We’re nearing the end of our survey of Calvinism. As I’ve mentioned, there are 4 point, 4 1/2 point and 5 point Calvinists, Supralapsarianists, Prelapsarianists, etc. Someone is bound to claim, with some justification, I have misrepresented their Calvinism.
As David Cloud points out, whenever you attempt to write on Calvinism, Calvinists will be quick to cry you are misrepresenting Calvinism – even if all you did would be to quote Calvin, the Westminster Confession, the Confession of Dort, and so on.
It’s the 11th commandment – “Thou shalt not criticize Calvinism.”
And one area is completely forbidden to bring up – the actions of John Calvin in Geneva. You’re not allowed to mention that Calvin became a tyrant in Geneva, having a special police that could search your home at will to find if you were a heretic. And many were accused of it, and dragged off to prison and torture. You’re not allowed to mention that any criticism of John Calvin could earn the brand of heretic, and earn you the right to be burned alive. You’re not allowed to mention the wholsesale persecution and prosecution of Baptists by Calvin.
Okay, I won’t mention it.
The quickest way to get some Calvinists unhinged is to talk about the history of Baptists. For some reason, if you dare to repeat what history tells us, that there were Baptists prior to Martin Luthor, it absolutely makes some of them unhinged. As if it denies the Protestant reformation.
Well, Baptists are not Protestants. Let’s get that on the table right away. We were around before the Protestant Reformation. The Catholics were persecuting SOMEBODY all those years. We have historical records of groups that were Baptist in doctrine stretching all the way back from today until 33 AD. Or 30 AD, depending on when you believe the Crucifixion took place.
And so a few Calvinists, frothing at the mouth in anger over the very suggestion that history may be indeed correct, write vitriolic posts on their blogs. As I’ve mentioned previously, the VAST majorit of Apologetics web sites andd blogs are Calvinist. So I’m anticipating that if this catches the attention of any of them, it should merit four or five blog posts on their blogs on what a HERETIC I am for bringing up the Waldenses, the Albigenses, the Catharists, etc.
Or even for disagreeing with Calvinism’s very contention it is “The Gospel”. Strange sort of Gospel it is, I might add. “God ordains a few to have eternal life, and the rest of you are doomed forever to Hell.” This is good news??? Well, I suppose it is to the few! However, all those Bible verses on “If thou believest with thine whole heart” fall to the ground if that’s the case. Oh, that’s right. That’s why Calvinists support modern Bible versions and not the King James, because they remove parts or all of many of those verses.
So, according to Calvinism, if you’re baptised as a baby and have faith in that, you’re saved. It’s so ODD to go to a website like C.A.R.M. and see their rundown on cults like Seventh Day Adventism and one of the heresies that Matt Slick charges them with is “rejects infant baptism.” Huh?
WHERE in the Bible do you find ANY infant being baptised? Nowhere. Nowhere at all. Who gets baptised in the Bible? Only adults. So… how do you justify this belief?
I know a guy who attends a Calvinist Baptist church, and he objects rightly to infant baptism. His solution is to skip church whenever a baby is going to get sprinkled, on doctrinal grounds he doesn’t want to imply he approves of it or agrees with it.
Well, let me tell you, according to the book of Amos and the epistle of 2 John, by your very membership and attendance at that church, you are implying you agree and approve of it anyway!
3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos 3:3 (KJV)
10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 2 John 1:10-11 (KJV)
If you’re not a Calvinist and you attend a Calvinist church… you need to leave. Now. If you’re a Calvinist, but do not agree with infant baptism, you need to leave that church, now. Good luck finding a Calvinist church that does not baptise infants, but your attendance implies you agree.
Now to make a quick statement, on another issue of Calvinism.
Any Baptist that calls himself a Calvinist is woefully ignorant of church history. It is not part of the Baptist legacy. It’s not part of our historic belief system. A group of British Baptist authors attempted to make that claim by boldly lying, but see… there’s court transcripts. There’s notes from the inquisition. We know full well that Baptists, thousands of them, were imprisoned, banished, tortured and killed for rejecting Calvinism. So, how is “Sovereign Grace” a part of the Baptist heritage? Yes, a few Baptist preachers in America at its beginning were Calvinistic – or at least advocated predestination. We know that Jonathan Edwards was a Calvinist at first… but as he went on, his sermons and pamphlets showed a strong awakening and turning to a Baptist doctrine. He never claimed to be a Baptist, but by the time he was fired from his second church, he was teaching Baptist doctrines, which apparently was not well received by the Congregationalists -including his uncompromising stand that only believers should be allowed to have the Lord’s Supper. How did he define believers? You had made a public confession of faith and regeneration by belief in Jesus Christ. That got him fired (not the belief thing, but rather, the Communion stance).
So, it’s amazing to me that Spurgeon should be such a staunch advocate of Calvinism. If Spurgeon was aware of Baptist history (and I’m assuming he was, as well read as he was), he must have known historically it was incompatible with Baptist beliefs. I’m certainly not going to sit here and go through C. H. Spurgeon’s beliefs – I think its irrelevant. I’m sure he’s aware right now how foolish it was, and he probably chuckles a bit at it now. “I was so foolish back then!” I can hear his amusement. Hopefully, he’s still sitting around talking with D. L. Moody, so someone in heaven can understand Spurgeon’s vocabulary besides the Lord!
Tomorrow, we deal with the LAST of the TULIP doctrine. How time flies.