Posts Tagged ‘calvinism’

Dr James A, PhD (Originally Posted Through Dr James Ach’s Twishort)

I’m used to seeing people like James White attempt to rewrite history, especially when it comes to the Roman Catholic Church and Augustine, Anabaptists, and Waldensians, but this statement by Colin Maxwell takes the cake.

Maxwell writes that Bob Gray Sr in including the accomplishments of American’s that happened to be Calvinists is demonstrating an inconsistent position in claiming that Calvinism is a lie. In other words, if you claim that their THEOLOGY is wrong, then you must accept that every good deed that they do in the name of their theology is a concession to the correctness of the theology. With that logic, if an atheist saves a person from drowning, we must then accept his philosophy that there is no God. His goodness deprives us of the right to critique his beliefs.

Ben Franklin maintained Deist views. Do we then espouse to Franklin’s Deism because of what he did for American freedom? Colin Maxwell is making some of the most ridiculous leaps in common sense and logic I’ve ever seen (Now keep in mind, at this point we are still talking about HISTORY: I have to say that now before some pious idiot points to what I said and claims “Look, see! Dr Ach is talking about philosophy and logic without mentioning the Bible”. If you can show me Ben Franklin in Scripture then I’ll edit this).

But what is the most ATROCIOUS part of Maxwell’s missive is his claim that DL Moody and Billy Sunday were Calvinists.

First of all, Maxwell completely contradicts his own theory by claiming that “all four were Calvinists”, only to later state that Spurgeon, not Moody, commented on Moody’s “SCENTED Calvinism”. Again, we don’t deny there are things in common between Calvinism and contra beliefs. But there are also similarities with Muslims and Christians, ie., both are monotheistic (belief there is only one God, it’s the nature of God that is in dispute, not that there’s only one); but that doesn’t mean that everyone that believes there is only one God is a Muslim. That’s EXACTLY what Maxwell is trying to claim here. And even then, his evidence is based on what someone else assumed about Moody instead of pointing to anything that Moody himself actually said about Calvinism.

To even put Moody and Spurgeon in the same category is laughable considering the amount of heated debates they had over the issues of grace. At one point Moody even accused Spurgeon of encouraging converts to “sin their way into the Kingdom”.

One of Moody’s most popular quotes AGAINST Calvinism is “The elect are the whosoever wills, the non elect are the whosoever wonts”. In arguing with Calvinists, Moody said, ” “I want to talk about the word believe, the word receive, and the word take. Now who will come and take Christ as Saviour?

With Calvinists desperate to establish historical relevancy to the infant church and historical supremacy in the modern church will grasp any terminology that hints at the appearance of their dogma and claim it as their own regardless of context. If someone in AD 200 wrote that they thought a cat was predestined to eat mice, a Calvinist would take that phrase as proof the person was a Calvinist. The very reasons that folks like Bob Gray DO quote the works of many who did admit they were Calvinists is because we recognize THEY WERE INCONSISTENT yet maintained truths that were NOT CALVINIST. One may quote something Spurgeon says about the failure of works in getting one to heaven without relying on what Spurgeon thought about election. I can agree with the former and disagree with the latter without affirming Spurgeon’s Calvinism. But, according to Maxwell’s logic (and many other Calvinists) if Spurgeon and I both believed in tying our shoes before we walked in them, that means we’re both Calvinists. However, as we seen with Islam, that logic can not be applied consistently and it is the failure of Calvinists to acknowledge this difference that contributes to many of the good things that Calvinists DID espouse to going unnoticed because of the perceived need to put distance between Calvinists and their opponents.

Relying on Spurgeon to define Moody’s beliefs is erroneous. They were contemporaries and Moody spoke for himself, and clearly opposed Calvinism as a whole, and specifically Spurgeon’s views on it. Yet must we concede to the Calvinists who insist that all who oppose Calvinism are Arminians? I vehemently reject the conditional security of Arminianism, I reject their Pelagian view of original sin and I reject their modern attempt to adopt a theology that robs God of His foreknowledge (Open Theism), yet because I also reject Calvinism, I am nevertheless still branded as an Arminian as if those are the only two options. That is how Calvinists attempt to confuse the issues and rewrite history; by using dishonest means and false weights and measures.

If Billy Sunday, the METHODIST, DL Moody and even Charles Spurgeon preached the way they did back then in today’s society they would be branded as heretics by ALL Calvinists, including Maxwell whether he admits it or not (he certainly spends enough time writing against the things that Spurgeon affirmed, and supporting the things that Spurgeon renounced, like Limited Atonement).

WIthout clear proof that Moody and Sunday were Calvinists, and in the face of clear statements and beliefs they held to the contrary, it is extremely dishonest and disingenuous to parade these men as Calvinists. But this is what we’ve gotten used to from liars like Maxwell, and unfortunately a large host of other Reformers.

Dr. James Ach and J/A

While perusing the Twitter page of Leighton Flowers of Soteriology 101, I viewed this interesting exchange between Flowers and James White wherein White asks Flowers if he believes that the apostle Paul could have resisted his salvation during that infamous event in Acts 9 on Paul’s way to Damascus. One of White’s responses is actually a little shocking for a Calvinist, and is a tacit admission that grace is not irresistible as Calvinists claim. But I’ll get to that in a minute!

First, let’s address whether or not Paul’s conversion in Acts 9 was an example of irresistible grace (“IG”). When Calvinists can prove that God saves everyone the way they claim he saved Paul, only THEN should Acts 9 be used as a proof text for IG.

There are several things to notice about the experience Paul had in Acts 9:

*Lord what will you have me to do?” Acts 9:6

If grace was irresistible, why would it be necessary for Paul to ask what he must DO? Shouldn’t that have already been taken care of through irresistible grace?

*”Who art thou Lord?” Acts 9:5

Since when does a person who is irresistibly converted need to ask who Christ is? Yes, Paul said “Lord”, but “there are lords many” (1 Cor 8:5) and Paul had not YET understood that it was THE Lord or lords that he was talking to (Phil 2:9-11, Rev 19:16). It is even arguable whether Paul was even saved at all during this particular exchange, and was not technically saved until later considering the context of Acts 22:16. Now granted, it wouldn’t make sense for God to call someone if He knew they weren’t going to be eventually saved, but one must understand the importance that “ordo salutis” (order of salvation) plays in Calvinism. (Calvinists themselves often use this exact same logic when explaining the calling of Cornelius in Acts 10.) The timing of Paul’s salvation means quite a lot considering this is used as a proof text for IG. It also shows that God actually DOES elect those for service those whom He knows will choose Him (1 Peter 1:2), something the Westminster and London Confessions reject (* See notes below).

*It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” Acts 9:5

Notice Jesus said it is hardbut not impossible for Paul to kick against the pricks. If IG were true, this statement from Christ would be false because it WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE for Paul to kick against the pricks. (Kicking against the pricks was a farmer’s term for describing the resistance of a goat or cow when trying to milk them.) This is where we now arrive at James White’s surprising statement about this event.

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A heart of stone will endure anything if its love of self and its desires is strong enough. [Emphasis Added]

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So James White’s response to Flowers’ explanation that sinners rebel and become hardened in their rebellion , not because of arbitrary reprobation, was to assert that those with a heart of stone, like Paul, will ENDURE ANYTHING if their sinful self wants to kick at God bad enough.

WAIT A MINUTE!! HOLD THE HORSES! Did you catch that!

First of all, Since when has a Calvinist ever shown the Bible offers a DEGREE OF RESISTANCE? Either you are hardened from eternity from ever choosing God (whether by deliberate choice of God or “passing over”, the results are the same) or you have absolute freedom to choose. But in this case, we are talking about someone whom Calvinists claim was elected unto salvation. How then can it be said that Paul’s heart of stone caused his resistance if grace is irresistible? If grace can not be resisted, does it really matter HOW HARD Paul’s heart was? If grace was as irresistible as White claims, then Paul wouldn’t have and couldn’t have “endured” in a Jacob vs Angel of the LORD (Genesis 32) style battle. If Paul truly fought until he couldn’t fight anymore, THAT’S EVIDENCE OF HIS RESISTANCE. White’s response has just earned him a trip to the ER to repair his foot from a self-inflicted bullet wound.

Paul’s Testimony

There is also Paul’s own testimony to King Agrippa in Acts 26:19 “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”. Paul’s own version of his testimony shows that he very well could have disobeyed Christ, otherwise claiming that he was not DISobedient would be meaningless.

Some Calvinists rely on Galatians 1:15 where Paul utters that he was separated from his mother’s womb and called by God’s grace as proof of irresistible grace, but Paul is not describing his salvation experience but what God called him for, which was to be a light to the Gentiles: “To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood” Galatians 1:16.

Those involved in this conversation raised the issue of Jonah as similar to Paul’s conversion. However, Jonah was already a saved man. Thus God did not have Jonah swallowed to saved Jonah, but to save Ninevah (an entire article can also be written on how the story of Jonah completely debunks Calvinist compatibilism and election from Jonah chapter 3:7-11 alone). God imposed a COMPELLING action upon Jonah FOR SERVICE (Matt 12:41, Luke 11:32), not an IRRESISTIBLE one for salvation. God imposed a COMPELLING action upon Paul FOR SERVICE, not an IRRESISTIBLE one for salvation.

Paul’s encounter with Christ was certainly unique. Nevertheless, something should be kept in mind. Such unique encounters are the exceptions, not the normal means God uses on a regular basis. That is an important fact to remember when attempting to use exceptions to include an entire class. In other words, you can’t use Paul’s exceptional encounter as the example of how God saves everyone even if Paul was converted the instant he was blinded (which again, the evidence shows that he WASN’T..not yet). I have yet to encounter any honest Calvinist who has testified that their conversion included bright lights followed by 3 days of blindness and a visible sighting (1 Cor 15:8) of the Lord Jesus Christ.

James White asked “So God would have had to go to Plan B or C”. Well James…YES! That’s exactly what He DID do when Jerusalem as a whole rejected Him (Matthew 23:27-29), He went to plan B and SENT IT TO THE GENTILES TO PROVOKE THE JEWS TO JEALOUSY! Romans 11:11-14.

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* “II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions;yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.” Westminster Confession, Of God’s Eternal Decree, Chapter III, Section II.

By Dr. James Ach and Dr. Elisha Weismann

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I think this picture says 4: We. Want. Your. Church.

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Hyper Calvinist* JD Hall creates a meme of a Paul Washer quote that claims that greatest mission field is the church. It probably never occurred to Hall or Washer that Jesus told His followers to go into the HIGHWAYS and HEDGES. Luke 14:23. True, that Paul argue with Jews in the synagogues, but only a Calvinist would think that another gospel preaching church is an appropriate “ripe field” because they oppose Calvinism. Ironically, the photo used as the background is of Bellevue Baptist Church. The reason that this is unique is that just a couple of months ago, JD Hall had conspired with a leading member of the Abolish Human Abortion (“AHA”) radical anti-abortion group to stage a protest inside of this church. Even though some of Hall’s peers such as Fred Butler, Tony Miano, et al, had opposed his antics, it didn’t stop Hall from sending his chief editor Dustin Germain from Canada, and an AHA leader also Pulpit and Pen staff writer, Alan Maricle (a/k/a “Rhology”) with the group to Bellevue, even though Bellevue is anti-abortion (not simply pro-life but actively opposes abortion as well as supports and promotes anti-abortion legislation and hosts numerous speakers on this very subject).

The other members that attended with the AHA group were clearly not aware of the actual purpose of the visit, it certainly had nothing to do with abortion. And, the little tidbit about this that makes this point perfectly clear is that JD Hall had announced the visit of AHA to Bellevue pastor, Steve Gaines (@bellevuepastor, below). For the year preceding this “visit”, Hall has complained about Steve Gaines, a lot; but never about his stance on abortion. So then why else would Hall announce such a visit from a radical anti-abortion group? And how did Hall know in advance before any of the other AHA members even knew? The answer to that is in the picture, and speaks for most of today’s Calvinists: their means of evangelism is accusing anyone who holds to a Non Calvinist view of soteriology as lost men, and therefore their church becomes a field for “evangelism”. JD Hall even told a college professor at Dallas Baptist University, Leighton Flowers of Soteriology 101, that to debate him about Calvinism would be “casting pearls before swine“.**

Dear , I have some friends visiting Bellevue tomorrow. I hope y’all have a mutually edifying time 😉

Eagerly watching Twitter feeds of and to await news from in Memphis. This should be interesting.

What would be interesting about their visit? Why would THIS particular visit be any different from the other churches that AHA goes to? Because the reason and motive were different this time, that’s why.

“The greatest opponents to Calvinism are lost men and the Christians who follow them.” – JD Hall

Now one has to wonder,  if those who oppose Calvinism are all “lost men” then how can there be any “Christians who follow them”? Nevertheless, the motivation and agenda behind these new radical Calvinists is obvious: YOUR CHURCH IS THEIR MISSION FIELD.

The sad, sad part about this is that we agree with much of what Hall has said about matters in the SBC, but there’s just no excuse for the kind of bully tactics and “theological thuggery” being utilized for the purpose of converting Non Calvinists to Calvinism.

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* We use the term “Hyper” Calvinist here to separate Hall from other Calvinists who are not as obnoxious as Hall,  However, theologically we do not believe that there is any real difference between the so-called “hypers” and whatever is considered “normal” Calvinism, and believe that the differences between the infralapsarian and supralapsarian systems (with all of their variations including modified sublapsarianism) is only minor yet all of which arrive at the same conclusions with the same consequences. The term ‘hyper’ has become a convenient cop-out for Calvinists to blame for anyone who hammers on the inconsistencies of Calvinism. Calvinists themselves can’t even agree to a definition of hyper Calvinist, and Calvinist James White, though rejecting Phil Johnson’s definition of hyper Calvinism, will not himself define the term. So as far as we are concerned, the term “hyper Calvinist” is really an imaginary scapegoat.

**. Here’s the 3 screenshots of JD Hall referencing his contention with Leighton Flowers as casting pearls before swine’

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Dr James Ach and J/A

In a few recent articles*, we have exposed Calvinists for using dishonest rhetoric to maintain credibility among churches and the Christian community at large. James White, of Alpha & Omega Ministry, shows us again how Reformers-as many modern Calvinists refer to themselves as-employ the use of misleading lingo in order to stay relevant in a culture already blown about with every wind of doctrine.

White often claims to have coined a term “Theology Matters”, and we would certainly agree with that. So far so good. But the problem is that theology is not the only important thing to God, and we doubt White would disagree with that; in fact, he would probably retort that if one’s theology is right then a proper character should follow, and we would agree with that, too. However, we must emphasize that character is important because Calvinists don’t seem to think that they need to tell the truth about what they really believe in, or risk being viewed as mean, unloving, cultish, as well as expressing a view of God and “love” that most people find detestable and unacceptable.

White posted the following quote on his website with a picture of what presumably is a man who attacked four police officers in New York.

Theology Matters: Graphic Example

Callisto1947_2014-Oct-24Combine a wrathful God, a strict law, capricious forgiveness, no emphasis upon justice and equity and the fulfillment of God’s law as reflected in His nature, with the fatal exclusion of a Mediator who can show us God’s mercy and love and grace in perfection, and here is the result. Few things prove the truth of this more clearly: THEOLOGY MATTERS.

At face value, the above quote seems innocuous and theologically sound. The problem is, is does this reflect what Calvinists and James White actually believe? And if not, then why continue using rhetoric that is unsupported by Calvinist theology? Let us explain some points here that support our accusation.

Justice and Equity?

Equity (meyshar, Prov 1:3) is  a legal term. When Roman and English jurisprudence was developed, judges sometimes ran into problems in the court room of deciding an issue of law where there was no clearly established rule or governing principle. The Hebrew concept of meyshar was the wisdom of a mediator to bring justice that made the parties involved whole or “leveled the playing field”. Solomon demonstrated this kind of wisdom in suggesting to divide a disputed child in two (1 Kings 3:25). In American jurisprudence there is a federal statute  at 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that allows for legal actions “at law AND EQUITY [action in law, suit in equity]” that permits a court to grant relief using discretion that the strict letter of the law may not cover.

Applying this principle theologically, however, is problematic for Calvinism because equity is used to exercise discretion in “gray areas” or adiaphora (matters in Scripture that have no clearly defined rule where morality can not be proscribed by simply pointing to a verse on “that” specific issue).  If God had “determined all things whatsoever come to pass” as the Calvinists confessions claim, equitable discretion is not possible. Calvinism is not known for claiming to color outside of the lines of moral responsibility; it’s either black or white. It’s a governing principle behind much the Calvinists who employ Nouthetic counseling.

Yet I don’t believe that Calvinists themselves have really thought it through when they claim to believe in justice and equity. They can usually “defend” the justice of God-in their own way-but I’m not sure if Calvinists really understand the inconsistency between Calvinist determinism and the principles of equity. The concept of equity is completely incongruent with Calvinism because it permits God to “change His mind” as He did with the Ninevites in Jonah 3:8-10. Calvinists assume that God doing anything differently than what they perceive has already been determined would be an adherence to Open Theism. Although this is an absurd claim, it’s one that shows that Calvinists develop their Biblical views around their philosophy, instead of developing their philosophy around the Bible. If Jonah said God did something other then what He said He would do, and did so because of a response that depended upon human repentance, then the serious Bible student has to begin with what Scripture says, and build on that, not what some creed or confession claims and then interpret Scripture based upon said traditions.

White also explains theodicy in terms of “permission”. God restrains evil and permits a certain amount of evil for His glory. However, it is erroneous to hold that God determines all events and yet at some point in time grants permission for event to take place. Permission implies that an event in time COULD HAVE happened differently had it not been for God’s permitting it to happen otherwise. Yet if all events have already been determined, then the concept of permission would be redundant to Calvinist theology, and gives the Calvinist the same problem as equity.

With The Fatal EXCLUSION of a Mediator

Do not Calvinists claim that sinners are determined to live in and by the nature that God has given them? Why then expect sinners to act differently? If God determined that Cain would kill Abel, why should anyone be surprised that Cain committed murder? Why not thank God and rejoice for causing these sinful creatures to do His will! These murderers are doing exactly what God wants them to do because He determined them to do so, or at least (if you don’t claim to be “hyper Calvinist”) He gave them a nature that He never intended on saving, and of which will never be able to do anything other than the evil it has been programmed to carry out (this compatibilist explanation for human responsibility is how Calvinists avoid the so-called [and quite imaginary] “hyper” Calvinist label, although the results inevitably still leads to exhaustive determinism. The “hyper” term is a sleight-of-hand trick to make you stop looking at the inconsistency, if you stop thinking about the contradiction and focus instead on the imaginary scarecrow called “Hyper” then presto, problem solved!).

So yes, we certainly agree with White, that when Christ is excluded, men do heinous things. But, according to Reformed theology, these sinners are really acting in perfect obedience to God because they are doing precisely what He has fitted them to do. So why do Calvinists complain so much when sinners are being obedient to God? In fact, I’d say sinners are far more obedient to God than most Christians. At least Flip Wilson can honestly say that God gave him the nature and desires that he has if Calvinism is true. What’s the Christians excuse? If God determines the blasphemy of the sinner, does He also determine the recalcitrance of the saints? I mean, after- all, doesn’t Eph 2:10 say that the believers works are ORDAINED?

..Who Can Show Us His Love And Mercy

And now we arrive at the pet peeve I have against Calvinism. STOP TELLING SINNERS ABOUT GOD’S LOVE WHEN YOU DON’T MEAN IT OR BELIEVE IT. No honest and consistent Calvinist believes that God loves everybody. Consistent Calvinism maintains that Christ died ONLY for the elect (particular redemption or limited atonement). James White debated Dr. Michael Brown on this very issue. White has plainly stated that God does not love everyone, and admitted that it was the question of Christ’ intention on the cross after reading Palmer’s “Five Points of Calvinism” that led him to become a “full 5 pointer”, in the which if Christ’s intention was to save everyone, then everyone would be saved, but since everyone isn’t saved, then Christ must not have intended to save everyone. Although his reasoning here is backwards (not to mention fails to distinguish provision from application) because it forces Christ’s intentions to be based on an a posteriori hypothesis making the outcome prescriptive, it provides insight into White’s mens rea in committing the spiritual felony of uttering false information to prospective converts.

Of course, when the Calvinists are cornered on the issue of God’s love, they will use misleading rhetoric by spelling out that God loves people differently (an argument that White used against Dave Hunt***). But if even that is what they believe, then why not just say so instead of mixing the love of God in general terms with the wrath of God as if the contrast has a salvific meaning to a sinner?. When you see “love of God” used in contexts like what you see above, and in such general terms, it sure doesn’t sound like the Calvinist is trying to tell the sinner ” Oh by the way, God doesn’t love every one …..equally”. Why don’t they just be honest and tell them that God merely sends a gardener to water their lawn (“rain on the just and the unjust” **). Now I personally have a problem with someone that tells me that they love me even as a friend or “providentially” or hate me, and then waters my garden, but that’s the non sense Calvinists expect us to swallow when they attempt to explain Limited Atonement and Unconditional Election. They expect you to believe that God hates the sinner but shows love at the same time by watering his garden. That’s not love, that’s Bipolar Disorder. But, they know that most of the world has a common understanding of what love is, so to accommodate the listeners they use dishonest rhetoric to avoid having their motives questioned for using “funny language”.

We can debate the theology of preterition or atonement ’til the cows come home, and neither of us will budge. So we don’t expect White or other Calvinists to change their views, we are just simply asking them TO BE HONEST IN THEIR PRESENTATIONS. Tell people what you REALLY believe first and forthright instead of using dishonest and misleading rhetoric that you think and believe they will understand only to later on send them an April Fool’s post card with a map to the golden chain of redemption on the back.

This is probably a big reason why Calvinists ALWAYS claim they are misrepresented and misunderstood. It’s partly because they can’t be honest about what they really believe. One has to wonder is this part of the Calvinist ploy to take over Baptist churches and colleges? Conquer by deceit? It certainly smacks of just more similarities between Calvinism and Islam (in addition to Islamic views on sovereignty, determinism, election, love and responsibility). But if Calvinists genuinely expect to have meaningful dialogue with their opponents, then they need to start being forthright and honest about what they truly  believe about their theology, because as much as theology matters, so does character:

Ye are our epistles written in our hearts, known and read of all men. 2 Cor 3:2

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God loves sinners and desires that they be saved.  ~Paul Washer”

God hates sinners” Paul Washer

 STOP LYING!!!!!!!

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*Watch The Language-Recognizing Cultic Rhetoric Used By Calvinists

**Calvinists claim that this (Matthew 5:45) is an example of “providential” love, that God provides love for sinners in His “providence” for them. However, Jesus used this story to explain a REDEMPTIVE love-“that YE MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN”. Christ does not speak of a different kind of rain. Jesus didn’t say that the “elect” get fresh mountain water but the unelect get rust water. THE WATER THAT BOTH JUST AND UNJUST GET IS THE SAME, JUST AS THE LOVE HE SHOWS IN HIS OFFER OF REDEMPTION IS THE SAME. The Calvinists have focused on the analogy as if Jesus was giving farming lessons, instead of examining this passage in the actual context of which Jesus was trying to express; why a person needs to offer forgiveness beyond what is expected (like the publicans).  Given the context of WHY Jesus said what He did about the rain, there’s just no excuse for the kind of bad “exegesis” that Calvinists force on this passage to impose a philosophy upon the text that is simply isn’t there. Christ is not speaking of any so-called ‘providential love” here, and Calvinists need to stop acting like that’s what this verse means.

*** “And the love God has for His own people, the elect, is different than the love He shows to the creation in general or to rebel sinners outside of His grace in particular.” (James White/Dave Hunt: Debating Calvinism, p.268)

“There is no basis in the Bible for asserting that God’s love knows no levels, kinds, or types.” (ibid, p.267).

 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

One of the most hideous aspects of Calvinism is the conclusion that it makes God responsible for sin and evil. One of our DRC members who runs the Laurence Vance tribute page forced the wife of Westboro Baptist Church Fred Phelps, Jr., to admit that God created evil.

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Here’s the syllogism that puts Calvinism’s view of the character of God in peril, and is the prima facie case against the evil of Reformed Theology,  as follows:

*In the beginning, all that God created He said was good [Gen 1:31]

*God created evil

*Therefore if all that God created is good, and God created evil, then evil is good

The debate was over a conversation we’d posted with a Calvinist asking him to prove how his belief was any different from that of Westboro Baptist Church. Apparently, WBC got the impression that we condoned homosexuality. When we pointed out to them that it is actually their view of God that is responsible for gays being the way they are- since after all, He “controls men’s hearts” and determines all their actions-the WBC began picketing the Vance twitter feed with memes. However, the WBC members never responded to the contention that their theology actually pins the responsibility for homosexual behavior squarely on God’s shoulders and yet the WBC members demand that homosexuals be sorry for something they can’t change if they wanted to (but they will never actually want to because God won’t ever give them the desire or want-to).  See our article on Westboro Baptist Calvinists for a more thorough discussion of this problem.

We appreciate how honest Westboro is about their Calvinism. Much like AW Pink and Gordon Clark, they are well aware of what Calvinism actually leads to and they embrace it with open arms with no shame, unlike the majority of Reformers who are dishonest about what they really believe and therefore couch their theology in deceitful  and misleading rhetoric. Nevertheless, the problem here is that God said He’s got an issue with people that call evil good, and good evil, and it appears that WBC and many other Calvinists have been predestined to think that there’s no conflict with their theology and the truth.

By Dr. James Ach and J/A

Tony Miano is a Calvinist among the crowd of Calvinists that I usually pick on, but he is an inconsistent Calvinist that does not act like the majority of his cohorts, so I don’t pick on him very much. He is not a bully and tends to avoid much of the vitriolic confrontations initiated by the likes of Fred Butler, JD Hall and that crowd [UPDATE: this has recently began to change. Since Miano has become more cozy with the likes of JD Hall, his attitude has become increasingly vitriolic]. I appreciate that Tony is one of the few professing believers-Calvinist or not-that actually preaches in the streets (and was actually erroneously detained in England for taking a Biblical stand against homosexuality, or rather, for simply answering a question about it [Considering Cameron’s recent UN speech, don’t expect England to change on this anytime soon]) and even though I disagree with his doctrine,  he is one of the few that anyone could use to prove that there are at least SOME evangelistic Calvinists.

But, public preaching of heresy is still heresy, and I can’t compliment someone’s efforts if they are holding to a false gospel, and while Miano may not have intended for his article to be taken that way, that’s the only conclusion that one can leave with, and hence the necessity to refute it.

Miano wrote an article about Christians Hating Adoption by comparing the attitude that some earthly parents have toward adoption as an alternative to abortion, to Christians who also despise God’s work in Biblical adoption. It was this Twitter comment describing his article that caught my attention:

“Christians who despise God’s monergistic work in #adoption should examine themselves to see if they are in the faith.”

In other words, if a person does not believe the Calvinistic explanation of HOW God saves people, they are not really saved. It is not enough to simply repent and believe the gospel, but you must also understand the mechanics of how it works in order to be saved. Now despite the fact that even Calvinist theologians themselves have argued for centuries about predestination, preterition, election, whether or not God actively chooses some to heaven and simply “passes over” the non-elect, or whether he purposely selected those damned to hell (see differences between infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism), Miano would have to take sides against some of his favorite Reformed theologians and declare that one of them is not saved if having a thorough understanding of how God works is a prerequisite to receiving grace.

There are a number of problems with this. First of all, how does an unregenerate person who can not, as Calvinists admit, “receive the things of the Spirit of God” according to 1 Cor 2:14 and be expected to understand the dynamics of salvation BEFORE HE IS SAVED? Miano puts a condition on salvation that according to even his own theology is impossible for the sinner to achieve.

Secondly,  Tony uses the term “Christian” in the present tense. If the person is in fact a Christian, then it is not possible that he can lose his salvation at some later point because he has not come to a thorough understand of how salvation works. Of course, if Tony is an Arminian then we’d have to argue about his views of conditional security (which in reality, all Calvinism leads to conditional security anyway if you understand the Reformed view of perseverance, but we’ve addressed that problem elsewhere).

Now I would agree with Tony that a person could have believed in vain (1 Cor 15:2), but that’s not the impression that Tony gives. Although I do note that Tony added “professing” Christian at the end of his article, and there is no Scriptural evidence that believing in vain had anything to do with failure to understand the dynamics of the doctrines of soteriology, but about a person’s unwillingness to accept the narrative of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as the sufficient payment of our sin that satisfied the wrath of God, and is obtained by repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 26:20 (And the very fact that in Acts 26, Paul mentions doing “works meet FOR repentance” shows that repentance and works are not the same thing. Thus in God’s eyes, the command to repent is not viewed as a “work” that has salvific value. Romans 11:6, Titus 3:5, Romans 4:2-7).

LIFE PRESERVER ANALOGY

Tony takes exception to the “life preserver” analogy, which was made popular by Norman Geisler in describing the free will of the person to respond to the gospel. Miano, as most Calvinists, reject this analogy on the grounds that a dead person can’t reach out to grab a rope so the analogy is fundamentally flawed on its premise  according to their view of Ephesians 2. The problem with that critique is that it is equating spiritual death with the physical, a subject we have dealt with in refuting James White’s message about Lazarus (See, Could Lazarus Have Said No?)

If a dead man can’t reach out for the rope, than a dead man can’t call upon the name of the LORD either to satisfy Romans 10:9-13 either. Neither can dead men hear the gospel. If the Calvinist argues that God wakes him up to call upon him, then you have God waking up the person to reach for the rope, but then if the person in the pool is dead, and has been revived by God, why then would he even need to grab the rope at all? He’d be saved before he was saved…AH…but Calvinists actually believe this point-that a person can be regenerated prior to salvation. This is the Reformed way of getting around verses in Acts (e.g. Acts 10-11) where a person demonstrates seeking God (a premise that Calvinists reject is possible according to their view of Romans 3 and Ephesians 2 on Total Inability resulting from God-ordained depravity) prior to being saved.

THE FREE WILL OF THE PREACHER CONUNDRUM [J/A]

Tony’s theology (and really, most Calvinists) ignore the fact that there is still something required of the sinner to be saved, he preaches it all the time: repent and believe. Now here’s what Tony and all Calvinists miss;  Can God save the person without your command for them to repent? Not normally according to Romans 10:14-17  because that’s just not how God chose to do it . Calvinists readily admit this fact and confess that God uses human instruments as the means to gather his elect. But then that still brings you back to square one. If man is used as an instrument in gathering the elect which is necessary for the sinner to hear the words that save (John 6:63), then it’s STILL NOT MONERGISTIC. Although the Calvinists will argue that the sinner himself was made to repent and believe (a whole other heresy) they can not account for the synergistic acts of the preacher which is a requirement for that person to hear the gospel and be saved.

If you disagree, then read Ezekiel chapters 3 and 18 and see what happens to the sinner when the watchman DOES NOT give them God’s message, and then ask yourself this question: If the sinner’s destiny is determined, then why does God hold the watchman accountable at all?

 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him [notice that the stumbling block comes AFTER the sinner’s refusal to turn, not based on some decree made in eternity before the world began], he shall die: BECAUSE thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezekiel 3:18-20

[*This is in reference to Israel, but the means of salvation should be consistent with eternity if Calvinist soteriology is to be taken seriously. Although you will quickly see the Calvinist who is normally Covenant Theology oriented become a Dispensationalist when trying to explain this passage as it relates to the free will of the watchman]

Furthermore, Calvinists often contend that God controls even the means of the salvation process (that’s the whole point of monergism), but they have overlooked something crucial: does God control the preacher? For a Calvinist to be consistent, they would HAVE to say yes, otherwise they breach the golden chain of redemption because if God uses the preacher as the means of bringing the gospel to the sinner, then for the entire process to be truly monergistic, God must also control the preacher as well as the sinner and the sinner’s reactions. But here’s the problem, PAUL SAID THE PREACHER HAS FREE WILL:

 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 1 Corinthians 9:16-17

Thus, Paul gives 2 different scenarios, each of which he can freely choose from. Yet this is contrary to what Calvinism teaches. Paul makes it clear that God does not control the means of salvation which means that even if the relationship between the sinner and God were solely monergistic, without any counterfactual conditionals, the relationship between God and the preacher IS NOT and since that is a necessary step in the sinner hearing the gospel (Romans  10:14-17) the entire Calvinist house of monergist cards falls apart at the free will of the preacher. Regardless of whether you believe the sinner’s fate is predetermined or he actually has the ability to reject the gospel of his own volition, any Calvinist explanation must answer this conundrum. (We will address the Reformed heresy of the secondary causation fallacy when someone brings it up, although this somewhat scratches the surface.) The autonomy of the preacher/watchmen is a death blow to monergism.

SORRY- INSUFFICIENT CREDIT

The statements made by Miano are actually a classic strawman that Reformers use against non Calvinists, i.e., that we think we are actually taking credit for our own salvation if we confess that we called upon the name of the Lord for salvation and willingly choose to repent and believe the gospel as an obedient libertarian free will act. In other words, Calvinists think that a person who is rescued from a heart attack goes around town bragging that he saved himself from his infarction instead of giving credit to the heart surgeon that saved his life.

Was Paul taking credit for his salvation when he said “I was NOT DISOBEDIENT unto the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19), or when he said ” I know whom **I** have believed”? 2 Tim 1:12.  One can not be both determined to act and describe their actions as being freely committed and be true at the same time. To be obedient unto the gospel is both a command (2 Thess 1:8) and a decision one must make of his own volition (John 8:24-the Bible is FULL OF “if” statements regardless of how much Calvinists reject them, “if” you do not believe, you die in your sin, etc..).

Furthermore, if, as Miano says, that the person is not saved who believes this way, does he all of a sudden forget about his monergism when he admonishes that sinner to EXAMINE HIMSELF? If the person is merely a professing Christian, and not “a possessor” then isn’t that person in the same boat as the sinner Miano preaches to on the street? still in his sin and unregenerate? How then can that person “examine himself”? It seems that along the way, Miano has forgotten to be consistent with his monergism! (And yes, I am aware of 2 Cor 13:5 which has nothing to do with this context, and is an often misquoted verse. Focus!)

MIANO’S MISUSE OF ADOPTION

The problem with using adoption to support Tony’s story is that he is comparing physical adoption of INFANTS not yet born to spiritual adoption which can occur at any age of a person’s life. Does Paul use physical adoption as an analogy in Galatians 3 and Romans 8? Yes, of course, but not how Miano is using it to prove that since an infant has no say so in who his physical parents are that it automatically follows that the subject of adoption in Galatians has no choice in who is spiritual Father is, and if Tony (and any Calvinist) were aware of the requirements for adoption used in Paul’s analogy of the schoolmaster, they would see how erroneous this analogy is. The synergistic relationship between the pupil and the schoolmaster debunks any theory that the adoption process was one of a determined and irresistible status.

Adoption is a beautiful concept that guarantees the believer’s salvation and security, but it is no more ordained against the persons will than a Jew was saved because he was an Israelite (John 1:11-13, Matt 3:9, John 8:39). Like the prodigal, the son can waste away his inheritance willingly (1 Cor 3:11-15), but can not jeopardize his parent/child relationship, the father will always be his father. The New Testament does not use adoption to emphasize the “how” of the salvation process, but the why of salvation’s permanency. 

Although Tony seems to equate disagreeing with despise, I DO despise any ‘doctrine’ that adds to the not only Paul’s clear explanation of the gospel in 1 Cor 15, but also it’s simplicity  (2 Cor 11:3). I also despise strawmen that are erected to mischaracterize the beliefs of many born again soul winners. If this is what Miano preaches on the streets to lost sinners, then it is a false gospel, or at least displays a gross inconsistency on what is required to be saved, and what is expected to be secure.

CALVINIST DISHONESTY ON VIDEO & “DECISIONISM” THE REFORMED STRAW MAN AGAINST FUNDAMENTAL BAPTIST SOUL WINNERS

443700176_PantsOnFire1_answer_1_xlarge - CopyOne of the greatest condemnations against Calvinism aside from all of the great books, sermons, and lectures refuting it, is the Calvinists themselves “in action”. It is my contention that no person can truly be saved under the following examples of Calvinistic “evangelism”, and if this is what Calvinists cling to in order to prove that Calvinism does not destroy meaningful evangelism, then I feel sorry for any of their “converts”. We are going to watch some Calvinism in action by 2 notable Calvinists: Rhology and JD Hall, and show you how what they do in these videos is completely different from what they preach. As Dr. Jerry Walls says, that Calvinists maintain credibility by using misleading and dishonest rhetoric that their theology does not support, we are going to watch this sad-but-true FACT in action.

But first…

Calvinists often accuse fundamental Baptists of offering hearers a less than Biblical gospel presentation by claiming that we merely tell a person to “ask Jesus into your heart” and “just pray a prayer” to be saved and THAT’S IT. We then confirm them, baptize them (perhaps) and then shout “glory” for their salvation. It’s as if they think Baptists never explain the problem of sin, repentance, salvation not being by works, the death-burial-resurrection of Christ and the need for faith in Christ alone, and simply tell a potential convert, “here, pray this magical mantra, repeat after me, and call me in the morning” and wallah, that’s IFB soul winning in a nut shell. This is quite possibly the worst straw man fallacy ever brought against the fundamental Baptists.

Calvinist Paul Washer calls it “Decisionism” because in Reformed theology a person “totally depraved” does not have the ability to make a decision for Christ, thus it is not a valid confession for a person to profess that they have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved since that is a theological impossibility within Reformed soteriology.

Reformer Tony Miano utters a similar sentiment, “No person was ever saved by praying a prayer-ever” (Although Scripture says otherwise*).  Again, these accusations are primarily directed at independent fundamental Baptists whom the Calvinists are in competition with because it is the IFBs that have built their churches “from scratch” while the Calvinists merely steal their church members with VERY FEW exceptions among Calvinists (like Tony Miano) who actually “take it to the street” and preach. Although I do admire the “open air” preaching of men like Miano, a false gospel -x- the valiant effort of a public sermon still equals a false gospel, and it’s not rightly called “evangelism” if the message does not lead to the salvation of a person’s soul, and the Scriptures are emphatic about the fact that if you do not CHOOSE Christ and MAKE A DECISION for Him, you are NOT SAVED. John 8:24, Isaiah 65:12, 1 Kings 18:21, Matthew 23:39.

We are at this point going to assume that our readers are either educated Calvinists or knowledgeable Non Calvinists or Arminians so that we don’t need to include all of the arguments about whether repentance comes before faith and salvation, whether God grants it apart from the freedom of the individual or a lengthy debate on the flaws of compatibilism and how it always leads to hard determinism proving there is no difference between Hyper Calvinism and all other forms. Why make this point now? Because these are going to be the first objections Calvinists reading this are going to send  me: “Why didn’t you cover this or that?” (you know, the ones that tell the officer, “Why didn’t you get the guy ahead of me?) so I’m getting it out-of-the-way now that this is intended to be a short article that points out some of the hypocritical and dishonest measures used by Calvinists when they actually attempt to put their beliefs into action. Now let’s watch!

VIDEO ONE-RHOLOGY

Our first video comes from “Rhology”, a notable Reformed blogger that gets a few frequent mentions from James White, JD Hall and other popular Calvinist authors, posted this video debating some protesters at Hobby Lobby. We brought the video time stamp to about the 24:34 minute mark so the watcher doesn’t get bored with a professing Christian trying to force an unsaved person to make sense of their moral depravity. I’m sure his objection will be that it was for documentary purposes so any harm done to a few in failing to raise the gospel question first is just collateral damage to ensure a proper documentary.

Notice that the male subject, after being insulted by Rhology at the 14:00 minute mark, states something about God giving us “free will”. Now any Calvinist who is thoroughly steeped in their theology ON PAPER and AMONG THEIR FELLOWS would NEVER say what comes next out of Rhology’s mouth:

“Well, God gives us free volition [????], there’s a little bit of a debate on that BUT THAT’S NOT IMPORTANT”.

First of all, what is FREE volition? Isn’t volition itself a voluntary act of the will? and if it’s a voluntary act of the will isn’t it by definition free? So either Rhology is completely ignorant of the very terminology that he demands others get right, or he got nervous and fell into redundancy by accident. We’ll let the professional grammar Nazi himself explain that.

Secondly, since when is the debate about free will not important to a Calvinist? There’s not one single forum or debate group ANYWHERE where the subject of free will is NOT THEE NUMBER ONE debate issue among Calvinists and their opponents aside from the question of God’s responsibility and authorship of sin and evil. HE JUST LIED TO THAT PERSON. Not only did Rhology claim that it wasn’t important, but he began AGREEING WITH HIM that we all had “choices” which Rhology knows good and well is NOT what he truly believes. Rhology theologically speaking would only believe that any choice that man has is based upon whatever nature God has determined him to have, but he knows good and well that the man he is talking to doesn’t speak that language (Farse-ic), so he capitulates to rhetoric that he himself does not truly believe. And if you quote Paul “I became all things to all men” I will web-slap you.

This is just one classic example among many of a Calvinist being dishonest by not being forthright about what they really believe in with others.

VIDEO TWO-JD HALL 

Our second video comes from JD Hall where Hall has made a “come to Montana” video in just under 7 minutes, and shows us fundamental Baptists the “right way” to give a gospel presentation. What is really sad and frustrating is so much of what JD Hall says about the poor standards and lack of morality and discernment among other professing churches is dead on. There’s times I’ve listened to Hall and was cheering him on “Get em JD, get em”, and then shaking my head at the rest. There’s nothing like digging into a good piece of meat only to find it hasn’t been cooked all the way through.

Now JD Hall recently stated,

JD Hall ‏@PulpitAndPen 3h

@MosesModel If we count as public profession answering “What did you do” with “I invited Jesus in my heart” to congregational applause. 😉

So what does Hall consider a valid public profession then? Well, fortunately we have it on video and from his own mouth. The first man on the left simply says, “I got my salvation today” and NOT ONCE does Hall make any reasonable effort to confirm this or probe further. Hall simply asks, “So you THINK you got your salvation today, so now what do you need to DO?” REALLY? How is this any less effective than JD accusing Baptists of “just praying a prayer”? This man never once called upon the name of the Lord to be saved which **IS** in the Bible (Romans 10:9-13), and never confessed that he believes Jesus died, was buried and rose again from the grave and that He is God in the flesh: things that are BASIC fundamentals in the gospel presentation (1 Cor 15:1-3).

The second person Hall makes a very brief reference to (the gentlemen in the Nike sweater) and simply says the man is a sinner saved by Jesus and not once did this man ever agree with anything other than that he violated some of the ten commandments. Simply confessing that you have sinned isn’t saving faith. Now some might point to Luke 18 where that’s all the publican said, but there’s one huge difference: the publican said “God be merciful to me a sinner”.  Not only did the publican CALL, but there was an obvious Subject to his call:  God.

Thus, Hall confirmed these man’s salvation in less than 7 minutes, who made no real profession of faith, AND HE HAS THE NERVE TO CRITICIZE FUNDAMENTAL BAPTIST SOUL WINNERS? Even a person who is limited in their soul winning practice to the “Romans Road” gives a sinner 3x more information than what was given to these people by Hall. Perhaps Hall should contact a local independent fundamental Baptist church and tag along some night to see how a TEENAGER gives a more thorough presentation of the gospel than he did.

CONCLUSION

This is Calvinist dishonesty in action. Many a Calvinist (like J.I. Packer) will tell their listeners “OF COURSE I tell them God loves them” knowing that they don’t really believe that; knowing that what they really mean is that God providentially loves them, but does not love them in any sense that the person’s they are speaking to understand the term “love”. And so too, here, Rhology simply agrees with the man’s definition of free will knowing that not only is that an important distinction between Calvinism and all other forms of theology-of which he lied to this man about its importance-but is a demonstration of Calvinism utilizing the “accommodation theory” -the theory popularized by the anti-King James ‘scholars’ Semler and Greisbach that it is OK to lie to your congregation if you don’t think they will understand you due to their perceived lack of ability to comprehend any technicalities of your theology or philosophy. (Both of these men rejected the deity of Christ but their textual criticism theories are still followed by men like James White, Daniel Wallace, et al, but that’s another article!). This is a practice that is CLEARLY utilized by Calvinists today.

It is NEVER OK to lie to a person in presenting the gospel to them. Romans 9:1,James 3:14, 1 Tim 2:7, Col 3:9, 2 Cor 11:31. The ironic thing about this “accommodation” practice among Calvinists is that Calvinists are the first to rail against using “means” in salvation presentations. The famous quote by John Ryland to William Carey resounds here, “Young man sit down, If God be pleased to convert the heathen He will do so without your help or mine”. Carey was bucking against the Calvinist belief that means could not be used in attracting converts, which shows William Carey was not really a Calvinist though he adopted SOME of the Calvinist beliefs. But isn’t the use of restraint from explaining the full context of what you believe to a potential convert a “means”? If it is “not important” for you to tell the sinner what you really believe, are you not using a “means” to accommodate him and his “level” of understanding? If the Calvinists were consistent on this point, they would not judge the man’s level of understanding  giving their view that so long he God has not yet “granted him repentance” he remains incapable of comprehending the gospel anyway, so  that again begs the question(?): what difference does it make how honest you are with the person? If God has “chosen” this person to salvation, then God’s truth will not abound more or less through your lie. Romans 3:7.

But these are  perfect examples of why Calvinism is an unfaithful, and untrustworthy, and dishonest theology, and today we have seen it on video. Calvinists regularly interact with others using rhetoric and language that their theology does not support and of which they themselves do not believe, but they do so to maintain their credibility as apparent professing believers.

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*The following are verses that show clearly people who PRAYED or were TOLD TO PRAY to obtain salvation.

Pray from Websters 1828 Dictionary:

42212 pray PRAY, v. i. [L. precor; proco; this word belongs to the same family as preach and reproach; Heb. to bless, to reproach; rendered in Job 2. 9, to curse;
42213 prayer PRA’YER, n. In a general sense, the act of asking for a favor, and particularly with earnestness. 1. In worship, a solemn address to the Supreme Being,

The very first message that Jesus told the UNSAVED MASSES on proper communication with the Father was called PRAYER. Matthew 6:9-13.

Luke 18:13-“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Acts 8:21-22-“Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”

Acts 10:2-4– “A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.

Now Cornelius prayer did not result in immediate salvation, for it still required that the truth of the gospel be told to him , and Acts 11:13-14 is clear that he was not saved until AFTER he had met with Peter. So this not only shows that a sinner had the ability to call on God before he was saved, but that God heard his PRAYER contrary to all Calvinist contentions otherwise.

Now for our Greek Onlyism readers, you will search in vain trying to parse a fundamental semantic difference between epikaleo and proseuchomai in any attempt to make ‘prayer’ appear different than ‘to call’. The Calvinists petty arguments on these points actually serve to PREVENT a person from coming to Christ because they eliminate the necessity of CALLING ON GOD for salvation.

 

Dr. Elisha Weismann

tug of warAn interesting conundrum for Calvinists to figure out, in my opinion, is reconciling God’s determinism with specific rewards and punishment. If God determined from eternity past who will be saved, then it would make sense that He would or could have also determined what rewards they will receive. Paul is clear in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 that Christians will receive rewards, but some will receive wood, hay and stubble while others receive gold and silver. John also admonished believers to guard what they worked for so that they receive a full reward. 2 John 8.

This would seem to be a system of rewards based on the believer’s willful obedience. But if the believers actions are determined, does this mean that God caused some believers to be more obedient than others, and caused the rest to be less obedient? (Although as Dr. Jerry Walls points out, it seems Calvinists are compatibilists before the cross, and adopt libertarian freedom after the cross.)

Furthermore, Scripture is also clear that there will be varying degrees of punishment for the lost. Calvinist Apologist Matt Slick of C.A.R.M. writes,

“So, if Jesus speaks of greater condemnation for Chorazin and Bethsaida than Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 11:21-22), one slave received more punishment than another (Luke 12:47-48), the one who delivered Jesus to Pilate has the greater sin (John 19:11), and a more severe punishment is reserved for those who trample underfoot the Son of God, then does not greater sin mean that greater punishment will also happen in hell? Yes it does”

For Calvinists who deny double-predestination this presents quite a quandary. If God simply “passed over” the non-elect, then how did God determine the various degrees of punishment the non-elect would receive without any reflection or consideration of their actions? The Westminster Confession (III, V) states that God did not elect the believers who are irresistibly saved by “any foresight of faith”, meaning God did not choose His elect based upon knowing who would choose Him in the future. In clause II of the Confession, God does not decree anything that He foresees in the future, or as that which should come to pass on such conditions. Thus to be consistent with the Calvinist view of God “passing over” the non-elect, God could not have damned anyone based on any foresight of them rejecting the gospel. God’s “passing over” them, as Calvinists argue, is a completely passive “act”. However, considering that God would have to determine the degrees of suffering for the non-elect, this assumption can not possibly be true, and be logically consistent with Calvinist philosophy.

God would have had to cause certain sinners to sin greater than others in order to punish them more severely. This would necessarily involve reflection and deliberate consideration*. Thus it must naturally follow that God could not have simply “passed over” the non-elect, but actively chose who would be damned, and purposely caused their course of actions resulting in some sinners being more egregious sinners than others. If God merely passed over some without any reflection or deliberate choosing, then all sinners would end up as equally sinful at judgment day.

Likewise, God would have had to also cause the good works of the elect as well as the lack of good works from others who do not perform as well as other believers. This is not to be confused with various gifts that God gives believers for the edification of the body of Christ, but to the level of personal commitment that a believer demonstrates his obedience and loyalty to the Lord. Gifts may be given, but not exercised as Paul warns Timothy. 1 Tim 4:14. But then how could Timothy neglect a gift that was determined for him to exercise?

The tragedy of this argument is that is demonstrates that God does not love even His own elect equally or unconditionally as He causes some to receive greater rewards and causes the rest to be less then submissive and at least less than moderately obedient. Of course, the Calvinist’s only real defense would be to argue the person was not saved or elected in the first place, but this defense opens a can of worms to all Calvinists who do not demonstrate an equal amount of dedication and obedience among themselves. It would also fail to explain how a person could yet receive different rewards if the believer’s obedience and good works were determined (if Calvinists were consistent with their interpretation of the word “ordain” then according to Ephesians 2:10, Calvinists should not have a problem with us claiming that God can and should ordain their works).

Calvinists can not possibly reconcile the explicit contradiction that exists between their view of election and reprobation (regardless of whether the Calvinist is supralapsarian or infralapsarian, this argument applies equally to both), with the rewards and punishment system of Scripture that shows that man is judged by actions he does in time. The Calvinist can not maintain a compatibilistic view of freedom and claim that God does not operate with foresight of faith or conditions at the same time given the conflict shown here between rewards and punishment.

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*Calvinist author and theologian, B.B. Warfield writes,

Warfield says, ““The mere putting of the question seems to carry its answer with it. For the actual dealing with men which is in question, is, with respect to both classes alike, those who are elected and those who are passed by, conditioned on sin; we cannot speak of salvation any more than of reprobation without positing sin. Sin is necessarily precedent in thought, not indeed to the abstract idea of discrimination, but to the concrete instance of discrimination which is in question, a discrimination with regard to a destiny which involves either salvation or punishment. There must be sin in contemplation to ground a decree of salvation, as truly as a decree of punishment. We cannot speak of a decree discriminating between men with reference to salvation and punishment, therefore, without positing the contemplation of men as sinners as its logical prius.” Warfield, Plan of Salvation, Part 1.

J/A

In a recent debate between James White and Michael Brown on the Atonement, White opined that Revelation 5:9 proves the Calvinist TULIP tenet of Limited Atonement, and asserted that there is nothing in this text that shows that the atonement was applied or effective to those redeemed as a result of their belief. Although, this seemed more for an argument for Unconditional Election, Rev 5:9 does not support White’s contention, and White ignored the plethora of examples throughout Revelation that show the exact opposite.

We will comment later on the debate in its entirety as we believe that a fundamental error made by White is that he attempted to argue that God’s intentions in the atonement prove its limitations, which he actually argues by making “intention” and “decree” synonymous. In other words, whatever the results are of those who believe, God must have intended that those saved prove His divine decree of election. White makes an a posteriori argument for intention based on his presuppositional inclinations towards election without actually establishing any valid argument for what exactly did God intend?  White makes the application of the atonement and its provision the same thing. And although White repeatedly stated that the issue was about God’s intentions in the atonement, he did not provide one Scriptural argument that defines God’s intentions, he merely offered philosophical speculation that God’s intention must be to limit the atonement to the elect since in his view they are unconditionally elected.

For example, if we were to define God’s intent, we could show that God is not willing that any should persish, but that all come to repentance. That shows intent. We could show that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked and wants them to turn to Him and live. Ezekiel 33:11. Again, showing intent. In Jeremiah 32:35, you can see God’s intent by contrasting it with what He did NOT intend, and that was that Israel caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech. In John 5:40, Jesus said, “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life”. Or Hosea 6:6 where the LORD says He desires mercy and not sacrifice. There are numerous passages in Scripture that show God’s intent and desires, and White failed to show one single example of God’s intent that supported his assumption that God only intended for the atonement to have a limited provision.

Revelation 5:9 reads,

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

White’s argument here is really the same age-old Calvinist cliche that God offers to save “all without distinction, not without exception”. The simple Greek “ek” used in Revelation 5:9 “out of” every kindred, tongue and tribe, does not help White’s case. As in Matthew 24:31, where God gathers his elect “ek” or “from” “out of” the four winds, does this mean that there are winds that God forgot about? Revelation 5:9, as in Matthew 24:31, simply refers to the object that the believers were taken from (the four winds, every kindred, tongue), and says nothing about any who were predestinated to believe.

One problem with White’s theory is that if this verse implies that only all “kinds” were taken out of every kindred, tongue, and people, if he is conceding that the atonement is limited to every kindred, then what about the other kindred? In attempting to make parts of the whole, White’s composition fallacy actually serves to refute his own argument.

Nevertheless, a fatal flaw in White’s logic is the failure to understand or even address the numerous other examples in Revelation that show that salvation was contingent upon something done by the person, i.e., showing faith and repentance. In Revelation 3:5, those who did not overcome by faith were blotted out of the book of life. In Revelation 7:14, those of whom were redeemed were those who came “out of” (there’s that ‘ek’ again) great tribulation and MADE THEIR robes white in the blood of the Lamb. In Revelation 12:10-12, the believers overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. In Revelation 15:2, the believers had gotten victory over the beast by refusing to take his number.

Not only is White in error by the clear demonstration in Revelation of what believers did to be saved, but we must also look at what condemned the rest. In Revelation 9:20-21, those who were not killed by the previous mentioned plagues refused to repent of their deeds. Since White argued in Revelation 5:9 that there was nothing in the text that said these men were redeemed by showing the condition of exercising belief, then he must also be consistent in Revelation 9 where the text does not say that men refused to repent because they were never given the ability to do so. Likewise, in Revelation 16:11, again the men upon whom suffered under plagues continued in their refusal to repent. If repentance was not a willful option here, it would be senseless for John to include their refusal to do so if they were never able to repent simply because the atonement did not apply to them, which of course as we stated earlier, White would confuse the provision of the atonement with its application, and since these men refuse to believe (thus not receiving the benefit of the atonement’s application) then the provision of the atonement must not apply to them.

Furthermore, Revelation 14:9-12, one of the clearest passages in the Bible on the traditionalist view of hell, shows that those who suffer eternal damnation receive this punishment as a result of willfully taking the mark of the beast. In contrast with believers in Revelation 15:2 who overcame the beast by refusing to take the mark, it is clear that a free will choice was made from Revelation chapters 13:11-18-Revelation 14:13 whether to receive the mark of the beast and thereby secure in themselves eternal damnation whereas they could have chosen otherwise by refusing the mark, and be martyred for their faith.

Even though White attempted to argue that the atonement in the Old Testament was limited, he again, ignores the provision with the application. When the “Destroyer” sought to slay all the firstborn in Exodus 12 during the tenth plague, the provision was available to every Israelite (“whole assembly” Ex 12:6), but the atonement was only effective to those who applied the blood to the door (Ex 12:13). White attempts to presume that since this provision was only applicable to Israel, that such demonstrates a limited atonement. However, if this were true, then no Israelite would be able to resist the atonement. Moreover, this argument fails to account for the offer, which at this time, was NOT a universal offer, although there was a universal acceptance of any who desired to become a proselyte to Israel that met the conditions. Exodus 20:10, 23:12, 12:19-48, Deut 5:14, 16:11-14.

White then contends that an unlimited atonement would lead to universalism. Again, this is based on the view that the provision of the atonement and its application are the same thing. White is confusing provision with the effect of the application. A father that provides for his family does not mean that everyone at the table is eating their spinach. Provision does not equal effect and application. The provision of the food on the table is effective when the person applies the food to a spoon and fork. If provision always amounted to application, then no father who provides for his family would ever have an anorexic child.

The Scriptures are so clear on the universal atonement that one must wrest the words of God like a UFC fighter to make them say otherwise.

 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Who were the “all dead” here? Were only the elect dead? If Christ only concluded the elect in unbelief (Romans 11:32) then that would mean that all the non elect were never sinners. Yet this verse shows clearly that the one who died for all, died for all who were dead. Of course, the Calvinist is quick to seize on the “but it says ‘which died for THEM'”; however, that applies to “those that live”.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-6 is further evidence of unlimited atonement,

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

In the Calvinists attempt to limit “all men” to the elect, they skip over verses 1 and 2 where we are told to make prayers for kings, and ALL that are in authority. So if “all men” here means the elect, then are all kings elect? Or are we not supposed to pray for anyone but the elect? If the context defines all as all in authority, does that mean we we only pray for some police officers and judges?

In John 7:37, Jesus speaking at a feast said, “If ANY MAN thirst, let him come unto me and drink”.

In John 6:51, Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If ANY MAN eat of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the LIFE OF THE WORLD”. The fact that those whom Jesus called to be disciples chose not to continue following Him in verse 66 of John 6, shows that the provision was made to all men, but the application only applied to those who believed in Christ.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men” Titus 2:11.

“To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” Galatians 4:5

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for THE UNGODLY” Romans 5:6

“And if any man believe not, I judge him not, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world”. John 12:47. The Father does the judging of the sinner at the Great White Throne judgment, and judges the whole world of those remaining that refused to believe in Christ. The world is therefore comprehensive and in contrast to whom Christ died, the clear meaning of the text is that He literally died for the whole world, not just the elect.

Limited Atonement is quite useless if there is only a certain amount of elect chosen before the foundation of the world to be saved. It would make no difference to whom it applies if only a certain amount were preordained to be saved anyway. Nevertheless, this is why Limited Atonement is also contingent upon unconditional election and irresistible grace. But the Scriptures make it clear that those to whom even though a provision was made, willfully rejected him. This could not be any more clear than in Isaiah 65:12,

Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not [not ‘could not’] answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.

This shows that people often choose the things that God did not desire, even though He called them to do otherwise. This shows that the call is not irresistible, and shows that not only can those called choose to do evil instead, but that what God intends, what He provides, and the application and effects are altogether different from each other.*

The Calvinist doctrine of Limited Atonement is actually more akin to universalism than the Calvinist straw-man applied to the universal atonement premise. The crux of universalism is that God saves everyone unconditionally. The Calvinist view is not much different, it only limits the audience, but everyone within that audience is saved unconditionally, so at least the method between Calvinism and universalism is exactly the same; whereas universal atonement includes the whole audience, but limits the benefit and effects of the atonement to whom it is applied of those who meet the conditions of repentance and faith. John 8:24, 2 Thess 1:8.

Although we believe Dr. Brown failed to defend his views on Authentic Fire (we agree with White on this debate), Brown did an adequate job of defending the universal atonement, and White simply had no answer for the plethora of verses that clearly teach this position. Instead, White wanted to limit the debate to the effects of the atonement, but only according to how he defines “effects” which would have slanted the debate if he had gotten his way because he would have successfully stacked the deck by preventing any possible rebuttal that would show the difference between provision and application.

Authentic Fire, White 1

Atonement, Brown 1

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* The Calvinists here would argue that such verses are counter-factual conditionals explained by secondary causation which is a complete farce, but we will deal with those objections in a separate article.

Although we believe that Brown adequately defended the atonement, we do reject his assumption that salvation can be cast away (conditional security). This view completely undermines the effect of the atonement.

Updated November 6, 2013 (first published January 24, 2012) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org) –

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This is a warning about the dangerous waters of evangelicalism and the fact that many fundamental Baptists are building bridges to these waters.

Recently I received an e-mail from a father who said that his church has begun using John MacArthur’s material for Sunday School. He asked, “Should a parent like myself be concerned?”

I replied:

“I would be extremely concerned if a church started using MacArthur’s material. Not only is he a staunch Calvinist who believes that one must be born again in order to believe, but he is a worldly rock & roll evangelical.”

In spite of the many good things in MacArthur’s teaching and his gift in exposition, Bible-believing parents should be deeply concerned about building bridges to him.

The first part of the following report is from the Middletown Bible Church, Middletown, Connecticut (no date), http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/separate/macrock.htm

John MacArthur hosts a youth conference which is called the “Resolved Conference.” Thousands of young people attend and listen to Christian lyrics sung to the heavy drum beat of rock music. There is no question that rock music is accepted and approved by John MacArthur and his church. This can be verified by going to the “Resolved” website [http://www.resolved.org/].

Peter Masters, Pastor of London’s famous Metropolitan Tabernacle where Spurgeon preached, wrote an article entitled, “The Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness.”  An excerpt from this article follows:

“When I was a youngster and newly saved, it seemed as if the chief goal of all zealous Christians, whether Calvinistic or Arminian, was consecration. Sermons, books and conferences stressed this in the spirit of Romans 12.1-2, where the beseeching apostle calls believers to present their bodies a living sacrifice, and not to be conformed to this world. The heart was challenged and stirred. Christ was to be Lord of one’s life, and self must be surrendered on the altar of service for him.

“But now, it appears, there is a new Calvinism, with new Calvinists, which has swept the old objectives aside. A recent book, Young, Restless, Reformed, by Collin Hansen tells the story of how a so-called Calvinistic resurgence has captured the imaginations of thousands of young people in the USA, and this book has been reviewed with great enthusiasm in well-known magazines in the UK, such as Banner of TruthEvangelical Times, and Reformation Today. This writer, however, was very deeply saddened to read it, because it describes a seriously distorted Calvinism falling far, far short of an authentic life of obedience to a sovereign God. If this kind of Calvinism prospers, then genuine biblical piety will be under attack as never before. The author of the book is a young man (around 26 when he wrote it) who grew up in a Christian family and trained in secular journalism. We are indebted to him for the readable and wide-reaching survey he gives of this new phenomenon, but the scene is certainly not a happy one.“The author begins by describing the Passion, conference at Atlanta in 2007, where 21,000 young people revelled in contemporary music, and listened to speakers such as John Piper proclaiming Calvinistic sentiments. And this picture is repeated many times through the book – large conferences being described at which the syncretism of worldly, sensation-stirring, high-decibel, rhythmic music, is mixed with Calvinistic doctrine.“We are told of thunderous music, thousands of raised hands, ‘Christian’ hip-hop and rap lyrics (the examples seeming inept and awkward in construction) uniting the doctrines of grace with the immoral drug-induced musical forms of worldly culture. Resolved is the brainchild of a member of Dr John MacArthur’s pastoral staff, gathering thousands of young people annually, and featuring the usual mix of Calvinism and extreme charismatic-style worship. Young people are encouraged to feel the very same sensational nervous impact of loud rhythmic music on the body that they would experience in a large, worldly pop concert, complete with replicated lighting and atmosphere. At the same time they reflect on predestination and election. Worldly culture provides the bodily, emotional feelings, into which Christian thoughts are infused and floated. Biblical sentiments are harnessed to carnal entertainment.’ (Pictures of this conference on their website betray the totally worldly, show business atmosphere created by the organizers.)“Truly proclaimed, the sovereignty of God must include consecration, reverence, sincere obedience to his will, and separation from the world. You cannot have Puritan soteriology without Puritan sanctification. You should not entice people to Calvinistic (or any) preaching by using worldly bait. We hope that young people in this movement will grasp the implications of the doctrines better than their teachers, and come away from the compromises. But there is a looming disaster in promoting this new form of Calvinism” (Peter Masters, “The Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness”).

MacArthur’s use of rock music in his own church is puzzling in light of the excellent statements he has made in the past against rock music, such as the following:

“Our music cannot be like the music of the world, because our God is not like their gods. Most of the world’s music reflects the world’s ways, the world’s standards, the world’s attitudes, the world’s gods. To attempt to use such music to reach the world is to lower the gospel in order to spread the gospel. If the world hears that our music is not much different from theirs, it will also be inclined to believe that the Christian way of life is not much different from theirs” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (1986)see discussion of Ephesians 5:20, p. 260).

“The association of hard rock with violence, blasphemy, sadomasochism, sexual immorality and perversion, alcohol and drugs, and Eastern mysticism and the occult are not accidental. they are fed from the same ungodly stream. A leading rock singer once said, ‘Rock has always been the devil’s music. It lets in the baser elements.’ Putting a Christian message in such a musical form [rock style] does not elevate the form but degrades the message to the level already established in the culture by that form” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, see discussion of Ephesians 5:20, p. 261).

“It should be noted that the many contemporary entertainers who think they are using their rock–style music to evangelize the lost are often doing nothing more than contributing to the weakening of the church. Evangelizing with contemporary music has many serious flaws. It tends to create pride in the musicians rather than humility. It makes the gospel a matter of entertainment when there is not one thing in it that is at all entertaining. It makes the public proclaimers of Christianity those who are popular and talented in the world’s eyes, rather than those who are godly and gifted teachers of God’s truth. In using the world’s genres of music, it blurs the gap between worldly Satanic values and divine ones. It tends to deny the power of the simple gospel and the sovereign saving work of the Holy Spirit. It creates a wide generation gap in the church, thus contributing to the disunity and lack of intimacy in the fellowship of all believers. It leads to the propagation of bad or weak theology and drags the name of the Lord down to the level of the world. The music of the gospel is certainly not a legitimate means for making money or seeking fame, and it must never be allowed to cheapen what is priceless, or trivialize what is profound” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, see discussion of Ephesians 5:19, p. 257).

“Rock music, with its bombastic atonality and dissonance, is the musical mirror of the hopeless, standardless, purposeless philosophy that rejects both God and reason and floats without orientation in a sea of relativity and unrestrained self–expression. The music has no logical progression because it comes from a philosophy that renounces logic. It violates the brain because its philosophy violates reason. It violates the spirit, because its philosophy violates truth and goodness. And it violates God, because its philosophy violates all authority outside of self” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, see discussion of Ephesians 5:19-20, p. 261).

“It [rock music] does this by catering to pride, by being grounded in emotion, by appealing to the flesh, by watering down the message, by sending a false impression of the nature of the gospel, and by cheapening the Christian life.” Seehttp://data.bereanwife.com/ccm_pdf.pdf

“Now I believe that basically speaking, rock music in and of itself is problematic—period. And I believe that for many reasons. One is: rock music is a product of a disoriented, despairing, drug-related sex-mad generation. There’s no question about that. The first big rock singer was Elvis Presley, who killed himself with drugs and who went through women, you know, continuously. And he gave rise to the whole rock generation. He was the first, and his whole act was sexual, sensual, you know; it was terrible. Nowadays we think he was comical because we’ve come so far. But the vernacular of rock music at this particular point represents a generation that I have real trouble identifying with. And what happens is if you put a Christian message in that vernacular, I think Christianity suffers immensely because I don’t think you can take that kind of medium and use it to propagate a Christian message” [Transcribed from the tape, GC 1301-R, titled “Bible Questions and Answers Part 20.” All Rights Reserved.]

We fully agree with these strong statements against rock music by John MacArthur. However, by tolerating and allowing rock music in his own church, MacArthur either does not practice what he preaches or he has changed his position on music, and no longer believes what he once preached.
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CONCLUSION BY BROTHER CLOUD

Indeed, John MacArthur is facing two ways in regard to the heresy of “cultural liberalism.” On one hand he reproves the emerging “new Calvinists” for their worldliness, while on the other hand he engages in that very thing.

In an interview with Alex Crain of Christianity.com, which was posted on YouTube, Aug. 18, 2011, MacArthur said:

“The fear is that the power of the world’s attraction is going to suck these guys and every generation after them, more and more into the culture, and we’re going to see a reversal of the Reformed revival. … My fear is that the further this thing goes in trying to accommodate the culture, the less it’s going to be able to hang on to that core doctrine” (“MacArthur Predicts Reversal of the Reformed Revival – Part 1,” http://youtu.be/xYhmo5gabQU).

MacArthur, who rightly warns that the heresy of cultural liberalism puts the next generation at risk, is referring to the popular philosophy which was enunciated by Mark Driscoll as the combination of “theological conservatism with cultural liberalism,” which is not new but has always been a major element of New Evangelicalism. It entails such things as Christian rock, drinking, champagne dance parties, beer brewing lessons, gambling nights, hula “worship,” analyzing R-rated movies for “edification,” and performing secular rock in the context of “worship.”

[Editor’s Note: For an example of MacArthurites analyzing R-Rated movies, see our article on How James White Helps Spread Islam and Atheism, where Fred Butler’s {an employee of John MacArthur} glowing reviews of Batman and Star Wars are discussed]

What MacArthur says about the danger of cultural liberalism is true, but his condemnation of it is grossly ineffective and hypocritical because he is guilty of it.

Camp Regeneration, a youth camp hosted by MacArthur for “churches throughout the nation each July,” is rife with cultural liberalism.

High school boys and girls dress immodestly, engage in questionable activities (such as girls getting covered with wet mud in the presence of boys) and rock out to rap music performed by ear-ringed, tattooed hip-hop artists in an atmosphere of darkened auditoriums, flashing lights, and smoke.

The Master’s College, which is headed by MacArthur, hosted a hip-hop concert in December 2011 featuring Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tadashii, Sho Baraka, DJ Official, and THI’SL. The Master’s College students produce pop/rap/country rock videos with full blown dance routines and covers of secular rock songs. They host a Fall Thing event that is extremely worldly. In 2011 the theme was “Unrestricted Reality,” and the students donned costumes imitating characters from Star Wars, sci-fi fantasy, super heroes, and the pop culture in general. This plays right into the hands of the culture’s fascination with fantasy and the devil’s use of it to corrupt men’s minds. The young people wouldn’t want to dress up this way unless their minds and hearts were already infatuated with Hollywood.

The Master’s College’s annual Week of Welcome features beach activities and pool parties complete with girls in tight and very skimpy bathing suits. (All of this is evident from the photos placed at the Flickr pages owned by the camp and school and from YouTube clips. See http://www.pccmonroe.org/2011/10.htm.)

Can someone tell me how MacArthur is leading the way against the adaptation of the sensual pop culture and why he is a safe “conservative” to follow? He was correct in observing that cultural liberalism will ruin the youth and eventually destroy sound doctrine, and his own flock will be the proof of it, as will those of every foolish pastor that follows in his footsteps.

Many fundamental Baptists are on the same destructive path, as we have documented in the free eBook “Biblical Separatism and Its Collapse Among Fundamental Baptists.” See www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/.
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