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Thread: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

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    Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    I've been working on an article in my spare time. It's kind of cheesy, but I thought some on here might like it. It's a very rough draft at this point and I haven't started to add scripture references - but this is something I plan to do.

    http://www.pristinegrace.org/media.php?id=400

    Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist
    Brandan Kraft

    I have a confession to make. I'm a hyper-calvinist. Yes, that's right, I'm one of those people; you know the type that <sarcasm> hates everyone, refuses to preach the Gospel, hates God’s Holy law, breathes fire, and eats nails for breakfast </sarcasm>. Anyway, it's not a label I’ve chosen for myself, it’s just that most people in the religious world would label me as such. Usually, there are many negative connotations that are implied in this label and it's not hard to pick up on them in the tones of the voices who slap this label on me. When I jump on Paltalk for a friendly conversation about the Bible and theology, it's a rare occasion when I don't hear a sneering individual boldly claim, "You're a hyperr-calvinisssssssssssssssssst!" You would think that with all the shrill exclamations there is something very terrible about my beliefs. But from my perspective, I don't understand what the big deal is and indeed think there are serious problems with those who would oppose these doctrines which I hold in high esteem. Since you might have heard a lot of bad things about hyper-calvinists, please allow me to explain what I believe, and then you can decide if it is as bad as you have heard. Since this is not a paper designed to teach basic bible truth, I haven’t taken the time to prove my theology with Scripture. That’s not to say I haven’t based my beliefs on the Bible, it’s just that I haven’t taken the time to look up all the proof texts for my beliefs in order to include them in this paper. I'm planning on finding the time to complete this task. Until then, if you want proof, feel free to contact me and I’ll provide you with the Scriptural proof you request.

    I’ve been called a hyper-calvinist for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is I simply believe in Sovereign Grace. In other words, I believe that God is sovereign over salvation and that only those that were elected to salvation before the foundation of the world will experience salvation. They experience salvation not because of what they do or desire, but because of God’s will. Salvation from beginning to end is entirely an act of Grace. There are a lot of people who believe this truth, and many of them are simply known as “Calvinists”. Yet many people who think men have “free will” call this belief hyper-calvinism. Most people in the Calvinistic world are quick to point out that this belief is traditional Calvinism and not hyper-calvinism.

    Equal ultimacy and the order of the decrees


    I’ve been called a hyper-calvinist because I believe in a doctrine called equal ultimacy. This doctrine is also known as double predestination. Equal ultimacyis the teaching that just as God elected to save a number of people before the foundation of the world; He also elected to damn a number of people before the foundation of the world through reprobation. This belief is usually tied to supralapsarianism as opposed to infralapsarianism. Supralapsarianism is the doctrine that the events of history were brought about by God for no other reason other than these events are a fulfillment of His decree to glorify Himself and that these events are brought about as a means to an end. This is also known as Absolute Predestination. In other words, God decreed all the events of the world including the fall of men, redemption, damnation, every drop of rain, every word uttered by men, and every grunt made by beast all before the foundation of the world in order to bring about His desired result. I believe that God predestined His elect to fall in Adam so that they would be saved in Christ.

    Most calvinists today are infralapsarians and they believe that God decreed to send Christ and save His people because of the fall. In the infralapsarianscheme God chooses to save individuals out of the mass of fallen humanity and then passes over the rest of humanity in reprobation. Infralapsariansusually claim to be against equal ultimacy, but it is my opinion that they cannot logically escape the conclusion that “passing over” is the same as “not electing” which is really election to the negative. It is my opinion that infralapsarianism is really a scheme of selection and not the biblical doctrine of election. Infralapsarians are often found to be opposed to supralapsarianism because they usually believe that supralapsarianismmakes God the “author of sin.” What I find odd about that phrase is that it is nowhere to be found in Scripture, yet it’s a phrase that is often guarded like a sacred cow not to be touched. For the record, I do not believe evil and sin originate in the character of God but that He predestined these events for His purposes. It is impossible for God to sin, so I really don’t see what the big deal is. If you want a good definition of sin or evil, just look to God for the definitions as these things are the exact opposite of His Holy Nature. While infralapsariansoften accuse supralapsarians with charging God as the “author of sin,” supralapsarians can equally charge infralapsarians with believing that God allowed sin to happen and did nothing to stop it! If I had to pick which one was worse based solely on logic, I’d have to conclude the infralapsarian scheme is because it depicts God with not getting what He wanted and without power to stop something He did not predestine. Infralapsarians also have difficulty explaining where sin came from and sometimes refer to a strange doctrine known as eternal law that exists outside of God which God Himself is bound to obey. I don’t know where any scriptural foundation for this strange belief is found, so you’ll have to ask an infralapsarian that believes in these things to explain this for you if you’re interested. It is my belief that God is the eternal law if there is such a thing.


    Obviously there are major differences between supralapsariansand infralapsarians and many of them I have not covered in this paper, so please accept my description as only a cursory introduction to the uninitiated. It’s also not uncommon for infralapsarians to label supralapsarians as hyper-calvinists; but, alas, there are more doctrines which will also earn this badge of honor.

    Common Grace and the Free Offer of the Gospel?


    Many traditional and most modern Calvinists have maintained the strange Arminian doctrine that God loves every single human being and desires that every single person “be saved.” This belief has been called by theologians as “common grace” combined with the “free or well meant / sincere offer of the Gospel”. There are so many things that are wrong with these doctrines that it’s hard to know where to begin in my attempt to show why this is wrong. First of all, those of us who are known as hyper-calvinists believe that those that God elected unto salvation were indeed saved by Christ in His life, death, and resurrection. When we think of salvation, we think of it as a past event – an event that we look upon in awe. When Christ uttered the words, “It is finished,” we believe all that was necessary to save His people was truly accomplished. When we speak of “being saved” in this lifetime, we only mean this in an experimental sense. Because of the misuse of the terminology, we prefer to speak of experimental salvation as regeneration, sanctification, and conversion. Furthermore, because of this understanding of salvation being a past event which took place on the cross, we find it odd that God would desire the salvation of those for whom He did not die for and have already been predestined to eternal damnation! We also believe the notion that God loves the reprobate profanes the idea that Christ loves the Church in the same way that a husband loves his bride. Imagine a groom telling his bride, “I love you, but I also love these other women and even desire to marry them, but I love you in a special way.” The idea is repulsive to brides everywhere, and so it should be to the people of God because the New Testament explicitly describes Christ’s relationship to the Church in the example of a husband and his wife.


    Further, we also believe that God does not “offer” salvation to God’s people in the sense that it is something that can be accepted or rejected; but in time God sends His Holy Spirit upon His elect and reveals to them the total depravity of their soul, their utter need for a Savior; and then points them to Christ as their substitute causing them to believe this wonderful gift, this marvelous GRACE is for them. The Gospel message is a proclamation that is spoken to men indiscriminately. It is a message of salvation accomplished. If you ask a hyper-calvinist what role faith played in their salvation, they will tell it is a like precious gift granted by God to give them understanding and that their faith is evidence that Christ has made satisfaction for them. Furthermore, they will tell you that faith did not play a role in attaining salvation for them as that was accomplished in Christ; but that it is the means through which the they experienced and continue to experience salvation. Yet, if you talked to many modern calvinists, many will respond that faith is a condition that is necessary for attaining salvation. Do you see the difference? One group sees salvation as totally dependent upon Christ and His finished work of redemption with faith as the evidence of this work; whereas the other group sees salvation as something started by Christ and His work but ultimately dependent upon His work in His people. To hyper-calvinists like me, we have difficulty distinguishing between the Roman Catholic dogma of infused righteousness and the idea that faith is necessary for procuring salvation. While we don’t deny that God’s elect will all eventually be regenerated, receive saving faith, and brought to their knees in obedience and humility, we do deny that these things are conditions that must be met before God can pour out His grace on an individual!


    Duty-Faith?

    In the calvinistic world since the introduction of the “modern question” known as “duty-faith”, those that affirm the doctrine have usually labeled those who have opposed it as hyper-calvinists. So what exactly is duty-faith? Duty-Faith is the doctrine that often is tied to common grace and the free offer of the gospel; and it asserts that every human being has a duty to savingly believe the Gospel. While those of us who deny this doctrine do believe that every person who hears the Gospel has a duty as God’s creation to bow before Christ and give Him the glory that He rightly deserves as their Creator, we do not believe it is their duty to have the precious gift of saving faith. How in the world is a reprobate individual duty-bound to believe something is true for him when it is not? Their only duty is to lay down their arms in rebellion and submit to His authority. Moreover, an individual cannot be required to believe that Christ died for him when Christ did not and in fact has already predestined him to damnation before the foundation of the world? I do not believe faith is a work of duty as the neonomians teach; but instead it is a gift that is experienced by God’s people in time. Those that do not have faith will not be held accountable for not believing the Gospel is true for them, but they will be held accountable for disobeying the Gospel call to lay down their arms and submit to Christ as Lord. Often the charge of denying human responsibility is thrown at hyper-calvinists, but we simply believe that God is responsible for all of salvation including the gift of faith. The notion of human responsibility is foreign to our thinking concerning salvation and cannot find mention of it in Scripture.


    Progressive Sanctification?

    To sanctify something means to set something apart. I believe that the sanctification of God’s people originally took place in eternity when God separated the elect from the reprobate. In time, the elect experience cleansing from sin and consecration for service to God. This is a continuous event with a definite starting point in time; but there are many today that teach Christians continue to progress in holiness over time. While it is true that Christians do grow in spiritual knowledge and maturity, it is not true that they achieve greater or lesser holiness as they live out their lives. A Christian is not any more sanctified if he does more good works for the day, nor is he any less sanctified if he fails to keep his good works for the day as many modern day calvinists teach. What those who teach the doctrine of progressive sanctification fail to realize is that Christ is the sanctification for every Christian. Every Christian’s holiness is complete in Christ and their sanctification is held securely by Him! Sanctification is entirely a work of Grace. Christ’s perfect holiness – His perfect obedience is the surety every elect child of God needs and has to be viewed with pleasure by their Father in Heaven. Good works are not necessary to earn the pleasure of God as He is already pleased with His children based on Christ’s merit alone. Usually those who maintain that the Christian is responsible for progressing in sanctification call those who disagree with them hyper-calvinists. We believe in “continuous sanctification” not “progressive sanctification”. There is a big difference in this terminology!

    Justification by Christ Alone and Justification from Eternity

    If you mention that God has thought of His elect as righteous from before the foundation of the world in Christ, you’re probably going to be called a hyper-calvinist. It is the common understanding in the calvinistic world that God’s condemnation rested upon every child of God either up until God removed that condemnation at the cross or at conversion. Those that believe actual condemnation is removed at conversion call those who believe condemnation is removed at the cross hyper-calvinists. It is my belief that condemnation has never rested upon God’s elect; but that they only suffer the consequences of condemnation (not knowing Christ) for a time before their conversion. In this sense, all Christians were at one point “children of wrath”, but God’s wrath never actually rested upon them nor were they ever hated by their Father. They were never in real danger of falling into hell, and they have always been held securely in His sovereign hand by His grace, even before conversion. To say that God’s elect were ever in danger of falling into hell is to suggest that God’s decrees are not absolute! God has decreed that each and every one of His elect would be saved by Christ and this decree was efficacious. Further, how is it that God can set His love upon anyone that is not seen as perfectly righteous? It is impossible as God hates the wicked. Many have clamored that justification before time eliminates the need for the cross. My reply is that God saw His elect as righteous due to imputation that took place in eternity with a view to Christ’s work on the cross as if it had already happened. God is transcendent of time; indeed, He is the creator of time, and sees all of it at once – from the beginning to the end. Therefore, it is my opinion that this doctrine is implicitly taught in Scripture and that all of salvation including sanctification, justification, adoption, and even glorification has already occurred from God’s perspective. Christians are temporal creatures and have yet to experience glorification, but we know that God already sees us as glorified saints. There is an already / not-yet aspect of salvation, and this has existed from the foundation of the world – yes, even before the elect were even created in time!

    Assurance by Grace Alone through Faith Alone

    How does a Christian receive assurance that He is numbered amongst the elect and that Christ has made satisfaction for him? This is easy, but the answer will often draw the charge of hyper-calvinism believe it or not! The answer is that assurance and faith are inexorably tied to one another. If a person has faith that Christ has made satisfaction for him, then this individual should also have hope and assurance that they are saved. While I believe there are degrees of assurance, for example, there may be times in the Christian’s life that his assurance may seem weak or completely non-existent. Yet if the believer finds that his assurance has vanished, he can always rest upon the hope that God gives all of His children in sanctification and conversion. If an individual has ever communed with Christ, that is he has enjoyed fellowship with Christ and has experienced the joy of having his sins removed, then quite simply, his hope based on certainty should produce assurance that his status has not changed at all. Christ does not remove his promises based on the performance of the individual, nor will He take away an individual’s assurance based on their performance. Furthermore, Christ does not commune with unbelievers! Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ, and that includes my own actions as well. Yet there are some that teach you need to do good works in order to know that you’re a Christian. What these people fail to realize is that a Christian who has experienced Grace will be irresistibly moved toward obedience. His heart will be overrun with joy and he will not be able to help but perform good works in service to his Savior. Yet, the Christian does not rejoice in his works as he sees them as filthy rags. He realizes that he can never compete with Christ, the perfect standard of righteousness. He brings all that he has to the table, but realizes his standing before God is perfect based on the imputed righteousness of Christ. As a Christian, if I had to determine if I was a Christian or not based upon my works of obedience, I’d have to conclude I am not a Christian.

    The Christian’s Rule of Living is not the Law

    Christ’s redemption of His people was not just a simple transfer of individuals to glorification, but it is something to be experienced in time. Every one of His precious elect will experience sinning in the likeness of Adam and being redeemed in the same manner as Adam. There is a point in every Christian’s life where he realizes he is utterly unable to live up to the perfect standard of God’s law. He recognizes experientially that his righteousness is as filthy rags and there is nothing that distinguishes him from any other awful person in this world. Like Adam, he realizes he stands before God as a naked sinner with absolutely no ability to please his Creator. Yet also like Adam, God clothes him and points him to Christ as His righteousness! This experience is an act that is entirely an act of God’s Sovereign Grace, and requires no assistance on behalf of the newly regenerate individual. At this point, there are some who will now saddle the new believer with all sorts of rules and regulations such as, “do not touch”, “do not eat”, “follow the ten commandments”. Instead of pointing the new believer to Christ as the individual’s sole rule for living, it is popular instead to point them away from Christ to the Decalogue. As a hyper-calvinist, I’m completely opposed to this because I believe the Bible teaches that Christ fulfilled all of the law on behalf of His people and that our motivation for living is not to be found on tablets of stone, but in Christ who has taken up residence in every Christian. The Christian’s life is one of experiencing Christ and Him crucified! It is about daily communion with one’s Savior and resting upon Him as the fulfillment of all obedience necessary to please God. It is about walking with Christ and emulating His earthly walk. There is no need to point an individual to the law as the law is wrapped up in Christ. No believer is free from the law, nor does he desire to break the law in which he delights; but it is wrong to point a believer to the law as a rule for living as it takes the believer’s eyes off of Christ. Motivation to obey Christ and His commandments must flow from the influence of the Holy Spirit working gratitude for Christ, love for Christ, and desire to serve Christ. I don’t pray or try to honor my Lord because it’s “the law” or because “I have to”, but because I love Christ and am thankful for His work of redemption for me. I am motivated solely because of my relationship with Christ, not because I perceive myself to be under some sort of law.

    The New Testament teaches that every aspect of salvation is secured for the believer by Christ Alone. This includes justification, sanctification, hope, and assurance. Because of Christ’s ransom, believers are now slaves to Christ and have freely given everything to Him. Christ is the center of the believer’s life, and this center includes being the rule for living. The law was not given as a “rule of living” to begin with and its purpose was to shine light on sin and shut people up in Christ. The law was given as a “curse” in order to increase the transgressions of those to whom it was given. Nobody but Christ could ever meet the demands of the law. The good news of the Gospel is not only did Christ atone for the sins of the elect, but that He met the demands of the law for His people and freely imputes the righteousness wrought through His obedience to every one of His sheep. He is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes and there is no righteousness to be found at all by any works of obedience to the law. Further, the Bible teaches that all Christians are “dead to the law by the body of Christ”. When Christ died, as far as the law of God is concerned, the Christian is dead as well. The law can make no demands or requirements upon the Christian. The only thing it brings is misery to the Christian who would ignorantly place himself under it.

    Hyper-calvinists usually stand dogmatically against all who would oppose this doctrine. The rationale is that a person who turns to the law would be robbing Christ the glory of His grace and would make a part of salvation dependent upon obedience to the law. The believer who turns to the law will be robbed of the joy of faith, assurance, and even service to Christ. As mentioned earlier, there are some who teach that assurance is based upon obedience, and ultimately will end in works of obligation instead of works of love. This doctrine often draws the charge of antinomianism because of the assumed notion that Christ’s people have no motivation for obedience. It is reasoned by many religionists today that men are able to keep the law with Christ’s help; but these are the real antinomians because they lower God’s law to their ability to keep the law and thus attempt to destroy the high standard God requires – perfection.

    Christ Alone, Grace Alone, and Faith Alone

    Ultimately, if you affirm that every aspect of salvation is accomplished entirely by Christ alone because of God’s sovereign grace alone and experienced solely through the gift of faith, you will probably at some point in your life be labeled a hyper-calvinist. At first this charge might cause you grief because you might have and probably have heard a lot of bad stuff concerning “hyper-calvinism”. You might have heard that there are “mean old hypers” that don’t believe in preaching the gospel at all. It is true there have been some people in history who have made this mistake. There are others who have turned God’s grace into a cause for lasciviousness as well as some who have stated that men are saved to glorification but not necessarily the experience of salvation in time. These are ugly errors that should draw the charge of false doctrine, but not necessarily hyper-calvinism. Almost all of the authors I admire: John Gill, J.C. Philpot, William Gadsby, William Huntington, Augustus Toplady, Gilbert Beebe and Silas Durand to name a few are considered by most to have been hyper-calvinists, but none as far as I’m concerned stood by the errors previously mentioned. These men were honorable Gospel stewards and deserve our respect, and to be numbered amongst them is in my mind to be considered an honor. So while I specifically don’t approve of the label, “hyper-calvinist”, as I personally do not believe that the doctrines of grace have any business being named after a man, I am honored to be known as such. That is my confession, and I call upon all who agree with the doctrines briefly described in this paper to make this confession as well. - BJK
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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    This is my first encounter with posting a reply to a forum topic, so be patient with me. I will assume for lack of complete understanding how this works, that this reply is to "Gill". I have skimmed over some of the posts on this site and have embraced many, but also been amazed at the pious, sanctimonius, "I am in you are out" tone that spews from your mouth. You criticize people, obviously more learned than yourself, for not being absolute in their condemnation of those Arminians who would utter such blasphemies as "God is a failure, because, despite His best efforts, many nevertheless go to hell."


    What is essential in saving faith is not what the individual thinks about all the other people in the world, but how he views himself in relation to God. Hence, it is essential that the sinner understand that he himself is a ruined sinner, condemned by God. It is not essential that he view everyone else around him as sinners also. It is essential that He believes that, by faith, he partakes of the pardon purchased by Christ on the Cross. It is not essential to salvation that he should have a view regarding the cross in its relation to anyone else. It is essential that he trusts wholly in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It is not essential to believe that (1) the doctrine of "Efficacious Atonement" (i.e. Particular Redemption) is the gospel we must believe to be saved, therefore, (2) no Arminian is a true believer, and furthermore, (3) if you "speak peace" to an Arminian (i.e. tell the Arminian he is saved) you have denied the gospel, and this is proof that you, too, are unsaved. As long as his focus is on Christ to the exclusion of good works and the Law, then he has no need to be consciously thinking about the poverty of such things to save him. It was never my intention to suggest that a person could safely deny these points, but only that he could be saved without consciously thinking about them. A true Christian could never affirm that Moslems are saved, but that doesn't mean a true Christian needs to know what a Moslem is in order to be saved.

    It is for the same reason that we cannot conclude that Peter was unregenerate when He denied Christ. Is not confessing Christ a primary evidence of salvation? Yet, Peter was a regenerate man when he disowned Christ, not once, but three times. The second time was with an oath—affirming absolutely that he did not know Christ. The third time was with cursing—calling on God to send judgment upon him if he was lying(Matthew 26:69-75). If Peter's thrice denial of Christ was not proof of his being unsaved, then how can we be so absolutely certain that an Arminian who calls God a failure is unsaved?

    Or, take the case of David. David was a man after God's heart. David wrote Psalms praising God's Law. Yet, David horribly violated that very Law, first by committing adultery with Bathsheba, then by seeking to cover up his sin by deceit. When that failed, he arranged to have Uriah murdered to conceal the adultery. He then persisted in his deceit for several months until Nathan confronted him with his sin. David's eventual repentance was proof of his salvation. However, until he repented, he was reasoning like an unbeliever, denying in thought and deed God's sovereignty, omniscience and holiness. David's hypocrisy rivaled that of the Pharisees, yet David was a true believer! The bottom line is this: A true believer is capable of sinning horribly against God. Peter and David are two very graphic examples of this. Both men denied God emphatically in word and deed, and persisted in their sin for a time. By the gravity of their sins and their persistence in them, if not for the express testimony of scripture affirming their salvation, we would have concluded they were surely unregenerate men. Yet, Scripture affirms that both men had experienced the grace of regeneration. God knows the human heart, but man looks on the outward appearance, which can be deceptive.

    The issue that divides Mr. Gill and myself is the identity of the gospel. What is it that a regenerate person must believe? He claims that the Gospel we must believe in order to be saved are the doctrines of Calvinism. I disagree. There is nothing in scripture to support such a claim. Based on what scripture plainly teaches, I conclude that the Gospel we must believe is the truth that Christ has died for sinners and that every sinner who trusts in Christ receives forgiveness. My understanding of the identity of the Gospel is consistent with the doctrines of Calvinism, but not nearly so extensive in its scope.

    The way to settle this matter is to see what it is that Scripture identifies as the Gospel we must believe. This is why I appeal to the evangelistic encounters in Scripture, to see what was preached as a requirement for salvation, and what, in turn, people were said to have believed, when they were regenerated.


    In no case did Christ or the apostles ever declare that a person must believe a distinctively Calvinistic teaching in order to be saved. They did not preach "Believe that you are totally depraved, and unable to come to Christ, and you will be saved." They did not preach "Believe that God has unconditionally chosen certain sinners to be saved, and you will be saved." They did not preach "Believe that Christ died for the elect only, and you will be saved." They did not preach "Believe that God sovereignly regenerates whomever He pleases, and you will be saved." They certainly did not preach "You must believe all these things, or else you are unregenerate."

    What they did preach was "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" and "whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life" and "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" and "... through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses." The issue in all these passages is faith in Christ as Lord and sin-bearer, and the promise given is that everyone who believes in Him receives the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Nowhere in these, or any other passages, do we read that the object of saving faith is one or more distinctively Calvinistic doctrines.
    The Philippian jailer asked "What must I do to be saved?" and Paul and Silas immediately answered "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved". It is true that, after they told the jailer to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, they then "spoke the word of the Lord to him". However, this does not change the fact that the stated object of faith was Christ, and not the various doctrines of Calvinism. Also, we are not told what specific doctrines Paul and Silas taught the jailer when they "spoke the word of the Lord to him". It might have included Calvinistic teachings, and it might not. Scripture is silent on this point.


    Unquestionably, they preached "the Gospel" to the jailer. But this does not establish the identity of "the Gospel" that they preached to him. Again, we must adopt Mr. Gill's presupposition that "Calvinism is the Gospel" in order to draw the conclusion that Paul and Silas preached Calvinism to the jailer. This is a circular argument that proves nothing.

    When reading a narrative account in scripture, we do not have the liberty to arbitrarily read into that passage things that are not stated. Scripture tells us the sorts of things that Jesus said to the thief on the cross. Scripture tells us the sorts of things that Paul and Silas spoke to the Philippian jailer. On neither occasion does the narrative tell us that Calvinistic doctrines were discussed.
    We must believe that the divine Author of Holy Scripture chose His words carefully and gave us an accurate record of what was said on any given occasion. Granted, it is not necessarily a complete record of everything that was said, but we would still expect it to be representative of what was said. The fact that Mr.Gill's Calvinistic doctrine is so seldom mentioned in the evangelistic encounters is a very emphatic demonstration that Mr. Gills's Calvinism is not a necessary part of the gospel message.

    Those who claim that Mr. Gill's Calvinism is the gospel seem to forget that Calvinism is a complex system of Bible doctrines that requires grappling with many difficult issues in order to adequately understand how it can be consistent, both with itself and with Scripture. To insist that a person is not saved unless he understands and believes Mr. Gill's Calvinistic teaching implies that no one can be saved until he has been through numerous theological studies that seek to present the various doctrines and to resolve the major difficulties that are normally encountered.


    A person who is new to the faith will seldom have a comprehensive acquaintance with Scripture. Suppose he is taught the Calvinistic truth that Christ died for the elect only, and suppose he genuinely embraces this truth. But later, as he is reading through the gospel of John, he encounters the passage: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). Unless someone has explained to him that words like "world" and "all" often refer to nations and classes of men rather than all without exception, he will likely detect an inconsistency between the "gospel" he has received and the apparent teaching of scripture.

    As a true believer, he cannot deny the gospel. However, as a true believer, he cannot ignore the scriptures, either. If someone then explains to him that "world" often refers to a universality of nations rather than a universality of persons, he may still wonder whether this person truly knows what he is talking about, or is being honest with him. He may have lingering doubts that perhaps, like a new convert to Mormonism, he has been duped into believing something that scripture does not teach.

    Obviously, the solution to this is to give the individual as extensive and complete an introduction as possible into Calvinism—dealing with the major objections, and giving substantive Biblical evidence to prove, for example, that "world" and "all" need not mean "all without exception". Certainly, it is good and commendable to provide this kind of training for anyone who is willing and able to receive it.

    The question remains, however, whether such a formidable amount of education and training is actually required for regeneration. Is this the Biblical pattern?

    How did Jesus evangelize the Samaritan woman in John 4? Did He give her a semester-long course in Calvinism, setting forth each of the five points of Calvinism, teaching her that a self-generated faith must necessarily be a work that cannot save, exegeting from the Old Testament the various passages that teach Calvinism, as well as explaining those which might seem to contradict Calvinism? Did He carefully explain to her how man's responsibility and God's sovereignty can be reconciled, how man has the freedom to sin but lacks the freedom to trust God, how we are justified by an imputed righteousness, that God hates the reprobate, and she will be in hell if she does not believe in the 5 points and beyond of Mr. Gill's perverted theology?Obviously, He did not. His encounter with her probably lasted less than an hour. The Holy Spirit was very careful to record the highlights of their conversation, which contains nothing that is distinctively Calvinistic. The most profound theological truths He taught her were (1) that He was the Messiah, who could provide her with "living water" that would forever quench her thirst, (2) that salvation is of the Jews, and (3) that true worshipers must worship in spirit and truth. It is ludicrous to suggest that this simple woman was given a comprehensive lesson in Calvinistic doctrine. Yet, Scripture indicates that she was converted by her encounter with Christ that day.

    Calvinistic theology is known today exclusively through the writings and teachings of godly men throughout history who never deemed it necessary to assert that Arminians are unsaved. Who then are the true zealots for Calvinism?


    Charles Spurgeon openly expressed the opinion that there are Arminians among the ranks of the regenerate. George Whitefield regarded John and Charles Wesley as brothers in Christ to the day of his death. Yet, the Wesleys were unquestionably Arminians, and John, in particular, expressed wicked opposition to Calvinism.

    According to the you Mr.Gill, Spurgeon and Whitefield are necessarily unsaved, for they were guilty of "speaking peace" to Arminians. How many multitudes of other Calvinists throughout history are likewise guilty of this "sin" (if it be a sin), is difficult to say. But one thing is certain—few if any notable Calvinists have ever asserted the views expressed on this website. Which means, if nothing else, that they did not regard such a teaching to be so plainly taught in scripture as Mr. Gill and others apparently believe it to be. Mr. Gill imagines that they (and the few who share his views) are the true church, and that anyone who disagrees with them is unsaved. If so, it seems amazing that this is a "church" that has no continuity with the past, no significant impact on the present, and a message that viciously emphasizes the negative—telling us what not to believe, and who isn't a believer—rather than joyfully proclaiming the Savior and His sovereign mercy to hell-deserving sinners.

    WHAT WAS THE MISSION OF THE SON OF MAN? TO SEEK AND SAVE THOSE WHO ARE LOST!!!!!!!!!


    Grace and Peace

    Lion

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    The issue that divides Mr. Gill and myself is the identity of the gospel. What is it that a regenerate person must believe? He claims that the Gospel we must believe in order to be saved are the doctrines of Calvinism.
    Dear Saint:

    I was reading attentively your post and finding some very strong and "grasp-worthy" points until I came to the quote above.

    Let me not be Brandan's (Darth Gill) Canonical Attorney here. Thankfully we're not papists!

    Let me however tell you that either because of Brandan's characterization of himself as a "Hard Shell Calvinist" many people do not understand him and base their conclusions on him on this nickname which cannot be farther from what Brandan really is. Brandan's acceptance of such a nickname is simply because he was so tired and exhausted with so many people calling him that, both here and in PalTalk circles that he made it easier for them by adopting that characterization.

    "Well, you may say, it is not his nickname that matters here but what he wrote above". Fair enough. Brandan does write as if he was a "Calvinist". Again, nothing can be farther from the truth. Brandan is a Soverign Grace believer. Brandan has debated the :"Outsidethecamp" crowd exactly because of the exaggerations on "Doctrinal Regeneration", or, that teaches that no one is regenerated without the perfect doctrine being revealed to them. Brandan does not subscribe to that idea. Brandan has been characterized as "unregenerate", and somtimes even "usavable" by them.

    As such, Brandan would never say that
    Quote Originally Posted by Lionovjudah
    we must believe in order to be saved are the doctrines of Calvinism
    I believe you did not intend to impugn Brandan's word with a cheap-shot accusation by creating the mother of all straw-man. Again, your points are attention grabbing. If you only knew what I think of Grace, then you would know why I think your points are worthy not only of our attention, but our prayerful consideration as we think about the Salvation of others. But what I think is not important here. I just want you to suggest that you also pay as much attention to Brandan's thinking as I paid to yours (again, up to the point of the quote above. Then I could not resist and had to stop and write this response).

    There are in the "kingdom" a damaging and noxious notion of tolerance amidst Christians (saved people, I say) with the darkest absudities of Arminianism. How damaging this is to the preaching of Grace is what is at stake here. How hurtfull it is to the doctrine of the Sovereign of God is what is at stake here.

    If I know Brandan, and I think I do, that's his concern. Do Christians believe fully in the Sovereign of God today? Or have they compromised the doctrine with human participation in Salvation? Do Christians today actually hurt the Gospel when they believe that God "loves" everybody, thinking that is really what the message of the Gospel is? Does this belief nullifies the logic of the Sovereignty of God? Isn't such a teaching vaccinating (putting a little bit of the disease on someone so they will not catch it) crowds of "church-goers" today? Wouldn't it be much more biblical, even fun and wholesome if we all would persist in teaching the Biblical notion of the Sovereignty of God in Salvation, or at a minimum, pursue a Biblical veracity about it?

    That is what Brandan is concerned about. That concerned gained him the "hardshell Calvinist notion".

    Here is why Brandan is not a Calvinist, neither am I and many in this Forum who defend the teachings of Calvin:

    • We believe in believers Baptism, or adult baptism. We don't comdemn those who baptize children. My golden retriever must be a presbyterian since he hates immersion and only takes sprinkling. He is still my beloved dog! If he has puppies and decides to practice puppybaptism, I will not forbid. I would cut his rations if he tells me that "immersion" is perversion of Baptism.
    • We don't have the regard for the Law that most Calvinist do
    • We have a problem with "sundayism, or sabbatarianism"
    Well, why continue? Brandan is not a Calvinist.

    If after this defense of my friend and brother you don't read and see his words differently, not as a sine qua non condition to Salvation, but a serious concern for pure, veritable Bible teaching, or, at least, the pursuit of it, then, I don't know what will.

    Again, I will return to the reading of your response and may burn my tongue or my fingers. But I think I needed to write this before I go on. Everything I read from you in that post will have the background of your thinking of Brandan as expressed in your quote above.

    Thanks for considering my words. I hope we don't bear false witness because of a snippet of what the other person says about themselves.

    Milt
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    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    Wow, unbelievable. LionofJudah, you missed the entire point of my article you're replying to here. Further, I think you are misrepresenting me COMPLETELY. But I'm going to go to bed now and I'll formulate a response in the morning. Milt, thank you very much brother for defending me. You are definitely a true friend.

    in Free Grace,
    Brandan Kraft
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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    WOW ... aren't we just ready for a fight!!!!

    Lion ... I can assure you like Grace Ambassador that Darth Gill is not an "election police" type. He and I disagree on many issues yet Far be it for me to say ... GEEE I am right you are wrong therefore you can NOT possibly be saved. hahaha how ludicrus. Brandan never once said in this article that you had to believe the 5 points of "calvinism" in order to be saved. I would ask you to point to such a statement and if you believe you have in fact found such a statement, I can assure you that it wasn't his intent.

    Now that that has been cleared up .... I must confess in the past couple of years of having delved into the truth of scripture which I will term "reformed" faith, I see that Brandan has in fact demonstrated by his article that there are many forms of "calvinism". I personally believe that term is useless. I also personally believe that the man that it comes from would completely denounce it as a way to describe a "christian".

    GA I commend you on your defination though ... hahaha ... no "baptist" could be called a calvinist or reformed for that matter. The reformed faith is very much "Covenantal" and I think that has been demonstrated in previous discussions.

    That is neither here nor there in regards to Brandan's article though.

    So here are my comments about the article.....

    Progressive santification?
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    In time, the elect experience cleansing from sin and consecration for service to God. This is a continuous event with a definite starting point in time; but there are many today that teach Christians continue to progress in holiness over time. While it is true that Christians do grow in spiritual knowledge and maturity, it is not true that they achieve greater or lesser holiness as they live out their lives. A Christian is not any more sanctified if he does more good works for the day, nor is he any less sanctified if he fails to keep his good works for the day as many modern day calvinists teach.
    I think Brandan you have cleared up for me what "progressive santification" actually means. Thanks!!!!
    I too would whole heartedly reject the notion that a believer becomes "more holy". This is impossible as you stated. You are holy by the righteousness of Christ and can't be more holy then that.
    I think that when the term was brought up in the "theonomy" discussion I really had no idea what was meant by that. When descibing the Believer's walk in this life ... I in fact meant exactly what you term as "continueous" santification.
    So, I believe that often times when we disagree we end up talking over each other's heads ... using termininology and actually agreeing without realizing it.

    Justification from Eternity
    Justification from God's perspective is very much so from before the foundation of the world. But from our perspective it is something that happens to us in time. So we agree and disagree I think on this issue. I dare say you sorta put that into words I can completely agree with you on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    It is my belief that condemnation has never rested upon God’s elect; but that they only suffer the consequences of condemnation (not knowing Christ) for a time before their conversion. In this sense, all Christians were at one point “children of wrath”, but God’s wrath never actually rested upon them nor were they ever hated by their Father. They were never in real danger of falling into hell, and they have always been held securely in His sovereign hand by His grace, even before conversion. To say that God’s elect were ever in danger of falling into hell is to suggest that God’s decrees are not absolute! God has decreed that each and every one of His elect would be saved by Christ and this decree was efficacious. Further, how is it that God can set His love upon anyone that is not seen as perfectly righteous? It is impossible as God hates the wicked.
    Yet I think we disagree on some points of this "doctrine" but it would never cause me to say that Gill is not saved and I must be saved because I am right and he is wrong.

    The Christian's Rule of Living is not the Law
    Ummm you haven't yet chimed in on the theonomy discussion ... I can only say that what I have addressed in that thread demonstrates that using the Law as my guideline and something to determine my ethical "christian" living in no way JUSTIFIES me to God. It is something that has been totally misrepresented and that has sorta given me a headache hahaha.

    I would love for you to address some of the issues that were brought up in there but I also completely understand if it gives you a headache as well. My point being Brandan ... that when I say or others that hold to the continuity of scripture are using the Law is a "rule" for determining God's idea of what is right and what is wrong.

    I am merely saying that it is my guideline and again partly because of my "covenantal" background we must "beg to differ" on this issue. I do find it most disconcerting though to be poorly misrepresented within the scope of NCT. At least that is what I have read in some of the articles you put together under the Christian Theology heading.

    I think you are very good at writing and debating the issues at hand for the Church today. We disagree on some points but golly geee ... aren't we all still dealing with a "fallen nature".

    These folks that suppose a "perfect knowledge" in understanding are guilty of denying the fact that we humans won't have or obtain perfect knowledge as long as we are "sucking oxygen" on earth.

    You know that I too have been labeled a "hyper" calvie ... I think I probably deserve the label more so than you do because I happen to believe that the 5 points of "calvinism" are the GOSPEL.

    Dear lionovjudah ... What is clear in the scripture is that the summary of the "5 points" of Calvinism were in fact presented in various form to ALL that believe. Perhaps we can go the rounds with what I mean with that statement. An arminian that in fact DOES understand what scripture teaches and denies that very scripture ... as I believe John Wesley did (IMHO) can not be considered saved. Do I know for a fact if he is in heaven or hell .... of course not!!!! But I will tell you this though ... I WILL FIGHT AGAINIST WHAT HE STOOD FOR UNTIL MY LAST BREATH!!!!

    Well Good Article Brandan .... luv ya in the LORD ... out for now ... Jan
    It is what it is

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    This is my first encounter with posting a reply to a forum topic, so be patient with me. I will assume for lack of complete understanding how this works, that this reply is to "Gill". I have skimmed over some of the posts on this site and have embraced many, but also been amazed at the pious, sanctimonius, "I am in you are out" tone that spews from your mouth.
    I don't know where you got this "tone"... First of all this site belongs to me, and your very first post you end up criticizing the host! I find that to be quite "pious" and "sanctimonious".

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    You criticize people, obviously more learned than yourself, for not being absolute in their condemnation of those Arminians who would utter such blasphemies as "God is a failure, because, despite His best efforts, many nevertheless go to hell."
    "Obviously more learned than yourself????" "Obviously" you think highly of yourself to make that comment. You don't know my level of education, so how in the world can you make such a statement? As far as men who utter such blasphemies, I can only say that I was once in their position hurling their same insults toward God. I do not believe in condemning ANYONE, as condemnation resides in the Sovereign will of God - not mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    What is essential in saving faith is not what the individual thinks about all the other people in the world, but how he views himself in relation to God.
    Did I say anything to the contrary?

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    Hence, it is essential that the sinner understand that he himself is a ruined sinner, condemned by God.
    Actually I would modify that to say "worthy of condemnation".

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    It is not essential that he view everyone else around him as sinners also.
    I never said it was, but if he fails to realize this, I would say it evidences a TOTAL LACK of understanding who God is and His perfect standard of righteousness that is required. Anyonne who does not see the rest of the world as self-righteous sinners obviously has not learned God properly and has not experienced the joy of knowing Christ.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    It is essential that He believes that, by faith, he partakes of the pardon purchased by Christ on the Cross.
    Yes of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    It is not essential to salvation that he should have a view regarding the cross in its relation to anyone else.
    I never said this, did I? Please point out where I stated this absurdity! I only maintain that a proper understanding of the the atonement (limited) is a necessary CONSEQUENCE of knowing the Lord.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    It is essential that he trusts wholly in Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    It is not essential to believe that (1) the doctrine of "Efficacious Atonement" (i.e. Particular Redemption) is the gospel we must believe to be saved, therefore,
    I completely disagree. Christ dying for His sheep is a message that all believers of like precious faith agree upon.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    (2) no Arminian is a true believer, and furthermore
    Anyone that looks to their faith other than Christ alone is not a true believer. If a person denies this, I doubt they know my Lord.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    (3) if you "speak peace" to an Arminian (i.e. tell the Arminian he is saved) you have denied the gospel, and this is proof that you, too, are unsaved.
    I never said this either. But I do believe some Christians have done this because they don't necessarily understand the errors of Arminianism. Those that truly understand that Arminianism is a false gospel and fellowship with Arminians knowing these people truly have faith in their faith, then in my mind - that evidence themselves to not know the true Gospel of Substitution and Imputation by Free Grace. However there are some individuals who think Arminians are really just confused free grace believers and truly do not believe in "free will". They believe the faulty doctrine of a head/heart dichotomy. I think these individuals are deluded, but that does not necessarily mean they are not Christians.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    As long as his focus is on Christ to the exclusion of good works and the Law, then he has no need to be consciously thinking about the poverty of such things to save him.
    I don't understand what you are saying here.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    It was never my intention to suggest that a person could safely deny these points, but only that he could be saved without consciously thinking about them. A true Christian could never affirm that Moslems are saved, but that doesn't mean a true Christian needs to know what a Moslem is in order to be saved.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    It is for the same reason that we cannot conclude that Peter was unregenerate when He denied Christ. Is not confessing Christ a primary evidence of salvation? Yet, Peter was a regenerate man when he disowned Christ, not once, but three times. The second time was with an oath—affirming absolutely that he did not know Christ. The third time was with cursing—calling on God to send judgment upon him if he was lying(Matthew 26:69-75). If Peter's thrice denial of Christ was not proof of his being unsaved, then how can we be so absolutely certain that an Arminian who calls God a failure is unsaved?
    I personally don't have an opinion on Peter as of this time. I don't know when he was regenerated as the Scriptures never really indicate to me when this took place. Personally, I don't know why it is important to know exactly what point in time Peter experienced justification before God; but I do know that He was saved in Christ on the cross.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    Or, take the case of David. David was a man after God's heart. David wrote Psalms praising God's Law. Yet, David horribly violated that very Law, first by committing adultery with Bathsheba, then by seeking to cover up his sin by deceit. When that failed, he arranged to have Uriah murdered to conceal the adultery. He then persisted in his deceit for several months until Nathan confronted him with his sin. David's eventual repentance was proof of his salvation. However, until he repented, he was reasoning like an unbeliever, denying in thought and deed God's sovereignty, omniscience and holiness. David's hypocrisy rivaled that of the Pharisees, yet David was a true believer!
    David actually reminds me a lot of myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    The bottom line is this: A true believer is capable of sinning horribly against God.
    I agree completely!

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    Peter and David are two very graphic examples of this. Both men denied God emphatically in word and deed, and persisted in their sin for a time. By the gravity of their sins and their persistence in them, if not for the express testimony of scripture affirming their salvation, we would have concluded they were surely unregenerate men.
    If we knew them at the time, I'm sure I would make that judgement - but we know that God viewed them differently. My judgement would have absolutely no bearing on their status with God - so what's the big deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    Yet, Scripture affirms that both men had experienced the grace of regeneration. God knows the human heart, but man looks on the outward appearance, which can be deceptive.
    But God does not consider a man just or unjust based upon what is in that person's heart. He looks upon men as if they are in Christ. Experience is a vital consequence of salvation, but it is not the means through which God looks upon a person.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    The issue that divides Mr. Gill and myself is the identity of the gospel.
    If we are divided, why did you seek me out to notify me of our division?

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    What is it that a regenerate person must believe?
    A person who immediately experiences salvation through the gift of faith only sees two things... First, he sees his complete inability to please His Lord, and second, he sees that Christ has made satisfaction for him. As he grows in grace and knowledge of the Lord, he will learn more of the truth - and even adopt some error - but he will never stray from the truth of the Gospel of Free Grace.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    He claims that the Gospel we must believe in order to be saved are the doctrines of Calvinism.
    That's not true - the particulars of total depravity, irresistable grace, limited atonement, unconditional election, and perserverence of the faith are all doctrines that are necessary consequences of sanctification. However, I don't believe you need to believe ANYTHING in order to be saved as salvation is accomplished for all of God's people. All of God's people experience salvation through the gift of faith at conversion, but the extra beliefs and doctrines he learns are not necessary at all for experiential salvation - just necessary consequences.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    I disagree. There is nothing in scripture to support such a claim.
    I never made such a stupid claim. Nice straw man!

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    Based on what scripture plainly teaches, I conclude that the Gospel we must believe is the truth that Christ has died for sinners and that every sinner who trusts in Christ receives forgiveness.
    The gospel is so much more than that. While it is true that Christ died for sinners, it is necessary for one to be revealed from above that he is indeed numbered amongst the elect for whom lived and died.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    My understanding of the identity of the Gospel is consistent with the doctrines of Calvinism, but not nearly so extensive in its scope.
    Well, to put it bluntly - whooppeee doooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    The way to settle this matter is to see what it is that Scripture identifies as the Gospel we must believe. This is why I appeal to the evangelistic encounters in Scripture, to see what was preached as a requirement for salvation, and what, in turn, people were said to have believed, when they were regenerated.
    Why do you place so much significance on regeneration?

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    In no case did Christ or the apostles ever declare that a person must believe a distinctively Calvinistic teaching in order to be saved. They did not preach "Believe that you are totally depraved, and unable to come to Christ, and you will be saved."
    Salvation is much more than redemption, but it is about knowing and communing with the Saviour. It is about knowing God and experiencing His love. Salvation is something that COMES upon people - it is a revealing of Grace, not something people ponder as if it's something they can accept or reject. The Gospel is something that is BELIEVED by Divine Revelation.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    They did not preach "Believe that God has unconditionally chosen certain sinners to be saved, and you will be saved." They did not preach "Believe that Christ died for the elect only, and you will be saved." They did not preach "Believe that God sovereignly regenerates whomever He pleases, and you will be saved." They certainly did not preach "You must believe all these things, or else you are unregenerate."
    I agree...

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    What they did preach was "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" and "whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life" and "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" and "... through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses." The issue in all these passages is faith in Christ as Lord and sin-bearer, and the promise given is that everyone who believes in Him receives the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Nowhere in these, or any other passages, do we read that the object of saving faith is one or more distinctively Calvinistic doctrines.
    It is true that if one believes, he will experience salvation - but these passages deal strictly with experimental salvation - which is through faith alone. Forensically, all believers understand that salvation is completely by free grace without faith.

    ... I'm running short on time so I'm going to skip to the end of your tirade...

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    Those who claim that Mr. Gill's Calvinism is the gospel seem to forget that Calvinism is a complex system of Bible doctrines that requires grappling with many difficult issues in order to adequately understand how it can be consistent, both with itself and with Scripture.
    GAG!!!! This makes me ill to read. First of all, I'm not a "calvinist", I am a believer in FREE GRACE. THat's not complicated at all! Substitution and Imputation are VERY SIMPLE "issues" as you call them that every believer has no problem at all grasping. How hard is it for a regenerate individual to grasp that salvation is entirely by God's Grace and that Christ is every aspect of salvation to that individual? I don't think it's hard at all, indeed I believe a mere child could grasp that.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    Charles Spurgeon openly expressed the opinion that there are Arminians among the ranks of the regenerate.
    Sooo? who cares? I don't. Charles Spurgeon is of no significance to me. I don't care what he believed.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    George Whitefield regarded John and Charles Wesley as brothers in Christ to the day of his death.
    I don't care!

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    Yet, the Wesleys were unquestionably Arminians, and John, in particular, expressed wicked opposition to Calvinism.

    According to the you Mr.Gill, Spurgeon and Whitefield are necessarily unsaved, for they were guilty of "speaking peace" to Arminians.
    I don't know anything about the details of Spurgeon or Whitefield, so I will simply claim I don't know. Quit putting words in my mouth - you sound so foolish when you do.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    How many multitudes of other Calvinists throughout history are likewise guilty of this "sin" (if it be a sin), is difficult to say. But one thing is certain—few if any notable Calvinists have ever asserted the views expressed on this website. Which means, if nothing else, that they did not regard such a teaching to be so plainly taught in scripture as Mr. Gill and others apparently believe it to be. Mr. Gill imagines that they (and the few who share his views) are the true church, and that anyone who disagrees with them is unsaved.
    You're a sick individual. I'm beginning to tire of your straw-man attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    If so, it seems amazing that this is a "church" that has no continuity with the past, no significant impact on the present, and a message that viciously emphasizes the negative—telling us what not to believe, and who isn't a believer—rather than joyfully proclaiming the Savior and His sovereign mercy to hell-deserving sinners.

    WHAT WAS THE MISSION OF THE SON OF MAN? TO SEEK AND SAVE THOSE WHO ARE LOST!!!!!!!!!
    Whew, I'm glad you are done. I demand an apology. I wonder if you'll return. If not, good riddance. I find it amazing that you posted so much against me without even providing one quote. I have no more time for your foolishness.

    Brandan

    P.S. - To everyone else - I agree I was a bit harsh with this individual - but he is well deserving of my rebukes.
    This is my signature.

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    hahaha Brandan ... I think you took Lion dude to task. Thanks for the rebuttal. You crack me up!!!!

    Jan
    It is what it is

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    Saints:

    Remember my favorite Brazilian expression: A snake bitten dog will run away scared even of a sausage link?

    That means, anything that remotely resembles a snake is grounds for panic on the part of the poor caninie.

    That's LionOfJudah. He probably got so sick of Internet Sites that proclaim the exclusivity of Calvinism, got so tired of writers who defend things that he, AND WE ALL deplore that when he read Brandan's writings he simply went on state of panic felt pressed to respond and decided to load his aversion to it all on Brandan.

    I also think, that he attacked Brandan personally in that he totally mischaracterized Brandan's writings, assumed Brandan's education level and Brandan's overall position in all issues. Furthermore I don't think he is coming back, although, for the sake of showing some Christ-like attitute I hope he does come back and explains himself, ultimately apologizing.

    We can discuss and debate about "what to being a Christian is" and "what is a Christian" all day long without ever using words such as Calvinism and Arminianism. However we can know that a Christian will not bear false testimomy deliberately and those who do, whether mild-Calvinist, harsh-Calvinist, Arminianist or any other "ist" cannot be credible when they call themselves a Christian. What I mean, (if explanation is needed) is that LionOfJudah, in defending his Christian view showed himself in this case (deliberately or not) not to be one, although he might very well be one. That is why I think he should come back and engage the debate. What I mean is, further explained, that, even if you are an exemplary Christian you cannot discuss "being a Christian" without acting like one.

    Milt
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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    I used to equate the label 'hyper-Calvinist' with the teaching of those who deny personal assurance of justification and faith in a perverse and compartmentalized teaching on God's sovereignty. Today, I could care less whether anyone calls me by this label or not. In fact I encourage it. If someone is DETERMINED to slander their enemy with labels, rather than facing the exegetical issues of the gospel revealed in the Bible, I want their deception INCREASED because that is also what God wants. Until one is plunged deep into the misery of the sin of slander, the Lord does not usually grant repentance.

    Proud to be called a hyper-Calvinist,
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    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. But far be it from me even to imagine that Heavan 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. 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.

    Brendan, you state that you do not condemn anyone, but you must read your own writings then. Perhaps I need Huntington, Gill, or Hoeksma lenses for my glasses to see as you do. Perhaps I am employing the same "interpretation techniques with your writings, as you do with Scripture, and I lament that sincerely.

    To be enabled to form a clear, consistent, and comprehensive judgment of the truths revealed in the Scripture, is a great privilege; but they who possess it are exposed to the temptation of thinking too highly of themselves, and too meanly of others, especially of those who not only refuse to adopt their sentiments, but venture to oppose them. We see few controversial writings, however excellent in other respects, but are tinctured with this spirit of self-superiority; and they who are not called to this service (of writing) if they are attentive to what passes in their hearts, may feel it working within them, upon a thousand occasions; though so far as it prevails, it brings forcibly home to ourselves the charge of ignorance and inconsistence, which we are so ready to fix upon our opponents. I know nothing as a means more likely to correct this evil, than a serious consideration of the amazing difference between our acquired judgment, and our actual experience; or, in other words, how little influence our knowledge and judgment have upon our own conduct. This may confirm to us the truth and propriety of the apostle’s observation, "If any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." Not that we are bound to be insensible that the Lord has taught us what we were once ignorant of; nor is it possible that we should be so; yet because, if we estimate our knowledge by its effects, and value it no farther than it is experimental and operative (which is the proper standard whereby to try it), we shall find it so faint and feeble as hardly to deserve the name.

    The doctrine of God’s sovereignty likewise, though not so generally owned as the former, is no less fully assented to by those who are called Calvinists. We zealously contend for this point in our debates with the Armimians; and are ready to wonder that any should be hardy enough to dispute the Creator’s right to do what he will with his own. While we are only engaged in defense of the election of grace, and have a comfortable hope that we are ourselves of that number, we seem so convinced, by the arguments the Scripture affords us in support of the truth, that we can hardly forbear charging our adversaries with perverse obstinacy and pride, for opposing it. Undoubtedly the ground of this opposition lies in the pride of the human heart, but this evil principle is not confined to any party: and occasions frequently arise, when they who contend for the divine sovereignty are little more practically influenced by it than their opponents. This humiliating doctrine concludes as strongly for submission to the will of God, under every circumstance of life, as it does for our acquiescing in his purpose to have mercy. But, alas! how often do we find ourselves utterly unable to apply it, so as to reconcile our spirits to those afflictions which he is pleased to allot us. So far as we are enabled to say, when we are exercised with poverty, or heavy losses or crosses, . ‘I was dumb and opened not my mouth, because thou didst it," so far, and no farther, are we truly convinced, that God has a sovereign right to dispose of us and all our concemments as he pleases. How often, and how justly at such seasons, might the argument we offer to others, as sufficient to silence all their objections, be retorted upon ourselves, "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? shall the thing formed say unto him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?" A plain proof that our knowledge is more notional than experimental. What an inconsistency, that while we think God is just and righteous in withholding from others the things which pertain to their everlasting peace, we should find it so hard to submit to his dispensations to ourselves in matters of unspeakably less importance!

    But the Lord’s appointments, to those who fear him, are not only sovereign, but wise and gracious. He has connected their good with his own glory, and is engaged, by promise, to make all things work together for their advantage. He chooses for his people better than they could choose for themselves; if they are in ‘heaviness, theme is a need-be for it, and he withholds nothing from them but what upon the whole it is better they should be without. Thus the Scriptures teach, and thus we profess to believe. Furnished with these principles, we are at no loss to suggest motives of patience and consolation to our brethren that are afflicted; we can assure them, without hesitation, that if they are interested in the promises, their concerns are in safe hands; that the things which at present are not joyous but grievous. shall in due season yield the peaceful fruits of righteousness, and that their trials are as certainly mercies as their comforts. We can prove to them, from the history of Joseph, David, Job, and other instances recorded in Scriptures, that, notwithstanding any present dark appearances, it shall certainly be well with the righteous; that God can and will make crooked things straight; and that he often produces the greatest good from those events which we are apt to look upon as evil. From hence we can infer, not only the sinfulness, but the folly of finding fault with any of his dispensations. We can tell them, that at the worst the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to he compared with the glory that shall be revealed; and that therefore, under, the greatest pressures, they should so weep as those who expect in a little time to have all their tears wiped away. But when the case is our own, when we are troubled on every side, or touched in the tenderest part, how difficult it is to feel the force of these reasonings, though we know they are true to a demonstration! Then, unless we are endued with fresh strength from on high, we are as liable to complain and despond as if we thought our afflictions sprang out of the ground, and the Lord had forgotten to be gracious.
    I might proceed to show the difference between our judgment when most enlightened, and our actual experience, with respect to every spiritual truth. We know there is no proportion between time and eternity, between God and the creature, the favour of the Lord and the favour or the frowns of men; and yet often, when these things are brought into close competition, we are sorely put to it to keep stead-fast in the path of duty; nay without new supplies of grace, we should certainly fail in the time of trial, and our knowledge would have no other effect than to render our guilt more inexcusable. We seem to be sure that we are weak, sinful, fallible creatures, as we are that we exist and yet we are prone to act as if we were wise and good. In a word, we cannot deny, that a great part of our knowledge is, as I have described it, like the light of the moon, destitute of heat and influence; and yet we can hardly help thinking of ourselves too highly upon the account of it.

    May we not say with the Psalmist, "Lord, what is man!" yea, what an enigma, what a poor inconsistent creature is a believer! He knows the Lord; he knows himself. His understanding is enlightened to apprehend and contemplate the great mysteries of the gospel. He has just ideas of the evil of sin, the vanity of the world, the beauties of holiness, and the nature of true happiness. He was once "darkness, but now he is light in the Lord." He has access to God by Jesus Christ; to whom he is united, and in whom he lives by faith. While the principles he has received are enlivened by the agency of the Holy Spirit, he can do all things. He is humble, gentle, patient, watchful, faithful. He rejoices in afflictions, triumphs over temptations, lives upon the foretastes of eternal glory, and counts not his life dear, so he may glorify God his Saviour, and finish his course with joy. But his strength is not his own; he is absolutely dependent, and is still encompassed with infirmities. and burdened with a depraved nature. If the Lord withdraws his power, he becomes weak as another man, and drops, as a stone sinks to the earth by its own weight. His inherent knowledge may be compared to the windows of a house, which can transmit the light, but cannot retain it. Without renewed and continual communications from the Spirit of grace, he is unable to withstand the smallest temptation, to endure the slightest trial, to perform the least service in a due manner, or even to think a good thought. He knows this, and yet he too often forgets it. But the Lord reminds him of it frequently, by suspending that assistance without which he can do nothing. Then he feels what he is, and is easily prevailed upon to act in contradiction to his better judgment. This repeated experience of his own weakness teaches him by degrees where his strength lies; that it is not in any thing he has already attained, or can call his own, but the grace, power, and faithfulness of his Saviour. He learns to cease from his own understanding, to be ashamed of his best endeavours, to abhor himself in dust and ashes, and to glory only in the Lord.

    From hence we may observe, that believers who have most knowledge, are not therefore necessarily the most spiritual. Some may and do walk more honorably and more comfortably with two talents, than others with five. He who experimentally knows his own weakness, and depends simply upon the Lord, will surely thrive, though his acquired attainments and abilities may be but small; and he who has the greatest gifts, the clearest judgment, and the most extensive knowledge, if he indulges high thoughts of his advantages, is in imminent danger of mistaking, and falling at every step; for the Lord will suffer none whom he loves to boast in themselves. He will guide the meek with his eyes, and fill the hungry with good things; but the rich he sendeth empty away. It is an invariable maxim in his kingdom, that whosoever exalteth himself, shall be abased; but he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

    Please accept my deepest apologies, and I welcome all partakers of this dialogue to respond. And remember, If you believe God ordained all things that come to pass, then for some reason beyond our capapbilities, well at least mine, we must procliam "It pleased Him" and "It seemed good in Your sight" to ordain our Arminian brethren.

    Grace and Peace

    Lion

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    Lion,

    The first part of your reply to me was from Charles Spurgeon: "A Defense of Calvinism" http://www.the-highway.com/defense_Spurgeon.html

    The third part was from John Newton: "More than a Calvinist". You can read it online here: http://www.gracegems.org/2/More%20Th...0Calvinist.htm

    I've read these before. Do you think I'm so unfamiliar with historic literature that I wouldn't recognize this? That's very bold of you to pass these things off as your own words, not to mention DISHONEST!

    As far as I can tell, although I have my doubts, the only words that were yours in your latest post were:
    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    Brendan, you state that you do not condemn anyone, but you must read your own writings then. Perhaps I need Huntington, Gill, or Hoeksma lenses for my glasses to see as you do. Perhaps I am employing the same "interpretation techniques with your writings, as you do with Scripture, and I lament that sincerely.
    Please, enlighten me! Show me my writings where I condemn people to hell. I've made this mistake in the past before, but I sincerely do not intend to make it now. I condemn NO MAN to hell!

    and the fourth part:
    Quote Originally Posted by LionovJudah
    Please accept my deepest apologies, and I welcome all partakers of this dialogue to respond. And remember, If you believe God ordained all things that come to pass, then for some reason beyond our capapbilities, well at least mine, we must procliam "It pleased Him" and "It seemed good in Your sight" to ordain our Arminian brethren.

    Grace and Peace

    Lion
    What are you apologizing for? After quoting Spurgeon and Newton without giving credit, I can only assume that your "apologies" are insincere.

    Brandan
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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    LionovJudah also quoted liberally from this page in his reply to me: http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/Arti...d-Response.htm

    LionovJudah, if you do respond, and I catch you quoting from another source without citing your source, you will be banned. As far as I can tell you're as dishonest as they come. At least that's the impression you've given me in this thread - maybe I'm wrong.

    I suspect you're incapable of formulating a rebuttal to my arguments without depending upon others as a crutch. That's fine. Feel free to quote from others, but don't use other's words as your own.

    Brandan
    This is my signature.

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    Brendon, My sincerest apologies, In haste I actuslly thought I did quote those sources, those words were not mine, but speak to me dearly. I was not attempting to be decitful. As I said I am new to all of this and do not know, obviously, how to quote or add quotes as you do. One thing that you may count on is my sincerity and honest in my opinions. Ask my wife, that may be perhaps my only admirable qualities. HAHAHAHAHAHA. For some reason, my whole ending paragraph, citing Spurgeon and Newton did not post and i do not know how to add to previous posts. Please enlighten me how you put quotes into your posts.

    Grace and Peace

    Lion

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    Lion ... I completely understand your confusion about posting someone's quote. I have found it easiest to use the copy/paste method ... When quoting someone you type in [QUOTE=there name] and when you are done with their words you close it with [ /QUOTE]Hope this helps but don't put the space after the the bracket

    Jan
    It is what it is

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion
    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 generally believe charity should be exercised when we look at the lives of those who have passed on who have worn the name "Christian." I certainly believe we will find those in heaven who do not hold to the 5 points of Calvinism. There are certainly those who live their lives holding onto nothing but Christ for their salvation and attributing all of their salvation to God's grace without doing so consistently.

    On the other hand there were those such as John Wesley who were violently opposed to the doctrines of grace which are found in the Scripture. Some of his commentaries are laughable and say the exact opposite of what the passage he is commenting on says. Wesley said that Calvinism presented a god which was far worse than the devil, thus condemning the true God of the Scriptures. Wesley denied justification by faith alone and brought the same objections against it as the Roman Catholic Church. He taught justification by a continual process. Wesley taught perfectionism which inevitably drives men to dispair or makes hypocrites of them. He made the same error in defining sin as the Pharisees did by saying that sin is just a "voluntary transgression of a known law." He also spoke of a second blessing of the Holy Spirit which has led to our present charismatic madness. Under the ministry of Wesley, those in the congregation laughed insanely and fell down as slain resembling the modern day 'Toronto blessing.' Wesley behaved wickedly towards his wife, virtually abandoning her. While he alienated his wife he engaged in close relationships with other women. He supervised the reprinting of Puritan works and would edit out the passages which disagreed with his position, breaking the ninth commandment. He lied in order to defend himself and in order to promote his false teachings. He expressed no repentance for any of these things.

    It shows a true decline in the church when suppsedly reformed men are willing to exalt such a hater of the Gospel as John Wesley. People praise him for all his work in evangelism. But if one is to be a true herald of the King, he must bring the King's message and not his own. There is not Christianity without doctrine. If we throw doctrine out the window then the only difference between Christianity and Islam and Hinduism is just a name. Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees equally applies to those who are zealous to spread false gospels.

    Matthew 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    LionOfJudah:

    This would suffice for me and I am sure for all here:

    "Here is what Spurgeon says:"

    "Here is what John Newton says"

    "Here is a quote from this or that guy"

    You can also follow Doctr of Grace instructions... They are good. But not to know how to write Internet/Html/Xml code is not a good excuse for not giving credit to the original writers of your quotes. The phrases above, since you can write and type, would do the job and would avoid the impression of "parroting".

    Just a friendly advice...

    Milt
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    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    WBOTR:

    Hello Chuck, long time no see.... I have a couple of questions for you that may jog your memory a little.

    1) Does your church have a sign yet?
    2) Will the 43 members of your congregation enjoy Heavan alone?
    3) Robert Schuller called and is looking for a window cleaner for the cathedral, do you have any spare time?
    4) Does your church have a door yet?

    Anyway boar, I will agree that you cannot throw Doctrine out the window. But what is "essential Doctrine?" What were the truths that Paul taught in speaking to the Church is Colosse? See, I have not yet attained the "grace" of becoming a heretic hunter. So in the case of Wesley, I disagree zealously with the Doctrine he confessed, but do not feel the liberty to declare his personal salvation or anyones. Judging the salvation of others causes a lack of charity and separation of believers. When they have painted their brothers to be worse than they are, they must rebuke them, or have no Christian fellowshoip with them, and avoid them because they dont believe as what has been determined truth: or when they have usurped God's work in judging, they follow a Gospel made of wax that can be formed into whatever doctrines we must believe for salvation. It is a "stealing" of God's prerogative, who is the Judge of all the world: it is a stepping up into his judgment-seat, and doing His job; as if you said, I will play God as to this action. And he is terribly mistaken, who elevates himself to the office of Christ, you may imagine what he does; he sets up himself in the place of God. Remember the meekness of Christ, who does not rebuke the weak , He is the great physician who feasts with sinners and publicans. He carries his children in his arms, He heals the wounded man, when the priest and Levite pass him by. We all need the tenderness of Christ ourselves as well as others. I am afraid to judge because I know he will find greater faults with me than I find in others; and condemn me as we condemn them....


    Grace and Peace

    Lion

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    The difference between Christianity and all other religions is that all other religions teach that in some way man saves himself and Christianity teaches we are saved solely by God's grace. If someone teaches that man saves himself or must add to his justification in some way in order to be saved, whatever it is, it is not Christianity.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    Also Lion, if you are going to take that position consistently, why evangelize at all? If what you are saying is true then shouldn't we think of the Muslim as a true follower of Christ? The fact is that Jesus said we can know the tree by its fruit. There are certainly hypocrites who will live their lives in such a way that they give no evidence that they are not truly children of God throughout their lives, but there are others who give ample proof. How can we claim that someone is a child of God who shows so much hatred towards the truths of God's Word and who does not love the true brethren.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Confession of a Hyper-Calvinist

    WBOTR:

    Chuck, the difference between Christianity and all other religions is that we are to look to God alone for salvation, not ourselves. All other relegions have man looking to himself. My objective is judging another Christians, and i say Christian Chuck, not Hindu, not Moslem, etc.. is wrong. Doctrine does not save Chuck, Christ alone saves. You come right out of the gate as a heretic hunter. Where as Scripture comes out of the gate with our love of Christ. When Christ asked Peter thrice if he loved Him, why didnt He ask peter what Doctrine he believed? Doctrine is a fruit of Salvation. And again I will pose this question to you and all who read this. Since you and others emphatically believe the God has actively decreed, ordained, whatever you call it, everything that has come to pass, than what choice does our arminian brethren have? Does our Arminian brethren posses the free will to choose doctrine? It cannot be both ways. Those of us who posses High Doctrine can be condemned just as easy as a free willer chuck.. If the blood of Christ was not shed for any person, Calvinist, SGB, Arminian, RC, then that person is lost. Independant on what he believed. I know a few Atheists who show more love to their neighbors, than Christians do Chuck, SO the judging the tree by its fruit cannot be taken as far as some take it. When speaking of "evidence" or ample proof, I know many who claim to LOVE Christ, but do not. They can argue every doctrine under the sun, but have no love of Christ. Let us return back to Peters inquisition.

    "Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, Lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."—John 21:15-17.

    What was the question asked of Peter? Do you love Me?
    1)It was not do you believe in TULIP?
    2) It was not, do you believe an arminian can be saved?
    3) it was not , dont forget to judge the tree by its fruits.
    4) It was not do you fear me?
    5) it was not, are you supra or infra?

    It was a very simple, yet heart tearing question that I believe we do not ask ourselves enough. Yet it is very easy to decide another brothers condition. Ah, you say, bring out the rack for that minister, for he is right on all points except one. Our arnminian brethren has a splinter so small in his eye, that the rays of the sun at 100 feet away could barely show it, yet somehow we have a piece of plywood in front of our eyes and see it? How can it be?

    Faith is the true root evidence to us being Gods Children, but love is the most brilliant. Very few can see our faith, but show them the Love of Christ, and it becomes our best evidence. Evidence as you put it, or proofs without the love of Christ mean absolutely nothing. Christ hems Peter in on this one subject, 3 times, and does nto waver until Peter is weeping and gives the greatest answer of all, "Lord, thou knowest that I love thee." So if we cannot point to our own evidence, then how can we look to others?

    Chuck, you jump to asking hypothetical questions avoiding the point of Christs Love to sinners and publicans. Who does He avoid who is in need Chuck, Who does he avoid who cries "Lord I am a sinner, have mercy on me!!!!!!!" You look for evidence, Christ says look for love to Him alone.

    Somehow the Doctrine of total depravity is skimmed over for 5 pointers. In what I have read so far on this site, I have yet, I am not saying it isnt there, but I have yet to find one person pointing to themselves in reference to that doctrine. But words like, heretic, unsaved, unregenerate, false gospel, bad tree are adjectives frequently used.

    The evidence we have in the Gospel account, epistles and Church Fathers point to core essential doctrines to determine if one is outside orthodox belief.

    Asking about a moslem, does not need a reply, I am talking only of professing Christins. And I also do not know what the evangleism question means.

    Quote= How can we claim that someone is a child of God who shows so much hatred towards the truths of God's Word and who does not love the true brethren.

    Was peter a child of God when he denied Him thrice? Yes he was, If ones first account of Peter was in his denying Christ with oaths and curses, what fruit or evidence would you see? According to your method of determination, we would have to conclude peter was an unbeliever and unsaved. But what does Christ do? The great Physician heals peter, digs out the cancer from his heart and heals him. no thunderbolts, no judging, not anything of the sort. Christ was concerned abotu one thing only as the foundation, and that was peters love for Him. The command follws as do our works, but the foundation is our love.

    Look at all the times the apostles, the "CHOSEN" we a roadblock to people, and look at how Christ rebuked them.
    1) The children brought to Christ
    2) the woman with the issue of blood
    3) bartimeaus
    4) the woman caught in adultery


    Doctrine does the same thing. I will debate doctrine all day, but my first concern is the persons love for Christ and love for his neighbor. Christ never preaches better than when he preached to sinners. He takes the most vile, blackened person and cleanses Him by His grace. Your method seems to do the opposite, you take a lover of Christ, and because he does not agree with you point to point, you paint him black and call him a hater of the Gospel.


    Grace and Peace

    Lion

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