Friday, January 20, 2006

Selective Sovereignty

In 1510, while teaching at the University of Wittenberg, Martin Luther visited Rome and was appalled by the corruption and worldliness he saw in the papal court. Do you have a problem with this? How could he judge worldliness? Isn't that an external? What was he seeing that the "reformed" do not see today? People like to tie themselves into the Calvinism and Protestantism of Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, the Puritans, and the Westminster divines, yet, without their personal separation. Don't get me wrong. I'm not reformed or protestant, and if I was alive in the the reformer's day, I would likely have been jailed or drowned. They took their separation to a certain extreme befitting their church state views. Nothing separates you from people like 20 feet of water with a large rock tied to your ankle. It also separates you from necessary oxygen to breathe. You get my point there, but I am an avid proponent of the sovereignty of God, so much so that I see many, many of these "reformed" as weak compared to their historical counterparts.

For instance, I teach the doctrines of grace. I don't believe that these "reformed" do. They teach the false grace that is license and lasciviousness. God's grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly, fleshly lust (Tit. 2:12). Much of it has to do with their desire for, literally, the best of both worlds. They want to be a success in this world and one in the next. This is John Piper's Christian hedonism. Piper centers on his delight in God. Delight has become preeminent so that discernment suffers--God becomes only prominent in delight's preemenince. Because of that, his definition of delight becomes skewed. When he goes to passages, he looks at them, yes, but through an evaluation altered by his overarching purpose.

How much worldliness existed in Luther's or the Puritan's day? They risked horrible lust after women's ankles. Yet, these men seemed deathly concerned about it. But not John MacArthur or John Piper. They embrace contemporary Christian music, casual dress standards, lack of distinction in dress between men and women, and sinfully worldly activities. They make a huge deal about how they want to change the "church" and the "body" by writing, and ignore the Scriptural teaching of ecclesiastical separation. They say they desire God, but God desires them to separate over what He said. His desires must become superior to their and our own. These guys get heaven. They are so set for heaven. They were predestined to it. I believe this is why they are so popular---just enough worldly to reasonably fit into the world and on their way to heaven too. They are very, very protected by God. However, unlike what John Owen and the Westminster divines said about God's sovereign preservation of Scripture; God couldn't do that miracle. God's sovereignty brings them pleasure and security, but not His purity, themselves or the Bible. These modern translations aren't reverent to God, but they give people delight---hey, they're OK. Think of that. He could keep them secure, but not His Word, and even though He said He would. This is their selective sovereignty.


Dave S. said...

I agree. These Piperites seem to think that God is so sovereign that He allows them to worship however they feel, regardless of whether or not the worship is in spirit or in truth. Isn't the Spirit of God called the Holy Spirit? God still hates sin and loves righteousness, despite how we feel.

Anonymous said...

Nice observations. You brush the subject of sovereignty, go a little deeper after reading my draft "The Biblical Doctrine of Election & Predestination, why a Baptist will never hold to doctrine of Calvinism or Augustinian Predestination." in draft at click on Calvinism flag. God Bless.
Pastor Rice

book excerpt
The Biblical Doctrine of Election & Predestination
Isaiah 53:6 says “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Noted Evangelist Loren Dawson says “This verse begins and ends with ‘all.’ If the first ‘all’ is without exception, and it is, what gives us the right, what hermeneutic or homiletic gives us the right to say that the last all is just for a few selected ones? That kind of shoots limited atonement in the foot doesn’t it. ... God doesn’t make that choice, you make that choice! The only thing in this world that is needed to bring down that idol of TULIP Theology is knowing that God in sovereign grace gives man a choice and then holds men accountable to that choice! That just shoots their idol in the head and it all comes down just like Nebuchadnezzar’s idol of gold and the wind blows it all away.”

The gross error found in 5 point Calvinism permeates our theology with a poison. That poison has paralyzed soul winning, intercessory prayer, our knowledge of God's will and even our knowledge of God. The idol of gold has been killed. “Concerning the Five Points of Calvinism, in his book The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Lorain Boettner has stated, 'prove any one of them true and all of the others will follow as logical and necessary parts of the system. Prove any one of them false and the whole system must be abandoned!' Since Mr. Boettner is considered an authority on the subject, I would encourage you to follow his advice and abandon the system when you find one of the Five Points to be wrong.1”

The idol has been brought down but this work is intended to make the dangerous pieces turn into 'the chaff of the summer threshing floor' (Dan 2:35) and then stir the wind that carries them away, that no place can be found for them.

Bill H. said...

Popery and Pipery = bad theology.

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

I'm wondering - would the Calvinists accuse Jesus Christ of being "unscriptural" for not following their man-made theology?