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About Alimantado

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  1. Errors of Calvanism

    This answer seems to assume that it's an inevitable consequence of free will that some people will choose one way and some another. Or that if 100% of people make the same choice then they must be automatons. But I don't see why you can't have a group of people that all desire to choose the same way and all do choose the same way when given a free choice. The ratio seems irrelevent to me: if it can be 50%, why not 100%? When I hear 'free will' Christians talking about sinfulness they sometimes seem to bring in Calvinism by the back door. They will say that 'Joe' was saved because although he was selfish, depraved sinner, he still had a good heart deep down, so when the Holy Spirit drew, he responded to that call. His brother Jack, however--the renowned bad boy of the two--he was just that bit too selfish and too depraved to respond. So Calvinism seems to say that everyone is too depraved to respond to the Gospel, so the Holy Spirit has to change the desires of some for any to be saved at all. While 'free will' proponents seem to say that just some are too depraved to respond to the Gospel, and they remain too depraved, and unsaved. If either is true then 'how did they get too depraved?' is the next question.
  2. Errors of Calvanism

    What does determine who will believe and who won't? Calvinism attempts to answer this question, but I'm not sure scripture does actually tell us.
  3. All Preachers Should Have A Conceal Weapon Permit

    I'm gonna have to have an in-depth look at the stats one of these days because this is the second time I've heard it mentioned on here that crime rates are up in the UK and yet for about the past eight years all we've been hearing in UK media is that crime rates have been falling. The government have been using the crime figures as a justification for slashing police budgets since 2008, and you would've thought that if the figures were so easily refutable then the opposition party would be beating the government over the head with the real figures, rather than trying to oppose the measures by talking about future risks.
  4. Errors of Calvanism

    Invicta, what's with the "you Americans" stuff all the time? Whether it's eschatology, foreign policy, guns... Is it necessary to have such an 'us and them' attitude when talking to brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you do it to any neighbours who come from other countries too?
  5. The Tithe, for the Church or not?

    Alan, it is you who said the things below in this very thread isn't it? "I hardly know a pastor that 'requires' a person to tithe. Your continual exaggerations are not only irksome, but, is somewhat slanderous..." "Again, to say that pastors are 'robbing' their members of their churches is quite an exaggeration..." "Very few pastors tell their congregations that tithing is a requirement. Your exaggerations are in error." So there we have you making statements about how often pastors require people to tithe yourself. You claim it doesn't happen often and go on to accuse SFIC of exaggeration and slander. So now SFIC is responding to your claims and your accusations with his video. For a person to make statements and accusations on a thread and then tell others they are going off-topic for trying to respond to those statements and accusations is contradictory, unless the person withdraws their original statements or admits that they went off-topic themselves.  
  6. All Preachers Should Have A Conceal Weapon Permit

    Whatever the figures, it's obvious that UK is a violent and criminal country. Every day, people are beaten up, mugged, raped and murdered. And that leaves out domestic violence: spousal abuse, child abuse etc, which are the most common forms of violence of all. A few things I think about the whole gun debate: firstly I think it's much harder to compare crime rates than just taking each country's own figures, adjusting for population size and putting them side-by-side. Doing that doesn't take into account the possibility of different reporting rates, different definitions of crime (e.g. violent crime) and demographic factors such as urban/rural environment. For example, I can't see how you can come up with meaningful figures by lumping Greater London in with the Scottish Highlands, and ditto for rural vs. city states in USA. Secondly, firearm controls aren't necessarily just about whether it can be made harder for organised criminals to get guns (I agree that probably doesn't work). A lot of crime is a result of weak minds and escalating circumstances and so there is the question of whether more guns means more people using them in moments of weakness. Of course, this gets into the whole nanny state debate... Apparently, fatal shootings by police in the USA are off the scale compared to UK (and yes I'm now using figures myself!). In England and Wales, the police shoot dead about 0-6 people per year (so that includes London, but not Northern Ireland!) whereas in US it's over 1,000 a year. UK police don't carry firearms but they can call on them quickly if needed, so why such a huge difference, even accounting for population? I remember hearing about a case in the US where a young lady was at home alone with her new born baby--her husband had recently died. Someone began breaking down her door, so she got a shot gun and stood behind the door, shouting that if the assailant got in she would shoot. As soon as the door opened, she fired and killed the person. She said afterwards that she thought it better to kill the person than risk having him kill her child and the authorities backed her. I don't see how anyone can argue from a secular standpoint that it would have been better if she hadn't had a gun. And as for what the Lord calls us to do, I struggle to see what the scenario has to do with the call to love our enemies. This wasn't a case of a women getting revenge on an enemy, or setting out to destroy an enemy. To me it's more akin to pulling one's child out of the way of an oncoming vehicle. And if we still say that she should have put the gun away and trusted the Lord to save her via a more direct means if it was His will, how can we justify growing crops or holding down a job instead of relying on the Lord to provide our all our needs directly? Long ramble--apologies...  
  7. Errors of Calvanism

    Regarding God's sovereignty and man's responsibility, what I've always considered a philosophical puzzle is the nature of choices. Part of the explanation for choices is free will: no choice, no free will. If I pushed you off a cliff, we could easily explain why you went over. But if you jumped, we might ask why you jumped, and the answer could not be 'free will', because free will only explains the existence of a choice, not why a particular option is chosen. Why do we make the choices we do? Do we make them because of our wills and desires? If so, where do those wills and desires come from? Do they come from our characters and constitutions? If so, where do those characters/constitutions come from? If we are created beings, does that mean our characters are created? And if our characters are created, does the creator decide what kinds of characters we have? And if the creator decides, and the creator has foreknowledge of exactly what we'll do with our lives if given a certain character, isn't it ultimately the creator who consciously determines our choices by determining our characters? To me, the big question that Calvinism attempts to answer that other systems don't is why people make the choices they do. Calvinism's answer is that it is God who determines our choices. I think this is wrong, but I admit I don't have an explanation.
  8. Errors of Calvanism

    In the spirit of getting some more fruitful contributions on this thread: This is what I've always believed, since the Calvinists I've spoken to proclaim the Gospel that I acknowledge, though I think they're wrong in many areas. But there are many on this forum who believe the opposite: that a Calvinist is very unlikely to be a Christian and that a Calvinist is really equivalent to, say, a muslim or a mormon.
  9. Errors of Calvanism

    Whatever you meant by detract, that you accused me of improper conduct with my original post is a fact, not an opinion: "Permit me to explain my motives. The method of using one small section of a lesson to throw doubt on the whole lesson is a common practice to detract from the main points. That is a common practice." You're saying my original post was a deliberate smokescreen to stop people from reading the rest of the article. That's completely untrue, but since you don't withrdraw it then that means you stand by it. For any others reading: I've been very happy to get UkeleMike's response to my response, I consider that exhange a constructive contribution to the OP and I'm looking forward to reading comments on the rest of the OP.
  10. Errors of Calvanism

    OED says it means to diminish the worth of, and the top synonym is 'belittle'. You know what you meant by it, of course, but I'm highly skeptical that you only meant the equivalent of 'distract' because of the way you used the term: "... a futile effort to detract..." "Permit me to explain my motives. The method of using one small section of a lesson to throw doubt on the whole lesson is a common practice to detract from the main points." You don't have to say my name to mention me. Arguments and 'methods' don't have motives. People do. By saying things like "futile attempt" and "throw doubt", you are accusing someone of acting improperly, since that's exactly what those phrases mean. And since I'm the one who wrote the post you're talking about, then it's obvious you mean me. It's equivalent to me making some statement about a certain someone who's username refers to an instrument and has a picture of a goat for their avatar, but when challenged insisting that I wasn't talking about Ukelemike because I hadn't actually said his name.
  11. Errors of Calvanism

    Very good points Mike--what immediately puts us on common ground is your statement that the character of the person can be analysed as well as the doctrines they put forth. I assumed the article wasn't going to do that--a wrong assumption, as Alan and Wretched have pointed out. In hindsight I can see I treated the original post as an article, where you might expect an introduction outlining the scope, instead of a set of sermon notes.
  12. Errors of Calvanism

    Sorry, I missed this last bit. The problem with accusing me of doing that (and you are accusing me, since you're talking about motive), is that I really clearly said in my first post that it was only a "quick response" to the "first few points". Now, I did say that I assumed those points were a summary of the rest of the article--but that wasn't me trying to cast doubt. On the contrary that was me admitting loud and clear that I hadn't checked, a "correct me if I'm wrong" statement, if you will. Had I wanted to mislead others into not reading the rest, I would've pretended that I had read all of it and was commenting on all of it. And had you just told me that my assumption is wrong, and moreover my points are invalid because of reasons A,B,C I would've been fine with that--points taken and thanks for the correction. But instead you went further...
  13. Errors of Calvanism

    Firstly I object to it being called a 'detraction', which means to belittle or denigrate. Like I said before, I was trying to provide constructive criticism. You may diagree with the criticism, but that doesn't per se mean I was belittling anyone (and it's obvious from the tone of my post that I was not). And yes you did mention me because you labelled the matter a "futile effort to detract", and so by talking about effort you were talking about motive--my motive, because obviously I was the one who brought the matter up.
  14. Errors of Calvanism

    Alan, I see in your comment above that you've made an assertion about my motives. You say I've attempted to "detract" from the article by introducing a side issue, as if I'm trying to bury the article and discourage the author. What I did was begin at the beginning and give the author (or the OP) some feedback on their opening statements. I took pains to point out that I was doing no more than this, that I hadn't read all the article, and that I'd assumed the first five points were a summary of the rest--the reason being that articles do often begin by introducing the content that is to follow. My motive was to give constructive feedback to the author/OP, and looking back over my original response I still think this intent is apparent from the tone and content. Shadowfeathers could have responded with something like: "Please read on because the opening points don't actually cover the scope of the article. Since you thought they did, I might move them further down and put an introduction at the top, so thanks for the feedback!" Or something similar, which is what I would have done. I say this not to criticise Shadowfeathers--who has been polite throughout--but only to point out that an adversarial response to my words wasn't necessary. It seems to be the mode of the forum these days: I try to give some constructive feedback and Alan paints it as if I'm doing a hatchet job to discourage and confound. And for the avoidance of doubt I think Calvinism/reformed doctrine is untrue.
  15. Errors of Calvanism

    On your point about evaluating the source: I actually agree with you. If deciding whether to read the book/argument/doctine at all, it is worth considering the source--you can save yourself time by not considering sources that are discredited. It's also worth it if you know you're gonna have to take the source's word for things you can't individually fact-check yourself, such as a journalist reporting on an event (not the case when we have scripture that we can compare a given doctrine to). So that's fine, but it isn't what I was addressing. The OP purports to be addressing the "errors" of "Calvinism", and what I take from that is that the OP has read the doctrine and wants to tell us what's wrong with it. Not the source, not the author, but the doctrine. Now you say I misrepresented. I was very clear about what I did do. I said I had read the first five bullet points and I was addressing those. I didn't claim to have read the rest of the article and I didn't claim to be commenting on it--I was clear that I wasn't. So, do you still want to claim that I misrepresented the content of those first five points? If so, why don't you quote my original post--the one where I explain my position--and rebut my actual arguments?