Thursday, June 27, 2013

The False Christ of Arminianism (Part I)

Learn to Answer the Right Question!

Just yesterday, at age 58 and some plus forty years in various type of bible teaching service I learned something. Quite frankly I wish I had learned this "truth" or principle a long time ago.

What did I learn, you say? I learned that it is important if not imperative to answer the right question. Simple, right? Well, apparently not for me.

Of course sometimes the necessity lies upon the one asking the question to ask the right question. Simply because we have the "power" or ability to speak doesn't mean that we always communicate accurately. Let me illustrate what I am trying to "communicate" with an experience in my life.

In the late seventies, early eighties while in college I worked for the Alta Dena Dairy of the City of Industry (CA.) I worked in the ice cream department. In this department we "pulled" the freshly made and packaged ice cream off the conveyor belt, stacked it in pallets, and then with forklifts stored the ice cream in a large freezer. The remaining portion of our shift entailed the "pulling" of orders for various retail outlets and loading them onto semi-trucks for shipping.

Loading these trucks required a "truck shagger" to walk to the truck line, find the right truck, drive it to our loading dock and back it up (accurately) in order to secure a seal between the dock and the truck. We then loaded the semi either by hand or with a forklift.

One day, our "shagger" did not show up. We still needed to load the trucks. My supervisor asked me, "Metcalf, can you drive that truck?" Now, notice how he asked the question - "Can you drive the truck." He did not ask, "Have you ever driven a truck?" or "Do you know how to drive a truck." He didn't even ask if I could back the truck up to the dock. 

What guy doesn't love forty-five foot tractor trailers? My reply was a "truthful" one, I said "Yes!" I believed I could drive anything. Come on, how hard could it be?

First, it took me nearly thirty minutes to figure out how to start it. I kept turning the key with nothing happening. It was by accident I discovered that it had a floor switch that needed to be depressed once the key was in the on position. 

Second, I discovered that not only was it a manual transmission, it had two gear shifts. I didn't know what a "split-shift" was at that time.

Third, when I did get the truck rolling I could barely get it out of first and into second. Fortunately I didn't need to find any other gears while driving from the line to the dock.

Fourth, I had never backed-up anything that big before. However, how hard could it be? I had pulled a number of U-Haul trailers before. I knew you had to turn the wheel opposite of where the "rear" of the trailer was going.

Well, I decided the trailer was nothing more than a U-Haul trailer on steroids, so I said a prayer, gritted my teeth, and by God's grace found reverse. It has been well over thirty years since that incident therefore I can't remember how many attempts were needed before I was able to not only make straight contact with the dock but also formed a seal between the trailer and the cushions on the dock but I did.

Needless to say, after that experience (never telling the boss that was the first time I drove a split-shift and backed up a tractor- trailer) I became the designated swing shift truck shagger. All because my supervisor did not ask the "right" question. In his defense I am sure that he thought he asked the right question. 

What does this have to do with The False Christ of Arminianism? First, let me say that there is a huge gulf between the underlying theology of Arminianism and the theology of the biblical doctrines of grace.

Second, I have come to understand clearly that these "doctrines" or teachings are diametrically opposed. They cannot be synthesized. One is true while the other is false.

Third, because many people who are truly saved were exposed or saved with some type of Arminian flavor. Because of this truth many believers stop short of calling Arminianism a false gospel.

I have struggled with this myself for a long time. Well, yesterday I realized what was causing my struggle. I was focused on the wrong question concerning this issue. Yesterday, I discovered the question that really needed to be asked. Once I saw this, the entire struggle instantly ceased. 

So, tomorrow, Lord willing in Part Two I will divulge both the wrong question and then the right question. 

Will You Join Me?


Scott said...

Really good article with a great cliff hanger. You so drew me into your own history as if it was I, myself the truck shagger.

Understanding what the real question is also paramount in discussions I have been having as of late.

checking in tomorrow.


Ian H said...

Anticipating Part 2!

Susan said...

Aww man! LOL

Anonymous said...

A good post Gregg and yes I will be here to read part two.


Gregg Metcalf said...

Scott - thank you. Glad you enjoyed it and I "drew you in." Hope his helps in your discussion.

Ian - Thanks, I am glad!

Susan - Sorree!

Yvonne - Fantastic!