Tuesday, December 2, 2008
An article entitled, "Questions Which Challenged a Fundamentalist Preacher," by Roland C. Crosby, was sent to me by a friend. In the article, Brother Crosby regrets the tradition and theology, which he learned at the seminary, which were contrary to Calvinistic truths, which he later discovered. He says that he "resigned from an active ministry to give myself to full time study of the Bible" in order to resolve these questions. We have a problem with that, but it is the brother's business and not ours. Albeit, we will not need to resign anything to comment on the brother's questions and new found philosophy (Calvin Seed).
1. Can fallen sinners come to Christ of their own will and ability?
Well, we are not free will Baptists, and we do not believe that a man can save himself, but we do not believe that the FREEWILL OFFERINGS (Num. 15:3; Deut. 16:10) were irresistibly given. Moreover, it is plain to us that after the gospel is preached, after the Holy Spirit has reproved a fallen sinner, the word is nigh that sinner, even in his mouth, that is the word of faith which we preach (Rom. 10:8). Nevertheless,
fallen sinners cannot believe without hearing and cannot hear without a preacher (Rom. 10:14). If the fallen sinner wills, God already wills (John 7:17)!
2. Does the Bible teach that God loves all men without distinction as is widely preached today?
The approach to this question is a novel one. Proof texts are cited to show that God hates Esau and "hates ALL workers of iniquity" and abhors nations, and then complaint is made over the INDISCRIMINATE love that is preached. Well, what about the indiscriminate hate? Are there no elect in the abhorred nations? Are the elect never found among the "workers of iniquity?" What about the elect that "were by nature CHILDREN of WRATH, even as others (Eph. 2:3)?
3. Does the Bible teach that God requires repentance and faith from a sinner before he can be regenerated?
This seems to be the case, at least, in one hundred fifty places. Oddly, after dis daining his college training and traditions, the good brother appeals to the GARBC articles of faith for support on this one. Moreover, despite his loving comments for the King James Bible as the preserved word of God, he better renders 1 John 5:1 - IS BORN (after a modern translation) as follows: "whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ - has already been born of God." If the good brother is so willing to take these liberties, we submit a few other suggestions to illustrate how much fun he could have, proving that regeneration takes place BEFORE faith and repentance.
"When thou art saved or be born again, thou wilt believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." --Acts 16:31 (Calvin Reversed Stumbled Version)
"Whosoever receives remission of sins believeth on him." --Acts 10:43 (Calvin Reversed Stumbled Version)
"But these are written that ye might have life . . . and having life ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ." --Acts 20:31 (Calvin Reversed Stumbled Version)
"For God so loved the elect that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever of the elect having everlasting life should believe on him." John 3:16 (C. R. S. V)
"He that heareth my word and hath everlasting life believeth." --John 5:24 (C. R. S. V.)
"We are them that are saved to the believing of the soul." --Hebrews 10:34 (C. R . S. V)
". . .receiving the end of your salvation, even the faith of your souls." --1 Pet. 3:9 (C. R. S. V)
Even Brother Crosby's appeal to John 1:13 to prove such nonsense avoids and ignores John 1:12, which insists on receiving Christ and believing on His Name to be born of God.
4. Does the Bible teach conclusively that God wills to save all men without exception as is so often taught using John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:4; Heb. 2:9; 2 Pet. 3:9
Curiously, Brother Crosby has no problem applying Esau to all of the non-elect, but he has difficulty with the world, all, and every man being applied to the world, all, and every man. We are sure that he is capable of finding places where the world, all, and every man do not really mean the world, all, and every man (as the J.W. is capable of finding places where fire, hell, torment, forever, and everlasting do not really mean fire, hell, torment, forever, and everlasting). Are such stalemating tactics an indication of Crosby's strength . . . or weakness?
5. Does not the Bible clearly state that God elected or chose certain individuals "in Christ before the foundation of the world" to salvation (Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9) while leaving others to just condemnation for their sins?
Well, as a matter of fact . . . No! It does not clearly or unclearly state that. Only a manipulation of the text could make it say that. It says nothing about "leaving others to just condemnation of their sins." Moreover, it does not say that God elected or chose CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS. It says, "US!" Not one living unsaved man can clam to be chosen in Him or can be said to be CHOSEN IN HIM - before or after the foundation of the world. Only saved BELIEVERS have claim to this scripture. Also, the rest of the verse tells us that saved folks were chosen that they "should be holy and without blame before him in love." Obviously, some have not fulfilled that part of their election. The key phrase is IN CHRIST No one can benefit from any of the blessings or promises that are IN CHRIST until he is IN Christ. No one is elect, WHO IS NOT IN CHRIST!
6. If you are saved and sure of heaven and your brother (?) is lost and going to hell, what makes the difference?
Brother Crosby's implication is not clear in the question, but his contention is that a person's faith is not the determining factor in their salvation. His task, here, is to make non-calvinists appear to be saying that their faith is the basis of their salvation and that they regenerate themselves and that they take credit for their own salvation.
The blood of Christ is the basis of salvation. Faith is the means or connection to Christ's blood. That faith is the determining factor and not meritorious is born out by Ephesians 2:8, "By Grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift (salvation by grace - not faith) of God . . ." No faith - no salvation! That is as determinative as you can get!
7. Why do the vast majority of professing soul winners, who claim the eternal destinies of the lost are hinged on their efforts, spend so little time, energy, or money to win the lost?
Good question! Good point! You have us there. A feeble reason (but no excuse) would be the world, the flesh, and the devil, but we are still speechless. Nevertheless, since you love human philosophy and logic, why do the vast majority of professing Calvinists, who claim the eternal destinies of the lost are fixed and hinge on nobody's efforts, spend any time, energy, or money at all to win the lost? (we are aware that many of them have already come to that conclusion and so abide).
8. Why do many pastors and churches tolerate and even ignore known sin within the church membership, when the Bible clearly commands that sin be purged from the local body of Christ? (1 Cor. 5)
Brother Crosby, shame on you! We thought you knew. They have no free will! There is nothing that can be done about it! It is all fixed and settled before the foundation of the world!
Philosophical human reasoning, ambiguity, and nuances of language along with intellectual intrigue are the novelties that convert unsuspecting, unprepared, and gullible folk into this philosophical system. They do not come by it by reading and studying the Bible. Calvinistic books, articles, and statements are planted somewhere along the way. They are called Calvin Seed!