Every time a plea for “love and unity” is used in a context where there is clearly a biblical mandate to rebuke with all authority, alarm bells against compromise should start to sound off. But when one’s spiritual senses have become so de-sensitized that they can no longer “try the spirits” in order to discern between good and evil (Titus 2:15, Heb. 5:14, 1 Jn. 4:1), they will end up on the broad way to destruction. But those who are trained by the chastening of the Lord, against such compromise, can be assured that they are on the straight and narrow path to life.
As seasoned parents of seven, and grandparents of seven (and counting), my husband and I have learned over the decades that rebuke and love are not always mutually exclusive. Although children will often perceive correction as hate, parents still have to be brave enough to take that risk for the sake of their children’s spiritual welfare. Biblical correction can and must be done with the goal of instilling a reverent fear of the Lord so that they will hopefully turn from their wicked ways. This is how God deals with His own children, or else they are illegitimate (Psa. 5:5, Prov. 3:12, Heb. 12:8).
So we cannot relate to any kind of Christian experience that lacks God’s severe chastening against wickedness and such unbiblical compromise, for by such severe means we have often been led to repentance ourselves.
We are to honor all people as image bearers of God, but this is never possible when one affirms people in a way that dishonors God and puts people at risk of being even more set in their wicked ways by misleading them into a false and fatal assurance. Yet this is the very thing that many are now guilty of, so it is no wonder that there are those who now seem to be so very deceived, unrepentant and unreachable. And this is why we do not want to be a partaker in such tragic outcomes that are the result of having a mindset that exalts the Arminian “freewill” of man over and against the sovereign, unlimited and absolute freewill of God.
Through trials of faith and personal examination by the Word of God, it is better for us all to realize our true spiritual condition now, before it is forever too late. For when Arminians come off with “yes/but” evasions, false caricatures of Calvinism, double-speak concerning the doctrine of original sin, foolish comparisons between inanimate machines (robots) and God’s image bearers, along with unbiblical mandates for faithful Christians to back down on exposing error just because they are also capable of sin and error, it is always a HUGE red flag. Such an unbiblical stance is the very reason why so many have lost any natural conception of good and evil.
God leads His people in paths of righteousness so that they cannot continue in a perpetual, unbroken, unrepentant pattern of sin. They can no longer in good conscience join a false religion or stay in one once they learn the truth. They can no longer in good conscience join forces with heretics, for He calls them to separation (2 Cor. 6:17). Though it takes them a while to discern the leading of their Savior, once they do, they will not be led by another spirit (Jn.10).
They would rather suffer…
“without the camp, bearing His reproach” (Heb. 13:13).
So the burden of proof is still on legalists to biblically prove how Arminianism’s exaltation of man, partial depravity, conditional election, universal atonement, ineffectual grace (dependent upon man’s “free” will consent) and works-salvation constitute the essential content of the gospel??
Since none of Arminianisms points are the essentials of the faith, then why in the world would a professing Christian contend for that which so blatantly militates against the true gospel?
Heresy is defined as a deviation from the essentials of the faith, and those who promote such are considered heretics. So what kind of bewitching spell could possibly cause a professing Christian to cowardly shrink back from calling Arminianism a heretical, false gospel promoted by heretics?
Just because one may currently be a heretic, that does not absolve us from our Christian duty to love them enough to instruct and warn them (not pander to them), so that perhaps God may grant them repentance to acknowledge the truth (2 Tim. 2:25-26).
There’s still hope!
God’s sovereignty is compatible with man’s responsibility. For God has decreed the ends, as well as the means, to bring His people safely home. Therefore, we take seriously our duty to warn those who are in severe, unrepentant error. To do otherwise would be to fall into the heresy of hyper-Calvinism.
Please think through this scenario:
How would you feel if a professing Christian knew that you were on dangerous ground, but pandered to you by giving you false assurance that everything was okay? After finding out the truth, would you believe that they had truly cared for your soul at all? Could you still respect them, knowing they were not even willing to risk you being offended to tell you the truth? Could you still believe that person really loved you and was a trusted friend?
Or, would you believe what Scripture says…
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Prov. 27:6).
Knowing what Scripture teaches, could you still believe a compromiser was a faithful Christian who cared more about God and His approval than the approval and praise of others? Then, most importantly of all, the ultimate question is how does God feel about such compromise? His Word makes it clear that He is a jealous God, Who demands that loyalty to Him must supersede all else.
God will NOT tolerate dual-loyalty.
“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Ex. 34:14). “Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than He” (1 Cor. 10:21-22)?
According to God’s Word, Apostle Paul feared his people might “put up with”false teachers who proclaim a false Jesus and a false gospel (2 Cor. 11:1-4), because it would indicate that their mind had been corrupted and subtly deceived by the devil, even if they had so much as simply tolerated such.
Paul grieved jealously for his people, for he knew that if they turned from the true gospel that he was giving them, they would turn to fatally deceived deceivers, and ultimately end up turning from God (2 Tim. 3:13). And we can relate heavily with “schismatic” Paul, for the concerns he had for his people are our very concerns for those who have now fallen off the ledge of legalism into the deep abyss of apostasy.
According to Scripture, this is the dangerous path that so many have been on all these years, and it seems to be all due to identifying too heavily with those who are in serious, unrepentant sin and error. This is why many have identified staunch CoC’ers as counterfeit Christians, for after all is said and done, they will defend evil, proving that they treasure other things more than the gospel.
But we identify too heavily with Christ and the gospel, so therefore, we refuse to capitulate. We would rather treasure and defend the truth, not Arminianism and its popular, compromised defenders, for it has been historically, biblically and thoroughly proven to be a false gospel. Ephesians chapter one alone completely destroys Arminianism!!
Charles Spurgeon once warned that:
“The man who is not willing to submit to the electing love and sovereign grace of God, has great reason to question whether he is a Christian at all. For the spirit that kicks against election is the spirit of the devil, and the spirit of the unhumbled, unrenewed heart.”
Just because we were once Arminians, and are still capable of sin, and unable to know their eternal destiny, does not excuse us from our reasonable duty to now expose their error, which we have been rescued from….in order to do just that! Whether they are really saved or not is none of our business, for the secret things belong to the Lord. But none of that changes the fact that we are to be about our Father’s business.
God didn’t rescue us just so we could boast that we have a “more consistent” version of grace than Arminians. God rescued us so that we can lead them to His effectual free grace and away from a false version of grace that depends upon mans unregenerate “free” will to make it effective.
Jesus said we cannot serve two masters (Mt. 6:24). There are no lukewarm in-betweens. This same warning is reiterated in 2 John vv. 9-11, which exclaims that we’re not even supposed to give deceivers a greeting (in a way that would be approving their false doctrine), or we’ll be “a partaker of their evil deeds.” That’s how serious this situation is.
“… the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:23-24).
So when a professing Christian claims that they are believing the same gospel as that of an Arminian, they are essentially apostatizing from the faith that they profess, for they are compromising in practice and committing treason against Christ. A spiritually rooted and grounded orthodoxy leads to orthopraxy. But a mere intellectual orthodoxy that has no transformative, powerful and lasting effect on one’s heart, mind, spirit and personal life will prove to be dead, unregenerate and worthless in the end (Lk. 8:11-15).
Therefore, we pray that God will mercifully grant repentance and enable us all to love, treasure and honor the truth way too much to be partakers of such shameful compromise, even if this means that we will lose popularity in the increasingly infiltrated camp of Christendom. We are not to fear people’s judgment of us and we are to never expect praise from the world, for God’s assessment and approval is all that matters.
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Prov. 29:25).
Although we will likely continue to be maliciously slandered and falsely accused of everything under the sun, we can take comfort in knowing that we are in good company with Apostle Paul, and others like him, for it is a badge of honor for Christians to share in the sufferings of Christ, Who has vested us with courage and conviction to fight the good fight of faith to the very end.
Copyright ©2020 by Lee Anne Ferguson.