If You Can’t Beat Them…

Pray for their death. At least that’s the thought of the Rev. Wiley Drake.

Rev. Drake has “call[ed] for the death of all 219 Democrats who voted for the bill, through the power of prayer.” More specifically through imprecatory prayer.

In an email, Rev. Drake said,

“We’ll remember in November and pray Psalms 109 while waiting.

Psalm 109:8-10 reads:

May his days be few; may another take his office! May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow! May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!

This is how twisted Rev. Drake is.

After Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s wife and daughter were seriously injured in a car crash this month, Drake wrote “Since God almost let family members die, maybe Mr. Reid sees Imprecatory Prayer in a different light, ya think??”

In his latest email, Drake wrote,

“It is time for the saints to step up and get back in the war, between good and evil. See what God says the saints are to do in this battle.” He then quotes from Psalm 149:7 “To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people.”

Wait…what? Seriously Drake…what god are you worshiping because it isn’t the God of the Bible.

And how does this fit with 1 Timothy 2: 1-4?

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Umm…wait…it doesn’t. Perhaps Drake should reread is Bible and focus on the good news.

You can read the full article @ The Daily Beast.

HT: Joel

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53 thoughts on “If You Can’t Beat Them…

    • It is a good thing.

      I have to say, I’m still waiting for Steven Anderson to say something. Maybe he’ll have another encounter with the Secret Service…

  1. I think the Augsburg Confession can shed some light here…even though Drake isn’t Lutheran.

    Article VIII: What the Church Is.
    1] Although the Church properly is the congregation of saints and true believers, nevertheless, since in this life many hypocrites and evil persons are mingled therewith, it is lawful to use Sacraments administered by evil men, according to the saying of Christ: The Scribes and 2] the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat, etc. Matt. 23:2. Both the Sacraments and Word are effectual by reason of the institution and commandment of Christ, notwithstanding they be administered by evil men.

    3] They condemn the Donatists, and such like, who denied it to be lawful to use the ministry of evil men in the Church, and who thought the ministry of evil men to be unprofitable and of none effect.

    According to Melanchthon, the church is made up of the saints, even though there are hypocrites and evil people mingled into the body.

    Even Jim West calls Drake an embarrassment.

  2. I don’t know Drake from a hole in the ground.
    I was making an issue of the claim that it is a good thing that God is not SB (anymore than it is a good thing that He is not a ctholic Lutheran) and what that has to do with the apparently bad behaviour of this Drake guy.
    This comes a few days after Craig made a point in his disagreement with Mohler that “this is why [he is] not a Southern Baptist”. But then it turned out, when the points were fairly examined and read critically, he did agree with Mohler.

  3. I’m not making an judgment on the SBC here. I’m commenting on Drakes use of imprecatory prayer…which is praying for harm to befall someone, usually for their death. I think it is contrary to the Gospel of Christ. Drakes comments are no different than Steven Anderson’s in which he said “I wish Obama dies and goes to hell.” I’m sorry, that is not what prayer is for.

    My disagreement with the SBC as a whole has nothing do do with this at all.

    Melanchthon had nothing to say about the SBC. Although he did say alot about the Anabaptists. Melanchthon was a contemporary of Martin Luther and one of the founders of the Lutheran church.

  4. I also disagree with Drake’s use of prayer, but on what grounds do you disagree? You used the OT Prophetys as normative when discussing religion and politics even though Jesus didn’t say we should use religion to mandate political policy, so why do you not find the Psalmist’s writings as normative as well?

    • Christ sums up the Law as “Love of God and Love of Neighbor”. Praying for someone’s death through the Psalms is counter to Christ’s teaching and does not show “Love of Neighbor”.

  5. It’s not a new commandment; neither the Geatest nor the second,which is like unto the first. It appears first in Moses’s writings. Jesus was not erasing OT Law; He was reiterating it and fulfilling it.
    The Psalmists knew that commandment as well or better than we, and yet they prayed imprecatory prayers. So, still, why is the OT not normative in this case when you want the religious/political invocations of the OT Prophets to be?

    • Neither Joel nor I said anything about Jesus “erasing the OT Law.”

      So, still, why is the OT not normative in this case when you want the religious/political invocations of the OT Prophets to be? Because the Writings (the Ketuvim) are neither the Torah or the Nevi’im. The Psalms, part of the Ketuvim, are poetry. Context tells me that the Psalms are not to be read like the Law or the Prophets.

      There’s also the issue of Matthew 5:21-26

      “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

  6. And yet the Psalmists, knowing the Torah, prayed that God smite their enemies. Was David and evil mingler? Were his writings not inspired?

    Why not just admit that the OT represented a different time and place, that the religious/political system did not equate to ours, and that we can’t just apply either the Psalms or the Prophets to our situation today?

    If we are going to go by Jesus’ teachings then let’s do it consistently. He told the rich young man to sell his goods and follow Him. He didn’t petition the government to take the rich young man’s goods and redistribute them against his will.
    As you point out with your reference to the Discourse, Jesus spoke to actions of the and conditions of the heart of the individual. He didn’t write a treatise on government.

    • Charlies, understanding the situations of the bible is important. Understanding the Covenants, the culture, and the context is important.

      It seems to me that you don’t.

    • And yet the Psalmists, knowing the Torah, prayed that God smite their enemies. Was David and evil mingler? Were his writings not inspired? No, and no. But, we do get a good example of how not to act from David. Remember, he was an adulterer. So I would say David is human and sometimes, humans have hateful thoughts.

      The problem of imprecatory prayer is in the presuppositions: that the prayer knows the will of God and what is on the hearts of those he’s praying against. I don’t think Drake meets either of those presuppositions.

      Why not just admit that the OT represented a different time and place, that the religious/political system did not equate to ours, and that we can’t just apply either the Psalms or the Prophets to our situation today? I do recognize the differences of times between the ANE and today. But, your question lead me to a question: Why read the Bible? If it doesn’t apply for today, what is it’s worth?

      If we are going to go by Jesus’ teachings then let’s do it consistently. He told the rich young man to sell his goods and follow Him. You missed a part in there. Jesus told him to sell his possessions…then follow him. (Matthew 19:19) We were also told to render to Cesar what is Cesar’s.

      He didn’t petition the government to take the rich young man’s goods and redistribute them against his will. That is an argument from silence.

      I do not buy into the doctrine of silence which states that if the Bible is silent on an issue, we should be silent.

  7. Well said, Craig.

    While I view all Scripture as Inspired, I understand that under the covenant of Grace, there are things we are no longer required to do.

    Do still kill sheep and goats? No, because under Grace we have a sacrifice. We are not commanded to turn the other cheek.

    We are moving from a physical reality to a spiritual reality and should start to act accordingly.

  8. Hi Joel, you’re right, I don’t hold my self out to be an expert in God’s covenants with Israel, Jacob, Abrahim, Noah or Adam. Other than making me feel bad for my ignorance I don’t get the point in your response.

    Hi Craig,

    But, we do get a good example of how not to act from David.

    True enough. And when David did wrong he wept and wept, was rebuked and disciplined and begged God for forgiveness.
    Any evidence that he did wrong when he asked God to smite his enemies?

    The problem of imprecatory prayer is in the presuppositions: that the prayer knows the will of God and what is on the hearts of those he’s praying against. I don’t think Drake meets either of those presuppositions.

    Drake might not, I don’t presuppose to know his heart. I know that everyone I know of prays to God that His will be done, that He make it known to us, that the Holy Spirit intercede with our prayers to make them conform to HIs will and that He answer according to His will.

    But, your question lead me to a question: Why read the Bible? If it doesn’t apply for today, what is it’s worth?

    In the past year I have finished reading through the Bible four times (my first start in that group was 2008, though) and the last time just this week, so of course I think it has purpose and applies today. It is the Word of God and I read it out of love for Him, out of obedience to Him and to learn about Him.
    I don’t read it so I know how to construct a tabernacle, how to sacrifice burnt offerings, how to attain wives for my tribe by kidnapping, how to hamstring horses, how to bring fire onto the prophets of Baal, how to bring a plague onto my own people or how to set up a government system of property distribution.

    You missed a part in there. Jesus told him to sell his possessions…then follow him. (Matthew 19:19) We were also told to render to Cesar what is Cesar’s.

    I missed something? What was that?
    Yes indeed, we were told to render unto Caesar what was Caesar’s. Jesus didn’t say a word to Caesar about the distribution. You missed the part where He told us to render unto God the things of God. The firstfruits of your heart belong not to Caesar but to God. Your love of your fellow man, of charity, of justice, etc. belong to God, not Caesar. When He addressed the Pharisees and rulers of Israel He talked to them about being hypocrites, about what was behind their whitewashed tombs – He didn’t say they ought to do anything about their government. When John the Baptist was asked “what should we do” he said don’t tax people more than what is required for you own gain. He didn’t say “get more from one guy to give it to another guy”. When Jesus (and the Apostles) healed beggars they were told to go and sin no more, not to go collect from the treasury.

    I do not buy into the doctrine of silence which states that if the Bible is silent on an issue, we should be silent.

    Do you hold to the philosphy that if it is silent on an issue we should claim that that issue is the very heart and central claim of the Gospel?
    Do you hold to the philosophy of telling people they are ignorant of the Good News if they think that that silence ought to be interpreted other than according to your interpretation?

    Back to Joel,
    I agree completely with your last statement.

    We are moving from a physical reality to a spiritual reality and should start to act accordingly.

    Is mocking your brothers in Christ spiritual?

    • Do you hold to the philosophy of telling people they are ignorant of the Good News if they think that that silence ought to be interpreted other than according to your interpretation?
      I am not calling anyone ignorant. Attacking the argument is not the same as attacking the person.

      In the case of Drake, I am passing judgment on his teaching. This is not the first time he has alluded to imprecatory prayer. Here’s Drake’s track record:

    • Drake said the killing of George Tiller was “an answer to his prayers.” Why not pray for Tiller to repent? Why pray for his death? By contrast, Albert Mohler condemned the killing of Tiller.
    • Drake prays for the death of President Obama. This is in violation of the mandate in 1 Timothy to pray for our leaders, that they may make a right and holy decision.
    • And now he is praying for the death of 219 Representatives.

      By their fruits you shall know them. Drake’s fruits are hate and vengeance.

      • Hi Craig,
        I wasn’t charging that you have called such people ignorant but rather, was referring to your approving citations of Wallis, who does.
        I agree with you and pray rather for conversions than deaths. But imprecatory prayer is neither non-Biblical nor is it restricted to the Old Testament. Moreover, what I’ve been asking is why you decide that one statement by a Prophet is normative when the same Prophets, from Moses to David to Jeremiah, prayed for punishment of their enemies. Some Prophets and priests did not stop at praying for deaths but even plunged the sword themselves.

      • Why not pray for Tiller to repent?

        According toy your first link, that’s just what he did.

        Drake said he prayed nearly 10 years for the salvation of Tiller, medical director of the Women’s Health Care Services clinic and an outspoken advocate for abortion rights. About a year ago, Drake said, he switched to what he called “imprecatory prayer.”

      • There’s a subtle distinction between what I said and what Drake said. Repentance and salvation are two separate issues. Drake said he prayed for “the salvation of Tiller” which, in my mind, Drake assumes that Tiller wasn’t saved…which gets us off on the topic of rightly judging (salvation is not ours to judge).

  9. Charlies, I wasn’t attempting to make you feel bad, but point out that we have to be studiously mindful of what text and in what context we are reading. This was not mocking, Charlie, but a simple truth.

    Further, it seems you are confusing the biblical mandates for governance of the Church and thus Christians with those given to the Government of a geo-political unit.

  10. Hi Joel,

    Charlies, I wasn’t attempting to make you feel bad, but point out that we have to be studiously mindful of what text and in what context we are reading. This was not mocking, Charlie, but a simple truth.

    It is an obvious and simple truth – as I’ve tried to point out to Craig with his refernce to OT Prophets. But why does it appear I don’t know what I’m talking about and what is your case?

    Further, it seems you are confusing the biblical mandates for governance of the Church and thus Christians with those given to the Government of a geo-political unit.

    Why do you say that?

    With the typos I strew I don’t even notice things like an extra ‘s’. No worries.

  11. Easy, you are attempting to place the Psalms, not as poetry, but as something more than the Grace of God. You can focus on Psalm 109, but unless we dive into the New Testament and find that these things have changed – not any less inspired.

    Further, you keep wanting the New Testament to speak to a secular world in that it orders the secular world. I note that in the Old, the only real secular institution which was ordered was the Nation of Israel. The New Testament is not written to Caesar nor his emissaries, but to us and the Lord’s Apostles.

    • I don’t think it was quite as easy as that. First, calling the Psalms poetry does not make them less than inspired or less true. All Scripture is profitable, and the Psalms were prayers, and not merely the prayers of a man but of a nation.
      And imprecation is not limited to the Psalms. Even the saints in Revelation ask God to avenge their spilled blood. So yes, as I discussed before in relation to the theocracy of Israel and its special place in salvific history, we have to acknowledge that things have changed and that context must be taken into account.

      That is precisely what I do not want the NT to do. It is this blog, and the social justice it affirms, that seems to want the NT (and the OT, depending upon the subject matter) to order the secular world.
      Indeed, the NT is written to the followers of Jesus and it is normative for us, not for our governments and our Caesars. You make my point for me.

  12. Yes indeed, we were told to render unto Caesar what was Caesar’s. Jesus didn’t say a word to Caesar about the distribution. You missed the part where He told us to render unto God the things of God. The firstfruits of your heart belong not to Caesar but to God. Your love of your fellow man, of charity, of justice, etc. belong to God, not Caesar. When He addressed the Pharisees and rulers of Israel He talked to them about being hypocrites, about what was behind their whitewashed tombs – He didn’t say they ought to do anything about their government. When John the Baptist was asked “what should we do” he said don’t tax people more than what is required for you own gain. He didn’t say “get more from one guy to give it to another guy”. When Jesus (and the Apostles) healed beggars they were told to go and sin no more, not to go collect from the treasury.
    I bit once…shame on me. This is a red herring. The discussion at hand is imprecatory prayer…not on the Government.

  13. True. But it is the loving thing to pray for. I beg God for the salvation of my friends and family all the time even though I don’t know for a fact that they are not already saved. To ask for their repentance from sin is ask for an obvious condition/result of their salvation but is, IMO, more “judgmental” than the first. Unless you mean it in the sense of being part of salvation it would be the same as saying that you have witnessed the person’s actions and have deemed them to be sinful.

    • Herein lies a difference between the Baptist traditions and Lutheranism. Here’s the Wiki article on the Lutheran stance on predestination.

      Lutherans adhere to divine monergism, the teaching that salvation is by God’s act alone, and therefore reject the idea that humans in their fallen state have a free will concerning spiritual matters. Lutherans believe that although humans have free will concerning civil righteousness, they cannot work spiritual righteousness without the Holy Spirit, since righteousness in the heart cannot be wrought in the absence of the Holy Spirit. Lutherans believe that the elect are predestined to salvation. Lutherans believe Christians should be assured that they are among the predestined. Lutherans believe that all who trust in Jesus alone can be certain of their salvation, for it is in Christ’s work and his promises in which their certainty lies. According to Lutheranism, the central final hope of the Christian is “the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting” as confessed in the Apostles’ Creed rather than predestination. Lutherans disagree with those that make predestination the source of salvation rather than Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. Unlike Calvinists, Lutherans do not believe in a predestination to damnation. Instead, Lutherans teach eternal damnation is a result of the unbeliever’s sins, rejection of the forgiveness of sins, and unbelief.

      So from a Lutheran perspective (and keep in mind, I’m a Lutheran), the issue is not one of salvation, but one of repentance.

      While proclaiming sin might be perceived as “judgmental”, it is what the members of the church are called to do. We do not get to judge ones salvation. That is for God alone. Proclaiming sin must be done right in order to be a right judgment. That involves pointing out our own sin while proclaiming the brokenness of others. It must be done in love, to build up, not to tear down.

      • Similar language…different meanings. Lutherans hold to single predestination. Calvinists hold to double predestination. The big difference is according to double predestination, God predestines people to Hell. Single predestination holds that sin condemns people to Hell. I will admit, imprecatory prayer makes more sense for those who hold to double predestination. But, I hold to single predestination.

        As I was writing curriculum for my catechism class today, I happened across Luther’s explanation of the Second Commandment from the Small Catechism:

        We should fear and love God that we may not curse, swear, use witchcraft, lie, or deceive by His Name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.

  14. Hi Craig,
    I agree with you and Joel (didn’t he say the same thing yesterday?) that there is a distinction. However, I think your point would rightly be taken that the bad guy Drake should have done good by praying loving prayers for Tiller rather than his twisted, non-Biblical, ungodly prayers.
    But Drake says he did make loving prayers – he prayed for the soul and eternal salvation of Tiller.

    Here’s a question for you – would the saved persist in an unrepentant state for ten years and would Drake not be justified in doubting this? How great a sin could one perform repeatedly for ten years or more and not have his saving faith bear fruit enough to turn him from it?
    And, if Tiller were not saved, what is the point of praying for his repentance? What ultimate good is repentance without salvation?
    Proclaiming sin of unsaved people is merely acting as the morality police.

  15. It’s at this point that I worry about acting like a troll, so do feel free to send me on my way if I come across as such. But your latest claim raises more questions.

    Lutherans hold to single predestination. Calvinists hold to double predestination.

    How can there be a difference if God is sovereign?
    Does God not know who is going to go to Hell?
    Did He not create Hell and does He not make men who are going to be sinners and are going to sin?
    And does He not have mercy upon whom He has mercy, and, as such, predestinate some for salvation and leave others for death?
    Then how has He not, as the Westminster Catechism says, passively foreordained, who will go to Hell?

    • Your questions are valid and are the same questions raised over the debate of Single vs Double Predestination. The issue is complicated…the problem is while the same words are used, different meanings are attached to the words, namely when it comes to who “elect” are. Because different meanings are used, Lutherans and Calvinists, usually end up talking (to be read shouting) at each other.

      • Thanks Craig.
        I don’t think the words I used are really that controversial.
        Nor do I think you’ve answered the question.

      • Charlie,
        I don’t think the words I used are really that controversial.
        Please read what I wrote. I didn’t say your words were controversial. I said that in the debate, words are used by both sides, but each side has their own meanings.

        Nor do I think you’ve answered the question.
        Please see the rules.
        I reserve the right to Respond or not respond to any comments I see fit.
        I intentionally did not answer your question because I don’t know enough about double predestination to answer them.

      • Hi Craig,
        Your rules and guidelines look very reasonable and quite standard.
        I don’t mean to presume that you owe me an answer or response to anything,and, as I’ve said, say the word and you can send me packing.
        You have admonished me twice above to read what you have written as though my questions for you indicate that I haven’t. However, I wasn’t saying that you had claimed my words were controversial. I was saying that they aren’t. Unlike the statements that you say are equivocations in the doctrinal beliefs of certain denominations, I used clear language to ask you what your beliefs were.
        You say you intentionally did not answer because you don’t know enough about the subject you brought up, and that you say divides denominations; that is, double predestination.
        But my questions meant not to ask you to tell me about double predestination, but to tell me about your view of God, as a catholic Lutheran. Maybe I confused it with reference to passive foreordination as the Calvinists believe. But the meat of it is this: do you think God is surprised that some will go to Hell? Do you think that there are people He tries to get to Heaven but He can’t? Do you think He, Who knows people before they are conceived, doesn’t know whether or not they are among the saved?
        Since He chooses who will be born, and knows they will be born into sin and death, and He also decides which ones to save, how can you say He doesn’t also decide which ones will not be saved?

      • Do you think God is surprised that some will go to Hell? No.
        Do you think that there are people He tries to get to Heaven but He can’t? Yes.
        Do you think He, Who knows people before they are conceived, doesn’t know whether or not they are among the saved? He knows, but allows us to make a decision. (This is not a statement on Decision Theology, but rather on Free Will).
        Since He chooses who will be born, and knows they will be born into sin and death, and He also decides which ones to save, how can you say He doesn’t also decide which ones will not be saved? I’m not saying he doesn’t decide. I’m saying he doesn’t predestine one to Hell, sin condemns us to Hell.

  16. Hi Craig,
    Well now I have a conundrum.
    I certainly did not expect this answer:

    Q: Do you think that there are people He tries to get to Heaven but He can’t?
    A: Yes

    This looks to me as though you are saying that either God is not omnipotent and sovereign, or that you were mistaken when you said that salvation was by Grace alone … or both.
    If God tries to save A and B but fails to save B why is that? Because of a failing or weakness in God? Or because of some merit of B?
    Is there a third option which makes this a false dichotomy?

    I know this has gotten a long way off topic from your post pointing out Drake’s unsaved condition, but this has me very curious.

    Q:
    Since He chooses who will be born, and knows they will be born into sin and death, and He also decides which ones to save, how can you say He doesn’t also decide which ones will not be saved?

    A:
    I’m not saying he doesn’t decide. I’m saying he doesn’t predestine one to Hell, sin condemns us to Hell.

    Neither does Calvinism:

    Calvinistic predestination is sometimes referred to as “double predestination.” This is the view that God chose who would go to heaven, and who to hell, and that his decision is infallibly to come to pass. This point of view simultaneously denies that God is the Author of Evil, but the issue is a very difficult point of the doctrine of predestination. The difference between elect and reprobate is not in themselves, all being equally unworthy, but in God’s sovereign decision to show mercy to some, to save some and not others. It is called double predestination because it holds that God chose both whom to save and whom to damn, as opposed to single predestination which contends that though he chose whom to save, he did not choose whom to damn.

    Reprobation: active decree, passive foreordination

    Reformed Calvinists emphasise the active nature of God’s decree to choose those foreordained to eternal wrath, yet at the same time the passive nature of that foreordination.

    This is possible because most Reformed Calvinists hold to a Infralapsarianism view of God’s decree. In that view, God, before Creation, in His mind, first decreed that the Fall would take place, before decreeing election and reprobation. So God actively chooses whom to condemn, but because He knows they will have a sinful nature, the way He foreordains them is to simply let them be (He doesn’t need to do anything) – this is sometimes called “preterition.” Therefore this foreordination to wrath is passive in nature (unlike God’s active predestination of His elect where He needs to overcome their sinful nature).
    Equal ultimacy

    The WCF uses different words for the act of God’s election and reprobation: “predestinated” and “foreordained” respectively. This suggests that the two do not operate in the same way. The term “equal ultimacy” is sometimes used of the view that the two decrees are symmetrical: God works equally to keep the elect in heaven and the reprobate out of heaven. R. C. Sproul argues against this position on the basis that it implies God “actively intervenes to work sin” in the lives of the reprobate. This view is sometimes erroneously referred to as “double predestination”, on which see above.

    • Well now I have a conundrum.
      I certainly did not expect this answer:

      Q: Do you think that there are people He tries to get to Heaven but He can’t?
      A: Yes

      This looks to me as though you are saying that either God is not omnipotent and sovereign, or that you were mistaken when you said that salvation was by Grace alone … or both.
      If God tries to save A and B but fails to save B why is that? Because of a failing or weakness in God? Or because of some merit of B?
      Is there a third option which makes this a false dichotomy?

      Lutheran’s do not believe in “Once saved, always saved.”

      From the Augsburg Confession Article XII

      1] Of Repentance they teach that for those who have fallen after Baptism there is remission of sins whenever they are converted 2] and that the Church ought to impart absolution to those thus returning to repentance. Now, repentance consists properly of these 3] two parts: One is contrition, that is, 4] terrors smiting the conscience through the knowledge of sin; the other is faith, which is born of 5] the Gospel, or of absolution, and believes that for Christ’s sake, sins are forgiven, comforts 6] the conscience, and delivers it from terrors. Then good works are bound to follow, which are the fruits of repentance.

      7] They condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that those once justified can lose the Holy Ghost. Also those who contend that some may attain to such 8] perfection in this life that they cannot sin.

      9] The Novatians also are condemned, who would not absolve such as had fallen after Baptism, though they returned to repentance.

      10] They also are rejected who do not teach that remission of sins comes through faith but command us to merit grace through satisfactions of our own.

      • Do lutherans believe “once elect always elect”?
        Or can those God has predestined to salvation fall away, or fail to persevere?
        I must presume your answer to be that those God has elected will stay elected for eternity and those he has predestined not to fall away will not fall away.
        Therefore, any who perish, God did not actively elect and provide perseverance for. And those He did such for had no special will, merit, ability or predisposition which aided Him in this. And those for whom he did not provide perseverance or election, likewise, did not lack anything that the elect had, which caused them not to be elect or to fall away.
        Therefore, God not only knew which ones would not be saved, but knew which would fall away, and God alone had the power to save them and/or keep them from falling.
        Then it continues to follow in Lutheranism as well as in Calvinism (and thus, in Calvinist Southern Baptism) that God actively saved those He chose to save from eternity and chose not to save those whom He did not save from eternity.

        Right?

      • No. In Lutheranism, there is no different between the elect and the saved.

        Also, through Christs death, God chose to save all, thus giving all the hope of salvation, but not all will be saved because they reject God’s hope of salvation.

        This will probably be my last response on the topic.

  17. (This is not a statement on Decision Theology, but rather on Free Will).

    Did Luther not teach that when it comes to matters of salvation man has no free will?

  18. Thanks.
    I wish you’d been able to tie it up so that it made sense to me in light of God’s sovereignty, omniscience, omnipotence and omni-benevolence.

    Q: Do lutherans believe “once elect always elect”?
    A:
    No. In Lutheranism, there is no different between the elect and the saved.

    Same for me.

    So then, the answer to this must be “yes”.

    Or can those God has predestined to salvation fall away, or fail to persevere?

    This doesn’t seem consistent with Luther’s view that man has no free will in matters of salvation and actually seems to make the term “elect” fairly neuter.

    • Rev Paul McCain puts it like this

      So how do Lutherans answer this question? (Why are some saved and others are not?). The answer is that Lutherans do not try to answer it, because (we believe) the Bible itself does not provide an answer to this question that is comprehensible to human reason. Lutherans affirm, with Scripture, that whoever is saved is saved by God’s grace alone, a grace so sure that it excludes all human “action” and “choice” but rather rests on the foundation of God’s action in Christ and his “choice” (predestination) from before the beginning of time. Lutherans also affirm, with Scripture, that those who are damned are damned not by God’s “choice” but on account of their own human sin and rebellion and unbelief. From a human perspective, there is no “rational” or “logical” way to put these two truths together. Lutherans believe and confess them not because they are “rational” and “logical,” but because this is what we find taught in Scripture.

      http://cyberbrethren.com/2010/01/23/why-are-some-saved-and-not-others/

      • Hi Craig. And bye. Thanks for your indulgence.

        Lutherans affirm, with Scripture, that whoever is saved is saved by God’s grace alone,

        Check

        a grace so sure that it excludes all human “action” and “choice” but rather rests on the foundation of God’s action

        Check!

        in Christ and his “choice” (predestination) from before the beginning of time.

        Check.

        Lutherans also affirm, with Scripture, that those who are damned are damned not by God’s “choice” but on account of their own human sin and rebellion and unbelief.

        And check. People are damned for being sinners. They sin because they are sinners. They are separate from God because that is what they choose.
        And they suffer their just fate because God has chosen not to include them among the elect. He does this logically posteriori to their sinfulness.
        That’s my Calvinist perspective, anyway.

        Goodbye, Craig. And thanks again.

      • Seriously Charlie,

        Hi Craig. And bye. Thanks for your indulgence.
        Lutherans affirm, with Scripture, that whoever is saved is saved by God’s grace alone,
        Check
        a grace so sure that it excludes all human “action” and “choice” but rather rests on the foundation of God’s action
        Check!
        in Christ and his “choice” (predestination) from before the beginning of time.
        Check.
        Lutherans also affirm, with Scripture, that those who are damned are damned not by God’s “choice” but on account of their own human sin and rebellion and unbelief.

        Even I acknowledged your bolded section.

        Do you think He, Who knows people before they are conceived, doesn’t know whether or not they are among the saved? He knows, but allows us to make a decision. (This is not a statement on Decision Theology, but rather on Free Will). This is not a question or answer on the act of salvation, ie how we are saved, to which we do nothing, but rather to God’s omnipotence.

        In your last comment you said,
        People are damned for being sinners. They sin because they are sinners. They are separate from God because that is what they choose. I believe I’ve said something similar before. This is consistent with Lutheran theology and says nothing to the act of salvation and does not conflict, as you think, with Luther’s stance on the act of salvation and free will.

        And they suffer their just fate because God has chosen not to include them among the elect. He does this logically posteriori to their sinfulness. And thus predestining them to damnation…and we’re right back where we began. It’s a circular argument at this point.

  19. Seriously.
    See, I wasn’t arguing against Lutheranism. The parts I checked, and that you agree with, I was showing that Calvinists also hold. Yes, you agree, yes, you’ve said something like it before.
    It is your position that you have something incompatible with Calvinism here, and with reference to Sproul, the WMC, passive foreordaining, and your own words, I have shown, to my satisfaction, if not yours, that your difference is one of semantics, and not substance.
    Yes, it is a circle all right.

    But now, for real, thanks for your time.

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