Calvinism

Truth Series Part 4

With so many Calvinists popping up and throwing their doctrine around, I decided to research this topic and of course, write about it. As I said before, before we even touch upon the core of the matter, let us find the origin. so that’s exactly what we are going to do.

History of Calvinism

Calvinism gets its name from John Calvin, a reformer in the 1500’s. He was part of the Catholic church before parting ways and beginning the reformation. Although the doctrine of predestination wasn’t actually his, it was the teachings of a predecessor.  John Calvin was a great influence who took this doctrine and spread it like wildfire. He wrote many books about theology and even ordered liturgy in the church. He even believed that that the Eucharist physically turned into the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, a belief prominent in Catholicism today. He became extremely ill i his last years andspend much time writing his last bookwith the little amount of time he had before his tragic death.


What is Calvinism?

Calvinism is the belief that God predestined His elect before the creation of the world. God has planned everything from beginning to the end. No one has any choice at all. Adam was the only one who had a choice to choose between good and bad and because he chose to sin, everyone is now deep in sin with no free will at all. Sin has destroyed all free will whatsoever and so they can only choose what is bad. Therefore, sin was in God’s original plan. Then God decided that He will only save a few amounts of people and the rest will burn in hell for all eternity. No one has the free will to choose God or not, you can only be saved and go to heaven if you are chosen by God. If you are not chosen, tough luck but you are going to hell no matter what you do.

This doctrine is based on Romans 9, 1 Peter 2, Ephesians 1

The logical Jab

If God had sin in His original plan, then He would have had sin in Him as well because everything that comes from God is good and Holy. God is Holy so therefore God had no sin in His plan. Besides, if sin was in His original plan, Adam would have not had free will either because he had to sin in order for God’s plan to work and therefore choose certain people to be saved.

Now, if God planned everything and we have no free will, then we are not even human beings but puppets. We are robotically wired to do something we have no control over. Everything is automated and we cannot obey God because we have no choice to do so.

Therefore, The scripture that says: “God is love” must be annulled because love can only exist if there is a choice to do so. If God chose people and forced them to do such and such, then it does not show love but rape. God is love, not coercion.

If I injected fatal poison into you and then gave you the antidote, have I saved your life? Of course not! Why? Because I have placed your life in jeopardy in the first place. But suppose you drank the poison and I rushed you to the hospital and got you stabilized, would I not be a hero?

The Calvinist states that God caused the sin to enter the world to destroy all the people. He then chose to save some people from the sin He caused! That is not salvation, it’s manipulation! How does that show the greatness of God? Also, if God caused the sin to happen, would he not be doing the work of Satan himself? John Wesley stated that if God used Satan to

Calvinists claim that we have not free will but only God can choose to save us. Therefore, that shows the full extent of His sovereignty. How? If God became a man and was beaten, crucified and buried, how does that show His sovereignty? For God to override the free will of man, does not show sovereignty but tyranny!

How can there be judgment day? Why is God judging people for what He is forcing them to do? Why does God get angry if He’s the One who is causing what He hates to happen?

If God chose the elect, why do we bother with evangelism? They might not be saved and even if they were, God will make it happen anyway!

And, how do you know that God chose you?

The Scriptural Hook

Romans 9 does not speak about Christians or the Church but talks entirely about Israel. It talks about how not everyone in the lineage of Israel are Israelites but only those who never reject God’s purpose in their lives. (Luke 7:30)

Deuteronomy 30:19
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

Hence, there is a choice.

John 3:16 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Hence, God loves everyone.

2 Timothy 2:3-4
This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

God wants all men to be saved, not some.

Yes, God chose people, He predestined them for a purpose, not salvation but a task. He still gives them a choice. God foreknew who were going to be saved and he predestined them and sealed them with the Holy Spirit but it was still their choice. Ravi Zacharias illustrated it very well: The unbeliever comes to heaven’s gate and sees the sign, “Enter the narrow gate so that you may have eternal life”. The person enters through and then sees the sign, “Chosen before the creation of the world.”

There is no such thing as a closed system when it comes to choices. We live in a multiple futures orientated world. You can choose from different futures but can only have the outcome of one choice. In 2 Kings 13:18-19, we find something peculiar with Elisha who was on his deathbed. 
18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”

Hence, our choices affect our lives and where it ends.

The Conclusive Uppercut

This is a warning to all Calvinists, be careful what you believe, be careful what you preach! The Bible says in Galatians 1:6-9
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and is turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

If you preach a Gospel that is not of God then you are a heretic! Repent now and believe. Do not think that because you are elected that God will not reject you. Look at Romans 11:17-24

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

In this passage of scripture, it describes to us that those who disbelieved were cut off and the Gentiles were grafted in. But it also says that you must not be arrogant! Because God will not spare you! Just because God chose you and saved doesn’t mean that you cannot be cut off and lose your salvation. Repent!

Many Calvinists have been living in condemnation and striving for works unsure if they are really saved. What kind of Gospel is that? There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1

Matthew 25:31 talks about the sheep and goats. The goats treated people like trash and the sheep helped the poor and was involved in hospitality. Both the the sheep and goats were Christians! Salvation can be lost if you are not repentant! It is your choice! 

Believe in the simple Gospel, otherwise one day when you meet Jesus, you won’t recognize Him. And what will you say? “Lord, Lord, did we not preach the Gospel and prophecy in your name?” And He will tell you: “Depart from me,you worker of iniquity!”

Gifts – Love = Nothing

We live in a time where the Church has become gift oriented. This is a tragedy.

Why? You may ask…?

Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

It is evident that without love, whatever you do means zilch. Zero. Nada.

You can preach, you can heal the sick and cast out demons and speak in tongues but if you do not have love, your works amount to nothing. The problem with Christians today is that we are looking for signs of gifts instead of fruit.

Let’s look at Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Nobody looks for fruit anymore, as long as some guy is performing miracles, they automatically believe that he is a true prophet.

Jesus gave this command in Matthew 7:15-20

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

 

You may ask…but Kristian, if someone does miracles, does that not mean God is working in them?

Let’s look at Romans 11:29

29 For God’s gift and His calling is irrevocable.

That means, God doesn’t take back the gifts after they have been given to you. Some translations say that the gifts are without repentance indicating that the person could be doing right but living wrong.

We need to look for fruit because that is true Christianity, Love. Love is what got us saved in the first place.

If you don’t have love don’t preach. – Theo Msomi

Now let’s look at the most frightening scripture in the Bible…

Matthew 7:21-23

21 Not everyone 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.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Wait a minute now, those people did great stuff yet Jesus claimed to have never known them…

WHY? Because they didn’t function in love. Love is important. It is indeed the Foundation of Christianity because God is love. Rejecting Love is rejecting God. If you don’t love, you hate. And hate is murder. And no murderer can enter the kingdom of heaven. So love with everything you have, and the Holy Spirit will manifest the gift in you to fulfil a need in someone.

Can God do anything?

So an atheist drops a mind blowing paradox on Christians and we don’t have an answer. Striving to be an apologist, I have taken the opportunity to somewhat explain the error that many believe in…

 

If God can do anything, then He can make a rock huge and heavy enough that He himself cannot carry.

The above paradox had many Roman mythologists stupefied. It’s obvious they did not understand God and hence made a paradox that is used widely today to deny the existence of God himself.

First of all, do we really believe God can do anything and everything? The answer is NO.

Immediately, you might place me as a heretical blasphemer, but here are the 5 things that God cannot do:

  1.  He cannot change.                                                                                                                      He is the same throughout time and His word never changes.                                    (1 Samuel 15:29/Malachi 3:6/Hebrews 7:21/James 1:17)
  2. He cannot lie.                                                                                                                              God is truth so lying would be a contrary nature.                                             (Numbers 23:19/Titus 1:2/Hebrews 6:18/1 John 2:21)
  3. He cannot go against your will. God is a gentleman.                                                       He won’t violate your free will.                                                                                 (Revelations 3:20)
  4. He cannot go against his word.                                                                                              His word will remain forever and will never vanish.                                           (Matthew 24:35)
  5. God cannot do evil.                                                                                                                      He is righteous and just in all of His ways. He is holy.                                                      (2 Thessalonians 1:6/2 Timothy 4:8)

 

So we that God in His very nature is consistent and not like the waves of the sea tossed back and forth. He is Truth. He is Life. It is highly probably that lies and death will have a problem with Him.

So in conclusion, how do we solve a paradox that is considered to deny the existence of God in the minds of those who believe the illogical? Not only is a paradox considered an ‘impossible situation’ but it is also found to contradictory. So if God Almighty creates a huge rock that Jesus cannot carry because He came in the flesh, yet the Father can lift it, we come across another paradox. That God can and cannot carry the rock. This shouldn’t surprise us as God is Himself the author of many paradoxes:

  • In order to gain everything, you must lose everything.
  • In order to save your life you must lose it. (Matthew 10:39)
  • In order to live, you must die.
  • We find God, yet continue to seek Him
  • The greatest is the least
  • Freedom is when we become a servant of God

Hence, Christianity can never be a logical relationship, It is based entirely on Love. Love has no explanation but only action, that which we see at the Cross of Calvary.