We have examined and answered so far:
- Not everyone who is not Calvinist is Armenian
- There is a difference between Baptist and Armenian
- The TULIP theology actually contradicts Scripture
- Total Depravity actually teaches Total Inability
- Total Inability is the key teaching of Calvinism – if Total Inability is removed, the entire Calvinism doctrine falls apart immediately.
- Calvinism really is Augustinianism
- There’s not a whole lot of difference between Calvinism and some Roman Catholic doctrines
- The historic understanding of Salvation as expressed by the Early Church “Fathers” does not match Calvinism’s understanding
- A person reading the Bible literally through for years without having been taught Calvinism would not arrive at an understanding of TULIP theology, thus raising grave doubts as to any claims of it being “Biblical”.
- Total Inability is based upon Biblical half truths.
- There are few Calvinist proof texts, and they are cited against the majority of Bible verses that prove otherwise, or consist of verses taken out of context and forced to appear as if they support Calvinism
- The Bible clearly teaches “whosoever will…” many times.
- The Calvinist ignores Biblical texts in favor of his dogma, thus Calvinism actually champions tradition and logic above the Bible
- The supposed logical arguments of the Calvinist are flawed right from the beginning
- The Calvinist accepts the verses that state “Whosoever will not” as supporting damnation for anyone who rejects Christ, but refuses to accept the verses that state “Whosoever will” as supporting salvation for anyone who accepts Christ
There’s an astounding lack of logic in many ways to Calvinism.
“Calvinism is pure Biblical Christianity in its clearest and purest expression.” Dave Hunt read this quote, but pressed for time did not identify the speaker. Hunt then goes on to say, “if you’re not a Calvinist, you’re not a Christian, it seems to follow!”
The Calvinist would read Hunt’s comment and agree privately, and object publicly. Among themselves, I wonder how many express the belief they’re the only true Christians? There is an awful lot of elitism in Calvinism. It prides itself on being intellectual. You have to be smart to be a Calvinist.
I dunno, it sounds kind of stupid to me. And I’m pretty smart. It reminds me of the New Atheists last month who attacked me in comments I didn’t let go through. They started from the premise they were smarter than me. Many Calvinists assume that a non-Calvinist is not as intelligent, not an intellectual. And thus, they place little emphasis on anything a non-Calvinist says – because they’re smarter than you, they think.
My last IQ test pegged me at 174. What’s yours?
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s examine the non-doctrinal stance many Calvinists have. I have an old friend who’s a Calvinist, and he knows better than to try that one on me.
“You have to be intelligent to be a calvinist.” How do you know you’re intelligent? “because I’m a Calvinist.”
Well, not intelligent enough to spot circular reasoning, I suppose. However, this refutation of a common stance won’t make it to the bullet lists at the beginning of every post. Why? It’s not a cardinal doctrine of Calvinism, just a by-product.
What is circular logic is the predestination stance. The official stance of the Presbyterian church in America is this: You cannot know if you’re saved, unless it’s made manifest in your life.
How is it made manifest?
If you end up attending a Calvinist church.
So, I’m saved by attending a Calvinist church? No. It’s mererly proof you’re predestined.
Unpack that argument, and tell me if you’re satisfied with it. I’m not seeing any conclusion other than true church-ism. And that’s clearly not a correct conclusion, as I sincerely doubt ANY calvinist seriously thinks only Calvinists are saved. Perhaps hyper-calvinists do, I don’t know. Because to my knowledge, all Calvinists decry hyper-Calvinism, but nobody is willing to stand up and say, “I’m a hyper calvinist!”
I guess. I hear everyone label everyone else as hyper calvinist, but nobody seems to be admitting it. everyone’s denying it.
So – how DO you know if you’re one of the elect?
You don’t. You hope, and sometimes you worry. Any chance of being a Calvinist, which I was starting to move towards years ago, fell through the cracks when I heart Paul Washer on a radio interview admit, “I hope I’m saved.”
No Calvinist can honestly say if someone is one of the elect. You have to go by, “is there enough evidence in your life to assume you’re saved?” It’s similar to the Baptist doctrine that someone who is saved will demonstrate it by a changed life… but subtly different, if you think about it. I strongly recommend you think about it.
MY assurance is, I’ve repented of my sins, and called upon the Lord to save me. What saved me? The Lord. Jesus Christ did it all, I did nothing but accepted it.
The Calvinist view is apparently similar, but almost a demonstration of works. The Lord saved me, but I must demonstrate my salvation by how I live.
It’s subtle. You either rely upon your attending a Calvinist church, your sprinkling by water as an infant (for which there is zero Biblical support), or by your works. If you’re not attending a Calvinist church, or demonstrating by a channged life you’re one of the elect… you’re probably not.
Despite the Calvinist reliance upon “Blessed Assurance”, some constantly fear they’re not one of the elect. Why? Because if they’re not, they cannot be saved!
This is different from the Armenian reliance upon multiple repentences, and the Baptist “making sure you’re saved”. If you’re not one of the elect, there’s no hope. If you weren’t elected to be saved, according to Calvinism, you’re doomed to Hell.
I’ve already shown how this completely contradicts everything the Bible teaches about Salvation. Why anyone actually believes this is amazing to me, as it has ZERO Scriptural support.
Yet the Bible speaks in four verses about Assurance!
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. Acts 17:31 (KJV)
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; Colossians 2:2 (KJV)
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 (KJV)
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: Hebrews 6:11 (KJV)
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 (KJV)
How can we have assurance, if we don’t truly know if we’re saved? We’ve already seen that Calvinism teaches the opposite of Biblical salvation, and claims it is the “pure Biblical Christianity”!
The doctrines of Grace (TULIP) are the warp and woof of the Biblical Gospel cherished by so many saints throughout the centuries.” — John Piper
You should have some serious doubts raised now. The very fact that you had to be TAUGHT Calvinism, and did not derive it from reading the Bible, should bring up a lot of questions.
“Wait, I DID derive the tenets of Calvinism from reading the Bible!”
Did you? or did you just read about predestination, and get confused about it?
Where did you learn about total depravity? Was it Adam’s fall? Yes Adam fell… and entered into death. And we, being within Adam, all entered into it as well. But again, as I asked yesterday, where in the Bible did you read we were UNABLE to respond to the Gospel?
Was it not rather that you read of our sinful natures, and later learning of Calvinism and finding it teaches predestination, you began to recall verses that SEEM to support it? And of course, you’re a John Piper or Paul Washer or John Macarthur fan and, being a follower of men, learned of their Calvinist views and decided to follow it as well? Or even Pink, or Sproul…
And of course, I might point out (I will, as a matter of fact) that Calvinism is extremely difficult to understand. Men actually spend quite some time in Reformed Seminaries learning the implications of Calvinism, and all the various flavors. Indeed, seminary should almost be a requirement for every Calvinist, as few Calvinists can honestly understand their own doctrine. For instance, here’s how complicated it is: When Adam fell in the Garden, did God predestine Adam to fo it, was it Adam’s free will, did God know it was going to happen, was Adam completely depraved before the fall, or was it after it, and once he fell, was it in violation of God’s will, was it in line with God’s word… There’s a Calvinist position for every one of them (Supralapsarianism, Infralapsarianism, Monergism, etc) except I believe for the position that Adam was completely depraved before the fall. It’s a null theological position, in that not one Calvinist believes it, Calvinism does not teach it, but it needs to be discussed before one can define their stand on Adam’s fall. Why so much study on Adam’s fall? Because the first two major doctrines of Calvinism ride upon the position – Total Inability and Unconditional election.
This is another Biblical blow to Calvinism. The Gospel is described as simplicity. Calvinism is anything but simple.
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:8 (KJV)
12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 2 Corinthians 1:12 (KJV)
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)
2 Cor. 11:3 could be talking specifically ABOUT Calvinism (it’s not – it’s actually speaking about Torah Observant Messianic Judaism). It certainly requires the same kind of straining at gnats and swallowing camels mental gymnastics to make it work.
If you’re a Calvinist, let’s try an experiment this January. I’d like you to read every article I write on it, and check it against your King James Bible. Put your ESV on the shelf. Read it in the BIBLE. And I want you to follow the teachings of John Macarthur on this (how can you go wrong? He’s a 4 point Calvinist!). Read each passage on the subject, not just the verses. You must read them in context. Next, in your notebook in Wordsearch 10 (you ARE using Wordsearch 10, right???), I’d like you to write down summaries of what the verse is telling you, checking each verse against the previous one. But I’d like you to IGNORE CALVINISM – just write down what the verses say! What they’re teaching! What’s the doctrine of each verse? What’s the meaning? How do we walk that verse? How does it apply to our lives?
Everyone who’s ever done that has abandoned Calvinism, including a couple of famous missionaries.
Tomorrow, we’ll examine the second tenet of Calvinism – Unconditional Election.