Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Post up on thoughts that are not related to the other forums in THEOLOGY.

Can a person who does not believe in God live a generally moral life by choice?

Yes
7
78%
No
2
22%
I am uncertain
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 9

Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:38 am

qaz wrote:Believing in total depravity would be depressing for me. What a negative view of oneself and neighbors.


Total depravity does not mean man is as depraved as he could be or couldn't be worse.

What's the difference between the total depravity of Calvinism & partial depravity taught by others?

Does anyone believe man is not a sinner and not depraved?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:11 pm

davo wrote:Jeremiah’s words were spoken of and applicable TO Israel — therein is the CONTEXT of that verse which you and other Calvinists errantly apply across all and sundry.


It's not only Calvinists who believe Jeremiah just as it is written. Look up some Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican & other Protestant commentaries.

Your attempt to explain it away with "context" is like what eternal conscious torment advocates do with passages like 1 Cor.15:22, i.e. it's only about Christians, the context of the letter is to the church, etc, blah, blah, blah.

davo wrote:IF you weren’t referencing “man’s nature” in general THEN WHY bother to defer to the likes of “the heathen nations”?


As i said the point was self-righteousness, not the "nature" of man, let alone total depravity, a topic that hadn't even been mentioned yet at that point in this thread.

davo wrote:Paidion’s OP made no reference to the likes of being “superficially, pharisaicly, outwardly better than other sinners”


Obviously that's the type of person he described.

davo wrote:It’s an assumption on your part that THIS allegedly speaks of total depravity, and this is typical of so much on that page… eisegesis!


That's your assumption, not mine. I never said anything about that verse.

I haven't even stated anywhere in this thread or site that i believe in Total Depravity.

If you want to try to refute Total Depravity you'll need to deal with the entire body of evidence, not cherry pick.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:40 pm

Origen; wrote:
qaz wrote:Believing in total depravity would be depressing for me. What a negative view of oneself and neighbors.


Total depravity does not mean man is as depraved as he could be or couldn't be worse.

What's the difference between the total depravity of Calvinism & partial depravity taught by others?

Does anyone believe man is not a sinner and not depraved?


I don't have a black-and-white view of myself and other people. I do good some of the time, and I regretfully do bad at other times. Like virtually everyone I've ever known. I don't think my or other people's mistakes make us "totally depraved" any more than I think our good deeds make us perfect.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby DaveB » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:06 pm

That was well said, qaz.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
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The Lord God made them all.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:07 pm

Origen; wrote:I've haven't even stated anywhere in this thread or site that i believe in Total Depravity.

What :!: :?: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: how embarrassing :oops: — YOU’RE the one who introduced that whole foolish notion… just do a simple word-search in this thread on “depravity/depraved” proves this. :roll:

So here’s your chance at an honest answer Origen… do you believe in ‘total depravity:?:
“...the power and mercy of God’s grace is NOT limited to man’s ability to comprehend it...”
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby maintenanceman » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:15 pm

Randy said:
When I try to comprehend total depravity, I also read John Calvin in theology


Calvin's institutes were, (I believe) an incredible (and important) portrayal of a particular view at a particular time. Time moves on.

I appreciate Calvin, though we do not have to agree with everything he suggests :lol:

So here we are... ;)
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby LLC » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:13 pm

Origen; wrote:Do we see all Calvinists making "excuses for their bad behaviour", saying the "devil made me do it"

No. They just say this
Origen; wrote: It came from the fact that he was born depraved as a result of Adam’s sin.
. To me, it's basically the same thing, blaming someone else for your sins.

Origen; wrote:Total depravity does not mean man is as depraved as he could be or couldn't be worse.


Total depravity means just what it implies, total=entirely, completely, absolutely, just as Warner Barber states "The vengeance of even a child shows us that man does not have any good in him whatsoever."

Gabe Grinstead wrote:
qaz wrote:Believing in total depravity would be depressing for me. What a negative view of oneself and neighbors.


Amen to that.


My thoughts exactly.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:17 pm

davo wrote:
Origen; wrote:I haven't even stated anywhere in this thread or site that i believe in Total Depravity.

What :!: :?: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: how embarrassing :oops: — YOU’RE the one who introduced that whole foolish notion… just do a simple word-search in this thread on “depravity/depraved” proves this. :roll:

So here’s your chance at an honest answer Origen… do you believe in ‘total depravity:?:


I corrected the typo from my original post.

You recently were a participant in the following thread.

I'd like you to consider crazy-glueing the following quotes to your PC & forehead:

"Are you saying total depravity is inharmonious with Universal Restoration? If so, then i disagree. Likewise 63% who voted in this threads' poll think Calvinism & Universalism are compatible."

"I'm undecided whether Calvinistic Universalism or Libertarian freewill (LFW) Universalism is the truth. It's one or the other. I'd probably lean to the former."

"I think i would probably accept that TULI or TULIP without the P."

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3198&start=50

Looking forward to seeing what imaginary things you'll read into those quotes, & the erroneous assumptions you'll conclude from such fantasies. Hopefully you don't use the same method with the Scriptures, though i'm afraid you do.

Why don't you start a thread titled "The gospel truth according to davo" or "Davo's creedal statement according to the Scriptures"? Would it include all prophesy is already fulfilled, Christ has already returned & won't be coming again, there are no future resurrections, no post mortem punishment, everyone is already saved, even serial killers, so we might as well all go live it up & part-ay!

What would be the relevance of libertarian free will in such a theology? Or evangelism? Or opposing Calvinism?

So here’s your chance at an honest answer Davo ;
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby maintenanceman » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:52 pm

So Am I wrong DaveB? :o Send davo my pm :lol: You guys tell me if I am wrong...
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:52 pm

Origen; wrote:
davo wrote:
Origen; wrote:I haven't even stated anywhere in this thread or site that i believe in Total Depravity.

What :!: :?: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: how embarrassing :oops: — YOU’RE the one who introduced that whole foolish notion… just do a simple word-search in this thread on “depravity/depraved” proves this. :roll:

So here’s your chance at an honest answer Origen… do you believe in ‘total depravity:?:


I corrected the typo from my original post.

You recently were a participant in the following thread.

I'd like you to consider crazy-glueing the following quotes to your PC & forehead:

"Are you saying total depravity is inharmonious with Universal Restoration? If so, then i disagree. Likewise 63% who voted in this threads' poll think Calvinism & Universalism are compatible."

"I'm undecided whether Calvinistic Universalism or Libertarian freewill (LFW) Universalism is the truth. It's one or the other. I'd probably lean to the former."

"I think i would probably accept that TULI or TULIP without the P."

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3198&start=50

Looking forward to seeing what imaginary things you'll read into those quotes, & the erroneous assumptions you'll conclude from such fantasies. Hopefully you don't use the same method with the Scriptures, though i'm afraid you do.

Why don't you start a thread titled "The gospel truth according to davo" or "Davo's creedal statement according to the Scriptures"? Would it include all prophesy is already fulfilled, Christ has already returned & won't be coming again, there are no future resurrections, no post mortem punishment, everyone is already saved, even serial killers, so we might as well all go live it up & part-ay!

What would be the relevance of libertarian free will in such a theology? Or evangelism? Or opposing Calvinism?

So here’s your chance at an honest answer Davo ;

    I have to agree with the sentiments of DaveB who sums this up best…

:lol:
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby steve7150 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:35 pm

Does anyone believe man is not a sinner and not depraved?
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Being a sinner doesn't equate to being depraved IMO. Depraved is a state of being whereas a sinner can be someone who occasionally sins which would include everyone except one.
My understanding of the Calvinist idea of total depravity is that man is incapable of looking for God without God first regenerating him. Man can pursue many things greater then himself like patriotism to country, supporting various causes, supporting sports teams, so why couldn't he pursue the greatest cause of all which is God?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:57 pm

"In Roman Catholic theology

"No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit. Every time we begin to pray to Jesus it is the Holy Spirit who draws us on the way of prayer by his prevenient grace."[10]

"The Second Council of Orange of 529 stated that faith, though a free act, resulted even in its beginnings from the grace of God, enlightening the human mind and enabling belief.[11] In canon 23 it is said that God prepares our wills that they may desire the good. Canon 25 states, "In every good work, it is not we who begin... but He (God) first inspires us with faith and love of Him, through no preceding merit on our part.”[12]

"Prevenient grace (from the Latin "to come before") was discussed in the fifth chapter of the sixth session of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) which used the phrase: "a Dei per dominum Christum Iesum praeveniente gratia" (rendered "a predisposing grace of God through Jesus Christ").[13] Those who turned from God by sins are disposed by God's grace to turn back and become justified by freely assenting to that grace."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevenien ... c_theology
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:06 pm

steve7150 wrote:
Being a sinner doesn't equate to being depraved IMO. Depraved is a state of being whereas a sinner can be someone who occasionally sins which would include everyone except one.
My understanding of the Calvinist idea of total depravity is that man is incapable of looking for God without God first regenerating him. Man can pursue many things greater then himself like patriotism to country, supporting various causes, supporting sports teams, so why couldn't he pursue the greatest cause of all which is God?


I'm no authority on Calvinism, & they often seem reluctant to share what they believe, but according to the following:

"Calvinists have their own doctrine of prevenient grace, which they identify with the act of regeneration and which is immediately and necessarily followed by faith.[14]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevenien ... c_theology

"When Orthodox Christians refer to Fallen Nature they are not saying that human nature has become evil in itself. Human nature is still formed in the image of God; we are still God's creation, and God has never created anything evil. But our fallen nature remains open to evil intents and actions. It is sometimes said that we are "inclined to sin"; that is, we find some sinful things attractive. It is the nature of temptation to make sinful things seem the more attractive, and it is the fallen nature of humans that seeks or succumbs to the attraction. Orthodox Christians reject the Augustinian position that the descendants of Adam and Eve are actually guilty of the original sin of their ancestors.[97] But just as any species begets its own kind, so fallen humans beget fallen humans, and from the beginning of our existence we lie open to sinning by our own choice.

Since the fall of man, then, it has been mankind's dilemma that no human can restore his nature to union with God's grace; it was necessary for God to effect another change in human nature."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Church
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby LLC » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:21 pm

Origen; wrote: But just as any species begets its own kind, so fallen humans beget fallen humans,

Suffice it to say, man is made of more than just flesh and blood, as Genesis 2:7 states ""And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." I believe that the Spirit of God is in the core of every human being, and whether we like it or not, we cannot be rid of Him.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:59 am

I did introduce an interesting article or 2, earlier in this thread:


Image

I do understand total depravity, as the Calvinist sites - Got Questions and CARM - present it. I just don't agree with it.

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Perhaps this video, can answer your question - in 15 seconds: https://youtu.be/WrjwaqZfjIY. :lol:

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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:05 am

Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:I did introduce an interesting article or 2, earlier in this thread:


Excellent — straightforward — rational. 8-)

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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:20 am

If an unbeliever offers a cup of water to a thirsty person, is his action evil? If he buys a meal for a hungry person is it evil? I think not.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Gabe Grinstead » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:29 am

qaz wrote:If an unbeliever offers a cup of water to a thirsty person, is his action evil? If he buys a meal for a hungry person is it evil? I think not.


I was raised with the theology that if it wasn't God's will to give a poor starving child some food, then it was is evil and sinful. Of course, I wish I was smart enough at the time to say "How would it NOT be God's will to do something like that?" Crazy, I tell you.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:18 pm

qaz wrote:If an unbeliever offers a cup of water to a thirsty person, is his action evil? If he buys a meal for a hungry person is it evil? I think not.


Generally speaking actions are neither good or evil. They're neutral. The Satan & demon possessed can do just about any action a Christian can.

The more significant question is, what is the motive & spirit behind actions. For God looks on the heart.

For example, in one of the Clint Eastwood Westerns he (Blondie) is dying of thirst in the desert. Chico offers him water from a purely selfish motive, i.e. filthy lucre.

There are many other evil motives as to why the wicked do outwardly superficial (pharisaical) good deeds. Motives they may not be aware of because they lack knowledge of what's in their own hearts & are decieved.

Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those sanctified by faith in Me.’

Mt.7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Jn.3:19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

Jn.7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me, because I testify that its works are evil.

Mt.12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Titus 3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

Eph.2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Eph.5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on the sons of disobedience.

Col.1:21 You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works,

Isa.9:17 Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, Nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; For every one of them is godless and an evildoer, And every mouth is speaking foolishness

Jn.2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:39 pm

Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:I did introduce an interesting article or 2, earlier in this thread:



I can generally agree with the following, which is as far as i've read so far:

"Paul writes that without Christ we are “slaves to sin” (Romans 6:20) and “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). The Bible certainly teaches that human beings are depraved – we inherit a sinful nature that tempts us to do evil. We have all committed sin and therefore stand guilty before God, deserving of death (Romans 6:23). “There are none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Without Christ, we are depraved sinners in need of a savior."
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Paidion » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:43 pm

qaz and Gabe, of course it's not evil to do good works. To teach so is a religious aberration.

Giving water to the thirsty or food to the hungry is just the opposite of evil doing; it is about the greatest GOOD doing that a person can do. And it has been done by many good disciples of Christ as well as by many atheists. Some atheists have also undergone death itself in order to save the lives of others! Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this: that to lay down his life for his friends."

However, having said this, I want to make clear that the disciple of Christ has a special power to do good—the enabling grace of God, made available by the sacrifice of Christ. Therefore the disciple is in a much better position to live a CONSISTENTLY good life.

The apostle Paul wrote to Titus:

For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live sensible, righteous, and devout lives in the present age, expecting the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works...(Titus 2:11-15)
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:40 pm

Paidion wrote:qaz and Gabe, of course it's not evil to do good works. To teach so is a religious aberration.

Giving water to the thirsty or food to the hungry is just the opposite of evil doing; it is about the greatest GOOD doing that a person can do. And it has been done by many good disciples of Christ as well as by many atheists. Some atheists have also undergone death itself in order to save the lives of others! Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this: that to lay down his life for his friends."

However, having said this, I want to make clear that the disciple of Christ has a special power to do good—the enabling grace of God, made available by the sacrifice of Christ. Therefore the disciple is in a much better position to live a CONSISTENTLY good life.

The apostle Paul wrote to Titus:

For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live sensible, righteous, and devout lives in the present age, expecting the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works...(Titus 2:11-15)


Thanks Don... You said
However, having said this, I want to make clear that the disciple of Christ has a special power to do good—the enabling grace of God, made available by the sacrifice of Christ. Therefore the disciple is in a much better position to live a CONSISTENTLY good life.


Can you elaborate on this? ;)
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:26 pm

Origen; wrote:
qaz wrote:If an unbeliever offers a cup of water to a thirsty person, is his action evil? If he buys a meal for a hungry person is it evil? I think not.


Generally speaking actions are neither good or evil. They're neutral.

What makes generally speaking neutral action either good or evil is the motivation behind such actions. Jesus shows that so-called non-believers are rightfully recompensed when they fulfill a righteous action…
Mt 10:42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
Mk 9:41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Clearly, those rendering assistance are NOT believers but are favourably motivated by or towards those who are, and in so doing reflect a righteous motivation that Jesus says will not fall short of reward.

So, can a non-believer live a moral life? — unquestionably!!
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:33 am

davo wrote:
Origen; wrote:
qaz wrote:If an unbeliever offers a cup of water to a thirsty person, is his action evil? If he buys a meal for a hungry person is it evil? I think not.


Generally speaking actions are neither good or evil. They're neutral.

What makes generally speaking neutral action either good or evil is the motivation behind such actions. Jesus shows that so-called non-believers are rightfully recompensed when they fulfill a righteous action…
Mt 10:42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
Mk 9:41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Clearly, those rendering assistance are NOT believers but are favourably motivated by or towards those who are, and in so doing reflect a righteous motivation that Jesus says will not fall short of reward.

So, can a non-believer live a moral life? — unquestionably!!


In these scriptures a single act is spoken of, not an entire moral or immoral life. The word "unbeliever" is not mentioned.

God's power can certainly move an unbeliever to do a single act of kindness for someone who "belongs to Christ".

Also by God's power a donkey spoke in human language. That didn't change the donkeys' nature from being totally donkey.

"Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam..." (Num.22:28)

"30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

This says the donkey spoke, not that the Lord spoke through the donkey. Do you conclude donkeys can speak in human language when they choose to exercise their free will?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:53 am

Argument #1: Total Depravity is a New Doctrine Based on Old Gnosticism

The doctrine of total depravity developed about 500 years ago. None of the church fathers believed in it – they all strongly affirmed that man has the power to choose good or evil.


http://lhim.org/blog/2014/02/06/three-a ... depravity/

Total Depravity advocates would say that the doctrine is not a new one based on old gnosticism, but an even older one based on the Bible.

As to the claim that none of the church fathers believed in it, a total of only 5 quotes are given from 5 ECF. These are alleged English renderings that fail to provide any book or chapter references, & are without any Greek text to see if they are correctly translated.

Total Depravity advocates base their belief on the God-inspired Scriptures. Not on the traditions of fallible fallen errant humans such as the "church fathers", who contradict each other.

Total Depravity advocates do not believe Scripture is trumped by human opinion. They do not agree with those Christians who think human Traditions are equal to, or above, God's Scriptures or the ultimate interpreter of them.

Inasmuch as the Reformed(Calvinist) churches, as the Reformation, are Sola Scriptura & Sola Fide [not sola pope or sola tradition] they don't care what the Church Fathers teach, rejecting teachings based on Tradition alone - such as transubstantiation, purgatory, mariology, LFW, etc - as being unbiblical. Clearly the Church Fathers of the first 500 years had many strange, and unscriptural, ideas. And it only got worse after that.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Mariolatry.html
http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1136.html
https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/ea ... ion.37047/
https://www.christianbook.com/gospel-ac ... escription

According to a certain English translation(s) a number of individuals called Early Church Fathers appear to have believed in Libertarian Free Will (LFW). Whether these translations are accurate, how interpolated the originals are, or influenced by the doctrine of reserve, is difficult to say.
Pretending to believe in LFW would have been a perfect candidate for the doctrine of reserve. And it is well known that many of the ECF
writings have been altered. http://www.tentmaker.org/books/prevailing/upd4.html

Secondly, there are Total Depravity advocates who disagree with the historical claims quoted above:

http://www.apuritansmind.com/arminianis ... h-fathers/

John Gill, Calvinism & early church fathers, with Greek texts in his “Cause of God and Truth":
https://books.google.ca/books?id=Dsw8AA ... &q&f=false
http://grace-ebooks.com/library/John%20 ... %20The.pdf
https://books.google.ca/books?id=6UlBQw ... &q&f=false

Thirdly, that "man has the power to choose good or evil" does not affirm libertarian free will any more than dogs who have the power to choose between trees to piss on, which is controlled by their nature, heredity, & the forces of their environment.

Fourth, the author makes a number of other comments in his "Argument #1", but doesn't document evidence for any of them either.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:51 am

Origen; wrote:
davo wrote:What makes generally speaking neutral action either good or evil is the motivation behind such actions. Jesus shows that so-called non-believers are rightfully recompensed when they fulfill a righteous action…
Mt 10:42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
Mk 9:41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Clearly, those rendering assistance are NOT believers but are favourably motivated by or towards those who are, and in so doing reflect a righteous motivation that Jesus says will not fall short of reward.

So, can a non-believer live a moral life? — unquestionably!!


In these scriptures a single act is spoken of, not an entire moral or immoral life. The word "unbeliever" is not mentioned.

God's power can certainly move an unbeliever to do a single act of kindness for someone who "belongs to Christ".

Single or multiple acts of kindness typically reflect the goodness that lays within (Mt 12:35)… AND such a simple heart-felt act was in nowise cavalierly dismissed by Jesus (unlike yourself) to the point where he himself said such an act would be rewarded. The fact that such as “whoever gives…” was NOT a believer is OBVIOUS from Jesus’ OWN WORDS. It’s easier to take Jesus at his word… he knew what he was talking about, no contest!
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:59 am

Origen; wrote:Total Depravity advocates base their belief on the God-inspired Scriptures. Not on the traditions of fallible fallen errant humans such as the "church fathers", who contradict each other.

“Total Depravity advocates” are also “fallible fallen errant humans” who “base their belief” on their own INTERPRETATION of “the God-inspired Scriptures.”
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:53 am

davo wrote:
Origen; wrote:Total Depravity advocates base their belief on the God-inspired Scriptures. Not on the traditions of fallible fallen errant humans such as the "church fathers", who contradict each other.

“Total Depravity advocates” are also “fallible fallen errant humans” who “base their belief” on their own INTERPRETATION of “the God-inspired Scriptures.”


So well put. When everything finally ends,.. God will let us know - what was a "correct" and "incorrect", interpretation of scripture. For now, I say pick something that's either popular or "resonates with you" - and run with it. :lol:

But - for someone who "apparently" doesn't believe in total depravity... He or she, is going out of their way - to "sell" it. :lol:

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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Paidion » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:38 am

Hi MM, you wrote:Thanks Don... You said

However, having said this, I want to make clear that the disciple of Christ has a special power to do good—the enabling grace of God, made available by the sacrifice of Christ. Therefore the disciple is in a much better position to live a CONSISTENTLY good life.


Can you elaborate on this?


As I see it, this is the very essence of salvation—to be delivered from our wrongdoing:
As the angel said to Joseph:
(Mt 1:21) "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."

Now I know that "His people" may at that time have directly referred to Israel. However, Jesus did save many Israelites of the day from their sins. But "His people" soon included Gentiles who entrusted themselves to Him, also, since:
Ro 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Ro 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
Ga 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

So everyone who "believes" (that is entrusts himself to Jesus), everyone who "calls upon Him" becomes on of "His people."

Each of them is in the process of being saved or delivered from their SIN (not merely delivered from hell as so many believe). This is a life-long process, a process in which the non-Christian is uninvolved. The latter can do various works of righteousness from time to time, by his own choice.
The Christian can appropriate by faith the enabling grace of God (made available by Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection). Thus the apostle Paul writes to Titus 2:11-15

For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live sensible, righteous, and pious lives in the present age, expecting the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; encourage and reprove with total command. Let no one disregard you.
(Titus 2:11-15)


Notice Paul wrote that:
1. The grace of God has appeared for the salvation of ALL people.
2. That grace TRAINS us to renounce impiety and worldly passions.
3. That grace TRAINS us to live sensible, righteous, and pious lives in the present age.
4. Jesus gave Himself to redeem us from all lawlessness.
5. Jesus gave Himself to purify for Himself a people of His own who are ZEALOUS for good works.

If these could come about through self-effort and choice alone without being trained by the enabling grace of God, then Jesus' death would have been unnecessary. I cannot explain why Jesus' death provides this enabling grace, but Paul states unequivocally that it does.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby DaveB » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:07 am

:D Good one, Don!
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:26 am

Are hobbies "worldly passions"?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:29 pm

qaz wrote:Are hobbies "worldly passions"?


I gave the Calvinist Got Questions site response - via another forum thread:


Let's examine a sentence, on what they say:

Again, hobbies are not necessarily wrong, but when they consume us and take our eyes off Christ, then they are definitely wrong


Now I like to watch Zombie, Science Fiction, superhero and horror, TV shows and movies. But I also talk part in an Anglican, conservative charismatic church. And watch Christian TV shows, like the Roman Catholic EWTN station, or TV evangelist Joel Osteen. I would say I am in balance, between hobbies and Christian activities.

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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:12 pm

davo wrote:Single or multiple acts of kindness typically reflect the goodness that lays within (Mt 12:35)… AND such a simple heart-felt act was in nowise cavalierly dismissed by Jesus (unlike yourself) to the point where he himself said such an act would be rewarded. The fact that such as “whoever gives…” was NOT a believer is OBVIOUS from Jesus’ OWN WORDS. It’s easier to take Jesus at his word… he knew what he was talking about, no contest!


Mk 9:41 says they do the deed "in My name", that is, in Jesus name. In Phil.2:9-11 that is associated with salvation, therefore belief, not unbelief.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:58 pm

davo wrote:
Origen; wrote:Total Depravity advocates base their belief on the God-inspired Scriptures. Not on the traditions of fallible fallen errant humans such as the "church fathers", who contradict each other.

“Total Depravity advocates” are also “fallible fallen errant humans” who “base their belief” on their own INTERPRETATION of “the God-inspired Scriptures.”


Yes, but Sola Scriptura advocates are going to the Source, not blindly trusting pontiffs or others who may not even be using Scripture to arrive at their conclusions. Who relies on Scripture more, your average Calvinist or your average Catholic?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:30 pm

davo wrote:
Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:I did introduce an interesting article or 2, earlier in this thread:


Excellent — straightforward — rational. 8-)



Bollox & blasphemy from the link above:


Argument #2: Christ’s Humanity Disproves Total Depravity

This is the biggest problem with total depravity, and one that has been pointed out by many scholars. It is sometimes called the problem of the incarnation. All orthodox Christians must affirm that Jesus Christ was fully human, otherwise he could not die for the sins of humanity (1 John 2:2) and could not be our mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).

But if human beings are totally depraved by nature and sinful from birth, this means Jesus Christ was necessarily totally depraved and sinful.


Nonsense. One can be fully human without being a sinner, depraved or fallen. Before the fall Adam was none of those. So Christ could be fully human like Adam was before the fall. In fact in Scripture Christ is callled the last Adam (1 Cor.15:45) & the second man. Those in Christ are called a "new creation".

Depravity is not part of the God created human nature, but like an infection which has invaded it, like when a person with the flu has been invaded by germs. Depravity affects the human mind, emotion, will, etc.

Also, Christ could not be the Mediator & a pataker of the fallen human nature. He had to be a spotless Lamb. See:

https://carm.org/did-jesus-have-sin-nat ... ians-teach

Furthermore, if Christ had to be the same as humans, all of whom have sinned & come short of the glory of God (Rom.3:23), then He would have been required to be a sinner. But Christ was no sinner & to suggest otherwise is blasphemy.


There are two problems with this. First, scripture says that Jesus was “made like his brothers in every respect” (Hebrews 2:17 ESV). If Jesus was made like us in every way this would include sharing in our depravity.


Wrong again. He was made "like" fallen humans, not exactly the same:

"ὁμοιωθῆναι] is not: “to be made the same or equal” (Bleek, de Wette, Ebrard, Bisping, Delitzsch, Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 33; Alford, Maier, Moll, Kurtz, al.), but expresses, as always, the notion of resemblance. Christ was in all things similar to men, His brethren, inasmuch as He had assumed a truly human nature; He was distinguished from them, however, by His absolute sinlessness. Comp. Hebrews 4:15." http://biblehub.com/commentaries/hebrews/2-17.htm

"The emphasis in Hebrews is on Jesus' "likeness in every way" to humans, that is, his full humanity as opposed to an angelic nature, which could not suffer (2:14-16)" (Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & NT Words", 2006, p.410).

Heb.2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Christ's brethren were not made exactly the same as Him. They were not born of a virgin. They were not conceived as Christ was, whose Father was God, but concieved via the sperm of fallen sinful human fathers.

http://biblehub.com/greek/3666.htm
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/le ... ongs=g3666


The second problem with this view is that Jesus was tempted. This by itself proves that Jesus had the same human nature we do, because scripture says that temptation comes from “our own desires” which originate from our human nature (James 1:14). Scripture is clear that the temptation of Jesus was not a meaningless charade, but was real, serious temptation. Scripture says he “in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 ESV).

If Jesus was tempted in the exact same way we are, this by itself disproves total depravity. If we are totally depraved, the only way for Jesus to be tempted in the same way that we are tempted is if he was also totally depraved. But this is clearly not the case because Jesus never sinned. Therefore, we cannot be totally depraved.


That is the same error made earlier, confusing being "like" with being the "exact same way". See:

http://biblehub.com/greek/3665.htm

New American Standard Bible
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
King James Bible
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
American Standard Version
For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Douay-Rheims Bible
For we have not a high priest, who can not have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin.
Darby Bible Translation
For we have not a high priest not able to sympathise with our infirmities, but tempted in all things in like manner, sin apart.
English Revised Version
For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Also Jesus temptations did not originate from being dragged away by personaly owned lusts (evil passionate desires) enticing from within (Js.1:14), but from Satan outside of Him (Matthew 4:1-11).

The humanity of Christ proves depravity, but disproves total depravity. The temptation of Christ proves depravity (he shared in our fallen human nature, otherwise he could not have been tempted).


Wrong again. Adam was tempted without having a fallen human nature. And that claim that Christ had a fallen human nature is blasphemy and a heresy taught by Christadelphians:

https://carm.org/did-jesus-have-sin-nat ... ians-teach
http://www.epm.org/blog/2013/Aug/26/jesus-sin-nature
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Paidion » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:12 pm

Origen, Davo is not "wrong" about all of these matters:

Philippians 2:
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.


Prior to His incarnation, Jesus was IN THE FORM OF GOD. Do you think that means He wasn't truly divine, but only in the FORM of God?
However, He did not "grasp" or hold onto His divinity, but EMPTIED HIMSELF. Yes, He emptied Himself of all his divine attributes. While He lived on this earth He was FULLY human. He could do no miracles. Every miracle attributed to Him was performed by the Father THROUGH Him.

While the Son of God lived on the earth as a man, He was NOT "fully God" and "fully man" as so many affirm. Rather He was FULLY HUMAN, and had no supernatural powers at all apart from the indwelling presence of His Father. Thus as a complete human being, He was the example of what a human being can do when in total relationship with the Father. Yes, the Father is able to perform miracles through such a person.

There was only one aspect of His pre-existent state that Jesus retained, and that was His identity as the Son of God.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby maintenanceman » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:16 pm

Origen said:
Nonsense. One can be fully human without being a sinner, depraved or fallen. Before the fall Adam was none of those. So Christ could be fully human like Adam was before the fall. In fact in Scripture Christ is callled the last Adam (1 Cor.15:45) & the second man. Those in Christ are called a "new creation".


Can you explain this?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:30 pm

Paidion wrote:
Origen, Davo is not "wrong" about all of these matters:



Wrong about...what?

I was responding to specific quotes from the linked article, not davo who merely gave a general thumbs up to it.

The article assumes an "orthodox Christian" view of Christ's humanity.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:36 pm

maintenanceman wrote:Origen said:
Nonsense. One can be fully human without being a sinner, depraved or fallen. Before the fall Adam was none of those. So Christ could be fully human like Adam was before the fall. In fact in Scripture Christ is callled the last Adam (1 Cor.15:45) & the second man. Those in Christ are called a "new creation".


Can you explain this?


If this is about Christ's human nature, i cannot explain it, except to say it's mysterious, as many things are.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby LLC » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:40 pm

maintenanceman wrote:Origen said:
Nonsense. One can be fully human without being a sinner, depraved or fallen. Before the fall Adam was none of those. So Christ could be fully human like Adam was before the fall. In fact in Scripture Christ is callled the last Adam (1 Cor.15:45) & the second man. Those in Christ are called a "new creation".


Can you explain this?


I'm wondering about this myself because here Origen says
Origen; wrote:Furthermore, if Christ had to be the same as humans, all of whom have sinned & come short of the glory of God (Rom.3:23), then He would have been required to be a sinner

Furthermore,
Origen; wrote:Christ's brethren were not made exactly the same as Him. They were not born of a virgin. They were not conceived as Christ was, whose Father was God, but concieved via the sperm of fallen sinful human fathers.


Logically speaking, if man became totally depraved via the sperm of sinful human fathers, then to be righteous, we must be conceived via the sperm of a righteous man. Yet, Jesus had no biological children.

Origen; wrote:Depravity is not part of the God created human nature, but like an infection which has invaded it, like when a person with the flu has been invaded by germs.


So, is sin like the flu or does it come via the sperm??? :o :?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:49 pm

Origen; wrote:
davo wrote:Single or multiple acts of kindness typically reflect the goodness that lays within (Mt 12:35)… AND such a simple heart-felt act was in nowise cavalierly dismissed by Jesus (unlike yourself) to the point where he himself said such an act would be rewarded. The fact that such as “whoever gives…” was NOT a believer is OBVIOUS from Jesus’ OWN WORDS. It’s easier to take Jesus at his word… he knew what he was talking about, no contest!


Mk 9:41 says they do the deed "in My name", that is, in Jesus name. In Phil.2:9-11 that is associated with salvation, therefore belief, not unbelief.

Well once again you dismiss the reality of Mk 9:41 due to that dirty little thing you can’t manage called *CONTEXT*… it makes Jesus’ words all too clear, something you continue to muddy.
Mk 9:38-40 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side.

You clearly MISS Jesus’ comparison from this where HE in vs. 41 differentiates between the “whosoever” and “because YOU belong to Christ” i.e., the “us” of the previous verses — there’s your CLEAR distinction between the two. The right heart attitude of the disciples themselves course was missing (at that time) in not recognising… the potential for the unbeliever of today becoming the believer of tomorrow; Jesus was challenging their own contentious self-righteous spirit.

Further, “in the name of” is similarly understood in the sense of… *on the grounds of* or… *by virtue of them being* as per the likes of the prophet or even righteous man, as per Mt 10:41. Not only that but there is further biblical evidence that ‘claiming the name’ was no sure-fire identifier of a “believer”; just look at this here with regards the SAME “in Jesus’ name”…
Acts 19:13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”

Well we know what happened to those Judaic exorcists… “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about… but WHO are you?!” And what happened… they got roundly beat up — hope you’re not thinking this was being persecuted “for the faith”? Along a similar vein you might likewise consider the “Lord, Lord didn’t we… in your name” of Mt 7:22.

Also… I think you’ll find the “every knee” of Phil 2 most universalists would contend such is inclusive of unbelievers who then by the nature of events in confession become believers.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby maintenanceman » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:09 pm

LLC said :
Logically speaking, if man became totally depraved via the sperm of sinful human fathers, then to be righteous, we must be conceived via the sperm of a righteous man. Yet, Jesus had no biological children.


H,m go for it LLC :lol:
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:58 pm

davo wrote:
Origen; wrote:
davo wrote:Single or multiple acts of kindness typically reflect the goodness that lays within (Mt 12:35)… AND such a simple heart-felt act was in nowise cavalierly dismissed by Jesus (unlike yourself) to the point where he himself said such an act would be rewarded. The fact that such as “whoever gives…” was NOT a believer is OBVIOUS from Jesus’ OWN WORDS. It’s easier to take Jesus at his word… he knew what he was talking about, no contest!


Mk 9:41 says they do the deed "in My name", that is, in Jesus name. In Phil.2:9-11 that is associated with salvation, therefore belief, not unbelief.

Well once again you dismiss the reality of Mk 9:41 due to that dirty little thing you can’t manage called *CONTEXT*… it makes Jesus’ words all too clear, something you continue to muddy.
Mk 9:38-40 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side.

You clearly MISS Jesus’ comparison from this where HE in vs. 41 differentiates between the “whosoever” and “because YOU belong to Christ” i.e., the “us” of the previous verses — there’s your CLEAR distinction between the two. The right heart attitude of the disciples themselves course was missing (at that time) in not recognising… the potential for the unbeliever of today becoming the believer of tomorrow; Jesus was challenging their own contentious self-righteous spirit.

Further, “in the name of” is similarly understood in the sense of… *on the grounds of* or… *by virtue of them being* as per the likes of the prophet or even righteous man, as per Mt 10:41. Not only that but there is further biblical evidence that ‘claiming the name’ was no sure-fire identifier of a “believer”; just look at this here with regards the SAME “in Jesus’ name”…
Acts 19:13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”

Well we know what happened to those Judaic exorcists… “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about… but WHO are you?!” And what happened… they got roundly beat up — hope you’re not thinking this was being persecuted “for the faith”? Along a similar vein you might likewise consider the “Lord, Lord didn’t we… in your name” of Mt 7:22.

Also… I think you’ll find the “every knee” of Phil 2 most universalists would contend such is inclusive of unbelievers who then by the nature of events in confession become believers.


I'd distinguish between those who actually are certainly doing something in Jesus' name & those who are clearly not.

Jesus reference in Mark and Paul's of Phil.2 are of the former group.

Those of Acts 19 & Mt.7 of the latter category. In Mt.7 they don't even know if they were doing things in His name. Fail. And in Acts 19 it's not even in His name alone, but of the one who Paul preaches.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:34 am

Origen; wrote:I'd distinguish between those who actually are certainly doing something in Jesus' name & those who are clearly not.

Well, of course, you have to… you’re driven to obfuscate. These texts say NOTHING about those NOT giving. Those that do give to believers according to Jesus (not you) are duly rewarded, period! Ignoring all you like won’t make what is clear go away.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:39 am

Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:I did introduce an interesting article or 2, earlier in this thread:




Response to part 3 of 3 from that link:


Argument #3: Total Depravity Elevates Man by Excusing His Sin


Jesus would soon return to “repay each person according to what he has done” (Matthew 16:27). By necessity, this requires that human beings have the ability to choose good or choose evil.


I'll be sure to tell that to the monkeys when i repay the behaving ones with a banana. And the misbehaving ones - no banana.

Surely their darkened minds will understand my divine pronouncement merely by an act of their freewill choice.

1 Cor.2:14 The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.


If we do not have this ability – if we are incapable of choosing good – then it logically follows that we cannot be justly held responsible for our evil.


It seems the apostle Paul may have already met this type of objection about 2000 years ago:

Rom.9:19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?


It was the Gnostics who believed that flesh is inherently evil and totally depraved. David, on the other hand says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

God doesn’t make garbage. He doesn’t make depraved, demented beings who are incapable of loving Him. Why would He?


The human body & universe are certainly "wonderfully made". That doesn't deny the depravity of soul through the fall.

God didn't create Adam depraved. Though He didn't make him incorruptible either. Neither was he made with a knowledge of good and evil.
God loosed Satan on Adam & Eve & foreknew they would fall. This was all part of His predetermined plan. Why would He do this, you ask?
Discover the answer to why Love Omnipotent lets evil run free & you'll know.


God only makes perfect things.


Adam & Eve were ridiculously far from being created perfect. And soon after things went even further downhill.


How sad and humbling is this truth! Every person who has ever come of age – with the exception of Jesus – has chosen sin. “There are none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).



With all the billions of free choosers there have been, how is it that only Jesus didn't choose sin? What are the odds of that?
How many even made it to 5 or 10 years old without choosing sin? If this free will thing existed among billions, shouldn't there be
some others who resisted sin?

The biblical view places the blame for sin on us, not on God.


For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. (Rom.11:32)

Rom.8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

The Calvinist view teaches that God makes people evil with no ability to do good, and then punishes them for being that way!


Punishment is compassionate correction for the good of the offender. Those I love, I rebuke and discipline. (Rev.3:19a)

Without the experience of evil, Adam & Eve were entirely clueless & without appreciation or praise to God re all the good they had.
Neither could they ever, for all eternity, know about things such as mercy, love, sacrifice, etc.

If free will is so important, why would God only give it for the brief span of this life & then take it away for all of eternity?
Will He allow us the free will in heaven to rebel like in the story of the angels who followed Lucifer? Or make us like robots for eternity?
With free will, what if people reject God & suffer hell for millions of years?

(Romans 7:7). The Law defines sin in terms of free will actions: “Thou shalt… thou shalt not…”


The law has nothing to do with free will. It was a ministration of death, of the letter that killeth:

2 Cor.3:6 And He has qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7 Now if the ministry of death, which was engraved in letters on stone

Jn.6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh profits nothing...

Rom.2:29 ...circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise does not come from men, but from God.

Acts 15:10 Now then, why do you test God by placing on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe it is through the grace of the Lord Jesus that we are saved...

If total depravity is false, every person who ever lived had the ability to be perfectly sinless,


Dream on.

https://www.gotquestions.org/total-depravity.html
https://www.the-highway.com/depravity_Boettner.html
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:37 am

Are there any Arminians here:

"The first of the two prominent positions on the doctrine of prevenient grace in classical Arminianism is that until the Gospel, the instrument by which God draws sinners to Himself, is presented to a sinner, the sinner is in complete bondage to sin."

https://www.gotquestions.org/prevenient-grace.html
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:07 am

Origen; wrote:
qaz wrote:If an unbeliever offers a cup of water to a thirsty person, is his action evil? If he buys a meal for a hungry person is it evil? I think not.


Generally speaking actions are neither good or evil. They're neutral. The Satan & demon possessed can do just about any action a Christian can.

The more significant question is, what is the motive & spirit behind actions. For God looks on the heart.

For example, in one of the Clint Eastwood Westerns he (Blondie) is dying of thirst in the desert. Chico offers him water from a purely selfish motive, i.e. filthy lucre.

There are many other evil motives as to why the wicked do outwardly superficial (pharisaical) good deeds. Motives they may not be aware of because they lack knowledge of what's in their own hearts & are decieved.

Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those sanctified by faith in Me.’

Mt.7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Jn.3:19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

Jn.7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me, because I testify that its works are evil.

Mt.12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Titus 3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

Eph.2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Eph.5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on the sons of disobedience.

Col.1:21 You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works,

Isa.9:17 Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, Nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; For every one of them is godless and an evildoer, And every mouth is speaking foolishness

Jn.2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.


Is it impossible for an unbeliever to feed a hungry person for altruistic reasons?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:43 am

I'm going to shake the tree - a bit. :D

Image

I'm taken back into my mind, to my days in academia. Suppose I was taking a Christian theology class or a philosophy ethics class. And the professor asked us,
Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?


Well, we really can't discuss this question, until we clear up some issues. Or answer some basic questions:

    What is the definition, of a moral life?
    How do WE know, whether a person is leading - a moral life or not?
    How do WE know, if a person is a Christian - or not? Can someone who is a Jehovah's Witness, Quaker, Mormon or Christian Scientist be Christian? Why or why not? What is the definition of a Christian?
    In the Old Testament, there is a person named Enoch. And there is a verse, which I will quote from Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enoch_(ancestor_of_Noah).
    365 years before he was taken by God. The text reads that Enoch "walked with God: and he was no more; for God took him" (Gen 5:21–24
    . Well, Enoch wasn't a prophet, as far as scripture mentions. What kind of moral life did he lead - that God "took him" (in other words, he did not see death - from conventional understanding)? And why don't other Old and New Testament figures (with the exception of Elijah and Christ) - experience this? Or even Christians in our century? For the benefit of everyone, here's the Calvinist site - Got Questions, talking about Enoch: https://www.gotquestions.org/Enoch-in-the-Bible.html
    I attend every two weeks, a Buddhist mindfulness meditation group. It's held at a spiritual center, run by Franciscan nuns. And everyone there, appears to be acting moral. And some might be Christian, some Buddhist, some both and some other. How can I tell, if they are acting moral or not?. There's an old saying, called the duck test (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_test).
    If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

P.S.Here's an interesting Calvinist CARM, Matt Slick Facebook video:


I rate this video interview very hightly :!: :D And Matt Slick did say something, to this effect - in the interview:

Some of these Presbyterian churches are very, very good. And some are very, very bad.
:lol:

And he does talk, about defining your terms. :D

Image
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Paidion » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:10 am

Origen wrote:Total Depravity advocates base their belief on the God-inspired Scriptures. Not on the traditions of fallible fallen errant humans such as the "church fathers", who contradict each other.

Well, it would be most amazing if the "church fathers" didn't contradict one another. As the saying goes, "Bring together any three people and you have five different opinions."

Do you suppose that what you call "the God-inspired Scriptures" contain no contradictions or errors? First, tell us which writings for you constitute "the God-inspired Scriptures." The 66 writings (or "books") of the Protestant Bible? Or the 73 writings of the Roman Catholic Bible? Or the 76 writings of the Orthodox Bible? Each of these three contains contradictions or errors. Or is yours a list that differs from all three? Whatever it is, were the writers not "fallible fallen errant humans" also?

Secondly, tell us the basis on which you deem your list to be "the God-inspired Scriptures." It so happens that all three, Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox have in their Bibles the same set of 27 NEW TESTAMENT writings. But on what basis are they deemed the correct list? The early Christians did not agree as to which ones should be included in the writings that were read in the churches. Irenæus (born 130) either omitted or cast doubt on Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. The same with Origen (born 185) except that he accepted Hebrews. However, Athanasius (born 296) had exactly the same list of 27 books that are found in today's Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox Bibles. Is that why you accept these 27 books as the exclusively "God-Inspired Scriptures"? Or do you accept this particular list merely because of Christian tradition?

The early Christians also read in the churches Clement's letter to the Corinthians which he wrote shortly after the death of Paul and Peter (Paul was beheaded, and Peter was crucified upside down). Clement was Paul's fellow labourer in the gospel (Phillipians 4:3). Clement is believed to have been born about A.D. 30 and to have died about A.D. 100. I think it is a shame that this writing is virtually unknown in the Christian world. On what basis can it be said not to be inspired? Just because Athanasius didn't include it in his list? Was Athanasius inspired to choose the correct "New Testament" list to be read in the churches? If so, there must be inspiration outside of the Bible. (By the way, Athanasius included Baruch in his OT list, a book that is not found in the Protestant Bible).

I would be pleased to learn why you think your particular list of "God-inspired Scriptures" is the correct one, and that the writings of "the church fathers" are not inspired by God.
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Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby LLC » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:32 am

Origen; wrote:Thirdly, that "man has the power to choose good or evil" does not affirm libertarian free will any more than dogs who have the power to choose between trees to piss on, which is controlled by their nature, heredity, & the forces of their environment.


Origen, In looking at this the other way around, The Bible says this: Genesis 2:7 "And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."
Again in Genesis 5:1 we read ,"In the day that God created man, he made Him in the likeness of God."
If this is true, then man really has no power to change this nature, as Mark 10:9 says, "Therefore what God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Yes, we can choose to do evil, but there is no life in this.Just as a fish was made to live in water, if taken out of the water, it cannot live.
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