The Five Articles of the Remonstrance

I have not posted anything specifically Arminian in a long time, but I cam across this article and thought it might start a discussion. From here:

There is no denying that history can not be repeated. History shows that the Arminians were defeated at the Synod of Dort on January 14, 1619 and their doctrines were condemned. The “five points” of Calvinism (which came out of the Calvinists defense against the five articles by the Remonstrants) became the hallmark of the Synod of Dort. Following the loss, the Arminians were heavily persecuted. The 200 Arminian pastors who attended the Synod of Dort were stripped of their offices and ordered not to preach or be banished from the country. The Calvinist paid “spies” to go hunt down those Arminians who continued to preach Arminianism. One Arminian defended, Oldenbarnevelt, was beheaded by the Calvinists. In 1625, the Calvinist relaxed their judgment and allowed the Arminians to preach but it was not until 1630 that Arminians could build churches or schools.

Yet I believe history would have been different had Jacobus Arminius lived to defend his views. Arminius died October 19, 1609 and never had the opportunity to defend himself. His followers wrote the five articles based off Arminius writings, sermons, and word of mouth teachings. The five articles were not officially endorsed by Arminius since he did not live to see the Synod convene. Had Arminius lived, I think the five articles would have been about the same but Arminius would have no doubt been the most brilliant mind at the Synod of Dort and would have been able to easily defend his views against the Calvinist arguments. Perhaps Arminianism would have dominated the Church in Europe and America for the next 400 years had Arminius been alive. We will never know.

Below are the ‘five points of Arminianism.’

Article 1. That God, by an eternal, unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his Son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ.

Article 2. That, agreeably thereto, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, died for all men, and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins except the believer.

Article 3. That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good.

Article 4. That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to this extent, that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following, and co-operating grace, can neither think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds and movements, that can be conceived, must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But as represents the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, inasmuch as it is written concerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Ghost.

Article 5. That those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, have thereby full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well understood that it is even through the assisting grace of the Holy Ghost; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, and desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no craft of power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ’s hands….But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginnings of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, or turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of becoming devoid of grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scriptures, before we ourselves can teach it with the full persuasion of our minds.

Many have never read the five articles produced by the Remonstrants so I would like to reproduce them here for your reading. Bear in mind again that Arminius did not write these nor was he alive to defend his views before the Synod of Dort (which was heavily favored toward the Calvinists).

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4 Replies to “The Five Articles of the Remonstrance”

  1. Arminians and Calvinists aren’t as far apart as many people think. I cringe when Calvinists (of which I am one) call Arminian views heretical, as they did back then. There are points of disagreement but there are true heretics leading people astray that we should be concerned about.

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