by Matt Slick
On July 3, 2016 I had a "debate" with Arthur Adam Haglund, a rabid anti-Calvinist who frequents Facebook in a self-appointed war on reformed theology. Our "debate" was prompted by his incessant accusations of me being a false teacher, a liar, a hypocrite, a worthless weasel, that my father was the devil, and that I was "a damned deceiver of Satan." Why? Because I am a Calvinist.
I don't usually respond to people who are insulting and accusatory. But, occasionally, I will respond to people to establish a record that I deny accusations of doing evil (its a legal thing due to the CARM ministry). I thought since I hadn't done that in a while, I would try it with this guy. So, our encounter occurred on the biblethumpingwingnut.com Google hang out. Once there, Mr. Haglund insisted that our debate be about John six. I had no knowledge of this requirement. I thought we were going to discuss the five points. He said he notified me via Facebook - which I told him that I did not see. After a few insults from him, I agreed to deal with John six. I still don't know why he wanted to go there since he did not refute anything about Calvinism in that chapter.
So, our discussion began and I asked him to abide by Colossians 4:5-6 which says, "Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." But, he didn't seem to want to. He was resisting at every step yet finally agreed to at least try. Let's just say he didn't try very hard at all since his condescending tone and accusations were not lessened much by Scripture's admonition to be polite.
Cut to the chase: Haglund's Heresies
In our discussion, which you can find here, he made many interesting statements. It did not take long to discover some false doctrines that he was teaching. So, let me cut to the chase and list them for you.
- Mr. Haglund said that Jesus forgave all people of their sins at the cross.
- Mr. Haglund said that there will be people are in hell even though their sins have been forgiven.
- Mr. Haglund said that people go to hell for not accepting Jesus as Savior, not because of their sins which were forgiven at the cross.
- Mr. Haglund denied the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer.
- Mr. Haglund said that God choose people for salvation based on his foreknowledge of their good intent and/or actions.1
I could deal with each point but should be obvious to the reader that Mr. Haglund does not have all his theological paws in the litter box.
During our discussion I asked him if God would ever determine a people sin. I then rephrased it and asked if God would ever predestined anyone to sin. He promptly said that God would never do that. I then posted the following verses in the King James and the NASB.
- KJV, Acts 4:27-29, "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done."
- NASB, Acts 4:27–28, " “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur."
Afterwards he tried to reinterpret what he had said in order to, in my opinion, cover his tracks. This is evidence that he does not understand the Scriptures and the sovereignty of God as well as he claims. Yet, he has no problem condemning Calvinism as a damnable heresy and Calvinists as unbelievers.
Mr. Haglund attacks me on Facebook, again
After our "debate" he went to Facebook and accused me yet again. so, I posted this on July 4, 2016, on Facebook here. (At the time of writing this article, the link worked. I do not know if Facebook changes links after a while.)
"Arthur Adam Haglund, you should be ashamed of yourself. When I told you that you trying to use my daughter against me was reprehensible, you defended it as the right thing to do. After the show, in another room, as we discussed this, everyone thought what you did was wrong. So, it wasn't just me.
"Furthermore, you have called me a liar, a deceiver, a hypocrite, and that my father is the devil. You are quick to judge, but you cannot even see the log that is in your own eye. At the beginning of our encounter, I repeatedly asked you to abide by Colossians 4:5-6 which says, "Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person."
"You were hesitant to agree to let your speech be seasoned with grace and to show politeness and later demonstrated profound rudeness and even mockery. One thing is for sure; you cannot see your own problems. You are far too quick to condemn, mock, accuse, and judge people's salvation - even those of us who profess justification by faith alone in Christ alone, and who affirm the triune God, that Jesus who is God in flesh who died on the cross for our sins, and who rose three days later from the dead. But, in my opinion, because of your hatred for reformed theology and the supreme sovereignty of God, you condemn to hell all who teach that we are eternally secure in Christ and who believe that Jesus died only for the elect and believe that God predestined people into salvation. You errantly raise nonessentials to the level of essentials and demonstrate your theological ignorance. The same ignorance you displayed of reformed theology in the area of ordination and predestination as was very evident in our encounter.
"Doctrinally speaking, your denial of the imputed righteousness of Christ to the believer is heretical. When I repeatedly asked you who's righteousness you have, all you could say was to say we have the righteousness that we obtain by faith. You didn't answer my question. I asked whose righteousness - to which you repeated sidestepped. This error is probably the source of your further false teachings that manifested during the show and afterward. Collectively, you said that God's choice for saving someone is based on the foreknowledge of what they will do. In other words, God bases his choice to save someone on the forseen good actions of those people. This is heresy since it teaches that God's choice for salvation is based on man's goodness. Furthermore, it makes God's choices depended on man's choices and God is then reactionary and not sovereign. Shockingly, if that weren't enough, you added another heresy to the mix when you tried to defend the idea that all people are forgiven of their sins at the cross, and yet there will be people who go to hell whose sins are forgiven! Such blatant false doctrine is dangerous and heretical. When I pointed this out, you attempted to defend your error by saying that people go to hell because they reject Jesus, not because of the sins for which they have been forgiven. Arthur, in case you did not know it, rejecting Jesus is a sin. Nevertheless, when you say that God condemns people to hell even though all of their sins have been forgiven, you make God out to be immoral.
"If anyone wants to see the show, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejOYhqZ2ZQs
Salvation by licking toads?
His response to my post was enlightening which I have copied and pasted below. Notice the insult and the false doctrine that follows.
- "Wrong, Matt Slick, wrong! See, putz, God did not HAVE to make salvation via blood shedding. He could have said atonement is via licking toads."2
Unfortunately Mr. Haglund doesn't seem to affirm the Scriptures which require blood as a means of forgiveness of sins. Please consider the following verses
- Leviticus 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’"
- Hebrews 9:22, "And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."
To say that God could have provided atonement any way he wanted, is a wishful assertion without backing. How, in any sense of biblical theology, could anyone assert that God could have atoned for sins via licking toads? Obviously, he was exaggerating, but anyone with a modicum of biblical understanding would never make such a ridiculous assertion even in exaggeration.
Arthur Adam Haglund, in my opinion, is not a competent teacher of biblical theology since he teaches heresy. That, combined with his incessant insults and mockery, means that he is not to be trusted to accurately represent God's word. I can only hope that time matures him and that he can manifest the fruit of the spirit spoken of in Galatians 5:22.
Galatians 5:22–23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
Mr. Haglund is obsessed with me. I thought I would list the insults he's now publishing on Facebook concerning me. These are direct quotes. I have to ask, is he stable?
- "Matt Slick is a lying sack of crap."
- "He is now demonically possessed..."
- "...he has NOT AN HONEST BONE IN HIS BODY..."
- "Matt does not care about truth..."
- "...you dispiclable fallen evil man."
- "...Damned deceiver, son of Satan..."
- "jerk," "putz," "arrogant," "prideful," "liar," "hypocrite," "Pharisee"
- "You are SUch a lying pirck"[sic]
- "Your loved lord satan"
I've tried to defend myself to him, but at every turn he twists my words and accuses me. So I've left the group and tried to block his notifications. I hope he stops stalking me. Oh well, CARM attracts all kinds of people.
The guy just won't stop harrassing me. I left the group that he was in due to the harassment and so now he is messaging me via Facebook. Here is what he said,
"I have a command for you, tiger, do not EVER dare to come onto a page where I AM AGAIN! You are a thug, a punk, a fully, wholly dishonest human being Show up around MY gravity again and get more of the same, you religious fraud Would you like me to tell your daughter that you are sorry for being a horrible father to her? If you are too proud to beg her forgiveness, you can send your repentance through me. While you are heretic, I am more than willing to offer you any help needed to come to repentance."
I Hope it is obvious how much of a bully he really is and that he shames himself by trying to use my daughter against me.
He also went into the "Christianity" Facebook group and posted attacking videos about me. Arthur Adam Haglund is obsessed with me. I can only hope he tires and stops harassing me. But I'm concerned that he will pick someone else to focus his ill intent upon. Oh well, this is part of what it means to be a minister of the gospel. Persecution comes in different forms. I'm glad God is but upon my heart to pray for him. Thank you Lord.
- 1. If I remember correctly, in our discussion after the show, which was not recorded in the video, he affirmed and then defended the idea that God's foreknowledge of people's good actions is what moves God to choose people for salvation.
- 2. https://www.facebook.com/groups/213671335332198/permalink/1216660861699902/?comment_id=1216678698364785¬if_t=group_comment_mention¬if_id=1467668893478751