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#1 Jesse2W

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:55 AM

Please give short answers, I'm not looking for a comprehensive answer. Thanks! :)

What is meant by we are not predestined un-conditionally to salvation?

Would Christadelphians accept me if I insisted on voting in politics?

What Biblical evidence do we have to support Jesus could not have pre-existed his birth?

Would Christadelphians accept me if I believe Jesus is literally the word of God that became a human (Jesus)? - an aspect of God made purely human; distinct and lesser, but purely human.

What does it matter if one is baptized in the trinitarian formula or just in Jesus' name?

#2 nsr

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:47 AM

What is meant by we are not predestined un-conditionally to salvation?

It means that we have to respond to God's calling and do something in order to accept his offer of salvation. We are not in a state of "once saved always saved".

Would Christadelphians accept me if I insisted on voting in politics?

In most cases I imagine that would be seriously frowned on. Whether it would be considered something that meant you couldn't be in fellowship, would depend on which ecclesia you spoke to. Our citizenship is in heaven; we accept that God is in complete control of all human governments, be they good or bad, and we cannot determine what God's will is in terms of who should be in power in any particular country.

What Biblical evidence do we have to support Jesus could not have pre-existed his birth?

He was a mortal man like you or me, who didn't exist before being conceived in his mother's womb. There aren't any passages which explicitly say "Jesus did not pre-exist before his birth" because that idea didn't exist at the time so there would be no reason to refute it. There are passages which speak of him "foreknown" from the foundation of the world. If he was "foreknown" then he didn't exist at the time.

Would Christadelphians accept me if I believe Jesus is literally the word of God that became a human (Jesus)? - an aspect of God made purely human; distinct and
lesser, but purely human.

Jesus is the word of God "made flesh" because of the way he lived his life, manifesting God's character, not because of anything in his nature. He had the same nature you and I do. Jesus had our nature but God's character, which is what makes him so special and unique.

What does it matter if one is baptized in the trinitarian formula or just in Jesus' name?

What do you mean exactly? Jesus told us to baptise in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, so that's what we do.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#3 Jesse2W

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:02 PM


What is meant by we are not predestined un-conditionally to salvation?

It means that we have to respond to God's calling and do something in order to accept his offer of salvation. We are not in a state of "once saved always saved".

If you're born of the spirit how can you still suffer the second death? When exactly is a person "born again?"


Would Christadelphians accept me if I insisted on voting in politics?

In most cases I imagine that would be seriously frowned on. Whether it would be considered something that meant you couldn't be in fellowship, would depend on which ecclesia you spoke to. Our citizenship is in heaven; we accept that God is in complete control of all human governments, be they good or bad, and we cannot determine what God's will is in terms of who should be in power in any particular country.

He's in control of the rain so why water our plants? (I'll have to discuss this in detail with another educated Christadelphian in person someday.)

What Biblical evidence do we have to support Jesus could not have pre-existed his birth?

He was a mortal man like you or me, who didn't exist before being conceived in his mother's womb. There aren't any passages which explicitly say "Jesus did not pre-exist before his birth" because that idea didn't exist at the time so there would be no reason to refute it. There are passages which speak of him "foreknown" from the foundation of the world. If he was "foreknown" then he didn't exist at the time.

Thanks!

Would Christadelphians accept me if I believe Jesus is literally the word of God that became a human (Jesus)? - an aspect of God made purely human; distinct and
lesser, but purely human.

Jesus is the word of God "made flesh" because of the way he lived his life, manifesting God's character, not because of anything in his nature. He had the same nature you and I do. Jesus had our nature but God's character, which is what makes him so special and unique.

Yes, but since he is still the word of God made flesh he can be called the word of God even though Jesus does not = the word of God.


What does it matter if one is baptized in the trinitarian formula or just in Jesus' name?

What do you mean exactly? Jesus told us to baptise in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, so that's what we do.

Apparently according to some research I've done a lot of early Christians were just baptized in Jesus' name because they either didn't have Mathew or the version of Mathew that says to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Does it effect salvation or obedience if you are baptized in the shorthand version? Does it effect salvation if you are baptized in the trinitarian formula if it was an interpolation?

Edited by Jesse2W, 07 September 2011 - 07:05 PM.


#4 nsr

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:09 PM

If you're born of the spirit how can you still suffer the second death? When exactly is a person "born again?"

The second death is eternal destruction after being rejected by Christ at the judgement seat. That doesn't happen to those who are born again of the spirit. A person is born again when they are baptised.

He's in control of the rain so why water our plants? (I'll have to discuss this in detail with another educated Christadelphian in person someday.)

Because having to work for our food is part of the curse of Adam.

Thanks!

No problem :)

Yes, but since he is still the word of God made flesh he can be called the word of God even though Jesus does not = the word of God.

Yes, he can be called that (Rev 19:13). As long as you understand it's all to do with Jesus' character and not his nature.

Apparently according to some research I've done a lot of early Christians were just baptized in Jesus' name because they either didn't have Mathew or the version of Mathew that says to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Does it effect salvation or obedience if you are baptized in the shorthand version? Does it effect salvation if you are baptized in the trinitarian formula if it was an interpolation?

I don't know which early Christians you're referring to, so I can't comment on those. Ultimately baptism is more to do with the internal commitment and promise to serve God, rather than the outward "ritual", for want of a better word. I believe God will accept people who technically weren't baptised "properly", such as the thief on the cross beside Jesus, as long as the reason they didn't do it "properly" was due to inability rather than unwillingness.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#5 Jesse2W

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:14 AM


If you're born of the spirit how can you still suffer the second death? When exactly is a person "born again?"

The second death is eternal destruction after being rejected by Christ at the judgement seat. That doesn't happen to those who are born again of the spirit. A person is born again when they are baptised.


If all who are baptized will be saved then what happens to those who have been baptized and turn into atheists later? What if they repent? How does "once saved always saved" play into being dead to God, then being born again, and then being a new creation? Does the new creation have to die for you to lose salvation? Does it just need to repent, but not be re-re-born?


He's in control of the rain so why water our plants? (I'll have to discuss this in detail with another educated Christadelphian in person someday.)

Because having to work for our food is part of the curse of Adam.

And government wasn't? Everything was cursed and infected with sin. Does God not want his people to help facilitate better civil government? Christadelphians are not going to get in God's way by voting.


Yes, but since he is still the word of God made flesh he can be called the word of God even though Jesus does not = the word of God.

Yes, he can be called that (Rev 19:13). As long as you understand it's all to do with Jesus' character and not his nature.

Yeah, I don't see how being the word of God made flesh affects his nature or actually makes him the invisible God. However, it does necessitate a close and inseparable relationship between him and God.

#6 Chrlsp

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 07:25 AM

A person is born again when he is baptized? which baptism, the N.T. mentions 3 baptism's?

A person is born again when he is baptized and a born again(of the spirit) person will not suffer second death?

When you say born again and born again of the spirit are you referring to the same thing. The same definition of born again?

#7 nsr

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:01 AM

If all who are baptized will be saved then what happens to those who have been baptized and turn into atheists later? What if they repent? How does "once saved always saved" play into being dead to God, then being born again, and then being a new creation? Does the new creation have to die for you to lose salvation? Does it just need to repent, but not be re-re-born?

Oh, I see what you mean. I don't think that all who are baptised will be saved. Being baptised is the first step towards salvation - being born again, it's the start of a new spiritual life. What you do from then on determines what will happen to you at the judgement seat, whether you are still spiritually alive or if you have become spiritually dead.

And government wasn't? Everything was cursed and infected with sin. Does God not want his people to help facilitate better civil government? Christadelphians are not going to get in God's way by voting.

The instructions in the NT are to respect and obey those who are in power over us, whether they are good or bad. By what authority can we decide what government is "better"? Ultimately all human governments are going to fail because of human nature.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#8 Jesse2W

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 01:36 AM

A person is born again when he is baptized? which baptism, the N.T. mentions 3 baptism's?

A person is born again when he is baptized and a born again(of the spirit) person will not suffer second death?

When you say born again and born again of the spirit are you referring to the same thing. The same definition of born again?


I almost asked the same thing.

#9 Jesse2W

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 01:49 AM


If all who are baptized will be saved then what happens to those who have been baptized and turn into atheists later? What if they repent? How does "once saved always saved" play into being dead to God, then being born again, and then being a new creation? Does the new creation have to die for you to lose salvation? Does it just need to repent, but not be re-re-born?

Oh, I see what you mean. I don't think that all who are baptised will be saved. Being baptised is the first step towards salvation - being born again, it's the start of a new spiritual life. What you do from then on determines what will happen to you at the judgement seat, whether you are still spiritually alive or if you have become spiritually dead.


But, if you're a new creation and then go apostate (die), then do you have to be baptized and be re-re-born? What about 1 John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us," and when Jesus said "depart from me for I never knew you"


And government wasn't? Everything was cursed and infected with sin. Does God not want his people to help facilitate better civil government? Christadelphians are not going to get in God's way by voting.

The instructions in the NT are to respect and obey those who are in power over us, whether they are good or bad. By what authority can we decide what government is "better"? Ultimately all human governments are going to fail because of human nature.


The government has limited authority. Part of the authority belongs to the people in a democratic republic. I am willing to be convinced but I have not been given even one solid reason why I shouldn't vote for who my conscious leads me to vote for after prayer and thoughtfulness to the subject. By what authority do you decide which charity is better to give to? It has everything to do with conscience.

Edited by Jesse2W, 09 September 2011 - 02:09 AM.


#10 Chrlsp

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 03:32 AM


A person is born again when he is baptized? which baptism, the N.T. mentions 3 baptism's?

A person is born again when he is baptized and a born again(of the spirit) person will not suffer second death?

When you say born again and born again of the spirit are you referring to the same thing. The same definition of born again?


I almost asked the same thing.


A person is NOT born again when he is baptized. He is born again when he is either translated or raised from the dead immortal.

Edited by Chrlsp, 09 September 2011 - 03:34 AM.


#11 Mark Taunton

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 06:20 AM



And government wasn't? Everything was cursed and infected with sin. Does God not want his people to help facilitate better civil government? Christadelphians are not going to get in God's way by voting.

The instructions in the NT are to respect and obey those who are in power over us, whether they are good or bad. By what authority can we decide what government is "better"? Ultimately all human governments are going to fail because of human nature.


The government has limited authority. Part of the authority belongs to the people in a democratic republic. I am willing to be convinced but I have not been given even one solid reason why I shouldn't vote for who my conscious leads me to vote for after prayer and thoughtfulness to the subject. By what authority do you decide which charity is better to give to? It has everything to do with conscience.

Germany had democracy in the 1920s and 30s. If you had lived there then, who would you have voted for, according to your conscience? Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists? Surely not!

Yet, according to the purpose of the God who rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he wills, that man was raised up and allowed to have power over others for a short time. Enough people voted for Hitler to allow him to take control, because there is more going on this world than we might suppose from our personal perspective. Dreadful as it might seem, it is true that God had prepared even that wicked man for the day of evil, and by his terrible and vile plot furthered his own purpose with his people, the Jews, through the horrors that came upon them at the hands of the Nazis. Just as in ancient times he allowed Israel's enemies to gain power over them when they had rebelled against their God, in order to bring back a remnant to humble acceptance of his ways, so God was working out his will with the Jews in Europe, such that a chastened remnant would be left with no alternative but to go back to the land he promised to their fathers. And indeed, just three years after the end of the war in Europe, the modest numbers who had previously chosen to live there were joined by survivors of Hitler's onslaught, and swelled to sufficient strength that they could declare themselves to be the independent nation of Israel, a reality in the earth once more. That event, caused to occur out of such enormous suffering and sorrow, was likewise in accordance with the plan and revealed will of God.

If you had been in Germany, and voted against the National Socialists, you would actually have been fighting against God. Making a mark on a piece of paper may seem a small thing, but it can have very large consequences.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 09 September 2011 - 06:21 AM.


#12 Jesse2W

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 06:34 AM

If you had been in Germany, and voted against the National Socialists, you would actually have been fighting against God. Making a mark on a piece of paper may seem a small thing, but it can have very large consequences.


If you try ANYTHING that is unsuccessful, then according to that reasoning you are fighting against God because He works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

#13 Mark Taunton

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:51 AM


If you had been in Germany, and voted against the National Socialists, you would actually have been fighting against God. Making a mark on a piece of paper may seem a small thing, but it can have very large consequences.


If you try ANYTHING that is unsuccessful, then according to that reasoning you are fighting against God because He works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

I don't understand what you are saying here. "Success" or "failure", as we might measure it, does not in itself prove whether one's individual actions are in accordance with God's will. The two things are independent. There can in fact be a strong apparent opposition between two aspects of "God's will", at different levels, but in such cases, we generally do not know what the detail of God's greater purpose is. So what matters is our conforming to his commands to us as individuals, and leaving God to deal with the rest.

For example, at the time of the exodus, God purposed to release his people from bondage. Pharaoh's actions were resistant to God's clearly expressed command to him that he let Israel go out of his land. On a personal level, he was therefore in direct opposition to God, and is condemned for this error. Yet at the level of God's higher purpose in the world, Pharaoh was doing exactly what God knew would do, and in that way God's will was accomplished, through his resistance, such that God's name was glorified in all the earth, exactly as he told Pharaoh it would be. We know God was successful in that respect, and Pharaoh failed, because 40 years later, Rahab knew all about what Yahweh had done to the Egyptians (Josh 2:9-11) and even 400 years later, the Philistines still knew (1 Sam 6:5-6). So Pharaoh did God's will in one sense, and yet he did not in the other. In the way that worked out, he was brought down to the ground, because of the hardness of his heart. Accomplishing God's will by fighting against God was for Pharaoh a personal disaster, despite the success God had.

If you had been a disciple in Germany in the 1930s, voting for the Nazis would have been abominable in God's eyes - you would have been supporting a vile and hateful group of murderers, and opposing God's will for you at the personal level. But if you had voted against them, you would be opposing God's will at the political level, because it was his purpose to raise Hitler up. The answer, as I said above, is to seek to conform ourselves to what he instructs us to do as individuals, and leave him to deal with matters in which we would be foolish, as disciples of Christ, to meddle.

Jesus said of his disciples that they are not of this world, just as his kingdom is not now of this world. Yet one day, God's saints will rule over the world, under the direction of his anointed king. Until then, we should let God get on with bringing that purpose about, by whatever means he chooses. We do know what the outcome of his purpose will be - he has told us that plainly - but exactly how he will bring it about it is not for us to know now. So we should not seek to accomplish God's will in terms of the politics of this present evil world. If we do, then when our judge comes, we may find that we have actually been opposing him.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 09 September 2011 - 08:16 AM.


#14 Jesse2W

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 07:10 AM

I don't understand what you are saying here. "Success" or "failure", as we might measure it, does not in itself prove whether one's individual actions are in accordance with God's will. The two things are independent. There can in fact be a strong apparent opposition between two aspects of "God's will", at different levels, but in such cases, we generally do not know what the detail of God's greater purpose is. So what matters is our conforming to his commands to us as individuals, and leaving God to deal with the rest.

For example, at the time of the exodus, God purposed to release his people from bondage. Pharaoh's actions were resistant to God's clearly expressed command to him that he let Israel go out of his land. On a personal level, he was therefore in direct opposition to God, and is condemned for this error. Yet at the level of God's higher purpose in the world, Pharaoh was doing exactly what God knew would do, and in that way God's will was accomplished, through his resistance, such that God's name was glorified in all the earth, exactly as he told Pharaoh it would be. We know God was successful in that respect, and Pharaoh failed, because 40 years later, Rahab knew all about what Yahweh had done to the Egyptians (Josh 2:9-11) and even 400 years later, the Philistines still knew (1 Sam 6:5-6). So Pharaoh did God's will in one sense, and yet he did not in the other. In the way that worked out, he was brought down to the ground, because of the hardness of his heart. Accomplishing God's will by fighting against God was for Pharaoh a personal disaster, despite the success God had.

If you had been a disciple in Germany in the 1930s, voting for the Nazis would have been abominable in God's eyes - you would have been supporting a vile and hateful group of murderers, and opposing God's will for you at the personal level. But if you had voted against them, you would be opposing God's will at the political level, because it was his purpose to raise Hitler up. The answer, as I said above, is to seek to conform ourselves to what he instructs us to do as individuals, and leave him to deal with matters in which we would be foolish, as disciples of Christ, to meddle.

Jesus said of his disciples that they are not of this world, just as his kingdom is not now of this world. Yet one day, God's saints will rule over the world, under the direction of his anointed king. Until then, we should let God get on with bringing that purpose about, by whatever means he chooses. We do know what the outcome of his purpose will be - he has told us that plainly - but exactly how he will bring it about it is not for us to know now. So we should not seek to accomplish God's will in terms of the politics of this present evil world. If we do, then when our judge comes, we may find that we have actually been opposing him.

There is God's revealed will and his hidden will. His hidden will (using Hitler to accomplish a goal) is not something we can take into account when deciding whether or not we should vote against an evil dictator. God's hidden will may be to elect Hitler, but His revealed will is to love our neighbor as our self. Voting against an evil dictator protects lives. Voting for the right type of person is loving your neighbor. If God's hidden will is for you to lose a sports game, then you should still try to win because that is doing your best to honor God which is His revealed will.

#15 Jesse2W

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 02:35 AM

I would appreciate a response to that last post, but I also have been wondering about dietary laws and Sabbaths - where can I find a thread about that?

#16 Kay

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:23 AM

I would appreciate a response to that last post, but I also have been wondering about dietary laws and Sabbaths - where can I find a thread about that?


Jesse2W - the second half of your post ... don't think there has been great discussion in that regard here, dietary laws and Sabbaths, and not certain whether you mean if they are applicable today?

If the latter, there are some booklets available here:

Saturday or Sunday: Which Day Should Christians Keep?

The Seventh Day and the Second Advent - an appeal to Seventh Day Adventists

The Truth about The Sabbath

The Seventh Day Sabbath - Is it still in operation?
"seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" Matthew 6:33

#17 Jesse2W

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 04:31 PM

.

Edited by Jesse2W, 29 October 2011 - 04:35 PM.


#18 Jesse2W

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 04:32 PM


I would appreciate a response to that last post, but I also have been wondering about dietary laws and Sabbaths - where can I find a thread about that?


Jesse2W - the second half of your post ... don't think there has been great discussion in that regard here, dietary laws and Sabbaths, and not certain whether you mean if they are applicable today?

If the latter, there are some booklets available here:

Saturday or Sunday: Which Day Should Christians Keep?

The Seventh Day and the Second Advent - an appeal to Seventh Day Adventists

The Truth about The Sabbath

The Seventh Day Sabbath - Is it still in operation?

Thank you, but I already studied 7th day keeping. I was more specifically interested in dietary laws and what days we ought to celebrate as Christians, if any. I personally believe no one in Christ is bound to the old "letter" of the law, but only to the "spirit" of the law. This includes Jews and especially gentiles. I heard a person on YouTube explain why we should still keep Jewish dietary laws so I was wondering where I could hear the other side of the story. I guess I'll look online for it somewhere else. Thanks!

Edited by Jesse2W, 29 October 2011 - 04:34 PM.


#19 Mark Taunton

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 02:32 PM

Jesse, sorry it's been a while, but here's my response...

There is God's revealed will and his hidden will. His hidden will (using Hitler to accomplish a goal) is not something we can take into account when deciding whether or not we should vote against an evil dictator. God's hidden will may be to elect Hitler, but His revealed will is to love our neighbor as our self. Voting against an evil dictator protects lives. Voting for the right type of person is loving your neighbor.

But how do you know what "the right type of person" actually is? If all the candidates seem "good" as far as we can perceive, we are stuck. Which of them should we vote for, to show the greatest love for our neighbour (as you imply we ought)? We have no way of knowing!

And exactly how - in terms of scriptural teaching - does voting constitute loving one's neighbour? The only voting I'm aware of in scripture was in a very negative context (Acts 26:10). Jesus showed that "loving your neighbour" means actually doing good towards them, of ourselves, as the Samaritan did to the wounded man. Voting for someone in an election achieves nothing of that sort.

Some relevant examples of the issue here are found in the book of Acts.

Gamaliel's advice to the Sanhedrin (Jewish council) was not to oppose the apostles :

And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it -- lest you even be found to fight against God. (Acts 5:38-39, NKJV)

Gamaliel was clearly not a Christian. But he expresses a good principle, even so. If we act against something we think is wrong, but actually it is God's will, we will be found to be fighting against God.

Later on, some of Paul's audience recognised the same danger:

And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. (Ac 23:9)

We can't know every aspect of how God is accomplishing his purpose in the world. So if we simply stand aside from this world's politics (and we find no case in the NT of faithful men involving themselves in contemporary politics), we will avoid both:

  • supporting something that seems good to us, but is actually evil in God's sight for reasons we can't know, and
  • fighting against something that in fact God wants to accomplish, and hence fighting against God.
This isn't a minor issue. Regardless of appearances, such as "elections" (i.e. people "choosing"), that's not actually what happens. As Daniel said clearly, God rules in the kingdom of men, and sets over it whoever he chooses. Paul is very clear about the need to avoid getting into the politics of this world, and opposing the authorities who rule it, because they are there at God's appointment, not man's. :

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

Moreover, the consequence of being found to fight against God are not neutral (as we might suppose, because we didn't know God's "hidden will" as you put it), but negative:

Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Rom 13:1-2, NKJV)


Lastly,

If God's hidden will is for you to lose a sports game, then you should still try to win because that is doing your best to honor God which is His revealed will.

Is that true? Is it "honouring God" to compete hard in a sports game? I can't see any scriptural reason to think so. Can you?

Edited by Mark Taunton, 31 October 2011 - 02:38 PM.


#20 Jesse2W

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 06:21 PM

Jesse, sorry it's been a while, but here's my response...


There is God's revealed will and his hidden will. His hidden will (using Hitler to accomplish a goal) is not something we can take into account when deciding whether or not we should vote against an evil dictator. God's hidden will may be to elect Hitler, but His revealed will is to love our neighbor as our self. Voting against an evil dictator protects lives. Voting for the right type of person is loving your neighbor.

But how do you know what "the right type of person" actually is? If all the candidates seem "good" as far as we can perceive, we are stuck. Which of them should we vote for, to show the greatest love for our neighbour (as you imply we ought)? We have no way of knowing!

And exactly how - in terms of scriptural teaching - does voting constitute loving one's neighbour? The only voting I'm aware of in scripture was in a very negative context (Acts 26:10). Jesus showed that "loving your neighbour" means actually doing good towards them, of ourselves, as the Samaritan did to the wounded man. Voting for someone in an election achieves nothing of that sort.

Some relevant examples of the issue here are found in the book of Acts.

Gamaliel's advice to the Sanhedrin (Jewish council) was not to oppose the apostles :

And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it -- lest you even be found to fight against God. (Acts 5:38-39, NKJV)

Gamaliel was clearly not a Christian. But he expresses a good principle, even so. If we act against something we think is wrong, but actually it is God's will, we will be found to be fighting against God.

Later on, some of Paul's audience recognised the same danger:

And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. (Ac 23:9)

We can't know every aspect of how God is accomplishing his purpose in the world. So if we simply stand aside from this world's politics (and we find no case in the NT of faithful men involving themselves in contemporary politics), we will avoid both:

  • supporting something that seems good to us, but is actually evil in God's sight for reasons we can't know, and
  • fighting against something that in fact God wants to accomplish, and hence fighting against God.
This isn't a minor issue. Regardless of appearances, such as "elections" (i.e. people "choosing"), that's not actually what happens. As Daniel said clearly, God rules in the kingdom of men, and sets over it whoever he chooses. Paul is very clear about the need to avoid getting into the politics of this world, and opposing the authorities who rule it, because they are there at God's appointment, not man's. :

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

Moreover, the consequence of being found to fight against God are not neutral (as we might suppose, because we didn't know God's "hidden will" as you put it), but negative:

Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Rom 13:1-2, NKJV)


Lastly,

If God's hidden will is for you to lose a sports game, then you should still try to win because that is doing your best to honor God which is His revealed will.

Is that true? Is it "honouring God" to compete hard in a sports game? I can't see any scriptural reason to think so. Can you?


Are you saying Christians shouldn't play games where there is a winner and a loser? Or are you saying it's OK to only put a little effort in your game? Regardless it may be God's will for you to win the game. So if you don't put 100% effort, then you're going against God's will too.
Let me put this in my perspective for you...

God is going to require the life of brother Smith. You know that life is precious. When Smith gets in a car accident and is bleeding you try and stop the bleeding, even though that's against God's hidden will. You did the good thing.

God is going to appoint a candidate who approves of abortion. You know that life is precious. When the candidate is on the polls, then you vote against him, even though it's going against God's hidden will. You did the good thing!

Also, you assume we can't know who is a better candidate.
Also, you assume that because it's God's hidden will to elect the candidate that approves of abortion, it means it's not His will that you vote against this candidate. Who can thwart His purposes?

#21 Richie

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 06:31 PM

If you're born of the spirit how can you still suffer the second death? When exactly is a person "born again?"

I am not sure I understand the question. To be born of the spirit, or born again (better, begotten from above) simply means to have gone through a spiritual rebirth through faith in Christ and expressed that faith in baptism ready to walk in newness of life. Nothing physical has changed so the person is still mortal.

Edited by Richie, 31 October 2011 - 06:32 PM.

"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Terry Pratchett.

#22 Mark Taunton

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 06:34 PM

Jesse,

You seem to be stuck on democracy, as if it's a good thing, and that Christians ought to be involved in it. But if you think you have a responsibility to vote, you need to take account of those statements in Daniel (Dan 4:17), and by Paul (Rom 13:1-6), and Rom 13:2 in particular. Why do you suppose you ought to help God along (though you could equally be hindering him, and bringing judgement on yourself in consequence) since scripture is explicitly telling us that God looks after these matters himself?

Also note that there is no mention of any disciple being in the class of "ruling powers" - Paul mentions those exclusively in the 3rd person. So standing for election is equally without scriptural justification.

Edited by Mark Taunton, 31 October 2011 - 06:34 PM.





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