Bono’s Christianity

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dingVac1W1g]

Watch the video and tell me if you think Bono’s Christianity is the real thing.

HT: Mike Edwards

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18 Replies to “Bono’s Christianity”

  1. Rather sad,

    It is not mine to judge Bono’s soul, that belongs to God alone , but with that being said, this video reminds me of a graduation commencement ceremony at BBC, Springfield Mo, in the early 1970’s.
    Dr Vick was referring to then, Governor Bonds in regards to a vote on the Equal Rights Amendment:, and said;
    “Governor Bonds!… when you vote for the enactment of the ERA, your WRONG!, your wrong Morally, and your wrong Spiritually! He then went on to say;
    “Governor Bonds says he is a born again Christian, I hope he is, if he is, he lacks a lot from being a Fundamental Baptist, however.
    I would like to hope that Bono is a Christian, but if he is, he lacks a lot from being a Biblicists.

    Bono states;.. “I’m holding out for grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity” At least he recognizes the state he is in!

    Comes close to King Agrippa’s statement; “almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian”.. Yes I know, that “persuading”part, I didn’t say it, King Agrippa did.

    Similar to John Calvin’s statement in his last will and testament,

    “…I humbly implore of him to grant me to be so washed and purified by the blood of that sovereign Redeemer, sited for the sins of the human race, that I MAY BE permitted to stand before his tribunal in the image of the Redeemer himself…”

    I mean no disrespect to either man, but neither one of them has an ounce of confidence in their souls destiny.

    Listen to John Murray, in his work Redemption, p. 155:

    “But let us appreciate the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints and recognize that we may entertain the faith of our security in Christ ONLY as WE persevere in faith and holiness to the end.”

    Listen also to Arthur Pink, in Sanctification, pg. 28

    “Holiness in this life is such a part of our ‘salvation’ that it is a NECESSARY MEANS to make us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in heavenly light and glory”

    Or Hodge in his work on Corinthians, pg. 181

    “Neither the members of the church nor the elect can be saved unless THEY persevere in holiness; and they cannot persevere in holiness WITHOUT CONTINUAL WATCHFULNESS AND EFFORT.”

    One more, Sproul in Grace Unknown, p. 198

    “Endurance in faith is a condition for future salvation. Only those who endure in faith will be saved for eternity”

    Sirs, What must I do to be saved? If salvation is not of works, and it is NOT, if salvation is present tense, and it is, (shall HAVE eternal life), again I ask;
    “Sirs What Must I Do To Be Saved?”

    If Bono is saved, and got a hold of these works, is it any wonder he has the confusion?

    If John Calvin, can come to his death bed and BEG God to accept him, after giving his life to the scriptures, can we expect any one else to know what salvation is?

    John did say: “These things have I written unto you, that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life”…Did he not?

    And John again, said; “These things write I unto you that ye sin not. And if any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:…Did he not?

    And Paul referred to himself as the “chiefest of sinners” at the close of his ministry, after serving for years.

    If I personally, had to depend on these discouraging exegesis, I would probably repeat;

    Lamentations 3:26 ” It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord”

    Yes, it appears that at best Bono is adrift somewhere. I would suggest that he suffers from some of the same ailments as many have though the ages;

    More philosophy than Jesus Christ !

    More about Jesus, would I know,
    More of his grace to others show;
    More of His saving fullness see,
    More of His love that died for me

    More about Jesus let me learn,
    More of His holy will discern;
    Spirit of God ,my teacher be,
    Showing the things of Christ to me.

    More about Jesus on His throne,
    Riches in glory all His own;
    More of His kingdoms sure increase,
    More of His coming, Prince of Peace!

    More more about Jesus
    More more about Jesus
    More of His saving fullness see
    More of his love ,Who died for me

  2. AJ

    What was being asked is ” do you think Bono’s Christianity is real” not his beliefs.

    In other words, do his statements match those that you would expect to hear from a child of God?

    Or better yet, if a lost sinner were to apply the theology of these statements, would that be adequate to save him/her?

  3. I don’t know about you, Don, but I find nothing offensive or theologically unsound about any of these quotes.

    I have been sure about Bono’s faith since I first discovered the music of U2 three years ago.

  4. Joel

    I looked back through my post, I did not see the term “offensive”.

    If you are comfortable with these statements, have at it, perhaps try quoting them to some of your lost loved ones and hope they get the point.

    This was my point.

    I assume from your defense that you believe the adequacy has been met.

    Great!

  5. I wasn’t defending or giving a definitive statement on Bono’s faith, I was just stating my view, like you. For all I know, he could be a fantastic liar. But just like your points can be backed by Scripture, so his points can be backed by Scripture.

    I find truth in Bono’s words. I find the honesty that Paul expressed in Romans 7. We are all sinners, we all need grace.

    And I just don’t know how any follower of Christ can disagree with that. (Note: In case you think I am, I am NOT saying you are not a Christian, I believe you’re very sincere in you beliefs.)

    But I digress, sorry if I was confusing.

  6. Don,

    Joel never said you said Bono’s statements were offensive. I think he assumed you found them offensive given your response to them. He also didn’t say that BONO’s words could be used to win people to Christ. He said there was nothing as far as he could see that was theological unsound about Bono’s quotes in the video.

    As for Murray, Pink, Hodge, and Sproul – all of what you quoted from them has its basis in Scripture. The word of God makes it plain that those who endure to the end and produce fruit giving evidence of salvation will finally be saved. There is effort on our part involved – not to earn our salvation but to prove it – and ultimately it is God working in us (Philippians 2:12,13) with His energy (Colossians 1:29). There is an effort to the Christian life, not FOR salvation, but by and because of salvation. And the perseverance of the saints is clearly taught in Scripture. None of those men are advocating a “works salvation.” All of them were confident in the finished work of Jesus Christ, so confident indeed that they believed those truly regenerated would produce works giving evidence of salvation and that they would endure to the end – not by their own merit but by the merit of Jesus Christ. Stop letting the words “Calvin” and “Calvinism” convince you that any teaching associated with the same can’t be biblical. Calvinism is simply biblical theology.

    As for Calvin saying “may be” on his death bed – he wasn’t saying it in the sense of “hope so” and with a lack of confidence, but rather with the full assurance that he indeed would be “accepted in the beloved” at the judgment not because of any merit of his own, but because of the merit of His Savior Jesus Christ,

    When you read all of those quotes in their original context they reinforce Scripture.

    By the way, while Dr. Vick did refer to Governor Bond in his 1975 Fellowship Address, it was to President Ford he was referring when he said, “He lacks a lot of being a fundamental Baptist.”

  7. AJ and Joel

    My intent in responding to your posts was to try to illicit some thought process.
    The best a school can do for a student is to instill a desire and ability to think.
    I hope I accomplished this for this moment. A man that is able to think and reason can accomplish great things in life. Do not ever let anyone think for you, do that for yourselves.

    “Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

    The God given gift of reason should not be wasted. Thank you for your thoughts

    Paul, my brother, whom I love in the truth.

    We both know that this debate has been raging since the time of Augustine, and will not be resolved until our Lord returns.

    I also, did not try to stimulate the thought process in you, as you are well versed in this skill already.

    I have a few thoughts to put forth in search of some answers; far be it from me to have all, if any, of the answers that involve things eternal.

    My understanding is a Calvinist believes that all things are decreed by God, from the foundation of the world, our thoughts, our actions, our behaviors, our speech, our salvation, our perseverance, and even our sins, so as to bring glory to Himself.

    I offer these quotes, from well respected Calvinists, as evidence that I do not over express the position.

    “All things turn out according to divine predestination; not only the works we do outwardly, but even the thoughts we think inwardly.” Philip Melanchthon, being quoted by Boettner, in Predestination, p. 15

    “God has appointed where each person shall reside: the particular country in which he shall be born, and the very city, town, village, and house in which we shall dwell, and how long he shall remain there.” Aurthur Pink, Gleanings in Joshua p. 338

    “Even the fall of Adam, and through him the fall of the race, was not by chance or accident, but was so ordained in the secret counsels of God.” Boettner, Predestination, p. 234

    “Surely, if God had not willed the fall, He could, and no doubt would, have prevented it; but he did not prevent it: ergo,He willed it, He certainly decreed it.” Zanchius, p. 88

    “Plainly it was God’s will that sin should enter this world, otherwise it would not have entered, for nothing happens save as God has eternally decreed. Moreover, there was more than a bare permission, for God only permits that which He has purposed”

    “Not only did His omniscient eye see Adam eating of the forbidden fruit, but He decreed it beforehand that he should do so” Arthur Pink, Sovereignty, p 147-148

    “Sin is one of the ‘whatsoevers’ that have ‘come to pass’ all of which are ‘ordained’.” Shedd, Calvinism, p. 37

    “It is even Biblical to say that God has foreordained sin. If sin was outside the plan of God, then not a single important affair of life would be ruled by God.” Palmer, p.82

    God justly wills that sins be committed by us, and indeed absolutely wills that sins be committed; nay, procures in time these sins themselves” John Piscator, Newman, vol 2, p. 338

    I believe that you even alluded to the belief, that the injury of your dear wife was in the decree of God, so as to keep you in the home, rather than attending the meeting in Ohio. I hope I’m not misrepresenting your position.

    Now, here is my question, If all of this I have quoted is true, and is the position of Calvinism, how does any occurrence in daily life become an accident, or as was stated of the shootings in Virginia last month, “A National Tragedy”. Should this not all be that which glorifies God and His plan? I suggest if this be true, that even this blog is foreordained of God, every word, every thought, every emotion, every answer. Why bother?

    Am I interpreting this correctly? I love you brother, but I can not make reason out of these positions.

    It is true that there are many verses on both side of the isle, and taken by themselves would seem to prove ones position, but can we allow the scripture to contradict itself in order to help our doctrine fit? I suggest that it is sometimes safer to see what a text does not mean than to place a meaning on it that does not fit the balance of scripture.

    Paul, do you believe that God is the author of sin, that He decreed it, that sin was foreordained, by Him, from the foundation of the world, that he may bring glory to Himself?

    Calvin said what he said, as these men have said what they said. Quite frankly I’m more interested in what God has to say, than what any man born into sin said.

    As for my misquote from Dr Vick, I was shooting from the hip about an episode over 30 years ago. Thanks for the correction, I should have taken the time to look it up.

    I hope this discourse does not hinder our fellowship, I will always be a friend and fellow servant of our Lord.

    May God’s blessings be upon your Ministry, and your family.

    Don

  8. I do not in any way doubt the Christianity of Bono. His words are always sincere and he speaks great truth, often using scripture to support his beliefs. However, the problem that I find with Bono is that he has taken the Gospel of Christ and used it more to support his own social welfare endeavors than to support that which the Gospel itself exalts- the glory and honor of Jesus Christ.

    While Bono does an excellent job of reaching out to the poor and needy, I believe that in his ultimate message he makes more out of giving these people real material things such as shelter, water and food than what scripture tells us is most important- spiritual food (1 Peter 2:2). Bono does all of these acts of good works in the name of Christianity, yet fails to emphasize the most important part of a Christian’s calling. Jesus himself said, “The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me” (John 12:8). In saying these words, I believe Christ exalted himself above every human endeavor to relieve suffering in the world. Though as Christians we are obviously called to minister to the poor and needy (James 1:27), we must not forget our ultimate mission which is to go into the world and make disciples (Matt. 28:19) not to make people more comfortable in this world.

  9. Paul

    Over last evening I was contemplating these matters we have been discussing.
    To stay in line with the Calvinists doctrine, these thoughts that I am putting to words, must have been foreordained before the foundation of the world. They are not mine own, they must be Gods. The decision to post them is also, not mine, but Gods, according to Calvinism. If you choose to respond, that response will not be yours, but rather, Gods also. As a matter of fact, it will not even be your choosing, for it was foreordained and decreed before the foundation of the world. It also follows the Calvinistic doctrine, that my conception was foreordained of God, my childhood was foreordained of God, my wild years was not of my doing, it was foreordained of God.
    My invitation to attend the TBC was not really the efforts of, or out of the concern for my soul, by Patti’s parents, for it was God who foreordained their speaking the invite.
    To progress in a natural process, the wrong decisions I have made in life, were not mine, they were foreordained to be. The things I have done that please Him, through my life, are really not pleasing at all, for they were foreordained that I should walk therein. All these years and I thought that I was battling the flesh, it really wasn’t that after all, but God’s, if these writers I quote have the doctrine correct. Actually even these words are not mine own, if it be true that even my thoughts were foreordained and decreed to be from the foundation of the world. Paul is right!, I am not my own! If these things be true, that is, the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, foreordination, an eternal decree, from the foundation of the world, I may not be responsible for myself . I see the freedom the Calvinist refer to now! This is liberating! This is more than liberating, This is what the song writer meant when he pen-ed the lyrics;
    “How Marvelous O How Wonderful”! Let me come back down a moment, this isn’t me thinking this, for if Calvinism be true, these very emotions be not of me, but rather God’s foreordaining in process.

    If these things be true, all that is left is to hope that I am one of the elect, but the problem that arises is that even my hope, is not my hope, for it must have been foreordained that I hope. Now I understand the other song writer words; And Can It Be!
    How would I know?

    I’m with Bono now. I’m going to hold out for grace, I will hold out for Jesus! ( is this possible, or is my holding out foreordained also?)

    I don’t sense the same joy I did a moment ago, I’m confused, Who am I? If it’s not me what shall be done?

    Now here is some real philosophy! But this does not make any sense to me either!

    To whom shall I go? I know, I will go where I have always gone, …..
    To the One who died and shed His blood for me, that I may be one of His!

    Paul, my brother in Christ, How can these things be?

    If God foreordained sin, the fall of Adam, and consequently the fall of the entire human race, if He has predetermined our thoughts and responses to His commands, (And at the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent”), if He choose those who would be empowered to repent, if He controls the entire process, of thinking, speaking, responding, where we go, what we do, who we work for, etc, etc, etc, etc, Whats the point?, where is the hope that is within us? I mean, if every single motion in life is foreordained from the foundation of the world, by a immutable decree by God, so as nothing at all will occur outside of this foreordained decree, what place is there for man, or fellowship with God, or a right walk with God, or not grieving the Holy Spirit or anything as we know it, if it is all absolutely predetermined?

    I leave you with this quote from a man, whose works, I know you respect.

    Martyn Lloyd-Jones;
    “My friend, if you are a christian, do you know that you were the object of God’s interest and concern before the foundation of the world? All these things have been worked out in eternity, before time, so you must always remember that nothing can happen in time which will make the slightest difference.” Saved in Eternity, p. 16

    Why bother with anything, just relax, and wait on God, and hope that you are in! (again, if that be possible)

    Once more, My Brother, How can these things be?

    With all my Christian love,

    Don

  10. Paul

    Here I go thinking again.

    I recall a preacher who once made the humorous statement, about one of his elderly members and the mail they receive, that once you get on Dr Falwell’s mailing list, your a lifetime member. He said that this gentleman was a widower and looked forward to the almost daily mail out of the mountain. The reason for this lead in is I hope you do not get worn out, from these posts from me.

    I wanted to mention an observation of mine.; Yesterdays program displays the heart of Paul D Edwards.
    The reaching out, the pleas for help, the trip, the endearing of these children to your bosom, even the giving over of your program shows a love and lack of selfishness on your part.

    This is the man, Paul Edwards.

    Paul, we are told that we are made in the Image of God, this image is His heart, and love. In spite of the fall, it would appear that most men posses the capacity to love, and care on a earthly plane, albeit not at a spiritual level.
    My point is this, and back to this Calvinism matter, your verbiage is Calvinistic while your heart shows Biblicists.
    Follow me please, if you were to follow a true hard core Calvinistic line, these dear children you care for, would be brought into the fold with or without our efforts. I know, you are commanded to and that is good, but the real issue is if these little ones are “elected” from the foundation of the world, they will be redeemed regardless of what any man does, because they are elected. No ifs, ands, or buts. And also to follow a true Calvinistic train of thought, if they are chosen to “reprobation” no amount of aid will assist them. They will get what they deserve, because they were born in sin, and were not of the “election to salvation” that a Calvinists subscribes to.

    Let me define two “Calvinistic” terms here for the sake of others reading this;

    Election to salvation: God chooses those who shall be saved, not due to any merit, ability, or position of his own. This election has happened before the foundations of the earth.

    Reprobation to hell: God chooses those who shall not be saved, not because of any demerit, inability, or wrongful position. This reprobation happens before the foundation of the earth also.

    Both election and reprobation are under the sovereignty of God. We all deserve hell, so any acquittal to any one is just, and from pure grace.

    I restate, these are in part, the general positions of Calvinism.

    Why is it then when it comes to children, such as these you discussed on yesterdays show, there is an absence of, even the thought of reprobation. Or when a young child passes away in an auto accident, or some other tragedy ( as I said in yesterdays post, a tragedy under Calvinism is a contradiction to the system), the Calvinists seems to place these young ones in the position of the elect?

    Even Charles Spurgeon, who was a Baptist Calvinist, condemned any man that would allow for reprobation of children.

    Boettner is on record as stating, in regards to a miscarriage; “Our outstanding theologians, however, mindful of the fact that God’s tender mercies are over all His works, and depending on His mercy widened as broadly as possible, have entertained a charitable hope that since these infants have never committed any actual sin themselves, their inherited sin would be pardoned and they would be saved on wholly evangelical principles” Predestination, p. 143

    Do you see the difficulty? If all election and reprobation is finalized before the foundation of the world, none of us had “committed any actual sin” at that point! And further, through foreknowledge, God would have known, which ones would have been chosen, even if they had lived a full earthly life. Also this preference for children appears to apply to to born children of most Calvinists. Were they not also born in sin?

    E.D. Strickland, Jimmie B. Davis, James Green and a host of other Calvinists all reserve the child to salvation.

    Allow me to suggest why;
    Because we are created in God’s image. There is that image in us. It is not of God to condemn a child.

    I personally subscribe to the “age of accountability” position, but that cannot fit in Calvinism. I struggled with you when you were dealing with this on your program last week in regards to your own situation. I have no doubt where Justin Paul is, and neither should you. It is not even in a lost man’s soul to place a child in hell. Your son is as safe as you and I are!

    I submit these thoughts because I love you and Terri. This system you espouse is not in your heart, as much as in your head, and for that I love you the more for. We are encouraged to “reason together” Most of this is dialog beyond reason.
    Regardless of what you feel, I’m with you whether you want me or not, for your spirit bears witness with my spirit, and with His Spirit, that we are the children of God.

    Paul D Edwards, thank you for caring!

    As I said, always your brother in Christ,

    Don

  11. Don,

    A brief response to your two previous comments:

    In the first you said:

    If God foreordained sin, the fall of Adam, and consequently the fall of the entire human race, if He has predetermined our thoughts and responses to His commands, (And at the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent”), if He choose those who would be empowered to repent, if He controls the entire process, of thinking, speaking, responding, where we go, what we do, who we work for, etc, etc, etc, etc, Whats the point?, where is the hope that is within us?

    And the answer is “GOD!” Your hope is in GOD and not in YOU.

    In the second you said:

    Follow me please, if you were to follow a true hard core Calvinistic line, these dear children you care for, would be brought into the fold with or without our efforts. I know, you are commanded to and that is good, but the real issue is if these little ones are “elected” from the foundation of the world, they will be redeemed regardless of what any man does, because they are elected. No ifs, ands, or buts. And also to follow a true Calvinistic train of thought, if they are chosen to “reprobation” no amount of aid will assist them. They will get what they deserve, because they were born in sin, and were not of the “election to salvation” that a Calvinists subscribes to.

    Where did you get the idea that the “true hard Calvinistic line” suggests that people can be brought into the fold without our efforts? The true hard Calvinistic line is “How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent” (Romans 10:14,15). The true hard Calvinistic line is “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). No one comes to the Father unless and until they hear the NAME of Jesus. Those children I love in Jamaica needed me to take the gospel to them – and the love of Christ constrained me to take it to them.

    As for the flip side of the coin – “if they are chosen to reporobation no amount of aid will assist them – is not a tenet of Calvinism AT ALL. “He that believeth not is CONDEMNED ALREADY.” Every person born was born to damnation. Some of us get grace – grace as a free gift and not because of works of righteousness which we have don, but simply because of God’s MERCY.” The only way a person can pass from death (reprobation) to life is through the hearing of the gospel – “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

    You answered all of your own questions about Calvinism, Don when you said:

    “My point is this, and back to this Calvinism matter, your verbiage is Calvinistic while your heart shows Biblicists.”

    EXACTLY! You are hung up on CALVIN when you should just recognize that what Calvin taught was what the Apostle Paul taught. Calvinism is Biblicism! There is NO CONTRADICTION between the two.

  12. Paul

    Thank you for the engagement.

    As to your first response, I agree completely, the answer is God!
    I have never said my hope is in me. That is a standard smoke screen from many who espouse this position. I’m surprised that you think I’m that naive.

    “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven among men, whereby we must be saved. …”Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said,.. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

    You side stepped the question, however. I asked you, in my first post, do you believe that God foreordained sin from the foundation of the earth? The second posting was framed around this thought.

    Let me ask you some further questions; do you believe that God foreordained from the foundation of the world, all of your thoughts, where you live, how long you live there, all of your actions, as Philip Melanchthon is quoted by Boettner, as stating. Or do you believe that God foreordained from the foundation of the world, THE FALL of Adam, as Boettner claims? Or do you follow with Zanchius, that God DECREED the fall? Or do you subscribe to the statement of Shedd, that God ordained SIN? And do you agree with Palmer that GOD FOREORDAINED SIN? And, finally, do you agree with, Martin Lloyd-Jones, that you can do nothing to make the slightest difference, insinuating that every motion, word spoken, action, taken by a man are already determined prior to the foundation of the earth?

    If you would answer these questions, I would be better supplied to give a response.
    This is where the difference lies.

    You said “those children ‘I’ love in Jamaica needed ‘ME’ to take the gospel to them”
    Now was it you, or was it God, that delivered the gospel to them?
    I believe that it was You, in a willing response to the urging of the Holy Spirit. with the message of God. I do not believe you had no choice in going, and this is where we differ. If you follow what these men have stated, it was not YOUR decision to go at all, but what God had foreordained for you, prior to you even coming on the scene. Remember, “your inward thoughts”.

    You also quote scripture John 3:18 ” He that believe th on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”… Why omit the context of that verse? ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” You know why. The Calvinist must change the term “whosoever” to “whosoever that God has elected” to force the Limited Atonement argument. And again where the Word of God states, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as SOME MEN count slackness, but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that ALL men should come to repentance”..WHY?… because he, “commandeth all men, everywhere to repent”

    Would you like to take a shot at showing us how the scholars have mangled the scriptures to force their doctrine on this one. I found it quit entertaining!

    Now here is the Calvinists problem;
    The condemning comes from lack of belief, however, under the doctrine you espouse, the person is unable to believe, (total inability) without first being predesignated from the foundation of the world, the ability then comes from God, to the unable individual, to believe. If this be true, the belief is God’s belief, because the person did not possess the capacity to believe himself. This is why the Calvinist teach that even the thoughts of man are foreordained from the foundation of the world. Secondly, according to Calvinism, the predestination, foreordination, the decision who shall be granted the ability to respond in belief, all occurs prior to any human being or angel being created. So under the doctrine of the Calvinistic system, a man is condemned, allegedly already, due to the fall of Adam, ( you said he was born in damnation), he is born unable to believe or repent ( do to the doctrine of inability, yet he is commanded to do so by God) and then through grace he is granted the irresistible desire and ability to do so, and then is saved, which was already predetermined before the foundation of the world, by God, through His sovereignty. How can those spoken of in Acts 7:51, ” resist the Holy Ghost” if it is impossible to do so, and what is the Holy Ghost doing calling a non elect crowd if they have not been chosen to respond, (should you tell me the next answer in your arsenal). This violates the justice of God. The Calvinist elevates the sovereignty of God above all of His other attributes, thus forcing a contradiction upon God’s nature.
    A king can be sovereign, without being righteous. A brief look at history shows this.

    We could go on for days, but I shall not.
    You say “You are hung up on Calvin when you should just recognize that what Calvin taught was what the Apostle Paul taught”
    Really. I just quoted him. He said “all men everywhere”, does a Calvinist believe “all men everywhere” are commanded to repent by God?
    Let me say it again, Really. I hear almost daily on your program your assertion that you are a Calvinist. Who’s hung up on Calvin?

    The only one I’m hung up on is Jesus!

    I accept that you are locked in by now, but I still love and pray for your ministry and family. I also have prayed for, and supported those children we have discussed. That is a good work.

    Just for reminiscence sakes, I spoke to Tracy Cooper Last week, he also supports needy children like you and I.
    Matter of fact he and Margaret have adopted 4 of them. I love them also.

    I will as always remain your friend, even though I suspect it is not desired, we are still brothers in the same family, and my Father is looking your way.

    In Christ

    Don

  13. Don,
    You make so many assumptions and you misread my words back to me! The biggest *false* assumption you make is that I would not want to remain your friend because we have this disagreement – which is not a disagreement at all, but a semantical argument.
    Of course I want to remain your friend. You are my brother and I love you in the Lord just as I always have.
    Stop reading the Calvinists and just read Paul (the Apostle)!
    You said:
    “If this be true, the belief is God’s belief, because the person did not possess the capacity to believe himself. ”

    Of course the belief is God’s belief – which is exactly what Paul said in Ephesians 2:8,9 and Galatians 2:20 – faith is a free gift – “and THAT (the faith to believe) not of yourselves.” Whose faith is it: “The life that I now live in the flesh I live by THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD…” Your view that all of this somehow violates the justice of God was anticpated and answered by the Holy Spirit when Paul first introduced this strange teaching in Romans 9:14 – “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.”
    You said:
    “So under the doctrine of the Calvinistic system, a man is condemned, allegedly already, due to the fall of Adam…”
    Where does “allegedly” come from?! The Bible SAYS he is condemned already. READ JOHN 3:18 – “He that believeth not is condemned ALREADY…” or John 3:36 – “…he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the WRATH OF GOD ABIDES ON HIM.” The Calvinistic doctrine is BIBLICAL doctrine. And I didn;t take John 3:18 out of its context. John 3:16 limits the atonement to WHOSOEVER BELIEVES – not to the WHOLE WORLD. That would be universalism and that would put you in the Robert Schuller camp which is not where I think you want to be. You quote 2 Peter 3:9 – “not willing that any should perish.” The TEXT itself defines the word “any” as “us-ward” and 2 Peter 1:1 defines “us” as “those who have obtained like precious faith with us.” All Peter is saying in 2 Peter 3:9 is what Jesus said in John 10:27-29 – Peter is making Jesus’ point that Jesus’ sheep can never be lost. God is not willing that any of His sheep be lost. I realize you won’t accept the clear explanation of the text – but no matter how you read it, THAT’S what it SAYS.
    “The Calvinists” have not changed the meaning of WHOSOEVER in John 3:16 to mean “WHOSOEVER GOD ELECTS.” God has limited the atonement to WHOSOEVER BELIEVES and WHOSOEVER BELIEVES is limited to those whom the Father draws (John 6:35-40). Note in the John 10:27-29 text Jesus said that it was IMPOSSIBLE for the Pharisees to believe because they were NOT HIS SHEEP. You don’t believe in order to BECOME a sheep; you believe because you ARE a sheep. Read the text clearly.
    I know precisely what you are going through, Don. I realize you think I am a heretic of the first order, that I have denied the faith. But you and I were not told the truth about what the Bible teaches on this subject. The doctrines of grace were misrepresented. When you finally see it, it will be joy unspeakable and full of glory! I know you believe that the doctrines of grace rob a person of joy and assurance, but that’s because you don’t see it! I have more assurance of my salvation today than I ever did growing up because I see the biblical truth that “His grace has planned it all” including my faith in Him for salvation. God is just and the justifier of him who believes on Jesus!

  14. Paul

    Thank you again for your engagement, I sit here this Sunday am unable to attend church due to a migraine left over from yesterday. The quit solitude of my office reminds me of the admonition to “Be still and know that I am God”

    When I said “allegedly” it was due to the reformed position on the “children”. Evidently, the fall only applies to the “born children”. Why do most of your theologians in the reformed camp, dance around this issue? Whether or not the child is born, he is conceived in sin, and his life begins at conception.
    I was trying to elicit a response, sorry for the misinterpretation of my text.

    You are also correct in your position that there is no unrighteousness with God. This exactly my point. The reformed position is what puts an apparent contradiction in the doctrine, not the word of God.

    Do you not find it interesting, at least in the minuet, that in order to apply the reformed doctrine, you must appeal to several versions of the Bible, to make your case?

    The suggestion that I must be a universalists is the standard reformed reply, maybe from W. E. Best , in his work; God’s Longsuffering is Salvation.

    As to 2 Peter 3:9 If your assumption that the all, are the elect, why would Peter be concerned that any should perish, for an “elect soul” to perish under the reformed thinking is an impossibility?

    As to God’s will regarding man; the idea that a person can do nothing except submit to God’s will is the foundation of Calvinism (sorry, I used that term again).
    The word of God teaches that a man can, and does, resist the grace of God, as seen in ;
    Psalm 78:41 “Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and Limited the Holy One of Israel”

    Psalm 81:11 “But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.”

    Matthew 23:27 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how oft would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, AND YE WOULD NOT!”

    1 Timothy 2:1-5 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
    For kings, and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quit and peaceable life in all goodness and honesty.
    For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
    Who will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

    God,s will is that all men should get saved, the reason they do not is given by Jesus;
    John 5:40 “And YE WILL NOT come to me, that ye might have life”

    The question is not, is man able to resist the grace of God, but will God ALLOW a man to resist him!

    When some reformed theologians try to disprove what these verses clearly say, many will resort to a dispensationilist defense, when most of the time they reject dispensationalism.

    As I see it. It is the “addition to doctrine” where the reformed theology goes astray, rather accepting the text at face value. In other words, just believing it.

    From Depravity,…. to total depravity, and then to total inability.
    From Election,……. to unconditional election.
    From Atonement,.. to limited atonement, or the softer term “particular redemption”.
    From Grace, ……….to irresistible grace .
    From all men, ……..to all men without distinction
    From all, …………….to all the elect.
    From world ,………. to the world generically.
    From any, …………..to any of the elect.

    I leave you with a quote from the namesake of the reformed theology, John Calvin himself.

    This is His wondrous love toward the human race, that He desires all men to be saved, and is prepared to bring even the perishing to safety. We must notice the order, that God is prepared to receive all men into repentance, so that none may perish. These words indicate the the means of obtaining salvation, and whoever of us seeks salvation must learn to follow in this way” Commentaries, vol 12 p. 364

    We both know that Calvin did not believe what this implies, this is my point, the reformed camp is all over the board on most of the issues, as this illustrates.

    I do not think of you as a heretic, but mislead. As to what I am going through can be better defined by the words of a song;
    This world is not my home, I just a passing through.

    Do you remember the Sunday service at the Temple when Holland London spoke on the subject “The things Papa taught me when I was a boy”?
    I recall as he was drawing the message to a close, he told how he sat at his fathers bedside watching Papa’s last moments on this side, holding onto his hand. He told us that he wept as he lamented that he was unable to tell Papa how much he loved him one more time. He said at that moment Papa squeezed his hand, opened his eyes and spoke these last words; “In the morning Holland, I’ll see you in the morning”

    Paul, It will be in the Morning!! I may not get to see you prior to then, but we will fellowship once again “In the Morning!”

    I was concerned that our friendship would be lost over these differences, many Calvinists part fellowship over them, some even believe you are not saved unless are converted through the reformed system. Thanks for the reassurance.

    Your Brother,

    Don

  15. both calvinism and armenianism are logically inconsistent.

    if you follow the calvin position to its logical end, then man shouldn’t really be responsible for his sins.

    if you follow the armenian position to its logical end, then God does not really know the future.

    however, God both does know the future, and we are still responsible for our sins.

    i would love to one day introduce a new system by which we can define this issue. I find that so much of this debate is caught up on word plays and it is quite bothersome.

    another thing that is bothersome is when Paul keeps referring to calvinism as the “biblical” view. he insists that he’s not holding to a theological position, but a “biblical” one.

    i must say Paul that i wish you would be a little more humble and wise than that. I agree with strong convictions when it comes to the essentials of our faith. i know you will use certain verses to try to “prove” that calvinism = biblical teaching. Yet at the same time anyone else can say that (and great bible scholars have and continue to say it regarding their own theological persuassions).

    i can say that we should speak in tongues at the moment of baptism and say its the “biblical” view. sure you can respond that its not the biblical view but I can get some verses and say it is.

    are you seeing my point. you dont have a corner on the biblical theology market… when you say that your calvinistic position is the bibles position.. you are saying that the rest of us must have been confused somewhere along the lines. when you do this… (especially on the radio) you make yourself sound quite annoying and probably turn off quite a few people who listen. (to which you may think thats fine, the gospel is offensive…) if thats the case… let the gospel be offensive, and not you. besides the gospel is not calvinism, its jesus christ and Him crucified. be dogmatic on that, and not too much else.

    but i do appreciate your passion God bless

  16. perhaps if you simply said… “i believe this to be the biblical view” it would be a little more kosher

  17. Jason

    Thanks for a clear thought process. You are exactly right, when you state that both
    systems have no logical end. I was trying to demonstrate this by quoting the authors.

    The good news is there is a balance to both, and has always has been. The Word of God!!

    The Holy Spirit will, and does, lead, guide, and bear witness with our spirit. We need to “try” the spirits to see if they be of God.

    Thanks again.

  18. Jason

    One additional thought.

    It has been the historical Calvinistic position, that if your are not Calvinistic, you must be Armenian. There is no other possible way in the Calvinist’s eyes.

    There is ample proof that there are many who do not subscribe to either camp, as myself does not.

    Both systems of interpretation have evolved past what either namesake taught.

    There also seems to be a preoccupation with the Pauline Epistle’s with most followers of the Reformed position.

    “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I am of Apollos, and I of Cephas; and I of Christ”

    This is nothing new, It has been in debate since the start of the Church. I believe this is one of the reasons why we are told to “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    Lord bless you brother.

    .

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