Comments 2019 Archived
List of comments on this page.
1/. 13/01/19 From: Withheld; Subject: Thanks for website
2/. 25/01/19 From: Jem; Subject: No subject offered
3/. 6/02/19 From: kdonally Subject: todd friel
4/. 28/02/19 From: Julie; Subject: General question
5/. 4/03/19 From Lori; Subject: Todd friel
6/. 5/03/19 From: Bob; Subject: Todd Friel
7/. 16/03/19 From: Maxine; Subject: The notion that asking Christ into your heart is heretical
8/. 21/04/19 From: Heather; Subject: Thankyou
9/. 30/04/19 From: JTT; Subject: Reasoning for Pastoring a house church?
10/. 16/05/19 From: Jeremiah; Subject: Bad Discernment
11/. 21/05/19 From: Malcolm; Subject: Calvinism
12/. 24/05/19 From: Mike; Subject: I quit the church due to calvinism
13/. 31/08/19 From: Jacob; Subject: II Cor. 13:15
14/. 18/09/19 From: Thaddeus; Subject: Subscription
15/. 20/10/19 From: DR; Subject: Calvinism
16/. 20/10/19 From: Elijah; Subject: Todd Friel is not a heretic
17/. 24/10/19 From: Heather; Subject: An earlier comment from someone (No.15, DR, 20/10/19)
18/. 24/10/19 From: Rod; Subject: Heresy
19/. 27/10/19 From: Malcolm; Subject: Heather’s Comment
20/. 23/11/19 From: Laura-Lee; Subject: Todd Friel’s Heresy
21/. 13/12/19 From: Malcolm; Subject: The greatest missionaries are not calvinist
22/. 28/12/19 From:Anonymous; Subject: Trackback requested (and refused!)
I came across your website a few months ago and have been greatly encouraged. We have just recently had to leave a church that we had only been in for just under a year. At the time the Pastor that had been there for over 20 years was still serving. We had become close to a couple in the church who had been in there for about a year when we came along, he too is a pastor. We grew close very quickly because they seem to truly love the Lord and were always wanting to get together and talk. A long story short we started to notice he was saying things that seemed off and I was started to question some of her behaviours. They started a bible study in their home and we were doing the Kay Authur precept on precept book on Peter. As time went on and many discussions later he started to push calvanism, and was calling my husband “a confused calvanist”.Well months later they thought we were on board with them but we weren’t. The church had decided to make him pastor (apparently they prayed and God sent him to them) because the serving pastor was retiring. After some very alarming things he was starting to say to us and after trying to reason with him from the scriptures nothing sunk in and he just started to turn the bible study into a platform to push his rubbish. We stopped going to the study and he called (husband) one day and after some discussion he said to my husband “well I wont be able to change your mind and you wont be able to change mine so we will have to leave it at that”.He was taking over as Pastor at the beginning of the year so we decided to go and let the current pastor know our concerns and things he had been pushing at the bible study. The pastor knew full well how dangerous and divisive calvanism was and seemed to be concerned, and that he would hand it over to the elders and they would need to deal with the situation because he was retiring. He did hand it over and they apparently went to the pastor and spent hours with him and saw no problem with what he believed.I will say at this point this church we were in was so dead and immature it was extremely sad to see christians in this state. So it wasn’t hard for this pastor to convince the elders he was ok. This is a man that believed God died on the cross, that Diving Nature died, that babies go to hell because they have sin, John Piper is his hero, whenever subjects came up he and his wife would go to the books for the answers, never the bible. They also would use the fact that they went to seminary made them far more knowledgable that the rest of us mere christians.There is much more to this story but we were thrown under the bus and have never heard from anyone except one person who told us that this pastor was in a church previously that he was in and they left that church because issues. After that he started up his own church and that lasted 2 years and fell apart and he admitted to us that it was because he was teaching calvanism and people didn’t stay. He also admitted to us that he knows people will leave this one but it’s because they are wrong not him.
I’m sure you have heard stories like this too many times, the good that is coming from this is we are fired up and in the word every day learning about this deception, we are not strangers to deception and have come across so much in our walk but it will make us closer to the Lord.
We are on our own now and hopefully we will find a fellowship or some christians but in the mean time I want to thank you for what you are doing on the website, we personally are very encouraged, keep up the fight brother. If you do know any kind of fellowship of know any like-minded christians over this way could you let us know.
Your brother and sister in Christ
Yes, I do hear stories like this, a few directly through personal contact including this website, many indirectly mostly through comments and posts on other websites. In general, very few people who get deeply into calvinism ever escape its clutches. It’s like a cult that works on convincing you that if you leave, then you’ve dropped out of the running for heaven. Calvinists will tell you that if you leave (even to run a home church), then that demonstrates that you are not one of the elect and therefore leaving them means you are leaving your hopes of heaven behind. Many that do manage to see some light of truth, enough to get them out of calvinism, like most cults, find themselves shunned by those with whom they used to have fellowship.
And there are many anecdotes online of churches that have appointed a new pastor who seemed to be on the ball and biblical, yet, once settled, started to mix in a bit of calvinism here, a little there, and slowly their church (most, anyway) accepted the new doctrines. They don’t usually push their contentious doctrines all at once, but will ease their beliefs in bit by bit, mixing them with the long-established biblical beliefs of the church members. The church members generally don’t pick up the little changes as they happen, and mostly become good little calvinists without realising it. Often the pastor will end up teaching straight calvinism, yet never call it calvinism. He might start using terms like “grace” or “doctrines of grace” or “reformed” or “biblical” to describe his doctrines, but if it is calvinist, then it is calvinism! By the way, a lot of calvinists like to call their churches Grace or Bible churches, in an effort to convince people that they are really on-the-ball Christians. But, like most of their doctrines, these church names are also a lie.
Of course, those who read their Bibles for themselves are far less likely to be taken in by calvinist sneakiness. This is the best antidote against all kinds of heresy: know your Bible and how to find out what it says for yourself. When faced with church members who dare use their Bibles to ask probing questions of the pastor, they will often be told that (a) the pastor is the teacher, not them (because he’s been to Bible school), or (b) certain great calvinist writers agree with the pastor, or (c) are you really one of the elect? or (d) it’s a mystery hidden within the secret counsels of sovereign God, or, as a last resort, (e) I won’t talk to you anymore!
Calvinist pastors taking over a non-calvinist church will often agree to differ in the early stages of take-over, but once they feel they have a firm footing, they will put pressure on those who disagree. They believe that only those qualified for ministry should be teachers of the Bible, and lesser beings who don’t have that qualification (usually given by themselves to each other, especially in USA) must listen to the overwhelming intellect and understanding of the pastor. He rules! If the church has deacon rule, then the pastor may introduce elders to govern the deacons. The elders are the teachers, while deacons are generally not permitted to be teachers. The pastor also will like to call himself a teaching elder. In a church that has elder rule, then they will be divided up into teaching and non-teaching elders, based on their perceived spirituality (read “agreement with and support for calvinistic principles). And beware of “Biblical Counselling”, a church counselling program introduced by calvinists to govern the behaviour of their members. It is widely used across many denominations.
I recommend that you (a) continue to read the Bible, even if it is just the two of you studying it each week. Calvinist pastors will try to bully you by telling you that you aren’t attending church and therefore must be non-elect. They don’t agree with home churches because home churches have a tendency to read the Bible for themselves. (And they can’t control home churches! It’s all about control!) Our previous pastor came to visit us after we started our home church and tried hard to get us to return to our respective churches, finally telling me that I was suffering from “the imaginations of an over-sensitive nature”, that is, I was deluded!
(b) If possible find a pastor who encourages belief in the Bible itself. Avoid a pastor who, rather than teach what the Bible says, instead teaches what he “knows” the Bible says. Don’t let any pastor take the responsibility for learning God’s truth out of your hands.
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While I don’t agree with Calvinism, you have completely taken a lot out of context in regards to what Mr. Todd has said. He’s stated repeatedly that he doesn’t believe in works salvation. But, as the Bible states, faith is never alone. There will be fruit and a transformation. Just “saying a prayer” is not enough. Faith without works is dead. No. This does not mean works saves, but works/fruits are a BY PRODUCT of a genuine confession. We are saved and justified through grace, and Christ righteousness is imputed to us. Sanctification should be intentional and as the holy spirit makes us more into the image of Christ, we are growing. No, “the sinners prayer” is not in the Bible.
I am unsure just what I have said that you disagree with. What have I actually stated which you feel is incorrect? Please quote my words! I have repeatedly said that if anyone wishes to comment on what I have said, you must state clearly what it is that I have allegedly said. Unless, of course, you don’t really know what it is that I have said that you find out of context.
You say, “There will be fruit and a transformation. Just “saying a prayer” is not enough. Faith without works is dead.” Where have I said otherwise? In fact, I do not have any disagreement with these words. In fact, I agree with much (not all!) of what you have written. You seem to have misread what I have actually said!
Friel says (“Ten reasons to not ask Jesus into your heart” – also see The Heresy of Todd Friel) So, what must one do to be saved? Repent and trust. (Heb.6:1)
Yet Hebrews 6:1 (Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,) actually teaches that we should move on from the foundation of repentance and faith toward God. That is, to grow as a Christian instead of staying a Christian baby. (See the context in Hebrews 5:12-14 in your Bible.) Apparently Friel is teaching that we must do the works of our salvation in order to be saved. But the works should be a consequence of that salvation, not the cause. At the very least Friel seems to be mightily confused here.
I have quoted Todd Friel (with my comments added) in The Heresy of Todd Friel:
In order to be saved, a man must trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of faith. [I fail to see even one justification, here or anywhere else for that matter, how asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of faith! This is a ridiculous grasping at straws! It might be possible to leave out faith, but nothing says the sinners’ prayer cannot involve faith! It’s the person who has or hasn’t faith, not the sinners’ prayer!]
Are my comments out of context here? The mere praying of the sinners’ prayer cannot automatically assume faith, nor the lack of faith for that matter. And if you think faith is a gift of God, check it out properly, for faith is the response of man to the character of the God who makes such great and precious promises. (Try reading Hebrews 11 carefully.) Also, the gift of God in Ephesians2:8-9 cannot grammatically be faith. The word genders are wrong! The gift of God there is your salvation by the grace of God.
I also mention the sinners’ prayer in Calvinism is incompatible with Biblical doctrine: “This calvinist lack of free will leads directly to a serious problem between calvinists and non-calvinists. Calvinists cannot accept any notion at all of free will in your salvation. If you claim to be a Christian because of any decision of your will to repent and be saved, or pray the sinners’ prayer, or ask Jesus into your life as Lord and Saviour, or anything else that relates to choosing today whom you will serve, then calvinists have to reject your testimony as invalid.”
The point being made is that any decision made by one’s own free will is unacceptable to the calvinist because of that claim to have used free will to decide. It is not giving an unqualified tick of approval to the sinners’ prayer. However, if one has free will to decide to come to Christ for salvation, then one must pray to Him at some stage. (I assume you believe that it is acceptable and maybe probable even that a person may pray at this time?)
Todd Friel 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”)
Where does it say in the Bible – or even suggest it – that “people who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved”? Is it a sin to ask Jesus into your heart? And where does it say that it was because they asked Jesus into their hearts that caused Jesus to reject them? Read it carefully! Also note Matthew 7:21-23 – 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
It is those who Jesus never knew (who didn’t do the will of the Father) who will be rejected. And the will of the Father is that all should call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13; 1 Timothy 2:3-4). There are many who profess to know Christ but never submitted to His authority.
You said, “No, “the sinners prayer” is not in the Bible.” However, as for the sinners’ prayer not being in the Bible, how else may one call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13) if one cannot use prayer to do so? Calling upon the name of the Lord to be saved is the biblical requirement for salvation. Please tell me, how may someone call upon the name of the Lord to be saved without praying? And if someone calls upon the name of the Lord to be saved, then that is a prayer for salvation, that is, the sinners’ prayer. I do not claim that all who pray such a prayer will be saved, either. If a person’s life does not show the change of such a prayer, then that person’s salvation must be considered non-existent. I quote from my latest post: “Many do struggle with sin for a while after they are saved; as a rule sins such as addictions do not miraculously completely disappear when the person comes to Christ for salvation. If they do not disappear at all, ever, then that person’s salvation was probably non-existent.” (Just exactly what is the calvinist gospel?)
That is, if there is no transformation ever in a person’s life after praying to be saved, then it may be assumed that the person was never truly saved. Certainly faith without works is dead. Where have I stated (or even implied) that this is not so?
In Luke 18:10-14, Jesus gave the example of a sinner who prayed to God to be merciful to him a sinner (actually “to propitiate him a sinner”). This man prayed a prayer to God, “Lord be merciful to (propitiate) me a sinner!” He showed no works other than extreme repentance for his sins, yet Jesus declared him justified. Now, if the sinner had then made little or no effort to put this prayer into action (that is, continuing to live as he had previously), then it is clear his prayer may well have been false and his justification non-existent. Of course, this is just a parable that demonstrates the effective use of a sinners’ prayer. Because it is not necessarily a real situation, we are not told what happened after that. It was a parable, after all.
But it is an example of a sinners’ prayer. Is it not in your Bible?
One last thing to note: the only people who deny a sinners’ prayer in any shape or form are those who believe that man has no free will to choose his salvation. Thus the calvinists teach that only God alone may choose your salvation for you, and thus a sinners’ prayer cannot be acceptable to them regardless of whether it is genuine or not! You disagree with calvinism but you also appear to disagree with a salvation that requires a person to pray to God for salvation. Some sinners’ prayers may well be a waste of time, especially if not accompanied by godly sorrow and genuine repentance.
2 Corinthians 7:10 – For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
However, some sinners’ prayers must be genuine. If man has free will to choose to accept or reject salvation, then in order to be saved he must pray a prayer at some stage to call upon the name of the Lord. (Unless no genuine Christians exist in the world today??)
By the way, did you make a decision to be saved at some point in time? That is, did you call upon the name of the Lord to be saved? Of course, calvinists don’t agree with this, because they don’t believe man has the free will to do so. “You don’t choose God; God chooses you!” they say. But you have said, “I don’t agree with Calvinism” which may assume you agree in the free will of man. Or do you? Free will requires a response to God, generally in the form of prayer, unless you have found another way?
You said, “No, “the sinners prayer” is not in the Bible.” Apparently the following verse may be missing from your Bible?
Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
(This comment will also appear in my posts section.)
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asking Jesus into your heart without repentence does not change the fact that a person is still lost.
Yes, you are absolutely correct on that. Anyone who asks Jesus into their heart without repentance is certainly still lost, yet anyone who asks Jesus into their heart and does repent may be saved. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of (2 Corinthians 7:10).
However, repentance does not automatically assume a perfect Christian life will be lived from that time on. After becoming a Christian, many will struggle with sin, but must allow God to do His work of ongoing sanctification to bring that person toward His perfect holiness. A Christian must grow in Christ; faith without works is dead. If becoming a Christian does not significantly change your life for better, then you may not be saved!
Note that not one single Christian could claim to be perfect before they die. Those who demand that a person repent of and forsake all their sin before they may claim to be Christian (as I believe such as Ray Comfort teach) are teaching a holy perfectionist belief, an ultra-puritanical life-style, that may impress those on earth, but simply being a puritan isn’t sufficient to save you. (That would surely be a works-based salvation!) It is the truly repentant sinner calling upon the name of the Lord to be saved that God will bless with eternal life. That is His promise, after all!
Also, asking Jesus into your heart is merely a manner of speech. Asking Him into your life as Lord and Saviour could also be acceptable, as might be a number of other prayer formats. There is no set sinners’ prayer format as such. A prayer without repentance won’t save you. It’s not the prayer on its own that saves you, but the repentant sinner calling upon the name of the Lord to be saved.
Thank you for your comment.
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What denomination or type of church is Hoppers Crossing? Did you express your concerns personally to the preachers that you are labeling as heretics prior to making public online statements about them?
Thank you for your comment. Our website does say that Hoppers Crossing Christian Church is a small home based church in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne. Perhaps our website should state it more clearly, though. We do not claim a particular denomination, although my background is probably closest to Baptist. We accept that, where differences occur, the Bible overrules all church doctrinal statements. Our beliefs are therefore Biblical, so if anyone wishes to discuss our beliefs, they should firstly test all things according to Scripture and challenge accordingly. We rest on sola scriptura, something that calvinists love to claim yet they rarely defend doctrine on the basis of the Bible alone. We have had a number of people accusing us of misrepresenting or otherwise calvinist or reformed doctrine, yet not one up until now has been able to actually explain clearly from the Bible alone just what it is that we have stated incorrectly. In fact, not one has clearly quoted (verbatim) even one single offending statement of ours. I can only assume that they object to me not agreeing with them, but are unable to state exactly what it is that I have said that they disagree with!
As for expressing our concerns personally to various preachers, I’m not sure what exactly you are wanting to know. If you wish to discuss this further, please enlighten me as to your purpose for knowing this.
I thank you for your effort to make this comment.
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Hello. Just wanted to make a comment on you criticism on the Jesus prayer and his thoughts. Although I agree with some of your thoughts, some of his are correct on this issue as well. I know Dozens, if not hundreds of people that think they are saved because they said a Jesus prayer, but go on to live their lives as before, NO change at all in their lifestyles. They think they are saved. Sorry, they are not. I believe this is what he is arguing against and warning about. I have not done an in-depth study on this, but that is my take away.
Thank you for your comment. I note that Friel condemns the praying of the sinners’ prayer in general. This is based upon his calvinist view that man has no free will to choose to be saved in any way, and therefore a sinners’ prayer for salvation is irrelevant. He believes that God makes the choice and you have absolutely no say in the matter! On the other hand, while I believe that a person may pray the sinners’ prayer in order to be saved (as per Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved), not all who pray such a prayer can automatically claim to be saved. This appears to be your view also. So, what have I said that you actually disagree with? What you are saying appears to be biblical truth!
In How may one be saved without praying, I make this very point, that the mere saying of a “sinners’ prayer” is not a guarantee of salvation. I quote from that document.
“The mere praying of the sinners’ prayer cannot automatically assume faith, nor the lack of faith for that matter.”
“I am not giving an unqualified tick of approval to every sinners’ prayer that is prayed.”
“I do not claim that all who pray such a prayer will be saved, either. If a person’s life does not show the change of such a prayer, then that person’s salvation must be considered non-existent.”
“That is, if there is no transformation ever in a person’s life after praying to be saved, then it may be assumed that the person was never truly saved. Certainly faith without works is dead.”
“In Luke 18:10-14, Jesus gave the example of a sinner who prayed to God to be merciful to him a sinner (actually “to propitiate him a sinner”). This man prayed a prayer to God, “Lord be merciful to (propitiate) me a sinner!” (And if a sinner prays to God like this, then how is it not a sinners’ prayer?) He showed no works other than extreme repentance for his sins, yet Jesus declared him justified. Now, if the sinner had then made little or no effort to put this prayer into action (that is, continuing to live as he had previously), then it is clear his prayer may well have been false and his justification non-existent. Of course, this is just a parable that demonstrates the effective use of a sinners’ prayer. Because it is not necessarily a real situation, we are not told what happened after that. It was a parable, after all.”
“Some sinners’ prayers may well be a waste of time, especially if not accompanied by godly sorrow and genuine repentance.
2 Corinthians 7:10 – For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
However, some sinners’ prayers must be genuine. If man has free will to choose to accept or reject salvation, then in order to be saved he must pray a prayer at some stage to call upon the name of the Lord. (Unless no genuine Christians exist in the world today??)”
So let’s get to Friel’s problems here. Let me quote from him.
“Brace yourself for this one: with very few if any exceptions, anyone who asked Jesus into their hearts to be saved…is not. If you asked Jesus into your heart because you were told that is what you have to do to become a Christian, you were mis-informed.”
“People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment.”
(“Ten reasons NOT to ask Jesus into your heart” – By Todd Friel)
Friel’s problem is that he strongly advises people to not pray anything like the sinners’ prayer. This is based upon his calvinist belief that God has chosen unconditionally from the beginning of time those who would be saved (the elect of God), thereby condemning those who were not chosen to an eternity in hell. Calvinists believe that man has no free will to change God’s choice in this matter, and thus are either saved or lost for all eternity. This belief renders the sinners’ prayer obsolete, for what point is it to pray such a prayer if you can never change what God has chosen for you? Whatever the calvinist God chooses for you is your destiny for eternity, and no sinners’ prayer can ever change that!
(Of course, if you pray a sinners’ prayer and the calvinist God has already decided to “regenerate” you (make you born again), then your sinners’ prayer might be acceptable to the calvinist God. Calvinists believe that you must be born again before you may believe in Christ and be saved. Many won’t readily admit to this but if they are calvinist, then their God must make you alive before you can be saved.)
Note that according to the Bible God does choose those who are saved (the elect); however, this choice is according to His foreknowledge of their decision to be saved. This is what the Bible really teaches: that we are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”. (1 Peter 1:2) Calvinists do not believe that we can choose to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved, and therefore God doesn’t use foreknowledge to determine such decisions that they (calvinists) claim can never be made anyway. Instead, they teach that such a choice is always made by God alone and never by the person. This is Friel’s heresy.
While many who pray the sinners’ prayer may not actually be saved (easy-believism is a serious problem), there are also many who pray the sinners’ prayer and are saved to the uttermost. The one who genuinely prays the sinners’ prayer and means every bit of it should demonstrate his faith by his resultant works. If his works support his new-found faith in Christ, then we may assume that he is most likely the consequence of a genuine sinners’ prayer. If a person claims to be saved by having prayed the sinners’ prayer, yet shows no works to justify that claimed salvation, then we may assume that his sinners’ prayer was probably just so much hot air, that is, worthless.
While many who pray the sinners’ prayer are as lost as they were before they prayed it, Friel’s problem is that he denies those many who pray the sinners’ prayer who are genuinely saved. This is his heresy. He is half-right, but also half-wrong. And half the truth is not the truth, but a lie. And, as unclean put with clean renders the clean unclean and not the other way (Haggai 2:10-14), lies mixed with truth renders the truth lies and not the other way. A half-truth is always a lie!
Please feel free to comment further on this if you wish. I am always agreeable to discuss any reasonable and genuine comment.
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Have you gone to Todd Friel about your concerns following the guidelines in Galatians 6:1 and Matthew 18?
Firstly, what exactly is the point of this question? Are you really so concerned for Friel’s well-being, or are you merely trying desperately to find fault with what I do (probably because you cannot find scriptural fault with what I actually say)?
Note that both Galatians 6:1 and especially Matthew 18:15-17 refer to how we should approach a Christian brother (or sister) when a disagreement may disrupt our fellowship together. Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee ….. (Matthew 18:15)
It does not have to apply in general to all mankind, especially those who are heretics and apostates.
Friel is clearly not my brother in Christ, for if he is Christian, then I am most certainly lost, and vice-versa. He has greatly offended me by informing me (via his website, of course) that because I prayed a sinners’ prayer to be saved, then I will perish on the day of judgment. He says clearly that “People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment”. Did Friel come personally to me about his concerns regarding my lost state as he obviously sees it?
In documents on my website, I have stated a number of times that calvinist doctrines are not compatible with biblical doctrines. Calvinists teach that you must be born again before you can believe in Christ and be saved, yet the Bible simply teaches that you must believe in Christ in order to be saved. These two “gospels” are diametrically opposed to each other and therefore cannot be compatible without a great deal of compromise. That is why calvinists teach that if you are not a calvinist, then you have a lesser understanding of the Bible. They know that there is indeed much conflict between the two belief systems.
For example, Calvinism is the Gospel and to teach Calvinism is in fact to preach the Gospel. It is questionable whether a dogmatic theology which is not Calvinistic is truly Christian. Arthur C. Custance, The Sovereignty of Grace (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1979), p. 302.
Or Al Mohler: If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this new Calvinism (https://www.newcalvinist.com/albert-mohler-and-hip-hop-culture/)
Or “any compromise of Calvinism is a step towards humanism.” Kenneth G. Talbot and W. Gary Crampton, Calvinism, Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism (Edmonton: Still Waters Revival Books, 1990), p. 3
Or Boettner: Some have declared—and rightly we believe—that there is no consistent middle ground between Calvinism and Atheism. (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination P 244)
Or the comment passed on to me this morning where Person 1 says “I’m not calvinist or arminian. I just believe in the Bible.” Person 2 slaps him over the face and says, “You’re a calvinist, then!” Sounds just like the way calvinists evangelize the lost, doesn’t it!
Our church ministry seeks to expose the truth concerning the lies taught by heretics, especially calvinists. There is no requirement for a biblical Christian to personally express these views to heretics before exposing their lies. After all, many calvinists avow that because I’m not a calvinist, then at best I’m not biblical and at worst I’m going to hell. Not one calvinist has expressed a desire to discuss my “heresy” personally with me from a biblical point of view. (They do, however, quote all the calvinists they can think of, from MacArthur to Piper to Sproul and beyond, to “prove” that I’m not acceptable to calvinists.) Friel obviously believes I’m going to perish in hell because I dared ask Jesus Christ to save me to the uttermost.
So, as long as I am accurately portraying his beliefs (and I do that by quoting him word-for-word as much as possible), then I am entitled to do so. If you have a problem with the accuracy or truth of anything I have said, then please let me know. And keep it scriptural; remember sola scriptura – the Bible alone. If I have misrepresented Friel in any way, please let me know, but be both scriptural and logical. So far no-one has yet been able to challenge me on biblical grounds.
I trust that this answers your query satisfactorily. I thank you for your comment and request that if you have more discussion on this matter, please feel free to reply to this comment.
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Subject: THE NOTION THAT “ASKING THE LORD JESUS CHRIST INTO YOUR HEART” AS BEING HERETICAL
In The Lord Jesus Christ, I greet you! I started reading your comments on Pastor Todd Friel and other’s error concerning “Asking The Lord Jesus to come into one’s heart”. I too KNOW that their denouncing the practice of the “Sinner’s Prayer” and the subject is in error. Didn’t THE LORD JESUS say in Luke 11:13 “…how much more will your Heavenly Father give The Holy Spirit to him that ASK?” Furthermore, doesn’t Romans 8:9 refer to The Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of Christ”? Apparently, when we repent and ask for forgiveness, using such verbiage as “Oh Lord Jesus, won’t you forgive me and come into my heart” FULFILLS THESE TWO PASSAGES! Now, I know that there is false teaching that is genuinely dangerous which lead people to act like a poly-parrot and repeat after the evangelist a particular sincere prayer, and then, “Wella’, you’re saved if you sincerely meant what you said. Not our prayers, remorse, or squeezing ourselves of every drop of faith we muster will save us, GOD SAVES! The Lord calls and draws us, we obediently respond accordingly, and HE saves us. Many a person have complied with what they thought was “the right” tap dance, only to become disgruntled later on and say, “it didn’t take”! So, we need a BIBLICAL balance in rightly dividing God’s Holy Word. May The Lord God bless you and thanks!!! (Interested in your feedback!)
Thank you for your encouraging comment. Yes, it is abundantly clear that we do have the free will to choose this day whom we will serve. And it is also just as clear that God does indeed call and draw us toward His salvation. But, John 12:32 says that Jesus drew all to Himself on the cross, which means that all may come if they choose to do so, yet many do not come. Therefore, there must be free will to resist the calling and drawing of God. Calvinists claim that John 6:44 proves their unconditional election, saying that all whom God draws will come in faith, yet that can only be true if man has no free will to resist God’s drawing. Otherwise, if all are drawn, then all must come if there is no free will. So, without free will, calvinists have locked themselves into a universalist salvation logic.
Todd Friel is merely teaching the calvinist line that says that man has no free will in salvation. If you take free will out of the equation, then man has no choice in accepting or rejecting God’s salvation. Free will requires God to foreknow from the start all decisions of all mankind from beginning to end. And the biblical predestination of man is according to an election (choosing) of God based upon His foreknowledge of man’s decisions. This is what 1 Peter 2:1 clearly teaches – Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.
But without free will, foreknowledge becomes unnecessary. The calvinist God then just chooses his elect people to be predestinated for heaven, and the rest he predestines for hell. This is the calvinist gospel in a nutshell. You are either going to heaven or you’re going to hell; one or the other is your destiny and you will go where the calvinist God tells you to go. And he decided who would be on each list from the beginning; you literally have no say in the matter! The calvinist God’s will is the only will in the universe – this is their definition of his sovereignty.
Of course, many who do pray the sinners’ prayer are not saved because they didn’t believe in their hearts that it was true. Romans 10:9 makes it clear: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. It must be a decision of the heart as well. If it is just parroted words to save you without the heart to believe in it, then that person is not saved at all. On the other hand, it is hard to see how we may call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13) without praying something like the sinners’ prayer.
Being saved is not an easy way out; in fact, it is the hard road, the tough road of suffering that we are called to, according to 1 Peter 2:21 – For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. And, it is the measure of the godly Christian that he or she suffer tribulation for their belief in Christ (2 Timothy 3:12). This is not salvation for the faint-hearted. We must take up our own crosses and follow Jesus or else we cannot be His disciples (Luke 14:27), nor are we worthy of Him (Matthew 10:38). Many parrot-off the sinners’ prayer but refuse to take up their crosses. Many refuse to let go of the world; like Demas, their love for the world is too great (2 Timothy 4:10). So I’d agree with you that for many the gospel “didn’t take” because, as you so rightly point out, “we need a BIBLICAL balance in rightly dividing God’s Holy Word.” (as per 2 Timothy 2:15)
But a simple sinners’ prayer can bring salvation to the uttermost, as long as it involves genuine repentance and a desire for forgiveness (as you have rightly pointed out). For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Also note that when we pray the sinners’ prayer, the final decision still rests with God to accept our plea for forgiveness. This is what faith is all about, our trust in the One who makes such great promises. Yes, God will save to the uttermost all who call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him (Hebrews 7:25). So when we call out to Him for salvation, He will answer and He will save us, for our faith trusted in God who promises this when we cry out to Him.
So yes, the sinners’ prayer can save to the uttermost but only if we believe it in our hearts as well as our mouths. And, as long as our works support our faith, for James 2:17 says that faith without works is dead. If we believe in Christ for salvation, then our lives will demonstrate that. We are not saved by works, but our works should show that we are saved.
May God bless you as you seek to serve Him through rightly dividing the word of truth.
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Thank you for taking the time to research Calvinism so thoroughly and for being bold enough to speak against it. I am currently trying to do the same thing (https://mycrazyfaith.blogspot.com). I’m sure my story is similar to other ones you’ve heard. We recently got a new pastor, a dogmatic Calvinist, who slowly started introducing Calvinist ideas into his sermons (but never calling it Calvinism). The more he preached things that conflicted with the Bible, the more I researched and discovered how wrong (and horrifying) Calvinism is. I heard he requires all the elders to go through Grudem’s Systematic Theology with him, and that other members are invited to go through it with him in small groups. So he is slowly spreading it, one person at a time.
The last straws for me were when he gave a sermon about God causing all things for His glory, even child abuse, … and his manipulation tactics (shaming people into not disagreeing with him by telling them things like “This IS what the Bible teaches. Humble Christians will accept it. There are only three possible responses you can have to it: ignore it, get angry about it, or accept it.”) … and when he (or at least someone in the office) deleted a biblically-accurate comment I left on his blog post about predestination, disagreeing with his view that the Bible clearly teaches it and that we simply have to accept it.
Because of these things, my husband and I decided to write a long letter to the elders (most of whom are Calvinists), sharing our concerns. So far, nothing has come of the letter, except that the pastor has gotten more vocal about his views (which I predicted would happen). And now we are shaking the dust off our feet and working towards leaving that church, considering possibly a home church. But one good thing is that it has caused me to deeply research this issue and speak out against it. It is slowly infiltrating churches everywhere, unnoticed and unopposed. So I always appreciate when I see others writing against it too, like you. Keep it up, and God bless.
Thank you for your kind words of support for our work on this website. The encouragement is much appreciated.
We don’t get much response from calvinists these days (although many must read our pages, and just recently a big effort – probably militant calvinists – was made to hack into our site to crash it). Calvinists just don’t like the Bible alone (sola scriptura) to be used because without the input from their calvinist hero writers they cannot justify their false doctrines. In reality they hate and fear sola scriptura. Calvinists only take up the battle openly when they think they cannot lose. If they think they might risk losing a debate, then they almost always just ignore us and hope we’ll go away one day! Most calvinist teachers are cowards who never fight unless they have all the firepower! And if you know your Bible, you will always have more firepower than any calvinist.
It is good to hear of the experiences of others. People who are neither calvinist nor Arminian nor anything else but just biblical have to stand together against this wave of aggression from the servants of satan, false teachers. And keep on encouraging others to join the battle against this insidious heresy. The truth must be made known, and only the truth will set people free.
I’m sure there are many others experiencing the same problems, but so many give in to pressure rather than try to cause disruption in their churches. And calvinists do play on the keeping of the peace to keep dissident people from rocking the church boat too much. They will try to focus on common ground so that others find it difficult to argue. After all, how do you argue if some of what they say is true. Most will simply surrender!
Wayne Grudem is a contributor to the ESV Bible that the calvinists love, and general editor of the ESV Study Bible. But keep in mind that fundamentalist Bible-believing Christians used to strongly condemn the RSV Bible for its twisting of Scripture, yet the ESV is simply a revision of the RSV. It’s just that calvinists prefer a Bible with lies built in that can be twisted more easily.
It is also common for calvinists to initially work with individuals and small groups in a church until they get sufficient support to push their heresies upon the whole congregation. And they never call it calvinism until most have been converted. Calvinists teach that calvinism is the gospel (as per Spurgeon) yet never preach this calvinist gospel until after the person is saved using the biblical gospel (often before the calvinist came on the scene). The main mission field for the calvinist today is the non-calvinist biblical church.
Many calvinists do teach that unless God ordains sinful acts, then there is no meaningful purpose in evil. On John Piper’s webpage it says: In Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, contributors John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, Steve Saint, Carl Ellis, David Powlison, Dustin Shramek, and Mark Talbot explore the many categories of God’s sovereignty as evidenced in his word. (https://www.desiringgod.org/books/suffering-and-the-sovereignty-of-god)
In this book (which is edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor), contributor Mark Talbot says (on Page 42) the following: In other words, it isn’t just that God manages to turn the evil aspects of our world to good for those who love him; it is rather that he himself brings about these evil aspects for his glory and his people’s good. This includes – as incredible and as unacceptable as it may currently seem – God’s having even brought about the Nazis’ brutality at Birkenau and Auschwitz as well as the terrible killings of Dennis Rader and even the sexual abuse of a young child. (This is absolute blasphemy against the holiness of God!)
By the way, predestination and the election are biblical doctrines, but the calvinists add to these truths the lie that it is all and only by the will of God alone that you are either heading for heaven, or heading for hell. They call it the unconditional election. We are indeed the elect of God, but elect by the foreknowledge of God the Father (1 Peter 1:2) and we are indeed predestinated to conform to the image of Christ but once again it is for those whom God foreknew (Romans 8:29). Thus we believe in an election and predestination that is conditional upon man’s free will to be saved, and God’s foreknowledge to determine those free-will decisions to be saved. Thus both the election and predestination exist but are conditional upon your free will, not the calvinist God’s so-called “sovereign” will.
Calvinists cannot accept that man has free will to choose this day whom he will serve, and therefore they reject the biblical truth that God uses foreknowledge to foresee such personal choices to be saved.
MacArthur redefines foreknowledge as God’s special loving relationship He has with His people; he says: They’re (Israel) the only ones with whom I (God) have an intimate predetermined relationship. …. But what you must understand is that God predetermined in his plan to set his love upon certain people. That’s foreknowledge. He foreknew you. (“Chosen by God Part 2”)
MacArthur also teaches on his website that: When the Bible speaks of God’s foreknowledge, it refers to God’s establishment of a love relationship with that person. (Grace to You, “Considering Election (Not Politics)” – Article 132)
And Piper says: God does not foreknow the free decisions of people to believe in him because there aren’t any such free decisions to know. (“What We Believe about the Five Points of Calvinism” 1998 revision)
Calvinists hate the true meaning of the foreknowledge of God because it demands the use of man’s free will to choose to receive God’s gift of salvation, and calvinists will never permit man to receive the Saviour. Like Todd Friel, they teach that if you were saved because you prayed a prayer to receive Christ as Saviour, then you are still going to hell. You do not choose God; God chooses you! Friel 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”)
So after our two local churches that claimed to be Biblical went quite calvinist (of the MacArthur variety), we saw no option but to start our small home church and study the truth of the Bible for ourselves. That was how the original Church started in many places, and it seems to be going back to home churches to maintain our ability to seek the truth of God’s Word without interference from heretics such as calvinists.
Please continue to stand firm on biblical truth in spite of pressure that will certainly be brought to bear against you. Calvinists cannot bear to be wrong; a calvinist can never be wrong! Therefore, anyone who challenges them will be bullied by the arrogant aggression of calvinists who will not put up with any opposition; they desire a monopoly of belief (calvinist, that is!) in all churches they attend. If they have Biblical Counselling (as per the new calvinist Westminster Seminary) then they may publicly name and shame you in front of the rest of the church (it does happen) as part of their disciplinary procedures. Those whom you thought were friends may be stopped from speaking to you; you may be crossed off their social calendar. Your church leaders may advise other church members to limit (or even stop) their communications with you. If you try to contact other members individually to explain what you see happening, you may be ordered to not contact them again and to send all your church correspondence to the pastor who probably won’t answer – this happened with us.
Calvinists do not like to have the Bible alone (sola scriptura) used to oppose them. They have no effective answer if you stick to the Bible alone. All their lies may be refuted by the Bible alone.
Your website may be hacked (we had to put in extra security measures a little while back to help here). And, be careful with any links people may attach to their comments.
All these and more may be thrown at you; however, if you are testing all things and holding fast to that which is true (1 Thessalonians 5:21) then God will indeed win the victory through your trials and sacrifices.
To God be the glory, great things He hath done! May God bless you with wisdom and courage to pursue the course that God has chosen for you. Thank you for your comment and keep on fighting the good fight of truth.
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After reading a number of your blog posts and articles, I’m intrigued by your line of thinking. But I’m troubled by your biblical reasoning compared with the fact that you’re a pastor of a house church. knowing that of course the early church met in houses, doesn’t necessarily a principle that says that we, the church, MUST meet in homes. Since the bible doesn’t expressly command us to meet in homes it has always been difficult for me to biblically justify the house church, and even more the role of home church pastor for the following reasons.
1) I have see quite a few house churches that are just one or two families. While I believe that it is of incredible value for families to meet together and study the word of God, I’m not certain that that is the same thing that the New Testament describes when it instructs us of what we ought to do together as the church.
2) Almost any time I have spoken to the pastor of a home church, he had come from another church and had some type of falling out. Rather than embracing his discipline and being restored, he simply left the church and went off to form his own little home church where he could be in control. This is problematic since part of the roles and responsibilities of the church is to hold each other accountable for our sin (Matthew 18).
3) This also brings me to one of my biggest cautions towards home churches: the lack of accountability. The bible gives a pretty extensive list of qualifications for leaders of the church (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1), so who is holding the pastor of a home church accountable?
I hope that my questions have not come across as too aggressive or mean. The internet is not often a good medium to communicate compassion and genuine curiosity.
Thankyou for your comments. I know a lot of people appear to be intrigued (or maybe that’s not quite the word some would use!) by my line of thinking. I am quite well educated at university level (Pure Maths, Statistics, Education, Music) and in particular have a strong sense of logical reasoning (thus the strength in Maths). In fact, I find it difficult to think along any lines that are significantly illogical, and see things in terms of the whole picture rather than in sections. As a result, any inconsistency in any doctrinal viewpoint from a biblical point of view will stand out clearly in my thinking. It is this that leads me to see the inconsistencies of such as calvinism.
But why calvinism? Surely there are other false teachings out there? But it was calvinism of the MacArthur variety that took some measure of control over two fundamentalist churches in our area (where most of our family attended), and it was this attack on our liberty to worship biblically that prompted our resulting offensive against them. Calvinism was indeed illogical, yet pushed this illogical mess upon people in an aggressive and arrogant manner. Disagreement was not an option; either agree or else. There was little scope for agreeing to differ.
And, it is quite logical for you to ask such questions. It is also quite correct that I should be able to give reasonable answers. I do not consider such questions to be aggressive or mean. You have a perfect right to ask them!
So let’s look at your points.
1/. House churches are often small. If they grow (and many do), they tend to become proper churches, but a lot of churches begin as home churches or similar. How are they any less than a church just because they are small? And does that imply that the bigger the church, the more legitimate it is? Studying the word of God is a very important function of any church, so if the local churches will not teach biblically, then a home church is often the only acceptable solution. If we are limited in some ways, then that is better, rather than to have more but with compromise. Also, knowing that the early church often met in houses, doesn’t necessarily mean that we, the church, MUST meet in homes, but it also cannot mean that we must not meet in homes!
2/. Yes, it is true that many home churches start after a falling out with another church. Of course, many also commence because there just isn’t an acceptable local church in the area. And in our case, both are true. We had a falling out with the non-biblical doctrines that calvinism was pushing upon us, and there wasn’t a suitable local church remaining to transfer to. And it’s not a matter of being in control when biblical truth is compromised. We are commanded to separate ourselves from apostasy (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).
But, one point first: Where two or three are gathered together is biblically sufficient for a meeting. So the lack of numbers isn’t a problem, as long as there is a need to hold home church in the first place.
We have lived in this area for many years now, yet travelled around to various places as God has called, to ministries that have needed assistance at that time. We even spent 3 years in Alice Springs in central Australia working with aboriginal people (and still have regular contact with them, being considered family by some).
At first in our area we went to a local Baptist church, yet left a year later because of the music. I don’t mind music with a beat, or using guitars, but I cannot feel free to worship God when drums override all else (such that outside the building you can hear only the heavy thump of amplified drums shaking the surrounds). We then went to another Baptist church but it soon started using drums. Most of the other churches in our area were also into heavy rock and drums so we ended up at the Presbyterian church which didn’t have drums. The minister there at the time was evangelical and reasonably biblical, so we were satisfied. But, after returning from Alice Springs we found it had changed. A new minister was present and the calvinist Westminster Confession was being systematically pushed at us, yet we persevered for a few years. (And that minister ran off with another woman later on, after we had left that church. Clearly the Westminster Confession which defined him as one of the eternally elect – according to Presbyterians – was able to sin and yet not really sin, it seems!) But for the meantime we continued there, yet considering what we should do.
Then, after another 3 years away (as Principal of a Christian school) we returned only to have the Presbyterian church ask us why they shouldn’t remove us from their membership because we hadn’t attended a Presbyterian church for some years. (It was fairly dead anyway in the town where we had been staying; we had instead attended a small struggling yet on-the-ball church out of town.) We said that the Presbyterians were welcome to remove us from membership, as we were becoming more aware of their growing calvinist stance.
We tried a number of local churches, but very few lacked the heavy rock band with its ubiquitous amplified drums ruling all. We ended up at a church 30 minutes drive away (it had no drums nor rock band), and attended there for some years. But then a local calvinist church (of the MacArthur variety) started taking control of the church that two of my sons attended; it was time to consider alternatives. Enough was enough! Especially as our church was also becoming more entrenched in MacArthur-style calvinism. And we found fairly quickly that arguing with calvinists is a total waste of time and energy; they can’t be told anything; they are always right!
There were no other suitable churches now that we knew of within reasonable distance of us, and all local non-calvinist churches either had rock bands, worldly teaching, or both. You say that we should embrace the discipline and be restored, yet how may this be done when our area doesn’t have any biblical churches, where instead the loud music is the mainstay of their services. How may others (such as calvinists) who are not biblical hold biblical Christians to account? Should we live with the compromise of limited atonement and lack of free will to choose this day whom we will serve? Should we put up with a belief that none may call upon the name of the Lord to be saved unless they have already been born again (regenerated) previously? This is clearly taught by our local now-calvinist churches. Should we believe along with MacArthur that 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. (The Doctrine of Actual Atonement Part 1)
3/. The lack of accountability is certainly one factor that must be looked at seriously in the case of home churches. But I have done my apprenticeship in the past and have had some real experience of running a satisfactory church. Many years ago I was church secretary and organist of a small (maybe 50 strong) independent Baptist church in a remote farming area. (This was for more than 10 years.) Most of the time we had no pastor because we were in a remote region of our state, and our congregation was drawn from an area of more than 1000 km2. Consequently I had to arrange speakers from the church or other regions, or, as the case was, did many sermons myself. This has become excellent training for our home church.
So who is holding the pastor of a home church accountable? Hebrews 13:17 says that pastors must give account to God for their ministry, and 2 Corinthians 5:10 says that all of us must be accountable to God one day for everything we have done, both good and bad. And I maintain the right of the others in our home church to question at any time (on biblical grounds, of course) anything I say. I also do not demand that they have to believe as I do but must determine for themselves what they believe before they believe it. I have no right to push my beliefs upon anyone else, but instead must preach the word faithfully and let them decide what they do after testing everything I say against the Bible (1 Thessalonians 5:21). And I accept that I must be somewhat accountable to such as you who ask reasonable questions that demand reasonable answers.
My reply is probably over-long, but I do not like to answer good questions only partially. Good questions deserve good answers and I pray that I have given reason for my actions. Of course, you must test all things and determine for yourself what you believe; I only state my reasons, not necessarily yours. If you have further queries or comments to make, please feel free to comment further.
May God bless you with wisdom as you consider these issues.
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I’ve read several articles on your site and you seem to lack discernment, or you intentionally take people out of context. For example you say MacArthur teaches works based salvation which looking at literally the same thing you claim to be heresy it shows that he teaches the exact opposite.
Maybe instead of being a Hardline Calvinist and picking and choosing Bible verses you take it all as the Word of GOD and realize it’s not as straight forward as you might think.
There are some comments that are intelligent, even some of those that disagree with me. I appreciate thoughtful comments even if I don’t agree.
But this comment fails to make any intelligent point at all. After allegedly reading several articles on my site, you say that I (seem to) lack discernment. This is clearly an unqualified opinion, for you give not one single example of such lack of discernment. It seems to me that you haven’t found any evidence of lack of discernment in any of those articles you allegedly read (did you actually read any of them??). Without documented evidence to support your opinion, it is just so much hot air!
And, you claim that I take people out of context. But once again, no actual example of such. Who have I taken out of context, and what have I stated out of context? But no, you have apparently failed to find examples of such for I am certain that if you had found any clear examples, you would have stated them. But you haven’t, so logically you didn’t find any evidence of such accusations!
Clearly you have plucked these words out of the air for you have given not one single example of such. There is no need for me to defend such empty accusations.
If you want me to take you seriously (I seriously do not take you seriously at this stage!) then please document any lack of discernment or taking people out of context in any of those alleged articles. You are like a person who tries to defend himself in a court of law by using his opinions alone; you present no witness statements, no supporting evidence. And if we are talking about my articles, then please be specific about what it is you disagree with. I will not waste my time being drawn into vague, senseless and trivial arguments.
Also, you say, “Maybe instead of being a Hardline Calvinist….” But, if you have read several of my articles, then you had to have noticed that I am not a Hardline Calvinist! What are you talking about? Perhaps you didn’t actually read any of my articles? Or maybe you have delusions that misinterpret what you read? I won’t comment on the rest of your statement quoted above as it makes no sense at all. Probably you might realise one day that the Bible is actually quite straightforward and is able to make complete sense without any of the doctrines of Calvin being used to interpret it. After all, no-one ever becomes a calvinist by the reading of the Bible alone.
So, if you want me to take you seriously, please be more competent and document your opinions with facts. In particular, if you talk heresy, then you must define it from the Bible alone. But you have said “you say MacArthur teaches works based salvation which looking at literally the same thing you claim to be heresy it shows that he teaches the exact opposite.” So what is the biblical doctrine that is queried here? What does the Bible say about it? So, like other calvinists, you probably claim “sola scriptura” (the Bible alone) yet totally avoid using “sola scriptura” in your comments!
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I have been reading through some of your articles on Calvinism for about the last hour and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I am a Christian of about 16 months, and have recently left a church because of their Calvinism beliefs. I might add I didn’t know they were Calvin until the pastors admitted it to me recently, though I had suspected it for a long time (they say the are moderate calvinists, but calvinism is calvinism, right?) They admire John Piper (I definitely do not). The icing on the cake was when I was told that health problems I suffer were because God had given them to me, on purpose, to teach me something (what I don’t know). This is what calvinists believe, that everything that happens, even sickness and evil and sin, are because God willed it. Of course, when I objected to this, they said they didn’t mean it the way they meant. The problem with calvinistic churches is that a lot of what they teach is Bible based, but they then mix in Calvinism, which is heretical in my opinion. If we accept that God wills EVERYTHING in this world, then he is reponsible for the Jewish holocaust, child murderers, genocide etc. It is quite clearly rubbish this belief of their’s.
John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world”, not God so loved the elect. Everyone can make a choice for Jesus, not everyone will, but the offer is there for all who will accept it.
I know God will guide me to another church, and I pray that it will not be a calvinistic one.
Keep up the good work.
I thank you for your encouraging comments. It is clear that you are able to think for yourself and to discern error in doctrines taught. Many Christians today do not appear to have such discernment.
The huge problem with calvinism is that it denies the free will of man to choose this day whom he will serve (thus condemning personal belief and the need for discernment, for all belief is dictated by the calvinist God). All their other doctrines are based on this heresy, including their insistence that God’s foreknowledge is not His perfect knowledge of the future. They are also forced to teach that you must be born again (= regenerated) with eternal life from the Spirit before you can believe in Christ and be saved (and receive eternal life which you already must have received when you were born again, supposedly!).
The profile of the typical calvinist convert is a young Christian who desires to be a better Christian. He generally looks to apparently more mature Christians to assist with his desire to know the Bible better. The profile of the typical calvinist is a person who projects an image of being a mature Christian who knows his Bible well. He seeks out less mature Christians who desire to be better Christians, often individually, to mentor them to his calvinist doctrines. And he generally has far less knowledge and understanding of the Bible than he appears to have. Calvinists have a few favourite Bible verses and passages that they use repeatedly to “prove” their teachings, and avoid other verses and passages that are inconsistent with their doctrines. In particular, the typical calvinist has a strong tendency to dictate the meaning of verses and passages to others, often denying their right to question or query his teachings. He believes strongly that he is right, and therefore any who disagree are wrong. Calvinist evangelism tends to be aggressive, dominating the conversation.
It is common for them to assert that all personal problems are the result of personal sin of some kind, for their God has ordained all things to happen, including sickness, suffering and abuse. Their Biblical Counselling focuses upon what sin you must have committed to have caused such misery, and your need to repent of it in order to be reconciled to God. If you cannot be reconciled to their doctrines, then you may be considered non-elect, for the calvinist God will always restore his own back to fellowship. (That is, if you are not restored to fellowship, then you are not God’s elect!) This comes from Sonship Theology (the forerunner of new calvinism) that teaches that there is no sin that God’s children can ever commit that could ever prevent them from getting to heaven, for the calvinist God will always provide grace for his elect. If you sin and do not repent as they feel you should, then you may not be restored to fellowship, and may be encouraged to leave the church. (The calvinist God only provides grace for his own! If you don’t repent, it’s because the calvinist God has not granted you grace, “proving” that you are not his child!)
Piper has edited a book (Suffering and the Sovereignty of God) in which contributor Mark Talbot says (on Page 42) the following: “In other words, it isn’t just that God manages to turn the evil aspects of our world to good for those who love him; it is rather that he himself brings about these evil aspects for his glory and his people’s good. This includes – as incredible and as unacceptable as it may currently seem – God’s having even brought about the Nazis’ brutality at Birkenau and Auschwitz as well as the terrible killings of Dennis Rader and even the sexual abuse of a young child.“ Anyone who supports this blasphemy cannot be one of God’s children!
“New” calvinism is very aggressive in contrast to the old-fashioned Presbyterian-type calvinism. Piper, MacArthur, Mohler etc are new calvinists. Mohler teaches that new calvinists are the only truly biblical Christians. And while many calvinists may claim to be moderate, they are most likely not being up front and honest about everything they believe in. Calvinists will usually put on an image of being like the others at church, rarely coming out in the open until they have a large number of supporters in the church. They will often find common ground upon which you both agree, and then build their lies upon it, making it hard to deny the lie without denying the truth. So yes, they do mix good teaching with heresy such that it’s often hard to know where the truth ends and the lies start.
And finally, always test all things for yourself. Don’t ever believe what another person teaches until you understand and believe it for yourself. If you are unsure of something that is taught, always do the research (especially in the Bible), ask the hard questions of others (but be discerning – ask them to explain how the Bible actually consistently teaches what they say it does), and then prayerfully meditate on it, think it over until you can see the direction that your studies are leading you. Check the Bible for yourself for the context of a teaching; is it consistently taught the same throughout the Bible? (Any inconsistency probably means a lie somewhere!)
If something doesn’t add up, then think it over until you can see for yourself whether it adds up or not. No-one should believe on your behalf; you must determine your belief for yourself. Good Christians are those who know what they believe and why, and can give their own good answers to those who ask them why they believe as they do.
I would recommend that you find a good biblical church that encourages its members to test all things and to be good Bereans as per Acts 17:10-11, who received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Do not forsake the fellowshipping together with like-minded Christians if possible; mutual encouragement is important for Christians.
You have demonstrated discernment in that you are clearly able to assess what others teach compared with the truth of the Bible.
And thank you again for your encouragement; we all need encouragement at times.
May God continue to bless you with wisdom as you seek to serve Him.
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My personal thanks to Andrew Dunstone for his biblical research, frankness, and clarification on this Calvinism that is affecting our current western civilization.
I have been in spiritual turmoil for two years and have decided to actually leave God as I felt that I was not chosen by Him and had no recourse to my perceived eternal damnation.
No, I’m not a teenager or new Christian. I am 56 years old and a retired senior US Coast Guard officer with a beautiful wife of 29 years and five children. I have led bible studies and music for 40 years until falling out of the American church routine after our small church disbanded in ……. two years ago.
The mentors that I held on to for biblical clarity were devout Calvinists. Some very popular in America and others who followed their footsteps.
There is a dark side to this Calvinism belief that creates torment if you do not feel as if you are one of the chosen. If God has made His predestined plan and you are not included in it, misery, confusion, and loneliness is all that is left.
In addition, It is pure Hell thinking that possibly your children and other loved ones may never have a chance for salvation under the Calvinistic doctrine. After hearing the response from a very well known Calvinistic pastor who was asked his feelings if one of his children were not chosen by God, his bone chilling response shook me. His response was that even though He loved his children very much, God knows what He is doing for not selecting them to be saved!!! I cannot follow a god like this and have decided not to worship this Calvinistic creation that a lot of America worships.
In the mean time, I had been searching for someone to provide a biblical answer to my dilemma and Andrew has done a great job. I will continue to read his and other material from Hoppers Crossing Christian Church to gain more biblical comfort and find my way back to God with an uplifted focus.
You know, I have sensed a false confidence and smugness in those that I know are Calvinists. Sadly, this appears to be the end result of such a belief; either a smug confidence of being chosen or total separation from God regardless of ones sincerity for salvation. To relate this to scripture; I think of the biblical account of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector both praying and the difference in conviction between the two. One with a smug heart of thinking he is chosen and the other begging for mercy from God. This is the God that I wish to serve not a cold hearted dirty that simply chooses His own with a cold heart.
Thanks again for your courage to post such an article. I hope that my wife and I can visit some day from …… .
Thank you for your kind comments. It is true that calvinism has become much more insidious in the past 20 or so years. It is because the older-type calvinism has largely given way to the new calvinism which is more aggressive in its evangelism, not to the lost, but evangelism to non-calvinist Christians (who are lesser Christians as seen by them). The evangelical fundamentalist church is therefore a prime mission field for calvinist evangelism. It isn’t good enough to be just calvinist; every other Christian has to be a calvinist too or else be considered some lesser kind of Christian, or even non-elect. And the calvinist God’s sovereign decree for all mankind can be a torment to those who feel that they have been left out. There can be a feeling of helplessness at not being able to choose to do anything about it, that you are just puppets being manipulated by the puppeteer. Those who want to be better Christians just have to wait and see if that’s what the calvinist God wants! All too often it is the church that decides what God wants for you. It’s all about control, control, control.
There are many calvinists who actually believe that they are following the genuine true teaching of the Bible. Such people are not to be despised, but rather to be seen as those who need to know the genuine truth of the Bible. They seek out teachers who could help them know the Bible better, yet they are deceived by calvinist teachers who all too often know that calvinism is a false heresy. These false teachers are tares among the wheat; they demonstrate their deceptions in deliberately changing the meaning of verses by exchanging, adding or removing words, and totally ignoring the inconsistencies of what they are teaching. Such false teachers are the dangerous ones, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9) Many high-profile calvinist “teachers” avoid certain passages, or use ambiguous terminology. But many of the rank and file calvinists still seek to serve the true God of the Bible, yet are led astray by the leaders they trust so much. The calvinist teacher often uses their desire to be better Christians to lead them astray.
Old-style calvinism taught that a Christian should live a pure life free from sin. After all, they were puritans. At least such people were very morally and ethically correct – you could trust them to do the right thing. They were generally good people, good citizens. (I know; I was brought up Presbyterian.) But today’s new calvinism teaches that a man may sin (even bad sins), yet if he repents and confesses, and is consequently restored by the church, then this is evidence of God’s grace in his life, thus demonstrating his elect status. It used to be sin that declared a person non-elect in older calvinist churches. Now it’s not the sin (no matter how bad it might be) that cancels your elect status, but whether or not you are given repentance (by God’s grace) which then leads to your confession which then permits the church to restore you to fellowship again; this restoration to fellowship is what now confirms your elect status. This is the consequence of the Sonship Theology influence, that no matter how badly you sin, if you repent and are restored to fellowship again, then you do not lose your elect status, for the calvinist God only gives such grace (enabling repentance and confession) to his elect! It is those who sin yet do not repent (as the church thinks you should repent, that is) who are declared the non-elect, for the calvinist God will not give repentance to those who are not his children.
Sonship Theology and new calvinism developed largely from Westminster Theological Seminary. This is where Biblical Counselling also developed alongside Sonship Theology; the two go hand in hand. Biblical Counselling has now become the place where your spiritual status is determined, much like the catholic confessional determined their status with their God. Those who do not confess as the church thinks they should are considered to be unrepentant sinners, for all people sin and therefore all must confess (unless they are not God’s children!). And such confession must be demonstrated to the church through such as the pastor or Biblical Counsellor. Unrepentant sinners are not permitted to be the calvinist God’s elect people!
Your story is one I often read about on the internet. Those who are disillusioned by calvinist teachings can end up deciding that it just isn’t worth it all anymore. Such people have probably served God with a whole heart, desiring only to know Him better, yet the more they serve the calvinist God the more they realise they just don’t add up to the requirements (often because the church rejects their efforts to serve God). They have wanted to be better Christians for a long time, but the more they try, the more they feel that they have failed. They start thinking that if they feel so empty after so many years, then why bother keeping on. And so they can hit rock-bottom. Calvinists have to feel that they have achieved something for God or else they have failed. It is a works-based belief system where your elect status depends upon how the church assesses your works for God. Works prove that you are saved; no works (according to the church) prove you are lost!
But God is faithful; He will not let those who desire only Him to fall without lifting them up again. Though a good man fall, he shall not be utterly cast down! Those who truly seek the Lord God will surely find Him. But they might have to be convinced to leave the old pathway before God brings them to a new pathway. I recommend that you focus almost entirely on the Bible alone, only using guidance of such as commentaries to assist with understanding, but not to teach you true doctrine. You must determine true doctrine for yourself, not depending on another to rest upon. Others may get you on your feet, but only God can carry you through life. Study the Bible, and only believe a doctrine if you are assured that you personally understand it. Don’t believe anything simply because someone else says to believe him. No-one can believe for you; you must believe for yourself. Only God can lift you up again, too. Be encouraged indeed by this!
Sadly, not one calvinist can be assured of eternal salvation until he reaches the end without falling away. The calvinist perseverance of the saints to the end is what demonstrates your eternal salvation, and you have to reach the end of life to be assured of it!
Unfortunately, unless you travel to Australia we will never meet in person until in glory. But when you are able to share your understandings with others, do so. The trials of your faith and the upholding of God throughout can be a testimony to others who are still caught up in the same trials. The comfort with which God has lifted you is that same comfort that may be given to others still in difficulties.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – 3Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
Thank you for your valuable comments on the trials of your faith. May God bless you richly as you seek to serve Him.
1 Peter 1:7-8 – 7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
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The only problem I had reading this is 2 Cor. clearly says don’t you know Jesus lives in you.
It seems pretty cut and dry.
Jacob, 2 Corinthians 13:15 doesn’t clearly say this at all. Perhaps you could quote this verse to demonstrate how it backs up your point? In fact, this verse says nothing at all because it doesn’t exist. 2 Corinthians 13:14 is the last verse in this book. So if it seems cut and dried to you, then is this just another piece of calvinist reasoning that uses non-existent verses to explain their doctrine? Or are calvinists now resorting to making up Bible verses in order to “prove” their heresies? I am quite aware that much calvinist doctrine cannot be supported from the Bible, and the only way they can claim to be biblical would be to write their own special Bible, rewriting or removing all the verses that prove them wrong.
Perhaps you do not know the Bible well enough and got your verses mixed up? This can happen of course when you don’t check everything before sending. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? But it still doesn’t say that Jesus lives in you; it says that the Holy Spirit lives within you. Are you suggesting that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the same person? Of course, I have no problem with someone saying that Jesus lives in his life, or asking Jesus into his heart (which is a definite no-no for calvinists who are forced to teach that you do not choose God; He chooses you).
If you meant 1 Corinthians 3:16, then I do not have a problem with what you say. However, what point are you really trying to make? Are you agreeing with me or, more likely, disagreeing with something I have written (noting that you have a “problem” with it)? What have I written that might be a “problem”? What is it that you claim “seems pretty cut and dry”? It does help if you happen to state just what I’ve written that you have seen the need to comment on.
You might like to write another comment, explaining what it is I have said that you think is a problem, including biblical support for your point of view. (I accept sola scriptura – the Bible alone – as that which defines truth.) Then I will endeavour to rationally discuss your comment. I accept that I may get some things wrong and not one person can say that he is always right. But it must be demonstrated from the Bible alone, please.
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I would like to be added to your e-mail list.
I have to admit that we don’t actually have an email list. Is there any particular reason why you should desire to be on such a list?
Our website is mainly presented as an information site where we look at what we perceive to be non-biblical teachings in the church today. Because we have experienced first-hand the destructive results of calvinism being foisted upon our church, we have a strong tendency to concentrate upon their heresies. We do not believe in being divisive for the sake of conflict. However, it was the aggressive takeover of our local church by calvinism that led to the division. We had to either agree to differ (and put up with the changes) or take a stand on what we believed to be a major doctrinal issue. We decided on a further option: to leave the church and commence our own small church.As a small home church we also have most of the sermons and messages for the past two or more years available on our website. Messages from further back in time are being added bit by bit.
Our doctrinal stand is Biblical, rather than denominational, although we would be closest to fundamentalist Baptist beliefs. Thank you for your enquiry. Please feel free to enquire further if you so desire.
Message In 2:
I’m looking for subscription because of the excellent content of your site. In the UK, Christianity (at least the practice of it, is almost dead).I, also, support your stand against Calvinism, so hope to encourage you.
Thank you for your encouraging words of support. I do try to ensure everything is Biblical and logical, but know also that I can make errors of judgment at times. I do encourage anyone who notices a glaring error in my thinking to challenge me on it, generally scripturally of course. (Most of the comments to our website so far have been from calvinists who don’t seem to have a great love for using the Bible, or logic, for that matter, to support their statements!) And, I always recommend that anyone reading my documents please test all things first for themselves before taking on board anything I write. After all, if all Christians checked out everything for themselves, we’d have far less of a problem concerning heresies creeping into the church today. No-one should ever permit someone else to believe on their behalf, and yet, so many Christians believe simply because their pastor/minister has told them to, without opening the Bible and reading it for themselves.
You have indeed encouraged me and I thank you for that. However, I don’t (as yet, anyway) have an email subscription because so far there haven’t been many who would put themselves on such a list.
This discussion thread is continued elsewhere. Please follow this link to another page to continue with this discussion. Some links have been removed; this is our website policy. It doesn’t mean that we disagree with the link material but rather that we are careful. (In the past some comment links have not gone where they said they did. That does not seem to be the case here, though.) I also tend to avoid the use of videos and podcasts. Some personal details and communications have also been left out (also website policy).
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Apparently your idea of the Christian experience is centered in hating Calvinism. Such a shame.
Thank you for your comment. However, you have failed to support your statement with any evidence, documented or otherwise. It is a common failing of calvinists.
And where do I state that I “hate calvinism”? (You say “apparently” – is that because it isn’t definite?) Of course, this website exists to oppose the calvinism that has aggressively taken over our local fundamentalist churches; therefore I oppose such unbiblical doctrines when they intrude upon my worship. I also have many documents on the website that do not relate to calvinism. My idea of the Christian experience is to focus on the teachings of the Bible alone – sola scriptura! Please tell me exactly where I have failed in this respect! But you won’t (and you don’t) because you can’t!I do demonstrate clearly that calvinism is an evil doctrine; why should I not declare it to be evil (which indeed I do). Even calvinists such as Piper admit that God needs evil in order to be perfect. He says: (Jonathan Edwards) is considered now, by secular and evangelical historians alike, to be the greatest religious thinker America has ever produced. He quotes Edwards as saying: So evil is necessary, in order to the highest happiness of the creature, and the completeness of that communication of God, for which he made the world; because the creature’s happiness consists in the knowledge of God, and the sense of his love. And if the knowledge of him be imperfect, the happiness of the creature must be proportionably imperfect.
That is, according to America’s “greatest religious thinker“, man cannot be happy unless his knowledge of God is perfect, and that such knowledge is imperfect without evil. Therefore evil is a necessary requirement for God to be perfect.
Follow this through to its logical conclusion:
(a) If God is eternal, then evil must likewise be eternal or else there would have to be periods when God was not perfect.
(b) If evil is eternal, then there cannot be a time when evil was not present.
(c) Therefore evil, being eternal, must complement God’s eternalness and Godhood.
(d) Therefore evil must be a necessary component of God’s nature, for this God cannot be truly God without evil; evil is thus an eternal counterbalance to God’s eternal goodness.
This makes evil effectively a dark side of the calvinist God’s nature, in the same way that the yin and yang depicts a balance of good and evil, with some evil in the good, and some good in the evil. The calvinist God must therefore be something like the Force in Starwars, the light side opposed to the dark side, yet two sides of the same Force; this is not a Christian concept! The calvinist good cannot exist without evil! This is definitely not the God of the Bible; therefore the God of the calvinists is evil.
And when is it wrong to hate that which is so evil? It would be a shame to not hate it!
It is certainly such a shame that calvinism is so evil, isn’t it!
Such a shame!!
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Todd Friel is not a heretic by your reason of him condemning the sinner’s prayer. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Revelation 3:20 KJV
It takes you opening the door. In real life you opening the door would be repentance. Even then in the context of the verse Christ is speaking to Laodicea. He is calling them to repentance from their lukewarmness
Thank you for your comment. However, if a heretic is one who denies the truth of the Bible, then Friel is definitely a heretic. If he’s not a heretic, then by condemning the sinner’s prayer, he has taught that I will “perish on the Day of Judgment“. If I am saved and going to heaven, then Friel is a heretic!
Friel says: “There is not a single verse that even hints we should say a prayer inviting Jesus into our hearts. Some use Rev. 3:20. To tell us that Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts begging to come in. …. …. The Bible does not instruct us to ask Jesus into our heart. This alone should resolve the issue, nevertheless, here are nine more reasons.” (“Ten Reasons To Not Ask Jesus Into Your Heart”)
Friel makes it clear in that same document that if we ask Jesus into our hearts, then we are lost and going to hell. “People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment.” So Todd Friel says I am going to hell because praying a sinner’s prayer cannot save me!! Now, that’s unbiblical arrogance for you! If I call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13), then I am saved. God promised it, and God is faithful and just. Is Friel going to deny God’s promise to me?
Friel also says that to “Make Jesus our Lord and Savior” is an example of a false gospel. (From A Synopsis of Todd Friel’s sermon: “The Invigorated Christian Life”, synopsis by Mark Edward Sohmer February, 2007)
The Bible says that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). It is difficult to see how this can be done without some sort of prayer. Note the calvinist lie that you do not choose God; God chooses you. Friel believes this, as does Paul Washer who says: “My friend, Jesus is Lord of your heart and if He wants to come in, He will kick the door down.” https://www.triviumpursuit.com/blog/2010/10/13/paul-washer-quotes/
On the other hand, I agree that it does take us to open the door, and that this is through repentance for our sins. I have no problem with this view. I also agree that Revelation 3:20 is talking to the church at Laodicea, although it must be said that the verse does better relate to individuals within that church. Todd Friel, though, would define us opening the door as a work of our salvation and therefore inadmissible. He clearly believes that anyone who makes a personal decision of any kind to be saved by Jesus Christ is still going to hell.
Friel says: “Brace yourself for this one: with very few if any exceptions, anyone who asked Jesus into their hearts to be saved…is not. If you asked Jesus into your heart because you were told that is what you have to do to become a Christian, you were mis-informed.
If you have ever told someone to ask Jesus into their heart (like I have), you produced a false convert.” (“Ten Reasons To Not Ask Jesus Into Your Heart”)
I would welcome your feedback on what I have written here. Please use the Bible (sola scriptura) to justify any assessment of doctrines.
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About an earlier comment from DR “Apparently your idea of the Christian experience is centered in hating Calvinism. Such a shame.”
Apparently DR doesn’t really understand Calvinism because he (or she) sees no reason to hate it for themselves. Such a shame!
I say that if someone doesn’t see how damaging Calvinism is to God’s character and to the Gospel, then they either don’t really understand Calvinism or they don’t really understand the Gospel. Because if they truly understood both – what the Gospel says and what Calvinism says that it says – they’d hate Calvinism too; IF they loved the Gospel, that is!
Thank you for standing up for Truth! And for calling Calvinism out for the slithery, slippery evil that it is!
Hi Heather, Thank you for your encouragement here. I note that your website https://mycrazyfaith.blogspot.com/ also is hard-hitting against calvinist heresy.
It’s interesting, though, that calvinists should object to calvinism being called evil, seeing as a number of calvinist “teachers” proclaim the necessary evil side of their god. Their basic reasoning is that their god cannot be complete unless he is able to demonstrate all his attributes. They include wrath as one of his necessary attributes, without which, they claim, he cannot be fulfilled. Of course, being typical calvinists, they lack the intellectualism that should define a real Bible scholar; instead, they claim the crown of scholarship in order to convince others that they are what they are not! If they were genuinely intellectual, they’d realise that wrath cannot be an attribute of God; instead it can only be a response of His attributes (that He is holy, just and righteous)!
Along with declaring sin to be necessary for the fullness of God’s glory, and that a world without redemption is far less god-glorifying than a fallen world with redemption, calvinists maintain that God must reveal his wrath to be fulfilled. Without sin and evil, the calvinist god cannot manifest his wrath; therefore he needs something to be wrathful at or else he is incomplete. Therefore evil must complement God’s nature; therefore it must be ever-present, therefore eternal, and therefore co-existent with eternal God. I just cannot understand how those allegedly “intelligent”, “intellectually qualified” calvinists cannot see the obvious!
There are other obviousnesses (such a word does exist, but maybe in the singular?!!), too. Their doctrinal faults are at least as great as the Jehovah’s Witnesses who now avoid our front door for fear of being contaminated, so why don’t we treat calvinists as we would other cults like the JWs. I continue to ask questions of the calvinists, telling them that unless they answer my objections using sola scriptura (their term, of course) then they are incapable of defending their heresies, and that silence is taken as agreement. But nothing, it seems, will make them commit themselves to “proving” me wrong. All they can say is that I am hateful, or that I am a problem, or that I take things out of context (yet never tell me exactly what it is that I have stated incorrectly) or that I should personally approach those calvinists whom I condemn to discuss it as brother with brother first (I would do this with fellow-Christians, but calvinists?!).
I probably cop some hate mail because I hit out at their contemporary “heroes” such as MacArthur and Friel. At least Calvin (and other past calvinists such as Edwards, Pink, Boettner etc) can’t take it personally anymore! I just wish that calvinists would make some effort to defend their doctrines biblically, for even if I disagreed with them, I would respect their efforts in trying to use the Bible to defend. If only calvinists would use sola scriptura (the Bible alone) but, alas, in spite of claiming sola scriptura, they have to read the Bible through the rose-coloured glasses of Calvin, much like mormons take the teachings of Joseph Smith who “read” the new revelations of the angel Moroni (moron?) using his ridiculous glasses which he was never able to let anyone else use. (Sounds like esoteric knowledge to me, knowledge meant only for the initiated!)
Anyway, have a great day! God is indeed good to all those who put their trust in Him. Nahum 1:7 – The Lord [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
Reply from Heather:
You’re welcome. I appreciate what you do and the strong stands you take. Too many Christians want to be all “Can’t we all just get along and be unified, no matter what we believe about this? I don’t want to make anyone feel bad by saying they’re wrong.”
I doubt Paul would have said the same thing when he looked at all the wayward churches and false theologies in his day! If we don’t take a firm stand against lies then we allow them to spread by our silence. Isn’t it Billy Graham who said something like “All it takes for evil to spread is for godly men to say nothing.” Or something like that. (I think those who don’t take strong stands simply haven’t looked into it enough or don’t understand it properly. Because once you do, you can’t help but fight it with all you’ve got. So much is on the line!)
You said: If they were genuinely intellectual, they’d realise that wrath cannot be an attribute of God; instead it can only be a response of His attributes (that He is holy, just and righteous)!
So true! I think they seem to forget that His wrath is a response to us, to our breaking His commands and rejecting Him. And since He is holy, just, and righteous, He can’t let that go unpunished. If there was no one breaking His laws, He wouldn’t need/have wrath.
It’s truly sick how Calvinists get people to accept their twisted views by highlighting how “good” it is for God, how “glorifying” it is to Him. I say that it’s nothing short of satanic, because only Satan is brilliant enough to twist Scripture so subtly that it makes the exact opposite of truth sound like truth, and to get people to accept and defend his lies, thinking they are actually being humble and “God-glorifying” to do so. It’s demonically brilliant!
You also said: “that I should personally approach those calvinists whom I condemn to discuss it as brother with brother first (I would do this with fellow-Christians, but calvinists?!)”
Kevin at Beyond the Fundamentals is very firm about saying that dogmatic Calvinists ARE NOT Jesus-followers, that they do not listen to His voice. Sheep listen to and know the voice of their shepherd, but Calvinists do not listen to Jesus’s voice because they are following a different “shepherd,” which is why they cannot understand what the Scriptures plainly teach. Having seen the very illogical, screwed-up responses from dogmatic Calvinists trying to defend their “theology,” I can see that it’s true.
And having seen how strategically they “take over” people and churches, how sneaky they are about presenting what they believe to “hide” the bad parts and manipulate people into agreeing with them, I feel it’s only right to take a very strong stand against them. They have no problem taking very strong stands for their false theology, pushing it as “the Gospel” and “the only way to believe.” You’ve got to fight fire with fire.
That’s why I appreciate people like you who take equally strong stands. As Kevin at BTF says, “Calvinists will only use our civility against us, to push their views deeper and deeper,” or something like that.
As far as using the Bible alone to formulate our theological views, I too say that this is how we need to approach Scripture, at least when trying to figure out at first what it really says. Use only a Bible and a good concordance. I think if most Christians did this, there would be a lot less Calvinism out there because Calvinism has very little support when you only use Scripture. It’s when they study Scripture with the “help” of Calvinists telling them how to interpret what they’re reading that they suddenly “discover” Calvinism in the Bible. I bet almost no Calvinist ever came to Calvinism without the help of other Calvinists telling them what to think!
Thank you again for what you do. It’s great to know that there are people fighting for truth scattered all over the world! Blessings!
Calvinism is the devil Bobby! THE DEVIL! God calls us to spend all day every day griping about CALVINISM!
Uh,…. who is Bobby? Maybe someone else with limited intelligence? Maybe you’ve forgotten what planet you’re on? Maybe you are Bobby??
You declare calvinism to be the devil. But, even if I were to agree, I would still ask you for the evidence that you have discovered that leads you to this conclusion. I could declare calvinism to be lots of things, but everything I say about it is carefully researched to assess its truth or otherwise. Only a fool makes wide-sweeping statements like yours without presenting a shred of evidence. Note that calvinism does this all the time: making wide-sweeping statements without ever presenting a shred of genuine biblical evidence!
Certainly, as you might be suggesting, calvinism is a doctrine of devils (1 Timothy 4:1), and I would not blame anyone for wanting to gripe about calvinism. After all, there’s a lot in calvinism to gripe about and very little to not gripe about! But “to spend all day every day griping about calvinism”? “all day every day” does sound like a phobia of some sort, and there are many other things that God calls all Christians to do.
If you would like to comment further, please provide evidence of research etc to justify your views so that others can better understand your views on the matter.
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I wrote a comment to you back in May of this year regarding my experience with Calvinism. I would like to say I visit Heather’s site on a regular basis because she, like me has experienced a Calvinist church up close and personal, and her articles are a great read. I’m sorry to say that I have not found another church to attend at this stage (I live in the …… area of NSW, Australia). I have enquired of a fair few churches in my area about their beliefs, and most of them are Calvinist to some degree or other. I am quite blunt with my messages to them, are they Calvinist or not, and most of them were evasive, they say they are a bit Calvinist, or it is a very broad question, or some people are and some are not. Only one pastor actually was honest and said that he was. I have only found one church where the pastor says that they are definitely not Calvinist, but I have some other reservations about this church for reasons I won’t go into here.
It really is quite depressing, Calvinist theology is everywhere now, my faith in God has never wavered but I would prefer never to attend church than go to one with even a hint of Calvinist theology. I guess the bright side of this is that it only took me 15 months to figure out what a horrible theology Calvinism is. Some people spend decades in these Calvinist churches. I know from my experience Calvinism was never mentioned, their Doctrines of Grace never mentioned, just very subtly trying to bring me around to their way of thinking. I’ve been round a long time though and am cynical by nature, so I did my own research and found out the lies for myself. John Calvin was a horrible man, responsible for the deaths and mistreatment of many, and the Calvinists revere him. They are seriously deluded.
Anyway, thank you for your time, I read your blog quite often, just to remind myself of the close shave I had with Calvinism.
Thank you for your encouragement. It is always appreciated, as we get little enough of that normally. So many people think we’re too extreme, too fanatical about opposing calvinism, yet, like you and Heather (we have had some communication with her as well) we had to leave our churches because of the calvinism overtaking them. (It is usually only those who have been hurt by calvinism who actually start seeing it for the lies that it is.) And I often read about what others say of their similar experiences.
Because there was no other realistic alternative, we started our small home church group. (I have had experience running a church for many years in the past, in a remote country town in Victoria, where most of the time we had no pastor. I was secretary and organist, and did most of the day-to-day running of that church for many years, including much of the preaching.)
For a while we attended a Presbyterian Church (from 1997 to 2010, although much of this time we were away; I was principal and teacher at various Christian schools). At first we had an evangelical pastor who was clearly not calvinist. Then he was replaced by an ultra-calvinist minister who started by taking us through the Westminster Catechism each Sunday morning. In 2010, after we returned (having being in Echuca for 3 years), we were removed from membership because we hadn’t attended their church (we had attended church near Echuca). It is typical of Presbyterians that you must take communion regularly without which you cannot be continually sanctified and therefore unjustified. You cannot be one of their elect if you miss out on their communion 2 times running without good reason!
Our last church (which we attended from 2011 to 2013) was moderately calvinist all along, something I found out when I saw a book by MacArthur in our church book collection. When I queried this, the ex-pastor (who still attended) defended MacArthur, so I asked: Why do the Great Commission, then? His answer was: Because we are told to do so! We continued to attend, though, for another year or so.
Then my son’s church (supposedly non-calvinist) invited a local calvinist church to share their property for some activities including using their building for Sunday night services for a while. A deacon at my son’s church basically bullied his way into being called as pastor; he was a very close friend of the neighbouring calvinist pastor. Soon the calvinist church was providing preachers for many services at my son’s church (which then put on its website that they were a like-minded sister-church of the calvinist church). (My son had left by this time!)
Our nearby church (of my wife and I from 2011-2013) also called a pastor in 2013 who said he wasn’t calvinist but taught from calvinist books (such as MacArthur and Paul Tripp) and came from a calvinist church. They now also have “Biblical Counselling”. “Biblical Counselling” was developed (by Paul Tripp) at Westminster Theological Seminary (USA) alongside the aggressive and arrogant New Calvinism that we see so much of today. (Beware of any church that uses the terms “Biblical Counsellor” or “Biblical Counselling”. Also be aware that calvinist churches prefer to use the ESV Bible which is a revision of the RSV.)
My son’s church then used MacArthur’s “Fundamentals of the Faith” as a doctrine guide for their leadership team. They used calvinist Todd Friel studies, and then went on to use Gary Thomas materials: “Sacred Marriage” studies. (Gary Thomas is a calvinist with strong leanings toward contemplative or centering prayer (cf Quakers), demonic mantras, and kundalini yoga. Genuine Christians shouldn’t touch him; yet many calvinist churches see no problems with him!)
So you can see why we had no alternative to leave our churches and start our home church group. There just aren’t the options out there anymore. As you say, it’s hard to find a church that actually sees calvinism as a false teaching. And most calvinist pastors will not admit that they are calvinist because that would expose their deception. Mostly they will try to avoid discussion on calvinism unless they are assured that you are also calvinist.
Calvinism has influenced so much of our Christian thinking for so long that all too often we (Christians in general) just don’t question it. It has been presented as a biblical alternative to non-calvinist beliefs, such that we see them as Christian brethren even though we don’t agree with their doctrines. Instead we have to become more attuned to what the Bible itself says, test all things, and call wrong doctrines out for the lies that they are. Many calvinists are actually genuine Christians who have a desire to be better Christians; thus they are sucked in by calvinist promises to give them a higher view of the sovereignty of God. It’s their desire to be better Christians that calvinists use so effectively! And calvinists focus their evangelistic attention on those who are seeking to be better Christians. Usually these are young Christians with an imperfect knowledge of biblical doctrines but keen to grow as Christians without having to do all the hard work of studying the Bible for themselves. And calvinists are just too eager to give them their shortcuts to “biblical” doctrine!
A lot of Christians just don’t want to talk about calvinism because they see it as a divisive issue and they don’t want to rock the church boat by stirring up trouble. So they just refuse to say what they actually think about it.
I have to admit that I haven’t put a new blog on for maybe 3 months now. Instead I have concentrated on that last one with extra questions for calvinists to answer being added as I come across them. It started off with 20 questions, but since then it has grown to currently 41 (the latest one questioning Phil Johnson’s claim that their God is not to blame for the sin he makes man commit). These are mostly questions that I have asked calvinists over the past few years where not one biblical (or even logical) defence has been attempted. It’s clear that when calvinists cannot answer questions (which is quite often) they merely turn away and refuse to speak to you again. When we wrote to my son’s church about the false calvinist teachings they were getting, we were told to not contact them again but to direct all our correspondence to the pastor (who then never answered us anyway because he had no answers either). We emailed a very good friend of ours (a calvinist) about calvinism; he said he didn’t want to communicate with us again (and hasn’t). This is typical calvinist behaviour. They won’t answer because they can’t because they know it cannot stand up to biblical scrutiny without Calvin’s input. They claim sola scriptura (the Bible alone) yet are unable to defend any of their doctrines from the Bible alone.
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I’ve been watching Todd at Wretched for a couple months now. I started by watching Ray Comfort at Living Waters. It’s been 41 years since “I asked Jesus into my heart.” Guess what. He did! I was born into a devout Catholic family, became Born Again and went into Word Faith a la Ken Copeland, then dumped that pretty quick and became a member of a Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada church. Simultaneously I attended for 5 years a high school run by a combination of Baptists and Christian Reformed (both Calvinist denominations). I’ve had close friends from Foursquare, Mennonite, Lutheran, Anglican, etc, etc. My point being that I have been exposed to many different Christian denominations on an intimate, family and friendship level for the past 4 decades. Not just by randomly speaking to people while I’m evangelising to them.
I have realized that Todd, Ray Comfort, Justin Peters, Phil Johnson and their various ministry buddies do have many “Biblical” interpretations that I don’t agree with. They do seem rather narrow minded in their evangelism and I don’t mean when they say, “Jesus is the only way.” I think we can all agree on that. I think starting with the Ten Commandments is a good tactic to convict people of their sins but I would not throw it at everybody. Obviously I think HOW you accept Jesus into your life to be the Lord is not as important as that you DO it and that you MEAN it. I knew nothing about the Bible and barely what I was doing. I had no idea even what to say to Jesus. I stumbled through a short prayer. But Jesus knew my heart and that I wanted Him no matter the cost. And many people have come to Him all sorts of different ways. Just as I don’t believe one HAS to say the sinners prayer or your not saved, neither do I believe the sinners prayer some how is wrong because it isn’t specifically referred to in the Bible. ( very good point you made there).
I’ve had lots of exposure to different denominations and many interpreting the Bible differently than I do. I’ve picked the issues that I think are the absolute basics (ie. Who Jesus is) and let other things slide. Not because they aren’t important but because they are not worth the division in Christ’s body they’ll cause.
I do understand where you are coming from and I agree with most of your comments about Mr. Friel. However, please be careful what you call heresy. Just because someone interprets the Bible different to you doesn’t mean they are a heretic. Wrong, perhaps. And something you might want to warn others about but a “heretic” is a big deal. People have been executed for it. I recommend you reread Paul’s letters and take note of the times he was correcting an “error” and when he was drawing an absolute line and which topics fell into which category. I even made a list because I wanted to know where I could give some leeway and when I had to draw an absolute line.
I believe Todd has many things wrong and also Calvinism in general and many other denominations too. But he believes in the deity of Jesus, His death and resurrection and mostly that we are saved through grace and grace alone. How he gets people to believe that is not as important. He might not do it as you or I would but remember it’s Jesus who seeks, convicts and saves us regardless of all the ways different evangelists bumble through it. (Speaking mostly of myself). Also, Todd speaks God’s word (which does not return void) and sends people to read the Bible for themselves, over and over. I think he has his priorities straight, the basics correct and I trust Jesus to clean up any evangelical messes.
I admire that you have stuck your neck out for your beliefs, your desire to warn people and your obvious love for Jesus and the Word. And I certainly understand your frustration at hearing scriptural error. But my main reason for writing is my concern for your term heretic. It is a massively serious accusation to make and my suggestion is that you dig a bit deeper on it’s definition, who did Jesus and Paul consider heretics and why. Calling someone a heretic causes division, can destroy a reputation, hurt a brother in Christ and damage the Body of Christ. You need to be sure you’re absolutely right about it because Jesus will be questioning you about it face to face some day. And there just may be the chance you are wrong. I’m curious if you’ve even spoken to Todd about your concerns before launching that accusation at him? There are very definite rules in the Bible about confronting a Brother in Christ. Or are you saying he’s not a Christian either? I wonder what Todd would do if he was in your shoes and disagreed with what you believe? The things I hope you did do and considered before you wrote your post.
With blogs, tweets, Facebook, comments everywhere, we’ve become used to just writing our opinion anywhere at any time. But within the Church it’s very different. It’s not only Christians reading our words it’s Jesus-haters too. Before I write anything critical about a fellow Believer, I reread 1 Corinthians 13. Then weigh the cost of what I’ll gain vs what will be lost.
At any rate, I’m glad you wrote it and hope you continue to take a stand. As the World grows darker I think we true believers must band together to take our stand against satan’s lies and it’s always encouraging to see a man of God do just that.
Thank you for reading my rather lengthy letter. I hope you accept it as concern and food for thought and not in any way a finger pointing. (Which is not my place)
Sincerely, your Sister in Jesus, Laura-Lee
Thank you for your effort to comment. It is nice to have someone seriously question my statements without declaring me a problem of some kind. I appreciate the time you have spent to put this together. I think that the main or only point of disagreement here is whether or not I should declare Todd Friel a heretic. So, as you have made a reasonable and respectful effort to query this, I will make a reasonable and respectful effort to defend what I believe in. Therefore I’ll stick to the one topic – heresies and heretics – and try to give good reason as to why I think as I do. I believe 1 Peter 3:15 covers it well enough – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Firstly I’ll define “heresy”.
Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. (Wikipedia)
Thus, in a Bible-believing church, heresy would be any view that is strongly at variance with biblical doctrine. And, any person teaching such “strongly at variance” views within that church would be a heretic. This is the definition I use when declaring someone to be a heretic.
Of course, it is possible (and even likely) to have a wide range of beliefs in a church without entering the realm of heresy. But if someone were to teach a belief that denied any of the fundamental biblical doctrines of that church, then it is possible that such a person could be declared a heretic. In particular, the major area of heresy in most churches is found in the gospel of salvation. If someone teaches a false gospel that leads to hell, then that false gospel is heresy, and the person teaching such heresy is a heretic. Please note that Paul in Galatians 1:8 says that anyone who preaches a false gospel is to be accursed (that is, condemned to hell) – But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (Greek = anathema: without hope of redemption). Paul certainly talked tough on this issue!
Also note 2 Peter 2:1 where it teaches that false teachers will secretly, stealthily or craftily bring destructive heresies (“damnable heresies”) into the church.
Friel says: Brace yourself for this one: with very few if any exceptions, anyone who asked Jesus into their hearts to be saved…is not. If you asked Jesus into your heart because you were told that is what you have to do to become a Christian, you were mis-informed. …… People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment. (“Ten Reasons Not to Ask Jesus into your Heart”, Todd Friel)
Friel is clearly stating that anyone who asks Jesus to come into their lives as Lord and Saviour (as I did many years ago) is not saved and that he or she will perish on the Day of Judgment. Clearly Friel, like a good calvinist, considers the sinner’s prayer to be a heresy according to the definition of heresy above. Calvinists cannot accept any free will at all in salvation. I teach that whosoever calls by their own free will upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13), which means that I teach as true something that Friel teaches as false. Thus Friel is required to declare me anathema and declare me a heretic for teaching a false gospel according to him. Friel would be inconsistent and illogical if he didn’t declare me a heretic. After all, he has to declare my gospel false, doesn’t he! (And he certainly does, too!) And a false gospel is anathema according to the Bible.
But, if the gospel I teach (of Romans 10:13) is the biblically-correct one, then for Friel to declare it false is for Friel to teach another gospel. And if Friel teaches another gospel, he is anathema (Galatians 1:8) and his false gospel is heresy.
The fact is that one of us (myself or Friel) must be a heretic because our gospels are completely different from each other. The Bible teaches that we hear the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, then we must choose whether or not we call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (our free-will decision). Friel says such a gospel will lead to that person perishing on the Day of Judgment. His gospel is that you do not choose God; He chooses you. That is, Friel’s gospel does not permit any free-will decision of man, ever. According to him, you are either chosen or not chosen by the calvinist God to go to heaven, and there is nothing you can do about it, ever. Wherever the calvinist God has chosen to send you will be your destiny, forever, so accept it! This is a false gospel indeed.
No matter how reasonable and respectful I am, there is no simple way to say this. Yes, I have to declare Friel to be a heretic because he teaches a false gospel, another gospel that must be declared anathema. His gospel is clearly strongly at variance with biblical doctrine as I see it. Of course, if you say that my gospel is not biblical, then you would have to declare me a heretic instead. When it comes to the gospel, one of us must be teaching a false gospel; one of us is a heretic; one of us is anathema! Of course, if Friel were to openly accept that my free-will sinner’s prayer could lead to my genuine salvation, then who knows? But I very much doubt that he would, after declaring that a sinner’s prayer couldn’t save me! And no, I haven’t discussed this personally with Friel, although I have no doubt he knows what I am saying. But note that Friel did not contact me personally before condemning me to perish on the Day of Judgment for praying a sinner’s prayer! According to Friel I cannot be saved, therefore not a Christian, because I will perish on the Day of Judgment. Friel is welcome to contact me at any time to discuss these matters.
You may read what I say about Friel in The Heresy of Todd Friel.
If you have any further comment to add to this discussion, then feel free to do so. Any genuine and honest comment will be considered carefully according to its adherence to sola scriptura (the Bible alone). Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you making the effort to present a defence. I trust that you will seek to test all things for yourself as per 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Have a good day.
I really enjoyed reading this post. It brought back many memories of my time in a Calvinist church. I remember one day I was talking to the Head Pastor and was telling him about different times in my life where I should have probaby died. I jokingly said “Maybe I am on of the elect”. His answer was “You MIGHT be”. So yes, calvinists can have no assurance of salvation until they die.
In their statement of faith there is this one line that stands out – “We are unable, without the prior regenerative work of God’s Spirit, to turn ourselves to God”. When I first read this two years ago, I knew nothing about Calvinism, in fact had never heard the word. But I can see know what they truly mean, and you have covered it in your post. Of course, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin before we accept Jesus, but that is not regeneration.
I believe that Calvinism is works based salvation. The church I attended were always banging on about church attendance, bible study, serving in the church, giving financially etc. These are good things in and of themselves, but they just never shut up about it, they hated it when people didn’t give their all for that particular church. It was like if we didn’t faithfully do all these things all the time, there was a problem with our Christianity.
I pray for that church I attended, there are a lot of sincere Christians among them who just blindly accept everything they are told. They are not good Bereans.
I am glad that you have enjoyed this post. I also had some joy writing it, although it is with heaviness of heart that there are so many who believe in calvinism, not realising that it is destroying them rather than building them up.
You are absolutely correct when you say that the Holy Spirit must convict us of sin before we accept Jesus. The biblical process which calvinists totally deny is that we must firstly hear the gospel. It’s why satan tries to blind the eyes of the lost lest the glorious gospel of Christ should shine light unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). The gospel is God’s statement about our sin. If we trust God’s word on this, then we will experience godly sorrow, which will cause us to repent of our sin (2 Corinthians 7:10), and then, by faith in God who by His word has promised to save us (Romans 10:17), to seek salvation by calling on the name of Jesus to be saved (Romans 10:13). At this point we are born again (regenerated means “born again”) by the power of the Holy Spirit as an integral part of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ. But the first step is the preaching of the gospel and the conviction of the Holy Spirit that we are indeed the sinners that God has declared us to be.
And yes, the good works that calvinists do are not bad in themselves. I sometimes wish, too, that I had the missionary zeal of the JWs who tirelessly door-knock week after week. If such work could get them to heaven, then the JWs would beat us all there. And so would many calvinists, too. Oh that we would try to be as good at works as many of them are. But works alone makes good puritans, not necessarily Christians. If the world were full of puritans then it would be a better place than it is today. But, all those who had not called on the name of the Lord to be saved would still go to hell in spite of all their good puritan works.
And please keep praying for those you know who still attend a calvinist church. Many of them may be Christians who have been deceived by the lies of calvinism. They do indeed blindly accept everything they are taught because they trust their leaders to do the right thing. Even sincere Christians can be led astray by trusting the wrong people. Pray that they would seek the truth for themselves. No-one should ever believe just because someone else has told them what to believe. We should all believe for ourselves; no-one should believe for us. And if we do not understand something, then we should study the Bible and think about it, and seek guidance from the Holy Spirit until we can understand it for ourselves. Commentaries can help but they can never take the place of the Bible. Studying the meanings of the original languages is also very helpful. Listen to others you trust but always be discerning like a good Berean, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Thank you for your comments. You are showing discernment in your thinking, for what you say is clearly your view, not another’s.
It’s a pity this person wasn’t brave enough to make any serious or reasonable comment. No comment was actually given, no name either, which means that this person is hiding something. Probably he’/she is a scammer or a calvinist – take your pick. I do not permit trackbacking nor do I permit pingbacks. Please do not request if refusal offends! If you wish to make a genuine comment, then name yourself, plus give a thought-out reasoned comment. Otherwise, don’t bother!!