Arminianism Agrees With Roman Catholicism, Calvinism Agrees With The Bible

road to rome

Arminianism at Home in Rome

But, however frivolous his cavils, the principles for which he contends are of the most pernicious  nature and tendency. I must repeat, what already seems to have given him so much offence, that Arminianism “came from Rome, and leads thither again.” Julian, bishop of Eclana a  contemporary and disciple of Pelagius, was one of those who endeavoured, with much art, to gild the  doctrines of that heresiarch, in order to render them more sightly and palatable. The Pelagian system,  thus varnished and paliated, soon began to acquire the softer name of Semipelagianism. Let us take a  view of it, as drawn to our hands by the celebrated Mr. Bower, who himself, in the main, a professed  Pelagian, and therefore less likely to present us with an unfavourable portrait of the system he  generally approved. Among the principles of that sect, this learned writer enumerates the following:

“The notion of election and reprobation, independent of our merits or demerits, is  maintaining a fatal necessity, is the bane of all virtue, and serves only to render good  men remiss in working out their salvation, and to drive sinners to despair.

“The decrees of election and reprobation are posterior to, and in consequence of, our  good or evil works, as foreseen by God from all eternity.”

Is not this too the very language of modern Arminianism? Do not the partizans of that scheme argue on the same identical terms? Should it be said, “True, this proves that Arminianism is Pelagianism revived; but it does not prove, that the doctrines of Arminianism are originally Popish:” a moment’s cool attention will make it plain that they are. Let us again hear Mr. Bower, who, after the passage just quoted, immediately adds, “on these two last propositions, the Jesuits found their whole system of grace and free-will; agreeing therein with the Semipelagians, against the Jansenists and St. Augustine.” The Jesuits were moulded into a regular body, towards the middle of the sixteenth century: toward the close of the same century, Arminius began to infest the Protestant churches. It needs therefore no great penetration, to discern from what source he drew his poison. His journey to Rome (though Monsicur Bayle affects to make light of the inferences which were at that very time deduced from it) was not for nothing. If, however, any are disposed to believe, that  Arminius imbibed his doctrines from the Socinians in Poland, with whom, it is certain, he was on terms of intimate friendship, I have no objection to splitting the difference: he might import some of his tenets from the Racovian brethren, and yet be indebted, for others, to the disciples of Loyola. Continue reading

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Seven Marks of False Teachers

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 Thomas Brooks

The first character: False teachers are menpleasers. They preach more to please the ear than to profit the heart: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isa 30:10). “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer 5:30-31). They handle holy things with wit and dalliance(1) rather than with fear and reverence. False teachers are soul-undoers. They are like evil chirurgeons(2) that skin over the wound, but never heal it…False teachers are hell’s greatest enrichers…Such smooth teachers are sweet soul-poisoners (Jer 23:16-17).

The second character: False teachers are notable in casting dirt, scorn, and reproach upon the persons, names, and credits of Christ’s most faithful ambassadors. Thus, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram charged Moses and Aaron that they took too much upon them, seeing all the congregation was holy (Num 16:3). “You take too much state, too much power, too much honor, too much holiness upon you; for what are you more than others that you take so much upon you?” And so Ahab’s false prophets fell foul on good Micaiah, paying of him with blows for want of better reasons (1Ki 22:10-26). Yea, Paul, that great Apostle of the Gentiles, had his ministry undermined and his reputation blasted by false teachers: “For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible” (2Co 10:10). They rather contemn him than admire him. They look upon him as a dunce rather than a doctor. And the same hard measure had our Lord Jesus from the Scribes and Pharisees, who labored as for life to build their own credit upon the ruins of His reputation. And never did the devil drive a more full trade this way than he does in these days (Mat 27:63). Oh! The dirt, the filth, the scorn that is thrown upon those of whom the world is not worthy… Continue reading

How to Discern : Understanding the Bible (Part 2/6)

By Pastor Anton Bosch 

Understanding the Bible

Many people will agree that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. The problem however is often how it is interpreted. How can we be sure that our understanding is the right one?

In discerning truth from error, we must begin by understanding Truth for ourselves. Many people try to discover the Truth by analyzing and dissecting error. You simply cannot do that. It is like someone trying to drive a car by looking only in the rearview mirror while trying to move forward. You cannot see where you are going by looking where others have gone wrong. So before we try to judge error or someone else’s doctrine, we need to be sure about what we believe. I agree, that many are prompted by the rise of some error to study truth. But, if you want to learn the truth on some matter, you will only learn it by studying the Bible, not by studying the mistakes of others. So what must I do to understand?

First I must ask God for wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). The same Spirit Who inspired the men to write the Bible (2Timothy 3:16, 2Peter 1:21), is available to help us understand what is written. The Bible is not an academic book which can be studied in an intellectual way only. Yes, the Bible is logically sound and intellectually deep, but it is primarily a spiritual book in which God speaks to His people. And His Spirit will lead, guide and counsel us so we may come “into all truth” (John 16:13). Studying the Bible is both an academic and spiritual exercise. Read it in a “spiritual” way without applying sound reasoning and you will not discover the Truth. But study it as academic literature without the Spirit’s help and you will most certainly end in error. Pray David’s prayer every time you approach the Word: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18). Continue reading