January 15, 2012
Charles H. Spurgeon was one of the most popular preachers of his time, indeed of all time. He was at least as popular in his day as Billy Graham is in our day, a fact which should at least be a little troubling to anyone who shares Spurgeon’s belief in the doctrines of Grace. Have you ever wondered how Spurgeon could believe in and preach about doctrines like Unconditional Election, Effectual Calling, and Perseverance, all while drawing crowds consisting of thousands of people at a time? Well, let’s take a closer look at what Spurgeon really believed and preached about, in his own words.
“A man may be evidently of God’s chosen family, and yet though elected, may not believe in the doctrine of election. I hold that there are many savingly called, who do not believe in effectual calling, and that there are a great many who persevere to the end, who do not believe in the doctrine of perseverance. We hope that the hearts of many are a great deal better than their heads. We do not set their fallacies down to any wilful opposition to the truth as it is in Jesus, but simply to an error in their judgments, which we pray God to correct. We hope that if they think us mistaken too, they will reciprocate the same Christian courtesy; and when we meet around the cross, we hope that we shall ever feel that we are one in Christ Jesus.” (Effects of Sound Doctrine, April 22, 1860)
Well, here’s one reason Spurgeon might have been able to draw those huge crowds: he didn’t believe that those doctrines like Unconditional Election, Effectual Calling, and Perseverance, were essential parts of the Gospel. Oh, he still believed those doctrines were true, of course, but not that they were essential to the Gospel itself. This effectively removes the offensiveness of those doctrines from the mind of the audience, an approach which is noticeably different from the approach taken by Christ and the apostles (Mat 23; Gal 6:12-14).
Let’s look a little closer at Spurgeon’s arguments.
First, are there “many savingly called, who do not believe in effectual calling”? The Christian Confession of Faith has this to say about all those who believe the Gospel:
3. Conversion is that grace in which the Holy Spirit causes the sinner to repent and believe the gospel. The regenerate person is given a knowledge and understanding of the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone and the realization that he was unregenerate when he believed a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. He counts all of his former life and deeds, whether religious or irreligious, as dead works, evil deeds, and fruit unto death. Conversion is the immediate and inevitable fruit of regeneration; therefore, a person may not be regenerated without being converted. There has never existed and will never exist a regenerate person who is ignorant of the gospel. Scripture rejects the lie that an unregenerate person can be under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, since the Holy Spirit only leads people to Jesus Christ and His righteousness as the only ground of salvation. [Deu 4:34-35; Isa 45:6,20-25; Mat 13:23; Mar 16:16; Joh 6:40; 8:32; 16:8-11; 17:3; Act 16:14-15; Rom 1:16-17; 3:26; 6:17,21; 7:6; 1Co 2:10-12; 2Co 4:2-6; Eph 1:13; Phi 3:7-8; 2Th 2:13-14; Heb 9:14; 1Jo 5:20]
Here are some of the verses that the Confession refers to:
Isa 45:(22) Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. (23) I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) He shall say, Only in Jehovah do I have righteousness and strength; to Him he comes; and they are ashamed, all who are angry with Him. (25) In Jehovah all of the seed of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory.
Joh 6:(40) And this is the will of the One sending Me, that everyone seeing the Son and believing into Him should have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 8:(32) And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Rom 6:(17) But thanks be to God that you were slaves of sin, but you obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
1Co 2: (10) But God revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. (11) For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of a man within him? So also no one has known the things of God except the Spirit of God. (12) But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.
A sinner is caused to believe the Gospel by a work of the Holy Spirit, for the purpose of glorifying Christ, not the sinner. Thus, it is impossible that the Holy Spirit would cause a regenerate person to believe doctrines that glorify the sinner’s role in his own salvation. Conditional Election, and Ineffectual Calling are doctrines that glorify the sinner’s role in his own salvation; therefore, it is impossible that a regenerate person would believe in Conditional Election, Ineffectual Calling, or any other doctrine that denies the Gospel, or glorifies the sinner in any way. So, contrary to Spurgeon, all who are savingly called really do believe in effectual calling.
Second, Spurgeon argues that “the hearts of many are a great deal better than their heads”. Now, this head/heart distinction is simply foreign to Scripture; the heart is what thinks, plans, and meditates (Psa 4:4, Psa 77:6, Pro 16:9, Pro 23:7). But more importantly, what Spurgeon is really putting forth here is the idea that there is more to the Gospel than merely knowledge or doctrine, and that this something more is what really separates the saved from the lost. Notice that Spurgeon makes precisely zero effort to define what that something more actually is, but apparently it cannot possibly be doctrine. This of course, is completely anti-Scriptural:
Joh 7: (16) Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but of the One who sent Me. (17) If anyone desires to do His will, he will know concerning the doctrine, whether it is of God, or I speak from Myself.
Rom 6:(17) But thanks be to God that you were slaves of sin, but you obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
Rom 10:(1) Brothers, truly my heart’s pleasure and supplication to God on behalf of Israel is for it to be saved. (2) For I testify to them that they have zeal to God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of law for righteousness to everyone that believes.
2Jo (9) Everyone transgressing and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. The one abiding in the doctrine of Christ, this one has the Father and the Son.
The Gospel is pure doctrine, and nothing else but doctrine. Thus if a person believes doctrines that are contrary to the Gospel, then we do not simply assume the best about them. A Christian must judge them to be lost, and absolutely must “set their fallacies down to … wilful opposition to the truth as it is in Jesus”.
Thus we see that Spurgeon was able to gather huge numbers of people to hear him, not in spite of the doctrine he preached, but because of his speaking peace to them, precisely when he should have been telling them that they were lost, and their deeds were evil.
“The controversy which has been carried on between the Calvinist and the Arminian is extremely important, but it does not involve the vital point of personal godliness as to make eternal life depend on our holding either system of theology. … But, I think we are all free to admit, that while John Wesley, for instance, in modern times zealously defended Arminianism, and on the other hand, George Whitefield with equal fervor fought for Calvinism, we should not be prepared either of us, on either side of the question, to deny the vital godliness of either the one or the other. … We are willing to admit, in fact, we dare not do otherwise, that opinion upon this controversy does not determine the future or even the present state of any man; but still, we think it to be so important, that in maintaining our views, we advance with all courage and fervency of spirit, believing that we are doing God’s work and upholding most important truth.” (Exposition of the Doctrines of Grace, April 11, 1861)
Here, Spurgeon makes it explicit that the element he sees as most important in judging the state of a soul is “the vital point of personal godliness”, ie. good works. Notice that at this point, Spurgeon could not even resort to the evasion that Christians are not to judge the spiritual state of others, because he has already judged the spiritual state of Wesley and his fellow Arminians: he has judged them to be saved.
“Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one ‘of whom the world was not worthy.’ I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see the truths, or at least, cannot see them in the way in which we see them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Saviour, and are as dear to the heart of God of grace as the soundest Calvinist in or out of Heaven.” (The Man With the Measuring Line, December 11, 1864)
I have already had much to say about the “personal godliness” of John Wesley, but even if his “personal godliness” were as sterling as Spurgeon makes it out to be, he would still be judging Wesley by the wrong standard. The correct standard is doctrine, specifically the doctrine of the Gospel. Without that standard, there is really no limit to the kinds of people Spurgeon could speak peace to:
“In Brussels, I heard a good sermon in a Romish church. The place was crowded with people, many of them standing, though they might have had a seat for a halfpenny or a farthing; and I stood, too; and the good priest — for I believe he is a good man, — preached the Lord Jesus with all his might. He spoke of the love of Christ, so that I, a very poor hand at the French language, could fully understand him, and my heart kept beating within me as he told of the beauties of Christ, and the preciousness of His blood, and of His power to save the chief of sinners. He did not say, ‘justification by faith,’ but he did say, ‘efficacy of the blood,’ which comes to very much the same thing. He did not tell us we were saved by grace, and not by our works; but he did say that all the works of men were less than nothing when brought into competition with the blood of Christ, and that the blood of Jesus alone could save. True, there were objectionable sentences, as naturally there must be in a discourse delivered under such circumstances; but I could have gone to the preacher, and have said to him, ‘Brother, you have spoken the truth;’ and if I had been handling the text, I must have treated it in the same way that he did, if I could have done it as well. I was pleased to find my own opinion verified, in his case, that there are, even in the apostate church, some who cleave unto the Lord, — some sparks of Heavenly fire that flicker amidst the rubbish of old superstition, some lights that are not blown out, even by the strong wind of Popery, but still cast a feeble gleam across the waters sufficient to guide the soul to the rock Christ Jesus. I saw, in that church, a box for contributions for the Pope; he will never grow rich with what I put into it.” (The Proceedings of the Great Meeting in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, August 21, 1860)
Here is the logical conclusion of Spurgeon’s wicked practice of speaking peace to anyone with a form of “personal godliness”. Yes, Spurgeon denounces certain “objectionable sentences” coming from “the strong wind of Popery”, but no actual papists. This is as uncertain a sound as it is possible to make (1Co 14:8), and it all comes down to Spurgeon’s unwillingness to judge according to doctrine.
For more information about the Gospel as the standard for Right Judgment, please see:
March 27, 2011
A few months ago, I came across a website of a group in the Philippines called “Bastion of Truth Reformed Church”. I sent a mass e-mail to the group, and what follows is the next round of my debate with one of their members, Alex Aquino (Mr. Aquino’s comments are in blue ):
You wrote: <<AA: You add nothing to faith when salvation is by “grace alone” (Sola Gratia). It is grace alone when justification is eternal and is therefore already there prior to the bestowal of faith; when it is given even before eternal times: “the One having saved us and having called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace GIVEN to us in Christ Jesus before eternal times” (2 Timothy 1:9). So justification is not only purposed for the elect but also already given when it was purposed in eternity. You might object of course that the apostle says “grace” not justification. If you do that I would assume that you believe that there is a “grace” of God apart from the righteousness (justification) of Christ.>>
Grace was given to the elect before time began in the eternal counsel of God – as was predestination, calling, justification, and even glorification (Rom 8:29-30). These blessings were not actually bestowed on the elect until AFTER time began – and some of the elect STILL have not received all of those blessings. But in God’s eternal purposes, they are as sure and certain to happen as the crucifixion.
You wrote:<<Acts 20:28; Romans 5:10; Galatians 3:13:Why? Why? Why? I have answered that question in my last mail. We are “by nature” children of wrath, under the curse of the law, dead, enemies of God, without God in this world, etc. etc.>>
How can the elect be “under the curse of the law”, and yet ALSO justified? Either they are cursed or justified, it can’t be both (Luk 16:13, 2Co 6:15).
More to the point, does the work of Christ in justifying his people DEMAND God’s favor and fellowship towards them? If yes, then why are the elect (supposedly justified before the foundation of the world) “enemies of God”? If no, then what exactly DOES the work of Christ accomplish?
You wrote:<<As a believer in the Biblical doctrine of eternal justification I wholly agree that God maintains His immutability in eternally loving His Son in His natural “condition” as the perfect eternal Son. I agree that God maintains His immutability in His holiness and justice by judging sin through His Son Who in his “legal status” (not in His natural condition)—One without sin made sin—suffered the wrath of God based on the imputed sins of His elect. I don’t see why this should oppose the truth of the eternal righteousness of Christ for His elect (even in their unregenerate condition). The elect (regenerate or unregenerate) are in their sinful nature—that is in their sinful “condition”—hateful to God. Yet because they are eternally “in Christ” (that is, in “the sphere” of Christ and all His benefits) the elect are by “legal status” eternally and always loved by God. He did not change in His love for His Eternal Son who was without sin made sin to justify all His elect, so that He will not change His love for those elect. God indeed does not change whether it concerns His Son or His own elect.>>
So “The elect (regenerate or unregenerate) are in their sinful nature … hateful to God.” eh?
Then how can the elect be “hateful to God”, and yet ALSO justified? Either they are cursed or justified, it can’t be both (Luk 16:13, 2Co 6:15).
More to the point, does the work of Christ in justifying his people DEMAND God’s favor and fellowship towards them? If yes, then why are the elect (supposedly justified before the foundation of the world) “enemies of God”? If no, then what exactly DOES the work of Christ accomplish?
I wrote: <<So, according to you, when the elect were unregenerate, and believed blasphemous things about God, were enemies with God, hated Christ and his righteousness, and were blasphemously going about to establish a righteousness of their own, they were completely justified, righteous and holy in God’s sight, and under God’s blessing rather than his curse? That says it all. >>
And you responded: <<AA: True. Otherwise, God, in His wrath should purposely and perpetually blind them to the Gospel; draw them away from its sound preaching; cause His Providenceto keep them away from His love. Again the blessing and the curse are “by nature” only. Your Ephesians 2:1-3 is very helpful here. You should know better.>>
God CANNOT bless those who are in rebellion against him (Exo 20:5, Hab 1:13, Rom 2:8-9). This shows that you have NO understanding of what the atonement accomplished.
You wrote:<<I see no problem with your complaint. The eternally justified need to be called to faith and repentance and also need to be given faith and repentance. It is unworthy of God to allow His eternally justified elect to remain in their impenitence and unbelief. The righteous Judge will not pronounce an inmate “not guilty” and then leave him to rot in prison forever.>>
A TRULY righteous judge will not pronounce an inmate “not guilty” and leave him to rot in prison FOR EVEN A SINGLE SECOND. Yet you would have God leaving his justified people to rot in prison for YEARS and DECADES prior to their “conversion”.
You wrote:<<The Bible speaks of two aspects of sonship: (1) God adopted His elect from His eternal counsel: “predestinating us to adoption through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace in which He favored us in the One having been loved” (Eph. 1:5, 6). Now, if you object that this is a mere eternal counsel to be fulfilled only in time future, so that the elect become adopted sons only at conversion you must admit also that God did not love His elect in His eternal counsel, but only when they are converted. >>
This is a total non-sequitur. Saying that the elect become adopted sons only at conversion in no way implies that God did not begin to love them until they were converted.
You wrote: <<Another verse, if you will: “because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers” (Rom. 8:29). (2) Your verses are magnificent! They tell us that the elect actually experience through regeneration (by faith) their eternally decreed adoption based on Christ’s imputed righteousness through the cross. Eternal justification is a loyal friend to those verses of yours.>>
Interesting! So why can’t you see from THE VERY SAME VERSE that, in time, the elect actually experience their eternally decreed JUSTIFICATION based on Christ’s imputed righteousness through the cross? Eternal justification is an insidious ENEMY of this verse.
You wrote: <<Let’s put this simply. Your doctrine is “NO FAITH: NO JUSTIFICATION (no instrument: no product, or so) and NO JUSTIFICATION: NO FAITH (no cause: no resulting instrument). Your position cannot hold both for they are an absurdity, if not a contradiction. Only eternal justification can honestly and consistently hold both. Not even talking time element here, just logic. There is justification (eternal) prior to resulting faith which “experientially” unites the regenerate elect to Christ and is the instrument so that that precious eternal justification grounded on His cross is put in the consciousness of the regenerate elect.>>
It absolutely IS possible to hold those positions that seem contradictory to you, and here is how: there is NO CONDITION FOR FAITH, the very opposite of what you slanderously accuse us of holding to.
You wrote: <<I know you would mention that. Yet I’m not as indolent as you may think to fail to make my position square with those wonderful clauses in Rom. 8:1. Your exegesis then would twist the inspired text and take it to mean, “No condemnation… WHEN they do not walk according to flesh…” They do not tell us WHEN the elect are never condemned but WHO MANIFEST themselves to be those never condemned on the ground of their being “in (the sphere of) Christ.” Those who walk according to the flesh (whether elect or reprobate) don’t manifest themselves as never ever condemned.>>
Your exegesis hasn’t gotten any better. “They do not tell us WHEN the elect are never condemned…” ?? Then what is the word “now” doing in the text? As in “There is therefore NOW no condemnation …” If the elect were really “never” condemned, how is it even possible to describe “WHEN” they were “never” condemned?
You wrote: <<And don’t you see the connection? “Elected us IN HIM (in [the sphere of] Christ)…” (v. 4) and “IN WHOM (in [the sphere of] Christ) we have redemption…” (v. 7). Do you therefore at Sovereign Redeemer Assembly confess an election or grace or love of God apart from the sphere of the righteousness (justification) of Christ? This is Heresy!>>
The elect are not regenerated by being in the sphere of Christ, but by the blood of Christ. That is the connection here. And, not coincidentally, that is the reason the blood is actually mentioned in Eph 1:7. So your accusation of heresy falls apart, again.
I wrote: <<Romans 8:30 says “But whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; but whom He justified, these He also glorified. ” In what way does God call his people? Why does the calling come BETWEEN predestination and justification? And when does God glorify his people? It is true that God’s predetermined plan is so certain to come true that he speaks as if the calling, justifying, and glorifying have already happened. But does that mean that ALL of God’s people are therefore called, justified, and glorified? Of course not.>>
You wrote: <<Why do you trouble yourself too much with these verses for my sake? I have no problem with them. They teach justification (together with calling and glorification) in the aspect of the elect’s experience in time. Remember that I believe in temporal justification also but not in temporal justification exclusively (OTC’s / SRA’s heresy).>>
So why does the verse (in your view) go from discussing God’s work before time began right to the experience of the elect in time? That doesn’t make the least amount of sense. And why does the verse present ALL of these events (predestinating, calling, justifying, glorifying) as occurring in the PAST (predestinated, called, justified, glorified)? The whole verse is talking about God’s work in eternity PAST, and presenting each event (including glorification) as being so sure and certain to happen that God can talk about them as if they had already happened.
You had not mentioned temporal justification before. But so what? The “justification” you see happening in time is only the elect being given an understanding of how they were justified from eternity. It didn’t change their standing before God in any way. So even though you CALL it justification, it is really nothing but an illusion.
I’ll give you this though: you really are a slippery character. If I show you a verse that demonstrates justification happening in time, you can say that you agree, because you also believe in temporal justification. Very convenient. But since your version of “temporal justification” is no justification at all, rest assured that any time I present you with a verse that demonstrates temporal justification, it smashes eternal justification to bits.
I wrote: <<When someone is legally holy and righteous, God’s holiness and righteousness DEMANDS his favor and fellowship toward them (Psa 32:2, Isa 53:11, Rom 3:22, 5:9 & 18). Yet you believe that God’s (unregenerate) elect are LEGALLY righteous, but NATURALLY unrighteous. Therefore, according to this scheme, there are people out there who are unregenerate, walking according to the flesh, believing blasphemous things about God, yet enjoying favor and fellowship with God. Talk about only seeing what you want to in Scripture. >>
You wrote: <<Of course they don’t enjoy a favor and fellowship with God. They are children of wrath “by nature” (remember the key phrase). Being unregenerate, they hate God and they sense the just hatred of God against them. They need to be regenerated in order to actually experience and enjoy those blessings. But that doesn’t mean they are actually hated by God.>>
The work of Christ in justifying his people DEMANDS God’s favor and fellowship towards them. God CANNOT justify his people and then leave them to walk in their sinful nature (Psa 32:2, Isa 42:8 & 53:11, Rom 4:6-8 & 5:11).
You wrote: <<Exactly Mr. Carpenter’s accusation against me: “That I do not believe that I was never a worker of iniquity. How proud of me.” Oh I am a worker of iniquity by nature and I shudder at the thought of it! You are presently and personally a worker of iniquity yourself and you claim that the only reason that God cannot hate you is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. The eternal righteousness of Christ is also my reason why God will not legally hate His unregenerate elect, much more when they are regenerated. So what’s the problem?>>
If you are “a worker of iniquity” then does God hate you? This is precisely the reason I quoted Psa 5:5: “The boasters shall not set themselves before Your eyes. You hate all workers of iniquity.” You can’t have it both ways. Either you are a worker of iniquity AND God hates you, or you are NOT a worker of iniquity and God doesn’t hate you.
As for me, I WAS a worker of iniquity, and God hated me. Then he caused me to believe the Gospel, and now he does NOT hate me, because I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Christ’s work on my behalf DEMANDED that I receive all the blessings of God’s favor and fellowship towards me, including my regeneration, faith, and belief of the Gospel.
God says he hates ALL workers of iniquity. You say there are some workers of iniquity he doesn’t hate. You are fighting against God and calling him a liar – THAT is the problem.
You wrote: <<You’re beginning to reveal yourself as a snake winding with your subtle words in order to slip away from your own embarrassment. Eternal justification is not an issue whether God shows favor or fellowship to His elect in their unregenerate condition but whether God actually LOVES them in that condition. It is quite clear that OTC’s position is that God HATES the unregenerate elect. Ephesians 2:4 and 5 says God LOVES (with a great one) His elect even they being dead in deviations. Your heresy is mounting up Mr. Adams. You are now saying that there is a love of God for His elect APART from the righteousness (justification) of Christ. You are in effect saying God can choose and love His elect apart from Christ (contrary to Eph. 1:4). On what ground then does He love them? Their inherent worth? That’s contrary to the Gospel of absolute Grace!>>
JUSTIFICATION certainly IS an issue in regard to God’s favor and fellowship – in fact it is the only issue. (1) God CANNOT show favor and fellowship where there is no justification (Exo 20:5, Hab 1:13, Rom 2:8-9). (2) God MUST show favor and fellowship where there is justification (Psa 32:2, Isa 53:11, Rom 3:22, 5:9 & 18). If either (1) or (2) were not true, God would not be just, and therefore unfit to be God.
But God CAN set his love on his elect people, even before they are justified, purely of his own good pleasure. When God imputed the sins of his people to Jesus Christ, he LOVED Christ, but did NOT show favor and fellowship towards him, because Christ was legally charged with those sins.
You wrote: <<Come on, be honest, Mr. Adams. You devoid the Word of God of its power and relevance. The verse taken from its historical context answers why Isreal (Jacob) did not perish when a paranoid king bent on destroying the nation hired a false prophet to hurl curses upon them. There is a mixture of regenerate and unregenerate (elect and reprobate [I don’t mean that God loves the reprobate]; infants and adults) in that nation who are rebels, idolaters and murmerers. If God would treat only the regenerate as justified, all the unregenerate then and there would have perished through the curses. But there was no reason (in the eyes of Yahweh) why the curses should actually destroy the people. No one can curse whom Yahweh has blessed. He sees no iniquity (in the regenerate and unregenerate elect) in Jacob.>>
Now who is being dishonest? On what basis do you say that God blessed the rebels, idolaters, and murmurers? There is not a shred of evidence for that anywhere in this prophecy (or anywhere else in Scripture, for that matter – Pro 25:21-22, Mat 13:10-15, Joh 15:22)!
When God speaks of blessing “Israel”, he is NOT blessing physical Israel, but SPIRITUAL Israel (Rom 2:28-29 & 9:6)!
You wrote: <<That’s obvious historically. But here’s a case of wasted ink and wasted inspiration of the Holy Spirit. So what’s the author’s point in saying that the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” instead of “the Lamb appointed to be slain (crucified) in the appointed time? You not only rob Scripture of its power but you also rob the elect of their assurance whose names were written in the Book of Life of that Lamb who secured their life (in time oppressed by the God’s enemies) by the fact that He was already slain from the foundation of the world for them. The Lamb slain from eternity just proves that there is justification from before the foundation of the world for God’s elect and even for them as saints in the Old Testament prior to the historical event of the cross.>>
The author’s point is to express the sure and certain promise of God to his people, to save them by the blood of the Lamb; that that salvation was planned by God from eternity past, and was so certain of being executed that their names were already recorded in heaven, even though they themselves had not yet been glorified. Thus the apostle grants them the full assurance you think I am trying to take away.
As for the OT saints, well let’s look at one of them, shall we?
Rom 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.”
When does it say that Abraham was counted righteous? Before time began? Nope. When he was granted faith.
You wrote: <<There’s OTC’s raw nerve: speaking peace. The REAL heart of the matter is whether you are qualified at all to police Christian orthodoxy. You just have revealed your own heresy, remember.>>
Really? Well then, let’s look into this, what you call the “REAL heart of the matter”: Am I qualified to police Christian orthodoxy?
1 Jo 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.
Joh 7:24 Do not judge according to sight, but judge righteous judgment.
1 Co 11:19 For there must also be heresies among you, so that the approved ones may become revealed among you.
Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel out of Heaven, should announce a gospel to you beside what we preached to you, let him be accursed.
Wow, it looks like I AM qualified to police Christian orthodoxy!! How about that! Who would have guessed? (Answer: anyone who reads the Bible.)
With that out of the way, I would like to ask what gives YOU the right to complain about us “policing Christian orthodoxy”? Earlier, you said that my soul was in “grave danger” because I denied eternal justification. That sounds like “policing Christian orthodoxy” to me. Not coincidentally, it also sounds like utter hypocrisy.
I also notice that you have completely FAILED to provide so much as a shred of evidence for your accusation that we at OTC damn men.
You wrote “I see that you hold to temporal justification and reject the Biblical truth of eternal justification not much because of the truth itself but because you are too anxious for its consequences which you can capitalize upon to justify your unbridled and relentless damning of men you suspect in the slightest hint of tolerating a tolerant who tolerates a tolerant who tolerates… and so on.”
Part of my response was: <<And here is something else you won’t find any proof for: that we damn anyone to Hell (let alone that we do it in a “relentless and unbridled” way). We do NOT judge anyone to be reprobate. If someone confesses a false gospel, I do not judge that person to be predestined for Hell. But I DO judge that person to be UNREGENERATE. And if that person CONTINUES in that unregenerate state until they die, then they will go to Hell. But I do not know if God will grant him or her repentance later in life. >>
If you can’t bring forth any proof for your accusation, then either repent of violating the ninth commandment, or at least admit that you are continuing to do it intentionally.
You wrote: <<The more you become apologetic here, the more and clearer you reveal your slanderous spirit. You slandered Mr. Pedersen based merely on his refusal to answer you. You made his silence say a thousand words. In this context the obviousness of the desired answer makes the question stupid. It’s like asking “Do you eat food?” or “Do you breathe air?” or “Do you think thoughts?” It’s just plain stupid. I’m no defender of Mr. Pedersen at this juncture but I think your rash judgment revealed that he whom you judge an unregenerate proved to be wiser than the one who claims to be regenerate: Proverbs 26:4, “Answer not a fool according to his foolishness, lest you become like him, even you.” I think you should put some sort of a clarification on OTC’s homepage (not hidden in other pages) that by “LOST” you don’t always mean reprobate but unregenerate. If you don’t do this, the more I will be convinced that OTC and Sovereign Redeemer Assembly is a synagogue and pit swarming with slanderous snakes under the sway of that Ancient Serpent and Archslanderer.>>
I’m not the least bit apologetic about what I said about Pedersen. And I didn’t slander him, because I told the truth about him: he refused to answer a question that even you called stupid. Well, if it really is so stupid, then why couldn’t he just answer it?
You don’t seem to grasp the whole nature of “slander”. “Slander” is when someone deliberately tells a lie about someone else. So, for example, when I told the TRUTH about Pedersen, it wasn’t slander; but when you accuse us of “relentlessly damning” people, that is a LIE. And when you see that it is a lie, and you intend to keep spreading it, that is SLANDER. See the difference?
So while I admit you have more familiarity than I do with being “under the sway of that Ancient Serpent”, accusing us of being under the sway of the “Arch slanderer” is pure hypocrisy.
You wrote: <<AA: Come on, come on… You are clutching at thin straws Mr. Adams. The point is NOT whether we now know that Christ LOVED that unregenerate man or that He sent the man away not showing favor and fellowship to him. The issue is whether Christ obeyed or disobeyed His Father Who (as you represent Him) actually shows WRATH to that unregenerate man. So you really admit that Jesus Christ LOVED the person to whom His Father shows WRATH? Your proud article says…
“So there is a time in each elect person’s life that he is loved by God as considered in the eternal decree of God and temporally under God’s wrath before the righteousness of Christ is imputed to him… God shows wrath toward His elect people in time before they have the imputed righteousness of Christ, and He shows love when the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them.”>>
OF COURSE Christ obeyed the father; he did it BY sending the rich young man away. God was showing wrath to the rich young man THROUGH the preaching of Christ:
Joh 15:22 If I had not come and had not spoken to them, they had no sin. But now they do not have excuse as to their sin.
You wrote: <<AA: I guess I have said enough to point your absurdity and contradictions. Premise 1 and the whole syllogism are just sound and true. You just don’t have an eye for the Truth.
What do you make of these syllogisms?
Syllogism # 1:
Premise 1: God HATES the elect in time prior to imputed righteousness
Premise 2: Christ LOVED an elect prior to imputed righteousness
Conclusion: God and Christ contradicted each other>>
OK. Premise #1 is true:
The boasters shall not set themselves before Your eyes. You hate all workers of iniquity. (Psa 5:5)
Unless you are willing to say that the elect prior to regeneration were NOT workers of iniquity, premise #1 is TRUE: God HATES the elect prior to regeneration. His hatred for them is a result of the fact that they are “workers of iniquity”. It is based on their present condition.
Premise #2 is true, but Christ’s love for the man is a result of the fact that that man was one of the elect. It was based on the rich man’s eternal predestination, not his present justification. That is precisely why Christ did not show any favor or fellowship towards the man. So premise 1 is true in a different sense than premise 2. It’s like saying that (1) a Christian is sinful, and deserving of Hell, and (2) a Christian is righteous and deserving of Heaven. Both statements are true, but in different senses. This makes the syllogism false, because in order for a syllogism to be true, both premises must be true in the same sense.
You wrote: <<Syllogism # 2:
Premise 1: Christ is qualified to be a saviour if He is a perfectly obedient Son
Premise 2: Christ disobeyed His Father by loving a person whom His Father hates.
Conclusion: Christ is not qualified to be a savior>>
Since your first premise is drawn from the faulty conclusion of your first syllogism, the second syllogism is also faulty.
You wrote: <<Syllogism # 3:
Premise 1: Anyone who believes a Christ who cannot save because he contradicts his Father is not saved.
Premise 2: OTC and Sovereign Redeemer Assembly believes a Christ who cannot save because he contradicts his Father.
Conclusion 1: OTC and SRA are not saved.
Conclusion 2: OTC and SRA are hypocrites in damning anyone whom they judge heretics>>
Since Premise 2 is drawn from the faulty conclusion of your first syllogism, both conclusions are faulty.
You wrote: <<I respond by quoting your own words: “We do NOT judge anyone to be reprobate. If someone confesses a false gospel, I do not judge that person to be predestined for Hell. But I DO judge that person to be UNREGENERATE. And if that person CONTINUES in that unregenerate state until they die, then they will go to Hell. But I do not know if God will grant him or her repentance later in life.” Then I add to that: If God does not grant you repentance even to your death, then I judge you not ETERNALLY JUSTIFIED.>>
OK, good. So now you can see why I insisted on that distinction. It wasn’t just me squirming out of the crushing grip of your logic, was it? There is an important distinction between someone who is PRESENTLY unregenerate and someone who is predestined for Hell.
You wrote: <<Just because Satan quotes Scripture doesn’t mean that what he said is truth. In the same way, just because a person like you who holds to a fundamental gospel heresy quotes Scripture and calls upon people to repent doesn’t mean he says the truth and that he is truly sent from God.>>
True. The actual standard to judge an argument is whether it conforms to the whole of Scripture. Notice that when Satan did quote Scripture, he only used a verse that was isolated and out of context (Mat 4:6).
Funny how you can come to this conclusion about me, but won’t even consider it when it comes to Pedersen, Calvin, etc.
By the way, thanks for admitting that my arguments are based on Scripture!
<<You reveal your ignorance, rashness and pride in your fallacious and impoverished view of the Protestant Reformation. Your fallacy consists in taking the meaning of the word Reformation (as a movement; a mighty and legitimate work of God) from a definition taken from a Webster’s or Oxford’s dictionary (“improve by change”; “modify”). What you are doing is like saying that just because a “pineapple” consists of the words “pine” and “apple” you conclude that a pineapple is actually an apple of a nature of that of a pine, or an apple produced from pine trees, and so on. The Reformation is a “coming out” of the false church. In coming out it seeks to return (“reform” = return to the original form) to the Old Paths—to the apostolic teachings.>>
The Reformers SAID they were coming out of the false church, but when you break down their arguments, the GOSPEL they were peddling was essentially the same: Jesus did as much for Judas as he did for Peter, Jesus died sufficiently for all but efficiently for the elect, etc. So they really DIDN’T come out from the whore church.
<<Now OTC and the Sovereign Redeemer Assembly seem to convey an impression that it does not come out at all from a false church. But it actually RESURRECTS a DEAD church. I ask you, where, or rather WHO was the true Church in the whole of history before OTC and SRA came to be? and who judges men in the manner that OTC does? That’s why I asked you whether you have someone you endorse in the past. You only gave a few links by persons who are as proud as you are. If you claim to be the only true church besides that of the apostolic times then you contradict Christ’s Words: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against her: (Matthew 16:18). You’re saying that there was no true Church (what you call Assembly) nearly 2,000 years prior to OTC since apostasy, heresy, death, persecution, etc., “prevailed against” it. Another heresy!>>
Those who were preaching the true Gospel would NEVER have been as popular as the well-known Reformers. Very few people would have wanted to buy their works, so their sermons probably never got printed. They would have been especially unpopular if they dared to condemn compromisers like John Calvin. People might even have accused them of being “under the sway of that Ancient Serpent and Archslanderer.”
<<These are your heresies so far:
1. Theology: God changes
2. Christology: Christ is not perfect (because of His disobedience)
3. Soteriology: (a) You teach a love, election, grace apart from the righteousness of Christ; (b) You believe you are saved by a disobedient Christ (inferred by your own proud doctrine)
4. Bibliology: You make Scripture a vile book of contradictions and therefore not infallible and not trustworthy
5. Ecclesiology: The Church through the ages after the apostles was actually extinguished contrary to the declaration of Christ in Matthew 16:18.
Repent Mr. Adams and believe the Gospel that truly gives God all the glory.
Hmm, that sounds suspiciously like “policing Christian orhtodoxy” to me. But of course you would never do that, would you?
- God never changes. In his UNCHANGEABLE hatred of sin, he must show wrath towards all who are unrighteous, and grace towards all who are righteous. Your god, however, would UNRIGHTEOUSLY keep justified people in the prison of unregeneracy for years.
- I have proven that Christ is not disobedient to the Father. But your christ shed his blood for NOTHING, since his blood utterly FAILS to secure the father’s blessings toward ALL his justified people.
- The elect were elected as Christ’s people, but they are not justified until Christ’s righteousness is imputed to them.
- You have yet to prove that I have made a single contradiction. Nice try though.
- I believe that the church was HIDDEN, not extinguished. You, however, apparently believe that anyone who could spout words like “predestination” and “reformation” were part of the true church. With a standard like that, you can’t even condemn Catholics.
The need for repentance is yours, Mr. Aquino. I would rejoice to see you repent and believe the Gospel.
But until you do, this correspondence is getting us nowhere. Please don’t write back unless you repent of your eternal justification heresy.