Comments 2018 Archived
Subject: Rev. 3:20
I found your site in an attempt to find out just who Todd Friels is. I’m still not sure but I do know that whoever wrote about him took scripture out of context in using Rev. 3:20 as an evangelistic plea. I grew up hearing it but it’s wrong. This is Yeshua speaking to his church, specifically the messenger of his church, at Laodicea and not the world or the lost in the world. This is no different than a minister telling a congregation to “lift up, (to praise) Jesus.” Followed by the proclamation “Jesus said, ‘if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me’.” Yeshua was speaking of being put on the cross and not praise.
I suppose both are common errors but that doesn’t make it okay to mishandle the Word.
I accept that Revelation 3:20 is not necessarily an evangelistic plea. However, it is clear that there were those in some of the churches who were not of God’s people. For example, there were those at the church at Smyrna who were of the synagogue of satan (Revelation 2:9). In the church at Laodicea, there were also those who were cold, or even sitting on the fence, not prepared to commit themselves to either supporting God, or not supporting God – they were lukewarm! And when Jesus says “If any man hear My voice” in Revelation 3:20, He is talking to individuals who attend that church, not necessarily the overall church itself. It could well apply to the whole church, or it could apply equally well to the individuals within that church. It may be used quite logically as an evangelistic plea for individuals to get right with God, when the church as a whole might well have been ignoring the issue.
However, this was only a small part of what I see as significant heresy on the part of Todd Friel, who says that if you prayed a sinners’ prayer, then you are not saved and are going to hell. He says People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment. (Ten reasons to not ask Jesus into your heart – Todd Friel) He is literally saying that God will condemn those who ask Jesus into their hearts. Where is this in the Bible? This is the main reason for the that document of mine that you have commented on.
Thank you for your comment.
Stop slamming people that I have a better grasp on the gospel than you. You’re the problem today.
And your point is actually ….what? Most intelligent people, when debating anything, put forward what they consider to be good reasons for either agreeing with or disagreeing with a point made by another person. What specifically is the problem that you have apparently perceived with my documents? You do not appear to have documented any problems at all! Bible teachers are only good if they adhere to the teachings of the Bible. You don’t seem to have actually noted anything at all that is wrong. The true gospel will always be an offense to those who desire something else, so if I am a problem because I teach the truth of the Word of God, then please state clearly your objections and Biblical reasons why I am a “problem”. Thank you and have a nice day.
I am an orthodox Presbyterian. I happened upon your website and I noticed that many of the things you say about Calvinism are untrue. Some of these reflect misunderstandings of our doctrine. For this, I would recommend reading Calvin’s Institutes, Charles Hodge’s systematic theology, or A Brakel’s “A Christian’s Reasonable Service”, all orthodox reformed systematic theologies available for free online, the first two at ccel.org. You also stated that Calvinists oppose evangelism. However, I and everyone I know at my church, including our pastors, as well as the pastors I know from other Calvinist churches, value evangelism and missions very highly, as much as those I knew when I attended Arminian churches, and also with a focus as biblical ecclesiology, that is, taking our approach to missions from the scripture. Also sir, we believe that the atonement is of universal sufficiency for all who believe, both Calvin and his followers. Matthew Henry’s commentary on 1 John 2 is a good reflection of this, and we do not believe that anyone is “saved” before believing. I do not know where you heard such a thing, since I have never seen such a thing in all of the books I have read. We believe in justification by faith to all who believe. And you also said, sir, that we do not believe in foreknowledge. I can see why you might think this, but it is also untrue. We simply have a more comprehensive doctrine of foreknowledge as constituting God’s sovereign decree. That is to say, God’s foreknowledge is not simply foresight into the future but insight into his own decretive, sovereign, and secret will for the future, which is all that ever was or will be. This must be the case because God is immutable, and therefore his knowledge cannot be dependent upon outside circumstances. See Numbers 23:19, Mal. 3:6, James 1:17. We also believe in human freedom, we just have a different doctrine of it than you. I feel, sir, that it is your duty as a believer to represent the beliefs of others truthfully, even if doing so will take a good deal of reading and research. I am careful not to misrepresent Arminian theology and I hope you will do the same for the ancient augustinian-reformed faith.
Firstly, is there any particular statement or comment that I have made that you wish to dispute? You say “I noticed that many of the things you say about Calvinism are untrue.” What do you specifically allege that I have said about calvinism which is untrue? Have you provided any actual proof or evidence of the inaccuracy of anything I have said? You do not appear to have actually challenged anything I have specifically said. In order to do so, please quote what I have written that you dispute, together with reasons why such a statement or comment is incorrect. Otherwise you may well be accused of misrepresenting another person’s beliefs!
However, I understand what Presbyterianism is about because I spent the first 19 years of my life as one. But my objections are not necessarily against Presbyterians specifically but against what I see as serious inconsistencies with the teachings of calvinists today, especially new calvinists. I have read Calvin’s Institutes quite a bit more than most calvinists have, and have some understanding of Hodge’s writings; although I do not approve of some of his teachings. For example, to say that God foreordained sin is a blasphemy against a holy God who shuns all sin. He writes: It is therefore beyond all doubt the doctrine of the Bible that sin is foreordained. (from Systematic Theology Part 1 (Theology Proper) Ch.9 “The Decrees of God”)
However, Calvin’s Institutes only serve to assure me of the inconsistencies between what Calvin says and what people believe Calvin says! For instance, Calvin taught that God could give some people (by an inferior operation – Calvin’s words! – of the Holy Spirit, according to him) a temporary faith. Such people would think they were saved, and others would also think they were saved, but they would not persevere to the end simply because God said they wouldn’t. (Institutes Bk 3 Ch 2 Part 11)
I’ll take some points and discuss them.
1/. You say “You also stated that Calvinists oppose evangelism. However, I and everyone I know at my church, including our pastors, as well as the pastors I know from other Calvinist churches, value evangelism and missions very highly, as much as those I knew when I attended Arminian churches, and also with a focus as biblical ecclesiology, that is, taking our approach to missions from the scripture.“
Firstly, I am not Arminian, nor anything else except a belief in the Bible alone as the truth of God. Just because I am opposed to calvinist teachings does not automatically make me an Arminian. So why have you made this unreasonable assumption? Thus, because I believe in the Bible alone, I do not see the need to add other documents (such as Calvin) to it to “prove” myself. Other documents may assist but, in any case of inconsistency, the Bible must always be the final authority. As for evangelism, how can calvinists preach the gospel to the unregenerate person when they teach that a person must be regenerated before being able to believe in the gospel? Calvinists teach that the gospel is the external call of the Spirit which can and will be resisted by all men, while the internal call of the Holy Spirit is only given to those who are to be regenerated and cannot be resisted in any way, thus irresistible grace! They teach that unregenerate man is dead and cannot respond in any way until he is quickened, that is, made alive by God’s Spirit. If you preach the gospel, then that is commendable. But how can a person respond to that gospel under calvinist teachings until after he has been made alive, regenerated by the Spirit?
Even Spurgeon in The Warrant of Faith maintained that strict calvinist teaching was wrong in that it demanded the gospel be preached only to the regenerate soul. (If I am to preach faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate.)
My understanding of Presbyterian evangelism is that it is similar to Calvin’s teachings that a person must be attending church in order to hear the gospel and be brought to new life. (Institutes Bk 4 Ch 1 Part 4) Thus they largely frowned upon street-preaching or any witnessing that was done outside the confines of the church. They would teach that a non-regenerate person would be regenerated and brought by God to the church in order to hear and respond to the gospel.
2/. You say “we believe that the atonement is of universal sufficiency for all who believe“
Most calvinists do preach that the atonement was sufficient for all yet efficient for the few. They generally explain this by saying that while Jesus’ death was of sufficient value to be able to have paid for all sins of all mankind, yet it was only efficiently applied to the lives of the unconditionally elect of God. Thus, if you actually teach limited atonement for only those whom God has chosen for heaven, then how can the gospel be preached to the general public? For that reason, most calvinists only preach the gospel to those who attend church, assuming that those attending are God’s elect. For them it is illogical to preach the gospel to people who can never be saved because Jesus never died for their sins! And if Calvin is right, then most people have been predestinated by God to hell (something that Calvin taught very clearly). By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death. (Institutes, Bk 3 Ch 21 Part 5)
1 John 2:2 does say that Jesus was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world; it is impossible to side-step the truth of this verse, that it indeed can only mean the sins of all mankind for all time, even those who do not choose to be saved. I have covered this more fully in https://hopperscrossingchristianchurch.com/portfolio-item/1-john-22/
By the way, has any calvinist ever set out to prove that “the whole world” in 1 John 2:2 cannot ever mean the whole world without exception?
3/. You say “we do not believe that anyone is “saved” before believing“
Loraine Boettner (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination) says, “A man is not saved because he believes in Christ; he believes in Christ because he is saved.” ….. Augustine says that “The elect of God are chosen by Him to be His children, in order that they might be made to believe, not because He foresaw that they would believe.“
(Note that Calvin attributes much of his teachings to those of Augustine.) But calvinists must also teach that man must be regenerated before he is capable of doing anything spiritually good, including hearing and believing in the gospel. That is, a man must be born again before he can believe.
A lot of calvinists do not equate regeneration (or being born again) as the same as being saved. Many teach that we must believe before we are saved, yet also teach that we must be born again before we can believe.
Robert A Morey says, “Further, Christ places regeneration by the Spirit as a requirement before one can “see,” i.e., believe or have faith in the Kingdom of God. He states quite emphatically that a sinner who is born of the flesh cannot believe the good news of the Kingdom until he is born by the Spirit. Thus according to the teaching of Christ, we believe because we are “born again.” We are not “born again” because we believe! (P 8, Studies in the Atonement, Robert A. Morey)
Thus, for many calvinists, the order is firstly regeneration (being born again), followed by belief in Christ and then salvation (although many prefer to call this “justification” to avoid the obvious problem of saying that being saved is not the same as being born again!
It is interesting that Spurgeon (in his Sermon No. 52 on free will) said that there was never a man who came to Christ for eternal life who had not already received it. That is, the elect receive eternal life at regeneration before they come to Christ for eternal life as per John 5:40!
Calvin taught that it was vain (futile) to discuss prescience (foreknowledge) because everything took place by God’s sovereign appointment.
If God merely foresaw human events, and did not also arrange and dispose of them at his pleasure, there might be room for agitating the question, how far his foreknowledge amounts to necessity; but since he foresees the things which are to happen, simply because he has decreed that they are so to happen, it is vain to debate about prescience, while it is clear that all events take place by his sovereign appointment. (Institutes Bk 3 Ch 23 Part 6)
Basically, what Calvin taught was that all things have been ordained by God from the beginning. If we think of it all as being something like a play, then Calvin was saying that God wrote the complete script for that play before it began. If it is in that script, then it will happen. If it is not in that script, then it won’t happen. Thus, according to Calvin, God already knows all things because He has written the complete script out from the beginning, and therefore foreknowledge becomes irrelevant because it will only confirm what God has already ordained beforehand.
If God’s knowledge cannot be dependent upon outside circumstances, then you have made foreknowledge into something that which is fully contained within God Himself. This basically cancels out any foreknowledge that is dependent upon any free will decisions of mankind, because they would be considered to be outside circumstances. This is similar to what Loraine Boettner says in The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination: A view which holds that the free acts of men are uncertain, sacrifices the sovereignty of God in order to preserve the freedom of men.
Furthermore, if the acts of free agents are in themselves uncertain, God must then wait until the event has had its issue before making His plans. In trying to convert a soul, then He would be conceived of as working in the same manner that Napoleon is said to have gone into battle-with three or four plans in mind, so that if the first failed, he could fall back upon the second, and if that failed, then the third, and so on, —a view which is altogether inconsistent with a true view of His nature. He would then be ignorant of much of the future and would daily be gaining vast stores of knowledge. His government of the world also, in that case, would be very uncertain and changeable, dependent as it would be on the unforeseen conduct of men.
To deny God the perfections of foreknowledge and immutability is to represent Him as a disappointed and unhappy being who is often checkmated and defeated by His creatures.
For further explanation of my views on this, please go to https://hopperscrossingchristianchurch.com/portfolio-item/the-foreknowledge-of-sovereign-god/
5/. You say “I am careful not to misrepresent Arminian theology and I hope you will do the same for the ancient augustinian-reformed faith.“
Note that I am not Arminian – I haven’t done a lot of research into their beliefs and cannot claim to know very much about them at all. I don’t lay claim to any belief system except that of the Bible itself.
And, I do not misrepresent other beliefs if I am stating what they say they teach. Please tell me any specific point I have made that actually misrepresents the belief as presented by various people. I read widely and I quote what other people say as faithfully as I can so that there is no misrepresentation of what they say. I generally let the words of other people do the teaching for me. In particular I have quoted widely from those who claim to be new calvinists of today, such as John MacArthur, John Piper, Sproule (both senior and junior), because our local fundamentalist churches have been inundated by such teachings, especially from MacArthur. I will stand by my statements as not misrepresenting others, but simply stating the truth of what they believe, whether palatable or not. You cannot misrepresent any belief system if you state truthfully what they say they teach.
Thank you for your comments. I regret having offended you as regards doctrines but also believe that I must point out error where I perceive it to exist (doing a good deal of reading and research in order to get my facts right). I cannot misrepresent others if I quote what they say!
Subject: Calvinism is a counterfeit Christian cult
I wish to comment on your article that Calvinism is a counterfeit Christian cult. I agree with that. However, I disagree that it is disguised Roman Catholicism. I have had many discussions with Catholics and they do not believe in the Predestination teaching of Calvinists.
No, it came from the Gnostic cults that Augustine was a member of for nearly 10 years. Augustine expounded on this belief and from there, Calvin picked it up.
Thank you for your comments. I was not aware that I actually stated in that document that the catholics believed in predestination. I have looked through that document and cannot find a reference to this, either. I haven’t researched such in detail either, but have done some which I have added to the end of this reply. I agree that it is likely that the predestination taught by Calvin was actually based upon Augustine’s teachings influenced by his Gnostic or Manichean learnings. Not all calvinism is the same as catholic beliefs, for if they were the same, then people would have perceived little difference from the catholic church which at that time was seen by many as having lost its way. If calvinism were to gain some of those lost by the catholic church, then calvinism had to be seen as an alternative, not the same. But both belief systems are based upon the same Augustine and thus both catholics and calvinists are largely Augustinian in belief.
It is also likely that Calvin actually thought he was starting up a new belief system, not just a revamped catholic system. The real inspiration behind calvinism was therefore not Calvin but satan, the opposer of God’s true people and God’s true Church. Both calvinism and catholicism are similar to each other and both oppose the true truth of God’s word. Calvinism was not a purifying of God’s truth but an extension of the lies of satan in the catholic church into the different context of calvinism. Satan doesn’t care who people serve, as long as it is ultimately on his side and not on God’s side.
However, I do note that catholics do appear to have some conception of predestination according to the following article.
For Catholics, when God “establishes his eternal plan of ‘predestination,’ he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace” (CCC 600). Thus, anyone who is finally saved will have been predestined by God because it was God’s predestined plan and God’s grace that went before him and enabled him to be saved.
But, Wikipedia notes otherwise:
Wikipedia – The Catholic Church considers Augustine’s teaching to be consistent with free will. He often said that anyone can be saved if they wish. While God knows who will and won’t be saved, with no possibility for the latter to be saved in their lives, this knowledge represents God’s perfect knowledge of how humans will freely choose their destinies.
136 – Portalié, Eugène. “Teaching of St. Augustine of Hippo” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company (1907). Retrieved 30 September 2011
And the following allegedly quoted from Augustine’s teachings, also appears to have the catholic church supporting free will.
But, you will say, according to Augustine, the lists of the elect and reprobate are closed. Now if the non-elect can gain heaven, if all the elect can be lost, why should not some pass from one list to the other? You forget the celebrated explanation of Augustine: When God made His plan, He knew infallibly, before His choice, what would be the response of the wills of men to His graces. If, then, the lists are definitive, if no one will pass from one series to the other, it is not because anyone cannot (on the contrary, all can), it is because God knew with infallible knowledge that no one would wish to. Thus I cannot effect that God should destine me to another series of graces than that which He has fixed, but, with this grace, if I do not save myself it will not be because I am not able, but because I do not wish to.
(MLA citation. Portalié, Eugène. “Teaching of St. Augustine of Hippo.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 15 Jan. 2017 <https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02091a.htm>.)
So I would have to agree that catholics do not appear to have a consistent belief in the Augustinian teaching of predestination, even though the catholics declare Augustine to be their Doctor of Grace. Thank you for your comments. Have a nice day.
From: (I have withheld name)
Hi, we were wondering if you could answer a question for us. Are you a KJV only church? That is a great thing if you are. Your teaching on Calvinism has been so very helpful as we are dealing with someone we love and this horrible heresy ourselves. Thank you for the info. Have a blessed day.
Greetings. My apologies for the lateness of this reply as I have only today been able to gain access to our email letterbox. Thank you for your encouragement. It has taken much research and work to get our website up and running, and some other emails have been somewhat less encouraging! We’re still learning how to work this whole comments thing. So thank you for your patience.
Firstly, we are thankful that our experiences with calvinism have been able to help someone else. Our two local evangelical fundamentalist churches have been inundated by this heresy, causing us to start our home church.
In answer to your KJV question, we do prefer the KJV although I, as a previous schoolteacher in Christian schools (now retired) have made use of the NKJV, being largely based upon similar manuscripts to the KJV. We do not like any translation based upon the Westcott & Hort manuscripts (Eg NIV etc) or the Nestle-Aland manuscripts (Eg the ESV version which the calvinists love) which are derived from the Westcott & Hort anyway. I prefer the KJV for working with, but also add Greek and Hebrew meanings where possible, because the original languages have to be the final answer to the proper meaning.
Our teaching in our home church is all based upon the KJV; as are all our quotes on our website documents.
The KJV does have some minor errors in it. For instance, its reliance upon the Latin Vulgate has rendered the word “ordained” in Acts 13:48 which the calvinists love to push in support of their heresies. It would be more correct to translate it as “appointed” which doesn’t carry the same strength of meaning, being more associated with the having of an appointment with someone. Apparently the Vulgate has “fore-ordained” in that verse! For all that, the KJV is still the closest translation to the genuine original language manuscripts.
Most of my opposition to calvinism is associated with the new variety of calvinism called new calvinism. New calvinism is a much more aggressive version of calvinism, with the works of many high profile teachers such as John MacArthur being pushed into so many churches, labelled as fundamentalist teachings. Those affected take on many aspects similar to being caught in a cult: they cannot see any point of view that opposes the teachings of their revered leaders and teachers. It may be termed brainwashing. When questioned, they state that a certain teacher (such as MacArthur) says this and that, thus proving them right. In our local churches MacArthur just cannot be wrong. I have proven MacArthur to be wrong, with one person admitting that he didn’t understand why MacArthur said such a thing, but then stated that MacArthur must be seeing it from another point of view which made him correct after all. He said that because MacArthur was a respected teacher world-wide, he couldn’t be wrong on this matter, and that people like me were offended by the calvinist teaching that we had no free will say in our salvation. Even when they don’t understand what MacArthur has said, they still have him up on the pedestal of perfection!
It is also a point to note that most calvinist teachers and pastors will rarely openly teach their doctrines (which they claim to be so much better) until they have some significant support among the members of their church group. For instance, if limited atonement is so important to them, why do they so often try to disguise this fact unless directly challenged?
May God bless you as you seek His wisdom to fathom the truth in His word.
Thank you so much for responding to my email. We are finding the same answers here when we confront our loved one. They always quote on of their beloved authors and can NEVER give us scripture to back up what they believe. It is so hard to deal with. We have provided them with scripture showing that there is a choice to make, we can either reject God or accept and be saved. They do not feel this way. It is so sad and frustrating. They always quote Romans 9 and Ephesians to back up what they believe even though we explain that they are taking this out of context. We are at our wits end trying to explain this. If you have any other suggestions it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for working so hard on your web page…it truly has been such a great help. Please pray for us to have Gods wisdom to get through to them before it is to late and the children become indoctrinated into this heresy. Thanks again and any suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks.
Greetings. I don’t have all the answers, but will try to help if I can. A couple of years ago we went through Romans. When doing Romans 9 it was clear that instead of supporting calvinism, it actually weakens calvinism. It is only their aggressiveness that makes people ignore the real truth. When we did Romans I didn’t have the website up and running so not much of those older messages are online. However, I have spent yesterday setting up my Romans 9 messages on the website in case you might get some help from them. They do focus a lot upon the calvinist problem. (Please excuse any typing errors – I am not a typist!)
In Romans 9:1-13 (https://hopperscrossingchristianchurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Romans-9.1-13-150830.htm) 1/. Paul wishes he could be accursed for his fellow countrymen. Logically these people have to be lost, not saved. So if calvinism is true, why does Paul want to give up his life for those who can never be saved? Of course, if these lost ones are really elect, then they’ll be regenerated one day, so why would Paul want to give up his life for those who, according to calvinism, cannot miss out on life anyway? 2/. In verse 13 Paul quotes from Malachi Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. That word “hated” is a comparative term and can also be translated “loved less”. But this isn’t the calvinist’s biggest problem, which is that when God chooses a nation to put His name on, He has to exclude all other nations. It’s talking about nations, not individuals. Most of the individuals in that elect nation of Israel would have been condemned to hell for their wickedness, which means that the elect nation had a lot of corrupt individuals in it. If the calvinist election is based on this example, then most of the election have to be heading for eternal condemnation! Go to the above link for more detail. Of course, there is an election, but chosen (elect) by the foreknowledge of God (1 Peter 2a). God knows all our free will decisions from the beginning, and thus whoever calls upon the name of the Lord, God who is faithful to His promises chooses those people who call unto Him, and they become the election, conditional upon the foreknowledge of God, not the unconditional election of the calvinist God.
In Romans 9:14-21 (https://hopperscrossingchristianchurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Romans-9.14-21-150906.htm) 1/. There is no evidence that God ordained or decreed Pharaoh to be as he was. In fact, the Greek word actually means to be hardened or reinforced in the shape you are in. Pharaoh chose to be what he was, and God simply forced him to stay the way he was until God’s purposes were completed. 2/. Vs 21 talks about vessels of honour and dishonour. The calvinists say this represents the elect and the non-elect. However, why does Paul teach in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 that vessels of dishonour can be cleansed (purged) to become vessels of honour? Scriptural consistency does teach that the dishonourable can cleansed to become honourable; thus the lost can become saved! MacArthur says he teaches one verse at a time; you can justify just about anything from the Bible using only one verse at a time!
In Romans 9:22-33 (https://hopperscrossingchristianchurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Romans-9.22-33-150913.htm) 1/. Verse 23 says that vessels which he (God) had afore prepared unto glory. The calvinists say this proves that God ordains His elect to glory, but the verses in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 also make it clear here that no-one is ordained by God to be either elect or non-elect. 2/. God has chosen Israel to be His nation. If God also ordains everything (that is, no free will), then the calvinist has to teach that God ordained that Israel should be wicked. God’s will was for Israel to be His special nation, and Israel rebelled and went after the gods of other nations. Did God ordain this rebellion (according to calvinism), or was this their own free will (according to the Bible)?
Calvinists have no answer for such as the following from Isaiah.
Isaiah 5:3-4 – 3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
God Himself is stating clearly that he has not done anything that could have jeopardised His crop. So why did the crop fail? The calvinist has to teach that the free will of Israel is not an issue since Israel lacked the free will to choose good or evil here. Therefore all choices have to have been made by God. So, either God is lying (a totally unacceptable option) or else He desired that Israel should be fruitful, while, at the same time, willing that Israel should fail to be fruitful! But, there is absolutely no possibility at all that the God of the Bible should do everything possible to produce a fruitful crop in Israel, yet choose that Israel should fail.
Anyone who would teach that all this was decreed by a sovereign God has to also believe that God actually meant this to happen (unacceptable conclusion) or that God couldn’t prevent it from happening (likewise an unacceptable conclusion). If you do indeed still think that God ordained this without any free will input from Israel, then you have to accept the unacceptable: that God desired (willed, even foreordained) that His elect nation of Israel should commit great wickedness; that they should fail!
And what about Jeremiah 32:35 – And they built the high places of Baal, which [are] in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through [the fire] unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
Calvinists have to teach that God decreed such behaviour, or else believe in the free will of man to rebel against God. So if Israel has no free will to rebel, then God ordained them to do it, even when He didn’t command them to do it!?? And apparently the calvinists’ God didn’t even know he was commanding them to commit wickedness against himself! Calvinists have to literally accuse their God of being schizophrenic, in two minds about things with one “mind” not knowing what the other “mind” is thinking.
The calvinist God therefore cannot be the God of the Bible!
I have been accused in comments of being a problem, of being unscriptural, of being an Arminian (which I am not), of misrepresenting calvinists etc. I believe in the Bible alone; if another document has conflicts with the Bible, then the Bible is always right. I have learned that my beliefs are never going to be perfect while I live on this earth, and so we have to test (prove) all things and to hold fast to that which is right. If you find something that you disagree with, then there’s nothing wrong with respectfully saying so, as long as your authority comes from God’s word. I have also learned that sometimes the other person is right!
May God bless you as you walk your difficult pathway. It’s not easy to be right and also be on good terms with other people. Listen to the other person and ask for Scripture to support their views. If they provide verses, read them with an open mind. And request that they also do the same for you. Try to avoid extra references to “prove” your point. The Bible can do that well enough. Although commentaries may assist with meaning, they cannot overrule the Bible.
Note – At this point many small insignificant comments have been sent in with advertising seemingly attached to their addresses. I originally added some but have not permitted any advertising contacts at all. This was achieved by not approving the comment on the page concerned, but instead adding it here, without any advertising links attached, of course. I trust that those who have so-briefly commented will appreciate my thoughtfulness here in removing all advertising links in their comments! Note that now these pointless comments (made only in an effort to get free advertising for items which are clearly not selling well enough on their own) have been removed.
Subject: Is the Bible equal to Jesus?
In your “about us”, you say that the Bible is “The Word of God”, but the Bible itself never claims that name. That name is reserved only for Jesus. I’m not trying to remove the importance of the Scriptures, only to exposit them correctly. If we call the Bible “The Word of God”, then we are making it equal to Jesus and we must go outside of the Scriptures to give it that name. Go ahead and read the first chapter of the Gospel of John and replace “The Word of God” with “The Bible” everywhere you find it mentioned. It quickly starts to lose its meaning. Jesus IS The Word of God and the only Word of God. The Bible is exactly what it claims to be…
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
It is inspired by God and it is trustworthy and should be our guide for living the Christian life as well as our source of discerning God’s truth. We must learn to keep the distinction where is belongs when referring to The Word of God though. That title belongs to Christ our Lord and Him alone.
His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.
He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
You are correct in that one of Jesus’ titles is “the Word of God”, and as such must be capitalised in each case. However, the Bible is called “the word of God” in many places; note Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The Bible, though, is God’s statement to mankind, and as such must not be downgraded in any way to something less than “the word of God”. If we named Jesus as “the word of God” (lower case “w”) it should be seen as disrespectful indeed. However, while in my documents in general I do not capitalise the “w” when naming the Bible, capitalising the “W” in “Word” for the Bible is in no way taking away from the value of such a name for Jesus Christ. Both “word” and “Word” are logos, which means that it’s only the capitalising of the “w” which is the difference. I will continue to declare the Bible to be “the word of God” and if occasionally it is capitilised in our documents, it can never take away from the deity of Jesus Christ.
Note that John 10:35 declares the Law (now part of our Bible) to be both Scripture and the word of God. (The word for “inspired” actually means “breathed”, therefore it is the word of God literally!)
Hi. I noticed that you take some of Todd’s comments out of context. Also, you misrepresent Calvinism several times in your articles. Calvinism simply quantifies many passages of the bible, and the doctrines of Calvin or doctrines of the Bible. He merely helps to magnify theology. You’re merely a web blogger who lacks good theology.
Clearly you are a person of little discernment! This appears to be typical of many calvinists. Firstly, you haven’t stated one single comment that has been taken out of context, so I may assume that you haven’t actually found anything out of context. I have quoted Friel’s article without leaving parts out, so I can’t be misrepresenting him. And my added comments are my views on his article, so once again you missed the mark completely here.
Neither have you demonstrated what it is of calvinism that I have allegedly misrepresented several times. Therefore, unless you can show where I have misrepresented calvinism, then it is you yourself who is misrepresenting me. Stop whingeing and start reading the Bible properly!
I have no idea what you might mean by calvinism quantifying many passages of the Bible and I strongly suspect you don’t know what you are talking about either. And how may the doctrines of Calvin magnify theology? It sounds like you are claiming Calvin’s teachings to be extra-Biblical revelation, which is what the Mormons claim for the Book of Mormon, the Seventh Day Adventists claim for the writings of Ellen White, the Jehovah’s Witness claim for their Watchtower Society, and the Scientologists claim for the writings of R Hubbard. And all of these are cults. What are you?
As for me lacking good theology, would you care to state unambiguously and clearly just what it is about my theology that is bad? Of course, if you claim to be a calvinist, then you have to acknowledge Sola Scriptura (the Bible alone) in defining what it is you think is bad about my theology. That means no quotes at all from any of those calvinist “teachers” who might believe in the same non-Biblical theology that you clearly believe in. Remember, the Bible alone as your defense!
To finish with, I stand by everything I have quoted and commented upon from Friel. I will also continue to state clearly what I see as terribly wrong with calvinism when compared with the Bible alone. If anyone has a problem with what I say, then that person should be able to state clearly just where I am wrong and why, using the Bible as the only reference point. If they can’t, then they haven’t a leg to stand on. (Spiritually, that is!)
Subject: Anti calvinistt church (his spelling!)
Scrolling through a few of the articles and blog posts here. Its funny how anti-calvinists, like this site, get so deluded they actually offering nothing but a negative. Good luck with that.
Just another comment that criticises yet presents no support for such! However, I have to ask you this: What is there positive about such a heresy as calvinism? It is deceitful and non-scriptural, pretending to be Christian but no more Christian than the other cults such as JWs or Mormons. I have demonstrated many times the lack of Biblical support for calvinist doctrines; tell me which of those criticisms, if any, is unwarranted? It would be nice to get someone writing in who actually had something intelligent to say!
By the way, the freemasons are not a Christian group, yet MacArthur praises the spiritual harvest of his great grandfather who just happened to be a high-ranking freemason and a Presbyterian church minister at the same time. MacArthur even claims that he is reaping the spiritual harvest his great grandfather planted. Tell me how that harvest could be anything else but evil, yet so many lift MacArthur up onto a pedestal where he just cannot be wrong in all matters scriptural. He also claims to be calvinist, and teaches their heresies. No wonder I’m anti-calvinist when our local churches are under attack from calvinists feeding on MacArthur’s false teachings! How can I be anything else but critical when I see calvinism destroying good fundamentalist Bible-believing churches!
I can only pray that you read the Bible without a calvinist reference in your other hand and find the real truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Subject: Who knows?
I won’t quote the message body because it was a direct quote that was cut-and-pasted into the email page and sent without anything else added to it to explain why it was sent. Apart from the fact that the source of this quote (from the internet) was not acknowledged in any way at all, I do not see how it is applicable in any case to anything I have stated on my website. (However, I do know where it came from!) Is the sender of this unacknowledged quote in favour of or opposing the quote? How does it apply to anything I’ve said? I assume a calvinist has sent it because from my experience it is reasonably common for a calvinist to send irrelevant comments, especially from someone else’s words and not their own! In fact, calvinists are far too ready to quote other “experts” than to say anything of value themselves; I can only assume that it’s because they aren’t able to think of something to say for themselves, and are hoping the “expert” they quoted possibly knows more than they do (which often they don’t).
Note: If anyone does quote someone else, it is not only good manners to acknowledge the source, but in some cases it could be breaking the copyright law to quote such unacknowledged material, especially if it is the whole of an article that is quoted (which it appears to be). And do yourself a favour by making some comment for yourself; other wise I cannot consider it to be a comment at all.
Subject: Calvinism in general
Hi Hoppers Crossing Christian Church,
I have enjoyed reading many of your articles.
I watched Todd Freil on Wretched discuss the Doctrine of God’s Sovereignty. He said man had no free will. Has Todd not read Isaiah 30:1-2. What about Jeremiah 19:5?
And thanks for your strong stance against Calvinism.
Have you ever considered using 2 Peter 2:1, Romans 14:15 and 1 Corinthians 8:11 to refute Calvinism?
I think these Scriptures prove without a doubt that Calvinism is in error. Before you read them, I better explain the argument.
Calvinists believe that Jesus only died for the Elect. And that everyone Jesus died for (the Elect) will be saved.
However, the three Scriptures I have referenced above clearly show that a person ‘for whom Christ died’ can still perish (go to Hell).
Also, there are many other Scriptures which I think show that someone truly saved can still lose their salvation. For example James 5:19-20.
Where do you stand on ‘Once Saved Always Saved’? I think it is possible to backslide.
One teaching I would like some clarification is ‘sinless perfection’. Is it possible to completely stop sinning? 1 John 3:6 makes it sound mandatory.
Please provide your thoughts on the above. I have covered a few topics. Thanks again.
Thank you for your kind words.
Jeremiah 19:5 and Isaiah 30:1-2 are but two of many verses that make no sense if God has not given free will to mankind. Calvinists are forced to teach that God chose His elect nation of Israel, then condemned them to failure so that He could then chose the Church instead as His elect nation. And many do just that!
I have considered those verses you mentioned and have dealt with one on the website. 2 Peter 2:1 is covered in https://www. hopperscrossingchristianchurch .com/2018/06/20/when-will- calvinists-become-biblical/ where I comment on MacArthur’s excuses as to why it cannot be seen as full atonement. His reasoning is faulty and deceiving to say the least. 2 Peter 2:1 has to be interpreted as these false teachers being both lost and being bought by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
Message Body 2:
Thank you again for your kind comments.
Yes, I’ve seen that anecdote you sent, and agree that it is a totally illogical belief system, and that the only ones happy with it are the ones who belong to it. Note that Calvin did believe to some extent that those who were born into an elect family were likely to be elect themselves, which sounds like it is no longer unconditional!
As to calvinists feeling happy with their theology, MacArthur demonstrates the psychology of the calvinist well when he says that he feels special because he’s one of the elect.
You hear people say, “Well, you know, when you say the atonement is limited, people don’t feel very special.” Well, I’ll tell you what. I don’t feel very special if you say to me, “Christ died for you, He loves you just like He died for the millions in hell.” That doesn’t make me feel very special. That’s kind of a hard way to do evangelism. Christ died on the cross for your sins and all the people in hell, too. That’s not special. That’s anything but special. You mean to tell me He paid for my sins and I’m paying for them forever? Then I’ll tell you, whatever His payment was, it was bogus.
(MacArthur, The Doctrine of the Actual Atonement Part 1)
In fact, the whole of this sermon is an eye-opener into the beliefs of the calvinist. You can find it at https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-277/The-Doctrine-of-Actual-Atonement-Part-1
The profile of the person who converts to calvinism is that he (usually male, by the way) is a young Christian, immature in faith, having little real understanding of Biblical doctrines, and often having low esteem to add to the mix. Such people are easily manipulated by older or more aggressive “teachers” of calvinism who often make themselves mentors to the younger Christian (generally through small study groups or prayer groups). The young or immature Christian often seeks to learn doctrines from the more “mature” or aggressive teachers and doesn’t pay enough attention to checking out what the Bible says (usually because he doesn’t know where to look for answers). This lack of testing all things can lead them to think that what they are taught is Biblical because the teacher says he is Biblical!
A desire to be somebody important stems from that low self-esteem, and results in a person boasting of his special position as one of the elect (as does MacArthur above). It’s like belonging to an exclusive club that others can’t join, where your fellow club-members “assist” you in your climb to “Christian” success. In many ways the structure of calvinism is very similar to the freemasons, noting that MacArthur’s ministry has more to do with his freemasonry ancestors than anything Christian. (See Is MacArthur a Freemason)
The young Christian generally desires to be of greater service to God, and is taken in by the rhetoric that calvinists have a higher view of the sovereignty of a God who exhibits greater grace to his elect. He thinks he is going to be a better Christian by following calvinism and is often entrapped by his enthusiasm. Calvinists prey on such people. They have no effective gospel of their own, other than if you are chosen, then you’re in; if not, then you’re out! So their mission field tends to be a local usually fundamentalist church that accepts calvinists because they seem to be talking about the same things. Except that they’re not! This has happened to a local church here (where my son was going) where a “MacArthur” church got a foot in the door of another (non-calvinist) church, and now their false calvinist doctrines rule both churches. Calvinists cannot preach the gospel to the people in the streets, because they believe that they’re lost anyway. Calvinists preach the gospel to people in churches. If a person is elect, then God will draw him to a church (preferably calvinist!) where he can demonstrate his born-again status by getting interested in the gospel and then being saved (which to them means becoming a puritan). (They cannot believe until after they have been born again – they call it regenerated).
Once someone is converted to calvinism, he is under the influence of the demonic influences of this doctrine of devils. It’s as if his thinking has been reprogrammed to see lies as truth, and therefore truth as lies. He often just cannot see the truth for those lies which he has been reprogrammed to believe as truth. (Very much like a cult!) And now he’s a calvinist, he turns further and further away from his Christian beliefs, such as his testimony which is downgraded as delusion by most calvinists. That is, you don’t choose God; instead, God chooses you. And so they are deluded yet happy in their beliefs, and consider that all non-calvinists are missing out on some of the joys that they believe they are experiencing. And, if you won’t get on board the calvinist bus, then sooner or later you’ll demonstrate that you are not one of the elect, for if you were one of the elect, you’d believe in the doctrine of unconditional election and limited atonement! Only calvinists may be permitted to feel special and therefore happy!
Subject: Calvinist Heracy (his spelling!)
It is clear that you have absolutely no clear understanding of Todd Friel or John MacArthur both who preach the Truth. I suggest that you spend your time preaching the Gospel and not elevating yourself and your Ego by trying to destroy GOD Loving men.
Could you please demonstrate just one example of where I have shown no clear understanding of Friel or MacArthur? I use much documentation in demonstrating what I say; otherwise I would be no different from you if I just made claims without any factual support whatsoever. Please try again when you have studied the situation more thoroughly!
Please explain what Friel is saying here: People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment. (https://closetcalvinist.com/tags/sinners-prayer/)
And, please explain why why MacArthur praises the spiritual harvest of his great-grandfather (Thomas Fullerton) without mentioning once that he was a high-ranking freemason. Just look at this document on MacArthur’s website: (https://www.gty.org/library/print/sermons-library/41-18) Also read my documented post at https://hopperscrossingchristianchurch.com/2017/12/30/is-macarthur-a-freemason/
So why not do yourself a favour and look at all the facts first?!! When you present something worthwhile, I’ll give you a worthwhile answer!
Subject: Calvinism and the Gospel
I notice that your website seems to very strongly oriented against Calvinistic teachings.
I’m wondering why there isn’t as nearly much teachings against: the prosperity gospel, mystical-miracle movement, false tongues, catholicism, jehovah’s witness, mormonism, cults or any of the much more widespread teachings that are leading many more people to hell.
Also, I’m curious as to why it is your understanding that Calvinism is against Scripture? It seems that when most people attack this theology, it is under the assumption that Calvinism = Hyper Calvinism (which is not biblical). Calvinism cannot save anyone and no born again Christian who understands the gospel through a Calvinistic theology will ever claim that it is their “Calvinism” that saves them. If anyone does, it’s because they are not born again.
1/. Yes, I am strongly oriented against the false teachings of calvinism, because they are so often taught as Scriptural truth when they are usually anything but Scriptural truth.
2/. Yes, such cults do lead people to hell, but calvinism is an especially pernicious cult because so many people actually think it is a Christian doctrine, and therefore it has wide acceptance among the Christian community. It is the very deviousness of calvinism that makes it an especial target of my attention.
3/. All calvinists are required to believe that God unconditionally chose a small group of people for heaven, thereby unconditionally condemning the vast majority of the world’s population to hell. (Calvin clearly taught double predestination!) Therefore they must also believe that Jesus only died for the sins of that small chosen group, for what would be the point of dying for those whom He as God had refused entry into heaven? This is called limited atonement for the elect only. All others must go to hell to pay for their sins, according to calvinism.
All calvinists believe that all mankind is dead in sins and trespasses until the Spirit quickens them to life (according to Ephesians 2:1); they call this “regeneration” or being born again. Their doctrine cannot allow that anyone is able to respond favourably toward God until after they have been born again (regenerated). That is, until they are regenerated, they cannot hear nor respond to the gospel, nor can they respond to God, because they are still dead in their sins and trespasses. Thus calvinists must believe that it is regeneration that makes man alive, not the gospel. Even Spurgeon (who claimed to be calvinist) admitted that regenerated man had eternal life before he could come to Christ and receive eternal life! “There never was a man who came to Christ for eternal life, …. who had not already received it, in some sense” (“Free Will – A Slave” 02/12/1855)
Calvinism therefore teaches that it is the unconditional election of God that saves people, not the cross of Jesus. You must be made alive by the Spirit before you can hear the gospel, respond to Jesus at the cross, and be saved! Any doctrine that teaches that you must be born again before you may hear the gospel and be saved at the cross is a false doctrine indeed.
You say that if anyone claims that it is their calvinism that saves them, then they are not born again, and that calvinism cannot save anyone. Yet so many widely-acknowledged calvinists, along with Spurgeon, will claim that calvinism is the gospel! Also note such as “A Defense of Calvinism as the Gospel” by Prof David Engelsma, who says that “Calvinism is the Gospel. Its outstanding doctrines are simply the truths that make up the Gospel. Departure from Calvinism, therefore, is apostasy from the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ.” Clearly not all calvinist teachers agree with you!
And how may the gospel of Christ save them if they have to be regenerated (born again) and given eternal life before they may have faith in Christ (according to their interpretation of John 3:3).
Please consider my words carefully, for if I am right, then you are indeed greatly deceived by that great liar, the devil.
Subject: What are you talking about?
I have been reading some of the reader comments and your replies on your website. I was directed to your site when I searched for information on Todd Friel, whom I listen to in occasion, as I try to do my due diligence on those from whom I receive Bible teaching. I happened upon a comment/reply from Kyle and you on 7/19/18 and I just want to know what in the world you are saying. Neither you nor Kyle accurately represent Todd Friel nor John MacArthur. I listened fully to the teachings which you two claimed to quote and you both took EVERYTHING they said out of context. Todd Friel never claimed that man did not have free will. He claimed the opposite; however, he did say that man’s free will exists in the same time and space as the complete sovereignty of God. Therefore, the two are not mutually exclusive and God is in control over everything at the same time that man exercises his free will. It is clear from scripture (Proverbs 16:9, Joshua 24:15) that God has given to man free will. It is equally clear that God is sovereign over all (Ephesians 1:11, Job 42:2, Daniel 4:35). Furthermore, the two concepts, which may seem incompatible to man, are perfectly compatible under God’s rule. He exists in past, present, and future and therefore, knows and directs and brings to pass all things. Scripture gives instances in which both concepts occur in tandem as well (Philippians 2:13, 1 Cor 10:13).
As for John MacArthur and the “Doctrine of Actual Atonement” sermon: once again, his words were completely and might I add disgustingly taken out of context. He did not say the Jesus died for all the sinners in hell just as he died for you and me. Though he stated something similar, if you actually listened to the context, what he said was that IF Jesus paid the price for all the sinners in hell the same as He paid the price for the sins of those who believe on His name, then the atonement was ineffective in its outcome, which is absolutely true. (*Loosely translated paraphrase) If you disagree, then you are effectively stating that the onus is upon the individual to determine whether or not he or she is saved based on whether or not they accept the payment for sin. That is ludicrous, in that it assumes that Jesus’s sacrifice was not good enough. Is that what you are saying? That Jesus made a 50% down payment on your sin debt at the cross and then you came up with the other 50% through your belief and acceptance? Or could it be that God in all his omniscience and eternal glory is able to know who will be saved and therefore who will be called. That he looked down the annals of time from eternity and knew whom to call and predestine based on the response which he also foreknew. You do believe, of course, that man has no power to respond to the gospel in and of himself, right? Or do you believe that you in all your righteousness were so moved by the thought that God loved you that you were able to say, “Yes Lord. I accept your offer.” You think you did that all by yourself? That would be works-based salvation, as in you accomplished your own (or at least part of) your own salvation. Check out Ephesians 2:8-9 which explicitly states that you, in fact, did not accomplish anything on your own.
I want to finish by saying that these were not the only two instances which I found you to errantly quote another in your posts. However, I don’t have the time to explain further. This endeavor has taken a considerable amount of time already. Additionally, you are condescending and self-righteous in your tone and assume a posture of indignation that should only be reserved for God himself. I pray for you and on behalf of those whom you influence.
Could you please note what I have said a number of times in previous replies: that unless you support your claims with proper documentation, then your statements completely lack the authority of truth.
Where does Friel claim that man has a free will in matters of salvation (for it is concerning matters of salvation that this website concentrates upon)? And don’t give me any of that philosophical rubbish, that “man’s free will exists in the same time and space as the complete sovereignty of God.” You do seem to be saying that man has free will only if it agrees with the will of God, which effectively means no free will at all! Free will is just that: freedom of will. If free will decisions are to be overruled by another every time they do not agree, then there is only one will: that is, the will of the one who consistently overrules in all disagreements is the only free will that exists in this situation! And quoting favourite Bible verses doesn’t prove anything unless you actually demonstrate how they support your proposition.
You appear to have got somewhat confused concerning MacArthur and his statements regarding the payment of sin. Please quote to me exactly what it is that I have said that you disagree with, and support your opposition with proper documentation. You claim that I have taken MacArthur’s words out of context, yet provide absolutely no documentation to support such a claim. Why don’t you quote what it is that I have allegedly quoted out of context? I can only guess that it is this following quote from MacArthur (The Doctrine of Actual Atonement Pt 1) which you have read? You hear people say, “Well, you know, when you say the atonement is limited, people don’t feel very special.” Well, I’ll tell you what. I don’t feel very special if you say to me, “Christ died for you, He loves you just like He died for the millions in hell.” That doesn’t make me feel very special. That’s kind of a hard way to do evangelism. Christ died on the cross for your sins and all the people in hell, too. That’s not special. That’s anything but special. You mean to tell me He paid for my sins and I’m paying for them forever? Then I’ll tell you, whatever His payment was, it was bogus. Please check the original document (on MacArthur’s website) and note that I have quoted word-for-word without anything being left out! And, as for context, please feel free to check out the full document on the GTY website.
(Why are so many people unable to actually quote exactly what it is that I have said that they disagree with? It seems as if calvinists are reluctant to get into a debate with someone Biblical, but resort instead to useless name-slinging and denigratory talk! It does reveal calvinists to be somewhat less than scholarly, doesn’t it!)
What MacArthur also said (in that same document) is that if Jesus died for the sins of all those who went hell to pay for their sins themselves, then it was double jeopardy (a payment made twice for the same offense).
“If Jesus actually paid in full the penalty for your sins, you’re not going to go to hell, that would be double jeopardy.” (The Doctrine of Actual Atonement Pt 1)
In this document, MacArthur teaches that if Jesus died for the sins of all mankind, then all mankind would be going to heaven. (And, therefore, he claims, that all who believe in an atonement for all mankind have to be universalists; that is, they have to believe that all mankind is going to heaven!) He teaches that no-one whose sins were paid for on the cross could be then sent to hell to pay again for sins already paid for on the cross. MacArthur is wrong when he claims that sinners go to hell to pay for their sins. This is logically impossible, for if you could even pay for just one sin in hell, then you have all eternity to pay for all your sins. And the Bible never says anywhere that anyone goes to hell to pay for their sins!
By the way, the Bible says that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). So, regardless of whether or not you choose to call this a work of salvation, it’s what God has required that we do in order to be saved, and therefore you must take up your argument with Almighty God! Will you contend with the Almighty? (Note Job 40:2)
Please note that Ephesians does not say that faith is the gift of God; the Greek grammar prevents this interpretation! And it cannot be of works if God has commanded that we call upon the name of the Lord to be saved! And no, I did not accomplish anything on my own, just as the drowning man accomplishes nothing for his salvation when rescued. Like the drowning man, all I did was to cry “Help!” and all the works of saving me was done by God through Jesus Christ. Please demonstrate how crying out “Help!” constitutes a work of that drowning man toward his salvation, for if no-one comes to save him, then he is no better off than he was before he cried out “Help!”
You have not even been able to quote once something I’ve said that is in error, despite saying you have done so twice. Instead you have merely put my words in your own words, which is not the same thing! What have I said that is condescending? (Please quote it!) Where is my tone self-righteous? (Please quote it!) Likewise a posture of indignation? Are not you demonstrating the very thing you say should be reserved for God himself? I praise God for any influence I might have upon those who may be considering the heresies of calvinism so that they might read the Bible for themselves to discover that calvinism is indeed far from the truth!
Oh, by the way, I notice that you don’t have the time to explain further (according to your comments). It’s a pity that your lack of enthusiasm for this should prevent you from finding out the truth of the matter! I strongly suggest that you find the time to research more thoroughly in order to present a more intelligent response next time (if that’s possible!). In fact, it’s a pity that out of all the dissenting comments to this website, not one yet has clearly defined what it is he/she is actually opposing. Are they all too scared to commit themselves lest they get shot down? Come on, calvinists, surely you can do better than that? Or maybe you aren’t as scholarly as you pretend to be?!
Subject: Calvinist theologians
HiI read some of Part 1 of your article about Calvinism. I already understood Calvinism’s main viewpoint and rejected it, but what I would like to know is if we should throw the baby out with the bathwater as far as Calvinist theologians and their teachings on Biblical subjects that don’t have anything to do with Calvinism.
Case in point, John MacArthur. I’ve been blessed by his teachings and have a couple of books (FORGIVENESS and THE BEATITUDES) and several CDs on other Biblical subjects, but I reject and ignore anything he says about the “elect” (which I’ve heard him occasionally mention in passing on Youtube, but not in the books or CDs I have).
I would really have a tough time no longer buying the books and CDs on other Bible teachings. In fact, looking at the GTY website, so far at least, I have not seen anything that is solely about Calvinism.
Your feedback would be appreciated on this matter.
Thank you for your comment. It is nice to get a comment that isn’t simply trying to put me down or call me names.
I am not certain which article you’ve read some of. I assume it’s The Heresy of Calvinism Part 1 that you mean. Of course, while it doesn’t mention MacArthur in that document, I certainly would connect MacArthur to the heresy of calvinism as represented there. Much of what MacArthur teaches does have the appearance of being Biblical, yet, like so many false teachers, it’s the heresies that are scattered throughout his documents that poison his messages. And, it’s often what he doesn’t say that’s the problem. Also, much of his teachings are not on his website but elsewhere, such as in the books he authors. And keep in mind that rat poison is almost 100% wholesome food!
The gospel is effectively the basis for all other doctrines, for no other doctrine may apply unless that person has made peace with God through the gospel. And, because the calvinist gospel is diametrically opposed to the Biblical gospel, it is impossible for any calvinist teaching to be compatible with Biblical truth. The Biblical gospel requires that a person firstly accept (by free will) the free gift of salvation offered by God through Christ. The calvinist gospel to which MacArthur subscribes requires that a person be born again (they call it regenerated) before that person is able to hear the gospel, believe in Christ and then be saved. The Bible requires that Jesus be the way, truth and life, whereas the calvinist gospel requires that a person be made alive by the Spirit before he can believe and be saved by Christ. The two gospels are incompatible indeed, and the doctrines that are based on these two gospels will likewise be incompatible.
The following statements can be supported by documented evidence if requested. Most references can be found on the GTY website.
MacArthur states that he believes in the five points of calvinism, “not because of their historical pedigree, but because that is what the Scripture teaches.” (Thus MacArthur is a self-confessed five-point calvinist.
On the GTY website, MacArthur says “God did not intend to save everyone. He is God. He could have intended to save everyone. He could have saved everyone. He would have if that had been His intention. The atonement is limited.” (Doctrine of Actual Atonement Part 1) Clearly MacArthur is a five-point calvinist here!
MacArthur also says that “Jesus didn’t pay for the sins of Judas”, and He “didn’t pay for the sins of the mob that screamed for his blood.” (The Sacrifice that Satisfied) The Jesus that MacArthur talks about prayed to his father to forgive them, yet didn’t die for their sins! So how could they be forgiven?
MacArthur misquotes the Granville Sharp Greek rule in his attempts to try and prove that “foreknowledge” and “determinate counsel” in Acts 2:23 have the same meaning. “So foreknowledge means determinate counsel.” (from GTY website) (Also see MacArthur is Wrong) Calvinists refuse to accept that foreknowledge means God’s perfect knowledge of the future because then 1 Peter 1:2 would clearly state that God chose His elect by His perfect knowledge of the future. This would destroy the calvinist unconditional (or sovereign) election that MacArthur believes in.
On the GTY website, MacArthur teaches that freemasonry is a satanic false religion. Elsewhere on the GTY site he says that the fruit of his ministry rests upon the harvest ploughed in by his great grandfather Thomas Fullerton. What he doesn’t say is that this fruit was largely satanic (by MacArthur’s own words). Thomas Fullerton was a high-ranking 32 degree Provincial Grand Master freemason who just happened to also be minister in a Presbyterian church. (See Is MacArthur a Freemason)
I haven’t room to list all MacArthur’s heresies in detail – there’s much, much more – but what’s already been said is more than sufficient to demonstrate that MacArthur has far too many skeletons in the closet.
Most cults and false teachings have enough seemingly good teaching to sound as if they are Scripturally correct unless you test (prove) all things as per 1 Thessalonians 5:21. I admit that on the surface (as long as you don’t scratch too deeply) that MacArthur does have the appearance of being a sound Bible teacher. But this is only superficial; his teachings are greatly flawed by his false foundations. You have to read the Bible for yourself to discover the truth untainted by the wisdom of man.
MacArthur’s teachings are also contradictory in many places. Sometimes he says one thing and then the opposite, even in the same document. In a document (on the GTY site) he teaches that God chose his elect by sovereign election (quoting A W Pink), that no-one has the free will to choose to be saved. In this document, MacArthur says that “when the call of God came on the life of the apostle Paul, it was a sovereign, divine, gracious, and irresistible summons. He was slammed in to the dirt on the road to Damascus with nothing to do but respond. ….. Paul understood that he was just grabbed by the neck by God and awakened to the glory of Christ and saved and made an apostle.” Highly imaginative talking, and not very truthful. Where does the Bible say this?
He also says in that same document:
“When the gospel comes, the sinner is so eager to respond.”
“No one was ever saved against their will.”
“No sinner has the capacity to be willing.”
“It is only when the power of God makes him willing that he becomes willing.”
Confused?? (Chosen by God Part 1)
My advice is to find teachings that don’t pollute Scriptural truth as does calvinism, and MacArthur is an avowed calvinist.(Or if you prefer, “new” or “neo” calvinist. New calvinism is a fairly recent adaptation of traditional calvinism. Much of its development, along with its counterpart (Biblical Counselling), was formulated at Westminster Theological Seminary in USA. Others such as John Piper also have very strong connections with Westminster.) See The New Calvinism Gospel New Calvinism is Biblical Counselling Biblical Counselling as an Aid to Control the Church and The Seventh day Adventist Connection to New Calvinism
I admit that there isn’t much available but I have ended up reading and studying the Bible for myself, using some good Greek and Hebrew language dictionaries, and a concordance (although doing a word search on the Bible on the computer is an excellent way of finding verses and phrases). What the Church today desperately needs are Christians who are willing to put the time and effort into searching the Scriptures and their truth for themselves, instead of being spoon-fed by alleged good teachers, many of whose teachings are tainted with poison. In fact, the Church needs pastors who encourage their membership to test all things. However, calvinism itself demands that only those who are acknowledged teachers may teach; others who are “less” qualified may listen and live good lives, and leave the teaching to the leaders!
Thank you for your comment and I trust that you will indeed search the Scriptures to see if these things be so (Acts 17:11).