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Unconditional Election and Total Depravity are Gnostic Teachings

Unconditional Election and Total Depravity are Gnostic Teachings

augustine - Unconditional Election and Total Depravity are Gnostic TeachingsUnconditional Election and Total Depravity are Gnostic Teachings

Unconditional Election (Predestination), is the letter U in the acronym T.U.L.I.P that forms the basis of Calvinism.

The doctrine of Predestination asserts that some people are born already selected for salvation or damnation, which they cannot avoid even by good deeds in this life. For St. Augustine and John Calvin it is a divine mystery that God in His perfect justice makes the apparently gratuitous selection of the elect, with a parallel thought that He has made a similar selection of the damned  “…those whom in His justice He has predestined to punishment,” and “those whom in His mercy He has predestined to grace.”  –Augustine, Enchiridion c, p. 269

We can’t point fingers at John Calvin alone for this heretical teaching because he obtained it from Augustine’s writings.  But where did Augustine get it from?

Prior to Augustine becoming a Christian in 387 AD he adhered to Manichaeism, an Iranian Gnostic religion proclaimed by their ‘prophet’ Mani (216–276 AD) originating in Sassanid Persia (Babylon).  Shortly after Roman Emperor Theodosius I issued a decree of death for Manichaeans in 382 AD and declaring Christianity to be the only legitimate religion for the Roman Empire in 391, Augustine supposedly became an ardent opponent of Manichaeism however Manichaeism still influenced his thinking as can be seen with the idea of ‘The Elect’.

Mani divided his church into 2 groups;  The Elect, The Hearers and then The Sinners.

  • The Elect (perfects):  those who had taken upon themselves the vows of Manicheaism
  • The Hearers (auditores):  those who had not taken vows, but still participated in the Church
  • The Sinners:  everyone else

Augustine was a Hearer as he never took the Manicheaism vows because he could not live up to their very strict standards (Confessions of Augustine). The life of those who took the vows was a hard one. They were forbidden to have property, to eat meat or drink wine, to gratify any sexual desire, to engage in any servile occupation, commerce or trade, to possess house or home, to practice magic, or to practice any other religion.  Therefore the vast majority of adherents where Hearers and the number of Elect were very small.  When the Elect die their bodies are purified by the sun, moon and the stars – their light particles set free to form little deities in the cosmos surrounding the First-man.  The Hearers have to pass through a long purgatory before they arrive at eternal bliss.  Sinners are thrown into hell, body and soul where they will wander around for eternity in torment and anguish, surrounded by demons and condemned by the angels.

Augustine said regarding Predestination:

“…are rather to understand the Scripture [1 Tim 2:4] as meaning that no man is saved unless God wills his salvation: not that there is no man whose salvation He does not will, but that no man is saved apart from His will…it was of prayer to God that the apostle was speaking when he used this expression.” …. “We may understand by ‘all men,’ every sort of men. And we may interpret it in any other way we please, so long as we are not compelled to believe that the omnipotent God has willed anything to be done which was not done.” –Augustine, Enchiridion, pg. 103

“…the resources of salvation are located in God, outside of humanity. It is God who initiates salvation, not men or women.”   — McGrath, Alister E. Christian Theology: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing, 2007.  pg. 19

“God does not choose us because we believe, but that we may believe.”  –Augustine, Predestination of the Saints 17.34

One can now see how easy it was for Augustine to mis-interpret scripture regarding predestination.  He could not achieve Election in Manicheaism, but by twisting scripture he could be Elect in Christianity.

Mani also believed in Total Depravity (also called Total Inability), which forms the T in T.U.L.I.P, where he said;

“…the nature of man can be corrupt to the point that his will is powerless to obey God’s commands.”  — Henry Chadwick, “The Early Church”, Penguin Books Ltd (August 1994), pg. 228.

Calvinism’s definition of Total Depravity asserts that, “as a consequence of the fall of man into sin, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin. People are not by nature inclined to love God with their whole heart, mind, or strength, but rather all are inclined to serve their own interests over those of their neighbor and to reject the rule of God. Thus, all people by their own faculties are morally unable to choose to follow God and be saved because they are unwilling to do so out of the necessity of their own natures. (The term “total” in this context refers to sin affecting every part of a person, not that every person is as evil as possible.)  [Emphasis added]  –-David Steele and Curtis Thomas, “The Five Points of Calvinism Defined, Defended, Documented”,  pg. 25.

Augustine said that;

Adam and Eve in punishment for their sin “became a natural consequence in all their descendants”.  Moreover, it is not just a corrupted physical nature that we have inherited from Adam, but our… “human nature was so changed and vitiated that it suffers from the recalcitrance of a rebellious concupiscence….”  –City of God, xiii. pg. 3

We can now too see why Augustine believed such an erroneous doctrine.  In order for Election to work, man would have to be totally depraved or incapable of initiating any contact with God unless God chooses the person first.

Both Total Depravity and Election are 2 Gnostic teachings and even though Augustine opposed Manichaesim he did not divorce himself from their doctrines.

“The Gnostics [placed]…the natural order at so vast a distance in moral value from the supreme God. The influence of fatalistic ideas drawn from popular astrology and magic became fused with notions derived from Pauline language about predestination to produce a rigidly deterministic scheme. Redemption was from destiny, not from the consequences of responsible action, and was granted to a pre-determined elect in whom alone was the divine spark.”  [Emphasis added] — Henry Chadwick, “The Early Church”, Penguin Books Ltd (August 1994), pg. 38

Election was a NEW concept and had not been heard of in Christianity before until Augustine introduced the idea.  He had many opponents who rebuked him and his false doctrines.

Julian bishop of Eclanum, said that Augustine was causing trouble because he;

brought his Manichee ways of thinking into the church… and was denying St Paul’s clear teaching that God wills all men to be saved Henry Chadwick, “The Early Church”, Penguin Books Ltd (1994), pg. 232-3

Vincent of Lérins said that of Predestination;

“…a most disturbing innovation, quite out of line with ‘orthodoxy'”.  — Henry Chadwick, “The Early Church”, Penguin Books Ltd (1994), pg. 223

The following men agreed in the Biblical teaching of free will:

JUSTIN MARTYR (c.100-165 A.D.) said;

Dialogue with Trypho, CXLI:

“God, wishing men and angels to follow His will, resolved to create them free to do righteousness. But if the word of God foretells that some angels and men shall certainly be punished, it did so because it foreknew that they would be unchangeably (wicked), but not because God created them so. So if they repent all who wish for it can obtain mercy from God.”

IRENAEUS of Gaul (c.130-200) said;

Against Heresies XXXVII:

“This expression, ‘How often would I have gathered thy children together, and thou wouldst not,’ set forth the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man a free (agent) from the beginning, possessing his own soul to obey the behests of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God. For there is no coercion with God, but a good will (toward us) is present with Him continually. And therefore does He give good counsel to all. And in man as well as in angels, He has placed the power of choice (for angels are rational beings), so that those who had yielded obedience might justly possess what is good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves . . .”

“If then it were not in our power to do or not to do these things, what reason had the apostle, and much more the Lord Himself, to give counsel to do some things and to abstain from others? But because man is possessed of free-will from the beginning, and God is possessed of free-will in whose likeness man was created, advice is always given to him to keep fast the good, which thing is done by means of obedience to God.”

ATHENAGORAS of Athens (2nd century) said;

Embassy for Christians XXIV:

“Just as with men who have freedom of choice as to both virtue and vice (for you would not either honor the good or punish the bad; unless vice and virtue were in their own power, and some are diligent in the matters entrusted to them, and others faithless), so is it among the angels.

THEOPHILUS of Antioch (2nd century) said;

To Autolycus XXVII:

“For God made man free, and with power over himself . . . now God vouch safes to him as a gift through His own philanthropy and pity, when men obey Him. For as man, disobeying, drew death on himself; so, obeying the will of God, he who desires is able to procure for himself life everlasting.”

TATIAN of Syria (flourished late 2nd century) said;

Address XI:

“Why are you ‘fated’ to grasp at things often, and often to die? Die to the world, repudiating the madness that is in it. Live to God, and by apprehending Him lay aside your old nature. We were not created to die, but we die by our own fault. Our free-will has destroyed us; we who were free have become slaves; we have been sold through sin. Nothing evil has been created by God; we ourselves have manifested wickedness; but we, who have manifested it, are able again to reject it.”

BARDAISAN of Syria (c.154-222) said;


” ‘How is it that God did not so make us that we should not sin and incur condemnation?’

-if man had been made so, he would not have belonged to himself but would have been the instrument of him that moved him . . . And how, in that case, would a man differ from a harp, on which another plays; or from a ship, which another guides: where the praise and the blame reside in the hand of the performer or the steersman . . . they being only instruments made for the use of him in whom is the skill? But God, in His benignity, chose not so to make man; but by freedom He exalted him above many of His creatures.”

CLEMENT of Alexandria (c.150-215) said;

Stromata Bk ii ch. 4:

“But we, who have heard by the Scriptures that self-determining choice and refusal have been given by the Lord to men, rest in the infallible criterion of faith, manifesting a willing spirit, since we have chosen life and believe God through His voice.”

Stromata Bk iv ch. 12:

“But nothing is without the will of the Lord of the universe. It remains to say that such things happen without the prevention of God; for this alone saves both the providence and the goodness of God. We must not therefore think that He actively produces afflictions (far be it that we should think this!); but we must be persuaded that He does not prevent those that cause them, but overrules for good the crimes of His enemies.”

In Stromata, Bk ii ch 2, CLEMENT argues strongly that “faith is not established by demonstration.” Faith involves a choice and “choice is the beginning of action.”

TERTULLIAN of Carthage (c.155-225) said;

Against Marcion Book II ch.5:

“I find, then, that man was by God constituted free, master of his own will and power; indicating the presence of God’s image and likeness in him by nothing so well as by this constitution of his nature . . .

-you will find that when He sets before man good and evil, life and death, that the entire course of discipline is arranged in precepts by God’s calling men from sin, and threatening and exhorting them; and by this on no other ground than that man is free, with a will either for obedience or resistance.

. . . Since therefore, both the goodness and purpose of God are discovered in the gift to man of freedom in his will . . .

NOVATIAN of Rome (c.200-258) said;

On the Trinity ch 1:

“He also placed man at the head of the world, and man, too, made in the image of God, to whom He imparted mind, and reason, and foresight, that he might imitate God; and although the first elements of his body were earthly, yet the substance was inspired by a heavenly and divine breathing. And when He had given him all things for his service, He willed that he alone should be free. And lest, again, and unbounded freedom should fall into peril, He laid down a command, in which man was taught that there was no evil in the fruit of the tree; but he was forewarned that evil would arise if perchance he should exercise his freewill in contempt of the law that was given.”

ORIGEN (c.185-254) said;

De Principiis Preface:

“Now it ought to be known that the holy apostles, in preaching the faith of Christ, delivered themselves with the utmost clearness on certain points which they believed to be necessary to everyone . . . This also is clearly defined in the teaching of the church that every rational soul is possessed of free-will and volition.”

De principiis Bk 3 ch. 1:

“There are, indeed, innumerable passages in the Scriptures which establish with exceeding clearness the existence of freedom of will.”

METHODIUS of Olympus (c.260-martyred 311) said;

The Banquet of the Ten Virgins xvi:

“Now those who decide that man is not possessed of free-will, and affirm that he is governed by the unavoidable necessities of fate . . . are guilty of impiety toward God Himself, making Him out to be the cause and author of human evils.”

Concerning Free-will:

“I say that man was made with free-will, not as if there were already existing some evil, which he had the power of choosing if he wished . . . but that the power of obeying and disobeying God is the only cause.”


The Disputation with Manes:

“For all creatures that God made, He made very good, and He gave to every individual the sense of free-will in accordance with which standard He also instituted the law of judgment. To sin is ours, and that we sin not is God’s gift, as our will is constituted to choose either to sin or not to sin.”

ARNOBIUS of Sicca (c.253-327) said;

Against the Heathen: 64

“I reply: does not He free all alike who invites all alike? Or does He thrust back or repel any one from the kindness of the Supreme who gives to all alike the power of coming to Him? To all, He says, the fountain of life is open, and no one is hindered or kept back from drinking . . . ”

Against the Heathen: 65

“Nay, my opponent says, if God is powerful, merciful, willing to save us, let Him change our dispositions, and compel us to trust in His promises. This then, is violence, not kindness nor the bounty of the Supreme God, but a childish and vain strife in seeking to get the mastery. For what is so unjust as to force men who are reluctant and unworthy, to reverse their inclinations; to impress forcibly on their minds what they are unwilling to receive, and shrink from . . .”

CYRIL of Jerusalem (c. 312-386) said;

Lecture IV 18:

“Know also that thou hast a soul self governed, the noblest work of God, made after the image of its Creator, immortal because of God that gives it immortality, a living being rational, imperishable, because of Him that bestowed these gifts: having free power to do what it willeth.”

Lecture IV 20:

“There is not a class of souls sinning by nature and a class of souls practising righteousness by nature; but both act from choice, the substance of their souls being of one kind only and alike in all.”

Lecture IV 21:

“The soul is self-governed: and though the Devil can suggest, he has not the power to compel against the will. He pictures to thee the thought of fornication: if thou wilt, thou rejectest. For if thou wert a fornicator of necessity then for what cause did God prepare hell? If thou wert a doer of righteousness by nature and not by will, wherefore did God prepare crowns of ineffable glory? The sheep is gentle, but never was it crowned for its gentleness; since its gentle quality belongs to it not from choice but by nature.”

GREGORY of Nyssa (c.335-395) said;

On Virginity (368/3G8) ch. XII:

“Being the image and the likeness . . . of the Power which rules all things, man kept also in the matter of a free-will this likeness to Him whose will is over all.”

JEROME (c.347-420) said;

Letters CXXXIII:

“It is in vain that you misrepresent me and try to convince the ignorant that I condemn free-will. Let him who condemns it be himself condemned. We have been created endowed with free-will; still it is not this which distinguishes us from the brutes. For human free-will, as I said, depends upon the help of God and needs His aid moment by moment, a thing which you and yours do not choose to admit. Your position is that once a man has free-will he no longer needs the help of God. It is true that freedom of the will brings with it freedom of decision. Still man does not act immediately on his free-will but requires God’s aid who Himself needs no aid.”

Against the Pelagians Book III, 10:

“But when we are concerned with grace and mercy, free-will is in part void; in part, I say, for so much depends upon it, that we wish and desire, and give assent to the course we choose. But it depends on God whether we have the power in His strength and with His help to perform what we desire, and to bring to effect our toil and effort.”

JOHN CHRYSOSTOM (347-407) said;

On Hebrews, Homily 12:

“All is in God’s power, but so that our free-will is not lost . . . It depends therefore on us and on Him. We must first choose the good, and then He adds what belongs to Him. He does not precede our willing, that our free-will may not suffer. But when we have chosen, then He affords us much help . . . It is ours to choose beforehand and to will, but God’s to perfect and bring to the end.”

As we can see they all believed in free will, except Augustine.  This idea was then carried over to John Calvin and today Predestination and Total Depravity form part of the base doctrine of Calvinism.


While I was doing my research I found this youtube video by Paul Washer from Heart Cry Missionary Society who is also an ardent Amillennialist (A Roman Catholic doctirine) and dabbler in Contemplative Spirituality.  Paul Washer asserts that an 18th month old baby is totally and utterly evil.  How Paul Washer can make such a statement is beyond reason.  I suppose when you are Divinely Chosen you can say the most ludicrous things.  This is a very shocking video.

John Calvin’s reign of terror:

  • He had Servetus burned at the stake on October 27, 1553,
  • Gentile beheaded in 1566,
  • 34 women burned at the stake after accusing them of being witches who caused a plague that had swept through Geneva in 1545,
  • “Freckles” Dunant dies under torture in February 1545 without admitting to the crime of spreading the plague,
  • Several men and women are apprehended including a barber and a hospital supervisor who had “made a pact with the devil.”  in 1545,
  • 2 women executed by burning at the stake for sorcery by spreading the plague in March 7, 1545,
  • Belot (an Anabaptist) chained and tortured – against infant baptism in 1545,
  • 7 men executed concerning the plague outbreak in May 16, 1545,
  • a child was whipped publicly for calling his mother a thief,
  • a girl who struck her parents was beheaded,
  • Jacques Gruet accused of writing a poster against Calvin, was arrested, tortured then executed in July 1546,
  • and the list goes on, his victims ranging in age from 16-80.

If John Calvin was Elect, then so was Hitler!  58 murders is as good as 6 million.


John MacArthur and Grace to You ministries has this to say regarding Predestination:

I love the doctrines of grace and don’t shy away from the label “Calvinist.” I believe in the sovereignty of God. I’m convinced Scripture teaches that God is completely sovereign not only in salvation (effectually calling and granting faith to those whom He chooses); but also in every detail of the outworking of Providence.  –“Why I am A Calvinist”  — Phil Johnson, Grace to You ministries,

The Five Points of Calvinism:  Defined, Defended and Documented
Afterward by John MacArthur

I am thankful for this timely revision of wonderful classic that has already been an immense blessing to countless thousands. Notwithstanding its success over the years, the only question that ultimately matters about the “five points of Calvinism” is whether these doctrines are biblical. This book has demonstrated (conclusively, in my judgment) that the “five points” are nothing more or less than what the Bible teaches. The doctrines of grace and divine sovereignty are the very lifeblood of the full and free salvation promised in the gospel.

Today Calvinism is being subjected to constant attack. Several recent, popular, published critiques have tried to discredit John Calvin the man, or they have unfairly blamed Calvinism for the dubious politics of the Reformation era. But the doctrines of Calvinistic soteriology must stand or fall by the test of Scripture, period.

Scripture speaks with absolute, unmistakable clarity on these vital issues: (1) Sinners are utterly helpless to redeem themselves or to contribute anything meritorious toward their own salvation (Rom 8:7-8). (2) God is sovereign in the exercise of His saving Will (Eph 1:4-5). (3) Christ died as a substitute who bore the full weight of God’s wrath on behalf of His people, and his atoning work is efficacious for their salvation (Isa. 53:5). (4) God’s saving purpose cannot be thwarted (John 6:37), meaning none of Christ’s true sheep will ever be lost (John 10:27-29). That is because (5) God assures the perseverance of His elect (Jude 24; Phil 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5).

Those are the five points of Calvinism. I believe them not because of their historical pedigree, but because that is what Scripture teaches.

John F. MacArthur Jr.

Well John MacArthur, your Calvinistic version of Salvation falls and it falls hard!


The correct Biblical interpretation is this:

  • CONDITIONAL ELECTION – God has chosen that all humanity be righteous by His grace, yet has called us to respond to that grace by exercising our God restored human freedom as a condition of fulfilling election.
  • DEPRAVATION – Human beings are sinful and without God, incapable (deprived) on their own of being righteous; however, they are not irredeemably sinful and can be transformed by God’s grace; God’s prevenient grace restores to humanity the freedom of will.

Jesus Christ died for ALL mankind, not just for the Gnostic Elect.

Calvinism is not the gospel as Calvinists would love to have you believe.  Calvinism is a horribly devious doctrine in that it sounds biblically correct for the most part, until you reach the MOST IMPORTANT PART: Salvation.  Here you are presented with Predestination and Total Depravity; teachings out of the pit of hell.   If a person is locked into a false sense of salvation, then Satan has done his job well.


UPDATES:  Please see this SHOCKING article that EXPOSES John Calvin as a FREEMASON:  Huguenots, John Calvin and Freemasonry


138 comments to Unconditional Election and Total Depravity are Gnostic Teachings

  • James


    Have you actually studied what Scripture says concering the issue of election? Or have you limited your “research” to the internet? If so, I’d be interested in your exposition of passages like Deut 7:6-8 (Seems the other nations’ free wills were not considered in the matter). Maybe post us your exposition of Rom 3, 9; Eph 1.


  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Yes I have. And if you interpret it incorrectly because you don’t read the entire passage in context then it’s not my concern. Go read it and see for yourself.

    Deut 7:6-8 is for the Israelites ONLY as a chosen people UNDER LAW. Under the old covenant. Are you still under law James? Are you an Israelite? Nope. There is a difference between Old and New Covenants. Which covenant are you under?

    But most importantly, God chose the Israelites because they were the only people at the time who were God fearing (after the fact). The Israelites will remain a chosen people because God made a promise to them and He will keep his promise. But an Israelite until he/she has accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour at the moment under the New Covenant is an unbeliever. Jesus died for the sins of ALL mankind.

    I think it speaks for itself that you need to go and read those verses you gave me again by yourself and figure it out – it’s not difficult.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Lets look at:

    Ephesians 1

    1PAUL, AN apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), by the divine will (the purpose and the choice of God) to the saints (the consecrated, set-apart ones) [a]at Ephesus who are also faithful and loyal and steadfast in Christ Jesus..

    When you are born again James, you become part of the chosen, first you get saved, then you become a child of God (not the other way around). Paul is a born again, righteous Apostle, faithful, loyal, mighty man…who is consecrated and part of the ones set aside because….he is born again. Notice that Paul is also chosen by God (after he was saved) to be a messenger to the Saints.

    Did you read the article properly? The same for Romans 3,9. You are putting your cart before your horse.

    Do you understand the difference between Unconditional Election vs Conditional Election?

  • James


    Would you please, from the Deut 7 text, or any other text for that matter, explain this statement you made: “But most importantly, God chose the Israelites because they were the only people at the time who were God fearing (after the fact).”



  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    What’s so difficult to understand about it? Abraham loved God, there were no others who were God fearing (read the Tower of Babel) – therefore He chose them as His people and He made a promise to them.

    God calls Abram for his faithfulness!
    Genesis 12:1-3
    12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

    Genesis 15:18
    On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,

    Deuteronomy 28:1-68
    “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. …

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    I updated that one comment of mine so you might have to re-read it.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    But you are confusing Israelites being chosen as a Nation vs the individuals being chosen to go to heaven. Just because God loves Israel does not mean he didn’t have cities of them killed Himself because of their disobedience and it certainly does not mean that they are all in heaven, oh no.

  • Burning Lamp

    Debs you are exactly right. Israel’s election was corporate, not individual.

    This error is being touted by John Hagee, a well-known advocate for the nation of Israel. That is a good thing except for the fact that he believes that it is not necessary to share the Gospel with Jews as apparently God will flip a switch and convert them all en masse.

    A for instance: he has conservative talk show host Dennis Prager speak in his church and in a recent interview he introduced Prager as a “Jewish theologian”. Hagee is not a calvinist, but this is a twisted form of TULIP he is applying to Jewish people. He is the polar opposite of the Replacement Theology folks.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    twisted form of TULIP he is applying to Jewish people

    And just when you thought it could not get any worse.

  • James


    What were the consequences, for the “other nations” of God choosing the Israelites for His “special people”? (And no, I am definitely not a Hagee fan, which you seem to assume to aviod the question). Do you mean to tell me that God chose the Israelites, because they were obeying His Law (which He only gave them only AFTER their exodus from Egypt)? How did they manage that?

    I still don’t see you giving a careful exegesis and exposition of any Scripture, the ones mentioned above or otherwise. You claim to have studied Scripture as part of your research. Please share with me what you’ve found. Not merely restating your own opinion, based on the opinion of other people. Surely we need to have our opinions informed by Scripture alone?

    Surely you looked at all references in Scripture to the terms election, chosen, predestined, grace etc. Surely you’ve made sure how each writer of Scripture used those words, the context they were placed in, use of grammar etc.

    For example:
    Eph 1:4
    Author: Paul. Audience: Saints (Believers) at Ephesus

    4 just as (He chose us)(Main sentence subject HE-God, verb CHOSE (Greek eklegomai, meaning: to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one’s self, US (in context, again believers)in Him (WHEN?) before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

    There doesn’t seem to be any indication here of ANY condition(s) for God choosing believers based on anything they did to merit this. In fact, in the second chapter Paul explains in verses 5, 8 and 9 that we have been saved by “grace”, NOT based on anything we have done.

    Maybe make time and take a serious look at Romans 9.

    If you claim that you are serious about Scripture as you claim on your About this Blog page, then you must have done this study. IN Scripture, seeing what Scripture says, as you yourself say, “only one interpretation”.



  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Oh boy, you have avoided all my questions and now expect me to answer your questions which I have already answered only because you don’t understand it and then get cheeky. James, be nice to this reprobate ok? I don’t take lightly to Gnostic Elects.

  • Burning Lamp

    Debs, there seems to be a common thread running through those of Reformed/Calvinist belief. They seem to be intellectually inclined and unable to grasp the simple truths of the Bible and accept them for what they are.

    I can’t help but wonder if this “James” is James White who prides himself with degrees and titles and loves to grind people up in debates. Not every Calvinist is this puffed up, but they are staunch as a wet rag in an Artic breeze – minds set in concrete. They are false teachers just as much as any of the others but so under the radar.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    staunch as a wet rag in an artic breeze

    LOLOLOL That was funny.

    No this guy is from SA. But your wandering is not that far off re; the titles, degrees und big wordz ja?

  • LBW


    Ephesians chapter 1
    Eph 1:4 = US
    Eph 1:13 = YOU
    Does this help?
    With the intention of helping some more – chapter Eph 6:12 = WE
    Having to get to grips with Eph 2:11-13 cannot be avoided and may give an answer to your question in your first sentence/ question.

  • mom4truth


    What is your understanding of Romans 9:14-26? God took pleasure in “choosing” some for destruction and some for salvation i.e Jacob/Esau, Isaac/Ishmael… Do you think God “chooses” only some Jews, but all Gentiles? Just curious???

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    It is not wise to read a verse or a group of verses apart from the the whole council of God. Romans 9 HAS TO UNDER NO UNCERTAIN TERMS be read in context with the the entire bible. Again, God’s FOREKNOWLEDGE is the key to the answer here. God knew before they were born the course each child would take. Thereby He could love Jacob and hate Esau – not because He chose the one to be good and the other evil, but because He knew what they were going to turn out like before they were born. God knows ‘the end from the beginning’ Isaiah 46:10 (Amplified Bible) 10Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure and purpose,”

    If only people would understand this SIMPLE SIMPLE FACT. But you see, they don’t want too, because it’s easier to think one is chosen than to have to repent of sin and change your ways and remove vile doctrines from ones thinking!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    What makes any individual think they are chosen? How did they find this out? Did they get a special letter telling them they are? Do they also get a letter telling them they are condemned to hell?

  • Zelda

    The book Debating Calvinism by James White and Dave Hunt gives back to back arguments on Tulip. A must read for anyone with questions…..and enough exegesis by James White and counter exegesis by Dave Hunt. Dr William Lane Craig also has excellent “Defenders” lessons ( on his website – Reasonable Faith) and his classes on ” The Doctrine of God” explains the sovereignty and omniscience and foreknwoledge of God so well that it’s quite beneficial to listen. Freewill is a gift from God, we choose him and that takes nothing away from the omnipotence of God.

  • mom4truth

    I wasn’t being sarcastic, I was really asking. I completely understand your point, and I believe those who would argue that they don’t need to repent or that they are somehow special is an abuse of God’s grace. I think there are truly valid points on both sides. My husband and I dialogue about this regularly. I agree that God knows in advance the path of someone’s life (therefore I think He can better “stomach” Joshua killing men, women, AND children because He foreknew their evil deeds. He also knows now when someone has a newborn what that newborn would do in the future. His emotions are perfect, so He doesn’t get manipulated by them and can thereby impose judgment even on them (in a sense). I also see valid arguments for chosen vessels, some being fitted for destruction. I guess the argument is: are some actually chosen for destruction, or does God know all their future deeds and imposes destruction upon them? I see it both ways…

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Nope, I didn’t think you were being sarcastic. I just answered it like you ‘were curious’ lol. The second comment about the letter was just a general comment to anyone who can tell me how they know they are chosen.

    >> I also see valid arguments for chosen vessels, some being fitted for destruction. I guess the argument is: are some actually chosen for destruction, or does God know all their future deeds and imposes destruction upon them?

    He knows their future deeds and imposes destruction upon them.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Oh lovely, thank you!

  • Burning Lamp

    Somehow I think we have wandered from the main point. Some questions we will never know completely in this life and speculating on them can be interesting, but of little benefit.

    The bottom line is the crux of the tenets of the TULIP. That is the main point. Calvinists believe we do not have freedom of choice in our salvation while Calvinists believe it is cut and dried and locked in. They believe that Christ did not die for all, only the elect. They believe that if God has his mark on you that you WILL receive Him with no choice in the matter.

    Those are the central issues – yes, God is sovereign and yes, He knows the end from the beginning. We don’t understand this side of heaven how all that works, but we do know all we need to know to tell the difference between true and false doctrine.

  • Burning Lamp

    Zelda, I would rather recommend Dave Hunt’s book “What Love is This?” It covers everything from A to Z in a fair manner. The book you recommend is okay, but personally I wouldn’t put any stock in anything White has to say. The way he pounds people in a debate and flaunts his superior knowledge is disconcerting to say the least.

  • Zelda

    I have the DVD- What Love is This. James White does seem to play the man rather than the ball. I grew up reformed and when I began to question the matter of predestination it felt as if I was up against a wall … the 2 arguments back to back was quite helpful in solidifying (?) my understanding. And yes, they are quite arrogant and seem to convey that you don’t have the “necessary knowledge” to understand and that you actually shouldn’t question the doctrines that you were taught in Sundayschool/cathecism. Now I question everything!!!!!!

  • Burning Lamp

    Thank you Zelda – thank the Lord you found the truth! Blessings to you!

  • Frank

    “If John Calvin was Elect, then so was Hitler! 58 murders is as good as 6 million.”

    —This is a ridiculous, absurd statement.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Murder is murder my dear friend. 1 murder is a sin, 6 million murders is a sin. John Calvin believed he was ELECT. If that’s what Elect’s do, MURDER, then Hitler must have been Elect too.

  • Burning Lamp

    Talk about depravity – Mark Driscoll’s Acts 29 church planting group has a checkered and controversial past and it sounds like they are continuing in the same emergent mode. Apparently this “cool” church is acceptable to Driscoll’s Calvinist pals – John Piper, Rick Warren, R.C. Sproule, etc. Surprise! Surprise!

    Planting a Church in a Gay Bar in the Bible Belt

  • Michael

    Read this from Romans 9 KJV, I would use the NKJV but this is what I had avialable:
    Is there unrighteousness in God? Why do you question His Word?

    Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
    Rom 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
    Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
    Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
    Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
    Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
    Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
    Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
    Rom 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
    Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
    Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
    Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
    Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
    Rom 9:25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
    Rom 9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

  • Michael

    Look up the word “draw” here in verse 44 in the original language, you might find it shocking–it means literally to drag.

    Joh 6:43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
    Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    Joh 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    READ COMMENTS ABOVE – this question has already been answered

  • Tom Lessing

    Michael said:

    Look up the word “draw” here in verse 44 in the original language, you might find it shocking–it means literally to drag.

    Joh 6:43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
    Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    Joh 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

    Isn’t it just kosher for the Calvinists to hone in onto their own pet verses to substantiate their views while they conveniently disregard other verses from Scripture? The above Scripture simply means that there is none other than the Father who can draw sinners to Christ because there is no other way than through HIS cross that He CAN do it. And that is precisely why Jesus said:

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

    Are the “all men” in this verse only the elect? Does “all” mean that every single person will be saved? Perish the thought. It simply means that no man will ever be able to circumvent His cross. However, to some it is the power and wisdom of God unto eternal bliss in heaven and to others it is mere foolishness unto eternal damnation in hell. Are the latter the reprobate who had been elected unto eternal damnation before the foundation of the earth? No! certainly not; they will be cast into hell because they willfully reject the cross as God’s power and wisdom.

  • Tom Lessing

    I read Part 1 of Phil Johnson’s article “Why I Am a Calvinist, . . . and why every Christian is a Calvinist of sorts” and have come to the conclusion that he actually does not know what he really is or what he really wants to be. On the one hand he claims to be a Calvinist who happens to disagree with John Calvin on certain things he taught and he does not condone many of the things he did. As a matter of fact he only adopted the label “Calvinist” . . . “for convenience sake?” Really? To what end is Calvinism a mere convenience? Ah! but of course Calvinism is conveniently acceptable when you believe that God has sovereignly and effectually called you to Him and granted you the gift of faith AFTER He has sovereignly and monergistically redeemed you without you having to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and having to respond to it in faith. You see, as soon as the most important doctrine – the doctrine of how to be redeemed or saved – gravitates one centimeter toward another label (Armenianism) then Calvinism becomes a very convenient label simply because the other label supposedly robs God of his sovereignty.

    Imagine someone who has conveniently adopted the label “Calvinist”, when given the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel (assuming that this is the most important thing you can or ever will do) saying to someone else: “I just love the doctrines (pluralism?) of grace and I will never shy away from the label ‘Calvinist’ notwithstanding the fact that I do not always agree with the person whose label “Calvinist” I have adopted for convenience sake.”

    I know how I would respond to such a shibbolethian hodgepodge of semantics. “What! You just love to tell me everything about your love for the doctrines (pluralism?) of God’s grace but conveniently beg to differ with the person who attributed greatly to the clarification of those doctrines of grace, even to the extent that his “doctrines” (the one whose label you have adopted) are deemed to be on par with the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ? How do you expect me to trust and show respect for your love for those doctrines of grace when you conveniently adopt his historically important label but shun many of the things he had said and done? However, I must admit that I too would never pledge allegiance to a religious figurehead who has written, said and done many things contrary to the Word of God. You will probably agree that doctrines of grace which ultimately decide where you are going to spend eternity warrants a figurehead who is perfect in all his ways; who has never said and done anything wrong. His whole life must compliment his doctrines because the slightest taint in his character will taint his doctrines. No Sir, I prefer the many who have adopted the label “Christian” or “Disciple of Christ” because they at least speak of a trust in and respect for a Man who never said or did anything wrong, whose character is spotless and whose doctrines have always and will always be 100% true.”

    A feisty contender for the faith is highly commendable and should be encouraged to continue fighting the good fight. This seems to be Phil Johnson’s mission in life – to “get feisty about certain points of doctrine—especially when someone attacks a principle that goes to the heart of the gospel, like substitutionary atonement, or original sin, or justification by faith and the principle of imputed righteousness.” He says: “When one of those principles is challenged, I’m ready to fight. (And I also don’t mind beating up on whatever happens to be the latest evangelical fad.).” As mentioned before, fighting the good fight is the honorable thing to do but then you must make very sure that what you are fighting for is not an evangelical blunder. So let’s hold a looking glass to the principles Phil Johnson is prepared to die for and see whether they are indeed worthy to die for.

    These principles that go to the heart of the Gospel are:

    Substitutionary atonement

    This, as we all know, means to “pay the full price on behalf of,” “to die in the place of” or “to die in stead of.” For Jesus Christ’s substitutionary atonement or vicarious death to have been fully substitutionary His crucifixion had to be in behalf of the entire human race. Nonetheless, Calvin and many of his conveniently labeled followers assert that Christ was crucified for the elect only. This obviously makes his substitutionary death on the cross a partial substitutionary atonement (LIMITED ATONEMENT) for He, according to Calvin’s doctrines of grace, was not crucified for the reprobate. To put the label “LIMITED” on Christ’s atonement is not only an affront to Him and his Gospel but it also demeans his sovereign decree to pay the penalty for the sins of ALL mankind.

    Original sin

    In Romans 5 Paul explains how the original sin of the first man, Adam, affected the whole of humanity – “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (verse 12). Then he goes on to say that by the offense of one man judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (verse 18).

    Please note carefully that “the free gift” does not refer to the gift of faith which the conveniently labeled Calvinists claim to receive monergistically subsequent to their monergistically imposed redemption. It is the free gift of grace which God has bestowed on ALL men. Paul emphatically underpins this when he says in Titus 2:11: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” God’s grace leads to salvation when whosoever receives it (the gift of salvation) by and trhough faith. Do I hear a chorus of conveniently labeled Calvinists protesting – “the word ‘ALL’ in the Bible refers ONLY to the ELECT in the very same way the words “the world,” “anyone,” “whomsoever,” and “everyone” refers only to the elect.” John Piper (one of the key speakers at the Third Lausanne Conference that was held in Cape Town from 3-23 October 2010) explains this strange phenomenon as follows:

    If “the whole world” referred to every individual in the world, we would be forced to say that John is teaching that all people will be saved, which he does not believe (Revelation 14:9-11).

    You may find the following link rather interesting:
    Piper who obviously does not believe in the Rapture, the seven year Tribulation and Christ’s Millennium of Peace on earth, makes the very same mistake all the other conveniently labeled Calvinists make. I would like us to focus on the little word “receive.” First off, John refers here to the Great Tribulation when Antichrist is going to forcefully impose his will on people by giving them a mark on their forehead or right hand. But wait a minute; it seems that Antichrist will have more respect for man’s free-will than Calvin and his conveniently labeled followers. John clearly states that only those who willingly receive his mark on their foreheads or right hands will irretrievably forfeit the gift of salvation. In fact, they will be granted an opportunity to refuse the mark of the beast by wholeheartedly receiving the gift of salvation as so many others will be doing during the Great Tribulation. Their forfeiture of the gift of grace and salvation is therefore not based on election but free-will.

    Justification by faith

    Justification by faith is one of the core teachings of the Reformation but what do the conveniently labeled Calvinists mean by that? In their view pre-election or predestination determines whether a person will be granted the gift of faith or not. Man’s ineptitude to understand and respond in faith to the Gospel compels God to redeem the elect monergistically (not synergistically) and then, subsequent to his/her electorally imputed justification, imposes on him/her the gift of faith. Does this eliminate Romans 10:17: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” or what?

    Imputed righteousness

    The best Scripture that describes imputed righteousness is Galatians 3:6-9: “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” It makes it abundantly clear that righteousness follows faith and that God’s righteousness can only be imputed to someone when that person puts his trust in God and Him alone. It was through his faith that righterousness was imputed to Abraham and NOT election. Had it been through election and not faith (prior to justification and salvation) then God’s foreseeing that He would justify the heathen through faith was a dismal mistake and they could not be called the children of Abraham.

    Paul’s assertion that “even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” proves beyond any doubt that faith in God is the precondition and the only prerequisite for Him to impute his rigteousness to anyone. This is also born out by the author of Hebrews when he says “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6).

    Once again; to fight the good fight is just wonderful but then you ought make very sure what you are fighting for – the truth or a lie.

    Phil Johnson wrote:

    Over the years I have probably written at least twice as much material trying to tone down angry hyper Calvinists as I have arguing with Arminians.

    In the more than 40 years since I had become a child of God, I have never once heard the terms “hyper Christian” or “moderate Christian”. If there had been something like a hyper Christian and a moderate Christian I would assume that the latter is a Christian who is neither hot nor cold but lukewarm and that the hyper Christian is one who rigidly clings to the doctrine of Christ, knowing full well that enyone who does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God or his Son (2 John verse 9). Please note that there is but ONE doctrine of Christ and not a multitude of doctrines of grace as Phil Johnson claims.

    If Calvinism is the purest from of the Gospel, one would assume that a hyper Calvinist is the hyper Christian (that’s to say if ever there was such a thing) and the moderate Calvinist is the moderate Christian. In that case the hyper Calvinist will be the one who rigidly adheres to all of the five points in the acronym TULIP and the moderate Calvinist will be the one who holds to only four or three letters in the acronym which most likely would look something like this: TUIP or ULIP or TLIP or TULP. Can you truly and honestly say that any of the latter acronyms are genuine Calvinism? As soon as you remove one of the letters in the acronyjm TULIP the whole thing falls apart because each is intrinsically dependant upon the other. Limited atoenment without total depravity means nothing and so also unconditional election doesn’t mean anything without limited atonement. I put it to you that there is no such thing a a hyper Calvinist or a moderate Calvinist, in the very same way that there is no such thing as a hyper Christian or a moderate Christtian. You are either a fully-fledged Calvinist or you are not one at all.

    In closing I would like to reiterate what King James said about Calvinism.

    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 . . . .

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Thank you Tom!!! :))))

  • Tom Lessing

    Hi Deborah,

    I have also written a comment on Phil Johnson’s article “Why I am a Calvinist, Part 1.” Have you received it. it is rather long.


  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    I can’t find it. I will check the spam section. – I found it :)



  • donna

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    What makes any individual think they are chosen? How did they find this out? Did they get a special letter telling them they are? Do they also get a letter telling them they are condemned to hell?

    I believe that repentance and godly sorrow leadeth to life.
    As for mankind being totally depraved I believe that as well because the Word of God says that our righteousness are filthy rags and that each of us have gone astray, and that there is none righteous, no not one, and the heart is DESPERATELY WICKED AND DECIETFUL ABOVE ALL ELSE, so where are the verses of scripture that contradict this? There is none!~!~ The human race is depraved to the core and in need of a Saviour. God is not willing that any should perish but they perish because the love darkness rather than light because their deeeds are evil.

  • donna

    as for total election..the Bible teaches that repentance is an absolute~!!~No repentance….no eternal life,,,,no heaven.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Don’t get me wrong here. Of course man is depraved, my goodness. But God in HIS SOVEREIGNTY has given us FREE WILL TO CHOOSE. BUT understand the concept of God handpicking certain people to be saved and others to go to hell prior to their birth – that is Calvinism. Calvinism teaches that Jesus only died for the elect and not the whole world as the BIBLE CLEARLY STATES.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    understand there is Calvinisms ‘totally depraved’ vs the biblical ‘depraved’. totally depraved means you have no free will, hence God has to choose people to salvation. Depraved means God in his Sovereignty gave us Free will to choose His Son or not and perish.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    >> he Bible teaches that repentance is an absolute~!!~No repentance….no eternal life,,,,no heaven.

    that’s it’. REPENTANCE. Calvinist apparently don’t need to do this too often either because they are CHOSEN, and REMAIN CHOSEN – so what’s the point of repenting. I can’t see one. John Calvin could not see one either after he murdered people.

  • Burning Lamp

    Debs, good explanation about “totally depraved”. That is a key point. Man is capable of doing good deeds – otherwise why would the Bible stress that our good deeds are as filthy rags and also that our good deeds cannot get us to heaven? So of course man is capable of doing good things, such as acts of charity, etc. There are sweet grannies who have not received Christ as Savior but are headed to eternal damnation. Most people can’t grasp that. Just proves that God’s holiness is beyond our comprehension.

  • donna

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    Don’t get me wrong here. Of course man is depraved, my goodness. But God in HIS SOVEREIGNTY has given us FREE WILL TO CHOOSE. BUT understand the concept of God handpicking certain people to be saved and others to go to hell prior to their birth – that is Calvinism. Calvinism teaches that Jesus only died for the elect and not the whole world as the BIBLE CLEARLY STATES.

    God is not willing that any should perish, but because of free will and because some men love darkness rather than light they will die in their sins, but not because God wanted it that way but because they chose the pleasures of sin rather than the narrow way that leads to life eternal.
    I don’t know any of Calvinsism. I just know what the Bible teaches.
    Total depravity still stand, but God leads us to repentance and a new life in Christ where our deeds are wrought in God.

  • donna

    Jesus was crucified from before the foundation of the world the Bible says, and God also knew before He created Adam who would be His children and who would not. God knew who would repent and who would not, and I believe when the Bible says I was chosen in Christ. Comparing scripture to scripture for our correct interpretation of election, therefore it would suffice to say that since God knew me before I was conceived He also knew I would repent, because He would lead me to repent, therefore my election is not the same doctrinal statement of Calvin.

  • donna

    I have to ask a question, can some of the people you name as false prophets just be immature and genuinely mistaken Christians who are genuinely saved and are teachings things from their misunderstanding of scripture…..or are they all hell bound false prophets as you seem to imply???
    There seems to be NO MERCY here at all on this website.
    I believe that God distributes gifts to each member of the Body of Christ for His own purposes and that each member has a different place in the body as the Bible says that each of us is a different stone in a building with Christ being the chief cornerstone.
    Can somebody just be operating in a place within the Body where they were not put by God and therefore are making mistakes?
    I know the false prophets on this site and what they teach is horrid, but you seem to give the impression that there is NOT ONE person who is a preacher or minister that can say anything right.
    People make mistakes, not all preachers are false.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Comming from someone who wanted to physically burn everything 2 days ago I would say you have a huge cheek. Good grief. I take that as a huge insult. If you don’t like it here go away, please, I have enough trouble trying to help people who are genuinely seeking the truth, I don’t need comments like yours. Everyone I speak of has been tried and tested by the Word of God. If you want to call good evil and evil good, be my guest – but leave me out of it. You seem to think that YOU can know who is false and I can’t. And no where have I said everyone is false, nor do I give that impression. Do you know how many pastors there are? Hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Honestly… think before you speak. (sighs)

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    I’d love to know who you think is a genuine Christian on my blog who is just ‘immature’ or operating in the wrong place (lol) that I have mislabeled??

  • Burlning Lamp

    Echoing your SIGH…………….

  • Burlning Lamp

    Yes Donna, you are referring to FOREKNOWLEDGE of God. Of course He KNOWS who will be saved and who will not, but that does not rule out the fact that He gives us a choice in the matter. Calvinism says that we have no choice or free will, that God ORDAINS some to heaven and hell with no choice in the matter. You surely don’t believe that, do you?

    You need to get up to speed on the doctrine of Calvinism as it is an error and you need to be able to discern thet truth and rightly divide the Word so you see the difference and can speak from the same page. Read all the good info that Debs has here and seek the Lord about it. Right now you are speaking from a lack of knowledge – that is a waste of time and effort. Come back when you are familiar with the facts. Okay?

  • sylesa

    hello deboah. Respectfully, you do not know what John Macarthur believes and teaches about election.He in fact believes that it is two paralell truths that while election is true, it is also true that we choose and he explains this in GREAT DETAIL in the teaching on his website called “SOVEREIGNTY and FREEDOM”. You do alot of research and that is good but because i KNOW what John Macarthur teaches , i know that you do not know what he teaches.I have heard many differant things on Calvins background but that is not really relevent to J.Macarthur, because he is a tremendous bible scholar and has mightily studied the SCRIPTURES for himself not just john calvins writings. Nobody can hear him without recognizing his vast bible knowledge. Not to imply that any man is infallable. But he is a true man of God. i am alittle disappointed that you have said negative about him without knowing ALL that he teaches, you have ideas about what he believes without knowing. I am not attacking you, i believe that you are sincere in what you are doing and what you are doing is something needful in the body of Christ.I hope that you will listen to what he believes in the link that i sent and if you disagree , i would like to hear you tell me based on scripture. I don’t know if you will post this or edit what i am saying, i would hope not but if you do , i would certainly wonder why. thank you .

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sylesa said:

    “hello deborah, i hope that you will read and listen to what J macarthur teaches, he does believe in election and also in mans responsibility as well.He believes in the effacacy of the blood of christ , he simply states that it was not for some special property in his blood but that HE the SINLESS SON OF GOD shed HIS blood for our salvation and because Christ was the sinless son of God , His sacrifice of His blood and body was effacacious for our salvation. you make him sound sinister. I am very familiar with his beliefs. And even if you don’t believe in predestination, that does not a false teacher make, otherwise it would be like saying that you have ALL truth and are yourself infallable in your understanding of God and his Word. In fact , many of us err in our understanding of many things before we learn further, and that does not mean that a person is false. When it comes to denying the deity of Christ and His virgin birth and His Bodily ressurection from the dead and the atoning work at the cross and salvation by faith ALONE , now these are important issues to call a person a false teacher over! Also, when people teach false teachings to garner a following to divest people of their money or to control them ect. ect. these are also false teachers seeking their own gain. I assure you —John Macarthur DOES NOT do any of these! i appreciate that you will listen to what i sent you .He goes thru the Word and handles both sides of the issue. If you don’t want to post this , thats okay. Thank you anyways, i believe that you are a sincere person and that there are many things that you are exposing on this site that are correct and that is a good thing.”

    Sylesa said:

    “hello deborah, i hope that you will read and listen to what J macarthur teaches, he does believe in election and also in mans responsibility as well.He believes in the effacacy of the blood of christ , he simply states that it was not for some special property in his blood but that HE the SINLESS SON OF GOD shed HIS blood for our salvation and because Christ was the sinless son of God , His sacrifice of His blood and body was effacacious for our salvation. you make him sound sinister. I am very familiar with his beliefs. And even if you don’t believe in predestination, that does not a false teacher make, otherwise it would be like saying that you have ALL truth and are yourself infallable in your understanding of God and his Word. In fact , many of us err in our understanding of many things before we learn further, and that does not mean that a person is false. When it comes to denying the deity of Christ and His virgin birth and His Bodily ressurection from the dead and the atoning work at the cross and salvation by faith ALONE , now these are important issues to call a person a false teacher over! Also, when people teach false teachings to garner a following to divest people of their money or to control them ect. ect. these are also false teachers seeking their own gain. I assure you —John Macarthur DOES NOT do any of these! i appreciate that you will listen to what i sent you .He goes thru the Word and handles both sides of the issue. If you don’t want to post this , thats okay. Thank you anyways, i believe that you are a sincere person and that there are many things that you are exposing on this site that are correct and that is a good thing.”


    deborah, i tried to send you another link concerning john macarthurs view on the millenial reign of Christ but i got a message saying that it was a duplicate , lol, which it was not. i will esend the links. He definetly DOES believe in the thousand year reign of Christ. You can liten to what he has to say about it when you have time. thank you.,



    hello deborah. thank you so much for the comment. i know that you do alot of research, and greatly to your credit. John Mcarthur does believe in election but not in the way that you may think that he does. i will send you a link for you to listen to where he explains his belief and goes thru the scriptures. He believes that WE choose to reject Christ,not that God chose some for hell. Here is the link. Again , thank you for your comment,you are doing a service for the body of Chris

    —————————– Sorry Deborah, i seem to be having alot of trouble copying and pasting links, lol! Here is the link. Also , i did not see your response before i reposted the other links. Sorry. I need to learn how to navigate this site a little better. Please listen to this teaching for a better understanding of what he teaches on this sugject. There are many more that i can send you links for if you are interested. thank you for your patience on how many posts that i have sent because of not copying correctly.

    —————————— This link did not turn out on my last post, but if any of you are interseted, click on one of the links that i sent in previous post a few minutes ago and type in in the search box “Six Arguments Against Modern Day Apostleship” and it will take you to the teaching on the website


    Ahh ok, so God still choses certain men to be saved, and man chooses too reject Christ. Still, the big point is this: God does NOT PREDESTINE people to heaven. Again, the Bible says Jesus died for the WHOLE WORLD, Election states that Jesus only died for the Chosen. I’ve read through everything John Mac Arthur believes and I am sorry to say it’s not good. I was an ardent fan of his. Until I was reading some of his sermons one day and he mentioned predestination. I went to find out more out about and I was horrified. There is also another issue regarding the Blood of Jesus in his new Study Bible which left chills down my spine. How do people know God has chosen them? You could land up in heaven and find out you were not on the list. It’s a JOKE. No really. The message of Salvation is messed up in Calvinism – people are presented with this silly TULIP salvation. And it’s NOT the gospel. Thinking you are CHOSEN because you took an altar call does not make you SAVED, let alone CHOSEN.

    I’m copying and pasting all your links to a folder, I will then read through them thoroughly. I don’t want Calvinist links under this topic, because these guys will jump on the Calvinism bandwagon. If you need to say anything important from those articles, best thing is just copy and paste a portion out and paste it as a comment…

  • sylesa

    hello deborah, thank you for posting my comments and links. I have read a little bit of what you have posted here on calvinism and i really need to take the time to read all of it. I will tell you that their is calvinism and what is referred to as hyper -calvinism. I understand and believe what J macarthur teaches in his message Sovereignty and Freedom because it is biblical –all labels of calvinism aside. It is not a discouraging doctrine but rather an encouraging one because he points out repeatedly in his message that WHOSOEVER will may come just as the scriptures say. His message encourages faith in God , does not discourage a person from coming to God fearful that they are not chosen. As to all this stuff posted about john calvin , i need to research this because i have heard VERY different accounts of his life. And i will rearch it out. However , at the end of the day, i would like to hear anybody who fefutes J M message Sovereignty and Freedom exegete the scriptures as he has done and give their own exegesis from scripture and not their opinion of any writings of or about the man John Calvin.Thank you for being fair minded and posting, even tho you do not like John Macarthur. You have more in common with him than you might think because it is his ABSOLUTE PASSION to teach the word of God and come against false teachings in the church which destroy mens souls. I greatly admire his knowledge and i admire what you are attempting to do on this site. I know that it can’t be easy listening to some of what gets posted here. Keep up what you are doing.

  • sylesa JOHN MACARTHUR IS NOT A FOLLOWER OF CALVIN i would like to point out as well.

  • Burning Lamp

    Sylesa, I used to value JMA’s teachings, but no longer do so. I appreciated his stand on discernment and against “seeker sensitive” and the fact that he did not sign the Manhattan Declaration. He takes a stand against “easy believism” but carries it into the Calvinist theology. Calvinists oppose the view that a decision can be made for Christ – they believe that God has chosen that person by election and that a personal decision for Christ is not possible.

    First of all, his study Bible. He tries to walk both sides of the fence. I would term him a “closet Calvinist”. In his study Bible in the verses pertaining to election and predestination he takes the Calvinist position. He does a pretty good job of toning down his Calvinism. He may have some slight differences with traditional Calvinists, but basically it is there.

    He is firmly in the Calvinist camp.He participates in Calvinist/Reformed conventions and conferences – one example:

    JMA teaches Lordship Salvation which is unbiblical. This strikes at the very heart of the Gospel! This is serious!

    This is in no way a personal attack on JMA. I am sure he is a very nice, sincere and kind man, but he is sincerely wrong in his theology and he is more deceptive because he mixes truth and error.

    I hope you will take the time to research and seek the answers for yourself according to the Bible.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Heya sylesa

    It’s not that I don’t like John MacArthur, lol. I love the man. If I met him in person I would give him a big hug and then sit him down and ask him a million pertinent questions. The thing is, because of what I know about Calvinism (the message of Salvation is totally distorted) I can’t condone him and I wont refer people to him.

    The other thing is MacArthur has a deep admiration for St Augustine (a Roman Catholic) – In one article even compared himself to Augustine. There is no such thing as hyper-Calvinism. If we remove the fact that John Calvin taught God chose men to go to hell, and John Macarthur teaches that men choose to reject Christ and just call it Calvinism it leaves us with a STRANGE picture.

    Why would God in His Sovereignty CHOSE men to go to heaven, but give men the freedom to reject Christ. It’s like a giant conundrum. Why does not God in His Sovereignty give men the FREEDOM to CHOOSE or REJECT Christ? Like duh lol.

    It almost seems like to me that Calvinists don’t actually know what they really believe. You see, if you are handpicked by God to be saved, then you don’t need to repent – what’s the point? You are Chosen! All you need to do is live a life conducive to looking Christian-like and you are a-ok.

    We are PREDESTINED that is for sure, not because God CHOSE us to go a specific route come hell or high water, but because HE KNOWS our futures – He knows what each of our lives are going to turn out like, He knows each and every single little babies heart that is born and He knows who will ACCEPT His Son and who will NOT accept His Son.

    Anyhow sylesa, let this not drive a wedge between us. I like you and your doggie. You will see over time that I am all for truth, if I make mistakes I rectify them and apologise. My biggest mission at the moment is to not point articles to specific pastors articles/sermons – I would rather re-write them because saves me having to apologise to people when the pastor has jumped ship over to the dark side.

    For instance, what does John MacArthur have to say about John Piper… that I still need to research.

  • sylesa

    hello deborah, i just read your post AFTER i posted my long post. Of course our different perspective on John Macarthur will not be any wedge between yourself and i, I know that you are sincere and i believe in what you are doing and i whole heartedly believe that this is SO needed in the body of Christ. There are so many false teachers out there and so much lunacy from the charismatic movement and it is becoming more and more cultic and experience driven and less and less doctrinal! you are doing a good thing! i am all for it even tho we don’t agree on JM! please listen to the sovereignty and freedom teaching, it explains it as best as can be. I don’t understand the Lord being three distanct persons in the Godhead and yet one God but i accept it tho it has not been explained to my pea brain in a way that i can say that i FULLY understand it but i accept it anyways .same with election and free will, they BOTH are true because the bible , i believe teaches it and i accept it tho how it comes together i can’t fully grasp and in that case i will have to wait until heaven! You are doing a much needed ministry deborah and i am glad! thank you! I am not knowlegable about john piper. i am not sure what Jm thinks of him either. I do know that he at some point was with Rick warren? not sure. and i KNOW that JM does NOT endorse Rick Warren! I have to search it out! my chow chow boy duncan is my baby! i love him like one of my kids!lol! i tell my son that he is his brother, lol! anyways, i want you to know that i am so thankful for what you are doing! you are after my own heart! we are sisters!

  • sylesa

    burning lamp, thank you for taking the time to comment and for your comment. This teaching explains that BOTH election and free will are true. i believe that jm is a tremendous bible teacher. as for Lordship salvation, and easy believism,it is speaking of the same thing. We don’t do right to be saved but rather we submit to jesus as Lord to do right BECAUSE we do trust Him and are saved, faith without works is dead.It is all in the motivation of the heart, if i do what i do to earn favor with God , then i am in error , but if i do what i do because i trust the God who said to do it , then this is a work done BECAUSE I BELIEVE GOD and NOT to earn favor with God. There is a world of differance in the motivation of the heart. One is truth , the other is of the law is is error. For instance, if i am at the store and i am short on money and the clerk makes a mistake and under charges me , i have a dilemna. IF i really believe that God loves me , has freely saved me by his grace and that He will take care of me {not sinless perfection, but rather the DIRECTION of my life and what i do) then i will because i want to , because i love and trust the LOrd who showed me grace, i am going to tell the clerk that she made a mistake and pay the proper money even tho it may hurt me financially, because ultimately it is God who takes care of me. this is a work of righteousness BECAUSE i believe God NOT to earn favor with Him, i already have His favor because of what Jesus did for me. But say , on the other hand i decide NOT to tell the clerk? i need to ask myself why? At the bottom of all sin is unbelief and pride,and if this is the PATTERN of my life then i have to examine myself to see if i am really in the faith because apart from my works how can i know? faith without works is dead the scripture says. It says show me your faith apart from your works and i by my works will show you my faith. Do you see it? Jesus said “why do you call me Lord and do not do what i say?” If HE is Lord in our life , i believe that it will reflect in our actions. Otherwise , the demons believe and tremble, but what good is that demonic faith that does not submit to the Lordship of the LORD jesus Christ? And why believe in your heart and confess with you mouth that jesus is Lord if you don’t submit to Him as Lord? Goes back to “why do you call me Lord And don’t do as i say” , not to mention many , many scriptures that show and teach that there is a differance in the life of a true Christian and the belief of demons that does not submit to the Lord. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness but he ALSO obeyed and that showed that his faith was genuine and not simply mental ascent. I do believe in “Lordship salvation” but i view it simply as if i trust God , i will obey. Again, the motivation is not to earn favor , but because i believe and not sinless perfection in my life but the direction. The scriptures bear out these truths. That is why Jm comes against easy believism, because people are decieved into thinking they have faith when in fact they may not have a faith ant different from that of demons who at least are able to tremble! ai so greatly appreciate your response to my previous post even tho we don’t see eye to eye. thank you.

  • Burning Lamp

    Sylesa, did you really read what Lordship Salvation teaches? I think not. It is a FALSE message of salvation.

    You are wrong – I showed you that JMA is Calvinist. Calvinism denies free will – plain and simple. Any attempt to marry the two is FALSE.

    Are you familiar with TULIP? If not, you should be. Yes, JMA does take a softer approach and does not come across as dogmatic as his Reformed brethren. But if you look carefully at how he expresses his beliefs it is fuzzy and can satisfy both sides of the issue. He is much more dangerous than an out-and-out Calvinist who lays his/her beliefs on the table. You can’t mix truth and error and come out with sound doctrine.

    You really need to do your research on this. It IS VERY important – it goes to the very HEART of the Gospel!! For instance, the L in TULIP stands for Limited Atonement. That means that Christ did NOT die for everyone, just for those He CHOSE to save. In other words, only those whom God CHOSE can go to heaven. Think of the implications of that. It is an INSULT to our Lord. It also means that a baby could be born and if God has not chosen that child/person for salvation, they are doomed to hell from birth. The Bible clearly states that Christ died for ALL and that mankind has a CHOICE.

    For instance, I encourage you to read this and then do more research. Be certain you are not being loyal to a MAN because he sounds good.

    One tape which presents John MacArthur’s position on the extent of the atonement is Tape GC 56-19 (Titus 2:11, “Saving Grace,” part 2, Tit. 2:11, 1993). Almost the entire message is devoted to the extent of the atonement. In this message MacArthur teaches that the death of Christ is for all men, but the non-elect benefit from Christ’s death only in a temporal sense (they are not destroyed instantly, they benefit from the rain and sun, they benefit from “common grace” etc.). However only the elect benefit from the death of Christ as far as an actual payment for their sins.

    I don’t mean to be argumentative, but there is a very important issue at stake here – the truth of the Gospel, the bedrock of the Christian faith.

  • Burning Lamp

    Sylesa, not to harp on this, but I am very concerned that you don’t realize what JMA teaches.

    Here is his own words about Limited Atonement.

    MacArthur’s Denial That Christ Died for all Mankind in His Public Tapes

    In 1995 John MacArthur gave a message on 2 Corinthians 5:14 (Tape GC 47-36). In this message MacArthur made it very clear that Christ died as a Substitute only for those who believe in Him. The following is transcribed directly from this tape. These are MacArthur’s words:

    The atonement has its unlimited aspects. You see benefiting from the atonement in unlimited ways the human race through temporal deliverance (emphasis mine). He’s the Saviour of all men in a temporal sense (emphasis mine), that is, He doesn’t destroy them all immediately upon their sin. You see providence, God’s care, in a very general sense. He (God) lets the rain fall on the just and the unjust, divine goodness. And then you see gospel invitations given to every man and every man held culpable for the rejection of that invitation to be punished eternally because he will not believe. All those indicate to us that there is an unlimited aspect of Christ’s work on the cross, but when you talk of “Substitution” you now are talking about the limited aspect of it. (Tape GC 47-36)

    The atonement can only be a real substitution for those who died in Christ (believers). In the substitutionary sense He died only for those who died in Him (those who put faith in Jesus). He is the Substitute only for those who believe (emphasis mine), otherwise you have a major problem because you have Christ dying as a Substitute for the whole world. That means He was bearing the sins of the whole world in a substitutionary sense. If in fact He was carrying Himself to the cross as a Substitute for the sins of every person who ever lived, He would therefore have done away with the wrath of God and procured for them eternal life and we would all be universalists (Tape GC 47-36).

    He did not die as a Substitute, taking away the sin of people who don’t believe in Him or He would have procured a salvation for them and everybody would be saved. In the substitutionary sense He bore only the sins of those who ultimately would put their faith in Him (emphasis mine) because they were His (Tape GC 47-36).

    Thre are even MORE examples at this website: This person is not attacking JMA, he is defending the truth of God’s Word as it pertains to the precious and holy sacrifice of our Lord Jesus and the salvation message.

    Please understand I mean this in love and I used to respect JMA’s teachings but as I came to understand Calvinism/Reformed Theology and as he aligned himself with those who followed that, I began to examine his teachings. I know people who followed him and were sucked into the wrong doctrine or became very confused about it. One was a very dear friend who got all messed up in his theology becauae of following JMA’s teachings.

  • sylesa John Macarthur is AGAINST gnosticism, he is NOT gnostic.He has ALWAYS belieeved that the written Word of God is the way that God speaks to us and that thru the WRITTEN Word of God , we are given ALL things that we need for life and godliness. NO SECRET KNOWLEDGE! He is AGAINST all that craziness of the charasmatic movement which everyone is claiming extrabiblical revelation and knowledge. I can’t atand to see him misrepresented on this site by people who THINK they know what he teaches BUT DO NOT! As for babies, JM believes that tho they are born in depravity as we all are, he believes that ALL babies and children go to heaven.He states it plainly in his teachings on this topic, do a search on his website or if you want the link i will get it for you.The reason he believes is because they have not chosen to reject Christ even tho they are born in sin. Two paralell truths people. Soveriegnty AND freedom.I defend him because he is a tremendous and fearless bible expositor in a dark time of the church when many “preachers of the Word” are not teaching the Word at all but are after your money or their own agrandizement.Or teaching damnable heresies such as many that have been exposed on this site. It’s just a shame that because people don’t understand election and freedom that they will reject the tremendous wealth of bible knowledge that he exposits to edify and build up the body of Christ in a day when he is one of the few who actually do preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified as the scriptures say. I have read the blogs and because i am so familiar with his teachings , i can see the error and misunderstanding of you guys about what the man teaches and believes. Oh well, have it how it suits all of you, it is your own loss. If you think you know , then you can’t be shown any differant so i am lettin it alone after this post.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    JMA says he does not believe in Gnosticism etc, etc, etc. But that does not negate the FACT that Total Depravity and Unconditional Election are based on Gnostic Teachings.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    I agree totally that JMA is AGAINST Gnosticism. Doesn’t nullify the fact that Total Depravity and Unconditional Election are based on Gnostic Teachings.

    1) So you were Chosen by God to choose His Son Jesus Christ as your Saviour…you then went and subsequently chose Jesus Christ as your Saviour and became a child of God, you can’t lose your salvation because you are ELECT, CHOSEN.

    2) God gave me the freedom to chose Jesus Christ as my Saviour… I am born again, a child of God. I am NOT CHOSEN or ELECT.

    According to Calvinism and JMA’s church, those who don’t believe in PREDESTINATION are REPROBATES/SINNERS. So because I do not believe I am chosen (just saved), I am actually a reprobate. What do you think I am?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    I read the article very carefully and it’s written very smartly and those verses have been taken out of context.

    Tell me sylesa…

    If person X is CHOSEN then he never gets the opportunity to express his FREEWILL to reject Christ
    If person X is NOT chosen then he WILL get the OPPORTUNITY to express his FREEWILL to REJECT CHRIST.

    So there is NO FREE WILL in Calvinism sylesa. You are either CHOSEN and going to heaven or NOT chosen and going to hell.

    So you can be driving down the road and look and people and think to yourself – gee, those people there are divinely chosen to go to hell – they at least get the FREE WILL option to reject Christ. How nice!



    God planned the outcome of the world and gave mankind FREEWILL.
    God can and WILL use evil men as His servants as states numerous times in scripture.
    God NEVER looses the plot of the world to mankind.
    God is ALWAYS in CONTROL

    God knows the HEART OF EVERY SINGLE PERSON before they were born. He knows who is going to accept and who is going to reject His SON!

    You are not chosen sylesa, but you are SAVED because you chose Jesus Christ as your Saviour (not your own works), you are regenerated from Heaven above! God knew your heart before your were born!

  • Burning Lamp

    Sylesa, please understand, we are not attacking JMA, but rather exposing false
    teaching no matter whose toes are stepped upon. What is important is the truth
    of God’s Word and defending His Gospel. I am sure you would agree with that,

    We can’t chew the meat and spit out the bones – or drink milk that is tainted with

    We are to examine teachings in the light of God’s Word. Have you studied TULIP
    and what it means? Do you understand the implications of Limited Atonement which
    is only one of the false teachings in TULIP.

    I have included sources of documentation that JMA subscribes to TULIP despite the
    fact that he downplays it and is dispensational.

    If you choose to ignore these warnings, that is certainly your choice. But we will have
    done our duty to the LORD to honor His truth and not that of man. I understand that
    this is a lot of absorb and it is disappointing. But I pray God opens your eyes and you
    come to see what is being said here and why it is being said. We judge no person, that
    is only for God to do. But the Bible INSTRUCTS us to test the spirits and to examine
    teachings to see if they line up with God’s Word. That is all we are trying to do here.
    May the Lord grant you wisdom and discernment in all things. Please understand we
    love you and we love the Lord and His truth above all.

  • sylesa

    Deborah and Burning Lamp, thank you for your input, i very much respect your opinions and the spirit in which you are giving them.I am not sure where to begin, trying to answer to both at once. I guess i will go with the Lordship salvation thing first. All that JM is saying in a nutshell is this “Faith Without Works Is Dead”. He is simply making the point that IF a person has been born from above and the heart has been changed by God, there will be evidence of this in the life of the individual. I wholeheartedly agree with this. “Everyone who has this hope in him , purifies himself even as he is pure” 1st john3:3, the scriptures also say that (1st john 2:3-4)that we may know that we know Him if we keep his commandments, and that if we say we know Him but don’t keep his commandments we are a liar ect. ect. Read the entire booj of 1st john. Jesus himself said that “not everyone who says to me lord, lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of him who sent me.And , how about the rich young ruler who went away sad because our Lord knew that money was his idol and he was not willing to forsake all to follow. I literally could go on and on.Now here is the issue. Am i seeking to do right and obey so that i can be right with God and go to heaven? Or am i surrendering to what i know to be Gods will as expressed in His word BECAUSE I have put my trust in him? John Macarthur teaches the latter. For instance, if you were drowning , and somebody pulled you out, would you feel obligated to that person out of duty or would you want to do right by them? I know that that is a simplistic answer but i am still having my morning coffee and my brain isn’t working better than that, lol! JM teaches that he himself has sin in his life, that he struggles with sin(i have the tape , i can send the link if you want it) and that it is a constant struggle in the life of every believer . He teaches that is is not the perfection of the life but the direction of a heart that has been changed and now wants to do Gods will , where previosly Gods will did not matter to them. All he is saying in a whole lot of verbage is that faith without works is dead. he is not preaching a works salvation. He preaches against a works salvation.THe heart motivation is what is important.How in the world do we eliminate or otherwise exegete the scriptures that i have pointed out here as well as MANY more all pointing to the fact that if we have been caved , we are walking in newness of life? NOT to BE saved, but BECAUSE we are saved.Anotheer for instance, the scriptures say that if we don’t forgive our brother, neither will we be forgiven. At first glance it appears that we must do the “work” of forgiving others in order that we get forgiven by God, when in fact our {continued} unforgiveness of others really reflects that we ourselves have not yet experienced the forgiveness of God, otherwise our hearts would be changed and we would forgive because of faith working thru love. Not to say that we don’t all struggle with the sin of unforgiveness or any other sin , but it will not be our hearts desire to stay in that sin. And why not? not to be saved, but because God has opened our eyes to see sin and given us a heart that seeks to follow Him. Jm comes across strong, but this is the essence of his teaching on Lordship salvation. It is basically that saying a prayer and walking an aisle does not save you. It is a work of God in your heart whereby He brings you to faith and repentance by His grace because of the shed Blood of Christ and saves you, and when and if that happened , eventually, it will show up in a changed life.I know for sure that this is what he believes because i have listened to many many of his teachings. Do you disagree that ones life look differant after salvation? Eventually? Or are you thinking that JM teaches that you DO right TO BE saved? He does not teach that , i assure you. If he did , i would reject him also. This is a long post , so i will submit it , then answer deborahs, lol, sorry that i am so long winded! thank you again for your input. please respond and let me know how you feel about a persons life changing after salvation. Are you from America?

  • sylesa

    hello deborah , not sure what time it is in S Africa, lol! thats why it seemed that i was up early , the time differance. Anyways, this is what i believe. I believe that God IS soveriegn , That He is ALL knowing , That He knows the beginning from the end and i personally believe that Jesus died for the whole world(I differ with JM on that fine point). I believe that the call goes out to the whole world that God has come in the flesh thru the man Jesus Christ and that there is salvation in no other name.I believe as you do that God in FORKNOWLEDGE knows who will accept him and who will not. I als believe that we cannot seek God apart from the grace of God who prompts us to seek Him(there is none that does good , none that seeks after God). Jesus said that No one CAN come to me except it were given him of the Father, and He said this when He knew the thoughts of the unbelieving, i’m sure that you are aware of the scripture. I believe that that call goes out to ALL and that God in Forknowledgw knows who will accept and who will reject and yet i still believe that none of us would have ever called on Him unless we were enabled to do so by the power of Gods grace.We have our responsibility to call and believe just as the unsaved do. They are both true.I believe the call is effectual in those whom God foreknew, and at the same time, believe thet they would not have called except God in His mercy and grace and in His forknowledge of their response called first. I believe in totally depravity, we would not seek God apart from Him first moving our hearts to do so.We are dead in our tresspasses and sin and God has to Quicken us to seek Him and to believe, that is why the word says that we have “RECIEVED” like precious faith. I differ only slightly with Jm.on this finer point. He does believe and preach WHOSOEVER will may come as the scriptures teach.This is what i know, as long as Jm preachees that WHOSOEVER will may come(AND HE DOES) and preaches Christ crucified for our sins(AND HE DOES) the call is put out for all. God knows who will accept and who will not. And as for babies, he has a teaching on that on his site, he believes that babies and children go to heaven. Some of the posts that i have read brought that into questio SURMISING what JM MUST believe (that innocent babies, not “chosen” go to hell) when in fact he DOES NOT believe this. ON his site in the search box type in babies and it will bring up the teaching.Also, JM DOES NOT hold the view that if you don’t believe in election that you are reprobate! where in the world did that some from? HE calls the arminians his brethern in the faith. Such differences do not make a person reprobate and if i ever heard him say such a thing i would not listen to him anymore! I think that many people are surmising that because he believes in election that he must believe a certain way about many other things without searching out for themselves what any particular subject is and making it their business to find out what he DOES believe on whatever topic they may be wondering about. It is easier to villify him and call into question all his beliefs based on election! To me , here’s what i know, Jesus said that He would cast NONE out and Jesus also said that no one CAN come unless it is given him of the Father . These are both true and i don’t need to figure it out. All i know is that i have repented and called on Him and He has not cast me out because He can’t lie, and that settles it for me. Also , he says to preach the word to All and so that is needful to be done as well. The outcome is in His sovereign hands. I am at peace with this doctrine. I believe the scripture bears this out , NOT any gnostic teachings, of which there is never a man that stands for basing ALL that we believe on the WRITTEN WORD. I am sure , that as a human being , JM has on occasion altered his point of view as he further studied the scriptures between the ages of sy 25 and 65, that would be expected, we GROW in our knowledge and understanding. I have a witness in myself that he preaches the Word, i know the Word and would know if he was deviating from it, and again as i stated in another post, NOBODY is infallable , only God.There are true men of God with sincere hearts such as Appolos in the book of Acts whom Priscilla and Aquilla(?) toook aside and explained the Word more fully to him who by the way was said to be “mighty in the scriptures” and then there are false teachers, flat out liars such as Eric if i may say so , decievers and decieved. Jm does not fit in that category. You can’t possibly listen to his exposition of the Word of God and attribute to him any sinister motive! I relly don’t know what else to say in his defense.I feel that he has SO MUCH truth of the Word of God to edify the body of Christ , in a dark world of false teachers that i was stunned to see his name on the blog, i nearly sucked all the air out of the room!lol!By the way , as a side note off the topic at hand, (i may have to reread the post if i didn’t respond to something and post again), do you know that THE Billy Graham does not hold to the truth that Jesus is the only way? I was Shocked!! And i might add, it caused me much disillusionment. Wow! gotta go, be back

  • Burning Lamp

    Sylesa, did you read the info I sent on LS? I totally agree that there should be fruit in
    the life of a true Christian. However, saying that, I know from personal experience that
    not everyone has the opportunity to grow as a believer and be discipled. That fruit may
    not be manifested until a later time. Yes, the heart’s desires are changed and that should
    be evident. However, the evidence of fruit will vary from believer to believer.

    The problem I have with LS is that this doctrine teaches that a person to be saved must
    acknowledge Jesus as LORD of their life FROM THE MOMENT OF CONVERSION. He confuses conversion (justification) with sanctification.
    This is subtle, so you really need to focus on this. But it is CRITICAL.

    Lordship Salvation is a lie. A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; and not a part of the ROOT of saving faith.

    Sylesa, I exhort you to please READ and examine this issue.

    Dr. MacArthur’s position on Lordship Salvation has been made very clear in his published book, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS. He has also made statements in some of his other published writings and tapes that relate to this subject, some of which are quoted below:
    “The Greek word translated ‘belief’ is not referring merely to intellectual attainment or mental acquiescence but a wholehearted acceptance of everything that is implied in the claims of Christ. You need to believe that Jesus is God and that He died for your sins, committing your whole life to Him in sacrifice and serving Him as Lord.” (Assurance of Victory–1 John 5, Moody Press, p.12).
    “Submission to the will of God, to Christ’s lordship, and to the guiding of the Spirit is an essential, not an optional, part of saving faith” (EPHESIANS, p. 249).
    “Saving faith is a placing of oneself totally in submission to the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1-8, p. 205).
    Sylesa, please pay special attention to the following:
    Dr. MacArthur tends to confuse repentance with the fruits of repentance, and to confuse faith with that which faith ought to produce. He confuses saving faith (which takes place in a moment of time–Rom. 13:11; Eph. 1:13) with discipleship (which is a lifelong process). As Miles Stanford has said, “Lordship salvation is not the childlike faith of John 3:16. It rightly insists upon repentance but wrongly includes a change of behavior IN ORDER TO BE SAVED. No one questions that there must be a sincere change of mind, a turning from oneself to the Saviour, but Lordship advocates attempt to make behavior and fruit essential ingredients of, rather than evidence of, saving faith” (Miles Stanford, in his review of The Gospel According to Jesus).
    Notice that MacArthur’s emphasis is upon WHAT MAN DOES (turning from sin, following Christ) rather than upon WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE. His emphasis is upon MAN’S COMMITMENT, rather than upon the Person and work of Christ and the response of faith to that Person and to His work. His emphasis is upon DO, but a true gospel message should emphasize DONE (John 19:30). It is not our COMMITMENT that saves us; it is CHRIST who saves us. Following Christ is a result of salvation, not a condition of salvation. Before we FOLLOW CHRIST in discipleship we must COME TO CHRIST for salvation. Before we COME AFTER CHRIST (Luke 9:23) we must COME UNTO CHRIST (Matthew 11:28). The term “BELIEVE” does not mean “turn from sin and follow Christ.” It means “trust fully, rely upon, resting one’s whole weight upon the WORTH, WORD and WORK of Jesus Christ.” We must not re-define saving faith to make it some kind of a “work-requirement” for salvation. Justification is for the person who “worketh not, but believeth” (Rom. 4:5).
    PLEASE read more at this link from where these excerpts were taken – after you have done that, please come back and we can discuss some more:

  • Burning Lamp

    Sylesa, if would be helpful and your posts would be much easier to read if you would divide up into paragraphs. Okee Dokee?

    You obviously have not read the links provided and are a JMA fan. I feel I have presented adequate documentation of his false teaching of Lordship Salvation and his mixed messages on TULIP.

    You said:

    personally believe that Jesus died for the whole world(I differ with JM on that fine point).

    Dear sister, you consider this a FINE POINT? Puleeeeze! Just a minor little detail? Oh my!!

    It is clear that you are firm in your defense of JMA. I leave it between you and God. It is important who we decide to trust. Personally I don’t trust any living man except f(of course) my husband and my pastor whom I can eyeball and hold accountable. In this day and age there are none with public ministries with the possible exception of Roger Oakland who I would even support. And those who mix truth and error are the most dangerous.

    JMA is a friend of Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron’s Way of the Master ministry which is confrontational and has not followup – why? Because it is Calvinist in theology. I saw JMA appear with Kirk Cameron on the ministry program.

    But there is no convincing you at this point. No hard feelings – just concerns for you.

    Grace and peace to you!

  • sylesa

    Burning Lamp, thank you so much for your post. I very much appreciate the diologue even if we don’t agree.Sometimes the point and counterpoint is how i process things. I am not sure what teaching it is but i think that JM has stated that a person does not have to be willing to surrender all to Christ in order to be saved, he said that he believed that Christ works that in our heart after we are saved. I will post the link when i find it. You have given me much to think about. I don’t know if i am misunderstanding his take on Lordship salvation or you are. I really need to find that teaching and i need to search these things out.I appreciate your comments. I pray all the time that the lord would keep me from deception. I ask him to keep me from decieving my own heart and to be kept from being decieved by others. Thank you so much for all your input. We are living in dark days as far as true teachers go. I am afraid to let my gaurd down and ever slip into easy believism , however i don’t want to be in error the other direction either. I will search these things out. It is 3:10 am , i am not usually up at this hour so i think that i will thoughtfully reread the post tomorrow and search into things. God Bless. Thank you Burning Lamp

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    You need to go back and re-read what you have written :)

    You say you believe in Election and then…you said “i personally believe that Jesus died for the whole world(I differ with JM on that fine point).” – that my dear means you DON’T believe in Election.

    Tell me, who do you follow? JMA or the Holy Spirit? No really this is a very important question, because I can tell you the answer…

    You say… “do you know that THE Billy Graham does not hold to the truth that Jesus is the only way? I was Shocked!! And i might add, it caused me much disillusionment.”

    Now wait wait, before you jump to conclusions as to what you THINK I am going to say you believe…

    Sylesa as we are dialogging I can see in your comments that you are follow the Holy Spirit BUT YOU ARE CAUGHT in the TRAP of following MEN at the same time.

    You can no longer argue with me that JMA is kosher because you have stated in your own words that he does not believe that Jesus Christ died for ALL mankind. Yet, for some unknown reason you are caught in the JMA spell. Is it his smile? His suit? Or is it because you think he actually preaches the truth when we have quickly and easily discerned with the help of the Holy Spirit that he is FALSE.

    You did the same thing with Billy Graham. You thought he was preaching the truth. Did you test him? Did you take his teachings and scrutinized them to make sure he REALLY WAS what and who he said he was? If you are interested to know about Billy Graham go here:

    You stand up for JMA like your life depends on it. But you really Sylesa don’t know what you are standing up for.

    Now I am not having this discussion anymore regarding Calvinism and JMA. You have been shown the truth by the HOLY SPIRIT – follow Him, not men.

    I love you lots, that is why I am sticking to you like glue on this one.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Election is not the only thing that JMA is wrong on. He also believes that the blood of Jesus Christ is just liquid. This is written all over his new study bible. I find it ghastly that any man would even think of the blood of Jesus in this way. – It’s supposed to be a big misunderstanding, but I do not see it that way along with countless others.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Another thing, there is a big difference between the Calvinist ‘Total Depravity’ vs Biblical ‘Depravity’.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    >> And even tho you don’t agree with his view of election, you cannot deny that he preaches WHOSOEVER will may come and therefore he preaches the gospel

    *sighs* Can’t you see there is NO FREE WILL in Calvinism.

    1) If person X is PRE CHOSEN by GOD he will automatically choose Jesus Christ when he hears the gospel – this is NOT FREE WILL
    2) If person X is not PRE CHOSEN by God he will automatically reject Jesus Christ – this again is NOT FREE WILL

    No matter how you look at it Sylesa there is no free free in Calvinism – it’s a terrible doctrine and no true salvations can come from anyone who believes in this way of thinking.

    Calvinism DESTROYS the message of salvation through and through, it rips it apart, and trods on it. And I am sorry but I can’t and won’t stand for it nor it’s preachers.


    Now I see that you too believe that implying the blood of Jesus Christ to being just liquid is fine. WRONG! Under this article which you have seen already IN THE COMMENTS SECTION there is a lengthy discussion on this – please read it!


    >> I have pointed out alot of misconceptions of what he believes that have been posted on this site, i can single out the comments and send links PROVING that he does NOT believe much of what he’s accused

    There are no mis-conceptions Sylesa. You say there are, but there are not. The picture is this. You are standing up for JMA and it appears you will find anything and do anything to support him even go so far to agree that the blood of Jesus is just liquid and possibly jeopardize your own salvation because of it. John the Baptist said he was not worthy to touch Jesus’ sandals and you Sylesa have the audacity to say such things about Jesus’ blood! THOSE BIBLE VERSES do not require a case study of the chemical make up of Jesus’ blood – no it requires that those verses be explained PROPERLY in his study bible for the person reading it that needs to understand the SPIRITUAL value of Jesus’ Blood Covering!

    JMA sees the blood of Jesus Christ as being SYMBOLIC of death.

    “Blood is a SYMBOL of death, and therefore follows closely the idea of a testator’s having to die in order for a will to become effective…

    “The purpose of the blood was to SYMBOLIZE sacrifice for sin, which brought cleansing from sin. Therefore, without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. — MacArthur’s commentary on Hebrews, 1983 by Moody Press

    This is how JMA views OT sacrifices:

    In our view, he makes some misleading statements about the O. T. sacrifices. While much that he says is true, there is a deadly danger in the implications of some of his remarks. He writes the following in his Sept. 25th, 1986 letter. “Bloodshed was God’s design for all Old Testament sacrifices. They were bled to death rather than clubbed or burnt. God designed that sacrificial death was to occur with blood loss as a vivid manifestation of life. (‘the life of the flesh is in the blood’) being poured out. Nevertheless, those who were too poor to bring animals for sacrifices were allowed to bring one-tenth of an ephah (about two quarts) of fine flour instead (Lev. 5:11). Their sins were covered just as surely as the sins of those who could afford to offer a lamb, goat, turtledove, or pigeon (Lev. 5:6-7). That is because the sacrifice was entirely symbolic anyway. [Emphasis added]“

    “Symbolic anyway”? Really?

    Sylesa, you say you want to be in the truth but you REFUSE to listen to the truth. Maybe it’s difficult for you to want to hear because you admire JMA so much. It’s all I can think of right now..


    This is a comment made by a Calvinist regarding a CD John MacArthur did along with Phil Johnson. Notice that people who don’t believe in Election are REPROBATE.

    “This interview of MacArthur is so good for a number of reasons. It is what I would call a no-holds-barred, politically-incorrect, biblical look at the doctrine of election. Nothing is held back by either Phil or John, and the result is a straight-forward and truthful look at a doctrine that the unregenerate find so repulsive. [Emphasis added] —”


    You say that JMA does not hold John Calvin in high regard or any regard for that matter. Nonsense. He holds him in high regard and sees him as great man of God. A murderer! lovely. He also views Augustine (a Roman CATHOLIC) to be a great man of God as well. Shocking!

    “I don’t know anything else to do other than what Luther did and what John Calvin did and what Spurgeon did and what others have done in history. You just have to take it head on and say it the way it is. I look, and I’ve been doing some reading in the life of Calvin and Luther and other Reformers, trying to understand how it was that they had such a massive influence. When you think of those kinds of names, you think…Well, they must have been strong personalities, they must have been gifted leaders…etc., etc. As you study their lives, what you find out is they were absolutely indefatigable and relentless expositors of Scripture. And they took every single opportunity that ever came their way to exposit the Word of God before people and the Word of God is what caused things to change. As people came under the powerful, clear preaching of the depth of truth, they began consumed with the glory of God. They became discerning and they saw error for what it was and truth for what it was and they made right choices.

    Benjamin Warfield, the great Princeton theologian who had a great ministry in my life long after his death when I was a seminary student and read The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture, Warfield said of John Calvin that “No man ever had a profounder sense of God than he.” He said that in his work on Calvin and Augustine. He said, “No man ever had a profounder sense of God than John Calvin.” And where did John Calvin get that profound sense of God? Got it out of Scripture. John Calvin spent his life studying the Scripture. He spent his life as an expositor of Scripture. People assume John Calvin was kind of a theologian. Well he was a theologian but he was a theologian who had a right to be a theologian because he was an expositor. His theology was the product of his Bible exposition. Through Calvin, sound reformed theology, theology of the Reformation, took hold, found its roots and with that deep theology came the product of that theology which was high praise. –”

    JMA says he is not Ecumenical yet he holds onto Augustine’s skirt like no ones business. He can start declaring he his non-allegiance to Rome the day I see him say he no longer follows Augustine.

  • sylesa

    hello deborah, please don’t misunderstand what i was saying, I BELIEVE THAT THE LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD AND THAT WITHOUT THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD THERE IS NO REMISSION OF SIN.I BELIEVE THAT THE BLOOD OF CHRIST WAS PRECIOUS AND ABSOLUTELY NESASARY TO BE SHED FOR OUR SALVATION. I think that all that JM was saying was that it was not a magical quality in the blood, what made Christs blood more valuable than any other blood was that it was from the PERFECT LAMB OF GOD < THE SINLESS SON OF GOD< THE ONLY PERFECT SACRIFICE. Why do you think that i spoke evil?I sure didn't mean to say anything evil. I never really even gave thought to such distinctions. I was only trying to state what it was that JM was trying to say. I have not given the thought to make such distinctions as JM has done, just trying to explain what he was trying to say. As for the correctness of JM's statement or explanation to correct it later, i have not truly thought in such distinctions . I look at it that Christ was the ONLY perfect sacrifice because He was the perfect sinless Son of God and that without the shedding of blood ther is no remission of sins. And Jesus shed His blood for us. I never thought in any distinction. As for Augustine and Calvin, were not both of them converted later in life to CHRISTIANITY? I don't know much about either of them, will have to look into their lives. But still, just because JM quotes some of ther writings and admires some things about them , assuming it is After their conversion, how does that reflect on him ? Short of Jm advocating any evil that they may have done. I could quote somebody that i had nothing in common with because i mite agree with something that they said. Even right now, i quote JM but do NOT believe in limited atonement.Neither do I personally give thought to making distinctions (the human aspect of His physical blood and all the chemical components of it vs. the fact of it coming from the Sinless Son of God. In my view, HE IS GOD IN THE FLESH WHO SHED HIS BLOOD FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD. thats ALL i know for sure! As to any eternal judgement of what JM said or meant, that's up to God.I don't think that Jm meant to denograte the blood of the New Covenant thru Christ because in his teachings he is always preaching Christ and His blood shed for our sins and His PERFECT sacrifice. This is a fact, I could post hundreds of links on this blog proving that that is a common topic of Jm. That is why i find it hard to believe(even tho i myself don't make such distinctions) that JM meant anything blasphemous against the blood of Christ. I truly don't think he meant to denigrate the blood of Christ. If JM did, then God knows. I can only go by how i see the emphasis JM places on the blood of Christ in his teachings, PLAINLY stating that without it we would have no right standing before God. Are you saying that if a person comes to Christ and does not think in thes distinctives that they are lost due to not making these distinctives in their understanding? Or even in their thinking to begin with for that matter!? I highly doubt that most people who hear the gospel sit around pondering this and a thousand other things that unless it was put out there it would not be natural to their thought process. Great knowledge into every hair splitting distinctive is not necasary i don't think , at least not in a great many cases. The simple truth is this and it is non-negotiable and that is "we are sinners and unable to be or do anything to save ourselves and Jesus is the sinless perfect sacrifice for our sins, the Lamb of God , He fulfilled all the types and shadows of the old covenant. He was both God and man. Only thru Him can any of us have acess to God.Only the sinless son of Gods shed blood could be the payment for the sins of the world. I know this no matter what JM or an angel from heaven had to say. thank you for your post. I will and do check things out. do NOT think that i am discounting what you or Burning Lamp has to say.

  • sylesa

    Burning Lamp, John Macarthur is doing a Lordship salvation series right now on Grace To You. I am going to listen to him very carefully. You have raised some questions in my mind and i want to make sure that i am not misunderstanding JM/or in error in my own thinking. You made a point of subtelty of fruit vs. root and JM at times does seem to have those confused and at other times he doesn’t. I want to let you know that i appreciate your post and AM currently since then, looking into the distinctives of his teachings on this topic. What a coincidence that he is starting a new series on this exact topic. Thank you again Burning Lamp.

  • Jeff - child of the Sovereign God

    Dear Deborah and Burning Lamp,
    Please answer the following questions:
    1 – Is God Sovereign?
    2 – If so…How Sovereign is He?
    3 – Who made you, et al?>
    4 – What does the Bible say is the beginning of wisdom?
    5 – Is Christ our gift, or are we Christ’s gift from the Father?
    6 – Why was the acronym TULIP even developed (historically)?
    7 – How many times is “free will” used in scripture to describe the work of salvation?
    8 – How many passages in scripture speak of being “chosen”, “called”, “elected” as a part of the process of salvation?
    9 – What, in light of your insistence that we choose God (as opposed to the reverse), do you do with John 6, when Christ says to the 12 after His teachings have caused many of His “disciples” to reject Him, “And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that NO ONE can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father”?

    You speak with such pride and arrogance (as one who cannot save yourself), that YOU chose the Creator…you are so convinced b/c to believe otherwise will mean that you are completely at the mercy of our Sovereign God, that you have no control, that the very beat of your heart is dependent on Him. If you truly believe in a Sovereign God, I think you might change your tone about “reformed theology”.

    No disrespect intended, but your god is very small, if he is not completely sovereign.

    Grace and peace to you.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    1 – Is God Sovereign? YES
    2 – If so…How Sovereign is He? Sovereign enough to give mankind FREE WILL :)
    3 – Who made you, et al? God
    4 – What does the Bible say is the beginning of wisdom? Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” Your point is?? Dude, thanks for the attempted insult, but I am a Holy Spirit filled Christian who understands the bible and has a very special relationship with my Lord and Saviour and King of Kings Jesus Christ.
    5 – Is Christ our gift, or are we Christ’s gift from the Father? God gave his Son as a SACRIFICE to the world. But what are you trying to say, that you are special? How dare you even attempt to place yourself on a pedestal.
    6 – Why was the acronym TULIP even developed (historically)? It was created by people who don’t understand that the Holy Spirit is the one that guides all CHRISTIANS into ALL TRUTH. So they created this false doctrine to confuse people and take them away from learning from the Holy Spirit.
    7 – How many times is “free will” used in scripture to describe the work of salvation? Many times, it’s ALL over the bible, people making choices and Jesus telling people to make a choice.
    8 – How many passages in scripture speak of being “chosen”, “called”, “elected” as a part of the process of salvation? Many, but it has to be read in CONTEXT – Once you are saved you are CHOSEN, ELECT, not before!
    9 – What, in light of your insistence that we choose God (as opposed to the reverse), do you do with John 6, when Christ says to the 12 after His teachings have caused many of His “disciples” to reject Him, “And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that NO ONE can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father”? Look up the word “draw” here in verse 44 in the original language, you might find it shocking–it means literally to drag.

    Joh 6:43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
    Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    Joh 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

    Isn’t it just kosher for the Calvinists to hone in onto their own pet verses to substantiate their views while they conveniently disregard other verses from Scripture? The above Scripture simply means that there is none other than the Father who can draw sinners to Christ because there is no other way than through HIS cross that He CAN do it. And that is precisely why Jesus said:

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

    Are the “all men” in this verse only the elect? Does “all” mean that every single person will be saved? No. It simply means that no man will ever be able to circumvent His cross. However, to some it is the power and wisdom of God unto eternal bliss in heaven and to others it is mere foolishness unto eternal damnation in hell. Are the latter the reprobate who had been elected unto eternal damnation before the foundation of the earth? No! certainly not; they will be cast into hell because they willfully reject the cross as God’s power and wisdom.

    You speak with such pride and arrogance (as one who cannot save yourself), that YOU chose the Creator…you are so convinced b/c to believe otherwise will mean that you are completely at the mercy of our Sovereign God, that you have no control, that the very beat of your heart is dependent on Him. If you truly believe in a Sovereign God, I think you might change your tone about “reformed theology”. I am a BORN AGAIN Christian, saved by JESUS CHRIST, who DIED FOR ME on the CROSS, WASHED by HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD. Are you silly enough to be so narrow minded to think that God is NOT Sovereign enough to give mankind FREE WILL? Satan had FREE WILL, he chose to do what he did. Judas Iscariot CHOSE to take that piece of bread dipped in wine from Jesus and only AFTER he took the bread did Satan enter him, not before! I suggest you throw away all your Calvanist indoctrination papers, pick up your bible and pray for the Holy Spirit to give you guidance ALONE without the help of anyone else? Can you do that?

    No disrespect intended, but your god is very small, if he is not completely sovereign. Of course you disrespect me, you did it in the sentense above. Gosh I can’t stand it when people insult you and then tell you they don’t mean it. How about this one Jeff – my God is MORE SOVEREIGN than yours, mine has the ability to give mankind FREE WILL. And I mean it :)

    Grace and peace to you. Whatever

  • sylesa

    why have you not approved my comments yet that i posted yesterday?i see new material , but i made a very valid response to burning lamp and you have not posted it:)

    Thank you Jeff:)

  • sylesa

    Deborah, the Word has already been translated for us. We have the Word in our language now , and sinse language is meant to be understood , and it surely is understood in the passage that Jeff has brought to your attention. You have actually helped make Jeff and my point:)

  • Burning Lamp

    Jeff, since you addressed this to me as well as Debs, I concur with all of her answers to your questions.

    The only thing that I might add is the TULIP was designed by Satan himself to undermine the Gospel of Christ. It is devious, diabolical and one of the greatest deceptions because it mixes truth with error. It is a stronghold that has captured the hearts and minds of many – not questioning anyone’s salvation, but it is a huge hindrance to the Great Commission given by our Lord. He said to go out into ALL the world, which indicates the broadness of His command. Yes, the road is narrow, but the invitation is to ALL.

    God did not create hell for those he did not choose, he created it for Satan and his angels who by their free will rebelled against Him and CHOSE their destiny.

    If God had not given man FREE WILL, Adam and Eve would not have sinned and there would not have been a need for the Law and Christ’s atonement to fulfill it.

    My heart goes out to all who are held captive by this unbiblical doctrine – and sadly it inevitably breeds pride which makes it hard to overcome. I pray you will humble yourself and fall on your knees before God and stop idolizing TULIP and Calvinist/Reformed beliefs because that is exactly what it is.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    >> why have you not approved my comments yet that i posted yesterday?

    I have posted ALL your comments and I just checked the SPAM section for any comments from you and there is nothing, so not sure what comments you are speaking about.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    >> Deborah, the Word has already been translated for us. We have the Word in our language now , and sinse language is meant to be understood , and it surely is understood in the passage that Jeff has brought to your attention. You have actually helped make Jeff and my point:)

    What on earth are you speaking about?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    >> The only thing that I might add is the TULIP was designed by Satan himself to undermine the Gospel of Christ.

    Huh! Spot on. My mom told me to add something similar and I said, “no, I am sure BL will do that…” and what do you know… you did!! LOL

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    If you agree with Jeff in any way after he made the comments that “my god is small…” then you are saying that your god and my God are two different beings. Up until now I have NEVER made any reference to you being unsaved or following another god. Sylesa, I was giving you enough rope to hang yourself and you have now shown your true colours.

  • marusa

    I want to comment on the video of Paul Washer… although I have not watched it entirely, because I just cannot listen to this perverted message.
    Already in the beginning of the video there is a lie… When Washer cites Gen 6:5 … he just conveniently withholds the info that there WAS somebody who was righteous in Gods eyes… Noah namely: Gen 6:9; 7:1 (I guess they have a convenient explanation for Noah too)

    Paul Washer preaches Calvinism and not the gospel in this clip. Every Bible verse he gives is selected to the purpose to prove his idol – Calvinism.

    There are young people in his audience, who, having turned to Christ for salvation, are now being encouraged to bow down before the calvinistic Moloch, who has eaten up Christ, his mercy, his grace and love …and perverted the message of the gospel, to feed the empty vanity of the calvinistic “Grand Sovereign”!!

    Somehow my stomach gets upset when I listen to this… :((((
    I hope the young man/reporter, mentioned at the beginning of the clip, was not persuaded by Washers false presentation.

    Sometimes I think that the calvinists preach about themselves when they speak of total depravity – it seems even the grace of God is not sufficient enough for them because they are soooo eeeeviiil they don’t want it! So they march in the same crowd with Hitler (a catholic, great admirer of the pope) and – yes, Calvin, who tortured and murdered dozens of people AFTER he got saved!

    Sorry, just a little sarcasm on their behalf… they obviously do not know what they are doing/preaching!

  • marusa

    Some sarcastic additions to my previous post:

    Washer is commiting idolatry when he, with a trembling voice, preaches a Christ, who has died only for the sake of randomly selected, totaly deprived people! (the elect)!

    Yes, totaly deprived they seem to be! Calvin ahead of them!

    No amount of grace, no amount of Bible exegesis, etc.., was enough for him to stop him from killing people, even children and youth!

  • Burning Lamp

    Marusa, you are so right. Washer appeals to those who are weary of weak-kneed preaching, and it tends to cloud their judgment as to what Washer really stands for.

    And you brought out a salient point I have not heard before. That Calvinism is an idol – it is based in an elitist pride that God hates. Granted those who trumpet the T.U.L.I.P probably do so in ignorance, but the result is the same. Most wil defend it as if it the alpha and omega of biblical truth when it is a lie from the pit of hell.

  • marusa

    Burning Lamp

    sometimes I get carried away… Had some expirience with pride, how it ruins everything. I think that pride, judgementality and arrogance are often not recognized as sin with many christians. May have been a problem with Calvin too.
    Not that I am perfect, but the selfrighteusness of Calvin probably completely clouded his eyes. It can be dangerous if you try to be too much of a good guy by you own power and understanding

    Yes, TULIP is a lie and appeals to selfish desires (power, prestige, favor). And even worse – it can feed sadistic impulses. It is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • hanelie

    I seem to keep messing up when I try to post here. The above should read:

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    Romans 9 HAS TO UNDER NO UNCERTAIN TERMS be read in context with the entire bible. Again, God’s FOREKNOWLEDGE is the key to the answer here. God knew before they were born the course each child would take. Thereby He could love Jacob and hate Esau – not because He chose the one to be good and the other evil, but because He knew what they were going to turn out like before they were born. God knows ‘the end from the beginning’ Isaiah 46:10 (Amplified Bible) 10Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure and purpose.”

    I fully agree with the above and, even though I grew up in a Reformed Church, this is how I have always understood it. In fact, this is EXACTLY how it is taught by many Reformed preachers. I am saved by God’s grace alone, but only upon my repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Saviour. Thus, your comments – such as Burning Lamp’s below are really sad and disappointing:

    Debs, there seems to be a common thread running through those of Reformed/Calvinist belief. They seem to be intellectually inclined and unable to grasp the simple truths of the Bible and accept them for what they are … Not every Calvinist is this puffed up, but they are staunch as a wet rag in an Artic breeze – minds set in concrete. They are false teachers just as much as any of the others but so under the radar.

    I urge you – for the sake of your important work – to test words such as the above against the Word of God.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    You are either a Calvanist or you are not? Are you a Calvanist who believes in these things or are you a Christian? :)

  • hanelie

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    You are either a Calvanist or you are not? Are you a Calvanist who believes in these things or are you a Christian? :)

    That is easy. I am a Chrsitian. That’s all I have ever called myself. More correctly even, I am a follower (disciple) of Jesus Christ.

    I believe God grants EVERYONE the opportunity to be saved. If some were preselected and we had no control over that, why send Christ?

    However, by being in a Reformed Church, I am labelled as a Calvenist. All I am saying is: not all people in Reformed churches (of Reformed belief) are Calvenists.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    >> However, by being in a Reformed Church, I am labelled as a Calvenist. All I am saying is: not all people in Reformed churches (of Reformed belief) are Calvenists.

    I have never ever said that all people who sit inside a reformed church are Calvinist. In fact I have stated more than once on this blog that I do not know the hearts of people and I can’t tell what they really believe UNTIL they express it in words. But most people who go to reformed churches DO BELIEVE they are chosen and this is mostly why that comment was said that way – because they will argue with you until their death bed that their doctrine is true. And if you are not Reformed you should not be so upset but that comment because what is a label anyhow? Nothing! I am told I am Arminian LOL because I am not a Calvinist. Never heard of Arminianism until a Calvinist came along and told me. What a joke. Another example, just as there are people who sit inside Rhema church today who are saved but have yet to find out the full truth as to what they are really following – they know something is not right and they are listening to the Holy Spirits warnings and will soon learn and then LEAVE the church because they won;t be able to tolerate what they hear and see going on there anymore.

  • Burning Lamp

    Hanelie, If you truly believe as you say you do, you are not in agreement with the church you are attending. So why are you there? Calvinism is unbiblical and guts the Gospel of Christ. The Bible says light has no fellowship with darkness. Birds of a feather flock together. If you are not of this flock, then why don’t you fly away?

  • hanelie

    Burning Lamp wrote:

    Hanelie, If you truly believe as you say you do

    Are you implying that I do not believe what I say I believe, and – if so – what grounds?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Why don’t you be open and honest as to what you really want on this website because so far you have been nothing but mean, and BL has asked a PERFECTLY good question. If you are not a Calvanist why hang around in the lions den.

    It’s like saying for example, “I am a 7th Day Adventist, but I don’t believe in their prophetess, I just like drinking their tea and going to their church meetings because they speak mostly the truth – when people come there they don’t actually get saved at all because they make vowes to their prophetess. So the same applies to Calvanist churches, people don’t get properly saved because they don’t need Jesus as they are saved before they are born, not afterward after hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

    So, why would anyone who knows the truth (like you do) go to a church that trashes the message of salvation Hanelie? The most important part of the gospel.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    YAY you are back!

  • hanelie


    Those are good points. BL is right in that I do not agree with a lot of the things in the church I am in, including the “Dordtse Geloofstellings”. Strangely, they have not been my biggest concern because I don’t find them actively taught. But, you did open my eyes to the fact that – though not openly taught – they probably infuse action in bigger ways than I had given them credit for. I cry over the adherence to tradition, without questioning its roots, the spirit of religion (not faith), infant baptism and many other things. I will add this to my list.

    I am in this church, because this is where God has called me to work. It is not where I had wanted to be. I do not go there to grow – that I trust Christ and the Holy Spirit for, and yet I have grown as a result of some of the preaching there. I have often questioned some of it too. I fellowship in many places, so that is not why I go there either – yet I have had great fellowship there too. I cannot work there if I am angry and hateful. Maybe that is why God is walking this road of love with me. I have been called to love the ones that have been misled, to lead them back though love (that is how He lead me back).

    So, I tend to overreact when I hear people speaking unkindly of them. That is no excuse though. If I want to see Christians acting towards one another in greater love it has to start with me. My little time here has been a great lesson that respect.

  • Chris De Wet

    What is THE CHURCH?

    One cannot add yourself to THE CHURCH (Acts2:47).

    This is why The Church is the Bride of Christ and cannot consist of saved and unsaved persons.

    A man made and structured congregation however may consist of a mixture, but this is not the Church. If there are truly saved persons in a mixed congregation, this cannot possibly be The Church it should not even be called a church.

    People add themselves to these “churches” which is works based. If God adds to the church you can not possibly add yourself. The true Church is much bigger in concept than that “church” men have created.

    Those finding themselves in such congregations who think it is The Church should have nothing to do with those congregants apart from giving them the true gospel, but to be PART with them is not what the LORD wants. He calls believers out of Babylon not into Babylon.

    Called out means separated from where the Greek word “Hagios” is used for those who are holy. Being holy does not mean to be glorified. Holiness originates from justification and then comes sanctification which is a serious strive towards parting from un- Godly practices. Holiness is not something that cannot be achieved as many would believe. Holiness simply means to separate yourself from a sin step by step unto more holiness. What is impossible to achieve is glorification, a complete state of being without sin which only happens at the rapture and resurrection.

    People often ask the question: “Oh, what do you think of that and that church?” and my reply normally is: “You mean do I thing that that and that congregation is the Church.

    If people find themselves in a congregation where major doctrinal error is evident – (I am not talking about people who are truly saved and who are in warfare to fight the sins within continually – because there is no one absolutely sinless, yet they endeavour to crucify the old life continuously, but I am talking about those who have major unrepentant errors, those who use grace to continue in their sinful lives, like Jude says.) – these people should leave and find a congregation where errors are not tolerated.

    As a believer one must not be unequally yoked to unbelievers and sit in their meetings listening to their teachers and “pastors” but it does not mean that you separate yourself in such a manner as not to be able to explain the whole council of the LORD to them.

    One should not theologically be associated with error but should rather confront error.

    One cannot be part of the synagogue of Satan and be the Body of Christ, then Christ has become defiled, which is impossible!

    Choose this day whom you want to serve.

  • Burning Lamp

    Chris, you are right. There are Catholics who say they are born-again yet continue to be practicing Catholics, praying the rosary to Mary to ask her to pray for them, taking the blasphemous Eucharist – they say they are there to be an influence, but you cannot have it both ways. Believers are called out to be separate.

  • Reformedthinker

    God is Sovereign, and Election is a biblical teaching. Read the NT and especially Romans 8 and 9, where it talks about God loving Jacob and hating Esau,and God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Salvation is God’s work, not man’s decision.
    What do you believe about a man’s depraved condition? Can we tweak the Gospel so that we can make the lost believe? Or is it God’s work from beginning to end? Read chapter 6 of the Gospel of John and Ephesians 5.
    But the bottom line is this, we need not argue and be mean-spirited. God’s number one concern is His own glory. He does what He does for His own purpose and for His own glory. He also saves His people to conform us to the image of His Son.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Read the comments section on all the article on Calvinism on this blog to answer your questions – these and many more have been answered many times over.

  • J.G.

    Hi! I have read that many people who first was very enthusiastic with Paul Washer’s teaching,have become very depressed and feeling much anxiety. I have a very hard time watching his videos,I get the feeling that he is very angry,and it gives me associations to my time in the faith movement,that ended in a breakdown for me.There was a guy on youtube who talked about the dangers of Washer,and i’ve never seen so much hateful replies on the commentary,I wonder what kind of strongholds his teachings produces.

  • Vicki

    Deborah, thanks for this article. I haven’t read it all yet, but will. I’ve been interested in this topic and planned on writing on it some time, but I had actually come to your site looking for something by David Hocking. Lol! It comes up in the internet search that he has stuff here (I was looking for something of his about the laws of Israel). Anyway, this whole argument that people want to present, accepting Calvinism to the point of calling themselves Calvinists instead of just Christians, is simply . . . wrong. It’s quite disturbing and the Church seems to be getting more and more divided over it, and for no reason. I am going to write a short note about passages of Jesus’ I’ve come across, taken together in context, that show that both God’s will and our will are both involved, but who can understand it, really? No one. That’s why both “predestination” and our own decisions are in the NT – they both matter but the whole process cannot be fully understood by us. So, no good (at all) comes from those who want to be contentious – we are to get along and worship our Lord instead. Praise the Lord always.

  • Miste

    Hello :)
    I find that there is a war going round here between the two sides. I just wanted to say that just because Paul Washer has some beliefs that are not very well grounded in Scripture, that doesn’t mean that all of his sermons are false teaching. What Calvinists fail to see in my opinion is that God’s predestination is based on his foreknowledge. Although I do not agree with some things that Paul Washer states, for the most part I agree with his messages. To conclude my advise would be from the Bible, of course :) and here it is : ” but test everything; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21. (I myself am a Molinist – look at Dr. William Lane Craig on this one. I thing it would be very helpful to understand how free will and the sovereignty of God go together.)

  • Burning Lamp

    Miste, I don’t think you grasp the gravity of the error of TULIP/Calvinism/Reformed Theology. The precious Gospel is nonnegotionable. It is the bedrock of the faith and cannot be compromised. Calvinism guts the Gospel – it is a false Gospel! It says that man has no free will and that by Irristible Grace God chooses some to be saved and some to be lost with no hope because they are stripped of the ability to make a decision for Christ. They are doomed from birth. This is HERESY! The tenet of Calvinism, Limited Atonement says that Christ did not die for all. This is an insult to our Savior. The Apostle Paul says that if anyone preaches a false gospel they are cursed!! We are not to havae anything to do with false doctrine, but instead to EXPOSE it. How can you possibly find any common ground with a false teacher?

    To answer your quesiton about how free will and the sovereignty of God go together, God sovereignly ORDAINED that man would have free will. He is not willing that ANY should perish. You are right, He does know who will be saved by His foreknowledge because He knows the beginning form the end, but this does not in any way negate man’s free will.

  • Miste

    “To answer your quesiton about how free will and the sovereignty of God go together, God sovereignly ORDAINED that man would have free will. He is not willing that ANY should perish. You are right, He does know who will be saved by His foreknowledge because He knows the beginning form the end, but this does not in any way negate man’s free will.”
    That was not a question but a statement that I made. Look, both Calvinism and Arminianism are not right views. I will ask you something now that you may not like at all. Is your doctrine so crystal clear that you can see and judge other brothers for their different understanding? We are not called to be judges, friend :). I find charismatic churches just as bad as reformed churches. I don’t like Calvinism, nor do I like Arminianism, but that doesn’t mean that there are no saved Calvinists or Arminianists. God sees the heart of the person ( that is in the Bible). God’s thoughts and ways are not like ours :). If they were like ours we would be destroyed by now, all of us. So we should be humble and treat other brothers with love (no matter of their christian denomitation. God will judge them at the end :).

  • Miste

    Ah, it seems like you cannot get my intention here :). I just wanted to say that we should love Calvinists too and speak kindly with them. I have very good friends that go to baptist churches and believe what Paul Washer believes, but we will die for each other and I don’t doubt in their salvation. Doctrine is extremely important, but fellowship with each other in Christ is another thing … :) My point is – don’t judge the guy (Washer)- do you know him personally, or do you have all knowledge? Come on guys we are all Christians and as we continue to make fights inside the Church, no one is aware that this is exactly what our enemy wants.
    “14. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not abideth in death.
    15. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
    16. Hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” That is my message – they maybe wrong but love them and treat them with a great love, because we were still sinners when Jesus died on the Cross.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    No one here is Arminian. Calvinists seems to think that everyone that is not a Calvist is Arminian, well no. And you are right, God sovereignly ORDAINED that man would have free will. But that does in no way make any part of Calvinism correct.

    And just to put things straight, when the Holy Spirit leads us into ALL TRUTH He does so that when you find out the truth you are quite shocked and abhorred by what you were believing and you LEAVE your lies behind you, you don’t hang around in your OLD ways, no, you CHANGE. Just like I changed when I learned what Calvinism really stood for. I for a short time followed men such as John MacArthur (I didn’t know what Calvinism was) and then I learnt very quickly (because the Holy Spirit told me) what they REALLY believed. The doctrine insults my Lord and Saviour and my brothers and sisters in Christ.

    This whole humanist thing is where I draw the line. You are portraying Emergent thinking.

    And yes, it might pain you but the Gospel of Jesus Christ is crystal clear to me, I know what is truth and what is error. The bible tells us that fellow Christians should be of ONE MIND, meaning they all believe the same thing, if they don’t then they are NOT fellow Christians. We love the truth over error and we chose Jesus over error – End of Story!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    >> don’t judge the guy (Washer)- do you know him personally, or do you have all knowledge

    I do not need to stick my hand into the fire to know I am going to get burnt. Do you know him personally? No you do not. We are told to TEST THE SPIRITS (1 John 4:1-6). Does the bible expect us to know ever single person in the whole wide world before we can make a judgement on what they ARE SAYING? Absolutely not.

    Just because we speak out against people does not mean we do not love. In fact we love hence we WARN. You do not understand the spiritual implications of false doctrine and hell Miste.

    Paul Washer is a very intelligent man with years of biblical training behind him, he knows EXACTLY what he is doing and saying. He is not some innocent sheep that goes to church like your friends. He is the wolf that lures the sheeps (your friends) into believing lies. If you REALLY cared for your friends you would tell them the GOSPEL TRUTH, their soul depends on it, one of them could die tomorrow (heaven forbid) and you did not say anything.

    >> I don’t doubt in their salvation.

    You don’t doubt your firends salvation? Yet Jesus WARNS you, Matther 7:21-23′ “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the WILL OF MY FATHER in Heaven will enter. On Judgment Day MANY will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We PROPHESIED IN YOUR NAME and Cast out demons in your Name and Performed many Miracles in your Name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who BREAK GOD’S LAWS.”

    >> but we will die for each other

    This is not the test of someone being a GENUINE Christian Miste. Millions of unbelievers will die for their friends, millions of unbelievers do good works too.

    >> You quote 1 John 14-16 “14. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not abideth in death. 15. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16. Hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

    Miste, the brother that is spoken of here is a GENUINE CHRISTIAN, not false ones. You can’t just pull out a verse and use it out of context with the rest of the Word of God. The rest of the Word of God states emphatically that you need to ABIDE in SOUND DOCTRINE and if you don’t then you are not a child of God.

    PREACHING ANOTHER GOSPEL —> (“which is really no gospel at all”) carries an anathema: “let him be eternally condemned!” (see Galatians 1:6-9)

    1 Timothy 4:16 “16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

    Jude 3 “3 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.”

    God desires Christians to be united in SOUND DOCTRINE:

    John 17:21; “21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

    Doctrine does cause division, and if the division is due to a disagreement over an important biblical teaching, then division is most certainly a good thing. Paul declares, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).

    Titus 1:9–2:1 proclaims, “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and ALSO TO REBUKE THOSE WHO CONTRADICT IT… But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.”

  • Burning Lamp

    Debs, you have given Miste the correct answers and the Scriptures to support it. It amazes me that when one exposes the false teaching of Calvinism to those who fail to see the wickedness of this doctrine thaa they jump to the conclusion that one has to be Armeniam as if those are the only available positions! Miste is correct, that neither of those extremes are correct, but she apparently does not have a solid grounding in sound biblical doctrine.

    Miste, no one is presuming to judge Paul Washer, but he preaches publically a mixture of truth and error and it is biblically correct to call out and warn of the error. In fact, it is our RESPONSIBILITY to do so, especially when the doctrine attacks the precious Gospel message. As Debs said, we are to test the spirits of the message that is being delivered and also the fruit of the messenger. The Bible says that light has no fellowship with darkness. Miste, you are saying the opposite which smacks of emergent thought that travels a wide road. The Bible says the road if NARROW.

    Miste, I hope that you will see clearly the true Gospel message and then see the errors of Calvinism/Reformed. We are to love the Lord Jesus and honor Him above any man. We are to biblically discern between who are true believers based on sound doctrine and those who are deceived and therefore a mission field and need to be pulled from the fire.

    This is not meant as criticism, but rather a declaration and defense of the truth. I hope you receive it and then seek to confirm it. Test TULIP against the whole counsel of the Word of God, not just pet verses twisted and taken out of context. We take a strong stand against false doctrine of ANY kind, but this doctrine which is mixed with truth is especially insidious and a snare.

  • Burning Lamp

    Miste, I would like to add that in your first comment you said there was a “war” going on regarding this issue. We are not fighting a war against flesh and blood, but rather a spiritual battle between truth and false teaching. I make no judgment regarding Paul Washer or any other false teacher, that is for God and God alone. There is a difference between judging a person’s heart and judging their teaching according to the Word of God. Yes, Miste, I claim no confidence in myself or my personal knowledge, but I do defend the truth of the Word, especially when it so clearly is spelled out through the Holy Spirit that is available to all who truly desire to find the truth. I just wanted to make sure that is clearly stated.

  • Burning Lamp

    Miste says she is a “Molinist”. This explains a LOT! I was not familiar with the term so decided to look it up.

    the doctrine of the 16th-century Jesuit Luis Molina, who taught that the work of grace depends on the accord of man’s free will. — Molinist, n.

    Crunch a bunch!!! She follows the doctrine of a Roman Catholic Jesuit PRIEST!!! The grace that this man speaks of is NOT the grace of the Bible, but rather the “graces” dispensed by the Roman Catholic Church as requirements for salvation. No wonder she is confused.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    >> Miste says she is a “Molinist”. This explains a LOT! I was not familiar with the term so decided to look it up.

    the doctrine of the 16th-century Jesuit Luis Molina, who taught that the work of grace depends on the accord of man’s free will. — Molinist, n.

    Oh well spotted, I didn’t see that…

    And Oh crickey! indeed.

    No wonder she is so eager to protect Paul Washer who is possibly a Jesuit himself.

  • Robbie

    Oh and there is more. I THOUGHT I would get to something that digs holes..

    moling – Definition of moling , meaning of moling

    Mole Mole , {Moling} . ] 1 . To form holes in , as a mole; to burrow; to excavate; as , to mole the earth . 2 . To clear of molehills . [Prov . Eng .

  • Miste


  • Miste

    [deleted]- Miste, please in future I ask that you write your own words and don’t post a thesis written by someone else

  • Miste


  • Miste

    I hope this helps you :). Oh, and I want to challenge you to stop judging people who have suffered tribulations for their sincere faith in God – like Paul Washer (obviously you just don’t know anything about him) and humble yourselves a bit. You are probably what – 20-21 years old and don’t know where are you on this planet and mom and dad buy everything for you. Good place for you to become judges in your free time while sitting on the computer :). Last try here… I hope your minds start working better and see the truth.

  • Miste

    And I’m sorry If I have hurt somebody somehow :) . I really am ! May the peace of God be upon y’all.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    We are not judging you Miste, however you are judging us by saying we are judging you. It works both ways remember.

    I wish I was 21, then I could go back and fix then what I know now. I had to learn the hard way Miste, and when I was 30 years old I came to Jesus and laid my life before Him and gave Him everything of me. I gave up my friends (who swore at me for doing so) I gave up my lifestyle, everything!!! I begged Jesus for forgiveness for the sinful life I was leading and He forgave me, the big thing was I CHANGED MY WAYS. I told Jesus that I would never ever turn my back on Him again and that I would do anything and everything for for Him. That I loved Him so much and wanted my whole life to be lead by Him. Once I was saved the Holy Spirit started to teach me the Bible and what was truth and what was error and I learnt very quickly. This is one of the MAJOR signs of being genuinely saved Miste and that is that the Holy Spirit teaches you and you can DISCERN truth from error almost instantly.

    Did I have a good kushy life growing up? No Miste, I worked for everything I own. Believe it or not some people go through hell and back, and and come out shining because they want to cling to Jesus Christ, and it’s only He who SAVES and helps them weather the storms.

    You say you are sorry that you might have hurt someone here? Are you really sorry? This is the internet after all, things don’t mean anything especially when you put a smiley face behind your apology.

  • Myfanwy Brown

    Miste..PLEASE STOP giving Debs a hard time! I agree with her that your apologies seem very shallow and not very earnest. I too wish I was 20/21 and that I could start all over again. Your presumption that Debs and many of us on here, are ‘kids’, is quite insulting really. To be perfectly honest, you are the one who is coming across as ‘childlike’, and I am not being nasty to you. I am 50 years old and I have known the LORD a very long time, but Debs is way ahead of me in knowledge and wisdom. Miste, I think you should stop talking (writing), and start listening! I think Debs is being EXTREMELY patient with you and you need to appreciate her, she is an awesome woman of GOD.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    >> she is an awesome woman of GOD.

    Thank you :) But I take no credit for what I do here, this is Jesus blog and I can only work if I am guided by the Holy Spirit, without Jesus I am nothing. I make mistakes, typing errors, grammatical mishaps by the gazillion, and sometimes (though quite rare) I get something wrong because I didn’t study the topic intensively enough or at all. I sometimes tell people it’s ok to read others material and then later find out the person who’s material I sent them to read is no longer reliable. So, I am just a little person, like you :)

  • Myfanwy Brown

    I know you take no credit, and that is what makes you so special! As for the mistakes, yes, you are human like me..but it is very hard to keep up with everything and I think you do a splendid job! : )

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Thanks so much! :)

  • Redeemed

    Miste, I have been a Christian for over 50 years. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but have been around the block a few times, made mistakes, etc. But I have tried with the Lord’s help to learn from them and grow.

    I would exhort you to listen to the godly and biblically sound wisdom that is being put forth here. You have judged Debs wrongly as her testimony above shows. Debs could have a much easier and calm life if she chose to dump this blog, but she is called to a task and she is doing it to the best of her ability. She is trying to warn and alert, just as the Bible carries many warnings.

    The truth here is spoken out off a heart of love for people and love for the Lord and His Word.

  • Miste

    I always say what I mean – this is in our culture after all. I am Bulgarian. I am sorry for any misjudging here again and when I say it I really mean it. We are all Christians after all . God bless you guys !

  • Miste

    I just felt obligated to explain what Molinism is and why I am not a heretic… :D :) I just felt abused by this presumption and probably I have overreacted a bit. That’s exactly why I am really sorry – I shouldn’t treated you that way !

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Molinism was invented by a Jesuit priest, therefore nothing of the doctrine of Molinism can be truly biblical. There was no presumption on our part, we speak the truth here, now you need to face facts that you follow after the tennents of the Roman Catholic Church.

    I suppose this is why Calvinism appeals to you (Paul Washer in particular) because Calvinism is an off shoot of Roman Catholicism-(THE FALSE PROPHET) and Calvinism is joining it’s hands with Rome again, one day soon you will be going to mass instead of church. Then what will you do?

  • Daniel Winn

    There was some discussion above about the questions of predestination, and God’s foreknowledge of peoples’ salvation or damnation.

    You’re trying to decide whether or not to have a baby. God or an angel appears to you, and says “It’s up to you, but you should know that if you have a baby, he’ll choose the wrong path. This is a certainty. He’ll be damned forever, no matter how piously you raise him. He’s not predestined mind you. It’s only that God knows his choices before he makes them, and it’s impossible to vary from God has foreseen.”

    Do you have the baby?

    If yes, why?

    If no, do you think any person with an adequately developed conscience would answer yes?

    If yes, why?

    Thank you in advance for your earnest answers.

  • Daniel Winn


    How does God knowing a person’s ultimate destiny before the world even exists differ substantially from “predestination?”

    Again, thank you.

  • Dan


    Yesterday I posted some questions regarding predestination. At that time, they were “awaiting moderation.”

    At this time, they don’t appear here, and I don’t understand why. If this site has posting guidelines, I haven’t found them. But my questions weren’t profane or anything like that. I was just trying to understand how people reconcile the notion of God’s perfect foreknowledge with the existence of free will, and the ethical basis for choosing to create people knowing before they’re even created that they’re damned for all time.

    If I broke any rules, I’m sorry. The only thing I can think of is that my original posts included my last name, which a lot of sites don’t want to publish for understandable reasons. So let me try again. The phrasing is only a little different this time:

    1) You and your husband/wife are trying to decide whether or not to conceive a child. An angel appears to you and says:

    “God leaves the decision to you, but He wants you to know that if you conceive that child, he’ll make the wrong choices. He’ll be damned to hell for all time. This is certain no matter how piously you raise him. He’s not predestined: it’s just that God has foreseen his ultimate destiny, and what God has foreseen cannot be changed.”

    Do you conceive the baby?

    If yes, why? How can you in good conscience conceive a baby you know will be damned?

    If no, why not? He’s not predestined for damnation, so why wouldn’t you want to give him the opportunity to go to heaven? Just because God has perfectly foretold his ultimate destiny doesn’t mean he won’t have the free will to make the right choices, right?

    How does God holding perfect foreknowledge differ substantially from predestination?

    Thank you in advance for your earnest efforts to answer these questions. If the moderator declines to post them, please send me an email explaining why.


  • Dan,

    Yesterday I posted some questions regarding predestination. At that time, they were “awaiting moderation.”

    Like you we are only human and prone to flu viruses. So please be patient

  • Dan,

    Your questions are made, I assume, from a Calvinistic perspective and not a biblical one.

    First of all God will never send an angel to warn a couple that if they should decide to conceive a child that their child will inevitably be bound for hell because He did not elect him unto salvation and the child is going to make all the wrong choices. As far as I recall God said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” and that’s it. (Genesis 1:28) He did not say parents who have a desire to conceive a child should first wait for an angel to visit and inform them whether their baby is an elect or a reprobate. I know of no angel or angels who were contracted by God to visit would-be parents and warn them of the ordeal of having children or not, simply because they don;t know whether their child may be an elect or a reprobate.

    Secondly, the ability to make right and wrong choices is something of a misnomer in Calvinism. The child is totally depraved and therefore completely inept to make any choices because he is completely devoid of a free-will.

    Thirdly, God will never send an angel to a married couple and warn them not to conceive a baby who was chosen by God to suffer in hell for an eternity because election and predestination unto salvation is a man-made doctrine and therefore a lie. (Romans 3:4).

    Fourthly, it is every parent’s duty to rear their children in the fear of the Lord and to make known to them the Gospel so that they may make the right choices. In any case, if your scenario of the angel being sent by God to warn would be parents that their child was not elected unto salvation, was true, it would never have been necessary of Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. The parents could simply decide not to conceive reprobate children. In the long run we would reach the bizarre situation where every couple, knowing in advance that their child would be an elect or reprobate child, would only bring forth elect children. In that case there would only be saved sinners on the earth. That’s just too ridiculous.

    God’s foreknowledge does not make people do things, such as to accept or to reject the Gospel. His foreknowledge has no bearing on people’s final choices. The words “predestine” and “predestination” do not appear in the Bible. The word “predestinate” appear twice (Romans 8:29-30). Of particular importance is the phrase “for whom He did foreknow” which simply means that those whom He foreknew would respond favorably tot the Gospel and be saved He predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son. In other words, predestinate is not a predestination unto salvation but unto blessing and that blessing is to be conformed to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ.

  • Daniel Winn,

    Predestination is never unto salvation. It is always unto blessing or service.

  • Daniel Winn

    I assume that you have kids? What was the name of the angel who told you some of them were not chosen unto salvation? Abaddon, Lucifer, the son of perdition, devil, Satan?

  • Chris head

    Consequently this whole thing makes not want to be a Christian.
    Enter calvinist saying you never had it.
    To which I say. I wasn’t predestined and thank you Jesus for making a instrument of wrath against my will as I am totally incapable of repenting because you never predestined me.

    What happens to the “elect” that never heard the gospel before dying?

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Unconditional Election and Total Depravity are Gnostic Teachings

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