Protestantism vs Orthodoxy

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
It’s called “humility.” When we read the Scriptures, it is always healthier for us to identify with the transgressors, the Pharisees, and the sinners rather than with the pure and the perfect. It results in a more accurate view of oneself and keeps us in repentance rather than pride. We ought to read about the sinners and ask ourselves in what ways we are like them, to keep us in remembrance of how far from God we truly are. This is the sort of humility that bears fruit, rather than reading the Scriptures from a place of triumphalism and condescension towards “those sinners who aren’t Elect like me.”
Agree with everything you just said. The Scriptures warn us not to become arrogant in our Election. That said, though we were yet sinners and still continue to sin, Christ died for us. We must now put off the old identity and put on the new. I do not believe in lording our Election over the non-elect but neither do I believe in teaching them Conditional Election/synergism. Glad to see you chime in, by the way.

Then you are a mindless puppet, and your god must be a mindless puppet too, for the Scripture says that man was made in the image of God. This sort of conception of God is false, and it leads to a Pharisaism where one feels better than the other due to group inclusivity. "God picked and chose me to be saved, out of everyone because he loves me" from this belief follows that if he didn't save someone else, it's because he doesn't love him the same way. It makes God the cause of damnation.
To the charge against me, I was a mindless puppet of sin. I am now being made into a Slave to Christ, something Paul identifies himself as and I could think of no higher honor that a man might be given. To the charge against God, blasphemy. Is the Bible wrong to teach Election because "it leads to a Pharisaism where one feels better than the other due to group inclusivity."? If we abuse Scripture then that falls on our heads, not God's.

No. God is not like that at all. God is good, and respects our autonomy, he respects our decision either way. The only person whom can snatch you out of the hand of God is ourselves, and no-one else, it is by the exercise of your own free will, by co-operating with the Holy Spirit that saves us, granted that if we ever do something right for once in our life, it's something that we should have been doing all along, and since we are only servants doing what were supposed to, it's not to our own credit, since we willingly became God's slaves. God will not force someone to accept him, as God does not want us to force others to accept us.
No one can snatch us out of God's hand. Libertarian Free Will theology is alien to Scripture. We are not the Master of God. God is our Master. God's Grace is Irresistible.
 
@Aboulia

God is good, He is perfect, His justice and His mercy are perfect.

What does Christ say in John 15, is it "You chose me" or is it "You did not choose Me, but I chose you"? If God would be only just and not merciful, everybody would go to hell, but God is just and merciful and bestows his grace upon the elect, not because they are better than others, but according to His own purpose and grace.

To His sheep the Lord says: He who has ears to hear, let him hear! The sheep hear their shepherd's voice and believe, because they have been elected in Christ.

John 10:25-28
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

Acts 13:48
Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

They have been appointed to eternal life (in eternal past) and therefore they believed. They are the sheep that hear His voice and believe.

When the Lord says, no one will snatch you out of His hand, that means no one, which includes you, is able to snatch you out of His hand, because the living faith that you have received will make you keep faith. The living faith can never perish.

Romans 9:17-24
For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Scripture is clear and it comforts heart and soul. God Bless.
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
It’s called “humility.” When we read the Scriptures, it is always healthier for us to identify with the transgressors, the Pharisees, and the sinners rather than with the pure and the perfect. It results in a more accurate view of oneself and keeps us in repentance rather than pride. We ought to read about the sinners and ask ourselves in what ways we are like them, to keep us in remembrance of how far from God we truly are. This is the sort of humility that bears fruit, rather than reading the Scriptures from a place of triumphalism and condescension towards “those sinners who aren’t Elect like me.”
Edit: Ran out of time to edit my last post but what I was more-so referring to was that those who reject the doctrine of Election in the Bible make the same arguments against God that Paul shoots down in Romans 9: that God is somehow capricious, unjust, unfair if He alone decides who is Elect. Unfair. As if we deserve Election or even a chance at it in the first place. In that instance, that is not humility but the height of pride.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
No one can snatch us out of God's hand. Libertarian Free Will theology is alien to Scripture. We are not the Master of God. God is our Master. God's Grace is Irresistible.
If you went into apostasy then 1 John tells us that you were never in Christ in the first place

These two beliefs cannot be held without believing God is a machine operator, and the one who wants to turn us into machines is the devil. If there is nothing you can do to "lose your salvation", you thus have a licence to do whatever you want. If you don't have that license and must bear some fruits, then there must be some conditions that you assent to. The term "heresy" refers to something that is inconsistent and divided against itself.


Romans 9:17-24
For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

Pharoah dindu nuffin wrong, he wuz a good boi. Iz Gawd that made him that way., and he wuz jus bein himself.

Let's bring this to the real world, because theology involves real world decisions. We live in an age of delusion and sugar coated tyranny, if someone caves to the societal pressure, was it because God made his decision for him to take the vaccine, or was the person's will involved in any way?
 
If you are among the elect, you do not say "I am among the elect and now I can do what I want, because Christ died for my sins" - That is not the Biblical reaction to grace and and not the mindset of the faithful. Such a mindset shows a total lack of faith.

We are all sinners, that is our nature, it goes back to Adam. A sinner rebelling against God (in my opinion the vaccine is an agent of rebellion) is just a slave to his nature. That does not make God the author of sin, he just leaves the non-elect to themselves. The elect have God's grace bestowed upon them and receive saving faith in Christ.
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
These two beliefs cannot be held without believing God is a machine operator, and the one who wants to turn us into machines is the devil. If there is nothing you can do to "lose your salvation", you thus have a licence to do whatever you want. If you don't have that license and must bear some fruits, then there must be some conditions that you assent to. The term "heresy" refers to something that is inconsistent and divided against itself.
How so? If you were playing at being a Christian but were never truly born-again then you will become apostate. God will make you born-again according to His timing. As for having a license to sin, the Bible warns us not to put God to the test. Not that he revokes Salvation but that we might learn we never had it in the first place. A born-again man would not view Unconditional Election as a license to sin.

Pharoah dindu nuffin wrong, he wuz a good boi. Iz Gawd that made him that way., and he wuz jus bein himself.

Let's bring this to the real world, because theology involves real world decisions. We live in an age of delusion and sugar coated tyranny, if someone caves to the societal pressure, was it because God made his decision for him to take the vaccine, or was the person's will involved in any way?
No one is saying Pharoah was good. He was sinful and non-elect. He was being himself, a sinner. God raised him up then laid him low.

The persons will was involved; sin and sin some more. We are all sinners by nature and we will according to our nature. It is God who gives us a new nature, making us a new creature.

We are all sinners, that is our nature, it goes back to Adam. A sinner rebelling against God (in my opinion the vaccine is an agent of rebellion) is just a slave to his nature. That does not make God the author of sin, he just leaves the non-elect to themselves. The elect have God's grace bestowed upon them and receive saving faith in Christ.
That said, God will use the machinations of the non-elect for His Good Purpose. All things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
That does not make God the author of sin, he just leaves the non-elect to themselves. The elect have God's grace bestowed upon them and receive saving faith in Christ.

Matthew 5:44-46 begs to differ.
[a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

The only way God can be truly just, is if he gives everyone a chance, and those willing to do so, follow him.

"The Salt that seasons itself
to prevent losing it's savor (Matthew 5:13)"

"For this is the Good One,
who could have forced us to please him,
without any trouble to himself;
but instead toiled by every means
so that we might act pleasingly to Him of our own free will,
that we might depict the beauty with the colours
that our own free will had gathered;
whereas if he had adorned us,
then we would have resembled
a portrait that someone else had painted,
adorning it with his own colours"

-St Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns on Paradise
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
The only way God can be truly just, is if he gives everyone a chance, and those willing to do so, follow him.
Assuming that we are not guilty sinners and God would not be justified in condemning us all, of course.

Grace is undeserved by definition.

That said, I believe there is a Common Grace, as evidenced by Matthew 5. Jesus preached the Gospel to the Elect and the non-elect but only the Elect would recieve His teachings.

Amos 4:7​

English Standard Version​

7 “I also withheld the rain from you
when there were yet three months to the harvest;
I would send rain on one city,
and send no rain on another city;
one field would have rain,
and the field on which it did not rain would wither;
 
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Amos 4:7 could be used to teach unconditional election.

Regarding Matthew 5, you might call it common grace that everybody from time to time receives the blessings of rain and sunshine, just like everyone can hear the Word of God in a sermon and might even learn something from it, but it takes saving grace to have ears to hear the Good Shepherd's call and to follow him. It is also common grace that God upholds the universe, so that even the pagans have a place to live and that pagans have fields on which it rains and on which the sun shines. There are governments that uphold order in all societies, not only Christian ones, and there are music and art that give joy to the just and the unjust. Your salvation is another topic. By God's saving grace we receive the gift of faith.

John 10:25-28
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

In Acts 13 the elect and the non-elect hear the word of the Lord, but only the elect believe and become followers of the Lord, because they have been appointed to eternal life in eternal past.
 
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Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
How so? If you were playing at being a Christian but were never truly born-again then you will become apostate. God will make you born-again according to His timing. As for having a license to sin, the Bible warns us not to put God to the test. Not that he revokes Salvation but that we might learn we never had it in the first place. A born-again man would not view Unconditional Election as a license to sin.

If there's a possibility that you don't have salvation, then you cannot claim that you're "saved" before you hit the finish line.

The alternative is that God is watching us day by day, and according to our strength will he judge us. We are to struggle according to our strength, this is why we can say we "are saved" in the past tense (having turned from our error aka repentance), and "being saved" in the present and future tense (by struggling to continue on the righteous path)

In Acts 13 the elect and the non-elect hear the word of the Lord, but only the elect believe and become followers of the Lord, because they have been appointed to eternal life in eternal past.

Because they have prepared their heart in accordance to the Parable of the Sower. What use comes from saying "God ordained people to salvation/damnation from the beginning of time"? How does this not discourage those mired in sin? It's not a large step from there to say God foreordained my sin, which is absolute blasphemy.

That said, I believe there is a Common Grace, as evidenced by Matthew 5. Jesus preached the Gospel to the Elect and the non-elect but only the Elect would receive His teachings.

The difference between the elect and non-elect is that one prepared their heart, and the other disdained God by their own will. You've got numerous examples of this, like the advice given in Job 11:7-20, 1 Samuel 7:3, Jeremiah 7:1-3, and 1 Chronicles 28:9, and Jesus Christ saying in Matthew 7,
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

If a man toils and strives towards God, he will in no ways reject him.

The problem with sorting things into neat little boxes of saved/unsaved, is that it removes the urgency for action on our part, and relaxes vigilance, if we don't have to worry about salvation, then there would be no need for the "Parable of the Virgins . You can say that our will is like that of the Prodigal Son, who realized his error, turned from it, and God ran out to meet him, and draw him in, but you cannot say that our will has no place at all, and everything has been done by God without rejecting both those parables.
 
It's not a large step from there to say God foreordained my sin, which is absolute blasphemy.
Everything is subject to Divine Providence.

Proverbs 16:4
The Lord has made all for Himself,
Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

It is a very large step if you want to allege that it would make God the author of sin. That would be stepping outside the Word of God. The Bible teaches that we are dead in our sins. God would not do us injustice, if He leaves us to ourselves. We do not deserve salvation. We deserve damnation. God exercises His mercy by bestowing His grace on some, who are not better in any sense than others, and He exercises His justice by leaving others to themselves. That is the God of the Bible, the merciful and and just God. Conditional election is the attempt to remake God in our image.

Calvin said: The truth of God is here too certain to be shaken, too clear to be overborne by human authority. Others who are neither versed in Scripture, nor entitled to any weight, assail sound doctrine with a petulance and improbity which it is impossible to tolerate. Because God of his mere good pleasure electing some passes by others, they raise a plea against him. But if the fact is certain, what can they gain by quarreling with God? We teach nothing but what experience proves to be true—viz. that God has always been at liberty to bestow his grace on whom he would.

Remember what Paul says in Romans 9: What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
[...]
O man, who are you to reply against God?

You might find this doctrine terrible and unjust, but it is a divine comfort. God Bless.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
It is a very large step if you want to allege that it would make God the author of sin.

You need to take ideas to their obvious conclusion, you can't just stop half-way. A little leaven, leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9). You drag Christ down to the level of an impersonal God, who's decided your fate from the beginning of eternity, with whom you can have no relationship with. This is the big difference between other religions and the proper understanding of Christianity.
God would not do us injustice, if He leaves us to ourselves. We do not deserve salvation. We deserve damnation. God exercises His mercy by bestowing His grace on some, who are not better in any sense than others, and He exercises His justice by leaving others to themselves.

If this is true, how do you think this lines up with Matthew 25:40. Do you think God is instructing us to ignore people, and not try to help them? Does God ignore the least of people because they're sinners, because they were "chosen from the beginning of time to be damned for eternity". Of course not. God bestows his grace on all, and it is up to us how we choose to react to it.
Because God of his mere good pleasure electing some passes by others, they raise a plea against him. But if the fact is certain, what can they gain by quarreling with God? We teach nothing but what experience proves to be true—viz. that God has always been at liberty to bestow his grace on whom he would.

Remember what Paul says in Romans 9: What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

The answer to the bolded statement is not Romans 9, you don't kick people while they're down, and say "Well, he passed you by, sucks to be you", it is that of the woman in Matthew 25:27. To keep on trying, even if God seems to pass you by, he sees what toil and struggles we have.
 
You need to take ideas to their obvious conclusion, you can't just stop half-way.
Ok, God created man, man does evil, God is the author of all evil. A perfect God should be able to create perfect creatures... - That is also a "obvious" conclusion, but like yours it is not biblical. You try to remake God in your image, He has to agree with your idea of justice and your free will theology that is alien to Scripture.

Matthew and Paul teach the same Gospel. Paul clarifies many things, because he has to combat erroneous ideas about God and salvation. In Romans 9 he directly addresses the charges you bring up against God. Paul could not say it any clearer.

You can read the Canons of Dort, they address all of your objections. The discussion here becomes circular.

Unconditional election is not impersonal - Election is in Christ and it is a sweet joy and comfort to know that the merciful God provides for His elect from all eternity.

God Bless.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Ok, God created man, man does evil, God is the author of all evil. A perfect God should be able to create perfect creatures... - That is also a "obvious" conclusion, but like yours it is not biblical. You try to remake God in your image, He has to agree with your idea of justice and your free will theology that is alien to Scripture.

In your example the one doesn't naturally follow from the other, as a father isn't responsible for all the sins of his child. In the same way, one who creates technology doesn't bear moral guilt if his technology is used improperly.

God created man, in his own image, God being good, and free, made man good, and free. Man abused that free will, and willingly enslaved himself to sin. God did not make him do evil, it's just a necessary possibility that comes with being free. If man was forced to do good, then he would cease to be free, he would be a robot.
Matthew and Paul teach the same Gospel. Paul clarifies many things, because he has to combat erroneous ideas about God and salvation. In Romans 9 he directly addresses the charges you bring up against God. Paul could not say it any clearer.

And then along comes Calvin and screws it all up by reading one Church father and applying his pastoral letters as universal teachings.

Honest question. Are you even reading anything we're saying or are you just shooting from the hip? When I read your posts all I see is what-about-ism.

Yes, I read, and respond. Why do you think man is a soulless automaton? All my posts are centered around the fact that God desires, but does not force all men to come to the truth.

edit:
Unconditional election is not impersonal - Election is in Christ and it is a sweet joy and comfort to know that the merciful God provides for His elect from all eternity.

Explain this in simple terms. What does "Election is in Christ" even mean? and how is a "sweet joy" for those who don't submit to the impiety of Calvinism, how do you explain the suffering of the damned?
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
Yes, I read, and respond. Why do you think man is a soulless automaton? All my posts are centered around the fact that God desires, but does not force all men to come to the truth.
The argumentation is becoming too circular. You're making the same straw men since you've started. I've been trying to show you Scripture but if you disregard it then there's not really a point in discussion is there?

I'm all too familiar with what your beliefs are: that God wants everyone to be saved but He will not accomplish it, that we have the autonomy to accept or reject God, God can't be good if everyone doesn't get a chance, etc.

My agnostic friend believes the same things. I used to believe them too until I took a deep dive into Scripture.

Is there any mechanism by which your argument may fail? Or have you already decided that this is true?

The only way God can be truly just, is if he gives everyone a chance, and those willing to do so, follow him.
This is your chief doctrine. That God has to conform to your idea of what "just" is. Do you not believe that we are all guilty sinners who deserve damnation and that God would be Just in condemning us all? But since God also has Mercy, He saves whom He wills from that condemnation through the propitiatory work of Christ on the cross?

If you do not believe in the Gospel message then there's no need to continue this discussion.
 
@Aboulia

Unconditional election was taught not only by Augustine, but by several people. Was it the mainstream view? No. Is it the Biblical view? Yes. Every doctrine has its history. That is why I can quote (and have done so) Scripture teaching the doctrine, and not single verses, but entire passages.

Election is in Christ. It means, the elect will receive saving faith in Christ. The Canons of Dort address your objections or you can read Calvin's Institutes on election, I think it is Book 3, chapter 21-24, it is all online and for free. To your question, how to explain the suffering of the damned - I already said, that we do not deserve salvation. We are dead in our sins and deserve damnation. God Bless.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
You're making the same straw men since you've started.

Do not pull that card without examples. What have I falsely put up to tear down?
If I'm in error or have argued something false, then show me where exactly I'm wrong, and I will accept it.
If not, stop being obstinate and admit the tyrannical conclusions of Calvinism.
 
Aboulia, it would be tyrannical if man would be innocent. Your anthropology is pre-Fall. The New Testament does not say, that we are innocent or "innocent" sinners (someone who sins here and there, but is good at heart more or less), it says, we are dead in our trespasses and sins. We are not the offspring of the sinless Adam, but of the fallen Adam.
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
Do not pull that card without examples. What have I falsely put up to tear down?
If I'm in error or have argued something false, then show me where exactly I'm wrong, and I will accept it.
If not, stop being obstinate and admit the tyrannical conclusions of Calvinism.
I never accused mankind of being soulless. You put words into my mouth.
Why do you refuse to answer the central question? Do you believe man is fallen and in need of Jesus to save him?
 
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