Getting Past Monergism to Helping a Perishing World

, posted by A.M. Mallett

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Ro 10:12-17 AV)

Reading and listening to these words I came to a conclusion this morning. I should fear for the soul of a strict monergist. I should fear that he has become disobedient to God. I should fear that he has no concern for the state of the lost. I fear he has lost his first love and has become selfish to the point that his faith rests in his theological ruminations rather in a love for Christ and his fellow man.

Now, to be fair and practical as well, the same fear should extend to all of us if we have parked our evangelical spirit in favor of a comfort in empty musings. It is a hollow faith that spends all its energy chasing to sectarian battles and it is beyond certain that I have emptied the urn of faith on several occasions in expending myself in worthless squabbles.

I believe the solution is to ignore the enticement of the flesh and turn to the greater things of God instead. Place the offending party out of mind and continue fellowship with souls who appreciate the discourse of Scripture. Only then can someone such as I focus on the desires of God and obedience to those desires.

Much is made of monergism by those who coined the term and its intended insult, synergism. The monergists belie any intent by his LORD of interaction, of engaging the creation, in bringing to fruition the rewards of grace. Man has absolutely no place in the struggle for souls from the monergistic perspective. There is nothing man does in God’s plan of salvation that has any worth in God’s eyes, if the monergist is true.

Yet, from the opening passage we see an entirely different teaching of the scriptures. In the LORD’s plan of salvation souls preach the good news of Jesus Christ so that other souls might be saved. Preachers proclaim the crucified Christ so that faith might come to unbelieving souls who, lacking such faith, are surely condemned. To be sure, the preacher who fails in this commission fails to see souls brought into the kingdom.

Christ told us clearly that the harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few. There are souls in this world in need of salvation and one of the chief responsibilities of the preacher, if not the only matter that should concern him, is the preaching of the cross so that men might be saved. Christ did not merely tell us there are souls to be saved but that there is a disproportionate amount of souls to save with regard to the number of preachers and pastors needed to do this work of the LORD. This is a scriptural tearing down of that sectarian lie called monergism (properly speaking). The scriptures do not tell us, Blessed are the feet of those who sit around resting in their theological fatalism; not at all. Instead, Blessed are those who preach the Good News and seek the salvation of men.

Is there a cost of resting in monergistic fatalism? I believe there is a dire cost, and eternal damnation for some. Ezekiel brings this cost to light in the following.

Eze 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

There is an expectation on the part of the LORD that His servants are engaged, at the ready for service to His plans and desires. His plan of salvation is, to borrow the Calvinist’s slur, synergistic, the raising of men to work the desires of God in this world so that souls might be saved, made safe and secure in an otherwise dangerous and deadly world.

The preacher in proper service to the LORD is the one who brings the Word of God to souls so that faith might come to such. Lacking that “synergistic” commitment and obedience, men and women perish. They do not wait for the next obedient monergistic fatalist to sit still. They perish instead. No, the preacher preaches Christ knowing with a purposed heart that if he does nothing, men go to hell. God’s plan of salvation with regard to faith is preaching and the saving of souls.