What if you're wrong and we are right?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by William C, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. William C

    William C
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    This is just a WHAT IF question that I think should be considered:

    What if Arminians are wrong and Calvinists are right. What damage has been done?

    1. People thought they decided to accept Christ when really Christ chose them. Which seems to me is exactly what scripture wants us to think, at least at first.

    2. Some people are more likely to doubt their eternal security, but if they are living in sin does the scripture what them to feel secure?

    Rom. 11:20: Don't think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen.21For if God did not spare the branches he put there in the first place, he won't spare you either.

    3. Some people might think they are Christian's that really aren't because they said "the prayer." But the Bible warns their will be goats and this is a problem for both Arminians and Calvinistic churches. (I'll admit though that Arminian groups would be more susceptible to "easy believism" and "manipulation tactics.") But if Arminian's are wrong what harm have we really done? The elect that we "manipulate" are going to be saved regardless of our methodology (which even Calvinist have said they do ministry like an Arminian). And if we give a false security to a non-elect person, big deal, it may be the only joy he or she experiences before an eternity in torment.

    Point: It doesn't change the eternal outcome of anyone. NO ETERNAL HARM DONE.

    BUT...

    What if Calvinist are wrong and Arminians are right?
    What damage has been done?

    1. Calvinism throughout history has lead to "anti-evangelism" beliefs (hyper-Calvinism) which greatly slowed down evangelistic efforts throughout our history causing countless millions to go without hearing the gospel that may have otherwise.

    2. Calvinism has been the fault-line in Baptist life and in many other denominations for centuries causing in fighting and slowing down our evangelistic efforts costing millions to go without hearing the gospel.

    3. Calvinism turns the lost off to God, if they hear about it's teachings, and causes disunity among believers with confusing and very questionable ideas about God's nature and His treatment of his creation. Once again causing Christians to focus on debate rather than evangelism. (Calvinism just doesn't work in churches, I know of Calvinist pastors who remain "closet Calvinists" for this very reason)

    4. Calvinism could give non-believers a false sense of security making them think they can sin all they want because it won't make a difference in their eternal destiny. They won't fear being "cut off" so their lifestyle will not remain in check by the fear of God.

    5. If one can lose their salvation, Calvinism is very damaging because it gives people security that is not really there causing them to let down their guard and possibly become "hardened" by the sin of the world and "cut off" from the root.

    Point: If Calvinism is wrong it has a great impact on the eternal destiny of millions. HUGE ETERNAL HARM DONE!

    Calvinist, I beg of you, I plead with you, search out your doctrine and be 100% certain that it is right, because otherwise you could be the tool of the deceiver used to distract people from accepting God's provision for His creation.

    Even if you are right, many Calvinist say we should "do ministry like an Arminian and believe like a Calvinist."

    Please...please...please be careful that your doctrine is sound. If you have the least bit of doubt that you could be wrong, hold back from teaching it to others. Why risk damaging the eternal future of others over a doctrinal belief that is not even practical in our daily ministry? It can only do damage to the cause of Christ!

    God Bless,
    Bro. Bill
     
  2. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Brother Bill,

    Good points from the 'Lone Star' state.

    The count in not yet in, as to how many people will be lost, because of poorly thought and taught doctrine.
     
  3. Bible-belted

    Bible-belted
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    If Arminains are wrong and Calvanists right?

    No "if" about it!

    No eternal harm done? Maybe. But the temporal harm is tremendous. The disruption caused in churches by reprobate people who have false assurance based on thier faith in their decision is great, and it hinders the work of the church. Rather than try to be discerning about people who claim to believe, whcih we are exhorted to do in scripture, we are required to simply accept the confession at face value, since it is their decision that matters.

    What of calvanism is wrong and arminianism right?

    Talk about your hypothetical questions!

    But seriously.

    If arminianism is right and God foreknows whosoever will come then he will arrange for those people to come to Him, regardless of the best effrts fo calvanists to prevent it (not that this is even a fair representation of calvanism since great evangelistic works are done by calvanists).

    Calvanists dont encourage people to think they can sinall they want. Nor do Calvanstic doctrines.

    Point: There is no eternal harm done either.

    All I see here Bill is a lot of misrepresentation of Calvanism while failing to admit the very real flaws of your false system of belief.
     
  4. romanbear

    romanbear
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    Hi Brother Bill;
    I may not be perfect. I may not have a perfect religon. I may not be sinless. But one thing I know for sure is, that I'm thankful that I'm not a Calvinist. Praise God for that. I'd rather be a born again Christian than a Calvinist any day.
    Romanbear
     
  5. William C

    William C
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    I pray your blind arrogance doesn't cost someone an eternity.

    1. Disruption in churches.
    2. False assurance on their decision.
    3. Hinders the work of the elect in the church.

    OH NO! Goodness No. We wouldn't want those non-elect people causing disruptions in our elect filled chuches! And we surely wouldn't want them going around thinking they might go to heaven, let's make sure they suffer here on earth as much as they are destined to suffer in the after life!

    And how exactly does Arminianism hinder the work of the church when its Calvinist who even say we should minister like an Arminian?

    What is the work of the church? EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP. Arminians have done and continue to do that as if people's lives depend upon it. (because they do)

    Wrong. Some Arminians may not believe in Lordship salvation, but most do. We know that you will know a true believer by their fruits and most know to continually hold people accountable in their behavior through church discipline.

    You are assuming that God's foreknowledge of events necessitates his determiniation of those events. You are thrusting your beliefs onto Arminians so that your system doesn't seem so tragic if it is wrong. Arminians believe that God has allowed us to play a part in the redemption process and therefore we believe that we as "ministers of the gospel" can be guilty or have "blood on our hands" for failing to accomplish the task God has set before us. Calvinism, if they are wrong, only slows down and prevents the church's efforts.

    No, its not a fair representation of ALL Calvinist, you are correct. But I didn't say all Calvinists were "hyper," I just pointed out that many in history have been "anti-evangelistic," thus costing many to not hear the gospel.

    No, maybe not in theory, but practically speaking, the simple mind of many people draw that conclusion, don't they? History shows this to be true among Calvinistic groups. Those who don't have a full understanding of Calvinistic teachings, or those who can't grasp the depth of the "deterministic" nature this system leads to are often lead to extreme views like these. If Calvinism is wrong, this could cost millions of the more simple minded people their very lives.

    Are you serious? Are you really trying to say that Calvinism, if it is wrong, has done no eternal harm? How is that possible?!?!

    If the decision is in the hands of man and there is a group whose doctrine taken to the extreme has hindered evangelism, promoted a false sense of eternal security, and lead many people to think their decisions have no eternal conscequences, how does that not cause eternal harm?
     
  6. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Having been Arminian, and having heard many
    Arminian teachings, I know that many teach only
    extremist Calvinism, not what is normal among
    Calvinists.

    I was taught that Calvinists are hell-bound --
    especially Baptists, who live loose and delight in
    their sin because they don't have to worry about
    it.

    What I found in reality was the opposite.
     
  7. romanbear

    romanbear
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    Hi Abiyah;
    You seem to be a very nice person and I do not wish to offend you.If you'll consider once your saved is always saved and then look at Mat. 18 22-35 and if you have a reference Bible and notice that this conversation was the saviors own words and is also witnessed by other of the disciples.If you can say then that Paul is more right than Christ you have a Calvinistic view. How ever if you admit the truth of scripture you would have to say that Christ is right and what Paul has to say about this is still misunderstood.Not everything in scripture is understood.The truth of Mathew 18 can't be denied...
    Romanbear
     
  8. Bible-belted

    Bible-belted
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    Bill,

    Ah, so much for respect eh? Blind arrogance? LOL This from the guy who exalts human ability over divine soverignty. [​IMG]

    But there is no worry Bill; God is in control. His call is effectual and His gofts irrevocable. I cannot thwart his will.


    Calvanists believe this also. That's why i pointed to the fact that you present a caricature of calvnaism. That seems to be all you CAN do.


    Sorry bill, but that won't fly. The measure you use willbe used on you as well. You don't allow for the "the majority believes" argument for calvanists, preferring top go witha caricature based on the minority position of calvanists (though you say "many" it is not true). So neither will you be premitted to use it.

    Another double standard. It seems that is all you arminians can use.


    Calvanists believe this also.

    As to the foreknowledge of God the fact is that whosoever comes comes. If they fall off that is not relevant. The point is stil true: No eternal harm done either way.


    This is false, and is a double standard. See above.


    As bad or worse may be said of the practical outworking of arminians. And this is a false comaprison anyway. When people draw awerng conclusion it is not becuase of a flaw inthe doctrine but in the one makinbg the flawd inference.

    If election is based on foreknowledge, whether that electionis conditional or not, the truth is that the person is elect and will beleive. Otherwise they wouldn't have been foreknown in the first place. For them to be foreknown to beleive then the have to come to believe at some point. So obviously no one who is foreknown to belive and hence elect is hindered.

    Your own doctrines show your logic to be poor and your argument inconsistent.

    The fact is that there is no difference in eternal terms.

    Temporally though, that's another matter. It is no accident that the greatest heretical movements around today (RCism, open theism and opennes theolgy) are all basically arminian. What ahrm and turmoil these teachings cause in the church.

    You try to dismiss the harm, making light of it. But the bilical adminition is for su to present the bride to the groom without blemish or spot, pure. Your theology does not contribute to that.
     
  9. William C

    William C
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    Abiyah,

    You're not seeing my point.

    I agree that most Calvinist are not the "extreme" view that some people make them out to be. Some of my best friends are Calvinistic, as was I at one time.

    Most of the Calvinist I have known are good people who strive to reach the lost and make disciples of all man.

    What I'm saying is this: What if they are wrong. Look at the ETERNAL DAMAGE done throughout history by Calvinistic teachings that are taken to extreme views. If we can lose our salvation and if the decision to follow Christ is truly in our hands then Calvinism has only hindered the cause of Christ and has cost many their lives. I admit that this is only a "What if" question, but its a question worthy of consideration in light of the eternal consequenses it holds.

    The point of this post is to show the danger of holding to a view of scripture that may have eternal ramifications. This doctrine, if it is wrong, can only be a distraction and a detriment to the eternal lives of those who are dependant upon the church to spead the message.

    We must be aware of that type of doctrine.
     
  10. William C

    William C
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    Bible Belted,

    Eternal results = Those going to be in heaven are not altered by any human activity or choices according to you.

    Eternal results = Those going to be in heaven is determined by the works that God has given us to do and our decisions and actions will affect the number of those who will ultimately be saved.

    If you are right, the eternal results don't change regardless of the false teachings that go on in this world.

    If you are wrong, the eternal results are being affected by the disunity and division that your view has caused and continues to cause among believers.

    That is an undeniable FACT!

    And it is a fact you should not take lightly because one day you will be held accountable, if you are wrong, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes.

    If you are right the Arminians can all wipe our heads and say "SHEW," good thing our misunderstanding of God's word didn't have any eternal effect.

    I wrote: Some Arminians may not believe in Lordship salvation, but most do.

    You wrote; Sorry bill, but that won't fly. The measure you use willbe used on you as well. You don't allow for the "the majority believes" argument for calvanists, preferring top go witha caricature based on the minority position of calvanists (though you say "many" it is not true). So neither will you be premitted to use it.
    Another double standard. It seems that is all you arminians can use.


    But you have ignored the point. If those who have taken an "extreme view" of Arminianism are wrong there is still no eternal effects, The elect will be saved no matter what if Calvinism is right.

    But the "extreme views" of Calvinism could be hindering the gospel if Arminianism is right; thus having an eternal effect of the souls of many. Even the non-extreme views of "once saved always saved," leads to some people living a life unchecked by the fear of God wrath thus causing them to become hardened by their sin and "cut off" from the root of their salvation.

    If you are wrong, you need to face it, you have done huge damage to the cause of Christ. If you are honest you must at least admit that. I admit that if Arminians are wrong and have gone to extreme "easy believism" and "no-Lordship salvation" views they can have some temporary effects on the church, but nothing compared to the eternal effects of Calvinism if it is wrong.

    Can't you see that?
     
  11. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    Are you saying you don't believe in the Eternal Security of the Believer?
    :confused:
     
  12. npetreley

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    This is the most bizarre premise for a thread topic that I can imagine.

    Truth is truth. You don't believe it because you like it or hate it. If it's true, it's true.

    I don't know about you folks, but I'm not about to stop believing something is true simply because I prefer what I imagine would be the consequences of the alternative. That is an appeal straight from hell. "If you only believe MY way, things will be so much better..."
     
  13. William C

    William C
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    Npety,

    Have you never even considered that fact that you may be wrong?

    Has that thought not even crossed you mind as you work through these issues?

    Does the weight of having a sound doctrine even affect you as you seek to understand these deep truths of God?

    Are you so arrogant and narrow-minded to think that you couldn't possibly be misinterpreting the scripture?

    The effects of that possiblity could literally cost someone their eternity, so you might want to take the possiblities of this post a bit more seriously lest someone's blood be on your hands.

    The effect our doctrine has, if indeed it is false, should be a consideration for us all, don't you think?

    If I'm wrong, I'm willing to consider the ramifications of my doctrine on those I come in contact with each day; are you?

    Or, are you too full of yourself to see the fact that you could make mistakes? And are you too closed minded to consider the ramifications that these mistakes could have on our world? That kind of arrogance, blindness and narrow-mindedness is the breeding ground for continued ignorance and heresy.

    I feel sorry for you Nick. Not because your a Calvinist, but because you're not even willing to entertain the thought that you might just be wrong. That's just sad. [​IMG]
     
  14. The Harvest

    The Harvest
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    i'm a little confused on what you are saying here, but i can tell you that the problem you have with Matt 18 is that is does not apply doctrinally to the current dispensation. in Matt 18, Jesus is giving instruction for the Kingdom of Heaven (the Millenium).

    Paul was commissioned to spread the Gospel of Grace to the Gentiles. his message is doctrinally to us currently. what Jesus taught in Matt 18 is not in contradiction to what Paul taught in his epistles, they just apply to two different dispensations.

    by the way, i'm not a calvinist and i do believe in eternal security.
     
  15. William C

    William C
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    I believe that we are saved by grace through faith. If that faith is true it will produce fruits. The scripture is very clear in warning the believer that if he does not obey God he shouldn't feel too "eternally secure" about anything.

    I believe that true faith will ultimately lead to true fruits and to eternal life, but I will not neglect these very clear teachings that warn us to fear God's hand of wrath lest we rebel and become hardened as the Israelites were.

    There are way too many scriptures that cannot be reconciled with the "once saved always saved" system to claim that as a certain truth for all of those who express faith in Christ. We have know idea if that faith is geniune and teaching people that "they can't lose their salvation regardless of what they do" is not biblical at all! It removes the motivation of the fear of God and promotes apathy and disobeidence among those with a "dead faith."

    Instead, our doctrine should promote obeidence through the motivation that scripture employees. The fear of God, the desire for blessings from God, and ulimately the love for God. (usually in this order as one matures in the faith.)
     
  16. romanbear

    romanbear
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    Bro Bill;
    Possibly the best thread you have presented keep up the good work.
    Romanbear [​IMG]
     
  17. The Harvest

    The Harvest
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    amen.

    let me ask you this. can a person work for their salvation? can you earn your salvation? i don't think you believe this to be true because of the way you started off this post. SO, if you believe that salvation cannot be earned by something that WE do, then why do you believe that salvation must be kept by something WE do. if we are responsible for keeping our salvation then it is not salvation by trusting in Christ alone, it is salvation by trusting in Christ and works. because if you don't do the works to keep it, you'll lose it (according to what you believe).

    i agree. when a person gets saved they should start to live for God in a manner pleasing to Him. they should begin to produce fruit. but that is not required in order to be saved. it is required for the saved person to be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ. should a person get saved and still live like the world? no, the Bible teaches that you should not do that. but keeping your own salvation is a slap in the face to Jesus. it says that what He did on the cross wasn't enough. what did Jesus say on the cross? "It is finished". Not "It is partly done, now all you have to do is make sure you keep it."
     
  18. Abiyah

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    Romanbear --

    I am never offended when someone disputes me,
    especially when they carry an attitude like yours.
    To me, debate and posing ideas that differ from
    mine gives me an opportunity to question, study,
    and, sometimes, to adjust my beliefs. When I know
    it all, however, I will notify you.

    My husband is Arminian and attends an Arminian
    church, and we debate many issues. Both of us
    have fund it to be a beneficial as we have adjusted
    from leavin the church we both attended for over
    50 years.

    Although I have switched my ideas from holiness-
    Arminianism toward Calvinism, I have not yet
    completely bought the theory of eternal security.

    (1) Some, as you probably know, teach that once
    one is saved, s/he can do anything they choose,
    but they are forever saved, no matter what.
    (2) Some teach that if one is truly saved, they
    wouldn't do weird things in the first place.
    (3) Some teach that we won't know if we're saved
    until we see the Lord,
    (4) and some teach that we are not saved at all
    until we see the Lord.

    Well, the fact is that I don't buy any of it except the
    second theory, which makes more sense to me.
    And I am not sure of that one.
     
  19. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    8oD I saw your point! No problem -- it was very
    clear. I was making a different point, based upon
    observation here and elsewhere.

    I have been around fo a while - long enough to
    have issues with both Arminianism and Calvinism.
    I cal neither of them absolutely correct, but
    Calvinism seems to come closest.

    Since I am most familiar with holiness-
    Arminianism, I find it to be far more dangerous
    than Ccalvinism. Far, far more dangerous.
     
  20. William C

    William C
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    Abiyah,
    Again you are merely comparing the temporary results that each of these systems would have if they are wrong.

    If Arminianism is wrong, the same number of people are going to be saved. Right?

    If Calvinism is wrong, the false doctrine itself may have prevented millions from hearing the gospel and having the opportunity to hear, believe and be saved.

    That is a fact that Calvinists just have to face and it should weigh on them very heavily as they consider whether or not to teach it to others.

    BTW, I can see by your picture that you haven't been around THAT long. [​IMG]
     

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