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Calvinism a Heretical Doctrine – That’s What the Bible Says!

Icon Zebra Icon75 Calvinism a Heretical Doctrine   Thats What the Bible Says!
bibleimage2 Calvinism a Heretical Doctrine   Thats What the Bible Says!Note:  Articles posted by DTW are not an endorsement of the author, their website, ministry or any links therein. Readers are cautioned to use discernment at all times and test everything by the Word of God. 

[DTW note: Please note that Prof Johan Malan makes distinction between Hyper Calvinism and Moderate Calvinism.  There is no such thing, you can't be 'hyper' Elect and 'moderately' Elect.  Calvinists believe they are Elect, full stop.  Calvinism is Calvinism. You can't pull apart the petals of TULIP and have a 1 point, 2 point or 3 point Calvinist;  all the petals are intertwined and based around Limited Atonement (Predestination).

A warning  as well that the Prof Malan believes that you can lose your salvation: Prof Johan Malan – A Gospel of Works – Losing your Salvation (Part 1)  and  Prof Johan Malan – A Gospel of Works – Losing your Salvation (Part 2)  and he also believes in the false teaching of Lordship salvation Prof Johan Malan – A Gospel of Works – The Error of Lordship Salvation (Part 3)  This forms part of the Holiness movement, where you work really hard at being really holy through your own strength, instead of relying on the Holy Spirit for your sanctification.   

Prof Malan believes in PERSEVERANCE of the Saints, where you have to persevere to be holy otherwise you will lose your salvation.  Prof Malan is an Arminian, the more modern name for this would be a Methodist.]

Calvinism Refuted from the Bible

by Prof. Johan Malan, University of Limpopo, South Africa (posted January 2006)    [Note: Permission received to publish this article in full]

Scripture references, unless stated otherwise, are from the New King James Version.

South Africa, since its beginning as the small Cape of Good Hope Dutch colony in 1652, has been strongly under the influence of Calvinistic (Reformed) churches planted here by colonists from the Netherlands. Calvinism became so firmly entrenched here that, for centuries, the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), largest of the three Dutch-derived Reformed churches, functioned as a virtual state church. It was rare for candidates who did not belong to the DRC or one of its two sister churches to get senior positions in government. All churches outside these denominations were openly branded as sects.

For over 300 years, public opinion in South Africa on religious matters was shaped by Calvinistic dogma. Communication with God was formal and structured, and via liturgical rituals within the church establishment. The ordained ministers with their special titles and ecclesiastical robes were elevated above the laity and preached from imposing, raised pulpits that looked like thrones, which symbolised the absolute authority of God’s word. Church buildings were equally imposing (compare this with the simplicity of the early Christians, who met in each other’s homes, Acts 12:12; Rom. 16:5). These cathedral-like structures with their high towers, monuments to human pride, still dominate the landscape of most towns and cities, where one of the main streets is usually called Church Street. A clear statement is thus made that the authority of the church is stamped on that community.

Ministers are regarded as specially anointed dispensers of divine grace who have the sole right to administer the sacraments of infant baptism and Holy Communion, and also to preach God’s word. They are strictly bound to Calvinistic confessions and resist anything to the contrary. The belief in predestination is so strong that all the baptised and confirmed members of the church are regarded as the elect of God. Their children are automatically among the elect, and once baptised (soon after birth) they are covenant children who can never be snatched from God’s hand.

Mercifully, God’s word later enlightens some of those whom this powerful religious system has kept in spiritual bondage and darkness, and they discover they have been victims of a humanly-imposed form of godliness (the “traditions of men,” Matt. 15:9). If they then surrender themselves to the Lord to be truly born again, the DRC establishment criticises them for alleged sectarian influence and warns them not to say anything that would reflect badly on the church and its dogma. Should they then take the next step, as the New Testament requires, and be baptised as believers (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38), they are almost always expelled from the church on the grounds that they have broken the covenant that was concluded between God and them at their “infant baptism” (a form of baptism found nowhere in the Bible). They are not as harshly treated as the Anabaptists were at Calvin’s hands, but in principle the contempt and utter rejection meted out is the same.

However, there were times when the gospel message was proclaimed from some of the Reformed pulpits in such a way that many people were saved. An appeal was made to church members to commit their lives to Christ for salvation, without assigning special significance to infant baptism other than a pledge by the parents to raise their children in the fear of the Lord. The preachers in this category were so-called one-point Calvinists (see below). Some of them, like Andrew Murray, admitted they were strongly influenced by John Wesley and other revival preachers on the subject of sanctification. Premillennial views were also advanced during the early part of the 20th century, but these were later questioned and rejected by a stronger group of amillennial theologians. The “better times” were those when the doctrines of Calvinism were not strongly adhered to.

We are now living in postmodern times when former religious dogmas, political ideologies, and cultural traditions are questioned and openly abandoned by many people. Ours is a highly confusing phase of the world history, when conformity is a rapidly vanishing phenomenon. Tradition has lost its grip on society and everyone does as he or she pleases. Human freedom has wide parameters and very few people now follow biblical principles and conservative values. Most churches in South Africa are struggling to survive and, in line with the prevailing postmodern trend, try hard to be less prescriptive, less offensive and more user-friendly.

So far has the “mystery of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2:7) advanced that what was unthinkable just 20 years ago has happened: the DRC has stopped condemning the sin of homosexuality and now embraces the Reformation’s mortal enemy, the Roman Catholic Church! What is more, the high pulpits have been replaced by platforms where modern bands can perform their loud music and be joined by hip preachers who appear in informal dress and present a watered-down gospel message.

Biblical studies copy editor and former South African, Eldo Barkhuizen, who now lives in England, in a personal communication to me, comments on the present approach and less doctrinal style of preaching (widespread in the UK as well): “You don’t hear much teaching about hell or holiness anymore. But you never stop hearing about God’s love and grace, about how special we are to Him. Modern Christianity has quietly buried the cross, and now everything is peach blossoms and sunshine, with not a cloud in sight. Oh yes, and don’t forget – God wants us all to be wealthy as well! After all, we’re King’s Kids.”

Despite all these changes and modern fads, theological dogmas are still observed by the older generation, although in a more tolerant and compromising way. We still need to know what the errors and dangers of Calvinism, Roman Catholicism and other “commandments of men” are (Matt. 15:8-9). We also have to be conscious of unbiblical identity movements such as British Israelism, which are gaining a large following in postmodern society where the boundaries of the old order are rapidly disappearing. If all options are open in a postmodern society, we certainly have the right to observe evangelical orthodoxy. Let us stand up for the truth and be counted.

We now turn to Calvinism, the single most influential dogma in South Africa, which has captivated millions of our people in a theological worldview that has blinded them to the biblical gospel.

The errors of Calvinism

Calvinism is a false religious system that offers a spiritual foundation of sinking sand to the unsaved. Tragically, together with the related systems of Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism, it features prominently among the growing ranks of nominal Christians. Clearly an extension of the Old Testament concept of Israel as the chosen people of God, it sees its adherents as a people chosen, saved and eternally sustained by God.

The “new Israel” is perceived to be the product of unilateral decisions and acts of God in which the free will of man plays no role. Calvin said that by His eternal providence God elected some people to salvation while dooming others to perpetual destruction. The following are the basic tenets of Calvinism’s doctrine of salvation (reflected by the acronym TULIP). They are exhaustively discussed in Dave Hunt’s book, What love is this? Calvinism’s misrepresentation of God (Sisters, Oregon: Loyal Publishing, 2002).

1. Total depravity. Most Christian doctrines recognise the moral and spiritual depravity of humanity due to the Fall. However, Calvinism contends that humans, who are all fallen, are so depraved that they will not turn to God and consequently cannot take a decision to this effect. God must first intervene by regenerating the hearts of His elect, after which faith will be bestowed upon them to enable them to repent. According to Calvin, regeneration occurs during infant baptism when an eternal covenant relationship is entered into with God. In the lives of the elect and born-again believers, repentance is not associated with the transition from darkness to light, but as an ongoing process. The sins of which believers have to repent are determined by the church, which is also the dispenser of God’s grace through its sacraments such as baptism and Holy Communion. Should the church decide that practices such as homosexuality, smoking, gambling and the use of alcohol are not inherently sinful, believers need not repent of them. Christ’s holiness is imputed to them without a clear personal obligation to sanctification.

Comments: In the Old Testament, even the chosen people, Israel, had to use their free will to make decisions whether or not to obey and follow God (Josh. 24:15; Isa. 55:6-7). Most of them perished because they preferred a life of sin and thus made the wrong choice (1 Cor. 10:5). Although “covenant children,” they did not believe what was preached to them (Heb. 4:1-2). It is true that depraved people do not search for God until they are spiritually awakened by His calling them to salvation (Isa. 1:18; Matt. 9:13; 11:28; Luke 19:10). An awakened sinner who has heard the call to salvation realises that he is lost and is also informed of the solution to this problem. He must now make a decision whether to resist God’s call or to yield to it by repenting and accepting the Lord Jesus as his Saviour (Heb. 3:7-8; Eph. 5:14). Although God commands the sinner, in his own interest, to be saved (Acts 17:30) He forces nobody (Matt. 23:37). “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17 KJV; my emphasis).

2. Unconditional election. Calvinism tenaciously clings to the unbiblical premise that God has foreordained some people to heaven and others to hell. Before the foundation of the earth He, according to this view, compiled a “good luck list” for the elect and a “tough luck list” for the lost. Too bad if your name is on the latter list, because God will not regenerate your heart and bestow His grace upon you. You are a doomed soul and will suffer everlasting punishment because of your persistent sinning. This situation cannot be changed. According to the Bible, the overwhelming majority of people are among the lost (Matt. 7:13-14), which, according to Calvinism, means God loves only a minority of humanity.

Comments: God has foreknowledge of the choices all people have made (and will make), but He never foreordained anybody to heaven or hell. God is a God of love. He loves all people and “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). The next verse says, He will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31), which means the unsaved have wilfully decided to continue their rebellion against the God of infinite love by refusing to repent. How else could they be held accountable for their lack of repentance? If only the elect’s hearts are regenerated, and only the born-again can believe and repent, there is no point in judging those to whom the gift of salvation was purposely withheld. It is a gross insult to God to allege that He does not want all people to be saved (cf. 2 Pet. 3:9).

3. Limited atonement. In keeping with their view that God elected only certain people, Calvinists say Christ died only for this select group to make atonement for their sins. The rest of humanity are without God, without hope, and without the remotest possibility of salvation. To them, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8) was not a sacrifice for all the sinful and spiritually lost descendants of Adam – only for some.

Comments: Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world (John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:19), including those people who lived before His incarnation and crucifixion. They embraced the promise of the coming Messiah (Heb. 11:13) but brought imperfect sacrifices for their sins, foreshadowing the once-for-all sacrifice of God’s perfect Lamb (Heb. 10:1-10). Christ is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). He did not only die for the elect, but made atonement for the sins of all people on earth, thereby opening the way to anyone for forgiveness and eternal life: “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Scripture explicitly states that God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4), “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

Those who are lost are in this position because they love darkness more than the light (John 3:19). The Jews who rejected the Messiah were among the elect, the chosen people, Israel. Jesus Christ “came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11). Only those who received Him in faith and repented of their sins were born again to become children of God (John 1:12). In the New Testament, all people are elected and called to salvation. Only a small group respond positively to the invitation to salvation, and in Christ Jesus they are indeed among the elect. Having had the foreknowledge of all who would receive Him as Saviour, the Lord Jesus ordained them to live holy, fruitful lives before Him and to serve Him in whatever way chosen by Him (Eph. 1:4-5).

4. Irresistible grace. Calvinists say, God will, through His Holy Spirit, take hold of those people who are already in a covenant relationship with Him by virtue of their election and infant baptism. They are like robots manipulated by God, as they do not act of their own volition but only do what God has already worked in their hearts to do. His sovereign decisions and foreordaining are the critical factors in their salvation, and believers put their faith in them. Having always been among the elect, Calvinists believe it is wrong to testify of ever having been lost, under the judgements of God, and in need of salvation that will bring them out of darkness into God’s marvellous light.

Comments: The very nature of God’s work of grace is that He does not use any coercion as He wishes to be freely loved by those who follow Him. That is the reason why the unsaved (whether of the chosen people or not) can harden their hearts and resist the Holy Spirit who wants to lead them to repentance (Acts 7:51). There is no possibility of grace being irresistible. The Holy Spirit strives with people by convicting them of their sins and the righteousness of Christ (John 16:8), but leaves it up to them to react to these convictions. Even after salvation the saved can grieve the Holy Spirit if they do not follow His guidance (Eph. 4:30). Paul warns the Thessalonians not to quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19), thereby underscoring the fact that Christians still have a free will and should learn to know and obey the perfect will of God (Rom. 12:1-2).

5. Perseverance of the saints. This principle also rests on the Calvinistic idea that humans have no free will: that if God has contemplated our salvation, provided for it and imputed it in an irresistible way, He will also keep us from ever being snatched from His hand. So, Christ will persevere on our behalf, thereby guaranteeing our eternal security. Calvinists absolutely reject the idea of backsliding and falling from grace, as they believe God unconditionally imputed the perfect life of His Son to Christians, thereby continuously atoning and nullifying any sins they may commit.

Comments: The Bible teaches otherwise. All God’s blessings and works of grace are conditional. We must repent and confess our sins if we wish to be saved (1 John 1:9). After our salvation we must abide in Christ and persevere in holiness and faith, thereby living under the blood (1 John 1:7). What happens if we sever this relationship? Then, backsliding, even to the point of falling from grace, may occur. There are two parties in this relationship and we need to remain faithful if we wish to enjoy the benefits of God’s uninterrupted presence in our lives. We must “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” (Heb. 3:6). If we wilfully reject it, we abandon our faith and end up in spiritual ruin. Paul admonished Timothy to hold a fast grip on faith and a good conscience, “which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck” (1 Tim. 1:19). The Living Bible correctly paraphrases this verse as follows: “Cling tightly to your faith in Christ and always keep your conscience clear, doing what you know is right. For some people have disobeyed their consciences and have deliberately done what they knew was wrong. It isn’t surprising that soon they lost their faith in Christ after defying God like that.” The assurance given in John 10:28-29 that no one will snatch the believers from Christ’s hand, confirms the fact that no person from outside (not even the devil) will be able to sever our relationship with Christ if we abide in Him. But the condition for these promises is stated in verse 27: we must persevere in hearing His voice and following Him. If we don’t abide in Him, we run the risk of becoming castaways: “Abide in Me and I in you… If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:4,6).

One-point Calvinists

There are many so-called evangelical or moderate Calvinists who reject the doctrines of predestination, limited atonement, irresistible grace and a form of depravity that precludes decision-making between good and evil; but such people nevertheless identify with point five, which teaches eternal security. Is a 20% Calvinist truly a Calvinist? No, but this is an anomalous situation. The five points of Calvin are interlinked and cannot rationally be separated. They are all based upon the notion of a disabled or completely distorted human will and its alleged substitution by God’s counsel for all people.

Do people not have a faculty of a free will that would enable them to choose between good and evil – and are Christians restrained from taking wrong and even fatal decisions after salvation? Certainly not! As mortals we have a human body with the possibility of being tempted to do immoral things, we have limited knowledge and can be deceived to depart from the truth, and during this dispensation we have a very dangerous and shrewd spiritual enemy to contend with (Eph. 6:11-12). Only when we have new bodies in heaven, and have perfect knowledge (1 Cor. 13:12), when even the remembrance of sin and suffering is blotted out from our minds (Rev. 21:4), and Satan, our arch enemy, is forever held in the lake of fire, will we be free from the possibility of sinning against God.

Despite these facts, many people still uphold point five of Calvin. Even Dave Hunt, who masterfully refutes Calvinism’s first four points, faltered when he got to point five by denying that Christians can act in ways which can cause their falling from grace.   In his book he says he always regarded himself as a one-point Calvinist until he discovered that he has different reasons for believing in eternal security (ibid, p. 377). He explains that, according to him, eternal security lies in Christ’s atoning work on the cross and He gives eternal life to those who believe in Him. It is indeed eternal salvation imputed to us when we receive Christ, but we have it only as long as we abide in Him. Eternal life is not vested in us but in Jesus Christ, who ever calls His disciples to faithfulness. What happens if we backslide into a life of wilful sinning, no longer walking in the light and turning back to a life of unbelief? What about those who “have forsaken the right way and gone astray” (2 Pet. 2:15), having again become entangled in the pollutions of the world after their salvation? (2 Pet. 2:20). What they lose is not temporal but eternal salvation.  

[DTW Note:  Prof Malan calls Dave Hunt a 1 Point Calvinists by not understanding the doctrine of TULIP, please see this article to understand why Dave Hunt and everyone else who believes in Eternal Security is not a 1 point Calvinist, but it is in fact Prof Malan who is a 1 point Calvinist as he believes in PERSEVERANCE of the Saints.  See article:  The DIFFERENCE Between Assurance of Salvation (Once Saved, Always Saved) and CALVINISM'S Perseverance of the Saints (Once CHOSEN, Always CHOSEN.]

The problem with the doctrine of eternal security is that it undermines counting the cost of discipleship and weakens the urgency of sanctification as a means to remaining true to Christ and averting backsliding. We must “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that is set before us… You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Heb. 12:1,4).

The Dallas Theological Seminary also subscribes to Calvin’s fifth point. However, in their commentary (Bible Knowledge Commentary, edited by Profs. Walvoord & Zuck) they allowed Zane C. Hodges the liberty of being led by the facts at hand and to come to a contradictory conclusion in the exegesis of the following passage:

“Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking diligently less anyone should fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up should cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there by any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterwards, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears” (Heb. 12:14-17).

Zane Hodges comments as follows on this passage, in which it is concluded that the lives of Christians who do what Esau did may end in a state of apostasy, thereby denying Calvin’s fifth point:

“Peace with all men as well as personal holiness must be vigorously sought since without holiness no one will see the Lord. Since no sin can stand in God’s presence, Christians must – and will be – sinless when they see the Lord (cf. 1 John 3:2). That realisation offers motivation for pursuing holiness here and now. But the author may also have had in mind the thought that one’s perception of God even now is conditioned by his real measure of holiness (Matt. 5:8). As a grim reminder of what can happen among believers, the writer warned that one who misses the grace of God may become like a bitter root whose infidelity to God affects others. Here the author had in mind Deuteronomy 29:18 where an Old Covenant apostate was called a root that produces bitter poison: ‘so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness.’ Such a person would be godless (profane, unhallowed, desecrated) like Esau, Jacob’s brother, whose loose and profane character led him to sell his inheritance rights as the oldest son for the temporary gratification of a single meal. He warned the readers not to yield to transitory pressures and forfeit their inheritances. If some did, they would ultimately regret the foolish step and might find their inheritance privileges irrevocably lost as were Esau’s. This would of course be true of one who ended his Christian experience in a state of apostasy, which the writer had continually warned against.”

The most common reason for serious backsliding is wilful sinning: “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily… lest one of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Heb. 3:12-14). The prodigal son was lured away from his father’s house by the sins and pleasures of the world. During the time of his wanderings he was spiritually dead and lost (Luke 15:32) but he was again restored to his father’s favour after repenting and humbling himself.

Christians also fall from grace when they accept doctrinal errors. Paul said to defectors in Galatia, “You have become estranged from Christ… you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4; cf. 1:8). There were also people in Corinth whose minds were corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3-4). The Holy Spirit warns us this will be common in the end-time (1 Tim. 4:1). There will be preachers “who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them” (2 Pet. 2:1). Many former evangelical preachers now openly deny the deity and virgin birth of the Lord Jesus and preach fables instead of the truth (2 Tim. 4:3-4). They brazenly change the Word of God, either through using corrupt Bible versions or by their heretical preaching. Although such were once saved, the Lord Jesus will remove their names from the book of life (Rev. 22:19). But this will never happen to the “overcomers”: “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the book of life” (Rev. 3:5).

But who are these overcomers? Simply put, Christians victorious in the spiritual battlefield – who conquer the enemy, prevail over their own fleshly desires, and master all difficulties. In short, those who remain true to the Lord Jesus, even to the point of death. To this end we have the power of the Holy Spirit in the form of various spiritual weapons: “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-11). To overcome, therefore, means to obey the rules of the Christian race (1 Cor. 9:24), to use all the means at our disposal (2 Tim. 3:16-17), to refrain from sinning (1 John 2:1) and to endure to the end (Heb. 12:1).

Paul says, “Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside” (1 Cor. 9:27 LB). The KJV says that such a person may become a “castaway”. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). However, the Lord is always there to protect, motivate and empower us to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12), but we must remain faithful and thereby become spiritually strong (Eph. 4:13-14). “You therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:17-18).

Calvin’s fifth point cannot stand the scriptural test and, like the preceding four, is not worthy of serious consideration and support – not even in a revised form.

The real father of Calvinism

When considering the fallacious doctrines of Calvin we should keep in mind that he merely reproduced and further refined doctrines advanced more than a millennium earlier by the church father Augustine (354-430). He has the dubious honour of being regarded as the highest theological authority by both the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Reformers such as Calvin and Luther. Dave Hunt rightly says that Calvin’s brand of Christianity “was without a doubt an expansion upon Augustinianism… A basic foundation of this new religious system… was an extremist view of God’s sovereignty which denied the human will, and considered the church to be God’s kingdom on earth – both views inspired by Augustine’s writings” (ibid, pp. 38,40).

Augustine lived when the western Roman Empire was breaking up. It was the fall of the western empire with its seat in Rome that led him to write his famous book The City of God. Here he expressed the view that the Church, as the City of God, is destined to rule the world and that it will never collapse. To him, the period between the first and second coming of Christ is the kingdom dispensation when the church will effectively rule the world. He also formulated the doctrine of salvation by the Church only, by means of sacraments such as infant baptism. His outward view of the Church as an earthly organization led him to seek outward, material means for preserving, and even compelling, visible unity.

Edmunt Broadbent quotes Augustine as follows: “The Lord Himself said, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in’ (Luke 14:23).  Wherefore is the power which the church has received by divine appointment in its due season, through the religious character and faith of kings, be the instrument by which those who are found in the highways and hedges – that is, in heresies and schisms – are compelled to come in, then let them not find fault with being compelled” (The Pilgrim Church, Grand Rapids, MI: Gospel Folio Press,1999 p. 49).

Broadbent comments on this statement: “Such teaching, from such an authority, incited and justified those methods of persecution by which papal Rome equalled the cruelties of pagan Rome. So a man of strong affections… departing from the principles of Scripture… became implicated in a vast and ruthless system of persecution” (ibid, pp. 49-50). Calvin followed suit, established a state church and persecuted those who would not abide by his doctrines and refused to accept the authority of the church. He even had many people executed who, in terms of his own preconceived ideas, were heretics, and he justified these acts until his death.

Being an amillennialist who equated the church dispensation with the future kingdom dispensation, Augustine was a replacement theologian who spiritualised various biblical concepts by ascribing other meanings to them to fit them into his own frame of reference. The Church replaced Israel, and was assigned a mission to conquer and rule the world, which would be completely taken over under the leadership of dynamic spiritual leaders (dominionism or reconstructionism). Prophecies on end-time apostasy, a great tribulation and the revelation of the Antichrist were interpreted historically by confining their fulfilment to first-century events under the rule of Nero.

Dominionism

Augustine and Calvin were grossly in error by assuming that Christ’s kingdom must be visibly established on earth before His Second Coming, even if it calls for very harsh forms of coercion. The ecclesiastical dominionism that typified their kingdom theology was a direct assault on the spiritual nature of our relationship with Christ, being completely in opposition to evangelical Christianity. They foiled the demands of the gospel which leads us to repentance and a new birth that alone renders us members of Christ’s spiritual kingdom. Instead, they baptise infants who cannot believe and repent, so as to become members of the visible church. Infants are not sanctified by baptism but by the faith of either or both of their parents (1 Cor. 7:14) until such time when they can understand the gospel and give their hearts to Christ in faith. Only then is the time for baptism. No coercion of any form can be justified from Scripture.

Furthermore, the church has no command to establish dominion over the nations by compelling them to become part of the Kingdom of God on earth. Sarah Leslie (on www.discernment-ministries.org) defines kingdom theology as follows:

“The gospel of salvation is achieved by setting up the ‘Kingdom of God’ as a literal and physical kingdom to be ‘advanced’ on Earth in the present age. Some dominionists liken the New Testament Kingdom to the Old Testament Israel in ways that justify taking up the sword, or other methods of punitive judgement, to war against enemies of their kingdom. Dominionists teach that men can be coerced or compelled to enter the Kingdom. They assign to the Church duties and rights that belong Scripturally only to Jesus Christ” (emphasis by the author).

According to Sarah Leslie, the correct gospel perspective is as follows:

“The gospel of salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross. The emphasis is placed upon repentance and conversion of individual souls. The kingdom of God in this age is spiritual and grows through efforts of evangelism based on teaching the Bible. It is ‘not of this world’ (John 18:36), but spiritual rule in the hearts of men (Luke 17:20-21). Furthermore, the Kingdom of God is only finally realised upon Christ’s Second Coming to Earth, where He Himself establishes His literal and physical reign” (emphasis by the author).

The dark side of Calvinism’s hero

Calvin willingly perpetuated Augustine’s distorted, humanly conceived dogma and used the kingdom-type powers assigned to the church as the manifestation of God’s kingdom on earth. Many of his adversaries paid with their lives for opposing him and his state church. The “vast and ruthless system of persecution” Augustine’s theology provided was not only used as justification for the “holy wars” waged by the Catholic Church but also for the oppression, torture and murder of countless evangelical Christians who dared to order their spiritual lives in ways that brought them into conflict with Calvin and his accomplices. The most notorious murder was the execution of the saintly Michael Servetus:

“Michael Servetus, Spanish physician and theologian whose unorthodox teachings led to his condemnation as a heretic by both Protestants and Roman Catholics and to his execution by Calvinists from Geneva… In [his] book, Servetus argued that both God the Father and Christ His Son had been dishonoured by the Constantinian promulgation of the Nicene Creed, thus obscuring the redemptive role of Christ and bringing about the fall of the church. Servetus felt he could restore the church by separating it from the state and by using only those theological formulations that could be proved from Scripture and the pre-Constantinian fathers… [Servetus was] tried for heresy from August 14 to October 25, 1553. Calvin played a prominent part in the trial and pressed for execution… Despite his intense biblicism and his wholly Christocentric view of the universe, Servetus was found guilty of heresy, mainly on his views of the Trinity and baptism. He was burned alive at Champel on October 27. His execution produced a Protestant controversy on imposing the death penalty for heresy [and] drew severe criticism upon John Calvin…” (Servetus, Michael, in: The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1990. Volume 10, p. 654).

“Michael Servetus… found that the expression of his opinions, which finally came to include a denial of infant baptism and of original sin, was as obnoxious to the Protestants as to the Catholics… On August 13, 1553, he was arrested in Geneva by the magistrates on a charge of blasphemy and heresy… Calvin being especially urgent and emphatic on the necessity for putting Servetus to death. Indeed, Calvin had indicated earlier that if Servetus came to Geneva, he would do his best to prevent him from leaving alive” (Servetus, Michael, in: The Encyclopedia Americana: International Edition, 1992. Volume 24 p. 584).

“Let it be noted that the Calvinists of Geneva put half-green wood around the feet of Servetus and a wreath strewn with sulphur on his head. It took over thirty minutes to render him lifeless in such a fire, while the people of Geneva stood around to watch him suffer and slowly die! … ‘Mercy, mercy! Jesus, Son of the eternal God, have mercy on me!’ the tormented man cried in the midst of the flames” (www.evangelicaloutreach.org/ashes.htm)

It is astonishing and almost unthinkable how deceived and heretical people can become after deviating from biblical truth and becoming followers of men. Christ said: “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:9). It is not surprising that such people justify violent means of establishing and extending God’s kingdom. Matthew Henry said, “Christ never intended that His gospel should be propagated by fire and sword or His righteousness wrought by the wrath of man… Christ’s victories are by the power of His gospel and grace over spiritual enemies.”

The legacy lives on

A dominating and virtually unmodified Augustinian heritage is reflected in the creeds of both the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches. They have so much in common that one can rightfully question much of the theological rationale for the Reformation. It is evident that the corrupt practices of the Vatican, rather than purely theological issues, were among the major motivating factors for the Reformation. From a theological point of view, the Reformation was half-baked, incomplete and quite unacceptable to many evangelical believers. Dave Hunt says: “While condemning Romanism as false, [Calvin] carried over into Protestantism much of her structure and false views, such as infant baptism, a clergy with special powers and efficacy of sacraments performed only by such clergy” (ibid, p. 37).

You always encounter two major problems when daring to oppose Calvinism. The first is that your misgivings call into question not only Calvin’s integrity, but  also that of the mighty church establishment that once ruled nations, governments and multitudes of their citizens. Your probing questions also provoke the dignity of the learned clergy. How dare you as a tiny “lay person” be as presumptuous as to attack this giant with all its might and influence?

The other problem is that the basic tenets of Calvinism’s doctrine of salvation (the TULIP scheme) are so closely interlinked that if just one of them falls, the whole house of cards collapses! Man is completely stripped of his faculty of a free will, and everything that happens to him is related to God’s sovereign counsel before the foundation of the world. No compromise is made on this position, and all else is described as heresy and human works. Efforts to reform Calvinism are always vehemently opposed.

Jacob Arminius (1560-1609) was one of the theologians who had to leave the Calvinistic establishment after discovering its errors as an insider. Broadbent says: “Brought up under the influence of Calvin’s teaching, Arminius – acknowledged by all as a man of spotless character, in ability and learning unexcelled – was chosen to write in defense of Calvinism of the less extreme kind, which was felt to be endangered by the attacks made upon it. Studying the subject, however, he came to see that much that he had held was indefensible; that it made God the author of sin, set limits to His saving grace, left the majority of mankind without hope or possibility of salvation. He saw from the Scriptures that the atoning work of Christ was for all, and that man’s freedom of choice is a part of the divine decree… His statement of what he had come to believe involved him personally in conflicts which so affected his spirit as to shorten his life. His teaching took a vivid and evangelical form later, in the Methodist revival” (ibid, p. 255). To Arminius, it was impossible to reconcile Calvinism with the true gospel message. God used his testimony in a mighty way and his legacy lives on.

Was Spurgeon a Calvinist?  

[DTW note:  Absolutey, and anyone who says differently has not studied the man's teachings in full.  Every Calvinist that is alive today and from yesteryear upholds Spurgeon as being a Calvinist - they can't all be wrong now can they? No.  The problem with Spurgeon is he spoke out of both sides of his mouth, his spoke a double gospel message to entrap the masses to Calvinism.  If you want to know the real Spurgeon, read this article: Charles Haddon Spurgeon: The Prince of Preachers]

There are many true believers in Calvinist churches but this phenomenon cannot in the least be attributed to the truth of Calvinism’s doctrine of salvation. These believers have either discovered the truth during their own Bible study, in the reading of evangelical literature or in sermons of Calvinist preachers who do not subscribe to covenant theology and its reliance on infant baptism. Such preachers are not true Calvinists.

One of the great 19th century evangelical preachers in England, Charles Spurgeon, wrongly described himself as a Calvinist and is still mentioned by Calvinists as an example of the evangelical fervour their doctrine can produce. The following quotes highlight Spurgeon’s position:

“I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines that are called by nickname Calvinism” (Spurgeon’s Sovereign Grace Sermons, Still Waters Revival Books, p. 170).

“Jesus died only for His elect” (New Park Street Pulpit, 1856).

“He who in his soul believes that man of his own free will turns to God, cannot have been taught of God” (Free will a slave, 1855).

“I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ… I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, ‘You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself’” (Sermons, Vol. 3, p. 130).

“The human will is so desperately depraved, so inclined to everything that is evil… that without the powerful, supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no human will ever be constrained toward Christ” (Sermons, Vol. 4, p.139).

However, ironically, Spurgeon’s efforts to reconcile the gospel message with Calvinism were completely unconvincing and at variance with his preaching:

  • He was a Baptist who only baptised believers. He completely rejected covenant theology and its associated practice of infant baptism. If he had lived in Switzerland during the time of Calvin he might have been executed as a heretic.
  • He was a premillennialist, who insisted on a literal interpretation of the Bible. He rejected the idea that we are presently in the kingdom dispensation in which God intends to rule the world through the church. He clearly stated that, after the Second Coming, the saints will rule the world for one thousand years with Christ.
  • He consistently made an appeal to people’s will to receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and never even vaguely implied that their justification could be related to any sacraments of the church. Although he formally denied the notion of a free will, he always pleaded with sinners to consider their awful fate and turn to Christ for salvation.
  • He often reminded sinners that their negligence might lead to their eternal damnation. Why then did he not tell them they were not among the elect if they refuse to be saved, that God excluded them from His plan of salvation, that He predestined their sinful acts by deciding not to save them, that He will condemn them to the lake of fire in accordance with His eternal counsel, and that He will accept the responsibility for their lost state?
  • He was often confronted with the hard reality of man’s free will and implicitly admitted it by saying, “A man is not saved against his will, but he is made willing by the operation of the Holy Ghost” (Sermons, Vol. 10, p. 309). That is no proof of Calvin’s belief in irresistible grace, but man making a free choice in response to God’s call which is extended to all people.

A foundational concept of Spurgeon’s eschatology was his belief in a literal and physical resurrection of believers and unbelievers. Throughout his ministry he presented the truth that there would be separate resurrections of the just and unjust – the resurrection of the just before the millennium and the unjust after the millennium. He took issue with amillennialists who spiritualised the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth: “We expect a reigning Christ on earth; that seems to us to be very plain, and put so literally that we dare not spiritualise it” (Things to Come, 15:329). He also stated the fact clearly that Israel would be restored to their land, and he therefore did not practise the now-common replacement theology of Calvin (The Harvest and Vintage, 50:553).

The following excerpt from Spurgeon’s sermon on the second resurrection clearly emphasises his strong appeal to the lost by holding them accountable for their own destiny (New Park Street Chapel, 17.2.1856). God did not foreordain their downfall – they must decide for themselves where they want to spend eternity:

“Oh! poor sinner, if I saw thee going into the inquisitor’s den to be tormented, would I not beg of thee to stop ere thou shouldst put thy foot upon the threshold? And now I am talking to you of things that are real… I tell thee sinner, that those eyes that now look on lust shall look on miseries that shall vex and torment thee. Those ears which now thou lendest to hear the song of blasphemy, shall hear moans, and groans, and horrid sounds, such as only the damned know. That very throat down which thou pourest drink shall be filled with fire. Those very lips and arms of thine will be tortured all at once… How wilt thou bear thyself when thou shalt be loathsome with every kind of disease, leprous, palsied, black, rotten, thy bones aching, thy marrow quivering, every limb thou hast filled with pain; thy body a temple of demons, and a channel of miseries. And will ye march blindly on? As the ox goeth to the slaughter, and the sheep licketh the butcher’s knife, so is it with many of you. Sirs, you are living without Christ, many of you; you are self-righteous and ungodly. One of you is going out this afternoon to take his day’s pleasure; another is a fornicator in secret; another can cheat his neighbour; another can now and then curse God; another comes to this chapel, but in secret he is a drunkard; another prates about godliness, and God knows he is a wretched hypocrite. What will ye do in that day when ye stand before your Maker? It is a little thing to have your minister upbraid you now; it is a small thing to be judged of man’s judgment; what will ye do when God shall thunder out not your accusation, but your condemnation, ‘Depart ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels?’ … You listen to me now unmoved; it will be harder work when death gets hold of you and you lie roasting in the fire. Now you despise Christ; you will not despise Him then… O my hearers! the wrath to come! the wrath to come! the wrath to come. Who among you can dwell with devouring fire? Who among you can dwell with everlasting burnings? Can you, sir? Can you? Can you abide the flame for ever? ‘Oh, no,’ sayest thou, ‘what can I do to be saved?’ Hear thou what Christ hath to say, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ ‘He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned.’ ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’”

Wilful sinning and unbelief are the causes of people’s damnation – not predestination of one or other kind.

The debate continues

The debate on Calvinism continues unabated. After the publishing of Dave Hunt’s book on Calvinism in 2002, new impetus was given to this debate. Since that time many questions asked by Calvinists were poignantly and honestly answered in Dave’s magazine, The Berean Call (TBC). The following are some of his most recent reponses (TBC kindly granted permission to reproduce these excerpts from Dave’s answers):

In The Berean Call of September 2005, Dave responded to the following question: “Is it possible for someone who believes only in the soteriology of Calvinism to be saved? Specifically, that God has to first change a person’s heart.” He said:

“…there are many shades and colours of Calvinists. Like Lutherans, many but not all Calvinists have been baptised as babies. They believe, and did many of their parents, that infant baptism saves. Calvin even declared that the children of the elect are themselves automatically among the elect – and whether one’s parents were elected or not, if one was baptised as a baby, even by an unsaved Catholic priest, that act made one a child of God. ‘Confirmation’ only confirms this delusion. Obviously, anyone believing such a false ‘gospel’ is not saved.

“Rejection of infant baptism for salvation was one of the two charges brought by Calvin as the prosecuting attorney and for which Servetus (only one of dozens executed for alleged heresy in Geneva under Calvin) was convicted and burned at the stake. Calvin was never baptised as a believer after his separation from the Catholic Church but opposed such baptism as ‘heresy worthy of death.’ Surely a multitude of Calvinists have been led into hell by following Calvin’s teaching that infant baptism marks one as among the ‘elect,’ just as circumcision marked male Israelites as among God’s chosen people.

“One can easily see the relationship between ‘infant baptism saves without believing the gospel,’ later to be ‘confirmed,’ and the teaching that the elect are regenerated by God without even knowing it and then given faith to believe the gospel as a sovereign gift in order to be saved without any act of their own will. Is this a false gospel? Of course it is! The Bible repeatedly emphasises that salvation is for ‘whosoever will’ (Deut. 18:19; Ezra 7:26; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:5,24; Rev. 22:17, etc.). Man must come to God of his own free will and offer himself willingly…

“We are regenerated by believing in Christ. But Calvinism insists upon regeneration before one believes – a ‘regeneration’ that gives life without believing the gospel! Are we regenerated twice? Without believing the gospel, there is no new birth, no life in Christ, so Calvinism’s ‘regeneration’ as a prerequisite for receiving the gift of faith from God in order to believe the gospel is unquestionably heresy.

“Ah, but we are ‘dead in trespasses and in sins,’ quotes the Calvinist to justify this doctrine… If the spiritually dead cannot hear, understand and believe the gospel, but first must be regenerated, then the entire Bible becomes nonsense. God’s countless appeals to mankind to repent and come to Him are a mockery if those to whom He speaks are dead and cannot hear – if they are totally depraved and cannot repent and turn to Him without the grace He withholds while blaming them for not repenting. The dozens of verses in which God commands all mankind to seek Him and in which He promises that all who seek Him with all their hearts will find Him – these become a mockery if the unsaved cannot seek God and if He only extends the grace to seek Him to an ‘elect.’ God pleads endlessly through His prophets not only for Israel to repent but declares, ‘Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth’ (Isa. 45:22)…

“All [people] sin and are condemned, and all need salvation. According to Calvinism, God could save everyone if He so desired, but chooses to save only some, i.e., whoever is save and whoever is lost is because God willed it, not because they chose. [Calvinists] believe in a God who deliberately damns millions (perhaps billions) whom He could save if He so desired. This is the issue. Calvinism maligns God’s character, making Him less loving than He requires us to be!

“We are clearly told that He ‘will have all men to be saved’ (1 Tim. 2:4)… Commenting upon this passage, John MacArthur attempts to justify Calvinism by saying (in his study Bible) that God has two wills in conflict, a will of desire and a will of decree: He wills for all to be saved but doesn’t decree it! So God frustrates His own will? Amazing!”

A gospel that cannot save

In The Berean Call of Dec. 05, Dave Hunt received the following question: “Do you really believe what you said in TBC of September 2005 that those who only believe the false gospel of Calvinism are not saved?” His answer was as follows:

“The original question was, ‘Is it possible for someone who believes only in the soteriology of Calvin to be saved?’ As I said in my response, there are many Calvinists who were saved before they became Calvinists or who have believed the true gospel in spite of their Calvinism – but those who only know the false gospel of Calvinism are not saved. If all one believes is that infant baptism saves, as Calvin taught (and which is the case with many Calvinists) one is certainly not saved. If a person believes that he was saved through infant baptism, how is it possible for him, without relinquishing that false belief, to truly be saved by believing the gospel? He has no need of the true gospel, having already been forgiven his sins and made a child of God through infant baptism. He may affirm at his confirmation that Christ died for his sins, but he still believes that the benefit of that sacrifice came to him through infant baptism long before his ‘confirmation’ of this lie.

“How could that false faith save? If it does, then the many former Catholics, Lutherans, and Presbyterians who realised they weren’t saved through their infant baptism, and who put their faith in Christ, were born again, and then baptised as believers, have been deluded. But they would vehemently deny that they were saved all the time in spite of their faith in infant baptism! And they would reject Calvin himself as an ‘ex-Catholic’ because he continued to rely upon his infant baptism for salvation, he declared that being baptised as a baby was the sure way of knowing one was among the elect, he opposed those who got saved and were then baptised, he banned the Anabaptists from Geneva in 1537, and he even had some burned at the stake for this belief.

“Am I denying that Calvin was saved? No, only God knew his heart. But if all he believed was (as he taught) that Christ died only for the elect, and that his infant baptism into the Roman Catholic Church proved that he was one of the elect, then he never got saved no matter how eloquently he wrote about Christ’s sufferings on the Cross for our sins.

“If all one believes is that one has no choice – that it is God who causes some to believe and not others, and that one must be unwittingly regenerated by Him and only then faith to believe the gospel – how can such a person make a genuine choice to believe in Christ? How could that person, consistent with this Calvinist belief, ever have the assurance offered in 1 John 5:13? No matter how simple and strong his faith in Christ may seem to be, how could he be certain that such ‘faith in Christ’ was truly given to him by God after He had regenerated him?

“If all one believes is that Christ died only for the elect but not for all – how can that person be certain that Christ died for him and that his faith in Christ is not presumption? How can he believe the true gospel that “if any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink… let him that is athirst come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (John 7:37; Rev. 22:17), if he really believes that he is totally depraved and unable either to hear the invitation or respond to it? Calvin even said that God gives a false sense of assurance to the non-elect the better to damn them. If one’s most basic belief denies the very assurance Scripture offers, how can it be said that one believes the gospel promise of “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31)?

“That a person may believe the true gospel and thus be truly saved in spite of believing the false gospel of Calvinism may be possible. But I don’t see how one could sort out the fact that contradictory beliefs were being held. What does one really believe?”

Predestination?

Dave Hunt (TBC, Dec. 05) was also asked, “How can a non-Calvinist explain 2 Thess. 2:13? Isn’t it quite conclusive that those to whom Paul wrote had been ‘chosen [unto] salvation’ – i.e., predestined to heaven?” He replied:

“That scripture states, ‘God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.’ Does that mean that they had been predestined for heaven? Absolutely not.

“The clear message of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation is that all mankind have been ‘chosen to salvation’ by the God who would ‘have all men saved…’ (1 Tim. 2:4), who is ‘the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe’ (4:10), and whose Son ‘gave Himself a ransom for all’ (2:6). The fact that one has been chosen to salvation does not mean that one has been predestined for heaven, but that one is a sinner, and all sinners have the opportunity to believe the gospel – which most refuse to do.

“Christ said to His disciples, ‘Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas… that should betray Him’ (John 6:70-71). Clearly, the fact that Judas was one of those chosen to be a disciple did not guarantee that he would fulfil that calling. He was morally responsible to follow Christ by faith. Through his own choice he did not do so and is now in hell.

“The same biblical truth is demonstrated also in Israel: ‘The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself…’ (Deut. 7:6). That ‘choosing’ did not automatically assure that every physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would necessarily live the part. Unfortunately, Israel as a whole did not fulfil that calling but went into sin, and God had to cast her out of the land [cf. 1 Cor. 10:1-12 – ed.].

“From these and other scriptures, it is clear that being ‘chosen’ to salvation does not bring salvation: one must still believe the gospel in order to be saved. That fact is further made clear by the rest of the verse: ‘through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.’ Though ‘chosen to salvation,’ the means of salvation is not the choosing by God, but it is the individual’s belief of the truth.”

Distortion of God’s love

Dave Hunt (ibid, bl. 414) makes the following concluding remarks in his book:

“My heart has been broken by Calvinism’s misrepresentation of the God of the Bible whom I love, and for the excuse this has given atheists not to believe in Him. My sincere and earnest desire in writing this book has been to defend God’s character against the libel that denies His love for all and insists that He does not make salvation available to all because He does want all to be saved. It is my prayer that readers will recognize that Christian authors and leaders, ancient or modern and no matter how well respected, are all fallible and that God’s Word is our only authority. God’s Word declares that the gospel, which is ‘the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth’ Rom. 1:16), is ‘good tidings of great joy,’ not just to certain elect, but ‘to all people’ (Luke 2:10). Sadly, the insistence that only a select few have been elected to salvation is not ‘good tidings of great joy to all people’! How can such a doctrine be biblical?”

Tim LaHaye, co-author of the Left Behind Series, comments as follows on Dave Hunt’s book:

“To suggest that the merciful, longsuffering, gracious and loving God of the Bible would invent a dreadful doctrine like Calvinism, which would have us believe it is an act of ‘grace’ to select only certain people for heaven and, by exclusion, others for hell, comes perilously close to blasphemy. And that is why I congratulate Dave Hunt for writing this excellent clarification of the doctrine that has its roots more in Greek humanism, from where it originated, than is does in Scripture. This book could well be the most important book written in the twenty-first century for all evangelical Christians to read. It will help you know and love the real God of the Bible who clearly says of Himself, ‘It is not My will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.’ Calvinism is a far cry from the Bible who loves mankind so much that He sent His only Son to save whosoever calls on Him for mercy in the name of His resurrected Son, Jesus Christ. Every evangelical minister should read this book. If they did, we would see a mighty revival of soul-winning passion that would turn this world upside down as multitudes saw the real God of the Bible, not the false God of Augustinianism and Calvinism.”

The truth will make you free

God’s Word is the truth and we must search it to find the truth pertaining to all matters related to our faith. “There is no one righteous, no, not one… there is no one who does good, no, not one… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:10,12,23,24). All the members of the entire human race are sinners who urgently need God’s saving grace. “For God so loved the [entire inhabited] world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

Why does He make this strong appeal of repentance to “all men everywhere”? “For there is no partiality with God” (Rom. 2:11).

Peter, who initially thought that salvation is a gift of God only to the elect (Israel), soon changed his mind on this subject: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35). Please note that it is not those that were already accepted by God through election who repented and feared Him. He accepts any people from Israel and the Gentile world who diligently seek Him.

That only means one thing: God calls all people everywhere to repentance and faith in His Son, thereby giving them the choice between life and death. Those who wilfully reject the offer of salvation will be punished in hell and have only themselves to blame. “If you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity” (Ezek. 33:9). The wicked will not die because they were not among the elect but because they refused the offer of salvation. “God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil” (A.W. Tozer: The Knowledge of the Holy).

When we are saved, we become disciples of the Lord Jesus alone, who is our Saviour and faithful High Priest. We should not blindly follow fallible human ‘priests’ with their denominational creeds and unbiblical teachings, no matter how famous and popular they are. Many of them are “blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matt. 15:14). Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).  He said: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). Everybody in the whole world is invited to this new and living way.

Perseverance

We should persevere on the way of the Lord. When we do it we will never have any doubts on our spiritual lives, nor any fear that we would consciously resist or quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19). Why must we take such a strong stand against Calvin’s fifth point, which teaches that believers can never fall from grace? Firstly, because we should ensure that we make progress on the way of sanctification (Phil. 3:10-12; Eph. 4:13) by observing the principle that there is no room for spiritual deception and other sins in our lives (1 John 2:1; Eph. 4:27). Secondly, we must be able to realise the full extent of backsliders’ problems and guard against giving them false hopes on salvation when they may be in an advanced stage of apostatising.

The Calvinist, Arthur Pink, made the following sober remarks on the promise in John 10:27-28, which is taken by many of his fellow Calvinists as an assurance of unconditional eternal security: “There is a deadly and damnable heresy being widely propagated today to the effect that, if a sinner accepts Christ as his personal Saviour, no matter how he lives afterwards, he cannot perish. That is a satanic lie, for it is at direct variance with the teaching of the Word of Truth. Something more than believing in Christ is necessary to ensure the soul’s reaching heaven. ‘If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed’ (John 8:31). The Amplified Bible says: ‘If you abide in My Word – hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them – you are truly My disciples.’

“’My sheep,’ said Christ, ‘hear [heed, obey] My voice… and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they [those who plainly evidence themselves to be of His sheep by yielding to His authority and following the example which He has left them – and none others] shall never perish’ (John 10:27-28). It is not honest to generalise the promise of verse 28, as it must be restricted to the characters described in verse 27! These conditions are confirmed by other Scriptures. Paul says that through His death Christ will present us holy, blameless and irreproachable in His sight, ‘if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel’ (Col. 1:22-23). ‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised it is faithful’ (Heb. 10:23). There is a very real need to pray for persevering grace, both for ourselves and for our brethren.”

Arthur Pink was severely criticised by other Calvinists for defining perseverance of the saints in such a way that it places a responsibility on believers to diligently keep on following the Lord to the end. According to them, a Christian will go to heaven even if he backslides and falls into sin. According to their unbiblical teaching, imputed righteousness relieves you from all human efforts to live a holy and worthy life. However, Paul said that although he, as a Christian, competed in the spiritual race, that did not guarantee him a victorious finish. He held out the possibility that even he might be disqualified (1 Cor. 9:27).

The eternal security that the Lord Jesus offers us is conditional. We need to repent, confess our sins and accept the Lord Jesus as our Saviour to become born again children of God. After our salvation we must live holy, dedicated lives by always remaining faithful to Christ. If we don’t persevere on the way of holiness and true discipleship there is a very real danger of being deceived by Satan and ending up as backsliders. Please consider the following examples:

Corinth: Paul was deeply disappointed by the carnal members of the congregation in Corinth (1 Cor. 3:1-3), who had no discernment and easily fell prey to Satan’s deception: “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I might present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you put up with it well” (2 Cor. 11:2-4). False teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ were presented under the influence of deceiving spirits, and most of the church members naively accepted it.

Ephesus: The Ephesians received stern warnings from Paul, but evidently did not heed them: “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29-30). A generation later, the entire congregation has apostatised and were called to repentance by Christ (Rev. 2:4-5).

Galatia: The Galatians have backslidden into a legalistic form of religion in which Christ’s work of atonement was not regarded to be sufficient for salvation. Paul strongly reprimanded them for going backwards (Gal. 3:1-3). They ended up as backslidden, carnal believers who were at risk of falling from grace (Gal. 5:4).

Hebrew believers: Many of the Hebrew Christians lost their faith because of unbelief and sin (Heb. 3:12-13). Others stagnated and apostatised due to their lack of spiritual growth (Heb. 5:12-13). Because of this they remained unsure of their salvation, repenting time and again without growing up to spiritual maturity (Heb. 6:1).

Pergamos: The compromise that the church in Pergamos made with the secular world has inevitably given rise to disloyalty and infidelity among members (Rev. 2:14). Many of the modern churches have also been lured into various practices of fornication with the non-Christian religions, as well as moral impurity.

Thyatira: The church in Thyatira was characterised by false teachings and sexual immorality. Many of the modern churches are equally guilty of these sins as false teachings are proliferating, while sexual immorality, including homosexuality, is openly tolerated and even accepted. Churches who share these characteristics have backslidden so far that they have fallen from grace. They will miss the rapture and end up in the tribulation period as worshippers of the Antichrist (Rev. 2:20-22). A number of modern churches  may have made a good start but are now standing in front of the gates of Sodom while transforming themselves according to the principles of the antichristian new world order.

The Lord Jesus issued the following warnings to nominal and backslidden churches:

  • The lampstand of churches that only have a form of godliness will be removed by Him, which means that His Holy Spirit will depart from them (Rev. 2:5).
  • Churches that compromised with the world will be judged by the Word of God because they were untrue to the living Word, Jesus Christ (Rev. 2:16).
  • Backslidden churches that accepted doctrines of demons will end up in the great tribulation unless they repent of their deeds (Rev. 2:22).
  • The Lord Jesus says that He withdraws Himself completely from churches that are characterised by spiritual lukewarmness because of materialism and self-justification (Rev. 3:16-17).

True Christians must fulfil their commission on earth while enduring relentless attacks from a world that lies under the sway of the Wicked One, and also from false churches that only have a form of godliness. This is a superhuman assignment that cannot be executed without the gracious and enabling power of the Holy Spirit and also not without a clear disposition of perseverance on the narrow way of the Lord until He comes again. In spite of their little strength in this dispensation (Rev. 3:8), true disciples of Jesus Christ will be fed with heavenly manna and be strengthened for the struggle.

We should never give up because of fierce opposition by withdrawing from “the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). Observe the example of Jesus: “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Heb. 12:3-4).

“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Heb. 10:36-39).

Are you an overcomer who perseveres on the way of the Lord? Jesus Christ said: “Behold, I come quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Rev. 3:11). In the light of His sudden coming, we are exhorted to hold fast what we have, lest our crown be robbed from us by the enemy. Everyone who overcomes will be a pillar in the temple of God (Rev. 3:12), which is symbolic of the permanent place in heaven of true believers who overcame.

Before being exiled to Patmos, John warned the believers against backsliding and losing their reward in heaven: “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward” (2 John v.8). We effectively have to resist false doctrines and moral corruption if we wish to remain true to the doctrine of Christ.

“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John v.9). Profs. Walvoord & Zuck (The Bible Knowledge Commentary) say the following on this Scripture:

“These words suggest strongly that the apostle was thinking here of defection from the truth by those who had once held to it. The word ‘continue’ (Greek meno) has been used 23 times in 1 John in reference to the ‘abiding’ life. A person who does not continue in a thing has evidently once been in it. The New Testament writers were realists about the possibility of true Christians falling prey to heresy and warned about it, particularly in the book Hebrews. John had just cautioned his readers about possible loss of reward (v.8). They were thus now cautioned not to overstep the boundaries of sound doctrine, but to remain where they were, and to abide (continue) in the teaching on Christ. To deviate from the truth is to leave God behind. God is not with a person who does so. What such a person does, he does without God.”

Source: www.bibleguidance.co.za/Engarticles/Dave.htm

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pixel Calvinism a Heretical Doctrine   Thats What the Bible Says!

161 comments to Calvinism a Heretical Doctrine – That’s What the Bible Says!

  • Elmarie A

    Researcher Extraordinaire????? Nooo really ??? lol

    Thanks for placing this Debs.

  • hector

    this is a great article. I think is one of the best ive read so far.

  • Valerie

    Deborah,

    I thought you said on another post that you believe in Eternal Security, but Prof. Johan Malan seems to be Arminian to me.

    I have struggled on this issue and I used to firmly believe in the Eternal Security of the Believer, but I do see the possibility of someone shipwrecking their faith and if they stop trusting in the atoning work of Christ, could fall from Grace. This is such an important issue!

    I think part of the confusion is when the Calvinist might argue well then how much do you have to sin in order to loose your salvation. They are missing the point.

    The sin in a persons life only serves to put a wedge in his faith and the more a person sins, the harder their heart becomes and they take their eyes and focus off of Christ. The sin is what LEADS one into final apostasy, but for the one who sins seventy times seven and repents there is always forgiveness.

    But, it is not even a matter of unconfessed sin, as much as willful sin that is done in rebellion to the Lord and without remorse. We must be diligent to continue firmly in the faith.

    So the bottom line for me is that we are not saved YET. It is a promise, but it is not yet. That is why we walk in faith now. Just as the Old Testament saints were able to look forward in Faith to the work of Messiah. In God’s economy the ressurection was sure and nothing could stop it, so our salvation is sure as well, but it has not occured yet in time.

    I look forward to reading your comments on Eternal Security.
    Blessings

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Valerie

    I am not Arminian either.

    I think the big thing to understand regarding Eternal Security is this. Is the person saved to begin with? This once saved always saved idea has gone and taken something so simple and plundered it. So everyone who raises their hands at an alter call of sorts thinks they are saved are now secure. But no one knows who is saved and who isn’t except for God – He knows everyone’s hearts. I know I am truly saved. And I know this because even though I still sin, I ask Him constantly for forgiveness. My my love for Him is to stay on the right track always.

    So, let’s take Billy Graham for instance. He has lost the plot completely. Was he really saved to begin with? hmmm.. the plot thickens :)

    >> The sin in a persons life only serves to put a wedge in his faith and the more a person sins, the harder their heart becomes and they take their eyes and focus off of Christ. The sin is what LEADS one into final apostasy, but for the one who sins seventy times seven and repents there is always forgiveness.

    Exactly. And who would want to ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness? Only a truly born again Child of God who still and will always have the Holy Spirit abiding in them and will bring them back through conviction of sin. If there is no conviction, there is no Holy Spirit.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Valrie

    Our salvation will be complete when we are with Jesus Christ. But that has got nothing to do with Eternal security.

  • Andrew Williams

    I am not a Calvinist and object to it not just because its five points are incompatible with the Bible (in my view), but also because oppresive practices frequently go hand-in-hand with it. Whilst the author mentioned that Calvinism was part of the South African establishment in previous years, I’m surprised that he didn’t add that it was also used to provide a theological justification for apartheid.

    I’m pleased that the issue with unconditional election was mentioned, as the seldom-discussed implication of this is that God creates people who are destined to go to hell and have no hope of salvation. That’s not the behaviour of a loving God who longs that none should perish.

    On the other hand, I didn’t feel that the repeated mentions of infant baptism were helpful. There are plenty of Calvinists who reject infant baptism and would view it as unscriptural and meaningless. There is a strong Calvinist/Reformed tradition in the Baptist church, for example.

    However, I’m not sure I would go so far as to describe Calvinism as heresy, or question whether Calvinists are true Christians. In the first instance, the Calvinist/Reformed camp can respond to all the arguments used in this article and can quote scripture after scripture to support their case. I think heresy is too strong a term given that it is a mainstream and historic school of christian theology. They use the same language about non-calvinists and I don’t think that mutual insults are the right way to handle legitimate theological differences. Secondly, whilst I’m sure that not all Calvinists are truly saved, the same is true for all other branches of the church. The Calvinists I’ve met have been sincere bible-believing Christians who love the Lord, and it’s rather disrespectful to suggest that their churches are full of false converts.

    But it was a great article and one that I have bookmarked for future reference. Many thanks for sharing it.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Andrew

    It think this article is a very good starting point to work things out clearly.

    Regarding your statement: “Im not sure I would go so far as to describe Calvinism as heresy, or question whether Calvinists are true Christians”

    The doctrine is heretical, BUT DON’T get me wrong: are there truly born again Christians under the Calvinist label? OF COURSE YES! ….. Gosh I fell KIND OF fell under this group until a few weeks back. By ‘kind of’ I mean that they seemed the most biblical of the lot and worst part is they still are on everything else, except when it comes to the the message of ‘salvation’. I didn’t however care for this TULIP thing as it didn’t concern me. HOWEVER, now that I have found out what it really means, I can no longer support Calvinism at all anymore.

    So, just as there were many born again Christians under the WoF movement back in the day, there are still millions of genuinely saved Christians under Calvinism.

    The issue is, we are in the last days, and God is telling us to come out of these institutions (if we can call them that) because they are all swiftly moving in the direction of Rome.

    Lastly, regarding apartheid… hmmm a mixture to be honest of Calvinism and replacement theology and other downright disgusting beliefs. But then there is a side aspect that the government was also fighting communism. So there is more to this story than what the world led everyone to believe. Now we have a semi-communist country and no one blinks and eye. So me thinks; let’s leave the politics out of this discussion.

    Regarding infant-baptism. Agree, very few believe in this.

  • Burning Lamp

    I agree the article perhsps overstated the issue of infant baptism, and yet it needs to be pointed out that Calvin believed in this while most of the prominent sectors of modern day Calvinist/Reformed do not.

    The article has many good points but in my opinion is flawed because of the discussion on Point 5 – IMHO Dave Hunt did not falter on this as stated by the author. Dave explained the distinction quite clearly. The author is clearly confused about Eternal Security of the believer. It is not a license to sin. Sin has consequences, but it does not affect our eternal destiny if one is truly saved. God says He chastens those who are His children. If you are His child and you make a sinful choice, you will come under the discipline of the Lord because you are His and have been bought with a price. We have been adopted and in that culture adoption was more binding than natural. At conversion we are SEALED unto redemption – He is the Author and Finiaher of our faith!! How sad that this author does not grasp that!! This is a precious truth that is so often misunderstood. Jesus died for our sins, past, present and FUTURE. When He accepted us into the beloved, He knew ALL about what sins we would commit in the future!

    Where is that imaginary line, the point of no return for the backslider? And if he crosses that point, is there hope for him? If he is “unsaved” does he have to “get re-saved”?

    The Bible talks about the sin unto death. Does this not mean that if a believer falls into a state of sin that God will prematurely call him home?

    I hope that a proper treatment of the doctrine of eternal security will be posted to clear this up.

  • Grant C

    Andrew

    Could I suggest (if you have not already done so), please take a look at two other postings on this blog: 1) British-Israelism and 2) Siener van Rensburg en die Boerevolk, by the same author. Those articles will clearly define the political thinking you refer to.

    Let us know what you think…

  • Grant C

    Valerie

    I have struggled on this issue and I used to firmly believe in the Eternal Security of the Believer, but I do see the possibility of someone shipwrecking their faith and if they stop trusting in the atoning work of Christ, could fall from Grace. This is such an important issue!

    I think Deborah puts the question into perfect perspective in her response:

    I think the big thing to understand regarding Eternal Security is this. Is the person saved to begin with? This once saved always saved idea has gone and taken something so simple and plundered it. So everyone who raises their hands at an alter call of sorts thinks they are saved are now secure. But no one knows who is saved and who isn’t except for God – He knows everyone’s hearts. I know I am truly saved. And I know this because even though I still sin, I ask Him constantly for forgiveness. My my love for Him is to stay on the right track always.

    You speak about the Eternal Security of the Believer. As Deborah points out, I think the operative word here is “Believer”. If one was truly saved, and a TRUE BELIEVER, one could not lose that salvation. Not because of the Calvinist take on the matter, but simply because Jesus died once for all. If we were truly saved and a true believer at one time, and we could become “unsaved” and lose that security, it stands to reason that Jesus would have to die again to save us again.

    Therefore see: 1 John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”

    Also consider the Eternal Security of those that are with Jesus in the eternal state (after physical death), as also a continuation of the same truly secure state. As in:

    John 6:35, 37, 39 – 40 (Amplified Bible)
    35Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst any more (at any time).
    37All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me].
    39And this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should not lose any of all that He has given Me, but that I should give new life and raise [them all] up at the last day.
    40For this is My Father’s will and His purpose, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day.

    I thought you said on another post that you believe in Eternal Security, but Prof. Johan Malan seems to be Arminian to me.

    When one considers the scope and content of all Prof. Johan Malan’s teachings, it should become evident that he certainly is neither Calvinist nor Arminian. Particularly clear when you read his teachings on salvation.

  • Elmarie A

    Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Our salvation will be complete when we are with Jesus Christ. But that has got nothing to do with Eternal security.

    Yes I agree with you 100%

    I have posted Prof Johan Malan’s article called From Darkness to the Light, God’s Plan of Salvation.

    It could be of help for for quite allot of readers.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Burning Lamp

    It is not a license to sin. Sin has consequences, but it does not affect our eternal destiny if one is truly saved. God says He chastens those who are His children. If you are His child and you make a sinful choice, you will come under the discipline of the Lord because you are His and have been bought with a price. We have been adopted and in that culture adoption was more binding than natural. At conversion we are SEALED unto redemption – He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!! How sad that this author does not grasp that!! This is a precious truth that is so often misunderstood. Jesus died for our sins, past, present and FUTURE. When He accepted us into the beloved, He knew ALL about what sins we would commit in the future!

    Yip, yip I second that one. Can you do me a favour and write an little piece that I can add to the article below that clears this part up nicely? Add it to the comments section and the I will paste it into the article itelf. I’ve read so many articles on this calvinism thing and every one of them has a problem so, let this be our ‘fix up those errors once and for all’ project.

  • Burning Lamp

    Will be glad to do – get back to ya in a day or so. Want to be sure to back up with proper scriptures, etc. Studying Ephesians – our heavenly heritage, now and future! AWESOME!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Burning Lamp

    YAY! Thank you!

  • Andrew Williams

    Deborah,

    Again I’m going to pick up on your statement “The doctrine (calvinism) is heretical”.

    I am not a calvinist and I have very big problems with it. But to label it as heresy and, by implication, those who subscribe to it as heretics is going to far. It is not a respectful way to refer to your brothers and sisters in the Lord.

    As I said before, we need to find a better way of resolving our theological differences beyond saying that those we disagree with are heretics. It does not bring glory to God when different branches of His body insult the others in such a manner. I say the same thing to calvinists who think that arminians (or any other non-calvinists) are heretics.

    Most modern calvinists would distance themselves from the oppressive culture described in the article. Calvinism is not like the prosperity gospel or hyper-charismaticism – it has evolved as a theological system through the work of real christians who were just seeking to study the Bible and understand the things of God. They were (and still are) not deceivers or fraudsters.

    What we have at the moment is the following sorry situation:

    * Calvinists say Arminians are heretics
    * Arminians say Calvinists are heretics

    Take a step back and ask yourself what this looks like. Pathetic and juvenile are the words that come to my mind.

    There is little future for the church unless we can find a better way of discussing things – after all, the above situation is deadlocked with no hope of progress.

    Let me finish with a passage of scripture – Ephesians 4:1-6

    As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called — one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Andrew

    Repeat: I never said Calvinists were HERETICS. I said the DOCTRINE of CALVINISM is HERETICAL. Big Difference. And do NOT twist my words.

    What you would like me to call a doctrine that deliberately destroys the message of salvation to ensure that souls are lost to hell?

    >> There is little future for the church unless we can find a better way of discussing things – after all, the above situation is deadlocked with no hope of progress.

    This sounds like a very unity driven statement, change a few things here, shift a few things there so everyone can be happy – except for Jesus Christ WHO COMMANDS you to abide by HIS commandments.

    Ok, let’s be biblical here. Would you be happier if I said, “Calvinism a Doctrine of Demons?”

    Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils”

    All of a sudden the word heresy sounds quite good compared to doctrine of devils/demons.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Andrew

    What we have at the moment is the following sorry situation:

    * Calvinists say Arminians are heretics
    * Arminians say Calvinists are heretics

    Take a step back and ask yourself what this looks like. Pathetic and juvenile are the words that come to my mind.

    Lastly… (as AN EXAMPLE) are you a calvinist? baptist? methodist? charismatic? pentecostal? or a BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN? I don’t see anything juvenile and pathetic with that question. I have never classified myself under any of these names, but I did find generous amounts of good solid teaching under Calvinism etc. But am I any one of them? NO. I am a born again Christian. You may however call yourself what ever you want too.

  • Elmarie A

    I came to this Scripture last night in my Bible reading in Gal 3. I want to share with you.

    We must not allow that these false doctrines cast a spell over us and bewitch us please people. Don’t pull things apart it has no use for Jesus, it only hurts the One Jesus we all love dearly and are all awaiting in anticipation for.

    I just feel that if we dig to deep into who’s doctrine is correct and who’s is faulty we will be caught up into being bewitched. This is real. Get to know the basic dangers on where the doctrines are wrong, and move away from it. There can be no use to shred every doctrine apart, it keeps us away from what God really want us do do while here on earth to do His work. Spread the Gospel. Time is short, don’t get caught sleeping. God does not want us to shred bad doctrines apart, but only discern and take note.

    The article that Prof Malan wrote was purely to warn us about this. I thank Prof for this. Read the article and make the decision whether you accept what is said or not. See whether it is helpful to yourself as an individual. Make sure you are led by the Holy Spirit. If you don’t accept what Prof explains so well and clear, move on please don’t pull his article to pieces. I personally have great respect for Prof as he is still of the sooooo very Few biblical theologians who have not fallen prey to the dark forces. I pray daily for Prof as he needs our prayers earnestly to stay strong and fight the good fight.

    When I requested Doborah to place this article that I posted, I knew she would moderate before placing, knowing Deborah by what she places on this blog, she only places articles that she has been led to by the Holy Spirit to place and warn the church about. That is why we have watchmen placed on the walls by God. That is where God found Deborah to work for him. May God keep on His working in using Her for more and more warnings. That is my prayer for Debs.

    I have again an urgent request to all who comment here, please only comment with positiveness and not negative as being negative will cause one to fall into sin. Prof Malan was placed there for us by God to learn from, his teachings are still pure and Biblical.

    Galatians 3 (Amplified Bible)
    1O YOU poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom–right before your very eyes–Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified?

    2Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the [Holy] Spirit as the result of obeying the Law and doing its works, or was it by hearing [the message of the Gospel] and believing [it]? [Was it from observing a law of rituals or from a message of faith?]

    3Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh?

    4Have you suffered so many things and experienced so much all for nothing (to no purpose)–if it really is to no purpose and in vain?

    5Then does He Who supplies you with His marvelous [Holy] Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you do so on [the grounds of your doing] what the Law demands, or because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message that you heard?

    6Thus Abraham believed in and adhered to and trusted in and relied on God, and it was reckoned and placed to his account and credited as righteousness (as conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action).(A)

    7Know and understand that it is [really] the people [who live] by faith who are [the true] sons of Abraham.

    8And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify (declare righteous, put in right standing with Himself) the Gentiles in consequence of faith, proclaimed the Gospel [foretelling the glad tidings of a Savior long beforehand] to Abraham in the promise, saying, In you shall all the nations [of the earth] be blessed.(B)

    9So then, those who are people of faith are blessed and made happy and favored by God [as partners in fellowship] with the believing and trusting Abraham.

    10And all who depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by all the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them.(C)

    11Now it is evident that no person is justified (declared righteous and brought into right standing with God) through the Law, for the Scripture says, The man in right standing with God [the just, the righteous] shall live by and out of faith and he who through and by faith is declared righteous and in right standing with God shall live.(D)

    12But the Law does not rest on faith [does not require faith, has nothing to do with faith], for it itself says, He who does them [the things prescribed by the Law] shall live by them [not by faith].(E)

    13Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified);(F)

    14To the end that through [their receiving] Christ Jesus, the blessing [promised] to Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, so that we through faith might [all] receive [the realization of] the promise of the [Holy] Spirit.

    15To speak in terms of human relations, brethren, [if] even a man makes a last will and testament (a merely human covenant), no one sets it aside or makes it void or adds to it when once it has been drawn up and signed (ratified, confirmed).

    16Now the promises (covenants, agreements) were decreed and made to Abraham and his Seed (his Offspring, his Heir). He [God] does not say, And to seeds (descendants, heirs), as if referring to many persons, but, And to your Seed (your Descendant, your Heir), obviously referring to one individual, Who is [none other than] Christ (the Messiah).(G)

    17This is my argument: The Law, which began 430 years after the covenant [concerning the coming Messiah], does not and cannot annul the covenant previously established (ratified) by God, so as to abolish the promise and make it void.(H)

    18For if the inheritance [of the promise depends on observing] the Law [as these false teachers would like you to believe], it no longer [depends] on the promise; however, God gave it to Abraham [as a free gift solely] by virtue of His promise.

    19What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added [later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt] because of transgressions and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed (the Descendant, the Heir) should come, to and concerning Whom the promise had been made. And it [the Law] was arranged and ordained and appointed through the instrumentality of angels [and was given] by the hand (in the person) of a go-between [Moses, an intermediary person between God and man].

    20Now a go-between (intermediary) has to do with and implies more than one party [there can be no mediator with just one person]. Yet God is [only] one Person [and He was the sole party in giving that promise to Abraham. But the Law was a contract between two, God and Israel; its validity was dependent on both].

    21Is the Law then contrary and opposed to the promises of God? Of course not! For if a Law had been given which could confer [spiritual] life, then righteousness and right standing with God would certainly have come by Law.

    22But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him].

    23Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed),

    24So that the Law served [a][to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith.

    25But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer (the guardian of our childhood).

    26For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.

    27For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ.

    28There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male [b]and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    29And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham's Seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise.

  • Elmarie A

    Deborah (Discerning the World)

    I have never classified myself under any of these names, but I did find generous amounts of good solid teaching under Calvinism etc. But am I any one of them? NO. I am a born again Christian. You may however call yourself what ever you want too.

    I eco your words on classification.
    I agree with you that Calvinism etc have generous amounts of good solid teaching. One would not have been able to say that Debs, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit within us thank you. People must learn to get rid of labels, The Word of God has only one label for us and that is to be called a born again believer/christian.

  • Elmarie A

    Andrew Williams

    We are warned in the Word to be vigilant for those who teach Heretical doctrine and lets face it the basic doctrines all of them being Calvinist, Arminians or any other Ism for that matter, have some sort of heresy in them.

    Yes I agree It does not bring glory to God as I said above in my comment. Heretical doctrines can not be seen as part of the body of Jesus Christ. One can and may not tell people to accept each other and live together with Labels on. That is like telling one to live with a heathen is ok as long as you don’t do what the heathen does. noooooooo We are to turn away from this. People are to concentrate on the Word of God the Bible and the guidance of the holy spirit. agh im ecoing my words here….

    To call one a heretic is not a sin because that is what we must expose and move on. When we expose the heretics we must be dead sure before we expose them. The amazing thing is that we can see by their fruits who and what they are and that exposes them immediatly. Can you see how the Word teach us here.

    Please read all the verses below to see what it says in the Word of God about heretics and heresies .

    I am going to say this only once again STOP WITH THE LABELING OF PEOPLE YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH rather ask God for guidence and grow in Him and His word!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As I said before, we need to find a better way of resolving our theological differences beyond saying that those we disagree with are heretics. It does not bring glory to God when different branches of His body insult the others in such a manner. I say the same thing to calvinists who think that arminians (or any other non-calvinists) are heretics.

    Acts 24:14 (Amplified Bible)
    14But this I confess to you, however, that in accordance with the Way [of the Lord], which they call a [heretical, division-producing] sect, I worship (serve) the God of our fathers, still persuaded of the truth of and believing in and placing full confidence in everything laid down in the Law [of Moses] or written in the prophets;

    Galatians 5:20 (Amplified Bible)
    20Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies),

    2 Peter 2 (Amplified Bible)
    1 BUT ALSO [in those days] there arose false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among yourselves, who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines (destructive heresies), even denying and disowning the Master Who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

    This article above where placed there for those can find it help full and are seeking the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!But they must test it in a Biblical manner and with guidance of the Holy Spirit within them selves. eco eco eco

  • Andrew Williams

    Deborah.

    If you say Calvinism is a heretical doctrine, then you are also saying that Calvinists are heretics, because the definition of heretic is someone who believes a heretical doctrine. You can’t isolate the person from the doctrine.

    My views would be the same if you called it a “doctrine of demons”. That’s also no way to refer to the beliefs of fellow Christians.

    I’m not suggesting that people should abandon their deeply-held beliefs for the sake of unity.

    All I am saying is that we need to realise that there are legitimate differences in Biblical interpretation amongst Christians. We therefore need to have the humility to realise that all of us have an imperfect understanding of the Scriptures. The approach that “I’m right you’re wrong” needs to stop.

    So let’s go back to Calvinism. How do you know with 100% certainty that your views on this subject are correct? Could there not be at least some chance that you are wrong?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Andrew

    The approach that “I’m right you’re wrong” needs to stop.

    So I need to stop being right so you can be right? or? I can see a lingering ‘Emerging’ conversation come on.

    I actually saw this coming from your comment last night on the Chuck Misslers article… your comment was quite revealing. Anyhow…

    >> All I am saying is that we need to realise that there are legitimate differences in Biblical interpretation amongst Christians.

    There is ONE interpretation of scripture not many. Take it or leave it. Jesus only speaks ONE TRUTH. Do you think He would be that unkind and place more than one answer to a question, therefore mankind will still never know what the REAL answer is? There is one truth, one way and one life that this is Jesus Christ the Son of God.

  • Elmarie A

    Andrew Williams

    If you say Calvinism is a heretical doctrine, then you are also saying that Calvinists are heretics, because the definition of heretic is someone who believes a heretical doctrine. You can’t isolate the person from the doctrine.

    My views would be the same if you called it a “doctrine of demons”. That’s also no way to refer to the beliefs of fellow Christians.

    I’m not suggesting that people should abandon their deeply-held beliefs for the sake of unity.

    All I am saying is that we need to realise that there are legitimate differences in Biblical interpretation amongst Christians. We therefore need to have the humility to realise that all of us have an imperfect understanding of the Scriptures. The approach that “I’m right you’re wrong” needs to stop.

    So let’s go back to Calvinism. How do you know with 100% certainty that your views on this subject are correct? Could there not be at least some chance that you are wrong?

    Naaaaaaaah leave this out now, go read your Bible Andrew please!!! Are you trying to bewitch us here?? Did you read my comments on this below where I quoted: Galatians 3:10-29.

    Maybe you should start a website Andrew that goes back to where Calvinism started please

  • Robbie

    Andrew

    You said: *It is not a respectful way to refer to your brothers and sisters in the Lord*

    Jud 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
    Jud 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

    If you really care

  • Grant C

    Andrew

    All I am saying is that we need to realise that there are legitimate differences in Biblical interpretation amongst Christians. We therefore need to have the humility to realise that all of us have an imperfect understanding of the Scriptures. The approach that “I’m right you’re wrong” needs to stop.

    Absolute nonsense. Hogwash. Speak for yourself, Andrew. Legitimate differences cannot exist amongst Christians, and they don’t. Christians all agree on the correct interpretation. If you are not included in that understanding, then you best take a good hard look at your faith.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Andrew Williams, can you explain why you now contradict yourself?

    You said here:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    >> Submitted on 2010/04/09 at 2:33pm

    Thank you for posting these articles. I agree completely that Calvinism is a false teaching and it does immense harm to the gospel. I’ll try to add some comments to the other articles as you post them.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Is a legitimate difference like black and white?

    Just asking…

  • Andrew Williams

    I’m not sure we’re going to get anywhere, but here goes…

    Deborah,

    In saying that “I’m right you’re wrong” needs to stop, I’m referring to people on both sides on an argument. It’s not about me. I also now regret making my comment of April 9th saying that Calvinism is a false teaching – that language was far too strong and I have repented of it before the Lord. I should have said something like “I do not agree with the Calvinist interpretation of the Bible”.

    There may well be only one valid interpretation of scripture (but God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, so it could be something completely different to what any of us think), but the concept is of philosophical value only. It simply does not help us resolve differences between Christians in the real world, where both parties believe that the Bible says different and contradictory things, such as Calvinists and Arminians.

    Grant,

    I think you will struggle to find two Christians who agree on everything doctrinal detail, and if you are suggesting that those who don’t share your personal convictions are not Christians, then I think you need to stop being so judgemental.

    Here’s another area where Christians disagree – eschatology – premillenial, postmillenial, or amillenial, and all the versions thereof. Do you really think that someone who doesn’t agree with your understanding on this subject isn’t a Christian?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Andrew

    >> In saying that “I’m right you’re wrong” needs to stop, I’m referring to people on both sides on an argument. It’s not about me.

    ahhh ahahhaaha. Sorry, I forgot it was still about me and everyone who disagrees with you.

    >> I also now regret making my comment of April 9th saying that Calvinism is a false teaching – that language was far too strong and I have repented of it before the Lord. I should have said something like “I do not agree with the Calvinist interpretation of the Bible”.

    So would it be fair of me to then ask which interpretation you follow? Would be nice to know really… Cos there is only 1 TRUTH with I follow that is Jesus Christ the Son of God. You say there are many interpretations however Calvinism isn’t one of them – so which one is it? The universal one perhaps?

    >> There may well be only one valid interpretation of scripture (but God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, so it could be something completely different to what any of us think), but the concept is of philosophical value only. It simply does not help us resolve differences between Christians in the real world, where both parties believe that the Bible says different and contradictory things,

    No, wrong.

    >> I think you will struggle to find two Christians who agree on everything doctrinal detail, and if you are suggesting that those who don’t share your personal convictions are not Christians

    Ohh wrong again…

    >> Here’s another area where Christians disagree – eschatology – premillenial, postmillenial, or amillenial, and all the versions thereof. Do you really think that someone who doesn’t agree with your understanding on this subject isn’t a Christian?

    Oh nooo, wrong again. Eschatology has nothing to do with SALVATION. That’s the topic of conversation here – getting the message of SALVATION correct. Being Post-trib is not entirely a problem unless you are just really don’t wasn’t Jesus to come back sooner rather than later – I would consider that to be a real problem. Jesus tells us to look for Him, watch, pray and wait anxiously for His return. Amillenialism is an Augustine thing – Roman Catholic – so that is definitely wrong.

    Tell me Andrew do you believe Roman Catholics are christian? Since your first comment I was giving you an opportunity to say you are a born again Christian, but you haven’t? why? Let’s go a bit further back in your comments on this blog…

    Do you regret making this comment too?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Submitted on 2010/03/30 at 12:40pm
    http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/03/29/the-new-evangelical-evil-fit-for-a-new-dark-age/#comment-5879

    The author of this piece, David Cloud, is so far outside the mainstream of evangelical Christianity that his views are not shared by the majority of bible-believing christians, even conservative ones.

    Here’s one response. If you are to dismiss Billy Graham, as this article does, then by implication you have to write off every single person who became a Christian through his preaching. Furthermore you also have to ignore those people who became Christians through the witness of people converted through Billy Graham’s ministry. And so ad infinitum. I am simply not prepared to do that, not least because Billy Graham was an indirect contributor to my own coming to faith.

    Whilst there is some validity in Cloud’s views (and I wouldn’t deny that there are plenty of problems with contemporary evangelicalism), he writes as one who is trying to hold onto an approach to faith that peaked 100 years ago and has now been rejected by the majority of Christians.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Deborah (Discerning the World)
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:09 am
    http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/03/29/the-new-evangelical-evil-fit-for-a-new-dark-age/#comment-5925

    Andrew

    Not so. People can be saved because they searched for Jesus in their HEARTS not because Billy Graham saved them. Thousands of people were genuinely saved and still are genuinely saved from the Word of Faith movement because back then they still preached 99% truth. Now they are 99% false. And what does God say about the last days? That His message is going to be destroyed and if you are genuinely saved you will see that what was preached 50 years ago is no longer the Word of God and He tells you to GET OUT.

    So your comment is invalid. Who saves? Jesus Christ the Son of God and the BIBLES message of genuine salvation or Billy Graham? Do you totally understand that Jesus is the one who saves ONLY and not the preacher.

    Has the Holy Spirit not been active for the last 2000 years after Jesus said that He would come and abide in ALL those who seek Jesus Christ in all earnest? Or do you think the Holy Spirit stopped working in the last 100 years because David Cloud has exposed men who no longer obey God’s Word and have decided to follow false doctrine? No. The Holy Spirit is still here, and He lives in millions of REAL born again Christians.

    And right now, if you can’t see that the message of Christianity has been destroyed and is NO LONGER Biblical, then you have a problem and need to go and pick up your Bible and read it.

    You say, “…not least because Billy Graham was an indirect contributor to my own coming to faith.”

    Hmmm so Jesus Christ can not be given FULL credit for your faith? It was half of Billy Graham’s work that saved you. That’s not nice is it. Where is the Holy Spirit in your life then?

    Re-read what David Cloud said before you comment again. In fact don’t comment again until you have re-thought what you said in your comment.

    Btw, what’s up with everyone speaking Latin. ‘ad infinitum’ ?? Just like Rome, no one understands the false language she speaks. So let’s put this into English. Once saved always saved is what you mean? Ok, so let’s think about this logically. Who says the person was saved in the first place?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    And here is a comment from someone else to you:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Burning Lamp
    April 1st, 2010 at 7:14 am
    http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/03/29/the-new-evangelical-evil-fit-for-a-new-dark-age/#comment-5986

    Andrew, you sound like one of the folks who idolize BG and consider him an icon. To even suggest that if one criticizes BG that necessarily negates those who were saved at his crusades. What an insult to the Holy Spirit and our Lord Jesus Christ!

    Also, consider all the Roman Catholics who came forward only to be sent right back to the priests and nuns and the clutches of Roman Catholicism. BG has sold out the souls of these people to appease and defuse any opposition. Do you realize just how serious this is? Deliberately sending out the birds of Satan to snatch the seed and the precious souls for whom the Lord Jesus shed His blood. Any good that came out of the crusades can only be credited to the grace of God and the power of His Word and NOT BG.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This conversation sounds like the one we are having now. What part of our replies and questions are your just completely ignorning?

  • Elmarie A

    Andrew

    Here’s one of your responses.

    If you are to dismiss Billy Graham, as this article does, then by implication you have to write off every single person who became a Christian through his preaching. Furthermore you also have to ignore those people who became Christians through the witness of people converted through Billy Graham’s ministry. And so ad infinitum. I am simply not prepared to do that, not least because Billy Graham was an indirect contributor to my own coming to faith

    Andrew if you want support People like Billy Graham please go ahead and find his website and go make your comments there.The people who became christian through BG, will seriously have to make sure they are trully saved, (that is also the case with all the other false preacher/teachers) it could have been a false conversion. One can only warn someone about false conversion, then it is between God and that person.

    Billy Graham started the Lusanne movement, they are busy with the likes of Rick Warren to prepare the world for the One World church. They want to bring all the faiths together, as One? Why ? To one day worship the Anti-Christ.

    Andrew you seriously have take a look at your faith.
    No one is judgmental your fruits show you want to cause division on this blog.

  • Andrew Williams

    I don’t regret making any of my other comments!

    I have major concerns with many aspects of Roman Catholic doctrine which I do not see as being compatible with the Bible. However, I am not prepared to say that “Roman Catholics are not Christians” as, over the years, I have met a few Roman Catholics who are definitely Christians. I am happy to say “I suspect that the majority of Roman Catholics are not Christians”. In the end, only God knows where a person’s heart is. Are they trusting in Jesus for salvation? I am sure that some Catholics are, whilst many others are not.

    I primarily see myself as a follower of Jesus. I tend to avoid loaded phrases such as “born-again Christian” which carry all sorts of baggage. However, I will reluctantly describe myself as such, if only to assure you that I see faith from an evangelical protestant perspective.

    However, what is the point in prefixing “Christian” with “born-again”? Where is the Biblical basis for that? Someone is either a Christian or they are not. There’s no need to qualify the word in any way.

    Did you know that there’s only one instance in the whole Bible where a follower of Jesus uses the term Christian (and only two other occurences of the word). Terms like disciple or believer are far more widespread.

    The phrase “born-again Christian” is a modern invention that dates from the 1960s. Christians before then didn’t use it. And recent theological studies suggest that the Greek word for “born again” may be better translated as “born from above”. So I think it’s best dropped from the list of evangelical jargon.

    I have to wonder why you are focussing on a phrase (born again) that only occurs in two passages in the Bible. Jesus only used it to one person who appears to have come to Him in private. He’s not recorded as proclaiming “you must be born again” to anyone else, and neither are any of the apostles.

    Apologies for that minor rant, let’s go back on topic.

    My point on biblical interpretation was a general one, and I’m sorry if you wanted to restrict the discussions to matters of salvation. I can assure you that Calvinists have the same views in this area to non-Calvinists – Calvinists believe that salvation is by grace though faith in Jesus. So do Arminians. All the Calvinists I’ve met emphasise the need for personal faith in Jesus.

    But my key point remains is that we need to find a better way of resolving our differences than mutual name calling and insisting we are right and the other person is wrong.

    On Billy Graham, etc, an evangelist doesn’t save people, Jesus does. But the Bible makes it clear that people can’t believe unless they hear the good news preached. I thank God for those people who shared the gospel with me 27 years ago, and they had come to faith through the work of a pastor who was inspired by Billy Graham’s evangelism. That’s all, nothing more, nothing less.

    I don’t idolise BG, and I’m not convinced by his involvements with Catholics, although I don’t think that this has ever been a big part of his ministry. But perhaps he felt that he could best preach the gospel to Catholics by getting the Roman Catholic church to support his crusades. The alternative approach (condemning the Pope as the antichrist etc) is not going to get Catholics to listen to him.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Andrew

    >> I primarily see myself as a follower of Jesus. I tend to avoid loaded phrases such as “born-again Christian” which carry all sorts of baggage. However, I will reluctantly describe myself as such, if only to assure you that I see faith from an evangelical protestant perspective.

    Well I as a BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN would NEVER force you to do anything or say anything you don’t want to agree with.

    Adios Amigo.

  • Burning Lamp

    Andrew, I am late to this conversation, but would like to make a couple of comments.

    First, if you object to the term “born-again”, you will need to takek that up with our Lord Jesus because He is the one who “coined” the term. Just because mankind has jaded it does not negate the validity of the term.

    Second, yes, only God knows the heart. However, in visiting with a Roman Catholic who professes to be a “born-again” Christian, there is one way to tell if they are true believers. Ask them the hypothetical question that if they died today and stood before the Lord (assuming they believe they will bypass purgatory) and He asked you “Why should I let you into My heaven?” If they respond citing works of any kind other than faith in the Lord Jesus, they are not saved. Roman Catholicism is a works based religious system worshipping a false Christ. Anyone trusting in works of any kind is not saved because they don’t understand the Gospel. Many Catholics says they are not “traditional” and are different from regular Catholics. They are usually part of the charimatics who consider tongues the binding factor. This is a lie from the pit and needs to be dispelled by true believers, but is rarely done.

    It is true that there can be Catholics who get saved while in the church, but it should become apparent fairly shortly that the beliefs are unbiblical alnd they need to come out and be separate. Trouble is, many evangelicals have abandoned the concept of separatism and agreed that Catholics need not be evangelized.

  • Elmarie A

    Andrew

    Did you know that there’s only one instance in the whole Bible where a follower of Jesus uses the term Christian (and only two other occurences of the word). Terms like disciple or believer are far more widespread.

    1. Acts 11:2
    So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party [certain Jewish Christians] found fault with him [separating themselves from him in a hostile spirit, opposing and disputing and contending with him],
    Acts 11:1-3 (in Context) Acts 11 (Whole Chapter)
    2. Acts 11:26
    And when he had found him, he brought him back to Antioch. For a whole year they assembled together with and were guests of the church and instructed a large number of people; and in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
    Acts 11:25-27 (in Context) Acts 11 (Whole Chapter)
    3. Acts 13:12
    Then the proconsul believed (became a Christian) when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished and deeply touched at the teaching concerning the Lord and from Him.
    Acts 13:11-13 (in Context) Acts 13 (Whole Chapter)
    4. Acts 14:1
    NOW AT Iconium [also Paul and Barnabas] went into the Jewish synagogue together and spoke with such power that a great number both of Jews and of Greeks believed (became Christians);
    Acts 14:1-3 (in Context) Acts 14 (Whole Chapter)
    5. Acts 17:34
    But some men were on his side and joined him and believed (became Christians); among them were Dionysius, a judge of the Areopagus, and a woman named Damaris, and some others with them.
    Acts 17:33-34 (in Context) Acts 17 (Whole Chapter)
    6. Acts 26:28
    Then Agrippa said to Paul, You think it a small task to make a Christian of me [just offhand to induce me with little ado and persuasion, at very short notice].
    Acts 26:27-29 (in Context) Acts 26 (Whole Chapter)
    7. Acts 28:14
    There we found some [Christian] brethren and were entreated to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome.
    Acts 28:13-15 (in Context) Acts 28 (Whole Chapter)
    8. Acts 28:15
    And the [Christian] brethren there, having had news of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and received new courage.
    Acts 28:14-16 (in Context) Acts 28 (Whole Chapter)
    9. Romans 16:2
    That you may receive her in the Lord [with a Christian welcome], as saints (God’s people) ought to receive one another. And help her in whatever matter she may require assistance from you, for she has been a helper of many including myself [shielding us from suffering].
    Romans 16:1-3 (in Context) Romans 16 (Whole Chapter)
    10. 1 Corinthians 1:7
    That you are not [consciously] falling behind or lacking in any special spiritual endowment or Christian grace [ the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating in your souls by the Holy Spirit], while you wait and watch [constantly living in hope] for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and [His] being made visible to all.
    1 Corinthians 1:6-8 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 1 (Whole Chapter)
    11. 1 Corinthians 2:6
    Yet when we are among the full-grown (spiritually mature Christians who are ripe in understanding), we do impart a [higher] wisdom (the knowledge of the divine plan previously hidden); but it is indeed not a wisdom of this present age or of this world nor of the leaders and rulers of this age, who are being brought to nothing and are doomed to pass away.
    1 Corinthians 2:5-7 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 2 (Whole Chapter)
    12. 1 Corinthians 5:11
    But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person.
    1 Corinthians 5:10-12 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 5 (Whole Chapter)
    13. 1 Corinthians 6:3
    Do you not know also that we [Christians] are to judge the [very] angels and pronounce opinion between right and wrong [for them]? How much more then [as to] matters pertaining to this world and of this life only!
    1 Corinthians 6:2-4 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 6 (Whole Chapter)
    14. 1 Corinthians 7:14
    For the unbelieving husband is set apart (separated, withdrawn from heathen contamination, and affiliated with the Christian people) by union with his consecrated (set-apart) wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart and separated through union with her consecrated husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean (unblessed heathen, outside the Christian covenant), but as it is they are prepared for God [pure and clean].
    1 Corinthians 7:13-15 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 7 (Whole Chapter)
    15. 1 Corinthians 9:5
    Have we not the right also to take along with us a Christian sister as wife, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas (Peter)?
    1 Corinthians 9:4-6 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 9 (Whole Chapter)
    16. 1 Corinthians 12:4
    Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same.
    1 Corinthians 12:3-5 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 12 (Whole Chapter)
    17. 1 Corinthians 14:4
    He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself, but he who prophesies [ interpreting the divine will and purpose and teaching with inspiration] edifies and improves the church and promotes growth [in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, and happiness].
    1 Corinthians 14:3-5 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 14 (Whole Chapter)
    18. 2 Corinthians 1:12
    It is a reason for pride and exultation to which our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world [generally] and especially toward you, with devout and pure motives and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God (the unmerited favor and merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, and keeps, strengthens, and increases them in Christian virtues).
    2 Corinthians 1:11-13 (in Context) 2 Corinthians 1 (Whole Chapter)
    19. 2 Corinthians 8:19
    And more than that, he has been appointed by the churches to travel as our companion in regard to this bountiful contribution which we are administering for the glory of the Lord Himself and [to show] our eager readiness [as Christians to help one another].
    2 Corinthians 8:18-20 (in Context) 2 Corinthians 8 (Whole Chapter)
    20. 2 Corinthians 11:26
    Many times on journeys, [exposed to] perils from rivers, perils from bandits, perils from [my own] nation, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the desert places, perils in the sea, perils from those posing as believers [but destitute of Christian knowledge and piety];
    2 Corinthians 11:25-27 (in Context) 2 Corinthians 11 (Whole Chapter)
    21. Galatians 2:4
    [My precaution was] because of false brethren who had been secretly smuggled in [to the Christian brotherhood]; they had slipped in to spy on our liberty and the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might again bring us into bondage [under the Law of Moses].
    Galatians 2:3-5 (in Context) Galatians 2 (Whole Chapter)
    22. Galatians 4:3
    So we [Jewish Christians] also, when we were minors, were kept like slaves under [the rules of the Hebrew ritual and subject to] the elementary teachings of a system of external observations and regulations.
    Galatians 4:2-4 (in Context) Galatians 4 (Whole Chapter)
    23. Philippians 3:3
    For we [Christians] are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, and put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances–
    Philippians 3:2-4 (in Context) Philippians 3 (Whole Chapter)
    24. Colossians 4:5
    Behave yourselves wisely [living prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity.
    Colossians 4:4-6 (in Context) Colossians 4 (Whole Chapter)
    25. Colossians 4:11
    And [greetings also from] Jesus, who is called Justus. These [Hebrew Christians] alone of the circumcision are among my fellow workers for [the extension of] God’s kingdom, and they have proved a relief and a comfort to me.
    Colossians 4:10-12 (in Context) Colossians 4 (Whole Chapter)

    26. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
    But concerning brotherly love [for all other Christians], you have no need to have anyone write you, for you yourselves have been [personally] taught by God to love one another.
    1 Thessalonians 4:8-10 (in Context) 1 Thessalonians 4 (Whole Chapter)
    27. 2 Thessalonians 2:3
    Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition),
    2 Thessalonians 2:2-4 (in Context) 2 Thessalonians 2 (Whole Chapter)
    28. 1 Timothy 3:9
    They must possess the mystic secret of the faith [Christian truth as hidden from ungodly men] with a clear conscience.
    1 Timothy 3:8-10 (in Context) 1 Timothy 3 (Whole Chapter)
    29. 1 Timothy 4:6
    If you lay all these instructions before the brethren, you will be a worthy steward and a good minister of Christ Jesus, ever nourishing your own self on the truths of the faith and of the good [Christian] instruction which you have closely followed.
    1 Timothy 4:5-7 (in Context) 1 Timothy 4 (Whole Chapter)
    30. 2 Timothy 2:22
    Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.
    2 Timothy 2:21-23 (in Context) 2 Timothy 2 (Whole Chapter)
    31. Titus 2:1
    BUT [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians].
    Titus 2:1-3 (in Context) Titus 2 (Whole Chapter)
    32. Philemon 1:2
    And to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier [in the Christian warfare], and to the church [assembly that meets] in your house:
    Philemon 1:1-3 (in Context) Philemon 1 (Whole Chapter)
    33. Philemon 1:7
    For I have derived great joy and comfort and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints [who are your fellow Christians] have been cheered and refreshed through you, [my] brother.
    Philemon 1:6-8 (in Context) Philemon 1 (Whole Chapter)
    34. Philemon 1:16
    Not as a slave any longer but as [something] more than a slave, as a brother [Christian], especially dear to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh [as a servant] and in the Lord [as a fellow believer].
    Philemon 1:15-17 (in Context) Philemon 1 (Whole Chapter)
    35. Hebrews 3:1
    SO THEN, brethren, consecrated and set apart for God, who share in the heavenly calling, [thoughtfully and attentively] consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest Whom we confessed [as ours when we embraced the Christian faith].
    Hebrews 3:1-3 (in Context) Hebrews 3 (Whole Chapter)
    36. Hebrews 13:24
    Give our greetings to all of your spiritual leaders and to all of the saints (God’s consecrated believers). The Italian Christians send you their greetings [also].
    Hebrews 13:23-25 (in Context) Hebrews 13 (Whole Chapter)
    37. James 1:9
    Let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his elevation [as a Christian, called to the true riches and to be an heir of God],
    James 1:8-10 (in Context) James 1 (Whole Chapter)
    38. 1 Peter 2:17
    Show respect for all men [treat them honorably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God. Honor the emperor.
    1 Peter 2:16-18 (in Context) 1 Peter 2 (Whole Chapter)
    39. 1 Peter 4:10
    As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].
    1 Peter 4:9-11 (in Context) 1 Peter 4 (Whole Chapter)
    40. 1 Peter 4:16
    But if [one is ill-treated and suffers] as a Christian [which he is contemptuously called], let him not be ashamed, but give glory to God that he is [deemed worthy to suffer] in this name.
    1 Peter 4:15-17 (in Context) 1 Peter 4 (Whole Chapter)
    41. 1 Peter 5:3
    Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation).
    1 Peter 5:2-4 (in Context) 1 Peter 5 (Whole Chapter)
    42. 1 Peter 5:9
    Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset--rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same ( identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
    1 Peter 5:8-10 (in Context) 1 Peter 5 (Whole Chapter)
    43. 2 Peter 1:5
    For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),
    2 Peter 1:4-6 (in Context) 2 Peter 1 (Whole Chapter)
    44. 2 Peter 1:7
    And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.
    2 Peter 1:6-8 (in Context) 2 Peter 1 (Whole Chapter)
    45. 1 John 1:3
    What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
    1 John 1:2-4 (in Context) 1 John 1 (Whole Chapter)
    46. 1 John 2:9
    Whoever says he is in the Light and [yet] hates his brother [Christian, born-again child of God his Father] is in darkness even until now.
    1 John 2:8-10 (in Context) 1 John 2 (Whole Chapter)
    47. 1 John 3:14
    We know that we have passed over out of death into Life by the fact that we love the brethren (our fellow Christians). He who does not love abides (remains, is held and kept continually) in [spiritual] death.
    1 John 3:13-15 (in Context) 1 John 3 (Whole Chapter)
    48. 3 John 1:5
    Beloved, it is a fine and faithful work that you are doing when you give any service to the [Christian] brethren, and [especially when they are] strangers.
    3 John 1:4-6 (in Context) 3 John 1 (Whole Chapter)
    49. Jude 1:3
    Beloved, my whole concern was to write to you in regard to our common salvation. [But] I found it necessary and was impelled to write you and urgently appeal to and exhort [you] to contend for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints [the faith which is that sum of Christian belief which was delivered verbally to the holy people of God].
    Jude 1:2-4 (in Context) Jude 1 (Whole Chapter)
    50. Revelation 22:17
    The [Holy] Spirit and the bride (the church, the true Christians) say, Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let everyone come who is thirsty [who is painfully conscious of his need of those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, and strengthened]; and whoever [earnestly] desires to do it, let him come, take, appropriate, and drink the water of Life without cost.
    Revelation 22:16-18 (in Context) Revelation 22 (Whole Chapter)

  • Elmarie A

    Andrew

    Apologies for that minor rant, let’s go back on topic.

    Noooo Andrew go read this

    Done with excavating doctrines on who is who and who is what and whatever it means. I have learned enough about what man thinks and did. All the matters here is the Bible as the doctrine of God.

    Matthew 15:9
    Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men.

    Colossians 2:22
    Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines.

    1 Timothy 4:1
    BUT THE [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach,

    Titus 1:9
    He must hold fast to the sure and trustworthy Word of God as he was taught it, so that he may be able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound (wholesome) doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it [showing the wayward their error].

    Titus 2:1
    BUT [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians].

    2 Peter 2:1
    BUT ALSO [in those days] there arose false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among yourselves, who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines (destructive heresies), even denying and disowning the Master Who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

    2 John 1:10
    If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine [is disloyal to what Jesus Christ taught], do not receive him [do not accept him, do not welcome or admit him] into [your] house or bid him Godspeed or give him any encouragement.

    I don’t idolise BG, and I’m not convinced by his involvements with Catholics, although I don’t think that this has ever been a big part of his ministry. But perhaps he felt that he could best preach the gospel to Catholics by getting the Roman Catholic church to support his crusades. The alternative approach (condemning the Pope as the antichrist etc) is not going to get Catholics to listen to him.

    Now how do you explain this? Here is proof that Billy Graham is heretic and Involved with the Catholics. Don’t forget to look at the photo with BG and the Pope. link below.

    Billy Graham, Catholicism and Apostasy

    Billy Graham praises the pope, a man who allows himself to be called God (see Blasphemy 101)

    When Billy Graham was on the Phil Donahue show on 10-11-79, he said that pope John Paul II was someone that he could quote with “some real authority.” He also said that the world was looking for a spiritual leader and that the pope didn’t pull any punches. [Lord have mercy, Jesus]

    For a newspaper clipping showing Graham praising the pope as “almost an evangelist”, click here.

    Billy Graham receives honorary degree from Catholic college

    Billy Graham received an honorary doctorate from Catholic priests at Belmont Abbey College in 1967. He called it, “a time when Protestants and Catholics could meet together and greet each other as brothers, whereas 10 years ago they could not”. He joked around, “I’m not sure but what this could start me being called “Father Graham”.

    (“Belmont Abbey Confers Honorary Degree,” Paul Smith, Gazette staff reporter, The Gastonia Gazette, Gastonia, North Carolina, Nov. 22, 1967).

    Billy Graham turns Catholic converts back to Catholic religion

    These poor people come forward to receive Christ but when the Billy Graham counsellors get to ‘em they turn them back over to Catholic priests–keeping them in the same system of bondage!

    In 1957, Graham said, “Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish.” (San Francisco News).

    According to The Florida Catholic (Sept. 1983) 600 people were turned over to the Catholic religion as a result of the Orlando crusade.

    At Billy Graham’s 1984 Vancouver, British Columbia crusade, the vice-chairman of the organizing committee said, “If a Catholic steps forward there will be no attempt to convert them and their names will be given to the Catholic church nearest their homes” (Vancouver Sun, Oct. 5, 1984). [Lord, have mercy!]

    Billy Graham even had a Catholic priest SUPERVISE the 6,600 counselors for the Denver crusade. Information on the hundreds of Catholics who came forward were sent to a Catholic organization in Denver. (Wilson Ewin, Evangelism: The Trojan Horse of the 1990s).

    An ecumenical advisor to the Catholic religion noted in 1989 that “Those who come forward for counseling during a mission evening in June, if they are Roman Catholic, will be directed to a Roman Catholic ‘nurture-group’ under Roman Catholic counselors in their home area” (John Ashbrook, New Neutralism II, Mentor, Ohio: Here I Stand Books, 1992, p. 35).

    The Catholic archdiocese in Portland, Oregon, set a goal to supply 6,000 of the 10,000 counselors needed for the Graham crusade. All Catholics responding to the altar call were channeled to the Catholic religion. These are just a few examples of many.

    Billy Graham thinks that infants can become Christian through baptism

    But the Bible says that by the works of the flesh shall no man be justified. Baptism comes after faith in Jesus Christ. Look what Billy Graham told the Lutheran Standard in October 1967,

    “I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant… we cannot fully understand the mysteries of God, but I believe that a miracle can happen in these children so that they are regenerated, that is, MADE CHRISTIAN, THROUGH INFANT BAPTISM.”

    Billy Graham don’t believe hell is literal fire

    “…I think people have a hard time believing God is going to allow people to burn in literal fire forever. I think the fire that is mentioned in the Bible is a burning thirst for God that can never be quenched.”

    The Orlando (Florida) Sentinel for April 10, 1983

    Hell ain’t based on our human reasoning. According to Matthew’s gospel, it was created for the devil and his angels, but people that reject Jesus Christ will be up in there too.

    Billy Graham let apostate Catholic Bishop bless new converts

    In 1962, a Roman Catholic bishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil, blessed the people that came forward at the invitation. (Daily Journal, International Falls, Minnesota, Oct. 29, 1963, cited by the New York Times, Nov. 9, 1963).

    Those poor people came to Graham for help and he let an idolator bless them. Has he not read that behind every idol is a devil? Yet he let that man “bless” the people of God.

    Billy Graham befriends heretics

    Based on what I’ve read, this apparently is not an uncommon practice by Billy Graham. In 1959, he had the liberal Bishop James A. Pike lead in prayer at one of his events. Yet Pike said in an episcopal letter: “Religious myth is one of the avenues of faith and has an important place in the communication of the Gospel.” He called the garden of Eden a myth and said, “The virgin birth… IS A MYTH which churchmen should be free to accept or reject…”

    What I’ve supplied here don’t even touch the tip of the iceberg of Billy Graham’s cozy relationships with heretics.

    Billy Graham gives stamp of approval on practically every Bible version that comes out

    In fact, I cut out one of his endorsements for the “New Living Translation.” He says, “…I am pleased to recommend the New Living Translation for even greater readability and accuracy.” The authorized King James is highly readable and pinpoint accurate. People been getting saved by reading the authorized King James and they’ve been growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ through it. There is no need for another “translation.” But the devil will keep ‘em coming.

    http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/billy.htm

  • Achim Rieger

    I can hardly believe that this article was actually written by a Professor. There is a lot of false information mixed with correct information.
    First of all, it is not advisable to state: “Calvinists believe…”. As any movement, Calvinism is so diversified that you cannot make a statement like that. You need to name proponents of the said statement. It will not be easy to find such, since the argument seems to go against Hyper-Calvinism. I don’t know of any Calvinist today who would subscribe to the interpretation of the Five points that are given by the author here. His interpretation which seemingly is a statement of “Calvinistic belief” is in fact a distorted picture of what Calvinists hold to be true. Just a quick overview
    1. Total depravity: Every Calvinist I know of (both historical and modern-time) makes a clear distinction between Moral inability and physical inability. Nobody says that non-Christians cannot make a free decision. They are not tied to the spot so that they cannot move towards God, even though they may want to. Rather, people do not WANT to come to Christ. And they cannot change their misguided free will. It is set upon the wrong things and is in desperate need of salvation.
    2. Unconditional election: This does not mean that God overrides the human will and forces those, who do not want to come to him to come or forbids those who want to come to draw near. Rather, it means that there is nothing inherent in us that influences God to elect us or not. It is a FREE grace that saves us and not a grace that sees something in us that it considers to be worthy of salvation and then on that account acts on our behalf.
    3. limited atonement: All Calvinists I know of state clearly that Christ’s suffering is sufficient for all, but efficient only for the elect. Meaning: Everybody can benefit from Christ’s death, but only those who are saved, actually do.
    4. Irresistible Grace: I advise every reader to read what John Piper says about this one (and the other points as well), at [link removed.] He states it like this: Whenever someone sees the glory of God in the face of Christ, the view is so beautiful that he simply cannot resist and is converted.
    5. Perseverance of the Saints: The difference between general ARminian belief and general Calvinistic belief is in theory only. Arminians see people backslide and say: They have lost their salvation. Calvinists see people backslide and say: This shows that the person was not born again in the first place. It does not make any difference practically. Whoever does not live as a Christian is not saved.

    That much for now. Please, people, do your research properly. Don’t read what Arminians say about Calvinists and then think that this is true. Don’t read what Calvinists read about Arminians and think that this is true. Read the guys themselves, all the good old books are free on the internet, from both Arminians and Calvinists. Read them all, benefit from both of them. Beware of condemning things that nobody ever stated or that are not understood properly.
    Be blessed,
    Achim

  • Elmarie A

    Achim Rieger

    You are more than welcome to contact Prof. Johan Malan from the link at his website.
    http://www.bibleguidence.co.za

    You can then tell Prof Malan all about your concerns and i’m sure he will gladly answer you and set your concerns at ease.

    I advise every reader to read what John Piper says about this one (and the other points as well), at [link removed.] He states it like this: Whenever someone sees the glory of God in the face of Christ, the view is so beautiful that he simply cannot resist and is converted.

    Naah no thank you, but it is a bad advise John Piper is not safe and thanks but no thanks. You can support him if you like. But take heed and read more on this blog about John Piper, Im only giving you one to read about but you can navigate further on the blog and also find His close ties to Rick Warren and decide if you want to follow false teachers false teachings.

    Read this for starters please – John-piper-taking-leave-and-asks-for-forgiveness

    This is a Discernment blog and not to a place to advertise false teachers from.

  • Elmarie A

    Achim Rieger

    That much for now. Please, people, do your research properly

    No more bad advise please!!!

    I can asure you all the research on this blog is done based on facts and done in a Biblical way at all times.

    You need to do some more research about DISCERNMENT Achim if you trust People like John Piper and Rick Warren you are having discernment problems.

    Read your Bible please!!!

  • Burlning Lamp

    Achim, my head is still swimming from the spin you have put on Calvisist/Reformed doctrine. I have studied the TULIP and what Calvinists say about it and never have I seen your version or explanation. At least they are honest and are not deceiving themselves about what they belief and are not twisting it into something it isn’t. You can’t have it both ways.

  • Elmarie A

    Burning Lamp

    I eco your words.

  • Elmarie A

    Achim Rieger

    There is a lot of false information mixed with correct information.

    Nope not so you seem mixed up in something that makes our heads spin here. As Burning Lamp says your version seems deceiving and twisted.

    Read your Bible Please.

  • Elmarie A

    Achim Rieger

    Don’t read what Arminians say about Calvinists and then think that this is true. Don’t read what Calvinists read about Arminians and think that this is true. Read the guys themselves, all the good old books are free on the internet, from both Arminians and Calvinists. Read them all, benefit from both of them. Beware of condemning things that nobody ever stated or that are not understood properly.

    Nooooooooooooo Read your Bible Achim. We can only read these people if we know how to Discern and test as the Scripture tells us.

    Test everything – a Christian perspective

    Christians aren’t to automatically accept every claim that is made by somebody supposedly speaking for God. The Bible is clear that we are to test every claim we hear against Scripture; if it contradicts something taught by Scripture, we should steer clear.
    http://www.gospel.com/bookmarks/Test-everything-Christian-perspective/10850

    1 Thessalonians 5:21 (Amplified Bible)
    21But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.
    ___________________________________________________________

    “Test” in the Bible: 1 John 4:1-6

    Not everything that claims to speak for God is trustworthy. Followers of Christ must discern carefully any person or source that claims such authority, checking those claims against what Scripture teaches. If a claim doesn’t pass this test, we should steer clear.

    1 John 4:1-6 (Amplified Bible)

    1BELOVED, DO not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.

    2By this you may know (perceive and recognize) the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [actually] has become man and has come in the flesh is of God [has God for its source];

    3And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would [a]annul, destroy, [b]sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [[c]nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.

    4Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.

    5They proceed from the world and are of the world; therefore it is out of the world [its [d]whole economy morally considered] that they speak, and the world listens (pays attention) to them.

    6We are [children] of God. Whoever is learning to know God [progressively to perceive, recognize, and understand God by observation and experience, and to [e]get an ever-clearer knowledge of Him] listens to us; and he who is not of God does not listen or pay attention to us. By this we know (recognize) the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.

    __________________________________________________________

    Trustworthy – a Christian perspective

    In 1 Timothy, Paul gives us a trustworthy saying. He tells us that we must be in constant training in order to be godly. Godliness doesn’t just help us out in this life, or in the next life, but in both.
    http://www.gospel.com/bookmarks/Trustworthy-Christian-perspective/9736

    1 Timothy 4:7-10 (Amplified Bible)

    7But refuse and avoid irreverent legends (profane and impure and godless fictions, mere grandmothers’ tales) and silly myths, and express your disapproval of them. Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit].

    8For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.

    9This saying is reliable and worthy of complete acceptance by everybody.

    10With a view to this we toil and strive, [yes and] [a]suffer reproach, because we have [fixed our] hope on the living God, Who is the Savior (Preserver, Maintainer, Deliverer) of all men, especially of those who believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to Him).

  • What a load of misrepresentations. The author of this article knows nothing of calvinism. No wonder, as he seems to get much of his material from Dave Hunt.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Salvatore

    So I am guessing you are a full on Calvinist. Why must everything come from Dave Hunt? There are thousands possibly millions of other people out there who can think too and have discovered that Calvinism is heretical.

  • Salvatore

    Deborah,

    I prefer to be called a Christian, rather than a Calvinist. I am convinced that the “5 points” of Calvinism are biblical teachings. So, it would be accurate hang the label on me. Nonetheless I reject the “Calvinism” presented in this article. It is an inaccurate presentation. It is no virtue to tell lies in service to the truth.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Salvatore the Chosen

    I prefer to be called a Christian, rather than a Calvinist. I am convinced that the “5 points” of Calvinism are biblical teachings. So, it would be accurate hang the label on me. Nonetheless I reject the “Calvinism” presented in this article. It is an inaccurate presentation. It is no virtue to tell lies in service to the truth.

    If you say so…..

    Deborah the Sinner saved by Grace

  • Ross

    I think that the article is a bit misleading in terms of explaining calvinism; however i would like some of the noncalvinists to explain some scripture:

    John 1:12-13But as many as received him, to them GAVE he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Says He (God) gave them the power to become sons of God. Also It is not of the will of the flesh.

    Joh 2:23-25 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast, many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did. (24) But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, for that he knew all men, (25) and because he needed not that any one should bear witness concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.

    Jesus didn’t trust himself to them because he knew their hearts, so it wasn’t based off of their choice but his knowledge.

    Joh 6:37-40 All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (38) For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (39) And this is the will of him that sent me, that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. (40) For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Followed by: Joh 6:43-44 Jesus answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. (44) No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day.

    So no one can come to Jesus without the drawing of the father.

    Joh 6:65 And he said, For this cause have I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father.

    Rom 8:29-30 For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren: (30) and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    Foreknowledge is not just knowing information it is an intimate knowledge as in a husband and wife type of knowledge. And foreordained aka predestination comes before being called.

    Rom 9:18-23 So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth. (19) Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he still find fault? For who withstandeth his will? (20) Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus? (21) Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (22) What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: (23) and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory,

    Who are we to disagree with God’s Election?

    Rom 11:28-29 As touching the gospel, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sake. (29) For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.

    The gifts and calling of God are without repentance aka irrevocable

    Eph 1:3-14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ: (4) even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: (5) having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved: (7) in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, (8) which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, (9) having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him (10) unto a dispensation of the fulness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth; in him, I say, (11) in whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will; (12) to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: (13) in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,––in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, (14) which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God’s own possession, unto the praise of his glory.

    Talks of Predestination before the foundation of the world according to God’s will and being sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise aka you cant lose your salvation.

    Eph 2:8-10 for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) not of works, that no man should glory. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.

    Grace through faith which is not from you! It is all from God the faith and the grace! God afore prepared aka God Prepared beforehand.

    Php 2:12-13 So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (13) for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.

    Work out your salvation – it is God who wills and works in us.

    2Th 2:11-17 And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: (12) that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (13) But we are bound to give thanks to God alway for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) whereunto he called you through our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (15) So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours. (16) Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father which loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, (17) comfort your hearts and stablish them in every good work and word.

    Notice that God sends the working of error that they may believe the lies and also that God chose from the beginning those for sanctification and belief of the truth.

    There are many other verses and passages that support the doctrines of Grace. Please expound on these passages and verses and also explain to me what election means to you as a non-calvinist.

  • Burning Lamp

    Ross, you are complicating what is really a very simple matter. Calvinism boils down to the 5 “petals” of TULIP. Pick any one of them and to support it Scripture has to be taken out of context. Every one of them twists scripture and distorts the character of God. The only one that has an element of truth is P but is based on a false premise. And just because one is not Calvinist does not mean they are Arminian.

    Predestination and election do not refer to certain people of the world becoming saved or lost, but they relate to those who are already children of God in respect to certain privileges or positions out ahead. They look forward to what God will work in those who have become His own. This is seen in the works of a number of outstanding men of God.

    H.A. Ironside best explains the view of those walking between the ditches of Calvinism and Armenianism. He showed the limited use of that term (predestination) in the Bible. “Turn to your Bible and read for yourself in the only two chapters in which this word predestinate or predestinated is found. The first is Romans 8:29-30, the other chapter is Ephesians 1:5 and 11. You will note that there is no reference in these four verses to either heaven or hell but to Christ-likeness eventually. Nowhere are we told in scripture that God predestinated one man to be saved and another to be lost. Men are to be saved or lost eternally because of their attitude towards the Lord Jesus Christ. Predestination means that someday all the redeemed shall become just like the Lord Jesus.

    I hope this is helpful.

  • Burning Lamp

    Ross, you asked about the “non-Calvinist” view of election.

    The following explains:

    Definition of Election
    Election is a divine act of God, whereby God, for reasons known only to himself, in the blessing of mankind, sets to one side all firsts, and chooses all seconds.

    Romans 9:11

    11.(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth ;)

    Now we will turn from the proposition of the subject of Election to the problem of Election. Please remember that the subject of Election has its difficulties. This is why there is so much ignorance and misunderstanding of the subject.

    II. Problem of Election
    Election is one of the unique subjects referred to by the Apostle Paul in Romans 9. This chapter does not teach in its completeness, the subject of Election, it is only referred to in this chapter in verse 11. Election is not God choosing or electing some to be saved and some to be lost. To say that God chooses some to be saved and some to be lost is nothing more or less than hearsay, and is charging God with doing something that he can not do, because he has provided salvation for every man. To say that God has chosen or elected some to be lost, would limit the atonement of Jesus Christ. That is one of the duties of the Devil to try to limit the work of Christ on the cross. It labels God as a respecter of persons, and that leads one to believe that the Holy Spirit only deals with certain people, that is those who are chosen or elected to be saved; and that the Spirit of God never deals with others. If God chose people for heaven or elected them to be saved, and others were chosen for hell or were elected to be lost, then Christ’s death was not for all mankind.

    Certain ones tell us that God chooses some to eternal life and some to eternal damnation. Does Romans 9:11 teach this? By no manner of means does this verse bear this out that God has elected some to heaven and some to hell. On the contrary, this verse tells us about the purpose of God according to Election. Now notice Romans 9:12.

    12. It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

    Now it is normal to expect that such words spoken for so definite a purpose would contain some hint or indication of the purpose of God according to Election? It is, “The elder shall serve the younger.” The first born serves younger. The greater shall serve the lesser. God set to one side the elder or the first and chose the second, or the younger through whom the blessing would come. Now, I want you to notice the portions that are misapplied and misunderstood about the subject of Election.

    III. The Portions Misapplied
    A. Does Romans 9 :15-18 teach some are elected to salvation and some do damnation?
    Those who believe that God has elected some to salvation and some to damnation, would say that if there were two brothers in a family, one a believer and the other unbeliever; that God had mercy and compassion on the one who was saved, but that He did not show any mercy or compassion on the one who was unsaved, should he die in that state. God’s actions are not based alone on his Foreknowledge but are based in the back ground of his attribute of love. If you will notice in Romans 9: 18 it says in that verse, “therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy.”

    Therefore, they would say that if the unconverted brother would die in his sin, God did not have mercy on him. That is a false view of the teaching of this verse. All the truth concerning the attitude of God toward unsaved man is not to be found in one verse. Romans 9: 18 is not the whole of the Bible, neither does it teach all about the mercy of God toward the children of men. What does this verse teach? Is there any hint as to whom God will have mercy upon? If you turn to Romans 11:32 there will be some light on the truths concerning God and those who are the objects of His mercy. Romans 11: 32 tells us:

    32. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

    Now how many are the objects and recipients of God’s mercy? The text clearly tells us that he has mercy upon all. God does not only have mercy on a few but His mercy is expanded until it reaches all men. God has mercy upon all men and His mercy upon all is according to Romans 11:32. Whom does he harden? Romans 9:17.

    17. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

    Those who purposely harden themselves against God. God had mercy upon Pharaoh and that mercy was extended to Pharaoh even while hardening his heart. God’s mercy is upon all. Do not limit it to a few.

    B. Does Romans 9: 22, 23 teach that God has elected some for salvation and some for condemnation ?
    Let us turn to that portion found in Romans 9: 22, 23.

    22. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

    23. And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

    Now notice verse 22 speaks about vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. It is error to teach that these words refer to limited atonement by saying that God has fitted some people for destruction. Away with such trash ! God never fitted any man for destruction. God never fitted any one to be destroyed. It is the Devil who has fitted them for destruction. God endured with much long suffering the vessels who yielded themselves to the Devil. Satan made them vessels of wrath and prepared them for hell.

    C. Notice Acts 13: 48.
    48. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

    Now, does this verse teach that God has ordained some folks to believe and some not to believe ? Does this verse teach that some are ordained to be saved and some are ordained to be lost ? Notice the context. It teaches that Barnabas and Paul had been preaching the gospel to the Jews. The Jews refused to respond to their ministry. These two servants of the Lord turned from ministering to the Jews for the time being and turned their faces toward the Gentiles. Now the context of this passage shows us that God is turning the ministry of these men from the Jews toward the Gentiles. This was in God’s plan. He wanted the Gentiles to hear the gospel. This text does not teach that God had planned to save just a few of these Gentiles on that occasion. Offering salvation to all Gentiles, some of the Gentiles believed that day what the Jews had rejected.

    I believe that it is Dr. Gaebelein in his book on Acts, says, “The Gentiles who were disposed to eternal life believed.” I believe that this is the thought of the passage in the light of the context. The Jews were turning from the Lord and rejecting the truth, so the Lord turns with the offer to the Gentiles. Those Gentiles who were willing to receive salvation, and whose minds were open to the truth, were ready to believe. It is true God had planned to turn to the Gentiles, but not to just a few individuals, as are represented here. This group happened to be a few of the Gentiles who were present, and believed and were saved.

    In Romans 9: 13 we read:

    13. As it is written. Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

    God did not say this before they were born. This statement was recorded in the last book the Old Testament. Malachi 1: 2, 3. Notice the phrase there in Romans 9:13, “As it is written”. It is recorded or written back in the book of Malachi. What have we there recorded? God’s hatred toward Esau and his descendants. Why did God hate Esau and his descendants? It was because of their continued wickedness and idolatry. This does not refer to individual men (Jacob and Esau), but to the nations which sprang of their loins.

    Since Esau and his descendants stand for flesh, God hates the whole nation of Edom. Israel stands for the spiritual. God loves the whole nation for what they represent. Now, as to the salvation of any Edomite or Israelite, the pathway was the same. It was by believing.

    IV. The People Who Are Elected
    Nowhere in the Bible is Election connected with the salvation or the damnation of a human soul. Who are the elect ? They are the saved people. His favored ones. Israel in the Old Testament is God’s elect. Isaiah 46:3, 4.

    3. And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

    4. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

    The Church which is his body, in the New Testament. Romans 8:33.

    33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

    In the Tribulation they are Jews or the 144,000. Matthew 24:22-24.

    22. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

    23. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

    24. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

    This rank, this favor, this privilege. is shown to those people not before they are saved, but after. The word Election occurs 27 times in the Bible, and is used in connection with God’s people. A few times it is used relative to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    V. The Purpose of Election
    The purpose of Election is the setting to one side of all that pertains to the flesh, (everything that has to do with carnality) and establishing everything that has to do with the spiritual. The most important phase of Election pertains to service. Romans 9:11, 12. “The elder shall serve”. Election has nothing to do with a man’s salvation, neither has it anything to do with his condemnation. The purpose of Election then, is that the first shall become subservient and serve the second. It has to do with Service. It is God’s elect who serve Him.

    VI. The Principles of Election
    For the principles of Election, let us turn to some illustrations that are set forth in the Word of God. Notice Hebrews 10:9,

    9. Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

    Now we are all familiar with this portion of the Word of God. The closing phrase in verse 9, “He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second”. Election is a divine act of God whereby God sets to one side all firsts and chooses all seconds. You notice that this is what God is doing according to the teaching of this verse. There were many offerings and sacrifices in the Old Testament, and they were called the “First”, because they were in the Jewish economy. God set them to one side at the beginning of the dispensation that we now live in, which is the dispensation of the body of Christ. It was the will of God to set the first to one side and choose for the blessing of mankind, the sacrifice and offering of Christ. Now, let us turn to another illustration of the principle of Election. Notice what it says in Hebrews 8:6-7,

    6. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

    In verse 7 you read,

    7. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

    You also notice in Hebrews 8:13,

    13. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

    We find these verses teaching that God has set to one side the first covenant and has established a second one, which he made between himself and his son. Election is a divine act of God, whereby God, for reasons known only to Himself, in the blessing of mankind, sets to one side all firsts and chooses all seconds. He sets to one side the first covenant in the Old Testament economy and chooses the second. Now, notice the principle, being worked out in our own bodies. I Corinthians 15 :38

    38, But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him. and to every seed his own body.

    Notice verse 38, “God giveth it a body- to-every seed his own body”.

    Verse 42:

    42. So also in the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.

    Verse 44:

    44. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual ‘body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

    So it is written, in verse 45,

    45. The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

    Verse 47:

    47. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from Heaven.

    Election is a divine act of God whereby God, for reasons known only to Himself in the blessing of mankind, sets to one side all firsts. and chooses all seconds. We also have a clear illustration of the principles of Election in 2Peter 3:10-13. Keep in mind our definition of Election that God is setting to one side all firsts, and is choosing all seconds. We see him here not only setting to one side but, completely destroying the first earth as the abode for eternal blessings. If he declares. in verses 10-12,

    10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise. and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein – shall be burned up.

    11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.

    12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

    Then in verse 13, we notice the first promise and establishment of the new heavens and the new earth. That is just another one of the evidences of the principles of Election, The outstanding picture of the principles of Election is seen in Genesis 48 :8-20. Notice carefully that Israel blessed Joseph’s two boys, Ephraim was the younger and Manasseh was the elder. In order for the father to put his right hand on Ephraim who was the younger. he had to cross his hands or arms, thereby making a cross. Here is a picture of how we obtain the favors of God’s elective principles. It is by the cross. The old man typical of the old life, (Adam’s race) is set aside and the new life in Christ is established as he lays his right hand upon the younger. Because of the cross, we are favored of God. In order to be one of God’s elect you must come by the way of the cross.

    To clarify, the above states the position correctly in my view but I differ on the KJV only stance.

  • Ross

    In your first post you assume that i think all noncalvinists are arminian and i never made such assumption. I only wanted to know what election meant to you or anyone who holds to a noncalvinist view.

    God does show mercy,

    Definition of Election
    Election is a divine act of God, whereby God, for reasons known only to himself, in the blessing of mankind, sets to one side all firsts, and chooses all seconds.

    What does this even mean?

    “B. Does Romans 9: 22, 23 teach that God has elected some for salvation and some for condemnation ?
    Let us turn to that portion found in Romans 9: 22, 23.

    22. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

    23. And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

    Now notice verse 22 speaks about vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. It is error to teach that these words refer to limited atonement by saying that God has fitted some people for destruction. Away with such trash ! God never fitted any man for destruction. God never fitted any one to be destroyed. It is the Devil who has fitted them for destruction. God endured with much long suffering the vessels who yielded themselves to the Devil. Satan made them vessels of wrath and prepared them for hell.”

    Where is the mention of satan in these verses? Clearly the verses mention pharaoh as being hardened to show God’s Power.

    Rom 9:18-24 So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth. (19) Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he still find fault? For who withstandeth his will? (20) Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus? (21) Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (22) What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: (23) and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory, (24) even us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles?

    Taken together these verses show that God does what he wills with his vessles. The most common refutation to this idea is answered by Paul(he even answers the other most objected reason as well) namely, who are we to question what God does.

    God does show mercy and grace to all he extends that in General Grace when he does not immediately punish the wicked and unrepentant right when they sin and the same for Christians who sin.

    IV. The People Who Are Elected
    Nowhere in the Bible is Election connected with the salvation or the damnation of a human soul. Who are the elect ? They are the saved people. His favored ones. Israel in the Old Testament is God’s elect. Isaiah 46:3, 4.

    Notice the person says that election is not associated with the salvation or the damnation of the human soul, but right after says they are the saved people; clearly he just contradicted himself with this statement as election is always pared with the salvation of a soul.

    Finally, please read some of the other passages that i posted, they are from all over the Bible and there are plenty of others that i didnt post, clearly the truth of a doctrine is found in the consistency of scripture and these texts clearly show that God is active in the salvation of a soul.

    Also according to a non-calvinists viewpoint how is man saved? Is it all God, Part Man and Part God,or fully Man?

  • Burning Lamp

    Ross

    You said:
    Notice the person says that election is not associated with the salvation or the damnation of the human soul, but right after says they are the saved people; clearly he just contradicted himself with this statement as election is always pared (sic) with the salvation of a soul.

    Of course the elected are the saved. Elect doesn’t mean they were elected or handpicked for salvation. It simply refers to the group of people, the Church who are saved, those who have chosen to give their life to Christ. In othere words, it refers to a corporate group, not individuals. There is no contradiction.

    You said:
    Also according to a non-calvinists viewpoint how is man saved? Is it all God, Part Man and Part God,or fully Man?

    All of humanity is given a measure of faith according to the Bible so none are without excuse. Salvation comes through the hearing of the Word the Bible says – it is a cooperative transation between God and man. God desires all to be saved. When the Word goes out, the Holy Spirit convicts the individual and the individual can either accept or reject the Gospel message. God is the Author and Finisher of salvation. Man cannot be saved without the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but God has given man free reign to make a decision. God did not create puppets – He wants us to serve Him because we love Him. There is a cost to committment to Christ. It takes a conscious decision on man’s part. God made the plan – I repeat, He is the Author and Finisher of salvation.

    God’s character and nature have to be considered. He is fair and He is just. Salvation is open to all, but all will not receive Him. God is sovereign and He knows by His foreknowledge who will accept and who will not, but that does not mean that He pulls the strings and picks and chooses. Our finite minds can’t fully be wrapped around the mysteries of God but we know enough about the characteristics of our Lord to know He would not premptively exclude any soul from heaven or automatically send them to an eternal hell without any opportunity for salvation. That is an outright insult to our loving heavenly Father.

    I pray the Lord will reveal His truth to you and that you will receive it and have it settled in your mind. Grace and Peace to you.

  • Harry

    Thank you Prof for a great post.
    One of the best I have ever read.
    Maybe you should have added that he had some woman executed because he believed they caused a plaque that killed some people.

    He had to try to convince himself that he could not lose his salvation because he knew he had to face his Maker one day.

    If a human had to act like a Calvinist says God acts he would be send to jail.

    This is the picture I get when I think of the god the Calvinist serve.
    I have two sons. I send one to the Supermarket to get me something, he comes back and I am so happy that he was obedient I give him a Ferrari.
    My other son who did not go to the shop, because I did not ask him to, gets nothing instead he gets punished for not going!
    The problem with Calvinism is the scriptures they use to defend their false doctrine it is the ones they ignore.
    Before anybody attacks me meditate on this scripture and do not make it say something it does not.
    James 5:19 Brethren, if anyone AMONG YOU wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will SAVE A SOUL from death and cover a multitude of sins.
    I wonder what the heresy hunters would have said about Calvin’s behaviour and doctrine if he was still around.

  • Ross

    Burning Lamp saying that elect means the individuals who are saved. True but the very definition of Elect is :

    –verb (used with object)
    1.
    to choose or select by vote, as for an office: to elect a mayor.
    2.
    to determine in favor of (a method, course of action, etc.).
    3.
    to pick out; choose: First-year students may elect french, spanish, or German.
    4.
    Theology. (of God) to select for divine mercy or favor, esp. for salvation.
    –verb (used without object)
    5.
    to choose or select someone or something, as by voting.
    –adjective
    6.
    selected, as for an office, but not yet inducted (usually used in combination following a noun): the governor-elect.
    7.
    select or choice: an elect circle of artists.
    8.
    Theology. chosen by god, esp. for eternal life.
    –nounthe elect,
    9.
    a person or the persons chosen or worthy to be chosen.
    10.
    Theology. a person or persons chosen by God, esp. for favor or salvation.

    Anyway you slice it, it refers to being picked or chosen. Denying that election doesnt mean that God chose us to go against the very definition of the word. True we cannot fathom God or his infinite ways, but his word is clear and is full of references to the elect, Israel is the very example of being the elect, they were handpicked from all the nations of the earth and even inside of the elect israel some are elected. My issue with a noncalvinist view of election is that it contradicts the meaning of election and i think that God would use a different word if he intended it to mean not being picked. Even if God does pick us that does not take away the agency that humans have, we still are called to make our election sure, as well as sin no longer. The only agency that is “removed” is that of salvation, because as you said God is the author and finisher of our salvation. If we reject election as the Bible presents it namely that God has chosen out of everyone, you specifically then we fall into the category that Paul answered as Who are we to question what God is doing, does the clay say to the potter dont mold me in that way? We are at Gods mercy and he didnt have to save any like he did with the fallen angels, but he decided to show grace to us and purchase us by his blood.

  • Elmarie A

    Harry
    it is so obvious you are here on this blog to cause division with your comments. Just look at the commetn now at this thread.

    I would like to tell you that Pof Malan will certainly not aprove of you Approving false teachers Like Angus Buchan. In fact he wrote an article about this false teacher do you know?

    You said the following on (only an excerpt) : April 18th, 2010 at 7:52 pm at this thread: discerningtheworld.com/2009/05/09/the-dominionist-faith-of-angus-buchan-faith-like-potatoes-2/#comment-10805

    I have just come back from MMC2010. Great to see thousands of men promising to be the watchmen of their families!!!! Thank you my Jesus for putting one man in our country who look for a solution instead of trying to get us to sit and feel sorry for ourselves and judge and condemn the people who strife to make a difference.
    I see you are a few people who sit and criticise Angus.
    What qualifies you to do what you do?
    I can feel the love of Jesus oozing from the pages.(Ha,Ha)

    I hope you are brave enough to publish this on your demonic site. (It is easy to throw names around, calling Angus a demon)
    ______________________________________________________________

    Well Harry Please visit Prof Malan’s website there is plenty of Biblical evidence for you that your believes are unbiblical.

    This is just an excerpt about what Prof Malan says about Angus Buchan for you Harry. Please read the complete article at bibleguidence.co.za

    Spiritual Deception, Revival and Angus Buchan

    Prof. Johan Malan, South Africa (May 2010)

    Spiritual deception and apostatising keep on proliferating as we are moving deeper into the end-time. We know that the Spirit of truth wants to guide us into all the truth of God’s Word – including the correct understanding of end-time prophecies (John 16:13). On the opposite side there is the spirit of error who is intent on deceiving people spiritually with a view to preparing them on the coming of the Antichrist (1 John 4:1-6). More than ever before we need discernment to be able to observe the full counsel of God and to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and keep us from all forms of deception.

    It is not always easy to keep our ways pure in all respects by correct discernment of these two spiritual influences since there is, by the devil’s doing, a grey area between them. Satan has the ability to present himself as an angel of light, thereby also deceiving Christians with noble intentions (2 Cor. 11:13-15; Matt. 24:4-5,24). It is one of his main objectives to confuse believers by inciting them to entertain erroneous views on Christ and the Bible. There are many examples of such satanic influence in the Bible.

    http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Weekly/117BuchanEng.htm

  • Burning Lamp

    Ross, dear Ross,

    I do not disagree that God has His elect. But this is not an INDIVIDUAL issue, it is a GROUP issue, just as Israel is considered a GROUP and not as individuals. It is not about the definition of the word elect. It seems you can’t see the forest for the trees dear friend.

    My Lord Jesus died for ALL, not preselected ones. He loved the WORLD and died for the sins of the WORLD, not a pre-selected few. To say otherwise is to blaspheme His atonement and His character.

  • Ross

    True Israel is a group that is elected, but not every israelite was elected, there were individuals in Israel that were elected. If Christ died for the sins of everyone then why does he still punish them? If you say it is because of faith, then you have to ask where did that faith come from? Man or God, you said it yourself that God is the author and finisher of Salvation and faith is a gift of God.

    2Th 2:11-17 And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: (12) that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (13) But we are bound to give thanks to God alway for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) whereunto he called you through our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (15) So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours. (16) Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father which loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, (17) comfort your hearts and stablish them in every good work and word.

    Notice that God sends the working of error that they may believe the lies and also that God chose from the beginning those for sanctification and belief of the truth.

    John 2:23-25 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast, many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did. (24) But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, for that he knew all men, (25) and because he needed not that any one should bear witness concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.

    Do you pray for your friends or any unbelievers salvation? If you do what is your prayer? Do you pray that God would change their will?

  • Burning Lamp

    Ross, I do pray for the salvation of unbelievers I know. I do so because intercessory prayer is spoken of throughout the Bible. If it was cut and dried who would be saved and who would not be, what would be the point of even praying?

    God does raise up certain people in the various dispensations for His purposes. To use that as a reason for election to salvation is ludicrous.

    The entire scope of the Word of God allows for man’s choice beginning in the Garden. The Bible is permeated with references indicating that God has given man free will.

    You seem to think that God exerts His sovereignty in an unjust manner. God is not willing that ANY should perish!!!
    You know the verse – if that is true, He would never send anyone to hell without giving them the opportunity to choose. That is the whole purpose of the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

  • Ross

    What is the point of praying? Because we dont know who is saved or unsaved… and he wants us to rely on him and only on him If you pray for the unbelief and dont believe is sovereign in it then you want God to go against his will, which is clearly a contradiction to what “free will” is. THe point of the sovereignty of God is to show his glory on the flipside free will gives some of the glory to man.

    How is election unjust? The punishment for sin is death… he didnt have to save any, but he extended grace to some and the rest receive justice. Some recieve grace some receive justice. THere is no unjust part in that equation. By saying God sending people to hell is unjust you are acting as if we are entitled to salvation and in doing so would not be grace.

    We do have free will just not in salvation… God elects us… calls us… draws us… justifies us… sanctifies us… all him… we are called to spread his word and keep his commands. The problem with saying free will began in the garden is the part where you overlook the verses that talk about him predestining things before the foundation of the world…

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Ross the Chosen

    >> How is election unjust? The punishment for sin is death… he didnt have to save any, but he extended grace to some and the rest receive justice.

    Tell me, how do you know you are one of the elect? How sure are you that when you get to stand before God He says to you, “sorry mate, but as much as you lived a holy type life and read your bible, you are not chosen.”

    Also, tell me. Is the sole criteria of being Chosen vs being a Reprobate based on the fact that you are either a Calvinist (Chosen) or not a Calvinist (doomed to hell)? What’s the criteria here, please tell us.

    Deborah a sinner saved by Grace.

  • Burning Lamp

    Ok Ross the Chosen, did God cause Adam and Eve to sin?

    I echo Deborah’s questions to you.

    God so loved the WORLD………that includes every man, woman and child. Your mentality is beyond my comprehension. Dear brother you misunderstand the boundless love of God, that He is not willing that ANY perish!!

  • Ross

    Please Deborah i do not appreciate the cynicism… How do i know im the elect? Just as i know Christ died for my sins and bought me with his blood, it is completely by Grace through faith.

    John 6:37-40 All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (38) For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (39) And this is the will of him that sent me, that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. (40) For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    No it doesnt matter if you adhere to calvinism or not, the criteria is Gods election which he gives based off of not just Grace but all of his attributes and this is accomplished by the gift of faith that he has given.

    Please tell me How do you know you are saved and what qualifies you to be saved but not someone else? If it is faith then where did that faith come from? If god then it isnt your choice, if you then it is a work of man and therefore conditional.

    Ross a sinner saved by grace.

  • Burning Lamp

    Ross the Chosen – are you sure?

    I again ask the question – what is the point of praying for the lost? The selected will be saved one way or another and the doomed will be doomed. Cut and dried. Prayers would make no difference in the outcome.

  • Drew

    God’s plan of salvation through Jesus was predestined before the foundation of the world. The only sin that will not be forgiven is blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. Jesus told his disciples that the Holy Ghost would lead them into all truth about himself. So rejecting the Holy Ghost when He is leading a person to the truth of Jesus is rejecting the only one who can save us from that person’s sin, for which the wages are death and eternal separation from God. If a person doesn’t have the chance to reject the free gift of salvation Jesus purchased with His blood on the cross, then they cannot be guilty of rejecting something that they were never offered in the first place. Sin is a rebellious rejection of God’s law. Damnation is a rejection of God’s grace, which he lovingly provided us in the person of His very own Son, Jesus. To recap, a person can’t be guilty of rejecting salvation they were never offered in the first place. Many are called, but few are chosen. So what, those people who were called but not chosen were never going to have salvation in the first place? They were called, so was God basically playing a game of ‘nah, nah nah, nah boo boo’? Lets get back to living above all as citizen’s of heaven, of one mind, standing firm, giving all of our strength together for the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord bless you.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Ross

    I am so not being sarcastic or anything else. You see the guy ‘Fred’ (read comments above) sorry he wrote all his comments here: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/03/13/john-macarthur-i-pray-this-is-not-true/ considered me to not be chosen because I did not believe that God choses us before hand. But instead that He already knows who will accept Him and who won’t. And this is not fortune telling as Fred tried to force on me lol. He is a 5 pointer. So what makes your understanding of predestination different to his?

    Please understand that I am never nasty about these things. It’s called discussion and as much as it gets heated it’s because of comments by Fred that I ask you such a question.

    I know I am saved because of the Holy Spirit in my life, because I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour, that He died on the cross of me and I am washed by His blood, and I repented of my sin, am reborn a new person in Jesus Christ the Son of God and the evidence of this is I abandoned my wicked ways BECAUSE of the Holy Spirit’s conviction in my life, not because of anything I did to change my ways. I have grown and grown and since still been repenting of sin in my life because of my total and utter love for Jesus Christ to be pleasing in His sight. That because of Jesus Christ, Jesus has presented me before our Heavenly Father spotless, dressed in white.

    Now, I ask you the question again. How do you know you are chosen? (I used the word chosen, not saved for a specific reason). How do you tell an unsaved person about election, does this not add a certain amount of bondage over someone as they fear they might now be elect even though they try to desperately live a life pleasing to God? Now your question, “Please tell me How do you know you are saved and what qualifies you to be saved but not someone else?” contradicts what you are trying to convince us of. :) Yes, please tell me how you qualify to be saved and not someone else? How do you know you are not that someone else.

    But lastly. I have to bring this up because this is the crux of the P in tulip. This 5 point list is a man made list, conjured up by John Calvin who ruled his people in a ruthless manner and those who opposed him he had put on trial and sentenced to death. And he believed he could judge men on earth because he believed he was chosen. Do you agree that Calvin’s actions were that of a saved person?

    The argument against ‘free will’ by Calvinists is that is God gave man free will to chose to accept His Son or not, therefore this makes this theology a man centred gospel. However this is not true for the Holy Spirit speaks to every man and those who listen can only change their ways by the power of the Holy Spirit, no one else.

    However if man thinks he is chosen by God, man will elevate himself above others and this can progress to the point of man taking his superiority to a whole level that God condemns.

    Also, Calvinism teaches that the children of Calvinists (chosen) are automatically chosen as well. Can you trace your family tree to see if this is true? Also, how does a Muslim be born again and abandon Islam when his/her entire family were ungodly since who knows when. I know that 1% of my family that are alive right now are genuinely saved – the rest…oh boy – tragedy of note.

    Think logically Ross. Calvin was a murderer, tulip is a man made acronym where there are tons more basic fundamentals that encompass the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If Calvin ever repented, praise the Lord for that – but this terrible doctrine lives on and places one man higher than another because he ‘thinks’ he is special.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Ross

    Another question that can be added to Burning Lamps question of Praying for the lost (who are signed, sealed and stamped as doomed). Do you repent of your sin? If so, why bother? You are chosen and going to heaven no matter what.

  • Ross

    We pray for the lost because we do not know who is elect and who is not. Anyone can claim to be a christian, but only God and themselves knows this is true. Hyper-Calvinism is the concept that you are referring to, namely that since everything is planned it doesnt matter what we do. On the contrary, God has commanded us to preach the gospel, pray for the lost, pray to God in the midst of turmoil. WHY? because he is active in our lives and this shows our dependence on him. Pray does change the outcome, because we do not ever know the outcome beforehand only God does. Look at the story of Joseph, he was sold into slavery, accused of raping the masters wife, and away from his family for many years. AT the end of all of it all Joseph tells his brothers – You meant this for evil, but God meant this for good. God uses our decisions whether good or evil in his plan. The question you ask about prayer is relevant for you to answer as well, because if Free will is enacted and God will not go against free will, what is the point of praying, because would never go against anyone’s will… Also if God is not in control of everything then how can we be sure that Evil will be overcome in the end?

    Drew- we all rejected Jesus when we sinned and would all continue to reject him if it wasnt for his choice of us to bestow Grace on us.

    Deb – the idea that fred shows is that God only has knowledge of what will happen beforehand. This is a popular interpretation of predestination as they think it solves the idea of being “unjust”. However this view is not accurate, first God does have foreknowledge, but it is not just information, Knowledge in the bible as relating to man is always an intimate knowledge, take for example the idea of a man knowing his wife. adam knew eve – does this mean he only knew who she was? Of course not, it is an intimate knowledge of the person. In the same way God’s foreknowledge of us intimate. The bible is also clear that GOd did foreknow what would happen, and that he then predestined that to happen. Romans 8:29-30 tells us this understanding.

    How do i know that i am chosen? I know i am chosen, because my old life has died and i have been reborn into a new creation. My heart has been regenerated and i have new desires. THese new desires are for Jesus and honoring his commandments. I could not have died to myself or been regenerated apart from God choosing to do such a thing. So I know i am chosen, because i have been born again.

    I ask you how you know you are saved and what qualified you to be saved. I asked this because as you even attribute that you did not change your ways, GOd changed you. The evidence of salvation is the same in both understandings of soteriology, however in a “calvinistic” since the qualification is being elected, but in a “free will” view the qualification is them choosing to repent. In a since both are true, being elected is necessary to recieve the calling and choosing to repent is also true, however the stressing of election includes the choosing to repent because man cannot resist God’s will. The free will says the choosing to repent is the difference between the saved and unsaved, but rejects the idea that God gave the change of heart. The change instead comes from themselves ultimately. The holy spirit still convicts in a free will view, but the person can reject it and because of this the final qualifier is in the will of the man. So then if God created every man, why did he design some with the stronger will and others with the weaker will. This is the same question that free willers ask of election to calvinists, however the question is against God who is sovereign instead of why some men choose and others dont. The bible is clear that Faith is a gift from God so, then we are arriving at the same conclusion that God chose to give the faith to some and others he did not, but to the free willer the Glory of mans will is emphasized instead of the Glory of God.

    As to the five points. These were never instituted by Calvin, but rather were extracted from his understanding of scripture. Calvin believed in infant baptism, this was to answer the question to whether babies go to heaven or hell. THe covenant was extended to babies through baptism until they were old enough to have the ability to make the decision themselves. I however do not agree with this doctrine nor agree with the absolute of all of John Calvin’s teachings. The five points of Calvinism are just truth of scripture that were extracted from a fallible mans study of scripture. So by calling myself a calvinist i am not condoning his actions nor his teachings, it is rather to clarify that i hold to the 5 points of the Doctrine of Grace in the Sovereignty of God. The word calvinist is a loaded word that is interpreted differently to many people. It is important for a person to clarify this before one jumps to conclusions about beliefs. I should have clarified this but i did not expect to invest this much time on the discussion, but now that i have i did.

    Calvin is a human, and therefore was fallible his. Peter was also guilty of sins as Paul had to correct him, but does this mean we throw out the truth that he wrote about? Also as i have stated anyone can read the bible and draw the conclusions about the doctrines of Grace, but since they are attributed to Calvin the term Calvinist fits. No one man has perfect doctrine, but as Children of God we are to strive to hold to truth. Being calvinistic or arminian or noncalvinist does not qualify or disqualify anyone from being saved, Faith that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose again is the requirement.

    If anyone thinks that they are “higher” than someone else because they are saved(elect) then they do not understand the grace of God. Because of the doctrine of election i am completely captured by the Grace of God, because i was chosen and picked not because of who i am or waht i have or will do, but that God in his mercy and grace chose me. I say why me. Just as paul said if i am to boast i will boast in the Cross of Christ. If one has an elitist viewpoint they do not understand grace.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Ross

    Okayyy. I understand you. So, why don’t you just say you are a born again Christian and forget labels like Calvinism etc. Quite frankly it’s things like the P in tulip that cause all sorts of problems. Therefore we should not even be bothered trying to understand this. I have never once thought about being chosen. All I know is that God loved the world so much He gave His Only Son as a sacrifice for our sin. He offered this free gift to me and I accepted it and cried my heart out and still do because of what He did for me.

    When I found out about the deeper roots of Calvinism I was shocked, because unfortunately there are many not so nice things that lurk down yonder – that being the slightly open door to Roman Catholicism.

    Back then…say 50 years ago people could sit in a Word of Faith church and still come out of there saved because what they preached was still pretty ok. But now… things have changed and as a born again Christian one can not be part of these organised churches anymore because they no longer preach the truth. The same is happening with Calvinism, unfortunately, you watch and see the ‘elitism’ or Puritanism take hold. Just watch Ross. Bible tells you to watch and pray all the time. What was ok last week might not be ok this week and when that happens you must get out.

    Many so called great Calvinist preachers are not supporting ‘unity’ and building bridges. They speak in riddles, puzzles and metaphors. They say one thing, and then contradict themselves in the very next sentence. They will tell you they are ALL for preaching about Jesus, but which Jesus are they speaking about? Nothing is as it seems anymore, because we are living in the last days, where all christian faiths are going to unite into one religion – and it’s happening right now, and Calvinism has already joined the line to sign up.

  • Ross

    Calvinism is not my religion, i have no religion. I have a relationship, a relationship with Jesus Christ and i agree the labels are more trouble than help, but the label will always be unfortunately because that is what predestination/election is associated with, but i still want to believe in truth and understand scripture and that is why i began to study what election was and the doctrines of Grace. I continue to study because i do want to know if my belief is correct and if it isn’t then i want to correct it. If it is right and i discuss this with others who are opposed to it then i pray that it helps them know truth. I just began these comments because the article is a bit troubling and i wanted to clarify. The church is a scary place because there are many who are wolves in sheep’s clothing and we are to test everything, Christ does want the church to be unified, but unified by Him and for Him, not for our benefit or anything else. It is about his Glory.

    Maranatha
    Ross

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Ross

    I never said Calvinism was a religion. It’s a denomination that I believe preaches the closest to biblical truth than any other. For now that is, however things are-a-changing and rather quickly. But the election thing really concerns me because men WILL elevate themselves, this is what Satan achieved in the garden of Eden and he will use this election thing to do the exact same thing, right now, and it will run rampant.

    Being born again means just that, that you have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    I’m tired, it’s 3:45am. I’m off to sleep.

  • Elijah

    wow. this is such an issue for people.

    I understand why, I guess. You walk up to a man and say “Hey, you’re not actually on planet earth. You’re dreaming.” Well naturally this runs contrary to what this fellow takes for granted as perhaps the most believable thing. He’s not going to come off it so easy and will have a good bit to say, or laugh at you, or whatnot.

    That is to say that it’s not merely about whether or not someone wants to believe that they are in control. Part of the contention is just due to momentum. And then part of it is due to something else altogether. Everyone wants their choice to be dignified. The intrinsic worth of a soul implies that its choice should possess some intrinsic value and the idea of predestination provokes that.

    To be fair, calvinism does not claim that the individual has no free will. Though this is something of a technicality. Technically, men have free will. But, practically, they do not because G-d controls what men do and do not do by either giving or witholding the irrestible desire to work virtue(irresistable grace). While this works out a neat theology, it does nothing to restore the sense that people have been robbed of their choice’ intrinsic value. That some people feel robbed of course does not merit that their must be some alternative. But I think there is.

    Scripture speaks to people as though they have free-will. Even if we do not, there is little point in holding to the idea or considering it very practical. Paul appeals to nature, or what is clearly observable a good few times. There are so few verses that say anything about predestination, and the calvinism model requires a complete twisting of scripture to squeeze out their doctrines. The clearest interpretation is usually the correct one. So, in order to honor the clear interpretation of a handful of verse, they maul many many more and get out something that is not the clearest interpretation.

    But, in all fairness, G-d does not owe us free-will. In fact scripture includes a few instances where free-will was taken away… or eventually taken away. But ulitimately, the Bible expects people to presume that they have a free will and to make wise choices.

    I find myself to be unable to reconcile what seems to be two conflicting doctrines of scripture. G-d has planned everything from the beginning. G-d can override our will and there are a very few instances of this in scripture. G-d draws us first to Him. Even if He merely enables us to choose Him and does not cause it, to choose Him involves virtue. We do not possess virtue. Natural affection, a conscience, yes. But we are wicked and all goodness comes from G-d. Sounds like a calvinism infomercial, I know.

    Well, I believe we have free will. And that G-d predestines. And I don’t have a neat theology that weaves them together. I won’t quote verses, because, let’s be honest, nobody reads verses and then comes to a conclusion on this matter. People just look for stuff to support their conclusions.

    More heat than light, I believe the saying goes.

    Well, the best to you.

  • timothy

    The reason that calvinism is heretical, divisive, erroneous, is because the dont understand election israel or the endtimes.there are more reasons…..

  • timothy

    Sorry missed the capital.” There are more reasons why calvinism is evil doctrine

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    timothy

    It’s heretical because they believe in PREDESTINATION which violates the message of Salvation. If you are ‘Chosen’ (no free will) you have no need for Jesus. That is the main reason why it’s an heretical doctrine.

    Some do and some don’t understand the end times. Some are pre-trib and some are amillennial.

  • LBW

    Hi sister Debs. Calvinism in practice entails first being chosen followed by believing instead of believing and so being part of the Elect, who is our Lord Jesus. We were greatly helped by looking at the prepositions used by the apostles in their writings in the original Greek. Paul speaks of believing INTO Jesus which we have consistently found to be a foreign concept to those who prefer to be chosen before they believed. Severe consequences are misunderstandings regarding fellowship. Those chosen first regard their local church as the place of fellowship. Those who have believed INTO Jesus (the head of the church) have fellowship with the Father and the Son and all others around the world who have also believed into Him.

  • LBW

    Borrowed joke – we know a little Greek, he owns a shop on the corner!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    LBW

    That was brilliantly said. And severe consequences indeed. You end up like John MacArthur who denies the blood of Jesus.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    LBW

    I was going to say I know I little Chineese, but realised that was not gonna work. LOL

  • Steve

    Calvinism says that Jesus Christ died only for the Elect (those predestined for eternal life), and not for the non elect (those chosen for eternal damnation). This is not the Jesus Christ of the Scriptures, who died for died for the sins of the whole world (John 3:16), therefore Calvinism is Heresy.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Interesting discussion taking place at a website called Holy Culture:

  • Burning Lamp

    You have to register to be able to access the conversation.

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Steve wrote:

    Calvinism says that Jesus Christ died only for the Elect (those predestined for eternal life), and not for the non elect (those chosen for eternal damnation). This is not the Jesus Christ of the Scriptures, who died for died for the sins of the whole world (John 3:16), therefore Calvinism is Heresy.

    GE defends truth:

    Of what you say, this is true:
    “Calvinism says that Jesus Christ died only for the Elect (those predestined for eternal life), and not for the non elect”.

    But this,
    “…the non elect (those chosen for eternal damnation)”.

    It isn’t true, first, because that is NOT what ‘Calvinism’ or rhe Reformed Faith teaches. Second, because that is not what the Bible teaches.

    Explanation of the truth in this regard is simple. ALL men are totally depraved, which means, are by nature, and born, SINNERS, and sinners are any men who have made themselves debtors to the Law of God that says the reward of sin is death; and sin is the transgression of the Law, and the Law is the strength of sin. The ‘any men’ are ALL men.

    Therefore NO ONE is by God “chosen for eternal damnation”; all men have themselves “chosen for eternal damnation” irrevocably but for the grace of God who from the “same lump of clay” chooses to his own good pleasure whomsoever He SOVEREIGNLY WILLS, to save from “eternal damnation”.

    So if you are ‘saved’, you are “saved by grace”, and if you believe that you are saved, you shall be saved by grace through faith” ONLY, or not at all, ever! You WILL fulfill your OWN choice “for eternal damnation”: it is “the strength of the Law”! Yes, and as a reminder, it is “the strength of the Law” OF GOD!

    Nothing man can do can he do by his own will or power except his own downfall. The result of his OWN demise though, is not for man to decide or create; it is God’s WILL that the result of Man’s disobedience and unbelief SHALL be “eternal damnation”. And SHALL be “eternal damnation” BECAUSE it is MAN’S own CHOICE, WILL and DESIRE. Because it is man’s own choice, will and desire AGAINST GOD— against God’s CHOICE, WILL and DESIRE for, and with, man. Because man’s will and choice are the slaves of his natural propensities, which are through and through SINFUL.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    Again, you miss the MAIN POINT:

    I think it’s terrible to think that you GE, have placed yourself on a pedestal above other people, and that you call the scriptures a LIE when it says that JESUS DIED FOR THE WHOLE WORLD. In stead you say that Jesus only died for you and others who believe in PREDESTINATION. Yes the bible speaks about predestination, but not because God chose some to go to heaven and some to go to hell (this is what JOHN CALVIN believed), heaven forbid, no! Predestination in that He FOREKNEW who would choose His Son. He KNOWS the hearts of each and every single man on earth and each and every little baby still to be born.

    You are a very intelligent man GE, that I have no doubt, but honestly, TULIP destroys the gospel message of salvation, because 1) Jesus did not die for the whole world 2) you can sin and go to heaven no matter what because once Chosen always chosen. And just to settle the matter, no I am not Arminian. My gospel lies between the pages of the Bible and does not belong to any MAN, was not created by any man and does not form any sort of acronym.

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Steve wrote:

    Calvinism says that Jesus Christ died only for the Elect (those predestined for eternal life), and not for the non elect (those chosen for eternal damnation). This is not the Jesus Christ of the Scriptures, who died for died for the sins of the whole world (John 3:16), therefore Calvinism is Heresy.

    GE defends the truth, further:

    This also, is not true of what you say:

    “…the Jesus Christ of the Scriptures, who died for the sins of the whole world (John 3:16)”

    It is not true, specifically not, with reference to “John 3:16″.

    First:
    WHAT of what you say here, do you find in “John 3:16″? NOTHING but the one word misplaced and misinterpreted out of context, the word “world”.

    One does not find the word or words, “who died for the sins of the whole” in “John 3:16″; they are the words and the thoughts of ‘Steve’.

    The CONTRARY is true,
    that John wrote that
    “God gave his only begotten Son,
    that whosoever BELIEVETH…” and NONE other—
    “…believeth IN HIM” and in NONE other—
    “…should not perish” like ALL – they and all others without grace – MUST;
    “…BUT…” thanks to the grace of God and to nothing else—
    “…that they should have eternal life” the unconditional and free gift of God according to His Eternal Purpose through Jesus Christ
    TO THOSE ONLY WHO ONLY BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF JESUS ONLY.
    Which is ‘Election’— ‘CONDITIONAL election’!

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    GE

    Again, you miss the MAIN POINT:

    I think it’s terrible to think that you GE, have placed yourself on a pedestal above other people, and that you call the scriptures a LIE when it says that JESUS DIED FOR THE WHOLE WORLD. In stead you say that Jesus only died for you and others who believe in PREDESTINATION. Yes the bible speaks about predestination, but not because God chose some to go to heaven and some to go to hell (this is what JOHN CALVIN believed), heaven forbid, no! Predestination in that He FOREKNEW who would choose His Son. He KNOWS the hearts of each and every single man on earth and each and every little baby still to be born.

    You are a very intelligent man GE, that I have no doubt, but honestly, TULIP destroys the gospel message of salvation, because 1) Jesus did not die for the whole world 2) you can sin and go to heaven no matter what because once Chosen always chosen. And just to settle the matter, no I am not Arminian. My gospel lies between the pages of the Bible and does not belong to any MAN, was not created by any man and does not form any sort of acronym.

    GE will attack if asked to attack:

    Deborah, you have no argument from the Scriptures for your viewpoint or against TULIP, so you resort to personal attack and judgment.

    That is all I shall answer with.

    Thanks,
    GE

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    It must be more than 10 years ago that I tried to converse with Prof Malan, with no avail to today.

    My books are in the library of the University of the North; that, nor my personal correspondence to him, could bring him so far as to just acknowledge receipt of my post. Now I can’t say he actually received my posts to him through usual as well as through e-mail; or even that he knows about my books in the library of the university where he is Professor in Religious Studies.

    However, IF he is still active whether professionally or in private capacity – I believe he became emeritus professor or dominee in the meantime – is it not possible that he could partake in a discussion such as this one here on DTW where ordinary people and lower class like myself, could exchange ideas with him?

    What a difference that would make!

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    ………….
    you call the scriptures a LIE when it says that JESUS DIED FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.
    ……………

    Now GE will TRY to answer for the faith that actually is in him:

    Please quote me those “Scripture”?

    But yes, Jesus DID die to save the whole world, that is, the whole creation, the “KOSMOS” (Jn3:16). And Jn3:16 explains EXACTLY HOW God did it and is going to do it. 1) God gave His Son, 2) so that those whom God had graced with faith might have everlasting life and not PERISH WITH THE WHOLE WORLD SHOULD THEY PERISH!

    Yes! The Scriptures say “The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God” (Ro8:19), because the whole world of God’s creation is “joint-heir of God” and his grace through “the children of God”, who themselves are “joint-heirs with Christ” (16,17). “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now (as one, with the saints) … Even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the putting on, to wit, of the redemption of OUR BODY”— which is meant both physically the body of the glorified resurrection-flesh of the redeemed; and, metaphorically, the redemption of the ‘body’ of the whole suffering ‘kosmos’ and creation of God because of the fall into sin of _man_. “Forsake not the works of Thine Own Hands.” Ps 138:8 Christ speaking: “O LORD, how great are thy works; I will triumph in the works of thy hands.” Ps92:5,4. The whole ‘kosmos’ perished with man; the whole cosmos will be saved together with dead men made alive by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    Deborah, you have no argument from the Scriptures for your viewpoint or against TULIP, so you resort to personal attack and judgment.

    That is all I shall answer with.

    That will be the day. I have tons of articles on the subject with tons of scripture to back up that Calvinism is WRONG. And that was not a personal attack. It’s FACT, you believe you are CHOSEN – so Jesus only died for you. I came to know Jesus Christ by hearing the Word of God – I was not chosen, I am no more special than the unsaved person living next door to me, EXCEPT that I believed by faith that Jesus Christ died for me (i.e, the whole world) – but in Calvinists eyes I am actually a reprobate, because I do not believe in all the 5 petals of the tulip.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    What makes you think that Prof Malan MUST SPEAK TO YOU. I find this so funny. If Prof Malan has said ALL that is needed to be said, what more must he say to you or me even?

    I can get some very well to do, knowledgeable people to come on here and discuss with you, but what is the point? It will go absolutely no where. I have no intention of discussing Calvinism or even being convinced it’s correct, because it’s not.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    >> Please quote me those “Scripture”?

    1 John 2:2 (King James Version)

    2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    So stop with you sarcasm to Steve. He most probably quoted the wrong verse, but he most surely was NOT WRONG.

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    GE……….you say that Jesus only died for you and others who believe in PREDESTINATION. Yes the bible speaks about predestination, but not because God chose some to go to heaven and some to go to hell (this is what JOHN CALVIN believed), heaven forbid, no! …………..

    GE:
    Re: Deborah, “you say that Jesus only died for you and others who believe in PREDESTINATION”.

    No Deborah; that is not so; no ‘Calvinist’ “believes in PREDESTINATION”. We believe predestination, yes; in that we believe IN THE GOD of predestination. We believe God is the God of predestination – the God of the predetermining of the destiny of his Elect in particular – because He is the Omnipotent and Merciful. I can lay down my head on my pillow and sleep like a rock. I can cheerfully get in my car and head for wherever. NOW HERE’S THE DIFFERENCE God’s predestination makes for the Elect, that would they live OR die OR suffer, they live or die or suffer in the peace and happiness and love of God. Were one to die while he sleeps or travels, his “LIFE IS HID WITH CHRIST IN GOD”. God’s Providence is the comfort and consolation, and the insurance and assurance of PEACE and REST and JOY of God’s Elect in the Salvation that is given them by grace in Christ, through Christ and for the sake of Jesus Christ.

    Re: Deborah, “GE……….you say that Jesus only died for you and others who believe in PREDESTINATION. Yes the bible speaks about predestination, but not because God chose some to go to heaven and some to go to hell (this is what JOHN CALVIN believed)” which of course, is not true.

    I say Jesus died and rose from the dead for all his Elect whom none shall pluck one from Jesus’ hand. Either Jesus is the True and Faithful Witness, or He must be the devil or Arminius.

    Then, No, the Bible does NOT “speak about predestination … because God chose some to go to heaven and some to go to hell”… once again. God did not choose any “to go to hell”. “WE ALL like sheep astray” CHOSE OF OUR OWN SELVES “to go to hell” in stead of believe God and his warning: “The day that you eat thereof you SHALL DIE!” ‘God chose some’ for to SAVE them FROM hell where they all the time have found themselves.

    (God saved some very real individuals to metaphorically go to ‘heaven’, ‘heaven’ meaning nothing concretely spaciously or super-terrestrial.)

    Re: Deborah, “God chose some to go to heaven and some to go to hell (this is what JOHN CALVIN believed)”.

    Sorry, again, not true or fair. As far as those “God chose to go to heaven” is concerned, John Calvin did not say something of the kind or believed anything of a kind unless metaphorically like Deborah herself. And as far as those whom God – as according to Deborah Calvin “believed” – “chose to go to hell”— it is once again, easier said than proven that Calvin believed or said. Calvin did say though that the wicked and lost cannot go to hell of their own choice as they cannot go to heaven of their own choice. Unregenerate man is the slave of his own will and the own will of unregenerate man is the slave of the unregenerate man. As I said before, God’s will for disobedience to and transgression of his holy Law is DEATH for the disobedient and transgressor. The reward or the penalty for man’s sinful choice is God’s will; it is not God’s choice though. Man’s going to hell was MAN’S own choice and will; his choice and will were man’s SIN, and the penalty or reward, is God’s will! Man MUST go to hell for his sin; it’s not a matter simply of whether he so chose.

  • Burning Lamp

    Obviously GE’s mind is set in concrete on TULIP. Debate is fruitless. Calvinists love to debate (ala James White) as it appeals to their intellectual flesh. Just ask Dave Hunt. He decided to write a book esposing the errors of Calvinism and leave it at that.

    Calvinism is a false belief system every bit as much as SDA or any others that corrupt
    the Gospel. That is the test of any belief – does it preach the true Gospel. Calvinism
    falls short.

    Kudos to Deborah for taking this most unpopular stand. She doesn’t expect praise,
    her reward will come later – but those of us who love truth should appreciate her
    efforts.

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    GE

    What makes you think that Prof Malan MUST SPEAK TO YOU. I find this so funny. If Prof Malan has said ALL that is needed to be said, what more must he say to you or me even?

    I can get some very well to do, knowledgeable people to come on here and discuss with you, but what is the point? It will go absolutely no where. I have no intention of discussing Calvinism or even being convinced it’s correct, because it’s not.

    GE apologises:

    Calm down, Deborah! I com in peace! Dis ons mense, moenie skiet nie!

    I only raised a THOUGHT: If the Professor could join the discussion?

    Bu I wrote to him PERSONALLY — more than once — to request that we one on one discuss certain things. What did I get? No answer.

    I shall tell you in any case, whether you or no one else may be interested or not, that there is an educated stand-off prevailing among the scholarly divines that as a science in its own right, deserves to get a course of at least one year at post graduate level.

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    ………

    Predestination in that He FOREKNEW who would choose His Son. He KNOWS the hearts of each and every single man on earth and each and every little baby still to be born.
    …………..

    GE: will try let the Scriptures speak for themselves in this matter:

    Deborah of DTW claims, “Predestination in that He FOREKNEW”… (the word “in” mistyped for “is”)… “Predestination is that He FOREKNEW”? It wouldn’t make much of a difference any which way…

    Now what does the Scriptures say?
    Romans 8:28-30 “We know that for the ones loving God…for them – the called of God according to his (Eternal) Purpose –, all things work together for good because whom God foreknew and FORE-ordained / PRE-destinated (‘pre-destined’), He conformed to the image of his Son so that the Son shall be the Firstborn among many brethren; and whom God fore-ordained / pre-destinated, THESE in fact He called; and whom God called, these in fact He justified— these in fact, God glorified. … Who will bring charge against the Elect of God?”

    God’s foreknowledge and God’s foreordination are different things; the one is not the other; they are distinct, two, acts— yea, attributes— of God.

    “The called of God according to his (Eternal) Purpose” that are “also called”, are both “known” AND “ordained / destinated”, “BEFORE”; then, are “called”. So that the CAUSE of both their calling and eventual completed salvation is by ‘pre-determination’ rather than by post-determination; is by objective choice rather than by subjective choice; is by God’s purpose and intent rather than by the purpose or intent of “them-fore-known-and-fore-ordained” “from before the foundation of the world”.

    Note: “…whom God fore-ordained / pre-destinated, THESE in fact He called etc.” … Note that “being fore-known”, is NOT repeated like “being pre-destinated” is repeated. It is because both their being foreknown and being fore-destined by God, ANTICIPATE the “calling” of the Elect. How can their RESPONSE to their “calling” anticipate their calling or anticipate and underlie God’s foreknowledge or fore-ordination which are the cause and underlying ‘motive’ with GOD, of their “calling”, justification and sanctification and eventual salvation and glorification? It cannot.

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with _ALL_ spiritual blessings with regard to heavenly things IN CHRIST: ACCORDING AS 1) HE, hath CHOSEN us (not us, Him!) IN HIM, BEFORE the foundation of the world; that we (in our own life-time? No! “IN HIM”) should be holy and without blame before Him (the Father) in (His) love (for us). …In (His) love (for us) having 2) PREDESTINATED us _UNTO_ the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself— (ULTIMATELY) according to the (ETERNAL) pleasure of _HIS_ will to the praise of the glory of his grace wherein the Father has made us accepted in the Beloved (Son of God).

    Note: “the Father has made us ACCEPTED in the Beloved”, NOT, ‘acceptable / presentable / good enough / virtuous’, but “ACCEPTED” JUST LIKE WE ARE AND FOR WHAT WE ARE: SINNERS prone to reject the love of God rather than be loved by God. God saved us despite ourselves; not because we for once in our lives have ‘made the right decision’.

    That is what ‘Calvinism’ means to me; and that is ‘Calvinism’ what it means to me or not.

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    GE

    Deborah, you have no argument from the Scriptures for your viewpoint or against TULIP, so you resort to personal attack and judgment.

    That is all I shall answer with.

    That will be the day. I have tons of articles on the subject with tons of scripture to back up that Calvinism is WRONG. And that was not a personal attack. It’s FACT, you believe you are CHOSEN – so Jesus only died for you. I came to know Jesus Christ by hearing the Word of God – I was not chosen, I am no more special than the unsaved person living next door to me, EXCEPT that I believed by faith that Jesus Christ died for me (i.e, the whole world) – but in Calvinists eyes I am actually a reprobate, because I do not believe in all the 5 petals of the tulip.

    GE:

    Pretty enthusiastic.

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    You know Deborah, I am even worse than you, and just the same as ‘the unsaved person living next door to’ you. You see, maybe I stayed next door to you not knowing, because, you see, I am no more special than the unsaved person living next door to you or me, DESPITE that I believe God chose me JUST LIKE THAT.

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Debohrah, you say, “I do not believe in all the 5 petals of the tulip”. Are there any you believe? Which ‘petal’ or ‘petals’ are they? Which are the ones you do not believe?

    I accept ‘the acronym’ in full. It is a problem – I admit – about ‘Calvinism’ that it is identified with the Reformation-Faith of “the 5 petals of the tulip”. When I speak of ‘Calvinism’ I mean TULIP; I mean FREE GRACE; I mean the SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD; I mean the BONDAGE OF THE WILL; I MEAN Sola Gratia, Sola Fidei, Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus. When I speak of ‘Calvinism’ I mean Church Order and Liturgy, the Autonomy of the Congregation, Presbyterianism and Ordination, and Confessional Incorporation into the Body of Christ’s Own. Most of all, I mean the Authority of the Scriptures when I speak of ‘Calvinism’. The Authority of the Scriptures mean that no organizational structure – no ‘Church’ – is above the Scriptures and that none of its doctrines can be ossified and dead dogma. It means even Calvin must obey the Scriptures and be its servant, and not vice versa. As in every other branch of Christianity you will get its extremists, so in ‘Calvinism’. They should not be confused for true ‘Calvinism’ or vindictively represented for true ‘Calvinism’ by the enemies of ‘Calvinism’. There is NO Church-movement without its skeleton or more in the cupboard. Because we are sinners does not excuse us to proclaim God’s Truth; if we used to be BIG sinners we are become the children of God with FULL responsibilities nevertheless.

    The war is being fought on more than one front; it is tragic when two flanks of the armies of the Prince of Peace go for one another while not even noticing the enemy slipping through their ranks. Rather open your eyes, dear Deborah, to Islam that has infiltrated Christianity already under the pseudonym of Unitarianism, and never forget that Unitarians are the fiercest opponents of Calvinism. This war has been raging since Servetus. Christians do not realize it.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    LOL Gotta love the way you play with words, well at least you try too. I don’t have time for “no Calvinist believes in predestination”, we believe predestination, yes…” etc, etc, etc, etc. What the….

    No really… Your intelligence outsmarts the Bible GE.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    But you see, you INSULT ME AGAIN. You said that God chose you and not me. Because I do not believe in the acronym TULIP I am unsaved, unchosen! Right?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    I believe in everything you believe except (I use the word ‘everything’ with reservation, because it seems you don’t believe in water baptism, but for the sake of comparing TULIP) I believe WE have FREE WILL to choose and are not PRE-CHOSEN. And God in his SOVEREIGNTY MADE IT THAT WAY – BECAUSE HE CAN ;)

    Calvinism is NOT THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST – The BIBLE is the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST! No where in the Bible do I see the words Calvinism. Throughout history there have been BORN AGAIN Christians, millions of them and then there have been those trying to twist the Gospel of Jesus Christ into something that it is NOT. I am a Born Again Christian, I belong to Jesus Christ, I have the Holy Spirit living in me and Calvinism is NOT the Gospel, it SOUNDS like the Gospel, but it’s not… when it comes to the Salvation the MESSAGE IS VERY DISTORTED.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    Islam that has infiltrated Christianity already under the pseudonym of Unitarianism

    I know all about this, I know about pretty much everything that is going on. But there is a BIGGER enemy and that is FALSE Christianity itself.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    Definitely not any of my neighbours lol.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    >> Calm down, Deborah! I com in peace! Dis ons mense, moenie skiet nie!

    LOL.

  • Burning Lamp

    GE, once again, your intelligence is your worst enemy. You have an uncanny way of complicating a very simple concept. God made the Gospel SIMPLE so that intelligence would not be a factor. You even find a way to complicate TULIP. I don’t believe in ANY of TULIP, not even perseverance of the saints although I do believe in eternal security of the believer. Why? Because P is based on a false premise. P says that a believer is secure because God chose them and if God chose them of course they can’t be lost. Again, a forced conversion is a secure conversion – a perversion of the Gospel!!

    There is a reason that God says we have to become like a child to receive the Gospel – it takes a CHILDLIKE faith which I hope that you will come to realize and adopt. The Pharisees couldn’t grasp it because they were in love with their KNOWLEDGE. GE, I say this in love – you have made an idol of your knowledge and you have deceived yourself.

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    GE

    But you see, you INSULT ME AGAIN. You said that God chose you and not me. Because I do not believe in the acronym TULIP I am unsaved, unchosen! Right?

    GE:

    No Deborah! Where have I said ANY of this? No Deborah, THIS HERE, is what YOU, Deborah is saying; now for the second time! Not me, GE; YOU, Deborah!

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    GE

    Islam that has infiltrated Christianity already under the pseudonym of Unitarianism

    I know all about this, I know about pretty much everything that is going on. But there is a BIGGER enemy and that is FALSE Christianity itself.

    GE:
    “False Christianity” today is Islam POSING as true Christianity, under the names of ‘Unitarianism’ and ‘Religious Plurality’. The old enemy, ‘humanism’ by current, ‘modern’, catch-words names.

  • Gerhard Ebersöhn

    Karl Barth — my ol’ beloved Reformed theologian — used to say, (as I remember it overgesetsynde in Engels) “There is only one bridge between faith and not-believing and un-belief; and that is the CONFESSION of one’s faith.” My experience have proven him right, times innumerable. Wise old great man. He never knew of my existence or of this insignificant admirer; his admirer who did not see eye to eye with him his admirer non the less. What a strange relationship… thanks to Barth’s NOBLE way to differ with his own faith. His was a rare quality indeed.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    >>> No Deborah! Where have I said ANY of this? No Deborah, THIS HERE, is what YOU, Deborah is saying; now for the second time! Not me, GE; YOU, Deborah!

    You see you FAIL you realise that in your comments, when YOU say you believe in TULIP you ‘are chosen’. I don’t believe in the Calvinist acronym TULIP therefore by default I AM NOT CHOSEN. You insult me. Comprende? Go back and READ what you have written, especially with regards to irresistible grace where because of this you ‘are chosen’. I believe in FREE WILL hence I am not chosen (according to Calvinism) – so by DEFAULT I am NOT CHOSEN, a REPROBATE – DOOMED. That’s an insult to me GE. But it’s ok, I am used to it, especially on this website.

    So tell me, why do you not believe that God in His Sovereignty gave you Free Will?

    And why do you not believe the scriptures when the Bible says that JESUS DIED FOR SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD?

    1 John 2:2 (King James Version)

    2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    Why are you so worried about Islam when Calvinism has one foot in Roman Catholicism? I think you need to pay more attention to your own backyard first – You are like the pot calling the kettle black.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    >> Karl Barth — my ol’ beloved Reformed theologian — used to say, (as I remember it overgesetsynde in Engels) “There is only one bridge between faith and not-believing and un-belief; and that is the CONFESSION of one’s faith.” My experience has proven him right, times innumerable. Wise old great man. He never knew of my existence or of this insignificant admirer; his admirer who did not see eye to eye with him his admirer non the less. What a strange relationship… thanks to Barth’s NOBLE way to differ with his own faith. His was a rare quality indeed.

    I hope your POST-MODERN views are not starting to show itself out of the cracks…. I mean REALLY GE – You should know that Karl Barth was one of the main advocates of NEO ORTHODOX doctrine – that is the Bible is the Word of God, but the Bible is NOT the Words of God, only when one reads the text does it become the word of God to the person reading it (what we end up with is the individual using his own reasoning in deciding what parts of Scripture actually make up the Word of God.) ALSO Karl Barth’s view of the Word of God, for instance, does not proceed by arguing or proclaiming that the Bible must be uniformly historically and scientifically accurate, and then establishing other theological claims on that foundation. ROB BELL and other Emergents love Karl Barth!

  • Tom Lessing

    Valerie wrote:

    Deborah,

    So the bottom line for me is that we are not saved YET. It is a promise, but it is not yet. That is why we walk in faith now. Just as the Old Testament saints were able to look forward in Faith to the work of Messiah. In God’s economy the ressurection was sure and nothing could stop it, so our salvation is sure as well, but it has not occured yet in time.

    Blessings

    If you are not saved YET when will you ever know that you are saved – a second before your death or even after your death? What did John mean when he wrote the following:

    So there are three witnesses [b]in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One; and there are three witnesses on the earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree [are in unison; their testimony coincides].If we accept [as we do] the testimony of men [if we are willing to take human authority], the testimony of God is greater (of stronger authority), for this is the testimony of God, even the witness which He has borne regarding His Son. He who believes in the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] has the testimony [possesses this divine attestation] within himself. He who does not believe God [in this way] has made Him out to be and represented Him as a liar, because he has not believed (put his faith in, adhered to, and relied on) the evidence (the testimony) that God has borne regarding His Son. And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life. I write this to you who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) the name of the Son of God [in [c]the peculiar services and blessings conferred by Him on men], so that you may know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have life, yes, eternal life.

    What more do you need? God’s testimony of his Son and the salvation He alone procures and sustains is much greater than your own testimony and the testimony of anyone else. Who are you going to believe – God or your own flimsy testimony that we are not saved YET. Are you prepared to say to God’s face that He is a liar?

  • Haai everybody,

    Have the readers noticed how on every of DTW’s anti-Calvinism ‘articles’, the Anti’s are Anties and the Pro’s are Ooms?

    Reminds me of the SDAs and their free will propagandist, an Antie no wonder.

    And the great guru Anti-Antie, is in the business of Anti’s a mere three weeks or something, I read somewhere…

  • Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    GE

    >> Karl Barth — my ol’ beloved Reformed theologian — used to say, (as I remember it overgesetsynde in Engels) “There is only one bridge between faith and not-believing and un-belief; and that is the CONFESSION of one’s faith.” My experience has proven him right, times innumerable. Wise old great man. He never knew of my existence or of this insignificant admirer; his admirer who did not see eye to eye with him his admirer non the less. What a strange relationship… thanks to Barth’s NOBLE way to differ with his own faith. His was a rare quality indeed.

    I hope your POST-MODERN views are not starting to show itself out of the cracks…. I mean REALLY GE – You should know that Karl Barth was one of the main advocates of NEO ORTHODOX doctrine – that is the Bible is the Word of God, but the Bible is NOT the Words of God, only when one reads the text does it become the word of God to the person reading it (what we end up with is the individual using his own reasoning in deciding what parts of Scripture actually make up the Word of God.) ALSO Karl Barth’s view of the Word of God, for instance, does not proceed by arguing or proclaiming that the Bible must be uniformly historically and scientifically accurate, and then establishing other theological claims on that foundation. ROB BELL and other Emergents love Karl Barth!

    GE observed that:

    What took Deborah to establish in one sentence, took Karl Barth to QUESTION, 12 MASSIVE volumes!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    GE

    Why are you so worried about Islam when Calvinism has one foot in Roman Catholicism? I think you need to pay more attention to your own backyard first – You are like the pot calling the kettle black.

    GE wanted to say…

    …it was something about showing one’s true colour …but he decided against it.

    Instead, allow GE a little anecdote, please, about Luther, who in debate (much like ours here on DTW) with Erasmus, remarked about the ‘topic’ of the dispute, ‘free will’ in particular TULIP in general (‘The manifest of the Reformation’ referring to Luther’s “Bondage of the will”!), that it was the hinge upon which the door between RCatholicism and the ‘theology’ of the Reformation hung and turned close or open this way— OR that.

    Now I ask, what was the WHOLE Worms debate about? And you Deborah, tells me Calvinism has a footing in RCism? I think you need to pay more attention to your Church HISTORY, dear Deborah!

  • WHY in one single complete concept and word was there a ‘Bartholemew Night’? Because of baptism-differences? Because of hierarchical differences? Because of Eucharistic differences? Not at all: Because the people of the land (France) LEFT Roman Catholicism and turned Calvinistic and TULIP!

    WHY did the Huguenots migrate to South Africa? Because they fled because they were cowards and rebels (like our own people now-a-days claim) and like the Catholics say? No! for space and Freedom to believe FREE GRACE and live Calvinistic lives!

  • Burning Lamp wrote:

    GE, …………. So tell me, why ….. do you not believe the scriptures when the Bible says that JESUS DIED FOR SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD?

    1 John 2:2 (King James Version)

    2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    GE:
    If permitted, let GE call on help from an old and valued friend in the faith, (not in the person, before I’m accused I think somewhat of myself:

    … “That He by the grace of God should taste death for every man”(Heb. 2:9) no more included Cain, Pharaoh and Judas than “every man” is to be understood absolutely in Luke 16:16; Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 4:5; and “all men” in 1Timothy 2:4, 6, is no more to be taken as meaning all without exception than it is in Luke 3:15; John 3:26; Acts 22:15.
    Arthur W. Pink.

    Just so, “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world”(1 John 2:2), no more included Cain, Pharaoh and Judas than “every man” understood as “the whole world” absolutely in Luke 16:16; Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 4:5; and “all men” understood as “the whole world” in 1Timothy 2:4, 6, is no more to be taken as meaning all or “the whole world” and “every man” without exception than it is in Luke 3:15; John 3:26; Acts 22:15.

    And the examples of where “the whole world” or “every man” is to be understood “NOT absolutely” in the sense of “without exception”, by far outweighs in numbers the scares cases where “the whole world” or “every man” is to be understood “absolutely” in the sense of “without exception”.

    HOWEVER LOOKED AT, TRUTH IS IN ALL CASES LIKE “1John 2:2” and “Heb. 2:9” where reference is to the saved, that “the whole world” as well as “every man” is to be understood ABSOLUTELY in the sense of “without exception” OF THE SAVED. Simple, honest, logical, relevant and pertinent TRUTH and nothing than the truth and the whole truth. …. GEEN doekies omdraai nie.

    OR: ONE MUST ACCEPT APOKATASTASIS, and create a ‘heaven’ where I may get a neighbour I really would not like to have, like maybe Servetus, or Mohammed or Judas, or Saul…. My chances get the slimmer with every reprobate ‘in heaven’, to get a decent ‘Calvinist’ neighbour…. not a very inviting prospect.

  • Marinda

    Wow, I read with awe the debate about Calvinism, which, by the way, I believe is Christianity’s worst enemy together with Roman Catholicism. The gentlemen GE is surely no easy foe. He has certainly no teachable spirit, and is apept in Scripture twisting to suite his own mind. Its time to let him go, God will deal with him in HIS OWN TIME. Deborah, do not waste any of your precious time on this. Get on with spreading the True Gospel givin to us in THE WORD OF GOD and NOT BY CALVIN.

  • Hilgard Muller

    There is no such a thing as a one point calvinist. Prof Malan says the following: There are many so-called evangelical or moderate Calvinists who reject the doctrines of predestination, limited atonement, irresistible grace and a form of depravity that precludes decision-making between good and evil; but such people nevertheless identify with point five, which teaches eternal security. Is a 20% Calvinist truly a Calvinist? No, but this is an anomalous situation. The five points of Calvin are interlinked and cannot rationally be separated. They are all based upon the notion of a disabled or completely distorted human will and its alleged substitution by God’s counsel for all people.
    All 5 points are wrong. A detailed discussion on Calvinism available at [removed]

  • Burning Lamp

    GE, the longer you post here the more you reveal your confused theology. Maybe this will be a blessing for you – I pray so!

    When you declare your devotion to Karl Barth, you are either pulling our chain (so ridiculous it is laughable) or you are genuinely down the tubes. It shouldn’t be a shock that you revere Barth as he is known as one of the greatest Christian “thinkers”. Yes, another INTELLECTUAL. He was a master of taking a truth and twisting it like a pretzel until it morphed into something foreign to Biblical truth.

    Apparently you think that Reformed Theology is the bedrock truth and all else does not matter.

    Did you know that Barth did not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible?

    Did you know that Barth was an adulterer?

    From a humanistic standpoint he did oppose Hitler, but that does not make him a true Christian. One could compare him to Deidrich Bonnehoffer,who was a good human being who many Christians revere but don’t realize that he did not hold to orthodoxy – the fundamentals of the faith.

    GE, once again you have fallen into the trap of honoring INTELLECT over truth. Jesus chose simple laborers to follow Him and Paul had to be blinded and brought to his knees in order to see his pride so that he could serve the Lord.

    Yes, GE – see that word PRIDE? God HATES it! Why to you think God HATES PRIDE so much?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    >> What took Deborah to establish in one sentence, took Karl Barth to QUESTION, 12 MASSIVE volumes!

    So what you are saying is that you AGREE with Karl Barth on his views? hmmm??

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    I think you need to stop quoting Martin Luther, a man who hated Jews an persecuted them. Lutheranism is closer to Roman Catholicism than Calvinism, never the less. ST. AUGUSTINE (Who bowed to the Rome Church) was the mastermind of Christianity at the time, John Calvin leeched off of St Augustine’s writings and CREATED Calvinism. A much despised doctrine by the people of Geneva who could not live upto Calvin’s standards, were burnt at the stake. Lovely.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    >>WHY in one single complete concept and word was there a ‘Bartholemew Night’? Because of baptism-differences? Because of hierarchical differences? Because of Eucharistic differences? Not at all: Because the people of the land (France) LEFT Roman Catholicism and turned Calvinistic and TULIP!

    >>WHY did the Huguenots migrate to South Africa? Because they fled because they were cowards and rebels (like our own people now-a-days claim) and like the Catholics say? No! for space and Freedom to believe FREE GRACE and live Calvinistic lives!

    Yes they went up in arms against Roman Catholicism. BUT Roman Catholicism still laced their doctrine in the end. Wake up GE! You value Karl Barth a man who belittles the word of God by insisting it’s not God’s Words. If you agree to that, then you have no room to agree or disagree that Calvinism still has a foothold in Roman Catholicism, because it seems you don’t know Arthur from Marthur. Just look at the Dutch Reformed Church, and NGK NOW…a total shambles, a cesspool of Emergent New Age Teachings, thanks to the likes of men like Karl Barth, who you revere.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Marinda

    Shocking isn’t it. And you are right, and I shall do as you say. I have a few articles lined up. The last month has been a bit of a shambles for me, but I hope to get back on track rearing to go by the end of this week!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    GE

    >> Reminds me of the SDAs and their free will propagandist, an Antie no wonder.

    That’s it GE. You compare me to a Seventh Day Adventist?. That was the final straw. But it’s ok, you showed your beliefs up well and truly, enough for me to say, ‘GOOD BYE AND GOOD RIDDENS’

  • Burning Lamp

    Miranda and Hilgard,
    Thank you for your comments of support. Miranda you are absolutely correct that the TULIP cannot be dissected.

    Debs and I have tried to reason with GE in the hopes that we might snatch him from the fire. At least we tried – I guess it is now time to let him go and pray that God will take what has been said and plant it in his heart and at some point he will find the truth. We do not have any animosity toward GE, just the false and poisonous beliefs he is mired down with. May he get past his intellectualism and come to a knowledge of the truth.

  • [EDITED by DTW: Joke of the year; Someone from the National Socialistic Movement of America comes all the way over to my blog and insults me with vile language - under the topic of Calvinism.]

  • Burning Lamp

    That doesn’t make sense – these guys don’t have any religion as such.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    BL

    Yes, that is what I didn’t understand either. He said I don’t know what I am speaking about and I am always putting others down….errr. Since when did a Nazi care for others. LOL Must be a new thing. Oh wait… I get it. Calvinism is Satan’s doctrine as much as Hayden’s Movement is – so birds of a feather are flocking together here.

  • Burning Lamp

    This is quite interesting. You know the group from Kansas that goes around protesting at the funerals of servicemen? Well, I heard a recording of Fred Phelps, the “pastor” preaching hard-core Calvinism, the TULIP. If it is embraced by the likes of Phelps and his “Baptist” group what does that tell us?

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

  • Martin Horan

    Very often “intellectual” is used as a dirty word (as above). But not all intellectuals are evolutionists or synthesists. Try reading Francis Schaeffer and you’ll see what I mean.
    He was a Bible-believing Christian who believed God’s Word was absolute. He actually exposed Barth and the rest of those existential theologians. He didn’t do so because they were intellectuals. (It would have been ironical if he had done, being an intellectual himself!) He did so because they were wrong.
    I’ve read about “Calvinist intellectuals.” I’m afraid that term strikes me as an oxymoron: I would have thought that an intellectual is someone who can think in abstractions. It doesn’t strike me that Calvinists can think that way, judging by their Tulip argument.
    So, needless to say, Dr Schaeffer wasn’t a Calvinist.

  • Metadoodle

    This is a loooooooooong comment thread so I did not read through everything, but I thought I, a Christian believer who grew up in a Calvinist church but abandoned it later that one of my observations has been that Calvinism tends to stifle enthusiasm for missionary work. Why bother to spread the Gospel if who will and will not believe is predestined by God anyway? How will my missionary actions change that? Arminianism may have its faults, but one thing I have observed about it: it inspires missionary zeal to preach and spread the gospel.

    That in itself tells me a lot about the two theological systems.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Metadoodle

    Just for interest sake…Calvinist call themselves Calvinists after a man called John Calvin. When you show them this, they immediately tell you that you are an Arminian because…well if they are a Calvinist then everyone else must surely be Arminian. (Calvinists don’t think properly you see) What nonsense.

    Just because some guy with the name of Jospeh Arminian opposed Calvinism back in the year *I forget when* does not make anyone who opposes Calvinism an Arminian. Only Calvinists call themselves Calvinists and do so with pride.

    I don’t see the word Calvinism in the Bible, and I don’t see Jesus converting people to ‘Calvinism’ either – It’s a man made cult.

    So what is the opposite to a ‘Calvinist’ called? Why we are called Christians.

  • Redeemed

    Martin, if you will do some research and check your facts, you will find that Francis Schaeffer was both a Calvinist and an intellectual. He was a real mixed bag. He could be classified as a reconstructionist and laid the groundwork for social justice movements and dominionist organizations.

    Metadoodoodle, God be praised that you saw through the errors of Calvinist/Reformed doctrine. You are correct, Calvinists like Paul Washer make it sound like evangelism is alive and well in Calvinist circles, but common logic dictates otherwise.

    They cannot be motivated by a burden for the lost and this is what sends missionaries out to fulfill the Great Commission. Calvinists deplores any evangelistic efforts to bring the lost to a point of decision for Christ. This goes against all the principles of true evangelism. One might call Calvinist-style “evangelism” – peudo-evangelism because it has no substance and is an empty exercise. A most clever ploy and lie of Satan.

  • Martin Horan

    Thank you, Redeemed. I must read Schaeffer again. From what I’ve read of his writings, he did not come over to me as a Calvinist.
    Interestingly, a Calvinist I know put me on to some of Schaeffer’s lectures on-line. It surprised me at that time that a Calvinist would do so.
    Also, I noticed that Schaeffer didn’t contradict either Calvin or Luther in those lectures but spoke of them almost with admiration.
    I merely assumed that it was because his point was to expose modern thinking and Romanism and that the statements agreeing with them were only in areas that were anti-worldly and against the papacy.
    As I found him to be incisive and logical, I did presume that he couldn’t be a Calvinist. I’m sad to hear that he was a Calvinist because I always enjoyed what he had to say.
    I must check his writings again. Thank you for making me aware of this. Though sad, I appreciate your comments.

  • timothy

    Anybody stupid enough to follow calvinism isn’t truly born again….

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Timothy

    I would not call them stupid, just severely deceived.

  • Martin Horan

    One thing is sure, arguing with a Calvinist is like arguing with someone with autism. I’m not saying that to be insulting: I worked with autistic people for several years and care for them very much. But you do not have a bargaining point with many of them when they have certain autistic ways of looking at things. That’s because they cannot reason properly.
    If you made a non-negotiable point to them that, say, 1+2=3 and they had it in their minds that 1+2=7, there is no way you can get them to believe your point, no matter how logically it was deduced. They seem to think that by refusing to agree with you it proves they are right.
    It’s like trying to reason with terrorists and tyrants like Hitler, Stalin, Arafat and/or Gadaffi. I have found some Calvinists to be like that.
    I have met other people–some who are very intelligent–who, when they disagree with someone, think that by shouting and refusing to listen makes them right and their detractors wrong.
    I must admit, I’ve met quite a few people like that and they aren’t all Calvinsts.
    I have however read well-known Calvinists’ debates with Dave Hunt. I sometimes think Dave–a great defender of the Scripture and contender for the faith–is wasting his breath and time.
    You only need to read the book “Debating Calvinism” where he and James White swop views.
    One half of the book deals with Mr Hunt’s points regarding Calvinism and Mr White’s replies. The other have of the book deals with other points with the statements and replies presented vice-versa.
    All of Dave Hunt’s views were perfectly logical and perfectly scriptural and they were definitive. That means his views were correct so all of John White’s views then would have to be wrong.
    So White reminded me of the Catholic and Moslem apologists I have read. It seemed clear to me, that like the Catholic and Moslem apologists, he was not willing to look at the facts objectively and that, like them, his god was not God but was rather his own denomination.
    Thomas Erskine of Linlathen stated, “Those who make religion their god will not have God for their religion.” It strikes me that Calvinists make gods of their doctrines and the men they follow.
    I am also convinced that the god of Calvinism would be exactly what Satan is if he had the power. He would chose to damn the overwhelming majority eternally for no reason other than to damn them. He would also save others–a very small minority you can be sure–for no other reason than it being what he’d choose to do.
    He’s not so very different from the God of Islam who promises no-one salvation other than that some may enter into his paradise if his works are good enough, so much so that this belief drives people to psychopathic behaviour.
    To a apply either of those kinds of mindset to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is, to my mind, blasphemous. I’m not so sure with one is the worst kind of blasphemy, Islam’s or Calavinism’s.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Martin

    That must be the best comment I have read describing Calvinist and their doctrine and comparing their god to Allah is well… right on the mark.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Brian

    >> Jesus scolds them thus, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.

    So you call us Pharisees because we don’t think that Christians should drink alcohol? You mis-quote scripture about TITHING to prove your point as well?

    Clearly you must be a drinker of alcohol then and you refuse to give it up.

  • Wynand

    Jammer, maar elke historiese wanvoorstelling oor Calvinisme is in hierdie stuk. Dit is duidelik dat die skrywer Calvinisme nie verstaan nie, al dink hy miskien so.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Wynand

    Oh we understand Calvinism just fine, that it is a devillish doctrine, it sounds good on the offset but it trashes the message of salvation. You can’t get saved in Calvinism, you get Elect.

    PS, do you have an E stamped on your head somewhere that you know for sure that you are one of the Elect?

  • Robbie

    Wynand
    Not your opinion please. It is never a good sign…

  • JJ

    Hi Deborah,
    My wife is part of the Reformed church. I was brought up in the NG church. I’ve been attending with her for a while, and obviously the church wants me to join. For the last couple of months or so a couple of things bothered me in the church. Just certain things that was preached and said.

    I’ve did a lot of reading on your site and elsewhere (e.g. Canons of Dordt, internet etc.), I discovered what Calvinism/reformed churches actually teach. For example I never realised the purpose of infant baptism until now. There are plenty other stuff that started to bother me. I think a lot of people are unaware of what is actually preached in the reformed church. After studying what they preach and what the bible teach, you can actually pick up the message in their preaching on Sundays, which I never picked up before.

    I’ve discussed this with my wife, and she never realised what reformed churches actually preaches. We’ve tried to discuss it with other but it’s like talking to brick wall. She is now also considering leaving the church. The control the reformed church has over its members is unbelievable. The control thing I think is quite big, to give you an example, the one Sunday the minister chastised the church again about not giving enough money, and he actually said that if they don’t do what he (the minister) says, it’s a sin. I always thought sin was disobedience against God.

    This morning the church asked me again about joining, and I told them I won’t be joining the church because I don’t agree with reformed theology. I think my wife can expect a call sooner rather later from the church because of my decision and explanation regarding the church.
    Sometimes I think perhaps I am over reacting on my stance against reformed theology? My wife grew up in the church; her parents, the minister and everybody in church are very close. So there is much at stake here. But then I am reminded again about what the bible teaches regarding following the Lord Jesus Christ, and not to accept false doctrine.

    My question is where does one find a church to hear the true gospel and to learn? I live in the Pretoria area and believe me this place is invested with false churches. Around every corner you will find some sort of church, they are popping up like mushrooms.

    My wife and I are not as knowledgeable in biblical facts as the reformed ministers, so I can’t really argue biblical facts with him, and you can’t ask a reformed minister to tell you the biblical truth, obviously he will give a Calvinist perspective, his salary depends on it. But we truly want to learn the true gospel. Do you know about any true Christian churches that is worth attending?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    JJ

    Oh I give you a round of applause listening to the Holy Spirit warnings and studying the Word of God diligently. Yes these reformed churches are very controlling, so much so that they probably wont give your wife her membership certificate back when she leaves. (Heard this from another lady who left her DRC and they kept her certificate).

    I am going to get a guy by the name of Deon to email you, he lives in the Pretoria area. Deon will most definitely be able to assist I am sure. It’s the best I can do for you.

    ALSO the best way to learn the gospel is at home with your wife, and this fantastic library called the internet :)

    [Edited - Email sent to Deon]

  • Sue

    Firstly a big thank you for your website and research – sometimes we just take things for granted – so thank you. Please could you ask Deon to email me as well. We moved to Pretoria a number of years ago an despite “churches” springing up like mushrooms I am horrified by the teachings of most of them. I have now for a number of years taken your advice to use the my bible, the internet an the leading of the Holy Spirit and study.

  • Redeemed

    JJ, I have tried to no avail to reason with Calvinists/Reformed. They are so deeply deceived. They twist Bible verses to fit their theology. They love to debate and they have their drill down pat. It is downright alarming to see the depth of their deception. This may sound extreme, but from my experience it is like dealing with a cult member who has been programmed. Eventually the attacks and hatred will surface when you stand your ground.

    My advice – you and your wife purpose to commit to the truth in your hearts. Leave quietly and don’t look back. Seek the Lord for guidance and to bring fellowship with those in sound doctrine. In the meantime it will be just you and your wife and you need to support and strengthen each other’s resolve and faith as you study the Word and establish yourself in the truth. Pray for those who are deceived and still trapped. If someone in sincerity approaches you as to why you left, have something prepared that simply spells out the truth of the Bible and say the Lord has led you. Do not make it personal about the church leadership.

    Always obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit in all you say and do. Praise be to the Lord that He broke through all that false teaching and led you into truth. As you pray, He can do the same for others.

    Be careful of the many pitfalls that exist even in the Church. Arm yourself with the Word and some doctrinally sound commentaries as aids to Bible study. Fortify your faith, put on the full armor of God and stand strong.

  • Myfanwy Brown

    Debs,

    I am confused here now. Are you saying that ‘once saved, always saved’ is untrue then? Is that a Calvinistic doctrine?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Myfanwy

    If you are GENUINELY saved, you can’t lose your salvation, because you are sealed by the Holy Spirit.

    Ephesians 1:13
    13 And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) – when you believed in Christ – you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit,

    This is different to Calvinists who believe you are chosen (before birth) – theirs should read ‘once chosen always chosen’.

  • Redeemed

    There is a HUGE difference between Calvinist/Reformed “Perseverance of the Saints” and the biblical “Eternal Security of the Believer”. Remember that the reason for the former is that one is picked to be saved with no choice in the matter, so there is no possiblity that God will reject those He chose.

    I like the way Deborah puts it – “once chosen, always chosen”. TULIP is false from beginning to end.

  • Myfanwy Brown

    So how would you say that Calvinists/Reformed would explain it, if one of them were to completely reject Christianity? Would they say that the person is still saved because they were ‘chosen’?

    I always wondered why kids were ‘confirmed’ .. I did not understand what was behind that belief, I just knew it was different to what I was taught. You would think I would have tried to find the answer! I guess it was just not important to me when I was not even clear on my own beliefs (even tho’ I thought I was clear on it).

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Myfanwy

    >> So how would you say that Calvinists/Reformed would explain it, if one of them were to completely reject Christianity? Would they say that the person is still saved because they were ‘chosen’?

    That is a very good question. I have no idea how they would explain this.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sue

    Thanks Sue! I have emailed him, you should be getting an email soon.

  • Matt

    It’s clear that the author of this article knows nothing of Calvinism. The essence of Calvinism is that God saves sinners.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Matt

    No no, The god of Calvinism does not save, he predestines.

  • Carolyn

    Never get into a debate with a Calvinist. How often have I heard that? Why not? Are we not all Christians? Precisely the point.

    Calvinism is preaching another Jesus from the same Bible, but refracted through the lens of Calvin/Augustine. Why would they bother arguing if we are both talking about the same Jesus? No…they are talking about a Jesus who is the product of twisted teaching. Educated, philosophical, orthodox sounding, but twisted none the less. We preach Jesus who came to save us from our sins, who comes to dwell in us if we repent and acknowledge our lostness without him. It produces in us a love, without stealth…cover-up. But how has Calvinism operated? By stealth, which is by definition disguise and deceit…they talk about Jesus but it is a different Jesus and they know it, but most unsuspecting Christians do not know it until they get assimilated into the cult.

    Romans 12:9
    Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
    Here are two definitions of dissimulation:
    disguise
    Synonyms: beard, blind, cloak, concealment, cover, coverup,deceit, deceptive marking, dissimulation , faking,false appearance, front, guise, mask, masking,masquerade, mimicry, paint, plain brown wrapper,protective coloring, red herring, screen, shade,shroud, smokescreen, veil
    practice of misleading
    Synonyms: ambidexterity, ambidextrousness, artifice,cheating, chicane, chicanery, cozening, craft,craftiness, cunning, deceitfulness, deception,defrauding, dirty dealing, dirty pool, dishonesty,dissemblance, dissimulation , double-dealing,duplicity, entrapping, fraud, fraudulence, guile,hypocrisy, imposition, overreaching, pretense,slyness, smoke and mirrors, trapping, treachery,trickery, two-facedness, two-timing,underhandedness

    Matt, those raised in Calvinism, are so indoctrinated that they just believe that everyone else is wrong. You need Calvin, though, in order to keep your idol of Calvinism alive…by just reading the Scriptures and talking to other Christians, you would see that you must be born again. That involves God-given choice, not the predestination doctrine of Calvin.

    As in all cults, you must come out and be separate or you will not be set free from the delusion.

  • Sharon

    The “essence” of Calvinism…it’s essence stinks because it is a LIE. Calvinist love to think they have cornered the market on Salvation oh I mean election…..that is what you call it …right?

    Sorry Matt…Calvinism has perverted the Glorious and Simple Gospel of Jesus Christ who said of himself, If I be lifted up, I will draw ALL men unto me. Oh I’m sorry, ALL doesn’t mean all to you Calvinists. Good grief….

    Matt wrote:

    It’s clear that the author of this article knows nothing of Calvinism. The essence of Calvinism is that God saves sinners.

  • Sharon

    Here’s a new Calvinistic Bible for you Matt…..enjoy.

    The New Predestinated Version of the Bible
    Copyright 2007 By: Steven M. McCalip
    Reader can copy and distribute freely. Not intended for sale or profit
    Website: http://www.kingjamesman.com

    Introduction: The following are verses from the Bible (King James) that have been changed to match the exact teachings of Calvinism. All Calvinists believe that the changes made to these verses are the real meaning of the original verses. For example, everywhere you see the word “SOME” is where the word “all” or “every” was in the King James. This is not some exaggerated claim. These verses below are exactly how the Calvinites believe the meaning to be. All the original verses either say the opposite or have the word “all” in them. In order to see the full impact of Calvinistic beliefs, I have made this new translation. This translation is not in any way different than what they believe; they just haven’t made this translation yet. I saved them some trouble. If you can read the following verses and believe that the word “SOME” is the true meaning, then congratulations, you are a Calvinist. If this translation doesn’t sit well with you, then congratulations, you might not be a Calvinist. More verses are coming soon!
    Romans 1:16 New Predestinated Version:
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to SOME that believeth.
    Romans 1:16 King James For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;
    Romans 2:11 New Predestinated Version:
    For there IS respect of persons with God.
    Romans 2:11 King James For there is no respect of persons with God.
    Romans 3:22 New Predestinated Version:
    Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto SOME and upon SOME of them that believe: for there IS a difference:
    Romans 3:22 King James
    Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
    Romans 5:6 New Predestinated Version:
    For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the SOME of the ungodly.
    Romans 5:6 King James
    For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly
    Romans 5:8 New Predestinated Version:
    But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for SOME of us.
    Romans 5:8 King James
    But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    Romans 5:18 New Predestinated Version:
    Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon SOME men unto justification of life.
    Romans 5:18 King James
    Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
    1 Timothy 2:4-6 New Predestinated Version:
    Who will have SOME men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and SOME men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for SOME, to be testified in due time.

    1 Timothy 2:4-6 King James
    Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
    1 Timothy 3:10 New Predestinated Version:
    For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of SOME men, specially of those that believe.
    1 Timothy 3:10 King James
    For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
    1 Peter 3:18 New Predestinated Version:
    For Christ also hath once suffered for SOME sins, the just for SOME of the unjust, that he might bring SOME of us to God…
    1 Peter 3:18 King James
    For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God…
    Revelation 3:20 New Predestinated Version:
    Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if SOME men hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to SOME of them, and will sup with SOME of them, and SOME of them with me.
    Revelation 3:20 King James
    Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
    Matthew 11:28 New Predestinated Version:
    Come unto me, SOME of ye that are weak and heavy laden, and I will give SOME of ye rest.
    Matthew 11:28 King James
    Come unto me, all ye that are weak and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    Matthew 7:8 New Predestinated Version:
    For SOME that asketh receiveth, and SOME that seeketh findeth, and to SOME that knocketh it shall be opened.
    Matthew 7:8 King James
    For all that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
    John 1:7 New Predestinated Version:
    The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that SOME men through him might believe.
    John 1:7 King James
    The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
    John 1:9 New Predestinated Version:
    That was the true Light, which lighteth SOME men that cometh into the world.
    John 1:9 King James
    That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
    John 1:12 New Predestinated Version:
    But as to SOME which received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.
    John 1:12 King James
    But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.
    John 1:29 New Predestinated Version:
    The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away SOME of the sins of the world!
    John 1:29 King James
    The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world!

    John 3:15-17 New Predestinated Version:
    That SOME who believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved SOME of the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that SOME who believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn SOME of the world; but that SOME of the world through him might be saved.
    John 3:15-17 King James
    That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    The Bible: Is the only book that God, the great I AM ever wrote. The WORD means exactly what it says.
    We will be judged for how we handled the Word of God. 2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself
    approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
    Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the
    only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

    In Calvinism/TULIP there are five (5) points.
    In Scripture the number five (5) represents DEATH

    Matt wrote:

    It’s clear that the author of this article knows nothing of Calvinism. The essence of Calvinism is that God saves sinners.

  • Sharon

    No, the problem for you is he does know Calvinism. I will not belabor the point. If you choose to believe a lie then you have that freedom to do so.

    Matt wrote:

    It’s clear that the author of this article knows nothing of Calvinism. The essence of Calvinism is that God saves sinners.

  • Sharon

    JOHN CALVIN & CALVINISM
    Author Unknown
    CALVIN BELIEVED IN INFANT BAPTISM:
    Calvin said, “Baptism is properly administered to infants is something owed to them.”
    CALVIN BELIEVED IN SACRAMENTS EQUAL TO GOD’S WORD:
    “Therefore, let it be regarded as a settled principle that the sacraments have the same office as the Word of God: to offer and set forth Christ to us, and in him the treasures of heavenly grace.”
    CALVIN BELIEVED IN AMILLENNIALISM AND WAS AGAINST PREMILLENNIALISM:
    Calvin said, “But a little later there followed the Chiliasts, who limited the reign of Christ to a 1000 years. Now their fiction is too childish either to need or to be worth a refutation. And the Apocalypse, from which they undoubtedly drew a pretext for their error, does not support them. For the number 1000 does not apply to the eternal blessedness of the church but only to the various disturbances that awaited the church, while still toiling on the earth.”
    CALVIN BELIEVED IN PREDESTINATION TO HELL:
    Calvin said, “We call predestination God’s eternal decree, by which he compacted with himself what he willed to become of each man. For all are not created in equal condition; rather, eternal life is foreordained for some, eternal damnation for others. Therefore, as any man has been created to one or the other of these ends, we speak of him as predestined to life or death.”
    CALVIN BELIEVED IN BEING A DICTATOR IN GENEVA:
    Calvin was forced to flee his native France and eventually found refuge In Geneva. A man of tremendous political and organizational talents, he manipulated himself, and his fellow refugees, into absolute control over the city which gave them protection against the Catholic Inquisition. What came to be known as Calvinism grew out of the policy and writings of John Calvin after he became the ruler and dictator of Geneva, Switzerland (1541-1564).
    CALVIN BELIEVED IN RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION:
    The outstanding work of Calvin, from a practical point of view, was his municipal dictatorship in the city of Geneva. The literature on the subject is exhaustive. Striking instances of discipline in Geneva are these: A man was banished from the city for three months because he heard an ass bray and said jestingly, “He prays a beautiful Psalm. “Three men who had laughed during a sermon were imprisoned for three days. Three children were punished because they remained outside of a church to eat some cakes. A child was whipped publicly for calling his mother a thief. A girl who struck her parents was beheaded. A person was imprisoned for four days because he wanted to call his child Claude (the name of a Catholic saint) instead of Abraham.
    It can be seen from the above that many of the persecutions which John Calvin endured were not for “well doing” (1st Peter 2:15): they were for carrying on like a fool engaged in trying to “bring in his Kingdom.”
    In Geneva, a secret police was forged under the name of The Consistory. Every home was compulsorily examined and searched. The City was divided into districts and committees of the Consistory were empowered to search and interrogate all residents without previous notice. Attendance at public worship was commanded and watchmen were directed to see that people went to church. The one thing that Calvin did not endorse was religious liberty.
    From 1541 to 1546, John Calvin caused 58 people to be executed and seventy six were exiled. His victims ranged in age from 14 to 80. The most common capital offense was the opposition to infant baptism. Today, baptism only for accountable believer’s, is a Baptist distinctive. In Calvin’s time it was punished either by drowning, a drawn out and slow burning at the stake, or beheading. All this was done in public, with city residents compelled to watch the butchery. The executions were spaced out so as to exert a continuing policy of fear and terror. Others were killed for advocating local church autonomy; opposing the tie-in of church and state: and preaching that Christ died for all sinners (unlimited atonement). Press censorship continued in Geneva until the eighteenth century.
    THE KILLING OF MICHAEL SERVETUS:
    It is Servetus1 religious views that we are now concerned with, for that is what got him killed. He was premillennial and rejected Calvin’s doctrine of predestination. So far so good. Servetus was also strongly anti-Catholic. He referred to the Mass as “a Satanic monstrosity and an invention of demons.” To these sentiments the Reformers could agree. So what was the problem with Servetus? His trouble was twofold: rejection of infant baptism and holding unorthodox views of the Trinity. According to Servetus, infant baptism was “a doctrine of the Devil, an invention of popery, and a total subversion of Christianity.” He wrote two letters to Calvin on adult baptism and exhorted him to follow his example. The marginal, notes against infant baptism that Servetus wrote in Calvin’s Institutes were used as evidence against him during his trial. Servetus admitted at his trial that he had referred to infant baptism as a “diabolical invention and infernal falsehood destructive of Christianity.” Regarding the Trinity, Servetus was not a Unitarian but had a strange view of the Trinity in a great measure peculiar to himself. Now although Servetus’ Trinitarian views were not orthodox; they were by no means criminal. Calvin wrote in a letter, “Servetus lately wrote to me… He takes it upon him to come hither, if it be agreeable to me. But I am unwilling to pledge my word for his safety, for if he shall come, I shall never permit him to depart alive, provided my authority be of any avail. “While in Geneva, Servetus made the mistake of attending church on Sunday where he was recognized and arrested. It was on Calvin’s information to the magistracy that Servetus was put in prison, which fact Calvin did not deny. The trial lasted over two months and Calvin himself drew up a document of thirty-nine accusations against Servetus.
    On the way to the stake, Servetus besought God to pardon his accusers. On account of the use of green oak-wood, Servetus suffered for half an hour. His last words were: “Jesus Christ, thou Son of the eternal God, have mercy on me!” At twelve noon on October 27, 1553, Servetus passed into his eternal destiny. Nine years afterward, Calvin still justified his actions.
    (My Comments: Wouldn’t be something of Calvin went to hell & Servetus to heaven. Servetus called out to God for mercy, Calvin’s statement of faith never mentions God or Jesus Christ at all.)
    The strongest recorded statement from Calvin on the Servetus affair is a 1561 letter from Calvin to the Marquis Paet, high chamberlain to the King of Navarre, in which he says intolerantly: “Honour, glory, and riches shall be the reward of your pains; but above all, do not fail to rid the country of those scoundrels, who stir up the people to revolt against us. Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard.”
    The respected Lutheran historian, Mosheim (1694-1755), judged in favor of Servetus. The historian Gibbon remarked: “he was more deeply scandalized at the single execution of Servetus than at the hecatombs which have blazed in the Auto da Fes of Spain and Portugal. The zeal of Calvin seems to have been envenomed by personal malice, and perhaps envy.” A man who would burn another man at the stake for disagreeing with him doctrinally is not a man to be emulated or followed or admired.
    (Amen)
    WHAT DID CALVIN BELIEVE?
    Calvin’s Institutes just what it is claimed to be: a Protestant Reformed theology. If you want to know the truth about baptism, the Church, dispensations, the Millennium, or the Second Coming of Christ: don’t waste your time looking for them in Calvin’s Institutes. One of the few books in the Bible that Calvin never wrote a commentary on was the Book of Revelation – he acknowledged that he couldn’t understand it. The Reformed Faith is an amalgamation of biblical Christianity, Roman Catholicism, and allegorical speculations. When Loraine Boettner wrote his book The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, he told the plain truth: “predestination in the Calvinistic system is a Reformed doctrine just like the Catholic Mass is a Catholic doctrine.”
    THE HARM DONE BY CALVINISM HERESY:
    Among Baptists, the Five Points of Calvinism are often called the “Doctrines of Grace” to remove the stigma of being associated with the baby-sprinkling John Calvin. In dealing with the Five Points of Calvinism, It is certainly fitting that five is the number of death, so the Five Points of Calvinism will kill anything near it. Just as it takes no keen intellect to see that five is the biblical number of death, so no insight is necessary, other than an ability to read the Bible, to see the flagrant perversion that the Five Points of Calvinism make of Holy Scripture. Satan, the angel of death is the fifth cherub (Ezekiel 28:14) and has the power of death (Hebrews 2:14). The first man dies in Genesis 5:5. In Acts 5:5, Ananias dies after being asked five questions about his sin (“The wages of sin is death” [Romans 6:23]). Paul was whipped five times (2nd Corinthians 11:24). Jesus Christ had five wounds. In Revelation chapter five, we see the Lamb that was slain (Revelation5). During the Tribulation, locusts will torment men for five months (Revelation 9:5) until they seek death (Revelation 9:6). When the fifth seal was opened, John saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain (Revelation 6:9). There were five men stoned in the Bible that died. The “sin unto death” is in First John chapter five. The greatest chapter in the Bible on death, describing two men whose deaths affected billions of people, is Romans chapter five.
    The Five Points of Calvinism are the sum and substance of the Calvinistic system: it is the distinguishing mark which separates Calvinists from all other Christians. This is stated in no uncertain terms by the Calvinists themselves. Boettner says, “The Calvinistic system especially emphasizes five distinct doctrines. These are technically known as the Five Points of Calvinism, and they are the main pillar on which the superstructure rests.”
    Calvinism goes into a realm of human philosophy. It is NOT a Bible doctrine, but a system of human philosophy appealing somewhat to the proud mind. Consider first that what we are discussing is called “Calvinism.” Dr. Loraine Boettner says, “It was Calvin who wrought out this system of theological thought with such logical clearness and emphasis that it has ever since borne his name”. How strange that, after 1,400 years of Christianity, practically no one had understood the Bible to teach Calvin’s doctrine of predestination until he formed the philosophy! What a strangely hidden doctrine, that New Testament Christians could go for nearly for 1400 years until the days of the reformers, when Calvin developed the doctrine fully. It is obvious that great groups of Christians have always found salvation by grace in the Bible. The Bible is very clear on that. It is also clear on every other great doctrine.
    A doctrine cannot be unscriptural without doing actual harm. God’s way is right; man’s way is wrong. And when the doctrine on the matter of salvation is wrong, it is certain to hinder the cause of Christ. So the human philosophy of Calvinism, the doctrine that every detailed event that happens in all the world was foreordained of God and had to happen, every sin was ordained of God, every act of a Christian or of a sinner, and that everyone was either foreordained to be saved before he was born, without having any free choice in the matter, or was damned without any possibility of his being saved-that doctrine is hurtful and has done great harm to the cause of Christ.
    CALVINISTS ACTUALLY HINDER AND OPPOSE SOUL WINNING
    If it seems shocking to accuse any group of opposing Gospel preaching and hindering soul winning, a little thought here will show that Calvinists must inevitably oppose soul-winning activities of those who try to get every sinner to repent, of those who offer salvation freely as purchased on Calvary for every person.
    One shocking example deals with a Baptist preacher who could easily preach two hours on predestination, but his own grown sons were unconverted, and the father was not only totally indifferent about that matter, but insisted that no one else should try to win them to Christ.
    Of course there will be exceptions. Some people who are Calvinists do love Christ in their hearts and so feel His moving of concern for sinners. And most Calvinists will profess that they believe in the preaching of the Gospel to all the world. But in actual practice. Calvinism cuts the nerve of soul winning on the foreign mission field as it does at home.
    Did a great foreign mission program arise through the teaching and preaching of John Calvin? Many Calvinists will regret this fact. But the simple truth is that today those most active and most burdened about soul winning on the foreign field among Presbyterians are not those who believe in Calvin’s doctrine of predestination.
    In fact, nine out of ten Presbyterians do not believe it, and the great mission program of Presbyterians was not built by Calvinists.
    As the Wesleyan revival spread in England, of course it affected many others besides Methodists and many besides Arminians. Most of the Bible-believing, soul-winning Christians in the world are NOT Arminian. But very few soul winners are unreserved Calvinists. Calvinism does not produce a passion for soul winning.
    Calvinism appeals to those who think that it is the only answer to Arminianism. There are very many Christians that are soul-winners, love God, seek the salvation of the lost and yet ARE NEITHER Calvinists nor Arminian.
    BIBLE DOCTRINES SHOW THAT CALVINISM IS MORALLY IMPOSSIBLE:
    God could not predestinate one to do right and another to do wrong; one to be saved and one to be lost. Those who believe that God predestined some people to be saved by God’s coercive grace, and that others are predestined to be lost and cannot be saved because of God’s deliberate choice, are foolishly wrong. They are wrong in having a doctrine that goes totally against so many emphatic Scripture statements inviting all to be saved, showing that Christ died for all, that God is not willing that any should perish. The Bible pictures man as a free moral agent capable of choice, he is morally responsible.
    There is the nature of man as it is pictured in the Bible and as it actually exists. God breathed into Adam’s nostrils and he “became a living soul.” He was made in the image of God. And what is this about man that is God-like? He is a reasoning creature with a moral responsibility, a conscience toward right and wrong, with the freedom of choice in right and wrong. The simple truth is that men can make a computer which can go through complicated mental processes of adding, subtracting, remembering, judging, hundreds of times faster than man can do it! But the computer has no will, no conscience of right or wrong. Hence it has no personality. It lacks the God-given moral nature of man.
    Why did God allow Adam and Eve to fall, and so bring a curse on the whole human race? It was inherent in the kind of being that God created; man must be allowed to choose. But knowing man sometimes would choose wrongly, God planned with His Son before the world began to offer an atonement for the salvation of sinning men! So Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
    REFERENCES:
    1. Christianity Through The Centuries by Earle Cairns, Zondervan Publishing House.
    2. History of Calvin and Calvinism by Zygmund Dobbs.
    3. Predestined for Hell? No! by Dr. John R. Rice, c 1958, Sword of the Lord Foundation, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
    4. Hyper Calvinism by Dr. Peter S. Ruckman c 1984, published in Pensacola, Florida.
    5. The Other Side of Calvinism by Laurence M. Vance, c 1991, Vance Publications.
    6. T-U-L-I-P by James R. Hood, Southland Bible Institute, Pikeville, Ky.
    7. The History of the New Testament Church by Dr. Peter S. Ruckman c 1982, published in Pensacola, Florida.
    8. Foreknowledge, Predestination & Election by Dr. Mark G. Cambron, printed by Seaside Mission, North Miami Beach, Florida.
    9. What is Wrong with Five Point Calvinism? By Paul Freeman, published by Highways & Hedges Tracts, Liberty, So. Carolina.

  • Professor Johan Malan – Undercover Calvinist?

    [...] Hunt and then he changes his tune to side with Calvinism.  See Johan Malan’s article here: Calvinism Refuted from the Bible.  The thing is you are either for or against false doctrine, you can’t sit on [...]

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