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IS THIS YOUR GOD?


Man is inherently a sinner and is engulfed in a sea of sin so that he cannot save himself. Because of this Man is sinner by choice also. This was why God has to take the initiative and "stoop down the heaven and come to earth. Calvinism however goes much farther by claiming that man is totally incapable of even understanding spiritual matters and least of all responding to the gospel. The verse which supports this view is given as

Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

Paul here uses the phrase "dead in trespasses and sins". What did he mean by dead is actaully explained in verse 12
12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

We were dead because

  1. we were separate from Christ.
  2. Excluded from the citizenzip of Israel
  3. Foreigners to the covenants of promise
And therefore without hope, without God.

It is not that we were dead to all external spiritual stimuli as Calvinism claims. Such a stand will have to explain many other verses which assumes that man is free and is capable making choices and capable of responding positively or negatively to the call of God. All over scripture appeals to reason and calls for a response.

Is. 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; [Here is a passage where God calls for a debate over his offer of salvation to sinners. Such an offer will be absurd if they are unable even to understand the opponent. It is like talking quantum mechanics to the corpse and expect it to come out with a reasonable counter argument.]

Is 45: 22 "Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.23 By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.[Is this bowing down and confession externally mecahnically manipulated or coming out of the free man. If it is former it will make no sense]

Is 55: 6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.[This calls for men to seek the Lord while He can be found. God can be found by man if they seek according this passage.]

Jn 1: 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-

Jn 3: 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done

These passages where all men are called for salvation is a diffcult element for Calvinists to explain. The usual explanation is that all does not mean all but few or all those who are predestined or elected. But does this stand on the context? If we extend this concept to other verses won't it make the Word of God irrelevant? Jn 3:16 God loved the Cosmos and this cannot at any means to imple a select few. It encompasses not only the living but also the non-living. Under no circumstance the "all" and whomosoever could mean the elect. The only condition given is believe.

Mankind is not physically dead. Nor, is the mental capacity to reason dead. His spirit is also not dead. But each part of these three are decaying or partially dead. If it continues it will lead to total death of body, mind and spirit. All these three are "quickened" [or made alive] by Christ because it is the spirit that gives life.

Jn 11 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

The decay process is retarded, but it may not be able to totally accelerate to renewal during the short period on earthly life.

Paul does describe some people who are "reprobates" whom God has given over to a "reprobate mind" because of their constant refusal after repeatedly being enlightened. How can they be enlightened if they are unable to understand.

Rom 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: {Salvation is for everyone who believes}first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, {They suppress the truth because of their wickedness not because they do not know as it follows}19 since what may be known about God is plain to them,{It was known to them. They were not ignorant or unable to understand} because God has made it plain to them.20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, {They indeed knew God but refused to accept and acknowledge Him} they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

These are people who constantly refused the grace of God, and knowingly refused God. They knew God, yet refused Him. As they move further and further away from God, the light becomes dimmer and dimmer and their mind become darkened. This is because darkness is nothing but lack of light. Is there any point where the light of God will never reach? There will be no time when they are totally depraved. This is a process of death. Man is never totally dead to the extent that they are incapable of responding to God. Even when they are very very far away God still draws all men. The strength of this attraction is inversely proportional to their distance. In this movement away or towards God, Man has a deciding component of contribution along with the drawing power of God and the powers of darkness of this world.. Again I would refer back to my vector model of man.

John 1: 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--

Jn 12: 32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself."

Act 17:29 "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by man's design and skill.30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dea"

The justice of God demands that he be "no respector of persons" and that the demands he makes are such that the people could meet those demands. We would not like a justice system otherwise. We would not even hold a mad man responsible for his actions. We would not think it sane to consider a stone as a killer if it rolled over and killed some one. But yet Calvinistic God is said to be doing just that.

We are presented with a God who do not care, who talks to the dead knowing fully that they cannot hear or understand.  Yet he demands a response and when it is lacking inflicts a punishment beyond imagination.  And that God is considered a just God. It all boils down to your  concept of God. Is that the God  whom Jesus revealed to us? What is your God like?