Goat Herders: Their Motive, Appeal, and Reward
Arminian preachers are prevalent. They are popular. Most have quite likable personalities. They represent the great majority of pastors in America, and in the world. They preach a man-centered gospel that tickles the ears of carnal men. They are not far removed from the worldly activities they use to attract the world into the church. They like numbers, and bigger is always better. Their message is alluring, a word of positive human potential. It begins when they try to convince everyone to have their “Jesus moment.” Their desire is that everyone, elect and reprobate, sheep and goats, wheat and tares would ask Jesus into their hearts and be saved from a hell they are not entirely sure exists.
What is the motive in the heart of the Arminian false preacher? Whereas the Reformed preacher is motivated by the love of God in Christ to exalt the sovereign grace and glory of God in salvation, the Arminian is motivated by successful leadership, church growth, and positive personal growth. He is all about the kingdom, but whose kingdom?
By preaching a popular man-centered gospel, which has mass appeal among carnal people, the Arminian preacher feeds the self-will of sinful men. With infectious positivism, the false preacher spurs human potential, which promises self-glory and worldly success, couched in spiritual undertones, “Jesus can change your life for the better,” “You will be blessed if you just do this or that!”
The appeal of the Arminian pastor is human potential and empowerment. Salvation is one free will decision away, for absolutely everyone, everywhere and at all times…”Just decide!” The sinner, if he chooses to take the bait, a false lure, becomes lunch for the eager fisher of men. The bigger the show, the more secure the Arminian pastor is in his position. Deceiving people with a false message and way of life never crosses his mind because he himself is deceived. The numbers are up and everyone is happy.
Will an Arminian preacher rob God? Yes, absolutely. With a motivated self-love, having sown his copy-cat brand of seed (philosophies and psychology of the world), he brings in his army of decision-makers, presumably to feast in the pasture of the Good Shepherd. Is this really the temple of God? “Doctrine divides, so lets have a nerf gun fight, instead!” Can goats discern grass from weeds. Frankly, they don’t care, as long as the food and entertainment is good.
The reward for the Arminian pastor is job security. With a combination message of lagging performance and pep chat, he keeps them coming back. His followers are always hoping they will someday make the grade and not lose their salvation.
The Arminian pastor takes the raw ingredients of the true biblical Gospel, and like a company which injects additives and preservatives into its processed food, he feeds his flock with sweetened modifications. They love his cotton candy sermons, a semi-spiritual food stuff with natural (true) and unnatural (false) ingredients co-mingled.
The Arminian pastor assures his flock that they belong on the Good Shepherd’s property, as long as they work hard to keep the appearance of being Christ’s sheep. Goats, play-acting as sheep, are rewarded with a bigger, better show and more cotton candy, which they devour with eagerness. They simply don’t know better.
A strange encounter occurs. A true sheep walks up and asks, “How did you get in here?” The goat replies, “My mega-shepherd told me that all I have to do is decide of my own free will, to accept the universal invitation to all sheep and goats to pasture here in the church.” The goat inquires of the sheep, “How did you get in here?” The sheep replies, “My Good Shepherd came for me when I was lost and in great danger. He picked me up and put me over His shoulders and placed me here by His grace.”
The sheep further inquires, “Why do you eat the weeds here in the pasture?” The goat replies, “Oh, I eat anything. The sweet weeds make me feel good about myself.” The sheep concludes, “So, you chose to come in here by your own self-will, to eat forbidden food, that poisons you with self-empowerment, while pretending to belong to the Great Shepherd of the sheep?” The goat snorts with his retort, “Why are you dumb sheep always so judgmental of our self-chosen way of salvation?”
In conclusion, the Arminian system is a popular, self-willed, system of salvation for goats to take themselves by their own horns and enter the feast prepared for Christ’s sheep. It stands in stark contrast with God’s will and decree of salvation for His people.
As we have seen, the Arminian pastor/preacher is motivated by self-interest. His popular appeal is to be an icon that others admire enough to follow. His message is as sweet as his personality. He has successfully straddled heaven and earth, seemingly giving God and man equal footing, which delights man to no end. Instead of Christ’s sheep quietly grazing on the Word of God, the goats are ready for the next show to begin at the celebration center! Such is the life and ministry of the goat herder.
Spokane Valley, Washington
August 20, 2021