02 April 2013

Steven Furtick: It Is 'Dangerous' to Elevate God's Sovereignty at the Expense of Human Initiative

As at least one person noted on Twitter, Pelagius would be proud:
Source
Oh yes, perish the thought of elevating the sovereignty of the Creator, the Savior, the Redeemer, the righteous and thrice-holy God of the universe. Never mind the fact that all things sit in subjection to Him (Eph. 1:21–22). Who are you, oh Steven Furtick, to speak back to God (Rom. 9:20–24)?
No doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, controls everything, rules over everything. The carnal mind, burning with enmity against God, abhors the biblical teaching that nothing comes to pass except according to His eternal decrees. Most of all, the flesh hates the notion that salvation is entirely God’s work. If God chose who would be saved, and if His choice was settled before the foundation of the world, then believers deserve no credit for their salvation.

But that is, after all, precisely what Scripture teaches. Even faith is God’s gracious gift to His elect. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (John 6:65). “Nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). Therefore no one who is saved has anything to boast about (cf Eph. 2:8, 9). “Salvation is from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). . . .

Moreover, everything that exists in the universe exists because God allowed it, decreed it, and called it into existence. “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3). “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps” (Ps. 135:6). He “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). “For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him” (1 Cor. 8:6). . . .

Paul anticipated the argument against divine sovereignty: “You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?’” (v. 19). In other words, doesn’t God’s sovereignty cancel out human responsibility? But rather than offering a philosophical answer or a deep metaphysical argument, Paul simply reprimanded the skeptic: “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?” (vv. 20, 21).

Scripture affirms both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. We must accept both sides of the truth, though we may not understand how they correspond to one another. People are responsible for what they do with the gospel—or with whatever light they have (Rom. 2:19, 20), so that punishment is just if they reject the light. And those who reject do so voluntarily. Jesus lamented, “You are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life” (John 5:40). He told unbelievers, “Unless you believe that I am [God], you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). In John chapter 6, our Lord combined both divine sovereignty and human responsibility when He said, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (v. 37); “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life” (v. 40); “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (v. 44); “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life” (v. 47); and, “No one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (v. 65). How both of those two realities can be true simultaneously cannot be understood by the human mind—only by God.

Above all, we must not conclude that God is unjust because He chooses to bestow grace on some but not to everyone. God is never to be measured by what seems fair to human judgment. Are we so foolish as to assume that we who are fallen, sinful creatures have a higher standard of what is right than an unfallen and infinitely, eternally holy God? What kind of pride is that? In Psalm 50:21 God says, “You thought that I was just like you.” But God is not like us, nor can He be held to human standards. “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8, 9).

We step out of bounds when we conclude that anything God does isn’t fair. In Romans 11:33 the apostle writes, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?” (Rom. 11:33, 34).
– John MacArthur, 'God's Absolute Sovereignty
Further Reading
The Sovereignty of God Is the Most Comforting Doctrine
Conversion: Its Source, Sign and Security
Steven Furtick Takes the Code Orange Revival Underground

5 comments:

  1. Cardinal Furtick must be vying for the #2 spot behind Pope Warren for Apostate of the year. Charles Finney, the American born apostate of record for the nineteenth century and the present day champion of the "free-willers" would make with the xoxoxo's for SF.

    I would remind those who would side with SF that if you can achieve salvation in Christ by an act of your will, then you have no need of grace. And if grace is not necessary your "salvation" is by someone other than the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

    "And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed." Acts 13:48.

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  2. Steve Furtick,

    Were you there? In the beginning...NOT

    Teresa

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  3. WOAH! Steve Furtick who keeps your heart beating in your chest?

    From 2 Timothy 3--- "It is obvious that the one who loves himself is always a braggart, is always arrogant, is always conceited, is always infatuated with themselves, who are always looking out for themselves rather than for the interests of God. no humility no lowliness no concept of grace no dependency on god, constantly exaggerating their viewing of themselves and constantly pontificating their own abilities before others as they are ever and always boasting in themselves and in their own goodness and in their own merit. boastful -inevitably arrogant"

    "Self exaltation and self elevation above others and no one is ever more like the devil himself than when they are boastful and arrogant."

    "They are revilers-blasphemers=they are those who are irreverent towards sacred and holy things. they treat holy things of God in a sacrilegious manor. They use abusive language and heaping insults on holy things. they consider holy things to be common things and they profane that which is holy. They love to be edgy, they love to be crass, they love to be crude, they love to take down walls that separate that which is secular from that which is sacred. It is all the same to them. there is no holy ground, there is no removing of their sandals to approach the holiness of God. They fail to honor their fathers and their mothers. They are rebellious at the most important point fail at the most important point of their relationship."

    quotes from Steve Lawson

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  4. I love this quote form the pastor.

    Pastor Henry Mahan says this of sovereignty:

    A doctrine is not true because I believe it or because you believe it, it is true only if God says it! I do not ask whether you believe what I preach, perhaps you do not. But I ask you to search the Scriptures and determine whether these things be so. I am not afraid to submit my belief in God's immutable sovereignty, man's total fall and ruin, God's elective grace, Christ's effectual atonement, the Spirit's invincible call, and the perseverance of the sheep to the word of God.

    God Sovereignty totally has nothing to do with human initative.

    God never left his thone...but Steve, you need to dethrone your god, which is yourself.

    Teresa

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  5. "Any interpretation of God’s sovereignty that diminishes the value of human initiative - is distorted & DANGEROUS."

    Says a religious, manipulative and overpaid clown/fool shaman of therapeutic theism Furtick...


    "So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy."

    (Romans 9:16 ESV)

    Says source of all Wisdom, God the Almighty...

    Take your pick but do realize that it will not br yours but your nature's only.

    ~ Despeville

    ReplyDelete

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