Based on the lack of format, I will ask my opponent to debate with absolute integrity. We are discussing matters of God, such things are weighty. I would ask for the following considerations:
1.> All points of argument must be rooted in Biblical orthodoxy.
2.> Limit the translations to KJV, NKJV and ESV for simplicity.
I accept the challenge and I wish to express my thanks to the opponent for furnishing the topic. It is my burden to show that:
1.> Calvinism is not a Cult
2.> John Calvin's complex (of any variety) was not purposed to support a cultist teaching in the protestant reformation but rather to bring Glory to God.
I eagerly await your opening statements.
Now, Calvinism uses an acronym to describe their five major points or doctrines. Its called TULIP. T-Total Depravity of Man, U-Unconditional Election, L-Limited Atonement I-Irrisitable Grace P-Perseverance of the saints
Now, Calvinism is all about definitions. I agree with Total Depravity, man is so wicked that he is depraved. However, Calvinism defines it as Total Inability. This means that man is so depraved that he cannot repent and accept the Gospel by his own free will. God has to regenerate you and only if your one of the elect. This contradicts Ephesians 1:13 where we believe first, then are saved, John 1:12 because we receive Christ first, and John 3:16 where God saves those who believe, not who He chooses. 2 Peter 3:9 contradicts Unconditional Election because, "God is NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH" which includes the non-elect. Limited Atonement is refuted by 1 John 2:2,"And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Let me stop and say that if this point were true that God did not die for the sins of the unelect, thus God created them just to fuel the fires of Hell! Do you really think that is Biblical? Irrisistable Grace basically says that God regenerates or saves a sinner against the sinners will because he is too "corrupt"(Total Inability) to receive Christ on his own. Its irrisistable because the elect cannot refuse it. Yet Christ said to Jerusalem, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem...how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT! That looks like they refused God to me. Perseverance of the saints I agree with by my definition of "Once saved, always saved." However, Calvin defines it as if the elect can persevere themselves. I believe God perseveres you. Lastly, John Calvin burned Michael Servetus to the stake just because he disagreed with him.
Pro claimed that Total Depravity (here called Total Inability) is contradicted by Ephesians 1:13, John 1:12 and John 3:16, "where God saves those who believe, not those who He chooses".
Rebuttal on Total Depravity:
Ephesians 1:13 (In Context) - In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth , the gospel of your salvation
Point 1.> We trusted God after we heard the Gospel. We can cross-reference this passage to Romans 10:17, which states: "So then, faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Very clearly, faith comes to you after hearing the powerful word of God. If you wish, we can cross-reference the origin of faith also. In Romans 12:3 Paul states:
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
You may think you chose to believe but the word of God tells me that you heard the Gospel (which is not yours). The Gospel caused faith to come to you (you did not come to faith) and that the faith you needed to believe came from God, as he gave you a certain measure (or amount). As a final thought on this, you may review Hebrews 12:2, which states: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
You own nothing in your own salvation. "Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling."
Point 2.> We where sealed with the Spirit after we believed. As outlined in point 1, faith comes from God so this assertion no longer suits your case, but rather mine. Consider 1 John 4:19 which states: We love him, because he first loved us.
Ephesians 1:13 affirmed through reformed theology.
John 1:12 (In context): - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Amazing passage. Why did you you quote this again? to them gave he power to become the sons of God. This is not a passage of self-sufficiency. This passage embellishes that Jesus (God) gave you the power to become a son of God. So, not by your own power but by God's power do you come to salvation. Simple.
John 1:12 affirmed through reformed theology.
John 3:16 (In context): - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Let me get this straight: God loved the world enough to give his only son to save you, the he gives you the Gospel, he gives the faith to believe it and he gives the spirit to guide you and you still think you have a chapter to write in your own salvation? How does this verse make you responsible for any portion of it? You would have to ignore the BIBLE to make this work.
Yes, this verse states that we need to believe to receive everlasting life but in another book of the Bible, we find out where this faith comes from. Are you going to delete Hebrews, 1 John, Romans and the entire old testament because the idea of a fully sufficient savior bothers your feelings of autonomy?
John 3:16 affirmed through reformed theology.
Rebuttal on Unconditional Election:
2 Peter 3:9 (In Context): - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Another wonderful scripture. This text gets thrown at Calvinist like a "finishing move" in Mortal Combat. If only it where so easy to dispose of the truth. Alas, it is not.
When this text states that "all" should come to repentance, it's not speaking globally, much like when "a teacher is getting ready to start a class and asks his students, "Are all here?"  Read this passage carefully: God is "longsuffering to us"," not willing that any (of us) should perish, but that all (of us) should come to repentance."
How do I know this? By reading the 1st sentence of this scripture. 2 Peter 1:1 states: Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
This message is not for the world, this message is for those who would hear the Gospel and come to faith. If this scripture had claimed: "to everyone who by their own will chooses precious faith with us through our own righteousness:" then I could see your point.
Unfortunately, Peter clearly states that this letter is to his "beloved" and the "elect", who have obtained precious faith through the righteousness of God, not themselves.
2 Peter 3:9 affirmed through reformed theology.
Rebuttal on Limited Atonement:
1 John 2:2 (In Context):- And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
This passage is so flagrantly misused to battle Limited Atonement, that it makes my head spin with anger. How could people just regurgitate a single scripture without having studied it, cross-referenced it, looked upon the original Greek or even taking the simple step of understanding whom this letter is for?
To start, let's cross reference this scripture to John 11:51.
It is apparent that the "whole world" is a reference to "not just Jews, but Gentiles also".
We can cross-reference this again with:
Then we must acquire evidence to support that salvation is limited to his church:
1 John 2:2 affirmed through reformed theology.
Food for thought from Jacob Arminius:
"After the reading of Scripture, which I strenuously inculcate, and more than any other ... I recommend that the Commentaries of Calvin be read ... For I affirm that in the interpretation of the Scriptures Calvin is incomparable, and that his Commentaries are more to be valued than anything that is handed down to us in the writings of the Fathers -- so much that I concede to him a certain spirit of prophecy in which he stands distinguished above others, above most, indeed, above all"
-Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609)
Ephesians 1:13 - KJV
John 1:12 - KJV
John 3:16 - KJV
2 Peter 3:9 - KJV
Isaiah 53:8 - KJV
Mathew 1:21 - KJV
Act 20:28 - KJV
1 John 2:2 - KJV
Now concerning Total Depravity, my opponent is claiming that if a non-elect person were to beg to God on his knees to not send him to Hell, it wouldnt matter because God would still send him to Hell because God just DID NOT CHOOSE HIM. Sound fair? Further, when God told Adam to not eat from the tree, God was really willing it for Adam to eat from the tree. It wasn't Adam's free will that did it, God willed it to happen and then punished Adam for it afterwards! My opponent also glanced over John 3:16. Why would God say, "that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH" when He already chose the elect before the foundation of the world? It wasn't really "whosoever" if it was JUST the elect, now is it? Ephesians 1:13 says "ye believed" AFTER "ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise." You BELIEVE FIRST, THEN get saved. John 1:12 says God gave power to "as many as received Him" FIRST. You must receive Him before you get power.
Concerning Unconditional Election, Simon Peter said the "elect" were those "sprinkled by the blood of Christ." That sounds CONDITIONAL to me. You cant get the blood of Christ by being in Christ, but you have to trust Him first(Ephesians 1:13). Election is CONDITIONED upon SALVATION.
Now with Limited Atonement, my opponent is going to have to ignore a plethera of verses. Consider 1 Timothy 2:4, [God] "who will have ALL MEN TO BE SAVED." Verse 6, "Who gave himself a ransom for ALL." 2 Peter 2:1 says false prophets were BOUGHT by the Lord. To be bought, means God atoned for their sins. Further my opponent quotes verses from Isaiah 53:8 and Matthew 1:21 which concerns THE JEWS NOT GENTILES. Unless my opponent is a Jew, then even he is not one of the elect if the elect are Jews. "His people" is a reference to Jews, not Gentiles.
Now my opponent failed to talk about Michael Servetus being burned at the stake by John Calvin. This quote from Arminius hurts him more than helps him. It shows how much nicer Arminius was compared to Calvin who killed people. Arminius never killed anyone and showed respect to his enemy-John Calvin. Further let me mention that John Calvin grew up as a Roman Catholic and kept many of their traditions: infant baptism, transubstantion, the sacraments, amillenial(my opponent is a Baptist and most Baptists are premillenial!) and killed those who disagreed with him. Jacob Arminius was much more Protestant than Calvin, after all, Arminius rejected the sacraments of the Catholic Church.
My opponent says I'm avoiding Hebrews, Romans, and 1 John. Well, let me use them then. 1 John 2:2 I already used earlier. Hebrews 10:29 destroys Limited Atonement. It says, "how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and HATH COUNTED THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHEREWITH HE WAS SANCTIFIED, AN UNHOLY THING,(God ATONED for his sins), AND HATH DONE DESPITE UNTO THE SPIRIT OF GRACE? There also goes Irrisistable Grace out the window because someone resisted the Spirit of grace.
Now the idea of God creating some people to be saved and others not to be saved is BLASPHEMOUS. Calvinism is saying God created some people to be saved and others to ,"Fuel the fires of Hell"(R. C. Sproul- Calvinist).
I am not exaggerating one bit. Calvinists admit that man has no free will to receive Christ and God arbitrarily chose some to be saved and others to fuel the fires of Hell. Doesn't this border on the definition of a cult?
Pro said:” Now concerning Total Depravity, my opponent is claiming that if a non-elect person were to beg to God on his knees to not send him to Hell, it wouldnt matter because God would still send him to Hell
Rebuttal: No, that does not sound fair. You defined Total Depravity in your opening statement. Shall I remind you: “This means that man is so depraved that he cannot repent and accept the Gospel by his own free will. God has to regenerate you and only if your one of the elect.”
A non-elect person begging God on his knees not to send him to Hell is a doctrinal impossibility.
Total Depravity maintained.
Pro said: “Further, when God told Adam to not eat from the tree, God was really willing it for Adam to eat from the tree. It wasn't Adam's free will that did it, God willed it to happen and then punished Adam for it afterwards! “
Rebuttal: Interesting objection. Let’s say that Adam did have free will. Let’s assume that Adam chose
“Argh ye Matey! Seems we be in the same boat here!” Unfortunately, both examples end with God “electing”
Pro said:” My opponent also glanced over John 3:16. ...... Ephesians 1:13 says
Rebuttal: Let’s read John 3 in context:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that
We can clearly see that Christ came to save someone. We can also see that the people he came to save are evil and furthermore, they like being evil. So if men love darkness, choosing it over light, then we have
John 6:44 – “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:”
I submit to the voter, the words of Jesus Christ. In John 6:44 we come to understand that no man can come to Jesus unless the father draws them to Christ. If this is not true then Christ is a liar and our faith is in vain. We cannot throw John 3:16 around as a staple of “free will”. Just three chapters later we are shown, by Jesus himself (the authority), that the mechanics of salvation require God to draw evil men unto Christ. Ignore this and stand in heresy.
Next my opponent makes another heretical claim. Let us read Ephesians 1:13 again my friend:
The real thing: in whom also after that ye believed (believe first), ye were sealed with that holy
Your thing: "ye believed" AFTER "ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise.
I will comment no further on this until my opponent produces literal scripture to assert his point.
Pro said: “Concerning Unconditional Election, Simon Peter said the "elect" were those "sprinkled by the blood of Christ." That sounds CONDITIONAL to me. You cant get the blood of Christ by being in Christ, but you have to trust Him first(Ephesians 1:13). Election is CONDITIONED upon SALVATION.”
Rebuttal: This whole paragraph is quite the pile of nonsense. You can’t get the blood of Christ by being in Christ? Really? (Jaw drops) Anyways, let’s read what Peter actually wrote:
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto
The sprinkling of the blood of Christ refers to Levitican Law. Sprinkling the blood unto the Altar, as described in Leviticus, is the atonement for sin. This verse speaks to the reason of Peter’s sanctification, specifically that he pleads the blood of Christ for his sanctification. What does this have to do with the doctrine of election?
Pro said: Now with Limited Atonement, my opponent is going to have to ignore a plethera of verses. ... Further my opponent quotes verses from Isaiah 53:8 and Matthew 1:21 which concerns THE JEWS NOT GENTILES.
Unless my opponent is a Jew, then even he is not one of the elect if the elect are Jews. "His people" is a reference to Jews, not Gentiles.
Rebuttal: This is not an ad hominem, but did you read the verses I supplied? Your rebuttal has absolutely zero relevance. The Gentiles have hope for salvation through Christ and are thus also “his people”.
Pro said: "This quote from Arminius hurts him more than helps him. It shows how much nicer
Rebuttal: My opponent would paint Calvin with the “sinner” brush. I will whole-heartedly concede this point to the glory of God. Is it not amazing that a murderer like Calvin was inspired to unfold the Gospel to such a height that his adversaries called him a prophet? I dare say, only one man reached a more perverse depth of sin
and offense unto God. That of course being the Apostle Paul, a man who called himself the “Chief of sinners”. On an unrelated note, he wrote most of the New Testament Bible. Sin (be it murder or slander or thievery) does not bar a man from confessing Christ and glorifying God. Luke 23:43 - And Jesus said unto him,Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Pro said: ” Further let me mention that John Calvin grew up as a Roman Catholic and kept many of their traditions: ..... Jacob Arminius was much more Protestant than Calvin, after all, Arminius rejected the
Rebuttal: “Wonderful points. A little history about the doctrines of Grace, Calvin had little to do with them. As per
“Calvinist theology is sometimes identified with the five points of Calvinism, also called the doctrines of grace,... and which serve as a summation of the judgments rendered by the Synod of Dort in 1619.Calvin himself never used such a model and never combated Arminianism directly. In fact, Calvin died in 1564 and Jacob Arminias was born in 1560, and so the men were not contemporaries. The Articles of Remonstrance were authored by
Pro said: Now the idea of God creating some people to be saved and others not to be saved is BLASPHEMOUS.
Rebuttal: The Jews are the chosen, elected people of God. The Old Testament is the prime example in which God uses election to favor a few out of the many. I dare say it’s blasphemous to claim that God does NOT elect.
Con said, "A non-elect person begging God on his knees not to send him to Hell is a doctrinal impossibility." Yet, Romans 10:13 says, " For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." You see, if you apply this to ONLY the ELECT, then the elect are begging or asking God to ave them, "Call upon the name of the Lord." But according to Con, not even the elect can repent, because "God has to regenerate you." Calvinist Bob Ross agrees with this. If this is true, then how can ANYONE "call upon the name of the Lord." Notice you have to "call upon God" BEFORE you get saved, NOT God regenerates you, and then you call upon the name of the Lord.
So, if my opponent is right, NOT EVEN THE ELECT CAN ASK God to save them, its a "doctrinal impossibility." No, my friend, Total Depravity, or Total Inability is nonsense.
Now, Con admits the how illogical Calvinism is when he says, "Let's say that Adam did have free will. Let's assume that Adam chose to eat the apple." Do you see what Con has admitted too? He admits that he believes Adam had no free will to eat the apple. Thus, God is now the author of sin, because, "Adam was forced to eat the apple" according to Con. And then, God punishes Adam for forcing him to eat what he wasn't supposed to eat! UNBELIEVABLE!
Now, Con believes that even if Adam CHOSE to eat the apple, God still let it happen, so God "elected" for sin to occur according to Con. There is a problem with that though. If God gave Adam the choice,(Which He Did), then it was God's test to see what man would do. Obviously God did not want Adam to sin, since God cannot sin(Numbers 23:19). It's similar to when a parent tells a child to not put his hand in the cookie jar. They buy the jar and tell the kid not to eat from it, and they know he will. It's a test. Could they prevent it? Sure, just don't buy cookie jars. Do they want their kid to mess up? No. Do they know the outcome though? Yes.
God did not want sin to occur Con.
Now, Con tries to use John 6:44 as if this is going to seal the debate. But, Con forgets John 12:32. You have to compare 6:44 with 12:32 to get the full meaning. John 6:44 tells you that the Father draws men to him. But when you compare that with John 12:32 you find that God draws ALL MEN TO HIM. Thus all unsaved sinners are the elect. John 12:32 says, "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw ALL MEN UNTO ME." There is the rebuttal. If God has to draw the elect to him, then ALL MEN, NOT SOME, ARE THE ELECT according to John 12:32.
Concerning Ephesians 1:13, I believe my opponent misunderstood my claim. You must believe first, according to the verse, THEN (I used after, must have confused Con) you are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Thus, God CANNOT regenerate you FIRST(getting the Holy Spirit), YOU MUST BELIEVE FIRST. If men are to wicked to BELIEVE FIRST(Total Depravity) then God would have to regenerate you, BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT EPHESIANS 1:13 SAYS.
Concerning 1 Peter 1:2, IT DESTROYS UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION because ELECTION is based on God's foreknowledge of a person appropriating Christ's blood atonement for sin and sanctification of the Spirit. IT IS NOT based on God's sovereign pleasure.
My opponent ignores my argument with Limited Atonement. I supplied 1 Timothy 2:4, 6 and 2 Peter 2:1 and he failed to comment on them. Perhaps I misunderstood his Jew and Gentile argument, let me clarify, I also believe Jews and Gentiles can be saved.
Concerning John Calvin, my opponent skirts the issue with Servetus and tries to compare Calvin to Paul. Yes, Paul killed people as did Calvin. Do you know what the difference is? Listen up now Con. Paul killed people BEFORE HE WAS SAVED. John Calvin killed people AFTER HE WAS SAVED, at least Calvinists would consider him "saved" by the time he burned Servetus!
Further, it doesn't matter if Calvin had little to do with the 5 points at all. You guys still call yourself "Calvinists" and still try to defend Calvin. If you think Augustine had more to do with the 5 points(which most say Augustine did) then why not call yourselfs "Augustinians."
Again, my opponent admits that God created some people to "fuel the fires of Hell." He says it's "blasphemous that God does not elect." May I say again, that God SAID He will draw "ALL MEN UNTO ME." Yes, the Jews are God's chosen people, but God came to "seek and to save that which was lost." He came for Jew and Gentile.
Pro said: "Con said, "A non-elect person begging God on his knees not to send him to Hell is a doctrinal impossibility." Yet, Romans 10:13 says, " For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Rebuttal: Interesting assumption. My opponent believes that everyone who calls upon God is saved. That's a mighty generous Utopian doctrine, yet it's flagrantly heretical. Romans 10:13 is conditional. "Whosoever" does not mean everyone. Consider:
Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
It appears, "whosoever" calls upon the name of the Lord, needs to meet some other condition outside of simply crying "Lord, Lord". That condition is a genuine desire for God. How does genuine faith come to a person? Well, we covered that already:
Romans 12:3 - ... according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
God gives you the faith. Nobody can come to Christ except by the Father who draws them. It's really, really simple.
Pro said: "So, if my opponent is right, NOT EVEN THE ELECT CAN ASK God to save them, its a "doctrinal impossibility." No, my friend, Total Depravity, or Total Inability is nonsense."
Rebuttal: You're right, the elect cannot ask God to save them, unless God calls them unto himself! I thought we covered this. The elect are just as dead in their sin as everyone else. It takes the command of the divine to wake them to life. "Lazarus, rise up."
Did Lazarus ask Christ to restore his life? Of course not, that's impossible. The dead do not choose life. Which brings up an interesting point: If the dead cannot choose life and the Bible call you "dead in your trespasses", how can you choose God unless he calls out to you:" Rise up!" ?
Pro said: "God is now the author of sin, because, "Adam was forced to eat the apple" according to Con. And then, God punishes Adam for forcing him to eat what he wasn't supposed to eat! UNBELIEVABLE!"
Exodus 4:21 - "And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return unto Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go." (He just made it impossible for Pharaoh to turn away from sin.)
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. (So, God manipulated Pharaoh into sinning against him so that he could destroy him. That sounds alot like a God that Pro insists does not exist.)
It appears that God raised up Pharaoh to power, just so he could destroy him and thus (ready for this example of election?) glorify his name before his "chosen, elected, handpicked" Jewish people.
Pro said:"There is a problem with that though. If God gave Adam the choice,(Which He Did), then it was God's test to see what man would do."
Rebuttal: So your God is not omniscient? He is so limited in power, he needs to experiment? My father, the God who wrote this Bible, did not need to "test" Adam.
The whole Bible is full of examples where God displays to us that we need him. Every law he sets up, we fail to keep it. He does not give us laws to make us better or to test us, he gives us laws so that we recognize our sin. This is not some "cosmic challenge" to see who passes his test.
Romans 5:20 - Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
It starts with:" Don't eat the apple". It continues with a whole list of:" Thou shalt not..." and we fail those also. Eventually, we are presented with Jesus, who is God, telling us face to face:"You need me! Stop trying to work out your own righteousness. You're going to fail!"
Gal 3:23-25 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
The Apple was not a test. That is the worst interpretation of Genesis I have ever heard.
Pro said: "If God has to draw the elect to him, then ALL MEN, NOT SOME, ARE THE ELECT according to John 12:32."
Rebuttal: "All means all!" (Nope). Read the verses again.
In John 6:44, Jesus said that he will raise up those who where drawn to him. Those whom he draws, go to heaven.
In John 12:32 he said that he would draw all men unto himself. If he meant the whole world, then Jesus just stated that nobody will go to hell. Do you see the problem with assuming that "all really means all"?
That verse means, he will draw all of those whom he elected. If he draws the whole world to himself, then explain Matthew 7:21. A sports news-caster said:" I watched the Bruins game last night. I asked them all to meet with me for an interview." Did he mean the whole world or did this context imply the Hockey players? Context needs to be observed. We know the context by studying other scripture that speaks on this exact same issue.
Pro stated: "Concerning Ephesians 1:13, I believe my opponent misunderstood my claim.....THAT IS NOT WHAT EPHESIANS 1:13 SAYS."
Rebuttal: Hopefully we get this settled.
1.> God calls his elects, usually through the preaching of scripture, they hear him. (By hearing comes faith, which is given and made perfect by God.)
2.> The heart is regenerated with a supernatural desire for God. (Salvation).
3.> The Holy Spirit enters the heart of the believer at the moment of repentance and salvation.
Ephesians 1:13 says: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
No conflict. Argument extended.
On 1 Timothy 2:4
Rebuttal: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; ..... 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. .....8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."
Pray for all types of men. Not just peasants and tax collectors, but Kings and Generals. God will draw the rich and the poor. (Not the whole world, just all types of men.)
Context! Argument extended.
Pro said: "Paul killed people BEFORE HE WAS SAVED. John Calvin killed people AFTER HE WAS SAVED"
Rebuttal: Did my opponent just claim that saved people don't sin? I think he did. Marvelous folly. What does the Bible say about sin after salvation:
"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
This is a silly argument. If everyone who was found righteous by faith is incapable of sin, then Abraham is in deep trouble.
My opponent uses Matthew 7:21 to prove Romans 10:13 is conditional, but that is not a good verse to use. First off, the people in Matthew 7:21 were trusting in their works, not Christ alone. Notice they said, "Have we not prophesied in thy name? and cast out devils? and in thy name DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS?" These people went to Hell because they were trusting in their works, instead of Christ. Romans 10:13 says "WHOSOEVER" and the last I checked, THAT INCLUDES EVERYBODY.
Concerning Lazarus, there is a world of difference between physical life and spiritual life. Yes a dead man(physically) cannot choose life, but for that matter, he can't choose evil, either. In fact, he can't choose anything at all. A spiritual man thats "dead in trespasses and sins" can still choose to do good or evil. Even Jesus Christ said that the unregenerate do good, for Luke 6:33 says, "And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for SINNERS ALSO DO EVEN THE SAME." Your analogy between physical and spiritual life does not fit perfectly, which is a problem when trying to compare the two.
I do believe God allows sin. But there is a vast difference between forcing someone to sin, and just allowing it to happen. Your claiming God forced Adam to sin. That's like saying that when a teenager is offered drugs, God is there forcing him to take drugs. Concerning Pharaoh, God did not harden his heart until AFTER he rejected God's words in Exodus 5:1-9. I believe a fellow can sin so much, he is never bothered by his sin again, but notice he was bothered by them at one time-meaning his conscience. Pharaoh did have the free will to let the Jews go, for once his son died, he CHOOSE to let the Jews go(Exodus 12:31). If God had hardened his heart to the point where Pharaoh just kept sinning, having his son die wouldn't have bothered him at all.
Now concerning Adam's test, my opponent claims God doesn't test us. Really? How about when God told Abraham to offer up Issac as a sacrifice? Wasn't that a test of Abraham's faith? How about when Moses and David and Paul despaired of life in their journey's, wasn't God testing them? Paul said he was "pressed out of measure"(2 Cor. 1:8). Wasn't that a test? No, my friend, the Bible makes it plain that God does indeed test people, while knowing the outcome, so He is omnisicient.
My opponent is wrong. ALL MEANS ALL. That is the root of the problem with Calvinism. When the Bible clearly says "all" the Calvinist always has to INTERPRET what that means. I trust in what it SAYS, not how I interpret it. Further John 12:32 states how he will "draw all men unto himself." It says, "And I, IF I BE LIFTED UP, will draw all men unto me." As long as Christ is lifted up, no one will go to Hell. But Christ has not been lifted up everywhere, so people still go to Hell. Again, the people in Matthew 7:21 never trusted Christ when He was lifted up, they trusted their works.
My opponent is right that we need the context to determine what "all" means. And Christ was talking about the world in John 12 verse 31 which leads to verse 32. Further, if He wasn't talking about ALL MEN, then pray tell, what ALL MEN was he talking about? Don't say the "elect" because then the "elect" is all men, my friend.
Concerning Ephesians 1:13, it says that you believe FIRST, then get saved. It DOES NOT say, God regenerates you, then you believe.
Concerning 1 Tim. 2:4, again, my opponent has INTERPRETED it to MEAN ALL TYPES OF MEN. But if so, why doesn't it just say that? 1 John 2:2 does say,"the whole world." How do you interpret that to mean something else? I take the Bible by what it says, not what someone interprets it to mean.
Now, I do believe that saved people do sin. Don't assume you know something until your sure of it, Con. But I don't remember any saved person IN THE BIBLE Killing someone over doctrine. Further saved people don't sin unless their backslidden, and its strange seeing a SAVED person get backslidden over hearing the "false doctrine of Servetus." How do you get backslidden by just hearing different doctrine THAT CALVIN DISAGREED WITH ALREADY! Tell me how that's possible Con.
Here is Some Food For Thought
Let me conclude with this poem: O Horrible Decree
Ah! Gentle, gracious Dove,
And art thou grieved in me,
That sinners should restrain thy love,
And say, "It is not free:
It is not free for all:
The most, thou passest by,
And mockest with a fruitless call
Whom thou hast doomed to die."
They think thee not sincere
In giving each his day,
" Thou only draw'st the sinner near
To cast him quite away,
To aggravate his sin,
His sure damnation seal:
Thou show'st him heaven, and say'st, go in
And thrusts him into hell."
O HORRIBLE DECREE
Worthy of whence it came!
Forgive their hellish blasphemy
Who charge it on the Lamb:
Whose pity him inclined
To leave his throne above,
The friend, and Saviour of mankind,
The God of grace, and love.
O gracious, loving Lord,
I feel thy bowels yearn;
For those who slight the gospel word
I share in thy concern:
How art thou grieved to be
By ransomed worms withstood!
How dost thou bleed afresh to see
Them trample on thy blood!
To limit thee they dare,
Blaspheme thee to thy face,
Deny their fellow-worms a share
In thy redeeming grace:
All for their own they take,
Thy righteousness engross,
Of none effect to most they make
The merits of thy cross.
Sinners, abhor the fiend:
His other gospel hear—
"The God of truth did not intend
The thing his words declare,
He offers grace to all,
Which most cannot embrace,
Mocked with an ineffectual call
And insufficient grace.
"The righteous God consigned
Them over to their doom,
And sent the Saviour of mankind
To damn them from the womb;
To damn for falling short,
"Of what they could not do,
For not believing the report
Of that which was not true.
"The God of love passed by
The most of those that fell,
Ordained poor reprobates to die,
And forced them into hell."
"He did not do the deed"
(Some have more mildly raved)
"He did not damn them—but decreed
They never should be saved.
"He did not them bereave
Of life, or stop their breath,
His grace he only would not give,
And starved their souls to death."
But still, all-gracious God,
They charge the sinner's death on thee,
Who bought'st him with thy blood.
They think with shrieks and cries
To please the Lord of hosts,
And offer thee, in sacrifice
Millions of slaughtered ghosts:
With newborn babes they fill
The dire infernal shade,
"For such," they say, "was thy great will,
Before the world was made."
How long, O God, how long
Shall Satan's rage proceed!
Wilt thou not soon avenge the wrong,
And crush the serpent's head?
Surely thou shalt at last
Bruise him beneath our feet:
The devil and his doctrine cast
Into the burning pit.
Arise, O God, arise,
Thy glorious truth maintain,
Hold forth the bloody sacrifice,
For every sinner slain!
Defend thy mercy's cause,
Thy grace divinely free,
Lift up the standard of thy cross,
Draw all men unto thee.
O vindicate thy grace,
Which every soul may prove,
Us in thy arms of love embrace,
Of everlasting love.
Give the pure gospel word,
Thy preachers multiply,
Let all confess their common Lord,
And dare for him to die.
My life I here present,
My heart's last drop of blood,
O let it all be freely spent
In proof that thou art good,
Art good to all that breathe,
Who all may pardon have:
Thou willest not the sinner's death,
But all the world wouldst save.
O take me at my word,
But arm me with thy power,
Then call me forth to suffer, Lord,
To meet the fiery hour:
In death will I proclaim
That all may hear thy call,
And clap my hands amidst the flame,
And shout,—HE DIED FOR ALL
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Pro stated: “My opponent uses Matthew 7:21 to prove Romans 10:13 is conditional, but that is not a good verse to use. First off, the people in Matthew 7:21 were trusting in their works, not Christ alone.”
Conclusive Rebuttal: I’m not sure what my opponent’s objection is designed to establish. He is absolutely correct in his understanding of Matthew 7:21. The people in that verse did not trust in Christ, yet still called out to the Lord. Therefor my opponent agrees; not everyone who cries out to God is saved, which means Romans 10:13 is indeed conditional.
Pro said: A spiritual man thats "dead in trespasses and sins" can still choose to do good or evil.
Conclusive Rebuttal: No they cannot. You speak of relative morality. We are not speaking of good deeds between men, we’re speaking of good deeds between men and God. God does not find a single shred of good in you:
A spiritual man that’s dead in trespasses and sin cannot choose to do good, by any measure. To claim otherwise is outright heresy. When Jesus made reference to sinners treating each other good, it was concerning a relative morality. We are not discussing what men consider good. Calvin’s doctrine is concerned with what merits righteousness (God’s standard). Jesus said:” Only God is good.”
My Argument is sustained with extreme prejudice.
Pro said: “I do believe God allows sin. But there is a vast difference between forcing someone to sin, and just allowing it to happen. Your claiming God forced Adam to sin.”
Conclusive rebuttal: I never said God forced Adam to sin. I said Adam does not have free will.
“The issue is not that we have sinned, the issue is: We’ve never done anything but sin.” – Paul Washer
Pro’s Argument is negated.
Pro said: “Concerning Pharaoh, God did not harden his heart until AFTER he rejected God's words in Exodus 5:1-9. I believe a fellow can sin so much, …”
Conclusive Rebuttal: I’m not concerned with what you believe. I’m concerned with what scripture states. Scripture states that God raised Pharaoh up to be destroyed. You can dance around the verse all you want. In fact, you may have a very elegant and well-composed argument but if it’s not supported by scripture, it’s sophisticated garbage. Stick to scripture, not opinions.
Pro’s Argument is negated.
Conclusive statement: Again you put words in my mouth. I did not say that God doesn’t test us, I said the Apple was not a test. I also said that God doesn’t experiment because that suggests he does not know the answer.
When God sent the Angel to test Abraham, it was not because he didn’t know how faithful Abraham would be. He tested Abraham to inform you of Abraham’s faith. You’re the one with limited understanding and knowledge, not God.
Pro stated: My opponent is wrong. ALL MEANS ALL. That is the root of the problem with Calvinism. When the Bible clearly says "all" the Calvinist always has to INTERPRET what that means. I trust in what it SAYS, not how I interpret it.
Rebuttal: This is a borderline ad hominem. I’m not going to discuss your personal dislikes of Calvinism or your character attacks on my ability to reason. Stick to the scripture.
Pro claims: Further John 12:32 states how he will "draw all men unto himself." It says, "And I, IF I BE LIFTED UP, will draw all men unto me." As long as Christ is lifted up, no one will go to Hell. But Christ has not been lifted up everywhere, so people still go to Hell. Again, the people in Matthew 7:21 never trusted Christ when He was lifted up, they trusted their works.
Rebuttal: Out of context. The verse states “32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
This has nothing to do with men “lifting up Christ and confessing him”. This verse is about the resurrection. You conveniently left out the location from where he would be raised, so that you could make it sound “universal”. Heresy!
Pro said: 1 John 2:2 does say,"the whole world." How do you interpret that to mean something else? I take the Bible by what it says, not what someone interprets it to mean.
Rebuttal: I already addressed 1 John 2:2 in round 2. By “the whole world”, he meant all nations, both Jews and Greeks. Again, this speaks to the type of people Jesus will save. The stereotype has been that the Jews are elect and the Greeks are dogs. 1 John 2:2 is a stumbling block for the Jews and fulfills the prophecy that the Gentiles can hope in the Christ also. This is getting redundant.
Pro said: “..But I don't remember any saved person IN THE BIBLE Killing someone over doctrine. “
Rebuttal: Right, because murder is the worst possible sin. (Not) I clearly recall one of the early apostles denying Christ before men, and not just once.
What about Peter taking the sword to the Roman soldier and dismembering his ear? If Peter was ready to kill to protect his Lord, why would you hold him to a higher standard than Calvin? The only difference between the two is that Christ was present with Peter and prevented him from actually killing the guy.
The early apostles where no different than the puritan witch hunters in Salem. They loved Christ but more often than not they clung on to their culture, not their faith. Calvin was no different and for the record, nobody is advocating that the man is a saint. He had an awful temper and I probably would not get along with the guy, but he understood the scripture with a clarity that has since been unmatched and there was not a single fiber in his being that sought to create a “cult” worship of a false doctrine.
Rebuttal: Do you have any scripture to prove that this is not possible? What kind of objection is this? Are you making an appeal to psychology? Allow me to reply:” How can you NOT backslide into rage after being saturated in something that you loathe?” I can confess my own iniquity. Quite often, when faced with the prosperity gospel, I find myself deeply, deeply angered. Their doctrine is so offensive to my heart that it is better for me to walk away, than it would be to engage.
Your question suggests that Calvin should have been a robot, cold and emotionless.
Pro attempted to discredit the doctrines of Grace and was met with sound scriptural opposition.
At no point in this debate did my opponent establish a cause or reason for the voter to assume that Calvin is a cult leader or that Calvinism is a cult religion.
I therefor strongly urge a vote for Con.
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