The Truth Shall Set You Free

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Free to Decide: Confessions of a Former Calvinist

An informative and interesting testimony worth a read and a ponder...
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href="http://www.bethelbentonville.org/articles/060421_confessions-of-a-former-calvinist.htm"


by Brandon Cox

The story is told of a group of people who disagreed over the issue of predestination so they divided themselves into two separate camps. One camp existed for the predestinarians and another for those who emphasized the free will of man. A single undecided man was stranded in between. Since he wasn’t sure what to do, he went and tried to join the predestinarian camp. They refused to allow his entrance, saying, “You can’t be here if you choose to be here, you must be called.” So in concession, he made his way to the free will camp. They too, rejected the poor man, stating, “You can’t be here if you were sent, you must choose to be here of your own free will.”

I have often felt like that man in my own struggle to understand and reconcile God’s sovereignty and man’s free agency. My own struggle began shortly after my surrender to the gospel ministry, as I entered the student body at Central Baptist College in Conway, Arkansas. Calvinism and the “doctrines of grace” were a constant source of controversy among the overzealous ministerial students. We would often stay up until the wee hours of the mourning in our dorm rooms, debating the eternal decrees of the Almighty. Our pursuit was not so much to understand the God who had saved us, but rather to have a keen grasp on our theology, and if I might admit, to entertain ourselves by feeling intellectually astute.

My pursuit of an understanding continued as I devoured the writings of John Calvin, Lorraine Boettner, and R. C. Sproul. John Piper’s popularity had not yet reached our small school in central Arkansas but we were quite familiar with the scholarly perspective of Dr. John MacArthur. (May I make an aside to say that these are godly men who have done much good for the cause of biblical inerrancy and other areas of conservative theology.) I was particularly drawn to the well-known Reformed writers because of the great appeal of their emphasis on the “five solas:” (in English only…) the Scriptures alone teach us salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone to the glory of God alone. I affirm these solas to this day, but I no longer believe them to be the product of the Reformation, but rather the natural conclusion of a right exegesis of the Bible. Thankfully the Reformers simply stumbled onto truths held by the ancients, and by ancestral Baptists throughout their centuries of underground faith as well.

Only a few years ago, I would have proudly labeled myself a Calvinist and I had my arguments in tact to defend my position. I found myself teaching these truths in my pulpit ministry, unwilling to give a universal invitation to anyone who would want to be saved. Rather I qualified my invitations with such phrases as, “If God is dealing with you, then come…” My intent was to avoid “casting my pearls before swine.” I had two basic approaches to defending my incorrect theology. One approach was to run to the familiar proof texts such as Ephesians 1:3-14, John 6:43-46, and Romans 8:28-30. The other was to twist my opponents’ words using human logic. In fact, my first confession would be that Calvinism had a strong appeal to my own appetite for that which was intellectually challenging.

That Calvinism is a logical system cannot be denied. If in fact all are totally depraved and unable to respond to God, then God must unconditionally elect some to believe. If He elects some, yet they cannot believe on their own, then He must draw them and give them faith. Further, if He draws them and gives them faith, then they surely could not be lost, so His grace must be irresistible. And if only some will be elected, drawn, and saved, then Jesus must have died only for the elect, else His blood would have been spilled in vain and the non-elect would, in their own damnation, cause God to judge their sin twice. The perseverance of the saints must be a right doctrine if God’s sovereignty in electing lines up with His wisdom of the future lifestyle of the elect. So it all made sense to me. Being able to state the doctrines of grace and convince others of their truthfulness fed my own ego and gave me the feeling of being in the ranks of the world’s great theological thinkers. But what I felt was Calvinism’s great strength (the fact that it was ultimately logical to the intellectual person) turned out to be Calvinism’s great weakness.

The Bible is full of paradoxes. Believers are alive and dead at the same time. We are servants and sons. We are saints and sinners. We are chosen, and free! None of these paradoxes are logical. None of them make any human sense but when we see the Scriptures through a heart of faith, they seem sensible to us after all. Calvinism ultimately creates a mindset that blocks out the possibility of man having anything at all to do with his own salvation. Indeed, man cannot purchase it with his good works, nor can he suffer for its penalty and be freed from sin’s curse. Nonetheless, the Scriptures plainly record the necessity that man, in his divinely granted freedom, choose Christ of his own volition. The logic of Calvinism sees only the sensible side of God’s sovereignty but can never reconcile it with man’s freedom to act in faith.

Beyond the appeal of the logic of Calvinism was the second draw upon my soul… the ability to line up with the great theological thinkers of my day. The popularity of Calvinism is growing, thanks to the growing popularity of some of its great advocates such as R. Albert Mohler, John Piper, and John MacArthur. As I mentioned before, I believe these to be godly and conservative men of profound intellectual insight and personal character. I so wanted to fit in with the great scholars of my day that I was willing to overlook apparent uncertainties about my theology. In reality, I was taking an apologetic approach to Calvinism within my own heart! I was consistently attempting to convince myself!

The final straw came for me in the summer of 2005 when I purchased and listened to the well-known sermon by Dr. Adrian Rogers entitled Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not! One of my strongest arguments for Calvinism was my eisogesis of Romans, chapter nine. I listened, dumbfounded, as Dr. Rogers decimated every supporting argument I had given in asserting that God had created people who were forordained to damnation, simply to show forth His justice. Dr. Rogers’ masterful exegesis of this oft-studied passage convinced me to do a thorough re-evaluation of my own theology. Very few Calvinists today would claim to be hyper-Calvinists. In fact, any Calvinist I’ve ever met would always label those a little more extreme than themselves as the “hypers.” Suddenly I was faced with the evidence which proved my own leaning toward a hyper-Calvinist theology.

I began reading all that I could again on the subject of Calvinism, this time from an objective position. Formerly I had sought proof of Calvinism, now I simply wanted God’s answers to my deepest questions. My mind was stirred to re-consider my theological position, but my emotions were wrenched by a question I had subtly ignored when a loved one asked, “what if your little girl (two years of age at the time) isn’t chosen, but instead was created simply to be damned forever in hell?” Though an emotional reaction is never the basis for a solid affirmation of truth, I would beg the same question of any Calvinistic reader… what if all of your loved ones were simply “fitted for destruction?”

Dave Hunt reflects my final conclusion in this way, “…the ultimate aim of Calvinism… is to prove that God does not love everyone, is not merciful to all, and is pleased to damn billions. If that is the God of the Bible, Calvinism is true. If that is not the God of the Bible, who ‘is love’ (1 John 4:8, emphasis added), Calvinism is false…”

My confessions as a former Calvinist could be summed up in this way: I twisted various passages of Scripture so that I might have a system of theology that appealed to my intellectual ego, could reconcile itself with my own logic, and which would include me in a great class of Christian scholars, past and present. None of these motivations are glorifying to God, neither are they the motivations placed before us in Scripture.

Having recanted my affirmation of Calvinism, let me affirm my believe in a sovereign God who is always in control, but Who never forces or coerces converts to His Son. I believe in a God who sent His only Son to the cross so that anyone who believed on Him might be saved. I believe in a God whose knowledge is truly “past finding out” and who cannot be defined by any system of theology that is not firmly rooted in Scripture. Put simply, there is no acrostic that will summarize God. Sixty-six books, written over a span of a century and a half, at least seven genres of literature and multiple eras of God’s relating Himself in different ways to mankind were required to produce a single document that could even begin to tell of the mysteries of God’s deity and person. Calvinism is a partial explanation of God’s ways, presenting to us the sovereign God, divorced from His limitless love and His universal provision for the sins of all of His lost creatures. Let the reader beware that impenitence is damning, but let the reader behold the “great love wherewith He hath loved us.” To quote the Author of all theological truth, “And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:39-40)

Adrian Rogers, in his rebuttal of extreme predestination, stated it so well, “If you want mercy, you may have it.” I would urge you to fling yourself upon the foot of the cross where Jesus died and claim His mercy, receive His forgiveness, and take hold of the promise of a future resurrection to be with Jesus forever. For the Scriptures conclude with this great thought… “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)

23 Comments:

  • Thanks for posting this Eye. I'm sure it was hard for this man to give up his Calvinism, at first. I can imagine that it would be a very fearful thing to feel as though one were taking away God's sovereignty by turning their backs on Calvinsim.

    Brandon Cox" "I twisted various passages of Scripture so that I might have a system of theology that appealed to my intellectual ego, could reconcile itself with my own logic, and which would include me in a great class of Christian scholars, past and present."

    That was one of the first things I noticed about Calvinists. Many (though not all!) are pompous and smug and appeal to the authority of "great theologians". That great men of God believed in Calvinist doctrine was one of the first things said to me by a Calvinist. The first thought that crossed my mind when I read this person's response to me was, "So what, it doesn't make these men right." Calvinists quote other men's writings to prove their point more than they quote the scriptures. When do these people have time to study THE BIBLE? They're too busy reading the writings of other men!

    Another claim that didn't sit well with me at all was that "Calvinism is a very deep doctrine" and that "we don't know why God chooses some and not others."

    Salvation is not a deep doctrine that we must study for years and years to search and understand. I'm not saying that there are not truths in the bible that take really deep study to comprehend because there are those things. But salvation was meant to be a straightforward teaching so that both intellectual and non-intellectual could and would be able to very easily understand and come to the Lord. Once we are born again we can understand the deeper and fuller meaning of salvation, but it is not anything like the Calvinists have made it out to be.

    I'm glad for the insight of Cox's thinking. I realize that he doesn't speak for every ex-Calvinist, but he has revealed to me what I believe is at the crux of the matter. Intellectualism. That is not to say that there aren't Calvinists out there who simply see it as an issue of sovereignty because I've run across those types of people as well.

    I believe there are people who are persuaded that Calvinism is true and then there are those who saw it in the word through their own study. I just think that for some reason those particular scriptures jumped out to them and they've simply read them wrong. And if you read something incorrectly, then you're probably going to read every scripture differently from that point on, though the vast majority of scripture must be twisted to fit the Calvinist theory.

    The real mystery to me is why some believe Calvinism.

    Sorry to ramble, I'm just thinking out loud here.

    P.S. This is off topic, but I want to say it anyway. I was appalled when Josh, et al decided that he/they needed your name to continue the discussion with you and allow you to continue to post on his site." That one came out of left field, though I have seen it on many other Calvinist blogs. What IS that about? To me, it's simply another sign of pomposity and illusions of grandeur.

    Usually their "excuse" for needing one's name is to show credibility and to own one's words. What? one can't show credibility when using a pseudonym? Were some of the founders any less credible when writing what we call the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers anonymously? I think NOT!

    Must a person reveal his or her name over the internet (which can be dangerous) to own one's words? Are we not all writing before God, the one true God who DOES KNOW every one of our names? The one true God who WE KNOW will hold us accountable for our very words and more importantly the very thoughts and intents behind those words, even when written anonymously?

    Eye, your words speak for themselves and GOD knows your name. It's not like you would be hiding your name had you been speaking with Josh, et al in person.

    I know your real name. The man of God I respect most in this world as a teacher of the gospel not only knows your real name, but HE KNOWS YOU PESONALLY. He has known you for around 20 years, has been a guest in your home (now that you live in a different state), told me that you were one of his favorite people and that you were a true gentleman. When he said that you were a true gentleman, I thought that was the exact impression I had of you through reading your words on my blog.

    I know that my words probably don't mean much to anyone else, but I'm saying them for the record. Eye, GOD knows who you are. :-) That I'm even having to say this feels ridiculous. I hope I haven't embarrassed you, Eye, because that certainly was not my intention.

    By Blogger Dawn, at May 08, 2006 2:15 PM  

  • P.S. I'm glad to see that Josh has come to his senses. That speaks volumes to me. Though, it does upset me when being anonymous becomes an "issue" because it shouldn't be an issue.

    By Blogger Dawn, at May 08, 2006 2:24 PM  

  • Dawn,

    Thank you for your kind words and your support. I'm a newbie in this blog arena and I'm very thankful I met you and I'm most greatful for your help!

    Dawn said: I'm glad for the insight of Cox's thinking. I realize that he doesn't speak for every ex-Calvinist, but he has revealed to me what I believe is at the crux of the matter. Intellectualism. That is not to say that there aren't Calvinists out there who simply see it as an issue of sovereignty because I've run across those types of people as well.


    Well said and I couldn't agree more.

    Thank again for your review of the Maitland Essay. Let me know your thoughts on my document when you get a minute...

    In Him,

    Eye

    By Blogger Eye, at May 08, 2006 2:57 PM  

  • Dawn,

    I know you and I have used this argument many times in the past in prior posts, but I feel it fits here as well.

    And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?

    1. God seeks out a lost man --(Calvinist call him totally depraved and yet per their definition of total depravity a lost man can not respond to the things of God)

    2. God clearly speaks to a lost man -- He deals with him in his state of total depravity as the Calvinist defines it...

    3. God asks Cain to 'doest well' and in so doing, God clarifies and says to Cain that if he does 'doest well' he will be accepted...

    Those who identify with TULIP do not like this example one bit. The best answer I've seen from them on this passage is that God dealt with Cain and left him in his sin so that he would be without excuse at judgment! Well, all are without excuse at judgment because of Adam's sin and yet God sought a lost man by the name of Cain and assured him that if he would simply 'doest well' he would be accepted.

    If God loved Cain that much, what about the rest of humanity???

    In Him,

    Eye

    By Blogger Eye, at May 08, 2006 3:20 PM  

  • Eye "1. God seeks out a lost man --(Calvinist call him totally depraved and yet per their definition of total depravity a lost man can not respond to the things of God)"

    Exactly. It is a bit ridiculous for God to speak to someone about something He knows they cannot (according to the Calvinist) understand just to be able to say that, well, He tried!

    Eye "2. God clearly speaks to a lost man -- He deals with him in his state of total depravity as the Calvinist defines it..."

    Yes, God does and it is because man CAN understand and it is God TRYING to get man's attention and bring him to conviction that he might be SAVED!

    Eye "3. God asks Cain to 'doest well' and in so doing, God clarifies and says to Cain that if he does 'doest well' he will be accepted..."

    Amen. This is the TRUE love of God. That He would try very hard to reconcile with man. It shows the longsuffering of God as well. I'm sure that this was not the only time God tried to get Cain's attention, but it is the only one God allowed to be recorded.

    While we're at the beginning of man we can go to the VERY beginning of man and see that God sought out Adam and Eve AFTER they had sinned and FORGAVE them. In their totally depraved state, God instituted the sacrificial system and obviously Adam and Eve accepted that system and taught it to their children. Unfortunately, Cain didn't accept it and decided to do His own thing which GOD did not accept, but told him if he would "do well" then he would be accepted by God.

    You're right, God wants the rest of humanity to come to Him and He shows us His love of mankind in men like Cain.

    By Blogger Dawn, at May 17, 2006 10:52 AM  

  • Greetings Eye,

    This was a bit to long for me to read the hole post. Perhaps you could do them in short spurts rather then book form.

    I enjoyed the first analogy about going between the two camps. It bought a grin to my face.

    The true Christian is always found in the Lord Jesus camp mind you this camp is according to hebrews "outside the camp". Men set up their own little camps so we can join however the true Christian only ever fits one mold which they are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory :)

    By Blogger Puritan Belief, at May 23, 2006 7:38 PM  

  • If I built downtown Minneapolis, is it, or is it not my choice where I will put my office?

    Wherever I choose to put my office, is it unfair that the other buildings I've built are not where I desire to put my office?

    If I am the builder, haven't I the right to place my office wherever I please??


    If God made the whole earth, owns the whole earth & everything in it, is it not His choice whom He has favor on and whom He does not?

    Doesn't God have the right to do whatever He pleases? Including whom He decides to make His people?

    By Blogger Samantha, at June 09, 2006 10:18 AM  

  • Samantha,

    Thank for stopping by. So what's your point?

    You said: Doesn't God have the right to do whatever He pleases? Including whom He decides to make His people?

    Eye's response: God is Love -- He loves everyone, not just the elect. There are countless verses that say this -- John 3:16 comes to mind. God has the right to do whatever He pleases you ask. Well God can not and does not sin... God's nature is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!

    Just like God is Holy and does not sin, God knows everything but doesn't make it happen. Contrary to the Calvinist montra, God made man with a will and that did not become inoperative with original sin. Prove that in the Scriptures please.

    God chose the Jews as His special people. Are all Jews saved? No!! Go and read the Calvinist top five chapters (Romans 9 is in there) and Paul states as much.

    I'm not sure I'm going down your comment's path but its a start.

    In Him,

    Eye

    By Blogger Eye, at June 12, 2006 6:16 PM  

  • When I said, “God has the right to do whatever He pleases” I wasn’t insuinating that He desires to sin. I get this thought from scripture, “Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth...." Psalm 135:6.

    I don’t believe in playing the “piles of scripture” game…you know, that game where I defend my position with piles of scripture, you do the same. We know that scripture does not contradict itself; it is harmoneous and God-breathed. Maybe sometime you can stop by my blog and I’ll go into there. I’d rather not post it all here. It's far too long :D

    Thanks for your thoughts. They’ve been considered.

    For His glory,

    Samantha

    By Blogger Samantha, at June 14, 2006 9:57 AM  

  • Samantha,

    Thank you for coming by again. May the Lord continue to bless you!

    In Him,

    Eye

    By Blogger Eye, at June 14, 2006 9:29 PM  

  • Hey eye,

    I loved your post and your humility...The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.

    The more we define ourselves by our theology and our positional stance in arguments, the more we deviate from the truth that is in Jesus… we start to value intellect over relationship and revelation…

    And this is the truth:

    “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)

    I don’t want to undermine the need for correct doctrine. But life gets too complicated in our own analysis of it…it takes away from simple trust.

    Which is why I let Jesus define my life.

    By Blogger Allforlove, at June 16, 2006 6:38 PM  

  • Hey thelovebug,

    Thanks for stopping by! Amen and Amen!!

    In Him,

    Eye

    By Blogger Eye, at June 16, 2006 9:44 PM  

  • Way to go, Eye, inspiring to be sure. Sometimes I feel that the middle-of-the-road theology (neither Calvinism or Arminianism) is in short supply these days.
    Have you ever read any C. Gordon Olson?

    By Anonymous Mike, at July 13, 2006 10:53 PM  

  • Mike,

    Thanks for your comment and for stopping by! No, I'm sorry I have not heard of C. Gordon Olson. Please feel free to post some info and links to his works and I will check it out.

    In Him,

    Eye

    By Blogger Eye, at July 14, 2006 11:18 AM  

  • C. Gordon Olson wrote Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism: an inductive mediate theology of salvation and it's shorter version, Getting the Gospel Right. Both books are extremely helpful in helping define a Biblical theology that is neither tainted by "weight" of theologians nor straying from Scripture. He's written other books (including What in the World is God Doing?), but these are by far my favorite, as I have been studying/struggling with Calvinism and other theologies for many years now. Don't know if these will be of help to you - over all I believe the Bible, correctly interpreted, is the biggest help we have on our side. :)
    Thanks for encouraging a brother with your testimony.
    coheir with you,
    mike

    By Anonymous Mike, at July 14, 2006 11:58 PM  

  • Also, I started writing a couple short articles on Calvinism's faults because a couple of my friends were dealing with Calvinists trying to convert them, and I'd like to know what an "insider" would think if he read through them...they only take about 5 - 10 minutes a piece, and at the moment I only have 2 (if they are understandable and it turns out to be a profitable exercise, I'd like to add a few more articles). Would you mind taking a look at them? If not it's cool, I'm just looking for some feedback regarding them...let me know.

    By Anonymous Mike, at July 15, 2006 12:06 AM  

  • Mike,

    I'd be delighted to read your articles. You can post them in the comment section or direct me to your blog.

    In Him,

    Eye

    By Blogger Eye, at July 15, 2006 11:20 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2007 12:44 AM  

  • Thank you so much for writing this blog posting. It is rare to find someone showing the problem with calvanism in regards to their definition of the words "predestined" and "elect" etc, and limited atonement. I wish there were more blogs or websites and ministries dedicated to those who are not calvanist nor armenianist, but rather just biblicist.

    I do agree that we can get a lot of good information from well learned teachers of scripture (in the doctrines of the Word of God) and we should look at those things for our benefit spiritually, even though their views on salvation are lacking (biblically).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 12, 2008 3:57 PM  

  • I'm glad to have found this blog. I've been listening a lot to the sermons on sermonaudio.com but have been perturbed by these Godly preachers' (Tim Conway is one) support of Calvinism. I'm an ex Roman Catholic and am now a Bible believing Christian. I just wanted to make a comment on what Samantha said here. She asked "does not God have the right to do whatever He pleases?" Of course He does. But He has also revealed that what pleases Him is belief in His Son. Because He sent His Son into the world to save sinners - wicked people. "Say unto them, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:11)

    By Blogger A Berean, at January 24, 2010 2:27 AM  

  • Amen, amen, amen. Great post.

    If you can get your hands on this book (Mike's comment also mentioned the author back in 2006, which is how I got here), it does a very in depth study on this topic. I don't stand in agreement with all Olson says, but it indeed will open eyes further - Truth shall make you free by Gordon C. Olson.

    And blessed be your confession.. "I twisted various passages of Scripture so that I might have a system of theology that appealed to my intellectual ego."

    Blessed blessed humility.. Music to His ears.

    In love,

    joseph

    By Anonymous Joseph, at September 16, 2010 9:09 PM  

  • I keep finding your site during my searches pertaining to Olson, the truth shall set you free (book).

    Check this out.. It's in the preface of a book by Gordon Olson... I think it was written by franklin park.. Awesome stuff. I pray it blesses you.

    ====

    Everyone has formed his own philosophy or viewpoint of the values of life, which form the basis of conduct. This concept has been gradually developed as a result of the influences of heredity and environment and the moral choices which have been made. It is a state of mind as to our relative importance in the various relationships of life and is seldom reduced to verbal definition.

    It is either according to objective truth and obvious reality, or according to one's subjective desires and choices. One's philosophy and life must agree or life would be too disturbing to the conscience. One or the other must be modified. If one insists upon increasing selfish concentrations, the mind must seek to pervert or distort still further the sense of one's own importance or philosophy of relationships..

    Moral beings must always formulate reasons for what they do. An outward act of disobedience is always preceded by a voluntary darkening of the intelligence as to what is acceptable conduct... If we are determined to live unworthily in our moral relations, we must first distort our viewpoint of reality. It is a contest between God's will and our wills.

    This means an elevation as to the importance of our will and a blinding of the mind as to the importance of God's will - a reversal of supremacy, "me first". The Apostle Paul was inspired to summarize this tragic revolution in man's relationship to God. Mankind first began to "suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom 1:18). "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever (Rom 1:25)

    Old testament passages had previously indicated this revolt against reality, when Satan asserted "I will" five times and worked up his self-deception to the point where he declared himself to be Deity: "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;I will make myself like the Most High" (Is14). He had invented a new way of living by introducing falsehood into the moral universe, declaring that his happiness was more important than that of his Creator - the "me first" life.

    By Anonymous Serious Things, at November 04, 2010 5:36 PM  

  • I keep finding your site during my searches pertaining to Olson, the truth shall set you free (book).

    Check this out.. It's in the preface of a book by Gordon Olson... I think it was written by franklin park.. Awesome stuff. I pray it blesses you.

    ====

    Everyone has formed his own philosophy or viewpoint of the values of life, which form the basis of conduct. This concept has been gradually developed as a result of the influences of heredity and environment and the moral choices which have been made. It is a state of mind as to our relative importance in the various relationships of life and is seldom reduced to verbal definition.

    It is either according to objective truth and obvious reality, or according to one's subjective desires and choices. One's philosophy and life must agree or life would be too disturbing to the conscience. One or the other must be modified. If one insists upon increasing selfish concentrations, the mind must seek to pervert or distort still further the sense of one's own importance or philosophy of relationships..

    Moral beings must always formulate reasons for what they do. An outward act of disobedience is always preceded by a voluntary darkening of the intelligence as to what is acceptable conduct... If we are determined to live unworthily in our moral relations, we must first distort our viewpoint of reality. It is a contest between God's will and our wills.

    This means an elevation as to the importance of our will and a blinding of the mind as to the importance of God's will - a reversal of supremacy, "me first". The Apostle Paul was inspired to summarize this tragic revolution in man's relationship to God. Mankind first began to "suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom 1:18). "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever (Rom 1:25)

    By Anonymous Serious Things, at November 04, 2010 5:37 PM  

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