10 myths surrounding Calvinism

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by robustheologian, Feb 4, 2015.

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  1. robustheologian

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    There are many myths on both sides of the Calvinism/Arminianism debate. This has lead to needless arguments on issues that neither side holds to. While it would be great for there be a list of myths concerning Arminianism, I am a Calvinist and I felt that I should address what I am most familiar with.

    So I have compiled a top ten list of myths concerning Calvinism. Some of these are held by non-Calvinists and some are held by some claiming to be Calvinists. The popularity of some of these myths may well be the fact that they are endorsed by some claiming to be Calvinists but in reality are unauthorized ambassadors of the doctrine. Anyone who is familiar with the history of Calvinism will know that none of the Reformed giants such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, Jonathan Edwards, or Loraine Boettner (who gave us the five points of Calvinism in the form of the acronym TULIP) ever endorsed these myths.

    1. Calvinism denies God’s universal love.
    A good Calvinist is deemed as one both faithful and familiar with Scripture. Therefore, he/she will not deny such biblical references to God’s universal love such as John 3:16.

    2. Calvinists believe that God is the author of sin.
    Most Calvinists believe that all things (even those deemed as evil) come from God. Yet, God is not the author of sin. Sin is that which separates one from God. Since God is never tempted by evil (to do evil), sin is more accurately something whose origin is not that of faith in God but of rebellion against God (Rom. 14:23b). For the events that transpired concerning Joseph in Genesis came both from his brothers and God, but deemed as evil from his Joseph’s brothers and good from God (Gen. 50:20a).

    3. Calvinists believe God arbitrarily chooses people to be saved.
    The doctrine of unconditional election teaches that God chose the elect on no foreseen merit or condition in the individual but out of God’s sovereign choice. This doesn’t mean they are random. God has his reasons which rest in his incomprehensible (I repeat incomprehensible–Rom. 11:33) secret will.

    4. The doctrines of Calvinism came from John Calvin.
    Calvinism no more came for John Calvin then gravity came from Newton’s law of gravity. We charge Calvin with systematizing very important and biblical doctrines. And this understanding didn’t originate with Calvin. One need only to take a look at the writings of Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and even Martin Luther.

    5. Calvinism ignores human responsibility.
    Calvinists never deny moral responsibility, but they do preach that man will never choose that which leads to salvation because of the corruption of their minds, hearts, and wills. They are predisposed to sinfulness. To say that ‘it is impossible for someone who is predisposed to choosing evil can’t be morally responsible for it’ doesn’t take God into account. God is morally good but yet will always choose to do good, just like man is morally bad and will choose to do evil. In the same way we attribute glory and honor to God for the good He does, God attributes condemnation and judgment to fallen man for the evil he does.

    6. Calvinists believe that no one can do any bit of good.
    Calvinists correctly teaches 3 things concerning this: (1) Man can not do any spiritual good (2) Man can not do anything or does not have anything (1 Cor. 4:7) to merit salvation or settle his account of sin (3) The good that an unbeliever does at the root is sinful because it doesn’t come from faith (Rom. 14:23). Fallen man can do “good” but their motive lies in civility, compulsion or threat of punishment from civil authorities, or pride and recognition—to name a few.

    7. Calvinism renders evangelism pointless.
    There are means to ends. While some extremists (hyper-Calvinists) hold to the idea of evangelism being fruitless, most recognize that God has not only ordained end or results of salvation to the elect but that He has ordained the means. Paul highlighted those means in his missive to the Romans—faith from hearing the good news being preached and the good news being preached by evangelists (Rom. 10:14-17).

    8. Calvinism teaches that men are no more than robots.
    Most learned and educated Calvinists believe in what’s called “concurrence”. That is that God cooperates with man’s will to cause them to do what He has ordained (Eph. 1:11b). This is seen in the story of Joseph and his brothers. The best example of this is the crucifixion of Jesus. Joseph’s brothers nor the conspirators against Jesus can say they were forced (by anything or anyone) to do what they did.

    9. Those who reject Calvinism reject the gospel.
    The doctrines of grace is an elaboration on the gospel. Simply put, the gospel is this: "God saves sinners". It is wrong to say someone who doesn't embrace the doctrines of grace (which is five counter-points on Arminianism) doesn't believe the gospel. Calvinists and Arminians/non-Calvinist both believe the gospel (God saves sinners), we just don't see eye to eye on each other's explanation of the gospel.

    10. Belief in Calvinism comes from the same illumination that leads to salvation.
    Such a statement implies that all who adhere to the doctrines of Calvinism are also saved. Yet there are Calvinists who are not saved—this is evident upon fruit inspection (Gal. 5:22-23; Matt. 7:16-20). There will be Calvinists, Arminians, universalists, Baptists, Lutherans, and Catholics in hell just like some of these will be in Heaven.
     
    #1 robustheologian, Feb 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2015
  2. thatbrian

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    I'm on your side, and this is a nice gesture, but it won't help around here. I've seen these things explained and then promptly ignored in 5 minutes tim.
     
  3. robustheologian

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    Thanks.

    Yeah I got a feeling about that. That just goes to show that some people are only looking to start fruitless arguments and plant seeds of discord. People aren't trying to grow...they just want an audience to be messy around. A few (like you) have it right.
     
  4. thatbrian

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    I wish that it weren't so, because proper debate among Christians can be helpful in coming to a better understanding of God and self.

    As I see it, correcting and eliminating the erroneous preconceived notions that many people have about the doctrines of grace is the work here. It's much less about convincing someone to embrace Calvinism than it is about getting them to release their misconceptions of it.

    May I suggest posting each one of the ten myths as a separate thread. Taking them on one at a time may help, as all ten together might get glossed over.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    While I disagree with the op it is well done. It is posts # 2 and 3 that are intended to so discord. I will help you understand how to engage others with whom you want to debate.


    Don't criticize and taunt them as you have done here in a childish manner.


    I means it is your world, your thread. Do what you want.
     
  6. robustheologian

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    I'm not sure I understand. I don't get how our posts would sow discord. And i'm not in the business of taunting anyone nor is anyone here being childish.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    Yes you do.
     
  8. convicted1

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbs::thumbsup:



    This is something I am not entirely settled upon, but as of now, I tend to disagree with you point here. There are many places where God's hatred for the wicked is displayed. The thing is is that God's works were known to Him from the foundation of the world. God doesn't have to 'wait and see' someone doing wicked before hating them, He seeing the end from the beginning, has already seen it done.

    Revelation 14:18-20 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

    "and another messenger did come forth out from the altar, having authority over the fire, and he called with a great cry to him having the sharp sickle, saying, `Send forth thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, because come to perfection have her grapes; and the messenger did put forth his sickle to the earth, and did gather the vine of the earth, and did cast [it] to the great wine-press of the wrath of God; and trodden was the wine-press outside of the city, and blood did come forth out of the wine-press -- unto the bridles of the horses, a thousand, six hundred furlongs."


    I understand this is dealing with God's judgement, but His hatred is on display towards the wicked.

    "In mine adversity I call Jehovah, And unto my God I call, And He heareth from His temple my voice, And my cry [is] in His ears, And shake and tremble doth the earth, Foundations of the heavens are troubled, And are shaken, for He hath wrath! Gone up hath smoke by His nostrils. And fire from His mouth devoureth, Brands have been kindled by it. And He inclineth heaven, and cometh down, And thick darkness [is] under His feet."(2 Sam. 22:7-10 YLT)


    Look at how David said God delivered him from his adversaries. God has a hatred for the wicked, imo...
     
  9. robustheologian

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    Maybe I spoke to soon with the "no one here is being childish" thing.

    I have a feeling you are trying to get this thread off track...your posts after this will probably prove that.
     
  10. robustheologian

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    I do agree God has a hatred. I guess for me it would be more like hating a liar but not hating a particular person who's a liar. If that makes sense lol.

    Yeah the universal love thing has definitely been a split among Calvinists. I think it depends on what meaning someone attaches to the word "world" in John 3:16.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    UH whoa, go back and take a look at posts 2 and 3 and then come back and talk to me about being "off track". Based on the "off track posts of 2 and 3 it is clear you have already accomplished that.
     
  12. robustheologian

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    That just may be a good idea.

    (I do wish there was some way to eliminate the occasional hijacking contrarian though. lol)
     
    #12 robustheologian, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2015
  13. convicted1

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    In my way of thinking....smelling smoke now...lullz...the bible has two classes of peoples, the elect and non-elect, the sheep and goats, the wheat and chaff, the wheat and tares, &c. These two classes of peoples are biblically opposed to one another, if you study this out.

    The tares were sown in amongst the wheat to take away from the wheat. It's like weeds in a garden. If you don't weed your garden, the weeds overrun it, take all the nutrients, and kill out the good stuff, the vegetables. That's imperitive to understand when you study the 'wheat and tares' parable Jesus spoke about.

    The sheep only eat greens, whereas goats will eat about anything. Sheep obey their shepherd, whereas a goat will 'butt' you in the rump if'n you ain't awful careful.

    The wheat is firmly planted in the ground, whereas the chaff is blown away by the wind.

    The goats have repeatedly assaulted the church...both OT and NT times. It is being assaulted now by taking prayer out of schools(throwing God out the window, too). Wanting to take 'In God We Trust' off our printed money, wanting 'freedom from religion', pushing for '[email protected] rights', amongst other sundry things.

    If you think 'God loves the sinner but hates the sin', imo, that's a concept foreign to the bible....
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    So let me get this straight. You throw your own thread off topic in posts 2 an 3 and then when someone responds to posts 2 and 3[which have nothing to do with the op] you blame them for your own action. That is just delusional.
     
  15. convicted1

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    There was no intent to sow discord with the OP. He hasn't been here long, but what little he has posted, he's been really civil.

    To lay the charge of sowing discord on this Brother is a very heavy charge.

    There was no 'childish manner' in the OP either....
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    I made it clear the op was done well. I am responding to posts 2 and 3.
     
  17. thatbrian

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    My solution has been to block the worst offenders in the user CP.
     
  18. robustheologian

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    The Bible is clear that God hates the sinner. And there are 2 classes of people like you said but at least for the first two chapters of the Bible there was 1 class of people. There are passages to refer to all men...whether elect or non-elect.

    Romans 14:11 — for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
    Phil. 2:10 — so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    So couldn't it be possible for John 3:16 to be referencing all individuals?
     
    #18 robustheologian, Feb 5, 2015
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  19. convicted1

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    Those two verses is dealing with when He returns, correct?

    Even those who, as it states in Rev. 16, "And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."(vss 9-11)

    Even as God is pouring out His righteous vengence upon sinners, they will blaspheme Him. That is why He is mad at the wicked every day.


    Now, the 'world' in John 3:16 isn't everyone who has ever been born, but rather, the kosmos, the encompassing of the earth. God's loves is encompassing the world...the kosmos but not every human being that will have ever existed, imo....but with further study, I may change, but this is where I am at at this time...
     
  20. The Archangel

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    Very nice.

    The Archangel
     
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