Arminianism: A Cheap-Grace, Gospel-less Heresy
This is an excerpt from Sonny’s book, “High Calvinism: A Consistent Approach to Defend and Declare God’s Sovereignty.” To get a copy of this book, click here.
"If we sum up the evidence that has been given, we shall find its amount to be, that Arminianism came from the Church of Rome, and leads back again to the pit whence it was digged." - Augustus Toplady
Arminianism is a foul heresy! No prophet of God, nor Paul, nor Christ, ever proclaimed this semi-Pelagian, cheap grace gospel that is powerless to save because it is no gospel at all. The Canons of Dort refer to Arminianism as a “novel idea,” an “invention of the human mind,” “or gross error,” that “…contradicts the Holy Scripture.” This theological essay will explain a few reasons why Arminianism is a foul heresy and not an inconsequential doctrine that Christians can ignore.
I. WHY IS ARMINIANISM HERESY?
Arminianism teaches that human beings are not totally depraved because they can exercise their frail and fickle free will to save themselves. This is contrary to Holy Scripture––which teaches that sinners are conceived in sin, dead in sin, slaves to sin, and are servants of sin––that are totally polluted in all faculties and parts of the body and soul. To argue that a sinner can come to Christ by exercising their free will is to falsely assume that they have the “desire” to do this, which is clearly antithetical to the teachings of Paul (Rom. 3:10-18).
Free will is the great idol of fallen men who elevate their gross decisions above God’s decree. This is commonly known as contra-causal freedom, or libertarianism––which is a subterfuge that cannot save, nor has it ever saved anyone––because presumed free-will can only send people to hell, and none to heaven. There are several problems that arise from this sophistry:
If God justified a man because he made himself differ from other men with his libertarian freedom to accept Christ, this would make God a respecter of persons, which clearly contradicts Scripture (Acts 10:34). Only a boastful man would dare argue that he is the co-savior or captain of his soul because his decision to be saved was more profitable than someone else’s when both had the same grace extended to them. No one can rescue themselves from God’s wrath, or come to Christ on their own terms or timing, because God has decreed before the foundation of the world that all things––including the salvation of individuals––whatsoever shall come to pass.
Arminianism elevates human decisions above God’s decree. It subjects God’s decree to man’s decision in lieu of subjugating man’s decision under God’s decree. Thereby, Arminians will argue that God’s election and reprobation are contingent upon foreseen faith or disbelief, that is, whether a depraved sinner is going to either accept or deny Him. This is not language from heaven; this is a lie from hell! What are the problems with this argument?
If God has to foresee whether a sinner will either accept or deny Him––this would mean that God would have to see something in the sinner that He must laud, and not loathe. God sees absolutely nothing in anyone that He must praise, since our best works do not merit His favor, but His wrath. Also, if God must foresee whether the sinner will either accept or deny him, then God is not transcendent. The all-knowing God does not need to foresee; He already knows from all eternity, and that is so because He has ordained everything that comes to pass.
Arminianism is diabolical because it teaches that the vicarious and atoning death of Christ was made universally for all, even to include those whom the Father has consigned to everlasting torment in hell. Does this mean that Christ actually redeemed or just made sinners redeemable? If Christ died for all––this would mean that Christ only made sinners redeemable. Therefore, because the application of His death is contingent upon the mere will of men to either accept or deny Him, this cannot be the glorious gospel of grace.
Arminianism distorts the teachings of God’s free grace. If God’s grace is contingent upon man’s decision, then God's grace is not free, and salvation would have to be ascribed to man and not God. Also, if the will of man precedes the will of God, or if the power of God in the gospel is only possible if men cooperate, then Paul would be a liar because he said that “it is God that works in us to will and to do” (Phil. 2:13), and he called the gospel the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). This is why advocates of semi-Pelagian popery are teachers of their own righteousness, and despisers of free grace.
Arminianism will contradictorily teach that regenerate saints can fall from the faith that they once previously accepted. Unlettered men or women will denounce this necessary conclusion, and will posit that not all Arminians will agree with this notion. Despite these conjectures or opinions of men or women, Arminians can never have assurance of their salvation because if they have the free will to be saved, then to be logically consistent, they will have the ability to lose it also. On the contrary, regenerate Christians can have assurance of their salvation, since God’s decree is unchangeable, eternal, and absolute.