We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Free Will Is Demanded

There has been much spoken against the doctrine of what is called free will by persons who seem not to have understood the term. Will is a free principle. Free will is as absurd as bound will: it is not will if it be not free; and if it be bound, it is no will. Volition is essential to the being of the soul, and to all rational and intellectual beings. This is the most essential discrimination between matter and spirit. Matter can have no choice, spirit has. Ratiocination [reasoning] is essential to intellect; and from these volition is inseparable. God uniformly treats man as a free agent; and on this principle the whole of divine revelation is constructed, as is also the doctrine of future rewards and punishments. If a man be forced to believe, he believes not at all: it is the forcing power that believes, not the machine forced. If he be forced to obey, it is the forcing power that obeys; and he, as a machine, shows only the effect of this irresistible force. If a man be incapable of willing good and willing evil, he is incapable of being saved as a rational being; and if he acts only under an overwhelming compulsion, he is as incapable of being damned. [He is] is incapable of being moved, but as acted upon by foreign influence; or, as an intellectual being, to nonentity. 

--Adam Clarke (b. 1760–1762, d. August 28, 1832, British Methodist Theologian and Bible Scholar). Cited in The Berean Call email Update, 12/11/18

This demonstrates the error of Calvinism.


Eric B. said...

I'm not a Calvinist, but I will defend it here. Calvinism doesn't teach that people are forced to believe. It teaches, as does the Bible, that through regeneration God frees us to believe, (Romans 8, John 8:31-36, et al. And since God causes us to be born again, (1 Peter 1:3), and we are born again of imperishable seed, (1 Peter 1:23), we will believe, (John 6:37). See also Ephesians 2.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Eric B.

You are in error. If God "regenerates" so that we will believe, he has therefore FORCED us to believe. Calvinism teaches that we cannot choose to believe without God first regenerating us. But that puts the cart before the horse. the Bible says we choose to believe and when we do we are then regenerated. U in "TULIP" means Unconditional Election; i.e. God elects us without our say so (forced) when the Bible says WE must CHOOSE to accept or reject God. I in "TULIP" is Irresistible Grace, i.e. we cannot resist
God's "grace" of forcing regeneration on us.

I am fully aware of all the "proof texts." See my article here:

Eric B. said...

Yeah, I figured as much. I've seen the arguments back and forth. Everyone else is always the one in error. Like I said, I'm not a Calvinist, but just about everything that Calvinism teaches I believed from reading and studying the Bible before I had ever even heard of Calvinism. I'm not going to convince you and you're most definitely won't convince me, but I enjoy your blog. It's funny how much you hate Calvinism, but most of links that you share are from Calvinists. By the way, the "cart before the horse" thing...you are aware that Calvinists teach that Arminians do that by saying we believe first and then are born again?
I wish that there was no such labels as Calvinism and Arminianism. Maybe then more people would believe sound doctrine. Instead of just dismissing truth because they don't understand and making up a Captain Kangaroo, Mister Rogers, Barney the Dinosaur mashup god because the God of the Bible doesn't match what they were taught as kids in Sunday School. Not saying that's what you have done Glenn, but most have.
God commands, He doesn't invite. I'll leave it at that.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Calvinism is NOT supported by Scripture without adding to it or twisting it. That is a fact. The link I offered you proves that. Long before I heard of Calvinism or Arminianism all I had for study was the Bible; no commentaries, no study Bibles, etc for my first 14 years as a believer. And I understood the Bible then in the exact same way as I understand it now. And, no, I’m not an Arminian. Calvinists use that label falsely against everyone who doesn’t accept Calvinism.

The Bible is what teaches plainly that we believe FIRST and then the Holy Spirit is given to us; i.e, we are “regenerated.” (Calvinism, by the way, is more appropriately labeled Augustinianism because all Calvin did was regurgitate Augustine’s false teachings.)

God command us to turn to him, yes, but he doesn’t force us to do so; it is our choice always.

I hate Calvinism as a doctrine the way I hate Catholicism as a doctrine, but I don’t hate the people. I have said many times that Calvinists can be some of the best teachers and best apologists but they don’t apply their discernment to their own ideology.

Martha said...

I find it fascinating how our faith in Christ, alone for salvation, has been reduced to following Calvin or Arminius. Even more disgusting is the fact that church members of various denominations are brainwashed into believing that the individual soul cannot be saved unless that soul is a follower of Arminius or Calvin. Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of man, is totally left out of the equation, in addition to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each and every born again believer.

Can a soul be saved apart from Calvin, Arminius, Billy Graham, Benny Hinn, the full throttle of Trinity Broadcasting Network, and yes, even your local pastor? Or must the individual soul, bow down at the feet of any religious "leader....cough, cough" throughout ages in order to be with Jesus in Paradise?

When sharing the Gospel with folks, I (and I am a woman....so that will probably cause much hatred in some religious souls), share the foundation of why we are in need of a Savior followed by Jesus' finished work on the cross for us, give them a Bible free of charge (The Gospel is FREE indeed!), then point out the fact each soul can know Jesus personally through His WORD with the help of the Holy Spirit living inside of them upon becoming a "new creation in Him." In sharing the Gospel, we are not required to point souls to a Calvin man, an Arminius man, Martin Luther (Lutheranism) who penned "the word and works of god are quite clear, that women were made to be either wives or prostitutes." Yikes!, Spurgeon, Tozer, Franklin Graham, or any other man for that matter.

Jesus said very clearly, "Follow Me." Any other instruction goes against Jesus' teaching, replacing worship of Christ, with the worship of man. Jesus already knows who are His as He says, "My sheep hear My voice." Can the individual soul be a Christian, saved by Jesus, without being a follower of any man or woman (sinners) here in this earth?

Absolutely! Praise our LORD for this truth!


Martha said...

All commentary aside, "Am I saved and going to be with Jesus in His courts, if I do not follow Calvin, Arminius, or a local pastor man?"

I already know the answer to this important question.

"Jesus, my Good Shepherd."

Again, Martha

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

The quote doesn’t address either ideology, but my comment points out that it demonstrates the error of Calvinism.
I am NOT an Arminian — I am a Biblical Christian. Period. It is the CALVINISTS who make the issue of one of either Calvinism or Arminianism, as if those are the only two options. So make your complaint at the Calvinists and not the rest of us.

I have no idea why you’d think people would hate you as a woman teaching the Gospel. The only time women are restricted from teaching is in the assembly. Anyone who says it is beyond that is in error.