, "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." And again, "He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness."

    Also God says in His Word that He forgives and forgets sin. So how accountable are we when we get to Heaven if God has forgotten our sin as far as the east is from the west? I forget what bible verse that is. Ah wait found them:
    Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

    Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

    Heb 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.



    One just has to be careful when it talks of Gods soveriengty and human accountability.. because as I said.. many people like arminists will use these terms to mean.. God is soveriegn yet men is held accountable, they must either choose to obey God or reject Him. They must choose to follow or reject them, as if they have a choice apart from God, a free will... people use this to say man has a free will and God is soveriegn. I think I see it more as being held accountable for our sins, that God disciplines those whom He loves because of the sin we do. God created one group for salvation and one for not. The people who are not His family will always sin, Christ never died for their sins.. they are held guilty for their sins, responsible. But they dont have any power or duty to change that.. they are dead in their sins and always will be because CHrist didn't die for them. But those whom Christ died for we are not held accountable for our sins anymore in the sense held guilty, Christ paid the price for our sins. So it depends if your talking about accountability in the sense of our salvation or in the sense of our daily lives as believers.

    Im glad we've talked this through, I honestly dont think you are different than I or others here. So please continue to stay with us and learn about our Lord together. And continue to preach the Gospel Truth, about Gods sovereignty and election. We love the Gospel message we are at unity in that.. so please stay. your very much welcome here with opened arms and love.
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    Kevin: Scripture affirms both the responsibility of man and the Sovereignty of God. For example, Choose whom you will serve, one verse says. There are paradoxes in the bible. It is the paradoxes that make the gospel the gospel. We can't deny that both truths exist. When we do, we go from extreme arminianism to extreme calvinism.

    Not a response to Kevin but a notice to all readers: In case you missed it, these affirmations are the doctrines that the staff of p-net completely renounces and this will be made clear in our future articles of faith.
    I don't take any of this personally anyway Robert, so don't worry.

    Just one reference worth noting is the following link: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox.

    The above link suggests more or less that a paradox doesn't necessarily lead to a "real" contradiction, which is not how I understood it before.

    We have to approach the Word of God with Isaiah 55:8-9 in mind, or else we will become prideful, and think that we know the complete mind of God. How can we, if the mentioned verse is true, which it is?

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtGF2m102Wg

    Just thought I would put this up. Just to change the subject. I think Stevie Wonder's voice is excellent on this.

    Anyway it is a tribute to you guys!

    Enjoy!

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker View Post
    We will have to give an account of our lives before God. There is no escaping that.
    Correct ! And with that said, when I come boldly before the throne of God, I will say "Lord thank you for declaring me righteous when in fact I am a guilty sinner."

    That is the only account that I can give. Can you think of any other words that will suffice? Think about it?

    Nicholas
    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand..........John 10:27,28

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint Nicholas View Post
    Correct ! And with that said, when I come boldly before the throne of God, I will say "Lord thank you for declaring me righteous when in fact I am a guilty sinner."

    That is the only account that I can give. Can you think of any other words that will suffice? Think about it?

    Nicholas
    Absolutely none!

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker View Post

    Just thought I would put this up. Just to change the subject. I think Stevie Wonder's voice is excellent on this.

    Anyway it is a tribute to you guys!

    Enjoy!
    haha nice! Thanks! Well ya know youre a good friend too. I've very much enjoyed discussing Gods Word with you here on the forums. And all your encouragement and prayers. I do hope you find what you're looking for... I know that at times theology can be complicated. But if you just ask the Lord will grant you wisdom. Just remember to hold on to the Gospel in this all... dont let anyone persuade you to think differently. The gospel is always about Christ, and what He did for us on the Christ. About our election and God calling us and opening our eyes to see the Truth. Dont let anyone tell you otherwise, its never about us or our choice. And trust me you'll find a few like this, even in reformed churches.

    As far as the other stuff is concerned.. just keep praying and seeking Gods Word. It'll all come to you in time. But you're brethren and we're glad to have you here. Im especially glad to have brothers and sisters in the Lord that teach me His Word and really challenge me. Im very very thankful for pnet and my brethren. God bless you bro!
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    A special message from Martin Luther:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDNtN4tQb5k
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by wildboar View Post
    A special message from Martin Luther:

    YouTube - luther clip
    This is very good. Thanks Charles.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Yeah, I liked this clip too. And I have to say this, not only does "carrying our cross daily" meant to be "only" a reference to sharing in His sufferngs, we find the cross (1 Cor. 1:18) also a very powerful weapon, as we using the gift of faith as well (which is also a weapon......a shield) deal effectively with Satans arrows (lies meant to take our eyes of Jesus) which if they penetrate in the old man, bring back all the guilt that Jesus already removed. Rom. 5:8 seems more beautiful and fits well with the eternal purpose of God that accords with election......yup, the comfort of EJ. Luther, IMO, never fully grasped EJ though and missed out on some extra comfort and joy he could have had in Christ being our sabbath.

    I kind of like also the analogy of Neo (The Matrix #1) at the end, when all those bullets are fired at him by the enemies and they seem to hit this invisible wall (like our shield of faith) and then after he casually picks one out to toss aside as the rest fall to the ground.
    I'd post the video section, but I couldnt figure out how to put it on the thread..........I havnt done this before myself or I would make use of the feature
    Jn 14:23-24, (NASB)
    Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, BUT The Father's Who sent Me.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Bryan, I couldn't agree with you more. Also, the reference to the Matrix is also right on, IMHO.
    Col 2:9, (NASB), For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form

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