No person can come to Christ by their own freewill !

eternomade

Well-known member
If you ate some ice cream in spite of your diet--because you found it irresistible--was there force involved?
Pastor at my old church would use an illustration involving a vulture and two plates spread apart, one with raw meat on it and one with cake. Which one is the vulture always going to choose?
 

Ken Hamrick

Active member
Pastor at my old church would use an illustration involving a vulture and two plates spread apart, one with raw meat on it and one with cake. Which one is the vulture always going to choose?
Animals are programmed by their instinct and their experience. They have no choices in the way that we do. It is often claimed that a man cannot choose against his nature, as if nature forced every action. Yet, those who claim this also claim that Adam was made with a righteous nature, and are at a loss to explain how he acted against that nature.
 

eternomade

Well-known member
Animals are programmed by their instinct and their experience. They have no choices in the way that we do. It is often claimed that a man cannot choose against his nature, as if nature forced every action.
He used this more to show that without God intervening, we will always choose wrong(in regards to soteriology). Do you agree?
 

Ken Hamrick

Active member
Certainty says that men can act against their nature, but it is certain that they will freely choose not to act against their nature. Adam was not made with a righteous moral nature, but with an undeveloped moral nature that was intended to be put to the probationary test as he gained enough knowledge to attain responsible moral agency.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Animals are programmed by their instinct and their experience.

No, I don't think a vulture ever tried a salad to "experience" it.

They have no choices in the way that we do.

They make choices every day.

It is often claimed that a man cannot choose against his nature, as if nature forced every action.

I always "choose" filet mignon over dirt.
Nothing about it was "forced".
And I never had to "experience" dirt.

Yet, those who claim this also claim that Adam was made with a righteous nature, and are at a loss to explain how he acted against that nature.

We're not God.
We don't have the knowledge (omniscience) to explain everything.
 

Ken Hamrick

Active member
He used this more to show that without God intervening, we will always choose wrong(in regards to soteriology). Do you agree?
Men will always choose to reject Christ unless God intervenes, but it is a free choice on their part. But they often choose the good over the bad in lesser things, as Paul testified of gentiles who show the work of the law written on their hearts. Not even Calvinists claim that total depravity means that men are as bad as they could be.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Men will always choose to reject Christ unless God intervenes,

Are you paying attention, Bob?

but it is a free choice on their part.

... in the sense that it is uncoerced. It is what the will actually WANTS.
(And I really wish autocorrect would stop changing "uncoerced" to "uncorked". :( )

But they often choose the good over the bad in lesser things, as Paul testified of gentiles who show the work of the law written on their hearts.

I would say they sometimes choose the good for bad reasons.

I also believe the passage about:

Rom. 2:15 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;)

... doesn't meant that they "do good things according to the law", but rather:

- they "accuse" others (C.S. Lewis uses the example of accusing others of taking their seat, which requires an external "standard" of right and wrong to appeal to);
- they "excuse" each other, or themselves when they sin, such "excuses" not being necessarily unless there was some external "standard" that they were breaking.

Not even Calvinists claim that total depravity means that men are as bad as they could be.

"Not even Calvinists"? :)

And this brings a good point that people (are you reading this, Bob?) should be reminded of...

- non-Catholics don't get to define Catholic doctrines.
- non-Mormons don't get to define Mormon doctrines.
- non-Muslims don't get to define Muslim doctrines.
- non-Calvinists (still here, Bob?) don't get to define Calvinist doctrines.

Yes, "irresistible grace" is NOT forced.
And yes, Calvinists don't believe sinners are "as bad as they could be".
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
Men will always choose to reject Christ unless God intervenes, but it is a free choice on their part. But they often choose the good over the bad in lesser things, as Paul testified of gentiles who show the work of the law written on their hearts. Not even Calvinists claim that total depravity means that men are as bad as they could be.

The will is complex to describe. There is a range of motivations and reasons, not just one. Even animals are not entirely predictable having watched a lot of nature stuff. They will make unexpected or strange choices at times. For humans, I think we could also describe different kinds of choices, mental and spiritual choices. I don't think animals make spiritual choices or have a spiritual nature, but are limited to the soul. What our nature is, does not always perfectly manifest nor do we perfectly understand it. If I am presented with, to take a simplistic example, two choices of what I hate/like to eat, many things could influence the choice. I might be massively depressed, or I might be on a game show offering prizes, etc.

To say we can't choose against our nature requires nuanced description, and you were exactly right to bring up the objection of Adam's perfect nature. Although extra-Biblical "logic" is utilized for many complicated things in Calvinism, it is labeled evil when it goes against a sacred tenant. All things must be sacrificed for the presuppositions, and this is in some sense true for everyone, but we need to be honest and forthright about it. The thing about a spiritual choice is there are multiple dimensions to it; for example I can choose to give money to an old lady, but I can't choose to do it for pure reasons, because my heart's motives will always betray me.

The choice as enabled by grace that is always preceding, means a sinful nature is no longer an impedance because it's influence is abated to free the will in spiritual matters. The choice to receive grace or resist it, is no longer strictly in and of itself a meritorious choice and becomes in a technical sense amoral in regards to the virtues of its motivations. That is not to say the results have no moral valuations or meanings, but the choice itself being non-meritorious becomes neutral in a way—a choice not based on and for moral valuations, but in fact for personal preference. There is still obvious multi-layered factors weighing in.

If Jesus meant to convey the will as only being decided by God's decree and nothing of a man's own autonomy, the Bible could be consistently phrased differently in the majority of places were it seeking absolutely clarity. When Jesus says "For a little while the light is with you; believe on the light while you have the light lest the darkness overtake you," or when words like "choose" or "if" are used, they must be subdued to be descriptive only of a certainty and not a conditionality, as they more naturally and inherently are used. "If" you do the one thing that you have no autonomous choice about and cannot help but doing anyway.

Don't be fooled by the simultaneously over simplistic and yet subtlely nuanced double-talk of determinism, giving one a fake sense of "free will" to cover it's rear when it comes to attributing evil to God.
 

Bob Carabbio

Well-known member
If you ate some ice cream in spite of your diet--because you found it irresistible--was there force involved?
What relationship do YOU think "eating something I like" has to Suddenly and catastrophically abandoning your entire life direction, and striking out in a totally DIFFERENT direction with a complete new set of values, and the directive to "Crucify the flesh", Die to self, and enter into a lordship environment as the PURCHASED POSSESSION of your new Lord and Savior??
 

Bob Carabbio

Well-known member
'Irresistible' is a poor term in this case. 'Inevitable' is better. You may resist for a while or for a long time, but you will inevitably surrender--and of your own free will.
That was certainly true in my case. Whether it's absolutely "inevitable" or not would be a little farther than I'd go conceptually, BUT - obviously in my case, although it took over a decade, it got done.

God DOES KNOW how to get you in a corner with a "Deal too persuasive to refuse" painful as the transition may be. I encountered God back when I was 7, but wasn't Born Again until I was 20.

Billy Graham's "Hour of Decision radio show was a serious contributer but the fellow who actually led me into salvation had himself only been saved one day earlier, and had never cracked a Bible in his life before, and only remembered what the Baptist Seminary student had used on him the night before. On the other hand, I had learned to read in the KJV and could EASILY have destroyed all his arguments - except for the crushing Conviction of SIN by the Holy Spirit at the time as he spoke. And then of my own free will, I finally surrendered to HIM, after having been backed into a corner, and having to face the reality of my hopeless future without being cleansed of my SIN.
A side note: the "&" between 'Arminianism & Calvinism' stands for a whole spectrum of views that span the difference between the two extremes.
BOY HOWDY!! is that ever true. If asked my personal theological position, I tell 'em that I'm a "Free range Charismatic, non-systematic, Calvinist leaning Eclectic" Since I was saved, and initially indoctrinated by Southern Baptists, been Assembly of God for most of the last 58 years and further cross-bred during the Charismatic Outpouring in the '70s this is the way I turned out.
 

brightfame52

Well-known member
The only ones who will come to Christ/believe in Him for all Salvation will be His Sheep Jn 10:26. And its not by their own freewill nor anything native or natural within them, but by the Father having given them to the Son Jn 6:37,65 175which speaks to Election. The Father by drawing them to Christ, actually, by His Spirit of Grace, causes them to come or believe in Christ, hence all credit, praise, honor must go to God for a person believing in Jesus Christ for Salvation. See Phil 1:29

For unto you it is given on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
 

newheart78

Well-known member
The only ones who will come to Christ/believe in Him for all Salvation will be His Sheep Jn 10:26. And its not by their own freewill nor anything native or natural within them, but by the Father having given them to the Son Jn 6:37,65 175which speaks to Election. The Father by drawing them to Christ, actually, by His Spirit of Grace, causes them to come or believe in Christ, hence all credit, praise, honor must go to God for a person believing in Jesus Christ for Salvation. See Phil 1:29

For unto you it is given on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
Absolutely, and perfectly stated Brother !
 

Ken Hamrick

Active member
What relationship do YOU think "eating something I like" has to Suddenly and catastrophically abandoning your entire life direction, and striking out in a totally DIFFERENT direction with a complete new set of values, and the directive to "Crucify the flesh", Die to self, and enter into a lordship environment as the PURCHASED POSSESSION of your new Lord and Savior??
God never calls sinners to "suddenly and catastrophically [abandon their] entire life direction and [strike] out in a totally DIFFERENT direction with a complete new set of values, [or]... to 'Crucify the flesh'." He calls sinners to believe (submissively) in Christ, giving up their lives, and yes, to "enter into a lordship environment as the PURCHASED POSSESSION of [their] new Lord and Savior." After they come to Christ, the Holy Spirit accomplishes catastrophic changes. We have but to surrender to Him. The ice cream illustrated how the term that you object to, "irresistible," can mean an irresistible attraction and does not have to mean an irresistible force. Such an illustration is not difficult for any to understand; therefore, you have made yourself out to be someone who does not squarely face reasonable arguments.
 

Ken Hamrick

Active member
That was certainly true in my case. Whether it's absolutely "inevitable" or not would be a little farther than I'd go conceptually, BUT - obviously in my case, although it took over a decade, it got done. God DOES KNOW how to get you in a corner with a "Deal too persuasive to refuse" painful as the transition may be. I encountered God back when I was 7, but wasn't Born Again until I was 20....
Congratulations! You hold to Unconditional Election & Irresistible Grace! Welcome aboard!
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
you have made yourself out to be someone who does not squarely face reasonable arguments.

Can't argue with that, Bob.

The "house" wins again.

Hope you enjoyed your time you were sovereigly decreed and determined to resist God's irresistible grace.
 

Ken Hamrick

Active member
The only ones who will come to Christ/believe in Him for all Salvation will be His Sheep Jn 10:26. And its not by their own freewill nor anything native or natural within them, but by the Father having given them to the Son Jn 6:37,65 175which speaks to Election. The Father by drawing them to Christ, actually, by His Spirit of Grace, causes them to come or believe in Christ, hence all credit, praise, honor must go to God for a person believing in Jesus Christ for Salvation. See Phil 1:29

For unto you it is given on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
When Jesus said to Pilate, "You could have no power over Me unless it were given you from above," did that mean that Jesus was not submitting to Pilate's power of His own free will? Did He go to the cross of His own free will even though we know that it was God who give Him into their hands according to God's own wise counsel?
 

Johnnybgood

Well-known member
When Jesus said to Pilate, "You could have no power over Me unless it were given you from above," did that mean that Jesus was not submitting to Pilate's power of His own free will? Did He go to the cross of His own free will even though we know that it was God who give Him into their hands according to God's own wise counsel?
I wish you luck trying to get the person to give you a direct answer to your questions. So far everyone else has had no such luck.
 
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