Exposing The Presbyterian Church (Part 2)
By: Brian A. Yeager
In our first article we began introducing the Presbyterian Church and their errors. We noted that there are five core elements to the main beliefs of the Presbyterian Church. Those five points are often called the “TULIP” doctrine of John Calvin. Since the first article identified what those things are and why we are going to discuss them, we’ll not spend the space here repeating those same things. So, we shall begin with the false doctrine of Total Depravity as taught by the Presbyterian Church.
The Error Of Total Depravity
To remind us of what Total Depravity is, we shall view another quote from the Presbyterian Church allowing them to define this doctrine before we expose it as false. Here is the quote: “Total Depravity, We believe that man by the fall has plunged himself into sin which has extended to all parts of his being: body, mind, and soul. Therefore, in all aspects of his life he is depraved. This does not mean that he is as bad as he could be, but rather that each part of his being is affected by sin, as opposed, for example, to both the Arminian view and the Thomistic view that man’s noetic functions have not been seriously impaired by the fall. We believe that involved in total depravity is total inability; that man does not have the ability to do those things which he ought to do. This involves the doctrine of the bondage of the will. Though Adam was created with a will that was free, man in his fallen state is now in bondage so that though he may do that which he pleases, he is not able to do that which he ought. Therefore, until effectually called he will invariable say no to Christ. Thus much more is needed than a simple invitation to come to Jesus for “what good is a whosoever will in a world where everyone won’t” (http://www.crpc.org/index.php/articles/the_five_points_of_calvinism/).
Is mankind lost without any ability to change that state of being? Can you make the decision to do right or wrong? Has God enabled you, as part of His creation, to decide right from wrong? If the Presbyterians were right, you’d have no fear of damnation. One cannot commit a sin if they do not have the ability to choose right from wrong (John 15:18-22 and James 4:17). The Presbyterian Church teaches that you cannot change who you are. They teach that you cannot make a decision to do what is right. God has allowed you, through the fall of Adam, to be incapable of making the right decisions about sin according to the Presbyterian Church. The Scriptures teach the exact opposite of these false conclusions.
You and I DO have the ability to do the right things. The Scriptures show us that we can change. This is clear in that we are commanded to REPENT of our sins. That means you can change. That is a responsibly that God has given to us to be saved. During the time of the Old Testament, man could make the decision to change from their sins: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land… He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy… Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon… Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you… Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations… Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin… Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live… And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not” (II Chronicles 7:14, Proverbs 28:13, Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 26:13, Ezekiel 14:6, Ezekiel 18:30, Ezekiel 33:14-16, and Jonah 3:4-10).
In the New Testament God has shown us that we can make the decision to change from our sins and do what is right. Notice the Scriptures which prove this to be the truth: “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand… From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand... The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here… And they went out, and preached that men should repent… Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham... There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilæans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilæans were sinners above all the Galilæans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen , upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish... And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem… Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost… And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls… Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord… And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent… But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judæa, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance… For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death… The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance… Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Matthew 3:1-2, Matthew 4:17, Matthew 12:41, Mark 6:12, Luke 3:7-8, Luke 13:1-5, Luke 24:47, Acts 2:38, Acts 2:40-41, Acts 3:19, Acts 17:30, Acts 26:20, II Corinthians 7:8-10, II Peter 3:9, and Revelation 2:5).
If you understand anything about the Scriptures, you know that the above Scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments are just a small sample of what could have been quoted. God is clear that you can change from your sins. Moreover, unlike the Presbyterians would have us believe, we have freewill. As all of the Scriptures already have proven, we can choose to repent. Yet, even before repentance, we made the choice to do wrong. It is not just in our nature to commit sins. Notice some Scriptures that prove our freewill: “And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee… I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them… For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD… The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him… But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it… Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren” (Exodus 15:26, Deuteronomy 30:19-20, Proverbs 1:29, Ezekiel 18:20, Luke 11:28, and James 1:13-16).
Before we conclude this article, let’s also prove that we are not sinful by nature. That error is also embedded in the idea that you have no choice in the right or wrong things you do. You were not born a sinner: “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin… Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions… Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee… But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Deuteronomy 24:16, Ecclesiastes 7:29, Ezekiel 28:15, and Romans 2:5-6).
If you read any part of the above Scriptures, you know you were not born a sinner. You know that you have choices in being sinful or right. You also can search out many more Scriptures than the small sample we have examined. This error is very easy to expose! Our next article will at least address the Presbyterian error of unconditional election.
Volume 10 – Issue 21 - February 14th, 2010