Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The real problem of Arminians and Calvinists

The battle between Arminians and Calvinist has raged for centuries and will doubtless continue. But is that the real battleground? Should we base our beliefs upon what men teach and argue about or on the Scriptures? Both sides claim to have the Scriptures on their side, but that is impossible to reconcile since the beliefs are diametrically opposed to one another.
[I am no "Calvinist" as there many of his teachings and actions in his life that are totally unacceptable.]
But Calvin has become the "poster boy" of the "reformed" and the "whipping boy" of the Arminians. The doctrines involved in this ongoing mess were not invented by Calvin, nor were they the brainchild of the Arminians. Calvin did not uncover the Sovereignty of God, nor any of the other Attributes of God (Rom. 1:20). Even the famous T U L I P was not the handiwork of Calvin but of the Council of Dort a few years after Calvin's death. Some historians attribute the T U L I P to the Arminians which they constructed as arguing points against Calvin. But all of this is not the real problem.

Many modern day "Calvinists" are such in name only and employ the art of deception on a regular basis. [Many of today's "reformed" have gone ecumenical and promote the RCC.] There is a great push going on today to find a way to join together "Aminianism" and "Calvinism" which is nothing more than more ecumenism leading to a one world religion. Such men are well practiced in the art of speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

There is a danger when conversing with those opposed to God to allow His opponents to set the ground rules and direct the flow of the conversation and thus it's conclusion. An even greater danger is to allow for the title of "Calvinist" to be worn proudly (1 Cor. 1:12 & 13). But none of the aforementioned is the real problem with either sect (read "cult"). Yes, the "reformed Calvinist" belief system has devolved into a cult because Christ is no longer the centerpiece as they have allowed and promoted fantasy doctrines like infant baptism, an a-mill stance on the return of Christ, and the seeking of a unified "body of Christ" that is unified with every other religion on the face of the earth. These are goals of the roman catholic system and not the Holy Spirit. These things and more have replaced Christ as the Head of the Church. Some believe that being "reformed" will gain for them a heavenly merit badge, special recognition and greater reward. Thus it has become idolatry, their real problem.

The Arminian's real problem is similar, but much worse. Similar in the fact that they have replaced God as the Sovereign of Creation and beyond, and inserted man's "free-will" as the ultimate ruler of man's fate. This, too, is idolatry in it's rankest form. Sadly, there is more to it than this idol worship (they are actually worshipping themselves). They have used (successfully) Calvin as their whipping boy, the one who catches the brunt of their hate, but this is a misdirection type ploy on their part to mask their real hatred: They actually hate the God of Scripture. They boldly and completely refute the fact of the Sovereignty of God in all things (especially when it comes to the salvation--or not--of man). They maintain that any "sovereignty" that God may have possessed has been ceded to the "free-will" of man, specifically when it comes to who is saved. To them it is man's choice, not God's, that is the final arbiter in man's eternal fate. In this they hate God because they have ignored, sought to change, or otherwise rejected the words of the Lord Jesus in John 15:16, "You did not chose Me, but I chose you..." They have by this rejection called Jesus a liar, plain and simple, no way around it. Further, the Scriptural words "Election," "Predestination," and "Foreordained" are not in their vocabulary. It is unthinkable to them that they had NOTHING to do with their "own salvation" and that God did choose His people, and predestined them to adoption as sons (Eph.1:3-5). In this their hatred for God and His Son is further exhibited as we view 1 Peter 2:6, "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame." If a man has a problem with "election" then he has a problem with the Lord Jesus, for He was and is God's Elect. If "Foreordination" is a problem for the Armiians, then again they have a problem with the Lord Jesus for it is said in 1 Peter 1:20 "He was indeed foreordained before the foundation of the world..."

There are seemingly countless stories of the Lord God bringing judgment on His people and other nations due to their sins. Nearly every account centers around the fact that Israel had left their God, His Covenant, His Word and Law in favor of some idol. This idolatry is described most often by the word "harlotry" which is precisely what a man does when he rejects his God for some cheap imitation. Today, it's no different. On every front we find alluring idols to be worshipped by those ignorant of God and His Son. On every "religious" front we find the same. Many may think their idolatry to be a small thing (Arminian and Calvinist alike) and don't even view it as such (they actually believe that they are doing God service). But hear the words of God in Ezek. 6:9 where He says." ...because I am broken with their whorish heart, which has departed from Me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols..." May be a good day to take stock of what you believe and why!

1 comment:

lyn said...

Excellent and challenging post Darrel. Many take 'pride' in being called a 'calvinist', not realizing the hidden idolatry in that. The reformed branch of religion is filled with people who delight in being labeled as such. The same can be said for the flip side, the arminian camp, as you have rightly pointed out.

We are called to follow Christ, and not men. Let us never forget that man is fallible, no man has complete understanding of God's word. Too many rely upon the men of old to gain understanding, including the Puritans. There is a sect that idolizes them as well, Joel Beeke being one. Yes, we can glean wisdom from men of old, but we cannot attach ourselves to them. God the Spirit is the teacher of God's people, yet, many will argue otherwise. All we need is the bible and the Spirit of God to instruct us, we do not need the writings of men. That isn't to say these writings have not been beneficial, they have. It is so easy for the heart to fall into sin, including the sin of idolatry and putting men first in our hearts, crowding out Christ and His rightful place. We really must ask God to search our hearts continually, for sin does creep in unbeknownst to us.