Etikettarkiv | doctrine

Westminster Confession of Faith 1647, and related contradictions

calvinism 5Westminster Confession of Faith from the year 1647 – which many calvinists adhere to

Claiming that ”God authors everything but not sin” simply doesn’t make it so – not even if you use fancy words in a document and spread it around throughout a large christian community – because it doesn’t make the obvious contradiction go away. Neither would it make sense to say ”I believe in the trinity but I don’t believe that Jesus is God, and not the holy Spirit either for that matter”, or ”God predestines every thought and every step of the entire humanity, but we are still responsible for our actions”. It’s one or the other, and you can’t have the cookie and eat it too. If God ordains whatsoever comes to pass and if nothing happens against his will, then this by necessity must include sin! It doesn’t help to blame ”second causes” because if you push another person who hits another, then you’re still the cause for the whole chain of actions.

If God ordains whatsoever comes to pass, then this must include also second causes, and if it’s impossible to act against God’s will, then also sin must be according to God’s will. If God is the one who decides who to save based on nothing that we believe or do, and who to give the ability to seek him, believe, repent and obey, then the only outcome is that he didn’t want the rest (the non-elect) to seek him, believe, repent or obey. Many calvinists admit that they believe that God is the author of sin and that he delights in people who sin (since he predestined them to be wicked sinners), but other calvinists protest and argue against their own doctrines. My view is of course that it’s better to avoid adding calvinism into the Bible in the first place, because that will result in 1) no Bible contradictions, 2) no unanswered questions, puzzles or unsolved mysteries, 3) we suddenly understand why Jesus Christ had to die on the cross – because something went WRONG and didn’t go as God planned, and 4) God and Satan can be totally separated (instead of working as a team) leaving God as a righteous and holy God who has no darkness within him and who doesn’t tempt anyone or delights in anyone’s sin.

God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ORDAIN WHATSOEVER COMES TO PASS: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. (WCF)

Long texts with lots of fluff and fancy words might help the author to hide obvious contradictions for the readers, but if we remove the fluff and make the statement shorter and only keep the necessary outline, the contradictions will be more obvious. It’s of course easier to detect the contradiction if we only stick with the main idea with the statement, which is “God ordains whatever events come to pass, but not in such a way so that God ordains the sinful events that come to pass”.

”The [Calvinist] doctrine is, that God decreed, from eternity, whatsoever comes to pass in time — and that according to his own good pleasure — every particular thing, event, and act. I must insist, according to this [Calvinist doctrine], that he decreed the sin of every sinful man — nay, each particular sin of each particular man, and all the sins of all men, long before the human race was created.”

Hence, the Westminster Confession contains a palpable contradiction namely, that God did cause all things, sin included, yet in such a way that He did not cause sin.” Randolph Foster – Objections to Calvinism 

To reconcile the obvious, the Calvinist simply waves his hand and says God is not the author of sin. Double talk.

The following section is from Daniel Gracely

This sentence is a contradiction because it involves two ideas in which each idea makes it impossible for the other idea to be true. Yet under the Westminster Confessions these two opposing propositions form a ’system’ (or synthesis) that is nevertheless held to be true. Let me give another example of a contradiction to make this clearer. Suppose I packed nothing but one apple and one orange for lunch. I might make the following statement:

”Today I ate the apple before I ate the orange so I wouldn’t get sick, yet not in such a way so that the orange was eaten last, which would have made me sick.”

Me: I feel sick.

You: Apparently you got sick by eating the orange first. Whydidn’t you eat the apple first?

Me: did eat the apple first. Don’t you remember what I said? I ate the apple before I ate the orange so I wouldn’t get sick.”

You: Then why are you sick?

Me: I believe I told you why. I said I didn’t eat the orange last, which is why I feel sick.

YouI’m a little confused—which fruit did you eat first?

MeI’ll repeat myself entirely: “Today I ate the apple before I ate the orange so I wouldn’t get sick, yet not in such a way so that the orange was eaten last, which would have made me sick.”

YouBut you’re sick—is that right?

MeNot at all. I said a bit earlier that “I ate the apple before I ate the orange so I wouldn’t get sick.”

As long as I respond with this ”logic” you cannot come to any conclusions about what I said. You cannot know whether I am sick or well, which fruit I ate first, or even if I ate at all. You cannot know what events happened because I affirmed everything, and yet denied everything. Consequently, all the statements you heard are inconclusive. In effect, I used language to say nothing. You could not even determine properly if I was actually describing myself in the above events, since nothing was being said about ‘me.’ I created this confusion by upholding two ideas that were in contradiction to each other, but which I claimed were simultaneously true.

God’s Eternal Decree – to save some and to damn some – despite that both categories are obedient to God calvinism 8

iii. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death. 

John 1:12  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name

vi. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ; are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

vii. The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice. 

Eze 33:11  Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

1Ti 2:3-4  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  

viii. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation, to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.

Deu 29:29  ”The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Calvinist want you to believe that God has revealed the mysteries to them and no one else, and this could be a good ground for boasting.

Annonser

Did AUGUSTINE corrupt the church with gnostic doctrine? (Yes)

This is a well researched must-see film for all who are curious about the views prior to Augustine of Hippo who lived between 350-430 AD. We often hear about the views of Martin Luther and Jean Calvin, but many of their views actually derive from Augustine. What views did the early church fathers have who lived beyond him? We can see that they unanimously and without exception believed in man’s free will and none of them believed that man is born with a sinful nature or inherited Adam’s sin. You can read more quotes from the website eternaltruth.us or my blog article here.

The Bible says:

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints

This means that we should pay close attention to what these early saints had to say about salvation since the ”faith” was once delivered to them and since Jude here exhorts us to earnestly contend for this faith. (Naturally this doesn’t exempt us from our responsibility to compare everything we read and hear with scripture. ) Since ALL of the early church fathers (before the time of Augustine) believed in free will, and NONE believed in ”once saved always saved NOR that man is born with a sinful nature AND (most importantly) since the BIBLE teaches the same things, then we should be completely confident about what the true doctrines really are which Jude is referring to. The only ones who taught the opposite were the GNOSTICS, and Augustine (a former gnostic) sadly brought in many gnostic ideas into church which we have been deceived by ever since. It’s time to go back the teachings of the early church, which are based on the Bible. God is not a God of confusion and is able to reveal the real truth to us in the Bible. The false idea that babies are born in sin is nothing but gnostic heresy and yet this falsehood is rather common worldwide in our churches today.

Jesus did not PAY a DEBT and was not PUNISHED on the cross (penal satisfaction)

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The error of the Penal Satisfaction theory

/Thanks to my friend Lyndon Conn for the below

Jesus suffered greatly, taking many stripes, was bruised and beaten, etc. He did all of this FOR us, but those things were not Atonement themselves. It was His death (shedding of blood and Life for a life – innocent for the guilty) that made atonement. Animals were never beaten or punished BEFORE they were finally killed for atonement.

The Penal Satisfaction atonement teaches that Jesus was punished in our place as He was beaten and bruised by God. This is not true at all! He was mistreated by MEN as a form of punishment for something He did not do. He could not be truly punished by God for any reason whatsoever since He was without sin. God not only NEVER punished a sacrifice (but only accepted the acceptable sacrifice), but sin was never literally on either the animals or on Jesus – since sin is not a substance that can be moved or transferred. When the Bible speaks of ”Taking away” sins, it is talking about the born again experience and the transformation that takes place when a person confesses their sins. Sins are then ”taken away” but the person being made into a new creation – as old things pass away and all things become new. Jesus made provision for all men so that all they need to do is confess Him as the acceptable sacrifice, and in turn also offer themselves a living sacrifice. These are likened unto the day of atonement in the 2 goats for the entire nation (as Christ represents both, the acceptable sacrifice in goat 1, and the scapegoat in goat 2 by taking away the sins of the world). And our repentance is likened unto the offering of the bull for personal sins.

Sin is not punished in Christ and they are not ”paid for”! These are both lies passed down through the RCC and not biblical at all. We have had bad theology so heavily imparted into our thinking that we think many things are fact that are not at all. We have never questioned them, and hear it all the time, preach it all the time, and never think otherwise, but I will challenge this thinking. Not to teach a different doctrine, but to show a different understanding of the same doctrine. The end is the same, but the path that takes us there is flawed.

Nowhere does the Bible literally teach the following: Jesus PAID FOR sins; He was PUNISHED by God;  He ”took our place”; He ”paid our debt”, and other financial terms that should only be understood figuratively. The literal is that He ”provided” for forgiveness; He did for us what we could not do for ourselves; and so on. Incorrect terms lead to many false doctrines like Limited Atonement and Universalism, and many are very inconsistent by not believing one or the other. Incorrect terminology can lead in 2 directions – one towards truth and the other towards error. With payment for sins – we might be able to draw a proper understanding from it (as I did for many years as well) – understanding that Jesus died for our sins and making the way of salvation for us – but the problem with the terminology is that it’s misused and could lead to error.

If Jesus ”paid for” our sins on the cross, then something that is paid for is completely finished and nothing else needs to be done at all. If Jesus ”paid for” the sins of the whole world, then all men are saved and do not even need to repent because their sins are already paid for. It is all done for them. This is why Calvinism has to create their doctrine of Limited Atonement – teaching that Jesus only died for the elect – in order to prevent Universalism. So then, Jesus ”paid for” the sins of the elect only, and did not die for the sins of the non-elect. As wrong as this is, it is actually more consistent with the teaching of ”payment for sins”.

The fact that WE are ”bought with a price” does not teach a payment for SINS. ”We” and our ”sins” are 2 different things. The wages of sin is and always will be death! Men still go to hell for their sins. Our only hope is to confess our sins to Jesus, the scapegoat of God, so He can ”take them away”. This is figurative! Sin is not a substance that can be put on another or literally taken anywhere. Sin is an attitude of the heart. It is a mindset that leads to actions that displease God. Man’s only hope is to have this part of him changed (transformed). It all starts with being Born Again. Old things are PASSED AWAY, and all things are become new. Sins are never punished IN man in this life (except by chastisement for the Christians if they sin and need to learn something). Sin itself is not punished at all. Man is punished and will be punished in eternity. So our only hope is to have sins ”taken away”.

Atonement terminology is mostly all figurative, but the figurative ALWAYS points to the literal! So we have to seek understanding of the literal, and be careful not to take the figurative itself too literally. This WILL lead to error. You cannot have ”actual and factual” without literal.  We just need to understand what it actually and factually is! It is NOT a payment, but a provision! It is not punishment of Christ by God, but abuse of Christ by men – which He endured FOR us – but not literally in our place. No man could ever die for his own sins, therefore it could never be our place, but only HIS place to die as atonement. Men will still die for their own sins. There is no ”debt” that we owe, but only ”wages” to be paid. A debt is something to be paid to another, while wages are what we have earned and have coming to US. We do not owe God anything, but repentance and our lives. There is nothing at all that we could possible ”pay” to God to ”buy” our souls back. These are all financial terms, including ransom and redeem, which both refer to the work of Christ on our behalf. The financial terms are all used to help give us understanding by using terms we can understand , but they are all figurative and not to be taken too literally. We must look to the literal they point to.cross7

The Bible says that He is the ”propitiation” for our sins – which literally means, ”He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins”. Propitiation is a term used in pagan rituals of offering their children to their gods as a sacrifice to appease their anger. It can give a picture of Jesus removing the anger of God against us, but should not be taken to the extreme to teach that He was an object of God’s wrath – with our sins literally on Him! Truth can be drawn and understood from this word; yet error can be as well if taken too far. There is no forgiveness of sins at all without repentance. There is provision for forgiveness that has to be received, but there is no actual forgiveness until then. The idea of a payment gives a false idea here, and it leads to false doctrines – making it easy for those who teach them to draw others into their errors. And Calvinism is growing stronger every day. I just heard a story yesterday about how so many Churches are turning Calvinist, and this has a great deal to do with it!

If you believe atonement is a literal payment,  then who was paid? The devil? The Father? And if paid, then a payment cannot be unpaid, right? A provision is something that is done FOR us that we could not do for ourselves; while we must RECEIVE it through faith – or reject it. Sins are not ”carried away” until we receive Him and confess our sins to Him so He can take our sins away – and then, where there are no sins and there is no guilt. But if sins are ”paid for”, you cannot have them paid for one a person is ”justified”, or have payment applied only at that time. This can work in the figurative, but not in the literal.

If we go back to Leviticus, sins were never ”paid for”. The only difference is that Jesus was without sin and He could be the one-time sacrifice for all time. But the idea of atoning for sins was the same. There had to be an ACCEPTABLE sacrifice and a scapegoat for the yearly offering. This was provision for the nation as a whole, but individuals still had to bring their own personal sacrifices of a bull for their owns sins – which is likened unto our repentance and offering of ourselves unto God as a living sacrifice. Neither were any form of a payment! Such an idea is added by men, starting with the RCC in the 12th century under Anselm.

We are figuratively covered in His blood, in that because of the shedding of His blood and out acceptance of Him as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, as the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled, we receive Him and all that He did for us as we confess our sins before Him. Our acceptance of Him as the one-time sacrifice that was without sin allows us to confess our sins and be forgiven of our sins. Our act of true repentance and accepting Jesus is accepted as if His blood were literally sprinkled on us, but no person has ever had His blood literally on them. Let’s get real here. This is what the RCC would have us believe. In communion they teach that the literal body and blood of Jesus is transferred to the bread and wine. So then we are cannibals and guilty of drinking blood – which is forbidden in the law of God.

True atonement is very simple and not half as complex as men have made it. God provided a Lamb in Jesus. We can accept His provision and confess our sins over Him and have them taken away, or we can choose to go our own way. God did not die for only some. He did not choose some and reject others. His atonement was for ALL men – the WHOLE WORLD as a provision for whosoever will call upon His name. Now it is up to men to offer themselves (their bull) to God in the confession of sins and acceptance of His provision. Very simple. Very biblical. And with no need of the additions of men. God’s wrath does not need to be appeased! If sins are ”taken away” by changing the man, then there is nothing for wrath to be against. However, if sins return, and repentance does not, wrath will be against such a man – as it is against the world. Very simple and completely scriptural.

Can sins be inherited?sheep 2

Sin is not a substance that can be passed down from one to another, but men inherit a condition that is passed down, and this condition is one that could lead us to sin. Romans 5:12 says that death is passed down. Men are born innocent, and therefore a baby is without sin and saved in its innocence. Sin is a choice – NOT something we inherit. Can the murderer blame their crime on their Father, or on Adam? No. Each man is responsible for his own choices and will be judged for them justly. Blame can never be passed to another, and neither can sin. Sin is defined in scripture as knowing to do right and not doing it, in which the opposite is just as true, in knowing something is wrong and doing it anyway. Sin is therefore a willful rebellion against a known law of God. For those who do not have His laws, Romans 2 says that their conscience becomes a law unto them. So whether we go against God’s law or our conscience, these are what define sin.

Every man and women are faced with choices between right and wrong. And each have the ability to choose what is right. Otherwise they could not be rightly judged for their choices, but because of spiritual death (separation from God), mankind will turn to his own lusts, having no guidance in life. They cannot choose what they do not know.

John 3:19 – ”And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”

Men are sinners because they sin – which is contrary to popular belief. It is the majority of the Church today that has been infected with false teachings and cannot see it. They are not the worst errors out there but they do lead to them. If we want to rid the Church of error and keep Christians from confusion, then we need to get rid of the little errors that serve as stepping stools for the true heresies. The ”Sinning Religions” of our day, the OSAS teachings (once saved always saved), and Calvinism all gain strength from these erroneous atonement ideas and false understandings of sin and death.

Tertullian – On Repentance, chapter 6 ”For repentance is the price at which the Lord has determined to award pardon: He proposes the redemption of release from penalty at this compensating exchange of repentance. If, then, sellers first examine the coin with which they make their bargains, to see whether it be cut, or scraped, or adulterated, we believe likewise that the Lord, when about to make us the grant of so costly merchandise, even of eternal life, first institutes a probation of our repentance.”Chapter 9 – ”but inasmuch as by confession satisfaction is settled, of confession repentance is born; by repentance God is appeased.”

Interesting calvinistic contradictions and paradoxes

CALVINISM and its contradictions and paradoxes

If you engage yourself in discussions with calvinists you must be prepared for that they will contradict themselves and express themselves with lots of ”theological fog” and paradoxes. It’s like they believe many fancy words will cover up for their contradictory claims and poor doctrines, and there are sadly listeners out there who are not able to look through their smoke screens but instead swallow what they have to say. But there is no way that they can ever solve the many problems that are hidden in the TULIP, and they are not able to clear the name of their God who they make to be the author of sin – which is the only logical conclusion of their doctrines. Here they might protest and tell you they do NOT make God the author of sin! But don’t they believe that nothing happens against the will of God? Don’t they believe that man must act according to whatever nature he was created with? Don’t they believe man certainly cannot be totally depraved against God’s will? They must respond in the affirmative to all those questions in order to be consistent with their own doctrines, and that means their God IS the author of sin after all. They believe God predestines man to sin, at the same time as man is responsible for his own sins and for some reason should have acted otherwise – despite that he was forced by God to act the way he did. The same man will also be punished and sent to hell – for committing the sin that God caused him to do. (With other words – people who do the will of God will be sent to hell for doing the will of God). Anyway, below is a list of some contradictions that I stole from my friend William Hughes. I saved the best ones to make the list shorter 🙂

Reformed contradiction #3

From an email on facebook I received:

Calvinist: ”any time you say Calvinism is not true I will rebuke you extremely severely in the name of Jesus Christ! Calvinism is the gospel, you heretic! I read your stupid post even though you are not on my friends list.”

Me: ”I am unable to believe in Calvinism because God has decided I don’t believe it. Why are you getting mad at me? I cannot help it.”

Calvinist: ”you are blinded by the devil. Do not blame God for your inability to believe the gospel.”

Me: ”Are the unelect ‘unable’ to believe the truth?”

Calvinist: ”No one is able to believe the truth unless God opens their eyes…”

Blaming me for not believing in Calvinism is like blaming a mentally handicapped person for not thinking.

Reformed contradiction #4

Tony Miano is witnessing to someone on video. During the conversation a Christian named Marco walked up to Tony and said he was being too hard and needed to teach more on God’s love. Tony then berated him and said, “So if me in my flesh can push people away from God then you believe in a weak God.” Tony then accused this Christian of “blaspheming God” because “Marcos, you think the gospel needs our help…You don’t believe the gospel is sufficient, Marco.”

Later in the video Tony explained the “correct” gospel to Marco by witnessing to Marco!

Why is Tony showing Marco the “correct” way when he just finshed telling Marco “you think the gospel needs our help?”

Apparently Tony’s god is “weak” too since he needs Tony to correct Marco.

Reformed Contradiction #5

Tony Miano is preaching to a crowd and tells them to repent and believe. A few minutes later Tony says ”God is a God of love and if He CAUSES you to be born again, THEN you can repent and THEN you can believe.”

I thought he told the crowd ”they” must repent and believe and now he is saying GOD MUST DO IT…very confusing to unbelievers….and everyone else.

Reformed contradiction #6

”God is sovereign in all things. If you don’t believe God gave you the faith to believe you are going against Gods sovereignty!”

But if I can go against Gods sovereignty than God isn’t sovereign in all things.

Reformed contradiction #7

”God does not predestine people for heaven and hell. He simply passes over those people not saving them”

”Don’t Calvinists believe God hated Esau before he did anything good or bad?”

”Yes.”

Sounds like God predestines people for heaven or hell.

Calvinist contradiction #8

”God isn’t obligated to respond to a person’s faith. God is completely sovereign and isn’t controlled by what people do.”

”Does God get angry at a sinners sin?”

”Yes.”

Then I guess God is controlled by what men do.

Calvinist contradiction #9

I decided to take a systematic theology class at my old church which was taught by a 5 point Calvinist named — this time in my life I believed what Calvinists told me, that Calvinism is not an essential issue. In the very first class we listened to a sermon on God’s sovereignty and in that sermon the speaker said If I didn’t believe in God’s sovereignty (as he was defining it by Calvinism) I’m an idolater.

But I thought Calvinism is not an essential issue?—, who is leading the class told me Calvinism is not an essential issue, then why is he showing the class a sermon that says the opposite?Answer: Because he really believes Calvinism is essential.

Calvinist contradiction #10

”Calvinism is not an essential issue. The essentials are the Trinity, the deity of Christ, Christ’s physical resurrection, salvation by grace through faith.”

Later in the conversation…”If you believe people can respond to the gospel using their free will you are a heretic.”

Calvinist contradiction #11

”Unbelievers are blinded by total depravity, they are unable to believe.”

Then why did God blind some of the Jews from believing if they are already blinded?

Calvinist contradiction #12

”Christ saved His own at the cross.”

But wouldn’t that mean when you were born you were saved?

Calvinist contradiction #13

”What do you think God does with mentally handicapped people who might be unable to believe in Christ?”

Calvinist: ”God is merciful and would choose them for salvation”

”What do you think God does with other people who are unable to believe in Christ because they are totally depraved?”

Calvinist: ”God sends them to hell.”

Calvinist contradiction #14

”The word ‘chosen’ means chosen for salvation”

”You mean like this?”

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

Calvinist contradiction #15

Calvinist: ”The bible says to rightly divide the word of truth so any contradictions should be studied until they are no longer contradictions.”

”What about the contradiction between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility?”

Calvinist: ”Thats ok if we don’t understand that…that’s a mystery.”

Why are contradictions in other ministries exposed by Calvinists but not the ones in their own doctrine which are accepted as ”mysteries?”

Calvinist contradiction #16

Calvinist: ”Do not add or take away from God’s Word.”

”The bible says Christ died for the world, for whosoever, for any, for all of mankind.”

Calvinist: ”No it doesn’t! ‘World’ doesn’t mean all and ‘all’ doesn’t mean ‘all.’

Calvinist contradiction #17

Calvinist: ”God showed me the truth of Calvinism through the bible.”

”What did God show you?”

Calvinist: ”If you read <insert reformed teachers name here> book that sums up my beliefs.”

Are you sure you got this new doctrine from God?

Calvinist contradiction #20

Calvinist: ”People go to hell because they reject the gospel.”

”I thought you said the unsaved were people whom Christ never died for?”

Calvinist: ”Yes thats true.”

”So the unsaved are going to hell for rejecting a salvation that isn’t mean’t for them? Isn’t that like saying I’ll get mad at you for not coming to my party when I never invited you and don’t want you at my party?”

Calvinist contradiction #21

Calvinist preaching to a crowd: ”God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God wants all to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Wait, you don’t believe that, you believe God is not willing that the elect should perish and God only wants some people to come to a knowledge of the truth, so why are you lying to the crowd?

Calvinist contradiction #22

”If a body builder grabbed your arm, put a gun in your hand, and forced you to shoot someone are you responsible for it?”

Calvinist: ”No, because the body builder forced me to do it.”

”Was Judas forced by God to betray Christ?”

Calvinist: ”Yes.”

”Then how is Judas responsible for betraying Christ if God forced him to do it?”Answer: God didn’t force Judas to betray Christ.

Calvinist contradiction #23

Calvinist: ”While witnessing I would never tell a sinner God loves them because I wouldn’t want to give them a false hope.”

”What happens when the sinner is concerned about going to hell?”

Calvinist: ”I would share with them the good news that Christ died for their sins on the cross.”

”Why would Christ die for their sins?”

Calvinist: ”Because…um…He…loves them.”

Calvinist contradiction #24

Calvinist: ”In John 17:9 Christ prays only for believers in the Gospel of John which proves He doesn’t love unbelievers.”

”Have you ever prayed for your children?”

Calvinist: ”Yes.”

”Does this imply you love them and no one else in the world?”

Calvinist: <Silence>”Christ prayed ‘Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.’ Sounds like Christ is praying for unbelievers.”

Calvinist contradiction #25

Calvinist 1: ”I believe <insert doctrine here>”

Later that day talking to another Calvinist…

Calvinist 2: ”Your misrepresenting Calvinism! We don’t believe <insert doctrine from Calvinist 1 here>.”

Calvinist contradiction #26

Calvinist: ”I like Calvinism because I don’t have to worry about whether I spoke incorrectly to a sinner while witnessing. God does it all.”

”Is there a wrong way and a right way to preaching the gospel?”

Calvinist: ”Oh yes! The gospel must be presented accurately.”

Then I guess you better be careful how you speak.

Calvinist contradiction #27

Calvinist: ”<insert false teacher here> is teaching <insert false doctrine here>!”

”You sound concerned. Can someone predestined for heaven go to hell?”

Calvinist: ”No.”

”Can someone predestined for hell go to heaven?”

Calvinist: ”No.””Then why are you concerned?”Calvinist: ”Because God uses the gospel to save people and false teachers are preventing that.”False teachers are more sovereign than God

Calvinist contradiction #28

Calvinist: ”Sinners cannot respond to the gospel without the Spirit in them (1 Corinthians 2:14).”

”The Apostle Paul believed without the Spirit in Him until days later.”

Calvinist contradiction #30

Calvinist: ”The bible says unbelievers cannot do anything good. Romans 8:7 says unbelievers cannot obey God’s law.”

”Does the bible say the conscience is God’s law written on the hearts of everyone?”

Calvinist: ”Yes.”

”When you were an unbeliever did you ever obey your conscience, even once?”

Calvinist: ”um…well…yes.”

Apparently Romans 8:7 is not teaching unbelievers are not able to do ”anything good”.

Calvinist contradiction #31

Calvinist: ”Calvinists are the most humble of Christians since we believe God does everything and we can do nothing.”

”You sound proud of your humility.”

Calvinist contradiction #34

Calvinist: ”Jesus said anyone who does the will of the Father goes to heaven. The unelect do not do God’s will.”

”Did God predestine the unelect for damnation?”

Calvinist: ”Yes.”

”Then they are doing God’s will.”

Calvinist contradiction #38

”Take a classroom of say 20 people and put earplugs in their ears. Now give them some instructions. Then take their earplugs out. Will they obey your instructions?”

Calvinist: ”No, they couldn’t hear me.”

”Are you angry at them for disobeying your instructions??”

Calvinist: ”Why would I be angry, they can’t hear me! It wouldn’t be right for me to get angry.”

”Then why is God angry with sinners in the same condition?”

Calvinist: ”Because the bible says so!”

”You might want to reinterpret the verses you hold to, your ideas don’t make sense and you are confusing people about who God is and what He wants.”

Here is another good analogy by William

Lets say I have a time travel DVR and I record a football game before it happens. I can fast forward the game, play it slow motion, reverse it, fly around the stadium in 3D (that would be cool!). No matter how many times I do this the outcome is the same.  Now lets say that you can also see yourself in this video and the choices you make that affect others. You can see how your actions affect others. Are the players using their free will in response to you? Yes. Are events in the game predetermined? Yes, because you know the outcome. Events are both predetermined (because God knows how humans will use their freedom to respond to Him) and freely chosen. What about Judas?

1) God knows all things.
2) Whatever God foreknows must come to pass (i.e., is determined). If it did not come to pass, then God would have been wrong in what He foreknew. But an all-knowing [omniscient] God cannot be wrong in what He knows.)
3) God knew Judas would betray Christ.
4) Therefore, it HAD TO COME TO PASS (i.e, was determined) that Judas would betray Christ.
5) These events are predetermined and freely chosen at the same time.

Shipwreck example Acts 27

Paul assured his fellow travelers in advance that ”not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed” (v 22). Yet a few verses later he warned them, ”Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved” (v. 31). Both are true. God knew in advance and had revealed to Paul that none would drown (v.23), But He also knew it would be through their free choice to stay on the ship that this would be accomplished.

Do we sin because we are sinners, and are we righteous because Jesus is righteous for us?

Here is what someone wrote (not sure if he got this from someone else or if he made it up himself):

”Did you know even if you had never sinned you would still be a sinner? The act of sin is only a result of what we are. Did you know that if you never did anything right you are righteous in Christ. In Christ righteousness is not a result of what you have done it is who you have become”

I can’t think of a more dangerous teaching than this, but I can very well imagine that this message is incredibly POPULAR in our churches today. I’m sure this IS what people would like to HEAR, so the chances are high that they would also choose a church with this type of convenient teaching.

2 Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.

It might be soothing for your conscience to be told that you can have your sins and your salvation too, and this is what the statement above (not the verse) is actually teaching us – even if the person who wrote this might not be aware of it. This type of message in the wrong ears could absolutely be soul-damaging and that’s why we must react. When we DO react, it’s a risk we will be charged for ”causing a division” but it’s the one with unbiblical doctrines who is the one causing a division even if he has lots of fans who praise him. What if someone who battles sin starts to take this message at face value and take it to heart? There is a HUGE risk he will feel comforted in his sins and become less motivated to let go of certain sins he has often battled with. Moreover, during various tempting situations in his life he might be more prone to give in for the temptations due to this type of message ringing in his ears. Do we really help a person who lives in sin, by patting him on his back while assuring him that he is still righteous because Jesus has been righteous for him, and that ”we are all sinners anyway and no one can be perfect”? He might subconsciously start to be convinced of this:

  • We are apparently always sinners no matter what we do, so what would it matter if I told a little white lie once in a while, or stole a few minor items from work that no one would be missing anyway, or slandered someone who really deserves it? I mean, when the temptations are too hard to overcome? I’m not more than human, and we are all sinners…
  • It’s a good thing to know that no matter how much sin I do, I’m always righteous in Christ! Of course I don’t seek to sin but it’s good to know that my soul is always secure even if I would give in for temptations once in a while and sometimes the temptations are indeed very tempting… I’m really glad that my pastor tells us (albeit in between the lines) that we can serve two masters and still be saved. Not that I seek to sin (of course not) but I can still afford to if the going gets tough, and sometimes I feel it gets very tough….I’m not more than human, and humans sin! My pastor tells me so.
  • I’m glad I can also afford to refuse to forgive a mean and nasty brother, deny Jesus if I would end up in tribulation and even take the mark of the beast without risking my soul (or perhaps not that last thing because my pastor tells me I will already be raptured away before I have to deal with the mark of the beast). Of course I will strive to NOT sin in such a way (I’m a christian!) but it’s good to know that Christ will still accept me the way I am despite my disobedience and I will not lose my salvation in any way. My aim is of course to never sin, but at the same time my pastor repeats that we are ALWAYS sinners no matter what we do, so a few extra sins could not possibly change this status. I can’t be more than a sinner and I already am! Whether I do good or whether I do bad, I’m always a sinner. So doing good works is only connected with the upcoming rewards in heaven and has nothing to do with my salvation – if I only believe in Christ.

And don’t say that ”A true Christian would never reason in such a way! True christians don’t seek for loop holes or excuses for sins”. Even King David (a man of God’s own heart) sinned severely for about a year, so true believers DO risk to fall for temptations and sin – for weeks, months or years. Some might repent sooner or later, but some won’t.

Even if you are a person who side with the statement in question and still succeed to live righteously and show lots of good fruit, what about OTHER Christians who are weaker than you? Do you think that perhaps a weak christian might be more prone to give in for temptations if he knows he is always eternally secure no matter what he does? I truly believe that is the case. If a weak christian understands that sinning is actually not a big deal (because we are always sinners no matter what we do, and we are always righteous in Christ no matter what we do) then OF COURSE it’s even more tempting to stick with his sweet sins, and of course it could be a slippery slope into sinning even more! He trusts in his fire insurance and that he can live in his flesh once in a while on earth, and still make it to heaven. But what if this is nothing but a big DELUSION? As christians, we wouldn’t want to  be part of equipping others with a false sense of security, but we would want to guide people away from sin so they can save their SOULS. Not leading them TO sin by sugar-coating the gospel! Temptations are hard enough as they are, and sinners don’t need our help whispering in their already very itching ears that ”Jesus is righteous for you so you don’t have to be”. It’s the devil who tries to convince us that sinning will not make us die, but the truth is that sinning does lead to death, even for christians.

I pray that we will be stay alert and encourage each other to be obedient to Christ and to expose teachings that suggest that we cannot live holy but must continue as sinners until we die when DEATH finally comes and saves us from our sin. It’s true that some people with this type of dangerous teaching are simply deceived themselves, but the problem is that they will still deceive others (who in turn will deceive others) so we must help them out to see how and where they have misunderstood the scriptures. We all need to be encouraged because this world can be very tempting and we need to stick close to God in order to get the strength needed. I’m confident of that we would see more victory when it comes to preaching and evangelizing if we spoke more about the need for true repentance and that sins separate us from God. Most of us long to see huge revivals but what if sins are in the way?

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Jesus started out his ministry by speaking about repentance, and so did John the Baptist before him. Here is also what Jesus said while giving us the commandment that we must go out in all the world and make disciples:

Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and TEACH all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

And what is it that Jesus has commanded us to do – which he here asks us to teach others? For instance this:

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.21 He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, is he that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and manifest myself to him.—23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son WILL NOT SEE LIFE, but the wrath of God abides on him.

Matt. 7:21 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

John 5: 28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29And shall come forth;they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation

Jhn 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and DOETH HIS WILL, him He heareth.

Matt. 16: 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

So we are told to go out and preach the gospel and to TEACH people to obey the word of God, and they are all included in the ten commandments. Jesus also tells us who the greatest in heaven will be, and they are the ones who obey the commandments and teach others to do the same:

Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

To get back to the statement in question. We are not born sinners (that is originally a gnostic teaching popularized by Augustine) and Jesus righteousness is not imputed into us (that is a teaching from Martin Luther). We are sinners IF we sin, and we are righteous if we live righteously. First we must of course be cleansed from our sins in the blood of Jesus and that happens when we repent for our sins. But it doesn’t say ”once righteous always righteous”. There will be a falling away, and immorality is getting worse.

1 Tim. 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron

Finally, it’s also true that some christians might sit at home, reading lots of theology books, getting increasingly wiser and possessing all the right doctrines but STILL decline to be a fisher of men, whereas other christians might believe in all kinds of incorrect doctrines but THEY GO OUT AND MAKE DISCIPLES. The best combination is of course to go out and make disciples AND having the right doctrines 🙂 That’s the winning concept!

The unbiblical TULIP (five points of calvinism) stands or falls together

Calvinist theology is usually identified with the five points of Calvinism – TULIP, and this concept derived around the year 1619 due to the happenings in the famous Synod of Dort. John Calvin himself died 1564, so long before the ”five points of calvinism” started to be used in this way. While not all calvinists necessarily agree with John Calvin to 100%, most of them (if not all) would agree with the five points of TULIP.

If a person chooses to believe in T in TULIP (Total Depravity) then he MUST believe in the rest of the points/letters in TULIP because TULIP stands or falls together. However, it is possible (and common) to believe only in P (which boils down to ”unconditional eternal security” or ”once saved always saved”) and not in the other points. There are some believers who still SAY they are 2-point/3-point/4-point calvinists but it’s not possible for obvious reasons. I can also say that I’ve encountered NO calvinists who are consistent with their own teachings. They all frequently express themselves as though man has free will to accept/reject God and that we all have an option to get saved, but this is not what their own theology allows.

The doctrines within Calvinism was originally introduced to church by Augustine (who the Roman Catholic Church views as one of their founding fathers) in the fourth century, and he taught that Christ did not die for all men but for a chosen few whom God had chosen and predestined to become His children. John Calvin revived this teaching and continued to spread this idea, and today this dangerous soul-damaging doctrine continues to spread and deceive people. This is why we must not be silent and let it spread in peace, because we are dealing with people’s SOULS here. TULIP is based on the gnostic idea that we are all born with a sinful nature, but do we get this nature according to God’s will or against his will? Calvinists will not tell us.

  • Total Depravity. Also called ”total inability” . This doctrine asserts that every person born into the world is enslaved to  sin and not by nature inclined to seek or love God. (Whose fault is that?). This means, that in order to ENABLE people to seek and find God, God must first ”wake him up” from his spiritual death (calvinists wrongly use the term ”regenerate”). The ones God chooses to wake up are the same as those who will get saved. This doctrine results in that 1)  GOD is the one CHOOSING whom to wake up. 2) The ones he does not wake up have no chance to get saved which God is aware of 3) God does not want all to be saved because then he would have ”woken up” more people 4) Most people will remain in their wicked sinful way of living only because God want them to, 4) It wouldn’t make sense for Jesus to die for people who God never intended to save, but for the elect only.
  • Unconditional election. This doctrine asserts that God has chosen from before the foundation of the world those whom he will save, and this choice is not based on anything the individual does or believes (not merit, faith, etc) because it’s unconditional. Rather, this doctrine means that God’s unconditional election causes individuals TO repent and believe in him, and further that the chosen ones WILL end up in the Kingdom of God. This doctrine results in that 1) God has WITHHELD mercy from all the rest and those individuals WILL end up in hell 2) Repentance and faith are not conditions for salvation since God WITHOUT them will choose to whom he will provide the means of repenting and believing, 3) God could save everyone if he wanted but he wanted to save only some, 4) It wouldn’t make sense for Jesus to die for people who God never intended to save.
  • Limited atonement. This doctrine asserts that Jesus’ only died for a few people (the elect) and his death was CERTAIN to bring about salvation for all those he died for. This  doctrine results in that 1) only the sins of the elect were covered through Jesus’ death and not the sins of the whole world, 2) God never had a goal to save ”as many as possible” but only the elect, and that’s why the atonement was limited for the elect only, 3) Those who end up in hell do NOT do so for rejecting Jesus sin offering because his sin offering was never meant for them or intended for them. 4) Most individuals are born doomed (even if we can never know exactly who they are) since the atonement was never meant for them.
  • Irresistible grace. This doctrine asserts that God’s desire/decision to save individuals cannot be resisted, but WILL cause them to obey his calling. This means that when God sovereignly purposes to save someone, that individual WILL be saved. The Holy Spirit causes the chosen individuals to cooperate,  repent and believe. This doctrine results in that 1) God chooses who will end up in heaven or hell and we have nothing to do with this choice, 2) It’s not totally fair to say that individuals are saved through ”faith” since the truth is that they are saved by ELECTION, 3) Those who are lost were never offered any grace because IF they were offered grace they wouldn’t be able to reject it,4) It’s not fair to say that individuals end up in hell due to their SINS, since they are only doomed because God never enabled them to believe in him, and he never intended to save them in the first place. This choice was made BEFORE they were born and BEFORE they could think about sinning, so sinning has nothing to do with their destiny.
  • Perseverance of the saints. This doctrine asserts that the ”saints” (those individuals who God has chosen to save before the foundation of the world) WILL continue in faith until the end. Those who apparently fall away either never had true faith to begin with or will return. This results in that 1) It’s impossible for an individual to at any time know if he is truly saved and ”eternally secure” because if he falls away in the latter part of his life this shows ”he was never saved to begin with”. 2) Individuals can safely place the responsibility to avoid sinning on GOD since HE is the one who are to ”preserve” those he has chosen to save. 3) Christians might easier fall for temptations because they know they will be preserved to the end anyway, if they are among the elect (which all calvinists believe they are). 4) It can bring a false sense of security and that you can be saved in your sins.

P in TULIP is the most dangerous point since the TRUTH is that we cannot serve two masters and be saved in our sins – and Satan knows it. This doctrine might cause people to easier fall for temptations, and then their SOULS are at risk! This is a good reason to highlight the danger of Calvinism/Gnosticism to the world to prevent more people from being deceived.

When exposed to the contradictions within TULIP (which makes God the author of sin), the ordinary excuses are soon to follow:

1) God’s ways are higher than our ways!

2) Who are YOU to question GOD?

3) It’s impossible for our finite minds to fully understand the infinite mind of GOD!

4) This only seems contradictory to us – NOT to God!

5) The potter always forms the clay to what he wants!

6) I believe in paradoxes – so what? The trinity is a paradox…!

7) The Roman Catholic Church teaches like you do!

Any cult in the world can defend any contradiction at all by using the above excuses, resulting in that anything goes even if it’s totally against the Bible and makes no sense whatsoever.

NONE of the early church fathers taught against free will the first 300 years AD (this can easily be proven), and none of them taught that we are born with a sinful nature or that we are unconditionally eternally secure. ONLY the gnostics taught such unbiblical doctrines. Calvinists have no answer for why ALL the church fathers were ”wrong” (and the gnostics actually RIGHT) for so many years until Augustine entered the scene and got it ”right”. Most will say that it’s the Bible that is important for us and not the views of the church fathers, councils, etc. While it’s of course true that it’s the BIBLE that should correct us, they must still explain why both the Bible AND the early church fathers taught free will, and they must also explain why they put so much emphasis on the events in the Synod of Dort, and the unfair treatment of Pelagius in councils where he was not even present to defend himself. Suddenly councils are very important….

2 Tim. 4:2-3 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.

Descent into error (about division among christians due to doctrines)

Thanks to blog.savetheperishing.com

This is the true story of a witnessing team’s birth and its subsequent fall into the errors of Calvinism by some of its members. I decided to write this as a warning to others who may be involved with Calvinists who evangelize or who may be on the verge of embracing the doctrine.  Looking back on my experience I am amazed at the subtle shift in behavior, doctrine, interpretation, attitude and mindset of the group due to Calvinism.  Its interesting to see how a doctrine like this can change humble, smart, loving people into prideful, contradictory, unthinking, unloving people.  It wasn’t one thing per se that caused problems nor was it one person but an accumulation of events with many people over a few years.  It took me a several years of prayer and bible study to come to the conclusions I am writing about in these posts.

Way of the Master Radio

One day in 2006 I heard on the radio that Kirk Cameron, the actor, had his own Christian ministry.  I decided to do a google search on him.  The Way of the Master website popped up and I started reading its material and watching the witnessing videos.  They also had a radio show where they record themselves witnessing to others.  I decided to share this with my friends.

What started out as a mere curiosity turned into a full-blown ministry.  Some of my friends and I took Way of the Master classes, read their books, and studied the bible to see if this method of evangelism were true.  It seemed to be so we started witnessing to the lost using this method.

For the first two years it was great.  We would go to the bus stops or the Sprint Center downtown, perhaps to a festival, we had the ministry listed in our church’s bulletin so we could have others join us if they wanted to, we could see God moving in the conversations we had with the lost.

Along the way we had others join our group and 4 of them were Calvinists.  We didn’t have Calvinists in our group before and at the time I was undecided on the doctrine but was leaning away from it.  Months later I started to notice some disturbing trends emerging in the witnessing group.

Shift of Interpretations

I was at my friends house before a bible study and there were four us standing in the kitchen.  We were talking about the lost and then the verse from  1 Corinthians 1:18 came up, “the preaching of the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing.”   Up to this point we had understood this mean’t the gospel is foolishness to those who have pride and think they are good.  This is the context of Corinthians and was in fact taught this way by Ray Comfort on the Way of the Master Training Course.  In other words, “Why would you preach the gospel to me?  I’m not a sinner!  I’m a good person!  Go preach to a sinner.”  The preaching of the cross is foolishness to someone with… pride.

While I was standing in the kitchen I was amazed to hear the reason why the “preaching of the cross is foolishness” is because sinners are “totally depraved” and unable to believe.  When I objected to that interpretation another verse was used, taken out of context, to further demonstrate how total depravity is true.  While it is true “totally depraved” sinners have pride it is also true Christians have pride, so I can’t say the reason why people have pride is because they are totally depraved.  Besides, the chapter in Corinthians we were discussing has nothing to do with total depravity.  It has to do with the pride of man and how God uses the weak things of the world to confound the wise.

What in the world was going on?

The Gospel Tract Enigma

When we witnessed we mainly gave out million dollar bill tracks.  They look like a real million dollar bill even though there is no such thing as a million dollar bill.  Several times after an evening of witnessing we would either have dinner or meet afterwards for fellowship.  Some questions would arise in the minds of my friends who later became Calvinists.  “Why do certain people take the tracks we give out and others don’t?  Its a mystery they say.  Twenty people don’t take a tract and then a bunch of people do.”  Some concluded this MUST MEAN God is drawing only those people who took the tract.

There are many reasons people don’t take tracts:

1) They think its a political ad because there is a president on it.

2) They think we are selling something and aren’t interested in buying.  This is a normal reaction.  People rarely give away material to people without selling something.

4) People in the back who see people in the front reject the tract also reject it.  “If the person ahead of me didn’t take it than I probably don’t want it either.”

5) Maybe they are upset, or tired, or who knows how many other reasons for avoiding taking a leaflet from a stranger.

There are many reasons for people taking tracts as well:

1) They are curious about what it is.

2) They like political ads.

3) They don’t want to be in an awkward situation where they must reject what someone is freely giving them so they take it.

4) People in front of them grab one so they grab one.

5) God is drawing them.

Calvinists attribute everything that happens to God.  While Calvinists vary in their opinion as to the amount of control God has on His creation many believe natural disasters, and even sin as something God has ordained, so its not a surprise the people in the witnessing group are focusing on why certain people take a gospel tract.

When I mentioned to them the different reasons why people may grab or not grab a tract it went in one ear and out the other.  Suggesting these ideas makes their exciting discovery that God controls everything not so exciting.

Popular Preachers and Popery

My friends in the group spent a great deal of time listening to Calvinist preachers such as Paul Washer, Alestair Begg, John MacArthur, James White, RC Sproul, and John Piper to name a few.  If you spend all your time listening to Calvinists preachers you will eventually be… a Calvinist.  Particularly if you spend more time listening to them than reading the bible for yourself allowing the Holy Spirit to interpret the Word.  Every Calvinist I have known or debated with spend far more time reading reformed titles, or listening to popular reformed preachers than they do reading the bible.

After they do this they believe Calvinism and then later tell me how “God opened my eyes to this truth.”  How deceived they must be to think “God opened my eyes” when in reality they spent more time reading theinterpretations of men rather than the words of God.  They have not learned the “deeper things” of God but rather what someone else thinks the bible says.  How can they possibly say “God opened my eyes” when in fact they are being told what to believe by human fallible preachers?  Are they confusing a preacher as God Himself?  Is this the Catholic church with a magisterium who speaks infallibly for God?  It seems so.

This is called indoctrination and thats what happened to the witnessing group over time.  They were becoming indoctrinated right before my eyes.

I used to be a Catholic and after that I was in the occult for several years.  Its not difficult to be indoctrinated, all you have to do is keep on listening, and believing it little by little until eventually it will take hold.  Before I was a Christian I was on the brink of worshiping the Earth due the shamanistic teachings I was studying.  I had the sudden realization that the next step in my learning was to worship the earth.  It made sense because of what I learned and knew.  Once I realized I was about to do this I stopped myself because deep down I knew it was wrong.  As a side note how would I know it was wrong?  I was “totally” depraved!  Perhaps the concept of total depravity is wrong, but thats another topic for another post.

Listening to the same preachers over and over again amounts to a type of popery similiar to the Catholic church.  Instead of one person as a pope there are several that teach the same things.  These people cannot be questioned because they are “Godly” men who preach hard on sin.  They couldn’t possibly be wrong about this doctrine!  They spend all their time studying this and are smarter than us, they know Greek and use fancy theological terms such as “doctrines of grace.”  Who am I to question them?

Oh what an insult to Christ!  The Holy Spirit, through His Word, is “unable” to teach believers better than men!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to forsake all preachers…I’m saying their interpretations are not the final word.  If you spend more time listening to other human beings than reading God’s Word you do indeed have a Pope, whether its in the form of one preacher or many.  If someone asks you “What do you believe about election” and your answer is “Read this book by James White” or “Here is an article on this by John Piper” or “Here is a sermon from RC Sproul” or “Here are some commentaries on this” you may possibly have a “pope” in your life telling you what to believe.

An objection to what I just wrote might be “I don’t have time to write a full answer to your questions, its easier to show you what <insert preachers name> believes.”  Yes I know.  You have spent so much time studying the interpretations of others you know what these other preachers believe.  Thats my point!  Do you honestly think you can listen to preachers everyday in podcasts or on the radio and not be influenced by them?  The reason you are listening to them is because you WANT to be influenced by them.  Perhaps its true you don’t have enough time to study.  Maybe your job forces you to drive frequently or you have many family responsibilities.  If thats true, why not listen to the bible on CD instead of a preacher most of the time?  Are you confident enough in the abilities of the Holy Spirit to teach you directly through His Word?

Furthermore if you know words like “monogerism” or  “synergism” or if you automatically think since I am not a Calvinist that makes me an “Arminian” or I’m a “free-willer” you spend way too much time studying the writings of men rather than the word of God.

The extent to which this idea of popery was entrenched in the witnessing group was made evident one day.  Tony Miano, a well known Calvinist who evangelizes, was saying some things to sinners on video which were questionable and confusing.  When someone in the witnessing group was asked to reexamine what Tony said he refused to do it.  He felt examining Tony would make him “sick” because he is after all a “Godly” man who apparently cannot be questioned.  Accusing Tony of teaching questionable doctrines would definitely disrupt the peace among the group and we can’t have that!

This is a far cry from the Bereans who examined what the Apostle Paul had to say to see if what he said was true.

It seems the witnessing group is not so interested in truth after all.

Cont.:

Descent Into Error Part 2 – Mottos to live by?
“Descent Into Error” Part 3 – Judgement Without Discernment
“Descent Into Error” Part 4 – Love waxes cold to the unsaved
“Descent Into Error” Part 5 – The Bible as a spell-casting device