You know, the more I think of this phrase, "He is speaking as an unbeliever would speak," used by John Pedersen and the Pedersenites, the more I realize what insidious evil it is.
It is a way to speak peace to Arminians while also saying that Arminianism is a false gospel and Arminians are lost! It is a subtle re-phrasing of words so that Arminians are not really Arminians any more!
Let me give you an example: When someone explicitly verbally confesses the doctrines of partial depravity, conditional election, universal atonement, resistible grace, and conditional perseverance, a true believer will easily see that this person believes the false gospel and would judge that person lost. And if that true believer knows what Arminianism is, he will easily say, "That person is an Arminian."
Not so for those who speak the subtle lie. Instead of saying that that person is an Arminian and is lost, he says that that person is "speaking as an unbeliever would speak" and needs to repent of confessing this false gospel, and if he does repent, then it shows that he was a regenerate person before his repentance.
This is speaking peace at its most subtle. It is re-naming Arminians as "those who speak as unbelievers would speak," thus allowing one to speak peace to them. Once one re-names these Arminians and no longer calls them Arminians, then when he speaks peace to them, he can say, "I have never spoken peace to Arminians." And when these Arminians repent of confessing the Arminian gospel but still believe that they were saved when they confessed an Arminian gospel, the subtle peace-speakers affirm them in their wickedness by saying that they proved they were regenerate because they repented. What evil.
So we see these peace-speakers approaching Arminians and not telling them that they are lost and their deeds are evil and that they need to repent and believe the gospel; instead, these peace-speakers say that these blasphemers are just "speaking as Arminians would speak."
How convenient! Just re-name those who confess a false gospel, and voila! no more danger of speaking peace when there is no peace. Thus, when you are approached by one who confesses that Mary is co-redemptrix and co-mediatrix, you can re-name this person, and instead of calling him a Roman Catholic, you can call him "one who speaks as a Roman Catholic would speak." Then, if you speak peace to him, you can say, "No, I've never spoken peace to a Roman Catholic. That person was not a Roman Catholic; he was just one who spoke as a Roman Catholic would speak."
Then the basis of judgment gets twisted. Instead of judging an Arminian to be an Arminian because of the doctrine that the Arminian confesses, these subtle peace-speakers would only judge an Arminian to be an Arminian if they confront this Arminian and the Arminian does not repent. But what is keeping these subtle peace-speakers from continuing to withhold judgment of this Arminian under the name of "giving them some time to think about it and then repent"? What period of time would they give? A day? A week? Thirty years? A lifetime? You can see where this leads -- it leads to NEVER judging ANYONE to be lost based on that person's confession. Consider this limerick:
There once was a man named Verbeek
Who spoke as a Hindu would speak.
When he was confronted,
He just up and grunted
And didn't repent for a week.
Now, when Verbeek (not intended to represent any person I know) confessed belief in the Hindu "gospel," any true Christian would judge him to be lost (and if the Christian knew about Hinduism, he would easily say that Verbeek was a Hindu). But these subtle peace-speakers say that Verbeek merely "spoke as a Hindu would speak," thus not judging him lost until he was confronted. (And yet they could still say that they have never spoken peace to a Hindu, because they re-named this Hindu as "one who speaks as a Hindu would speak.") But look here -- Verbeek didn't repent immediately; he repented after a week. So how would these subtle peace-speakers deal with this? Think about it.
Now I'd like to give the readers a hierarchy of subtlety for those who profess to be Calvinists. The list is in the order of least to most subtle:
1. All true Arminians must be regenerate.
2. Arminianism is a less consistent form of the true gospel, and some Arminians are saved.
3. Arminianism is a false gospel, but there are some Arminians who are saved.
4. Arminianism is a false gospel, and there are no Arminians who are saved, but regenerate persons can sin the sin of confessing belief in the false gospel of Arminianism. These regenerate persons are not really Arminians; they are merely "speaking as Arminians would speak."
As you can see, #4 is the subtlest of the subtlest form of THE LIE.
May those who have been given ears to hear and eyes to see be startled at the insidiousness of this peace-speaking and beware of such false doctrine and those who promote it.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter
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