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« on: September 03, 2009, 02:04:48 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2009, 02:37:45 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

They sound like a couple of radical Calvinists to me...

I always start my conversation with such folk with 1 Tim. 2:4: (God) desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2009, 08:46:10 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2009, 10:44:55 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Grace and Peace,

I can't speak for Papist but I note that he posted this in the Orthodox/Protestant Forum so I would assume that he/she expects comments from both sides. Perhaps he does want assistance in his dialogues with these individuals but I think we are all big enough to understand that there might be Protestants here who would like to defend this position.
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2009, 12:04:48 AM »

LOL at the OP! Hey bro, good luck with that battle! Calvinist are some of the worst arm chair theologians that you will ever encounter. I used to be a five point Calvinist and know exactly how they are in this camp. They think Orthodox and Catholics are some of the worst heretics. They will just smile at you while you try to make valid points all the while they are thinking you are full of BS and you don't even know the basics to form proper doctrinal/theological points to make an informed argument.  They are also some of the worst narcissistic smug people you will ever meet because they think they have everything figured out. They have reduced the bible and Christianity down to an exact formula. Their approach to forming theological beliefs comes from using select verses in a very contrived way.

They think they are God's elect... Roll Eyes They have a very sick twisted view of God himself. They are also stuck in some dream world that Calvin's Geneva was some uber perfect christian society. It's all they talk about half the time if they aren't reading and doing group studies of Calvin's Institutes of Christian religion and other popular theological works of the early reformers. 

 I would read some of Frank Schaeffer's stuff because he came from this kind of background before becoming Eastern Orthodox. Scott Hahn was also from a similar protestant background and he has written some good books that touch on these kind of theological issues. 

I like to burn the Calvinist with a few things that will really make them think. It's almost futile to try to use the bible against them. Very hard to do with a Calvinist. They surely will point to scriptures from that list you brought up to make their case. It just turns into a big battle of quoting verses back and forth and since they think they are right, you will not gain any ground. I would use the early continuum of early christian liturgical worship and beliefs against them. Calvinist tend to be big church history buffs, but they haven't gone back far enough though! They are very analytical usually. I would also focus on church government in the book of Timothy and how those Bishops gave us the bible in the first Nicene council. Ask them why they don't have Bishops! Use church history and christian practice against them. Use simple things in christian worship/practice against them. Ask them if they believe the bible and follow ALL the scriptures. Then turn around and ask why they don't use incense because Malachi 1:11 says that Gods name is great wherever incense is offered in his name. This will make them think a little and they probably have never heard or thought about this before. Quiz them a little bit. Ask them things like..."If Calvinism were true, you realize that would make God a racist?" They will be stumped and ask how so. Tell them, "If Calvinist are God's chosen elect and most true system, why is it Calvinist are mostly white and the vast majority are in North America? Trust me, it works! You have to think outside the box a little because they are only used to having scriptural wars with other protestants lol. Stay away from the strict theological discussions.     
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 12:13:18 AM by Nacho » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2009, 12:52:15 AM »

Great advice, Nacho! Thanks!!
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2009, 12:57:06 AM »

Based on my 1 experience with a college religious group, I find that reflective questioning usually drives them away in a huff within 2-3 minutes.

Example, if these Calvinists said that God created Evil, I would ask, "What is God?"

If these Calvinists tried to thump the Bible, I would ask, "What is the Bible?"

So reflective questioning is also playing dumb.
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2009, 01:24:24 AM »

I would like to share my own story.

I was in Barnes & Noble the other day looking at books in the Christian section (note that this is different from the "Christian Inspiration" section in the next isle, which is mostly fluff).  So after a while I realize that this young man keeps walking back and forth between the isles, sort of "on the prowl."  He eyes me a few times, but opts to leave me alone.  A wise move on his part.

After a while, I realize that he is harassing a group of teenage Christians in the next isle over.  He is asking probing questions about their backgrounds.  "Where do you go to church?"  After figuring out wherever they go, he starts bothering them about their baptism practices.  So I gradually figured out that this guy is a Oneness Pentecostal and he is busy trying to get Trinitarian Protestants to visit his church.  He is engaging them in all sorts of scriptural debates over how one must be baptized.  After a time I became so irritated by him that I thought I should shut him up with a history lesson.

But I stayed quiet, because it immediately occurred to me that I was witnessing some sort of spectacle where religious nut bags were arguing theology in a bookstore, and that they were strangers to one another who were being loud and rather rude.  The last thing I wanted to do was get involved and become a part of the circus.  At that point I couldn't have cared any less about proselytization.  The idea of Christians trying to swap deck chairs over theological issues most people don't understand or care about made me want to vomit.  The whole scene made me want to puke, because it made me feel like so much of what any of us are doing is blowing hot air, loving to listen to ourselves speak (much like this post!  Wink ).  Anyway, it really showed me just how burned-over America is.  People immediately shut down whenever Jesus' name comes up, and with good reason.  The whole thing has been ruined by endless conversion campaigns.  Most Americans are immune to the Gospel; they have no sensitivity or receptivity to it because of things like this.

Sorry for the tone of the post; I just needed to vent some frustrations.

My advice is to generally ignore these conversations, and instead focus on your private prayers and devotion.  Opt instead to quietly seek God's mercy despite the hopelessly loud, banal droning of the human race.  May God have mercy upon us all, and help us to shut up.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 01:28:28 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2009, 06:25:46 AM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

Yeah, they certainly sound like some form of Calvinism.

Ask them if they reject the north american mainstream calvinistic doctrine of """common grace""".

Ask them if they are """Supralapsarians""".

Ask them if they follow a dead man by the name of """Gordan Clark""".

Oh, and don't forget to ask them what denomination or nondenominational protestant church they goto.


With these questions, you might be able to pin down what strand/brand/school of calvinism they represent. Once you know what school of thought they are from, then it will be easier to address them.









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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2009, 06:28:45 AM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2009, 06:42:11 AM »

I would like to share my own story.

I was in Barnes & Noble the other day looking at books in the Christian section (note that this is different from the "Christian Inspiration" section in the next isle, which is mostly fluff).  So after a while I realize that this young man keeps walking back and forth between the isles, sort of "on the prowl."  He eyes me a few times, but opts to leave me alone.  A wise move on his part.

After a while, I realize that he is harassing a group of teenage Christians in the next isle over.  He is asking probing questions about their backgrounds.  "Where do you go to church?"  After figuring out wherever they go, he starts bothering them about their baptism practices.  So I gradually figured out that this guy is a Oneness Pentecostal and he is busy trying to get Trinitarian Protestants to visit his church.  He is engaging them in all sorts of scriptural debates over how one must be baptized.  After a time I became so irritated by him that I thought I should shut him up with a history lesson.

But I stayed quiet, because it immediately occurred to me that I was witnessing some sort of spectacle where religious nut bags were arguing theology in a bookstore, and that they were strangers to one another who were being loud and rather rude.  The last thing I wanted to do was get involved and become a part of the circus.  At that point I couldn't have cared any less about proselytization.  The idea of Christians trying to swap deck chairs over theological issues most people don't understand or care about made me want to vomit.  The whole scene made me want to puke, because it made me feel like so much of what any of us are doing is blowing hot air, loving to listen to ourselves speak (much like this post!  Wink ).  Anyway, it really showed me just how burned-over America is.  People immediately shut down whenever Jesus' name comes up, and with good reason.  The whole thing has been ruined by endless conversion campaigns.  Most Americans are immune to the Gospel; they have no sensitivity or receptivity to it because of things like this.

Sorry for the tone of the post; I just needed to vent some frustrations.

My advice is to generally ignore these conversations, and instead focus on your private prayers and devotion.  Opt instead to quietly seek God's mercy despite the hopelessly loud, banal droning of the human race.  May God have mercy upon us all, and help us to shut up.

I take it you don't live in the southern states of America? For this was everyday life for me when I lived in Alabama for 6 years, and I loved it. Everybody isn't gonna like that type of culture, but to each his own. I know that up here in the rust belt, everything seems dead or nominal. To me, keeping it to yourself simply means being nominal and live wicked (live like everyone else with every care in the world except religion. Or talk about anything and everything except for religion and politics). The rust belt is soo boring, nominal, lame, and filled with christians that don't know what they believe or should believe. It's too lame for my taste.......I like the south better. There is more action down there. Up here, we have alot of Roman Catholics and Protestants that are into tarot cards, astrological readings.......ect. I dated a Roman catholic in this area once who thought the devil was God's equal. I dated another Roman Catholic woman who thought it was ok to not tell a priest everything at confession........ect. And she didn't even know the basics of her faith. Oh, and I can't forget the Polish American Roman Catholic woman I dated who was also an Eastern Star, there was never going to be a real future in that relationship, but in the rust belt you will find alot of Roman Catholics, Protestants, and even Eastern Orthodox that are either Masons or Eastern Star.......in the south, that would be an automatic no no, for christians should know better than that. So going at it is sometimes good because it gets people to dig, think, and reflect. For if you never meet anyone to bump heads with about these issues/matters, then you will live the rest of your life in an isolated nominal bubble, and you might die beliving that satan is God's equal or die still messing around with tarot cards, palm readings, Masons/Eastern Star, secular humanism, agnosticism. ........ect.

But each his/her own.









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« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 07:12:37 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2009, 10:08:29 AM »

LOL at the OP! Hey bro, good luck with that battle! Calvinist are some of the worst arm chair theologians that you will ever encounter. I used to be a five point Calvinist and know exactly how they are in this camp. They think Orthodox and Catholics are some of the worst heretics. They will just smile at you while you try to make valid points all the while they are thinking you are full of BS and you don't even know the basics to form proper doctrinal/theological points to make an informed argument.  They are also some of the worst narcissistic smug people you will ever meet because they think they have everything figured out. They have reduced the bible and Christianity down to an exact formula. Their approach to forming theological beliefs comes from using select verses in a very contrived way.
That was definitely my experience. For example, we were talking about salvation and I mentioned James 2:24, "See how a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." I also brougth up Romans 2: 5-11
"By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works:
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness. 
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon every human being who does evil, Jew first and then Greek. 
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, Jew first and then Greek.There is no partiality with God." It seems clear that works play a part in deification/salvation but they would not have it. They demanded that we take everything that the scriptures say at face value, except, of course, the passages that I provided above.
They think they are God's elect... Roll Eyes They have a very sick twisted view of God himself.
I agree. They think that God creates evil. Such a view is down righty sick and I will not accept that they worship the God of Jesus Christ. The God of Jesus Christ is loving, holy, and merciful. I am nearly certain that radical Calvinists cannot be considered Christian.
I would read some of Frank Schaeffer's stuff because he came from this kind of background before becoming Eastern Orthodox. Scott Hahn was also from a similar protestant background and he has written some good books that touch on these kind of theological issues. 

I like to burn the Calvinist with a few things that will really make them think. It's almost futile to try to use the bible against them. Very hard to do with a Calvinist. They surely will point to scriptures from that list you brought up to make their case. It just turns into a big battle of quoting verses back and forth and since they think they are right, you will not gain any ground. I would use the early continuum of early christian liturgical worship and beliefs against them. Calvinist tend to be big church history buffs, but they haven't gone back far enough though! They are very analytical usually. I would also focus on church government in the book of Timothy and how those Bishops gave us the bible in the first Nicene council. Ask them why they don't have Bishops! Use church history and christian practice against them. Use simple things in christian worship/practice against them. Ask them if they believe the bible and follow ALL the scriptures. Then turn around and ask why they don't use incense because Malachi 1:11 says that Gods name is great wherever incense is offered in his name. This will make them think a little and they probably have never heard or thought about this before. Quiz them a little bit. Ask them things like..."If Calvinism were true, you realize that would make God a racist?" They will be stumped and ask how so. Tell them, "If Calvinist are God's chosen elect and most true system, why is it Calvinist are mostly white and the vast majority are in North America? Trust me, it works! You have to think outside the box a little because they are only used to having scriptural wars with other protestants lol. Stay away from the strict theological discussions.     
All very good advice. I remember they began part of their converstation by saying that they "felt bad" for the children in africa who had never heard of Jesus because those people were "going to hell". I was absolutely repulsed by that statement. It reminds of the 700 club episode of south park where the missonary tells the african child, "No, No honey, say it in God's language... English." lol
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2009, 10:09:36 AM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









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That was one of my motives. I was curious about what lead former Calvinists away from error and into Apostolic Chrisitanity.
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2009, 10:10:47 AM »

Based on my 1 experience with a college religious group, I find that reflective questioning usually drives them away in a huff within 2-3 minutes.

Example, if these Calvinists said that God created Evil, I would ask, "What is God?"

If these Calvinists tried to thump the Bible, I would ask, "What is the Bible?"

So reflective questioning is also playing dumb.
I tried to go in that direction but I think it short circuited their programing. LOL
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« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2009, 10:30:54 AM »

First off, let's elevate the tone a little, and treat each other as brothers rather than enemies. Ok?

Secondly, you confuse "radical Calvinists" with hyper-Calvinists.  The word radical refers to root: at root, they are Calvinists.  All Christians like to think that we are not superficial, but that the Gospel has made a radical change in us.  We are radically altered by God. So it is a compliment to call someone radical.
But as you were attempting to insult them, I think you meant something else.

Thirdly, I am not particularly a Calvinist.  I am not an expert on Calvinism.  But I think I know a little more than you do, and you would do well to learn something about what you attempting to criticize.

Fourthly, Calvinists do not regard God as the author of evil.  If anything that is a straw-man accusation, but it does apply to hyper-Calvinism (most of what people think of as Calvinism on this forum seems to be hyper-Calvinism).  I could post information on the differences between Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism if youlook.

Fourthly, you really do not know where Calvinists are coming from on this issue, and probably many others. In desiring to know more of where these people are coming from, you might read John Piper's article here that discusses God's desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?
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« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2009, 10:32:57 AM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









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That was one of my motives. I was curious about what lead former Calvinists away from error and into Apostolic Chrisitanity.

Most of the Presbyterians I know grew up Catholic, and testify that they left error for truth. Far more Catholics become Presbyterian than Presbyterians become Catholic.
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« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2009, 10:36:38 AM »

desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?

Excuse me but I did report on the issue very accurately. I'm not an idiot and they did in fact tell me that God created evil and was the direct source of both good and evil. They also specifically told me that God created some people specifically for the purpose of sending them to hell. That's why I called them radical calvinists rather than your every day run of the mill calvinists. I think that a regular calvinist can be a Christian but not the radical version.
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« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2009, 10:43:33 AM »

desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?

Excuse me but I did report on the issue very accurately. I'm not an idiot and they did in fact tell me that God created evil and was the direct source of both good and evil. They also specifically told me that God created some people specifically for the purpose of sending them to hell. That's why I called them radical calvinists rather than your every day run of the mill calvinists. I think that a regular calvinist can be a Christian but not the radical version.


No one called you an idiot. Someone can be unaware of the subtleties of something they have not studied and still be very intelligent and knowledgeable in other areas.  I only have a hazy acquaintance with some Thomist concepts, for example, and if I were to report on a conversation with a Thomist, I would have my doubts that I got it correct. You are, though, confusing "radical" with hyper-Calvinists. If they said that God was the direct source of both good and evil then they are hyper-Calvinists. They also believe in double predestination, which is actually run-of-the-mill Calvinism, found in such places as the Westminster Confession of Faith.  I would not expect you to know all the subtleties of Calvinism. You have demonstrated you don't.

And who are you to determine who can be a Christian?  Why are you ignoring the distinction between radical and hyper-Calvinist?

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« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2009, 10:51:31 AM »

desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?

Excuse me but I did report on the issue very accurately. I'm not an idiot and they did in fact tell me that God created evil and was the direct source of both good and evil. They also specifically told me that God created some people specifically for the purpose of sending them to hell. That's why I called them radical calvinists rather than your every day run of the mill calvinists. I think that a regular calvinist can be a Christian but not the radical version.


No one called you an idiot. Someone can be unaware of the subtleties of something they have not studied and still be very intelligent and knowledgeable in other areas.  I only have a hazy acquaintance with some Thomist concepts, for example, and if I were to report on a conversation with a Thomist, I would have my doubts that I got it correct. You are, though, confusing "radical" with hyper-Calvinists. If they said that God was the direct source of both good and evil then they are hyper-Calvinists. They also believe in double predestination, which is actually run-of-the-mill Calvinism, found in such places as the Westminster Confession of Faith.  I would not expect you to know all the subtleties of Calvinism. You have demonstrated you don't.

And who are you to determine who can be a Christian?  Why are you ignoring the distinction between radical and hyper-Calvinist?


Who do I consider to be Chritistian?
Catholics,
Oriental Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
Assyrian Christians
Most Protestant Groups.

Non Christians?
Mormons
Jehovah's Witnesses,
Oneness Pentacostals
similar cults
Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil.

As for you distinction between radical/and hyper calvinism, it seem like termonology that you have created but such termonology does not interest me.
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« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2009, 11:05:46 AM »

desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?

Excuse me but I did report on the issue very accurately. I'm not an idiot and they did in fact tell me that God created evil and was the direct source of both good and evil. They also specifically told me that God created some people specifically for the purpose of sending them to hell. That's why I called them radical calvinists rather than your every day run of the mill calvinists. I think that a regular calvinist can be a Christian but not the radical version.


No one called you an idiot. Someone can be unaware of the subtleties of something they have not studied and still be very intelligent and knowledgeable in other areas.  I only have a hazy acquaintance with some Thomist concepts, for example, and if I were to report on a conversation with a Thomist, I would have my doubts that I got it correct. You are, though, confusing "radical" with hyper-Calvinists. If they said that God was the direct source of both good and evil then they are hyper-Calvinists. They also believe in double predestination, which is actually run-of-the-mill Calvinism, found in such places as the Westminster Confession of Faith.  I would not expect you to know all the subtleties of Calvinism. You have demonstrated you don't.

And who are you to determine who can be a Christian?  Why are you ignoring the distinction between radical and hyper-Calvinist?


Who do I consider to be Chritistian?
Catholics,
Oriental Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
Assyrian Christians
Most Protestant Groups.

Non Christians?
Mormons
Jehovah's Witnesses,
Oneness Pentacostals
similar cults
Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil.

As for you distinction between radical/and hyper calvinism, it seem like termonology that you have created but such termonology does not interest me.

The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like).  Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching? Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?
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« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2009, 11:10:06 AM »

^ The Catholic Church has not ruled on the matter of whether or not Calvinists who believe that God is direcet source of evil can be Christian. That being said, if you believe that God is the direct source of evil, then you have a flawed god and one not worthy of worship. Such a God is most certainly not the God of Jesus Christ described in the bible.

That all being said, I would like any help that my Orthodox or Protestant bretheren can give refuting the errors of Calvinism.
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« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2009, 11:21:56 AM »

^ The Catholic Church has not ruled on the matter of whether or not Calvinists who believe that God is direcet source of evil can be Christian. That being said, if you believe that God is the direct source of evil, then you have a flawed god and one not worthy of worship. Such a God is most certainly not the God of Jesus Christ described in the bible.

That all being said, I would like any help that my Orthodox or Protestant bretheren can give refuting the errors of Calvinism.


I am trying to help you.  It might be good if you knew what the errors of the Calvinists are, so that you can refute them, rather than acting in a manner that indicates you want to know as little as possible about Calvinism.  You told me you were uninterested in a crucial distinction (radical versus hyper) which gives me this impression.

Why, by the way, are you, a Catholic, looking for help on this from the Orthodox and the Protestants? Are you thereby proclaiming Rome isn't up to the task? Something the Orthodox and the Protestants would agree on?

You mean, by the way, a flawed concept of God. You might want to review Catholic teaching that there is only one God, actually, and that we can understand Him in flawed ways, but He is still the same, whether we think of Him accurately or not.  You seem to be saying that God is not worthy of worship if someone does not have a correct view of Him.  I don't think you mean to say this.

You seem very confused.
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« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2009, 11:26:46 AM »

If it were me, after every point I would say: "Oh my, I don't think the Church has ever taught that"... or... "I will have to ask the Bishop about that"... or... "Cross yourself a lot and look concerned for their immortal soul"
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« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2009, 11:32:46 AM »

^ The Catholic Church has not ruled on the matter of whether or not Calvinists who believe that God is direcet source of evil can be Christian. That being said, if you believe that God is the direct source of evil, then you have a flawed god and one not worthy of worship. Such a God is most certainly not the God of Jesus Christ described in the bible.

That all being said, I would like any help that my Orthodox or Protestant bretheren can give refuting the errors of Calvinism.


I am trying to help you.  It might be good if you knew what the errors of the Calvinists are, so that you can refute them, rather than acting in a manner that indicates you want to know as little as possible about Calvinism.  You told me you were uninterested in a crucial distinction (radical versus hyper) which gives me this impression.

Why, by the way, are you, a Catholic, looking for help on this from the Orthodox and the Protestants? Are you thereby proclaiming Rome isn't up to the task? Something the Orthodox and the Protestants would agree on?
No. I am looking for all sources of help in dealing with these two guys.

You mean, by the way, a flawed concept of God. You might want to review Catholic teaching that there is only one God, actually, and that we can understand Him in flawed ways, but He is still the same, whether we think of Him accurately or not.  You seem to be saying that God is not worthy of worship if someone does not have a correct view of Him.  I don't think you mean to say this.
Yes there is only one God. But how far can a person go in mischaracterizing him that he is no longer really really talking about God but of an idol of his own making. I think that anyone goes so far as to worship a non-holy God is worshiping an idol and not God.

You seem very confused.
No, I'm fine.
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« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2009, 11:39:38 AM »



The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like). 

I have heard the term hyper-Calvinism/Calvinist used as a theological term to mean the Calvinists who believe, that God created evil, God willy nilly and quite arbitrarily decides who goes to heaven and hell, and all the rest Papist reported.

 I have never heard the phrase "radical Calvinist" used as any type of "official" or semi-official theological term. Rather I've only ever heard it used in the lay sense it's being used here, to mean hyper-high/5 point Calvinism. If indeed "radical Calvinism" is an actual theological term within Calvinism thought, I'm sure no one would use it. I just don't think anyone here is aware that it is an actual term. That's the thing I've found about most Calvinists, including your post, that you assume we should KNOW all these different "schools" of thought, even though no one has ever explained any of this to us.

Quote
Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Wrong. He is trying to learn about it, that's what this whole thread is about. You must remember that most non-Calvinists who've been exposed to Calvinism have only been exposed to the hyper-Calvinism which says God created evil, and actually DOES evil things like arbitrarily send people to hell, gives people cancer, and has not given man free will.  Most people are simply not aware of other milder "flavors" of Calvinism, whether it's 4 point, or low 5 point, high 5 point, hyper, or whatever else. (all of which are terms I've heard at one time or another by Calvinists describing themselves...)

The more moderate forms of Calvinism are not really all that different than Catholicism/Orthodoxy's views on these subjects, even though Calvinists would use radically different terminology. However you've got to admit, the most outspoken and visible Calvinists are of the type of people Papist experienced. And so it's no wonder people find "Calvinism" so disagreeable because it appears there is only one form, even if the appearance is not accurate.

Quote
Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching?

It's obviously his own opinion since he said flat out said "I feel", in refering to the subject.

Quote
Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?

He dare say such a thing because, well he has that right. Smiley

Secondly, I'm sure there are canons, councils or something written in the history of the Apostolic Church somewhere that says something to the effect that anyone who believes God created evil (thus being the source, cause and the one DOING evil) is not a Christian.  I'm sure this was addressed at some point in Church history pre-schism and certainly post schism/post Reformation. And I KNOW the issue of free will was addressed at some ancient Council though I've forgotten which one.

You make a good point that it's important to remember there are many different forms of Calvinism. However instead of explaining that, you implied Papist was either lying, or just didn't know what he was talking about. When in fact I, and many others have been in conversations with people JUST LIKE the guys he was talking to. These types of Calvinists (whichever "brand" one calls them) are not figments of our imagination, they do exist. However as you rightly pointed out, so do many other types of Calvinists, which is easy to forget sometimes. Especially if we've never been exposed to them.

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« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2009, 01:55:30 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?...32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah: wherefore turn yourselves, and live....33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Luke 9: 51-6 And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,  And sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him.  And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.

I Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Quote
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
Gen. 1: -2:3 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

So creation was finished, and the Creator said every thing was good.

God didn't create evil, because evil is a parasite, a deprivation, like darkness is only the absence of light. Hell is not created, it is prepared by creatures turning their backs on their creator.

Quote
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;...19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him...27-2 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

Numbers 12:2-8, 11-4 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house (cf. Heb. 3:2, 3:5). With Him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?...And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned...And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil....v. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?....2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause....42:7  And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

I Kings 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days...11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father...15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah....vv 3-5 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Luke 1:5-6 THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Quote
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.

Isaiah 50:2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?

Quote
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.

Ask them to tell us the Gospel verse that St. Paul quotes in Acts 20:35.
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« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2009, 02:06:09 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?...32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah: wherefore turn yourselves, and live....33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Luke 9: 51-6 And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,  And sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him.  And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.

I Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Quote
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
Gen. 1: -2:3 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

So creation was finished, and the Creator said every thing was good.

God didn't create evil, because evil is a parasite, a deprivation, like darkness is only the absence of light. Hell is not created, it is prepared by creatures turning their backs on their creator.

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3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;...19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him...27-2 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

Numbers 12:2-8, 11-4 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house (cf. Heb. 3:2, 3:5). With Him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?...And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned...And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil....v. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?....2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause....42:7  And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

I Kings 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days...11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father...15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah....vv 3-5 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Luke 1:5-6 THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

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4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.

Isaiah 50:2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?

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5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.

Ask them to tell us the Gospel verse that St. Paul quotes in Acts 20:35.

Thank you VERY much. This is great stuff. I have to say you are a wealth of information. I'm going to e mail some of these passages along with comentary to those young men.
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« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2009, 02:06:37 PM »

I'm thinking of pointing those guys to OC.net. I wonder if that might be a good idea.
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« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2009, 02:23:19 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

I would have cut them off midway through point one. You should look very serious, nod a lot, and say, 'Yes, yes, I've been taught that some people will go to hell too ... we must be part of the same Church ... tell me, do you think Calvinists are lower in hell than Methodists, or higher?'


Oh, and I like Marc's option too:  Smiley

Quote

If it were me, after every point I would say: "Oh my, I don't think the Church has ever taught that"... or... "I will have to ask the Bishop about that"... or... "Cross yourself a lot and look concerned for their immortal soul"

Actually, in all seriousness, may I ask why you got into an argument with these people? I mean ... if someone approached me and started to tear down my beliefs, I'd probably argue quite outspokenly too. Don't you think if you approached them, the onus was on you to be a bit cautious? Apologies if I'm misinterpreting the situation (it might be my staid British reluctance to chatting with strangers  Wink )
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« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2009, 02:26:17 PM »


Actually, in all seriousness, may I ask why you got into an argument with these people? I mean ... if someone approached me and started to tear down my beliefs, I'd probably argue quite outspokenly too. Don't you think if you approached them, the onus was on you to be a bit cautious? Apologies if I'm misinterpreting the situation (it might be my staid British reluctance to chatting with strangers  Wink )
Well, I actually didn't want to talk to them at first. LOL. However, my friends started up a conversation with them and and I just couldn't ignore what was being said. I know I probably should have just walked away, but I'm in it now. LOL. Oh well, I suppose the most Christian thing to do would be to offers prayers for them and commend them to the intercession of our Blessed Mother.
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« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2009, 02:31:12 PM »

Dear Papist,
having heard your situation, I came out with this (maybe insane) idea. What is it that makes cult faithful "nervous"? Obviously, the fact that you start judging them and their theology. I had a similar experience with some JWs in the past, but I don't know if my discourse persuaded them: they just left my home smiling and never came back anymore. Who knows what was their destiny? God knows.
I think you could try this: Start a conversation with them, on any sort of aspect they might want to discuss (especially on that "total depravity"-like theory). Let them talk to you, and try to be serious and interested in listening to their words. When they have ended to propose their position, try to say something like "I understand your point, that's interesting. But, what about this verse [quotation] and this one [another quotation]?" Since you have shown interest, but you are still doubting, they won't be so nervous to catch you away, and they'll probably stay open to dialogue, trying to make a new point. Discuss with them softly, offering new prooftexts as if you were discussing only out of pure curiosity. Of course, prepare a list of well-chosen biblical passages on this theme, so that you can have an advantage on them who are used only to selected  prooftexts. If you're good enough at this, i.e. if you can show them how the Bible contradicts their point of view, they will possibly (or simply presumably) open their ears to possibilities different then those they confess as Calvinists.
With all of my heart, I'll pray that you might be able to persuade them, and that you may not get too much emotionally involved and lose control, so that your calm conversation might also be an example for them not to label you "a priori" as an heretic, thus stopping all dialogue at its roots.
Have a good job, preacher! If you manage to save their souls, I'll (virtually) offer a bottle of champagne for having delivered two new souls from the hands of that satan-like "god" they worship!

In Christ,   Alex

PS: we share the same list of "true Christians" except I place RCism at the third rank (no offence) and I consider only Anglo-Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans among the Protestants to be fully Christians despite their partial lack of sacramental grace.

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2009, 02:34:02 PM »

Oh, I forgot: I think it was a good thing you started talking to them. Maybe it's one of the chances they might have to change their mind... but if you don't manage, don't be sad: the ways of God are infinite, maybe yours could just be a seed to develop later.
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« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2009, 02:34:13 PM »

Dear Papist,
having heard your situation, I came out with this (maybe insane) idea. What is it that makes cult faithful "nervous"? Obviously, the fact that you start judging them and their theology. I had a similar experience with some JWs in the past, but I don't know if my discourse persuaded them: they just left my home smiling and never came back anymore. Who knows what was their destiny? God knows.
I think you could try this: Start a conversation with them, on any sort of aspect they might want to discuss (especially on that "total depravity"-like theory). Let them talk to you, and try to be serious and interested in listening to their words. When they have ended to propose their position, try to say something like "I understand your point, that's interesting. But, what about this verse [quotation] and this one [another quotation]?" Since you have shown interest, but you are still doubting, they won't be so nervous to catch you away, and they'll probably stay open to dialogue, trying to make a new point. Discuss with them softly, offering new prooftexts as if you were discussing only out of pure curiosity. Of course, prepare a list of well-chosen biblical passages on this theme, so that you can have an advantage on them who are used only to selected  prooftexts. If you're good enough at this, i.e. if you can show them how the Bible contradicts their point of view, they will possibly (or simply presumably) open their ears to possibilities different then those they confess as Calvinists.
With all of my heart, I'll pray that you might be able to persuade them, and that you may not get too much emotionally involved and lose control, so that your calm conversation might also be an example for them not to label you "a priori" as an heretic, thus stopping all dialogue at its roots.
Have a good job, preacher! If you manage to save their souls, I'll (virtually) offer a bottle of champagne for having delivered two new souls from the hands of that satan-like "god" they worship!

In Christ,   Alex

PS: we share the same list of "true Christians" except I place RCism at the third rank (no offence) and I consider only Anglo-Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans among the Protestants to be fully Christians despite their partial lack of sacramental grace.

In Christ,    Alex
Great points . I definitely need to take this to prayer, and please do continue praying for me and these men as we continue this dialogue.
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« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2009, 02:35:21 PM »

Oh well, I suppose the most Christian thing to do would be to offers prayers for them and commend them to the intercession of our Blessed Mother.

Yep, that'd be very Christian. But I bet it would also have been very satisfying to see the looks on their faces if you'd done so right in front of them!

It is never easy to walk away from that kind of argument, I know.
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« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2009, 02:35:30 PM »

I think I need to add to my converstion with these men the dangers of "proof-texting". If anyone has some insight on this matter, I think that might be helpful as well.
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« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2009, 02:54:18 PM »

I think I need to add to my converstion with these men the dangers of "proof-texting". If anyone has some insight on this matter, I think that might be helpful as well.

I think it's a gradual learning process, teaching someone what's wrong with proof-texting. At first, people start out all excited, but the more often they hear the many, many, many counter-proof-texts cited, the more they come to realize that proof texting isn't the final answer.

As friendly advice from a Protestant, btw, I'd also suggest you try to keep your counter-examples Scriptural, simply because Scripture is more likely to convince a Protestant than the words of a saint. Indeed, I would go so far as to suggest that, if you're arguing with someone who is proof-texting and you can think of a nice counter-argument by Saint A or Father B, you might be better to pretend for the moment that the argument comes directly from you. I say this not to belittle the importance of the Saints and the Fathers for you, of course. After all, if you argue against someone's proof-text with the argument originally written by a Church Father, how much more satisfying it will be if you do manage to win your opponent's agreement on any point? You will instantly be able to say smugly, 'ah, yes, this came from one of the Church Fathers. I deduce you agree with him.'
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« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2009, 02:55:53 PM »

Well, if you are successful, they will understand by themselves: the Bible says things which seem to be contradictory. You can quote, for example, the words of 2 Peter where the Apostle, while affirming that Paul's letters are "Scripture", they are difficult to understand by private interpretation. Then, you can tell them that since God is a God of order, he has established an authority on Earth, so that it might serve as a guide. Begin to show them how the Holy Spirit at Pentecost founded the Church as a channel of grace, leading to "truth entire"... show them how the Scriptures affirm both oral and written traditions handed down by the apostles to their successors... show them how the first Christian writings outside the Bible witness to an unbroken continuity of faith with the apostles. lLast, but not least, ask them where did the Canon of Scriptures come from. If they don't know, tell them the truth: it's the undivided Catholic Church of the first centuries after the apostles... they same church they condemn as apostates and heretics, as expressed by those churches on Earth which are bound in common at least by the first two ecumenical synods... well it's that church which gave us the Scriptures they are reading. At this point (but my imagination is running too fast) they would be ready to progress on their own, if they want, to find which church among the traditional "catholic" churches (RCC, EOC, OOC...) they want to choose... Presenting them the entirety of one of this faiths isolated from the other would be an error, especially because you might present a terrestrial authority over the Bible. I think they should get it on their own exploring the first witnesses of the Christian faith, the Church Fathers.

In Christ,   Alex

PS(1): In other words, I agree with Liz!
PS(2): Of course I'll pray for you and for your "rescue mission"!
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« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2009, 02:56:17 PM »

I think I need to add to my converstion with these men the dangers of "proof-texting". If anyone has some insight on this matter, I think that might be helpful as well.

I think it's a gradual learning process, teaching someone what's wrong with proof-texting. At first, people start out all excited, but the more often they hear the many, many, many counter-proof-texts cited, the more they come to realize that proof texting isn't the final answer.

As friendly advice from a Protestant, btw, I'd also suggest you try to keep your counter-examples Scriptural, simply because Scripture is more likely to convince a Protestant than the words of a saint. Indeed, I would go so far as to suggest that, if you're arguing with someone who is proof-texting and you can think of a nice counter-argument by Saint A or Father B, you might be better to pretend for the moment that the argument comes directly from you. I say this not to belittle the importance of the Saints and the Fathers for you, of course. After all, if you argue against someone's proof-text with the argument originally written by a Church Father, how much more satisfying it will be if you do manage to win your opponent's agreement on any point? You will instantly be able to say smugly, 'ah, yes, this came from one of the Church Fathers. I deduce you agree with him.'
Thank  you Liz. Your posts are charitable and useful.
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« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2009, 06:27:37 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?...32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah: wherefore turn yourselves, and live....33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Luke 9: 51-6 And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,  And sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him.  And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.

I Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Quote
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
Gen. 1: -2:3 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

So creation was finished, and the Creator said every thing was good.

God didn't create evil, because evil is a parasite, a deprivation, like darkness is only the absence of light. Hell is not created, it is prepared by creatures turning their backs on their creator.

Quote
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;...19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him...27-2 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

Numbers 12:2-8, 11-4 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house (cf. Heb. 3:2, 3:5). With Him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?...And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned...And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil....v. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?....2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause....42:7  And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

I Kings 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days...11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father...15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah....vv 3-5 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Luke 1:5-6 THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Quote
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.

Isaiah 50:2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?

Quote
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.

Ask them to tell us the Gospel verse that St. Paul quotes in Acts 20:35.

Thank you VERY much. This is great stuff. I have to say you are a wealth of information. I'm going to e mail some of these passages along with comentary to those young men.

Piper deals with most of these passages in the link I referenced earlier. Not great stuff.

Why do you people condemn proof texting but then attempt to use proof texting against people you call Calvinists?
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« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2009, 06:45:41 PM »

Truthstalker,

While I may agree with you about the difference between "radical" versus "hyper". In my dealings with different kinds of people, I have noticed that the word "radical" is sometimes used as "going beyond the norm". So there seems to be more than just one sense of the word.

So for now, let us agree that what he means by "radical" is the same or at least similar to what you mean by "hyper".


Different schools of thought have different lingo, so it's not important for us to use the "same" lingo in order to know what someone is trying to say.

So for me it's a non issue, and not the thing to waste alot of time on.

There are calvinists that believe what the op described, and this is why I asked him to ask them if they were Supra, followers of Gordon Clark, if they rejected the mainstream calvinistic doctrine of common grace......ect.

I personally know a handfull of calvinists that follow Gordan Clark and John Piper that would fit the bill of the OP.







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« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 06:50:27 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2009, 06:48:03 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









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That was one of my motives. I was curious about what lead former Calvinists away from error and into Apostolic Chrisitanity.

Most of the Presbyterians I know grew up Catholic, and testify that they left error for truth. Far more Catholics become Presbyterian than Presbyterians become Catholic.

Yeah, but we all know that alot of prespyterians that eventually become Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, tend to be highly educated. Alot of lay Roman Catholics in certain regions of America don't know what they believe nor why they believe it. So there's a difference.






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« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 06:49:26 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2009, 06:58:13 PM »



The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like). 

I have heard the term hyper-Calvinism/Calvinist used as a theological term to mean the Calvinists who believe, that God created evil, God willy nilly and quite arbitrarily decides who goes to heaven and hell, and all the rest Papist reported.

 I have never heard the phrase "radical Calvinist" used as any type of "official" or semi-official theological term. Rather I've only ever heard it used in the lay sense it's being used here, to mean hyper-high/5 point Calvinism. If indeed "radical Calvinism" is an actual theological term within Calvinism thought, I'm sure no one would use it. I just don't think anyone here is aware that it is an actual term. That's the thing I've found about most Calvinists, including your post, that you assume we should KNOW all these different "schools" of thought, even though no one has ever explained any of this to us.

Quote
Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Wrong. He is trying to learn about it, that's what this whole thread is about. You must remember that most non-Calvinists who've been exposed to Calvinism have only been exposed to the hyper-Calvinism which says God created evil, and actually DOES evil things like arbitrarily send people to hell, gives people cancer, and has not given man free will.  Most people are simply not aware of other milder "flavors" of Calvinism, whether it's 4 point, or low 5 point, high 5 point, hyper, or whatever else. (all of which are terms I've heard at one time or another by Calvinists describing themselves...)

The more moderate forms of Calvinism are not really all that different than Catholicism/Orthodoxy's views on these subjects, even though Calvinists would use radically different terminology. However you've got to admit, the most outspoken and visible Calvinists are of the type of people Papist experienced. And so it's no wonder people find "Calvinism" so disagreeable because it appears there is only one form, even if the appearance is not accurate.

Quote
Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching?

It's obviously his own opinion since he said flat out said "I feel", in refering to the subject.

Quote
Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?

He dare say such a thing because, well he has that right. Smiley

Secondly, I'm sure there are canons, councils or something written in the history of the Apostolic Church somewhere that says something to the effect that anyone who believes God created evil (thus being the source, cause and the one DOING evil) is not a Christian.  I'm sure this was addressed at some point in Church history pre-schism and certainly post schism/post Reformation. And I KNOW the issue of free will was addressed at some ancient Council though I've forgotten which one.

You make a good point that it's important to remember there are many different forms of Calvinism. However instead of explaining that, you implied Papist was either lying, or just didn't know what he was talking about. When in fact I, and many others have been in conversations with people JUST LIKE the guys he was talking to. These types of Calvinists (whichever "brand" one calls them) are not figments of our imagination, they do exist. However as you rightly pointed out, so do many other types of Calvinists, which is easy to forget sometimes. Especially if we've never been exposed to them.



Good post.  One reason I do not call myself a Calvinist is because the term really has little meaning anymore, and the meaning it does have is technical enough that it is confusing.  But all Calvinists, as far as I know, do believe that God sovereignly elects some to go to heaven.  If I look at it closely enough as an issue in the nuanced versions, and compare it to Catholicism, it isn't really all that different. Where it is different is the idea of double predestination, which is the belief that God elects some to go to heaven (the doctrine of election) and deliberately chooses others to go to hell (the doctrine of probation).  The Westminster Confession of Faith, the most widely known Calvinist confession, contains both.  Various Reformed denominations adhere to the WCF in varying degrees, from requiring ministers to subscribe to each single point of it to almost ignoring it.

For me, whether someone is a Christian or not is whether they confess Christ as savior and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.  More narrowly, whether they subscribe to the Nicene creed.  More specifically, whether they are making a sincere effort, given these two restrictions, to obey God.

I find myself in the rather awkward position of attempting to defend something that I admittedly know little about, even if my denomination is technically Calvinistic.  Somehow I am the token practicing Calvinist, albeit a poor one both in ability to defend it or practice Christian charity.  At the same time I am very tired of hearing Calvin, or Calvinism, used as the whipping boy of this forum by people who seem to be almost totally ignorant of it, even those who claim to be former Calvinists.

Calvinism and Orthodoxy and Catholicism are in agreement on many, many issues.

And it seems to be a rule that the most obnoxious people in any denomination, or political party, come to typify that denomination or political party.  I have to remember sometimes that there are some really great posters on this forum.  There are others who sort of even them out, and unfortunately those are the ones I tend to remember.  There is a principle observed more often than it should be in the breach that if you make someone angry, you already lost whatever argument you had with him.
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« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2009, 07:04:41 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









ICXC NIKA
That was one of my motives. I was curious about what lead former Calvinists away from error and into Apostolic Chrisitanity.

Most of the Presbyterians I know grew up Catholic, and testify that they left error for truth. Far more Catholics become Presbyterian than Presbyterians become Catholic.

Yeah, but we all know that alot of prespyterians that eventually become Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, tend to be highly educated. Alot of lay Roman Catholics in certain regions of America don't know what they believe nor why they believe it. So there's a difference.






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So the smart Protestants become RC or EO, and the stupid RC and EO become Protestant?  We don't know that. I've seen the claim but no data.  We do know that there is a lot of movement out of the RC and EO into Protestant churches, but then there are a lot more of you than us, at least for now. South America is quickly becoming Protestant and Europe is becoming Muslim or secular.

I suspect most believers in most churches have not really thought through their faith, whether RC, EO or Protestant.  The ones who would move on the basis of intellectual grounds probably are the more educated.  But where is the data? Or is this just an internet rumor?
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« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2009, 07:05:54 PM »

I think I need to add to my converstion with these men the dangers of "proof-texting". If anyone has some insight on this matter, I think that might be helpful as well.

There is a flawed concept that the "clear" passages should always interpret the unclear passages of scripture. All you have to do in this regard is just show how subjective this principle is......for the passage that might be clear to you, may not be so clear to them, and the passage they think is clear, may not be clear to you.

So pointing that out should slow things down a little.





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« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 07:07:13 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2009, 07:14:39 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









ICXC NIKA
That was one of my motives. I was curious about what lead former Calvinists away from error and into Apostolic Chrisitanity.

Most of the Presbyterians I know grew up Catholic, and testify that they left error for truth. Far more Catholics become Presbyterian than Presbyterians become Catholic.

Yeah, but we all know that alot of prespyterians that eventually become Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, tend to be highly educated. Alot of lay Roman Catholics in certain regions of America don't know what they believe nor why they believe it. So there's a difference.






ICXC NIKA

So the smart Protestants become RC or EO, and the stupid RC and EO become Protestant?  We don't know that. I've seen the claim but no data.  We do know that there is a lot of movement out of the RC and EO into Protestant churches, but then there are a lot more of you than us, at least for now. South America is quickly becoming Protestant and Europe is becoming Muslim or secular.

I suspect most believers in most churches have not really thought through their faith, whether RC, EO or Protestant.  The ones who would move on the basis of intellectual grounds probably are the more educated.  But where is the data? Or is this just an internet rumor?

It's simply an issue of catechesis and church history, nothing more and nothing less. For a number of decades after vatican 2, there was poor catechesis. And I know this personally for in the rust belt I dated a few Roman Catholic women.....so I know about the horrible catechesis of this town. It seems like eversince J.F.K. became president, Roman Catholics in the rust belt became nominal quick........I guess they thought being a bad Roman Catholic was the way of getting ahead in America. Of making it to the top.

But back on topic...... the number of protestants in the 3rd world are mostly Pentecostal.......not Prespyterian. But the emotional fad of pentecostalism doesn't always last long, and so they become prespyterian or Baptist, and then from there Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox......you see, they eventually become educated in christian doctrine and the history of christianity and so leave protestantism.

So it's an issue of """catechesis""" and church history.

What kind of Prespyterian are you? Are you PCUSA? OPC? or PCA? I heard that the PCA did a study on it once.






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« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 07:32:02 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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