Steve_S

Discussion on Predestination and Election

44 posts in this topic

Greetings everyone,

Our first soapbox debate in months!

Shiloh and Butero will be having a discussion on predestination and election.

Please remember, only the two members who are involved in the discussion will be allowed to post in this thread. Butero will be making the opening statement in the coming days and it will go forward from there.

God bless,

Steve

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I want to thank Shiloh for agreeing to this discussion, and Steve for setting things up.  In considering the topic, I was trying to decide the best way to get this started, and I decided I would try to lay a foundation in this first post.  I want everyone to consider the Bible for a moment.  It is the inerrant Word of God, written by God, using human vessels to pen his words.  It is made up of 66 books, and many would consider it to be a very large volume, and so much so, few have ever read it cover to cover.  At the same time, when you consider how much of a time span it covers, it is very short.  It goes back to the very beginning of time for us in Genesis 1:1 with "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and concludes in Revelation 22:21 with a closing comment, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen.  This closing remark comes after we have been told how the story ends with a new heaven and a new earth where the saints of God will live forever.  That is the Bible for us.

On the other hand, God's book is much larger than ours.  Lets compare our Bible to an abridged book of knowledge.  It contains the most important things we need to know, and tells us about the life of certain figures God wants us to know about, but once again, when you think about how many thousands of years this book covers, it only gives us a tiny bit of knowledge in the scheme of things.  I want you to try to imagine how God looks at this same time period compared to us.  He doesn't just see great men like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or Kings like David and Josiah.  He sees more than figures like Daniel, Shadrack, Meshak and Abednigo.  He sees more than New Testament saints like Peter, James and John, or the Apostle Paul.  In his book, he sees every man, woman, boy and girl that has ever lived, as well as every plant and every animal that has ever existed.  God's unabridged book is so large, nobody could ever read it.  You couldn't do it in an entire lifetime, and you are in it.  You are somewhere in the pages between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21.  I would say we are much closer to the end than the beginning, likely just on the verge of Revelation chapter 4. 

What you need to understand is that God is the creator of everything that exists.  He doesn't just know everything, he is the creator of everything.  There is a huge difference between a prophet and God when it comes to telling the future.  When God tells us the future, he does so from the standpoint that he is the creator of the future, but when a prophet tells us the future, he is only giving us what God revealed to him about what God plans to do.  Nothing that happens in this life happens by chance.  It is all part of God's plan.  When we look backward, we see history.  When we look forward, we try to take an educated guess as to what is happening on God's prophetic timetable, but we don't know.  I can't see any further forward in my personal life than where I am right now.  On the other hand, God know everything I will do and every decision I will make because he created me to do those things.  How do you suppose Jesus knew Peter would deny him three times before the cock crowed twice?  Because he created Peter in his Mother's womb and set his course.  How did he know Peter would later be converted and strengthen the brethren?  The same thing.  Jesus also knew Judas Iscariot had betrayed him for thirty pieces of silver.  How?  He didn't send out spies to watch him.  He knew all that Judas would ever do because he created him for that purpose.  In God's book, all is written down.  He knows what all of us will do because he wrote the book.  If that were not the case, prophecy could fail.  We would have the ability to do things to prevent the great tribulation from taking place, but we aren't given that opportunity, because God already said those things will happen, because he wrote the book, the unabridged version. 

Some might suggest that God simply made the first man and woman, placed them in the garden, and left everything on automatic pilot.  People that are conceived are just by chance because of a man and woman coming together, but that is not what scripture teaches.  Notice what the prophet Jeremiah said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Jeremiah 1:4,5

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 

Notice that God doesn't say, "your Mother and Father knew each other and your mother conceived you and gave birth, and because you were a proper child, I decided to make you a prophet."  God says that he formed Jeremiah in the belly and knew him before he created him.  God is our creator.  It doesn't matter who you are, who your parents are, whether they were married, in fornication, or any other circumstance.  No person comes into this world unless God creates them, and they all have a purpose.  For some, that purpose is good, like John the beloved, and some it is bad, like Judas Iscariot, but God created all of us for his purpose.  Good or bad, we all play a role in his book, and it is leading to the conclusion of a new heaven and a new earth. 

As this discussion continues, I plan to show through scripture just how involved God is in mankind.  He didn't just create us and abandon us.  He is very involved in everything that takes place.  He not only knows the beginning from the end, but he has created the beginning, the ending and everything in between. 

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Thanks for those introductory remarks.  Before I respond, I would like to see this: 

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As this discussion continues, I plan to show through scripture just how involved God is in mankind.

I would like for you to demonstrate your hermeneutic process through which you arrive at your conclusions so we can see how you build on your argument.  That is what I am most interested in seeing at this point.  Take the time you need to take, no rush.  Once I have that, I can better respond to your OP. 

I simply don't want to presume things.  I want to see how you got to where you are now, as I have been here long enough to notice that your theology has changed significantly over the last few years.  

So, please flesh your arguments more systematically, so I can get a better idea as to where you are going with this.

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Everything I say is going to be based on the idea that God not only knows the future, but that he has written the past, present and future.  That is what I was saying in my opening post.  Unlike a prophet who only knows things to come, in the case of God, he has written the script, so he knows what we will do.  Take this Soap Box debate for instance.  He knew before he created us in the womb we would be having this discussion beginning on August 14, 2016.  It is no accident. 

You did bring up an interesting point.  I have changed my position since I joined Worthy Boards.  I have told this story, but I will be happy to tell it again.  The 0nly reason I didn't in my opening comments is because I felt like everyone had heard it, but that was presumptuous of me.

When I first joined WB, I was firmly on the side that a person can lose their salvation.  I was typical of the group that thinks you can lose your salvation up against those on the unconditional eternal security side of things.  I noticed that when we were debating this topic, those on my side had their favorite scriptures to show you can lose your salvation, and those on the other side had their favorite scriptures to show you are eternally secure.  Whenever either side posted their scriptures, they went with the most logical explanation as to their meaning, but when they were confronted with scriptures from the other side, they got creative to make them agree with the scriptures they posted. 

I took this to the Lord one day, because I could see the bias in both sides of the argument, and I asked him to reveal the truth to me.  After all, God sent the Holy Spirit to be our divine teacher and guide.  He gave me the answer as I was driving down the highway.  It had to do with pre-destination and election.  Those who God chose to be saved would be saved, so in that sense, they are eternally secure, but they are not saved because they said a sinner's prayer and automatically kept regardless of how they live from that day forward.  In a way, both the eternal security side and those who rejected eternal security had the truth in part.  Those who die with spot on their spiritual garments as a result of unconfessed willful sins will not inherit the Kingdom of God, but those who are of the elect are not going to die in that condition.  That is why Peter told us in 2 Peter 1:10 to do the following:

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

You can go back in the previous verses to see what those things are, but the point is, the way we lives does matter.  The state we die in does matter.  God in his plan knew who would be right with him when they went out into eternity and who would not.  That is why one man will fall away and die in his sins lost, but another man will live long enough to come under conviction and get right with God before he dies.  One is of the elect and one is not.  God himself is in control of when a man dies, and by his foreknowledge and through his divine plan, he decides if that person will die with spot on their spiritual garments or not. 

I am sure you must have your own thoughts on the doctrine of pre-destination and election and what that means to where you can make an opening statement about what you are trying to show.  I look forward to reading it, and going forward with this discussion. 

 

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            You brought up the issue of foreknowledge several times in both posts and I don’t think God’s foreknowledge is in dispute at all.   God knows every choice we will make, and every action we will take.  That should go without saying.  Where we differ is the effect foreknowledge has on present or future events in our lives and the lives of others.   You seem to equate foreknowledge with Predestination, as if to say that if God knows it is going to happen, it is because God ordained it to happen. No place does the Bible present foreknowledge in that way.  That is something you appear to have contrived on your own.

            I agree with your statement that God is the Creator of all that exists, every human being, every animal, plant the entire biosphere and ecosystem of our planet, the stellar luminaries, all exist and function as God designed them to function. Where we are going to  part ways at this point is that you are including the idea that God has not only created us, but has created our specific future, right down to every action we will take. And what’s worse is that you have tied that to God’s foreknowledge.

            The theological law you are making is that you are claiming that God makes people good and he makes people evil for the purpose of fulfilling his plan.   God ordains some people to be evil.   The way your position would explain Hitler is that God ordained Hitler to carry out the Holocaust.   Your argument would state that every rapist, drug dealer and child molester can be explained by the simple fact that God created them and ordained them to be what they became.  And even worse you tie that to God’s plan.  So the huge and I mean mega-huge problem here is that you are making God responsible for sin. 

            This is presents us with an incoherent theology about God and an incoherent theology about sin, that makes no sense.   God is, above all things, holy and He is sinless. He is absolutely sinless.   Your position puts God at war with Himself.    God hates sin.  Sin is an act of treason against God.   When we sin we are essentially usurping God’s authority over our lives and claiming His throne for ourselves.   When we sin, we are in rebellion.  We are placing our judgement on a higher pedestal than His.  We claiming that our ways are higher and better than His.   That’s the reality of sin. It is an usurpation of  God’s throne for ourselves.  That’s what all mankind says to God through their sin.

            So your theology about God ordaining people to be evil to be in rebellion is not working toward His plan, but has God working against Himself by ordaining treason against His authority.  Your approach has God actively working in tandem with Satan and pretty much sabotaging his own Kingdom and His own plan by ordaining sin and ordaining those who He wants to commit those sins. 

            How does it help God’s plan to ordain sin, to command against sin, to call His people to holiness, and to call all man to salvation if he is at the same time ordaining millions of people to live in abject conscious rebellion against Him?     You have God on the one hand, as holy and sinless to the point that he cannot even look upon sin, while at the same time actively ordaining people to be murderers and terrorists and adulterers and prostitutes, etc.   It is a completely incoherent view of God because he is consciously wanting people to rebel and worse yet, He would actually want them to go to Hell as part of this “plan.” 

I am looking forward to how you reconcile that with Scripture.

           

 

 

 

 

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Before I do reconcile this with scripture, I want to point out that you didn't give a single verse of scripture in your post, not one, to back up anything you said.  All you said was that my theological position is incoherent.  All of that is based on how you see God, but you didn't even bother to give scripture to support how you see God.  I don't see how you can accuse me of having an incoherent theological position given you have not backed up anything you said.  Lets move past that. 

Why would God create some good and some evil?  Is there anything that exists that God didn't create?  Speaking of Christ, it says in Colossians 1:16,17

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:  all things were created by him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 

If God created all things, that means that among his creation was Lucifer.  We know the story of Lucifer, and how he was an anointed cherub that led worship in heaven, until one day iniquity was found in him, and he led a rebellion against God.  Where did the iniquity come from?   All things are created by God, so that means that when God created Lucifer, he created him with iniquity on the inside.  He chose to give him a defect.  If I reject that notion, I am left with the question of how an all knowing God could have created anything that would rebel against him?  If that is how it happened, that means God doesn't really have all knowledge.  It would mean his knowledge has limitations.  It would mean he is capable of messing up, by creating defective angels, much like someone might create a defective computer program or robot.  There is no way I can believe that God didn't create Lucifer knowing full well that his creation would turn on him, and that was his plan. 

Why would God do that?  He might do that in order to show a contrast between good and evil, his ways and the opposite of his ways.  While God will not work iniquity himself, he could create an adversary that will.  Remember this.  God didn't have to suffer the devil to continue to do as he is doing.  He could have stopped him on day one of his rebellion.  If Lucifer was a defective angel, and God was not perfect enough to avoid making a mistake, he still could have snuffed him out, rather than allowing him to come to earth to tempt and harm mankind.  Look at it like this Shiloh.  Lets suppose that I see a man attacking a little girl in the park, raping her and getting ready to kill her.  What would I do?  I would run over there and try to rescue the child.  That is what I would do as a man.  Do you think God doesn't see that rapist and murderer, and that he is not able to stop him?  He could cause the guy to drop dead or be eaten with worms like Herod was in Acts.  Is being complacent any better than creating the criminal?  There has to be a reason why God chooses to allow these things to happen, and actually creates the evil character in the first place.  I admit, I don't always know the reason.  I just know it fits into the ultimate plan. 

You mentioned Hitler.  God did create Hitler, and for a reason.  God raised Hitler up for a purpose.  Hitler was God's choice to rule Germany when he did, or he would never have come to power.  How do I know that?  Daniel 4:32b says...

the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 

Why would God create an evil man like Hitler and make him the ruler of Germany?  The most logical explanation is that it led to the restoration of the nation of Israel.  God has created and raised up evil figures to rule and reign throughout history.  Here is an example from 2 Kings 8:12-13.  King Ben-hadad sent his servant Hazael to see Elisha the prophet to see if he would recover of his sickness.  Listen to what the prophet said, which by the way, does come to pass.

And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord?  And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel:  their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.  And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria. 

Again, what does it say in Daniel about rulers?  It states that "the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."  That means that God chose to make Hazael the ruler of Syria, knowing he would set Israel's holds on fire, slay their children with the sword, dash their children and rip up their women with child.  Is that any better than creating a man that is a rapist or murderer?  To me it is not.  Then there is one of the most famous rulers of all time, Pharaoh of Egypt.  What does God say about him?  Romans 9:17

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 

This was a really bad guy.  He made slaves of all of Israel, and had all the male babies drowned.  Just like God knew what Hazael would do when he raised him up and put him in power, God knew what Pharaoh would do.  There is just one difference between foreknowledge and what God has done.  God is the creator of all things, including Hazael and Pharaoh.  He knew what they would do before he created them in the womb, just as he knew what his righteous servant Jeremiah would become.  Again, what did God say about Jeremiah?  Jeremiah 1:4,5

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 

 

A prophet knows things because they were revealed to them by God, but he or she didn't create anyone.  On the other hand, God created everyone, knowing full well everything they would ever do in their lives, meaning he created them to act as they do.  Here is what I am getting from you Shiloh.  You are acknowledging that God knows everything we will do, but you don't want to acknowledge he created us to do what we do.  The problem with that is the fact God created us in the womb, and knew us before he did.  He made us to be who we are, and knew what we would do.  With that being the case, it is kind of absurd to me to say God didn't make Hazael to commit his atrocities, or Pharaoh to do the evil things he did.  If it applies to them, why wouldn't it apply to contemporary figures like Hitler? 

 

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Before I do reconcile this with scripture, I want to point out that you didn't give a single verse of scripture in your post, not one, to back up anything you said.  All you said was that my theological position is incoherent.  All of that is based on how you see God, but you didn't even bother to give scripture to support how you see God.  I don't see how you can accuse me of having an incoherent theological position given you have not backed up anything you said.  Lets move past that.

That's because I am waiting for you to provide the Scriptures you claim that your argument is based on.   See, I don't pit the Bible against itself.  I am not in the habit of trying to refute Scripture with Scripture. In my view, the Bible is self-interpreting, not self-refuting.   So what I am going to do is work from the Scriptures YOU provide.  I said in my opening statement that I wanted you to flesh out your argument.

I would like to know how you view Predestination and Election and how your view jives with the way the Bible uses those terms.     I want to know how, from the Bible, you can make the argument that God, essentially, ordains everything that happens, good or evil.  I want to see what Scripture you think supports your argument and then we will review your handling of those text and if the way you handle the text agrees with the revealed nature of God in Scripture.

 

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 Why would God create some good and some evil?  Is there anything that exists that God didn't create?  Speaking of Christ, it says in Colossians 1:16,17

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:  all things were created by him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

 

If God created all things, that means that among his creation was Lucifer.  We know the story of Lucifer, and how he was an anointed cherub that led worship in heaven, until one day iniquity was found in him, and he led a rebellion against God.  Where did the iniquity come from?   All things are created by God, so that means that when God created Lucifer, he created him with iniquity on the inside.  He chose to give him a defect.  If I reject that notion, I am left with the question of how an all knowing God could have created anything that would rebel against him?  If that is how it happened, that means God doesn't really have all knowledge.  It would mean his knowledge has limitations.  It would mean he is capable of messing up, by creating defective angels, much like someone might create a defective computer program or robot.  There is no way I can believe that God didn't create Lucifer knowing full well that his creation would turn on him, and that was his plan.

Why would God do that?  He might do that in order to show a contrast between good and evil, his ways and the opposite of his ways.  While God will not work iniquity himself, he could create an adversary that will.  Remember this.  God didn't have to suffer the devil to continue to do as he is doing.  He could have stopped him on day one of his rebellion.  If Lucifer was a defective angel, and God was not perfect enough to avoid making a mistake, he still could have snuffed him out, rather than allowing him to come to earth to tempt and harm mankind.  Look at it like this Shiloh.  Lets suppose that I see a man attacking a little girl in the park, raping her and getting ready to kill her.  What would I do?  I would run over there and try to rescue the child.  That is what I would do as a man.  Do you think God doesn't see that rapist and murderer, and that he is not able to stop him?  He could cause the guy to drop dead or be eaten with worms like Herod was in Acts.  Is being complacent any better than creating the criminal?  There has to be a reason why God chooses to allow these things to happen, and actually creates the evil character in the first place.  I admit, I don't always know the reason.  I just know it fits into the ultimate plan.   

 

God did not create evil.  The verses you cite, namely, Col. 1:16, 17 says God created all things.   The problem is that evil is not a “thing.”  If I turn the light off in a room with no windows, I didn’t’ “turn on” darkness.  I simply removed the light.   Darkness is the absence of the light.  God doesn’t have to create chaos.   All God has to do is remove His sustaining hand and the entire universe would implode.  Take away good, and you have evil.  Neither good or evil are created “things.”   So to argue that God created evil in order to explain the presence of evil is a nonstarter.  Col. 1:16,17 is speaking of the spiritual and physical realms, but no place does the Bible claim that God created moral evil. 

That also mitigates against your argument that God essentially created Lucifer with the intent of Lucifer mounting a rebellion against Him.  I am going to call on you, at this point, to provide any Scripture at all that states that God created Lucifer with iniquity in Him.  The bigger problem with that argument is that you have, at this point, made the claim that God created iniquity.   You are claiming, as far as I can tell, that the first being to sin against God was Satan and that God created sin/iniquity and placed it inside Lucifer and thus created Lucifer to rebel.    Your argument makes God the author of sin.  So I would like to see the Scriptural basis claiming that sin actually begins with God and not Satan.

So how could an all-knowing God create a being that He knew would rebel against Him?  I would point out that knowing Satan would rebel and making Satan rebel are two different things.   It is clear that Lucifer was created with a free-will.  He was created with the capacity to serve God and he had the capacity and opportunity to rebel.  But that does not mean that God instigated Satan’s rebellion.  Satan made the choice without any help, or corroboration with God. 

It is also important to understand that God not only foreknew Satan’s rebellion and man’s subsequent Fall in the Garden, but that God had also prepared a plan for how to deal with both Satan’s rebellion and man’s Fall.   He already had the plan of salvation established before the foundation of the earth.   He already knew He was sending his Son Jesus on a rescue mission to redeem mankind back from the Fall (Acts 2:23, I Pet. 1:20, Rev. 13:8).  So, while God did not actively create evil/sin/iniquity, while God did not engineer the rebellion of Satan or the Fall of man, the Bible does say that God actively formulated a plan before the world was created to redeem/save mankind from the rebellion that He knew would occur.

To argue that God created sin, as you have done, not only makes a holy and sinless God responsible for every crime, every war, every sin, every evil thing that happens on the earth, but it removes any freedom of choice on the part of man.   That includes the freedom to serve God.  God could have just created a world full of R2-D2’s if that was what He wanted, but He didn’t want robots or automatons. He wanted people with the freedom to choose obedience, to choose to love Him and want to serve Him from their hearts. We were created to be in relationship with Him.  God has never created anyone to be in rebellion against Him.

The argument that God will not work the iniquity, but will create someone else to carry it out, still has the end result of an act of iniquity being sanctioned by God.  According to you, God doesn’t murder, he just creates the murderer with the intent that the murderer will carry out His deeds within the realm of God’s plan.  There is no fundamental difference, morally speaking, between God actually committing murder vs. creating someone else to do commit the murder. Same goes for rape, child molestation, spousal abuse, etc.

 

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You mentioned Hitler.  God did create Hitler, and for a reason.  God raised Hitler up for a purpose.  Hitler was God's choice to rule Germany when he did, or he would never have come to power.  How do I know that?  Daniel 4:32b says...

the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

Why would God create an evil man like Hitler and make him the ruler of Germany?  The most logical explanation is that it led to the restoration of the nation of Israel.  God has created and raised up evil figures to rule and reign throughout history.  Here is an example from 2 Kings 8:12-13.  King Ben-hadad sent his servant Hazael to see Elisha the prophet to see if he would recover of his sickness.  Listen to what the prophet said, which by the way, does come to pass.

And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord?  And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel:  their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.  And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.   

 

Our criminal justice system does not allow people to commit evil acts for the purpose of producing good results. And our criminal justice system does not operate on higher moral plain than God does.   If someone who is opposed to abortion blows up an abortion clinic and murders the abortion doctor, we don’t hail that person as a hero.  Christians don’t supporter murdering abortion doctors in order to save the lives of the unborn. Nowhere in the Bible are morally evil acts praised or promoted in order to produce something good.  

The Holocaust was a horrible thing, 6 million Jews and about 5 million other people were ruthlessly slaughtered for simply not fitting into Hitler’s warped idea of what the ideal human being should be.  God did bring good out of the horrific event.  And God was able to use the horror of the Holocaust, in part, to eventually bring about the rebirth of Israel.   But that does NOT mean that God caused Hitler to engineer the Holocaust.

Your argument produces a God that cannot be trusted.    If we take your view of God and apply it on a practical level, we have a God who commands repentance, but creates people so that they cannot repent.   He demands holiness, but engineers sin, as well.  He commands that we not murder, but creates people to commit murder on His behalf in order to fulfill His plan.   You have a God who hates sin, but created and willed sin into existence.  That’s what I meant when I said that your view of God is incoherent.   It has God working against his own purposes in the earth.    How can God send His own Son to redeem from the very sin God created?   How can we have a plan of redemption that is supposed to take us out from under the power of sin if God is busy creating men to operate under the power of sin?   Your position placed God the Father at odds with Jesus’ finished work of redemption on the cross.  Your position necessarily makes it impossible for some people to be saved.

 

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Again, what does it say in Daniel about rulers?  It states that "the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."  That means that God chose to make Hazael the ruler of Syria, knowing he would set Israel's holds on fire, slay their children with the sword, dash their children and rip up their women with child.  Is that any better than creating a man that is a rapist or murderer?  To me it is not.  Then there is one of the most famous rulers of all time, Pharaoh of Egypt.  What does God say about him?  Romans 9:17

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

This was a really bad guy.  He made slaves of all of Israel, and had all the male babies drowned.  Just like God knew what Hazael would do when he raised him up and put him in power, God knew what Pharaoh would do.  There is just one difference between foreknowledge and what God has done.  God is the creator of all things, including Hazael and Pharaoh.  He knew what they would do before he created them in the womb, just as he knew what his righteous servant Jeremiah would become.  Again, what did God say about Jeremiah?  Jeremiah 1:4,5

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

 

God creates people who He knows will be rapists and murderers.   He does not create them to that end.  God does not create murderers.  He does not create rapists.  Your argument in the past has been that God created people fulfill a role in his plan and that you had no problem with believing that even rape is something that God wills to happen.  That is where your argument really breaks down and flies against what we know about God.

            As to Pharaoh, God merely incited Pharaoh’s pride in order show His power through Pharaoh.   Pharaoh had already hardened his heart against God before God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Ex. 7:13, 22; 8: 15, 19, 32).  God did not bring Pharaoh into existence to destroy him. He did not bring Pharaoh into existence to do the things he did.   Rather, God used Pharaoh’s pride and hardness of heart as an opportunity to redeem the children of Israel from bondage and to provide for us the archetype of redemption.

            God ordained Jeremiah to be a prophet.   It was his calling from the womb.   But that does not supply a sufficient basis for arguing that God ordains evil from the womb, as well.  You simply have not made that case.

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A prophet knows things because they were revealed to them by God, but he or she didn't create anyone.  On the other hand, God created everyone, knowing full well everything they would ever do in their lives, meaning he created them to act as they do.  Here is what I am getting from you Shiloh.  You are acknowledging that God knows everything we will do, but you don't want to acknowledge he created us to do what we do.  The problem with that is the fact God created us in the womb, and knew us before he did.  He made us to be who we are, and knew what we would do.  With that being the case, it is kind of absurd to me to say God didn't make Hazael to commit his atrocities, or Pharaoh to do the evil things he did.  If it applies to them, why wouldn't it apply to contemporary figures like Hitler?   

What you’re getting from me is that God doesn’t create people to rebel against His kingdom.  He doesn’t create people to be murderers, terrorists, rapists.   He knows who will turn into those kinds of people but you haven’t really made an adequate case for claiming that God actively creates people to be morally evil. 

How would a pastor counsel a family that loses a loved one to a drunk driver, if that pastor held to your view?  Imagine if a pastor said, “Well, you need to know that God wanted this to happen to your loved and your family.  God created that man to be a drunk driver and God wanted your loved one  dead at the hands of that drunk driver.”  How could a family have any peace or comfort in that?

How would a pastor counsel a victim of rape by telling the victim that it was God’s will for her to be raped???   How would a person who is a victim of rape have any peace with a God who wanted her to go through something like that? If anything, it would turn that person against God.

Where your position is especially troublesome  is in the area of salvation.   As you have stated in the past in this thread, God creates us to do what we do, and that would include rejecting Christ.  You have argued passionately in the past that God creates some people to destroy them.  He creates them to reject the Gospel and that He creates others to accept the Gospel.   How exactly would we present the Gospel with that kind of view of God?    “God probably hates you and created you to be destroyed, but why not just accept Jesus for now, and later on we will see if you were the one who God chose to be saved or not.”   How is there any assurance or hope, or peace in that???

Again, this is what I am talking about when I say that your view of God and His operations are totally incoherent and I will add, self-defeating.  Your view creates a pastoral counseling nightmare.

In summation, based on what we know up to this point, your view of God:

  • ·         Has Him creating sin/iniquity (which He says He hates) and placing it inside Satan when he was Lucifer, making God solely responsible for all of the sin in the world, including the Fall of man in the Garden;

  • ·         Has God creating evil men to be evil, and thus removing their free will to be anything other than what they are;

  • ·         Has God caught up in self-contradiction in that God sets up a righteous standard for men to follow, a standard that is supposed to reflect His righteous character and will,  while at the same time creating men to violate that same righteous standard in accordance with His “will;”

  • ·         Has God not only creating murderers and rapists and other violent criminals, but also creates innocent people to be their victims, but at the same time wants these same victims to love and trust Him;

  • ·         Has God ultimately creating some people to actively reject His offer of salvation and go to Hell.  God created them merely to destroy them with no opportunity to freely accept or reject the Gospel message;

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Thank you Shiloh for your response.  First of all, there is nothing incoherent about what I wrote.  You clearly understood it, as you took the time to break it down and give a critique of what I wrote.  It is very clear and concise.  I read through it myself, and it makes perfect sense.  You may not like what I said, but incoherent is not a word that fits. 

Everything is a creation.  That includes darkness and it includes evil, so I disagree with you on both of those points.  Darkness and evil were created by God. 

I form the light, and create darkness:  I make peace, and create evil:  Isaiah 45:7 

I would also once again point out that God created Lucifer.  Until he created Lucifer, there is no indication evil existed anywhere.  The first time we see iniquity is in Ezekiel 28:15

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 

Where did the iniquity come from?  I want to go back again to a point I made earlier.  God is all knowing.  He had to know that when he created Lucifer, he was creating an angel that would one day rebel against him.  He made Lucifer what he was.  If God didn't want to create an angel that would rebel, how difficult would that have been for him to do?  You say he had free will.  So what?  If he wasn't created with iniquity on the inside, that God knew all along was there, he would never have rebelled.  Is it harder for God to create an angel without a sinful desire to rebel, as opposed to an angel he knew would rebel?  The only way this could happen by chance is if God created a defective angel, and had no idea he made a mistake.  Then he was taken aback when the rebellion started, because it would also mean God is not all knowing.  We know that is not the case, as we see examples of his being all knowing throughout scripture.  All one has to do is look at Bible prophecy, but there are also those other examples, like with Peter.  Jesus told him that he would deny him three times before the cock crowed twice.  Peter couldn't stop himself even having been warned what he was going to do.  It was already pre-determined.  Nothing could stop it, anymore than anyone could prevent Judas Iscariot from betraying the Lord. 

I was surprised Shiloh, that you mentioned how God knew man would fall, and made provision in advance.  I agree 100 percent with you on that point.  He created Adam and Eve knowing exactly what they would do.  He created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and commanded they not eat of it's fruit, knowing they would.  He didn't have to place that tree in the garden where they had access.  He didn't have to let the serpent tempt Eve.  It is not like God was off in the distance playing golf or something, and didn't know what was happening.  When Eve picked up the apple, God saw her.  When she gave it to her husband, and he ate, God saw him.  When they were sewing fig leaves together, God saw them too, and he knew they were going to do all those things before he made them.  He was so sure of it, because after all, he wrote the script, he made a plan for how to deal with their sin.  Adam and Eve were doomed before they were created.  They had no more chance to go in another direction than Peter had of not denying the Lord or Judas had of not betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. 

Our criminal justice system is irrelevant.  Our criminal justice system would never allow anyone to be punished for eternity for not praying a prayer, so that example doesn't hold any water.  People look at those that blow up abortion clinics in different ways.  I don't encourage anyone to break the law, but I rejoice when an abortion clinic is destroyed so babies won't be killed.  I certainly don't mourn for the place, and I have no sympathy for an abortion clinic doctor that is killed.  I see him no different than a killer for hire, so what is that to me?  I am told in scripture to take no thought for the life of a murderer.  I don't encourage people to kill abortion clinic doctors, but I am not sad when they do, because they would have only gone inside and butchered innocent babies.  I don't see the relevance here, but since you brought it up, I figured I would address it. 

The Holocaust was a horrific event, and I certainly don't praise the monster that led it.  I said that according to scripture in Daniel, God created Hitler, and placed him in power.  Anyone that comes to power according to Daniel got there because God placed them there, and he knew full well what Hitler would do. 

the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.  Daniel 4:32

That includes Hitler.  It is no different than God creating Pharaoh in Egypt, placing him in power knowing full well what he would do, and using him to show his power to the world.  Hitler's atrocities helped bring about the restoration of Israel.  Pharaoh's atrocities helped create an atmosphere where the children of Israel cried out for a deliverer, and were ready to leave Egypt for an uncertain new home.  Even with all of the things Pharaoh did, when they began to want for food or water, they would only remember the good things about Egypt and want to return.  That is why God had to make it so awful for them.  It took that for them to leave.  Had it been pleasant in Egypt, they would have wanted to remain forever. 

You said that my view of things show a God that cannot be trusted.  Not so.  I trust him completely.  I trust him so much, I don't question his right to do anything he wants with his creation.  I might get upset about conditions from time to time, but I fully trust God.  Lets take an example from scripture, Job.  He was a righteous man, and very blessed.  God never lifted a finger against Job, but one day, Satan came to God and asked permission to test him.  In this test, the devil destroyed all of Job's possessions and killed his children, with God's permission.  God didn't do the evil, but he let Satan do it.  Why?  Did that mean Job could not trust God?  If any man had reason to start to distrust, Job did.  His response was though God slay him, he will still trust him.  I have been accused of having no heart, but look at Job for a moment.  All of his children that he supposedly loved were killed, and his reply to all of the loss was the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.  That is called unconditional trust.  It is being at a place where you trust God even when he doesn't seem to make sense. 

You said, "God creates people that he knows will be rapists and murderers.  He does not create them to that end."  What kind of sense does that make?  That is like me sitting down and creating a robot that I know will go crazy and kill the innocent child that plays with it, but I make it anyway.  I didn't make it to kill a child, but I knew it would, so what is the difference?  Why would I make it in the first place?  If God is the creator of someone he knows will do evil, and he creates him or her anyway, he created that person to kill.  Talk about incoherent!  Your position makes absolutely no sense.  There is no logic to it. 

How a Pastor can counsel someone is not relevant at all.  It doesn't make anything I said any more or any less valid.  There is no sense in wasting time with that.  I can question how a Pastor is going to be able to sooth a person who lost a loved one to a tragic disease when God didn't heal them.  When you lose a loved one, there is no easy answers a Pastor can give in any circumstances. 

As for salvation, what I said is that the only way a person can come to faith in Christ is if the truth is revealed to them by God.  The Father reveals his Son to them, and his Son reveals the Father to them.  Only those God chooses will ever choose to become a Christian.  We witness to a sinner, and if they accept Christ, and endure to the end, they are of the elect.  If they don't, or they fall away, like the seed that was choked by the cares of this life, they weren't of the elect.  I don't tell anyone they are probably meant to be saved or lost.  That is completely up to God to save those he desires to save. 

All things are delivered to me of my Father:  and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.  John 10:22

You won't get anyone to accept Christ unless the truth is revealed to them by God.  We give them the gospel, but it is up to God who accepts the message.  You can't save anyone yourself.  If a person doesn't have faith, they will scoff at the message.  If they have a hard heart, they will walk away. 

The only thing I want to address on your summation is your point about self-contradiction.  There is no contradiction at all.  The whole battle between good and evil is to show a contrast.  We get to see the difference between good and bad and how good is superior to evil.  Again, look at Job.  Why would he trust God, when the Lord gave Satan permission to kill his own children?  Sure, God gave him more children and things to replace what he lost, but can you really replace a child?  Job continued to trust God.  This was a man that trusted God with his whole heart, and look what it got him.  If he can continue to trust God, why shouldn't victims of violent criminals be able to?  You summed up things in a neat little passage, but I still stand on everything I said, and I haven't begun to scratch the surface with Bible evidence. 

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Everything is a creation.  That includes darkness and it includes evil, so I disagree with you on both of those points.  Darkness and evil were created by God.

 

 

I form the light, and create darkness:  I make peace, and create evil:  Isaiah 45:7 

 

What you have in that verse is a form of  Hebrew parallelism that is very common in the Hebrew literature of the Old Testament.  It is a form of parallelism that repeats the same thought in different words.   “I form the light and create darkness,” is simply be re-worded in the second half of the verse, “I make peace and create evil.”  The peace or “shalom”  is here meant to convey well-being, prosperity, wholeness.   The word “evil”  in this context isn’t moral evil.  It refers to calamity and/or judgment from God. A good example is the 10 plagues God sent, or the great flood, or God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  It, in no way, states that God creates moral evil or sin.

 

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I would also once again point out that God created Lucifer.  Until he created Lucifer, there is no indication evil existed anywhere.  The first time we see iniquity is in Ezekiel 28:15

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Where did the iniquity come from?  I want to go back again to a point I made earlier.  God is all knowing.  He had to know that when he created Lucifer, he was creating an angel that would one day rebel against him.  He made Lucifer what he was.  If God didn't want to create an angel that would rebel, how difficult would that have been for him to do?  You say he had free will.  So what?  If he wasn't created with iniquity on the inside, that God knew all along was there, he would never have rebelled.  Is it harder for God to create an angel without a sinful desire to rebel, as opposed to an angel he knew would rebel?  The only way this could happen by chance is if God created a defective angel, and had no idea he made a mistake.  Then he was taken aback when the rebellion started, because it would also mean God is not all knowing.  We know that is not the case, as we see examples of his being all knowing throughout scripture.  

 

The verse you  cite states Lucifer was perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him.   That doesn’t at all support your claim that God created the iniquity that was in Lucifer when he rebelled.   The Bible does not say that.   You are relying on your own reasoning powers to assume that if it was there, it HAD to be put there by God, but you have not supported that claim from Scripture.  No place does the Bible claim that God ever created sin.   So your attempt to use Lucifer to make your point fails the Scripture test and cannot be accepted as true or biblical.  The iniquity was not there when God created Lucifer because it says he was perfect in all his ways until iniquity was found in him.   It came from Lucifer, himself, not from God.  It was Lucifer’s own jealously and pride that came from Him. 

 

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All one has to do is look at Bible prophecy, but there are also those other examples, like with Peter.  Jesus told him that he would deny him three times before the cock crowed twice.  Peter couldn't stop himself even having been warned what he was going to do.  It was already pre-determined.  Nothing could stop it, anymore than anyone could prevent Judas Iscariot from betraying the Lord.

Neither Judas, nor Peter were forced to play the role the played.  Foreknowledge does not equate with “predestined.”  God did not force them to play the role they played.  He knew they would not do anything different than what they did.  God knows all the choices we will  make, but that does not mean we are locked into those choices.  They are OUR choices for which we are responsible for.  It’s no different with salvation.  We choose to receive or reject the Gospel.  It’s our choice to reject or accept God, but we are not locked into that choice by God.

 

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I was surprised Shiloh, that you mentioned how God knew man would fall, and made provision in advance.  I agree 100 percent with you on that point.  He created Adam and Eve knowing exactly what they would do.  He created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and commanded they not eat of it's fruit, knowing they would.  He didn't have to place that tree in the garden where they had access.  He didn't have to let the serpent tempt Eve.  It is not like God was off in the distance playing golf or something, and didn't know what was happening.  When Eve picked up the apple, God saw her.  When she gave it to her husband, and he ate, God saw him.  When they were sewing fig leaves together, God saw them too, and he knew they were going to do all those things before he made them.  He was so sure of it, because after all, he wrote the script, he made a plan for how to deal with their sin.  Adam and Eve were doomed before they were created.  They had no more chance to go in another direction than Peter had of not denying the Lord or Judas had of not betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. 

Again, the problem here is that you are equating foreknowledge with predestination, as if God knowing what will happen means that God scripted it happen that way.   So far, you have provided no biblical support for that claim and you have the burden of proof since you are making the claim about what God ordains.   God knew man would fall, but God created man anyway. 

The day we were saved, He knew all the ways we would let him down.  He could see years down the road after we were saved, all the sins we would commit, all the ways we would stumble and fall.  He saw all the ways we would break His heart.   And He saved us anyway.   He didn’t make us fall and He didn’t script any of that.   But He died for us, loved us and saved us knowing full well all of our shortcomings.   And He still continues to work with us, and mold us and transform us daily.  He doesn’t give up on us.  He doesn’t throw away the clay.   He reshapes it and keeps on going until we are shaped and refined into what He wants us to be. 

God did not  ‘script’ the Fall of man in the Garden.  That is just absurd on its face.  God made provision for salvation from the Fall, but God did not cause the Fall to happen.   God is in the business of saving all mankind.  He is in the business of restoring and drawing all men back to Himself and repairing the relationship that was broken in the Garden.  He is not about the business of circumventing His own Kingdom by forcing the very people He sacrificed His own Son to die for, to commit treason against His Kingdom.   Again, your theology pits God against Himself.

 

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Our criminal justice system is irrelevant.  Our criminal justice system would never allow anyone to be punished for eternity for not praying a prayer, so that example doesn't hold any water.

The criminal justice system is relevant from the standpoint that even a secular organization has the good sense to know that it is morally reprehensible to commit evil for a “good” purpose.  Things like this would include:

  • Going over to the house of the man who molested your daughter and shooting him to death
  • Blowing up Abortion clinics and/or murdering a doctor who performs abortions
  • Robbing a store or a bank for money to feed your starving children
  • Breaking into someone’s house and kidnapping their child because you think the child is being abused.

Nowhere in the Bible is moral evil ever justified even for a good purpose.  The point about the criminal justice system is that they do not operate from a higher moral principle than God does and if  a secular institution like our courts of law have the moral awareness that you don’t commit crimes to create a good outcome, then we have to credit God with that same moral awareness.  It proves that even secular people bear the image of their Creator from time to time.

 

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The Holocaust was a horrific event, and I certainly don't praise the monster that led it.  I said that according to scripture in Daniel, God created Hitler, and placed him in power.  Anyone that comes to power according to Daniel got there because God placed them there, and he knew full well what Hitler would do. the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.  Daniel 4:32

That includes Hitler.  It is no different than God creating Pharaoh in Egypt, placing him in power knowing full well what he would do, and using him to show his power to the world.  Hitler's atrocities helped bring about the restoration of Israel.  Pharaoh's atrocities helped create an atmosphere where the children of Israel cried out for a deliverer, and were ready to leave Egypt for an uncertain new home.  Even with all of the things Pharaoh did, when they began to want for food or water, they would only remember the good things about Egypt and want to return.  That is why God had to make it so awful for them.  It took that for them to leave.  Had it been pleasant in Egypt, they would have wanted to remain forever.   

 

But let’s be honest.  Your argument doesn’t stop there.  Yes, God created Hitler and one can make a biblical case that God put him power.   I can’t dispute that, but that’s not where your argument stops.   Your argument goes further and indicates that you think that God wanted Hitler in power and that God created Hitler for the purpose of engineering the Holocaust, making God the author of it.  You cannot exonerate God from any guilt in that argument because according to how you are arguing predestination, God left Hitler with no choice, that he had to fulfill God’s “purpose”  by murdering 6 million Jews and 5 million other people (Gypsies, mentally ill, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Germans who opposed him).

Do you have any idea just how much damage your view could potentially do to Jewish/Christian relations?   I mean, it’s not the best at this point, but strides have been made in recent decades at opening up the lines of communication, but your view of the Holocaust being the will of God would set us back 70 years.   Your view should be rejected and repudiated because of the damage it would do to the efforts of Jewish evangelism today.

Any Jewish person who was a victim of the Holocaust or has family that were victims would only find that their suspicion that the Holocaust was a Christian engineered event, confirmed.   Jewish people who are Atheists could be potentially turned away from ever believing God much less the Gospel.  Religious Jews would only be re-enforced in their view that Christianity and the New Testament are anti-Semitic.  

 

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You said that my view of things show a God that cannot be trusted.  Not so.  I trust him completely.  I trust him so much, I don't question his right to do anything he wants with his creation.

Do really think that a victim of rape will be open to trusting God after you tell her that it was God’s will for her to be raped?   That He created her rapist to rape her?    You really think that is going to inspire any trust in her heart for God???

 

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Lets take an example from scripture, Job.  He was a righteous man, and very blessed.  God never lifted a finger against Job, but one day, Satan came to God and asked permission to test him.  In this test, the devil destroyed all of Job's possessions and killed his children, with God's permission.  God didn't do the evil, but he let Satan do it.  Why?  Did that mean Job could not trust God?  If any man had reason to start to distrust, Job did.  His response was though God slay him, he will still trust him.  I have been accused of having no heart, but look at Job for a moment.  All of his children that he supposedly loved were killed, and his reply to all of the loss was the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.  That is called unconditional trust.  It is being at a place where you trust God even when he doesn't seem to make sense. 

Job is amazing book to study. It would be nice if we could all be like Job when it comes to having that kind of patience and submission to God.   But that is really a separate issue from what is being  debated in this thread.  The issue raised in this thread is whether or not God causes moral evil.   Job’s story is about suffering calamitous events.  The issue we are debating is whether or not God causes men to murder, rape, and other heinous things.   So the Job issue doesn’t really make your argument, and is really off topic.

 

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You said, "God creates people that he knows will be rapists and murderers.  He does not create them to that end."  What kind of sense does that make?  That is like me sitting down and creating a robot that I know will go crazy and kill the innocent child that plays with it, but I make it anyway.  I didn't make it to kill a child, but I knew it would, so what is the difference?  Why would I make it in the first place?  If God is the creator of someone he knows will do evil, and he creates him or her anyway, he created that person to kill.  Talk about incoherent!  Your position makes absolutely no sense.  There is no logic to it.    

It makes perfect sense.  God doesn’t create anyone to BE a murderer.   He may know that a baby born will one day commit a murder.   But He did not create that person to be a murderer.  You are still making the same fallacious argument that foreknowledge is equivalent to predestination.   Again, you have the burden of proof to demonstrate that foreknowledge is equivalent to predestination.   You have the burden of proof to demonstrate that God creates people to murder, rape and other such things, and so far you have provided nothing but your own human reasoning.  I am fairly confident you will find no one else who can seriously argue that God ordains murder, much less support your claims for that matter.

 

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How a Pastor can counsel someone is not relevant at all.  It doesn't make anything I said any more or any less valid.  There is no sense in wasting time with that.  I can question how a Pastor is going to be able to sooth a person who lost a loved one to a tragic disease when God didn't heal them.  When you lose a loved one, there is no easy answers a Pastor can give in any circumstances.

How a pastor can counsel someone is intensely relevant because theology is not purely academic.  Theology is very practical and there is no better way to see how practical it gets until you are in a counseling session with grieving parents who want to know why their son died at the hands of a drunk driver.    I would not advise telling them that God created the drunk driver so that he would run over their son. 

I would not advise counseling a victim of sexual assault that God ordained the person who assaulted them to do so, particularly if that person has expressed any suicidal tendencies over that encounter.

Counseling someone who is suffering from cancer or some other disease is not remotely comparable to telling someone that God ordained the murder of their spouse or child.   You cannot compare those. 

 

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As for salvation, what I said is that the only way a person can come to faith in Christ is if the truth is revealed to them by God.  The Father reveals his Son to them, and his Son reveals the Father to them.  Only those God chooses will ever choose to become a Christian.  We witness to a sinner, and if they accept Christ, and endure to the end, they are of the elect.  If they don't, or they fall away, like the seed that was choked by the cares of this life, they weren't of the elect.  I don't tell anyone they are probably meant to be saved or lost.  That is completely up to God to save those he desires to save. 

Yeah, that is not how election works in the Bible.  That is a very convoluted version of that Biblical concept.  The Bible uses the word “elect” where it applies to Christians, as describing those who are saved as shown above.  When a person is saved, they are “elect.”  God doesn’t choose who will or will not be saved, and no text in the Bible says He does.     Everyone who is saved is “elect.”   “Endure to the end”  is taken out of Matt. 24 and the Olivet discourse which is a discussion about  Israel  during the Tribulation.   The context of that phrase as to do with being salvation in the sense of being preserved and delivered, not salvation from sin.  It’s talking about enduring to the end of the Tribulation, because Israel will go through the Tribulation.

In the Bible, election and predestination have to do with what God has predestined for believers.  They  have nothing to do with who will become a believer.  Election is what a person who is saved becomes.  It is not something they are waiting for.   Your view offers no assurance of salvation because according to you, no one will know if they are really saved until the end.   You won’t know if you were chosen by God or not.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (Joh 5:24)

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1Jn 5:11-13)

Now those two passages tell me that I can know right now that I am saved.  Jesus said in John 5:4 that I have passed from death into life, and that I will not come into condemnation.   He doesn’t qualify that statement.   John 5: 11-13 tells me that I have eternal life right now.  Both of these passages are in couched in the present tense, so that I can believe both of them in the now.  I can know I have eternal life today.  I am not waiting to find out at the end if I made it or not.

Here is another passage that speaks to being able to know we are saved:

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Rom 8:16-17)

So I have the Holy Spirit who bears witness inwardly with my spirit that I am a child of God.  His presence in me tells me that I am not only a child of God, but that I am an heir of God and while I may suffer, I have a glorious eternal future with Jesus.  The presence of the Holy Spirit is the witness to all of that.

So I don’t know where you got the idea that we have to wait to find out  if we are in or out, but the Bible says I don’t have to wait.  I can know today that I am elect.

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The only thing I want to address on your summation is your point about self-contradiction.  There is no contradiction at all.  The whole battle between good and evil is to show a contrast.  We get to see the difference between good and bad and how good is superior to evil.  Again, look at Job.  Why would he trust God, when the Lord gave Satan permission to kill his own children?  Sure, God gave him more children and things to replace what he lost, but can you really replace a child?  Job continued to trust God.  This was a man that trusted God with his whole heart, and look what it got him.  If he can continue to trust God, why shouldn't victims of violent criminals be able to? 

I think you need to go back and read what I said about self-contradiction.  I said that your view of God, “Has God caught up in self-contradiction in that God sets up a righteous standard for men to follow, a standard that is supposed to reflect His righteous character and will,  while at the same time creating men to violate that same righteous standard in accordance with His “will;”

The point I was making was not that your over-all argument is self-contradicting, but that your view has God in a self-contradiction where He is working against His own interests and the good of His own Kingdom.   You have God commanding people not to murder, but creating people for the express purpose of murdering. 

Again, Job is off topic because Job was not suffering because God engineered someone to murder his children and God did not create someone to destroy his herds and flocks.   Job was suffering a Satan engineered calamity, not a God-engineered one.  Job was being tested, so Job doesn’t really apply to the issues raised about God creating and ordaining individuals to do heinous things to  other people.

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You summed up things in a neat little passage, but I still stand on everything I said, and I haven't begun to scratch the surface with Bible evidence.   

 

Nice to know I summed it up correctly and so we know where you stand.  I look forward to your response.

 

 

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Greetings Shiloh357.  Your summary wasn't bad.  Overall, it was pretty accurate, which is why I knew I couldn't have done too bad of a job in explaining what I believe.  It was very helpful.  I do see however that I could have done a better job in my last post, or you should have understood a couple of things I meant that you didn't, like why Job is relevant to this conversation.  The reason Job is relevant isn't because I am claiming God attacked Job personally.  I have said that God created the devil as an adversary.  God himself doesn't do evil, but he created a being that would do evil.  He gave the devil permission to attack an innocent man named Job and not only take his possessions, but kill his family.  You were asking how anyone could trust God if they believed God created people to do evil.  I could just as easily ask how could anyone trust God after reading Job, when they know they could serve him with all their might, and that would only lead to God giving the devil permission to kill their family to test them.  You would think his being so devout would lead to a hedge of protection that would never be lifted, not that his life would become a bet over how he would stand up to testing.  My position is no worse than the reality of the story of Job. 

Another thing I want to address is what you said about counseling people.  It is a legitimate point when it comes to not wanting to hurt people, but not in deciding what is true.  Before we even began this debate, I did say I had one concern, and that is whether or not some people that read this can handle the truth.  I sometimes wonder if it is better for some to go on believing a lie.  It is one of those moral questions I have to ask myself from time to time.  It is like last night, when I was reading a response about what happens to unborn babies that are aborted.  One person said without batting an eye they go to heaven, but when I asked how they know that, all they could say was the God they serve wouldn't send a baby to hell.  That is not based in fact, but emotion.  It is like the people that go around saying that they can't believe in a God that will do this, that or the other.  God is who he is.  We don't get to make him into our image.  You can try, but it doesn't work.  As such, I understand your point, when it comes to counseling people, but that has nothing to do with what is true.  It is something to consider in using tact in specific circumstances. 

You made an argument about our legal system, but as I pointed out already, our legal system wouldn't punish anyone forever in a lake of fire.  Imagine that sentence going before the Supreme Court.  They would call it cruel and unusual punishment.  There are many things that are different about our legal system and the way God handles things.  Does our system use bad to bring about good?  They do at times.  They go to war to preserve freedom.  War is bad in my view, but it is a necessary evil that our soldiers kill good people from other nations to preserve our country and our way of life.  They steal people's property for public use.  They steal our money to give to the poor.  If you can receive it, they also fire false flags to bring order out of chaos.  As you can see, I believe some of the conspiracy theories are real.  Regardless of all of that, God's ways are not our ways.  Again, imagine our courts having someone brought in on a charge of failing to believe in Jesus, and sentencing them to be tortured forever.  It would never happen. 

How would my view be received by Jews?  That is another one of those questions, not based on whether I am right or wrong, but based on how truth would be received.  By no means am I limiting this position to what happened in Germany.  This same thing applies to things like 9-11, right here in America.  While I am not sure of the reason for that event, I know it somehow had to take place to bring about God's plans for the last days.  It is not like I am being anti-Semitic.  I love the Jewish people.  Remember that I believe gentile believers are adopted Jews.  I am not bringing that up for arguments sake.  It doesn't belong in this thread, but just to make it clear that in my view of things, I am an adopted Jew, so to attack Israel in my mind, would be to attack myself and all other believers.  There is but one spiritual tree.  I would say there was a reason for Jim Jones, but I don't know what it was. 

You stated that nowhere in the Bible is evil ever used to bring about a good purpose.  Sure it is.  God had the children of Israel destroy the Canaanites to give the land to the children of Israel.  He used war against idol worshippers to create a nation for his people.  He used Samson to do all kinds of bad things to lead to the destruction of the Philistines.  God used a flood to cleanse the land of violence and corruption and started over with Noah and his family.  He used an evil spirit to convince Ahab to go to war and be killed.  He sent an evil spirit to King Saul, which led to David having a position of playing the harp for him.  God used a three year draught to bring about the destruction of Baal worship in Israel.  There are a lot of examples of God using evil to bring about good. 

I need to go back to the point about foreknowledge as opposed to God causing things to happen.  I used the example of a prophet knowing future events because God showed it to him, as opposed to God creating someone to fulfil an evil purpose.  The difference is that God is the creator of the person.  He made them with character flaws he put in them.  They didn't get there on their own.  I am going to back this up with scripture, but before I do, I want to point something out.  Whenever you don't agree with someone's interpretation of scripture, no matter who it is, you accuse them of poor hermeneutics.  In the way you use this word, that is anyone that doesn't come to the same conclusions as you do.  I remember one person you did that to coming back with what I still consider to be a funny response, and one that still gives me a chuckle when I think of it, "I don't know who Herman is or about his neutics."  I think it was Lady C, but I am not sure.  Regardless, this is a common response you have given to many at Worthy Boards, and I am sure they could testify that what I am saying is true.  The point is that I am giving what I believe to be the correct interpretation, and even if you come back with an alternate interpretation and claim I am using poor hermeneutics, I disagree, and stand by what I am saying.  The readers will have to decide for themselves who is correct.  This is just Biblical evidence I am presenting. 

The passage I am going to present as evidence should be familiar to most who have studied the topic of pre-destination and election.  This is from Romans 9:10-24.  I know this is a lot to read, but it is important, and I could have easily included more.  This chapter deals with the Jews and the Gentiles, but it also gives us insight into how God creates people for his own purpose, and makes some good and some evil.  We all have our roles to play, and it is not according to our works, but according to God's purposes. 

10  And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;

11  (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

12 It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger.

13  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

14  What shall we say then?  Is there unrighteousness with God?  God forbid.

15  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

17  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

18  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

19  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault?  For who hath resisted his will?

20  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?  Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 

21  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonor? 

22  What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

23  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

24  Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

This passage is discussing Israel and the gentiles, but it makes a lot of points that are important while doing so.  They cannot be ignored, just because someone wants to say this is about the gospel coming to the gentiles and unbelieving Jews being cut off.  Shiloh will want to claim I am taking things out of context, but that is not the case.  I am taking them as written, and any attempt to change the meaning I am about to show you is an attempt to twist scripture.  Here are the key points I want you to see.

1.  When Rebecca conceived twins, God already knew them, because like Jeremiah, God created them.  He told Rebecca who they were, and how they would turn out, and that the older would serve the younger, which went against normal tradition.  This was going to happen, and nobody could change it.  God created Esau to play out his role and sell his birthright for a bowl of beans, and created Jacob to deceive his Father into giving him the blessing that would normally go to the firstborn.  God wrote the script, and nobody could change it. 

2  God loved Jacob and hated Esau.  He created Jacob to be his servant, and Esau to be a person who had little regard for God and someone who wouldn't value spiritual things like a birthright or blessing.  Who in the world would sell their birthright for food?  Esau, because God created him that way.  By the way, things also had to happen the way they did in order for Jacob to find the wives God had for him that would lead to the 12 patriarchs.  Every event was important.  It had to take place as it did, including the way Jacob was tricked into taking Leah before Rachel.  God intended that Leah bear 6 of his children, and the rest be born to his other 3 wives.  It was all in God's plan.  Nothing happens by accident.  That brings up another example of God using evil for good.  Jacob deceiving his Father to get the blessing, and Laban tricking Jacob which led to the birth of the 12 patriarchs.  It is amazing to behold. 

3  We look at righteousness and even fairness in one way, and God sees things in another.  When asked if this means there is unrighteousness with God, Paul simply says God does things as he sees fit.  He has mercy on whom he will have mercy.  It is up to him.  I am reminded of Saul and David.  Saul did sin against God, but found no mercy.  David did things that were just as bad or worse, and God had compassion on him.  Why is that? 

4  God put Pharaoh of Egypt in power to show his power in the earth.  In order to do that, Pharaoh had to commit atrocities against Israel that led to a deliverer.  Still, that wasn't enough.  Moses couldn't just come in there and take the children of Israel out.  That would be too easy and wouldn't show God's power.  God had to harden Pharaoh's heart so he would resist, leading to plagues and destruction.  Eventually, the Egyptians were spoiled.  Even that wasn't enough.  God had to harden Pharaoh's heart again after he let Israel go, follow them to the sea, and then God drowned their entire army.  He used bad things to bring about a good result. 

5  Who resisted God's will?  Did Pharaoh?  No.  He did as he was created to do.  God's answer to those who question him.  Who are we to question our creator?  He is the potter and we are the clay.  He can do with his creation anything he desires. 

6  God literally created some vessels (humans) to be vessels of destruction according to verse 22.  He did it to show his power. 

7  God did all this to make known the riches of his glory to his elect or vessels of mercy, of both Jews and gentiles. 

Shiloh will want to distract all of those points by saying this is dealing with Israel and the gentiles, and while it certainly is speaking on that topic, it is making certain things about the way God works clear to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. 

I want to close with one other point.  All of this is Biblical truth, but the main thing we all need to realize is that we don't have to go around fearful we aren't of the elect.  The Bible makes it clear that if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and live for him, we will be saved and stay saved.  The fact we believe and obey shows we are God's elect.  If we don't accept Jesus or turn from him, it shows we aren't of the elect.  There is no such thing as unconditional eternal security in the way most Baptists teach it.  Willful, unconfessed sin will not automatically be covered by the original blood covering.  The only way you can get right with God if you sin willfully after getting saved is through confession of your sins.  I am going to close with two more scriptures Shiloh will surely twist and claim I am using poor hermeneutics or taking something out of context, but I stand by what I say. 

But I keep under my body, and bring it unto subjection:  lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.  1 Corinthians 9:27

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto the.  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and, The sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.  2 Peter 2:20-22

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure... 2 Peter 1:10a

I know I said I would give you two more scriptures, and this is three, but I felt led to add one I hadn't planned on using. 

 

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