Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Count the cost for joining the Sovereign Joy Evangelism Team





The guy ends whispering "let me let you in on a little secret...God doesn't exist."

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." (Psalm 14:1)

Sad.

If everyone likes us, then we are more than likely doing something wrong.The Gospel is offensive to those who are perishing. 1 Cor 1:18

Keep pressing on Christians!

48 comments:

Billy said...

If God doesn't exist, this man has no moral standard by which to judge Him, or to judge anything or anyone else for that matter. If God does exist, then He must be the One who directs the universe and gives life. The God of the Bible not only gives and sustains life, but He also has not left us without evidence of His moral law. We have a conscience and we have suppressed it. We rebel against Him daily in our minds, words, and actions.

We deserve the evil that we receive from the world. However, it is primarily an evil that we perpetrate upon the world. Thus, if this man wants to blame anyone for the state that the world is in, he can blame himself and his fellow human beings. Were it not for us human beings, the world would not be in the state it is currently in. Thank God that, while we were yet rebelling against Him, He sent His Son to redeem us, and eventually even the Universe. Thank God that He still holds all things together and sustains life. Thank God for my friend Chris who is willing to bear his cross and preach this good news to a lost and dying world.

Lori Williams said...

I agree....keep pressing on Christians. Keep doing what you are doing. I actually just got fired on Thursday by a Mormon boss who basically did not like the fact that I am a Christian and live my life that way. He could give no reason, even said, you are a good hard worker and good at what you do, but you have to leave now. Darkness can not stand the light. It does get hard sometimes, but I will never back down in a chance to share the gospel. And I never did, only on break times and not taking away from work time. Good job to the people in this video.....count it all as joy!

The Molters said...

Poor guy's gonna find out the hard way. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord! Philippians 2:10

Shannon said...

It is sad. But we know that only God can draw someone's heart to Himself. Only God can soften a person's heart, and take the blinder's off their eyes. Only through God can a person believe, for even faith comes from God. When I encounter people like that, I know that I can only share the Word, and then pray for God to soften their hearts and help them clearly see their sin.

And it's so true that if everyone likes us then we're doing something wrong- THAT is Biblical.

Keep pressing on, indeed.

Blessings to you, Trish.

Shannon

Fish with Trish said...

Blessings to all of you for commenting. Keep pressing on. Christ is worth it!

Reynold said...

If what you said was true here:

It is sad. But we know that only God can draw someone's heart to Himself. Only God can soften a person's heart, and take the blinder's off their eyes.

Then whose fault is it really if a person doesn't accept? Why even bother preaching if it's all in "god's" hands anyway??

Taxandrian said...

@Reynold:

I was thinking exactly the same. If what Shannon says is true, does that mean I'm an atheist because God wants me to?
If so, can Christians even criticize atheists? From a Christian perspective, isn't that the same as criticizing God?

Puzzling...I hope you can elaborate, Shannon.

Azou said...

Calvinism seems to basically be evangelists excusing themselves from aggressively pursuing marks, but still keeping the blame on the mark for being Hellbound.

It's a fun bit of cognitive dissonance.

stranger.strange.land said...

Reynold, Taxandrian, Azou.

Hi guys.

All three of you are long time visitors here and have been frequent commenters. I am wondering if you would do something for me, a little "feedback" as it were.

Would each of you very briefly write what you understand our basic Gospel message to be? You know. Here, let me suggest an outline to make clear what I am asking from you:

a. The most serious problem that you and I face as human beings.
b. What Jesus did about it.
c. How someone appropriates the benefits of what Jesus did.

Something like that.
Can you help me out here guys?

Craig B

Fish with Trish said...

Reynold, Taxandrian, Azou,

I look forward to reading your responses to a, b, and c.

Take care,

Trish

Reynold said...

To Trish and Stanger:

I'm only questioning the logical ramifications, if it's true, of what Shannon said.

It is sad. But we know that only God can draw someone's heart to Himself. Only God can soften a person's heart, and take the blinder's off their eyes.

Is that something you people agree with, yes or no?

Reynold said...

By the way guys, Craig's question does not answer the problem I brought up.

a. The most serious problem that you and I face as human beings.
b. What Jesus did about it.
c. How someone appropriates the benefits of what Jesus did.


Don't dodge the issue I brought up. It's disengenuous and cowardly.

Besides, it assumes that we buy your religious assumptions in the first place.

stranger.strange.land said...

Sure, Reynold. John 6:44 and Acts 16:14 immediately come to mind. And I would be more than happy to expand on that theme. First I would like my three amigos to give a very concise summary of what they understand our core message to be.

Craig B

Reynold said...

Craig
Sure, Reynold. John 6:44 and Acts 16:14 immediately come to mind. And I would be more than happy to expand on that theme. First I would like my three amigos to give a very concise summary of what they understand our core message to be.
No, first I had asked you people to try and think through the logical ramifications of what Shannon said, a statement which you just said that you agree with.

I'm not questioning your "core beliefs" here, since some of those "core beliefs" seem to change from sect to sect among you people!

I'm only questioning the logical implications of that one statement of Shannons.

I notice that you have dodged that issue by throwing out a different topic instead of answering the logical problem that would exist if what Shannon said is true.

ie) If god is the one who's responsible for "drawing people to him" then whose fault is it really if people don't accept him? It's in your god's hands, is it not? In fact, why even bother to preach if your god is the one who supposedly does the work?

Azou said...

Would each of you very briefly write what you understand our basic Gospel message to be?
Due to original sin, humanity as a whole is doomed to eternal damnation. The only way out of this is to repent and be saved by Jesus Christ. There are finer quibbles one can make (Christians are one of the most fractured religions out there), but I don't think I'm too far off.

If you want a hint, the problem that we have with you has almost nothing to do with the gospel itself. Clarifying any misconceptions is no going to help you.

stranger.strange.land said...

@Azou

I appreciate your giving your take on what our basic gospel messsage is. (The "quibbles" and "fractures" in the church are not an issue here, as I am confident that Trish, Ray, Tony, Shannon and I all have the same gospel, and that is why I asked for your understanding of "our basic gospel message" that y'all have been reading "here".)

I will have more to say on that later, but now I need to have a heart to heart chat with my old friend, Reynold.

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Reynold,

Dodging the issue? Throwing out a different topic? Really, Reynold?

You asked "me" (as being one of "you people": ) if I agreed with Shannon, "yes or no." You correctly noticed that I went further by offering scriptural support for my implied "yes." So far, so good.

Didn't you realize that it is necessary to at least have some mutual understanding on what the basic points of the gospel message are before launching into a discussion of the "logical ramifications" of one element of the way of salvation, viz God's opening the heart of the sinner to receive the word?

No, Reynold my friend, and I sincerely mean friend, you just didn't establish the foundation, let alone sufficient premises, from which to proceed with a logical dialog.

Here is Shannon's statement:
"It is sad. But we know that only God can draw someone's heart to Himself. Only God can soften a person's heart, and take the blinder's off their eyes."

Here are your questions:

[A.] "Is that something you people agree with, yes or no?"

Yes.

[B.] "Whose fault is it really if a person doesn't accept?"

[C.] "Why even bother preaching if it's all in "god's" hands anyway??"

And your statement:

"I'm only questioning the logical ramifications, if it's true, of what Shannon said."

Reynold, if you were merely giving us a quiz, the answer to [A.] is "yes." The answer to [B.] is "the sinner's fault." The answer to [C.] is, "Because the preaching of the gospel is the means that God has ordained to save sinners."

But, you cannot meaningfully explore the logical ramifications of Shannon's statement until it is understood in light of the basic Christian doctrine of salvation.

So Reynold, what is your understanding of what the basic gospel message is? What does it say? Consult my suggested outline if you wish.

Sincerely,

Craig

Reynold said...

Craig
Didn't you realize that it is necessary to at least have some mutual understanding on what the basic points of the gospel message are before launching into a discussion of the "logical ramifications" of one element of the way of salvation, viz God's opening the heart of the sinner to receive the word?
I'm trying to reach an understanding of one of those points, and more with my questions.


Reynold, if you were merely giving us a quiz, the answer to [A.] is "yes." The answer to [B.] is "the sinner's fault."
How is it strictly the "sinner's fault" though?

Wasn't that "sin nature" passed down through the so-called "original sin" of this "adam" fellow?

Is it our fault if we get a say, genetic disorder, as opposed to this "spiritual" one?

Isn't it the doctor's responsibility to "cure" everyone he can instead of just picking and choosing? According to what I've read here from Shannon et al your god controls who even asks for help (ie. "draws them in") in the first place.

How is none of this his fault?

If one looks at the situation he set up: with placing humans on earth while having the so-called fallen angels running around to decieve them, it gets even worse.


Now, speaking of not having a logical basis here, look at what you just said:
The answer to [C.] is, "Because the preaching of the gospel is the means that God has ordained to save sinners."

Think. If "god" controlls who accepts him or not, why bother having humans run around trying to spread the word in the first place if he does the heavy lifting?

For that matter, why not have his angels do it? They'd be certainly more effective. (that is, if your god didn't control who gets "drawn to him" in the first place anyway)!

Doesn't he actually want everyone to be saved or not?

CraigB said...

Hi Reynold.

I'm trying to reach an understanding of one of those points, and more with my questions.

Well, in order to reach that understanding, don't you think it would help to first establish how that particular point stands in relation to the other points in the doctrine of how persons are saved?

And to see that, don't you have to have a fundamental grasp of the propositions included what we call "the gospel?"

Could you give me a concise statement of what the simple gospel is?

I will let you in on something, Reynold. When I first saw the three comments in response to "The Shannon Statement" the first thought that popped into my mind was, "Do these guys actually understand what the gospel is?" That is why I have been asking the question. I wanted to get it in your own words, but I gave a suggested outline in order to give a hint as to what I was asking.

So again, if someone were to come up to you and say, "Hey Reynold, you have been interacting with these Christians for a while. What exactly is this this "Gospel message" that they preach and teach? What is this business about getting saved and all? What do they say? And keep it simple," how would you answer them in a brief, concise way?

Craig

p.s. (Have a pleasant Easter weekend.)

p.p.s. (Oops. I just noticed that I am using a different account to post this comment. I'll just leave it. You all know who I am ; )

Reynold said...

So you've ignored everything I've said, and every question I've asked. Why am I not surprised?

Reynold said...

Every schoolchild knows this stuff pretty much by heart by now:

Because of something our distant ancestor did, we are ALL somehow ruined. Even though it's not something we ourselves did, your god had things built so that this "sin nature" was now passed on, yet it's ALL "our fault", right?

Your god presumably didn't want this (never mind the fact that he could have set it up so that free will could exist without all of humanity getting messed up: he could have just made adam and eve sterile, then after they die, start over, OR he could have dumped all the "fallen angels" into hell right off the bat instead of putting them on earth to decieve the newly formed man, etc.)

He decided to have his son (who is somehow also himself; never mind that in the bible they speak to each other from different places as with Jesus's baptism) to come down millenia later (instead of right after the "original sin") to live a "sinless" life so tha he could pay the price (a small 3 day price as opposed to the eternity in hell people pay. In heavenly arithmatic, that equals out somehow)

In some sects, people believe that it's the individuals choice to accept this gift or not. Others say that it's out of human hands altogether and that it's "god" that brings people to him.

Of course, each sect will blame the ignorance of atheists whenever one of us who'se been exposed to another sect's teachings runs into a sect that believes differently.

Which leads back into the problem that I've been trying in vain to get answered here.

If "god" brings people to him, then why bother having people preach? Also, if "god" chooses who comes to him, why does he bear no responsibility for it, especially when he set this whole thing up so that we'd fail in the first place?

Think about it: Without the "knowledge of good and evil" in the first place, how could adam and eve know that disobediance was wrong??

HopeYouGuessMyName said...

Billy said... "If God doesn't exist, this man has no moral standard by which to judge Him, or to judge anything or anyone else for that matter. "

You couldn't be more wrong. He does have a standard. It's called logic, reason, empathy, and the ability to see cause and effect.

And he is correct in rejecting the bible as some sort of moral code. The bible isn't a good source for morals. It's filled with hatred, genocide, violence, and superstition.

Secular morals are far superior to those of the bible.

stranger.strange.land said...

I would like to thank Reynold and Azou for their feedback on what the basic gospel message is as they have heard it proclaimed by Ray, Trish, myself, and other Christians who comment here.

Here is a summary of what our message is:

First, the Gospel addresses the most serious problem that we have as human beings, and that problem is that God is holy and just and we are not. See Romans 3:10-19 for a view of you and me from God's perspective. All have sinned and are deserving of eternal death. God would have done no injustice by leaving all mankind to perish and deliver us over to condemnation on account of sin. God owes it to no one to "open their heart and take off the blinders." So, at the end of our lives, we are going to stand before a just and holy God and be judged. We will be judged on the basis of our own righteousness, or rather lack of it.

The Gospel is that the man Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect righteousness and obedience to the Father; but he also offered himself in the sinner's place as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and righteousness of God. He was qualified as the perfect one to represent us. Now, for God to forgive us is a very costly matter; it cost the sacrifice of His own Son. God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead. So, the Gospel is the message of who Jesus is, and what he did.

The way we receive the benefit of Jesus' life and death is by putting our faith (trust) in Him - and in Him alone. If we do that, we are declared just by God, we are adopted into His family, and we are forgiven of all of our sins.
__________________

In my little presentation above, I have laid particular emphasis on the problem that the Gospel addresses, in part to shed light on Reynold's question about "The Shannon Statement."

There are even more concise ways of presenting our message. Donald Grey Barnhouse said that the Gospel can be stated in 2 sentences:
1. We are all sinners and stand condemned before God.
2. God is satisfied with the death of His Son.


Ray Comfort puts it this way:
"You broke God's Law; Jesus paid your fine."


And The bible says this:
1. "All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned, every one of us, his own way.

2. And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Reynold said...

Craig
Ray Comfort puts it this way:
"You broke God's Law; Jesus paid your fine."


Ah, no. To have "paid the fine" either he'd have to spend the rest of eternity in hell or we'd only have to suffer for as long as Christ did himself.

Indeed, it gets worse when one considers that it's the mortal ones who have no true understanding of the concept of "eternity" (us) who have to pay the heavier "fine" (ie. eternity in hell) whereas the one who was supposed to have always existed (Christ/God, etc) only spent three days!

It's like a rich guy paying off a poor guys' fine of a million bucks by slapping a fiver on the judges' desk, and the judge accepts it!

Note that Craig has yet to actually answer my question. Maybe he's working towards it?

A reminder: If it's god who determines who accepts him or not, why is it not partially his fault? Note that Craig has not dealt with either that, or the problems with the whole set up that I mentioned in my previous post.

bassicallymike said...

Reynold,
Although you have a great intellect, your statement "Ah, no. To have "paid the fine" either he'd have to spend the rest of eternity in hell or we'd only have to suffer for as long as Christ did himself.",indicates a serious defect in your understanding of both the Holiness of God and the Total Depravity of man.

Yet, you keep taking Craig to task for not coming out with the answer. Be patient man, he doesn't have much to work with.

You've asked for the explanation of a calculus formula when you don't even have your multiplication tables down.

Beleive me this isn't the logical "gotcha" you think it is. The problem is not with Craig's reluctance to splain it you, but lies in your deficiency in understanding the basic attributes of God.

stranger.strange.land said...

Hey Reynold

First off, let my say how much I have enjoyed exchanging comments with you again. We used to have these discussions quite often, and I have missed those days.

"You broke God's Law; Jesus paid your fine."

One difference between Jesus enduring punishment for the sinner and the sinner enduring his own deserved punishment is the value of the person who is paying the penalty. Another difference is that the sinner in hell remains a sinner in hell. (Rev. 22:11) There is nothing to indicate that punishment changes the heart. THE TIME FOR REPENTANCE IS NOW. Not after the final judgment. When Jesus on the cross had endured punishment on behalf of sinners, He said "It is finished!" The wrath of God that He bore in my place was complete, Justice was satisfied, and He had no sin of His own.

So, the "fine" was not like a "fiver." It was the full fury of the wrath of God against the infinitely precious Son of God, to whose account my sin was imputed, or "credited." For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21 ESV)

...If it's god who determines who accepts him or not, why is it not partially his fault? Note that Craig has not dealt with either that, or the problems with the whole set up that I mentioned in my previous post.

Craig has dealt with that. It was in his brief Gospel presentation. You didn't spot it? Maybe he didn't make it plain enough. Here goes:

_God is under no compulsion to open any sinner's heart.
_He is compelled by His own nature to judge sin.
_That anyone's heart is opened is only by the mere grace of God.

Reynold, are you a man whose heart is not presently receptive to the Gospel, yet you desire that God open your heart and save you?

Craig

Azou said...

The only way your math works if it a man has absolutely no value. Because they are in Hell FOREVER. The "value" statement would make more sense if confinement to Hell had a specific duration. Jesus is, say, a trillion times more valuable than a normal human, and thus stays in Hell for only a trillionth of the time.

Of course, having a human valued at zero means there's really no price to speak of in the first place. The "Jesus is worth more" argument doesn't pan out.

CraigB said...

Oh, Hi Azou. Almost didn't see you there.

Well, the Value of Jesus is found in His being a true and righteous man and also true God. These factors also qualifiy Him to be your Saviour.

Craig

Reynold said...

Craig has dealt with that. It was in his brief Gospel presentation. You didn't spot it? Maybe he didn't make it plain enough. Here goes:

_God is under no compulsion to open any sinner's heart.

So much for that nonesense about god not willing that any should perish then...I guess that's one verse that I don't have to cite by name since you don't accept it.

He is compelled by His own nature to judge sin.
Unless HE does it himself, eh? You know, those little acts of infanticide in the OT?

That anyone's heart is opened is only by the mere grace of God.
The fact that we got stuck with this "original sin" baloney is because of the stupid way he set us up in the first place (assuming for the sake of argument here that this being exists)...

And now, about the "value" of christ, please. The only one he has value to is himself and those who he chooses to save. He sure doesn't have value to the people he decides NOT to save, now does he?

Reynold said...

You know, it just hit me that Craig never really answered my question: He said that god doesn't have to save us all. (so much for that verse I mentioned earlier), but anyway...

Even if god doesn't have to save us all from this set up of his, how does that make him any less culpable when he refuses to save someone?

How is one person worth more in his eyes than another in order for him to do that?


And again: Why bother preaching in the first place if it's your god that does the "heart changing"?

Saying "he said so" is not an answer. Why did he say so?

stranger.strange.land said...

Trish,

My good friend "Eddie" Eddings posted the lyrics of this Charles Wesley hymn on his blog yesterday. With your permission, I would like to re-post it here because the words really get to the heart of what we have been talking about on this comment thread.

Depth of mercy, can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear?
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?

I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face;
Would not hearken to His calls:
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.

Depth of mercy, can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Bow Your ear, in mercy bow;
Pardon and accept me now.

There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands;
God is love, I know, I feel,
Jesus pleads, and loves me still.

Why to me this waste of love?
Ask my Advocate above.
See the cause in Jesus’ face,
Now before the throne of grace.

If I rightly read Your heart,
If You all compassion art,
Bow Your ear, in mercy bow;
Pardon and accept me now.

Now incline me to repent;
Let me now my fall lament:
Now my foul revolt deplore;
Weep, believe, and sin no more.


And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
(Mark 1:40-41)

Craig

Fish with Trish said...

No prob Craig. You have my permission. Blessings.

CraigB said...

Hello Reynold

Here is The Shannon Statement that you found fault with on logical grounds:

"...we know that only God can draw someone's heart to Himself. Only God can soften a person's heart, and take the blinder's off their eyes. Only through God can a person believe, for even faith comes from God."

(By the way, I believe that this agrees with Scripture and historical Christian soteriology.)

You have appealed to logic; to logic we shall go. Please set up a syllogism based on Shannon's propositions. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Craig

p.s. (Reynold, are you a person who would like to have a heart that is open to the Gospel, and would like to have eyes to see the kingdom of God, but it's just that God has not (yet) opened your heart or taken the blinders off your eyes? Does that describe your situation?)

Azou said...

Craig, your response didn't address my issue at all.

If man's price to pay was Hell for X period of time, then we could arrange an equation where Jesus = X/1,000,000 because he is a million times more valuable than a human.

The only way for X to equal infinity is if humans are worth nothing. But then Jesus doesn't have to pay anything! There's no price!

I guess it's understandable. I mean, Muslims were clearly the more mathematically inclined religion anyways.

stranger.strange.land said...

Azou,

The issue is one of whether Christ's death is sufficient to satisfy the debt that we have incurred because of our sin. It is more than enough because of who Christ is. (our sins are counted so great because of the infinite majesty of the One against whom they are committed, and because we as human beings possess the responsibility of those who bear God's image.)

So Azou, if there ever comes the day when the Holy Spirit convinces you of your sin and guilt before a holy and just God, you can confidently look to Christ crucified in your place to save you from the guilt and power of your sins and their horrible consequences..

Until that day when you are so convinced, just love God with all your heart, mind and strength. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Obey all of the commandments. Be thankful for the life that God has given you and all that he has provided to sustain that life. Carry on as one who bears the image of God.

Azou said...

If we sinned against an infinitely majestic being and thus have to pay an infinite price, then Jesus would also have to pay an infinite price. You just moved where the value is at. There's still no consistency between what was owed and what was paid.

Holy Spirit convinces me? Again, the mechanics of becoming "Saved" are very confusing. And things are not helped by Living Waters deliberately trying to avoid spats between Calvinism and Arminianism. Which is rather weird since you'd think they want to set the record straight on what the Bible says, but in the specific case they're willing to let the reader decide.

So lay it out for me Craig. First, I want you to declare which side of this debate you are on. It doesn't necessarily have to be Calvinism or Arminianism if other options exist, but if you ARE one of the two, please say so.

After that, go ahead and explain the whole conversion process. The responsibilities of humans, and where the supernatural elements each come into play.

I know this is a tall order, but I'd also like you to minimize the proselytizing and stick to the explanation. You can dedicate a separate part of your post to that if you wish, but don't let it derail your post.

Thanks in advance.

Reynold said...

Craig dodges again:
You have appealed to logic; to logic we shall go. Please set up a syllogism based on Shannon's propositions. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
How's about, instead of asking me to ask the question yet again, if you just sodding answer it?

Is that so much to ask?

stranger.strange.land said...

Reynold,

I have agreed to examine Shannon's statement logically. Isn't that what you wanted?

"I'm only questioning the logical ramifications, if it's true, of what Shannon said.

'It is sad. But we know that only God can draw someone's heart to Himself. Only God can soften a person's heart, and take the blinder's off their eyes.'"


I have answered your question several times based on the theological context of what Shannon said.

If you think there is a logical error in what she said, please show it in logical terms. If you can do that, I just may be compelled to reconsider.

Oh, and Reynold, "sodding"? Relax, my friend. Let's continue our conversation as if we were in my living room chatting over a cup of coffee and enjoying one another's company.

Craig

Reynold said...

The logical error is this, Craig, which you refuse to see.

If god is the one who draws people to him to get saved in the first place, but he does not do so, then he is at least partially to blame for them going to hell, is he not? (and when you look at the messed up system he set us up in, I'd wager that he's more to blame than you would think).

If your god actually wanted no one to go to hell, then all he'd have to do is to show himself or his angels publically and let them do the preaching. Certainly more people would get saved.

Instead, you imply that your god picks and chooses, yet you still blame the nonbelievers for not believing, even when it's out of our hands in the first place.

It's like a lifeguard who picks and chooses who he decides to save.

stranger.strange.land said...

Hello Reynold. Well, as I type this I am sitting in my living room drinking a blend of Don Francisco's Espresso and Archer Farms Cinnomom Vanilla Nut. And were you here, I know that I would be enjoying your company very much.

The questions that I kept asking you (Re. your understanding of what the essential Gospel is, and your personal attitude toward the content of the Gospel message) were not without good reason. In fact, it was necessary for me to get your perspective on those issues for me to be able to do justice to your question to me. (BassicallyMike recognized the reason behind my mode of inquiry in his comment to you.)

The universal condemnation of all of us is described in the first three chapters of Romans. Our guilty knowledge of our sinfullness leaves us "without excuse" (Rom. 1:20). Every mouth is stopped and "all the world" is shown to be "guilty before God" (Rom. 3:19).

According to the doctrinal system of how salvation happens, no one has a right to to be presented a gospel, let alone have their hearts opened to receive it and appropriate it to themselves. This is a moral inability, not a natural inability. We just don't want to submit to God, we don't like His holiness or His perfect justice. He can't be bribed, and it is impossible for His nature to change.

The real wonder is not that He doesn't save everybody, but that He saves anybody.

Reynold and Azou, when you have heard the Gospel, and heard what you must do to appropriate the benefits of what Christ has done, wasn't it your own choice to reject it? No one was forcing you to say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

So God is under no obligation to draw anyone to Himself. Because He is holy and just by nature, He is obligated to judge and condemn sin. That He does open hearts, and lots of them btw, is owing to His sheer mercy.

You have asked why God didn't "set things up" differently, and even offered suggestions on how He might have done it better. The thing is though, that we are stuck with the way things are and we have to deal with that. Wishing that God would appear and speak to us face to face isn't going to help. Besides, when He did something like that in Exodus, the people couldn't bear it. They needed someone to act as a mediator.

So, I guess you can say that in a certain sense it is God's "fault" that some people are justly condemned, but only in that He must rightly judge sin. And some people deserving of damnation are shown mercy, but we have not been let in on the details of those "eternal decrees."

Hey Reynold, I know that sometimes you can give me a pretty rough go of it in the comment pages, and I am not above slipping in a bit of subtle sarcastic humor once in a while, but I want you to know that I honestly consider you to be a pretty cool guy, and I like you.

You too, Azou.
Btw, did you abandon your old blog that had my comments on it? : )

Craig

p.s. (Uh oh. Sorry, I drank all the coffee : )

Reynold said...

According to the doctrinal system of how salvation happens, no one has a right to to be presented a gospel, let alone have their hearts opened to receive it and appropriate it to themselves.
What about your god's alleged desire that NONE should perish, but have everlasting life.

This is a moral inability, not a natural inability. We just don't want to submit to God, we don't like His holiness or His perfect justice.
Oh yeah, like having babies and little kids killed! Yep, I bet you pretend to be "pro-life" too!

Besides, where did this "moral inability" come from in the first place? This is something which I brought up before: that he set this whole thing up for us to fail. How could adam and eve know that disobeying god was "wrong" when they had not yet "eaten" of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

Then, when they've been "contaminated", instead of them being sterilized or something and start over, god just let them keep reproducing, thus he allowed this "original sin" infection to be spread throughout the population.


The real wonder is not that He doesn't save everybody, but that He saves anybody.
Right, so even the smallest "sin" DESERVES TO BURN FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER, right? And you people say that atheists don't value human life??

Reynold and Azou, when you have heard the Gospel, and heard what you must do to appropriate the benefits of what Christ has done, wasn't it your own choice to reject it? No one was forcing you to say, "Thanks, but no thanks."
No. Remember...it's your god who "draws" people to him, remember???

It also wasn't our fault that we got "contaminated" with this alleged "original sin".


Good enough for now.

stranger.strange.land said...

sine qua non
[without which not]
an essential condition, qualification, etc.; indispensible thing; absolute prerequisite

A necessary condition which must be present in a person's coming to Christ is knowing how great your sin is, and being aware of sin's miserable consequences.

John 9:41
Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Romans 3:10:
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

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

Appealing to having come into the world possessing a sinful nature does not absolve us from culpability. We also came into the world with a conscience. (Romans 2:15-16).

Appealing to "the way [God] set this whole thing up" won't help either, especially for those who have been given invitations to receive the Gospel and Christ who is offered therein. This Jesus taught in the parable of the Sower and the Seed (Matt. 13), and also the parable of the Wedding Feast (Matt. 22).

1 Timothy 2:1-6 encourages me in praying for the salvation of all people, no matter what their state or circumstances, no matter what their background or what they profess by way of religion or their professed lack of belief.

The promise of the Gospel, that whoever believes in Christ crucified shall not perish, but have eternal life (Jn 3:16 and 1 Cor. 1:23), gives me the confidence to invite everyone (including my friend, Reynold) who will acknowledge his sin and bring his guilt and need to Jesus Christ, and I can assure him, without any qualification, that in doing that he will most certainly be saved by the blood of Christ.

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Remember...it's your god who "draws" people to him, remember???

True, no one can naturally dispose themselves to come to God and believe.

But that doesn't mean that they can do nothing at all. They can avail themselves of the means that God usually uses in drawing people to Himself and opening their hearts: reading the scriptures, church, prayer, listening to the witness of Christians.

Craig

Reynold said...

But that doesn't mean that they can do nothing at all. They can avail themselves of the means that God usually uses in drawing people to Himself and opening their hearts: reading the scriptures, church, prayer, listening to the witness of Christians.
Would they even do any of those things in the first place unless their hearts were already "opened"?

I think you're trying to have it both ways: Blaming people for sinning (even though we're not responsible for having this "sin nature" in the first place) without having to give up your doctrinal belief that only your "God" can actually bring people to him.

Upon reading what your wrote here:
Appealing to having come into the world possessing a sinful nature does not absolve us from culpability. We also came into the world with a conscience. (Romans 2:15-16).

Yep. That seems to be the case. It is not our fault that we were born with that "sin nature" in the first place. Your god could have stopped that right at the beginning, as I said.

Instead, your "God" took the most inefficient way to save people that one can imagine. Allow the sin nature to spread throughout all of humanity instead of nipping it in the bud with the first two people and starting over, then when "Jesus" was born, instead of announcing to the entire world, via angels, that event, he waits for over a thousand years for missionaries to do it, and in the meantime, all those in the "new world" go to hell, with their consciences not helping them one bit, since they didn't know how to "save" themselves.

Again, odd for a being who allegedly wants that no one should perish, but that all should have everlasting life.

Reynold said...

Craig
But that doesn't mean that they can do nothing at all. They can avail themselves of the means that God usually uses in drawing people to Himself and opening their hearts: reading the scriptures, church, prayer, listening to the witness of Christians.
Would they even do any of those things in the first place unless their hearts were already "opened"?

I think you're trying to have it both ways: Blaming people for sinning (even though we're not responsible for having this "sin nature" in the first place) without having to give up your doctrinal belief that only your "God" can actually bring people to him.

Upon reading what your wrote here:
Appealing to having come into the world possessing a sinful nature does not absolve us from culpability. We also came into the world with a conscience. (Romans 2:15-16).

Yep. That seems to be the case. It is not our fault that we were born with that "sin nature" in the first place. Your god could have stopped that right at the beginning, as I said.

Instead, your "God" took the most inefficient way to save people that one can imagine. Allow the sin nature to spread throughout all of humanity instead of nipping it in the bud with the first two people and starting over, then when "Jesus" was born, instead of announcing to the entire world, via angels, that event, he waits for over a thousand years for missionaries to do it, and in the meantime, all those in the "new world" go to hell, with their consciences not helping them one bit, since they didn't know how to "save" themselves.

Again, odd for a being who allegedly wants that no one should perish, but that all should have everlasting life.

stranger.strange.land said...

[Reposted here from my blog.]

Reynold said...

Well, Trish won't post my latest reply to you on her blog, so I'll put it here:

Hello Reynold.
Thank you for visiting my blog. I now see that Trish has now posted your reply on her comment page. Since they went to Israel she has only made a few posts of Facebook. I think they will be there for a couple more days.

Would they even do any of those things in the first place unless their hearts were already "opened"?

Sure they would, and many have. There are those who are sensible of their own guiltiness, have heard that they will have to give an account on the day of judgment, and that they might find an answer to their dilema at a church service, etc. Still, their heart is not yet opened to receive Christ savingly until the Spirit of God regenerates them. An example can be seen in Nicodemas. John 3:1-8 &ff.

I think you're trying to have it both ways: Blaming people for sinning (even though we're not responsible for having this "sin nature" in the first place) without having to give up your doctrinal belief that only your "God" can actually bring people to him.

It is not a matter of my trying to have it both ways. We believe that the Bible teaches both the sovereignty of God in salvation, and man's responsibility. I will list some salient passages if you like, but you probably are aware of them.

The BIG question that people often ask, having acknowledged that the Bible does indeed teach both, is, "How do these two teaching jive?" My answer is, "I don't know." But my inability to figure it out doesn't change the fact that the Bible does teach both things, man's responsibility and God's sovereignty. God as an eternal being, and operating from the foundation of an eternal decree, His ways may just be beyond the capacity of us finite creatures to comprehend.

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
"For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
(Romans 11:33-34 ESV)

It is not our fault that we were born with that "sin nature" in the first place. Your god could have stopped that right at the beginning, as I said.

Instead, your "God" took the most inefficient way to save people that one can imagine. Allow the sin nature to spread throughout all of humanity instead of nipping it in the bud with the first two people and starting over, then when "Jesus" was born, instead of announcing to the entire world, via angels, that event, he waits for over a thousand years for missionaries to do it, and in the meantime, all those in the "new world" go to hell, with their consciences not helping them one bit, since they didn't know how to "save" themselves.


(continued)

stranger.strange.land said...

Part 2

Well Reynold, I am not worried that the people in remote regions of the world have been dealt with unjustly at the hand of God. He has revealed enough about Himself in His Word to trust that "the God of all the earth will indeed do right." He who sees the intimate details of people's thoughts and intentions, besides understanding the limits of their circumstances will deal fairly with them. Rich Buhler once said, "I think that we will be bowled over by how fair God has been to us when it is shown to us at the judgment."

But Reynold, you are not out of earshot from the proclaimation of the law to convict you, and the Gospel to save you.

Again, odd for a being who allegedly wants that no one should perish, but that all should have everlasting life.

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

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.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
(1 Timothy 2:1-6)

The passage that you alluded to gives me 1-) Confidence to pray for your salvation, and 2-) boldness in assuring you that if you come to this mediator ("who gave himself a ransom for all") acknowledging your sins and guilt, trusting in his sacrifice on behalf of sinners, you will certainly be forgiven and granted eternal life because of the blood of his cross.

Craig

May 8, 2011 10:56 PM

Reynold said...

Craig
Sorry I took so long to reply but I've got other things to take care of, and no disrespect, I find myself caring less and less about this nonsense.

Nevertheless, I'll try to reply to at least some of what you posted
Well Reynold, I am not worried that the people in remote regions of the world have been dealt with unjustly at the hand of God. He has revealed enough about Himself in His Word to trust that "the God of all the earth will indeed do right." He who sees the intimate details of people's thoughts and intentions, besides understanding the limits of their circumstances will deal fairly with them. Rich Buhler once said, "I think that we will be bowled over by how fair God has been to us when it is shown to us at the judgment."
Again, those people are told nothing of "Christ". Your holy book says that it's only through belief in him that one can get to heaven.

So in other words, all those people are borked.

If your god existed, and was as "fair" as you claim he is, he would surely have done a better job of getting the word out. Angels, perhaps, instead of waiting century after century for the europeans to arrive.

Remember, this "fair" god of yours is the same one who likes to order genocide in the OT.