Winnen Russ, you've been exposed as a Pedersenite. Your words betrayed you, Winnen. Oh, you sounded so bold, so solid, so orthodox at first. A man who believes that all Arminians and tolerant Calvinists are lost! How could such a person be anything but regenerate? But there is a more subtle, more insidious, more deceitful heresy than even Arminianism (which is not subtle at all) and tolerant Calvinism (which is only subtle as long as the Calvinist refrains from talking about judging). It is Pedersenism. Yes, Winnen, even though you've now come to count Pedersen to be unregenerate because of his antinomianism, you never counted Pedersen to be unregenerate based on his belief that believers can confess a false gospel. And why did you never do this? Because you believe the same thing. You even said to me, "I NEVER judged JP to be unregenerate from ANY quote he ever made." This says a lot, as all the readers of this will see from the quotes from Pedersen I give. And all the quotes from Pedersen in this post are ones that you read BEFORE you made this statement. Your words show you to be the infidel that you are.
You wrote: "WHAT sin can a christian not commit? I haven't found one." Your correspondent replied, "Do you believe a regenerate can deny Christ?" You answered: "I know of NO individual sin that a christian cannot commit." Well, well, well, Winnen. You haven't found ONE sin a Christian cannot commit. You know of NO individual sin that a Christian cannot commit. Your utter hatred for the true and living God has blinded you to the truth that is right in front of you in the Bible. You also wrote the following:
"What I said is that I don't have a list of sins that a Christian can't commit. I don't see a list in the Bible."
Oh no, Winnen? No indication anywhere in the Bible of sins that a Christian cannot commit? This is exactly what John Pedersen believes. Of course it is not in list form. But it is right there in plain view. All true Christians know that God has made it impossible for believers to commit sins that are indicative of lostness. The following are some examples of such Scriptures:
· God says that saying in one's heart, "There is no God" is indicative of lostness (Psalm 14:1); thus, it is impossible for a regenerate person to say in his heart, "There is no God."
· God says that praying to a god who cannot save is indicative of lostness (Isaiah 45:20); thus, it is impossible for a regenerate person to pray to a god who cannot save.
· God says that being ignorant of the righteousness of God, seeking to establish one's own righteousness, and not submitting to the righteousness of God are indicative of lostness (Romans 10:3); thus, it is impossible for a regenerate person to be ignorant of God's righteousness, to seek to establish his own righteousness, or to not be submitted to God's righteousness.
· God says that preaching a false gospel is indicative of lostness (Galatians 1:8-9); thus, it is impossible for a regenerate person to preach a false gospel.
· God says that saying we have no sin and saying we have not sinned are indicative of lostness (1 John 1:8,10); thus, it is impossible for a regenerate person to say he has no sin or say he has not sinned.
· God says that denying that Jesus is the Christ is indicative of lostness (1 John 2:22); thus, it is impossible for a regenerate person to deny that Jesus is the Christ.
· God says that not abiding in the doctrine of Christ is indicative of lostness (2 John 9); thus, it is impossible for a regenerate person to not abide in the doctrine of Christ.
· God says that speaking peace to one who brings a false gospel is indicative of lostness (2 John 11); thus, it is impossible for a regenerate person to speak peace to one who brings a false gospel.
How's that for a list? And it's not even a complete one. Yet you, Winnen Russ, believe that a true believer can say in his heart, "There is no God"; can be ignorant of God's righteousness, can seek to establish his own righteousness, can be not submitted to God's righteousness, can preach a false gospel, can say he has no sin, can say he has not sinned, can deny that Jesus is the Christ, can be not abiding in the doctrine of Christ, and can speak peace to one who brings a false gospel.
I praise God His preserving grace. But you, Winnen, know nothing of God's preserving grace. You know nothing of God's grace period. You remain under bondage. You remain dead in your sins.
This is so like John Pedersen. Seeing these words from you is like seeing John Pedersen's words all over again. Here's the now-famous quote from Pedersen:
"I do believe that it is appropriate to recognize a distinction between occasions of sinful expression (which plague all believers until the resurrection) and sinful expression as unremitting practice, which the Scriptures teach is contrary to the life of the Spirit ... I do not believe that the statement of A.A. Hodge conforms to the biblical confession of the gospel. It is a statement of false doctrine. In the light of the life-or-death issue it addresses, it is certainly something which calls for rebuke and repentance. Hodge, in making it, was promoting Satan's lie. Is it necessary for me at this point to say that he was unregenerate at the time he made the statement? I have heard Marc to say yes. I would rather say that I believe that Hodge said something that was un-Christian. He spoke as an unbeliever would speak. ... On the biblical principle that it is possible for a regenerate person to speak or otherwise act contrary to the gospel (thus sinning, and requiring repentance), I can not, in good concience, declare with absolute certainty that AA Hodge was unregenerate when he made the statement about Arminianism and Calvinism both being needed to hold one another in check. I can say that such a statement calls for admonition, and may (have) invited the proper conclusion that he was (is) an unregenerate agent of Satan. I can even say that that is the kind of statement an unregenerate agent of Satan could or would make. But I can not proclaim that I absolutely know this to be the case about AA Hodge on the basis of that single statement, and at the time he made it. I say this with the conviction that Arminianism is THE lie of Satan."
John Pedersen is stating that he does not judge A.A. Hodge to be unregenerate based on the following quote from A.A. Hodge:
"Here, as everywhere else, there is essential truth on both sides of every controversy, and the real truth is the whole truth, its entire catholic body. Arminianism in the abstract as an historical scheme is a heresy, holding half the truth. Calvinism is an historical scheme which in its best representatives comprehends the whole truth with considerable completeness. But the case is essentially different when we come to consider the great co-existing bodies of Christian people calling themselves respectively Calvinists and Arminians. Each of these parties holds all essential truth, and therefore they hold actually very much the same truth. The Arminians think and speak very much like Calvinists when they come to talk with God in either the confession of sin or the supplication for grace. They both alike in that attitude recognize the sovereignty of God and the guilt and helplessness of men. Indeed, how could it be otherwise? What room is there for anything other than essential Calvinism on one's knees? On the other hand, the Calvinist thinks and speaks like the better class of Arminians when he addresses the consciences of men, and pleads with them, as free, responsible agents, to repent and believe in Christ. The difference between the best of either class is one of emphasis rather than of essential principle. Each is the complement of the other. Each is necessary to restrain, correct, and supply the one-sided strain of the other. They together give origin to the blended strain from which issues the perfect music which utters the perfect truth." (Evangelical Theology, pp. 136-137)
John Pedersen cannot say that A.A. Hodge was unregenerate when he made this statement, because he, like you, believes that there are no sins that a Christian cannot commit. Thus, a believer can commit the sin of making such a statement as above. Thus, what both you and John Pedersen say about "tolerant Calvinists" is nothing but vain wind. Since a true Christian can make such a "tolerant Calvinist" statement as above, then your judging a "tolerant Calvinist" to be lost is just a delusion. You can take any "tolerant Calvinist" quote and say, "He might be a believer speaking as an unbeliever would speak." Take the following quotes from Gordon Clark:
"The thief on the cross said, 'Lord, remember me;' and Jesus replied, 'Today thou shalt be with me in paradise.' After a life of crime one of the three worst criminals in the nation -- Barabbas had been released -- this thief received assurance of heaven. He could hardly have known much about Jesus. He certainly had no notion of saving faith, let alone of the Trinity, the Atonement, or the second advent. Yet, on the authority of Jesus, we know that he was saved." (Faith and Saving Faith, p. 1)
"Metaphorically the first chapter of the Westminster Confession is a continental divide. Although the written Word of God has been the touchstone of pure doctrine in all ages, the twentieth century shows still more clearly that this chapter forms the great divide between two types of religion, or to make it of broader application, two types of philosophy. Perhaps it would be plainer to say that the acceptance of the Bible as God's written revelation separates true Christianity from all other types of thought ... On the other side of the continental divide, the water flows in the opposite direction. Instead of the stifling deserts of Arizona, the Mississippi Valley with its wheat and corn come into view. Here we have life and the fruits of the soil. However, not all the soil, not all the rivers on the east of the divide are equally fruitful. ... There is one stream which, accepting the Scripture as the only infallible rule of faith and practice, does not accept all the other thirty-two chapters of the Confession. Though it may accept several, and be called broadly evangelical, it rejects chapter three and other chapters which are definitely Calvinistic. The waters of this stream flow in the same general direction, and we rejoice that they eventually reach the same heavenly ocean; but they flow through stony ground with sparse vegetation, or sometimes they ooze through swamps where the vegetation is dense enough but unhealthful and useless. This stream in its rocky course babbles about faith and repentance being the cause instead of the result of regeneration; and it claims that its swampy 'free-will' can either block or render effective the almighty power of God. All there is time to say of this stream of thought is that its inconsistencies make it an easy prey to the attacks of humanism. It cannot defend the principle of revelation because it has misunderstood the contents of revelation. On the other hand, that blest river of salvation, flowing through the land of tall corn and sturdy cattle is to be identified with the great Reformers. ... [blah blah blah]." (God's Hammer: The Bible and Its Critics, pp. 189-198)
"Now it was a bit strange that this gentleman should have requested this hymn and should have sung it with such praise and devotion. For he did not like Calvinism; all his life he had been an Arminian; he did not believe in 'eternal security,' as he called it; and he had been telling his friends so for years. Even now he would have disowned the name of Calvinism. But could it be that without realizing it he had now come to believe, and that his earlier Arminian views had changed with the color of his hair? If it is strange that this lovely Arminian saint could become at least somewhat of a Calvinist without knowing it ... What should be particularly noted in this section is how the doctrine of perseverance fits in with all the other doctrines. God is not irrational or insane. What he says hangs together; it forms a logical system. Election, total depravity, effectual calling, sovereign grace, and perseverance are mutually consistent. God does not contradict himself. But Arminian saints do." (What Do Presbyterians Believe?, pp. 61-62, 169-171)
"Note, however, that Nicodemus, a ruler in Israel, did not easily understand. The early Gentile Christians could hardly understand. Even the Church Fathers were seriously deficient. For three hundred years or more they could not understand the Person of Christ; they learned the Trinity a little faster; but their soteriology, the significance of Christ's death, escaped them for centuries. Justin Martyr, for example, was of course a martyr; he probably was a Christian; but with his view of the Atonement I would not have voted to receive him as a communicant member of our congregation." (Today's Evangelism: Counterfeit or Genuine?, p. 100)
"An Arminian may be a truly regenerate Christian; in fact, if he is truly an Arminian and not a Pelagian who happens to belong to an Arminian church, he must be a saved man. But he is not usually, and cannot consistently be assured of his salvation. The places in which his creed differs from our Confession confuse the mind, dilute the Gospel, and impair its proclamation. The Arminian system holds (1) that God elects persons to eternal life on the condition of their reception of grace and their perseverance as foreseen; (2) that Christ died, not as the substitute for certain men, definitely to assume their penalty, but to render a chance of salvation indifferently possible to all men; (3) that all men have the same influence of the Holy Ghost operating on them, so that some are saved because they cooperate, and others are lost because they resist, thus in effect making salvation depend on the will of man; and (4) that since salvation is not made certain by God's decree nor by Christ's sacrifice, and since man's will is free or independent of God's control, a regenerate man can unregenerate himself and ultimately be lost." (What Do Presbyterians Believe?, pp. 174-175).
You and John Pedersen cannot say that Gordon Clark was unregenerate when he made these statements, because you both believe that there are no sins that a Christian cannot commit. Thus, according to your dung-filled mouth, a believer can commit the sins of making such statements as above, and Gordon Clark might have been a believer speaking as an unbeliever would speak.
How about Herman Hoeksema?
"You know, a Calvinist, (excuse the term; I am not any too fond of it myself. Never do I use it if I can help it. I don't think I have used it a half dozen times from the pulpit, which is not very frequent in three years and a half) I say, a Calvinist is after all a distinctive Christian. Not all Christians are Calvinists. Mark, I say: 'not all Christians are Calvinists.' They may be christians all-right. Sure! Dear children of God, with whom I love to shake hands. I don't believe that there is a Calvinist that denies this. I don't think that there is a Calvinist who maintains that the Calvinists are the only Christians. And those who love to waste paper (and that in this time when paper is so valuable!) by fighting against Calvinists who maintain that they are the only Christians on earth, are fighting a shadow, a product of their own imagination. No, but I claim that a Calvinist is a Christian of a distinctive type, with distinctive principles and views, in distinction, namely, from other Christians. Never let any method of reasoning lead you to the belief that all Christians are Calvinists, for then things will be getting so dark, that you lose all power to distinguish. The Methodist is a good sincere Christian, all-right. Of-course he is! A dear brother. But he is not a Calvinist. The same is true of the Anabaptist, the Lutheran, etc. All together they constitute the Church of Jesus Christ on earth, as long as they confess that Jesus is the Christ. But within that large circle there are different shades and forms of faith, and the Calvinist also maintains his own distinctive world and life-view in their midst. Now, what I mean to say is that to maintain your distinctive character as a Calvinistic Christian, you must not merely be able to discern clearly what distinguishes you from the rest, but you must have the courage of your conviction such as can be the fruit only of the faith in the Word of God. Only the conviction that our form of faith is the purest expression of Scripture (again, mark, I do not say: the only form or expression) can give us the courage to refuse amalgamation. And, therefore, it is necessary, that we are conscious of the relation between our Reformed Faith and the Word of God." (The Banner, 1/2/19)
You and John Pedersen cannot say that Herman Hoeksema was unregenerate when he made this statements, because you both believe that there are no sins that a Christian cannot commit. Thus, according to your dung-filled mouth, a believer can commit the sin of making such a statement as above, and Herman Hoeksema might have been a believer speaking as an unbeliever would speak.
And how about one of the "great Reformed theologians"?
Here's Jonathan Edwards:
<<Let all be exhorted to accept the grace of the gospel. One would think, that there should be no need of such exhortations as this, but alas, such is the dreadful wickedness and the horrible ingratitude of man's heart, that he needs abundance of persuading and entreating to accept of God's kindness, when offered them. We should count it horrible ingratitude in a poor, necessitous creature, to refuse our help and kindness when we, out of mere pity to him, offer to relieve and help him. If you should see a man in extremity of distress, and in a perishing necessity of help and relief, and you should lay out yourself, with much labor and cost, out of compassion to him, that he might be relieved, how would you take it of him, if he should proudly and spitefully refuse it and snuff at it, instead of thanking you for it? Would you not look upon it as a very ungrateful, unreasonable, base thing? And why has not God a thousand times the cause, to look upon you as base and ungrateful, if you refuse his glorious grace in the gospel, that he offers you? When God saw mankind in a most necessitous condition, in the greatest and extremist distress, being exposed to hellfire and eternal death, from which it was impossible he should ever deliver himself, or that ever he should be delivered by any other means, He took pity on them, and brought them from the jaws of destruction by His own blood. Now what hat great ingratitude is it for them to refuse such grace as this?
But so it is: multitudes will not accept a free gift at the hands of the King of the World. They have the daring, horrible presumption as [to] refuse a kindness offered by God himself, and not to accept a gift at the hands of Jehovah, nor not his own Son, his own Son equal with himself. Yea, they'll not accept of him, though he dies for them; yea, though he dies a most tormenting death, though he dies that they may be delivered from hell, and that they may have heaven, they'll not accept of this gift, though they are in such necessity of it, that they must be miserable forever without it. Yea, although God the Father invites and importunes them, they'll not accept of it, though the Son of God himself knocks and calls at their door till his head is wet with the dew, and his locks with the drops of the night, arguing and pleading with them to accept of him for their own sakes, though he makes so many glorious promises, though he holds forth so many precious benefits to tempt them to happiness, perhaps for many years together, yet they obstinately refuse all. Was ever such ingratitude heard of, or can greater be conceived of?
What would you have God do for you, that you may accept of it? Is the gift that he offers too small, that you think it too little, for you to accept of? Did not God offer you his Son, and what could God offer more? Yea, we may say God himself has not a greater gift to offer. Did not the Son of God do enough for you, that you won't accept of, him; did he [not] die, and what could he do more? Yea, we may say that the Son of God could not do a greater thing for man. Do you refuse because you want to be invited and wooed? You may hear him, from day to day, inviting of you, if you will but hearken. Or is it because you don't stand in need of God's grace? Don't you need it so much as that you must either receive it or be damned to all eternity, and what greater need can there possibly be?
Alas, miserable creatures that we are, instead of the gift of God offered in the gospel's not being great enough for us, we are not worthy of anything at all: we are less than the least of all God's mercies. Instead of deserving the dying Son of God, we are not worthy of the least crumb of bread, the least drop of water, or the least ray of light; instead of Christ's not having done enough for us by dying, in such pain and ignominy, we are not worthy that he should so much as look on us, instead of shedding his blood. We are not worthy that Christ should once make an offer of the least benefit, instead of his so long urging of us to be eternally happy.
Whoever continues to refuse Christ, will find hereafter, that instead of his having no need of him, that the least drop of his blood would have been more worth to them, than all the world; wherefore, let none be so ungrateful to God and so unwise for themselves, as to refuse the glorious grace of the gospel.>> ("Glorious Grace")
<<How far a wonderful and mysterious agency of God's Spirit may so influence some men's hearts, that their practice in this regard may be contrary to their own principles, so that they shall not trust in their own righteousness, though they profess that men are justified by their own righteousness -- or how far they may believe the doctrine of justification by men's own righteousness in general, and yet not believe it in a particular application of it to themselves -- or how far that error which they may have been led into by education, or cunning sophistry of others, may yet be indeed contrary to the prevailing disposition of their hearts, and contrary to their practice -- or how far some may seem to maintain a doctrine contrary to this gospel-doctrine of justification, that really do not, but only express themselves differently from others; or seem to oppose it through their misunderstanding of our expressions, or we of theirs, when indeed our real sentiments are the same in the main -- or may seem to differ more than they do, by using terms that are without a precisely fixed and determinate meaning -- or to be wide in their sentiments from this doctrine, for want of a distinct understanding of it; whose hearts, at the same time, entirely agree with it, and if once it was clearly explained to their understandings, would immediately close with it, and embrace it: -- how far these things may be, I will not determine; but am fully persuaded that great allowances are to be made on these and such like accounts, in innumerable instances; though it is manifest, from what has been said, that the teaching and propagating [of] contrary doctrines and schemes, is of a pernicious and fatal tendency.>> ("Justification By Faith Alone")
You and John Pedersen cannot say that Jonathan Edwards was unregenerate when he made these statements, because you both believe that there are no sins that a Christian cannot commit. Thus, according to your dung-filled mouth, a believer can commit the sins of making such statements as above, and Jonathan Edwards might have been a believer speaking as an unbeliever would speak.
Here are some more of Pedersen's words (by which you did NOT judge him to be unregenerate):
"Of course, you know very well that I believe it is possible for regenerate persons to be guilty of the act of confessing a false gospel, and to require repentance for this act."
"When you start to grade greater and lesser offenses in doctrine and absolve the lesser while propounding a certain conclusion on the greater, you arrogate an authority to your private judgment which does not belong to you as an individual in distinction from the collective verdict of the Church. It is one thing to say that something a person says is against the gospel and is, for this reason, Satanic. It is something else to say that on the basis of a certain statement, the person is unregenerate."
"Unless I can be clearly convinced otherwise from the Word of God, I believe that the view you have asserted, while it may have the intention of honoring the truth and seeking to do biblical justice to the work of the Holy Spirit, actually tends toward the diminution of both the gospel and the biblical truth of total depravity. It diminishes the gospel by the false implication that there are some sins that are 'non gospel' sins. Actually, the implications of the gospel are so great that all sin is an either implicit or explicit denial of the gospel. The view you have expressed implies that there are some sins which do not deny the gospel (and which are therefore possible for regenerate persons to commit). This both denies the pervasive implications of sin (negatively-see below) and the pervasive implications of the gospel (positively) and leads to a Wesleyan Arminian perfectionism. I remember once talking with a Nazarene pastor and having him tell me that because of the entire sanctification of the Holy Spirit (the 'Second Blessing'), he no longer sinned, but he did make mistakes. The same kind of Pharisaic reasoning must invariably belong to those who take it upon themselves to decide which sins do not deny the gospel (and are therefore not possible for the regenerate) and which sins do. ... Whenever you begin to add distinctions and qualifications to the Scriptures (which you do by saying that a regenerate person may not commit sins which implicate the doctrine of the gospel) you begin to 'manage' the Word of God, and you actually serve the same method as the false gospel. The irony here is sad indeed. God does not need our help to guard His truth. We should resist the temptation to dress the stones of His Altar. He has made provision whereby the Church guards the trust committed to her and disciplines those who profess to be Christians while denying Christ in doctrine or life. We only show ourselves to be fools when we think we can erect safeguards and assert distinctions which are not our prerogative, and circumvent the biblical process of admonition, rebuke and Church censure. Your view diminishes the biblical doctrine of the total depravity of man. It implies that the sinful nature of the believer is infused with righteousness and is not as depraved as it was when we were lost. This is wrong. My sinful nature is no less sinful now than it was when I was a slave to it. Although the reigning power and dominion of my sinful nature has been broken, the sinful nature is no less sinful in principle now than it ever was. In Christ, I am under the constant constraint to put to death whatever belongs to it (Colossians 3:1ff). There is no aspect of my sinful nature that is 'sinless', as if I were incapable of sinning in the 'big things' and could only commit the venial sins of 'non- gospel' import. You have erected a mortal/venial distinction in sins. Were have we heard this before? While a regenerate person will invariably sin in this life (I John 1:8;2:1), he is never given assurance in his sin that he is regenerate and further, if he is regenerate, he will not continue in sin (I John 3:6) but will demonstrate a pattern of repentance and turning from sin. Moreover, he can not be regarded as a brother so long as he continues in un-repentant sin. He will walk in the light, as He is in the light (I John 1). Sin can never be tolerated in the life of the believer. A person who persists in un-repentant sin in doctrine or life can not be positively endorsed as a brother. He can be admonished and disciplined, however. For an unbeliever, sin is a way of life, the course of his life. For the Christian, sin is an aberration, something which must be identified and forsaken daily. He nevertheless struggles with, as well as against, sin until the resurrection. The problem with some of your syllogisms is that you don't distinguish between sin as un-repentant practice and the occasion of sin which can occur in the life of a person who is regenerate. You seem to see them as the same reality."
"Many 'Calvinists' defend Arminianism as a legitimate expression of Biblical Christianity, 'rough edges' notwithstanding. By doing so, such 'Calvinists,' by their toleration of Arminian doctrine, implicitly endorse and believe it. The sober truth is this: whatever people may call themselves, if they tolerate and endorse the teaching of Arminianism, they lend support to the satanic lie of human sovereignty. When such persons are aware of this grave sin, they need to repent and forsake it. I pray that such repentance will ensue, and that I will continually repent of this sin."
"We should weep over this sinful self-righteousness in our own lives. ... I pray that God will expose my own refusal to submit to His righteousness and recognize that that great work that He accomplished on the cross and that was fulfilled and sealed and delivered, if you will, through the resurrection is my only interest."
Winnen Russ and John Pedersen are brothers in Satan.
You say Arminians are lost. That sounds so orthodox. But how do you judge someone to be an Arminian? After all, since a believer can speak as an unbeliever would speak and there are no sins that a Christian cannot commit, then if someone confesses the belief that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception, this could just be one of those sins that a Christian can commit. This could just be a believer speaking as an unbeliever would speak. You CANNOT judge him to be an Arminian! Well, there's one little out, according to the Pedersenites: you need to see how he responds to being confronted and corrected. Oh, right! So you cannot judge anyone who confesses belief in universal atonement unless you confront and correct him and see how he responds. Thus, all those people out there who have confessed belief in universal atonement who have never been confronted and corrected CANNOT be judged to be unregenerate, according to the liars Pedersen and Russ.
What about a preacher on television, Winnen? What if you've never ever heard of this preacher and never ever this preacher preach before, and one day you see this preacher say this: "Don't pray for these people who have come forward. You may have prayed for them before, and that is good. You can pray for them later on, and that will be good too. But right now prayer is useless, for not even God can help them. They must accept Christ of their own free will, all by themselves, and God has no power over the will of man."
You have never confronted or corrected him and do not know if anyone has ever confronted or corrected him. Yet YOU, you wicked vile pervert, would say that THESE WORDS are something that a TRUE CHRISTIAN can confess. Thus, YOU, you piece of scum, could NOT judge this Arminian preacher to be unregenerate. That makes me want to vomit. And I'd love to vomit all over YOU. You may recognize this quote from the preacher. The preacher is Billy Graham, and the quote is from Gordon Clark's "Predestination," p. 54. Here is the full quote from Clark:
"What troubles certain Christians is the idea that God causes evil events. Some Christians even want to withdraw some good events from God's power. When Dr. Billy Graham preached in Indianapolis, I went to hear him. Toward the end of the service he asked people to come forward and a crowd came. With them before him evangelist Graham addressed the large audience still in their seats and delivered a five or ten minute diatribe against Presbyterianism. Don't pray for these people who have come forward, he said. You may have prayed for them before, and that is good. You can pray for them later on, and that will be good too. But right now prayer is useless, for not even God can help them. They must accept Christ of their own free will, all by themselves, and God has no power over the will of man. Of course, this is full-fledged Arminianism. But most Christians are more perturbed about God's causing evil events."
You see what Clark is saying here. Clark is saying that Billy Graham is one of those "certain Christians." He is saying that Billy Graham is a full-fledged Arminian, and, according to Clark's previous quote, every true Arminians MUST BE A SAVED PERSON. Yet YOU, Winnen Russ, say that a TRUE CHRISTIAN could not only confess what Gordon Clark confessed, but that a TRUE CHRISTIAN could confess what BILLY GRAHAM confessed!!!!!!!!!!! You believe that there is NO SIN that a true Christian cannot commit. This is so incredibly vile and disgusting, I don't even have the words for it. It is as vile and disgusting as the most revolting child molester on the face of the earth. Yes, THAT'S how much you sicken me, Winnen. NO ONE can sicken me more than YOU sicken me. You believe that a truly regenerate person could confess what Billy Graham confessed. May God have mercy on your wretched depraved soul.
Those who spew your lies like to talk about "confessions" elicited by torture or the threat of harm to the person or the person's family to try to undermine the truth. I have been accused of saying that a Christian cannot say anything against the gospel even when a gun is put to his head or if he is being tortured. That is a false accusation. If a believer is tortured and told that the torture will stop if he says, "I believe that Jesus is not God," it is certainly possible for a believer to lie about what he believes under extreme duress. This is not a confession of belief; it is a lie about what he believes. While it certainly is a sin, it is not a confession of a false gospel. But this is just a diversion. Were A.A. Hodge, Gordon Clark, Herman Hoeksema, Jonathan Edwards, or Billy Graham put on the rack and had their legs and arms stretched from their body until they made those statements? Was a gun put to their head? Of course not. This is just an asinine way to get people off the real subject.
Another accusation that I've heard lately is that I am condemning people over "just a mistake" or a "slip of the pen." I have to laugh in amazement. So people like A.A. Hodge, Gordon Clark, Herman Hoeksema, and Jonathan Edwards just "made a mistake." They really wanted to say something different, but they mistakenly put down something contrary to their beliefs! I guess their pens just slipped all over the place! Contrary to this foolishness, it is clear that these people engaged in WILLING PEACE-SPEAKING. A true mistake would be something like this: I'm talking to a person, and I say, "There's not one single Arminian who's not saved," and then I or someone else catches my mistake, and I say, "Oops! Big mistake! I meant to say that there's not one single Arminian who's saved." THAT would be a true mistake. A typo would be a mistake. What A.A. Hodge, Gordon Clark, Herman Hoeksema, and Jonathan Edwards said were NOT mistakes. They were NOT "slips of the pen." They reflected their BELIEFS.
So, Winnen, I'm one of those people who gives questionnaires, eh? Well, check out the questionnaire I gave John Pedersen that he refused to answer:
1. Can a regenerate person deny the gospel?
2. Can a regenerate person confess a false gospel?
3. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Christ's death atoned for the sins of everyone without exception?
4. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that God chose to save people based on what he foresaw they would do?
5. Can a regenerate person confess belief that unregenerate people can decide to be saved of their own free will?
6. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that some whom God intends to save will resist the Holy Spirit's attempts to save them?
7. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that regenerate people can lose their salvation?
8. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Islam is the true gospel?
9. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Buddhism is the true gospel?
10. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Hinduism is the true gospel?
11. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Arminianism is the true gospel?
12. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Mormonism is the true gospel?
13. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Roman Catholicism is the true gospel?
The following questions are about specific people. Please answer them based on what you know about the beliefs of each one, not based on whether or not they have been confronted with their sin.
14. Is Billy Graham a regenerate person?
15. Is Barney Frank a regenerate person?
16. Is the Pope a regenerate person?
17. Is Saddam Hussein a regenerate person?
18. Is Bill Clinton a regenerate person?
19. Is Robert Schuller a regenerate person?
20. Is James Dobson a regenerate person?
21. Is Michael Horton a regenerate person?
22. Is David Ponter a regenerate person?
Pretty easy questions, wouldn't you think? But no -- John Pedersen refused to answer them. And now I'm asking you, Winnen, to answer them. And note that in questions 8 through 13, we are assuming that the regenerate person knows what Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Arminianism, Mormonism, and Roman Catholicism are. Oh -- wait a minute -- there's no need for you to answer these at all. You've already said that there are NO sins a Christian cannot commit. Thus, your answers to numbers 1 through 13 are YES. And unless you know that the people in numbers 14 through 21 have been confronted, then you cannot say that any of them are regenerate or unregenerate, since they might just be believers speaking as unbelievers would speak. You'd probably answer NO to #22, since you've confronted Ponter already.
But just in case you think these questions are silly, let me show you how a follower of Pedersen answered a question:
I wrote the following to Neil Davis: "Or how about the other end -- suppose someone formally confesses belief in Wesleyanism? Isn't it possible for a Christian to confess that Wesleyanism is the true gospel?"
Neil answered: "It's possible for them to do this sinfully, not probable. It's possible for a Christian to sinfully speak peace to those who hold the views of those on TBN, not probable."
I wrote: "Why? Isn't it possible for a Christian to associate with and speak peace to heretics, even the most blatant of heretics?"
Neil answered: "Yes, it's possible."
This is the Pedersenite position, and it is YOUR position, Winnen. Since there are NO sins that are impossible for Christians to commit, then Christians can formally confess belief in Wesleyanism, and Christians can speak peace to even the most blatant of heretics.
You, John Pedersen, Neil Davis, and everyone in your camp believe that a Christian can speak peace to (consider a brother in Christ) even the most blatant of heretics. This means that all of you believe that a Christian can consider the following to be your brothers in Christ:
All of you believe that a Christian can consider Osama bin Laden, the Dalai Lama, Anton LaVey, or any other blatant heretic to be his brother in Christ. All of you believe that a Christian can consider blatant heretics of the past to be his brothers in Christ, such as Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Mohammed, the past Popes, Buddha, Madelyn Murray O'Hare, Mary Baker Eddy, L. Ron Hubbard, Arius, Pelagius, Marcion, Ghandi, etc., etc.
Think about it. All of you believe that it is possible for a CHRISTIAN (one who believes the true gospel) to SPEAK PEACE TO (consider a brother in Christ) the MOST BLATANT OF HERETICS (those who blatantly promote a false gospel). And not only that, but all of you also believe that it is possible for a CHRISTIAN (one who believes the true gospel) to CONFESS (verbally state his conviction) that WESLEYANISM (justification by works, among other things) is the TRUE GOSPEL (the good news of salvation that is put forth in the Bible).
How about a quote from another Pedersenite? This time it's Bob Foster:
"I do believe that it is possible for a regenerate person to confess a false gospel of universal atonement. But, a regenerate person cannot continue in a false confession when that false confession is exposed by the truth. The distinction that you make about sins that Christians can and cannot commit (if they are regenerate), is a false confession. At its root is a denial of the cross. my hope is that you would repent as your error (sinful) is exposed."
There you go, Winnen. John Pedersen, Neil Davis, and Bob Foster are your brothers in Satan.
You asked your correspondent to ask me who would I say are the top 10 greatest theologians who ever lived. The question itself betrays the mindset of the questioner.
First of all, what is a "theologian"? According to my dictionary, it is "a person well-versed in theology." According to that definition, there have been a ton of theologians since the world began. Every true preacher down through history has been a theologian.
Now I know what the you are thinking in asking this question, Winnen -- you're thinking of those "great theologians" whose writings have been preserved down through history. And you're thinking that if I can't think of ten of them who I consider to be regenerate, then I've just put myself outside of the true Christian church or something like that.
So let's consider this question in light of what you are obviously implying. Think about the true church down through history, especially since the closing of the canon. Up until very modern times, when anybody can publish anything, what did it take to be "well-known," especially published and distributed? It took two things: (1) You had to be popular, and/or (2) You had to have a lot of money. Think about those who preached the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ, uncompromisingly called all who confessed a false gospel and spoke peace to those who confessed a false gospel to be unregenerate, and did not fellowship with or endorse any of these people. Question 1: Were they popular? Question 2: Did they have a lot of money? We know that the answer to #1 was, in all cases, NO. They were the ones who were marginalized by the popular "church" of the time. They were called cultic, mean-spirited, judgmental, exclusivist, etc., etc. They were not part of the mainstream. They were outside the camp of self-righteous religion. Now just think of a theologian during this time -- a true preacher of the true gospel who was well-versed in theology. How would he become well-known if he were marginalized? How would he become well-known if he called the mainstream "church" a whore and a synagogue of Satan? How would anything he wrote be widely published and distributed? If he did write something and put it into print, would it get widely distributed? Of course not. The writings would die. How about reprinted over and over again like the works of the well-known writers? Of course not. Only the popular things got reprinted. Now for the answer to #2. It is possible that a true preacher had a lot of money -- certainly not through preaching but through money that was left to him, for example. Then he could use his own money (or the money of a wealthy Christian in his congregation) to publish and distribute. So I am not ruling out the possibility that a true Christian's works have been widely published. But this would have been a rarity. So my conclusion is that from the closing of the canon to the time when there was cheap printing and mass distribution, we don't know who the "great theologians" were. And how do we measure which theologian was "greater" than another? Each theologian was "great" to his own congregation and to any congregation near enough so he could travel to preach or so he could write them letters. So to think that we have to have a list of "great theologians" whose books are now still in print is ridiculous. In fact, if they have remained popular down through history, then it puts up a red flag for me.
The fact that you even asked the question shows that you are a respecter of persons. You wouldn't dare call the "church fathers" unregenerate, because, after all, they were the "great theologians" whose shoes you are unworthy to untie. You bow down to them. You serve them. It matters not if what they said was heterodox. You do not judge by God's standard alone, no matter how famous or how respected these people are by religionists. This tells a lot about you. It matters not whether the heretic is John Calvin or John Doe. If that person promotes damnable heresy, then that person is unregenerate.
Having said that, I actually *do* have a list of the greatest theologians that I know about. I do not have a "top ten" list, because this implies that #2 is greater than #5, #1 is greater than #4, etc. So here's a list of 31 of the greatest theologians that I know about, in alphabetical order:
Amos, Asaph, Daniel, David, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Haggai, Hosea, Isaiah, James, Jeremiah, Job, Joel, John, Jonah, Jude, Luke, Malachi, Mark, Matthew, Micah, Moses, Nahum, Nehemiah, Obadiah, Paul, Peter, Samuel, Zechariah, Zephaniah
Winnen, I dare you to come up with a "top ten" list greater than this one.
I would like to end this with something that your correspondent wrote to you:
"There was something you said to me recently, which is 'I know of no individual sin a Christian cannot commit.' This means, according to this statement, that a Christian CAN commit the following sins: believing a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner, believing that a Muslim is saved (knowing what this Muslim believes), believing that there is no God, believing that the book of Mormon is inspired, believing that Jesus Christ is not God, believing that regenerate people are ignorant of the gospel, etc. This comment alone is enough to convince me you are unregenerate."
Absolutely true. Winnen, repent of your vile blasphemy and believe the gospel.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
Did you know ...
that Winnen Russ believes that a true believer can doubt his salvation?
Did you know ...
that Winnen Russ didn't just translate Calvin's works into Chinese?
Here are some of the other books he translated into Chinese:
An Alarm to the Unconverted by Joseph Alleine (for quotes from this book, see "Pernicious Puritan Preparationism")
A Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson
A Brief Memoir of Thomas Watson by Charles H. Spurgeon
The Heidelberg Catechism by Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevaianus
Here is Winnen's Preface to Watson's "A Body of Divinity":
==In the 1550's Mary Queen of England, daughter of Henry VIII, martyred 300 of the leaders of the English reformation. The leaders who were not martyred fled to the continent, where they had the chance to study with Calvin and other leaders of the European Reformation. After Queen Mary died, these exiles returned to England and began the Puritan movement. For more than a century, Puritan pastors and theologians were persecuted by English Kings and Queens. However, by the grace of God, the fruit of their persecution has been a great blessing to the Church. This fruit includes early puritan America (1620-1670's), the Westminster Assembly (1643-1648) and, many of the best theologically sound devotional books that have ever been written.
In 1958, when the Banner of Truth Trust began to republish Puritan literature, the first book they published was Thomas Watson's "A Body of Divinity". The Banner of Truth Trust edition of Watson's "A Body of Divinity" has gone through many editions and reprints. It is the most popular, useful, and influential of their publications. The reasons for its popularity are obvious. Every page is full of precious spiritual truths, every paragraph brings us face to face with the God of the Bible. It is a rare work that applies the deep doctrinal truths of the reformed faith to the hearts of men. Charles Spurgeon calls it the most precious of all the Puritan writings. The Chinese Church should rejoice that this work is now available in Chinese. It is an excellent introduction to Puritan spirituality and Puritan literature. As to content, it is a series of sermons on the first 38 questions of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. It was first published in 1692, three years after the death of its author. January 8,1998==
Winnen also wrote the following in 1997:
==May God use his eminent servant Thomas Watson to help you to become a true Christian==
Proof that I'm not lying:
Here's a quote from Thomas Watson's Body of Divinity (on the subject of peace):
==Some of the godly may not have so full a degree of peace. (I.) Through the fury of temptation, though the devil cannot destroy us, he will disturb us. He disputes against our adoption; he would make us question the work of grace in our hearts, and so disturb the waters of our peace. He is like a subtle cheater, who, if he cannot make a man's title to his land void, yet will put him to many troublesome suits in law. If Satan cannot make us ungodly, he will make us unquiet. Violent winds make the sea rough and stormy; so the winds of temptation blowing, disturb peace of spirit, and put the soul into a commotion.
(2.) The godly may not enjoy peace, through mistake and misapprehension about sin. They find so much corruption, that they think sure, if there were grace, there would not be such strong working of corruption; whereas this should be so far from discouraging Christians, and hindering their peace, that it is an argument for them. Let me ask, Whence is it that you feel sin? No man can feel sin, but by grace. A wicked man is insensible. Lay a hundredweight upon a dead man, he does not complain; but being sensible of corruption, argues a gracious principle. Rom 7: 21. Again, Whence is it that there is a combat with sin, but from the life of grace? Gal 5: I7. Dead things cannot combat. Whence is it that the saints weep for sin? What are these tears but seeds of faith? The not understanding of this hinders a Christian's peace.
(3.) The godly may not enjoy peace, through remissness in duty: they may leave their first love. When Christians abate their fervency, God abates their peace. If you slacken the strings of a viol, the music is spoiled; so, if Christians slack in duty, they spoil the sweet music of peace in their souls. As the fire decays, the cold increases; so, as fervency in duty abates, our peace cools.
(4.) Walk closely with God. Peace flows from purity. 'As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them.' Gal 6: I6. In the text, grace and peace are put together; grace is the root, and peace is the flower. As balmwater drops in distillation, so divine peace comes out of a gracious heart. Walk very holily. God's Spirit is a refiner before a comforter.
Use two: You who have this peace, peace above, peace within, labour to keep it: it is a precious jewel, do not lose it. It is sad to have the league of national peace broken, but it is worse to have the peace of conscience broken. Oh, preserve this peace! First, take heed of relapses. Has God spoken peace? Do not turn again to folly. Psa 85: 8. Besides ingratitude, there is folly in relapses. It was long ere God was reconciled and the breach made up, and will you again eclipse and forfeit your peace? Has God healed the wound of conscience, and will you tear it open again? Will you break another vein? Will you cut a new artery? This is returning indeed to folly. What madness is it to meddle again with that sin, which will breed the worm of conscience! Secondly, make up your spiritual accounts daily; see how matters stand between God and your souls. 'I commune with my own heart.' Psa 77: 6. Often reckonings keep God and conscience friends. Do with your hearts as you do with your watches, wind them up every morning by prayer, and at night examine whether your hearts have gone true all that day, whether the wheels of your affections have moved swiftly towards heaven. Oh, call yourselves often to account! Keep your reckonings even, for that is the way to keep your peace.==
Here are some more quotes from Thomas Watson's Body of Divinity that was translated into Chinese by Winnen Russ:
==But, some may say, if God has a hand in ordering all things that fall out, he has a hand in the sins of men.
I answer, No, by no mans, he has no hand in any man's sin. God cannot go contrary to his own nature, he cannot do any unholy action, any more than the sun can be said to be darkened. Here you must take heed of two things; as you must take heed of making God ignorant of men's sins, so you must take heed of making God to have a hand in men's sins. Is it likely that God is the author of sin, and the avenger of it? Is it a likely thing that God should make a law against sin, and then have a hand in breaking his own law? God in his providence permits men's sins. 'He suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.' Acts xiv 16. God permitted their sin, which he never would, if he could not bring good out of it. Had not sin been permitted, God's justice in punishing sin, and his mercy in pardoning sin, had not been so well known. The Lord is pleased to permit it, but he has no hand in sin.
But is it not said that God hardened Pharaoh's heart? Here is more than barely permitting sin.
God does not infuse evil into men, he withdraws the influence of his graces, and then the heart hardens of itself; even as the light being withdrawn, darkness presently follows in the air; but it were absurd to say, that therefore the light darkens the air; and therefore you will observe, that Pharaoh is said to harden his own heart. Exod viii 15. God is the cause of no man's sin. It is true God has a hand in the action where sin is, but no hand in the sin of the action. A man may play upon a jarring instrument, but the jarring is from itself; so here, the actions of men, so far as they are natural, are from God; but so far as they are sinful, they are from men themselves, and God has no hand at all in them. So for the first position, that God's providence reaches to all places, to all persons, and to all occurrences.==
==How does the covenant of grace differ from the first covenant made with Adam?
(I.) The terms of the first covenant were more strict and severe. For, (1) The least failing would have made the covenant with Adam null and void, but many failings do not annul the covenant of grace. I grant, the least sin is a trespass upon the covenant, but it does not make it null and void. There may be many failings in the conjugal relation, but every failing does not break the marriage bond. It would be sad, if, as oft as we break covenant with God he should break covenant with us; but God will not take advantage of every failing, but in 'anger remember mercy.'
(2) The first covenant being broken, allowed the sinner no remedy, all doors of hope were shut; but the new covenant allows the sinner a remedy: it leaves room for repentance, and provides a mediator. 'Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.' Heb 12: 24.
(2.) The first covenant ran all upon 'working,' the second is upon 'believing.' Rom 4: 5.
But are not works required in the covenant of grace?
Yes. 'This is a faithful saying, that they which believe in God, be careful to maintain good works.' Tit 3: 8. But the covenant of grace does not require works in the same manner as the covenant of works did. In the first covenant, works were required as the condition of life; in the second, they are required only as the signs of life. In the first covenant, works were required as grounds of salvation; in the new covenant, they are required as evidences of our love to God. In the first, they were required to the justification of our persons; in the new, to the manifestation of our grace.
What is the condition of the covenant of grace?
The main condition is faith.
Why is faith more the condition of the new covenant than any other grace?
To exclude all glorying in the creature. Faith is a humble grace. If repentance or works were the condition of the covenant, a man would say, It is my righteousness that has saved me; but if it be of faith, where is boasting? Faith fetches all from Christ, and gives all the glory to Christ; it is a most humble grace. Hence it is that God has singled out this grace to be the condition of the covenant.
If faith be the condition of the covenant of grace, it excludes desperate presumptuous sinners from the covenant. They say there is a covenant of grace, and they shall be saved: but did you ever know a bond without a condition? The condition of the covenant is faith, and if thou hast no faith, thou hast no more to do with the covenant, than a foreigner or a country farmer with the city charter.==
==A Christian is continually adding a cubit to his spiritual stature. It is not with us as it was with Christ, who received the Spirit without measure; for Christ could not be more holy than he was. We have the Spirit only in measure, and may be still augmenting our grace; as Apelles, when he had drawn a picture, would be still mending it with his pencil. The image of God is drawn but imperfectly in us, therefore we must be still mending it, and drawing it in more lively colours.==
==Beloved, Christ came not to redeem all, for that would overthrow the decrees of God. Redemption is not as large as creation. I grant that there is a sufficiency of merit in Christ's blood to save all; but there is a difference between sufficiency and efficiency. Christ's blood is a sufficient price for all, but it is effectual only to them that believe. A plaster may have a sovereign virtue in it to heal any wound, but it does not heal unless applied to the wound. And if it be so, that all have not the benefit of Christ's redemption, but some only, then it is a necessary question to ask our own souls, Are we in the number of those that are redeemed by Christ or not? How shall we know that?
(I.) Such as are redeemed are reconciled to God. The enmity is taken away. Their judgments approve, their wills incline ad bonum. [Colossians 1:21] Are they redeemed that are unreconciled to God, who hate God and his people (as the vine and laurel have an antipathy), who do all they can to disparage holiness? Are they redeemed who are unreconciled? Christ has purchased a reprieve for these; but a sinner may have a reprieve, and yet go to hell. John V 6==
Proof that I'm not lying:
Now we know that the translator of a book knows what the author said. So does Winnen believe he was a Christian in 1998?
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