I have been in the long process of writing my 1st book entitled: "In Defense of God's Desire, Nature & Character, as found in Arminian Theology". This is a book which is birthed from the "heart" of "Classic" Arminian Theology, it is the "engine" if you will, that runs this view of our Heavenly Father. Friends, at the heart of Arminian Theology is the rejection that God, in the beginning only chose certain people for salvation & although being the Creator, He in some way shape or form, left people out of His salvation plan! I ask & appeal to you with simply this....is there anything in Scripture that we know & have studied about our God that would lead you to believe that He created certain people to salvation while others to spend eternity in Hades/Lake of Fire by leaving them out of His plan of salvation? I thank the Lord that I am FAR from alone in seeing the mis-representaion of God in this. I can say however, that time & time again, I see the opposite in Scripture, we see God speaking here in:
1Ti 2:4 "who (God) wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men-- the testimony given in its proper time"
Notice that God desires that "all men" come to know Him! Further please notice that Jesus was a ransom given for "all men". If God's desire has been that He wants all men to come to know Him, could it still be possible that He left many out of His plan of salvation? For Jesus told us this in Matt. 7:13:
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it".
Notice that Jesus, God's only Son, just stated that most people are heading the wrong way, to destruction, so if God only saved an "elect", then the hard fact can ONLY be that He created MOST/MANY people only to be left out of the Salvation plan, as Jesus clearly stated here that most people are heading the wrong way! Friends, how can this be true? I submit that upon a clear & close examination, this just cannot be true from a Scriptural basis, despite the fact we all respect John Calvin & those who agree with his Theology & the good work he was able to accomplish during his lifetime realizing that ALL of us are far from perfection, thus unlike many Calvinists, I will not "mock or chide" their views & do & have always considered them to be my brothers & sisters in the Faith, albeit we have a very different view of the Desire, Nature & Character of God! So we see that God's desire is mis-represented when we hear High Calvinists making claims that God provided salvation for ONLY certain people.
And so then comes God's Nature... let's look at a bit as this & see a few things about the Nature of God.
- Ps 147:5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. We are told here that besides how powerful our God is, that His knowledge (understanding) is infinite. I often ask myself, if I being human, have trouble with a belief system that NEVER gives a person a chance, then what must this doctrine sound like to God?
- Ac 17:24 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
Here's is Paul at Mar's Hill giving his discourse on who our God is & notice that in verse 27, Paul says things are this way so that men Would seek after God & even perhaps find Him! Needless to say, what would be the sense of seeking or even finding God, if everyone was already "predestined"? In short, yes we must allow for God's Sovereignty, which Classic Arminians do & so God can certainly do "what he wants, with whom he wants, and how he wants", etc., but we see in God's Nature that He desires for man to long after Him, to seek Him, that He (mankind) may find Him! Jesus Himself stated in Matthew: "seek & you shall find, knock & it will be opened to you" In Exodus 20, where we find the 10 commandments, God states this to us about His Nature: "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
He is a jealous God, thus it would seem logical that He truly desires our hearts & that he truly wants us to be with Him, not away from Him friends! Also notice the great balance here contrasted in verses 5 & 6, God truly is the "perfect balance" & in keeping with this thought, Arminian Theology is likewise a Theology that is balanced in that we believe in God's direct intervention, while maintaining man's 'freed" will, which God has seen fit not to infringe upon, outside of His Sovereign will in specific situations. And last, but certainly not least is God's character & perhaps to many Arminians like myself, this is what concerns us most. One could clearly argue that if these things we've stated above from High Calvinist's are indeed not true, then one can argue that God's character has been badly maligned throughout the ages! And I shutter to think of the repercussions of such a teaching, for instance, how many people upon hearing this, felt it to be "unreasonable or un-balanced" have then turned away from the Living God? I am of the mindset that many have sadly..... Think about our lives friends, are they not filled with choices? How is it that we would somehow have this "freed" will to make choices daily & yet many/most have NO choice in regards to salvation? I submit it simply just doesn't add up... Well, you at least got the introduction to what I am writing!