Wednesday, 4 February 2009

If a man chooses to be in Prision is he free?

The Cardiff University Christian Union are giving out cards with the above on for mission week and it reminded me of something Mr.John Wesley wrote in light of why he is an Arminian and why he disagreed with Calvinism:

“Our blessed Lord does indisputably command and invite "all men every where to repent." He calleth all. He sends his ambassadors, in his name, to "preach the gospel to every creature." He himself "preached deliverance to the captives," without any hint of restriction or limitation.

But now, in what manner do you represent him, while he is employed in this work? You suppose him to be standing at the prison-doors, having the keys thereof in his hands, and to be continually inviting the prisoners to come forth, commanding them to accept of that invitation, urging every motive which can possibly induce them to comply with that command; adding the most precious promises, if they obey, the most dreadful threatenings, if they obey not; and all this time you suppose him to be unalterably determined in himself never to open the doors for them! even while he is crying, "Come ye, come ye, from that evil place: For why will ye die, O house of Israel!"

"Why!" might one of them reply, "because we cannot help it. We cannot help ourselves; and thou wilt not help us. It is not in our power to break the gates of brass, and it is not thy pleasure to open them. Why will we die! We must die; because it is not thy will to save us." Alas! my brethren, what kind of sincerity is this, which you ascribe to God our Saviour?”

(John Wesley, "Predestination Calmly Considered," The Works of John Wesley, Volume X (Salem, OH: Schmul Publishers, 1872), 226-227.)

This is an extract from an article that Mr. Wesley wrote trying to convince people of the errors of Calvinism. He believed, as do I, that the Bible teaches what we know as Arminianism and that to logically follow Calvinism makes God into something he is not: a Sinner! Please read the whole thing here, particularly if this angers you, or confused you. We must learn to understand who God really is and yet love each other in the journey. Love and understanding are the first steps.

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