The Question Arminians Can't Answer

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Skandelon

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    I posted a question two days ago and it has yet to be suffciently answered. Each time the subject was changed or arguements were ignored.

    Why do you believe in Christ?

    The Calvinist answer: Because God chose me. He opened my eyes through a new birth which results in Faith and Obedience.

    The Arminian answer: ???????

    They can't answer it without taking the credit away from God. They must claim that they brought something more than their sin to the table of Grace. Which isn't grace at all. They, like the Judiazers of Paul's day, "stumble over the stumbling stone" (Rom. 9:32b) by attempting to add human effort to God's grace. Paul called the Judizers "accursed" for such teaching. Should we be so bold to do the same?

    [ January 21, 2003, 10:10 PM: Message edited by: Samuel ]
     
  2. Primitive Baptist

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    Arminians can answer the question sufficiently according to their theology but not sufficiently according to the Scriptures. The Scriptures do not teach that people "choose" to believe in Jesus Christ. Therefore, they are guilty of adding to the word of God.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    That's true.

    Spurgeon taught that Arminian's were not true Christians, because in his view true believes would be taught true doctrine by the Holy Spirit.

    I have never agreed with that personally, because I believe we are saved by Grace, not correct theology. I've always believed Grace would cover our doctrinal errors.

    However, Paul says that the Judiazers were "cut off from Christ" and "fallen from grace" in Galatians 5. Are we being to easy on false teaching? What do you all think? :confused:
     
  4. Harald

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    Spurgeon may have done just that, believed that Arminians were not true Christians. But what many do not know is that many Strict Baptists and also non-baptists of like faith (Huntingtonians)believed Spurgeon was not a true Christian, and with good reasons. Because they believed the Holy Spirit would teach true believer the truth, but Spurgeon held to several untruths that clearly contradicted revealed scriptures. For an example he held to the heresy of duty faith and duty repentance if I am not very wrongly informed. He also held to the heretical notion of the so called "free offer" of the Gospel. He also reportedly supported Moody the arminian revivalist heretic when he visited England with Sankey. Spurgeon has also been shown to have believed the heresy that "God wants to save everybody (without exception)". Quotes can also be shown where he is in clear error respecting the doctrine of justification. In addition to these I think it not a lie that he held to the error of open communion. Plus that his claimed conversion occured under the preaching of a preacher known to be a free will arminian, which thing does not add to his credibility. Spurgeon has been hailed as "the prince of preachers", and praised to the skies as a "soul-winner", but many, including myself, greatly doubt all this.

    To his credit must be acknowledged, in all honesty, that he did hold to and teach some truths, no denying to that. But so did also Luther, the much praised Reformer so called, who denied the preservation of the saints, who was amiss on justification, who taught baptismal or rhantismal regeneration, who stole the second commandment of Moses from one of the cathechisms just like the papists, etc. etc. In addition to this Luther consented to the persecution of Anabaptists and their killing in some instances, and oftentimes brushed all with the same comb as the Munsterites, calling them most blasphemous things. These things should not be.

    Harald
     
  5. Monergist

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    Mixed thoughts here.

    On one hand, I have little patience with those who strongly object to the doctrines of grace (though I must recognize that scripture does require patience of me.) Part of that comes from the aggravation of having been misled for many years by Arminian teaching. But there's another part of me that realizes that a right understanding of these doctrines are important, because God's glory is at stake!! (as we're told not one--or even two--but three times in the fisrt two chapters of Ephesians).

    Another concern that I have is that of pride. Someone else said it first, but its true--"A proud calvinist would be an oxymoron." These doctrines, these truths, must always humble us: Never make us proud.

    BTW, Samuel, I've read several of your posts, and I like your style. Good to have you aboard. [​IMG]
     
  6. Skandelon

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    It's great to be here. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Harold, I really wasn't trying to find all the faults of Spurgeon but only introduce his thoughts on this particular subject. Its the subject of false teaching and how we should handle it that I'm wanting to address. I hope that makes since.

    Sam
     
  7. KenH

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    Let's hold the horses here just a minute.

    From Spurgeon's A Defence of Calvinism:

    There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer—I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin, I reply, I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it. But far be it from me even to imagine that Zion contains none but Calvinistic Christians within her walls, or that there are none saved who do not hold our views. Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one "of whom the world was not worthy." I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see these truths, or, at least, cannot see them in the way in which we put them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Saviour, and are as dear to the heart of the God of grace as the soundest Calvinist in or out of Heaven.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    Ken,

    Wow, thanks for correcting me on that. I read a small pamphlet of one of Spurgeon's sermons addressing the issue of Sovereign election and he said something to the effect of, Those holding to these teachings (speaking of Arminianism) have not be taught "aright" and then went on to imply that those who are of "the fold" would be taught "aright".

    I have it around my house somewhere, I'll find it and give you the quote. I could be wrong, I'll check. Is it possible his views changed over time?

    [ January 21, 2003, 11:45 PM: Message edited by: Samuel ]
     
  9. KenH

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    I think you will find that Spurgeon differentiated between false doctrines and those who held certain false doctrines. Spurgeon believed in salvation in Jesus Christ, not in salvation by correct theology.

    After all, none of us has perfect theology. [​IMG]
     
  10. Skandelon

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    I'm not able to find that pamphlet yet, I have a very large library to dig through. But I ran across this quote from Spurgeon's autobiography:

    "And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinon that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works......[speaking of the days of Whitefield] Had a man been an Arminian in those days, he would have been accounted the vilest heretic breathing...."

    This, of course, doesn't question Arminian's salvation but it is a strong rebuke of their teaching as being heretical and not considered the "true gospel."

    So, my question is still the same regardless of who in history has held to it. Sorry for any misrepresentations on Spurgeon's part.

    (I'll keep looking for that quote :rolleyes: )

    [ January 22, 2003, 12:05 AM: Message edited by: Samuel ]
     
  11. Abiyah

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    Two places I stay away from, in order to keep my
    blood pressure in check, are this area and one
    other certain area. So what do I do today. I must
    be nuts.

    But coming from an Arminian background, and
    being still in the process of sorting it out, I
    suggest that Arminianis will be totally amazed
    to spend eternity with Calvinists, and Calvinists
    will be just as amazed. In each side, there are
    many who think the other side to be heathen.

    As a holiness-Arminian, I thought I chose to
    accept our God's gracious offer, and I thought
    I chose to remain in Him. I was taught to do
    many things to assure that my salvation would
    remain, and I lived in constant fear of losing it.

    Regardless, I think that Calvinists are entirely
    too hard on Arminians, but don't worry--they are,
    in turn, entirely too hard on Callvinists. One of the
    main fears people expressed to me was that
    they feared I would suddenly start wallowing in
    sin, enjoying it, and seeing how much I could
    get by with that I had never done before. Well,
    it has had just the opposite effect on me. I get
    by with far less now than I did before.
     
  12. Ray Berrian

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    Samuel,

    Christ comes with His love and grace to us [Ephesians 2:8] but faith [Romans 5:2] is a person's response to the saving message of Christ. Read Hebrews 4:2. Some heard the message and believed, while others did not 'mix faith' with the Gospel message. God and the author of Hebrews did not believe that faith was a 'work' or 'merit' that we offer up to God. Faith is conduit through which Divine grace flows into our lives. The Word does not say that God 'mixed' the faith in Heaven and gave it to specific people, meaning His elect. Faith was their human response of the free will allowing them to either accept the message or to turn it aside. Those in vs. 2 c, & d were those who did not comingle faith after hearing the Gospel.

    Grace can be as close to us as the breath we breathe but it is only when we have faith in Jesus that we become justified. [Romans 5:1]

    We access His grace by way of the conduit of our faith. [Romans 5:2]

    Salvation is all of grace; we cannot receive His grace apart from a faith, trust and belief in His saving benefits accomplished on the middle Cross. [Acts 2:21]

    Without a trusting faith in Christ many people only have some mind knowledge of His life on this earth. [Matthew 7:21-23]
     
  13. Harald

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    Samuel. What I said respecting Spurgeon was intended as kind of an attempt at showing that the fact someone uses the epithet Calvinist or is called so by other people does not per se mean he/she is "orthodox",let alone a genuine Christian. I have seen, here and there and in many places, a kind of haughty attitude of many called or calling themselves Calvinist towards such who they call Arminians, as if "Arminian" automatically mean a person less favoured by or in a lesser state or standing before the Almighty God as compared to "Calvinists". Saying this is not an endorsement of free willism, or, arminianism as it is also frequently called. Nor do I want to say there is any merit whatsoever in using the epithet Calvinist or clinging to the Calvinistic system.

    When myself encounter people who are quick to call themselves "Calvinists" or who refer much to "Calvinism is the Gospel" and like cliches I do not give much for that. If genuine converts practice such carnal things they stand rebuked by Paul in 1 Corinthians ch. 1 & 3. This worship of a mortal man is a stench in the nostrils of Christ the Lord. I have seen quite a few would-be preachers who are quick to shout "Calvinism is THE Gospel", but who deny the Biblical Gospel on some point or another, so much of such commotion is but empty noise and vanity.

    I know this strayed from the topic, but feel it unnecessary for now to start a new thread, so I state it here.

    As for your original topic it is an important one, one that is most often neglected today because of a prevailing deceptive climate of unbiblical tolerantism of false teachings in professing Christendom in general. Paul gave quite clear advice regarding error and heresy, e.g. 1Tim. 6:3-5 (KJV), Titus 3:10-11, as did John, 2John 9-11. Many more scriptures could be given. True churches of Christ seek to heed such precepts, but false generally do not bother too much, and they sink deeper in apostasy as time passes on. These are sad and solemn things to think upon.

    Harald
     
  14. Bible-belted

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    Abiyah,

    You should spend some time in the Menonite-Brethren church. While basically anabaptist and arminian, they are nevertheless quite tolerant of Calvanists in their midst. Indeed, many modern MBs ARE Calvanist, and they likewise show tolerance and patience with their Arjinian brethren.

    The key seems to be a culture of forgiving differing theology for the sake of same practice. Really quite amazing. The Canadian MB conference doctrinal staement is a masrterpiece of walking the line; a Calvanist and Arminain can both sign off on it.
     
  15. npetreley

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    Perhaps the Bible doesn't say those exact words. But it does say some similar things that are even more strongly worded:

    God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear? Can you tell me where you find in that verse the free will to accept or reject the Gospel?

    The above says there is a remnant chosen by grace. It does not say that everyone is offered grace and there is a remnant that chooses to receive it.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    The very verse you quote (Eph 2:8) infers that faith is not of ourselves but a gift from God. Along with other passages such as Rom. 12:3 which says to act in "accordance with the measure of faith GOD HAS GIVEN YOU." Who gave faith? God did.

    What are the fruits of the Spirit according to Galatians. Love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, FAITHFULNESS, gentleness and self control.

    Faith is a fruit of the Spirit, the Spirit is not a fruit of Faith. Paul is very clear that a person cannot even understand the things of God except by the Spirits power (1 Cor. 2) and one cannot even truely say, "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:3).

    Also, John 6:28-29: The people ask Jesus, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
    Jesus corrects question in his answer by saying, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." Notice what he says. The people ask what should OUR WORKS be? He answers by saying its a WORK OF GOD, and it is to believe. (the greek on this is even clearer)

    John 10:25-26. Jesus tells the people why some do not believe, "because you are not my sheep."

    Ray, Faith must have a source. If God is our maker and the source of all good things; how can you possibly believe He is not that source for faith??? How do you handle these and so many other verses that point to God as our source of our faith?

    See the verses listed above. I agree with Heb. 4:2. And with your statement that God or the author of Heb. don't believe that faith was a 'work' or 'merit' that we offer up to God. Your making my point for me. That does not address the issue of where faith comes from. It only shows that faith is necessary. We both believe that. Let's talk about issues we disagree on.

    You believe faith is of man, but not considered a work or a merit in God's eyes.

    I too don't believe faith is a work or a merit in God's eyes, but for a much different reason. I believe faith is not of man but is a work OF GOD (John 6:29; John 3:5-7.) Therefore it is of Grace, not of works.

    I agree with your first sentence. Faith is the means, but what is its source???? God
    I believe my previous verse contradicts your second sentence as does my brother's previous post on this matter.

    Once again, we agree you must have faith. Where does faith come from????????

    Ray, I think it is interesting you chose Rom 5 to prove your point after all if you keep reading Paul goes on to say in verse 5 (which is referring back to hope/faith) and I quote: "because GOD HAS POURED HIS LOVE INTO OUR HEARTS BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM HE HAS GIVEN US." You can't have hope/faith without the work of the Holy Spirit!!!!

    Once again, you are avoiding the real issue. We all agree that faith is necessary.

    Ray, from where does faith come? Please support your answer with scripture and how do you handle the scriptures I have presented?
     
  17. Yelsew

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    Because he took upon himself, my sins, and offered his own life for mine, in my stead so that If I believe in HIM, even on HIS name, I am not condemned to the second death, but have life everlasting. By believing in HIM, I am free from condemnation and My spirit is reborn into life everlasting life. The only thing required of me is my belief in HIM. Father, I believe!
     
  18. Yelsew

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    Work requires effort, what effort does faith require? Faith is not a work! However faith produces good works. If not the faith is dead and ineffective in the one having it.

    Regardless of what is affected by faith, faith is not a work!

    [ January 22, 2003, 02:29 PM: Message edited by: Yelsew ]
     
  19. Skandelon

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    Because he took upon himself, my sins, and offered his own life for mine, in my stead so that If I believe in HIM, even on HIS name, I am not condemned to the second death, but have life everlasting. By believing in HIM, I am free from condemnation and My spirit is reborn into life everlasting life. The only thing required of me is my belief in HIM. Father, I believe!</font>[/QUOTE]Again, you and Ray don't seem to get that we all agree that we must believe (through faith). That is not the question. The question is why do you believe? You just restated the question.

    Yelsew, let's explain this another way.

    Let's say one of your non-believing friends noticed in you a great servant's heart and asked you, "Yelsew, why do you have such a servant's heart."

    You would not answer, "Because I have a great servant's heart." That is not answering his question at all, it's just restating it.

    You might say, "Christ made me a new creation, and has given me a desire to serve others, it's not from me it's Christ in me." That is an answer!

    Now let me ask again, "Why do you believe?"
     
  20. Skandelon

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    Work requires effort, what effort does faith require? Faith is not a work! However faith produces good works. If not the faith is dead and ineffective in the one having it.

    Regardless, or what is affected by faith, faith is not a work!
    </font>[/QUOTE]Did you read what I wrote?
    Let me paste it here for you to read again:
    Belief is clearly a work. Jesus says so in John 6:29!
    But it is not considered a merit unto salvation because it is a work of God, not a work of man!!!

    Our stance on this issue is not that difficult to understand.

    Calvinism:
    Faith/Belief = Work of God's Grace in the heart of his people

    Arminianism:
    Faith/Belief = free will response of man to God's offer of Grace but (for whatever reason) is not considered a work in God's eyes.

    Why would a man ask Jesus to help him in his unbelief if it is not difficult to belief. Belief is the hardest work of them all. In fact, without divine intervention, its impossible for man. Just ask Thomas!
     

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