This is an email that I just received from a person subscribed to our email newsletters for Open Air Outreach, and would like to help support us as missionaries, but have been confused by the theological accusations that Calvinists have made against me:
I have been following you for some time now from your newsletter and the internet. I have really enjoyed reading your newsletter and I also look forward to seeing you one day in person preach. I really admire you and the other open air preachers for being right on the front lines. I know most Christians and even parish pastors and priest have no clue the hardships and insults you encounter in open air.
I have a dilemma and I was hoping you could help me. Please be understanding.
I would like to help support your ministry financially. I want to do it because you are on the front lines trying to win lost souls to Christ. I rather support a ministry like yours, than support another organization that is not on fire for winning the lost.
Here is my dilemma. As you know, there are a lot of people preaching and before you support their ministry financially or become a member of their church, you must make sure they are following the Word correctly. I would feel that I let the Lord down, if I would support a ministry that did not follow the Word correctly and lead people astray. The other day, I read an article on the internet ” The Heretical Theology of Jesse Morrell” by Josef Urban and after some research on your site, I found your newsletter refuting his claims which greatly helped and made me feel really comfortable.
When I was reading your refute, I noticed a photo of you and Josef. Above his name was “Calvinism” and ” Moral Government” above your name. Being that I have never heard of Moral Government Theology, I visited a favorite site of mine called GotQuestions.org…
What concerned me was this link and especially this statement ” Moral government theology cannot truthfully be called a Christian doctrine as it is based on the unbiblical and erroneous idea that both God and man have a form of freedom known as the “power of contrary choice.”
Jesse, I am just a high school grad and to be honest, did not focus much on my studies. It seems like every time I turn around, there is another word I have never heard of. God gave me the ability for sales, marketing and business. I have been building franchise concepts for the last 25 years from casual dining, internet to early learning child care centers. Maybe God will use me in some way to help build the right ministry. It just gets frustrating at times, because just trying to learn everything you need to know from Mormonism to Pelagianism is a full time career.
Anyway, I think you see me concern. Please help me understand so I know I am doing the right thing.
This was the email that I responded back with:
I find it interesting that that website it saying that Moral Government Theology cannot really be called a Christian theology because it believes in free will. The doctrine of free will was the doctrine of the early church for the first 3-4 centuries before Augustine. The denial of free will was a Gnostic doctrine brought into the church by Augustine when he converted out of Gnosticism into Catholicism.
This is a documentary that I made showing that free will is an orthodox Christian doctrine and that the denial of it came out of Gnosticism from Augustine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhLF-llpFX0
I also wrote a 690 page book on the freedom of the will showing it to be an orthodox Christian doctrine. I quote abundantly from the Scriptures and from various Christian leaders throughout church history. Those can be found here: https://biblicaltruthresources.wordpress.com/books/theology-books/
The doctrine of free will is taught in the Bible when God said, “I set before you life and I set before you death, therefore choose life.” And also, “choose ye this day whom you will serve.” Free will is also assumed by all of us which is why we blame ourselves and blame others for wrong-doing, presupposing that they could have acted differently.
The notion that Moral Government Theology is not Christian because it teaches free will is absurd. In fact, I would go as far as to say that any theological system that denies free will cannot truly be a Christian theology.
Maybe your experience in business can help you understand the essence of moral government and free will. To get a customer to purchase an item, you present to him reasons why the item would benefit him. You present to his mind considerations as to why the item is necessary or beneficial and why the item is a good quality item. And so you bring about a choice of his will through persuasion, influence, etc.
That is the essence of moral government. God does not force us to obey Him, repent, fellowship with Him, and go to Heaven. Instead, God presents to the minds of sinners reasons and considerations as to why they should repent and why they should believe. He influences the choices of their will by presenting motives and considerations to their mind. That is what is meant by “moral government.” God governs us through moral means, not physical means. He doesn’t force us but He reasons with us, persuades us, etc. But ultimately, to obey or disobey is a matter of free will.
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
The Natural Ability of Man: A Study On Free Will & Human Nature by Jesse Morrell is an exhaustive theological volume that defends the Christian doctrine of man’s free will against the false Gnostic/Calvinist doctrine of man’s natural inability.
This volume explains the truth of man’s freedom of choice in light of Church history and other doctrines like total depravity, regeneration, atonement, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, predestination, repentance, faith, the believers security, original sin, etc. One Bible teacher called this book “the most comprehensive exposition on man’s natural ability in print.”
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