Monday, January 01, 2007

Is The Promotion of the TULIP Gospel an Antichrist Endeavor?

Suppose a man approached a poor soul and presented the following thinking it contained the power of the LORD in it's message.

God so loved a very few of His creation and knowing every man is totally corrupt He would unconditionally elect those few individuals to a certain salvation. Having already elected these few souls, He sent His own Son to die a death on the Cross at Calvary that would only be intended for those elect souls. Nobody else could ever benefit given God predestined the lost souls for the purpose of damnation. That atonement saves those elected to salvation and seals the condemnation of those predestined to damnation. This expressed grace of God cannot be resisted by those He elected nor can it be frustrated. For those whom God elected and Christ died for, they are dragged willingly into the Kingdom of God and persevere eternally. ... you sir might be one of those few that God loves.

Now of course no moderate Calvinist would present such a scenario to anybody and it is not the moderate Calvinist who steps into the error of teaching TULIP as the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the "high" Calvinist or "hyper-Calvinist" who holds to the belief that his systematic view is what saves. Even with the hyper-Calvinist, it is unlikely the above example would ever be presented. Instead, the TULIP Gospel proponent is content to declare Christ the savior of the "world" and leave it at that. The concern rises when he is pressed on what he believes is the salvific message of Christ and it is at this point that his systematic theology takes precedence over the following declaration by the Apostle Paul.

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Ro 10:8-11 AVRLE)

It needs to be stated that the issue over the error of the TULIP Gospel is not centered on whether or not TULIP is an accurate presentation of Christian soteriology. This debate has raged for centuries with no likely settlement as long as the LORD tarries. Instead the issue is over what message is proclaimed with regard to Jesus Christ. The above words of Paul state clearly what he preached and in that message is no mention of Reformed sytematic theology nor is there an opposing Wesleyan soteriology (although I believe the Wesleyan stands much closer to this passage than does the Reformed). So can it be stated that promoting the TULIP Gospel is an antichrist endeavor? A straight forward question must be asked. Is TULIP what Paul preached with regard to the Word of Faith, for Salvation? Clearly it is not in accord with Romans 10:8-11 and if separate from that declaration it can be nothing but what Paul refers to as another Gospel (II Cor 11). If such is the case, the TULIP gospel is indeed an antichrist declaration.