Refuting Calvinism

ItIsFinished!

Blood bought child of the King of kings.
You're so right, Cheeky! When we first moved to our present location many years ago, we had thought we'd attend the local Baptist church in the small community only 2 miles from our home. With high hopes, we began visiting there soon after moving in. It was nice to meet some of the local people who lived in our new community, and I especially enjoyed the fact that we would no longer have to commute to church as we had been doing in the past. High hopes!!
When the young pastor (seminary student) came calling, my dh specifically asked him if he was a Calvinist. The young pastor stated that he was still not sure about it and was thinking things through. Quite by accident, I later discovered an online forum where this young man was a moderator, and the forum was dedicated Calvinist! He discovered who I was when I registered for the forum, and he quickly resigned his position as moderator. One Sunday, during the Bible class hour, he was teaching a lot of Scripture as allegory, particularly Revelation. When my dh dared to challenge him in this small class of four, the young pastor became belligerent toward my dh. The worship service met in the sanctuary 'after' this unsettling class, and during his sermon, the pastor was clearly angry with my dh. His face was red, and he kept looking straight at dh and speaking negatively about people in general, but we knew he meant the remarks for us. Needless to say, we weren't going to go back there again. No more five min drive to church.
We found another church to attend that was 20 min away. In the Bible class, we began to hear about Augustine, Luther, etc. When the pastor of that church learned through the grapevine that we were pre-trib dispensational Christians, he, too, got very heated in the pulpit and made fun of pre-trib dispensation believers. Decided we weren't going to attend there anymore. A few years later, we found a grace-oriented church and we have to commute almost an hour each way.
Doesn't sound like God called him to be a pastor when he doesn't know (seems like he lied) about what he believes in regards to salvation.
Kinda of foundational.
Notice how those who don't believe in dispensation/ pre-trib. tend to be snarky and aggressive.
Hmmm... gee I wonder why that is...
Also, no one should EVER use the pulpit to attack another especially those of the faith.
I've been hearing alot of similar stories.
Hopefully you are being fed at your new place of assembly with biblically grounded /solid doctrinal teachings .
 

my2babysmama

Well-Known Member
I grew up in a Christian Reformed church. Highly Calvinistic, but I don't remember encountering any of it until I was in high school. I remember in my Sunday School class my teacher telling us that God chooses those that He wants to save. By default, that also means that He chooses those who are going to populate hell. I could never swallow that, and I got into quite an argument with my Sunday School teacher about it. But his argument was that just because God chooses some to go to heaven doesn't mean that He chooses who goes to hell. He was able to live with that dichotomy in his head with no problem. But to me, by default, if God chooses some and not others, that means that He is choosing some to go to hell. The Bible clearly refutes that.
The Bible that I read every day is a John MacArthur study Bible. I don't understand how he can believe Calvinism. I know that some of his notes say that when God loves the whole world it only means the whole world of those that God has chosen. He has studied the Bible far more than I have, and yet he still believes in Calvinism. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, and so sometimes it is hard for me to deal with smarter people than me believing things that are clearly incorrect. If I can understand it, why can't they? I just try to stay close to the Lord and listen to His voice. I spent most of my life worrying that God's love for me was conditional and that I somehow had to earn it in order to keep my salvation. In raising my children, I have tried very hard to demonstrate the constancy of God's love and grace, but it is so easy to believe that somehow you can lose your salvation when you completely mess up. The Lord has been so gracious to me in my life, and I so much want to teach my children that God's grace and mercy are endless and not dependent on my actions. The more I learn about who God is and how much He loves me, the more I realize that still have to learn.
 

Jan51

Well-Known Member
Perhaps MacArthur was influenced by the verse; Jacob I have Loved. Esau I have hated.

Chris, AndyC, do either of you have some exposition on this verse?
Not Chris or Andy, but this is from my teaching notes on this passage:

Rom 9:13
This verse confuses many people; what does it mean? Is God petty? Does He like some people and dislike others? Since these possibilities are not supported by Scripture, we must look for another meaning. A check of Strong's Concordance defines "hate" as used in the Bible: enemy, foe, odious. This is different from our usage of "hate": intense or passionate feelings of dislike. For God, is loving and hating about His feelings of liking us or disliking us? John 3:16 tells us that God loved the world; does that mean He finds everyone in the world likeable? Did He send His Son to die for us on the basis of how likeable we are? Here are some passage on hate: Prov. 6:16-19, Heb. 1:9 (what God hates), John 12:25, Luke 14:26/Mat. 10:37 (as a comparison).

9:13 is an Old Testament quote; read Mal. 1:1-5. In Malachi, God uses "Jacob" to refer to whom? He uses "Esau" to refer to whom? He is speaking of their descendants, two nations. Which nation does He accept? Which does He reject? Who is Edom, Gen. 25:30? Read the one-chapter book of Obadiah to see more of what God thinks about Edom, and why. Which of these two brothers was interested in spiritual things? Which was interested only in things of the flesh? Gen. 25:27-34.

We saw back in Rom. 5:14 that there are "types" in the Bible; besides their ordinary meaning and identity, some people, objects, and events are also types. (Compare Heb. 9:9, 9:24, 11:19, I Cor. 10:6,11, Gal. 4:24.) Read Gal. 4:22-29; note especially the end of 29. This is the big clue. Don't we see Esau and Jacob also fitting into this verse, as Gen. 25 paints Esau as fleshly and Jacob as spiritual? Is 4:29 speaking of continual trouble even today between the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael, or is it speaking of the conflict between our two natures, the fleshly and the spiritual, as Paul described in Rom. 7:14-23? Or both? Biblical truths often apply on more than one level. What does Gal. 5:17 say about this conflict? What about Rom. 3:20 and 8:8? Which nature does God "love" or accept? Which does He "hate" or reject? Isn't it amazing to see how God has designed the Bible to teach the same truths from Old Testament to New Testament, without contradiction, although written by about 40 human authors over a period of about 1500 years?
 

JamesSuth

Well-Known Member
I'm so glad Calvinism (other than discussions refuting it like this !) are banned on this forum. When I first found this forum, I was surprised by that because I didn't know there were Christians who didn't believe in it! Where I live (far north of Britain) churches are either Charismatic, Liberal, or Calvinist. People bounce from one to another never finding something that the Spirit confirms with them is correct. Most good Christian pastors I know describe themselves as 'not fully aligned with Calvinism' to distinguish themselves from Charismatic or Liberal Christians, while acknowledging that it is not totally correct. So it is near impossible to find a decent church and there are none near me.

I used to work with some Calvinist theologians and it was really sad. I saw the arrogance, lack of any certainty surrounding salvation and general unhealthy thought processes. It is wonderful that there are places such as this forum that show that Calvinism isn't real Christianity.
 

Wally

Choose your words carefully...
Thanks Jan51.

To make sure I understand you,

Its not that God Hates Esau, but Esau, in his love of the flesh, rejected God. It is this love of the flesh that God Hates, and those who practice such are on the wrong side of a relationship with God.

Am I correct in my Understanding here?

Yet Esau shed many tears. It almost implies there is a point where one is so hardened that even our repentance is but a show and having no substance.

To know where such an event transpires is not something men can know. Perhaps in that respect, many churches have erred to caution and promoted works as a way of reinforcing faith.

It is still an error, and sinful man will easily move to the opinion of not earning but maintaining salvation by works.
Such a teaching denies Christ the work He alone completed.
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
I used to work with some Calvinist theologians and it was really sad. I saw the arrogance, lack of any certainty surrounding salvation and general unhealthy thought processes. It is wonderful that there are places such as this forum that show that Calvinism isn't real Christianity.
100%

I've seen the arrogance first-hand, and the anger and disdain that follows, both of which I have no problems dealing with. What gets to me the most is the astounding levels of apathy that results from passionate adherence to calvinism.

It's been 15 years since I was cheek and jowl with calvies on a day to day basis and what's sad to witness, when I do reconnect with my old acquaintances is the devolution of their institutions (pun intended) into something that no longer resembles Christ. They either have become so woke they aren't recognizable as Christ followers or have become so legalistic they aren't recognizable as Christ followers.

It also seems (in my anecdotal experiences) that they have lost, not just 'are losing' but have LOST their children and grandchildren to the secular humanist onslaught. If you will not preach Christ to any and all that are willing to hear and to come, for fear that they are not the elect, you consign them to the whims of the doctrines of demons. The cultural war was not lost by this mindset but was abandoned wholesale and given willingly in forfeit and retreat for apathy's sake.
 

Jaybird

Well-Known Member
100%

I've seen the arrogance first-hand, and the anger and disdain that follows, both of which I have no problems dealing with. What gets to me the most is the astounding levels of apathy that results from passionate adherence to calvinism.

It's been 15 years since I was cheek and jowl with calvies on a day to day basis and what's sad to witness, when I do reconnect with my old acquaintances is the devolution of their institutions (pun intended) into something that no longer resembles Christ. They either have become so woke they aren't recognizable as Christ followers or have become so legalistic they aren't recognizable as Christ followers.

It also seems (in my anecdotal experiences) that they have lost, not just 'are losing' but have LOST their children and grandchildren to the secular humanist onslaught. If you will not preach Christ to any and all that are willing to hear and to come, for fear that they are not the elect, you consign them to the whims of the doctrines of demons. The cultural war was not lost by this mindset but was abandoned wholesale and given willingly in forfeit and retreat for apathy's sake.
This is similar to what happened to the Puritans. They stopped preaching because they believed in predestination.

Is it any wonder that there are no more Puritans around anymore?
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
This is similar to what happened to the Puritans. They stopped preaching because they believed in predestination.

Is it any wonder that there are no more Puritans around anymore?
Amen!

It's said that the opposite of love isn't hate but rather, it's indifference. Not sharing the eternal life saving Gospel with anyone and everyone you can is the very essence of indifference. I don't know anyone that walking down the street with a bucket of water, when confronted with someone on fire, who wouldn't use it to try and put them out. Why does an entire sect of christianity not do the same with the Gospel?
 

Jaybird

Well-Known Member
Amen!

It's said that the opposite of love isn't hate but rather, it's indifference. Not sharing the eternal life saving Gospel with anyone and everyone you can is the very essence of indifference. I don't know anyone that walking down the street with a bucket of water, when confronted with someone on fire, who wouldn't use it to try and put them out. Why does an entire sect of christianity not do the same with the Gospel?
Agree with you. Although it seems like the cults are better at this than true Christians. The Mormons come to mind.

Who hasn't had one of these people ring their doorbell?
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
....I just try to stay close to the Lord and listen to His voice. I spent most of my life worrying that God's love for me was conditional and that I somehow had to earn it in order to keep my salvation. In raising my children, I have tried very hard to demonstrate the constancy of God's love and grace, but it is so easy to believe that somehow you can lose your salvation when you completely mess up. The Lord has been so gracious to me in my life, and I so much want to teach my children that God's grace and mercy are endless and not dependent on my actions.

Boy, I sure know how you feel! I grew up in a work's based cult and that fear and sense of not doing enough, or a constant failure definitely pervaded! You are on the right track in just staying close to the Lord and letting His Word bring truth and healing. By the way, I found it really helpful to pray for the Lord's help in understanding every time I read and He's been so good to me in this. You might also try reading the Life Application Tyndale study Bible. That was a great help in opening my heart up to God's grace and love.

Galations was a wonderful book for me. I read it over and over to help me to step away from working for my salvation and resting in Jesus' work for me. When ever the old works based messages would pop up in my mind, I would repeat to myself, "I am saved, by grace, through faith in Christ." That would bring such peace back to my heart.

Speaking of peace, remembering that God has not given us a spirit of fear and that His perfect love casts out all fear helped me to recognize our enemy.... who loves to disperse fear and uncertainty into our lives, to doubt our salvation and if at all possible minimize Christ's light in us to the world through this uncertainty. This is not of God. Recognizing this and praying for God's rebuking of our enemy and trusting God's Word instead is very helpful.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Tim 1:7

I love passages like 1 Cor 1:7-9 that share how our Salvation and sanctification is very much God's work, insuring that we are kept from blame and accusation:

Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

And knowing that Jesus' righteousness fully and completely covers us protectively with the sealing of the Holy Spirit that shows we belong permanently to the Lord is a wonderful, comforting and assuring truth to rest in. :)
 

Jan51

Well-Known Member
Thanks Jan51.

To make sure I understand you,

Its not that God Hates Esau, but Esau, in his love of the flesh, rejected God. It is this love of the flesh that God Hates, and those who practice such are on the wrong side of a relationship with God.

Am I correct in my Understanding here?

Yet Esau shed many tears. It almost implies there is a point where one is so hardened that even our repentance is but a show and having no substance.

To know where such an event transpires is not something men can know. Perhaps in that respect, many churches have erred to caution and promoted works as a way of reinforcing faith.

It is still an error, and sinful man will easily move to the opinion of not earning but maintaining salvation by works.
Such a teaching denies Christ the work He alone completed.
Yes, Esau and his line represent the Flesh. His tears were not true repentance; his actions did not show it. He just felt bad because of the consequences, but he did not display a heart for God. Remember that in the Old Testament, faith was to be shown by living righteously. Anyone who truly repents, which means turn to God in faith, will be saved.
 
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