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primuspilus
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« on: September 02, 2011, 11:26:06 AM »

Question: Is Sola Fide classified as an actual heresy?

Question, the second: Those who die believing in Sola Fide but were also quite godly....I think you know where Im going with this....what happens in your opinion?

PP
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011, 01:14:50 PM »

Question: Is Sola Fide classified as an actual heresy?[/i]

Yes, according to the 1672 Synod of Jerusalem under Patriarch Dositheus.  See the link below and then some relevant excerpts at the end of this message. 

http://books.google.com/books?id=m4kXAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Acts+and+Decrees+of+the+Synod+of+Jerusalem&hl=en&ei=_f5gTsPLMuLw0gGujJU6&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=constantinople&f=false

Question, the second: Those who die believing in Sola Fide but were also quite godly....I think you know where Im going with this....what happens in your opinion?

Salvation is only to be found through the Church of Christ, the Ark of Salvation, which is the Orthodox Church.  Salvation can only occur through Christ, and it is only through the one true Church that man is united with Christ for his salvation, for Christ can never be divided, and the Lord does not have many bodies but one.  However, while this is all God has revealed to man, He alone is the final Judge, and in the end He alone knows who is worthy to inherit eternal life.  Man’s estimation of the “godliness” of another person outside of the Church does not reflect how God sees the same person, for God’s thoughts are not ours and vice versa.  There have been many heretics who were perhaps very devout, chaste, virtuous, etc., and yet the Church has condemned them as wicked, hated of God, and anathema on account of their impious beliefs and heresies.  It is not for us to worry about whether or not others will be saved when we have no assurance whether or not we will find salvation.  The Church is the Ark of Salvation, but not all formally received by the Church work out their salvation with fear and trembling or produce fruits worthy of repentance.  All we can do is enter the Ark of Salvation, labor with humility and zeal to save our own souls, and pray for the salvation of all.  Only if we are laboring for our own salvation will we be of any use to another person who longs to save their souls.  Sadly, though, because of the heresy of “Sola Fide”, few even labor for their salvation but rather expect it to be handed to them without any effort on their part, merely for some vague “belief”.  May God have mercy on and enlighten all those who have been seduced by such falsehood.

Concerning the Council of Jerusalem and Sola Fide:

p.78 - the Decree of the Synod in Constantinople, Against the Heretical Chapters of Cyril Lucar, by Divine Permission Patriarch of Constantinople

To Cyril putting forth as a dogma, and holding, that the good God before the foundation of the world chose some to glory, and predestinated them irrespectively of works; and that he rejected others before the world was, without cause, and that works are in no wise sufficient to procure a reward at the tribunal of Christ, as apeareth in his third and thirteenth chapters; since it would result, either that God was the author of evil, and unjust, or that not all that were involved in Adam’s sin could be save; and further, that the Gospels lied in saying, ‘I was hungry, and ye gave Me to eat;’ and, ‘Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you;’ also Paul, the mouth-piece of Christ, and James, the brother of Christ – the one in affirming that not the hearers of the law but the doers are righteous; and the other that faith without works is dead: Anathema!

p.91 – “The Acts of the Synod Holden at Jassy, Being the Second Against the Chapters of Cyil [Lucar]
Synodical Letter to the Local Synod Convened at Jassy

Parthenius, by the mercy of God, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch

“Our Mediocrity presiding Synodically, and there being gathered together therewith the most sacred and honoured High Pirests, the beloved brethren thereof in the Holy Spirit, and fellow ministers, and the most honourable Clergy of our Great Church of Christ, there have been brought into our midst certain chapters bearing the name of the elder Lord Cyril that was Patriarch before us, concerning which enquiry hath been made, as to whether they should be regarded as orthodox, and be retained, or whether they should be rejected as foreign to our Eastern and Apostolic Church of Christ.  Wherefore, this entire Sacred Synod, having carefully gone through every one of these, and examined the sense of what is written, they have found them all, with the exception of the seventh, adhereing to the heresy of Calvin, and very far indeed from the Christian profession of the Easterns.

I.    For in the first part…
IX.   And in the ninth he assumeth that bare faith without works will save…



"Decree XII (p.132)

We believe a man to be not simply justified through faith alone, but through faith which worketh through love, that is to say, through faith and works.  But [the notion] that faith fulfilling the function of a hand layeth hold on the righteousness which is in Christ, and applieth it unto us for salvation, we know to be far from all Orthodoxy.  For faith so understood would be possible in all, and so none could miss salvation, which is obviously false. But on the contrary, we rather believe that it is not the correlative of faith, but the faith which is in us, justifieth through works, with Christ.  But we regard works not as witness certifying our calling, but as being fruits in themselves, through which faith becometh efficacious, and as in themselves meriting, through the Divine promises, that each of the Faithful may receive what is done through his own body, whether it be good or bad, forsooth."
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 02:06:01 PM »

^^^ So much ink wasted...  Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2011, 02:06:08 PM »

Question: Is Sola Fide classified as an actual heresy?

Question, the second: Those who die believing in Sola Fide but were also quite godly....I think you know where Im going with this....what happens in your opinion?

PP

I don't know, seems like a different Gospel to me, and you know what St. Paul said about people (or even angels) preaching a different Gospel. As for their eternal destiny, I tend to think that people who sincerely do the best with what they're given will be fine; and that's about as vague as I think it needs to be.  angel
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2011, 02:07:38 PM »

I dont think those that hold to sola fide are preaching a different gospel, they're just wrong.

PP

Question: Is Sola Fide classified as an actual heresy?

Question, the second: Those who die believing in Sola Fide but were also quite godly....I think you know where Im going with this....what happens in your opinion?

PP

I don't know, seems like a different Gospel to me, and you know what St. Paul said about people (or even angels) preaching a different Gospel. As for their eternal destiny, I tend to think that people who sincerely do the best with what they're given will be fine; and that's about as vague as I think it needs to be.  angel
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2011, 02:15:14 PM »

I guess my thinking is:

- It's a distorted version of the Gospel message, taking certain passages (some Pauline) and using them as lenses through which to read the rest of Scripture; the result is focusing too much on some passages, while leaving other passages blurry and ignored or explained away

- If it's a distorted Gospel message, and the truth Gospel message is pure and true, then theirs must be a different Gospel. How different probably varys from group to group, and even person to person, though.
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2011, 02:19:28 PM »

I dont think those that hold to sola fide are preaching a different gospel, they're just wrong.

Yes. I think so, too. However, they think we are wrong. Is it reason enough to declare each other heretics and to say that the other party will not be saved?

I believe we should be careful with this word, "heresy," "heretic." It's easy to brand. But is it worth doing, especially in the case of Trinitarian Heterodox Christians? Some local council of the 17th century is hardly an infallible source of doctrine, is it? At approximately that same time (a bit earlier), the so-called Hundred Chapter Council ("Stoglav") in Moscow made the decision that if a man shaves his beard, he is definitely a Latin heretic, so when he dies, his relatives should not lite candles in his memory, and his priest must not remember him in services for the departed.

I must confess, there was a time when I was almost like Jah777 - loved to find and quote various Orthodox documents arguing that all others, except us, are heretics. But now I think I've changed. That was an "acute convertitis." A sickness that will pass, like chickenpox. Mine is gone.
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2011, 02:26:24 PM »

Quote
Yes. I think so, too. However, they think we are wrong. Is it reason enough to declare each other heretics and to say that the other party will not be saved?
I would never try to pigeonhole salvation. That's a dangerous game.

Quote
I must confess, there was a time when I was almost like Jah777 - loved to find and quote various Orthodox documents arguing that all others, except us, are heretics. But now I think I've changed. That was an "acute convertitis." A sickness that will pass, like chickenpox. Mine is gone
I see your point. Im not trying to "heretic-ize" anyone. I was just wondering what the Church's stance on the matter is. Some folks say certain things are heterodox and other things are outright heresy.

Quote
I believe we should be careful with this word, "heresy," "heretic." It's easy to brand. But is it worth doing, especially in the case of Trinitarian Heterodox Christians? Some local council of the 17th century is hardly an infallible source of doctrine, is it? At approximately that same time (a bit earlier), the so-called Hundred Chapter Council ("Stoglav") in Moscow made the decision that if a man shaves his beard, he is definitely a Latin heretic, so when he dies, his relatives should not lite candles in his memory, and his priest must not remember him in services for the departed


The Gillette sends alot of folks to hell Wink


PP
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2011, 03:02:52 PM »

I must confess, there was a time when I was almost like Jah777 - loved to find and quote various Orthodox documents arguing that all others, except us, are heretics. But now I think I've changed. That was an "acute convertitis." A sickness that will pass, like chickenpox. Mine is gone.

Heorhij, I was simply trying to answer his question.  primuspilus asked whether Sola Fide is “classified as an actual heresy”.  To me he seemed to be asking whether an “official” declaration has been made by the Orthodox Church on the matter, which is why I provided an official declaration.  This has little to do with having a “love” of finding quotes to condemn everyone else as heretics other than us.  If you read my message you will see that I didn’t imply that being in the Orthodox Church gave one a “blessed assurance” of salvation either.  Self-righteousness and haughtiness are never virtues, but neither is it sinful or a symptom of “convertitis” to be familiar with the pronouncements of Orthodox Councils.  If you think this 17th century Council is irrelevant, it is interesting that the OCA’s Met Jonah thought that this council was official enough that, based on the authority of this council alone, he told a large crowd of conservative Anglicans that they would have to renounce Calvinism as a heresy for there to be any possibility of future unity with the Orthodox Church.  Perhaps Met Jonah suffers from convertitis also? 

See the following regarding Met Jonah’s remarks:

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/calvinism-as-heresy/

http://www.rocorunited.com/2009/06/oca-metropolitan-jonah-seeks-communion.html
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2011, 03:16:29 PM »

the OCA’s Met Jonah thought that this council was official enough that, based on the authority of this council alone, he told a large crowd of conservative Anglicans that they would have to renounce Calvinism as a heresy for there to be any possibility of future unity with the Orthodox Church.  Perhaps Met Jonah suffers from convertitis also? 

He might. http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah "His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah was born James Paffhausen on October 20, 1959, in Chicago, IL, and was baptized into the Episcopal Church." Definitely a convert, and younger than me. Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2011, 03:20:24 PM »

the OCA’s Met Jonah thought that this council was official enough that, based on the authority of this council alone, he told a large crowd of conservative Anglicans that they would have to renounce Calvinism as a heresy for there to be any possibility of future unity with the Orthodox Church.  Perhaps Met Jonah suffers from convertitis also? 

He might. http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah "His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah was born James Paffhausen on October 20, 1959, in Chicago, IL, and was baptized into the Episcopal Church." Definitely a convert, and younger than me. Smiley
out of the mouths of babes then. T.U.L.I.P. is a heresy down to its bulb.
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2011, 03:32:20 PM »

the OCA’s Met Jonah thought that this council was official enough that, based on the authority of this council alone, he told a large crowd of conservative Anglicans that they would have to renounce Calvinism as a heresy for there to be any possibility of future unity with the Orthodox Church.  Perhaps Met Jonah suffers from convertitis also?  

He might. http://oca.org/holy-synod/bishops/metropolitan-jonah "His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah was born James Paffhausen on October 20, 1959, in Chicago, IL, and was baptized into the Episcopal Church." Definitely a convert, and younger than me. Smiley
out of the mouths of babes then. T.U.L.I.P. is a heresy down to its bulb.

T.U.L.I.P?

EDIT: Derp....I remember what it is now....stupid PP Smiley

PP
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2011, 06:04:40 PM »

I dont think those that hold to sola fide are preaching a different gospel, they're just wrong.
"But the novelties which the Calvinists have blasphemously introduced concerning God and divine things, perverting, mutilating, and abusing the Divine Scriptures, are sophistries and inventions of the devil."

"But of eternal punishment, of cruelty, of pitilessness, and of inhumanity, we never, never say God is the author, who tells us that there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents. Far be it from us, while we have our senses, to believe or to think this; and we do subject to an eternal anathema those who say and think such things, and esteem them to be worse than any infidels."

-Council of Jerusalem
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2011, 07:42:06 AM »

I dont think those that hold to sola fide are preaching a different gospel, they're just wrong.
"But the novelties which the Calvinists have blasphemously introduced concerning God and divine things, perverting, mutilating, and abusing the Divine Scriptures, are sophistries and inventions of the devil."

"But of eternal punishment, of cruelty, of pitilessness, and of inhumanity, we never, never say God is the author, who tells us that there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents. Far be it from us, while we have our senses, to believe or to think this; and we do subject to an eternal anathema those who say and think such things, and esteem them to be worse than any infidels."

-Council of Jerusalem

Sums up my feelings on TULIP Calvinism.
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2011, 10:15:52 AM »

A few points.

1. TULIP is not "Calvinism." Paradoxically as may seem, Jean Cauvin never heard of any TULIP. It was constructed by some "Reformed" theologians, mostly Dutch, when the good doctor from Geneva was already dead and buried. I am not sure how he would react if he read about the TULIP. A friend of mine who is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), who knows the "Institutions" inside out, says that Calvin would never put his signature under any of the TULIP's five lines.

2. Neither Calvin, nor "Calvinists," as far as I understand, teach that God is the "author of punishments" etc. Calvin built his entire system on the basis of the profound mystery of God's sovereinty over His creation. In Calvin's mind (and he was not original here, drawing extensively from St. Augustine), God allowed humans to lapse and thus to lose their free will. But this was done for a purpose (as they say, "does it occur to you that nothing 'occurs' to God?). This purpose was to redeem the "elect" by pouring on them His grace. With His grace, the "elect" re-acquire their free will and choose good. Those whom God did not pre-destine as His "elect" (the "reprobates") remain without His grace. Does it mean that God pre-destined them to hell, to the eternal punishment? Calvin very emphatically said, NO. No one except God knows what will happen to the reprobate. All we know is that each and every one of us is as guilty and deserving punishment as the next guy/gal. But, said Calvin, when we are baptized and when we at some important moment suddenly KNOW that we BELIEVE ("regeneration"), we begin to feel, experience this undescribable bliss of God's grace. And then, we begin to walk down the road of "sanctification" (the Orthodox call it "theosis"). Except for the basic premise that our relationship with God is judicial, i.e. that we are "guilty" and He is the Judge in front of Whom we must be somehow "justified," I don't see MUCH of a difference with our own Orthodox soteriology. The principal difference is that we look at fallen human beings as "patients," individuals who are ILL, rather than as criminals who ought to be punished if not "justified." But is the Calvinist "judicial" view a heresy? To what statement in the Nicene-Constantinople Creed does it contradict?

3. In what way are Episcopalians "Calvinists?" AFAIK, they are an extremely diverse and pluralistic religious community. Some of them believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, some do not. Some of them believe in ordination of women and gay marriage, others do not. It's not like Baptists who will always answer "yes" if you ask them, are they saved. I am not a member of the Episcopal Church of of the Anglican Communion, but I know a number of very faithful Episcopalians who, just like us Orthodox, absolutely believe in "works." If His Eminence Bp. +JONAH spoke to them, they would most definitely say, "but of course!" Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2011, 10:57:17 AM »

A few points.

1. TULIP is not "Calvinism." Paradoxically as may seem, Jean Cauvin never heard of any TULIP. It was constructed by some "Reformed" theologians, mostly Dutch, when the good doctor from Geneva was already dead and buried. I am not sure how he would react if he read about the TULIP. A friend of mine who is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), who knows the "Institutions" inside out, says that Calvin would never put his signature under any of the TULIP's five lines
And if Calvin was all that made up "Calvinism," and the Episcopalians just called to renounce him, that might be relevant.  But such is the nature of heresy, there is always room for others to persist in one person's errors while contributing their own.  That, btw, how we can keep St. Augustine without keeping Augustinianism.  Needless to say, said Reformed Theologians trace every petal of T.U.L.I.P. back to Calvin (while, as good sola scripturalist heretics, denying doing so). Btw, they're are a enough T.U.L.I.P.s growing in the Westminister Confession.

2. Neither Calvin, nor "Calvinists," as far as I understand, teach that God is the "author of punishments" etc. Calvin built his entire system on the basis of the profound mystery of God's sovereinty over His creation. In Calvin's mind (and he was not original here, drawing extensively from St. Augustine), God allowed humans to lapse and thus to lose their free will. But this was done for a purpose (as they say, "does it occur to you that nothing 'occurs' to God?). This purpose was to redeem the "elect" by pouring on them His grace. With His grace, the "elect" re-acquire their free will and choose good. Those whom God did not pre-destine as His "elect" (the "reprobates") remain without His grace. Does it mean that God pre-destined them to hell, to the eternal punishment? Calvin very emphatically said, NO. No one except God knows what will happen to the reprobate. All we know is that each and every one of us is as guilty and deserving punishment as the next guy/gal. But, said Calvin, when we are baptized and when we at some important moment suddenly KNOW that we BELIEVE ("regeneration"), we begin to feel, experience this undescribable bliss of God's grace. And then, we begin to walk down the road of "sanctification" (the Orthodox call it "theosis"). Except for the basic premise that our relationship with God is judicial, i.e. that we are "guilty" and He is the Judge in front of Whom we must be somehow "justified," I don't see MUCH of a difference with our own Orthodox soteriology. The principal difference is that we look at fallen human beings as "patients," individuals who are ILL, rather than as criminals who ought to be punished if not "justified." But is the Calvinist "judicial" view a heresy? To what statement in the Nicene-Constantinople Creed does it contradict?
"For us men and for our salvation.' Calvin and Calvinism denies that Christ died for all, just the elect.

3. In what way are Episcopalians "Calvinists?" AFAIK, they are an extremely diverse and pluralistic religious community.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump, and that dough is quite sour with heresy.

Some of them believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, some do not.
If those who believe it commune with those who don't, they are both heretics.

Some of them believe in ordination of women and gay marriage, others do not.
If those whose clerics "ordain" women and "marry" gays and in communion with those that do not, they are all heretics.

It's not like Baptists who will always answer "yes" if you ask them, are they saved. I am not a member of the Episcopal Church of of the Anglican Communion, but I know a number of very faithful Episcopalians who, just like us Orthodox, absolutely believe in "works." If His Eminence Bp. +JONAH spoke to them, they would most definitely say, "but of course!" Smiley
all the more pity then.  They hang around with the wrong crowd if they still acknowledge Abp. Rowan.  If they agreed with Met. Jonah acknowledging him as primate, that would be a different matter.
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2011, 11:23:49 AM »

is the Calvinist "judicial" view a heresy? To what statement in the Nicene-Constantinople Creed does it contradict?
"For us men and for our salvation.' Calvin and Calvinism denies that Christ died for all, just the elect.

Yes, I understand this, but they might probably say that the Creed does not mention "ALL men," either.
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2011, 11:51:26 AM »

is the Calvinist "judicial" view a heresy? To what statement in the Nicene-Constantinople Creed does it contradict?
"For us men and for our salvation.' Calvin and Calvinism denies that Christ died for all, just the elect.

Yes, I understand this, but they might probably say that the Creed does not mention "ALL men," either.
So a heretic reads his heresy into the Creed. Nothing new there.  So He won't judge ALL the living and ALL the dead either?
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« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2011, 12:03:10 PM »

In Calvin's mind (and he was not original here, drawing extensively from St. Augustine), God allowed humans to lapse and thus to lose their free will. But this was done for a purpose (as they say, "does it occur to you that nothing 'occurs' to God?). This purpose was to redeem the "elect" by pouring on them His grace. With His grace, the "elect" re-acquire their free will and choose good. Those whom God did not pre-destine as His "elect" (the "reprobates") remain without His grace.
That's the same thing as robbing them of free will.

[/color]Does it mean that God pre-destined them to hell, to the eternal punishment? Calvin very emphatically said, NO. No one except God knows what will happen to the reprobate.
Oh, did he?

2. Neither Calvin, nor "Calvinists," as far as I understand, teach that God is the "author of punishments" etc.
I have no idea how you believe this.
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2011, 12:06:44 PM »

is the Calvinist "judicial" view a heresy? To what statement in the Nicene-Constantinople Creed does it contradict?
"For us men and for our salvation.' Calvin and Calvinism denies that Christ died for all, just the elect.

Yes, I understand this, but they might probably say that the Creed does not mention "ALL men," either.
So a heretic reads his heresy into the Creed. Nothing new there.  So He won't judge ALL the living and ALL the dead either?

Calvinists do not deny that all will be judged. What they say is that God already knows, who will be saved, because He is all-knowing and He knew everything before He even created the world.

I think a more profound difference between us and Calvinists is that we believe that God is NOT "omnipotent" - there are things God CANNOT DO; He CANNOTsave me if I do not want to be saved. Calvin, however, believed that God's grace is irresistible, otherwise we question His sovereignty.
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« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2011, 12:11:39 PM »

2. Neither Calvin, nor "Calvinists," as far as I understand, teach that God is the "author of punishments" etc.
I have no idea how you believe this.

Because peple often confuse Calvin's teaching on predestination with the so-called "double predestination." The latter means that before all ages, God "invented" heaven for those He pleased and hell for others, again, because He just so pleased. But, as far as I know from my friends Presbyterians (especially from one ver erudite minister), Calvin never taught this. He wrote that God had His "elect" before all ages, andas for others, we just do not know what His plan for them was. (In all honesty, I haven't read the entire text of the "Institutions of Christian Faith," only small excerpts, but I have no reason not to believe my friends who have.)
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« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2011, 12:14:23 PM »

I think a more profound difference between us and Calvinists is that we believe that God is NOT "omnipotent" - there are things God CANNOT DO; He CANNOTsave me if I do not want to be saved. Calvin, however, believed that God's grace is irresistible, otherwise we question His sovereignty.

The question of "Can God create a being that loves while violating his freedom?" is like asking "Can God make a square circle?" So it's not that God is not omnipotent, but simply that the notion of love without freedom is a nonsense.
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« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2011, 12:17:40 PM »

Because peple often confuse Calvin's teaching on predestination with the so-called "double predestination." The latter means that before all ages, God "invented" heaven for those He pleased and hell for others, again, because He just so pleased. But, as far as I know from my friends Presbyterians (especially from one ver erudite minister), Calvin never taught this. He wrote that God had His "elect" before all ages, andas for others, we just do not know what His plan for them was. (In all honesty, I haven't read the entire text of the "Institutions of Christian Faith," only small excerpts, but I have no reason not to believe my friends who have.)

"Predestination, by which God adopts some to the hope of life and adjudges others to eternal death, no one desirous of the credit of piety dares absolutely to deny...

...Predestination we call the eternal decree of God by which he has determined in himself what would have to become of every individual of mankind. For they are not all created with a similar destiny, but eternal life is foreordained for some, and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say he is predestined to life or to death."


"We assert that by an eternal and immutable Council, God has once-for-all determined both whom he would admit to salvation, and whom he would condemn to destruction... to those whom he devotes to condemnation, the gate of life is closed by a just and irreprehensible but incomprehensible judgment."

-The Institutes, John Calvin

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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2011, 12:20:42 PM »

2. Neither Calvin, nor "Calvinists," as far as I understand, teach that God is the "author of punishments" etc.
I have no idea how you believe this.

Because peple often confuse Calvin's teaching on predestination with the so-called "double predestination." The latter means that before all ages, God "invented" heaven for those He pleased and hell for others, again, because He just so pleased. But, as far as I know from my friends Presbyterians (especially from one ver erudite minister), Calvin never taught this. He wrote that God had His "elect" before all ages, andas for others, we just do not know what His plan for them was. (In all honesty, I haven't read the entire text of the "Institutions of Christian Faith," only small excerpts, but I have no reason not to believe my friends who have.)
except maybe your friends have a vested interest in disassociating Calvin from a dotrine they abhore, or is seen as abhorent.
From Calvin's Instittutes (which, btw, went through a few revisions)
Quote
In conformity, therefore, to the clear doctrine of the Scripture, we assert, that by an eternal and immutable counsel, God has once for all determined, both whom he would admit to salvation, and whom he would condemn to destruction. We affirm that this counsel, as far as concerns the elect, is founded on his gratuitous mercy, totally irrespective of human merit; but that to those whom he devotes to condemnation, the gate of life is closed by a just and irreprehensible, but incomprehensible, judgment. In the elect, we consider calling as an evidence of election, and justification as another token of its manifestation, till they arrive in glory, which constitutes its completion. As God seals his elect by vocation and justification, so by excluding the reprobate from the knowledge of his name and the sanctification of his Spirit, he affords an indication of the judgement that awaits them.
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/calvin-predestin2.asp
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« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2011, 12:31:01 PM »

I think a more profound difference between us and Calvinists is that we believe that God is NOT "omnipotent" - there are things God CANNOT DO; He CANNOTsave me if I do not want to be saved. Calvin, however, believed that God's grace is irresistible, otherwise we question His sovereignty.
No. We believe that God revealed Himself and His character in Jesus Christ, the Word, Wisdom, Power, Image and eternal Son of God. God has revealed that He is not going to force people to be saved who do not want to be. God has revealed that He desires mercy over sacrifice through the revelation of His Holy Spirit. God has revealed that He is Humble, even in eternity, and that His power is made perfect in weakness. What the pagans count as sovereignty we count as the false kingdoms of the adversary. You say we declare what God cannot do; I say we declare certain things that He has sworn to do and not to do by His Prophets and by His Incarnate Word.

"The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind" -Psalm 110
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« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2011, 01:54:28 PM »

What the pagans count as sovereignty we count as the false kingdoms of the adversary. You say we declare what God cannot do; I say we declare certain things that He has sworn to do and not to do by His Prophets and by His Incarnate Word.

I don't quite like this antagonizing of "us" and "them" ("pagans" - HuhHuhHuh??). The thing is, I heard this expression - "GOD CANNOT do this and that" - from Orthodox clergy, monks. I have a virtual friend who has been a monk in Russia for many, many years (and also a teacher at an Orthodox seminary), and he always keeps saying that unless one realizes that there ARE things God CANNOT do, does not really have an Orthodox mind.

"The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind" -Psalm 110

"There is no God" - Psalm 14. Quoting random verses from Scripture as "proof texts" may be quite dangerous, especially if one qotes parts of verses.
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« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2011, 01:57:38 PM »

The thing is, I heard this expression - "GOD CANNOT do this and that" - from Orthodox clergy, monks. I have a virtual friend who has been a monk in Russia for many, many years (and also a teacher at an Orthodox seminary), and he always keeps saying that unless one realizes that there ARE things God CANNOT do, does not really have an Orthodox mind.
God cannot do what contradicts how He has fully and finally revealed Himself, no. That would be absurd.

"The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind" -Psalm 110

"There is no God" - Psalm 14. Quoting random verses from Scripture as "proof texts" my be quite dangerous, especially if one qotes parts of verses.
It's not a prooftext; it's a demonstration. The very existence of such a verse demonstrates that there are things God "cannot" do.

I don't quite like this antagonizing of "us" and "them"
It's not antagonizing, it's stating a fact. The Council of Jerusalem had no problem doing it. St. Irenaeus condemned the Gnostics for their predestination doctrines as aliens to the Gospel. I respect the Five Point Calvinist who thinks I'm a Pelagian heretic far more than I do some relativistic Presbyterian who thinks we all really believe the same thing except for a few extremists.
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« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2011, 02:25:54 PM »

except maybe your friends have a vested interest in disassociating Calvin from a dotrine they abhore, or is seen as abhorent.
From Calvin's Instittutes (which, btw, went through a few revisions)

You may be right. I will ask my friend, the PC-USA minister, about the passage you and NicholasMyra quoted. If there are different versions of the "Institutes," then it might be the explanation.

I, indeed, dealt only with liberal, modernist Presbyterians, and they all swore that Calvin did not teach double predestination. Maybe the "Institutes" they read are different from the "Institutes" that they dislike and never read.

Still, calling them "heretics" is too harsh, I believe. The disappearence of free will after the Fall is St. Augustine's idea, and yet we do not call him a heretic.

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« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2011, 02:29:18 PM »

The thing is, I heard this expression - "GOD CANNOT do this and that" - from Orthodox clergy, monks. I have a virtual friend who has been a monk in Russia for many, many years (and also a teacher at an Orthodox seminary), and he always keeps saying that unless one realizes that there ARE things God CANNOT do, does not really have an Orthodox mind.
God cannot do what contradicts how He has fully and finally revealed Himself, no. That would be absurd.

And we all still work on our understanding of His revelation.

It's not antagonizing, it's stating a fact. The Council of Jerusalem had no problem doing it. St. Irenaeus condemned the Gnostics for their predestination doctrines as aliens to the Gospel. I respect the Five Point Calvinist who thinks I'm a Pelagian heretic far more than I do some relativistic Presbyterian who thinks we all really believe the same thing except for a few extremists.

Well, I am different. I like pluralism (which is different from relativism), and I really believe that we all are looking at the same Truth from different angles, and we all see parts of it.
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« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2011, 04:16:44 PM »

Well, I am different. I like pluralism (which is different from relativism), and I really believe that we all are looking at the same Truth from different angles, and we all see parts of it.
If you think we're all feeling around in the dark touching different parts of the same Elephant, you'd better hope there's not a snake in the room as well, masquerading as the Elephant's tail.
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« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2011, 05:57:04 PM »

Well, I am different. I like pluralism (which is different from relativism), and I really believe that we all are looking at the same Truth from different angles, and we all see parts of it.
If you think we're all feeling around in the dark touching different parts of the same Elephant, you'd better hope there's not a snake in the room as well, masquerading as the Elephant's tail.
not to mention that there are some parts of the elephant I'd rather not touch.

And why do that, when the elephant has revealed Himself to you?  That's the real elephant in the room.
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« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2011, 10:09:20 AM »

The thing is, I heard this expression - "GOD CANNOT do this and that" - from Orthodox clergy, monks. I have a virtual friend who has been a monk in Russia for many, many years (and also a teacher at an Orthodox seminary), and he always keeps saying that unless one realizes that there ARE things God CANNOT do, does not really have an Orthodox mind.
God cannot do what contradicts how He has fully and finally revealed Himself, no. That would be absurd.

And we all still work on our understanding of His revelation.

It's not antagonizing, it's stating a fact. The Council of Jerusalem had no problem doing it. St. Irenaeus condemned the Gnostics for their predestination doctrines as aliens to the Gospel. I respect the Five Point Calvinist who thinks I'm a Pelagian heretic far more than I do some relativistic Presbyterian who thinks we all really believe the same thing except for a few extremists.

Well, I am different. I like pluralism (which is different from relativism), and I really believe that we all are looking at the same Truth from different angles, and we all see parts of it.


The butt of an elephant is still the butt....


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« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2011, 01:15:30 PM »

2. Neither Calvin, nor "Calvinists," as far as I understand, teach that God is the "author of punishments" etc.
I have no idea how you believe this.

Because peple often confuse Calvin's teaching on predestination with the so-called "double predestination." The latter means that before all ages, God "invented" heaven for those He pleased and hell for others, again, because He just so pleased. But, as far as I know from my friends Presbyterians (especially from one ver erudite minister), Calvin never taught this. He wrote that God had His "elect" before all ages, andas for others, we just do not know what His plan for them was. (In all honesty, I haven't read the entire text of the "Institutions of Christian Faith," only small excerpts, but I have no reason not to believe my friends who have.)
I have no doubt your friends are sincere, but just as there many conflicting interpretations of Scripture, so there are many of Calvin. Double predestination, or supralapsarianism is indeed considered part of Calvinism and there are many intelligent theologians who hold to it and claim Calvin taught it.
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