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Bernard Gui

Why Did God Create Some Humans Only To Damn Them?

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is everyone done yet? I still see a little straw laying around left over if anyone needs some for their arguments...

(what? you say incredulously, LDS creating strawmen of other's religious beliefs? How can this be? Have the persecuted become the persecutors? these questions for next episode of Jack Chick and Other LDS Guilty Pleasures)

Reformed Theology does not believe that a saved person can sit back and do what they want

Reformed Theology does not teach that God creates people for the purpose of damning them

Reformed Theologians are not "agitated" that a farm boy considered our beliefs apostate and thinks us unsaved as he is not now nor will ever be our final judge

Reformed Theologians do not think God finds any pleasure in the damnation of the wicked

Reformed Theology does not teach that our Creator God is either "capricious" or that He did not endow you with the ability to think for yourself (is the LDS God capricious for starting the church then turning His back on the planet for 1800 years?)

Reformed Theology does teach that all creation is to bring God glory. That His plan will be fulfilled as He dictates. That He will show mercy on whom He will. That our sinful nature cripples our "free will" so that we choose the wrong and make Him and His will a constant opposition to our will. That unless God mercifully and miraculously calls us we are unwilling and unable to 'choose' Him. That at no time ever can our "choice" blunt the eternal plans of God; that He is under no obligation to share His mercy to those who are His enemies.

That this is Sovereignty. It is not a comfortable doctrine but it reigns througout Scripture from the Garden to John's final vision.

I agee with you Paul that most Christians don't believe the "strawmen" we LDSers are throwing up, but there are some who do. They believe that no matter what they do or don't do, they are saved, they could even commit murder and all sort of vile deeds on other people and they will be saved. There are even those who have told me that God will condemn most of mankind to Hell for His pleasure. They are in the minority, but they really do exist.

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is everyone done yet? I still see a little straw laying around left over if anyone needs some for their arguments...

(what? you say incredulously, LDS creating strawmen of other's religious beliefs? How can this be? Have the persecuted become the persecutors? these questions for next episode of Jack Chick and Other LDS Guilty Pleasures)

They ain't strawmen when I have had it explained to me point blank in just such terms: God created us, God gives us no free will, God saves whom he pleases, the rest of you are just outta luck. Have fun in Hell.

Should I just chalk it up to people who spend so much time explaining my beliefs to me that they fail to grasp the underpinnings of their own theological beliefs? Admittedly, most of these people weren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed.

I stand by my prior statements.

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So, God created humans.

From nothing.

Some were predestined to be saved.

Some were predestined to be damned.

Why bother?

Bernard

This is Calvinism...totally false.

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is everyone done yet? I still see a little straw laying around left over if anyone needs some for their arguments...

. . . .

(is the LDS God capricious for starting the church then turning His back on the planet for 1800 years?)

I see you found a use for that leftover straw all by yourself.

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Everyone, take a deep breath please, let it out slowly...

Why is it that when most LDS discuss Reformed Theology on this board, emotions run so high? I find nothing logically inconsistent with the Reformed view. It doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies, but I respect it.

That being said, Paul, I did have a serious question for you. I am interested in finding out more about the concept of sovereignty. I am not looking to trap you, just want to know (though I generally do ask a whole bunch of follow-up questions).

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Reformed Theology does not believe that a saved person can sit back and do what they want

Can any humans do whatever they want?

Reformed Theology does not teach that God creates people for the purpose of damning them

I have been told just the opposite many times. Some are created for damnation, some for salvation, using the image of the potter and the clay.

Reformed Theologians do not think God finds any pleasure in the damnation of the wicked

But, I have been told God saves those whom he wishes, "at his good pleasure." How could those who were created for damnation make him

sad?

Reformed Theology does not teach that our Creator God is either "capricious" or that He did not endow you with the ability to think for yourself

But can you choose for yourself?

Reformed Theology does teach that all creation is to bring God glory.

OK.

That His plan will be fulfilled as He dictates.

While I agree that his plan will be fulfilled, we may not agree on

what the plan is.

LDS understand that plan in two statements: Man is that he might have

joy, and My work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality of man.

How do you understand the plan?

That He will show mercy on whom He will.

What is the criteria for bestowing mercy?

That our sinful nature cripples our "free will" so that we choose the wrong and make Him and His will a constant opposition to our will.

Why is "free will" in quotes? If our will is constantly opposed to his, why

did he bother to create us in this situation?

That unless God mercifully and miraculously calls us we are unwilling and unable to 'choose' Him.

What is the criteria for "choosing" "us"? Who is "us?"

That at no time ever can our "choice" blunt the eternal plans of God; that He is under no obligation to share His mercy to those who are His enemies.

We can neither choose to be saved nor to be damned. That is God's choice?

When did we "choose" to be his enemies? How did we make that choice?

That this is Sovereignty. It is not a comfortable doctrine but it reigns througout Scripture from the Garden to John's final vision.

What you have described appears to me to be exactly the strawman you

accuse us of setting up. It's certainly not comfortable nor is it comforting.

But who should expect God the Father to be comforting?

I don't see it reigning through scripture at all. In fact I see it contradicted

by a host of scriptures.

Since you apparently believe man cannot choose to be saved, can man choose to be damned? Do you agree that if

man had this choice it would make him more powerful than God?

Bernard

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If only God can save and humans can do nothing about being saved, then logically, if God creates a being, knowing beforehand knowing that He will not save this being, that He will damn it to Hall, then God has created this being to be damned.

Do I have this right:

We can only do God's will if He decides that we are to do it otherwise there is nothing we can do to do His will therefore He created the unsaved solely to be damned.

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If only God can save and humans can do nothing about being saved, then logically, if God creates a being, knowing beforehand knowing that He will not save this being, that He will damn it to Hall, then God has created this being to be damned.

Do I have this right:

We can only do God's will if He decides that we are to do it otherwise there is nothing we can do to do His will therefore He created the unsaved solely to be damned.

Aarrrrgggghhhh. I'm getting a headache!

Bernard :P

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Aquilifier:

I just can't help noticing that when Mormon beliefs are challenged the whine-o-meter wakes the dead (or spiritually imprisoned) but it means nothing to call the God that I worship in all sincerity "capricious" and compare him to a "kid torturing ants with a magnifying glass"

if you want to disagree fine but can't we be a tad more civil when casting haspersions in a house made of haspersia?

As for everyone else, it is Thursday night here in Micronesia and I just got home from work, yet a turkey beckons so I will get back to y'all later

paul

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Thus, God did not make it and predispose it to any final end. I hope that makes sense, it is difficult to explain.

I find this an interesting concept. Will definitely be included in my list of things to think about. Thanks for posting it.

And yet "they" will feign offense that the Prophet reported that Jesus Christ told him, personally, that such doctrines are an abomination to Him.

I see no need to claim that someone is "feigning" offense just because you might not see a valid reason for them to feel that way.

Should I just chalk it up to people who spend so much time explaining my beliefs to me that they fail to grasp the underpinnings of their own theological beliefs?

Why not just chalk it up to someone having a different interpretation of the theology, it certainly happens often enough among LDS and we are much more "correlated" than most Christian denominations.

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Everyone, take a deep breath please, let it out slowly...

Why is it that when most LDS discuss Reformed Theology on this board, emotions run so high? I find nothing logically inconsistent with the Reformed view. It doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies, but I respect it.

That being said, Paul, I did have a serious question for you. I am interested in finding out more about the concept of sovereignty. I am not looking to trap you, just want to know (though I generally do ask a whole bunch of follow-up questions).

Hey JD:

You have to start with Creation..that at the beginning there was God. Everything that exists was created by Him. This gives Him ownership of the Universe to act as He wills to bring about His plan as He chooses for His glory.

This is the issue that inflames people. The reaction of "how dare God do this"? Does this in any way exempt men from responsibility for their actions? Does this make men simple robots? The Scripture does not teach either of these concepts. Can our finite minds fully grasp the entirety of God's Sovereign workings and man's responsibility? No. If we start throwing out all scripture that can't be fully comprehended than what is left over?

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Bernard:

your questions are all good I will merely touch on the one disagreeing that Scripture is filled with God's active Sovereignty. Just in Genesis and Exodus for starters

1. He created all things that met His standards...yes, I see evolution as an attack on His sovereignty

2. He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden...they had no voice in the matter

3. He set the rules

4. He rejected Cain's sacrifice even though undoubtedly Cain brought his best fruits

5. He made the decision and set the timing to destroy the world with a flood

6. He chose Noah and his family and no one else

7. He set the rules for post-flood (spread out y'all)

8. He stopped work on the Tower and confounded the languages

9. He chose Abraham and told him where to go (ignoring all other countries)

10.He chose to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and who would be saved

11.He chose Isaac over Ishmael

12.He chose Rachel for Isaac

13.He chose Jacob over Israel

14.He chose Joseph's path ("you meant it for evil, God meant it for good")

15.He commanded the 7 good years and the 7 lean years

16.He saved the cupbearer and condemned the baker in Pharoah's court

17.He predicted the stay of Israel in Egypt

18.He chose Moses over all other young boys (why weren't the others saved?)

19.He stated that He would free His people and take them to the promise land

20.In 3:19-20 He states that He would plague the Pharoah and Egypt

21 In 4:11 He claims credit for all creation and authority over it

22.He hardens Pharoah's heart

23.He plagues Egypt yet preserves the people of Israel

24. He kills the firstborn (what choice did those young have?)

skipping ahead

25. He wipes out the hard -working egyptian soldiers who are merely following orders

What this gets us to the very beginning of Exodus with story after story still to go. We haven't even touched the NT. His statement that "I chose you, you didn't choose me" to the disciples or his response of the man born blind that he had been born that way that God may be glorified (gee...what comfort to the blind guy huh?)

Man cries out for his freedom. Let me make my own choices. Some muffle sovereignty with "God knows how it all ends up and that is what counts". I believe Scripture shows God ruling over His creation, no surprises, no accidents, no ooopses.

I find this an interesting concept. Will definitely be included in my list of things to think about. Thanks for posting it.

I see no need to claim that someone is "feigning" offense just because you might not see a valid reason for them to feel that way.

Why not just chalk it up to someone having a different interpretation of the theology, it certainly happens often enough among LDS and we are much more "correlated" than most Christian denominations.

thanks cal:

hope all is well with you and yours.

paul

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Aquilifier:

I just can't help noticing that when Mormon beliefs are challenged the whine-o-meter wakes the dead (or spiritually imprisoned) but it means nothing to call the God that I worship in all sincerity "capricious" and compare him to a "kid torturing ants with a magnifying glass"

if you want to disagree fine but can't we be a tad more civil when casting haspersions in a house made of haspersia?

But you already stated that my comparison was off because of a misinterpretation of Reformed Theology. Very well. I stand by my statement as it has been explained to me by the You're-damned-I'm-not-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it crowd. The uncaring god that they portray is contemptible.

Don't even start on the whine-o-meter. Given the outrageous and systematic abuse of Mormon beliefs by "good Christians," I think we've earned the right to a little whining. When the folks on your end cease their taunting and come to understand their own theology a little better instead of lording it over those of us whom God has not elected to save, I'll have far more sympathy for you.

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I'm starting to think it fruitless to converse with any of the pauls on this board. Sorry.

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I'm starting to think it fruitless to converse with any of the pauls on this board. Sorry.

I'm "appauled."

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Just when I thought the discussion couldn't dip any lower, someone has to start dropping puns! :P;)

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Just in Genesis and Exodus for starters

1. He created all things that met His standards...yes, I see evolution as an attack on His sovereignty

Just a random thought.... :P

I'm sitting here with my little doggie Misha and my son's huge

doggie Ollie. Their ancestors would have torn my throat out.

Was it God's will that man would make wolves into dogs?

Didn't wolves meet His standards? How about corn, sheep, and cattle?

Bernard

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2. He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden...they had no voice in the matter

That would be implicit, not explicit. The Bible is silent on whether or

not they consented. I believe they were there because they were

chosen and they agreed to do it.

Bernard

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6. He chose Noah and his family and no one else

"Noah was a righteous man, the one blameless man of his time; he walked with God..."but with you I will make a covenant..."

Bernard

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"Noah was a righteous man, the one blameless man of his time; he walked with God..."but with you I will make a covenant..."

Bernard

Many of us LDSers believe that the righteous in the days of Noah, though not many, were also caught up into the City of Enoch.

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You have to start with Creation..that at the beginning there was God. Everything that exists was created by Him. This gives Him ownership of the Universe to act as He wills to bring about His plan as He chooses for His glory.

I would like an explanation on how it adds to God's glory for Him to create beings that do not follow His will and thus are sent to unspeakable horror and misery for eternity?

Not to mention the old question about our perfect God making imperfect people. If He is perfect and can do no evil, how is it that He made imperfect man who does evil "continually"? Why would He put a tree in the Garden of Eden that He knew would make Adam and Eve fall?

Does this in any way exempt men from responsibility for their actions? Does this make men simple robots?

It sounds that way to me if one interprets scriptures as the Calvanists do - that God chooses only certain people to give faith to, and if you are one of those lucky people, then you have no choice in the matter of accepting it and being sealed to Christ as His forever and ever.

The Scripture does not teach either of these concepts.

Unfortunately, when I listen to certain Christian radio programs, these are the exactly the concepts they are teaching. And, BTW, when I read the Bible, I see it teaching gospel principles as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches.

Can our finite minds fully grasp the entirety of God's Sovereign workings and man's responsibility? No.

I agree that we can't comprehend the entirety of God's anything.

However, either man has reponsibility for his actions or God does, on account of His making us the way we are.

If we start throwing out all scripture that can't be fully comprehended than what is left over?

The Book of Mormon? :P

Sorry. I couldn't resist.

I guess my biggest problem with the Calvinist point of view is that I can't believe that a loving God would only give faith to some of His creations, when as an all-powerful Being, He could give it to all. After all, didn't Jesus Himself say that "you" (imperfect mortals) being evil will not give a child a stone when he asks for bread, so God the Father will give you even better gifts if you ask? So, if all men ask, all men should receive the same reward.

That's why the LDS point of view makes so much sense to me. Heavenly Father created spirit children, endowed them with agency to become like Him if they choose and sent us all down here to learn how to become more like Him. If all of us did so, He'd welcome us ALL back into His arms gladly and fully. The God I worship loves all His children - and don't give me that old line that some humans are not His children but children of the devil. The devil cannot create, only tempt and destroy.

Jane

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Hey JD:

You have to start with Creation..that at the beginning there was God. Everything that exists was created by Him. This gives Him ownership of the Universe to act as He wills to bring about His plan as He chooses for His glory.

This is the issue that inflames people. The reaction of "how dare God do this"? Does this in any way exempt men from responsibility for their actions? Does this make men simple robots? The Scripture does not teach either of these concepts. Can our finite minds fully grasp the entirety of God's Sovereign workings and man's responsibility? No. If we start throwing out all scripture that can't be fully comprehended than what is left over?

Thanks for the response Paul. I think I see why you tied this concept to your belief in creatio ex-nihilo (and conversely, how the LDS belief in creatio ex-materia would not lead to quite the same principle of ownership).

FWIW, I am an LDS determinist. There aren't many of us, I think. Of course from this point of view I don't feel that your belief precludes us from being morally accountable, nor does it make us simple robots (though what our not being simple robots means exactly is an interesting topic, but not relevant to this thread). In this sense, I agree with you. There certainly are differences in our beliefs though, most notably the degree to which God is ultimately responsible for the goings on in the universe.

I wonder about the relevancy of this concept of sovereignty. It seems to be given a fairly high level of importance from the ways I've seen some folks mention it. Certainly I can see that one could claim that this comes directly from the Bible (Romans 9, for example). Still, I've always thought the most logical route for a Reformed Christian to deal with the kinds of objections you're seeing in this thread is to point out that if God is absolute Creator, then The Good is defined through some aspect of His being, whether that be His nature, His will or (less certain of this, but possibly) His command. Therefore, how can one possibly judge God? This being the case, I don't see how sovereignty makes a difference, at least where logical consistency is concerned.

My point is probably clearer if we consider the counterexample. Let's say that there is some absolute law of The Good that is external to God, in a universe created by Him ex-nihilo (I know that this will likely be an impossibility in your view, but this is just for the sake of illustration). In this case, then if any of God's actions towards his creations were not in harmony with that external law, then said actions would still be evil regardless of sovereignty.

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JD

thanks for your comments. I am interested in knowing more of your LDS determinist beliefs as this is the first I have heard of it.

Of course I would define "good" far more broadly than what we mean today. I believe the Judgement of God according to His holiness is, in His eyes, good. Eternal damnation makes me shudder and drives me to witness to others. I wonder at some people's quickness to hold God to human standards and define Him in our terms.

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Just when I thought the discussion couldn't dip any lower, someone has to start dropping puns! :P;)

Aquilifier:

I am not real sure what you want from us. As urroner and others will attest I have been on the Z board since its inception and I try to measure my words carefully. My patience though with the LDS double standard is pretty much emptied out.

Dr. Peterson can call my beliefs "disgusting" and the God that I love and serve "repulsive"; you can compare my God to a child frying ants with a magnifying lens and not a peep from the mods of course because who doesn't like Dr. P's ascerbic wit, weakness for doughnuts and shiny pate? I for one don't mind blunt dialogue. But, as we used to say on the playground, LDS is the number one "dish it out but can't take it" religion I have bumped up against.

In this discussion I don't see where I have knowingly falsely attacked your prophets, history or nastily mischaracterized your beliefs. If my tone was haughty, full apologies, I will leave that to Dr. Peterson then and the other LDS.

If that is the board that y'all want...

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