Monday, June 07, 2010

The Preening Disciple

“Arminianism has always promoted the idea that people are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and because of this, He has given man a limited freedom of the will.”

Notice that he doesn’t attempt to exegete this conclusion from his prooftext.

“This has led Arminians to believe that since God has created humans free creatures who are given free will then we believe that all people should be allowed to freely worship whether they be an Arminian or a Calvinist or a Baptist or a Muslim.”

Does that include the freedom to practice jihad? What about the freedom of witches to sacrifice babies as a part of their “worship”?

“This has led to Arminians being champions of freedom of religion. The history of Arminianism shows that we don't burn at the stake those who disagree with us nor do we behead those who disagree with. John Wesley led the fight against slavery as did later Methodists in the United States. They viewed humans as free creatures not bound. Ironically it was Calvinist George Whitefield argued before the state of Georgia officials for slavery being justified. In 1751 Whitefield succeeded in getting slavery legalized in the state of Georgia and though he treated his slaves fairly, he nonetheless never gave them their freedom even when he died.”

That's a classic case of confirmation bias.

i) What about Calvinists like John Newton who opposed slavery?

ii) What about the fact that the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. condemned slavery? Read the minutes: (pp401-404):

iii) Conversely, what about Arminians who supported slavery? For instance:

Slavery continued to cause problems in mainline denominations. Methodists founded their first anti-slavery association in 1834. By 1841, Michigan Methodists grew uncomfortable with the general unwillingness to act that they withdrew to form the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Mainline Methodism faced the issue in 1844. A Baltimore Methodist minister married into a family which owned slaves. When he refused to set them free, his conference released him. At the same time, James Andrews, Georgia's bishop, also owned slaves. Northern abolitionists demanded he free them or face suspension. Southern Methodists protested but since northern Methodists saw slavery as a moral issue they demanded his expulsion. After 11 days debate, the northerners won the vote by a 2-1 margin. They won the vote but lost anyway. The southern Methodists withdrew to form the Southern Methodist Church.(1)

iv) What about the historical fact that the dividing lines on slavery were basically geographical rather than regional? Consider the split between Old Princeton and Southern Presbyterians?

“However, what you will find is that, in general, there is much charity among Arminians toward Calvinists.”

I doubt that Calvinists at SWBTS feel as though Paige Patterson’s Arminian regime has been distinguished by its benevolence towards Reformed faculty.

Likewise, I doubt that victims of the Arminian Archbishop Laud thought he was especially charitable in dealing with his theological opponents.

“For instance, google ‘Arminian heresy’ and see how many hits you get from Calvinist sites. Do the same with "Calvinism heresy" and see how many hits you get from Arminian sites.”

Yes, Arminians don’t generally say that Calvinism is “heretical.” Instead, they use more charitable adjectives like “diabolical” and “Satanic.”

And, as everybody knows, it’s better to be a devil-worshiper than a heretic.

“Why are Arminians more likely to be charitable?”

A better question would be: “Is there something about Arminian theology that fosters this combination of self-righteousness and self-deception?”

“We believe that the nature of God is love and we should follow His example (Ephesians 5:1-2). To follow Jesus is not to be condescending but loving (John 13:34-35 towards brothers and Matthew 5:43-48 toward our enemies).”

That’s pretty rich in the context of his über partisan hit-piece. And that’s no exception. In my experience, Arminians excuse their own, cover for their own, love their own kind. Myside bias is endemic among Arminian epologists.


  1. I've never understood why some ardent Arminians are so hateful towards Calvinists/Reform Christians?

    Thankfully, not all Arminians are so hateful.

    They might say the same thing about some Calvinists, but by and large, Calvinists merely think that Arminians are self-deceived and deceiving others, but Calvinists don't "hate" Arminians.

  2. So, Steve, they are saying after the first and second admonition, resolving to follow the Apostle's admonition and going ahead and rejecting them is "unloving" because, "love" bears all things?


    Well I am confused, should I or shouldn't I beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and anyone for that matter who preaches other than sound doctrine?

    Tit 2:1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

  3. For what it's worth, just googled "Calvinism is satanic" and got 41 results.

    "Arminianism is satanic" got 2 websites

  4. Beating a dead horse here, but what fun!

    Google results for

    "Calvinism is of the devil" 1420 results

    "Arminianism is of the devil" 1 result

    "Calvinism is demonic" 8 results
    "Arminianism is demonic" 0 results

    "Calvinism is hellish" 1 result
    "Arminianism is hellish" 0 results

  5. Sorry, last one I promise

    "Calvinism is heretical" 454 results

    "Arminianism is heretical" 106 results

  6. Arminianism heresy - 225,000 results
    Calvinism heresy - 3,030,000 results

    Yep. In computer science circles, we'd refer to that as a difference of an order of magnitude.

  7. Zostay,

    It might just be Calvinists tend more to be like the Glory of God rather than the king?

    Pro 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.


    Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
    Rom 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
    Rom 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

    Well, according to your statistics, there are more of them against us than for us; and if the Apostle Paul got it right, which I do believe he did, there will be remarkable increases of more of them against in the days to come?

    2Ti 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
    2Ti 3:2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
    2Ti 3:3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
    2Ti 3:4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
    2Ti 3:5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

    The word "avoid" seems to have itself both ways! :)

    We, on the other hand, can have it only one way!

  8. The Seeking Disciple said...

    "Thanks for the charity."

    Next time try showing a little charity instead of making self-congratulatory statements about your charitableness while you simultaneously draw uncharitable (and highly inaccurate) comparisons.

  9. Case in point - I have a blog with "Calvinistic" as a part of the heading. It is 98% satire and humor. I have a few "followers" who are Arminian. Some appear to enjoy the humor, others seem to keep an eye out for opportunities to speak their mind. (..which is fine with me, I was an Arminian once myself!) I posted an entry about "Arminian Armour" showing the "chinks in the protective gear" and was flagged abusive by someone. I had no idea (wish Blogger would inform the flagged) until a reader tried to post the entry on Facebook and was blocked. Where Triablogue uses logic and language, my site uses visuals and humor to make a point. I clearly state that I am a Calvinist - everywhere - yet I get reported for something a little sharp for an Arminian. Honestly, and I'm not patting myself on the back, I wouldn't flag an Arminian cartoon or post if I didn't agree.

  10. I saw that comic and thought it was spot on. (The Arminian who flagged it must have thought it was spot on too, which is why it had to go!) There's no reason it should have been flagged though. There was nothing slanderous or bigoted or, frankly, offensive about it. I've seen much worse offered by Arminians--Thibby has several, in fact--which I would never consider flagging.

    I wish people these days would grow a spine and a thick skin instead of being such whiney pansies. It's pathetic, really.