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Wynona

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Scripture in context doesn't back up Calvinism. But they still have a lot of proof texts, that they would use on you!

They love using Romans 9.


Within it, they would use stuff like.

6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”

10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”


16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory
— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

AND THIS IS NOT ALL THEY USE! Not by a long shot.
I don't think Calvinists are wrong about everything. But you talked about the 5 points. I don't believe grace is irresistable. I don't believe Jesus only died for the elect. I am iffy on total depravity, and perseverance of the saints has turned into "once saved always saved" which I definitely don't agree with.

Election is definitely a thing. I just don't see how there's any way you could possibly know if you were or not. We live inside of time so everything is choices for us. Thats why the Bible tells us to choose this day whom we will serve, not figure out our elect destiny.
 

St. SteVen

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Christian Universalism addresses the Election and Predestination issues head on.

According to traditional doctrine, the Elect are a group of humans that God chose (predestined)
before the creation of the world to be his ONLY redeemed.

Unfortunately the flip side of that coin is that EVERYONE else was predestined to destruction.
Which is defined as eternal separation from God in the torment of a forever burning hell.
The church then blames the victims. Saying they are God-haters that have rejected Christ.

Christian Universalism says that EVERYONE will be redeemed, But "each in turn".

1 Corinthians 15:22-24 NIV
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father
after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
 

Lambano

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Election is definitely a thing. ... We live inside of time so everything is choices for us. Thats why the Bible tells us to choose this day whom we will serve, not figure out our elect destiny.
Wynona, I think you're on the right track on what the Biblical concept of "election" is.

"Elect" means taking on the responsibilities of being part of God's people. It's not about privilege.

Please forgive me for this digression: I remember Rabbi Abraham Heschel in his book God in Search of Man writing something to the effect of when a Jewish child comes of age, he (or she) accepts the responsibilities of being part of God's chosen people. "Thus, we are not only a chosen people, we are also a choosing people."

My dog chewed up that book and I never did get to finish it. I wish I still had it. But I think I remembered the quote correctly.

I wrote that as much as a reminder to myself about the responsibilities I accepted as being part of Jesus's people. It needed to be said.
I still stand behind what I wrote there, but I would add that I trust Jesus will take care of His people. Or to use standard Pauline theological language, those who trust in Him will be reckoned "righteous" in the Judgement.

And as an aside for @Johann (who is somewhat unique around here in that he respects the theological insights of those who have gone before us): One of the books on my future reading list is Robert Shank's Elect in the Son. The thesis is that our election is corporate "in Christ". Should be an interesting read.
 
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dev553344

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I think I'm in a similar boat, not being able to fix myself. I'm waiting for God to lighten my load. God takes care of me though. As I've expressed I have a mental illness which makes it very difficult to be a good Christian. I think I'm learning though. 20 years ago I was a good Christian, but my mental illness got a lot worse and now I find it difficult. Anyways, I hope you improve into what you expect @AlwaysOnAJourney.
 
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Lambano

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Don't know if that was a compliment @Lambano, but you are correct.
Shalom
Johann.
It was indeed intended as a compliment.

In the Wesleyan tradition, scripture is primary, but scripture is interpreted through the lens of reason, our experience, and "church tradition". "Tradition" may have a bad name around here (and in many cases its poor reputation is well-deserved), but it also includes taking into account the accumulated wisdom of those faithful men and women who have gone before us. If we take the "Not Invented Here" mindset, we are effectively saying that only we know how to interpret scripture, and nobody else knows anything. Were I a cynical man, I would say that mindset is the predominant one in any internet forum.
 
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CadyandZoe

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There is something I keep reading over and over again. It's this concept that you got to learn to love yourself before other people will love you. It's this idea that you can make yourself whole. How on Earth these ideas got into Christianity is beyond me.

Mark 12:30-31
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

1 Peter 5:6-8
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

The way I understand it is, we are supposed to give the Lord ourselves and then He makes us whole.

Look people, I know that I'm broken and it is probably some of my brokenness that drives people away. Who knows. But one thing I know, I can't fix myself. I can pray and ask Jesus to fix me. And I have done that many times. If He chooses not to fix me, then I can not be fixed. It is not that I don't try to keep my end of the bargain. I use the resources that I have available to me to try and fix things. I guess there is no end to trying... When I go to bed at night I feel like things are over, and I'm just waiting until the end of my life happens. Sometimes I feel evil and that I will end up in Hell. It's hard to see the light. Even the Bible doesn't help me as much as one would think it would. I'm in it a lot, yet my natural mind doesn't gravitate to the positive scriptures but rather it gravitates to the scary ones. That is just how I've always been wired.[/B]
I agree. But on the other hand, some folks have incorrectly misconstrued our call to acknowledge ourselves to be sinners as a form of self-hatred. To that, I say this.

To acknowledge myself to be a sinner is not me hating myself. I simply admit that I am like a beautiful sports car with broken steering that causes me to run over those I love. I want to be fixed, as you say, and I agree I can't fix myself. BUT, being able to acknowledge the truth about myself, is evidence of God's work inside me to grant me this gift of sight. I am being fixed. Yes?

Is it easier to forgive my sins or to open up my blind eyes? (2nd Chapter of Acts)
 
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ChristisGod

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The Spirit and the Mind. A check up from the neck up! The Mind is a Battlefield.

We will see the connection between the Spirit, the mind/heart and the word. This is a devotional I put together and I shared with our Thursday morning mens discipleship that meets every Thursday morning at 5am.

Battlefield means the field or ground upon which a battle is fought. 2. and area of contention, conflict, or hostile opposition.” A battlefield is a place of hostile opposition. A battlefield is a place where battles are won and lost. Everyday – every moment – there is a battle going on in our minds between right and wrong, good and bad, God’s way or Satan’s way, the Spirit or the flesh. It is our wills that determine who wins control of our minds, and because actions follow thoughts, ultimately who wins control of our very lives

The enemy attacked Eve in her mind/reasoning and tried the same with Jesus. He tried to cause doubt with Gods word and succeeded with Eve (did God really say? And you will not surely die) and he failed with Jesus. He attacks us today in the same way. The sword of the spirit which is the word of God is our only offensive weapon and defense against our enemy. Jesus did not use Hid Divine power as God to defeat satan, He used the same means we have at our disposal to defeat the enemy- the Word of God!

1-We must know Gods Word- Jesus used Gods word against the enemy.

2-We must memorize Gods Word. Ps 119:11, Ps 37:31, Ps 40:8

3- We must meditate on Gods Word- Joshua 1:8, Ps 1:2, Ps 119:147-48

4- We must use Gods Word- John 14:26. It is written was Jesus’ response. Matt 4:1-11

5- We must train ourselves in Gods Word- discipline, training, practice. 1 Tim 4:7, 1 Cor 9:25-27, 2 Tim 2:1-7.

Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” Our destiny is tied directly to and starts with our thoughts.

Romans 8:5-14-
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God

Colossians 3:1-10- Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.5 Therefore, treat the parts of your earthly body as dead to sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, rid yourselves of all of them: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you stripped off the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created it

1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.

Galatians 5:16-18- So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

1 Corinthians 2:9-16- However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Romans 12:1-2-Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ephesians 4:17-25-Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Philippians 2:1-5 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Philippians 4:8-Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

Proverbs 4:23- Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.

Proverbs 23:7
- As a man thinks in his heart so is he. Cf Deut 4:9, Proverbs 4. Col 3:23, Prov 22:29

hope this helps !!!
 
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CadyandZoe

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Hi @AlwaysOnAJourney and @Nancy
I am with you both. Saran is always telling me that I am not saved.
I believe that fighting our sins is a life time job, but Jesus will finish off what He started.
Still I doubt my salvation.
What worries me is that it makes ne separated from God and I stop reading scripture and praying.
The way i Iook at it now is that even if I am not saved I want to serve God until I die, because I love Him so much. So I still repent and fight the battle and I want to help His people and help to bring Jesus into people's
lives. So I will keep on trying even if I am not saved.
Blessings to you all.
The very fact that you are thinking about this is positive evidence that you are one of his. He is guiding you into all truth and your journey in in the right direction.
 
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Johann

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It was indeed intended as a compliment.

In the Wesleyan tradition, scripture is primary, but scripture is interpreted through the lens of reason, our experience, and "church tradition". "Tradition" may have a bad name around here (and in many cases its poor reputation is well-deserved), but it also includes taking into account the accumulated wisdom of those faithful men and women who have gone before us. If we take the "Not Invented Here" mindset, we are effectively saying that only we know how to interpret scripture, and nobody else knows anything. Were I a cynical man, I would say that mindset is the predominant one in any internet forum.
Brother, God forbid that I should boast in intellectual wisdom-but I don't neglect the "teachings/traditions" of the Reformers-as you rightly say, faithful men and women who pioneered the gospel, not only the promulgation of the gospel of Christ, but have put the gospel into daily practice.
The only way I know how to interpret the Scriptures is put it into practice-a style of life.
These last couple of days, weeks, in vain do I look at threads on the practicality of the gospels-

My prayer is that here, in South Africa, affluent men and women will help in opening shelters, ministries-like that of David Wilkerson, to help the poor and needy, disenfranchised, marginalized, those living in the outer peripheral areas on the outskirts of cities, as per Matthew 25, and look and care for them holistically.

Christianity is not for "sissies"-a quote from Johnny Cash.

Shalom-I did not see your edit.
Johann.
 
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Johann

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It was indeed intended as a compliment.

In the Wesleyan tradition, scripture is primary, but scripture is interpreted through the lens of reason, our experience, and "church tradition". "Tradition" may have a bad name around here (and in many cases its poor reputation is well-deserved), but it also includes taking into account the accumulated wisdom of those faithful men and women who have gone before us. If we take the "Not Invented Here" mindset, we are effectively saying that only we know how to interpret scripture, and nobody else knows anything. Were I a cynical man, I would say that mindset is the predominant one in any internet forum.
Brother, God forbid that I should boast in intellectual wisdom-but I don't neglect the "teachings/traditions" of the Reformers-as you rightly say, faithful men and women who pioneered the gospel, not only the promulgation of the gospel of Christ, but have put the gospel into daily practice.
The only way I know how to interpret the Scriptures is put it into practice-a style of life.
These last couple of days, weeks, in vain do I look at threads on the practicality of the gospels-

My prayer is that here, in South Africa, affluent men and women will help in opening shelters, ministries-like that of David Wilkerson, to help the poor and needy, disenfranchised, marginalized, those living in the outer peripheral areas on the outskirts of cities, as per Matthew 25, and look and care for them holistically.

Christianity is not for "sissies"-a quote from Johnny Cash.

Shalom-I did not see your edit.
Johann.
 

St. SteVen

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Is it easier to forgive my sins or to open up my blind eyes? (2nd Chapter of Acts)
Was this the reference you were remembering? (trying to)

Luke 5:23 NIV
Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
 

CadyandZoe

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Was this the reference you were remembering? (trying to)

Luke 5:23 NIV
Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
Actually, I was quoting a line from a song by a musical group called "The 2nd Chapter of Acts." They were from my time. :)

 

Rockerduck

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When you feel down, I know the cure. Stop thinking about yourself and start praying for somebody else. The more you do this when you get depressed, the less depressed you will be.
 

Johann

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When you feel down, I know the cure. Stop thinking about yourself and start praying for somebody else. The more you do this when you get depressed, the less depressed you will be.
When I get depressed I work out in my home gym and continue to thank our Lord Christ Jesus to be able to do it, or grab my guitar and play along with country music.
Always thankful for the little things.
Johann.
 

Rockerduck

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When I get depressed I work out in my home gym
That's a good way to stimulate Endorphins. It lifts your mood. But still, you must decrease and let Christ increase in you. Don't think of yourself, think on others. Pray for your friends and enemies, forgive all, but do not dwell on yourself.
 
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Johann

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That's a good way to stimulate Endorphins. It lifts your mood. But still, you must decrease and let Christ increase in you. Don't think of yourself, think on others. Pray for your friends and enemies, forgive all, but do not dwell on yourself.
Who said I'm thinking on me?
I was just sharing my thoughts brother.
Later
Johann.
 

Rockerduck

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Usually clinically depressed people are self centered and only think of themselves. They tend to be selfish too. If you aren't in that clinical category, I apologize.
 

Johann

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Story 1,

I am a looser because….

All the way through school, I struggled. I didn’t have a support system to help me to get through. All I could do is study as hard as I could, and then I just made it through. If I had to go through school today I probably wouldn’t make it. Because back then because of my learning disability they allowed me to pass without passing the Istep tests. I know of a girl who struggled like me but she was in the class of 2007, she also had a learning disability but they forced her to pass the Istep test. She couldn’t and thus didn’t graduate.

I had an interest in Electronics so I took two years of Vocational School. I just made it through with a C. About a year or two later, I got a job building circuit boards. It lasted just 4 weeks, because they let me go for being too slow. Next I got a job in a R/V plant. I was a packer, and after just 4 weeks they gave me the option to either get faster or quit. I couldn’t go faster so I quit. After a year of searching, I landed a second shift job as a Janitor for an Elementary school, It’s a job I hate but I’m stuck. I’ve been stuck there for 20 years.

I got my drivers license in 1999, and I still struggle with my driving.

I continue to struggle through life. I live with my parents who keep getting older and older. I don’t have the energy that I used too.
Do you fellowship with a Church? If so, why aren't they assisting you?
Johann.