The Legacy of John Calvin – Part 1

John Calvin

Introduction

John Calvin’s day of birth 500 years ago on July 10, 1509 is a red letter day on the Protestants calendar this year. While many disillusioned clergy and congregates in the emergent church, who have lost their faith in the institutionalized church, are seeking new ways of interpreting the Bible and worshiping God, Calvinism has remained robust and alive in institutionalized Protestant churches.

In fact, many claim that Calvinism is experiencing an international resurgence. The most alarming fact about this resurgence is that Calvinism is finding a cozy niche in the Emerging Church, especially through its outreach to the youth, which makes it one of the vanguards in the establishment of the end-time one-world church. Michael Beck, a pastor of the Reformed Baptist Church in New Zealand says:

“There is currently a world wide resurgence of Calvinistic thought that is sure to have a growing influence upon the emerging church in New Zealand. This, in turn, is very likely to present the Reformed community with many unique ministry opportunities. So as to be ready for these, we should be both well informed and warmly engaged. ” (Read article here).

The question we should ask ourselves is: Has Calvinism saddled the Emerging Church horse with an intent to firmly take hold of the reins and steer the “horse” wherever it wills (no pun intended when you take into account that Calvinists reject the doctrine of free-will) or is it merely sitting on the “horse’s” back and allowing the “horse” to hold the reins in its mouth and allowing it to take Calvinism wherever it wills?

New Calvinism of which Mark Driscoll (pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle) is a leading figure, is not “new” in the sense of being different or novel. The term “new” in New Calvinism refers to a new generation embracing “old” or “genuine” or “original” Calvinism.

Even Rob Bell, one of the most influential pastors in the Emergent Church, urges the readers on page 182 of his book Velvet Elvis to read absolutely everything John Piper (a five-point Calvinist) has written. To entertain you with some of the things John Piper has written, allow me to draw your attention to the following brilliant contradiction.

We do not deny that all men are the intended beneficiaries of the cross in some sense . . . . . What we deny is that all men are intended as the beneficiaries of the death of Christ in the same way.

All of God’s mercy toward unbelievers – from the rising sun (Matthew 5:45) to the worldwide preaching of the gospel (John 3:16) – is made possible because of the cross. . . . Every time the gospel is preached to unbelievers it is the mercy of God that gives this opportunity for salvation. (Emphasis in original) (1) Christ’s death so clearly demonstrates God’s just abhorrence of sin that he is free to treat the world with mercy without compromising his righteousness.

In this sense Christ is the savior of all men. But he is especially the Savior of those who believe. He did not die for all men in the same sense . . . . The death of Christ actually saves from all evil those for whom Christ died “especially. [Emphasis in original] (2)

In some sense Calvinism may be called the IN SOME SENSE GOSPEL when the cross of Jesus Christ is applied to the reprobate and the IN THE SAME SENSE GOSPEL when it is applied to the elect. The “IN THE SOME SENSE GOSPEL” preached to the reprobate cannot possibly benefit the non-elect “IN THE SAME SENSE” it benefits the elect.

Think of it: two simple little letters in the alphabet, the “o” and the “a” determine where you are going to spend eternity – heaven or hell. If you belong to the “o” category Gospel (“some sense) you are doomed to eternal destruction in hell because it can never benefit you in the same way it benefits the “a” category (same sense) elected people.

If the preaching of the Gospel is to grant unbelievers in general an opportunity to be saved, how do we determine which is the “SOME SENSE GOSPEL” and which is the SAME SENSE GOSPEL” folk?

It shouldn’t be to difficult. Imagine Jesus preaching to the “some sense” folk and the “same sense” folk saying: “You and you and you and yes you too (don’t walk away) and the folk who are standing over there, please move to my left because I have determined before the foundation of the earth that you will be the “some sense” beneficiaries of my death.

What does that mean, you may ask. Well it simply means that you cannot benefit from my death on the cross “in the same way” my beloved chosen or elect are benefitting from it. They are the ones I will now draw in power and monergistically to my right.

Let us now take a look at the “old” Calvinism which the new generation is embracing under the tutorship of leading Calvinists. Calvin’s major contribution to the Christian church is his Institutes of the Christian Religion, first published in 1536.

Though many staunch Calvinists regard him as the most ingenuous expositor and defender of the Christian faith, there are others who cannot stomach some of the means he used to defend the Christian faith, such as the murder of Servetus. Enough has been written about his dictatorial behaviour in Geneva and it is not my intention to expound on the way he governed the church.

My main objective is to evaluate his sotereology (doctrine of redemption) in the light of the Word of God. It is on this particular topic, the appraisal of Calvin’s doctrine of redemption, that I want to appeal to my readers to bear with me and also to take into account that I am not focusing my discourse on individuals but merely trying to obey God’s Word by being a Berean and to see whether Calvin’s teachings and of those who follow him are in harmony with God’s Word.

Our duty as Christians is to thoroughly examine any doctrine tied to the name of a man who claims to have had divine inspiration. The most hideous crime against humanity is to misrepresent the most holy Triune God and the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; nothing equals it’s dreadfulness because it “shuts the Kingdom of heaven in men’s faces” (Matthew 23:13). No wonder the Bible warns that whosoever does not speak according to His Word is void of any light.

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

Am I suggesting that Calvinists are not saved? No! Absolutely not. Countless individuals have been saved by the grace of God the moment they put their trust in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross before they embraced Calvinism.

Nevertheless, the countless individuals who have been saved before they willingly inherited the legacy of John Calvin, does not sanction his core teaching that God predestined some to eternal bliss and others to eternal damnation and neither does it minimize the fact that countless individuals could have been saved had they not been shut out of the Kingdom of Heaven by a doctrine that misrepresents the God of the Bible.

Paul, unquestionably the greatest missionary of all time, never danced to the most popular heretical tunes of his time; he often wielded the Sword of the Spirit swiftly and accurately (Galatians 1:8 and 9).

The slightest diversion from the Gospel of Jesus Christ wounded him deeply, even to the extent that he often wept very bitterly. His constant agony over his Jewish brethren made him express the wish to be damned in their place. In my rebuttal to Bob de Waay, who wrote an article entitled “Recovering Reformation Theology,” I responded as follows:

Moses’ and Paul’s compassion for lost souls upsets John Calvin’s doctrine of selective and predestined redemption.

Calvinists claim that the doctrine of predestination is a Pauline doctrine. I have often wondered why Paul preferred to be accursed (separated) from the eternal presence of God for the sake of his reprobate Jewish brethren (Romans 9: 1-3) whilst he should have known that they were the accursed of God (doomed to a predestined eternal suffering in hell), even before the foundation of the world -simply because it was God’s good pleasure to do so.

As such Paul was in direct conflict with God’s sovereign will and decree and guilty of downright disobedience. On the other hand, it may be that he was completely ignorant of the doctrine of predestination which the Calvinists’ claim originated with him.

Hadn’t he been so oblivious of God’s sovereign decree to damn all the reprobate, simply because it was His good pleasure, he would probably never have had any desire for His “reprobate” brethren to be saved and would never have expressed the desire to be damned in their behalf.

We should bear in mind that Paul vigorously and single-mindedly expressed the desire to imitate His Master in all things and even once declared that he, together with all Christians throughout the ages, have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2: 16).

It simply means, they ought to think and act upon the same principles of love, compassion, longsuffering and graciousness Christ fostered in His own heart when He was on earth.

If Paul and his brethren throughout the ages truly “have/had the mind of Christ,” they too should have taken pleasure in the autonomously decreed damnation of the reprobate and cheerfully obeyed and supported God in His divinely ordained ruling to damn all the reprobate.

Was Paul disobeying God’s sovereign decree to pleasurably damn all the reprobate to hell when he expressed the profound wish to be damned himself so that, if it were possible, all his reprobate brethren could be saved?

One may conclude that Paul’s was a case of the sovereignly elected who for the sake of the sovereignly non-elected passionately desired to become a sovereignly chosen non-elected so that the sovereignly decreed non-elected could be saved. In similar fashion, Moses begged God to blot his name out of his book He had written for the sake of his eternally and sovereignly decreed reprobate brethren (Exodus 31: 32).

The contention, of course, may be that neither Paul nor Moses referred to the children of the flesh (unsaved or non-elect) but the children of the promise whom God had elected unto salvation before the foundation of the earth.

That would turn an oxymoron into an even sillier “oxy-moronic” conclusion, for why would the elect want to be eternally accursed on behalf of the elect while they knew that the elect were sovereignly elected unto salvation before the foundation of the world, and that they would all unreservedly be saved because if they weren’t . . . God would be a dismal failure?

Why would anyone want to go to hell for the sake of those who were elected to go to heaven before the foundation of the earth? Both these scenarios- to be accursed for the non-elect or the elect – are, to say the least, an absolute absurdity.

What is Calvinism?

Calvinism in a nutshell:

  • It is clear that Christ did not die to make redemption a mere possibility; He died to actually save people.
  • God’s purpose cannot fail (Job 42:2; Isaiah 46:10).
  • Therefore every single person for whom He died, shall be saved.
  • Nevertheless, not all people are saved.
  • Consequently Christ did not die for all people. If it were true that He died for all people He would have been a failure.

The abovementioned conclusions are based on the assumption that man does not have a free-will in regard to his/her salvation. Any degree of free-will on the part of mankind would, according to Calvinist thinking, thwart God’s purpose and belittle his sovereignty to choose whomsoever He wants to save and whomsoever He wants to damn.

This is not only a gross misrepresentation of God’s sovereignty but also a distortion of the fact that man was created in His image. If God is the essence of love, which of course He is, and if his righteousness, justice and love are inseparably intertwined, which of course it is, then it would be unreasonable of Him to force his creatures into a relationship of love and obedience to Him.

The connubial relationship between a man and a woman is singularly the best proof that man was indeed created in the image of God. It not only exemplifies the fact that love can only be defined as true love when it is expressed in a reciprocal partnership, but also the deep truth that Jesus Christ’s Bride submits to Him in love, respect, adoration and worship because she truly loves Him from a heart that chooses to love Him for who He really is.

In order for his Bride to have learned who He really is, she must have come to a knowledge of Him and especially the knowledge of His sacrificial love as He expressed it on his cross. This is precisely why Jesus once said: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Johan 17:3).

In spite of this, the Calvinists assert that God autonomously, arbitrarily and monergistically saves sinners on the basis that He chose them unto salvation before the foundation of the earth and that they have no will toward their redemption because they are dead in their sins and totally inept to understand, to know or to believe the Gospel.

The relationship between Christ and all the believers are often likened to a marital relationship between a man and a woman and there is a beautiful narrative in the Old Testament which typifies this relationship. There is no need to go into all the detail but suffice is to say that when Abraham sent his bond servant to find a wife for his son Isaac, Rebecca was not forced to go with him. She was asked whether she was willing to go with him.

And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go. And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master. And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. And they called Rebecca, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. (Genesis 24: 48-59). (Emphasis added).

Would or could Rebecca have become Isaac’s wife if she had not been willing to leave her family and accompany Abraham’s servant? Are you married? If so . . . did you force your wife to marry you without allowing her to exercise her own free-will, or did you marry her because she had a mutual love for you?

Marriage is definitely not a one-sided arrangement. . . . or, did you first force your loved one to marry you and then irresistibly place the love you wanted her to have for you in her heart?

If you should agree that she had a mutual love for you which she exercised willingly prior to your marriage, why do you expect God to do far less than you, a mere human being? Because God is the essence of love, He will never monergistically impose or force his love on anyone. It is for this reason that man was given a free-will – to either love God with all his heart, mind and strength or to reject Him with all his heart, mind and strength.

Enforced love is no love at all. The notion that Christ did not die for all people but only for the elect who, by virtue of their total depravity, are completely unable to exercise. faith prior to their salvation, suggests that Christ’s crucifixion saves the elect automatically. Perhaps it would not be wrong to say that only elected automatons are  automatically saved by the crucifixion.

To some this may be something of an obnoxious over simplification . . . . but is there another way of explaining the core doctrine of Calvinism? What does the Word of God say?

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. (Emphasis added)

“It is written” and “it is also written” are perhaps two of the most important and yet eschewed phrases in Scripture, at least as far as sound discernment is concerned. The well-known saying “every heretic has his own pet Bible verse” may be true but it is equally true that the phrase “it is also written” is one of the best ways to combat heresy. The Lord Jesus Christ used it against the devil when he tempted Him in the desert and every Christian should follow his example.

Mat 4: 5-7 Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a turret (pinnacle, gable) of the temple sanctuary.And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.Jesus said to him, on the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, test thoroughly, or try exceedingly the Lord your God.

Many Christians are too easily convinced or bowled over by people who deftly quote Scripture without first evaluating the quoted sections with other similar passages in Scripture and to declare, as did Jesus, “it is also written.” In fact, the mark of a spiritually mature Christian is that he never takes everything for granted and always tests the things other people say, even when they back it up with Scripture.

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

Calvinists are particularly adroit in their use of certain elected passages in Scripture to prove to you that man is unable to make the right choices in regard to his salvation.

How can he when he is an automaton with no free-will of his own? One of their pet passages is Romans 3:10-12 where Paul says that no one seeks God. Yet Scripture also encourages sinners in equally important passages (Hebrews 11:6; Deuteronomy 4:2; Jeremiah 29:13) to seek God with all their hearts and that when they seek Him thus, they will find Him.

It stands to reason that Paul’s reasoning in Romans 3:10 to 12 is not to convince you that man is entirely unable to seek God but that he, due to his deeply ingrained self-centeredness, has no desire to seek after God. We find the very same reasoning in Job 21.

Job 21: 7-14 Why do the wicked live, become old, and become mighty in power? Their children are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe and in peace, without fear; neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull breeds and fails not; their cows calve and do not miscarry.

They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children skip about. They themselves lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity and go down to Sheol (the unseen state) in a moment and peacefully. Yet they say to God, Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. (Emphasis added).

Complacency, utter self-centeredness and smugness are the reasons for man’s rejection of God and his ways and not a complete powerlessness or an inability to seek Him. God’s warning in Deuteronomy 6 is a stern reminder of God’s divine jealousy.

Deut 6:10-12 And when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you, with great and goodly cities which you did not build, And houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and cisterns hewn out which you did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and when you eat and are full, Then beware lest you forget the Lord, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

If a complete inability to seek God was at the heart of man’s problems, God’s innate righteousness to judge impartially would have been at stake. Why would He encourage mankind to seek Him with all their heart when He had already decided before the foundation of the world to predestine the elect to an eternity of bliss in heaven and the non-elect to an eternity of suffering in hell?

In both cases the word “seek” inevitably becomes a complete misnomer. It loses it’s meaning altogether. According to Jesus’ indictment in John 3:18 to 21 fallen man’s refusal to seek Him does not stem form an innate inability to seek Him but from a rebellious stubbornness to come to His light so that their evil ways may be exposed and reproved.

John 3:18-21 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation-he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]

The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil.

For every wrongdoer hates (loathes, detests) the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest his works (his deeds, his activities, his conduct) be exposed and reproved.

But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are-wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence upon Him]. (Emphasis added).

The above serious indictment certainly proves that man is not impervious to the fact that he desperately needs to seek God; indeed, he refuses to seek God because he hates the light. He lives and operates in the dominion of the kingdom of darkness (this present world system) of which Satan is presently the god and has no desire to seek out God’s light so that his evil deeds may be seen for what they really are.

They shun God’s global invitation to come to Him so that their sins may be dealt with according to His divine requirements, and rather tells Him “Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.”

Salvation begins in a heart that contritely and humbly bows to the requirements of God’s Word which may be summed up in these words – willingness, acknowledgment, confession and whole-hearted responsiveness. Jesus once said that only those who know and acknowledge they are “sick” will acknowledge that they need a physician (Mark 2:17).

The sad irony is that everyone is desperately sick (Romans 3:23) but most people refuse to acknowledge that they need a physician. The Holy Spirit is ceaselessly working to convince the entire world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8) but the majority deliberately shut Him out or seek other ways to enter into God’s presence.

In spite of man’s ability to understand and believe the Gospel but callously refuses to respond in faith to God’s global invitation to repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15), Calvinism insists that man is totally depraved (dead in sin and trespasses) and consequently powerless to respond in faith to the requirements of the Gospel.

The only alternative, therefore (an alternative that does not jeopardize God’s sovereignty, they say) is to quicken only the elect arbitrarily and autonomously without them having to have faith in the Gospel and subsequently (after their regeneration) to be given faith as a gift. Below is a presentation of the Calvinists’ view of redemption and the biblical rendition thereof.

CALVINISM

WORD OF GOD

Total Depravity: Dead in sin and trespasses. Unable to understand and respond to the Gospel Dead in sin and trespasses. Listens and hears the Gospel
God intervenes autonomously in the life of the elect without conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment. Holy Spirit convicts of sin righteousness and judgment
Autonomous (monergistic) regeneration of the elect by a sovereign intervention of God (Faith not involved) Convicted sinner responds in faith to the Gospel, comes to the Light of the world (Jesus Christ) and confesses his/her sins and lostness
God autonomously grants the elect the gift of faith subsequent to their autonomous or monergistic regeneration. Repentant sinner receives forgiveness for his/her sins and is cleansed by the blood of Christ
The elect begin to believe the Gospel Holy Spirit indwells repentant sinner. Thanksgiving and rejoicing
Sanctification (Perseverance of the saint)

Sanctification(Life-long work of the Spirit together with the saint’s obedience to God and his Word)

Is John Calvin’s ‘Calvinism’ a vile doctrine?

England’s King James who was by no means an Arminian expressed his repugnance of the doctrine of  predestination as follows:

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 . . . .  (Read here)

John Wesley said:

The doctrine of predestination as maintained by rigid Calvinists is very shocking, and ought utterly to be abhorred, because it changes the most holy God with being the author of sin. (Read here).

Make your own assessment of Calvinism when we are going to evaluate its doctrines in the light of Scripture in the next few commentaries. Meanwhile, you may be interested to read the following article on Calvin and his horrendous murder of Servetus here .


(1) John Piper and Pastoral Staff, :Tulip”: What we believe about the Five Points of Calvinism: Position Paper of the Pastoral Staff” (Desiring God Ministries, 1998), 14 (2) Op Cit, 14-15

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Tom (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing 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.

114 Responses

  1. Rev. Daniel A Ndongboi says:

    I leant about your conference late, but I Will like to be a part of any of your up coming conference in the feature.Looking forward to response
    thanks

  2. Elmarie A says:

    Rev. Daniel A Ndongboi

    I leant about your conference late, but I Will like to be a part of any of your up coming conference in the feature.Looking forward to response
    thanks

    Sorry but what conference are you talking about Rev. Daniel? Are you sure this is the correct place for your comment?

  3. Robert Dabney says:

    For an article that purports to be about Calvin, you have very few quotes or references to Calvin’s own writing. There are several places you attribute views to Calvin that Calvin himself repudiates in his writings. For example, the statement “God intervenes autonomously in the life of the elect without conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment” is attributed to Calvinism and contrasted with the statement “Holy Spirit convicts of sin righteousness and judgment” which is presented as being Biblical.
    Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Calvin writes in Bk3, Ch 1, Sec 4, “4. But as faith is his principal work, all those passages which express his power and operations are, in a great measure, referred to it, as it is, only by faith that he brings us to the light of the Gospel, as John teaches, that to those who believe in Christ is given the privilege “to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name, which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Joh_1:12). Opposing God to flesh and blood, he declares it to be a supernatural gift, that those who would otherwise remain in unbelief, receive Christ by faith. Similar to this is our Savior’s reply to Peter, “Flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Mat_16:17). These things I now briefly advert to, as I have fully considered them elsewhere. To the same effect Paul says to the Ephesians, “Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph_1:13); thus showing that he is the internal teacher, by whose agency the promise of salvation, which would otherwise only strike the air or our ears, penetrates into our minds. In like manner, he says to the Thessalonians, “God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2Th_2:13); by this passage briefly reminding us, that faith itself is produced only by the Spirit. This John explains more distinctly, “We know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he has given us;” again, “Hereby know we that we dwell in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit” (1Jo_3:24; 1Jo_4:13). Accordingly to make his disciples capable of heavenly wisdom, Christ promised them “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive” (Joh_14:17). And he assigns it to him, as his proper office, to bring to remembrance the things which he had verbally taught; for in vain were light offered to the blind, did not that Spirit of understanding open the intellectual eye; so that he himself may be properly termed the key by which the treasures of the heavenly kingdom are unlocked, and his illumination, the eye of the mind by which we are enabled to see: hence Paul so highly commends the ministry of the Spirit (2Co_3:6), since teachers would cry aloud to no purpose, did not Christ, the internal teacher, by means of his Spirit, draw to himself those who are given him of the Father. Therefore, as we have said that salvation is perfected in the person of Christ, so, in order to make us partakers of it, he baptizes us “with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luk_3:16), enlightening us into the faith of his Gospel, and so regenerating us to be new creatures. Thus cleansed from all pollution, he dedicates us as holy temples to the Lord.”

    Calvin may be wrong, but you should use his writing to show that he is, not strawman positions.

  4. sylesa says:

    Not all calvinist agree with Calvin on his 5 points either. I for one , do not. However am of the calvinist persuasion. The truth has been in the Word of God and others have believed and understood it long before calvin came on the scene.

    http://www.reformationtheology.com/2009/04/five_big_myths_about_calvinism.php

    I do not believe that God predestinates anybody for hell. God did not make hell for man.It was made for Satan and his fallen angels. I do believe that God loves everybody and is not willing that any should perish. However , people will.

  5. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    sylesa

    >> Not all calvinist agree with Calvin on his 5 points either. I for one , do not. However am of the calvinist persuasion

    I thought you were a Christian? No where do I see the word Calvinist in the bible ;))

  6. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    sylesa

    >> The truth has been in the Word of God and others have believed and understood it long before calvin came on the scene

    Exactly

    >> I do not believe that God predestinates anybody for hell.

    So why do you believe John Calvin when he TWISTS SCRIPTURE that God predestines people to heaven?

  7. sylesa says:

    Deborah,
    I am a Christian. Calvins name is not in scripture any more than Arminius, I only use it because people recognize the belief in election by association is all. However, because i don’t hold to all his beliefs, i guess that i don;t really need to use his name. I mostly did in responce to the persons post who was speaking of Calvin.

    I know that we disagree with one another on this topic. Thats okay. I know that you are a Christian and sincere in your convictions and I also am a Christian and sincere in my convictions , we agree on all the essentials.

  8. Burning Lamp says:

    Sylesa, dear cyber friend, if you believe ANY one of the TULIP you are trampling on the essentials of the truths of the Bible.

    Even the “P” is based on a false premise. TULIP is not a flower, it is a stink weed. Sorry my dear – I say this with tons of love – you are a sweetie and you are a blessing, but I will never cede an inch of ground on this because it goes entirely against the Word and the Gospel.

    Being a Calvinist is like being pregnant – either you are or you aren’t. No matter whether you call it “Calvinist” or “Reformed” it doesn’t matter. They say Calvin didn’t even subscribe to the 5 points. I really don’t know and don’t care to get into it because it really doesn’t matter. Error is error and truth is truth and there ain’t no gray areas there.

    I suggest you read Dave Hunt’s book “What Love Is This?” – you can get it at http://www.thebereancall.org.

  9. Burning Lamp says:

    Sylesa, I see you say you are of the “Calvinist persuasion”. Exactly what does that mean? Like I said, there are no 3 or 4 or 5 pointers – the petals of TULIP all hinge on each other.

  10. Burning Lamp says:

    Sylesa, sorry for the multiple posts – please consider them as one.

    I would be interested in seeing you list all the beliefs of TULIP and then say which ones you support and which ones you do not support. Then we can better dialog about this. Ummmmmmmmka?

  11. sylesa says:

    Burning Lamp,
    i will do that, have to get ready to go to church right now. And to be equal, you as well need to exegete many scripture that i will post and tell me what you do with them, ok?
    Anyways, have to go, am running late because of being on my computer to long, lol!

  12. sylesa says:

    Hello Burning Lamp,
    Had a busy day at church. Mens chorus from 5 other churches came to our church today. I am part of the kitchen help and just got home a short bit ago.

    Burning Lamp, I do not Ever speak of TULIP, you do. You have not seen me speak at any time of TULIP.

    Very simply, as i stated before, I believe that two paralell truths exist. Our free will and Gods soveriegnty. The Word of the Gospel goes out to ALL. Men reject it because they love their sin and do not want to come to the light. Agree? The bible says that this is so.

    Also, Jesus Said that no man can come to Him unless he is drawn by the Father. This is only one of MANY instances of Gods initiating salvation and Gods soveriegnty.

    As to getting into a long drawn out theological debate(i will if that is what you are seeking to do), i think that that would not be productive. Also, i would like to say, I will not allow you to put me on the defensive. You are the one challenging me, so i think that you ought to post your own exegesis of scripture on this debate and prove your point and your position from scripture. And let me ask you questions about many scriptures and how you would exegete them and being that all of scripture is of one cloth, it would all need to fit together. Your telling me that i’m wrong is not good enough , and I mean that respectfully. Point, counterpoint, scripture, not accusations that i am trampling scripture. I do not appreciate that comment at all because it is not true. But that is your stuff , not mine. I know me and you do not.

    Are you for real accusing me of trampling the Gospel??? Wow. That is between you and God, I will not respond to that.

    YOu prove your point, I will question you. You are the one challenging me so it behooves you to at least prove your point and it ought to withstand my questions. And it ought to all hold together as one piece with scripture. If you are not willing to do that , then do not presume what i am doing or what i believe, i do not feel that i need to defend myself to you or anybody else for that matter and will not allow you to put me on the defensive as i stated before.

    As for books, i can tell you some books to read as well, but at the end of the day, what say the scriptures? Thats what matters.

    Again, don’t put tulip on me or John Calvin , i believe the Bible and it says that we reject God of our own choice and it also says that only Gods mercy and grace is able to break thru that antipithy that we have towards God and put within our hearts a desire to seek Him. That is Grace.

  13. sylesa says:

    Burning Lamp,
    As to the book, apparently Dave Hunt has included some misinformation. This link will take you to an OPEN letter from somebody that Dave Hunt took the libety to misquote along with some other error. I doubt that you will read it fairly , but if you want to read the book, maybe you ought to see the open letter written to Dave Hunt who has not apparently set it right yet

    http://vintage.aomin.org/DHOpenLetter.html

  14. sylesa says:

    Burning Lamp,
    Dave Hunt apparently did not want to debate back and forth with the man he misquoted he wanted to put it in a book, hmm. Where is the book where he goes head to head with the man .I would be interested to read it but need to research if it has actually been written.Unless you know of the book and can post the link where i may find it.

  15. Burning Lamp says:

    Sylesa, are you referring to James White? If so, don’t waste your time. Dave Hunt is a man of integrity and he doesn’t put out false information.

    James white on the other hand is a hard core Calvinist and next to impossible to even reason with. You have to decide who you would rather believe, Hunt or White. I have followed Hunt’s ministry for many years and have found him trustworthy and sound doctrinally. He is a very humble man – I have met him in person. On the other hand, White comes across as caustic and arrogant.

    Dave is now very elderly and in fragile health – he doesn’t do speaking engagements any longer. But T.A. MacMahon does representing The Berean Call. I suggest you subscribe to their free newsletter and see the heart of that ministry.

    IMHO it is a waste of time to nitpick about Dave’s book, What Love Is This? It contains more than ample info and correct doctrine to refute Calvinist/Reformed teachings.

  16. Burning Lamp says:

    Sylesa, I can tell I have hit a nerve with you. You have put yourself on the defensive and with good intentions, I am sure, are making a very simple topic complicated.

    Sylesa, you must address the 5 points of Calvinism/Reformed doctrine if you wish to get to the truth. You cannot avoid it. It is a fact. It is the only way to discuss the matter. It is what C/R believe. You can’t have it both ways my dear. I have mentioned “Calvinism” because that is how the belief is identified. I am not bringing Calvin as a person into the picture. He may or may not have been the source of TULIP. Don’t care – doesn’t matter.

    If you are not willing to discuss the 5 points of Reformed theology, then there is no basis for a discussion. I am happy to take each point and we can examine it in the light of the Word. Fair enough?

    How about starting with Total Depravity?

  17. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Yes, lets start with Total Depravity :)

  18. sylesa says:

    24 March, 2011 at 6:55 pm
    Sylesa, dear cyber friend, if you believe ANY one of the TULIP you are trampling on the essentials of the truths of the Bible

    Burning Lamp,
    for starters , are you aware that Mr Hunt believes in the P of the tulip?

    The nerve that you hit is this—–you come off as VERY ungracious and a bit arrogant. That is the nerve that you hit.

  19. sylesa says:

    I will compile a list of scriptures as to why i do believe the total depravity part of tulip. Will get to that later.

    Am i going to defend tulip and John Calvin , no. As i said before, you have NEVER seen me speaking of tulip, so why are you still asking me to defend it? I said that i was of the calvinist persuasion, and i said why. Because i believe that salvation is so totally of the Lord that we would not have a desire to seek Him unless God first moved upon our hearts to do so. Calvin believed this. I also believe in the perserverance of the saints.The p. Calvin believed this as well.

    The chart that Tom Lessing has posted is not at all accurate of Calvins beliefs. I am in agreement with the gentleman that called it a straw man argument because Tom Lessing is either very misinformed about what calvinism really is or he is deliberatly lying in his post. I believe the benefit of the doubt is warranted.I believe that we ought to make every effort to aquire corrrect information before judging another persons beliefs. I will post a link that you may go to and listen to the 75 part syllubus messages that really do go into what Calvinism really is and how that those who came AFTER him changed what his systemetized beliefs were, and who Arminius was and how those who came AFTER him changed what he believed . It is very interesting if for nothing else, people will understand and will recognize a straw man when they see one such as what Tom Lessing came up with on this post. Because wether you agree with Calvin or you don’t agree with Calvin, i think that you will agree that it is a lie and a sin to misrepresent another person. As to John Calvin, you have just recieved my only defense of him that you are going to get, lol

    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/histtheocalvin.html

    this will show Burning Lamp the differences in the camp.

    Also, i would like to say, that if you go back thru the threads, you will read that i do not believe that God predestines anybody for hell( this is called double predestination), I have not claimed the tulip to be what i hold as a total belief system. And because i DO believe in the total depravity and the perseverance of the saints, DOES NOT MEAN THAT I MUST BELIEVE THE REST OF TULIP!! I was offended by your saying so. I am not at this point sure what i believe as to predestination, to be honest, i am on the fence until i study it more and see how it is arrived at as a doctrine in light of scripture being of one cloth. It is such a hot debate because both sides have scriptural support. However, both can’t be right.

    You are ungracious to say that if a person holds to a single belief of the tulip that they are trampling the Gospel. You are putting yourself in Gods seat when you say those sort of things, thats what offended me and that is why i pointed out to you that Dave Hunt who you want me to read, believes the P, and i wonder if you would accuse him of “trampling the Gospel”

    Anyways, i will most definatly be happy to defend my belief in total depravity and in the perseverance of the saints, the things that i DO believe.

    Also, here is a more accurate chart than the one that Tom Lessing posted

  20. sylesa says:

    Burning Lamp, you have said,

    Sylesa, you must address the 5 points of Calvinism/Reformed doctrine if you wish to get to the truth. You cannot avoid it. It is a fact. It is the only way to discuss the matter

    My question is ‘says who? of what authority are you on this matter? I mean this respectfully. I am not ignorant of the scriptures and neither are you and yet far better minds and hearts than our own have struggled with these theological issues , based on scripture, and so unless you are very and i mean VERY learned of BOTH Arminius and Calvin and how they both arrived at their points of view(you will not find this volume in Hunts book) and VERY learned of the scripture and therefore are yourself able to settle a dispute that has been hundreds maybe more dividing the church, how can you dictate how a matter is to be discussed??? Who are you to say that one can’t believe in Gods soveriegnty differently than yourself without “trampling ” the Word of God??? I’m sorry to post on this again , but i can’t get over seeing some pride in your judgements. I also need to keep myself in check here , i am aware, my flesh is rising also and i pray that the Lord helps me with that because it is ugly to be proud. I know you mean well.

  21. sylesa says:

    Burning Lamp,
    Proverbs 18:17 NIV
    New International Version
    The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him……

    With all due respect Burning Lamp, i find it interesting that you so quickly shut down when the man you closely follow is called into question! So because you say so , Dave Hunt does not need to be questioned ? Really?
    The book where the debate takes place is called “Debating Calvinism 5 Points Two Views”

    This review is from: Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views (Paperback)
    White offers a narrow but deep argument for his position and careful rebuttle of select points. Hunt offers a more shallow argument but in doing so touches on many points. It’s my opinion that Hunt entered into this debate with a preconception of Calvinism which is inaccurate and as a result spends much of his time striking at charictatures. White draws attention to this but time and again the Arminian perspective attacks points that never emerge from the Calvinist camp.
    Regardless, Hunt and White have produced a work that is entertaining and yet informative. Hunt’s view on freewill is interesting though he does not, in my opinion make a very strong case for it. White presents the classical Calvinist doctrins with equal zeal.

    Unintended is that this book gives you a debate to study. Argumentation developes, is struck down, rebuilt and the reader appealed to directly to consider the argumentation methods of the opponent. This synergy of the two authors gives this book unique appeal in my eyes.

    Of course, everyone want’s to know “who won,” to which I believe it is White. I think that Hunt’s breadth of argumentation robbed him of any depth and so if there was a solid argument to be established, it was never realized. While Hunt’s rehtoric might be more appealing it does not contain White who repeatedly topples core arguments of his opponent and is allowed to retain most/all of his own core arguments. This is the review of those that liked the book.

    This is the review of those that did not like the book.

    This review is from: Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views (Paperback)
    Here is what you’ll get, if you purchase this book:
    James White writes a concise, clear summarization of Calvinism, with very little of his usual condescension or sarcasm. He provides small, digestible slices of Greek hermeneutics, grammar analysis, and history. This is a better book than “The Potter’s Freedom” to give to a newcomer on the Calvinism/Arminianism debate, because it is not as technical or philosophically heavy.

    Dave Hunt’s chapters will give you a definite feeling for the typical argument of non-Methodist Arminians.

    However, here is why it’s also a poor book: Dave Hunt is so illogical, so non-linear, and so invincibly stubborn, that he is just a poor opponant for White. Even after writing his pro-Arminian book “What Love Is This?”, Hunt still shows that he has no concept of what Calvinism actually teaches.

    In his first positive chapter, meant to affirm what he believes, he chooses to spend the entire chapter smearing John Calvin, still playing the guilt-by-association game by making Calvin out to have been a closet Roman Catholic. It never occurs to Dave Hunt that this book was supposed to be about the generally-Reformed doctrine of salvation, not the Presbyterian view of church and the sacraments. But Hunt’s goal is to make you just hate Calvin as a person so much that you will automatically reject Calvin’s ideas. The principle that an idea can be true standing on its own, and isn’t proven by whether one of its advocates was a nice guy, never seems to occur to Hunt.

    Hunt wastes all kinds of time kvetching about Calvin’s views of the sacraments. But since James White is a Baptist and not a Presbyterian, AND because this book is supposed to be about the Christian doctrine of salvation (not the Christian doctrine of the sacraments, or church-state relations), Hunt’s incessant complaints against Calvin are totally irrelevant.

    White repeatedly and correctly points this out in his after-chapter responses, but Hunt never acknowledges it. Hunt never analyzes texts, barely responds to White’s actual points, and fills up his responses with wild claims that White “in his chapter didn’t produced even one verse that shows…” whatever it is they’re debating at that point in the book, while you (the reader) know that the only thing White did was cite and analyze verses.

    The issue is, what those verses mean? Hunt never shows that he knows how to do Bible interpretation. So as the book moves forward Hunt comes across as so knee-jerk and stubborn as to have lost his senses.

    So from that standpoint, you’ll wish the publishers had found some competent student of Scripture to debate James White. Even if it had been someone that no one ever heard of, any professional Arminian theologian from a conservative seminary or Bible college would have been better. One of my former systematic-theology professors from Columbia could have done a bang-up job.

    So here’s what you get: (a) A nice, concise summary of Calvinism from White, useful for people who want to know what calvinism teaches (b) a nice, concise summary of Calvinism’s critiques of Arminianism, for those who want to think critically, and (c) a pretty good feel for the typical, popular-level, Baptist-type anti-Calvinism you might run into anywhere, from Dave Hunt.

    But what you won’t get is an intellectually respectable defense of Arminianism. Hunt’s material is so loaded with guilt-by-association, slander, emotionalism, preachiness, unresponsiveness to White’s actual claims, and an “all-over-the-place” ramblingness, that you will wish that Multnomah Publishing had gotten someone else to represent the Arminian viewpoint.

    I will buy Dave Hunts book , and this one as well.Of course i lean to Calvinism but i will read both. And of course all the while , i will have my Bible.

  22. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    sylesa

    Dave Hunt does NOT believe in the P of Tulip. The Bible is VERY CLEAR that ones salvation is SEALED. There is a BIG difference between the Calvanist twisted version of ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ vs the Biblical version. The Calvinist version is based on the fact that God CHOSE the believer to SALVATION, hense once CHOSEN always CHOSEN! The Biblical version is that the Holy Spirit comes to ABIDE in the born again believer and remains there, no matter what – even through the most toughest times – and the Holy Spirit will ALWAYS convict and bring to remembrance who Jesus IS to the person He abides in. We as humans DO NOT KNOW who is GENUINELY saved vs those who only have a form of godliness, I tell you there are some who pull off a great masquerade to convince you they are so close to being saved (YET ARE NOT). Having said that, yes there are some who DO LOSE their salvation I believe as well (blaspheming the Holy Spirit) and the Bible is clear on this as well!

    Now, the FACT IS ALL LETTERS OF TULIP ARE BASED ON THE PREMISE OF BEING CHOSEN which I gather you believe you are and this is wrong.

  23. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    sylesa

    Again you say you do not believe that God predestines anyone to Hell, (but that is not the important part Sylesa), the important part is that Calvinists believe God predestines people to be saved and THIS IS THE CRUX OF TULIP and CALVINISM.

    Do you believe you are CHOSEN, YES or NO ?

  24. sylesa says:

    Deborah,
    i am not sure exactly what label that you want to put on it, but i do believe that the only reason that i came to Christ and the only reason that i seek God is because God graciously has moved on my heart to do so . I believe that this is the teaching of scripture.Apart from Calvin or anybody else. The reason that i said that the truth was here long before Calvin is because we had the Bible before Calvin. The only thing that Calvin did was systemize the beliefs of the church at that time.The Bible has not changed since then and it will not change from here to and thru eternity.

    Give me some time to compose my response, a few days maybe. I have to work for this and look up scripture ect:)I was really wanting Burning Lamp to post her refutation and i could ask her questions since she opened this can of worms but thats ok,just give a few days, this is a bit daunting:)I will post my position and the scriptural support for holding my position.

    You do not have to agree with me .I do not have to agree with you.This is not an issue to call one another heretics over, only if you have preconcieved notions of what i or other people with “Calvinist” leanings believe. Thats why i would encourage you and Burning Lamp to make it your business to at least understand the beliefs so as to rightly argue them , you don’t have to agree with them.I do not at all agree with Dave Hunt but i will read his book to see his position.And in learning the belief you will see that there are 4 point and 5 point and high and low ect., contrary to BL assertion that it is all or nothing. Calvin does not define the Bible , he merely systemetized some teachings as i stated before.

    The soveriegnty of God is the foundationof “Calvinism”, i say of the Bible.To have a very high belief in Gods soveriegnty does not make me a heratic. “Trampling the Gospel and Gods Word”. I’m not rattling my cage anymore:), but that was very unwarranted .

    This is s segment that says that Dave Hunt has stated that he believes in the perserverance of the saints

    – Dave Hunt was born in 1926. His church background is Plymouth Brethren. He has a degree in mathematics and a career as a CPA/management consultant, during which time he became involved in numerous campus ministries, with a special outreach to foreign students. Beginning in 1973, Hunt went into ministry full-time. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 books dealing with the incursion into Western culture, religion, and the church itself, of Eastern as well as psychological and selfist philosophies, New Age thinking, ecumenism between Catholics and Protestants, and other heretical teachings. More than three million copies of Hunt’s books have been sold, and have been translated into many languages. Hunt fills numerous speaking engagements in many countries, is a frequent radio and TV talk-show guest (as well as co-hosting his own radio show), and has engaged in many debates with Catholic apologists. Hunt’s organization publishes a free monthly newsletter, The Berean Call, which has a mailing list of more than 25,000.

    – Dave Hunt is not a “five-point” Arminian (he says he believes in the Perseverance of the Saints), but he is clearly Arminian with respect to man’s role in salvation. In Whatever Happened to Heaven? (Harvest House:1988), Hunt goes so far as to say that anyone who denies man’s free will in salvation blasphemes God’s character. Bottom line for Hunt, if you’re not an Arminian, you are a blasphemer! (In late 2002, Hunt published another pro-Arminian book, What Love Is This?: Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God, and is labeled by Hunt as a “defense of God’s character.”) — Hunt has kinder words for false teachers such as Billy Graham and Bill Bright than for those whom affirm the sovereignty of God in salvation! [Hunt reiterates his “blasphemes” and/or “maligns” God’s character claim in the Q&A sections of both the 5/02 and 9/05 issues of TBC, and again in What Love Is This?. Moreover, in the Q&A section of the 9/05 TBC, Hunt declares that those disagreeing with his Arminian theology are reprobate!]

    God says that He is able to preserve the saints, what difference does it make if He is preserving you who are saved or john smith who believes in the soveriegnty of God as to how he came to the Lord? God saved both, God keeps both.So wether you believe that you came to the Lord to forgive your sins and to put your trust in Christ completely on your own, or john smith believes that he came to Christ for forgiveness and to put his trust in Christ only because God moved on his heart to do so and he could not have done so apart from that moving on his heart, what is the problem to you? Both recognize Christ as the only hope and means of salvation.God keeps both.Calvinist do believe in the ABSOLUTE necessity of faith and repentance, they just believe that Gods moving on their hearts is what enabled them to do so, they do not believe that they have any inate goodness that would cause them to seek God without God first opening their hearts and eyes. If you want to call that chosen then call it chosen. At the end of the day, you think you came to God on your own, i think you came to God because He moved your heart to do so. You think i came to God on my own, i think i came to God because he moved my heart to do so.I believe that my position is scriptural.You do not believe my position is scriptural:)How in the world does this constitute Trampling the gospel????I fail to make the connection.
    I would like to be shown this one by the Word of God.

    Anyways, give me a few days, have other engagements and need to take time to put together the reason for my belief.

    How was your curried chicken:)

  25. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Sylesa

    >> i do believe that the only reason that i came to Christ and the only reason that i seek God is because God graciously has moved on my heart to do so

    Ahhh haaa, so Jesus only died for certain people and NOT the whole world? Do you not believe that God speaks to EVERY single individual in some way or another? You said in another comment under another article that you agree that Jesus died for the whole world, yet here you are saying that He didn’t, he only died for you and others who are lucky enough to have God CHOOSE them. Sylesa, come now.

    Sylesa… sylesa… sylesa… I am not Arminian, NEVER ONCE on this blog or anywhere in any discussion with anyone have I ever stated this and I never will. When I was saved, I picked up my bible over the last few years and have studied by my own (not reading others stuff) and come to learn all things from the Holy Spirit ONLY. Never, until recently had I heard of Arminianism (I kid you not) so don’t even try bring this into the discussion. It’s not about Arminianism vs Calvinism its about what is CORRECT DOCTRINE vs Calvinism.

    I could not care quite frankly what Dave Hunt has said or written. I care what the Bible says and the Bible is very clear on the matter.

    My chicken curry is FANTASTIC! My husband had to wipe the sweat from his forehead ahaha. I have a whole pot of it *drooling – yum yum yum*

  26. Burning Lamp says:

    Sylesa, you are the one who keeps slapping labels on people. I am not Arminian and do not have a label except for “sinner saved by grace”.

    You don’t need days to prepare. Just please go through the TULIP with me one “petal” at a time. I asked you a very simple question that requires a simple answer. We don’t need a dissertation or exegesis. The Gospel is very simple – yes, Bible study is important, but what I have noticed about those in your camp is the tendency to razzle dazzle with Bible knowledge. But really, the truth of the matter boils down to TULIP and it is very SIMPLE.

    Frankly, I don’t want a litany of your beliefs, for starters what you believe ONLY about about “T”. If you have to research and research what you believe, you are not clear on it. I may have to look up scriptures, but I have a clear concept of what I believe and where to find it. I am convinced in my mind and heart after years of walking with the Lord and searching His Word.

    Regarding Dave Hunt – you are just regurgitating what James White and other Calvinists have said about him because they are offended that he would dare to challenge them and they are what the Bible calls “blind guides”.

    And Sylesa, it DOES make a BIG difference – Calvinism/Reformed GUTS the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is pretty doggone serious!!

    Please lets take this ONE step at a time – again, let’s talk about Total Depravity. My take on T is very simple. It is based on the Word of God all the way through. Yes, man is depraved, but not to the point where he cannot make a decision. Good grief, all through the Bible man makes decisions, some good, some bad. Yes, the natural man cannot understand the spiritual, but that does not mean that he is not capable to respond to the call of God and the Holy Spirit when he is presented with the Gospel. Verse after verse calls man to make the right choices.
    The overall theme of the Bible is hope for mankind. Reformed theology says that God has to regenerate a person before they can accept Christ. That is a lie from the very pit of hell. Once we “talk” about that, then we can move on to Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints.

    BTW on Perseverance of the Saints, of course Hunt and I believe in this. BUT it is based on a MUCH different basis. Reformed believe what God has chosen He will preserve, after all, He controls it all and He handpicked His elect. NOT! I believe that after I have chosen to receive Jesus as my Savior that I am sealed by His Holy Spirit unto redemption. HUGE difference.

    This is wordier than I wanted, but from here on out my answers will be short and sweet and I hope you will do the same. I mean this in gentleness and humility, but at the same time, the faith must be defended.

  27. sylesa says:

    Deborah, i did not say that i believe in limited atonement. I belive that Christ died for the whole world. I am not a 5 pointer. i said that before. You wrongly believe that to believe some aspects of what Calvin(bible) taught is to believe everything that calvin taught. This is simply not true. You have a misunderstanding there.

    For me to say that i believe that God is soveriegn and that it is He who moved me (and you, and all who call on Him from a sincere heart) to seek Him, does not mean that i believe that He only died for the “chosen”. I cannot believe that. I believe that He died for the whole world, but not all will be willing to come to him. I believe that the call is out to all.I believe that all who are not saved will be because they chose to love the darkness. There is more to it tho and i will post on it in a few days.

    Give me time to pull it together in a post.Haven’t got to it yet but i will.

    It’s kind of like saying(not sure if this is a good analogy),that if you are in a charasmatic church , you automatically believe in being slain in the Spirit(or spirits, lol!), but that would be a wrong assumption. Actually , not everybody under the charasmatic umbrella even agrees on what gifts are still in operation,let alone being slain in the Spirit! Which is not a gift, don’t even know what it is!You cannot lump people like that.

    >>>Ahhh haaa, so Jesus only died for certain people and NOT the whole world?

    lol! i feel like i got caught with my hand in the cookie jar!!:)

    LOL! why do i feel like I’M going to hate John Calvin eventually! Like maybe curse the day i heard his name!!Lol

    Arminius was himself a 5 point Calvinist at one time, then he began to call into guestion some of the widely held beliefs of the church that calvin systemetized, he did not invent them. Arminius aquired some followers and the church has been split down the middle pretty much on these issues for hundreds of years. So if you are not 100% Arminiun are you alittle Calvin:) LOL!Oh boy, i think that maybe we can get to hate Jocobus Arminius as well!

    Anyways, glad your curried chicken was yummy! If you made alot, you might have some good leftovers today and not have to cook!
    I hope you feel well today also.

  28. Burning Lamp says:

    Sylesa, I just noticed that you questioned my “defense” of Hunt. Dave does not need defending, but the Word of God does. Dave has exposed Billy Graham in no uncertain terms many times over the years.

    I am well familiar with BOTH White and Hunt. They are as different as day and night. White demeanor is arrogant and prideful in his “knowledge” and he can be brash and rude. Dave is humble in spirit and gentle and gracious. Apparently you view this as a weakness.

    I have followed The Berean Call ministry for over 20 years and have found it to be scripturally and doctrinally sound.

    It has come out – you have been listening to the wrong voices. You have been brainwashed by James White. As I said, I am well familiar with his Alpha & Omega ministry and have read his stuff and
    listened to his debates. He loves a good argument and is very contentious. He likes to flaunt his knowledge of the Bible. This smacks of pride. I have heard him insult Dave Hunt on his radio program and speak disparagingly of him. I have never heard Dave do this. This is not what love is.

    Dave is not the best speaker and verbal communicator. He has been of advanced age for some time. His real talent is in writing and he has written many fine books that have been a blessing to the Body of Christ. He writes to prepare the Church for the coming of Christ and educates on prophesy and expose false teaching.

    Here are a couple of links that might be helpful – Scriptures are used.

    Hunt does not pride himself on credentials given by man, but by humbly and faithful rightly dividing the Word of God. He is not perfect and he would be the first to admit that. He defends the TRUE Gospel because He cares about those who have fallen into error.

    I didn’t mean this to turn into a defense of Hunt, but since you brought that to the forefront, it needed to be said.

    I am glad that you are going to at least read “What Love Is This?” I pray God will open your eyes. Dear sister, you are on dangerous ground. I mean that out of a heart of love and concern.

    I recommend the following links:

    Norm Geisler: http://server.firefighters.org/catalog/2003/17032.mp3
    David Cloud:

  29. sylesa says:

    Burning Lamp,you said

    >>>>Sylesa, you are the one who keeps slapping labels on people. I am not Arminian and do not have a label except for “sinner saved by grace”.

    KEEPS slapping labels on people? Really? where? because i pointed out that there are two mcamps of doctrine and named the men behind them? AFTER the name Calvin has been drug up one side and down the other!Lol! Just thought that i would be fair and throw his apponent in the ring! But i do not recall “keepingslapping labels on people” Maybe you can show me where i did that?

    And Sylesa, it DOES make a BIG difference – Calvinism/Reformed GUTS the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is pretty doggone serious!!

    IT does , how? You really should back your hurled words with scripture.And explain precisely how this is so.

    >>>Frankly, I don’t want a litany of your beliefs, for starters what you believe ONLY about about “T”. If you have to research and research what you believe, you are not clear on it. I may have to look up scriptures, but I have a clear concept of what I believe and where to find it. I am convinced in my mind and heart after years of walking with the Lord and searching His Word.

    Did not say that i needed to research and research what i believed. Easy for you to misrepresent me that way, but maybe find where i said that also, ok?

    >>>>> Verse after verse calls man to make the right choices.
    The overall theme of the Bible is hope for mankind. Reformed theology says that God has to regenerate a person before they can accept Christ. That is a lie from the very pit of hell. Once we “talk” about that, then we can move on to Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints

    Verse after verse Burning Lamp??????????? With all due respect , you are not using ANY scripture. The reason that i need to take a few days is because i have some things going on and i need to take the time to put my thoughts inorder and the scriptures to soundly show why i believe what i believe. What could be wrong with that?I want to avoid what you just did on this post, hurling words in your pride (I’m wondering if this really has to do with Gods honor and Truth)and you have NOT used Gods Word at all! You say verse after verse….. Hm. I don’t care to do it that way Burning Lamp. And wanting to take time to think it thru in light of scripture is a good thing to do , but somehow you have managed to represent it as something suspect.Hm.

    Regarding Dave Hunt – you are just regurgitating what James White and other Calvinists have said about him because they are offended that he would dare to challenge them and they are what the Bible calls “blind guides

    This was Amazons review ,compiled from all the people that read the book, this is what people said that both liked it and disliked it. Amazon compile a review of their books.Sorry, but it is not regurgitated material from those upset at his “nerve”. It sounds as if he was quite outdone because he could not support his position from scripture. You know, what i posted earlier, a man seems right until he is questioned? ProverbsI might add, since you represented it as “regurgitating” what is it that you are doing when you put up posts on others? Such as the one you posted on Andrew Wommack today??? Hm.

    , but what I have noticed about those in your camp is the tendency to razzle dazzle with Bible knowledge. But really, the truth of the matter boils down to TULIP and it is very SIMPLE

    Razzle dazzle??? Hm.
    Do you mean use scripture? something that you have not done in this post?
    Again, isn’t your interest in defending the scripture? But you haven’t used any and you are seeking to represent me as WRONG for wanting to think this thru and look up the scriptures before i post.

    I must not be as smart as you because they don’t all all the time spring to mind as easily as it does for you. But… you haven’t used the scriptures and are finding fault with me, so hey, i;m not following the logic and can only conclude you have a leg up on me!!1

    I really do not want to contine any rapport with you. I will post to Deborah until she boots me off the post.

    Sorry Burning Lamp that this has been turned into something so ugly.

    Please do not post to me , i will not reply or acknowledge you for obvious reasons. This is not good for either of us or anybody else.

  30. sylesa says:

    burning Lamp, sorry one other thing i forgot to point out

    >>>Frankly, I don’t want a litany of your beliefs, for starters what you believe ONLY about about “T”.

    I’m sorry, you really need to learn respect, I am not on trial with you and you as judge questioning me!!! This is a blog!

    you really should ask yourself if this is really about Gods honor when you are so arrogant and downright disrespectful. You make the claim that it is for God but you are of a wrong spirit.That’s all that i will ever say to you.Sorry to post again

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