The Legacy of John Calvin – Part 2

John Calvin

I have already given a brief summary of what the essence is of Calvinism. However, as a short introduction to part 2 of my series on Calvinism, I would like to repeat it here.

John Calvin and 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. (Emphasis added).

The question we need to ask ourselves, is: WHAT REDEEMS SINNERS? Is it merely the fact that they placed a crown of thorns on Christ’s head, scourged Him, nailed Him to a cross and that He died and rose from the dead?

If it were true that his crucifixion and resurrection automatically saves sinners (i.e. without the requirement to believe in his blood and to acknowledge that sinners will perish if the Spirit of God does not apply the cleansing power of His blood to their souls through faith), then the entire human race would have been redeemed without exception.

His death and resurrection minus faith on the part of the lost sinner would then have constituted eternal redemption. It would then not have been so difficult to accept the doctrine of Universal Redemption which, of course, is one of the things Calvinists accuse non-Calvinists of.

The Pharisees, Sadducees and Jewish rabble were eye witnesses to his crucifixion and yet most of them were never saved. Was it because they were not chosen unto salvation before the foundation of the world or was it because they rejected (refused to believe) in Him and his vicarious death on the cross?

Was it their monergistically applied non-elected status or their unbelief that condemned them to an eternal hell? These questions may at first seem somewhat overbearing but their importance will surface as we go along.

Is faith essential for a person’s salvation?

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

We need to focus on a few things in the above quoted verse which may give us some insight in the meaning of faith. What does it mean to believe that HE IS? The amplified Bible says ‘For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists . . .’

It is a rather unfortunate translation because it implies that you only need to know and acknowledge that God exists in order to come near to Him. However, to merely know and acknowledge that He exists is not enough. Even the demons know that He exists and they tremble (James 2:19).

Jesus once said to the Pharisees ‘ . . . ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24). The ‘he’ in ‘I am he’ is not in the original and should read ‘ . . . if you do not believe that I AM, ye shall die in your sins.’

The Jews were well acquainted with the God’s unique Name ‘I AM.’ When Jesus claimed to be ‘I AM’ they accused Him of blasphemy that ultimately lead to his death (Mark 14:62-64). (Emphasis added throughout).

When God sent Moses from Midian back to his oppressed people in Egypt, He told him to introduce Him as I AM. ‘Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.’ This was the very first time that God revealed Himself as the Great Deliverer from bondage to slavery and oppression.

And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land . . . (Exodus 3:7-8)

God’s unique Name ‘I AM’ is closely associated with deliverance from slavery and bondage to sin and death.

But not only that; it signifies that He alone and no other god or gods are able to deliver from sin and it’s consequences which is eternal separation from Him. What Jesus in effect said to the Pharisees was: ‘If you do not believe that IAM (the only Deliverer from sin and death) you will die in your sins and perish for all eternity.’

The conditional or provisional ‘if’ very clearly shows that faith is an essential prerequisite for salvation and that it precedes it; it is not given as a gift to the elect in the aftermath of salvation as the Calvinists claim.

It is common knowledge that Calvinists do not believe that mankind who, in view of the ‘T’ in the acronym TULIP is utterly ensnared in a condition of total depravity, is able to believe unto salvation. According to their thinking a corpse (who is dead in sins and trespasses) is entirely incapable of believing the Gospel PRIOR to salvation.

Faith, they contend, is a gift of God and He sovereignly and monergistically imposes the gift of faith ONLY on those whom it was his good pleasure to predestine unto salvation before the foundation of the earth, and ‘justifiably’ withholds it from those whom He has predestined to an eternal perdition in hell.

A corpse cannot believe but neither can it not believe. The sixteen appearances of the word ‘unbelief’ in the New Testament are ample proof that mankind is not only capable of believing but also able not to believe.

The word ‘faith’ appears no less than 247 times in the Bible and the word ‘believe’ 143 times which demonstrates its vital importance in one’s spiritual life. But is ‘faith’ or ‘belief’ enough to save a sinner and at what stage does God require you to have faith in Him to secure your salvation ‘ do you believe in order to be saved or do you believe because you have been saved?

Although both statements are true, Calvinists insist that the latter argument, ‘because you have been saved’ is the only biblically viable one because it does not violate God’s sovereignty. The argument, ‘in order to be saved’ they say, makes man a co-worker in God’s plan of salvation.

In fact, the notion that a sinner needs to believe in order to be saved, according to Calvinist thinking, is a work and God cannot accept men’s works in any shape or form.

Is faith a work or a gift?

In the Gospel according to John there is a scene where the crowds, who had been looking diligently for Jesus, eventually found Him on the other side of the sea of Galilee and where the following conversation took place.

And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?

Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:25-29).

Voila! ‘ the Calvinists would say ‘ this proves beyond any doubt that faith is a work of God and not of men. Nonetheless, the crowd did not want to know what God should do but ‘What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?’

Surely, if Jesus wanted to drive home the notion that there is nothing man can do to inherit the Kingdom of God, He would have said so plainly.

He would probably have told them that they are completely unable to believe and that God had to do a gift-work of faith in them before they could believe, only after they had been regenerated monergistically and sovereignly by Him.

No! the fact is that Jesus answered them strictly in accordance with their question ‘What shall we do . . .? by telling them ‘This is the work that God requires (asks) of you, that you believe on him whom He has sent.’

Faith has nothing to do with physical exertion as in the performance of manual labour. The physical doing of something good and congenial in order to obtain salvation is the kind of work God forbids, such as the giving of alms.

Faith is a spiritual ‘work,’ if you will, and simply means to put your trust in Him whom God has sent to fulfill his sovereign will on the cross, that is, to reconcile repentant sinners to Him by satisfying to the brim his righteous judgments on mankind’s sin and transgressions against Him and Him alone.

Faith is therefore the full appropriation of Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross for you personally which means that his vicarious death on the cross was actually your and my death; his burial was your and my burial; his resurrection was your and my resurrection and his ascension was your and my ascension.

It was the only way God could put the old man (inherited from Adam) to death and raise the new man (inherited from Christ) to life. This is precisely why the prophet Daniel said that He was cut off but not for Himself (Daniel 9:26).

There is nothing we can do physically to earn those things I mentioned; it can only be appropriated by a spiritual ‘work’ of faith because it is ‘the substance of things hoped for’ and ‘the evidence of things not seen.’

Have you seen yourself being crucified, buried and raised from the dead with Christ? Of course not, and that is precisely why you can appropriate it only by an act (spiritual ‘work’) of faith. This is the kind of ‘work,’ Jesus said, that God requires of you.

Faith is to enter into and to go through the strait gate onto the narrow road

To further enhance the meaning of a spiritual ‘work’ of faith I would like us to turn to the well-known passage in Matthew 7.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14) (Emphasis added).

God will never do for you whatever He commands you to do yourself. He has already provided for you the Way (the strait gate and the narrow way) that leads to eternal life but He expects you to find it and enter through it.

During one of my recent visits to Malawi I stayed in the house of one of the village pastors. Needless to say I had to adapt myself to the very small room which seemed to have the smallest door in the entire house.

I am six feet tall’ and it took me some time to realize that I had to bend down very low whenever I wanted to enter my room. My forehead slowly became a veritable witness to my inordinate forgetfulness to bend down low.

Why do only a few find the strait gate and the narrow way? Is it because only a few were elected unto salvation before the foundation of the world? That doesn’t seem to be the reason because Jesus never said that the elect are snatched or yanked through the strait gate by a monergistic and sovereign act of God.

I remember as a young man I was told that predestination works as follows: ‘Because you are dead in trespasses and sins you cannot find the strait gate of your own accord. In fact, you are completely unable to seek and to find the strait gate.

You must be taken through it by a sovereign act of God. Only when you have gone through the gate and look back will you see written on the inside over the gate ‘THE ELECT OF GOD.’ I never could accept that kind of reasoning, simply because Jesus said that very few find the strait gate.

The verb ‘find’ clearly suggests that you must ‘seek’ in order to find whatsoever you are seeking. God will never do the seeking on your behalf and neither will He find it instead of you.

Why do only a few find the strait gate? The answer lies in the fact that very few people refuse to bend down low and to humble themselves before God so that they may enter through the strait gate. The majority of people readily admit that they are sinners but very few acknowledge that they are lost sinners. 

Jesus said that He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10) ‘ not those who refuse to admit that they are lost sinners on their deserved way to hell. He can only find those who admit that they are lost and in dire need of a Saviour.

He also once told the Pharisees that they who are whole (self-righteous) do not need a doctor but only those who are sick (Luke 5:31). The entire human race is sick but only a few are prepared to admit it (bend down low in humble anxiety over their lost status).

If, as Calvinists believe, man is totally depraved and unable to understand and respond in faith to the Gospel in order to be saved, at what stage do the elect become aware of their lost status so that they may bend down low and humble themselves (admit that they are lost) in order to enter the strait gate?

Allow me to rephrase my question a wee bit. At what stage does the Holy Spirit convict the elect of sin, righteousness and judgment?

If God unilaterally,’ monergistically, sovereignly and irresistibly redeems the elect without them having to understand and believe the Gospel just because they are unable to do so, then their is no need whatsoever for the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sins and lost status.

‘Whoa! stop the bus right here. That’s just not true!’ Is what the Calvinists probably would say to this. ‘The Holy Spirit convicts them of sin, righteousness and judgment subsequent to their redemption and after they had received faith as a gift from God.’ Really . . .?

Please bear in mind that the Holy Spirit does not only convict of sins but also of God’s righteous judgments. As I said earlier, many people admit that they are sinners but refuse to believe that a God of love would execute his righteous judgments by casting them into hell, if they do not repent and believe the Gospel.

Although the conviction of sin is essential before and after a person’s salvation, the conviction of God’s righteous judgments (the Holy Spirit inspired acknowledgment that hell is your inevitable destination if you should refuse to believe the Gospel and repent) can only occur BEFORE salvation, never AFTER salvation.

If Jesus spoke the truth in John 16:7-11, then the Holy Spirit MUST convict every person (including Calvin’s predestined elect) of God’s righteous judgments BEFORE redemption. It is absurd to believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the elect after they had been redeemed sovereignly, irresistibly and monergistically by God.

It would amount to the irrational situation where the Holy Spirit’s warning with regard to God’s righteous judgments reach the ears and heart of the elect AFTER they had already been set free from God’s righteous judgments.

Can the Holy Spirit simultaneously say to someone ‘You are on your way to a well-earned hell’ and ‘You have been set free of God’s righteous judgments’ after having been redeemed irresistibly, monergistically and sovereignly?

If you have already been set free from God’s righteous judgments by virtue of your irresistibly and sovereignly imposed redemption by the Holy Spirit, then you cannot possibly be convicted of judgment by the same Holy Spirit after your irresistibly imposed redemption. What’s the logic in that?

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom 10:11-13)

Calvinists maintain that Saul/Paul was saved on his way to Damascus when he saw a blinding white light and was thrown off his horse to the ground.

Had that been true, predestination along with its doctrine of irresistible grace and limited atonement could effortlessly have been adopted as a genuine biblical doctrine.

Think of it: here’s a man riding on a horse on his way to Damascus with murder and mayhem in his heart when suddenly a light from heaven flashes around him, he falls to the ground, is instantly blinded and calls out to the One who appeared to Him, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

Voila! Saul calls Jesus Lord without knowing who He was. Now, that my dear friends is real Lordship Salvation. Bear with me a little longer when I try to re-enact Paul’s conversion on his way to Damascus from a Calvinist’s point of view.

To begin with, Paul after having heard Stephen’s majestic sermon in Acts 7 probably put both his hands over his ears like the rest of the rabble and stopped them from hearing the Gospel because he did not understand it.

How could he when Calvin tells us that man is totally depraved and completely unable to comprehend the Gospel and to respond’ to it in faith?

The only thing about the Gospel that seemed to have reached the grey matter in Paul’s brain was the fact that he knew that there were men, women and children who belonged to the Way and that they deserved to be put in chains for their “crime.”

Now, why would anyone in his right mind go to all the trouble of galloping on his horse to Damascus because he vowed to put in chains the people of a Way he could not possibly understand because he was totally depraved?

Says who? Saul, before he became Paul, understood the Gospel 100 percent but refused to respond to it.

His own religion, Phariseism, forbad him to believe that Jesus Christ was God and that He was one with the Father. That’s just plain blasphemy and anyone who believes such “nonsense” deserves to be put in chains.

How do I know that Paul understood the Gospel 100 percent in spite of Calvin’s heresy that man is totally depraved and completely inept to understand the Gospel? Listen very carefully to Jesus’ admonishment when Saul encountered Him on his way to Damascus.

. . . it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (Acts 9:5).small_teamofoxenplowingtheprairie_thumb

This was a well-known proverbial expression that was used in antiquity for stubbornness, pigheadedness and obstinacy.

An ox who had learnt by experience what his master’s wishes were when he pulled a cart or a plow with other oxen, knew how to avoid the large pricks behind its hind legs by obediently and submissively pulling in sync with the other oxen.

The pricks or goads were there to straighten out an obstinate ox and it was hard. Jesus actually said to Paul: Your rebellion against the Highest Authority in the universe is causing you much harm and it hurts.

It proves that Paul was not oblivious of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and neither was he unable to understand it. While he held the clothes of the Jewish rebels who murdered Stephen he heard every word spoken by Stephen the martyr.

He distinctly heard him speaking about the Just One (the Messiah) and also heard him calling out to the Just One (the living Messiah) who was already seated at the right hand of God when he cried out: ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.’

Later in Romans 10 verses 17 and 18 Paul says of Israel: ‘Have they not heard?’ and then he answers his own question, Yes indeed, they have heard because preachers (prophets) were sent to them who proclaimed to them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ‘But they have not all obeyed the gospel’ (Romans 10:16).

In order to obey you must be able to understand. Like the Israelites of old Paul also heard the Gospel preached to him but he did not obey it at first. If depraved man is unable to understand the Gospel then he is also unable to obey it which, of course, makes Paul’s argument in Romans 10:17-18 a complete misnomer.

Not a single Calvinist will be able to contend that Paul did not understand the Gospel because he was totally depraved and that he had to be redeemed by a sovereign and monergistic act of God before he could receive the gift of faith.

On the contrary, Paul understood the Gospel perfectly well but did not obey it when he heard it the first time.

He rebelled against it; he kicked against the goads and it hurt him. But didn’t Paul experience God’s irresistible grace and limited atonement when he fell off his horse to the ground on his way to Damascus?

Was Paul already a redeemed man when he reached the house of Ananias in Damascus? To answer the question we must turn to Acts 9:6 and 22:16

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:6).

And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts 22:14-16).

Please note the imperative ‘must’ in Acts 9: 6. Paul had to do something before he could do what God called and had chosen him to do. One can easily argue that because Paul was a chosen vessel of God (even before the foundation of the earth) that he was already saved when he arrived at the house of Ananias.

Only a redeemed man can know and do the will of God. Only a saved man can be God’s witness unto all men (please note ‘all men’ and not only ‘all the elect’). However, before he could do all these things, he, Paul himself, had to do something and that something is explained for us in Acts 22:16 ‘ to call on the Name of the Lord.

The most important ‘must’ Paul had to do, was to call on the Name of the Lord and for one reason only ‘ to have his sins washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.

If Paul had already been saved when he arrived in the house of Ananias he would never have urged Paul to call on the Name of the Lord so that his sins may be washed away. The cleansing power of Jesus Christ’s blood took its effect in Paul’s life only when he in faith called on the Name of the Lord.

Why is it so important to call on the Name of the Lord for your salvation? Apart from the fact that Jesus said ‘Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,’ (Matthew 11:28) Paul also stressed the necessity of coming to the Lord Jesus Christ when he wrote: ‘whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). 

Only those who are weary of their sins, whose sins have chafed away every bit of their life and who are heavy-laden with sins will come to the Lord Jesus Christ and call on his Name for their salvation. They really know that they are sick and desperately in need of the Great Physician (Luke 5:31).

It is interesting to note that the name ‘Just One’ is used only twice in the New Testament ‘ in Acts 22:14 and guess where else? Yep! in Acts 7:52 and it came from Stephen’s lips whose murder Paul approved. Could it be that the Holy Spirit inspired Ananias to use the very same Name Stephen uttered from his lips just before he was stoned to death?

Now why would He do that? I truly believe that the Holy Spirit did so to convince/convict Paul that there was just One Person who IS the JUST ONE. Paul, who belonged to the strictest (straitest) sect (Phariseism) (Acts 26:5) believed that they were the just ones.

They convinced themselves that they kept every iota and title of the Law. The word ‘dikaios’ which the Holy Spirit inspired Stephen and Ananias to use, is also used ‘of those who seem to themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves in their virtues, whether real or imagined. (1)

It was his sin of self-righteousness in particular that prevented Paul from finding the strait gate and the narrow way. Jesus once said to the Pharisees:

Then Jesus said, I came into this world for judgment [as a Separator, in order that there may be separation between those who believe on Me and those who reject Me], to make the sightless see and to make those who see become blind.

Some Pharisees who were near, hearing this remark, said to Him, Are we also blind?

Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin; but because you now claim to have sight, your sin remains. [If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but because you insist, We do see clearly, you are unable to escape your guilt.] (John 9:39-41). (Emphasis added)

Saul was blinded by Christ’s intense white light of supreme righteousness and holiness, He had to be made sightless, so to speak, before he could see and he only began to see when Ananias told him what to do.

And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts 22:14-16). (Emphasis added)

Paul was a chosen vessel of God, even before the foundation of the world to be a witness unto all men (not only the elect) of what he had seen and heard. From whence did he receive his witness? He received it directly from ‘the voice of His own mouth.’ The meaning of this is explained in

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Gal 1:10-12) . . . (Emphasis added)

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: (Gal 1:15-16)

Paul was chosen from his mother’s womb to preach the Gospel which he later received directly from Jesus Christ’s own lips.

Does that mean that he was predestined and chosen unto salvation before the foundation of the world according to Calvin’s doctrine expounded in TULIP (Total Depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace and Perseverance of the saints)?

If Paul hadn’t called on the Name of the Lord to be cleansed and washed from his self-righteousness (which is but hidden unrighteousness), he would have remained a lost and unpardoned sinner. Paul seemed to have procrastinated a little and Ananias needed to prod him to take the necessary step of calling on the Name of the Lord.

Surely if Ananias had known, according to Calvinism, that Paul had been totally depraved and completely unable to understand and believe the Gospel he would never have egged him on to call on the Name of the Lord. He would probably have thought, like today’s Calvinists believe, that Paul was saved monergistically and sovereignly by God when he fell off his horse on his way to Damascus.

(1) (Strong, James: The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Test of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order. Ontario : Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996, S. G1342)

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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.

6 Responses

  1. Sharon says:

    I think I may have already posted this. But I am doing it here. I think it is absolutely sinful to follow a man and his false teachings. The thing we call Calvinism is blasphemy. Scripture is clear that man has a free-will. But I suppose the attraction that Calvinism has is a Calvinist can sin and then blame it on God.

    Any way…here are the salvation statements of Augustine and Calvin.

    Professions of Salvation by Famous/Infamous People

    Augustine’s “Conversion”

    Augustine’s conversion, like many other important historical events, did not happen all at once or as the result of a single event. Rather, Augustine’s conversion to Christianity was the result of several major life events. Specifically, there were five stages to his conversion, along with another pushing ongoing factor. The five major stages were 1) the reading of Hortensius by Cicero; 2) his rejection of Manichaeanism; 3) his meeting with St. Ambrose; 4) his reading of Neoplatonist works; and 5) Augustine’s vision. All of these stages were also accented by the ongoing factor of Augustine’s mother’s influence as a pious Catholic. It is important to note that Augustine’s conversion to Christianity was not the just the result of events in his later life. His Christian influences began upon his birth to his Catholic mother. “And I was signed with the sign of His Cross and seasoned with his salt as I came new from the womb of my mother, who had great trust in You.” (pg.11) Though his father was a pagan, he did little to nothing to influence his son away from the teachings of Christianity.

    The Visions of Augustine & His Mother, Monica

    In the first vision, this idea is an “instant of awe” where Augustine recognizes God. (Page 151) This instant has not been longed for or desired. However, in the second vision, the chain of thought leads to a “touching” of the eternal Wisdom, which is the purpose of the ascent. The success of Augustine and Monica in the second vision lies in the power of their hearts, or their faith (Page 197), where the fault of Augustine in the first vision lies in the weakness of his will and soul. (Page 151) It is also interesting to note that in the first vision he sees the general God, where in the second vision Monica and Augustine see the specific qualities of God. From this, the reader may conclude that enhanced faith leads to a more complete knowledge of God.

    This is supported by the idea that divine knowledge is more reliable than human knowledge. The period of Augustine’s life in which these visions took place is significant in his development of faith. The first vision is in the beginning of Augustine’s conversion to Christianity. (Book 7, Pages 133-156) Because of his lack of faith (and therefore a lack of knowledge acquired by faith), he cannot be close to God and must rely on sight (or reason) to know Him. (Page 151)

    This is the opposite of the second vision, where Augustine and Monica have completed their conversion and are able to touch (or experience) God. (Page 151) This reiterates the idea that enhanced faith leads to a more complete knowledge of God. As Monica and Augustine are not eternal, as the vision is, their vision can only last for a short period. Augustine “recoils” from his first vision due to a weakness in his faith, his will, and his intellect. (Page 152) Nothing of the vision remains but its memory, which makes him long for the love and acceptance of God, and helps his faith grow. (Page 152) The significant change in the strength of Augustine’s will and intellect are seen in his fall from the second vision.

    *Things written in red are comments from me.

    Augustine (a Catholic) is where John Calvin got his “theology” from. If Augustine taught it then so did John Calvin. John Calvin “reformed” nothing. As much as he hated Rome, Calvin retained much of the false teachings of Rome.

    Augustine is still considered by Rome to be the 4th Founding Father of the Roman Whore Religion.

    “Augustine is so wholly with me, that if I wished to write a confession of my faith, I could do so with all fulness and satisfaction to myself out of his writings.” (Words of John Calvin)

    There are no words of repentance along with no words of receiving Jesus Christ as his Savior. There seems to be no brokenness over sin, only his “recognition of God in his mind.”

    The Two Different Statements of the “Conversion” of John Calvin

    During the autumn of 1533 Calvin experienced a religious conversion. In his later life, John Calvin wrote two different accounts of his conversion that differ in significant ways. In the first account he portrays his conversion as a sudden change of mind, brought about by God. This account can be found in his Commentary on the Book of Psalms:

    1. God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame, which was more hardened in such matters than might have been expected from one at my early period of life. Having thus received some taste and knowledge of true godliness, I was immediately inflamed with so intense a desire to make progress therein, that although I did not altogether leave off other studies, yet I pursued them with less ardor.

    As with Augustine there is no mention of Jesus Christ. No mention of repentance or sorrow over sin. No receiving Jesus Christ by Grace through Faith. This is the man that many have trusted what he says in his writings. This man and his false teachings have wreaked havoc in the lives of many well-meaning people. But the damage done to Baptist Churches is SIN! Why a Baptist Church would give any heed to the teachings of an unrepentant murderer is beyond my understanding. God is love and yet Calvinism makes God the author of all evil. That is Blasphemy! (Definition of BLASPHEMY: the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God)

    2. In his second account he speaks of a long process of inner turmoil, followed by spiritual and psychological anguish. Being exceedingly alarmed at the misery into which I had fallen, and much more at that which threatened me in view of eternal death, I, duty bound, made it my first business to betake myself to your way, condemning my past life, not without groans and tears. And now, O Lord, what remains to a wretch like me, but instead of defense, earnestly to supplicate you not to judge that fearful abandonment of your Word according to its deserts, from which in your wondrous goodness you have at last delivered me.

    As with his first statement, there is no confession of sin. There is no receiving Jesus Christ as Savior. There’s no mention of Jesus Christ at all! Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

  2. Sharon says:

    This is just some of the thoughts I have about Calvinism.

    Numbers 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it
    shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
    Numbers 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (type of Christ on the cross)
    Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
    Psalm 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
    Psalm 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
    Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.

    Ezekiel 33:19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
    Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and
    make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
    Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
    Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

    Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    Isaiah 5:25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
    Isaiah 9:12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
    Isaiah 9:17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
    Isaiah 9:21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
    Isaiah 10:4 Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
    Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    Isaiah55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
    Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return
    unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

    Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way,
    that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (doesn’t sound like being predestined, but rather free will choice)
    Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That
    in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
    Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
    Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

    Mark 6:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages,

    Luke 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
    Luke 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

    John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
    even to them that believe on his name: (doesn’t say as many as were chosen)
    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
    in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (world is not a word Calvinists like)
    *John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through
    him might be saved.
    John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which
    testify of me.
    John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (it does not say they cannot, but that they will not come to Jesus; these chose not to come to Jesus.)
    John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (also read John 12:32…By the lifting up of Jesus on the cross, this is how the Father has drawn all mankind, but not all of mankind will believe.)
    John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
    John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
    John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

    Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    (Acts 2:21 is the fulfillment of the Prophecy of Joel found in Joel 2:32: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.)
    Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: (God’s foreknowledge is one of His many attributes. He foreknew all things which were, are, and which will be.)
    Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. (PTL! This is where God granted, to us Gentiles, the ability to repent unto Salvation!)

    Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. (God had previously ordained that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would now be sent to the Gentile nations. All who believe on Jesus Christ are ordained to eternal life in heaven.)
    Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where
    to repent:
    Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
    Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
    Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (all are ungodly)
    Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation;
    even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
    Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (not predestined to salvation, but predestined for the saved to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. This was spoken to believers.
    Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things.
    Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved
    Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (how saving faith comes)
    Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

    2Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for
    all, then were all dead:
    2Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

    Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we
    should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,
    according to the good pleasure of his will, (adoption is to have Full Son-ship & to be revealed in us in Glory)
    Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the
    Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
    Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by
    grace ye are saved;)

    Colossians 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doeth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
    Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

    1Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (Christ came to save sinners…ALL are sinners)
    1Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth
    1Timothy 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
    1Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. (The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was sufficient for ALL mankind, but it doesn’t become efficient until one believes to the saving of their soul.)

    Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (All means ALL)

    Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

    Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (This does not sound like a God who pre-damns anyone except non-believers)

    1John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (The WHOLE WORLD includes all who ever lived or ever will live.)
    ***1John 4:8 …God is love. ***
    1John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.(What kind of love predamns some just for being born? God doesn’t just love, He IS love. He doesn’t want any to perish.)
    1John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

    Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (this doesn’t say whosoever has had their will changed. It says whosoever will or whosoever wishes to take the water of life may do so.) God’s great invitation has always been, “Come Unto Me”. ***

    It is only in the vocabulary of the Calvinists that ALL doesn’t mean ALL. That whosoever
    doesn’t mean whosoever. No where does it say in scripture “all of the elect only” or “all in the
    world of the elect only.” The Calvinist proponents need to take heed to Revelation 22: 18 &
    19. It takes much “twisting of scripture” to come to believe this “doctrine of man.” Just give
    me Jesus. God gives a stern warning to any that would take away or add to scripture.

    Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this
    book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are
    written in this book:
    Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    While God is Sovereign, the word Sovereign is not used in scripture any where.
    God’s Omnipotence is not threatened by free will at all. In His Omnipotence he gave mankind
    freewill to either receive Jesus Christ or reject Jesus Christ. God rules over everything and is
    threatened by none.

    Total Depravity: It is true that we are tainted by original sin. When Adam sinned, sin entered into the world. Unredeemed humans are depraved. We are capable of any sin. Depravity is a condition of the heart of man. It is not a malfunctioning of the brain. Man, though depraved can think, reason, make choices. Man, whether saved or lost is capable of most every sin.

    Unconditional Election: There is no verse in Holy Scripture that states that God has chosen some for hell and chosen others for heaven. It is true that God foreknows who will and who won’t be saved. But no where does it state that one can or cannot be saved. What God has said is that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. That can only lead one to believe that whosoever does not call on the name of the Lord shall be damned. A Calvinist believes that God, before the “Foundation of the World,” chose some to be saved and others to be lost. So then one could go to hell simply for being born. It would be far more merciful if God just didn’t let that person be born. No one goes to hell just for being born. Being born is not a sin. Rejecting Jesus Christ is the only reason anyone goes to hell. The sins of mankind are a result of the sin of Adam & Eve. Rejecting Christ is the greatest sin that will make a person wind up in hell.

    Limited Atonement: cannot be true because it defies scripture. If there is anyone that will place a limit on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross it would be mortal man because scripture says otherwise. Scripture no where declares that Jesus only died for the elect. On the contrary; Scripture states time and again that Jesus died for ALL. It is only in the false doctrines called Calvinism that ALL doesn’t mean ALL. Is this not adding to and taking away from scripture, which is severely forbidden? Scripture also says that Jesus himself is the elect of God. 1Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him
    shall not be confounded. It is not that the “elect” must be saved; but rather we become the elect instantly upon salvation. To say that the atoning work of Calvary was inefficient to save all is at the very least heresy and maybe worse. 1Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    Irresistible Grace: is refuted because time and time again through out both OT and NT Scriptures there have been those that have resisted the grace of God. Isaiah 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (It doesn’t say ye could not, but that ye would not.)

    Scripture concerning resisting God’s Grace:
    Psalm 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
    Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
    Mark 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick
    folk, and healed them.
    Mark 6:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

    God is a gentleman and doesn’t force Himself on anyone. God has from the Garden of Eden desired that man would love Him out of a free and willing heart. Joshua of old said, Choose you this day whom ye shall serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Love forced is not love. A gift is not completely a gift until it has been received from the giver. He has shown from the beginning that he wanted us to love Him and fellowship with Him from a willing heart, not as mind numbed robots.

    Perseverance of the Saints: is scriptural if one is not basing this on one persevering to keep oneself saved. Saving and keeping us saved is God’s part. We are to “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.)

    Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (This is the only verse in the Bible that teaches us to “persevere” when it comes to prayer. Other-wise we are to endure.)
    1st Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
    1st Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time

    While most Calvinist believe in “once saved, always saved.” They call it a “continual atonement.” We are kept saved by the power of God. We are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. There is no “continual atonement” mentioned in Scripture. Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    1John 2:2 And he is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    1John4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation(the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.
    en•dure: ɛnˈdʊər,-ˈdyʊər Show Spelled [en-doo r, -dyoo r] Show IPA verb,-dured, -dur•ing.
    –verb (used with object)
    1. to hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding; undergo: to endure great financial pressures with equanimity.
    2. to bear without resistance or with patience; tolerate: I cannot endure your insults any longer.
    3. to admit of; allow; bear: His poetry is such that it will not endure a superficial reading.
    verb (used without object)
    4. to continue to exist; last: These words will endure as long as people live who love freedom.
    5. to support adverse force or influence of any kind; suffer without yielding; suffer patiently: Even in the darkest ages humanity has endured.
    6. to have or gain continued or lasting acknowledgment or recognition, as of worth, merit or greatness: His plays have endured for more than three centuries.

    Scriptures Concerning Endurance

    Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

    Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
    Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

    2Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

    *2Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.*
    2Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    2Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

    Hebrews 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
    Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

    James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

    1stPeter 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

    I have heard some that are way more learned scholars than myself say that salvation cannot happen until one has first been “regenerated.” It doesn’t take a Seminary Degree to know that regeneration doesn’t happen prior to salvation, but rather IS salvation. At our birth we were “generated” or made fully alive. At our second birth we were “regenerated” or born again instantly.

    Foreknowledge: What God knew ahead of time. Foreknowledge is an attribute of God. He knew before the Foundation of the World who would and who will not be saved.
    Election: What God chose ahead of time. God chose Jesus to be the way of Salvation for all of sinful mankind. He chose this method of salvation before the foundation of the world.
    Predestination: What God determined ahead of time. He determined that those who received His Son, Jesus Christ would be saved. Those who did not receive Christ would be lost. It was also Jesus who was Predestined to be the Savior of the World.
    The 3 Parts of Salvation:
    1. I have been saved….”Justification”…clean, forgiven and saved from the penalty of sin.
    2. I am being saved…”Sanctification”…frees us from the power of sin by growing in Christ Jesus.
    3. I will be saved…”Glorification”…Saved from the presence of sin at the very moment I arrive in heaven.

    While the church is falling deeper into apostasy from within, just as was predicted; the church is also under continuing attack from the outside forces of evil as well. I have seen the style of music in the church become a dividing force within the Body of Christ rather than a point of joy, worship, and fellowship. Church politics, egos, and personality contests have shared in their part also. But I know of no other thing that has caused more division in the church of Jesus Christ than this issue of “Calvinism.”

    Jesus, Paul and Peter warned us time and again to beware of false prophets and false teachers teaching false “doctrines of men.”
    Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    Colossians 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using; after the commandments and doctrines of men?

    If False Teachers were a problem in the early church, then how much more now should we be on-guard for the same today? It is our duty to search the scriptures daily as the Bereans did to make sure what we are being taught is true. As time goes on, apostasy will increase along with iniquity and false teaching. We are responsible for what we let into our minds, our hearts, our very souls. Everything that glitters is not gold. Just because the name “Jesus” is used, it doesn’t make the thing scriptural. Anything we listen to must never be contrary to God’s word. We cannot, I will not, compromise as it concerns “Thus Sayeth the Lord.” We Christians must constantly be on guard.

    The biggest “RED FLAG” concerning Calvinism for me personally is that this “doctrine” is rooted in Catholicism. For me, that alone is enough reason to stay away. Catholicism has most likely damned more people to hell than any other false teaching coming out of a supposed church. It was designed to fool the masses in the name of “religion.” That is why being a true Christian is not about religion but rather a relationship with the very God that created us through His Son, Jesus Christ. I do not understand why any Bible believing Christian would not run away from anything that is rooted in the damnable doctrines and teachings of Catholicism. No good thing has ever come out of Roman Catholicism. It is the doctrine of devils and where the seat of satan himself is. The very words “Roman Catholicism” should throw up big “Danger” & “Stay Away” signs in the minds and hearts of all Bible believing Christians. I cannot and I will not be a part of a belief system that is rooted in such. The Church of Jesus Christ must get back to the foundations of our faith and study to show ourselves approved unto God. Resist watered-down versions of scripture which lead to confusion and heresy.

    The true gospel of Jesus Christ is not in the Catholic system of belief because it is anathema. What we today call Calvinism was not founded by John Calvin, but was only named after him. Calvin was raised a Catholic by a very devout Catholic mother. While Calvin professed hatred for the Pope and the Catholic Church, he retained much of his Catholic dogma in his so called Protestant teachings. Calvin got these teachings from Augustine. Augustine is still today called the 4th Founding Father of Catholicism. Augustine lived some 1200 years before John Calvin. This is where more “RED FLAGS” should pop up for all KJV Bible believing Baptists. While many praise the “Doctrine of Augustine,” Calvin and even Luther for being Reformists, nothing could be further from the truth. What did Calvin or Luther “reform?” Nothing. They kept their catholic beliefs. I am not a Protestant! I am a Baptist. Martin Luther hated Jews. John Calvin hated Baptists.

    Augustine as I have already stated was a Catholic, therefore his teachings, while smattered with a few quotes of scripture and mentions of Jesus cannot be trusted. He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. John Calvin, while hating the Pope, remained Catholic in his beliefs concerning salvation and the necessity of the keeping of the sacraments for salvation. He loved his blend of religion and state that permitted him to be as much a tyrant as the Pope that he claimed he hated so much. Calvin became a Pope unto himself; a legend in his own mind.

    Especially when it came to the observance of Baptism, Calvin believed and taught that one MUST be baptized, preferably as an infant, for ones salvation. That is heresy! Calvin also believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary the mother of Jesus. That is absolute nonsense.
    because Scripture names the ½ brothers and sisters of Jesus. Luther believed the same like “good Catholics do.” While he touted the scriptures of “the Just shall live by faith” he yet believed that one had to keep the sacraments for salvation. Luther remained a Catholic priest
    and nothing within the Catholic church ever changed after his thesis was nailed to the door in Whittenburg. If Calvin and Luther truly believed that the keeping of the sacraments and
    baptism were essential for salvation as their personal writings attest to, then they are most likely in hell today. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. Jesus + nothing else = Salvation. If anyone tries salvation through any other means, then Jesus said that person is a thief and a robber. Augustine, Luther & Calvin all believed that “grace” could only be given through the Catholic church. Another heresy.

    John Calvin hated the Pope and the Catholic church and yet he retained some of their teachings. But above his hatred for them was his hatred for Baptists. Calvin was a
    tyrant and an unrepentant murder of one man and contributed to the torture, banishment, persecution and murder of some 40 to 50 believers in Jesus Christ that were Baptists or Ana-Baptists as they were called then. Yet today some Baptists, both Independent and Southern Baptists are falling hook, line and sinker for this false doctrine of man attributed to John Calvin. This “Calvinism” was not taught by the early church, nor was it taught during the 1,200 years between Augustine and Calvin. John Calvin was a murdering tyrant and rightly earned the nickname of The Pope of Geneva. (Switzerland)

    Where in the New Testament did Jesus ever tell us to kill heretics? Where did Jesus ever tell us to kill those that didn’t believe according to scripture? He never did. We are told simply to “mark” that person and have nothing to do with them.

    It was Augustine, Luther and Calvin that were the heretics. John Calvin murdered some 40-50 Anabaptists. On his orders a child was beheaded for hitting her mother! If anyone questioned Calvin, they could look forward to either banishment, imprisonment, torture or even a very painful & fiery death. While Servatus may have been a heretic, scripture never teaches to put a heretic to death. John Calvin never repented of his murdering ways.

    To me personally this false doctrine called “Calvinism” mocks the love of God. It defies God’s mercy and grace towards infants that have not had the chance to either reject or receive Jesus Christ. Rejecting Christ is the only sin that sends a person to hell, not some whim of God. A baby has no choice, no knowledge yet of sin and its consequences. While it is true that God is angry with the wicked everyday; it is also true that His arms are still stretched out beckoning to sinners to come to Him. This “what ever will be, will be” attitude makes God the author of evil. God will never tempt anyone to sin, nor can He be tempted by the same. While God permits evil to happen to fulfill His plans, He is not the author of evil, that job belongs to Satan.

    We live in a day that knowledge abounds and is ever increasing just as scripture in the book of Daniel said it would in the last days. Yet it seems that more and more Christians are swiftly growing spiritually ignorant. Ignorance is being dumb on purpose. How did our Fore-Fathers and Mothers of the Faith ever pass along our heritage of faith without computers, commentaries, famous preachers, books and so on? Could it be that they read God’s Word, let the Holy Spirit lead them into all truth and believed what they read? Did they realize what we should too, that God’s Word says what it means and means exactly what it says?

    Definitions from Dictionary:
    Whosoever: an emphatic form of “whoever” or “whomever.”
    All: a grammatical word used to indicate that the whole of a particular thing, amount, or group involved.
    Whole: Entire, complete, including all parts or aspects, with nothing left out. Not divided into parts.
    World: The Earth, including all of it’s inhabitants and the things upon it. All of the human beings on Earth.

    *Final Note: A woman stands at the casket of her beloved sister. She knows that her sister never received Jesus as Savior. If this woman is a Calvinist then she could, in her “humanness,” blame God for not choosing her beloved sister for salvation. But if this same sister had the free choice to either receive Jesus or not, then the blame for going to hell belongs to the departed sister. Rejecting Christ is the only sin that sends a person to hell. All other sin that humans do is the result of the fall of mankind through Adam.

    I can agree with the statement of the famed preacher Charles Spurgeon who once said; the “Whosoeverwills” are the saved and the “Whosoeverwon’ts” are the lost.

    There are five (5) points in Calvinism/TULIP.
    In Scripture the number five (5) represents DEATH!

  3. Anna says:

    These are great posts to read, but since most of this is centred around the Netherlands, are there any similar articles in Dutch?

  4. James says:

    I know this was posted years ago, and I hate the accusations Calvinists make towards God, but this is littered with half truths and misrepresentations. Certainly not as bad as so many of them do on a daily basis but we’re not to mimic them.

    You were just inviting unnecessary rebuttals to correct your misrepresentations. Example (the majority do not think faith is a work). There are so many of these, including your inserted emphasis on scripture quotes that are so unnecessary.. it just reads like its cluttered

    The case against Calvinism is so airtight it needs no embellishments. We must Present ourselves with integrity and clarity. Let the Calvinists twist scripture. Let them misrepresent what the rest of us believe (and boy do they reveal themselves when they do this). They reveal themselves with their arrogance. (because they have received so much more *light than the billions of other Christians). They reveal themselves with their constant full court press on the rest of Christianity just like cults do.

  5. In reply to James

    I do not see any unnecessary rebuttals in the comment section. Do you? The only unnecessary rebuttal is yours. And by the way, this is not about the majority of Calvinists believing that faith is not a work. It’s about the destruction of biblical soteriology/redemption and all the Calvinists do it. You yourself are making faith, which is the only necessary prerequisite for salvation as if it is of no concern of yours. How can I misinterpret it when I use Scripture to prove it? Your comment is rather flaky.

    Would you mind pointing out to me the half-truths and misinterpretations in the article?

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