|Written by Hulan F. Bass|
|Tuesday, 18 May 2010 22:22|
A comprehensive study on the origin and beliefs of Arminians.
Compiled by Elder Hulan F. Bass
Again, I am NOT referring to the NATION or NATIONALITY of People known as ARMENIA or ARMENIANS, when I speak of the RELIGION "Arminianism.".
The ARMENIANS were a people living in the country of ARMENIA... ARMENIA is a region and ancient kingdom, in Southwest Asia. It was a large country of Asia, comprehending Turcomania and part of Persia. Its historical boundaries have varied considerably, but as a REGION Armenia is usually regarded as comprising the NORTHEASTERN part of TURKEY and the ARMENIAN Soviet Socialist Republic (before their recent demise). The Armenian S.S.R. covers 11,506 sq. miles and in Jan. 1959 had 1,763,048 INHABITANTS, and occupies an area of great strategic importance on the Soviet-Turkish boundary. Therefore, there is a TURKISH Armenia and a SOVIET Armenia...
The ARMENIANS made their first appearance in History shortly after the collapse of the ancient kingdom of Urartu, toward the end of the 7th Century B.C. The Armenian PEOPLE are the descendants of a branch of the Indo-Europeans, represented by Herodotus and Eudoxus as related to the Phrygians who entered Asia Minor from Thrace, and the Peoples of the Ancient Kingdom of Urartu upon whom they imposed their rule and their language. Ancient Armenian writers CALL the Armenians descendants of Togarmah or Ashkenaz, the sons of GOMER, son of JAPHETH (Gen. 9:18, 23, 27; 10:1-5). The predominant element among the ARMENIANS, who like ALL nations, are MIXED. The Armenian LANGUAGE is INDO-EUROPEAN...
The ARMENIANS are traditionally monophysite CHRISTIANS and belong to the Armenian APOSTOLIC ORTHODOX Church, which has its centre at Echmiadzin, that is, the SEAT OF the "SUPREME CATHOLICS." The ARMENIAN "Church" is claimed to be based on the belief that ARMENIA was evangelized by THE APOSTLES Bartholomew and Thadaeus. Tertullian and Eusebius suggest that "CHRISTIANITY" was practiced in Armenia in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries. Armenia's NATIONAL CHURCH OFFICIALLY CLAIMED TITLE was "ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC ORTHODOX CHURCH," and became the STATE RELIGION. There are TWO KINDS of ARMENIANS, the one CATHOLIC and subject to THE POPE, having a Patriarch in Persia, and another in Poland; the other makes a Peculiar Sect, having Two Patriarchs in Natolia. They are generally accused of being manophysites, .only allowing of ONE NATURE (Divine Only) of Jesus Christ. As to the EUCHARIST (Bread & Wine to Commemorate the Passion and Death of Christ) (The Consecrated Holy Communion), they abstain rigorously form eating of the Blood and Meats Strangled, and are much addicted to Fasting.
The ARMENIANS (both Sects) address Christ the TRISAGION, the solemn acclamation "HOLY GOD," whereas the GREEKS address the "HOLY TRINITY." The ARMENIANS, moreover, add the MONO-PHYSITE phrase "WHO WAS CRUCIFIED FOR US." The ARMENIAN Church believes with other Eastern Churches in the PROCESSION of the HOLY SPIRIT from the FATHER ALONE, NOT from the Son also. they DENY Purgatory, asserting the Soul of the deceased to await the DAY OF JUDGMENT, when it will enter Heaven or hell, therefore many Prayers, and Commemorative Services, and Memorials in Manuscripts are made on behalf of Ancestors. BAPTISM involves THREEFORD Immersion, the INFANT being confirmed at the SAME Ceremony. AURICULAR CONFESSION usually takes place at the PRIEST'S House or in the SACRISTY, the CONFESSOR (Priest) having the AUTHORITY to ABSOLVE ALL SINS WITHOUT RESERVATION. The CLERGY may be celibate or, before Ordination, married. This is ENOUGH about ARMENIANS since this writing is NOT primarily about, nor concerning ARMENIANS, but "A R M I N I A N I S M," which follows...
I have thought on this WORD and its MEANING many years. Even as a small lad I would hear this word used by my Father, and other church Members with a distasteful connotation. At that time, somehow, in my mind, I would associate it with, may - COMMUNISM or something. I thought "How could someone be such a bad thing as an ARMINIAN ?" I feel there are those among us, especially, maybe, our rather YOUNG or YOUNGER members that are possibly confused as to the exact meaning of ARMINIANISM. The express purpose of this writing is to attempt to precisely define such - ARMINIANISM !
Secular History shows the beginning of ARMINIANISH dates back to the latter part of the 16th Century and early part of the 17th Century, and was a LIBERAL reaction to the CALVINIST Doctrine of PRE-DESTINATION, asserting that God's SOVEREIGNTY and Man's FREE WILL are compatible. That is, "WORKS" Systems MIXED with "GRACE." . . . Man's WORKS (Free Will, etc.) MIXES with God's SOVEREIGN GRACE and thereby JOINTLY accomplishing ETERNAL SALVATION, and is EXTENDED to ALL Adamic Humanity, and the CHOICE or CHANCE is dependent upon Man's "FREE-WILL" to "ACCEPT" or "REJECT." -Rom.11:6...
The founder of such, namely, JACOBUS (James) ARMINIUS, born in Oudewater,
ARMINIANS, in Church History, a Sect of Christians which arose in HOLLAND, by a SEPARATION FROM the CALVINISTS. They are the great assertors of FREE-WILL... They speak very ambiguously of the PRESENCE of God. They look upon the DOCTRINE of THE HOLY TRINITY as a point not necessary to Salvation; and many of them hold there is no precept in Scripture by which we are enjoined to adore the HOLY GHOST; and that Jesus is NOT EQUAL to GOD The Father... John 10:30; 14:9; 1st John 5:7...
JACOBUS ARMINIUS, a DUTCH REFORMED theologian of the University of Leiden (1560), an irenic scholar, was unwillingly precipitated into a HIGHLY PUBLICIZED DEBATE with his colleague - F. GOMARUS concerning the CALVINISTIC interpretation of the DIVINE DECREES respecting the ELECTION-PREDESTINATION vs. REPROBATION-PRETERITION (Omitting, Rejection, and Passing-by). The point at issue was the relationship of the DIVINE OMNISCIENCE to the SOVEREIGN ACTS of God's LOVE and WRATH - Rom. 11:22... Question: Were the DIVINE DECREES of ELECTION-PREDES- TINATION and REPORBATION-PRETITION projected from the inscrutable MYSTERY of the ULTIMATE DIVINE WILL ? Or, were these DECREES predicated upon the OMNISCIENT DIVINE FOREKNOWLEDGE of the FREELY-WILLED (by Man) response to ACCEPTANCE or
The FIVE POINTS of the REMONSTRANCE of 1610 are:
The IMPORT is these FIVE POINTS are, some YES, some NO, some GOOD, some BAD.
The IMPORT of the REMONSTRANCE of 1610, understood (Deceptively) as the THEOLOGICAL STRUCTURE of "ARMINIANISM," was that it apparently relieved the DIVINE
Hence, The Freedom of Man's Will is expressed in DECISIONS OF FAITH that are grounded in rationally accepted options; these options, in turn, may be ACTUALIZED ONLY by the IMMANENT AID of the HOLY SPIRIT, granted as a SUPER-ADDED GIFT of "Prevenient Grace" (they are getting theologically CLOSE here, but still NOT precisely Accurate) (ie. GRACE given FREELY BY GOD, and UNMERITED, so that the PERSON who RECEIVES (passively) it may be LED TO CHOOSE the GOOD) (Note: Yes - See: Psalms 110:30...
The OPPONENTS (both sides are WRONG, to varying degrees and on various points - Matt. 15:14 - The BLIND lead the BLIND, and both shall fall into the ditch) discerned that
In the 18th Century, the WESLEYAN MOVEMENT was at first distinguished from the revivalism of George Whitefield by the phrase "METHODIST ARMINIANISM." Later JOHN WESLEY accepted the term in the title given to the publication he edited from its first issue, Jan. 1, 1778, to the time of his death. In the "ARMINIAN MAGAZINE," which would maintain, he wrote, "THAT GOD WILLETH ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, by Speaking the TRUTH IN LOVE." Wesley went to Amsterdam, Netherlands in Nov. 1777, and secured the data for the article on the life of ARMINIUS that was published in the first issue, of the ARMINIAN MAGAZINE. Wesley concluded that JACOBUS ARMINIUS was "a person with whom those, who mention his name with the utmost INDIGNITY, are quite commonly unacquainted." Accordingly, Wesley initiated a REAPPRAISAL of the THEOLOGY of ARMINIUS based on JAMES ARMINIUS' OWN WORKS-WRITINGS and sharply distinguished from the "ARMINIANISM" of the rationalistic DEMONSTRANTS of HOLLAND, as well as the "ARMINIANISM" of ENGLAND in the preceding century. (Note: Secular and Church History both tend to prove that JACOBUS ARMINIUS did not profess PRECISELY the THEOLOGICAL DOCTRINE or POSITION of "ETERNAL SALVATION ACQUIRED by Man's WORKS MIXED with GOD'S GRACE"; however, the BRAND stays, and the DOCTRINE of WORKS MIXED with GRACE is STILL BEING TAUGHT and PRACTICED by Millions of God's Elect children today, and such is called and referred to as "ARMINIANISM." Yes, Arminianism, in modern reality today, is not necessarily connected with JACOBUS ARMINIUS, but, nevertheless, it is a NAME used to IDENTIFY the DOCTRINE of "MAN'S WORKS MIXED with GOD'S GRACE" in order to, go to HEAVEN with ETERNAL LIFE)....
The WESLEYAN revival of the STUDY OF ARMINIUS' THEOLOGY was a MAJOR FACTOR in the coherent development of METHODIST DOCTRINAL AFFIMRATIONS in GREAT BRITIAN. In the United States, Methodist Theology as articulated by Systematic Theologians in the Theological Schools (1845-85), contrariwise, failed to follow Wesley's concern for the Study of the Works of Arminius and REVERTED TO the REMONSTRANT THEOLOGY. Hence AMERICAN Methodist "Arminianism" has never been rooted in the basic AFFIRMATIONS of JACOBUS ARMINIUS. This fact accounts, in some measure, for the THOLOGICAL DISPARITIES between BRITISH METHODIST THEOLOGY and that of 19th Century AMERICAN METHODISM. . .
JONATHAN EDWARDS' critique of NEW ENGLAND ARMINIANISM in the 18th Century attacked positions that had LITTLE IN COMMON with the THEOLOGY of JACOBUS ARMINIUS. New England Arminianism indicated a theological ferment uniquely relevant to the NEW WORLD as distinct from the BRITAIN and the CONTINENT. (Jonathan Edwards was a PARTICULAR, STRICT or Primitive Baptist Minister - Bishop/Elder)...
In later times the renascence of CALVINISM (revival of Calvinism) under the influence of Karl Barth, as well as EXPANDED STUDIES of JOHN CALVIN and the cultural, social and political influences of CALVINISM in History, occasioned a LONG CONTROVERY in the SCHOLASTICE CALVINISM of his era over DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY and HUMAN FREEDOM-WILL...
Calvinism was long arrayed against the THEOLOGICAL POSITION associated, ERRONEOUSLY, with ARMINIUS' NAME, nevertheless, the BRAND stays... His father died when Arminius was an infant and THEODORE AEMILIUS adopted the child in 1575, RUDOLF SNELLIUS (1546-1613), a Professor at Marburg and a native of Oudewater, became the patron for ARMINIUS' further education at the UNIVERSITY of LEIDEN (1576-1582), and BASEL and GENEVA (1582-86). After some time in ROME he returned to AMSTERDAM where he was ORDAINED in 1588 in the Roman Catholic Church. In 1603 ARMINIUS was CALLED to a THEOLOGICAL PROFESSORSHIP at LEIDEN UNIVERSITY, which he held until his death on Oct. 19, 1609...
ARMINIUS was a MAN, of MILD and LIBERAL Spirit, averse to coerced UNIFORMITY. The uncongenial controversies forced upon him involved his CRITICAL DENIAL of the STERN DUTCH CALVINIST-SCHOLASTICISM, which affirmed a "SUPRA-LAPSARIAN" (Yes, there is also "INFRA-LAPSARIAN" and "SUB-LAPSARIAN") DECREE of PREDESTINA-TION. The "SUPRA-LAP-SARIAN" DECREE of PREDESTINATION determined "THE ELECT FAMILY GOD" was "Elected" and "Effected" PRIOR to the ADAMIC FALL, while MAN was still PURE in God's Creative Mind. Consequently, HUMAN DECISION (Man's ACCEPTING or REJECTING) was asserted to be WHOLLY IRRELEVANT even as a SECONDARILY CAUSAL Factor in Eternal Salvation, much less as a FIRST Cause... ARMINIUS affirmed, and declared solemnly and emphatically a "CONDITIONAL ELECTION" in which the DIVINE PROFFER (God's Offering Man Eternal Salvation) of Eternal Salvation might or might NOT be ACCEPTED by Man's FREEWILL or CHOICE. . .
After ARMINIUS' death the THEOLOGICAL MOVEMENT associated with HIS NAME developed a RATIONALISTICALLY SYSTEMATIZED THEOLOGY (Man's Works MIXED with God's Grace) shunned and injured many of HIS CONVICTIONS and ORGANIZED the REMONSTRANT BROTHERHOOD in HOLLAND, but yet, still used the NAME - ARMINIANISM for identity. .
So ARMINIANISM and PELAGIANISM both spring from ROME and by THESE MEN. Both were repudiated as being UNSOUND in their THEORIES by ROME. It can be reliably stated that THESE Doctrines were the EXCEPTION, and NOT the PREVAILING Doctrines of ANY CHURCH before the RISE OF PROTESTANTISM. AUGUSTINE'S ideas against PELAGIANISM prevailed in PAPAL ROME when each were put to the test. It is interesting how they all fulfilled the text spoken by Jesus: Matt. 15:14 - "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, they both shall fall into the ditch."
All ripe scholars in the FIELD OF THEOLOGY who are worthy of respect for over 1500 years were found on the side of "Salvation by GRACE ALONE," though many of them seemed to hate the TRUE CHURCH where such DOCTRINE was found, practiced and preached. This can be said of LUTHER, CALVIN, and OLD PRESBYTERIANISM, and MANY OTHERS...
Question: How is the FIELD of SO-CALLED CHRISTIAN ETHICS today compared with the PAST ? Answer: So far as has been researched historically , theologically and ecclesiastically, ALL OF THEM BELIEVE the "ARMINIAN THEORY," and have a very passing notice of ETERNAL Salvation ALONE through JESUS CHRIST'S BLOOD given freely by the GRACE OF GOD, except the People known as the Primitive or Original Baptists. .
I want to be precisely clear on this POINT - TODAY, ANY Religious or Theological Order or Organiza- tion (Denominational Church) professing ETERNAL Salvation comes by "MAN'S
On this next point I want to be as kind as possible, but firm and bold as a lion, thusly - EVERY church, RELIGIOUS Order or Organization, Theological Society, etc., which PROFESSES ETERNAL Salvation by ANY (Gal. 5;22-23) Act, Deed, Thought, Will, Unction, Zeal, Desire, Feeling, Hope, Faith, Belief, Water Baptism, Hearing the Gospel, Confession, Repentance, Righteousness of Man, or ANYTHING else IMAGINABLE except, and ONLY except, the GRACE OF GOD (Eph. 2:8-9) through the BLOOD (Heb. 9:11-14, 22) of Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:25; 5:9; 1st Peter 1:18-19), HIS Crucifixion (1st Cor. 2:2), DEATH, (John 19:30-3 ), BURIAL (Matt. 27:60) and RESURRECTION (Matt. 28:1-6; Acts 2:30-32; 4:33; 17:18; Rom. 1:4; 5:9; 6:5; 1st Cor. 15:12-20) is PLAINLY and SIMPLY "Wearing the Hat of Jacobus (James) Arminius," and is an ARMINIAN and is PROFESSING ARMINIANISM. . . And many, many of God's Regenerated Born-Again (1st John 3:9; 1st Peter 1:23; John 3:8 - Spiritual Birth - 1st Cor. 12:13) Children are STEEPED in such, (Eph. 4:14) which ROBS GOD of the HONOR, PRAISE and GLORY that is so richly due him - Exodus 34:14; Deut. 4:24; Ezek. 39:25; Nahum 1:2-7. . .
Some of God's ELECT Children say, "Well, Jesus DID IT ALL, BUT you must ACCEPT IT or HIM." Or, some say, "Jesus PAID IT ALL, BUT to RECEIVE the GRACE, you must
Still others say - "You must NOT ONLY "Hear and Believe," BUT also "REPENT" - Matt. 3:8; Luke 12:47; Rom. 2:4; 2nd Cor. 7:9-10; Heb. 12:16-17; 2nd Peter 3:9 - OF YOUR SINS." And again, some say "That is still NOT quite enough, you must ALSO "CONFESS" - Matt. 10:32-33; John 12:42; Acts 23:8; Rom. 10:9-10; 14:11; Phil. 2:11-13; 1st John 4:15; 2nd John 7; Rev. 3:5 - YOUR SINS," and again some are still stronger in their ARMINIANISM and ADD ALSO "Water Baptism" - 1st Peter 3:21 - which is a SYMBOL or FIGURE of "Holy Spirit Baptism" - Matt. 3:11; 1st Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27 - and not only are all these things necessary, but you must CONTINUE in them, on and on UNTIL The Grave (Natural Death) or you can SLIP and STILL "miss Heaven" and go to Hell (Eternal Apostasy or "Falling From Grace"). Note: For reference to APOSTASY see - 2nd Sam. 23:5; Psalms 37:28; 111:6-8; Isaiah 49:14-16; 54:8-10; Jer. 31:3; 50:20; Matt. 1:21; John 5:24-25; 10:27-29; 17:12; Rom. 8:33, 38-39; Phil. 1:6; Col. 3:3; 1st Thess. 5:23; 2nd Tim. 1:12; 4:18; Heb. 8:12; 9:12; 10:14, 17; 1st Peter 1:4-5, 23; 1st John 3:9; Jude 1. . .
Arminians say - "TO NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL will cause or bring about APOSTASY or "Falling From Grace" causing you to "Miss Heaven" and "God to Hell." This is a FALSE Doctrine. . . You certainly can "Fall or Apostatize TIMELY" but "NOT ETERNALLY." I believe all these above listed Scriptures completely disallows ETERNAL Apostasy. . . Timely is conditional and Eternal is Guaranteed.
Some others still hold to DIFFERENT POINTS of the MOSAICAL LAW (Moses' Laws which Moses RECEIVED on Mt. Sinai - Exodus 19:20; 31:18; 32:15-16; 34:1-2, 28:29; Luke 16:16; Rom. 8:2-4; 10:4; Gal. 3:21-25; 4:4, 9-11; Heb. 8:7-12; 9:9; 10:1-14. . . Some of God's Elect Children are so steeped in IDOLATRY (Arminianism), and have so many RITUALS, ORDINANCES (Isaiah 46:1-8; 61:8; Jer. 44:3-5,) and DUTIES to perform till you CANNOT possibly complete them ALL BY YOURSELF, so you ALSO NEED THE HELP of a "Priest" - Heb. 4:14-16; 8:1-6; - a MORTAL Man (Jesus Christ is OUR ONLY "PRIEST". Yes, many of God's Elect Children look to a MORTAL Man as a "Priest," as back under the "Old Law or Legal Economy" - the Levitical Priesthood (which was only a TYPE , SHADOW, FIGURE or SYMBOL of the New Testament PRIESTHOOD of Jesus Christ) to "GET YOU READY," and "KEEP YOU READY," for ETERNAL Life and Heaven Immortal Glory. . . Heb. 10:1---4.
ALL this is ARMINIANISM - A R M I N I A N I S M. . .
FINAL WORD: BLINDNESS comes about by either or TWO (2) ways.
If anyone says, "Yes, I believe Jesus paid it all, all the debt I owed, BUT you must ONLY "ACCEPT or BELIEVE or SOMETHING," then you have taken the "GRACE" out of Eternal
Now, the HOLY BIBLE DOCTRINE teaches, FIRST, in ETERNAL Salvation by "GRACE, PERIOD." Then and THEN ONLY, in TIME-Salvation "BY WORKS." Ref. Luke 16:16; Rom.
Now if you desire to STUDY the TRUTH in THE BIBLE which is found to be 100 % DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSITE from ANY FORM, slight or great, of "ARMINIANISM," I believe you will find that 100 % TRUTH taught, preached, practiced, prayed and sang in the PRIMITIVE (Original - Origin) BAPTIST CHURCH, set up on the Banks of the Jordan River in the DAYS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, as the HARBINGER/FORERUNNER of JESUS CHRIST... See: Matt. 3:1, 11, 13-17; 4:17; 16:13-18; Luke 11:20; 24:47-49; John 1:29-30-36; 3:30; Acts 2:1---47; 1st Cor. 3:10-11; Eph. 2:20-22...
Just for comparisons, have you every heard of = ? ? ? "Grace, Period..."
Isaiah 4:1 - "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparal: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Who are these seven women ? Arminians The "Ostrich Story" - I'll just put my head in the sand and it will all go away..."
"I found it..." - See: Rom. 4:1 - and learn what Abraham "really found." He found it was not Works mixed with Grace... The TRUTH is Abraham found the TRUTH LONG AGO...
"Santa Claus is coming to town, so - "You better watch out, you better not cry, You better not pout, I'm telling you why..." This teaches our young children an "Arminian" Concept of "Good behavior - Works MIXED with Grace...."
"Chance System" - God wants everyone to have a CHANCE for Eternal Salvation...So, it's up to you, so please make the RIGHT ETERNAL DECISION??????
This Chance-System is in direct contrast and opposition to "God's GUARANTEED System" of "GRACE ONLY..." through the BLOOD of the Everlasting Covenant Heb. 13:20...
In conclusion, it is my STRONG DESIRE, and trust, ZEAL OF GOD, that our YOUNG people (even our YOUNGEST children) coming up in the CHURCH TODAY, in this present world of TREMENDOUS CONFUSION (Babylon) ( Babylon is Falling - Rev. 18:4), be FOUNDED in some of the most precious FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINAL PRINCIPLES, upon which the DEAR OLE CHURCH (ZION) is FOUNDED - the CHIEF CORNER-STONE and CAPSTONE and FOUNDATION. . . . . Psalms 118:22; Isaiah 28:16; Acts 4:11; Rom. 9:33; Eph. 2:20; 1st Peter 2:6.
Written in Love, and For the CAUSE OF TRUTH in Christ Jesus...
Compiled on: Feb. 25, 1976
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 May 2010 22:26|