Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Opus 2013-285: Arminian Vent

Yesterday was a “rip out the radio and leave it by the side of the road” day.  Alistair Begg was preaching on eternal security.  If you are not into theology you might want to stop now and come back tomorrow.  If you are a Calvinist you might want to stop now and come back tomorrow.

I believe in spiritual security but not the Calvinist version.  Begg read part of the Westminister Confession that said it is impossible for the truly saved to ever end up in hell.  Properly understood I can accept that but it is not properly understood in the Calvinist tradition.  After reading a few verses about salvation Begg proceeded to read and refer to numerous passages that talk about “falling from grace” and “having once known” and tells you they don’t mean what they obviously mean.  At least once in the sermon he comments that this refers to people who were never saved.  If the people described were never saved then I submit that you may be secure but you won’t know until the resurrection because the witness of the Holy Spirit becomes an illusion that anyone can experience but means nothing.

He refers to the “apostate passages.”  Then he says they don’t really mean apostate.  Excuse me?  The meaning of apostate is not someone who was never saved.  It means someone who turns from the faith.  You can’t turn from something you didn’t have.  You cannot go apostate if you were never saved in the first place. 

I believe I am saved.  I have confessed my sins and trust in the blood of Jesus.  I believe in the resurrection and the hope of eternity.  I am very secure in that.  One of the things that makes me secure is the knowledge that I can turn and walk away.  God has enabled me to make the choice to believe, not to fool me into thinking I have a choice, but to allow me to show real love.

This is not a theological response.  This is an emotional one.  The damage that sermons like this cause is not in people like me.  The damage is in that person who is immature and hears that growing in grace is an option, that obedience doesn’t make any real difference in eternity, that righteousness is just a figure of speech.  That person may decide that sin is more fun and since they are secure, time to party.

Were they never really saved?  Possibly.  This kind of theology guarantees that they never will be.

Just before I posted this I read a post by A Well-Meaning Gentleman who is a Calvinist and presents the other view if you want it.  It never hurts to get both sides.  I would have left a comment on his site but his security screening is impossible for me to read.

homo unius libri


  1. Don't worry, Pumice, you can't be right ALL the time! (You can't see me grinning as I type this, unfortunately.) I would have to basically go with the Calvinist, though I DO NOT believe in predestination, as some of them do. I very much understand your concern with who HEARS such preaching. The same idea is why few pastors will ever admit that the Bible indcates NOWHERE that those who commit suicide will AUTOMATICALLY go to hell. They don't want to give anyone ideas.

    I think where the difference comes is that many folks don't take into account the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge. For many, the road to Christ starts with head knowledge. I had head knowledge for nearly three decades before I had heart knowledge. Had I died during that time, I firmly believe that I would have gone to hell. A lot of folks go through life with nothing but that head knowledge, thinking that they're "good to go." But, as we all have said at one time or another, "even the devil believes." As long as folks believe that one equals the other, this debate will never be quieted. No, it's not mentioned that way in the Bible, but neither is tongues, the "rapture" or some other things the way that some people interpret them.

    Personally, I would have no "joy that passeth understanding" if I had to worry each day whether I was still saved. For those who feel otherwise, I guess the question is; "Are you saved TODAY?"

    I'm sure I won't change your thinking, and that's okay, but maybe you can see why I believe as I do, even though you disagree.

    1. I think that much of the "disagreements" between the two points of view come in semantics. I am not too worried about serious believers like yourself. I think God laughs at our differences.

      I agree with your major points. It is more than head knowledge.

      The strange thing is, I don't worry about losing my salvation. That is settled. You can't understand how I can be secure from my position. I don't understand how you can know if it is election and predestination.

      The good news is I can still call you brother.

      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.