Calvinism VS Arminianism

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Eightball, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Eightball

    Eightball Senior Member

    Oct 13, 2004
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    Basically their bone to pick with the Arminian view is this.

    The "elect" are those who are "saved" or going to heaven. They were "picked" or "chosen" by God before even time began or the earth or human race existed. I.E. God has by His divine wisdom chosen whom of the human race from it's beginning to it's end will be in heaven with Him. The rest are reprobate and "will not" be saved. God determined this before-hand.

    Human will to choose God or Christ by faith is totally in God's hands and man can't conjure-up the will to "choose to believe" in Christ for salvation on his/her own.

    Calvinists say/believe that if man can "choose" volitionally by his/her choice to believe that they have interfered or included themselves in the "work of salvation" that they/Calvinists believe is totally of God's domain.

    Arminian View: They believe that the "elect" are those that God has fore-known from eternity past as He/God does is not limited by time.

    Fore-known as in they/elect were any and all human beings that would by their volitional choice place their faith in Christ for salvation.

    A severe or strong view of the Arminians is that salvation can be "lost" if the elect/believer turns away from their Savior/God.

    Calvinists believe "once saved, always saved" no matter what the elect does.......They can go on a course of rebellion toward their Maker, but they are securely in His hands regardless. However, through their actions of unbelief or rebellion they will be lovingly disciplined by God in order to bring them back into the "fold".
    My views: I'm somewhere in-between on this one.

    1. I think that God has created mankind with a "will" or "chooser" that is his/her to exercise in a "yea or nah" way towards his/her Maker.
    2. The Calvinist model of the elect being who they are despite their volitional/human choice towards their Maker, IMO seems to lean towards a sort of "Automaton" state-of-being of those called the "elect".
    3. If the very nature of God is revealed through Jesus Christ, is their any evidence in the bible about Jesus' teachings/life that indicate that some people are hopelessly "lost" or going to hell no matter what they do or say?
    4. The Arminian view that a person can walk away from their salvation or saved-state of being goes cross-hairs with N.T. teaching. In Apostle Paul's letters he clearly states that when a person become a Christian that they become a new creation/creature in Christ....."Old things pass away, new things come their place.." I.E. If the Spirit of Christ comes to dwell in the saved person, and the old Adamic nature is replaced with the new nature of Christ, how does one become "unsaved"? Can a caterpillar that became a butterfly become a caterpillar again.......By very nature the butterfly is a new creature, unlike the old one(caterpillar).
    5. Many teach that the war that goes on in the true Christian(born again) is a war between the Old nature and New nature. How can this be? If Paul says in the Epistles that we are a new creature/creation in Christ, and that we received the crucified, buried, ressurrected, and ascended life of Christ, how can the old "lost", "Adamic" nature still exist that was at odds with all things of God?
    6. However, Christians do sin. Why? Because they are having a Schizoid war in their souls between the Old Adamic nature and the New Christ-nature? Hardly! The power of sin still has access to the Christian as they in their souls are seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, but their "fleshly" bodies that will one day be given-up are still part of the old fallen world; bodies that still get sick, still wither away in so many years................Yet, the soul is no perishable and will post-exist this body that will become dust one day. An unperishable body will be given to all who are God's.
    Summation: Calvinists think that if a person chooses Christ through repentance and faith and it isn't something totally fore-ordained then it can't lead to salvation. I can't accept this.

    How is it that the Calvinist cannot understand in God's sovereignty that He knows the beginning and the end..............He is the Alpha and Omega! He know's of whom of His creation will "choose" Him and whom will reject Him before they were even an embryo, or even before this terrestrial ball called earth was in existence.

    Does God want His saved to be people that didn't by their own volition choose Him? Does God want a bunch of Yes-men/women to enjoy the heavenlies.

    Grace of God: Grace=Unmerited favor of God. I.E... None of us deserved His grace, but the very nature of God as revealed both in the O.T. and N.T. through Christ show a God that desires us to "choose". Example: Do we want our children to love us as parents because they were pre-ordained to love us, or do we want our off-spring to love us because of their free-God given volitional choice?
    Calvinists and Arminians both have valid biblical points, but both camps take too far and what I believe is out of the realm of biblical accuracy.

    Calvinists fear that we are "playing" God's role when we free-will choose Christ. Arminians question the security of salvation of the believer to the extent that the actual security of being one of God's children is never a point of rest, but leaves doubt and causes one to legalistically live the Christian life.

    Works don't save.. Fearing that one will lose their salvation will only cause the Christian to worry over every time they commit a folly or perceived sin. Fear of God is not suppose to stem from fear of losing one's beloved relationship with Him. Yes, those that are not saved should and must fear what is in store between them and their Maker, but a healthy understanding of fearing God is the same kind of fear that a child may have in respect to hurting but never severing that relationship. Yes, we can bring a distance between us and our Maker as Christians via sin and turning away from Him and going into a "me, myself" mode of living, but God doesn't unadopt us because of that.
  2. Gadgeteer

    Gadgeteer Member

    Sep 12, 2011
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    Very good post.
    It's more than that. Jesus said He will draw ALL MEN to Himself; same word as in John6:44 ("helkuo" draw/drag-forcibly). 1Tim2:1-4 says that ALL MEN are desired to be saved, the focus including "kings and all authority" --- in no way can this be made to mean "only the few elect".

    Deuteromony30:11-20 is extremely revealing; the "word-of-faith" is in EVERYONE'S heart and mouth, the connected passage Rom10:6-10 says we can repent believe and be saved, Deut30:17-18 says "or we can disobey and perish". Deut30:19-20 says it's a CHOICE --- and it begins with the Greatest Commandment, "LOVE GOD".

    Note the rebuke of John5:39-47, the reason they WILL not come to Christ is because they first do not love God (42).
    It's very parallel to Fatalism; under Classical Fatalism the FATES (supernatural beings decide men's destiny), under Calvinism God (supernatural being) decides men's destiny.

    The greatest crime of Calvinism is the assault on God's character; instead of being a God of LOVE, for most men whom He created to be despised and to perish in Hell without hope or chance, He is a GOD OF HATE.

    Not to mention the fraudulence of running a "Final Judgment", condemning MEN for what God Himself decided. This makes God a fraud, hypocrite, and causal-of-sin.
    Please consider the idea that "one can believe because of seeing"; stated directly to Thomas in John20:29, stated as a clear principle in Jn10:38, and the basis of the rebuke in Matt11:21-24. In no way can those who have SEEN Jesus and His miracles, but still disbelieved, be condemned more harshly than those who did not see.
    No. "Are passing". Please read Eph4:22-24 --- lay aside the old man which is being corrupted... be renewed in the spirit of your mind, put on the new man which is made righteous...

    The whole thing boils down to "WHAT IS SALVATION"? It is not a doctrine, not a belief, not a system of "DO's and DON'Ts". It is a true fellowship between sentient beings --- Creator (Jesus!) and creature (you and me!). The veil tore because YOU, dear sir, are invited behind the veil. God delights in you, celebrates your presence, rejoices in your fellowship. God who can stand no sin, has opened the veil to YOU --- washed clean by Jesus' blood, you are invited into the presence of the King.

    Because He likes you, and unconditionally loves you. It's that simple.

    However --- because salvation comes FROM faith, and our own faith (1Pet1:9!), salvation is not a one-time-event, it's a WALK. See Col2:6-8, where we are to WALK in Him and guard against deception away from Christ!

    There are plenty more warnings against deception; 1Jn2:26-28, 2Jn1:7-9, 2Pet3:15. There is "deception away from God because of sin", James1:12-14, and Heb3:8-14. There is deception by bad-angels, 1Tim4:1 and 2Cor11:3. Note the 2Cor11 verse says we're at the SAME RISK as Eve was!
    You now have warnings against apostasy. Please read 1Cor9:25-27, where we are to "race so as to WIN". Now recognize the connection with 2Cor13:5 --- in 1Cor9 Paul says "he himself can be DISQUALIFIED". Adokimos. In 2Cor13, we can be disqualifed. Adokimos was a COINAGE word --- coins were periodically gathered and examined to see if they'd lost the image impressed onto them; if they had, they were "Adokimos/rejected/unapproved/disqualified".

    Note that 2Pet1:5-11 is the exact same admonition as 2Cor13:5 --- we are to judge ourselves by our fruits, the fruits are not optional; against the man who FELL FROM SALVATION, we are therefore to be diligent to make our calling and election STEADFAST, that the gates of Heaven will BE provided to us.
    It is a war. Romans explains --- in chapter 6, the idea of "born-again" beautifully explained. In chapter 7, is the WAR. In despair Paul cries out "Wretched man that I am, who will FREE me from this war within my members?"

    The solution is in chapter 8; it is by the power of the Spirit that we win the war --- or rather, we walk in the truth that the war was already WON, 2000 years ago from atop the Cross!

    Thus, we WALK in Him, and we are winners. Please note Romans8:12-14, where if we walk after the lusts of the flesh we must die; but if by the Spirit we put to death the flesh, we will live.

    Please see 2Tim1:12-14, and not how BY THE SPIRIT we guard the eternal life entrusted to us. His power, our faith.
    The choice to sin is clear --- 1Cor10:13. But please read Heb10:26-29 --- if we CONTINUE in sin (after being saved!), Christ's sacrifice no longer covers us!

    We can become unsaved.

    Looking forward to your thoughts, if you haven't forgotten about this thread.

  3. Marie888

    Marie888 † † †

    Sep 28, 2010
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    Temporarily on earth †

    Don't consider myself either. Aren't we supposed to try our best to follow the LORD first, instead of any man?
    <-- Can insert Calvins name in there too where Paul's name is.

    Though yes, of course we can choose. We choose to love or not to love, our relationships, etc. Love is a choice. Love is not forced - if it was, then it itsn't love.

    As for eternal security, yes you better believe born again believers have it! That's the whole point. He came to save us to be with Him in His Kingdom! Once we are born again, that's it, "It is finished." Just as Jesus said on the Cross. It's only by His Spirit that this can happen, therefore afterward, we have lifelong sanctification and conviction from Him.

    We don't ever stop sinning 100% completely, because we have the flesh still - we are not able to stop while here in these bodies of flesh. We NEED Him. Though thoughout the rest of our lives, He convicts us, we learn and grow, all by His guidance. If we were able to completely stop sinning, there no reason for our Lord Jesus Christ, is there? WE NEED HIS HELP!

    This verse makes is 100% clear:

    Besides, we can test the spirits to see if they are from God:

    Furthermore, if someone claims they "believed" but then they leave, or claim to "unbelieve", they were never really one of us - in other words, they were not born again by His Spirit:

    And again - So right, we are to look to Him, and love Him and others and do our best not to sin. And when we are walking with Him, focusing on Him, and loving Him and others, we usually do not sin. But when we do, He is our Advocate, He is the propitiation for our sins - again, thats the whole point:

    If we didn't struggle with sin, we wouldn't need our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is only by HIS Righteousness we are saved. Not "ours". HE is King of kings, Lord of lords, He came in the flesh so that we may know Him and His love. The whole point of our lives is to know Him. We WILL at times fail Him, we WILL at times faulter, because that is the very flesh nature we have, for which He came to save. Once we know His love, we start to grow in love, and yes, turn away from sin. But this only because we now know the truth that He loves us. We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19 - We love Him because He first loved us.)

    Be wary of those preaching another Gospel.
    His Word is 100% CLEAR:

    When someone is born agian of His Spirit, that's it. They can't be "unborn" again of His Spirit. That's the whole battle. For each soul to know the Lord personally. The Revelation of Jesus Christ. By HIS Spirit, HE begins the good work in us after that, HE convicts, HE guides us. In our own flesh, or "works" we are never "good".

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  4. Gadgeteer

    Gadgeteer Member

    Sep 12, 2011
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    Hi, Marie! Your comments are welcome! :)
    What if Calvin can be proven wrong? Then we cannot insert Calvin's name over Paul's...
    Really? Please tell me your thoughts on Heb12:7-9. Clearly set before us is the choice to submit to God's discipline and live (has to mean eternally), or if we refuse then we are not sons but illegitimate --- that is "NO LONGER BORN AGAIN" for anyone who might have been snoozin'...
    How are we "born again"? It's by faith, isn't it?

    Where is that faith from? Do we decide to believe (choose faith), or is it chosen from us? Please read Rom1:17 --- citing the commentaries (notably A.T.Robertson, and Lightfoot), the righteousness of God is revealed from BEGINNING faith ("faith the start"), to ENDING faith ("faith the goal"); the just shall live BY faith.

    If we make a choice to believe to become born again, how is that not a "continuous" (day by day) choice?
    True; but we do not walk in sin, we walk in repentance, truly yearning for overcoming sin and drawing near to Him that He empowers us to overcome sin.
    Add to this verses 11-12, he who HAS the Son has eternal life. But what does 2Jn1:7-9 say? He who does not guard against deceivers, and leaves Jesus' teachings, no longer has Jesus or the Father. Please note that this passage (in saying "goes on ahead", or "goes too far"), is what you just posted about 1Jn2:19 "goes out from us". Goes-on-ahead, is the same as goes-out-from-us.

    We test things by Scripture; and that is what will support either what you have said, or what I have said.
    There are at least three problems with that.

    1. The passage does not say they were NEVER saved; they may have been, once.

    2. Just seven verses later is a warning to guard against deceivers and "abide in Jesus", so that we not shrink in shame (be found outside of salvation) when Jesus returns

    3. We just discussed 2Jn1:7-9, another warning against deceivers advocating that we abide in Jesus' teachings so as to NOT LOSE JESUS (and the Father). He who has the Son has eternal life (1Jn5:11-13), but he who succumbs to deceivers and does not abide no longer has Jesus (2Jn1:7-9).

    Make sense?
    Uhm, no. We are to do far more than "look at Him"; what I want to teach most is the intimate fellowship with Him, the "death of self to sin". Gal2:20 applies, we are crucified with Him and no longer live, but Christ lives in us.
    He is an advocate for our sins when we walk in repentance. I know that you accept this. "Repentance" by definition is a turn-around, a cessation of doing the same sin over and over.
    You're right, completely. Yet we are to be righteous. Through Him we become the righteousness of God. 2Cor5:20. Some people view His righteousness as "imputed over sin", kind of a white-washing thing. It is not; we are truly righteous, and walk not in sin but in Him.

    The battle you speak of is in Romans7; but the solution is in chapter 8 --- by the power of the Spirit we put to death the flesh, and live. If WE walk in the flesh, we must die.
    We must be careful to define the word "believe"; for even demons believe and shudder. (James2:19.)

    Belief that saves receive Jesus as an indwelling presence, so too the Spirit. It is an intimate fellowship of love, a true marriage.
    Please refer to Romans11:18-23, and tell me how we cannot be cut off from Jesus for unbelief; indeed, it is arrogant (in Paul's words) to think we cannot be cut off. Verses 22-23 assert that God's kindness rests on us if we continue in His kindness, else we will be CUT OFF! And those who disbelieved will receive His severity, unless they do not continue in unbelief, then they will be restored.

    Marie, I have to say I am impressed with your intelligence, and your heart for God. In all of time I would NEVER wish to dampen that. I am proud of you, most people are not such thinkers.

    I look forward to your thoughts about these verses, and the connections I've made. I'll try to remember to check more often --- they say that three things come with getting old, first you lose your memory, and then,

    ...uhm, I forget the other two...

    God bless you!

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