Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

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Nate DaZombie
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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby Nate DaZombie » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:40 am

I have a hard time with questions like these, because regardless of what I say, everyone will believe what they want. It's similar to talking with an evolutionist, regardless of what either of us will say to one another, we end up in the same theological stance as before. Some things we just can't know. Although I personally believe God does know everything, I just don't see the conflict.

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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby Chozon1 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:36 am

And some things we can know. Why give up the striving for truth simply to avoid conflict and because you don't know the answer?

Part of the learninating process is the struggle for truth. And part of it is late night cram sessions with cheese and orange soda. I prefer the latter.
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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby Bascom » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:17 pm

I have a hard time with questions like these, because regardless of what I say, everyone will believe what they want.
For some questions, it is best to understand where people gained that belief. There are many places that people gain their beliefs including: personal experience, dreams and imagination, and learning from another trusted source. If both of you agree that the Bible is trusted source, use the Bible to obtain a common belief.

The Bible may not answer every question. For this question, there are more than 9 Bible verses that are against limited atonement (that Christ died only for the elect and not everyone). I pasted the verses in my previous post. Any one of them should convince people that DO believe in the Bible above other sources.

It is important for believers to train in Apologetics and Polemics, so that they can defend their faith against attacks. In addition to reading the posts here, when you see an attack on a Bible verse, consider reading the entire passage and check out the notes with the the Apologetics Study Bible. The part on John 3:16 is pretty cool. Check it out on the right hand side of the web page, using your favorite Bible translation at: http://www.mystudybible.com/

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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby duskofdawn » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:28 pm

Honestly, I think it's because as humans, it's hard to grasp the concept of someone loving us so much that they would forget our sins completely. I have trouble dealing with the fact from time to time, and I'm so thankful that God is God.

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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby M_Unlimited » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:28 am

Yeaahh...now that I take issue with. I don't believe in an omni-God, because I think that's attempting apply Plato's ideas about omni* to God with very little scriptural backing. Does he exist outside of time? Yes. But I also think that he chooses not to see the future. Why? Because if he saw the future, there would be no such thing as free will. Don't care how you spin it, God knowing the future completely and totally negates free will. I am a believer in free will.

So I agree with you, Spartan. I've had many discussions with my bible professors about this issue, and I tend to accept their word more than that of anyone on the internet (No offense to you guys of course, I tend to trust a Ph.D more than a forum poster). Their thoughts go something like this:

Assuming God can know everything about the future: He chooses not to so we have free will.

Assuming he doesn't know the future: We don't have many issues here. We have free will, and life goes on.


If you guys want, I could concoct a logical proof of this. :D (This would take time...so expect slow responses)
I would like to see where he found this in the Bible, just because some one has a PH.D does not mean he knows what he is talking about. Trust in God and the Bible and not in man I say :) Always back it up with scripture. :)
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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby M_Unlimited » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:39 am

To the Christ bit: Planning. Not guessing. Planning.

Now I will answer each question in a random order. Starting with:
He's always got a plan I bet there were some Egyptian conversion happening in those days. (Again their choice after seeing what He could do)
That would be all fair and good, but that ignores a really major problem. Judaism isn't about salvation in the sense of proselytization. I've never met an Evangelical Jew, and I bet there sure weren't any back then. The point of Judaism is living to serve God, not to convert everyone you can. Converting to Judaism is actually a long and fairly difficult process, as they often tell you "You probably shouldn't do this."

(The above information is from my friends who are Jewish)
What about the disciples, and have you heard of Messianic Jews?
@Cheryl: Thanks for a wonderful community. It is a pleasure and honor to be a part of it.

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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby M_Unlimited » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:41 am

I came up with some pretty good points -- after the argument was over :(
Story of my life. :(

I ALWAYS come up with great points for debates....after the debate is over.
Yeah me three lol.
@Cheryl: Thanks for a wonderful community. It is a pleasure and honor to be a part of it.

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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby M_Unlimited » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:03 am

Q: Why do some Christian believe in limited atonement?
A: Given the below justification, they prefer human speculation over Biblical truth OR twist the meaning of the words in the Bible to their own liking.

When you have change in your pocket, and see a soda machine, you have the ability to buy a Soda, but also the ability to not use the machine. Likewise, just because God has the ability to know everything including who will become saved, "omniscient," this doesn't mean that God has to use this ability. He also has the power, "omnipotent," to choose not to.

As the respondents have said, we know from scripture that God, in the form of Jesus, has used his omniscience in the past. As a popular example, omniscience was used when Jesus foretold that Judas will betray him [Matthew 26:25]. I've yet to see any indication that man knows the reasons why and when this power is to be used. Anything outside of the Bible, is merely human speculation. We are not perfect, so our speculation is filled with flaws. The Bible uses at least 9 passages to state Christ died so that "All" or "The whole world" have the ability to be saved or atoned for. [John 1:29, John 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 1 Timothy 2-6, 1 Timothy 4:10, Titus 2:11, 2 Peter 2:1, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 John 2:2].

According to Wikipedia, the justification for those who believe in limited atonement is that the word "All" or "the world" really means "the Elect" [src=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_atonement]

Further Reference
God is Omniscient (All Knowing): http://www.parentcompany.com/awareness_of_god/aog12.htm
God is Omnipotent (All Powerful): http://www.parentcompany.com/awareness_of_god/aog13.htm
well said Bascom.
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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby M_Unlimited » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:07 am

And some things we can know. Why give up the striving for truth simply to avoid conflict and because you don't know the answer?

Part of the learninating process is the struggle for truth. And part of it is late night cram sessions with cheese and orange soda. I prefer the latter.
:) Yes conflict is fine unless we can't treat each other with love and respect.
@Cheryl: Thanks for a wonderful community. It is a pleasure and honor to be a part of it.

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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby Syxth » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:47 am

I don't have any scripture to backup what I'm saying or at least I don't think there is, but I think God can see the entire tree and all of it's branches. And he gives us free will to choose whichever branches we want to take in life. Think of a tree starting from a seed (conception, in my opinion). Planted in some messed up ground (cause no-one starts out with a "perfect" family). Growing roots (children maybe say 3-7), and then into a sapling (8-13) and then onward up. If you look at us like trees, we all have withered branches and bad roots hanging around still and will have until he comes back.

^^^ And lets say he chooses in the instance above not to look into the future (so that we could have freewill, if thats how it actually works in order for us to have free will, He just sees the big picture and all the paths we can take)

But what if he actually does know, exactly, which ones will be with him already?

Does that mean that we don't have freewill? Or does it just mean that we have a greater responsibility of choice when it comes to having children and producing life? (Things that he has allowed us to have control over) Or sharing the Gospel in a loving manner rather than a dogmatic/legalistic one. Spiritual abuse in families, because of religious dogma has given a skewed perception of God in not only our children's eyes, but to the world.

If I ponder on the above questions, it shows how small I am and how great a sin was committed in the garden of eden when they ate of that tree. It shows me that I will never live up to what He did for humanity. If I ponder on them too long I can beat myself up as well. <- and for that reason I think that's why he said set your affections on things above.

-------------------

Now that I think of it, I might be completely wrong about all of that.

Before the sin in the garden, life was simple. Have a question? Ask God.

Adam cuts Eve's finger off by accident? She cries over it, Adam apologizes, She understands it was a mistake. They feel no remorse.

Sin complicated things, we became like God. Seeing both good and evil. Distorting our perception of God and our communication of hearing God and each other. Being able to over-analyze things, because for some reason (a derivative of sin in the mind) we MUST comprehend it and not live by faith. That's why we must renew our minds.

Go back to the statement I made about things that he gave us control over like having babies or getting married. For Adam and Eve this would have been a simple choice, free to do whatever they want, because nothing bad could come of it, before they ate of that tree of course. They didn't know what sin was until they ate of the tree. They just lived (called absolute faith maybe?).

But NOW... We all have our own measure of faith (romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned)

Theology is fine, but let's not over-analyze things. God gave us a Savior to have a simple life again. Leaving the complex stuff up to Him. I say these things and I struggle probably more than anybody here with living a faith-based life, because I have trouble hearing Him a lot, but thank God I have Him, cause if I didn't I'd lose my mind trying to figure all of this out on my own.

I apologize, cause I know I'm long-winded. I think I also went off on a wild tangent there, but that's what happens with me whenever somebody asks a questions that we probably weren't meant to comprehend (or cannot in the first place given that we are grounded in a 5 sense reality). It's like asking the question if God could create a boulder so heavy that He couldn't lift it... (whether he could or not it's a superfluous question, in my opinion of course)

What good can come of knowing these things?

My intentions with my long winded posts are not to confuse or belittle anybody. I have asked some doozies in my lifetime and sometimes I still find myself doing it, but I always come to the same conclusion and that is I don't really care enough to drive myself bonkers. (Gotta love dead threads, I just now realized this. Oh well. ^_^)

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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby sharonmercy37 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:54 pm

:) I think that God is omniscient; that His omniscience about whether a person chooses Him or not doesn't neccessarily intervene on their choice. So, that God's omniscience and our freewill don't clash. I also believe that God's abilities in their totality are outside of our understanding. I believe He's righteous and mercilful. That I can't understand everything right now, requires faith on my part.

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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby fathom123 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:28 am

Debate is all well and good but if it's truth you are after, ask the Lord. He will tell you. Your answer will resound not from the voices of professors or personal beliefs, but from the very heart of God and will stand true. Debating is great, but the truth is we should all just take a second and look to the Lord and ask, "Do I have it right Lord?"

On one hand, if God predestines then those who do not believe have no hope to believe.

If we are all saved by choice through free will, then God, who is allo knowing is not as powerful as He seems in that He is bound in time as we are. Limited by the progression of time.

Personally, I don't understand how foreknowledge limits free will. I look at it like this. Some one videotapes a chess match. The game lasts three hours but in the end one of the two players win. Instead of watching the whole thing, i fast foreward to the end to see who won. Does me knowing the end mean that I had an effect on their decisions throughout the game?

How is it that the Lord loved Jacob and hated Esau before they were born yet remains a just God if He did not know the man who Esau would become? God simply chooses to hate at random?

What do you do with Romans 8:29 where it mentions that those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed in the likeness of His son.

Foreknowledge is simply knowing beforehand who to invest in. Esau would have denied God no matter what. The Lord could have appeared before him and danced with a top hat and cane and Esau would have nothing to do with the Lord. The Lord knew that every advance He would make toward Esau would be rejected and so before he was even born, before the Lord was rejected by Esau, the Lord Hated Esau. Does this mean that the Lord did not give him a chance? No. It was Esau's choce to forsake his birthright as the firstborn. It was his choice to marry those who were not hebrew (it's cool today, but back in the day, that was a huge deal). His choice was to be an enemy of God, and the Lord knew that beforehand.

All in all, If I am deceived, Lord show me. If I have it wrong, Lord by Your mercy, open my eyes and understand. Have mercy on me Lord.
Jeremiah 20:9-But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby DeadManReedeemed » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:39 pm

This is one of those scenarios where "cherry-picking" a verse can lead to some skewed theological views. Reading the whole chapter gives a clearer idea that to what was just said it that one verse alone. Verses 3 - 5 make it clear that only those that cling God's commandments will be saved. Verse 2 is a verse of hope for the world that anyone has the opportunity to find Christ as there is no limit to his forgiving/ substitutionary power!!
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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby DeadManReedeemed » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:45 pm

Even though we have free will, God still chose or knows who will be accepting His offer in advance

But even then, why does GOD give free choice if that's the case? He gave us dominion over the earth and in advance He said to call and depend on Him so that the Earth would not be in the state it is in right now? Moses said, "I give you a choice. Life or death? Therefore choose life that you may live" (if I recall correctly that is what the Bible says). Also, it's not like people who are not in Christ know what they're doing. Book of Jonah for proof. Along with plenty other books in the Bible. So why?
“The humble sinner will sometimes be interpreted as one of the filthiest in the eyes of man yet immersed in the eyes of God, and this is due to the volition of honesty regarding his own corruption.”

― Criss Jami

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Re: Why do some Christians believe in limited atonement?

Postby DeadManReedeemed » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:56 pm

The reason why some Christians believe in limited atonement is because of the fact that due to the freedom in Christ that they are given, they think that because Heaven is where they're going (because their name is in the Book of Life in response to giving their lives to Christ) that is all there is. The I'm-free-so-I-don't-have-to-do-much-or-do-anything mindset. They do not take into consideration that there is so much more to it than that, therefore, they become complacent where they are and do not think about how much love GOD has for them and maybe GOD has something more for them than whatever they have gotten used to.
“The humble sinner will sometimes be interpreted as one of the filthiest in the eyes of man yet immersed in the eyes of God, and this is due to the volition of honesty regarding his own corruption.”

― Criss Jami


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