The Motive and Zeal of the Arminian Preacher to Position Man Above God
Is the Arminian preacher unaware that he positions man over God? Is the Arminian preacher not aware that he serves the devil, in the Serpent’s own model of human empowerment? The Arminian gospel is that “you, too, shall be as gods (Gen 3:5).”
Empowering people to use their own free will (something they don’t actually have), to choose to accept God’s gift of salvation (a choice they don’t actually have), makes man the one in control of his relationship with Almighty God. The natural man boasts of his power and performance. Pride stirs the carnal mind, and it causes ambition to rise.
The Arminian preacher feigns giving glory to God. He might say, “Salvation is all due to God’s work. There is nothing I can do to merit it (so far so good, but with the Arminian, there is always a “but”). I just have to accept the gift and give my allegiance to my King, Jesus Christ.” Without the Spirit, he will never see the contradiction in a statement such as this one…no merit, just works, of accepting and giving.
The Arminian’s motive is to be in charge. He must control his relationship with God, “I will be judge; “ says the Arminian, “it is in my wisdom and power to accept or reject Jesus Christ.” Whereas God’s salvation is by conscription, the Arminian is an enlisted man. He determines whether the Lord’s army is worthy of his time, talents, and treasure.
In his elevation of man over God (something he must deny, publicly), using human empowerment rhetoric (which he will mingle with biblical terms), the Arminian preacher’s motive is to be successful at what he does. He sells his gospel to people as a, “You cannot lose, if you do what I say,” offer to all people. The allure to “change peoples’ lives” is potent.
The Arminian gospel is a good deal to be pitched. First, “I am empowering you to make the best decision of your life.” Second, “You get the benefits of eternal life, if you accept the offer.” He continues by sweetening the deal, “Look, God loves you…heck, He loves everyone.” All He needs from you is a buy-in, a positive response. He wants your love in return (note the weak and dependent god who needs and wants).
When people are not sold on the whole love transaction offer, the Arminian will take them to the cross, “Look, here is God’s love for everyone, everywhere. It is Jesus Christ dying on the cross for the sins of everyone in the world that God so loved (twisting Jn 3:16 and 1 Jn 2:2).” He did this for you and for everyone. He has a wonderful plan for everyone’s life (although He is unable to execute His plan without approval from a higher up…each man).
This is the point where the Arminian preacher turns from the doctrine of Universalism he has been preaching thus far. To be consistent in his theology, the Arminian preacher should just follow through. His sales points so far: First, God loves you and has a wonderful plan. Second, Jesus died and paid for everyone’s sins on the cross. The closing point in this line of reasoning should be: third, therefore, “everyone is saved!” The Arminian looks at the size of the Unitarian-Universalist churches, and he says to himself, “too small…people are not buying into that.”
This is where we are introduced to the Arminian preacher’s zeal. As a salesman, he must close the deal with as many salvation customers as possible. He denies the biblical doctrine of election, so the possibility of saved souls is mega big, and it all depends on the preacher’s persuasion of men to decide. Surely, Jesus would want as many followers as He can potentially get for His glory (bigger is better).
Here is the Arminian missionary zeal, too. “Let’s support Bob and his family to go to Scotland to be missionaries. They will need a couple hundred thousand dollars to get started…let’s do this!” Of course, no one reasons, “Scotland has had the light of the Gospel for twice as long as the United States has been a country (some could argue the Gospel has been there since the early 7th century A.D.)!
The Arminian preacher, in order to close as many deals as he can manipulate, will reason hell into his well-meant offer, “There are consequences, sir, for not heeding my advice to make a right decision, today (the “turn or burn” incentive). You will send yourself to hell by your poor choice (a choice men don’t actually have). C’mon, be a winner, not a sinner!”
Former, successful salesmen in the world comprise a large portion of Arminian preachers. They reason, “Well, I could sell widgets for the rest of my life, or I could sell salvation, instead, and possibly make a better living in the right denomination. Of course, the eternal rewards of heaven (misunderstood as performance awards like the ones issued at the company’s annual convention) also serve as an incentive for being zealous.
Success and high performance goals drive the Arminian preacher to employ gimmicks, to advertise, to put on a dinner party, concert, and a good show to attract customers of salvation. With a ten thousand dollar smile and equally priced pair of sneakers, the Arminian preacher will follow in the footsteps of his fathers, who were declared heretics by the Synod of Dordt (A.D. 1618–1619). A remarkably thorough refutation to Jacobus Arminius and the Remonstrants (his deceived followers) was the product of that synod gathering of churches from various countries. The document is called, “The Canons of Dordt,” and it should be essential reading for every Christian, in order to escape the man-centered theology of Arminianism.
The promotion of man-centered theology is the most natural thing for the ambitious preacher. Simply put, it gets results. People love the message. They are empowered to be all they can be and to be saved, today. There is tomorrow, however.
If the Arminian preacher wins you to Christ, with a hand raised or an aisle walked, then, he must keep you. If this salesman knows to sell you with the good news of salvation by your own will and choice (above God’s will [Jn 1:13] and gracious choice [Rom 11:5]), then, he also knows that fear of the loss of what he just sold you will keep you coming back to Mass, to the planned revival meetings, to the altar…often. It will keep you financially giving, too. On the day of your Arminian salvation, the manipulation has only just begun.
In conclusion, Christian, be warned about the ambitious Arminian preacher. His motive is a desire for personal success and his zeal is for heightened performance (numbers, numbers, numbers). For these ends, you matter to him. As he sells you on “deciding,” “choosing,” “accepting,” and “letting God be Lord of your life (a grant that does not actually belong to you), “ know the origin of what gets him results with a person like you, “Brother, it is powerful (translated: you will surely be like a god [Gen 3:5]).” With every eye closed, blinded to the Gospel of grace, the Arminian preacher sees that hand…and another.
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 30, 2022