DEISM, n. the belief or system of religious opinions of those who acknowledge the existence of one God, but deny revelation: or deism is the belief in natural religion only,
or those truths, in doctrine and practice, which man is to discover by the light of reason, independent and exclusive of any revelation from God. Hence deism implies infidelity or a disbelief in the divine origin of the scriptures. (Websters 1828 Dictionary)
Depending on who you read after, some of our founding Father's were Deists. Thomas Jefferson for sure. Most evangelicals would claim that deism, as defined above, to be rank heresy.
However, it is interesting to me how deism, the idea that God created the world like a clock, wound it up, and then let it run its course without interfering, has influenced many churches to embrace deism in their view of salvation.
Let me explain.
The Bible teaches what theologians call The Sovereignty of God.
Eph 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
Dan 4:35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, "What have You done?"
God is in charge of sparrows, lillies, and knows the number of hairs on everyone's head. Nothing takes place without his knowledge and even more so His direct, sovereign will directing the course of every aspect of the universe!
If he is not Soveriegn, then He is not God, whoever and whatever controls Him is.
Lot's of people like to say that all the verses in the Bible that deal with predestination and forknowledge of God regarding salvation happen like this.
"God knew everybody who was going to accept Him, and those are the ones he predestinated."
Do you see a problem with these two competing ideas?
Is God Sovereign over all acts or does He just forsee what will happen?
Even more seriously, these people are claiming that God forsaw that people would choose him for salvation. Now could there be ANY greater work or deed on the part of man, than to repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation?
Is salvation by grace or is it by debt (God owes us for choosing him)?
Is God sovereign over the flowers, grass and hair, but not the sinner?
Embracing free will is nothing more than embracing a form of deism, (What you practice is what you believe) it is putting man on the throne of salvation and not God, and it attacks the very nature of salvation being from the Lord,(the author and finisher of our faith) by grace alone and says, people do have a little bit of good in them, (Actually a lot of good, making the greatest possible act of goodness from within- choosing God) God sees their good and wise choice, and decided on the basis of what they chose, to become their God. (He does after all owe it to them if they call him on His promise to save them)
Ludicrous! Abandon your deism, submit to God on the throne of all things, believe the Scriptures that teach there is none that do good or seek after God.