July 27, 2014
(Editor’s Note: The following article first appeared in the Feb. 2003 edition of Outside The Camp.) Read the rest of this entry »
September 15, 2013
Today’s guest post was written by Marc D. Carpenter, and gives a good summary of our position on the terms “Reformed” and “Calvinist”.
As most of you know, we used to identify ourselves as “Reformed” and “Calvinists.” We used these terms in the general sense to mean that we believed in the doctrines of grace, sometimes known by the acrostic TULIP: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints. But as we have come to think more about these labels and what they convey (even unintentionally), we have decided that it is more harmful than helpful to use these labels. And with some new information we have found, the label “Calvinist” is actually not even consistent with a belief in the doctrines of grace.
“Reformed.” The name “Reformed” comes from the “Protestant Reformation” and the “Reformers” who led it. Even before the more well-known “Reformation” of Luther and Calvin, there were other “Reformers” before this. But what does the word “reform” mean? It means “to improve by change.” The “Reformation” sought to improve the Roman Catholic Whore Church, to correct it, to modify it, to alter it – to reform it. This is absolutely contradictory to what God commands in His Word. God’s Word says, “Because of this, ‘come out from among them’ ‘and be separated,’ says [the] Lord, ‘and do not touch [the] unclean thing,’ and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). The “Reformed” mindset would change 2 Corinthians 6:17 to say, “Because of this, ‘reform them’ says the Lord, ‘and try to change the unclean thing into the clean thing,’ and I will receive you.” God does not command His people to reform the assembly of unbelievers, lawlessness, darkness, Belial, and idols; He commands His people to COME OUT and BE SEPARATED from them and to NOT TOUCH THEM. Coming out and separating and not touching is quite a different thing than reforming. If one is in a rotten house, coming totally out of that house and living somewhere else is quite a different thing than attempting to rehabilitate the house while continuing to live in it.
God’s word also says, “And I heard another voice out of Heaven saying, My people, come out of her, that you may not share in her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4). The “Reformed” mindset would change Revelation 18:4 to say, “And I heard another voice out of Heaven saying, My people, reform her, rebuke her for her sins while remaining in Babylon to try to get it back on the right path.” God does not command His people to reform Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth; He commands His people to COME OUT of her. And what of those who do not come out of her? They are partakers in her sins and will be partakers of her judgment. As 2 John 11 says, the one who speaks peace to one bringing a false gospel is a partaker – a sharer – in the evil deeds of the one bringing a false gospel.
Now anyone familiar with the Roman Catholic Whore Church knows that well before the “Reformation,” there was no true gospel there. They had been promulgating the devil’s doctrine of salvation conditioned on the sinner for a long, long time. The Roman Catholic Whore Church was absolutely corrupt, through and through. False doctrine reigned. Idolatry, blasphemy, murder, fornication, and all manner of evil was the norm. This was truly a haven of harlots, a synagogue of Satan, a dwelling place of demons, a filthy, unclean, unholy entity if ever there was one, and it continues to be so today. This is not something that is to be reformed. It is to be abhorred, shunned, rejected, eschewed, repudiated, renounced, and forsaken. “COME OUT,” God says. God does NOT say “reform.”
Today, we have people who are advocating for a “modern reformation.” What this means to most is that the “church” of today (meaning all professing Christians, to them) is in need of a “reformation” like in the days of Luther and Calvin. This call for “reformation” is mostly coming from people who profess to believe the doctrines of grace (and who call themselves “Reformed” or “Calvinists”). What they do not realize is that the vast majority of professing Christian churches and professing Christians are just as much part of the Great Whore as the Roman Catholics are. At the same time they are calling for “Reformation,” they are calling those who believe a false gospel their brothers in Christ. Unless God saves them and shows them that these synagogues of Satan are full of evil people, their supposed “Reformation” is just an attempt to make unregenerate Arminians into unregenerate Calvinists.If God regenerates someone who has been in a false church (whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, Arminian or Calvinist, Baptist or Presbyterian or Independent), what is that person to do? As soon as it is known that this church preaches or tolerates a false gospel, that person is to LEAVE. He is not to stay and try to reform the church. He may witness to his former fellow churchgoers, he may expose the church and its doctrines as false, but he is not to be a part of that church any more. If he stays in that church, indicating that this church is a true church and preaches true doctrine and that his fellow church-goers are his brothers and sisters in Christ, then he is a participant in – a sharer in – their sins.
Think of this analogy: Suppose a man is a member of a homosexual advocacy group. Now suppose that this man is regenerated by God. Will this man stay a part of the homosexual advocacy group that promotes and defends the homosexual lifestyle? Will he try to reform it into a Christian group? Of course not. He will COME OUT of it and REPUDIATE it. So it is with someone who is a member of a synagogue of Satan. False gospel doctrine is just as horrific, just as disgusting, just as repulsive, just as vile, just as evil, just as wicked as homosexuality. In fact, Jesus said that it would be more tolerant for the Sodomites in Judgment Day than for those who reject the true gospel (Matthew 10:14-15).
Whereas before, we called ourselves “Reformed” to show that we believe the doctrines of grace, we now realize that there is too much more that is implied in this word to justify its use to identify true Christians.
“Calvinist.” The name “Calvinist” comes from the name of the most famous “Reformer,” John Calvin. Calvin’s name is used in one of the nicknames for the doctrines of grace, which is the “Five Points of Calvinism.” The “Five Points of Calvinism” were formulated in response to the “Five Points of Arminianism,” named after James Arminius. Therein lies one of the problems. To counter the doctrines of a man and his followers, the coiners of the name “Calvinism” used a name that implies the very same thing as “Arminianism,” which is that the doctrines were of a man and his followers. When a man’s name is attached to a set of doctrines, then it is implied that the doctrines originated with this man. Thus, the whole “Calvinism-Arminianism” controversy becomes merely one in which opinions of man are debated: “Calvinism” emphasizes the sovereignty of God, while “Arminianism” emphasizes the responsibility of man, all within the pale of true Christianity. As the God-hater A.A. Hodge said, “The difference between the best of either class is one of emphasis rather than of essential principle.” People say, “I am of the Calvinist (or Reformed) persuasion (or tradition).” (See the Heterodoxy Hall of Shame in Volume 3, Number 1.) It becomes nothing more than a persuasion, an opinion, an inclination, a leaning, based on the doctrines of a man and his followers. The logical conclusion of such thinking is that the “Calvinism-Arminianism” debate is nothing but divisive, partisan bickering between Christians over non-essential doctrine. Since they both consider the other to be Christians, then being in separate churches is nothing but schism based on a party spirit. If the “Calvinists” believe that the “Arminians” are their brothers in Christ, then, if they were consistent, they should join the “Arminian” churches. If the universal atonement and free-willism of the “Arminians” is not a vital difference, then separating over such non-essentials is sin. “For when one may say, Truly I am of Paul, and another, I of Apollos; are you not fleshly?” (1 Corinthians 3:4).
But for us who are Christians, we do not follow the doctrines of men. That is what the God-hating Pharisees did (Matthew 15:9). We follow the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9). The doctrines known as the “Five Points of Calvinism” did not originate in the sixteenth century with John Calvin or in the seventeenth century with the Canons of Dordt. They are doctrines from the Word of God. They are NOT the “Five Points of Calvinism.” The tolerant “Calvinists” can go on bickering with their brothers in Satan, the “Arminians,” all the while embracing them as brothers in Christ, but the CHRISTIANS will believe and proclaim the doctrine of CHRIST. Their boast will be in the cross of Christ ALONE, which makes the only difference between salvation and damnation.
Finally, to describe a belief in the doctrines of the name “Calvinism” implies that Calvin believed the doctrines of grace and that those who believe the doctrines of grace believe what Calvin believed. We have recently found out that Calvin did not even believe all of the doctrines of grace. In fact, he did not believe the very heart of the gospel, which is the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ. Needless to say, we were shocked and saddened when we discovered this. But the proofs are incontrovertible. (Note that the proofs below do not merely depend on Calvin’s use of the word “world” outside of the context in which he used it, which could be taken many different ways.) Contrary to William Cunningham’s statement that “There is not, then, we are persuaded, satisfactory evidence that Calvin held the doctrine of a universal, unlimited, or indefinite atonement” (The Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation, p. 398), the quotes below cannot be explained in any other way than universal atonement. [It is interesting to note that Cunningham also stated, “Now it is true, that we do not find in Calvin’s writings explicit statements as to any limitation in the object of the atonement, or in the number of those for whom Christ died; and no Calvinist, not even Dr. Twisse, the great champion of high Supralapsarianism, has ever denied that there is a sense in which it may be affirmed that Christ died for all men” (p. 396). If we take Cunningham’s version of Calvinism – that NO Calvinist has ever denied that there is a sense in which Christ died for everyone without exception – then we are certainly FAR from being Calvinists, as is every Christian.]
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April 22, 2012
Recently, I had an email discussion with a man named Mark DeYoung, in response to some things I had written to Ken Lokken. This is DeYoung’s final response to me. Note that he outright refused to discuss any biblical issues unless I first spoke peace to him. Note that he also accused me of being “unwilling” to discuss any biblical issues! Talk about hypocrisy.
From: Mark DeYoung
To: Chris Adams, Ken Lokken, Vic Sciavone, etc.
January 27, 2012
Re: Emailing: There is One Elohim
Ken and Vic,
Jesus warned us of people like Christopher…
Because he will not listen, Jesus said there comes a time we must shake the dust off of our feet, take the peace with us that is given by our God and His son Jesus.
There is never a time that such angry belligerence is considered acceptable, especially in the discussion of the Bible, our faith and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Here is Jesus words of instruction and also word of warning!
Matthew 10:13-20 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. (14) If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. (15) Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. (16) “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (17) Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; (18) and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. (19) When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; (20) for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Christopher, I have spent the last few days since your last email that I was aware of being sent out, as to my response.
Your refusal to “Come and let us reason together” concerning the Word of God, and your constantly foul spirited lambasting of anyone that refuses to accept your definition of God and the plan of salvation, has caused me to realize that this is the best time to say, “Good Day to you sir.”
At this point, Chris Duncan (who runs the outstanding blog Agrammatos) jumped in, nicely summarizing the debate to that point:
From: Chris Duncan
To: Mark DeYoung, Chris Adams, etc.
January 28, 2012
Re: Emailing: There is One Elohim
It looks to me like Mark DeYoung is exhibiting angry belligerence toward my brother in Christ, Christopher Adams. Initially, DeYoung was willing to count a Trinitarian as his brother in the Lord since, evidently, he believes the true identity of Jesus Christ to be a non-essential doctrine over which true Christians may disagree. What kind of sense does it make to solemnly warn a person over a non-essential or secondary doctrine?
Does Vic Schiavone think the true identity of Jesus Christ is a non-essential doctrine, over which true Christians may disagree? It seems so, since he just wished nothing but blessing upon him, in his last e-mail. DeYoung is belligerently warning Christopher, and Schiavone is “lovingly” blessing Christopher. DeYoung and Schiavone cannot get on the same page regarding someone who stubbornly refuses to relinquish his belief in a doctrine they believe to be non-essential.
In John 8:24, Jesus connects disbelief in His true identity with a person dying in their sins — evidently, a very small hint of mean-spirited and unChrist-like belligerence is being exhibited here.
More angry, impatient belligerence:
“Who is the liar, except the one denying, saying that Jesus is not the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one denying the Father and the Son. Everyone denying the Son does not have the Father. The one confessing the Son also has the Father” (1 John 2:22-23; emphasis mine).
Is a Son who merely came into existence at the time of Bethlehem being described here by John? Does it look like John thinks the true identity of the Son is something over which true Christians may disagree? Not unless, you believe John is calling true Christians antichrists, liars, and those who do not have the Father. So, unlike some of the non-Trinitarians on this list, the apostle John does not believe this is a secondary issue.
Do the non-Trinitarians believe that Trinitarians such as Christopher Adams and myself are denying the Son? How about you, Mr. Buzzard? I’ve seen your debate with James White and Michael Brown (both damnable heretics, by the way), where they voiced “concern” for you and your debate partner — but they lacked the spiritual spine to actually go as far the apostle John went (James White even referenced the apostle John’s words). Mr. Buzzard, in the debate, you had seemingly echoed their “concern” as well:
Sir Anthony: “… same as we. I’ve been told I don’t believe in God because I believe there’s a devil. I’ve been told I don’t speak in tongues enough so I couldn’t be saved. I’ve heard this from every single denomination. This is nothing new….”
Same as we? What does that mean? Are you saying that you, likewise, are “concerned” over the souls of tolerant Calvinist heretic James White and Arminian heretic, Michael Brown? What’s with the lack of certitude on your, James White’s, and Michael Brown’s parts? Why not come right out and say it like the apostle John did? Can’t bring yourselves to be that mean and belligerent?
May 21, 2010
Previously, I had given a definition of the Gospel, taken from the Christian Confession of Faith. In my last post, I wrote about how the person of Jesus Christ is at the heart of the Gospel. Today, let’s look at the work of Jesus Christ, and how it is also at the heart of the Gospel.
Here is how the Christian Confession of Faith defines the work of Jesus Christ:
The consummate act of obedience that Jesus Christ paid to the law was in suffering the ultimate penalty for the disobedience of His people that the law demanded. Thus, while upon the cross, Jesus Christ, as a perfect representative, substitute, and sacrifice for His people, became a curse for His people and suffered the unmitigated fury of God the Father, which was equivalent to suffering the very pains of hell. This was not for any guilt He had contracted Himself but for the sins of His people. Their guilt was imputed to Him, and He suffered the penalty their sins deserved. His finished work on the cross appeased God’s wrath in full toward all for whom He died and paid the ransom price in full for all for whom He died, guaranteeing the salvation of all for whom He died. [Gen 22:13; Exo 12:3-13; Lev 16:21-22; 17:11; Psa 22:1-18; 32:1; Isa 53:1-12; Dan 9:24-26; Zec 13:7; Mat 26:28; 27:35-50; Mar 15:24-37; Luk 23:33-46; 24:46; Joh 11:49-52; 19:16-30; Act 17:3; 20:28; Rom 3:24-25; 5:6-11; 1Co 1:30; 5:7; 6:20; 15:3; 2Co 5:21; Gal 1:4; 2:20; 3:13; 4:5; Eph 1:7; 2:13-17; Col 1:14,20-22; 2:13-14; 1Th 5:10; 1Ti 2:6; Tit 2:14; Heb 2:9-10,17; 9:12-14,26-28; 10:10-18; 13:12; 1Pe 1:18-19; 2:24; 3:18; 1Jo 1:7; 2:2; 3:5; 4:10; Rev 1:5; 5:9]
The key thing to bear in mind about the work of Christ is that it was effectual. It actually secured and guaranteed that all for whom Christ died would have their sins washed away. The work of Christ does not merely make his people saveable, it saves them. It does not have the potential to save, it actually saves.
The vast majority of religion that comes in the name of Christ denies this, of course. They teach that the work of Christ has the potential to save, but that it doesn’t do anything in and of itself. They make the blood of Christ to be worthless and valueless, and then go on to condition salvation on the work or the will of the sinner (cf. Rom 9:17) This is the very definition of “trampling the blood of Christ underfoot.” (Heb 10:29) It is sheer blasphemy, spitting in the face of Jesus Christ. And it clearly shows that these people are enemies of the Gospel.
Again, if you have never heard the Gospel formulated this way, I urge you to take some time to consider the Scripture verses referred to here. And for more information on the effectual work of Jesus Christ, be sure to read the articles Christ Crucified:God’s Love Manifested, The Atonement, Gospel Resurrection, The Satisfaction, and the sermon True and False Gospel, all by Marc D. Carpenter.
May 17, 2010
Before we can expose the enemies of the Gospel, we need to have a definition of the Gospel. This definition will serve as a standard for judging if, and when, a doctrine (and anyone who defends it) is in opposition to the Gospel (Isa 28:17).
I subscribe to the Christian Confession of Faith, and it defines the Gospel this way:
The gospel is God’s promise to save His people, giving them all the blessings of salvation from regeneration to final glory, conditioned exclusively on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, totally apart from the sinner’s works and efforts. It reveals the righteousness of God – how God is just to justify the ungodly based on the work of Jesus Christ alone. The gospel is not merely the fact that Jesus lived, died, and rose again, considered apart from the purpose of these truths, which were accomplished to establish a righteousness for all whom Jesus represented. [Gen 15:5-6; Psa 103:2-12; 130:3-4; Isa 1:18; 45:21-25; Jer 33:14-16; Mat 1:21; Joh 3:16; Act 13:32-39; Rom 1:16-17; 3:21-26; 4:5-8,13-25; 10:4,15; 1Co 15:1-8; 2Co 1:20; 5:21; Eph 1:3-2:22; 3:6; Col 1:5; 2Ti 1:1,9-10; Heb 10:4-17]
Obviously, there are a lot of implications to this definition of the Gospel, and the rest of the Confession goes over them in great detail. If this is a definition of the Gospel that you have never seen before, I strongly encourage you to take some time to study the Scripture references, and read the rest of the Confession. For more information on specific parts of this definition, please see the article Essential Gospel Doctrine, which is a compilation of sermons preached be Marc D. Carpenter.