Questions about the Calvinism Debate

Questions and Answers

 

Let’s pick up the questions and have the men bring them forward and we will go right into the question and answer time with the 2-minute clock. I am going to ask Samuel Redfern from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association if he will govern the 45-minute period. We will just have each one respond from their tables, will that be ok? The first question is addressed to Andrew.

 

Andrew, is at least one reason Charles has to assume Proverbs 13:10 that one could lose his salvation because while he believes the cross makes the experience of baptism by water effectual, his focus is so centered on water baptism, he misses that all who believe were crucified with Christ at Calvary.

 

ANDREW:  Did it say Proverbs 13:10?

 

JOHN:  Proverbs 13:10. Let me read that again. Is not at least one reason Charles has to assume (Proverbs 13:10) that one could lose his salvation because while he believes the cross makes the experience of baptism by water effectual, his focus is so centered on water baptism, he misses that all who believe were crucified with Christ at Calvary. Galatians 2:20

 

ANDREW: Yea, good point. Romans 6 I think makes that quite clear. We certainly do believe baptism is very, very important. We believe you can be saved without baptism. Chuck disagrees with me on this. We believe it is a sign and seal of the Covenant of Grace, we believe the book of Romans teaches that. It is very important, but of course the thief on the cross, as far as we know, was not baptized, and yet he was converted. We don’t hold a common evangelical view that baptism is merely some sort of memorial, it is somehow secondary, it is somehow just some sort of public act that I will follow Jesus. We actually believe that it seals to us the benefits of salvation, but we don’t believe in baptismal regeneration or baptismal salvation. I think you can place too much emphasis on the baptism itself, I think that is very common. That is where we disagree, by the way, with Lutherans. Lutherans believe in baptismal regeneration of infants and of adults. I don’t think that Chuck holds to baptismal regeneration of adults. He can clarify that, but that is not the Reformed position and I don’t have longer than now to go into that in detail, but yea, I agree with the thrust of the question.

 

CHARLES:  I think I have failed miserably because I have expounded for the last hour and a half on why I believe the Old Testament is nullified by the New and I talked to you about when the New Testament went into effect. The thief on the cross died before the Day of Pentecost. He died before; I don’t even know why people bring up the thief on the cross? I don’t know why? Why don’t they bring up Adam, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? It makes not difference if you died a thousand years before Jesus’ testament went into effect, or whether you died 5 hours before it went into effect, when the testament went into effect, that is when baptism became valid. It is the covenant that gives the form of baptism its meaning, not you. It is the covenant that gives it its significance. It is not salvation in a bucket of water like infant baptism. Baptism is where Christ performs spiritual circumcision on you and it is his gift to you. It is like an external handle from heaven, for you have to have on earth in time, which you have in eternity where there is no time. You have to have it as a gift. It is his gift. For anyone to insult it and slight it doesn’t even deserve to be saved because it is God’s gift to show you in time a record. You have a record on earth, the water, the blood and the spirit. When you are immersed you have water. It is there that the blood of Christ washes your sins away. It is there that you are spiritually circumcised. It is there that you are predestined by the way to receive the whole plan that God gave to you, so if you are the man, you are predestined in the plan, is that not true? So you got in on the plan, right? It is there that you received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The water, the blood and the Spirit. The Spirit is not going to come in until sins go out. You have to know on earth when your sins were forgiven. Three thousand people, which said received the word and they were immersed. Gladly received the word and were immersed. It wasn’t a question of well should we do it or not. I don’t thing we are going to do it. You see, to reject the testament is tantamount to rejecting the testator. You reject the ambassador; you reject the king who sent him. To reject Peter is to reject Jesus Christ, because Peter was speaking by inspiration of the Holy Spirit when he told us to repent and be baptized. You are walking on mighty risky ground if you refuse that.

 

JOHN:  Question for Mr. Doughty. If we believe in the New Testament doctrine only, then what use is the Old Testament for doctrine to the Christian? How can the Ten Commandments be the laws of man, since they were given by God. What use is the Old Testament for doctrine to the Christian?

 

CHARLES: The Ten Commandments is a good law to govern the world by, but it is a poor law to govern God’s people by because we walk in the Spirit and to walk in the Spirit is to go beyond. It would be superfluous to tell a man walking in the Spirit to love his neighbor because we know we should love our neighbor. We are going to go beyond the love of our neighbor. We are going to help our neighbor. We are going to take what we have to help and assist him beyond love. We can’t even love God in the Old Testament like Jesus could. Jesus said love the Father, as I loved you. How can an Old Testament Jew love God the Father as Jesus loved him? So you see, we have a whole new interpretation of that law. Now as far as the Old Testament, we love it, we preach it; we wouldn’t know a thing about creation if it weren’t for the book of Genesis. We wouldn’t know a thing about the human family if it weren’t for what God had joined together let no man put asunder. The monogamous relationship of a husband and wife and raising the children and obedience of children, but Paul said these were examples unto us upon whom the end of the ages come. They are examples to us. They are not the laws to live by, but they are examples.. Examples to us, Old Testament examples of what happens when you disobey God and what happens when you do obey him. You have pictures of Jesus. If you want to learn about the detailed death of Christ on the cross, don’t read Matthew 26, 27, and 28, read Psalms 22. You can’t have the shepherd of Psalms 23 until you have the Savior of Psalms 22.

 

…see the horrible death. Psalms 88 all of that is a preview of his death. We read that, we love that. We are talking about authority, however. If we are under the old law, then we are going to have Sabbath day worship, we are going to have to have animal sacrifices, and we are going to have to have a Priesthood. We are going to have to look around for Aaron and his children and the Levites and everything else. Thank God we are not under that burden. It was a burden that even they could not bear, the apostles concluded.

 

JOHN: I will repeat the question. If we believe in the New Testament doctrine only, then what use is the Old Testament for doctrine to the Christian? How can the Ten Commandments be the laws of man, since they were given by God? What use is the Old Testament for doctrine to the Christian?

 

ANDREW:  Chuck says that the Old Testament is only an example, well that is not what Paul said. II Timothy 3:16 All scripture, not just the New Testament, which wasn’t even written, “all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for doctrine-Old Testament doctrine for the church-for reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly or completely furnished for every good work. The man of God cannot perform his ministry unless he has the authority of the Old Testament behind him. The Ten Commandments – well Jesus confirmed in Matthew 5. He said we are lead by the Spirit. Spirit-lead homosexuality, oh no we don’t believe that. Why not? Well you say the Spirit wouldn’t tell us that. The Spirit can say all sorts of things. People say, well the Holy Spirit wouldn’t truly say that. That is right. We believe in following where the Spirit speaks. I think all of us here believe in following exactly what the Holy Spirit says, and we have it, it is right there, right there. The entire word of God. All scripture is given by inspiration of God. He said we wouldn’t know about creation except from the Old Testament. Wrong! Jesus confirmed the creation in the New Testament, so we would know about it from both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Yes, some of the Old Testament law has been done away, but God has to tell us that. Our little peon brains don’t say, “well I don’t like the Old Testament law”. God has got to tell us, and he has told us. The Old Testament sacrifices have, indeed, been done away and been fulfilled in Christ. Specific Old Testament Jewish festivals, because now we have the multinational Church of Jesus Christ, but the specific Old Testament revelation not specifically set aside binds the people of God. We don’t always understand it. You can pull out some text right now that says how are going to do that? You know what I am going to honestly say? I don’t understand. I don’t know because I am weak and I am sinful, but who am I to dictate to the sovereign God that his word does not bind me. I can’t do that. I am bound to the law of God. I will stop there.

 

JOHN: To Andrew Sandelin. If the Old Testament is alive and vibrant today, how do you explain Hebrews 8:13? See verse below – Hebrews 8:13 they have written out. “By calling this covenant new, he has made the first one obsolete and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.” You mentioned if man is born sinless, it would be possible for a child to be born and not sin his entire lifetime. I thought his name was Jesus Christ.

 

ANDREW: What, did I only use the term Jesus or rather Christ? OK, I will read it. Two-part question I guess. Can I just read it and then we can give it to Chuck, that is fine. Hebrews 8:13 the New Covenant is the covenant of, I am going to have to read that one, won’t I? The New Covenant is the covenant of salvation in the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is passing away to everyone who believes, and that is the teaching of the book of Hebrews. It has nothing to do with the Old Testament. It has to do with the Old Covenant. If you are here and you are converted, the Old Covenant has been destroyed in your life and you are a New Covenant believer, but unfortunately, there are a lot of Old Covenant people walking out there. They need to hear the gospel and need to be saved. It is becoming obsolete to all who are truly converted, and that, I believe is the message of Hebrews. I didn’t quite grasp the second one. If man is born sinless, it would be possible for a child to be born and not sin his entire lifetime. I said that that would be theoretically possible under the scheme that I believe that Chuck was setting forth. I thought his name was Jesus Christ? It is, his name is the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not sure how that relates to the question, but I will stop there.

 

JOHN: If the Old Testament is alive and vibrant today, how do you explain Hebrews 8:13? See verse below – Hebrews 8:13 they have written out. “By calling this covenant new, he has made the first one obsolete and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.” You mentioned if man is born sinless, it would be possible for a child to be born and not sin his entire lifetime. I thought his name was Jesus Christ.

 

CHARLES: The Old Testament passed away. It is geriatric, an old man that is ready to die carrying around on a palette. The Old Testament died in Paul’s lifetime. He lived to see it pass away. In 70 AD the temple worship was destroyed. All scripture is given by inspiration of God. No question about that, but that same Timothy book said rightly divide those scriptures, which means to lay them out under order. You need to know the order. God doesn’t change, but his methods change. He is no longer saving us the way he saved us under the old law, which is by promissory faith. Therefore, the old law, which was incomplete, which passed away, was superceded by the new and God’s method changed. He said I spoke to you in times past through the law of the prophets, but now I speak to you through my Son. He is able to do that.  Is there anybody here that doesn’t have a bellybutton? Anybody? Does everybody have a bellybutton? I thought you all would not raise your hands. Did Adam and Eve have bellybuttons? Does anybody know? Adam was born from the dust and Eve was born from his side. There was really no need for a navel cord, is that not true? If they had bellybuttons, they would have just been for decoration purposes because they didn’t have to have a bellybutton. Now God has changed because since Adam and Eve, everybody has a bellybutton I am sure. Because procreation means that God created the first and then everything reproduces after its time. Now he could create you without a bellybutton if he wanted to, I’m sure, but he is not going to and God is not going to save anybody according to the old law anymore either. God is sovereign, but he can change his program.

 

JOHN: Question for Mr. Doughty. Would you elaborate on your statement that we don’t have a God-centered religion. Include in your response your comment that liberals and humanists want a God-centered society. Perhaps you meant a man-centered society. You had made the statement that liberals and humanists want a God-centered society.

 

CHARLES: Jesus said, “You call me Lord, Lord, and yet you don’t do a thing I say to do”. He said that in the gospels and that was back under the Old Testament. People who have a God-centered religion have a tendency to be humanistic. They say they won’t do this, but they deregulate Christ as to the equal of God on earth. Now, the Godhead can change. In other words, God the Father has given all authority to God the Son and he will reign under he puts all enemies under his feet. That arrangement God has perfectly accepted. I don’t believe a Calvinist or a Jew accepts that. I don’t believe he thinks that Christ is the head of all things. That is why the name of Christ doesn’t mean anything. To a member of the Church of Christ, the name of Christ means everything. You can see Christ everywhere around here because we believe he is our Lord and Savior. He is our King, he is the head of all things, he is above all things. God has delighted to put all things under his feet, has highly exalted his name, given him a name above every name on heaven and earth. We really believe the Calvinist has a less love for Jesus Christ, he won’t admit that. In fact, Andrew won’t admit that, but I believe down in their theological thinking, it reduces Christ to a level of a prophet almost like a Muslim does, in their mindset now. They won’t say that. They will say he is a savior, he is the Lord, but in their mindset because they don’t even think a name is important. Brother Sandelin even mentioned that, that nomenclature is not important. I read one of his Chalcedon reports that the name is not important and yet I believe the name of Christ is important. Even in the Old Testament, Yawaeh God’s name was to be put upon the altar. That was a law. Everywhere you worshiped you had to have Yawaeh God’s name stamped there. I believe the name of Christ should be stamped everywhere we worship even today that heaven and earth will be exalted by that name and there is no name above that name. When Christ comes, now he will relinquish and surrender all authority back to God the Father, I Corinthians 15 says, but right now we are in Christ. They are all equal, all three are equal, but we are in Christ.

 

 

 

ANDREW: I want to make very clear to you and especially to those of you listening on tape that I affirm wholeheartedly the orthodox view of the Trinity, the Christian view of the Trinity I believe the bible sets forth. I also want to make clear that I think that Chuck has come dangerously close to stepping over the line into embracing antitrinitarianism. He may want to dispute that point. We believe Jesus Christ is not exalted wrong, just the opposite. We believe he is a king today. We believe he is ruling today. We believe he is so strong that he can save sinners. Chuck doesn’t believe he is so strong he can save sinners. He is only strong enough to make them savable. No, Calvinists have a very, very high view of Jesus Christ and do take the name of Jesus very, very seriously indeed. I want to say again, we do hold to the Christian view of the Trinity. I believe it was effectively hammered out at the Council of Nicaea and later on some of the councils, which are not substitute for the word of God, which we believe are accurate summaries of what the word of God teaches on those points. You are going to go really wrong if you go wrong on the doctrine of God. It is going to lead everything else astray. Your soteriology is going to be bad, your ecclesiology is going to be bad, your eschatology is going to be bad, your demonology is going to be bad, your satanology is going to be bad, your (hermarteology ?) is going be bad, it is all going to be bad if you are wrong on the doctrine of God. I will stop there.

 

John: Question for Mr. Sandelin. Is baptism a part of the predestined plan of salvation that God has ordained. Explain John 3:5, I Peter 3:21, I John 5:7 and Romans 6.

 

Andrew: Unlike some people, I do interpret, some Calvinists would not agree with me on this, I am inclined to believe that John 3:5 the water is, I am not certain, but it is probably referring to baptism, though many people would misunderstand that and I won’t go into that. The question is “Is baptism part of the predestined plan of God that God has ordained”. I am sorry, predestined plan of salvation that God has ordained. Certainly, those who are truly saved should be baptized. Can one go to heaven without baptism? I think so. In fact, I know so. Notice in I Corinthians, and I wanted to get to this earlier, and now is a good time. The question brought it up. I Corinthians 1 I believe if I am not mistaken. I Corinthians 1:16, 17. Paul is speaking, “(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Besides, I know not whether I baptized any one else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel”. Notice there is a clear distinction there between baptism and the preaching of the gospel, but I am not downplaying the importance of baptism. Those who are truly converted need to be baptized and I believe that covenant infants need to be baptized, which is another issue. These other texts are standard texts used by baptism or regenerationists, or many of them are and if we had time, we could go into those, but we don’t have time right now, maybe we could do it some other time.

 

 

 

John: Is baptism a part of the predestined plan of salvation that God has ordained. Explain John 3:5, I Peter 3:21, I John 5:7 and Romans 6.

 

CHARLES: Hearing, believing, repenting, confessing, being baptized, being faithful unto the Lord is all part of the predestined plan of God. It is our cooperating with God and God gave these things as gifts to us. Everything in the New Testament is a gift. It is service, not works. The works of the law does not save us, nor are we saved by works of self-righteousness to be in covenant with Jesus Christ. The I Corinthians 1 passage is not talking about debunking baptism. Paul baptized. In fact, we know he baptized and he was baptized. He said as many of us as were baptized were baptized into the death of Christ. So Paul includes himself among the numbers in Romans 6:1,2 who were baptized into Christ. What he is saying here is that I don’t want you to think that you were baptized in my name because if Paul had baptized you, you got the impression that Paul was some big deal. He said I am glad I didn’t baptize you because you would have gotten the impression that because I baptized that was something special. You will not find any record in the book of Acts of anybody being saved who did not obey the gospel. The book of Acts, by the way, is the book of conversion and the history of the first church.

 

JOHN: Question for Mr. Doughty. What is the standard of Christian morality/ethics? Reformed Calvinists believe that the standard is God’s law and the moral duties of God’s law remain the same from age to age. If this is not the case, why does Peter quote Leviticus 11:44 calling Christians to the exact same moral standard as Old Testament Israel “Be holy as I am holy”, I Peter 1:15,16?

 

CHARLES: The law that was written in their hearts is the law of the Spirit of Life, which is in Christ Jesus, it is not the old law. The law of the Spirit of Life, which is in Christ Jesus, loves the fulfillment of the law. Therefore, if you have love, you fulfill the whole love. The law that is written in our heart is according to Romans 7, the law of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament quotes the Old Testament many times as far as moral character is concerned, but when we talk about the holiness of God, “be Ye holy as God is holy”, we are talking about a general tenet of God from the very beginning of time. God has always been holy and that has nothing to do with Old or New Testament. That is an overriding feature of God. We understand God in his sovereignty and holiness from reading the whole bible. As I say, all scripture is inspired of God. That has no bearing at all, the holiness of God has no bearing at all. It is that God has changed his testament. He has rendered old and void the old testament. He has annulled the old and replaced it with the new. It was something God had intended to do from the very beginning of time. Amos, Jeremiah, all of this a prophet like unto Moses would come into place. So holiness has not bearing on the change of the law. Holiness, in fact is the whole law. In fact, the word holiness is one of God’s names. Sidkenu and makadesh. These are righteousness, makadesh is God’s holiness and that is God’s name. I, Lord your God am holy. In fact, the separation of the Jews by their Levitical law, there ceremonial laws was to make them holy, but the New Testament also makes us holy. He said you are a generation of holy people. In fact, we have more reason to be holy in the New Testament than they did in the Old Testament because we have the holy example of Jesus Christ.

 

ANDREW: That was a circuitous way of saying that he is not sure what the content of the Old Testament is, or what the law is. We know. Hebrews 8:10 quoting Jeremiah “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds….”. He says we will have the law of the spirit of Christ, good. Where would we find it? Where would you find it? You say, well it is just sort of, kind of comes down and sort of comes in your brain somehow. No, we know, it’s in the bible, the sacred scriptures. I do agree with one point, and I want to make sure he said this, that holiness is the whole law. Properly understood, I agree with that. The Old Testament law and the New Testament law are a perfect transcription of the character of God. That is why it can never pass away. If the law were to pass away, this transcription of God’s character, then God could pass away. The question again we’ve got to come back to again is the one Ristruni asked in 1958, by what standard? By what standard?  You say, well the spirit of Christ. Fine! Where is the spirit of the Christ? Where do we find it, where can we read it? It is here in the sacred scriptures.

 

JOHN: Mr. Sandelin, three-part question. 1) How do you personally gain forgiveness for your sin? 2) Where and when do you contact the blood? 3) If predestined, why be baptized. The theory means no choice, it can’t be changed.

 

ANDREW: How do you personally gain forgiveness of your sin as a Christian. I John 1:9 tells us if we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and I think that is quite clear, I John 1:9. I presume you are talking about believers?  Where and when do you contact blood? I am in contact right now, it is running through my veins, but I presume what you are talking about is the blood of Jesus Christ, which is often a metonym for his death. When the spirit of God regenerates you, you are also justified. You believe and in that entire complex of events, which happens instantaneously, you are made a believer and Christ’s blood cleanses all of your sin. We could get into extensive soteriological arguments on that, but that is the answer. If predestined, why be baptized. The theory means no choice, can’t be changed. We don’t understand how that God predestines and the man has choice. The fact that you don’t understand that doesn’t mean that the bible doesn’t teach it. Man certainly is a free being. He has free choice within the plan of God. You say, but yea, I can’t understand that and it is not common sense. It may not be common sense, but it is God sense. This is where we have to submit to the word of God and say, you know what? There is a mystery in the faith that I can’t understand, but if we are rationalists, then we think we have to get our entire hand all of God’s revelation. If we can’t understand it, well I am sorry. We have to submit ourselves humbly before the law of God and affirm both predestination and the commands of God and that history does, indeed, have meaning.

 

JOHN: I will repeat the question. 1) How do you personally gain forgiveness for your sin? 2) Where and when do you contact the blood? 3) If predestined, why be baptized. The theory means no choice, it can’t be changed.

 

CHARLES: You are not a true Calvinist if you admit freewill. I have a statement of all Calvinists here, and none of them will admit freewill. The rank Calvinists, hyper Calvinists, but I John 1:9, again. You violated your own hermeneutics, brother Andrew because you were complaining in one of your Chalcedon reports that we should not apply Revelation 3, I stand at the door and knock, as to the salvation passage. It is true. We should never apply Revelation; I stand at the door and knock, as a salvation passage, because that is written to Christian. That is a horrible approach to get people saved. God is knocking on Christian’s doors to come back in, the backsliders to come back to him. I John 1:9 is again a hermeneutic, it is not applied to sinners. There is no way in the world that you can apply that to an alien sinner. I John was written to Christians, little children he called them, seven times he called them little children, so we are going to have to follow the laws of hermeneutics. I will not allow a man to violate the laws of hermeneutics in discussion. You play Scrabble; you have to have a dictionary. As far as the blood of Christ, baptism is into the death of Christ. Belief no where puts you into the death of Christ. Repentance no where puts you into the death of Christ. Confession no where puts you into the death of Christ. The act, whereby you identify with Jesus’ bloody death at Calvary is when you enter into the watery grave of baptism. That is why it is the blood that saves you. It is not water regeneration; it is being washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. That is why it is called a leuo, washing, which means the washing of the whole body, and in that act, God accounts you as righteous he imputes to you the righteousness of his son’s death. You have no contact with the death of Christ if you are not baptized into his death. No death, no blood. You have no record.

 

JOHN: Mr. Doughty – Since you do not believe in predestination, how do you respond to Ephesians 1:4,5 and Romans 8:29,30, which speak of that and John 15:16, which claim that we do not choose God, he chose us?

 

CHARLES: I have 15 pages on predestination. Pro-horidzo is a word for predestination. It means to map out boundaries in advance and that is where we get our word horizon, by the way. Back in those days they would map out all the land to this horizon, which was usually a mountain. Oridzo means mountain. Predestination is a history of God’s salvation, purpose and plan. Yes, I believe in predestination. I don’t have a God that doesn’t know what is going to happen, but he mapped out these boundary lines. Jacob and Esau were in those boundary lines. Pharaoh was in those boundary lines. In fact, Pharaoh hardened his own heart the bible says, but God gave the conditions whereby Pharaoh could harden his heart. It says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. God tested Pharaoh ten times to give him a chance in his predestined plan and Pharaoh rejected. God also tested in the wilderness his own people ten times. He said, “These ten times you have tempted me”. How can a man tempt God if he is sovereign? Well, they did. They tempted God and God finally let their carcasses die in the wilderness. That was all part of God’s predestined plan, to get the seed of the woman. Predestination is simply God’s program to get the seed to the world. In the seed, not seeds, but Jesus only Galatians says, Christ, the world will be blessed in Christ. Not in God the Father, not in God the son, all three are equal. I am not antitrinitarian. If I were, I hope you wouldn’t treat me like Calvin treated Servertius you would behead me or have me burned at the stake. I do believe in the Godhead. I call it by a bible name; I don’t call it Trinity. The Godhead is three persons in one, but God is delighted in the son, salvation should come and God in the seed, Christ. That seed was the God-man, Christ. That predestined plan came down. You are in that plan but you have to hear the seed. The seed is the word of God, by the way. When he talked about see, he was not just talking about the messianic seed of Abraham, the seed of Eve. That predestined plan was to get that seed before you, you hear it. When you operate on faith, you are predestined to be saved in that seed. When you do not operate on faith, you are predestined to be lost in that seed. That is what Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Esau, that is what it is all about.

 

JOHN: I will repeat the question. Since you do not believe in predestination, how do you respond to Ephesians 1:4,5 and Romans 8:29,30, which speak of that and John 15:16, which claim that we do not choose God, he chose us?

 

ANDREW: Yes, thanks John. Of course the import of the question is correct. Those verses do teach predestination and I have a Calvinistic interpretation of them. By the way, I wanted to mention I John 1:9 does refer to Christians and I acknowledge that point, so there is no hermeneutical difference there, so I don’t know why we need to drag in the comments about different hermeneutical systems. I would recommend, however, your reading if you want to examine this issue of using Greek and Hebrew words separately, and I notice that Chuck does that quite a bit. That can be very dangerously apart from their context. Yet James bars but the semantics of biblical language. The scholars are very careful when they do that. We have to see the entire range of the semantical argument, not just pick one word here and one word there. Calvin, by the way, did not murder many people, though he sadly consented to the murder or execution of Servertius. We talked about free will. How much time do I have? (John: About a minute). How many of you here love liver, you just love it? How many of you here despise it? I mean you just despise it? If you were hungry and I came to you with some liver and I said you have a free choice, you have free will and you despise liver. You have a free choice, you have a free will, eat it. “But I don’t like it. I would rather eat dirt than liver, it makes me sick”. You do have free will over your choice about eating the liver. You don’t have free will over your choice about whether you like the liver, and that is the issue. People that are dead in trespasses and sins, they don’t like the gospel, they are dead, they hate the gospel. They need the illumination of the Spirit of God. When free will is described that way, yes, every Calvinist affirms free will. Certainly, free choice in the way that I described it. The issue is the desire, and the desire shapes the will. Man’s affections shape his will. The only free will being in the universe with absolutely unconditioned free will is the sovereign God.

 

JOHN: To Mr. Sandelin. If the bible is the complete word of God, why do you need the Westminster Confession of Faith as a companion or manual to understanding God’s word?

 

ANDREW: It is not a manual. That is a good question, a very fair question. Why does Chuck need books? Why does he read books? I can tell he has read a few books. Why does he need them as a companion or a manual to the word of God? He is going to say, “Oh, no, no, no, they are not companions or manuals. They are just to help me understand the word of God. Well, that is something like the Westminster Confession is. It is not inspired, it is not infallible, but we believe it is a good summary. Credalism is an inescapable concept. Every church is credal. You say, “Our church is not credal”. Of course it is. Chuck gets up and preaches on Sunday and guess what? He is preaching basically a creed. Yea, but he says he can be mistaken. Of course he can be mistaken. We say the Westminster Confession can be mistaken. Credalism and confessionalism are inescapable concepts. Every church is credal. Every church is credal. You say, “Nope, we believe only the word of God”. So do you allow anybody that believes the bible to join your church? Yep, anybody that believes the bible. What if they don’t believe in baptism? Could they still join your church? What if they hate God? You say, “Well, nobody who believes the bible would do that”. Ah, you are now imposing a creed. Credalism, of course, is inescapable. People can deny it, but it is just naiveté. They just don’t understand. I’ll stop there.

 

CHARLES: I heard the question. When I was ordained in the ministry of Jesus Christ and when I ordain people and when Christian Kingdom College students are ordained, we ask them if they believe in the doctrine of the apostles and the prophets and Jesus Christ and will they faithfully deliver and proclaim that message. That is binding. We are the only credalist church I believe in the world. There may be another group, but we are the only credalist people. We are absolute New Covenant Christians and we don’t know of any other Christianity other than New Covenant. When you become a minister of a denomination, they ask you to believe the bible plus would you subscribe to our confession of faith, and once they make that binding that to me undercuts and almost blasphemes the holy word. The holy word is all we need as our safe guide. I can be mistaken, I’m not infallible, but thank God, his word is. That is why you need to search the scriptures and prove whether I am telling you the truth or not like the Beroeans did in Acts 17.

 

JOHN: Please respond, question to Mr. Doughty. Please respond. When you put Colossians 2:12,13 along side Ephesians 2:8,9, we find that we are saved by grace through faith in baptism.

 

CHARLES: Salvation is a gift of God. I already said that. You see, when we talk about the faith once and for all delivered to the saints, when we talk about the law of the spirit of Jesus Christ, that is an abbreviated statement. When it says contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, not to the Old Testament Jew, but to the saints, the sanctified ones in Christ, that is an abbreviated statement. The faith, it is also called grace, is an abbreviated statement for all that we have in this New Testament. The whole system is metonymized, there is another word in hermeneutics, synecdoche. It means you receive all of what Christ and his apostles gave to you. Therefore, it is all classified under the aspect of grace. Every teaching of the New Testament is grace. It is not works, it is not burdensome. All the commandments, seven times John said keep the commandments in I John, keep the commandments, keep the commandments, and keep the commandments. The remnant in Revelation 12 are those who keep his commandments. Those are not the commandments of God, they are commandments of Christ. I John made it very clear that now the commandments of God are the commandments of Christ and wrapped up, epitomized under the heading and the category of all of that, the grace of God comes to us. Baptism is a part of it, repentance, the fact that we have the dignity of making the choice to repent is a beautiful predestined thing. The fact that we have the dignity of choice to confess Christ is a beautiful predestinated thing. When we talk about free choice, remember we are created in the image of God, is that not true? Therefore, if God chooses, we choose. We are different from animals. Animals are robots. You talk about predestined, I see that in the animal world. My dog acts like a dog, acts like a dog all the time. He is just as predictable as you can get. He has absolutely no choice at all. Man in the image of God has a choice.

 

ANDREW:  I didn’t hear it too well. When you put Colossians 2:12,13 along side Ephesians 2:8,9, we find that we are saved by grace through faith in baptism. 2:12,13 buried with him in baptism, risen through the faith of the operation of God. Some of course claim that that is, and I am sure Chuck has heard this, spiritual baptism. I do not take that out. I want to make that very clear. “Being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses”. That is why we believe that baptism for one thing is the sign and seal of the covenant of grace. It is an external sign of the actual regeneration in the heart of man and it is vital, so I agree with that. I don’t spiritualize that passage, spiritualize as some people do. I wanted to mention also very quickly, Chuck answered about being a credalist church. You noticed what he answered, of course, was a creed. He says not the commandments, we don’t follow the commandments of God, but of Christ. I would like to know if he believes Jesus Christ is God. If he believes Jesus Christ is God, then the commandments of God are the commandments of Christ, whereas logic and language have no meaning.

 

CHARLES: I agree with what you say. When I say commandments of Christ, I am talking about commandments of God and the commandments of God are commandments of Christ.

 

JOHN: Next question, Mr. Sandelin. I Corinthians 1:21 says “….it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”. Based on your belief and doctrine, why do you bother to preach, particularly considering your statement that there is no part man can play in salvation?

 

ANDREW: Good point. Did you read – what was the text again that was sited?

 

JOHN: I Corinthians 1:21 says “….it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”. Based on your belief and doctrine, why do you bother to preach, particularly considering your statement that there is no part man can play in salvation?

 

ANDREW: Because God doesn’t only predestinate men, God also predestinates the means. A lot of people don’t think about that, do they? They have a rationalistic understanding of predestination rather than an organic understanding of predestination. God is indeed the sovereign God. He declares the end from the beginning. There is a whole group of text that I jumped over that I wish I could show you. I mean the bible makes that very clear. We don’t understand how men also can be a volitional being with choice if we have a predestinating God. The fact that we don’t understand it doesn’t mean that it is not true. Only if we have a rationalistic understanding of the word of God to try to make the word of God fit into our little finite minds. Only if we do that do we think there is a contradiction.  Jesus Christ is both God and he is also man. How could God be walking around in human form? I don’t understand that, you don’t understand it either by the way. If you try to explain it, you are going to go into heresy, but it is true. He is both God and he is both man. I don’t understand it, but it is true. We have to affirm both of these things equally. We are not rationalists, we are Christians.

 

JOHN: I Corinthians 1:21 says “….it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”. Based on your belief and doctrine, why do you bother to preach, particularly considering your statement that there is no part man can play in salvation?

 

CHARLES: A Hyper-Calvinist doesn’t believe in preaching. A Hyper-Calvinist doesn’t believe in the Great Commission. He believes God is going to save people regardless. He predestines them. You have to agree with that brother Andrew. He agrees with me. They don’t even believe that you should preach. However, in keeping with the thought of predestination in the bible, it is not mine, is that the seed, God predestined to get the seed. It was a mystery, a kept secret from the foundation of the world, that the Jew and Gentile would both be converted by the hearing of the same gospel. The Law of Moses was basically for the Jew, but the gospel for all nations. This predestination of this seed came down from the seed of the woman and Satan waged war against the seed of the woman all through the Old Testament. In Revelation 12, we see the woman pregnant with a man-child trying to bring the man-child to the earth, and Satan standing over, the red dragon, trying to devour the man-child as soon as he was born. This was the culmination of this war that had gone on, and God predestined the seed and Satan wanted to stop that seed. That is why he wanted to get Esau – God didn’t want Esau to be the messianic line. Abimelech – God didn’t want Abimelech to impregnate Sarah, so he had to predestine this whole thing to get the seed down. All of this has to do, these are the highlights by the way, of the war between the seed of the woman and the seed of the dragon. Then when Christ came and the apostles executed his estate. Thank God the plan was over. Now we have the seed. The predestined seed is here and in that seed you’re saved or you’re lost. That is as simple as you can see it. That is what it is talking about in the book of Romans when it talks about God’s method. The Jews said we don’t want this method because there are a thousand Gentiles being saved for every one Jew. We don’t like this method. The Father wanted this seed to come to you Jews, and you Jews are going to be saved the same way the Gentiles are. You are going to obey the seed. Hear the word, believe the word and obey the word and you are predestined.

 

JOHN: Time and I am informed that it is the end of the question and answers. So I would like to have a round of applause for both men.

 

 

 

 

 

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