30 October, 2016


The Apostle Paul, in his farewell message to the Church at Ephesus, gave warning in the following terms, “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29, 30). The Church has not been free of this danger in any age and in this no less than in any other.

Since the beginning of the seventeenth century, universalism, in the form of modified Calvinism, has been the “Trojan Horse,” which from within, has brought about the decline and fall of the great Churches which arose out of the Reformation.

In England, Scotland, Canada, the United States and Australia, all those Churches, apart from a few small remnants, now embrace the liberal theology which denies the absolute authority and inerrancy of Scripture. The first step which led down the broad pathway to that from true religion, was taken when the pulpits and courts of those Churches modified the Calvinism of their Confessional Standards by allowing the principle of universalism that God desires the salvation of all men. Modified Calvinism first became official in those Churches, when their courts passed a declaratory act, which allowed doctrines which were less precise and which softened the particularism of the Calvinism of their original standards. It is also to be regretted, that even most of the remnants of those Churches are now also subject to the same modifying principles of universalism.

The root problem in the failure of the once reformed churches is not liberalism or Arminianism, but modified Calvinism. It is modified Calvinism which leads the church into Arminianism and then to liberalism.

It may well be asked, how can this be so? The process has been a gradual one which has extended from a period of twenty years to one or two generations or more. Both modern modified Calvinists and Arminians are identified in that they accept the notion that God desires the salvation of all men, and preach a gospel which is divorced from the true nature of the law, which is given to bring sinners to Christ. The former seldom offends the latter by their preaching. Rather, as a public witness, instead of defending the Word of God on the basis of the Calvinism of the Confessional Standards, which were once the foundation of their Churches, modern modified Calvinists prefer to join forces with Arminians in an unrealistic confrontation with liberalism and Roman Catholicism. In this way the distinctions between Calvinism and Arminianism are done away with.

The next stage of the process is that the emphasis of the pulpit passes to that in which God’s benevolence, being held to be universal, is made the greatest and most important of His attributes, to the exclusion of His justice and wrath against the wicked. Love, not the fear of God, is made the beginning of wisdom. The totality of the fall, election, predestination and reprobation become unpopular and discredited doctrines.

When the Church moves to that point, it is not long before the justice and wrath of God are said to belong to the God of the Old Testament and not the New Testament. To the logic of the natural mind the Scriptures which speak of the attribute of God’s justice are inconsistent with the idea of an all loving God. The natural man has then come to the place of liberal theology. He then assumes that Scripture is but a record of man’s searching after God, and so he develops his critical theories, which entirely dispose of the true nature of the authority and inspiration of Scripture. This has been the process in the history of the Church in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, during which time, modified Calvinism led to Arminianism and liberalism as surely as night has followed day. Thus the root cause of the failure of once Reformed Churches, is not Arminianism or liberalism, but modified Calvinism.

There can only be a revival of true religion in our day when first, the concepts of modern modified Calvinism are overthrown in those Churches which claim to be Reformed. Then and only then, will the Reformed Churches have returned to the Calvinism of their original standards, and be in the position to deal with the doctrinal and philosophical errors of our age, including Arminianism and liberalism. Then will Calvin’s Calvinism and the purity of the Church and her doctrine be restored.

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