Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Response to Prophecy Channel

The video below is a response to Prophecy Channel's (PC's) response to Dr. James White. There three main sections to the video, and consequently three main sections to the response:

1. Does Dr. White think only Calvinists are Christians?

No. Dr. White acknowledges that there are non-Calvinist Christians. On the other hand, Dr. White recognizes that not everyone who calls himself a Christian actually is one.

2. Does Calvinism make God the Author of Sin?

Not by the definition of that term found in the Westminster Confession of Faith. But PC has his own definition of "author of sin." Since the term isn't a Biblical term, I'd rather not get stuck on labels. I know "author of sin" has a nasty ring to it, but what's wrong with saying that God is the "author of sin" in some remote sense of ordaining that sin will transpire. Why should that be problematic beyond being susceptible of an ugly label?

2. What about three passages in Jeremiah?

PC raises three passages in Jeremiah that say that some particular sin was not what God commanded or decreed, nor did it enter into God's mind. Three such passages are:

Jeremiah 7:30-31
For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

Jeremiah 19:5-6
They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.

Jeremiah 32:34-35
But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

PC's problem in analyzing these passages is this: he has overlooked the difference between the Revealed Will (what one should do) and the Secret Will (what one will do). These passages are talking about God's decrees relative to the revealed will: his commandments, not his decrees of Providence.

Furthermore, PC has a problem ahead of him. If he insists that God cannot hold men responsible for things that God has foreordained, he's going to run into a problem:

Acts 2:23-24
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

John 19:10-11
Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

God foreordained that the Jews would deliver up Jesus to Pilate and yet the Jews had not just sin, but a greater sin than Pilate's sin in executing Christ unjustly. That's a greater sin than the rape of a child, as shocking as that might sound. So, are you going to "blame" God for the crucifixion? Or are you going to justify God although he has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass?



-Turretinfan

11 comments:

natamllc said...

Before I listen to the seven minute plus video, I wanted to answer some questions. These:

So, are you going to "blame" God for the crucifixion?

My answer: No

Or are you going to justify God although he has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass?

My answer: No

Dead people don't have a dog in the fight so to speak. And furthermore, you cannot sue a dead person. You can, however go after what that dead person has left behind! But, let the dead bury the dead anyway!


Col 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
Col 2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Col 2:15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

I can honestly say I now know what this means:

Luk 11:21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe;
Luk 11:22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.
Luk 11:23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.


Ok, I will watch the video now!

natamllc said...

Well, ok. I am neither an Arminian or Calvinist. I am a Christian. God has revealed to me that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I was a child about 7 or 8 years old when I was raped. So, I believe I am well qualified to make these remarks about what I just heard.

All I can say is PC is clearly deceived or confused or just plain "spiritually" ignorant because of the Will of God. God, for reasons unclear to me, has not as yet been willing to open his mind to understand His Will and His Way.

It again is another demonstration of one justifying themself, [PC], by their own goodness according to their selfish prideful abilities and goodwill. This is "self" determination and I would say sadly, that this is also decreed by God that He allows such ignorance of Himself to exist.

Let me make this assertion quite clear now. I "am not" saying PC is lost or not a Christian. Peter the Apostle makes a most wonderful relevation known that makes clear that one can be off base and in error yet because of the Sovereign Grace of God, God keeps them by His power for the day of Salvation. Our Salvation is an act of God's Own Determinate Counsel and Will, not our wicked or righteous state of being. Cf., 1 Peter 1:3-5.

What will be difficult to overcome or understand by those not mature, because of the notion that "love" believes all things, is with what sincerity and clarity PC makes his determinate will clear.

It does take a "trained" ear to discern the subtle differences being espoused herein the video by both Dr. White and PC. The video makes clear to me upon what foundation each of these two men are clearly standing on as they make their position known.

Again, it is straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel whole.

The one notice clear for me also is the bitterness that is deeply embedded in PC and what appeal there is that comes out of Dr. White.

I leave off with this distinction about the bitterness I sense coming out of PC toward Dr. White that is not present in Dr. White, with verses:::>

Psa 120:6 Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.
Psa 120:7 I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!

Lockheed said...

Well, ok. I am neither an Arminian or Calvinist. I am a Christian.

This is what we call a category error. This is like saying "I'm not ketchup, I'm not mustard, I'm sauce!"

Of course you're sauce, that is not the question. The question is are you red and tomato paste based, or yellow and tangy?

There are two sauces (with some variation in the case of 'deli mustard') but rarely, if ever, do you find them mixed in a jar at the grocers. There are other sauces, but for the moment let's pretend they all contain one or the other, (thousand island for example.)

Now, this little analogy is a bit tart, but the point is this: Arminianism and Calvinism are mutually exclusive systems and just about everyone who would be considered and orthodox Christian fits within the bounds of those two systems. Occasionally there are some various mixes, but they usually end up about as consistent as someone mixing mustard and ketchup in a single bottle... I'm not buying it.

Upon reading through your replies, however, there is little of substance for us to understand what it is you actually believe.

Does or does not Scripture tell us Who controls salvation, Who is truly sovereign, Who is the potter and who is the clay? Does not Scripture tell us in Isa 46:9-11 that God has planned the end from the beginning and even the seemingly insignificant flights of birds are part of His plan and purpose?

natamllc said...

Lockheed,

let's agree not to lock horns, ok? :)

You asked so I will answer your questions, one by one:

Does or does not Scripture tell us Who controls salvation, Who is truly sovereign, Who is the potter and who is the clay?

My answer: yes and no

Does not Scripture tell us in Isa 46:9-11 that God has planned the end from the beginning and even the seemingly insignificant flights of birds are part of His plan and purpose?

My answer: if you say so, that would be your answer. Mine is, maybe, ah, yes when I am red, no, when I am yellow!

Any more questions, Lock?


Oh, thanks for following my responses in here. I would encourage you to speak up more often, especially if you consider yourself a "Christian" too?

As for my "narrow" definition of what is, and, who is, I am, "a Christian", I am continually relying upon the Lord, now daily, Whose Hand it is that "touched" me and gave me sight, [I was lost and now I am found] to leave out of here being dead and end up being "alive" in that Salvation by the Power of God's Hand before I pass, as He has made me to hope in His promises according to His Word and not according to my own imagination.

Here is the best understanding I have for being "a Christian" in a world full of pious believers:

Act 11:25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
Act 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

To be a "Christian", one must have had someone come looking for them. Two, they must respond to the Call proclaimed to them. Three, they must realize they are indeed dead. Four, they must die to their own personal identity. Five, having been blind and now seeing them must find out what their particular calling and election is. Six, then they must "let" someone else bring them into that particular "good work" placed on them, that particular calling and election. Seven, as that "good work" placed on them takes root, they must become "fruitful" in both the Church and the world. [I would say that you will know your good work when both the Church and the world have a say in your "good work" as you are being fitted into both]. Eight, after all that, if you still look like, act like, talk like and work like what you were called out of, then you most likely are, one, a baby Christian, no matter how many years you have been working in the Church and world as "a Christian", "or", two, you are not a Christian/sheep/wheat at all but a false brother/goat/tare.

The Day of Judgment will declare it. In the mean time, work while it is yet day for the night comes and no man will work then!

Lockheed said...

let's agree not to lock horns, ok? :)

If that was truly your intent, why did you continue to write paragraphs in which you disagreed and/or rejected what I was saying???

My answer: if you say so, that would be your answer. Mine is, maybe, ah, yes when I am red, no, when I am yellow!

So you're denying that Scripture is clear on this matter, or are you stating that you don't know for certain?

I am, "a Christian", I am continually relying upon the Lord, now daily,

There are many folks who would generally identify with your statement, people who deny the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the Trinity, etc. What makes you a "Christian" and them not?

See, if a Universalist Unitarian states that they're a Christian, and you simultaneously state that you're a Christian... yet you both believe mutually exclusive beliefs and have likewise exclusive worldviews... both of you cannot be right. Nor does the term "Christian" adequately define what either of you believes.

Thus the labels folks use are merely shorthand for complex concepts such as believer's baptism (vs paedobaptism), the Triune nature of the Godhead, etc. Simply stating "I'm a Christian" tells me that you accept some aspect of the historical person of Jesus, but it tells me little about what you believe regarding the specifics of the faith.

I recommend you listen to the debate between Dr. James White and John Dominic Crossan. Dr. White is a Reformed Baptist, (that means Calvinistic in soteriology and baptist in understanding of the proper subjects of baptism) whereas Dr. Crossan is an agnostic, who denies all the major tenets of Christianity yet insists that he's a "Christian".

Thus, natamllc, its fine to call yourself "sauce", we'd just prefer to know what you're made of so that we can understand what food to pair you with. ;)

"...in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians."

But "Christian" was a term applied to them by unbelievers of the day. See, herein is your mistake. You assume that "Christian" is some sort of label God gave, but in reality this is a term that was applied by non-believers. Also, this term defined people who believed a specific sect of Judaism, one that viewed Jesus as the Messiah. So here again, Christian was a label, and at the time there wasn't much more to define the differences between them.

You posted 8 things that you believe defines a "Christian", but all you're doing is defining you brand of Christianity minus the label. The fact of the matter is, there is a label that fits, whether you accept it or not. We (Turretinfan and I) accept the label "Calvinist" for it accurately defines certain aspects of our faith. We do not accept the term because we follow Calvin, rather Calvin merely codified and clarified true Biblical teaching on certain matters. It is therefore merely shorthand for what we believe regarding the nature of salvation.

The Day of Judgment will declare it. In the mean time, work while it is yet day for the night comes and no man will work then!

Can you explain what you're actually saying here? It seems like you're merely quoting partial verses as if they have meaning outside the context Scripture provides. I don't understand what you're trying to say.

natamllc said...

Well Lockheed, thank you!

You do me a service for which I am undeserving and I truly mean that!

Accept it in it's entirety as what I said I meant!

I can see I have brought upon this confusion about me myself.

I guess naturally I should blame my friend TF? :)

You wrote:

"....But "Christian" was a term applied to them by unbelievers of the day. See, herein is your mistake. You assume that "Christian" is some sort of label God gave, but in reality this is a term that was applied by non-believers. Also, this term defined people who believed a specific sect of Judaism, one that viewed Jesus as the Messiah. So here again, Christian was a label, and at the time there wasn't much more to define the differences between them...."

I would disagree with that. Instead I would have to say you are mistaken in making that assumption of me.

I have been walking clearly with the Lord and a group of men and women "God" added me too some thirty five years ago.

I know these men and women and they know me. Not one of them would consider writing anything remotely like what you have written there in the cited quotation and make that conclusion you make. Why? Because they know me better than I know myself.

We have walked together these many years and continue to grow in the Grace and Knowledge of the Lord and have come into the thrill of people living in Christ, conjoined together with, by the Hand of God Himself, Christ "spiritually", the Risen Lord Who came into a form in a woman and was born and grew in the same Wisdom, Grace and Knowledge.

We indeed are of one mind and heart.

The men of my Church meet six days a week and have these many years, year in and year out. We do from time to time have Saturday meetings. Those times are when we have a special guest giving us an edification of the things of the Lord. They are usually "out of town" invited guest speakers. Rarely does a week go by that we are not in a "circle" meeting at the church building, we, by our labors have purchased, together, carried the weight and responsibilities that come with such ownership by a group of men in a Christ centered Pastoral government down to the least of these, the brethren.

God is adding to our numbers.

We are in the midst of building a brand new building, state of the art with all the technocratic gadgets and ideas of the 21st. Century. We have a healthy budget because God has so blessed and prospered our working together over these many years.

So, my pointing to Acts and when they first called a similar group "Christian" merely points to the "experience" I have experienced with these men I can direct you too who know me and have known me my entire adult life. So, as they say, the shoe has now dropped? Care to put it on?

As for the last reference to my earlier remarks:

"....The Day of Judgment will declare it. In the mean time, work while it is yet day for the night comes and no man will work then!

Can you explain what you're actually saying here? It seems like you're merely quoting partial verses as if they have meaning outside the context Scripture provides. I don't understand what you're trying to say...."

Well, yes, I was mixing Scriptural Words with my own "living" epistle wording making no presumption, but without it, assuming you are too a "Christian", whether or not you label yourself a Calvinist, exhorting you to "get to work" and do the work of an Evangelist.

Was I assuming something about you? Yes, yes I was.

Please continue your inquisition of me if you need to. We can go off line and online by email if you do not find it appropriate to continue any quiries herein this combox or TF feels it is not very productive to continue this dialogue back and forth in here?

Turretinfan said...

I don't mind if you want to continue here or off-line, as long as it continues to be civil.

Lockheed, it's worth pointing out that NatAmLLC tends (I think) to agree with most of the things I write - so much so that at least one guy started to think that he and I were the same person!

(I hope NatAmLLC was not too offended by the mistake that guy made.)

On the other hand, his style of communication is a bit different than mine (or yours, I'd wager). I've sometimes started reading his comment thinking he was vigorously disagreeing with me, only to discover that he was emphatically agreeing.

So - while I don't want to put words in my friends' mouths, I think NatAmLLC was trying to say that he doesn't care much for the labels - whereas I think Lockheed was not saying that we have to care about labels but that the labels can serve a useful purpose in describing what we have learned from the Bible.

natamllc said...

Well TF, now that you brought it up.

I am infralapsarian because I cannot get over the permission given to Paul to remain for the sake of the Brethren. You would have to admit that what procedes is a very exclusive relationship one has progressed to while alive with the Holy Ghost and the Holy Christian Church in Christ on earth?:

Php 1:19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,
Php 1:20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
Php 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.
Php 1:23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
Php 1:24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
Php 1:25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,
Php 1:26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

I am just citing one instance where I believe we respect one another's belief.

Lockheed said...

I generally find those who reject labels do so because they realize the labels bring light to their malformed understanding of Scripture. Often this is coupled with a martyrdom complex (ie: "Please continue your inquisition of me").

A good friend of mine, in fact, has often lamented the application of labels to what he believes, but he is in fact a universalist unitarian. The label fits what he believes and provides instant understanding of certain peculiarities of his belief and gives the Christian (I use this term denoting a person with an orthodox view point founded in the historic confessions) a shorthand way of knowing how to respond to his worldview.

Now, I'm not saying that natamllc here is likewise skewed, however I've yet to read anything in which he truly "agrees" with you. I see him posting Scripture seemingly in agreement, and yet then making a comment to the opposite. I find such double-mindedness discouraging and I simply ask that natamllc explain his/her statements so that they're understandable.

Finally, I hesitate to take partial quotes from Scripture, add my own words to it, and change the intent and context of the original. The writers of Scripture intended specific usages for their words, and to alter them in such a manner shows disrespect of their work, the Word of God itself, and the person you're replying to. As a former charismatic, that kind of thing was often done to add some air of credibility to what a person said. I suggest that natamllc endeavor to explain themselves properly and not try to weave out-of-context Biblical quotes into their writing.

"exhorting you to "get to work" and do the work of an Evangelist."

I have yet to understand what it is natamllc believes, however all these subtle accusations are beginning to add up.

Lockheed said...

"I'm infralapsarian..."

Another pesky label? ;)

natamllc said...

Lockheed,

again, for emphasis, let's not lock horns.

No need.

I labeled myself infralapsarian and you call that pesky?

Ok, why?

What do I believe.

I believe Jesus Christ was born of a woman.

I believe you would be of the anti-Christ spirit if you did not.

I believe an infant is buried with Christ in his or her baptism.

I am good with baptising adults, young adults or dying old widows who lived ungodly lives and are facing death and requesting my Ministerial assistance in getting right with God. I did have that opportunity so I am well qualified to debate whether or not you believe or judge my actions were ungodly or unScriptural.

I do not believe everything I read or listen to or see.

I do not believe Arminius got it right. I tend to lean toward the Council of Dordt.

I believe healing is for today. I have laid hands on some and saw with amazement their healing!

I believe dead people can be raised from the dead.

I believe the six oracles of the Faith, Hebrews 6:1-2.

I believe sometimes God does not permit a believer to go onto maturity. I don't know why and don't have a reasonable explanation other than that one verse seems to be on my constantly now for over 30 years.

I believe that the Gospel is to be proclaimed in every nation and to every creature. I do not believe everyone will be saved.

I believe in select Election.

I believe there are some who are reprobates.

I read my Bible more than any other books, although lately I have been reading a lot of books and articles on the internet.

I believe a human being, male or female, are four parts, spirit, soul, body and flesh and only three parts are going to be sanctified.

I don't believe a person can save themself.

I believe God chooses first and He puts His love in those He chooses.

I believe what Jesus told Peter that Peter was blessed because "flesh" and "blood" did not reveal to him who Jesus is but God in Heaven Who Sent Him to die for His Chosen Elect out of all generations.

I believe there is a being who is known as Lucifer, Satan, the old red dragon.

I believe there is a place I don't want to spend eternity in, hell.

I believe hell is that Eternal damnation written about in Scripture.

I do not believe in works righteousness.

I believe I am a Christian and I don't know very much, especially as I ought to know.

I know more now than when I first believed Jesus saves His people from their sins.

I know now that knowing more only proves how little I know.

I am progressing in Grace and the Knowledge of the Truth.

I am sorry I am not like you and don't take any offensive to what you said about me here:

"....Finally, I hesitate to take partial quotes from Scripture, add my own words to it, and change the intent and context of the original...."

If it offends you that I take portions of Scripture and add to them, then, when I do that, let me know and I will ask you to forgive me.

If you won't, it doesn't involve me then.

And yes, I quite agree with you here:::>

"....however all these subtle accusations are beginning to add up....".

Lockheed, have I accused you of anything?

I take it by your remark about "pesky", you are not infra?

If you are not, what label would you like me to pin on you then?