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Old 01-23-2008, 09:10 AM
 
Location: South Florida
260 posts, read 171,522 times
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What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For he says to Moses,I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion. So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

- Romans 9:14-24


I know I'm a non-spirit filled heathen who does not have the spirit of god to teach e all this good stuff, but call me an idiot, but I could swear that what I posted up top sounds like we don't have a say in the matter. 'Vessels of wrath prepared...???" He 'hardens' who he desires to harden and shows mercy to those he wants to show mercy to?

Oh well, I don't qualify to understand the things of God they tell me so what do I know. Black is purple and green in pink in the magical world of faith.

Please, can someone with the insight come make sense of this for me? Thanks.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:17 AM
 
3,086 posts, read 5,561,727 times
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Those who disobey and go against the Lord's will and Word become hardened, as He said they would. He will have mercy on those who turn to Him, as He said He would. He won't have mercy on those who stubbornly take their own way, as He said He wouldn't.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:21 AM
 
Location: South Florida
260 posts, read 171,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cg81 View Post
Those who disobey and go against the Lord's will and Word become hardened, as He said they would. He will have mercy on those who turn to Him, as He said He would. He won't have mercy on those who stubbornly take their own way, as He said He wouldn't.

But the passage appears to imply the status of "mercy" and "hardened" are determined before the world began.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:24 AM
 
3,086 posts, read 5,561,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwentyFourSeven View Post
But the passage appears to imply the status of "mercy" and "hardened" are determined before the world began.
Yes, the status meaning "whoever will turn against God will be hardened" or "whoever turns to Him will have mercy." That's all.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:39 AM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,197,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwentyFourSeven View Post
But the passage appears to imply the status of "mercy" and "hardened" are determined before the world began.
Didn't we already find out in this world that "time" is a relative thing?

Why would it be any different to God. IOW, he's not subject to time or "before" or "after". He is.

Why do I have this feeling you really don't care what the answer is though and are here to just stir trouble in an attempt to "antagonize" the "Christians"?
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:56 AM
 
Location: South Florida
260 posts, read 171,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
Didn't we already find out in this world that "time" is a relative thing?

Why would it be any different to God. IOW, he's not subject to time or "before" or "after". He is.

Why do I have this feeling you really don't care what the answer is though and are here to just stir trouble in an attempt to "antagonize" the "Christians"?
Answering would be trouble? Actually I want to hear. I always hear it bandied around that we have "free will." Well this passage seems to say otherwise and in fact was the basis for Calvinism. How does the Christian reconcile what seems to be clear with the idea of humans having free will?

Don't worry about what I am up to JViello. You have posted your share of questions for atheists for your own purposes also. I had nothing to say.

Oh, by the way, in response to your reply, what does time being relative have to do with the subject? The chapter implies that all these things were pre-determined and the seems to refute the idea of free will.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:59 AM
 
2,945 posts, read 4,771,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwentyFourSeven View Post
Answering would be trouble? Actually I want to hear. I always hear it bandied around that we have "free will." Well this passage seems to say otherwise and in fact was the basis for Calvinism. How does the Christian reconcile what seems to be clear with the idea of humans having free will?

Don't worry about what I am up to JViello. You have posted your share of questions for atheists for your own purposes also. I had nothing to say.

Oh, by the way, in response to your reply, what does time being relative have to do with the subject? The chapter implies that all these things were pre-determined and the seems to refute the idea of free will.
I don`t believe we have free will
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Just a few miles outside of St. Louis
1,921 posts, read 5,082,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
Why do I have this feeling you really don't care what the answer is though and are here to just stir trouble in an attempt to "antagonize" the "Christians"?
I'm not sure that this is a fair observation. This verse, and many others, do trouble some Christians. Not all of them accept these passages at face value, and for good reason. They are very hard to reconcile, to all but the most adamant folks, who seem determined to ignore passages that, at the very least, appear inconsistent. Yes, it is true that many of these odd verses can be reconciled, but there are others that cannot, unless one insists on Biblical gymnastics. I realize that many Christians believe that every word in the Bible is to be taken literally, which is fine for them. I don't happen to be one of them, and I have no problem with admitting that there are some things that don't jive with one another. When a verse says that God "set up" Pharaoh, and talks about one vessel being made for honor, and one for dishonor, by God, all the flips and turns one can make just don't quite make the idea of "free will" fit, in my opinion.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:16 AM
 
Location: South Florida
260 posts, read 171,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticLady1 View Post
I'm not sure that this is a fair observation. This verse, and many others, do trouble some Christians. Not all of them accept these passages at face value, and for good reason. They are very hard to reconcile, to all but the most adamant folks, who seem determined to ignore passages that, at the very least, appear inconsistent. Yes, it is true that many of these odd verses can be reconciled, but there are others that cannot, unless one insists on Biblical gymnastics. I realize that many Christians believe that every word in the Bible is to be taken literally, which is fine for them. I don't happen to be one of them, and I have no problem with admitting that there are some things that don't jive with one another. When a verse says that God "set up" Pharaoh, and talks about one vessel being made for honor, and one for dishonor, by God, all the flips and turns one can make just don't quite make the idea of "free will" fit, in my opinion.
That's what I'm saying. I never heard one good answer when I was a Christian, but I sure did not meet every Christian. I had my own theory, but while the theory addressed the here and now, it failed to address our apparent pre-determined fate. I mean the verses up above the ones I posted even tells us that basically Jacob was chosen as the child of promise BEFORE they were even born. Talk about favoritism. "Hey Esau, you're a no good bum. Jacob's gonna be someone because God told us so".

You see, my guess is, to admit that our fate was determined before the world began opens up a can of worms in so many ways. Gays will say, "see, my lifestyle was not a choice" and psychopaths will say, "I could not help. I was born this way." So "free will" has to be employed to shift the blame back to us as humans. This is just one of those places where theology tries to explain things it has o business trying to - IMHO.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:22 AM
 
3,086 posts, read 5,561,727 times
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Actually, it's not too hard to reconcile those verses. Basically, God made all the rules. He decided under what conditions to show mercy. We have free will to decide, but we have no power to make the rules. Our fate is determined only upon our actions.
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