Choosing God

edited August 2009 in Religion & Philosophy
It's the classic debate between Arminians and Calvinists.

1. God chooses man because man first chose God.
2. Man chooses God because God first chose man.

Does anybody have scripture for man choosing God? I did a search for "choose" and nearly all results were about God choosing man. :shock:

For those who believe #1 is the correct statement, what scripture supports this? Honest question; I'm not in a debating mood right now. :P


  • John 15:16 (New International Version): Jesus said:

    16You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.

    Ephesians 1:4-5

    4For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love 5He[a] predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—

    Ephesians 1:11

    11In Him we were also chosen,[a] having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will,

    I believe that it can also be said that man did not choose God at all - and in fact rejected Him outright and at the onset- in favor of sin.
  • [quote:36antfuy]I believe that it can also be said that man did not choose God at all - and in fact rejected Him outright and at the onset- in favor of sin.[/quote:36antfuy]
    Well, in a specific sense, I would agree.* Still, #1 is quite a popular view in America these days, and many of these people have a Biblical justification for it, at least I assumed they did.... I was hoping someone would chime in here.

    Like I said, I agree God chose us. However, God still expects a response of us, a choice on our part to choose Him ([i:36antfuy]after[/i:36antfuy] He chose us). Jesus is the Reconciler (Rom 5) between two warring parties: God's wrath against us and our hatred against Him. Through Christ, God chooses us, but we must also choose Him. The Calvinist says this choice of man is [i:36antfuy]irresistible[/i:36antfuy] or man is [i:36antfuy]effectually called[/i:36antfuy]. God calling man to choose Him [b:36antfuy]can[/b:36antfuy] be seen throughout scripture. Look at the book of Judges! I'm just having difficulty distilling some "prooftext" verses out of that, so came here for help.

    Yes, I am a Calvinist (and pick #2). My friend tends Arminian. I wanted to show him that the concept of man's choice is not rejected but embraced by Calvinists, as described above. To help that, I wanted to pull some verses for him.

    * The "rejected Him" part I would say is a [i:36antfuy]choice[/i:36antfuy] against God, but a choice nonetheless. To be clear, it is the choice we will always make until God first chooses us and regenerates our heart. In the final analysis, it is God's choice that "matters," not ours.
  • The "sin" (not "sins") of humankind is defined as rebellion against God. "All" are guilty...

    The Scriptures indicate that we are "dead in our sin and trespasses (sins)". Dead people don't choose...

    Throughout (as your search indicates) there is no place in Scripture where it is explicitly stated that man chooses God. It is stated in multiple places that he cannot and does not choose God, however.

    Edit: The Calvinist/Arminian terminology and theology are due to be set aside as relics from a bygone era. All they do are divide otherwise loving brothers and sisters in Christ. We've moved forward in biblical theology in the past 500 years, and the terminoly ought to reflect that movement. To allow theological constructs to divide God's people, when such is not needed is rather silly in the big picture.
  • Asking around, I got some good scripture, if anyone's interested:

    Deuteronomy 30:11-20 is the big one:
    [quote:3ta8pckd]Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

    See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

    But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

    This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.[/quote:3ta8pckd]
    Man's choice here is pretty clear. Choose God and be blessed, or choose against God and be cursed. The choice is ours. This format is repeated throughout the Old Testament, innumerably.

    To a lesser extent, Mark 1:15, John 7:17 and James 4:4.
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