1. Arminians don’t believe in the sovereignty of God.

Arminians believe very much in the sovereignty of God. To say that God gives people freedom does not necessarily mean that God relinquishes his authority over mankind. To be sovereign does not mean that one always has to be in meticulous control over everything that happens. God, for the Arminian, could shape all human events according to his will, he just chooses not to. This is still sovereignty.

2. Arminians believe that Christians could lose their salvation if they commit a really bad sin.

This is not true. Mainstream Arminianism has traditionally taught that the only way one can forfeit their salvation is through a permanent loss of faith. All sins, no matter how bad, are covered by the cross of Christ. Roman Catholicism is the only mainstream tradition that teaches that really bad sins (“mortal sins”) can cause one to lose their status in heaven.

3. Arminianism is Pelagianism

This is one of the most widely taught misrepresentations, primarily among Calvinists. Pelagianism is the belief that man is born morally neutral. As well, Pelagianism teaches that man’s will is neutral from birth. Therefore, according to Pelagianism, man does not need the grace of God to live according to his will. Arminianism, on the other hand, believes that man is completely dependent upon God’s grace in order to be saved.

4. Arminianism is Semi-Pelagianism

Unlike Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism is the belief that man is born in a state of moral brokenness but, in his natural state, is still able to call upon God for aid. Arminianism, on the other hand (and like Calvinism), does not believe that man can do any good whatsoever outside of God’s intervention. Man, in his natural state, is at enmity with God. It is only the prevenient grace of God that gives man the ability to call on Him for mercy.

Arminians believe in the doctrine of total depravity to the same degree that Calvinists do.

5. Arminians follow a man, Jacob Arminius.

Arminianism represents a system of theology that has roots all the way back to the early church. In fact, it could be easily argued that the earliest Christians after the Apostles were more Arminian than Calvinistic. The designation “Arminianism” is named after Jacob Arminius. Arminius was a Protestant leader who rejected many of the beliefs of the Calvinists of his day, offering an alternative to the prevailing Reformed thought.

6. Arminianism is heresy.

Many passionate Calvinists call Arminianism heresy, but this is normally due to a misunderstanding of both Arminianism and heresy. A “heresy” is a departure from a central belief in historic Christianity. Simply believing something is really wrong does not automatically make it heresy. Most people believe heresy can only apply to issues involving the person and work of Christ. Arminianism is in no way a departure from Christian orthodoxy. It represents beliefs which have always been legitimately debatable in the church.

7. Arminians believe that Christians can be perfect.

Christian perfectionism is a doctrine that is held by Wesleyan-Arminians, not mainstream Arminianism. Most Arminians do not believe that man can be perfect until the resurrection.

8. Arminians deny God’s transcendence.

God’s transcendence is his timeless, spaceless, matterless existence. Open Theology believes that God is bound in time and, therefore, not transcendent. While Open Theology is an Arminian theology, it is a very radical form. Mainstream Arminians are not Open Theologians and have always believed in God’s transcendence.

9. Arminians deny predestination.

All Christians believe in predestination, including Arminians. Predestination cannot be denied, as it is very clearly taught in Scripture. Arminians deny unconditional predestination, believing that predestination is conditioned on the free-will choice of man.

10. Arminians cannot have assurance of their salvation.

The idea here is that Arminians can never know with certainty whether or not they are saved, since it is possible that they may, at some point in the future, lose their faith, and with it their salvation. But Arminians can have at least as much assurance as Calvinists. Calvinists cannot ever know whether or not they are truly elect. So Calvinists and Arminians are in the same boat. Both of them have to rely on the current state of their faith in order to gain assurance.

11. Arminians believe that man’s freedom is the controlling force in the universe.

This is a straw man put together by many ill-informed Calvinists who seek to associate Arminianism with a compromise to liberalism. For the Arminian, freedom is not the controlling force of the universe; God’s love is. It is God’s love that gives man freedom so that he has the ability to choose him.

12. Arminianism is a compromise to Roman Catholicism

Arminians believe in all five solas of Reformed thought, including sola Scriptura (Scripture is the final and only infallible guide for the Christian) and sola fide (justification is by faith alone). Both of these are expressly anathematized by Roman Catholicism. Arminianism is a legitimate option within the Protestant tradition.

Bonus: Arminians are From Armenia

Armenia is a country and has nothing to do with Arminianism.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    48 replies to "Twelve Myths About Arminianism"

    • Ben Wilson

      Thank you this is a helpful reminder for us Reformed folk.

    • Alby

      Glad that bonus myth was on there. That was the one I always had trouble with. Just kidding. Good post.

    • Josh Lowery

      This is especially helpful coming from you, Mr. Patton, as opposed to farming it out to an obliging Arminian. Will say a prayer for your jaw tonight, sir. Get better!

    • Nick Peters

      As one of your favorite Arminian readers, I highly appreciate this. If only more Calvinists were like Michael.

    • cherylu

      Thank you, Michael. I really appreciated you posting this article.

    • andrew

      Very good post.

    • Daniel

      Thank you Michael, very good post and a good first step towards the Arminian truth 🙂

    • bethyada

      On 8. I would not classify Open Theism as a form of Arminianism (even an extreme form). They are both non-Calvinist, but they appear to be mutually exclusive (at least to me).

      On 2. Reasonably correct. Remember that some Arminians deny one can lose salvation at all (as per Calvinists). Others think that salvation can subsequently be rejected (this is my position). No one sin can cause loss of salvation, thus you are correct. Habitual (unrepentant) sin creates a tendency to be unresponsive to the Spirit of God and will increasing make it likely that someone will reject Christ.

      • C Michael Patton

        Open theists primary purpose is to preserve freedom. All of them are Arminians and would consists rely teach that it is a way to preserve Arminian beliefs. They are not unlike hyper Calvinists or supralasarians who seek to solve all the difficulties of their position.

    • mike shannon

      Thanks Michael…good stuff.

    • Mike Barlotta

      As someone who leans Arminian, this was an excellent post on what is really held and taught by them. Thank you!

      I would only note that within the Arminian camp there is room for those who hold to eternal security (that is based on continuing in the faith) as well. The Society of Evangelical Arminians is open to members who hold to this view.

      Thanks again

    • Chris S

      Michael, thanks for the post. I agree with most if not all of what you have said. But, (and maybe its just this Bible belt area I’m from) it seems to me that many Arminians DO believe that if you sin BIG and don’t repent and die in that condition you will go to hell. And , there seems to be a prevailing lack of knowlege or willingness to discuss any form of Predestiantion. Having said that, I do believe that many Calvinists have an all or nothing attitude about their Arminian Brothers. “If you believe this (whatever the point may be), then then the logical conclusion must be this, (something the Arminian may or may not believe). Having said that, your post is full of stuff that we must all consider when dealing with those with which we disagree. Thanks again for the post.

    • TJ

      I grew up in an arminian church (SBC) and later became a Calvinist (and went to a reformed seminary) so I feel like I have a pretty fair view of both sides. I agree with most of these and found myself making many of the same corrections when talking to fellow seminary students who had grown up in reformed churches and had very skewed perceptions of arminians (especially #6). But I would have to push back on #4 to a degree. While I’m sure many arminians would certainly agree with it, I’ve certainly met many arminians who believe the one good thing we can do is choose God. They would say we’re 99% depraved but not totally, because we have the free will to choose God if we want to. That is, in fact, what I heard for many years growing up in church.

    • Mike Barlotta


      I am sure there are many who claim to be Arminian yet have some beliefs that would fall outside of the “normal” and generally accepted tenets of the theological system they claim. Just like within Calvinism (or any other theological system/camp). Of course who gets to define such things is another matter, but CMP has used the “traditional” definitions and boundaries.

      However, a key part of Arminianism is that a person must have prevenient grace to enable them to respond to the Gospel and accept Jesus Christ. Without this they are not able to do so.

      However, this enabling does not regenerate a person, only allows the person to then accept or reject the Gospel message. It is in this sense that an Arminian would say that a person chooses God. However, the key differentiation btwn Arminianism and SemiPel is the need for enablement. And the requirement for enablement is where Calvinism and Arminianism are the same.

      Of course the key difference btwn Arminianism and Calvinism here is that the prevenient grace in Calvinism regenerates and the person can only accept the Gospel message. It is (as you certainly know) called efficacious or irresistible grace.

    • Josh Lowery

      TJ, perhaps a distinction should’ve been made in the article between Arminian “belief” at the popular level and Arminian theology proper. I’m thinking Patton, in his use of the word “Arminians” is likely referring more to Arminian theologians than the average Methodist/Wesleyan/Nazarene parishioner. Having spent time now on both sides of the Arminian/Calvinist line, I imagine you’ve seen a fair number of people on the Calvinist side who have a caricatured understanding of at least some aspect of their theology. Perhaps?

    • C Michael Patton

      Yes, that is the idea. Perfect in love of God and others. When sins come, they are unintentional. And it is not permanent. The “second blessing” is an outgrowth of this. But it is not a fundamental of Arminian doctrine. Wesley is the father of this, not Arminius.

    • Jason Pratt


      If you’re thinking of doing a third part on 12 Myths About Universalism, let me know. {g} I know most of what (little) I thought about universalism turned out to be wrong; and I think anyone could still oppose Christian universalism on various grounds without appealing to certain myths about it (often rooted in fact as those myths are).


    • Jason Pratt

      Also, whatever you (or someone) did to change the site code so that the comment box wasn’t always refreshing every moment, THANK YOU!!!! {g!}

    • Paul


      Thanks for the interesting post. However, I’m not sure some of these are myths.

      For instance, if God “chooses not” to do something, then what is the cause of the thing that is done? I think the Arminian explanation is a belief in an autonomous man. So what is the explanation for man’s autonomy? But such autonomy comes at the cost of relinquishing God’s sovereignty, surely.

      And I’m sure that somewhere Arius and Pelagius are rejoicing in your refusal to call Arminianism a heresy! All three believed that their doctrines were “beliefs which have always been legitimately debatable in the church.” But that is exactly why we give such credence to church councils – to define what is “legitimately debatable”. Surely you won’t dismiss the Synod of Dordt so cavalierly, will you? And if you do, why should we continue to follow the work of the North African bishops with Augustine in their denunciation of Pelagius?

      Thank you for your interesting post, Michael.

      Best wishes,

      • C Michael Patton

        Paul, while Christ was on the earth was he not still sovereign? Did he not still have powers that he chose not to exercise? Can God have a power or prerogative that he chooses to use differently? Sovereignty is control.

        As well, Dort was not anything other than a local synod that involved very little authority to define orthodoxy. It developed doctrine, yes. But we cannot elevate such to an ecumenical standard even if we disagree.

        Pelagianism is and has always been universally condemned by the church. I would not define that as debatable in the same way.

        Hope that clarifies my brother.

      • John

        Paul you said: “For instance, if God “chooses not” to do something, then what is the cause of the thing that is done? I think the Arminian explanation is a belief in an autonomous man. So what is the explanation for man’s autonomy? But such autonomy comes at the cost of relinquishing God’s sovereignty, surely.”

        There is no though of an autonomous man in Arminian theology.
        Arminian theology teaches total dependence on God.
        God allows disobedience and concurs with man to the extent that he maintains the persons ability to disobey while at the same time warning against the disobedience.
        In Him we live and move and have our being.
        Man has no ability not given and sustained by Go.
        God by grace enables obedience no persons obeys without the enablement of God.

    • Clint

      This Arminian reader really appreciates this article too. My only quibble is with #9. I would say Arminians who are also Molinists fall on the unconditional election side, but they just get there via a different route than Calvinists.

    • theoldadam

      Do Arminians believe in Baptizing infants?

      If not, then they are indeed, semi-Pelagians.

      ‘A lot of God…and a little bit of me’.

      • Stephen

        And if you believe that baptizing a baby does something to assist in that baby getting saved, then you are contradicting your own Calvinist doctrine.

        According to Calvinism, you are either “elect” or you aren’t, and free will cannot have any part of it, as that would take sovereignty away from God.

        Yet at the same time, you think that by baptizing a baby, we are achieving a little bit of extra grace for that child so to make it more likely that he is elect.

        So apparently, I cannot do anything or make any choice regarding my own salvation, but my parents can. My choice has no part in my being saved, yet my parents choice to sprinkle some water on my head does. So I guess in the Calvinist scheme of things, God gets most of the glory for my salvation, while my parents can take a little bit of glory for themselves in that they chose to have me baptized.

    • theoldadam

      Our wills are bound (not free)…to sin.

      We are incapable of making a decision for God before He chooses us.

      That’s why St. Paul wrote, “no one seeks for God” and “no one does good, no not one.”

      And why Jesus spoke of Peter’s faith as not coming from him (Peter) but from God in heaven. And why Jesus said, “you didn’t choose me, I chose you.” And why the Gospel of John states clearly that “who were born not of the will of man…but of God.”

      There are more, but you get the picture (the Arminians do not, however).

    • Suzanna

      Theoldadam, you might have missed point no. 4. Try reading it again:

      4. Arminianism is Semi-Pelagianism

      Semi-Pelagianism is the belief that man is born in a state of morally brokenness (unlike Pelagianism), but, in his natural state, is still able to call upon God for aid. Arminianism, on the other hand, like Calvinism, does not believe that man can do any good whatsoever outside of God’s intervention. Man, in his natural state, is at enmity with God. It is only the previenient grace of God that gives man the ability to call on Him for mercy.

      Arminians believe in the doctrine of total depravity to the same degree that Calvinists do.

    • Bill Combs

      I wonder about number 4 and your statement: “Arminians believe in the doctrine of total depravity to the same degree that Calvinists do.” I agree that in theory this is true, but is it not just theoretical? Arminian theology (Wesley) has traditionally taught that prevenient grace is a universal enablement given to all men; it overcomes depravity, restores free will, and enables all men to believe the gospel. If so then they are not in actuality any totally depraved people in the world.

    • Paul

      Thank you Michael.

      How can we possibly know what Christ chose “not” to do? I like Calvin’s view that when God makes an end to learning, it may well be sinful to go beyond. And since God has never revealed what Christ chose not to do, I think we should leave it at that. If that is not correct, please let me know.

      Of course, Christ was sovereign. But by virtue of his “oneness” with the Father he wasn’t “autonomously” sovereign, if you will permit. Christ was sovereign to execute the Father’s will which pre-dates His walk on the earth (Isaiah 46:10). And as you surely know, Christ came to fulfill the Law so He was sovereign to finish the work His Father proclaimed through the prophets. That is perhaps the big issue I have with Arminianism. If Christ was fully human, in the Arminian sense, then He was free to disregard God’s will by choosing not to follow it. In other words, God could have thwarted God’s will which seems nonsense to me.

      Augustine and the North African bishops were also a “local synod” were they not? And they were the basis of the rejection of Pelagius. I guess I’m not sure how you can adopt the one and not the other on the basis of regionalism.

      Blessings to you, my brother. And we pray for your continued success in His kingdom!


    • C Michael Patton

      I don’t reject Pelagianism because of Orange (529), but, as it turns out Orange does represent the already accepted universal condemnation of Pelagianism that exists until today. However, much of what Oatange decreed is explicitly rejected by EO and implicitly rejected by RC. But the condemnation of Pelagiamism abides in all. This tells me that it represents the consensus fidelium or the canon varitas of the church. This is very strong and it is from here that I think orthodoxy should be established.

    • theoldadam

      It goes to show you that sometimes what we say and what we do are two completely different things.

      The Roman Church is semi-Pelagian to it’s core.

    • Micael Gustavsson

      Considering the relationship of open theism to arminianism. It is wrong to say that ot is à variety of arminianism, since it is non-arminian versions of ot is possible. For example; pelagian open theism. I think ot egen would be possible to combine with à strange calvinism. It would be weird, like limited atonement limited to à statistical number of people, or irresistable grace, where there is a theoretical chance to resist ( like the chance of surviving the center ovan atomic bomb). Weird, but it would still be non-arminian.

      • C Michael Patton


        Thanks for the dialogue my brother.

        But isn’t that like saying that hyper-Calvinism is not really Calvinistic since Muslim hold to a view similar?

        I get what you are saying, but I suppose I was just trying to be simple since all known Openness Theolgians are Arminian. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Lily

      I don’t necessarily agree with this…..”God, for the Arminian, could shape all human events according to his will, he just chooses not to. This is still sovereignty.”

      I belive that we do not have a free will to do whatever we want. We have a freed will to do what God wants. Not everything that will happen in your life will be God’s will. But everything that happens in your life, WILL be used to fulfill God’s will.

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    • Theo K

      Arminians define sovereignity in a way that falls short of the biblical view of God. Which is meticulous, according to the reformed confessions.

      To say that salvation can be lost is to depart from the genuine gospel.

      Armimians deny sola gratia. Νο matter what they claim, terms have specific meaning. And when the reformers cried grace alone they stood for monergism. That God’s grace actually saves. This what they meant when they said grace alone. Any form of synergism has nothing to do with the reformation. It is far closer to roman catholicism.

      So no, historically speaking, such ideas where faithfully rejected during the first few centuries of the protestant reformation. To say that they are legitimate expressions of protenstantism only shows how far we have drifted from the pure gospel of grace.

      Thank God that many Arminians are inconsistent with their beliefs and trust in Christ alone, despite their man centered theology. But this should not stop us from declaring the truth in love: that rejecting monergism poisons the church. May God once again reform His church.

    • KJQ

      Even though I’m reformed, I appreciated this article. I guess like we Calvinists, many arminians are not consistent and so confusion abounds. Here is the simplest way I can sum up what I believe is the fundamental difference between the two view. Let’s say there are twin brothers. One believes the gospel and is resting in Christ alone for salvation from his sin (i.e. he is regenerate/converted/born again). The other does not believe and remains in rebellion against God. Is the difference between the two that the first brother did, said, or thought anything differently than his brother did, in and of himself? The Calvinist says no, God providentially arranged for him to hear the gospel (along with his brother), but also the Holy Spirit gave the first brother a new heart (i.e. regenerated/converted him, he was spiritually dead and could do nothing to bring himself back to life). The Arminian says yes, the first brother had enough good inside himself that he was able in and of himself to have saving faith, chose to believe in Christ and then the Holy Spirit regenerated him. The latter is works based salvation and is not the true gospel because it can’t be ‘grace alone’ if we do/have to do something first. Not trying to pick a fight, just trying to clarify the crux of the difference.

      • John

        KJQ You said: “The Arminian says yes, the first brother had enough good inside himself that he was able in and of himself to have saving faith, chose to believe in Christ and then the Holy Spirit regenerated him.

        You are guilty of exactly what this article is decrying.
        You will never find any Arminian Theological statement that says what you say. In fact they say exactly the opposite. This has been true from Arminius on.

        Total Depravity (the T in FACTS) [Cf. Article 3 of the 5 Articles of the Remonstrance]

        Humanity was created in the image of God, good and upright, but fell from its original sinless state through willful disobedience, leaving humanity in the state of total depravity, sinful, separated from God, and under the sentence of divine condemnation (Rom 3:23; 6:23; Eph 2:1-3). Total depravity does not mean that human beings are as bad as they could be, but that sin impacts every part of a person’s being and that people now have a sinful nature with a natural inclination toward sin. Human beings are fundamentally corrupt at heart. As Scripture tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jer 17:9; cf. Gen 6:5; Matt 19:17; Luke 11:13). Indeed, human beings are spiritually dead in sins (Eph 2:1-3; Col 2:13) and are slaves to sin (Rom 6:17-20). The Apostle Paul even says, “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh” (Rom 7:18). Elsewhere he testifies, “as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one’ ” (Rom 3:10-12; cf. Rom 1:18-32; Eph 4:17-22). In their natural state, human beings are hostile toward God and cannot submit to his Law nor please him (Rom 8:7-8). Thus, human beings are not able to think, will, nor do anything good in and of themselves. We are unable do anything that merits favor from God and we cannot do anything to save ourselves from the judgment and condemnation of God that we deserve for our sin. We cannot even believe the gospel on our own (John 6:44). If anyone is to be saved, God must take the initiative.
        You would do well to study what Arminians say they believe not the common myths propagated by many Calvinist

    • Amelia

      Great post!
      I will note (as is also mentioned in comments above) that Arminianism today is different that it was a hundred years ago. Most Arminians today are only Arminian when it comes to Election (as well as Limited Atonement. Irresistible Grace they may have a somewhat similar view on).
      That said, in reference to #4 – I would agree that Arminianism is not semi-pelagianism. But, to say they believe in Total Depravity to the same degree as Calvinists do is another matter. Total Depravity for the Calvinist is better termed “Total Inability”. Calvinists believe this depravity makes man unable to come to God apart from election and regeneration, while true Arminians believe that man is not so “dead” as to be able to respond and can respond apart from regeneration (note: God does give grace, but it’s prevenient grace, a general/common grace not a specific/saving grace and not regeneration). Regeneration is the dividing issue here.

      And for #2 – Yes, not true. I know a number of Arminians (those who deny individual election) who have a Calvinistic view of perseverance. It is possible to have an Arminian believe of election, but a Calvinist view of perseverance.

    • Ben Thorp

      For the debate on Arminianism and Semi-Pelagianism, it’s worth reading Roger Olson (for example http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2011/02/american-christianity-and-semi-pelagianism/ ) who agrees “with [his] Calvinist friends (such as Mike Horton) that American Christianity is by-and-large Semi-Pelagian” but has written a book on why Arminianism and Semi-Pelagianism are different.

    • Mike Barlotta


      Here is the simplest way I can sum up what I believe is the fundamental difference between the two view. … The Arminian says yes, the first brother had enough good inside himself that he was able in and of himself to have saving faith, chose to believe in Christ and then the Holy Spirit regenerated him. The latter is works based salvation and is not the true gospel because it can’t be ‘grace alone’ if we do/have to do something first.

      Actually, the Arminian does not say this. The Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian might however.

      The Arminian says yes, the first brother responded to the prevenient (but not regenerating) grace that God gave Him positively (accepted the grace and the gospel) resulting in saving faith and then the Holy Spirit regenerated him.

      The Arminian says the 2nd brother responded to the prevenient (but not regenerating) grace that God gave Him negatively (rejected the gospel and the grace) resulting in not having saving faith and so the Holy Spirit did not regenerate him.


    • Carlos Alberto Paz

      I’m Baptist reformed, but I give the reason for this article, very good, too much prejudice in many misinformed and poorly documented Calvinist brethren.

    • Doug Jenkins

      Regarding Christian Perfection, neither Wesley, nor Wesleyan apologetics hold that the human heart/nature is ever perfected to the point of sinlessness in this life; that meaning that man can reach a place where he cannot possibly sin in any way. Wesley defines Entire Sanctification/Christian Perfection thusly:

      “The perfection I teach, is perfect love; loving God with all the heart, receiving Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King, to reign alone over all our thoughts, words and actions. That we are to expect it, not at death, but every moment; ‘that now is the accepted time, now is the day of this salvation.’ — Wesley’s Works, Vol. VI, p. 500”

      That we should and could reach a place of total surrender wherein “we will one will” (I can’t recall the source of this Wesley thought) and submit to God all our desires in any given situation at any given time is the great command of the Shema, “Love the Lord your God with all…”. Indeed, there have been those who in their faulty understanding have proclaimed too high a standard for this side of the eternal veil, but “be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) is still our Lord’s command, and it should be our heart’s desire and daily pursuit.

      Doug Jenkins.
      Associate Pastor Pickerington Church of the Nazarene

    • Pete

      Thanks for that! Even though I am a Calvinist I am fed up with other Calvinists and even Arminianists misrepresenting the position.

    • Pete

      Preveveniant grace or irresistible grace eh?

    • Stephen

      Regarding point #2 on losing one’s salvation, I don’t think this is accurate. There seem to be two versions of “losing one’e salvation” within the Arminian camp. One version is as described in point #2, wherein one can only lose his salvation through permanant loss of faith. This seems to be the view held by the Arminian Baptist groups, such as the Free Will Baptists.

      However, I was brought up Methodist and the “Methodist” version (as espoused by Wesley and all denominations which follow after him) is that one sin can cause you to lose your salvation, but you can repent and be restored again. From the studying I have done, Wesleyan-Arminianism teaches, for example, that King David lost his salvation when he sinned with Bathsheba, but he repented, and was restored.

      So from my upbringing in Methodism, and my subsequent study of this issue over the years, absolutely Arminianism (or the Wesleyan brand of it anyway) teaches that you lose your salvation by committing one really bad sin (willful violations against the known light, as opposed to involuntary transgressions, of which we are all guilty), but that you can still turn around and repent and be restored.

      However, I had a friend several years ago from the Free Will Baptist tradition (which seems to hold more to the version of Arminianism espoused by Arminius himself, as opposed to Wesley) who expressed his belief that you cannot walk in and out of salvation like the Wesleyans believe. His belief is that you only get saved once, and that one sin doesn’t automatically lose you your salvation. However, if you remain unpenatant and continue in the backslidden state, you can reach a point of apostacy after which you are lost and permanately lost forever with no chance of redemption. Like he told me, you don’t get saved, then lost, then saved again. If you get lost, then you can’t be saved. Ever

      Personally, I lean more towards the Wesleyan view.

    • Roy

      Very well done. As an Arminian, I truly appreciate this.

    • Levi

      Thank you for your thoughtful and informed post and a distinction between some of the categories of Arminianism as a theological position. Mony of what you are identifying as mainstream arminianist would consider themselves to be “classical arminianist” or having a “remonstrant position”. As a classical Armenian, I find often that those of us interested in defining what we believe enough to have it labeled, such as myself, have familiarized ourselves with the works of Calvin, Edwards, Piper, et al, while those, on average, holding to a Calvinist doctrinal set of beliefs choose to remain uneducated about anything other then their own belief system and simply perpetuate the myths you mention above, and worse. Yesterday I was at lunch with some one that thought Arminianism must lead to open theism, and was insistant that Southern Baptist are more closely aligned with Calvanism then Arminianism. Thanks again for your efforts at unity in the Body. If any are interested here is the Full Confession of 1621 translated to English http://evangelicalarminians.org/the-arminian-confession-of-1621/
      Be Blessed

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