It is indeed hard to break free from calvinism!
I have recently read an article from mycrazyfaith.blogspot.com titled Why Is It So Hard For Calvinists To Get Free From Calvinism? It seems that those who have experienced calvinism first hand are the ones who become so polarised either for or against it. Those who are full-on calvinists just can’t be told that there might be another way of seeing it all from a biblical point of view. They just can’t be wrong, ever! And, those who have seen the truth about the heresies in calvinism are like those who are seeing God’s world through completely different eyes than before.
It’s people like this writer who probably have the best understanding of the conflicts involved in the calvinism versus anti-calvinism debate. Most people in most churches just don’t know what it’s all about, and don’t really care anyway, preferring to keep the peace rather than open their mouths and ask the awkward questions that can divide churches. Most people in most churches do not read their Bibles sufficiently well enough to discern the full extent of the calvinist lies. They’d rather live with compromise than be labelled as troublemakers! The calvinists say the right words, such as preaching what sounds like the biblical gospel, but do not mean the same thing as biblical Christians think they mean. For example, calvinists talk about being born again (regenerated) and salvation, yet fail to reveal their lie that one must be born again before one may believe and be saved. They are rarely up front and open about their beliefs until the non-calvinist “fish” has taken the bait with the hook.
This writer is passionate about her views on calvinism. It is clear that she has experienced first-hand the conflict between calvinism and the Bible. It is such people who have been through such conflict who have the most effective testimony concerning the heresies of calvinism. Many who experience such conflict may just leave the church and just disappear into the greater society outside. In their minds, calvinism has destroyed their ability to believe; it has controlled their lives so much that they are often unable to live normal lives away from its cult-like control. For others the seemingly abrupt (and often devious) introduction of calvinism into a previously biblical church is extremely confronting.
But this post (Why Is It So Hard For Calvinists To Get Free From Calvinism?) is evidence that there is life away from calvinism. The writer has experienced the apparent destructive (and divisive) ability of calvinism and is now seeking to share this understanding with others The discernment that is available to all God’s children through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit brings the light of the truth that will set people free, rather than the bondage of calvinist darkness. It is such people who have most powerful messages of hope for those who struggle with calvinism’s bondage. It is such documents that reach out to others who are seeking for answers to the conflicts growing in their thinking concerning calvinism.
It is one thing to break free of the bondage of calvinism; it’s another thing to live for God afterward. Calvinism can tend to destroy one’s faith in God. After all, if God is like the calvinist God, then despair can set in. As another document online says: That God loves everyone (and not just a select group of people) has always been the most important theological constant in my life…and I feel like Calvinism, were it true, would take that away from me. Replacing “for God so loved the world” with “for God so hated the world” (which I believe Calvinism requires) is so disorienting to me, so dark and frightening and hopeless, that I fear it would lead me to despair. (https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/calvinismmakesmecry)
Yet another document presents the illogical problem of people being able to love more than the calvinist God, yet the God of the Bible loves all mankind with a love greater than any person can have. (John 3:16) and loved us before we wanted to love Him (1 John 4:19).
Calvinism immediately presented me with one logical problem. Because I am a mother, I know what it is to love my own child. And I love all my children with a strong, committed love. I would do anything I could to help them at any time (of course, my idea of “help” and their idea of “help” may sometimes be radically different — a lot like God and us!). If God had not chosen one of my children to be saved, then I was faced with the impossibility that I loved that particular child more than God loved that child! How could I love anyone or anything more than God loved that person or thing? Impossible! “God is love…” How could I out-God God? (http://www.setterfield.org/calvinism.htm)
So when I read Why Is It So Hard For Calvinists To Get Free From Calvinism? I saw that here was an eye-witness report from someone who had seen first hand the destructive control of calvinism. It takes such experience to speak so forcefully of the consequences of such dictatorial control. It’s one thing to present information about a topic; it’s another thing completely to write from experience! Please be challenged by this document as I was when I read it. This writer has a ministry, a calling from God to reach out to others who need to hear the true gospel of God through Christ on the cross (something they may not hear in a strict calvinist church!). So many calvinists are relying upon their eternal assurance through being one of the elect, and when they die and find out in the judgment that their works were just not good enough, then it will be too late to change anything. And for those calvinists who are genuine yet deceived Christians, please read your Bibles, pray to God to guide you through His truth, and please pay attention to the evidence presented by godly people in documents such as Why Is It So Hard For Calvinists To Get Free From Calvinism? Do not take the word of those calvinists who claim to know better than you. If there seems to be conflict between what the Bible says and calvinist doctrines, then the Bible is always going to be right. “Thy word is truth!” (John 17:17) Any conflict means a lie somewhere, and man tells lies, never God! (Numbers 23:19)
I recommend that you go to the mycrazyfaith.blogspot.com website and check out some of the other posts and blogs. If it weren’t such a serious matter, I’d even recommend you have a laugh at some of the Anti-Calvinist Memes. (These are No.8 so there will be more to look at elsewhere on the website.) And, as I say about my own posts, I always recommend that you check out and test everything you hear from myself and others against the truth of the Bible. What you believe must never be dictated by another person. You must always believe for yourself.
So now here are some excerpts from “Why Is It So Hard For Calvinists To Get Free From Calvinism?” The document is quite long so I would strongly recommend that you read it in its entirety by following the above link. If you seriously believe that calvinism is the truth, then please read it through and meditate on it carefully. If your calvinist doctrines are right, then the writer is wrong, but if the writer of this document is right, then you are ………. dare I say it, wrong! And if you have questions about calvinism, ask them, seek answers, be discerning concerning what you believe. Don’t leave it until another day. It is, after all, a matter of life and death!
1. We would have to admit that we were misunderstanding Scripture this whole time, and no one wants to admit they could be wrong.
2. Calvinism appeals to the prideful intellectuals. (And prideful intellectuals have the greatest aversion to admitting they could be wrong.) It makes these intellectuals feel like they alone understand the “deeper, hidden meanings of Scripture,” while the simple-minded Christians can’t understand it. And it makes them feel more “humble” for accepting these “difficult teachings,” like their idea that people have no control whatsoever. It’s like “Look how humble I am to accept such unpleasant teachings and to submit myself so fully to our all-powerful, totally-controlling God.” (How do you get a prideful intellectual who believes he’s being truly, appropriately humble to see that he’s wrong? It’s near impossible. It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle!)
3. Calvinism also appeals to those who genuinely do want to humble themselves before God, and they are led to believe that Calvinism is the way to do it.
My heart goes out to these people, the ones that are just trying to live a humble life before God, to honor Him. They are just doing their best to live the “truth,” as they have been told it is by Calvinists. But, sadly, they don’t realize they are being told a twisted version of Scripture … because the Calvinists have so much smart-sounding babble and mumble-jumble to “validate” their view of Scripture that it starts to sound believable. ……………..
4. Because we don’t ask God to help us understand Scripture, we don’t give Him permission to correct us and to guide our thinking, we just plow through on our own (or we resist asking Him to correct us because we don’t want Him to).
5. Because Calvinism is so common, and so many “great” theologians teach it that we don’t stop to even consider that it can be wrong. And besides, Calvinist preachers, authors, and theologians are so forceful, educated, confident, and sure of themselves that they must be right, right!?! I mean, they couldn’t possibly be wrong, could they!?!
(You know who else was educated and confident? The Teachers of the Law, the Pharisees, the religious leaders in Jesus’s day, the ones who were so blinded by their own knowledge that they missed the Truth, even when He was standing right in front of them.)
6. Because we always put on our “Calvinist glasses” before we read the Bible, we have trained ourselves to fit Scripture into Calvinism, so we never see a problem with it. (And if we do see a problem with it, we simply remind ourselves of what Calvinism says, “We won’t be able to understand it anyway. So be a good, humble Christian, and just accept it. If you question it, you are questioning God’s Word itself because this IS what the Bible teaches.”) …………………….
7. Because Calvinist theologians have made us believe we can’t really understand the Bible without their interpretations (Oh, how many false religions do the same thing!). Calvinists are always saying, “Oh, yeah, well, John MacArthur says …” or “Wayne Grudem says …” or “RC Sproul says …”.
But you know what I want to know: “What does the Bible say?” ………………
8. Because it’s a difficult, confusing topic, so instead of investing the time and energy to really study it for ourselves, we would rather let the “great Calvinist theologians” tell us what to think. Because we trust them. We trust them so much we don’t even think to question them. (Look up how many of today’s popular theologians are Calvinists. You might be surprised by how many there are. It’s truly an epidemic. No wonder so many people believe in Calvinism. It’s everywhere. And no one thinks to question it because we trust these popular theologians to lead us right.)
9. Because we want to honor God by submitting to His sovereignty, and Calvinists are all about God’s sovereignty. BUT … Calvinists misunderstand “sovereignty” and “ordains” and “predestination,” etc. Also, they start with the assumption that “elect” has to mean that God specifically chose particular individuals to go to heaven, that the “elect” believe because they were pre-selected by God, instead of the possibility that He chose to give mankind the option of having eternal life in heaven and that we become one of His “elect” when we choose to believe. (And then they have to change the meanings of “the world” and “all men” to fit their view, to make it say “only the elect.”)
They build their theology around an incorrect, unbiblical understanding of these things. But we don’t know to question it because it sounds biblical enough to convince us that it must be true, despite the red flags that pop up in our minds. And they convince us that those “red flags” come from our pride and our own feelings and our own desire for control and our desire to understand things we are “not supposed to understand yet,” etc. So we shut up and don’t question it anymore.
10. And they don’t just build their theology around misunderstandings of words but also around their own preconceptions and misconceptions of how things must work. And if you start with misconceptions, you are building a house of cards on a foundation of Jell-o. But they never think to question the foundation of misconceptions. They just keep trying to make the building on top more stable.
Such as, they start with the idea that “For God to really be in control means He has to control everything. If you believe He doesn’t control everything, that He gives people a choice, then you are saying He is not an all-powerful, sovereign God. You are reducing Him and elevating humans.” That’s a big fat presumption on their part, equating “in control” with “must control and cause everything.” God is much bigger than that and can work all things, even our self-chosen sins, into His plans. And it’s not reducing God at all if God Himself decided to allow mankind the right and responsibility to make choices, to have an effect on things that happen.
“Well,” they say, “if you believe we can makes decisions, that God responds to what we do or what we pray, then you’re saying we are controlling God.” No! I am simply saying that God gave us the right to make choices, that He responds to the choices we make. Because He wanted it to be this way!
“But if we can ‘believe’ in Jesus or ‘accept’ Jesus, then that means we are working for our salvation. So we can’t believe in or accept Jesus because we can’t work for salvation. That’s why God has to do it all. If He doesn’t do it all, then He’s not really in control or fully sovereign.” But equating “accepting/believing in Jesus” with “working for our salvation” is a wrong premise to start with. That’s their own illogical reasoning. You find me ONE VERSE in the Bible that warns us against “working for our salvation” by accepting, believing in, or agreeing with Jesus. ………………
11. Because some of us find comfort in the idea that God causes everything. It makes some people feel comforted and protected, safe from anything God doesn’t want to cause. It’s “Everything happens for a reason. God caused this for a reason.” For some people, it helps them relax during the trials of life. And they don’t want to give up this idea that brings them so much comfort. ……………….
12. And because Calvinists make you believe that it’s unhumble to question Calvinism. They act like questioning Calvinism is questioning God and the Bible. “Now just run along and be a good, humble Christian by not questioning what we’re teaching. Only prideful, unhumble Christians question Calvinism. Calvinism is Scripture. And if you argue with Calvinism, you’ll be arguing with Scripture and with God.” (Oh, how many cults do the same thing!) Calvinists manipulate us through our fear of dishonoring God, our fear of being too prideful, our desire to be humble, our desire to lift God up as high as we can, etc.
But Calvinism is not Scripture; Scripture is Scripture. And I think if people read the Bible alone (with the help of a good concordance), without a Calvinist’s commentary or interpretations of Scripture, they would find that Calvinism has very little Scriptural basis, that the Word actually teaches the opposite. ……………….