Can You Identify Your True Family?
Or, “The Absurdity of Calminianism”
By Curt Wildy
Imagine a child saying “Maybe you’ve met my father; his name is Joseph and he is five feet tall, eighty-five pounds, has gray hair, has black eyes, and walks with a pronounced limp.” Then imagine that same child a few weeks, months, or years later saying to you “Maybe you’ve met my father; his name is Joseph and he is six feet-three inches tall, weighs one hundred and eighty pounds, has black hair, green eyes, and is a champion triathlete.” You are bound to wonder: does this child have “two fathers?” Sadly, in our day, such language is becoming all too popular. However, when you ask the child, they insist that the two men are actually one and the same person. You reply “but the first person described cannot possibly be the same as the second person.” The child replies, “what do you mean they are not the same person? My Daddy has always been the same person!” The child then proceeds to try to convince you that the two men are indeed one. You begin to wonder, is this child playing games, confused, delirious, insane?
Such is the case with the person who, in claiming to hold to the doctrines of grace, nonetheless affirms that they remained a practicing Arminian for weeks, months, or years after God quickened them. They declare that the Triune Godhead that they worshiped as an Arminian (presuming they even held to a Trinity/Triunity) is the same Triune Godhead that they now worship as a Calvinist, Predestinarian, Supralapsarian, what have you. They want you to believe that the God they knew and worshiped in will-worship (the one who loves all, dies for all, is unable to save all, but must wait for all to “let him” do something for them) is the same God they now worship having ‘learned better’ the doctrines of grace. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of counterfeit (freewill) christendom bears little resemblance to the True Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Those who know the True cannot confuse Him with counterfeits. Those who know the True will not confuse Him with counterfeits.
I say this recognizing that God does save His people out of such will-worshiping nonsense; He finds many of His own in such deception because He ordained both the deception and their deliverance from it. Not everyone comes out of such error fully articulate in terms like TULIP, righteousness imputed, etc. However, they are all emptied of self, see no hope in self, see no ability to turn to God of themselves. They feel the vileness of self and readily affirm both God’s justice in damning them and His sovereign operation in saving them. No quickened child of God is going to promote Arminianism for weeks, months, years on end because it runs contrary to their very experience, their very being. If you are essentially the same before you came to believe the doctrines of grace as you are after you have come to know them — then where is the Life that comes with Light?
Just look at Saul turned Paul. When God struck him down and blinded him, he no doubt knew little about the true Gospel compared to what he knew at the end of his life. Yet of one thing I am sure, He was not still a Pharisee when, for three days and nights, he abstained from eating or drinking. He wasn’t promoting freedom of the will, dead works, “what man must do,” etc. He had a massive sight of sin, knew His guilt before God, and knew that if he was to be spared… saved… it would be due to the sovereign grace, mercy, and will of God alone and not due to anything that stems from him. Saul didn’t cease to be a Pharisee when his sight was returned; he ceased to be a Pharisee when he cried out “Lord, what would you have me to do?” God gave him that cry. He wasn’t saved because He cried out as such but his cry evidenced that his false religion was stripped from him. This is the case with all whom are delivered from deception and turned to the Truth.
But wait, imagine a man coming up to you (a few days before the child gave you a different description of their father), and says to you “…of course I know the child whose father is “five feet tall, eighty-five pounds, has gray hair, has black eyes, and walks with a pronounced limp;” he is my father too; the child and I are siblings.” You smile and say “great, that’s wonderful, it’s nice to meet you.” The man responds in kind and says, “here, let me show you a picture of our father” and he pulls out a picture of a man who is “six feet-three inches tall, weighs one hundred and eighty pounds, has black hair, green eyes, and is lifting a trophy having won a triathlon.” You think, “these are two different men; how can the man and child be of the same father.” You feel awkward but ask if the child is adopted, if the man means that the child is a step or half-sibling, or whether he is just using the term sibling in a friendly, non-literal way. The man looks at you as if you are crazy and declares “clearly the child and I have the same biological father, what makes you ask?” You explain that the description given by the child in no way matches the photo he just showed you. He states “ah, well, siblings don’t always see fathers the same way but we assuredly have the same father and we are assuredly blood siblings.” You, being all the more bewildered, leave it at that.
Yet such are those who engage in Calminianism / Spurgeonism / Tolerant Calvinism or whatever other name you wish to give it. These are the ones who will swear that, though they hold to the Triune Godhead of Calvinism, TULIP, Sovereign Grace, Predestinarianism, Supralapsarianism, etc., they nonetheless count Arminians, and possibly other will-worshipers, as brethren in Christ. If they are “reformed” like J.I. Packer then they may embrace Romanists as brethren in Christ. If they are like many Primitive Baptists in our day, they may even count Shintoists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Animists, etc. as being fellow siblings in Christ (who “just haven’t heard the Gospel yet though they be quickened by the Spirit”). If you can knowingly count an Arminian (no matter how nice, kind, and lovable they may be) as your spiritual sibling then you indeed share the same father in your present heart. If you can yoke yourself with will-worshipers and claim that their god is, nevertheless, your god then you indeed have the same god in your current, earthy heart. If you share the same spirit as the Arminian then you currently share the same unholy spirit. If your elder Brother, Lord, Saviour, and King is the same one as that to which the Arminian holds then you are clinging tightly to smoke and vapour just as they are. If your heavenly father is the same as the “heavenly father” of Arminianism and Sacramentalism then your father is still, yet a devil. I would encourage all who are in such a state to consider their ways and cry out to God for mercy.
True believers recognise their true heavenly Father, almighty Brother, and divine Holy Spirit. They likewise know that when imposters try to pass themselves off as a spiritual siblings in Christ, and yet have no ability to describe the true holy family, then they are really and truly imposters indeed. Just as the spiritual sheep hear the voice of the True Shepherd and will not follow another; the elect family will hear their Father, Brother, and Spirit’s voice and will never fall for will-worshiping counterfeits.
To God alone be the glory.