Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Weak Saviour of Arminianism

The most widely held theology in this country is Arminianism. At the heart of this theology is man's libertarian free will. It is man's ability to choose God whenever he chooses. Though he is sick in his sin God gives him enough grace so that he is made well enough to respond to him. Though God extends prevenient grace to all men and Jesus Christ died for all men it is the will of man that makes that grace and Christ's death effectual. God has done all he can but it is up to men to make what he has done effectual for them. This is the very core of Arminianism. It is the extension of salvation to all but it is up to man in his free will to accept what he has done. 

Very few ask the question, "what does this make of Christ?" So centered is this theology upon man and the defense of man and his free will that Christ is given a secondary thought. But it is absolutely essential to ask what does any system of theology make of Christ. For what a system of theology makes of Christ determines whether it is biblical and true, or unbiblical and not. So what does Arminianism make of Christ?

Firstly, Christ cannot save anyone, he merely extends his salvation to men in the hope that they will receive it. He does not know who or if any will. He came to this world, died on the cross without knowing who he was dying for because his death is only made effectual when man uses his free will to receive his death for him. The cross of Christ to powerfully save is emptied of its power, it is stripped of its effectiveness to redeem the lost from the slave market of sin. Instead he has died, has been resurrected, ascended to heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God, where he waits and hopes that someone will choose him. What a frustrated and anxious Saviour he must be.

Secondly, the grace of God is made prevenient. It is a grace that is extended to all men and makes all men savable. It is the free will of man which is such an essential of Arminianist theology that determines whether this grace saves or it does not. Though it is extended to all it is not sufficient to save any. It is only when man in his free will chooses grace that it has any power to regenerate and bring about new birth. How powerless is God that he can save no one without their permission. How feeble is God's grace that it needs the cooperation of a sinner before it can save even a single soul.

Thirdly, who is Jesus the mediator for in heaven? For whom does he stand before the Father and offer his sacrifice for? Since, in Arminianist theology, Christ died for all does this also mean he is also the mediator for all? Very few are those who are willing to take their theology to its logical conclusion.Very few will say that since Christ died for all he is also the mediator for all. But this is the logical conclusion of Arminianism. Since if he died for all it follows he must also be the mediator for all. And yet to believe this would be to say that there are people who Christ died for, he is the mediator for, yet they will go to hell because they use their free will to deny Christ. How useless a mediator is Christ. How unjust is God to condemn to hell those who Christ has died for and is the mediator for. Thankfully many are the Arminianists who are inconsistent.

Fourthly, how weak are the Father and the Son to keep any from permanently falling away. Many Arminianists will say that God will cause them to persevere to the end. But how can he do this? Can't the same free will man uses to enter into relationship with God be used to walk away from him? Does man lose his free will when he becomes a Christian? The Arminianist, if they are consistent with their theology, must believe that the same will they used to come to Christ and believe is the same will they can use to turn their back on Christ and to reject the faith they once confessed. Again, thankfully, very few are the Arminianists who are consistent with their theology.

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