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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.

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Placable37

The State Of This Present World

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Placable37

Titus 2:11-15
(11)  For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
(12)  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
(13)  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
(14)  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
(15)  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise you.

 

This present world is a testing place for Bible-believing Christians.

The media in New Zealand is beside itself with pride at the moment

Our unmarried, atheist, socialist Prime Minister has just given birth to her first child, a daughter she has named Neve. (See Footnote)

One newspaper made the statement that the fact our unmarried woman Prime Minister has given birth while in office proves our country is a land of freedom.

Meanwhile, the papers report on moves to restrict the  influencing of people to become Christians, especially in school environments, but also in homes, and there is a small radical group that wants to ban the sale of Bibles.

Our government has legalised homosexual/lesbian same sex weddings, and the Anglican Church performs these weddings, or as they put it, "blesses the union".

Some denominations have ordained homosexual/lesbian ministers leading their congregations, in particular Anglicans, Presbyterians, and Methodists.

Those lobbying for gender neutrality wherever they can get it are becoming noisier, and transgenderism is increasing, particularly among the youth.

 

The lust for the right to disregard moral absolutes and biblical principles of right and wrong is being fed in this present world, but the grace of God teaches us otherwise.
 

Footnote:(Copied from Wikipedia)

Quote

 

Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern is a New Zealand politician serving as the 40th and current Prime Minister of New Zealand since 26 October 2017 and Leader of the Labour Party since 1 August 2017. She has been the Member of Parliament for the Mount Albert electorate since 8 March 2017. She was first elected to parliament as a list MP at the 2008 general election. Ardern is the world's youngest female head of government, having taken office at age 37.

 

Ardern was admitted to Auckland City Hospital on 21 June 2018, and gave birth to a girl at 4:45 pm (04:45 UTC) that day, becoming only the second elected head of government to give birth while in office (after Benazir Bhutto in 1990). She is taking six weeks of maternity leave, with Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters serving as Acting Prime Minister in the interim. On 24 June, Ardern announced that the baby was named Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford. Neve is an anglicised form of the Irish name Niamh, meaning "bright"; Aroha is Māori for "love", and Te Aroha is a mountain in the Kaimai Range, near Ardern's home town of Morrinsville.

 


 

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Placable37

This world is also a testing place for those not predestined to be Calvinists: 

1. Those not predestined to be Calvinists can be predisposed to believe that Augustine was a blatant heretic who spent 9 years in a Gnostic religion called Manichaeaism:

- They accept that Manichaeaism was composed of Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, before also adopting misconstrued precepts of Christianity, and that Augustine's theology was an abomination contaminated with Neoplatonism.

- They claim Augustine intentionally twisted Christian precepts to fit the philosophies of his day, particularly those of a Grecian nature, and purposely ignored Colossians 2:8-10  which reads "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"
2. Non-Calvinists can claim Calvinists themselves admit Augustinianism as a philosophy frequently uses Platonic terms to set forth Christian concepts. (Baker's Dictionary of Theology, page 80, 1960.) 

- B.B. Warfield admits that Augustine's Christian philosophy was built "largely out of Platonic materials." (In "Calvin and Augustine" - page 319, 1956.) 

3. Non-Calvinists can consider these among Augustine's false teachings:

1) “Purgatory” (in the book,“Immortality” by Loraine Boettner, pg. 135, 1956.) 

2) Taught that sex was the great sin behind human misery. (Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology on “Augustinianism”, page 58, )

3) Taught that sex was always shameful. (Augustine's City of God – On Original Sin – 2.42.) 

4) Taught that sex was sinful if not for the purpose of procreation. (Augustine's City of God – On the Morals of the Manichaeans – 18.65.) 

5) Taught that the “Virgin Mary” was sinless and promoted her worship. (“History of the Christian Church” volume 3, page 1021, 1910 by Philip Schaff.) 

6) Intercession of the saints. (“History of the Christian Church” author Philip Schaff , pages 434-435, 441.) 

7) The use of relics and the miracles attributed to them. (“History of the Christian Church” author Philip Schaff – pgs. 459-460.) 

😎 Originated infant baptism and falsely taught that infants who were not baptized were eternally condemned.(Augustine's "City of God" - On the Merits and Forgiveness of Sins -1.33, 1.35, and 3.7.)

9) Augustine falsely taught that no one can be sure that they are saved. (In "City of God" - On Rebuke and Grace - 40. )

He states, "For who of the multitude of believers can presume, so long as he is living in this mortal state, that he is in the number of the predestinated?"

(Apparently at a stretch Calvinists believe they can reach some form of assurrance of their salvation but they make it difficult for themselves.) 

10) Augustine accepted polygamy over monogamy. (Augustine's City of God - On Christian Doctrine - 3.18, 3.27. )

11) Originated Western monasticism, (In "Religion and the Rise of Western Culture" by Christopher Dawson, page 47, 1957.) 

12) Advocated the use of force/violence in dealing with “heretics” who did not agree with him. (Augustine's City of God, “On the Correction of the Donatists” – book 4, section 17, section 18, book 5, section 19, 20, book 6, section 21-24.)

4. Non-Calvinists can see Augustine's advocating the use of force as responsible for the genocide of millions of Bible believing Christians during the Inquisition: (See also Philip Schaff, “History of the Christian Church” vol. 3, page 144, 1910.)

- Augustine states the following regarding the use of force/violence: “Why, therefore, should not the Church use force in compelling her lost sons to return, if the lost ones compelled others to their destruction?……” (in City of God, “On the Correction of the Donatists” – chapter 6, section 23.)

5. Non-Calvinists can maintain that Calvin idolized Augustine and was his ardent admirer:

- Calvin emulated his master’s ways when he ruled the city of Geneva with an iron fist imposing and enforcing his Calvinist doctrine through floggings, imprisonments, banishments, torture, and burnings at the stake.

- Every aspect of life in Geneva was under his tight control including the way women wore their hair, jewelry, the number of dishes allowed in the kitchen, etc.

6. Non-Calvinists can classify Calvin as a control freak:

- He justified force and violence in the name of Christianity. 

7. Non Calvinists can view Calvinism as irrational and immoral:

- Augustine and Calvin promoted their false doctrines as biblical truth and imposed them on the church.

- Their false doctrines have been handed down for centuries as cherished dogma and changeless data.

- Augustine also states the following regarding the Catholic Church: “The Catholic Church alone is the body of Christ, of which He is the head and Saviour of His body. Outside this body the Holy Spirit giveth life to no one, seeing that, as the apostle says himself, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us;” but he is not a partaker of the divine love who is the enemy of unity. Therefore they have not the Holy Ghost who are outside the Church.” ( Augustine in City of God, “On the Correction of the Donatists”, 11.50.)

- Calvinists irrationally adhere to Augustine's gnostic heresies but not to his heretical Catholic Church.

 

For those not predestined to be Calvinists, but to be conformed to the image of God's Son, the arguments of Calvinism are endured by them with patience, as light afflictions of this present world.

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