The following is my correspondence with Ben Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church and www.godhatesfags.com. My words are in black, and Phelps's are in red.

Marc


Do you also believe that God hates Arminians -- those who believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner (e.g., all who believe that Christ died for all without exception)?

Do you believe that it will be more tolerable in the day of judgment for the sodomites than for the self-righteous religionists such as Arminians?

It is true that all homosexuals are lost. It is also true that all Arminians are lost.

It is also true that ANY sexual attraction -- whether homosexual or heterosexual -- outside of marriage is an abomination to God. Do you believe that? Do you believe that it is wicked for heterosexuals to date each other outside of marriage?

Also, would you consider picketing an Arminian church and telling them that if they do not repent they are going to hell?


Yes, God hates Arminians. They're the worst kind of perverts, claiming to be Christian while contradicting the words of Christ. Yes, all sexual lust and activity outside of marriage is abomination. And not only would I picket an Arminian church, but I have picketed Arminian churches.


I was expecting to hear from you that there are at least some saved Arminians. But no! So now I have another question for you -- what is your judgment of people who claim to believe the doctrines of grace but who "speak peace" to Arminians -- who say that Arminians are their brothers in Christ? And what of those in the past who claimed to believe the doctrines of grace but who spoke peace to Arminians, such as Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, and A.A. Hodge?

I would also like to comment on something you said in your reply. You said that Arminians are the worst kind of perverts. If that is so, then why are you focusing on homosexuality? Should we not follow in the footsteps of Christ, who ate with the harlots and publicans and reserved his harshest words for the self-righteous religionists of his day?

And if you convince a lost homosexual to become a lost non-homosexual, what difference does it make? What is the *real* issue? It is the fact that homosexuals and Arminians and all unsaved people are void of a righteousness that answers the demands of God's law and justice. The call of the gospel is not to tell homosexuals to turn to heterosexuality but to tell homosexuals to repent of dead works and idolatry and believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone! When I heard an interview with your daughter on Vermont Public Radio, I heard nothing of the gospel. I just heard how depraved homosexuals are. (And I would also say that it should be you, as a man, who should be interviewed and who should be the spokesman, not a woman).

Our web site is at http://www.outsidethecamp.org . I'd like to get your feedback on it. And I'd like to know if you agree with the six statements that I put forth in http://www.outsidethecamp.org/fte33.htm.


I don't know exactly what you mean by "speaking peace" to Arminians. If you're asking if I think that I should say that Arminians are my brothers in Christ and are also saved, then I absolutely will not "speak peace" to an Arminian, and no true Christian should (2 John 10,11). I believe that anyone who still holds those doctrines after hearing the doctrines of grace is NOT saved, because they don't believe the entire counsel of God, and His testimony of Jesus Christ.

We have every duty to preach against both homosexuals AND Arminians. In fact, the two often go hand-in-hand. When a church has apostatized to accept Arminianist heresy, it's only a matter of time before they accept fags. Jesus dealt with PENITENT sinners (publicans, whores, etc.) in a different manner than He did with IMPENITENT sinners. And so do I - a fag who is penitent is dealt with in a different manner by me than an impenitent fag.

As you know, the ENTIRE Bible is the Gospel - not just the part about repenting and believing in Jesus. We, of course, preach the entire thing.

Just because in one particular instance you heard a radio interview and didn't hear the words "homosexuals need to repent" doesn't mean that we don't preach the Gospel. I'm sure you could go dissect all of Paul's writings and Jesus's sermons and say "well, in this particular part, they didn't say anything about believing in Jesus and repenting, so they weren't preaching the Gospel." If you've read our web page, you should know better than to say that we don't preach that people need to repent.

Furthermore, there isn't any Biblical justification to saying that a woman shouldn't be allowed to speak. Of course, in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, they are to remain silent, and are not supposed to be preachers (I suffer not a woman to teach, etc.) However, we are given examples of women in the NT who witnessed outside of the church (Acts 2:17, Acts 21:9).

Christian women have just as much duty to witness about the Gospel as Christian men.


You said:

> I don't know exactly what you mean by "speaking peace" to Arminians.

> If you're asking if I think that I should say that Arminians are my

> brothers in Christ and are also saved, then I absolutely will not

> "speak peace" to an Arminian, and no true Christian should (2 John

> 10,11).

Yes, that's exactly what I mean by "speaking peace" to Arminians. "Speaking peace" comes from Jeremiah 6:14 and 8:11 and Ezekiel 13:10. It is the same lie that Satan told Adam and Eve in the garden: "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:4).

You mentioned 2 John 10-11; notice that in verse 11, it says he that speaks peace to one who brings a false gospel is a partaker of his evil deeds. Not only is the one who brings the false gospel unregenerate, but the one who speaks peace to the one who brings the false gospel is unregenerate! See http://www.outsidethecamp.org/2John11.htm.

Thus, when Spurgeon, who knew what Arminianism was, still spoke peace to Arminians, he was a partaker of the evil deeds of the Arminians. He was unregenerate. Do you agree?

> I believe that

> anyone who still holds those doctrines after hearing the doctrines of

> grace is NOT saved, because they don't believe the entire counsel of

> God, and His testimony of Jesus Christ.

But what of those who hold to these doctrines BEFORE hearing the doctrines of grace? What about one who believes that Christ died for everyone without exception, having never heard of particular redemption? Is this person unregenerate? Remember -- someone who holds to universal redemption DOES NOT believe that Christ's blood and righteousness make the ONLY difference between heaven and hell. He believes that his salvation is conditioned on himself in some way to some degree. Thus, even BEFORE he hears the doctrines of grace, he does not believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ ALONE.

> We have every duty to preach against both homosexuals AND Arminians.

Correct. But homosexuality is something that even unregenerate people recognize as evil. What people do not realize by nature is that any attempt to be accepted by God through human effort is wicked and evil. Homosexuals are easy targets, and you'll get a lot of unregenerate people to agree with you and support you in your cause if you just focus on homosexuality. But when the offense of the cross is preached, then even most of those who think homosexuals are unregenerate will be enemies.

> In

> fact, the two often go hand-in-hand. When a church has apostatized to

> accept Arminianist heresy, it's only a matter of time before they

> accept fags.

Not necessarily. What about the ultra-conservative fundamentalists? They would say "amen" to everything on your Web site. Yet they are self-righteous religionists, going about to establish a righteousness of their own. And they will fight homosexuality to the death. They hate all the perverts -- the child molesters and the homosexuals and the whores -- yet they think that NOT being a pervert somehow recommends them to God. They think that NOT being a pervert is an indication that they are saved. Yet it will be more tolerable for the sodomites in the day of judgment than for them.

> Jesus dealt with PENITENT sinners (publicans, whores, etc.) in a

> different manner than He did with IMPENITENT sinners. And so do I - a

> fag who is penitent is dealt with in a different manner by me than an

> impenitent fag.

So are you saying that Jesus waited for a sinner to become penitent before He ate with them?

> As you know, the ENTIRE Bible is the Gospel - not just the part about

> repenting and believing in Jesus.

No, the Gospel is NOT the entire Bible. The Gospel is a SPECIFIC message that is found throughout the Bible. It is the specific message of salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone. It alone is the GOOD NEWS.


I don't know the specifics about what Spurgeon said, but if he was speaking peace to them, then he was at fault. I know that he certainly didn't espouse those Arminian doctrines, but you'll have to give me more info on what exactly he said/did.

I think that people who are young in the faith will certainly not have a full understanding of the doctrines of grace, and as they grow spiritually, they will understand more and more. So I'm not going to say that you have to have a perfect knowledge of the doctrines of grace to be saved in the first place. If a person is truly called after hearing "Jesus Christ came to the earth to save sinners; you're a sinner, and you need to therefore repent and believe," that person would be saved. Later on when he hears "Jesus didn't die for everyone; He only died for those who believe, and the only reason you ever believed in the first place was because He called you," he will love it because it is part of the Gospel message. And that is the thing that distinguishes the true believer from the fraud - when the believer hears more of the Gospel, he loves it; the fraud rejects it.

The only thing I'll say about Arminians loving my web site is this: all you have to do is read emails for a day or two and you'll change your tune. :) Our message is "God hates fags." The part of that message that is most despised is not the part about fags - it is the part about God hating. In other words, Arminians hate my web page because I preach against their lies.

The ultra-conservatives are becoming less and less conservative as time goes on.

Of course Jesus didn't wait for them to repent - He already knew who was penitent. As you know, we don't have the luxury of knowing everyone's hearts. However, we can use our brains and go by what we see. When you see a hard-core, impenitent pervert who won't listen to the Gospel, you will deal with that person differently than one who seems to be receptive and interested in repenting.

I don't think you're right about the "Gospel." The entire Word of God is the Good News. The entire Word points to salvation by Jesus Christ in one way or another, and is all therefore important and part of the Good News.


You said:

> I don't know the specifics about what Spurgeon said, but if he was

> speaking peace to them, then he was at fault. I know that he

> certainly didn't espouse those Arminian doctrines, but you'll have to

> give me more info on what exactly he said/did.

Here are some quotes from Spurgeon:

"The controversy which has been carried on between the Calvinist and the Arminian is extremely important, but it does not involve the vital point of personal godliness as to make eternal life depend on our holding either system of theology. ... But, I think we are all free to admit, that while John Wesley, for instance, in modern times zealously defended Arminianism, and on the other hand, George Whitefield with equal fervor fought for Calvinism, we should not be prepared either of us, on either side of the question, to deny the vital godliness of either the one or the other. ... We are willing to admit, in fact, we dare not do otherwise, that opinion upon this controversy does not determine the future or even the present state of any man; but still, we think it to be so important, that in maintaining our views, we advance with all courage and fervency of spirit, believing that we are doing God's work and upholding most important truth." ["Exposition of the Doctrines of Grace" in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 7]

"A man may be evidently of God's chosen family, and yet though elected, may not believe in the doctrine of election. I hold that there are many savingly called, who do not believe in effectual calling, and that there are a great many who persevere to the end, who do not believe in the doctrine of perseverance. We hope that the hearts of many are a great deal better than their heads. We do not set their fallacies down to any wilful opposition to the truth as it is in Jesus, but simply to an error in their judgments, which we pray God to correct. We hope that if they think us mistaken too, they will reciprocate the same Christian courtesy; and when we meet around the cross, we hope that we shall ever feel that we are one in Christ Jesus." [quoted (in a positive light) in Iain H. Murray's Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle For Gospel Preaching]

"Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. ... I recollect an Arminian brother telling me that he had read the Scriptures through a score or more times, and he could never find the doctrine of election in them. ... There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer - I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin, I reply, I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it. But far be it from me to imagine that Zion contains none but Calvinistic Christians within her walls, or that there are none saved who do not hold our views. Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one 'of whom the world was not worthy.' I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see the truths, or at least, cannot see them in the way in which we put them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Saviour, and are as dear to the heart of the God of grace as the soundest Calvinists in our out of heaven." [From "A Defense of Calvinism" (ironically enough)]

"We believe in the five great points commonly known as Calvinistic; but we do not regard those five points as being barbed shafts which we are to thrust between the ribs of our fellow-Christians." [From his Autobiography, Vol. 2]

"It has given us much pleasure to assist our brethren Messrs. Moody and Sankey at Camberwell Hall, and we would have done far more, only our own enterprises demand our constant attention: our heart is very warm towards them for their work's sake." [From Sword and Trowel, July 1875]

"It has been the Editor's great joy to take part on two occasions in Mr. Moody's work in Croydon. ... We are more and more impressed with a sense of the remarkable power which rests upon the beloved Moody. His words are plain and fresh from his heart, and a special influence from on high goes therewith both to saint and sinner. It is a happy thing for London that such a shower of blessing is falling upon it." [From Sword and Trowel, June 1884]

"I want you now to hear me a moment while I say that the brother who is now about to speak, Mr. Moody, is one whom we all love. He is not only one whom we all love, but he is evidently one whom God loves. We feel devoutly grateful to Almighty God for raising him up, and for sending him to England to preach the gospel to such great numbers with such plainness and power. We shall continue to pray for him when he has gone home. Among the things we shall pray for will be that he may come back again." [From "Mr. Spurgeon's Jubilee"]

Now, from these statements, would you conclude that Spurgeon was an unregenerate man?

> I think that people who are young in the faith will certainly not have

> a full understanding of the doctrines of grace, and as they grow

> spiritually, they will understand more and more. So I'm not going to

> say that you have to have a perfect knowledge of the doctrines of

> grace to be saved in the first place.

I am not saying that every Christian is able to systematize and articulate the doctrines of grace. But, since they believe that their salvation was conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, they will NOT believe the antithesis to any of these doctrines. For example, a true Christian will NEVER believe that Christ died for everyone without exception. Do you agree?

There are certainly some things we grow in. But one thing we do NOT grow in is our belief of the ground of our salvation. When God regenerates someone, He gives them the knowledge that the ground of salvation is the work of Christ ALONE. Do you agree?

> If a person is truly called after hearing "Jesus Christ came to the

> earth to save sinners; you're a sinner, and you need to therefore

> repent and believe," that person would be saved.

But what does this saved person believe? What does he believe about the person and work of Christ? Does he believe that the work of Jesus Christ demanded and ensured his salvation?

> Later on when he hears

> "Jesus didn't die for everyone; He only died for those who believe,

> and the only reason you ever believed in the first place was because

> He called you,"

> he will love it because it is part of the Gospel message.

Yes. But before he hears this, does the Christian sometimes believe that Jesus died for those in hell?

> And that is the

> thing that distinguishes the true believer from the fraud - when the

> believer hears more of the Gospel, he loves it; the fraud rejects it.

But the Bible makes it clear that ALL believers believe the gospel IMMEDIATELY when they are regenerated.

> I don't think you're right about the "Gospel." The entire Word of God

> is the Good News. The entire Word points to salvation by Jesus Christ

> in one way or another, and is all therefore important and part of the Good News.

I do agree that the entire Word points to salvation by Jesus Christ! Salvation by Jesus Christ is the gospel. So the entire Bible points to the gospel, but the entire Bible is not the gospel. Do you see the distinction? Maybe I can make myself clearer. In Mark 16:16, Jesus said, "he that believeth not shall be damned." Believeth not what? Verse 15 shows that he is talking about the gospel. So Jesus says that he who does not believe the gospel is damned. If we take your view that the entire Word of God is the gospel, then let's take a piece of it:

"And Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters: and the names of the daughters of Zelphehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah" (Numbers 26:3).

So, in your view, if someone does not believe the good news (the gospel) that Zelophehad had no sons and five daughters, then, according to Mark 16:16, they are lost. Anyone who has never heard of Zelophehad is lost, because they do not believe the gospel (which is the entire Bible). So, in order for anyone to be saved, they must know and believe the entire Bible.

If you respond by saying, "A true Christian will believe that Zelophehad had no sons and five daughters when he is presented with this truth," I agree; however, the Bible says that ALL who do not believe THE GOSPEL are LOST. It does NOT say that only those who REJECT the gospel once they are presented with it are lost. Can you see this? When it comes to the gospel, there is no excuse for ignorance! All who have never heard the gospel, have never been confronted with the gospel, have never even thought about the gospel are LOST, even before anyone tells them any truth about the gospel!

Here's something that should resonate with you: Suppose someone is a homosexual who has never heard of the Bible and has never been told that homosexuality is wrong. Is that person lost? Of course he is! We wouldn't say, "Well, Christians may be homosexuals out of ignorance, but when they're confronted with the sin of homosexuality, they'll certainly repent of it," would we? The same goes for people who believe in universal atonement. We CANNOT say, "Well, Christians may believe universal atonement out of ignorance, but when they're confronted with this sin, they'll certainly repent of it." Do you agree?


I don't have much time to answer, but here's my answer:

Looks like Spurgeon wimped out. I'd like to think that he made a mistake and was sinning when he said those things (you know that both you and I, at certain times in our lives, will backslide against our Savior), but I would say that if he died having beliefs like that, then he was not saved.

A person can BELIEVE the Gospel without KNOWING (i.e., UNDERSTANDING) the entire Gospel. There are still parts of the Gospel that I don't know, and there will be until the day I die, and there will continue to be for all eternity as I continuously learn more about the glory of God. Anyone who claims to know and understand the entire thing is a liar. There are many parts that are hard to understand, and as you grow in faith, God may be merciful and shed light on parts of it.

Furthermore, nobody ever said that you have to be able to know and recite all of the different names in the Bible (e.g., in Numbers 26:33), and I could make the same argument you're making with the vast majority of the New Testament. The entire Bible is the Good News of God, and God chose every word in the Bible as such. There is a reason for each and every verse, and we believe that each and every verse is true. You may not see how Numbers

26:33 applies to the Gospel message of Jesus, but it shows the eternal providence, promises and sovereignty of God.


> Looks like Spurgeon wimped out. I'd like to think that he made a

> mistake and was sinning when he said those things (you know that both

> you and I, at certain times in our lives, will backslide against our

> Savior),

But will a regenerate person backslide into believing a false gospel? Will a regenerate person backslide into speaking peace to those who confess a false gospel? The Bible makes it very clear that there are some things that a regenerate person CANNOT do. Examples:

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of saying there is no God (Psalm 14:1).

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of praying to a god that cannot save (Isaiah 45:20).

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of bringing forth corrupt fruit (Matthew 7:18).

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of denying Christ before men (Matthew 10:33).

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of following a stranger (John 10:5).

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of being ignorant of God's righteousness (Romans 10:3).

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of being unsubmitted to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3).

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of preaching a false gospel (Galatians 1:8-9).

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of saying they have no sin (1 John

1:8)

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of saying they have not sinned (1 John

1:10)

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of denying that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:22)

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of denying the Son (1 John 2:23)

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of abiding not in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9)

Regenerate persons cannot sin the sin of speaking peace to one who brings a false gospel (2 John 11).

> but I would

> say that if he died having beliefs like that, then he was not saved.

So are you saying that if he said this while he was alive, he could have merely been a backsliding Christian, while if he died having these beliefs, he was unregenerate? What makes the difference between the two?

> A person can BELIEVE the Gospel without KNOWING (i.e., UNDERSTANDING)

> the entire Gospel.

Well, if he doesn't know the entire Gospel, then he obviously doesn't believe the entire Gospel. The best you can say is that he believes part of the gospel. Yet the Bible clearly teaches that only those who believe THE Gospel are saved. It doesn't say that those who believe at least some of the gospel are saved; it says that those who believe THE Gospel are saved. Thus, THE Gospel must be something that EVERY true believer has heard, has understood, and has believed.

There is some ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE that every true believer believes.

"And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (Jn. 17:3). What KNOWLEDGE is involved in KNOWING God and Christ, which is eternal life?

"And ye shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). What is the TRUTH that God's people KNOW that sets them free?

"... they have no KNOWLEDGE that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray to a god that cannot save" (Is. 45:20b). What is this KNOWLEDGE that these idolaters are missing?

"For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to KNOWLEDGE" (Rm. 10:2). What is this KNOWLEDGE that these lost religionists are missing?

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 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. ... 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" (2 Cor. 4:3-6). What is this LIGHT that the lost people BLINDED to? What is the light of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ that has shined in believer's hearts?

"But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of DOCTRINE which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18). What is that DOCTRINE that believers believed when they were made free from sin?

> Furthermore, nobody ever said that you have to be able to know and

> recite all of the different names in the Bible (e.g., in Numbers

> 26:33),

But if the entire Bible IS the gospel, then those who do not believe Numbers 26:33 are LOST!

> The entire Bible is the Good News of God, and God chose every word in

> the Bible as such. There is a reason for each and every verse, and we

> believe that each and every verse is true.

Yes -- each and every verse is true, and God chose every single word in the Bible, and every single word points to the Gospel. But every single word is NOT the Gospel! There are some parts of the Bible that are actually BAD news (the curse of the law) that POINT to the GOOD NEWS of salvation conditioned on Christ alone!

> You may not see how Numbers

> 26:33 applies to the Gospel message of Jesus, but it shows the eternal

> providence, promises and sovereignty of God.

I *do* see how Numbers 26:33 applies to the Gospel message of Jesus! But Numbers 26:33 is not the ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE that every true believer believes!


A regenerate person can backslide and do ANY of those things that you listed. For example, Peter denied Christ - now are you going to tell me that Peter was unregenerate? Below you say that a regenerate person CAN'T deny Christ - but Peter did. Don't be silly and expect that just because someone is saved that they won't fall back and say and/or do things that are sinful, and don't pretend that you haven't done any of those things yourself.

Your statement that you have to KNOW every word of the Gospel before you can believe and be saved is utter silliness. For example, John 2:23 - people believed after they saw the miracles of Christ. Do you think that they therefore knew the entire Gospel? Are you saying that they didn't really believe because they hadn't heard the entire thing yet? Of course not - they believed because they saw the power of God, and they believed that Jesus came to save them. You make it sound as if you have to have a full head knowledge of the entire Gospel before you can believe - but the Holy Spirit doesn't have to wait for you to hear the entire thing before He enters your heart and causes you to believe. The only thing required of you is that you believe, truly, that Jesus Christ died for your sins. You can truly believe that, and yet be ignorant of parts of the Gospel message. As I've said before, the difference between the TRUE believers and the frauds is that when the true believers hear more of the Gospel, they don't rebel against it; the frauds do, and they fall away to the destruction for which they were appointed.

So, if you're waiting for me to say that you have to know every Word of the Gospel before you can believe in Christ, then you'll be waiting a long time - I've seen too many examples (both in the Bible and in real life) that show me differently.


> A regenerate person can backslide and do ANY of those things that you

> listed.

Oh, really? (And remember, it is SCRIPTURE that is saying this, not me)

So a regenerate person can backslide into saying there is no God (atheism), praying to a god that cannot save (idolatry), going about to establish a righteousness of their own, preaching a false gospel, saying they do not sin (perfectionism), denying that Jesus is God? Wow. I guess when you run across an atheist or a Muslim or a Buddhist, you can't judge him lost, because he might just be a backsliding Christian!

And "God hates fags," huh? Yet, according to you, Christians can backslide into being "fags."

Very interesting. You say that God hates Arminians, yet you say that Christians can backslide into being Arminians.

Wow.

> For example, Peter denied Christ - now are you going to tell me that

> Peter was unregenerate? Below you say that a regenerate person CAN'T

> deny Christ - but Peter did.

*I* didn't say that a regenerate person can't deny Christ -- THE BIBLE says that! Now, the question is, did Peter deny Christ in the way Matthew 10:33 speaks?

> Don't be silly and expect that just because someone is saved that they

> won't fall back and say and/or do things that are sinful,

I most certainly do things that are sinful. I constantly fall short of the righteousness of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ, and I continually cry, "O wretched man that I am!"

> and don't pretend that you haven't done any of those things yourself.

I have not, as a Christian, done anything mentioned below, because the BIBLE says that no Christian does these things! Did you read these verses?!

> Your statement that you have to KNOW every word of the Gospel before

> you can believe and be saved is utter silliness.

Mark 16:16 says that those who do not believe the gospel are lost. What is this gospel that is mentioned in Mark 16:16?

Romans 10:3 says that those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God are lost. What is this righteousness of God that is mentioned in Romans 10:3?

> You make it sound as if you have to have a full head knowledge of the

> entire Gospel before you can believe - but the Holy Spirit doesn't

> have to wait for you to hear the entire thing before He enters your

> heart and causes you to believe.

There are NO prerequisites to belief. I am *NOT* saying that one has to know *anything* before they can believe. When God regenerates someone, he *causes* that person to believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone.

Or do you not believe that all regenerate persons believe in Christ's atoning work and the imputation of righteousness as the ground of salvation?

> The only thing

> required of you

> is that you believe, truly, that Jesus Christ died for your sins.

But WHO is Jesus Christ? And WHAT did Christ's death do? Is this not essential knowledge?

If someone truly believes that Christ died for his sins, does this necessarily mean that he believes that Christ's death ensured his salvation?

> You can

> truly believe that, and yet be ignorant of parts of the Gospel

> message.

Yet in Romans 10:3, Paul says that those who are ignorant in one specific area are lost. What is that specific area?


I'm not going to go through the verses you gave one at a time, but suffice it to say that the Scripture NEVER says that a Christian CAN'T backslide into those sins. Let me give you the example of David. You say it's impossible for a Christian to bring forth evil fruit. David murdered a man to steal his wife - that is evil fruit. David temporarily backslid, and David repented. He was saved before, and he was still saved after. And, as you know, there are numerous examples given in Scripture of similar backslidings. The verses you're referring to don't mean that a Christian will NEVER commit those sins; they simply refer to the fact that a true Christian will not ULTIMATELY be given over to those sins. In other words, the Holy Ghost will save you from those sins before you are turned completely back over to them. It's too simplistic to say that a Christian will NEVER do those things because they do, in a temporary backsliding state. As another example, why would John bother to warn the little children from turning to idols if it is not a very real possibility that they COULD (temporarily) turn to idols? If it's IMPOSSIBLE for the children of God to EVER backslide and temporarily turn to idols, then John was wasting his time warning them.

There is a BIG difference between a person who lives his entire life as a hard-core fag, or a hard-core Arminian, and a person who repents and temporarily slips up and returns to his old sins. The difference is that the former group NEVER repents; the latter does.

I believe I've already answered your later questions, but let me answer again: the Holy Ghost will call you when He is good and ready to call you.

You don't have to know the entire Gospel, or have a full understanding of the Gospel, before the Holy Ghost can call you. If you're going to stand before me and tell me that you had a perfect understanding of the Gospel the second that you were saved, then so be it. If you did, you had more understanding than the disciples of Christ. Matthew 15:16. Luke 24:45 clearly teaches that Christ opened their eyes to the full understanding of the Gospel AFTER they were saved - unless, of course, you're going to tell me that they really didn't believe in Christ until that point.

Am I making sense? The Holy Ghost gives you more and more understanding and knowledge as you grow in the faith. At first, a person can believe in Christ by simply believing that he is a horrible sinner, and that Christ is the only One who can save him from eternal damnation. I'm not going to stand before such a person and say "you're not really saved because you haven't heard about limited atonement yet" because I know that if that person is truly saved, he will believe in limited atonement. God works in a mysterious way that we, as humans can't understand, and it's not our place to tell someone that it's impossible for them to be truly regenerated because they don't know as much of the Gospel as we do.


> I'm not going to go through the verses you gave one at a time, but

> suffice it to say that the Scripture NEVER says that a Christian CAN'T

> backslide into those sins. Let me give you the example of David. You

> say it's impossible for a Christian to bring forth evil fruit. David

> murdered a man to steal his wife - that is evil fruit.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:18 says that a good tree CANNOT bring forth bad fruit. And He says this in the context of judging false prophets. Jesus said that by their fruit, we WILL KNOW them. Jesus did not say that by their fruit we might be able to know them. Thus, when a Christian sees a preacher preaching universal atonement, he KNOWS that that preacher is lost, EVEN BEFORE talking with that preacher. In your scheme of things, if you see a preacher preaching universal atonement, you DO NOT know that that preacher is lost, because that preacher MIGHT be a true Christian who has backslid into preaching universal atonement.

Since Jesus said that a good tree CANNOT bring forth bad fruit, then obviously David's sin is NOT the fruit of which Jesus is speaking. There must be some SPECIFIC FRUIT of which Jesus is speaking. And if you read the whole passage and the parallel passage in Luke, you will see that this fruit is the DOCTRINE OF THE GOSPEL.

> The verses you're referring to don't mean that a Christian will NEVER

> commit those sins; they simply refer to the fact that a true Christian

> will not ULTIMATELY be given over to those sins.

And where do you get this interpretation? According to your interpretation of 1 John 4:3, a Christian can backslide into confessing that Jesus Christ has not come in the flesh, but that he will not ultimately confess this. Thus, when you meet a person who confesses that Jesus Christ has not come in the flesh, it might be a true Christian.

> There is a BIG difference between a person who lives his entire life

> as a hard-core fag, or a hard-core Arminian, and a person who repents

> and temporarily slips up and returns to his old sins. The difference

> is that the former group NEVER repents; the latter does.

Oh, okay. So you should name your web site "godhateshardcorefags.com".

> You don't have to know the entire Gospel, or have a full understanding

> of the Gospel, before the Holy Ghost can call you.

You don't have to know ANYTHING before the Holy Ghost can call you!

> If you're going to stand

> before me and tell me that you had a perfect understanding of the

> Gospel the second that you were saved, then so be it.

I understood, as all Christians understand at regeneration, that my salvation was conditioned solely on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ. Do you believe that every Christian understands this?

> Am I making sense? The Holy Ghost gives you more and more

> understanding and knowledge as you grow in the faith.

But one does NOT grow from believing in salvation conditioned on the sinner to salvation conditioned on Christ! Agreed?

> At first, a person can believe in

> Christ by simply believing that he is a horrible sinner, and that

> Christ is the only One who can save him from eternal damnation. I'm

> not going to stand before such a person and say "you're not really

> saved because you haven't heard about limited atonement yet" because I

> know that if that person is truly saved, he will believe in limited

> atonement.

It doesn't matter whether or not that person has heard of limited atonement! The true Christian will believe that Christ's atonement DEMANDED and ENSURED his salvation!

> God

> works in a

> mysterious way that we, as humans can't understand, and it's not our

> place to tell someone that it's impossible for them to be truly

> regenerated because they don't know as much of the Gospel as we do.

So are you saying that some who are ignorant of the righteousness of God are NOT lost (Romans 10:3)?


I am NOT saying that we should assume that someone who is preaching lies might really be a backsliding Christian. In fact, we should assume the exact opposite. We should assume that because they are bringing forth evil fruit that they are going to hell. And I will continue to preach against such a person. I am NOT saying that backsliding is good and acceptable just because it happens. And I will continue to preach against people who are backslidden, to bring them back into the fold.

What I AM saying is that it CAN happen to a regenerate person. You CANNOT say that just because someone backslides that they were therefore never saved. I believe backsliding happens only temporarily, and does not last long. But there are times in the lives of people where they ARE overcome with their sins and believe something that they shouldn't believe, or say something that they shouldn't say.

I believe that someone who claims that they were "saved" by hearing the message that God loves everyone, and you must choose to believe, is not really saved in the first place - such a person cannot, by definition, backslide. But I believe that a person who IS truly saved, at a time of weakness, can start to think "well, maybe God DOES love everyone. Maybe I DID have something to do with choosing God." Or, a person can get frustrated with his life, and curse God and believe that what God is doing to him is not a righteous thing. That's backsliding, and it is only for a fleeting moment. That doesn't mean that the person was never saved, however. I believe that that person IS saved, and I will preach to that person to stop thinking that way, and that person will repent.

The human mind is a very evil thing, even after we've been regenerated.

It's a natural thing for us, as humans, to continue to rebel against God and His righteousness - although it is inexcusable for us to do so (luckily, God forgives us). A regenerated person will NEVER COMPLETELY turn back to his old life - but you must admit that there are times where we temporarily do.

Which of your questions HAVEN'T I answered yet??? Possibly I haven't answered the one about Romans 10:3, and my answer is that once you have learned of the righteousness of Christ, then you know what the righteousness of Christ is. Be definition of the word "ignorant," you can't be ignorant once you've known something. However, you CAN FORGET about the righteousness of Christ if you have backslidden. In that sense, you are effectively ignorant of it in a backslidden state.

I hope you understand my point now. You can backslide into a sinful state, but you won't be wholly given over to that state, and you won't ever COMPLETELY turn away from Christ - however, you WILL turn from Christ and do and say things that are wrong, wrong, wrong.

You have transgressed, and God knows that I transgress on a daily basis.

However, we are not FULLY given over to those sins, and we never FULLY or FINALLY depart from Christ.


So-- you sin the sin of homosexuality, but you're just not FULLY given over to homosexuality?


[Phelps never responded to this last question.]


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