Hi, everybody. The Lord willing, I'll be posting some things that I posted on the BIBLE FELLOWSHIP site that got censored. Then we can get into further discussion. Just a note: I'm not on the internet every day (sometimes I'm on just once a week), so it might take me a while to respond. Please bear with me. I hope this will really make people think. And ultimately, I hope and pray that this will be used of God to bring His people to Himself.

To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
www.outsidethecamp.org


[Originally posted to the BIBLE FELLOWSHIP list and then censored]

WildBoar wrote:

<<Although it is certainly true that the doctrine of a definite atonement is an important doctrine found in the Bible, it does not follow that all who are ignorant or unaware of this teaching unsaved and that all who believe that those who are ignorant of this doctrine are saved are unregenerate.>>

All who are regenerate believe the gospel. The gospel includes the doctrines of Christ's PERSON and Christ's WORK. You are saying that the gospel does not include the doctrine of Christ's WORK. This shows you do not know what the gospel is.

Do you say that all who do not believe in the deity of Christ are unregenerate? Would you say, "It does not follow that all who are ignorant or unaware of the deity of Christ are unsaved and that all who believe that those who are ignorant the deity of Christ are saved are unregenerate?"

<<I know my heavenly Father and cannot remember a time when I did not know Him, but it was not until a few years ago that God revealed His Sovereign Grace to me. I did not become regenerate at this point.>>

I agree that you did not become regenerate at this point. You have never been regenerate. You believe that you were regenerate when you were ignorant of the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. You have not repented of your former religion. You do not count it as dung. See the article entitled "Gospel Repentance" at

www.outsidethecamp.org/gosprep.htm and the sermon "Gospel Repentance and Judgment" at www.outsidethecamp.org/gosprepjudg.htm .

What would you say about a person who says, "It was not until a few years ago that God revealed the fact that Jesus Christ is God to me. I did not become regenerate at this point."?

<<The Bible does not teach doctrinal regeneration.>>

You are right. The Bible does not teach doctrinal regeneration; in fact, all who believe in doctrinal regeneration are unregenerate. They do not believe in salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone. We do not hold to doctrinal regeneration; in fact, we repudiate such heresy. Please see the article entitled "Doctrinal Regeneration" at www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm .

Knowledge of the gospel is not a prerequisite or condition of salvation; it is an essential fruit of salvation. When God saves someone, He causes that person to believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone. He causes that person to believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation.

Would you accuse a person of doctrinal regeneration if he said that all who do not believe in the deity of Christ are lost? After all, all who do not believe in the deity of Christ are just ignorant of some doctrine, are they not? Would you then say that we are saying that a knowledge of the deity of Christ is a condition of or prerequisite to salvation?

<<John the Baptist had no cognitive knowledge of who Christ even was, yet by faith he leapt in the womb.>>

So you're saying that he leaped for no reason. OF COURSE John the Baptist had a cognitive knowledge of who Christ was. This is the reason he rejoiced. One cannot rejoice at something one does not know.

<<If a perfect understanding of who Christ was and what He did is necessary for salvation, then we would all be damned.>>

I do not advocate perfectionism or that salvation is conditioned on understanding. Please read the following responses to those who make such accusations:

www.outsidethecamp.org/letters72(1).htm

www.outsidethecamp.org/letters72(2).htm

www.outsidethecamp.org/letters44htm

Also see the articles in the latest issue of Outside the Camp that refute the slanderous accusations against us:

www.outsidethecamp.org/review81(1).htm

www.outsidethecamp.org/review81(2).htm

<<Only the most arrogant person in the world would deny this. We cannot develop are own pet lists of doctrines and then decide that they are the qualification for whether or not someone is regenerate.>>

"Pet lists of doctrines?"!! The person and work of Christ are merely "pet lists of doctrines"?!! Wow. You truly have no idea what the gospel is. For anyone who is interested, there is a series of sermon manuscripts on the gospel at www.outsidethecamp.org/sermons.htm that includes a sub-series on Essential Gospel Doctrine. There is a condensed version of Essential Gospel Doctrine at www.outsidethecamp.org/egd.htm . These are not merely "pet lists of doctrines." These are the doctrines of the True Gospel without which there is no True Gospel. To WildBoar, the Atonement is just a "pet doctrine" that can be either believed or not believed by regenerate people. WildBoar will have to admit Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Buddhists, even atheists into his fellowship, since he believes that the essential gospel doctrines are merely "pet lists of doctrines." Incredible.

If anyone is interested, here are some more articles to read:

Righteous Judgment
www.outsidethecamp.org/rightjudg.htm

"Shares In His Evil Works": A Study on 2 John 11"
www.outsidethecamp.org/2John11.htm

I pray that God will use His truth for His glory.

Marc D. Carpenter


[Originally posted to the BIBLE FELLOWSHIP list and then censored]

Hello, Brandan -

You wrote:

<<Do I think Arminians are saved? That's a dumb question if you ask me. Arminians are heretics. Nobody can be saved under a false gospel - and that is exactly what Arminianism is!>>

Well, that's a good start! Most people who call themselves "Reformed" or "Calvinists" or "Sovereign Gracers" wouldn't even go that far. So we're in agreement that all Arminians are unregenerate. Good!

<<My main problem with Arminianism is not the extent of the atonement. Granted, I believe that is a serious problem and the Arminian understanding is a damnable heresy. But I believe the primary problem is Arminianism fails to fully take the sinner's eyes off of himself and onto Christ. They say that all you have to do is have faith and you will be saved. They make "faith" the deciding factor for salvation, and that is what every Arminian I've ever met is depending on for their justification. They think they are justified because of their faith rather than the imputed righteousness of Christ. I have not yet met an Arminian who when pressed fully will not keep from admitting such blasphemy. They are still looking inward to their faith (even if it's partially) rather than totally outward to a work outside of themselves. That is a works/self-righteousness, and because of that they are damned unless God reveals Himself to them and grants them repentance of their sin of self-righteousness.>>

Actually, it's all connected to the atonement. If a person believes that Jesus Christ died for every individual without exception, including those in hell, then he does not believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Instead, he believes that it is his own faith that is the deciding factor that makes the difference. That's how it's all tied in. But it starts with the damnable view of the atonement. The atonement is at the very heart of the gospel. If you get the atonement wrong, you get the gospel wrong. And in the case of Arminians, when they get the atonement wrong, they do exactly as you have said - they make faith the deciding factor in salvation and are looking to themselves rather than Christ for their salvation (no matter what they might initially say).

<<As a Christian, my basis for salvation is not the extent of the atonement but the righteousness of Christ. As a Christian, "what" is it that I'm looking to for my salvation? Am I looking to the Jesus of the Bible, or am I looking to the god of self-righteousness?>>

The atonement and the righteousness of Christ imputed are both included in the work of Jesus Christ that is the basis for salvation. Salvation is conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. You can't have one without the other.

<<If anyone is saved in an Arminian church, it's because they were introduced to the Scriptures and God revealed the true gospel to them through His Holy Word. In time, these people will be brought to a fuller knowledge of God's glorious Gospel of GRACE and God will deliver them from the pit of heresy.>>

It depends on what you mean here. If God saves someone who is attending an Arminian church, then they will immediately know the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. They will immediately drop their belief of universal atonement. This will not be a gradual process of being delivered from heresy. There is not a single regenerate person who believes in universal atonement. It's impossible. Why? Because the Bible is clear that all regenerate people believe the gospel.

<<My problem with Marc Carpenter's breed of theology is not that he thinks Arminianism is a false gospel, but that he accurses everyone who does not think exactly like him.>>

Now I don't know where you got your information from, but this is just not true. I hope you're not intentionally lying here. There are many people who do not think exactly like me whom I consider to be brothers. There are areas of disagreements that Christians can have, such as in ecclesiology or eschatology. So now that you know this, I hope you'll take this accusation back, or else you're guilty of slander. What Christians ALWAYS agree on, however, is essential gospel doctrine. And based on this, all Christians will make their judgments based on essential gospel doctrine. See the series on the gospel at www.outsidethecamp.org/sermons.htm. Also see the article on Christian Unity at www.outsidethecamp.org/unity.htm.

<<But I have to disagree with Marc when he says that those Calvinists who believe they were saved as Arminians are still dead in their sins. They are holding to error, yes; but are they holding to a damnable error? If we say the former, then we have moved from looking outward to Christ's righteousness alone to our inward thoughts and actions as the basis of our justification.>>

Wait a minute here. Take some time to think closely about the logic of what you just said. (By "the former," I assume you mean the position I take.) You just said that if we say that tolerant Calvinists (Calvinists who consider at least some universal atonement advocates to be their brothers in Christ) are unregenerate, then we have moved from looking outward to Christ's righteousness alone to our inward thoughts and actions as the basis of our justification. How does this follow? Just because I have judged certain people to be lost, I have now shown that I hold to a false gospel of justification based on the sinner? Let's consider this for a moment. You've just said that Arminians are unregenerate. Does this mean then that you have moved from looking outward to Christ's righteousness alone to our inward thoughts and actions as the basis of our justification? Or what about this: Suppose a Calvinist says that at least some Muslims are saved. I then say that this Calvinist is unregenerate. Have I just then moved from looking outward to Christ's righteousness alone to my inward thoughts and actions as the basis of my justification? That makes absolutely no sense.

The reason I judge tolerant Calvinists to be unregenerate is because they do not believe the gospel. Consider this (TC = Tolerant Calvinist): (1) TC believes that some who believe universal atonement are saved. (2) TC believes that all saved people believe the gospel. Thus, (3) TC believes that some who believe universal atonement believe the gospel. What does this show about TC's belief about the gospel? Since TC believes a person can believe the gospel and believe universal atonement at the same time, then he must believe that the gospel does not include the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ. TC has just denied the very heart of the gospel.

And consider this: (1) All who believe a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner are unregenerate. (2) Universal atonement is a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. Thus, (3) all who believe universal atonement are unregenerate. TC and every person who would consider at least some universal atonement advocates to be regenerate MUST disagree with #3. And the only way people can disagree with #3 is if they disagree with at least one of the first two statements. Consider those who disagree with #1. These are people who believe that at least some who believe a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner are regenerate. Can a true Christian disagree with #1? Of course not. Consider those who disagree with #2. These are people who believe that universal atonement is not a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. Can a true Christian disagree with #2? Of course not. Thus, all who disagree with #3 (all who consider at least some universal atonement advocates to be saved) are unregenerate.

Do you get the logic of this? If you disagree with it, please show me where. And show me how this means that I have moved from looking outward to Christ's righteousness alone to my inward thoughts and actions as the basis of my justification by doing this. How is this any different than judging an Arminian or a Tolerant Calvinist who believes that at least some Muslims are saved to be unregenerate?

I encourage you to read the article on 2 John 11 at www.outsidethecamp.org/2John11.htm. I also encourage you to read the article on Gospel Repentance at www.outsidethecamp.org/gosprep.htm and the sermon on Gospel Repentance and Judgment at www.outsidethecamp.org/gosprepjudg.htm.

Calvinists who believe that at least some universal atonement advocates are saved do not believe that the atonement is an essential gospel doctrine. And if they believe that they continued to believe in universal atonement for a time after they were regenerated, they have not repented of dead works and former idolatry. They do not count their former religion as dung. This would be just like a Calvinist who was a former Muslim saying that he remained a Muslim for a period of time after he was regenerated. And then, of course, he would not judge all Muslims to be lost, because he does not believe that he was lost the entire time he was a Muslim. Would you say that such a person is saved? Of course not. He hasn't repented of his former religion. He does not believe that everything he did while he was a Muslim was wicked and evil, dead works, and fruit unto death. Now by judging this Tolerant Calvinist to be lost, have we "moved from looking outward to Christ's righteousness alone to our inward thoughts and actions as the basis of our justification"? Of course not. If you see what I mean, then I ask you to repent of your accusation that I believe a false gospel of justification based on the sinner. And I ask you to repent of considering Tolerant Calvinists to be your brothers in Christ. I would rejoice to see God open your eyes!

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter


Hi, everybody. I now have to play catch-up with all the posts that were already posted here since this list started. Wshew! It's already moving right along, and it seems I'm getting further and further behind. I hope you'll bear with me. I can't respond to posts every day like some of you. (I have a wife and six children, for one thing!) Also, this format is not a good one for me, since I have to pay a per-minute charge to be online, so I have to construct the posts off-line then get online and paste them into the frame and then format them and then disconnect. So, having said all that ...

I'd like to get into the discussion. I think Bob's first three items are essential to discuss:

1. Arminians are lost.
2. Tolerant Calvinists are lost.
3. Those who confess a false gospel are lost.

Actually, even before I read Bob's post, I was looking through some of the earlier posts and saw that the discussion really wasn't on the topic of whether or not TCs are lost; instead, it was on the topic of whether or not Arminians are lost, and I was getting ready to post something similar to Bob's list. It seems that most people in this discussion group believe that at least some Arminians are saved. And if they believe that, then of course they believe that at least some TCs are saved! In fact, it seems that Brandan is the only person here who believes that all Arminians are lost and at least some TCs are saved. So the starting point needs to be a discussion of Arminians. It makes logical sense, too, because when we see the heresy of Arminianism and then see the TCs on this list defend their position that at least some Arminians are saved, then we will be able to see the link between Arminianism and Tolerant Calvinism. Here's something about Tolerant Calvinism to think about while we go through this discussion: Tolerant Calvinists believe:

1. Arminians believe the same gospel they do.
2. Arminianism is not a false religion; it is not a different religion than Christianity. The difference between Arminianism and what they (TCs) believe is not one of kind; instead, it is merely one of degree.
3. The Atonement, which must be efficacious atonement for it to be an atonement at all, is not an essential part of the gospel. (This assumes that we're talking about TCs who believe that all regenerate people believe the gospel. There might be some, such as the Primitive Baptists, who believe that some regenerate people do not believe the gospel. That's another topic in and of itself.)

Over against this, I believe:

1. Arminians believe a completely different gospel than Christians.
2. Arminianism is a completely different religion than Christianity. It is just as different from Christianity as Jehovah's Witnesses are from Christianity.

3. The Atonement is at the very heart of the gospel. If there is no Atonement, there is no gospel.

Okay, enough of this post! I'll go ahead and do more posts of responding to other people's posts.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Brandan wrote:

<<His reasoning behind this is because these men have stated in one or more of their writings that *some* Armininians are saved while still an Arminian.>>

Actually, Gordon Clark wrote that ALL true Arminians are saved. When we get more into the Tolerant Calvinists, we should take a good look at what Gordon Clark said. It would be a good study of Tolerant Calvinism.

<<Interestingly, he has not anathematized me because I have come to the belief that Arminians are lost and need to be revealed the true Gospel. But I have not gone so far as to say those who believe some Arminians are saved are also dead in their sins. According to Marc, I am not a Tolerant Calvinist, but nevertheless sinning by not rejecting these men and instead continue to embrace them as brothers in Christ. He has not anathematized me!>>

<<What I fail to understand though is if he considers tolerant calvinism to be just as evil as Armininianism and those who are TC defile themselves by speaking peace to Arminians, then why am I not considered by him to be unregenerate? After all, I speak peace to TC which is essentially the same as speaking peace to Arminianism.>>

I want to be very clear here so there is no misunderstanding. Brandan, I believe you are unregenerate. And I hope that as we go through our discussion, you will see why I have come to that conclusion. I do not say this to be mean or unloving. I say this with the hope that God will open your eyes to the truth.

<<Some of Marc's writings have been extremely beneficial to the Body of Christ, and in particular I want to thank him for writing that wonderful article critiquing the Banner of Truth concerning their breed of Calvinism (which he calls "Hypo-Calvinism").>>

I must say something about those articles that appeared in the Trinity Review. Because of what I have learned since writing those articles, I would not have written some of what I wrote. For example, I would not have used the term "Hypo-Calvinism" (I no longer use that term), because I now do not call myself a "Calvinist" after seeing what Calvin really believed about the atonement. I also did not know at that time that Gordon Clark was a Tolerant Calvinist, so I wrote of him in a positive light. (See, I do believe that people can be in error in their judgments if they unknowingly speak peace to an unbeliever! We can get into this a little more later if you'd like.)

<<As you are probably aware, your website has been quite controversial in the Reformed community for a few years now.>>

Oh, yes! : - ) My name pops up in all kinds of places! There's a down side to that, which is that in some instances, what we at Outside the Camp proclaim is associated with a person (me), which I don't like. I don't like the focus to be on Marc Carpenter; I want it to be on the truths that are proclaimed. But when the truths are so diametrically opposed to the lies of the false religionists (even in the "Reformed community"), it is inevitable that they will say that it's a person (me) and will attack and slander the person, because they cannot refute the truths that the person is proclaiming. The neat thing about being so "notorious" is that so many people have come to our website because of the negative publicity! And some of them even come because they agree with us and saw something negative about us!

<<The point of this discussion is to come to a further understanding of the Truth revealed in God's Holy Word. If what Marc says proves to be biblical, I will embrace his teachings. If however, we can prove Marc is incorrect and has sinned by anathematizing these brothers of ours, I would ask that he has the humility to repent and apologize publicly.>>

That's great. That's all I could ask. Hold up what I say to Scripture. Analyze it. Break it down. Tear it apart. See if there's any substance to it. See if it makes any sense or if it's just foolishness. I welcome this kind of scrutiny.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


WildBoar wrote:

<<So if someone is tolerant of tolerant Calvinists but occasionally becomes a tolerant Calvinist themselves does that mean they were never regenerated or that they are in the process of regeneration or that they lost their regeneration? Please, I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the Scripture that shows that tolerant Calvinists don't go to heaven but those tolerant of tolerant Calvinists do or those tolerant of those who are tolerant of tolerant Calvinists. What of those who are tolerant of tolerant Trinitarians? This is all very silly.>>

If it's all very silly, then there's really no need for you to discuss any of this. You're one of the Tolerant Calvinists, so of course you'd think it is ridiculous to judge Tolerant Calvininsts to be unregenerate. I would direct you to what I posted on the BIBLE FELLOWSHIP site (and what I reposted here). Specifically, some questions I asked you:

Do you say that all who do not believe in the deity of Christ are unregenerate? Would you say, "It does not follow that all who are ignorant or unaware of the deity of Christ are unsaved and that all who believe that those who are ignorant the deity of Christ are saved are unregenerate?"

What would you say about a person who says, "It was not until a few years ago that God revealed the fact that Jesus Christ is God to me. I did not become regenerate at this point."?

Would you accuse a person of doctrinal regeneration if he said that all who do not believe in the deity of Christ are lost? After all, all who do not believe in the deity of Christ are just ignorant of some doctrine, are they not? Would you then say that we are saying that a knowledge of the deity of Christ is a condition of or prerequisite to salvation?

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Alan wrote:

<<Does that mean that John & Charles Wesley two of the greatest men used by God in revival, were not christians !! Is it me, or am i reading this correctly !>>

You are reading this correctly. What kind of "revival" did the Wesleys produce? How do you know there were any conversions during this "revival"? By what standard do you judge that someone had been converted as a result of this "revival"? Is it because a person used to smoke and drink and cuss but doesn't do it any more? If so, then there have been many "revivals" that have taken place in the Muslim faith. Many people have been converted to Islam and have stopped smoking and drinking and cussing and committing adultery, and they have become very moral people. So is that how you judge? If not, what is your standard?

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Brandan wrote:

<<It is my opinion that John Wesley was probably one of the GREATEST Heretics of our time. He has led more people astray than just about anyone if you ask me. I believe he is in hell as he held to a works based religion. Just read some of his stuff.>>

Why, Brandan, you're being so JUDGMENTAL! Where's the LOVE? How could you talk about one of the most famous "Christians" that way? How could you anathematize him like that? After all, the TCs would say that many Christians hold to and even preach error about the gospel, so why would you anathematize Wesley? So he held to some error. Couldn't he have just been in the "growth process"? Nobody's perfect, Brandan. Nobody teaches perfect doctrine. Wesley talked about grace. He said he believed in salvation by grace. Why do you say what you do about Wesley?

[By the way, Brandon, I would not go so far as to say that Wesley is in hell. Wesley most certainly was unregenerate when he believed and preached his damnable heresy, but I have no idea if God converted him later in life or on his deathbed. There's a difference between judging someone to be unregenerate and judging someone to be reprobate. More on that later, the Lord willing.]

<<Oh, and by the way Alan, why does that seem to shock you so much?>>

Uh-oh, Brandan. Are you questioning a Tolerant Calvinist about why he would be shocked that Wesley would be judged unregenerate? Are you prepared for the answer? If Alan saw what Wesley believed (

www.outsidethecamp.org/wesley.htm ) and then still defended Wesley as a true Christian, as a brother in Christ, as a believer and preacher of the true gospel, what would you think of Alan?

<<Wesley taught that justification was not based on imputed righteousness, that you have to WORK to stay saved, and that sometime in this life you can achieve perfect sinlessness. If that doesn't sound like a damnable doctrine to you, I don't know what does.>>

And what if Alan (and any other TCs on this list) would respond to you that in spite of what Wesley taught, he was a true Christian? What if they agreed that this is what Wesley taught but still maintain that he was a man of God, that he believed and proclaimed the true gospel and that people were saved through this kind of preaching? What conclusion would you reach regarding these TCs? I can tell you right now that there are a TON of TCs out there who KNOW what John Wesley preached and still believe that John Wesley was a man of God who did great things for the kingdom of God. What would be your conclusion about them? What if you go right up to a TC and say, "Wesley taught that justification was not based on imputed righteousness," and the TC says, "I know that, but that doesn't mean he was unregenerate."? What if you go right up to a TC and say, "Wesley taught that you have to WORK to stay saved," and the TC says, "I know that, but I still believe he was a regenerate man"? What would you conclude about this TC, Brandan? What is the spiritual state of this TC? Does this TC believe the true gospel?

And how about the TC who says that he remained a Wesleyan for a time after he was regenerated? What if a TC tells you that he got saved and then continued to believe for a period of time that justification was not based on imputed righteousness and that he had to work to stay saved, and then he "came into" the doctrines of grace and believed the doctrines of grace, yet he still believed that he was a saved man when he held to justification and preservation based on his own righteousness? Has this TC ever repented of dead works and former idolatry? Does he count his former religion as dung? If not, what does this say about his current belief?

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


WildBoar wrote:

<<If I had to say, I would agree that Wesley was probably not a Christian.>>

Really? What do you base your judgment on?

You also said, "probably." Does that mean you think it is possible that Wesley was a regenerate person when he preached that justification was not based on imputed righteousness and that he had to work to stay saved?

<<But I don't see the point nor do I find it necessary to go through a list of various people who wore the name Christian and try to determine if they are currently in heaven or hell. ... Proclamation that various people are God-haters (including Pink, Calvin, and others according to Marc) seems to be done for shock value and serves no real purpose.>>

First of all, the "Heterodoxy Hall of Shame" (www.outsidethecamp.org/heterodoxy.htm ) is used to warn people against false religionists, both past and present. It serves a great purpose. Second of all, I do not try to determine if they are currently in heaven or in hell. Please see www.outsidethecamp.org/fte34.htm .

In a post on another list, I recently wrote the following:

<<The distinction between reprobate (non-elect) and unregenerate (unsaved) is important here. There's no one I know or ever heard of who judges people to be reprobate (that their names are not written in the book of life). So really, to say that we are not to judge another man's eternal state is certainly true but doesn't really help, because nobody does that. (We have been accused of doing that, of "condemning people to hell," of "judging people to be reprobate," but that just comes from people ignorant of what we believe.) On the other hand, Christians are commanded to make judgments of a person's spiritual state. When a Christian judges a person to be unregenerate (unsaved, lost, wicked, God-hater, etc.), he is not saying that this person's name is not written in the book of life. There are many unregenerate people walking around right now whose names are written in the book of life. They are the unregenerate elect. And Christians are commanded to judge them to be unregenerate and to witness to them and to pray for them and to not be unequally yoked with them. When a Christian judges a person to be unregenerate, he doesn't know if that unregenerate person is one of the elect or one of the reprobate. It's not for him to know, and it's not for him to judge an unregenerate person to be reprobate. Now a Christian can say that if the person continues in his unregenerate state until death, he will show himself to be a reprobate and will go to hell. But who knows when God converts someone on his deathbed? Thus, I stay away from saying that dead people who were heretics or other evil men during their lives are definitely in hell. I don't know if God converted them on their deathbeds. John Wesley was an arch-heretic, but I don't know if God converted him on his deathbed. Charles Spurgeon was a compromising spiritual whore, but I don't know if God converted him on his deathbed. Hitler and Stalin were evil men, but I don't know if God converted them on their deathbeds. Maybe some of you on this list know more than I do about what people believed the moment they died, but I don't.

So Christians ARE to judge unregenerate people to be unregenerate, but they are NOT to judge unregenerate people to be reprobate.

"He put before them another parable, saying: The kingdom of Heaven is compared to a man sowing good seed in his fields. But while the men were sleeping, one hostile to him came and sowed darnel in the midst of the wheat, and went away. And when the blade sprouted and produced fruit, then the darnel also appeared. And coming near, the slaves of the housemaster said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then from where does it have the darnel? And he said to them, A man, an enemy did this. And the slaves said to him, Do you desire, then, that going out we should gather them? But he said, No, lest gathering the darnel you should uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest. And in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather the darnel, and bind them into bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary." (Mat 13:24-30 LITV)

Note that this parable cannot contradict 1 Corinthians 5, in which Paul commands the church to "put out the evil one from you" (v. 13) and "purge out the old leaven" (v. 7). Thus, when the housemaster told the slaves not to gather the darnel, he was NOT talking about purging the leaven from the church. And this parable cannot contradict the command to judge, not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, etc. In my opinion, this is talking about judging someone to be reprobate. Notice first that the slaves are different than the reapers. Now notice in verse 27, the slaves recognize that the tares are tares. They judge the tares to be tares. The slaves then ask the housemaster if they are to uproot those whom they have judged to be tares. (Note that this cannot be talking about excommunication.) The housemaster says that this is not their job, because by judging all these tares to be unregenerate and also judging them to be reprobate, they would be in danger of uprooting some of the wheat with the tares. It is the job of the reapers at the end of the age to separate the wheat from the tares.>>

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Brandan wrote:

<<It seems the key passage in this discussion is as follows:

2 Jn 1:9-11, (KJV)
9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.>>


It is one of the key passages. For an article on 2 John 11, see

www.outsidethecamp.org/2John11.htm.

<<Preface - Hmmm, I didn't like this section - Just because someone doesn't affirm that souls burn in hell for eternity does not make someone unregenerate.>>

Here's a discussion for another time. This, too, would show me that you are unregenerate.

<<Also, what about section C3 which states that "Conversion is the immediate fruit of regeneration?" Where does the bible say that? Can't one be regenerate without being converted?>>

Are you serious?! You say that all Arminians are unregenerate, yet you wonder whether a regenerate person can be unconverted?? Wow. This would mean that there are regnerate people who do not believe the gospel!! This would mean that not only Arminians but atheists, Muslims, Buddists, Hindus, JWs, Mormons, etc., etc., could be regenerate!! This, too, is another whole discussion. For now, please read "The Irrelevant Gospel" at www.outsidethecamp.org/review52.htm.

<<I'd like the conversation to focus on this key text (2 Jn 9-11). Before we continue, I'd like to know if anyone here believes Arminianism is NOT a false gospel. If we can't agree on this, then we need to get this straightened out FIRST.>>

Yes.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Bob wrote:

<<1. Words do not always perfectly portray the core-beliefs of the soul, otherwise we would be sinless.>>

But if one confesses belief in universal atonement, it means the person believes universal atonement. Please see the article "Righteous Judgment" at

www.outsidethecamp.org/rightjudg.htm .

<<a) Those who preach Christ out of selfish ambition (Phil. 1:13-18), but nonetheless preach Christ, do not understand the words they are uttering--even though these very words are used as an instrument to save souls. This is made clear in the parable of the soils (those who receive the Word with joy but not understanding). So one may use correct gospel language and still not believe the gospel.>>

I agree with this. Many people use this to say that Paul was speaking peace to those who preached a false gospel, but what it's saying is that the TRUE gospel was being preached from WRONG motives. CHRIST was being preached - not a false gospel! Paul was not rejoicing at the preaching of a false gospel.

<<b) One may confess certain wrong things with words and still believe the truth. Coming to the correct definition of the truth of revelation is a life-long process.>>

I've heard this many times, but people aren't able to explain what they mean by this. If someone tells me, "The blood of Jesus Christ atoned for everyone without exception, God has done everything he can do, and now it's up to us to make a decision," I know what's in that man's heart.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter
"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Brandan wrote:

<<Spurgeon did, and even allowed Arminians into his pulpit. That to me is very disturbing.>>

Why is that so disturbing to you, Brandan? Spurgeon embraced Moody as a brother in Christ. He promoted Moody. He promoted Moody's crusades. He knew that Moody believed in salvation conditioned on the sinner, yet he still believed that Moody believed in and even preached the same gospel he (Spurgeon) did. He had no problem allowing Moody into his pulpit, since he was confident that the gospel Moody preached was the SAME GOSPEL he (Spurgeon) preached Why would this be disturbing?

<<After I embraced the gospel of Grace, I still thought Arminians were saved - (read through this forum, you'll see me state some things I regret) - but later I came to the belief that these people were not.>>

Ah, here we go. This is almost always the case. If you were once a TC and believe that you were saved when you were a TC, then of course you'd have to say that TCs are saved! If you didn't, then you'd have to say that you were lost when you were a TC!

<<Now according to Marc's scheme, does this mean I became regenerate at this point - or did I just prove myself to be regenerate?>>

Neither.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


WildBoar wrote:

<<Yes, Arminianism is heresy, but you have to be able to differentiate between a heretic who knows the truth and grows up in it and those who have grown up without hearing of such things as a particular atonement>>

Okay. So let's take the first person, the one who knows the truth and grows up in it. Are you saying that EVERYONE in that category who believes in universal atonement is unregenerate?

Now let's take the second person, one who has grown up without hearing the truth. Does ignorance of the truth make it so we have to use a different standard of judgment? Paul said that those ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are unregenerate (Romans 10:1-3). The righteousness of God revealed in the gospel includes the person and work of Jesus Christ. If a person is ignorant of the work of Jesus Christ, then does that somehow make it so we can judge him regenerate based on other things, such as religious zeal or morality? Paul says that there were religionists who had a ZEAL for God, but not according to KNOWLEDGE (Romans 10:1-3).

Let's take this a little further. Suppose there's a person in an African tribe somewhere who has never heard the gospel. He's certainly ignorant of any gospel doctrine. Would you judge him based on a different standard? Are you like Billy Graham and Robert Schuller, who say that "there is a wideness in God's mercy" to include those who are ignorant of the gospel (www.outsidethecamp.org/heterodoxy52.htm )? And while we're on the subject of Graham and Schuller, what about those who know what Graham and Schuller teach but who consider them to be brothers in Christ?
<<I cannot remember a time when I did not know my Father in heaven, I did not become regenerate the moment I believed in a particular atonement. I had questioned the teachings of my church prior to this and much of the Bible was unclear to me, but to suggest that someone such as myself was unregenerate is silly, contrary to Scripture, and contrary to all experience.>>

Ah yes, - the EXPERIENCE. "I MUST have been saved because I had an EXPERIENCE." Well, let me tell you - experience without belief in essential gospel doctrine is nothing more than an abomination to God. It is nothing more than evil deeds, dead works, and fruit unto death. It is nothing more than dung. No, you did not become regenerate the moment you believed in a particular atonement. You have not yet become regenerate.

<< I held to a universal atonement because I knew of no other teaching.>>

So many Muslims hold to Islam because they know of no other teaching!!! So why don't we welcome all the ignorant Muslims into our fellowship?!

<<I believe it is different in the case of someone who knows both sides and then hates the doctrine of the limited atonement but Marc's doctrine has every person prior to the establishment of the doctrine of the limited atonement and every Lutheran rotting in hell.>>

Unregenerate - not necessarily rotting in hell. If they believe universal atonement when they die, then yes, they are rotting in hell.

So, in the case of people who are presented with the truth of efficacious atonement and hates it - would you judge ALL of them WITHOUT EXCEPTION to be unregenerate?

<<Marc has no knowledge of God's grace.>>

Ah, a judgment! WildBoar would judge a person who believes in universal atonement to have a knowledge of God's grace, but he would judge someone like me to not have a knowledge of God's grace. Now what does that say about WildBoar's knowledge of God's grace?

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Brandan wrote:

<<I don't make the issue of the extent of the atonement to determine whether or not I fellowship with a person. Yes, this is an important issue, but it is not THE issue. I make Christ's righteousness vs. self-righteousness the determining issue.>>

You keep talking about the extent of the atonement. What I am talking about is the efficacy of the atonement. I don't even like the term "limited atonement," because it does not get at why the atonement is so essential. The essential point is that the atonement actually saved, that the atonement actually atoned for all whom Christ represented. That's the key.

<<If someone is holding to universal atonement, the question that comes to my mind is this... If Christ died for everyone as you say, then what is the basis for the salvation of anyone? I have yet to meet an individual that holds to universal atonement give me any reason other than something inside the individual makes the difference. Every Arminian will tell you that the reason he's saved and his neighbor is not is because of his exercise of faith - not the work of Christ on the cross. That is a damnable doctrine, and robs the gospel message of it's power. Indeed it is a perversion of the gospel. This gospel message is no different than baptismal regeneration or the Catholic "infused righteousness" doctrine. It's legalism and "cheap grace.">>

You're right on about that.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Grace Ambassador wrote:

<<I am relieved especially because I reject Arminianism but will not call anyone unsaved.>>

Really? Then how do you obey God's command not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14)?

<<If Salvation is of the Lord and we have no choice in it, Salvation is also of the Lord for Him to establish His own "black list".>>

So you wouldn't put all Muslims on your "black list"?

<<Arminians are unsaved not because I say so, but because the "christ" they believe is "their own believing" and not The Christ of the Cross.>>

Agreed.

<<Now the question is: Was God Sovereign while I was in Arminianism or did He become Sovereign only after I left it with a sense of disgust? I would say that the very fact that I left and reject Arminianism proves that God was ALREADY Sovereign while I was there. The same is truth with all Jesus' sheep that are astray in the thorny pits of Arminianism waiting for the Good Shepherd to fetch them.>>

Let me replace "Arminianism" with "Islam" and let me know what you think:

"Now the question is: Was God Sovereign while I was in Islam or did He become Sovereign only after I left it with a sense of disgust? I would say that the very fact that I left and reject Islam proves that God was ALREADY Sovereign while I was there. The same is truth with all Jesus' sheep that are astray in the thorny pits of Islam waiting for the Good Shepherd to fetch them."

What does this prove? Certainly God saves people out of Islam, just like he saves people out of Arminianism. He is sovereign in all things. But does that mean that a regenerate person can be an Arminian or a Muslim? Of course not.

By the way, how would each of you judge a person who says he believes in the doctrines of grace but who says that at least some Muslims are regenerate? Brandan?

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Martin wrote:

<<This is similar to my experience. I think there's a BIG difference between someone who understands the issues and condemns Calvinism and preaches a false gospel as Wesley did compared to someone who simply doesn't know any better.>>

Many African tribesmen doesn't know any better. Many Muslims doesn't know any better.

<<The moment I read something on the doctrines of grace I just knew it was true!>>

But did you consider your former religion to be false? Did you, like Paul count your former religion as dung? Did you believe you were lost when you believed in your former religion?

<<What we believe we receive but that in no way means that we must immeditaely be able to put that into words with 100% accuracy.>>

I am not saying that a believer must be able to articulate what he believes. There are many believers who cannot articulate what they believe. But they will never confess a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner!

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Brandan wrote:

<<Marc, you do come off as more than a bit abrasive. My advice to you is if you are going to continue on your anathematizing spree is to at least speak what you believe to be truthful more lovingly.>>

I follow the example of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. They reserved their harshest words for the self-righteous religious leaders of their day. Jesus Christ called them children of hell and children of the devil. Paul said he wished they would castrate themselves. John the Baptist called them a brood of vipers. Would you say that they were abrasive and needed to be more loving?

<<This is just my impression, and I am inclined to think that you have turned away a number of allies simply because your approach is a bit too mean.>>

I have never turned away any allies.

<<1. Arminians are lost.
To me, this would seem to be the case because they deny complete reliance on the imputation of Christ's righteousness. The extent of the atonement contributes to this denial, but it is not the chief error.>>


Again, it is the efficacy of the atonement I'm talking about. And efficacious atonement and imputed righteousness can't be separated. Both are essential gospel doctrines.

<<2. Tolerant Calvinists are lost.
That's a grey area. Those who believe Arminianism is just another form of the gospel don't seem to know the Gospel in my opinion.>>


"Don't seem to know the gospel?" Hey, you're going right up to that line, but you don't dare cross over it, because that would mean that you were unregenerate when you were a TC!

<<What I find amazing about some of those Marc has anathematized as "Tolerant Calvinists" are those who have not given me the impression they were tolerant of Arminianism. I mean, can you imagine Gordon Clark and John Robbins sitting over a fellowship meal speaking peace to Arminians as if they were brothers?>>

YES!!! When I first met John Robbins and read some of Clark's writings, I would have adamantly said NO!! But now I know what they are like! Let me show you what Clark wrote:

"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?, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co, 1965, pp. 174-175)


This is INCREDIBLE! Do you see what this is saying? He's not one of those people who "didn't know better"!

(a) Gordon Clark believed that if a person is truly an Arminian and not a Pelagian who happens to belong to an Arminian church, he MUST be a saved man.

(b) Gordon Clark believed that all of these true Arminians (not Pelagians), ALL of whom MUST be saved, believe (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.

So we see that Gordon Clark, who KNEW WHAT ALL TRUE ARMINIANS BELIEVE, said that ALL WHO ARE TRULY ARMINIAN and not Pelagian MUST be saved. Any problems with the truthfulness of that statement?

Gordon Clark, who knew that ALL TRUE ARMINIANS BELIEVE THAT SALVATION IS NOT MADE CERTAIN BY CHRIST'S SACRIFICE, said that ALL WHO ARE TRULY ARMINIAN not Pelagian MUST be saved. Any problems with the truthfulness of that statement?

THUS, if Gordon Clark believed that all saved people believe the gospel, then Gordon Clark DID NOT believe that the gospel includes the doctrine that salvation is made certain by Christ's sacrifice, since Gordon Clark believed that some saved people (people who believe the gospel) believe that salvation is not made certain by Christ's sacrifice. And if Gordon Clark did not believe that all saved people believe the gospel, then this would be enough to judge him to be unregenerate (not necessarily reprobate). The truthfulness of this is clear to those who are not blinded by the god of this world.

Now, considering all this, what was the spiritual state of Gordon Clark when he wrote this?

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Milt wrote:

<<What I read when you call someone a uregenerate your intensity and passion in trying to prove such a thing (correctly, mostly) adds a connotation to the euphemism "unregenerate" that is almost a synonym to "unsavable".>>

This connotation only exists in your interpretation, not in what I am saying. When I say someone is regenerate, I am not saying that this person is necessarily unsavable!! God saves those who hate Him! God saves self-righteous religionists! Praise God! And when He saves them, they become new creatures in Christ. They are no longer self-righteous religionists. They are no longer God-haters. They love God and His gospel. They believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. They repent of ever believing that their salvation was conditioned on themselves. Praise God!

<<Unsavable unless they believe your "creed" if I may say so... How is that different than Arminianism?>>

Again, I must say that I do not believe that an understanding or belief of anything is a prerequisite or condition of salvation. See www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm . But when God saves someone, He gives that person an understanding of the gospel.

<<Yes, I place Muslims and Arminians in my black list of people that my microcosmic perception of the moment we live in are not saved.>>

So you are judging people to be unsaved. Are you saying that ALL Muslims and Arminians WITHOUT EXCEPTION are definitely unsaved?

<<I know a lot of people who knows and intellectually assent to all your points, but they are certainly and visibly in my human eyes "unregenerate", but not unsavable (and this I grant you is irrelevant).>>

Really? You know a lot of people who know and intellectually assent to all my points? I seriously doubt that. By the way, there is a false dichotomy out there that comes from pagan romanticism in which the "head" is separate from the "heart." What is a saving belief but an intellectual belief? Certainly belief comes from the intellect, from the mind. A lot of religionists talk in terms of "head" versus "heart," as in: "He doesn't have it right in his head, but he has it right in his heart." Or: "He has a head knowledge, but he doesn't have a heart faith." (The same goes for people who talk about "mental assent" vs. "heart faith.") But this comes from romanticism, not Scripture. In Scripture, the heart is what thinks, what understands, what believes.

<<You may say that it is not the knowledge and that is not what you are defending. Then what is? What makes you say or would give anyone the privelege of calling him "regenerate"? I am curious to know!>>

Knowledge is not a prerequisite, but it IS an immediate and inevitable fruit of regeneration. The basis of judgment is what one BELIEVES. And how do we know what one BELIEVES? It is from what one CONFESSES.
<<In your view, Is it possible for anyone ever to be called a regenerate that cannot declare your points as clearly as you do? What elite group is this? Do I have to sing three verses of "Just as I know, without one plea" to join this group?>>

All who I (and every other Christian) judge to be regenerate are those who confess belief in the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone. There are some believers (such as children) who are not yet able to articulate their beliefs. If someone is not able to articulate his belief, then we withhold judgment (we do not presume the person is regenerate or unregenerate).

<<Sometimes I think the message of Grace is so loaded with legalism and rules and creeds that is no longer Grace. Who has bewitched us? What witch has bewitched us? I do not preach either cheap nor easy Grace. I preach Grace as revealed in the Bible.>>

I preach Grace as revealed in the Bible. There is no legalism in what I preach. Please see "What Is A Pharisee?" at www.outsidethecamp.org/pharisee.htm and "Legalism and Antinomianism" at www.outsidethecamp.org/legalantinom.htm . Saying that there is essential gospel doctrine that every believer believes is not legalism. God gives us this belief by grace. And He gives us the ability to discern the true gospel from all false gospels by grace.

<<I pray it never comes the day when Outsidethecamp will be the Christian pope organization that will pass ad cathedra, bulls for us to believe ipsis literis, ipso verbum, lest we are called anathema.>>

Don't worry - we'll never get that big (nor do we want to get that big). We do not desire to make any papal pronouncements!

<<Milt- a hater of Arminianism, who believes that the slight deviation from Justification by faith alone makes one unregenerate, but since I do not dispense "Salvation", I have to call them "savable".>>

I agree with everything in that statement! We do not dispense salvation. And we look at all lost people as potential converts. But all God's people are commanded to make judgments. How can we witness to someone if we do not judge him to be lost?

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Okay. Take a deep breath . Ahhhhh. It's time for me to try to respond to a bunch of the posts again. As I said before, this kind of forum is difficult for me to keep up with. So if I've missed anyone's questions, it's not because I don't want to answer them. Please let me know if there's a question that you asked that you really want me to answer that I haven't answered, and I'll do my best to answer it, the Lord willing.

I'll try to put this all in one post.

I asked Milt: "Are you saying that ALL Muslims and Arminians WITHOUT EXCEPTION are definitely unsaved?"

Milt replied: "Yes! Are you?"

My reply is Yes! (No, I didn't use "definitely" to mean "without end." I'm not saying that all Muslims and Arminians are non-elect.)

Milt asked: "I seriously doubt that, but since you asked me, and I answered courteously, allow me to ask you: do you judge Muslims and Arminians WITHOUT EXCEPTION to be unsaved?"

My reply again is Yes! So we are in agreement on this point.

Milt asked: "You really believe that there is no one who 'believes like you'? Or are you saying that there is no one who believes like you and is unsaved?"

I was saying that I seriously doubted that you knew a lot of people who believe like me. The second question makes a good point. If Mr. A is saved and Mr. B truly believes like Mr. A, then Mr. B must be saved. So if someone truly believes like me (or any other true Christian - I'm not just saying me!), then they must be saved. Although I still sin, I live a life of striving to obey God in every area of my life. Character and conduct is important. So if anyone believed like me, they would live a life of striving for obedience. They wouldn't be the ones getting drunk in the bars or committing adultery. I've even been accused of being "puritanical" in my approach to personal holiness. For an example of what I believe regarding personal purity, see www.outsidethecamp.org/perspur.htm .

Milt wrote: "hence I say that the reformed people of Holland MI that I know, can to your dismay, quote every single precept you teach including but not limited to the aversion for tolerant Calvinism. But I find them in bars (the ones one drinks) and behind bars (the ones you go to dry out after you go to the ones you drink) most every night."

Wow. I've never met this crowd. How do you know of their "aversion for tolerant Calvinism"? Holland, MI is known for its PRC and CRC congregations, neither of which have an aversion for tolerant Calvinism. Are you talking about another group of people? These are really people who say that all tolerant Calvinists are lost? You wouldn't find me excusing their behavior or associating with them. Obviously, these are NOT people who believe like me.

Milt wrote: "That is a point to debate anyway: What is the evidence of salvation? Knowing all the 'a's' and 'b's' of cathecism, of soteriology, or being blind stupid about theology and living a Christ like life, trusting in Him alone and His atonement for salvation? That's an honest question by the way. Note that I am not talking about Salvation here, but the evidence thereof."

This is a good question. What is the evidence of salvation? A person can spout off all the "a's" and "b's" of cathecism, of soteriology and still be unregenerate. But there's no such thing as "being blind stupid about theology" while at the same time "trusting in Him alone and His atonement for salvation." How do you trust what you don't know? How do you believe what you don't know? How can you trust in Christ if you don't know who He is (the doctrine of Christ's person)? How can you trust in His atonement if you don't know what He did (the doctrine of Christ's work)? These are rhetorical questions, of course. You can't believe what you don't know. The main evidence of salvation is BELIEF OF THE GOSPEL. And, of course, good works will accompany that belief. But you CANNOT judge a person to be saved based on his good works (or "living a Christ like life" as you put it). Every saved person is moral, but not every moral person is saved. Not only is faith without works dead; works without faith are dead as well. See the sermons www.outsidethecamp.org/faithworks.htm and www.outsidethecamp.org/worksfaith.htm .

Milt wrote: "If one does not have any clue as to the existence of a particular atonement, but firmly believes solely in Christ and His work for His salvation, thanks Him for His Grace and Him alone, and NEVER heard anyone telling him about such a thing as a 'particular atonement', what should I consider this person to be? In a 'theological purgatory or limbo'? Would you allow me to fellowship with this poor iginorant, knowing that not even God took in consideration the times of ignorance? (Acts 17:30)?"

As I have said before, the issue is not really the extent of the atonement; it is the efficacy of the atonement. If a person does not have a clue as to the efficacy of the atonement, then he obviously does not believe solely in Christ and His work for His salvation. Without an efficacious atonement, there is no atonement. I couldn't care less if someone has never heard of the term "particular atonement." That, in and of itself, would not cause me to judge a person to be lost. But every Christian knows that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. That means he will never believe in universal atonement. Agreed?

Milt asked: "How is this different than the overwhelming majority of us here in the 5solas?"

I don't know what the "overwhelming majority" believe in the 5solas. I just know what I've seen thus far. So why don't we ask this to everybody on this thread: How many of you believe the following:

(1) Every regenerate person believes the gospel.

(2) All who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception (universal atonement) are unregenerate.

(3) All who believe that universal atonement advocates are saved are unregenerate (including those who say they believed universal atonement for a time after they were regenerated).

The responses to this will answer your question.

tomas1 asked: "Was Peter unregenerate when he withdrew from the Galatian gentile Christians and tolerated a false Gospel? If so was he unregenerate when he wrote his letters since we have no record of his calling his time with Jesus 'dung' and dead works? What about Paul he stooped to going to a conference with Peter and Barnabas who had according to your logic proved themselves to be lost. If not why not?"

Please read the article "What About the Galatians?" at www.outsidethecamp.org/galatians.htm . That should answer your question.

WildBoar wrote: "The man with Downs syndrome who sits in front of me at church knows his Saviour just as well as I do but in a different way."

I work with people with developmental disabilities. God does not make exceptions. Every believer, including people with developmental disabilities, believes in the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. Every believer believes that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. A believer with a developmental disability may not be able to articulate his belief, but he will NEVER believe in a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. He will NEVER believe in universal atonement. Thus, he will NEVER confess belief in universal atonement.

Brandan asked: "My question is this... can you be tolerant of ANYTHING?"

A believer can be sinfully tolerant of some things, but he will never be tolerant of false gospels.

Brandan asked:
"Marc, when did you become regenerate? When you embraced the five points of calvinism, when you repented of being saved as an Arminian, when you repented of being a tolerant calvinist, or when you repented of believing you were saved as a tolerant calvinist? Further, were you ever an Arminian? Were you ever a Tolerant Calvinist?"

I grew up in a calvinistic baptist household. I knew and claimed to believe the doctrines of grace from a very young age. Yet I still believed that there were some regenerate Arminians. I then went through a period of time when I thought that Arminian pastors were unregenerate but Arminian church-goers could be regenerate people who were just deceived by the unregenerate Arminian pastors. This shows I was still dead in my sins. God then caused me to believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. And, of course, when God caused me to believe the true gospel, I knew that Arminians couldn't be regenerate, since they do not believe the gospel.

So I was one of those unregenerate, God-hating tolerant Calvinists at one time. I have no problem saying that I hated God, that my deeds were evil, that I was bringing forth fruit unto death.

Brandan asked:
"Finally, if you are tolerant of tolerant tolerant tolerant calvinists, does that make you unregenerate?"

It depends on what you know.

Martin wrote: "Clearly then, from the context, it can be seen that what I was talking about was not knowing any better than universal atonement. So what has that got to do with African Tribesman? How does that answer my point?"

I'll try to explain. The African tribesman knows no better than, say, Animism. This is a false gospel. You knew no better than universal atonement. This is a false gospel. In both cases, ignorance is no excuse. What about someone who grew up in a Jehovah's Witness family and who knew nothing better than Russellism? Does that person's ignorance of the deity of Christ excuse him? Would you say that it is possible that someone who is ignorant of the deity of Christ is saved?

Martin wrote: "So, you agree that there are circumstances where it is possible that a true Christian may not be able to articulate the 'five points'. It follows, that such a one could be found in an Arminian church. So, would you agree that we cannot judge all in an Arminian church unregenerate simply because they attend an Arminian church?"

You seem to be missing the distinction between not being able to articulate the doctrines of grace and believing in a false gospel. A regenerate person may not be able to articulate the doctrines of grace, but he will not believe or confess a false gospel. If someone tells me that he believes that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception, this is NOT an example of a Christian who merely cannot articulate the doctrines of grace. This person is articulating belief in a false gospel, which is impossible for a Christian to do.

Carlos wrote: "I believe that Mr.. Hill has misunderstood Marc here. It is not the same to say that 'someone is not able to articulate his belief', than to confess or articulate belief in another gospel."

Exactly, Carlos. You said it very succinctly and accurately. Inability to articulate belief in the true gospel does not equal articulation of belief in a false gospel.

Carlos wrote: "Anyone who has just been regenerated is not able to articulate the doctrines of grace BUT, such a person will NEVER, EVER confess belief in ANOTHER GOSPEL."

The phrase "Anyone who has just been regenerated is not able to articulate the doctrines of grace" could be misunderstood. It implies that ALL who have just been regenerated would not be able to articulate the doctrines of grace. There are certainly SOME who have just been regenerated who ARE able to articulate the doctrines of grace. But I think I know what you were trying to say. The last part is absolutely true - a newborn Christian will NEVER, EVER confess a belief in a false gospel. NEVER. Got it? NEVER.

Martin wrote:
"do you not accept that such a one could nevertheless erroneously express a belief in universal atonement even though it would be inconsistant with what they actually believe - having never actually thought it through?"

I do not accept this at all. If a person confesses belief in universal atonement, he is expressing belief in universal atonement. Out of the heart the mouth speaks. See www.outsidethecamp.org/rightjudg.htm .

Brandan wrote: "Well since Gordon Clark isn't here to defend himself, he's written so much good stuff, I'll think the best of him rather than the worst of him. Maybe his book was a misprint! I seriously have a hard time believing that Gordon Clark thought all Arminians are saved. No, I say it's impossible."

I contacted John Robbins about this (who publishes Clark's books); it is definitely NOT a misprint. And if it were a misprint, what word could be changed so it would sound orthodox? You won't face up to the fact that he believed that all true Arminians were his brothers in Christ.

Brandan wrote: "Well he may have said it but I don't believe it. Have you done any other research to see if this opinion contradicts anything else he's written?"

Oh, yes, I've done a lot of other research.
Check out what Clark said about Arminianism in God's Hammer: The Bible and Its Critics.

He first said that it is belief in the Bible as God's Word that separates true Christianity from all other false religions:

"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" (p. 189).

So what is the non-Christian side of this "continental divide," according to Clark? He went on to "select two contemporary schools of philosophy" that are on the non-Christian side: Atheism (naturalism, secularism, humanism), and neo-orthodoxy (pp. 189-197). And what is on the truly Christian side of this "continental divide," according to Clark? Well, I'm sure you guys know what's coming. This is under the heading "Arminianism and Calvinism":

"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]" (p. 198).

Clark believed that the waters of the Arminian stream, although tangled with heresy, eventually reach the heavenly ocean. Clark obviously did not believe that Arminians, even though they believe that faith and repentance are the cause of regeneration, believe a false gospel. In fact, he believed that ALL true Arminians MUST be regenerate persons, as seen in the first quote!

Brandan wrote: "Ok brother, what do I have to do in order to be saved? I believe that Christ's righteousness ALONE is my salvation. I believe my Arminianism was false religion. Are you suggesting that I'm not a Christian because I haven't repented of the self-righteous religion I once lived? Are you suggesting that faith and repentance do not occur simultaneously? Since I mentally assent the Gospel is true, that GUARANTEES I've repented of my works of self-righteousness because both faith and repentance occur simultaneously in conversion. You cannot believe without repenting and you cannot repent without believing. Repentance means a 'change of mind'. Now tell me, since you seem to know me better than I do myself, what is it that I haven't changed my mind about?"

As an example, your later comment on people who know what Wesley believed but still consider Wesley to be a Christian shows that the Holy Spirit has not convinced you of sin, righteousness, and judgment. You SAY you believe the gospel, but you don't. I'll try to show you when I get to the part about Wesley.

But you also said you believe you were saved when you were a TC. When you were a TC, you did not believe that the gospel included effectual atonement! Thus, you did not truly know what the gospel is! Yet you continue to believe that you were saved while not knowing the gospel!

Brandan wrote: "Have you repented of being tolerant of Calvin? Were you a Christian when you called yourself a Calvinist? Or did you become a Christian when you repented of being identified with god haters?"

I have encountered this line of reasoning many times. It depends on what you know about someone. I will paste here a post that explains things in more detail:

I've been wanting to write something on the subject of speaking peace, since I have been asked many questions about it and have discussed it with many people. Perhaps this will generate some discussion amongst us. The first kind of peace-speaking I'd like to mention is the most blatant: speaking peace to one who brings a false gospel. Only unbelievers can do this kind of peace-speaking. Note that the person to whom peace is being spoken is one who BRINGS this false gospel to the hearer. The one who BRINGS this false gospel is not subtle; the false gospel he brings is obviously a false gospel. For example, if he confesses universal atonement, this is not a subtle heresy. This is a blatant form of salvation conditioned on the sinner. Thus, if Mr. A tells Mr. B that he believes in universal atonement and Mr. B calls Mr. A a brother in Christ, then Mr. B (who spoke peace to Mr. A, who brought a false gospel) is lost. But what about the peace-speaking that believers can and do engage in? Believers are commanded to speak peace to those who confess the true gospel. Yet there are some who seem to confess the true gospel for a time who turn out to be unbelievers. Can a true believer speak peace to someone who in actuality is an unbeliever? The answer is yes. And before you start throwing things at me, I would like to explain with some different scenarios. The believer in these scenarios will be called Mr. Smith.

Scenario 1: Mr. Jones tells Mr. Smith that he believes in the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. Mr. Jones tells Mr. Smith that he has repented of dead works and former idolatry and counts all his former religion as dung. He judges all who confess salvation conditioned on the sinner, including all Arminians, to be lost. He tells Mr. Smith he agrees with the six statements. Mr. Smith sees no flaws in Mr. Jones's confession of the gospel and no other doctrines inconsistent with his confession. What should Mr. Smith do?

The answer is that Mr. Smith should -- indeed, MUST -- speak peace to Mr. Jones. He must judge, based on Mr. Jones's confession, that Mr. Jones is regenerate. But, you may ask, what if it turns out that Mr. Jones was lying? Well, as soon as it is found out that Mr. Jones was lying and that he really does not believe the true gospel and has not repented, Mr. Smith must stop speaking peace to Mr. Jones. Yet WHILE Mr. Smith was speaking peace to Mr. Jones (before Mr. Jones showed his true colors), Mr. Smith was a regenerate person speaking peace to an unregenerate person. Some have accused me of holding to the view that all who speak peace to any unregenerate person is lost. This is a misunderstanding of my view. Certainly all who speak peace to someone they KNOW confesses a false gospel is lost. But this is different than someone who speaks peace to an unregenerate person who outwardly professes the truth. Am I being clear? If not, please feel free to ask questions.

Scenario 2: Mr. Smith has just been regenerated. He was formerly an atheist and knows nothing about the Calvinism - Arminianism controversy. He hardly knows anything about the state of "Christendom" in America. He heard the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone and believed it, and he repented of dead works and former idolatry. He meets Mr. Jones on the street who tells him, "I'm a Christian. I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ." Mr. Smith naively judges Mr. Jones a Christian before asking him more questions, because Mr. Smith assumes that Mr. Jones believes the same thing he does. In Mr. Smith's mind, Mr. Jones's confession was equivalent to saying, "I believe in the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone; I believe that Christ's righteousness demands the salvation of all whom He represented. I have repented of dead works and former idolatry." It is certain that Mr. Smith's naivete is sinful. But should we judge Mr. Smith to be lost because he spoke peace to this person who said, "I'm a Christian. I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ"?

Let's get even more subtle than that:

Scenario 3: Mr. Smith is a Christian who knows about the Calvinism - Arminianism controversy. As a true Christian who knows about the controversy, he obviously believes that Arminianism is a false gospel and that all Arminians are lost. Now suppose Mr. Jones says to him, "I believe that the doctrines of grace are the truth and anything that contradicts them are lies. I rejoice in sovereign grace, in double predestination, in particular redemption. I believe that Arminianism is a damnable heresy from the pit of hell. I believe that the god of Arminianism is no God at all, that the christ of Arminianism is no Savior, that the atonement of Arminianism is no atonement at all. Arminianism is satanic." Mr. Smith then naively judges Mr. Jones a Christian before asking him more questions, because Mr. Smith assumes that Mr. Jones believes the same thing he does.

Again, it is certain that Mr. Smith's naivete is sinful. But should we judge Mr. Smith to be lost because he spoke peace to this person who seemed to come out so boldly for the doctrines of grace and against Arminianism? Of course, we know that one such as Mr. Jones can be against the ISM yet speak peace to those who hold to the ISM. They can say that ArminianISM is a damnable heresy from the pit of hell, yet they will say that some Arminians are regenerate. But do we expect that all Christians, even Christians who are familiar with the Calvinism - Arminianism controversy, will know that some of those who seem so strong against ArminianISM are actually unregenerate?

Now let's go to an example that will seem absurd at first but I hope will give you food for thought:

Scenario 4: Go back to Scenario 2 regarding Mr. Smith who knows nothing about the Calvinism - Arminianism controversy. In fact, Mr. Smith has never heard of Calvin or Arminius or Calvinism or Arminianism. Now suppose a professing Christian comes up to him and tells him that Arminianism and Christianity are equivalent terms, that all Arminians believe in the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone and have repented from dead works and former idolatry, that all Arminians believe that Christ's righteousness demands the salvation of all whom He represented. Now what if Mr. Smith were then asked, "Are Arminians your brothers in Christ?" and Mr. Smith said, "Yes"? You can see why, in Statement #5 of the Six Statements, I included the qualifying phrase "All who know what the doctrines of Arminianism are."

Chew on these things! And remember -- anyone who speaks peace to one who confesses belief in any of the doctrines of Arminianism is MOST DEFINITELY LOST. Anyone who claims to have believed in any of the doctrines of Arminianism while regenerate is MOST DEFINITELY LOST. Yet if someone speaks peace to an unregenerate person who professes to believe the true gospel, this peace-speaking is not necessarily a sign of lostness.

You might remember the post I sent about people like John Robbins, who seemed to be so strong for the gospel and against the false gospel of Arminianism. Remember that Robbins said:

<<Most churches in the United States that call themselves Christian reject the Gospel. They teach, if they are liberal, that Jesus was a good man - even a martyr -- but he died in no one's place; or, if they are conservative, that Jesus died in everyone's place, desires all men to be saved, and offers salvation to all. But it really makes little difference whether a church is large, respectable, liberal, and teaches that Jesus died for no one; or enthusiastic, growing, conservative, and teaches that Jesus died for everyone. The result is the same: Jesus Christ actually saves no one -- no one at all. Both liberals and conservatives agree that people save themselves by an exercise of their wills. The conservative "Christ" makes salvation possible, if people will only let him into their hearts; the liberal "Christ" points the way to salvation, if people will but follow his example. Neither 'Christ' saves. The liberals are perhaps more forthright in denying the Gospel; they say that Jesus was just a good example or a good teacher. They don't pretend to present a Saviour. The conservatives disguise the fact that they have no Gospel -- no good news -- by saying that God loves everyone and offers salvation to all. But the meaning of both the liberal message and the conservative message is the same: Neither a good moral teacher nor a mere offer of salvation actually saves. Neither the liberals nor the conservatives, the humanists nor the Arminians, have a Saviour.>>

And yet it turns out that he believes this:

<<Second, can an Arminian get the doctrine of justification straight? Yes, considered all by itself, he can. He can understand the resurrection, imputation, substitution, the alien righteousness of Christ, and believe them. Many Arminians do not, but it is theoretically possible for one to do so. One must keep in mind the distinction between a system and a person. In one of the quotes you provided, Clark pointed out that people are sometimes wonderfully confused, and they are saved in spite of that confusion.>>

And then, most recently, there was Allen Baird, who wrote this:

<<It might be said by the Christian in true disgust that such a view of the atonement [the Arminian view] is no atonement at all. ... Therefore, to put the matter at its most focused, it is not the case that the Arminians hold to one view of the atonement and the Reformed hold to another, but the Arminians really deny any atonement whatsoever!>>

And yet it turns out that he believes this:

<<However, I must confess that I deny your conclusions about all who have defective views on the atonement being unregenerate. ... Now I do not believe that all Arminians are saved. What I am saying is that they *may* be regenerated, and many are. ... Therefore, it is my opinion that the difference between us and ordinary Arminians is *only one of degree.* We simply believe more truths and reject more errors than they do. Both Calvinists and Arminians may believe in the same Christ of the ancient church creeds. The difference is that Calvinists have a clearer and more consistent conception of the nature of Christ's work than the Arminian has. ... So to the question in your letter where you say you would like to know for sure if I consider all such people (i.e. Arminians) to be unregenerate, I reply that I would not.>>

These things leave us shaking our heads. They also show that someone can seem so right-on about Arminianism (and even be persecuted for his beliefs by Arminians and other tolerant "Calvinists"!) and yet turn out to be a God-hater when it comes down to judging Arminians to be lost. And if we just knew about their anti-Arminian statements (and even their statements about the true gospel vs. the false gospel), we might be tempted to say that they are brothers in Christ before really getting all the facts. I certainly have learned this the hard way.

Brandan wrote: "I agree that is sad. I intend on giving you a challenge. I won't resort to personal attacks but instead to the Word of God and prove you to be in error. I'm rather disappointed that the Christian community hasn't taken the time to prove you wrong. Sadly we live in an age of anti-intellectualism - but I can tell you that the men here on this forum will prove a challenge to you."

Thus far, I'm not impressed.

I asked: "And what if Alan (and any other TCs on this list) would respond to you that in spite of what Wesley taught, he was a true Christian? What if they agreed that this is what Wesley taught but still maintain that he was a man of God, that he believed and proclaimed the true gospel and that people were saved through this kind of preaching? What conclusion would you reach regarding these TCs?"

Brandan replied: "I would say they are in error. I would also say they should repent of their sin! But I do not believe they are counting on their self-righteousness to save them. I cannot make that logical conclusion."

I asked: "Does this TC believe the true gospel?"

Brandan replied: "I ask these questions. 'Who are you depending on for your righteousness? Who is the determining factor in your salvation? Christ ALONE, or your free will decision?' If they affirm the former, I accept them as brethren."

I asked: "And how about the TC who says that he remained a Wesleyan for a time after he was regenerated"

Brandan replied: "This person is confused!"

Okay. So if I'm not mistaken (tell me if I'm wrong), you (Brandan) are saying that a person who KNOWS that Wesley taught that justification was not based on imputed righteousness and that he had to work to stay saved and STILL believes that Wesley was saved IS NOT NECESSARILY LOST. Right? So we're talking about a person who claims to believe in the gospel of sovereign grace but who:

(1) Does not believe that all saved people believe in justification based on imputed righteousness.

(2) Believes that some saved people believe they have to work to stay saved.

(3) Does not believe that imputed righteousness is part of the gospel.

Yet YOU believe that a saved person could believe such things. YOU believe that someone who believes such things could be your brother in Christ. YOU believe that such a person could truly believe the gospel! This is a person who does NOT believe that imputed righteousness is part of the gospel, and yet YOU believe that such a person DOES believe the gospel! What does this say about what YOU believe to be the gospel? You may SAY that you believe that imputed righteousness is part of the gospel, yet you ALLOW for people who DO NOT believe that imputed righteousness is part of the gospel! You ALLOW for people who say that those who believe in conditional preservation are saved! You ALLOW for people who say that those who believe in justification based on works are saved! You ALLOW for people who do not believe that the work of Christ is essential to the gospel!! So your profession of belief in the gospel is a hollow, worthless profession! Can you see it, Brandan? Oh, I pray to God that you do! Dear God, I pray that You will open Brandan's eyes to see the truth!

I asked: What if a TC tells you that he got saved and then continued to believe for a period of time that justification was not based on imputed righteousness and that he had to work to stay saved, and then he "came into" the doctrines of grace and believed the doctrines of grace, yet he still believed that he was a saved man when he held to justification and preservation based on his own righteousness?

Brandan responded: "A person would never utter such an illogical statement!"

Really? A person would NEVER utter such an illogical statement? Did you read that, everybody else on the list? A person would NEVER utter such an illogical statement!

Brandan wrote: "There CAN be a period of time that elapses between regeneration and conversion. A person has to be regenerated in ORDER to believe the Gospel, don't you agree? So when does regeneration take place? One microsecond before conversion or a few minutes?"

Conversion is the IMMEDIATE fruit of regeneration. There is NEVER a time when a regenerate person believes a false gospel.

Martin wrote: "Friends, I came across another forum where Marc has been posting. Some good points have been made there which Marc has not answered."

Really? I doubt very much that there was a bunch of things that I did not answer. I have been banned from some forums, and my responses have been deleted from others. So don't assume I didn't answer these things.

Here's some of what was said in the forum: "May I ask if you believe that Paul was speaking as regenerate or unregenerate in Romans 7? I ask because if he was unregenerate, then you are forced to the conclusion that unregenerate men can will to keep the law and do good (vss. 18-19)--which is contrary to Romans 8:5-9 and like passages. But if he was regenerate, then you are forced to the conclusion that regenerate persons are still partially blinded and decapacitated by sin in this life (vss. 21-23)--such that the good they want to do in the inner man (viz., believe the gospel), they cannot always fruitfully bring to expression in the outter man. However you understand it, how does this passage jibe with what you're telling me about Arminians?"

My response: I believe Paul was speaking as regenerate in Romans 7. See www.outsidethecamp.org/romans42.htm . Christians still are plagued with indwelling sin. This does NOT mean that they believe a false gospel! Quite a leap of logic!

Then there was a big portion in that forum on the Galatians. My response is this: Read the article "What About the Galatians" at www.outsidethecamp.org/galatians.htm .

BillTwisse then decides to write a post on the Christian Confession of Faith. The name of the thread is ""Are tolerant calvinists (tc) unregenerate?", meaning that the purpose of the thread is to discuss this topic. If BillTwisse would like to critique the CCF, he's welcome to do so, but it doesn't have a place on this thread. By the way, the primary author of the CCF has seen BillTwisse's critique and is planning to respond to it in a different thread.

Finally, a response to Carla's post.

Carla wrote: "I am so very glad that my salvation is not contingent on MC's interpreation of the Scriptures, or understanding of theology."

Salvation is not contingent on any understanding or on any interpretation. Salvation is contingent on the work of Jesus Christ alone. Then, when God saves someone, He gives that person understanding of essential gospel doctrine. See www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm .

Carla wrote: "While I do in fact agree with much what he has said, if he were the deciding factor in my conversion (whether it was genuine or not), I'd surely roast in hell for all eternity."

I am not the deciding factor in anyone's conversion.

Carla wrote:
"It's a very rare thing to come across someone who, at the moment of conversion, has the same understanding of the grace of God, as someone who has had the benefit of living it and studying it from the Scriptures. YES, you do know it is by His grace you are saved, but it's extremely rare for a new believer (or even a believer under false teaching for a time), to be able to articulate this grace."

No one is saying that a newly regenerate person has to articulate this grace. Yet further above, you talk about understanding. EVERY Christian, from the newborn Christian to the mature in the faith, believe the SAME GOSPEL of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. They will NEVER believe in universal atonement.

Carla wrote:
"While I struggled to accept the free will sermons, I had not yet been exposed to the deeper doctrines of Scripture"

The person and work of Christ are the BASICS of the faith, not some higher doctrine that only seminarians can understand.

Carla wrote: "Do the unregenerate seek the deep things of God? Do they seek God at all? Do they seek truth, and turn to the Scriptures, and prayer? Do they question their pastors and teachers, about doctrines that dont seem to add up? Do they ever question if what they think they already know about Scripture, is wanting?"

The unregenerate most certainly seek in their own way. They do not seek after the true God of the Bible, but they most certainly attempt to seek truth, even in Scriptures, and even in their prayers (which are abominations to God). They question their pastors and teachers about doctrines that don't seem to add up. They question if what they think they already know about Scripture is wanting. They can do all these things. These things, apart from belief of the true gospel, are no evidence of regeneration.

Carla wrote:
"The answer to all those questions, as we SHOULD all know, is NO. The unregenerate do NOT seek God, they are at enmity with Him, they HATE Him, and hate anything to do with Him."

They most certainly do not seek the true and living God. They most certainly hate the true and living God and hate anything to do with the true and living God. They love the god of their own imaginations. This is true of every single person who believes in universal atonement. They may regularly go to church, sing with all their hearts, pray, give to missions, and live moral lives, but they HATE the true and living God. Their god is a god who cannot save. Their christ is one who died for those screaming in hell. They trample underfoot the blood of the true Christ. They will not have THIS Christ to reign over them. They are God-haters. Every single one of them. They HATE the God of the Bible.

Carla wrote: "They will not grieve over their own sinfulness, they will not turn to the Scriptures, they do not pray for His guidance and wisdom, they do not humble themselves before Him, they do not desire to grow in understanding."

There are many unregenerate people who sorrow over their sins due to natural conscience conviction. They will even turn to the Scriptures and pray to their god to help them to grow.

Carla wrote:
"For a group of people who consistantly preach on the topic of total depravity, this truth should be obvious - that the natural man (unregenerate) has no interest in the things of God."

Like the Pharisees, the natural man can look like he has an interest in the things of God, can be very moral and religious, but as long as he is ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel, he is going about to establish his own righteousness and is not submitted to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:1-3).

Carla wrote:
"So taking this to it's logical conclusion (according to MC's definition of unregenerate people), we would have to say that ALL arminians, who ever do any of those things above, seeking God's wisdom, etc., aren't truly saved at all -and yet - they defy the very Scriptures that tell us that ONLY those who have a new heart, do these things."

"Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power? And then I will declare to them, I NEVER KNEW YOU; DEPART FROM ME, THOSE WORKING LAWLESSNESS!" (Matthew 7:22-23).

Carla makes her judgments based on religious zeal and on outward appearance. Christians make their judgments based on gospel doctrine. Sure, Arminians seek their god's wisdom. They pray, they search the Scriptures, they have zeal. But it is all dung. Their zeal is not according to KNOWLEDGE. They are ever searching and never able to come to a KNOWLEDGE of the truth.

Carla wrote:
"It cannot be both ways. You cannot be dead in trespasses and sins, unregenerate, hating God, and yet still seeking the things OF God. You cannot be a 'God-hater' and have a burning desire to have God reveal to you that thing that gnaws at your mind, that you know you have not been taught yet, not even knowing what it is, but just KNOWING there is more to Scripture, MORE to the dynamic of the relationship between God and fallen man, than you have been shown."

Many self-righteous religionists have this "burning desire," and it is nothing but fruit unto death. A desire to learn is not, in and of itself, a mark of a regenerate person. Many who are trusting in themselves for salvation have a "desire to learn." Yet they hate the true and living God.

Carla wrote:
"The fact that this would be the desire of a man's heart, to seek God, to please God, to know Scripture, to live it, to revere Him, is evidence that a man HAS been changed inwardly by the power of God!"

Without belief of the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone, it is not evidence at all; it is just dung for the dungheap.

Carla wrote: "There are many, many people out there, who are in fact saved, and under a false teaching."

God says that the GOSPEL is the power of God unto salvation. Is this talking about a false gospel? God says that those who believe the GOSPEL are saved. Is this talking about a false gospel?

So, as I end this long post, I must ask:

Are we discussing the topic of the thread? Or was I invited onto this discussion list so people could just tell me I'm wrong? If people are serious about discussing the topic of the thread, I'm willing to continue.

Are all Arminians lost? It seems that most people on this list would say NO. Thus, is there any point to discussing if all tolerant Calvinists are lost? There is such a lack of understanding about the basics of the gospel, it's appalling.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

www.outsidethecamp.org

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Anthony Lawson wrote:

==Correct. This is where Carpenter goes off the deep end, if you don't know all of the vocabulary and all of it's implications then you are unregenerate.==

This is slander. I couldn't care less if a person does or doesn't know all of the vocabulary. I couldn't care less if a person has or hasn't heard of the "five points of Calvinism" or "Arminianism." Contrary to your slander, I believe that a believer may not be able to systematize or articulate what he believes. He may not use all the same terminology I do. Are you surprised, Anthony? Are you surprised, anyone else on this list? This is what I have ALWAYS believed and taught ever since God saved me. You will NEVER find anything different in what I have said or written.

What DOES matter, then? What matters is if the person believes the GOSPEL. WHO CARES if the person has ever heard of "Arminianism" or "Calvinism"! What matters is - DOES HE BELIEVE THE GOSPEL? That's all that matters! Christ and Him Crucified!

I can't keep you from slandering me, but I can surely show people what I really believe in contrast to what you falsely accuse me of believing.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

www.outsidethecamp.org


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