September 21, 2008

Just Ask A Calvinist!

The other day I was listening to the new Blog Radio Show: Refining Fire by Jesse Morrell and Kerrigan Skelly. During last week's show Kerrigan brought up what I thought was a great line of questioning for a Calvinist. Here is what he had to say:

First, ask a Calvinist "Do you believe in freewill?" Most will say "Yes, they believe in Freewill".

Then ask them "Does God hate sin?", they should most rightly answer "Oh Yes, God most definitely hates sin".

The ask them "Does God Command you to stop sinning", and they should rightly answer "Oh Yes God commands us to stop sinning".

Then ask them "Does God allow you to be tempted beyond that which you can handle (1 Cor 10:13)?", they should agree that God does not allow a person to be tempted beyond that which they can handle.

Then ask them "Can YOU do ALL things through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:13)?", and they should rightly answer "Oh yes we can do all things through Christ Jesus".

And then ask them "Do they believe they can Stop Sinning?" Most will respond that no one can live holy as they have a "Sin Nature" and that sin resides within our flesh and until the flesh has been eliminated or we are given a "new Nature" upon or after death, it is only then we can truly live beyond sin. Most will say that we sin daily and commit "countless" number of sins within a day - as Christians no less! (I recall a Calvinist tell me one day at our small group that he had sinned even before he got up out of bed that day"!)

But yet the bible says nothing about man being cursed with a "Sin Nature" or that sin is in the "flesh". Sin is a moral choice and is a condition of a persons heart and will. If sin is something we are "born with" then this would be like saying a man should be punished or sentenced to eternal hell for the color of their skin or the color of their eyes! This would be unjust for God to sentence people to eternal Hell for that which they could not choose. Sin is a condition of the heart - it is our hearts and our will that needs to be renewed through REPENTANCE and FAITH. A changing of the heart and mind from loving ourselves to loving God! Sin is a choice!

Besides, doesn't it seem odd that a Calvinist would agree that God hates sin, commands us to not to sin, that we are never tempted beyond that which we can handle, and that we can do ALL things through Christ Jesus but yet we can't still can't seem to stop sinning for one day? This friends is a contradiction of the highest degree! It is no wonder our churches are filled with men and women who believe it is acceptable and even expected that Christians should sin. What hypocrisy and what deceit these Calvinist preach!


Anonymous said...

I guess you must be perfect, and that pride is no longer a sin.

Preston N said...

Pride?? Wherever did you get that I was being prideful from this post? I must have struck a nerve with my post regarding sin for you to lash out the way you did here. "Anonymous doth protest too much, methinks?!" :)

Besides, do you know me personally? Do you witness daily my walk with the Lord?? If you don't know me on a personal level then I would suggest you not making such character assinations.

Anonymous said...

This is a yes or a no question, Are you perfect? Just a yes or no. Be advised, I DO know you on a personal level and I am longing to hear this answer. I am not the same anonymous as above.

Preston N said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Preston N said...

Anonymous - if you know me then why not identify yourself? Are you hiding something?

First, this is not an answer that can be made with a simple yes or no. If I have a different definition of biblical perfection than yours then its will do me no good to answer your question. We must first define the terms of this discussion. So I would first respond by saying how do you define "biblical perfection"?

Anonymous said...

This format allows anonymity, I’ll take it. That way, I can be frank with you. (ha, I made a joke).
I mean sinless perfection, without sin, totally righteous (I’m on a roll). That is the standard to which you have called us to. The only way this isn’t a yes or no question, is if there is a legitimate definition which includes sin. I’m assuming you want me to define sin.

The Old Testament defines sin as:
1: transgression of the law. The law defines righteousness, any violation is sin. If you violate one point, you are guilty of all. (James 2:10) Deuteronomy 6:24-25 is a statement of this principle from the perspective that a person who keeps the law is righteous. Up until Jesus time, the bible tells us He is the only one who fulfilled the law.
2: a breach of the covenant.. Any breach of this covenant was viewed as sin (Deut. 29:19-21.) Not applicable to us.
3: (Lev. 11:45.) Any deviation from God’s own righteousness is viewed as sin.

No one was able to fulfill the Old Testament and the New Testament is even tougher. Like you said, sin is now the inner motive that leads to the act that is the real sin. The outward deed is actually the fruit of sin.
The New Testament defines sin as:
1: Anger in the heart is the same as murder (Matt. 5:21-22).
2: The impure look is the same as adultery (Matt. 5:27-28).
3: Worry is not of faith, it is sin (Luke 12:22- 26).
4: If you know the good you’re supposed to do and you don’t do it, it is sin (James 4:17)
5: All unrighteousness is sin (1 john 5:17).
6: Anything not done in faith, is sin (Romans 14:23).
7: Love your enemies AND pray for them, and it can’t be that lightening strikes them. Do you love Calvinists? (Matt 5:44)
8: Contentiousness is sin (Romans 2:8). Check out your answer to the person before me?
9: Judging others is sin (Matt 7:1)
10: You have to give to everyone who asks you and let anyone borrow from you (Matt 5:42)
11: You have to tame your tongue, according to James no man can do it (James 3:8)
12: The very act of claiming to be sinless is a sin in itself, as this Scripture so ably demonstrates. A person claiming not to have sin deceives himself or herself, and in effect calls Christ a liar. I John 1:10
Sin is the opposite of righteousness or moral straightness to the smallest detail like selfishness and greed.

Since Adam and Eve rebelled against the command of God, sin has infected all humanity like a cancer. (Romans 3:23 and Romans 5:12)The bible does not tell us how. Some passages suggest nature inclined toward evil and others it is clear it is due to human choice. Despite what you say, the Jews do admit the two mutually exclusive ideas into the same thought process. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia: "Man is responsible for sin because he is endowed with free will ("behirah"); yet he is by nature frail, and the tendency of the mind is to evil: "For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Gen. viii. 21; Yoma 20a; Sanh. 105a).

The difference between the Old Testament and New Testament is that now, sin is defined against the backdrop of Jesus as the standard for righteousness. His life is the example of perfection. If you can claim that you are living as Jesus, then you can claim that you are perfect and that you have stopped sinning.

Preston N said...

Anonymous please see my response in my latest post.

Eli Frye said...

If anyone was perfect it would have been Paul, yet he called himself chief of sinners. (1Ti 1:15)

God commands us to be perfect knowing that we will fail because through our failure we know better our own depravity and helplessness.

2Cr 12:9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me

1Jo 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Preston N said...

Eli - It might pay to know and understand what hyperbole is when reading certain comments from Paul. Secondly, in regards to your use of 1 John 1:10 - I guess we are to throw out the over 31 references John makes in the rest of his epistle whereby he says to abstain from sinning???

1 John 2:1-6

1My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

3By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.