Something is happening spiritually, if even Freewill Baptists (and I know a few) are feeling the pressure of Calvinists.
What’s happening is this – as the Church spirals further and further into Ecumenism and Apostasy, more and more Christians are turning towards any teacher that teaches Fundamental Biblical Truths. Two famous names are John Macarthur and R. C. Sproul, both of whom are Calvinists. And as Biblical teachers are sought, more and more people, uneducated in simple Biblical doctrines, are finding themselves caught, unable to answer the simplest of objections against Calvinists, and theri arrogance.
And Calvinists are indeed arrogant! Most hold a sense of superiority just because Calvinism can be so complicated that it requires years of study to show a Calvinist which position he holds to. And this is where Calvinists try to steer debates. They will always attempt to bring up Adam in the Garden, and will toss in their terms for their invented doctrines of Prolapsarianism, Supralapsarianism, Lapdogsarianism and what have you. And they contemptously sneer at anyone who is not familiar with their terms. Part of the Calvinist approach is, “I’m smarter than a Armenianist, so therefore Calvinism is true.” When a Ca;lvinist says “Biblical Truth”, they often mean “Calvinist TULIP dogma”.
It would be like Buddhists arguing over Annhilationist Moksha versus Continuing Moksha verses loss of self moksha – and then ridiculing Christians who are unwilling to debate made-up doctrines!
Calvinists are quick to make sure you know they believe in Predestination – but their view of it is amzingly simplistic, for men who pride themselves on intellectual ability.
The teaching is that God predestined some to Heaven, but most to Hell. And the TULIP doctrine makes it plain it is not we who choose, but God. And they insist we have no choice in the matter. “God is Sovereign!” They proclaim. Yes, He is. And sadly, through your hijacking of the word “sovereign”, Baptists cannot use the term without anyone suspecting they’re Calvinist!
the TULIP doctrine teaches that man is Depraved. However, the T should really be an I for inability. It would be more honest for Calvinists to tell Christians (notice how I differentiate between followers of Calvin and followers of Christ) about Total Inability, rather than total Depravity. Like cults, Calvinists use terms that Baptists understand and use – but assign different meanings.
Since man is completely inable to choose God due to man’s corrupt nature, the Calvinist teaches, it is up to God to save us. “well, how do you know you’re saved?” we counter. “God will evidence your salvation by your attending a Biblical Church.” Translated – you’re saved because you attend a Calvinist church.
This, when you really analyze it, is True Church-ism, which further identifies it as a cult. They have their extra-Biblical writings they hold to (Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin), and True Church-ism. True Church-ism teaches that “We’re the true church – you can’t be saved unless you’re part of our church.” It’s similar to Baptist Briders, except few Baptist Briders (if any) attach salvation to True Church-ism.
Remember, the definition of a cult is “A cult is generally a ‘faith-based’ group that is unorthodox, esoteric, and has a devotion to a person, object, or a set of new ideas. Typically they believe that they have the only ‘true’ teaching and often consider traditional religious systems to be apostate”.
Calvinists have unorthodox ideas (TULIP), devotion to a person (John Calvin, John Knox and lately adding A. W. Pink, R. C. Sproul and John MacArthur), consider themselves the “only true teaching” (holding Armenianism to be unBiblical – and dismissing Baptists as Armenianist, which most are not). The only thing that keeps them from being an out and out cult is they do not consider other religious systems to be apostate. They consider them unBiblical, but not apostate. The difference is salvation.
Few Calvinists (there are some!) would claim that Baptists are not saved because they don’t attend a Reformed church. The Reformed doctrine is contradictory, claiming that the evidence one is one of the elect is that you’d attend a Reformed church – but at the same time, admitting that one of the elect could be misled into attending a non-Reformed church. So, your evidence you’re one of the elect is no evidence at all, then!
Because Calvinists, through intellectual snobbery, have made their doctrines so complex (which in many ways is a sign that it is not Biblical), it will take several posts to accurately debunk their positions. And the difficulty is – they will immediately claim that their position is being mis-represented!
I’m anticipating it shortly.