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View Full Version : John 6 Does not Support Calvinism



Bill Fortenberry
July 22nd, 2015, 05:23 AM
I've recently developed an explanation of John 6 that demonstrates the absence of Calvinistic doctrine in verses 35 and following. I would love to get some feedback on this:

My view of John 6:35-45 is based on John 5:37-47. In that passage, we find Christ in Jerusalem telling the pharisees that the reason they do not believe on Him is that they had not previously believed the Father. The Pharisees claimed to be followers of God because they were followers of Moses, but Christ said that they were followers of neither God nor Moses, and therefore, that they would not follow Him either.

Now, with that in mind, we can see that John 6 contains a very similar message. In verse 2, we can see that the multitude that was with Him was there because of His miracles, and in verse 14, we can see that they were so impressed by the feeding of the five thousand that they wanted to make Jesus their king. Jesus left them at that point, and they later found Him again in Capernaum (vs. 24-25). When He had been found of them, Jesus berated them for following Him for the wrong reason. They didn't care about the miracles which proved that He was the Messiah; they wanted to make Him king just so that they could have access to all the free food (vs. 26).

In verse 28, the people asked an interesting question. They wanted to know how to "work the works of God." Jesus answered and said that the work of God is to "believe on him whom he hath sent." (By the way, this is the "good" that Jesus was speaking of in John 5:28-29, and it provides an indication that the two passages are linked.) The people understood that Jesus was speaking of believing that He was the Messiah, for they then asked what sign Jesus could give them to prove that He was the Messiah. Remember that this question was asked after at least a full day of watching Him heal people.

Jesus did not answer their question, but instead taught that He was the bread of life and then said, "But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not." This is a reference back to John 5:37-38 where Jesus spoke of the Father whom the people had not seen and of Himself who had been sent from the Father, and thus who was seen of them, yet who was not believed. Christ's reference back to this passage of John 5 indicates that there were many people in the crowd in Capernaum who had also been in the crowd in Jerusalem.

It was in this context -- speaking to people who had refused to believe that Christ's miracles were evidence that He was the Messiah, people who did not believe Christ because they did not believe the words of the Father in the Scriptures -- it was in this context that Christ began teaching that all those and only those who were given to Him by the Father would come to Him. The people did not like what they heard and began to murmur among themselves, so Christ provided an additional explanation (vs. 44) in which He declared that all those who come to Him must first be drawn by the Father. He explains how this drawing is to take place in the next verse by stating that those who have heard and have learned from the Father come to Him.

How do people hear and learn from the Father? The answer is found in chapter 5 where Christ said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (vs. 39) And also, "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (vs. 46-47) Those who hear and learn from the Father are those who believe what is written in the Bible. These are the ones who will come to Christ. Those who do not believe the Bible do not believe the Father and, consequently, will not believe the Son either.

Thus it becomes clear that John 6 is not referring to a Calvinistic election of certain individuals to become followers of Christ. Rather, this passage is teaching that it is impossible to believe in Christ without believing God. This is a common theme throughout the Gospels. We find it, for example, in the account of the rich man and Lazarus when Abraham tells the rich man that if his brothers "hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Luke 16:31) John 5 and 6 are another example of Christ teaching that those who refuse to believe the Bible will not be convinced to believe Him even if they meet Him in the flesh and speak with Him face to face. One must believe the written Word of God in order to believe in the living Word of God.

Desert Reign
July 22nd, 2015, 06:12 AM
Yes. Of course the Calvinistic presupposition has been read into this passage for so long that it has squeezed out all other more reasonable interpretations.

44 k (http://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/John%206.35%E2%80%9345#footnote16)No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me l (http://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/John%206.35%E2%80%9345#footnote17)draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, m (http://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/John%206.35%E2%80%9345#footnote18)‘Andtheyshallall betaughtbyGod.’ n (http://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/John%206.35%E2%80%9345#footnote19)Therefore everyone who 9 (http://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/John%206.35%E2%80%9345#footnote20)has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

The key is in the subjective meaning of the word 'draw'. It is pretty obvious as Jesus makes it obvious in the very next sentence. Everyone who has learned from the Father comes to Jesus. It is the fact of having been taught by the Father that draws people to Jesus - because Jesus is from the Father.

Good post.

Robert Pate
July 22nd, 2015, 09:32 AM
Calvinist struggle with the Bible because they do not believe it.

Perhaps some of them think that there is something wrong with the Bible.

The Bible does not contradict itself.

Paul could not be justified by faith in the book of Romans and then be a Calvinist in the book of Ephesians. They are conflicting doctrines.

George Affleck
July 23rd, 2015, 06:27 PM
Those who hear and learn from the Father are those who believe what is written in the Bible. These are the ones who will come to Christ. Those who do not believe the Bible do not believe the Father and, consequently, will not believe the Son either.


Unfortunately this boils down to a doctrine of works.

All works based salvation, in the end, relies on what we do or how we respond before God does anything. Thanks be to God that it does not depend on our response to what God has done but rather on His having chosen us in Christ from before the world was formed.

1Mind1Spirit
July 23rd, 2015, 10:58 PM
[QUOTE=Bill Fortenberry;4392794]
How do people hear and learn from the Father? The answer is found in chapter 5 where Christ said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (vs. 39) And also, "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (vs. 46-47) Those who hear and learn from the Father are those who believe what is written in the Bible. These are the ones who will come to Christ. Those who do not believe the Bible do not believe the Father and, consequently, will not believe the Son either.

If it could be learned from merely reading scripture then it would be by flesh and blood.

Course we know that flesh and blood caint do it.

Listen to Jesus.....


Matthew 16:17 KJV


17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou , Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

dialm
July 26th, 2015, 05:39 PM
The first point of rebuttal is that the miracles did not, do not, will not prove that Jesus was/is the Messiah. The only thing that can prove the Messiahship of Jesus is the fulfillment of our salvation.

All of the points in the opening can be dismantled just like this.

Second point of rebuttal is that the miracles should have created faith. The miracles did not create faith. Therefore miracles are powerless to get us to believe. Only God can give us faith. Miracles cannot give us faith.

If God does not do it then it is not going to be done.

Lon
July 26th, 2015, 05:53 PM
Thus it becomes clear that John 6 is not referring to a Calvinistic election of certain individuals to become followers of Christ. Rather, this passage is teaching that it is impossible to believe in Christ without believing God. This is a common theme throughout the Gospels. We find it, for example, in the account of the rich man and Lazarus when Abraham tells the rich man that if his brothers "hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Luke 16:31) John 5 and 6 are another example of Christ teaching that those who refuse to believe the Bible will not be convinced to believe Him even if they meet Him in the flesh and speak with Him face to face. One must believe the written Word of God in order to believe in the living Word of God.

Romans 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Quick question: How 'much' do you belong to the Lord and 'what' does that mean to 'your' freewill? IOW, aren't you arguing regarding 'your' freewill and its sanctity here? If so, why? I ask again, how much of you belongs to the Lord? When I answered this question, I became a Calvinist. I don't care to argue the matter because I can't make you a Calvinist and believe only an inundation in scripture can because it attacks our ego and demands heart, soul, mind, and strength to the Lord.

Challenge: If you antiCalvinists will answer this question honestly and truthfully, just between you and Christ: "How much do you belong to Me?" On that day, you will stop worrying about Calvinism because the only thing that will matter is that you belong to Him 100% How you got there may still be a debate point, but the important point is that you come to the end of that where your ego is subsumed by Christ like us Calvinists. It is imperative and necessary. We must die to self. That is what it means to be buried with Him in death.

(Every MADispy should understand and agree on this point, btw. Not all of you do, but a good many of you do get this. Pay attention to those MADists that do. They have something you need to learn)

In Christ,

-Lon

StanJ
July 26th, 2015, 06:45 PM
As Calvinism (I call it RT) is a man made doctrine, ALL scripture does not support it.
Most Calvinists have no idea what Jean Cauvin actually taught or believed.
As a humanist lawyer, trained in the RCC, he was a very confused man.

Lon
July 26th, 2015, 08:17 PM
As Calvinism (I call it RT) is a man made doctrine, ALL scripture does not support it.
Most Calvinists have no idea what Jean Cauvin actually taught or believed.
As a humanist lawyer, trained in the RCC, he was a very confused man.
We probably could call ourselves something else with little problem. I believe Covenant Reformed is a better term. I only follow Calvin as far as I agree with him, and I do not agree with him on a number of things. If that doesn't make me Calvinist, perhaps I shouldn't participate in Calvinist discussions :chuckle:

Php 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
In Him

-Lon

StanJ
July 27th, 2015, 03:54 PM
We probably could call ourselves something else with little problem. I believe Covenant Reformed is a better term. I only follow Calvin as far as I agree with him, and I do not agree with him on a number of things. If that doesn't make me Calvinist, perhaps I shouldn't participate in Calvinist discussions
Php 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
In Him
-Lon


The ONLY label I use is Christian. I find all the denominational ones limiting and restrictive. I'd rather deal with the Biblical issues than have someone predetermine what I believe based on a label of Calvinist/Arminian/MAD!