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Not sure if my questions are relevant of "Free Will"

My former stealth Neo-Calvinist Pastor (on a Wednesday night service) proclaimed when we "accidentally" sin to get right with God.

I then suggested that when we sin we know exactly what we are doing.
(that statement made me a doctrinal challenge)

Do Calvinist believe they are not using their Free Will when they sin?

Do Calvinist who proclaimed to be saved believe when they sin that the only way to maintain salvation is if their sin was an accident?

How can Calvinist, embrace Election Theology if they repetitively raise doubt of salvation, every time a person sins?

Do they believe a repetitive life cycle of accidentally sinning then repenting to be saved, then accidentally sinning again thereby making them unsaved that causes them to repent again, will give them assurance they are part of the Elect?

How can a Law and Sin Centered Calvinist really believe he/she could have any assurance of salvation knowing they will probably "accidentally" sin again, even after making a profession of faith?


rhutchin referred to Craig Daliessio's comment:

"For years now I have stated that the Calvinists need to split off from the Non Calvinists and form their own Baptist Convention."

by saying:

"Actually, this kinda handled in 1991 in the opposite direction when the moderates (not a Calvinist in the bunch) left and formed the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship."

While it would be a much easier theological row to hoe for SBC Calvinists to just join the Presbyterian Church in America or form their own thing, why would they want to do that?! Unlike the liberals/moderates which departed the SBC during the Conservative/Calvinist Resurgence, SBC Calvinists now control most SBC entities as the New Calvinist movement gains strength. Calvinization of the SBC is now largely complete ... no need for the reformed brethren to leave the SBC. Only a couple more seminaries to go before they recover the gospel that the rest of us lost.

peter lumpkins


Had you come in a bit earlier, that would have been a great question for rhutchin to consider. If, as he/she believes, after regeneration, one now is REALLY free, and would "naturally" only come to Christ, why does the regenerated person who "naturally" comes to Christ, would not also "naturally" live a life free from sin? If the will is REALLY set free to want Christ and cannot not want Christ, how is it that the same person cannot not sin?

With that, I am...


Peter, (and rhutchin if you are still out there)

Who is rhutchin.

I wouldn't mind him answering today'a (10/02 12:56 p.m.) basic questions I asked you.

Andrew Barker

rhutchin: You confuse physical activities (walking, hearing) with spiritually activities (desiring the things of God). That a "spiritually" dead person can physically walk, talk, etc. is irrelevant to the discussion.

To be spiritually dead is, by definition in Ephesians 2, to be "dead in trespasses and sins."

This is rather a poor argument though isn't it. By whose definition? I've seen no explanation other than you apparently say it is the case. In which case we might just as well simply believe everything you say because YOU say it!

You are not the first to try and argue that Eph 2 is talking about two different worlds, the physical and the spiritual. How convenient then that the dead part refers to the spiritual and the live part refers to, well, the physical. This may appear quite convenient to you at this stage, but you may be in for a shock if you take this to its logical conclusion. There is much in Calvinism and Reformed theology which is far deeper than many are aware of. Including quite a strong element of gnosticism. Now before you start complaining that I'm accusing you of gnostic heresy, just hold on. The point I'm trying to make here is that by saying the walking in sin etc etc is purely the physical and not the spiritual you are in effect starting down the path of gnosticism which is quite comfortable in saying that provided the spiritual side is OK, the body can do whatever it likes because the two are quite separate.

If you just look at verses 2-3 you get the picture not of a dead spirit in the sense that it can't function. To the contrary the spirit is being led by the evil one and "working in the sons of disobedience". There's plenty of action going on, but not life in the true Godly sense.

You need to think carefully also of what your belief means in terms of the what it means regarding who we are. We are body, soul and ..... spirit? Dead spirit? How can a person be 'born' with a dead spirit?

Much of what you are saying stems from the Reformed position that man is a lifeless corpse and as such can do nothing to save himself. This is one of the most ill thought out aspects of Reformed theology. I grant that many of the good and the great use it, but this description of the human condition is found only in the pages of Reformed theology and has not a shred of scriptural support. Not a single shred!

So, separate the spiritual from the physical if you must to suit your argument, but personally I don't think it achieves very much.


"Since we all cannot help committing crimes (given that we have hard and impenitent hearts (v5)), your real question is why any are saved at all."

Everyone! Remind me to hide the silver and lock up the children if rhutchin comes over. He cannot help but commit crimes. :o)


"God's judgment of any sinner is just regardless what excuses are offered. You seem to sympathize with the Universalist here who ask, Why would God only save (not judge) some and not all?"

There are Universalists here? Oh, I forgot. There are only 2 choices within Christendom according to Calvinism. Univeralism and Calvinism. Both are determinism. Both take human beings out of the salvic equation. It has all been a cosmic puppet show.


"... hide the silver and lock up the children ..."

Lydia, some fringes of New Calvinism in my area are bordering on antinomianism.


Peter writes, "I was under the impression I was clear concerning the exchange over "free will" and was only interested in some exegetical comments you might propose to demonstrate the core notion in the Calvinist Ordo Salutis--regeneration precedes faith. Believe me when I say I understand completely that you'd prefer to ignore my request. Nonetheless my request stands."

We know that the Greek word translated into the English as "regeneration" appears in only two verses in the NT and in neither verse does it deal with the relationship between regeneration and faith.

Thus, neither of the conflicting core notions - regeneration precedes faith and faith precedes regeneration - are explicitly affirmed in the Scriptures. Both core notions are advanced through logical arguments that draw from a host of verses.

I would respond to your request if there were a verse that I could use to do so. At the same time, you have no verse that demonstrates the notion that faith precedes regeneration (despite what you claim earlier). If this is not so, then which of the two verses do you offer as demonstrating your claim that faith precedes regeneration?



My daughter went with a friend to a supposedly non Calvinist church youth group event. She took notes and brought them home to discuss because even she was shocked. The youth pastor did attend SBTS because he talked about the seminary several times promoting it. But his message was vile.

He basically told them that if they were not suffering they were not walking with God. He made NO distinction when it came to suffering. It could be suffering with a molesting father who pretends to be a Christian at church. It could have been suffering with cancer. It could have been suffering through persecution. It did not matter the type of suffering they just needed to suffer.

But his message was that if they are NOT suffering they cannot know Jesus Christ. The teen my daughter was attending with has a bent nose from being punched by her own mother and her father is in the midst of a sole custody battle. And these are middle class suburbanites! So should she be protected with a custody battle and told she has value and Jesus Christ does not want this for her or should she suffer FOR Jesus with an abusive parent because then she can know Him?

Basically, the youth pastor was presenting a god that looks more like satan who loves suffering.

And we wonder why this movement is producing atheists. You know, the youth pastor is paid to believe and teach this. There is no value at all for the teen. Talk about hopelessness. That entire movement is a culture of death for the followers of it.

I would tell the teens that Jesus Christ wants us to alleviate as much suffering as we can. Let us inspire them to find cures for cancer, to help the poor, to work for justice, to invent better products and services to help their fellow humans, etc. But why do this when we are nothing but totally unable people who cannot help but commit crimes? Will suffering come in this world? Absolutely!but let us focus on alleviating as much as we can in His Name. That is who Jesus Christ is.


Churches have become dangerous places



"the Greek word translated into the English as "regeneration" appears in only two verses in the NT...Both core notions are advanced through logical arguments that draw from a host of verses...you have no verse that demonstrates the notion that faith precedes regeneration."

As for the first claim, the term "regeneration" appearing only twice in the NT, has nothing to do per se with my challenge. That Christ was born of a "virgin" is only mentioned once.

Your second claim, "Both core notions are advanced through logical arguments that draw from a host of verses" is both wrong-headed and incorrect; wrong-headed because you attempt to make the non-Calvinist's claim as dubious as the Calvinist's and incorrect because, as I've repeated several times, verse after verse suggests life is the result of belief (not the reverse) as justification is the result of belief (not the reverse). And, I suppose now you'll also tell us that what's implied in your regeneration precedes faith logical deduction--namely, regenerate men yet to be justified--is also a product of logic deduced from a host of Scriptures. Care to list and exegetically ascertain the evidence from the host of Scriptures which presumably indicate that regeneration precedes justification?

Your third claim is also incorrect since contrary to your denial, we've dealt with many, many verses on this site demonstrating that spiritual life is based upon the condition of faith. Nor is the maxim "faith precedes regeneration" a key plank in non-Calvinists' Ordo salutis for the simple reason that non-Calvinists rarely, if ever, even mention or describe a formal Ordo salutis because the NT doesn't offer or describe an official Ordo salutis. The Ordo salutis is part and parcel of Reformed theology not exposition of Scripture.

Now, it's obvious you're not going to even attempt to offer any type of biblical rationale for what IS a key plank in your Ordo salutis--regeneration precedes faith--despite the fact that you claim now a host of verses exist from which one deduces regeneration precedes faith. What is more, you listed a long string of texts above from several books including Romans, 1 Cor., and John but will not extract a single exegetical hint from any of the cited texts which leads you to conclude regeneration MUST precede faith.

Hence, since you are uninterested in citing the biblical evidence which leads you to confirm a key plank in Calvinism, as with the exchange on free will, I think now the exchange is over on this part too. I appreciate your contributions.

With that, I am...


Lydia - Yes the YRR teaching re: Christian suffering is warped ... I call it stinkin' thinkin'. It's as if they are looking for avenues to get their merit badge for suffering, while ignoring feet on the ground to relieve the suffering of others. The Pied Piper (John, i.e.) has been instrumental in steering New Calvinists in this direction. In my humble (but accurate) opinion, Piper preaches a very unbalanced view of suffering, stretching verses like "through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" to fit Calvinist teachings in this area.

Just another reason why young folks should run from New Calvinism. I wonder if your daughter noticed the sad countenance of other young women sitting in that church. In the SBC-YRR churches in my area, they are treated like lower class citizens in the Kingdom ... falling in behind their men ... you can cut the oppression with a knife. This may prove to be the Achilles heel of New Calvinism; once women wake up to this, they may use their Christian liberty to drag their sorry husbands/boy friends out of the mess!

I was young, and now am old, and I ain't seen nothin' like this! When will this madness stop?!

Alex Guggenheim

Titus 3:5 "the washing of regeneration". Central to the definition of regeneration is the washing or sanctification, i.e., being made clean. Neo-Cals and many Baptist Cals who teach regeneration before faith do so in ignorance (willful or not) of this central denoted meaning of regeneration.

They simply ignore this and state regeneration is being made alive, spiritually, so one may believe, again, ignoring that to be made alive again, spiritually (that is, looking back when Adam was alive spiritually but died so in his disobedience and passed on our congential spiritual deadness we inherit in our conception and in birth until we are born again - palingenesis - by faith in the gospel).

But Titus is quite explicit that central to the act of regeneration, hence, its denoted definition or meaning, is 'washing" or cleansing/sanctification.

And we know that the Bible declares God must be justified in cleansing us via a divinely accepted offering for sin.. Thus, the man who has not believed and received as his propitiation, Christ, remains unjustified, thus, disallowing God to wash him clean, thst is, unless you are suggesting God violate his own integrity and washes you clean before you believe the Gospel. Yikes.

Alex Guggenheim

The second paragraph in my earlier post should read after the parenthetical comments, "but that is not accurate per Titus which dogmatically defines regeneration as part of the saving work of washing us clean which can only occur when we believe. Christ must be accepted as our propitiation before any act of cleansing occurs".



Not only do YRR's need to suffer to get their merit badge they have to be wearing their suffering, on their sleeve for all to see.
(even if it means fabricating a Doctrine crisis)

A Stealth YRR preacher proclaimed only a couple of weeks into his tumultuous covert 2 tenure, that he didn't see enough persecution and suffering among the body to recognize it as saved.

We don't have a wealthy congregation and most of the people who are "suffering" were usually smiling because of the love of Christ embedded in their hearts.

How can one wear go out of their way and put on display suffering and persecution in their life, if one has Christ.

By appearance YRR Calvinist need to earn their way into heaven.

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