The hidden dangers of Calvinism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by stilllearning, Nov 16, 2008.

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  1. stilllearning

    stilllearning
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    First of all, don’t get the idea from this title, that I am an Arminianist; (I am not)

    I, like probably most of you, lean more toward Calvinism than Arminianism, because I preach salvation by Grace(alone), through faith(alone).
    --------------------------------------------------
    The hidden danger that I am referring to, is how we can be so “overly confidant” in our walk with the LORD, that we will give our ear to error:

    -But no matter how Spiritually mature you may be, it will always be dangerous, to listen to messages that you know are wrong.-
    --------------------------------------------------
    Second Timothy chapter 2, talks extensively about this danger:

    2 Timothy 2:14
    “Of these things put [them] in remembrance, charging [them] before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, [but] to the subverting of the hearers.”

    This verses warns us, not to listen to messages that we know are not Biblical.

    You know how when listening to a preacher for the first time, how the Lord will raise “red flags”, when he says things that aren’t right:

    Well this chapter warns us, that if we “willingly” give our ears to teachings that we know are not right, than the Lord may not raise those red flags of warning.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Now don’t get me wrong; I love Calvinists as my brothers in Christ. It is just that, there doctrine, is man-made; And although John Calvin may have been a fine man and a great preacher, he had some ideas, that were not Biblically sound.

    In the same way that I love my Pentecostal brethren, but I am not going to seriously consider there arguments about speaking in tongues. (If I did, I would be tempted to change my opinion about this error.)
    --------------------------------------------------
    Because of this realization, I am no longer going to refer to myself(if pressed), as a 2 or 3 point Calvinist.
    I don’t have to impress anybody. I just believe the Bible.

    Mark 7:7
    “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.”
     
  2. Jim1999

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    Something like being a baptist. I am not in love with the name baptist, but I am in love with what it once stood for.

    We are not in love with John Calvin, the man. We were called calvinists by those who are not. The name represents a theological system and no more. We immerse; we don't sprinkle. We have a right church political system; we do not become political dictators, as did Calvin. We do not demand the burning at the stake of anyone, as did Calvin.

    Even the TULIP, so-called is in response to another theological viewpoint. We did not originate it.

    We claim our theology is biblically based and scripture is the final authourity.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. Rippon

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    I wish you were more specific.We are left to guess at what you mean unless you get into particulars.What errors?What kind of messages which are unbiblical are you aiming at?Please tell us of those "red flags" that you are talking about.

    John Calvin did not invent Calvinism.( Pardon me as I wind up this ole' record.)We get our teachings from the Bible -- not from the pen of John Calvin.Is that piece of information news to you?



    Yes.Of course I agree.But what doctrines of men are you referencing?Do you wish to deny Total Depravity for instance?Do you think that's just a doctrine of men?Do you possibly think that people would make up a doctrine like that which puts people in their biblical place?!

    I'm waiting for your further elaboration.
     
  4. Jerome

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    One red flag is when they begin "correcting" scriptures that don't fit into their "grand theory".

    Spurgeon, warning about those Calvinists who undermine the inspiration of scripture by "reexplaining" verses to mean the opposite of what God said:

    [I Tim. 2:4 "Who will have all men to be saved"]:
    "What then? Shall we try to put another meaning into the text than that which it fairly bears? I trow not. You must, most of you, be acquainted with the general method in which our older Calvinistic friends deal with this text. "All men," say they, —"that is, some men": as if the Holy Ghost could not have said "some men" if he had meant some men. "All men," say they; "that is, some of all sorts of men": as if the Lord could not have said "all sorts of men" if he had meant that. The Holy Ghost by the apostle has written "all men," and unquestionably he means all men. I know how to get rid of the force of the "alls" according to that critical method which some time ago was very current, but I do not see how it can be applied here with due regard to truth. I was reading just now the exposition of a very able doctor who explains the text so as to explain it away; he applies grammatical gunpowder to it, and explodes it by way of expounding it. I thought when I read his exposition that it would have been a very capital comment upon the text if it had read, "Who will not have all men to be saved, nor come to a knowledge of the truth." Had such been the inspired language every remark of the learned doctor would have been exactly in keeping, but as it happens to say, "Who will have all men to be saved," his observations are more than a little out of place. My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for inspiration is far greater. I would sooner a hundred times over appear to be inconsistent with myself than be inconsistent with the word of God. I never thought it to be any very great crime to seem to be inconsistent with myself, for who am I that I should everlastingly be consistent? But I do think it a great crime to be so inconsistent with the word of God that I should want to lop away a bough or even a twig from so much as a single tree of the forest of Scripture. God forbid that I should cut or shape, even in the least degree, any divine expression. So runs the text, and so we must read it, "God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.""
     
    #4 Jerome, Nov 16, 2008
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  5. Rippon

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    Where are you getting this kind of info Jim?He couldn't rightly have been called a political dictator.


    John Calvin urged the city council of Geneva not to burn Servetus.He wanted a more human execution.And because of that Calvin was told by most of the other Reformers that he was too weak and timid in the matter.

    Even the TULIP, so-called is in response to another theological viewpoint. We did not originate it.
     
  6. stilllearning

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    Hi Rippon

    You asked.......
    Well, since you asked: Here are three examples(even though one would do.)
    --------------------------------------------------
    Reformed theology teaches that Atonement is limited:

    But the Bible says..........
    The Lord’s blood is there to pay for everybody’s sins(even that of false prophets).

    Therefore the false prophet has an opportunity to get saved.
    --------------------------------------------------
    They also believe in “Unconditional election”:

    But the Bible says........
    There is clearly a condition to election: (It is based upon God’s foreknowledge)
    --------------------------------------------------
    They also reject a person’s free will:

    But the Bible says........
    Everyone has an equal opportunity for salvation: “whosoever”!
    --------------------------------------------------
    This third example, was the kicker for me.

    Recently I gave my ear to some committed Calvinists, who did a good job of talking up there view of our “free will”, and would have convinced me:
    -But praise the Lord, He had mercy on me, and delivered me before I was deceived.-

    And then He laid it upon my heart, to warn others.
     
  7. Jim1999

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    Isolated scriptures also say:

    "and Judas hanged himself...."

    "Go, and do thou likewise..."

    "And whatsoever thou doest, do quickly..."

    You must consider the whole of scripture and not isolated verses.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. Rippon

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    All Scripture From TNIV

    A false prophet is a blasphemer.The sin of blasphemy is not forgiven.

    In 2 Peter 2:1 there is no reference to redemption.There is no reference to the blood of the cross.God the Father has ownership,power and authority over all His creatures.These false prophets were not blood bought.See Deut.32:6 for a cross reference to 2 Peter 2:1:"Is this the way you repay the Lord,you foolish and unwise people?Is he not your Father,your Creator,who made you and formed you?"

    Can you name any saved false prophets in the Bible?
    --------------------------------------------------
    They also believe in “Unconditional election”:



    There is clearly a condition to election: (It is based upon God’s foreknowledge)

    Romans 8:29:"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters."

    God does not foreknow everyone;only certain ones.Those are the ones He set His love upon --He has foreloved them and them alone.
    --------------------------------------------------


    Tell me how a person dead in their tresspasses and sins exerts their "free-will".

    God is not an equal-opportunity God.I have that countless times.He deliberately hides the truth from many.For example,those who have never heard the Gospel of Christ are not given the same opportunity as those under the sound of Gospel preaching.But even many who hear the Word of God proclaimed the Lord hardens the hearts of some so that they will not come to a saving knowledge of the Son.

    Look up Isaiah 6:9,10 some time.It's quoted quite frequently in the New Testament.

    Look at Matthew 11:27:"All things have been committed to me by my Father.No one knows the Son except the Father,and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."(John 5:21 and Luke 10:22 also confirm this)


    --------------------------------------------------
    Again,you have not specified what their view of "free-will" is.

    Classic free will is not biblical.Furthermore,there wouldn't have been the Protestant Reformation had the view of Erasmus held sway.Thankfully Luther's "The Bondage Of The Will" was a wonderful antidote to that anti-biblical theory which unfortunately is prevalent today.Most mainstream Christians of today would be in agreement with a couple of propositions from the Roman Catholic Council of Trent.
     
    #8 Rippon, Nov 17, 2008
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  9. Rippon

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    Jerome,Spurgeon's sermon on 1Timothy 2:4 may possibly be his poorest.

    Exegetically others have treated the text in a better fashion such as John Gill and John Owen among many more past and present.

    I quote from Spurgeon when I think he's on the mark -- here he errs.That message of his may be the most popular of his sermons among Arminians.
     
  10. psalms109:31

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    Pentecost

    Before pentecost calvinist is exactly right the message was not for all men until after Penticost. Now because of what happened at Pentecost the door is open to all men and whosoever believes shall be saved.

    John 8:28
    So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

    John 12:32
    But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

    John 7:38
    Whoever believes in me, as[Or / If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me. / And let him drink, 38 who believes in me. / As ] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39
    By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

    John 16:
    The Work of the Holy Spirit
    5"Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' 6Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt[ Or will expose the guilt of the world ] in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

    Luke 24:49
    I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

    Acts 2
    The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
    1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[Or languages; also in verse 11 ] as the Spirit enabled them.

    Acts 19
    Paul in Ephesus
    1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[Or in ] you believed?"
    They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
    3So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?"
    "John's baptism," they replied. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[Or other languages ] and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all.

    2 Corinthians 5:
    16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin[Or be a sin offering ] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    1 Timothy 2:
    1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.

    The truth is beyong Calvinism or Arminian, it is found in God not men and thier own understanding
     
    #10 psalms109:31, Nov 17, 2008
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  11. Rippon

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    Your thread title is kind of mystifying.The doctrines that Calvinism teaches are overt;not exactly under wraps.I mean Buddy -- just look at all the books which have been written by Calvinists (which mainly explain the Bible).It is kind of silly to say that Calvinists have kept things hidden.You can disagree with Calvinistic doctrines all you want -- but we don't hide our light under a bushel!
     
  12. sag38

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    No you don't hide it under a bushel. Here lately the Founder's Movement and others are trying to jam it down our collective throats.
     
  13. jcjordan

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    Jam it down your throats? What exactly are they doing to jam it down your throat?
     
  14. Goldie

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    Calvinism cannot be confirmed biblically. It is a heresy. It can only be confirmed by taking scripture out of context. The Bible isn't open to private interpretation. Calvin was a false prophet, because:

    1. He believed in religious persecution.
    2. He believed that sacraments were equal to God's Word.
    3. He believed in infant baptism.
    4. He was an amillenialist.
    5. He believed in predestination to hell
    6. He was a dictator.
    7. He believed in religious persecution. (Micahel Servetus being a good example).

    It is because of these reasons Calvinists don't like to be referred to as "Calvinists", instead, they prefer to call their doctrine/beliefs "The Doctrines of Grace", or "Sovereign Grace", and so attempt to distance themselves from John Calvin.

    In actual fact, their doctrines go into human philosophy, which appeals to a proud mind. It is definitely not a biblical doctrine. It's also rather strange that after approximately 1400 years of Christianity, absolutely no-one taught predestination, until Calvin came along. Makes you think, doesn't it? So for 1400 all those Christians were heretics and false prophets? I don't think so.

    Romans 8:29:
    "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

    Foreknowledge is an attribute of God, while predestination and election are acts of God. Only God knows the future. So the obvious question here would be "If God does know who is and who isn't going to be saved, how then can a sinner get out of it?" The answer is, that in scripture foreknowledge never determines what is to be, instead it always refers to just knowing things beforehand. A good example of this: Seismologists will know an earthquake will occur at a specific time and date, but they do not bring about the actual earthquake. That's where their foreknowledge begins and ends.

    Predestination: It is clear from scripture that predestination is never linked to lost men or sinners, but ALWAYS to the saved (Christians).. In Romans 8:29 it clearly states that we (as Christians) are predestined to conform to the image of Jesus Christ. That is clearly a blessing God bestows on His children (Christians).

    "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will" Ephesians 1:5. Yet another blessing for the saved.

    Election: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." Ephesians 1:4. Election also means "chosen". Aah, so this really looks like God chooses some to be saved and others not. No it doesn't, because when we look at other scripture to interpret this verse, the following is very clear in Romans 9:9-13: "........ that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob I have loved, but Esau have I hated". God never hated Esau, He only hated his carnality and rebellious ways. As we can see throughout scripture, God even loves sinners, but hates their sin. We can see this with the Nicolaitans - God didn't hate them, He only hated their doctrine.

    Here we can clearly see God's foreknowledge - as He already knows that Jacob will have the character for service, whereas Esau doesn't. It doesn't say anywhere that the younger is saved and the older is lost (unsaved), does it? The keyword here is "SERVE". So Jacob is chosen/elected to SERVICE, not salvation. Just like some men are chosen to be pastors (to serve the flock), elders (to serve the flock), apostles (to serve the flock), etc, etc. It is clear throughout the Bible that those in charge or authority of the flock are there to SERVE them.

    Are we all chosen/elected to serve? The answer is obviously no, because not all of us have the character to do so. Does the Bible ever use the word "predestined" when referring to the lost/unsaved? No. Does the Bible always use the term "predestination" together with saved people/believers? Yes. There's your answer.

    So much for Calvinism. They have no hope and they have no security. Not a good place to be. I don't envy them in the least, actually I pray that their eyes are opened to the truth in Christ Jesus.

    "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to EVERY ONE that believeth."
     
    #14 Goldie, Nov 17, 2008
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  15. jcjordan

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    Goldie, are you willing to discuss this? You need to be very careful about leveling charges of heresy.
     
    #15 jcjordan, Nov 17, 2008
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  16. webdog

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    I do think the charges of heresy are taking it too far.
     
  17. jcjordan

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    Thank you for the sanity!!
     
  18. jcjordan

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    This is the craziest line of all. This a prayer for God to violate my free will!!
     
  19. stilllearning

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    Hi Rippon

    You said.......
    I understand your point; But the “hidden” part of this thread, isn’t saying that Calvinism is hiding anything.

    But the danger that Calvinism poses, is hidden;
    (Because it’s doctrines sound Biblical, and if we give our ears to them, we can be convinced to overlook the clear teachings of the Bible.)
     
  20. annsni

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    There is something that has struck me in Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. It really rings true IMO:

    In speaking on election and reprobation, he discusses the Calvinism vs. Arminian argument. He finishes up by saying:

    "But both sides must also say that there is something else that God deems more important than saving everyone. Reformed theologians say that God deems his own glory more important than saving everyone, and that (according to Romans 9) God's glory is also furthered by the fact that some are not saved. Arminian theologians also say that something else is more important to God than the salvation of all people, namely, the preservation of man's free will. So in a Reformed system God's highest value is his own glory, and in an Arminian system God's highest value is the free will of man. These are two distincly different conceptions of the nature of God, and it seems that the Reformed position has much more explicit biblical support than the Arminian position does on this question. "

    To declare "Calvinism" or the doctrine of grace as a heresy, you are condemning the Word of God. Scripture is clear that God's sovereign choice is a major part of man's salvation. I do see Scripture supporting the idea of man's free will also and I think the truth includes both in some way. Spurgeon believed this and I agree with him.
     
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