How to be a good calvinist without being a Christian!
Calvinists blame others for ignorance and lack of understanding of their doctrine.
I often get told that I get calvinism wrong because I do not understand its theology. For example, from an email: “your argument there does not stack up because you have misunderstood the theology of Calvinisim (sic)”.
It is understanding, not lack of it, that proves calvinism wrong.
But such people are so wrong, because I understand calvinism very well indeed. In fact, I spent the first 19 years of my life being a good calvinist before I called upon the name of the Lord to be saved (as per Romans 10:13). I know exactly what it’s like to be an accredited elect person heading for an eternity in heaven, in spite of not actually being saved.
I grew up being told by my calvinist church that I was one of the elect.
You see, for the first 19 years of my life I thought I was saved, and everyone around me at my calvinist church declared the same. In fact, even for a while after I was saved, I still considered the calvinist Presbyterian church to be Christian.
Proper research led me to question and reject calvinism, especially its corrupt gospel.
It was only after I started to look seriously at their doctrine that I realised that their doctrine was faulty. By then I was attending churches where the doctrine was more acceptably biblical. But it was to be a long time before I was able to see that the calvinism I grew up with was not in any way compatible with biblical doctrine. It was when our reasonably biblical local churches were overtaken by calvinists that I was forced to assess whether or not calvinism was compatible with the Bible, and discovered that it was a non-Christian doctrine, especially its gospel.
I was brought up to be a good calvinist.
I was born into a good (calvinist) Presbyterian home with church-going parents who would never miss out on church attendance without very good reason. (The Presbyterian statement of faith is the very calvinist Westminster Confession.)
Many calvinist leaders were also freemasons.
My father was an elder. He was also a freemason, as were most Presbyterian elders that I have ever known. I knew that many of our local Presbyterian ministers were also freemasons, and that many of their churches exhibited freemasonry symbols carved into both wood and stone. (And if you think freemasonry is in any way Christian, then think again!)
Calvin taught that baptism purified us from all sin.
“We ought to consider that at whatever time we are baptised, we are washed and purified once for the whole of life.” (Institutes Bk 4, Ch.15, Section 3) Therefore good calvinists must be baptised (christened) as early as possible to establish their elect status. Calvin was proud of his catholic baptism.
I was baptised very young as befits a good calvinist elect.
I was christened at an early age (thus adopted into the church as one of the elect). Presbyterian doctrine assured me that I was now properly cleansed for acceptance before God.
All good calvinist Presbyterians must be confirmed in their elect status.
Presbyterian teachings require this baptismal “faith” to be confirmed at their Confirmation later on, at which time they are admitted into full membership of the church. This is similar to the catholic confirmation ceremony. (Calvin never actually left the catholic church. His intention was always to reform the catholic church, not commence a new church, thus the term “the Reformation”.)
My Confirmation certificate “proves” my elect status.
In my early teen years I did a series of lessons which led to the church confirming my status as one of the elect. In this respect calvinism is little different to the catholic church which baptises its infants into the church, requiring this to be confirmed later on in order to become members of the church.
Until I was 19, as one of the elect, I was guaranteed to go to heaven.
Therefore, up until I was 19 years old, I was declared “saved”, one of God’s chosen elect, heading for heaven, and all I’d had to do was to be born into a good calvinist Presbyterian household, be baptised and confirmed, and follow the church rules. To break one of their rules without good reason was to be declared non-elect.
Calvinist Presbyterian rules existed to maintain one’s elect status.
I had to attend church regularly and to take communion at least once each 3 months. This was required to maintain my elect status. Not attending church regularly would prompt the church to require that you give good reason for your non-attendance or else be struck off the membership roll (and effectively also off the list of elect, too). In particular, non-attendance at more than two communion services in a row would also require good reason or else lose your elect status.
Keeping these rules proved one’s perseverance.
This rule-keeping demonstrated your perseverance, without which you could never endure to the end and therefore you were not one of the elect and would not go to calvinist heaven! Good calvinist Presbyterians demonstrated their perseverance by their continued attendance especially at communion services. Not attending was interpreted as a falling away, and the elect could never fall away!
If you didn’t endure to the end, you were never saved in the first place.
The Presbyterian doctrine was based upon obedience to the rules. Disobedient people could not be elect and therefore obedience became the measure of your salvation.
Therefore obedience to rules becomes your salvation itself.
The calvinist Presbyterians with their adherence to the Westminster Confession teach a salvation based upon the works that you do. In all my younger years, I heard little or nothing of biblical salvation. It was through obedience to the rules that you were declared one of the elect. You had to be baptised as a child, be confirmed in that faith when a teen, and thereafter attend all required church meetings and fulfill all church requirements. Calling upon the name of the Lord was never one of those requirements.
How do I know all this?
I know all this because I grew up learning all about how to be a good calvinist (as a Presbyterian). I experienced calvinism; I was immersed in calvinism; but I was never saved until I was finally asked if I had called upon the name of the Lord to be saved (and this didn’t happen in any Presbyterian church!). It happened after I had left my family home to get an education elsewhere, and at the age of 19 I found salvation in Jesus Christ, something that I knew nothing about all the time I was growing up in the Presbyterian church.
So how can you be a good calvinist without being a Christian?
Easy, far too easy, in fact. I managed to be a good calvinist without being a Christian for 19 years, and never in those 19 years realised that this was in any way unbiblical. It is true that many calvinists have also called upon the name of the Lord and been saved, yet never realising that calvinism is a burden, not a blessing, on their salvation. They are still saved, in spite of being calvinist, not because they are calvinist, but because they have also called upon the name of the Lord to be saved.
But there are many, many calvinists out there who don’t actually realise that they are not saved, and will only find out when they stand before the judgment throne of God. They will be told that their names are not in the Lamb’s book of life because they never called upon His name to be saved! Where do you stand today, calvinist? Please do not wait until the judgment to find out if you are right or not!
By the way, have you ever wondered just what calvinists mean when they say they believe in the Doctrines of Grace? Take this link or scroll down further to discover the real truth behind this.
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Here’s something extra to think about:
On a “christianforums.com” thread, I read the following from someone who declares himself to be a Presbyterian:
“How do you respond to the common criticism of Calvinism such as God being the author of evil?
I simply remind them that Calvin never taught that God is the author of evil.”
But Calvin did teach that God was the author of evil, in fact, all evils.
He wrote that “if all things are done by the will of God, and men contrive nothing except by His will and ordination, then God is the author of all evils.”
(Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God – John Calvin)
I just wish that calvinists could be a bit more educated, enough to be able to actually know what their doctrine really teaches!
The real truth about the doctrines of grace
Calvinists love to declare their beliefs as the doctrines of grace. But do you know why? You see, calvinists used to believe in the doctrine of puritanism, where if you fell off your spiritual horse and couldn’t get back on again, you were declared non-elect, not having persevered to the end. This is bad news for those calvinist pastors who desire mega-salaries from their mega-churches. It’s very bad for business to offload all those who aren’t able to persevere as good puritans. Dismissing the failures as non-elect removes money from the offering plate.
Enter new calvinism, where the emphasis is no longer on being good obedient puritans, but on being restored sinners. Now it is good to fall off your spiritual horse, because if you get up and in the running again, then you are said to have been restored by God’s grace. In fact, the only way for calvinists to experience God’s grace is to sin in order to confess your sin so that you can be restored to fellowship. That is, new calvinism requires that you fall off your horse regularly so that you then have the opportunity to demonstrate God’s grace in restoring you. Hence the name: the doctrines of grace.
New calvinism now encourages its elect to confess their sins regularly to one another. If you do not confess sin regularly (particularly to your friendly church biblical counsellor), then you may be harbouring sin, and therefore not the recipient of God’s grace, and thus at risk of being judged not one of the elect. Sounds a lot like the catholic confessional, doesn’t it? Then note carefully that Calvin never actually left the catholic church; he merely tried to reform it, thus the name “The Reformation”.
New Calvinism derived from Sonship Theology which many (even calvinists) declare to be a licence to sin. For example, from Covenant Presbyterian Church: “I heard of one preacher who said that as sons, we are free to sin. …. The freeness of our Father’s grace should never be turned, even slightly, into a license to sin. ….
Sonship Theology is an attempt to elevate grace.” (7th Oct 2007)
Sonship theology teaches that there is no sin that any child of God can possibly commit that could ever prevent that elect person from entering heaven. That is, if you are one of the elect and commit a sin, then you will be the recipient of God’s grace in restoring you to fellowship. (Note that according to calvinism, God has foreordained your sin anyway!) The calvinist God will always show grace to his elect, no matter what sin they committed; to not be restored means a lack of God’s grace due to not being one of the elect. Only the elect of the calvinist God may have such a licence to sin!
So, “the doctrines of grace” can be re-worded as “a licence to sin”, as long as it translates to sufficient money in the offering plate to justify it.