There is something healthy about returning to one’s roots. When it comes to evangelical Christianity, its roots are found in the soil of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation.

The Inescapable Unfairness of Arminianism.

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    The Inescapable Unfairness of Arminianism.

    The main charge against the doctrine of God's sovereignty in election is that it is "unfair". Opponents reason that if God saves some but not others, He is unjust. They propose an explanation for why some men are saved while others are not which they think resolves this "problem" when they speak of, "free will".

    The Arminian and semi-Pelagian explain that Jesus died for all, and men simply accept to reject His gift of salvation. Of course the Arminian thinks that man needs a little help, nonetheless, he places the responsibility for one's eternal destiny completely on his own shoulders, in the final analysis.

    The false assumption that those opposed to God's direct choosing of those with whom He will have mercy upon, is that all men have an equal opportunity to choose, completely ignoring the fact that billions have lived and died without ever hearing the gospel, and, even those who have heard it have not heard it in the same manner. Many have only heard the name of Christ from the charlatan prosperity false teachers, for example. Others have enjoy varieties of cultural hurdles which make both hearing and believing more difficult than others. In other words, there is no egalitarian delivery of the message or the level ground of the hearer (if they even have heard).

    Nothing is "fair" about the non-Calvinistic view because a person born in small mountain village in China 1,000 years ago had no exposure to the gospel and God's Word, while someone born in Atlanta Georgia in 1980 had tons, and of those in Atlanta had some excellent preachers who might bring them God's truth, while many others could have only even seen a social/cultural "gospel".




    #2
    When was "fairness" added in as one of God's attributes?
    Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

    "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

    "Instead of a river, God often gives us a brook, which may be running today and dried up tomorrow. Why? To teach us not to rest in our blessings, but in the Blesser Himself." ~A. W. Pink

    "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

    "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
    Comment>

      #3
      Originally posted by David Lee View Post
      When was "fairness" added in as one of God's attributes?
      Ezekiel 18:25 [NKJV]
      25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. 28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

      [KJV] 25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
      [NLT] 25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you?
      [NIV] 25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust?

      ;)
      Comment>

        #4
        thatbrian Question, brother. Someone asked me something similar today, and I thought to share and discuss this among brethren.

        What are the implications of Arminian soteriology and how does it impact evangelism, conversion, and salvation? Are Arminians saved by what they profess? And if so, then what difference does it make?

        God bless,
        William
        Comment>

          #5
          Originally posted by William View Post
          thatbrian Question, brother. Someone asked me something similar today, and I thought to share and discuss this among brethren.

          What are the implications of Arminian soteriology and how does it impact evangelism, conversion, and salvation? Are Arminians saved by what they profess? And if so, then what difference does it make?

          God bless,
          William
          Good question. I've been asked the same thing at least once or twice.

          They/we are saved in spite of starting off as Pelagians. Yes. My position is that most Christians, in the US anyway, are full blown Pelagians, not even Arminians. We grow into Arminians, and with God's grace, end up Calvinists. This progression makes sense, understanding that our minds are renewed as we look to scripture.

          Our staring position is that we are like God, sovereign in every way. This is the lie of Satan, and all of mankind has bought into it. Our thinking is only changed as the reality that we are stuck in Romans 7 becomes evident to us.We must come to the end of ourselves - of our self-righteousness and self-sufficiency, before we will grasp His righteousness and sufficiency.

          This answers only part of your question, but it's a place to start.



          Comment>

            #6
            Originally posted by thatbrian View Post

            Good question. I've been asked the same thing at least once or twice.

            They/we are saved in spite of starting off as Pelagians. Yes. My position is that most Christians, in the US anyway, are full blown Pelagians, not even Arminians. We grow into Arminians, and with God's grace, end up Calvinists. This progression makes sense, understanding that our minds are renewed as we look to scripture.

            Our staring position is that we are like God, sovereign in every way. This is the lie of Satan, and all of mankind has bought into it. Our thinking is only changed as the reality that we are stuck in Romans 7 becomes evident to us.We must come to the end of ourselves - of our self-righteousness and self-sufficiency, before we will grasp His righteousness and sufficiency.

            This answers only part of your question, but it's a place to start.


            Beautifully put, Brian, and I agree. I have been thinking about the implications of Arminianism and why it matters, that is if any soteriology is essential and if we should emphasize true and correct doctrine. I'll sleep on it more and add tomorrow, but I like your starting position which is established by your comparison to the lies of Satan. Can people be truly converted by the doctrine of devils?

            When Lucifer was removed from heaven, his name became Satan, and was cast to the earth. In the account of the Fall in Gen 3, after which God offered hope through the redemptive work of the LORD Jesus Christ implied in v. 15, we may observe the correlation between Satan’s sinful ambition to what he tempted Adam and Eve with, which eventually led the couple to sin against God and caused the entire humanity to be totally and hopelessly depraved and under the same condemnation that Lucifer has as a result. The correlation is clearly seen in Gen 3:5, when Satan, disguised as a serpent, said to Eve, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Here are the double lies being offered to Eve springing out of the same principle behind his botched coup attempt; first, that she would be like gods, and thus independent, able to rule over herself apart from God, and secondly, there is not one God, but many gods; each is sovereign over himself or herself. - Source: The Doctrine of Autonomous Self: A Hidden Idolatry -Christforums
            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

              #7
              If all w/o exception receive "Prevenient Grace" and ALL are therefore enabled to believe and come to saving faith in Christ (if we so choose, that is), then what's the difference between those who will be living with God in the age to come, and those who will be part of the Second Death? Under Arminianism, the difference is "us", right? We are the good ones, the ones who chose to do the good thing, the right thing, the best thing, the thing God wanted us to do (all apart from grace I might add), so we are indeed the ones 'deserving' of Heaven therefore, right?
              Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

              "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

              "Instead of a river, God often gives us a brook, which may be running today and dried up tomorrow. Why? To teach us not to rest in our blessings, but in the Blesser Himself." ~A. W. Pink

              "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

              "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
              Comment>

                #8
                Certainly, no elders should be Arminians. Teachers of God's people should have a good enough grasp of God's word to be able to instruct others; therefore, they, at a minimum, should understand and accept TULIP.

                It will be good to see other's views of the questions you've posed in the coming days. I'll give this more thought, too.
                Comment>

                  #9
                  Originally posted by David Lee View Post
                  If all w/o exception receive "Prevenient Grace" and ALL are therefore enabled to believe and come to saving faith in Christ (if we so choose, that is), then what's the difference between those who will be living with God in the age to come, and those who will be part of the Second Death? Under Arminianism, the difference is "us", right? We are the good ones, the ones who chose to do the good thing, the right thing, the best thing, the thing God wanted us to do (all apart from grace I might add), so we are indeed the ones 'deserving' of Heaven therefore, right?
                  Yes.

                  If we all are given the same opportunity then the difference lies in us, so at least part of the glory would belong to us, if we were Arminians.

                  In my OP, I argue that it's obvious that all of mankind has NOT been given the same "opportunity"; therefore Arminianism is unfair, which is the accusation of Arminians to Calvinists.
                  Comment>

                    #10
                    Has anyone here tried to actually discuss Calvinism on CARM?
                    It isn't possible because any time you try, someone will tell you (incorrectly) what 'Calvinists' believe and then list a 'reducto ad absurdum' argument based on the the flawed definition of what Calvinists believe and usually follow up with a personal attack if you attempt to argue that they are incorrect in their premise about what Calvinists believe. This is followed by an invitation to explain what Calvinists really believe, where your explanation is ignored and the entire process is repeated from another false statement of TULIP.

                    There is a slight shade of that happening here. Thank God (literally) that William has weeded out those who come for no purpose but to sow discord, so there are only shades of the CARM circle of folly.

                    Rather than arguing "what if Arminianism was true" and viewing the consequences of that, let me suggest something slightly different. Some believe that the Body of Christ is spiritually present in the wafer at communion and others believe that the Body of Christ is only symbolically present in the wafer at communion. Ignoring the reality of which is correct (because the correct answer is correct irrespective of our beliefs), it seems to me that neither belief will prevent an elect, a chosen, one of Christ's sheep from coming to him, having fellowship with him, serving and growing in the body of Christ, or being sanctified. Would anyone disagree and claim that one view of the wafer would prevent salvation?

                    Using the above point on the wafer as a starting point, my question (and suggestion) is not "Is Arminianism true?" my question is "Are Arminian beliefs sufficiently flawed that they will prevent or hamper either the salvation or growth of one of the elect?"
                    Comment>

                      #11
                      Rather than US saying what Arminians believe, we should let them speak for themselves and respond to that.
                      Here is what Wesslyan Arminians say that they believe:


                      Article I — God
                      We believe in the one true, holy and living God, Eternal Spirit, who is Creator, Sovereign and Preserver of all things visible and invisible. He is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love, and rules with gracious regard for the well-being and salvation of men, to the glory of his name. We believe the one God reveals himself as the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, distinct but inseparable, eternally one in essence and power.

                      Article II — Jesus Christ
                      We believe in Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, in whom the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united. He is the eternal Word made flesh, the only begotten Son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. As ministering Servant he lived, suffered and died on the cross. He was buried, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to be with the Father, from whence he shall return. He is eternal Savior and Mediator, who intercedes for us, and by him all men will be judged.

                      Article III — The Holy Spirit
                      We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from and is one in being with the Father and the Son. He convinces the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He leads men through faithful response to the gospel into the fellowship of the Church. He comforts, sustains and empowers the faithful and guides them into all truth.

                      Article IV — The Holy Bible
                      We believe the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments, reveals the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation. It is to be received through the Holy Spirit as the true rule and guide for faith and practice. Whatever is not revealed in or established by the Holy Scriptures is not to be made an article of faith nor is it to be taught as essential to salvation.

                      Article V — The Church
                      We believe the Christian Church is the community of all true believers under the Lordship of Christ. We believe it is one, holy, apostolic and catholic. It is the redemptive fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by men divinely called, and the sacraments are duly administered according to Christ's own appointment. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit the Church exists for the maintenance of worship, the edification of believers and the redemption of the world.

                      Article VI — The Sacraments
                      We believe the Sacraments, ordained by Christ, are symbols and pledges of the Christian's profession and of God's love toward us. They are means of grace by which God works invisibly in us, quickening, strengthening and confirming our faith in him. Two Sacraments are ordained by Christ our Lord, namely Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

                      We believe Baptism signifies entrance into the household of faith, and is a symbol of repentance and inner cleansing from sin, a representation of the new birth in Christ Jesus and a mark of Christian discipleship.

                      We believe children are under the atonement of Christ and as heirs of the Kingdom of God are acceptable subjects for Christian Baptism. Children of believing parents through Baptism become the special responsibility of the Church. They should be nurtured and led to personal acceptance of Christ, and by profession of faith confirm their Baptism.

                      We believe the Lord's Supper is a representation of our redemption, a memorial of the sufferings and death of Christ, and a token of love and union which Christians have with Christ and with one another. Those who rightly, worthily and in faith eat the broken bread and drink the blessed cup partake of the body and blood of Christ in a spiritual manner until he comes.

                      Article VII — Sin and Free Will
                      We believe man is fallen from righteousness and, apart from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, is destitute of holiness and inclined to evil. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. In his own strength, without divine grace, man cannot do good works pleasing and acceptable to God. We believe, however, man influenced and empowered by the Holy Spirit is responsible in freedom to exercise his will for good.

                      Article VIII — Reconciliation Through Christ
                      We believe God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. The offering Christ freely made on the cross is the perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, redeeming man from all sin, so that no other satisfaction is required.

                      Article IX — Justification and Regeneration
                      We believe we are never accounted righteous before God through our works or merit, but that penitent sinners are justified or accounted righteous before God only by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

                      We believe regeneration is the renewal of man in righteousness through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, whereby we are made partakers of the divine nature and experience newness of life. By this new birth the believer becomes reconciled to God and is enabled to serve him with the will and the affections.

                      We believe, although we have experienced regeneration, it is possible to depart from grace and fall into sin; and we may even then, by the grace of God, be renewed in righteousness.

                      Article X — Good Works
                      We believe good works are the necessary fruits of faith and follow regeneration but they do not have the virtue to remove our sins or to avert divine judgment. We believe good works, pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, spring from a true and living faith, for through and by them faith is made evident.

                      Article XI — Sanctification and Christian Perfection
                      We believe sanctification is the work of God's grace through the Word and the Spirit, by which those who have been born again are cleansed from sin in their thoughts, words and acts, and are enabled to live in accordance with God's will, and to strive for holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

                      Entire sanctification is a state of perfect love, righteousness and true holiness which every regenerate believer may obtain by being delivered from the power of sin, by loving God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength, and by loving one's neighbor as one's self. Through faith in Jesus Christ this gracious gift may be received in this life both gradually and instantaneously, and should be sought earnestly by every child of God.

                      We believe this experience does not deliver us from the infirmities, ignorance, and mistakes common to man, nor from the possibilities of further sin. The Christian must continue on guard against spiritual pride and seek to gain victory over every temptation to sin. He must respond wholly to the will of God so that sin will lose its power over him; and the world, the flesh, and the devil are put under his feet. Thus he rules over these enemies with watchfulness through the power of the Holy Spirit.

                      Article XII — The Judgment and the Future State
                      We believe all men stand under the righteous judgment of Jesus Christ, both now and in the last day. We believe in the resurrection of the dead; the righteous to life eternal and the wicked to endless condemnation.

                      Article XIII — Public Worship
                      We believe divine worship is the duty and privilege of man who, in the presence of God, bows in adoration, humility and dedication. We believe divine worship is essential to the life of the Church, and that the assembling of the people of God for such worship is necessary to Christian fellowship and spiritual growth.

                      We believe the order of public worship need not be the same in all places but may be modified by the church according to circumstances and the needs of men. It should be in a language and form understood by the people, consistent with the Holy Scriptures to the edification of all, and in accordance with the order and Discipline of the Church.

                      Article XIV — The Lord's Day
                      We believe the Lord's Day is divinely ordained for private and public worship, for rest from unnecessary work, and should be devoted to spiritual improvement, Christian fellowship and service. It is commemorative of our Lord's resurrection and is an emblem of our eternal rest. It is essential to the permanence and growth of the Christian Church, and important to the welfare of the civil community.

                      Article XV — The Christian and Property
                      We believe God is the owner of all things and that the individual holding of property is lawful and is a sacred trust under God. Private property is to be used for the manifestation of Christian love and liberality, and to support the Church's mission in the world. All forms of property, whether private, corporate or public, are to be held in solemn trust and used responsibly for human good under the sovereignty of God.

                      Article XVI — Civil Government
                      We believe civil government derives its just powers from the sovereign God. As Christians we recognize the governments under whose protection we reside and believe such governments should be based on, and be responsible for, the recognition of human rights under God. We believe war and bloodshed are contrary to the gospel and spirit of Christ. We believe it is the duty of Christian citizens to give moral strength and purpose to their respective governments through sober, righteous and godly living.

                      From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church — 2012. Copyright 2012 by The United Methodist Publishing House.
                      Comment>

                        #12
                        Originally posted by thatbrian View Post
                        Good question. I've been asked the same thing at least once or twice.

                        They/we are saved in spite of starting off as Pelagians. Yes. My position is that most Christians, in the US anyway, are full blown Pelagians, not even Arminians. We grow into Arminians, and with God's grace, end up Calvinists. This progression makes sense, understanding that our minds are renewed as we look to scripture.

                        Our staring position is that we are like God, sovereign in every way. This is the lie of Satan, and all of mankind has bought into it. Our thinking is only changed as the reality that we are stuck in Romans 7 becomes evident to us.We must come to the end of ourselves - of our self-righteousness and self-sufficiency, before we will grasp His righteousness and sufficiency.

                        This answers only part of your question, but it's a place to start.
                        That was a GREAT answer!
                        Comment>

                          #13
                          Just to clarify my belief, goals and intents ... I believe that TULIP and Reformed Theology is both Biblically supported and correct. I believe that the enemy of Calvinism is not Arminianism but the world and Universalism, and in that war, the Arminians are both our allies and our Brothers in Christ. I believe that if we are to communicate with them (Arminians) we must learn to speak their language and become aware of how they hear our words. My goal and desire is communication in the hope that the glorious Truth might be revealed to those ignorant of just how great the love, mercy and security of God truly is.

                          If I appear to be defending Arminianism, it is because HERE, they have few to defend them and an honest discussion is essential for Truth. In the Arminian strongholds, it is Calvinism and TULIP that needs an honest voice. (and I have welcomed William wading into some of the fights that I have chosen to engage in abroad.)
                          Comment>

                            #14
                            Yeah, the articles of faith are very similar to those of Calvinism. We all serve the same God.
                            Comment>

                              #15
                              Originally posted by atpollard View Post
                              Using the above point on the wafer as a starting point, my question (and suggestion) is not "Is Arminianism true?" my question is "Are Arminian beliefs sufficiently flawed that they will prevent or hamper either the salvation or growth of one of the elect?"
                              No, because no actual elect person is saved through Arminianism.

                              I think we need to answer the question from an Arminian perspective. Arminianism is truly graceless, but packaged as grace. The problem with prevenient grace is that it saves no one, and it leaves the faith of the elect to chance and man. Furthermore, there's no salvation in a false gospel or through idols, but contrary to that, men are damned in their unrighteousness through them.

                              Originally posted by atpollard View Post
                              Article VIII — Reconciliation Through Christ
                              We believe God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. The offering Christ freely made on the cross is the perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, redeeming man from all sin, so that no other satisfaction is required.
                              Interesting that you suggest Universalist are the true enemy, but Arminians are Inconsistent Universalist which is the belief that Christ’s meritorious work did not actually secure the salvation of any man, but merely made salvation a possibility for all men.

                              The Arminian believes that Christ’s death guarantees the actual salvation of not even one person. The Arminian believes in a very limited atonement: an atonement that is weak and impotent to save. God is helpless and waits for the sinner to save himself by choosing Christ. The Father’s plan to save humanity has been defeated, because almost all of mankind has gone to hell. Christ shed His blood and suffered horrible tortures in vain for those who throughout eternity scorn and reject Him. The Holy Spirit has been overpowered and successfully resisted by the vast majority of people throughout history. If Arminianism is true, then God’s plan of redemption is a colossal failure. God simply could not get the job done. Can a view which presents Christ’s death as a failure be true? Should we believe in a theological system which presents God as mere puppet of man, as incompetent in achieving His own purpose? Arminianism presents a false picture of God. It is man-centered, a deadly hybrid between biblical Protestantism and humanism.

                              The Arminian view of Christ’s atonement not only contradicts the biblical definition of Christ’s redemptive work, but also contradicts itself. An examination of three options regarding Christ’s death will prove that Arminianism is irrational. Jesus Christ paid the price and endured God’s wrath against sin for either:

                              1) all the sins of all men,
                              2) all the sins of some men, or
                              3) some of the sins of all men.

                              If number 3 is true, then all men still have the guilt of some sins to answer for. This would mean that all men will go to hell, for it only takes the guilt of one sin to merit eternal damnation. If one holds to option 2, that Christ died for all of the sins of some men, then one believes that only some men (i.e., God’s elect) will be saved and go to heaven. This is simply biblical Christianity; that Christ actually achieved the salvation of all of God’s elect. The non-elect are passed by and perish. Arminianism, or inconsistent universalism, holds to position number 1, that Christ died for all the sins of all men. If this position is true, then why are not all men freed from the punishment of all their sins. The Arminian will answer: “because they refused to believe in Jesus Christ. They are guilty of unbelief.“ But this unbelief, is it a sin or is it not a sin? If unbelief is not a sin, then why should anyone by punished for it? If unbelief is a sin, then Christ was punished for it in His death. If Christ paid for this sin as all others, then why must this sin stop anyone from entering heaven more than any of the other sins (e.g., murder, adultery, homosexuality, etc.). Furthermore, if Christ did not die for the sin of unbelief, then one cannot say that He died for all the sins of all men. The Arminian cannot escape from the horns of this theological dilemma.

                              Click image for larger version  Name:	image_155.jpg Views:	1 Size:	431.6 KB ID:	32475

                              Think about Owen's logic, and then:

                              Originally posted by atpollard View Post
                              Article IX — Justification and Regeneration
                              We believe we are never accounted righteous before God through our works or merit, but that penitent sinners are justified or accounted righteous before God only by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

                              We believe regeneration is the renewal of man in righteousness through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, whereby we are made partakers of the divine nature and experience newness of life. By this new birth the believer becomes reconciled to God and is enabled to serve him with the will and the affections.

                              We believe, although we have experienced regeneration, it is possible to depart from grace and fall into sin; and we may even then, by the grace of God, be renewed in righteousness.
                              God bless,
                              William
                              Comment>
                              Working...
                              X
                              Articles - News - SiteMap