What on earth is Pelagianism?

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Discerning the World is an internet Discernment ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa that was founded by Deborah du Rand in 2008. Tom Lessing joined Deborah in May 2013. Tom Lessing founded the website "Waak en Bid/Watch and Pray" which was closed in 2013 and articles moved across to DTW.

19 Responses

  1. Martin Horan says:

    Thank you very much for the above, Deborah.
    I didn’t know till having read the article what Palagianism actually is.
    Now I understand the name for the present teachings of Robert Schuller and Billy Graham. That’s good for me because from now on, when these men crop up in any discussion, I can now sum up their teachings in a word rather than try to explain where they differ from Scripture.
    I enjoyed reading your notes too. They are straight to the point and self-explanatory.
    It is annoying when people accuse us of something we’re not.
    A few days ago I was accused by a Calvinist of being a Roman Catholic, though he knows my views on Catholicism. Ironically, he is an Amillenialist, and I think a preterist (as he contradicts himself so much, I’m not too sure) which makes him more of a Catholic than I ever was!
    He also accused me of being “a follower of the Jesuit Dave Hunt”! This is the same Dave Hunt who believes in the Rapture and that the Woman riding the Beast of Revelation is the Vatican. This is the same Dave Hunt and is accused by Catholics of being a Catholic Basher. He must be the world’s strangest Jesuit.
    It’s sometimes hard to believe that Calvinists themselvesreally believe what they are saying.
    You are dead right about Calvinists thinking we take our names from someone–or something in my case–as equally bizarre as in their own beliefs.
    Yes, it really is a joke; but it’s one we can only hope they’ll soon realize is just a joke.
    God bless.

  2. Andy says:

    I am neither calivinist nor arminian. I’m a John 3:16 guy, a Bible guy and I’m guaranteed going to heaven based on Jesus Christ alone 🙂

    Calvinism is false, so they have to come up with labels for everyone else, since they forced a label on themselves.

  3. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Martin

    >> I didn’t know till having read the article what Palagianism actually is.

    Funny I didn’t know either until I was accused of being one. It made me go and find out what it was all about and I was quite flabbergasted.

    >> Now I understand the name for the present teachings of Robert Schuller and Billy Graham. That’s good for me because from now on, when these men crop up in any discussion, I can now sum up their teachings in a word rather than try to explain where they differ from Scripture.

    Really? I think there are manyyyy more of them genuineeeee Pelagians around.

    >> I enjoyed reading your notes too. They are straight to the point and self-explanatory.

    Thank you, that was the intention, short and to the point 🙂

    >> It is annoying when people accuse us of something we’re not.

    VERY ANNOYING!! Especially when you tell the person you are not and they still publish lies saying you are. Pfff… oh well, what can you do except publish an article explaining the truth.

    >> A few days ago I was accused by a Calvinist of being a Roman Catholic, though he knows my views on Catholicism. Ironically, he is an Amillenialist, and I think a preterist (as he contradicts himself so much, I’m not too sure) which makes him more of a Catholic than I ever was!

    They do contradict themselves so much don’t they. It’s like you can see bits of this doctrine and bits of that doctrine all combined into their thinking…

    >> He also accused me of being “a follower of the Jesuit Dave Hunt”! This is the same Dave Hunt who believes in the Rapture and that the Woman riding the Beast of Revelation is the Vatican. This is the same Dave Hunt and is accused by Catholics of being a Catholic Basher. He must be the world’s strangest Jesuit.

    Dave Hunt a Jesuit? LOL, Oh my, then I am the toothfairy.

  4. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Right on Andy!!

  5. Carm says:

    Calvin was a Jew, Jean Cohen. Calvin often referred to [his] God as the “Great Architect of the Universe”.
    Here’s a nice quote (from http://www.masonic-lodge-of-education.com) “The Masonic letter G reminds us that our every act is done in the sight of the Great Architect of the Universe.” The unlucky (or ambitious) who advance high enough up the pyramid get to learn that Lucifer is freemasonry’s Great Architect of the Universe.
    Official explanation is that the mason’s stole Calvin’s label… for his puppetmaster-god…

    Anyways, whatever became of the instruction of not naming yourself after your leader?

    For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? (1 Cor 3:4)

    Sola Scriptura much?

  6. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Carm

    >> Anyways, whatever became of the instruction of not naming yourself after your leader?
    >>For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? (1 Cor 3:4)
    >>Sola Scriptura much?

    Not at all!

  7. Ben says:

    We do take our name from someone! That is why we proudly call ourselves Christians.

  8. Redeemed says:

    Ben, there are multitudes who claim to be Christians but in name only. Funny, but a Calvinist is a Calvinist (although they claim a difference in how many points, but any of the points are wrong) and some don’t like to be called “Calvinist” I guess because people got wise and it was stigmatized,so some prefer to be referred to as “Reformed”.

  9. Carm says:

    Ben, surely there’s a difference between saying you are a follower of, and believer in, Christ, the Messiah, WHO IS GOD, than saying that you’re colouring your christianity with the teachings of Jenny from the block… and would therefore prefer the more comprehensive label of a Jennite Christian.

  10. Ben says:

    Well, then I am a Bible reading and believing Christian. I understand all to well that many call themselves Christian but are not living it out. Sadly, I think that is shows a bit of laziness when some base their spiritual lives mainly on the doctrines of man and defend them so vigorously. We must always go back to the Bible and search it for our ultimate truth and defend it vigorously.

  11. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Ben

    >> Sadly, I think that is shows a bit of laziness when some base their spiritual lives mainly on the doctrines of man and defend them so vigorously

    Actually not laziness, but sin. People want to continue in their sin, this is why they carry on defending doctrines of demons so vigorously. For instance, you see the doctrine of Calvinism believe it or not allows you to be ‘who you are’ that is the Elect and if you are Elect, chosen before birth, you technically do not have to repent of your sin (even though they do preach about repentance). Calvinism has two ideas that they use to combat the area of ‘sin’ in their prideful lives and it’s called Lordship Salvation or they just call you a legalist for ever mentioning sin in the first place lol.

  12. rey says:

    You should read Pelagius’ commentary on Romans and Pelagius’ Life and Letters. If you can only buy one I’d go with the commentary on Romans. In the Life and Letters, only one of the letters “To Demetrius” is for sure by Pelagius, the rest being by Pelagians or those who were assumed to be Pelagians (I doubt it on some of the letters).

  13. rey says:

    “Pelagius believed that the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin (the Fall) were restricted to themselves only; and thereby denied the belief that original sin was passed on (or transferred) to the children of Adam and thus to the human race. DTW note: No not true, Adam and Eves sin was passed onto the rest of mankind.”

    No not true is right, because if you read Pelagius’ commentary on Romans 5, that’s not what he says.

    From his comments on Romans 5:15 “Besides, if the soul does not exist by transmission, but the flesh alone, then only the flesh carries the transmission of sin and it alone deserves punishment.” (Pelagius’s Commentary on St Paul’s Epistle To The Romans, by Theodore de Bruyn [translator], Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2002, pg. 94)

    Here he is referring to Augustine’s doctrine that a part of the soul of the parents is transmitted to the offspring just as the flesh is, and is saying if that is not true (as obviously it isn’t) then the punishment of Adam’s sin can only be transmitted to our flesh not to our souls: in other words, Adam’s sin cannot damn us to hell but only to morality. So Pelagius does not say that Adam’s sin only affected Adam. He says it affects all of us, but only in that it makes us all mortal not that it damns us to hell.

  14. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    rey

    I understand, thanks!

  15. Alameen Templeton says:

    Come to Islam. None of these “problems” would need to be “solved” by Pelagius or any other kind of deep-water fish. Adam existed, we were born sinless, there is no god but God, he is one, indivisible, pure and perfect, he does not beget, not is he begotten. We are answerable only for our own deeds, and to be reborn one needs to return to that state we were in when in the womb – completely unaware of a separation between ourselves and God, unaware of ourselves, of pride, of conceit or fear, unaware of hunger or greed, aware only of God, of a complete and absolute union with God. Our only purpose in life is to worship God. There is no other reason for existence. Submit.

  16. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Alameen

    >> Come to Islam.

    No thanks 🙂 Come to Jesus Christ. We have found huge issues with Islam and the Koran that we have documented here: Please read: South African Islamic Propagation Centre International says Christian God has Faecal Fetish and Slavery in the Bible? – Accusations made by Atheists and Muslim Scholars

    >> we were born sinless,

    1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    Why do you go to Mosque and pray so often if you are sinless? If you are sinless that means you are by rights a ‘god’?

    >> there is no god but God, he is one, indivisible, pure and perfect, he does not beget, not is he begotten

    There is only One Living God, He is One, omniscicent, omnipresent, Holy and Just, God manifests Himself to mankind as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He sent His Son to die on the cross for your sin, that you can believe in Jesus Christ and be saved.

    Since the you are Muslim and believe in Unitarianism, it obviously doesn’t make sense to you for God have the power to split himself up, but He is not splitting Himself up. Understand…God is a Trinity, a Trinitarian Being (i.e. one eternal God existing in 3 distinct, yet inseparable Persons) then it makes perfect sense, and God is fully capable of existing in this state because HE IS GOD.

    John 10:30 Jesus said; “I and my Father are one.”

    John 14:7-10
    Jesus said;
    John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
    John 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
    John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
    John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

    Satan on the other hand is indivisible, acts pure but he is not, acts perfect but he is not, he does not beget nor will he ever be begotten.

  17. Sharon says:

    Amen Andy! I have had Calvinist immediately say to me that since I’m not a Calvinist (thank God) then I must be Arminian or just plain lost. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior, My King and my soon coming Bridegroom. Yes, I am also a Baptist by conviction, but not all Baptist churches are right. My very best friend of 53 years embraced the false teachings of John Calvin in 2004. It truly breaks my heart. She will not read anything I suggest even when I have been gracious enough to read what ever she has given me. The thing that hurt me the most was when she said, “well, I do believe you’re saved.” I guess that makes me the 1st non-elect to be saved. :0)

    Andy wrote:

    I am neither calivinist nor arminian. I’m a John 3:16 guy, a Bible guy and I’m guaranteed going to heaven based on Jesus Christ alone 🙂

    Calvinism is false, so they have to come up with labels for everyone else, since they forced a label on themselves.

  18. Arella says:

    Hi Deborah,

    I am studying right now about original sin, and this somehow links to the topic you developed in this article. I have concerns about the original sin doctrine, because it is a catholic doctrine that promotes infant baptism. The NIV has changed some Bible passages to make them meet with this doctrine as well ( see psalm 51:5, in the KJV the implication is that David´s mother was in sin when she conceived him, and in the NIV it was changed to say David was born a sinner).

    I also disagree with the calvinistic idea of total depravity because if humans were not able to do good or follow God´s instructions, why would he bother to give his law to us and why would he punish disobedience? I found two articles I would like to share, and after reading them, could you give me your point of view on the original sin and total depravity issue?

    Here are the articles:
    https://www.gospeltruth.net/menbornsinners/mbs07.htm

    https://www.thebereancall.org/content/are-we-all-guilty-original-sin

    I look forward to your comments! I am very interested in understanding this topic correctly.

  19. Hi Arella Hi/

    Let’s look at the verses…

      Psalms 51:5-7 KJV 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

      Psalm 51:5-7 New International Version (NIV)
      5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
      6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
      7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

    Wow…

    Just because David’s mother was in sin when she conceived David does not imply in any way that David was born a sinner. This would mean that generational sin actually exists, and everything anybody in your family (mother or father) ever did wrong, you did wrong too from birth. How horrid! There is an age of accountability for all children, that age is different for every child. How on earth can a 3 month old little baby repent of it’s sin (passed on from mother and/or father) when it can’t comprehend or even even understand. This sounds so Roman Catholic and it’s diabolically sick and evil.

    This is definitely a Calvinist / Roman Catholic teaching. Original sin does exist – it’s the definition of it that needs to be defined correctly Smile/

    I agree with Berean Call’s article.

    The original sin = the fall of mankind, death and destruction befall mankind. God wants a relationship with everyone, no one is born sinful, you become sinful through choice.

    Hosea 6:4-7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

    4 O Ephraim, what shall I do with you?
    O Judah, what shall I do with you?
    For your [wavering] loyalty and kindness are [transient] like the morning cloud
    And like the dew that goes away early.
    5 Therefore, I have hewn them in pieces by [the words of] the prophets;
    I have slain them by the words of My mouth;
    My judgments [pronounced upon them by the prophets] are like the light that shines forth [obvious to all].
    6 For I desire and delight in [steadfast] loyalty [faithfulness in the covenant relationship], rather than sacrifice,
    And in the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
    7 But they, like Adam, have transgressed the covenant;
    There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

    There had been an agreement (covenant) between God and Adam that he would not eat from that one specific tree, similar to a marital contract of faithfulness, and Adam violated it by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God gave Adam free choice whether to remain faithful to God or not. Adam had no choice regarding his creation just like we are not given a choice, but God gave him (and us) the opportunity to choose concerning his/our friendship with God. Adam’s choice was centered on one command – to not to eat from that one specific tree. Adam broke that covenant (agreement).

    We now have inherited Adam’s disposition (his rebellious nature), and we live in a world which bares the consequences of that rebellion. The world went from a place of joy, peace and happiness where there was no death; to death, sickness and destruction.
    In the verse above, the Israelites continue what Adam had done (at the original sin). They were rebellious, just as we all are.