There's a video at the end of this post where the following text is an answer:
Here's a Simple Thing about Calvinism versus Arminianism, Predestination versus Free Will.
In the New Testament of the Bible, the letter to the Romans is attributed to Paul. It says, "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God." (Romans 3:11 KJV)
Also in the New Testament, it is written that Jesus said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33 KJV)
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:" (Matthew 7:7 KJV)
Those are not the only places where Jesus used the term "seek" as a verb, an action to take.
Even Paul wrote, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6 KJV)
The Calvinists emphasize the predestined aspect. However, it is not necessary to say that there is no simultaneous free will of the soul.
The difficulty here lies in the notion that we are living out life as if we are watching a movie. We are playing roles that are predetermined even though we don't know the details of the story in advance, at least not always, unless those details are revealed to us by God who does know. So, the definition of the term "seek" as used above takes on more than one connotation and introduces a paradox that is true.
We seek but we are given to seek if we do it. If we don't do it, if we freely choose not to do it, then it was not, and is not, given to us by God to do it at that time. That's a true paradox.
In a different context, I have also called this type of situation a false paradox, meaning that it really isn't paradoxical if one views it from the perspective of divine logic; however, when I say it is a true paradox, I am allowing that others view it paradoxically, even though I have no difficulty being reconciled to the inherent logic that both aspects are true at the same time, which shows forth God's infinity.
The problem arises when human beings insist upon comprehending this via Aristotelian logic, which just doesn't handle it, much the same way Newtonian physics doesn't handle Einsteinian physics, which in turn, doesn't handle quantum mechanics, and on and on to include many things not yet even perceived at all via any of mankind's physical senses or scientific methods or equipment.
Look, we are to become one with God who is not bound by this "Calvinistic" predestination. What does that make us in the final analysis? The predestine part is our subservient part until we fully join, in which case we will not be fallen, we will not usurp, we will not err, we will be perfect. Can we grasp this now? We aren't there yet, even though we are in terms of predestination/historicism.
This is all part of the language of the revelation of Jesus. Humanity is not used to speaking or thinking in these terms. We have learned self-limiting language through usage. A new language takes us closer to God, returns us to God. Those who don't learn it, aren't given to learn it, don't choose to learn it. If they choose to and do it, they were chosen to by God. There's nothing wrong with this. It allows choice, as in Jesus calling us to seek God, and gives credit to God at the same time for having sent Jesus to do that and having given it to us to do, allowing us to want to, to the extent that we can do nothing else — we can't reject the truth. Others can. We aren't free to. They are free to.
However, "free" there is contextual too. The truth sets us free. They reject the truth. They are not free. You see there two different freedoms. One is righteousness. The other is its opposite. Both are understood within the language of the revelation even while the unrighteous one is not understood by the righteous. There's another contextual shift.
That's all that is going on in the scripture concerning these things. The contexts shift. The terms take on different and multiple meanings depending. It's an anti-Christ error to think the word is stuck within Aristotelianism.
Now, Calvinists can define Calvinism as other than the fruits of Calvin-ism (hyphen intentional). Calvinism has been used to excuse hyper-acquisitiveness, hyper-capitalism. It has been used to bad mouth the poor as the predestined-lazy. The Protestant Work Ethic came out from this Calvinism and Lutheranism and to a much lesser extent, Arminianism.
I don't say that a Calvinist can't divorce himself or herself from such fruits. They do it, and it doesn't prove them hyper-acquisitive or negatively judgmental about all poor people, etc. However, why, if Calvin had so much so fundamentally right, if his theology and emphasis was and is so guiding, did Calvin the man make so many fundamental errors in his human-to-human dealings? Was he insincere? Did he not live his Calvinism? Was Jesus wrong in saying that we shall know people by their fruits? These are legitimate issues I raise here.
I have trouble with Calvin the man. I disagree with many of the choices he made while claiming to be a Christian leader. I also do not wish to split the hairs of any combination of the 5-points of Calvinism until there is no hair left and we are all still standing here or sitting here not bringing forth fruits worthy of repentance.
I've also dealt with the Solas before too on this same level and with the same challenge remaining. Bring forth if you are right. Where are the Calvinist flocking to bring forth the Christian Commons?
Well, if the poor are predestined and if it's faith alone and the rest, then it's convenient and we don't have to worry about Jesus's words:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:36-40 KJV)
The Christian Commons can do all of that, but I don't receive the help from the Calvinists. Why not?
They know these versus but in ways that are convenient to their capitalist acquisitiveness and hoarding, they ignore them:
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (Acts 2:44-45 KJV)
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. (Acts 4:32 KJV)
Read these verses too. They scream out that the Calvinists and others need to start emphasizing getting the work done. I've been calling for years for people to help me to translate the mammon into the Christian Commons. Where are they? They stand off talking and writing and putting me down. That's where.
By Keith Thompson (aka, KeithTruth)
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)