Calvinism and Arminianism 3

One of the greatest differences between the evangelical Calvinists and those they deride as “Hyper-calvinists,” is the evangelical Calvinists believe Arminians and Pelagians are otherwise sound “Christians,” and refer to them as their brothers and sisters. The Hyper-calvinists believe that as long as one is unconverted from his natural freewill state by the operation of the Spirit of God, and converted to the free grace of God by the Gospel of the grace of God, there is insufficient evidence to consider such as a “Christian,” or a “brother or sister.” This is not to say that they consign then to hell–that is not their desire, for by their own experience they understand that before that gracious divine call out of darkness, they, too, were “vessels of wrath even as others.” Arminians and Pelagians are as much in need for the gospel as any “heathen” or pagan. Calvinists would do well to “evangelize” their Arminian or Pelagian “brothers and sisters.”

Modern Calvinists (evangelical Calvinists, neo-Calvinists) are virulently opposed to what they call “Hyper-Calvinism” and yet are warm and glowing toward professing Arminians. Modern Calvinists seem to be averse to questioning much of anything about modern Arminians and will warn Calvinists that they must be winsome, though modern Calvinists are anything but winsome to what they think of as Hyper-Calvinists. We are told that Calvinists and Arminians preach the same Christ and essentially the same Gospel so there is no need to divide over the things that are distinctively Calvinistic. However, there is a great desire to divide over the things that modern Calvinists think of as Hyper-Calvinism.

We must be careful to discern what is true and what people really believe versus what they profess to believe, though this may be thought of as judgmental. But if we are not discerning, then we will take the hand of a professing Arminian who is actually a Pelagian and our warmth toward them will further the deception of that person and help that person on to hell. Unity for the sake of unity is not true unity at all, but instead there is only true unity in the truth. When modern Calvinists are anxious to stand beside professing Arminians in the same denomination and say that they are all working together for the same Jesus and the same Gospel, what those modern Calvinists do not understand is that they are joining hands with Pelagians and warmly thinking of them as brothers and sisters in Christ. If Scripture is at all correct (and it is), then there is a narrow gate and a narrow road. Just because a person professes to be an Arminian does not mean that the person is one, but then again just because a person professes to be a Calvinist does not mean that a person is one. One is saved by Christ and Christ alone and not because of a theological position that one holds to in the intellect.

Why are modern Calvinists taking millions of Arminians at their words that they are Arminians and that they are true believers? Why are modern Calvinists not examining their own positions to see if they can even be called a Calvinist, but even more why are they not examining their hearts to see if Christ lives in them? The Pope of Rome is calling for unity among all who will use the name God and yet modern Protestants seem to have the same spirit to a lesser degree. The Gospel of grace alone will not admit of one work of the will any more than it will admit one work of the law for salvation, so how can there by unity by those who say they believe it and those who say they don’t? As long as we don’t care enough to set out careful distinctions about who Christ is and the Gospel, we will be like the Pope in calling for unity among different religions.

Galatians 1:6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

It is vital that we take care about the Gospel and of the Person of Christ. If we are going to be like Paul, then we must not see the favor of men by being winsome more than we are seeking the glory of God. It is not winsome to preach to men the Gospel of grace alone, but it is the only true Gospel. Modern Calvinists and modern Arminians need to hear the Gospel of grace alone regardless of their professions. Is the Gospel virtually lost in our land?

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