Saturday, March 4, 2017

Scriptural Refutation Of Calvinism

  • Introduction:
          -Calvinism is a movement within traditional Protestantism that was invented by John Calvin (1509-1564), a French theologian. He was heavily influenced by the writings of the Church Father Augustine. Additionally, there are five major points to this complex theological system that are known by the acronym: "T.U.L.I.P":
          1.) T: Total Depravity-"The doctrine understands the Bible to teach that, as a consequence of the the Fall of man, every person born into the world is morally corrupt, enslaved to sin and is, apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ in faith for salvation." (Theopedia, "Total Depravity")
               -The Bible never states that we are unable to do anything, but rather that we are unwilling to come to God (Isaiah 59:1-2). One consequence of the fall is that man has been corrupted by sin. This is why He sent His Son Jesus Christ to make atonement. We can only be justified by the grace of God. Salvation is not merited by works. But we must choose to accept His free offer of salvation as proclaimed through the gospel (view article). The biblical doctrine of total depravity is distinguished from the Calvinistic notion of total inability.

          2.) U: Unconditional Election-"The Calvinist view of election (also known as unconditional election) teaches that in eternity God chose some individuals from the mass of fallen humanity unto salvation without regard to any merit or foreseen faith in them, but solely based on His sovereign intentions." (Theopedia, "Election")
               -The Bible teaches a different form of predestination than what is taught in Calvinism. The scriptural view is that God determined beforehand, not which individuals will receive salvation, but the character, purpose, and plan of those who are justified in His sight. That view is known as corporate election. God foreknowing is not the same as Him foreordaining. 
               -God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11-12; 1 Peter 1:17).
               -God does not will that any perish, but that all be saved (Titus 2:11; 1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9).
               -If we have been predestined to heaven or hell, then what is the purpose of being cautious of the devil's plans of causing deception (1 Peter 5:8)? Why even care? Would it even make sense for God to judge sinners? Why pray that God's will be done (Matthew 6:10)?
               -The Lord has given us freewill because He wants to have a genuine relationship with us. He did not make us to be robots. We are responsible for where we end up in the afterlife based on our acceptance or rejection of God.

          3.) L: Limited Atonement-"It maintains that God's design and intent in sending Christ to die on the cross was to pay for the sins and secure the redemption of those whom God has predetermined to save, namely the elect." (Theopedia, "Definite Atonement")
               -According to Scripture, Jesus died for all men (John 1:29; 3:16; 1 John 2:1-2; Romans 10:13; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:4-6; 4:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
               -His blood can wash away anyone's sin (Acts 13:38-39; John 1:29; 1 John 1:7; 2:1-2) and the gospel is for everybody who comes to the Lord by faith (Mark 16:15-16; Romans 1:16-17).

          4.) I: Irresistible Grace-"Those who obtain the new birth do so, not because they wanted to obtain it, but because of the sovereign discriminating grace of God." (Theopedia, "Irresistible Grace")
               -The Scriptures teach that humans are capable of either accepting or rejecting the callings of God (Proverbs 1:24-26; 29:1; John 3:36; Acts 7:51; Matthew 23:37).
               -Man has freewill and God expects man to choose and do what is right (Joshua 24:15; Deuteronomy 30:15-19; Isaiah 1:18-20). 
                 +If mankind does not have the ability to make good decisions (freewill), then practically all of our actions and statements in life would not make any sense. Neither would many passages in Scripture seem coherent. Without freewill, we cannot be held accountable to God for anything. Moreover, this would strongly imply that God is unjust for allowing the unrepentant and unbelieving to perish in hell. While Calvinism may indeed seem relatively theological when written on paper, the fact of the matter is that it is simply not a livable worldview. 

          5.) P: Perseverance Of The Saints-"Perseverance of the saints is the Calvinist doctrine that those who are truly saved will persevere to the end and cannot lose their salvation. It doesn't mean that a person who is truly saved will never lose faith or backslide at any time..."Eternal security" is often seen as synonymous with "Perseverance of the saints." (Theopedia, "Perseverance of the Saints") 
               -We have several scriptural references clearly testifying to the fact that believers can indeed lose their salvation (Romans 8:13; 10:26; Ezekiel 18:24-26; 33:13; 3:20; Hebrews 3:12; 2 Peter 3:17; 1 Corinthians 8:10-12; 9:24-27; Colossians 1:23; 1 Timothy 4:1-4; Acts 20:28-32; Galatians 5:4-5; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 20-22; Revelation 3:14-17; James 5:19-20). In other words, it is possible for Christians to walk away from or abandon their salvation.
               -We even have examples of genuine Christians falling away from the faith recorded in Scripture (i.e. 1 Timothy 5:11-15; 2 Timothy 4:10). Never does Scripture exclude Christians from the consequences of sin as recorded in texts such as 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 5:5-7, Galatians 5:19-21, and Revelation 21:8 (which are all sanctification passages). If we continually hold fast to the gospel by simple faith, and that alone, then salvation is guaranteed (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).

1 comment:

  1. Calvinism is definitely a subject christians should talk about. To use Gods sovereignty as a way to say God causes people to sin is blasphemous especially considering that he doesn't even tempt man.

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