Is Free Will God’s Greatest Gift?

I had lunch the other day with a good Christian friend. He brought up the issue of free will, a subject that had weighed heavily on his mind recently. He confided with me that he thought he heard the voice of God speak to him one day.

This is what the Lord supposedly told him.

“Free will is the greatest gift I have given to man.” – Or something close to that.

My friend did a remarkable thing after hearing the word of the Lord, something I see very few Christians do when they supposedly hear God speak to them.

He discerned the message.

He rightly divided the word of truth. He questioned the scriptural integrity of those words. He did as Spurgeon advised; judged the right from the almost right.

See, the words ‘free will is God’s greatest gift’ may sound good, right and true on the surface, especially in the midst of a doctrinally confused generation of semi-Pelagians dominating the face of evangelicalism.

But is the notion scriptural? Continue reading

My (half-hearted) Apology to Jacob Arminius

Dear Mr. Arminius,

I am truly sorry for your loss. Your reputation over the past century has been diminished at the hands of believers everywhere who hold to free-will and Calvinist theology. I, along with multitudes of others, have used your name in vain. We have ascribed the fruits of your theological studies to the works of another man, much more notorious than yourself. Many adherents to modern evangelicalism’s methods of bringing souls to Christ by a simple act of the will apart from a work of grace are lumped together in a category of aberrant theology we call Arminianism. I have realized, to my chagrin, this is giving them far more credit than they deserve. To call preachers who ask lost souls to recite a canned sinner’s prayer devoid of repentance an Arminian is an insult to your good name. Preachers who teach, either directly or indirectly, man’s innate ability to choose Christ contrary to his sinful nature, should not be labeled with your name but with the name of a heretic from ages ago; Pelagius. Continue reading

The Fruit of Free-Will Theology

Just a few short years ago I had come to the end of my rope. I was ready to hang myself in despair. From the time God saved me in 1995 until 2000 when I finished up college, I had experienced marginal spiritual growth as a Christian. From mid-2000 to late 2005 my spiritual life collapsed.

So what happened to wreck my spiritual growth?

The simple answer lies in my efforts to establish my own righteousness after having received grace. I based my assurance on my spiritual performance. The cause of this faulty understanding had much to do with my limited exposure to teachers and preachers of God’s word. I swore allegiance to only 2 teachers and my pastor. Coming from a Pentecostal/Charismatic background I was taught early on to only listen to so-called ‘spirit-filled’ preachers, teachers and prophets.

Translation: I should only perk my ears toward pentecostal types who believed in tongues and spirit baptisms.

I could hardly tolerate any of the TBN preachers and teachers who fit this profile, although I would tune in to John Hagee and Hal Lindsey from time to time. I didn’t bother with the so-called ‘dried-up non-spirit-filled’ teachers, so my options were very limited. My pastor preached messages that were focused more on the happy life than on the scriptures so I wasn’t growing in the word much through him.

Note: Little did I know at the time my pastor was following the Church growth/Seeker-sensitive blueprint for manufacturing mega-churches. But that is another story… Continue reading

Singing the Praises of … Free Will?

I think I’m going to rename my blog Old Truth: 2nd Edition. Jim keeps posting some gems and today’s article is no different. The highlight is the YouTube video of a church service extolling the virtue of man’s free will to choose his own way. Honestly, I would not have believed it if I had not witnessed it with my own eyes and ears. I thought it was satire; hilarious, gut-busting satire. But no- it’s man singing his own praises to God.

Beware: If you are of the Reformed persuasion you may go into shock viewing this video. It is pure unadulterated Pelagianism. You’ve been warned.

Link: There’s more to Christian Music Than the Style