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Neo-Gnostic Calvinism: The Bane of Highfalutin Language thoroughly mixed with a Chimerical form of Fatal Contradictions

Icon Mongoose Icon75 Neo Gnostic Calvinism: The Bane of Highfalutin Language thoroughly mixed with a Chimerical form of Fatal Contradictions

neo gnostic Neo Gnostic Calvinism: The Bane of Highfalutin Language thoroughly mixed with a Chimerical form of Fatal ContradictionsNEO-GNOSTIC CALVINISM: INTRODUCTION

I can appreciate highfalutin language when I am armed with a large and trusted dictionary and thesaurus but I have no sympathy whatsoever with anyone who woefully, wilfully and deliberately contradicts himself and, worst of all, the Bible. Having said that, I suppose I should immediately tell you what prompted me to make such a statement. My entire dissertation is a response to Greg Fields’ “Essays on Neo-Gnostic Calvinism.”

Greg fields kicks off with a bumper sticker declaration that boggles the mind. Here’s how he begins one of his “Essays on Neo-Gnostic Calvinism.”

Who among us who have been illuminated by the Spirit of God to heartily embrace that exalted system of Pauline Theology commonly called “Calvinism” can forget the sublime joy experienced when these verities became manifest in our believing heart? For many of us grasping these truths or better, being gripped by these truths, was the real “second blessing” in our Christian pilgrimage. (Emphasis added)

The dictionary defines the word “grasp” and “grasping” as “to get hold of mentally; comprehend; understand.” What Fields says in effect is that one needs to understand or comprehend the exalted system of Pauline Theology commonly called “Calvinism” before you can experience a real “second blessing” on your Christian pilgrimage. And yet, he demeans and vilifies the Neo-Gnostic Calvinists’ assertion that a correct understanding of Calvinistic soteriology is the only requirement to be truly saved. Here are his words:

The major tenet of gnosticism (sic) was the acquisition of knowledge to achieve, N. B., salvation. Similarly they make the precise apprehension of soteriological doctrine the sine qua non of salvation. By utilizing a patina of superspirituality, they create a psychological ambiance that can easily intimidate a young believer who may be new to Calvinism or a seeking Arminian (although most folk, if we are honest are utterly oblivious to this historical-theological debacle) to capitulate to this cold, unrelenting dogmatism, creating a vituperative unloving demeanor and ironically robbing them of the comfort and joy these glorious doctrines should inculcate in their hearts. This, to my mind, is the most utterly insidious forms of “works-righteousness” that I have ever encountered. By cleverly demanding that for one to truly be saved they must achieve a solid understanding of Calvinistic soteriology is to “make the cross of Christ of none effect”.

According to our well-spoken Calvinist it is OK to bring a correct understanding of the doctrines of grace into the equation when you want to experience a “second blessing” subsequent to your monergistic regeneration but a gross mistake, equal to the wielding of a dangerous tool to “make the cross of Christ of none effect” when you bring salvation/regeneration/redemption onto the playing Fields (excuse the pun). Has he forgotten what Jesus once said? “And ye shall know [gain an understanding of] the truth, and the truth shall make you free [save you].” (John 8:32)

Greg Fields piously expresses his concern for the young believer who may be new to Calvinism and for the seeking Arminian, who “may capitulate to this cold, unrelenting dogmatism . . .” but has no conscientious qualms about them not having to understand Calvinistic soteriology in order to be truly saved. At any rate, why would they need a correct understanding of Calvinistic soteriology when their doctrine of Total Depravity teaches that man is as dead as a corpse in sins and transgressions? The only thing a corpse can do is to lie still and be dead as a doornail. Pathologists would tell you without the slightest twitch of their mouth muscles that corpses cannot understand a thing, let alone Calvinistic soteriology.

Nevertheless, as the Americans would say, “You aint seen nuttin yet” while we delve deeper into Greg Fields insidious contradictions. His most amazing contradiction is where he says that Paul’s exalted system of theology is peculiarly Calvinistic. I find this extremely blasphemous because it belittles and begrudges the Gospel (making the cross of Christ of none effect). What does he mean when he says that Paul’s exalted theology is peculiarly Calvinistic?

  1. Paul did not receive the Gospel directly from Christ but by a strange sleight of coincidence from John Calvin himself who hadn’t even been born then, or,
  2. Jesus Christ’s Gospel is Calvinistic to its very core and Paul merely expressed it more precisely in his epistles.

IS PAUL’S GOSPEL WHICH HE RECEIVED DIRECTLY FROM CHRIST PECULIARLY CALVINISTIC?

If Paul’s exalted system of theology was uniquely Calvinistic he would have known and acknowledged that God sovereignly chose the elect unto salvation and damned the reprobate (non-elect) unto eternal damnation before the foundation of the world. Paul’s love and compassion for the entire nation of Israel (his brethren after the flesh who are consistently called God’s people in the Bible) prove that his exalted system was not in the very least uniquely Calvinistic. Let us now listen to Paul’s own words which boldly refutes the vial doctrines of Calvinism.

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 9:1-5)

Here was a man who did not ask who were the elect and who were the reprobate among the Israelite so that he may navigate his prayers only in favour of the elect. However, let’s assume that Paul was a Calvinist whose exalted theology eulogized John Calvin’s doctrines of grace and that he was prepared to be cast into hell only in behalf of the elect among Israel. Any young believer who may be new to Calvinism would immediately know that this is one of the most obvious and silliest contradictions imaginable. Why would Paul be prepared to suffer an eternity in hell in behalf of the elect when they are all going to end up in heaven in any case? Even the young believer who may be new to Calvinism would accuse Paul of insufferable foolishness if he were to be prepared to suffer in hell when all the elect among the Israelite are going to enjoy eternal bliss in heaven. Fancy that, Paul who was an elect humbled himself to the level of a non-elect so that he may suffer in hell in behalf of the elect who are inexorably bound for heaven because God sovereignly chose them before the foundation of the earth.

Let’s flip the coin and ask ourselves: Why would Paul be prepared to suffer an eternity in hell in behalf of the reprobate among Israel when they are all going to end up in hell in any case? A similar contradictory situation would befall Paul if he were to suffer in hell for the non-elect. Imagine Paul crying in agony in hell while all the non-elect for whom he was prepared to suffer an eternity in hell are also in hell because God sovereignly chose them unto damnation before the foundation of the world. Calvinism is indeed stranger than fiction because it befuddles the mind of those who are shackled to its lies, even to the extent that they contradict themselves ad infinitum without realizing it.

Greg Fields not only contradicts himself but brazenly and wilfully contradicts the Bible. He wrote:

For me personally, sovereign grace teaching revivified my entire demeanor as a saint and delivered me from the morbid introspection engendered by Arminian, fundamentalist pietism.

Introspection can be forcefully destructive when the saint allows Satan to turn him inward to himself when he has already found forgiveness for things he may have done contrary to God’s will. In stead of looking in faith unto Jesus and receiving the forgiveness the Holy Spirit showers on him through the blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1-2), he turns his eyes inward and woefully and depressingly laments his falling into sin again, even to the extent that he begins to believe Satan’s accusations and lies that God cannot forgive him. There is, however, a biblical introspection which I personally think Calvinists should take very seriously.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5)

THE PURITANS AND THEIR VACILLATION BETWEEN CERTAINTY AND UNCERTAINTY

In the follow-up to his essay “The Bane Of Neo-gnostic Calvinism”  which he calls “Further Reflections On Neo-Gnostic Calvinism,” Greg Fields elaborates on his rejection of the Neo-Gnostic Calvinists’ self-understanding, as he calls it, of the Gospel. He wrote:

This accords accurately with the pretensions of the neo-gnostic Calvinists who a priori demand a comprehensively cognitive grasp of Calvinistic soteriology in order for potential converts to be saved. This cognitive grasp fails to take into account what is theologically dubbed “the noetic effects of sin”. Simply stated, this means our minds are so affected by our native depravity that prior to regeneration, we are unable to spiritually apprehend any of God’s thoughts revealed in His word. (1 Cor. 2:14, Eph. 4:18, e. g. ) The “continental divide” between Arminian and Calvinistic soteriology is that in Calvinism, regeneration precedes faith. We must be born again to see the kingdom of God.

Whereas Greg Fields asserts that man ought to be regenerated first before he can understand the demands of the Gospel, J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig adversely claims the following:

“The Fall brought about the perversion of human faculties, but it did not destroy those faculties. Human reasoning abilities are affected but not eliminated. This can be seen in the fact that the writers of Scripture often appeal to the minds of unbelievers by citing evidence on behalf of their claims, using logical inferences in building their case and speaking in the language and thought forms of those outside the faith.” (J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian worldview, ch. 1).

If man’s reasoning faculties hadn’t been destroyed by the Fall, it follows that he is at least capable of understanding and responding to God’s invitation, not only to approach him in prayer, but also to reason with Him.

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. (Isaiah 1:18).

Fields cannot deny that the metaphors “shall be white as snow,” “red like crimson” and “be as wool” are all pure soteriological expressions which prove that man in his fallen state is capable of understanding the demands of the Gospel of salvation. I can understand why Greg Fields opposes the Neo-Gnostic Calvinists’ demand that a comprehensively cognitive grasp of Calvinistic soteriology is necessary for potential converts to be saved. Indeed, TULIP is so esoterically beyond any typical Tom, Dick and Harry’s thinking and reasoning abilities that Calvinists themselves proclaim that one needs to study Calvinism for many years before anyone can wrap his mind around it. Dave Hunt correctly summed up the esoteric high-mindedness of Calvinism as follows:

Should Calvinism remain a mystery for the common Christian? That very fact, if true, would be additional proof that Calvinism was not derived from the Scriptures. How could something so complicated possibly come from that upon which every person is capable of meditating day and night (Psalm 1:1–2)? If the essential nourishment God’s Word provides is to be every man’s daily sustenance for spiritual life (Deuteronomy 8:3), could  Calvinism really be the biblical gospel and biblical Christianity and yet be so difficult for the ordinary Christian to understand? Why should Calvinism be such a complex and apparently esoteric subject that it would require years to comprehend? Such an attitude could very well intimidate many into accepting this belief simply because such a vast array of highly respected theologians and evangelical leaders espouse it. Surely the great majority of Calvinists are ordinary Christians. On what basis, then, without the expertise and intense study that I apparently lacked, were they able to understand and accept it? (“What Love is This?” pp 26-27)

It was this kind of elitism that wreaked havoc among many Puritans (to whom Fields refers extensively in his essays to substantiate his claims) on their deathbeds.

As soon as faith in God and his Christ for one’s salvation is replaced by election the demon of doubt creeps in through the back door. Consequently the Gospel is no longer preached in the hope that lost sinners may be saved and immediately given the assurance that they are indeed saved, but in the hope that the elect may be made aware of their elitist predestination unto salvation before the foundation of the world and in the event have no assurance of salvation unless they persevere to the end which is, according to Calvinists, the proof that they are the elect. Is there any proof from history confirming that Calvinists doubted their election? Many Puritans in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries doubted their election on their deathbeds because they were taught the infamous lie that saints need to persevere to the end in order to be saved. If, as Calvinists believe, their salvation is divinely guaranteed and they can never lose it because God’s election is irreversible, why do they need to persevere – to maintain their salvation? It was this paradox, lingering between the assurance of election and the burden of perseverance to make their election sure, that led most Puritans to doubt their election. They taught that assurance is not so much a gift of the Holy Spirit as it is the result of their own performance in persevering to the end. Hence their exhortation that believers ought to pray fervently, work arduously, and struggle heroically, often for many years, in order at last to obtain assurance. In addition, Puritans taught that God only gives assurance of election (salvation) to a very few of His elitist children.

Now though this full assurance is earnestly desired, and highly prized, and the want of it much lamented, and the enjoyment of it much endeavored after by all saints, yet it is only obtained by a few. Assurance is a mercy too good for most men’s hearts, it is a crown too weighty for most men’s heads. Assurance is optimum maximum, the best and greatest mercy; and therefore God will only give it to his best and dearest friends. Augustus in his solemn feasts, gave trifles to some, but gold to others. Honor and riches, etc., are trifles that God gives to the worst of men; but assurance is that ‘tried gold,’ Rev. 3:18, that God only gives to tried friends. Among those few that have a share or portion in the special love and favor of God, there are but a very few that have an assurance of his love. It is one mercy for God to love the soul, and another mercy for God to assure the soul of his love. (Thomas Brooks, “Heaven on Earth: A Serious Discourse, Touching a Well-Grounded Assurance,” in The Works of Thomas Brooks, vol. 2 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, repr. 1980).

If you listened very carefully, you may have heard the hiss of the serpent in these pristine Puritan words who dares to associate the Almighty God with the pagan, Augustus who founded the Roman Empire and was its first emperor. In fact, if you listen closer you may hear Jesus’ words: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

This is absolutely shocking when you read what God says in his  Word in 1 John 5:8-13. Is this the way the Holy Ghost works in his redemptive work of the elect? First He tells them they are elect and irrevocably bound for heaven and then that they cannot have the assurance of salvation unless they strive hard to persevere in prayer, in works and heroic deeds?  Brother Paul of Tarsus, whom Calvinists revere as one of the originators of Calvinism, never boasted in his perseverance but in Jesus Christ and Him alone.

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

RE-IMAGINING FAITH THE CALVINIST WAY

Reformed theologians aren’t satisfied with the way the Bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1 and have contrived some “wonderful” new insights on faith. Greg Fields quotes a few of these new insights in his essay. The late Professor John Murray of Westminster Theological Seminary wrote:

“Saving faith is not simply assent to propositions of truth respecting Christ, and defining the person that he is. Faith must rise to trust, and trust that consists in entrustment to him. In faith there is the engagement of person to person in the inner movement of the whole man to receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation. It means the abandonment of confidence in our own or any human resources in a totality act of self-commitment to Christ” – John Murray

In wholehearted agreement, Greg Fields responds by saying,

This fiducial character, consisting in entrustment to Christ for salvation, serves to correct misapprehensions. Faith is not belief that we have been saved, nor belief that Christ has saved us, nor even belief that Christ died for us. It is necessary to appreciate the point of distinction. Faith is in its essence commitment to Christ that we may be saved. The premise of that commitment is that we are unsaved and we believe on Christ in order that we may be saved. . . It is to lost sinners that Christ is offered, and the demand of that overture is simply and solely that we commit ourselves to him in order that we may be saved.

This is a far cry from “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, you and your household.” Faith now suddenly becomes “commitment” in order to be saved. The slightest inspection of his definition of faith exposes the core of his entire belief system which is nothing else than a works based salvation. This is yet another one of Greg Fields Calvinistic contradictions. True to his reformed disposition he first says that “regeneration precedes faith” and then wholeheartedly agrees with the Puritan, Thomas Watson, that knowledge without repentance is nothing.

If man’s total depravity and therefore his corpse-like death in sins and transgressions deprives him of any ability to repent or commit him to Christ in order to be saved, how on earth are Calvinists really saved? Repentance, as we all know is a change of mind (metanoia). It is common knowledge, at least among Christians, that the physical brain is the conveyer of non-physical thoughts that emanate from the soul and the spirit of man (the mind). If the brain is dead, the mind is dead as well. Calvinists argue that man is spiritually dead, which of course is a biblical fact but they interpret this as being equal to being dead as a corpse. Hence there reference to Lazarus’ resurrection as an analogy of regeneration. How can a person who is dead, repent? Oh, that’s very easy. The elect are monergistically regenerated and then given the ability to repent (change their mind) so that they may commit themselves to Christ in order to be saved. Really?

John Murray defines faith as follows:

Faith is a whole-souled movement of intelligent, consenting, and confiding self-commitment, and all these elements or ingredients coalesce to make faith what it is. Intellect, feeling and will converge upon Christ in those exercises which belong properly to these distinct though inseparable aspects of psychial activity” (Collected Writings of John Murray (Edinburgh: Banner, 1977), Volume 2, pp. 257-260).

Once again the question arises: How on earth can a corpse exercise faith as a whole souled movement and intelligently commit itself to Christ when it is unable to do anything but lie as a stiff in a morgue or a graveyard? Calvinists in general won’t be able to stomach the rest of Murray’s definition of faith when he says that “intellect and will converge upon Christ in in those exercises which belong properly to these distinct though inseparable aspects of psychical activity.” Whatever! John Murray who died in May 1975 must have been one of the worst idolaters gracing the earth because he dared to bring free-will onto the playing Fields (excuse the pun). If regeneration precedes repentance, faith and commitment, then you don’t need any of them in order to be saved. Why would you need faith, repentance and commitment when you are already saved? That’s ludicrous to say the least.

It was only so much as a look of faith on the brass serpent Moses had to make that saved those who had been bitten by poisonous snakes. (Numbers 21:8; John 3:14). Moses didn’t gather the Israelite and say to them: “Now listen up, you rebels. God commanded me to make a brass serpent and set it upon a pole, and to tell you that you must make a whole-souled movement of intelligent, consenting, and confiding self-commitment to it because all these elements or ingredients coalesce to make faith what it is and THAT alone, my dear brethren, will save you.” Huh? Duh!

A faith of this calibre teaches sinners to look away from Jesus rather than to merely look upon him in faith for their salvation.  What is a whole-souled movement of intelligent, consenting and confiding self-commitment? How do you know whether your whole-souled movement of intelligent, consenting, and confiding self-commitment has reached the degree of sufficiency where you can say “Now, at last, I am saved?” How do you measure a whole-souled movement of intelligent, consenting, and confiding self-commitment? Paul Washer wouldn’t hesitate a moment to call this kind of faith decisional faith where intelligence, the self, and free-will all converge to regenerate an elect person. Calvinism is falling apart. A house divided cannot stand.

THE ALPHA AND OMEGA OF CALVINISTIC LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION

Although Greg Fields emphatically declares that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega of one’s relationship with Him, he does not allow for a Berean mind-set of self-instruction or self-learning. He encourages Calvinists to read the books by esteemed and well known Calvinists and to abide by their insights and instructions. This is what he says:

It is utterly amazing and soul-vexing to see how folk who discover the wonderful doctrines of grace via excellent Christian literature like A. W. Pink’s The Sovereignty of God or Boettner’s The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination or the books of R. C. Sproul, Michael Horton, James Boice, et. al. , can so easily become infatuated with their own learning and misconstrue that learning (as vital as solid theological understanding is! ) as the alpha and omega of their relationship with Christ. He is the Alpha and the Omega. “Of Him, to Him, and through Him are all things,” not whether or not we have things right in our minds. Knowledge is indeed vital, brethren. Let us never discount this. Anti-intellectualism is indeed one of the terrible legacies of American fundamentalism, primarily derived from Arminian presuppositions. But, alas, new converts to Calvinism can so easily be seduced by their own incredible arrogance and so overemphasize one aspect of Calvinist soteriology, that they become blinded to other important areas of biblical revelation and lose all sense of proportion in their thinking. The neo-gnostic spirit is spawned by spiritual pride. The whole counsel of God, contained in Holy Writ, must be assiduously studied and obeyed (!) in the power of the Holy Spirit with a contrite heart to arrest this nefarious impulse before it takes root in the heart.

Greg Fields’ statement that it is “not whether or not we have things right in our minds” that counts but merely the fact that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, is very dangerous. He suggests that doctrine is not important when you merely need to consent to the fact that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega. Demons too consent to the fact that Jesus is the Son of the living God (Matthew 8:29) and they tremble (James 2:19). You’re so right Mr Fields — IGNORANCE IS POWER. Indeed the best way to wield power over the laity is to keep them shrouded in a cloud of unknowing or ignorance.

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9)

I have been told on numerous occasions that the wonderful doctrines of grace are found in the Bible. Now we are told that one needs to discover these wonderful doctrines “via excellent Christian literature like A. W. Pink’s The Sovereignty of God or Boettner’s The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination or the books of R. C. Sproul, Michael Horton, James Boice, et. al.”

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see through Greg Fields’ suggestion that Calvinists shouldn’t try to understand and interpret the Scriptures but that they should rather turn to the more enlightened Calvinists for guidance. Needless to say, this is yet another piece of chaff the wind of apostasy has blown from Roman Catholicism into the Calvinistic fold. As far back as 1199 Pope Innocent III decreed the following RCC law.

… to be reproved are those who translate into French the Gospels, the letters of Paul, the psalter, etc. They are moved by a certain love of Scripture in order to explain them clandestinely and to preach them to one another. The mysteries of the faith are not to [be] explained rashly to anyone. Usually in fact, they cannot be understood by everyone but only by those who are qualified to understand them with informed intelligence. The depth of the divine Scriptures is such that not only the illiterate and uninitiated have difficulty understanding them, but also the educated and the gifted (Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum 770-771. Source: Bridging the Gap - Lectio Divina, Religious Education, and the Have-not’s by Father John Belmonte, S.J.)

The Council of Toulouse, which met in November of 1229, about the time of the crusade against the Albigensians, ruled in part the following:

Canon 14. We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; unless anyone from motive of devotion should wish to have the Psalter or the Breviary for divine offices or the hours of the blessed Virgin; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books. (Source: Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe, Edited with an introduction by Edward Peters, Scolar Press, London, copyright 1980 by Edward Peters, ISBN 0-85967-621-8, pp. 194-195, citing S. R. Maitland, Facts and Documents [illustrative of the history, doctrine and rites, of the ancient Albigenses & Waldenses], London, Rivington, 1832,  pp. 192-194. Additional Sources: Ecclesiastical History of Ancient Churches of the Albigenses, Pierre Allix, published in Oxford at the Clarendon Press in 1821, reprinted in USA in 1989 by Church History Research & Archives, P.O. Box 38, Dayton Ohio, 45449, p. 213 [Canon 14].)

Despite clear evidence from history (of which the above two examples is a drop in the bucket) that the RCC forbade their followers to read the Bible, RCC members adamantly refuse to believe it. Calvinists like Greg Fields are merely perpetuating these RCC Canon Laws.

THE GREG FIELDS DICHOTOMY OF CALVINISTIC LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION

In total contrast to what Greg Fields said about the necessity to gain knowledge in his essay “Further Reflections On Neo-Gnostic Calvinism,” that self-learning and self-instruction should be discouraged and budding Calvinists should rather discover the wonderful doctrines “via excellent Christian literature like A. W. Pink’s The Sovereignty of God or Boettner’s The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination or the books of R. C. Sproul, Michael Horton, James Boice, et. al,”  he now says in his essay “True Calvinism versus Neo-gnostic “Calvinism” the following:

When understandably recoiling from the baneful theological pontificating of the neo-Gnostics, we need to stress that there is an urgent need in the present theological malaise of modern evangelicalism to comprehensively study and teach the salient features of Calvinism biblically, systematically, and historically. Many of the “grass roots” Sovereign Grace fellowships emerging from this malaise have seriously truncated the sweeping grandeur of God’s Redemptive Plan by focusing almost exclusively on the “Five Points Of Calvinism”. This emphasis can very quickly lead to incredible arrogance. Each fresh discovery of Sovereign Grace (as exhilarating as this is!) can easily obviate other equally vital truths, such as “pursuing holiness in the Fear of God”, mortifying our members which are upon the earth”, “Setting our minds on things above”, and many other exhortations to greater conformity to Christ.

I find it extremely offensive when someone refers me to “the excellent Christian literature” like that of “A. W. Pink’s The Sovereignty of God or Boettner’s The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination or the books of R. C. Sproul, Michael Horton, James Boice, et. al,” advising me to learn from them how to “mortify our members which are upon the earth” and to “set our minds on things above” when neither Pink nor Boettner even once refer to these two great Christian doctrines in their books. I haven’t scrutinized any books by Sproul, Horton, Boice, et al but I wouldn’t be surprised if they too never once mention them in their books. The reason I say this is because of the Westminster Confession of Faith” emphatic statement “ “God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; . . .” If God ordained and decreed everything that happens, then he must have ordained the elect’s mortification of their members and the setting of their minds on things above even before the foundation of the world. God has already done it in their behalf before the foundation of the world. Therefore it is a certainty they cannot alter, even if they wished to. No one, not even the elect, can change God’s decrees.

The irony is that A.W. Pink, Lorraine Boettner, R.C. Sproul, Michael Horton, James Boice et al have all almost exclusively focused their writing on the “Five Points of Calvinism,” the reason being that most Calvinists regard TUILIP to be the warp and woof of the biblical Gospel. John Piper writes:

“The doctrines of grace (Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, Perseverance of the saints) are the warp and woof of the biblical gospel cherished by so many saints for centuries.” (John Piper, TULIP: The Pursuit of God’s Glory in Salvation (Minneapolis, MN: Bethlehem Baptist Church, 2000), back cover.)

C.H Spurgeon wrote:

. . . those great truths, which are called Calvinism . . . are, I believe, the essential doctrines of the Gospel that is in Jesus Christ. Now I do not ask whether you believe all this [Calvinism]. It is possible you may not. But I believe you will before you enter heaven. I am persuaded that as God may have washed your hearts, He will wash your brains before you enter heaven. (Spurgeon’s Sermons, Vols 1 and 2, “The Peculiar Sleep of the Beloved” (Grand Rapids,  MI: Baker Books, 1999), 48).

Nowhere in the entire Bible do we see that Christ needs to wash your brains so that you may understand the reformed doctrines of grace before you enter heaven. Apart from its near blasphemous nuance, it was downright silly of Spurgeon to make such a statement. Think of it: If only the elect are saved who “have a passionate commitment to Calvinistic soteriology and are quite emphatic in their apologia for these truths that so exalt and glorify the grandeur of the Sovereign Triune Lord,” it is quite obvious that their brains have already been washed in the “pure waters” of Reformed Theology. The non-elect or reprobates’ brains don’t need to be washed in the “pure waters” of Reformed Theology because their hearts are irretrievably un-washable. They have been doomed to eternal damnation even before the foundation of the earth. So, Mr Spurgeon, who else is there whose brains need to be washed before they enter heaven? We have ruled out both groups who make up the entire world of sinners – the elect and the non-elect. So, who remains to have their brains washed? Nobody, Zilch, Nada. I have always maintained that Calvinism is an unreasonable and downright dumb theology. They consistently contradict themselves and even their own Doctrines of Grace they so highly revere.

Nonetheless, this kind of garbage proves how intensely and passionately loyal Calvinists are to their Reformed Theology, even to the extent that they call it the warp and woof of the biblical Gospel. If this were true we must conclude that two of the major doctrines in Christianity, i.,e. the “mortification of our members that are on the earth” and the “setting of our minds on the things above” are inherently part of the Five Points of Calvinism (TULIP). Therefore, Greg Fields’ compassionate plea that Calvinists should not focus almost exclusively on the Five Point of Calvinism but to expand their horizons to the doctrines of the “mortification of our members which are upon the earth” and the “setting of our minds on things above” is invalid. The reformed warp and woof of Calvinist soteriology, ensconced in TULIP, already contains these doctrines, according to some of the most esteemed and well-known Calvinists.

THE GREG FIELDS GUIDE TO HUMILITY

Jesus Christ once said:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30)

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

Jesus made it very clear that just as He is the essence of love, He also is the essence of humility. Humility, therefore, is not a natural trait of humankind but a uniquely godly one, and the only means available to man to learn how to be meek and humble is to deny himself, take up his cross, to follow Christ and to learn from Him experientially. I say experientially because it is in and through circumstances, and most often very difficult circumstances, that the saint learns how to humble himself in a Christ-likeness way. There is no other way. Kapisch? Ah, but our friend Greg Fields has found a new way to guide us into the bliss of meekness, lowliness and humility. It is the Calvinistic way and is called “The Puritan, John Owen Way – our guide to how to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.” Greg Fields begins his essay with these words:

This essay is an attempt, using the great Puritan theologian John Owen as a guide, to present what I have observed to be sadly lacking from professing calvinists (sic) in this so called post-modern era of church history. What is urgently needed among brethern who have been gripped by grace, who have (at least)intellectually embraced Reformed theology and Calvinistic soteriology, is a Spirit-Wrought, God-centered, Scripturally grounded, and Theologically articulate apprehension of the Fear of God. After writing two previous essays of a polemical nature against the egregious arrogance of some professing “calvinists” (sic), I have earnestly desired to write a third essay that would didactically promulgate the essence of authentic Biblical Calvinism. Recently, I have been reading and meditating upon two striking passages from Owen’s magisterial seven volume An Exposition of the Epistle to The Hebrews that majestically encapsulate this essence. I will defer to that “mighty Apollo among the Puritans” as commentary on this vital matter. I will use ellipses to endeavor to capture the kernel of Owen’s exposition. The passages are contained in Volume III of The Banner of Truth Trust Edition of 1991. It is my earnest prayer that these sublime words will humble your heart, illumine your mind, and ignite your will to live Soli Deo Gloria.

Would you please take note of the word “meditating” in the above quote. I deliberately want to focus your attention on the word because the Puritan, John Owen. made much of it as a means to be conformed into the image of Christ. He said:

First, let us exercise ourselves unto holy thoughts of God’s infinite excellencies. Meditation, accompanied with holy admiration is the fountain of this duty. Some men have over busily and curiously inquired into the nature and properties of God, and have foolishly endeavoured to measure infinite things by the miserable short line of their own reason, and to suit the deep things of God unto their own narrow apprehensions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Our duty lies in what God hath revealed of Himself in His Word. . . . . . . . . . with holy admiration, reverence, and fear. . . . . . . . . . . . . Heb. xii. 28, 29. In this way serious thoughts of God’s excellencies and properties, His greatness, immensity, self-sufficiency, power, and wisdom, are exceedingly useful unto our souls. When these have filled us with wonder, when they have prostrated our spirits before Him, and laid our mouths in the dust and our persons on the ground, and when the glory of them shines round about us, and our whole souls are filled with astonishment, then, – Secondly, let us take a view of ourselves, our extract, our fraility, our vileness on every account. How poor, how undeserving are we!What a little sinful dust and ashes, before or in the sight of this God of Glory?What is there in us, what is there belonging unto us, that is not suited to abase us;-alive one day, dead another;quiet one moment, troubled another;fearing caring, rejoicing causelessly, sinning always;in our best condition “altogether vanity?”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in ourselves we areinexpressibly miserable, and, . . . . . . . . . . . . . “less than vanity and nothing. “. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thirdly, let the result of these thoughts be a holy admiration of God’s infinite love, care, grace, and condescension, in having any regard unto us. . . . . . . . . Hence will praise, hence will thankfulness, hence will self-abasement ensue. ” (pages 352-353, emphasis added)

“A continual view of the glory of Christ will have the blessed effect of changing us more and more into the likeness of Christ.  Perhaps other ways and means have failed to make us Christ-like.  Let us put this way to the test.” (‘Meditations on the Glory of Christ’)

It is interesting to note that the word “meditate” appears more in the Old Testament than in the New. Of the 14 verses only two are in the New Testament and no less than nine verses are in the Psalms. Now, that’s very interesting and a real eye-opener when you look at it more closely. Two words are used to describe meditation in the Old Testament – the one is “śıyach” (see’-akh) A primitive root; to ponder, that is, (by implication) converse (with oneself, and hence aloud) or (transitively) utter: – commune, complain, declare, meditate, muse, pray, speak, talk (with) and “hâgâh” (haw-gaw’), A primitive root; to murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication to ponder: – imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, sore, speak, study, talk, utter. Both seem to have the same meaning but when you look closer “śı̂yach” seems to be more of an internal dialogue while “hâgâh” seems to be an audible muttering and even in a loud speaking or talking tone. “Sı̂yach” is more of a prayer where the saint actually silently talks with God in his most inward being while ““hâgâh” means to ponder, think on, muse over, to study God’s Word in order to know Him and his intrinsic character more precisely.

Only one word is used for “meditation” in the New Testament – “meletaō” (1 Timothy 4:15) and its derivative “promeletaō” (Luke 21:14) and simply means to think and think ahead (anticipate).

Having seen what the meaning of  the words for “meditation” in the Old and New Testaments are, let us now briefly return to John Owen’s statement “Perhaps other ways and means have failed to make us Christ-like. Let us put this way (the meditative way) to the test.” Perchance I would be stretching it a little too far if I should venture to find in John Owen’s meditation something of the Desert Fathers’ contemplative meditative disciplines. However, as soon as you begin to substitute the only way given by God to become Christ-like (Matthew 11:29-30; Luke 9:23), red lights begin to flicker. You can mediate on the Word of God day and night until you are blue in the face; it will not benefit you one little bit in being sanctified to the level of Christ-likeness unless you obey Christ’s commands in Matthew 11:29-30 and Luke 9:23.

Yes, of course it is vitally important to think on, ponder and study the Word of God in order to get to know God, his Son and the Holy Spirit more and more and better and better. However, John Owen seems to shun human reason in favour of meditation in one’s quest to measure infinite things. We dare not expel cognitive reasoning and understanding from our endeavors to worship God on his terms. Meditation, as the Benedictine monks taught it, aimed to dislodge biblical meditation from its properties of cognitive understanding, reasoning, learning and pondering and devised the mystic form of Bible reading called Lectio Divina.

Wikipedia defines Lectio Divina as follows:

The focus of Lectio Divina is not a theological analysis of biblical passages but viewing them with Christ as the key to their meaning. For example, given Jesus’ statement in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you” an analytical approach would focus on the reason for the statement during the Last Supper, the biblical context, etc. But in Lectio Divina rather than “dissecting peace”, the practitioner “enters peace” and shares in the peace of Christ.[4] In Christian teachings, this form of meditative prayer leads to an increased knowledge of Christ.[5][6]

The roots of Scriptural reflection and interpretation go back to Origen in the 3rd century, after whom St. Ambrose taught them to St. Augustine.[7][8] The monastic practice of Lectio Divina was first established in the 6th century by Saint Benedict and was then formalized as a 4 step process by the Carthusian monk, Guigo II, in the 12th century.[3] In the 20th century, the constitution Dei Verbum of Pope Paul VI recommended Lectio Divina for the general public. Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the importance of Lectio Divina in the 21st century.[9]

In the 16th Century, Protestant Reformers, such as John Calvin, continued to advocate the Lectio Divina.[1] A Reformed version of the Lectio Divina was also popular among the Puritans; Richard Baxter, a Puritan theologian, championed the practice.[1]

These facts do not only strengthen my suspicion that the Puritian, John Owen, practicied and promoted Lectio Divnina, but that Calvinism is a gnostic tehology to its very core.

IS CALVINISM A MODERN-DAY CONTINUATION OF OLD PAGAN GNOSTICISM?

I would like to conclude my rebuttal of Greg Fields essays with Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:5

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5)

David Bercot wrote:

The early Christians didn’t believe that man is totally depraved and incapable of doing any good. They taught that humans are capable of obeying and loving God. There was a religious group labeled as heretics by the early Christians . . . They taught that man is totally depraved. The group I’m referring to are called the Gnostics. (“Will The Real Heretics Please Stand Up,” p.66).

pixel Neo Gnostic Calvinism: The Bane of Highfalutin Language thoroughly mixed with a Chimerical form of Fatal Contradictions

66 comments to Neo-Gnostic Calvinism: The Bane of Highfalutin Language thoroughly mixed with a Chimerical form of Fatal Contradictions

  • T C

    I know from this article and many others that you uphold Dave Hunt as a trusted Believer and teacher who adheres to Biblical truth. From what I’m gathering, you believe Calvinist’s to be lost – anathema. But Dave Hunt said in a video refuting Calvinism that he has many close friends who are Calvinists and they agree to disagree. Just pointing that out as I’ve not come across in your blog anywhere where you give Calvinists the label of Brother or Sister. Was wondering if you are aware of his stance? I have recently come across your blog and will be reading quite a lot it seems! You make a strong stance against false teachers and I find it refreshing that you use this blog to refute them and expose the lies and deception. God bless.

  • T C

    Dave Hunt also said that many Christians who had been saved before they’d embraced the doctrines of grace will be in heaven.

    Could someone who believes this false gospel of Calvinism be truly saved? Fortunately, many Calvinists (you among them) were saved before becoming Calvinists. They now malign God by saying that He is pleased to damn multitudes though He could save all—and that He predestines multitudes to the Lake of Fire before they are even born. But having believed the gospel before becoming Calvinists, they “shall not come into condemnation, but [have] passed from death unto life” (Jn:5:24). Those who only know the false gospel of Calvinism are not saved, while those who are saved and ought to know better but teach these heresies will be judged for doing so. (Read more here)

    Does the fact that you are friends with someone mean that they are saved? Wow! If that were true, I would want to be friends with every single person living on the earth right now.

  • T C

    How can anyone who distorts the Gospel of God, be saved?

    To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa 8:20)

    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:8-9)

    Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 Jn 1:9)

  • T C

    You said, “Does the fact that you are friends with someone mean that they are saved? Wow!…”

    I was referring to the fact that Dave Hunt himself called them Brother and Sister…that was not my idea! That is why I was asking if you were aware of his posture towards Calvinists, and if you did also hold that view, although I was pretty sure you didn’t. The text that you provide that states they are in fact born-again if they first believed the true Gospel and then later turned to Calvinism, means they are still then saved. Therein is the once saved always saved premise that is slipped in here. Sounds a little too much like a free pass. Or could it perhaps be that they were never saved being as they are now Calvinist? Hmm. So it appears that Dave Hunt’s stance on Calvinism has not been consistent or at best he changed his stance later on, as in no longer calling a Calvinist his Brother or Sister anymore.

    Again you said, “Does the fact that you are friends with someone mean that they are saved? Wow! If that were true, I would want to be friends with every single person living on the earth right now.”

    Now that’s jumping to conclusions. What I was saying was that he said he and his Calvinist friends agreed to disagree, and that he called them his Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Usually those who claim that Calvinists are reprobate or are anathema are not what I’d call close friends with Calvinists. At least it seems improbable.

  • T C

    Thomas Lessing

    For the record I am not a Calvinist. It appears you assume I am one or am standing up for them, when in fact I was trying to make a point that Hunt seemed to take a soft stance towards them. At least in this video it seems to be the case, and in the respect that I don’t hear him say they are not saved. Now, upon listening again to it I can’t seem to find the place where he said he considers Calvinists to be his brothers/sisters in Christ. But I do find where he said he doesn’t break fellowship with them at around 2:15 and at the 30 second mark he states some Calvinists are his best friends and they agree to disagree. Here is the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL5kZzA0yys.

  • T C

    Are all your best friends your brothers and sisters in Christ? Dave Hunt never called some of his best friends in Calvinism his brothers and sisters in Christ. Watch the video again. Show me where Dave Hunt said that Calvinists were his “brothers and sisters” in Christ.

    You obviously believe that saints can lose their salvation.

    You wrote:

    Again you said, “Does the fact that you are friends with someone mean that they are saved? Wow! If that were true, I would want to be friends with every single person living on the earth right now.”

    Now that’s jumping to conclusions.

    I don’t think I was jumping to conclusions. Wouldn’t you say that when you call people your “brothers and sister” that they are saved because you have the same Father?

    Jesus sat and ate with some of his worst enemies – the Sadducees and Pharisees – but He never considered them to be his brothers and sisters (Matthew 12:50). So why would Dave Hunt have called lost Calvinists his brothers and sisters in Christ?

  • T C

    Aye, Aye, Aye!! You have completely missed what I said. How to explain again?? As you can see in my last post I said I can’t seem to find where I thought he called Calvinists his brothers/sisters in Christ. So, yes, MY bad. I did point out though, that he takes a soft stance toward Calvinists (which is the whole point of my first post), never once calling them reprobate or proclaiming, Anathema! to them. He makes it very clear some of them are his “best friends” — and once again, I say, it seems improbable that a non-Calvinist (for clarification) would be best friends with another so-called Christian whom he believes to be reprobate, and them knowing he thinks that. Doesn’t being a best friend imply mutual admiration and deeply shared beliefs? Simple. Never do I hear him say they are NOT saved! And he went on to say that he didn’t want to break fellowship with them — FELLOWSHIP as regards the faith, I presume. So yes, in a way, it comes across like he thinks they are his brothers/sisters in Christ as he never says anything to the contrary, and in fact, makes it sound as though he does consider them as such.

    But in reading this site you and the creator/author of the site, Deborah, make it very clear that Calvinists ain’t saved! As for me, I can’t say that I believe all who call themselves Calvinists are lost, nope can’t say that.

    Lastly, I do believe a Christian can lose their salvation the same way they got it, by their free will. God cannot violate the will of a person who chooses to turn away from Him and renounce Him.

    I site these verses…
    Heb 6:4-8 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

    Matt 13:19- The parable of the sower. On some level I think the parable of the sower relates to those who receive the word of God and are born again, but the cares of the world, etc., cause them to fall away.

    James 5:19-20 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

  • Jumpy

    Regarding Dave Hunt, I clicked on his Wikipedia page, and its states that he held to a “theological middle ground”. But surely that is absurd? Surely there is no middle ground? Calvinism is the exact opposite to Arminianism, the Remonstrant proved that. As I understand it the “Five points” of Calvinism so-called were drawn up to answer Arminian theology, is this not true? I also believe (though I will check up on this) that all this happened after Calvin’s death. This being the case Calvin didn’t even know he was a Calvinist?
    Hunt sounds like he was theologically confused on this? What was he then? Some sort of hybrid, he must have been a Calarminist?

  • Jumpy,

    The only way to gain an equilibrium in the matter of Calvinism versus Arminianism is to search the Scriptures. Dave Hunt always encouraged his readers to search the Scriptures. However, you don’t have to search to deep before coming to the conclusion that Calvinism is rank heresy. I personally am not an Arminian.

  • T C

    Dave Hunt obeyed his Lord and loved even his worst enemies, let alone his best friends.

  • T C wrote:

    Lastly, I do believe a Christian can lose their salvation the same way they got it, by their free will. God cannot violate the will of a person who chooses to turn away from Him and renounce Him.

    Will you ever want to turn your back on Jesus and walk away?

    You may want to read the following posts.

    http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/05/24/eternal-security-nosas-versus-osas-part-1/#more-12883

    http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/05/26/eternal-security-nosas-versus-osas-part-2/#more-12914

    http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/05/27/eternal-security-nosas-versus-osas-part-3/

    http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/05/31/eternal-security-nosas-versus-osas-part-4/

    http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/06/05/eternal-security-nosas-versus-osas-part-5/

    In them I deal with most of the verses the NOSAS folk use to refute OSAS, among them the ones you quoted.

  • Jumpy

    Tom,
    It is so very good that you do not believe in the Arminian doctrine that one (a true Christian) can lose his or her salvation.
    A brief perusal on your rather extensive website would reveal that you do have a very high regard for the Authorised Version, otherwise known as the KJV 1611 Bible-being your default version?
    Please correct me if I am wrong, but was not the translation team, under the auspices of King James, (not a perfect man-who is?) who translated the KJV 1611 from the “received texts” composed of “Calvinists”, half being from the state Church who held to the 39 Articles, and the Puritans who without exception were “Calvinists” to the letter?
    So if “Calvinism is rank heresy” as you so confidently assert, how do you explain this rather strange anomaly? Would God so use these heretical “Calvinists” to bless His Word to the world in such a way?

  • T C

    Thomas Lessing

    You said, “Dave Hunt obeyed his Lord and loved even his worst enemies, let alone his best friends.”

    Eesh! I believe he obeyed the Lord also, just saying he doesn’t hold as harsh a line against the good ‘ol Calvinists as you do. I think out of all the Bible teachers/expositors out there he is one of my favorites. Listening to him I’ve come to realize that modern day psychology is not Biblical. I am still struggling with some of the aspects of it that really seem to help people, but he makes a very good case against it, of course using the Bible as his guide. He states that the Bible is enough for counseling, teaching, rebuking, and dealing with sin. Psychology, even “Christian Psychology” on the other hand, lead against and away from Biblical counseling. Much food for thought.

    I will read the links you have provided. And, no, a million times no, I would never leave my Lord who has redeemed me! But sin has a way of hardening hearts, even Believers. So it begs the question– is a professing Christian really a Christian who has hardened themselves to the point where you either think they are no Christian at all, or perhaps never were.

    Your quote, “Jesus sat and ate with some of his worst enemies – the Sadducees and Pharisees – but He never considered them to be his brothers and sisters (Matthew 12:50). So why would Dave Hunt have called lost Calvinists his brothers and sisters in Christ?”

    He did not have “fellowship” with them as one would a brother in Christ, nor were they his best friends; His best friends were the disciples, those with whom he shared the common bond of God with.

    Just curious…would you have a Calvinist as a best friend?

  • Jumpy,

    Now, isn’t that just so honky dory. Calvinists translated the 611 KJV Bible. Can you believe it? Incredible? Just think of it, a Calvinist translated 1 John 2:2 correctly from the original Greek. How’s that possible?

    And 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)

    Why would Calvinists translate this verse and many others in similar vein (John 3:16) correctly when they believed Jesus died only for the elect? You see, it’s a matter of interpretation. They translated it correctly but interpreted it wrongly. “World” in the two verses I mentioned does not refer to all of mankind, they assert, but only to the world of the elect.

    God is so great that He sometimes even used demons to assert the truth.

    And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (Matthew 8:28-29)

    Referring to the pronouncement of this doctrine at the Synod of Dort, England’s King James (who gave us the King James Bible), though he was no Arminian and hardly a “saint,” expressed his repugnance:

    This doctrine is so horrible, that I am persuaded, if there were a council of unclean spirits assembled in hell, and their prince the devil were to [ask] their opinion about the most likely means of stirring up the hatred of men against God their Maker; nothing could be invented by them that would be more efficacious for this purpose, or that could put a greater affront upon God’s love for mankind than that infamous decree of the late Synod . .

    Our days are named after pagan gods. Are you going to leave the earth because of that?

    I suggest you read the KJV Bible as it is translated but never as it is interpreted in the way its translators dared to do it. That’s would be disastrous.

  • T C wrote,

    Eesh! I believe he obeyed the Lord also, just saying he doesn’t hold as harsh a line against the good ‘ol Calvinists as you do

    So, now Hunt’s assertion that Calvinists aren’t saved is not as harsh a line against the good ‘ol Calvinists as mine? Jolly good show.

    You wrote:

    And, no, a million times no, I would never leave my Lord who has redeemed me! But sin has a way of hardening hearts, even Believers.

    That’s exactly my point. Those who believe a saint can lose his salvation will never lose it themselves because they will never turn their back on Jesus. I call it sanctified haughtiness or pride. It’s always the other poor sinner who would do such an heinous thing as that. If sin were to be the deciding factor in determining whether a saint can lose his salvation, then all of us – including you – have already lost it. Sin, whether big or small, is nothing more nor less than a hardening of the heart.

    You wrote,

    He did not have “fellowship” with them as one would a brother in Christ, nor were they his best friends; His best friends were the disciples, those with whom he shared the common bond of God with.

    First you concede that Dave Hunt never called Calvinists his brothers and sisters in Christ although he fellowshipped with them and now you take issue with my example of Jesus having fellowshipped with Sadducees and Pharisees but never considered them to be his brothers and sisters. To fellowship means to sit with them in church (synagogue) and to discuss with them the will of God. Wasn’t that what Jesus did?

    You wrote,

    Just curious…would you have a Calvinist as a best friend?

    I have fellowshipped with some of the most strangest folk imaginable but as soon as I tried to correct them they ostracized me. So, as you can see, it’s not a question of me having or wanting to have a Calvinist as my best friend. It’s a question of them wanting to have me as their best friend and up to this point none of them have been prepared to take me as a best friend. In fact they hate me because Calvinism teaches them to hate their enemies.

  • Jumpy

    But Tom.
    First of all, as you said in a previous comment why do “we need to gain an equilibrium in the matter of Calvinism vs. Arminianism…” (I would rather term it predestination/election vs. freewill) Is it there? I don’t see it, no one will find it, Hunt tried and failed.
    I believe in predestination and election, because the Scriptures clearly teach it.
    And as regards how the Puritans expounded John 3.16, I must confess I would agree with their teaching. Clearly the passage is talking about God’s love for the world. That is a given. The Arminian free will advocates subtly deceive their followers by misinterpreting the words “so loved” to mean “loved everyone in the world so much”.
    Does not the context give us a clue to the meaning of “world” in John 3.1?
    Nicodemus, who approached Jesus at night, is introduced as “a man of the Pharisees” and “a ruler of the Jews”. Then in verse 10, Jesus called Nicodemus a “master of Israel.” When the Bible tells us that God so loved “the world”, Jesus was telling Nicodemus that God’s plan for salvation is not limited to the Jews. God’s love extends beyond the Jews to “the world”. Jesus does not mean that he loves every single person in the world; He means His love is not limited to Jews only, but that His love is for all of His elect in the world without distinction, whether a person is a Jew or Gentile.
    If Jesus loved every person in the world, then why isn’t every one saved, past, present and future?
    Yes, King James was no saint, and he didn’t like the doctrine of reprobation, do you?
    But that is not the question’ does the Bible teach it?

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Thomas and T C:

    Seems that you are trying to prove whether Calvin, Arminius, Dave Hunt, Paul, Apollos, or anyone else that you esteem highly (or lowly) has the answers to your debate. Some criticisms are leveled at certain man made arguments (apologetics).

    The “boxing for points” in this argument is becoming sad to us that stand and watch the two of you. One would expect that either one of you would post a link to an exposition of “your side’s argument”. (Choose wisely) Those looking in from the outside might never have done an in-depth study of the intricacies of this matter. Do those then that the Holy Spirit has called (and never been taught that there are these two opposing doctrines) ever get “saved properly”? Does the bible mention Arminius or Calvin as a prerequisite for salvation? Not that I have ever seen.

    1 Thess 5:23-25

    23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 25 Brethren, pray for us.

    Convincing your opponent is not what is important. We cannot claim to know “the heart of a man” as the final word is known to Jesus, the son of God. I am not of any “man made argument” so I do not follow any man but Jesus, and Him crucified. The convincing is done by the Holy Spirit. Present the Scripture and the Holy Spirit will “call whom He will”.

    Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46

    “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’… Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’… And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

    Do we accept that we “do not have the mind of God”

    Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)

    8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
    9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    So are My ways higher than your ways,
    And My thoughts than your thoughts

    Both of you seem to accept that “you are both saved”?

    Accusations that certain men (are you sure which men) “teach you to hate your enemies” is correct, but the Holy Spirit will convict you of sin and righteousness……..

    (John 16:7-9)

    …7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;… (John 16:7-9)

    Study to show yourself approved:

    2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

    “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”

    And Paul writes to Timothy:

    8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

    Peace has settled in my heart…….

    John 14:27 (NKJV)

    “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”

    Think on these things and “refrain from vain arguments as they cause fights” (with or without hatred?)

    The result is in the hands of God.

    Romans 11:33

    Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

    And yet I have accepted the gift of salvation…….

    Eph 2:7-9

    7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    You are wrong, my friend. I never tried to superimpose the Paul – Apollos argument on Dave Hunt, Calvin and Arminius or anyone else. I merely responded to T C’s argument that Dave Hunt called his Calvinist friends brothers and sister in the Lord, which, by the way, T C later acknowledged was not true. If Dave Hunt was right in his assessment that Calvinists are not saved, then we dare not call them brothers and sisters in the Lord. In that case we may as well call Roman Catholics our brothers and sisters in the Lord. This, to me, is very important and not just “boxing for points.” Was Jesus” boxing for points” when he sent a message to his own mother making it clear who his real brothers and sisters were?

    While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Mat 12:46-50)

    Anyone who refuses to listen to the teaching of the apostles is a false teacher and is not your brother and sister in the Lord. Why would anyone who loves the Lord and wants to do his will care to take as a brother and sister those who refuse to do his will – especially in the realm of salvation? Those who are not Jesus Christ’s brothers and sisters are not your brothers and sisters either, or are they? “Boxing for points!” You must be kidding me.

  • Jumpy wrote,

    But Tom.
    First of all, as you said in a previous comment why do “we need to gain an equilibrium in the matter of Calvinism vs. Arminianism…” (I would rather term it predestination/election vs. freewill) Is it there? I don’t see it, no one will find it, Hunt tried and failed.

    You are making a very bold statement when you say free-will is non-existent. If so, why did the Holy Spirit inspire John to write:

    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. (Rev 22:17)

    The verse does not say “and let the Holy Spirit force the living water down your throat.”

    If God loves the entire Jewish nation of whom the majority are going to hell – despite the fact that God elected them (Mat 8:12; Romans 11:28-29) – then He must of necessity love the entire world of the gentiles and not just the so-called elect from among the gentiles.

    The reason why you cannot understand why everyone won’t be saved is because you shun the necessity to believe (have faith) as a precondition for salvation.

    No! the Bible does NOT teach predestination and election unto salvation – not in the very least.

    I am not going to be drawn into an argument with you on the merits of Calvinism. I have written extensively on it in many posts on this site. In them I make it abundantly clear that Calvinism is another spirit presenting another gospel of another Jesus. It is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ of the Bible. It is a gross distortion of the Gospel at its very best and deserves Paul’s indictment in Galatians 1:8-9.

  • Jumpy

    Tom,
    I believe we are all ‘free agents’, I certainly agree on that-we all make our ‘own’ what we think to be our ‘freewill’ decisions, I do grant you that. Luther (who ‘started’ the Reformation, said “Freewill is nothing” (may we thank God for his dogmatism?). And, is not “The king’s heart in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water. He turneth it whithersoever He will.” Proverbs 21.1, then, how much more so ours? Jeremiah says on this wise “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10.23. Then who directs the steps of men? God gives us the answer : “Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” Proverbs 20.24. The “Assyrian” in Isaiah 10.7, doesn’t know that he is doing God’s will?
    There are so very many examples to prove this in God’s Word, Saul (the first king of Israel) in 1 Samuel chapter 9 thought his ‘free will’ was leading him to look for his father’s lost asses, yet all the time it was God ordering his steps. Did not God say to Samuel “About this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel…” 1 Samuel 9.16?
    I certainly don’t see ‘free will’ any where at all in God’s Word. We could go through the account of Pharaoh in the Exodus, Haman the Agagite in the book of Ruth, Judas and many, many, other examples that “were written for our admonition…” 1 Corinthians 10.11. And “whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning…” Romans 15.4?
    As regards Revelation 22.17, certainly; all who God calls, John 6.44 will “come to me” and “..take of the water of life freely.” The “whosoever” of this verse is none other than the “whosoever” of John 3.16? How can it ever be otherwise? It is God who will “draw him” John 6.44? “Who maketh thee to differ?” 1 Corinthians 4.7.
    You quote Matthew 8.12 in respect of the “children of the kingdom”, but you do not quote the context. It is very clear from the context that just being a son of Abraham in the flesh did not qualify them for salvation; Matthew 8.11-13, also read Luke 13.27-29. Jesus was very clear on this, was He not? These were “workers of iniquity”, as indeed were many of the Pharisees (they were sons of Abraham according to the flesh), but, surely you know-all of this? Many of the Pharisees (Sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) did works according to Matthew 23.15. Romans 11.28-29, in the full context, clearly teaches that in the soon coming millennial reign-at the Second Coming, God will save a remnant in Israel, these are called “as touching the election”, as Paul clearly says.
    I am not having “an argument with you on the merits of Calvinism”, please forget John Calvin, disregard him, Arminians have set him up as a straw man to attack what the Bible so clearly teaches.

  • Jumpy

    I believe we are all ‘free agents’, I certainly agree on that-we all make our ‘own’ what we think to be our ‘freewill’ decisions, I do grant you that

    So, you are going to tell your wife, “Honey, the love I had for you the day when I chose to marry you, wasn’t really my own choice; it was someone else’s. I thought it was my own choice but it wasn’t. So, don’t blame me when the day may come when I divorce you because it won’t be my choice; it will be someone else’s.” What do you think your wife is going to say to you: “I never knew I was married to a little robot.”

    By the way, the ability to “think” in “I certainly agree on that-we all make our ‘own’ what we think to be our ‘freewill’ decisions” is already the result of your divinely given free-will. You would never have been able to “think” if you did not have a fully self-functioning free-will.

    I can understand why you cannot interpret the verses you quoted, correctly. It is because your mind which is bound in a non-freewill zone of utter darkness cannot comprehend their meaning. (Ephesians 4:18). However, I must ask you this. If King Saul’s steps were ordered by God when he looked for his father’s lost asses, did he also order his steps to throw a javelin at King David to kill Him? Did He order his steps to disobey Him and offer the sacrifice only an ordained prophet and priest of God was permitted to do? Did He order his steps to pursue David because he wanted him dead? Did he order his steps to consult the witch of Endor? Did God order King David’s steps to commit adultery and have Bathsheba’s husband killed. If your answer is yes, then you are actually saying that God ordered Hitler’s steps to murder 6 000 000 Jews or are you one of those crackpots who denies it ever happened? Hooray! – no accountability to God. What a wonderful day it is going to be on the Day of Judgment. “A Duhhhhhh, God. You cannot judge me. I was not responsible for all my sins. You ordered my steps and so I simply had no choice but to do them. You are the ONE who should be cast into hell, not I.” BLASPHEMY!!!

    Your last sentence is the epitome of Calvinistic stupidity. But then again, I have always said that Calvinism is a dumb religion. Like all the other Calvinists you are saying that Calvinism = the Gospel but “please forget Calvin.”

    I am not going to waste my time with you. I don’t have the time. Just one last thing, and please use your non-existent freewill to try and understand what this verse really means.

    Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Mat 15:14)

    Right, I have again given you and others the opportunity to blame me of being arrogant, insensitive, un-Christlike, loveless and rude. Do so by all means. But, I am NOT, I repeat I am NOT going to allow you or anyone else whose mind is darkened by a cloud of non-existent free-willism to blaspheme God and his Christ. Go somewhere else. Go and do it on your Calvinist friends’ websites and explain to them that God ordered your steps to them.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Jumpy

    So, you are going to tell your wife, “Honey, the love I had for you the day when I chose to marry you, wasn’t really my own choice; it was someone else’s. I thought it was my own choice but it wasn’t. So, don’t blame me when the day may come when I divorce you because it won’t be my choice; it will be someone else’s.” What do you think your wife is going to say to you: “I never knew I was married to a little robot.”

    You would never have been able to “think” if you did not have a fully self-functioning free-will.

    If your answer is yes, then you are actually saying that God ordered Hitler’s steps to murder 6 000 000 Jews or are you one of those crackpots who denies it ever happened? Hooray! – no accountability to God. What a wonderful day it is going to be on the Day of Judgment. “A Duhhhhhh, God. You cannot judge me. I was not responsible for all my sins. You ordered my steps and so I simply had no choice but to do them. You are the ONE who should be cast into hell, not I.” BLASPHEMY!!!

    Your last sentence is the epitome of Calvinistic stupidity. But then again, I have always said that Calvinism is a dumb religion”

    I am not going to waste my time with you. I don’t have the time.

    Just one last thing, and please use your non-existent freewill to try and understand what this verse really means.
    Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Mat 15:14)

    Right, I have again given you and others the opportunity to blame me of being arrogant, insensitive, un-Christlike, loveless and rude. Do so by all means. But, I am NOT, I repeat I am NOT going to allow you or anyone else whose mind is darkened by a cloud of non-existent free-willism to blaspheme God and his Christ. Go somewhere else.

    Go and do it on your Calvinist friends’ websites and explain to them that God ordered your steps to them.

    Must we all rise and applaud your rant?

    I have been patiently following some articles on this site and have seen your fervor in defending your stance. You do identify false teachers and expose weird non-biblical movements. You rightfully expose ministries as preaching another gospel. You rightfully condemn the imaginations of men and women that start a ministry on a lie that often starts with them publishing a deplorable book.

    However, it is sad to see that you do not do the will of God in the way you assign to God your own views. How can you misquote Matt 15:4 out of context and ask Jumpy to “understand what this verse really means” when you do either not understand it yourself, or you are playing God?

    I can see the indignation on your face as you read this. So be it.

    You also compare the “relationship of a man and a woman in marriage” to the relationship that God has planted between Himself and us through Christ, and Him crucified. You demean the Almighty God and compare him to a man?

    The over-riding theme that you are embracing is that of dogmatism. (1 + 2)
    1. a statement of a point of view as if it were an established fact.
    2. the use of a system of ideas based upon insufficiently examined premises.

    Hitler had a free will to such an extent that he was totally depraved. It follows that all of mankind could act as Hitler did. Why do all men then not act as Hitler did? Has it entered your mind that God allows certain things to happen and that He is a loving God despite all your protestations that He is unable to withstand our free will? You are then suggesting that we will meet a multitude of gatecrashers in heaven? There is a narrow path and a wide path, or have you not heard.

    Sadly I am convinced that you follow the commandments of men, and not the commandments of God. You do not even refrain from the following: 2 Tim 2:22-24

    …22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations (arguments), knowing that they produce quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,…

    To answer your understanding of Matt 15:14 I would place it into context in Matt 15:1-20:

    Matthew 15:1-20 (NKJV)

    15 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

    3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

    8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
    And honor Me with their lips,
    But their heart is far from Me.
    9 And in vain they worship Me,
    Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

    10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

    12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”

    13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

    15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”

    16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

    You order Jumpy around and tell him to say it is God that has “ordered his steps?

    So you would “plant yourself, by your own free will”? Will you ever accept that God is God?

    Romans 5:17 ESV

    “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ”

    Since when is Calvinism a religion, and who is dumb? We have the church that Christ is building, or have I lost the plot that it would be Thomas Lessing or Calvin, or Arminius, or Wesley? I am not of Calvin, neither of Arminius nor of Wesley…..

    Matthew 16:17-18 (NKJV)

    17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

    Something you might think about, if it be of any help – What is the difference between free-will and “being a free agent”?

    noun: free will; noun: freewill

    1.
    the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.
    synonyms: volition, independence, self-determination, self-sufficiency, autonomy, spontaneity;
    freedom, liberty

    I trust that you will allow the whole bible to speak to you Thomas as it is the only trustworthy thing that we have, plus the Holy Spirit, our Helper while we follow Christ, and Him crucified.

    And yes, I am not kidding you……..

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    And I have noticed that somehow I mistyped my email address when I made my ? first post. I have now seen the error and my previous post is “the same John Andrews”. Sorry……. just saw my “new face”. And the last two posts(which includes this one) have my correct email address.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland wrote:

    Must we all rise and applaud your rant?

    I have been patiently following some articles on this site and have seen your fervor in defending your stance. You do identify false teachers and expose weird non-biblical movements. You rightfully expose ministries as preaching another gospel. You rightfully condemn the imaginations of men and women that start a ministry on a lie that often starts with them publishing a deplorable book.
    However, it is sad to see that you do not do the will of God in the way you assign to God your own views. How can you misquote Matt 15:4 out of context and ask Jumpy to “understand what this verse really means” when you do either not understand it yourself, or you are playing God?

    You accuse me of raving and ranting? You would be surprised how many on this site have already experienced your wise cracks as raving and ranting. It would have been far better for you if you’d rather remained silent. But now, since you have decided to raise your voice and sit as judge over me, you have exposed your own ignorance in a massive way. I judged Jumpy’s heretical view that God ordained everything, even the sins of Saul, David and Hitler, You sir are judging me personally. That’s so nice of you.

    In the first instance you accuse me of misinterpreting Matthew 15:14 in it’s proper context. The context, my friend, is that Jesus warned his disciples against the Pharisees and told them to leave them alone, for they had chosen (excuse the pun) their destructive path headed for uprooting (judgement) and that nothing would deter them. They were blind guides, trying to lead blind people who were all going to fall into the same pit. Is that so difficult to understand?

    You then quote verses 1-20 to explain to me what the context is without making any effort to explain to me what the context is. You may as well have quoted the entire Gospel of John and still you would not have given any evidence what the real context is. However, this has been your way of doing things in many of your posts. We really don’t need you to quote lengthy passages without providing us with some idea what the context is.

    You wrote:

    You also compare the “relationship of a man and a woman in marriage” to the relationship that God has planted between Himself and us through Christ, and Him crucified. You demean the Almighty God and compare him to a man?

    If your ranting was true that I am demeaning the Almighty God by comparing his relationship with his Bride to that of the marital relationship between a man and a woman, then Paul should have been stoned to death at your command.

    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesian 5:22-33)

    If you cannot see that this teaches us to pattern our marriages to Christ and his relationship with his Bride, then you should rather forever hold your peace (excuse the pun again).

    You continue to rant,

    You order Jumpy around and tell him to say it is God that has “ordered his steps?
    So you would “plant yourself, by your own free will”? Will you ever accept that God is God?

    It was Jumpy who said God sovereignly orders the steps of men, not I. Had you known where he got his heresy from, you would have picked up that he very smartly summed up the Westminster Confession of Faith, “God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass.” Please get your facts straight.

    The very fact that man has a free-will proves that God his God. It is the heresy that man has no free-will which makes Him a ruthless and loveless dictator.

    You then rant and rave as follows:

    Since when is Calvinism a religion, and who is dumb? We have the church that Christ is building, or have I lost the plot that it would be Thomas Lessing or Calvin, or Arminius, or Wesley? I am not of Calvin, neither of Arminius nor of Wesley…..

    Calvinism is definitely not the church Christ is building and therefore it must be a religion like any other false religion.

    You then quoted:

    Matthew 16:17-18 (NKJV)

    17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

    If this is your way to prove to me that Calvinism is not merely a religion like any other but the true church (body, bride) of Christ, then you ought to recant and repent because you are blaspheming God.

    You wrote:

    Something you might think about, if it be of any help – What is the difference between free-will and “being a free agent”?

    There is absolutely no difference between free-will and free agent. The latter is the subject who exercises his free-will. You cannot possibly have free-will without a free agent. The only instance when there cannot be any free-will is when you have no free agents. Imagine a world without people. Apparently you can.

    You wrote:

    I trust that you will allow the whole bible to speak to you Thomas as it is the only trustworthy thing that we have, plus the Holy Spirit, our Helper while we follow Christ, and Him crucified.
    And yes, I am not kidding you……..

    I can see that the Bible hasn’t spoken to you . . . and neither am I kidding.

    Calvinism is a heretical RELIGION and deserves the indictment in Galatians 1:8-9.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland wrote:

    I have been patiently following some articles on this site and have seen your fervor in defending your stance

    I appreciate your patience but your observations are appalling. I am NOT defending MY stance, sir.

    Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3)

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Hitler had a free will to such an extent that he was totally depraved. It follows that all of mankind could act as Hitler did. Why do all men then not act as Hitler did? Has it entered your mind that God allows certain things to happen and that He is a loving God despite all your protestations that He is unable to withstand our free will? You are then suggesting that we will meet a multitude of gatecrashers in heaven? There is a narrow path and a wide path, or have you not heard.

    Indeed, Hitler was totally depraved but God DID NOT order his steps to murder 6 000 000 Jews. There’s a huge difference between allowing something and ordering it (ordaining it). God will never “withstand” anyone’s free-will. If He wanted to withstand man’s free-will, He would have withstood Adam and Eve’s free-will and prevented them from sinning against Him. But that would have kept them locked in an eternal state of innocence, not knowing what love is. You see, free-will and love go hand in hand. You cannot separate free-will from love. That’s why Jesus said: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Surely, you must know that He will never force anyone to keep his commandments. That’s not love but downright coercion, force, strong-arming.

    The way you describe free-will and God’s ability to withstand our free-will is not love. It is coercion. Excuse me for once again using marriage as an example. Did you force your wife to marry you? Do you call that love? I thought you are a bright one but now I see you don’t even know what true love is.

    Indeed, God is able to do anything, even to withstand man’s free-will. But, had He chosen to do that we would never have had his Gospel of love but a false gospel of coercion, force and strong-arming, and that’s precisely what Calvinism is – a false gospel of coercion, force and strong-arming. You only need to go to the Geneva Pope’s Vatican to see that Calvinism is a false gospel of coercion, force and strong-arming.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    TC

    What you said here:

    “Now, upon listening again to it I can’t seem to find the place where he said he considers Calvinists to be his brothers/sisters in Christ. But I do find where he said he doesn’t break fellowship with them at around 2:15 and at the 30 second mark he states some Calvinists are his best friends and they agree to disagree.”

    is very different to calling them brother and sisters.

    I am sure Dave Hunt did not stop fellowship with Calvinists because he spent his time debating with them trying to convince them that what they believe is false. There is a difference in befriending a Calvinist and never speaking the truth to them, in other words, they are just your going to the movies pal and you have no desire in your heart to change their way of thinking towards the word of God. I don’t for a second believe Dave Hunt did this. So do not judge the man on who he was friends with in this regard. The fact is he never took stage with a Calvinist as though they were brothers and preached the gospel.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    John

    I am sorry but what is wrong with you? Why are you attacking Thomas like this? My gosh, I never expected this of you..

  • John may deny it but I think he’s an undercover Calvinist.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Thomas, I was at least correct to say that “I can see the indignation on your face as you read this”. You do not see that once your “spirit of torturing the Scripture out of context” to line up with your stance. You accuse anyone that does not agree 100% with everything you say as heretical. How disingenious of you. You do have a lot of things that you interpret correctly out of the bible, but you deem yourself faultless and would be 100% correct all the time?

    So a “faultless Thomas” then disobeys God by entering into arguments that make you lose your temper and then your mouth “defiles the man”? This just so happens to be what is written in Matt !5:10 that leads to the conclusion in verse 16 – 15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”

    16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man”

    Your free will overrides the leading of the Holy Spirit to show patience and to teach (as this is your and Deborah’s ministry) in a calm and non-abusive manner. You also revert to Scripture and your most oft quoted verse seems to be: Galatians 1:8-9 (KJV)

    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed

    You are not preaching the gospel when you propose your view of the mind of God with the straw man John Calvin whose views (or some of them) have been presented as Calvinism. The bible contains the gospel. This site is not “THE BIBLE”. Neither do I protect John Calvin, whom you seem to hate?

    You rate your view of all of Scripture above reproach, and also do not surrender to the fact that God’s thoughts are higher than ours. It is seen clearly, not just a hunch that I have.

    Jumpy made a very wise and valid statement: “I am not having ‘an argument with you on the merit of Calvinism’, please forget John Calvin, disregard him, Arminians have set him up as a straw man to attack what the Bible so clearly teaches.”

    If I understand your stance correctly you would say that man is only “partially sinful” (partially depraved) but Hitler was totally depraved(sinful)? There is then a continuum of possibilities on “the scale of depravity”? Does it then follow that you would “position yourself” at say 75% depraved so that your “good part of your free will which is at 25%” can accept the free gift of salvation? Or do you need to readjust your position to 99% depraved so that you only have 1% of “good free will”?

    Romans 3:5-18

    5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?

    7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

    9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

    10 As it is written:

    “There is none righteous, no, not one;
    11 There is none who understands;
    There is none who seeks after God.
    12 They have all turned aside;
    They have together become unprofitable;
    There is none who does good, no, not one.”
    13 “Their throat is an open tomb;
    With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
    “The poison of asps is under their lips”;
    14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
    15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
    17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
    18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.

    You say that our sin is thus below the threshold that would be required to be “a total sinner”?

    This is what can be construed as coercion and a false “feel good” gospel.

    So measured by Man’s opinion of himself “he is better than what God declares him to be”. He can at any time choose to come to God on his own. (this would follow if you were below the 100% “depravity level”)

    Man’s view of himself differs from God’s view of Man.

    This site is then run by those who would take it upon themselves to unabashedly say that “those of Calvin” or anyone that ever so slightly do not agree with the leaning towards Arminius and Wesley are “doomed to hell”.

    I am sorry to then disappoint you as I will not be coerced into playing God on an issue that has been debated for ages and will continue to be debated as all arguments are an attempt to embrace either Arminius/Wesley (or a modified version of Arminius) or Calvinistic leanings. Strong-arming me is your goal, not my attempts on this discussion. The force that I try diligently to uphold is Christ, and Him crucified with the help of the Holy Spirit. False gospels I have seen many and trust that He who has called me, will preserve me to the end.

    Ephesians 4:1-16 ESV

    I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

    Do I trust God? Yes, but not the partial fallacies of men. It is surely a high view of self to condemn those who do not agree to all the points of view on this site. You would then do this despite ample Scripture that you ignore to argue as it does not fit your bias. A dogmatic stance is born out of stubbornness. I will not say, however, that your stubbornness condemns you to be “accursed”.

    I stand with those who would debate without anger against something that only God will, or will not show as an “incorrect understanding” on His intent and plan for those that love Him.

    I leave you with something to think on, and see you in heaven…….

    *Calvinism vs Arminianism and Wise Advice from Tozer

    Here is a testimony I read that is contained in the biography of A.W. Tozer pertaining to the current discussions.

    Quote:

    I was preparing to go to Nyack College. Before I left there was one burning question I had in mind, and I went to Dr. Tozer and said, “Could you give me some advice concerning the problem of Calvinism versus Arminianism?”

    And I’ll never forget the advice he gave me. At the time I thought it was rather inconclusive and not too helpful. But I listened carefully. He said, “My son, when you get to college you’re going to find that all of the boys will be gathered in a room discussing and arguing over Arminianism and Calvinism night after night after night. I’ll tell you what to do. Go to your room and meet God. At the end of four years you’ll be way down the line and they’ll still be where they started, because [a]greater minds than yours have wrestled with this problem and have not come up with satisfactory conclusions.[/b] Instead, learn to know God.”

    As I have tried to do in every visit to this site, is to help us who would strive for the truth to find wise counsel amongst friends or “brothers and sisters”. I would not “pull out the tares” too early as some would do, and “mess with the wheat”.

    Matthew 13:24-30 (NKJV)

    24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

    PS: You do not need to apologize for losing your temper. Do not let me coerce you into anything, as this I would not attempt. If you take anything personally, it is of your own free will. Try to resist this. I fail to see that by debating your slightly divergent views, I would personally abuse you.I never called you ignorant that I can see. I do hold Christ, and Him crucified in the highest regard and God who sent Him. It is disingenious to accuse some on this site of just coming here to demean God? I think you are defending “a stance” on a modified version of Arminianism, which differs from other discussions that are mostly “true contending for the faith” discussions.

    I did notice that you moved up my last sentence to be part of the paragraph above to make it seem “without a pause” and to then create an impression that I would have said you do not read and study your bible. You fight dirty – and yes I am accusing you of this “boxing tactic”.

    And yes you do quote Galatians 1:8-9 out of context in some of your discussions. Verse 11 reads: 11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    And as to quoting a whole passage of Scripture, I thought that a reminder of where it “was lifted from” would speak to you? I have this high regard for the sword of the Spirit that it would convict of truth to those who would read and think and allow the Spirit to enlighten. I would not do this to casual visitors. Go back and read what the point was I was trying to make. If you do not see it I cannot help you. You might need to read a whole post before jumping to conclusions.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    John
    I am sorry but what is wrong with you? Why are you attacking Thomas like this? My gosh, I never expected this of you..

    For the simple reason that his actions are “defiling the man” and he refuses to admit it and repent. I have debated many arguments around the globe, but have yet to find another site that has so many frequent “attacks on the person” if they would dare to differ from Thomas. I hate the actions of some, but try and refrain from bullying.

    I have just given Thomas a taste of his own bullying, but have tried to keep it civil. I am sorry that it has come to this but I was at first inclined to warn “walk away Thomas” gently, but it fell on deaf ears as did the Scripture that tells us to refrain from such behaviour that I posted on some discussions previously.

    He now complains that I bombard with Scripture, while he uses his favorite verses over and over to intimidate visitors – especially his Galatians 1:8-9. I would try and post Scripture only with the preceding couple of verses to set the context. If other visitors post just the chapter and verse without the body, I get the impression that these are not displayed (as to read and ponder) and they are lost in the replies that Thomas gives(as I do not see him argue the Scripture in a lot of cases. He blames me for not arguing my own posted verses, but I expect him to read them ‘and see’.

    Telling people they are going to hell is not conducive to an orderly debate, even if we do get to see a lot of stupid and illogical posts. Even I would sometimes hit “post comment” and think I could have been more kind.

    It might be “his way” but it certainly is abrasive, and I would rather be “kicked off the site” than have to wince more than I would like to do, even if I support his argument. My lengthy response to Thomas’ last three posts also refers. He reckons the “tares be burnt well before the wheat is harvested”.

    Ek sal weggaan as julle my vra.

  • T C

    Thomas Lessing and Deborah

    So now I see I have a tag team coming at me. Ok, I don’t have as much time on my hands as you guys do, so this is it. You have succeeded in twisting my points and have not answered my questions without throwing punches in the meantime. I just want straightforward answers and they seem not to be forthcoming. I am tired of making a point and having it twisted into something else.

    Deborah, first you say I’m subverting Dave Hunt’s message by saying that he would NEVER just go out with a buddy Calvinist to a movie without an eye toward steering him from his error. Really? Not so, according to his words — HE SAID they agreed to disagree and that they are his best friends. Apparently they had come to terms with each other and had accepted the fact that neither one was going to change their mind. AGAIN, it is highly improbable for two people who call themselves Christians and for the one to know that the other believes him to be an apostate to be best friends. I never heard him say they were not his brothers. I do not believe that he believes (at least at that point in his life), based on what I heard the man say in the video, that they are not saved. I personally do not believe they are not saved…some may be lost just as I know some who call themselves Christians are lost.

    Thomas, Your words:

    ♦”That’s exactly my point. Those who believe a saint can lose his salvation will never lose it themselves because they will never turn their back on Jesus. I call it sanctified haughtiness or pride. It’s always the other poor sinner who would do such an heinous thing as that. If sin were to be the deciding factor in determining whether a saint can lose his salvation, then all of us – including you – have already lost it. Sin, whether big or small, is nothing more nor less than a hardening of the heart.”

    My response:

    Did I say I couldn’t lose my salvation?? Did I say I never would lose my salvation? I said, as any earnest Believer in Christ would say, that as my heart stands now, I would not turn my back on Him. So let me explain ever so clearly what I mean. It means that since I know I could turn my back on my Lord by allowing un-repented of sin in my life and allow it to harden my heart and not hate the very thing that would drive a wedge between me and the Lord, then because of that, I am careful to watch my heart and guard it so that I can remain close to Him, because I know that our hearts are wicked and deceitful. Conversely, I think the idea of believing that you could never lose your salvation could lead to haughtiness and pride in that you’re a “shoe-in”, nothing you could ever do would jeopardize that, no sir! Your heart would never be as wicked as that one who believes he can lose his salvation. Hmph.

    So, here’s the test to be assured of one’s continuing salvation. I think we’d all agree that, first is the fact that Jesus obtained it by the shedding of His blood, second is the fact that one has repented of his sin and has faith in God. If one is struck with fear that they have lost their salvation over a sin or sins then they obviously haven’t lost their salvation. If they had truly turned their back on God and renounced Him as per Heb 6:4 they wouldn’t care!! Why? Because their hearts are hardened. Now, I’ve read your interpretation of Heb 6 and it doesn’t fly with me. Here’s why: It states in no uncertain terms “that it is impossible for those who were ONCE enlightened, AND have tasted of the heavenly gift, AND were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, AND have tasted the good word of God, AND the powers of the world to come, and here’s the clincher, “if they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance…” remember it said it is impossible for those who were once enlightened….to renew them again to repentance….why? because, “..they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” And to follow up with that point, it states in 6:9, “But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you.” Jesus cannot die again for these hard hearts. They have placed themselves beyond His reach by their free will and, I believe, their consciences are seared and they no longer have a fear of God. To make my point again, your statement about the one man who was terrified that he had lost his salvation…well, good news, if he is concerned that he has “lost” his salvation — by all means, he hasn’t.

    This verse and the verse of the parable of the sower and other verses that warn against apostasy, give me pause and cause me to fear my Lord for I know that it would cause me great pain and Him to turn away from Him, and for that reason I guard my heart with all diligence as I don’t want to presume upon His mercy and take it for granted. He has shown me much mercy and I have failed Him many times in my youth and I’ve cried to Him before when I felt my faith failing and He has always held me up and will not let me go. That’s why I say a million times no would I ever want to turn my back on Him. Peter himself said he would never deny the Lord, and we know Peter loved Him much, but he did deny the Lord and the Lord had mercy on him. I do not claim to know at what point a person reaches the level of apostasy that would damn them to hell, all I know is that it appears to be possible for a believer and not because God decided to no longer forgive them for their sin, but because the apostate has turned away, once and for all from God and has reached the point of no return — where they crucify the Son of God afresh.

    Last but not least you said:

    ♦”First you concede that Dave Hunt never called Calvinists his brothers and sisters in Christ although he fellowshipped with them and now you take issue with my example of Jesus having fellowshipped with Sadducees and Pharisees but never considered them to be his brothers and sisters. To fellowship means to sit with them in church (synagogue) and to discuss with them the will of God. Wasn’t that what Jesus did?”

    My response:

    Well, hang on there, I conceded that I didn’t directly hear it, as apparently, from what he said, I seriously got the message that he thought them to be his brothers/sisters in Christ and that was what I passed on originally, which was my whole point.

    Your having used Jesus having dinner with the Sadducees and Pharisees as an example of “fellowship” is preposterous! They were not in “fellowship” and you were using that as an example of Dave Hunt having “fellowship” with the good ol’ Calvinists. Not a fair comparison!! Please stay on point. Dave Hunt said, and I quote, “…I do not want to break fellowship with them.” Fellowship as in brotherhood because apparently it was ok with him and the Calvinists to agree to disagree. I am not judging him as Deborah said, I am only saying I do not hear that he is as hardline against the Calvinists as you guys are. Why you need him to believe the same way you do, I have no idea. Let your beliefs stand on their own for goodness sake.

    Now if he changed his mind later on and stated so, then I am good with it. I am only going by what I heard in the video and what he said at that time.

    And one more thing. You said in regards to my question about whether you would have a best friend in a Calvinist you said:

    ♦”So, as you can see, it’s not a question of me having or wanting to have a Calvinist as my best friend. It’s a question of them wanting to have me as their best friend and up to this point none of them have been prepared to take me as a best friend. In fact they hate me because Calvinism teaches them to hate their enemies.”

    So there you have it. It really is impossible for two opposing views of two Christians where one believes the other to be lost/unsaved to be “best friends”, so please explain how Dave Hunt can have Calvinists as best friends?? Also, please see my response to Deborah above.

    That’s it folks, I think I’ve stated my points with clarity and with Biblical wisdom.

    May God be praised!

  • T C

    John

    You said:

    ♦”Seems that you are trying to prove whether Calvin, Arminius, Dave Hunt, Paul, Apollos, or anyone else that you esteem highly (or lowly) has the answers to your debate. Some criticisms are leveled at certain man made arguments (apologetics).

    The “boxing for points” in this argument is becoming sad to us that stand and watch the two of you. One would expect that either one of you would post a link to an exposition of “your side’s argument”. (Choose wisely) Those looking in from the outside might never have done an in-depth study of the intricacies of this matter. Do those then that the Holy Spirit has called (and never been taught that there are these two opposing doctrines) ever get “saved properly”? Does the bible mention Arminius or Calvin as a prerequisite for salvation? Not that I have ever seen.”♦

    I’m not a Calvinist. I am a born-again Evangelical Christian.

  • T C

    You don’t have as much time on your hands as we do? So why do you withe a whole book in stead of a simple comment?

    Answer me this. Did Dave Hunt ever say that Calvinists were not saved and did he ever say they were his brothers and sister in the Lord. A yes or no will be enough.

    Are you going to lose your salvation? a Yes or no will be enough.

    T C wrote:

    AGAIN, it is highly improbable for two people who call themselves Christians and for the one to know that the other believes him to be an apostate to be best friends

    You don’t seem to know that Jesus even called Judas his friend, dear friend. Hellooooo!

    Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. (Mat 26:48-50)

    You misunderstand Hebrews 6

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    John

    Clearly you don’t understand the meaning of a debate, and Thomas words DO NOT ‘defile the man’ good grief! And no we wont kick you off this site, we will just ask you to leave (as you keep hinting at) if you are going to continue to deliberately attack us with unbiblical nonsense.

    The way you are carrying on one would think you were an undercover Calvinist. (Edit: I wrote this after reading Thomas’s comment wondering too if you were an undercover Calvinist) You do of course go to a Presbyterian church which has one in John Calvin’s grave and the other foot in Rome. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyterianism In fact when I read your comments I get the feeling that there is ‘more to you attacking Thomas’ than meets the eye.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    TC

    >> But I do find where he said he doesn’t break fellowship with them at around 2:15 and at the 30 second mark he states some Calvinists are his best friends and they agree to disagree

    Again you have misrepresented what DH is saying. If you listen to what Dave Hunt is saying in context he is saying as per Catholics and Calvinists who call Christians Catholic or Calvinist bashes and ask him to remove them from his email list. He says it’s strange that they don’t call themselves Christian bashers after they attack him and want to break fellowship with him. He says he does not want to stop fellowshipping with them… because the whole idea is that he loves them, unlike the ‘what is this love?’ of the Calvinists etc. Dave Hunt no where says that he ‘agrees to disagree’ with Calvinists. Nor does he call them best friends. He says he does not break fellowship with Calvinists who disagree with him but they break all fellowship with him and call him names.

    Listen to what he says in context, please.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    John
    You do of course go to a Presbyterian church which has one in John Calvin’s grave and the other foot in Rome. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyterianism In fact when I read your comments I get the feeling that there is ‘more to you attacking Thomas’ than meets the eye.

    This is my last post on this forum.

    You create an impression that I agree with Presbyterianism by attending a fellowship of people seeking the Lord in a country that the statistics show to be around 90% Catholic. If I had to attend another church (as I did) it would take too much traveling time every Sunday. Also the sermons that are being preached are biblical without me having to wince. I am not a member of the Presbyterian church. I do try and to give sound biblical input when and where I can.

    I do, however, believe that the majority of the people in the small fellowship are true Christians. One of the elders is a friend of Angus Buchan, and yes, I have tried to show him that AB is a false preacher. You obviously have never lived in a country that has a dominant Catholic population. Try it sometime.

    It seems that your “internet fellowship” is what you enjoy and you tell others to refrain from attending “churches” as they are all wrong in some shape, form or color. A discerning Christian goes into a fellowship with his eyes and ears open. So you say that one is to forsake the fellowship of people that seek the Lord? I have stated my views on Pentacostalism/Charismania for all to see.

    Please do not feel that you need to answer this with your thousand “but John you don’t see comments” as I do see.

    And no, there is not more to see than what I have posted. Have you really thought about what I have said?

    I would be untrue to my convictions as to accept that Thomas is not “defiling the man” by his abrasive style and language.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Thomas, I was at least correct to say that “I can see the indignation on your face as you read this”. You do not see that once your “spirit of torturing the Scripture out of context” to line up with your stance. You accuse anyone that does not agree 100% with everything you say as heretical. How disingenious of you. You do have a lot of things that you interpret correctly out of the bible, but you deem yourself faultless and would be 100% correct all the time?

    I find it extremely strange that you should accuse me of quoting verses out of context whilst you deny that the marital relationship between a man and a woman does not mirror Christ’s relationship with his Bride. (Ephesians 5:22-23)

    You wrote:

    You also compare the “relationship of a man and a woman in marriage” to the relationship that God has planted between Himself and us through Christ, and Him crucified. You demean the Almighty God and compare him to a man?

    You have borne false witness against me by accusing me of demeaning the Almighty God whilst Paul himself, whom you admitted received the Gospel directly from Christ, wrote that the marital relationship between a man and a woman mirrors Christ’s relationship with his Bride. Don’t you think you were being mean and brutish while Paul himself affirms what I had said? By the way, anything that is not 100% in line with God’s Word, especially with regards to salvation, is heretical – and you should know that. And by the way “free-will” has everything to do with salvation. Anyone who believes that man has no free-will or that his free-will is bound (aka Martin Luther) is twisting Scripture.

    To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:20).

    We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6)

    You wrote:

    So a “faultless Thomas” then disobeys God by entering into arguments that make you lose your temper and then your mouth “defiles the man”? This just so happens to be what is written in Matt !5:10 that leads to the conclusion in verse 16 – 15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”

    We have been discussing false doctrines and false teachers all along – including Calvinism. Hence my referral to Mathew 15:14. But you keep on insisting that we bring 15:10 into the equation. OK let’s do it then. The things Jesus mentioned coming from the mouth have nothing to do with false doctrines; they are general sins people usually do – For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (Mat 15:19). Not only false teachers do these things; Christians also are guilty of them all – as you have so eloquently proven when you accused me falsely of demeaning the Almighty God. These things may be forgiven when they are confessed. However, false teachers who persist in their false teachings and refuse to repent end up in a pit (the pit of hell) and also those who follow them.

    Peter understood Matthew 15:14 – therefore, Jesus needn’t have explained it to him. However, he didn’t understand the rest and therefore he asked Jesus to explain the meaning thereof to them.

    By the way, you haven’t conceded that you were totally wrong when you said:

    You also compare the “relationship of a man and a woman in marriage” to the relationship that God has planted between Himself and us through Christ, and Him crucified. You demean the Almighty God and compare him to a man?

    You write:

    Your free will overrides the leading of the Holy Spirit to show patience and to teach (as this is your and Deborah’s ministry) in a calm and non-abusive manner. You also revert to Scripture and your most oft quoted verse seems to be: Galatians 1:8-9 (KJV)
    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed
    You are not preaching the gospel when you propose your view of the mind of God with the straw man John Calvin whose views (or some of them) have been presented as Calvinism. The bible contains the gospel. This site is not “THE BIBLE”. Neither do I protect John Calvin, whom you seem to hate?

    If John Calvin is merely a straw man, then he was a very dangerous straw man because he has led and still is leading millions of people to hell. Matthew 15:14 fits this straw man like a glove. Preaching the Gospel is one thing; contending for the faith another. Jude proved this when he said:

    Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 1:3).

    Indeed, the Bible contains the Gospel (there’s no need to say so) but there are men and women who have crept in privily who distort the Gospel to their own destruction as well as the souls of those who follow them. Neither is this site THE BIBLE (THERE’S NO NEED TO SAY SO) but this site quotes from the Bible and those who read this site should acknowledge that what the Bible says is the truth and nothing but the truth – including Ephesians 5:22-23. The fact that you denied this proves that YOU are the one who dishonors the Bible and who follows his own insights.

    You are not protecting Calvin and neither are you protecting the Bible. Jesus, Paul, James and Jude warned their brethren against all false teachers, including John Calvin, and you – in following Christ – should do the same. How’s this for a calm and non-abusive manner?

    These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. (Jude 1:12-13).

    See, I do not only quote Galatians 1:8-9.

    You wrote:

    You rate your view of all of Scripture above reproach, and also do not surrender to the fact that God’s thoughts are higher than ours. It is seen clearly, not just a hunch that I have.
    Jumpy made a very wise and valid statement: “I am not having ‘an argument with you on the merit of Calvinism’, please forget John Calvin, disregard him, Arminians have set him up as a straw man to attack what the Bible so clearly teaches.”

    No, my friend, I do not view my view of Scripture above reproach. However, what I do expect from you and others who disagree with me is to refute me from Scripture, and you have failed to do so every time. If your denial of Ephesians 5:22-23 is anything to go by and we are to use it as a yardstick, then your view of Scripture is superlatively reproachable. How insipid can you get: Jumpy allegedly made a wise and valid statement that he was not having an argument with me on the merit of Calvinism or Calvin, but everything he believes is crude Calvinism – predestination, election, no free-will, etc, And you say, you are not protecting Calvin? Really???

    You wrote:

    If I understand your stance correctly you would say that man is only “partially sinful” (partially depraved) but Hitler was totally depraved(sinful)? There is then a continuum of possibilities on “the scale of depravity”? Does it then follow that you would “position yourself” at say 75% depraved so that your “good part of your free will which is at 25%” can accept the free gift of salvation? Or do you need to readjust your position to 99% depraved so that you only have 1% of “good free will”?

    Would you say that the centurion, Cornelius, was totally depraved or was there something good in him that even God acknowledged to be good?

    At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. (Acts 10:1-4).

    You see, Cornelius was so totally depraved that his prayers and alms ascended as a memorial before God. Listen up, my friend, there was absolutely no difference between Cornelius and Hitler – both of them were bound for an eternity in hell. The only difference is that Cornelius used his divinely gifted free-will – something Hitler also had – to choose to be saved. (Deuteronomy 30:19). Unless of course you also believe in the abominable doctrine of irresistible grace. Free-will has absolutely nothing to do with the doctrine of total depravity – total inability. Anyone is able to choose between death and life.

    You claim not to be a Calvinist but you quote the very same pet verses they quote. “There is none who seeks after God” does not mean that man is completely impotent to seek God. It simply means that man has no desire to seek Him. Had he been totally unable to seek God, God would never had written down the following:

    You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

    There is none who does good, no, not one.”

    I have just proven to you that a so-called totally depraved man was able to do good things (prayer and alms) and that God acknowledged his goodness.

    You wrote:

    You say that our sin is thus below the threshold that would be required to be “a total sinner”?
    This is what can be construed as coercion and a false “feel good” gospel.
    So measured by Man’s opinion of himself “he is better than what God declares him to be”. He can at any time choose to come to God on his own. (this would follow if you were below the 100% “depravity level”).

    No, I am saying exactly what Jesus Christ said:

    Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: (John 16:7-8)

    Unless you are a Calvinist who believes that “world” refers only to the world of the elect, the above passage says that the Holy Spirit will reprove mankind as a whole of sin, righteousness and judgement. That means that any person – no matter how depraved he may be – has the capacity and the will to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit at any time and at any place and to be saved. However, the Bible warns against procrastination and urges the entire world (all of mankind) “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (2 Corinthians 6:2)

    So, as you can see man is quite capable to choose to come to God on his own at any time. If this had been “Man’s opinion of himself that “he is better than what God declares him to be,” then Jesus would never have invited all of mankind to come to Him.

    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mathew 11:28-30).

    Jesus doesn’t seem to think that man thinks he “is better than what God declares him to be” when He invites them to come to Him for their salvation. Would He invite them if He knew they were not able to choose for themselves to come to God on their own? And please don’t throw John 6:44 at me because it does not mean what Calvinists assert it to mean. They just love to quote John 6:44 and never quote John 12:32.

    And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:32)

    You wrote:

    Man’s view of himself differs from God’s view of Man.
    This site is then run by those who would take it upon themselves to unabashedly say that “those of Calvin” or anyone that ever so slightly do not agree with the leaning towards Arminius and Wesley are “doomed to hell”.

    I am sorry to then disappoint you as I will not be coerced into playing God on an issue that has been debated for ages and will continue to be debated as all arguments are an attempt to embrace either Arminius/Wesley (or a modified version of Arminius) or Calvinistic leanings. Strong-arming me is your goal, not my attempts on this discussion. The force that I try diligently to uphold is Christ, and Him crucified with the help of the Holy Spirit. False gospels I have seen many and trust that He who has called me, will preserve me to the end.

    Indeed God’s view of man is the final and ultimate view on man. Your view of man is that man’s free-will is either non-existent or distorted (not able to choose to come to God on his own). I can assure you that your view is definitely not God’s view of man, and I have proved it to you again and again in my above arguments

    No, my friend it is not this site that tells people who cling to false doctrines that they are going to hell. It is God Himself who says so:

    Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9)

    And by the way the phrase “hath not God” means that they are not saved. Where do the unsaved go. Come on, you tell us.

    You, together with Jumpy, advised us to forget Calvin but you don’t want to forget Arminius and Wesley. Learn to judge righteously, my friend. You are not doing it.

    Indeed, I agree that we should preach Christ and Him crucified but we are also commanded to contend for the faith that was once delivered to us. If you refuse to do so you are not a mature Christian.

    But the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him]. (1 Corinthians 2:15)

    When your kid is drawn into a circle of friends that uses drugs, are you going to say “I am sorry but I am not going to be coerced into playing God in this matter?” I can assure you that false doctrines are much worse than drugs.

    Just to show you how you misrepresent Scripture I would like to refer to your quote from Ephesians 4:1-16. It does not mean that Christians should set aside doctrines for the sake of unity. If that’s how you interpret Paul’s words in Ephesians then you are smack bang in the middle of New Age/Emergent Church/ Charismatic ecumenism. It does not mean that Christians should never become angry when others distort God’s Word. Paul suggests that Christians should keep their emotions under control. But it does not suggest weakness. One who is controlled by God is angry at the right time. Moses was known as the meekest of all men (Numbers 12:3). Yet he got angry when Israel sinned against God (Exodus 32). Christ was meek and humble in heart (Matthew 11:28). Yet He became angry because some Jews were using the temple as a place for thieves (Matthew 21:12-13).

    You wrote:

    Do I trust God? Yes, but not the partial fallacies of men. It is surely a high view of self to condemn those who do not agree to all the points of view on this site. You would then do this despite ample Scripture that you ignore to argue as it does not fit your bias. A dogmatic stance is born out of stubbornness. I will not say, however, that your stubbornness condemns you to be “accursed”.
    I stand with those who would debate without anger against something that only God will, or will not show as an “incorrect understanding” on His intent and plan for those that love Him.

    Listen up, my friend, none of us here should think we can distort God’s doctrines – especially his doctrine of salvation – and think that we can get away with it. Your view of man’s free-will is already a distortion of God Gospel because it demeans his words in Revelation 22:17. If man was not able to utilize his God-given free-will 100% and come to Him of his own accord, God would never have extended an invitation such as to take the water of life freely.

    “A dogmatic stance is born out of stubbornness?” Really??? In that case all of Paul’s and the other disciples’ stance on dogma (doctrine) was born out of stubbornness. Do you realize what you are saying? Are you really saved? (2 Corinthians 13:15).

    I have already dealt with your anger-fear. You never become angry, do you?

    You wrote in your piece de resistance

    I leave you with something to think on, and see you in heaven…….

    Calvinism vs Arminianism and Wise Advice from Tozer
    Here is a testimony I read that is contained in the biography of A.W. Tozer pertaining to the current discussions.
    Quote:
    I was preparing to go to Nyack College. Before I left there was one burning question I had in mind, and I went to Dr. Tozer and said, “Could you give me some advice concerning the problem of Calvinism versus Arminianism?”
    And I’ll never forget the advice he gave me. At the time I thought it was rather inconclusive and not too helpful. But I listened carefully. He said, “My son, when you get to college you’re going to find that all of the boys will be gathered in a room discussing and arguing over Arminianism and Calvinism night after night after night. I’ll tell you what to do. Go to your room and meet God. At the end of four years you’ll be way down the line and they’ll still be where they started, because [a]greater minds than yours have wrestled with this problem and have not come up with satisfactory conclusions.[/b] Instead, learn to know God.”

    As I have tried to do in every visit to this site, is to help us who would strive for the truth to find wise counsel amongst friends or “brothers and sisters”. I would not “pull out the tares” too early as some would do, and “mess with the wheat”.

    Most of today’s heresies have been wrestled with throughout the centuries by most of the great minds. Does that mean we must now let it go and allow Satan to bind as many unsuspecting people to his lies?

    So, what you are suggesting is that Dave Hunt should never have written his book “What Love is This?” I can assure you, if Hunt hadn’t written his book many people would still have been caught up in a web of lies and deceit and on their way to hell. Is that what you want? Tozer’s advice sounds oh so Christian-like and oh so loving but looking at it closer and you will see that it is totally anti-biblical.

    Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezekiel 33:1-9)

    You said you trusted God and not the partial fallacies of men. I’m sorry, I don’t believe you.

    PS: You do not need to apologize for losing your temper. Do not let me coerce you into anything, as this I would not attempt. If you take anything personally, it is of your own free will. Try to resist this. I fail to see that by debating your slightly divergent views, I would personally abuse you. I never called you ignorant that I can see. I do hold Christ, and Him crucified in the highest regard and God who sent Him. It is disingenious to accuse some on this site of just coming here to demean God? I think you are defending “a stance” on a modified version of Arminianism, which differs from other discussions that are mostly “true contending for the faith” discussions.
    I did notice that you moved up my last sentence to be part of the paragraph above to make it seem “without a pause” and to then create an impression that I would have said you do not read and study your bible. You fight dirty – and yes I am accusing you of this “boxing tactic”.

    You are again accusing me falsely. Where did I move your last sentence to be part of the paragraph to create an impression that I do not study and read my Bible? I really think you should grow up.

    And yes you do quote Galatians 1:8-9 out of context in some of your discussions. Verse 11 reads: 11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    Don’t you realize you are merely emphasizing my quote of Galatians 1:8-9? Paul actually says “Don’t blame me for what I said in Galatians 8-9. Christ Himself said it and I am merely repeating what He disclosed to me in a direct encounter with Him.

    You wrote:

    And as to quoting a whole passage of Scripture, I thought that a reminder of where it “was lifted from” would speak to you? I have this high regard for the sword of the Spirit that it would convict of truth to those who would read and think and allow the Spirit to enlighten. I would not do this to casual visitors. Go back and read what the point was I was trying to make. If you do not see it I cannot help you. You might need to read a whole post before jumping to conclusions.

    You really don’t need to quote lengthy passages from Scripture to me. You only need to give me the chapters and verses. I have a Bible and am quite capable of reading them in my Bible. I truly hope you would now respond to the Sword of God’s Spirit and admit that you were wrong about my analogy of the marital relationship between a man and a woman and Christ’s relationship with his Bride.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland wrote:

    I am not a member of the Presbyterian church. I do try and to give sound biblical input when and where I can.

    Whoa! You like to give others sound biblical input but when someone else tries to do it for you, you explode? Wow! Hypocrisy is not the word.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    John
    I am sorry but what is wrong with you? Why are you attacking Thomas like this? My gosh, I never expected this of you..

    This answer from Joe McKeever:

    The abrasive Christian has no business teaching God’s word and sharing their faith.

    They will be a hindrance instead of a blessing. They will injure the very souls they are trying to win, set terrible examples for younger Christians who study their ways and copy their methods, and will repel honest inquirers who are not so prompt in buying their spiel.

    The best thing the abrasive teacher/witness can do is to be quiet, go home, get on their knees and pray the Lord will break them down into parts which He can reassemble, fill, and use.

    And until He does that, they should re-enroll in the new Christian’s class, for they have much to learn of basic Christianity.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    John
    I am sorry but what is wrong with you? Why are you attacking Thomas like this? My gosh, I never expected this of you..

    Joe McKeever again:

    There is a place for abrasive Christians in the church.

    It’s not in leadership positions, of course. They don’t need to be teaching the Word, leading classes on anything, or occupying a decision-making role.

    The place for them is at the altar.

    They need to shelve themselves until the Lord has tamed them, gentled their nature, and begun quietening this willfulness which wants to run the show, put everyone in his place, and tell God how to do His business.

    And, to say the obvious here, if the abrasive Christian will not take themselves out of the game and sit on the bench, someone has to do it for them. If you are the pastor or key church leader, you may be the one assigned this task.

    Have fun with that. (smiley-face goes here)

  • Jumpy

    Tom,
    You are so correct in what you assert regarding my wife; indeed it WAS God who put us together, and we will remain together till death do we part (God willing), unless the Lord’s Second Coming occur before. You very well know what God says about divorce? I hardly need to quote all the relevant Scriptures ( Malachi 2.15-16, Genesis 2.24, Matthew 19.5-6, Ephesians 5.31 etc..) to one such as yourself with your not inconsiderable knowledge of the Bible? God DID put us together, again, as you know, in the days of the Patriarchs, and the later Old Testament times, and in New Testament times, (though in these evil days in which we live, the practice is now virtually non-existent) Marriage was ‘arranged’ by the bridegroom’s father, was it not? Read Genesis 24.4 onwards in regards to Isaac and Rebekah. Is not this the Biblical precedent? God ordered these marriages. No doubt, today, many who (if they do) make a marriage vow, it is to them meaningless, unless they fear the Almighty God? So, why would you say “When I divorce you”? I will NOT divorce my wife, how ever could I? I know what the Scriptures teach on marriage. Our marriage, along with every single event ( great, small, good, bad and indifferent) in history including the consummation of the coming 1000 year reign of Christ was predestined by God.
    God is in TOTAL control, He is Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. God does not play dice. He orders ALL events small and large alike.
    I don’t know how many, if any, children you have, but if, for example you had an eighteen year old daughter, I believe most would trust your discernment as opposed to your daughter’s, in the choice of a marriage partner?
    You said on this matter;
    “So, you are going to tell your wife, “Honey, the love I had for you the day when I chose to marry you, wasn’t really my own choice; it was someone else’s. I thought it was my own choice but it wasn’t. So, don’t blame me when the day may come when I divorce you because it won’t be my choice; it will be someone else’s.” What do you think your wife is going to say to you: “I never knew I was married to a little robot.”
    By the way, the ability to “think” in “I certainly agree on that-we all make our ‘own’ what we think to be our ‘freewill’ decisions” is already the result of your divinely given free-will. You would never have been able to “think” if you did not have a fully self-functioning free-will.
    I can understand why you cannot interpret the verses you quoted, correctly. It is because your mind which is bound in a non-freewill zone of utter darkness cannot comprehend their meaning. (Ephesians 4:18). However, I must ask you this. If King Saul’s steps were ordered by God when he looked for his father’s lost asses, did he also order his steps to throw a javelin at King David to kill Him? Did He order his steps to disobey Him and offer the sacrifice only an ordained prophet and priest of God was permitted to do? Did He order his steps to pursue David because he wanted him dead? Did he order his steps to consult the witch of Endor? Did God order King David’s steps to commit adultery and have Bathsheba’s husband killed. If your answer is yes, then you are actually saying that God ordered Hitler’s steps to murder 6 000 000 Jews or are you one of those crackpots who denies it ever happened? Hooray! – no accountability to God. What a wonderful day it is going to be on the Day of Judgment. “A Duhhhhhh, God. You cannot judge me. I was not responsible for all my sins. You ordered my steps and so I simply had no choice but to do them. You are the ONE who should be cast into hell, not I.” BLASPHEMY!!!

    I believe the Scriptures in respect of the Sovereignty of God are diametrically opposed to what you would have your readers believe. In fact, by denying that “God ordered Hitler’s steps to murder 6,000,000 Jews”. Of the many chapters and verses in the Bible, If you look up Deuteronomy 28. 1-68 you will read of the curses He promised to Israel because of their apostasy? Did not Moses prophesy of Israel’s apostasy in Deuteronomy 31.29? “..evil will befall you in the latter days” God’s will be done, of course man has a will, but what is his will compared to His will? Whose “will be done” Matthew 6.10?
    I believe, as Spurgeon, Ryle, and many others taught; that there will be Arminians in heaven, yes I believe Arminianism or free will is NOT Biblical doctrine, ( I believe it is Rome inspired and I certainly, absolutely hate it!), nevertheless men such as Wesley faithfully preached salvation by the blood of Christ ALONE (Wesley was no papist!-He wrote and taught against it). If we are all to believe that our theology has to be 100% correct in order to be saved, well, then, there is no hope for any of us, is there? Wesley didn’t believe in Election/Pre-destination, but again, I believe he was used mightily of God- “The Lord knoweth them that are His” 2 Timothy 2.19. I do not say that a perfect biblical understanding of Election is a prerequisite to salvation (perish the damnable thought), but to be one of God’s elect certainly is.
    Theology/knowledge is so very, very, important, but what of grace? Does not 2 Peter 3.18 tell us that we must grow in grace first? The Scripture tells us that “knowledge puffeth up” 1 Corinthians 8.1. Will not knowledge on it’s own do this? Arminianism knocks God off His throne, and makes man sovereign, not God, as opposed to the “Doctrines of Grace”.
    God’s ways are “past finding out!” Romans 11.33, though many believe they ‘know’ all His ways?

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    You haven’t answered one single point I raised. You are free to take yourself out of the game, as you suggested. Have fun with that. (smiley-face goes here). How abrasive, rough, course, rude, coarse and harsh is this for you?

    Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33)

    Put that in your pudding and eat it. GOODBYE!

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    AGAIN: You haven’t answered one single point I raised. You are free to take yourself out of the game, as you suggested. Have fun with that. (smiley-face goes here). How abrasive, rough, course, rude, and harsh does this sound to you?

    Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33)

    And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. (Luke 13:32)

    Put that in your pudding and eat it. FAREWELL!!

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Joe McKeever seems to be a nice guy – cartoons, jokes and all that stuff but he doesn’t seem to know what the Kingdom of God is.

    Every pastor in our denomination gets asked certain questions by search committees. Currently, it’s something like, “So, pastor … (ahem) … tell us your position on Calvinism.” A generation ago, it was: “What do you believe about the inerrancy of Scriptures?” A generation before that, committees wanted to know your eschatology. Before that, it was creation/evolution.

    “Ah, yes. I’m glad you asked that question. The issue of Calvinism and Arminianism has been plaguing our churches and dividing the Kingdom for hundreds of years and it’s a burden to those of us on the front lines for the Lord. I was telling a friend just the other day … .”

    The Kingdom of God cannot be divided. It is impossible to divide the Kingdom of God. Yet! those who preach another Gospel (Calvinism) can be severed from God’s Kingdom – and indeed with a sword. You are either IN or OUT of God’s Kingdom. And those who are IN will never want to divide his Kingdom, even if it were possible.

    Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-36).

    Neither Calvinism nor Arminianism can divide God’s Kingdom. Dave Hunt wrote in “What Love is This” the following on Arminius.

    CALVINISM IS OFTEN contrasted with Arminianism, so named after Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609). All those who do not fully agree with Calvinists on all five points of tulip (see below) are almost automatically accused of being Arminians (not to be confused with ethnic Armenians), yet many against whom this charge is laid have never heard the term. Moreover, many Calvinists who malign Arminius have never read his works and know nothing more than hearsay about him and his beliefs. Ironically, this Dutch theologian started out as a Calvinist and even studied under Beza in Calvin’s seminary in Geneva. He was a devout follower of Christ and suffered much for his faith. His entire family was murdered in his absence when Spanish Catholic troops enforcing the Inquisition massacred the population of his hometown of Oudewater in Holland.

    Arminius was wrongfully charged with nearly every false doctrine ever invented, from Socinianism (denial of predestination, of the true nature of the Atonement and of the Trinity) to Pelagianism (the denial that Adam’s sin affected his posterity, an undue emphasis upon free will, salvation by grace plus works, and the possibility of sinless perfection). Thus to be called an Arminian is a more serious charge than many of either the accusers or the accused realize.

    So strong was Calvinism in certain parts of Europe in Arminius’s day that to disagree with it was tantamount to a denial of the gospel and even of God’s entire Word—and it could cost one’s life. In England, for example, a 1648 Act of Parliament made a rejection of Calvinistic infant baptism punishable by death. Arminius had to bear the special onus that came upon any Protestant of his day, especially in Holland, who dared to take a second look at Calvinism from the Scriptures, a guilt sometimes attached to non-Calvinists today. He was accused of having secret leanings toward Roman Catholicism, in spite of his open denunciation of Catholic sacraments and of the papacy as the kingdom of Antichrist. Upon visiting Rome to see the Vatican for himself, Arminius reported that he saw “‘the mystery of iniquity’ in a more foul, ugly, and detestable form than his imagination could ever have conceived.”

    Some of those who have called themselves Arminians promote serious heresy, having “adopted views quite contrary” to what he taught, but Arminius himself was actually biblical in his beliefs and far more Christlike in his life than was Calvin. Vance rightly declares that “Arminius was just as orthodox on the cardinal doctrines of the Christian Faith as any Calvinist, ancient or modern.”

    Some Calvinists have criticized the first edition of this book for what they call my alleged “caricature of Calvin [and] adoring portrait of Arminius….” On the contrary, I have simply given the historic facts, which none of my critics have been able to refute. In Debating Calvinism (Multnomah, 2004), James White said he would “refute the calumnies [I] launched at…Calvin [and] Augustine.” I’m still waiting. It is unconscionable that Calvinists have swept under the rug Calvin’s un-Christlike conduct—and have refused to acknowledge the facts when confronted with them.

    There is no denying that Calvin was abusive, derisive, contemptuous, insulting, disparaging, harsh, and sarcastic in his writings and opinions expressed of others. Nor was this only in his language but frequently in his actual treatment of many who dared to disagree with him—as we have briefly shown. In contrast, Arminius was a consistent Christian in his writings and kind and considerate in his treatment of others. Nowhere in his writings or actions does one find anything of the sarcasm, derision, and contempt for contrary opinions that characterize Calvin’s writings. There was nothing about Arminius to suggest revenge against one’s enemies or the use of violence in the cause of Christ—much less the death sentence for heresy that was enforced in Calvin’s Geneva.

  • Jumpy wrote:

    Tom,
    You are so correct in what you assert regarding my wife; indeed it WAS God who put us together, and we will remain together till death do we part (God willing), unless the Lord’s Second Coming occur before. You very well know what God says about divorce? I hardly need to quote all the relevant Scriptures ( Malachi 2.15-16, Genesis 2.24, Matthew 19.5-6, Ephesians 5.31 etc..) to one such as yourself with your not inconsiderable knowledge of the Bible? God DID put us together, again, as you know, in the days of the Patriarchs, and the later Old Testament times, and in New Testament times, (though in these evil days in which we live, the practice is now virtually non-existent) Marriage was ‘arranged’ by the bridegroom’s father, was it not? Read Genesis 24.4 onwards in regards to Isaac and Rebekah. Is not this the Biblical precedent? God ordered these marriages. No doubt, today, many who (if they do) make a marriage vow, it is to them meaningless, unless they fear the Almighty God? So, why would you say “When I divorce you”? I will NOT divorce my wife, how ever could I? I know what the Scriptures teach on marriage. Our marriage, along with every single event ( great, small, good, bad and indifferent) in history including the consummation of the coming 1000 year reign of Christ was predestined by God.

    God is in TOTAL control, He is Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. God does not play dice. He orders ALL events small and large alike.

    I don’t know how many, if any, children you have, but if, for example you had an eighteen year old daughter, I believe most would trust your discernment as opposed to your daughter’s, in the choice of a marriage partner?

    Abraham never arranged a marriage partner for his son, Isaac. He sent his servant to find a wife for him but the servant relied on God to show him the woman whom He chose to marry his son. Indeed, God ordered the servant’s steps but He did not force Rebekah into marrying Isaac. He honored her free-will.

    When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the LORD. And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments. And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” But he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” (Genesis 24:52-58)

    Did you notice Rebekah’s “I will go?” God did not overrule her free-will and force her to go with Abraham’s servant. Had she not been willing they would never had gotten married.

    Would you force your daughter to marry a husband whom you chose for her? That would be the most insensitive and horrible thing you could do to your daughter and she would probably hate you for the rest of her life. How can you force her into a marriage with a man whom she does not love? Or are you going to force her to love him as well?

    Your view of God’s sovereignty is not scriptural. Did God ordain your to sin against Him? Again, that’s rank heresy and blasphemy.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    There is no denying that Calvin was abusive, derisive, contemptuous, insulting, disparaging, harsh, and sarcastic in his writings and opinions expressed of others. Nor was this only in his language but frequently in his actual treatment of many who dared to disagree with him—as we have briefly shown.

    Deborah, There is no denying that Thomas has lost his cool and is shouting with his much use capitals and bold emphasis. He calls all and sundry serpents, and even uses Scripture to hint that there are devils that need casting out (“I cast out devils”). His cage is obviously rattled and he fails to see this. Do yourself a favor and step back and see Thomas as others see him (except for his “disciples” of course).

    There is no denying that Thomas is abusive, derisive, contemptuous, insulting, disparaging, harsh, and sarcastic in his writing and opinions as expressed to others.

    He then does as he accuses Calvin of doing? Is it so difficult to see? Or has he deceived you also?

    That is why I have repeatedly tried to show the folly of following man made arguments like those of Calvin, Arminius, Wesley…… With the malapplication of Scripture you will die of many heresies. Think and study to show yourself approved.

    They are mere men.

    We should hold a high regard for Scripture. Thus it is with concern that I have tried to “bring some sanity to what has become a foolish battlefield”.

    And no, I am not arguing the Calvin/Arminiuis debate if you should twist the intent of this comment.

    Proverbs 26:10-12

    10 Like an archer who wounds everyone, So is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by. 11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly. 12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    John
    I am sorry but what is wrong with you? Why are you attacking Thomas like this? My gosh, I never expected this of you..

    Deborah, Thomas would wait for an answer from me when he argues points with similes out of Scripture. Please help the man to understand that things that are seen “as Christ” does not mean “husbands you are Christ” and thus you have the ability to never “leave or forsake your wife”. It is this type of argumentative “boxing for points” that he so often uses to try and confuse the unwary. Do you see it? Does Thomas see himself? Has he a mirror that he can put up against his arguments to see if they are suitable for publication? This also casts doubts as to his discernment, if it even exists?

    A simile (/ˈsɪməli/) is a rhetorical figure expressing comparison or likeness that directly compares two objects through some connective word such as like, as, so, than, or many other verbs such as resembles. Although similes and metaphors are generally seen as interchangeable, similes acknowledge the imperfections and limitations of the comparative relationship to a greater extent than metaphors. Similes also hedge/protect the author against outrageous, incomplete, or unfair comparison. Generally, metaphor is the stronger and more encompassing of the two forms of rhetorical analogies. (from Wiki)

    Does he ascribe to “He runs as fast as lightning” in the same manner that he would “think that he is as God” or does he maybe even think that he “is God”? It sure sounds like it. If this is a wrong impression that he is unaware of then, he surely needs some serious introspection on his role in “contending for the faith”.

    He is wrecking the crop by burning up some genuine wheat along with the tares?

    “Mag God ons genadig wees as ons sy eer aantas in ons menslike pogings” Bid vir almal.

    Ek vra om verskoning as ek “die meer onstuimiger gemaak het” as voor ek kom kuier het. Christus bou sy kerk tenspyte van ons.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    John
    I am sorry but what is wrong with you? Why are you attacking Thomas like this? My gosh, I never expected this of you..

    Deborah, Thomas would wait for an answer from me when he argues points with similes out of Scripture. Please help the man to understand that things that are seen “as Christ” does not mean “husbands you are Christ” and thus you have the ability to never “leave or forsake your wife”. It is this type of argumentative “boxing for points” that he so often uses to try and confuse the unwary. Do you see it? Does Thomas see himself? Has he a mirror that he can put up against his arguments to see if they are suitable for publication? This also casts doubts as to his discernment, if it even exists?

    What’s the matter with you? Aren’t you man enough to direct your questions directly to me so that now you need a woman to fight you battles for you. You are beginning to make a real fool of yourself.

    You were the one who said “You also compare the “relationship of a man and a woman in marriage” to the relationship that God has planted between Himself and us through Christ, and Him crucified. You demean the Almighty God and compare him to a man?” And now you try to wiggle yourself out of the predicament you created for yourself by accusing me falsely once again and resorting to the most villainous ad hominem attacks. I wonder who is defiling the man now. Do you really think I am that stupid to say that the “husbands are Christ.” I distinctly said that the marital relation between a man and a woman mirrors Christ’s relationship with his Bride. Your problem is that you refuse to listen even to Paul who described this analogy in Ephesians 5. You are playing with fire if you refuse to listen even to the apostles of Christ.

    We [the original apostles of Christ] are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us [the original apostles of Christ]; whoever is not from God does not listen to us [the original apostles of Christ]. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6).

    Don’t you think it’s about tine that you listen to God’s original apostles? This is what The Bible Knowledge Commentary says about Ephesians 5 22-28

    5:22-24. Wives are to submit to their husbands. (The verb “said absent in Gr. in v. 22, is borrowed;’ 21.) “As to the Lord” does not mean that a wife is to submit to her husband in the same way she submits to the Lord, but rather that her submission to her husband is her service rendered “to the Lord” Col. 3:18). The reason for this submission is that the husband is the head of the wife (cf. 1 Cor. 11:3), and this is compared to Christ’s headship over the church (Eph. 5:23; cf. 4:15; Col.1:18). As Christ is the Savior of the church, His body, so a husband should be the protector of his wife, who is “one flesh with him (Gen. 2:24). As the church is in submission to Christ, so also the wife should be to her husband. It would be foolish to think of the church being head over Christ. But submission does mean inferiority. It means that she recognizes that her husband is the head of the home and responds to him accordingly without usurping his authority to herself.

    5:25. After speaking of a wife’s submission to her husband (vv. 22-24), Paul then stated the measure of the husband’s love for his wife (vv. 25-32). Husbands are commanded, Love your wives (cf. v. 33) just as Christ loved the church. The word “love” (agapao) means seeking the highest good for another person (cf. 2:4). This is an unselfish love as seen in Christ’s sacrificial death in which He gave Himself up for the church (cf. 5:2; John 10:11, 15, 17-18; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 5:25; Heb. 9:14). A wife’s submission in no way hints that a husband may lord it over his spouse, as a despot command¬ing a slave. The “submit-love” relation¬ship is a beautiful mixture of harmonious partnership in marriage.

    5:26-27. The purpose of Christ’s death was to make the church holy (hagiasé, “to set apart” for Himself as His own forever; cf. Heb. 2:11; 10:10, 14; 13:12) which He did by cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word. This is not baptismal regeneration for that would be contrary to Paul’s teaching in this book as well as all his other writings and the entire New Testament. Metaphorically, being regen¬erated is pictured as being cleansed by water (cf. “the washing of rebirth” in Titus 3:5). The “Word” (rhémati) refers to the “preached Word” that unbelievers hear (cf. rhéma in Eph. 6:17; Rom. 10:8, 17; 1 Peter 1:25). The ultimate purpose of Christ’s death is to present … to Himself the church as radiant or “in splendor” (RSV). This adjective, “glorious,” in NEB, is not attributive (as in NIV’s “a radiant church”). It is in the predicate position because there is an article before church (to “present the church . . . glorious,”

    This purpose is then described negatively (without stain or wrinkle—no taint of sin or spiritual decay—or any other blemish) and positively (holy and blameless). These last two adjectives (hagia, “set apart,” and amomous, “without blemish,” like a spotless lamb) are stated in Ephesians 1:4 as the purpose of God’s election: that Christ may present His church to Himself in all its perfection (cf. “make holy” in 5:26; also cf. hagious and amomous in Col. 1:22). Whereas human brides prepare themselves for their husbands, Christ prepares His own bride for Himself.

    5:28-30. In verses 28-32 Paul applied the truths given in verses 25-27. As the church is the extension of Christ, so is the wife an “extension” of her husband. No one hates his own body but takes care of it. Feeds (ektrephei; cf. “bring them up” in 6:4) and cares for (thalpei; cf. 1 Thes. 2:7) is literally, “nourishes and cherishes.” Thus as Christ loves the church, His body (of which all believers are members; cf. Eph. 4:25), so should husbands . . . love their wives as their own bodies (5:28; cf. v. 33). Men care for their bodies even though they are imperfect and so they should care for their wives though they are imperfect.

    5:31-32. Verse 31 is a free rendering of Genesis 2:24, indicating that the bond between husband and wife is greater than that between parent and child. The greatness of the mystery refers to the two becoming one flesh. But then Paul returned to mention the wonderful bond between Christ and the church, which illustrates the love of a husband for his wife.

    .

    Are you going to accuse Paul of demeaning God as you’ve accused me? Or are you going to blame him too of thinking “he is God?”

    Jy het die kat by die stert beet, ou maat. Wees gerus, ek gaan nie langer my tyd met jou mors nie.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland wrote

    He calls all and sundry serpents, and even uses Scripture to hint that there are devils that need casting out (“I cast out devils”)

    You are a liar, sir. When did I call all and sundry serpents and hinted that devils needed to be cast out of you? (John 8:44). Your hatred of me is really getting the better of you.

    We should hold a high regard for Scripture

    How on earth can you have a high regard for Scripture when you twist it? (Ephesians 5:22-28).

    .

  • Jumpy

    Tom,
    I do not deny, for one little moment what you assert, of course the Scripture you quote ( Genesis 24.52-58 ) is very, very, true! Whoever can deny it? Rachel WAS a “free agent”, with a “free will”, no one can deny that ( Hyper C********s apart ). However Rachel’s will could never, ever subvert God’s will, can you not see that? Do you really, really, believe, as Hunt did (or at least as he appears to have taught ), that man’s will is superior to God’s?
    Do you really believe this? I truly think not.
    Rachel had her own free will, no doubt about that, but at ALL times it WAS subject to the DIVINE will.
    If we could see this, all difficulty would disappear.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    Thomas, It is strange that you would think that your repetitive harking on Eph 5:22-28 would explain and enlighten anybody but yourself that you are placing man above God by not understanding the word “as”. You would ignore grammatical and linguistic rules and wonder why your argument is not understood as its context “fails to speak to your argument”.

    You also do not understand how the Holy Spirit works as you do not accept that the sword of the Spirit “changes the heart of man”. When the word of God is misrepresented and “lifted out of context” it loses its effectiveness. That is why we cannot by using a stiff-necked dogmatism that “turns away the ears” of our listeners convince the hearer. You keep on saying “I have proven or I have shown you to be wrong”, but it is all vain arguments out of your self will that places you above God and the Holy Spirit.

    I have tried to explain that we should present the Scripture in such a way that it is acceptable to your argument. Also you expect to convince your readers of your opinion by “much protestation”. I have on several occasions tried to implore you to walk away if you do not see “fruit on your labour”. You do not follow Christ’s example of “walking away and shaking the dust off your feet”.

    Matthew 10:14 (NKJV)

    14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.

    You have to admit that I have implored you to do this on several occasions before this “running battle” started. You should not try and force your view on your readers. If you are secure in what you have presented walk away. Your security is in God’s word as He is faithful. It does seem that you rely too much on your worldly powers of persuasion. I am sorry but it shows.

    You get frustrated by “going 15 rounds in the ring” and it seems even multiples of 15 rounds? I have seen you say “I do not have the time”, but always come back for more points that you fail to see “the fruit”.

    How do we arrive at the truth? Truth is not the product of human reasoning. It must be sought from God’s word. God’s wisdom may seem foolish to men, yet foolishness resides only with men. The truth is not learned through human persuasion. It is known only by those whom God chooses to reveal it. God according to his will, grants regeneration and the gift of faith to the one who believes “that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb 11:6). God must necessarily grant the knowledge of truth. It is not attainable through discourse, deductions, or discipline. It is not derived from human commitments, contentions, contemplations, or conclusions.

    Only God knows when He has changed a heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

    And the angels rejoice in heaven!

    Luke 15:8-10 (NKJV)

    8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

    Romans 2:29

    But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

    Also:

    2 Corinthians 7:10

    For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

    It seems that some would “of their own free will decide to have sorrow”, and then “of their own free will wipe away the sorrow?”

    It seems that “the sorrow of the world” could be “erased for a moment or even a season” of false joy, but it is with regret that you think that your will is able to persuade God that you have come in by the gate. This sorrow that you present to God by your own free will is not a “circumcision of the heart”.

    Jeremiah 17:9-11

    “The heart is deceitful above all things,
    And desperately wicked;
    Who can know it?
    10 I, the Lord, search the heart,
    I test the mind,
    Even to give every man according to his ways,
    According to the fruit of his doings.

    11 “As a partridge that broods but does not hatch,
    So is he who gets riches, but not by right;
    It will leave him in the midst of his days,
    And at his end he will be a fool.”

    I am reminded that thieves and robbers are those that preach another gospel. I praise God that the sheep know the voice of the true Shepherd!

    John 10:1-6 (NKJV)

    10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

    As I have said “I have heard many gospels” and sometimes even “two gospels from the same mouth by those that preach a different gospel to the Jews than to the Gentiles”

    By the way, I see that your commentary mentioned in a previous post is the “The Bible Knowledge Commentary”. It might explain why you are struggling to not see that some explanations are twisted ever so slightly. Commentaries can be a nuisance if you use just one. It is dispensational in its leanings?

  • John Andrews UK/Irleand wrote:

    I have tried to explain that we should present the Scripture in such a way that it is acceptable to your argument. Also you expect to convince your readers of your opinion by “much protestation”. I have on several occasions tried to implore you to walk away if you do not see “fruit on your labour”. You do not follow Christ’s example of “walking away and shaking the dust off your feet”.

    Matthew 10:14 (NKJV)

    14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.

    I have taken your advice and decided to shake the dust off my feet. Once again I bid you farewell.

    You wrote:

    How do we arrive at the truth? Truth is not the product of human reasoning. It must be sought from God’s word. God’s wisdom may seem foolish to men, yet foolishness resides only with men. The truth is not learned through human persuasion. It is known only by those whom God chooses to reveal it. God according to his will, grants regeneration and the gift of faith to the one who believes “that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb 11:6). God must necessarily grant the knowledge of truth. It is not attainable through discourse, deductions, or discipline. It is not derived from human commitments, contentions, contemplations, or conclusions.

    If Ephesians 5:22-28 does not enlighten you that marriage is a microcosmic mirroring of Christ’s relationship with his Bride and that both the man and the woman have a fully functioning free-will to decide whether they want to get married or not, (“I will” – Genesis 24:58), then you need to make an effort to understand Scripture better.

    You wrote:

    By the way, I see that your commentary mentioned in a previous post is the “The Bible Knowledge Commentary”. It might explain why you are struggling to not see that some explanations are twisted ever so slightly. Commentaries can be a nuisance if you use just one. It is dispensational in its leanings?

    NO, you are wrong The Bible Knowledge Commentary does not merely lean toward dispensationalism. It fully endorses dispensationlism.

    For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:6-7)

    To repeat: I have taken your advice and decided to shake the dust off my feet. Once again I bid you farewell. You are not serving the cause of Christ. Henceforth, I won’t respond to your comments. And I hope you understand the meaning behind this – learn not to address me through a third party. None of us here are ventriloquists.

  • Jumpy wrote:

    However Rachel’s will could never, ever subvert God’s will, can you not see that? Do you really, really, believe, as Hunt did (or at least as he appears to have taught ), that man’s will is superior to God’s?

    You are subverting God’s will every single day of your life. If you had not been subverting His will, you would have been completely sinless. Are you? Are you GOD?

    Dave Hunt never taught that man’s will is superior to God’s will. However, you seem to think so because you, suggesting that you are sinless because you allegedly never subvert God’s will – despite God’s teaching that all have sinned (withstood and subverted his will) – could not, cannot and never ever will subvert his will? Really?

    A free-will which can be manipulated or forced by someone else into doing his or her will, is not free-will and neither is it love. If God’s will cannot be subverted, why then didn’t He stop Adam and Eve from sinning against Him? Think of it, we wouldn’t have been in the mess we are in now – a mess that believes that man is supposedly sinless because he cannot subvert God’s will. In fact, your view of free-will suggests that you are always doing the will of God because you supposedly cannot subvert his will. Wow!

    Why do you think Jesus taught us to pray “Let thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” when no one on earth supposedly cannot subvert is will?

    Peter writes: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). Yet most people subvert is will and are going to end up in hell. Why? – Because they subverted his will for them to repent and believe His Gospel or because it was his will from before the foundation of the world that they should end up in hell?

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    John 10:1-6 (NKJV)

    10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

    Then it’s about time you understood Christ’s analogy of marriage to his relationship with his Bride, demonstrating that man is not only a free agent but also has a fully fledged free-will which, by the way is not in bondage as Martin Luther taught.

  • Jumpy

    Tom,
    If you read 2 Peter 3.9 in it’s entire context, you will see that God is “long suffering to US-WARD.” God is not willing that “US” should perish and that “US” should come to repentance.
    Who are the “US” in 2 Peter 3.9? Simply read the first paragraph of the letter and we see that Peter is writing to “them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”.
    One can see that in 2 Peter 3.9, Peter was stating that God was not willing that any who believe in Jesus should perish. God’s will is always done, and His will cannot be thwarted by man’s will. If God has foreordained one to salvation, “no one can stay His hand, or say unto him, what doest thou?”. Daniel 4.35.
    God does indeed choose His Elect.

  • Jumpy wrote

    If you read 2 Peter 3.9 in it’s entire context, you will see that God is “long suffering to US-WARD.” God is not willing that “US” should perish and that “US” should come to repentance.

    You are not even slightly original. I know all of your Calvinist arguments. You have learned them from other Calvinists who just love to twist the Scriptures to their own destruction.

    Why would God say He does not want any of the so-called elect to perish when He already decided and knew before the foundation of the world that not a single one of the elect would ever perish? “OK you guys, mine elect, I know that you will never perish but I don’t want you to perish.”

    If there was even the slightest possibility that the elect could perish while God sovereignly chose them not to perish, even before the foundation of the world, then his sovereignty is faulty and untrustworthy.

    Or are there some of the elect who are going to perish, despite God’s decree to regenerate all the elect monergistically without them having to put their faith in Jesus in order to be saved, and are now procrastinating so intensely that God needs to wait for them patiently (with much long-suffering) to repent and believe the Gospel? Really?

    How can the elect repent and believe the Gospel of their own accord when they don’t have a free-will or even the ability to come to Jesus for their salvation? (It’s called “Total Depravity” or “Total Inability” as you know). And, why would God be long-suffering (patient) when He Himself sovereignly decides when He wants to regenerate the elect?

    God can only be long-suffering toward sinners who procrastinate and the elect (Calvinists) aren’t even able to procrastinate because of their Total Depravity (Inability). God cannot be long-suffering (patient) toward Himself, now can He? Or is He patiently waiting for Himself to regenerate the elect monergistically? “OK, you guys, I am going to regenerate you sovereignly and monergistically but I am patiently waiting on myself to save you because I don’t wan’t any of you elect to go to hell. But don’t fret, I have already chosen you before the foundation of the world to go to heaven.”

    You are quoting Daniel 4:35 out of context. Nebuchadnezzar relates how he sinned against God and was brought to his senses when he lived like an animal in the field. Note carefully while he lived like a brutish beast in the field, his mind had no understanding.

    Only when he lifted his eyes toward heaven, his senses returned and was he able to understand that no one could stay God’s hand. He was not referring to the Calvinistic doctrine of election and predestination. He was merely explaining how God took away his understanding and when he begged for mercy how his understanding returned and there was no-one who could stop God from teaching him a lesson. That’s your problem. You misrepresent God and his Word by isolating certain verses and forcefully superimposing them on your Calvinistic doctrines. That’s not nice, you know.

  • Jumpy,

    Do only the elect read the Bible? What do you think an unbeliever would say and think when he read the words “long-suffering to us-ward? Wouldn’t he understand it to refer to him also or will he think “Nah, this verse only applies to the elect and not to me. It is not addressing me but only the elect.” Perish the thought! Unless, of course, only the elect read the Bible as I said.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    John

    I can only shake my head at you. You crept onto this blog under disguise. I told you in the beginning we often have people come on here all friendly and then as as time goes by I notice there is a stance towards Calvinism, and then ATTACK, they jump out of their holes and have a good go at us. I started to trust you, but alas you have proven to me that you are one of those with an underlying support for Calvinism.

    >> You obviously have never lived in a country that has a dominant Catholic population.

    No I live in a country that is predominantly full of witchcraft from the Catholic church, Anglican church, right down to the last Apostolic faith church in my town.

    I will never stop someone from attending church, if they speak the truth and nothing but the truth. But the FUNDAMENTAL ground of the Presbyterian church is based on the Westminister Confession of Faith which states that God chose mankind to go to heaven or hell before the foundation of the world. So when the preacher speaks about salvation, he is in fact preaching about Election.

    >> A discerning Christian goes into a fellowship with his eyes and ears open.

    Really? You so far have not discerned the foundation of the ORDER of the Presbyterian church. You may as well go and sit in a Catholic church and fellowship.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    [deleted]

  • Jumpy

    Tom,
    Many of the non-elect do indeed ‘read’ the Bible, you ought well know that-Matthew 7.21-23, I would say looking around your website’ that I am in agreement with you in regards Popery, Pentecostal/Charismatic theology, Millennialism, the Nephillim, and very much else beside. (It beggars belief that so many are taken in by such easily discerned error-and may God be pleased to bless your efforts in delivering so many from such gross error in it’s many forms. Also many atheists quote the Bible, when it suits their purpose.
    Regards that last comment of yours:

    “What do you think an unbeliever would say and think when he reads the words “long-suffering to us-ward? Wouldn’t he understand it to refer to him also or will he think “Nah,this verse only applies to the elect and not me. It is not addressing me but only the elect.”

    But, however can YOU ( or me for that matter ) put YOUR mind into the head of an unbeliever? Would he ever think like that? How ever could he? Certainly a true seeker (God’s elect) would, and SHOULD apply that Scripture to himself? “Many are called but few are chosen.” Matthew 22.14, certainly the “Call” does indeed go out to the “many”, but God chooses the “few”? Again, “Who maketh thee to differ from another?” 1 Corinthians 4.7.

    2 Peter 3.9 does indeed apply to those whom God will save, or choose. No doubt, many who have been ‘saved’, be it from drowning, a fire, or whatever else, would heartily agree with me that they put absolutely no effort into their temporal salvation?

    As regards Nebuchadnezzar; the question is, WHO caused him to lift “up mine eyes unto heaven…”? Daniel 4.34. We must, as ever read the context. Does not God’s Word tell us that Nebuchadnezzar had to fulfil “seven times” (seven years)? Daniel 4.23. Nebuchadnezzar could NOT lift “up mine eyes unto heaven…” UNTIL God’s appointed time. Remember Proverbs 21.1?
    As an old divine once said; “If God never chose me, I would never have chosen Him.” How can the “carnal mind” Romans 8.7 and the “natural man” 1 Corinthians 2.14, believe? Faith “is the gift of God” Ephesians 2.8.
    Certainly when I first believed, I thought it was my free-will acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour, but after much personal study I believe along with the Puritans that the “Calvinistic doctrine of election and predestination” (as you call it) is clearly taught in Scripture, though obviously you do not.

  • Jumpy wrote:

    2 Peter 3.9 does indeed apply to those whom God will save, or choose. No doubt, many who have been ‘saved’, be it from drowning, a fire, or whatever else, would heartily agree with me that they put absolutely no effort into their temporal salvation?

    You completely missed the point I tried to make. Did you not understand me? I said God can only be long-suffering toward sinners who procrastinate. They’ve heard the Gospel many times and may even have responded in some positive way to it, but they postpone or delay the opportunity to be saved. God in his awesome mercy does some delaying Himself. He delays the return of his Son because it is his will that no one should perish. In other words, He is patiently waiting for those who are procrastinating to come to Him for their salvation.

    God cannot be long-suffering toward the so-called elect because He Himself sovereignly and unilaterally chooses when he wants to regenerate them. According to Calvinists – they have absolutely no say in their salvation because they are allegedly void of a free-will to make any choices toward their salvation (Deut 30:19) They are as dead as door a nail in their sins and transgressions. Therefore, they are completely inept to put their trust in Jesus Christ in order to be saved; they cannot even hear and understand the Gospel and therefore they cannot respond in faith to the Gospel. Hence God needs to regenerate them unilaterally and monergistically. What sense is there in being long-suffering toward people who cannot understand and respond to the Gospel. A dead person cannot procrastinate, or can he? That’s why I asked you – to whom is God full of long-suffering? It cannot be toward Himself because He is the one who decides when the elect should be saved.

    You also misunderstand the passage “Many are called but few are chosen.” Allow me to quote Dave Hunt with whom I agree 100%.

    Israel is called God’s elect in both Old and New Testaments (Isaiah 45:4; 65:9,22; Matthew 24:31, etc.). There is no question that God chose Israel, called her, and drew her with “bands of love” (Hosea 11:4) unto Himself. Yet most Israelites went into idolatry, refused to repent, and were surely not among the redeemed. God had to say repeatedly, “my people have forgotten me days without number” (Jeremiah 2:32); “they have burned incense to vanity” (18:15). Many who are drawn to the Lord refuse to believe on Him unto salvation. Christ said, “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 20:16; 22:14). And even some who are chosen are not willing to fulfill
    their calling but betray the One who they claimed was their Lord. Jesus said, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot…” (John 6:70–71). Jesus called Judas, drew him, and chose him to be a disciple. Judas followed Jesus with the other disciples, called Jesus “Lord,” and went forthwith the other disciples “to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick” (Luke 9:2). But Judas was like those who will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?…cast out devils?…done many wonderful works?” and yet Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you: depart from me” (Matthew 7:22–23). These have not lost their salvation, since they were never saved. “I never knew you: depart from me!” will be Christ’s pronouncement upon those who were drawn to Him but never came all the way to know Him as Savior and Lord.

    Indeed, Israel is God’s elect but most of them are going to hell. (Matthew 8:12; Romans 11:28).

    You also misunderstand Romans 8:7 and 1 Corinthians 2:14. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 Paul does not refer to an elementary knowledge of how one should be saved but to the deep things of the Spirit which only a redeemed person can understand. When Peter delivered his sermon on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit did not first regenerate the 3000 and then they understood what was to be done to be saved. Their question “what shall we do?” shows that they perfectly understood what Peter preached.

    You also misunderstand Ephesians 2:8. Was the gift of faith forced upon you when you got saved? A gift can only be a gift when you receive it as a gift. You say “when I first believed . . .” Were you saved first and then the gift of faith was given to you or did you first believe and as a consequence to your faith you were saved? How could you believe when you were completely unable to believe? Paul said to the jailer “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou SHALT be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31). He did not say to him, “You must first be saved and then you shall believe. And we don;t even know whether you shall believe because we don’t know whether you are one of the elect. The jailer and his household were saved when they heard and understood the Gospel preached to them. “And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. (Acts 16:32).

    Do you believe you are saved because you are one of God’s elect or do you believe you first put your trust in Jesus Christ and then got saved.

  • Jumpy

    Tom,
    Reading your last two replies, I would reverse the charge, “You completely missed the point”!
    In one of your replies dated 28th October 4.28 pm above, you say; “You are not even slightly original.” Of course not! I have never professed at any point to offer anything slightly original. There is nothing whatsoever on the matter of salvation that I can advance to you from what the Bible clearly teaches. I believe that the Reformation was a mighty, mighty work of God, and that the theology commonly known as Calvinism expounded by the Puritans and the divines, earlier, and later is entirely taught from Scripture, I see it with my very own eyes.
    Of course, that is not to say that everything these men taught is correct. We, today, have far greater light than they did? Calvin, Luther, Knox etc. were ex-papists, and many in the Reformed ‘tradition’ today believe that the Reformation is a finished work-so very tragic!
    Therefore many are post or a-millennial and/or confused about the difference. I certainly believe in the soon coming millennial reign of Christ-the Bible clearly teaches it- without a doubt, but, I totally reject Dispensationalism, and the pre-tribulation ‘rapture’ which is an outworking of this most errant theology. However, those that will be “caught up” 1 Thessalonians 4.17 will be the same in Matthew 24.31 and 1 Corinthians 15.52, so I certainly believe the Bible clearly teaches that the ‘rapture’ is the SAME event as the Second Advent of Christ-the ‘rapture’ WILL be post tribulation, not pre.
    In your last reply, you say “God cannot be long suffering to the so-called elect…”, well, if my own personal experience is anything to go by, I should definitely say that He is: My sins stick closer to me than a brother, I know that “In the flesh dwelleth no good thing” Romans 7.18, I also know that “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” 1 Corinthians 15.50.
    Over many years I have studied much of the writings of the Puritans, and from what I have gathered thus far, these men were very humble and God fearing men. The name “Puritan” was a name of reproach, given to these men of God, from those who mocked them. They didn’t call themselves such, how many of your readers know this?
    Many times you say “You misunderstand…” This is not difficult to explain, your theology is diametrically opposed to mine, this is what “Pre-destination vs. freewill”, or “Calvinism vs. Arminianism” is all about. This is the so-called battle of the ages” that has existed in the Church, throughout the ages. Ever since I first started discussing this topic with you, I have always contended that there is NO middle ground. God’s will is sovereign-read the case of Nebuchadnezzar again ( one of so many examples that proliferate the Scriptures ).

    Does it not trouble you that the Roman Catholic Church teach, and adhere to the Arminian theology of man’s free-will?

  • Jumpy wrote:

    In your last reply, you say “God cannot be long suffering to the so-called elect…”, well, if my own personal experience is anything to go by, I should definitely say that He is: My sins stick closer to me than a brother, I know that “In the flesh dwelleth no good thing” Romans 7.18, I also know that “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” 1 Corinthians 15.50.

    There are many Christians who were saved before they became engrossed in the doctrines of grace (TULIP). They – like you – know what God’s long-suffering means. However, those who have been staunch Calvinists all along do not and cannot possibly know what God’s long-suffering means, for the simple reason that anyone who believes that man is completely dead (as a corspe) in his sins and transgressions and cannot excercise faith of his own accord because he has no free-will and no understanding of the Gospel, and therefore needs to be regenerated (made alive) sovereignly and monergistically by God, does not need God to be long-suffering to them. Why? Because God decides when He wants to regenrate them. Does that mean He has to be long-suffering toward Himself before He deides to regenrate them? I don’t think so. As I said, God can only be long-suffering toward sinners who procrastinate and a full-blooded Calvinis cannot procrastinate because he is dead (as a corspe) in his sins and tansgressions.

    Did you know the Puritans taught that you cannot be assured of your salvation? Is there any proof from history confirming that Calvinists doubted their election? Many Puritans in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries doubted their election on their deathbeds because they were taught the infamous lie that saints need to persevere to the end.

    If, as Calvinists believe, their salvation is divinely guaranteed and they can never lose it because God’s election is irreversible, why do they need to persevere – to maintain their salvation? It was this paradox, lingering between the assurance of election and the burden of perseverance to make their election sure, that led most Puritans to doubt their election.

    They taught that assurance is not so much a gift of the Holy Spirit as it is the result of their own performance in persevering to the end. Hence their exhortation that believers ought to pray fervently, work arduously, and struggle heroically, often for many years, in order at last to obtain assurance. In addition, Puritans taught that God only gives assurance of election (salvation) to a very few of His children.

    Now though this full assurance is earnestly desired, and highly prized, and the want of it much lamented, and the enjoyment of it much endeavored after by all saints, yet it is only obtained by a few. Assurance is a mercy too good for most men’s hearts, it is a crown too weighty for most men’s heads. Assurance is optimum maximum, the best and greatest mercy; and therefore God will only give it to his best and dearest friends.

    Augustus in his solemn feasts, gave trifles to some, but gold to others. Honor and riches, etc., are trifles that God gives to the worst of men; but assurance is that ‘tried gold,’ Rev. 3:18, that God only gives to tried friends. Among those few that have a share or portion in the special love and favor of God, there are but a very few that have an assurance of his love.

    It is one mercy for God to love the soul, and another mercy for God to assure the soul of his love. (Thomas Brooks, “Heaven on Earth: A Serious Discourse, Touching a Well-Grounded Assurance,” in The Works of Thomas Brooks, vol. 2 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, repr. 1980).

    Would you say this is salvation, Jumpy? Are you sure you are going to heaven or do you also doubt your salvation as the Purtians did?

    You harper on Nebuchadnezzar. Was Paul also sovereignly and monergistically saved without him having to excercize his free-will and faith to be saved?

    BY the way, I am not an Arminian.

    Does it trouble you that the Roman Catholic Church believes in the death, burial and resurection of Jesus Christ?

  • Jumpy

    Tom,
    Certainly I agree with the teachings of the Puritans, few will be saved, the Scriptures are so very, very, clear on this, Matthew 7.13, Luke 13.23-24.
    Paul had NO free-will, “he is a chosen vessel”. Acts 9.15.
    Without the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, NONE can be saved, John 1.13, John 3.6-8.
    You may claim that you are not an Arminian, but you ARE by default, of course I know that you won’t agree with me, but do you not deny God’s sovereign will to chose?
    I most certainly also agree with the doctrine of “Perseverance of the saints”-we DO need to persevere until the end, “holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12.14.
    You DO confuse the Biblical doctrines of grace (aka Calvinism) with what is known as hyper Calvinism, where these doctrines are abused to the uttermost.
    You say “Why do they need to persevere-to maintain their salvation?” What, then is the flipside? Are you then saying we can walk away from our Saviour and deny Him, as so many teach and believe, and still be saved, because we ONCE confessed Jesus Christ as Saviour? Perish the very wicked and most damnable thought.
    No, it does NOT trouble me one whit that, that wicked blasphemous church “believes in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Not one little whit, at all! Why ever should it? James 2.19, Matthew 8.29, Mark 1.24 etc. Popery, apart from the denial of Election, Predestination, Sovereignty of God, and everything else that the Reformed Faith proclaims, be it through that most noble Westminster Confession, 39 Articles etc.: That whore church with it’s many blasphemous doctrines, of which you are well knowledgeable, doesn’t deny the “death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ” as you say. But what about all the Satanic doctrines she adds to the “Faith which was once delivered unto the saints” Jude 1.3? Please also read the context.
    The Arminian free-will Roman Church opposes what is known as the “doctrines of grace”-yes, of course, that SHOULD be a matter of great concern to you.

  • Jumpy

    Look, Jumpy, Calvinism is a direct offshoot of Roman Catholicism because everything Calvin teaches in his Institutes of the Christian Religion comes directly from one of the most well-known Roman Catholics in history – Augustine. If you want to continue on your path of lies and deceit, that’s your choice (excuse the pun), but don’t expect me to waste my time with you any longer.

    One thing, and with that I close my conversation with you. Election and predestination is never unto salvation but always unto blessing and service. That’s why Paul wrote:

    As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Rom 11:28-29)

    Calvinism and its so-called doctrines of grace are totally irrational because Calvinists do not have a free-will. They are bound (chained) to its lies and deceit and the sooner you seek to be freed the better for you. You don’t need to tell me anything about Calvinism. I know it inside out. There is one thing I cannot understand. Why do you want to follow the teaching of a serial killer? And please don’t tell me you are not following Calvin because the doctrines of grace are supposedly found in the Bible. They are NOT. It’s a lie from the pit of hell. If you want to base your salvation on election and predestination, that’s your choice, as I said, but don’t spread your lies on this site. We’ve had enough of Calvinism and its demonic doctrines. England’s King James (who gave us the King James Bible), though he was no Arminian and hardly a “saint,” expressed his repugnance:

    This doctrine is so horrible, that I am persuaded, if there were a council of unclean spirits assembled in hell, and their prince the devil were to [ask] their opinion about the most likely means of stirring up the hatred of men against God their Maker; nothing could be invented by them that would be more efficacious for this purpose, or that could put a greater affront upon God’s love for mankind than that infamous decree of the late Synod…

    Stop believing a lie. You may have been saved by the real Jesus Christ of the Bible before you fell into the clutches of Calvinism but NOW you are following their false Jesus.

    But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

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