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Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

For those who like to discuss and debate theology. This is a forum for people who enjoy strong and lively debate with people who may not be likeminded. Participants are requested to always treat other opinions with respect.

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby jo555 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:11 pm

Haven't been around much as gots a lot going on, but wanted to say that recently I wrote a new article on grace (although it needs pruning as I branched out much, so not out there yet).

Anyway, I wanted to write it as I have heard much on grace on my journey, yet it can appear to me that those that seem to speak the loudest on grace seem to know little of it and see it as a free ticket to indulge their flesh (at least, what I've come across in the past).

And, not that I've arrived in my knowledge of grace (deepening revelation is necessary / needed), yet understanding the topic of God's choosing to be merciful to whom He will be merciful to for his purposes, has helped me much in regards to grace and thought it may help others.

Anyway, wanted to say that.

First time I heard of Molinism, but I do know that there are others that believe God foreknew who would choose Him and that is how the election process began. I haven't looked into that angle at a deeper level so I have no revelatory understanding there. Yet, I do know there are some scriptures that do seem to point in that direction . . . although from what I know now of election and the many scriptures there, I can't say I buy into the Molinism view, but as I said, haven't looked into that angle deeper.

:wink:
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby jo555 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:52 pm

Come forth wrote:CD wrote

If we could choose "righteousness" all on our own, why did Jesus have to die? I'm pretty convinced that the only "right" thing we can choose to do on our own is fall at His feet and claim HIS righteousness and all the Grace that comes with that--and, we can't even do that until we see ourselves in need of that. The call is personal. The relationship is personal. There has to be a moment in time for each and every one of us where we KNOW we have entered into LIFE with Jesus. We are all like Lazarus, dead in our graves, until we hear Jesus calling us forth. Dead men and women cannot bring themselves to life.


This is extremely well said; however it is not Calvinist because, even though the personal choice is to simply fall at the feet of the Lord, it is still personal choice.

It is impossible for us to be righteous in our own strength or to even consider the power of our choice to be stronger than the evil which our hearts store. This is where the argument of these different voices fails; it doesn't understand the truth behind the choice that one makes. I cannot make a choice to fight my carnal nature alone and be saved. However, as you so beautifully put it, I can choose to believe the truth that in Him all things are possible and fall at His feet in surrender.

I firmly believe that many parables and Scriptures support Mike's point about God calling everyone (2Peter 3:9) and that it is His desire that none should fail to choose life. When we do choose life, that in no way detracts from the Truth that life is only available to us because of what God the Father has done to make it available; but nor does it detract from the fact that if we do not choose life then death is the alternative.

As I look at either A or C I see that one minimizes God's Sovereign power and authority while the other turns God into a despot who creates humans for the fires of hell (or whatever your understanding of hell is). Neither accepts the truth of the other. At first glance, I still need to study more, molinism appears to want to embrace the truths of the other two; and that sounds far more Scripturally sound to me.

Of course, it is the supporters of any one of these concepts who become the opponents of the others. There is a grave danger in having an open mind to the beliefs and ideas of how Scripture is interpreted, but there is also a great need for us to be open to hear the Truth. As we explore these thoughts and ideas in a forum such as this we can become the prophetic counsel that leads us deeper into the Light of Truth.

Blessings, Graham.


Graham, tried to read what you wrote but am a bit rushed so do forgive me if I didn't get you. I just wanted to add some thoughts for your prayerful consideration.

I don't think anyone is arguing that one must choose. There has always been the choice, even back in the garden. The problem was never the choice. The problem was that man leans towards self-centeredness and being their own gods (where sin is birthed) because they do not love the Father as they should. They need more. The choice just reveals are need for more.

Being created in the image of God, and being one with God are two different things.

Again, something you may know and am short on time, but hope to return . . .
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby Paula22466 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:06 pm

Come forth wrote:There is a mile of difference between us. And a thousand miles between God 'having' favorites and 'playing' favorites; which is totally against Scripture (and I sort of feel this is so obvious that quoting Scripture on the subject is becoming a waste as everyone simply places their own interpretations on them).


I don't understand why you keep bringing up the "favoritism" thing. No one has said God plays favorites, as a matter of fact I have said just the opposite, Romans 3:10. I don't claim to know why God chooses who He does, I only know the Bible says it has nothing to do with works, Romans 9:11.

How we can deny the 'choosing' power of man (or the choosing power of God for that matter) leaves me dumbfounded.


You have said I am not "listening" to you, and yet here you go again, not listening to me. How many times have I said that I believe all people do have the "choosing" power? Yet all people, because we are fallen, sinful, creatures, will always choose sin and never choose righteousness - Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:11-12, Romans 5:6, Romans 8:7-8, Ephesians 2:1, John 6:44. God does tell us to choose - when we preach the Gospel we ask people to choose - we do it because preaching, hearing the gospel, is the means God has chosen to bring people to Himself. I don't claim to understand it perfectly, I just believe it.


but Calvinism is wrong; that's right, wrong.

Graham, it's so refreshing to see you actually take a stand on something for a change. :)

I find some of the questions aimed at me by you Paula to almost reflect the fact that you did not even attempt to read what I was really saying. You take things out of context and often insinuate, by proxy, that I am dumb.


I think you are an intelligent, articulate, godly man (whose theology is a bit off). I do not think you're dumb by any means and apologize if I've given you that impression.
Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious. - Author Unknown

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby Paula22466 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:26 pm

beaedwards wrote:
I have learned that the Rock I must stand on is contained in scripture and that I am called to seek the Truth meekly, humbly and with the Spirit's guidance.


I believe the same. Ok, I have trouble with the meek thing sometimes. I do not ordinarily label myself, A, M, C, or anything else. But when the theology begins being discussed, I guess it becomes apparent what one believes or not. It's just, for me, the A is so far from what Scripture teaches that it confuses me and in some sense, angers me to think Christians don't know their Bible better than that (I am NOT referring to anyone on this forum). According to a recent poll I read, over 80% of Christians do not read Scripture regularly and have never even read through the entire Bible once. Another poll revealed a majority of Christians thought Sodom and Gomorrah were a husband and wife and less than half polled could name the four Gospels. Sad.

I just want to be true to what the Bible reveals to be true, I do not hold allegiance to any label. If someone could show me with Scripture that my beliefs thus far are not biblical, I would hear them. I know this is true because I've done it before (not saying it was easy). I think if we are honestly seeking to know God through all of this, and not just "be right" - He will reveal more and more.
Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious. - Author Unknown

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby Come forth » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:54 pm

Bea wrote

What I'm trying to say is that I have come to the realization that to call myself a Calvinist, an Armenian or a Molinist takes away from my ability to glean Truth from each of these systems while remaining true to my stance on His Word and Truth. In other words I am a C,A, and M.


I think if you read my posts, that has been my main point throughout all. There is right and wrong in it all. There are good valid points in all and some points which are actually hard to justify and balance. I have labored hard to bring across a view which is accepting what is right in each point of view and sharing that which I feel needs a closer look.

I have said in an earlier post, maybe on another thread, that when the fullness of the Lord's Wisdom is revealed, all sides of the argument (A, C and M) are going to have to apologize to each other for what they judged as wrong and accept each other in what was right.

Bea also wrote]

Paula and Graham please repent, humble yourselves - hug and make up!!


I earlier wrote this:

I'm sorry if I come across strongly, but I'm confused at how some have reached conclusions based on things I have said.


and this:

I'm sorry that I have eventually reacted to you Paula, but I am tired of the way you come across.


I think my apologetic heart is evidenced right here. However, once again I will apologize and make it clear that I am sorry if I have offended anybody. I add no buts, justifications or challengers to this apology. Just simply, "I am sorry for my reaction."

I will return later to look at the posts which are on topic and attempt to discuss; while ignoring that which should be ignored.

Blessings, Graham.
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby Come forth » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:07 pm

Paula said:
I believe the same. Ok, I have trouble with the meek thing sometimes. I do not ordinarily label myself, A, M, C, or anything else.


Paula, I think, am pretty sure, that if you look in another thread you actually state quite clearly that you are a Calvinist. you say that you did not use to be but after research you now are.

I post this not to be argumentative but just to seek clarity.

Actually, I went back and checked. Here is the post; from another thread but posted by you:

I was a staunch Armenian when I joined these forums many years ago and because I was willing to listen and take to heart to what others said, plus tons of digging in the scriptures for myself, of course - I am now a Calvinist. (the change did not come easy or without kicking and screaming)


It's on the bottom of page 3 of the "Man is unable to choose to believe on his own!" thread if you would like to check it.

I also apologize to you here, personally, for reacting to you.

I will not be answering any of your personal questions from this point on, so please do not ask them, and I will only discuss theology separate to personalities.

Blessings, Graham
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby Paula22466 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:57 pm

Come forth wrote:Paula said:
I believe the same. Ok, I have trouble with the meek thing sometimes. I do not ordinarily label myself, A, M, C, or anything else.


Paula, I think, am pretty sure, that if you look in another thread you actually state quite clearly that you are a Calvinist. you say that you did not use to be but after research you now are.

I post this not to be argumentative but just to seek clarity.

If I may clarify - I do believe most things that Calvinism teaches and am not in the least bit ashamed to call myself a Calvinist - because I believe Calvinism is biblical. But I do not make it a habit of calling myself, or I do not seek to make it known that I'm a Calvinist in ordinary Christian circles. However, for the sake of a theology discussion, particularly the subject matter we were discussing in the other thread, it's just easier to say "I'm a Calvinist," than to try and explain what I believe.

When I said I do not label myself, at the heart of what I meant is that I do not hang my hat on any one set of beliefs so much so that I am not willing to listen, learn, or even change my mind if led to (I think I made that clear later in the post).

I also believe, in another thread, I talked about how calling reformed theology "Calvinism," is not totally correct, since reformed theology was around long before John Calvin.
Last edited by Paula22466 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby carpenterdaughter » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:02 pm

Okay . . . who's going to do it? Who's going to say it? Shall we just ignore the elephant in the room and pray that the Lord do the convicting that needs to be done? Shall we just walk away from this in our frustration and say, "It is not my place"? Shall we stand back, knowing full well that there are probably times when we have behaved badly ourselves and were desperately in need of correction or perhaps could be now--so we say nothing--because to say something is to create more confusion and more division?

I am a high school teacher. It is the spring of the year when students are notoriously full of themselves and full of the readiness to be finished for the year. I have spent all day long dealing with teenagers who are full of themselves. It wears my patience thin and causes me to resort to "plain speech," with them instead of the normally soft and kind exhortation which is normally my style. But sometimes, sometimes . . . saying it "nicely" falls on deaf ears. Sometimes you just have to call it like you see it. That is what I am about to do--and I do it, knowing that when I do, I may not sound as "nice" as I like to sound and that I am opening myself up to having every single one of my weak moments painfully brought to light.

Paula and Graham, stop it. Stop it with the personal attacks and the sparring contest over who is right and who is wrong. Even when you are appearing to behave apologetically to one another, it is perfectly clear to me that what is most important for both of you right now is that one of you get the upperhand. Again, what a waste! What is the point of arguing with each other and pointing out personalities when the "world" will eat you up enough as it is? I came to this discussion seeking encouragement, and right now I'm just mad and very disappointed.

We Believers sometimes like to think that we always behave appropriately and always treat others with respect, but the truth is that we are subject to the same kinds of ego contests as everyone else. I know. I am too--and please anyone who ever sees me behaving in a way that belittles my brothers or sisters, whether it is on purpose or accidental, PLEASE, correct me. I would prefer to be corrected in love and in private, but sometimes that just can't happen. And, I do not mean to embarrass either of you two--but if you can't come to the table and discuss something like this without resorting to "veiled" posturing, you aren't doing anything at all but making people look at you and not at Jesus, which is who we are supposed to be pointing to in the first place.

Yea . . .I know. Why do I think I have the right to correct either of you? Who do I think I am? I know who I am. I am a "worm," just like the two of you. We are mere worms who have been shown mercy by God's Grace. Going around trying to be a better worm than my neighbor worm doesn't change the fact that I'm still a worm.

BOTH of you are missing the most important point of this entire discussion. People will die and go to hell without salvation. We have been given a charge to deliver the message of the gospel. "There is only one way: Jesus." All the rest doesn't matter, in the end, and isn't up to either of you. We may equip ourselves by discussing such things with each other, but if the end result turns into veiled insults hurled at one another, I am pretty sure that the Lord is not pleased with that, and I know I'm not. I get enough of that kind of "garbage" from out there--in the world, and I'm pretty sure there is a lot more "garbage" coming from the world straight at those who would dare to stand and say that Jesus is the answer for every problem known to man. Stop doing to each other what the world is going to do to you! Stop it.

Well, there you go. There was "teacher" me. Now, "Sister" me wants to make a heart-felt appeal. Please, play nice! I NEED a place to come where I can share and talk without being afraid that someone is going to smugly discredit me. I get enough of that from the world. This isn't about us, y'all. It is not about us. It's about the message of REDEMPTION coming by the blood of our Savior. I NEED encouragement from my Brothers and Sisters so that I will be strengthened to go out there and speak the truth to a world that is dead-set against it. Don't make this just another place where people argue and fight and try to be a better worm than their neighbor.

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby Paula22466 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:19 pm

CD - you are completely right. I humbly take my scolding. Thanks.
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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby carpenterdaughter » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:20 pm

Just want to add one last thing--

I appreciate the opportunity to have exchanges and challenges. You know, "Iron sharpeneth iron," and I am fully confident that God is bigger than all of us and will use these exchanges to perfect us and ground us. That's what He's about. He wants us useful for Kingdom purposes, and He'll get us there, no matter how painful or embarrassing the process is for us. Again, it's not about our comfort. It is very much about HIS message to a dying world.

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby mikeedwards » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:09 am

:brrr Just had to put this guy here. Never get to use him. Love you all! Just like a family.

Love the teacher. Reminds me of that old SNL skit I think. class, Class, CLASS! Cannot remember the rest.

Okay, I am a dad and have 4 boys. They are all young and they are all depraved in a child like way. They all want to do what they want, they are selfish, self centered. They are playing with a toy and when they see their brother pick up a toy they want that one instead. They all bicker, they all fight. They name call and point fingers. They ignore me much of the time and pay more attention to the things I have given them than they do to me the giver of the things. Sometimes they hit me, they all have when they were angry and say they don't love me anymore. They all have talked behind my back and called me names at times, when they were mad at me. They have all disobeyed direct orders many times. They even disobey my direct order to them to not show favoritism. Hanging out with the rich kids neighbors and shunning that poor family across the street. How did they learn this behavior? Why can they not understand that partiality is wrong? Can't they hear what I am telling them? I even put it in writing and posted it on their wall.

Since the kids need to understand what is right and wrong on a regular basis I hand out punishment as any good parent needs to do. Well at least I do to three of them. The fourth one is the cutest and the smartest, at least I think so. He seems to love me more so I think I must love him more too. He is simply the best of the four in my eyes. I do not want to alienate him so when he does wrong I do not punish him and show him grace, undeserved favor. As a matter of fact I have set up a scholarship fund for him alone so he can succeed and placed him in my will as the sole heir. I have pretty much guaranteed his future success. The other three will need to make it on their own. The system has welfare and will take care of the outcasts.

Some people say I am wrong and partial, show favoritism. The other three kids included. I always point out to them that they have all earned punishment, justice for their wrongdoing. Grace on the other hand is not deserved so as the father I can bestow grace on whomever I desire.
I can and I desire to show everlasting grace to my one boy. None of them deserve grace. Grace by definition cannot be deserved.

Am I showing partiality? They are my kids and I created them with moms help of course. What am I teaching them?

If I am missing something here I want to know it.
We need God's Grace because of God's Truth.

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby Colswann1 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:44 am

I have not read this long involved thread but would like to make a mention of Calvinism (which some of my friends quote) and its pre-Election: if you say some are pre-elected by God and some are not, then did Jesus just die for his elect and never for those who were not his elect. How then did Christ die for all, and for the whole world, if there was no chance of some ever being chosen?
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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby Come forth » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:52 pm

CD wrote
BOTH of you are missing the most important point of this entire discussion. People will die and go to hell without salvation. We have been given a charge to deliver the message of the gospel. "There is only one way: Jesus." All the rest doesn't matter, in the end, and isn't up to either of you.


:bow

I accept all that is said in appreciation of the correction.

I offer a no excuse apology to all who have followed this thread.

With thanks, Graham
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby Paula22466 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:08 pm

Come forth wrote:CD wrote
BOTH of you are missing the most important point of this entire discussion. People will die and go to hell without salvation. We have been given a charge to deliver the message of the gospel. "There is only one way: Jesus." All the rest doesn't matter, in the end, and isn't up to either of you.


:bow

I accept all that is said in appreciation of the correction.

I offer a no excuse apology to all who have followed this thread.

With thanks, Graham

Ditto. I'm thankful for the correction, I do need it from time to time.

And the rest of this post is not directed at anyone in particular!

Today I was pondering about why these discussions concerning God's sovereignty/free will, Calvinism, whatever you want to call them - almost always get out of hand. Not only in this medium but "real life" too. Theology classes all over the world have been divided.

So I thought about what usually triggers my offense. For me, it happens when the opposition, either directly or indirectly, accuses me of doing damage to God's character i.e. the God of Calvinism is not loving, not merciful, is not the God of the Bible, is an evil dictator, etc. When this happens, and it almost always does, it flies directly in the face of who I actually believe God is, i.e. loving, merciful, benevolent.

Then I thought about what used to drive me crazy when I was on the other side of the fence. The reformed person always had a full arsenal of Scripture to support their view, but would often refuse to deal with the obvious tension regarding opposing Scripture. I realize I am guilty of this too. There is an obvious paradox here of which cannot be denied.

I think conversations about any aspect of God can be healthy and beneficial if carefully guarded, so I would just offer these few things I thought of in hopes of all of us being able to discuss a controversial topic and yet keep in mind the obvious pressure points. If nothing else, they force us to dig into our Bibles.
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Re: Calvinism, Armenianism, Molinism

Postby Paula22466 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:37 pm

mikeedwards wrote::brrr Just had to put this guy here. Never get to use him. Love you all! Just like a family.

Love the teacher. Reminds me of that old SNL skit I think. class, Class, CLASS! Cannot remember the rest.


I do not like the brrrr guy, it's been a long winter here in Ohio :) Yes, just like a family...I thank God for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I don't, and never did have much of a family, earthly speaking. (*EDIT! I have a wonderful husband and one beautiful child, I am speaking of extended family)

If I am missing something here I want to know it.

I think what you are missing is justice. A father has an obligation to his children to be both loving and just. Although it's true, in your example, the punishment of the naughty boys is well deserved and the favoritism of the favorite boy could fall under the definition of mercy (receiving that which one does not deserve).

You said when the favored boy does wrong you do not punish him - this is the rub. It is not "just" to not punish him. God is both just and loving. You have no just basis to dismiss the favored boy from punishment. The Christian's basis for avoiding punishment is the fact that Christ took our punishment on the cross. (I know, at this moment, you are saying - of course, I knew that! :)

I think a more appropriate scenario would be that of a courtroom. Picture a judge, and a table of five defendants who are nameless and faceless, all five have committed the same exact crime which is punishable by death.

The judge finds them all guilty, but since this is a special day (let's call it Scapegoat day) one member of the town can agree to take the punishment for one defendant, thus setting that one person free.

Surprisingly, a town member comes forth on Scapegoat day and says, "I will take the punishment of death for one of these men." The judge, being bound by the law of the day and not willing that the innocent man's death be for nought, agrees to let one person go free. How does the judge pick who gets to go free? I have no idea! :) And I don't think it matters, because all eyes are on the incredibly selfless, sacrificial, and loving act of the innocent man and not on the one who goes free. I realize this is a very simplistic example and leaves out some important theological truths - but maybe it will help.
Last edited by Paula22466 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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