Posted tagged ‘Arminianism’

Looking Back at Repentance of a False Gospel, by Tianqi Wu

March 1, 2015

Tianqi Wu —While I was unconverted, I began to realize that penal substitution logically implies limited-by-God and effectual-in-itself atonement. But rather than submitting to the truth glorifying the righteous God and Savior, I refused to believe it, and considered it a “theology of glory” because it attributed “cold and calculated” success to God .

Instead, I started looking for alternative views of atonement in which God “takes the risk” so that all sinners get the opportunity to “embrace God’s loving arms”, with any legal requirement hidden in the background as a formal necessity, so that “what really matters” is what is happening now in the God-man relationship.

I was not in neutral. I loved an idol, a false god whose glory was in trying his best to save everybody in spite of foreknowing failure.

There were two main assumptions behind my faith in this false gospel.

1 I understood “grace” as God in his sovereignty choosing to see the best in us, so that even though we are sinful and profane, god still sees some broken reflection of his image in us, and therefore is moved to save us – unless we harden ourselves to even destroy that broken likeness. In other words, I made God’s grace crowd out his justice and holiness, turning grace into a tribute to what’s in the sinner.

2 My boast was that (unlike others who spurned the love of god) I was one of those prodigal sons who had come to their senses and found their way home and made father happy. I wanted my salvation to be about my faith journey, to have my seeking in it, to have my commitment in it, to have my perseverance in it. I was usurping the glory of Christ by conditioning salvation on my faith.

I wanted to be the one who was finally decisive in my relationship with god, and I wanted to make sure that god’s grace on me was not wasted and I did not let god down in his risk-taking, I wanted to make a name for myself as a “grace receiver” rather than a “grace rejecter”. I had no fear of God and his Law, but proudly rejected any god who would condemn sinners for their sins “without giving them a opportunity to be saved”. I had no clue of the righteousness of God that answered his demand in the Law, but covertly tried to establish my own righteousness under the mask of “receiving grace”.

I was hostile to (unconditional) grace for the elect alone but found beauty in a conditional “grace” for everybody. The true God has now caused me to submit to and love the only true and good news…unconditional election deciding for whom Christ would die, this atoning death securing its own application, justification by imputation, sovereign regeneration & revelation of gospel, and God’s permanent security & preservation

Romans 6: 20 For when you WERE slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the THINGS OF WHICH YOU ARE NOW ASHAMED? For the end of those things is death.

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is lasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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No Justified Elect are Still Arminians; Those who are Still Arminians are Not Christians yet

May 3, 2011

II Corinthians 5:20—“we implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

As ambassadors FOR Christ, we command and invite, “’be ye reconciled”. Even though the chapter is addressed to Christians, the message taken by Christians to the lost is not for the elect only. “Be ye reconciled” is for those who have not yet been already justified.

Some “high Calvinists” don’t have a category for lost elect people. They would tell you that you were never lost, but that you only didn’t know you were already saved. I know that there are very few ‘high Calvinists” compared with all the Arminians, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to oppose the false gospel of the “sovereignty means they don’t have to hear the gospel” folks.

Some of the “high Calvinists” say to people who are still legalists: some of you didn’t know the motives and how reconciliation worked, but you were already reconciled.

We shouldn’t talk to people assuming that they are elect, or that they are in the covenant, or that we were always in the covenant. We were lost, and some of God’s elect are still lost.

To those who are still ignorant of the gospel, we tell them that those for whom Christ died will become free. But we also tell them: if you don’t know the gospel and believe it, then you should be shut up to nothing but legal fear.

If Christ did not die for you, you should be afraid. Being afraid won’t save you. But legal fear is the reasonable response to not knowing the gospel. Because not knowing the gospel means knowing that you are not yet justified.

I do not want to preach terror to Christians. But I never assume that everybody is a Christian. God will save the elect. But can you say that even for a minute without assuming that you yourself are elect?

If there is no before and after in the Christian life, if everybody who’s there listening to the words is being assured: that “God is your God, and God loves you”, some day somebody’s going to ask the naked preacher: how do I know if it’s me He loves?

Many Reformed folks are still saying “I was already saved when I did not know or understand the gospel”.

I am not making a judgment about any person here. Just because a Peter says he was operating out of legal fear and didn’t know the gospel doesn’t mean that he didn’t.

If a person doesn’t know the gospel now, then he’s still lost. The gospel is not that you are elect (or that I am). The good news of what Christ did for the elect comes powerfully to those elect and tell them that this is the one way God saves the elect. Not: God loves you. Not: God loves me. But: God loves as many as are believing the gospel of Christ’s death for the elect.

The gospel can’t tell you that you are elect until you are believing it already. Are you believing the gospel? You need to know this before you try to please God. Because you can’t please God if you don’t already please God.

The justified elect are not still Arminians. No Christian is still an Arminian. And no Christian should be addressed as though they were still Arminian. But plenty of professing Christians should be addressed as Arminians, because they still are and they are still lost in their sins.