50 word reply to discussion below
I have been attending a church called C3 for a few months and they are a nondenominational. I have been apart of ministry there for about a month or so and in order to be apart of ministry at C3, there is something called Next Class. This is made by the leaders at C3 to help out with anyone who is wanting to know more about their beliefs. I have taken this course and it is very informative. On their website, before taking the Next Class, they have a section that talks about salvation (C3 Beliefs and Foundations, 2021). They do not say whether or not they belive that salvation is election or predestination but they do reference a verse and it is John 6:35. This verse is a common verse and leads to an open interpretation regarding predestination or election. This is what the verse says, “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (ESV). This is directly talking about salvation, while avoiding the conflicts that could emerge because of the different thinkings about predestination and election.
This avoids the conflict of directly stating whether election or predestination is the only way of salvation. What this verse does say is that "whoever believes in me [Jesus] shall never thirst". The key word here is whoever and it shows that Jesus is talking about everyone who decides to believe in Him will be saved. When C3 decided to put this verse, I am assuming that they meant to represent that salvation is a free choice and that everyone has the opportunity to be saved. This would then make election void to them because it would be up to the individual to make that decision. Election is hard to accept because it takes away the freedom that mankind has from God, "This position [election] is based on the belief that man did lose his abilities of personhood and can no longer think, feel or choose." (Vinton, 2019). The verse that was chosen by C3 to describe salvation prove this point because Jesus once again says "whoever" meaning that it is up to anyone and anyone can make the choice to accept Jesus' gift of salvation.
I personally do agree with what C3 has put regarding salvation. I belive that Jesus came to save everyone in the world. I also believe that because God is outside of time and understands everything, that it can look like election is possible. God tells us “For 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. (Isaiah 55:8-9). His thoughts are way past ours and because of that God already knows what is going to happen. Humans are confined to time and have to live in the moment while God is not controlled by time and can see everything that is going to happen, making it so that God knows who is going to make the choice to accept salvation from Jesus. This topic of election and predestination is definitely one that is easy to argue and spite over, but what is most important is knowing that Jesus came down on the cross and died so that the bridge between man and God is restored.
C3 Beliefs and Foundations: C3 Tri. Cities. (2021, March 11). https://www.c3tricities.com/beliefs/.
Vinton, S. (2019). SOTERIOLOGY The Doctrine of Salvation THE FOUR FACETS/ ASPECTS OF SALVATION. https://grace.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/courses/ol.THE453-O-LB-70/Salvation%20_Soteriology_%20-%20Vinton.pdf.