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  • Lighthouse
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Fine. Be annoying on your own time, if you have nothing more to say that's useful, which I'd already concluded.
    This is my own time. And you're not worth valid discussion, because you won't listen.

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  • Derf
    replied
    Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
    I'm not boasting about anything. And,as I stated above, I'm intentionally being annoying.
    Fine. Be annoying on your own time, if you have nothing more to say that's useful, which I'd already concluded.

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  • Lighthouse
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Logically, what if you're standing in your freezer?
    There's a McDonald's down the street; it's not in front of my face.

    Logically, this shows the limits of not only your knowledge, but your ability to research the truth of a matter.
    I don't think you know the meaning of the word "logically."

    "Technically" you did (see yellow highlight):
    Who commanded the angel?

    See green highlight above.
    You're still assuming. I already told you that I was referring to adults.

    Between the two of the above highlights in your quote, you either took issue with God's responsibility or you presumed they all deserved their fate ("guilty of a capital offense" is your current phraseology), or both. But in whichever is the case, you are being inconsistent and speaking against your own position ("talking in circles" was my previous phraseology). In other words, you are being illogical.
    No, I'm being intentionally obstinate. Because your willful ignorance deserves it.

    Nope, didn't forget. I was hoping against hope, I suppose, that you were heading a different direction, as any human who claims logic as a super power is going to be hard to come to consensus with. On anything. Ever. But you've spelled it out pretty clearly.
    Super power? Are you a liberal? That would explain the stupidity.

    Fortunately, you have allowed an out for yourself by using the "mostly" caveat. So the following verses only "mostly" apply to you.
    Proverbs 25:14 Whoever boasts himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
    Proverbs 26:12 See you a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
    Isaiah 5:21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!

    And I want to tell you how honored I am to have been the recipient of all the illogic you've been saving up for the last few months, just to use it on replying to ME!
    I'm not boasting about anything. And, as I stated above, I'm intentionally being annoying.
    Last edited by Lighthouse; May 21st, 2017, 05:17 PM.

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  • Derf
    replied
    Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
    If there's ice cram in my freezer it's not right in front of my face, unless I open the freezer.
    Logically, what if you're standing in your freezer?


    I did. Couldn't find it.
    Logically, this shows the limits of not only your knowledge, but your ability to research the truth of a matter.


    I never said He wasn't responsible.
    "Technically" you did (see yellow highlight):
    Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the LORD. [Exo 12:12 KJV]

    The first-born all died. Did God "kill" them or not? If so, then God sometimes kills those that "don't deserve it". If not, who was Moses erroneously quoting under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
    Technically the angel killed them. But they deserved it.


    You were assuming that I presumed all were guilty, from the moment of birth, of a capital offense.
    See green highlight above.

    Between the two of the above highlights in your quote, you either took issue with God's responsibility or you presumed they all deserved their fate ("guilty of a capital offense" is your current phraseology), or both. But in whichever is the case, you are being inconsistent and speaking against your own position ("talking in circles" was my previous phraseology). In other words, you are being illogical.


    Did you forget the rest of the conversation? I am mostly incapable of being illogical as a result of my Asperger's.
    Nope, didn't forget. I was hoping against hope, I suppose, that you were heading a different direction, as any human who claims logic as a super power is going to be hard to come to consensus with. On anything. Ever. But you've spelled it out pretty clearly.

    Fortunately, you have allowed an out for yourself by using the "mostly" caveat. So the following verses only "mostly" apply to you.
    Proverbs 25:14 Whoever boasts himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
    Proverbs 26:12 See you a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
    Isaiah 5:21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!

    And I want to tell you how honored I am to have been the recipient of all the illogic you've been saving up for the last few months, just to use it on replying to ME!

    Leave a comment:


  • Lighthouse
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    thus right in front of their faces.
    If there's ice cram in my freezer it's not right in front of my face, unless I open the freezer.

    maybe you should have looked it up. It means, ...surprise..., "not described".
    I did. Couldn't find it.

    then why make it that He wasn't responsible. That's why I said you're talking in circles.
    I never said He wasn't responsible.

    But we weren't talking about a spiritual death.
    You were assuming that I presumed all were guilty, from the moment of birth, of a capital offense.

    Clear up something else for me. Why does that matter?

    Did you forget the rest of the conversation? I am mostly incapable of being illogical as a result of my Asperger's.

    Leave a comment:


  • Derf
    replied
    Originally posted by Lon View Post
    You too. Thank you as well.

    Certainly. Teachers 'tweak' our minds. Synapses literally connect when we learn something. Check this short video out:
    Fascinating video! But if that's what you mean by "tweaking" a mind, God is not special in being able to do it, thus it doesn't really apply to what I was getting at. The video appears to be showing how our brain responds to every stimulus.

    Good thought. More than you meant, past your own dissention?
    I'm not sure what you're getting at with your question. My point was that God can cause His purposes to be achieved no matter the resistance. But His purposes, as far as I can tell, don't include forcing someone to love Him, whatever the means. So if there are those that continue to stand in the way of His achieving His purposes, He has a number of options at His disposal to counteract them. One way is to kill them, another is to banish them--both remove the person from the scene where something they would inhibit needs to take place. One way is to bring troubles (waterdams) into their lives that cause them to achieve His purposes even, possibly, without ever agreeing with or acknowledging Him at all. One way is to cause the path He wants them to take to be made smooth (digging new water channels). Oftentimes He brings in other actors (Nebuchadnezzar, for instance) when His chosen people don't do what He wants them to do! None of these violate the will of the target, because they are externally applied--not rewiring the brain to make it want what God wants. Of course, each new actor requires similar efforts to bring about the intermediate purposes that then bring about the more ultimate purposes.

    What are God's ultimate purposes? I'm not so sure that His ultimate purposes are expressed very well in individual salvation (I could be wrong, of course), but in having a people that will love, honor, worship, and praise Him, not because he rewires them to do so, but because they want to, with their whole heart, soul, strength, and mind. If rewiring is the necessary component now, then the unwiring that God also must have caused seems to be at crosspurposes with His will. Yes, at this point we can declare "mystery" and move on, but must we? Only if we say that God causes people both to love Him and hate Him by wiring them that way.

    I embraced that fully ala Job 13:15 and Romans 9
    It has to play out in time. I agree it causes a conundrum, but we are talking about God casting His efforts. Who can resist His will? Paul asks. In that sense, the Calvinist sees things unfolding as God knows they will. For me, Christ entering the world caused some to build, others to stumble. When I read of the ten plagues on Egypt, I see grace: God gave Pharoah 10 opportunities to listen to God. Ten of them!
    Got questions does a fairly good job on this.
    Casting His efforts against whom? If none resist His will, and His will is all encompassing, then He's casting against Himself. Playing out in time is unnecessary if He makes both His enemies to be enemies and His friends to be friends.

    The timeline and us stuck in it, often makes concepts hard to understand and so has Calvinists seeing God as purposing, and others seeing God as reacting. Malachi 1:2 might be of service to you
    Did you notice that God didn't say He hated Esau from birth? Malachi was written after Esau and his descendants had chosen to reject the God of their father Isaac. The time issue, as you've stated twice now, seems to be the crux of the matter. That's probably why Open Theism appealed to me from the first time I heard it described--it deals with the time aspect in a way the others can't. That doesn't make it true, but it seems to make it more compatible with almost everything I've read in the bible, taken as a whole.

    For me: Love will either be accepted or rejected. Grace will either be despised or received, etc. etc. God cannot change Who He is, He is always loving. Always Gracious. Therefore, Him, Himself, will harden or soften. He is not a respecter of persons, because His character and nature doesn't change. He therefore applies Himself and by doing so, some will be softened, some hardened. The Calvinist leaves this as a mystery, but to me, I believe this would/could take some mystery out of it. At the same time, I am ever mindful that we must realize His ways are higher. Mine is my finite best attempt to understand.
    I agree that love will be accepted or rejected, but we also recognize that rejection can turn to acceptance, and I believe acceptance can turn to rejection.

    I'm also trying to question what we mean by our standard "christian" language. We use phrases often without thinking about what it really means, just what we have come to think it means. What does it mean to be "spiritually dead" (from your "Got Questions" reference)? Is "spiritually dead" even a biblical phrase?

    What does it mean to "harden"? Does it really mean to make a person NOT want to listen to God? If God is doing this by tweaking the brain/rewiring, then He seems to be divided against Himself.

    What does "respecter of persons" mean? If God is not that, then we should know what that means. He seemed to be a respecter of Jacob over Esau.

    Thank you for all your encouragement from the rest of the thread. I truncated it but it is a good conversation and I thank you as well. His blessings this day -Lon
    And His blessings on you, too, Lon.

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  • Derf
    replied
    Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
    Both trees, as well as many others, were in the Garden.
    thus right in front of their faces.
    Is Jesus God?


    Human and human nature are two separate things.


    Then what did you mean? Because "indescript" Isn't a word.
    maybe you should have looked it up. It means, ...surprise..., "not described".
    Do you know of any?


    God made the child ill. I said that. That means He is responsible.
    then why make it that He wasn't responsible. That's why I said you're talking in circles.
    That's not my argument at all. That death, in Romans 6:23, is a spiritual death; not a physical one.
    But we weren't talking about a spiritual death.
    Maybe you should have looked it up. Let me clear it up: I'm on the autism spectrum.
    Clear up something else for me. Why does that matter?
    Last edited by Derf; May 11th, 2017, 11:17 AM. Reason: got rid of duplication and excess

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  • Lighthouse
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Hi Lighthouse. I thought you may have put me on ignore. If you did, please let me know,
    as I'm trying to understand a message in the quotes tab.You're mincing words unnecessarily. At the very least, there were 2 trees in the middle of the garden, so even if there were no other trees "in front of her face", the tree of life was there.
    Both trees, as well as many others, were in the Garden.

    Of course there is some disagreement about Jesus' ability to disobey, mostly coming from His own prayers that the Father's will be done over His own. If His own will was at any point different from the Father's, and Jesus had full authority given Him from the Father, then it sure seems like He had the capacity to disobey.
    Is Jesus God?

    Yes, but we will still be human. Thus "human" nature doesn't of necessity include "sin" in it.
    Human and human nature are two separate things.

    Nope.
    Then what did you mean? Because "indescript" Isn't a word.

    There were at least some infants that were not guilty of capital crimes, I would wager. Surely in a nation as big as Egypt there had to be some infant firstborns. You seem like you are grasping at straws.
    Do you know of any?

    Well, yes, you did. And no, you don't seem to be leaving that argument to the liberals, as you employed it (the argument, not the guns), and still seem to be doing so, on the issue of David's son.
    God made the child ill. I said that. That means He is responsible.

    Again, if one assumes that because all have sinned and thus all are guilty and therefore worthy of death, and if one uses that argument to justify random killings, one is justifying murder. You'll have to read back through the posts to see that that is what you are suggesting.
    That's not my argument at all. That death, in Romans 6:23, is a spiritual death; not a physical one.

    I have no idea what "being on the spectrum" means. But it seems like you have no difficulty at all thinking illogically. Or maybe it's that you aren't using the same meaning of the words--that you're equivocating.
    Maybe you should have looked it up. Let me clear it up: I'm on the autism spectrum.

    Leave a comment:


  • Derf
    replied
    Hi Lighthouse. I thought you may have put me on ignore. If you did, please let me know,
    as I'm trying to understand a message in the quotes tab.
    Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
    The tree was available, but it wasn't right in front of them unless thy went up to it.
    You're mincing words unnecessarily. At the very least, there were 2 trees in the middle of the garden, so even if there were no other trees "in front of her face", the tree of life was there.


    Man was created with the ability to disobey. Otherwise they never would have. Jesus never had that ability.
    Of course there is some disagreement about Jesus' ability to disobey, mostly coming from His own prayers that the Father's will be done over His own. If His own will was at any point different from the Father's, and Jesus had full authority given Him from the Father, then it sure seems like He had the capacity to disobey.
    We won't be sinful because our sin will be removed.
    Yes, but we will still be human. Thus "human" nature doesn't of necessity include "sin" in it.

    Did you mean "nondescript"?
    Nope.

    Not equatable to dying of an illness. And what makes you think the child was innocent anyway?
    There were at least some infants that were not guilty of capital crimes, I would wager. Surely in a nation as big as Egypt there had to be some infant firstborns. You seem like you are grasping at straws.

    Either is an argument from silence. There well may have been no infant firstborns at tat time. You don't know. And why are you assuming the were innocent?
    This is getting old...

    I didn't say he wasn't responsible?

    And I'll leave the argument that guns kill people to the liberals.
    Well, yes, you did. And no, you don't seem to be leaving that argument to the liberals, as you employed it (the argument, not the guns), and still seem to be doing so, on the issue of David's son.


    Why do you assume they were innocent?
    and older...


    How does that lead to it being OK to murder? You're being illogical.


    That is not logical at all.
    Again, if one assumes that because all have sinned and thus all are guilty and therefore worthy of death, and if one uses that argument to justify random killings, one is justifying murder. You'll have to read back through the posts to see that that is what you are suggesting.


    Actually, being on the spectrum, it's very difficult for me to not think logically.
    I have no idea what "being on the spectrum" means. But it seems like you have no difficulty at all thinking illogically. Or maybe it's that you aren't using the same meaning of the words--that you're equivocating.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lighthouse
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    So you agree with Satan: "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" But Eve knew better, and told Satan, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden".
    So she knew that all of the other ice cream was right in front of her face, and that she had been invited to partake of it--all except the chocolate.
    The tree was available, but it wasn't right in front of them unless they went up to it.

    Are you equating human nature with sin nature, as if God created man sinful? Jesus became a man, not just some indescript "flesh". If God is not a man, yet Jesus became a man, then Jesus took on the nature of man. We can define the nature of "man" by what Jesus became--yet without sin. So "man" doesn't have to include "sin", which is good, since in eternity we won't be sinful, yet we will still be "mankind".
    Man was created with the ability to disobey. Otherwise they never would have. Jesus never had that ability.

    We won't be sinful because our sin will be removed.

    Did you mean "nondescript"?

    By your logic, murder doesn't exist. If I shoot someone, he doesn't die of the gunshot, he dies because his heart stops.
    Not equatable to dying of an illness. And what makes you think the child was innocent anyway?

    I didn't say none were adults. But are you saying none were infants? I'd be interested in your evidence for such an assertion.
    Either is an argument from silence. There well may have been no infant firstborns at tat time. You don't know. And why are you assuming the were innocent?

    Again, your logic suggests that there is no responsibility for an action accomplished using tools. If I shoot a gun at someone and that person dies, am I responsible or not? If God sent His emissary to kill a bunch of Egyptians, and He knows that His command will be accomplished, then He is responsible for their deaths. Saying that the gun killed the victim instead of me would not be accepted by a court of law or by God Himself.
    I didn't say he wasn't responsible.

    And I'll leave the argument that guns kill people to the liberals.

    You talk in circles. The point was that innocents were killed--those that did not enslave the Hebrews. If other innocents were killed (cattle), then can you admit that some human innocents might also have been killed?
    Why do you assume they were innocent?

    I know it's hard to keep track of the conversation over a series of posts and responses, but here's the logic:
    If we can know that all are guilty because Jesus died for all, and the reason that it's ok to kill someone is that all are guilty, then you have justified murder. It has nothing to do with God--God can't murder.
    How does that lead to it being OK to murder? You're being illogical.

    How is it relevant to your question? Your question was and it was a response to my assertion that God had instituted the death penalty for murder after the flood. Thus you asserted that because all are guilty of sin, and because the penalty of sin is death (Rom 6:23), therefore it is OK to murder. Read through the posts and you (hopefully) will see what I'm talking about.
    That is not logical at all.

    Thank you for admitting that you don't follow logic, but it wasn't necessary--I could tell already.
    Actually, being on the spectrum, it's very difficult for me to not think logically.

    I guess that's why you're still here. Maybe your understanding can still grow--there's still hope for you.
    Last edited by Lighthouse; May 7th, 2017, 09:32 PM.

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  • Lon
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Thanks for the great response, Lon. Always a pleasure to chat with you!
    You too. Thank you as well.
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Re. 1, 2, and 3: God did the something in providing a sacrifice. If God now has to do something else for our salvation, something He only does to the ones that are saved, does that not suggest we are NOT saved by faith alone in Christ alone? Are we not then saved by a tweaking of our minds rather than by (or perhaps in addition to) the blood of Christ?
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    ]When will the perfecting take place? is the perfecting a twiddling of the mind by God? Maybe so, but it's because we have repented of wanted what God doesn't want for us; it is because He has become our Lord. I think that's what God is doing for us in this life--making us into the image of Christ, where we desire God's will and not our own. I wish I could say that I didn't need my whole life to come that point, but alas, I can't.
    Certainly. Teachers 'tweak' our minds. Synapses literally connect when we learn something. Check this short video out:

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I'm not sure I agree with B): God can know the results of His actions without knowing the individual results of all individual actions. And He can still guarantee His victory, whether I'm in agreement or not with it.
    Good thought. More than you meant, past your own dissention?
    I embraced that fully ala Job 13:15 and Romans 9
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Re. D) Those who do not believe are condemned already: I think you are saying that we start from a condition of condemnation. Yes, that's true from our point of view, but in the Calvinist's world some people start from a condition of salvation (called "election") that just has to be worked out all the way. You might not agree with my description, but I think it is valid. And if valid, then did Jesus come to save those condemned already? I think He did.
    It has to play out in time. I agree it causes a conundrum, but we are talking about God casting His efforts. Who can resist His will? Paul asks. In that sense, the Calvinist sees things unfolding as God knows they will. For me, Christ entering the world caused some to build, others to stumble. When I read of the ten plagues on Egypt, I see grace: God gave Pharoah 10 opportunities to listen to God. Ten of them!
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I suppose we can't avoid all tautologies, but this one strikes me as relatively useless: that it is irresistable to all who it is irresistable to. But adding reference to Paul seems to cheapen Paul's appeal to unbelievers. I heard a description of an event once where the Christians (Calvinists in this case) were telling someone who was opposed to their message to call if they had questions or wanted to know more, then finished it off with--"But if you do call, it won't be you that decides to call, it will be God who caused you to do it." Which seemed particularly unnecessary and probably anti-westminsterish in one sense, while fully westminterish in the other. I think this is a great segue of return (is that a proper phrase? or oxymoronic?) to the OP topic.
    Got questions does a fairly good job on this.

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I think Rom 9:16 is a statement saying that God is not compelled by anything we do to show mercy. But He compels Himself to do some things, based on His statements, since he doesn't lie. Both of these are at play here--He compelled Himself to overthrow Egypt based on His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And Pharaoh could not resist His will. He had never made a promise to Pharaoh (as far as I know), so even though God raised him (Pharaoh) up, God also brought him down.
    He also compels Himself in cases where people either stop doing righteously or stop doing evil. (see Jeremiah reference and discussion below)

    Esau could have received some of the promises as the offspring of Isaac (in fact, there is evidence that he did! Deut 2:22), but he rejected some as well by despising his birthright. And afterward, Esau's descendants fought against Jacob. I can't say whether God had this in view or not when He said the elder shall serve the younger (and the evidence says He didn't--Rom 9:11), but certainly there was reason for God to hate Esau afterward, even though he came from Isaac's loins (and thus could have been the recipient of God's blessings, even if not the full blessing of the line God was continuing through Jacob).
    The lump analogy is certainly of interest. It seems like God is saying that your parentage doesn't matter--God isn't compelled to save you (assuming these verses are about salvation) based on your parentage. Jacob and Esau came from the same lump, yet God favored one, and not the other. But would God have shown the same disfavor to Esau (and his offspring) had he been faithful to God? Seems unlikely to me.

    But the potter analogy as shown to Jeremiah (Jer 18) talks about making two things from the same lump--one for honor that was marred in the potter's hand, and one for dishonor--because the first was spoiled. These were not two separate vessels, but two renditions of the same vessel material. The explanation that came afterward was that God can take a nation that He has raised up and He can destroy it--just as He did Egypt/Pharaoh. Just as He was doing or about to do to Israel.

    What's interesting is that if God was making one type of vessel, why couldn't He complete it as He started, instead of having to make it into a second type? Is God not powerful enough to do what He at first purposed to do with Israel?

    If Rom 9 is about salvation, then I'm not sure if we should ever feel very safe in God's hands, as He is telling His elect that they can't expect special treatment in salvation. He can choose to show mercy and He can choose to stop showing mercy (as He did to Pharaoh). And we can't question Him about it or bring back to mind any of His promises or even bring up the name of Christ.

    But God DID promise to bring in the Gentiles, and He's isn't going back on that promise--He doesn't lie.

    Most of the texts in the OP showed that God was working on the outside, so to speak, to bring about changes that He desired. And the reasons He desired those changes, in most of the cases, were to either punish those guilty of turning away from Him or to protect and preserve those that He had promised to take care of--actually both in many cases. But isn't it interesting that God seems to use outside means to affect the inward state of hearts--why can't He just make them think like He wants them to think? Why, in 2 Sam 17:14 for instance, does Ahithofel's counsel need to be counteracted with other counsel (from a supposed David deserter) instead of just changing Ahithofel's mind to cause him to give bad counsel?
    The timeline and us stuck in it, often makes concepts hard to understand and so has Calvinists seeing God as purposing, and others seeing God as reacting. Malachi 1:2 might be of service to you

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Here's my take on it:
    When God says He turns the king's heart whithersoever He desires (Prov 21:1), it doesn't say how He does it. But if you have ever tried to turn a stream (most kids do this regularly), you either put up dams in the direction you DON'T want it to go, or you dig the area lower where you DO want it to go. That's how God seems to act. In Pharaoh's case, He gave Moses some simple miracles/tricks that He knew the magicians could emulate (though not necessarily on the same scale). I can see how this would harden Pharaoh's heart. I can't say I can see how everything worked out the way it did, but that's why God is God and I'm not (well, one reason, anyway). But the hardening didn't have to be God twiddling with enPharaoh's brain. And God knew all about Pharaoh and what would make him harden his heart.Sihon, king of the Amorites, was similar, except we aren't told any of the things that hardened his heart. God had already determined to take this land away from him, and He aroused him to fight against Israel so that He could defeat him and destroy the Amorites. But why are these words not also applied to Edom, who also came out to fight the Israelites, but God wouldn't let them (as pointed out earlier, God gave the land to Esau). Why was the king of Edom not hardened, but Sihon was, when their responses were the same? And this was after God told Moses to treat Edom kindly and pay for all they took of food or water, though Edom refused. We should be consistent. Sihon did what God wanted him to do--go up against the Israelites. Edom did not do what God wanted them to do--to allow Israel to pass.
    For me: Love will either be accepted or rejected. Grace will either be despised or received, etc. etc. God cannot change Who He is, He is always loving. Always Gracious. Therefore, Him, Himself, will harden or soften. He is not a respecter of persons, because His character and nature doesn't change. He therefore applies Himself and by doing so, some will be softened, some hardened. The Calvinist leaves this as a mystery, but to me, I believe this would/could take some mystery out of it. At the same time, I am ever mindful that we must realize His ways are higher. Mine is my finite best attempt to understand.

    Thank you for all your encouragement from the rest of the thread. I truncated it but it is a good conversation and I thank you as well. His blessings this day -Lon

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  • Derf
    replied
    Thanks for the great response, Lon. Always a pleasure to chat with you!
    Originally posted by Lon View Post
    And good questions too. I will endeavor to meet them meaningfully. Thank you.


    Starting with the need of man for salvation: 1) God is going to do something. 2) Something will happen to man as a result of that something. 3)God does the something and sets it all in motion.
    Observations: A) God is doing this specifically with the purpose to save B) God knows the result of those actions. C) God is good and according to His incomparable efforts seeks and saves - including Saul whom He had to strike blind. D) Those who do not believe are 'condemned already.' E) I think you can agree that what God did in sending His Son, became the Chief Cornerstone of all who believe and the stumbling block to all who reject Him (John 3:18).
    Re. 1, 2, and 3: God did the something in providing a sacrifice. If God now has to do something else for our salvation, something He only does to the ones that are saved, does that not suggest we are NOT saved by faith alone in Christ alone? Are we not then saved by a tweaking of our minds rather than by (or perhaps in addition to) the blood of Christ?

    I'm not sure I agree with B): God can know the results of His actions without knowing the individual results of all individual actions. And He can still guarantee His victory, whether I'm in agreement or not with it.

    Re. D) Those who do not believe are condemned already: I think you are saying that we start from a condition of condemnation. Yes, that's true from our point of view, but in the Calvinist's world some people start from a condition of salvation (called "election") that just has to be worked out all the way. You might not agree with my description, but I think it is valid. And if valid, then did Jesus come to save those condemned already? I think He did.

    Another thoughtful and well-reasoned question. We don't believe it is irresistible to all, but rather irresistible to those upon whom grace prevails. I couldn't say "no" the day of my salvation. Romans 9 asks "who can resist His will?" Paul is asking if anyone can and concludes they cannot. For us, it is a believing of that scripture as is.
    I suppose we can't avoid all tautologies, but this one strikes me as relatively useless: that it is irresistable to all who it is irresistable to. But adding reference to Paul seems to cheapen Paul's appeal to unbelievers. I heard a description of an event once where the Christians (Calvinists in this case) were telling someone who was opposed to their message to call if they had questions or wanted to know more, then finished it off with--"But if you do call, it won't be you that decides to call, it will be God who caused you to do it." Which seemed particularly unnecessary and probably anti-westminsterish in one sense, while fully westminterish in the other.
    Many scriptures have contextual considerations, and non-Calvinists have these concerning Romans 9. How do you see Romans 9:16,19,20-24
    I think this is a great segue of return (is that a proper phrase? or oxymoronic?) to the OP topic.

    I think Rom 9:16 is a statement saying that God is not compelled by anything we do to show mercy. But He compels Himself to do some things, based on His statements, since he doesn't lie. Both of these are at play here--He compelled Himself to overthrow Egypt based on His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And Pharaoh could not resist His will. He had never made a promise to Pharaoh (as far as I know), so even though God raised him (Pharaoh) up, God also brought him down.

    He also compels Himself in cases where people either stop doing righteously or stop doing evil. (see Jeremiah reference and discussion below)

    Esau could have received some of the promises as the offspring of Isaac (in fact, there is evidence that he did! Deut 2:22), but he rejected some as well by despising his birthright. And afterward, Esau's descendants fought against Jacob. I can't say whether God had this in view or not when He said the elder shall serve the younger (and the evidence says He didn't--Rom 9:11), but certainly there was reason for God to hate Esau afterward, even though he came from Isaac's loins (and thus could have been the recipient of God's blessings, even if not the full blessing of the line God was continuing through Jacob).

    The lump analogy is certainly of interest. It seems like God is saying that your parentage doesn't matter--God isn't compelled to save you (assuming these verses are about salvation) based on your parentage. Jacob and Esau came from the same lump, yet God favored one, and not the other. But would God have shown the same disfavor to Esau (and his offspring) had he been faithful to God? Seems unlikely to me.

    But the potter analogy as shown to Jeremiah (Jer 18) talks about making two things from the same lump--one for honor that was marred in the potter's hand, and one for dishonor--because the first was spoiled. These were not two separate vessels, but two renditions of the same vessel material. The explanation that came afterward was that God can take a nation that He has raised up and He can destroy it--just as He did Egypt/Pharaoh. Just as He was doing or about to do to Israel.

    What's interesting is that if God was making one type of vessel, why couldn't He complete it as He started, instead of having to make it into a second type? Is God not powerful enough to do what He at first purposed to do with Israel?

    If Rom 9 is about salvation, then I'm not sure if we should ever feel very safe in God's hands, as He is telling His elect that they can't expect special treatment in salvation. He can choose to show mercy and He can choose to stop showing mercy (as He did to Pharaoh). And we can't question Him about it or bring back to mind any of His promises or even bring up the name of Christ.

    But God DID promise to bring in the Gentiles, and He's isn't going back on that promise--He doesn't lie.

    Most of the texts in the OP showed that God was working on the outside, so to speak, to bring about changes that He desired. And the reasons He desired those changes, in most of the cases, were to either punish those guilty of turning away from Him or to protect and preserve those that He had promised to take care of--actually both in many cases. But isn't it interesting that God seems to use outside means to affect the inward state of hearts--why can't He just make them think like He wants them to think? Why, in 2 Sam 17:14 for instance, does Ahithofel's counsel need to be counteracted with other counsel (from a supposed David deserter) instead of just changing Ahithofel's mind to cause him to give bad counsel?

    Here's my take on it:
    When God says He turns the king's heart whithersoever He desires (Prov 21:1), it doesn't say how He does it. But if you have ever tried to turn a stream (most kids do this regularly), you either put up dams in the direction you DON'T want it to go, or you dig the area lower where you DO want it to go. That's how God seems to act. In Pharaoh's case, He gave Moses some simple miracles/tricks that He knew the magicians could emulate (though not necessarily on the same scale). I can see how this would harden Pharaoh's heart. I can't say I can see how everything worked out the way it did, but that's why God is God and I'm not (well, one reason, anyway). But the hardening didn't have to be God twiddling with Pharaoh's brain. And God knew all about Pharaoh and what would make him harden his heart.

    Sihon, king of the Amorites, was similar, except we aren't told any of the things that hardened his heart. God had already determined to take this land away from him, and He aroused him to fight against Israel so that He could defeat him and destroy the Amorites. But why are these words not also applied to Edom, who also came out to fight the Israelites, but God wouldn't let them (as pointed out earlier, God gave the land to Esau). Why was the king of Edom not hardened, but Sihon was, when their responses were the same? And this was after God told Moses to treat Edom kindly and pay for all they took of food or water, though Edom refused. We should be consistent. Sihon did what God wanted him to do--go up against the Israelites. Edom did not do what God wanted them to do--to allow Israel to pass.
    Agree.


    Agree. I don't try to make people Calvinists, I simply want to explain scriptures as I understand them which happens to be Calvinist.
    God will make us what He desires and the way we understand scriptures will come with labels. I try to just do my job of understanding scripture and leave those labels to God. My concern is to be biblical. In the sense that I'm part of a body, then I feel a personal need to identify with those closest in belief with me (or I with them). I am more concerned that people embrace scriptures and I don't tend to draw as many lines. I think we can be wrong as His people about a good many things. As long as we understand Him and His saving work, the rest (imho) will take care of itself as we keep studying and endeavoring to serve Him and know Him. I also believe we do best associated with a body too, so I always encourage our spiritual need to be involved with a body in Christ.
    Well stated.


    1 John 3:3 We know our future will perfect us. Anything we get here, I think is negligible 1 Corinthians 2:9 to what we will be. However, we can bless others, can follow after our heart's affection, as well as be molded by Him this side of our Hope. Ephesians 2:10 The thief on the cross bore no fruit, yet his salvation was assured. The parable of the unfruitful tree is not about a tree that doesn't produce fruit, imho, but is more about the steadfastness and dedication of God as the gardener. How can that tree not grow with God doing the work? In a nutshell, I think spiritual gifts and growth, for our benefit to encourage us and others, and give us a glimpse or foretaste 1 Corinthians 2:9 1 John 3:2
    When will the perfecting take place? is the perfecting a twiddling of the mind by God? Maybe so, but it's because we have repented of wanted what God doesn't want for us; it is because He has become our Lord. I think that's what God is doing for us in this life--making us into the image of Christ, where we desire God's will and not our own. I wish I could say that I didn't need my whole life to come that point, but alas, I can't.

    Try not to get all your fellowship from TOL. A good church and home-group is important and part of our strength. I find I have to take time off from TOL on occasion, when I get sucked in. There are some good people on here with very good hearts, but if you are not finding them, I'd recommend doing something similar as I and regrouping as well as ensuring you are posting from a place of peace in God and strength in Him. Our faith can be tested here, but not everyone needs such a threshing floor or iron sharpening iron experience day in and day out.
    Good words! I have found some good folks here, but this is not a community one can count on for fellowship in the normal sense. And I agree that to do so would be foolhardy.

    nikolai_42 and AMR are two people I try to emulate on here. Nikolai told me to 'treat the subject, not the person.' It helps, but when "I" get 'treated' sometimes, I forget again and have to be reminded. Send me a 'treat the subject' encouragement to me any time you like. I welcome such.
    I haven't run into Nikolai too often, but have seen the name go by some. I'll keep my eye out for him.



    Politics are something altogether different. It seems to me, we were ALL a bit hand-tied this election. Some people will nitpick you to death.

    While I know I am a light on a hill, I don't get too worked up by people who don't see that light. They generally are complaining it isn't perfect. "Well duh!" I think but don't say. He is perfect, I'm a glass-darkly vessel carrying Him. That said, I have always had many students who have come to me when I was teaching in public schools. "We all knew you were a Christian." Jesus said we are lights on a hill that 'cannot' be hid. I take encouragement in that. 1 Peter 4:8 helps. Romans 13:8 helps.

    Thank you for your questions. My desire is not to make Calvinists, but point people to scripture and let God make and mold them. We all need to be biblical and trusting God. In Him -Lon
    Amen and amen!

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  • Lon
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Hi Lon, I took awhile to get back to this, as I wanted to think through what you said better (I tend too often to kneejerk back), not to mention give me the chance to read it through better.I should probably ask for the "more explanation" before I dive in, but here goes anyway.
    And good questions too. I will endeavor to meet them meaningfully. Thank you.

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I'm aware of the words the "L" stands for, but can you honestly say that God's full grace has been extended to the unbelievers, if the atonement wasn't expected to apply to them? Thus, in my opinion, God limited His grace, if He limited the atonement before the people that couldn't receive it were born. Some would say God did so on the basis of knowing their choice ahead of time, but Calvinists don't say that.
    Starting with the need of man for salvation: 1) God is going to do something. 2) Something will happen to man as a result of that something. 3)God does the something and sets it all in motion.
    Observations: A) God is doing this specifically with the purpose to save B) God knows the result of those actions. C) God is good and according to His incomparable efforts seeks and saves - including Saul whom He had to strike blind. D) Those who do not believe are 'condemned already.' E) I think you can agree that what God did in sending His Son, became the Chief Cornerstone of all who believe and the stumbling block to all who reject Him (John 3:18).

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Plus, if the grace is irresistible, then He would have to limit it to keep everyone from being saved. And Calvinists aren't universalists.
    Another thoughtful and well-reasoned question. We don't believe it is irresistible to all, but rather irresistible to those upon whom grace prevails. I couldn't say "no" the day of my salvation. Romans 9 asks "who can resist His will?" Paul is asking if anyone can and concludes they cannot. For us, it is a believing of that scripture as is. Many scriptures have contextual considerations, and non-Calvinists have these concerning Romans 9. How do you see Romans 9:16,19,20-24

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Finally, if by grace we are saved, but not all are saved, then grace must be limited.
    Agree.

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    This isn't to try to debunk the limited atonement, irresistible grace or the assertion that we are saved by grace. I'm just saying that grace is limited in terms of who it applies to, for whatever the reason. At the same time, God's sacrifice of His son shows the limits, or lack thereof, to which He would go to save the world. This is hard to comprehend.
    Agree. I don't try to make people Calvinists, I simply want to explain scriptures as I understand them which happens to be Calvinist.
    God will make us what He desires and the way we understand scriptures will come with labels. I try to just do my job of understanding scripture and leave those labels to God. My concern is to be biblical. In the sense that I'm part of a body, then I feel a personal need to identify with those closest in belief with me (or I with them). I am more concerned that people embrace scriptures and I don't tend to draw as many lines. I think we can be wrong as His people about a good many things. As long as we understand Him and His saving work, the rest (imho) will take care of itself as we keep studying and endeavoring to serve Him and know Him. I also believe we do best associated with a body too, so I always encourage our spiritual need to be involved with a body in Christ.

    I'm not sure what your "it" is referring to--was it the bratness, or the response to the bratness from other believers?
    1 John 3:3 We know our future will perfect us. Anything we get here, I think is negligible 1 Corinthians 2:9 to what we will be. However, we can bless others, can follow after our heart's affection, as well as be molded by Him this side of our Hope. Ephesians 2:10 The thief on the cross bore no fruit, yet his salvation was assured. The parable of the unfruitful tree is not about a tree that doesn't produce fruit, imho, but is more about the steadfastness and dedication of God as the gardener. How can that tree not grow with God doing the work? In a nutshell, I think spiritual gifts and growth, for our benefit to encourage us and others, and give us a glimpse or foretaste 1 Corinthians 2:9 1 John 3:2

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I can plant and another water, and perhaps another prune, but God brings the increase. In reality, God is planting, watering, pruning, and bringing the increase, using us as His means. I've been both the target and the deliverer of such spurring. I'm sure I've been wrong in my assessment sometimes, as I believe others have been wrong in their assessment of me sometimes, but I hope I can take what they say and apply the part that fits without rejecting either them or their message. It's not always easy, and I must admit I'm more averse to doing it now than before, but part of that is because the reactions are rarely friendly. I think that is the basis of your "It is sad" comment, or at least part of it.
    Try not to get all your fellowship from TOL. A good church and home-group is important and part of our strength. I find I have to take time off from TOL on occasion, when I get sucked in. There are some good people on here with very good hearts, but if you are not finding them, I'd recommend doing something similar as I and regrouping as well as ensuring you are posting from a place of peace in God and strength in Him. Our faith can be tested here, but not everyone needs such a threshing floor or iron sharpening iron experience day in and day out.

    Well said! On TOL, it's fairly easy to fire and forget, without considering the brotherly love side of the conversation. In person, it's not as easy, but still happens too much.
    nikolai_42 and AMR are two people I try to emulate on here. Nikolai told me to 'treat the subject, not the person.' It helps, but when "I" get 'treated' sometimes, I forget again and have to be reminded. Send me a 'treat the subject' encouragement to me any time you like. I welcome such.



    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Except that Paul rebukes the Corinthians by pointing out the judgment of the unbelievers on multiple occasions (1 Cor 5:1, for example). I don't mean to assert that the counsel of the ungodly is something we should seek out, but sometimes they make good points that we would do well to receive.

    In the creation/evolution debate, this is especially prevalent. Many atheists/evolutionists see the inherent inconsistency of theistic evolution. But in other areas it is, too, such as who we choose for president. I'm not advocating for or against either party, here, but it's interesting that the two divorced presidents have both come from the conservative side. And both a Dole (1996) and John McCain (2008) had divorced their first wives. It seems conservative Christians have to back a Mormon to find a nominee that hasn't been divorced lately.
    Politics are something altogether different. It seems to me, we were ALL a bit hand-tied this election. Some people will nitpick you to death.

    While I know I am a light on a hill, I don't get too worked up by people who don't see that light. They generally are complaining it isn't perfect. "Well duh!" I think but don't say. He is perfect, I'm a glass-darkly vessel carrying Him. That said, I have always had many students who have come to me when I was teaching in public schools. "We all knew you were a Christian." Jesus said we are lights on a hill that 'cannot' be hid. I take encouragement in that. 1 Peter 4:8 helps. Romans 13:8 helps.

    Thank you for your questions. My desire is not to make Calvinists, but point people to scripture and let God make and mold them. We all need to be biblical and trusting God. In Him -Lon

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  • Derf
    replied
    Hi Lon, I took awhile to get back to this, as I wanted to think through what you said better (I tend too often to kneejerk back), not to mention give me the chance to read it through better.
    Originally posted by Lon View Post
    Rather so His nature and power can be known to those 'in' (amidst) the evil. The parable of the Wheat and Tares leaves all as is, in order that ALL the wheat may be saved. Matthew 13:24-30 The analogy is God's. However it breaks down by association, it expresses God's heart and concern. He forbids the removal of weeds (tares) that no wheat be harmed. For me, a lot of scriptural expressions ring true by the parable: 2 Peter 3:9 Romans 11:25 John 3:17 Luke 19:10

    You have a similar position:


    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I'm not too familiar with Augustine's writings--I tried to read his Confessions, but never made it through--but I doubt that you have his position correct. Though you might have correctly stated the results.
    My experience is more with Calvinists than Augustinians, but I believe Calvin was an Augustinian. And I believe good Calvinists take responsibility for their sins. So I guess I'm in agreement with your "don't always". The "L" in TULIP limits grace in a different way, which I question.
    Rather limited 'atonement.' I express a bit differently than most Calvinists, simply because I believe there are better terms and descriptors.
    For me, John 3:16 in the context of all of John 3, says those who do not have the Son, are condemned already. Men will fall upon grace or stumble over it. The Lord Jesus Christ is BOTH the chief Cornerstone or conversely the stone rejected, of stumbling and falling.

    It might need more explanation than that but I think it makes sense enough and stands for the shorter.
    I should probably ask for the "more explanation" before I dive in, but here goes anyway.

    I'm aware of the words the "L" stands for, but can you honestly say that God's full grace has been extended to the unbelievers, if the atonement wasn't expected to apply to them? Thus, in my opinion, God limited His grace, if He limited the atonement before the people that couldn't receive it were born. Some would say God did so on the basis of knowing their choice ahead of time, but Calvinists don't say that.

    Plus, if the grace is irresistible, then He would have to limit it to keep everyone from being saved. And Calvinists aren't universalists.

    Finally, if by grace we are saved, but not all are saved, then grace must be limited.

    This isn't to try to debunk the limited atonement, irresistible grace or the assertion that we are saved by grace. I'm just saying that grace is limited in terms of who it applies to, for whatever the reason. At the same time, God's sacrifice of His son shows the limits, or lack thereof, to which He would go to save the world. This is hard to comprehend.

    I believe it is to help us learn something for future glorification as well as an important part of giving us a foretaste of glory divine.
    I'm not sure what your "it" is referring to--was it the bratness, or the response to the bratness from other believers?
    You 'can' be a brat and not producing the best fruit. I can encourage good fruit but it is God's work in us.
    I can plant and another water, and perhaps another prune, but God brings the increase. In reality, God is planting, watering, pruning, and bringing the increase, using us as His means.
    I agree, He may and does, very well use brothers and sisters to spur one another on to love and good works. It is all part of body life. Those who eschew it are too focused on future to realize God want them to taste some of it now. I think some are burned by well-meaning but overt and zealous perhaps. It is sad. We need one another and church body life is important to understanding we need a foretaste of glory this side of glory.
    I've been both the target and the deliverer of such spurring. I'm sure I've been wrong in my assessment sometimes, as I believe others have been wrong in their assessment of me sometimes, but I hope I can take what they say and apply the part that fits without rejecting either them or their message. It's not always easy, and I must admit I'm more averse to doing it now than before, but part of that is because the reactions are rarely friendly. I think that is the basis of your "It is sad" comment, or at least part of it.

    I heard a pastor say: A toothpick looks like a log sticking out of your own eye! You get it up close. When I post harshly on TOL, I regret that I didn't think about the speck/log in my own eye first. So, in a nutshell, I share the belief and concern and covet prayers for when I do it wrong, as well as encouragement to endeavor to do it right.
    Well said! On TOL, it's fairly easy to fire and forget, without considering the brotherly love side of the conversation. In person, it's not as easy, but still happens too much.



    It really NEEDS to be done by believers. I have had unbelievers tell me my kids are awesome but it is when believers tell me that, that it has value. I do want them to be lights in the secular world, but their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ is paramount. I'm not sure you disagree, just saying I'm not overtly concerned with but the Body regarding what is Christ-like. Not sure if that's what you meant though. I'm not quite understanding the near and dear comment, perhaps. -Lon
    Except that Paul rebukes the Corinthians by pointing out the judgment of the unbelievers on multiple occasions (1 Cor 5:1, for example). I don't mean to assert that the counsel of the ungodly is something we should seek out, but sometimes they make good points that we would do well to receive.

    In the creation/evolution debate, this is especially prevalent. Many atheists/evolutionists see the inherent inconsistency of theistic evolution. But in other areas it is, too, such as who we choose for president. I'm not advocating for or against either party, here, but it's interesting that the two divorced presidents have both come from the conservative side. And both Bob Dole (1996) and John McCain (2008) had divorced their first wives. It seems conservative Christians have to back a Mormon to find a nominee that hasn't been divorced lately.

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  • Evil.Eye.<(I)>
    replied
    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I don't think an inherited sin nature negates the need for Christ--if we say that all have sinned and all will sin, that defines a sin nature. And if the wages of sin is death, then it shows the need for a savior.
    I agree with you. The matter is in the eye of the beholder. [MENTION=6696]Lon[/MENTION] is present, so I can pick on him in a positive way. He embraces Augustine... but he negates any personal desire to find loopholes for his failings and rushes straight to humility. Because of this... he theologically embraces "sin nature", but he sincerely reveals his need for Christ and relates to others as a man that has faced his "metaphorical" demons and recognizes that he is sunk without Christ.

    Perhaps I disdain the concept of late, because there are another flavor of Calvinists that abuse the concepts put forth from Calvinism. I am not an advocate of Calvinism, but Lon and AMR claim the title and moderate their theology with solid biblical submission. It is a matter of the persons humility in this matter that seems to decide the outcome of their understanding.

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I agree that such wording is confusing, as is the Decreed Will/Revealed Will distinction. I've seen the effects of people using this thinking in the wrong way (and good Calvinists will admit there's a wrong way to use it). But I understand it, I think. If God has the power to prevent any evil, and He does, and if God doesn't will any evil, which would make Him the author of evil, since whatever He wills He accomplishes, that means that anything that happens is, in a sense, God's will. Open Theists would say that allowing sin is necessary to allow for real relationship between God and man. Maybe Calvinists would say the same, or at least that some sin is allowed that some greater evil can be avoided.
    I have to consider what you have done here. You are lavishing respect towards open theism and Calvinism that allows for peace between the two and reckons perspective. This is the correct attitude in matters and I respect it. I'm like a bull in a china shop, but I can recognize sincere understanding that steps beyond self centric perspective.

    I prefer the Open View on the matter, because God's limiting of His foreknowledge seems to answer why evil is present. The question of why evil is allowed seems to connect to the old "butterfly" emerging analogy. If the butterfly is assisted in the process, it's wings won't fill with blood properly, and it will be rendered unable to fly.

    I will simply say that I associate predestination with a form of tyranny that all scripture associates with one that is clearly not God and is clearly the root of all evil.

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    My thought is that God allowed the greatest evil--the death of His Son--to prevent the lesser evil--the death of a bunch of created beings. And He did so for love, of course, of the created beings.
    Well spoken and I fully agree.

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I'm not too familiar with Augustine's writings--I tried to read his Confessions, but never made it through--but I doubt that you have his position correct. Though you might have correctly stated the results.
    My experience is more with Calvinists than Augustinians, but I believe Calvin was an Augustinian. And I believe good Calvinists take responsibility for their sins. So I guess I'm in agreement with your "don't always". The "L" in TULIP limits grace in a different way, which I question.
    I am in specific agreement with everything you have said here. I have read Augustine on core writings that the concept of "classical original sin" were derived from and I still come out with the impression that he worked to hard to immobilize the will of mankind.

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Sometimes somebody needs to point out to me that I'm not bearing fruit. Who is going to do that, and who is going to tell a rebellious brat not to be rebellious, if we all only pay attention to our own sins and never to our brothers'. Matt 18:15
    This is initially distasteful to me, but that is my pride... you are correct in this matter. A verse that immediately comes to mind is Proverbs 27:6 ... also Proverbs 9:9 ... Both of these are tantamount to spiritual growth and any growth that comes from life, for that matter.

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    Jesus seemed to think it might be possible to get the log out of our own eye first, and then go help a brother with a speck. Matt 7:5. But logs are difficult to remove, I admit.
    Well spoken.

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    The other example, near and dear to my heart, is that of parents with their children. Even the most sinful of parent still has a responsibility to bring up a child in the way he should go, and that requires a ton of fruit inspection, I must say. But it also needs to involve a ton of introspection, too.
    Again... well spoken!

    Originally posted by Derf View Post
    I need others to inspect some fruit in my children (who aren't all children anymore) and let them know when they see something unworthy of a child of the king.

    I usually bristle when someone tells me I'm not bearing fruit. But I need to hear it.
    This is the result of a contrite Spirit. There are standards that must be met for people to "inspect me", but if said standards are met... there is no argument I could sincerely conjure against the true words you have spoken here.

    Humility... that is the standard I look for. Not the false kind... but the sincere kind that yields to the authority of God and honesty that is rooted in Christ.

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