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

Friday, June 06, 2008

Does the Devil Ever Get His Own Way?

23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Tim. 2)

What does it mean that people have been held captive by the Devil to do his will? If God is in complete control of everything - what sense does this kind of a statement make from the apostle Paul?

Just asking.

44 Comments:

  • Hi Rose,

    I think the verse is telling us that if we are held captive by Satan at his will, then we are being held fast by a very malignant and powerful foe and that we should do all that we can to stay out of his grip. Elsewhere, we are instructed to resist the Devil and “give no place to him.

    I don’t think the verse denies that God does not have complete control of everything. Surely the story of Job, as drawn from the early chapters, shows us that Satan can only go so far. He complained of the hedge round about Job and could only go as far as God allowed him to go. The devil would have to say (as wicked Balaam had to confess) “I cannot go beyond the world of the Lord, to do less or more” (Numbers 22:18) I think it was John Calvin who wisely observed: Satan may go about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but there is a bit in his mouth and God holds the reins.” How could we not say “Amen!” to that?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/06/2008 10:54 AM  

  • Good morning Rose!

    .It makes you wonder if Calvin wasn’t controlled by Satan with his horrible decree of God that he saw. And then also Pope Calvin was known for having ones put to death for not embracing his Catholic beliefs, infant baptism. And then you wonder if Satan still isn't having his way with those who want to be called by Calvinism. I'm of Calvin, I'm of Appolos? Why people want to be called by a sinful man's name is beyond me, especially one who had ones who didn't agree with him put to death? But I guess that's one mans lie and another man's wisdom?

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/06/2008 12:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Please excuse the less than slight diversion from the doctrinal content your subject here for a moment or two.

    Alvin: Was Zane Hodges led captive by the Devil when he quoted John Calvin favourably "away too many times" in his book "Absolutely Free"? Your initial rejection of his book would suggest that he did?

    If Zane Hodges ever revises his book and lets these quotations remian, then is it evidence that he is still held so captive?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/06/2008 12:26 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Excuse me for just a moment while I set the Calvinist's plumb line.

    Zane Hodges denouces Calvinism in his book "Abolutely Free" page 85.

    After all, the Bible declares that "God our Savior....desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:3-4). His love is boundless and is directed toward every man.
    Frequently (though not always) lordship salvation is combined with a harsh system of thought that denies the reality of God's love for every single human being. According to this kind of theology, God dooms most men to eternal damnation long before they are born and really only gives His Son to die for the elect.
    For such thinkers, the declaration that "God so loved the world" (Jn 3:16)must be tortured into meaning something less than His universal love for humankind. It does not lie within the scope of this book to deal with the tragic error. The author can only trust that most readers will be content to rest on the simple assertions of Scripture about God's feelings and provision for lost people (Jn 1:7, 29; 3:16-17; 4:42; 12:32; 2 Cor 5:19; 1 Tim 2:1-6; 4:10; Tit 2:11; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Jn 2:2).
    No one denies that there is an element of mystery about the way in which God's sovereign purposes relate to our own responsibility to choose what is good and right. The Bible does not seek to resolve this tension for us any more then it seeks to unravel the mystery of the Trinity.
    No system of thought which reduces human beings to mere robots, or a collection of puppets on strings, does justice to the Bibles deep insistance on human responsibility. For our current purposes, we assume that each individual is genuinely responsible to respond to the goodness of God our Creator. Many texts make this plain (e.g., Rom 1:18-21; Ac 14:14-17;17:24-29). And where there is a real search for God, He rewards it (Heb 11:6).

    Zane Hodges does not go by a sinful mans name, and renouces Calvins false teaching as shown. I believe he made a tragic error by including Calvin's name in his book. Because it can be argued that what Calvin gave with one hand he took away with the other. Calvin was a false teacher and a brutal Pope to his followers.

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/06/2008 1:21 PM  

  • Alvin, you have the book "Absolutely free", while I have still to give it house room. So you have the advantage on me there. But the main point is not lost:

    Do you think that the man who made the following statement: (Robert N. Wilkin, Associate Editor, Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society) has been led captive by the Devil at his will? His words are quite startling, are they not, and in complete contrast with yours?

    I think that many would be quite surprised if Calvin were alive today. I believe many modern Calvinists would be surprised to see him come down on the Free Grace side of the Gospel debate. If he had the advantage of the modern discussion of these issues by men like Chafer, Ryrie, and Hodges, I think Calvin might be a full-fledged member of GES!

    Again: Overall I find this to be a very helpful commentary. While it is handicapped by missing out on nearly four and a half centuries of study on the fourth Gospel, it is very insightful and well worth having.

    Source: http://www.faithalone.org/journal/bookreviews/calvin.htm

    Again, Calvin's writings on assurance are reprinted here:

    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1990ii/Calvin.html

    Along with this explanation:

    "John Calvin (1509-1564) is one of the foremost Reformers and biblical exegetes in the history of the Church. Raised and reared a Roman Catholic in his native France, Calvin received an excellent classical education and became a master of Latin style as well as of French. After his conversion to the evangelical faith of the Reformation, he eventually settled in Switzerland and carried on a widespread preaching, writing, and training ministry centered in Geneva." Ed.

    Bearing in mind, the vehemency and extremity of your first post, you must sharely hold the view that Satan's net has extended right into the very heart of the GES?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/06/2008 1:50 PM  

  • Rose, I appreciate you facilitating of this discussion between me and Alvin here. Please excuse our side show here, but I see Zane Hodges himself has a different view of Calvin as seen from this quote:

    In fact, it is for that very reason that no one truly interested in the contemporary controversy over the Gospel can afford not to read this book. It will not only give him historical perspective on the modern debate, but it will galvanize him with the realization that the biblical insights of the great Reformers, like John Calvin, must be grasped afresh in every generation. And when grasped, they must also be proclaimed!

    Source: http://www.faithalone.org/journal/bookreviews/bell.htm

    Again, Alvin, in the light of your extreme denunciation of Calvin, and the very encouraging words of ZH towards the man you are determined to demonise, is ZH held captive by the devil at his will?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/06/2008 1:58 PM  

  • God doesent have complete control of everything. Satan is the god of this world. He is running the show here on earth.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 6/06/2008 3:02 PM  

  • Good morning Rose

    I believe that the wieght of Scripture rests inline with Zane Hodges and GES. What they do quote "faith alone in Christ alone" is absolutley true. Being that Calvin said those words but contradicts them makes his words carry NO wieght. So for GES to quote him is a tragic error. Instead they should have just quoted Scripture. To use Calvin as a good read for the reformed church is something else. But I do not believe the Catholic church ever was the true Church, so that means that niether was the reformed. They both grew out of BAD soil. The reformers recaptured some truth but held it with their many Catholic heresies. And even went so far as to have those who disagreed murdered. So there is good instruction in this sense. Calvin was not inline with the heart of God or the wieght of Scripture. You Goodnight represent him as though he were, and lift up his name when ever possible. I do not desire to be called by any other name, there is only One name I desire to lift up and that is the Lord Jesus Christ!

    regards!

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/06/2008 3:03 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Thank you for alowing me to inject my insight!

    Carry on with your discussion! I just wanted to point out that Calvinism as with Calvin were out of plumb. The line looks straight to some but the plumb is on the shelf, so to speak.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/06/2008 3:20 PM  

  • Therefore, Alvin, when Zane Hodges not only recognises that "the biblical insights of the great Reformers, like John Calvin, must be grasped afresh in every generation" but goes further to say, "And when grasped, they must also be proclaimed!" is he (Hodges) giving evidence that he is held captive by the Devil or is he not? I think it is a most wonderful statement and it encourages me no end.

    Matthew writes: "God doesent have complete control of everything."

    I disagree with your view here completely. It is akin to saying that there are things out of control as far as God is concerned.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/06/2008 3:28 PM  

  • Hi Rose
    Goodnight
    I consider John Calvin as one who was held captive by Satan to do his will, even going so far to have ones murdered in His name.

    For GES and Zane to call John Calvin a great reformer of the Church I believe is in error. I know they came out of Calvinist circles so are using what they find postive to use to bridge with Calvinist. But at the same time are selling the Book on Calvinism by Vance who comes right out and calls Calvinism for what it is a heresy. So I believe their eyes are open to the false teaching of Calvinism. So no I don't believe they are held captive. But believe they could have did better by not bringing Calvin into their books at all. But then they probaly would not have connected to many of their Calvinist listeners.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/06/2008 7:38 PM  

  • Good morning Rose,

    Alvin: I think that if you are prepared to take the position that you consistently do re: Calvinism, branding us all heretics etc., then you blatantly understate the position re: Zane Hodges. Indeed the more you pile it on against Calvin, then the more inexcusable it is for ZH to declare that: that the biblical insights of the great Reformers, like John Calvin, must be grasped afresh in every generation. And when grasped, they must also be proclaimed!

    You seem content to reduce ZH’s position to be merely using Calvin’s name as a kind of sop to woo those of us in the Reformed Camp. But ZH goes a lot further than merely giving some quote from Calvin with which any Bible student could agree. He sets him up, not merely as a Reformer, but as a great Reformer, speaks clearly of his Biblical insights, tells us that they must be grasped afresh, not only in this generation, but every generation and when grasped, they must also be proclaimed. Furthermore, and surely the fact that they are also selling Vance’s Calvinism at one and the same time just doesn’t add up. As you allege of Calvin, there is a giving of something in one hand and a taking away in the other. Indeed, maybe this is the evidence that we need to see whether or not ZH is being held captive by Satan at his will? Personally, I am very encouraged with what ZH has written here. That other quote too from Robert Wilkin i.e. John Calvin (1509-1564) is one of the foremost Reformers and biblical exegetes in the history of the Church. is just the very thing I think that the GES, supported by people like you, need to be saying. No one is saying here that Calvin is perfect or infallible. I reserve the right to disagree radically with him, but if I took the position that he was held captive by the devil at his will, then I would be consistent and brand those who write what is written above with the same branding.

    The fact is that the Christian Church, generally speaking, held Calvin (warts and all) in great regard. I forbear to lengthen this comment out with many testimonies of admiration from non Calvinists, but I think HA Ironside gets it right:

    "Calvin's outward regeneration of Geneva is another marked instance of the power of the Word -- when faithfully proclaimed -- to influence civic life. Unhappily there was a great deal of Old Testament legality about it all, and like most men "who really amount to anything, Calvin made some stupendous blunders, as in the case of Servetus, for which the world has never forgiven him. But his influence throughout was on the side of righteousness and truth, and for this he will be remembered forever and shine as the stars eternally." (Except ye Repent - Page 67)

    Sorry for the length of this posting.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/07/2008 7:38 AM  

  • The Reformed view of Satan:

    'The Devil may be a son of a bitch, but he's God's son of a bitch.'

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 6/07/2008 7:38 AM  

  • "I disagree with your view here completely. It is akin to saying that there are things out of control as far as God is concerned."

    Things are out of control, but God is working them out. The creation is going to be restored and Satan is going to be defeated.

    However, at the moment it is Satan, not God who is in control of the world.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 6/07/2008 7:40 AM  

  • Are your views here, Matthew, just your own, or do they represent those of the FG community at large?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/07/2008 7:59 AM  

  • My views are my own.

    I believe Zane Hodges is moderately Calvinistic in his approach to the subject of God's sovereignty.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 6/07/2008 9:22 AM  

  • Matthew writes: I believe Zane Hodges is moderately Calvinistic in his approach to the subject of God's sovereignty.

    So he has been led captive by the Devil at his will - at least, moderately so.

    :0)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/07/2008 12:01 PM  

  • Wow, this went off on a bit of a rabbit trail, so to speak.

    Does anyone think that when the verse speaks of "being held captive by the Devil to do his will" that it is speaking of specifically unregenerate persons? Or do you think it could include born again people too? Does this just mean anyone who is taken up with "that which is not the truth" (v25)? Like say those who follow false religion? I kind of have thought of the people here that way - they are those who are taken up in false religion - who don't know the Lord, they have not been made free by the Son of God. I wouldn't generally have thought this could apply well to other believers, but maybe I was off on that?

    Your thoughts?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/07/2008 1:37 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Unless the term “being held captive by the Devil” etc., has some particular specifically unregenerate connotation, then I would hold that it is possible for the Christian to fall into this snare. Who can doubt but that Peter became a plaything of the Devil – at least to some extent – when he denied Christ? Although (and here is the difference) Christ saw to it that he was delivered from it and that although he fell foully, he did not fall finally. But whether this kind of thing is in the mind of the inspired writer remains to be seen.

    Sorry about the rabbit trail :o) although it led to some interesting places/quotes, did it not?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/07/2008 2:27 PM  

  • As the Westminster confession says:

    "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;[7] and, for a time, continue therein:[8] whereby they incur God's displeasure,[9] and grieve His Holy Spirit,[10] come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts,[11] have their hearts hardened,[12] and their consciences wounded;[13] hurt and scandalize others,[14] and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.[15]"

    Believers may fall into the Devil's snare and remain there for a while, according to this document.

    I hope you are having a good weekend, Rose.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 6/07/2008 2:51 PM  

  • Hi Rose, I hope you are having a wonderful day. I would like to make one last comment on the rabbit trail.

    I believe Goodnight believes in the horrible decree that John Calvin looked into the Bible and saw. This same decree I believe is what Zane Hodges has condemned which was quoted earlier.

    Frequently (though not always) lordship salvation is combined with a harsh system of thought that denies the reality of God's love for every single human being. According to this kind of theology, God dooms most men to eternal damnation long before they are born and really only gives His Son to die for the elect.

    I agree with what Zane says here, and what Vance has said in his book quote "Calvinism is therefore the greatest "Christian" heresy that has ever plagued the Church."

    For GES to have said what they have said about John Calvin being a great reformer and "that the biblical insights of the great Reformers, like John Calvin, must be grasped afresh in every generation. And when grasped, they must also be proclaimed!

    This to me is like pointing people to an apple that has poison in the middle. Although I believe Zane is refering to "Faith Alone in Christ Alone." I just believe that Calvin is horrible example being he had people put to death for not embracing his infant Baptism. And believing that, that baptism had the seeds of regeneration.

    I heard a pastor say: It is unbiblical to tell people God loves them, for in fact His plan for them might be the eternal lake of fire, so you would be lying to them.
    I believe this type of thought comes right out of Calvins horrible decree which GES and Zane condemn.
    I would never point anyone to a poison apple!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/07/2008 3:54 PM  

  • Frequently (though not always) lordship salvation is combined with a harsh system of thought that denies the reality of God's love for every single human being. According to this kind of theology, God dooms most men to eternal damnation long before they are born and really only gives His Son to die for the elect.

    Hi Rose, (and Alvin)

    For the record, I believe that God does have a love for every human being, as taught by Psalm 145:9 and elsewhere.

    The sole cause of doom of any man is his own personal sin, something which Calvin was quick to teach. I agree. Whether the vast majority of human beings are elect and therefore saved is beyond my knowledge to speculate upon.

    Any limitation upon the Cross is only in its intention to atone only for the sins of the elect. I am not unhappy with the thought that other blessings flow from the Cross which affect, for good, the whole human race consisting as it does elect and non elect alike.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/07/2008 5:02 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    I believe in the context it is speaking of believers. The example it gives earlier is of Hymenaeus and Philetus "who have strayed from the truth." You have to have known the truth at one time to stray from it don't you. They were teaching that the resurectuion had already occured. They would be a good example of ones who needed to be granted repentance, so that they may know the truth, that what they were teaching was a lie. And Paul is speaking to believers "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God."

    Goodnight
    What we believe is like night and day! Your night! I'm day! Just a little humor there! goodnight
    You acknowledge that God has "a love" for every human being.
    Where as I believe that God proved His unconditional love by dying on the cross for the whole world.
    (1 John 2:2b and not for ours only but also for the WHOLE world.)

    And that's why it was good news to ALL men.
    (Luke 2:10b I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to ALL people.)

    You believe that: The sole cause of doom of any man is his own personal sin,

    Where as I believe that the sole cause of doom of any man is his own rejection of Christ's gift of life. And this is the reason his name is not written in the book of life. It's not his works that are the reason that he is cast into the lake of fire but his name not being found in the book of life! He does not have life!
    (Rev 20:15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.)

    You say:Any limitation upon the Cross is only in its intention to atone only for the sins of the elect.

    I say, there are NO limitation upon the cross. That it satisfied God's justice as an propitiation for the whole world thus removing the bearer between God and man not counting there sins against them making reconciliation possible through faith for ALL. The condition being "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

    Goodnight I'm glad that you are not unhappy with people receiving blessings from the work of the cross, but at the same time I believe you cut God way short on His love!

    alvin
    Rose I was kinda on subject, wasn't I?

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/07/2008 10:00 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin,

    Alvin: What you have done here is basically outline the differences between classic Calvinism and classic non Calvinism, except in the section where you disagree that the sole cause of damnation is the Christ rejecters own personal sin. Even classic non Calvinists believe this – this is just the common belief of all Old Time Evangelicals. Your modern view on this matter is barely 30 years old and rejected by all the major Bible commentators of whatever school except your own.

    You use an interesting phrase in your latest reply concerning Hymenaeus and Philetus that (I quote) “They would be a good example of ones who needed to be granted repentance” - Is this an admission on your part that repentance is a gift and from that from God? Or if not, who grants this necessary repentance?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/08/2008 3:50 AM  

  • DF,
    I am having a fine weeekend, thank you.

    I am surprised Colin, that you would see this as applying potentially to saints.

    I do now see that it could. Formerly I had not had that impression... but I have begun to see things in the Scriptures a lil' differently these last few years.

    So, in your view, then, all the non-elect are held captive by the Devil to do his will and the elect, having already come to faith, may go back to captivity for a time, but will end their life free of this captivity.

    Is that a fair assessment of your view in regards to this?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/08/2008 2:10 PM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    Goodnight, it is amazing to me that what I put was only 30 yrs old but yet is found in the Bible in such simple terms that a child could understand it. And yet you believe something that supposedly a great theologian looked into the Bible and said that he saw a horrible decree of God. This same theologian also believed in baptizing infants and later would have them keep the Old Testament law. Something just isn’t right here? I believe simplicity was rejected for mans intelect. I like what Vance said: The stumbling block for the Calvinist is the simplicity of Salvation, so upon rejecting this, a mysterious, arcane, incomprehensible, decree of God.

    By the time the Theologian get's through with it, simple verses like John 3:16 are unknowable!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/08/2008 2:43 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Concerning repentance it is personal, and therefore it is granted by God and has to do with harmony with Him whether it be a non-believer or a believer to bring to an end temporal judgement or keep from temporal judgement coming.


    The example in Acts 2 these ones were cut to the heart showing they had believed that Jesus was the Christ thus proving they were born of God 1John 5:1a. But before they would have harmony with God having fellowship forgiveness they needed to repent by being baptised then they would be given the gift of the Holy Spirit which is different then the gift of eternal life which is by faith alone in Christ alone.. This condition for fellowship forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit was only for that generation of Palestinians who had rejected John the Baptist and Jesus and His disciples water baptism.
    This shows that repentance is not a gift but has to do with harmony with God and is personal. Now the unbeliever has it the moment they believe in Jesus for eternal life. The believer has it only if God grants it. That is if they have not crossed His line of fellowship forgiveness, then death could occur which is temporal judgement.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/08/2008 2:51 PM  

  • I think I had to much sugar this morning.

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/08/2008 3:23 PM  

  • Good morning, Rose:

    So, in your view, then, all the non-elect are held captive by the Devil to do his will and the elect, having already come to faith, may go back to captivity for a time, but will end their life free of this captivity.Is that a fair assessment of your view in regards to this?

    Providing we maintain the thought that the phrase "captivity of the Devil" does not have an exclusively unregenerate conotation, then I would tend to run with the view that you assess above.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/09/2008 3:35 AM  

  • Another interesting discusion of Calvinism.. I confess that I skip over those comments - I am on Calvin-overload from one of your former comment threads :)

    Generally speaking I agree with DF when he says that it is Satan, not God who is in control of the world.

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 6/09/2008 11:18 AM  

  • "Does the Devil ever get his own way?"

    When God allows it?

    Watch Kung Fu Panda. The wise turtle explains it all, right before he fades into peach blossoms. (seriously)

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 6/09/2008 12:58 PM  

  • Hi Rose! I do hope all is well with you and yours.

    I see the meta has left the topic at hand and ventured out from there into something else. Allow me to comment on the something else first before I address the original intent.

    Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...
    "God doesent have complete control of everything. Satan is the god of this world. He is running the show here on earth."

    In Luke 22:31 our Lord and Savior explains to Peter that the 'god of this world' has demanded to sift him [Peter] like wheat.

    I don't think it is necessary to infer from Paul's label ('god of this world' c.f. 2 Corinthians 2:4) that Satan was operating autonomous ly. In fact I think Paul was just using a figure of speech. I don't come to that conclusion as a matter of caprice, but rather I see (as was already mentioned) the interchange between God and Satan in the book of Job, and understand it to mean that Satan cannot transcend the boundaries set by God. We see that this same truth hasn't disappeared in the NT, as we find Satan asking permission of God to sift Peter like wheat in Luke 22:31.

    Whatever Paul intended to mean by the phrase "god of this world" it doesn't seem intellectually viable to presume it meant autonomy - at least not in the way you seem to be suggesting. Am I misunderstanding you?

    Now - to the title question, "Does the devil ever get his own way?"

    No more or less than any other created creature. We have a perfectly free will by which we can resist or accommodate desires which are present within us entirely outside our will - that is, we are free to do whatever our nature permits. The cat is free to act like a cat, and the pig a pig. We are free to act in accord with what we are, but we are not free to deny what we are. Satan is no different.

    Question, the second: "What does it mean that people have been held captive by the devil to do his will?"

    The passage (2 Timothy 2:26 - "and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will." [NASB]) answers several questions:

    What was this captivity? It was a "snare"

    How did they get out of the snare? They "came to their senses"

    The conclusion we draw therefore is that the impenitent believer is ensnared by Satan (c.f. verse 25), and when he comes to his senses (repents) he is free from that snare.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 6/10/2008 1:36 PM  

  • Daniel,
    "Whatever Paul intended to mean by the phrase "god of this world" it doesn't seem intellectually viable to presume it meant autonomy - at least not in the way you seem to be suggesting. Am I misunderstanding you?"

    Having autonomy is compatible with being subject to limitations.

    Satan cannot transgress any limits that God places on his activity, but that does not mean he does not act with autonomy within that sphere.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 6/10/2008 6:13 PM  

  • (What the turtle said was basically the same thing Daniel said - but it was about a peach tree, not a pig or a cat.)

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 6/10/2008 7:58 PM  

  • Hello Rose.

    By Blogger Kris, at 6/10/2008 9:46 PM  

  • Matthew, it suffices for me that you agree that Satan's leash is only as long as the Lord allows - that is, that Satan is only "free" to operate within a limited sphere set beforehand by God.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 6/10/2008 10:34 PM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    I’m sure the god of this world never tires of hearing the songs of Calvin especially when there made to sound so sweet. But the discerning mind will think “something just isn’t right about this”. So the God who says He is love is transformed into a horrible Monster, and people chock on His word. Here is the Calvinist mindset:
    “God’s eternal decree of whom He would not save is called reprobation.

    Whereas election means that God chooses whom He will save,
    Reprobation means that God chooses who is not saved.

    Reprobation necessarily follows from election.

    Since God could have saved everybody, but not everyone is saved,
    then we must conclude that God deliberately chose to leave some people in their sins.

    Reprobation, like election, is unconditional.
    The non-elect are not rejected because of their sins, or because they were worse sinners than the elect.
    Instead, just as Christians are chosen based only upon the purposes of God and nothing in them, so also the non-elect are rejected solely due to the good pleasure of God’s will not because of anything in them or anything they have done.
    However, the reason that this rejection leaves them to eternal punishment is because of their sins.
    If they weren’t sinners, this rejection wouldn’t result in their eternal torment.
    So while they are not reprobated because of what they have done, they are punished for what they have done (sin).
    That is, God’s rejection of the reprobate is not because of their sins. ( Just as God’s choice of the elect was not because of any goodness in them), but God’s punishment of the reprobate is because of their sins.

    It is important to see the importance of understanding the truths of unconditional election and unconditional reprobation. These truths are not ugly, but beautiful!”
    From the lips of a Calvinist spreading the angel of lights snare!
    With a few words added like "grace, and love" it's made to go down easier, so THE DEVIL HAS HIS WAY!


    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/11/2008 10:18 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Alvin,

    It would greatly help your credibility in these discussions, Alvin if you stressed that those who are left to perish in their sins have freely chose that this should be the case. Failure on your part to do so leaves you exposed to the charge that either you are being mischievous or that you cannot accurately state your opponents case. Which (as said) impacts upon your credibility one way or the other. Which is a pity.

    On the text in question, Calvin wisely commented:

    And yet a captivity of this nature does not excuse wicked men, so that they do not sin, because it is by the instigation of Satan that they sin; for, although their being carried along so resistlessly to that which is evil proceeds from the dominion of Satan, yet they do nothing by constraint, but are inclined
    with their whole heart to that to which Satan drives them. The result is,that their captivity is voluntary.


    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/11/2008 12:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight

    I heard someone here say it's "like they are all running to hell as fast as they can go and God grabs this one and that one because they ALL wont to go there".
    My brother would use an example of the world and God pulling this one off and sugar coating him and then pulling another off.
    That what I put was a Calvinist explaining his beliefs, it was off the Liver and Onion site.
    Goodnight you can candy coat it anyway you want but it still came from the same place, the pit! Calvin didn't call it a HORRIBLE DECREE for no reason. So your not fooling anyone with your word games!

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/11/2008 2:49 PM  

  • We've been here before, Alvin. You seem to be preaching here to the choir which is well and good if that's what you/they desire. If you want to dismiss my comments as "wordgames" - fine by me. Go ahead. But as I say, there is hardly a Calvinist who will take you seriously if that is the best you can muster by way of discussion.

    Rose: Oops :o)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/11/2008 2:55 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    The Apostle Paul would always remind the Churches of things he had already told them in the past.
    So I believe it is a good idea to remind people that the one who you are calling yourself after "John Calvin" Calvinism, even he himslef called it "A HORRIBLE DECREE FROM GOD!"
    And I think that tells it like it is, and that is enough!!!
    That way you don't just blend in with your words like "a love, grace."

    Calvin: The decree, I admit, is dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and forknew, because he had so ordained by his decree.

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/11/2008 4:09 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight, you started with Calvin in your first post. I finished with him in my last post, his dreadful decree! Satan's snare allot of truth with a big lie!

    good evening
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/11/2008 4:43 PM  

  • Hi Rose:

    I hope that you enjoy your trip to the Creation museum.

    Alvin: Correction. I did not "start" with John Calvin in my first post. I gave first place to the Scripture. I actually concluded my first posting with a quote, whom I but thought came from Calvin and which should be judged on the merits of its truth rather than its speaker which (in the final analysis matters little)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 6/12/2008 10:40 AM  

  • Hi, Rose,

    I hadn't given much thought to this verse before -- thanks again for another thought-provoking post! I thought what both DF & Daniel said (currently oh about 4/5 the way down the page) made good sense...but wait...were they disagreeing? I wouldn't have a problem with interpreting the verse as also referring to regenerate persons -- after all, which one of us would say, "yep, after my coversion I measure up to the glory of God quite well! Haven't sinned even once!" Sometimes we even sin egregiously -- intentionally and rebelliously. Sometimes we think we have licked a particular sin only to find it sneak up on us again through our lack of vigilence and dependence on God. I could see those as "the devil's snares."

    This may be another rabbit's trail ;) but it reminds me of a saying I once heard -- Catholics see Mary in everything (including grilled cheese sandwiches! --sorry, couldn't resist) and Protestants see the devil in everything. Do I "need" the devil or his snares to sin...or am I quite capable of it on my own? What is the active influence or snare of the devil, and what is due to my own struggling remaining sin nature?

    I heard someone once make the point that Satan, as a created being, does not have the "omni-" powers of God. He is not omnipresent, omniscient, etc. Just the idea that Satan is not omnipresent really changed my thinking about Satan -- with over 6 billion people on the planet, I don't think he has much time to focus on me -- unlike with God, where, even if all 6 billion plus prayed to Him at the same time I wouldn't worry that He couldn't hear my prayer.

    However, this isn't something I've spent much time thinking about or talking about with friends -- I prefer to think more about God, frankly! -- so I have no idea whether that sounds "weird" or is in line with the majority of orthodox Christian thinking. Would love to hear others' thoughts.

    All the best,
    Jennifer

    By OpenID pointnine, at 6/14/2008 12:49 PM  

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