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 Lessing (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.

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Each Letter is connected – mutually inclusive if you will. You can’t believe in TOTAL DEPRAVITY without believing you are ELECT. You can’t believe you are ELECT without believing in TOTAL DEPRAVITY. You can’t believe you are ELECT without believing in LIMITED ATONEMENT, and you can’t believe in LIMITED ATONEMENT without believing your are TOTALLY DEPRAVED. You can’t believe in IRRESISTIBLE GRACE without believing in LIMITED ATONEMENT, and you can’t believe in IRRESISTIBLE GRACE without believing you are ELECT, or TOTALLY DEPRAVED. You can’t believe in PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS if you don’t believe you are ELECT, hence you are TOTALLY DEPRAVED, believe in LIMITED ATONEMENT, IRRESISTIBLE GRACE, etc. No matter which way you look at it, no matter which PETAL of the TULIP you pick, you have to believe the others. Get the picture?

HERE IS AN EXCELLENT SUMMARY OF THE TULIP, notice how they are ALL INTERLINKED.

Total Depravity – Total depravity claims that man is too dead in sin to consider the things of God or believe the gospel unaided by God’s grace. He is said to be so completely dead in sin that He cannot come to faith through his own reasoning. It is thought that spiritual death because of Adam’s sin prevents mankind from thinking through the claims of the gospel. Therefore, total depravity is interpreted to mean total inability to believe.

Unconditional Election – Since man is said to be totally unable to believe the gospel, God must intervene by electing some for salvation. Otherwise, no man could be saved. According to His mysterious and unknowable purposes, God purportedly chooses and enables only the elect to be saved while others, not enabled, are left to chose against God and be condemned. Election is unconditional, meaning God’s election is not conditioned on faith. He indiscriminately chooses some to be saved according to His sovereign will for undisclosed reasons. Those whom God unconditionally elects are guaranteed to be saved.

Limited Atonement – Since God has unconditionally elected some for salvation, Jesus’ death was intended to procure only their salvation. The Calvinist reasons that all for whom Christ died will be saved because the blood of Christ is applied to the elect apart from and before believing faith. Therefore, the five point Calvinist will say the elect are regenerated (born again) before belief.

Irresistible Grace – Irresistible grace does several things to enable the elect’s salvation. First it applies the atoning blood of Christ to the elect before hearing the gospel, causing the elect to be born again before belief. It also bestows the gift of faith so the elect, who have been born again before belief, can place gifted faith in the gospel when it is heard. Personal faith from the human heart is considered a human work. Since the elect are born again before belief, the placing of gifted faith in the gospel doesn’t bring regeneration. The purpose of gifted faith is to enable a response to the gospel for acquiring the righteousness of Christ for justification. At this point, the elect are said to be totally saved. Salvation is kind of a two step process. Regeneration occurs before belief (at conception or baptism) and separated, perhaps by many years, from justification occurring after belief. The nature of righteousness, received for justification, is said to be Christ’s law-keeping righteousness which enables the elect to obey the moral vestiges of the Mosaic Law, which the Reformed claim is still in effect for the church today.

Perseverance of the Saints – While many think perseverance means persevering in lifelong faith and trust in Jesus, the Calvinist eventually understands perseverance to mean persevering in faithful obedience. The elect, upon believing the gospel through gifted faith, receive the law-keeping righteousness of Christ which enables their perseverance in moral law-keeping and service. Obedience proves one’s election because only they receive the grace to truly obey. If one can’t obey, then salvation is called into question and may easily be judged as false faith. Hence, the Calvinist begins to fear he’s not truly elected and therefore not saved if he sins grievously.

Sylesa

Unfortunately Calvinism rips out the heart of Salvation, it turns what Jesus did for EVERYONE on the cross into a mockery. This is why I take the stand I do against Calvinism.

Biblical salvation is simple, yet Calvinism’s version is long winded, brings confusion, brings pride (to those who think they are ELECT) and ultimately becomes a MAN CENTERED gospel.

Did you know that John Mac Arthur does not believe that after one is saved (ELECT) that we still have the flesh? He believes that we are totally new, no leftovers. So, what is the man saying…

This wonderful joke of a doctrine is called:

“One Naturism” and this teaching (to my best understanding) is that upon “coming to the knowledge of Christ” (whatever that might mean to some) the old sin nature is eradicated or destroyed thus leaving nothing remaining but the new nature provided by Christ which WILL automatically produce good works — or you are not “saved.” —http://expreacherman.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/lordship-salvation-calvanism-and-one-naturism/#comments

And in the world of Calvinism this would make perfect sense and ties in with Perseverance of the Saints above…

I have NO idea Sylesa why you are so intent of following Calvinism with ALL it’s horrendous teachings.

Burning Lamp

Thank you Debs. That makes it very clear.
As you can check, I did offer to engage Sylesa in a reasonable discussion of the TULIP one step at a time and I planned to use Scripture. People use scripture all the time and use it falsely to prove their point. If that is Sylesa’s main gripe with me, that is really too bad.

You are correct to point out that the tenets of the TULIP all hinge upon each other and you can’t believe in one without the other.

If Sylesa wants to believe in Reformed theology, she will have to believe that God regenerated her spirit BEFORE she made a profession for Christ and that she had NO choice in the matter, not that she heard the Word and then the Holy Spirit convicted her and she responded. That goes totally against scripture. The Bible clearly states that salvation comes through the hearing of the Word of God.

It is clear that dialoging with her further is not fruitful – she asked me a bunch of questions, but then left me no recourse to answer. But even if I did I don’t think it would make a difference no matter how many verses I quoted – she would only quote others that Reformed hang their hat on, just as all false belief systems to.

I don’t consider an honest discussion on doctrine as ugly – if I was unkind, I apologize, but as I said the discussion with Sylesa is closed as far as I am concerned and in accordance with her wishes. I hope she doesn’t post elsewhere giving the impression she is discerning because she defends false teachers and puts down solid teachers like Dave Hunt based on the opinions of others.

I honestly do wish her well and hope she comes to the knowledge of the truth.

sylesa

Hi Deborah,
I guess they call 4 point calvinism amyraldism because they do not believe in limited atonement. I guess that if you had to label me or peg me , i guess that i fit into this mold.I do not at all believe in limited atonement. I do however believe the other points
I have never heard of James White until i looked into the above mentioned book, his name was connected because of the controversy.

>>>>Did you know that John Mac Arthur does not believe that after one is saved (ELECT) that we still have the flesh? He believes that we are totally new, no leftovers. So, what is the man saying

Deborah, this is not so, i can post you some teachings of his where he acknowledges the struggle with the sin nature that we all have.I will post at the end of this response.

>>>>Biblical salvation is simple, yet Calvinism’s version is long winded, brings confusion, brings pride (to those who think they are ELECT) and ultimately becomes a MAN CENTERED gospel.

This is not so, he teaches the simple gospel. Going into all the doctrine and controversy within the church is not preaching the gospel and that is not what JM typically talks about. When he is asked doctrinal questions, he answers them to the best of his ability, but he has spent years just going thru the book of Luke in his expositional style of teaching/preaching. His MAIN topic has ALWAYS been Christ and HIM crucified. You cannot go to his website without being very struck by that!

I have no doubt that when he is preaching the gospel to lost souls he is not giving them long drawn out theological debates on these issues, no more than an Arminian goes into the long drawn out debate with calvinism when leading souls to Christ.These are not relevent to know, all that a person NEEDS to know for sure is this —- that he is a sinner and in need of grace and forgiveness from the only God and Jesus Christ who died on the cross to be the propiciation for his sins. He needs to know that there is NOTHING that he can commend himself to God with and NOTHING that he can do to earn his salvation.He needs to know that God is willing to save him , not because he is good but because God is good, God is merciful and most of all because God sent His Son to die and rise again to secuere his salvation for him. If this message touches his heart at any time , it will be because God moved his heart and whosoever will may come… he that comes to me i will in no wise cast out… this is the gospel and this is what is preached.And NOBODY needs to worry about wether they are elect if it is ther hearts desire to be saved and to come into the gospel of Gods Grace. God who cannot lie , will do what He said he would do. I’m sorry, but John Macarthur DOES teach these things. Because when a person calls on the Lord from a sincere heart, God will keep HIS Word wether that person knows thes other truths and doctrines or not. The Bible says that we grow in knowledge and grace. These are not issues relevent to preaching the Gospel and i know that JM does not make them an issue of knowing or understanding in order to be saved! That would be ludicrous! Kinda like my son was my son when he was born but he was no less my son for not understanding how he came to be my son:)))Who could bear to hear these things when coming to God.? Yet at the same time there are very hard passages in the Bible, that are hard to be understood and hard to accept, but God did not have us tear them out of our bibles because they might upset a new christian. It behooves the church and all of us as to how we build up new Christians and are considerate to their state. I think that when theologians go into those things , they are not speaking to babies and to those who may not be in a place as yet to be able to bear it. Who hasn’t been there? I have. I do understand what you are saying, but i believe that you are misapplying because that is not how calvinist(not JM and i hope nobody) preaches the Gospel.But you bdo have a point in what you are saying.

>>>>>obey

Perseverance of the Saints – While many think perseverance means persevering in lifelong faith and trust in Jesus, the Calvinist eventually understands perseverance to mean persevering in faithful obedience. The elect, upon believing the gospel through gifted faith, receive the law-keeping righteousness of Christ which enables their perseverance in moral law-keeping and service. Obedience proves one’s election because only they receive the grace to truly obey. If one can’t obey, then salvation is called into question and may easily be judged as false faith. Hence, the Calvinist begins to fear he’s not truly elected and therefore not saved if he sins grievously

Now this is a point that i can say that i honestly struggled with because this is how I THOUGHT it was also. But I have come to understand that this is not at all what is meant. People who believe in calvinism sin and fail just like those who do not believe in calvinism.The fact is , whichever one you call yourself, we should both have this in common —- we no longer WANT to give ourselves over to sin, we hate our sin and repent of it as God shows us in His Word what His will is. Not with a works motive that says “oh my word, i haven’t been doing well lately and God is going to give me up and i won’t be saved.”” No. If somebody has this attitude( i once struggled with this as i stated) they are in bondage to a perverse gospel that is no gospel at all. The attitude ought to be—– God saved me and I love Him , i want to do right. When i fail , i ask Him to forgive me and i get up and go on because i am not working my way to salvation. I CAN”T no matter how hard i tried anyways!!I seek to obey Him BECAUSE i trust Him not so that He will accept me. There is a HUGE difference in motive. But at the same time , if i don’t care about turning from sin in my life, then how can i say i believe? Didn’t jesus come to deliver us from sin? Don’t we want to be free? Hasn’t God given us those new desires? I say yes, He has. The scriptures say that if we walk in darkness and sin we don’t know Him no matter what we claim. God says that as you already know.We are not turning from sin to be saved but because we are saved and God has opened our eyes and our hearts and we over time think differently than we did before.This is normal. We just have to be careful not to get caught up in the trap of trying to be good for Gods acceptance. This can never happen and will only lead to misery.The letter kills, it accuses but can’t help us to do right and in it’s tyrany it weakens us to even more sin because we just can’t be good enough. Ask me how i know, lol! except it was not funny at all when i struggled with it. I THOUGHT that this was what Jm was saying, now i know that this is not what he was saying. God is setting me free from many things and has set me free from many things.It is surly His grace because as i said before, I am a very great sinner.

>>>>>Irresistible Grace – Irresistible grace does several things to enable the elect’s salvation. First it applies the atoning blood of Christ to the elect before hearing the gospel

Lord have mercy , this is not true! Deborah, you have some of these things so wrong!I’m not blaming you , it’s because there is so much misinformation out there. If you have time and can endure the dryness, listen to that syllybus on calvinism that i sent a link for.

>>>>Biblical salvation is simple, yet Calvinism’s version is long winded, brings confusion, brings pride (to those who think they are ELECT) and ultimately becomes a MAN CENTERED gospel

It should exclude ALLLLLL pride when rightly understood. So completly Gods Grace thru faith and that not of yourselves!God made sure that there was no room for boasting! Not to say that there are not those in BOTH camps who IMAGINE that they have reason to boast.

>>>>> Election is unconditional, meaning God’s election is not conditioned on faith. He indiscriminately chooses some to be saved according to His sovereign will for undisclosed reasons. Those whom God unconditionally elects are guaranteed to be saved.

Not so, it is always grace thru faith. Calvinist believe in repentance and faith toward God just as you do, the only difference is you believe that you one day just came tou call on Him because you chose Him when in fact the reason that you repented and put your trust in Him is because He chose you. This is truly humbling, not reason for any pride, because we are no less sinners than anybody ekse and some of us worse siners than others. The cause is not found in us but in Him and His great mercy.

>>>>> Therefore, total depravity is interpreted to mean total inability to believe

you do rightly understand this part and it is not in any way misrepresented. I do believe this Deborah.Unless a man is born from above … is one of many scriptures that i will post later.Everyone that learns from the Father comes to Christ, salvation is of the Lord.

>>>>>>>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 am not going to spend all my time defending myself to somebody that continuously seems to want so BADLY to MISREPRESENT ME !! And to ASSUME what i may consider weakness??!! Must not have read the post correctly because it is not based on style or humbleness or personality that the book that he wrote got such bad reviews , it was based SOLEY on the fact that he could not back it with scripture!! These are ordinary people reviewing the book at Amazon, not our favorite pet teachers! I simply posted it and it … Never mind>>> Listen, if i do not defend myself anymore to her AND I WON”T it is because i can no longer take her seriously, and thru these repeated insults i have lost all respect and do not care what she chooses to post any longer ,this is a discernment blog after all and i would hope that it would be ubundantly clear when these unwarranted personal judgements are taking place… Please find somebody else to take Gods “LOVE” to !!

[REMOVED links: This is not a ‘grace to you’ portal]

Deborah, those links are just a few, he has to many to post on the topic of our struggle with sin, but if you type in key words i am sure that you will bring up many and get a pretty good knowledge of how Jm sees sin in the life of the believer.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sylesa

>>Irresistible Grace – Irresistible grace does several things to enable the elect’s salvation. First it applies the atoning blood of Christ to the elect before hearing the gospel

Lord have mercy , this is not true! Deborah, you have some of these things so wrong!I’m not blaming you , it’s because there is so much misinformation out there. If you have time and can endure the dryness, listen to that syllybus on calvinism that i sent a link for.

Haha no no, you don’t understand the horrible doctrine you follow Sylesa. Open your eyes!! We are trying to show you the truth here and you refuse to see it.

Reformed “Covenant theology” (RCT) is called so because it claims three extra covenants are part of the Bible, though not explicitly (literally) found in scripture with chapter and verse. These three extra covenants are implicitly inferred from the Bible, meaning that certain scant verses are interpreted to carry inferences to these extra covenants. The scriptures teach six major covenants that can be literally and explicitly identified on the pages of scripture. The six major explicit covenants are the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Land, Davidic and New Covenants. The three inferred covenants of RCT are called the Covenant of Redemption (before time began), the Covenant of Works (pre-fall) and the Covenant of Grace (at the fall).

The most important of these three extra covenants is the Covenant of Redemption which is said to be an inter-Trinitarian covenant within the Godhead where God the Father chose the elect, Jesus the Son agreed to die for the elect, and the Holy Spirit agreed to enable the elect for salvation. The Covenant of Works was said to be made with Adam when God promised him life for obedience and death for disobedience. The moral part of the Mosaic Law is considered to be a vestige of this pre-fall covenant today. The Covenant of Grace teaches that Christ became the obedience for the elect. His obedience is divided into His passive obedience on the cross and His active obedience in keeping the Law. Eternal blessings are promised to those who believe that the succession of both the implicit and explicit covenants is God’s grace toward mankind. —-http://www.carylmatrisciana.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=68:calvinism-spiritual-fusion-article-3-of-11&catid=39&Itemid=58

sylesa

Deborah, that is not the teaching of any calvinism that i have EVER heard and is not what i believe. What is the sourse where you are getting this information and to what teacher are you ascribing it to?

Have you listened to the syllubus that i posted a link to? The very first teaching goes into calvinism and the different varieties. Go to the sourse and hear what is being said.

You are tantamount to by implication saying to me that if i was in the charasmatic movement and believed in the gift of tongues, then you would point out all the abberent weird groups and subgroups and ascribe all that they have ever taught onto me by association, that is not fair minded at all Deborah.

even calvinists say that abberant groups(JUST AS IN ANY OTHER DENOMINATION) have risen annd taught heresies and they dismiss them as heretics just as one might do within any other denomination. And as i have made as plain as i can make it, i do not believe everything taught in calvinism! Why won’t you hear that??? I can’t keep repeating it

sylesa

Deborah, you can point out all day long all the abberant beliefs of ANY group , including Calvinism and if i don’t hold those beliefs myself, what is your point? Respectfully:)

sylesa

you are not Catholic, so that means that you are Protesant, and do you know how MANY false (yes you do, your a discernment blog)teachings there are out ther under being Protesant? But that is not on you because you are not yourself embracing them so , well—-see my point? It is not relevant to me how many or of what variety of heresies there are in calvinism or any other theology, i do not embrace it so there is no point in hashing it with me because i don’t believe the heresy anyways! I will only defend what i ACTUALLY DO believe, I am sure that you can continue to gather all sorts of negative doctrines that have benn wrongly ascribed to calvinism and that have been rightly ascribed to calvinism. It all makes no difference to be because i will only defend what i believe and not what i don’t believe. Fair enough:)

Deborah (Discerning the World)

sylesa

>> even calvinists say that abberant groups(JUST AS IN ANY OTHER DENOMINATION) have risen annd taught heresies and they dismiss them as heretics just as one might do within any other denomination. And as i have made as plain as i can make it, i do not believe everything taught in calvinism! Why won’t you hear that??? I can’t keep repeating it

JMA is what you would call a ‘moderate’ Calvinist (in disguise) and his aim is to preach the moderate version or crowd pleasing version of Calvinism to people, whereas others like Paul Washer and all other REFORMED THEOLOGIANS believe this. Just because you have never head of this before does not make it true. Wake up Sylesa.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sylesa

>> you are not Catholic, so that means that you are Protestant

No Sylesa, I am a born again Christian.

>> It is not relevant to me how many or of what variety of heresies there are in calvinism or any other theology, i do not embrace it so there is no point in hashing it with me because i don’t believe the heresy anyways! I will only defend what i ACTUALLY DO believe

Oh but Sylesa, why then do you embrace men (JMA) who are full on into the heresies you disagree with? You see you contract yourself. For instance JMA believes that Jesus did not die for the WHOLE WORLD (heresy) – you don’t believe this (thank goodness), yet you will stand up for JMA a man who preaches heresy to others and traps them. Again, (JMA) denies the blood of Jesus (I have proven this to you in previous articles, comments) and still you continue to want to follow after JMA. So it makes me wonder…

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sylesa

>> I guess they call 4 point calvinism amyraldism because they do not believe in limited atonement

Hmmm… that makes no sense.

As a REMINDER this is what Irresistable Grace stands for – When God calls his ELECT into salvation, they cannot resist. And you believe in Irresistible Grace….

Now regarding LIMITED ATONEMENT which you say you don’t believe in: You are then dropping limited atonement in favor of UNLIMITED ATONEMENT saying that God has provided Christ’s atonement for all mankind, but seeing that none would believe on their own (T,U and I) he then elects those whom he will bring to faith in Christ, thereby preserving the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election.

Apparently then you also believes this:

UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION: This asserts that God’s choice from eternity of those whom he will bring to himself is not based on foreseen virtue, merit, or faith in those people. Rather, it is unconditionally grounded in God’s mercy alone. Conversely, God has also chosen from eternity to withhold himself from the unelect, and condemn them to face his wrath (these people are given free will to choose damnation)

So as you can see Sylesa, you might as well believe in LIMITED ATONEMENT because it is SUPPORTED by the ALL THE OTHER PETALS on the TULIP.

You can’t be a 3 pointer or 4 pointer or 2 pointer.

sylesa

Good Morning Deborah,

>>>>>>YOU SAID
JMA is what you would call a ‘moderate’ Calvinist (in disguise) and his aim is to preach the moderate version or crowd pleasing version of Calvinism to people, whereas others like Paul Washer and all other REFORMED THEOLOGIANS believe this. Just because you have never head of this before does not make it true. Wake up Sylesa.

Deborah, with all respect, you know the point that i am making!
And yes i absolutly embrace JM because he teaches the scriptures! And i can say that in spite of wether i agree with him on limited or unlimited atonement. Because it does not matter to salvation! When he teaches that all may come to Christ and whosoever calls on the name of the Lord ect, he is doing his part! The other side of the issue and the outcome of of it belongs to the Lord! You cannot say that JM has helped you in times past and now he is a “danger” to everybody else!!You stopped listening to him when tou learned that he was calvinist, but that did not prevent him from being a blessing to you b4 you learned that!!!! And why is that Deborah??
Because you have a preconcieved notion of it , some personal issues with it and now you seek to malign him!When he spoke the Word of God it made it’s impact on your heart! And Jm would say that it made that impact on your heart because GOD opened your heart to it! You would say NO>>>> >> you are not Catholic, so that means that you are Protestant

No Sylesa, I am a born again Christian

Deborah, of course you are a born again christian! This was not the point i was making i think you know.
If you were in a room and people were asked to raise their hands as to wether you were Catholic, Protestant, Muslim , Buddha ect, you would be raising your hand under Protestant! That is Christian with many subgroups and denominations. It is NOT making a distinction between Christian and non Christian! That would be if you were in a room and you were asked to raise your hand if you were a christian or a muslim!The point that i was making is this—– no matter what camp you fall into in the spectrum of Christianity, there are differences in the camps! Some are worth fighting for as they are central to the Gospel, and others are simply differences that are secondary and not central to the Gospel.The Gospel is preached but there ase other varying differences such as i mentioned b4 speaking in tongues. Do i believe in tongues for today? No. Do i contend with those that do because i don’t believe in it under “contending for the faith” No.
Because altho i don’t personally believe it, i recognize it as not affecting the true preaching of the gospel and therefore is a secondary issue.I can any day of the week fellowship with those that do believe in tongues for that reason. And many of my friends are in the charismatic movement and i am not.But if you want to take every point of difference between everybody, there would be no one standing except those who are proud and proclaim ALL knowledge of which i am not prepared to say i have and i don’t think that you are saying that either. If you posted what church you go to and every belief of that denomination, i wonder — would you have identical beliefs in all points? I can promise you that whatever church or denomination you choose, there can be critisism leveled against it!! But i am equally sure that such a church does not exist where either you or i would be 100% in agreement with every word out of the mouth of all teachers under that denomination! But what shall we do? Nobody is left standing! And yes we do have our bibles and yes the scriptures are of no private interpretation, but are you prepared to say that you personally have ALL AND COMPLETE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORD SUCH AS YOU CAN NO LONGER LEARN?
I know the scriptures fairly well but am NOT prepared to make such a claim!!

Please don’t take offense to this post. I believe that there is so much slandering and personal attack(not from you) and opinions that are not backed up with scripture. BL claims that she was GOING to use scripture, I was wondering WHY she didn’t? She said that i left her no room to answer, But she was at that moment posting a complaint of this and yet STILL not answering! When there is truly grounds for belief(I promise you will recieve mine) it seems that there should be no need to become personal and attack people by attributing to them beliefs that they do not hold.And why don’t you and BL start posting a true exegesis of scripture refuting the doctrine that you are against instead of talking down the people behind the teachings? Wouldn’t that be more profitable to all? Not throwing out a scripture here or there, but prove your points! Focusing on people is easy to do and shields you from this. You are both fighting me and throwing out accusions but are not seeking to disprove me . I am willing to post first , however it is very telling that neither of you have been willing to exegete scripture to prove your position. You are waiting for me to do so(and i will)so that you may simply claim that i am misusing scripture and pick it apart when you could just post your own exegesis now.Are you both not willing to take the time to do that? I know that Burning Lamp has said that she can do it easily after all her years of folling the Lord! Well , i ask her to do so now! If she is not willing , well then i will post first and watch her say that I AM THE ONE misusing scripture!

Anyways Deborah, I hope that all is well with you. This is not personal to you in any way, you are seeking to help people and that is to always be commended.
Have a good day.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sylesa

>> When he teaches that all may come to Christ and whosoever calls on the name of the Lord ect, he is doing his part! The other side of the issue and the outcome of of it belongs to the Lord! You cannot say that JM has helped you in times past and now he is a “danger” to everybody else!!You stopped listening to him when tou learned that he was calvinist, but that did not prevent him from being a blessing to you b4 you learned that!!!! And why is that Deborah??

Heresy does not matter to salvation? You kidding? So in effect you have no right to point fingers at any other person Sylesa who preaches FALSE TEACHING because you my dear EMBRACE false teaching and it’s teacher JMA.

I read one of his books, ‘Charismatic Chaos’ and that was it. And I did not stop listening to JMA because he is a Calvinist Sylesa, I stopped because 1) He denies the blood of Jesus 2) He believes that Jesus only died for the ELECT 3) Denying the blood of Jesus stems from the fact that he is a Calvanist, Calvinism destroys the gospel message of SALVATION!

A MAN can not bless people Sylesa, where do you get that nonsense from! JMA never blessed me, ever. No man ever blesses me. Jesus Christ on the other hand blesses me.

>> If you were in a room and people were asked to raise their hands as to wether you were Catholic, Protestant, Muslim , Buddha ect, you would be raising your hand under Protestant!

No I would not raise my hand, because I am not Protestant. I am a bible believing Christian. What part of this are you not getting?

I don’t take offense to anything you say.

You have contradicted yourself so many times all because you refuse to just come out and say in less than 3000 words that you believe you are CHOSEN / ELECT. You keep trying to refer me back to John MacArthur’s articles of misleading information hoping that I will somehow agree with you, but it ain’t gonna happen. I understand the doctrine of Calvinism right down too it’s last tangly root.

I pray that your eyes are opened to the truth of the matter of the things you have said here on this blog and you can escape from this Calvinist hold that is over you, that gives you the right to think you are more special than others.

God LOVES EVERYONE Sylesa, not just you.

sylesa

Also Debs,
Burning Lamp started this with me and called me out as being wrong. She said that she wants to “discuss” the points. She says that it is “real simple”. I am saying that it is not quite that simple in a few lines and a big BOOK like the Bible to defend something in a few lines! LOL

But i am asking Burning Lamp to go all out and since it is simple and she has walked with the Lord for years and is of such authority and has great and easy recall of scripture, to right now post her vast knowledge and refutation BY SCRIPTURE on this topic! If she is more confortable hiding behind throwing out accusations and is not willing to , i woiuld wonder why??? Is she truly not willing to prove herself , but rather prime the pump by saying that i will be misusing scripture? What is so hard about Burning Lamp right now posting her own exegesis on this topic??? Words from her own mouth is that it is simple and she knows the word! She does not need to “discuss ” this with me! Simply post your proof! You are “defending” Gods Word and maybe it would be helpful to others reading this post! If she won’t do it , i can only wonder why not??? You ought always to be able to back up what you say and you do not need to engage with me to do it! After all, when i post my position , i am simply posting my position not “discussing ” it with her! POst Burning Lamp, I anxiously await to see your claims of truth. Am i asking anything unreasonable? Unless you are afraid to! Then i guess it will be up to me to post first while you take the easy road and slander me as misusing scripture!!!

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sylesa

I don’t think BL is going to comment because you told her you would not reply to her comments.

sylesa

Deborah,
you do not understand calvinism down to its very last root, neither do i .
I am not talking Calvinism, i am talking Bible. I believe the Bible.
I have never said AT ANY TIME that God does not love everybody, much less that He only loves me!!!!
These are the sort of back and forths that are not productive because you are yourself so focused on JM. I believe JM as far as he believes the bible, i believe calvinism as far as it is in agreement with scripture! How about we drop all names and labels and talk only scripture!
You keep accusing Jm of things that i know are not true, so i posted links to his teachings that PROVE that what you said about him was not true ,——-then you delete the links and say that i am making it a gty portal!!!
When in fact i was only trying to show you that you were putting out false information! I could care less if you like JM !! Why would I care about that? I don’t know you personsally and it is neither here nor there for me if you like JM! It wouldn’t even mean anything to me if my personal friends liked him! Some of them don’t , lol! Because he teaches against alot of the abuses in the charismatic movement and some of my friends are in it! Deborah, i am not defending JM so that you will like him, i am pointing out some misinformation that you have put out on him.At least let it be for true reasons that you don’t like him!!

You refuse to see his position on the blood, it is clear that no amount of correction is going to change your mind and at this point , i am done trying to tell you that he has been misrepresented on that. Bob Jones who put the critisism out there has retracted it and yet you hold onto it. Fred Butler tried to correct you , who knows the man personally , yet you will not recieve it. John Macarthur has put out a open letter on the topic , yet you still want to believe evil. You should look to your own heart Deborah. You are seeming like a very ungracious person who refuses to be corrected— the very thing that you seek to point out in others.This is not a godly quality, and you cannot hide behind defending Gods Word because this is a personal attack on a man who has denied what he was accused of and sought to set it straight in the public domain.This is personal to you and i believe that you are unable at this time to make that seperation.

>>>You have contradicted yourself so many times all because you refuse to just come out and say in less than 3000 words that you believe you are CHOSEN / ELECT. You keep trying to refer me back to John MacArthur’s articles of misleading information hoping that I will somehow agree with you, but it ain’t gonna happen. I understand the doctrine of Calvinism right down too it’s last tangly root.

Deborah, i am not hoping that you will agree with me. That also is neither here nor there for me. There are differences between people and i accept that. The only thing that i object to is slander , misinformation , and putting alot of stuff out based on opinion and not backed by sripture. With all due respect, you are doing the same thing, you are saying alot but not taking apart the things you say are heresy with scripture!This in effect is you claiming to be the Authority! And Burning Lamp as well.

You also can post your scriptural exegesis of this topic to prove to all on this blog that i lack discernment as BL has accused me of and you can also at the same time BACK UP thru scripture that i am embracing heresy! Otherwise , it is so easy to throw out insults and accusations at people! That is the low road. Post, i will answer to it when i post!

I , after i post/answer to my belief based on scripture,I think that I will be moving on from this blog. I still nevertheless commend you for your ministry and what you are attempting to do.At the same time, i feel that you are not teachable yourself. And anybody that examines others ought to examine themselves as well. Me included.

sylesa

Deborah, BL does notneed to comment TO ME, simply back up her claims that she has ALREADY put out therE. Also, that has not stopped her from commenting anyways, with all due respect. And , i might add, IF this REALLY is about defending the Truth , then i think that she owes it to others on this blog. And i would also like to add that i asked her to do that before i made the comment of not posting to me. I am asking her to post an exegesis of scripture on this topic for the sake of defending Truth, just as i will be doing.

Is she afraid to? I will be doing so! She is the one who said that i am wrong?!!!! Shouldn’t she have right away proved it all from scripture?????
I mean , she said how simple it was, so why is she not doing it?? She does not need to engage WITH me in any way to post an exegesis on this topic!!!!

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sylesa

It appears you choose JMA and his heresies over JESUS CHRIST. How silly of you to follow a man the way you do instead of just picking up your bible and studying it with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Your guide is JMA. Who is your Lord and Saviour Sylesa? Who blesses you Sylesa, JMA or Jesus Christ?? Wake up Sylesa. If JMA denies the blood of Jesus and views it at SYMBOLISM only and you agree with him, the you too deny Jesus Christ! Wake UP Sylesa!

All the scripture you need regarding Calvinism has been supplied to you on this website under other articles, you have read it already and ignored it.

This is the end of the discussion Sylesa. Go follow John MacArthur and everything he spoon feeds you.

Sylesa

>> I have never said AT ANY TIME that God does not love everybody, much less that He only loves me!!!!

Yes you have, you stated you are a 4 point calvanist, you believe in Irresistable Grace which is: When God calls his ELECT into salvation, they cannot resist. You then drop limited atonement in favor of UNLIMITED ATONEMENT saying that God has provided Christ’s atonement for all mankind, but seeing that none would believe on their own (PETALS: T,U and I) he then elects those whom he will bring to faith in Christ, thereby preserving the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election.

This is the CRUX of Calvinism, that God CHOOSES some people and others he leaves for destruction. Seeing that you believe you are CHOSEN, what makes you think you are so special that God would choose you and others not. The TRUTH IS: God loves EVERYONE and EVERYONE has been given the choice to follow His Son Jesus Christ or not.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Of for crying out loud…

Burning Lamp

Debs, you have cut to the quick on the devious doctrine of shall we call it “perverted predestination” leaving off all labels. You have given more than ample scripture on your site addressing this topic. You could not have made it clearer when you explained why someone can’t be a 4 pointer. If Sylesa cannot understand that, further discussion is fruitless.

If I have slandered her or anyone else, please tell me. That was certainly not my intention. I am passionate about exposing this wicked, insidious doctrine. It damages the Body of Christ and is an affront to the Gospel and the sacrifice of Lord and Savior. I am not an expert and I hardly know what exegesis is, but I do understand simple truths of the Word of God.

I simply asked Sylesa to discuss the TULIP one-by-one, step by step and to keep it short and simple. She cannot accept that.

You have given her a simple answer that doesn’t require a degree from a seminary. I admire those who do deeper studies into the Word – that is not my calling. I don’t think God requires it. The Holy Spirit is our teacher. I have always loved this verse: But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;1 Corinthians 1:27.

As I said, I wish Sylesa well, sorry to upset her, and I hope that she takes a break from JMA for awhile as we had discussed on another thread some time ago and she agreed was best. Even putting the blood issue aside, there are enough other concerns about his teaching and those in his camp that should cause her to question.

sylesa

Burning Lamp, with all respect we are ALL called to give a defense, we are ALL called to study to show ourselves approved!! You do not need to discuss anything with me, you called me wrong, and i am simply stating —–PROVE IT FROM SCRIPTURE!!! Isn’t that what you SAID that you were going to do in “discussion ” with me??? And in spite of all the “many scriptures on this site? Then if you are now claiming that you are unable to post your exegesis of scripture PROVING me the heretic , ummm, lol! how can you say what is right or wrong if you are NOT ABLE TO POST AN EXEGESIS OF SCRIPTURE PROVING YOUR POINT!!! Instead of claiming that there is so much on this site, WHICH THERE IS NOT, why don’t you humor me??? After all , you are so fervent for the Word and it comes so easily to you after all these years ect ect…….!

1st Corinthians 1:27 is a great scripture, however it is not meant to be used against somebody who knows the Word just because you are unable to post a exegesis on your position!! IT doesn’t have to be some great massive work, just prove your point! And you ought to be able to withstand questions! And if you do not know the answers BY THE WORD OF GOD, then why attack somebody??? Why proclaim yourself as the holder of all Truth if you can’t back yourself up with scripture??

You don’t know the Word well enough to do that BL but you will claim to know it well enough to attack what i will later post??? LOL11 thats a joke with all due respect. I am anticipating your making mighty claims to “knowing” the Word when i post, and I’m anticipating you making claims that i am misusing scripture, so thats why i am asking you now, IF YOU KNOW THESE ISSUES SO WELL

>>>>As I said, I wish Sylesa well, sorry to upset her, and I hope that she takes a break from JMA for awhile as we had discussed on another thread some time ago and she agreed was best. Even putting the blood issue aside, there are enough other concerns about his teaching and those in his camp that should cause her to question

Again , just ugly accusations that are unable to prove from scripture.
I would like you to know that my answers will be from the Word, not JM! You will not hear “JM SAID”! I just wish that you could do the same!

>>You have given her a simple answer that doesn’t require a degree from a seminary. I admire those who do deeper studies into the Word – that is not my calling. I don’t think God requires it. The Holy Spirit is our teacher

>>> Excuse me Burning Lamp, the Holy Spirit is your teacher, but the Written Word is the instrument!!And yes , you are required to study to show yourself approved! And at a minimum, on a discernment blog to which you like to present yourself as a holder of all truth , you OF ALL PEOPLE BETTER BE ABLE to prove yourself from scripture and don’t hide behind “thats not my calling” rubbish. You ought to be able to answer ANYTHING THAT YOU TAKE ISSUE WITH! Otherwise , on what basis do you take issue?? uhh, mmmm, i dont like that teaching! Not good enough Burning Lamp!
If it’s not your calling to know the Word better than you are able to get what you give , then maybe you ought to at least have the wisdom to not open your mouth(fingers) UNTIL you are able!!

And don’t MISUSE a scripture against somebody who knows the Word better than you just because you are not able to answer me! Have more respect for the Word than that.

sylesa

A little irony that you should use that scripture whaile claiming not to know the Word well enough to post what i have asked for, hmm, perhaps it is hidden from you Burning Lamp? Just a thought.

sylesa

DEBORAH, YOU HAVE SAID,

How silly of you to follow a man the way you do instead of just picking up your bible and studying it with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Your guide is JMA. Who is your Lord and Saviour Sylesa? Who blesses you Sylesa, JMA or Jesus Christ?? Wake up Syles

That is unkind of you to make that judgement, you do not even know me to assume that i do not pick up my bible and study it . I have spent mucm, much time in the Word of God! I still do, i even hate for days to go by when i don’t do so! I always get back on track though.
You should not say things that are not true.

Anyways, hope you are well.Take care.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Sylesa

How unkind of me to say such a thing? But Sylesa you are the one voting for JMA like America voted for Obama. You refuse to take your eyes off him and his TEACHINGS, put them aside and go to prayer instead with the guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT ONLY.

Each time I show you heresies of JMA you push them aside over Jesus’ commandments to love HIM more than men.

I AM TRYING TO HELP YOU SYLESA. You bring tears to my eyes when I read your comments, but there is nothing I can do but make you angry in the hopes that I try shock you awake. You are caught up in a false doctrine Sylesa and I pray with all my heart that your eyes are opened to the truth.

The end!

Deborah (Discerning the World)

sylesa

>> A little irony that you should use that scripture whaile claiming not to know the Word well enough to post what i have asked for, hmm, perhaps it is hidden from you Burning Lamp? Just a thought.

You speak about me being unkind, I must say your comments are getting downright nasty.

I am really beginning to hate the word exegesis. What’s wrong with the word summary? It’s simple, easy to understand!

sylesa

Deborah,
I like you and i support you having a discernment ministry. I at the same time believe that you are being unteachable and are not proving your point.

You are not looking at the scriptures in ther context.You are blindly holding to your position.

Burning Lamp is the nasty one Deborah. But you have not told her so simply because she is “on your side”. She started this whole thing. Look back thru the threads and see how that , while i was holding my ground, i was also attempting to soften the attitudes,(when i made the remark that i was no longer rattling my cage, lol) for starters. I was am am going to hold my ground and post my scriptures, but i was trying to change the spirit of strife on the blog at the same time. Then Burning Lamp comes at me again! PLEEEAAASSSEEE don’t tell me that YOU don’t see the spirit that she has to people!! She is not an asset to you even tho she defends you.

Please don’t tell me that she was not seeking to insult me by using the scripture from 1 cor!! Misusing the scripture to another believer because she has no other way to answer me!!! All i asked for was for her to post an exegesis of her position and that it ought to be able to withstand questions and she is not willing!! She says that she knows the simple truths of the Word,she says that i should not need time to think about my position , she says that it comes easily to her, she has SAID many things ! I have asked her to post it. She will not do so, Why? She has claimed that she does not think that God requires her to be in the Word in a deep way, that that is not her calling! But she says that God teaches her, how apart from the Word??? Osmosis? Does she get the understanding apart from the study of the Word ? Then why does God tell us to study? And on one hand she is saying that she is not “deep” in the Word , but lets see how and what she claims when i post my response! You honestly think that she is making an honest argument? There is no way to take issue with another perso unless you can answer WHY THRU SCRIPTURE you take issue.Hers , and mine , and yours and everybodies only sourse of knowledge , true knowledge , is the scriptures! On the one hand she claims not to know them (so as to not answer me) and on the other hand claims her ignorance a virtue in a catty and snide way wth posting the scripture from 1Cor, when in fact the trult wise are only those whos wisdom comes from God , the WORD ! Which she does not know well enough to answer me !You don’t find any obvious ironies here?

>>>>You speak about me being unkind, I must say your comments are getting downright nasty.

Deborah,
you are right, my tone is not good and i am acutely aware of that. I am sorry.
You also need to check yourself and put BL arrogance in check once you get your own under control and maybe we can have a reasonabe conversation.

Deborah, i am sad about how this has turned out.

sylesa

Deborah, i didn’t vote for Obama:) We are in agreement ! i won’t vote for him if he runs again either:)

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