Free Will Under Attack (Again?) – Part 2
Free will is permissible when Calvinists judge others’ beliefs but forbidden when others evaluate Calvinism in the light of Scripture.
Calvinists are skilfull at discerning the Word of Faith Movement as being an idolatrous, blasphemous and God dishonouring teaching, and I wholeheartedly agree with them (see here). Nonetheless, it is always a good thing to remove the beam out of your own eye before trying to remove the mote out of someone else’s eye. (Matthew 7:5). This may come as a surprise to many but the Word of Faith Movement and Calvinism have several things in common. Indeed, Calvinism cannot boast to be any better than the Word of Faith Movement. The two major commonalities between them are:-
1) their views on the function and role of the mind
2) and the role of prayer in salvation
It is evident that Calvinism and the Word of Faith Movement espouse similar views in regard to the function and the role of the mind in spiritual matters. In fact, both want you to check your mind at the door because a free willy mind, as Calvinists refer to it, supposedly dishonours and demeans God’s sovereignty. In their zeal to uphold and defend God’s sovereignty they have fallen prey to a type of mind control. It is a self-imposed form of mind control because the deceived person aggressively and defiantly refuses to believe that he/she has a free will, even to the extent that they tell themselves that any shape or form of free will is blasphemous, idolatrous and in league with the beast in Revelation 13. Adolf Hitler said: “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” If you keep on telling yourself that free will is a thing of the devil, anti-God and anti-Christ, blasphemous and idolatrous you will eventually believe it. No wonder Satan has chosen the mind as his battleground and does everything in his power to fasten his strongholds of lies in the mind.
A former Calvinist who had been in the grip of Calvinism for fourteen years wrote:
By this point in my descent into Calvinism, my thinking had set like concrete. No one could have changed my mind. I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt from the witness of scripture, scholars, pastors, leaders and other Christians that God’s predestinating purposes for man were true and beyond our human comprehension. I thought, “to question the motives of God was to place myself above God”. Hence, supposed contradictions were relegated to “mystery” as His ways were beyond finding out. It never occurred to me that this type of election skewed God’s character or that God would ultimately be judging men for His own choice of a cruelty too unfathomable to reason upon. In my mind, God chose to enable some for salvation leaving the rest to be against Him. The ones so cruelly discarded would then be judged by God for their supposed choice. I reasoned the reprobate (those not elected) wouldn’t know the difference anyway.
This insidious elitist attitude, pervasive within Calvinism, occurred without my notice. Mind control, operating by stealth, implanted these ideas through mere suggestion, deepening them with a false and superficial knowledge, to hold me both willingly and unwillingly. On one level I knew something was wrong, yet on another level, things appeared correct. The resulting confusion prompted queries, but sadly in the case of Calvinism, the answers were sought from the very people who imbedded the deception in the first place.
Looking back, all the answers to these questions prompted adjustments in my theology. The overarching presupposition, never doubted, was unconditional election. Every scriptural understanding I learned had to coincide with this type of election. As new information entered my mind, it had to fit with my previously constructed framework of thinking. I was synthesizing a spread sheet of theology. I adjusted all doctrines to accommodate election. All my doctrinal entries assembled a system where “God sovereignly chooses.” As one verse was understood more fully, other entries in my data sheet of theology would be adjusted so the whole system seemingly added up. New answers prompted more questions which kept me circulating in this theology. It became a quagmire of logic and rational interpretation without the freshness of the Spirit. One adjustment led to another and another and another and so on.(Read here). (Emphasis added)
Mind control is as prevalent in the Word of Faith Movement as it is in Calvinism. Rodney Howard-Brown, one of the main proponents of the Word of Faith Movement, says:
“I loose the touch, there it is , there it is, there it is, let that go right through you, fill, that’s it, fill, that’s it, fill, that’s it, there it is, let it bubble out your belly, let it bubble out your belly, there it is. That’s right lady, don’t pray let the joy bubble, fill you can pray when you get home, let the joy bubble . . . stop praying let the joy bubble out your belly … If your praying would have helped, it would have helped you. I said joy, stubborn people, people come all serious and pray, no its not time to pray its not a prayer meeting, get in the joy” (Emphasis added)
One of Rodney Howard-Browne’s favourite words of advice is not to pray while you’re attending one of his joy meetings: “It’s not a prayer meeting, You can pray at home.” “Don’t analyse it, you can’t understand what God is doing at these meetings with an analytical mind. The only way you’re going to understand what God is doing, is with your heart.” Interesting that the prophet Jeremiah said that “the heart is deceitfully wicked,” as did Jesus.
In both Calvinism and the Word of Faith Movement an analytical mind (a mind that is diligently sober and awake to make decisive choices between good and evil, truth and lies are taboo, simply because the ways of God are beyond finding out (a mystery) and because it supposedly demeans God’s holiness and sovereignty. As we’ve seen thus far, so too is prayer in salvation a taboo in Calvinism.
If man, in his unregenerate and regenerate state, according to Calvinists, can only misuse his free will, and apply it to choose between two or more different forms of evil and not between good and evil; we would have to conclude that the Calvinists’ illustrious articles on free will are nothing but the misuse of their own free will to choose between different forms of evil. Consequently we would have to conclude that both Calvinism with its anti-free will stance and those who promulgate free willism are both evil, albeit two different forms of evil. The one is no less evil than the other. What then, may I ask, is the purpose of the Calvinists’ articles on free willism if man does not have a free will to choose between good articles and bad articles and only has the ability to choose between two bad articles? If there is no need to convince anyone of the facts on free willism because man’s free will is allegedly in bondage to decisions between two evils, why then would the Holy Spirit include the following verses in Holy Writ?
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works [including his decisions]. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:20)
If Calvinists never need to convince anyone of the facts in God’s Word which are profitable for sound and wholesome doctrine, it follows that they expect you not to convince them of the facts (the biblical truths concerning free will in redemption) either. They dare not allow any notion that wreaks of free will to enter their minds because they are deathly fearful of demeaning and dishonouring God’s sovereignty. They have effectively closed their minds to any correction, instruction or reproof. As soon as you allow this to take hold of your psyche you have indomitably enveloped yourself in a dark cloud of disastrous mind control. This doesn’t say much for the Calvinists’ reproof of the Word of Faith Movement that uses mind control in several ways, i.e. slain in the spirit, the command not to pray and the endless repetition of words in their songs during Praise and Worship services. The latter is an external form of mind control while in Calvinism it is a self-induced form of mind control, regulated by their ill-founded and unsubstantiated views on God’s sovereignty. In fact their God is called SOVEREIGNTY. As soon as you sever one of God’s attributes from all his other attributes – love, compassion, righteousness, justice, longsuffering, mercifulness, kindness, benevolence, and impartiality, you are no longer following and worshiping the God of the Bible but another Jesus who has but a single attribute – SOVEREIGNTY. Throughout his entire Institutes, Calvin scarcely mentions or considers God’s love which, in Calvin’s view, is secondary to His sovereignty.
Calvinists have an ill-conceived view of God’s sovereignty. The biblical view of God’s sovereignty is that He sovereignly wishes all men to be saved (2 Peter 3:9) and sovereignly chose his only Son to accomplish “the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). He also sovereignly chose to justly and righteously punish everyone who refuses to believe in his Son as his chosen and only way to Himself and who rejects the only means by which He draws all men to Himself (John 12:32; 1 Corinthians 1:18). He also sovereignly chose to create hell for the devil and his angels and not for human beings (Matthew 12:41) which refutes the Calvinist notion that it pleased God to choose some to go to hell because it supposedly gives Him pleasure and more glory.
And so, as you can see, Calvinists assert that life is nothing but a bizarre interplay of choices you make between two or more different kinds of evil. In fact the choices you make are merely your uncontrollable responses to the choices God Himself made for you in your behalf before the foundation of the earth. RC Sproul explains it as follows:
I no longer feared the demons of fatalism or the ugly thought that I was being reduced to a puppet. Now I rejoiced in a gracious Savior who alone was immortal, invisible, the only wise God. (Chosen By God, p.13, emphasis mine)
This statement [The Westminster Confession of Faith: God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: . . .] refers to God’s eternal and immutable decretive will. It applies to everything that happens. Does this mean that everything that happens is the will of God? Yes. (What is Reformed Theology?, p.172, emphasis mine)
Predestination seems to cast a shadow on the very heart of human freedom. If God has decided our destinies from all eternity, that strongly suggests that our free choices are but charades, empty exercises in predetermined playacting. It is as though God wrote the script for us in concrete and we are merely carrying out his scenario. (Chosen by God, p.51, emphasis mine)
If God wrote the immutable script for our lives before the foundation of the earth it follows that the misuse of our free will to choose only between two or more forms of evil was indelibly and permanently written into that script. Therefore, we are prisoners of our own choices between two or more forms of evil and henceforth we will never be able to choose between good and evil, good and bad, true and false and righteousness and unrighteousness. Marriage (known as holy matrimony) and divorce are hence no longer good and evil respectively; they are both evil and therefore it is irrelevant whether you choose to stay married or get divorced. And henceforth, the wife’s choice to either obey or disobey God’s command to submit to her husband is also nothing but an interplay of choices between two different kinds of evil. The decision to either have an abortion or to have the child and take responsibility for its care and upbringing in the fear of the Lord is then also a choice between evil and evil. What does the Bible teach on the evil to wilfully call evil good and good evil?
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
Ah, but the Calvinist would say: Man has the ability to choose between two different forms of evil only in regard to salvation and sanctification and not in matters pertaining to things like marriage and divorce and abortion. Well, let’s look at this argument more closely.
If the mind is entirely incapable of making choices in matters pertaining to salvation and sanctification, why then did John the Baptist, Jesus and Peter (at Pentecost, one of the most important events in the history of the church) begin their public ministries by saying “Repent ye for the Kingdom of God is at hand?” and “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” and “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
To illustrate how important it is for the sinner to make a decision of his own accord in order to repent and be saved, I ask you to view the entire video interview Doug Harris of Genesis/Revelation TV had with Paul Washer on Decisional Regeneration. It is important to listen carefully to what Washer says about the role of prayer in salvation. I need to make it clear that, like Washer, I too do not feel particularly happy about many of the things that are happening in so-called Evangelical churches these days. The methodology to present the Gospel in so-called four spiritual laws and subsequently encourage the person to pray a standardized prayer with them and then declare them saved, is not biblical. However, we cannot exclude the necessity of prayer, even a short prayer, in salvation. On Paul’s arrival at Ananias’ home in Damascus, after his encounter with Jesus Christ on his way there, he was told and encouraged to pray a prayer for his salvation.
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Act 22:16)
Unless someone can prove that “calling on the Name of the Lord” is not a prayer, we have to conclude that prayer is vitally important for one’s salvation. Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11:28 to whosoever is weary and heavy-laden with sin to come to Him for their salvation, is nothing else than an invitation to come to Him in prayer. Nevertheless Paul Washer seems to dissuade people to pray a prayer for their salvation. Instead he prefers to sit with people who want to know how to be saved, until daybreak if necessary, discussing with them several passages from Scripture on repentance and faith until it suddenly dawns on them that they are redeemed by a sovereign and monergistic move of God. In his video “Regeneration v. The Idolatry of Decisional “Evangelism” (about 1:00:40 into the video) he tells his audience about a man whom he led to the Lord nearby Alaska.
Now let me share with you – I have forty five seconds for this – one the greatest moments of my life was a few clicks south of Alaska. Some of you may have heard this story. A man, as soon as I got up in the pulpit, about twenty five people, a man walked in, a giant of a man, saddest human being I’ve ever seen in my life. He came and sat down in the front row. I immediately just stopped and started preaching the gospel.
After I had finished I went down, I said: “Sir what’s wrong with you? What is wrong?” He pulled out a manila envelope. He just showed it to me and said: “I just came from the doctor. I’m going to die in three weeks.” He said: “I’ve lived out in the bush working on a working cattle ranch all my life. You can only get there by riding over the mountains or taking a plane or something like that. He said: “I have never been to a church in my life. I’ve never read a bible one time. I heard someone talking about a guy named Jesus and I do believe there’s a god. I’ve never been afraid of anything in my life and I’m afraid ’cause I’m going to die and I don’t know what to do.”
Now, I said: Sir, for the last forty five minutes I have preached the gospel to you, the good news of what God has done for sinners in Jesus Christ. Did you understand it? He said: “Yes!” Now, what would have most of the evangelists done at that moment? Just pray and ask Jesus to come in your heart? But this is what he said: “Brother Paul. I understood it. I mean anyone could have understood. Is that it? Is that it? I understand it now and I pray a prayer. That”s it?”
And I went on and started explaining repentance and faith. And after several minutes he looked at me and said: “I just don’t get it.” I said: “Look, you have three weeks to live, I have to leave tomorrow morning. I’ll cancel my plane ticket and I’ll stay with you for three weeks until you die. Either you’re saved or you die and go to hell. So let’s begin.”
Listen to me, if you’re thinking of being an evangelist, don’t think you are going to preach to a whole bunch of people and when they come forward you pawn them off on everyone else to do the counselling and you go to Deli’s to eat and glory in all the decisions, most of which were just decisions and no one got converted because most of people will not come back to church next Sunday. Now you understand, like Leonard Raven-Hill used to say, now you understand why I preach at large churches once.
But, I looked at that man and said: “Sir, faith cometh by hearing. Let’s go through scripture.” We went through scripture for over an hour; every promise, Old testament, New Testament,. on and on, labouring until Christ be formed. We prayed some more, we read some more,” . . . it’s getting late but we’re staying here, this man is dying. And then after how long we got back to one of my favourite verses in the bible, John 3:16. And I said: “Sir. I’ll never forget, he had that Bible on his legs, my Bible, in those big old hands of his. And I said: “Sir let’s just read through this again. He said, “we’ve read through it so much.” I said: “Sir your life depends on it.” And so he looked down, that big old man He said “OK. For God . . . so loved . . . the world . . . that . . . He gave . . .” Oh . . .Oh . . . I’m saved, I’m saved. All my sins are gone . . . My hands are clean . . . I have eternal life . . . I’m born again.” I said: “Sir, how do you know?” He said: “Haven’t you ever read this verse before?”
I wouldn’t deny in the very least that the man whom Paul Washer counselled was saved by the grace of God. God is capable of saving sinners despite evangelists’ shortcomings in the presentation of the Gospel. Shouldn’t Paul Washer rather have referred the man to Matthew 11:28 where Jesus invites sinners to come to Him? Nevertheless, I must again refer you to what Ananias said to Paul in order to be saved. “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.” (Acts 22:16). My question is this: “Would Paul have been saved and his sins washed away by the blood of Jesus if he hadn’t called on the Name of the Lord (prayed a prayer for his redemption)? Barnes explains it thus”
Calling on the name of the Lord – For pardon and sanctification, Romans 10:13, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” It was proper that this calling on the name of the Lord should be connected with the ordinance of baptism. That ordinance was emblematic of a purifying which the Lord only could produce. It is proper that the rite of baptism should be attended with extraordinary prayer; that he who is to be baptized should make it the occasion of special and very solemn religious exercises. The external rite will avail nothing without the pardoning mercy of God.
As you can see Romans 10:13 does not say that whosoever is baptized and shall call on the Name of the Lord, shall be saved. It merely says that calling on the Name of the Lord in prayer shall save lost sinners. Many would say that baptism is a necessary component for one’s salvation. Allow me to remind you what Paul himself said about baptism.
I thank God that I baptized none of you, save Crispus and Gaius; lest any man should say that ye were baptized into my name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made void. For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:14-18).
Is it necessary to sit for hours with a person until Christ be formed in him when you’ve already proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that anyone can understand its demand to repent and believe? I find it odd that Paul Washer asked the man whether he understood the Gospel whilst, as he says in one of his videos, dead men can’t hear, let alone understand it, unless of course the person was first made alive by a supernatural, sovereign and monergistic act of God and he spontaneously came to realize that he had been born again. Another thing I find odd is that Paul Washer prayed with him. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that praying with someone is wrong. What I’m getting at is that Ananias did not offer to pray a prayer with Paul because he knew that salvation is a deeply personal matter and something the sinner ought to wrestle through with God in solitude.
Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11:28 is an invitation to the individual, meaning that no one can come to Him in behalf of another’s salvation. You can pray for his/her salvation but you can never pray a prayer in his place. That’s precisely why Ananias encouraged Paul to personally go in prayer to Jesus for his salvation. And indeed, when Paul later referred to his salvation, he did not recall that he prayed a prayer with Ananias. He simply said: “For which cause I suffer also these things: yet I am not ashamed; for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12). He uses the past tense (“believed”) because he was referring to that day in Ananias’ house when he first believed (trusted in) and called on Christ Jesus for his salvation.
The phrase “until Christ be formed in you” appears only once in the entire New Testament (Galatians 4:19) where Paul addresses his brethren (saints who had already been saved). It cannot be applied to unbelievers who need to repent and believe the Gospel. For Christ to be formed (“morphoo”) in a person He must already be in that person. It is evident from Paul Washer’s own words that the person whom he ministered to understood the Gospel but did not know what he had to do in order to be saved. The person obviously knew that he himself had to do something. When Peter had delivered his tremendous sermon on the Day of Pentecost he did not offer to sit for hours with the 3000 persons of whom some said: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Without any further ado Peter told them exactly what they had to do: ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Similarly, Ananias did not sit with Paul until daybreak to explain the meaning of repentance and faith to him. Saul had already heard the Gospel from Stephen whose murder he approved. Ananias merely encouraged Paul not to tarry but to immediately call on the Name of the Lord (pray a prayer) in order to be saved (Acts 22:16). This magnanimous experience inspired Paul to write later “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
If Paul Washer had followed the biblical principles of evangelism he would not have needed to spend so much time in the Word with the man after he had already proclaimed the Gospel to him. Jesus Himself once said: “Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me; and ye will not come to me, that ye may have life” (John 5:39-40). And this is exactly where Calvinists are in error. They believe that no one can come to Jesus Christ unless they are the elect who are drawn by the Father (John 6:44). Therefore, they wouldn’t even think of encouraging anyone to call on the Name of the Lord in prayer for their salvation. They prefer to sit for hours with them “until Christ be formed in them,” i.e. until they cry out “I’m saved, I’m saved!” This, in a nutshell, is what Calvinists refer to as “God’s sovereign grace.” It is grace that God reserves only for his people (the elect) for whom He died. You will never hear Paul Washer or any other Calvinist say that Jesus Christ died for all people. He always says that Christ died for his people (the elect). And yet towardthe end of the video Paul Washer says the following:
The issue for me, and what I see in Scripture and what I see in church history, the church has always been revived and souls have been brought into the kingdom when people have returned to a true doctrine of biblical regeneration rather than simply believing that someone is converted because they prayed a prayer or was baptized as an infant. My goal, in my ministry, if you’ve listened to anything I preached, I don’t preach Calvinism, I just preach this: Christ died for MEN, men are dreadfully and terribly depraved, and it is the supernatural, supernatural spirit of God that was resurrected from the dead, and that spirit that begins that work in them, will finish it. Now, I hold to the five points of Calvinism but being a Baptist I prefer to call myself a five-point Spurgeonist.
Like the interviewer, Doug Harris, I too would laugh when someone admitted that he was a five point Calvinist but ever so subtly morphed himself into a five-point Spurgeonist. Does anyone know what a five-point Spurgeonist is? The fact remains that Paul Washer was being less than honest when he said that Christ died for men (take note: not ALL MEN) and in the same breath admitted that he believed in Limited Atonement. Be that as it may, Calvinists, including Paul Washer, have mastered the double-talk art. He refuses to answer anyone who asks him whether he is a Calvinist (which to my mind is impolite and downright rude) but openly floods YouTube with his videos advocating Calvinism in its most pristine form. Would he admit that he is a Christian when someone asked him? Of course he would. But then again, if Calvinism is Christianity in its purest form, as most Calvinists believe, Paul Washer is actually not prepared to tell people that he is a Christian. Imagine what Paul Washer would say when he is asked . . . .
Questionnaire: “Are you a Christian, Paul?”
Paul Washer: “How dare you ask me such a question? Of course I’m a Christian.”
Questionnaire: Are you a Calvinist?
Paul Washer: “I’m sorry, but I don’t answer questions like that.”
Imagine what a Christian in China would say to his persecutors when they asked him whether he was a Christian, if we were to apply to the Chinese Christian Paul Washer’s refusal to answer those who asked him whether he was a Calvinist.
Listen, listen please. You know, people will come up to me, and they’d say, “Brother Paul are you a Christian? And . . . I don’t answer them. And this is why. When I ask most people what they think a Christian is, they come up with some of the most terrifying, distorted views of a person who believes in God’s grace. And so it’s impossible to answer that question because most people, especially those who are writing books against Christianity [Calvinism], I can only say this, either they are intentionally deceiving, trying to build a straw man, or they don’t understand God’s grace at all, because the things they write in those books, I don’t know a person who believes those things. A great person who deals with this, is James White. He says the same thing. I mean the things they call a Christian [Calvinist], I don’t know any Christian [Calvinist] who believes it.
Terrifying and distorted views of what a true Christian (Calvinist) is, shouldn’t deter Paul Washer from admitting to someone who asked him that he was a Calvinist. Shouldn’t any Christian (Calvinist) be prepared to bear the brunt and endure any form of persecution for the sake of the doctrines of grace and openly and candidly say that he is a Christian (Calvinist)? Paul Washer has repeatedly said on YouTube videos that he is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But if Calvinism is the purest form of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he is not prepared to tell anyone that he’s a fully fledged and five-point Calvinist, then he is indeed ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Whatever! Let us now look at the interview Doug Harris had with Paul Washer.
Paul Washer makes it perfectly clear that lost sinners must make a decision in order to be saved. These are his words:
Decisional regeneration, first of all, it deals with salvation, how a person is saved. Now, the Scriptures are quite clear, a person must make a decision, a person must repent, a changing of the mind, a person must place their faith solely in the Person and the work of Jesus Christ. So, there’s the decision.
Paul Washer does not only speak in favour of fee-willism but is telling his audience that the placing of one’s faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved. Faith, he says is the predominant condition for anyone’s salvation. His definition of faith as the condition for salvation is therefore perfectly in accord with the Apostle James when he says: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6). Or is he? Listen to the following audio clip and try as hard as you can to harmonize his words in the audio with his definition of decisional regeneration in the above video. I tried and failed.
Listen to audio clip:[audio:http://www.discerningtheworld.com/images/wpi/Regeneration-Paul-Washer-1.mp3|titles=Regeneration – Paul Washer]
Let’s quickly repeat what Paul Washer said in the above audio clip.
Can you imagine me and brother Randall 2000 years ago standing in front of Lazarus’ tomb. “Lazarus, come forth.” Ok! you try it. (laughter in audience) “Lazarus come forth.” (applause).” You try! . . . . What’s gonna happen? We’re gonna stand there all day until we are hoarse going “Lazarus come forth.” Lazarus just happened to have a problem. When you’re dead, you can’t hear anybody. Now, think about this, Jesus comes up and goes “Lazarus come forth.” There’s still the problem. Jesus spoke! Whoopeee! He spoke to a dead man. Dead men can’t hear. So what you need to understand is that when Jesus said “Lazarus come forth” he also imparted into Lazarus the life to stand up and hear. [The fact is that Lazarus was not in the grave. Only his body lay there. Lazarus’ soul and spirit, which had already been regenerated, was in the bosom of Abraham in Hades. Jesus did not impart life in his dead body. He called forth his soul and spirit from amongst the dead in Hades to re-enter his body).
Indeed, how can we expect a dead man who is unable to hear because “dead men can’t hear” to make a decision to be saved, repent (“metanoia” – to change the mind).
free willism, as you can see, is a hot topic in the ranks of Calvinism. Noteworthy, however, is that they do not agree among themselves. They are as confused on the subject as they are on other vital matters with regard to salvation. The simple fact is, they cannot be trusted. How can you, when they refuse to admit they are Calvinists and yet vociferously proclaim the Gospel according to John Calvin?