Saturday, March 4, 2017
- Calvinism is a movement within traditional Protestantism that was invented by John Calvin (1509-1564), a French theologian.
- There are five major points pf Calvinism and they are known by the acronym: "T.U.L.I.P".
1.) T: Total Depravity-New-born babies inherit the sin of Adam and Eve and thus their spirits are completely evil from the moment of conception. As a result of the fall, man is unable to to good because his mind is totally tainted by sin.
-The spiritual consequences of sin cannot be transmitted from parents to children. In other words, a person will only be held accountable for his or her own sins (2 Kings 14:6; Ezekiel 18:1-4; 18:20; 2 Chronicles 25:4; Jeremiah 31:29-30; Exodus 32:31-33; Deuteronomy 24:16; Galatians 6:5). Furthermore, the Bible also tells us that young children do indeed have some sense of right and wrong inscribed into their hearts (Ecclesiastes 7:29; Ezekiel 28:15; Matthew 18:1-5; 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; 1 Corinthians 14:20). If infants did not have an inner sense of morality, then how could they know to choose and act on what is bad? We will only be judged according to our own works (Matthew 12:36-37; Romans 2:6; 1 Peter 1:17; Romans 14:12; Revelation 22:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). We are judged according to them alone because our personal sins are what have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). Nothing in Scripture says that we will be judged or condemned for sins other than our own, though the fall did have a detrimental impact on the overall physical and spiritual health of the entire human race.
-So what is the biblical teaching on original sin? Because Adam and Eve ate the apple of the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil under the influence of the devil who was in the disguise of a sinister serpent, God kicked them out of the Garden of Eden, made it to where both had to endure the pains of physical labor in order to obtain the things necessary for their daily survival, females now have painful child labor, and we now must experience physical death. People are indeed born with the inherent tendency to act against the will of God and evil therefore has polluted the soil of the world. The virus of sin has spread from Adam and Eve to everybody of future generations. Our reason has been injured to a certain extent. It has been somewhat darkened. We need a divine Physician to remedy our spiritual sickness. Hence, why the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to redeem mankind from the eternal flames of hell (Isaiah 53; Romans 5). But we must CHOOSE to accept the free gift of salvation which God has given to us through the work of His Son. We are obligated to make moral decisions in every aspect of life, and God has made us able. But we are unable to atone for our sins because God demands keepers of His Law to do so perfectly, and nobody is able to do that (Romans 2-3). We all make mistakes. This picture of how man learned to sin is completely different than the image presented by the monster of Calvinism.
2.) U: Unconditional Election (Predestination)-God, before He created everything, determined the eternal destiny of all people. Their spiritual fate was chosen by Him before they even got a chance to be born into the world. Those predestined to hell go to hell no matter what happens in their lives; those predestined to heaven get to go to heaven no matter what happens in their lives. According to Calvinism, the eternal fate of people is chosen by God independently of any of their decisions.
-The Bible teaches a different form of predestination than what is taught in Calvinism. The scriptural view is that God pre-determined, not the identity of the saved, but the character, purpose, and plan of the saved (Ephesians 1:3-5; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Romans 8:29-30).
-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 are 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 about morality?
-Unconditional election misrepresents the character of God. He is not a cruel, selfish, dictator-like entity who uses His creations only as puppets to serve in a thrill show. He did not make us robots. The Father gave us free will so that we can choose to accept and act in accordance to His divine precepts. He did so out of His unconditional love for us. Only by Him can we have absolute freedom. Therefore, folks who find themselves eternally separated from His presence ended up in their position because they chose to reject His ways of living.
-God having foreknowledge of who will be saved is not the same as Him determining their spiritual destiny before they even enter into the world. Nothing is impossible for Him.
3.) L: Limited Atonement-Is the belief that Jesus Christ did not die for all mankind. In other words, He came only to die for God's "elect" or "chosen few".
-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; 4:10; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Luke 19:10; Titus 2:11). God has unconditional love for all of us.
-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 (Mark 16:15-16; Romans 1:16-17).
4.) I: Irresistible Grace-The elect (those chosen by God) are forced to be saved whether they desire to be or not. Those chosen by God are unable to say no to His calling.
-The Scriptures teach that humans do resist and reject God (Proverbs 1:24-26; 29:1; John 5:40; 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; John 15:6-7).
+If mankind does not have the ability to choose to do what is right or wrong (freewill), then practically all of our actions and statements in life would make no sense. Furthermore, the thinking Calvinist fails to recognize that his or her belief in the denial of free will is based on free will itself! With freewill comes the use of reason.
+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.
5.) P: Perseverance Of The Saints (also known as "once saved, always saved" or "eternal security")-Once a person is saved, he or she can never lose his or her salvation.
-If a person can never lose his or her salvation, regardless of any sins committed in life, then he or she can sin as much as he or she desires. It leads to the dangerous error of believing that "just one sin" will do no harm to the soul. If this decision is repeatedly made, then it will gradually become an addiction. Interestingly, a professional Christian apologetics ministry, known as "Gotquestions.org", says that this charge is "technically true"!
+Although Calvinists go to great lengths in denying that eternal security is a "licence to sin", the repercussions of upholding such a doctrine are inevitable. They know deep down inside that their doctrine is indeed a "sin permit" because they usually make an implicit (if not explicit) admission to this charge!
-Since the beginning of our existence, we have been warned that sin can result in spiritual death (Genesis 2:16-17). Just as Satan convinced Adam and Eve to disobey God by getting them to eat fruit of the tree of good and evil, the doctrine of eternal security is one of his primary methods of fooling the modern world into believing that sin will not lead up to spiritual death. In other words, it is a different way of the devil saying, "You will certainly not die..." (Genesis 3:1-5)!
-Continuous sin will lead up to spiritual death (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5; James 1:14-16; Revelation 21:8).
+Advocates of eternal security object to this argument by stating that those who end up condemned for the sins listed in the passages cited above were never saved in the first place. But how does the use of such logic not undermine the idea of having absolute assurance of salvation? How can Calvinists profess to have absolute assurance of salvation when their theology teaches that they themselves could be predestined to hell? How could they possibly know the mind of God? Furthermore, the Bible never excludes Christians from being condemned for sin. Hence, why the Apostle Paul said,"Do not be deceived..." (1 Corinthians 6:9).
-We have many scriptural references clearly testifying to the fact that saved Christians can indeed lose their salvation (Romans 8:13; Hebrews 6:4-6; 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). So it is true that Christians can choose walk away from their salvation or lose their salvation by embracing heresy.
-Believers are saved through the transforming power of the Gospel, IF they hold fast to the correct, original teachings of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-2). We even have examples of genuine Christians falling away from the faith recorded in sacred Scripture (i.e. 1 Timothy 5:11-15; 2 Timothy 4:10).
- Refuting The Accusation Of A "Works-Based" Salvation:
-Just because a Christian contends for the faith and avoids evil does not mean that he or she is trusting in his or her good works to get saved. That is simply our mission on earth.
-Nowhere does Scripture state that in order to believe in justification by faith alone, a person must also embrace the concept of "once saved, always saved".
-We are justified by faith and sanctified through faith (Galatians 3:1-3). In other words, we enter the kingdom of God by the same way that we entered: by FAITH. We MUST CHOOSE to follow the Lord and we do it through faith in His work on the cross.
-Faith is the real mental conviction which leads us to act in direct accordance to the Will of God. Works are simply defined as outward rituals or physical deeds. So faith cannot and does not qualify to fit into the category of "works", as Calvinists (and possibly others) charge. Faith is not a work and salvation is a free gift that we can neither earn nor deserve (Romans 4:4-5; Ephesians 2:8-9).
-If "faith" is a "work", then why would the inspired writers Paul and James make a distinction between the two (Ephesian 2:8-10; James 2:14-26)? Nowhere is this idea founded in the Scriptures.