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Calvinism (Reformed Theology) what it is and why it is scripturally wrong.

Definition = The religious teaching that man is saved without any willful decision of his own. In essence the doctrine teaches God has foreordained some to be saved and others to be damned. Those who are saved are called the elect and were predetermined to salvation with absolutely no effectual move of their own will. I believe in election, but I believe in Biblical election; that is according to the foreknowledge of God He chose Himself out a people in Jesus Christ His Son. 1Pet.1:2, We have been predestined, but the predestination was unto the adoption of children by Christ Jesus; and to an inheritance to the praise of His glory. Eph.1:5, 11, 12

            I believe this teaching flies in the face of clear and understandable verses of the Holy Bible. Also, I believe that you must do one or both of the following things to arrive at this heresy.

1. You would have to go outside of the scriptures and be corrupted by manís wisdom and teachings, and/or;

2. A person would have to interpret scripture either out of its context and/or against the very clear teachings of the Word of God concerning the free will and responsibility of man to believe on the Jesus Christ to be saved.  

            If we will just depend on Bible Truth then we want to look at the scriptures and see what they say about manís free will.

 Gen.2:26   Man is made in the image and likeness of God; that is with a mind and will of his own. The Lord makes choices and He made man in His image to make choices. Man was given freewill to choose to obey His will and want fellowship with his Creator. God did not make robots but freethinking and freewill human beings in His likeness.

Gen. 3: 1-24 We have the fall of man as shown by the freewill choice to disobey Godís command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If man had not a freewill and responsibility to obey God, the Lord would never have given him a command to obey. Nor would He have put the tree there in the first place as manís responsibility not to eat of. Man chose to go his own way, and man was responsible for his actions and hence the consequences.

Joshua 24:15 How can we explain Joshua giving the children of Israel an option to serve the gods of Egypt or the LORD. Joshua said he and his house would serve God. He made a decision of his own will knowing full well the consequences of his choice and his responsibility before the LORD.

Note: I would point out the Bible is full of manís freewill choices and all were made after the fall and in a state of a fallen nature. Totally depraved the Calvinist would say and though I would agree with that statement, I would not agree that man was without responsibility and the ability to make a choice.

Verses the Calvinist uses but twists and perverts against the whole body of Scripture

I will use the well known T.U.L.I.P. acrostic to explain away each argument of this doctrine with the clear body of scriptural teachings.

 The Calvinist says:

Total Depravity - As a result of Adamís fall, the entire human race is affected; all humanity is dead in trespasses and sins. Man is unable to save himself (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-18).

 The Bible Believer says God clearly enlightens sinners. John 1:9, 12:32, and 16:8

God also sets forth the will of man to choose for himself. John 1:12, 3:16, 5:24, Acts 2:21, 16:30-31.

The Calvinist says

Unconditional Election - Because man is dead in sin, he is unable to initiate response to God; therefore, in eternity past God elected certain people to salvation. Election and predestination are unconditional; they are not based on manís response (Romans 8:29-30; 9:11; Ephesians 1:4-6,11-12) because man is unable to respond, nor does he want to.

The Bible Believer says God has always given man the right to choose. 1 Timothy 2:3-4, II Peter 3:9, Acts 17:30, John 3:16-17, Ezekiel 33:11 God said ďwhosoever willĒ Mark 8:34; John3:16; Rev.22:17

The Calvinist says
Limited Atonement - Because God determined that certain ones should be saved as a result of Godís unconditional election, He determined that Christ should die for the elect alone. All whom God has elected and Christ died for will be saved (Matthew 1:21; John 10:11; 17:9; Acts 20:28; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 5:25).

The Bible Believer says The Bible is as clear on this point as on any point of doctrine. Hebrews 2:9 declares that Christ tasted death for every man. I John 2:2 says"And he (Christ) is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

The Calvinist says                                                                                                 
 
Irresistible Grace - Those whom God elected and Christ died for, God draws to Himself through irresistible grace. God makes man willing to come to Him. When God calls, man responds (John 6:37, 44; 10:16).

The Bible Believer says If Calvin would use this verse John 6:44 then the very verse itself contradicts the teaching of irresistible grace. The word draw does not mean to force. The same word is used in John 12:32. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. ď  If the word in John 6:44 means an irresistible drawing then the Bible would be teaching in John 12:32 that all men would be irresistibly drawn. This certainly isnít happening so the word draw means to attract which would be in agreement with the whole of scripture.

The Calvinist says                                                                                                   Perseverance of the Saints - The precise ones God has elected and drawn to Himself through the Holy Spirit will persevere in faith. None whom God has elected will be lost; they are eternally secure (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:3-14).

The Bible Believer says Calvinís teaching on this point was totally different from the Bible doctrine of Security. Calvin taught that a person who is of the elect will persevere. His teaching had nothing whatsoever to do with the keeping power of God. He taught that if a person did not persevere to the end, he was not of the elect and he had been only a false professor. Verses which teach that we are kept by the power of God include, but are not limited to, John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39; Ephesians 4:30; and I Peter 1:4, 5.

Two observations of ďseeminglyĒ difficult passages used by the Calvinist.

The verses are Jer.18:1-6; Rom.9:10-24

1. Godís dealings with men are always just! Gen.18:25                                                  
 
2.God knows the clay i.e.; our hearts, and choices (God doesnít make them for us)

ō  Rom.9:21, 22 God always does that which is perfect and just toward man. In Jeremiah we see a loving God making a vessel for His purposes. In His Sovereignty He can do that. We are as clay; worthless, useless and helpless. As God works the clay according to His will the clay must yield to the Potterís hands. He can take marred clay and make it useful again. The clay can do nothing but allow the Potter to mold and shape it into a useable vessel. Jer. 18:4   In the book of Exodus in chapters 5:2 and 8:15 we see clearly that God knew what was in Pharaohís heart. Pharaoh would not yield but hardened himself against God and the Lord destroyed this clay vessel. Hence Godís will is accomplished not against manís will but in spite of manís will.  In Rom. 9:13 a Calvinist would try to convince us God hated Esau for no good reason. I say knowing the character of God that it is clear to me that God hated what Esau did because He knew what Esau would do in rejecting his birthright. Let us fall on the Sovereignty of God but also on His Foreknowledge that He knows how to deal justly with unjust men to accomplish His perfect will.          
Respectfully Submitted by Dan Eberly

 

Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

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