By James Michael Grippe
and Rand Winburn
Man, by his fall into a state of
sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good
accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether
averse to that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own
strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
Chapter IX, section III
If anyone shall affirm, that man's
free will, moved and excited by God, does not, by consenting,
co-operate with God, the mover and exciter, so as to prepare
and dispose itself for the attainment of justification; if moreover
anyone shall say, that the human will cannot refuse complying
if it pleases; but that it is inactive, and merely passive;
let such a one be accursed.
If anyone shall affirm, that since the fall of Adam, man's free will
is lost and extinguished; or that it is a thing titular, yea
a name, without a thing, and a fiction introduced by Satan into
the Church; let such a one be accursed.
Session 6, Ch.16, Canons 4-5
In faith, the
human intellect and will cooperate with divine grace; Believing
is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by
command of the will moved by God through grace.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1995
have, as set forth in these declarations, two vastly different
The first, Protestant,
denies the ability of the will to choose holiness or to follow
Christ. The second, Roman Catholic, admits the ability of the
will to consent and cooperate with the will of God in salvation.
According to centuries of Catholic teaching, man has the will
to choose to follow Christ, as well as the will to choose to
leave Christ. So different are these teachings that they lie
as opposites on the theological spectrum. Like Cain and Abel
or Jacob and Esau, they war with one another in a polemic that
has gone on since the days of Augustine and Pelagius.
which view is correct? The importance of determining the answer
is not to be underestimated, for we seek to know the revealed
mind of God in this matter. Above and beyond this, the glory
of God in our salvation is at stake in the hearts and minds
of Christians. The correct view exalts God to His rightful place
as our alone Savior, while the incorrect view debases Him, subverting
His work in our salvation. The one view shouts His sovereign
grace in election, while the other gives nothing but lip service
to it. In the former, man is humbled. In the latter, he is unduly
Protestant Reformers clearly saw the bondage of mans will
as taught in the Scriptures and evinced by
their creeds. Catholics, Evangelical Arminians, and cults
of today, on the other hand, champion the alleged freedom of
mans will. As one who formerly held the Arminian position
for over 20 years, co-author, James, can testify that the Scriptures,
which teach the bondage of mans will, are rarely, if ever,
addressed by church leaders, let alone seriously studied by
Christians. Furthermore, it is the contention of these present
authors, if put to the test, few in the visible church could
even offer a definition of the 'will.' The challenge goes out
to all Arminians to please locate the verses in Scripture
establishing man's free will in salvation. We then challenge these same men to reconcile
any verses found which allegedly teach their position with the
whole counsel of God.
this treatise our purpose is to: (1) define terms; (2) cite
the scriptural authorities proving the doctrine of the bondage
of the will and its attendant enslavement to the heart; and
(3) unmask the errant doctrine of free will for what it really is.
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