Notes on Calvinism: Calvinism, a Rigged Carnival Game

Carnival Games
Remember going to a carnival as a child? Pretty fun; pretty exciting, right? I used to love the carnival games. So magical! So enticing! For a small price of a couple of quarters, along with a bit of skill and luck, I just knew that I could win one of those giant stuffed pandas, or a camera, or maybe even that alluring stereo set on the top shelf. Sadly, all that I ever won was a goldfish, a five-cent goldfish for a fifty-cent game fee. Rigged carnival games have been around for generations. Here are few of the most common:

1. Shooting Gallery: Air guns are armed with tiny BBs, air pressure is lowered and the sights are bent to skew the shots.

2. Land the Dime on the Plate: Plates are sprayed with silicone to make the coin slide right off.

3. Milk Bottle Pyramid: Lower bottles are filled with lead weights. Softballs are very soft indeed, being filled with straw or sawdust.

4. Basketball Shoot: Balls are overinflated; rims are undersized, sometimes slightly oval shaped and set higher than regulation height.

5. Balloon Dart Throw: Darts are lighter that store brands; tips are filed and dulled; balloons are underinflated and thick.

6. Ring Toss: Rings are made of hard bouncy plastic; their openings are only a fraction of an inch larger than the bottle tops on which they are supposed to land.

7. Sledge Hammer Ring the Bell: Hammers large but underweighted; carnival operator can apply “brake” as desired.

In many ways, Calvinism is very much like a rigged carnival game. For the Calvinist, some are prechosen to win and others are prechosen to lose. The individual has no say in his own destiny, no opportunity to trust in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone for salvation, as the Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-18, 36; John 5:24; John 6:29, 40; John 11:25-26; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 4:5. But in the case of Calvinism, “losing” involves much more than spending a few dollars at a carnival; it means spending eternity in hell, sent there by a whimsical Calvinist “god.” Yes, Calvinism is a rigged “game” and a very deadly one as well.

Listen to the words of Kent Kelly as he describes in detail the false “god” of Calvinism: a true ogre! (Source, Kent Kelly, “Inside the Tulip,” Southern Pines, NC: Calvary Press, 1986, page 59):

“The sovereign god of the Calvinist planned in a past eternity that billions of men, women, and children would be tormented in the Lake of Fire forever. he had no desire that any of them would be saved. This god was well aware that because of the sin nature received at conception, they could do nothing but become Hell-deserving sinners by the very fact of their existence. This same god said that the basis for their condemnation would be a failure to believe in the Saviour for them, and no atonement was made available in which they could believe. he sent forth people into all the world to command these billions of men, women, and children to believe in a Saviour who was not their Saviour. he commanded them to repent knowing that he had personally selected them to burn in Hell before they ever received their sin nature. This god of the Calvinist created billions of vessels of wrath fitted for destruction—commanded them to do what he had willed them unable to do—then sent them to Hell for not doing it. If this is your god, you have my sympathy.”

129 responses to “Notes on Calvinism: Calvinism, a Rigged Carnival Game

  1. It has been a few months yet box cars are still piling up from train wreck caused by J. White’s IFD with a jihadist imam (isn’t twitter great). GTY (JMac’s men—but not JMac) got involved early by smearing the messenger and now adversaries of GTY are in a twitter rage involving things (cover ups) not directly connected to their defense off J White. Whether the allegations against GTY are true I do not know. But their tactics for silencing critics is all plain too to see and has invited speculation concerning their truthfulness (not just about the gospel).

    You can find out what I mean by checking in on Brannon Howse’s twitter feed or website (not an endorsement). This is getting real ugly.

  2. an Apostate is one who takes the Truth of God’s word and uses it to their own advantage..
    So to attempt to use God’s word and the Truth found theirn to appease Islam is Apostasy. It is confusion

    Islam has in common with Lordship Salvation.. They both must work to prove they are worthy of blessing and yet never knowing.

  3. RAS, wow! The mental gymnastics that these guys have to go through to defend their false doctrine would make my head spin.

  4. I mentioned that a defender of J, White recently said that White’s IFD with a jihadist Muslim was not a matter of concern because Islam is not a spiritual threat to “true” Christians while B, Hinn, R. Warren etc. are spiritual threats because they are call themselves Christian. What a crazy distinction. Well, I just saw a rebuttal by another Reformed minister who challenged this claim and in his rebuttal this minister said that he believed that while a “true” Christian will not apostatize they could well end up believing that Islam and Christianity are basically the same. Now I ask how is that not apostasy? This minister was not affirming eternal security but perseverance of the saints that is not actually perseverance. Both these guys make my head spin.

  5. RAS and Jason, I agree completely regarding the doctrine of hyperdispensationalism. It actually creates a loadship scenario all over again. Either they are teaching believers are thrown out of the kingdom, punished for lack of good works, or worse in their Outer Darkness understanding. Also it is anti-semitic replacement type theology in making the Jews have a different gospel.

    To them, the church is the Gentiles and of course we know many (not all) separate the Jews and the Gentiles. Ephesians 2 completely spells it out, oddly they use Ephesians a lot with the ‘mystery’ and ignore that all the apostles had it revealed to them.

    Chapter 2 clearly identifies the two made into one, just adding a couple more verses to the ones you provided:

    11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
    12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
    13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

  6. 2believe, exactly. God, in His sovereignty, allows man to choose his eternal destiny. From our statement of faith:

    4. The Bible describes God as absolutely all powerful and in His absolute power, gave man a free will to reject the salvation that He has provided. It is God’s will that all would be saved and that none should perish. God foreknows, but does not predetermine any man to be condemned or saved. God permits man’s destiny to depend completely upon man’s choice. I Timothy 2:4; II Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:2; II Peter 3 9, John 6:64,65; Acts 10:34; I Corinthians 1:21; Ephesians 1:5-14; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 9:30-32.

  7. Forgive me for not reading all the comments as I’ve been away from this site for far too long. If I repeat anything, my apologies.

    It seems to me they take the sovereignty of God and apply their own definition of it. Stating He controls everything, including one’s decision for, or against Christ. Being the ultimate in power still applies as He set the determining factor on what was deemed necessary, belief in Christ’s payment for sin, for entry into heaven.

    Maybe they also misunderstand the differences between Him KNOWING who will choose Him and Him deciding who would. The more I attempt to explain it, the more likely I will receive a whopper of a headache. Haha

    The Westboro Baptist Church seems to be Calvinists. Though I could be wrong. Sorry for babbling.

    Great article!

    P.S. I HATED the ring toss hahaha

  8. That speaks volumes against hyperdisp. Paul preaches a gospel of reconciliation, and they cause division. So much for following Paul.

    If hyperdisp were taught in the first century, the divisions it would cause. Wait, it was taught. It was called gnosticism. Not content with two new mans, they went the whole way and taught two gods.

  9. Curtis
    I see Ephesians having a heavy emphasis on the collective which as I stated is comprised of individuals. I see the “we” in 1:3-12 as Jewish believers who were first in Him, the first to be predestined to the adoption of sons, the first in the Church. In v13 the “you” is gentiles as 2:11 and 4:17 indicates. The “we” and “you” have been made alive together, raised together and seated together with Christ creating one new man out of Jewish (we) and gentile (you) believers making a new “we”.

    Ephesians 2:14-16 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

    Truly amazing work He has done on our behalf.

  10. have not thunk about “workmanship” that way RAS.
    interesting

  11. ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    I posted “one Faith” in reference to heart faith head faith there is only one faith that is invisible and vertical to the hearing of God’s Word. religious trappings are always looking at themselves for atmosphere, lifestyle changes for proof that what they believe is true if i really believed if it really took place.
    when you understand Grace You see that True Worship is an invisible spiritual exercise were the heart responds vertically to the word of God “Thus SAYETH The LORD and as the heart responds to the Word of God that is Biblical Worship.

    john 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

  12. Also one new man (Eph 2:15) which is His workmanship created in Christ for good works (2:10). This is most over looked by LSers who say that the individual, who is part of the one new man, is the workmanship created for good works. Obviously individuals make up the one new man but the good works that were prepared beforehand are works prepared for the corporate body (the Church, His workmanship).

  13. Jason, your comment quite poetically captures the absurdity of hyperdispensationalism.

  14. One faith, two faith, red faith, blue faith
    Hyperdisps must have two of everything
    One faith for Israel, one faith for the church
    Two baptisms, two crosses, two hopes
    The lords, two fathers, one in Jews, one in them
    Eternal security expires
    Two heavens
    Jesus has three tenses
    Ministerial, apostolic, Pauline
    Such foolery is hyperdisp

    Make it two gods, and you have gnosticism. Israel belongs to the evil god, the church to the good god. The gnostics hyperdivided, and so do they.

  15. GES = one faith
    No Spirit, no hope,
    No Lord, no cross
    No baptism
    No God, No Father
    Nothing in you all
    Just Jesus and faith

    And who is Jesus, anyway? Totally stripped.

  16. one faith, one faith, one faith
    one Spirit
    one hope
    one Lord
    one faith
    one God.. Father of all.. above all.. in you all

    ephesians 4:4
    There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

    4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

    4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

  17. Books, books, the whimsical fruit
    The more you read, the worse you shoot
    The worse you shoot, the worse you feel
    So read more books to know what’s not real

    “The Potter’s Freedom” by good old JW. Pure fiction, with a menace behind the Calvinism. It’s about a “god” who is called a potter and uses almighty power to make souls who cannot accept him and to damn them to hell for it. Witchcraft seems like a step up (but don’t).

  18. “Paul is referred to as the great Apostle to the Church and it is he who defines The Grace of God and The Gospel of Grace.
    Which means if you don’t understand the Pauline EPISTLES you don’t understand Grace.
    You don’t understand how to live the Christian Life.
    Because you will never learn how to live the Christian Life by reading the sermon on the mount.
    Now the sermon on the mount gives us Righteous principles But does not tell us how to make it work. ”

    This is reasoning for a person to spend a month or more reading studying asking for wisdom and understanding for The Truth of The Gospel of Grace.
    “to come out from among them” of manmade religious systems of thought.
    The Clear Gospel Campaign and book of Galatians will show a soul who seeks after God.
    God seeks after those who seek Him.

    First Step have you received Christ Jesus His Finished work on the Cross and know you have eternal Life because God’s Word says so? Believing what Christ Jesus did was for you?
    Not raising a hand, walking an isle, a cough, a sneeze, bending over and touching your toes. Nothing but believing.
    Not looking for external works for verification but what God’s Word says to be True?

  19. Curtis, a good question to ask Calvinists would be: “why would God predestine me to teach against Calvinism, if Calvinism is the gospel?” Wouldn’t that put God under His own curse?

  20. Calvanism falls apart over Freewill. thats why the deny free will so fiercely.
    That last church i was in Retired pastor who taught at college level for 10 years wanted to draw me into argument over Faith to believe and Free Will.

    It is difficult to think on your feet when dealing with a calvanist because they are comming at you with complexities. But the simplest of scripture like
    “Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
    Just frustrates and baffles them its just to simple for them to comprehend..

    They Want to debate over Topics rather than text of Scripture.

  21. The chariswhackos use the same HS argument when you disagree with them about tongues. I once said I did not even desire the gift of tongues and received a good tongue lashing. Sounds like the HS is indistinguishable from the gnosis.

  22. BTW the James White controversy is still being played out. One of his latest defenders actually said that Islam is not a spiritual threat to “true” Christians because “true” Christians will never leave Christ for the Muhammad. Somehow R. Warren, B. Hinn, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Word of Faith etc are worth warning of but sitting down with Muslims to discuss common ground against secularism is just fine (if you’re in the club). After all Muslims don’t claim to be Christians but the others do. Apparently “true” Christians need only be wary of some false Christs but not all. I guess His sheep can only stray in a certain direction and some wolves are not ravenous after all.

  23. Another strange thing Jason is that they give lip service to the perspicuity of scripture and then deny that the central message of scripture i.e. the Gospel can be understood apart from regeneration first. Now scripture is either perspicuous or it is not!

  24. It’s darn near Gnosticism to appeal to the logic of the text and then when shown that the text doesn’t contextually or logically say what is presupposed to have the “out” that we don’t understand it simply because we can’t understand it. This is saying “I have understanding because I have the HS…and you don’t” and of course we know that the wind blows where it wishes. I think it’s their favorite “out” and is often used in combination with “this is a mystery of God”.

  25. Strange Calvinists. They condemn free will as appeal to human reasoning. But then they use it. They condemn free will as works. But they trust in works anyway.

    It’s Bloons Lordship City. Everything is nerfed to the ground. You cannot collect from a banana farm without placing a Fruit Inspector. The Megachurch costs a million and they can’t win without it.

  26. I suppose Calvinists believe that God preordained them to be incapable of logic.

  27. I was reading through a thread of comments on a blog where a couple of men were debating the tenets of Calvinism. The Calvinist used the typical tactics of reading the presupposed theology into the text and then appealing to logic. After a pretty long conversation between them the non-Calvinist pointed out several logical fallacies in the Calvinist’s argument to which the Calvinist replied “One does not need to understand the rules of logic to be led by the HS into truth”. Ah, the consistency of inconsistency! It is carnival season isn’t it?

  28. steven anderson has made some degrading remarks. He teaches that women are not made in God’s image, only men are. That leaves anderson’s wife in a pitiable state.

    I read that the early church copied the synagogues’ practice of separating the women from the men. I don’t know when that changed, and I wouldn’t want to go back.

    It is sad that some people regard women’s roles as more important than their safety and do not allow a woman to flee an abusive husband.

  29. Jason, funny you should mention the suffrage movement, which interestingly had women fighting against slavery. But all people and genders have bad people within them, bad motives, bad ends. Feminism didn’t come from the suffrage movement but from people that couldn’t possibly understand the truth of God’s Word because they weren’t believers. Christians turned around and created movements judging and condemning the world completely missing an opportunity to minister reconciliation to a dying group of people. I see Christians rail against feminism all the time. (And of course I am not one). But this Christian man on FB made a comment about the woman’s suffrage movement being this evil thing, and it brought to mind a respected pastor who commented women shouldn’t have ever been allowed to vote, and it just makes me sad because it hurts Christian women.

    Christian men often (after talking to me awhile about one doctrine or another) will tell me to shut up, be silent and use Scripture to make their case. Or get even more abusive. That’s not so bad as I know I’m not acting as a pastor, just clarifying truth even as Priscilla did with Aquila to Apollos. But the other men in the conversation who stand by and say nothing. The silence is deafening. Women definitely have certain roles within the body, within the family, and I don’t fight that, but it is sad (and not equating you with these men), sad to see men make comments that are degrading like that to women. Truly shows how we’re in the end times as the enemy rails against the one I believe he has special enmity against.

  30. Johninnc.

    Christians listen to Rob Bell because they are still children, carried about by every wind of doctrine. These same children will bite at you for ‘judging’ these men’s fruit (their doctrine) while judging you for judging as we are told 🙂

    They are subtly corrupted by these false apostles, deceitful workers pretending to be ministers of righteousness because they put up with them. They haven’t gotten into the strong meat of God’s Word so they have no ability to discern between good and evil. Mostly they seem unwilling to prove all things or search the Scriptures to see if these things are so, instead, they heap up teachers, want their ears tickled, listened to these men’s flattering words… So sad. So for those who have believed, they haven’t a clue what the gospel is.

    Many non believers listen to these men because they also tell them what they want to hear. They are children of rebellion and so they like these men for that reason.

  31. They can be reformed in name only. Modern Judaism is also a false religion, and I don’t think it can be reformed either, although the Messianic rabbis try. It won’t be in the synagogues that the Jews will call on the name of the Lord during the tribulation, but in the wilderness.

  32. jason, there is no way a false religion can be “reformed.”

    From Clear Gospel:

    “Bilateral contract salvation” and the “Perseverance of the Saints” are two separate but interrelated doctrines within a complex theological system of salvation by works, which relies, at its core, on redefining the word “grace” as some sort of mystical empowering substance. This theological system is set forth in Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, Part 1 of the Second Part, Questions 109-114, “Treatise of Grace,” a 12th century manifesto of Roman Catholic Theology. In Protestantism, it is known as “Reformed Theology” or “Calvinism”.

  33. The heroes of churchianity are:
    the falsely so-called church fathers
    the mystics, who pioneered contemplative prayer
    the roman catholic whorish “doctors of the church”
    Augustine
    Aquinas, the “doctor” transformed as angelic
    Teresa of Avila (the witchdoctor of the “church”)
    the reformers, in name only
    double-minded Luther
    “Pope” John Calvin (Pullman had him right, lol)
    Huldrych Drown-’em Zwingli
    the commie anabaptists
    the pharasaical puritans
    John Mr Perfect Wesley
    the modern ecumenicals
    the Inklings (Lewis, Tolkien)
    Spurgeon, the prince of lordshippers
    Chesterton
    the persecuted lordshipping “church” and Wurmbrand
    Teresa of Calcutta
    of course Billy Graham
    every new preacher on the block with a can-do attitude

    Some of these used to be my heroes, but I had to get over it. I am convinced that the radical reformation did not have it, either. The anabaptists were lordship.

  34. Is “god is a deceiver” another parallel? Sad.

  35. Somebody posted a link to an article about Linda Sarsour’s call for jihad against Trump and aJ. White defender commented “She needs Christ. Who will give her the gospel?” This was done to shame and stifle critics. Yet this Calvinist finds fault in telling just anybody that Jesus died for them and finds no contradiction in saying all need Christ. The Calvinist has usurped God’s sovereignty by determining them self that Sarsour needs Jesus while their theology states that maybe Jesus decided not to die for her and is the One deceiving her into following Muhammad. And people flock to Calvinism for its logic? Ya they do!

  36. jason, the heroes of the “churchianity” business are the up and comers who are filling pews. It doesn’t matter what they spew, as long as they are packing ’em in.

  37. Also compared with Billy Graham were TD Jakes and Rick Warren. I got tired of looking for the next Graham. Where is the next Apostle John? The next Paul? Very few get the gospel right, so that immediately disqualifies them.

  38. Jason, another quote from the article:

    A graduate of Wheaton College (Billy Graham’s alma mater), Bell was called the next Billy Graham by the Chicago Sun-Times in 2006. Five years later, TIME named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

    My comment: Bell does appear to be following in Graham’s footsteps – seeking fame from ecumenism and false doctrine.

  39. I want to be clear that I am not accusing J. White of “converting” to Islam. Part of his defense technique is to misrepresent the criticisms and his followers fall for this trick. He puts out articles twisting 2 John and 2 Corinthians to “prove” he is right and then turns right back to attacking his critics and misrepresenting the concerns. Pride! The “Dr” is so prideful.

    One thing he said about 2 John 7-11 is that this only pertains to those who were in the Church (he says see 1 John 2:19). Of course in his theology these people were not part of the Church but fakers (failure to persevere). Yet when criticized for honoring a jihadist in a “church” his defense is that the Church is not a building but a body of believers (unless they aren’t I guess). Crazy circles! Including evangelizing people who have no chance to believe if Jesus did not atone for their sins and no real need of evangelism if He did.

  40. jason, agree. All moving toward the one world religion.

  41. They may “speak to the timeless human questions”, but they speak the wrong things. And they say nothing about eternal life through God’s Son.

  42. RAS, I haven’t been following this, but I did see a new article on Rob Bell today.

    Here is one of his quotes, regarding the Bible versus other religions’ sacred books, such as the Koran and the Bhagavad-Gita:

    I would begin with: Why do these books connect? I would argue they speak to the timeless human questions. So, as opposed to (having) a mixed martial arts battle – “Which one’s better?’ – the more interesting question is: ‘What does this text say about that?” The divisions to me aren’t interesting.

    My comment: Why would any Christian listen to this guy?

  43. I myself followed through White and JD Hall the saga of Hank Hanegraaff’s conversion to Eastern “Orthodoxy”. And now JW himself falls. They keep falling over each other.

  44. Let me ask again if anyone here has heard (other than from me) about this J. White Islam controversy. I’m trying to gage how big this is. Brannon Howse brought it to light about a month ago and it has gotten national attention in several secular publications as well as Christian media. I count no less than 8 “ministries” that have called out the “Dr” (most from his own camp). The “Dr’s” biggest defenders have been Michael Brown (the charismatic who defends Benny Hinn) and JMac’s right foot P. Johnson. The “Dr’s” defense is that his critics are too dumb to understand his methods or just plain hateful towards Muslims. He plans round two despite the controversy. His followers stand with him. It’s a train wreck I can’t stop watching! Learning a lot about how people can rationalize away clear teaching of scripture and play “follow the leader”.
    I do not endorse B. Howse. I heard of the controversy through Youtube, followed it through Howse and White.

  45. RAS, some sources tell me that Calvinists and Lutherans once tried to make an alliance with the Ottoman empire against the Holy Roman empire. They thought the muslims would be less intolerant than catholics. They had another think coming.

  46. Holly, islam has a peculiar way of driving me toward feminism and away from it at the same time. I learn that sexism exists, in muslim cultures, and I am totally against it. I think it is a good thing that the suffragette movement of 1.5 centuries ago succeeded and now women can vote. Then I realize that lib feminists could care less about the oppressed women of islam while they play the gender card and give western culture the guilt trip. It is all about abortion rights with them, and the oppressed are the unborn. The way they spin it is disgusting.

  47. More gaming analogies could be made. I knew a gamer with a youtube channel who would rage at the game when his strategies failed. Many ways seemed right to him, and the end thereof is epic fail. Occasionally he would use the one strategy that seemed to work and complain that it is not fair. Lordshippers are unhappy that there is only one way to get eternal life, and derail it as “easy-believism”. They don’t like the fact that it kills the difficulty, it is not their pet strategy, and that it does not fit their preconceived notion of making the game a challenge. They conveniently forget that there are other levels where the strategy is not automatic, such as glorifying God and having victory over the flesh, and where eternal destiny is not at stake. They incessantly beg the game’s designer to nerf the strategy, ie make less effective.

    I have seen players contort themselves irrationally in order to make the game an artificial challenge. It is often unrepeatable and luck-based. It is all about bragging rights and agendas with some of these players. They want to show off something that they subjectively feel is awesome or persuade the company to nerf something. It is surely a waste of time. I have called baloney on it and feelings were hurt. Lordshipping is all about agendas with man and bragging rights before God.

    On the gaming forums, they have made an acronym out of depriving themselves of various of the game’s features. The game is much more enjoyable without such restrictions. It reminds me of monks depriving themselves of bodily comforts and property rights so they can brag about the flesh. Some have a voracious appetite for torture, but in the rigged game of lordshipping they will as their eternal reward get more than their fill.

  48. Excellent point Jason! The kindred spirit comment probably does pertain to the idea that the Imam is already regenerated and White is expecting fruit through his gracious, scholarly, unbigoted labor. There are many parallels between Islam and Calvinism.

  49. Actually Jason, my daughters went to a charter school for a couple of years that had a number of Muslims. One of their friends told me that a woman had a 50% chance of entering heaven, so less of them are ‘chosen’ evidently…

  50. Jason, I’m not familiar with those games, but I was aware that some of them sold add on features that give paying players an advantage.

    Very good analogy.

  51. Calvinism is like Bloons TD 5 where boomerangs cost double what they used to, flame throwers shoot at one tenth their original speed (currently one third), super monkeys shoot at half speed, and everything is nerfed to the ground. People complain that it is already rigged, lol. Every time a strategy works, they nerf the strategy. (Actually the current game is still playable, as some effective strategies exist, but people worry.) Calvinists found faith too overpowered, so they nerfed it to repent of sin.

    Another way to rig a game is to add features that require spending real money to use. They are typically overpowered such that they make most levels trivial. Examples in Bloons include double cash and triple lives. But if they are just as underpowered as the standard features, the game is rigged even more. They have a name for it: pay to win. Makes the game no fun and a mere marketing gimmick. Plants vs Zombies 2 is much maligned for pay to win proneness. In Catholicism this takes the form of sale of indulgences, sale of offices, and sale of mass.

    In Calvinism, where the stakes are heaven and the cost is hell, you sometimes see tithing, books, guilt driven charities, and cutting off your support network. Master’s College comes to mind. The costs may be more than financial. More often it is the sheer fact that you are expected to repent more, submit more, sacrifice more, multiply cancellors, open yourself to manipulation and abuse. When people are down, books like Crazy Love offer false comfort but the money is paid anyway.

  52. JW sounds like a taqiyya practicing Calvinist. He probably feels a kindred spirit with an Islamic dominionist who believes in the absolute sovereignty of Allah and salvation by submitting to Allah’s lordship. All sins must be repented, especially shirk, ie idolatry. Dying in jihad confers a perverse sense of assurance. I learned from Spencer that Islam has a teaching of predestination of some to heaven and others to hell. Also factor in that Calvinism encourages JW to feel that this kindred spirit of his is already regenerated and will eventually produce faith. Calvinism encouraged Spurgeon to give a crossless gospel, and the same phenomenon may be manifesting here. Islam is a crossless religion that has a decoy dying for Jesus and Jesus escaping crucifixion.

  53. * ignoring that the criticism is not against reaching Muslims for Christ

  54. Their answer to that Jason is that God does all those things for the elect so if those things are not happening in one’s life then they are not elect, hence all the fruit inspection and conversion morphologies. Their system logically has no need for evangelism but they charge White’s critics of being unloving, not wanting Muslims to hear the gospel, while all along ignoring that the criticism is against reaching Muslims for Christ but for bashing brother’s in Christ to side with an Imam who has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Their appeal to love and outreach is the same pragmatic that those who have inter faith dialogues with Mormons or RCC or seeker friendly pastors. They can’t see that 2 John doesn’t say “only invite them in if you are going to give the gospel” John “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” White declared that he has a kindred spirit with this Imam. White declared this Imam to be a man of faith. White asks this Imam to explain to a congregation how to convert to Islam. White asked Christians and Muslims to pray together to start the dialogue. And he is above reproach?

    White’s theology makes unbelievers to be cadavers, unable to reason or respond to the gospel without being regenerated first, yet his appeal is to his method of friendly reasoning, preparing the soil—total contradiction to what he argues for against non-Calvinist.

    White and his followers are hardening right before the eyes of all those who see his error. Robert Spenser debated White on the Michal Brown show (big White supporter as is Phil Johnson/ strange bed fellows) and Spenser exposed White’s ignorance of Islam and the different sects. Yet White ignores his critics and pushes on as THE Christian authority on Islam and how to evangelize Muslims (they like him). Train wreck coming for sure.

  55. I find it amusing that they talk so much about bondage of the will, yet asked what faith is they emphasize that it involves an act of the will that includes repenting of sin, surrender, and making Jesus Lord. So much for being against Pelagius.

    More like Pelagius and the Dr. First time in “church” history that Protestantism has a “Doctor of the Church”, lol.

  56. Just out of curiosity has anyone here heard anything about this controversy surrounding James White and his Imam friend? It seems to be getting national attention even in secular publications as well as from several online and radio ministries (even youtubers). I have been following much of it through Twitter (I don’t tweet). White has really dug his heels in and is quite defiant in face of all criticism (lots from his fellow reformers) and calls to reconsider his actions and methods. Such pride; so much eisegesis, no accountability—train wreck coming.

  57. Ras, You said: “After his lengthy diatribe I was informed “now you are either with me or you are with Pelagius” —yikes what will I do? Pelagius or the “Dr”? I often wonder who falls for this tactic but apparently many do.”

    I had to chuckle at this, I have thought the same thing as they employ this tactic, but many do fall for it, because many are deceived. I see it used in many doctrinal camps, but I don’t think it should ever be employed by anyone naming the name of Christ. It is dishonest and a deceitful handling of the Word of God. It is their attempt to manipulate the outcome vs. trusting God’s Word. They preface their opinions of the Word as truth and twist your arm by saying things like this:

    ‘An sincere student of the Word will understand what I am about to say’.
    ‘You are with Pelagius if you don’t agree with what I just said’.
    ‘If you REALLY desire to know the truth, hear this ___________’.
    Or it resorts to name calling:
    ‘You are an antinomian’…
    if____________’.
    ‘You are lost’.
    ‘You are a Jezebel’.
    (sorry had to throw that one in) 🙂

    I find it amazing no one has an issue with White using a fake name. I guess they’d say an author does the same, but usually people don’t already know who that author is.

    This man is authoring confusion and maligns God’s character as well as the way of truth. His pride has God resisting him, but I am sure he is smugly secure in the position of his supposed election. I feel sorry for them, but I also feel angry at what they do to the name of Christ, what they do concerning His Word (no better than the Jefferson Bible, picking and choosing what to keep in their proof text lists-Ps 50:16-17, they cast His Word behind their backs).

    These people are arrogant, proud, sowing discord, lying about the truth, creating confusion, holding themselves up above the Word of God.

    The reason they have to manipulate the outcome is they don’t trust the power of God’s Word to not return void, to accomplish what He sent it to do. They want it to accomplish what they twisted it to say.

  58. Holly
    Quite simply this whole episode has reinforced my opinion that this apologist (the “Dr”) and his swarm of followers will defend him against even his most blatantly obvious mistakes. The “Dr” has a rigid interpretation of scripture that he defends as the only correct way. Those who disagree with him are obviously reading scripture wrongly. He is happy to inform us of the correct way.

    I remember watching him ‘explain” how 1 John 5:1 unequivocally states that regeneration proceeds faith in the Greek. After his lengthy diatribe I was informed “now you are either with me or you are with Pelagius” —yikes what will I do? Pelagius or the “Dr”? I often wonder who falls for this tactic but apparently many do.

    Now we come the current situation where the “Dr” is saying that the jihadists are reading the Koran incorrectly and any Christian who says otherwise without recognizing there are several ways to read it are “liars”. His friends the “moderate” Imams have shown him so. He has sided with them against other Christian apologists (some are ex-Muslims who read Arabic). The “Dr” actually took the feud public before publicly being called out by another ministry (I do not follow). I only caught wind because Youtube keeps recommending to me videos by and about the “Dr”, many of them posted by Muslims to use the “Dr’s” words against scripture and Christians.

    It kind of blew up and my interests is really in the way the “Dr.” and his swarm are defending his actions (joint appearances without debate on differences —in a church— encouraging the Imam to write a book or make a video aimed at Christians) and position (polemic Christians are wrong, moderate Islamist are less so).

    The first passage that came to my mind was 2 John 1:7-11 and when he was asked to explain himself in light of this passage he brought up the fact that some southern American good ole boys also deny Christ so…are we not to evangelize? This is what the Dr is doing nothing more!

    “Consistency” may be the “Dr’s” favorite word he expects it from Christians (the way he teaches it) and he defends the inconsistency in Islam as “moderate”.

  59. RAS – anyone that would tell someone to go and do something that would waste their time would be dishonest. I tell Calvinists the same. God does not command us to do busy work that has no purpose. God does not waste our time. Jesus did not say ‘have faith’ when they could not, and He did not weep over Jerusalem and did not lie when He said they ‘were not willing’, if the truth was ‘I was not willing’.

    I hate the maligning of God’s truth, and of His character that this religion of the ‘reformers’ like Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc. bring, all from their wacky father Augustine. I still marvel at those who quote the ‘church father’ Augustine. And yet most don’t know of his ‘conversion’. And it wasn’t by the gospel, so unless he later believed somehow by the gospel, Augustine wasn’t a church anything, he was a child of wrath. I hope differently, but regardless, his theology was destructive and confusing (And I do realize they would say I just wasn’t ‘learned’,’intelligent’ or ‘spiritually mature enough’ to understand). I have been told all the above as well as told I was ‘lost’.

  60. RAS – funny, I had a conversation with a professing Christian claiming Islam is misconstrued by other Christians, and in essence was doing it under the guise of the nice people she works with (I’m sure many are). She does them no service as she agrees with them that true Islam is a peaceful religion, instead she needs to let them know their god is one made by man, and the Living God demands all men everywhere to repent (changing their thinking — they ‘ought not think’)…

  61. Yet the irony is that those who think they are true Christians are not “true” to the faith because they trust in their works and accuse the brethren, robbing them of liberty and assurance. It seems like a sham ticket to me to trust in an election that I can never be certain of having. It doesn’t get me out of hell free at all. As the song goes, nothing but the blood of Jesus can save my soul from sin.

    Calvinism lead Spurgeon to preach a crossless gospel more than a century before Hodges and Wilkin. The Calvinistic defenses came with a caveat not to preach the cross because they do not know who Christ died for. It leaves a sinner in the hopeless position of having to believe a promise-only gospel in order to appropriate the provision.

  62. And believe me I know that the Calvinists have answers for all I have said such as “we evangelize because we don’t know who the elect are” or because “we are commanded to do so”. But these are unsatisfactory answers to me because they have God commanding them to evangelize people without a chance of being saved and to people who have no need for it. This is why they avoid John 3:16 and stick to John 3:5 because they may be speaking to a person for whom Christ did not die. If Christ did die for them John 3:5 will suffice in explaining the gospel.

  63. Jason I am not familiar with many but only a few sites that expose Islam and not all of them are even ostensibly Christian but merely anti-Islam, anti-sharia and anti-jihad. It does seem to me though that the jihadists are the ones living out the instructions of the Koran.

    Now LSers will say to be a “true” Christian one must to various degrees live out the instructions of Christ to prove to be such so it puzzles me that ISIS is not “true” Islam by living out the instructions of their god, prophet and book and Christians are not “true” if they do not live out the instructions of our God and Savior as the LSers read them to be in scripture. Also, to me, the whole evangelizing defense coming from someone who believes Jesus only died for the elect and His death guarantees salvation of His elect and that God must regenerate one before they can have faith smacks of a “get out of jail free” card. And this defense has been surprisingly effective among some people I know who teach that a person can do nothing to be saved except live as a Christian and hope you are one of the elect, you know people who use John 3:5 and avoid John 3:16 to explain the gospel—maddening.

  64. I have been curious about sites that expose Islam, like AnsweringIslam. These sites have picked up the usual subtle baggage from Lordship. These people should know that these subtle errors lead to an extreme perversion of the gospel, and they probably have not studied the matter as thoroughly as Islam.

    One site that comes to mind is Mohammadanism.org. They have a penchant for using the Arabic names for God and Jesus, but other than that they seem to be a solid source for information about Islam. Even their articles about the gospel seemed unusually clear. But even here, there may be issues with things unsaid. Lordship is such a ubiquitous and pernicious error that it ought to be addressed by anyone who is aware; moreover, it relates directly to Islam. Closely related errors such as overemphasis on quality of faith and fruit inspection have been clearly adressed.

  65. So true John. Let me fair and clear that this apologist is not claiming Islam to be true but claims that ISIS (the ones following their prophet and book) is not true Islam. He said that any Christian who tell you that ISIS is Islam without qualifying it against his friends the moderates those Christians “are liars”. And if a Muslim tells you that ISIS is not part of Islam well “they are not being truthful”. What a choice of words and the facial expression said more than the words.

    I also remember this apologist calling out an ex-Muslim now Christian apologist for appearing at an interfaith event even to the point of questioning his Christianity as well as whether he was ever a Muslim. It’s almost like he believes calling Islam Islam is messing up his fun with his “moderate” buddies. This current episode is just one of many in this saga. I just happen to be aware of it because youtube keeps recommending this apologist’s videos to me. I get curious and click. Anyway it’s a shame.

  66. RAS, your comment reminds me of the political football in which Christians are asked whether the God of the Bible is the same as the god of Islam. The answer is “NO,” by definition.

    If the God of the Bible is a Triune God, and the god of islam is not, then they are defined differently. End of argument.

  67. I continue to find great articles and comment threads here at ex-preacherman. I will say that it is my experience that theological discussions with Calvinists (usually turn to philosophical discussions) are comparable to the carnival games mentioned in the article (you can kinda see it in some of the comments on this thread). The system and the theologian/apologist will be defended at all cost. It’s very hard to get anything to stick.

    I mentioned that I recently ran across a hullabaloo involving a Calvinist apologist praising a Muslim Imam who he invited to a church for an interfaith dialogue in which this apologist asked the Imam to write a book explaining true Islam to Christians. When called out and asked to explain the invitation and request in light of 2 John the reply was to spin John’s instructions to only pertain to those who 1) denying Jesus in the flesh and 2) those who deny His second coming (Muslims do deny both while denying they deny) 3) and 1rst century “docetic false teachers” not Muslims… so no violation.

    This Imam who gives lip service to his Jesus (peace be upon him) and has explained how his Isa never died on the cross but rather allah tricked everyone by having Judas nailed to the cross for betraying him. This Imam, who has also shared how his Isa will return some day leading Muslims and Christians to victory over his enemies (Jews), this Imam, was invited to speak in a church and asked to write a book aimed at Christians in the name of Muslim outreach. It’s so pragmatic; unbelievable.

    I am unaware if this apologist has ever shown the same courtesy to free grace proponents or has endorsed any free grace book. The game is rigged make no mistake about it. Calling them out is like carnival “ring toss”. And watch out for the defenders and followers of such rock star apologists. Many of them too are carnies and we are just rubes.

    BTW isn’t evangelism kind of synergistic? Why does God need this apologist to reach elect Muslims? To this rube it kind of belies the Calvinist definition of sovereignty. Oh, but I am sure there’s a game for that answer too.

  68. Dan, I never realized that about Covenant theology (that they taught it was conditional). Although Grudem is in town and used to be an elder and frequent preacher at Scottsdale Bible, I could never tolerate his teachings. I didn’t know why, but I just could not finish listening to him. (Thank You Lord!)

    How do they not see the “I will” promise from God? He swore by Himself and Jesus is the mediator of that covenant, the promise was made with Him-Gal 3:16, but given to mankind as a promise in Gen 3:15, then later through Abraham, the promise was again given and noted as being the gospel that was preached.

    And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. Gal 3:8

    That was an unconditional covenant, made with One party, God swore by Himself. These men are so intelligent, so how do they not see? I can only surmise they are blinded.

    So interesting concerning the Mosaic Covenant. We know why it was added (because of sin), and how long it would be in effect (till the Seed would come). We know the purpose of the law was to point us to our need for Christ. The law never justified anyone so why on earth would they see it that way? Unless a deception of the enemy…. (it is).

    The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. Luke 16:16

  69. Dan Harris

    In comment 20368 above ( 9/22/2013), JohninNC quotes from a sermon by Dr. Cucuzza, in which he says the following:

    [quote]
    if it’s true that you can’t accept the gift and then go do something that’s contrary to the will of God, then you’re saying that you have to behave to keep the gift. Well, then, it’s not a gift, it’s a contract. Salvation is the gift of God, apart from works.
    [/quote]

    If we have to obey in order to attain salvation, then salvation is “not a gift, it’s a contract.”

    Add that to something that he said yesterday in another thread, “The New Covenant is not the gospel, but a new arrangement. The New Covenant is God’s new arrangement with men based on the death of Christ.”

    Hmmm… the light just came on! From a covenant theology perspective, I had always believed the the covenant of grace was the gospel. Thus, if the covenant of grace is conditional on obedience (perseverance), then the gospel is as well. Thus, it seems to me, there may indeed be a connection between believing in an overarching conditional “covenant of grace” and believing in a gospel of works.

    From a Covenant Theology perspective, salvation is a conditional contract.

    [See Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology Part 3, Chapter 2, Section 1 “The Plan of Salvation is a Covenant.”]

    The Covenant of Grace is conditional.

    Many would say that the only condition required of man in the covenant of grace is faith (as does Hodge in the above reference; see also Westminster Confession (WCF) 7:3 – “the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved.” )

    However, they attach works to faith as indispensable (WCF 11:2 – “Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness…is no dead faith, but worketh by love.” Hodge [Systematic Theology, Part 3, Chap 16, Sec 3:] – “That faith which secures eternal life…works by love, and is fruitful in good works.”).

    By attaching works to faith, the covenant of grace becomes conditional not just on faith as an initial condition, but also on works as a consequent condition.

    Others, like Wayne Grudem, are more transparent. Grudem explicitly makes obedience a condition of the covenant of grace:

    [quote]
    But while the condition of beginning the covenant of grace is always faith in Christ’s work alone, the condition of continuing in that covenant is said to be obedience to God’s commands. Though this obedience did not in the Old Testament and does not in the New Testament earn us any merit with God, nonetheless, if our faith in Christ is genuine, it will produce obedience (see James 2:17), and obedience to Christ is in the New Testament seen as necessary evidence that we are truly believers and members of the new covenant (see 1 John 2:4-6).
    [/quote]

    By saying that there is a “condition [for] continuing in that covenant,” Grudem implies that one can be removed from the covenant of grace (that is, externally) by failure to persevere. Thus continuance in the covenant is conditional on covenant faithfulness, or perseverance.

    I believe there is a link between the Reformed holding that the Mosaic Covenant is an administration of the covenant of grace (WCF 7:5) and in their making the covenant of grace conditional (consequentially so) on good works.

    (Now, there are some who do not consider the Mosaic Covenant as an administration of the covenant of grace, but as a republication of the covenant of works [eg., Edward Fisher, Thomas Boston, see “Marrow of Modern Divinity.” See also Bryan Estelle, J.V. Fesko, David Van Drunen, “The Law is Not of Faith” 2009, P&R Publishing]. However, this is a minority position).

    The Mosaic Covenant was a “do this and live” covenant (Exodus 19:5,8). By including the Mosaic (or Old) Covenant as an outward administration of the covenant of grace, they allow for the need of covenant faithfulness, external membership, and penal sanctions to be attached to the covenant of grace. Thus, they look for the same in what they call the New Covenant administration thereof. Just as one could be an outward participant in the Old Covenant, fail to persevere in covenant faithfulness and thus be cut off from the blessings related to the covenant of grace in the former administration, so also one can be an outward participant in the New Covenant, fail to persevere in covenant faithfulness and thus be cut off from the blessings of the New Covenant. (Thus Romans 11:20-22 is understood to mean that our faith must be of a persevering type, else we can be cut off from the Olive Tree).

    Thus, it seems there is a link between holding covenant theology and salvation by perseverance, especially if one sees the Mosaic Covenant as an administration of the covenant of grace.

  70. John,

    I brought up the Schultz name issue because I recall many, many years ago (I presume at a time when Schultz was still alive) seeing a similar Charlie Brown cartoon in the newspaper (remember newspapers?). That must have been 30 years ago. I admired his boldness in openly speaking of God. Little did I realize then how subtle a pitch for Calvinism it really was. Maybe it was ignorance on his (or the comic syndicate’s) part. Obviously, back then, it was ignorance or lack of discernment on my part for not “getting it” at the time. It is very subtle.

    Yours was a perfect metaphor.

    If not attributable to Schulz, one wonders to whom?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  71. Jack and FryingPan, I didn’t mean to bring Schultz into the fray – this little pumpkin metaphor was not attributed to him. I was trying to compare the false religion of Calvinism to another fairy tale, and I used the only one I could think of that involved a pumpkin.

  72. Yeah . . . I’m pretty sure the parallel to Peanuts in the Calvinism for Kids thing is only implied and not directly associated with Charles Schultz (The original cartoon is actually called, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown).

    But, I shouldn’t presume to speak for John and I’m sure he can clarify a lot better than I can here so feel free to delete this. I just didn’t want any misinformation to go unchecked.

    As for the “quality” of Charles Schultz’ faith and witness, I only know from hearsay that he had a reputation for witnessing to those around him a lot but that could of course mean a lot of things . . .

  73. John,

    What a shame!! Charles Schultz, the originator and former writer/illustrator of Charlie Brown, was always advertised as a model “Christian.” His message there is far removed from the Biblical Gospel of God’s Grace and man’s will.

    The Gospel message is not that we are “picked from the Pumpkin Patch” but “whosoever will” believe in Jesus Christ alone as Savior HAS everlasting life.

    The battle with Satan’s lies was joined in the Garden and continues even today. Satan was defeated on the Cross of Calvary but his person, his slick lies and influence still abound.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  74. My wife found the following seasonally-themed “Calvinism for Kids” out on Facebook last night:

    “A 10-year old little girl was asked by another classmate, ‘what is it like to be a Christian?’ The girl replied, ‘it’s like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then he cuts open the top and scoops out all of the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc., and then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine or all the world to see.'”

    This version of “Charlie Brown meets the Great Pumpkin” does faithfully depict the false religion of Calvinism. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with Christianity.

  75. Yes, they are shocking and they revel sometimes in their “shocking” message, as if they are doing God a favor. And I imagine that is how men like Calvin and those that followed him, put others to death, for not agreeing with their doctrine, and probably thought they did God a favor…

    I was shocked by Paul Washer alright, just hearing things he said. I remember seeing a couple of his quotes, and just getting sick at how he portrayed God.

    The last thing the accursed person will hear when they take their first step into hell, is all of creation standing to its feet and applauding God because God has rid the earth of them. ~Paul Washer

  76. Fryingpan, I agree that POJ has been honest in saying what he really believes. Like you said, it does make it easier to point out contradictions of scripture and logical flaws of Calvinism.

  77. Great point, johninnc.

    Which reminds me: I’ve discussed it (in general) on another thread months ago, but let me repeat here that many years ago I believed certain doctrines which can only reasonably be attributed to Calvinism or doctrines that preceded John Calvin. I’ll forgo fishing for comfort or compliments here by beating myself up for having had said beliefs out of ignorance. I’ll stick to the facts here.

    One thing I believed in was predestination. I didn’t even know it was a “Calvinist” doctrine. I just trusted the source, believed the teaching, and accepted it without being able to interpret my experience through God’s Word.

    My belief about God’s love was so askew back then (this was around 1994) and well, let’s be honest, PERVERTED that I actually told someone that God doesn’t love everybody. I used “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” as my proof text. This person argued (correctly) that God’s love is perfect and unconditional. I basically shouted her down. I think I said something like, “So, God loves those in hell??”

    My main point here is I know I wasn’t alone. If I was going around spreading that kind of slander about God, there HAD to be others. And sadly, that misguided type of thinking is still out there as evidenced in POJ’s comment, “therefore he hates sin and those who do the sin.”

    I’ve suspected some Calvinists out there who are prominent and very influential also believe this. If that’s the case and they persist in teaching false doctrine one can hope that one or more of them will be honest enough to tell us what they’re really thinking as POJ has done here, to his credit. That way the absurdity of their beliefs can be more readily exposed to those who need to see them.

  78. I’ve got another thought for the Calvinists:

    Matthew 22:39 “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

    I’m pretty sure some of us have neighbors who are not believers. Should we love them? Many Calvinists say (or suggest) that God only loves people that He has preordained to be saved, and that He doesn’t love anyone else. Other Calvinists will say that God loves everyone, but that He loves certain people (His preordained elect) in a certain way. In either case, why would God command us, as mere mortals, to love people that He does not love (or loves, but has preordained to spend eternity in hell)?

  79. Kirk (POJ)

    You say, “God sends satan to blind the hearts of the lost so they won’t see.”

    Where do you find that in His Word? 2 Cor 4:4 does not say that.

    You say,“Even if I concede that Satan is the one blinding the lost, it still does not prove your point.”

    No one needs you to concede, the Bible says it, therefore it is truth, and it is sharper than any two edged sword, don’t change the truth….

    You say, “God alone must reveal the beauty or the glory of the gospel to sinners.”

    Kirk, He did already, when He commanded the light to shine out of darkness, the same who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

  80. It never ceases to amaze me how Calvinists can’t wrap their minds around the fact that God has died for all men but that not all will be saved. They think that somehow God is defeated or His sovereignty is tarnished if one rejects the gospel. So often I hear the lame reasoning: well either God only died for the elect or He died for everyone meaning that all are saved. The simple fact is that God has indeed revealed what all men need to know concerning salvation and it is found in His Word. What is needed is for people to proclaim it to the lost. Proclaiming to the lost that God may have chosen them or that God may have loved them enough to die for them is indeed not the good news of the gospel. It is the bad news of a false gospel.

    Jim F

  81. POJ, if you think that it is God, not Satan, that blinds men to the truth of the gospel, then what are you doing trying to convince us of the truth of your point of view? In other words, why are you here? If God has chosen us to believe, he doesn’t need your help. And, if God has chosen for us to not believe, you can’t help us.

    But, if God has given us the choice of whether or not to believe, and He wants us to believe, why would He send you here to tell us that it has all been predestined?

    The Bible says that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe. Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

    You have not proclaimed the gospel in any of your posts to this website so far. So, I have to assume you are not here to help God find the lost.

    Our mission is to proclaim the gospel in its clarity. We will not be debating you further.

  82. POJ, a few thoughts:

    You said: “Second, God is also sovereign, sufficient, just, independent, all – powerful, and all- knowing too. Not Just love.”

    My comment: True. Now, lets turn that around. God is just, holy, righteous, loving, merciful and gracious. Not just sovereign.

    God, in His sovereignty has created man with volition to respond to His gracious offer of salvation through faith in Christ. God does not make this decision for us.

    You said: “therefore he hates sin and those who do the sin.”

    My comment: God does not hate those who do the sin. Romans 5:8: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

    You said: “He must punish sinners.”

    My response: Christ took the punishment for our sins. That is the heart of the gospel.

    You said: “Hebrews speaks of the fact that Christ did actually taste death for everyone of those for whome he died for – unless you want to say he died universally to save all people and so that all are saved? (That is unscriptural).”

    My response: I am not a universalist. I interpret this passage to mean that Christ died on behalf of, or for the benefit of, all mankind. This is scriptural. John 1:29: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

    POJ, the Bible says that people who have not believed are condemned already. John 3:18: ” He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” If God has preordained some people to belief, as you think, then John 3:18 is a lie. That is because someone who has not yet believed, but who has been chosen by your Calvinistic god, could not have ever been under any threat of condemnation.

    Calvinists always seem to think that ALL means “all kinds”, not ALL. This is reading your beliefs into the Bible, instead of reading the Bible for what it says.

    I have prayed that you will realize that salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ. It is not faith that is the gift of God. It is eternal life that is the gift of God. Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

  83. Jim,

    Galatians is written to Christians, not unbelievers or to the general public. The us is speaking about the Church as a whole. Ephesians says Christ gave Himself up for the Church (encompassing of all of God’s elect people) Thus the us is a definite group of people.

    2 Corinthians is a great passage, but you misuse it. Even if I concede that Satan is the one blinding the lost, it still does not prove your point. God alone must reveal the beauty or the glory of the gospel to sinners. Since not all believe it remains the fact that God only reveals this truth to particular people (primarily His chosen few). But, in fact I do not concede. For one many of times does scripture speak of secondary causes. God sends an evil spirit, God hardens hearts. God sends satan to blind the hearts of the lost so that they wont see. Nothing in here speaks against God’s pure and sovereign grace.

    in Christ alone,
    Kirk

  84. Johninnc,

    First of all no one can fathom anything of God unless it has been revealed to him. Second, God is also sovereign, sufficient, just, independent, all – powerful, and all- knowing too. Not Just love. Scripture says God is love, he is also Holy. Scripture also says he is one. Therefore His love is a holy love as well as a just love. therefore he hates sin and those who do the sin. He must punish sinners. He is also a covenant making God – Scripture reveals this to us as God makes His covenant with verious people. So your argument fails.

    The Good News is not that Christ made salvation possible for all people, but that HE actually does save His people (the elect). Hebrews speaks of the fact that Christ did actually taste death for everyone of those for whome he died for – unless you want to say he died universally to save all people and so that all are saved? (That is unscriptural).

    The context of 1 Timothy is in line with the fact that there is therefore now no distinction between Jews or Greeks, Slaves or Free, Male or Female. It is not All men universally but of different kinds of men (ranks or what not).

    In Christ Alone,
    POJ

  85. Exactly John, this concept is consistent with scripture. The idea that God chooses and predestines people for damnation is not.

    We must always remember that Satan is opposed to God and working in His lies while making them appear to be the truth. Adding works to the gospel is a sure sign. Making God the author of sin is another. Many of these deceptions aren’t new but they just get new coats of paint from time to time.

    Jim F

  86. Jim, excellent point.

    You said: “Notice also here who does the blinding. (the god of this world)”

    My comment: We also see this in the parable of the sower. Luke 8:12:

    “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”

  87. Poj,

    All people have the ability to believe the gospel of Christ based on God’s choice that the world might be saved through Christ.

    John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    Gal 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
    Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

    1Jn 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

    God does not pick and choose who will believe or not.

    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    Notice also here who does the blinding. (the god of this world)

    2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
    2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
    2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
    2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

    Jim F

  88. poj, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    You said: “Men as creatures have a right to obey God as the creator but not to salvation.”

    My comment: I agree that men do not have a right to salvation. However, I cannot fathom a loving God creating someone with no hope of salvation. If God were to choose man’s response to His offer of salvation for him, then man would not be making the response of his own will. He would, therefore not be responding, nor responsible.

    The GOOD NEWS is that God has provided access to salvation for EVERYONE through Christ Jesus. God has given everyone the ability to respond in either accepting or rejecting Christ. Hence, we are all responsible to Him.

    Hebrews 2:9: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

    1 Timothy 2:3-4: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

  89. Well i think your understanding is a caricature. Gods choice is simply Gods choice. Men deserve hell after the fall. It is because the choice was made before this that the Lord waited patiently.Men as creatures have a right to obey God as the creator but not to sslvation.

  90. Hi Matt, you know I was really pondering how proof texts of different doctrines seem to explain away the clear meaning in context of His Word. How can the whole world be changed? Or just the world into meaning the elect? How can belief be something we glory over? Jesus told us it IS what WE are to do. If it was God’s work to give us repentance (change of mind) or if faith was the gift, it couldn’t really be a free gift if it was only offered to a select few. I really do believe it is a simple as believing that God so loved the world…

    I do hope you’ll stick around. In His love to you and yours, Holly

  91. Welcome Matt D!

    You said: “I praise God that he gave His Son on the cross so that even one of us could be saved!”

    My comment: I praise God that He gave His Son so that anyone could be saved, including me. I am thankful that I don’t have to wonder whether or not I have been chosen for salvation, but that I can rest in the promises of God from scripture. I am thankful that I can tell people with sincerity that God loves them and wants them to be with Him in heaven. I am thankful that no one has been excluded from God’s offer of salvation.

    I am thankful that I know with certainty that God’s offer of salvation is extended to my children, without having to wonder whether or not they have been selected.

    Please continue to read the posts and comments on this site. I think you will find them extremely comforting.

  92. As a “Calvinist” (which I realize may be a bad word around here!) I just want to offer that we (or at least those of us who read the Bible) do not believe that God “authors sin.” What we do believe is that man is fallen (thanks Adam) and we are all sinners in need of the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. Most of us would agree that God will’s all to be saved (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9), where we should differ is on election vs. free will and regardless of which you believe, I praise God that he gave His Son on the cross so that even one of us could be saved!

  93. Chuck,

    About the NIV, though it may be “easier to read,” I do not use it because it is simply an unreliable and loose “translation” of the more accurate KJV. It is also almost a word-for-word rendition of the Jehovah Witness “bible.” That makes one wonder “Why?”

    Our friend Dr. Tom Cucuzza wrote a wonderful and informative article here at ExP entitled:

    Why I Use The King James Bible.”
    https://expreacherman.com/2011/10/28/why-i-use-the-king-james-version/

    In that article Tom examines the positives of the KJV and speaks to some of the errors in the NIV. He does so by comparing verses in the NIV to the KJV 1611 Authorized Version. Be sure to read the comments on that article also.. several examine even more errors in the NIV.

    I do not consider myself a “radical KJV only” kind of guy — but I find it much easier to study Bible text and context within the accuracy of the KJV rather than trying to study any other later version, knowing in the back of my mind there are errors and inaccuracies in the newer ones.

    Are the errors deliberate? I would guess they could very well be. As Bruce points out — the latest NIV is designed to render the Bible “gender neutral”.. a dangerous thing to do. Why would anyone do that unless it was a deliberate attempt to cater to a certain segment of society?

    The KJV is universal, speaks to everyone and needs not cater to any special segment of humanity.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  94. Thanks Chuck!

    I do see some apparent evidence of an agenda in the newer translations. The TNIV (now 2011 NIV) takes many or most male references out, for one example. So, “man” or “men” becomes something like, “humans” or “humanity.” That definitely changes meaning from the original text. If one is to use an NIV at all, with much caution and discernment, the 1984 edition would be the better choice.

  95. Thanks Bruce and Jim. Yes, Bruce, your interpretation is great and I’m glad you included more of Psalm 139. Jim, I came out of the R.C.S. camp so I understand exactly what you mean. Glad I survived camp and came to fully understand and appreciate the Free Grace truth of the Gospel.

    So, I’m wondering if anyone here has any insight as to how or why the NIV translators would end up with a translation in English that has such different meaning from the KJV for the last half of verse 16. I assume that they read the KJV while working on their own translation (maybe not). Is the NIV a valid translation from Greek to English – if you ignore the broader context of the verse, or were they trying to instill their own belief system into the scriptures, or is this simply an honest mistake on their part (not likely sense it would have been corrected in subsequent printings or in the TNIV), or something else? Just curious since the answer might help dissuade NIV fans from using that translation.

  96. Chuck,

    Some Calvinists will say that every single thing right down to the movements of atoms are pre-planned and orchestrated by God’s sovereign active control. They often apply this right down to God making people believe or reject the gospel.

    Jim F

  97. Hi Chuck,

    Nice to hear from you. Great question!

    I have long held the view that corresponds to that of J. Vernon McGee on this wonderful text. I agree with you that the NIV rendering distorts the meaning of the end of verse 16. Let’s back up the quotation a bit (Ps. 139:13-17) and view it in a larger sense: “For thou hast possessed my reins; thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!”

    Chuck, I believe that this is one of the greatest anti-abortion texts in the Bible. It speaks of God’s omnipotence and omniscience and of his creative involvement through the process of the creation of a new human life from the point of conception onward. This section of Psalms leaves NO DOUBT whatsoever that life begins at conception. David understood this fact (“my soul knoweth right well”), even though he lived thousands of years ago! Pity that much of modern society doesn’t get it, referring to a human fetus as “tissue,” often treated, not as a real person, but, rather as an inconvenience to discard, like yesterday’s garbage.

    Look carefully at some of the terrific specific phrases:

    “thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb” God watchfully cares for the child from conception onward.

    “I am fearfully and wonderfully made;” Every child, from the point of conception on is a beautiful unique creation, wrought by the hand of God.

    “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;” God knew every aspect of our innermost and outermost being, even before we were completely formed in the womb.

    “in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” God knew every aspect of our being: every finger, every toe, every vein, every organ, every cell, before they were even formed physically, as well as every inclination of our personalities to come. And note, all of these things were fashioned by the hand of God, as the text says, IN CONTINUANCE, meaning, that the formation of a human life occurs as a continuum from conception to birth. There is never a point, from conception on, that God’s creation is not a human being. It is a real person from conception onward (through eternity)!

    I trust that this interpretation has been helpful.

  98. Today I encountered another example of Calvinistic influence when I had someone quote Psalms 139:16 to me and say they were surprised that I didn’t think the verse taught that we each have an “expiration date” as she put it. Here’s the KJV:

    “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalms 139:16 KJV)

    I searched and didn’t find any discussion on here about this verse. If you read the NIV translation (that I believe she quoted), then you could easily reach the conclusion that our days are literally numbered to the day/hour/minute/moment.

    My own understanding is that this verse has to do with God knowing how and when our unformed body will come together – like having a blueprint and project plan (very bad analogy) for our being rather than having every day of our life planned out in detail. The KJV translation is a bit hard to follow, but it seems obvious to my untrained reading that the proper understanding of this verse is not anything like the NIV. The NIV seems to confuse “members” with “all the days”. Jack, Bruce, Jim, or others, would you please comment with the thought of addressing what seems to me to be a Calvinist interpretation of this verse? Thanks!

    -Chuck

  99. Do you want to improve your discernment?

    Following are excerpts from Tom Cucuzza’s sermon of September 1, 2013 entitled “Spiritual Gifts, Part 2”. This really drives home the point of how backloading the gospel is the exact same thing as frontloading the gospel. That is, it is teaching salvation by works. It is a little long, but well worth it:

    Minutes 4:32- 8:07:

    So anybody who believes that they have to believe and do good works – according to the Bible – OK, now, now, here’s the best I can say for them: maybe they’re saved earlier and then got messed up. But, you can’t deal with people that way. You have to assume as a Christian, as you’re sharing your faith, that these people are lost. A person who says that, as far as I’m concerned, they are lost. Why? Because they are trusting in their merit.

    People will say “well”, you know, “we’re saved by grace through faith, plus nothing, minus nothing. But, if you don’t live Godly, and walk the straight and narrow, then you’ll lose it.” No, well then what you’re saying is that’s a requirement to getting to heaven. OK? If I have to live right to keep it, that’s a requirement for me getting to heaven, to having salvation.

    Salvation is by grace. It is unmerited favor. Undeserved mercy. And people say “now that’s frontloading the gospel.”

    And then people today, they, they, frontloading the gospel has pretty much been blasted pretty well, although John MacArthur still doesn’t get it.

    What people love to do nowadays is backload the gospel. And, you know what? This is something that he (MacArthur) does get. Because, he basically says that backloading the gospel, which is the perseverance of the saints, the false doctrine of Calvinism – he says this – he says: “perseverance of the saints is Lordship salvation. That’s a direct quote from him. And, it is.

    See, wherever you put the works, if you’re adding it to faith for salvation. Now, should Christians live for Christ? Yes. Absolutely. Christians should live for Christ. But, if you say at the front end you have to do certain things besides believe to get to heaven, you’re adding works to faith.

    If you say you have to do certain things after you are saved, or else you’re not saved, then you’re adding works to faith.

    So, it’s either you’re putting them on the front end or on the back end. And God says “don’t put them on either end.” You’re saved by grace, through faith, apart from works. OK? Yes, we’re saved unto good works, but we’re not saved by good works.

    Ephesians 2:10 – you don’t have it on the screen, today but it says:

    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works (amen to that), which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    The word “should” is the only word that you could put in there that goes with grace. Because grace is free. So “should”. “Should.” And we should.

    But, it isn’t we must, and it isn’t we will.

    People say: “oh, you will!” OK, how many? How much? How often? How long? “Well, you can’t tell me…” Wait a minute! Wait a minute. Are you telling me that God has not provided salvation as a gift? He says it over and over. He says it – what – three or four times in Romans chapter 5. He says it in Ephesians 2. He says it in Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Over, and over, and over, it’s the gift. The gift, the gift, the gift, the gift. What are gifts? Gifts are free.

    (People) say: “yeah, but you can’t accept the gift and then go out do what you…” Well, wait a minute then. What you’re saying, then, if that’s true – now, you shouldn’t go out and live like the devil – but, if it’s true that you can’t accept the gift and then go do something that’s contrary to the will of God, then you’re saying that you have to behave to keep the gift. Well, then, it’s not a gift, it’s a contract. Salvation is the gift of God, apart from works.

    http://northlandchurch.com/2011/sermon-archives?sermon_id=45

  100. Thank you Holly I will try to check it out. I really thank everyone for the quick responses. I love reading on Eternal life and I’m looking forward to being absolutely grounded in scripture with it. Not only for myself but to teach others.

  101. calvinism is also a contributor to the idea of the evil replacement theology and the teaching of amillenialists. i know our local presbyterian church had a split and the more conservative group left and started their own church and teach replacement along with amillennialism and they are a calvinism based church.

  102. Great recommendation Johninnc –

    TimothyNJ – I don’t know if you have a kindle, but on Amazon, they also have the kindle version, I read it and went to all the passages, although he usually expounds on each, I like to always check context, appreciated his book very much.

  103. Timothy, if you haven’t already done so, you might enjoy reading “The Permanence of Salvation” from Tom Cucuzza’s collection (linked at the top of this website) and Jim’s excellent article on eternal security, linked below:

    http://standforthefaith.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/the-foundation-of-eternal-security-a-breath-of-fresh-air/

  104. Thanks everyone for your responses. This site has helped alot to get a better understanding. Sometimes there are passages like the one I mentioned that look contrary to eternal security so its nice to get some explanation. I try not to hide from the “tough” verses. I look forward to more great content on here!!

  105. Timothy,

    We appreciate your faithfulness in visiting ExP — and for your observation regarding Hebrews 12:14.

    Bruce and John wrote excellent answers to your question and provided a clear understanding of the Biblical context. You stated: “This verse is hard to understand in light of eternal security…”

    You are basically on target. One of the most vital principles of Bible study is: When studying Scriptures, always study them “in light of eternal security.”

    Why??? Because, if you find what you believe to be a questionable verse or someone has told you that a particular verse contradicts “eternal security,” you may rest assured, such an understanding or interpretation is plainly false. There are NO verses in the KJV Bible which, taken in context, contradict God’s free Gift of Eternal Life, that IS God’s Eternal Security.

    However, you will find many verses in some of the “newer” translations which, sadly and maybe deliberately, contradict the vital, Biblical principal of God’s Character and His absolutely free Gift of Salvation — eternal life by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  106. Welcome Timothy!

    Like Bruce said, Hebrews is written to believers, and verse 12:14 calls believers to lives of peace with others and holiness.

    In addition to our fellowship with God, it may be that this verse addresses how we relate to others, and the example we provide, because these things influence other people. How we relate to other believers may help, or hinder, their spiritual growth. And, how we relate to non-believers may help, or hinder, their receptiveness to hearing the gospel.

  107. Welcome Timothy and thanks for your kind words!

    Hebrews 12 clearly speaks words of admonition to believers (“our faith,” verse 2; “every son,” verse 6; “sons,” verse 7). Verse 14 calls believers to live lives of holiness and peace, lives befitting the rich spiritual heritage which they already possessed through faith in Christ alone. Inherent in the verse is a warning that failure to live such lives may hinder their fellowship (not their eternal standing, however) with God. Matthew 5:8 gives a similar exhortation: “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.”

  108. Awesome article!!! I check this website almost everyday for good reads/teaching. I have a question if someone can answer it. What does hebrews 12:14 mean??? This verse is hard to understand in light of eternal security… Thanks everyone!!!!

  109. Bruce and Jack, sent over some brief info on Voddie, he is well respected in and out of Reformed Circles, walked out of the “Elephant Room” discussions when T.D. Jakes was invited and is instituting some pretty legalistic things in the church he pastors including woman not working outside of the home. (I’d be in real trouble supporting my family)….

  110. Holly,

    Thanks, we will be grateful if you will send to me privately the info on Voddie Bauchum for the Wiki-Index page.

    Thanks for your research.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  111. Bruce, I just caught your prior comment, somehow I missed it, but how I love this,

    “We worship an omnibenevolent God, meaning, simply, God is all love and all loving all the time.”

  112. Thanks FryingPan9!

    Yes, what a horrible thought that millions, through their bad theology, can make their “god” the author of sin. That “god” is not THE GOD of the Bible!

    Thanks again for commenting

  113. FryingPan9, your story of how their unconditional love for you and your wife and how it was one way that God communicated His love to those for whom He died? So true how animals can remind us, or good spouses like I had too, loving me the good, the bad and the ugly…how did that work, but he was an excellent picture of unconditional love. He helped me believe God really did love me, for I knew he wasn’t perfect, but God’s love was, and his was pretty darn good example…

    And you spoke of how your love helped remind you how you should love God? I just think of all the examples in Scripture He gives us of a Father who is the giver of all good gifts, and how we are His creation, His children, and we expect Him, to choose to abort some to hell? It just sickens me… And you are right, it sure does make it hard to believe God loves us, because when we are honest, we know down deep we have nothing, no goodness, without Him. So unless He is perfectly good, no way He could love us….

    What fear and angst these people promote.

    I appreciated your comments very much….

  114. Thanks, Holly, for educating me on Bauchum.

    I hadn’t heard of him before. Sounds like a standard Calvinist replacement theology promoter. Haven’t these guys ever read Romans 11, Revelation 7 or Revelation 14?

    Thanks again

  115. Johninnc

    I never ceased to be amazed at His ways and thoughts. The way He shows us His care, compassion and concern for the children of men (Ps 107), just even as we see animals we love and who love us, children, spouses, parents, the beauty in creation.

    He’s always showing us something as He commands His lovingkindness each day, His great faithfulness and tender mercies in the morning, His song over us at night… (Kind of a blend of Ps 42:7-8 and Lam 3:23)

  116. What a splendid article, Bruce!
    The fact that I was gullible enough to pretty much never realize ANY of those carnival games were a scam is part of the reason I remain anonymous here . . . (That’s a bit tongue-in-cheek . . . a BIT).

    Welcome, Johninnc. Yes, I would go so far as to say Calvinism DOES make God the author of sin. I became convinced of that when reading a book about Calvinism several years ago. I’d rather not elaborate about said book at this point as the author’s view of the gospel (I’ve recently learned) was not exactly clear. Besides, logic leads us to that conclusion anyway–that Calvinism makes God the author of sin.

    Holly, I’m glad you brought up your touching (gut wrenching, really) and very illustrative story about your cat. My wife and I have been big time cat lovers for many years. We’ve lost two precious kitties over the past 14 months. Once in July of 2012 and once this past July. I won’t go into the usual “Oh we loved them both so much” (we did). But suffice to say at some point over the past several years but while I was still in bondage to Lordship “Salvation” doctrine (and unwittingly to Calvinist beliefs in SPITE of reading a book refuting it) I started having thoughts about my cats. I became convinced that their unconditional love for my wife and me was one way that God communicated His love to those for whom He died (everyone of course). Likewise, my love for them helped remind me about how much I should love God.

    You see, the lies of LS (and let’s be fair, my own failure to walk with Him as closely as I should) got me to the point around 2006 or so where I was having a REALLY hard time believing God loved me.

    I hope those comments were apropos of the topic and not too indulgent . . .

  117. Califgracer – you know one of them is Voddie Bauchum. It’s really nice how it doesn’t take too much time to find the error if we are testing and proving if we are doing what we are supposed to. I did not listen to him, but had a feeling I should when I saw a video pass by on Facebook. I believe it was on Romans 11. It didn’t take terribly long to hear him say,

    Should we love them because they’re Israel? NO! Because I believe that The church is the true real new Israel, Jew and Gentile alike.

    They don’t have eschatological significance to me.

    (Source available if Jack would like that also for Wiki)

  118. Abe, good insight, they are willing to join hands with many for their cause, and different ones will cross different lines in order to further their agenda.

  119. Thanks Jack… He is so far above our ways or our thoughts, and Calvinists say we limit God, but it is they who do not understand God and they limit Him to their own understanding and wisdom of words. They elevate some texts in Scripture, underemphasize others, and exclude others altogether. They don’t realize I guess that they have unwittingly been a dupe of the enemy, since they are still blinded by the god of this age. (Or at least most, some may just have been stunted in any growth hopefully for a short time)

    I can be cut to the heart over what Christ has done for me, and I am, moreso as my understanding increases, as my knowledge of Him grows, His great love becomes more apparent for me, His goodness is unfathomable. I hate Calvinism because it is an enemy of the truth.

  120. califgracer, yes, that is true. That’s why some have even gone to the point of becoming verbal persecutors of the Jewish people and Israel.

  121. Holly, wow. What a great post about the nature of God. Truly awesome!

  122. Abe,

    Thanks! Excellent points about the flaws of Calvinism. I have read that their amillennial beliefs have led them to treat Israel as non-existent in God’s plans for the present and future, claiming that Israel has been “replaced” by the church.

  123. Calvinism is a fraud, a sham, a false gospel that leads to hell. Its origins come from Augustine, and not the Bible. And Augustine got it from Greek philosophy.

    Calvinism is also for the most part amillennial, which means they are working with anyone that wants to build the “kingdom of God on earth” through man’s means. Thus, it denies the Gospel and the end-times warnings which those in calvinism are, for the most part, deceived into.

  124. Holly,

    Thanks for that very touching story — of your cat.

    As you say there is no comparison between our love for an animal and God’s Love for us — God’s Love is far, far superior to ours in every respect.

    And His love is so great that “… God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

    As you have so well illustrated, the pernicious “god” of the Calvinist TULIP is NOT my Loving God who sent His Son to die for me (and for everyone), was crucified and rose from the dead.. so I/we/everyone may choose to believe in Him alone for eternal Life in Heaven!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  125. Holly,

    Very powerful story and statement about the nature of God!

    A professor of mine used to say: We worship an omnibenevolent God, meaning, simply, God is all love and all loving all the time.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us—very apropos!

  126. Great analogy Bruce, simply written, a poignant point was driven home in a sad incident in my home today.

    We found a stray kitten and have raised him for the last 5 months.. He was pretty bone thin, near death when we found him, could barely stand. He managed to puff up with one threatening menace when my little schnorkie approached him, but then collapsed.

    I never wanted the cat, but helped nurse him back to health, and turn him from wild into tame. He turned into a very intelligent, friendly cat, plus his hair was like fur, no shedding. He liked to join me at my lap top.

    Today, we saw a mangled heap lying out on the lawn, we do not know if a coyote or a mastiff got him. He escaped last night. How much I wept for that cat I thought I did not care much for, and the tremendous guilt I feel at having let him get past me and not searching for him long enough, for forgetting even that he was out there. The cat I didn’t want and surely didn’t want to love.

    A cat…

    And these people dare say our loving God can stand to lose one of His own creations? The merciful and loving God who from the beginning of the time the first sin was committed, made a way to save us?

    They do not know Him. He is a good and perfect, merciful and loving Creator, who loved us so much He gave Himself for us, died in our stead a terrible death, knowing awful betrayal, rejection, hatred, pain and suffering, ridicule from His own.

    I know it’s pointless to compare myself to the way God thinks, His Word say says if I want to give my children good gifts as an earthly parent, how much more does He? He is good to the children of men.

    He does not want ANY to perish, so to even vaguely imply that He does, is a lie, they lie against the truth. I am a mere human being mourning the loss of a cat I never wanted. Sick and grieved inside. But He is longsuffering, I am not. He is perfect, and I am not. He is forgiving and merciful and mankind not so much….

    I do not understand how they can think of our Lord in that manner. There is only thing I know, it is not wisdom from above.

    And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Pet 2:2

  127. Bruce,

    Thanks for that great post.

    It is a shame that Calvinism is such a clever sham. It is a shame that the perpetrators of Calvinism are just like the Carneys except using highfaluting language and, for the most part, dressed in pious black robes of the revered (my childhood memories).

    While it brings back fond, fun memories, I remember how disappointed I was when I finally realized I had been scammed. I just pray many Calvinists will read this and also realize they have been scammed.

    Beware the Calvinist Carneys!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  128. Thanks John,

    Great points: we know that God doesn’t want or will for anyone to go to hell. They only go there as a result of a lifetime of rejecting God’s gracious offer of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. 2 Peter 3:9, a favorite verse of mine, says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

  129. Bruce, this is a great article as we approach State Fair season down here in the South.

    In addition to all of its other errors, I think Calvinism makes God Himself the author of sin. If God gives faith to some people, yet withholds it from others, that means He predestined some to go to Heaven and others to go to hell. But, God could not have predestined some to go to hell, unless He predestined them to be guilty of sin. It would follow that God is the author of sin.

    As we both know, God is not the author of sin.

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