The Modern-Day Pharisees: Calvinists

Tom (Discerning the World)

Discerning the World is an internet Discernment ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa that was founded in 2008. Tom Lessing originally founded the website "Waak en Bid/Watch and Pray". Tom Lessing joined Discerning the World in May 2013 and all his articles were moved across to DTW.

15 Responses

  1. Sharon says:

    I know that no one here is out for complements. But let me say anyway that this is one of the finest articles I have read concerning Calvinism. Thanks for the hard work & love that was put into this article. Blessings.

  2. Disappointed says:

    Brother, it is such a shame to see such a lengthy and bitter article condeming the beautiful doctrines of grace, from someone who clearly is so totally ignorant of of the actual meaning of them. The five sola’s rightfully give all the Glory to God, praise His glorious name. To say that you twisted these ideas and some of the quotes would be a serious understatement. Election eliminates pride, not gives a believer something to boast in. If you believe in Christ, its because you were called to, that’s all election means. Its because God opened your heart to hear it. To say salvation was your choice, your doing, is to rob the Lord of his glory, and that is is the proud, self-righteous view, not Calvinism. It scares me to think that this ignorant article could possibly hearden somebody’s heart to the doctrines of grace, and to the true meaning of these scriptures that you have stumbled and stomped all over.

  3. Disappointed wrote:

    It scares me to think that this ignorant article could possibly hearden somebody’s heart to the doctrines of grace, and to the true meaning of these scriptures that you have stumbled and stomped all over.

    How can this ignorant article possibly harden anyone’s heart when Calvinists believe man is as dead as a corpse in sins and transgressions and therefore completely unable (because of their total depravity or inability) to understand the Gospel and respond to it in faith? A corpse no longer has a living heart and therefore cannot be hardened in any which way possible, least of all though this article.

    The term “doctrines of grace” was adopted to circumvent the word “Calvinism” which has become a curse because of it’s association with the serial killer – John Calvin. It is NOT doctrines of grace but doctrines of Calvin’s scourge. You aint seen nuttin yet. Read this article. It will knock your socks off.

    And by the way I’m not your brother.

    But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:48-50).

    Calvinists are diametrically opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are therefore not doing the will of the Father. In stead, they are twisting and distorting the Gospel in their loving relationship of brotherhood with Satan and teaching the world that God does not love everyone and that Christ did not die for everyone. Do you call that doctrines of grace? Are you crazy?

    OK, explain to us the real covert meaning of Calvinism since I have stumbled and stomped over it. Let’s begin with a simple question. How do you know you are one of the elect?

    Learn from this what true biblical grace means.

    For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, (Titus 2:11).

    Are the “all people” only the elect?

    The term “doctrines of grace” is a hypocritical cover-up to hide the abominable hatred Calvinists have for the so-called reprobate. And why shouldn’t they hate them when they are merely following their god’s example to hate the non-elect?

  4. Terry T says:

    Disappointed wrote:

    Brother, it is such a shame to see such a lengthy and bitter article condeming the beautiful doctrines of grace, from someone who clearly is so totally ignorant of of the actual meaning of them. The five sola’s rightfully give all the Glory to God, praise His glorious name. To say that you twisted these ideas and some of the quotes would be a serious understatement. Election eliminates pride, not gives a believer something to boast in. If you believe in Christ, its because you were called to, that’s all election means. Its because God opened your heart to hear it. To say salvation was your choice, your doing, is to rob the Lord of his glory, and that is is the proud, self-righteous view, not Calvinism. It scares me to think that this ignorant article could possibly hearden somebody’s heart to the doctrines of grace, and to the true meaning of these scriptures that you have stumbled and stomped all over.

    It is very sad. Yes, there are proud men who call themselves Calvinists, just as there are proud men everywhere on the face of the earth. Pride is the seat of our affliction and misery. If God alone does not save me, I will not be saved. I am ungodly, He is God. I have no righteousness of my own. Nothing.

  5. Terry T,

    None of us have any righteousness of our own and therefore we need to call on the Name of the Lord for our salvation. Calvinists believe that man is completely unable to call on the Name of the Lord because he is as dead as a corpse in sins and transgressions. God first needs to regenerate the elect monergistically (save the elect without them having to put their trust in Jesus because they are allegedly unable to do so) and only then – after their monergistic salvation – are the elect given faith as a gift. And this is what they mean when they say they give God all the glory. That’s not giving God all the glory. That’s making God a dictator who chose to send all the non-elect to hell and allegedly save only the elect because He loves them and hates the non-elect. Rubbish!

    In Calvinistic terms “sovereignty = dictatorship.”

  6. Jumpy says:

    Terry T,
    You have indeed put it in a few words, better than my most miserable efforts.
    Thomas goes on at great length about “monergism”, but that is fine by me, and doubtless many others.
    If he is one of God’s elect, then truly, at the last Day, he will thank God for it.
    Many in the history of Christianity, most notably Wesley, railed against Election/Pre-destination (not unlike Mr Lessing). The matter of Wesley and Augustus Toplady, with the latter’s work on Zanchius,(the doctrine of reprobation) caused much bitterness within the Faith “once delivered unto the saints” Jude 1.3.
    Spurgeon “The Calvinist of Calvinists” said of Arminian Wesley, “I believe he will be the first man I will see in heaven!” This IS the man famous for saying “Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing less”! Arminianism (free-will), be it embraced as a stronghold of Popery, many blood bought believers do errantly hold to. Wesley was NO Romanist, he preached, and wrote against it, but faithfully preached salvation by the “blood of Christ alone”. Spurgeon, not unlike Toplady, hated unbiblical Arminian theology, but he had the grace to know that theology alone is not the key to salvation, but only the “grace of God” alone, Ephesians 2.8, many other Scriptures of the “Doctrines of Grace” may be adduced.

  7. Jumpy,

    If Calvinism is the Gospel and Wesley was not a Calvinist then he cannot be in heaven, now can he? Spurgeon either woefully contradicted himself or he was trying to force Wesley into heaven.

    Didn’t Jesus say,

    The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel (Calvinism)? (Mark 1:15).

    If Jesus said only Calvinism (the Gospel aka Charles Spurgeon) gets you to heaven, then Wesley cannot be in heaven.

    How odd of you to associate Arminianism ( I am NOT and Arminian) with Roman Catholicism when Calvin’s book “The Institutes of the Chirstian Religion” is an RCC treatise on Augustine’s beliefs. Calvin mentions the greatest Roman Catholic of all time – Augustine – on just about every page of his book.

    “Theology” means to study (hear – Romans 10:17) the Word of God to gain a knowledge of God. If a knowledge of God alone is not the key to salvation, then Jesus was a liar who said,

    And this is life eternal, that they might know (“ginoski” – to understand) thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)

    It simply means you need to understand (know) God and his Son through His own revelation of Himself in his Word. Indeed, God reveals Himself as the essence of love, righteousness. mercy, lovingkindeness, graciousness, justice. And yet Calvinists say that God – who is the essence of love – does not love all people. This is not a true “ginosko” (knowledge of God) and can therefore not lead to eternal life, as Jesus said.

    Your God is “election” and not the God of the Bible. So, the best thing to do is to repent by learning and understanding who God and his Son really are and to repudiate Calvinism with every breath you still have in you. It’s a lie from the pit of hell.

    And by the by,I am not going on abvout monergism. Don’t blame me. You and your friends, the Calvinists, are the culprits who invented monergism.

  8. Martin Horan says:

    Intereting comment, Thomas.
    Spurgeon himself wrote the following: “I know there are some who think it necessary to their system of theology to limit the merit of the blood of Jesus: if my theological system needed such limitation, I would cast it to the winds. I cannot, dare not, allow the thought to find lodging in my mind, it seems so near akin to blasphemy. In Christ’s work I see an ocean of merit; my plummet finds no bottom, my eye discerns no shore. There must be sufficient efficacy in the blood of Christ, if God had so willed it, not to have saved only all in this world, but all in ten thousand worlds….
    Spurgeon often contradicted himself, as he did a bit with the “if God so willed it. However, regarding that quote, as the late Dave Hunt pointed out: “On the other hand, that Spurgeon believed salvation was available to all mankind is evident from many of his sermons. The contradiction is clear–a fact that Calvinists are reluctant to admit. Thus Ihave been wrongly accused of misrepresenting, and even misquoting, C.H.Spurgeon.”
    In fact, limited atonement never existed until Augustine, whom the Catholic church sees as one of their greatest ever theologians. That’s why the Catholic church has Augustinian monks. Calvin made no secret of esteeming Augustine, as did Luther.
    I cannot understand why any Bible-believing Christian would esteem any mere fallible man on what seems to be a par with infallible popes. And especially so a man like Calivin who certainly did not do unto others as he would have been done by. That was one reason he was called the Protestant Pope. But for the same people to esteem Augustine–a great exemplar as far as the Church of Rome is concerned–is scarcely credible.
    I gave up debating with a friend who was a Calvinist. He would only retort in our correspondence and would never actually answer questions. When he called me childish and “Still a Catholic” I realised he had no intention of answering the questions I put to him. I have read of Dave Hunt’s debates with Calvinists and I notice the Calvinists descend into accusations. I feel that is what you will find yourself dealing with, Thomas.

  9. Martin Horan,

    Indeed, I have had many years of experience to know that Calvinists descend into accustations whenever they fail to answer questions. Why then should we debate them? To warn others who or on the verge of being sucked into the maelstrom of Calvinism and do not know they are being sucked in by their two-faced double-talk. Charles Spurgeon said:

    You must not expect that you will be perfect in ‘repentance’ before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. ‘Repentance’ is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself…” —Charles Spurgeon (SOURCE: (Charles Spurgeon, from a sermon titled, REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE, preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on Sept. 23, 1855).

    Now let’s see,

    1) “You must not expect that you will be perfect in ‘repentance’ before you are saved.” This is pure Calvinism which says that God needs to first save the elect before they can repent perfectly. What’s he saying? That anyone who assumes to repent in order to be saved is following an imperfect repentence and is therefore not truly saved.
    2) “No Chriatian is perfect.” Of course no Christian is perfect but what has that got to do with repentance and salvation?
    3) “Repentance is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvaiton” Is faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross nonsense? Faith IS the condition for salvation. Anyone who does not believe in Jesus and his finished work on the cross cannot be saved. Period. Here again Spurgeon preaches the Calvinist view of grace which is NOT the biblical rendition of grace.
    4) “God gives the salvation Himself . . .” Of course it is God who grants salvation but He grants it only to those who believe on his Son, Jesus Christ. This again is the condition. Spurgeon means that God grants salvation Himself only to the elect and this granting is a monergistic and not a synergistic kind of granting.

    By the by, It is not only Calvinists who descend into accusations. You only need to read some of the other comments dealing with other non-Calvinistic issues to realize that they all follow the same tactic – accusation upon accusation upon accusation are flung at you.

  10. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Martin

    As Tom pointed out, Charles Spurgeon was indeed a Calvinist who believed in all the tennents of TULIP. If someone quotes him favourably it’s because they actually have not sat down and studied the man’s words properly. And when you do take a look at Spurgeon it does not take you long to see that he spoke from two sides of his mouth – he was and still is (because people still read his sermons today) a very dangerous man.

  11. Martin Horan says:

    Hi Thomas, Hi Debs. Thank you both for correcting me on that one. I didn’t realise that Spurgeon was a Five-Point Calvinist. I had always thought that Spurgeon was fairly sound. I thought, as he said what he quoted above, that he wasn’t a real Calvinist. I had assumed that He did not believe in limited atonement. I was not aware, as you say, Debs, that he spoke from both sides of his mouth.
    I know what you man about accusations, Thomas. There is, as you both know, a big difference between contending for the faith once delivered [Jude 3] and accusations. I may have mentioned this before: a former friend of mine (his choice of being a former one judging by has accusations towards me, showed me that I didn’t have a debating point with him. I found it sad as he had been a person I liked very much. His Calvinism turned him into a person who would not answer question but rather retort in accusations. But as you say, it is not only Calvinists who do his. I have seen it with people on sites regarding the rapture. I believe in it because I see it in the Scriptures and if I was shown it to be false from the Scriptures, I would hope that I would discard it. On one site an anti-rapture believer called me a coward for believing it. So I see what you mean, Thomas, about some folk dealing with non-Calvinisic issues. Such people think that by showing you it’s a waste of time debating with them that they have won the argument.

  12. John says:

    Everybody’s a teacher with impeccable doctrine… ….I’ve played this game before and I could circle stomp know it all’s all the live long day. At 50+ years old I now see it was Lust. It so much easier than feeding the poor in Christ’ name

    Calvinism & Armin go beyond what is written. As do secret raptures, we must have Tongues, immersion, ….we know them all and we know people have been Lit on Freaking Fire over people believing They are apostles.

    The Simplicity of Christ is so liberating and if all these so called leaders and teachers would man a soup kitchen instead of data mining every line of scripture to make absolutely sure they will attract adversaries (who are in most cases Brothers) maybe we would be One as Jesus prayed.

    Oh how wretched we are. We Lust for arguments ,seek them out so we can do nothing good. Don’t go beyond what is written and have faith that God will do what’s right. Condemn the countless lustful self aggrandizing proclamations that litter the forums and blogs and Trust Jesus, for He is the Christ.

  13. John,

    Feeding the poor is not enough. It won’t get them into heaven. When John the Baptist was in jail, awaiting his demise, he sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus whether He was the One that should come. Jesus sent someone back telling John, “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Matthew 11:5). So, you better preach the Gospel to the poor and not only give them something to eat and something to keep them warm. That will only send them to hell with a tummy filled with bread and their hides kept warm. However, make sure that you do not preach heresy like Calvinism to them because that definitely won’t get them into heaven.

    Your criticism sounds very pious but you don’t say much because God says: –

    Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 1:3)

    You sound like one of those do-goody Emergent Churchy guys who only want to help the poor because helping the poor is supposedly the so-called incarnational gospel which is no gospel at all. You should preach the Gospel to all people – kings, queens, governors, laymen, the rich and the poor. Then and then alone will you be doing something good.

  14. Stephanie Nell says:

    The doctrines of disgrace are the doctrines of Satan himself. THAT is calvinism.

  15. Dear Stephanie Nell

    Short and sweet AND the truth as you put it so succinctly.