Answering the God-Haters
Introductory note from the editor: This issue is dedicated entirely to answering the arguments of those who claim to believe the doctrines of grace but who say that some Arminians are saved.
While you are reading the statements of the compromisers, keep the following in mind:
1. The gospel is the power of God to salvation to believers (Romans 1:16).
2. In the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed (Romans 1:17).
3. Those who do not believe the gospel are lost (Mark 16:16).
4. 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).
5. The righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel is His salvation of sinners based on the propitiatory sacrifice and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone (Romans 3:21-4:8; 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
6. Anyone who does not abide in the doctrine of Christ is lost (2 John 9).
7. Anyone who speaks peace to one who brings a false gospel is lost (2 John 11).
We can see from these Scriptures and many others that all who believe in universal atonement are lost. They believe that it is not work of Christ alone that makes the difference between heaven and hell. They believe that it is the work of the sinner that makes the difference between heaven and hell. They believe the false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner, which is the very antithesis of the true gospel.
We can also see from these Scriptures and many others that all who believe that universal atonement advocates are regenerate are lost. They are participants in the evil deeds - the false gospel - of the universal atonement advocates. When they say that the universal atonement advocates are their brothers and sisters in Christ, they are saying that they worship the same God and believe the same gospel as the universal atonement advocates.
Many of the arguments you will see here are very common arguments. It seems that almost all of the compromisers have the very same catch phrases. They also seem to build the same straw men. I hope this will be helpful to my brothers and sisters in Christ and will be used of God for the salvation of sinners, including those unregenerate people who profess to believe the doctrines of grace.
Your position that only Calvinists are children of God is utterly untenable. It is too simplistic, and fails to recognize that the God of salvation and sovereign quickening is also the God of Truth. Truth is God's property and He reveals various depths of truth as pleaseth Him. Are you saying that only "high Calvinists" (as ourselves) are saved? Or do you take in "low Calvinists," such as Spurgeon and Fuller and the majority of Puritans, etc.? Where do you draw the line? (And, of course, since you are not God, you have no right to draw any such line in the first place!)
May I say that my position is as follows:
The Doctrines of Grace, or Calvinism: One must believe them to be sound. One must experience them to be saved. Some are, no doubt, saved who are not sound!
Your view - i.e., "believe as I believe or be lost eternally!" - is not held by any of the Puritans, nor by the Huntingtonian Calvinists, nor by the English Strict Baptists and American Primitive Baptists, nor by the good Scotch Presbyterians, nor by the Protestant Reformed. Indeed the view must have made its "debut" with you!
If your view is correct, then all we need to do is gain everyone's mental assent to the "Five Points" and they're saved! Then salvation is by the persuasive efforts of the flesh and not by the exclusive power of God!
May the blessing of our God rest upon all them that are HIS!! II Tim. 2:19.
Truth For Today
Forest City, North Carolina
Editor's note: Fulton also said the following things via multiple e-mails:
True saving faith is much more than the understanding of Calvinistic dogma; it is the casting of the soul on Christ for its all. And a sinner might possibly do that without clear understanding of unconditional election or absolute sovereignty. As dear old Vance Havner (a man much used of God, while not in the "Calvinist camp") said, "When I was saved back yonder in the hills of North Carolina, as an 11-year-old boy, I didn't know much. But I knew that I had a NEW MASTER. He was my Lord, and I was to follow Him and Him alone." And that's pretty solid evidence of saving faith, I believe. ...
Do you see what you boys are doing, setting yourselves up as judges? In reality, all professed servants of God will stand or fall before the Lord their own Maker, and the Lord their own Judge. And, in that day, even as Bro. Gene Breed has pointed out, it won't be a question of whether one believed the doctrines of particular redemption, efficacious grace, or anything else -- it will be a question of HIS WALK in this lowland of sin and sorrow. And I repeat my agreement with Bro. Tim Fellows that many evangelical Arminians have shown a more Christ-like walk than some of those who are so STRICT on THEIR OWN PET DOCTRINES.
Doctrine, dogma, teaching -- these are NOT our Saviour. Christ the Lord IS, and He saves all who come to Him and live up to the light they have. He will give them more light, and will (in His own good time) fully teach them the doctrine (John 7:17). Oh, my dear friends, regeneration of an elect soul cometh not via hearing and believing sound teachings or even hearing and believing "THE GOSPEL," for the regeneration of the spiritually dead must come BEFORE their ability to hear or conceive or believe or discern ANYTHING OF THE SPIRIT. I Cor. 2:14. ...
May it please God to bring to your remembrance that all knowledge of truth is as sovereignly bestowed as salvation itself. Leave it there. God knoweth them that are His (2 Tim.2:19). Quit all this ungodly JUDGING of people's souls. Such statements as "John Reisinger is unregenerate" or "Spurgeon was an unregenerate Calvinist" are coming from a bitter-spirited soul. I feel sorry for you folks who take such narrow views.
Reply: I think the best way to respond to such godless thinking is to go point by point through the letters and e-mails. May it edify the godly and show the ungodly the wickedness of their ways so as to lead to repentance.
I have never said that only Calvinists are children of God. I have said that only those who believe the gospel are children of God and that those who do not believe the gospel are children of Satan. Mark 16:16 bears this out. The gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. Those who believe that salvation is conditioned on the sinner in any way to any degree are children of Satan. This includes everyone who believes that Christ died for all without exception, because all of these people believe that the work of Christ alone is not what makes the difference between heaven and hell; instead, they believe that the work of the sinner is what makes the difference between heaven and hell. All of those who are commonly known as "Arminians" fit into this category. No regenerate person believes in universal atonement.
Fulton said that God reveals various depths of truths to different people. But, contrary to what Fulton believes, when it comes to the gospel, God reveals His truth to every single one of His people when He regenerates them. He does not leave them ignorant of the only ground of salvation. He does not leave them ignorant of the person and work of Christ. In fact, God plainly says that those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are lost (Romans 10:3). Universal atonement is not a "shallower truth" compared to the "deeper truth" that the work of Christ ensures and demands the salvation of all whom He represented. The Arminian view of atonement is a difference of kind, not of degree. Arminian atonement is a completely different atonement than the atonement of true Christianity. A Christian does not "grow" from believing in salvation conditioned on the sinner (the so-called "shallower truth") to believing salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone (the so-called "deeper truth").
Fulton then attempts to apply this "shallower-deeper" principle to "low Calvinism" and "high Calvinism." He asks if I believe that only "high Calvinists" (including himself) are saved. Obviously, if Fulton is an example of a "high Calvinist," then I want nothing to do with "high Calvinism." Such "high Calvinism" in Fulton's case is nothing more than an abomination to God, since Fulton speaks peace to the haters of God. As far as "low Calvinists" go, if Spurgeon and Fuller are examples of "low Calvinists," then I want nothing to do with "low Calvinism" either. In fact, I have stopped calling myself a Calvinist at all.
Fulton says that I have no right to draw the line. In the e-mails, he says that we are not to judge other people's souls. I have already gone over this issue in the article "Righteous Judgment" in Vol. 3, No. 1 of this newsletter. Suffice it to say that God's people are commanded to judge and to draw the line according to His Word. Hypocritically, Fulton goes on to judge Vance Havner to be regenerate, even though he says that we are not to judge other people's souls. We will see by what standard he judges Havner to be regenerate.
Fulton's "saved but not sound" ditty is cute, but it again fails to meet the test of Scripture. Of course some Christians are not sound in some areas, such as ecclesiology or eschatology. But when it comes to the gospel, ALL Christians are saved AND sound. If one is not sound as to the only ground of salvation, one is lost.
What about "Believe as I believe or be lost eternally"? If what "I believe" is the true gospel, then of course it is true that one who does not believe the true gospel up until their dying breath will be lost eternally. Fulton wants to make it sound as if what "I believe" concerning the gospel is either totally man-made or is some higher knowledge to which only the mature and educated Christians can attain. Gospel doctrine is simple enough for even a child to understand. And of course, this view did not make its debut with me; Jesus Christ said that those who do not believe in Him shall be damned. To believe in Him means to believe in His person and His work.
Is everyone who gives "mental assent" to the "Five Points" saved? If by "mental assent" one means that one knows the "Five Points" and tells himself that he agrees with these points and can articulate these points, then the answer is a resounding NO. Fulton is a prime example. He knows what the "Five Points" are and tells himself and others that he agrees with these points, and yet he is just as unregenerate as the immoral pervert who has no concern for religious matters at all. In contrast with this, there are true Christians who believe the gospel, being submitted to the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel, who have never heard of "Calvinism" and who cannot systematize and articulate the "Five Points." Yet, because they believe the gospel, they will never believe the antitheses to any of the "Five Points." They will never believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner. Salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone is a fundamental Christian truth. The fact that Christ's atoning blood and imputed righteousness alone demand and ensure the salvation of all whom He represented is not "deeper" or "higher" knowledge than the average Christian; it is believed by every Christian.
Fulton says that true saving faith "is the casting of the soul on Christ for its all." I agree with this phrase, but what Fulton means by it is completely different than what I mean by it. I mean that true saving faith believes that it is CHRIST ALONE who secured my salvation. Fulton thinks that a person can cast his soul on Christ for its all and yet believe that Christ's work alone did not secure his salvation. It is obvious that Fulton knows nothing of true saving faith; he knows nothing of the casting of the soul on Christ for its all, although he and a multitude of tolerant "Calvinists" give lip-service to this phrase.
Fulton then tries to give an example of a person who believed in salvation conditioned on the sinner yet had true saving faith. The example of Vance Havner exposes Fulton's wicked heart.
Fulton claims that it is evidence of saving faith for someone to say that he didn't know much but knew that he had a new master and that he was to follow the Lord alone. If he were consistent, he would have to open up his fellowship to Roman Catholics, Moonies, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses. They will talk about their conversion experiences and "having a new master" and put forth little doctrineless ditties like Havner did. This is enough evidence for Fulton.
Speaking peace to Jehovah's Witnesses would fit right in with Fulton's views. After all, they're just ignorant of a little doctrine. And if you judge JW's to be lost, aren't you telling them, "Believe as I believe or be lost eternally"?
Did Vance Havner, when he "didn't know much," know about and believe the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel? Of course he didn't.
Look closely at what Fulton says next. He agrees with Gene Breed that on the judgment day, it will be a question of a person's WALK. Not the atoning blood of Christ, not the wedding garment of the imputed righteousness of Christ, but HIS WALK. Fulton thinks that HIS WALK meets up to the standard by which God will judge people to be worthy to enter into heaven. This shows that Fulton is just another one of the multitudes of lost self-righteous religionists who are going about to establish a righteousness of their own, thinking that it is THEIR WALK that recommends them to God. This should not be surprising, since he considers Arminians to be his brothers. The Arminian self-righteous "gospel" is the starting point of his own "gospel." He even compares the "walk" of Arminians to the "walk" of strict doctrinalists. According to Fulton, one can be ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel but have an upright "walk" and be okay. As long as they "live up to the light they have" after their so-called "coming to Him," they're okay. "Peace, peace," say the false prophets, "You shall not surely die." Fulton and Billy Graham are not very far apart in their doctrine.
Fulton says that doctrine is not our Savior but Christ is. But doctrine and Christ can never be separated. One does not have Christ without knowing the DOCTRINE of Christ. DOCTRINE is what distinguishes the true Christ from all counterfeits. When someone says, "I believe in Christ," the only way we know WHAT Christ is by their DOCTRINE. Fulton could care less about Havner's doctrine, as long as Havner said he followed a new master. According to Fulton, as long as someone believes he has a new master that he needs to follow, even though he doesn't know anything about who the new master is or what he did, this is sufficient evidence of regeneration. The only way we know what master Havner followed is by what DOCTRINE Havner believed about his master.
The statement Fulton made about John Reisinger was made after he had seen what Reisinger said about Noel Smith (see Vol. 4, No. 2).
To conclude, knowledge is not a condition for salvation; knowledge is a necessary and immediate result of salvation. Doctrine is what distinguishes the true Christ and the true gospel from all counterfeits.
Notice what the Scripture says about doctrine and knowledge:
"And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 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" (Isaiah 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" (Romans 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 Corinthians 4:3-6). What is this LIGHT to which the lost people are BLINDED? 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?
Fulton obviously believes that the deity he worships and the deity that Arminians worship is the same deity. I do not doubt this.
So Spurgeon is in hell, being as you say, unregenerate because he believed it was possible to be regenerate and misunderstand the doctrines of grace. Wow. That is an historic first. If he is in hell I don't hold out much hope for any professing Christians, including myself or you arrogant folks. I am reminded of what George Whitefield said about John Wesley, after he had been treated so terribly by Wesley. Whitefield was asked "Do you think you will see John Wesley in heaven?" he answered "No! he will be so close to the throne of God I will never see him."
If the doctrines of grace do not lead to graciousness and humility in your relationship with others, in particular other Christians, then you openly shame the very doctrines you profess to defend. You, my friends, are not "Outside The Camp" you are out of your minds!
Westboro Baptist Church
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Reply: I have never said that Spurgeon is in hell. I do not know if God regenerated him after he spoke peace to Arminians. I do know, by God's Testimony, that he was unregenerate when he spoke peace to Arminians. (See the "From the editor" column in Vol. 3 No. 4 regarding judgment of lost vs. judgment of reprobate.)
The quote from Whitefield just goes to prove what we have been saying all along - Whitefield was unregenerate as well.
To Oosterman, Arminians are Christians who merely "misunderstand the doctrines of grace." He considers universal atonement as a non-vital "misunderstanding" that does not strike at the heart of the gospel. Clearly, Oosterman does not know what the gospel is.
As in the previous response, I would ask Oosterman if he considers Jehovah's Witnesses to be regenerate; after all, they just "misunderstand the deity of Christ."
Oosterman considers it gracious and humble to tell Arminians and tolerant Calvinists that they are regenerate. This is exactly how Satan operates. In the Garden of Eden, Satan "lovingly" said, "You shall not surely die." According to Satan, God was the "mean" one who said, "You shall surely die." Speaking peace to the haters of God seems so loving and kind and gracious and humble to this lost religious world. But we Christians see that it is actually hatred to do so. If a doctor knew that his patient had a deadly disease and new the remedy, would it be loving for the doctor to tell the patient that everything is okay? Of course not. That would be a hateful thing to do. We see in 2 John 11 that those who speak peace to those who bring a false gospel are participants in their evil deeds (see the article on 2 John 11 in Vol. 3, No. 1).
True Christian graciousness and humility tells the truth to lost sinners - both the truth of their lost state and the truth of the gospel - realizing that were it not for the grace of God, we would be in the same state, and praying for the salvation of lost sinners. Rest assured that I have told Oosterman and Fulton and all who come to me showing their hatred of God's gospel that they are lost and their deeds are evil, that the gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, and that they are to repent and believe the gospel.
Your view seems to leave no room for the unlearned and uneducated to enter the kingdom of heaven. Was the thief on the cross in Paradise? Did he understand clearly, and fully assent to, all the five points of Calvinism? All that the Scripture says is that he knew he was a sinner and believed upon Christ. Then within hours he died and went to heaven. He never heard the five points expounded in all their glory, and yet he's our brother. Surely he knows the doctrines of grace in their fullness now that he is with Christ in Paradise.
Similarly, how many points of Calvinism could blind Bartamaeus rattle off to one who quizzed him? His testimony of faith was simply, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
And how many points of Calvinism did the sinful woman, who cried in repentance at Jesus' feet while he was eating dinner, know when Christ immediately pronounced her saved?
Again, your system doesn't account for the poor and uneducated of this world who responded with simple faith in Christ and who later grow up in the knowledge of His salvific work. 85% or more of the church in the post-apostolic period couldn't even read. Very, very few even had personal copies of Paul's epistles let alone theology textbooks on the five points of Calvinism. And because of that lack of "fully" comprehending the manifold grace of God, known as the five points of Calvinism, you condemn them as lost. Shame on you, closing the kingdom to only an educated few.
Reply: The writer reveals his own view of salvation, which is based on ignorance and mysticism. He gives examples of the thief on the cross, Bartimaeus, the woman in Luke 8:37-38, illiterate people, and people who don't have theological textbooks in an attempt to prove his point that some regenerate "poor and uneducated" people are ignorant of gospel doctrine.
Again, not all Christians are able to systematize and articulate the doctrines of grace. That's not even the point, although he tries to make it the point by asking about how many points Bartimaeus could rattle off. It matters not if one can "rattle off" the doctrines of grace. In fact, most who can "rattle off" the doctrines of grace are lost.
As for the examples from the Bible that were cited, we must always have the Bible itself fill in the blanks where a certain passages do not give all the detail of what one believed.
God's Word says that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16) and that those who do not believe this gospel are lost (Mark 16:16). So we know for sure that the thief on the cross, Bartimaeus, and the woman in Luke 8:37-38 believed the gospel. What about those in post-apostolic times who were illiterate and had no theology books? God's Word applies to them as well. God does not make exceptions. I couldn't care less if someone knows what "Calvinism" is. It is the gospel that matters.
So if all believers, both educated and uneducated, believe the gospel, what specifically do they believe? The gospel reveals the righteousness of God (Romans 1:17). Those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are lost (Romans 10:3). It matters not if a person is illiterate or learned, a child or an adult - if one is ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel, he is lost.
What is this righteousness? Romans 10:4 gives a brief definition, and Romans 3:9-4:8 gives a more detailed definition. The righteousness of God shows God to be just to justify the ungodly based on the propitiatory sacrifice and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. This work of Christ demands and ensures the salvation of all whom He represented. The thief on the cross knew this. Bartimaeus knew this. The woman in Luke 8:37-38 knew this. The illiterate Christians knew and know this. Those without theology books knew and know this. Regenerate children know this. All who know Christ know this. This knowledge is not a condition of salvation; it is a necessary and immediate fruit of salvation.
While the writer accuses us of "closing the kingdom to only an educated few," he opens the kingdom to those who are ignorant of the righteousness of Christ revealed in the gospel, exposing his lostness.
I was very perturbed when reading your website. It seems that you are not only Outside the Camp, but outside the boundaries of Scripture and the majority of the Reformed Fellowship. Instead of maintaining TULIP and the doctrines of grace we so cherish, you have invented a Qumran Community of extremists who have set themselves as the judges of souls.
That you have even considered to think of such a notion that those who are Reformed and yet believe some Arminians are believers, that these Calvinists are unregenerate is alarming. Would you assign George Whitefield, the famous Reformed preacher, to hell because he believed that John and Charles Wesley were believers, even though they did not see the Doctrines of Grace clearly?
Are you in fact in danger of Pharisaicalism when you state that only those who have your exact viewpoint can be saved rather than those who fling themselves at the feet of our Savior as Scripture has warranted? Do you have any biblical support that a sound understanding of the Geneva tradition, the Council of Dort, and the full understanding of Reformed theology is required unto salvation? Are you guilty of throwing a stumbling block before men so that they might not come unto Christ? What form of evangelism do you then preach? Believe in my viewpoints and only then can ye be saved?
My friend, I know quite a few people who ascribe to the Reformed Heritage and are yet soundly unconverted turning their pride of theology as an excuse to not come unto Christ. The kind of teaching you espouse is very dangerous and in fact likely to give many a false sense of security as they have now done their "Good Work" and accepted Reformed Theology. May the name of Luther and Calvin be erased if this is what the gospel turns into. For at the head of both of them was not their opinions but Christ alone and his unchanging Word.
Mind you, I intend to preach as a good Calvinist but hearken unto sinners like a good evangelist. I will have compassion on the multitudes as my Master did. And I will refuse to preach to them a gospel of uniformity where they must settle on all the issues of Calvinism before coming to justification. To do so is to set up a filthy perversion of the gospel that Christ brought to the meek and lowly that they might find salvation, by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ.
And this my friend is how many an Arminian has been saved, such as myself. If you wish you may add me and my site to your list of unregenerates.
Reply: Outside the camp? Yes, where Christ is (Hebrews 13:13). Outside the majority of those who call themselves Reformed? Most certainly. Outside the boundaries of Scripture? No; we are well within the boundaries of Scripture.
We "extremists" agree with the "extremism" of God's Holy Word and judge the state of people's souls by the doctrine they confess (See the article "Righteous Judgment" in Vol. 3, No. 1).
No one from our assembly has ever claimed that we were without sin or were the only true church in the world.
We assign no one to hell. We do judge that Whitefield was lost when he spoke peace to Wesley.
Did John Wesley "not see the Doctrines of Grace clearly"? He actually did see the doctrines of grace very clearly, and he very clearly hated them. (See "Naked and Unashamed: John Wesley Exposes Himself" in Vol. 3, No. 3).
Regarding our being "in danger of Pharisaicalism (sic)":
First, those who are Pharisees are those who think that their own character and conduct form at least some part of the ground of their salvation and acceptance before God. These were the Arminians of Christ's time.
Second, the Bible clearly states that only those who believe the gospel are saved. The gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. Those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are lost (Romans 10:3). It is not a matter of "exact viewpoint"; it is a matter of whether or not they believe the true gospel or believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner. All who believe in universal atonement do not believe that Christ's work alone makes the difference between heaven and hell; instead, they believe that it is the work of the sinner that makes the difference between heaven and hell. This is not a mere difference in non-essential doctrine -- this is a denial of the gospel.
Third, regarding "those who fling themselves at the feet of our Saviour": How is it that one knows that one is flinging oneself at the feet of the true Savior? And of what does "flinging oneself" consist? Does it matter whether or not they believe that Jesus is both God and Man? And what did the Savior do? Does it matter whether or not they believe in atoning blood and imputed righteousness that demands the salvation of all whom He represented? And why are they flinging themselves at the Savior's feet? Does it matter whether or not they believe that their salvation is conditioned on themselves or not? Can someone just tell himself, "I don't know who the Savior is or what it means to fling myself at the feet of the Savior, but I'm just flinging myself at the feet of the Savior"?
Again we come to doctrine. If one does not know the doctrine of Christ's person and the doctrine of Christ's work, then he is flinging himself at the feet of a counterfeit.
Regarding "a sound understanding of the Geneva tradition, the Council of Dort, and the full understanding of Reformed theology": I am not saying that all regenerate persons are able to systematize and articulate the Doctrines of Grace. I am saying (and the Bible says) that all regenerate persons believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. They know that their works had nothing to do with their salvation and that they are going to heaven based on Christ's work alone. Thus, even though they might have never heard of the doctrines of grace, they will never believe the antithesis to any of these doctrines; i.e., they will never believe universal atonement, because universal atonement is the direct opposite of the gospel.
Interestingly, the very gospel that is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16) is seen by this man as "throwing a stumbling block before men so that they might not come unto Christ." True, Jesus Christ is a stumbling block to all who believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner (Romans 9:32-33); but it is not a stumbling block for those who have been caused to believe.
Regarding evangelism and "my viewpoint": I preach to all that they must repent of their dead works and idolatry and believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. Is this "my viewpoint"? Yes, because it is God's viewpoint.
Regarding those who "ascribe to the Reformed Heritage and are yet soundly unconverted turning their pride of theology as an excuse to not come unto Christ": Yes, I know such people. These are people who think that their "Calvinism" is some higher form of knowledge that only the "theologically adept" can grasp and that Arminians are just "inconsistent believers" who haven't reached the "theological heights" that they have. They consider the doctrines of grace to be "theological minutia" that is only a matter of their being smarter than others. The truth is that every believer, from the youngest to the oldest, believes in salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, with no contribution from the sinner.
Regarding the "false sense of security" in doing the "good work" of accepting "Reformed Theology": I do not tell people to accept Reformed Theology. I tell people to repent and believe the gospel. I tell them that if they believe that Christ died to save everyone, then they do not believe the true gospel and need to repent of their idolatry. Anyone who "accepts Reformed Theology" who speaks peace to Arminians is most certainly in a false peace.
Regarding the "gospel of uniformity where they must settle on all the issues of Calvinism before coming to justification": We do not teach this. There are no prerequisites to salvation. Is the gospel message uniform? It certainly is.
Regarding how Arminians are saved: I don't doubt that God regenerates Arminians; He says that He justifies the ungodly. But as soon as He regenerates them, they no longer are Arminians. They might not be able to systematize or articulate the Doctrines of Grace, but they most certainly do not believe any of the doctrines of Arminianism. All true believers who used to be Arminians know that they were God-haters when they were Arminians.
Please discontinue my subscription to Outside the Camp. It pains me to be reminded that you believe that Calvinists who believe that certain non-Calvinists may be saved are damned. Your arguments are often fallacious (not to mention unbiblical). When one argues as you do, I have found it best to leave such a man to the Lord.
Reply: When you can't refute Scriptural arguments and can't come up with Scripture to defend your point, you just toss in the "fallacious and unbiblical arguments" accusation with no proof and then worm your way out of any further discussion by saying that you'll "leave such a man to the Lord." Clever. 2 John 11 is irrefutable proof that "Calvinists" who speak peace to those who bring a false gospel are lost.
I became a Calvinist in 1995. I believe I came to faith in '91. Becoming a Calvinist was a process. I must confess that I did not fight it kicking and screaming, I pursued it gradually --- or it pursued me. However, I would have to consider myself an Arminian or semi-Pelagian up until I became a five point C. After all, muddled thought is not Calvinistic when it comes to TULIP. Would you assert that I was not regenerate with saving faith from '91 until I embraced limited atonement?
Editor's Reply: I would assert (because the Bible asserts) that you are still not regenerate. Your Arminianism was an abomination to God, and your Calvinism is an abomination to God. When one truly repents of believing a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner, then he counts his former religion as loss and dung (Philippians 3:7-8). Even though you "became" a "Calvinist" in 1995, you still do not consider your former religion as dung. You do not believe that while you were in this religion, you were a God-hater, bringing forth dead works and fruit unto death.
We have received your August 1999 paper and felt it necessary to respond. In your note "From the editor," You state - "All who know what the doctrines of Arminianism are and believe that at least some Arminians are saved are unregenerate (this includes professing Calvinists who say they remained Arminians for a time after they were regenerated or who say that some Arminians are their brothers in Christ)." ...
The Scripture that you seem to be overlooking is MAT 5:21-22 -- "Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."
This word "raca" comes from the Greek word "lego" which means "senseless, or empty headed" and the word "fool" comes from the Greek word "moros" which means "impious, godless." What Christ is saying is when we become judges of another persons relationship with God we are in danger of hell fire.
You need to beware of the law of the Gospel taught by the Saviour in the Sermon on The Mount -- MAT 7:1-5 "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." ...
Our Saviour strongly reproved the Pharisees for the heinous sin of criticism in LUK 18:9 "And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others."
The Pharisee could make such a boast of his own righteousness while he criticized and despised every other person - but see what Jesus said of the man who confessed his own sin without criticizing another person.
LUK 18:13-14 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Mr. Editor!! I will be free of your blood if you persist in your persecution of those whom Christ may well be saying, "this man went down to his house justified rather than the other." See what the Lord says about those who say - "Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day," ISA 65:5.
May God grant the grace to see into the error of your own ways and repent with the publican's prayer for your heinous sin of criticism - that you might be able to go down to your house justified. Amen.
Bouma uses Matthew 5:21-22 and 7:1-5 to try to prove that Christians are not to judge another person's relationship with God. Bouma must be in wilful disobedience God's command to test the spirits (1 John 4:1). He must wilfully disregard God's command not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), since he does not judge who the unbelievers are. He must not believe Jesus Christ, who said that by their fruits you shall know them (Matthew 7:20). He must not judge Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists to be lost. A "Christian" who does not judge is not a Christian at all.
Matthew 5:21-22 is not forbidding Christians to judge someone as godless. If this were the case, then the prophets and the apostles were all in danger of hell fire. Matthew 7:1-5 is not forbidding all judgment. Jesus Christ is forbidding self-righteous judgment, which is judgment based on Satan's lie. Those who would judge someone lost because he is a sinner are judging themselves lost, because they, too, are sinners.
Bouma says that the "heinous sin" in Luke 18:9 is that of "criticism." He has no clue as to what the heinous sin of the Pharisee was. It was the sin of trusting that his own righteousness formed at least some part of the ground of his acceptance before God. He despised others who were not as "holy" in their character and conduct, because he made his judgments of saved and lost based on outward appearance and conduct rather than God's gospel. (Yet since Bouma doesn't judge anyone lost, he cannot even say that this Pharisee who trusted in his own righteousness was lost.)
Was Paul guilty of the "heinous sin of criticism" when he said that all who preach a false gospel are accursed? When he said that they should all go and emasculate themselves? Was Jesus guilty of the "heinous sin of criticism" when He told the religious world that they were lost and their deeds were evil?
In contrast with the Pharisee, the publican said "God, BE PROPITIOUS to me a sinner"! The publican believed the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, as do all God's children. Amen.