Are you a Christian but not a Calvinist? Are you a member of a non-Christian religion? Are you anything BUT a Fundamentalist five point Calvinist? If so, here is what Don Fortner, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Danville, Kentucky thinks of you:
Let me be crystal clear. I want no one to mistake me, misunderstand me, or fail to hear clearly what I have to say.
- Useless religion is any religion in which the Lord Jesus Christ is not the sole object of faith.
- Useless religion is any religion that denies the merit and efficacy of Christ’s precious, sin-atoning blood.
- Useless religion is any religion that teaches sinners to produce righteousness. — The Gospel of Christ proclaims righteousness accomplished. — The Ready to Wear Garment of Salvation is the Righteousness of Christ.
- Useless religion is any religion that offers salvation by robbing God of His perfect holiness and forgiveness by the compromise of His inflexible justice. — The advocates of useless religion have no clue as to the necessity of the incarnation, obedience, and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. — They have no idea of how God can be just and justify the ungodly. — Their religion is filled with sentimentality and void of truth. — As Paul put it, they eat and drink damnation to themselves, not discerning the Lord’s body, not knowing Christ!
- Useless religion speaks much of the love of God, but makes the love of God universal and thereby useless and meaningless.
- Useless religion talks much about the blood of Christ, but makes the blood of Christ a universal sacrifice for all men and thereby useless and meaningless.
- Useless religion says much about the work of God the Holy Spirit, but makes the work of the Holy Spirit a work, an influence upon all men alike and thereby useless and meaningless.
- Useless religion makes the Triune God a failure and thereby no God at all!
- Useless religion rests on the footing of man’s works, not upon the grace and power of the God.
- Useless religion is any religion which suggests or implies that the Lord our God is unable to fulfill His will toward men unless they give Him permission.
- Useless religion puts the creature in the place of the Creator, — making the will of the Creator subject to the will of the creature, — making the power of God subject to the power of man, — making the purpose of God subject to the permission of man!
- Useless religion is any religion that makes salvation dependent upon man’s will, not God’s will.
- Useless religion is any religion that makes a sinner feel good about himself, look to himself, or trust in himself.
- Useless religion is any religion established upon the traditions of men, the creeds of men, and the inventions of men. — God’s Church is built upon the Foundation of Jesus Christ crucified, the Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, — the Word of the living God!
- Useless religion may look good in the eyes of men, and it may feel good to those who practice it, but religion without Christ will do the deceived one no good in the day of death and judgment.
- Useless religion will never result in the salvation of the soul.
- Useless religion can never meet the approval of the thrice holy God who demands “it must be perfect to be accepted.”
Fortner is quite clear. Any religion but the one, holy, sovereign grace, Calvinist religion is a false, damning, and useless religion.
And yet, according to at least one Calvinist, Andrew C. Bain of Sovereign Grace Assembly of West Rutland, Vermont, Don Fortner is not Calvinistic enough and has heretical beliefs. (it seems Bain is Calvinist equivalent of Hyles Anderson trained IFB pastor Steven Anderson)
Here is what you need to understand about Calvinism. Strip away the various personalities and their approach to Calvinism; all Calvinists believe the same thing. At the heart of the Calvinistic philosophical system is the absolute sovereignty of God and the five points of Calvinism. ALL Calvinists agree on the absolute sovereignty of God and the five points of Calvinism. They may have internecine fights over the order of the decrees, antinomianism, infant election, and the means of grace, but, they all agree on the absolute sovereignty of God and the five points of Calvinism.
So, when you hear a Calvinist try to distance themselves from Fred Phelps or Andrew C. Bain, just remember there is little to no core theological difference between Al Mohler, Mark Driscoll, John MacArthur, Don Fortner, Walt Chantry, Charles Spurgeon, Fred Phelps and Andrew C. Bain. Try as they might to stake out their own pure corner of the Calvinistic world, the fence that surrounds all of them is the absolute sovereignty of God and the five points of Calvinism.