You Just Might Be an Arminian, if… (a test)

Arminianism is a man-centered theological heresy prevalent in the Christian church. It transcends denominations. Roman Catholics and Methodists are united, by their adherence. Pentecostals, especially the Word/Faith, prosperity proponents, are bonded together with others, by the Arminian system of doctrine. Recently, three Mormon missionaries gave me their theological belief system, and at its core, there was Arminius’ teaching.

Jacob Arminius was a rogue teacher of theology in post-Reformation Holland. Despite his teachings being rejected and denounced as heresy — by the Synod of Dordtrecht in 1618–1619 — his man-centered doctrines, following those of the British monk of the fifth century A.D., Pelagius, have pervaded the church. In some cases man-centered theology has dominated whole denominations and movements. Arminianism is the arch-enemy of Gospel truth. Therefore, it must be exposed for the evil it does in every generation, in every place (Eph 5:11).

Immature Christians are most akin to Arminianism because it appeals so strongly to the pride of man and to his sinful flesh. When biblically and theologically novice elders and pastors hold power and persuasion in a congregation or denomination, the members can be held hostage for years, even decades.

The Bible teaches us that the truth sets us free (Jn 8:32). Since the Word of God, the Bible, is the Word of truth, it is our only source for doctrinal authority. The church must fight against the heretics in every generation, as Athanasius did against Arius and Augustine did against Pelagius. Just as the Reformers took their stand against the man-centered, works-based justification of Roman Catholicism, we, too, must stand against Jacob Arminius and his followers. This means we must reject the manifestations of Arminianism, such as: easy-believism, decisional free will-ism, and the lust for supernatural power, promulgated by those who falsely teach a “second blessing.”

At the heart of every heresy is Satan’s lie to Adam and Eve, “You, too, shall be like gods (Gen 3:5).” Thus, every Christian should be warned against the mega-nonsense of oversized church gatherings and the heavy doses of emotionalism that accompanies their assemblies. What Christians need is to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18). We need truth more than ever, today. Truth is found only in the Bible, rightly interpreted. With that being said, let us take a test.

First, what is your view of man? Is he generally good, but only sickened with sins that so easily encompass people? If you believe that, you just might be an Arminian. The truth is that man is spiritually dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). The natural man, with his sin nature (Eph 2:3), has no interest or comprehension of the things of the Spirit (Jn 3:19; 1 Cor 2:14). Man’s heart is wicked (Jer 17:9), and his intentions are evil (Gen 6:5). Simply put, man is totally depraved, and the wages of sin is death (Rom 3:23). Following the death of his body comes the judgment (Heb 9:27), which leads to the second death. The second death is eternal punishment in the fiery hell of the lake of fire that burns, forever (Rev 20:14–15).

Second, what is your view of salvation from the wrath of God against sinners? Do people choose Jesus Christ to be their Savior and to make Him be their Lord? If you affirm this you just might be an Arminian. The truth is that God has predestined some people to be His elect, redeemed, adopted children. He elected or chose them to be His own possession from before the foundation of the world (Rom 8:30; Eph 1:4–5; 1 Pet 2:9). It is only by the will of God that one receives Jesus (Jn 1:12–13), by receiving the gift of the Spirit of Christ (Rom 5:5). To be born again of God is caused by the Holy Spirit (1 Pet 1:3), and all the spiritual blessings are ours (Eph 1:3), as we are transferred into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13).

Third, have you been taught and do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for all people? If you do, you just might be an Arminian. The truth is Jesus came to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). He loved His church and gave Himself up for her, His bride (Eph 5:25). He accomplished redemption for His people (Lk 1:68), He himself being the Savior of the body (Eph 5:23). He bore our sins in His body (1 Cor 2:24), and He released us from our sins by His blood (Rev 1:5), in purchasing the church of God (Acts 20:28).

Fourth, if you have been taught and believe that Almighty God, who created all things and who owns all things can be resisted by puny, fallen creatures, then you just might be an Arminian. The truth is that God is sovereign (Ps 115:3; 135:6). He sustains all things by the Word of His power (Heb 1:2). Not only is His grace sufficient for the saved (2 Cor 12:9), it actually saves each one of God’s chosen people (Rom 11:5; Titus 3:5), from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 5:9; 7:9). God’s wisdom and His grace is irresistible.

Finally, do you believe that Christians can resist God their Father to the point of separating themselves from Him, thus, losing their salvation, by their own free will and choice? If you do, you just might be an Arminian. The truth is that nothing can separate God’s chosen children from His love (Rom 8:35–39). No one can pluck a child of God, from the hand of his omnipotent Father in heaven (Jn 10:29).

The fact is that God has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell His people (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; Jas 4:5), so they might have a pledge of His promise (2 Cor 5:5), to never leave them nor forsake them (Heb 13:5), and to finish the work He began in them (Phil 1:6).

Friend, the Arminian heresy is so pervasive in the church that we must speak and write against it, often. This brief test is for you to examine yourself, to determine whether you have been believing the lie of Satan-inspired, man-centered theology. If you have failed the test, then, repent of your false belief. Pray to God that His Spirit would guide you into the truth of His sovereign grace in salvation (Jn 16:13; Eph 2:8–9).

Christian, if you have been taught the doctrines of grace and embrace them with great joy, then, give thanks and do what your fathers have done for you, in teaching you sound doctrine that is God/Christ-centered. Liberation, as you know, from man-centered theology, is such a joy, and in your desire to see others with that joy, be patient, kind, and gentle to help them see Christ alone exalted…as He is in heaven.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

October 19, 2022

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher