I will say up front that I am a Pentecostal Biblicist. If that terminology troubles you, its not my problem – your just going to have to live with it. What is a Pentecostal Biblicist you ask? Good question, I answer back. And say, I am a Pentecostal who takes understanding and experiencing the Scriptures seriously. Yet at the same time, I am neither a Calvinist, nor am I a Arminian. I belong to the same type of Christian group that Tozer did.
This week I have allowed a few blog posts, video clips, and other comments in books and social media get under my skin which have come from those belonging to the Young and Restless Calvinist camp. The annoyance is where they label Arminians, and they include in this group, non reformed baptists, methodists, pentecostals, and other non reformed denominations and abominations -as being Pelagians or Semi Pelagians.
The problem is, a Arminian in the classic sense of the term is a Arminian. A Pelagian is a Pelagian. And a Semi Pelagian is just that, a semi Pelagian.
* Pelagianism is a 5th century heresy where its founder believed that god creates every ones soul and therefore each persons soul is not tainted by sin. Therefore because of this goodness humanity can approach God from its own goodness without any divine help what so ever.
* Semi-Pelagianism essentially teaches that humanity is tainted by sin, but we have the ability to live a life of faith and good works without his initial help.
The problem with the Calvinist insults is the Arminian position is one that wholly believes in the doctrine of total depravity, that Jesus has paid the price for our sin through his death and resurrection, and that the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, the righteousness of Christ, and the judgement of the devil. Therefore, the charges of heresy are obviously false.
The problem is a problem of sloppy theology. They have simplified and changed the historical meanings of these heresies to simply mean, anyone who denies their Calvinistic version of “Predestination.” And in doing so have wiped out 1500 years of theological history and meaning.
Furthermore, despite the faults within the Pentecostal movement, one cannot honestly tarnish Pentecostals as being Pelagians, nor as semi Pelagians, as Pentecostals for the most part fully believe in the doctrine of original sin, and are fully reliant on the holy Spirit to bring them to salvation and conviction of sin, righteousness, and the judgement of the devil.
The Scriptures warn us to be truth sayers. And to speak the truth in love. For a movement that *prides* itself on being the so called carriers of the truth – one can, should, and would expect that a better handling of scripture, history, and the truth would be taught and preached.
Anyways, now that I have got that annoyance of my chest…I feel every so much better.