Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Pre-Creation Dialogue

I have a great admiration for many people who humbly believe in the doctrine of limited election, and some are my friends in the area in which I live. So this is no attack on them, but it is an expose on the teaching which I strongly believe provides a limited and constricted view of God and His heart of love for His creation, us. Some people, not all, with a predeterminitive and narrow view of God's redemption have a teeny weeny problem with pride (along with the rest of us). Even the names like "doctrines of grace" (as if we didn't believe in grace) or "When I learned of God's sovereignty" (as if we haven't) display a little arrogance. The search for God and His truth is the noblest one of all, and if there is a distinguishing feature of this theology it is the sacredness of God's Holy Word. However, in the midst of the search the redemptive plan has been minimized. The following is a little fictional narrative that provides some insight into why I believe the love, mercy, and grace of God, not to mention the cross of Jesus Christ, is sometimes shortchanged by the intellect of man.

ACT I

So God leans back (metaphorically) and says to Himself "I'm going to create a race that I love with a perfect love, no respecter of persons, that's Me. They are not going to love Me, but that will not change My love for them, equally, to a person. I will provide an escape from an eternal hell for some. Now the "some" will be very few and the "others" will be very many. What do ya think, Gabe?"

Gabriel says, "Good plan. I especially like the part where You could have provided an escape for them all but You're not going to. It shows You have restraint and discipline. I mean You didn't have to provide it for any of them, so by throwing a bone to some...well...I think it shows how good You are without getting carried away and letting them all have a chance to get away with what they've done!"

Michael pipes in, "Lord, can I ask You a question about Your business?"

God says, "No! Don't ever ask Me about My business!"

Mike says, "Please, just this once?"

God says, "OK, but just this once I'll let you ask Me about My business".

Mike says, "Why did You only choose a few when You could have died for them all, I mean after all You were in the area, might as well died for them all, right?"

God looks at Michael and says, "Because that is how I wanted it, deal with it!"

And so ends the story of the pre-creation dialogue. So now, kick back and enjoy the show, God's playing a little solataire here and He's turning over a few cards and leaving the rest in the deck. He happened to have chosen you and me to wind up and go, so as God told Mike, get over it and pass the popcorn, we have front row seats!!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

12 comments:

iggy said...

Shivers!

I don't think some understand the consequences of saying God only loves some... I know God loves the Elect, but tell me... when were the "Elect" "enemies" of God?

I see that this teaching also presupposes that man is immortal and existed also "in Christ"... yet the bible is clear that there is a distinction between us and Jesus... He is the ONLY IMMORTAL.

I also wonder how (since I see that most of all of this we see is to show the fallen angels God is just in His judgment of them) that if we cannot freely choose to love God in response to His Love toward us... then we do not truly love Him and God cannot judge the angels who saw Him face to face and loved Him not... while we do not see Him and do love Him.

I might be writing on this soon as I need to wrap up my, "Why I am not a Calvinist" series.

Be Blessed,

iggy
(The one Ken Silva says is not saved but needs to "get over it".)

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

I cannot fathom that Jesus would live a sinless life, and always having His ministry toward Calvary, and when He is nailed upon the cross why would He not die for all?

Would it have been too much for Him? Please! He was there and He was God. It would be likened to the High Priest goning into the Holy Place on the Day of Atonment and only spreading the blood for a very few of the Jewish people and not all of Israel.

That limited elected view is man made and does despite to the Spirit of Grace.

Rita said...

Is it possible that when God talks about the "Elect" in His Holy Word - he is referring to those He FOREKNEW? Those HE knew would choose HIM? After all He knows the end from the beginning.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Romans 8:28-30

Just a thought!
Rita

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Yes Rita, exactly as you said it. But in order for that scenario to be legitimate, Christ must "tsate death for every man".

God foreknew all who would believe on Jesus and all who would reject Him, and with that the elect are the believers. The difference is in my little narrative is that some teach God chooses and His foreknowledge is not about seeing who would believe on Christ but who He chose.

And with that some teach Jesus only died for some. Exclusionary redemption.

Rita said...

Amen! Thank You Jesus for tasting death for me and ALL who have and will say YES.

Rita

Baptist Girl said...

Hi Rick,

First of all I know you would not attack. Your a very caring man and I consider you my friend. You have always been honest about where you stand and I know I can come here and say what I see in scriptures and not be attacked for it, I apprecaite that in you. This will be a bit long, please bear with me.

SecondIy,I will come before you and say the only reason God saved me was grace. I am nobody special, I know He sought me out, because I would never had sought Him.

I also believe that Christ died for many, but not all.

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation

Why would Christ shed His blood for those who will never be cleansed by His blood? Christ died for those whom the Father had given Him before the foundation of the world and that He would lose none of them (John 6:37-39)

So If Christ died for thsoe whom the Father has given Him, how can you say He died for everyone?

John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

Romans 9:15-18 15 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." 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to 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." 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens

Romans 8:32-34 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for.

I believe that Christ's death was
substitutionary. He was the substitute for our sins, so if Christ dies for everyone's sins, would not all be saved..whose sins are the people in hell suffering for? They are suffering for their own because Christ did not substitute for them.

I think Limited Atonement is one of the toughest of the 5 (TULIP) to understand. All I know is that Christ did not die for all the world..or all the world would be saved.

John 17:1-11,20,24-26 1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 "as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
6 "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 "Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
9 "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 "And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."


Total Depravity tells me that men love darkness rather than light and do not come to the light lest their sins be exposed, and also that men cannot submit to the things of God.

We all deserve hell, by His grace, he chose some, this is not arrogance on my part, I was one of those that deserved hell, I am humbled that He chose this chief of sinners.

Cristina

Zan said...

Cristina,

I applaud you for continuing to go to the text to find verification of your beliefs, but please do not just look at what the Baptist church or other Calvinists show you...oh, how many verses can be taken out of context when we only see what we want to see.

I am just making sure that I totally understand you, also, in the John 17 verses - you do understand that the "the men whom You have given Me out of the world" were the disciples, right? Not the ones to come in our age, but the ones He knew and loved in His ministry here on earth? Throughout that whole verse, it is my understanding that when he refers to the "ones You have give me" he is talking about passing on the vision and the truth of Him (Jesus) to His disciples, in preparing them to take over His ministry. If you do understand this already, I guess I miss the point of that section of the text in relation to your believing in limited election.

You seem like a very gentle person, kind of words and thoughts. Please do not view man-made doctrines equivalent to scripture. When you say things like "I think Limited Atonement is one of the toughest of the 5 (TULIP) to understand. All I know is that Christ did not die for all the world..or all the world would be saved.", I pray that you don't accept that teaching because people that you look up to and respect have told you it is true. We must always look with skepticism upon teachings and labels that come from man and place limitations upon God and His grace and mercy. That is a very dangerous mindset. Be a Berean…question people’s ideas until PROVEN with ALL of scripture.

About limited atonement...I think the bottom line is that I see grace as a gift that I can accept or not accept. Christ did something for me. I can believe it, accept it, and live it in obedience, or I can choose not to believe it, reject it, and choose to live in my sinful desires without the aid of the Holy Spirit. Take, for instance Acts 13:46-48
46Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
"I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth."

48When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

They presented the Truth to the Jews first, but the Jews rejected it. They had a choice to accept it, but they chose poorly (my Indiana Jones reference for the day!) The amplified version of the text says that they "thrust it from you, you pass this judgment on yourselves that you are unworthy of eternal life and out of your own mouth you will be judged." They were responsible for their lack of salvation. Not God. Their choice. So later when it says "and as many as were destined (appointed and ordained) to eternal life believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Jesus as the Christ and their Savior)", does the previous understanding that the Jews were responsible for their own demise change how you might interpret the idea of being destined or "appointed and ordained"? Ephesians 1:12-14 and Romans 1:5-17 talk about the good news being the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, Hebrews 2:9 says that Jesus tasted death for everyone, and Hebrews 5:9 says He became the source of salvation for all those who obey Him. Knowing these verses say this, and so many also talk about those who chose to reject Christ, then what must the next logical (logic isn't always anti-faith, btw) step in thought be? Do we have freedom to choose, or did God make robots, destined only for His work? Some say both. If so, where does one begin and one end?

I have written so many other things in my word document, but this will suffice for now.

In Him,
Zan

Anonymous said...

JUST A THOUGHT....



If Christ did die for all the world, then yes, all would be saved...for Christ would not fail. If Christ desires all would be saved, then all would be saved. If believing in Christ is what is needed for salvation, then all will be saved - for Scripture tells us of such a moment when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is LORD.

ACT ONE:
God speaks:

"You know, I just do not want to create these beings to live here in Heaven with Me, that is just not entertaining enough. I represent love, you know, Agape love. Therefore, I want to create a place for those who do not do as I like, those who without Me cannot choose Me. I know I said to love your enemies, but that doesn't apply to me, for I am the Creator. I would rather watch their flesh burn from their bodies every day. I want to hear the screams of pain of my creation. This is much better than Me giving them the power to overcome. The ones that I created to fail, the ones who sinned beyond My fixing, you know who they are."

Michael chimes in...."But God, surely you would rather all your creation be a part of Your Kingdom."

God replies:

"Silly, silly, angel. You just do not get this kind of love that I have for My creation. I do not really desire all to be with Me. You see how some of them live - they are too much for Me. They must burn! I mean not for a few hours, but eternity!...and I cannot wait to hear the screams of my messed up creation that I did not have the power nor the compassion to save. You know, come to think about it, they are all but filthy rags with unclean lips, and none seek good, No! not one...maybe they ALL should burn!"

Baptist Girl said...

Hi zan,

First of all I would ask what church you fellowship in..it gives me some kind of idea where you stand theologically.

What I see in John 17 is the prayers of intercession made by Jesus. He said Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may have eternal life. That eternal life was not for everyone, but those that were given by the Father. If you look at verse 9 Jesus goes and says I ask on the behalf: I do not ask on the behalf of the world, but of those whom you have given me, for they are yours. It does not make sense to me that Jesus would limit His prayers to those given to Him by God and at the same time die for all men knowing for certainty that many would not be saved.
He was praying for those he died for and they were the ones given to Him by the Father. His purpose was not to save the whole world because if that was His purpose, it would have happened. He did not need to save anyone, we all deserve hell.


As for Acts 13:46-48 if you examine it as a whole you will see that everyone will reject the gospel without the Holy Spirit who allows some to believe. If you look at verse 48 the Gentiles did not reject the truth only did so because God decreed it, not because they chose to reject it. Everyone that goes to hell goes because they hate God and reject the truth. God awakens a dead heart, He draws us. He has to because we do not seek after Him.
After the fall we were born in sin, depraved and do not seek after God.
No God does not make robots. Do we have the freedom to choose, we sure do, but the natural man does not seek after God.
I do not consider this man made doctrine. As for Limited Atonement, that is the one part of the Tulip that most people struggle with that I talk to about it. I am not a Calvinist, I am a Baptist.
Zan, you said you have written so much more, that doesn’t make you 100% correct. I have studied this and I believe it to be true. Thank you for taking the time and sharing what you believe. I will continue to study and I pray the same for you.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Good thoughts, everyone. Anonymous presents a wild idea, but it isn't interesting that the cults deny the existence of hell (JW's, Moonies, etc.). There is no cult that says "There is a hell but no heaven!". Not a great membership drive, no?

The thing I admire most about many Calvinists is like Christina, their love for the Word. I disagree with the free will aspect and I think it is important, but some of the greates men of God that were ever used of the Spirit were of that view so I am indebted to many of them.

Great Scriptural comments guys!

Zan said...

Cristina,

Firstly, when I said I had written so much more, I meant in the Word Document where I had written all my thoughts down, but since it had turned out so long, I only put a portion of it in my response to you. That is all I meant by that comment.

Secondly, what are the scriptural supports for the belief that we are incapable of believing in God without the Holy Spirit? how does that work with the Old Testament saints?

btw, baptist...calvinist...either way, you are subscribing to a set of beliefs that are laid out by men, and labeled with men's names. I am a Christian only. Not Arminian, not calvinist, not baptist, not lutheran, not anything. Just a simple follower of Christ who believes that God made all men in His image, and that He desires for not one to be lost, but that ALL would come to know the saving grace of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Zan

Tyler said...

"It would be likened to the High Priest goning into the Holy Place on the Day of Atonment and only spreading the blood for a very few of the Jewish people and not all of Israel."

But even in this comment the High priest offers a limited atonement - it is only for Israel, not for all humans.

Keep in mind I'm not trying to get in a fight - I'm just talking.
I blogged on Limited Atonement a while ago if you're interested
http://tearingbooksapart.blogspot.com/2007/02/difference-between-being-healed-and.html
http://tearingbooksapart.blogspot.com/2007/01/other-limited-atonement.html