Etikettarkiv | heretic

Jesse Morrell Debates Sye Ten Bruggencate on Calvinism, Sovereignty, Abortion, Open Theism

If you want to see Jesse’s debate with Matt Slick, you can check this link.

 

Sye Ten Bruggencate said: ”Nothing happens outside of God’s plan Jesse, nothing.”

Hugh McBryde said: ”Yes. Abortion is God’s plan Jesse Morrell. If the book of our days is written, that is also.”

”So given Sye’s premise that all abortions, rapes, murders, molestations, genocides, etc, are God’s plan:

1. Calvinists are upset with God’s plan.

2. Calvinists are upset with God’s plan because God decreed that they would be.

3. God hates His own plan.

4. Calvinists pray for the abortion of babies when they pray “thy will be done.”

5. Sin is better than righteousness in all instances of its occurrence.

6. God prefers sin over holiness in every instance that it occurs.

7. God prefers the slaughter of millions of babies in abortion over saving their lives.

8. Nothing is better than the slaughter of millions of babies in abortion whenever it occurs.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Calvinism is reduced to absurdity, blasphemy on God’s character, and worthy of all mockery, ridicule and scorn.  

Biblical Truth Resources

56423944

FREE BOOK

objectionstocalvinismfrontcover-2

I am giving away a free copy of the classic book, “Objections to Calvinism As It Is” by Randolph Foster! I pray that this blesses your life.

You’ll also receive in the same email two other theological books that I won’t name, just to spark your curiosity some more.

And lastly, you’ll also be subscribed to our free email newsletter and will receive biblical articles and great content from time to time.

JESSE MORRELL DEBATES SYE TEN BURGGENCATE
On Calvinism, Sovereignty, Abortion, Open Theism, etc.

It seems that I continue to rattle the devil’s nest as the attacks from Calvinists continue to come against me. (For those of you who don’t know, Calvinism is a teaching that says Jesus did not die for everyone, God does not want everyone to repent and be saved, etc. It claims to be ‘the Gospel’ but is really an utter denial of the Gospel. It…

Visa originalinlägg 8 119 fler ord

John MacArthur causes a division in Church on false grounds – Strange Fire?

john macarthur

John MacArthur and his Strange Fire Conference, where he attacks christian charismatics

John MacArthur is a professed calvinist, and calvinists believe in TULIP which means (IF they want to be consistent with their own teachings) that they don’t believe that Jesus died for everyone (Limited Atonement), that God doesn’t want everyone to be saved, that people are born elect/non elect (saved/doomed), that nothing comes to pass against the will of God, that even sin is according to God’s will, etc. So not only does MacArthur preach false doctrines and insults our holy God, but as can be seen below it also looks like he is awfully close to committing the unpardonable sin by publicly ascribing the power of the holy Spirit – when it comes to casting out demons and healing people – to SATAN. It’s obviously not an unpardonable sin to simply doubt the truthfulness of a person’s supposed healing – not even if you express your doubt out loud, because you certainly might be right in your observation – HOWEVER if a person truly has cast out demons and healed someone and you as a believer of God publicly claim that this is not from the holy Spirit at all but of Satan, then it appears that you fit the description of blaspheming the holy Spirit. Being unsure is not a sin, and expressing your doubt is not a sin, but to publicly ascribe ALL modern cases of healing to Satan will lead to sin because not all of those cases are of Satan but of the holy Spirit. MacArthur seems to suggest that 100% of all claimed cases of casting out demons and/or healing are either fake or of Satan (unless it’s by the hands of Jesus or his apostles). If he is wrong in some of those cases – which he is – then this results in that he is guilty of suggesting that people have unclean spirits despite that they do NOT. The holy Spirit should rather be praised for what just happened instead of being attacked and compared with darkness. Only God can be the judge here, but MacArthur should reevaluate his mission – if it isn’t too late.

Matt. 12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.—24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.—27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.—31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Mark. 3:22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.—28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.30 BECAUSE THEY SAID, HE HATH AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT.

A transcript from MacArthur from his ”Strange fire” conference 2013, sponsored by Grace To You:

“Why don’t evangelical leaders speak against this movement?  Why is their such silence? Look When somebody attacks the person of Christ the Evangelical world rises up and says “no, no, no!”  . . . the Holy Spirit has been under massive assault for decades and decades, and I’ve been asking the question ‘where are the people rising up in protest against the abuse and the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?‘ The only thing I can suggest is that they have been literally backed up into a corner by intimidation that they need to be loving and accepting and tolerant and not divisive in the body of Christ, that’s been the mantra. . .”

He also says:

“people caught up in any kind of error are cut off from God’s blessing.”

”Why are evangelicals silent about charismatic error?”

”The Lord calls His people to honor Him, to treat Him as holy. Leviticus 10 pictures the consequences of not doing so—of offering to Him strange fire. For the last hundred years, the charismatic movement has been offering a strange fire of sorts to the third Person of the Godhead—the Holy Spirit. And evangelical churches have chosen to be silent or indifferent on the matter. This hasn’t served the church or the Spirit of the church with honor.”

Where did he get the term ”strange fire” from, which is the title of his conference, and which he ascribes to the entire charismatic movement? This Biblical incident:

Leviticus 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not.And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.

Numbers 3:4 And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord, when they offered strange fire before the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest’s office in the sight of Aaron their father.

Numbers 26:61 And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the Lord.

Clearly the strange fire offered to God in Leviticus was sinful and against his will, because he had forbidden that kind of unlawful fire. Nadab and Abihu were immediately devoured before the Lord when they transgressed his law. Since MacArthur equals the entire charismatic movement (Assembly of God, the Pentecostal church, etc) with this type of unlawful strange fire, then he couldn’t possibly regard any of the members as saved – but rather as gangsters who oppose the holy Spirit and side with Satan. How could anyone be saved who purposely present strange fire (which is nothing but demonic) before the Lord?

On his website MacArthur favors the idea that speaking in tongues is DEMONIC/SATANIC/HERETICAL and HAVE CEASED. Can anyone be saved who are demonic/satanic/heretical and who engages in spiritual matters that are no longer in use? Of course not, because then you’re engaging in Satanic matters instead of godly matters! So if you belong to Assembly of God or a Pentecostal church, you’re not saved according to MacArthur. Moreover, the gifts of the holy Spirit are not only in use in those type of churches, but they can also be found in various other churches even if they are more common in the charismatic ones. If you happen to be a person who belong to a charismatic church and don’t use any the spiritual gifts, how could you be saved if you choose to remain in the midst of demonic/satanic/heretical/false christians who present strange fire before the Lord? What does light have to do with darkness? Nothing! So the only conclusion is that MacArthur doesn’t believe that any of the members of the charismatic churches are saved, and that’s about 450.000 – 500.000 christians according to the statistics – and even more if you add all others (in other types of churches) who use the spiritual gifts. MacArthur says on his website:

”No, it is significant to note that Pentecostals and Charismatics can’t substantiate their claim that what they are doing is the Biblical gift. There’s really no evidence to prove it. There is no evidence that it’s language. You say then, ”What is it?” Could be demonic. Could be satanic. I think it was in Corinth, in some cases. Could be that. Ecstatic speech is a part of many pagan religions in Africa, East Africa. Tonga people of Africa, when a demon is exorcised, sing in Zulu even though they say they don’t know the Zulu language. Ecstatic speech is found today among Muslims, Eskimos, Tibetan monks. It is involved in parapsychological occult groups. Did you know that the Mormons, even Joseph Smith himself advocates speaking in tongues? It could be demonic.

Now all of these supposed manifestations of tongues were always identified as heretical, fanatical, unorthodox, outside the Church; and we conclude that when they ceased they ceased, and there have been continual off and on fabrications of counterfeit tongues. Since these gifts did cease, the burden of proof is on the Charismatics to prove that what is happening today is valid. Why do we always have to get backed in the corner and prove our case? Why don’t they take the Bible and prove theirs and look at history as well and do the same?

Wherever in the Bible does it say that you are to speak in a private tongue? Never! A private ecstatic, angelic speech–never! It’s hard for me to argue against those who say that tongues is a private prayer language because I can’t go to some text and correct them because there isn’t any text!

Suffice it to say that this unique gift given for the Apostolic time is irreproducible today, and whatever purports to be that is not that; it is something counterfeit. A myriad of studies, which I’ll deal with in the book [Charismatic Chaos], and when you get a copy you can read them in detail, give evidence of the fact that motor-autonomism (sp.), ecstasy, hypnosis, psychic-catharsis, collective psyche, memory excitation, and all other kind of terms are used to describe people who go into these kinds of trance like experiences.  

So there are no verses which say that we can speak in tongues privately? What’s wrong with these?

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue EDIFIETH HIMSELF; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 

28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and LET HIM SPEAK TO HIMSELF; AND TO GOD

I don’t feel those who speak in tongues need to prove anything to Mr MacArthur and he can continue to believe that speaking in tongues is ”trance like” even though they aren’t. If pentecostals today don’t do anything else but speaking in counterfeit demonic tongues, then only cessationists could be saved – unless he believes demon possessed people can enter the kingdom of God. This means that MacArthur concludes that a person is definitely NOT a christian as soon as he hears him speaking in tongues or making use of any other spiritual gifts. That’s pretty much the exact opposite of what the Bible says, because Peter and other believing jews realized that the gentiles around them had received the holy Ghost precisely because they spoke in tongues and magnified God (speaking in tongues in combination with good fruit). MacArthur, however, understands speaking in tongues totally different from the apostle Peter does, because when he hears someone speaking in tongues he (MacArthur) believes that person is not saved because of the tongues.

Act 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.46 FOR THEY HEARD THEM SPEAK WITH TONGUES, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, WHICH HAVE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST as well as we?

Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

1 Thess. 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.20 Despise not prophesyings.21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

MacArthur doesn’t do anything else than causing a huge DIVISION in church, but I admire his ability to twist the Scripture to make it say what he wants at the same time as he suggests that other preachers (but not himself) are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Maybe he who shouts ”beware of the wolf” the loudest is one of the biggest wolves himself? He would do well to consider the following verses which he either avoids or butchers in his ”charismatic chaos series” and in the Strange fire conference:

1 Cor. 12:Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.—10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.—30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?31 But COVET EARNESTLY the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Paul tells us to covet earnestly the best gift. Does MacArthur obey Paul in doing so? Does he realize that speaking in tongues might not be understood (since the Bible says that NO MAN UNDERSTANDS) and that there wouldn’t even be a need of the gift of interpretation of tongues IF tongues were always understood? Paul doesn’t say ”if you don’t have the gift of interpreting, then don’t use the gift of speaking in tongues at all”.duva

1 Cor. 14:1Follow after charity, and DESIRE spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.  2For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh NOT UNTO MEN, but unto God: for NO MAN UNDERSTANDETH HIM; howbeit in the spirit HE SPEAKETH MYSTERIES.  3But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.  4He that speaketh in an unknown tongue EDIFIETH HIMSELF; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.  5I WOULD THAT YE ALL SPAKE IN TONGUES but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”— 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are ZEALOUS of spiritual gifts, SEEK that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue PRAY that he may interpret.14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.—18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all19 Yet IN THE CHURCH I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.—28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and LET HIM SPEAK TO HIMSELF; AND TO GOD.—39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

Does MacArthur understand that we are not even speaking to men but unto GOD when we speak in tongues (and no man understands), UNLESS the tongues are interpreted? Does he realize that Paul recommends us to speak in tongues privately at home? Does he realize that Paul NOWHERE says that the speaking in tongues shall cease before the coming of Christ, when we shall see him as he really is? If speaking in tongues has ceased, as MacArthur claims, how come it hasn’t? How come millions of true born again christians still speak in tongues? If they are all Satanic, why didn’t Paul bother to warn us about this? Wouldn’t it have been better for Paul to say somewhere that ”the true speaking of tongues shall cease close after my own death, but there will be millions and millions of so-called christians (who show good fruit) who will speak in FALSE tongues, so be aware of them and don’t fall into the same trap”, etc?

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

If Paul spent a few months in a certain church and noticed that none of the spiritual gifts were present, wouldn’t he have been disappointed and reproved the leaders of this church for neglecting to encourage these gifts – which could have been to much edification both for individuals and/or for crowds of people? I fear that people are so afraid of the misuse of the gifts of the holy spirit that they don’t seek them at all, and this ends up being a victory for the devil.

Unfortunately, John MacArthur has made a study Bible, and you would do well to disregard it. He gets a lot of things right, but he also gets lots of things wrong and there is a risk you will fall for gnosticism/calvinism (and that God is the author of sin) if you start to believe MacArthur’s claims in his book. I can also say that quoting MacArthur where it sounds like he believes that man has free will, that we all have a chance to be saved, etc, only proves that he is not consistent with his own teaching (TULIP) and that he contradicts himself.

”Yes, someone says, but can’t Christians put themselves outside God’s grace? What about those who commit ABOMINABLE SINS? Don’t they nullify the work of redemption in themselves? Don’t they forfeit the love of God? CERTAINLY NOT …. it’s preposterous to think that we can forfeit it [salvation] BY ANYTHING WE DO” (John MacArthur, Jr., The Love of God, Word Publishing, 1996, p. 159.)

”Secondly, you asked about occasional SEXUAL SIN or getting drunk. Again, THESE SINS CANNOT CAUSE A TRUE BELIEVER TO LOSE HIS SALVATION” (Personal letter dated 1/10/94 sent by Bryan Johnson, a counselor from John MacArthur’s ministry.)

The Bible says:

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

2 Peter 2:2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

1 Tim. 4: 1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Jude 1:For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I have no other desire than seeing also John MacArthur receiving the gift of speaking in tongues (and other gifts), but if puts so much energy in fighting against the holy Spirit and His gifts, the chances are slim that it will happen.

John MacArthur teaches that it’s possible to be saved even after having taken the mark of the beast (he starts with the incorrect premise of pre-tribulation). The Bible says the opposite. What if people in the future trust MacArthur’s assurance and take the mark of the beast? It’s of course no valid excuse to blame others (false teachers) for our choices, but teachers who present damnable doctrines have blood on their hands. Let’s pray for their repentance, and that people won’t trust MacArthur’s false assurances.

See below how MacArthur makes it known, that if you’re in the charismatic movement you’re NOT saved and you’re NOT part of the body of Christ. I get chills down my spine listening to his war against charismatic christians, and how he gets applauds from the other leaders (and the audience), and how people laugh when he makes jokes about the whole matter. I also don’t trust his concern for lost souls, because if he is right about his own gospel, then his God doesn’t even want all people saved, but only the elect – and of course all calvinists belong to the elect.

How calvinism can cleverly creep in to YOUR church unnoticed (Jude:4)

JudeIf you were a pastor for a church and some guy asked you:

I would like to teach your Sunday school kids that Jesus only died for a few people and not the whole world, that God doesn’t want all to be saved, that man doesn’t have free will, that whatsoever comes to pass is predestined by God no matter how evil it is, that nothing happens against the will of God, that he is the one who makes us sin through our sinful natures and that even abortions happen according to the will of God. Would that be ok with you?

Would you say yes? I don’t believe you would accept even if you were a pastor for a reformed church, because this guy expresses himself in a way that is much too straightforward and he doesn’t leave anything to be read in between the lines being so upfront with his belief. He spells out his doctrines too strongly – even if what he says actually lines up with calvinism (TULIP) perfectly. Now, not all calvinists aspire to be consistent with their own teachings and that’s why they often express themselves as though they were freewillers. Instead of taking their doctrines to their logical conclusions (if nothing happens against the will of God then also sin must be according to the will of God) they prefer to settle with vague ”mysteries”.

In order to present calvinism in a more appealing way he would have to be much more careful with his expressions/terms and focus on the good things about God, such as him electing people to salvation (but being careful with confessions that God also sends people to hell even though they have no choice but to be the wicked people that their God always wanted them to be). In a Church he would have to mix in lots of self evident truth that he knows that most christians can agree on, and to generally act and speak in such a way that his listeners can feel confidence in him and what he is about to teach them. Instead of using terms that sound calvinistic he would instead rephrase himself, and he would highlight certain popular verses (among calvinists) without covering the context and ask the students leading questions.  

I’m not saying calvinists generally stand up in church and openly promote sin, BUT unfortunately calvinism in itself is a very sin-condoning system. If a person starts to believe that he is born with a sinful nature that makes him sin by necessity, and that he is once saved always saved so occasional sins are not an obstacle for eternal life, and that God has actually selected whom to save already from when the world began, then it’s a risk this person will easier fall for temptations. He really doesn’t have much to lose if his soul is never at stake. Be careful! The Bible warns about men who sneak into our churches and homes and who change the grace of God to a license to sin! These dangerous men will NOT say ”Go and sin all you want because God doesn’t care”, but they will express themselves in a much more sophisticated way. Be on your guard for what you hear in between the lines because THAT is their real message!

Jude:For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)

I love calvinists enough to warn them about false doctrines and that they are deceived!

Interestingly Jude is telling us in the verse before that we should ”earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”. So if Jude is exhorting us that we should believe the doctrines that were once delivered to the first saints, what exactly did the saints believe and teach? We know this from the Bible of course where the first saints and eye witnesses wrote down their stories, but some of them also had disciples (also saints) who naturally kept on teaching what they had been taught from the disciples of Jesus – who they had the privilege to know and be taught by. The apostle John is a good example of a disciple of Jesus who had his own disciples (like Polycarp), and John reached an old age. The first disciples were considered our ”church fathers” and it’s interesting that NONE of them taught anything remotely close to Calvinism the first 300+ years AD. The only ones who taught such doctrines were the gnostics and they were considered heretics. But today gnosticism is crept into our midst unnoticed!

JudeBeloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

If someone admits that he must ”cleverly” avoid certain terms in a Sunday school class in order to teach kids the real meaning of God’s sovereignty (the way calvinists understand this term), doesn’t this suggest this person is sneaking his preferred doctrines into church? Here is what a calvinist with the user name ”Blainemonster” wrote in a christian forum, and you can find the whole story in this blog article. When he wrote his post, he probably didn’t realize exactly how much he would upset christians (christians who believe in free will perhaps I should add) and particularly those who belong to an Assembly of God church and who realize that their children risk to be deceived in their own Church. One must wonder if his motive isn’t simply to spread calvinism since he admits that he must cleverly hide his convictions. Someone (or more) made a polite response to his post but the moderator chose not to add it. Instead the moderator defends this calvinist vehemently (and Blainemonster is prevented to defend himself which would be a more honest approach) at the same time as he also judges all those who feel that his behavior was inappropriate in a Church.

”Just yesterday I was teaching (in my A/G church) my high school class the Scriptural truths about God’s sovereignty in salvation. I cleverly did not use the terms “unconditional election” or “Calvinism.” I simply explained what the Bible clearly teaches in, i.e., Ephesians 1 and Romans 8. The kids came up with some good questions, and what I noticed was that we (humans) desperately want to be able to explain everything.

A couple of the students hypothesized that, regarding foreknowledge, it was just that since God knows everything, he already knew who would choose him – that same ol’ saw. I explained that first of all, that that is NOT what “foreknow” means, and then helped them to see that if it were true, then God is essentially bound by our decisions.

We went on from there to talk very briefly about the mysteries of God. At any rate, it was a fun exercise, and what you’ve posted today is just exactly where we were yesterday. I love these bits especially:“The issue of human freedom and unconditional election is in the same apophatic domain. We can’t make sense out of them and once we do, we have entered into error.”

Wouldn’t parents who attend an Assembly of God church (a Church which is NOT based on calvinism), and who send their kids off to a Sunday school, like to know what the Sunday school teacher is really teaching their kids? I would be mightily upset if it happened to me! If I went to a Church based on calvinism on the other hand, then such doctrines would come as no surprise to me.

Yes, It is wrong for a Christian minister to hide his true convictions on important theological matters. It is even more wrong for him to hide those convictions in order to provide cover while subversively introducing them in a setting where they are not welcome.

I realize how easy calvinism can creep into Churches and homes here in Sweden despite that calvinism has never been popular here before. Young people might attend reformed Bible schools in the US and bring home false teachings which they continue to spread to others, and people who own websites and Blogs interpret video clips from Paul Washer, Mark Driscoll, John Piper and other calvinists and introduce more and more Swedes to calvinism. Of course, it’s a huge risk that those who listen are not aware of that the preachers are calvinists in the first place (and they are never introduced as such) but once some listeners are caught on the hook you can slowly but successfully draw the whole fish line into the boat and catch yet another person into the net of calvinism.

Did AUGUSTINE corrupt the church with gnostic doctrine? (Yes)

This is a well researched must-see film for all who are curious about the views prior to Augustine of Hippo who lived between 350-430 AD. We often hear about the views of Martin Luther and Jean Calvin, but many of their views actually derive from Augustine. What views did the early church fathers have who lived beyond him? We can see that they unanimously and without exception believed in man’s free will and none of them believed that man is born with a sinful nature or inherited Adam’s sin. You can read more quotes from the website eternaltruth.us or my blog article here.

The Bible says:

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints

This means that we should pay close attention to what these early saints had to say about salvation since the ”faith” was once delivered to them and since Jude here exhorts us to earnestly contend for this faith. (Naturally this doesn’t exempt us from our responsibility to compare everything we read and hear with scripture. ) Since ALL of the early church fathers (before the time of Augustine) believed in free will, and NONE believed in ”once saved always saved NOR that man is born with a sinful nature AND (most importantly) since the BIBLE teaches the same things, then we should be completely confident about what the true doctrines really are which Jude is referring to. The only ones who taught the opposite were the GNOSTICS, and Augustine (a former gnostic) sadly brought in many gnostic ideas into church which we have been deceived by ever since. It’s time to go back the teachings of the early church, which are based on the Bible. God is not a God of confusion and is able to reveal the real truth to us in the Bible. The false idea that babies are born in sin is nothing but gnostic heresy and yet this falsehood is rather common worldwide in our churches today.

Response to Tony Miano’s Article at Carm.org about Mark Cahill

Response to Tony Miano’s Article at Carm.org on Mark Cahill (CALVINISM) – Kerrigan Skelly

The unchristian attack by Tony Miano against some innocent christian brothers was so nasty and hypocritical, so I’d like to take the opportunity to display the rebuttal/defense also here on my Blog. Also check the article here by Jesse Morell in the same matter.

I’d also like to warn others from the website http://www.carm.org where the article was found. The website contains lots of truths, but sadly mixed with heresy since the founder Matt Slick promotes calvinism here and there. Calvinism is based on TULIP and you can read more about what TULIP stands for here. TULIP maligns the character of God by directly or indirectly making him the author of sin. I write this warning because I love calvinists and I hope they will turn away from their gnostic teachings and find the one true God whose son died for ALL. We will never know how many people have been absorbed by carm.org and and lost their ways into the false doctrine of calvinism.

From pinpointevangelism:

Was Pelagius really a heretic?

The original blog article can be found here, and read my own blog article about Pelagius here

 

This is an excerpt from the footnotes of Jesse Morrell’s  upcoming book, “The Vicarious Atonement of Christ.”

Calvinists typically accuse the teachers of free will, like Charles Finney and John Wesley, of being “Pelagians.” However, this is fallacious on many levels, not only because it is used as an ad hominem attack, but also because it is a non sequitur. Just because Pelagius taught free will does not mean that everyone who believes in free will is a Pelagian. The same logic would make everyone who believes in the Trinity a Pelagian, because Pelagius taught that too. But the doctrine of free will was the universal doctrine of the Christian church, long before Pelagius even existed. On the doctrine of free will, Pelagius certainly was orthodox as he agreed with all of the Early Church Fathers before Augustine on that point. (See the article on the bottom of this post that proves this)

Calvinists also like to point out that, “Pelagianism has been condemned as heresy by councils all throughout Church history.” I always find it amazing when the so called “Reformed” and “Sola Scriptura” crowd will point to Catholic councils about Pelagius. They are not very reformed if they appeal to Rome, and they are not sola scriptura if they appeal to councils.

There were three councils that condemned Pelagianism; the Council of Ephesus in the year 431; the Council of Carthage in the year 418; and the Council of Orange in the year 529. This is because Pelagius was not invited nor present to defend himself but his opponents and adversaries stated his doctrine for him. When Pelagius was able to defend himself, the Council of Diospolis in 415 declared Pelagius orthodox. And Pope Zosimus also declared Pelagius’ orthodoxy in 417. He was always acquitted when present to clarify and defend his views. If these are our authorities to determine orthodoxy, do we accept the ones in favor of Pelagius or the ones against him?

In addition, the Council of Orange and the Council of Carthage were not ecumenical councils. They did not consist of Bishops from the entire church, which mean that the rulings of the Councils were not universally affirmed by the Eastern and Western churches.

If heresy is heresy because a council says so, or because of majority vote, Calvinism must be more heretical than Pelagianism was because there were more councils that condemned Calvinism than condemned Pelagianism. The Calvinist doctrines of predestination, limited atonement, and irresistible grace were condemned throughout history. Lucidus was condemned by the Council of Oral in 473, Council of Arles in 475, and Council of Orange in 529. And Gottschalk (Gotteschalcus) was condemned by the Council at Mentz in 848 and the Council of Chiersey (Quiercy) in 849. And what do Calvinists think of the Council of Constance in 1414 for John Huss, or the Council of Worms in 1521 for Martin Luther, or the Council of Trent in 1561 for the Protestants? Are these Councils not the voice of Orthodoxy as Ephesus and Carthage supposedly were?

In fact, the Council of Orange that condemned Pelagianism also condemned the doctrines of Calvinism. If the council is authoritative in the former case, it must be equally authoritative in the latter as well. But if it was mistaken in the latter case, maybe it was mistaken in the former as well.

On the other hand, the Synod of Philadelphia declared Albert Barnes as orthodox in 1829, after he presented his case for rejecting limited atonement, natural inability, and the imputation of Adam’s sin and guilt to all his posterity. And Lyman Beecher was accused of heresy for his new school theology in 1835 but was acquitted by the Synod of Cincinatti. Though “New England Theology” or “New School Theology” was accused of being “Pelagian” by “Old School Calvinists,” it was nevertheless declared orthodox by Christian Synods.

And just so that nobody feels left out, the Synod of Dort condemned the doctrines of Arminianism in 1618-1619. Certainly the Arminian camp should not, therefore, give credibility to councils which determine orthodoxy by popular vote.

But to determine if Pelagius really was a heretic, we should go to his actual words to see what he taught. It is a common error for Calvinists to quote from Pelagius’ opponents and accusers to express what Pelagius taught, rather than to quote from Pelagius himself. Certainly, Calvinists would not like it if people quoted from the opponents of Reformed Theology to state what Calvinism teaches. We should give Pelagius the same honesty and fairness that we would want our doctrine to be treated with.

Augustine, the former gnostic, and his many heretical views

Augustine, a former gnostic, lived between 354 and 430 AD, and introduced the following heretical views into church and made them popular

1. Absolute predestination (God decides who will be saved/doomed)
2. Impossibility of falling away or apostasy (Eternal Security)
3. Man has no free will (monergism)
4. One cannot know if he/she is saved (since also those who are carnal minded might be saved)
5. God commands impossibilities (God requesting man to stop sinning which he cannot do)
6. The supreme authority of the Roman church
7. Purgatory
8. Prayers for the dead
9. The damnation of unbaptized infants and adults
10. Sex is sinful also within a marriage because depravity is inherited (hence the rise of monasteries)
11. Mary never committed sin, and we do well to worship her/pray to/through her
12. The gifts of healing, prophecy and tongues have ceased
13. Apocrypha is included in the Scriptures
14. Eucharist is necessary for salvation
15. Giving people the official ”saint” title

Unlike Pelagius, Augustine didn’t understand much Greek. The historian Neander observed that Augustine’s teaching ”contains the germ of the whole system of spiritual despotism, intolerance, and persecution, even to the court of the Inquisition”. He instigated bitter persecutions against the Bible-believing Donatists who were striving to maintain pure churches after the apostolic faith.

Augustine interpreted Bible prophecy allegorically; among other things teaching that the Catholic Church is the kingdom of God.

Augustine was one of the fathers of the heresy of infant baptism, claiming that unbaptized infants were lost, and calling all who rejected infant baptism ”infidels” and ”cursed”.

Augustine exalted church tradition above the Bible and said,”I should not believe the gospel unless I were moved to do so by the authority of the Catholic Church”. 

He was among the first who taught a-millennialism and that the nephilim were descendents of Cain instead of (as the Bible says) a mixture of angels and female human beings.

Augustine said:

“By Adam’s transgression, the freedom of’ the human will has been completely lost.”

“By the greatness of the first sin, we have lost the freewill to love God.”

“By subverting the rectitude in which he was created, he is followed with the punishment of not being able to do right” and “the freedom to abstain from sin has been lost as a punishment of sin.”

According to Wikipedia we can learn: 

He was contemporary with Jerome and Ambrosius. In his early years he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism. Although he later abandoned Neoplatonism some ideas are still visible in his early writings. After his conversion to Christianity, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and different perspectives. He believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, and he framed the concepts of original sin and just war.

When the Western Roman Empire was starting to disintegrate, Augustine developed the concept of the Catholic Church as a spiritual City of God (in a book with the same name). The Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion view him as an pre-eminent Doctor of the Church, and the patron of the Augustinian religious order. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of Reformation.   Much of Augustine’s later life was recorded by his friend Possidius, bishop of Calama (present-day Guelma, Algeria), in his Sancti Augustini Vita. Possidius admired Augustine as a man of powerful intellect and a stirring orator who took every opportunity to defend Christianity against its detractors. Reformed theologians such as Martin Luther and John Calvin would look back to him as their inspiration.

Compared with Augustine,  Pelagius was way more consistent with the Bible and shared the same Bible interpretation as the church fathers before him. (Read more about him in another blog post in the same Category.)

Christmas – once pagan always pagan?

Is it wrong to turn a pagan holiday into a christian celebration where we make a special commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ? Would it really be better to view the day as an ordinary day, and skip all christmas carols, christmas food and meeting up with family and friends for the special occasion? You might say that it’s only the pagan parts of christmas that you’re against, but in that case the better option would be to avoid whatever christmas ingredients you dislike and celebrate christmas as per your own choice. Many people do just that, and the case is that most people celebrate christmas with Jesus Christ in mind and they truly believe he is the reason for the season. Also non-believers view christmas as a celebration for the birth of Jesus and that is what makes it so special. Every single year they are reminded of JESUS CHRIST. How else would a country where 90% are non-believers be exposed to Jesus Christ to the same extent? They certainly won’t come to church to find out.

There is a whole mixture of christmas traditions, and they differ world-wide, as well as within a country. Some celebrate it in a very secular way, and others with religious symbolism, and there really isn’t a ”right way” (but there are many wrong ways) since the Bible doesn’t even mention Jesus’ birthday. The Bible doesn’t mention any other birthdays at all, perhaps with the exception of Herodes’ birthday, and he was a pretty mean guy who had a birthday party where he cut off the head of John the Baptist who was the forerunner to JESUS. Despite of this horrible event, we all imitate Herodes’ practice and celebrate our own birthdays. So the only Biblical mention of a birthday is tied to a very wicked ruler who maybe even invented ”birthdays” and/or had a ”birthday” party to bring fame to his own big name (I’m only speculating), and yet people today celebrate their own birthdays without giving it second thoughts. Also those who are against christmas celebrate their own birthdays.

Some families mix in traditions into christmas which are questionable, and maybe this is  a bigger problem than the fact that it started out as pagan? We don’t have to take the same route as they though. The fact that certain things are not mentioned in the Bible is of course not a reason in itself to avoid them, or else I could list quite a few traditions which people are involved with which are not mentioned or encouraged to be carried out by christians. Where in the Bible does it say that christians should eat birthday cakes? Or use special wedding rings, celebrate Thanksgiving (with turkey and other traditions), arrange special funeral events, mark oneself with tattoos, etc? Some of those who are against christmas are engaged in all of the above. Tattoos are very much rooted in paganism, and even if some feel they can show that there is no Biblical law against them, they are certainly not encouraged. I can’t find any support for that jews or christians used tattoos.

How it all started in Europe

When Europe started to get christianised, the Germanics used the same word for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, as for their own pagan celebration. Later on during 1000 AD in England and 1100 AD in Germany, ”Cristes Mæsse” started to be used which became ”Christmas” in English, whereas ”wîhe nah” (the holy night) became ”Weihnachten” in German. The Scandinavian countries kept the word Jul and never used any references to a ”mass”. Noel entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French noel or nael, meaning ”Christmas season”, itself ultimately from the Latinnatalis (dies), ”birth (day)”.

The year 354 AD Liberius established the date for Christmas on December 25th (and a Holiday is considered to start at 18.00 the previous day which could explain why December 24th is celebrated in many countries). According to an old understanding of Genesis, the world was created during the vernal equinox and March 25th was considered as Mary’s Annunciation Day, so the birth of Jesus was calculated to 9 months thereafter – December 25th. The celebration of the birth of Jesus replaced, among other events, the Roman celebration of the sun-god Ra which was held during the winter solstice, but many other types of celebrations were held throughout Europe during the winter solstice. The transmission from the various types of celebrations that people were engaged in, to the new christian celebration, went smoothly since celebrations were already in practice during this time. The return of the light to earth after mid winter has symbolized the light of Jesus. The winter solstice occurs a few days before christmas nowadays due to changes in the calendar. It makes perfect sense for people who had not heard about Jesus to make a special event for the winter solstice.

The origin of ”Santa Clause” is uncertain as well, and even though we can trace him back to 300 AD and St. Nicholas, each culture has added its own flavor to this man. In the US he is always depicted as a man with a red and white suit, but he can wear other colors in other countries, and he has various assignments. In the 1800’s in Sweden, he was often depicted as a little midget (much like the dwarves in Snow white) who helped the land owners to guard barns and stables and to help feed the animals. He did not come with any presents but HE liked to get a bowl of porridge once in a while, why some had as a tradition to place this dish outside the door for him. The content sometimes disappeared so it could be Jultomten (The Santa Clause) who ate it – or perhaps a fox? For us today it’s possible to celebrate Christmas without this man if he is too much of a problem.

How it all started in Scandinavia

In Sweden and in some other countries in Europe, it’s December 24th which is the big day, and particularly in the evening, but the entire ”christmas season” is between December 24th to January 13th when the celebration is officially over. Many choose to get rid of their christmas tree on or around this final day (or a few days before if it’s shedding too many needles), and why the christmas tree is not referred to in Jeremiah 10 can be read here. The modern use of a tree inside the house for christmas is a tradition from Germany in the 1500´s, and candles started to be used in the trees in the 1600´s and 1700´s. Initially christmas trees, at least in Scandinavia, were used only among the more wealthy families.

It’s hard to know where ”Jul” first started to be used as a word but the first occasion seems to be from Codes Ambrosianus A of the Gothic calendar, which was written about 500-600 AD. The fragment describes the end of October and the beginning of November, and the month of November is overwritten with ”Naubaimbair: fruma Jiuleis” which could be translated as ”November, the month before Yule”. At around 730 Ad Beda venerabilis wrote that the Anglosaxians’ calendar has the month ”geola” or ”giuli” which can correspond to December and/or December and January. December 25th seems to be the first day of the pagan new year which was celebrated. By the time Scandinavia was christianised around 1000 AD, christmas celebrations started to involve mixed elements between pagan, christian, Nordic and Germanic traditions from the time of the vikings and onwards. Most of the present traditions derive from  the 1800’s and 1900’s so they are modern and not tied to any pagan gods.

Saint Lucia – Celebrated December 13th in major parts of Scandinavia, with start in Sweden. The most commonly used explanation for the origin of this celebration is that it concerns a young Italian woman from Syracuse on Sicily (Italy) who around 300 AD was forced to marry a man who did not share her faith, and in order to not having to marry him she took her eyes out. Before the new Gregorian Calendar, the Lucia day occurred during the day of the winter solstice but this later changed. Again, it’s common to make extra festivities during a winter solstice. The origin of the Lucia celebrations in Sicily differs entirely from the one in Sweden. The Swedish Lucia tradition actually seems to be separated from the saint altogether, and the name Lucia was tied to the winter solstice  festivities during a later stage. It wasn’t until around the year 1900 when the Lucia tradition was established and commonly celebrated in Sweden. The way it has been celebrated has changed since the year 1900, but in schools today the Lucia and her maids sing Lucia songs and christian christmas songs (and a few others) and that in itself is spectacular. Because ”forcing” a religion on someone is usually not acceptable in schools, so religious songs or teachings would normally not pass, BUT since the Lucia tradition is so old and so loved this tradition is an exception. Even if a parent in school would protest, all other parents would overrule the protest, and the tradition continues. This means students will continue to be affected by the glorious gospel about JESUS CHRIST who the Lucia sings about. The Lucia songs can be heard in public places all around the country and on TV, and it’s a great way to evangelize! Children often sing these christian songs to their grandparents or similar, when visiting them in their homes this special day. Lucia on youtube can be viewed here:

With this background in mind, is celebrating christmas wrong?

Maybe it’s harder for me to understand people’s disdain for christmas due to where I live – in a very secular country where people would raise their eyebrows and maybe even be shocked if you would ever say ”God bless you” to them. Religion is usually understood as something very private and politicians would therefore never say ”God bless you” or ”Let’s pray…” during any public circumstances. In the US you might feel that it’s not a big deal to skip christmas altogether and delete it as a Holiday since you will always be surrounded by people, even at work, who do NOT feel you’re odd for being a born again christian.

I am just SO pleased we have christmas celebrations! During the rest of the year (maybe apart from Easter, Pentecost and Christ’s Ascension day) any promotion of christianity seems to be prohibited from the public arena. You wouldn’t hear any songs about Jesus Christ on the radio or TV, unless there is a certain documentary or similar, but during the christmas season suddenly everything is allowed! JESUS CHRIST is promoted big time, and churches don’t pay a dime for this promotion! If you’re in a store, a bus or in a waiting room, you might be hearing christmas music in the background, and the same applies if you zap around among the TV channels. Just imagine; without the need of christians coming together and pay big money for spreading the gospel of Jesus, THIS IS DONE FOR FREE! And it’s done by SECULAR people who are helping out promoting our Savior even if they are not aware of it! For several days in a row you will be listening to christmas songs which keep reminding also atheists of:

A savior is born! In Bethlehem, by a virgin which would be a sign for the Messiah! The baby in the manger is MIGHTY GOD says Isaiah! The LORD OF LORDS! Shepherds came to see him! They were guided from the East by a star, expecting a NEW BORN KING. Angels spoke to them and assured them a Savior is come to earth! Herod was afraid!  This baby would be born just to save people from their sins! People were expecting the Messiah and there he was! Oh Holy night! Peace on earth!

WHY would I vote for deleting christmas as a holiday, now when the gospel of Jesus Christ is spread to so many atheists?

Radio and TV

If religious songs would be played during any other time of the year, people would complain and point out that they shouldn’t have to be forced to listen to religious propaganda and that the radio hosts favor one religion over another, and they will likely be reported. But during the christmas time no one would even think about complaining despite that these songs are so frequent on all radio stations! It’s possible that you in the US have christian radio stations where you could listen to christian songs also the rest of the year, and there must be a few over here too, but if you’re not a christian of course you wouldn’t even look for one. When it comes to christmas, people WILL hear the christian songs whether they like it or not because ALL the radio stations play them – which are the radio stations these people usually listen to!

If we succeeded to persuade the politicians to abolish christmas altogether, it would mean that the radio stations and the TV channels would have no reason to play such christmas songs any more. Then those christians who voted down christmas, might contact the radio stations and offer to pay for ”time slots” to play christians songs, but they would be turned down because the radio stations don’t play religious songs. Also TV-channels show many quality programs with christian christmas songs, and they are aired during the peak hours so loads of people can see them. They also make reruns of many programs. If you compare with other type of evangelization I can think of NO greater impact than broadcasting the Gospel right into people’s living rooms (for atheists) during the time when they will likely sit in front of the TV! These atheists might very well enjoy the music and sing along with the christian text. The Bible actually says that faith comes from hearing (the word of God) so this might be a start to peak their interest and a start on their salvation! And again, it doesn’t cost us christians anything! If we would try to make this on our own, it would cost us many millions to arrange a similar gospel campaign. Now, we don’t have to lift a finger, and still secular media will continue to spread the gospel by free will and no one is stopping them! The only ones who might interfere with this tradition and try to silence the christian christmas music might be those christians who oppose Christmas…

Changing dates?

The idea of changing dates for the Christmas holiday would of course not be achievable. I wouldn’t be able to make an impact on the leaders of this country to change Christmas from December 24th to September 24th even if many christians joined me in my efforts, and WHY would I even want to make an effort? It doesn’t matter when we celebrate christmas, but over here December 24th is perfect. It’s getting dark at 15.00 so we don’t have many hours of daylight, why a celebration which contain much Light comes in handy. IF christmas would be eliminated as a Holiday, it would likely result in LESS people who seek Jesus Christ and LESS people who get saved! If the politicians agreed to adhere to the christians’ call to eliminate christmas altogether since it’s pagan, and declared that the holiday would no longer be officially celebrated since it’s pagan and since it’s better to be neutral about religious holidays, then I’m rather sure atheists would take over this holiday and REALLY make it pagan. They might miss the Holiday of light and all the special events, so they might make their own traditions, and getting drunk might be one of the ingredients. Halloween started very recently in this country just from one year to another, so if Christmas was abolished something else will likely take its place.

Christian holidays will one day be abolished for the sake of neutrality

I believe that religious holidays will be abolished in the future anyway since the Antichrist is on his way and he won’t accept any public holidays where Jesus Christ is focused on, but why would we christians try to reach to this point sooner than we need? Jesus is coming soon and we need to spread the gospel! Not silence it! I read that in China also secular chinese people have started to pay attention to the christmas celebration. Particularly the youth and people who live on the coasts. When a lot of people celebrate christmas and tell the world WHY, also others might be affected and seek the Lord.

Even in schools they feel led to explain to their children WHY we celebrate christmas, and some even make a tradition to walk to a nearby church to see a nativity scene. Lately this has been questioned since the school education is supposed to be neutral, and it might start with one single parent who questions this tradition, with the result that school principal feels prone to agree and cancels a tradition which has been going on for many years. In reality there is room within the school laws to teach children about religions by making this type of excursions. Since this country has a christian history, why is it wrong to tell children about the reason for celebrating christmas? Where I live they solved the controversy (to single out christianity among other religions) by placing the nativity scene in the library instead of in the church (even though the church is just beside the library), and they explained the story of Joseph and Mary both from a christian point of view AND from the Islamic point of view! All for the sake of ”neutrality”.

You decide over your own traditions

I just feel, that if we dislike certain christmas traditions, like the focus on Santa, too many and too expensive gifts, mistletoe arrangements, etc, then we should just avoid them and keep other traditions and/or start new ones which are more appropriate. Why the desire to eliminate the entire holiday and make it plain just because there are people who focus on the wrong things during this season? If you celebrate your own birthday without letting the wicked man Herodes bother you who is the only Biblical person who is mentioned celebrating a birthday, why is it wrong to select a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and why is it wrong to choose a former pagan day for this event? By choosing a former pagan day, you would kill two birds with one stone since you would disarm Satan with his pagan traditions, at the same time as you replaced the wicked traditions with a focus on JESUS CHRIST. Now we don’t have two competing holidays. Plus it’s a bit late to change dates now anyway. This is not about trying to turn the ”pagan ship” around because it has already been turned around by people before us. We don’t celebrate December 25th to commemorate the sun-god any more, and even atheists can testify that the idea is to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Seems like the angels,  shepherds and wise men found it natural to  react quite visibly on the birth of  Jesus Christ, and would they really be sinning if they commemorated the birth every year?

Pelagius has been falsely judged by his critics

Unlike Augustine, Pelagius knew Greek. Pelagius did not teach that man can save himself. He only taught that a man can live a righteous life via free will choice. The idea that man can save himself is what came from Augustine’s accusations against him, as Calvinists do with Arminians today when they accuse them of teaching ”works salvation”. True Pelagianism is truth according to what the early Church taught, not as Augustine described it. What Augustine described is without a doubt heresy, but it’s not what Pelagius actually taught. This is evident in the writings of Pelagius, as well as in the fact that the councils could find no fault in his teachings 2 times that he appeared before them in his own defense. When he was finally marked as a heretic the third time around, it was when he could not be present to defend himself (in Tunisia where Augustine resided) and Augustine and Jerome were present to misrepresent his position.

Most of the information we have about Pelagius rests in the hands of his enemies. That is not enough for a righteous judgment. If God judged us by the words of our enemies, we would be outraged at the injustice. It is unfair for us to condemn a man based on the evidence presented by his enemies, and not from the man himself. We would also be guilty of slander if we continue to claim that an innocent person is an ”heretic” even though he might not be. Let’s be careful so God won’t judge us one day for slander, false accusations and causing division.

Pelagianism teaches only that man can choose to do right and choose not to sin. It does not teach that a person can be holy without God or His grace. This is a lie given through the heretic Augustine. Augustine was a liar seeking to have him condemned, as he was offended by his preaching against his teachings to the people. Augustine was teaching a ”sinning religion”, and people were following it and living it. Pelagius could not stand for this heresy, so he began to teach against it. In his efforts he brought out the a man CAN choose to not sin, because he is not so spiritually dead that he could not make such a choice. Augustine turned this around with false accusations against him, misrepresenting him as if he was teaching that man could save himself. This is not what he was teaching at all. And his own writings prove it – which were not even discovered until this past century. Augustine tried to make sure of that by having them burned or destroyed, but a few slipped through the cracks. Now Augustine is exposed for the liar and gospel pervert that he is.

Calvinism began with Gnosticism – which is very clearly shown by many quotes given by the early Church. Tertullian and Hippolytus and Irenaeus all wrote extensively against the Gnostic groups, telling of the things they believed and how the Church has always disagreed with them, calling them heretics. Augustine was infested with Gnosticism, which Calvin also adopted.

Here is a quote from an article below on the Letter to Demetrius:

”The moral life of purity, for Pelagius, can only be achieved by drawing upon both ”the good of nature and the good of grace” (9:1); this will be the dominant theme of his exhortation. Pelagius’s reflections on the human person are not unlike those of the Eastern Fathers. They share the same starting point of moral reflection, that is, the innate goodness of man because God has created him in His image and likeness. Pelagius writes, ”you ought to measure the good of human nature by reference to its Creator” (2:2).”

The above quote shows the balanced thought of Pelagius teaching. His accusers only point out that he taught ”the good of nature” and the ”innate goodness of man”, and completely leave out the blanche of his teaching that tells of the ”good of grace” and ”because GOD has created him in His image and likeness”. Pelagius thought was in giving glory to God in His creation, in that men have a mind and free will to choose that has been given by the creator, which makes them able to choose to do right. Of course man has to know right and wrong first, but the ability is with him once he knows the difference.

Prior to Pelagius being ‘found’ guilty of heresy, he was cleared by two synods of bishops. These synods were provoked by Augustine’s influence. Then the council of Carthage, where Augustine was bishop, declared Pelgius a heretic. A few years later, Augustine and two others brought heresy charges against Pelagius to the bishop of Rome. Pelagius was cleared again, a third time. The bishop of Rome declared Pelagius a heretic a few years later under pressure from Imperial Rome and not before that time. It was perceived that the effects of Pelagius’ doctrine would undermine Imperial rule and so political pressure was then applied and the bishop of Rome declared Pelagius a heretic. Another interesting note is that Pelagius was well received and there was generally no problem with his teaching. The charges against him only arose when some one else, Caelestius, who was building on Pelagian teaching denounced infant baptism. Then and only then the problem arose. Infant baptism was under assault – if they were not born guilty and therefore did not need to be baptized to be saved then ecclesiastical power structure was going to be undermined. That kick started the whole controversy against Pelagius: they synods and councils did not occur until the implications of his teaching threatened infant baptism. See Peter Brown’s ”Augustine of Hippo” there are 3 chapters that deal with Augustine-Pelagian controversy that document everything posted.

Pelagius is often ascribed views he doesn’t have

From Jesse Morell:

Matt Slick of CARM wrote that “Pelagianism…. taught that people had the ability to fulfill the commands of God by exercising the freedom of human will apart from the grace of God.  In other words, a person’s free will is totally capable of choosing God and/or to do good or bad without the aid of Divine intervention.”[29] This is an example, not of Pelagian heresy, but of Pelagian hearsay.

I would suspect that Matt Slick learned about Pelagianism from its opponents, and not from actually reading the writings of the Pelagians. This is a common practice for Calvinists, but what if that is how their doctrine was treated? What if someone stated what Calvinism teaches, by stating the opponents? Augustine accused Pelagius of denying the grace of God, but this was an accusation not a fact.

Had Matt Slick actually read some of the few writings that still exist today from the original Pelagians, he would have read in Julian of Eclanum’s Pelagian Statement of Faith: “We [Pelagians] maintain that men are the work of God, and that no one is forced unwillingly by His power either into evil or good, but that man does either good or ill of his own will; but that in a good work he is always assisted by God’s grace, while in evil he is incited by the suggestions of the devil.”[30]

Pelagius himself said, “I anathematize the man who either thinks or says that the grace of God, whereby ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,’ is not necessary not only for ever hour and for every moment, but also for every act of our lives: and those who endeavor to dis-annul it deserve everlasting punishment.”[31]

Pelagius said, “This grace we do not allow to consist only in the law but also in the help of God. God helps us through His teaching and revelation by opening the eyes of our heart, by pointing out to us the future so that we may not be preoccupied with the present, by uncovering the snares of the devil, by enlightening us with the manifold and ineffable gift of heavenly grace.”[32]

Pelagius said, “God always aids by the help of his grace. God aids us by his doctrine and revelation, while he opens the eyes of our heart; while he shows us the future, that we may not be engrossed with the present; while he discloses the snares of the devil; while he illuminates us by the multiform and ineffable gift of heavenly grace. Does he who says this, appear to you to deny grace? Or does he appear to confess both divine grace and the freewill of man?”[33]

Pelagius said in a letter to Innocent, “Behold, before your blessedness, this epistle clears me, in which we directly and simply say, that we have entire freewill to sin and not to sin, which, in all good works, is always assisted by divine aid. Let them read the letter which we wrote to that holy man, bishop Paulinus, nearly twelve years ago, which perhaps in three hundred lines supports nothing else but the grace and aid of God, and that we can do nothing at all of good without God. Let them also read the one we wrote to that sacred virgin of Christ, Demetrias, in the east, and they will find us so praising the nature of man, as that we may always add the aid of God’s grace. Let them likewise read my recent tract which we were lately compelled to put forth on freewill, and they will see how unjustly they glory in defaming us for denial of grace, who, through nearly the whole text of that work, perfectly and entirely profess both free will and grace.”[34]

Pelagius taught that the freedom of the human will was not lost by the original sin of Adam, but that grace was necessary for man to rightly use his free will. He also taught that free will itself was a gracious gift given to us at Creation. He did not deny grace as necessary or as an aid for free will. The only grace he denied was Augustinian grace, which said that free will was lost by original sin and therefore man’s ability to obey needed to be restored by grace. However, one of the best Greek-English Lexicons, Thayer’s, defined grace as “divine influence upon the heart” which is precisely how Pelagius viewed grace in contradiction to Augustine.

It was Augustine’s view of grace that was inconsistent with free will, not Pelagius’. As Augustine said, “I have tried hard to maintain the free choice of the human will, but the grace of God prevailed.”[35] Pelagius affirmed both the freedom of the will and the necessity for the grace of God, while Augustine denied the freedom of the will because of His mistaken view of grace.

This is why John Wesley said, “I verily believe, the real heresy of Pelagius was neither more nor less than this: The holding that Christians may, by the grace of God, (not without it; that I take to be a mere slander,) ‘go on to perfection;’ or, in other words, ‘fulfill the law of Christ.’”[36] And also “Who was Pelagius? By all I can pick up from ancient authors, I guess he was both a wise and a holy man.”[37]

John Wesley said, “Augustine himself. (A wonderful saint! As full of pride, passion, bitterness, censoriousness, and as foul-mouthed to all that contradicted him… When Augustine’s passions were heated, his word is not worth a rush. And here is the secret: St. Augustine was angry at Pelagius: Hence he slandered and abused him, (as his manner was,) without either fear or shame. And St. Augustine was then in the Christian world, what Aristotle was afterwards: There needed no other proof of any assertion, than Ipse dixit: “St. Augustine said it.”[38]

On the issue of the freedom of the will, Pelagius was in perfect agreement with the Early Church while Augustine was in agreement with the heretical Gnostics:

Dr Wiggers said, “All the fathers…agreed with the Pelagians, in attributing freedom of will to man in his present state.”[39]

Episcopius said, “What is plainer than that the ancient divines, for three hundred years after Christ, those at least who flourished before St. Augustine, maintained the liberty of our will, or an indifference to two contrary things, free from all internal and external necessity!”[40]

Catholic councils that calvinists appeal to

There were three councils that condemned Pelagianism; the Council of Ephesus in the year 431; the Council of Carthage in the year 418; and the Council of Orange in the year 529. This is because Pelagius was not invited nor present to defend himself but his opponents and adversaries stated his doctrine for him. When Pelagius was able to defend himself, the Council of Diospolis in 415 declared Pelagius orthodox. And Pope Zosimus also declared Pelagius’ orthodoxy in 417. He was always acquitted when present to clarify and defend his views. If these are our authorities to determine orthodoxy, do we accept the ones in favor of Pelagius or the ones against him?

In addition, the Council of Orange and the Council of Carthage were not ecumenical councils. They did not consist of Bishops from the entire church, which mean that the rulings of the Councils were not universally affirmed by the Eastern and Western churches.

If heresy is heresy because a council says so, or because of majority vote, Calvinism must be more heretical than Pelagianism was because there were more councils that condemned Calvinism than condemned Pelagianism. The Calvinist doctrines of predestination, limited atonement, and irresistible grace were condemned throughout history. Lucidus was condemned by the Council of Oral in 473, Council of Arles in 475, and Council of Orange in 529. And Gottschalk (Gotteschalcus) was condemned by the Council at Mentz in 848 and the Council of Chiersey (Quiercy) in 849. And what do Calvinists think of the Council of Constance in 1414 for John Huss, or the Council of Worms in 1521 for Martin Luther, or the Council of Trent in 1561 for the Protestants? Are these Councils not the voice of Orthodoxy as Ephesus and Carthage supposedly were?

In fact, the Council of Orange that condemned Pelagianism also condemned the doctrines of Calvinism. If the council is authoritative in the former case, it must be equally authoritative in the latter as well. But if it was mistaken in the latter case, maybe it was mistaken in the former as well. Tony Miano essential condemns his own theology by appealing to church councils and assuming their authority.

Many thanks to Lyndon Conn, Joshua Harris and Jesse Morell