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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Grace Revealed: Pride

From Whence Comes Arminianism?

Consider the following:

All Atheists believe that they choose freely. All Agnostics believe that they choose freely. All Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, Animists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that they choose freely. Now don’t twist what I am saying – some of these groups believe that God picks who gets into heaven, but his pick is like picking kickball teams – he picks the best ones, those who “chose” right, either on one issue or over a lifetime of choices. The only adherents to Irresistible Grace and Unconditional Election? Crazy guys like St. Augustine, St. Paul, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitfield, J.I. Packer, etc. Oh yeah, and that Jesus guy:

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you… If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
John 15:16,19

Jesus chose the disciples before they did a single thing, so he can’t mean, “I chose you because you believed. No, he said, “Follow Me”, irresistibly, and they did, because it was God who spoke it into existence.

All men who stand in defiance of God believe that they choose. When I was converted, although I was eternally grateful to Christ who saved me (and would put it that way), I still thought I believed because I chose to, that I “accepted” the gift offered to everyone, yet others had not.

That in itself is convicting of the idea of free will – it is the idea inherent in the natural state of the fallen man, who is in rebellion to God at every turn. The first sin, and indeed all sin, is shaking our virtual fist at God and saying, “I know better than you, so I will not do as you say.” Our sinful nature desires to have the final say in our actions, which is why all unbelievers and many Christians believe that they can “freely choose” Christ – because we want to. Our desire to choose is born not out of love of God, but of pride - the first sin and all sin.

If the moral source of Arminianism is pride, and most Christians would not admit that they want to usurp God's authority, how do they logically convince themselves that they are the ones choosing? The very last post in this series will cover what must be the logical basis for Arminianism.


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