John Calvin Had It All Wrong

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Posted

''Election'' has to do with purpose or service; Angels, Israel, and even the Lord Jesus are ''elect''.

 

And the church.

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Posted

Chosen for what purpose though - the important point that Calvin and his followers ignore.......

No one denies that God makes choices, but the Bible clearly says that salvation is a gift offered to all men, not just a few.

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Posted

Chosen for what purpose though - the important point that Calvin and his followers ignore.......

No one denies that God makes choices, but the Bible clearly says that salvation is a gift offered to all men, not just a few.

 

I take your point Dave, but it also says no one can come to Jesus unless the father calls him.  Christ also quotes Isaiah to say that he spoke in parables so that not all would believe and be saved.

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Posted

I take your point Dave, but it also says no one can come to Jesus unless the father calls him. Christ also quotes Isaiah to say that he spoke in parables so that not all would believe and be saved.


Not the way Calvin states it.
Salvation is available to all men. God did not and does not choose whom He will save in Calvin's way.
There is no such thing as Calvin's total depravity, nor Calvin's unconditional election, nor Calvin's limited atonement, nor Calvin's irresistible 'grace', nor Calvin's perseverance of the saints.

Much of it is close but not close enough.

Calvinism, or 'the doctrines of grace' as those who don't want the association put it, are a false system teaching a false Gospel.

Yes, Calvin got it wrong, and his teaching leads many to hell.
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Posted (edited)

And the church.

That's right. Jesus, angels, Israel, and the Church all have a jOB, and purpose. Jesus came to Earth, performed miracles, "went about doing good", shed His blood on the cross and rose from the dead. Part of His "work", his "jOB" was finished on Calvary. Now He makes "intercession for the saints" and will one day do something else when he comes in the clouds to get us, then fights with the sword of His mouth and stands upon the Mount of Olives, and reigns a thousand years....see what I'm saying?  Likewise the angels, Israel and the Church have a purpose/function/jOB as well. Point being; Jesus is "elect" but that doesn't mean God "chose" him in the sense that he "picked" him...He has always existed and has always been God.

Edited by heartstrings
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Posted

Dave,

 

I don't want to get into this whole thing so I just have one narrow question to ask you.

 

What do you mean by "his teaching leads many to hell"?

 

Thank you.

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Posted

Dave,

I don't want to get into this whole thing so I just have one narrow question to ask you.

What do you mean by "his teaching leads many to hell"?

Thank you.


See Galatians 1:8,9
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Posted

I'm sorry Dave, unless you have more to go with that I don't understand.

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Posted

What is the Gospel?

1Co 15:1-4

(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

(2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

(3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

(4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

 

What does the Gospel do?

Rom 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.

 

How is salvation attained?

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

What saves under Calvin's system?

Unconditional Election:
God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).

 

No mention of the blood of Christ, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

 

And you won't find these things mentioned in most outlines of the five points of Calvin.

They will often mention the death of Christ under “Limited atonement”, but only the fact that it isn't sufficient for all – some will say effective for all, but they twist that too.

 

Now John, I don't know about you, but my salvation is based on the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Christ, and was attained by me by grace through faith.

 

Any other way of salvation is another Gospel, which is not another.

 

Therefore to do as the Calvinist does and base salvation, not on the blood of Christ, but upon the choice of God, is another Gospel which is not another.

 

I believe that many people amongst Calvinistic churches are fooled by the doublespeak of the Calvinist teachers, and have actually believed the surface preaching without understanding the redefinition of words that they use.

But anyone who actually understands and follows Calvin's teachings, is basing their salvation on something other than the blood of Christ.

And that means that they are not saved.

Act 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.

 

Calvinists are like many other cults – they redefine words, jump through linguistic hoops, and make leaps of logic all so that they can re-understand what the Bible says.

 

But if you base your salvation on anything other than the blood of Christ, you are not saved.

And the Calvinist bases his salvation on the choice of God not the blood of Christ.

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Posted

I've never heard anyone we might call Calvinists (other than those few hyper's I've encountered online) that present any Gospel other than the one we read of in Scripture.

 

Even if we take into account possible false professions, the numbers who were said to have been born again in Christ through the preaching of men such as Spurgeon, Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards are in the tens of thousands; and that's not even counting those who later professed Christ from reading their sermons and such. Given the historical record of changed lives it seems exceedingly unlikely these folks believed a false gospel and went to hell.

 

Those I know of who would fall under the "Calvinist" umbrella have testimonies of salvation the same as yours and mine. Their lives bear evidence of salvation. When they go soul winning they use the same sort of tracts, point to the same verses of Scripture as we (non-Calvinistic Baptists) do.

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Posted

You asked, I gave an answer, feel free to ignore it.

But remember that Calvin would have killed Spurgeon as a heretic for his teaching of free will.

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Posted

Thank you Dave. I appreciate your taking the time to answer my question. I'm not going to ignore what you said, I simply haven't seen evidence of Spurgeon, Edwards, Whitefield or the Calvinists I know of ever presenting a false gospel.

 

Spurgeon pointed out that what we might call hyper-Calvinists were an aboration and not faithful to Scripture. That of course would lead back to the whole "what does or doesn't election and predestination mean in Scripture".

 

So, sticking to the focused point, I don't see how "Calvinism" is leading folks to hell outside of those who take the hyper approach which is somewhat of another side of the coin where some folks practice "quick prayerism".

 

Again, I do appreciate your response. I now know what you meant, even if I'm not currently seeing it. Thank you.

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Posted

You can't see that the system of Calvinism teaches another Gospel?
Stop confusing the system, which teaches a false Gospel, with men who used the name.
As I mentioned, Spurgeon taught free will far more than he taught the 5 points.
Put his faithfulness and "success" down to that.
Calvin would have condemned his preaching.
And this fur fee of "hyper-calvinism" keeps coming up.
If you look at what Calvin taught, then what men today call hyper-calvinism is simply not - it is Calvinism.
But many people don't like things like "double predestination" so they step back from it in spite of it being EXACTLY what Calvin taught.

Calvinism is a pernicious doctrine that leads people to hell, for it teaches salvation through God's choice, not the blood of Christ.

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Posted (edited)

Matthew 5

43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 

God ain't no hippocrite and he doesn't expect us to do better than He does Himself: not gonna happen.

Edited by heartstrings

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Posted

What is the Gospel?
1Co 15:1-4
(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
(2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
(3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
(4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
 
What does the Gospel do?
Rom 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.
 
How is salvation attained?
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
 
What saves under Calvin's system?
Unconditional Election:
God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).
 
No mention of the blood of Christ, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
 
And you won't find these things mentioned in most outlines of the five points of Calvin.
They will often mention the death of Christ under “Limited atonement”, but only the fact that it isn't sufficient for all – some will say effective for all, but they twist that too.
 
Now John, I don't know about you, but my salvation is based on the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Christ, and was attained by me by grace through faith.
 
Any other way of salvation is another Gospel, which is not another.
 
Therefore to do as the Calvinist does and base salvation, not on the blood of Christ, but upon the choice of God, is another Gospel which is not another.

 
Hi Dave
 
I don't really follow your argument here. You seem to be saying that Calvinists base their salvation on 'choice of God' instead of the atonement, and that therefore they believe in a different Gospel. You cite as the evidence for this the fact that Jesus' atoning sacrifice on the cross, and His burial and resurrection isn't given in 'most outlines of the five points of Calvin'.
 
Firstly, I don't see how these things not being mentioned in outlines of the five points is evidence that Calvinists don't believe in them. You say yourself that atonement is mentioned in the 'Limited atonement' point, so what does that reference to atonement mean if it doesn't mean the work of Jesus on the cross? Outlines of the five points may not go into detail about the atonement, but then there's lots of things they don't go into: one God, the Trinity, creation etc. You go on to say that when Calvinists refer to atonement they only do so to point out that it is 'limited'. However a limited atonement is not the same thing as no atonement.
 
Secondly, I don't understand how Calvinists believing God chose to save them therefore means that they don't believe their salvation is attained through the shed blood of Christ, as if the two are mutually exclusive and one must believe one or the other. Those who believe in free will believe that God made a choice to save them--God didn't have to sacrifice his son on the cross but chose to do so that we might be saved. So if everyone else can base their salvation on both God's choice to save and Jesus' atoning sacrifice for their sins, why does Calvinists believing in one necessarily mean they don't believe in the other?
 
It appears to me, though I admit I'm not well read on it, that both Calvinists and 'free will' adherents believe that God chose to save and that this salvation is 'done' through the blood of Jesus on the cross. The difference with Calvinists, with respect to these particular beliefs, is that they believe God chose to save just a few, and that the atonement only pays for the sins of a few. If that's so, then a Calvinist still bases his own salvation on the blood of Jesus even if at the same time he believes God chose to save only a few (and is wrong about that belief).
 
Now if the argument that Calvinists believe in a different Gospel is elsewhere, e.g. an argument that salvation being limited to a few in of itself means that Calvinists believe a different Gospel, then ok but I don't follow the argument that Calvinists don't believe their own salvation is based on the blood of Jesus.

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Posted

Calvinists are saved without the blood of Christ.
This is what my regeneration and belief thread was about.

Calvinists are saved by God's choice - the blood becomes a procedural rubber stamp. In fact it is a non event for them.

look at the five points in pretty much any Calvinist statement and you won't find the blood of Christ making an appearance.
Look at "limited atonement" statements and the only reference to atonement is not what it does but how far it goes - and it still rarely mentions the blood of Christ.

The proof of this is that there are plenty of "Reformed churches" who don't preach the Gospel at all. They preach a Catholic style works salvation.
Calvinism is not all at odd with that form of works based salvation, because it doesn't need the blood of Christ.

That is not biblical.

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Posted

Hi Dave

I don't know if that post is a response to me since you don't refer to my post or any of the points I made in it, but in case you are...

 

Calvinists are saved without the blood of Christ.
This is what my regeneration and belief thread was about.

 

And I responded directly to this assertion in my post to you.
 

Calvinists are saved by God's choice - the blood becomes a procedural rubber stamp. In fact it is a non event for them.

 

And as far as I can tell you've given two lines of evidence to support this assertion. One is that Calvinists don't don't go into detail about what atonement means when they they write outlines of the five points, and two is that because they do believe in God's choosing them, that belief effectively replaces belief in the blood of Jesus. I responded to both those points in detail in my last post.
 

look at the five points in pretty much any Calvinist statement and you won't find the blood of Christ making an appearance. Look at "limited atonement" statements and the only reference to atonement is not what it does but how far it goes - and it still rarely mentions the blood of Christ.


From my last post:

I don't see how these things not being mentioned in outlines of the five points is evidence that Calvinists don't believe in them. You say yourself that atonement is mentioned in the 'Limited atonement' point, so what does that reference to atonement mean if it doesn't mean the work of Jesus on the cross? Outlines of the five points may not go into detail about the atonement, but then there's lots of things they don't go into: one God, the Trinity, creation etc. You go on to say that when Calvinists refer to atonement they only do so to point out that it is 'limited'. However a limited atonement is not the same thing as no atonement.
 

The proof of this is that there are plenty of "Reformed churches" who don't preach the Gospel at all. They preach a Catholic style works salvation.
Calvinism is not all at odd with that form of works based salvation, because it doesn't need the blood of Christ.

That is not biblical.

 

But whenever John or others have pointed out that they know loads of 'reformed' churches that do preach the Gospel, you've always responded with 'well they're not true Calvinists then'. If your definition of a reformed church is one that doesn't preach the Gospel, then you will find that reformed churches don't preach the gospel.

 

Moreover, when John just now started talking about Christians who called themselves Calvinist, you said, "...stop confusing the system, which teaches a false Gospel, with men who used the name." I agree, we should be able to nail whether or not the system of Calvinism includes atonement as a necessary part of salvation without looking to what folk on the ground believe/do.

 

As for the point about Calvinism not being at odds with works-based salvation because it doesn't need the blood of Christ, firstly it not needing the blood of Christ is exactly what is being discussed, secondly even it didn't rely on the blood of Christ that wouldn't necessarily make it a works-based system. In fact, if your argument that the Calvinist system of salvation only includes a single component--that of God's choosing them--is true, then your own argument says it isn't works based.

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Posted

Well I OBviously have an inability to correctly articulate my point since you clearly do not understand what I am trying to say, and you seem intent on clarifying for everyone else.
Not much point in my continuing in that light.

I will have to try to figure out how to better phrase it - until then.......

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Posted

Ok well sorry if I'm not getting it. I'm not trying to clarify anything for anyone else, btw, just for myself. And I don't think there's anything wrong with my doing that. Maybe speak to you later...

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Posted

It seems one of the prOBlems here is that in many cases Calvinists and non-Calvinists have different definitions of what a Calvinist is.

 

As pointed out above, a Reformed church that preaches the biblical Gospel, sends forth soul winners who use the same Romans Road approach many non-Calvinists do, and sees many come to Christ, even though they believe in election and predestination along the lines of what Spurgeon, Edwards and Whitefield did, there will be non-Calvinists who write them off as not really being Calvinists.

 

This is odd, especially since most of these folks don't actually consider themselves to be Calvinists, but as believing in the doctrine of grace (or however they word that term) which they see as being biblical. Their own teaching points to Scripture as being their source, they often cite Paul's writings as where God brought it all together. Then some point to Augustine as being among the first to take to writing about it. Then they point out that Calvin was the first to systematically put it together at a time when such could finally become widely available thanks to the printing press. The odd part being that non-Calvinists will say man Calvinists are not actually Calvinists but when "Calvinists" say they are not Calvinists because they are not following Calvin, the non-Calvinists demand they be called Calvinists. It's all rather circular and gets one nowhere.

 

From what I've seen, non-Calvinists know more about the life of Calvin than do "Calvinists" and this is because "Calvinists" don't follow Calvin. It's similar to the way non-dispensationalists often know more about Darby than do dispensationalists. Again, both sides argue over how to define one another while missing the actual points.

 

So, back to the point of the Gospel. If "Calvinists" or Reformed or whatever term we are using, do preach the biblical Gospel message, then how can that be called a false gospel? If there is evidence of hundreds of thousands being born again in Christ over the centuries through the preaching and ministry of particular Calvinists, then how could that be if they are presenting a false gospel?

 

It doesn't matter what Calvin himself did or said. The question is only about whether or not "Calvinists" are preaching the biblical Gospel or a false gospel. Wesley was vehemently opposed to "Calvinism" yet he teamed up with a staunch "Calvinist" (Whitefield) and freely acknowledged the working of the Lord through him and that many came to Christ through his preaching.

 

The evidence seems to suggest that outside of "hypers", Calvinist are preaching the biblical Gospel that leads folks to salvation.

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Posted

John 12:32
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Salvation is a very simple thing. I like it when we boil all the discussion down to the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "all men"

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Posted

Ok well sorry if I'm not getting it. I'm not trying to clarify anything for anyone else, btw, just for myself. And I don't think there's anything wrong with my doing that. Maybe speak to you later...

Here is a really simplified way of looking at it. The choice of which DaveW speaks is that which God made before the foundation of the world.  Die-hard calvinists believe that the word elect means a select group of people will get saved.  So, in effect, God sat in Heaven pre-creation and looked through the annals of time and chose: this one will get saved, this one will not; this one will, this one not.  I'll draw this one, won't draw that one.  Etc.

 

Now, as I said, that's a simplification - and that is not the verbiage 5-pointers use.  But many (again, die-hard calvinists) explain verses in scripture with that idea in mind.  When John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world..." it means, according to them, only those whom He elected before the foundation of the world.  "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" means only those He elected before the foundation of the world.

 

When, in actual fact, they (the verses) mean what they say. Shocker, eh?  Christ died for the sins of everyone.  God does not want anyone to perish (all really does mean all, not just all in a select group...).  The invitation to salvation is open to everyone not just a certain number who will then comprise the church.

 

The Holy Spirit does draw all men...but each individual has the choice to accept or refuse it.  God wants all to accept.  But He made us with a free will. We can choose or reject and our choice determines our eternity. Not God's selection.

 

Hope that makes sense...it's early yet and I haven't finished my iced mocha.  :nuts:

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Posted

When I worked on the farm, and I went out with my shovel to irrigate a field of corn, I didn't need to know the theory of gravity.  All I needed to know is that water flows downhill and I got the jOB done.

Similarly I don't have to know all the detail about how the doctrine of free-will and the doctrine of grace work in order to know what God requires of me.  

When I irrigate all I need is a shovel and faith that God makes water run downhil to get the jOB done rightl. 

When I hear the gospel, irregardless of what the preacher's feelings about mister Calvin or whatever theologian he bases his philosophy of religion on, I know that God wants to save me.

I know that I am a sinner saved by grace.  It matters not-at-all what preacher preached the gospel to me.  I trusted in God to save me and he saved me just as he said he would. 

I don't how it all goes together but I know it works.

 

I have read several works on the freedom of the will, including Johnathan Edwards, and why our free will is not really free will because of our sin nature and I still don't understand it. 

I do understand that no matter what our will, God is sovereign and His will be done.

He says He will save me from my sin, He says He will keep me, He says he will take me into His kingdom and He will have me live eternally with Him.  What more do I need from Him but all that He has promised in His word.

 

He is all that I need.  I don't need any philosophers of religion, no matter what their name or system.  So much for Calvin, Arminius, Luther, or even evangelists like Billy Graham, or Tammy Fay Baker.  All I need is God and faith in His ability to come through.

 

If all this makes no sense, remember it is just one man's opinion and not the opinion of a learned philosopher of religion after all.

 

God bless,

Larry

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Posted

Here is a really simplified way of looking at it. The choice of which DaveW speaks is that which God made before the foundation of the world.  Die-hard calvinists believe that the word elect means a select group of people will get saved.  So, in effect, God sat in Heaven pre-creation and looked through the annals of time and chose: this one will get saved, this one will not; this one will, this one not.  I'll draw this one, won't draw that one.  Etc.
 
Now, as I said, that's a simplification - and that is not the verbiage 5-pointers use.  But many (again, die-hard calvinists) explain verses in scripture with that idea in mind.  When John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world..." it means, according to them, only those whom He elected before the foundation of the world.  "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" means only those He elected before the foundation of the world.
 
When, in actual fact, they (the verses) mean what they say. Shocker, eh?  Christ died for the sins of everyone.  God does not want anyone to perish (all really does mean all, not just all in a select group...).  The invitation to salvation is open to everyone not just a certain number who will then comprise the church.
 
The Holy Spirit does draw all men...but each individual has the choice to accept or refuse it.  God wants all to accept.  But He made us with a free will. We can choose or reject and our choice determines our eternity. Not God's selection.
 
Hope that makes sense...it's early yet and I haven't finished my iced mocha.  :nuts:

 
That's ok in itself, HC, but it misses the actual question, which is whether those who believe what you've just outlined above therefore do not believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. To me it appears that Dave is arguing that no they don't ("the blood becomes a procedural rubber stamp") and therefore Calvinists are not saved. But he tells me I've misunderstood him, so maybe he's not saying that.

 

Of course, why an atoning sacrifice is necessary once God has chosen to offer forgiveness for sins is a good question and there are answers for it, but that question applies equally to both reformed and free-will systems, i.m.o.

 

By the way, since you brought it up, my opinion would be that the Calvinist 'system' posits free will and the ability to 'choose' in exactly the same way as 'free will' systems, the only difference being that whereas Calvinism attempts to come up with an explanation for why people make the choices they do (God gives some the desire to choose God and others the desire not to), the 'free will' system just has no explanation for it--why people chose differently is just written off as 'free will', which isn't an explanation at all.

 

For myself, I believe God wants all to be saved yet some choose not to be, but I acknowledge that I can't logically reconcile all the aspects of this belief--I just give it up as a paradox.

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