<<Spurgeon was an Arminian, and thus, lost.>>
Bob Ross responded:
<<In other words, you too are Arminian and lost? Why so, because you apparently make salvation by works -- the works of being without any error of interpretation? You have Spurgeon down as wrong on this interpretation, so he is lost, you say. That means salvation is not by faith, but is dependent upon a subsequent infallible understanding of all the verses in the Bible. You must be better off than the Pope when he is wearing his robe! -- Bob Ross>>
This is such asinine reasoning. Let's replace "Spurgeon" with "John Doe" and "Arminian" with "Muslim."
John Doe was a Muslim and thus lost.
Does that mean that the person who says this is making salvation by works? Of course not. That's ridiculous. He is judging a person to be lost because that person does not believe the gospel. Whether someone is an Arminian or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Buddhist or a Mormon or a Jehovah's Witness or an atheist or a Satanist or whatever, these people are to be judged lost because they do not believe the gospel.
How about this:
John Doe was a Jehovah's Witness and thus lost.
So if I judge a Jehovah's Witness lost, does that mean I believe in salvation by works? Bob Ross would have to say so. After all, the JW's are just "in error on interpretation" regarding the deity of Christ, right? So if I judge someone to be lost because he is a Jehovah's Witness, then according to Bob Ross, I'm making salvation by works -- the works of being without any error of interpretation. He'd have to say that I believe faith is dependent on an infallible understanding of all the verses in the Bible. This is just plain stupidity, as any reasonable person can see.
Knowledge of doctrine, no matter what doctrine, is not a condition of or prerequisite to salvation. If it were, then salvation would be of works. But is there any knowledge that is an immediate and inevitable FRUIT or RESULT of salvation? Of course there is. When God saves someone, He gives that person a knowledge and understanding and belief of THE GOSPEL, which, in case you didn't know, Mr. Ross, contains DOCTRINE. Thus, we can judge everyone who does not believe THE GOSPEL to be lost, and we are IN NO WAY making salvation by works. Or would you say that Jesus is promoting salvation by works when he says that all who do not believe the gospel are lost in Mark 16:16?
Do Arminians believe the gospel? They believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception. This means that they do not believe in the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ, which is at the very heart of the gospel. They do not believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. They are obviously lost. Does this mean I am making salvation conditioned on knowledge of efficacious atonement? Of course not. I am saying that when God regenerates someone, He causes that person to believe THE GOSPEL, and the very heart of THE GOSPEL is the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ. If someone does not believe the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ, he does not believe THE GOSPEL. He is lost. What about those who would disagree with this conclusion? What do they believe about the gospel? They believe that efficacious atonement is not at the very heart of the gospel! They do not even believe that efficacious atonement is part of the gospel at all! Or perhaps they do not believe that every regenerate person believes the gospel. They, too, are lost. See www.outsidethecamp.org/gospatone.htm .
For anyone who is interested in articles on the accusation of works salvation, check out the following articles:
Doctrinal Regeneration www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm
Letter to Credenda/Agenda www.outsidethecamp.org/credenda.htm
I'm also attaching a letter I wrote to James White.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
I can speak for Outside the Camp and Sovereign Redeemer Assembly.
We absolutely DO NOT believe that knowledge OF ANY KIND is a necessary prerequisite to regeneration and justification. We absolutely DO NOT believe that regeneration and justification are contingent upon knowledge OF ANY KIND. Salvation is not conditioned on the sinner IN ANY WAY, TO ANY DEGREE. Salvation is NOT conditioned on knowledge of doctrine, whether it be of imputed righteousness or of efficacious atonement or any other doctrine. I we believed this, then we would believe in works salvation, and we would be just as unregenerate as the Arminians. Can I be any clearer than that?
How, then, can we judge someone who does not believe in imputed righteousness to be unregenerate? It is because the Bible is clear that every regenerate person believes THE GOSPEL. Is belief of the gospel a condition or prerequisite to regeneration? NO!!! Belief of the gospel is a FRUIT -- a RESULT -- of regeneration. And since the Bible is clear that every regenerate person believes the gospel and everyone who does not believe the gospel is unregenerate, we can conclude that belief of the gospel is an IMMEDIATE fruit (result) of regeneration.
The gospel is the good news of God's promise to save His people conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. As you can see, an essential gospel doctrine is imputed righteousness. Without the doctrine of imputed righteousness, there is no gospel. If someone is ignorant of imputed righteousness, he is ignorant of the gospel. And since all who are ignorant of the gospel do not believe the gospel, and all who do not believe the gospel are unregenerate, then we can conclude that all who are ignorant of imputed righteousness are unregenerate.
Get this straight in your head -- Knowledge of doctrine is NOT a prerequisite or condition of regeneration. But knowledge of SOME DOCTRINE is an IMMEDIATE FRUIT of regeneration. Got the distinction? It's a crucial one. It's a matter of life and death.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
Carpenter denies that such teaching, hearing, and learning are necessary to the new birth, as he holds to the "direct operation" Spirit- alone theory of the Hardshell Baptists.
To make his case for that idea in regard to the conversion of the Thief on the cross, it is no marvel that Carpenter must extra-scripturally presume that God directly and without "means" gave the Thief such knowledge by a "direct operation." The thief certainly did not have much time or opportunity to visit Outside the Camp and imbibe this knowledge nor to obtain it from some other Hardshell source.
-- Bob L. Ross>>
I'm not a "Hardshell Primitive Baptist" by any means. The Primitive Baptists believe that regeneration and conversion can be separated for days, months, even years. Thus they believe that a regenerate person can go for days, months, even years before being converted. This is heresy. Conversion (which includes repentance and belief of the gospel) is an immediate result of regeneration. There has never been such a monstrosity as a regenerate person who is ignorant of the gospel. The Lord willing, I will send my review of C. C. Morris's "Regeneration Without Means" (www.outsidethecamp.org/review52.htm) . It is entitled "The Irrelevant Gospel." I do not believe in the "Spirit-direct-operation-alone" theory that you accuse me of. The gospel MUST be PRESENTED. I fully believe Romans 10:13-15 -- there is no believing on someone of whom they have not heard. I fully believe Romans 1:16, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Please read my sermon on Romans 1:17-17 at www.outsidethecamp.org/romans5.htm. In it, I said this:
"Don't believe ANYBODY who tells you that they or others remained ignorant of the gospel after they were saved. This is a DENIAL of the gospel as the power of God to salvation. SALVATION and THE GOSPEL are INSEPARABLY CONNECTED. If you deny God's GOSPEL as a necessary part of salvation, you deny God's POWER. There are many people who claim to believe that God has total power over everything to do whatever He pleases whenever He pleases, yet they say that God does not always use the gospel in the salvation of His people. They say that this "limits God," because "God doesn't need anyone or anything, including the gospel, to accomplish His purposes." What they do not understand is that the sovereign, powerful God has chosen the gospel as the way in which his saving power is displayed. So saying that God doesn't need to use the gospel is like saying that God doesn't need to use the sun to light the earth. God has CHOSEN to use the gospel, just as God has CHOSEN to use the sun. And, even more importantly, God has CHOSEN to use the gospel because He is GLORIFIED by the gospel. Every one of His attributes is on display in the gospel. The gospel shows Him to be a just God and a Savior."
As anyone with any sense can see, your accusations are totally false.
Now what is it that YOU believe? You believe in the popular Calvinist version of salvation conditioned on the sinner. You believe that salvation is conditioned on faith. You believe that faith is a prerequisite to salvation. This is damnable Arminian heresy. It's no wonder you love Charles Spurgeon and even sell busts (idols?) of him. You, and most who call themselves Calvinists, believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner's faith.
The TRUTH is that there are ABSOLUTELY NO prerequisites to regeneration. This is NOT saying that regeneration and belief of the gospel are not inseparably linked. But regeneration PRECEDES belief of the gospel. Not by days, weeks, months, or years, as the Primitive Baptist heretics say -- but belief of the gospel IS A RESULT OF regeneration. It is an IMMEDIATE result of regeneration. And God uses the preaching of the gospel to accomplish this purpose. There's no such thing as a person being regenerated where there is no gospel. The thief on the cross was not regenerated without the gospel.
So when will you stop your slander?
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
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