Your theology is a bit scary!

Ralph,

I appreciate what you are trying to do, but your theology is a bit scary man. It is very "Armenian". When a believer fully understands grace and that salvation is all of God and NONE of us... Then you see that he will finish the work he started. You believe you are still saved by works, (I know you said faith in you website), but your heart is expressed through the rest of the site that one must keep repenting to gain heaven. Many Christians find themselves excepting this theology because of certain controversial versus such as the ones you have picked. Please take time to read the "The Sovereign Grace of God" by Dr James White. This along with Romans and Galatians will give you a firm grip on God's grace. I personally make certain choices in areas of weakness to sin (as do you). I am still saved, ALL GLORY TO CHRIST! who has finished ALL of my salvation on the cross when he said "it is finished". My heart though towards the sin is one of disgust and prayers are always for strength. A born again man has God's spirit in him but he is still in the flesh. Putting him at war with his own desires and finding that God's grace is ever more sweet and beautiful as he grows. Please read Romans 7 where Paul describes this war. Once I came to understand this is what like a 1000 pounds off my back. I am fully dependant on Christ's righteousness for my salvation because I know what a wretched man I am and that I could never gain heaven and be perfect from now till the time I die. When a heart is changed by the spirit of God a believer will live a life of fellowship and repentance to God. This is typical of a true believer. But the salvation is FINISHED. I do not have to make sure to remember if I forgot any sins before I die so that I can confess them and be forgiven so I do not face judgement. As Paul would say "we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ" We are no longer held by the law!

As far as Suicide, some may be saved, most are probably not. As you said only God can judge, but I would also say God also knows his own. A sick mind is a sick mind. A suicidal person may have to struggle every day not to make a decision not to. Choosing Christ's will over there own. There may be a day where they are so weak and sick that they crumble. If they were Christ's, they were Christ's. That is a beautiful, wonderful thing to know. He is sovereign, and when you throw around free will and choice too much you start to decrease God's sovereignty and add in man's sovereignty which is pride and a lie. God's will is always accomplished and he is not a frustrated God by those that keep deciding not to "choose him". Some are timid by the thought of reformed theology because it strips them of all control and leaves everything in the hand of the creator.

In the Love of Christ,

My reply is below:


What bothers me most about your message is that you don't understand my theology, nor do you even understand the theology you are claiming as your own. So it makes it a little difficult to discuss it with you. Let me start with mine. If you mean that I am Armenian because I am not Calvinistic, you are right, if on the other hand you think I am Armenian because I believe you can lose your salvation you are way off base and need to read more of my site.

I don't believe you can lose your salvation, but I do believe you must continue in the faith to be saved. Let me quote some of those passages you quickly dismissed here to show you why I say that:

John 15:6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. [NIV]

James 5:19-20 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, [20] remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. [NIV]

Why would Jesus tell us that if we fail to remain in Him we will be lost if it weren't possible not to remain? Or why would James say that if you bring someone back who has wandered from the faith you have saved a sinner if you can't wander from the faith in the first place, or if you don't really become a sinner if you wander from the faith? Troubling passages? No, just passages that should make us continue in the faith. Now let me quote from those two books you don't seem to think I have read, Romans and Galatians:

Romans 2:7-8 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. [8] But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. [NIV]

Galatians 6:8-9 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. [9] Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. [NIV]

Hum, tell me again how those two books are suppose to show me that I don't have to continue in the faith, I guess I missed that part.

You also mentioned Romans 7 like it is the silver bullet, but you appear to be ignorant of the rest of Romans. For example if you read the whole letter of Romans you will notice that Romans 7 is sandwiched between Romans 6 and Romans 8, I guess that is why they called it Romans 7. So it might make sense to read those two chapters too and if you do you will find these passages:

Romans 6:16-18 Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? [17] But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. [18] You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. [NIV]

Romans 8:9-10 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. [10] But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. [NIV]

There are only two conclusions you can come to by reading Romans, 6,7, and 8; that is that Paul couldn't make up his mind whether a person is a slave to sin or is set free, or that chapters 6 and 8 are referring to people who are saved and chapter 7 is referring to Paul before Christ, when he struggled to follow the Law but was not able to do what he desired to do because he was still a slave to sin.

As for James White, I happen to like him and have read many of his books, but his theology has a problem which I will touch on in a few minutes, but first let me explain that you don't seem to hold to the same theology that James White does, although you claim you do. You give lip service to the God is sovereign doctrine but you don't seem to really believe it. See Reform theology states that a true believer, one of the Elect, will never fall into a sinful lifestyle, because God will prevent it from happening. This is called Perseverance of the Saints. You on the other hand claim we sin and make sinful choices but it doesn't matter because God chose us and no amount of sin or lack of faith can change that. Write James White and tell him that and see what his response is.

Reformed theology states that God is so sovereign that nothing happens in this world without His express desire for it to happen. So to claim that a believer (just for the record I am speaking about a true believer one of the elect) can lose their fight to put Christ first and then commit suicide is just dead wrong. You could claim that it was God's will for them to commit suicide and at least that would somewhat fit the reformed doctrine, however, even that would have a problem. Since suicide is a sin, and it is never God's will for a believer to sin...

So I hope you see my point about you not truly understanding which doctrine you believe. Now let me address that good old Reformed Theology, even if you don't totally embrace it. As I said Reformed Theology states that God is sovereign and nothing can happen that isn't His will. No one goes to heaven unless God picks them, no one goes to hell unless God chooses to send them there. Oh, they will claim that the sinner has a choice but will always choose to do evil, but that is just bunk because their theology says that God chooses and that we have no free choice or will. But what does that mean when it comes to who God is? Let me show you, because it makes the God of the Bible out to be a liar. Yes you heard me right, if Reformed Theology is right, then the God of the Bible is a liar. Let me show you, again remember that Reformed Theology says that God chooses who believes and who is damned:

Ezekiel 18:23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? [NIV]

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?' [NIV]

You can't get around this, if it is God who chooses who believes, who sins, who is saved, who dies then He is lying when He says that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, because if that were true He would save them and make them quit sinning. It would also make the following passages either a cruel joke or a lie:

Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." [NIV]

Amos 4:6-10 [6] "I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me, declares the LORD. [7] "I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up. [8] People staggered from town to town for water but did not get enough to drink, yet you have not returned to me, declares the LORD. [9] "Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, I struck them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me, declares the LORD. [10] "I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me, declares the LORD." [NIV]

Joel 2:12-13 [12] "Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." [13] Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. [NIV]

Ezekiel 18:21-24 [21] "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. [22] None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. [23] Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
[24] "But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die. [NIV]

Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. [NIV]

Now the next thing that Reformed Theology does is claim that God does not love all mankind, He only loves the Elect. Well my question is this, how is it possible that I love more than God does? If you hold to Reformed Theology then you hold to the idea that I love more than God does. See, I have a heart for the lost, yet God doesn't. I want to see every human being on the face of the earth come to know my Lord and Savior, but God doesn't; I love them, He hates most of them. So how is that possible? How can it be that I love more than God does? I say it is impossible since I only know and understand love because of God. But what does God's word say?

1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. [NIV]

1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. [NIV]

What is this another lie? Is God love or does He hate most of His creation? Does He want everyone to be saved or does He take pleasure in the death of the wicked?

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. [NASB-U]

Is this another lie or another cruel joke? If God is the one who chooses who believes then He also chooses when they believe, after all Reformed Theology claims that we are dead in our sins and a corpse can't do anything including have faith or make a choice. So why would God be patient with a corpse, why not just give it life? Oh, and what about that little 'not wishing any to perish, but for all to come to repentance' part of the passage? I guess that would be a lie too.

Reformed Theology claims that even our faith is a gift from God and has nothing in the least to do with us, so explain this passage to me:

Romans 11:17-24 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, [18] do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. [19] You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." [20] Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. [21] For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. [22] Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. [23] And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. [24] After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! [NIV]

Some of the branches were broken off because of unbelief, how can that be? How can they quit believing if faith isn't of them, but rather from God? Oh, I guess He got tired of making them believe. But notice that we should also be afraid because the same thing could happen to us. Boy, I hope God doesn't get tired of giving me faith. No I am not preaching works, I am just saying that I made a choice to believe and accept the free offer of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ and that I still have free will and if I choose I can quit believing and go back into a life of sin. However, if I want to continue to follow Christ He will enable me to continue in the faith. I don't have to do it on my own, I just have to want to continue.

So whether you believe in Reformed Theology which states that a true believer will never fall because it isn't up to them, or if you believe in once saved always saved, meaning that even if you do fall, it doesn't matter you need to explain this passage:

2 Peter 2:20-21 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. [21] It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. [NIV]

How can a person be worse off then if they had never known Christ? Lets see, if they never knew Christ they would be going to hell, if they did know Christ and then of course can't ever come back under judgment, hum... I just can't see how going to heaven could possibly be worse than going to hell.

Also Reformed Theology claims that Christ didn't die for all mankind, after all God doesn't love all mankind so why would He have His Son die for those He hates? Yet what does His word say?

1 Tim. 4:9-10 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. [10] For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

Especially those who believe... Christ is the savior the only savior for all mankind, but only those who place their faith in Him will be saved.

So do you still think that my theology is scary? I believe that God loves all mankind and sent His only Son to die for all our sins and that He then draws all mankind to Himself and that free gift of salvation, and that He gives all mankind a choice in the matter. Some will reject Him and will suffer in hell for all eternity, not because God didn't love them, but because they refused His offer of salvation. Some will gladly accept His free gift and want others to come to know their Lord and Savior. Will they live a perfect sinless life from that moment on? No, but when they sin the Holy Spirit who lives inside of them will convict them and draw them to repentance. As long as they want to continue in the faith and follow Jesus Christ they will repent.

But what happens if I stumble and sin and die before I have a chance to repent? To say that sin would keep me from heaven would be to say that sin is the problem, but that isn't true. Sin is only the symptom of the problem in a person's heart. If my heart is right with God then even an unconfessed sin won't stand between me and Him, as long as it isn't unconfessed because I refuse to do so. I don't believe that God is sitting in heaven with the Book of Life and a bottle of whiteout just waiting for me to make a mistake. He loves us and knows our weaknesses, but that doesn't mean that He turns a blind eye to our deliberate sin either.

Hebrews 10:26-27 [26] If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, [27] but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. [NIV]

I am not a theologian like James White, I have no degrees in theology, I don't parse God's word, I take it as a whole. I don't go back to the Hebrew or Greek to try to make God's word say what I want it to say. I believe what God's word says in plain English. I would agree that only the original texts are inerrant, but I also believe that God has kept His word so that I can read it as a child and understand what it says. I am just an ignorant former street cop, but I can see and read the evidence placed before me. God's word isn't hard to understand, but it takes a child like heart to understand it, not man's wisdom. So let me leave you with one last passage:

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." [NIV]

God said it and I believe it.

Ralph

Back to Home

E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)

menu
God's Helpline Articles Apologetics Book Reviews
Christian News Suicide Discipleship Eternal Security
Favorite Links How to know Jesus Help for the Cutter In Memory
Bloodstripes Home Page Police Humor Police Memorial SiteMap
Statemnet of Faith Testimonies Thoughts to Ponder Responses
Vet's Memorial Why Home
eXTReMe Tracker