There have been many articles written on this subject, one which never ceases to provide for spirited debate and much controversial commentary. Unnecessarily so, if the Word of God was accepted by all professing Christians as the complete and only authority on the subject. But alas, that is not to be and is an unrealistic scenario.
Apart from the fact that I find it quite incredible that any true Christian believer will deny the Doctrines of Grace as being Biblical, similarly I fail to understand why any person would wish to deny that they are elect of God.
Here is a bit of childish logic, I just had to: For what good reason would one want to be seen as non-elect, unless they truly are? Furthermore, if they realized that they were not elect, and they wished to be, would that not make them elect, anyway? Is a longing for God not of God?
Why does it remain so important for some to insist on claiming that they, not God, were initially responsible for willing their own salvation. What is it extra to them? Is pride and boasting not also spoken against in the Arminian’s Bible? Does it not dawn on them that by diminishing the Sovereignty of the Christ they serve, they are simply equally diminishing the effectivity of their perceived form of salvation?
Nevertheless, that should make for sufficient questions for today… and I have heard refuting answers to all of them, none of which matter or are Biblical.
The following article makes it clear in simple terms, why the Arminian Christ is not the Christ of the Bible. The Christ of the Bible can and will save the elect sinner, whereas the Arminian Christ requires the sinner to save himself which, according to all Bible versions I have consulted, he cannot do.
Rev. Steven Houck writes:
The Bible warns us that in the last days in which we live there will be many false Christs-those who claim to be Christ but who are imposters. Jesus said, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matt. 24:4-5). We who profess to be Christians must take heed. We must be very careful that we are not deceived. Our calling is to trust, love, and follow the true Christ and Him only. We may have nothing to do with the false Christs who are so numerous in our day.
We know about the Christ of the cults and other religions. He is a good man, a prophet, the first creation of God, a great spirit, a divine idea, or even a god himself. But he is not true and eternal God. He receives his existence from another who is greater than he. He is not the Christ of the Bible. We are not deceived by this Christ. He is a false Christ.
We know about the Christ of Roman Catholicism. They profess that He is true God. He suffered and died for the forgiveness of sin. He arose again, ascended into heaven, and is coming again. But he is not a complete Savior. The Christ of the Roman Catholics can not save sinners without their own good works and the intercession of priests. He is not the Christ of the Bible. We are not deceived by this Christ. He is a false Christ.
There is, however, another false Christ who is much more dangerous than the Christ of the cults and the Christ of Roman Catholicism. He has deceived people for many years and he continues to deceive millions. This Christ is so dangerous that, if it were not impossible, he would deceive the very elect (Matt. 24:24). He is the Christ of Arminianism.
This false Christ is extremely dangerous because in many ways he appears to be the True Christ. They say that he is true God, equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. They say that he died on the cross to save sinners. They even say that he saves by his grace alone, without the work of man. This Christ will have nothing to do with the Christ of the cults and the Christ of Roman Catholicism.
But watch out! Be warned! The Christ of Arminianism is not the Christ of the Bible. Do not be fooled!
1. The Christ of Arminianism – loves every individual person in the world and sincerely desires their salvation.
The Christ of the Bible – earnestly loves and desires the salvation of only those whom God has unconditionally chosen to salvation. (Ps. 5:5, Ps. 7:11, Ps. 11:5, Matt. 11:27,John 17:9-10, Acts 2:47, Acts 13:48, Rom. 9:10-13, Rom. 9:21-24, Eph. 1:3-4)
2. The Christ of Arminianism – offers salvation to every sinner and does all in his power to bring them to salvation. His offer and work are often frustrated, for many refuse to come.
The Christ of the Bible – effectually calls to Himself only the elect and sovereignly brings them to salvation. Not one of them will be lost. (Isa. 55:11, John 5:21, John 6:37-40,John 10:25-30, John 17:2, Phil. 2:13)
3. The Christ of Arminianism – can not regenerate and save a sinner who does not first choose Christ with his own “free will.” All men have a “free will” by which they can either accept or reject Christ. That “free will” may not be violated by Christ.
The Christ of the Bible – sovereignly regenerates the elect sinner apart from his choice, for without regeneration the spiritually dead sinner can not choose Christ. Faith is not man’s contribution to salvation but the gift of Christ which He sovereignly imparts in regeneration. (John 3:3, John 6:44 & 65, John 15:16, Acts 11:18, Rom. 9:16, Eph. 2:1,Eph. 2:8-10, Phil. 1:29, Hebr. 12:2)
4. The Christ of Arminianism – died on the cross for every individual person and thereby made it possible for every person to be saved. His death, apart from the choice of man, was not able to actually save anyone for many for whom he died are lost.
The Christ of the Bible – died for only God’s elect people and thereby actually obtained salvation for all those for whom He died. His death was a substitutionary satisfaction which actually took away the guilt of His chosen people. (Luke 19:10, John 10:14-15 & 26,Acts 20:28, Rom. 5:10, Eph. 5:25, Hebr. 9:12, I Peter 3:18)
5. The Christ of Arminianism – loses many whom he has “saved” because they do not continue in faith. Even if he does give them “eternal security,” as some say, that security is not based upon his will or work but the choice which the sinner made when he accepted Christ.
The Christ of the Bible – preserves His chosen people so that they can not lose their salvation but persevere in the faith to the very end. He preserves them by the sovereign electing will of God, the power of His death, and the mighty working of His Spirit. (John 5:24, John 10:26-29, Rom. 8:29-30, Rom. 8:35-39, I Peter 1:2-5, Jude 24-25)
As you can see, although the Christ of Arminianism and the Christ of the Bible may at first seem to be the same, they are very different. One is a false Christ. The other is the true Christ. One is weak and helpless. He bows before the sovereign “free will” of man. The other is the reigning Lord Who wills what He pleases and sovereignly accomplishes all that He wills.
If you believe and serve the Christ of Arminianism, you must recognize the fact that you do not serve the Christ of the Bible. You have been deceived! Study the Scriptures and learn of the True Christ. Pray for grace to repent and trust Christ as your sovereign Lord and God.
Some comments made by a Facebook friend. I requested him to please place his comments here. He has problems in that he is using his cellphone as internet and it is difficult for him to place comments here. Here goes then :
my comment :
Salvador arminianism is not biblical. They reject the sovereignty of God.
Who is talking about calvinist’s ? The article in question does not address calvinism but the true Christ of the Bible.
My comment :
Salvador if you do not mind would you please place your comments on the blog 🙂 as hubby Grant who wrote the article are not on FB , i am sure he would appreciate your comments as it is not my intent to have a discussions about the subject here on FB. Thanking you kindly 🙂
My comment :
hould you approve i can place them there for you 🙂
Interesting that you say that this blog is not presenting a Calvinist view. I am interested to know on which points you disagree with Calvanism. Much of the scripture you sited to refute the Arminian view is the Calvanist view. That is why the previous poster and I as well assumed that this is your view, but I realize there are many who do not hold to the 5 points of Calvinism. I look forward to your response.
you say :
could you point as to this where it says so ? 🙂
Please see my answer a little further down this thread, I might have posted it in the wrong place!! If so, my apologies. I hope you can find it.
I hope that my response somehow reaches you through via all the internet media connections which might need to be made. I also thank you for your comments. I’m not an internet buff, by conscientious choice, and not because I do not have the aptitude.
I find this statement to be somewhat of a contradiction. Scripturally, I do not see how one can hold to Arminian beliefs and at the same time uphold the Sovereignty of God. Much of what constitutes Arminianism, is particularly aimed at diminishing the Sovereignty of God and exaggerating the status of man, and the very reason for it’s pronunciations against biblical doctrines.
It is clear, however, that the majority of people will not.
Did Jesus therefore fail in His attempt to save those who will not be saved? Was His sacrifice not therefore insufficient in certain hard cases, according to this view?
If you truly believe that the character of Christ Jesus is made manifest in your life by His unmerited favour, and not by anything you have done or will do, then you do not uphold Arminian beliefs and I’m truly thankful for that.
Peace and Grace to you, brother.
Thank you for your comment, it is truly appreciated. I think I understand your question and the reason for asking.
The simple answer, if ever there is such a thing, is that it should be clear that Biblical doctrine clearly refutes the Arminian view.
If upholding Scripture as the only authority, reformed theological viewpoints and the other Solas, which is my doctrinal stance, seems Calvinistic, then Calvinist doctrine is akin to Biblical doctrine.
I do not necessarily disagree with any point of Calvinism, but I do hold the belief that the five points as forthcoming from the Synod of Dort, notably T.U.L.I.P., are insufficient in that they do not fully represent the biblical Doctrines of Grace.
It is therefore not by any means my intention to present a Calvinist viewpoint in opposition to the Arminian, but certainly we must strive to adhere as best we can to that which is Biblical. There is no other reliable authority which the believer can, or should, consult.
Grace to you also!
I’ve been looking through this blog for the past view days: it’s good. However, I can’t help but find this post… judgmental and misrepresentative.
“If you believe and serve the Christ of Arminianism, you must recognize the fact that you do not serve the Christ of the Bible.” What? Somehow by not being a Calvinist I have not truly accepted Christ and I will go to hell for it? I had a conversation here the other day with Grant and he said that “one cannot simply regard another who disagrees on certain aspects of non-essential doctrine as a false teacher”, which I heartily agree with. Is Calvinism an essential doctrine? Will my parents go to hell for believing in it?
I wouldn’t call myself an Arminian in the sense that you define it, neither would I call myself a Calvinist. I’m not sure what I’d call myself: I don’t wish to be pigeon-holed and end up following a thinker rather than Christ. This is an issue that came up for me a few years ago, and one I am still working through. I thought this post might be interesting to read, but the point is, this article shows a very misconstrued version of Arminianism and Christianity. If by Armininian, you mean not Calvinist, then yes, I am an Armininian. I shall use this definition for now.
I don’t “reject the sovereignty of God” as Elmarie put it. I believe in predestination to a certain extent. The way I would interpret those verses is to say that God (in his wisdom and foreknowledge) who says that “before I formed you in the womb I knew you” saw that we would be saved and therefore destined us to that and prepared a place for us in heaven. I know you probably disagree with this and I am happy to discuss, but to declare am not a Christian for disagreeing with you is so… narrow-minded!
Furthermore, I don’t deny grace and I don’t deny the atonement of Christ’s death. Free will is not an issue I have decided upon yet. What I do take issue with is Limited Atonement. ” [Jesus Christ] died for only God’s elect people and thereby actually obtained salvation for all those for whom He died.” Every single verse beneath that assertion does not swing either way. It does not specify whether Christ died only for the elect, or for all mankind (if they choose to follow him). In fact, there are other verses not mentioned which suggest the latter, e.g. 1 Timothy 2:4 says “[Jesus Christ] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth(NKJV)”. Similarly for the statement that “The Christ of the Bible … earnestly loves and desires the salvation of only those whom God has unconditionally chosen to salvation.”
What I’m trying to drive it is this: why must one not be an Arminian to be a Christian? I’m sorry if it seems like I’m throwing stones and whining, but this article really angers me.
Thank you once again for commenting here. Your comment certainly touches on a wide range of issues, to which a complete response would require a lot more space and time. As stated in the article in question, this is a subject which has been, and continues to be, one which often leads to much spirited debate and controversial commentary. It would not have been so, had the Word of God been accepted in all its fullness and if it had been interpreted without man’s pride having gotten in the way.
I do not wish to enter into another long-winded opinionated debate on the issue, as it would most likely prove to be fruitless and divisive and, furthermore, I do not presume to be able to add anything to Scripture by means of my own fallible wisdom. Biblical doctrine was documented by men who were chosen by God and inspired by the Holy Spirit and I would not dare to be so presumptuous as to disagree with what is contained within the complete canon of the 66 books of the Holy Bible.
Therefore, without becoming embroiled in extended explanations and justifying statements, I will only respond briefly to some of the points you have made. Most of the points have, however, already been dealt with in the article which you are referring to.
The article by no means indicates that Calvinism equates with salvation. It is a commonly applied argument presented by those of Arminian or other affected persuasions, to maintain that believers who uphold Biblical doctrine are by implication Calvinists. John Calvin (as he became known), the author of true Calvinism, was in no way instrumental in contributing to the complete Word of God or the doctrines contained therein. Calvinism in itself plays no part in the salvation of the true believer. To answer your question, therefore, Calvinism is unrelated to essential doctrine. Put simply, if agreement with Calvinistic doctrine is essential to salvation, how would those believers who came before Calvin have been saved? You can also read further on this point in my comments to other respondents in this regard.
Not being a Calvinist does not automatically make you an Arminian. Furthermore, this article is not instrumental in defining what constitutes an Arminian, it simply makes use of commonly accepted Arminian beliefs. I most strongly urge you to make a thorough study of the writings of Jacobus Arminius, and for that matter, also of the work of his tutor John Calvin, before you hasten to classify yourself under either category, simply because you might have read anti-Calvinist commentary. Unfortunately, most of what constitutes that type of criticism, is presented by those who have spent shamefully insufficient time in studying either of the two theological positions, and who base their critique on hearsay and the opinion of other equally uninformed persons. The only important classification we should hope to belong to, is that of a true believer in Jesus Christ, enabled by the free divine gift of faith. I disagree that this article shows a misconstrued version of Arminianism and Christianity.
One cannot accept the Word of God “to a certain extent” and dependent solely on our own understanding. The Word of God is completely unequivocal in repeatedly proclaiming predestination as an indisputable imperative to the will of God, to the fullest extent. It is erroneous and contra-biblical to equate predestination with foreknowledge or, as you put it, destiny, determined by ones free will.
Neither this article nor I, have at any stage stated anything to indicate this. Quite frankly, we have never had any prior discussions on this subject. You are at liberty to exercise your free will to believe or to reject biblical doctrine. You are also free to disagree with anything this article states, however, stating that this article declares that you are not a Christian because of such disagreement, is not something this article does. If you choose to disagree with biblical doctrine, surely that in itself constitutes an anti-christian perspective.
Narrow-minded? The mere fact that I grant you the opportunity to voice your disagreement here, and the fact that I am prepared to respond to your comment, should indicate to you that I operate from a very open-minded position. I’m sure that, if you read more of what I have written in the past on many other subjects, you would agree that your accusation is completely unfounded. I enjoy the consistent fellowship of many brothers and sisters of Arminian, Calvinist and other Christian persuasions, some of whom are thoroughly experienced theologians.
I pray that you do come to a fuller understanding of what man’s free will entails. We are certainly free to choose whether we commit sin or not, that much is evidenced by all of our sinful lives. However, the essential question remains whether we are similarly free to make demands of and attempt to impress and influence a Sovereign and omniscient God. Scripture clearly teaches that we cannot do these things. Scripture also teaches that we are unable and unwilling to choose God, that we are hopelessly lost in our sinful nature and that we are dependent on grace alone for our salvation. If we could use our own free will to choose God, grace would not be grace, but rather something we could acquire and earn.
The Word of God does not “swing”, it is absolute, solid and ultra-clear, based on the Rock, the Cornerstone of our salvation and the true Church. The Word of God is not unclear or unspecific to the saved believer, as you suggest. The Word of God specifies precisely and explicitly what He wants His sheep to understand. The Word of God is not open to individual or varied interpretations, it says only what it says. The Word of God saves those who are called and enabled to accept grace through faith in Jesus Christ. If, as you say, you accept the Sovereignty of God, you should also accept the Sovereignty of His Word.
The Word of God, the Bible, does not contradict itself.
So, are all men saved? Do all men come to the knowledge of the truth? No. Therefore, did Jesus Christ fail in fulfilling His desire, or does He not lose any of those whom the Father gives to Him?
You are welcome to throw stones and whine; unfortunately it is one of the things that most of us tend to do and I understand that. However, if this article angers you, I most humbly suggest that you investigate whether your anger should be leveled at what you have been led to understand concerning the doctrines of election and salvation, or whether your anger should be leveled at those who wrote Scripture itself. There are untold numbers of deceived Christian teachers preaching deceiving doctrines, which Scripture constantly warns us of.
Many so-called teachers are so pride-filled and self-righteous, that they simply cannot humble themselves sufficiently to accept the seriousness of their sin and the truth of biblical doctrine. Biblical doctrine clearly states that we can do nothing about our lost position, and nothing would include our ability to choose God in the Arminian sense.
Rather than expressing your anger over an article such as this, apply that anger against the gravity of sin and focus your effort on prayerfully taking the Gospel to all those who could be eternally separated from God, due to the fact that they have not heard the Good News.
The article in question states my position regarding the Arminian belief system. Additionally, as I have stated before, it is completely erroneous to understand from this article that Calvin’s teachings are necessarily the perfect vehicle to understanding biblical doctrine. A critique of the errors contained in one belief system does not, by implication, indicate that another doctrinal interpretation is the correct alternative. Many of the questions you pose here have been dealt with in the article. I did not place this article with the intention of gaining the approval of all the readers, but rather to contend for the Truth and to illustrate the errors of Arminian doctrines when compared with biblical doctrine, not Calvinism.
Grace and blessings to you.
Thank you for your comment! Sorry for not replying earlier: I was away over the weekend.
I’d like to apologise for my earlier comment: I was tired and looking back now, my thoughts were fairly rash and not well-though-out.
The main point I was trying to make was that the vibe I was getting from the article was one of salvation through doctrine, i.e. you must believe this, this, and this to be a Christian. Indeed, I think Dave who posted below got the same idea. When I said that the verses below “swung” in a particular way and suggested differently to the main article’s point, I was not trying to deny the inerrancy of the Bible, but rather the errancy of human thinking and doctrine. As humans we can only interpret through our own judgment and knowledge, and whilst the Holy Spirit supernaturally assists, I still feel that we can and do make errors in our judgement.
Many thanks for your tempered response, and I shall continue to enjoy this blog.
Yours in Christ,
Thank you also, for your gracious reply.
Excellently written comment by Grant. Thank you !! 🙂
Indeed we are to earnestly contend for the faith for the deceit and lies out there consists of many many different streams.
The wise words of John MacArthur comes to mind, he wrote of in his book the Truth War.
(Quote) Still, overzealousness is clearly a danger we need to guard against carefully. There are indeed some full-time critics operating today, always looking for a fight, taking fleshly delight in controversy merely for controversy’s sake, and making judgements that may be too harsh. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that most censorious and nit-picking opinions are automatically the most “discerning” ones. Watch out for the person who shows no caution or restraint about making severe judgements and yet claims to be a “discernment” expert. True discernment is gained by applying our hearts and minds to biblical wisdom, not fostering a critical spirit.
As a matter of fact, Scripture says that those who are merely pugnacious or quarrelsome are unfit for spiritual leadership (1 Timothy 3:3). When Paul laid out the qualifications for church leaders, he was emphatic about this. “ A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth”. (2 Timothy 2:24-25). That is the spirit we must cultivate. Contending earnestly for the faith does not require us to become brawlers. Let’s acknowledge that as plain and possible never lose sight of it. (End Quote)(Page 135, The Truth War by John MacArthur) Read full article on this blog here ; https://fortheloveofhistruth.com/2011/11/21/voices-across-the-big-wide-ocean-and-me-reading-the-truth-war-of-john-macarthur/
Hello, This article is highly biased and mis-represents what Arminians actually believe. It’s also very selective in the way it quotes proof-texts to supposedly make the author’s argument appear Biblical. Sadly, Calvinists often take this approach.
The authors also say that their theological perspectives are the only right ones, and anyone who disagrees with them is not a Christian. This is disgraceful – it is not an honorable way to approach a subject that Christians have had differing views on for hundreds of years. Incidentally, the famous Methodist preacher John Wesley was an Arminian – are you prepared to say he wasn’t a Christian?
To understand both proper Arminianism and the shortcomings of Calvinism, I would recommend the writings of an American theology professor, Roger E Olson, who is of Arminian persuasion yet shows far more grace to Calvinists than the authors here have shown to Arminians. Check out http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/
Dave, thank you for your comment.
It would have been rather ridiculous of me to have placed this article, had I not understood what Arminians believe. It would also have been rather pointless, had this article been placed to refute a belief system which did not exist in the form as it is presented. The refutation would surely have had to adopt a completely different stance, were it intended to refute something other than proper Arminianism.
I will respond briefly to a few other points you have made:
1. As is the case with many of the Arminian arguments made against biblical doctrine, you also seem to operate from the assumption that the authors are by implication, Calvinists. You are wrong in that assumption, but if you feel it necessary to make that your initial statement in order to prove a non-existent point, you are free to do so. One cannot appeal to John Calvin in attempt to refute Armianian beliefs, one can simply appeal to the Word of God. Possibly, the fact that I have allowed your comment here, will further indicate to you that I do show grace to those of Arminian persuasion, contrary to what you stated.
2. The proof-texts quoted are those which have relevance to the subject of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The selected texts are used, in particular, because they biblically refute the Arminian belief system. If they make the author’s argument seem biblical, it is because they were used for that reason. The proof-text is used subjectively and in a biblical context and not in the context that the Arminian would like to understand them. You obviously disagree and that is your right.
3. The authors do not say that their theological perspectives are the only right ones, but they do say that Arminian theological perspectives are not biblically correct. This would be the second time in your short comment where you have taken what the authors said and have twisted it to make it say what is doesn’t. That, sir, is what is disgraceful and dishonourable.
4. It would have been rather short-sighted of the authors not to have read the writings of Roger E Olson, Dave Hunt and many other prominent historic and current Arminian writers, before placing an article such as this. This is the third incorrect assumption you have made.
5. Were you to have read some of my previous responses in this thread, and many other articles and comments I have made on this subject, you would surely have not made your fourth incorrect assumption, which is that the authors do not show grace to Arminian brothers and sisters.
6. You ask whether I regard John Wesley as having been a Christian. The answer to that question is irrelevant to the subject. Whether John Wesley was a Christian, or not, was not determined by his Arminian beliefs, but by the Grace of God. (Matthew 7:20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them). Therefore, we are to regard a man’s fruit as the yardstick by which he is to be measured by the believer. In addition, the fact that John Wesley was a Christian, does not make Arminian beliefs any less false.
I can ask you a similar irrelevant question, which I hope you have the grace to consider and respond to. Charles Spurgeon, the most famous preacher, was not an Arminian. In your opinion, was he a Christian?
I quote Charles Spurgeon: “I do not serve the god of the Arminians at all; I have nothing to do with him, and I do not bow down before the Baal they have set up; he is not my God, nor shall he ever be; I fear him not, nor tremble at his presence…The God that saith today and denieth tomorrow, that justifieth today and condemns the next…is no relation to my God in the least degree. He may be a relation of Ashtaroth or Baal, but Jehovah never was or can be his name.”
Jesus said you must be born again. The Bible is clear that that does not occur by human will or decision. I love the paragraph about not being shy about being a chosen son. Let the Living God have the glory for His marvelous works!