I've noticed on the Web that there are a bunch of articles against Arminianism from "Landmark Baptist" churches. Some of these articles were very hard-hitting and seemingly uncompromising. Curious as to what the "Landmarkers" actually believed about ArminiANS rather than ArminianISM, I found two large lists of e-mail address of Landmark Baptist pastors and e-mailed them all this question:
"Do you believe that all who believe that Christ died for everyone without exception are unregenerate?"
Below are the responses I have gotten so far (in red). I didn't take very long to find out where they stand!
P.S. After the quotes is some correspondence
that I had with the Landmark Baptist pastors.
A hard question. I would say that many or most of them are unregenerate, but not all. You probably see all of them as being unregenerate, and I think I understand your basic reasoning.
I believe any person is truly saved who is trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and His blood and righteousness alone for eternal salvation. Most Arminian church members do not do so.
No, just ignorant of the facts of Scripture. Our salvation is in Christ and based upon sovereign grace. One does not need to know or understand theology to be saved.
No; It is possible for one to have been given repentance and faith, or a new life, and yet not know anything about the elect or God or even know any more than that they are a sinner and that Christ died for their sin.
I do not completely understand what you are asking in this question. I do not believe that all those who hold a general atonement are unregenerate. There was a time when I believed that Christ died for all exactly the same way. I do not so understand the scriptures now, but I was not lost when I was in error.
Is our eternal salvation BECAUSE of our belief or understanding of anything . . . I think not.
Is our eternal salvation predicated upon a certain level of understanding? I think not.
Does all understanding come with regeneration? Certainly not!
Must not a man first be regenerated
BEFORE he can embrace the gospel of his salvation? Does the proclaimed gospel
bring life or does it rather bring light?
Is one unregenerated because he does not understand all the doctrines of grace? Surely we do not regenerate ourselves by our knowledge -- do we?
Doesn't your question place the horse before the cart? Undoubtedly!
Do you ask because you do not know the answer or because you do? Would you make yourself my judge? Have at it . . . it disturbs me not at all. I serve Another.
Surely our hope is not in our faith. Are we eternally saved by His atonement or by our faith?
Perhaps not all of God's elect have already attained to your own level of perfect and pristine understanding.
Of course not since salvation is of the Lord and not dependent on our own knowledge. Such people, who believe the false doctrine of unlimited atonement are wrong but not unregenerate because of ignorance. Or do you believe that your assumed orthodoxy is your salvation?
God saves by a sovereign act,
bringing the soul to life and causing it to repent and believe the gospel. The
results of regeneration (repentance and faith ) do not
regenerate, they are simply the always present and certain proofs that God has
regenerated. IF THERE IS NOT REPENTANCE AND FAITH THERE HAS BEEN NO
REGENERATION. There are uses NO HUMAN OR EARTHLY MEANS IN REGENERATION. But he
requires repentance and faith and since we are totaly
depraved and therefor unable, HE supplies and does in us what HE requires.
What is the purpose of your inquiry? Have you not caused Bro Harald enough trouble. I am trying not to be anatagonistic, because it is possible that the Lord has granted you repentance, I would be glad then to converse with you if you wish to take a bliblical stand for the sovereignty of God, perhaps as Pink, who found no argument with God in Sovereignty or in preaching mans responsibility. If however you simply want to continue to oppose yourself with your previous doctrines, then I can only say beware. The writings on your website lead one to believe that, you thihnk yourself wiser than the almighty God of heaven as you try to correct HIS WORD instead
of yielding to it, even though you can not understand all of it.
I do not and can not wish you God's speed, for I wil have nothing to do with what you have done. However I can and do wish you this, that you will submit yourself to the Word of God and quit either intentionally or out opf ignorance misrepresenting God's Word and the beliefs of many sound men such as Pink.
If these are depending upon this belief in universal atonement to save them, certainly they are unregenerate; but if they are simply ignorant of God's part in salvation, then I believe that some can believe in universal atonement (in an assuming way) and be saved.
The Bible says that we are the children of God by faith, not by knowing about the atonement.
This is only a very quick answer to your question.
I am not a reformer: I believe that all for whom Christ died will believe and until that time are unregenerate in a sense. When one trusts Christ in the free pardon of sin the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin. That blood was shed 2000 years ago and applied to ones account. What is your definition of regeneration, Sublap or supralap?
My concern is the proper authority of those that preach the gospel and their ability to discern the truth only given to His church and instilled in the government of the Kingdom. The gospel is of the Kingdom not for carnal enjoyment. See Isa 61. so many churches are made of spider webs that lead others in errors of the flesh to destruction.
An observation of some who have believed and were told it was of their own choosing may have been saved but robed of the blessing of giving God the glory. Only God can know for sure and in the end will have his way and none of his elect will be lost. I leave those questions and answers to God.
Some claim to know what God has not reveled nor told us and are false prophets.
Thanks for your question. We always want to help whomever we can. "For whom did Christ die" is a theological question. As far as I can tell, according to Scripture, there are many who aren't mature Christians and don't understand many of the truths that God has enlightened us to know. According to John 3:18, believing in Christ (in the Scriptural sense) is what's necessary to be saved. We realize that faith is a gift of God and that all who are ordained to eternal life believe (Eph. 2, Act. 13:48). However, many of the Lord's saints don't understand all of these things. I've met many of the Lord's people who bear the moral fruits of a Christian and even many spiritual fruits, but, lack a deep understanding of God's Word--including the doctrine of the atonement. So, in answer to your question, I don't believe that a person must know the truth of the extent of the atonement to be saved. They do, however, need to believe in Christ as a personal Savior. It is my hope that those who are wrong doctrinally might be taught by a loving Christian friend and come to a more full knowledge of the truth.
If you need any clarification, please let me know.
God bless you and yours.
NO. I BELIEVE THAT MANY MAY BE REGENERATE. IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT QUICKENETH, THE FLESH PROFITS NOTHING.
THE SCRIPTURE SAYS IN MATT. 7:21 THAT JESUS WOULD SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.WHO ARE HIS PEOPLE? NOT JUST THE JEWS, BUT GENTILES ALSO.ALLWHO THE FATHER GAVE TO THE SON; THE ELECT. THAT IS A GROUP WHOSE NUMBER CANNOT BE ADDED TO, NOR SUBTRACTED FROM. EVEN THE ARMINIAN MUST ADMIT THIS. GOD KNOWS ALL. DOES HE NOT. HE CAN NEVER KNOW MORE, OR LESS THAT HE DOES.
THEREFORE, HE KNOWS ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO CONSTITUTE THE ELECT; ALL WHO WILL BE SAVED. WHAT IS OUR JOB? PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERYONE. ALL WHO HEAR AND BELIEVE WILL BE SAVED.
It is not up to me to decide who, or who is not, regenerate. We receive as candidates for baptism all who confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Those who willing submit to scriptural baptism, we teach "all things whatsoever He has commanded.".
I DO NOT expect baby Christians to be Great Thelogians. After all, the blind man whose eyes Jesus opened didn't even know if He were a sinner or not, but he did know what He had done for him.
If they are militant in their teaching of universal salvation they obviously do not understand the truth of salvation and are unsaved but I suppose it may be possible for one to be innocently ignorant of God's elective grace as a believer growing in grace. What are your thoughts.
Marc, it is possible that if they are converted they are untaught.
No! I believe they are unlearned and have not studied for themselves. Many are saved who no not the truth.
My opinion matters very little. What God says is what matters. II. Cor4:3-6 "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
Salvation is not believing in doctrine, it is believing in the Person Jesus Christ. That He died for you, whether He died for anyone else but you does not determine your salvation. Faith in Christ is a gift of God. (Eph 2:8) The Holy Spirit uses the Gospel to bring about regeneration. Through the Gospel He grants faith and repentance.
This is a difficult question to answer because we cannot know a person's heart. If they deny that Christ is God they cannot be born again. Perhaps they are wilfully blind to the truth of the Gospel. I have always believed, and it has been my experience that if a person is regenerated they will recieve the truth in time. (Good question)
I find nothing in Scripture which would cause me to believe that those who believe that Christ died for everyone without exception are necessarily (because of that belief) unregnerate. Babes, whether natural or spiritual, must be taught. Spiritual maturity and understanding must be differentiated from spriritual life.
No, I believe that everyone that believes that Christ died for them is regenerated. God has people that believe different things. John said in 1 John 5:1 He that believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.
I do not believe a man is unregenerate just because he believes in a universal atonement. May I ask you a question in return? Do you believe that Christ died for those already in Hell at the time of His death?
There may be some of these that are not saved, but I do not believe that all that believe that Christ died for everyone without exception are unregenerate. I know of many who believe the doctrine of grace that at first believed in a general atonement. There are many that believe false doctrine that are still the children of God. All of God's people have not been given the knowledge of this great truth.
I do not believe that because one believes that Christ died for all men will send them to hell. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is what saves one and that alone. If one believes that 'Christ Died for them and repents of their sin they will be saved. Acts 16:31
Certainly not! I do not believe that one's salvation is contingent upon his believing the doctrine of the limited atonement. I know many who did not believe that doctrine when God graciously regenerated and converted them. I am one of those.
I will be glad to share with you why I now believe the limited atonement but I teach that one's salvation is based upon his believing that Christ died for him personally.
Hello, Landmark Baptist pastors. Recently, you replied to my question as to whether or not those who believe in universal atonement are unregenerate. The reason I asked this question is to begin to get at whether or not the Landmark Baptists really believed the gospel. I am not familiar with the Landmark Baptists and wanted to become more familiar with them. I have read a bunch of articles that strongly condemn Arminianism, and I wanted to know more about what the Landmark Baptists believed.
Your responses fell into several categories, and I thought it would be more efficient to answer all of you in one e-mail rather than to answer individually. If any of you would like to correspond individually, I would welcome it.
Before I get into your answers, I would like to say that although I believe the gospel of sovereign grace, I do not call myself "Reformed" or "Calvinist." I am a believer in the gospel and pastor a small non-denominational assembly in Vermont. My mission is to glorify God by preaching His gospel and distinguishing it from all counterfeits, edifying the saints, and calling the unregenerate to repentance and faith.
Here are the main premises that are relevant to this issue:
The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel (Romans 1:16-17).
Those who do not believe the gospel are unregenerate (Mark 16:16).
Those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are unregenerate (Romans 10:3).
The gospel is God's promise to save His people conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone (for Scripture, see the manuscripts of the series on The Gospel at www.outsidethecamp.org/sermons.htm or a condensed version at www.outsidethecamp.org/egd.htm ).
All who believe the gospel believe that salvation is conditioned on the work of Christ alone.
All who believe that salvation is conditioned on the sinner in any way to any degree believe a false gospel and are thus unregenerate.
All who believe the gospel believe that the work of Christ alone makes the difference between salvation and damnation.
Those who believe that Christ died for everyone without exception DO NOT believe that the work of Christ alone makes the difference between salvation and damnation; instead, they believe that it is the work of the SINNER that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Thus, they do not believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. They are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel. They are unregenerate.
2 John 11 goes even further. It states that one who speaks peace to a person who brings a false gospel is a participant in the false gospel advocate's evil deeds (see www.outsidethecamp.org/2John11.htm ). Thus, those who say that at least some who believe in universal atonement are saved are themselves unregenerate. They show that they do not believe the gospel. For if someone says that a universal atonement advocate is saved, one must also say that this universal atonement advocate believes the gospel. So here is an admission that some who believe in universal atonement believe the gospel. This shows that the peace-speaker does not believe that the work of Christ is essential gospel doctrine.
I would now like to go into some of the things contained in many of your responses.
First, many responses said that knowledge of certain doctrine or theology is not a condition or prerequisite of salvation. This is absolutely true. There are no human prerequisites to salvation -- absolutely none. Knowledge is not a condition for salvation. Yet God gives His people a knowledge of and belief in the gospel upon conversion, which is an immediate result of regeneration. So there is not a single regenerate person who does not have a knowledge of the person and work of Christ. Knowledge is not a prerequisite for salvation, but it is an ESSENTIAL FRUIT of salvation. I wrote an article on "Doctrinal Regeneration" at www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm that I would recommend you read. Your responses showed that you believe that a regenerate person can be ignorant of and even believe the antithesis of the work of Christ. Now what if I would have asked, "Do you believe that all who deny the deity of Christ are lost?" Would you have responded, "Knowledge of the deity of Christ isn't a prerequisite to salvation"? I don't think you would have. But when it comes to Christ's WORK, you make all kinds of excuses and build a straw man of conditional salvation in order to keep the universal atonement advocates in the kingdom.
This leads to the second theme contained in many of your responses. That is, you say that one must just "trust Christ for their salvation" or "have faith in Christ" without knowledge of any doctrine. Well, what does it mean to "trust (or have faith in) Christ for their salvation"? Just who is Christ? Just what did Christ do? Just what is salvation? Are regenerate persons ignorant of any of these things? Could a regenerate person confess, "I have no idea who Christ is or what He did, but I'm just trusting Him with my whole heart"? Of course not. There must be KNOWLEDGE involved. There must be DOCTRINE involved. A doctrine-less christ is no Christ at all. The question is: What knowledge? Is knowledge of the atoning work of Christ something that is an essential fruit of salvation? Think about it. A person who believes that Christ died for everyone without exception DENIES the atonement! He may use the words "atone" or "atonement," but he does not believe that Christ's blood was actually effectual for ANYONE in and of itself! And yet you believe that such persons believe the same gospel you do and worship the same god as you do and trust in the same christ as you do. This is true -- you DO believe in the same gospel and worship the same god and trust in the same christ as they do! And it is a false gospel, a false god, and a false christ!
Thirdly, many responses talked about "growth." But a Christian does not "grow" from believing a false gospel into believing the true gospel. A Christian does not "grow" from believing in salvation conditioned on the sinner to salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone! Belief in the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ is not some "higher knowledge" that only the well-educated mature Christians can attain to! This is the BASICS of the gospel! Christians certainly do grow in many areas. Christians certainly do have errors in many areas. But when it comes to the gospel, EVERY CHRISTIAN believes that salvation is conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone! Every Christian, from the babe in Christ to the elder in Christ, believes in the PERSON of Christ (the God-man mediator), and every Christian believes in the WORK of Christ (establishing a righteousness that ensures the salvation of all whom He represented).
Fourthly, I saw in many responses the view that Christians do not know the hearts of anyone and are not to judge anyone to be unregenerate. Those who believe this obviously do not believe that God is serious when He says not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). For if they do not know who the unbelievers are, then this command is a joke. Obviously, when God commands His people not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, He is commanding His people to JUDGE who the unbelievers are. They cannot separate from them if they have no idea who they are. God commands Christians, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). You who do not judge any to be unbelievers must think God is joking here. Obviously, God's people are a JUDGING people. And how do they judge? After all, they can't read people's minds. They can't directly see people's hearts. No, but Jesus states that Christians can judge the heart by judging the direct channel that comes from the heart: the mouth. After stating that "every tree is known by his own fruit" (Luke 6:44), Jesus states what that fruit is: "for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh" (v. 45). Christians CAN and DO judge the heart by what proceeds from the mouth. The words spoken are the fruit of the state of the heart. In particular, the words are a confession of a false gospel. For an article entitled "Righteous Judgment," see www.outsidethecamp.org/rightjudg.htm .
Finally, I would encourage you to read www.outsidethecamp.org/letters44.htm in which I answer many of the charges that those who compromise with Arminians bring forth. If any of you would like to discuss this further, I would be very happy to do so. I hope that this has given at least one of you a cause to pause and think about what you are doing. What you are doing is an evil, filthy thing that is a stench in the nostrils of God. By saying that at least some who believe in universal atonement are regenerate, you are in bed with the Great Whore and have, in fact, become a part of the Great Whore. All of your religious zeal and sincerity is nothing but evil deeds, dead works, and fruit unto death. I call on you to repent and believe the gospel.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter
T. Bryant wrote:
> Did the
> thief on the cross know anything of limited atonement? If he did, there
> is no Scripture affirming that he did or that he was ever taught it.
> However, he did trust in Christ completely for his salvation.
Jesus said that all who do not believe the gospel are lost (Mark 16:16). The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul said that all who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are lost (Romans 10:3). The Bible makes no exceptions. The thief on the cross believed the gospel just as every other saved person believed and believes the gospel. The question is: what is the gospel? If it has to do with the PERSON and WORK of Christ, then the thief believed the truth about the PERSON and WORK of Christ.
> How about
> the Ethiopian eunuch? Is there anything in the 8th chapter of Acts to
> make us think that Philip taught him on such deep principles of
> Scripture? No.
You are sadly ignorant of the Scripture you
claim to teach. The Ethiopian eunuch was reading Isaiah 53. The efficacious,
substitutionary atonement of Christ is there in all its glory. Acts 8:35 shows
us that Philip preached the gospel to him beginning with Isaiah 53. There is no
way to preach the gospel from Isaiah 53 or from anywhere without preaching the
atonement that ensures the salvation of all whom He represented.
You think that the work of Christ is a "deep principle" that only the learned can understand. This is the height of spiritual pride.
> Apparently not from what you have said. Can you
> point out one Scripture where any Apostle, missionary, or preacher ever
> taught the doctrine of limited atonement to the lost? If so, I haven't
> found it.
The Apostles and preachers preached the gospel. Paul says that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel (Romans 1:16-17). He goes on in Romans 3:20-28 to explain what that righteousness of God is. He also explains it in Romans 10:4 (what those not submitted to the righteousness of God were ignorant of). The gospel contains justification, redemption, and propitiation in Romans 3. It contains imputed righteousness in Romans 10. So we know for a fact that every time the Apostles or preachers preached the gospel, they preached these things. And we know that every time a person believed the gospel, they believed these things.
> I am sure that you'll try and use some generic terminology to say that
> belief in Christ includes every point of truth concerning the atonement.
> What of election? What of security? What of calling? I know many
> brethren who preach Sovereign Grace both from their pulpits and on
> missionary fields who were not saved under Sovereign Grace teaching.
> Would you condemn these?
If they believe that they were saved under an Arminian gospel and believed the Arminian gospel for a time after regeneration, then they are yet dead in their sins. They have not yet repented of dead works and idolatry. They do not count their former life in a false gospel as dung.
> If we are not careful, we'll end up saying that a person must be correct
> on every point of doctrine to be saved because all doctrines center on
> Jesus Christ.
Straw man. It is the BIBLE that defines what every Christian believes, not me or anyone else.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter
Dear Mr. Wolfe,
<<and go on to your so-called "sovereign-grace gospel," which is simply "intellectualism.">>
How do you define "intellectualism"?
<<If you knew Landmark Baptists, you would know that not all of us believe every jot and tittle of the doctrines exactly alike. The same is true with your own peers.>>
Everyone with whom I fellowship believes the true gospel and judges all who do not believe the true gospel (including all who hold to universal atonement) to be lost.
<<"We are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus," not by understanding everything about God's sovereignty, propitiation, justification, regeneration, imputed righteousness, etc. (of which I believe all).>>
As I said in the previous post, what is faith in Christ Jesus? Can one have faith in Christ Jesus without KNOWLEDGE of the person and work of Christ?
<<All she knew was that she realized that she was a sinner and that she needed to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is His death, burial and resurrection.>>
Just the historical facts of death, burial, and resurrection?
<<I suppose that you would say she is not saved because she did not at the time of her faith in Jesus Christ know of his propitiation, his substitutional righteousness given to her, God's complete sovereignty in salvation, TULIP, etc. If that is the case, then you are very foolish.>>
As I said before, a new Christian may not be able to systematize and articulate the doctrines of grace. But they will never believe the antithesis to any of these doctrines.
You're not calling me foolish; you're calling God foolish who said that all who are IGNORANT of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are LOST. Thus, if this person was IGNORANT of the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ, she was lost.
<<God saves whom he will as he will and when he will. He does not ask you or I to be the judge as to their justification. It is God that justifieth!>>
God DOES command His people to judge as to their state before God. See www.outsidethecamp.org/rightjudg.htm .
I agree that God saves whom He will as He will and when He will. And I believe what God says about how He saves someone. He does not leave them ignorant of the gospel when He saves them. He gives them KNOWLEDGE of the person and work of Christ.
Do you believe that God leaves people ignorant of the gospel for a time after regeneration? If that is so, then you must also believe that a Muslim could still believe the gospel of Islam for a period of time after regeneration.
<<I do not know who you are, but I have had about enough of the Reformers' judging the Landmark Baptists. ... I am about up to my neck with the Reformation crowd coming into our churches and trying to "straighten us out," splitting churches and causing divisions in the Lord's churches. Because some of these Reformers cannot build their own churches, they try to infiltrate other churches and change their methods and beliefs in order that they may become the "teachers" of the flock.>>
For your information, I do not call myself Reformed or a Calvinist. And if the truth causes divisions, then praise God. If God uses this to cause some people to come out of the Great Whore, then praise God.
<<If you want to be a Landmark Baptist, attend a Landmark Baptist church and sit submissively under the preaching and the teaching of the pastor and the teachers.>>
Knowing what I know now, OF COURSE I don't want to be a Landmark Baptist! God commands me to have no fellowship with unbelievers.
<<We have been around a long time, and we are not going away. We will be here until Jesus comes. You may as well get used to that.>>
And I have no illusions about "wiping out" the Landmark Baptists. Jesus and the Apostles said that there would be false prophets and false churches until His return.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter
> Marc, At conversion did you know all things or are you growing in grace
> because you are studying to know?
At conversion, I did not know all things. And
I'm sure I still don't know all things. If you took the time to carefully read
my post, I never said that Christians know all things. They can be in error on
many things, and they can be ignorant in many areas. But they will never be in
error or be ignorant as to what makes the difference between salvation and
damnation. When God saves a person, He glorifies Himself in the heart of that
person by causing that person to believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on
the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, with no
contribution from the sinner in any way to any degree.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter
> Those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God in Christ go
> about trying
> to establish their own righteousness and are indeed unregenerate.
> They are
> religious but lost. By the same token, those who do *not* go
> about trying to
> establish their own righteousness, but submit to the
> righteousness of God in
> Christ are regenerate. There are in the world today some High
> Arminians (as
> opposed to rank or Low Arminians) who have submitted to the
> righteousness of
> God in Christ, and they are not going about trying to establish their own
> righteousness. How can we say such folks are unregenerate?
> High Arminians do not believe it is the work of the sinner that makes the
> difference between salvation and damnation. You make the tragic
> mistake of
> lumping together High Arminians and Low Arminians, or Semi-Pelagians and
> full-blown Pelagians. High Arminians are not ignorant of the
> of God in Christ, and they do not go about trying to establish their own
> righteousness. You have presented a caricature of their views,
> then you have
> proceeded to rip this straw dummy to shreds.
Okay, let's talk about these "High Arminians." Do they believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception? Of course they do. Thus, they believe that Jesus Christ died for those in hell and those in heaven. Since they believe this, they believe that the death of Christ is not what makes the difference between heaven and hell. They believe that Christ's death in and of itself did not secure the salvation of any particular person. What, then, do they believe makes the difference between heaven and hell, if it is not the work of Christ? The "High Arminians" would say that it is FAITH that makes the difference. They are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel and are going about to establish a righteousness of their own.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter
J. Killion wrote:
> You make some good points. I'd love to hear the testimony of your
> salvation experience.
I grew up in a Calvinistic Baptist household, and in my 20's, God saved me from my false religion of tolerant Calvinism.
> Do you think a lost person could hear about
> Christ's saving blood being shed for the salvation of sinners and receive
> Christ as his personal Savior without understanding how this wonderful
> atonement might relate to everyone else in the world?
If the message is preached in such a way as to say that Christ's blood was shed for all sinners without exception, then the answer is no. If the message is preached in such a way as to say that Christ's blood is efficacious, then I can't think of a way in which a preacher could preach the efficacious work of Christ without relating it to those for whom it was efficacious. A newly saved person may not be able to articulate and systematize the doctrines of grace, but he will never believe the antithesis to these doctrines. Thus, he will never believe universal atonement. He will always believe efficacious atonement.
> Is salvation a
> personal thing between you and God or must it also involve everyone else
> in the world? If we take it beyond the believer's personal relationship
> in Christ, is that not adding to the gospel?
No. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that the gospel includes the fact that "Christ died for OUR sins, according to the Scriptures." Even when he said that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), he did not say that Christ Jesus came into the world to make salvation possible. He came into the world TO SAVE sinners.
> I might point out also for your information that there are many who go
> by the label "Landmark Baptist" who are very arminian in their theology
> but within the "Landmark circles" there are also a good number who cling
> very strongly to the five points of the doctrine of grace (but are not
> REFORMED). Landmarkism has to do with Ecclesiology not Soteriology.
Now that is very interesting. I thought Landmarkism included Soteriology. So the Landmark "circles" include both Arminians and those who profess the true gospel. Talk about an alliance made in hell!
> comments are very thought provoking.
I do hope that you and others continue to think on these things.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter