Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Common Charge Part 1

James R. White responding to Norman Geisler in The Potter's Freedom

"Next it is said that Calvinism undermines the motive for evangelism. Despite the popularity of this accusation, it is false. Those who evangelize out of concern for man's free will rather than out of obedience to Christ and His command, do so for the wrong reasons, and will soon be disillusioned as men reject their message and bring persecution against them.

This particular objection is most troubling to me personally. I have seen its falsehood first hand. For many years I have led volunteers in passing out Christian literature and witnessing to people who are attending the semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are the only group who is in attendance at every single Conference. We have talked to Arminians who wonder why we bother, since 'those are the hard cases anyway.' Yes, they are the hard cases. And if I believed for a second that it was up to their 'free will' and a grace that cannot change a heart, cannot renew a mind, I would never set foot outside that place again. But I do not believe in free will, nor do I believe in a grace that is a mere helping force and not the renewing power of God. That is why we keep going. That is why we see 'hard cases' come out of Mormonism. When you believe that there is no power in heaven or on earth that can stop the Holy Spirit of God from drawing one His elect to Himself (including the will of the creature!) you can preach the truth with boldness and trust God to save His people."
-James R. White

3 comments:

Bryce said...

Hi. I'm a Mormon. Unfortunately, most of the so-called "Christians" who pass out literature at our semi-annual General Conferences do not look or act the part at all. They do not care about Christ's grace. They desecrate and humiliate that which we hold very sacred. They burn our scriptures, and trample on our sacred vestments, and call us murderers, whores, perverts, rapists, adulterers, satanists, and all manner of evil names. If they came in order to have congenial conversation and discussion, I see no harm in it; we do the same with our missionaries. But the flippant way most go about their "proselytizing" at the LDS General Conference is absolutely despicable for those who call themselves by the name of Christ.

Lane Chaplin said...

Amen to James' statement. The more I'm convinced of Reformed Theology, the more I realize that the Arminianism I grew up with actually is what holds me back from proclaiming the word by becoming fearful rather than helping me. When you talk to a person's "free" will, and you think that it is autonomous enough to save them, it's more intimidating than not if you don't believe God is the sovereign arbiter.

goshareyourfaith said...

James hit it right on the head..."if I thought that I was going to change someone out of my own power, I'd stay home"...it's just a losing proposition.

Knowing that God is sovereign opens up everything...when I talk to someone I'm not stressed now about "did I say the right thing?" "Did I drive them further away?"

I realize that If I can get the gospel message out in understandable words...then God is in charge of the rest.

And the other part of trusting in God's sovereignty is that NO MATTER which way it goes...God will be glorified.

Praise to the only one who deserves it!