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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Friday, February 10, 2006

An Examination of Published Statements

Introduction

Let me start by assuring the reader that I hold to the Doctrines of Grace and the Five Solas of the Reformation. I embrace The First (1646) and Second (1689) London Baptist Confessions of Faith. I serve as the pastor of a Reformed Baptist Church. So I am not herein defending Arminianism or any other heresy, nor am I impugning the doctrines of grace as if they were not true. I am however defending the gospel of Jesus Christ against perversion.


A Critical Examination of
Statements Published by C. Matthew McMahon


What I am setting out to accomplish is to reveal though an examination of the writings of C. Matthew McMahon that he has begun to teach that one must believe the doctrines of grace in order to be saved.

That is, in his own words, I will demonstrate that Matt has published a number of works that insist that if one is not holding to all five points of the doctrines of grace (TULIP), then that person is not saved, has believed a false gospel, is not a believer in Jesus Christ, and is not going to heaven when they die.

I will show that Matt has replaced the content of the gospel, which is the Person of Jesus Christ, with a formulation of systematic doctrine that he requires one to believe in order to be converted.

It is his view that a sinner must understand and embrace the five points in order to be saved. Trusting Christ is not enough. Simple child like faith is not enough. Jesus is not enough. In the view presented, one must be a Calvinist in order to be converted.

In love for and out of duty to Christ and His Church, and in Christian love for Matt, I offer the opportunity for Matt to recant this position and embrace the truth, namely that the content of the gospel in the Person of Jesus Christ and that one need not understand or embrace all Five Points of Calvinism in order to be saved.

Let us look then at what he has written.

The Evidence

TULIP - the essential doctrines for salvation.

T.U.L.I.P. concerns the essential doctrines which pertain to the salvation of God's chosen people through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. The Puritans were keenly aware that if the essentials of the Christian faith were overthrown or changed, the faith disappeared. It would no longer be the faith of the Bible. It would not longer be the doctrines of the Bible. It would no longer be Christianity. Rather, it would be the vanity of someone's unbiblical and unexegetical mind, heresy which would infiltrate and hurt the people of God.

From T.U.L.I.P.

If the doctrines of grace are not preached then the hearer has not heard the gospel.

Certainly, and without doubt, the doctrines of grace existed, were propagated, and preached all through the history of the church – for without them there is no Gospel.

From Tiptoe Through the TULIP

To deny any single point of the doctrines of grace is to proclaim another gospel.

I reject anything which removes God’s sovereignty to place man as the Sovereign as another gospel. I reject anything which denies the sovereign decrees of God and His electing grace to put salvation into the hands of sinful men as another gospel. I reject anything which denies man’s total depravity and exalts his fictitious free will as another gospel. I reject anything which places the perseverance of man to glory in the incapable hands of a sinful man as another gospel. I reject anything which endeavors to treat God as the great Grandfather in the sky beckoning and pleading with man to be saved as changing the true God into a pitiable wimp. This is another Gospel. I reject anything which denies the atonement of Christ for what it is; a substitutionary atonement on behalf of the elect. If we deny this, we deny the Gospel.

And what does Paul say about those who preach, teach, and believe another Gospel? Galatians 1:8 is emphatic, "If we, or an angel from heaven, preach to you any other Gospel than what we have preached, let him be anathema, (or accursed.)" They are not slapped on the wrist and sent to their heavenly rooms. They are cast into the deepest, darkest, hottest section of hell for perverting the truth of God’s Word.

From Why I Am A Calvinist

Defining Heresy

By his own definition, one who holds to heresy is “an enemy of God”, “heresy is damnable. It will send the one holding it to hell.” He puts forth that to believe any one of these points is to believe heresy and be damned:

  • that God loves all equally and that His decrees are conditional (a denial of unconditional election)
  • that man has free will (a denial of total depravity and irresistible grace)
  • that saints may fall from grace (a denial of perseverance of the saints)
  • that Christ died for all men (a denial of limited atonement)

So to deny any part of TULIP is to believe a heresy, which of course, damns.

Here is the quote used to define heresy:

Heresy is an erroneous or false opinion, repugnant unto and subverting the doctrine of faith revealed in the Word as necessary unto salvation.

10 chief heresies:
1) The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament do not bind us Christians.
2) That God never loved one man more than another before the world, and that all the decrees are conditional.
3) That there is no original sin.
4) That the will of man is still free.
5) That the saints may fall totally and finally from grace.
6) That Christ died alike for all, yea, that his salvific virtue of His death extends to all the reprobates as well as the elect, yea, to the very devils as well as unto men.
7) That Jesus Christ came into the world not for satisfaction, but for publication; not to procure for us and to us the love of God, but only to be a glorious Publisher of the Gospel.
8) That God is not displeased at all if His children sin.
9) That the doctrine of repentance is a soul destroying doctrine.
10) That the souls of men are not immortal but mortal.

“[This list] is biblically correct.”

From Heresy in the Church

Denying Limited Atonement

…the hallmark of reformed doctrine is the limited atonement of Jesus Christ. If someone were to modify the doctrine of the atonement or power of the Gospel, then that new idea, or “new” Gospel, would not be the biblical atonement or biblical Gospel at all. It would be a modification of it, and it would cease to be the real, saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

From Hypothetical Universalism

Worshipping a False God

We find that McMahon says that one must believe the doctrines of Calvinism and he accuses anyone who disagrees with any of the Five Points of being guilty of idolatry by the worship of a false god, concluding that these “idolaters” have no place in the kingdom of heaven. Consider these quotes from the latest article:

From The "god" of Arminianism is not Worshippable

The “god” of Arminianism is not the God of the Bible. For Arminius’ “god” loves everyone equally, and sent his “Son” to die for all men equally. This “god” did not decree the salvation of anyone in particular, and “the christ” of Arminianism did not die for anyone in particular. Instead Arminius’ “god” decreed and his “christ” died for making a “way” of salvation.

According to this paragraph, if you believe God loves everyone equally you worshipping a false god. If you believe Jesus died for all men, you are worshipping a false god. If you deny particular redemption (limited atonement) then you are worshipping a false god. If you deny God's elective decree then you are worshipping a false god.

Arminius’ “god” relies on man to come to Him, and find salvation.

Arminius also taught that his “god” can be frustrated by the will of man because men choose their own destiny and that “god” allows them to do what they want to do without interfering.

This “god” has offered salvation, but cannot actually bring about the happiness of the creature since man is autonomous and has, as Arminius taught, “a free will.”

Arminius also taught that his “god” will not regenerate a sinner who does not first choose “him” with his inherent "free will."

If you believe you came to God on your own, of your own free will, and that you can refuse or frustrate the grace of God, then you are worshipping a false god.

Arminius taught hypothetical universalism. This meant that Jesus Christ died on the cross for every individual person making it possible for them to have salvation, and for every person to be saved. However, Arminius affirmed that in Christ’s death no one was actually saved. Christ only made salvation possible through the universal atonement for each man.

Again, reject limited atonement and you are worshipping a false god.

Arminius also taught that his “god” cannot secure salvation for anyone, and thus, those sinners that choose “him” may also subsequently fall away from grace after they have taken hold of it. In this way, Arminius’ “god” loses people to the devil and to eternal torment, due to their decision to “stop following” “him.” These wayward souls simply give up and reject their faith. Thus, salvation can be lost at any time.

If you believe that you can lose your salvation, then you are worshipping a false god.

Worshippers of a different “god” and different “gospel” are not going to be slapped on the wrist and sent to their room in heaven. Rather, they are going to be sent to hell for being idolaters. Idolaters do not enter heaven.

If you worship a false god, identified herein as denying any of the points of Calvinism, you are an idolater and are going to hell.

Conclusion

Matt, in his own words, over and over again, states in public view and in no uncertain terms that to deny any single point of the doctrines of grace is to worship a false god, believe a false gospel, embrace damning heresy, and be doomed to hell for all eternity.

He has replaced the content of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has removed Christ from the gospel and instead made TULIP the gospel and faith in Calvinism a requirement for salvation and the forgiveness of sins.

Matt, do you recant of your denial of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Do you recant of your requirement for adherence to Calvinism in order for one to be saved? And do you recant of your identifying the denial of any single point of Calvinism as damnable heresy?

For Christ, His Gospel, and His Church,
Phillip M. Way
Pastor
Providence Reformed Baptist Church

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