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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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thatbrian

The Inescapable Unfairness of Arminianism.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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When was "fairness" added in as one of God's attributes?

 

Ezekiel 18:25 [NKJV]

25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. 28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

 

[KJV] 25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?

[NLT] 25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you?

[NIV] 25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust?

 

;)

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

 

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

 

God bless,

William

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

 

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

 

God bless,

William

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

God bless,

William

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

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

 

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

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

 

Yes.

 

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

 

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

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Has anyone here tried to actually discuss Calvinism on CARM?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Rather than US saying what Arminians believe, we should let them speak for themselves and respond to that.

Here is what Wesslyan Arminians say that they believe:

 

Article I — God

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

 

Article II — Jesus Christ

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

 

Article III — The Holy Spirit

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

 

Article IV — The Holy Bible

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

 

Article V — The Church

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

 

Article VI — The Sacraments

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Article VII — Sin and Free Will

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

 

Article VIII — Reconciliation Through Christ

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

 

Article IX — Justification and Regeneration

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

 

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

 

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

 

Article X — Good Works

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

 

Article XI — Sanctification and Christian Perfection

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

 

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

 

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

 

Article XII — The Judgment and the Future State

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

 

Article XIII — Public Worship

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

 

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

 

Article XIV — The Lord's Day

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

 

Article XV — The Christian and Property

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

 

Article XVI — Civil Government

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

That was a GREAT answer!

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

 

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

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

 

No, because no actual elect person is saved through Arminianism.

 

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

 

Article VIII — Reconciliation Through Christ

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

 

Interesting that you suggest Universalist are the true enemy, but Arminians are Inconsistent Universalist which is the belief that Christ’s meritorious work did not actually secure the salvation of any man, but merely made salvation a possibility for all men.

 

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

 

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

 

1) all the sins of all men,

2) all the sins of some men, or

3) some of the sins of all men.

 

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

 

image_155.jpg.2eb1c0e9a456e65102f936026769ca35.jpg

 

Think about Owen's logic, and then:

 

Article IX — Justification and Regeneration

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

 

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

 

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

 

God bless,

William

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If God couldn't save one He could save none, all sin was judged on the cross and everyone has the chance to be saved and is called to be and has the freewill to believe or not, and fairness is no issue because it was unfair to Christ what we did to Him and in all honesty we deserve unfairness as well as death and hell and what we get is mercy and grace.

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I agree.

Yet here is how THEY describe what they believe:

 

They believe in a "Prevenient Grace" that it would seem is applied to ALL. I would not disagree with you on that characterization of their beliefs, nor do I believe would they.

 

However, you conclude that this means (and imply that they believe) that "We are the good ones" and this is somehow "all apart from grace". Yet they claim "man is fallen from righteousness and, apart from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, is destitute of holiness and inclined to evil" and "without divine grace, man cannot do good works pleasing and acceptable to God". They specifically credit a "responsibility" for man to do good, which is the heart of the Reformed Positive-Negative Predestination (If I have understood it correctly), and credit the Holy Spirit with the power to do good.

 

It really comes down to an issue of resistible vs irresistible grace. Is there any human will involved in ELECTION? This is a fair question to ask. What does it mean to ask a man to repent who is incapable of doing so? What does it mean for a man to be able to say no to God? The answers have philosophical consequences that will impact our understanding of God and our relationship with him.

 

HOWEVER, the 'Methodists' do not appear to disagree with what we call Total Depravity, except to dislike the term and the caricature painted of it. The 'Methodists' do not appear to disagree with what we call Unconditional Election since they clearly admit that Salvation is not based on human merit. They would probably disagree with Limited Atonement, but would not argue for Universalism, so unless someone can show me a practical application, this is a distinction without a difference (Calvinism: Christ's death was sufficient for all sins, but only applied to the sins of the elect. Methodists: Christ's death was the perfect and sufficient sacrifice for ALL SIN, but benefits only the repentant in faith through Christ.)

 

Irresistible Grace is an area of deep disagreement, and because of this, Perseverance of the saints follows.

But Methodists are 3 point Calvinists. ;)

 

Nothing but Inconsistencies.

 

No, you have not understood Unconditional Election or Double Predestination correctly by your statement on their behalf, but rather have blended the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints into them. Election and Predestination occurs before the foundation of the world for those whom God foreknew (foreloved). There is no condition on Election, but pure Grace, literally, God foreloved those whom He foreknew.

 

 

If you read Owen's logic, and ease from the nature of man as the condition that makes the Atonement necessary, then we can actually address certain scriptures such as Romans 8:26-30 instead of a baseless unscriptural position. The question then becomes, did Jesus die for the Elect while still in their unbelief?

 

Read the above Owen meme. If you agree with me, I say yes, because belief is not the prerequisite to Grace, but rather the regenerative work or fruit of the Holy Spirit on behalf of those that God "foreloved" or "foreknew". Persons, that is, the Elect are the objects of God's foreknowledge or those whom He foreknew, and not the deeds, because if deeds (who would choose him to make possible election) were the prerequisite, then the sin of unbelief is not forgiven in the natural man, another inconsistency which throws a wrench into the logic of Total Depravity.

 

God bless,

William

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I think you have done a spledid job of showing that the Arminian view is Theologically incorrect.

This is valuable and important. Valuable because as a seeker on the fence, it is always better to know the truth than a pretty lie. Valuable because as a Calvinist, it is good to have what we believe to be true reaffirmed. It builds confidence in our faith. Important because tied up in this truth is the certainty of our eternal security and the freedom to do the works that God has prepared in Love rather than Service. Freedom to give freely. Freedom to love freely. Freedom from "because". "Just because God loves me" becomes our new 'because'.

 

Is it a hill to die on? Is it something to break fellowship over? It it something that will prevent fellowship within the Body of Christ?

Perhaps the answer is yes. These are not questions intended to challenge your position, merely to expose my thoughts. I am not so sure that the people attending the Methodist Church and Church of God (of Anderson Indiana) are so terrible or even unsaved. Sure, they have some erroneous beliefs ... I still can't get my Presbyterian brothers to see the folly of baptizing a baby that can't 'repent'. ;) ... but I don't see theological error as an automatic fellowship breaker. Now the JW denying the nature of the Christ, That's a whole different kettle of fish.

 

Interesting that you suggest Universalist are the true enemy, but Arminians are Inconsistent Universalist which is the belief that Christ’s meritorious work did not actually secure the salvation of any man, but merely made salvation a possibility for all men.

Theologically, I agree. Where the rubber meets the road, I have seen it work a little different.

 

[caution, small sample size]

 

Reformed/Calvinistic Churches tend (as a general rule) to focus on internal capture growth. Train up the children and deal with those who walk through the door.

 

Arminian Churches tend (as a general rule) to focus on community outreach as a method of Evangelism.

 

Universalism would seem to remove any urgency from reaching out and grant everyone the freedom to sin with impunity. (I have not encountered any actual Universalist Churches).

 

This is probably unfair and someone will undoubtedly have an exception to tell about, but this HAS been my limited personal experience and flows as a logical consequence of the different Theologies.

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(If I have understood it correctly), and credit the Holy Spirit with the power to do good.

 

This was actually easy to skim over, because of the shock factor. Quite honestly, Soli Deo Gloria is what turned me to Calvinism. Lemme urge you to stick this to your opponents. Would you agree, that, man (creation) should know his place before God? And should man know that God is a jealous God and that there are no other gods before Him? Lemme ask you this, brother, should we provoke God to jealousy in our doctrine? And lastly, do you agree that one of if not the most dangerous idols known to man is man's very own "SELF"?

 

Now lemme ask you and put this to you as you stated there is no difference. Can a man be converted to the true Christian faith through the doctrine of devils? By the power of idols?

 

This is simply to emphasize why this matters.

 

God bless,

William

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If God couldn't save one He could save none, all sin was judged on the cross and everyone has the chance to be saved and is called to be and has the freewill to believe or not, and fairness is no issue because it was unfair to Christ what we did to Him and in all honesty we deserve unfairness as well as death and hell and what we get is mercy and grace.

 

Question JSB, do you believe that the natural man cannot see or enter the kingdom of heaven, nor even draw near the object of the Christian faith - Christ Jesus? Just wondering, brother, whether you see the ability of man's will limited by his depravity?

 

God bless,

William

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Rather than US saying what Arminians believe, we should let them speak for themselves and respond to that.

Here is what Wesslyan Arminians say that they believe:

 

Article I — God

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

 

Article II — Jesus Christ

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

 

Article III — The Holy Spirit

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

 

Article IV — The Holy Bible

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

 

Article V — The Church

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

 

Article VI — The Sacraments

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Article VII — Sin and Free Will

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

 

Article VIII — Reconciliation Through Christ

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

 

Article IX — Justification and Regeneration

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

 

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

 

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

 

Article X — Good Works

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

 

Article XI — Sanctification and Christian Perfection

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

 

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

 

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

 

Article XII — The Judgment and the Future State

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

 

Article XIII — Public Worship

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

 

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

 

Article XIV — The Lord's Day

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

 

Article XV — The Christian and Property

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

 

Article XVI — Civil Government

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

 

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

 

 

Here's the problem, no one (very few) holds theses views. There are very, very few actually Arminians in practice. Most people in churches today, across a broad spectrum, are Pelagian or semi-Pelagian.

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Here's the problem, no one (very few) holds theses views. There are very, very few actually Arminians in practice. Most people in churches today, across a broad spectrum, are Pelagian or semi-Pelagian.

Then can we use Wesley and the Methodists to nudge them towards Truth?

The hope would be to get them thinking about God and Sin and Grace without tripping over the ugly caricature of TULIP that will close their ears and drive them deeper into the arms of ANTI-Calvinism.

 

Just out of curiosity, would that 'broad spectrum' include most people in Reformed Churches as well?

Someone described the Theology of the typical American as being like the Mississippi River ... an inch deep and a mile wide.

 

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Then can we use Wesley and the Methodists to nudge them towards Truth?

The hope would be to get them thinking about God and Sin and Grace without tripping over the ugly caricature of TULIP that will close their ears and drive them deeper into the arms of ANTI-Calvinism.

 

Just out of curiosity, would that 'broad spectrum' include most people in Reformed Churches as well?

Someone described the Theology of the typical American as being like the Mississippi River ... an inch deep and a mile wide.

 

When I was wrestling with Reformed theology, I attended a PCA church on Colorado Springs. Concerned that I wasn't actually a Calvinist (back then) I asked one of the pastors if I would be comfortable in his church. He informed me that in his estimation 75% of the congregants weren't Calvinists.

 

 

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I wonder how accurate his "estimation" was...

 

Five point Calvinism is a hard pill to swallow.

It has a lot of scripture to back it up, but it requires accepting a lot of 'facts' about God and man that run contrary to everything in our old nature and world view.

 

Is a baby who has not said his first word, really depraved, incapable of good, an enemy of God, deserving of damnation without the Blood of Christ? ... Unfortunately, yes. How many people really want to embrace original sin and total depravity? That is why @thatbrian hit the nail on the head with few people being true Arminians or Calvinists and most people clinging to the belief that there is some innate good in us (even without God's help).

 

I suspect 75% is a reasonably accurate statistic.

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