Paul's Passing Thoughts

Dear Christians: Don’t You Get It? Calvinists Think You Are Going to Hell

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on January 3, 2017
Originally Published February 27, 2013

ppt-jpeg4I think I have taken my last trip to SBC Today .com and SBC Voices .com. I have been referred over there a number of times to observe truth tone deafness on steroids. A heretic is running our flagship seminary, but the big news is that Tim Tebow cancelled his speaking engagement at FBCD. The big hero this time in the ongoing drama of SBC folklore (in our own pitiful minds) is Dr. Jeffress, who like all other SBC notables has never called out another leader for the same scandalous filth that is going on in most denominations. He will call out homosexuals, but the rape cover-ups in the SBC are a taboo subject. We call out the sins of the world, but to call out our own sin is “gossip.” All of these guys just really make me want to puke. Because they are sorry excuses for leadership—we are a joke in the eyes of the world and rightfully so.

Other articles posit the supposed strength of Calvinists and non-Calvinists working together in the SBC. So, the likes of David Platt will gladly play along while believing that synergistic sanctification is a false gospel and works salvation. This is a simple thing, Jerry Vines needs to call Al Mohler on the phone and ask him if synergistic sanctification is works salvation. I think the answer would surprise him if Mohler has a rare moment of truth telling. Of course, if Vines decides to do something about it, he then has to explain how he missed this all along and focused on symptoms rather than the issue of Calvin’s false gospel. I have been a lay pastor since 1986, and I missed it. Why? Because I was clueless, that’s why. More studied than a lot of Christians, I had a very poor understanding of justification, sanctification, and covenants, and still have a lot to learn. What’s so hard about that? Just admit it! What’s the big deal?

All of this conversation in the SBC about getting along with Calvinists could just as well include the Jehovah Witnesses or the Moonies. There is no difference; a false gospel is a false gospel and a cult is a cult. Calvinism was the epitome of a cult in Calvin’s Geneva and still is. You could slip a playing card in-between Calvin’s Geneva and Jonestown save the fact that Jonestown wanted to go out with a bang. But more to the point let’s talk about Calvin’s false gospel—the gospel that SBC yesomites  say we should work together with.

In today’s church words don’t mean things because if they did we would have to do something about it. And we are mostly business as usual loving spiritual slugs. That’s what we need more than anything in the church today: leaders who take words seriously and will act accordingly. They will be easy to spot. When the sun is out during the day they will be walking around rather than sunning themselves on flat rocks like the majority. So, let’s talk about words.

“We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.” Really? Does this raise any red flags? No. It is so, so indicative of how mindless Christians are in our day. “Wow, that sounds pretty cool. More fish anybody?” Come now, let’s be honest; do we really believe that we have been appointed stewards of God’s life-giving word? Is that how we function? A name that has come up in this ministry a lot this week is Miles McKee. He states a lot of things on his Facebook page that brings hearty kudos from many because their eyes immediately gravitate to the word, “gospel” in the sentence. “Oh there it is! The word gospel! Amen brother!” But let’s

GOSPEL GOODIES! Yum, Yum!

GOSPEL GOODIES! Yum, Yum!

look at his statements more closely. Here is the subline of his Facebook page:

“Preaching Christ crucified to the saved and lost alike. The goal is to pack this web site with rich gospel goodies.”

Yes, and that is exactly what Christian children in adult bodies seek in our day, “rich gospel goodies.” Yum, yum, yum. We can’t take the word of God and help people in real trouble; we are too busy feeding on our gospel goodies. Note the picture at right—that’s us. It is also how the world sees us, and rightfully so.

But note that we are supposed to be preaching Christ crucified to Christians. This doesn’t raise any red flags. Note that the same message preached to unbelievers is also fundamental to the message Christians still need to hear daily. Still no red flags. Particularly alarming should be the idea that Christ’s crucifixion is perpetual in the Christian life. That’s what Calvin believed. He believed the atonement is perpetual. He believed Christ’s death is continually reapplied to the Christian’s life by faith alone until we reach heaven. We are then judged according to whether or not we continually appropriated Christ’s death in our life by faith alone until that day. It’s keeping our salvation by staying at the foot of the cross. We are saved by faith alone, and at any given time that we are not living our Christian life by faith alone we lose our salvation (or they say we were not really saved to begin with). That’s why we preach the same gospel to the saved as well as the unsaved.

It would therefore seem that the new birth would have to be redefined, and you would be right about that. This doctrine necessitates the denial of the new birth. Hence, McKee also states the following:

“Contrary to much of today’s evangelical preaching, we must state that the message of New Birth is not the gospel.”

Regardless of the fact that Christ’s own gospel presentation to Nicodemus was, “You must be born again,” this doesn’t raise any red flags either. The mindlessness truly boggles the imagination. Graeme Goldsworthy, the foremost hermeneutical authority recognized by Calvinists in our day footnoted (with full agreement) an article written by Anglican Geoffrey Paxton entitled, “The False Gospel of the New Birth.” Yes, the gospel that SBC dimwits think they can colabor with denies the new birth in no uncertain terms. This isn’t rocket science: if the gospel that is good for the goose is also good for the gander; this assumes that no change takes place inside of the believer. And in case you haven’t read the papers lately that’s exactly what Christians are acting like.

Moreover, Calvinists think the evangelical new birth gospel is works salvation: “It would be better to die a heathen than to live a religious life and die without Christ” (McKee). And trust me, synergistic sanctification is the “religious life” being spoken of here.

The Calvinist gospel, the centrality of the objective gospel outside of us, is a perfect storm of deception that perfectly facilitates the confounding of salvific terms—I get that. But yet, I see a prevailing arrogance among Christians that since we are so smart, deception will always be evident to us. We are so good at doing Christianity we don’t need practice or diligent study. Our claim that faith is pure and simple is a cloak of arrogance that covers for our bankrupt spirituality and the brunt of jokes among the heathen. If there is a God, where is His representation upon the earth? “Well, we don’t attempt to be the gospel with our own works, we only preach the gospel.” And to that the heathen say,

“Amen.”

paul

Southern Baptist “Financial Crisis” May Not Be Good News

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 31, 2015

The President of the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Gnostic heretic David Platt, has announced a financial crisis and the inevitable dismissal of between 600 and 800 missionaries accordingly. I was initially rejoicing at this good news before I came to my senses.

While it may be good news that there will be 600-800 fewer people spreading the false gospel of progressive justification all over the globe while being paid for it by dumbed down professing Christians, in reality, something else may be afoot.

In the minds of the Neo-Calvinists who have taken over the SBC, there is only one thing that is preventing them from taking over the whole world with their historical-redemptive worldview; those in the church hopelessly bound, albeit anemically, to a historical-grammatical view of reality.

Now look, in the past, I have owned several businesses and know as well as anyone else that you can make company accounting books say anything you want them to say; is the IMB really in the red, or is this a ploy to purge missionaries who don’t get it?

I know at least this much: if missionaries really need to be cut, and the SBC is comprised of Biblicists and Christocentric Gnostics, and it is, and the latter is running the show, and they are, who gets laid-off is going to be selective. Do you really think Platt is going to lay-off any YRR (Young, Restless, Reformed) Brownshirts?  No way. Note this from the news account:

The first of the cuts will come from voluntary retirements, followed by a restructuring.

That would be the earthy old fogies more inclined to a historical-grammatical view of reality. That would be the old guard who are getting what they deserve. They let the foxes into the henhouse, so let them take their medicine.

David Platt has something else to gain in this for the Neo-Calvinist movement. He can blame the old guard for getting the SBC into this mess, and hark! it took a YRR to see the problem. And this is typical: Calvinism is obviously going to have a relaxed view of evangelism; so, while the Neo-Calvinists are the cause of the decline, they can claim to be the solution.

Destructive social movements always supply their own demand. They create the problem, and then claim to be the solution. In the same way, the viral Reformed biblical counseling movement is inundating the SBC as a result of the SBC faithful getting a consistent dose of messages based on condemnation from Neo-Calvinist pulpits. Who would not seek counseling after being told that they are totally depraved week in, week out? However, and likewise, this is a purging process. The counseling construct is “redemptive church discipline.” The primary goal of this counseling is to determine what gospel individuals hold to. The counselee presentation problems are not the issue though that’s the pretense; the real issue is the worldview of the counselees. This is why the present-day “biblical counseling” movement that presently saturates the SBC is producing church discipline and marital divorce at epidemic proportions.

Am I suggesting that this latest SBC drama could be more of a purge than a real and present financial crisis? Pretty much.

paul

Advocate for the Spiritually Abused? Then Wade Burleson Should Denounce Election in Sanctification

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on June 5, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published March 11, 2013

“This is because Western culture has never adequately exposed Reformed theology for what it really is. As long as Protestantism clings to the Reformation myth, it will never completely break free from its bondage to anemic sanctification.”

 “If Burleson wants to be an advocate for the spiritually abused he should denounce his Reformed gospel of spiritual tyranny. While he may help some people heal from abuse, he will go back to his pulpit and produce twice as many abusers.”  

Last night at our evening Bible study we discussed election. Not election for justification (salvation), but election in sanctification (our Christian life). This is the Reformed idea that God sovereignly elects all of our good works in our Christian life in the same way that he elects some to be saved and passes over others. This leaves them to the choice that is inevitable if God doesn’t intervene: man will never choose God on his own. In the same way concerning sanctification, man is still totally depraved, and unless God intervenes will only do works that are filthy rags before God. In salvation, God only changes man’s position, not his nature. Therefore, in sanctification, God imputes His own good works to our life via intervention and leaves us to our own total depravity in the rest. Choice in justification; works in sanctification; God completely sovereign in both.

Though the application of this is somewhat complex, it boils down to the Reformation’s definition of double imputation: Christ’s righteousness was imputed to us positionally by His death, and the perfect obedience He demonstrated in His life is imputed to our sanctification as a way to keep our justification intact until glorification. Hence, to not believe in sanctified sovereignly elected works in our Christian life is paramount to works salvation. “The same gospel that saved us also sanctifies us.” Sanctification must be a continual revisiting of salvation by faith alone in order to maintain our justification. This is the very heart of Calvinism. Yes, we do something in sanctification: we continually revisit our need for the gospel, and as we do that, the works of Christ are imputed to us by faith alone in sanctification. This is the theses of the Reformation’s magnum opus, Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation to the Augustinian Order, and articulated by John Calvin in the Institutes of the Christian Religion. This opposes Biblicism which sees double imputation as our sins imputed to Christ and God’s righteousness imputed to us and sanctification being an entirely different consideration.

We discussed how this authentic doctrine of the Reformation has wreaked havoc on the church. When God is seen as completely sovereign in sanctification, ideological conclusions are then drawn from what actually happens in real life. Rape is God’s will, and the perpetrator is seen as one who is acting out expected behavior where God has not intervened. “But for the grace of God, there go I.” We have all said it. No? All of grace in salvation—all of grace in sanctification. The only difference between you and a rapist is grace; therefore, who are you to judge? Even if you are the victim. Luther and Calvin thought righteous indignation a joke, and Calvin called justice, “mere iniquity.” Luther’s theology of the cross deemed suffering as the most valuable asset of the Reformation’s inner-nihilist theology:

He, however, who has emptied himself (cf. Phil. 2:7) through suffering no longer does works but knows that God works and does all things in him. For this reason, whether God does works or not, it is all the same to him. He neither boasts if he does good works, nor is he disturbed if God does not do good works through him. He knows that it is sufficient if he suffers and is brought low by the cross in order to be annihilated all the more. It is this that Christ says in John 3:7, »You must be born anew.« To be born anew, one must consequently first die and then be raised up with the Son of Man. To die, I say, means to feel death at hand (Heidelberg Disputation: Theses 24).

Note that this constant seeking after suffering and self-deprivation leads to being “raised up” in the Christian life. This constant seeking after death leads to joyful rebirths when Christ’s obedience is imputed to us. This is the basis of John Piper’s Christian Hedonism which also implements Theses 28 of the Disputation. As you can see, it’s what they call the new birth. The new birth is something that continually reoccurs in salvation when Christ’s obedience is imputed to us.

The indifference towards suffering that this theology breeds cannot be overstated. It is such that Calvin’s beseechment of the Geneva counsel to have a detractor beheaded rather than burned with green wood is a supposed act of compassion that is Reformed folklore. And be absolutely positive of this: the roots of authentic Calvinism are %99.99 responsible for the spiritual tyranny in the contemporary church—especially among New Calvinists.

This is why I have a problem with Pastor Wade Burleson being postured as a spiritual abuse advocate. I realize that he is a well-known pastor and therefore a valuable advocate for a cause, but promoting him as a defender of the spiritually abused separates logic from consequences.  It encourages a hypothetical idea that because all Nazis didn’t execute Jews, Nazism doesn’t necessarily lead to the persecution of Jews. Right, not in all cases, but for every person Burleson helps his doctrine will produce twice the indifference and abuse in other people. Many members of the present-day Nazi party are seemingly quality people who could be utilized in good causes, but the possibility is remote because Western culture has been properly educated in regard to Nazi ideology. Such is not the case with Reformed theology. While a Nazi might make a good carpenter you would likely not hire one as an advocate for the Anti-Defamation League. There are Nazis who would do a fine job in that role but the ideology would do more harm than good in the long run.

We also discussed how authentic Calvinism dies a social death from time to time because of the tyranny that it produces and then experiences resurgence paved by the weak sanctification left in its wake. This is because Western culture has never adequately exposed Reformed theology for what it really is. As long as Protestantism clings to the Reformation myth, it will never completely break free from its bondage to anemic sanctification.

Reformation History

Burleson strongly endorses one of the core four individuals who helped found the present-day New Calvinist movement, Jon Zens:

One of my favorite theologians is Jon Zens. Jon edits the quarterly periodical called Searching Together, formerly known as the Baptist Reformation Review. Jon is thoroughly biblical, imminently concerned with the Scriptures …. The best $10.00 you will ever spend is the yearly subscription to Searching Together (http://www.wadeburleson.org/2010/09/searching-together-edited-by-jon-zens.html).

Zens, who has also been known as an advocate for the spiritually abused, was a key contributor to the Reformed think tank that launched present-day New Calvinism (The Australian Forum) of which some Burleson promoters refer to as the “Calvinistas.” It’s not meant as a compliment. But yet, Burleson’s theology is one and the same with them:

Those who have read Grace and Truth to You for any amount of time know that this author is persuaded the Bible teaches that the eternal rewards of Christians are those rewards–and only those rewards–which are earned by Christ. It is Christ’s obedience to the will and law of the Father that obtains for God’s adopted children our inheritance. It is Christ’s perfect obedience which brings to sinners the Father’s enduring favor and guarantees for us our position as co-heirs with Christ (http://www.wadeburleson.org/2011/11/therefore-knowing-terror-of-lord-we.html).

Those who have faith in Christ will never appear at any future judgment of God, or be rewarded for their good behavior. Our sins were judged at the cross, and the behavior for which we are rewarded is Christ’s behavior (Ibid).

Obviously, other than the previous points made, Burleson’s statement proclaiming Zens as “thoroughly biblical” and his outright rejection of 1COR 3:10-15 and 2COR 5:9-10 are troubling to say the least. Burleson also holds strongly to the exact same method of interpretation that makes elected works in sanctification possible among the “Calvinistas.” That would be the Bible as gospel meta narrative approach. It uses the Bible as a tool for gospel contemplationism which results in the works of Christ being imputed to our sanctification when we “make our story His story.” Luther got the concept from Pope Gregory the Great who believed that meditating on Christ’s works in the Scriptures endears us to Him romantically and thus inspires joyful obedience. It’s all the same rotten mysticism propagated today by John Piper and Francis Chan. It’s a mystical (actually Gnostic) approach to the Bible that makes elected works in sanctification possible.

As a cute way of propagating this nonsense, Burleson has named his para-church ministry “Istoria Ministries Blog.” His blog subheading noted that istoria is a Greek word that combines the idea of history and story:

Istoria is a Greek word that can be translated as both story and history. Istoria Ministries, led by Wade and Rachelle Burleson, helps people experience the life transforming power of Jesus Christ so that their story may become part of His story.

This ministry called him out on the fact that the word istoria does not appear anywhere in the Scriptures which led him to change the subheading a couple of days later. He then changed the subheading to a citation (GAL 1:18) that is the only place in the Bible where the word appears. Only thing is, even then, it’s not “istoria,” it’s “historeo”:

g2477. ιστορεω historeo; from a derivative of 1492; to be knowing (learned), i. e. (by implication) to visit for information (interview):— see.

This citation has nothing to do with his original point of naming his ministry as such. It’s simply the only reference he could find that proves that the word is in the Bible. Kinda, as I said, even then the word is not “istoria.” Istoria is a more contemporary Greek word that in fact can be used as “history” or “story.” But the earliest use of the word seems to be circa 1300, and is most prevalent in referring to the “story paintings” of medieval times. It’s just a lame, almost adolescent attempt to argue for this approach to the Bible.

If Burleson wants to be an advocate for the spiritually abused he should denounce his Reformed gospel of spiritual tyranny. While he may help some people heal from abuse, he will go back to his pulpit and produce twice as many abusers.

paul

Tyrant Albert Mohler Claims Evangelicals can Band Together with Mormons Against Tyranny and Proclaims Calvinism to be a Better False Gospel Than Mormonism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 22, 2013

ppt-jpeg4Albert Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was invited to speak at Brigham Young University yesterday. This is an interfaith lecture series that focuses on common societal concerns and not doctrine. Other notable Southern Baptists have spoken there including Richard Land. Like Land, Mohler addressed the common concern of religious liberty:

Mormons and Southern Baptists may not see each other in heaven, but they might in jail, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler said in an Oct. 21 lecture at Brigham Young University (Bob Allen: SBC leader speaks at Mormon school; Associated Baptist Press,10/22/2013).

“I do not believe that we are going to heaven together, but I do believe we may go to jail together,”

the head of the flagship Southern Baptist Convention seminary told about 400 BYU students, faculty and staff in an address about religious-liberty concerns.

“I do not mean to exaggerate, but we are living in the shadow of a great moral revolution that we commonly believe will have grave and devastating human consequences.”

Land echoed the same position in regard to those who are in “doctrinal error,” but share the same societal moral values:

“When it comes to religious freedom, we all hang together or we all hang separately,”

Land told the Deseret News in a Q&A interview published Sept. 6.

“We are common targets in this. The secularists are out to circumscribe our constitutional rights.”

Whether secularism, or atheism, or any other ism, it is important to know which ism is actually a threat to our constitutional liberties. All of these isms can live peacefully with Christians, and always have historically. The question is, “What kind of ism is the ism?” Atheism grounded in individualism is no threat. Secularism grounded in individualism is no threat, and never has been. The founding fathers of our country believed in Deism for the most part and that is grounded in individualism as opposed to collectivism. Of course, they were very friendly to religious freedom. Our country was founded on such.

The antithesis to individualism, collectivism, is based on the Caste system and rejects the competence of the individual to properly interpret reality. Hence, enlightened mediators must rule the unenlightened masses, and the individual must be sacrificed for what benefits “the group.” The difference in religion is the institutional church versus the home fellowship movement. The difference in government is state as servant versus state as master.

In yet another example of an intellectual train wreck that is Albert Mohler, Mohler, a Calvinist, spoke of religious liberty at the lecture. Calvinism is an ism that is grounded in collectivism. Those two isms together encompass almost all of the tyranny that has taken place since the Dark Age. Collectivism, in and of itself, is the key to understanding 99.9999% of the present-day woes in the American church.

Furthermore, we can always count on Mohler to create an intellectual train wreck that inspires steroidal morbid curiosity. He then proceeded to tell the Mormons attending that Calvinism is a better false gospel than theirs:

This is what brings me to Brigham Young University today, I am not here because I believe we are going to heaven together. I do not believe that. I believe that salvation comes only to those who believe and trust only in Christ and in his substitutionary atonement for salvation. I believe in justification by faith alone, in Christ alone.

“Justification by faith alone” is a deceptive Calvinist bumper sticker. It requires a perpetual return to the same gospel that saved us by faith alone in order to maintain our salvation. The Christian is not free to work in sanctification because we must live by faith alone in our Christian life. Calvin believed that the Sabbath represented sanctification. Mohler, like all Calvinists that know what Calvin really believed, state that progressive salvific forgiveness can only be found in the institutional church and is mediated by pastors.

Mohler presenting himself as a protector of religious liberty is like Colonial Sanders advocating vegetarianism. Therefore, we must know our cuts of isms.

paul

Al Mohler’s Struggle with Babyology

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 14, 2013

971705_10201209119611012_401841662_n“Of course, Mohler would not get away with teaching what Calvin believed on this in Southern Baptist circles so he came up with this formula of original sin versus sin of the body…. Isn’t it funny how babies put the all-majestic Al Mohler between a rock and a hard place?”

The fact that Al Mohler is president of the flagship seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention is testimony to the theological illiteracy of American Christians. His blog post entitled, The Salvation of the ‘Little Ones’: Do Infants who Die Go to Heaven? is one testimony among many. If error was a hornet, reading this post by Mohler would be like whacking a big hornet’s nest. But there is a reason for that: his very doctrinal foundations are flawed.

Mohler begins the article by summarizing the “errors” of others on the issue of infant salvation:

Universalism is an unbiblical heresy. The Bible clearly teaches that we are born in sin and that God will not tolerate sinners. God has made one absolute and definitive provision for our salvation through the substitutionary atonement accomplished by Jesus Christ our Lord. Salvation comes to those who believe on His name and confess him as Savior. The Bible teaches a dual destiny for the human race. The redeemed – those who are in Christ – will be raised to eternal life with the Father in Heaven. Those who have not believed in Christ and confessed Him as Lord will suffer eternal punishment in the fires of Hell. Universalism is a dangerous and unbiblical teaching. It offers a false promise and denies the Gospel.

He will then later state that infants are an exception. His main point is that salvation only comes by a confession of faith in Christ. Apparently, unless you’re a baby.

Mohler continues to build on his confusion:

The Bible reveals that we are born marked by original sin, and thus we cannot claim that infants are born in a state of innocence. Any biblical answer to the question of infant salvation must start from the understanding that infants are born with a sin nature.

So, everyone is born with an original, and we assume, condemning sin, and a confession of faith in Christ is the only solution. Grammatically, if he is going to argue that babies have a way out of this dilemma, these sentences shouldn’t be structured as concepts that have no exception. That’s my point. This guy is a highly paid communicator which is confusing reality in and of itself.

Mohler continues:

Throughout the centuries, the church has offered several different answers to this question. In the early church, Ambrose believed that baptized infants went to heaven, while unbaptized infants did not, though they received immunity from the pains of hell. His first error was believing in infant baptism, and thus in baptismal regeneration. Baptism does not save, and it is reserved for believers – not for infants. His second error was his indulgence in speculation. Scripture does not teach such a half-way position which denies infants admission to heaven, but saves them from the peril of hell. Augustine, the great theologian of the fourth century, basically agreed with Ambrose, and shared his understanding of infant baptism.

Mohler’s confusion has confusion within confusion in this paragraph. He accuses Ambrose of “speculation” and believing in baptismal regeneration, then points out that Augustine agreed with Ambrose, then calls Augustine a “great theologian”! Moreover, Mohler is a staunch Calvinist, and John Calvin held to the identical view of Ambrose and Augustine (CI 2.1.8, 4.16.1, 4.16.17). Good grief!

Mohler then gets into the meaty confusion of his argument:

Those who divide infants into the elect and non-elect seek to affirm the clear and undeniable doctrine of divine election. The Bible teaches that God elects persons to salvation from eternity, and that our salvation is all of grace. At first glance, this position appears impregnable in relation to the issue of infant salvation – a simple statement of the obvious. A second glance, however, reveals a significant evasion. What if all who die in infancy are among the elect? Do we have a biblical basis for believing that all persons who die in infancy are among the elect?

We believe that Scripture does indeed teach that all persons who die in infancy are among the elect.

So, let me get this straight: God elects babies based on looking into the future and seeing that they are going to die, and electing them accordingly, even though they are among those born with original sin. But yet, Calvinists plainly reject the notion that God elects based on foreknowledge. So apparently, God preordains the death of babies as part of His plan for election. This makes the death of babies a good thing, which is exactly the position Mohler will argue later on. However, no New Calvinist is able to fall short of making a complete train wreck out of  everything. In order to clarify the fact that Mohler and Calvinists are as totally confused as they seem to be, he reiterates the theological position:

This must not be based only in our hope that it is true, but in a careful reading of the Bible. We start with the biblical affirmations we have noted already. First, the Bible reveals that we are “brought forth in iniquity,”(1) and thus bear the stain of original sin from the moment of our conception. Thus, we face squarely the sin problem. Second, we acknowledge that God is absolutely sovereign in salvation. We do not deserve salvation, and can do nothing to earn our salvation, and thus it is all of grace. Further we understand that our salvation is established by God’s election of sinners to salvation through Christ. Third, we affirm that Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the sole and sufficient Savior, and that salvation comes only on the basis of His blood atonement. Fourth, we affirm that the Bible teaches a dual eternal destiny – the redeemed to Heaven, the unredeemed to Hell.

Finally, Mohler gets to the position he takes on this issue:

What, then is our basis for claiming that all those who die in infancy are among the elect? First, the Bible teaches that we are to be judged on the basis of our deeds committed “in the body.” That is, we will face the judgment seat of Christ and be judged, not on the basis of original sin, but for our sins committed during our own lifetimes. Each will answer “according to what he has done,” and not for the sin of Adam. The imputation of Adam’s sin and guilt explains our inability to respond to God without regeneration, but the Bible does not teach that we will answer for Adam’s sin. We will answer for our own. But what about infants? Have those who die in infancy committed such sins in the body? We believe not.

So, the position here is a dichotomy between original sin and sin performed in the body. Original sin and sin of the body. This position is an egregious affront to Calvinism and Reformed doctrine in general. Clever, but totally contradictory. Isn’t it funny how babies put the all-majestic Al Mohler between a rock and a hard place? You see, Calvin didn’t believe in baptismal regeneration per se. He believed in the authority of the church to forgive sins on earth, also known as the “power of the keys.” He also believed in church membership being synonymous with salvation. “In Christ” is synonymous with being “in the church.” Based on this, Calvin believed that babies who were baptized by the church were saved because the church had “loosed” their sins (absolution CI 4.1.21, 22). Of course, Mohler would not get away with teaching what Calvin believed on this in Southern Baptist circles so he came up with this formula of original sin versus sin of the body. It is also why he avoided mentioning Calvin in the post like one would avoid the plague. Let’s see how it works for us:

We believe that this passage bears directly on the issue of infant salvation, and that the accomplished work of Christ has removed the stain of original sin from those who die in infancy. Knowing neither good nor evil, these young children are incapable of committing sins in the body – are not yet moral agents – and die secure in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Starting with a faulty theological premise is like the proverbial more lies to cover prior lies. The Bible in fact states that babies, “are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies,” (Psalm 58:3).

But this leads us to the second babyology problem that Mohler has. Babies, in fact, go to heaven because their consciences are not developed and they are therefore not yet, “under the law” of their heart or God’s law (Romans 2:12-16). Mohler can’t bring this up because Calvin believed that Christians remain under the law. Calvin believed that a perfect maintaining of the law had to be kept in order to secure justification. This perpetual justification is supposedly kept in place by faith alone in sanctification and preaching the gospel to ourselves every day. Or, keeping ourselves “under the gospel.” Calvin didn’t believe that grace replaces the law in justification; the law’s righteous demand still needs to be satisfied in order to maintain justification. Mohler is careful not to go there while woefully overestimating the ability of Southern Baptists to connect the dots.

Mohler concludes the post by quoting Reformers who looked favorably on the deaths of infants: “I cannot be sorry for the death of infants.” And after criticizing Ambrose for “speculation,” he cites a sermon by Charles Spurgeon, in the same post, that propagates the idea that babies who have gone to heaven are calling out the gospel to their lost parents. That’s not speculation?

Spurgeon turned this conviction into an evangelistic call. “Many of you are parents who have children in heaven. Is it not a desirable thing that you should go there, too? He continued: “Mother, unconverted mother, from the battlements of heaven your child beckons you to Paradise. Father, ungodly, impenitent father, the little eyes that once looked joyously on you, look down upon you now, and the lips which scarcely learned to call you father, ere they were sealed by the silence of death, may be heard as with a still small voice, saying to you this morning, Father, must we be forever divided by the great gulf which no man can pass? Doth not nature itself put a sort of longing in your soul that you may be bound in the bundle of life with your own children?”

Problem is, Christ taught that those who will not listen to the word of God will neither be persuaded if someone came to them from the grave. How much less a beckoning from heaven by babies? Total confusion. Mohler is clearly no match for the baby issue.

Like Christ said, from the mouth of babes….

paul

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