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The powerless gospel of Calvinism

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 Before, you read this I must be clear im not an "Arminianist" or part of any denomination. Arminianism has many problems as well but Calvinism is a heresy that often needs correcting. And I'll be referring to 5 point Calvinism or TULIP - but i reject all forms of it. If you follow Christ you are a Christian and should identify yourself as such. When i hear someone identify themselves as a Calvinist, Arminian etc then i tend to think that person follows a man 1 Corinth. 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

So here is what I've come to learn about Calvinism. They don't really believe in "Total depravity" - they believe in "Total inability"

The Lord Jesus Christ said   And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32 (Calvinists change scripture to "..all the elect...")

Long story short - there is power is the gospel, in the name of Jesus Christ. There is evidence for the "existence of God" and many great apologists. But the problem with that is if a man can convince you with great intellect then another man can come along and unconvince you with his intellect. (evidence is great for humble seekers) As Christians we are suppose to preach the gospel - using the law - 10 commandments to prick their conscience.- Intellectual arguments go nowhere with prideful people.

1 Peter 5:5 "...God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."  (Preach the Law to the proud - and grace to the humble)

So the gospel cuts through the intellect to reach the conscience. Using the law, acknowledging sin, judgement and hell, - the proud will often admit they are not good people and deserve hell when judged by the 10 commandments. "Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness..." And whether they believe it or not they are without excuse (Romans 1:20). Thats another subject...the point is when their conscience bears witnesses and they hear the gospel God will draw all men unto Christ. Forget intellect - God has made foolish the wisdom of this world. When God draws you near to him, and one truly becomes born again, there is no unconvincing.

Back to the Calvinist's belief in Total depravity - or Total inability -

They say i could preach the gospel to a crowd of a million people - all of which are the "non-elect" - Not one of them can get saved.

Calvinists believe in a powerless gospel - and a heartless "god" - that will not draw sinners to repentance when Christ is preached. They just burn in hell. = Heresy

Total Depravity - Calvinists believe the unsaved man is dead in trespasses and sins to the extent that it affects his will; so that, he cannot will to be saved (Ephesians 2:1-4). ! Man’s nature is depraved (Ps. 39:5-6; Jer. 17:9; Luke 11:13; Rom. 7:24; Gal. 1:4), but he is still held responsible for his actions (Isa. 45:19; Matt. 12:36-37; Luke 17:1). Israel is held accountable for the crucifixion (Acts 2:22-23; 4:10; 7:52) and Gentiles are held accountable (Rom. 2:6-11). ! Man was created with a freewill to accept or reject God’s will (Exo. 35:5, 21, 29; Ezra 7:13-16; Rev. 22:17). ! God commands a man to receive Christ (1 John 3:23). ! The new birth is conditioned upon receiving Jesus Christ by faith (John 1:12-13).

Unconditional Election - Calvinists believe  a person is chosen by God in eternity past and was put into Christ unconditionally based upon God’s sovereign grace (Ephesians 1:4-5). ! Election is conditioned upon the foreknowledge of God (1 Peter 1:2). ! The emphasis in the choosing of Ephesians 1:4-5 is Christ, not man. Man was not here before the foundation of the world. Christ should receive the preeminent place, not man.  God chose before the foundation of the world that salvation was to be in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:9-10). ! Election is not directed at salvation, but service. One is elected to serve a purpose (Isaiah 42:1; 45:4; 65:9; 1 Peter 2:6; 2 Peter 1:10). 

      A citizen by birth can be elected to public service by the vote of the people. ! Election is always in a precise or temporary setting; in that, a person is put into Christ at the moment of receiving Christ (John 1:12-13; 1 Cor. 12:13).  Once in Christ then the benefits of eternity are given to a finite being who had a beginning, but will have no end. ! According to Calvinism, some are elected to hell. If this is so, a man is obeying God’s will by rejecting a command of accepting Christ (Acts 17:30-31; 1 John 3:23). ! According to Calvinism, some innocent babies are elected to hell, which is directly contrary to the teaching of Romans 9:11 that every innocent child is elected in regards to the grace of God (Deut. 1:39; Rom. 2:6-16; 4:15; 5:13). When a child reaches the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:5-6), he or she is held accountable. ! If a man is elected to salvation IN Christ before the foundation of the world, that man fell out when Adam sinned (before salvation a man is IN Adam -- Romans 5:14-21; 1 Cor. 15:21-22); therefore, on this point an Arminian and a Calvinist agrees. If Calvinism is right, at salvation a man is put back into Christ. What could cause him to fall out of Christ again?  See any Arminian and he’ll expound all he knows within thirty seconds with time to spare. ! Before salvation, a man is not recognized by God (Matt. 7:21-23) because he is under God’s wrath (John 3:36 Eph. 2:11-14). A man is born - he must be born again, of the Spirit. You can not be given the second man if you are not in the first (1Cor, 15:47-49)

Limited Atonement - Calvinists believe Jesus Christ died only for the elect because they are the only ones who can repent (John 10:11) ! Unlimited atonement is Scriptural (John 3:16-21, 36; 1 Tim. 2:3-6; Heb. 10:10, 29; 2 Peter 2:1; 3:9). Limited atonement is a myth. ! Tyre and Sidon would have repented if given the chance (Matt. 11:20-24).
Irresistible Grace - Calvinists believes the Holy Ghost draws a man to Christ and overshadows the elect to the extent that he cannot resist God’s sovereign grace to salvation (Acts 13:48). ! The Spirit of God draws a man to Christ, but the man’s part is acceptance of the Gospel through his freewill (Rom. 10:13-14; 1 Cor. 4:15; 9:22; 1 Tim. 1:15). ! The ones ordained to eternal life are Gentiles who follow their conscience in doing right, such as Cornelius. These Gentiles receive the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:1-11:18; Romans 2:1-16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). ! Eleazor, a type of the Holy Ghost, asked Rebekkah, a type a Christian (Gen. 24:58). ! God’s grace can be resisted as there are sins against the Holy Ghost (Acts 5:3; 7:51; Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19).

Perseverance of the Saints - Calvinists waffle between preservation and perseverance on this petal of the flower.  Calvinists say that the saints will persevere in the faith; and if they do not persevere, they are not of the elect. ! Perseverance and eternal security (once saved, always saved) are not the same. Eternal security is a truth for the NT saint in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:8-9; Ephesians 1:12-14; 4:30). ! Predestination is one’s destination beforehand. A NT saint is predestinated to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29-20; Eph. 1:4-5, 11). ! Perseverance of the saint is another similarity with the Arminians.

Summary : Since a man can do nothing to be saved or obtain salvation because he is totally depraved (incapable), God through irresistible grace will unconditionally elect the chosen ones because of limited atonement.  Hyper-Calvinists do not win souls because God will save those He chooses no matter what.  Calvinists usually are self-conceited because God specially chose them and not the heathen Arminians

INSANITY - Teaching Calvinism to enlighten a non-Calvinist is absurd because his or her freewill to choose is not valid. A Calvinist is born a Calvinist against his will. I'm not a Calvinist because God predestinated me before the foundation of the world to not be a Calvinist.  I can’t help it!  I'm not an Arminian because I reject it of my own freewill.  I can't help that!   2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 (KJV)

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I love how everyone's so quick to hate Calvin. And they always point at tulip. But what they don't realize is those are a small part of what Calvin taught and often theyre misquoted. Even the most stolid of armeniians if they were to read John Calvin's commentaries theyd agree with 95% of what he said

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I love how everyone's so quick to hate Calvin. And they always point at tulip. But what they don't realize is those are a small part of what Calvin taught and often theyre misquoted. Even the most stolid of armeniians if they were to read John Calvin's commentaries theyd agree with 95% of what he said

While TULIP may not be John Calvin's invention, there is no question that its roots are in Calvinism, and that the Westminster Confession of Faith teaches TULIP.  It is indeed a false Gospel since it perverts the grace of God, and claims that Christ died only for the elect. 

Scripture, on the other hand, makes it crystal clear, that Christ died for the sins of the whole world, and that God does NOT elect some to salvation, and others to damnation.

It is never a matter of hating the person who hold these beliefs, but hating the doctrine.

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I do not support Calvinism.

 

Question: "What is a Calvinist?"

Answer: 
Traditionally, one was called a Calvinist for following the teachings of John Calvin, a 16th-century magisterial Reformer and theologian. Calvin emphasized the sovereignty of God, the unconditional election of the saved, and the irresistible grace that saves a sinner.

The “Five Points of Calvinism” are often referred to in discussions of Calvinism and whether or not one is a Calvinist. The five points of Calvinism are summarized in the acrostic TULIPT = Total Depravity, U = Unconditional Election, L = Limited Atonement, I = Irresistible Grace, and P = Perseverance or Preservation of the Saints. Some people identify themselves as full, or five-point, Calvinists; others see themselves as four-point Calvinists, etc., based on the degree to which they accept the various doctrines in TULIP. However, all Calvinists agree with the teaching of unconditional election. The doctrine of election is the teaching that God chooses whom He is going to save according to His own desire and for His own reasons without taking into account the actions, attitudes, or decisions of the sinner being saved.

The most common variant from a five-point Calvinist is what is often referred to as a four-point Calvinist. This is someone who rejects the L (Limited Atonement) in TULIP. The doctrine of limited atonement teaches that Jesus’ death on the cross only atoned for the elect—He did not die for the whole world but only for those who would be saved. Four-point Calvinists, who reject this teaching, believe in what is called universal or unlimited atonement. In their view, Jesus’ death was sufficient to atone for the sins of everyone who ever lived or will live, but it only appliesto those who come to saving faith in Jesus.

Some see Calvinism as a term synonymous with Reformed Theology. While there are definite associations,Reformed theology is a broader set of theological ideas that go beyond the doctrine of salvation. Reformed theology is also often associated with covenant theology. Not everyone who identifies as a Calvinist would claim the “Reformed” label, and many Calvinists reject covenant theology.

Calvinists take the Bible to be the literal Word of God, and they emphasize the sovereignty of God in the world’s affairs, especially the salvation of sinners. Salvation is all of God, says the Calvinist, and those who are saved are the grateful recipients of divine grace.


http://www.gotquestions.org/Calvinist.html

Edited by bopeep1909

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I love how everyone's so quick to hate Calvin. And they always point at tulip. But what they don't realize is those are a small part of what Calvin taught and often theyre misquoted. Even the most stolid of armeniians if they were to read John Calvin's commentaries theyd agree with 95% of what he said

While TULIP may not be John Calvin's invention, there is no question that its roots are in Calvinism, and that the Westminster Confession of Faith teaches TULIP.  It is indeed a false Gospel since it perverts the grace of God, and claims that Christ died only for the elect. 

Scripture, on the other hand, makes it crystal clear, that Christ died for the sins of the whole world, and that God does NOT elect some to salvation, and others to damnation.

It is never a matter of hating the person who hold these beliefs, but hating the doctrine.

im not saying that I agree with everything John Calvin said. He did have some messed up theology, he was human and therefore not perfect. So was John Armenian, Martin Luther, I'm sure we could find areas where Dwight L Moody and Billy Graham have it wrong. I'm just saying I don't think Calvin's the devil a lot of people make him out to be.

 

This is why need to  study the word ourselves, and not base our opinions on other men, especially just one. Sure we can gain insight from them, they all, Armenian, Luther, even Calvin had some good points, but ultimately the Bible needs to be our final authority.

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Information on election (unconditional election - part of what people call Calvinism), taken from Got Questions also.

Election - God Chooses as He Pleases

 http://www.omegazine.comhas a friendlier version of this table,
you can hover over the links to pop up the scriptures cited

God chooses people for salvation, not because of anything they have done or will do. It is by His will, not theirs, that believers become His children, we are adopted.John 1:13
Believers were chosen before the foundation of the world because of His grace (unmerited favor). He could have chosen all, but He chose to save some, and allow others to get what they deserve (justice).Mark 13:20Ephesians 1:4-5,  Revelation 13:8Revelation 17:8,Romans 9:11-13Romans 10:201 Corinthians 1:27-292 Timothy 1:19,Exodus 33:19Deuteronomy 7:6-7,Romans 9:10-24Acts 13:481 Peter 2:8
There is a chain in salvation. Foreknowledge, predestination,, calling, justification, glorification. Those who are predestined, will be saved as the ones the Father gives to Jesus who will raise them up on the last day. Christ died for His sheep and they hear His voice.Romans 8:28-29John 6:36Romans 8:30John 6:37John 6:39John 17:2,John 10:1-30John 10:15John 10:26-30.
God chooses who He chooses for His reasons, according to His own perfect will and good pleasure, and since it is His will and pleases Him, it is good and just.Ephesians 1:5
God chooses as the means to salvation, that the gospel should be preached to those who will be saved.Romans 1:16Romans 10:14-172 Tim 2:10John 10:16.
Because some people are His sheep. they hear His voice and follow Him, while those who are not chosen, do not acknowledge God and they receive the punishment they deserve. Therefore, there are two kinds of people, those who are chosen to receive God's grace and mercy which they do not deserve, and those who will persist in resisting God, who get the just punishment they have earned as a result of God's perfect justice.John 10:1-30Romans 1:18-20


The above is a distillation or summary of an article on Got Questions ( http://www.gotquestions.org/unconditional-election.html ). The original article is 1775 words long, the information in the table is only 288 words. If you view the above table at http://www.omegazine.com, placing your cursor over the verses in the right hand column should pop up the verses for you to read, making it super simple.

 I am curious to know, why people think the things in the left column, are not implied by the verses listed in the right column, or if they just cannot accept the Bible verses, because they disagree with the Bible. I know I am just an ignorant reader of Gods word, but I think the concepts in T.U.L.I.P. which some equate with Calvinism, could just as easily be called Jesusism, Johnism, or Paulism. Calvin did not just pull the concepts out of thin air, but from scripture. If I we the OP, I would be a little more cautious about what I labeled as heresy. 

For myself, I do not like the term Calvinism, and do not identify as a Calvinist in general, because Calvin did not invent the doctrines, he merely cataloged and confirmed them. When I use the term Calvinist as a self descriptor, I do so as a shortcut, a way to abbreviate a set of beliefs without going into details. A person might call themselves a Catholic, instead of listing 300 sets of beliefs that he or she has. 

I prefer the term "reformed theology", but a lot of people are not familiar with it. Some, are but then think it is identical with Protestantism. While the early protestants did believe the tenants of reformed theology, not all of those who call themselves protestants today, do believe them.

While the early reformers sought to correct what the perceived to be the errors of Catholicism, some who call themselves protestants now (or call themselves Christians) seek to correct what they see as the errors of Luther and the other reformers.

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mp3speaker.gifReformed Theology

Question: "What is Reformed Theology?"

Answer: 
Broadly speaking, Reformed theology includes any system of belief that traces its roots back to theProtestant Reformation of the 16th Century. Of course, the Reformers themselves traced their doctrine to Scripture, as indicated by their credo of “sola scriptura,” so Reformed theology is not a “new” belief system but one that seeks to continue apostolic doctrine.

Generally, Reformed theology holds to the authority of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, salvation by grace through Christ, and the necessity of evangelism. It is sometimes called Covenant theology because of its emphases on the covenant God made with Adam and the new covenant which came through Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20).

Authority of Scripture. Reformed theology teaches that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God, sufficient in all matters of faith and practice.

Sovereignty of God. Reformed theology teaches that God rules with absolute control over all creation. He has foreordained all events and is therefore never frustrated by circumstances. This does not limit the will of the creature, nor does it make God the author of sin.

Salvation by grace. Reformed theology teaches that God in His grace and mercy has chosen to redeem a people to Himself, delivering them from sin and death. The Reformed doctrine of salvation is commonly represented by the acrostic TULIP (also known as the five points of Calvinism):

T - total depravity. Man is completely helpless in his sinful state, is under the wrath of God, and can in no way please God. Total depravity also means that man will not naturally seek to know God, until God graciously prompts him to do so (Genesis 6:5Jeremiah 17:9Romans 3:10-18).

U - unconditional election. God, from eternity past, has chosen to save a great multitude of sinners, which no man can number (Romans 8:29-309:11Ephesians 1:4-6,11-12). 

L - limited atonement. Also called a “particular redemption.” Christ took the judgment for the sin of the elect upon Himself and thereby paid for their lives with His death. In other words, He did not simply make salvation “possible,” He actually obtained it for those whom He had chosen (Matthew 1:21John 10:1117:9Acts 20:28Romans 8:32;Ephesians 5:25).

I - irresistible grace. In his fallen state, man resists God’s love, but the grace of God working in his heart makes him desire what he had previously resisted. That is, God’s grace will not fail to accomplish its saving work in the elect (John 6:37,4410:16).

P - perseverance of the saints. God protects His saints from falling away; thus, salvation is eternal (John 10:27-29;Romans 8:29-30Ephesians 1:3-14).

The necessity of evangelism. Reformed theology teaches that Christians are in the world to make a difference, spiritually through evangelism and socially through holy living and humanitarianism.

Other distinctives of Reformed theology generally include the observance of two sacraments (baptism and communion), a cessationist view of the spiritual gifts (the gifts are no longer extended to the church), and a non-dispensational view of Scripture. Held in high esteem by Reformed churches are the writings of John Calvin, John Knox, Ulrich Zwingli, and Martin Luther. The Westminster Confession embodies the theology of the Reformed tradition. Modern churches in the Reformed tradition include Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and some Baptist.

http://www.gotquestions.org/reformed-theology.html

Edited by bopeep1909

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Wow, nice Bopeep, I was thinking of including some of the reformers names, but that article did a fine job of that, thanks!

In fact, I think with the exception of being a cessationist, that article describes me pretty well.

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  If I we the OP, I would be a little more cautious about what I labeled as heresy.

Calvinism is heresy. His private interpretations are heresy. He believed in replacement theology - which is a heresy.

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Wow, nice Bopeep, I was thinking of including some of the reformers names, but that article did a fine job of that, thanks!

In fact, I think with the exception of being a cessationist, that article describes me pretty well.

Authority of Scripture. Reformed theology teaches that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God, sufficient in all matters of faith and practice.

You don't believe that. ^

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