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Must We Draw A Line In the Sand for Evangelism?

I was listening to a podcast of a few Calvinist evangelists talking and one of them said they he was going to draw a line in the sand and demand that all Arminians and non-Calvinists must either repent of their false theology or he will not allow them to be part of his evangelism ministry.  He is a committed Reformed Calvinist and he is likewise convinced that Calvinism is the gospel.  Therefore, if anyone is not proclaiming Calvinism, they are not proclaiming the gospel.  He went on to lament that many ministries have both Calvinists and Arminians working alongside of each other in evangelism.  He believes this is not only unbiblical but that it waters down the gospel.

My question is can Arminians and Calvinists work together for the gospel?  Must we draw a line in the sand and say that only these or those are truly preaching the gospel?  Must we ignore the fact that God blessed both John Wesley (Arminian) and George Whitefield (Calvinist) despite their disagreements and that they remained friends until the end?

I often go out witnessing with Calvinists.  I enjoy them.  We laugh a lot about our disagreements and we both make jokes toward each other but we are committed brothers in the Lord.  We understand that Jesus saves sinners and not Arminians or Calvinists.  We are both committed to preaching that Jesus alone is the way to salvation (John 14:6) and that only those in Christ Jesus are the elect (1 Timothy 4:10).  We are committed to preaching faith and repentance toward the Lord Jesus Christ and we both believe that these are works of the Spirit (John 6:44).  We don’t know whom God is going to save nor perfectly how He saves but we trust His Word to save the lost (Ephesians 1:3-14).  We both acknowledge that the preaching of the gospel is necessary for eternal salvation (Romans 10:14-17).

So must we draw a line in the sand?  I know some Arminians complain about Calvinist evangelists preaching that Jesus loves sinners (when they believe He only loves the elect) or they complain that Calvinist evangelists preach a universal gospel call when they deny that God will save whoever comes but His elect.  I understand all this but I believe that God uses us imperfect people to preach His perfect gospel.  I am not perfect in my theological understanding nor do I believe that Arminianism is the gospel.  I believe that Jesus alone saves (Acts 4:12) and He alone is our mediator before a holy God (1 Timothy 2:5-6).  God uses us weak humans to preach His gospel and by His grace He saves sinners (Ephesians 2:8-9).  That is a mystery to me.

I am sorry to hear this brother doing this.  I have much respect for this brother.  He is a true evangelist with a burning heart for the lost.  He stated that he knows he will lose support and many will question his motives in drawing this line but he is convinced that Calvinism is the gospel and he must draw this line.  I am sorry to hear this.  I am sorry whenever I hear Calvinists (or anyone else) declaring their ism is the gospel.  Christ alone is the gospel and He alone saves.  There will be both Calvinists and Arminians in hell.


Written by The Seeking Disciple

09/02/2014 at 2:09 PM

Posted in Evangelism

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. The only valid “isms” related to the gospel are evangelism and baptism.

    Anyone claiming that adherence to any other “ism” is essential should beware of promoting a different gospel to the one preached by Jesus and His apostles


    09/02/2014 at 7:11 PM

  2. I had a Calvinist come join us for some street evangelism only to leave when he found out that I an Arminian was part of the team. I met him again at an RC Sproul conference, he was probably surprised to see me there. But all things belong to us (the whole body of Christ) whether, R C Sproul, John MacArthur, Jay Adams, Ray Comfort, Austin Fischer, or …. It’s so sad to see someone so closed off from the vast riches that are ours in the various giftings of our brothers in Christ.

    Rose Coward

    09/02/2014 at 10:10 PM

  3. Anytime someone gives more credence to a system or theologian, than they do to the unadulterated Word of God, they speak in error, and apart from scripture
    I am not confident, that there is an actual conflict between one camp and the other, just a mis-comprehension. In a different but like conversation last week I presented this statement: “The “Western Mind”, throws the towel in way too easily, when we cannot explain everything. There are many places where two opposing stances, appear in the natural to be a contradiction, but really only present us with a mysterious paradox, that has no conflict in the mind of God.”

    In short, no honest person can deny a team of Calvinist/Armenian (Baptist/Wesleyan) brothers who had the greatest evangelistic impact on the world in the 20th century; that of Billy Graham and George Beverly Shea.

    Steve Orwig

    09/03/2014 at 10:46 AM

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