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, http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/10194

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

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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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) 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.

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?


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?



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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


“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 :).


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.

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.


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 .




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




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.

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