Some Common Errors in this Doctrine
We often hear from the Arminians that God did all He could do when He provided salvation. Now His hands are tied! and He can do nothing but wait for man to accept His gift. It takes a great deal of arrogance to say such a thing, yet, in order to maintain the freedom of man, the Arminian has enslaved the Almighty God.
In Arminianism, it is only after the natural man has made this so-called “decision for Christ,” that God can send His Holy Spirit to him as a gift. But, it is simply not true that faith comes before regeneration. As a matter of fact it is impossible. As Jesus told Nicodemus, without being born again he could not even “see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3). See what the Scriptures say in Eph. 4:17,18; Rom 3:11,18; 8:6-8. Without the Holy Spirit operating within man, his appetite is only for evil (Gen. 6:5) or as the book of Job says, that man “drinks iniquity like water” (Job 15:16).
Classic Arminianism comes to these conclusions because of some very serious errors regarding the nature of man and God even before the fall. They claim that man was able to think and will independently of God even before the fall. They also deny the perfection of Adam since anything created must be finite and therefore imperfect. This is close to the Roman Church’s scholastic teaching that the image of God in man is separate from the natural being of man. The image of God was added later to man (called in Latin, “donum super additum” or, an added gift). The fall simply caused man to lose this added gift, but the essential nature of man remained as it was before God gave this added gift. The result of both the Arminian error and the Roman error is that man can think good thoughts and make good choices even after the Fall, independent of the grace of God in Jesus Christ. In both of these errors we are able to see that it is not the Bible but heathen gnostic philosophy on which they rely — which teaches the basic evil of matter and the good of the spiritual.
Men have come up with some very imaginative lies in order to deny the totality of man’s sin. Some have reinterpreted the Scripture so the Fall becomes only a myth. We can no longer rely on its historicity or reality. Others say that the Fall was a “good thing” for man because it allowed him to come to a realization of right and wrong. And, after all, if man had not fallen, God could not have shown his love in Christ. Or as Mormonism says, the Fall was good because it allows man to become as God! Still others say that the Fall is like catching a bad disease. Man is sick, but not unto death. All man needs to cure him is a “humanistic, holistic” approach — psychological, cultural, social, and educational advances.
Blog post content is taken from Rev. Paul Treick’s book, Faith of Our Fathers, Living Still: A Study of the Five Points of Calvinism, available for purchase. It is posted with the gracious permission of the author.
If you’d like to read the blog series from the beginning, start here.