January 27, 2008

Adrian Rogers Was A Conflicted Arminian

James White said that Dr Rogers was an inconsistent Arminian. Anyone who embraces eternal security, claiming they believe in total depravity and perseverance of the saints according to Calvinism, and yet they adamantly deny unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace is greatly conflicted. That conflict is not merely a theological twist the honest thinking scholars argue endlessly (Patterson vs Mohler) but it manifest itself in the subjective heartfelt confusion of the average Joe who attempts to incorporate this conflict in daily life. (a la Paul Williams)

I was raised Wesleyan/holiness Pentecostal and I can say with all the subjective experiential mix of that system I have not encountered a deeper insecurity than I have seen in the last few years as I have found in the followers of Adrian Rogers. Wesleyanism, though very much anti-Calvinistic does not have the inconsistency of Adrian Rogers' theology.

You encounter this insecurity when you enter a discussion about Calvinism with a person who holds to eternal security and free will at the same time. They made a choice to receive Christ as their personal savior and their confidence is tied to this decision. They are certain of their decision. When they hear they didn't have a choice rather they were elected to salvation by God's sovereign choice, the fact of their choice suddenly become irrelevant and the bottom drops from their confidence.

With tears in her eyes a young lady, admirer of Adrian Rogers said to me: "if that is so then why should I keep going to church since God will decide if I am saved or not? Why should I bother to have more children if I may just bring into this world a child who is not elect?" Why should I pray or do anything?" Since I had not discussed Calvinism extensively with her I knew that what she was saying was not as a result of what I had said to her but what she had heard Dr. Rogers teach. He had infected her mind with emotive language against Calvinsm. He was successful in that endeavor. She will need deprogramming to get her back to the Bible instead of further into "Adrianisms."

However for me her tears affected me in a manner such as Isaiah had when the seraphim took a hot coal from off the altar with tongs and then he put the live coal in his own hand so that what burned Isaiah's lips burned the seraphim's hand and seared them both with the knowledge of the awful depravity of man. We are all people of unclean lips. Her tears burned in my heart the importance of understanding the sinful nature of man and that if we don't we have false assurance of salvation.

Adrian hadn't adequately taught her that she, her husband and all their children were all birthed in sin, corrupted beyond self effort toward redemption. Indeed she and her family were elected of God and their home bore evidence of that. Her foundation was unsound. She thought she had "decided to follow Jesus" when in truth the Lord "knows all that the Father gives Christ are his."

3 comments:

terriergal said...

I find it amazing how Arminians have to contort themselves to understand scripture while still holding up the precious free will of man. I know though that Lutherans (not the squishy ones, they aren't even Lutheran anymore) do quibble on a few of the letters of the TULIP - something no one ever explained to me (even though I was raised Lutheran). It might be worth looking into, because Luther really was rather a prominent figure in the Reformation. ;-)

Wilson Clan said...

Adrian Rogers was neither arminian or Calvinist. You do realize that there are believers who don't hold to doctrines of men, don't you? There are those of us who only adhere to scripture and not "isms" created by fallible man's doctrines, oftentimes based on their misinterpretations. Btw, regarding Calvin, he was a murder! And a persecuter of other believers, and quite unloving, not to mention his doctrines are unbiblical, as are some arminian doctrines. Stick to scripture!

Mickey said...

AMEN, Wilson Clan. Follow the Bible, not men.
Jesus didn't burn people at the stake if they didn't agree with him.