CARM, C.A.R.M., Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry – A Christian Apologetics Site: A Proof for Universalism

(CARM is owned and operated by Matt Slick)

Sometimes what is NOT allowed to be discussed in certain ministries reveals much about that ministry than what is allowed to be discussed. For example, there is a large Christian Internet Site, named CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, C.A.R.M), run by a Calvinist name Matt Slick that contains various discussion boards on which one can discuss just about any topic related to religion, spirituality or even non-spiritual topics.

The Christian Apologetics & Research site has a discussion board for atheists, Catholics, Christadelphians, Church of Christ, Christian Denominations of all kinds, Islam, Jews, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostalism, Charismatics, and Seventh Day Adventists. One may discuss just about any topic including Satanism, abortion, Bible prophesies of all kinds, interpretations of Scriptures of all kinds, philosophies of all kinds and theologies of all kinds without being censored or banned … all that is, except one … Universalism, the belief that all mankind will eventually be saved through the Cross of Christ.

Here is what happens to those who believe that Jesus will ultimately save all mankind should you visit CARM: email from 4-3-2007 -- "First I would like to let you know that I was banned by CARM in less the fifteen minutes for merely saying I was a univeralist. That must be some record."

To a discerning person, this single fact should speak volumes. All sorts of errors, false religions, doctrines, creeds, teachings, etc are permitted to be discussed except the subject of the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the whole world. All forms of error may be discussed, but the Truth about the Savior of the world may not even be hinted about. As long as one teaches or talks about a god who ultimately will fail in his mission, THAT is permitted to be discussed. But should one have faith enough to believe what the Scriptures plainly declare, "Jesus Christ, Savior of the world" (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14) THAT will be grounds for immediate banning by Matt Slick and his moderators. Calling Jesus a failure by stating He will eventually endlessly burn most of mankind and that wil get a smile from Matt Slick's face. But should one be bold enough to give full glory to Jesus Christ, the redeemer of the whole human race, and Matt Slick at CARM will come down on you with a death blow.

Satanists can share why they worship Satan and through their posts can actually influence someone towards Satanism. Religions of all kinds are free to promote and propagate their religions through their posts. Atheists are free to attack the Scriptures. Groups and denominations that Matt Slick deems “cults” are free to share their beliefs at CARM. New Agers are free to spread their mind science ideas. Heresies of all kinds are discussed at CARM. One may support those heresies and one may attack those heresies, expect the horrible heresy of Calvinism.

Since Matt Slick is a Calvinist, he will NOT allow Calvinism to be exposed as the heresy that it is. He used to have a discussion board named Calvinism, but he took it off because he and his “apologists” couldn’t defend very well a god who planned in advance of creation to endlessly torture most of mankind so that those predestined to eternal life might appreciate their blessedness all the more watching what they (Calvinists, the elect) were sparred from. The Calvinists’ defense of such a hideous doctrine was so pathetic and scripturally weak, that their position was constantly under attack by all other systems of belief. Therefore, Matt Slick removed the Calvinism discussion board.

But Matt Slick removed another discussion board about the same time. He removed the Universalism discussion board. Matt Slick spends a great number of words on his sites defending himself for this move. His primary argument is that he was called so many bad names that he got fed up with it. Rather than let God be his defense as the Bible exhorts or let his detractors words go against themselves, Matt Slick felt he had to mount a massive campaign to defend his honor. Here is what he wrote in his defense regarding closing the Universalist Discussion board. He put it in bold letters in one of his articles defending his actions:

I (Matt Slick) closed the board primarily because my walk with Christ was being badly affected by me trying to deal with their constant insults and personal attacks, not because I couldn't answer their objections and challenges.”

The truth of the matter is quite different from his account. That his heretical view was exposed for the evil that it was cannot be denied. That Matt Slick was incapable of scripturally defending his views also cannot be denied. But it was attacked by many other groups besides those embracing universal salvation. Arminianists challenged the Calvinist position as well.

As to his name-calling defense, he certainly was called a few things including a heretic. However, let’s take a look at some of the words Matt Slick chose to attack those who believe that Jesus is the Savior of the whole world. By the way, Matt Slick constantly accused those who embrace universal salvation of breaking the board rules. Here is one rule he made for himself which was posted on his discussion board. I don’t know if it’s still there or not: “I (Matt Slick) reserve the right to apply the rules in any manner as I see fit.” Now THAT is the tyrannical manner in which he personally ran the Universalist Discussion board. Obviously many people took great issues with him in this respect because he constantly violated his own board rules while chastising and banning many Christians who defended the universalist position for doing the same thing he was doing. Matt Slick, while banning universalists for calling his Calvinism heretical, would turn right around and call universalists heretics AND much worse, yet defended his name-calling by applying his number one rule “I reserve the right to apply the rules in any manner as I see fit.” In other words, he was being a hypocrite. He told others to do what he himself would not do.

His excuse for closing the universalist discussion board was that he had to spend too much time defending himself from name-calling. It seems to me, if he was really defending the truth that God would be his defense, that the truth would stand on its own and the name-callers by their very name-calling would be exposed by their very own words. But the fact of the matter is that Matt Slick’s very own words point out once again, his hypocrisy. Here are some of his very own words to those discussing whether the Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world:

Matt Slick’s own words on his own former Universalist Discussion Board:
Matt Slick: I reserve the right to apply the rules in any manner as I see fit.

Some of Matt’s Slicks posts to those embracing Universal Salvation on the Universalist Discussion Board:

--Let me tell you something. Your absolute arrogant, judgmental, accusatory, and pompous post has done nothing except convince me of the fallacy of the universalist heresy. I have never become so perturbed by a group of religious devotees as quickly as I have with the unies. Matt
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Well, that is heresy.
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More inane banter...
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Maybe we should call you flail, or grail, or bail...
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Just read the board rules. If you don't like it. leave. nt - Matt Slick (I reserve the right to apply the rules in any manner as I see fit.) (Editor’s note: Matt was often accused of hypocrisy, that he judged others and banned them for doing the very same thing HE did. But since he put himself above his own rules, he made himself god of the boards. His hypocrisy and breaking his own rules while banning others for the same behavior he exhibited created a lot of frustration.)
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most of what I have seen of universalism is false. Its doctrines are incorrect, i.e, universalism and most the universalists I've encountered are not Christians. (Matt Slick ruthlessly attacked universalism and felt justified in using any manner to do so including name-calling, but when his Calvinism was attacked, he banned them almost immediately.)
-----------------
You insult me... posted by Matt Slick on March 12, 2000 at 12:55:11:
: I take it as a serious insult that you say I am a little god....
: You must apologize, or I will ban you.
:
: I am serious....
:
: You've got about one hour.
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Matt: Second, if you call my teaching about hell a doctrine of demons one more time, I will ban you. I am quite serious.
To me, that comment is an insult and highly offensive.
I hope it is your intent to be civil.
Now, if you agree to this, I won't see you use it. If others do, they'll get the same warning.
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Matt to Sarah: You are so condescending.you've repeatedly demonstrated a lack of the spirit of God in our discussinos..
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George A. is banned.
[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Universalism ]
Posted by Matt Slick (24.20.225.211) on October 01, 2000 at 09:44:43:
Why? Because he called Calvinism a doctrine of demons.
Sorry, I won't tolerate that.
(But he will tolerate Universalists being called just about everything including doctrines of demons. The fact is Calvinism is one of the most hideous religions in the world, surely a “doctrine of demons.”)
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End of some Matt Slick quotes to Christians believing the Scriptural truth: Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14)

I, Gary Amirault, agree there was some unchristian behavior at the CARM Universalist Discussion board on behalf of those embracing the scriptural teaching that Jesus planned to save the entire world and that he succeeded. It was certainly not any worse than the words of Matt Slick and those who posted derogatory remarks towards those who embraced universal salvation. I, also, admit to using some very harsh language, language similar to what may be found in Matthew chapter 23. And if calling Calvinism, heresy, a doctrine of demons and an evil teaching would be considered “name-calling,” then I plead guilty to the charge. If calling Matt Slick a heretic (and he, himself used that term against many others who did not embrace his Calvinism) is considered “name-calling” by Matt, then I am certainly guilty. But then so is Matt Slick! So why is he offended? He only got back what he first dished out? I challenge the reader to ask this question of Matt Slick, but don’t be surprised if you get a short nasty response and a quick end to the discussion.

There was a LOT of frustration on the part of those who embraced universal salvation for being called “unies” by Matt Slick. But when some of those who embrace universal salvation called fundamentalists like Matt Slick “fundies,” universalists were immediately warned they would be banned for using that term. He considered “fundies” a derogatory name worthy of banning.

Matt Slick was constantly challenged for his double standards. He truly had one set of standards for himself and those who embraced his beliefs and another quite different and intolerant set of standards for those who embraced Universal Salvation. Matt Slick behaved very hypocritically. THAT is the main objection most of those who defended universalism had with him. He used double standards and that is one of the main things Jesus had against his opponents, the Pharisees, Sadduceess, lawyers and scribes. Jesus constantly called those who exhibited this kind of behavior “hypocrites.” And whenever Matt used his hypocritical means, he was constantly and rightfully challenged for his unchristian behavior. A good read which will help the reader decide what spirit is running Matt Slick's Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry is "The Spirit of the Pharisee" which may be found at:

http://tentmaker.org/books/TheSpiritOfThePharisee.htm

In my opinion, because Matt Slick was incapable of Scripturally, logically and honestly defending his very strong Calvinistic position and because he couldn’t refute the teaching of Universal Salvation scripturally, he decided to take the Universalist Discussion board off his site. He also took off his Calvinism site because it was so easily exposed for its denigrating image of god.

Matt Slick, while posting at the Universalist Discussion board never really addressed the issues Universalists brought up at the boards. His posts were usually one liners like, “I'm sorry, but you are mistaken on several facts.” But he would never give the so-called “facts.”

Matt Slick, at one time, challenged those Christians who believed in universal Salvation to a debate. I accepted that challenge, and it was right about that time that Matt Slick closed the boards. I believe THAT was the real reason he closed the Universalist Discussion boards. Matt Slick knew, from his inability to answer the many questions posed to him at the discussion board that he was incapable of defending his positions for Calvinism and against Universalism. He banned me, Gary Amirault, during the negotiations for the debate and then closed down the whole boards. Here is a letter I wrote at that time. I believe any sincere person can see that this offer would have been an excellent opportunity for Matt Slick to defend his positions and to refute the Universal Salvation teaching if he truly felt he had the ability. But his response to this challenge was banning me, closing the Universalist Discussion Board and putting up several articles against universalism on his board that could not be challenged. Any teaching that will not allow challenge SHOULD BE CHALLENGED! Matt Slick refuses to be challenged. Anyone who would make it a rule on his own board that he himself is above his own rules is obviously not interested in being fair and honest.

Here was my challenge, to which Matt Slick responded by shutting off all discussions on Universalism on ALL of His boards. Again, all manners of topics are allowed for discussion on CARM. Satanism is allowed, atheism is allowed, religions of all kind are allowed, teachings from every kind of denomination are allowed … all except one … the Scripturally teaching the Jesus Christ is NOT a failure, that He came to save the world and that is exactly what He did … He redeemed the whole world.

All sorts of schemes that make Jesus Christ miss His mark are allowed to be discussed at CARM. Teach that God will endlessly torture almost all of mankind and Matt Slick will smile and make you a moderator. But teach “God will have all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth (1 Tim. 2:4) and you will be immediately banned on any of the CARM discussion boards. Teach that most of mankind will be forever separated and Matt will call you a true Christian. But teach “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all mankind unto Myself,” (John 13:32) and you will receive a rebuke, a warning and after that be banned by Mat Slick and his moderators.

The real reason Matt Slick is so opposed to the teaching of Universal Salvation is because it is the truth and the truth is NOT in Matt Slick. Matt could not refute it on his discussion boards and so he closed them. He could not come up to the challenge of debate and so he banned me and ended the discussion. Matt Slick is incapable of defending his position so he allows only one side of the debate. He has posted many articles against universalism and he will not allow his posts to be challenged. For the honest seeker that should speak volumes.

Here is the letter, I, Gary Amirault, wrote to Matt Slick, and members of the Tentmaker Discussion Board and the CARM Universalist Discussion board:

Dear Tentmaker and CARM frequenters and Matt Slick,

I’d like to apologize to all of you for my contribution to the recent war between myself and Matt Slick, owner and administrator of the CARM web site. The dialogue certainly did escalate into a “he said, she said” sort of thing which really serves no one any purpose, certainly not God’s purpose in the earth. I apologize for not being wise enough to know when to walk away. I personally believe there is an approach to dealing with individuals in denial in a “tough love” approach in which the person in denial has their problem, whether it be alcoholism or lying or hypocrisy or whatever the problem is, rubbed in their faces until they finally break and realize their depravity. A classic example of this approach and its effectiveness in found in Brennan Manning’s classic book “The Ragamuffin Gospel.” In chapter seven “Paste Jewelry And Sawdust Hotdogs,” a well-to-do alcoholic named Max was exposed to this “tough love” to break his denial that he was an alcoholic. When we are in denial of anything, regardless of what it is, it seems almost everyone near that individual can see that person’s problem except the person who has the problem. There is a rough treatment program that breaks that individual and ultimately brings reality to the person. I have been using that approach with Matt Slick and have been unsuccessful with it. I truly believe all the stuff Matt Slick thinks he sees in those who disagree with him is actually in himself but he’s blind to it because of pride and self-righteousness. The environment at CARM is not conducive for the “tough love” approach of forcing a person to face himself for what he truly is. I should have known better. For that I apologize to Matt Slick, CARM, and Tentmaker.

To help make up for the slug-fight and my participation in it, I’m willing to give Matt Slick an opportunity to express his Christianity in an environment whereby he may have full opportunity to show his skills in Christian doctrine. If the Glorious Gospel (Universalism) is such an evil doctrine, then Matt Slick should have no problem dismantling it and exposing the error. Those of you who have frequented CARM know there have been more than one occasion in which Matt Slick and I (Gary Amirault) were negotiating a debate on whether Jesus is the Savior of all mankind or the eternal torturer of most of mankind. In the negotiating process, I wanted to limit the scope of the debate in such a manner that we could come to some kind of conclusion in the debate. Having watched Matt debate before, his usual approach was to rebuff his opponent’s post with some sarcastic remark and then simply list some verses with speak of Hell or everlasting punishment or wrath often from the Old Testament. That’s it, that’s the depth of his debating style. This goes nowhere fast and usually ends up in a mud fight (or at Matt’s board getting banned). Since Matt stated on his own board that Paul’s writings contained the best arguments against universalism then one would think my offer to limit the debate to Paul’s writings would have been a great advantage to Matt in the debate. If Paul’s writings truly are the best line of attack in the Bible AGAINST universalism, then Matt should have jumped on the opportunity of debating in Paul’s writings. Instead of gladly accepting my invitation to limiting my ability to debate to the part of the Bible which according to Matt supports HIS position the best, he made it appear that I was afraid to use the whole word of God. The fact of the matter was that I was willing to give him his own best playing field, Paul’s writings which Matt said supported his views the best.

I’m willing to give him even further advantage in a debate. He has repeatedly called me a liar and deceiver and my writings “Amirault crud.” He repeatedly chastises Universalists because they don’t rebuke me for my unchristian behavior while he slanders and maligns people on his boards on a daily basis, yet seems to be completely blind to his “unchristian” behavior. He uses personal character assassination regularly yet immediately bans those who use the same tactics against himself. During this debate, if I attack Matt’s personal character one single time, I will concede defeat. But I will allow Matt to use his normal tactics. He can call my posts “crud” as many times as he wants. He can call me an agent of Satan, heathen, liar, deceiver, etc. all he wants and I will not ban him from the debate. So then, I will allow him to behave as he always behaves at CARM, but if I use his same personal character assassination techniques against him, I will concede defeat.

To be able to bring some sort of conclusion to the debate in a reasonable amount of time, we have to zero in in some manner which prevents us from dodging each other and going no where. I prefer debating on Matt’s own field, Paul’s writings. However, if Matt feels perhaps he put his foot in his mouth when he made that statement, I’m willing to accommodate him by finding another area. For example, most leading Bible translations, KJV, NIV, NASB, NRSV, etc. have passages which clearly teach Hell and other passages which clearly teach universalism. Let Matt pick his most powerful dozen Hell passages and I’ll put my favorite Universalist passages and see who can best harmonize both sets to make the Bible consistent. Either the Hell passages are not properly translated or understood correctly by me and other Universalists or the Universalist passages are not correctly translated or correctly understood by Matt and eternal torment believers. So we wrestle with let us say a dozen scriptures from each group, one scripture at a time until we feel we have exhausted our evidence on that scripture. Then the audience can decide one scripture at a time who dealt with each passage most successfully. Once again, at any time during these exchanges, if I personally attack, Matt, I automatically forfeit the debate, but I will leave Matt free to be his normal self and slander me all he wants without censorship or points against him in the debate.

Matt can select his favorite translations to support his view and I’ll select mine. Perhaps we should limit the number of translations used. Perhaps two or three for each side.

As to authorities used to support one’s position, I will also place a limit on myself and put none on Matt Slick. I will NOT call upon the scholars from the Universalist camp, I will limit myself to authorities from orthodoxy or scholars who are not recognized as being in the Universalist movement. Matt will be free to use whatever authorities he would like to use.

Matt says that he will not debate a “liar and deceiver.” But this could not possibly be true. According to Matt’s understanding of the gospel and God, every Universalist MUST be a liar and deceiver, yet he has debated other believers in universalism and he still challenges Universalists to debate. So the excuse that he will not debate a “liar and deceiver” simply holds no water. To have a debate, one must have an opposing view. To disagree with Matt’s viewpoint of salvation and God’s nature automatically makes me a “liar and deceiver” from his point of view. It is foolish for Matt to be challenging people to debate, yet stating he will not debate “liars and deceivers.” Any Universalist who teaches that all mankind will be saved is automatically a “liar and deceiver” in Matt’s view of things. He challenged me to debate previously and I was a “liar and deceiver” then from his point of view. Now he states he will not debate “liars and deceivers.” Has he decided never to debate again or is he just throwing out smoke merely to take the focus off the point that he is really afraid of this debate?

Matt repeatedly has scorned AND banned believers in the Glorious Gospel (the universal salvation of all mankind) for cutting and pasting. I will limit myself to NO cutting or pasting. I will have to write everything fresh in my posts but I will allow Matt Slick to cut and paste to his heart’s desire.

Matt is a stickler for anyone opposing him that violates his rules which are written in such a manner to give Matt maximum power and authority at CARM holding people accountable to them while allowing himself to repeatedly break them. I will allow Matt to break the rules of the debate all he wants but will hold myself to the standards we set up.

I’m trying to be as accommodating as I possibly can and also give Matt as many advantages as possible. I believe the Glorious Gospel of the Cross of Christ is so easy to defend that I’m willing to bend over backwards to accommodate Matt Slick from CARM. But it must be formatted in such a manner that we can come to some kind of conclusion. Simply quoting our favorite scriptures to support our view back and forth and then ending them with name-calling will just not do.

Matt knows my email address. If someone at Tentmaker who frequents Matt’s board would either post this letter (if they care to risk being banned) or make reference to it in a post and give the url for where to find it here at Tentmaker debate board, I’d appreciate it.

One more thing, I will not be frequenting CARM anymore unless specifically invited by Matt Slick. In the past, I’ve reregistered at CARM under different handles after being banned, but I will not do that anymore, not that I don’t feel that I shouldn’t, I just don’t feel it serves any purpose anymore. I had no problem breaking Matt’s “letter of his own laws” because Matt broke them himself repeatedly. I refused to comply to his double-standards, I complied with the one he set by his example, not by what he wrote. Matt broke most, if not all of his rules. I did as he did, and so will many others. “Do as I say, not as I do,” just doesn’t cut it for me or anyone else. Those who use false scales should expect to get back what they give. I look forward to the day when Matt Slick truly does treat the participants at CARM better than himself. I’m sure I’ll see the day because I’m a Universalist. I don’t expect to see Matt Slick burning in Hell as Matt Slick hopes will happen to me, I expect Matt Slick one day to be perfectly conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. I feel quite certain of that, not because I believe that Matt Slick has that ability within him (because he doesn’t) but because my confidence is in Christ who will see Matt’s salvation through to completion even as He will see all mankind eventually conformed to the glorious image of Jesus Christ, Savior of all mankind.

Once again, I apologize to everyone who has followed a part of this exchange for jumping into the mud hole with Matt. Sorry I pulled some of you in with me. It’s time for me to take a spiritual shower and rejoice in the New Day. What a mighty God we serve! What a wonderful awesome glorious Father we have. His mercies are truly new every morning and His wrath does indeed come to an end. His cleansing fount is ever open and freely flowing and it will truly reach every single person for whom it has been opened…every single person ever born since Adam. Hallelujah!!!

Related Article on Matt Slick and CARM:

Universalism and CARM
Matt Slick's Slick Double Talk


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