Puritan Belief

The Puritans are the men of God who started in the 16th century building on the purity of the gospel message that Salvation is by Grace alone.

Election Doubter

To question election is to overthrow a great doctrine of the gospel; to devalue the omnisciency and power and will of God; to take away the liberty of God with his creation, to stumble the faith and to make salvation to depend upon works and not upon grace. It is to make false the Word and to bring false peace to mens minds. (John Bunyan)

Add Your Comment(14)

Election Doubter
Posted by Correy Edmed Tuesday, March 07, 2006

14 Comments:

Blogger Daniel said...

I'm an Arminian and I believe in election. The Bible teaches election.

The real question is whether the Bible teaches unconditional election? Or should I say "random" election? And does such a doctrine actually bring glory to God?

March 07, 2006 3:33 PM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Daniel I would assume you don't place conditions on God to say who he can elect and who he doesn't.

March 07, 2006 4:24 PM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

The point being contended is
Unconditional Election
Basically: Though all men are too wicked (Totally depraved) to deserve eternal life, God chooses (elects) some for salvation. Does He choose them because they are less wicked?
Defensible answer:
The answer is, no. God's decision to bestow saving grace takes no account of human merit. That is, divine election is unconditional.
Defense:
Paul was saved, though he was the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15).
Indefensible answer:
God's bestowal of saving grace is arbitrary.
Refutation:
God's avowal, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Rom. 9:13), does not mean that His love for Jacob was arbitrary or at random. God loves His elect because He made them to be vessels of honor and, seeing the end from the beginning, He has known from eternity past what by grace they would become. So, His election is not without consideration of each man's person and potential. It is motivated by love for those who will someday conform to the image of Christ.

All-Encompassing Call
Point U (of TULIP) alone could be taken to mean that some might be denied salvation though they desire it. This is not so. The doctrine of Unconditional Election needs to be balanced by the doctrine of an All-Encompassing Call.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16

. . . And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. - Revelation 22:17

Although salvation is not granted for any righteousness on our part, the Bible clearly teaches that salvation is available to whoever wants it.

Limited Atonement is another point of Calvinistic election doctorine which can come under criticism.
If God saves men although they are sinners, will all be saved?
Defensible answer:
All men will not be saved. The benefits of Christ's atonement are not bestowed on all men, but reserved for a few.
Defense:
Matthew 7:13-14
Limited Atonement, properly understood, is a rejection of universalism.
Indefensible answer:
Christ died only for the elect.
Refutation:
Many passages teach that Christ died for all men.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
1 John 2:2
1 Timothy 4:10
Christ's redemptive work was evidently sufficient to purchase salvation for all men, would they simply accept it. But though it was universally sufficient, it was not universally efficient. That is, it did not actually confer salvation upon all men.

Some might infer from Limited Atonement alone that God is indifferent to or even hates the lost.
This also is not so. The doctrine of Limited Atonement is balanced by the doctrine of Infinite Love.
The Lord is . . . longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. - 2 Peter 3:9
See John 3:16 above

God loves the whole world of man, including all who will reject His love.
For TULIP to stand up to scrutiny we either need to ignore some scriptures or balance TULIP with DAISY.
for a more complete explination of DAISY see:
http://www.themoorings.org/doctrine/issues/Calvinism/daisy.html

March 07, 2006 8:26 PM   Edit
Blogger Michael Pendleton said...

Magi,

Something you said struck me as I have thought about this very thing and even posted on it. Deeper Truth: (6) God Speaks

As Puritian points out and as I confess, I probably don't explain myself and/or my thinking as well as I would like to have but in essense I am saying what you have just said,

..."seeing the end from the beginning, He has known from eternity past what by grace they would become."

To qoute myself, "The point I want to make out of all this is God looked into the future (He is already there) of the creation He was about to make and based His creation upon our decisions. God, who is love and wants to be loved, maximizes His creative effort to influence people to decide to be His friends. God stacks all of creation up in a way that points to loving Him but all of creation was built based upon decisions God already saw us make. This is why God says, "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). God's purpose was for His creation to love Him and for those who love Him to help others see just how much God love's them. Does this remove freewill? Absolutely not! Just because God saw the decisions we make before we make them does not mean that we did not make those decisions fully on our own using our own ability to make decisions. God shaped creation around decisions He allowed all of creation to make freely."

I don't think that giving man a will to decide limits God or turns salvation into a work. I think it exemplifies just how much God loves us.

Seeing the end from the beginning and knowing that many would not accept His "All-Encompassing Call" God created anyways. God died for us anyways. God loves us anyways. I think grace becomes that much more amazing when we think about all God has done to get our attention from before the beginning when none of us deserve His love.

March 07, 2006 9:38 PM   Edit
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Let me state some things I believe about God (upon which I think we will agree) and then I will state my understanding of election.

I believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent--in a word, sovereign. I believe that He is eternal, infinite and immutable.

Now, as regarding election, I believe that God is sovereign enough to give to man a free will, and omniscient enough to know how man will exercise that will.

I believe that when I placed my faith in Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior, I became a part of the elect.

This is an extremely brief synopsis of what I believe on this doctrine.

March 08, 2006 12:24 AM   Edit
Blogger mS eLoVe said...

I guess, when you say elect or election - It's all about choices. Some people may enjoy their own choices, and in some point some people may say "life is making choices" - even this may result "good and bad".

We know that God's choice is totally different to man's choice (will call it God's will and man's will) We know that God's will is always perfect, pure and be trustworthy. NO DOUBT.

In the book of Acts. For Isreal, God made His special choice. He made Israel as a special nation and I do believe that God has the perfect purpose why God selected the Israel as the special nation. As chosen one.

"Acts 13:17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it."

When God gave us the freewill. We have the choice to receive His precious gift of Salvation. Our salvation is based on His grace by faith. Out of His mercy and love, prior to creation and for His glory, God chose some to be saved, and determined they would be - but this choice was based on nothing in the elect, but merely God's pleasure.

"Ephesians 1:4-6 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."

God have already chose us before creation. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons (children) through Jesus Christ, this is accordance with His pleasure and "will".

Election does not that God has chosen some to be saved and others to be lost. Of course not. The bible is clearly teach that all men (we) are lost "for there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:22-23).

Election simply means that God for some purpose best for Him, and for which He can justify Himself, has chosen certain ones to be saved, BUT He certainly not limited the number that whom shall be saved - FOR HIS door of Salvation IS left OPEN for the "WHOSOEVERS".

In Old Testament, the election of God is seen all through from Abel instead of Cain, Shen instead of Ham and Japheth, Abraham rather than Nahor, Jacob than Esau well known as the generous hearted in OT. and more.

Now, God have called us with an holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace - which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world was. (2Tim. 1:9).

On the other hand we have the free will to response of 'YES OR NO" to His call. God would never forced us to come but He certainly wants us to come forward willingly and faithfully.

John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Puritan, I am not calvinist but I am a believer and a defender of faith.

God bless you.

March 08, 2006 6:06 AM   Edit
Blogger Michael Pendleton said...

Off topic,

Puritan, I answered this question. I think you will be suprised!

If you wanted to read into this scripture (Matthew 23:37) you could say that Jerusalem rejected grace?

March 08, 2006 6:13 AM   Edit
Blogger Mike Garner said...

Well this has been an interesting exchange.

First, I'd like to point out that Daniel said:
I'm an Arminian and I believe in election. The Bible teaches election.

That is an important point as it is required for a person to be Arminian. If a person rejects Election wholesale then they cannot be considered orthodox believers.

However, Daniel does do something quite interesting:

The real question is whether the Bible teaches unconditional election? Or should I say "random" election? And does such a doctrine actually bring glory to God?


I think that this is an interesting note and I think it is answered by another poster whether intentionally or not:

I guess, when you say elect or election - It's all about choices. Some people may enjoy their own


The real question is not whether this is 'Random Election' (AKA. God choosing based on his own Character and foreknowledge of Persons rather than on knowledge outside of himself, namely the foreknowledge of a decision/choice of another person). The real question is WHO is electing. Said otherwise, who is choosing?

Ultimately we must ask this question, Who is the person who makes the Effectual Decision for you to be saved? Is it You or is it God.

If we can answer this question honestly then we really put the discussion to rest.

If we have an Arminian position then God's choice is Not Effectual - because Prevenient Grace is provided to all and all have the capacity to reject it (and many do). Therefore, it is the response, the choice, of the individual that is ultimately the Effectual Decision.

Conversely, if we have the Calvinist position then God's choice is the Effectual decision. God, based on His character alone (and not on knowledge of our decisions) has chosen that we would be Saved. Since this Grace is stronger than all opposition, it will change even the hardest heart into a heart of flesh.


So then, we might be able to ask, Ultimately, by Whose doing are we in Christ? Are we in Christ by Our doing or by His?

If the answer is By His doing Only then we have no grounds to boast.

If, however, Grace was equally provided, Christ died equally for all, and yet only some took advantage of it; if we chose because we are more moral, more inclined to Spiritual things, weighed the evidence better, etc. then we have ground to boast.

Finally, if it is not By anything different in God's choosing, and nothing different in ourselves, then we must praise Chance/Luck.

Ultimately, one of three options is the difference between where we will spend Eternity.

1. Did God do something different?
2. Is there something different about us?
3. Did we get lucky?


Although the Luck answer is a popular non-answer currently, it is really not an answer since it is not an active force. It is simply the collection of data.

So then - We are left with God or Man. A reformation was waged because some men saw the truth in the Scripture that the answer is God.
Let us never lose grip on that truth.

In Christ alone,
mike

P.S.
And does such a doctrine actually bring glory to God?

Hopefully my post answers that question.

March 08, 2006 7:38 AM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

MAGI:
All-Encompassing Call can never save nor ever has and is a most wicked doctrine when set up against vocation. In the next post John Bunyan uses Vocation Doubter to rebut All-Encompassing Call and the person who believes this is sentenced to death.

Michael:
The God looking into the future to see what we would do robs Jesus of being the cause of the new birth. For we were born again even when we were haters of God and lovers of self.

MS Elove:
Jesus speaking: "I know whom I have chosen"
"You have not chosen me but I have chosen you" John 15:16

Gordon:
Yes God did know how man uses his free will. No one seeks after God not one Romans 3

Mike:
Thanks for the summary mike you saw what my next post would be on
"Ultimately we must ask this question, Who is the person who makes the Effectual Decision for you to be saved? Is it You or is it God."

March 08, 2006 9:13 AM   Edit
Blogger mS eLoVe said...

Puritan,

Better not to cut the verse, should be read as a whole not piece. Here is the whole verse of John 15:16.

"John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."

On that verse, Jesus Christ is obviously talking to His disciples of how He elected and how he ordained His own disciples. Also, that verse is another evidence that He shows his love to His disciples despite of their wickedness.

Jesus Christ have appointed them to be His disciples, servant and friends to preach the gospel. See despite of thier sinful nature. God have hath chosen them, and called them to the knowledge and service of Jesus Christ even they did not choose Him, and they called to be disciples of God to the work and be united to Christ by faith.

"That is how much He loves us - We are all called to Salvation but only few have answered."

March 08, 2006 2:03 PM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

mS eLoVe you are a disciple of Jesus and it would be true for you as well as the 12. Does Jesus start chosing his disciples and stop with the 12 leaving it up to us from then on?

Are not the few who answered those whom he called with a distinct calling come follow me. One so sure that the dead would rise and be born again (Next Post)

Yes many are called but few are chosen however are all called the same? If you were a Hindu woman and your mother never spoke to you of the things of Jesus and you were taught to worship and feed idols each day would you be called as strongly as those in Christian countries? Even those that come to the banquet if they are not dressed in the perfect robes of Christ will be cast out into the pit. (Parable)

There is a distinct call which goes out to those whom Jesus loves and saves one that quickens, bestows grace, saves and keeps them. These are the ones that cry out Abba Father.

It is his doing that you are in Christ Jesus.

March 08, 2006 2:19 PM   Edit
Blogger mS eLoVe said...

yes, we are the servant of God because we believe and we trust.
We believe because we see the truth in Him.

Looking forward the next post.

For now, time to rest and goodnite.

God bless you.

March 08, 2006 2:34 PM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Yes and we believe because he made us this way, He gave us His Spirit. Where then is our rejoicing, it is in Jesus.

"Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" John 1:13

March 08, 2006 2:42 PM   Edit
Blogger Mike Garner said...

Me Elove:

"That is how much He loves us - We are all called to Salvation but only few have answered."

Your post was reallly quite beautiful up until this point. I just do not see how you jump to this conclusion after what you just stated. I certainly do not see how this could possibly come out of a quotation of John 15:16. Could you explain how you got here? It is quite possible that I missed something.


Puritan Said:
Yes many are called but few are chosen however are all called the same?

Hopefully Puritan will not mind if I take the opportunity to expound on what he said.

Quite a bit of people (Mostly Calvinists but some others) recognize that the bible speaks of at least two types of Calling (in fact there are even two words for it). There is clearly an external call that goes out to all. This happens in numerous ways. Preaching of the Gospel, the testimony of Conscience, the Testimony of Nature itself. All of these call out the name of God and say to us that we must turn to our God.

However, it does seem that there is another Call that the bible speaks of that is Internal. This call, Calvinists say, is "effectual". That is, it brings about the desired effect. In this case, that means that the person is brought to a saving knowledge and confession of Christ.

One example might be Romans 8:30. Notice that the text states that those whom he Called he also Justified. Notice, if this is merely referring to an external Call then we have a big problem. This would mean that Every person is/will be Justified. This is universalism and I am sure that you reject it.

Now, there are two ways that you could get around this but I think both fail.

1. You could affirm universalism. I doubt this is going to happen.

2. You could argue that in Romans 8:29-30 the "those whom he _____ he also _____" does not mean "every person" but "some". This, technically, is possible given the grammar. However, if you do this then you have to be willing to say that only SOME of whom he Predestined did he CALL (Arminians would reject this also) and even worse you'd have to state that only SOME of whom he Justified did he Glorify. This again leads to big problems.


Without taking one of these two options, which no evangelical should, one is forced to admit that there is more than one type of Calling. One is clearly an external and universal call (all are called, few are chosen) and one is a internal, limited, effectual call to Salvation.


Hopefully I clarified Puritan's point rather than made it more difficult to understand!!
:)


In Christ alone,
mike

March 08, 2006 3:07 PM   Edit

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