Bastion of Truth Reformed Churches in the Philippines
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A Correspondence with Marc Carpenter
To Whom It May Concern:
I see that you strenuously hold to the doctrine of temporal justification (implying a temporal wrath of God upon the unregenerate elect), that is justification upon faith only and condemn the doctrine of eternal justification. I admit from the outset that I hold to eternal justification and believe it to be Biblical. I understand also that based on your judgment I am unregenerate and lost for you judge me to be a heretic and unless I repent I would be damned eternally.
But I do have questions in connection with your fundamental Gospel doctrine and perhaps your answers (with the aid of the Holy Spirit) would bring me to my supposed repentance.
You wrote in your article condemning the Biblical doctrine of eternal justification, “Yet faith is the RESULT of justification. Faith is both the result of justification and the instrument through which we receive the imputed righteousness of Christ and are justified.” These statements are wicked and deceptive. How can faith be the result of justification when faith itself is the instrument through which righteousness is imputed (i.e. justification)? How can one thing be the result and at the same time the instrument itself through which that result should come? Is this another divine mystery or an absurdity? I think it is heresy.
How would your position square with Scripture passages such as:
Numbers 23:21 : “He has seen no iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen mischief in Israel . Jehovah his God is with him, and the shout of a king is in him”?
Jeremiah 31:3: “Jehovah has appeared to me from far away, saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love! On account of this, with loving kindness I have drawn you”?
Outside the Camp uses Ephesians 2:1-3 in teaching that God’s elect, in their unregenerate condition, are “by nature children of wrath.” But does not this passage (or rather your own teaching) contradict what follows?
Ephesians 2:4, 5: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even we being dead in deviations, He made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are being saved)”
Since Outside the Camp teaches and defends that God hates His elect in their unregenerate condition and DOES NOT LOVE them, does OTC therefore opposes God’s Son of Whom Mark wrote, “And looking at him, Jesus loved him, and said to him, One thing is lacking to you. Go, sell what things you have, and give to the poor. And you will have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me, taking up the cross” (verse 21 of the passage Mark 10:17 -25). If you affirm the Words of Christ to be true and do not oppose Him, does OTC therefore admit that it believes and trusts a Christ who opposes his father’s wrath upon an unregenerate elect? Does OTC therefore trust a Christ who is not perfectly righteous, is not qualified to save, and therefore has no righteousness to impute since he disobeyed/contradicted his father? Does OTC believe in a Christ who is not himself saved?
Looking forward to your response.
"Justification upon faith" implies that justification is conditioned upon faith. We do not believe this. We believe that faith is the immediate result of justification and the instrument through which we receive the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. There is no time-lapse between justification and faith. Now if this is heresy about essential gospel doctrine, then I expect you to count me as unregenerate. And I expect you to count everyone who does not believe in eternal justification to be unregenerate. Please let me know if this is so.
As for God's relation to the elect, see www.outsidethecamp.org/godrelect.htm.
Psalm 5:5 says, "The boasters shall not set themselves before Your eyes. You hate all workers of iniquity." You do not believe that you were ever a worker of iniquity. How proud of you.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
“Justification upon faith” (“no faith: no justification”) is exactly your doctrine, though you deny it. Take note of your absurdty. The element of time is irrelevant here (I understand that). The issue is that of “logic.” You say faith is the “result” of justification (justification is faith’s cause, therefore). Faith is also the “instrument” through which we supposedly receive the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Therefore, (1) without the instrument of faith, there is no justification/imputation, yet (2) faith (supposedly the instrument, the sine qua non, for justification) results from justification (supposedly dependent on that instrument) (!). In short: Justification results in faith without which that justification itself cannot come. This is illogical and, therefore, cannot be Scriptural. You style yourself a staunch guardian of orthodoxy yet you are yourself a subtle and proud deceiver and a charlatan who makes Holy Scripture a vile book of contradictions. You referred me to a proud article of yours that doesn’t answer my question at all on how your “temporal-justification-only-that-anathematizes-eternal-justification” doctrine squares with the Scriptures I mentioned. If I agree to let you know whether I would count every person unregenerate who does not believe in eternal justification (which you anxiously and desperately hope I would do), will you promise to be consistent and honest by disendorsing Jesus Christ through your website and include Him in your Hall of Shame (for what he did in Mark 10:21)?
No one holding to the Biblical doctrine of eternal justification believes that he is never a worker of iniquity. I am “by nature” a hell-deserving, detestable, despicable worker of iniquity Mr. Carpenter, but “God loved me, even when I was dead in deviations” (Ephesians 2:4, 5 from which you recklessly ripped your favorite but misinterpreted Eph. 2:1-3) and on the ground of Christ’s merits alone, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8), God sees no iniquity in me (Numbers 23:21). I am “in Christ” by eternal election (Eph. 1:4) and as long as I am an elect “in Christ Jesus,” there never ever was, is, and will be condemnation to me (Romans 8:1). This isn’t sinful pride Mr. Carpenter. This is exulting in the genuine grace, love and mercy of God in Christ for me, a worthless sinner. Instead of making them proud and careless eternal justification humbles the truly redeemed. Eternal justification gives “the glory to God alone.”
To God alone be the glory,
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