God wants man to move morally
From what we see and understand in Scripture, God wants man to move morally. By “moving morally” I mean God wants man to repent of his sins (moral activity), and have faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior (moral action). This moral action IS THE WILL OF GOD. In parlance of Calvinists, this is the perfect will of God, not the permissive will of God. Calvinism, in itself, admits that man believing God is good and is what God wants. The Calvinist will attribute this to his concept of irresistible grace acting on the individual, but even so, it is a good thing. This article is dual posted here and at http://www.theologicalsystems.com/calvinism/gods-great-displeasure-with-calvinism
What does Calvinism do to promote or hinder this moral action?
If God’s ultimate purpose, desire, and plan is that man is morally activity, then we examine doctrines, teachings, and practices to see how they line up with or against this ultimate plan of God. Within Calvinism, the teachings of the 5 pillars work against man’s moral activity. The teaching that man is total incapable of any moral action that is of value or desire before God is something that discourages the individual, not encouraging him. Is this teaching true or false according to the Bible. We examine the Scriptures to see if “NO MAN EVER PLEASED GOD” and we see it is just not true. Why was Noah chosen to be saved? His “election” was because he lived an upright life before God. Noah’s moral activity towards following God’s will let to his position of being under the protection, provision, and ultimately being saved from imminent physical danger and loss of life. This principle is repeated many times. Why was Saul rejected by God and David “chosen”? Again moral activity towards following God’s will (David) and an apathy attitude in Saul towards obeying God in all details. What was the issue between Able and Cain? Wasn’t it that Cain disobeyed God and Able obeyed God? We could go on with Moses, the prophets, and many other individuals, but the Bible simply teaches that when an individual chooses to follow and obey God, God considers that person special (“God’s grace descends on him” or he is chosen, elect, or of special status before God). What caused that special status is not a divine lottery that fell on the individual (Calvinism’s concept of election), but rather moral activity that the individual is responsible for. Perhaps all activity of any kind in life is ultimately traceable BACK TO GOD, yes, that is possible. But God is not given the credit for when a man believes Christ and is saved, but rather that man is responsible and his decision and moral action is what “saves him”. We understand in using this language, that no man can “save himself.” All salvation is because God made the way of salvation, and because God draws all men to him. But the Bible squarely places the destiny of that man in hell as his own hardness of heart, and that man in heaven as “HIS” faith. Calvinism teaches men to be spiritually apathetic or inactive. I am a missionary, and it is truly a great deception and lie when I see the ministry of Calvinist missionaries. Where I give the gospel (good news) that Christ died on the cross to save sinners, my Calvinistic counterparts are not putting their most forceful and constant efforts in this message. They are teaching the doctrines of Grace (i.e. Calvinism) instead of the true New Testament Gospel. These “doctrines of Grace” lead a true Christian into spiritual inactivity unless the person just rejects the conclusions of Calvinism and just witnesses and prays anyway “against his beliefs.” This is because Calvinism teach a fatalistic worldview, i.e. everybody is elect to somewhere by God before the world began, and nobody in any way can change that. Why would an unsaved man believe the true Gospel when he has been taught Calvinism? “Only some are going to heaven. You are a sinner destined to hell, and you nor anybody can change their destiny.” The point is that God can change a sinner’s destiny from hell to heaven. Calvinism does not understand this point at all. They consider that everybody, once born, is on the road to which ever of the two, and the Calvinist does not explain that people CAN CHANGE from a sinner to a saint “by God’s grace”. They leave the sinner in his mire of sin, and they refuse to really preach the gospel, that by moral action or activity, they can believe Christ, be saved, and change their eternal destiny. In the end analysis, this is where the Calvinist “WANTS TO BE”. Leaving the sinner on the road to hell. Calvinism, if the Calvinist will only honestly consider this, Calvinism is not a theological mindset about getting all men that we can into heaven, but rather about justifying our laziness and spiritual apathy about doing nothing for God, and justifying ourselves in the process that we are guaranteed to heaven, even though we ourselves (the Calvinist) are spiritual apathetic. No Calvinist can honestly pray in earnest for God to change a man’s heart and bring him to the point of salvation because his mindset is that OUR EFFORTS ARE USELESS (TOTAL INABILITY, or by their less offensive term, TOTAL DEPRAVITY). When God brings a man to salvation, and this is never talking about some unsaved they know and are wanting to be saved, but when they themselves were saved, then they refer to this as IRRESISTIBLE GRACE, again, concepts which wage serious war on the idea that man has a moral responsibility AND ABILITY to believe and obey God. Calvinists want to erase that idea from our minds. What is done that results in our own involvement in something morally God, has nothing to do with our ability or responsibility, but rather to God’s activity in overriding us completely.
Who is responsible ultimately?
If we follow the Calvinist’s thinking, we find that God elected those who will be saved from eternity past (before Creation without any view or reference as to whether they would repent and believe in Christ, just a divine lottery of sorts). What is the counter part of this concept is that by default God elected all the rest to eternal perdition, (Calvinist term, is “PERDITION”). It amazes me how many well known Calvinists in history that are exalted by most all Calvinists have secret works defending perdition, while today Calvinist book publishers do reprint these works, they are not often on their book lists. They know that this is “taboo” because no honest Christian will come to embrace Calvinism if this is present in the initial teachings of Calvinism. Moreover, this accuses God of MAKING MEN SIN by election, and then turning around and our “JUST AND RIGHTEOUS” God accusing us of fault for sinning which we had no other option. All sin becomes God’s fault under this concept of Calvinism.
Hyper-Calvinism or Just Calvinism?
I live in a Catholic country (Mexico) and many times in talking to dire-hard Catholics they will tell me that they don’t agree with everything that the Pope says. Even so they are still Catholics hoping on Mary’s intercession and the “rightness” of the Catholic church for their salvation by good works. It amazes how most Calvinists “wipe their mouth of all guilt” by saying “I am not a 5 pointer, I am only a 3 pointer.” That is like a Catholic saying, “I don’t believe everything the priests and the Pope say, I just trust Mary for my salvation.” Does that remove the fact that their core beliefs are still heresy? What makes Calvinism so despicable before God is simply that it changes the Gospel to be “another gospel”, something not given by God. “How is that” you say?
(1) Did Christ and the Apostles preach election (the doctrines of Grace) or salvation by grace through faith?
Calvinist’s make election the center doctrine of Scripture, but it is just not there. Did Moses and the prophets teach that Israel was going to heaven because they were sons of Abraham (chosen) or did they teach that there was a need to turn from sin, and trust God in order to be saved? The constant exhortation of these were turn from their sins, and they would live spiritually. Again, their correct spiritual activity was the condition that would secure their salvation. Was election presented to the unsaved by Christ and the apostles as the solution to their sinful state? No! What was presented constantly was the sinful state of man in rebellion to God, and the answer was for each individual to repent (turn from his sin to Christ), and believe and trust in Christ as their personal Savior. Again this spiritual activity is what is considered the Gospel, and by “doing that” they would be saved. But faith is never considered a “work of the flesh” in Scripture, but rather an obedience to God that results in blessing and salvation from sin.
(2) What is the “trigger” of Salvation?
What does the Bible present as the trigger, or the thing that gives salvation? God owns, created, and dispenses salvation to men. It is not ours to do with as we please. Rather it is God’s possession. But God promises (God never lies) salvation to all those who repent and trust in God’s promise of salvation through the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The trigger of salvation is our submitting to God’s will, repenting of our sins, and believing in God’s work on the Cross through Jesus Christ. God gives us (promises us) “HIS SALVATION” if we do that. So the trigger of salvation is what we do or how we respond in faith or unbelief to God’s offer. Does God offer salvation to all men? Most definitely. Are all men saved? No. What decides whether a man is saved or not, election, or his faith in Jesus Christ? The Scripture only presents to us that our faith in Jesus Christ (our spiritual and moral activity in believing Jesus) is what saves us. That is the ultimate “deciding factor” of whether a person is saved or not. Scripture does not picture God as making men sinful, nor of causing men to go to hell without any chance of changing that. Scripture presents each man as responsible for his own sin, and not God being eternally responsible through the doctrine of perdition or reprobation.
(3) Is there a difference between hyper-Calvinism and Calvinism?
In a word, no. Both are on the same road, both have the same foundation, and both are equally wrong before God. What is the difference then? Simply put, there are some men in Calvinism that are truly saved. Being truly saved, they understand their obligation to present the Gospel to the unsaved. This is strict disobedience if you do not do it. Moreover, if you change the gospel from all men are sinners (this is not the same as total depravity which is really total inability), and that salvation is only through the door of trust and believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, which is a relationship YOU MUST BEGIN by asking Jesus into your heart. Calvinists today want to make that action a heresy. But in actuality, Calvinism is another Gospel, and their belief in election is what decides whether you are saved or not is the key problem. These people who are truly saved begin to sense that something is amiss in Calvinism when you extend their foundational doctrines to their natural and logical conclusions. Most Calvinists would understand these conclusions to be “doctrinal error” or “heresy”, and pull back from “going so far.” That is like saying it is alright to cut and bruise a person as long as you don’t actually kill him. You are on the wrong road, get off it! When a Calvinist says he is a 3 pointer, he is admitting that the foundational 5 key doctrines are flawed. How can you continue to be a Calvinist if you yourself admit that the foundation is flawed? Are you any less in error? Do not all others think you admitting to being a Calvinist includes those foundational Calvinist doctrines are still things you accept, profess, and follow? Are you one of them, or are you not? Let’s look at for example eternal security. Who in their right mind can say they are not in agreement with that? I don’t agree with them for one. I disavow all 5 points of Calvinism. How? I believe once saved, always saved. But I see Calvinist’s definition of perseverance of the saints as actually teaching that all Calvinists (elect in their parlance) will go to heaven no matter how rebellious and sinful they become. The Calvinist wants to “unlink” their behavior (especially sinful behavior) from having anything to do with their eternal security. Is this really what the Bible teaches? The saved will persevere, but they will also press towards the holiness which is Christ. The two cannot be unlinked. If you are saved and secure in that, you will seek holiness in Christ. Calvinist slyly teaches that their (Calvinist’s) own improper behavior (outright rebellion and disobedience) will be overlooked by God.
Spiritual apathy is never approved nor blessed by God.
The point here is that God never approves nor blesses those who are spiritually apathetic towards God’s will and God’s character. God only saves and God only blesses those individuals who obey God (by repenting and believing in faith in Jesus as their Savior, changing their life because of this intense love towards God). Calvinism teaches that the elect are under the blessing of God, ultimately are saved by God, NOT BY ANYTHING THEY PERSONALLY MAY DO, BUT BECAUSE OF A KIND OF DIVINE LOTTERY. This is a lie from hell. Read the entire Bible from cover to cover (again if you have never done so before). Look at how God curses and blesses people. God cursed Cain because of his actions. God reveals and professes God’s favor on Able because of his conduct, behavior, and attitude that manifested itself as being in line with God’s character. This is constantly found through the Bible. The Calvinist will say that after God saves a person by election, God will sanctify him equally (the same way). In other words, we had no part nor personal activity in being saved, and we are supposed to be sanctified likewise. How does that work? Without desire and effort on our part, (surely God working also) nobody will leave off sinning. But the Calvinist is the helper of the devil, and the devil wants mankind NOT TO MOVE FROM HIS SIN, and this is clearly seen in the Calvinistic system both toward unsaved, and toward Christians. We do not magically become holy. God “washes” us with the washing of His Word, confronting us our sins little by little, and by working to change our hearts, we will to obey. But although God works, God will never overlord our will. God wants our willingness in the process, and that means we must be morally active in the same.
The bottom line of all of this is that the Calvinist sets himself up as an authority, ignores and disdains God’s authority over his life, and therefore is in actual rebellion against God. The Calvinist has distorted views of most key doctrines, for him prayer is worthless because man cannot change anything anyway, and this is an unbiblical and satanic view of prayer. For the Calvinist, evangelism is useless unless you are recruiting existing Christians into Calvinism. Woe to the sorry Calvinist pastor who promotes true biblical evangelism (explaining the plan of salvation to the unsaved), because the Calvinists around him will accuse him of heresy and try to steal his followers away from him “because that pastor is not faithful to the doctrines of Grace”. We must reject Calvinism unilaterally. There is nothing good in it, it is not how Christ and the first century Christians presents the doctrines of God nor how they presented salvation. Modern Calvinists have actually taken the extreme of condemning as heresy anybody who speaks of offering salvation to the unsaved. Can you really throw in with these kinds of guys? Really!
For more articles against Calvinism, see our website at http://www.theologicalsystems.com/ and click on Calvinism in the sidebar.