If we were only permitted to use God's means of grace - prayer, Bible-reading, church attendance, etc. - when we could do so perfectly, why would the result be that the means of grace would never be used?
If ye then, being evil, know' how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?
- Luke 11:13
"I do not believe that unregenerated people can pray properly," Mr. Fenton stated. "Therefore, it is wrong to tell them to pray. Their prayer displeases the Lord."
"I agree with the first part of your statement," Mr. Talbot replied, "for whatever is not done out of faith in, and love to, God is sin. For the unregenerate not to pray, however, is worse. To pray without true faith and love is a sin of heart, of motive; but the avoidance of prayer also lacks faith and love. Besides, it adds a sinful act of omission - disobeying God's command to pray. The first is an inward sin, the second both inward and outward."
"Mr. Fenton, I would like to ask you a few questions," Mr. Talbot continued. "Can an unregenerate person read the Bible, attend church, or sing psalms of praise to God properly? If not, are they to not read the Bible, attend church, or sing psalms?"
How would the mistaken reasoning of Mr. Fenton promote the false idea that the unregenerate should not use the means of grace, the very means through which God is pleased to regenerate sinners?