The Instigator
Crede
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Marauder
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Eternal Security is a True Christian Doctrine

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Marauder
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/5/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,237 times Debate No: 18642
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (60)
Votes (3)

 

Crede

Pro

Eternal security is known by a few names. Here are the two most common:
- Once saved always saved.
- Once in grace always in grace.

I will be arguing for the truth behind eternal security. In other words I will be arguing that once someone is saved according to the Christian doctrine of being born again (accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior and by acknowledging his resurrection of body and soul in atonement for our sins) then they can never again lose or forfeit it.

For someone to accept the Con position they must only have an argument with the assumption that Christianity is true and the bible is the inherent word of God. This is a Christian vs. Christian debate as it only pertains to Christian beliefs among fellow believers. If you are not a Christian you can accept the debate if you just want to debate it from the standpoint of a Christian. However anybody that accepts this debate and then takes the point that all of Christianity is false and therefore eternal security is false, then they are going against the intent of the debate and will be considered an automatic forfeit loss of the entire debate.

So Con's position will presuppose that Christianity is true, the bible is the true word of God, and so his argument can be either scripture or theologically based.

Debate structure:
Round 1: Acceptance and clarification / definition of words if necessary.

Round 2: Opening argument and further understanding of definitions.

Round 3: Rebuttal of arguments and further establishing of their own argument.

Round 4: No new arguments given here as the opponent will not have another round to refute the evidence. This round will consist of further rebuttals of their opponents arguments, summarization of their points, and their conclusion.

4 rounds total, 8000 character limit, 6 month voting period.

Good luck!!
Marauder

Con

I thank my opponent for starting this debate. I have no trouble with any of the conditions, I often put the same ones in front of my own debates to accept it as axiomatic that the bible is the true word of God, that God exist, ect.

I have no trouble with any of the definitions, I understand all the terms and concepts. Should it become apparent that we differ on some the terms debating those later will no doubt be half the fun of the debate.

I apologize in advance if my opponent was hoping to get in decent scripture battle with the Con of this debate. Though I will try and use scripture with my arguments as they are always important in any Christian debate, I have found arguing from theology is my stronger suite and what I have more drive for giving.

As per the conditions my opponent gave that is all I submit this round.

I await my opponents opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
Crede

Pro

Eternal Security

The coined phrase for this concept “once saved always saved” almost sounds like a silly mantra that Christians will use sometimes in describing the all encompassing salvation they have obtained. I say obtain rather than attain because no amount of labor is required of an individual to acquire salvation, but it is an acceptance of grace given by the Lord Jesus Christ. I personally used to cringe slightly when I would hear Christians use “once saved always saved”, “or once in grace always in grace”, because I thought it was an easy way out. I thought it was a way for Christians to not feel guilty when someone they knew became a Christian, and then fell away from Christ. I thought it was an excuse for them to not have to confront their former believer in love, and was their way of just brushing the problem under the rug. Unfortunately some Christians do this. Also equally as unfortunate is that I believe these Christians in doing this are sinning.

Scripture

So does eternal security have any biblical backing? Does the bible say anything about it one way or the other? One thing for sure the bible does talk about is God’s love and blessings will be withheld from a Christian who is not walking with Christ. However never does it say the Christians actual salvation, if truly once obtained, is lost. Let’s examine some scripture and see what God has to say about this issue.

1st Corinthians 3:11-15
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

This is a fantastic piece of scripture showing us that once we have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and being then saved, have a foundation that cannot be destroyed. That foundation is our salvation, and our salvation is Jesus Christ. Now it does say if you live a life (building your house on the foundation) that is not for God, it will be burned up and destroyed. If you live your life for God you will be building your house with gold, silver, and costly stones. In other words your house will stand the test of fire. Now if your house burns, the foundation will still be there as in verse 15. Here it says you will still be saved, but it will be as though you were barely escaping the fire.

Moving on to a more difficult passage of scripture. One that at first looks like it unmistakably puts a dagger in the heart of eternal security, but actually is a testament to the truth behind it.

Hebrews 6:4-6
4For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

First thing we have to identify in the passage is in verse 4 where the author uses the word “those”. In all of the surrounding scripture he uses the words we, and us, to describe him with the Jewish converts who were the recipient of this letter. So in using the word “those” he was making a hypothetical statement which is further identified a little bit later in verse 9: 9Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. So the question is, can one hypothetically lose or forfeit their salvation if they have fallen away? Well if this passage did read like that, then it would describe that once you lost or forfeited your salvation, you could never receive it again. So a new phrase would emerge of “once saved and then lost, always lost”.

So if someone does not progress to spiritual maturity does this mean they will lose their salvation and be damned? Well the scripture reads that it is impossible, because then it would require you to be in a way re-saved, which would require Jesus to be re-crucified. Since this is impossible, and since it would be a disgrace (contempt) to Jesus due to it implying that his crucifixion is not all-sufficient, his one and only crucifixion IS sufficient for all of your sin, and all of your salvation.

In fact later in the same chapter we have a confirmation of our eternal security.

Hebrews 6:13-20
13For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." 15And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

So when one swears on something higher than themselves (God), the oath is final for confirmation. God also guarantees it with his oath as shown in verse 17. So since God enters an oath with the saved person, it would then be impossible for you to lose your salvation because it would require God to break his oath, and in doing so would mean that God would lie. Verse 18 clearly says God cannot lie, and therefore we have a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.

Theology

Now my opponent stated he would argue more from a theological perspective which is fine. However the scripture I have shown I think solidifies my case for the truth behind eternal security. To give some theological thought to this however I think one can also realize that eternal security would be a wise decision by God to give us. If we didn’t have eternal security, if our salvation could be taken, lost, or forfeited, then Christians everywhere would live in fear. Never knowing whether their faith had waned enough to not qualify them for salvation, or if their sin began to pile up enough to disqualify them would create a fear driven body of Christ. Christ came not to give us darkness, but light, strength, and courage to be able to stand and say “Yes I’m a sinner, but through grace, and grace alone am I saved!” With eternal security having our backs we can stand up in confidence to preach the word knowing that our souls can give testimony to the eternal Holy Spirit that lives and works through us.

I think it is an amazing demonstration of God’s love to forgive us over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. Even once we are his children and we sin against him, he forgives us, no matter the sin. If you are saved, become a strong Christian, and then turn your back on Christ for 20 years, as soon as you turn around there he is ready to forgive you and bring you back to his love. Not only ready to forgive, but already has done so every step of the way securing you in his kingdom. Without this message of hope and love what really is the point in telling people that their sins can be forgiven? Gods love and forgiveness only has one condition, and that is to believe in the one he sent, our Lord Jesus Christ. No other conditions are applied to his limitless love.

Con good luck in your rebuttal, but I do hope you grow to to understand this message!
Marauder

Con

I thank my opponent for his well put together opening round and I do hope I grow in understanding and in the spirit after all my debates. Part of the reason I love debate is not that I might convince others of my views but that my own reservations that keep me from the truth when I am wrong get put to the fire.

After reading through Pro's arguments it would almost leave you thinking anyone who would take my position in this debate must be hinging the idea of there salvation on there works in some way. I do not. I understand Salvation to be as my opponent described it at the close of his arguments "God's love and forgiveness only has one condition, and that is to believe in the one he sent, our Lord Jesus Christ. No other conditions are applied to his limitless love."
But a person who is saved at one point in time could later lose that state of grace still. And like the way it is was not a matter of merit or works that got that person saved, it is also not merit or works that takes it away. It's the rejection of the name of Jesus Christ. When a believing Christian later in life declares himself an Atheist, which is essentially rejecting the salvation they once accepted.

To me, the person who's house burns down in the parable but built there house on a solid foundation is the kind of person who believes in the Eternal Security my opponent does and has used it as License to Sin. "I'm saved, and can't get unsaved, no matter what sin I do". True as that is if you live your life in sin, in rebellion to Gods will but still cling to "I'm relying on Jesus efforts not mine" you will be saved, but as the one whom only barely escaped the fire.

An atheist that once was Christian though is not like the person that built on the good foundation with straw and termite rotted wood. He is more like someone who strait up moved to another house built on another foundation, on the sandy beach of New Orleans.

Pro uses a passage about God's commitment to his covenant with Abraham to state salvation cannot be lost, or this would mean God is not up to keeping his commitment.

In Rebuttal I offer a link to another passage, Exodus 32: 7-14 http://www.biblegateway.com... At this point in the story in Exodus, Moses had not even got off the mountain yet when God gave him the 10 commandments before Israel was already breaking the first one, worshiping a Golden Calf. The Lord's response was to destroy Israel, with the exception of Moses and through Moses alone would he make the great nation that he promised Abraham in his covenant.

But Moses gave a petitioneiry prayer, asking God to spare Israel, and the Lord relented, changing his course of action. To me this is one of the most powerful scriptures that shows prayer really does work. Because if one can argue God only say's yes if he was already going to do that anyway, it was in his plan from the start, what is the point of prayer. It can have no point because God will do what he will do in indifference to our prayer. But in Exodus 32 we see God's plan of course of action and we see it altered after prayer. And make no mistake God could have really destroyed everyone at the bottom of that mountain, even Aaron, and started over with Moses. The covenant with Abraham would still be kept, Moses descendants are Abraham's descendants. It would have taken a little longer for Gods nation to be established, and there may have ended up a slightly different set of 12 tribes that made it up, but that would be okay.

But Moses asked God to do otherwise, and make his nation out of all of the people he brought out of Egypt not just Moses. And the Lord did. Though God is unchanging in character and makes good on all his promises, his covenants, that does not mean he does not ever change course of action. The fact that prayer works is a positive example of this fact, our breaking our covenants with him is just a negative example of this same fact.

Should we reject Jesus name, even if we once accepted it, we are terminating the covenant on our end. God has done nothing to cancel his promise of salvation in such events, we have.

This debate is not over the relationship between salvation and our works, its between the relationship of salvation and our wills. God so loved Adam and Eve that he allowed them to return that love in a meaningful way even if that meant permitting the possibility to chose to sin. He gave us Free Will. 2 Peter 3:9 "God is long-suffering toward us because his will is that none should parish. " And though he wills that none will enter hell many will because there wills was against there chance for salvation. This same factor of our Will that is behind what gets in the way of those who are lost to begin with and stay lost does not go away for us who are saved. Obviously our free will from god still exist or so many saved Christians would not have to deal with why they are still sinning even after they are saved. As free as we were and have to be to accept Jesus as our personal savior, that freedom is not gone when speaking of our ability to withdraw from that relationship.

Here is some actual biblical New Testament commentary on Moses and the Israelite's as well in Hebrews 3:7-19
http://www.biblegateway.com... Hebrews author's warning in verse's 12-13 particularly make no sense if you are to think he believed in eternal security. If he did, how could he even call his reader "brother and sister" if he thought they were not 'truly' saved and could possible turn away from the Lord. Clearly the author is talking to saved believers, and clearly he's still warning them to not fall away from God and to not let there hearts turn to rebellion. Clearly the author thinks there hearts can turn.

I think that's all need to put for this round. If I missed an argument that needed addressed please point it out to me.

I await my opponents response.
Debate Round No. 2
Crede

Pro

Thank you, Con for your response.

Rebuttal

First off I want the reader to understand that I do not think that Con would have to believe in a salvation of works to contest eternal security. Thankfully neither does Con. Con does state that it is a matter of a rejection of Jesus Christ that loses ones salvation. Rejection of Christ is a sin no doubt, which is exactly why your salvation is secure. Sin is sin is sin, and salvation forgives us of our sins. The sin of apostasy, also called falling away, or modernly called a rejection of Christ, is still a sin like all other sins in that it separates man from God.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The free gift of God is eternal my friends, eternal is a word that does not leave any gray area. Since rejecting Christ is a sin, it is forgiven by Christ.

Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

But wait, can we chose to not be in Christ Jesus once we have been saved? The question sounds as though it would be logical that we could chose to reject our salvation. But the real question here is “are we stronger than God?” We know we are absolutely not.

John 10:28-30
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one."

The word “never” leaves no room for sometimes. The words “no one” includes one self. The idea that you can lose your salvation would come from the idea that you were responsible for getting it in the first place. Was it not God that gave you to Christ (verse 29)? I am not talking about predestination, because you could have rejected it from the start, but once you are saved you are in the hand of Christ and you can never be removed. You cannot give salvation to yourself, but you can reject it initially, and as such you cannot discard it once it has been given lest God be a liar. Your sin of rejection holds no power over the will of God. One might ask now isn’t it the faith we give to accept grace come from ourselves?

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

So in light of this when we look at Con’s approach to the scripture of one escaping the fire; it is not that we move to a different figurative property and secure a new foundation, but that the foundation is permanent. If someone is truly saved and turns their back on Christ, to claim another worldview such as Atheism for example, lose blessings of the Lord in this world, and miss out on the love that comes from knowing Christ, but still is secured. His works that stem from his new belief will be burned in the fire as they were not for the Lord, but the foundation will remain. The foundation in the parable is the grace of God, the house built upon the foundation is the works. Works will be tested by fire as well as the foundation, so works can burn, but salvation cannot. You can deceive yourself and cover your foundation in claim of a new one, but that too will burn away exposing the grace of God.

The Voice of the Lord
I think that one can be deceived to fall from the Lord, but still knows his voice. They still know in their heart of hearts the truth even though it has been clouded and deceived. A great example of this is when Lee Strobel, the author of “The Case For Faith”, asked John Templeton about his attitude toward Christ. Templeton’s response was “I miss him.” Notice it wasn’t, “I miss the idea of him.” Templeton’s spiritual battle is so evident in this phrase it stings to read it, but you can see that the Lord is still real to him deep down.

Exodus 32:7-14 and the Power of Prayer
Con gives us the great scripture in Exodus 32:7-14. If you are inclined to understand further the power of prayer I commend Psalm 107 to you. My favorite part of that Psalm being verses 10-16. This is to illustrate that I too believe that God can change his mind with the power of prayer. But God cannot change his mind when it comes to a covenant or promise because this would be God acting in a lie. Also Con’s quoted scripture tells us nothing about the afterlife and eternal salvation, but does show us how we can be punished in this life for our sins. He can punish his people, make their lives miserable, but never does he disclaim them as his people no matter how deep in sin they were.

The Power of Christ’s Crucifixion
If God did disclaim us by our sin of rejection, then it would require another crucifixion to come back to him as I showed in the last round. Did Peter not reject Christ when Christ was going to be judged by the Sanhedrin? Did his faith not return and even be commended by Christ later in letting him establish the Church of Christ? Did Christ die to accomplish his initial salvation, and then die again for his reconciliation? Of coarse not! Peter when having initially accepted Christ was forever a part of Christ’s kingdom.

Hebrews 3:7-19 and God’s Discipline
Con turns us to the scripture of Hebrews 3:7-19. The scripture quotes Psalm 95:8-11. The language used in Psalm 95 comes from Numbers 14:30 “Not one of you will enter the land.” God here was referring to the promised land of the Israelites. So the “rest” God talks about in this scripture is not the rest of salvation in the afterlife, but the rest of this life through his blessings. He shows us this meaning by using the analogy of the Israelites and their promised land.

Again in verses 12-13 the author is referring to the blessings of this life, or as he calls it “sharing in Christ.” For example in the following verses of 16-17; we see the Israelite sinners that were under Moses’s lead being cursed for 40 years in the desert. It also talks about their bodies perishing in the wilderness, but note how nothing is said about their soul!

So yes, one who is saved can turn their heart from the Lord, but the Lord will never eternally damn them for it.

Furthering the Case for Eternal Security

1’st John 1:10
If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Is not rejecting Christ rejecting his word as well? If we do this we are saying “we have no sin, because we no longer believe in sin itself!” As we see in verse 10 if we say we have not sinned we make him a liar. As shown in last round God cannot lie and therefore negating the idea that we don’t have sin. We cannot remove our sin by ourselves as would be indicated if we said “we have no sin because there is no such thing as sin.” The sin of rejecting Christ is still an objective sin, and will be burned with the fruits that stem from it. But take heart because your soul is still claimed by God.

So in conclusion I will remind the reader that Christ’s crucifixion is all sufficient. Multiple crucifixions are not needed as would be indicated if you could lose your salvation, but all your sins are forgiven under His name the first time. Take heart and stand firm in Christ. Let the knowledge of this love, the love that can even withstand rejection and spite, take hold and bring you back to his blessings in this life.

Your soul has been bought by Christ, no refunds. Thank you God!
Marauder

Con

Prosperity Gospel

My primary difficulty with your arguments Pro is that at there root I believe they slip into the fallacy of prosperity gospel. Most any of the scripture talked about your explanation was more or less the same “that had nothing to do with the next life, with salvation or your soul. That was about this life and how god blesses us through the rest of it.”

Let’s look at Peter for a second. You seem to agree that after the resurrection peter repented and turned back to Christ and would count as one who built there house with “gold, silver, and costly stone” that should test against the fire in this life. In fact if there is any follower of Jesus who could claim to have built upon the solid foundation with good solid material its Peter “the Rock” upon which Christ chose to built the rest of his church on. So Peter ‘s ‘house’ should have stood against the fire and he should have enjoyed the blessings of God, according to your arguments Pro.

In reality though, that did not happen. Peter was crucified upside-down.

In fact, none of the apostles had blessed peaceful deaths. Paul was beheaded, Barnabas was burned, Mark was dragged to death, James was clubbed, Thomas was speared to death, and Luke was hanged. For all the good costly stone they lived there lives with upon the foundation of Jesus name how did they prosper in this life, what good did it do them? The Fact is, these martyrs reward is in heaven, as we know it was not on earth. If you don’t believe that then your theology teaches the gospel of Karma and spits on the graves of all those saints I just listed by forgetting about they were martyred.

An accurate theology has to remember the people who received no reward in this life, and the wicked that have received no justice in this life. Richard Dawkins is an atheist that used to be Christian. Did you know he has money, fame, influence? I’d say he’s pretty blessed for a man that built a crappy house on good foundation. To take a phrase from Peter Kreeft from the same book you quoted “a case for faith”; “we live in a relative bubble of comfort” and in that bubble of comfort its easy to forget about the woman who’s child died because it would not rain, or any of the suffering and death happening to believers in other parts of the world, not blessed with our freedom, security, and our luxuries.

John Templeton and C.S. Lewis

You bring up Templeton’s brief emotional cry that he missed God. That this shows he still has that same foundation of Jesus in him, he’s still saved.

Since we like to read the same books perhaps you have read the works of C.S. Lewis. Unfortunately I can’t remember if it was in his work “the abolition of man” or “mere Christianity” but in one of those books C.S. Lewis writes about the logic of faith. He said as an atheist he used to think faith was a dumb idea, simply throwing what reasoning would tell you when it says something you don’t want to here. But since then he no longer thought such. He said faith is the very act of reason in that your going to consistently believe in God in spite of whatever your whimsical emotions incline you to think. He said as an atheist there were times he greatly doubted there was no God and it kept him up at night. And as a Christian the doubts still come that there could be no god. This is normal for any Christian I’ve ever met. But because we have faith our beliefs don’t change on the whims of doubts. I believe Templeton was having one of those moments of doubt in his interview with Stroble, and that kind of doubt is not deferent from the doubt atheist that have never been Christian go through from time to time.

Double Crucifixion and Time

You argue that Jesus would need to be crucified twice a believer could fall from saving grace if they should ever seek to come back again like Peter. I do not think so or he would need to be crucified for me as well wouldn’t he? All of my Sins I have committed were done after his death and resurrection were a done fact. But his sacrifice did not just redeem the sins committed in the past by those who lived in his time; they cover the future sins committed by me personally as well. His sacrifice stretches across time and this is why they cover my sins at all and my sins I commit after accepting his salvation.

So if I can be saved at all, then peter could come back after falling away.

The word eternal and etymology vs usage

You say the scripture say’s eternal and thus there is no room for doubt as to how long that means.

The Greek word used for eternal is Aion or Aionios. Aionios is often considered to mean eternal with no end because of its etymology. How the word translates if you break it down. But as John Wesley Hanson argues at the start of this article http://www.tentmaker.org... an ounce of Usage is worth a pound of etymology. And there is good reason to believe from other Greek literature that when the word Anionios was used it was meant to indicate time with an end of some kind. The life of a man was often called an Aion, the time since creation was an Aion. Unless it was speaking of God himself in Greek literature it never seemed to mean eternal in the sense we think of it.

No one includes yourself?

You state that when the scripture refers to “no one can snatch them from his hand” that this includes yourself. I think your reaching with this. When it refers to those who are in the lords hands as ‘Them’ then I think its apparent there third party to who the passage is talking about. There is the ‘no one’ and there is ‘them’ and there is God.

Your defense that salvation cannot be discarded is that it would make god a liar somehow. I do not see how that is so. Should Richard Dawkins find himself in Hell after he dies god would not have lied about anything. This goes back to how contracts work.

Let’s say I have contract with you that I’m going to buy your car. The contract between us say’s your going to give me your dodge viper and the contract say’s I’m going to give you 12,000 dollars. Now what if I don’t give you 12,000 dollars? Do you turn into a liar when you don’t give me the Viper? No that’s absurd; the contract between us became null and void when I did not cough up my end of deal. Let’s say I come up with 4,000 dollars down and you give it to me but I don’t make any more payments on the remaining 8,000. Are you liar when you repo the viper after 2 years of my not paying for it? No, I’m the one that lied, and I’m the one that caused the contract to void.

Greater than God

Theologically this rejection that cancels the contract does not make one stronger than God. You said you’re not arguing predestination, after all salvation can be rejected initially. Well on the same grounds that we understand our power to reject Christ initially still applies later on and there’s no reason to think it does not. Our free will does not mean God is not all powerful. This is God’s chosen system of how things will work, and he has chosen to leave us free to deviate from his desire. The fact that he does not choose to do some things and chooses to do others does not mean he has no power to perform the other actions. This is simply his way, his actions defined by his character and not his sovereignty. And so we have free will.

That same will as I stated in the previous round is still present in us after salvation. You did not respond to what it means in this debate that we still sin after the Holy Spirit is within us. I know of no Christian who claims after the Holy Spirit came in them and Jesus became there savior that their wills were so changed to god that they quite deviating from it and quit sinning. To say that we cant reject the saving grace after accepting it is to say we no longer have will that can act against gods, and to say losing salvation because of this will calls into question gods power would call into question gods power because of our wills before salvation.

I await my opponents response.

Debate Round No. 3
Crede

Pro

Prosperity Gospel

There has to be a distinction between people who suffer because of sin, and people who suffer because of their faith. The apostle’s death was a gruesome testimony to suffering for faith, but in fact it could be considered a blessing. Their suffering in comparison to their eternal life with God can be viewed as a blessing to help others believe in stead of being viewed as a punishment. This is why the apostle’s were grateful to suffer in the name of Christ.

Acts 5:40-41

40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

The blessing of suffering pertaining to the apostle’s deaths could be the blessing of giving reason for millions of later peoples to come to know Christ. I agree that the works give rewards in the afterlife, even though it doesn’t give the reward of an afterlife with God in them. So we know as Christians that a blessing could come in the form of suffering for upholding the name of the Lord. We understand the blessings of being one to suffer for Him, and thereby spreading the truth of Christ by demonstrated conviction.

Blessings also come from suffering in the name of Lord in the form of becoming stronger in Christ.

James 1:2-4

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Also God can reward us with the blessings of peace and righteousness through suffering.

Hebrews 12:11

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

John Templeton

The reason I brought up this interview was to show how someone can still deep down acknowledge the peace and truth they once had through Christ, and can still feel it because at some small point in their heart he is still there. In the case of converted Atheists from Christianity, I personally believe their passion and vigor is a way to oppress the truth they consciously or subconsciously know to be reality. Of course there is no way to prove this in any empirical way, but with the Templeton case we can see a longing for Christ in such a way that speaks to the truth of his heart.

Double Crucifixion

I think here that Con is mixing the sin of apostasy with all other sins. All other sins when committed do not require the rejection of Christ. Con’s main case is that the sin of apostasy is the only sin that will forfeit your salvation, and therefore should not even be compared to other sins. Strangely however, Con here defends apostasy as being equal to other sins, and that at the time of initial salvation all sins past, present, and future are forgiven. Con inadvertently is supporting eternal security in arguing that apostasy is a sin like all others, and is forgiven, even if it were to take place in the future, by Christ’s death and resurrection. So even if we persist in this sin to our death, it has already been forgiven eternally securing our salvation.

Eternity and Man

Eternal is eternal in the sense of it being a potential eternal, i.e. a potential infinite. For example take our salvation. We are to be with God for eternity, even though we never actually exist for an eternal amount of time. We are working toward eternity, even though it will never be reached. So if I will never die I will be working toward a potential eternity, even though I’ve been alive for a finite amount of time. This is the same as the number set: (0, 1, 2, 3….) There is an infinite number of numbers in this set, but there are a finite number of numbers between any one number and the beginning of the set.

Regardless this is aside from the real topic at hand being are you still saved if you reject your salvation.

God Can’t Lie and Our Contract

The problem with Con’s 12,000 dollar car contract is when he states he doesn’t pay. The problem is two fold.

1. We have the money and God has the car.

  • Eternal security says we sign a contract with God for the car. We then give him the 12,000 dollars and take the car home. Later we decide we don’t like the car and bring it back. The problem is that it is still our car, and now the dealer (God) is just holding it for us. When we die and all of a sudden realize the truth, there is God with our car and the keys in his hand offering them to us.

2. We have the car and God has the money.

  • I think this a more likely analogy due to the bible saying Christ paid for us in his blood. God enters the contract with us and pays for the car (our soul). We give the car to God and take the money. Later we decide we don’t like God and think his money is worthless and give it back. We don’t want the car back either because we now believe the car is not a good mode of transportation (non-belief in a soul according to God). So God still has the car even though we don’t accept the car as a mode of transportation. Once again when we die and realize the truth, there is God with the receipt for our soul. We are eternally saved.

Are We Greater Than God?

The statement “are we greater than God” still stands in light of the contract. We would have to go to God and take the car back from him by force. You can try but you will fail, we are not stronger than God. We do have the free will to deviate from Gods desires, and yes our lives will reflect these decisions, but our salvation is secured. Our free will is not compromised by the ability to reject our salvation, because we can reject it. However our rejection holds no power over our salvation, it only holds power with how we live our lives on this Earth and our perception of our salvation.

Conclusion and Thanks

In conclusion I want to outline the points I’ve made in support of eternal security.

1. We cannot lose our foundation of grace, even though we can deceive ourselves to think it is a different foundation and build our house from our deception.

2. I have shown how if we could lose our salvation it would require Christ to be crucified again to be “re-saved.” Since this is impossible, it is impossible to lose or forfeit our salvation in the first place. (Hebrew 6:4-6)

3. I have shown that if we could reject our salvation then we would be making God a liar in not carrying out his promises. Since God cannot lie we cannot lose our salvation.

4. I have shown that we are not stronger than God and cannot reclaim his purchase for our soul.

In light of all these evidences I feel I have made the case for eternal security to be true. Regardless of the outcome of this debate I urge everyone to pray about these issues and find the truth for you through communication with the Lord.

Thank you Marauder for your insightful arguments, and for your respectful yet challenging responses. I have extremely enjoyed this debate as it has strengthened my own beliefs in the matter, and equipped me to face eternal security’s critics. I would be happy to debate you again in any topic pertaining to our faith.

Marauder

Con


Prosperity Gospel


Okay, I concede due to the scripture you gave that being martyred is a kind of blessing. And that those that suffer are receiving a kind of blessing because of it.


But my opponent still left unanswered the point about Richard Dawkins, who lives a pretty blessed life of fame, influence, and wealth. Though suffering is in itself a kind of blessing, its not the only kind. Some of the people god blesses he blesses in a more obvious way such as king Solomon who lived in a time of peace, had much wealth, his kingdom very prosperous, ect ….


Richard Dawkins is exactly the type of person we are debating over whether they would be saved or not. He had faith at one time and was a professing Christian, and now he is one of Atheism biggest and most well known advocates. And he is blessed in the obvious king Solomon sense. But by Pro’s case he has made about the house that burns down Richard Dawkins should not be living in any kind of blessing from God, for his house he built is made of cheap material even though its on good foundation. He should barely be escaping the fire in this life by Pro’s arguments. But that’s not the case, he’s famous, respected, and wealthy.


Templeton


Pro simply restated his speculative case about Templeton’s emotional outbreak, and even conceded there’s no way to prove what he believes about Templeton’s heart and did not even address my alternative explanations about faith being what outlast your whimsical emotions, thus Pro has dropped his case about Templeton. So I see no need to revisit this issue this round.


Sin of Apostasy


Pro makes it out as if I have argued Apostasy under two deferent definitions. I have not. My point about apostasy from the very beginning has not been that it can’t be forgiven, I’ve never made a case its unforgivable or that an atheist convert cant convert back.


How it is different is not that it’s somehow a worse degree of sin or deserves punishment more than others or something crazy like that. As Pro stated; it’s all sin in God’s eyes just the same. But apostasy by definition is rejecting that which you have to accept to be saved, the name of Jesus. Those that are saved must rely on Christ to save them, not themselves. Richard Dawkins does not do this today. Years ago he did but he does not now.


The term Aion


My opponent dropped this part of my argument, leaving it uncontended. He further stated his own teaching about how to understand eternity, but he did not make any authoritative connection between that interpretation and the what the Greek term for it was meant to mean in Greek back in the day.


The Car Parable


John MacArthur once said when talking about Jesus parable of the Ten Virgins, how it’s a mistake when people try and scrutinize to parable to represent more than the point it was overall meant to make. Sometimes a oil lamp is just an oil lamp, it does not need to represent faith, belief, grace or anything at all for the parable to tell the main point ‘the bridegroom might delay, be prepared to wait, and keep watching.


My point I made with the example where pro sells me a car is not a parable where I represent man and Pro is God, or the car is salvation, or my soul, or the money is my will, or my works, ect.


That’s why I said to assume Pro was selling me a dodge viper. Not God, so that you understand my point about promises and lying. Are you a liar when you don’t follow through with what you signed to do on a contract that I myself nullified? No, that’s absurd, I am the one that lied, I am the one that changed my mind about parting with my money. Not giving me a car does not make you a liar.


If I should take comparing salvation to the covenant between car dealer and buyer, then the dodge viper is something we could never buy. We flat out don’t have the money and could never come up with it. But thankfully, the son of god is willing to pay for it for us and will co-sign on the deal. But it just does not work without his signature. We can’t opt to have him removed as cosigner and still expect the car. The purchase was made under his name. It just does not work without it or with any other name.


Greater than God


Pro restated we have free will to reject God even after we are saved, it just holds no power over our salvation. He has already conceded we can reject salvation initially and it affect our salvation, just not after we are given it and because of this I win this debate. I argued if our will has power over our salvation in the beginning (and does not challenge the power of God then) then there’s no reason to think it does not after salvation (or to think it would all of a sudden challenge Gods power then either). Pro did not address that case at all and dropped it.


To be consistent about free will not holding power over whether we are saved or not or it would make us out to be greater than God, you would have to agree the same about the initial salvation. That somehow our will being able to reject it made us greater than God so we must not have true power to resist god’s salvation. Pro conceded though that that’s not the case, we have will from god then before salvation and that will affects our salvation.


Pro also did not reject my case that Christians still very much do have will to resist God’s will after salvation because we still sin. That will is not over ridden.


So Pro has conceded…


A) Our Free Will determines our salvation before we are saved


B) We still have that Free Will after we save, we still sin.



It follows from A and B that we have salvation affecting Free Will after we are saved.



Conclusion:


1) Pro dropped his case about Templeton, conceding his beliefs can not be proven to support his case


2) Pro dropped his case about the Greek word Aion, conceding its not relevant to the debate.


3) Pro conceded we have Free Will from God initially, and that Free Will affects our salvation


4) Pro conceded we have Free Will later on as well, after salvation.


5) My argument about Richard Dawkins being blessed has been left unchallenged thus it refutes his case about the fire burning down the house representing blessings in this life


6) I refuted the case about the double crucifixion last round with an understanding of apostasy that even pro says he’s been arguing under.


7) I’ve shown the cancellation of a contract on our part does not make the other person a liar.


8) I’ve shown how logically it would not make us greater than god if we lose our salvation after apostasy.



I’d like to end this debate with a reading from Hebrews 6 that Pro skipped in the first round verses 1-3


“Therefore, let us go on toward perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith toward God, instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this, if God permits.”


When we are saved we need to press on toward perfection, growing in the grace of sanctification. For that which does not grow dies, so we must keep vigilant to not turn from the justifying/regenerative grace we already know because Satan does not let up on his attacks just because were under that grace now (1 Peter 5: 8) ‘Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour.’


I thank my opponent for this excellent debate. He too has been very challenging and respectful throughout it. If there is an example of how 2 Christians in disagreement should debate, this debate would be an example of that.


Debate Round No. 4
60 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Gileandos 3 years ago
Gileandos
@Crede,
As to Greek/Hebrew scholars. I myself am working on Hebrew, Greek fluency will be later. I can understand the basics of Greek grammar and translation.
Per capita no denomination produces more Greek and Hebrew Scholars than the Catholic Church. They fundamentally disagree with eternal security translations.

I toss out refutations on the already existing correct translations. Any argument from the Greek by minority opinions of what the Greek states etc, is of little reputation to my mind.

The reformed within recent decades have tried to recreate a way of translating Greek that has not been the traditional understanding of how the Greek works.

I look to the Traditional belief systems of the Church on Salvation. I have found Holiness is clearly a superior interpretation of the scriptures.

It has been confirmed to me by the Holy Spirit.

The book of Romans would be national discussion and is typically held by scholars as such. It discusses the Jews vs. Gentile concepts.
The book of Hebrews is typically viewed the opposite as a personal book.

I do not see Christ subjected to a second salvation process.
I see that Christ confirmed cleansing of original sin and then allowed a path of repentence for willful sin.
He accomplished both on the cross once and for all.
We choose that path of repentence or reject that path.

Our choice of a life of Holiness allows us into Heaven.
Our choice of veniel sins places us in the intermediate state.
Our choice of mortal sins places us in hell.

The process of repentence and cleansing is your work in salvation. Christ's work is finished. The way of repentence and cleansing is now open to you because of that work on the cross.
The eucharist is viewed as Grace imparted to you as a cleansing step in the process of repentence and is viewed as partaking the act of sacrifice of Christ.
Posted by Crede 3 years ago
Crede
I don't know I entirely agree. I have recently met a guy and became quick friends, he is a Biblical Hebrew / Greek translator. He recieved his doctorate recently and we were talking during this debate. He was showing me how a lot of the original text was eluding to more of a theme of eternal security in Hebrews and that all the warnings were for mankind in general. Since we are all under common grace we can see God through his creation and subject to an objective moral landscape and subject to punishment for disobeying. However saving grace (salvation) is given and impossible to lose in that we cannot subject Christ to humiliation by showing his crucifixion to be not sufficient for all sin.
Posted by Gileandos 3 years ago
Gileandos
@RA,
The Bible clearly states your salvation is dependent on your obedience.
Hebrews Chapter 10 for example cannot be read any other way.

There are verses that state sin is not on you, these are references to original sin
the cure of Original sin is not dependent on you.
Willfull sins are entirely on you. Repentence allows for you to make restitution for those willfull sins.
The father and son family relationship makes such a concept easy to understand.
"What you are" is your father's responsibility. "What you do" is your responsibilty.
A father will still discipline a child for his wrong doing. You do not get a wash for any bad thing you want to do.

Added factors would be mortal and veniel sins. Mortal sins are sins that destin you for Hell and veniel sins are sins that do not allow you into heaven.
Salvation from Hell can include the intermediate state.

The Bible discusses alot of topics and it is sometimes very hard without a detailed study to understand what the context and isagogics are behind a verse.

I suggest that your version of the Bible interpretation is against traditional interpretation, early churches understanding and against sound exegetical/isagogic processes.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 3 years ago
ReformedArsenal
"But by no means will he allow a committed evil person into heaven."

See, this is where your understanding is deficient. A person who is truly saved cannot be evil. They are a new creation.

The doctrine is fickle, as your salvation is entirely dependent on you. Your choice, your obedience, your perseverance, your commitment. It is dependent on you, and that is not the picture that the Bible paints of salvation.

The problem with what you say is this "My salvation is directly reflected in my Holiness and obedience." This is true, but you are presenting a different soteriology in other places. Here you say it is reflected in your obedience, but other places you say that it is contingent on your obedience.
Posted by Gileandos 3 years ago
Gileandos
@RA,
I find it rather hurtful to state that a major Christian doctrine is fickle. God is certainly willing to give "assurance" to those who are obedient. But by no means will he allow a committed evil person into heaven.
Obedience drives salvation.
Assurance that you are an obedient Heir and friend of God gives you confidence that is unshakable in your faith.
I assure you that I am much stronger in my faith as I understand God's explanation of Salvation.
Sin was my master when I did not believe that sin could hurt me. Even when I believed that I was eternally secure over a decade ago. It only empowered my wavering sin filled faith.

I radically changed when I came face to face with the Holiness of God.
Jesus Christ by faith through Grace offered salvation to everyone to cure Original sin.
My salvation is directly reflected in my Holiness and obedience.
Posted by Gileandos 3 years ago
Gileandos
I am excited for you.

I read over your article.

I would point you to John Wesley and the Holiness Movement for a non Catholic teaching of Salvation.
I have found most reformed (like the site you suggested) doctrines are not comprehensive in their understanding of alternate viewpoints. I was originally saved into a reformed church.

Reformed traditions deny the distinction of Original sin vs. willfull sin concerning Jesus' work on the cross.

Basically it breaks down like this:
You become saved by choice. God extends Grace to everyone concerning original sin.
After salvation and acceptance, your salvation is based upon your continued obedience.
Any denial of obedience puts you at risk.
Direct attacks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven by God.
You can then have assurance of your salvation.

http://www.salvationist.org...

Many of the verses you quote speak to assurance as opposed to a security concept.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 3 years ago
ReformedArsenal
My problem with being able to come and go from salvation is two fold.

A) It presents an incredibly fickle and unstable faith, that is ultimately dependent on us and our faith. It leaves very little room for God's sovereignty or influence in our lives.

B) Salvation is not a possession... it is a state. None of us are actually SAVED until we cross the Jordan into our promised rest.
Posted by Crede 3 years ago
Crede
Also I usually claim "non-denominational." I have attended a southern baptist church for about 3 years, and an Act's 29 church (which usually claims non-denominational). My spiritual warfare experience did not come from church, but through people I knew, including myself, that dabbled in playing with the other side when we didn't fully understand the consequences. I was, at least I think I was, a powerful advocate for Satan without ever knowing it. I was deep into new age and paganism practices, and when I converted to Christ, the battle began and was intense for several years. The last major incident was now 4 years ago involving my at the time 8 month old son. Because of my personal past is where I draw my drive to stand up to demons, even though most Christians don't acknowledge their existence...because then they'd be crazy right? Christians need to grow up sometimes and know whats real.
Posted by Crede 3 years ago
Crede
I have a problem with once saved and lost always lost. This would include many many Christians...including myself. I was raised Catholic and believed in Christ. I didn't have the philosophical knowledge to support my belief and therefore fell away when I was around 16. I was "hardcore" atheist for several years. Not until I was around 21 did I come back, and when I did I started a walk with the Holy Spirit that if anyone felt they could not deny his presence. Now I could possibly see that I was never initially saved when I was younger. I did believe it to be true but didn't ever really have a personal experience / relationship. Anyways I found a good site that explains some things about the Hebrews passages...here it is. http://www.bcbsr.com...
Posted by Gileandos 3 years ago
Gileandos
@Crede,
As to Hebrews 6. I read those passages also and arrive at the other conclusion.

I agree with the statement you denied could be the conclusion of hebrews 6.
"once saved and then lost, always lost".

If you reject the power of the Holy Spirit you will never come back to God.
Jesus said as much when he said to deny the Holy Spirit was an unforgivable sin.

Mark 3:22-30 states,

"And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, 'He has Beelzebub,' and, 'By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.' …'Assuredly, I [Jesus] say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation;' because they said, 'He has an unclean spirit'"
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Valtarov 3 years ago
Valtarov
CredeMarauderTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made the more convincing arguments. Pro dropped and conceded lots of necessary points.
Vote Placed by Gileandos 3 years ago
Gileandos
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro asserted an interpretation that I feel Con squarely refuted through a logical, scriptural, and consistent historical interpretive argument.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 3 years ago
ReformedArsenal
CredeMarauderTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I didn't see anything in Con's argument that counteracts the scriptural arguments that Pro presented. In Christian theology, scripture must always be the foundation and Con simply did not support his theological statements using scripture. They are therefore simply speculative assertions (a form of begging the question).