Someone had emailed me an email that he received.
Some Christian information source announced its plans to print a book; below that announcement are a plethora of comments both pro and con by those who were or had been supporters of that ministry.
These my comments are in response to that email and the comments of those persons.
The majority of comments are based on illogic and false assumptions and are "paper tigers" in which the person invents a false notion (as if that notion was the Biblical position) and then proceeds to attack that position. This is unscholarly, dishonest, and unchristian; such as the MINDLESS comment by one who suggests that by embracing true doctrine it can turn you into a "frozen chosen". ANY true doctrine can be believed by someone who is so mentally imbalanced, who is carnal, who is sinful, and thus be taken out of context; or like "fractionalized" medicine or nutrition, extracting out one element and then only using that element; when the entire complex is what is needed and it cannot be extracted from the whole without being a caricature; and like most pharm. drugs, when you take one element out of the whole, it is usually followed by a whole host of bad side effects. Regardless, people who make such statements about Calvinism making you a frozen chosen reveal that they are HUMANISTS and that what man thinks is warm and fuzzy outrules the God of the Universe. Such are so ignorant they do not even realize their own shame.
You may wish to scroll down and read the original email and comments of others to it; then return to the top here and ready my comments.
Truly the Christian Church and Christendom, as I have written for decades, can be called "The Ichabod Church". Ichabod Crane was the name of a character in the short story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", by Washington Irving, which featured the mysterious, scary individual known as "the headless horseman".
Well, that is a picture of the modern church, a headless horseman... (smite the Shepherd and scatter the flock) and the name Ichabod is actually the name of one of the grandsons of Eli, the High Priest, which grandson was born around the time that the Ark of the Covenant was captured in battle and Eli's wicked sons who polluted the temple, Hophe and Phinehas, were slain in battle; and upon hearing those bad tidings Eli (who was obese) fell backwards in his chair, broke his neck, and died. When the Ark of the Covenant was captured, the Pillar of Cloud / Fire, God's Manifest Presence, the Shekinah Glory no longer hovered over the Tabernacle and God's Spirit was no longer with His people... and Eli's grandson was prophetically named, Ichabod, which means, "the Glory has departed".
The Glory will not return until God's people repent of their sins and bow before Him as LORD and confess that which He has declared to be truth and true doctrine and true theology and repent of their sins (which includes false doctrine). Christ will not return to a rebellious bride unwilling to submit herself to Him; Christ will not return to a "liberated woman" who thinks that she is the boss, or at least, His equal. Such is where we stand in history and prophecy, and while the barbarians are pouring in through the gates, fools attempt to argue about things of which they are completely ignorant; all the while living in such a manner they are barely distinguishable from the world. God save your people! Save them from themselves!
"23But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the Devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." (II Timothy 2)
"3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (II Corinthians 10)
Reading through the various comments of people in the "comments section" below (after this my detailed introductory / response), it is clear that the majority of "Christians" are greatly confused* and yet think that they are experts in thinking and knowing and that they actually have not only the mental acuity, but even the spiritual authority to imperially decree what truth is; flaunting their disobedience to God and lack of understanding in far-more simple matters. They make about as much sense as someone blurting out, "I HATE 'soup of the day'; it is my least-favorite flavor. It doesn't matter which restaurant I go to it's always different. Doesn't anyone know how to make it right?"
It reminds me of the story that I heard a preacher tell, decades ago. While an elderly man who lived in the country was taking a nap on the couch, his mischievous grandson came in and rubbed some fresh horse manure on his mustache. When he eventually woke up, he took a deep breath, then a puzzled look came over his face as his eyes widened and rolled around. He thought to himself, "this living room stinks!" He got up and went into the kitchen, then the living room, and room to room, in each taking a breath and muttering under his breath, "the whole house stinks". He went out onto the porch, took a deep breath and said, "Good grief the whole world stinks!"
The moral of the story is revealed in a Peanut's cartoon in which Linus or Charlie Brown, after some flub-up of one sort or another had an "ah-ha" moment and declared his realization of truth, "I've met the enemy and he's ME!" Sadly, most Christians will never come to this realization, and if they perchance do, for a moment, the slough it off as an impossibility, or they refuse to admit it, as Will McFarlane in one of his songs expresses, "Everybody else but me". As I have written for decades, the average Christian thinks that he farts cotton candy: In his mind, everyone else is the problem; and he thinks, "God is just so gosh-darn lucky to have me on His side." The invading aliens, the homoperverts, the antichrists, etc., are not the problem. They are the SYMPTOM. They are even the remedy... and as they say, sometimes the remedy seems worse than the cure. God has sent all these vile people and caused them to overpopulate and invade because WE are the problem. We turned from what God commanded and lusted after the world; and now God is giving up that which we should not lusted after (just like He inundated the Israelites with quail 3-feet deep). If God's people repented of their sins (which entails knowing what sin is: the violation of all that He commanded and all that He forbade) and turned from it and returned to what He commanded, He would then take care of the enemy. But, God's people refuse to do so, so we all must continue to suffer senseless loss and brutality until the rest "get it" and fall on their faces before God; open His Word, read all that He commanded throughout all our generations forever and either DO IT or go side with the enemy.
I have written for decades, "Sadly, the majority of people in the world don't mature, they merely age (and something that has aged beyond a certain point then begin to decompose and rot): The majority of adults today are adolescents running around in adults' bodies". Sadly, this indictment is true psychologically for the general public as well as spiritually for "Christians" (and even at that, adolescent is probably a a flattering exaggeration in light of their actual spiritual age). Those who don't appreciate the stark reality of this, don't, because they have nothing with which to compare that which they think is normal. An honest genius, when he actually meets a superior genius, is in awe and realizes his own stupidity. As iron sharpens iron so does a man the countenance of his friend. Shallow people only want to be around others who are not a threat to their own abilities; but you will never become better by only hanging out with or playing against inferiors. But such people are not concerned with self-improvement, but only appearances and perpetuating the delusion that makes him feel good about himself. Most immature persons will feel threatened and be bitter and resentful around someone whose abilities dwarf their own. Those who want to learn take notes.
[* As can be seen by merely a few moments in most any forum, book review, or comments section most anywhere. One quickly finds out that the majority have very little worthwhile to say, and yet go to great lengths in their attempt to say it. One woman who considers herself an internet "preacher", thinks just let go of all that doctrine and theology and "love, love, love" and "God is crazy about his people". Sorry. My God is not crazy. Other simple minds who seem sincere, are sincerely confused, spouting notions as if they were 8-year olds in a tree-fort trying to brainstorm ideas that will save the world, such as, "Everything is falling apart, can't we all pray and ask God to reconsider? He's made a terrible mistake. Whatever He's doing isn't working." How terribly, terribly sad. The majority seem to be a point or two above being spiritually severely mentally retarded.]
There are so many terribly terribly confused people claiming to be Christians... thinking that God has to be as their fallen minds imagine Him to be or they declare that He is evil or even worse than Satan. Such fallen minds imagining themselves to be converted spew blasphemies and think that it is spirituality.
"15Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." (Titus 1)
They cannot even think rationally. They claim that their "god" "does not choose" who His children are (an irrationality in itself; a foundation built not merely upon sand, but upon foul air alone—mental flatulence). Clearly Socialism has infected the mind of Christians (but hypocritically also being deluded by "Liberation Theology" and false guilt) in that parents do not own their children and do not have the right to raise them according to their convictions, but according to State-determined Mandates. The State has replaced God in the minds of most "Christians" and it is from Socialism that the false notion of "equality" has been derived. Hypocritically, the accept—hook, line, and sinker—the false philosophy that attempts to establish the authority that the government has, ignoring all Constitutional and Common Law and the Bible upon which it was founded, in favor of a Marxist ideology that is sterile of logic. They bow down to an illegitimate godless Socialist state that has no valid authority, and they violate what God commanded. Scripture says that no man can serve two masters. It is clear that God is not their Master. God said that we are to be pleasers of God, not man, not ourselves. Christ Himself rebuked some of His self-professed followers "Why call ye Me, 'Lord, Lord' and do not the things I say?" The unspoken answer to this rhetorical question is, "—because I am not your Lord". As Scripture informs us, you are servant to whom you yield yourselves to obey. That god is the State and the ever-changing chimera, that myth called "society". As Scripture says, if they knew God, they would fear and obey Him (not make up excuses why their disobedience is not disobedience—not relegate God to a passive, well-meaning but impotent grandfather who sits on the edge of His Throne, wringing His Hands, crossing His Fingers, hoping... wishing... that His children will find within themselves the goodness to do what is right and choose to be saved. This is unbiblical from start to finish, and it is blasphemy through and through.
They believe that their god does not choose who His children are (or who Christ's bride is), most likely, because they espouse the heresies of the Universal Brotherhood of Man and the Universal Fatherhood of God, and they claim that everyone is God's child—which is unbiblical nonsense; and their minds are also polluted with Women's Liberation ideaology and imagine that God must conform to their demands.
The underlying unspoken error and false doctrine (which they will blasphemously speak, if painted into a corner) concerning why God does not choose who His children are, who will be saved, who Christ's bride will be is that God does not have that right; based upon their perverse notion of "right" and "wrong" and "good" and "evil". God is not Good because He does things that sinful, fallen, man deems to be good. Goodness is God's Nature (defined in His Being, not by what man thinks) and is a Perfection of His Nature. He cannot do what is not Good; however, that Goodness is in terms of His Trueness to Himself and His Immutable Perfection and Holiness. Goodness refers to God doing things consistent with His Own Nature and doing them after the Counsel of His Own Will, and for His Own Good Pleasure. In the days of creation, when God saw that what He created was "good", that is not referring to some self-existing quality external to God. It basically means that it was just the way that He wanted it to be.
Likewise polluted is sinful man's notion of equality and fairness.
God is not required to tap dance, do the flamenco or the limbo to please man in conforming to man's perverted notions of goodness, equality, or fairness. God makes Decrees; He doesn't call for a vote or weigh everything out to make certain no one gets a single milligram more of a certain thing, than another person gets.
Man's confused notion of God not being a respector of persons is completely polluted and out of context, even as is their notion of adoption. Adoption is not bringing an alien into the family (which God forbade), but the coming of age of a child to manhood, or the re-instatement of a previously disgraced son back to a place of honor (as perfectly depicted in the Parable of the Prodigal). The Greek word means, "son placing". God not being a respector of persons does not mean that He loves everyone equally or dispenses gifts or blessings around based upon man's notion of equality and fairness. It means that God does not respect a person in his rank or status and pervert Justice just because of that person's status; like cops or judges covering up and dismissing drunk-driving charges against a politician, or his son, etc. In the days of nobility, one inequity is that a person's status was more important that the crime that was committed. God commanded one law for all His people and that judges were not to show partiality or take bribes. Such a Judge is God Who does not take bribes, nor ignore the charges of sin against someone of higher status. That is what "no respector" means, and nothing else. Those who think otherwise do not know how to think and either have never read the Bible, or only selectively remember those portions that fit their humanistic notions. They somehow think that the God of the New Testament is an entirely different God than the God of the Old Testament. They must think that the God of the New Testament is a "much nicer Guy" now that He is on His "meds" and has undergone "cultural sensitivity reprogramming" and "anger management classes". Someone I know said that he met an elder of a church in his town who in casual discussion brazenly blurted out "I hate the God of the Old Testament". The feeling is probably mutual and that is why you have that delusion and hatred and hardness of heart—because God sends such delusion and hardness of heart and blindness.
Modern confused "Christians" have the same polluted notion of what government should be (and that's why our nations have been destroyed). They ignore the warning of Thomas Jefferson, "A Government big enough to supply all your needs is big enough to take everything that you own". We live in an Age of Irresponsiblity and Anti-intellectualism. People want everything for free without having to pay the price. They want the same from God. They want a God who loves them, blesses them, and delivers them from trouble—but otherwise, be quiet, stay out of my life, don't speak unless spoken to, and don't tell me what to do. I had a neighbor lady, a retired R.N., of Italian-Hungarian descent. She was raised a typical Catholic and barely believes in God. She shamelessly told me one time with a straight face, "I believe in a Higher Power but I'm not going to let Him rule my life". Such people don't even understand the concept of God. People whose minds are filled with pagan notions generally don't and can't. Her husband, when she made that announcement, nodded his head in agreement as if she had just spoken some timeless truth. A few years later he had a stroke. A few years later he was gone. "All souls are Mine" (Ezekiel 18:4), God declared. He dispenses and dispenses with them as He pleases, not according to any myopic, egocentric humanistic notions.
"The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof, the world and all they who dwell therein." (Psalm 24:1)
"The heavens are Thine, the earth also is Thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, Thou hast founded them." (Psalm 89:11)
"9Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isaiah 46)
"And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to his will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His Hand, or say unto Him [authoritatively], 'What doest Thou?' " (Daniel 4:35)
"The LORD hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the Day of Evil [Judgment]." (Proverbs 16:4)
"But the LORD is in His Holy Temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him." (Habakkuk 2:20)
Consider the difference between 2 different things: Imagine a box shaped like the word "Holy". Imagine now that in this box a stick of dynamite is placed which blows the box to smitherines. Now imagine another identical box, but instead of being filled with high-charged explosives, it is filled with a spray foam insulation that expands to fill all the empty cavities and contours within the box, respecting its boundaries. The latter is how individual Scriptures relate to and interact with one another; and it is also how God's individual Attributes relate to and interact with one another. The former, however, is how humanistic understanding "interprets" any given verse of Scripture, or how humanistic understanding views any Attribute of God.
Those who think that God does not have the right to do as He pleases with what is His (the entire universe) don't know the true God. Those who believe that God does not send anyone to Hell, that people themselves choose to go to Hell or choose to be saved don't know the True God and don't understand the very basics of logic, God's Nature, Scripture, or even the Gospel.
A God who creates a Hell, but does not choose who goes there, and who also decrees what morality is, which sends to Hell those who violate that morality—a God who is Omniscient and Omnipotent, who "impotently, passively" knows who will "choose" to go to Hell is no better than a God who creates a Hell and determines who will have it as their destiny. The true God is Deterministic. Their God is Passive and guilty of depraved indifference.
Arminianism ("free-will-ism") is the "step down" program for a person to eventually wean himself off God completely. Those who think that God must, like a puppy dog on their leash, sit when they say "sit" and stand when they say "stand" imagine that God must be the way their minds want Him to be—and that is idolatry, worshipping false gods, and blasphemy. "Heel God!" "Stay God!" "Good God!" "Here's a treat!".
Such persons who espouse this humanistic false doctrine, and / or descendants of those who take this position that God would be "evil" if He predestined anyone to Hell, merely take that false humanistic doctrine to its ultimate conclusion and humanistically reason that God would be "evil" merely for creating Hell. So, they dispense with the doctrine of Hell altogether, rendering it a "parable" or "analogy" or even "pagan myths" that "found their way into the Bible";* or they simply toss the Bible and God out of their mind as a myth or fable itself; since once you totally gut the Bible and God of the majority of what makes it the Bible or God, it is practically empty and useless so why continue the charade?
[* See my, What the Devil? - What the Hell? A Comprehensive Study Identifying Angels, Satan, the Devil, Evil Spirits, Demons, Fallen Angels, and Hell, 798 pages, pb., 40.00 + P&H. The most-comprehensive scholastic work on this topic ever made.]
Why atheists and those who don't believe the Bible even remain preachers can only be because:
1. they have no marketable talent;
2. they purposely want to destroy the Christian faith; and
3. God is using them to separate the wheat from the chaff and fill up their measure of God's Wrath.
Those who make many of these comments are fools who profess to be wise, ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, attempting to explain things they know not. Their main problem is that they have no fear of God. Their god is harmless. He would never hurt a fly. They don't comprehend God or His Nature or that it is a FEARFUL thing to fall into the Hands of the Living God (not "it is a fearful thing to fall into your own stupid choices"). They do not trust in the God of their salvation. They think that God is their "business-partner" in salvation. They cannot think logically and practically every sentence they form is illogic and flawed humanism and they make accusations against Calvinism in utter ignorance of Calvinism, as if they are actually competent experts to make any accusation; and the very accusations invalidate their own position and contradict the Bible itself. They relegate the Old Testament to the dust-bin of history, archaic, obsolete, flawed—and thus they have to also dump half or more of the New Testament that quotes or builds upon the Old; and they have to ignore all the "unpretty" things that they don't like in the New: Judgment, Punishment, Suffering, Hell, Christ's Return to destroy the wicked, uproot every plant that His Heavenly father has not planted, slay His Enemies, all the Plagues sent in the Judgments poured out in the Book of Revelation, the Bottomless Pit, Lake of Fire, torment, etc. They likewise have to throw out or ignore the plethora of passages they can't understand which confirms the Old, concerning God's Law and God's Nature. Theirs is truly a "holey" Bible—but it is not God's Word at all... and Christ shall spew them out of His Mouth, saying, "I know ye not" and "ye have no part in Me". It would be more honest to be cold / frigid and reject God and His Authority entirely. They maintain a lukewarm "Christianity" for the appearance of self-respectability, but their homogenized, pasteurized milk-toast Christianity is sterile and has been stripped of all nutrients, to which is added artificial color and flavoring and sugar to make it more palatable to the carnal taste buds.
One claims that it takes years to understand Calvinism, and therefore, it is wrong. DUHHHH. It takes YEARS to understand the BIBLE. The Bible is not a concept like "soup of the day" in which it is different depending on the day and the restaurant that you go to. Not all translations are trustworthy and even those that are trustworthy can only be properly understood if you understand the Biblical text—that is, THE ENTIRE BIBLE; because truth builds on truth and God's Word does not contradict itself; and unless having a least a basic knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew languages and a sound foundation of understanding God's Nature, one cannot understand... that's why most don't. When they come to something that contradicts a previous verse (especially if the previous verse was in that naughty, obsolete, archaic, faulty "Old Testament") he simply chucks the previous verse. The whole must be understood and harmoniously. The Bible cannot be read in 1 sitting except by an excellent speed reader; but the Bible is not an Alexandre Dumas novel that can be breezed through, merely for entertainment purposes, with any type of actual comprehension. George Mueller read the Bible through 200 times in his lifetime; and probably in several different languages. Those who make these comments below, how many times have they completely read through the Bible? How many commentaries, Bible encyclopedias, dictionaries, and Lexicons do they have and daily consult? what knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, or Latin do they have? Have they formally studied logic? They are not even "Arm-chair Theologians"—they are "Sand-box Theologians"... engaged in make-believe thinking it is real. God would not have ordained priests and ministers and teachers and preachers is "you have no need for any one to teach you"; as one commenter took completely out of context. He better not read the verse that says "there is no God" because he might just make the wrong decision after he reads, "and Judas went out and hanged himself" if he then reads Christ's admonition: "Go thou and do likewise". Such people belong in mental institutions in padded rooms to protect them (and others) from themselves.
Yes, the overall foundational truth of the Bible and the Gospel is SIMPLE. This is the foundation in a nutshell: God is the Boss. (If they don't understand that, then they do not understand anything.) Understanding all the little details takes time, study, learning, and direction by the Holy Spirit; otherwise the learning may result in a Ph.D. but be completely in error.
There would be no reason for God to have issued directives of church authority if each could simply make up his own personal theology, as if the Bible was a "build your own creation" taco-salad bar. But Scripture says MARK those that cause divisions and who don't abide by sound doctrine and EXCOMMUNICATE them.
So many ignorant people use "bait and switch" and "straw men" defense themselves. They attempt to demonize those who object to the printing of this book as if the reason is because they think that Calvinists think that Calvin is "above reproach" or that they are "afraid"... which accusations have nothing to do with anything. God commanded false doctrine to be excommunicated, not celebrated and paraded on display to seduce immature minds that don't know how to think, and weak-souled people who would jump at the chance to believe a more "user-friendly" doctrine. Such persons need to study the Reformation--biographies, history, and doctrine--to know what is really at stake. They may counter, but if there is no open debate then if a church or denomination is subverted how will the truth ever be heard...? —which is all the more important to do what Scripture commands and DEFEND the faith and not allow the subversion.
Many of these comments speak from emotions and ignorance of what "makes sense" to them... but God is not remote-controlled by sinful man's impressions and ignorance; if He were he would be a billion different gods because no one would agree on anything but their personal self-made god. God is as He says He is and man is to believe and conform himself to that. If left to themselves, the majority would be like a 10-year old taking apart a wind-up clock or other device or engine and once he "puts it back together" realizes that he has a whole boxful of "left-over, unnecessary parts". Thus the majority would toss out verses, chapters left and right out of both Testaments until nothing is left but a few disjointed, out of context inspirational sayings glued together by abominable feel-good humanism.
The majority have never seen real sound doctrine or true theology, so what can they possibly use as the standard by which to compare whether their doctrine is genuine or counterfeit? they cannot... so they go by what "feels good" or "makes sense" to them, even though they have no sense. Faith does not come by "feelings".
Many of these people arguing and giving comments are women. God's Word says they are to learn in silence and that if they have a question, they are to ask their husband at home... not tell him how he ought to understand the Bible and that his doctrine is wrong... and certainly not to be rebuking ministers as if they have authority from God to do so. These words, of course, are not popular in a liberal society, but those who don't like these words will answer to God for their rebellion against Him. God also said women were not to hold office not only in the church, but also not in the state. Most of our problems are the result of renegade manly women and runaway irresponsible womanly men who let them change the family, the church, the state into abominations: both share in the carnage and the guilt.
Many spew their ignorance in their comments... speaking of things of which they are utterly ignorant... almost every single one of them having NEVER studied 1/10,000th of of that studied by those whom they think they can refute with the typing of of few letters of the keyboard. Not only do they not understand the answer--they don't even understand the question. They are like ants in an ant-farm on a science room table imagining that they can explain from beyond the walls of their plexiglass sandbox the universe that they have never seen, which they don't even know exists... when in reality, they are the ones being studied.
Those who reject Calvinism are like day-old infants who think they understand the world better than their parents. Don't they realize that God uses parallels of relationships for a reason, of infant to father, sheep to shepherd, olive trees to orchardist, grape vines to vinedresser and even new birth. None of these relationships is a partnership. It is one-sided. Fetuses don't choose to be conceived; infants don't choose to be born; sheep don't choose their shepherd, etc. Amazingly, many of the women who think that God has no right to choose the destiny of his children, think that they own their own body and have the right to choose whether the life inside of them is born or not. The majority deny God His Right because they are fool and fools rush ahead where angels fear to tread; they have no fear of God. They don't understand His Nature or what His Attributes mean, let alone the ultimate ramifications of them when thought out logically to their ultimate conclusion. Such women don't realize that the life inside of them is not their property and they don't have the right to decide because their body is not their own, it belongs to the husband because the purchase price was the dowry; and likewise he is not His own because he is owned by Christ. And so, they cannot comprehend anything because even as a liberated woman (whether she admits that she is or not--the proof of the pudding is in the eating, every tree is known by its fruit) she (and all effeminate men who espouse such doctrine) have liberated themselves from God thinking they are their own and that they choose their own destiny.
Just as inane are those who claim, "I am a 4-point Calvinist" or "I am a 3.5-point Calvinist". However, the reality is, if a person told me that he is "1/2 human"—that would be completely irrelevant to me because all that he is, is governed by the reality of what other half he is". If a person is half human the reality is that he is nonhuman. The whole is more than the mere sum of its parts. If mad scientists spliced human DNA with gorilla DNA the result would not be half human but all abomination! Can a person be 1/2-Christian? Can a woman be 1/2-pregnant?
Some mentioned different levels of calvinism, and mentioned Spurgeon. Despite his wisdom, Spurgeon had blind spots. I compiled a book of a dozen or so of his famous sermons or tracts on Election and Predestination, or such, with my annotations. Spurgeon tried to compare arminianism and calvinism as two rails on a railroad track where in front of you they are at great distance apart, but as they reach the horizon they appear as one. While that is an ingenious analogy, it is completely invalid and shows that the problem is eyesight and lack of understanding perspective, not a matter of the train rails becoming one. Spurgeon confessed that with one eye in the Scriptures he saw predestination and with the other he saw man's free will. In my notes I exclaimed: "You've got a bad eye, close the bad eye!" Those who see any validity in man's free will do not understand God or reality and any God they imagine is a humanistic god, better indeed than the gods of mythology which shared all the foibles and weaknesses of the people who invented them in their minds; but this humanistic God is not really too much better; and the truth is, such a humanistic God develops aches and pains the older man grows, and man continually must jettison various attributes of their God as they become feeble, and toss out numerous Scriptures as they fade into antiquity and become irrelevant in a modern world. A God who is not Immutable, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Sovereign, Good, True, Faithful, Just, etc., can only change and change and change until he has been reduced to being mortal, and then he too is cast aside, for there is nothing in him in which to be in awe, and no reason to bow before Him, worship Him, obey Him, honor Him... and such a god must get in the same soup line with all the other hobos and eventually just disappear.
Many of the same fools that denounce Calvin also denounce Moses. Those who denounce Calvin or the doctrine that he explained--he did not invent it, he coherently explained it—those who claim that he or the doctrine of Calvinism is "evil" come very close to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Until they submit their minds to God, they will understand nothing. If they do not submit their minds, it is because that is what God has ordained. And that is the very reason why they reject Calvinism, because they reject a powerful God who is Master of His Universe who has done all things after the Counsel of His Own Will and for His Own Good Pleasure--regardless of whether His damaged, imperfect, fallen, sinful, ignorant creatures "agree with" Him or "appreciate it"; even if it doesn't "feel good" to them. The majority of modern women don't accept the God-ordained role in the authority of their husband, or the authority of their father, so they can never understand or accept the authority of God. God forbade women to be in positions of authority in church or state; and also to always be under the cover / authority of their father, husband, brother or pastor. That's what God ordained. Start screwing around with the perfection that God established and everything goes haywire... same goes for church government, same goes for state government, same goes for DNA in a laboratory. Frankensteins are created in each sphere and result in the same destruction.
God did not hire any humans to re-write His Word and Law. He ordained certain men to teach it.
I don't know what world some of these people who made comments live in, but those who say that Calvinism is taking over the baptist seminaries (which first of all is a confused notion, because Baptist were originally Calvinistic/Reformed and then embraced humanistic heresies); and the claim that churches are "turning calvinist" at an alarming rate, especially in Canada. I don't know what time zone they live in, but it must be in a time machine and set in the year 1780, and if so, can I please borrow the time machine? If churches and seminaries were turning calvinist then the US and Canada would be becoming godly again. If they are turning Calvinist, it has to be pseudo-calvinism because it is sterile and has no effect. Those who denounce Calvin or Calvinism only show their ignorance of history as well as theology, because without Calvinism there would have been no American Reformation. While Luther and Calvin did not agree on every point, they BOTH agreed that there is no such thing as the free will of man (that is a will independent of God's Will that has determined all). Modern Lutheranism reverted to Catholicism, as did Anglicanism. The Pilgrims and Puritans and Separatists were Calvinist and they were separating from the Anglican church's catholic heresies. Scottish Reformer John Knox founded Presbyterianism and he was Calvinist. The majority of modern Lutherans, Presbyterians, Calvinists, and Baptists—and nearly all "Protestants" (who don't even know the doctrine or history of what was protested) have no right call themselves by those names. Baptists who have shed (or never knew) most every founding doctrine of what Baptist was founded as, other than the one-common trait of immersion water baptists re not Baptist. They are deluded. They need to invent a new name (instead of hijacking a denomination or riding on the coat tails of another denomination's name) and go by an honest name, such as "Free-will, carnal, anti-nomian humanistic immersionist". This is not to say that there are not Baptists, Calvinists, Presbyterians, etc. who are sound in their doctrine; but they are in a very small minority.
one person who commented called Calvinism "new age doctrine in a different package".
that's really amusing. 400-year old "new age".
That's like saying Martin Luther plagiarized Joel Osteen!
It's sad this group is attacking Calvinism, because they seem to do some good... they published a book teaching Transgenderism is not God's will and is harmful to society and children; but then realized it may be banned in Canada, so they called Canadian customs to inquire.
Canadian customs says the way to tell if the booklet on transgenderism is "hate" literature, is to substitute the word "transgender" with the word "black person" in any sentence in the book and if that does not sound kosher (my paraphrase) then it is hate.
[and by the way, if Canada's churches were all "falling into Calvinism" there would be revival sweeping the nation, not totalitarian censorship.]
The carnal mind rejects God's Lordship and Sovereignty, but deludedly likes to imagine that it does not. It issues God ultimatums telling God in which areas it will "allow" God to be Boss.
Those who would dare call Calvinism heresy, ought to just quietly leave the Protestant Church and become Catholics. The Arminianist churches were the first to accept every abomination that God forbade.
The problem of such people is:
1. they think they determine what reality is, and God must conform to their concept of it.
2. they take verses out of context and use them as if the rest of the Bible does not exist.
Even as in one person's comment below, which is a classic example. He quoted this verse like dropping a one-liner, as if it is the silver-bullet one-size fits-all cure-all to rebuff any doctrinal issue: "You have no need that any man teach you"... and he interprets that as if whatever each individual thinks the truth is, therefore must be; rather than realizing that it was a specific statement in a specific area: Since I have already taught you these things, you have no need of any man to teach them to you because you already know and practice them. But the way that one guy interpreted it, it means there is no need for pastors or theologians or Bible teachers everything in the Word of God is so simple any child can figure it out.
A plethora of many other verses could be dropped like one-liners, taken out of context, to sound as if doctrine is a "personal thing" and can be assembled any way that each person chooses "feels good" for himself:
"Let each man be persuaded in his own mind".
"Let no man judge you".
"work out your own salvation"
"love is all you need"
"God is Love"
"God is Merciful"
[—by which they twist the Word of God to suit their own needs and caricaturize God into a cartoon with exaggerated features, others being lost in the embellishment.]
... and many other paraphrases and abbreviations of phrases or verses taken out of context, in distortion, in disharmony with the rest of Scripture.
When some individuals speak their minds, it is similar to the sewer backing up.
February 27, 2018
We have something important to tell our readers that is going to affect how some may view us. But we thought you should know what is taking place.
In our last e-newsletter, we posted something about three upcoming book releases, one of which is a book titled Calvinism: None Dare Call It Heresy. A few days ago, we received an e-mail from a reader who shared concerns about our publishing the book. With permission from the reader, we posted the letter along with our response on our blog. We then posted this on our Facebook account, which ignited a firestorm. We began receiving messages from readers who said they were dropping us, sometimes after being Lighthouse Trails readers for years. (While there were numerous very negative responses, about 80% of those who commented were favorable to our publishing this book.)
At this point, it seems only right to let you, our e-newsletter readers, know what is taking place. We realize that some of our e-newsletter readers may also end up dropping us. While that truly saddens us, we do believe God has led us to this place as the response below will state.
Here now is the e-mail from our reader and our response. We are also posting some of the comments made on Facebook that we think will help to show you the situation.
"Letter to the Editor: Concerned About Lighthouse Trails Upcoming Book Challenging Calvinism"
Calvinism: None Dare Call It HeresyDear Lighthouse Trails:
In your last e-mail newsletter, you showed us the covers of three upcoming books. And I’m concerned about one of them. It’s Calvinism: None Dare Call It Heresy, which exposes some serious problems with Calvinism.
I am not a Calvinist. Not at all. I’ve seen some very serious problems with that over the years. My concern is for different reasons.
Can you name me even one denomination that is “safe” any more?
The Methodists used to be solid. But these days, there are literally witches in some Methodist pulpits—women pastors who went through witchcraft initiation rituals, and their woman bishop was there with them. And when asked if she was at that ritual, the bishop couldn’t remember because she’s been at so many of them.
I have a friend whose sister is a lesbian witch and a Lutheran pastor.
Washington National Cathedral (a large, prestigious Episcopal church) has been in bed with the Muslims for years now, and lets them meet in their church.
Calvary Chapel used to be sound, but now many Calvary Chapel churches are into the emergent nonsense.
The Mennonites are a little odd, but I love them because of their simple devotion to God. But now there are emergent Mennonites.
Most of the charismatic churches seem to have bought into the Latter Rain Movement or the Prosperity Gospel teachings or other crazy things.
The Baptists used to be solid. But of the two large Baptist churches in my area, one has classes in Catholic mysticism. The other has classes in “Christian” yoga and promotes The Shack and the “Red Letter Christians” (ignore anything in the Bible that isn’t in red letters).
We have churches of various denominations ordaining homosexual pastors and recognizing homosexual “marriage.” And now I heard of one church “celebrating” because their pastor made the transition from one gender to the other one.
There is a large, “successful” Baptist church here in __________ that denies the Atonement (that Jesus died for our sins).
There are so many pastors who have become atheists that they have a support group online. Their slogan is “Moving beyond faith.” Many (if not most) of them are still pastoring their churches in spite of being atheists.
It’s getting seriously crazy out there. And in the face of that, it might be better to avoid going after specific denominations like the Presbyterians.
At this point, I’m attending a Presbyterian church. I am not a Calvinist, and my pastor knows it. But this is a conservative church that believes the Bible and has the guts to preach about sin and things like that. And they do not push Calvinism from the pulpit. It’s in some of the Sunday school classes, but that’s all. I don’t identify myself in terms of denominations. I call myself a Bible-believing Christian.
If you publish that book about the Presbyterians, then that will turn away a lot of your readers who are Presbyterians. And that could be a large proportion of your readers because Presbyterians tend to be well-educated people who care about doctrine..
If you are sure that God wants you to publish that book, then you should do it. But please do some extra praying in order to really be sure about it.
Comments From Lighthouse Trails:
Thank you for your e-mail expressing your concerns. The fact is, we have prayed about this for many years, not about this particular book (Calvinism: None Dare Call It Heresy) but about the issue of Calvinism. And after several years of study and prayer, we truly have come to believe that God wants us to address this issue. We know there is going to be a price for it. Already one woman who has donated money to Lighthouse Trails for a number of years (which has been a real help to us) called after reading that we are going to be releasing this book on Calvinism and said she would not be able to send any more support if we publish the book. So please know, we don’t do this lightly, and we know we may pay a high price for it. But we have come to believe that the Calvinism gospel is not the Gospel at all because the view of election (which is the foundation of Calvinism) changes God into a “God” whose view of salvation takes on a cruel and non-benevolent nature.
This foundational view that God does not love the whole world or all people (and created most of them wanting to send them to hell) does not describe the God of the Bible. While Calvinists use a number of Scriptures to “prove” Calvinism, there are countless Scriptures that disprove the Calvinist view of election; and if a particular doctrine is refuted by Scripture itself, then there is something wrong with that doctrine. A few of those verses that disprove the Calvinist view of election are: John 3:16-17, 1 John 2:2, 2 Peter 3:9, Revelation 22:17, Romans 8:32, 1 Timothy 2:4, and 1 John 4:14. There are countless more.
People are often drawn to Calvinism because they think it offers an assurance of salvation, but once they fully understand its doctrines, they realize they are always left questioning if they are of the elect. While Calvinism seemingly promises an assurance of salvation, in living it out, it actually does the opposite because the Calvinist never knows for sure if he is one of the elect.
The Calvinist view has grown rapidly, partly because so many seminaries and Christian colleges have become Calvinist and are pumping out pastors, teachers, and authors into the church at a fast rate. We see that some Calvary Chapel churches have become Calvinist, and we have been told that over half of the Southern Baptist seminaries are now Calvinist. Frequently, we hear reports of churches, ministries, schools, or organizations that have turned toward Calvinism. Perhaps this is why God has led Lighthouse Trails down this precarious path to warn against it.
We do not want to hurt anyone. Our primary motivation in doing this is because we have seen so much damage that is happening to those in the Calvinist camp, in particular to the young people. We believe it is causing many young people to turn completely away from the Christian faith because they cannot fathom serving a monster God whose desire is to send most people to eternal damnation (even though they have, according to Calvinism, no free will to reject or choose God). We are also witnessing large numbers of Calvinist/Reformed leaders turning to the contemplative view, and we believe this is happening because Calvinism is not really about a relationship with the Lord – rather it is about having to make sure you are of the “elect.” And since there is no way with Calvinism to know for sure (even R.C. Sproul confessed this as you will read about in Calvinism: None Dare Call It Heresy), the Calvinist becomes very disillusioned and thus, when contemplative spirituality is introduced to him, he grabs hold of it because it soothes this inner despair and even terror. But what he does not realize is that this newfound contemplative experience is a dangerous substitute for the real life of Christ and will take him into deeper deception than ever before. If we did not issue this warning and remained silent because it is the easier thing to do, it would be like watching people drowning in a sea while we are in a lifeboat and could help them but didn’t.
So while we agree that most denominations are in trouble, we see Calvinism as far more than just a denomination (and the Presbyterians aren’t only one group that adheres to Calvinism) – it is a religion of its own. If indeed, our addressing Calvinism (when most do not dare to address it because they know they will come under severe attack) brings Lighthouse Trails down, we are comforted in knowing that we always stood for the Gospel and were willing to speak “bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1) even though we would be greatly harmed by doing so. We hope after you read this book, you will understand a little better why we are doing this.
What Love is This? By Dave Hunt
And also this excellent sermon by the late Adrian Rogers on Romans 9: (If you cannot view this video, click here.)
FACEBOOK COMMENTS:To see the entire thread on Facebook, click here (scroll down to the Feb. 25th post.) You will not be able to see it if you don't have a Facebook account. We are accepting comments on our blog though if you have something to say about this situation. Comments are in order of when they were posted.
Marilyn: Thanks for taking a bold stand. I am from a Calvary Chapel that is not going down the path of other CC and is not going into Calvinism or contemplative nonsense. Praise be to GOD. There are still a few solid Bible Teaching Churches. Pray about it and seek them out. GOD is faithful to lead you.
It needs to be addressed just as much as anything else.
Michelle: Lighthouse Trails- If you think Calvinism is heresy, then you have no credibility as a discernment ministry. It's clear from your response to this reader that you don't even have a proper understanding of what Calvinists believe, which brings your entire body of discernment work into question. How can we trust that you've done your due diligence on anything else you've written? That's why you'll be losing readers and support like you just lost mine.
Elliot: Michelle, I heard that charge from Calvinist every time the doctrines are examined against scripture. It so esoteric that I even heard James White told Dave Hunt it take years of study to understand Calvinism. The gospel is so understandable a child can know it and so can the humble.
People have the ability and are responsible to believe the written word of God.
John 20: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Calvinism is false teaching and is the new age doctrine in a different package.
Susan: Wow, I thought Lighthouse Trails was one of the few safe places left ... I see that is no longer true.
Eileen: Bravo Lighthouse Trails Research!!!! For telling the truth!!! I used to watch RC but heard him say some alarming things so I quit watching him as I don't need to fill my head with half truths and lies! Then came John MacArthur... A very dangerous, deadly man! Run! Yes, discerning truth in this world of heresy is difficult, but We have the sure word of GOD to test things by! Again Bravo Lighthouse Trails Research for setting things straight!
Mike: So sad to see this . . . I had great respect for LT until seeing this. For a ministry devoted to research so that we can be better informed, your obvious lack of research here is glaring. Back as far as Exodus God told Moses that He would have mercy on who He wanted to. (33:19). You obviously believe differently and that 'man will have mercy on God if he (man) wishes to'.
Herb: Of course God has mercy on whom He will and He has willed that His Son is the " way, the truth and the life" and has " manifested" grace, and love and mercy in His Son so that no one need perish! " Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked, ' declares the Lord God, ' rather than that he should turn from his ways and live."(Ez. 18:23)
Scott: Dave Hunt's What Love is This is extremely good.
Kiki: A bold step for sure. As we can see from above posts followers of Calvinism are extremely loyal and feel threatened when questioned or challenged. They follow the the Bible through the teachings of men whom they elevate.
We should shudder to use a man’s name to follow and then use a man’s name to identify ourselves... all the false beliefs systems do. Jesus says in Scripture. “Hallowed be Thy name” not a man’s name but they proudly identify with a man’s name and the teachings of men. Teachings and opinions they add to scripture as necessary implying the Holy Spirit is not enough.
When I was first saved a friend, also a new Christian, started to embrace Calvinism and encouraged me to do the same. I wasn’t interested because I came out of a false system where I identified and followed a man’s teachings so I could see right away there was a problem. She however has covered herself in that teaching and all scripture is filter through what she has learned from outside sources. The Bible is now not enough.
Trish: I came out of a false system also and so I set out to study the Scriptures for myself. When a teacher of a class on Covenant Theology began to push Calvinism, I had never heard the term, but I knew that the teachings were contradicting the bible. While they do as other false religions do, extract some scriptures to say look here it is in the bible, they are wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction. You have to compare scripture with scripture in order to fully understand the whole counsel of God.
Karen: Oh, my goodness. You guys are so wrong about Calvinism. Lordship Salvation is simply following Jesus as Lord.
Candace: Many years ago my husband and I were on a pastoral search committee for our church. One of our prospective candidates considered himself a “Calvinist”.
We were not familiar with Calvinism and what it believes, so did some research, and it did not align with our church doctrinal statement and what we believed. The different levels or “Points “ of a Calvinist, predestination... it was out there.
So, from the outside it sounds doctrinal sound, but once you go beyond the front door. It’s heresy. Preach it Lighthouse Trails!!!
Wilma: I knew nothing of Calvinism or TULIP until recently when a Reformed Presbyterian tried to convert me. He shared the Scripture verses they use to base their theology on. I found that the verses were taken out of context and the meaning of some words were changed to try to make them support their belief system. I was horrified to learn of the cruelty of John Calvin in Geneva of which it seems, he never repented of. He copied much of Augustine's writings in his Institutes Of Religion, which he claimed were infallible and should not be questioned. I was appalled to learn that Calvin believed God created some people for Heaven and others for Hell. Much of his teaching was from Catholicism. Due to the current rapid growth of Calvinism and the New Calvinism there is a great need for more information explaining the errors and warning of the pitfalls. I thank the Lord for you LT. Keep up the good work!
Deborah: It takes much courage to tackle this subject. Thank you for doing it. I didn't really understand what tulip taught and as I learn the tulip of Calvinism is not biblical. I thank God I was not deceived by it. I will be praying for you because the attacks will be coming because it will expose the heresy and errors of this teaching.
Megan: I had often wrestled with this doctrine and every time I sat down to my BIBLE and asked God to reveal the truth- He revealed it as heresy every single time. “No man need teach you.” 1 John
Amy: What I am seeing here is that no one can question this book [by LT] or its premise, or else they are "extremely defensive/idolatrous." How handy is that? You get to be right, and no one had better disagree.
Karen: Amy, some people more than disagreed, they basically stated that if LT published the book they would no longer support this ministry. I support your heresy hunting even though I am not a Calvinist and I know you are. So perhaps you might reexamine Calvinism, as you have held so many other false doctrines up to the light. Calvinism, my friend, is a false doctrine. I say this in love.
Mary: So Calvin is above inspection? The most influential preacher of all time if you look at the sheer numbers, over time? People likely haven’t even read the booklet and are incensed by it. Classic. Calvinists have done the lion’s share of the arguing for far too long. So much for being teachable. I guess LT hit the mother of all nerves! People who have exposed Calvin as a murderous dictator have paid a price and LT will too. I have nothing but respect for them. Calvin was evil and his loony take on free will was the very thing that put people under his thumb, and his teaching that if they aren’t chosen they’re stuck with eternity in hell presents a cruel God not found in the bible. It’s a false system! Run!
Raleigh: It has also infiltrated most denominations and churches across Canada!
Nina: It should be called “Augustinianism” as Calvin pretty much rewrote his teachings and Augustine remained catholic as many Calvinist today stand with Catholicism.
Karen: What a sorry testimony to the lack of knowledge of the doctrines of grace and the sovereignty of God (Calvinism). You guys are deceived. The author calls Calvinism “heresy”. What a crock! This shows how uneducated biblically he is and anyone is who falls for this nonsense. This is what happens if someone doesn’t get into the Word and REALLY exegete scripture. It seems as if everything is called “heresy” these days.
Nina: Karen it is so sad how the theme that runs in Calvinism is arrogance and gracelessness. I’m a better Christian than you. You’re not enlightened. I was in a very strict 5 point Calvinist Reformed Church for over 10 yrs. and my heart was COLD and my head was extremely full of knowledge and extremely judgmental of all non-Calvinist! By his mercy and grace I got out.
Mary: I really don’t like to separate when there are many things we can agree on, but I’m finding it harder and harder to find common ground with someone whose soteriology is based on Calvinistic doctrine. The meaning and purpose of the whole gospel is affected!
Anna: Your response to the letter shows a lack of understanding of Calvinism. I plead with you, don't release this book if you are arguing against a "straw man". Seek to understand, that will serve us all better and help your readers whether they believe in Calvinism or not.
Bonnie: John Calvin's determinism/predestination is based on the teachings of Augustine, who developed a monist view of it from his past involvement Manichaean Gnosticism. He went from a cosmic impersonal view of determinism to one he projected onto God. He then read his view into the Bible.”
Sue: I was deep into Calvinism and a John MacArthur junkie. I came out of it when I realized that, under Calvinism, the gospel of Jesus Christ was no longer good news to all. If you are not one of the elect, the gospel is the worst news you will ever hear forever into eternity, hands down! And if the gospel is not good news to a dying, sinful world as the Bible tells us, then it must be something else. And something else can only mean it is a different gospel. And a different gospel is a false gospel. I studied John Calvin and his life in Geneva. Words don't describe his evil deeds there. If Calvin truly believed in election as he defines it, then why did he force converts? If they weren't elect, why would he punish and murder them for not following something that according to his very own doctrine, they were completely incapable of following? He should have felt pity for those that were not "chosen of God." But he didn't, he killed them. Don't be too quick to condemn Lighthouse Trails. They have always been dependable. This should give you Calvinists pause. Ask God for truth. He will deliver. Leaving Calvinism has transformed my spiritual life. I took off those John Calvin reading glasses that filtered the Bible through his doctrine. Praise the Lord!
Nina: To further the horrid thought of not being one of the elect is that in the end they say it’s your fault no God’s. Though it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to choose to be one of the elect unless God chooses you it will be your fault for being there. God can choose everyone but chooses not to. So he PURPOSELY created some for nothing else than to send them to hell for eternity! That is not a just God. That is not God’s character. If that doctrine is true God is worse than Satan because Satan has no power to send anyone to hell. It’s disgusting and horrifying.
Dean: Lighthouse Trails has been very helpful in getting information out there on Mysticism, The Emergent Church, etc. I have purchased many of their materials and subscribe to their printed Magazine but I will no longer be supporting their ministry.
Jonathan: It is wholly a different system of interpreting the Bible. It has its own presuppositions and can be called a different worldview altogether. While there are different "shades" of Calvinism (Edwards, Spurgeon, etc.) any one who studies into the matter simply confing themselves to scripture will find problems with it.
Chris: Keep preaching the truth Lighthouse. Eyes are beginning to open, heart are being changed and souls are being won. Thank you for not backing down from the truth of the Word. Sadly Man's doctrines have become more important than God's Word in the majority of the modern day church. Keep up the good work.
John 8:32=== And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Kendra: Thank you, LT! I will be praying God is glorified in this. He gives grace for the moment....He will be there for you.
Alexandro: Calvinism and manichaeism have everything to do with. It is very gnostic.
Jessica: I have yet to see a Calvinist, or an apologist for Calvinists, NOT say, "You don't have an understanding what Calvinism is!" or some variation thereof. But they never go on to explain what Calvinism is. What I've noticed is many Calvinists don't know what Calvinism teaches or they're simply one of MANY branches of Calvinism
Tom: Regarding Calvinism: I have come to the belief that BOTH Calvinists and Arminianists share the same problem. They either don't understand, or don't accept, or just simply won't submit to Isaiah 55:9.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Both extremes seem to be trying to understand a concept about God with their human minds. That doesn't work. We can't fully understand the mind of God. Mercifully so!
Both "camps" can't reconcile the FACT that God has perfect knowledge, that is timeless.
God knew, for all eternity, that most of mankind (and even many of the angels), would reject Him. Yet, He went on with creation, even with that knowledge. And He still provided a way for our salvation.
There is more than just those two (man made) concepts. There is a THIRD option....taking the Bible as the whole counsel of God. And, then, we have to accept that we can't totally understand why God did what He did. Simply. With a childlike faith.
Lighthouse Trails: Just for the record, Lighthouse Trails is not in the "Armenianist" camp either. We have noticed that Calvinists typically say that if you are not Calivinist then you are Armenian (insinuating that you believe that your salvation is partly dependent on your good works and that there is no eternal security for the believer.) Lighthouse Trails believes in eternal security for the born again believer. In our upcoming book by Harry Ironside - Holiness, The False and True - this issue will be addressed. Ironside was involved with the holiness movement (which would be like the opposite of Calvinism) the first 6 years of his Christian walk. We believe both his testimony of how he came out of that and his scriptural refutation is very helpful.
Mary: This is an important point. Calvinists tend to call everyone else Arminians. This is not true at all. The bible teaches “before the foundation of the world...”; it also teaches “whosoever will”. When asked how to reconcile these two teachings, Chuck Smith would say with that trademark smile, “you don’t need to reconcile old friends. Both are true.” I also think that replacement theology and Calvinism represent the same mindset—high minded people telling everyone else who God loves, saves, and/or chooses based on their own rules or interpretations outside of Scripture. Both are man’s teachings.
Leslie: I am heartbroken that you have done such an incredibly valuable work and now choose to break and divide the body of Christ over an issue that no mere man can understand. There is clearly election and man’s free will in scriptures. They work together in a way we can never understand and I love all my brothers and sisters in Christ, even if they see this issue differently than I do. And to think people such as yourself call someone a heretic because they believe in Calvinism. The Lighthouse Trails Ministry, which has been used so mightily to protect the church, is now being used by Satan to destroy and tear it apart. I lost sleep over this last night. What you are doing is just so wrong. I cannot believe that a ministry I have trusted would do such a thing.
Kiki: If Calvinism is true, why not welcome honest critiques, questioning and examination of your beliefs and doctrine to Scripture? If you are sound then you will be proven so. On the other hand, all cults and false religions are threatened by examination and exposure of their beliefs. I know as I was in one for forty years.
Leslie: So, to be clear, because I believe in election you believe that I am headed for hell?
Lighthouse Trails: Leslie, if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead and have put your faith in Him for your salvation, you are not going to hell even if you do believe in Calvinism. But that doesn't mean that the Calvinist belief system is not dangerous or does not keep many from hearing the true Gospel. Someone can be saved in spite of false teachings, not because of them.
We wouldn't be doing this Leslie if we didn't believe it has something to do with the Gospel and people's eternal destination. Calvinism is pulling people away from the truth as set forth by the disciples in the New Testament. Some of these verses below make two things clear: one, that we are to be steadfast toward the doctrine set before us in Scripture (the term heresy means to turn away from that doctrine set before us), and two, that man has a choice (free will) as to whether he will follow or reject:
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (Romans 6:17)
. . . that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:14)
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. (2 Timothy 4:3)
. . . holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:9)
In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity. (Titus 2:7)
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9)
These verses demonstrate both the importance of not deviating from sound doctrine and the involvement of the will in making choices.
COMMENTS FROM THE BLOG
Nanette: Amen! I am so glad you are doing this. Where I live when trying to find a church to go to I have found that most of them are Calvinist that are not Assembly’s of God. The names of the churches do not give you a hint. It is not until you listen to them that you will find it out and it does not take long because ‘election’ is in everything they teach. The Baptist Churches here are Calvinist. The Presbyterian churches here do not call themselves that they call themselves a community church, or a new life church. Beth Moore is used in the women’s studies, and they have fellowship with the Seventh Day Adventists. They are the ‘new Calvinists’ that Dave Hunt warned us about. I did try to stick it out in 2 of the churches but I just could not. Election is in everything. Blessings! Thank you and keep it up, you are doing a good work for the Glory of God and His holiness. God is Love John 3:16
Anna: Great! I researched this issue too, I felt prompted to and was so glad I did. I ended up writing a whole doctrinal paper on why Calvinism (TULIP) is wrong. I too see so many areas being swallowed up with this doctrine. I am glad too that you are making a stand anyway. How much sense would it make to stop carrying your cross now, right? That would be as bad as what the emergent church does, they shut up so their plates will still be filled, not warning while those in their care go down the broad road to destruction. Each item of tulip is wrong. T=total depravity of man, not just sin nature, meaning he can’t respond to the gospel on his own, but that’s not what the Bible teaches. U=unconditional election, and thus un-election also that has already been written in stone, meaning you were hell bound before birth, not what the Bible teaches. L=limited atonement, but the Bible teaches that Jesus died for the whole world, all, everyone. We must receive it for it to apply to us, leading to the next item. I= irresistible grace, like election, which denies your role of a free will in choosing, like robots, it’s already been programmed for heaven or hell, again, not what the Bible teaches. We see people resisting all the time, and it’s not God causing this, He is the one calling them to repentance. God choosing or predestining anyone is just based on foreknowledge of who would respond. But the door is open to all. Each decides if he will enter or not. P= perserverance
Ken: If my experience is anything to go by, trying to embrace Calvinism can turn you into the ‘frozen chosen’, you end up losing any concept of the love of God or that God is kind. It was the kindness of God that set me free from calvinism! I had ‘forgotten’ this is one of his main attributes. I see some truth in calvinist doctrine, but it should never be equated with the gospel, it is rather a system of interpretation. It is more important to be faithful to the text of the NT itself rather than make it fit a theological grid. Any book that brings liberation to anyone with a similar experience to mine is to be welcomed.
CW: I appreciate the letter writer’s concerns and I also appreciate your reply, Lighthouse people. It is a sad state of affairs when we have to choose a church as people vote for presidents — choosing the “lesser of two evils.” This can make sense when choosing a president, but a church??? That’s a completely different thing. My real, central problem with Calvinism is simply this — How does a Calvinist believer KNOW if he or she is one of the chosen, or one who was damned from the beginning? THAT is a weighty question, and I have yet to meet a Calvinist who can answer it from the Bible. Calvinist friends quote scriptures out of context and often answer questions by saying, “I don’t know. My pastor can answer that.” Sad to say, MANY local Baptist churches are either leaning toward Calvinism or are already there. It seems the others have gone liberal/emergent. Some Mennonite churches, at one time so conservative, are now fully celebrating homosexuality and other perversions, too. It seems the church world has gone mad. I’ve heard other Christians speak of reading Biblical prophecy through the years and not being able to envision all the dreadful things written there, but now it has suddenly become easier, and so very painful, to see it all coming to pass. I continually pray for the light of God’s Word to open the eyes, ears, and hearts of unbelievers — and for God’s mercy to draw floundering, drifting believers back to Himself, as that is the only hope.
Kendra: I had to grin a little inside at her description of my own denomination – Mennonites. We might be considered odd and simple-living people . . . but sometimes I want to hang my head. She is right. Even in our denomination, we are seeing the emergent church movement coming in and sometimes it astonishes us. And greatly saddens us. Yet it seems there are many who do not take the warnings seriously that my husband and I give – yet before God we feel compelled to still send the warning. For we will answer to Him one day, and not to man. Thank you for being willing to not only research and publish this book on Calvinism . . . but for being willing to speak out, even if it ends up bringing LT down. Which I hope and pray does not happen. Also, I have truly appreciated the unified front that LT presents as a husband and wife team, plus your writers. Thank you for what you do! I will be praying God is glorified in this.
Thank you for your continued interest in Lighthouse Trails.
From the Editors
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