Gordon H. Clark: “Predestination.”

Here is Clark making some observations regarding John 1:12-13:

“We are raised from the dead; but we do not raise ourselves, it is the act of God. Hence the will of man has nothing to do with this in the least. Arminian dependence on the human will simply makes salvation impossible. Some Arminians may have indeed been saved–by blessed inconsistency. But Arminian preaching, such as that of the evangelist Charles G. Finney, is an unmitigated tragedy. Earlier as John Wesley sank deeper and deeper into his semi-romish, anti-biblical persuasion, George Whitefield wrote a letter of condemnation. It would prove instructive if contemporary Christians, who by and large have never learned the lessons of the Reformation, would read and consider carefully the warnings of the saintly George Whitefield…Whitefield had learned that John Wesley was about to publish a sermon on predestination. On June 25, 1739, he wrote privately to Wesley and urged him not to publish it. On July 2, 1739, he wrote again: “Dear, honored sir, if you have any regard for the peace of the church, keep in your sermon on predestination” (Gordon Clark, Predestination*, p. 95, P&R Publishing Company).

*The combined edition of Biblical Predestination and Predestination in the Old Testament.

Clark mentions the warnings of Whitefield. Some “warnings” those were, huh? One Whitefield “warning” to Wesley was “if you have any regard for the peace of the church, keep in your sermon on predestination.” This “warning” by Whitefield was NOT the Pauline warning of Galatians 1:8-9; rather, it was the “peace, peace” when there is no peace of the Great Whore Church of which both Wesley and Whitefield were individual bickering, schismatic members.

“Read II Corinthians 4:6, ‘God hath shined in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’ Could God shine and we prevent light? If he puts knowledge in our minds, can we decide to be ignorant?”(Gordon Clark, Predestination, p. 99).

Apparently Clark believes that the knowledge that some “Christians” can decide to be ignorant of is who enabled who to meet conditions for salvation. That is, does Arminian “prevenient grace” help to power the steam engine of free-will, or does irresistible “grace” (so-called) enable one to dethrone Christ as the sole condition-meeter for salvation? Presumably, like most (if not all) genuine historical Calvinists, Clark believed that “faith” was the condition for salvation that God allegedly enables His elect to meet or perform. My point is that ALL forms of salvation conditioned on the sinner are damnable heresy — it matters not whether conditions are met by the Arminian steam of free-will or the Calvinist “infallibly-enabled” work of the spirit of antichrist.

Popular Calvinism claims that the Holy Spirit enables sinners to meet conditions for their own salvation but the Scripture teaches that the primary work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus Christ, NOT the sinner. It is Christ ALONE who met all the penal and preceptive conditions for His elect. Faith and repentance are NOT conditions of salvation, but immediate and inevitable fruits of salvation. To confuse the fruits of salvation with the conditions for salvation is to confound one’s own righteousness with the righteousness of Christ. It is to be ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness (Romans 10:1-4).

Despite the fact that Clark was unable to apply his own observations to those who believe in universal atonement (specifically, the “some Arminians” who are saved by “blessed inconsistency”), he asks some illuminating rhetorical questions.

Clark asks rhetorically that if God puts knowledge in our minds can we then decide to remain ignorant? Well, on Clark’s own terms a person CAN decide to remain ignorant of whose righteousness guarantees and demands salvation — by virtue of a “blessed inconsistency” of course. And not only that, but Clark in his book “What do Presbyterians believe?” voiced his agreement with the wicked Westminster Confession of Faith that infants are regenerated and saved by Christ who have apparently decided to remain ignorant of the gospel which is the power of salvation to everyone believing (Romans 1:16).

“Now, finally, for this series of verses, James 1:18 reads, ‘Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.’ This reinforces John 1:13. We were begotten by God’s will. Can a child not yet begotten prevent the begetter from begetting him? A plain question like this shows what nonsense is involved in denying irresistible grace and predestination” (Gordon Clark, Predestination, p. 100).

But in light of Clark’s Satanic sentiments regarding the nonsensical and nefarious views of idolaters, he is all billows of bluster bereft of backbone.

“Clearly the Arminians do not have the Gospel. They have no good news. They leave man in uncertainty and despair” (Gordon Clark, Predestination, p. 101).

Empty words of vanity Dr. Clark. Empty words of vanity. How so? If Clark were “consistent” he would say that it doesn’t really matter if the Arminians do not have the Gospel. For in a sense they do have it, or at least do believe it by “virtue” of “blessed inconsistency.”

“Only omniscience could know that no cause anywhere is affecting a person’s conduct. Apart from omniscience the cause may be real enough but remain undiscovered. Hence anyone who claims to know by immediate experience that he has free will, is claiming to be as omniscient as God…By freedom of the will is meant what most ordinary people mean: the absence of any controlling power, even God and his grace, and therefore the equal ability in any situation to choose either of two incompatible courses of action” (Gordon Clark, Predestination, p. 113).

They profess to believe in a god who they claim

“created the heavens and the earth.”

Does this mean that they actually believe in the true God who “created the heavens and the earth”? No. Of course not. For they DENY that the true and living God of Scripture is able to CONTROL EVERYTHING that He creates. Well, actually, they would probably say that God COULD control ALL that He creates, but He just chooses not to do so because He supposedly has too much respect for the creature man, and thus refuses to infringe on the creature’s “rights” as an autonomous being. To say that God would refuse to “infringe” on creature man’s supposed rights is lying, seditious, impudent refuse.

“It is so obvious that the Bible contradicts the notion of free will that its acceptance by professing Christians can be explained only by the continuing ravages of sin blinding the minds of men. To some this sounds like an extreme statement. But the appeal is to the Bible, and the Bible says that the heart of man is deceitful above measure. It will use all possible devices to avoid acknowledging that it is a worm, a lump of clay, a creature, and not an independent, autonomous being” (Gordon Clark, Predestination, p. 114).

The unregenerate mind of man will use all possible devices to avoid acknowledging that it is a creature and it is NOT the Creator. Clark says the only way acceptance of free will by professing Christians can possibly be explained is that they are blinded by the continuing ravages of sin. By Clark’s blinkered lights, to be blind does not necessary mean that one cannot see. To Clark, the blind CAN see (sort of) — albeit “inconsistently.”

Consider Proverbs 21:1, which says, ‘The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord: he turneth it whithersoever he will.’ It is amazing that anyone who calls himself a Christian and has read even a little part of the Bible can deny that God controls the mental operations of his creatures. The heart of man is in the hand of the Lord and the Lord turns man’s heart in any direction the Lord pleases. The idea that man’s will is free, independent of God, able to turn itself in any one of a dozen incompatible directions, is totally unbiblical and unchristian. As a clear denial of omnipotence, it dethrones God and takes man out of God’s control” (Gordon Clark, Predestination, p. 125; underlining mine).

So what if it is “unbiblical” and “unchristian”? From Clark’s perspective these words mean nothing since he believed that some who held to such “unbiblical” and “unchristian” doctrines are nevertheless, saved persons. To Clark, if one’s doctrine clearly denies the omnipotence of God and vainly attempts to dethrone Him, then he MUST be a saved person — as long as said person is just an Arminian and not a Pelagian, as if there were any substantial¬†differences between the two (of course there ARE clear differences between Arminianism and Pelagianism, but however clear the differences are NOT substantial).

“Those theologians, Romanists and Arminians, who argue in favor of free will, sometimes says that God simply cannot ‘violate a man’s personality.’ In fact, I have run across some who speak explicitly about the sovereignty of man. Usually these people affirm that God is clever enough to outwit men and will therefore be able to control the general course of history and especially bring it to a satisfactory conclusion. But many of the details God cannot control because he has no power over man in his freedom. The illustration of a game of chess is used. The world champion, God, cannot dictate the moves of his opponent, but he can invariably check-mate him. … And as for the inviolability of personality, man has no ‘rights’ that are inviolable by God. God is the creator; man is a creature. ‘Who art thou that repliest against God?’ Just return to chapter one on the creation. Omnipotence settles the argument. Therefore God can control man’s will, and the examples show that he does” (Gordon Clark, Predestination, pp. 127-128).

The view of Clark’s “adversaries” (i.e., brothers in Satan) is that God does NOT cause or dictate the moves of His opponent, but He can invariably permit or allow him to move into check. And since God is so good at chess He can cleverly permit (persuade?) His opponent to move into such a position whereby He can check-mate him (all while not “doing violence to the man’s personality”). What antichristian asininity. By “antichristian” I mean the 1 John 2:22-23 sense of the word, not in the Gordon Clark and John Robbins sense of the word.

“Psalm 145:9 reads, ‘The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ The Arminians assert that this sentiment is contrary to the doctrines of election and reprobation. One writer asks, ‘Why is it said that his tender mercies are over all his works, if they are so restrained from his most noble creatures?’ And another one writes, “It should not be said, his tender mercies are over all his works; but his cruelties are over all his works.” The latter writer was a bit too enthusiastic, for clearly predestination places God’s tender mercies over at least some of his works, however much his cruelty or severity is shown to others, as Romans 11:22 teaches.

Setting aside this Arminian exuberance and addressing oneself to the more sober objection, one may insist that predestination does not restrain the tender mercies of God over all his works, not even excluding the reprobate. Even people who have no share in God’s special grace experience divine mercies. For there are several sorts of mercies. Not all are inseparably joined to salvation. Such mercies even the reprobate can enjoy. God “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). The more extreme Arminians anticipate the Universalists, who deny that anyone is lost: they reject the idea of hell and teach that all are saved. But as the Bible clearly teaches that not all are saved, it follows that God’s mercies are of several kinds, and his special saving grace is not a necessary adjunct of other kinds. This is obvious also from another direction. The Psalm does not say merely that God’s mercies are over all mankind. It says mercies are over animals, plants, and inanimate objects; and no Arminian is likely to claim that these are all objects of salvation. There are therefore several kinds of tender mercies. God bestows some of these on the reprobate. Hence the doctrine of predestination does not contradict Psalm 145:9″ (Gordon Clark, Predestination, pp. 132-133).

Clark puts forth the damnable heresy of “common grace” or “common mercy.”