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#52746 Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:54 AM
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Of all the doctrines of biblical Christianity, aka: historic Calvinism do you think is most hated? And, what is your reason for your choice? scratchchin


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Pilgrim #52747 Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:54 AM
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I feel that the most problems I have come in contact with regarding the doctrines of grace, a.k.a. Calvinism, has to be their rejection of particular redemption, or limited atonement,.. whichever way we pronounce it is offensive to their understanding of Christ mission to save.


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I would say the Sovereignty of God. We, as sinners, want to put ourselves on the throne. And, being submerged with the idea of democracy, having a Sovereign God runs counter to all our concepts that we have been ingrained with outside of church.

Another one would be God's Justice.


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"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
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I like your answer of the sovereignty of God, I actually was thinking of election. Then I remember my embracing the doctrines of grace, in particular where it comes to Romans chapter 9. Why I mention this is because when was able to fully embrace the doctrine of election, it was because Romans 9 made me realize I was looking at the matter through my own selfish eyes, rather than my sovereign Lord's eyes. In other words ultimately my problem was God's sovereignty, even though I didn't realize it at the time.
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Total Depravity in my opinion. It is the root of all the bitterness people have about the doctrine of election. People don't want to be told that they are by nature helpless, weak, spiritually dead, and desperately wicked.


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Hell, Judgement, Eternity..... Most folks who hate these are pretty Universalist if you press em..... Most atheists find eternal salvation pretty unappealing as well..... I think most arminians who are pressed on these matters either ultimately lean Calvinism or outright heretical.... and eventually abandon their faith.... As well as Tozer fared in every other area, he turned his brain off when it came to the strongest meat.... But I believe he was exCalvinist and his rejection of tulip was a conscious head scratching choice

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Robin #52752 Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:27 PM
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Robin In many cases I think you are correct about Total Depravity. Yet, over the years I have run into a lot of Reformed Christians whose experience is the same as mine. They had already embraced the doctrines of grace, but they did so because they believed Scripture overrode their feelings. Like me, Romans 9 cured that.

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The following was, and quite timely to this thread, I think, in our bulletin today:
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To say I don’t believe in Election is easy and dishonest. If any doctrine is in the Bible, it is to be believed, held and proclaimed regardless of results. Any meeting that any Bible teaching will kill has no right to go on, it ought to be killed. Any church that any Bible teaching will split ought to be split wide open. There are times when certain doctrines must be preached regardless of consequences. The Bible doctrine of election is the object of more hatred and the occasion of the ugliest spirit of resentment and of more sharp division than any other Scriptural doctrine. — A. D. Muse


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There is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. - C.H. Spurgeon
Robin #52754 Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:30 PM
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I have to agree with Robin on this one, i.e., the most hated, despised, distorted and rejected doctrine of all of Calvinism is the doctrine of "Total Depravity". Did you ever notice that our beloved "T-U-L-I-P" is really a rearrangement of the original response/conclusion of the great Synod of Dordt, which we know as the "Canons of Dordt" (1618-19)? If you read the original order, which you can do here: The Canons of Dordt, the acrostic is actually "U-L-T-I-P".

The "5 Points" are an integral whole, which is undeniably true. But if you diminish, distort or deny the doctrine of Total Depravity, then none of the other 4 Points is necessary. Now, I could spend the time to expound on this truth, but it would occupy far too much space for a forum post. giggle Soooo, I will simply refer your attention to what the late John Gerstner said back in 1978 at the PCRT conference in Wheaton, Illinois in his first address. The transcript can be found here: "TULIP". After the introduction of the five points, Dr. Gerstner begins his exposition of the individual points beginning with "T"; Total Depravity. The entire lecture was emblazoned in my mind, heart and soul and I can still hear the sound of the "growling professor" in the recesses of my mind. But this first section on Total Depravity, in my estimation was the best. Do read it. grin


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Pilgrim #52755 Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:57 PM
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I can only tell you my experience concerning the doctrines of grace.

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One year ago, in the Article of the Month, we published John Gerstner's lecture from 1978 PCRT Conference on TULIP and he had this to say regarding which of the 5 Points that was most troublesome for people to accept. In his classic manner, he expresses this here:

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It is my deep conviction based on many, many encounters, that the main reason people have problems with TULIP and with the Reformed Faith in general is because they do not believe in total depravity. They think it’s the article we’re coming to, unconditional election and limited atonement, but, every time, just yesterday, when I was speaking on a campus in Ohio, it came out once again. I don’t have a time to mention, but every time it comes out, that the seeming opposition to the decrees reveals an already latent, and perhaps unsuspected opposition to this first doctrine. It’s like a person saying “I have a pain in my shoulder” and the physician says “There’s nothing wrong with your shoulder, you’re suffering from gall bladder trouble.” We think it’s the decree that’s the locus of our problem, but, if we look carefully, almost invariably, we’ll be discovering it’s because we can’t take the insult of man as he is described. And if you think, incidentally, that I have been a little rough on you, you should read George Whitfield, taking you to the tomb of Lazarus, for example, and reminding you, that that cadaver is an exact one-to-one correspondence of your dead soul, and making it very, very plain that you stink in the nostrils of almighty God. I think he would have been somewhat disappointed in the inadequacy of my presentation, and all I can say is that George Whitfield is guilty of understatement. It is impossible, to indicate how utterly gone we are. But, if you do once convince yourself of that particular truth, you’ll be just like Martin Luther. You’ll accept unconditional election, even if it weren’t in the Bible! You’d start putting apocryphal literature in there, just to make sure that it was spelled out. It just had to be! In Bondage of the Will, the way Luther, who was a Calvinist before Calvin, as you know, although some Lutherans as you know, don’t always know that. And Luther who was a Calvinist before Calvin puts it is, “I know Martin Luther well enough to know that he would never ever have found his way out of this miry pit if God hadn’t reach down and lifted him out.” It is as simple as that! And once you get that idea, that you are gone, and the thoughts and intents of your heart are only evil continually, you know full well that you have a spark of life in you. If there’s the slightest yearning for holiness, any impulse whatever towards Jesus Christ, is because something has happened to you. God has visited you. This is what the theologians call the divine initiative.
~ John Gerstner


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Tom #52757 Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom
I can only tell you my experience concerning the doctrines of grace.
Unfortunately Tom, your experience is woefully limited and thus not a sound basis upon which to make an accurate judgment. There can be no question that Dr. Gerstner's experience is more than perhaps that of all of the member's experience here combined, he having taught thousands of people, spoken to 10's of thousands of people, traveled the world over, etc. So, in his case, perhaps experience has some merit. grin

OBJECTIVELY, it seems that when one comes to understand how foundational and pivotal the doctrine of Total Depravity is, then it is more than logical to conclude that it would be most hated.

Now, in my own experience of 40+ years, if it is of any import, I would have to say that even among those churches which claim to be Reformed, the majority avoid the doctrine of Total Depravity to one degree or another. Just a quick reading of various "Reformed" churches websites "Statement of Faith, "What We Believe", etc. will clearly show that hardly any mention of even the word "depravity", never mind "total depravity". Most of them externalize sin and rarely mention the corruption of nature that ALL are conceived and born with, never mind the "guilt" of which ALL have by imputation of Adam's sin and thus are ALL under God's wrath and judgment and destined to eternal Hell.


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Annie Oakley
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The quote which Gerstner alluded to in his lecture on TULIP by George Whitefield.

Come, ye dead, Christless, unconverted sinner, come and see the place where they laid the body of the deceased Lazarus; behold him laid out, bound hand and foot with grave clothes, locked up and stinking in a dark cave, with a great stone placed on top of it. View him again and again; go nearer to him; be not afraid; smell him, Ah! how he stinketh. Stop there now, pause a while; and whilst thou art gazing upon the corpse of Lazarus, give me leave to tell thee with great plainness, but greater love, that this dead, bound, entombed, stinking carcass, is but a faint representation of thy poor soul in it natural state;...thy spirit which thou bearest about with thee, sepulchered in flesh and blood, is literally dead to God, and as truly dead in trespasses and sins, as the body of Lazarus was in the cave. Was he bound hand and foot with grave clothes? So art thou bound hand and foot with thy corruptions; and as a stone was laid on the sepulchre, so there is a stone of unbelief upon thy stupid heart. Perhaps thou has lain in this estate, not only four days, but many years, stinking in God's nostrils. And, what is still more effecting, thou art as unable to raise thyself out of this loathsome, dead state, to a life of righteousness and true holiness, as ever Lazarus was to raise himself from the cave in which he lay so long. Thou mayest try the power of thy boasted free will, and the force and energy of moral persuasion and rational arguments (which, without doubt, have their proper place in religion); but all thy efforts, exerted with never so much vigor, will prove quite fruitless and abortive, till that same Jesus, who said; take away the stone" and cried "Lazarus, come forth," also quicken you. This is grace, graciously offered, and grace graciously applied.

~ George Whitefield


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
Pilgrim #52762 Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:12 AM
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Pilgrim
Sorry, I misunderstood the question.
I was talking about the doctrine that gave me the most trouble.
Even before I became convinced about the doctrines of grace, I agreed with totally depravity. Though I didn't know all of its implications.

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Hi Guys,
I too agree with Robin. Until one understands that Total Depravity means that the whole of man has fallen, then the balance ULIP is not to be understood. At least for me anyway. There is no part of me that was not affected by the fall. Sin affects my mind , my body, my will.
This topic reminded me of what R.C. Sproul said about Adam. If Adam had never sinned then he would not have needed bifocals at middle age. As a matter of fact middle age would have been a meaningless term.


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