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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

29 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.

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