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    1. #11
      TurtleHare's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Snerfle View Post
      Just wading my way through all the religionistic gobblety-goop of another 'it's-my-way-or-the-excommunication-highway' thread.

      Btw, which religious expert is now going to insist on telling us they know when Lazarus got saved/or was born-again/or became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ/or joined some religious organization and got water-baptized and ate and drank Jesus' flesh and blood as denominational requirements to have his sins forgiven?
      The bible has those answers for you since Lazarus WAS dead and then Jesus gave him life in the book of John so its right there in front of your face but you gotta go around knocking everyone and not listening cuz you think your all that. But you ain't. I really get so sick of this. Post some scripture, will ya instead of flinging mud?
      If you want to rile people up then go to a Christian site and give God ALL the glory for your salvation.

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    3. #12
      Rens's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by TurtleHare View Post
      The bible has those answers for you since Lazarus WAS dead and then Jesus gave him life in the book of John so its right there in front of your face but you gotta go around knocking everyone and not listening cuz you think your all that. But you ain't. I really get so sick of this. Post some scripture, will ya instead of flinging mud?
      He was literally dead, he was a believer though.

    4. #13
      atpollard is offline Prodigy Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      .

      An argument that is frequently heard by "Arminianists" and some modern "Evangelicals" is that while God OFFERS and CALLS us to salvation, we MUST decide and choose and embrace it.

      [snip]

      Agree? Disagree?

      Soli Deo Gloria
      - Josiah
      Both, actually.

      First, a quick statement of where I come from. I learned of the existence and love of God ... being transformed rather unwillingly, yet not disagreeably as a result of exposure to some passionate Catholic Charismatics with more courage than sense. I had the thimble full of theology that I left them with, shredded by 'Bible' Professors on a public community college that clearly illuminated the P, S and V texts that were compiled to create the book of Genesis without giving a thought to the implications of a man made Bible (rather than God breathed) and the existence of a God who was, therefore, unknowable to his creation. It was an African born missionary to reach the lost in North America, working at a small Church of God who invested the time to correct my miseducation about the nature of the Bible by introducing me to the concept of Biblical precepts ... threads of thought that ran from one end of scripture throughout to the other and tied it all together. Eve was promised a seed to undo the sin of Adam and the blood of an animal was shed to cover their nakedness. Moses showed us what a 'savior' would look like and that blood would be needed to be shed and applied to protect us from death. David showed us what a king would look like and how he would deal with God's enemies. Along comes Jesus, the one Moses told us about. The seed of the WOMAN, but not the man. Heir to the throne of David, forever. Revelation explains how Jesus returns to finish what he started. All of this I learned at the feet of a Wesslyian Arminian evangelist.

      Armed with my personal life experience, which depended on no man for verification, and what scripture I could read and understand for myself, I came to different conclusions than the Catholic Charismatic brothers and sisters in Christ from whom I had received the Gospel, and different from the Arminian views of the mentor who gave me the Word of God and introduced me to my God given passion for His word. Before I ever learned the word Theology or Arminian or Calvinism, I read the Bible, compared it to my own salvation and came to 4 of the 5 points of Classic Calvinism on my own. I find that the Bible teaches, and my experience confirms, that man is corrupted by sin and incapable of true good apart from God. (T) of TULIP. God chose me. (U) of TULIP. God draws those whom God chooses (I) of TULIP. You can try to let go of God, but God will not let go if you. (P) of TULIP. The only part of Calvinism that I did not embrace on my own was (L) Limited Atonement, which teaches that Christ died for the sins of the elect only. It was simply an issue that I had never given any thought to. Jesus died for my sins, and that was all that I cared about. Whether he died for the sins of people in hell is a question that never crossed my mind. God then led me to an Evangelical Free Church where I attended Adult Sunday School and a home Small Group taught by people with lots of letters after there names like M.Div. and PhD where I was introduced to terms like Calvinist and Arminian and monergism.

      Along this journey, I have learned a lot about what matters and what doesn't.
      So now to address your questions. I agree with your monergistic view of salvation. I believe that as Corrie TenBoon said "God does as he pleases, and he does it right well." I am a 5 point Calvinist and a Reformed Baptist (fancy words that provide a shorthand to my beliefs).

      However, I disagree with your post on two specific points.
      1. Comparing the physical death and resurrection of Lazarus to the spiritual resurection of the old, dead man is an apples to oranges comparison. You have proven nothing except that God CAN work physical miracles without the prior permission of the recipient. It is interesting that when you look at other healings, in some cases Jesus asked their permission, in some cases Jesus healed them without asking, and in at least one case, a woman with a bleeding condition was healed without Jesus knowing about it until after the fact. In her case, she sought out Christ rather than waiting for him to knock on her door.

      2. Your argument is a bit of a straw man since you are refuting a claim that most Arminians are not actually making. An 'anti-Lutheran' version would be for me to start a topic with the claim that some people teach "once saved, always saved" and Lutherans baptize babies so that they are part of the church, therefore Luthrans teach that all babies baptized in a Lutheran Church are saved and will go to heaven no matter what sins they commit later in life. I could then disprove the claim that I accused the Lutherans of making. The problem is that Lutherans teach no such thing, so my "proof" would be meaningless. You are presenting the flawed claims of a few on the Internet as the actual teachings and beliefs of Arminians.

      This is unjust and unkind to those who read and study the Bible and honestly hold Wesslyian Arminian beliefs (like Methodists, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, Church of God).
      Last edited by atpollard; 04-29-2017 at 11:15 PM.

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    6. #14
      atpollard is offline Prodigy Member
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      If anyone really wants to discuss Wesslyian Arminianism, here is what they believe in their own words:

      Wesley and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.

      The distinctive shape of our theological heritage can be seen not only in this emphasis on Christian living, but also in Wesley’s distinctive understanding of God’s saving grace. Although Wesley shared with many other Christians a belief in salvation by grace, he combined them in a powerful way to create distinctive emphases for living the full Christian life.

      Grace
      Grace is central to our understanding of Christian faith and life.

      Grace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. We read in the Letter to the Ephesians: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not the result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

      Our United Methodist heritage is rooted in a deep and profound understanding of God’s grace. This incredible grace flows from God’s great love for us. Did you have to memorize John 3:16 in Sunday school when you were a child? There was a good reason. This one verse summarizes the gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” The ability to call to mind God’s love and God’s gift of Jesus Christ is a rich resource for theology and faith.”

      John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, described God’s grace as threefold:

      prevenient grace
      justifying grace
      sanctifying grace

      Prevenient Grace
      Wesley understood grace as God’s active presence in our lives. This presence is not dependent on human actions or human response. It is a gift — a gift that is always available, but that can be refused.

      God’s grace stirs up within us a desire to know God and empowers us to respond to God’s invitation to be in relationship with God. God’s grace enables us to discern differences between good and evil and makes it possible for us to choose good….

      God takes the initiative in relating to humanity. We do not have to beg and plead for God’s love and grace. God actively seeks us!

      Justifying Grace
      Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). And in his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul wrote: “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

      These verses demonstrate the justifying grace of God. They point to reconciliation, pardon, and restoration. Through the work of God in Christ our sins are forgiven, and our relationship with God is restored. According to John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, the image of God — which has been distorted by sin — is renewed within us through Christ’s death.

      Again, this dimension of God’s grace is a gift. God’s grace alone brings us into relationship with God. There are no hoops through which we have to jump in order to please God and to be loved by God. God has acted in Jesus Christ. We need only to respond in faith.

      Conversion
      This process of salvation involves a change in us that we call conversion. Conversion is a turning around, leaving one orientation for another. It may be sudden and dramatic, or gradual and cumulative. But in any case, it’s a new beginning. Following Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, “You must be born anew” (John 3:7 RSV), we speak of this conversion as rebirth, new life in Christ, or regeneration.

      Following Paul and Luther, John Wesley called this process justification. Justification is what happens when Christians abandon all those vain attempts to justify themselves before God, to be seen as “just” in God’s eyes through religious and moral practices. It’s a time when God’s “justifying grace” is experienced and accepted, a time of pardon and forgiveness, of new peace and joy and love. Indeed, we’re justified by God’s grace through faith.

      Justification is also a time of repentance — turning away from behaviors rooted in sin and toward actions that express God’s love. In this conversion we can expect to receive assurance of our present salvation through the Holy Spirit “bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16).

      Sanctifying Grace
      Salvation is not a static, one-time event in our lives. It is the ongoing experience of God’s gracious presence transforming us into whom God intends us to be. John Wesley described this dimension of God’s grace as sanctification, or holiness.

      Through God’s sanctifying grace, we grow and mature in our ability to live as Jesus lived. As we pray, study the Scriptures, fast, worship, and share in fellowship with other Christians, we deepen our knowledge of and love for God. As we respond with compassion to human need and work for justice in our communities, we strengthen our capacity to love neighbor. Our inner thoughts and motives, as well as our outer actions and behavior, are aligned with God’s will and testify to our union with God.

      We’re to press on, with God’s help, in the path of sanctification toward perfection. By perfection, Wesley did not mean that we would not make mistakes or have weaknesses. Rather, he understood it to be a continual process of being made perfect in our love of God and each other and of removing our desire to sin.

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    8. #15
      Lämmchen's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Rens View Post
      He was literally dead, he was a believer though.
      Nonbelievers can be viewed as being spiritually dead. Who can bring us to life? We cannot do that without the Holy Spirit giving us life.

      If Lazarus weren't a believer, would it have made a difference? No. No one can awaken themselves from a physical or spiritual death except God.
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "A Christian's life is not defined by what the Christian does. It is defined by Christ and what He has done for us." Pr. Rolf David Preus

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    10. #16
      Rens's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      Nonbelievers can be viewed as being spiritually dead. Who can bring us to life? We cannot do that without the Holy Spirit giving us life.

      If Lazarus weren't a believer, would it have made a difference? No. No one can awaken themselves from a physical or spiritual death except God.
      Yes God raises us from the dead. Still you can't simply ignore all the other texts about responding with this text.
      I don't really care what any theologian has to say about it.

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    12. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
      You have proven nothing except that God CAN work physical miracles without the prior permission of the recipient.

      Which is the point.

      This thread was started in response to an argument in another thread, that God CANNOT bless, CANNOT give, CANNOT do miracles, CANNOT do anything without our prior permission... that such would be disrespectful and unloving, that God "forces" nothing but rather responds to our requests and operates with our permission.

      It was also in response to a similar position that if God CALLS one to do something, ERGO they MUST be able to do it. So since we can find a few verses where the dead are called to faith, ERGO they must have the ability to respond to that call: God simply has placed a free CHOICE in front of them and they CAN freely choose either way by their own innate abilities as a dead person.



      .
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    13. #18
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      What stands out to me about the dead being unable to respond in Lazarus' case is that it was not unto a resurrected life. He received from God to show God's power, just as the blind from birth recieved his eyesight. That's the same with Cyrus being prophesied to do certain things to achieve God's purposes. That is the highest form of grace.

      It doesn't tell us what happened to Lazarus after Jesus' death, but we know he was a follower of Jesus so I imagine him to be amongst the 120 gathered in Jerusalem when grace was newly poured out to those there.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Paul is misinterpreted by those into the letter of the law
      and correctly interpreted by those into the spirit of the law.
      ~~~~~

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    15. #19
      atpollard is offline Prodigy Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      Which is the point.

      This thread was started in response to an argument in another thread, that God CANNOT bless, CANNOT give, CANNOT do miracles, CANNOT do anything without our prior permission... that such would be disrespectful and unloving, that God "forces" nothing but rather responds to our requests and operates with our permission.

      It was also in response to a similar position that if God CALLS one to do something, ERGO they MUST be able to do it. So since we can find a few verses where the dead are called to faith, ERGO they must have the ability to respond to that call: God simply has placed a free CHOICE in front of them and they CAN freely choose either way by their own innate abilities as a dead person.
      You failed to prove your point. You have, in Lutheran terms, conflated Grace and Law. You have proven God CAN and DOES do something in the physical realm (Law) and claimed that as proof that God MUST also do so in the spiritual realm (Grace).

      Does God force people to love him against their will?
      That is the heart of what Arminians are asking you. (and your commentary on Lazarus does not address that).

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    17. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
      You failed to prove your point. You have, in Lutheran terms, conflated Grace and Law. You have proven God CAN and DOES do something in the physical realm (Law) and claimed that as proof that God MUST also do so in the spiritual realm (Grace).

      Does God force people to love him against their will?
      That is the heart of what Arminians are asking you. (and your commentary on Lazarus does not address that).
      God saved us because He loved the world...you know the rest.

      Our response is a response and isn't what saves us. Just as in real life we end up loving our parents without being told TO LOVE THEM in order for them to be our parents, God builds a relationship with us. We grow to love Him. How can we not for what He has done for our salvation? Our response isn't the source of our salvation.
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "A Christian's life is not defined by what the Christian does. It is defined by Christ and what He has done for us." Pr. Rolf David Preus

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