This post comes about because the man I have been dealing with, and had to cut off contact with, falsely accused me of being an Arminian and holding Arminian theology. The fact is that over the last 6 months, I made it abundantly clear that I did not agree with Calvinist doctrine, Arminian doctrine, or Universalist doctrine. When Aaron Curry first encountered this, he stated:
I do not like labels, but there are 3 different types of theology. 1) Calvinism 2) Arminianism 3) Universalism. One of these is biblical Christianity. I believe Calvinism to be biblical Christianity. Your theology runs into one of these, unless you are creating new theology to confuse more people.1
To which I replied:
Howsoever, I will make note of one of the things you just stated:
“I do not like labels, but there are 3 different types of theology. 1) Calvinism 2) Arminianism 3) Universalism. One of these is biblical Christianity. I believe Calvinism to be biblical Christianity. Your theology runs into one of these, unless you are creating new theology to confuse more people.”
I would have to strongly disagree with your assessment of the types of theology. I do not find any of the three “types of theology” to be biblically correct. I find that all suffer deficiencies in explaining the nature and character of the LORD God, in interpretation of the Scripture, and in the “whys and wherefores” of salvation. The fact that you have “pigeonholed” Scripture into one of the three types, and then claim that one must be “creating new theology to confuse more people” if they don’t agree with any of them, goes a long way to pointing to you considering yourself to be the judge of all that Scripture can be about, and leaves no room for any possibility of error on your part. Need I say that is not very humble, and not very wise.
My doctrine is very clear, and published for all to see. I have a Statement of Faith page, in which I went through the entirety of Scripture and proved out what I believe. It is extensive, and more extensive than most everyone else’s out there. If you want to try to pigeonhole me, then you are free to. However, you will find that my doctrine matches the doctrine of those Baptist churches that were never under Roman Catholic rule, and preceded the Reformation by about 15 centuries. Thus, before you start to lay an accusation about what I believe, go through what I have written first. You may find that I have already stated my belief an another article elsewhere.2
So what happened? I was accused of holding Arminian doctrine!
Your salvation doctrine is Arminian. You believe man is in control of his salvation as the Arminians do.That man chooses or rejects Jesus by his own free-will. So do Arminians. That God elects people to salvation based on his foreknowledge of people choosing Him. That is Arminian. The only thing you don’t share with the Arminians, is losing your salvation.( Not all Arminians believe you can lose your salvation.)3
What a crock! The reason for his accusation?
I’m not really sure, but everything Mr. Curry has done over the last 6 months points only to the desire to “win” the argument. There is nothing in his demeanor and conduct that indicates he is interested in the truth, only in “winning.” So I sent him back a copy of The Remonstrance I found at Wikipedia. By the above e-mail reply to Aaron, and the annotation of The Remonstrance, it should be plain that I am NOT an Arminian, and I do not hold Arminian doctrine.
Here are the five points of Arminian theology. My answers are in BLUE interlinear, with red strikethrough on what I disagree with. It is plain, I do not agree with Arminian doctrine.
- Article I – That God, by an eternal, unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ, his Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his Son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ, according to the word of the Gospel in John iii. 36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also.
- Article II – That, agreeably thereto, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, died for all men and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption, and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins, except the believer, according to the word of the Gospel of John iii. 16: “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”; and in the First Epistle of John ii. 2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
- LACKING THE “HOW” AND “WHY.” NOT DEFINED ENOUGH TO AGREE OR DISAGREE
- Article III — That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free-will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do anything that is truly good (such as having faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the word of Christ, John xv. 5: “Without me ye can do nothing.”
- THE ENTIRETY OF THIS IS WRONG
- Article IV — That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of an good, even to this extent, that the regenerate man himself, without that prevenient or assisting; awakening, following, and co-operative grace, can neither think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements that can be conceived must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But, as respects the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, inasmuch as it is written concerning many that they have resisted the Holy Ghost,—Acts vii, and elsewhere in many places.
- Article V — That those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving spirit, have thereby full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory, it being well understood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Ghost; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand; and if only they are ready for the conflict, and desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no craft or power of Satan, can be misled, nor plucked out of Christ’s hands, according to the word of Christ, John x. 28: “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginnings of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of becoming devoid of grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scriptures before they can teach it with the full persuasion of their minds.
Now how in the WORLD can I be an Arminian, when I disagree with 4 of 5 points, and question the basis of the only point I was neutral on?
Of course, that is irrelevant to Aaron Curry. All he cares about is “winning,” never mind that my doctrine is fully published, and it is NOT Arminian. He rejected my annotated Remonstrance, and insisted he knows more of what I believe than I do!
“Mr. Davis you share every Arminian doctrine below. I have emails to prove your Arminian language of these doctrines.”4
At that point I cut him off. It is pointless to put the truth in front of someone who doesn’t care about anything except “winning.” No, all I “share” is some common language, and none of the reasoning, none of “prevenient grace,” and none of a host of other Arminian concepts that Calvinists actually do share with them. Perhaps I should have accused Aaron Curry of being a closet Arminian. It would be just as ridiculous as his accusation that I am an Arminian.
No, what it is, is the “Bull in a China Shop” approach. Aaron Curry’s approach to Scripture and doctrine is so clumsy and unrefined that he stumbles over and misses very important principles and precepts in Scripture. Thus, he makes lame accusations in an attempt to “win,” not perceiving right doctrine at all.