Tuesday, April 8, 2014
God NOT Sovereign In Conditionalism
From time to time I come across certain assertions made by my former acquaintances of the “Primitive” Baptists in which they contradict themselves; and I strongly suspect, do not even know it. I blame a lot on this on the general ignorance of systematic theology, failing to know the implications that the modern time salvation paradigm has on basic bible doctrines. On the cover the statement seems to uphold their doctrine as exalting God higher than any other belief system found within Christendom (which is their intention), yet when it is actually applied to their novel paradigm, He is abased and their teaching is in fact revealed to be a cloaked form of Arminianism. In answer to the question “What’s the difference between Primitive Baptists and other Baptists?”, the Camp Creek Primitive Baptist Church website says: “We firmly believe that God is sovereign in all matters….” (See Here) To which I reply, no, you do not believe this! I should know since I’m a former teacher within this order. There are particular areas where Hardshellism does NOT recognize where God is sovereign, and it is the point of this brief article to show the two main areas of doctrine where this is so. First, God is not sovereign in limited predestination. If God were sovereign in all matters, He would be so over those things which the limited or conditionalist view of predestination says He has not in any sense caused. But to be sovereign over a matter presupposes that God is actually involved in the execution of the event! Except for the salvation of God’s people, however, and possibly those few events where God is said to have “intervened”, Conditionalism makes free-will the FIRST cause of what remains. This was one of the major things I saw when the Lord was delivering me from this teaching. Everything must have a FIRST cause, and if God is not that FIRST cause, then what is? Gravity? Dirt? The Big Bang? The only alternative outside of some scientific or evolutionary response is to reply the free-will of man. Conditionalism cannot reply that God is sovereign over all events, for most of those events it is said He has not caused! So how can God be sovereign over that which conditional predestination says He is not even involved in bringing to pass? I’m sure Martin Luther would have a field day with this, seeing that is similar to Erasmus's free-will philosophy. Second, God is not sovereign in conditional time salvation. Now here's a sad admission! A woeful depiction of the Almighty God! That Hardshellism does not believe that God is sovereign in all matters is proven when the question is really pondered: ”Is God sovereign in gospel conversion (i.e. time salvation)?” This is a stickler in the "Primitive Baptist" paradigm, and a question which, when honestly pursued, will expose the Arminianism implicit within Conditionalism. Being overly protective of God's sovereignty in eternal salvation (which is of course to be commended of all Christians), they have so sliced and diced the scriptures, separating those things God has joined together, that they have left themselves vulnerable to the charge of being Arminian with respect to their beloved time salvation doctrine. This hypothetical "second" salvation available to the elect child of God "already regenerated" is said to be accomplished by free-will. Just ask one to preach from Acts 2:40 and you'll see. So how can one speak of God being sovereign in time salvation when He doesn't even have anything to do with bringing it to pass? It sounds strange seeing that is a works-system, but I can remember my deceived friends being almost boastful of there being a salvation that only they can do, which God wouldn't do for them. So how can it be said on one hand that God is sovereign in time salvation, and on the other say that I must save myself (per their view of Acts 2:40)? Which one is it? The question really is not even permissible, for it must first be allowed that God is actually involved in the event. Only then could one begin to entertain the question of whether the grace of God was irresistible or not in performing it. In this system it cannot be said that God is sovereign, for according to the teaching of time salvation many of the regenerate reject the gospel, reject Christ, refute to repent, believe, practice holiness, or persevere in the faith. Otherwise, the irresistible grace of God would successfully impart these virtues into His people. To admit that God is sovereign in gospel conversion would also mean that He is so despite the fact that means are involved, something which our moderns say renders the transaction not secure because it is dependent upon man.