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Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by raderag, Feb 13, 2006.
Again, my definition of "orthodox" may be a bit off.
Didn't you say that already.
And this demonstrates you don´t know what a non_sequitur is. While it´s true that when you wrote; "œLOL, I go to a Redeemer Pres also" I wrongly assumed it was Ben´s church since I honestly paid no attention to your affiliation below your name. However, it doesn´t follow from this example that my other remarks and observations concerning other things you have written are therefore invalid. But if it makes you feel better, you got me.
For what it's worth, it seems clear that you and Ben have a considerable amount in common concerning Arminianism. So let me ask you directly, do you agree with Ben that Arminians are orthodox, that they do a "œbetter job" preaching the gospel than Calvinists, and that Jesus longed to save all the "children" of Jerusalem (but evidently was impotent and incapable to accomplish what He longed for)?
Sean, you are welcome to ask me any direct question you like. But, you should stop ascribing views to me when you don't know.
I do not agree that Arminians are orthodox (I said as much in a post above). I am not sure what it means to do a better job preaching the Gospel. Quantitatively, maybe, qualitatively, I doubt it. Sean, as I said before, I think Arminianism is a very serious error and heretical in an ecclesiastical sense, but I don´t think someone believing it is damned by it. Believing Arminianism doesn´t necessarily deny the Gospel facts whereas denying Christ´s divinity does. That is the difference in my view.
You are truly amazing. I cite a Bible passage where Jesus says, "How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling," and you accuse me of Arminianism! Wow! I cite the Bible, and in your estimation I'm akin to an Arminian!
Evangelical Arminians do a "better job" of evangelism only in that they actually do it! If pointing this out and commending evangelicals for actually preaching the gospel, while lamenting that my fellow Calvinists are all too often complacent in their gospel preaching makes me "friendly" to Arminianism in your mind... then so be it.
Evangelical Arminians are "orthodox" in that their views do not fall outside the realm of salvation. They are not heretics and damned simply because they say "Jesus loves you" to everyone and because they actually expect people to choose to repent and call on Jesus when challenged to do so by the evangelist.
It is a sad, sad day when a "Christian" laments the proclamation of the Gospel. You oppose the spreading of the Good News! You resist the building of Christ's Body!
Are such things truly evidences that one has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and had manifest saving faith?
Ben, perhaps Sean would be happy if in their altar calls, they asks the sinner to accept John Calvin in their Heart.
Sean, I have a question for you? Is it heresy for Calvinists believe that Arminians are brothers? What about believing that Calvinist that believe this are brothers?
Why are almost ALL of Ben's post showing up twice????
Because he really believes it.
I was wondering the same thing though. Maybe he is exercising his free will.
I don't know what's going on. My computer is acting very sluggish on this and another site. I apologize!
Okay guys this discussion would not be considered in any manner seasoned with "salt and light". This subject obviously hits home for a number of folks on the board. We need to be a bit more considerate of that. This is an open forum for anyone to read and this discussion is starting to dissolve into something that is hardly edifying. If you don't have anything edifying to say then move on. Remember the rules of this board.
Just for the record, I am post-millenial, and I DO believe that many Arminians are Christians. I do not hold to hyper-Calvinism like some people on this board.
At the moment, it looks to me like a lot of Arminians are winning the world to Christ, while many "Reformed" brothers sit around and debate doctrine. (I feel convicted even as I type this paragraph.)
Arminians are confused Christians. They are our brothers and sisters. They need our help and guidance, not our condemnation.
I´m sorry you feel that way, but you're certainly entitled to your opinion.
I don´t see how I have failed to let the passage speak for itself and I don´t gather from that lament that Jesus longed to save all the "children" of Jerusalem. I think it irresponsible to not consider the verse in context. Matthew 23:37 comes at the end of a long passage where Jesus upbraids and excoriates the religious leaders calling them serpents and vipers who will not escape the sentence of hell. The metaphor of the Christ as a hen gathering her chicks is further condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees who instead of proclaiming the truth killed God´s prophets. Ironically, much like the Arminian preachers you praise that I see on TV and hear on the radio almost daily, who make a mockery out of the work of Christ and reduce the truth of the gospel to nothing more than a farce.
I can only guess Calvin too was the type of person who, in your mind, gives Calvinism a bad name, as Reymond Blacketer writes:
"Calvin's treatment of Matthew 23:37 ("O Jerusalem...how often I have longed to gather your children together.., but you were not willing") employs the decretive_preceptive distinction even more explicitly. Hoekema adduces this passage as further support of the well_meant offer. On this text, however, he does not claim Calvin's support, and for good reason. Calvin warns that ''we must define the will of God now under discussion." The opponents of predestination contend that "nothing agrees less with God's nature than that he should be of a double will." But not only do they fail to see that Christ, speaking on behalf of the Godhead, condescends to the human level by employing an anthropopathic figure of speech, they also fail to recognize that, although God's will is one and simple in himself, our perception of it is manifold. Thus God "strikes dumb our senses until it is given us to recognize how wonderfully he wills what at the moment seems to be against his will."
Maybe you´re just in the wrong denomination or perhaps you have a different understanding of exactly what the gospel entails? Along the lines of your rather odd defintion of orthodoxy. So much for ordination vows I suppose.
The problem with alter calls is that they are an addition to Scripture and an implicit denial that the message of the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. What it tells people is that God cannot save a sinner unless the sinner takes the first step. But you have no problem with that, in principle of course.
Last I checked, I´m not a preacher nor have I been so called. However, frequently God in His providence has provided opportunities to share my faith with friends and co-workers. But the better question is, why is this important to you? Do such things count as notches on your belt? Should I stand on the street corner and tell people that Jesus loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives?
The biggest problem for me with consistent Arminians (mainly those from Methodist and Pentecostal churches) that teach someone can be truly saved and then lost is this: What is the object of their faith? Is it in Christ alone, or are they trusting in their own efforts? Usually those in the latter category base their assurance on adherence to man-made rules like dress, abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, etc. Breaking the extra-biblical rules is backsliding in their view. I think there are some having Arminian beliefs that trust in Christ in spite of them, but that there are others that may trust in their own faith, obedience, etc.
One more time.
Sean, with all due respect, you are not even treating your fellow Calvinists on this board as brothers, or even as heathens who deserve the respect any human deserves as an image-bearer of God. One might wonder if you respect their Creator. I'm going to extend the judgment of charity and assume that you do respect Him, and the moderators of this board as well, and ask you to argue your point charitably.
You are acting just like the sort of person who makes unbelievers think Calvinists have unresolved anger issues. Who are you really angry at?
Oops! The curse of the double-post, sorry!
[Edited on 2-15-2006 by turmeric]
... with emphasis on the last sentence.
My biggest mistake was responding to this "Christian."
He is venemous and meanspirited to all who don't share his hyper-Calvinism. I sure hope no evangelicals read his remarks... or they'll print it out and run around to all their friends saying, "See! Calvinism is dangerous!"
... with emphasis on the last sentence.
My biggest mistake was responding to this "Christian."
He is venemous and meanspirited to all who don't share his hyper-Calvinism. I sure hope no evangelicals read his remarks... or they'll print it out and say "See! Calvinism is dangerous!"
Hi Meg. For what it's worth I don´t care what unbelievers think of Calvinists or much else for that matter. Seems that if you say Arminianism is heresy and Arminians heretics you mark yourself for derision, ridicule and vitriol. But to answer your question, I´m not angry in the least.
On a different note, I very much agree with the observations of Chris Poe above. I think he brings out some of the real dangers of the Arminianism praised by a number of folks on this thread, pastors included who ought to know better. Excellent post!
[Edited on 2-15-2006 by Magma2]
No, I don´t think it is. It is presumptuous and perhaps shows a lack of compassion and concern for the eternal destinies of those who arguably deny the gospel which is by God´s grace alone through mere belief alone. Again, I would recommend the piece by Dr. McMahon; "œThe "œgod" of Arminianism is Not Worshippable." I think his concluding admonitions are very powerful. Also, I recommend the piece I cited early by G. A. Chan on the 5 points. I think it is possible that many are saved by "œblessed inconsistency," but I think Chan makes a very compelling argument that it´s also equally possible, "œand perhaps more Biblical . . . that Arminians are lost by cursed inconsistency." Instead of showing concern, the attitude by many professing Calvinists, even pastors, seems to be, as I´ve said earlier, cavalier indifference. That´s not so much directed at you, but really at those who should know better.
You can´t pick your family Of course, many beliefs turn out to be false. In this case when most of us will find out, it will be too late.
Arminianism is dangerous because it all too often leads to spiritual pride and self appreciation. It all too often results in spiritual pragmatism. It inherently diminishes the glory of God in salvation by its implications.
However, Calvinism can be dangerous when it becomes a tool for nit-picking fellow Christians, or when it results in a spiritual arrogrance that spreads like a cancer until it actually laments the preaching of the gospel.
Rightly appropriated, Calvinism's strength lies in the fact that it provides comfort and assurance to the evangelist because we know that God is in charge of the results. It provides comfort to the Christian because it teaches us that God loves us so much that He did everything it took to effectually "woo" (as Augustine and Edwards said) us to the Cross. Rightly appropriated, Calvinism is not a hammer to beat up other Christians... it is a warm embrace to encourage us when the going gets tough by its teaching that we chose God because He first chose us.
Wrongly appropriated, Calvinism kills evangelistic efforts. (Just read Magma2's excuses!) Rightly appropriated, Calvinism leads to increased evangelistic outreach because we know that we go with God's promise that His word will not return void!
God's sovereignty is not undermined or usurped by an Arminian presentation of the Gospel: anyone who repents and responds with saving faith has received regeneration to enable and effect such repentance! The fact of this truth remains even if the notion is not understood or even rejected.
So, I shouldn't know better.
This thread is about Dr McMahons article and how to apply it. I wonder if Mathew agrees how you are applying it?
How long can one be misguided and confused? How many times may they hear the truth and reject it? How many times can they speak out against the truth while teaching a lie? How many books may they write supporting a false belief? How many people may they assure in their salvation (falsely)?
Seriously...how often may one do these kinds of things and still call themselves "saved"? All of their life?
Are we talking about the people writing the books, like Dave Hun and Bruce Wilkinson, et al or;
Are we talking about people like the guy who lives at the rescue mission who thinks he has "victory" over alcohol because Jesus wasn't a drunk? He's half-right, you know.
In any case, only God knows. We just keep proclaiming the Gospel, which I think Matt was trying to do, and praying.
I hope I didn't give you the impression that you shouldn't consider him a brother by my lengthy post. I affirm repeatedly that I consider all who believe in Christ for salvation are saved. Your question as I read it was this:
Notice, the first question you ask is "How do we interact with those who hold to this error?" and then you proceeded to give a specific example.
I tried to paint a very broad brush and not pretend like I knew the friend in question. In that he knows his need for Christ I rejoice. I was only trying to point out that some who say they are sinners and need Christ sometimes struggle with assurance and getting the Gospel in their bloodstream because of their doctrine. I pointed out a few consequences of Arminian doctrine where real brothers are not made un-Brothers by Armininianism but it does affect them.
They were in the end meant to be general observations for a general question with a specific example. Insofar as some or none of the observations apply to your specific friend I wouldn't know and I apologize if you got the impression that I assumed I knew your friend based on the little information received.
I just want to reiterate my point that people's lives are much different than what they appear to be from the outside looking in. I used to confess that I was a sinner and saved by Christ but was plagued with restlessness until I really understood the Gospel. People who knew me back then had no idea what thoughts of doubt plagued me...
[Edited on 2-15-2006 by SemperFideles]
More so Hunt and his ilk, but also those who sit under them and also reject anything other than what these men write. I honestly see little difference between them and those in religions we would proudly proclaim as cultic.
Sure, many of the ECFs were misguided and confused on these issues and yet were able to give their life for their faith. I would say some reformed are misguided and confused on some issue such as eschatology, but wouldn't say they were damned.