The gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone.

All regenerate persons believe the gospel.

All regenerate persons believe that the work of Christ alone is what makes the difference between heaven and hell.

All Arminians believe that Jesus Christ died for every human being without exception.

All Arminians believe that it is NOT the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between heaven and hell.

All Arminians believe that it is the work of the sinner that makes the difference between heaven and hell.

All Arminians believe in the false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner.

All Arminians are unregenerate.

Are all who call themselves Calvinists regenerate? No.

Those professing Calvinists who know what Arminianism is and yet consider at least some Arminians to be their brothers in Christ (or consider themselves to have been regenerate when they were Arminians) are also unregenerate. They do not believe that the gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone; instead, they consider the Arminian gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner to be a true gospel.

The Bible says that those who do not believe the gospel are lost (Mark 16:16).

The Bible says that in the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed (Romans 1:16-17).

The Bible says that those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are going about to establish a righteousness of their own and are thus lost, no matter how zealous they are for God (Romans 10:1-3).

The Bible says that the righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel is the very imputed righteousness of Christ (Romans 10:4; Romans 4:1-8).

Those who do not believe that the work of Christ demands and ensures the salvation of all whom He represented believe in a false god, a false christ, and a false gospel. They are yet dead in their sins and are bringing forth evil deeds and fruit unto death.

There are other articles on this subject on the Outside the Camp web site (http://www.outsidethecamp.org).

Soli Deo Gloria,

Marc D. Carpenter


Hello, everybody!

I'm very glad my post generated discussion. I am not surprised that no one is in agreement with me. This is typical of fashionable Calvinism that cries "peace, peace" when there is no peace. I do hope that at least some of you will take what I have to say seriously and look at it in light of God's Word. If what I am saying does not hold up to Scripture, then you should discard it. But if what I am saying is Biblical, then you need to see the very serious, life-and-death implications of this. Some of this is going to come across as mean, harsh, unloving, arrogant, etc., etc., but this is not the way in which it is intended. When Jesus and Paul told the self-righteous religionists of their day that they were lost and their deeds were evil, they were seen as harsh and unloving.

There are always going to be some (in fact, most) who will pass off what I'm saying as worthless. But there are a few, just a few, who will believe the true gospel. Perhaps there are some on this list who will see the truth of the gospel and will repent of dead works and idolatry. That would be a blessing. I come to you with a concern for your souls. I pray that you will see the truth.

Dave said:

<<Spurgeon once said that all newly saved Christians were arminian at first. We all believe initially that we have chosen God, until we find out the truth later.>>

Yes, Spurgeon is the most famous advocate of tolerant "Calvinism." When people want to back up their tolerant "Calvinist" position, they will usually resort to Spurgeon, who spoke peace to the haters of God. I ask you to judge Spurgeon in light of Scripture. Spurgeon is a prime example of the person spoken of in 2 John 11, who was a participant in the evil deeds of those who brought a false gospel. See http://www.outsidethecamp.org/2John11.htm.

Jason said:

<<Well. I would have to disagree. Just as in the early church there was an element of error among some brethren so there will be with all young believers.>>

I propose to you that there was NO error in the early church amongst true Christians regarding the ground of salvation. There certainly was (and is) all kinds of error. But error about the gospel, the ground of salvation, the righteousness of God, is indicative of lostness. Look carefully at Romans 10:1-4. Paul speaks of those who have a zeal of God, but they were missing some KNOWLEDGE. And because they were missing some KNOWLEDGE, Paul judged them to be unregenerate. Because they were ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel -- the very imputed righteousness of Christ as the ground of salvation -- they were going about to establish a righteousness of their own.

<<I was saved as an Armenian. However I must admit I started to struggle with the issue of faith being from God or myself almost immediately and had a very long hard struggle with it for a while.>>

I assume you meant to say that you were saved as an Arminian (unless you're from Armenia). Just because you say it does not make it so. By what standard do you judge that you were saved when you were an Arminian? Is it because you just felt a love of Jesus come over you? Is it because you turned from immorality to morality? We must judge our own confessions by the Word of God. And the Word of God says that those who do not believe the gospel are lost (Mark 16:16). The Word of God says that when He saves a sinner, He gives that sinner knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). What is this knowledge? Is it some mystical, undefinable feeling? Or is it knowledge of the PERSON and the WORK of Jesus Christ?

<<Through the whole struggle I always knew the essential basic. Christ was the only one who can satisfy my dept. It was through Him alone that I could rest on for salvation. It was clear that the regenerating work of God had done a work in me despite my confusion.>>

Okay, so you agree that there are some basics that are essential. What are these? Is it belief in Jesus Christ? What does that mean? Is it enough to just say, "I believe in Jesus Christ?" If so, then the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses and the Moonies and the Roman Catholics say that. Why was it clear that God had done a work in you? What evidence did you have of regeneration? When you say, "It was through Him alone that I could rest on for salvation," does that mean that you believed that the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ demanded and ensured your salvation? That your works formed no part of the ground of your acceptance before God? That Christ's work alone made the difference between saved and lost?

<<Although I did not understand the Calvinist view yet I did repent, I did believe, and I continued by Gods grace to have faith added to me day by day.>>

I am not saying that one must be able to articulate and systematize the doctrines of grace in order for me to judge that person saved. Some regenerate people have never heard of Calvinism. I don't ask people if they are Calvinists. Whether or not they call themselves Calvinists means nothing to me. The issue is whether or not they believe THE GOSPEL. And one who believes THE GOSPEL will NEVER believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner. That means that he will NEVER believe that Christ's blood atoned for the sins of everyone without exception. That means that Arminians (all of whom believe in universal atonement) do not believe the gospel.

<<This I can not deny. After time, about 3 years of struggle, I became convinced of Calvinist theology with the help I might add, from the owner of this chat group. I then no longer had the struggles I had in the past.>>

What were these struggles? Were they struggles of believing in salvation conditioned on Christ vs. salvation conditioned on yourself?

<<Nevertheless it was faith which can only come from God, therefore I believe I was saved even though I was an Armenian. You may say I was truly saved when I became a Calvinist. You may be right. I guess we will not know until the day we see God face to face. But I can not deny the work of God in my heart during those first three years.>>

I would first want to know what you mean by "Arminian." If you mean by "Arminian" someone who believes in universal atonement, then you were not saved when you were an Arminian, and were not saved when you became a "Calvinist."

Bernard said:

<<Agreed. Later you cite Mk 16:16 I would add Ro 1:16; Eph 1:13; 1Pe 4:17; Rev 14:6-7 to name a few. John Gill says on Mk 16:16 "Not notionally only, or that gives a bare assent to the truth of the Gospel; but spiritually, who sees Christ, his need of him, and the worth and excellency, suitableness and fulness of him; who comes to him as a poor perishing sinner, and ventures on him, and commits himself to him, and lives upon him; believing alone in him, and expecting life and salvation alone by him:">>

Okay. Let's take Gill's words. He is saying that all regenerate persons expect life and salvation alone by Christ. Now let's think of someone who believes in universal atonement. Does he expect life and salvation alone by Christ? He believes that Christ's blood was shed to make all men savable. He believes that Christ's blood was shed for those in hell. Thus, he believes that Christ's blood is NOT what makes the difference, since Christ's blood was shed for all without exception. He does not believe that the work of Christ answered the demands of God's law and justice for all He represented. His atonement is no atonement at all. He does NOT expect life and salvation alone by Christ. He expects life and salvation by Christ's work plus his faith, perseverance, etc. Thus, he is not a believer.

<<Here we move from things that can be verified Scripturally to things that are concluded based on observations. Do you wish to enter this as a definition of Arminianism? Or do you suppose to make categorical statements about all of those who call themselves Arminian? You may be able to prove the first, but I doubt you can prove he latter.>>

Okay. Can we all agree that all Arminians believe that Christ died for everyone without exception? If so, then let us dwell on this belief, since the atonement is at the heart of the gospel.

If we agree on this, then we can say that Arminians believe that Christ's atonement is NOT what makes the ultimate difference between heaven and hell, since Christ's atonement is for those in heaven AND those in hell. Are you with me so far?

And if Christ's atonement is NOT what makes the ultimate difference between heaven and hell, WHAT IS IT that the Arminians think makes the ultimate difference between heaven and hell? I'll leave that out there for discussion.

<<Are all those who *called Arminian, really Arminian? In fact, are all those who *call themselves Arminian, really Arminian? Are all those who are confused, babes, or otherwise mislead, Arminians by *your definition?>>

Let's take Arminians as those who believe universal atonement (e.g., salvation conditioned not on the atonement but on the sinner). It matters not how someone came to that view; what matters is that they believe that Christ's blood was shed for all without exception. Can a person be misled into believing universal atonement? Yes! In fact, ALL who believe in universal atonement are misled. But the fact that one is misled does not mean that he is saved. If one is misled on essential gospel issues, it means that he is NOT saved.

<<Must one have a complete, theologically correct in every point of understanding of the gospel in order to be saved?>>

I would like to answer this question with a couple scenarios. First, let's take the person who believes that Mary is co-redemptrix with Christ. Would you agree that this person is unregenerate? How about the person who denies the deity of Christ? Would you agree that this person is unregenerate? Why? After all, must one have a complete, theologically correct understanding in every point of the gospel in order to be saved? After all, the first person is just confused about the doctrine of Christ's work, and the second person is just confused about the doctrine of Christ's person. Can a regenerate person be confused about these things?

I submit to you that the PERSON and the WORK of Christ are BASIC GOSPEL ISSUES. They are not some higher theology that only seminarians can understand. If one has wrong beliefs about the PERSON of Christ, then he is lost. If one has wrong beliefs about the WORK of Christ, then he is lost. Would you agree?

And one point that needs to be made right up front: Knowledge of gospel doctrines is NOT a prerequisite to salvation. NOTHING is a prerequisite to salvation. But when God saves someone, He gives that person knowledge. The question is -- what is that knowledge that He gives His people when He saves them?

<<What of those in Galatians (See Ga 1:6)? Were they all unbelievers?>>

See "What About the Galatians?" at http://www.outsidethecamp.org/galatians.htm.

<<If one must have a complete and perfect understanding of the gospel to be saved, how can one grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth (2Pe 3:18)? Consider also Ga 3; Ep 4; 1 Pe 2; Re 2:4 to name a few...>>

Does one grow from belief in salvation conditioned on the sinner to belief in salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone? Certainly there are areas in which we grow in knowledge and understanding. But is the ground of salvation one of those areas?

<<Is this a 'work' you require of sinners in addition to the work of Christ? If so, you have hung yourself on your own logical construct. Consider, you said, "All Arminians believe that it is the work of the sinner that makes the difference between heaven and hell." And "All Arminians believe that it is NOT the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between heaven and hell." Since this is a work done by sinners (unless you care to deny that you are a sinner contra 1Jo 1:8,10) and it seems that this is a work your require of all those who are true believers then it would seem you are doing that which you accuse Arminians of.>>

If I considered salvation to be conditioned on a person's knowledge, then yes, I would be just as lost as the Arminians. But I do not believe this. Knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is given to God's people when He regenerates them. Salvation is God glorifying Himself in the hearts of sinners. He causes them to give Him all the glory in their salvation. Knowledge of the person and work of Christ is an inevitable fruit of salvation.

<<Some of those who call themselves Calvinists, are truly Arminian by your definition. However, no man can truly know the thoughts and the intents of the heart (Ps 139; Jer 17:9-10; He 4:12;).>>

Christians are commanded to judge. See "Righteous Judgment" at http://www.outsidethecamp.org/rightjudg.htm. God tells us to try the spirits (1 John 4:1). He tells us to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14) He tells us not to give a greeting to one who does not abide in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9-11). How are we to do this if we do not know who is lost?

<<Believers can be deceived. (Ga 3)>>

Believers cannot be deceived in the area of the ground of salvation. See Matthew 24:23-24.

God's people "NEVER follow a stranger, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers" (John 10:5).

Roy said:

<<That should be enough to destroy any argument saying if you believe wrongly at first you were not saved.>>

Oh, okay. So what about the Muslims? I guess you'd say that it is possible that there are some regenerate Muslims out there, because wrong belief doesn't mean you're not saved. Your argument falls to pieces right at the outset.

ROvers1164 said:

<<So, Marc, you are saying that God cannot save me without me having a complete knowledge of how that salvation works and not just knowing that He died for my sins and is giving me eternal life with Him? Even though He is God? I say God can do anything, including saving sinners, without them having the full understanding of the reformed faith.>>

You misunderstand me. Knowledge is not a condition that the sinner has to meet before God will save them. Knowledge is GIVEN to the sinner WHEN God saves them. And I never said anything about "full understanding of the reformed faith." I said that all Arminians are lost. How did you get "full understanding of the reformed faith" out of that? As I said before, a regenerate person may not be able to systematize or articulate the doctrines of grace, but since he believes the gospel, he will NEVER believe in universal atonement. I could care less if he has ever heard of "the reformed faith." Don't talk to me about "Calvinism" or "the reformed faith"; talk to me about the gospel.

<<I know that we do not go on experience.>>

Oh yes? Then why, after you said that, did you give me your experience? Paul counted all his "experience" as a moral, religious Jew as DUNG in light of the knowledge of Christ.

<<The next thing I remember is that I felt CLEAN.>>

Many people feel CLEAN when they convert to Buddhism.

Many people feel CLEAN when they convert to Islam.

Many people have big transformations from immorality to morality when they convert to these religions. This is NOT the standard by which Christians judge. The standard by which Christians judge is what GOSPEL they believe. And this GOSPEL means DOCTRINE.

<<Gone was the desire to smoke pot & cigarettes, drink alcohol, have illicit sexual relationships (one night stands).>>

This means NOTHING. Lost people have gone from immorality to morality. And Jesus said that when the Pharisees converted people from heathenism to religious morality, they were making these people two times more the children of hell than they already were. It is actually WORSE for someone to go from immorality to self-righteous religion.

<<So I went in search of someone who did know and that led me to a charismatic church. I was involved with the charismatic church for 10 years before I began to understand election.>>

Did this charismatic church believe that Jesus died for all without exception?

<<It changed my life dramatically and I wanted nothing to do with the 'false gospel' of the Arminians. I considered it to be a 'gospel of self'. However, I could not deny that no matter how ignorant they were there must be others who were also truly saved. After all, I was.>>

So, even though you concluded that Arminians believe a false gospel, a gospel of self, you justify your position of speaking peace to Arminians because of your own experience. This is so very typical. I can't tell you how many lost "Calvinists" I've met who put forth the exact same position. A true conversion is marked by repenting of dead works and idolatry. This means that when one is truly converted, he repents of ever having thought that salvation was conditioned on himself. This means that he counts as DUNG all his former experiences and religion while ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel. When one tries to pour the new wine into the old bottle, it shows that he really prefers the old. While someone might have "come into" the doctrines of grace, as long as he considers himself to have been saved in his former religion, he really prefers the old wine of the old religion, no matter how much he says it is a false gospel.

<<I think even some Calvinists (or should I say Christians as the two are synonymous to you)>>

Obviously you didn't read my post closely. I consider most "Calvinists" to be unregenerate, because I judge by God's Testimony.

Jason said:

<<Also if understanding that believing in "Calvinism" was a prerequisite to salvation>>

NO. Believing in "Calvinism" is not a prerequisite to salvation. NOTHING is a prerequisite to salvation. And even AFTER salvation, someone may have never heard of "Calvinism."

<<If you believe that only those who believed in "Calvinism" upon there first profession of faith are saved how many Godly men have you disqualified in the past or present?>>

Again, some regenerate persons have never heard of Calvinism.

You talk of "Godly men." By what standard do you judge them to be "Godly men"? You're obviously making a judgment here, so you should be able to tell me WHY you consider them "Godly."

<<My ignorance or lack of understanding will never dis-annul the power of God or what He has accomplished.>>

<<You can believe things of God without having a full comprehension of them or Him. Lack of comprehension in no way disqualifies what we believe.>>

A Muslim or Hindu could say the same thing. Would you judge a Muslim or a Hindu saved?

<<Now I will agree that if someone remains hostile to the doctrine of predestination throughout their lives until death I may have doubt.>>

Why would you have doubt? After all, you just got through saying that Christians can be in error. Why would you have reason to doubt their salvation if they remain hostile to the doctrine of predestination?

<<However as stated by someone earlier I will not presume to judge the heart of a professing Christian. Only God knows who are truly His.>>

Wait a minute, here. You just got through talking about "Godly men." You made a judgment that they were regenerate. Now you say you will not presume to judge the heart of a professing Christian. Which is it? Again, see http://www.outsidethecamp.org/rightjudg.htm.

<<How many errors have you believed throughout your Christian life that you later learned were untrue? Does the fact that you held to some element of error at some time in your Christian walk mean you were never saved?>>

Christians can be in error about many things, including such things as ecclesiology or eschatology. But they will NEVER be in error about the ground of their salvation.

Jason then later said:

<<After thinking upon this issue a little more I would like to clarify my thoughts. I would give no knowing Armenian comfort in their profession of faith. Especially if they out right say they chose God and continue to hold to that belief.>>

Interesting, Jason! You're thinking! I appreciate that! You would give no knowing Arminian comfort in their profession of faith. Okay! Now my question is: WHY? If a true Christian can hold to Arminian doctrines, then WHY would you not give this person comfort in their profession? Maybe we're getting somewhere here. I have a true scenario I'd like to run by you. An Arminian pastor once preached the following in a sermon:

"Knowing God as I do through the revelation He has given me of Himself in His Word, when I am told that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, I know it means that the Triune God has done, is doing, always will do, all that the Triune God can do to save every man, woman, and child on this earth. If it does not mean that, then tell me I pray you, what does it mean? What is hell? It is infinite negation. It is infinite chaos. And it is more than that. I tell you, and I say it with profound reverence, hell is a ghastly monument to the failure of God to save the multitudes that are there. I say it reverently, I say it with every nerve in my body tense; sinners go to hell because God Himself cannot save them. He did all He could. He failed."

Would you even start to consider this man to be a believer in the true God, the true Christ, and the true gospel? This question is for all on this egroups list.

<<The so called Armenians that I believe can be truly saved are the ones who do not even know what arminianism or Calvinism is. The ones who have not been told about Calvinism who are open to the truth.>>

Okay. Would you say that it is possible for someone who doesn't know what Arminianism or Calvinism is but believes in universal atonement to be regenerate?

I'd like to end this post by saying this:

Many people talk about Jesus and Christ and God and Grace and the Gospel. But God warned that there would be false gospels and false christs. How can we tell the difference?

It is by DOCTRINE.

It is DOCTRINE that identifies and distinguishes the true Christ from all counterfeits. It is DOCTRINE that identifies and distinguishes the true gospel from all false gospels. A doctrine-less christ is no Christ at all.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Marc D. Carpenter

http://www.outsidethecamp.org

(P.S. If any of you would like a hard-copy subscription of Outside the Camp, please let me know; subscriptions are free for the asking.)


Dear all,

Although I have read all the posts thus far in this thread, I don't have time to respond to your responses right now (I probably won't have time until this weekend). In the meantime, I'd like you to think about and even respond to the following questions:

(1) Why are Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists unregenerate?

(2) Why are Mormons, Moonies, and Jehovah's Witnesses unregenerate?

(3) Why are Pelagians unregenerate?

(4) What distinguishes the true Christ from all false christs?

(5) What does it mean to believe in Christ?

(6) When someone says, "I believe in Christ", how do we know which Christ he believes in?

(7) Some people are going to come to the Judgment Day and call Jesus Christ "Lord, Lord," and yet Jesus Christ is going to say He never knew them (Matthew 7:21-23). Why are these people who are professing that Jesus is Lord going to hell?

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

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

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

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

(12) "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. ... For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:3-6). What is this LIGHT that the lost people BLINDED to? What is the light of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ that has shined in believer's hearts?

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

Soli Deo Gloria,

Marc D. Carpenter

http://www.outsidethecamp.org


Hi, everybody.

Wow -- it looks like a lot has gone on since the last time I wrote! However, it seems that none of the tolerant "Calvinists" wanted to answer my questions. Why? Why is it hard to say why Muslims or Mormons or Pelagians are lost? Is it because it all comes back to DOCTRINE?

Interestingly, I find a strain throughout the tolerant "Calvinist" rhetoric. It goes something like this: "We're not saved by knowing right doctrine; we're saved by Christ, and you hyper-Calvinists are trying to say that all Christians have right doctrine." Okay. Think about this for a moment. Suppose I say that everyone who denies the deity of Christ is unsaved. Would you agree with me on that, or would you say, "We're not saved by knowing right doctrine; we're saved by Christ"? You guys need to answer this question instead of evading it. Is there anyone who denies the doctrine of the deity of Christ who is saved? Come on, let's have some answers here. Is right doctrine about the deity of Christ an essential doctrine, or do some regenerate people "grow into" believing that Christ is God? Answers, please.

Marc D. Carpenter

http://www.outsidethecamp.org


Ronny said:

> Oh, Apollos. Your zeal doth exceed you.
> Interesting sequential arguement but the fallacy in
> you syllogism reveals itself at your third point that
> states that regenerate people understand the theology
> of atonement. That's not a prerequisite to being born
> again. Someone who cast all their hope on Christ does
> not have to understand the depths of the issue.
> Arminians can be ignorant of the truth but not
> necessarily lost because of that.


1. Understanding the atonement, or any part of the gospel for that matter, is not a prerequisite to being born again. NOTHING in the sinner is a prerequisite to being born again. If I believed that salvation were conditioned on right knowledge, then I would be lost. Salvation is not conditioned in any way to any degree on the sinner. So, you might ask, where does understanding the atonement come into the equation? Well, we know from God's testimony that all who believe the gospel are saved, and all who do not believe the gospel are lost. Thus, belief of the gospel must be an immediate result of regeneration. When God regenerates someone, He gives that person knowledge -- knowledge of the PERSON and the WORK of Christ. The PERSON of Christ includes the doctrine that He is the God-Man Mediator. The WORK of Christ includes the doctrine that He established a righteousness that demands and ensures the salvation of His people.

2. You mention the phrase "cast all their hope on Christ." What does it mean to cast all one's hope on Christ? What if someone says "I cast all my hope on Christ" and believes that Christ is a German Shepherd? Has this person cast all his hope on the true Christ? Does this person who casts all his hope on Christ KNOW anything about Christ's person and work? Or is it just enough to say, "I cast all my hope on Christ" without knowing anything about who Christ is and what He did?

------------

I gave the following quote to Jason:

> Knowing God as I do through the revelation He has given me of Himself in
> His Word, when I am told that God is not willing that any should perish, but
> that all should come to repentance, I know it means that the Triune God has
> done, is doing, always will do, all that the Triune God can do to save every
> man, woman, and child on this earth. If it does not mean that, then tell me
> I pray you, what does it mean? What is hell? It is infinite negation. It
> is infinite chaos. And it is more than that. I tell you, and I say it with
> profound reverence, hell is a ghastly monument to the failure of God to save
> the multitudes that are there. I say it reverently, I say it with every
> nerve in my body tense; sinners go to hell because God Himself cannot save
> them. He did all He could. He failed."

Jason then said:

> You asked if I believe a pastor who says this is a Christian. I would have to give a resounding NO!! He knows nothing of Christ if he holds to such heresy.

AND

> As I said earlier I would never believe a man to be saved who spouts off heresy like the one quoted above.

AH! Jason! Now you must tell me WHY you judge such a man to be lost! After all, "we're not saved by correct theology," right? Can't a saved pastor hold to the above errors? After all, these are "just errors of theological minutia," aren't they? Hey, why don't all the tolerant "Calvinists" give an answer to this? Could a man who said such a thing be a regenerate person who is merely confused on some of the unimportant, non-essential doctrines? I've seen on this list that the doctrine of the atonement is one of those "non-essential doctrines." So here is a pastor who is just mixed up on the atonement and says that hell is a monument to the failure of God to save everyone He wants to. Why can't we give this guy a break? Why do you, Jason, not give this man the benefit of the doubt? Why are you so quick to judge such a person lost?

Another question for you, Jason: Suppose a professing "Calvinist" read the above statement by this Arminian preacher and then concluded that this Arminian preacher was his brother in Christ? What would you say about this professing "Calvinist"?

I asked Jason:

> Okay. Would you say that it is possible for someone who doesn't know what
> Arminianism or Calvinism is but believes in universal atonement to be
> regenerate?

Jason replied:

<<My answer is yes I believe it is possible simply because many people when first converted know little about doctrine. However I also believe one will not hold to such a belief for very long.>>
Okay. How long? What if he holds to it for a week? A month? A year? Ten years? What is the standard on which you base this?

You say that many people when first converted know little about doctrine. So what little doctrine DO they know?

<<The bible explains that new believers are babes in Christ. Do you have children? How much do your children understand about anything when first born? They may know very little but you can not deny that they have life in them. Just like when we are first born again. We are little babies in the faith. How much as babies can we know? Most of us will admit it was just enough knowledge to be saved.>>

I have five children, so I know about children. Yet you say that "it was just enough knowledge to be saved." Okay. Could you tell me WHAT this knowledge is that EVERY babe in Christ has?

<<What church do you go to? Is it Land Mark Baptist, Primitive Baptist? I am really interested to find out.>>

No, neither Landmark nor Primitive Baptist. Both are heretical. I attend a non-denominational fellowship called Sovereign Redeemer Assembly.

<<A question. If one is not saved if they hold to any Armenian beliefs upon salvation, and if such a one is not even saved if they come to believe Calvinism, when can some one be saved?>>

Good question. The GOSPEL is the power of God unto salvation. So when God saves someone, He enables them to believe the GOSPEL. All Arminians do not believe the GOSPEL, and most "Calvinists" do not believe the GOSPEL. And with belief of the GOSPEL comes TRUE REPENTANCE. TRUE REPENTANCE includes repenting of believing that salvation was conditioned on yourself; it includes considering as DUNG all of your former works while you were in self-righteous religion. Most professing "Calvinists" have never truly repented. They think that they were regenerate while believing in universal atonement; they do not consider this to be the DUNG of false religion.

<<So are you saying that once you have believed in Armenian theology you can never be saved? >>

NO!!!! May it never be! I do NOT want to give anyone the impression that all Arminians are *reprobate*! When I say that all Arminians are lost, I mean that they are unregenerate. God has saved many Arminians and tolerant "Calvinists." And when He saves them, they are no longer Arminians and tolerant "Calvinists"!

-------

ROvers said:

> God knows and I know and we are
> the only two who can know for certain anyhow. Of course, my fruit should bear
> witness that I am His but that still does not allow anyone to see my heart as
> only He can.


Jesus Christ said that believers KNOW what is in the heart of a bad tree, because it bears bad fruit. And if you look at the context, the bad fruit is a confession of a false gospel.

> I think that the Arminian's are kind of like a mission field.

Yep. So are the tolerant "Calvinists."
> The truth is in the Word of God but sometimes you have to look pretty deep to
> find it. The doctrine of election is not always obvious. I believe that we
> must be firm about their error but it must also be done in love. I see how
> this will not work for you as you obviously despise all those (us?) ignorant
> folks.


I hope and pray that I do not despise you. I pray for your salvation. Which is more loving: for a doctor to tell his patient who has cancer that he has cancer, or for a doctor to tell his patient who has cancer that everything's okay? When I tell Arminians and tolerant "Calvinists" that they are lost, it is not to be mean or unloving. It is to expose your lost condition out of love for you! The lost self-righteous religionists will always think this to be mean and unloving. But get this: Which sounds more loving: "You shall surely die" or "You shall not surely die"? The second one was spoken by the Devil. The false prophets in Jeremiah's day (and in our day as well) are saying, "Peace, peace" to lost religionists. And if I would say "Peace, peace" to Arminians or tolerant "Calvinists," I wouldn't be showing love for them; I'd actually be showing HATRED for them! The tolerant "Calvinists" who are crying peace to Arminians are actually promoting the eternal destruction of the ones to whom they are crying peace! I don't tell you that your house is burning in order to be mean or to say that I'm better than you are; I tell you your house is burning in hopes that you will GET OUT!!

You talk of "ignorant folks." God says that when it comes to the gospel, IGNORANCE IS DEADLY! Read Romans 10:1-4! Why is it that no one has commented on these verses? How plain can these verses be? Paul calls certain people lost because they are IGNORANT of certain doctrines!!! They are ZEALOUS, but they are IGNORANT! How many of you on this list judge a person to be saved because he is zealous? Well, let me tell you -- a person can be zealous, moral, and sincere in a FALSE GOSPEL!

> (and
> NO, I don't believe the preacher you quoted was a Christian, as many are
> not).


And I would ask you, as I asked Jason: WHY do you judge such a man to be lost? After all, "you can't know his heart," can you?

> That still does not mean God has not done a work in their heart and to
> say otherwise is limiting God.

Is it? Is it limiting God to say that Muslims or Hindus are not saved?

Is it limiting God to say that Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses are not saved?

Overs1164@aol.com:

> I'm really glad everyone here seems to agree that Marc's theology
> is at the
> least, a little bit off. When I first read his post it made me
> mad.


I don't mean to make you mad. But it inevitably makes people mad. When Christ told the lost religionists of his day that they were lost and their deeds were evil, they got mad, to say the least.

> I don't
> know about other Christians, but when the Lord saved me there
> wasn't a single
> doubt that the Holy Spirit had made a new creation out of me.

And what criteria did you use to judge that the Holy Spirit had made a new creation out of you? Was it a change from immorality to morality? Was it a change from insincerity to sincerity? Was there just some kind of feeling inside?

The only way to judge whether or not you were truly saved is by GOD'S TESTIMONY, not by your experiences.

> It's interesting the way they twist the
> scripture to
> make it say what is not there. By doing that, they have added to
> the simple
> (yet unfathomable) gospel of Christ.


The simple gospel of Christ is the good news of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. Could you show me how I have added to this?

> I wonder why Marc is interested in this board as
> most of us
> are unregenerate according to his standard.


I am interested in this board in order to proclaim the true gospel and to call people to repentance from dead works and idolatry.

There is one person who has just joined this list who used to be vehemently opposed to what I was saying and who thought I was a mean, unloving, arrogant person when he first encountered my writings. But God used the gospel to save him! He used to be a "tolerant Calvinist," just like most on this list, but God saved him from this wickedness and has brought him into the kingdom of His dear Son! This is what I am hoping for all of you "tolerant Calvinists"!

> I never even heard of
> the term
> 'Arminian' until I learned of the doctrine of election. I'm wondering if
> anyone here actually considered themselves to be Arminian before they
> understood the doctrine of election (just curious).


It really doesn't matter if someone considered themselves to be Arminian or not. What matters is this -- did you or any others believe that Christ died for all without exception?

------------------

David Wood said:

> A person is saved by the hand and work of God, as determined
> in retrospective redemptive decisions, and as manifest by
> the active work of the Holy Spirit within the life of the
> recipient.


And what would you say are manifestations of "the active work of the Holy Spirit"? The Bible says that the Spirit will convict of SIN, of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and of JUDGMENT.

OF SIN -- that all efforts at religion and morality before belief of the gospel are dead works, open idolatry, fruit unto death.

OF RIGHTEOUSNESS -- that Christ's righteousness alone is the only ground of salvation.

OF JUDGMENT -- that all who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are lost.

> The thief on the cross did not take a crash course in OT
> biblical theology, and then present a plea to Christ.
> Instead, he, as did others in the NT, simply confessed that
> Christ was, well......, Christ.


Ah! This says it all!

Christ was, well......, Christ."

Some mystical, undefinable "Christ"? Some "Christ" apart from the doctrines of His person and His work?

Did the thief on the cross not believe the gospel for a time after he was regenerated? Was the thief on the cross ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel? If so, then tear out Mark 16:16 and Romans 10:1-4 from your Bible.

> And what was the content of his speech? It was nought but
> this: Christ is suffering this punishment unjustly. His
> plea to Christ was one that both immediately displayed his
> 'knowledge' - that Christ was indeed the Son of God, and,
> that he was in need of this Christ. That, my friend, is the
> Gospel of the Bible - Christ unjustly died for our sin, and
> we need that Christ.


What does it mean that "Christ unjustly died for our sin"? Does it mean that Christ died so that we wouldn't sin any more? Does it mean that Christ died to make all men savable? Or could it be that someone totally ignorant of why Christ died and what sin really deserves could be a regenerate person?

> All we have
> is some undeniable and inexpressible faith in this Christ,
> this God who is mysterious and almost unknowable.

Ah, that fashionable mysticism! Don't really know who Christ is and what he did, but boy, do I know I have faith in whatever-it-is!

> Therefore, it is clear that the Gospel of Christ consists
> solely of this: That Christ died in my place; That Christ
> is God; That I need Christ. No more, no less.

Okay. So you've just brought Mormons into your fellowship.

> Can Arminians be saved? Can Pentecostals be saved? Can
> Romanists be saved? Of course man - do we dare to limit the
> arm of God!


And I would add to David:

"Can Atheists be saved? Can Muslims be saved? Can Hindus be saved? Of course man - do we dare to limit the arm of God!"

> Can
> an Arminian be saved and remain Arminian? Can a Romanist be
> saved, and continue in the Catholic abomination? Can a
> Toronto holy-roller come to Christ and continue in that
> abomination?


Good questions. Care to answer them?

> To take the stream a littler further, let's examine someone
> 'saved' under Arminian Baptist preaching - as was I, and by
> the sound of it, others who have responded to the
> discussion.


So you are admitting that you were saved under a "gospel" of universal atonement, salvation conditioned on the sinner.

> Of course this is very different from: "I believed, and God
> was relying on my belief to emerge before He could save me".
> Now we have conditionality, and an offense to the Gospel,
> yet the newborn would be hard-pressed into such utterances!


But do you believe that it is possible that a newborn believer could confess such a thing?

> All believe in universal atonement when it is defined in
> terms of the offer of the Gospel being made to all men.
> Therefore we are all universalists.


I'm not a universalist. I proclaim the gospel to all men, but I do not proclaim the lie that God wants to save all men and that Christ came to save all men.

> By your own confession, you hold to a Christ-Plus salvation:
> Believe, and make sure you understand the terms and
> conditions under which Universal Atonement are couched,
> and/or readily confess that Christ died only for the elect
> and no others, and then you will be saved.


Let me show you how absurd this accusation is. What if I said that all who deny the deity of Christ are unsaved, and you replied:

"By your own confession, you hold to a Christ-Plus salvation: Believe, and make sure you understand the doctrine of the deity of Christ, and then you will be saved."

See the absurdity?

I say -- REPENT and BELIEVE. And there are specific things of which one must REPENT and which one must BELIEVE. Does this mean "Christ-Plus," just because there are specific things that must be believed?

I guess David would say, "Believe in Christ, but don't ask me to tell you who He is or what He did. Just believe in Christ. No need to know the details."

> | Now let's think of someone who
> | believes in universal atonement. Does he expect life and
> salvation alone by
> | Christ?
>
> Yes.
>
>
> | He believes that Christ's blood was shed to make all men
> saveable.
>
>
> Yes.
>
> | He believes that Christ's blood was shed for those in
> hell.
>
> Now that is a good one. I don't know of too many who would
> believe this - excepting the Pre-Millers who would have all
> men given a second chance at it. Hmm.... strange that some
> can be Reformed and Pre-Mill huh?
>
>
> | Thus, he
> | believes that Christ's blood is NOT what makes the
> difference, since
> | Christ's blood was shed for all without exception. He
> does not believe that
> | the work of Christ answered the demands of God's law and
> justice for all He
> | represented. His atonement is no atonement at all. He
> does NOT expect life
> | and salvation alone by Christ. He expects life and
> salvation by Christ's
> | work plus his faith, perseverance, etc. Thus, he is not a
> believer.
>
> This is wrong, and leads to a false conclusion.

Wait a minute here. You say it is a false conclusion, yet you do not refute any of the logic. Let me put forth the logic very simply:

1. Arminians believe that Christ died for all people without exception.

2. All people include all people in hell.

3. Thus, Arminians believe that Christ died for all people in hell.

Care to refute that?

Here's another one that comes from the conclusion of the first one:

1. Arminians believe that Christ died for all people in hell.

2. Arminians believe that Christ died for all people in heaven.

3. Thus, Arminians believe that it is not Christ's death that makes the difference between heaven and hell.

Care to refute that?

> It is questionable as to whether any such Christians are
> truly saved, when they persevere in false denominations


Why? Is "persevering in false denominations" a sin unto death?

------------

Dave said:

> * Christ is the gospel, not Calvinism. It is not believing the doctrines of
> grace that obtains God's salvation, but trusting the Lord Jesus Christ.


And what about this statement:

"Christ is the gospel, not the doctrine of Christ's deity. It is not believing the doctrine of Christ's deity that obtains God's salvation, but trusting the Lord Jesus Christ."

And, by the way, WHAT DOES IT MEAN to "trust the Lord Jesus Christ?" Does it have anything to do with His PERSON and/or His WORK?

--------------
William said:

> First I must say that there are very few TRUE Arminians out there. I grew
> up arminian (and I was a Christian at the time) but I held to eternal
> security which is not arminian.


So, since you say you were a Christian when you grew up arminian were you a TRUE Arminian or just an Arminian?

> Second, I would have no problem with saying a Pelegian would be unsaved for
> they believe grace is unnecessary for salvation etc. (i.e., Finney, etc).

I wonder what everyone else on this list would say about that. Perhaps it will be something like:

"How dare you for judging Pelagians to be unsaved! It's Christ, not theology, that saves, you know. A person can be awfully mixed up about whether or not grace is necessary for salvation and still have his heart right with Christ. You're advocating a Christ-Plus gospel: Believe in Christ plus believe that grace is necessary for salvation." I can hear it going on and on and on ....

> I would say I would (in a sense) agree with Marc Carpenter's comments
> (please refer to my first point), but I would have to interject a good
> qualifier that has helped me. I would never judge a Arminian's state of
> salvation from what I see in them for that is not my job.


It IS a Christian's job to judge. God's people are COMMANDED to judge. See

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

> But their
> prayer life is where it is most evident. Let me explain.
> Any Christian arminian, that is one whom is saved but has the head
> knowledge of Arminian theology will pray like a Calvinist. No true
> Christian (Arminian or Calvinist) would go before God and pray "Thank you
> God for my Free will, Thank you for making me smart enough to choose you,
> etc etc" but a true Christian will pray "Thank you Lord for your
> salvation, for saving me by your grace, etc etc"
>
> There is a difference between the two prayers.


I've heard this many times before. Spurgeon used it. So - we should judge people by their prayers.

So, when an Arminian says, "Thank you, God, for saving me," you would say that this is an indication that this is a guy with the Arminian head and the Calvinist heart. But this is a false method of judgment. How do we know what God he is praying to and thanking for salvation? How do we know what salvation he's praying about? It is only by knowing that person's DOCTRINE. That person's doctrine is how we know what he means when he says, "Thank you, God, for saving me." Even false professors call Jesus "Lord" (Matthew 7:21-23).

chuck4689 said:

> This is totally absurd! Just because they misinterpret scripture
> regarding things that are not unto salvation doesn't mean they're
> lost.


Okay. So tell me which things are "unto salvation" and which things are "not unto salvation."

You're saying that the atonement is not something that is "unto salvation" but is a secondary and unessential doctrine. I am saying that the atonement lies at the very heart of the gospel. I guess we believe two different gospels.

> This
> is exactly what Charles Spurgeon lashed out at, "Hyper Calvinism". Maybe
> you're lost. Stop bringing judgement down on Gods People. He'll
> judge who's
> lost and not lost.


As I said before, God's people are COMMANDED to judge. God says, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). God says, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 6:14). How can God's people obey this commandment if we are not to judge? Notice that God did not say, "Do not be bound together with those who you think have a high probability of being unbelievers." God is stating that His people will know who the unbelievers are and that we are not to be bound together with them. He goes on to mention unrighteousness, darkness, Belial, infidels, and idols as those things with which the believer is to have no fellowship (vv. 14-16); judgment of what unrighteousness, darkness, Belial, infidels, and idols are is an absolute necessity for God's people in order for us to "come out from among them, and be ye separate" and to "touch not the unclean [thing]" (v. 17). If you will not judge saved and lost, then you will not come out of Babylon (Revelation 18:4).



Mr. Smith: "Everyone who denies that Jesus Christ was an actual person who walked the earth is unregenerate."

Mr. Jones: "How arrogant of you, Mr. Smith! We are saved by grace, not by our knowledge of the historical fact of Jesus Christ."

Mr. Smith: "Everyone who denies that Jesus Christ is God is unregenerate."

Mr. Jones: "How arrogant of you, Mr. Smith! We are saved by grace, not by our knowledge of the deity of Jesus Christ."

Mr. Smith: "Everyone who denies that Jesus Christ made atonement for sin is unregenerate."

Mr. Jones: "How arrogant of you, Mr. Smith! We are saved by grace, not by our knowledge of the work of Jesus Christ."


Dave said:

<<You are right, understanding some things are essential to salvation:>>

Hooray!

Dave then went on to quote from 1 Corinthians 15:3, including:

<<1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;>>

Okay, Dave -- what does "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" mean?

Let's break it down:

What does "CHRIST" mean?

What does "DIED" mean?

What does "FOR OUR SINS" mean?

What does "OUR" mean?

What does "ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES" mean?

Marc

http://www.outsidethecamp.org


Dave said:

<<To those convinced that non-calvinists are hopeless and lost:>>

and Steve said:

<<Now, Curt, isn't your rhetoric somewhat inflammatory, and does it not evidence arrogance and disrespect for our forebears in the Gospel when you to assign them eternal destinies while they are not here to respond to you? Besides, assigning eternal destinies is a right reserved to our Lord and Master, upon Whose authority we dare not tread.>>

Both of these comments come from a basic misunderstanding. Curt and I are NOT saying that all Arminians and tolerant Calvinists are "hopeless," and we are not saying that we know their "eternal destinies." Curt and I are saying that all Arminians and tolerant Calvinists are unregenerate, meaning that they are not currently in a regenerate state. This is *not* saying that God will not save them at some point in their lives! As far as the men of the past go, Curt and I are saying that *when* these people spoke/wrote tolerant Calvinist things, they were *at that time* unregenerate. This is *not* saying that God did not save them at some point in their lives! Got it?

Dave asked:

<<What about people who just plain never heard of Calvinism and live in ignorance of it?>>

As I said before, a regenerate person may have never heard of Calvinism!!! I do not judge someone lost just because they've never heard of Calvinism!! Please get that through your head. Having said that, the Bible makes it clear that those who do not believe the gospel (are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel) are unregenerate. Got it?

<<Are we saved by God's grace alone, or by our perfect understanding of doctrine?>>

Again, we go back to the question of the Mormon or Jehovah's Witness. If I said that all Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are unregenerate, would you then come back with "Are we saved by God's grace alone, or by our perfect understanding of doctrine?" JW's do not understand the deity of Christ. Is this enough to judge them lost?

OF COURSE God's people are saved by God's grace alone, but God clearly tells us that He uses MEANS in the salvation of His people. He glorifies Himself in the hearts of His people by causing them to believe THE GOSPEL, which is THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST.

<<If I ignorantly fall on my knees asking Christ to be merciful to me a sinner, will He turn away from me?>>

Ignorantly? Ignorant of WHAT? Suppose someone is ignorant of the deity of Christ. When this person falls on his knees asking this "christ" to be merciful to him, is this evidence of regeneration? Or suppose someone believes that Christ was a German Shepherd. When this person falls on his knees asking this "christ" to be merciful to him, is this evidence of regeneration?

<<Remember who it was that Jesus condemned most during His stay among us. It was those who were so sure their interpretation of Scripture was the most perfect.>>

Jesus was condemned because he would not speak peace to the self-righteous religionists of His day. He warned of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees. What was that leaven? If you are familiar with your Bible, you will know that he was talking about the DOCTRINE of the Pharisees. Get it into your head.

Jason said:

<<Yes, simple faith in the work of Christ for you personally. Not a complicated belief, just a simple belief. Faith in Christ.>>

You're right -- belief in Christ is not complicated. The gospel is not complicated. But it involves BASIC DOCTRINE -- the doctrine of Christ's person, and the doctrine of Christ's work. So why do Arminians not believe this? It's not because it's complicated. It's because Arminians are blind and are going about to establish a righteousness of their own. The simple gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. Even a child can understand it.

Karen said:

<<I believe that you CAN know without a doubt that you are saved and not just by the doctrine you hold to. It is not an emotion it is a knowing inside your innermost being.>>

Oh -- a "knowing" without doctrine. Interesting. Could it be like that "burning bosom" of the Mormons?

Scott said:

<<I'm even a little doubtful about this whole thread: Not with the theology, but with the use of the theology to produce a concise list of the elect.>>

No one here is producing a concise list of the elect. Remember - we're talking about regenerate vs. unregenerate, not elect vs. reprobate.

<<The other day, I saw John Wesley's diary, or rather, horary, for it had in it not merely an entry for every day, but for every distinct occupation for every twenty minutes. The good man made his days to have many hours in them, and his hours seemed to have

more minutes in them than most men's hours have, because he did not waste any of them, but diligently used them all in his Master's service.>>

Yes, Wesley was a very busy man -- as busy as those who compass land and sea to gain converts and turn them into twofold more children of hell than they already were..

If you want to see what Wesley believed, see http://www.outsidethecamp.org/wesley.htm.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Marc D. Carpenter

http://www.outsidethecamp.org


Scott K said:

<<According to John, in is his first epistle, a refusal to accept the Son is a rejection of the Father. A correct understanding of Christ as diety is, therefore, a halmark of the Christian. However, Satan also believes this, and remains reprobate.>>

Thank you for bringing this up, Scott. All who deny Christ's deity are lost, but it is obvious that affirming Christ's deity is NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE to judge someone saved.

The passage to which Scott is referring is James 2:19. This clearly shows that belief that there is one God is NOT ENOUGH. Just because someone says "I believe that there is one God," this is not conclusive evidence of salvation. In the same way, just because someone says, "Jesus is God," this is not conclusive evidence of salvation.

And we can go even further: Just because someone says "Jesus is God and he died for my sins," this is not conclusive evidence of salvation.

Conclusive evidence of salvation is believing the gospel (Mark 16:16) and being convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8-11). This includes repenting of dead works and former idolatry -- being convinced that one's former works-religion (be it Arminianism or Romanism or whatever) was fruit unto death. "Calvinists" who think they remained Arminians after regeneration show that they have not truly repented -- they have not been convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Marc D. Carpenter

http://www.outsidethecamp.org


Chuck said:

<<You are not the Judge or to Judge. Now get that into the ole' head.>>

and

<<God's children are not only the ones who you decide they are. The Church is hidden my friend.>>

So, when God commands you to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, do you just say, "God, I can't obey that command, 'cuz I am not to judge who is and who is not an unbeliever." ???

Marc


Scott said:

<<I was always struck by the fact that every person that became a Christian directly due to Christ's ministry had transformed lives.>>

and

<<Isn't it wonderful how God reaches us? Not only does He choose us, woos us, but He also transforms us in every sense. In my case, with salvation, He utterly removed the chains of drug addiction that I had suffered under for a decade. At one time, I could only say "Yes" to drugs. Today I am able to say "Yes" or "No!" I've been sober over 15 years.>>

Has there ever been anyone in the world who went from only being able to say "Yes" to drugs to being able to say "No" to drugs and still remained unregenerate?

Have there ever been unregenerate drug addicts who became unregenerate non-addicts?

Even if there was ONE PERSON who remained unregenerate after such a dramatic lifestyle change, it shows you that you CANNOT use a dramatic lifestyle change as evidence of salvation.

MANY people have been druggies and then converted to Islam and became non-druggies. Does the fact that they became non-druggies show you that the gospel of Islam is the true gospel? Of course not. Thus, the fact that you became a non-druggie is no evidence that you believe the true gospel.

Many Christians have gone through the following stages:

1. Immoral (unregenerate)

2. Converted to Arminianism and became moral (still unregenerate)

3. Converted to tolerant Calvinism (still unregenerate)

4. Converted to Christianity (regenerate)

As you can see, the transformation from immorality to morality came well before regeneration.

Now, if someone who was immoral is regenerated, will he become moral? He sure will. But his becoming moral is no evidence of salvation. The evidence of salvation is BELIEF OF THE GOSPEL and REPENTANCE OF DEAD WORKS AND FORMER IDOLATRY.

All God's people are moral, but not all who are moral are God's people.

Marc D. Carpenter

http://www.outsidethecamp.org


BW:

<<Agreed. Later you cite Mk 16:16 I would add Ro 1:16; Eph 1:13; 1Pe 4:17; Rev 14:6-7 to name a few. John Gill says on Mk 16:16 "Not notionally only, or that gives a bare assent to the truth of the Gospel; but spiritually, who sees Christ, his need of him, and the worth and excellency, suitableness and fulness of him; who comes to him as a poor perishing sinner, and ventures on him, and commits himself to him, and lives upon him; believing alone in him, and expecting life and salvation alone by him:">>

MC:

<<Okay. Let's take Gill's words. He is saying that all regenerate persons expect life and salvation alone by Christ. Now let's think of someone who believes in universal atonement. Does he expect life and salvation alone by Christ? He believes that Christ's blood was shed to make all men savable. He believes that Christ's blood was shed for those in hell. Thus, he believes that Christ's blood is NOT what makes the difference, since Christ's blood was shed for all without exception. He does not believe that the work of Christ answered the demands of God's law and justice for all He represented. His atonement is no atonement at all. He does NOT expect life and salvation alone by Christ. He expects life and salvation by Christ's work plus his faith, perseverance, etc. Thus, he is not a believer.>>

BW:

<<Those may be logical and consistent conclusions of universal atonement. But in the real world people are not always consisten, and thus I would say not always unsaved.>>

MC:

Again, what of the person who thinks that Mary is co-redemptrix but also tells you that he is saved by Christ alone? Merely inconsistent?

In the area of the gospel, inconsistency is deadly.

BW:

<<Must one have a complete, theologically correct in every point of understanding of the gospel in order to be saved?>>

MC:

<<I would like to answer this question with a couple scenarios. First, let's take the person who believes that Mary is co-redemptrix with Christ. Would you agree that this person is unregenerate?>>

BW:

<<Yes.>>

MC:

<<How about the person who denies the deity of Christ? Would you agree that this person is unregenerate?>>

BW:

<<Yes>>

MC:

<<Why?>>

BW:

<<Core issues...>>

MC:

Ah! Core issues! Now THIS is what I've been trying to get at. WHAT ARE the core issues? Is the ATONEMENT a core issue, or is it just a non-essential issue over which true Christians can disagree?

MC:

<<If one has wrong beliefs about the WORK of Christ, then he is lost. Would you agree?>>

BW:

<<If one thinks that Jesus had brown hair and he really had blond hair. Does that make him lost?>>

MC:

The color of His hair has nothing to do with salvation. The person and work of Christ have EVERYTHING to do with salvation.

MC:

<<Knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is given to God's people when He regenerates them. Salvation is God glorifying Himself in the hearts of sinners. He causes them to give Him all the glory in their salvation. Knowledge of the person and work of Christ is an inevitable fruit of salvation.>>

BW:

<<This sounds similar to what Church of Christ people say about baptism...>>

MC:

What? Do you not believe that God gives His people knowledge of the person and work of Christ upon regeneration?

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

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

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

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

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. ... For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:3-6). What is this LIGHT that the lost people BLINDED to? What is the light of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ that has shined in believer's hearts?

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

MC:

<<Christians are commanded to judge.>>

BW:

<<Yes we are, but from my 'judgment of the Old Testament I wouldn't have called 'Lot' righteous. We do have to judge but we cannot pretend to be all knowing.>>

MC:

That's because you judge Lot based on character and conduct rather than by God's Gospel.

BW:

<<It says they will not follow a false Christ, not that their doctrin will always be 100% pure>>

MC:

When it comes to the gospel, any doctrine that denies the person and/or work of Christ IS following a false Christ. Following a false Christ IS following false doctrine. As I said before, Christians are NOT 100% right on all their doctrines, such as in the areas of ecclesiology or eschatology, but when it comes to the gospel, every Christian believes the truth!

MC:

<<God's people "NEVER follow a stranger, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers" (John 10:5).

BW:

<<Ditto>>

MC:

But if you truly believed that, you would believe that God's people NEVER follow the christ of Arminianism, because the christ of Arminianism is a stranger, and God's people do not know the voice of strangers.

And this is why those professing Calvinists who think that some Arminians are regenerate are actually lost themselves. They do not recognize that the christ of Arminianism is a false christ. They claim to worship the same christ as the Arminians. And you know what? They DO worship the same christ as the Arminians.


David said:

<<Marc can easily stand near the temple and claim, "I thank God I am not as...such and such...">>

The Pharisee was thanking God for the things God enabled him to do that formed some part of the ground of his salvation. The Pharisee was the Arminian of his time. It's really easy to call me a Pharisee, but by doing so, you show your ignorance of Scripture. Unlike the Pharisees (and Arminians), my only ground of salvation is the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ. Unlike the Pharisees (and Arminians), I do not judge by outward appearance, morality, and reputation.

> SANCTIFICATION is a process by which we grow in the
> knowledge of the truth. Marc's argument places Justification midway
> in the process of sanctification.


So -- a regenerate person can "grow" from believing in salvation conditioned on the sinner (universal atonement) to believing salvation conditioned on Christ alone (the true gospel)?
How about "growing" from believing in Islam to believing in Christianity? Are Muslims just further behind than you are in the process of sanctification?

> To be sure, I would argue
> wholeheartedly that not all Arminians are Christians! I have debated
> with many and come to that sad realization.


Oh? By what standard did you judge some of these Arminians to be lost? Couldn't they just have been further behind than you are in the process of sanctification?

> However, there are others
> who are somewhere along the road between total darkness and total
> light - oh, wait, aren't we all?


When it comes to the gospel, the answer is NO. Those who believe the gospel are in the LIGHT.

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. ... For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:3-6).

> It is WRONG for any Christian to dictate in some Benthaniam way the
> EXACT NUMBER OF TRUTHS needed to be believed in order to be saved.
> This places salvation in the realm of man's works: once I have such
> and such straight, I am saved (or better, God can then save me.)


NOTHING is a prerequisite to salvation. Knowing truths is not a prerequisite to salvation. NOTHING!

> If you take a close look at
> Romans 8:28-30, you find no indication that God saves those who
> beleive X and Y and Z, but instead, saves them IN ORDER TO BELEIVE X
> and Y and Z.

And by saying this, you accuse me of believing that God saves those who believe X and Y and Z rather than saves them in order to believe X and Y and Z. This is a false accusation. God saves people and GIVES THEM THE KNOWLEDGE of X and Y and Z when He regenerates them.

By the way, what do you think X and Y and Z are?

> and I argue that not everyone may attain that knowledge
> in this lifetime, but they most certaihnly will in the next...


Oh! So there might be someone who dies believing in salvation conditioned on the sinner who will go to heaven and then realize that his ground of salvation was wrong when he was alive? Or there might be someone who dies a Muslim who will go to heaven and then be converted to Christianity?

Interesting ...

Marc


First, I'd like to say that the title of the post is misleading. There are many people who disagree with me who I consider to be brothers in Christ. But one thing all Christians agree on is the gospel.

<<MC:Again, what of the person who thinks that Mary is co-redemptrix but also tells you that he is saved by Christ alone? Merely inconsistent?>>

<<No, because they *positively have made that statement in your scenario. Here is my 'what if.' What if someone believes they did *nothing for salvation. That, as best you would expect from a new believer they understand the basics of the gospel (unless of course you insist on Phd level theological perfection for every believer) but they had been taught that Christ loved everyone. They have not thought through the implications of that statement (or maybe they have began to, but could not resolve all the conflicts). Are they unsaved? Yes or no. And your proof for that.>>

I would ask further questions when someone talks about the love of Christ. What does this love mean? Does it mean that Christ died for everyone? If so, then that person is lost.

<<MC: In the area of the gospel, inconsistency is deadly.>>

<<Always? One must be 100% consistent? So if we can point out any inconsistencies logically in waht you say, you are *necessarily lost?>>

You missed the first six words: "IN THE AREA OF THE GOSPEL."

<<MC: Ah! Core issues! Now THIS is what I've been trying to get at. WHAT ARE the core issues? Is the ATONEMENT a core issue, or is it just a non-essential issue over which true Christians can disagree?>>

<<It is a core issue, but again I would say that one doesn't have to perfectly understand every aspect of it to be saved.>>

Okay. So the atonement is a core issue. What about the very basic part of this core issue -- what the atonement did. Would you agree that what the atonement did is a basic part of the core issue? And what of someone who believes that the atonement didn't actually atone?

<<MC: What? Do you not believe that God gives His people knowledge of the person and work of Christ upon regeneration?>>

<snip>

<<Yes, but I also believe that we are finite, sinful and that we grow in grace and in knowledge.>>

So what knowledge does God give to His people about the person and work of Christ upon regeneration?

<<MC: That's because you judge Lot based on character and conduct rather than by God's Gospel.>>

<<Okay, chapter and verse from the OT that proves Lot was saved.>>

Genesis 19:16.

<<MC: As I said before, Christians are NOT 100% righton all their doctrines, such as in the areas of ecclesiology or eschatology, but when it comes to the gospel, every Christian believes the truth!>>

<<100% of that truth? Say it or don't say it.>>

Suppose I believe that 2 + 2 = 4. Do I believe something that is 100% truthful? Is there any error in it?

Suppose I believe that salvation is conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness alone, my works totally excluded from the ground of salvation, and that Christ's atoning blood and imputed righteousness demand and ensure my salvation. Do I believe something that is 100% truthful? Is there any error in it?

Soli Deo Gloria,

Marc D. Carpenter

http://www.outsidethecamp.org


Chris said:

> They have already decided to believe in "conditional salvation",
> therefore they assume that the Bible will teach it.
>
> Consequently, they use whatever equivocation is necessary to make
> Biblical concepts conform to their own notions. They fiddle with the
> definitions of terms, they isolate certain verses and ignore others,
> etc.
>
> These poor folks do not have any assurance that they are saved. They
> are trying to keep a law, and although they claim it is God's law, it
> is not. It is a simpler, easier "law" of their own invention.
>
> I see no fundamental difference between these people and the Jehovah's
> Witnesses. Neither group has a reliable Savior.


Correct. All who believe in conditional salvation have an idol for a savior, just like the Jehovah's Witnesses. All who believe in universal atonement (and thus believe that it is NOT the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between heaven and hell) have an idol for a savior. And all who think that these kinds of people are their brothers in Christ (e.g., "Calvinists" who say that universal atonement advocates are saved) are saying that they believe and worship the same savior as these idolaters. In fact, they DO believe and worship the same savior as the Arminians and the Jehovah's Witnesses. All are unregenerate. This is sad but true.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Marc D. Carpenter

http://www.outsidethecamp.org


To those new to this group who have questions about the spiritual state of Arminians:

I will try to make this plain and simple as to why there is not a single regenerate Arminian.

The gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned solely upon the obedience and death of Christ.

Now I will go through a very key passage: Romans 10:1-4.

1. "Brothers, truly my heart's pleasure and supplication to God on behalf of Israel is for [it] to be saved."

Paul, in saying that his heart's pleasure and supplication to God is that Israel be saved, obviously believes that Israel is lost and in need of salvation. How does Paul judge them to be lost?

2. "For I testify to them that they have a zeal to God, but not according to knowledge."

What are these lost people missing? They're certainly not missing zeal and dedication and sincerity. They're missing some knowledge. What is that knowledge?

3. "For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God."

Paul is saying that these lost people are ignorant of the righteousness of God, and in being ignorant of this righteousness, they are seeking to establish their own righteousness, and are thus not submitted to the righteousness of God. Wow. So this knowledge of the righteousness of God must be vitally important, since God makes it very clear that those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God are lost. We see in Romans 1:16-17 that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel. Thus, those who do not believe the gospel are lost (Mark 16:16). What is this righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel?

4. "For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes."

Okay, so here we have what the righteousness of God is -- it is the very righteousness of Christ that is the end of the law for believers. Christ's righteousness is the very merit of His obedience and death. Christ satisfied the demands of God's law and justice. Salvation is conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, with deeds of law totally excluded from any part of the ground of salvation. When one is under the law, he believes that something he does or is enabled to do forms at least some part of the ground of his salvation. When one is under grace, he believes that his salvation is conditioned totally on the work of Christ.

What do Arminians believe?

Arminians believe that Christ died for everyone without exception. Thus, they believe that it is NOT the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between heaven and hell. They believe that Christ's work does NOT ensure and demand the salvation of all whom He represented. They believe the opposite of the gospel; they believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner.

I hope this is simple enough.

Now I'll get into a few responses.

> Isn't it possible that some of the people who hold to Arminian
> theology may be saved but as yet the Lord has not opened their
> eyes.


The opening of the eyes to belief of the gospel happens as an immediate result of regeneration. Remember Romans 10:3 and Mark 16:16. No one is saved who does not believe the gospel.

> In the past 26 years since the Lord saved me I've talked
> with many who held to Arminian teachings and through time the
> Lord used me and others to bring some of these people into an
> understanding of what we call Calvinism.


Yes, many go from being lost Arminians to lost Calvinists. This is a very common thing. But those who "come into" Calvinism without seeing that they were lost when they believed in salvation conditioned on the sinner have not been regenerated. The Holy Spirit convinces His people of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.

> Of course some of the people who hold to Arminian Theology are
> saved, just as
> some who hold to Calvinism are saved. I believe we have a better
> understanding of Gods word, but by no means has God enlightened every
> Christian to a perfect Theology. Those who believe in Christ have
> everlasting
> life.


What does it mean to "believe in Christ"? It means to believe in His PERSON (God-Man Mediator) and in His WORK (establishing a righteousness that demands and ensures the salvation of all whom He represented). There is not a single Arminian who believes in the true Christ. What distinguishes the true Christ from all counterfeit christs? Gospel doctrine.

Now this does NOT mean that everyone who claims to hold to Calvinism are saved. MOST who claim to hold to Calvinism are lost.

One of the main evidences of being regenerated is not speaking peace to others apart from the only ground of peace, which is the righteousness of Christ. A person can *say* he believes the gospel, but does he believe it to the point of saying that all those who do *not* believe this gospel are lost? And if he doesn't go that far, then he does not truly believe the gospel.

There are many who claim to believe and rejoice in the doctrines of grace and even say that universal atonement is a heresy out of hell. Yet they will not go so far as to say that those who believe this heresy are lost. In fact, most say that at least some who believe this heresy are saved. What is this saying when one says that a universal atonement advocate is saved? It is saying that you believe you have the same father they do. It is saying that you worship the same christ they do. It is saying that you believe the same gospel they do. And when it all boils down, this professed believer in sovereign grace DOES have the same father, worship the same christ, and believe the same gospel they do. The "basics" you agree on show the god you worship. If you think that efficacious atonement is just a "theological refinement" that believers "grow into" after "much study," then you do not believe that efficacious atonement is at the heart of the gospel. And if there is no efficacious atonement, there is no atonement at all. Thus, those who tolerate universal atonement advocates and the universal atonement advocates themselves believe in the same atonement, which is no atonement.

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

Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc


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