Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Monday, December 04, 2006

What do my children have to do to prove that they are my children?

I have been thinking about this question for months now. It first came to my mind when I got interested in this Lordship Salvation debate that keeps flying around cyberspace. It was a question that I think relates directly to the issue. I am a child of God – having been born into his family by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit through faith that was wrought by the Word of God. Must I prove to myself ... or others ... that I am His child?

My children are my children. I gave birth to them. My husband and I were married and ... through biological processes, they were brought forth to be members of our family. Must they prove that they are our children? Must they look like us? (Adopted children don’t look like their parents. Are they any less the child of their mother and father? Don’t say that!) I have thought of the implications for adopted children. People bring a child that is not theirs biologically into their family by legal means. Does such a child have to prove that he is their child in order to remain a member of the family? Do they have to exhibit certain characteristics to bear out the fact that they have truly been adopted by those parents? Behave a certain way?
Certainly they must not look like their daddy!

I see both natural birth and adoption as very useful comparisons to the status of a child of God. The Word of God itself uses this "child" illustration to tell us who we are.

12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1)
1Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loves him that begat loves him also that is begotten of him. (1 John 5)

I ran across this verse below and wondered why Peter uses the phrase “being born-again” as though it is something continually happening. I think he must be talking of the renewing of our minds with the Word of God.

23Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever. (1 Peter 1)

This verse below is one that is probably used by some to suggest that if we currently don’t “bear the image of the heavenly” then we can’t possible have been born of God.

48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. (1 Cor. 15)

I can’t help but notice, though, that it says “we shall.” If I knew more about tenses, I could comment on that. Either way – if it is saying that we DO currently bear the image of the heavenly – or that WE SHALL bear the image – I am convinced both are true! In fact, the Bible takes it a step further:

18We know that whoever is born of God does not sin (1 John 5)

Look in the mirror. Do you see God? Do you feel that you have arrived at Christ-likeness? I don’t. However, there is an “inward man” that is perfectly untainted by sin and the flesh. She is the real me that will go on to live in the presence of God. She is the offspring of God. The “old man” is the me that has been around since I was born of the flesh and it will finally perish completely when my body dies. I believe the Christian – the “born-again one” has two natures. We must strengthen the inward man by feeding on the Word, by fellowship with God and other Christians. I know not all Christians see it this way. Their views just don’t make sense to me, though. How else can the different things be said of the Christian all be true, unless there are two distinct natures within us? … else you would have to be able to look in the mirror and see that you have arrived at Christ-likeness. (I just added some links to posts that I did a while back on the subject of “dual natured” in my sidebar for reference to this point - and I also added some other things under "posts of note".)

So … do we have to prove that we are born into the family of God?

Does 1 John 5 provide a litmus test to the children of God? None of us may be sure that we are of our Father in heaven if it does. In fact, I would think all of us would believe we were not His children according to that verse, if it is a litmus test.

We have to face it: born-again children of God (the only kind there are) are not perfect yet. We are still dragging around a corpse. It stinketh. (Romans 7:24) The only way you can know if you are His child is by asking yourself the same thing that Jesus asked of Martha:

Do you believe this? Do I believe this?

25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11)

What does she believe? Does she simply believe in God? No, she believes specific things about Christ –
She agrees with Jesus about His statement:

* That through faith, even though destined for death, those who believe IN HIM will live.
* That He is the resurrection and the life (I would like to unpack that some day)
* That He is the Christ
* That He is the Son of God
* That He is “the One” promised

Do you believe this? Then you don’t have to PROVE that you are God’s child by doing this or that. You don’t have to walk an aisle, you don’t have to say a prayer, you don’t have to “look like” God to be assured that you are His child. You don’t have to love a lot, or serve a lot or do many wonderful works in His name. You don’t have to cast out demons; you don’t have to prophecy in His name. You don’t have to attend church every Sunday. You must not necessarily like all the Christians that you meet. You must not give up this sin or that sin… You don’t have to give away all that you have to the poor to prove that you are God’s child. You don’t have to have an “experience” … or speak in tongues … or tithe. Knowing that you are a chid of God is not about doing ... it is about the non-doing of faith. Just like my new baby - when that one comes - will not do anything, but BE MY CHILD.

However, as they move along in life, children get along much better with their parents and have much more familial blessing when they do certain things in the family. My intention is to write a post about that soon.

In order to be found in the family of God you must receive Him by faith in His promise and His ability to deliver on His promise because of who He is ... just like Martha did. 12But as many as received him … (John 1:12) In this way - this "receiving - being born-again seems a little different than the passive act of a child being birthed by a mother.

I don’t think my Calvinist friends … or my Free-Grace friends …. agree with me that it is not passive.

107 Comments:

  • Great post, Rose.

    When I say that faith is passive (you brought this up!) I am simply affirming that it is non-doing, as you affirmed. A person believes when she has been persuaded. She cannot decide to believe until then. Unless she is the Red Queen who practiced believing 'as many as five impossible things before breakfast.'

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/04/2006 12:58 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I am going to answer your post in a way that I know will be misunderstood. You ready? Here is the answer:

    Nothing.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/04/2006 2:44 PM  

  • OK, Matthew. Thanks for clarifying! In that respect, then, we agree that it is passive ... but I think I remember there were some differences between you and I on that little word.
    [I have to stir the pot with you FGers a little here and there. :~)]

    Gojira,
    Misunderstood? I think you mean that the answer to the title of my post is "nothing". Did I musunderstand? If I did, enlighten me, please? :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/04/2006 3:52 PM  

  • Rose, you said,

    Do you believe this? Then you don’t have to PROVE that you are God’s child by doing this or that. You don’t have to walk an aisle, you don’t have to say a prayer, you don’t have to “look like” God to be assured that you are His child. You don’t have to love a lot, or serve a lot or do many wonderful works in His name. You don’t have to cast out demons; you don’t have to prophecy in His name. You don’t have to attend church every Sunday. You must not necessarily like all the Christians that you meet. You must not give up this sin or that sin… You don’t have to give away all that you have to the poor to prove that you are God’s child. You don’t have to have an “experience” … or speak in tongues … or tithe. Knowing that you are a chid of God is not about doing ... it is about the non-doing of faith. Just like my new baby - when that one comes - will not do anything, but BE MY CHILD.

    I would never say that the child of God 'has' to do those thing, but I would say they will. If you are a child of God you do not have to give up this sin or that, but you will. If you do not, then I would ask, as you should ask, why the heck are you not?

    Let us go back to your child analogy. If I have a child, it does not have to eat or sleep or poo or drink or laugh or cry to be my child. It doesn't have to do all those things to be my child. But if it doesn't, I am necessarily going to ask why it does not. It is not normal if it does not. It is not behaving as a child does...

    Understand the difference?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/04/2006 10:06 PM  

  • I was the one that looked like my dad, therefore I teased my two brothers that they were adopted. Of course, I don't think they really doubted though.

    By Blogger Jim, at 12/05/2006 12:32 AM  

  • Rose we are so very close in our understanding on this. Since we hardly ever quibble I'll offer this one distinction:

    Where you say, "..,she believes specific things about Christ –
    She agrees with Jesus about His statement:"
    I would say, "she believes specific things about Christ – She agrees with Jesus."

    I think Martha was not so much agreeing that what Jesus said was true as much as she was stating that she believed everything He said was true because she had accepted Him for who He is.

    Do we finally have a point of contention? ;-)

    I pray you are all doing well dear sister.

    By Blogger Kc, at 12/05/2006 5:57 AM  

  • Great Post Rose!

    I am going enjoy reading the comments on this thread I am sure.

    Brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/05/2006 7:22 AM  

  • Rose,
    Absolutely right. You do not HAVE to do any of those things to be saved. A Christian has been born again and will WANT to do those things. That is what regeneration enables a sinner to willingly do. If a person is mechanically trying to follow dos and don'ts without a real inward desire to be obedient, then they have not been born again and are not saved. He doesn't have to give up this or that sin but he will be convicted and want to do it. It is hard and it is not always successful, but the desire is there. He is not successfuly in everything, but he does gain some victories over the 'old man' due to the 'new man' (2 Cor. 5:17).

    Regeneration has power. 1 John is a book about what that power accomplishes as is Romans 8.

    W.H.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 12/05/2006 9:09 AM  

  • I think Jazzycat and I would agree...although I think I would be more willing to say that that desire can be quenched. I would recognize a Christian would want to change, but I would give in to the idea that the Christian could be so consumed with sin, that even their desire to change has been muddied by their sin, thus taking away their want.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/05/2006 9:17 AM  

  • Kc said:

    I think Martha was not so much agreeing that what Jesus said was true as much as she was stating that she believed everything He said was true because she had accepted Him for who He is.

    Do we finally have a point of contention? ;-)


    DISAGREE ROSE!! DISAGREE!!! I want to see you two go at it...

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/05/2006 9:22 AM  

  • Jazzycat, how can a person know whether or not he is regenerate?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/05/2006 12:20 PM  

  • Nathaniel Adam,

    I would never say that the child of God 'has' to do those thing, but I would say they will.

    I am not so sure in all cases this is true as you have said as well in your second comment.

    Let us go back to your child analogy. If I have a child, it does not have to eat or sleep or poo or drink or laugh or cry to be my child. It doesn't have to do all those things to be my child. But if it doesn't, I am necessarily going to ask why it does not.

    All children do these things. The question would then be, if he did not, what is wrong with him? You aren't following the analogy very well. WHat would be better of you is to say something like "Children trust their parents, children fear their parents ... or some such thing. Then you would ask: if a child is not having these certain responses, then that child must not really be a child of those parents."

    Actually, I have a better argument for you: If the mother is RH negative and the father is RH negative, and the child is RH positive, then that child should wonder if he is truly a child of those parents. However, then we get into the area of adoption etc...

    What my thoughts are centered around is the knowing that you are a child of your parents and the unecessary element of having to wonder about whether that is true based on your behavior. IOW, it would be silly of me to ask myself "I am not palying Bridge like my mother, so how can I really be her daughter?" In the same way, if you know that you are a child of God because of faith in Christ and His work, why are self-inspections promoted as ways of casting doubt on your sonship? Rather, the self-inspection should be to determine whether ot not you are pleasing to your Father in heaven. Simply that.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/05/2006 1:21 PM  

  • Jim,
    That was such a profound contribution! ;~)

    KC,
    No I do not disagree with you! Surprise!
    What I was noticing was that Jesus asked her a specific question:

    "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

    She did not just simply answer "yes."

    She expounded as to why her answer was yes to His question and why she did trust all that He said (as you say):

    27She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

    Isn't that a glorious exchange?!

    Sorry, no point of contention! Love ya brother and thanks for praying for us - 3 more weeks (or less, please) to go!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/05/2006 1:26 PM  

  • J Wendell,
    Thanks ... and thanks for your tremendous compliment this morning. May God bless you, man.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/05/2006 1:27 PM  

  • Jazzycat,
    Hello there, meow.
    I have seen you and Bluecollar say this kind of thing a lot:

    A Christian has been born again and will WANT to do those things.

    You also say this:
    You do not HAVE to do any of those things to be saved.

    Now, I am not trying to argue for the sake of argument, bro. Listen though: Your statements combined only lead to one place for a certain type of person.

    Think about this person: He has believed, he has received, but he is not doing as you say. He sees you say that if he is a son, he will WANT to do those things and what is he led to do but wonder if he has to do these things to prove he is a son? Can't you see that this is where your sure statements of what WILL BE in a Christian's life will lead?

    Rather, looking to Christ's promise to those with simple faith and knowing that you have that simple faith - assuring yourself that you affirm Christ's claims, this is where assurance comes from. I believe an assured person is much more likely to grow in the Lord than one who is trying to prove to himself or others that he is truly a child.
    This is my contention with the doctrine of P.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/05/2006 1:35 PM  

  • Sorry Adam,
    KC and I seem to be birds of a feather.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/05/2006 1:36 PM  

  • It is important I think to note that He saved us to conform us to the image of His Son and that we are in that process not fully comprehending what the Holy Spirit is doing. Keep in mind that John the Baptist Kicked in Elizabeths womb when He heard Marys voice.

    I do see what you are getting at and would agree that we need to avoid living a life of pressing people to prove that they are saved, but I do agree with Jazzy that a desire exists forever in the New Creation. You make the good point often of the war of the two natures so I think in reality you probably agree that the New Nature is just as real and will be desiring His saviour in the same way John the Baptist kicked in the womb not fully cognizant of everything but recognizing his Saviour even in the womb somehow. We are saved to a purpose and made his child for a purpose and those images will express themselves even if we are not always cognizant of everything, but regenerative life is in us and working in us somehow.

    You do make some good solid points though. I especially like that part about walking the aisle. All to often preachers do tend to make others feel their salvation process must mirror what others go through. In the long run I think we all have come to the Lord to the same truth in differing ways and so likewise in not always understanding one another we may not fully comprehend that God is indeed at work in us to conform us into His image.

    Great post Rose.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/05/2006 3:59 PM  

  • BTW and just as a sidenote I do not believe that God regenerates because people baptize infants. I do think that we do have a unique case in John the Baptist and it does prove that God can regenerate and infant if he desires. I always remember that we don't have all the facts and so it is hard to undestand why he wouldn't automatically regenerate everyone automatically in the womb like John but we know that he regenerates when we give the gospel message and another soul believes it.

    Having said that this ought to give us hope knowing that God is just and that he has the ability to regenerate babies since many people lose their children and it gives evidence that God has that power and that his heart is for children I think...but that is another subject...I risk sidetracking you as we were talking about evidences of Children...but I guess these are children:-)

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/05/2006 4:07 PM  

  • Rose, you said,

    What my thoughts are centered around is the knowing that you are a child of your parents and the unecessary element of having to wonder about whether that is true based on your behavior. IOW, it would be silly of me to ask myself "I am not palying Bridge like my mother, so how can I really be her daughter?" In the same way, if you know that you are a child of God because of faith in Christ and His work, why are self-inspections promoted as ways of casting doubt on your sonship? Rather, the self-inspection should be to determine whether ot not you are pleasing to your Father in heaven. Simply that.

    No no no. I think you misunderstand me. I don't think that self-inspections are done to test whether one is a child of God. But rather to test what the heck is wrong with the child.

    The analogy I gave, I think, is perfect. When one has a child that is not eating or sleeping or drinking, they do not ask whether the child is their's or not, based upon the idea that they eat and sleep and drink; they do however ask what is wrong with their child. Normal children do eat and sleep and drink. This one is not. Therefore, something must be wrong with the child.

    The same way with Christians. If we have a Christian who is not feeding or growing, we do not automatically ask whether the Christian is a child of God. We do however ask what is wrong with the Christian. As normal Christians do display love, and joy, and peace, and longsuffering...This one is not, therefore, something must be wrong with this child.

    Understand?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/05/2006 10:26 PM  

  • Hi Rose~

    Funny how many times in Scripture, Paul exhorts the brethren (children of God), to do right and stop doing wrong. I wonder why he didn’t know that a “true believer” would automatically and mechanically become the person God wants him to be, and never sin (i.e. act in a carnal manner) again?

    Similarly, I do have growing children who, from time to time need daddy’s exhortation to “just eat and stop horsing around.” “Go to sleep it is way past your bed time.” “Listen to your mother and obey her!” On the other hand; I never had to teach my kids how to rebel.

    Has this been a glimpse into the real world?

    Say, does anyone know where to get a free gift that doesn’t cost everything?

    I do! I know for sure. You can too.

    Stay salty,
    Brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/06/2006 7:08 AM  

  • Rose,

    Hopefully you don't mind if I chime in on this one. I think it's only my second time to comment on your blog.

    Would it be wrong to bring up John 8:38-45, where Jesus is addressing the Pharisees? He made a judgement based on what the Pharisees were doing. He said, "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father."

    I don't believe children of God have to prove to God they're His children. He already knows. Just like you know which child is yours and which is not. And there are surely times when they don't act like your children. And I would agree, it doesn't change the fact that they're your children.

    But wouldn't you say that if there was a child who claimed to be your child, but didn't act, talk or look like you. And wasn't really concerned with knowing you. Wouldn't that give your other children warrant for questioning whether or not he or she is really your child?

    So, for me, it's not that I would look at good works and use that as proof that I or someone else is a child of God. It's that I would see the sin, either in my own life or a brother or sister's life and have a desire to rid my life or their lives of it. And the only way to do that is to look at the cross, to go to Christ.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 12/06/2006 9:49 AM  

  • Funny how many times in Scripture, Paul exhorts the brethren (children of God), to do right and stop doing wrong. I wonder why he didn’t know that a “true believer” would automatically and mechanically become the person God wants him to be, and never sin (i.e. act in a carnal manner) again?

    Simply because you know your child will become an adult, you would be ridiculous and stupid and assinine to not feed the baby or give it water.

    Likewise, if Paul knew that Christians would by necessity grow, this doesn't mean he is not going to help in the growth process by exhorting them to grow in the Spirit.

    Could we keep the discussion civil and cease the sarcasm. Unless of course you would wish me to resort to such means.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/06/2006 11:40 AM  

  • Nathaniel,

    Ten Cent makes a good point, there are many times in the New Testament that Paul exhorts Christians from doing wrong. Not only does Paul makes such exhortations but so does John when he chews out certain churches in Revelation 2. I do not see where this is helping the growth process so much as a command to Christians to stop doing things they already know are wrong.

    As an aside, I find it ironic that you are telling Ten Cent to stop being sarcastic. The one time I can remember interacting with you via the blogs you were sarcastic, high handed, and rude.

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at 12/06/2006 1:50 PM  

  • I am very sarcastic and rude, but I get a lot of grief over it. I just thought this discussion was going quite well without unneeded sarcasm (from myself included), hence my exhortation (ha! get it, exhortation) to keep it civil.

    But exhortation or rebuke or even command to do what is right is very much a part of a growth process.

    What kind of teacher would not exhort his pupils to grow, or to encourage them to do what they know is right?

    Would you have a teacher or parent never encourage their children or pupils to do what they know is right, and to do what they should do to grow?

    Are we to assume that pastors are to stand within the pulpit and help their flock grow in the faith by never encouraging them to live the life they claim to have been given or to rebuke them when they stray?

    I don't see that as properly helping the person to grow, it is more like an apathetic teacher or parent in my opinion.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/06/2006 2:38 PM  

  • I am out of town. That is the reason for my delay in responding.

    Rose & Matthew,
    Your problem with my statement does not change the fact that 2 Cor 5:17 and other verses tell us that God acts with power in the sinner. You are right a person can respond in a legalistic way rather than respond to grace by being "in Christ". However, if a person has been born again they will be able to discern the difference between a forced legalistic attempt at meeting standards and a heartfelt desire to cooperate with grace. The one is response to feeling they "HAVE" to the other is a response because they "WANT" to.

    As I said earlier 1 John was written so a person could have assurance as 1 John 5:13 states. 1 John can explain it a lot better than I can and I will stand on what John has to say about it.

    One final point. Again "P" is something that God does not something man does. Salvation is assured at regeneration.

    W.H.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 12/07/2006 9:53 AM  

  • One final point. Again "P" is something that God does not something man does. Salvation is assured at regeneration.

    Well put.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/07/2006 10:51 AM  

  • Brian,
    Thanks for your comments. You have some really great things to add.

    Sofyst,
    The same way with Christians. If we have a Christian who is not feeding or growing, we do not automatically ask whether the Christian is a child of God.
    I really appreciate that statement!

    J. Wendell,
    Thank you for your interaction. You are right. Paul is always exhorting. He seems to think that it is possible for a "true Christian" to shipwreck his faith and become unfruitful etc... He must not have had all his theological ducks in a row?!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/07/2006 10:55 AM  

  • Hi Ten Cent.
    Glad to have you around. When I read your comment, I thought of when Christ called Peter "Satan." Remember? "Get behind me Satan!"

    He made a judgement based on what the Pharisees were doing. I just went and read that passage. Wow, that is so powerful. Jesus is telling them that they are just like the devil because they want to kill the Messiah. Personally, I think this was a unique situation. What other people were supposed to be waiting for the Messiah, being overseers to the house of Israel? Then they come face to face with the Messiah, the God of Israel, and they want to kill him! Certainly these quotes from Jesus to the Pharisees could not be meant for any of us in this generation? This is my fist reaction to your suggestion. However, I could be wrong. I do, however think that there was an incredible amount of demonic activity surroundig the time of the Messiah ... intense working of the devil.

    And really, Ten Cent, the bottom line of His criticism to them was this: But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
    We must believe Christ to come to Him.

    As to your comments about God knowing which children are His - amen. He knows. The thing I am discussing is whether the child can know or the other siblings can call into question the faith of such a one.

    But wouldn't you say that if there was a child who claimed to be your child, but didn't act, talk or look like you. And wasn't really concerned with knowing you. Wouldn't that give your other children warrant for questioning whether or not he or she is really your child?

    Maybe this is where the analogy breaks down. My first reaction is that this would be ridiculous for some of my kids to question whether one of them was a child because of the things you mention. The other kids would have been there when that one came into the family - they would know that this was my child. But, like I said, this could be where the analogy breaks down because the family of God - the church - is a mystical body - a heavenly body - it is unseen. Some call it the "invisible church" because we don't all have a stripe down our backs to prove we belong. I am content to leave it up to God to sort it out and to just take people at their word regarding whether or not they have been born again by simple faith in Christ's work.

    I would see the sin, either in my own life or a brother or sister's life and have a desire to rid my life or their lives of it. And the only way to do that is to look at the cross, to go to Christ.
    Great statement! I totally agree!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/07/2006 11:14 AM  

  • Adam,
    I agree with J. Wendell. Now you refer to a child "growing into an adult." Yes, we know they will physically grow. You keep switching the analogy. We are not talking about automatic things, but about things associated with maturity. Haven't you ever seen a 21 year old nincompoop? Just because you tell your kids the right way to go does not mean that tey will always follow your advice. They can rebel. Christains likewise can rebel, let roots of bitterness, the lust of the flesh etc... take a hold of them. Jazzycat says that regeneration comes with power. I agree! However, we can fail to avail ourselves of this power, just as a child can fail to avail himself of my wisdom and instruction. There are no guarantess that we are going to wind up with fine young adults as children. We can try our best, but ultimately, they must listen and obey.

    Glenn W.,
    I think you were referring to J. Wendell's comments re the warnings of Paul. Hey, it is really nice to see you visit! Nathaniel has a unique commenting style. I don't think he means to be high handed and rude.

    Jazzy,
    where are you? Are you enjoying some nice Northern temperatures? haha
    I agree that God acts with power. I also agree that regeneration comes with power. I do not think that the Christian life is going to be successful in terms of discipleship without work on the behalf of the believer. DOn't you ever see that you yourself could become lazy, bitter or other things that would cause your life to be less than pleasing to God, but you yourself would be saved eternally? This is all we are talking about! I am just saying instead of causing peole who say they have faith to question whether they really have faith, let us spur them on to good works, fellowship and spiritual growth!

    I like this part of your comment: discern the difference between a forced legalistic attempt at meeting standards and a heartfelt desire to cooperate with grace.
    But, I think even if they have been born again, the may not discern the difference if they are not being taught right. Everything seems so automatic in your view of Christianity! I wish it were so, but hey, look around. It is not all perfect. Surely you don't blame all the shortcomings in the church on "false professors?"

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/07/2006 11:29 AM  

  • Rose,

    We are not talking about automatic things, but about things associated with maturity.

    Of course we are not. But we are talking about automatic maturity.

    BWAHAHAHA...(don't quote me on that, I'm being stupid).

    Just because you tell your kids the right way to go does not mean that tey will always follow your advice. They can rebel. Christains likewise can rebel, let roots of bitterness, the lust of the flesh etc... take a hold of them.

    Yes, but just as in the trees, if we see one that is not bearing fruit, we think something is wrong.

    Likewise, within kids, if we see a 21 year old that is acting like a toddler, we think something is wrong.

    I think the point I am attmepting to convey, that seems to be overlooked or dilluted with defensive arguments, is that if we see a Christian that is not maturing, something is necessarily wrong.

    Do you agree with this? Or do you think a forty five year old man is perfectly normal for sucking his thumb and peeing his pants?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/07/2006 12:32 PM  

  • if we see a Christian that is not maturing, something is necessarily wrong.

    I can agree with that, most definately. I meant to say that in my last comment, istead I picked the other part of your thought to quote and agree upon. Yes, something is wrong ... but you and I may disagree on what is wrong, that's all.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/07/2006 12:56 PM  

  • definitely ... oops.

    instead ... woops.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/07/2006 12:57 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Thanks for your response.

    You said, "Certainly these quotes from Jesus to the Pharisees could not be meant for any of us in this generation?"

    Sorry, I think I might have been unclear in what I meant. It wasn't so much what He (Jesus) was saying, ie, "you are of your father the devil" as it was in how He brought it to light. He looked at their works and made a judgement about who their father really was. They even said that Abraham was their father, but Jesus points out to them again that if Abraham was their father then they wouldn't be seeking to kill Him because that's not what Abraham did.

    You also said, "And really, Ten Cent, the bottom line of His criticism to them was this: But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
    We must believe Christ to come to Him."

    But Jesus also said, ""Why do you not understand what am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him."

    See, He's making a connection between who their father really is and what their actions are.

    You also said, "The thing I am discussing is whether the child can know or the other siblings can call into question the faith of such a one."

    ...later on you said, "I am content to leave it up to God to sort it out and to just take people at their word regarding whether or not they have been born again by simple faith in Christ's work."

    But here is where it gets sticky. For instance. I have a coworker who says she believes in Christ. However, nothing in her visiable life adds up to someone who knows Christ. She doesn't attend church. She doesn't have a desire to read God's word. She also interested in other "spiritual" things like astrology, spiritism, etc... So then do I just take her at her word and then deal with her as if she is a sister in Christ? Or would I deal with her as I would with someone who is outside of Christ?

    Personally, I not only believe it proper, but necessary to discern things of this nature. Of course, if I knew of someone who was in sin who claimed to be a Christian, the first question to raise is NOT whether or not they're saved. But we do want to point them back to Christ who died for their sins if they believe in Him.

    Maybe we're tracking on the same path. Because this post is ultimately about the "P" in TULIP. And if someone interprets that as saying that believers only do good works and never sin, then I don't believe in "P". But if they interpret it as a responsiveness to God's Word and the Holy Spirit, all the way to the end, then I believe in "P". For me, that's what it's all about. It's not that I'm perfect, it's that I desire to pursue it. And it's not that I pronounce my fallen brother "unsaved". It's that I get clarification on where he is spiritually so I know better how to help him. And the "P" to me, says that Christ will chastize me when I fall and prod me back into the fold. That He will send others to exhort and encourage me in The Way. That what He has begun, He will complete. It's not automatic, but it is guaranteed.

    Maybe that helps explain a little more of where I'm coming from. Thanks for challenging my thinking. Sorry this comment is so long.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 12/07/2006 1:17 PM  

  • But here is where it gets sticky. For instance. I have a coworker who says she believes in Christ. However, nothing in her visiable life adds up to someone who knows Christ.
    Why not talk to her about WHAT exactly she does believe? This is what I would do. If they profess faith in the right truth, what are we to do, though? This is where I see Antonio's questions "what do we tell them ... bleieve harder?" make sense to me. I would think such a lady would need prayer and fellowship. Who knows. That is why I say let God sort it out. Exhort her and yes, it is never bad - always good - to talk about the basic gospel with anyone.

    Don't apologize for your comment being so long.

    I think I understand what you are saying. I only have issue with just a couple of your ideas, and most of them aren't really of a practical nature, except the one I speak of above.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/07/2006 3:09 PM  

  • Ten Cent, do you believe it is possible for a Christian to suffer premature death as a result of sin?

    If so, how would you reconcile such a possibility with the doctrine of perserverance?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/07/2006 3:32 PM  

  • Matthew, I have always heard of a Christian being 'taken early' because of sin. Not saying I necessarily disagree with it (I probably should given my belief in the 'P'), but could I ask you for a Scriptural testimony to it's truthfullness. Perhaps just a quick list of references that give the idea. Not being argumentative here, just inquisitive. I haven't yet made up my mind on the idea.

    Rose,

    I can agree with that, most definately. I meant to say that in my last comment, istead I picked the other part of your thought to quote and agree upon. Yes, something is wrong ... but you and I may disagree on what is wrong, that's all.

    Ok I'll play. What would you say is wrong with the Christian that is not maturing?

    Don't really know how I'd answer the question, so I'll let you give it a go first. Since of course you said we'd disagree. Meaning that you have at least a glimmer of an idea of what you believe and what I believe...help me out here...

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/07/2006 4:00 PM  

  • Hi again Rose,

    You said, "Why not talk to her about WHAT exactly she does believe? This is what I would do."

    So in essence, you're questioning whether or not she really believes the Gospel, right? So you're not sure if she's a child of God, even though she's told you, right?

    And that's what I'm getting at. Her actions don't add up to what she says she believes. She says she believes in Christ, but that's not exactly what she's believes. And I think there are many Christians in our churches today who do the same thing and are much more refined at it because they know the lingo and have been in the culture for so long.

    And I think you're right, you do, and I have talked to her about exactly WHAT she believes which does bring us back to pointing her to the Gospel. And that's why it's important to preach the Gospel to ourselves daily, as it were, so that we don't forget about our freedom from sins, our forgiveness, our great Savior and what He has done for us.

    Matthew, I'll wait until you answer Nathaniel's question/comment, then I'll give you an answer on how I reconcile the two.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 12/07/2006 4:41 PM  

  • Acts 5:1-11

    1 Cor 5:5

    1 Cor 11:30-32

    Hebrews 10:28-31

    James 5:14-20

    1 John 5:16

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/07/2006 5:15 PM  

  • I am not at my home computer now, but I shall look them up later (tonight). Thank you oh concordance!

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/07/2006 5:37 PM  

  • My pastor always broke divine discipline, aimed at believers, down into three stages:

    - Warning discipline (James 5:9 and Rev 3:20)

    - Intensive discipline (Psalm 38:1-14)

    - Dying discipline (Jer 44:9-12, Ezek 20:13, Phil 3:18-19, 1 Cor 5:5, 1Tim 1:19-20)

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at 12/07/2006 7:52 PM  

  • Uhh, to whom would I have to prove that I am a child of God? To dyspraxic fundamentalist? Maybe to Jim. Perhaps Rose needs to have the assurance of my adoptionship.

    To whom? Oh, please tell me! To whom?

    I recently had to prove to the US Government that I was a child of my parents. Is that the same kind of thing?

    By Blogger Joe, at 12/08/2006 6:35 AM  

  • Joe,
    That is profound.

    Amen!

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/08/2006 7:10 AM  

  • Rose,
    Just back from the Festival of Lights in Natchitoches, LA. (Photography trip)

    You asked.... "What do my children have to do to prove that they are my children?"

    correct answer= nothing.

    Another valid question: What do my children do that confirms they are my children?

    Let me count the ways.
    This has not been done perfectly and many times I have been disappointed, but blood is thicker than water as they say and family bonds always show results. So it is with God's children due to grace.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 12/08/2006 9:31 AM  

  • Joe, have you never doubted your salvation? Or are you so much more holier than this wretched determinist to have always had complete and absolute assurance and trust in God?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/08/2006 10:08 AM  

  • Matthew, I asked this:

    I have always heard of a Christian being 'taken early' because of sin. Not saying I necessarily disagree with it (I probably should given my belief in the 'P'), but could I ask you for a Scriptural testimony to it's truthfullness.

    Based upon you saying this:

    do you believe it is possible for a Christian to suffer premature death as a result of sin?

    You provided me with many Scripture that speaks of Christians dying because of their unrepentance or their sinful behavior. But you did never provide me with any Scripture that says any of these deaths were 'premature' or their being 'taken early'.

    I think the problem here is that you assume the deaths of all these people (within the Scripture you provided) is earlier than it was supposed to be. It is an assumption on your part.

    The Scripture though is painfully silent as to the timing of everyone's death. No one but God knows when a man is scheduled to die.

    Therefore, for you to come along and say that Ananias or Sapphira's death (to use this example) is earlier than their scheduled time is quite presumptuous of you. You are in essence that you have the knowledge that God alone has whereby He knows when everyone is scheduled to die.

    Perhaps though I misread something. Perhaps you could point it out. Did any of those passages (or perhaps others) speak of a man that was supposed to die at a later date, but because of his sin, was visited by death early?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/08/2006 10:42 AM  

  • I think it is good to look at the issue from the side that Jazzycat has mentioned. Only talking about 1/2 of the matter is shortsighted. This exemplifies a pitfall of FG.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 12/08/2006 10:47 AM  

  • "But you did never provide me with any Scripture that says any of these deaths were 'premature' or their being 'taken early'."

    This is an interesting philosophical point. However, it is irrelevant.

    If a girl dies because of her abuse of an illegal drug it is quite legitimate to call her death premature from a human perspective, even though we cannot know that God might have taken her life had she avoided drugs.

    Why? Because there is a contingency between her substance abuse and her death.

    We need to be wise to the contingency between sin and death in the Biblical text.

    There is an implicit contingency in Acts 5 between the deaths of that couple and their sin.

    This continegency is explicit in some of those other texts:

    "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

    His potential death would have been purposeful, though it seems he repented.

    "For this cause many of you are weak and sick, and many sleep".

    There is an explicit contingency between the death and the sin.

    Yes, from a divine perspective it may be that those deaths would not have been premature at all, but from a human perspective the contingency cannot be denied.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/08/2006 11:56 AM  

  • If a girl dies because of her abuse of an illegal drug it is quite legitimate to call her death premature from a human perspective, even though we cannot know that God might have taken her life had she avoided drugs.

    BINGO!!! and from a human perspective the world did appear flat and the sun was thought to revolve around the earth.

    Good thing we shouldn't always trust our human perspectives...

    Yes, from a divine perspective it may be that those deaths would not have been premature at all, but from a human perspective the contingency cannot be denied.

    The contingency does not validate the human perspective as being reality and the divine as being wrong.

    From a Godly perspective, the death of a person could be exactly on plan. But within this plan could be the idea that the human would walk out in the street and get hit by a bus.

    The death of the person was contingent upon them walking out in the street.

    From a human perspective it appears that the person died 'untimely' or 'premature'.

    But simply becuase the death was contingent, we should look to God's perspective on reality, as He is probably more in touch with how things are then we are...

    I just have never felt comfortable with basis opinions or doctrines on 'human perspectives'. I think it always a safe bet to rely on God's perspective over human's.

    Therefore, if God's perspective says that the deaths of people are not untimely or premature, then no contingency could usurp this perspective and prop the human perspective up as one that represents accurately reality.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/08/2006 1:08 PM  

  • Matthew,

    I would have to agree with you. I think the "premature" part is assumed given the nature of the events in each case.

    How I reconcile God taking a believer's physical life due to sin and "P" flows from how I define "P". Like I said before, I don't view "P" as meaning that the believer no longer sins. I do view "P" as meaning that God will do everything necessary for His children to perserver. And sometimes that means taking that child of God's physical life.

    And I still maintain that a child of God, one who has believed in Christ, will be under conviction of whatever sin they may still cling to. There is a heart responsiveness to the voice...the Word...of God. That doesn't mean that they will turn from the sin, but it does mean that their life is very uncomfortable. They're feeling the hand of God's chastening. And even though we may not see the evidence of it on the outside, if that person has truely believed in Christ, the Spirit is at work in their heart. That's why I believe it's impossible for a believer to apostasize. Oh, sure, they can say they renounce Christianity, but if they have believed in Christ, Christ and the Holy Spirit still have a hold on them. As believers, we can't get rid of Christ.

    So how does that connect to proving that we are God's children? I do think JazzyCat has a point. It does give us confidence to our lives changed.

    And I also think that as much as some may deny it, they still use outward signs/works to determine whether or not someone is a believer. And you might try to make a distinction between being a believer and following Christ, but don't we want everyone who claims to be a believer to also follow Christ? Isn't that the supernatural progression? And then, don't we, as Nathaniel has said, look at their lives and our own lives and if we see that something is wrong ask why? Isn't there a case for examination? And isn't it good to look at the cross and our Savior and His death and resurrection and be reminded once again about what He accomplished on our behalf?

    I would guess that even you, Matthew, have made judgements of this nature on occasion. Have you ever seen the actions of someone who claims the name of Christ and thought, "It doesn't add up. They say they're a Christian, but what they're doing isn't Christian at all." Because if you have, then you've just asked that person to prove they're a believer.

    Don't worry, I don't expect you to view it the same way I do. And I do appreciate your interaction.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 12/08/2006 1:16 PM  

  • Matthew,

    In your view, does grace accomplish anything in the life of the believer?

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/08/2006 2:16 PM  

  • Adam, I cannot see how I disagree with your comment.

    It just does not seem to make any kind of point that adds to the issue at hand.

    Ten Cent,

    "That's why I believe it's impossible for a believer to apostasize. Oh, sure, they can say they renounce Christianity,"

    I am not sure I see a meaningful difference between renouncing Christianity and apostasy.

    "but if they have believed in Christ, Christ and the Holy Spirit still have a hold on them. As believers, we can't get rid of Christ."

    I agree with that. And I think a believer who has renounced Christianity will probably feel very uncomfortable about it.

    "I would guess that even you, Matthew, have made judgements of this nature on occasion. Have you ever seen the actions of someone who claims the name of Christ and thought, "It doesn't add up. They say they're a Christian, but what they're doing isn't Christian at all." Because if you have, then you've just asked that person to prove they're a believer."

    I dare say I might, especially if there was no evidence of the Lord's chastening in a person's life. But such speculation is not really useful or necessary.

    If a person professes to believe, we exhort them as a believer. If they act like an unbeliever, we separate from them as though they are unbelievers.

    Given that you admit that a believer might fall into serious sin and renouce Christianity, is Perserverance really a useful concept within your theology?

    Is the P not really just an unhelpful part of a catchy old acronym?

    Why not abandon the dogam of Perserverance and talk about the reality of Eternal Security and God's manifold dealings with the believer?

    Perserverance is far too limiting a dogma.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/08/2006 5:28 PM  

  • Gojirah, it ought to do.

    Antonio takes the view that every true believer will produce some kind of fruit, even if it is never visible.

    Bob Wilkin says that there is at least the hypothetical possiblity that a believer may produce no fruit.

    I think it is very unlikely that a regnerate person would produce no fruit, but I would not want to deny that this could be a possiblity in very exceptional circumstances, for instance, perhaps a woman who came to faith, but who was trapped in a life of prostitution.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/08/2006 5:31 PM  

  • Adam, I cannot see how I disagree with your comment.

    It just does not seem to make any kind of point that adds to the issue at hand.


    The point is that if God's perspective says there is no untimely deaths or premature deaths, despite the idea that our perspective seems to suggest there are, amd as God's perspective most likely represents reality correctly, then there is no such thing as 'premature deaths'.

    SO! it is unfair or silly of you to ask Ten Cent how he reconciles the idea of 'premature deaths' with 'perserverance' if indeed there is no such thing as 'premature deaths'.

    That is how it relates to the discussion.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/08/2006 6:07 PM  

  • Antonio takes the view that every true believer will produce some kind of fruit, even if it is never visible.

    Antonio believes this? How is this different from LORDship??

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/08/2006 6:09 PM  

  • "Gojirah, it ought to do."

    Thanks. Who would you say makes this "ought to" grace effective? God, the person, or both?

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/08/2006 6:45 PM  

  • nathaniel adam king: Say what? The price of eggs in China must have gone up.

    Or maybe you just missed my point.

    I was not contradicting the points in Rose's post, I was actually agreeing with the implied answer to her title's question.

    We can't see each other's hearts...I can't see yours and you can't see mine. Or if you can, then you are God and we are all in trouble.

    I know we would all be in trouble if I were God. Some more than others.

    By Blogger Joe, at 12/08/2006 8:00 PM  

  • Joe, my point in asking whether you ever doubted your salvation was to show that YOU are the one to whom you need to prove your salvation.

    I needn't prove to Matthew that I am saved, his opinion matters not at all in the scope of eternity. But for me, when I doubt, I need something to give me assurance.

    John tells us that the thing that is to give us assurance is our lives, the changes that have been made and the graces that have been bestowed.

    I have always just thought this unwarranted overreaction to a misunderstanding of LORDship is quite silly. No, we cannot look to each other's lives and know if one is saved, but this doesn't mean we cannot look to our own and be assured of our own salvation.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/08/2006 8:53 PM  

  • Gojira,

    You asked Matthew:

    In your view, does grace accomplish anything in the life of the believer?

    I believe the answer to that question is that divine discipline is an act of grace. God uses it as motivation for the believer to re-orient to God's plan for our lives. We are to be grateful for all things which would include divine punishment.

    As for dying prematurely, I think it is incorrect for us to view our lives as having a fixed number of days (I will be first to admit that God knows exactly how long we will live but I do not believe that foreknowledge is the same as predestination). In Proverbs we are told that if we want to extend our lives that we need to have wisdom (I do not remember chapter and verse but can look it up). How we think and our wisdom, or lack thereof, have a definite impact on how long God keeps us on this earth.

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at 12/09/2006 10:03 AM  

  • Hi Glenn,

    I agree: God does discipline us and that is a very good thing. However, you didn't answer the question.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/09/2006 1:21 PM  

  • Gojirah
    "God, the person, or both?"

    I suppose both. God has graciously given the justified sinner a new nature which can enable them to perservere in holiness.

    They either do or do not.

    No doubt you will say something that shows my answer to be grossly inadequate.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/09/2006 1:57 PM  

  • "Antonio believes this? How is this different from LORDship??"

    I think Lordship folks believe that a believer will produce a good deal more fruit than that which Antonio thinks is inevitable.

    Perhaps Antonio would see such fruit in maybe feeling bad about sin, saying a prayer for an enemy and refraining from throwing a punch at one's spouse. That might be the entire fruit of a regenerate person's life.

    A Lordship salvationist would expect to see a far greater turning from sin and deeper reformation of character.

    You can always ask the man what he thinks.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/09/2006 2:02 PM  

  • Adam
    "SO! it is unfair or silly of you to ask Ten Cent how he reconciles the idea of 'premature deaths' with 'perserverance' if indeed there is no such thing as 'premature deaths'."

    Whether or not it is correct to say that the deaths are premature is a semantic issue.

    The question is:

    Is a life terminated as a result of judgment on serious sinful behavuour consistent with the Reformed doctrine of perserverance?

    Let me quote the Westminster Confession of Faith:

    Chapter XVII
    Of the Perseverance of the Saints
    I. They, whom God has accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

    II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which arises also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

    III. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.

    Is this consistent with the possibility of a believer suffering death as a result of sin?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/09/2006 2:11 PM  

  • Gojira,

    You are correct, I didn't answer your question. I will try to not distract myself and see if I can do better this time.

    If you meant does God compel us to perservere in good works I would say the answer is no. I do not believe that there is any guarantee that a Christian will do what is expected of him after regeneration. Does God provide for us so we can perform good works? Of course! Does God command us to perform good works? Of course! Do we have any excuse for not doing what is expected of us? Of course not!

    While thinking my answer over I have to say that there are a lot of things that play into this. There are three things that I can think of that play directly into my position.

    1) My definition of grace is God doing as much for us as he possibly can (from his love) without violating his righteousness.

    2) God's sovereignty can and does coexist with man's free will.

    3) God's purpose in all his dealings with the human race is his glorification.

    Any of my statements have to be seen in the light of these three points. God permits all of us to freely make good and bad decisions. For unbelievers this means they are given the freedom to accept or reject salvation (which God through his grace makes available to everyone). For believers this means following God's plan for our lives (this includes good works) or to defy his will for us (sin by definition is rebelling against God's will). God is glorified through his policy of grace towards us. If we as believers fail to do what is right we lose out in many ways (both in time and eternity) but God's glory is not diminished. So, no I do not believe that grace necessarily accomplishes anything in a believers life if by that you mean good works.

    I know I could develop these concepts much more but I think this lays out my beliefs.

    I hope this answered you question this time.

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at 12/09/2006 2:29 PM  

  • If someone believes that every believer will inevitably produce some spiritual fruit (no matter how much, and regardless of whether it is visible or invisible), that person must believe fruit is necessary to get to heaven. No fruit, no heaven. That's works-salvation!

    "Antonio" believes a little fruit is inevitable; lordship folks believe that "a good deal more fruit" is inevitable. But both apparently believe in salvation by works (whether it's a little works or a lot). Only those who obey will get to heaven. So much for "free grace"!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/09/2006 4:15 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I just figured out that you are having a baby...SOON, like any moment now! I know this comes in very late, but as they say, better late than never.

    So, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I will keep you in prayer. May the Lord bless you & your beautiful family with the birth of this new child.

    Please keep us posted!!

    By Blogger Redeemed, at 12/09/2006 6:05 PM  

  • Matthew,

    "No doubt you will say something that shows my answer to be grossly inadequate."

    Nope. Just wondering what your answer would be.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/09/2006 6:46 PM  

  • Matthew,

    "Is this consistent with the possibility of a believer suffering death as a result of sin?"

    Yep.

    Your question, though, as it stands, is a fallacy.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/09/2006 6:50 PM  

  • Anon,

    I see that you have no concept of regeneration or grace.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/09/2006 6:55 PM  

  • Glenn,

    "1) My definition of grace is God doing as much for us as he possibly can (from his love) without violating his righteousness."

    How could God violate His own righteousness to begin with? To bad you think God's grace is a potential failure.

    "2) God's sovereignty can and does coexist with man's free will."

    Riiiiiiiiighhhhhtttttttt. ;-) In light of the above, please explain why we have not just scripture, but inerrent scripture. By the way, are you able to carry out every plan that you make?

    "3) God's purpose in all his dealings with the human race is his glorification."

    Please explain just how that could be when you, according to your 1 & 2, limit what He can do.

    Thanks

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/09/2006 7:02 PM  

  • Gojira,

    I do not quite understand your comment regarding my definition of grace. When you say "How can God violate his own righteousness to begin with?" I would agree he can not. This is basically a defense against those who are universalists who claim all will go to heaven because God is love. God's grace is never a failure. On the other hand, cannot a sovereign God permit us free will or is that the one choice that He is not allowed? All of God's attributes (righteousness, love, veracity, omniscience, omnipotence, etc.) must operate together in harmony with one never violating another. I know this is not possible but many of the people I read on the blogs seem to zoom in on one divine attribute and forget about the rest, we must always keep all of the attributes in view. I believe permitting us choices does not violate his righteousness or sovereignty.

    No, I am not able to carry out every plan I make but God is. I know, your next statement will be that if God planned for us to believe then we must believe and if he plans for us to do good works then we must do good works! Once again this means that volition has no place in God's creation, that God cannot have planned to allow such choices to take place knowing that some would make bad choices. When I read scripture I see many people being tested (aka using their volition) and I believe that those tests are real. For them not to be real choices makes me think "what is the point?". Oh, it demonstrates God's sovereignty but not much else.

    When God shows us grace all of our lives how can this not glorify him? When an unbeliever is given equal opportunity to be saved how can this not glorify God? When a believer makes bad decisions but God is faithful to discipline them (and they never lose salvation) how can this not glorify him?

    The emphasis here is on God and his righteousness and faithfulness. If anything we do can diminish his glory then all is lost, all depends on him. My sins do not diminish his glory and when he disciplines me for them it highlights his faithfulness and justice. I do not see any half way between free will and hyper-calvinist fatalism and what I have read in scripture leads me to affirm free will.

    You had asked a question and I was providing my honest answer to it.

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at 12/09/2006 8:13 PM  

  • Glenn,

    " When you say "How can God violate his own righteousness to begin with?" I would agree he can not. This is basically a defense against those who are universalists who claim all will go to heaven because God is love."

    You don't fight against unviersalism (an assertion you just added by the way) by stating what you did. However, unlike the purveyors of synergism, God actually is a savior who actually saves spiritually dead people by giving them life. That has nothing to do with universalism. For one to imply that God has done all that God can do, and now must wait on the moving will of fickle humans has no place in scripture.

    "On the other hand, cannot a sovereign God permit us free will or is that the one choice that He is not allowed?"

    Free will is not synonomous with making a choise. The will comes from the nature of a person or thing. You have just set yourself up to have more free will than God. It isn't I who bind Him, that would be you. For example, is God free to sin? Of course you and I would say no. It is because it isn't a part of His nature. Jesus says that the unregenerate man is a slave to sin. That would mean that the unregenerate man does not have the ability nor the desire to persue righteousness. Why? because it isn't part of their nature. That person's will is limited. "Free will" as expounded by synergistic Christians is nothing more than pagan Greek philosophy. Or can you please explain, according to your concept of free will how a spiritually dead person in slavery to sin, has the will, the desire, to seek things that pertain to God and righteousness?

    However, since you place so much power on so called "free will," I reask my second question: please explain why we have not just scripture, but inerrent scripture. Remember, you have to be consistant with your concept of free will to answer this.

    And lastly, concerning His glory. Everything exists for His glory. That would include Hell and those that go there, as that magnifies the glory of His pure holiness. However, you didn't answer what was asked.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/09/2006 10:42 PM  

  • **I believe grace relative to salvific issues in the scripture is personified by the person of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5; etc.); and I don't believe grace is a "quality" which is the way I believe from my reading here (this comment thread) that everyone speaks of it (which indeed is a product of Classical Greek Philosophy--e.g. Aristotelianism).

    **I believe "free-will", like Augustine and Luther, was/is a reality--but given man's "concupiscence" he will only choose things which ultimately benefit self; since natural man is captured and enslaved by his love for self rather than love for God.

    ***Consequently, I believe that God discloses Himself to sinful man through His Word and reveals His love (the gospel Rom 5:8)to all men thus breaking into the vicious circle of self-loving man; and ultimately creating space for man to "respond" to God's love (I Jn 4:19)using his "freed"-will. This vouchsafes both God's unilateral work of salvation, and man's ability to choose freely w/o co-ercion.

    >Of course this whole discussion, the one Gojira and GlennW. are currently having, comes back to the garden of Eden--and at what point a person wants to insert mystery (not in a "mystical" sense either i.e. mysticism the tradition)--either this mystery comes in at the level of the imago dei; i.e. man by constitution relative to God's communicable attributes had the capacity to choose God's way or his own (see Gen 3); or one must conclude that somehow God "decreed" the Fall, and sin, thus making God the author of evil (or just say this is mysterious, since we all know God is not the author of sin--some try to use Aristotle's causations here to get around this conclusion about God being the author of evil--but I find that contrived). I prefer the first option, viz. that mystery is at an anthropological level relative to the imago dei--and so did the Second Council of Orange.

    There's my two-cents relative to Gojira's and GlennW.'s discussion. Btw, I do see Gojira's point: i.e. that one must assume the lie of Gen 3:15 (i.e. that we are all autonomous god's to ourselves) in order to affirm the idea that "man" has the ability to choose or reject salvation. But as I just highlighted, I believe there is some mystery here, and that I don't have to necessarily conclude this--given my concept of God's grace and His self-disclosure to all men (sounds like prevenient grace, but I'm not framing it that way either, since even Arminians frame grace using the thomistic "qualitative" or "substance" conceptual language about grace).

    So in a sense, I agree with GlennW., just articulate differently.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 12/10/2006 3:04 AM  

  • Gojira,
    I like the way you zero-in and focus on Biblical truths.

    W.H.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 12/10/2006 8:45 AM  

  • Matthew, you ask:

    Is this consistent with the possibility of a believer suffering death as a result of sin?

    Right after you quote article three, which is VERY consistent with a believer suffering death as a result of sin.

    III. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.

    Whether God decides to 'take them out' (NOT prematurely) or allow them repentance is part of God's plan.

    Perserverance is rightly called preservation, i.e. not allowing to ultimately fall, or completely fall.

    You will note this in the first statement of 'preserverance'.

    neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

    I think the question should be whether 'end' is the end of the believer's life, or the end of it all?

    Whether or not it is correct to say that the deaths are premature is a semantic issue.

    No sir it is not a semantic issue.

    Allow me to bring back in the idea of the sun revolving around the earth.

    The people's perspective was that the sun did revolve around the earth. Their perspective did not accurately represent reality. God's perspective was that the earth revolved around the sun. His perspective did accurately represent reality.

    Would it be incorrect or correct of the people to say that although their perspective did not accurately represent reality, that it was just a matter of semantics?

    Your perspective is that people die prematurely. Your perspective does not accurately represent reality. God's perspective is that people die exactly when they are supposed to. God's perspective accurately represents reality.

    Are we to say that you are saying the same thing as God, just semantically different, even though what you are saying does not accurately represent reality?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/10/2006 10:27 AM  

  • I think Lordship folks believe that a believer will produce a good deal more fruit than that which Antonio thinks is inevitable.

    Perhaps Antonio would see such fruit in maybe feeling bad about sin, saying a prayer for an enemy and refraining from throwing a punch at one's spouse. That might be the entire fruit of a regenerate person's life.

    A Lordship salvationist would expect to see a far greater turning from sin and deeper reformation of character.


    I think that a queer way of distinguishing between the two. Wouldn't they both think that the believer will produce fruit?

    Wouldn't it be almost like Antonio is just not as much LORDship as the other's?

    I mean, if we both believed that the crop will produce harvest, it doesn't really matter if I believe it will produce an abundant harvest and Antonio believes it will only produce a small harvest, we both have the same belief that the crop will produce harvest.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/10/2006 10:29 AM  

  • Hey Bobby,

    I see that you are out and about, and hopefully feeling better.

    "I believe grace relative to salvific issues in the scripture is personified by the person of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5; etc.); and I don't believe grace is a "quality" which is the way I believe from my reading here (this comment thread) that everyone speaks of it (which indeed is a product of Classical Greek Philosophy--e.g. Aristotelianism)."

    That was somewhat Barthinian. You will notice that two things are said in that verse. God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Neither statement is a personification. Love is a quality in God that makes up one of His attributes. It is His love (which is an active principle, that is, love is active) that has been poured into us. Love is not synonymous with the Holy Spirit here, but it is through the means of the Holy Spirit that God does pour out His love into us. Having said that, it is also important to say that I do not disagree with what you have written in it’s totality, but only in it’s application to this verse. There is nothing wrong with saying, for example, that Christ is the personification of God’s (the Father’s) grace, but that is not to the exclusion that grace is also a quality. In essence, both answers are correct.

    "I believe "free-will", like Augustine and Luther, was/is a reality--but given man's "concupiscence" he will only choose things which ultimately benefit self; since natural man is captured and enslaved by his love for self rather than love for God."

    Sorry, but you will not find total agreement to this in Luther. Luther heavily distinguished between what is known as libertarian (also known as autonomous) and the ability to choose according to one’s nature. He used the word, but not in the sense of it being a reality, that is, in the Libertarian sense. For Luther, man is not free to choose God. Luther was a heavy predestinerian, as was Augustine. Luther taught that man chose according to his/her nature, in fact freely chose according to that nature, but since the nature is (in the unregenerate person) in slavery to sin, man could not choose except from the base of his already corrupted affections. Luther (and Calvin see his “The Bondage and Liberation of the Will) did not use “free will” at all in the sense that it is used by synergists. He was decidedly against the idea. He did, after all promote monergism.

    And, of course, I am sure you are aware that there is nothing in the remainder of your comments that goes against the classical definition of Total Depravity.


    "Consequently, I believe that God discloses Himself to sinful man through His Word and reveals His love (the gospel Rom 5:8)to all men thus breaking into the vicious circle of self-loving man; and ultimately creating space for man to "respond" to God's love (I Jn 4:19)using his "freed"-will. This vouchsafes both God's unilateral work of salvation, and man's ability to choose freely w/o co-ercion."

    Yes, indeed, God has revealed Himself to sinful man, and has been doing so since Cain. Romans 1:18 and on shows this. That doesn’t mean that God has effectively called all, but does show their condemnation, that is, that man by nature rejects God. You are still left with a semi-Pelagian notion that God frees us just enough so that we may be our own saviors in that we make the deciding contribution. That isn’t presenting God as the savior that the scriptures present Him as. I know that you term your position “semi-Augustianism.” Historically this has been known as semi-Pelagianism, and was given the title that you use by the sophists of Rome later on down the line, which came to be embraced by armininism in the Protestant Church. There is no scriptural warrant for it. There is also nothing in Reformed theology that speaks about "co-ertion" either.

    The “we” in the 1 John scripture that you point to is referring to Christians, as is established by the context. Now of course, God has shown love to everyone. But the 1 John scripture focuses on believers who now do love God, contrary to the erroneous conclusion given by so called “Free Grace” theology.

    ">Of course this whole discussion, the one Gojira and GlennW. are currently having, comes back to the garden of Eden--and at what point a person wants to insert mystery (not in a "mystical" sense either i.e. mysticism the tradition)--either this mystery comes in at the level of the imago dei; i.e. man by constitution relative to God's communicable attributes had the capacity to choose God's way or his own (see Gen 3); or one must conclude that somehow God "decreed" the Fall, and sin, thus making God the author of evil (or just say this is mysterious, since we all know God is not the author of sin--some try to use Aristotle's causations here to get around this conclusion about God being the author of evil--but I find that contrived). I prefer the first option, viz. that mystery is at an anthropological level relative to the imago dei--and so did the Second Council of Orange."

    Unless you are going to deny even the position of simple forknowledge, you should know better than this. Also, the Second Council of Orange doesn’t deal with why the fall occurred. I am surprised that you would even bring it up.

    "There's my two-cents relative to Gojira's and GlennW.'s discussion. Btw, I do see Gojira's point: i.e. that one must assume the lie of Gen 3:15 (i.e. that we are all autonomous god's to ourselves) in order to affirm the idea that "man" has the ability to choose or reject salvation. But as I just highlighted, I believe there is some mystery here, and that I don't have to necessarily conclude this--given my concept of God's grace and His self-disclosure to all men (sounds like prevenient grace, but I'm not framing it that way either, since even Arminians frame grace using the thomistic "qualitative" or "substance" conceptual language about grace).

    So in a sense, I agree with GlennW., just articulate differently."

    And I would disagree with both of you. So what? You are still my brother in Christ whom I have high regard and love for.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/10/2006 2:31 PM  

  • Gojira,

    I will try and explain my beliefs on these issues.

    "You don't fight against unviersalism (an assertion you just added by the way) by stating what you did."

    I was not asserting that you had universalism in mind at all, neither was I trying to fight it per se. However, you seemed to take exception to how I used righteousness and love together in the definition of grace I provided. I was endeavoring to explain that God's love for us is what has motivated his many provisions for mankind (first and foremost being salvation). There are people that argue that all will be saved because God is love. This is not true because God is also righteous, he cannot have anything to do with sin. God's righteousness would have been satisfied if we all were condemned for our sins but his love motivated him to provide the solution of the cross.

    In your theology how does God's sovereignty relate to his righteousness and love? Is it even an issue?

    "For one to imply that God has done all that God can do, and now must wait on the moving will of fickle humans has no place in scripture."

    I am stating that God has done all he can do without violating his essence. We are far worse than fickle and Christ paid the penalty for all of that. That the "heart of man is desperately wicked and deceitful in all things" describes all of us and yet He paid the price for all of that on the cross. I believe the point of your statement is that if God permits us to chose then his plan is on hold until we make up our minds. Some of this probably comes from different understandings of what God's plan is but I do not see this as being the case at all. God presents everyone with the choice of accepting or rejecting salvation and if you reject it he is going roll right over you. I believe that a persons good and bad decisions (and I include both believers and unbelievers in this statement) affect them personally but do not affect God or his plan at all.

    What do you believe God's plan to be? Does it have any room for fickle humans in it?

    "Free will is not synonomous with making a choice. The will comes from the nature of a person or thing."

    I am not really familiar with what kind of anthropology you are using but when I say free will I mean making a choice.

    "You have just set yourself up to have more free will than God."

    More free will? The concept of free will having gradations is a new one to me, I believe that either you have it or you don't. When God created Adam he made him in God's likeness which I believe this to include free will. If a human does not have enough free will to choose whether or not he will accept the gift of salvation then what does God allow him to use his free will for? I believe the King of kings and Lord of lords can allow us to make up our minds regarding salvation without surrendering any of his sovereignty. I also believe that God's condemning people to hell that he never died for, who never had a chance, is unjust.

    "Jesus says that the unregenerate man is a slave to sin. That would mean that the unregenerate man does not have the ability nor the desire to pursue righteousness."

    I agree that unregenerate man does not have the ability to pursue righteousness but I disagree that he cannot have the desire. Rather than getting into a debate regarding the reformed doctrine of total inability I will just say that it does go too far in its denial that unbelievers can recognize they have a problem that requires a solution beyond themselves.

    "Or can you please explain, according to your concept of free will how a spiritually dead person in slavery to sin, has the will, the desire, to seek things that pertain to God and righteousness?"

    I believe that the Holy Spirit through his ministry of common grace makes the offer of salvation perspicuous to the unbeliever. It is the solution to their problems that they cannot grasp without divine help not that they have need of a solution.

    "However, since you place so much power on so called "free will," I reask my second question: please explain why we have not just scripture, but inerrant scripture. Remember, you have to be consistent with your concept of free will to answer this."

    Okay, I do not expect you to accept this answer either but I will present it anyway. All scripture was written while the author was under control of the Holy Spirit. Before you say "aha!" there is more. Even after we believe there is a continuing battle for control of our soul between the Holy Spirit and our sin nature. When we give in to temptation and sin the sin nature is in control. How does the Holy Spirit regain control? By using 1 John 1:9 and confessing our sins we enter back into fellowship and the Holy Spirit regains control. All scripture was written under the filling and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    Likewise, if free will is the enemy of inerrancy then why does every book show the writing style and personality of the human author? Why did Peter, Paul, and Moses all seem to have different writing styles? If God was in complete control then why didn't they have one writing style, namely his?

    "And lastly, concerning His glory. Everything exists for His glory. That would include Hell and those that go there, as that magnifies the glory of His pure holiness. However, you didn't answer what was asked."

    I would agree that everything exists to glorify God. However, if people spend eternity in the lake of fire because they turned their back on God that is one thing but if they spend eternity in the lake of fire because he turned his back on them it is quite another. Does that answer you question?

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at 12/10/2006 3:43 PM  

  • Gojira said:

    . . . but that is not to the exclusion that grace is also a quality. In essence, both answers are correct.

    so you follow thomistic usage of aristotle's metaphysical categories of substance, essence, qualities, and nature?

    ~I don't, Gojira. and I don't think the Scripture's communicate in thomistic categories either . . . you'll have to show me where the Bible speaks in "essence language" ;).

    Gojira said:

    Sorry, but you will not find total agreement to this in Luther. Luther heavily distinguished between what is known as libertarian (also known as autonomous) and the ability to choose according to one’s nature. . . .

    yes I'm aware of Luther's view of the free-will relative to salvific issues . . . and that the choosing agent will choose only what he/she loves; thus the need for a changed nature--but I'm just "using" a bit of Luther's anthropology here . . . I'm not going the whole way with him or Augustine.

    Gojira said:

    . . . That isn’t presenting God as the savior that the scriptures present Him as. I know that you term your position “semi-Augustianism.” Historically this has been known as semi-Pelagianism, and was given the title that you use by the sophists of Rome later on down the line, which came to be embraced by armininism in the Protestant Church. . . .

    I don't actually have a problem with being known as a "semi-Augustinian". I use "Augustinian" because this is the emphasis I want to come across. I do hold to total depravity, which Pelagius did not . . . so I would appreciate if you respect "my label" ;).

    Gojira said:

    Unless you are going to deny even the position of simple forknowledge, you should know better than this. Also, the Second Council of Orange doesn’t deal with why the fall occurred. I am surprised that you would even bring it up.

    Why, Gojira? And the Reformed position, as you well know, does believe and articulate that God decreed the Fall; does it not? Just because God "knows" something is going go happen doesn't necessarily have an "causal" effect upon the action (i.e. the Fall).

    Here's a summary of what the 2nd council of Orange held on supralapsarianism:

    Basically, the semi-Pelagians, led by the French monk John Cassian (Cassianus; died c. 448), agreed with Augustine that human beings cannot or their own choose God, but contended that God through the Holy Spirit enables human beings to turn from evil toward God. As a result the semi-Pelagians rejected the idea of predestination or the doctrine of election, as well as the corresponding idea of unconditional eternal security (perseverance of the saints).

    (quote taken from:http://www.cresourcei.org/creedorange.html)

    So Orange, indeed had something to do with the issue of God's "decretive work" and predestination--which I would come closer to agreeing with, at this point, than with the double-predestinatiarian position that you hold to, Gojira.

    And, Gojira, you didn't actually deal with my assertion, on this point . . . you have to conclude that there is mystery at some level here . . . unless you do want to attribute the Fall to God; do you?

    I realize my views are to closely aligned to the RCC view for you, Gojira; but I think the Reformed position is actually informed by the RCC scholastic theological framework--so we are definitely at odds here.

    I respect all of you folks here.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 12/10/2006 4:08 PM  

  • Antonio says:

    1) Works are not necessary for eternal life.
    2) Works are not necessary for assurance of salvation.
    3) Perseverance is not guaranteed.
    4) Perseverance is not a condition for final salvation.
    5) Apostasy is a real possibility for the regenerate Christian
    6) Grace does not force, co-erce. Imagine 'forced' grace. What a concept! Talk about oxy-moron.
    7) If works are not necessary for regneration, justification, or final salvation and they are not necessary for even an ounce of assurance, then Anonymous' hilarious comment stands without grounds.
    8) The statement "Works are an inevitable result of faith" can be easily falsified:

    At any moment one is presented with the opportunity to do a work and does not do it, the above statement is falsified.

    As it stands, it would even have to be modified by the experimental predestinarians in order to truly represent what they mean.

    9) Works have nothing whatsoever to do with one's eternal standing before God, his justification, or final salvation.

    My wife needs the computer.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/10/2006 4:18 PM  

  • Hi Glenn,

    Before you read any further, let me assure you that I mean you no offense in the interaction I have given you. If I have angered you, please note that wasn't my intent. I do not seek to trash talk the person, but I do seek to engage the position. You gave a good reply, and although I disagree with it, that doesn't take away for it being a good reply. This will be my last post. You can have the last word. And thanks for your invigurating defense of your position. That means you are an excellent debater, and I am honored for the interaction.

    "I am not really familiar with what kind of anthropology you are using but when I say free will I mean making a choice."

    I am talking about free will in the liberterian sense, which you are advocating. Total Depravity does not negate that people make decisions. The point being made is that your position leaves man with more free will than God, since God is not free to choose to sin.

    "God presents everyone with the choice of accepting or rejecting salvation and if you reject it he is going roll right over you."

    You still have man violating what he is by nature to accept something that goes against the grain of who he is by nature. You are advocating libeterian free will which goes directly against how Jesus described the unregenerate person to be. The only reason anyone "gets saved" is because God saves them from start to finish. If God doesn't do anything about man's dead in sin nature, man is not free to respond. Consider Lydia. You will find nothing in that passage that states God opened her heart to give her the choice of either accepting or rejecting. She was already by nature in her affections a rejector of God. He opened her heart so that she could believe. He gave her salvation, not an oppurtunity.

    Also to state that God gives everyone the "choice of accepting or rejecting salvation...." is nowhere found in scripture. For example, can you show where God was presenting native Americans with the gospel two days after the resurrection? Had He so desired, He could have. He could have brought someone here the same way He took phillip from the presence of the Ethiopian Eunuch and placed him somewhere else. But obviously God didn't do that.

    "I agree that unregenerate man does not have the ability to pursue righteousness but I disagree that he cannot have the desire. Rather than getting into a debate regarding the reformed doctrine of total inability I will just say that it does go too far in its denial that unbelievers can recognize they have a problem that requires a solution beyond themselves."

    Okay, demonstrate it. You have just seperated desire from the nature and made it stand in contrast to one's nature. In other words, you have just denied the passage you earlier quoted from Jeremiah. It is also nonsense to say that you would agree with total depravity and disagree with total inability. There is absolutely nothing one can do about their falleness, and what is worse is that there is nothing one outside of Christ wants to do about it. That is the reason why they are blind. Can a blind person do anything about their blindness? No. Well, how about the scriptural one: Can a leapord change his spots? No. That means that one has no ability to do anything about their sinful position. Unless of course you would rather argue that a leapord can indeed change his spots.

    " If a human does not have enough free will to choose whether or not he will accept the gift of salvation then what does God allow him to use his free will for?"

    You have yet to establish your notion of libeterian free will. Since your understanding of free will is something that I reject, your question is moot because it would imply an agreement on free will. In other words, you didn't ask a question pertaining to my position.

    "Likewise, if free will is the enemy of inerrancy then why does every book show the writing style and personality of the human author? Why did Peter, Paul, and Moses all seem to have different writing styles? If God was in complete control then why didn't they have one writing style, namely his?"

    First off, an observation. You have contradicted what you said earlier. Earlier you noted that man could have free will and God still be sovereign (which would mean God being in control). You negate that now by stating "If God was in complete control..."

    Regardless, your version of free will can not account either for scripture being written, nor scripture being inerrent. It has absolutely nothing to do with different writing styles, nor is this talking about some dictation theory of scripture. Of course God used the human which would entail the use of his writing abilities. Yet for God to keep scripture from error and to say what He wants it to say would in fact mean that God was in complete control in all facets. In short, you have not shown how your understanding of "free will" has given use 1) scripture, and 2) inerrent scripture.

    "What do you believe God's plan to be?"

    His glory.

    "Does it have any room for fickle humans in it?"

    Indeed.

    "However, if people spend eternity in the lake of fire because they turned their back on God that is one thing but if they spend eternity in the lake of fire because he turned his back on them it is quite another."

    Who said anything about God turning His back? I didn't. The unregenerate man exists with his back already turned against God.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/10/2006 5:23 PM  

  • Bobby,

    "so I would appreciate if you respect "my label""

    I do respect your label, but I can not help it if your label in history has been called Semi-Pelagianism. It has nothing to do with you accepting the fall and Pelagious not accepting it. It is semi because the people who held it rejected his views of the fall in favor of a more Augustinian answer. Nor would me calling you "semi-Augustinian" change the fact that it was known in history as semi-Pelagianism. I can't change that, nor would it help to deny it.

    "so you follow thomistic usage of aristotle's metaphysical categories of substance, essence, qualities, and nature?

    ~I don't, Gojira. and I don't think the Scripture's communicate in thomistic categories either . . . you'll have to show me where the Bible speaks in "essence language" ;)."

    Since love is not God but rather God is love, it will be totally upon you to show your position.Your two scriptures did not support your conclusion. You will also note that I infact said that both answers would be correct. However, if you are going to reject one over the other, it would indeed be upon you to demonstrate your case, not I, especially given the fact that you are the one who introduced it. Also, it is a bit of a strawman to try to force your opponents position in a thomistic/aristotlean mold when they themselves do not hold to that mold. Just because some points would be in agreement with another philosophy doesn't conclude that is in fact the same thing. For example, your agreement with Luther on certain principles doesn't make you a Lutheran, nor that you fully accept the Lutheran position.

    "yes I'm aware of Luther's view of the free-will relative to salvific issues . . . and that the choosing agent will choose only what he/she loves; thus the need for a changed nature--but I'm just "using" a bit of Luther's anthropology here . . . I'm not going the whole way with him or Augustine."

    Then you will hopefully cease in using Luther in the manner you articulated your position. That would be a misuse of him since he himself was opposed to the "Free Will" position.

    "So Orange, indeed had something to do with the issue of God's "decretive work" and predestination--which I would come closer to agreeing with, at this point, than with the double-predestinatiarian position that you hold to, Gojira."

    Not in it's pronouncements. That comes from a grid laid upon it. You also have me as a double predest. Please show where I have advocated supralaps. Not all Calvinists are the same as I know that you are aware of the differing lapsarian views. I have not advocated one over another.

    "Why, Gojira?"

    Do you hold to Open Theism as well, Bobby? If not, then you yourself are stuck answering the same question reletive to the position of God's simple forknowledge. And you are still liable to the same charge as you would give me. Taking the Eastern Orthodox route is more of an evasion than an answer.

    "you have to conclude that there is mystery at some level here . . ."

    I don't deny mystery. And since you distanced that from being in the area of mystic, that only leaves us with a definition that something can't be fully known. But that is just it: not fully known. That doesn't mean that God hasn't given us some answers or let us in on to some aspect of that mystery. As I've said though, the Eastern Orthodox approach is more of an evasion than an answer. Regardless though, I do not take your approach because of where it could very easily lead, although I do not think that you yourself would ever wind up there. And what I am talking about leading to has nothing to do with joining the EO church.

    "unless you do want to attribute the Fall to God; do you?"

    Another strawman. You have the same problem I do. And calling it mystery doesn't do anything to help it and could very easily lead to roads no one wants to go.

    "I realize my views are to closely aligned to the RCC view for you, Gojira; but I think the Reformed position is actually informed by the RCC scholastic theological framework--so we are definitely at odds here."

    Your views have a lot of EO flavor in them as well, don't leave that out. That flavoring colored some of the RCC. However, with your admission, it is very surprising to see your critique.

    "I respect all of you folks here."

    And I have respect for you, as well as everyone else here. Disagreeing with a position doesn't negate that.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/10/2006 6:57 PM  

  • Burp *...

    Wow! It looks like the chillin are stirred Rose:-)

    You may have to get the pacifiers out soon.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/10/2006 8:34 PM  

  • Hopefully you guys know that was a little unintended joke to make a point that a fire burns within all of us and manifests itself in so many ways...and it shows that we are his children. It is sometimes to hard to quench aint it?

    Trouble is we all have evil with us...so we all have to learn how to perform this task unto perfection.

    Amen anybody?

    Or Burp?

    Keep feedin on that milk cause we all crave it if we are born again. Question is do we feed properly:-)

    And if we don't?

    Well I think we become miserable until we do.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/10/2006 8:39 PM  

  • Brian,

    "Burp *...

    Wow! It looks like the chillin are stirred Rose:-)

    You may have to get the pacifiers out soon."

    I want mine to be purple. :-)

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/10/2006 8:41 PM  

  • unintended offense I meant if there was any. I need me a pacifier too from time to time....or maybe I need to shut up and go ahead and try to get the foot out of my mouth:-)

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/10/2006 8:42 PM  

  • Ah ha. Check out Gojo!

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 12/10/2006 8:43 PM  

  • Brian,

    "Hopefully you guys know that was a little unintended joke..."

    I'm not everybody, but I knew it was a joke.

    I'm not too sure about the picture I'd want to be on the handle end though. It's okay if it is a teddy bear, just as long as it doesn't have a pink ribbon...... :-)

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/10/2006 8:53 PM  

  • Gojira said:

    . . . Also, it is a bit of a strawman to try to force your opponents position in a thomistic/aristotlean mold when they themselves do not hold to that mold. Just because some points would be in agreement with another philosophy doesn't conclude that is in fact the same thing. . . .

    The language of essence and substance and quality is Aristotelian, Doug . . . that point really isn't even debatable. I'm talking about what frames the Calvinistic framework of which you adhere, historically the scholastic framework has been and is the framing of Calvinist and Arminian theologians (again this point is easily demonstrable, just go read any systematic theology book). That's not a strawman, its accepted reality amongst all honest theologians.

    Gojira said:

    Then you will hopefully cease in using Luther in the manner you articulated your position. That would be a misuse of him since he himself was opposed to the "Free Will" position.

    No, he just qualified free-will differently than the libertarian free-will position. I.e. given his view of man's fallen nature (viz. what's in bondage for Luther [?]).

    Gojira said:

    Do you hold to Open Theism as well, Bobby? If not, then you yourself are stuck answering the same question reletive to the position of God's simple forknowledge. And you are still liable to the same charge as you would give me. . . .

    Know not at all, Doug . . . why would you conclude that (i.e. the open theism point)? I'm far far from open theism. I believe God has forward knowledge, backward knowledge, and present knowledge all at once. And I believe God is in complete sovereign control of all things turning evil on its head with the redemptive work of the cross. Open theism sees God as learning and in process with creation (i.e. God has powerful predictive power); I don't even come close to this philosophical rationalist approach to understanding God. I just don't see God's knowledge, in an ad hoc as necessarily causal of every circumstance of life . . . you don't either, do you?

    Gojira said:

    . . . Taking the Eastern Orthodox route is more of an evasion than an answer.

    What are you getting at here? I didn't know I took that route in my response above. Although I do appreaciate EO approach to emphasizing the threeness of God, and His relational nature vs. the RCC and Western Prot. approach of emphasizing God's oneness and His monadic nature (another consequence of thomistic/Aristotelian theology). BTW, even if I did engage the EO approach in my response above, why would this be evasive? Is there no merit to the theology of the Eastern branch of the church?

    Gojira said:

    I don't deny mystery. And since you distanced that from being in the area of mystic, that only leaves us with a definition that something can't be fully known. But that is just it: not fully known. That doesn't mean that God hasn't given us some answers or let us in on to some aspect of that mystery. As I've said though, the Eastern Orthodox approach is more of an evasion than an answer. . . .

    I knew I shouldn't have used the word "mystery" . . . strike that from the record. How about Deut. 29:29.

    Gojira said:

    Another strawman. You have the same problem I do. And calling it mystery doesn't do anything to help it and could very easily lead to roads no one wants to go.

    Come on Doug, given your view of God's sovereign decretive work, the logical conclusion, if you're honest, is that God somehow decreed the Fall (usually people in the Reformed camp say: in order to display God's attributes of mercy, love, and his wonderful wisdom displayed in the work of redemption).

    Gojira said:

    Your views have a lot of EO flavor in them as well, don't leave that out. That flavoring colored some of the RCC. However, with your admission, it is very surprising to see your critique.

    I seem to surprise you quite a bit, Doug ;~)! My view on God's nature indeed has plenty of Eastern influence, a la the work of Colin Gunton (a Western theologian virtuoso). I appreciate a view of God that emphasizes God's relationality and dynamism vs. a view that emphasizes God's impassible static unmoved mover nature. But most of my theological understanding still is funtionally, Western in flavor. I really want it to be biblical in flavor . . . thus my willingness to be a bit eclectic in my theological approach. I think there are many helpful traditions represented in Christianity, and I don't think any of them have a corner on the "truth" thus my desire, using the scriptures as the standard, to engage interpretive traditions that I believe best capture and articulate the categories and emphases that scripture does.

    Doug, I enjoy the exchange . . . I think this is the first time I've gone around with you . . . good fun!

    In Christ

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 12/10/2006 9:06 PM  

  • Matthew,

    Wow, didn't realize this post had taken on so many comments over the weekend. Hopefully I'm not too far removed from our conversation.

    You said: "I dare say I might, especially if there was no evidence of the Lord's chastening in a person's life. But such speculation is not really useful or necessary."

    And this point is at the heart of the post, I believe. Is it useful or necessary to determine whether or not someone who claims to be a believer is in fact a believer? Isn't that the question we're really trying to answer? I think it is and it would appear that you would say no, it's not useful or necessary.

    But then you say, "If a person professes to believe, we exhort them as a believer. If they act like an unbeliever, we separate from them as though they are unbelievers."

    Why are you are supposed to separate from them as unbelievers? You said because if they ACT like an unbeliever. So then are you looking at their works and determining whether or not they're an unbeliever? And even apart from that, why would you need to separate from them when they act that way? Is it not for the purity of the Church and for the good of the offender?

    Then I would say it is very useful and necessary to determine whether or not a person who claims to be a believer is in fact a believer. It's useful to perserve the purity and health of the local Church and to be used of God in life of the one who is in question.

    It's not that you go around doubting your salvation or the salvation of those professing believers around you. But since God is the one who looks at the heart, and since we cannot see the heart and know for sure, out ward signs are all that God has allowed us to see. The first and formost sign is the testimony of the believer. Do they profess belief in Christ? After that, we can only determine the validity of the profession from what their life looks like and what their desires are in accordance with their life.

    You said, "Why not abandon the dogam of Perserverance and talk about the reality of Eternal Security and God's manifold dealings with the believer?"

    For me, to abandon Perserverance would be to abandon the reality of Eternal Security and God's manifold dealings with the believer. It was also be the abandonment of hope. If God is not there to grant me perserverance, then it's all up to me. Where is my help, my deliverance? What happens when I'm in a terrible fight with sin? Is it all up to me and if I loose then do I risk death? What appears to be your view would leave me in the throws of anxiety, I fear. And every bad thing that happens to me, I would wonder, "Is God judging me for a sin that I don't know about?"

    Rose,

    So the question that is displayed on this post is, "What do my children have to do to prove that they are my children?" Gojira's answer sums it up, "Nothing." You already know that they are your children.

    Maybe a better question is, "How do the neighbors across the street know the difference between your kids and your other neighbors kids?" Well, they don't look the same, they don't act the same, they don't talk the same... And when they ask you which ones belong to you, you don't claim them as your own.

    Thanks for the thought provoking question.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 12/11/2006 9:26 AM  

  • Antonio said: Apostasy is a real possibility for the regenerate Christian

    Apostate Christian
    Talk about an oxymoron......

    "An unbelieving believer...." And Antonio wonders why we have trouble with his theology.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 12/11/2006 9:48 AM  

  • Brian,
    Pacifiers? None of my kids have ever taken a pacifier, aint that somethin? Maybe this one will. I think I like the idea of a purple pacifier. (Now this is a discussion on my level.)

    Ten Cent,
    "How do the neighbors across the street know the difference between your kids and your other neighbors kids?"

    Interesting re-question. The only thing is the breakdown of the analogy. They would know because of history - they have seen these kids with me. They have been introduced ... there is history. The church is that mystical body, that unseen family.

    My main concern isn't with what people from other families think anyway - just as I am not that interested in what unbelievers think about my standing ... or any other Christian's satnding ... with the Father. The unbeliever just doesn't get it and so his opinion is at best secondary.

    The questions that I have been pondering:
    *how does the child himself know he is a child of that father and
    *does his behavior confirm or negate his position as a child?

    It is no business of the neighbors. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/11/2006 9:56 AM  

  • Hey, Sarah!
    Thanks for your sweet comment. Yes, the fourth child should be coming any day now.

    Hi Bobby, Antonio and Jazzycat.
    I will enjoy reading all your comments at a later time. They are so long and it hurts to sit at the computer for great lengths. Maybe I will print them out.

    Keep on if you wish. John has enjoyed reading all the comments, especially yours, Bobby ... he told me this morning.

    Jazzy, keep your claws in or I will have to take you to the vet.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/11/2006 10:07 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/11/2006 10:52 AM  

  • I had fun too Bobby. I am sure we will meet again on opposite sides.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/11/2006 11:03 AM  

  • Hi Gojira.
    But I already said hello to you way up yonder. I was greeting those whom I had not spoken to yet. I try to be friendly to everyone who pops over here.

    I hope I haven't neglected anyone.
    Hi everyone!

    Oh, you erased that comment. Well, I will post this one anyway. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/11/2006 11:47 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said "The questions that I have been pondering:
    *how does the child himself know he is a child of that father and
    *does his behavior confirm or negate his position as a child?"

    The child himself knows he is a child of the Heavenly Father because he believes in Him. (Doesn't really relate to the analogy, but it should be the first order of business.) Ok, now for the analogy, the Father claims the child and the child sees evidence of the Father's love bestowed on him, ie, time spent with the child, communication with the child, gifts given to the child, instruction of the child, discipline of the child...all signs of love toward the child.

    Does the child's behavior confirm or negate his postition as a child? I would say it doesn't negate it, but it does confirm it. Have you ever said a phrase or a word and it stopped you in your tracks because horror of horrors, you sounded just like your mother? Of course that's a bad analogy because if we sound like, or look like, or reflect in any way our heavenly Father, it's a great thing. But that's where confirmation comes in for me. I see things in my life and I think, I can only do that, or think that, or say that by the grace of God. Him working in and through me. That's reassuring to me.

    And you said "It is no business of the neighbors. ;~)"

    I totally agree. The analogy did breakdown. But as an aside, the neighbors are watching. And they know what a "Christian" should act like too. And even though it not their business, they are judging us by our actions. And our actions are a reflection on our Father :) But that's another discussion.

    So I do think behavior is important. It's important to see the behavior in my own life for the removal of that log that's in my eye. And it's important to look at the behavior of my brothers and sisters in Christ and assist them with the speck that's in their eye. For the purity and the health of the Church. But my bad behavior doesn't mean I'm not a child of God. But I would question it, I would desire to remove it. And should always cause me to look anew at the cross of Christ. To return to the Gospel. Not to question my faith, but to confirm it.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 12/11/2006 11:52 AM  

  • Gojira,

    You have not angered me though I was taken back by how strong your reaction to my post was. I expected to make one or two short posts regarding the sin unto death and did not anticipate such a far ranging debate. That being said, I will also make this my last post. I will try and answer what I understand the thrust of your questions to be. My answers will not be as complete or in depth as either of us would like but I do not feel I can afford to put too much more time into this at the moment.

    "I am talking about free will in the libertarian sense, which you are advocating. Total Depravity does not negate that people make decisions. The point being made is that your position leaves man with more free will than God, since God is not free to choose to sin."

    Okay, I have not studied Aristotle and Aquinas like you and Bobby Grow have so I will take your word that I am advocating libertarian free will. Since my definition of sin is that it is rebellion against God's will, and God cannot rebel against his own will, then I will certainly agree that God cannot sin. However, I am uneasy with any implication that this gives God some quantifiably smaller amount of free will. I believe that being absolute truth and justice opens up a lot of options rather than restricting them.

    "You still have man violating what he is by nature to accept something that goes against the grain of who he is by nature..."

    I agree that man's sinful nature does make it impossible for him to reconcile himself to God by his own merits but I do not accept that it does not allow him to recognize his need for a solution. So God came up with a solution to my problem that goes against my nature and I would have never thought of it if given an eternity, that does not mean that as a sinner I cannot recognize my need for that solution. It also doesn't mean that I am automatically going to accept that solution either.

    Since you take a reformed view of soteriology I assume that you define the act of belief itself as meritorious act. If I believed that belief is meritorious then I would agree with you. As you have probably guessed I believe the act of belief to be non-meritorious.

    "Also to state that God gives everyone the "choice of accepting or rejecting salvation...." is nowhere found in scripture."

    I do not believe that you and I have any way of resolving this disagreement. We can go back and forth show casing different passages but we will always be able to interpret the passages involved using our current theologies.

    "For example, can you show where God was presenting native Americans with the gospel two days after the resurrection? Had He so desired, He could have."

    No, I cannot show that but I do agree that God could have if he so desired. The one thing I do strongly hold to is that God knows all thoughts and intents of the heart and that if anyone is receptive to the gospel it will be provided. So, if there was someone (I will use my pastor's vocabulary here) who had positive volition to the gospel at God consciousness in the Americas two days after the resurrection then it was provided. of course you can accuse me of arguing from silence but so are you.

    Also, if God chooses who believes why concentrate them in the Mediterranean and Europe?

    "You have just separated desire from the nature and made it stand in contrast to one's nature. In other words, you have just denied the passage you earlier quoted from Jeremiah."

    Once again I believe we use vocabulary in different ways and have different views about the relationship of desire and nature. As for my view of desire and nature I can explain what I believe the relationship to be. I believe we are all born with a body and a soul (dichotomous) with the sin nature being part of our corrupt bodies. When we believe we receive a human spirit (we become trichotomous) which permits us to understand spiritual phenomena. The next logical question is how can a dichotomous person understand the offer of salvation in the first place? My answer is the Holy Spirit and his ministry of common grace.

    Does this separate desire from the nature? I don't know. If I have a different view than you of the relationship between desire and nature that would not surprise me much.

    The fact that I do believe the human heart to be desperately wicked and deceitful in all things does not cause me to believe that man is incapable of recognizing his need for a solution. The word wicked has different connotations to us and it presents no contradiction to me.

    "It is also nonsense to say that you would agree with total depravity and disagree with total inability."

    You are probably correct in this. I was trying to use vocabulary you understand to explain my concepts and this may have been a mistake. If I must take total depravity and total inability all or nothing, then I will have to say nothing as I currently understand them.

    "You have yet to establish your notion of libertarian free will. Since your understanding of free will is something that I reject, your question is moot because it would imply an agreement on free will. In other words, you didn't ask a question pertaining to my position."

    You also have failed to establish your notion of lack of free will. Since your understanding of no free will is something I reject maybe I will stop answering you questions as well.

    "First off, an observation. You have contradicted what you said earlier. Earlier you noted that man could have free will and God still be sovereign (which would mean God being in control). You negate that now by stating "If God was in complete control...""

    When I said "If God was in complete control..." I meant that if God took control of the writers' bodies and was using them as some kind of writing machine. It was probably a poor approach, let's try again. I believe that a believer who is in fellowship (1 John 1:9) and has the spiritual gift required for writing scripture (prophets and apostles) that the Holy Spirit used them to write inerrant scripture without their loosing their personalities or individual writing styles. How did the Holy Spirit communicate the inerrant word to them? I don't know and will not venture a guess. It is clear that the writers were in direct communication with God. When Paul prayed that God take away the thorn in the flesh three times before He responded "My grace is sufficient for you" I believe God actually said that to Paul.

    "Who said anything about God turning His back? I didn't. The unregenerate man exists with his back already turned against God."

    But if you believe in double predestination you believe that God then goes and spins some totally depraved souls around to face God and walks past the others. The ones that Jesus chose not to die for are still abandoned.

    I am sure we will meet again in the blogosphere. God bless.

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at 12/11/2006 5:15 PM  

  • Ten Cent,
    We are not so different. I believe behavior is important too. I know it is very important to our witness and our Spiritual health.

    I just don't think it is a condition of salvation or a necessary evidence to make us saved or to make us know we are are saved. Ah, maybe we are splitting hairs.

    God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/11/2006 5:38 PM  

  • Gojira,

    Correction please! In the last paragraph of my last post I finished with this sentence:

    The ones that Jesus chose not to die for are still abandoned.

    That was unfortunate phrasing, I forget that some people out here who do not know me will think that I actually believe that. I also want to clarify that I do not think that you would actually make that statement. I should have said something more like:

    I hold to the belief that Christ died for everyone's sins and that all mankind has opportunity to be saved whether they choose to accept the offer of salvation or not. I do not believe that anyone born on this earth is ever without hope.

    God bless.

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at 12/11/2006 7:28 PM  

  • I've never seen any blog get 99 comments. I have never been number 100. Wow, you generate some really thought provoking stuff. Thanks! AS for looking in the mirror to see God in us, it's a good thing that's not where we have to look. God looks at us and sees Christ's robe of righteousness. He is our Righteousness. Our position is in Him because of what HE did, not anything we did, as you say, the non-doing. What grace! AS for "being born again" I will look up the tense. I've never thought it means a continual act, but rather "having been born again," but I have no doubt it's not about our doing something over and over. Sanctification is another matter, though even tho we must cooperate, God still initiates our growth.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/11/2006 8:47 PM  

  • Zoanna, you have obviously never visited Pyromaniacs.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/12/2006 3:54 AM  

  • Hi Glenn,

    Good post. Thanks for the interaction. You have a blessed Christmas my brother.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/12/2006 5:38 AM  

  • Rose,

    Yes, you are right. We are not very different. And really don't think that I'm all that much different than Matthew either.

    Thanks for the discussion.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 12/12/2006 8:01 AM  

  • Hi Zoanna,
    I have not seen you in so long! I will pop over to your blog and see what you are up to these days. I remember, it was your question to me on the Bluecollar blog over a year ago that prompted me to write all those posts on TULIP that are in my sidebar. You must have missed those - and they were there to answer you!
    God Bless.

    Ten Cent,
    Yes, we would all probably get along very well if we could talk face to face.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/12/2006 1:49 PM  

  • Ha ha ha


    I got the last word

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!

    You get it, the very last post on the thread.....last word.....okay, maybe it wasn't that funny.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/13/2006 1:00 PM  

  • Not so fast.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/13/2006 1:51 PM  

  • "Not so fast."

    I'll sneak back in and take the last word "one mo'again"

    But what is that last word.....hmmmm......what could the las word be? Exude.....

    Ha ha ha he he he
    I got a big smile
    exuding from me!


    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And where is my purple passy?!?!?

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/13/2006 3:14 PM  

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