No One Seeks God?

“…there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.” – Romans 3:11

In an effort to demonstrate that all people have fallen short of the glory of God and broken His law, Paul quotes from Psalm 14:2-3, which says:

“The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

There are basically two theological approaches for interpreting this passage:

(1) Calvinistic Approach: Apart from a Divine irresistible work of regeneration (by which God changes a chosen individual’s nature and desires), mankind cannot willingly seek to know, understand, or follow God.

(2) Non-Calvinistic (Traditionalist) Approach: Apart from God’s gracious initiative in bringing His Son, the Holy Spirit, and the inspired gospel appeal, no one can merit salvation or consistently seek to obey God in a way that will attain his own righteousness.

The contrast between these two perspectives can be illustrated by this simple question: Does proof that I am incapable of calling the president on the telephone also prove that I am incapable of answering the telephone if the president were to call me? Of course not, yet that is essentially the principle a Calvinist is assuming in their theological approach to this text.

Calvinists read this text to mean that our lack of initiative somehow proves our inability to respond positively to His initiative. They presume that God’s work in sending His Son, the Holy Spirit, and the inspired gospel, calling for all to be reconciled through faith in Christ, is insufficient to enable the lost to respond in faith. But the text simply never says this.

In Romans chapter 3:10-20 the apostle is seeking to prove that no one can attain righteousness by means of the law. But in verse 21 he shifts to reveal a righteousness that can be obtained by means of grace through faith in Christ.

Calvinists seem to think that because mankind is unable to attain righteousness by means of the law that they must equally be unable to obtain righteousness by means of grace through faith in Christ. This, however, is never established anywhere in the pages of Scripture.

Of course, we all can affirm that no one is righteous with regard to the demands of the law. But there have been many throughout the pages of Scripture who have been declared righteous by means of grace through faith.

Calvinists wrongly assume that because mankind is unable to fully keep the demands of the law that they are equally unable to admit their inability to keep those demands and trust in the One who has. Again, this is simply never established in the Bible. HERE>

Proof that mankind is morally incapable of earning their own righteousness by doing good works is not proof that mankind is morally incapable of believing and trusting in the righteousness of another.

It must also be understood that placing one’s trust in the righteousness of Christ is not earning one’s own righteousness. Those who trust in Christ are graciously imputed with His righteousness, they are not earning their own.

If we go back to examine the context of Paul’s original quote in Psalm 14, we read that he is specifically speaking of “the fool” who says, “there is no God,” and then he contrasts between the “evil doers” and “His people…the generation of the righteous.”

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good…Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord? There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. – Psalm 14:1; 4-5

Now, a Calvinist can make the theological argument that “the fool” who says “there is no God”does so because he could not have done otherwise due to an inborn nature sovereignly decreed by God as a result of the Fall. And the Calvinist can attempt to make the case that “the generation of the righteous” who are considered “his people” were made so by some kind of irresistible working of God. In contrast, a Traditionalist can argue that these “fools” trade the truth of God in for lies by denying His existence with a libertarian free choice, and those who become “His” do so by grace through a libertarianly free faith response.  Either way, that is the point of contention — neither side can just assume their position (see question begging fallacy).

It is the Calvinist’s burden to prove that fallen man is born morally incapable of responding in faith to God’s inspired and powerful appeal to be reconciled from that fall. They have to demonstrate how our fallen condition prevents us from responding willingly.

Additionally, Calvinists need to explain why a just God would seal mankind in a fallen/disabled condition from birth and still hold them responsible for their rejection of God’s appeals, even though they have no control over their naturally disabled condition and subsequent “choices” to reject God’s genuine offer of forgiveness.

Also, Calvinists need to explain how their interpretation of Romans 3:11 fits with other teachings of scripture about man’s responsibility to seek God, such as:

“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,”‭‭ – Acts‬ ‭17:26-27‬ ‭

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”‭‭ -Isaiah‬ ‭55:6-7‬ ‭

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.”‭‭ -Zephaniah‬ ‭2:3‬ ‭

“And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.”  -‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭12:14‬ ‭

“Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord.” –‭Psalms‬ ‭83:16‬ ‭

“Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”‭‭ -2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:3‬ ‭

“For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” –Luke‬ ‭12:30-31‬ 

‭“He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”‭‭ -Romans‬ ‭2:6-8‬ ‭

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” –‭‭Psalms‬ ‭9:10‬ 

“And those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers.” –2 Chronicles‬ ‭11:16‬ ‭

Needless to say, the Bible certainly treats fallen men as if they are genuinely responsible (response-able) to His appeals and offers of grace and forgiveness. On what basis do Calvinists rest their presumption that, as a consequence of the sin of another, God has decreed that mankind would be born with “Total Inability” to respond willingly to the gospel?

This is a dogma yet to be found explicitly taught in the Bible.

adobe-spark-post (32)

480 thoughts on “No One Seeks God?

  1. Today’s reading includes 1 Timothy 6

    10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
    —————-

    Naturally Calvinists and 1-point Baptists will say “they wander from” but then return to the true faith.

    If Calvinists are right that it is a given-faith…. some of the doses must be a bit short…. people wandering from it and all.

    Many people read this wandering the same as those who did not “stay in the house” for Passover…or one of the “sower” seeds on the ground who believed for a while.

    1. Naturally Calvinists and 1-point Baptists will say “they wander from” but then return to the true faith.

      br.d
      Unless those whom they are talking about are those whom (as Calvin’s teaches) have been ordained a false salvation.
      He gives false salvation to these as a -quote “savor of greater condemnation” – temporarily
      Eventually he will -quote “strike them with greater blindness”

      Now how does the Calvinist know whom among the Calvinist flock have been ordained the true salvation vs the false?
      They read each others behavior like one reads tea-leaves.
      They look into the cup of one’s behaviors – looking for “good” vs “bad” omens

      Questioning Calvinism’s double-speak talking-points is a “bad” omen.
      Believing every word one is told without critical thinking is a “good” omen.
      Getting on a blog sight and faithfully reciting a library of memorized double-speak talking-points is a “more sure” omen – and also serves to give one a little raised status within his group. Men specifically have more of a propensity or desire for status within their social structure.

      Thought blocking techniques which work to prevent the mind from critically examining central dogma – provides emotional relief and allows the individual to shake off thoughts of “False Hope”.

      The mind is conditioned to focus solely on assuming one is a member of the “elect” few – who have been given the “DIVINE GNOSIS”.
      A byproduct of this focus is often religious pride – some more – some less – depending upon the individual

      But the end result – is the mind is locked in a cage – designed to reinforce the belief system and prevent the conscience from raising questions.
      An excellent book on this subject is: “Freedom of the Mind” by Dr. Steven Hassan

  2. Let’s keep going in 1 Timothy. The next verses….

    11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.
    ——–

    — “run from all these evil things” … [that are making the others wander]

    — “Pursue righteousness and a godly life” [Pursue implies responsibility here]

    — “…along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” [What? Pursue faith!!? Calvinists tell us we have nothing to do with given-faith]

    — “Fight the good fight for the true faith.” [Why does given-faith need to be fought for?]

    — “Hold tightly to the eternal life…” [Why does eternal life need to be held tightly to? Calvinism and the “P” of TULIP tell us there is no holding involved….. whatsoever.]

    Rinse, rinse, rinse….. God’s word is rinsing Calvinism from my mind….

    1. FOH writes, “Rinse, rinse, rinse….. God’s word is rinsing Calvinism from my mind….”

      Yet, Paul will also say, “I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day,” and then, “God who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus,” and “if God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

      Maybe you are actually rinsing God’s word from your mind.

      1. rhutchin
        Maybe you are actually rinsing God’s word from your mind.

        br.d
        More precisely – Calvin’s god’s word.
        And at the same time casting off every weight and sin – including Calvinism’s strategically misleading double-speak language :-]

  3. More daily reading in 1 Timothy 6.

    20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. 21 Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness.
    ———-

    Paul is really telling Timothy to “guard what he has” …. cuz some “have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness.”

    Wandered again.

    Foolishness? Waaaaaaaiiit a minute. JTL and RH tell me all the time that God has to give-faith cuz if He doesn’t the Gospel is and remains forever “foolishness.”

    But now Paul is saying that some believers wander and “follow foolishness.”

    Let me see if I have this straight:

    Man is “too-dead” to hear God’s call. The Gospel is just foolishness to him. Nothing to do…. just foolishness.

    Man has to be specially regenerated (made-alive) because God’s eternal Word and the Cross are just not enough.

    Once regenerated, he has one choice…. an irresistible one. He makes the “free-choice” with his given-faith, to irresistibly follow Christ.

    Once following Him, man cannot wander away.

    Scriptures that say that people have “wandered from the faith” and “followed foolishness” must not mean what they say.

    Did I get that right?

  4. Today’s Proverb reading…
    Proverbs 25:28 (NLT)

    28 A person without self-control
    is like a city with broken-down walls.
    ——-

    What kind of control? Determinist, already-scripted control? Nah…. self-control. We see that word a lot in Scripture. What can that mean in a determinist-Calvinist world?

    1. FOH writes, ’28 A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
      ——-
      What kind of control?”

      Better question – What kind of person is without self-control? Paul tells us, “…the fruit of the Spirit is…self-control;…” and “…no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” Then, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit…”

      You ask, “What can that mean in a determinist-Calvinist world?” The person without self-control is the unbeliever.

      1. rhutchin
        You ask, “What can that mean in a determinist-Calvinist world?” The person without self-control is the unbeliever.

        br.d
        -John Calvin – Institutes
        – Men do nothing save at the SECRET INSTIGATION of god.
        – Men can deliberately do nothing unless he ***INSPIRE IT***
        – The hand of God rules the interior affections….[they can do nothing] unless he worked in their hearts TO **MAKE** THEM WILL before they acted
        – I have already shown clearly enough that god is THE AUTHOR of ***ALL*** those things

  5. Daily reading gets me to Jeremiah 29:

    16 ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will do to this city everything I have threatened. I will send disaster, not prosperity. You will see its destruction, 17 but I will rescue you from those you fear so much. 18 Because you trusted me, I will give you your life as a reward. I will rescue you and keep you safe. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”
    ——–

    The Lord makes sure we know who is talking (all caps Lord means Yahweh, Sovereign One)…. “of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel.” Really big Sovereign title.

    He is gonna send disaster. But He says through Jeremiah “Because you trusted me” he will spare the listener.

    What does that mean “because you trusted me”? I mean really? Is there NO PART of it that comes from the person who trusts?

    Calvinist-determinist-fatalists say “No FOH, no part. All the trust was given to the person. God is really saying ‘I gave you the trust you irresistibly had to use and I will now reward you for trusting. And I will remind everyone reading that you are rewarded for ‘trusting’ me.'”

    Did I get that right Calvinist friends?

    Get ready. I will either be accused of setting up a straw man, of misrepresenting Calvinism, or of being a universalist (or all three!).

    1. Trusting God is a huge problem for the Calvinist.

      The human mind learns to trust based upon two factors:
      Consistency and Repeatability over time.

      In regard to Calvin’s god’s will for each unique individual Calvinist – the Calvinist has no absolute assurance of anything.
      It may be the case – Calvin’s god designed and ordained the individual Calvinist to salvation.
      It may just as easily be the case – Calvin’s god designed and ordained him for damnation.
      And (as Calvin teaches) is temporarily holding salvation out to him as a -quote “savor of greater condemnation”.

      The indicators the Calvinists has to go on – is observing their own behavior or mental state.
      If they consistently question the possibility they are designed for damnation – then its time to consider that as their reality.
      Some actually go in that direction and fall away.

      The Calvinists watching them leave proclaim they must not have been saved in the first place.
      And yet for how many years before leaving did they believe they were saved – only to find out otherwise?

      Calvin’s god’s will is hidden behind the veil of the -quote “secret counsel of his will” which no man can know.
      The human mind simply cannot trust what it cannot know.

    2. FOH writes, ‘Calvinist-determinist-fatalists say “No FOH, no part. All the trust was given to the person. God is really saying ‘I gave you the trust you irresistibly had to use and I will now reward you for trusting. And I will remind everyone reading that you are rewarded for ‘trusting’ me.’”
      Did I get that right Calvinist friends?”

      Yep. So, why not explain how it is that one person will trust in God and another will not without God’s involvement. You avoid the hard questions and then gripe when Calvinists deal with them.

      1. rhutchin
        You avoid the hard questions and then gripe when Calvinists deal with them.

        br.d
        Just remember – the microscopic double-think world of a Calvinist – is the prison cell he was predestined to live in.
        He’s been conditioned to believe – he’s as free inside the cell – as he would be if he were outside of it. :-]

      2. In an odd way, Calvinists, throw a red herring at us. They say that if the invitation was for all (then for some red herring reason) all would naturally believe. What? Why?

        Luke 17:
        11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

        14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

        15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

        17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
        ———-

        Jesus tells 10 lepers to go see the priest (condition!) to be healed. The healing was 100% from Him… but with a condition.

        They went and were cleansed.

        One of them came back to Christ. “Why not all of them?” cries the Calvinist. “Surely they all would!” cries the Calvinist.

        Then Jesus tells him “your faith has made you well.”

        Wow….. in simple encounter with Christ we see that not everyone responds the same to Christ….AND we see Christ once again say “your faith has made you well.”

  6. Daily reading in 2 Timothy 1.

    15 As you know, everyone from the province of Asia has deserted me—even Phygelus and Hermogenes.

    16 May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains. 17 When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. 18 May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus.

    ——-
    Does any of this mean anything? All those believers from Asia deserted Paul!

    The Lord will “reward” Onesiphorus (and his family!) because of his actions. What does that mean? You can be a deserter or one who does good things and is rewarded. Which will it be? You choose.

    Is this just “historical information” or is it meant to teach us something? It inspires me to choose well. Anyone else?

    1. FOH
      The Lord will “REWARD” Onesiphorus (and his family!) because of his actions. What does that mean? You can be a deserter or one who does good things and is REWARDED. Which will it be? You choose.

      Is this just “historical information” or is it meant to teach us something? It inspires me to choose well. Anyone else?

      br.d
      Excellent point FOH!

      Jesus says: “Does the master THANK the servant for doing the very thing the master determined the servant do…. I think not!

      Similarly:
      Does the master THANK the robot for doing the very thing the master determined the robot do… I think not!

      It makes perfect sense then – that Calvinism is classified a ROBOT/PUPPET theology.

  7. Today’s Psalm is 91.

    The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
    15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
    16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

    ——–
    Rescue those who love me.
    Protect those who trust.
    Answer those who call.
    Rescue and honor them.
    Reward them with a long life.
    Give them my salvation.

    God to us: love Me, trust Me, call on Me…. and I will rescue you, protect you, answer you, reward you, and save you.

    1. FOH,
      You and I were discussing the problem of the degree of dishonesty consistent in Calvinist language.

      Look at this recent statement by rhutchin and tell me if you don’t recognize his willingness to move into the realm of justifying outright lying.
      This is what I meant when I said “Calvinists try to not get to close to blatant dishonesty – but sometimes they’re willing to”

      rhutchin
      October 22, 2018 at 10:33 am
      Only the Universalist say that God wills all men to be saved.

    2. FOH writes, “God to us: love Me, trust Me, call on Me…. and I will rescue you, protect you, answer you, reward you, and save you.”

      Only a fool would reject this offer. “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God…the fool walks in darkness…this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light;”

      BUT, giving praise and glory to God, Paul tells the Colossian believers, “God delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

  8. I pointed out that, according to Calvinism, God deliberately makes it impossible for the majority of men to be saved. RHutchin responded, “Unless you can show otherwise.” Anyone who has read our exchange can see that I have already done this. If God wants all people to find Him, it cannot be that God makes it impossible for most people to do so. It is bizarre for RHutchin to write, “God wants all people to find Him, but He will not intervene to help everyone to find Him.” The contradiction is glaring.

    Using RHutchin’s own words, I will show that Calvinism inevitably calls God a liar:

    RHutchin (on October 2): “God invites all people to come to Christ…”

    RHutchin (on October 5): “[T]he invitation is not to the non-elect but to the elect…”

    Couple this with RHutchin’s admission that Calvin’s God deliberately makes it impossible for most people to find Him, and what you have is an invitation (“God invites all people”) that is not an invitation (“the invitation is not to the non-elect”). In other words, a lie.

    Contrary to Scripture, Calvinism says you can’t even have faith unless God regenerates you. Thus, Calvin’s God calls Lazarus to exit the tomb while deliberately making it impossible for the dead man to obey. Clearly God doesn’t want Lazarus to obey the call, and thus the call is insincere. Calvinism calls God a liar who taunts the non-elect with a deliberately useless gospel call. Either that, or it suggests God is too ignorant to realize the non-elect can’t respond to His sincere invitation. Both options are blasphemous, and any doctrine that teaches blasphemy cannot be true.

    I rest my case.

    1. LampStand, you don’t have to worry about people recognizing rhutchin as a gamer.

      What you’ve done is diligently pursued a line of rational reasoning in the pursuit of truth.
      Its well recognized that rhutchin’s interest is simply damage control for Calvinism’s image.

      No one who dialogs with him over time expects integrity.
      Most of what you’ll observe is simply pretense wearing different masks.

      You learn and get used to expecting the various acting routines he cycles through.
      I wouldn’t worry myself about it.

      Actually your frustration is commendable.
      Is shows your adherence to Jesus and the ethics he expects of his followers.

      We simply learn not to expect that aspect of Christ from Calvinists.
      When it comes to defending their faith – resorting to dishonesty is not classified as sin within their social structure.

      You can thank the Lord he’s protected you from falling into that condition! :-]

Leave a Reply