[The following e-mail got sent to me as part of a mass e-mailing (not from James White):]

<<Got this from a friend today.

IF I WERE THE DEVIL

I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;

I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings;

I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;

I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;

I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;

I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;

I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;

I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more that human beings;

I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a law suit;

I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;

I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda;

I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation.

I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;

I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art;

I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;

I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;

I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive;

I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;

I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are.>>


[This was my response:]

The person who wrote this (above) does not see the MAIN work of the Devil. The Devil works in FALSE RELIGION. It is his goal to keep people in false religious refuges of self-righteousness. The work of the Devil is to keep people believing that salvation is conditioned on the sinner in any way to any degree. The work of the Devil is to get people into churches where the false gospel is preached. The work of the Devil is to keep people believing that Jesus Christ died for all persons without exception, thus keeping them believing that the difference between heaven and hell is not the work of Christ alone but is the work of man.

The work of the Devil is to keep false religionists focused on fighting the immorality of the day, such as gambling, abortion, assisted suicide, homosexuality, taking God out of schools (as if He were ever in there to begin with), drugs, and pornography, thinking that fighting these things proves that one is a child of God -- whereas God says that everything that false religionists do (even their morality and sincerity) is an abomination in the sight of God.

What is more wicked:

(1) Two homosexuals in a gay bar singing homosexual songs

or

(2) A married Arminian couple (man and wife) who have always been faithful to each other sitting in an Arminian church singing hymns?

Lost religionists have no idea that BOTH of these are an abomination in the sight of God. They do not realize that ALL who are going about to establish a righteousness of their own (which includes ALL Arminians) are lost. They do not believe the gospel of salvation conditioned SOLELY on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ. They are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel (Romans 10:3). They are haters of God. They are just as filthy and wicked as those who are engaged in open, gross immorality.

Homosexuality, abortion, and pornography are most certainly wicked, but what did Jesus say about the moral self-righteous religionists in relation to the wicked immoral sodomites?

"BUT I SAY TO YOU, IT WILL BE MORE TOLERABLE FOR THE LAND OF SODOM IN JUDGMENT DAY THAN FOR YOU." (Matthew 11:24)

While all these self-righteous religionists who believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner are condemning sodomy, they do not realize that it will be more tolerable for the sodomites in the day of judgment than for them.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Marc D. Carpenter

http://www.outsidethecamp.org


[James White then wrote:]

I am reminded by this kind of rhetoric that even God's truth can be professed without love and without balance.

I feel for anyone who thinks themselves to have such a perfect understanding of all things that they can make the comparison made above. Most of the folks I know in Reformed churches once stood and sang hymns without a full knowledge of the doctrines of grace: to compare them to two homosexuals is simply sad.

God protect us all from imbalance.



James


[I then wrote:]

James White said:

<<I am reminded by this kind of rhetoric that even God's truth can be professed without love and without balance.>>

In the mind of most professing Calvinists who speak peace to Arminians, "love" and "balance" include speaking peace when there is no peace, saying that one who is ignorant of righteousness of God revealed in the gospel is a brother in Christ, and saying that those who believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner are saved. This shows that these professing Calvinists do not know what the true gospel is. What they call "love" and "balance" God calls Satanic. Those who defend or excuse God-haters show themselves to be God-haters. True love will tell the unregenerate that they are lost and their deeds are evil, in hopes that they will seek the remedy. To promote a lost religionist in his false refuge is actually HATRED and is promoting his eternal destruction. I am not saying this to be mean or unloving; I say this hoping that both Arminians and tolerant "Calvinists" will believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone and repent of dead works and idolatry, including repenting of speaking peace to those who worship a god who cannot save.

The gospel is the good news of salvation based on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. In the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed (Romans 1:17). Anyone who believes that any part of salvation is conditioned on the sinner (which includes all Arminians) is lost. Those who do not believe the gospel (which includes all Arminians) are lost (Mark 16:16). Those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel (which includes all Arminians) are lost (Romans 10:3). This is not saying that believing the true gospel is a prerequisite to salvation; it is saying that when God regenerates someone, He glorifies Himself by causing that person to believe the true gospel of salvation based on the blood and imputed righteousness of Christ. There are not many paths to God; there is only one.

And if anyone preaches another gospel, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9). If anyone does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, he does not have God (2 John 9). If anyone will speak peace to one who believes a false gospel, then he, too, is evil (2 John 11). God is glorified in the salvation of sinners when He manifests all His redemptive glory to their hearts. He will not have His saved ones spit in the face of His Son and dishonor His redemptive glory.

I encourage all of you to look at the following Web pages:

...

http://www.outsidethecamp.org/heresyarmin.htm

http://www.outsidethecamp.org/2John11.htm

http://www.outsidethecamp.org/rightjudg.htm

http://www.outsidethecamp.org/efl4.htm

...

I am also willing to correspond with any of you who would like to discuss this.

Soli Deo Gloria,



Marc


[James White then wrote:]

Greetings:

I generally do not participate in massive "cc" e-mails where dozens of people who have not requested the original e-mail, nor the replies, are involved. As I look through list of folks, however, I see many I know, many who are friends and acquaintances. (Indeed, I'm glad to get the e-mails of a number of you I didn't have before!). So I will make one response to this hyper-Calvinistic presentation simply because I believe it needs to be refuted. Hyper-Calvinism does those of us who are historic Calvinists no good: indeed, many who will not even talk to us about the sovereignty of God's grace do so because hyper-Calvinists have added *perfection of understanding* to the gospel as *the* standard of salvation itself and they assume that we, likewise, hold such a position.

=====James White said:

<<I am reminded by this kind of rhetoric that even God's truth can be professed without love and without balance.>>

In the mind of most professing Calvinists who speak peace to Arminians, "love" and "balance" include speaking peace when there is no peace, saying that one who is ignorant of righteousness of God revealed in the gospel is a brother in Christ, and saying that those who believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner are saved. This shows that these professing Calvinists do not know what the true gospel is. What they call "love" and "balance" God calls Satanic. Those who defend or excuse God-haters show themselves to be God-haters.=====

Let's consider well what is being said here. If you do not make perfection of understanding an addition to the gospel, you are "speaking peace" to an Arminian. I have no idea how recognizing the simple truth that one does not have to have perfection of understanding to have eternal life is to be confused with "speaking peace" to a belief that, from looking at the list, most everyone reading this exchange would admit is in significant error on many points. I do no speak peace to Arminianism. Anyone who knows me knows this. I would not have dedicated the past nine radio programs we produce through our ministry to a refutation of Norman Geisler's new anti-Reformed book _Chosen But Free_ if I was "speaking peace" to Arminianism. Recognizing that one can have traditions in their thinking that are not biblical and still be a Christian is not the same as "speaking peace" to falsehood. My goodness, do we not *all* have such traditions? If perfection is the standard *to be saved,* who of us actually is? Are hyper-Calvinists claiming to have no traditions, to have a perfection of understanding in all matters? I fear those who make such claims.

Most on this list I would assume came to understand the doctrines of grace through a process: a breaking, difficult process, one that has, for many of us, cost us dearly. But it was not that PROCESS that saved us. It seems that some would have us to believe that God births no children, but only mature adults, in the kindgom, in the sense that unless you have a full-orbed, perfect understanding of the relationship of all parts of the gospel to each other that you do not, in fact, know Christ. I am so thankful that is transparently false.

Seemingly we are likewise being told that the "Arminian" is ignorant of the righteousness of God and trusting in salvation "conditioned" upon themselves. I suppose a hard-core, convinced Arminian might well believe those things, and I for one would believe that such a faith is not likely genuine. But I've met very FEW such people. The vast majority of those I meet who have difficulty with the doctrines of grace do so out of ignorance, not malice or rebellion. And what do we do with them? The previous message likened a couple singing hymns in an "Arminian church" to two homosexuals in a bar. Such a concept makes no place for the simple truth of IGNORANCE. How many do you we all know who are simply untaught and unaware, blanketed by layers of evangelical tradition? Are we seriously to call such a person a God-hater? Because they were converted to Christ within an imperfect fellowship (gracious, who is converted to Christ within a perfect one?), are we to make our OWN understanding and practices an ADDITION to the gospel so that they remain in their sins, and are, in fact, God-haters?

What seems ironic is that our hyper-Calvinistic friends will say they believe it takes an act of grace to bring a person to an understanding of such issues as sovereignty, providence, election, and depravity: yet, they will tell God that He MUST give this grace *on their timetable* and none else. The idea that God can bring a person over time to come to understand fully what it means to truly believe "you have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you" has no place in the rigorous, and sadly unloving, world of the hyper-Calvinist.

=====True love will tell the unregenerate that they are lost and their deeds are evil, in hopes that they will seek the remedy.=====

Of course: but in the hyper-Calvinistic view that assumes that to be regenerated one must have memorized Pink's _Sovereignty of God_ or some other such standard. I was converted to Christ as a youth: a very young youth in fact. I wouldn't have understood the terms "reprobation" or "predestination," but I did understand sin, love, and Jesus' dying. It seems that possibly the hyper-Calvinist confuses the tremendous necessity that I hope we all feel to honor God by the proclamation of the *entirety* of God's truth (I preached on particular redemption just this morning in fact) and the constant effort to bring people to a full understanding of these vital issues with the fact that God can, to borrow from one of my fellow elders, draw a straight line with a crooked stick. God is not dependent upon the perfection of OUR understanding in bringing regeneration to the heart: and unless you are ready to say that the Apostles preached that the object of saving faith included all five points, in clarity, perfection, and completeness, right from the start, you have a problem. I do have to wonder why Titus had to teach and preach these truths (Titus 2:11-15) if, in fact, every Christian who had saving faith already knew them implicitly?

=====To promote a lost religionist in his false refuge is actually HATRED and is promoting his eternal destruction. I am not saying this to be mean or unloving; I say this hoping that both Arminians and tolerant "Calvinists" will believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone and repent of dead works and idolatry, including repenting of speaking peace to those who worship a god who cannot save.=====

And it is my hope that our hyper-Calvinist friends will come to realize that they need to let God bring His children to a full understanding of His truth in His time, not theirs. I can reject such rhetoric because I am consistent on this point: I do not compromise the Reformed faith in the face of opposition (anyone who has attended my live, public debates against Roman Catholics on Long Island, for example, knows what I mean): but I likewise do not insist that one of the divine gifts given in regeneration is perfection of theology. God has, in His wisdom, set certain standards: I do not believe that a faith that does not include repentance from sin and trust in Christ as Savior saves. I don't believe faith as propounded by Rome, for example, saves. But it is a simple matter of imbalance to then fly to the other side and demand *perfection* of faith as the standard. Indeed, I learned this week, while preparing for the ministry of the Word, more about the wonderful work of Christ in our behalf: does that mean I had an imperfect faith yesterday, and a perfect faith today? Did I "get saved" this week because my understanding is better now than it was before? I don't believe so.

I will close with this: in God's gracious providence I've had the opportunity of writing about the doctrines of grace in a couple of books that have, in His will, gotten into the hands of folks all across the world. Just yesterday a fellow called into our radio program from England to talk about some issues. One of the things he noted was that until he had encountered our website and my tapes, he had been a garden-variety Arminian. But, though he went through some sleepless nights, he now sees the truth of the doctrines of grace. Is someone asking me to believe that when he first encountered my writings this Englishman, though professing faith in Christ, was an enemy of God, a rebel in his sins, but, once he accepted what I had to say, he was regenerated? Regenerated men seek out such material and give it a hearing? You see, if one takes that position (and I can't see how our hyper-Calvinistic correspondent wouldn't fit in this category), one is forced to assert that in point of fact it was not the gospel message that converted this man, but a sudden growth in his understanding of the relationship of certain elements. Such is simply untenable.

Balance, my friends. It is a difficult thing to maintain. It takes grace, maturity, experience. May God be pleased to give us all spirits that are steadfast and balanced, always tempered by love and a recognition that there is not a single person reading this note who can honestly say that he or she has a perfect and complete understanding of all there is to know of God's grace and truth.

James


[I then wrote:]

Hello!

I have eliminated from this e-mail list those who have requested not to be involved in this discussion. If anyone else would like to be eliminated, please let me know.

...

James White said:

<<indeed, many who will not even talk to us about the sovereignty of God's grace do so because hyper-Calvinists have added *perfection of understanding* to the gospel as *the* standard of salvation itself>>

Christians may not understand many things, such as in the areas of eschatology or ecclesiology, and we all have a lot to learn in many areas. But one area that ALL Christians understand is THE GOSPEL. For to be ignorant of the gospel is to be lost (Mark 16:16; Romans 10:3). God gives His people understanding at the time he regenerates them.

...

James White said:

<<I do no speak peace to Arminianism. Anyone who knows me knows this. I would not have dedicated the past nine radio programs we produce through our ministry to a refutation of Norman Geisler's new anti-Reformed book _Chosen But Free_ if I was "speaking peace" to Arminianism.>>

By speaking peace to Arminians, you are speaking peace to ArminianISM. You consider the doctrines of grace to be a "higher form" of Christianity that only the "theologically enlightened" and "well-read" attain. This betrays spiritual pride.

James White said:

<<Recognizing that one can have traditions in their thinking that are not biblical and still be a Christian is not the same as "speaking peace" to falsehood. My goodness, do we not *all* have such traditions? If perfection is the standard *to be saved,* who of us actually is?>>

No one is saying that one needs to be perfect to be saved. This is a false accusation that the tolerant "Calvinists" like to hurl frequently. All Christians continually fall short of the glory of God in their character and conduct. But take a close look at what White is saying: Someone can have "traditions" in their thinking about THE GOSPEL! In other words, he is saying that a regenerate person can believe the tradition that Mary is co-redemptrix!! After all, this Mariolater just has some incorrect thinking about redemption!

James White said:

<<Most on this list I would assume came to understand the doctrines of grace through a process: a breaking, difficult process, one that has, for many of us, cost us dearly. But it was not that PROCESS that saved us. It seems that some would have us to believe that God births no children, but only mature adults, in the kindgom, in the sense that unless you have a full-orbed, perfect understanding of the relationship of all parts of the gospel to each other that you do not, in fact, know Christ. I am so thankful that is transparently false.>>

There IS a process of growing in grace and knowledge. But even a baby Christian believes THE GOSPEL -- thus, he KNOWS that none of salvation is conditioned on himself! And even though he might not be able to systematize or articulate the doctrines of grace, he DOES NOT believe the antithesis to any of these doctrines! He CANNOT believe in universal atonement, because he believes THE GOSPEL -- that the work of Christ is what demanded his salvation!!

James White said:

<<Seemingly we are likewise being told that the "Arminian" is ignorant of the righteousness of God and trusting in salvation "conditioned" upon themselves. I suppose a hard-core, convinced Arminian might well believe those things, and I for one would believe that such a faith is not likely genuine.>>

Okay. So what is your judgment of Norman Geisler? Of Billy Graham? Of Charles Finney? Of Dwight Moody?

James White said:

<<But I've met very FEW such people. The vast majority of those I meet who have difficulty with the doctrines of grace do so out of ignorance, not malice or rebellion. And what do we do with them? The previous message likened a couple singing hymns in an "Arminian church" to two homosexuals in a bar. Such a concept makes no place for the simple truth of IGNORANCE.>>

"For being IGNORANT of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:3).

James White said:

<<but in the hyper-Calvinistic view that assumes that to be regenerated one must have memorized Pink's _Sovereignty of God_ or some other such standard.>>

No. God causes His people to believe THE GOSPEL upon regeneration. THE GOSPEL is God's promise of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone.

James White said:

<<I was converted to Christ as a youth: a very young youth in fact. I wouldn't have understood the terms "reprobation" or "predestination," but I did understand sin, love, and Jesus' dying.>>

Many people think they believe sin, love, and Jesus' dying. Any devout Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, or Moonie would say that they understand sin, love, and Jesus' dying. They key is -- WHAT IS sin, love, and Jesus' dying? Are they some mystical, undefinable concepts? NO! It is DOCTRINE that distinguishes the true gospel from all false gospel and the true Christ from all false christs. When God causes a Christian to understand sin, He causes him to understand that he does not have a righteousness that answers the demands of God's law and justice and can do NOTHING to recommend himself to God. When God causes a Christian to understand love, He causes him to understand that God's love provided what His holiness and justice demanded. When God causes a Christian to understand Jesus' dying, he causes him to understand that Christ's atoning blood demands his salvation!

James White said:

<<God is not dependent upon the perfection of OUR understanding in bringing regeneration to the heart>>

This is a veiled accusation that I believe that God is dependent upon the perfection of our understanding in bringing regeneration to the heart. God is NOT dependent on ANYTHING in us. But when God saves someone, He CAUSES Himself to be glorified in their hearts by giving them an understanding of His gospel.

James White said:

<<And it is my hope that our hyper-Calvinist friends will come to realize that they need to let God bring His children to a full understanding of His truth in His time, not theirs.>>

So does one "grow" from believing in a false gospel to believing the true gospel? God saves people and then lets them believe the false gospel for awhile and then brings his children to believing the true gospel? That's not my God. That's not the God of the Bible.

James White said:

<<I will close with this: in God's gracious providence I've had the opportunity of writing about the doctrines of grace in a couple of books that have, in His will, gotten into the hands of folks all across the world. Just yesterday a fellow called into our radio program from England to talk about some issues. One of the things he noted was that until he had encountered our website and my tapes, he had been a garden-variety Arminian. But, though he went through some sleepless nights, he now sees the truth of the doctrines of grace. Is someone asking me to believe that when he first encountered my writings this Englishman, though professing faith in Christ, was an enemy of God, a rebel in his sins, but, once he accepted what I had to say, he was regenerated?>>

What about those who believe that they were unbelievers when they were Arminians and that when God saved them, they ceased being Arminians? What about those who say that they were unbelievers when they were "tolerant Calvinists" and that when God saved them, they ceased being "tolerant Calvinists?" Are their professions credible or not?

...

May God ALONE be glorified.

Marc D. Carpenter

http://www.outsidethecamp.org


[And the last thing James White wrote to me was this:]

At 01:20 PM 8/28/99 -0400, you wrote:

=====By speaking peace to Arminians, you are speaking peace to ArminianISM. You consider the doctrines of grace to be a "higher form" of Christianity that only the "theologically enlightened" and "well-read" attain. This betrays spiritual pride.=====

Hogwash, and you know it. When you desire honesty, let me know.

James


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