[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

That Incredible False Christian

by Matthew

Calvinists believe at least some of these interesting things about false professors and hypocrites:

The false professor is a servant of Christ and will be judged with Christ's other servants (Luke 19:22).

The false professor may have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:42).

The false professor is a branch of the true vine and ought to abide in Christ (John 15:6).

The false professsor's body is a temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19).

The false professor may be chastened of the Lord that he should not be judged of the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).

If the false professor is a young widow, her apostasy might have been prevented by her having married a second time (1 Tim 5:14).

The false professor may have been enlightened, tasted of the heavenly gift, have been a partaker of the Holy Ghost, tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come (Hebrews 6:4-5).

The false professor may have received the knowledge of the truth (Hebrews 10:26).

The false professor may have been sanctified by the blood of the covenant (Hebrews 10:29).

The false professor may be born-again (James 1:18, 2:14, 5:19-20).

The false professor may have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and known the way of righteousness (2 Peter 2:20-21).

The false professor has an advocate with the Father, who is Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1,3).

The false professor may be a brother to true Christians (1 John 3:15, 5:16).


Is there no chance at alll that some of these false professors might just be regenerate?

25 Comments:

  • GREAT POST!
    You have really pointed out the invalidity of viewing those Scriptures as referring to unbelievers, unsaved poeple.

    I think this is a classic post, worthy of sidebar inclusion.

    Excellent work, Doctor.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 8:12:00 AM  

  • Thanks a lot, Rose~.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 8:36:00 AM  

  • Ezekiel said,
    Very thought provoking take. I also enjoyed your takes on the latest Pyromaniac site about Charles G. Finney. Finney's influence has been immense. Early in my Christian life I was introduced to Finney by an 'Amish type guy'. At first Finney seems appealing to many young people because he was radical and a tough, individualist. Also his opposition to slavery was commendable, along with his fire and brimstone preaching. But he may be the most legalistic 'theologian' outside of Rome. He makes the Puritans look like Zane Hodges! In some of his lesser known books you get some of his really damaging teachings, such as things like whether a Christian should take a vacation because you should be doing something for God all the time. Finney was big on the idea that you shouldn't do anything merely for enjoyment, unless it was the absolute, best thing you could be doing at that moment for God. His theology messed-up a lot of people. Many were introduced to Finney by Keith Green (late Christian singer), who put out a lot of Finney tracts, when Green was alive. Many people discovered Finney through Keith Green. Finney had the idea that you had to be perfect to be saved. Very spirtually damaging if you take it seriously. Leonard Ravenhill also was highly influenced by Finney, as well as A.W. Tozer (though to a lesser extent). It's also interesting that Pyro is doing the take on perfectionism because many accuse LS of the same error. I think A.W. Pink has some of the same errors, though he uses Calvinistic terminology to cover it up. Anyway great work and sorry for the long comment.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 8:53:00 AM  

  • Matt,

    great little study

    sure puts things into perspective

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 10:10:00 AM  

  • Terrific way of bringing home how big the disparity is of treating these passages as if they warned of the dangers of being false professors. The closer you look at the wordings of these passages the more you see the problem they face.

    All His blessings.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 10:45:00 AM  

  • Nice! It's pretty obvious that 2 Peter 2:20-22 refers to the saved ones who have escaped from those who live in error (v. 18), not the false teachers.

    By Anonymous danny, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 10:49:00 AM  

  • Good post Matthew.

    By Blogger Jim, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 11:36:00 AM  

  • Maatthew,

    Hmmmmmmm......I'll start off with this one:

    "The false professor may have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:42)."

    Why should I as a Calvinist think the people who believed were false professors?

    By Blogger Gojira, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 11:51:00 AM  

  • Danny,

    "Nice! It's pretty obvious that 2 Peter 2:20-22 refers to the saved ones who have escaped from those who live in error (v. 18), not the false teachers."

    Please give a stomp here:

    http://gojirasstompingground.blogspot.com/2006/11/so-how-much-assurace-do-you-have.html

    I'd be interested to see what you would have to do to keep God from treating you or viewing you like a vomit eating dog or a wallowing sow, since that is how the scriptures qualify it. I'd also be interested in seeing, should you answer, how you keep yourself from a legalistic answer.

    Thanks for considering it.

    By Blogger Gojira, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 12:01:00 PM  

  • Hi again, Matthew,

    I was looking at your first one. Can you tell me why as a Calvinist I am supposed say this was a false professor?

    Thanks.

    By Blogger Gojira, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 1:47:00 PM  

  • Oh, by the way, Matthew, concerning your 2Peter use, would you please use the same link I supplied to Danny? It goes to a post I made a couple days ago.

    By Blogger Gojira, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 1:51:00 PM  

  • Ezekiel, thanks for your thoughts on Finney. If you were not an anonymous blogger, you could post that on Pyro.

    Danny, Jodie and Antonio, thanks.

    Gojirah, I mean Calvinist in the sense of believing in Perserverance. If you do not believe in Perserverance are you really a Calvinist?

    With regard to John 12:42, I think most Five-point Calvinists would have difficulty affirming that those people were regenerate.

    Of course, I dare say they might be able to. That is why I say a Calvinist must affirm at least some, but not necessarilly all of these assertions.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 2:45:00 PM  

  • Hello Matthew,

    "Gojirah, I mean Calvinist in the sense of believing in Perserverance."

    Not all Calvinists are the same. Do I believe in perserverance? Yes I do. And you will also notice that Wilkin himself, at one time anyway, even had a third catagory FG position that he described as the more Reformed FG view found here:

    "Free Grace #3: More Reformed Free Grace
    Holds to the four essential Free Grace views. Believes that perseverance is guaranteed (with a strong view of perseverance which excludes the possibility of carnality lasting for a very long time and which asserts that all believers will produce good works which are clearly observable to themselves and others), and that apostasy is not possible for the true believer."
    http://www.faithalone.org/news/y1991/91may2.html

    Now why he would want to make such a catagory is beyond me, so you will have to take it up with him.

    By Blogger Gojira, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 3:02:00 PM  

  • Right. Yes, I can see that a more Grace orientated Calvinist could maintain that the folks in John 12:42 could be genuine believers.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 3:09:00 PM  

  • Howdy Gojira,

    I responded to your challenge at the link you gave me.

    Peace,
    Danny

    By Anonymous danny, at Wednesday, November 22, 2006 8:14:00 PM  

  • Awesome post - seems so easy doesn't it?

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Saturday, November 25, 2006 12:58:00 PM  

  • Quite so. Thanks, Jon.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, November 26, 2006 1:37:00 AM  

  • “Great Post Matthew!” said the five point Calvinist.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at Wednesday, November 29, 2006 2:53:00 PM  

  • Surely you are not a Five-Point Calvinist, John?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, November 30, 2006 6:15:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    I LOVE these kind of posts. For me, it's like a crossword puzzle, or a jigsaw puzzle. I'll give you my take on these, it's not all, I don't have time for all of them. Perhaps in the future I'll com back and finish -- but I've got to teach an adult Sunday School cless these next few months, which really limits my time. Here goes, have fun reading my comments:

    The false professor is a servant of Christ and will be judged with Christ's other servants (Luke 19:22).

    (Luke 19:22) This is the parable of the servants and the absentee lord. The thing with parables is that we cannot take every particular item mentioned in the story and draw a detailed conclusion of it (helpful resources, Craig Blomberg’s Parables books). Rather, the parable illustrates several major points. To insist that a particular point into a particular detailed eschatological view has problems.

    The false professor may have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:42).

    (John 12:42) The passage in question: (John 12:42-43 NASB) Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; {43} for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

    Possible interpretations, (a) these were true believers who are like Peter when he denied Christ, but will ultimately return to Christ as Peter did, (b) John is distinguishing false belief from true belief. John writes about Jesus’ words those who believe will not stay in the darkness. For me, that would cause me to favor (a).

    The false professor is a branch of the true vine and ought to abide in Christ (John 15:6).

    (John 15:6) The passage: (John 15:1-13 NASB) "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. {2} "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. {3} "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. {4} "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. {5} "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. {6} "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. {7} "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. {8} "By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. {9} "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. {10} "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. {11} "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. {12} "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. {13} "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

    We have no fruit in Christ unless we take root in the true vine. It’s not enough to be part of the true vine, we must take root in the true vine.

    The false professsor's body is a temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19).

    (1 Corinthians 6:19) (1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NASB) Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. {19} Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? {20} For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

    The point is that it is shameful for a Christian, whose body is a temple of the, to defile his body with immorality and so defile the Holy Spirit. It is not a necessary implication that Paul is addressing a false professor here. He is pointing the disgrace of immorality.

    The false professor may be chastened of the Lord that he should not be judged of the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).

    (1 Corinthians 11:32) (1 Corinthians 11:32 NASB) But when we are judged, the Lord disciplines us in order that we may not be condemned along with the world.

    This passage is speaking of a believer. God will chasten those whom he loves. He does that, so that the believer will not be condemned with the unbelievers in the rest of the world.

    If the false professor is a young widow, her apostasy might have been prevented by her having married a second time (1 Tim 5:14).

    (1 Timothy 5:14) (1 Timothy 5:14-15 NASB) Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; {15} for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.

    Is this a problem? If the widow was a false professor and because of that did not marry (presumably a believing man), how can that not be a good thing?

    The false professor may have been enlightened, tasted of the heavenly gift, have been a partaker of the Holy Ghost, tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come (Hebrews 6:4-5).

    (Hebrews 6:4-5) (Hebrews 6:4-6 NASB) For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, {5} and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, {6} and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.

    There is a form of spurious faith, where a person looks to be a Christian, participates in the sacraments, tastes the benefits of the Holy Spirit who is present in the body of believers, who could even be a leader or a minister in the church, but nevertheless are not true believers, like the branch attached to the true vine that does not have root in the vine. I’ve seen this happen, even the most staunchly conservative Calvinist Presbyterian, repudiate the faith and depart vehemently from it (and even change their name so as to completely separate himself from his former life). Such a person has tasted much, and to the rest of us, looked like a believer, but was not. Such a person will not ever want to come back.

    By Blogger Earl, at Friday, December 01, 2006 10:19:00 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    I suppose that is up for debate. It depends on how one defines the five points. May I say with respect that within Lapsarian thought I consider my self an Infralapsarian, as opposed to a Superlapsarian or a Sublapsarian. I also hold to an unlimited redemption, but this is not in conflict with what has been called limited atonement. The “limit” is those who do not put their trust in the sufficiency of Christ’s death burial, and resurrection alone for salvation apart from works. My contention is Christ died for ALL!

    A saint will persevere, God will see to it, weather the sister does her best to forsake her new birth and the Lord. One cannot become un-born again. I am not saying this is the favored result, nor am I saying this sister will be excused and her sin winked at. In fact I am certain that chastening will be the result of sin for any believer. What way or form will the chastening come? I don’t know, loss of a loved one, mental illness, a splinter in the foot, an auto accident, embarrassment, death, who knows?

    In Him,
    brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at Monday, December 04, 2006 4:13:00 AM  

  • Hey are you using a hypothetical lady?

    If you believe in an unlimited redemption, you do not believe the L as it is understood by those framing those terms.

    You are also not using the term Perserverance in its normal meaning.

    I could just as easily claim I believe in Unconditional Election because I believe election is not conditional on works, but on passive trust.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, December 04, 2006 9:10:00 AM  

  • But these are the terms and ways I have understood them.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at Wednesday, December 06, 2006 4:11:00 AM  

  • Personally, I think it is best to use terminology in the way it is historically understood, so as to avoid confusion.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, December 06, 2006 2:04:00 PM  

  • Matthew,

    I am not the inventor of my view as if I could muster any original thought and make some clean break from the parallel equilibrium.

    The perseverance of the saint is eternal security. Even Steve Brown has pointed this out many times. Steve happens to be a covenant theologian and a Professor at Reformed Theological Seminary.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at Thursday, December 14, 2006 4:20:00 AM  

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