On April 21, 1961 President John F. Kennedy appeared at a news conference to explain the failure of the US led invasion of Cuba by a resistance force against Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs. In his opening remarks President Kennedy noted that “Victory has a hundred fathers, and defeat is an orphan.” In other words, when things go well, people clamor to share in the glory. Conversely, no one is willing to take responsibility for failure.
Since the election of President Donald J. Trump, the US economy has done very well, due in large measure to a historic tax cut, deregulation of businesses, and the return of overseas jobs to American workers. Now, in September, 2018, former President Obama wants to be the “father” of this good economy. He wants the credit for something he does not deserve. This is the same man who, in 2016, mockingly asked of future President Trump, “What magic wand do you have?” in relation to how jobs were going to be returned to America. It turned out that candidate Trump had several magic wands in his possession: the wand of tax cut, the wand of deregulation, the wand of trade renegotiation, and the wand of tariff control. After his election, he used them. His “magic wands” worked. Common sense usually does.
All former politicians should be more humble, and so should some modern scientists. There are individuals who want their profession to take credit for dramatic changes in man’s modern smug self-image. They point out that astronomy taught us that the earth is not the center of the universe, but only a tiny blue dot among billions of heavenly bodies. From biology, we learned, according to the godless theory, that humanity is not special. Man was not created by God, but emerged from a primordial soup to evolve along with millions of other species.
Of course, there is no scientific evidence for an evolutionary development of man. Even Darwin recognized there was a problem. In 1859, in his book Origin of the Species, Charles Darwin wrote: “Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?” This is from chapter six entitled “Difficulties on the Theory.”
After the exposure of Earnest Haeckel’s evolution embryo fraud, after the deliberate evolution fraud of Piltdown Man, after the false evolutionary model made from a pig’s tooth, and called Nebraska Man, after Java Man, created from a bone fragment, after the silly fraud of Neanderthal Man, who was just a modern human with disease, after Lucy the hominid left evolutionists clueless, after the horse evolution fraud, and after the peppered moth fraud, one would think modern science would be more humble, and not seek credit for what they do not deserve.
In politics, in science, and in religion, men overreach. They want to be the father of success. Men want to take pride in something they have done. Nowhere is the pride of man manifested so blatantly than in Arminianism, whereby credit is taken for their own salvation based on a mystical autonomous free will.
No theologically consistent Arminian can ever honestly sing the words of John Newton, penned in 1772.
“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was blind, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.”
The Arminian does not consistently or fully believe this. The Arminian does not believe in spiritual blindness. The Arminian preaches a gospel that tells the lost that the gospel has been cast down on the ground like spilt golden coins. All the unbeliever has to do is reach down and pick up the golden gospel coins and be saved.
Again, the Bible teaches that man is dead in sin.
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” –Ephesians 2:1
“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.)” – Ephesians 2:5
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” – Colossians 2:13
The Arminian denies this is true, and insists that man can co-operate with God in his own salvation. The devout Arminian will teach that being “dead to sin” simply means that man is alienated, hostile, separated from God, and void of eternal life. To be “dead to sin” does not mean the natural man, the unconverted man, is incapable of responding to the gospel. Death is separation, Arminians argue, not a total termination or cessation of life.
Because of his bias towards free will, the Arminian cannot comprehend the Biblical reality that the unregenerate is spiritually dead to spiritual things, and has no will, no ability, and no desire to please God. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:8). Jesus said that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). It is the Spirit that gives life. The flesh counts for nothing. The unregenerate is dead to spiritual things, but alive to the flesh, which is why the unregenerate can continue to eat, drink, and be merry in their own fleshly way.
Because of his bias towards his own free will, the Arminian wants credit for believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, following an hour of decision. They do not yet understand that salvation is of the Lord. They were MADE willing in the day of salvation. The Arminian cannot appreciate that the Spirit said, “LIVE!” and they lived, and believed in Jesus because they had been freed from the bondage of sin and spiritual death, and given spiritual sight to see, because their spiritual blindness was divinely removed.
“I was blind”, said Newton, “but now I see.” What caused this spiritual sight? The Arminian wants credit for causing his own sight. He wants credit for his own life giving salvation. He glories in his own decision leading to his regeneration.
In contrast, those of us who believe in God’s sovereign free grace, want all glory, and honor, praise, and power, to go to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
What does President Obama, a smug modern scientist, and the theologically consistent Arminian have in common? They all want credit for something they have not caused, earned, or deserved. They should all be more humble.