The Heresy of Calvinism Part 1
1/. “Unconditional election” is the same as random selection.
I am qualified as a statistician (Melbourne University). Statistics defines a random event as that which has no conditions to define it in any way. Just one condition would stop it from being random. For instance, the random selection of a group of people means a choice without any criteria (or conditions) being imposed, such as age, ethnic group, sex, height, weight, etc etc. A random selection means that every person theoretically has an equal chance of being included. That is, no attribute of any person can make it more (or less) possible to be chosen as part of the group. “Unconditional” means without criteria and “election” is a synonym for selection.
“Election definition, the selection of a person or persons for office by vote.”
Thus, unconditional election is random selection, in the same way that lottery draws are supposed to be random selection, that is, unconditional.
The calvinists teach clearly that nothing of ourselves can influence the choice (election) whatsoever; thus they call it unconditional. If God were to favour just one particular characteristic, such as ethnic group or going to church (especially a reformed church), then that would no longer be unconditional. Thus, to be unconditional election, God must select randomly. Otherwise it would be conditional!
So it is difficult to see why some nations appear to have many of the “elect” while others have few or even none of the elect among that group. The question must be asked: Why are there no elect among the heathen until the missionaries get there? The calvinist then says that the gospel is the means by which God calls the elect to Himself. But, that would be imposing a condition upon the election which would render it no longer unconditional. For the election to be unconditional, the selection must be independent of even the gospel. Or else admit that God is discriminating against the heathen by not allowing them to hear the gospel, and therefore He cannot “elect” them. Therefore, unconditional election has to be a random selection, or else it must be more correctly described as conditional election. (And therefore why not have a condition that God uses foreknowledge to determine who He elects for salvation? It’s quite a logical condition to impose. But the calvinists cannot, will not, accept anything that makes it dependent in any way upon foreknowledge!)
The calvinist has to have a person saved before he can hear the gospel and believe.
A man is not saved because he believes in Christ; he believes in Christ because he is saved.
(The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination – Loraine Boettner Page 75)
But what conditions does the Bible set in order to be saved?
Acts 16:30-31 – 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
So clearly, there are Biblical conditions required to be saved. It is definitely not unconditional. It is definitely not random. Belief must be a pre-condition of salvation, not a consequence! Thus the only way election can be unconditional is for calvinists to deny that even belief is required before we can be saved! And accordingly they do teach that belief follows salvation, and that salvation is a condition required for belief in Jesus Christ! That is, according to the calvinist, you cannot believe in Christ and the cross of Calvary unless you are saved beforehand. To them, belief plays no part at all in salvation! What a shocking heresy!
Of course, if you separate “being born again” (regeneration) from “being saved”, then you may have a person being born again, then believing in Christ, and then being saved. Many calvinists escape the former heresy by imposing this equally horrendous alternative heresy!
2/. The definition of a cult includes having to belong to that group to be saved.
Any group or organisation that requires an acceptance of their doctrines and no-one else’s in order to be saved (that is, you have to be one of them) is a cult, serving satan and not the one true God. Thus, the JWs are a cult because they say you have to belong to their organisation to be saved. This defines their gospel as a doctrine of demons. It is another gospel.
Most groups that claim to be Christian have a gospel that sounds alright at first hearing. They sound like they preach the cross of Jesus for salvation. But if they require such salvation to be only accessed through their “church” or “doctrine” alone, then they are a cult. For instance, the catholics preach a gospel that sounds like the real thing, except that “receiving Jesus” actually means taking the wafer at first communion and all following masses. They generally teach that if you are a Christian and don’t take the mass, or confess regularly to a priest, then you cannot be saved. In other words, the application of salvation can only be through them. Therefore, they are a cult. They say that Jesus died on the cross to save us all from our sins, but they require its effectiveness to be through their mass and rituals alone. This is another gospel.
Likewise, with the Seventh Day Adventists (SDAs). They preach a gospel that sounds as if it’s on the ball, but also teach that if you do not obey the ten commandments, you cannot be saved. In particular, they teach that if you worship on any day other than Saturday, then you are anathema, that is, cursed by God and cannot be saved. No matter if you came through repentance at the cross of Jesus Christ; if you worship on a day other than Saturday, you are still lost! Their gospel of salvation is only for those who believe the same as they do about the day of worship. This is another gospel. Therefore, they also are a cult.
By the way, research why the SDAs of Tonga worship on a Sunday, this fate being decided merely on an administrative decision to standardise the date-line! That is, changing the date-line has caused Tongan SDAs to sin against their Sabbath commandment!
In the same way, the Mormons (who like to define themselves as Christian, but are not) are clearly a cult. Their gospel can only be accessed through their organisation; thus it is a false gospel.
Most charismatic and Pentecostal churches also appear to preach the gospel of salvation through the cross of Jesus, but many also teach that if you do not demonstrate any spiritual manifestation such as tongues, healing, prophecy, or being “slain in the spirit”, then you cannot be saved, or, at best, are some kind of lesser or inferior Christian. I have been told that if I don’t speak in tongues then I cannot be saved. Just about all of them accept that if you are “slain in the spirit” and come up speaking in tongues, then you are definitely saved; the spiritual manifestation demonstrates such. (But which spirit, I wonder?) So, while they may preach the cross of Jesus, you have to have a spiritual manifestation in your life to be accepted as a genuine Christian. How many people in charismatic churches are “saved” because they fell over and came up speaking in tongues? This is another gospel.
Such churches are a cult if their salvation is not through the cross of Jesus. Of course, if a charismatic church preaches salvation only through the cross of Jesus and not dependent in any way upon tongues or similar, then they still preach the true gospel. However, how many of them would freely accept that a person who is slain in the spirit or speaks in tongues therefore has to be a Christian? (Rather than have to test all spirits as the Bible commands us! Without any other real testimony!) The charismatic church is in a quandary here. They are forced to accept that any person who is slain in the spirit and/or speaks in tongues is a child of God, a Christian. The alternative is unacceptable to them: that is, if the person so affected is not a Christian, then the spiritual manifestation is not of the Holy Spirit but demonic instead. So, they are forced to steadfastly insist that the spiritual manifestation is of God and therefore the person must be of God also. Thus, by their refusal to test all spirits, they have to accept that everyone who shows any spiritual manifestation in church is being led by the Holy Spirit. So even someone who hasn’t become a Christian through the cross of Jesus has to be accepted as God’s child because they can’t face the reality that not all spiritual manifestations are of God!
Likewise, the election of the calvinist. They also preach the gospel of the cross of Jesus but you must belong to the “election” in order to be “saved”. You may believe and come to the cross of Jesus after you are “saved”, but certainly they teach that you cannot believe until after you are “saved”. Like all the other “Christian” cults, calvinism preaches the cross of Jesus but the application of the salvation of the cross can only be through their special group, the “election”. And if you don’t belong to the “election”, you cannot be “saved”, ever! It raises an interesting question though: Is it possible to be “saved” and then die before you are able to believe in Jesus Christ. That is, it appears possible from the calvinist view-point to be in a “saved” state without actually believing in Jesus Christ as Saviour. Thus calvinism is just another cult of satan, a false gospel created in hell to deceive the lost and so prevent (if possible) people coming to the cross and being truly saved. Remember, the calvinist teaches that if you are not of the “election”, you cannot be “saved”, because no provision was made by God for your sins at the cross of Jesus. For the calvinist, no longer is Jesus the way, the truth and the life! Instead, the unconditional election has taken Jesus’ place! This is another gospel!
One reliable method of determining the real gospel of a religious group is to consider how they assess their converts. If a person is a Christian because he/she demonstrates a spiritual manifestation such as tongues, then tongues is the gospel to that group. If a person must attend worship on Saturdays to demonstrate his/her belief, then worshiping on Saturdays is that group’s gospel. The calvinist cannot accept that a person can make a personal decision to be saved because that allows the person a free will choice which calvinism doesn’t allow; thus they are forced to teach that the sinner who accepts the salvation Jesus offers must therefore be heading for hell. (This is what Todd Friel clearly teaches!) The calvinist has to measure the response of the sinner in terms of works, that is, they must become nicer people, go to church, do all the right things according to the church, in fact, a puritan life style. So, if they measure their converts by their acceptance of a puritan life style, then their gospel is actually the puritan life style itself! Words of testimony are worthless to the calvinist church; it’s the actions you carry out that determine your eternal destiny! The calvinist is a puritan, not necessarily a Christian!
How you assess the status of one saved by your gospel defines your gospel.
3/. The word used for foreknowledge is “prognosis”, a medical term still today.
The Greek word used for foreknowledge in the NT is “prognosis”. Its meaning then was as a medical term, being first defined as such by Hippocrates about 400 BC. Luke, a medical doctor, knew of its usage and used it accordingly, he being a doctor of medicine. In fact, Luke used a lot of medical terms in his writings – Acts, and the gospel of Luke. The word “prognosis” actually means using some kind of evaluation of the future of a patient in order to make a proper diagnosis, hence prognosis!
Calvinism is forced to deny the foreknowledge of God in order to deny mankind a free will choice in salvation. Foreknowledge requires free will choices in the future to make sense of foreknowledge. As calvinist 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….. (And thus Piper rewrites “foreknew” as “chose”! Continue reading…)
As C.E.B. Cranfield says, the foreknowledge of Romans 8:29 is “that special taking knowledge of a person which is God’s electing grace.” Such foreknowledge is virtually the same as election: “Those whom he foreknew (i.e. chose) he predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.”
(What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism – John Piper, 1998)
Of course, the calvinists are entitled to believe what they want to believe regarding the Bible. But they cannot declare that God’s foreknowledge of man’s free will decisions doesn’t exist because there is absolutely nothing in the Bible that they can use to prove such foreknowledge to be invalid. At best, they should say that they do not believe in it, but on the other hand agree to differ with those who do believe that God used foreknowledge to determine His election. Or else they have to prove that such foreknowledge is invalid! But the best they can do is to quote various “experts” (not the Bible!) or “common sense” etc to “prove” their interpretation.
For further information on this, follow this link to The Foreknowledge of Sovereign God.
4/. The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Loraine Boettner)
One of calvinism’s “experts”, Loraine Boettner, wrote “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination”
Boettner has already been quoted as follows:
A man is not saved because he believes in Christ; he believes in Christ because he is saved. (“The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination” P 75)
Now I’ll look a bit more at his other writings in this same book. In Chapter 6 he says that
Common sense tells us that no event can be foreknown (by God, that is) unless by some means, either physical or mental, it has been predetermined (also by God, that is). (P 30)
So true doctrine is now determined by common sense!?!
Now some more confusion!
A view which holds that the free acts of men are uncertain, sacrifices the sovereignty of God in order to preserve the freedom of men. Furthermore, if the acts of free agents are in themselves uncertain, God must then wait until the event has had its issue before making His plans. In trying to convert a soul, then He would be conceived of as working in the same manner that Napoleon is said to have gone into battle-with three or four plans in mind, so that if the first failed, he could fall back upon the second, and if that failed, then the third, and so on, —a view which is altogether inconsistent with a true view of His nature. He would then be ignorant of much of the future and would daily be gaining vast stores of knowledge. His government of the world also, in that case, would be very uncertain and changeable, dependent as it would be on the unforeseen conduct of men. To deny God the perfections of foreknowledge and immutability is to represent Him as a disappointed and unhappy being who is often checkmated and defeated by His creatures. (P 31)
This teaches that God cannot know the free will decisions of mankind before man makes them; therefore, if man has free will, then God must wait until man has made his free will decision before He can act upon it. Thus Boettner describes such a God as “a disappointed and unhappy being who is often checkmated and defeated by His creatures.” What blasphemy! How can he compare God with Napoleon, needing extra back-up contingency plans in case the first plan fails?! Clearly Boettner’s God is not sovereign!
The actions of free agents do not take place because they are foreseen, but they are foreseen because they are certain to take place. (P 32, Boettner)
This is similar to Calvin’s statement from his Institutes Book III Section 23 Part 6
If God merely foresaw human events, and did not also arrange and dispose of them at his pleasure, there might be room for agitating the question, how far his foreknowledge amounts to necessity; but since he foresees the things which are to happen, simply because he has decreed that they are so to happen, it is vain to debate about prescience (foreknowledge), while it is clear that all events take place by his sovereign appointment.
And from Chapter 17 of Boettner’s continuing blasphemy:-
Even the fall of Adam, and through him the fall of the race, was not by chance or accident, but was so ordained in the secret counsels of God. We are told that Christ was “foreknown indeed (as a sacrifice for sin) before the foundation of the world,” 1 Peter 1:20. Paul speaks of “the eternal purpose” which was purposed in Jesus Christ our Lord, Ephesians 3:11. The writer of Hebrews refers to “the blood of an eternal covenant,”13:20. And since the plan of redemption is thus traced back into eternity, the plan to permit man to fall into the sin from which he was thus to be redeemed must also extend back into eternity; otherwise there would have been no occasion for redemption. In fact the plan for the whole course of the world’s events, including the fall, redemption, and all other events, was before God in its completeness before He ever brought the creation into existence; and He deliberately ordered it that this series of events, and not some other series, should become actual. (P 172)
What this means is that God, not knowing what decision Adam with a free-will might make, had already from the beginning of time put into place the plan of redemption. But what if Adam should choose to not sin? Thus, in order to support God’s plan of redemption, Adam has to be made to sin. Because redemption was before God in all its completeness before time began, then the work of that redemption (that is, redemption from sin) had also to be in place from the start of time. Thus redemption is no longer the consequence of Adam’s sin, but instead God’s plan of redemption has become the cause of Adam’s sin! It would have been greatly embarrassing for calvinist doctrine, if Adam hadn’t sinned, for then God would have prepared a salvation solution to a problem that never existed!
Likewise, that other great work of God put into place before time began, that list of the saved in the Lamb’s Book of Life, instead of being the consequence or result of redemption being applied to Adam’s fallen race, would then, for the calvinist, become the cause of salvation for those on that list. That is, it is being on that list that saves you, not the cross of Jesus!! (This is their gospel, by the way!) No longer do people have to believe in order to be saved; they are saved from the beginning in order that they might believe later! (Note the quote of Boettner at the start of this appendix. A man is not saved because he believes in Christ; he believes in Christ because he is saved. “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination” P 75) In fact, it is irrelevant what you believe, as long as your name is on that list of elect!!
The key to it is foreknowledge (prognosis). In order for the calvinist to change “consequence” to “cause” in redemption and salvation, God cannot be permitted to know the free-will choices of mankind before they happen. If He could, then calvinism is destroyed, because if God were permitted to use foreknowledge, then redemption would be the consequence of a sinful choice by Adam, and the list of the saved would be the consequence of that redemption among the lost of Adam’s race. And salvation would be dependent upon a choice to believe in Jesus Christ as the only way, truth and life, something the calvinist consistently fights against! (Why not do some serious research on this, testing all things as God commands His people?)
Thus, for the calvinist, foreknowledge has to become no more than the knowledge of what God has already decreed should happen (as Calvin taught!). Mankind can have no effective free-will choice at all, no matter what side of the fence he’s on. And, God has now become a dictator who can only rule by force. This is satanic doctrine, based upon control, for when we see control (not regulation, which is of authority, but control) being enforced upon mankind, we also see the hand of satan and his demons who have no authority to regulate mankind, but must resort to control (force) to enforce their self-perceived authority.
Destroy the calvinists’ doctrine of a foreknowledge of God bound only to what He decrees, and you destroy their very foundations indeed! Their lies will bind us, but the truth will always set us free!
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Calvinists deny God His Full Sovereignty
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The Heresy of Calvinism Refuted Part 2
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The Foreknowledge of Sovereign God
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