CALVINIST DISHONESTY ON VIDEO & “DECISIONISM” THE REFORMED STRAW MAN AGAINST FUNDAMENTAL BAPTIST SOUL WINNERS
One of the greatest condemnations against Calvinism aside from all of the great books, sermons, and lectures refuting it, is the Calvinists themselves “in action”. It is my contention that no person can truly be saved under the following examples of Calvinistic “evangelism”, and if this is what Calvinists cling to in order to prove that Calvinism does not destroy meaningful evangelism, then I feel sorry for any of their “converts”. We are going to watch some Calvinism in action by 2 notable Calvinists: Rhology and JD Hall, and show you how what they do in these videos is completely different from what they preach. As Dr. Jerry Walls says, that Calvinists maintain credibility by using misleading and dishonest rhetoric that their theology does not support, we are going to watch this sad-but-true FACT in action.
Calvinists often accuse fundamental Baptists of offering hearers a less than Biblical gospel presentation by claiming that we merely tell a person to “ask Jesus into your heart” and “just pray a prayer” to be saved and THAT’S IT. We then confirm them, baptize them (perhaps) and then shout “glory” for their salvation. It’s as if they think Baptists never explain the problem of sin, repentance, salvation not being by works, the death-burial-resurrection of Christ and the need for faith in Christ alone, and simply tell a potential convert, “here, pray this magical mantra, repeat after me, and call me in the morning” and wallah, that’s IFB soul winning in a nut shell. This is quite possibly the worst straw man fallacy ever brought against the fundamental Baptists.
Calvinist Paul Washer calls it “Decisionism” because in Reformed theology a person “totally depraved” does not have the ability to make a decision for Christ, thus it is not a valid confession for a person to profess that they have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved since that is a theological impossibility within Reformed soteriology.
Reformer Tony Miano utters a similar sentiment, “No person was ever saved by praying a prayer-ever” (Although Scripture says otherwise*). Again, these accusations are primarily directed at independent fundamental Baptists whom the Calvinists are in competition with because it is the IFBs that have built their churches “from scratch” while the Calvinists merely steal their church members with VERY FEW exceptions among Calvinists (like Tony Miano) who actually “take it to the street” and preach. Although I do admire the “open air” preaching of men like Miano, a false gospel -x- the valiant effort of a public sermon still equals a false gospel, and it’s not rightly called “evangelism” if the message does not lead to the salvation of a person’s soul, and the Scriptures are emphatic about the fact that if you do not CHOOSE Christ and MAKE A DECISION for Him, you are NOT SAVED. John 8:24, Isaiah 65:12, 1 Kings 18:21, Matthew 23:39.
We are at this point going to assume that our readers are either educated Calvinists or knowledgeable Non Calvinists or Arminians so that we don’t need to include all of the arguments about whether repentance comes before faith and salvation, whether God grants it apart from the freedom of the individual or a lengthy debate on the flaws of compatibilism and how it always leads to hard determinism proving there is no difference between Hyper Calvinism and all other forms. Why make this point now? Because these are going to be the first objections Calvinists reading this are going to send me: “Why didn’t you cover this or that?” (you know, the ones that tell the officer, “Why didn’t you get the guy ahead of me?) so I’m getting it out-of-the-way now that this is intended to be a short article that points out some of the hypocritical and dishonest measures used by Calvinists when they actually attempt to put their beliefs into action. Now let’s watch!
Our first video comes from “Rhology”, a notable Reformed blogger that gets a few frequent mentions from James White, JD Hall and other popular Calvinist authors, posted this video debating some protesters at Hobby Lobby. We brought the video time stamp to about the 24:34 minute mark so the watcher doesn’t get bored with a professing Christian trying to force an unsaved person to make sense of their moral depravity. I’m sure his objection will be that it was for documentary purposes so any harm done to a few in failing to raise the gospel question first is just collateral damage to ensure a proper documentary.
Notice that the male subject, after being insulted by Rhology at the 14:00 minute mark, states something about God giving us “free will”. Now any Calvinist who is thoroughly steeped in their theology ON PAPER and AMONG THEIR FELLOWS would NEVER say what comes next out of Rhology’s mouth:
“Well, God gives us free volition [????], there’s a little bit of a debate on that BUT THAT’S NOT IMPORTANT”.
First of all, what is FREE volition? Isn’t volition itself a voluntary act of the will? and if it’s a voluntary act of the will isn’t it by definition free? So either Rhology is completely ignorant of the very terminology that he demands others get right, or he got nervous and fell into redundancy by accident. We’ll let the professional grammar Nazi himself explain that.
Secondly, since when is the debate about free will not important to a Calvinist? There’s not one single forum or debate group ANYWHERE where the subject of free will is NOT THEE NUMBER ONE debate issue among Calvinists and their opponents aside from the question of God’s responsibility and authorship of sin and evil. HE JUST LIED TO THAT PERSON. Not only did Rhology claim that it wasn’t important, but he began AGREEING WITH HIM that we all had “choices” which Rhology knows good and well is NOT what he truly believes. Rhology theologically speaking would only believe that any choice that man has is based upon whatever nature God has determined him to have, but he knows good and well that the man he is talking to doesn’t speak that language (Farse-ic), so he capitulates to rhetoric that he himself does not truly believe. And if you quote Paul “I became all things to all men” I will web-slap you.
This is just one classic example among many of a Calvinist being dishonest by not being forthright about what they really believe in with others.
VIDEO TWO-JD HALL
Our second video comes from JD Hall where Hall has made a “come to Montana” video in just under 7 minutes, and shows us fundamental Baptists the “right way” to give a gospel presentation. What is really sad and frustrating is so much of what JD Hall says about the poor standards and lack of morality and discernment among other professing churches is dead on. There’s times I’ve listened to Hall and was cheering him on “Get em JD, get em”, and then shaking my head at the rest. There’s nothing like digging into a good piece of meat only to find it hasn’t been cooked all the way through.
Now JD Hall recently stated,
JD Hall @PulpitAndPen
@MosesModel If we count as public profession answering “What did you do” with “I invited Jesus in my heart” to congregational applause. 😉
So what does Hall consider a valid public profession then? Well, fortunately we have it on video and from his own mouth. The first man on the left simply says, “I got my salvation today” and NOT ONCE does Hall make any reasonable effort to confirm this or probe further. Hall simply asks, “So you THINK you got your salvation today, so now what do you need to DO?” REALLY? How is this any less effective than JD accusing Baptists of “just praying a prayer”? This man never once called upon the name of the Lord to be saved which **IS** in the Bible (Romans 10:9-13), and never confessed that he believes Jesus died, was buried and rose again from the grave and that He is God in the flesh: things that are BASIC fundamentals in the gospel presentation (1 Cor 15:1-3).
The second person Hall makes a very brief reference to (the gentlemen in the Nike sweater) and simply says the man is a sinner saved by Jesus and not once did this man ever agree with anything other than that he violated some of the ten commandments. Simply confessing that you have sinned isn’t saving faith. Now some might point to Luke 18 where that’s all the publican said, but there’s one huge difference: the publican said “God be merciful to me a sinner”. Not only did the publican CALL, but there was an obvious Subject to his call: God.
Thus, Hall confirmed these man’s salvation in less than 7 minutes, who made no real profession of faith, AND HE HAS THE NERVE TO CRITICIZE FUNDAMENTAL BAPTIST SOUL WINNERS? Even a person who is limited in their soul winning practice to the “Romans Road” gives a sinner 3x more information than what was given to these people by Hall. Perhaps Hall should contact a local independent fundamental Baptist church and tag along some night to see how a TEENAGER gives a more thorough presentation of the gospel than he did.
This is Calvinist dishonesty in action. Many a Calvinist (like J.I. Packer) will tell their listeners “OF COURSE I tell them God loves them” knowing that they don’t really believe that; knowing that what they really mean is that God providentially loves them, but does not love them in any sense that the person’s they are speaking to understand the term “love”. And so too, here, Rhology simply agrees with the man’s definition of free will knowing that not only is that an important distinction between Calvinism and all other forms of theology-of which he lied to this man about its importance-but is a demonstration of Calvinism utilizing the “accommodation theory” -the theory popularized by the anti-King James ‘scholars’ Semler and Greisbach that it is OK to lie to your congregation if you don’t think they will understand you due to their perceived lack of ability to comprehend any technicalities of your theology or philosophy. (Both of these men rejected the deity of Christ but their textual criticism theories are still followed by men like James White, Daniel Wallace, et al, but that’s another article!). This is a practice that is CLEARLY utilized by Calvinists today.
It is NEVER OK to lie to a person in presenting the gospel to them. Romans 9:1,James 3:14, 1 Tim 2:7, Col 3:9, 2 Cor 11:31. The ironic thing about this “accommodation” practice among Calvinists is that Calvinists are the first to rail against using “means” in salvation presentations. The famous quote by John Ryland to William Carey resounds here, “Young man sit down, If God be pleased to convert the heathen He will do so without your help or mine”. Carey was bucking against the Calvinist belief that means could not be used in attracting converts, which shows William Carey was not really a Calvinist though he adopted SOME of the Calvinist beliefs. But isn’t the use of restraint from explaining the full context of what you believe to a potential convert a “means”? If it is “not important” for you to tell the sinner what you really believe, are you not using a “means” to accommodate him and his “level” of understanding? If the Calvinists were consistent on this point, they would not judge the man’s level of understanding giving their view that so long he God has not yet “granted him repentance” he remains incapable of comprehending the gospel anyway, so that again begs the question(?): what difference does it make how honest you are with the person? If God has “chosen” this person to salvation, then God’s truth will not abound more or less through your lie. Romans 3:7.
But these are perfect examples of why Calvinism is an unfaithful, and untrustworthy, and dishonest theology, and today we have seen it on video. Calvinists regularly interact with others using rhetoric and language that their theology does not support and of which they themselves do not believe, but they do so to maintain their credibility as apparent professing believers.
*The following are verses that show clearly people who PRAYED or were TOLD TO PRAY to obtain salvation.
Pray from Websters 1828 Dictionary:
The very first message that Jesus told the UNSAVED MASSES on proper communication with the Father was called PRAYER. Matthew 6:9-13.
Luke 18:13-“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”
Acts 8:21-22-“Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”
Acts 10:2-4– “A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”
Now Cornelius prayer did not result in immediate salvation, for it still required that the truth of the gospel be told to him , and Acts 11:13-14 is clear that he was not saved until AFTER he had met with Peter. So this not only shows that a sinner had the ability to call on God before he was saved, but that God heard his PRAYER contrary to all Calvinist contentions otherwise.
Now for our Greek Onlyism readers, you will search in vain trying to parse a fundamental semantic difference between epikaleo and proseuchomai in any attempt to make ‘prayer’ appear different than ‘to call’. The Calvinists petty arguments on these points actually serve to PREVENT a person from coming to Christ because they eliminate the necessity of CALLING ON GOD for salvation.