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List of comments on this page.
11/. 7/4/21 From: Brian; Subject: I am greatly concerned
12/. 23/04/21 From: Andrew; Topic: Dividing the church
13/. 30/04/21 From: Heather; Subject: Calvinism and sin
14/. 11/05/21 From: Stewart; Subject: A thank you and an objection
15/. 14/05/21 From: Stewart; Subject: Calvinism is madness itself
16/. 15/05/21 From: Stewart; Subject: Calvinism is madness itself
17/. 18/05/21 From: Paul; Subject: Is MacArthur a Freemason?
18/. 26/05/21 From: Craig; Subject: Calvinism
19/. 30/05/21 From: Heather; Subject: Calvinism, Cults and Control
Subject: Calvinism, Cults, and Control
I was reading your post “Calvinism, Cults, and Control” (2/02/20) and so much of what you said fits the Calvinist church we recently left. Here are some of the cult-like things that happened after a Calvinist pastor took over our non-Calvinist church:
1. From the beginning, he started laying the groundwork that disagreement with him (about his Calvinist view of predestination and God’s sovereignty, in particular) was not allowed and that anyone who did disagree with him was unhumble and disagreeing with God.
2. He started small group “Calvinist indoctrination classes” with the elders and more prominent men, studying Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.
3. He quotes from many Calvinist authors in his sermons. During one sermon, he quoted many Calvinists but not one Bible verse. And in the church library, they display the “pastor’s picks,” almost all of which are from Calvinist authors. And he strongly pushed the ESV (MacArthur’s ESV Study Bible, I think) as “THE Bible” to use.
4. He is a strong, educated, charismatic preacher, and so he sounds confident and “right,” causing people to eagerly suck up everything he says and wanting to be identified with him, to the point of even shouting out “Amen” at some of the worst things he says, such as “God sovereignly controls all things, even all the tragedies that happened in your life, for His glory. He loves Himself most, and so everything He does is for Himself, for His own glory.” (And other than saying that some people believe in free-will, he never brings up the fact that there are many people, over centuries, who have disagreed with Calvinism. He never lets the people know that there are other ways to view this issue.)
5. He was very careful to never use the words Calvinist or Calvinism or Reformed. (It took him several years to mention Calvin or TULIP.) He just kept calling his theology “biblical truth/doctrine” and “what the Bible says.” This way, no one knows his theology has a name and so they can’t look it up online. (Apparently, when he interviewed for the head pastor position, the elders knew he was a dogmatic Calvinist. But no one told this to the congregation when we had church-wide meetings. And I think they did this on purpose.)
6. Early on, he did a nine-month series in Romans to push his Calvinism over nine long months.
7. The last straw for us was when he wrote a post about predestination on the church blog and I left a comment where I disagreed (respectfully and from the Bible) with his views on predestination. My comment showed up for a few hours (it was only a God-thing that I even bothered to check – during a Christmas party we were at – to see if they posted it), and then it was deleted a few hours later. My guess is that the office staff posted it, but then the pastor saw it and deleted it. We realized then that disagreement would not be tolerated and that they wouldn’t allow the church to be exposed to views from “the other side.” And so we knew we had no choice but to leave.
8. After our letter to the elders expressing our concerns about how dogmatic he is about his Calvinism and asking him to tone it down so that he doesn’t repel those who disagree, he got even more vocal about it, pushing it even more aggressively. It was almost like since the secret was out then he may as well expose himself more fully.
9. And after we left, they joined the 9marks and Gospel Coalition church-finders, diving even deeper into the Calvinist cult/gangs.
These are some of the cult-like things I noticed at our church.
Also, in response to another post you wrote where MacArthur claims to have always been a believer (never having made an actual conscious decision to put his faith in Jesus), I found this quote from a Calvinist commenter on another blog that should concern all true Christians, because it exposes the very unbiblical way Calvinists are “saved.” I am going to paraphrase it because I don’t know your policy on quoting from other blog’s comment sections: “The way the Holy Spirit regenerates the elect is similar to giving someone a drug. In both cases, the person is changed by something happening to them that they can’t resist, not by them doing anything. The person doesn’t know what happened or how it happened. All they know is that they hated God one minute but that they love Him the next minute. The Holy Spirit made the person born again without their knowledge, making it irresistible.”
In Calvinism, you don’t do anything to become saved, not even want God or seek God or choose to believe or even know that you are choosing to believe. It just happens to you, without any thought or knowledge on your part. You wake up one day and realize that you were always one of God’s elect. What a demonic lie! Teaching people that they have no control over and can’t do the ONE THING God tells us to do to be saved: to believe in the Lord Jesus. How can anyone truly be saved the Calvinist way if they deny what God told us to do (our responsibility) to be saved?
Thank you for your informative comments. I hope those who are in calvinist churches take note of what you say. Reviews are a part of our lives these days, and bad reviews of calvinism are on the increase. Your pastor was far from being the only one to be critical of those who disagreed with him. In a Ligonier interview, new-calvinist pastor Steve Lawson said: “In my earlier years, the greatest challenges I faced were preaching the doctrines of grace to congregations that were theologically untaught. To say the least, it was difficult and demanding to try to establish God-centered truth and a biblical philosophy of ministry where there had previously been a stronghold of man-centered thinking concerning the work of God in salvation. Though it was obviously a painful process, the only way to meet such an obstacle was head-on, unashamedly preaching the full counsel of God.” That is, because he was so right, then the others were “theologically untaught”? What arrogance is this!
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Am I predestined to be saved? Have I been chosen, elected?
This bothers me. I don’t want to go to hell. I don’t choose hell.
My Bible says it is not God’s will that any perish but all be saved through Jesus Christ.
Calvinism says only the elect, chosen, predestined, will be saved.
1/. Craig, your Bible is absolutely correct when it says that God is not willing that any should perish. It also says very clearly that all those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). So, if you have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved, and truly meant it in your heart (no pretend prayers!), then God promises to save you. Because He never breaks a promise, then you are saved. The Bible is right and calvinism is wrong!
2/. If you are truly saved, then you should do all you can to live a life worthy of a Christian, and to stay away from the worldly sinful pleasures that you may have once enjoyed. Having faith in Jesus Christ without any Christian works is a dead faith (James 2:17). Read your Bible. Regularly communicate with God in prayer.
3/. People are not saved because they are good; instead they are good because they are saved.
4/. Calvinism says that man has no free will to choose to be saved. You must go where you have been predestined to go: either to heaven or hell. This is all lies! It cannot be found in the Bible anywhere at all. If they quote Bible verses, be certain to check them out for yourself, for they will twist the meanings, and tell outright lies about what they teach. Read the Bible for yourself because where God sends you at the judgment will be according to your choice alone!
5/. God says to choose for yourself whom you will serve. “choose you this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).
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Subject: Is MacArthur a Freemason?
Thank you for sharing this truth!
Reply: Thank you for your comment.
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Extra thoughts from this website regarding the last three comments below:
After further communication with this person, I am withdrawing some of the comments I made concerning him. He assures me that he is not a Quaker nor has ever had any connections to them. I drew incorrect conclusions regarding his comment about Gary Thomas. I o9ffer my sincere apologies for those comments.
However, I continue to state that it’s not what a calvinist says, but what he doesn’t say that is most revealing about his beliefs.
I will still pray for this person because I continue to have concerns about his belief in that non-biblical calvinism.
Since then I have had a brief discussion via email after which he has stated that he will not write any further. I have acknowledged this and that I will write no further to him. Over and over I have presented reasoning to demonstrate the inconsistencies of calvinism, yet he continued to not directly tackle many of the questions I raised. He is free to believe whatever he wants to, and I do not claim to know all answers either, although I do claim to be a genuine seeker after God’s truth. In the end, however, all will be brought to light and judged when we face God. Those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be condemned to hell. It is too late to do anything about it after we die, so it is absolutely imperative to get it right before we die. No matter how much we defend what we would like to be the truth, it is God who defines that truth and it is God who will judge us on what we did with that truth. It would be a tragedy to stand before God and know that we missed out on the truth because we were too busy trying to defend what we wanted to be the truth (but wasn’t). All of us have to consider these issues.
Subject: Calvinism is madness itself
Comment left out – see reply below for excerpts and responses
The comment is long again, so I will not print it in its entirety. These comments are to be directed to what my website says, so why not quote the points you wish to challenge. Please note that I have already put forward a number of points for you to consider and you have failed to address them directly. So I will reply directly to some of your comment.
1/. You said: “I asked you earlier how you came to repent and believe the Gospel, despite what Scripture says about your natural condition, and you did not give a biblically satisfactory answer. It is not biblically consistent to simply say you called upon the name of the Lord when Scripture says that no one seeks God. What is consistent is to understand that if you called on the name of the Lord, then God first chose you. Jesus talks about this at length in the book of John. It is also clearly taught multiple times in the epistles.”
You haven’t given any scripture references to give specific support to your claims. While you shouldn’t quote a long list of passages somewhat disconnected to your statements (as you did last time), you should however refer to specific verses explaining clearly how they support the particular point you are making. This is my policy here.
Note what I said regarding my salvation earlier on. Verse references should used in the framework of a statement for clarification.
I wrote: “Romans 10:13 says that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. I did so and therefore I was saved by faith in God’s promises. Then God by His foreknowledge knew that (1 Peter 1:2) and placed me on the list of the elect from the foundation of the world (Revelation 17:8). Simple to understand, isn’t it?!” This is what God says I must do to be saved, so I did it. If you think otherwise, then take that argument up with Almighty God. I am just following God’s instructions. Who are you to declare God’s word false?
2/. Where does the book of John support lack of free will? For example, John 6:44 does not say that all who are drawn must come, but that all who come must have been drawn (as per John 12:32). And in Acts 13:46-48, Paul removes the right (by God’s appointment) of the Jews to access God’s salvation and makes the Gentiles instead appointed to hear the gospel. Read the whole context! Note that John 15:16 also includes Judas. And that Judas was one of the elect in John 6:70-71 even though he was a devil.
3/. You said: “Why not at least leave the references?” Then why not make your references an integral part of your statements? I left them out because you just gave brief headings with multiple passages under each heading, without any individual explanation as to why each passage was relevant to the rest of your comment. What you consider a passage means may be different to what I think. How does each passage support your views? (And therefore refute mine?) This is really a debate and should be treated as such. Build your references into your statements, not as a separate list which lacks context!
4/. You said: “Scripture says that no one seeks God” Yes, that is what the Bible says in more than one place. But just because someone doesn’t do something does not automatically mean that he cannot do it. Why does God say that if we seek for Him with all our heart, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13) if it is impossible to do so? Are you declaring God to be a liar? Or inconsistent?
Consider this: In Matthew 23:37, Jesus says He “would” that He could gather them but the population of Jerusalem “would not”. In each case “would” is thelo (to will; have in mind; intend); both are Aorist, Active, and Indicative case. If it were an act of Jesus’ will to want them to come, then it must also be an act of the peoples’ wills to refuse.
5/. You said: “Everything I have written you has been in response to what you have said.” No, that is not true. Where have you specifically referred to something I said in order to refute it? I quote you and then give my refutation. You do not appear to have done this with anything I said in my previous replies.
6/. You said: “It is important to recognize that you do not accurately reflect the teachings of Calvinism.” Then demonstrate that with proper use of biblical references in context. Quote the specific statement that I have made that you wish to oppose and then demonstrate (with proper use of biblical references) why it is wrong.
7/. You said: “It is of God, not the will of the flesh nor the will of man.” Please note that Romans 9:18 refers to God’s mercy. Note its context. Paul is writing about Israel who thought that because they were God’s chosen people that they had a God-given right to have mercy shown to them. They had decided that they would worship God in their way and therefore God had to fulfill the terms of His covenant with them. Paul is simply saying that no-one may demand mercy on the basis of their self-perceived service for God as His covenanted people. It is God alone who determines to whom He will show mercy. He goes on in Romans 9 to say that it is not Israel but the Gentiles who have attained to righteousness because of their faith, something Israel did not show as a nation!
8/. You said: “You are saying a follower of Calvinism is a follower of Calvin. I am saying that is not true. Calvinism is a biblical framework for understanding how God works in salvation.” Then why call it calvinism? And it is far from biblical for God to offer salvation to all who call upon His name (Romans 10:13) after predestinating most of mankind to hell without any other option available, simply for the crime of doing what the calvinist God decreed that they should do. If man has a will to respond, then it ceases to be calvinism, too. Calvinism is a framework built upon their God having absolute control over all that will ever happen.
9/. You said: “God saves in a concise way through Calvinism.” How? By causing them to be born again before they are able to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved? Yet how can they respond to the gospel before being born again if they are allegedly dead corpses? The calvinist gospel is false!
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Subject: Calvinism is madness itself
I must confess that I do not fully understand your challenge for Calvinists. Do you not believe one of the following: that God is perfect, or that He is sovereign? Or is it that you do not maintain that sin is imperfection in God’s creation? I’ve included several passages on the various aspects of your question below: (These have been omitted due to website policy. See my reply below for further explanation.)
It should be abundantly clear from the above passages that God is completely perfect and completely sovereign. And though God is not the author of sin, He allows sin and even uses it sovereignly for his perfect purposes. Sin is imperfection, no doubt, but the existence of sin in the world does not mean that God imperfectly created the world. Rather, it simply means that God, in His wisdom and perfection, deemed sin to be an appropriate part of His eternal plan of redemption, something He would both allow and conquer to the praise of the glory of His name. But God’s will is not the only will in the universe. This is not what Calvinism teaches. It seems that I am gathering from you that you think Calvinism teaches that God has programmed Satan, demons and the lost to not believe. I would argue that He hasn’t forced their unbelief, but rather withheld His gracious work in salvation from them. With this understanding, one can see how God’s will would be for their destruction, but only insomuch that He did not force them to repent. Scripture clearly teaches that no one seeks God. Therefore, those who do seek God and call upon the name of the Lord are only those who have been given a new heart, those who have been born again. And God alone decides this.
I think many of your attacks spring from confusion you have about the teaching. Though the doctrines of grace are termed “Calvinism” this does not mean that Calvinism is whatever John Calvin has written. On the subject of the author of sin, Calvin contradicted himself. I don’t know much about Calvin because my faith in no way is based on him. My faith is based on the Scriptures. And with that said, I find it thoroughly helpful to have the proper foundation of how God moves in salvation because if we don’t understand that, everything else will be skewed. It is most beneficial that I understand that I was radically depraved and without hope yet God chose me not based on any merit of my own, and that Christ’s death purchased my very salvation, rather than simply purchasing the opportunity to be saved. If it was just the opportunity to be saved, I understand through Scripture that my evil heart would not submit to God, repent and believe the Gospel. No, I needed God to choose me and Christ to specifically purchase my salvation with His blood. This was an irresistible grace that drew me to Christ. And with the knowledge that this work was completely initiated and accomplished by God, I have biblical confidence that He will finish the work He began and that I will remain faithful till the end, for that the mark of a genuine believer: the fruit of lasting repentance and faith. These works are not my salvation, but rather the proof of my salvation.
You do seem to have a lot of angst in your writing. I hope you can acknowledge that it’s not beneficial to say people are stupid for believing things that are admittedly quite difficult to process. I understand having a holy passion and anger against false teaching, but we both know inflammatory names are not the appropriate way to fight it. The truth of God’s Word is all we need.
1/. I do not print Bible verses in my Comments, unless fully explained. If printed in full, they must be public domain such as the KJV. (NASB 1995 is not public domain.) Mostly I only print verse references anyway.
2/. There is little point to listing any verse reference unless you specifically explain why that verse is relevant to your comment. This website is not for private Bible studies, just comments on what I have written.
3/. You have failed to specifically address any of the points I raised in my previous reply to you. Please note that these Comments are for commenting on what I have stated, not for a person’s personal testimony on why they are right. Note that I specifically discussed points that you have raised in your previous comment. You should do the same. This is a debate, not a public soapbox. I may moderate future comments.
4/. You said: “This is not what Calvinism teaches.” Oh yes, it does. Both Calvin and calvinist teachers since then have taught what I have stated to be so. I have quoted them many, many times. It is you who actually misrepresent calvinism! Please do your research!
5/. You said: “God is not the author of sin” (Yet Calvin clearly said that God was the author of all evils!) Then, who is the author of sin? Calvin taught that there was only one will in the universe: the will of sovereign God. According to Calvin’s teachings, nothing can ever happen unless it was decreed by God. That must include sin or else Calvin is wrong. Or perhaps sin is a random event just like the unconditional election? Unconditional means without any condition applied; this is the classic definition of a random selection in statistics. Therefore the unconditional election is no more than a celestial lottery.
6/. You said: “this does not mean that Calvinism is whatever John Calvin has written. On the subject of the author of sin, Calvin contradicted himself.” So, why declare yourself a calvinist if you don’t believe what Calvin taught? Isn’t this hypocritical at the very least? You seem to be very confused about what you really believe.
7/. You said: “I don’t know much about Calvin because my faith in no way is based on him.” But your faith is clearly based upon Calvin’s teachings or else you wouldn’t so vehemently defend calvinism. Why defend that which you don’t believe in?
8/. You said: “These works are not my salvation, but rather the proof of my salvation.” Did you know that Calvin taught that the Holy Spirit gave a temporary faith to some? They did all the works of the elect yet were never born again.(Institutes Bk 3, Ch.2, Section 11) How do you know your works are not the consequence of a temporary faith?
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Subject: A thank you and an objection
Thanks for exposing the mysticism that Gary Thomas teaches.
Your understanding of Calvinism is not correct. I just read your article “Calvinists deny God His full sovereignty” and you were repeatedly fighting against an imaginary position. I’ll give you several examples.
Calvinists do not teach that God does not permit free will. Calvinists teach that man is slave to whatever masters him. Prior to Christ, that is sin. The teaching is that man has no free will to do that which is pleasing to God apart from the regeneration brought about by God. He will never have the will to please God as long as he is in the flesh. This is a clear biblical concept.
Calvinists do not teach that God is only sovereign if there is no other opposing will in the universe. God has sovereignly chosen who will be saved and subsequently who will not, but there are absolutely wills that challenge God throughout the universe, not the least being Satan’s. Every man and woman exercises a will that is opposed to God.
Your statement: “Calvinists don’t like to think of their God as condemning the non-elect to hell (even though Calvin clearly taught such) because it makes their God look like a vindictive ogre.” Perhaps many struggle with this. I do not, and I do not think it makes God look like a vindictive ogre. If that is your position, it is merely because you do not adequately appreciate the holiness of God. God is holy, righteous and just, and as such, He must punish the wrongdoer. That is exactly what He does. Just because a truth about God is not palatable to the natural man does not make it wrong. I do not expect the natural man to approve of God, and neither does Scripture.
Your statement: “the elect – their term for those who are saved” How is this not your term as well? This is a term for God’s chosen people over and over in Scripture.
There are many other things that you misrepresented, but for the sake of time, I’m only mentioning those. The big question you’ve got to square with Scripture is how your evil, God-hating heart decided to repent and believe the Gospel. How did you do that work? Just like a baby doesn’t decide when to be born, the elect do not decide when to be born again. No, this is the work of God, not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor of the will of man. If you had your way and God did not sovereignly elect those to whom He would gift repentance and faith, we would all perish in our unbelief and sin. The focus then becomes on the amazing grace of our Savior who chose any wretches at all!
I admit I did not know true Calvinism until about 2 years ago. And though I did not openly mock it, I took issue with what I misunderstood it to be. I only embrace it now because I find it to be the clear and consistent message of Scripture, and certainly not because it appears in many of Calvin’s or any others’ writings. You are right that one cannot take a higher view of God’s sovereignty than Scripture does, but I would contend that you do not understand how Scripture presents God’s sovereignty. But please go back and consider this idea that you somehow chose God of your own free will. How did you do that?
My apologies for such a lengthy response. You raised a number of issues commonly raised by many calvinists and deserve a reasoned answer. Regarding Gary Thomas, he is simply being true to his Quaker beliefs which rely heavily upon mysticism especially in prayer.
1/. Thank you for your comments. I note that you have presented little or no evidence for your contentions. It is clear that you do not know as much about calvinism as you think you do! Instead, you have presented what many calvinists would like calvinism to look like (but really isn’t!). The two are diametrically opposed! Why not try to refute the documentation supporting my statements in my post? You say I have misrepresented calvinism, yet I have presented the true face of calvinism in my documents. Please demonstrate why if you disagree (sola scriptura, of course).
2/. You said: “Calvinists do not teach that God does not permit free will. Calvinists teach that man is slave to whatever masters him.” Calvinism teaches that God has ordained all things from the beginning. Nothing happens unless God has written it into the script at the beginning. The calvinist God even decides which master you will be enslaved to!
“God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass” (Westminster Confession)
Nothing happens unless the calvinist God has decreed it from the beginning.
Calvin said: “it is clear that all events take place by his (God’s) sovereign appointment.” (Institutes Bk 3, Ch. 23, Section 6) and “nothing happens but what he (God) has knowingly and willingly decreed” (Institutes Bk 1, Ch.16, Section 3)
Even man’s eternal future in heaven or hell has been foreordained from the beginning by the calvinist God. Calvin taught that all have been “predestinated to life or to death.” (Institutes BK 3, Ch.21, Section 5) Where you go, either heaven or hell, has been decreed and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. There is nothing you can do by your will that can ever change what the calvinist God has determined that you should do. Your will can never oppose the calvinist God’s will!
3/. You said: “there are absolutely wills that challenge God throughout the universe, not the least being Satan’s”
Yet Calvin wrote: “Satan cannot possibly do anything against the will and consent of God.” (Institutes Bk 1, Ch.14, Section 17)
4/. You said: “Every man and woman exercises a will that is opposed to God.”
But, as just shown above, you cannot exercise a will of your own to do anything that has not already been foreordained by the calvinist God. Calvinism denies your statement! You will oppose the calvinist God because he has ordained by his will that you should do so.
5/. You said: “God is holy, righteous and just, and as such, He must punish the wrongdoer.”
But according to Calvin, your “holy, righteous and just” God was the author of all evils and therefore you sin because God caused you to do so.
Calvin said: “if all things are done by the will of God, and men contrive nothing except by His will and ordination, then God is the author of all evils.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God).
So isn’t it the height of sadistic vindictiveness to decree that a person sins and then punish him for obeying God’s will? That is really sick! To be sent to hell for doing what God made him do?
And, please tell me how a “holy, righteous and just” God can decree sin so that man can know God better? Calvinist Jonathan Edwards said: “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, man can not perceive God’s perfection without sin present! What calvinist blasphemy!
6/. You said: “Your statement: “the elect – their term for those who are saved” How is this not your term as well? This is a term for God’s chosen people over and over in Scripture.”
Calvinists believe in an unconditional election: that people are chosen by God independently of anything they can or will do, either good or bad, that nothing anyone can do can alter God’s choice. However, the biblical election is conditional upon the foreknowledge of God (1 Peter 1:2) and so is God’s predestination to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Please note what the Bible says, and not false calvinist teachings! The election is biblical; the calvinist unconditional election is not!
7/. You said: “But please go back and consider this idea that you somehow chose God of your own free will. How did you do that?” Is this a trick question? I chose to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13) per my own free will, of course!
8/. You said: “the elect do not decide when to be born again” Yes they do! Romans 10:13 says that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. I did so and therefore I was saved by faith in God’s promises. Then God by His foreknowledge knew that (1 Peter 1:2) and placed me on the list of the elect from the foundation of the world (Revelation 17:8). Simple to understand, isn’t it?!
9/. Thank you for your effort in making this comment. I genuinely pray that you will see the biblical truth condemning calvinism before it takes too great a hold on your soul.
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Subject: Calvinism and sin
I read your post on Calvinism is Madness. Good points. And I just wanted to share something my Calvi-pastor said about sin. He said, from the pulpit, that everything in your life – every tragedy, including childhood abuse – was ordained by God (Calvinists mean “preplanned/caused” when they say “ordained”). It was His “Plan A” for your life. And according to him, God did this for your good, for His glory, and because He knew what needed to happen to you to humble you.
So Calvi-god (my name for Calvinism’s god) causes children to be abused because it’s glorifying to him and because it’s for their good and to keep them humble. (However, he also would have first caused their prideful condition and then caused them to be abused to humble them. That’s sick!)
And my pastor’s adult Calvinist son “figured out” the reason that God ordains sin: Because He loves Himself more than anything else and wants to worship Himself for how just He is. And so He needed sinners to punish so that He could show off His justice by punishing sin so that He could get worshipped for it (by people and by Himself).
Calvinism is sick, twisted madness! What an assault on the Gospel and the character of God!
Thank you for sharing some of your experiences in relation to this post. It is indeed “sick, twisted madness” that calvinism must glorify sin and evil in order to justify its God’s “sovereign perfection”.
1/. The calvinist God does indeed love himself; he is incapable of love for anyone else. The true God’s agape love was for others and not for Himself! What a difference between the two!
2/. Because calvinists have to believe that their God is perfect and has ordained all things, then everything (including sin and evil) in this world must glorify their God.
3/. In calvinism, there is no evil as such but “an evil good”. Note that Augustine (from whom calvinism’s beliefs actually came) said that “it would seem to mean that we are saying that what is evil is good, that only what is good is ever evil and that there is no evil apart from something good …. what then, is a bad man except an evil good?” (“Enchiridion”) Calvinism is based upon Yin/Yang beliefs where enlightenment rests on a necessary balance between good and evil.
4/. Calvin taught that his God was “the author of all evils”. While calvinists such as MacArthur and Piper “invent” two wills for God (one will for what he wants and the other will for what he commands), Calvin taught that his God could only have one will. Thus, when Calvin’s God decreed evil, it was for good, but when man carried out God’s will, it was evil! Calvin said: “I have shown that He wills the same as the criminal and the wicked, but in a different way.” (“Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God”)
5/. Piper says that God having two wills “is not a sign of divine schizophrenia”. (“Are there two wills in God?”) Obviously Piper thinks that his God demonstrates symptoms of schizophrenia (now termed multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder).
6/. The calvinist God is therefore not the God of the Bible!
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Subject: Dividing the church
It is unfortunate to see what could very well be a fellow brother in Christ calling other Christians heretics. It is true on its face that He who created all things, including time, is the Author of past, present, and future.
1/. So what point are you actually making? And who exactly are you talking about? Your comment is certainly quite vague. Why not come straight to the point and state clearly what you are thinking?
2/. If you have just read my article on the heresy of Friel (which you have), then what is the purpose of this comment? Where is my biblical reasoning and logic incorrect? Where have I misrepresented Friel in my document?
3/. Note that Friel says that “People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment.” This is denying salvation in Christ alone. Friel clearly believes in the calvinist gospel which has people born again (regenerated) before they may respond to the gospel and believe in Christ; it also denies mankind the free will to choose to be saved. The gospel of Romans 10:13 therefore declares Friel to be teaching heresy. 2 Peter 2:3 declares God’s judgment of false teachers will not linger.
4/. Calvinism is not a Christian doctrine. It teaches that one must be born again with eternal life before one may call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. Thus calvinism teaches that one may have eternal life without the Son of God. Yet the Bible clearly states that he who does not have the Son of God in his life cannot have eternal life (1 John 5:12). The calvinist gospel is a distorted gospel!
5/. And how is your 2nd sentence relevant in any way to your topic of “Dividing the church”?
6/. So far not one person has responded to my previous statements concerning Friel with biblical clarity and reasoning. Many thousands have read my document on Friel’s gospel heresy yet not one has demonstrated anything non-biblical about it.
And thank you for yet another opportunity to declare the heresy of Todd Friel.
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Subject: I am greatly concerned
It breaks my heart that you are not properly taking the Bible in context. I leave only this response to you in peace and follow up with prayer. Matthew 7:21-23
1/. So I am “not properly taking the Bible in context”? But you are unable to name even one example! This is so typical of calvinists – accusations without any supporting evidence! They don’t want to be proved wrong but cannot prove themselves right!
2/. On this website I have presented many doctrinal challenges which calvinists refuse to take on because they are unable to defend them biblically. For this reason, for example, they do not like my “Impossible questions for calvinists” posts. Some might even accuse me of taking the Bible out of context! However, if calvinism is biblical, then demonstrate it from the Bible alone (sola scriptura). If you can’t, then you have to accept that calvinism is a doctrine of lies.
3/. I have not printed your Bible passage. I do not print multi-verse passages, especially if they are from a copyright version such as the NASB 1995 edition.
4/. Quoting Bible verses is of little value unless you demonstrate their application to your comment (which remains meaningless because it lacks proper biblical context).
5/. Do you not realise that prayer is irrelevant in calvinism, as your God has already fore-ordained all things from the beginning? Do calvinists think they can, by the application of their own wills, change the mind of their God? A calvinist cannot defend the use of prayer without opposing the will of their God.
6/. And what response have you left with me? Truly your comment is typical of calvinism, claiming so much while presenting so little, like so much froth and bubble without the substance. I am greatly concerned that you may lack essential understandings of the Bible!
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Go to Comments 1/. – 10/. for 2021
1/. 10/01/21 From: Robert; Subject: Gary Thomas
2/. 23/01/21 From: Laurie; Subject: Dr Paul Tripp – critique
3/. 3/02/21 From: Heather; Subject: Calvinist Interpretations post
4/. 22/02/21 From: Rick; Subject: “I am being attacked by Calvanists!”
5/. 26/02/21 From: Heather; Subject: Calvinism in the church
6/. 26/02/21 From: Heather; Subject: Calvinism in the church (EFCA churches)
7/. 5/03/21 From: Malcolm; Subject: Calvinist Churches
8/. 7/03/21 From: Nathan; Subject: Molonism
9/. 9/03/09 From: Steve; Subject: Criticism / Condemnation of Todd Friel
10/. 24/03/21 From: Jody; Subject: Question
Why spend so much time on Calvinism? I would think more loving thing is just preaching the good news itself and rejoicing in our Lord Jesus…or Yeshua as some prefer. God bless you all. No offense intended!!!
1/. Unfortunately you are naïve, lacking a true understanding of the insidious nature of calvinism. Did you at any time research the accuracy of my statements about calvinism? For if I am right in what I say, then calvinism is as non-biblical as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Such heresy in the church must be called out for what it is.
2/. If you consider my statements to be incorrect, then you must demonstrate such through proper biblical interpretation. But you have shown no disagreement with my statements. Therefore it could be assumed that you agree with my criticism of calvinism. So why criticise me for telling the truth?
3/. This website unashamedly preaches the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ; you will find this in many places.
4/. In my case, calvinism was the initial aggressor, targeting our biblical churches and distorting their truth into lies. They should have been simply “preaching the good news itself and rejoicing in our Lord Jesus”, to quote you, but instead they got in our faces with their poisonous heresy. Therefore we protested. In their gullible naivety, the other church members were eventually overtaken by this heresy.
5/. The calvinists were not “preaching the good news itself and rejoicing in our Lord Jesus”, but instead were storming our Christian strongholds. So we started our home church, and then commenced this website with clear warnings about the dangers of calvinism.
6/. If someone comes up and storms your stronghold, do you send out the tea and bickies and say “Let me learn to get along with your teachings,” or do you staunchly “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3) Do you give them your keys or do you take up the good fight to defend the true biblical gospel? “Onward Christian Soldiers” is not in your hymn-book!
7/. Finally, you may well be a closet-calvinist: one who agrees with their teachings but is afraid to come out in the open, fearing opposition from biblical Christians.
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Subject: Criticism / Condemnation of Todd Friel
Going thru your post abut Mr Friel and I’m curious about whether you dealt with this issue according to Matthew chapter 18 prior to posting?
1/. Friel says that “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”) He says I’m going to hell because I prayed that prayer and has effectively declared me to not be his brother. Thus he is not my brother.
2/. Did Friel deal with this “issue” with me according to Matthew 18:15-17 before declaring me to be unsaved?
3/. Matthew 18:15-17 refers to a personal issue between two Christians. To keep the peace, the Bible has set out guidelines for reconciliation. It does not apply to this situation because Friel has declared me to be not Christian.
4/. Friel teaches heresy. There can be no compatibility between our separate beliefs. Reconciliation would demand unforgivable compromise. To be true to the Bible I must call him out for his heresy and I do not need his permission to do so. (Nor yours, either.)
5/. What is this “issue”. I am curious about whether you know what this “issue” is?
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Hey, I just stumbled upon Dr. William Lane Craig who is neither Calvinist nor Arminian. He falls under a relatively unknown category called “Molonism” Just wondering about your opinions on that.
Thank you for your comments.
1/. Molinism (named after Jesuit Luis de Molina) is a man-oriented attempt to make God’s sovereignty compatible with man’s free will to choose.
2/. I refuse to be categorised into one “-ism” or another. All they do is to give a man-made label to what the Bible has already taught. Thus the only label that can be 100% correct is to be “Biblical”. Any other label must be the equivalent of the Bible in every way, or else it is deficient in some way. So I’ll stick with being “Biblical”!
3/. The God of the Bible is absolutely sovereign; this cannot be disputed biblically. But God has no need to deny man his free will in order to demonstrate or prove His sovereignty. If God is truly sovereign, then it is His right (and His alone) to make that decision on man’s free will. Removing God’s right to choose on the issue of man’s free will (such as calvinists do) is therefore denying God some measure of His sovereignty. God may therefore be fully sovereign yet also at the same time permit man some measure of free will to choose. There is no biblical conflict in this, for the Bible clearly teaches both God’s absolute sovereignty and man’s freedom of will to choose this day whom he will serve.
4/. A W Tozer had some excellent words to say on the matter: “Here is my view: God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, “What doest thou?” Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.” (Knowledge of the Holy, A W Tozer, P 76)
5/. By the way, on 16th May last year you asked me in an email what I thought about MacArthur’s high-ranking freemason great grandfather. I presented some factual evidences as you requested, yet you failed to come up with any feedback at all. I have assumed that you were unable to refute my conclusions there.
Just noting that this person has now responded to the issues raised in point 5/. above but has yet to fully clarify what he believes about it. On 9/03/21 he replied: I think your argument against molonism makes sense to me. I saw that William Lane Craig was a follower of that movement, so I thought I’d get a second opinion on the matter. I also agree with the not categorizing viewpoints under any “ism”. The only reason I use isms are because I find it hard to sum up viewpoints into one word or phrase without having to constantly be describing what I mean. I guess it just causes less confusion. All that aside, I would like to apologize for never getting back to you about Macarthur. Looking into it, I still don’t have enough info about the situation to judge him personally. I definitely agree with both of you, that Freemasonry is demonic and evil. I guess that raises the question “Does Macarthur actually believe that Freemasonry is evil?” I think his words on the issue are questionable. But like I said, I don’t feel comfortable judging his character based on the few words that he has on the matter. One problem with him that I have discovered in the past year is the disciples he produces.
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Subject: Calvinist Churches
I have been reading the last few comments of people’s experiences with Calvinist churches. I see that good established churches are being targeted and taken over by Calvinists. The church that I attended was different though, the head pastor established and planted this Calvinist church. I went along for about 15 months, never were the words Calvinism, John Calvin, TULIP, doctrines of grace mentioned. It is obvious that they knew if people really understood what they believed, they might not have a church. So, like in Rick’s experience, they befriended me and tried to bring me around to their Calvinist way of thinking. Looking back, it was sneaky and deceitful, they should at least have the courage to state plainly their theology. Fortunately, I have a cynical nature, and did my own research on their teachings, which made the alarm bells start ringing. Finally, I had a meeting with the pastors telling them I was leaving and only then did the admit to me they were calvinists (moderate calvinists they said, but its all the same).
Calvinism is insidious, deceiftul, and sneaky. The only good thing to come out of my experience was I learned about calvinism, and know that I want absolutely nothing to do with it.
Thank you for your insightful comments. I am sure Rick would appreciate your understanding of his situation.
1/. Very few calvinist churches advertise their specifically calvinist doctrines clearly up front. Many appear to be too embarrassed to state openly what they believe.
2/. Biblical evangelism focuses upon reaching out to the lost (the unsaved) to convert them to Christ. Most calvinist evangelism focuses upon already-churched non-calvinists in an effort to convert them to calvinism.
3/. It is those people who check out what’s taught by using their Bibles who are not deceived by calvinism. You have demonstrated this well.
4/. There is no such thing as moderate calvinists. They are or they are not! You either believe all its teachings or you reject them all. You cannot logically believe in some of calvinism without taking the rest on board as well.
5/. They use certain buzz words and phrases such as “doctrines of grace”, “a higher view of God’s sovereignty”, “it’s all of God and none of myself”, “the Bible alone (sola scriptura)”, yet do not actually believe in any of them. Their God only shows grace to his elect; their God only claims sovereignty over his elect according to their teachers; the works they do determines their entry into heaven; and they never use the Bible alone (without distorting it in some way) to defend their doctrines.
6/. You say: “Calvinism is insidious, deceiftul, and sneaky.” Yes, it is, but many of those who believe its lies are actually nice people who genuinely believe the lies they have been taught (usually because they have never bothered to check them out for themselves). Often calvinists are so defensive because they know that calvinism (which they believe to be right) is not clearly taught in the Bible.
7/. If you think your church and/or pastor is calvinist, then be direct, ask direct questions, and demand direct answers. Open and honest discussion is the only acceptable option.
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Subject: Calvinism in the church
Carson is a big-time professor at Trinity and in the Calvinist world. And from what I read, Trinity is the EFCA seminary, training their new pastors. I have a post on my blog called “Calvinism in the Evangelical Free Church” (https://anticalvinistrant.blogspot.com/2020/01/calvinism-in-evangelical-free-church.html) where I posted a letter I got from EFCA headquarters, and in it they say that the EFCA is growing in Calvinism (the younger folks are more Calvinist, 50+%, than the older folks, 35%) and that the EFCA churches are 39% Calvinist overall (according to their survey). So I expect it to get even more Calvinist as the older folks are replaced by the younger ones. (And I believe the guy who sent me the email is a Calvinist. I wonder how many more Calvinists fill the higher positions of the EFCA.)
Plus, I learned that I apparently misunderstood their “significance of silence” stance on this issue. I thought it meant that they don’t allow their churches to take too strong of a stance on this issue. But apparently it means that the EFCA itself (the organization) won’t take too strong of a stance, but the individual churches can do what they want and still be part of the EFCA. In one way, it’s good because it allows for variety. But in another way it’s bad because they don’t keep a tighter rein on their pastors, allowing them to take whatever position they want. Therefore, you don’t know what you’re getting with an EFCA church unless you research individual ones for yourself. I used to trust the EFCA label, but not anymore.
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Subject: Calvinism in the church
Hi, I wanted to leave this reply to Rick, if possible.
“You are not alone, Rick. We had a Calvinist pastor recently take over our wonderful Evangelical Free church (listing it with The Gospel Coalition and 9Marks too). And we got so distressed about what he was teaching and that the elders wouldn’t listen to our concerns (come to find out, they are all Calvinists, as far as I can tell, and they teach Calvinism to others in small groups) that we had no choice but to leave it, even though we had been there almost 20 years and raised our kids there. It was heartbreaking. But Calvinism is worth leaving a church over. It operates like a cult, with mind games, word games, manipulation, shaming, and hidden layers to everything they say. You did good to sense something was wrong. Calvinist teachers can be very forceful and persuasive and slippery. I agree with the authors of this blog: Find another church. If you are interested, you can read about our experience with our church at my blog – anticalvinistrant.blogspot.com. Click on the recent post “Leaving you with links to Anti-Calvinism posts” and then find the link to “We Left Our Church Because of Calvinism.” Once again, you’re not alone. Many of us understand the pain and discouragement you are going through. And FYI: Calvinism is spreading greatly in EFCA churches, partly because their “school” which provides them with young, new pastors (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is turning very Calvinistic, especially given that D.A. Carson (a big Calvinist) is there and is very revered by them, basically seen as a celebrity in theological circles. God bless you, Rick. I hope you find another church soon.”
(And thank you to Hoppers Crossing for exposing the errors and dangers of Calvinism too. It’s great to have others out there like me who are fighting against Calvinism too, even if it feels overwhelming and fruitless at times. Keep up the good, important work!)
Thank you for your comments. I’m sure that Rick would appreciate your support.
1/. You mentioned D A Carson. Along with Tim Keller, he was the other co-founder of The Gospel Coalition. If his theology is similar to Keller’s, then he is a false teacher whose gospel is from the pits of hell.
2/. 9Marks has to be seriously questioned for its current website support for Mark Driscoll whose crudity in his preaching earned him the name “Pottymouth”.
3/. Genuine Christians should avoid all association with either 9Marks or The Gospel Coalition.
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Subject: “I am being attacked by Calvanists!”
Hello. I live in …….. I just started attending a “Trinity free evangelical church. After, i was introduced to one of the elders, He befriended me, Took me out for a couple of lunches and seemed very kind, However I have started to notice that it is a very pro_calvanist church and they are very Dogmatic and sneaky, and it seems they have more interest in gettng you “corrected and see the scriptures through their lenses.. I have already had a run in with them at church, and they try to gradually reel you in to Calvanist doctrine. …..
I feel very alone, and depressed and my spirit is grieved.. What do I do?
(Note – I have omitted any information of a personal nature as is my policy.)
1/. The church you mention is very much calvinist, in fact of the more aggressive and arrogant new calvinist variety.
(a) It adheres to the EFCA (Evangelical Free Affirmation of Faith) which, on the surface, is not openly calvinist. However, like many calvinist churches who do not tell you the whole truth up front, it is quite vague on the extent of the atonement.
(b) It also associates with the 9Marks statement of faith which is new calvinist.
(c) It also associates with the new calvinist “The Gospel Coalition”. Tim Keller is one of the co-founders. He is a Presbyterian (which immediately means he adheres to the calvinist Westminster Confession of Faith). Regarding unbelievers, he says “that God may have a trap door for unbelievers that “I haven’t been told about”” He is considered to be a modern C S Lewis (who stated in his Collected Letters that “I think that every prayer which is sincerely made even to a false god, or to a very imperfectly conceived true God, is accepted by the true God and that Christ saves many who do not think they know him.”) Keller is a false teacher.
2/. Rather than evangelising the lost and unchurched, calvinists are more likely to seek to evangelise new or immature non-calvinist Christians who may not have a wide understanding yet of biblical doctrine. Generally, an established calvinist church member will offer to mentor the new Christian, allegedly to understand the Bible better but actually to convert the non-calvinist to calvinism.
3/. When evangelising a non-calvinist, the calvinist mentor will fail to mention specific calvinist doctrines openly, but instead will gradually lead the “convert” toward a calvinist understanding of the Bible.
4/. The calvinist mentor will openly teach calvinist doctrine only after the non-calvinist has been converted to calvinism.
5/. You are right to be grieved about this church. Therefore I advise you to find another church where they teach true unadulterated biblical doctrine, and where people are more interested in you as a person rather than trying to convert you to their calvinist team. I personally do not know where you may find such a church in your area.
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Subject: Calvinist Interpretations post
About the post Calvinist Interpretations (well done, so true!), scenario 4: The only thing I would add to the Calvinist Interpretation to make it even more representative of Calvinism is that the rich guy who paid enough money to get all the prisoners out of prison but who only chose to free one man is also the very reason they are in prison to begin with. Because in Calvinism, God causes us to be the way we are and to do the bad things we do which land us in prison in the first place, and then He “graciously” frees one person while letting the others face the penalty for “their” crimes (crimes they had no choice over, crimes they had to commit because He pre-ordained it for them). That’s even worse than simply passing over the ones He chose not to free. It’s sad that most Calvinists do not draw out their beliefs to the logical ends, to see what damage Calvinism does to the Gospel, God’s character, and Jesus’s amazing sacrifice for mankind. Thank you for writing against this cancer in the church called Calvinism. God bless!
1/. Thank you for your kind words. And you are absolutely right, that it is the calvinist god who has put them in prison in the first place. They are political prisoners. They have been ordained to be criminals because they have been fore-ordained to oppose the politics of the calvinist god.
2/. You are right when you say that most calvinists do not draw out their beliefs to the logical ends. Most non-calvinists are the same, though – they gullibly accept at face value what the calvinist says without seeing the logic through to the end. Most naively accept that calvinist doctrine is Christian simply because the calvinist says it is. Of course, there are so many calvinists who are genuine Christians who actually believe that they are worshipping the God of the Bible. They are all too often upset that anyone should declare their doctrines to be heresy. They’re the ones who have a desperate need to see the deceptions of calvinism.
3/. If logic is followed through on calvinist doctrine, we end up with the calvinist god being the only wilful sinner in the universe, the only one who must go to hell according to even calvinist doctrine. Not one other being can be made to take responsibility for any wrong doing at all. As Calvin said, “But the objection is not yet resolved, that if all things are done by the will of God, and men contrive nothing except by His will and ordination, then God is the author of all evils.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God P 179)
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Subject: Dr Paul Tripp – critique
MY TRIVIAL OR UNNECESSARY COMMENT;
“Me thinks thou doth protest too much” / “Judge not, lest ye be judged”.
1/. This is typical of calvinist responses: Baseless criticism. If you cannot explain why you have written something, then why bother? By such comments I prove the truth of my statements!
2/. Calvinists worship their false god called “Calvinism”, pure and simple. In the case of any conflict between “Calvinism” and God’s word, the Bible, “Calvinism” must overrule.
3/. For example, I often get quoted John 15:16 in order to “prove” that their God chooses an unconditional election. “You did not choose me; I chose you”.
However, when I present the truth here, that Judas was one of those chosen here, I never receive any response. Why not? Because the truth of the Bible can only be assessed properly using the “truths” of their god “Calvinism”. If the Bible declares “Calvinism” wrong, then the Bible itself must be wrong. So, in order to avoid being seen as non-biblical, they refuse to answer. Their god can never be wrong!
4/. Yet Judas was definitely chosen by Christ, in spite of being a “devil”. John 6:70-71
Judas was also chosen to be one of Christ’s 12 apostles, in spite of being a “traitor”. Luke 6:13-16
5/. Calvinists quote John 6:39 to “prove” that Jesus would lose none of those chosen ones who have been given to Him, yet in John 17:12 Jesus says that He has somehow lost Judas who was given to Him. Does “Calvinism” therefore declare Jesus to be a liar?
6/. Can calvinists please explain any of this from the Bible alone? (sola scriptura) Or else admit by their silence that “Calvinism” overrules biblical truth!
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Subject: Gary Thomas
I totally agree with your criticisms of him. I actually spoke with him on the phone for about an hour in 2019 and traded emails first with my extensive criticism of Sacred Marriage. He basically wrote me off as too doctrinaire. I also wrote an extensive critique on Amazon but it was rejected as not meeting it’s criteria. I’m sure he makes a small fortune off his books and speaking fees and so may well be teaching what sells – which sadly is sex and self help Christianity. Great post – thanks so much and GT is dangerous. Sorry to tell you though that I’m a Calvinist…thanks again, Robert
Thank you for your comment. I acknowledge that you say you are a calvinist but because that is not the subject of your comment, then I’ll agree to differ at this stage and leave it there. Thank you, however, for your honesty.
Of course, if you wished to discuss calvinist theology with me with respect to the Bible alone, then you are more than welcome. I always respect (not necessarily agree with though) another’s point of view if it is presented openly without hidden agendas included.
Otherwise I have nothing more to add to your quite clear and effective comment on Thomas, other than to explain why I looked at his materials in the first place. Every person and every doctrine that I have critiqued has at some stage involved me and my family. I had decided to take up the challenge to test all things (against the Bible) as per 1 Thessalonians 5:21; my articles and posts are the result.
The church my son used to attend was using Gary Thomas’ “Sacred Marriage” materials, and I was so disgusted with what his former acquaintances there were being taught that I wrote that article. I just couldn’t believe that the people of that church were unable to see that Gary Thomas’ teachings were so unbiblical.
Of course, the fact is that much of Gary Thomas’ teachings (including centering prayer) appear to be influenced by Quaker theology. Research reveals that he has been heavily influenced by Elton Trueblood, a Quaker theologian.
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My current comment
Right back in Genesis 2 the Bible teaches that God at no time ever ordered, ordained, decreed or even permitted sin.
Genesis 2:16-17 – 16And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Firstly, note that God ordered Adam to not eat the forbidden fruit. This was disobedience against God, or sin, and the penalty was death (Romans 6:23). Because God’s order was given with the power of His authority behind it, then He has also ordained or decreed that Adam should not sin by disobeying God’s will. Therefore God can never ordain nor decree sin after ordaining/decreeing against sin or He would then be double-minded or a liar.
Secondly, God never even permitted Adam to sin. God gave Adam permission to eat of all the other fruit of the garden, but He specifically didn’t give that permission for the forbidden fruit. God can never even permit sin at any time.
Therefore Adam has to have chosen of his own free will to sin by disobeying God’s will. In fact, the only thing God has done here is to permit Adam to be able to choose whether or not to sin. God can never cause nor even influence Adam to sin or else God is inciting disobedience against Himself and that is impossible for holy God. Calvinism teaches that Adam could never have sinned of his own free will. Therefore calvinism has to teach that their God either ordained, decreed, permitted or incited sin such that Adam would inevitably sin. But be warned: any God who orders, ordains, decrees, permits sin is not the holy God of the Bible. Any God who even incites sin in the slightest is not only an unholy God indeed, but double-minded as well and therefore unstable in all his ways (James 1:8).
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