Monday, May 24, 2010

The horrific blasphemy of an dishonest offer from God

This is a response to the quote-mining of a once staunch supporter of Calvinism, who has now started to prolifically promote the self-contradictory theology of the "free offer". This is idea that even though God has eternally willed only to save some, that nevertheless He sincerely and earnestly desires the salvation of all without exception, and expresses this desire in the preaching of the Gospel, which they suppose to be an invitation to, or offer of salvation in Christ (who they nevertheless believe died only for the elect). I'm aware that most sensible people will already see the absurdity of this position, but nevertheless, here is the quote:

"The Gospel is to be preached indiscriminately to the elect and to the reprobate: but the elect alone come to Christ, because they have been taught of God. (Isaiah 54:13) God invites all indiscriminately to salvation through the Gospel, but the ingratitude of the world is the reason why this grace, which is equally offered to all, is enjoyed by few." ~ John Calvin.

John Calvin heavily criticised how the Romish theologians would dig through the writings of the early church fathers to find and pull out the dung instead of the gold. I don't think he would be impressed with your attempt to do the same with his writings. In his later days, when he wrote specifically dealing with the subject against a heretic, he said:

"God is not like a mortal man, who is ever flexible and variable, and changes his mind and purposes every hour! Why, the very thing against which the monk so violently fights is that the adorable God is ever of one mind and consistent with himself!" (p. 178).

"We, however, with greater reverence and sobriety, say ‘that God always wills the same thing; and that this is the very praise of His immutability.’ Whatever He decrees, therefore, He effects; and this is in Divine consistency with His omnipotence. And the will of God, being thus inseparably united with His power, constitutes an exalted harmony of His attributes …" (p. 179).

The command to repent and believe, and the promise of salvation to all who believe is certainly not a universal invitation - if it were this would mean that God has a universal will for all without exception to be saved, and whatever God wills is done, because He is always faithful to Himself in the exercise of His omnipotent power.

This doctrine that the Gospel is an invitation militates against total depravity because for the invitation to be universal, every hearer must be equally capable of responding to the invitation. But we believe that humanity is dead in trespasses and sins, and cannot respond apart from the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. How can God invite sinners to come to Him, when He has not given them the power to come?

It also contradicts unconditional election, because if few are chosen, then the others cannot honestly be invited to that for which they have not been chosen. It is a cruel, dishonest and unjust invitation that invites someone where the invitor has already eternally decreed that they cannot come. How can God invite sinners to come to Him, when He has decided that they cannot come?

It tears apart limited/particular atonement, because a man cannot be honestly invited to banquet in which no place has been prepared for him, and where no room or provision has been made for him. That would be a vile, evil, wicked and abominable invitation. How then, can our righteous God invite sinners to come to Him, when He has not paid for their sins by the death of His Son?

God will not offer that which He has willed eternally not to give. Throughout all Scripture, the Gospel is never preached as an offer to all without exception. The preaching of the Gospel to all without exception is a command to repent and believe, and an unconditional promise that those who believe are saved eternally.

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." - Jer. 31:3. The love of God is as unchangeable and eternal as He is (Mal. 3:6).

Since Christ is loved before the foundation of the world (John 17:24), then so too are all who were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). Before Jacob was born, he was loved by God, and likewise, before Esau was born, he was hated by God. There is no hatred in love, and there is no love in hatred. Denying these things and saying that God loves those who are not chosen in Christ, and sincerely desires their salvation (despite not having chosen them) is a horrible blasphemy against the righteous character of God. If God loves wicked-doers who He has determined not to save, what does that say about His love? Or what does that say about His Being? Can a righteous God love the wicked, except He makes them righteous through Christ's atonement? To say so, is to God loves wickedness, and that God is wicked. A more absurd and devilish blasphemy could hardly be contrived except by the inspiration of Satan who delights in tearing the church apart by heresy.

Judge for yourselves, but I say (not myself alone, but also the ministers of the churches I belong to) this nonsense that God loves everybody, desires to save everybody, invites everybody to salvation, offers salvation to everybody is a denial of the Scriptures, and an Arminian heresy condemned by the Synod of Dordt 1618-19. And they are many others who take this position too.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Who is wise?

Malcolm Forbes says, "The dumbest people I know are those who know it all."

But Christ said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32. Not as if anyone knows it all (I Cor. 13:12), but we must confess what God has revealed to us about Himself, or else we are denying Him. So who do we believe? The Bible which tells us that God is the truth and He has revealed Himself to us and the rest of the world is in prideful ignorance, or Malcolm Forbes who claims that those who confess that they are not ignorant, are stupid?

And Christ also promised, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into *ALL TRUTH*: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you." - John 16:13-15.

The false spirit of Pentecostalism opposes the Spirit of truth, because it is a spirit of falsehood, ignorance, and confusion. It says, "doctrine divides! be content to live in uncertainty! simplicity is godliness! knowledge is the source of pride because 'knowledge' puffs up! humility is to profess ignorance! emotionalism is true spirituality! the intellect is unspiritual! love the lack of knowledge! do not seek wisdom! the truth is harsh! speaking the truth is unloving! love is a feeling! worship is a feeling! don't read the Bible too much because the 'letter' kills! logic is unspiritual! mystical self-contradicating confusion is spiritual! etc." The false spirit of pentecostalism seems to never tire of twisting Scripture to keep people in darkness.

I have met pagans and atheists who understand the Bible better than most Pentecostals, though they are damned by their denial of it. And the solution to this, is to bear witness to who the Holy Spirit really is, and identify the spirit of pentecostalism as an unclean spirit and a lying spirit from Satan who comes to steal, kill and destroy. How can one declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvellous light if one is still dwelling in the darkness (I Pet. 2:9)?

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." - II Cor. 4:6. And Paul the Apostle was sent to the Gentiles by Jesus Christ for this purpose: "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." - Acts 26:18. And this is exactly the work which the false pentecostal spirit works so busily to oppose. Faith is not ignorant or uncertain, and it grows in knowledge of its object, since faith is the certainty of things hoped for, and the knowledge of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).

But speaking of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding; the Bible says:
Proverbs 4
"4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
8Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
9She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
10Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
11I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
12When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
13Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life."

And the Bible is filled with this teaching. And the warning to those who do not heed this call is terrible:
Proverbs 8
"1Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
2She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
3She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
4Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
5O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
6Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
7For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
9They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
10Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it."
"35For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
36But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death."

And Proverbs 1
"20Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
30They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

I believe God has revealed the truth about His Holy Spirit to His church, and I will NOT deny this! To deny this would not merely be false modesty (I Cor. 2:9-16), it would be for me to renounce my faith entirely - because it is a denial of God's grace in salvation. When a Christian says, "I know", it is not a confession of pride, it is boasting in the Lord who has shown us the light (I Cor. 1:24-31). Who is Malcolm Forbes to attempt to silence our praise for our Saviour?

To despise knowledge and wisdom is no different than to despise the Holy Spirit of God.