Watch The Language-Recognizing Cultic Rhetoric Used By Calvinists

Posted: September 19, 2014 in Calvinism
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When witnessing to Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, etc…one thing you will discover quickly is that each appear to be “religious” and sometimes even using “orthodox” or theologically correct sounding language. For example, a Jehovah’s Witness will claim to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. However, that’s not all there is to the story. Once you learn to get beyond the language barrier, you learn that you are not speaking the same language as they are. Calvinism has the same problem.

Here is an example of this from Gene Clyatt, who tweeted:

See, @BrianCHouston – The Gospel can be condensed down to one tweet… #RepentAndBelieve
The wrath of Holy God abides on sinful man. Jesus died to satisfy that wrath. He rose again on the third day. Repent & believe and be saved.

Sounds logical enough, right? Sounds Biblical enough, does it not? Not until you peel away what the Calvinists really mean by these terms do you really begin to smell the pungent onion scent.

1. “Wrath of God on sinful man. Jesus died to satisfy that wrath”.

To the Calvinist, “that wrath” means the wrath of ONLY those God determined from before creation to be saved. Regardless of whether it comes from the infra or supralapsarian views or preterition or “passing over”, whether God’s inaction against the unelect sinner is passive, etc, the result is still the same: the atonement that satisfied the wrath of God does NOT apply to ALL sinful man according to Calvinist theology, and therefore only some can be saved depending on who God chose.

But that’s exactly what that statement implies, isn’t it? “The wrath of God abides on SINFUL MAN”.  If that wrath is upon ALL MEN, then it should naturally follow that the satisfaction spoken of in the next phrase would equally apply to all men, but to the Calvinist it doesn’t. To the Calvinist, the blood of Christ is “wasted” if the atonement could only potentially save all men, but does not actually save them all. So then for any Calvinist to say this with a straight face, that Christ died for THAT wrath is wholly misleading.

So why then the dishonest rhetoric? We are familiar with every other argument the Calvinist has to defend these doctrines of theirs, so we’re not asking for an explanation of them, but to ask why not be straightforward with others when you explain what you really mean when using certain theological terms and rhetoric? Why say that the Christ died to satisfy THAT WRATH upon ALL sinful men if that’s not what you really mean?

2. “Repent & believe and be saved.”

Certainly most would not disagree with that, right? Not even the liberal guy Gene was directing this at (we at least have to give Gene some credit for that. Hillsong is about as close to Biblical correctness as a giraffe is in converting a lion into a vegetarian). Yet as with the Mormons and JW’s, it’s not that simple. Can a man simply repent, change his mind and attitude and believe? According to Calvinism, NO. But you would not get that impression by the way this statement is crafted. It is rhetorically misleading because no Calvinist believes that repentance is a voluntary act or one that can be made by being willingly obedient to the gospel (2 Thess 1:8), but that faith is given as a gift to believe after God has regenerated the person and given them repentance (that’s the entire idea behind monergism, the Calvinists’ explanation of how the sovereignty of God determines and controls every part of the salvation process including even man’s own will to believe and his response to the gospel. We have discussed the Biblical and philosophical nightmare behind soft determinism/compatibilism elsewhere in Free Will Proves the Sovereignty of God and Does God Determine Greater Rewards And Punishment for starts).

Calvinists regularly speak out in terms and language that is inconsistent with what they really believe. If you pay close attention to the Calvinists when they speak, you will see this pattern demonstrated over and over and over again, just like the above example from Calvinist, Gene Clyatt.

If Calvinists are going to demand that they be treated as and respected as Bible believing Christians, then they need to start being accountable for their consistently dishonest representations of the gospel, and be straight up with people about what they truly believe and about what they really mean when they use commonly familiar theological terms. Some Calvinists do not even notice themselves doing this which is what leads to the oft used popular Calvinist mantra “You don’t understand Calvinism”. With the standards that Calvinists demand for “understanding Calvinism”, nobody should be expected to “understand” it and have any meaningful debate on the matter so long as the Calvinist refuses to face his dishonest representations of what he truly believes.  The very fact that the Calvinists employ such rhetoric to maintain credibility among religious factions is in itself cause for concern. We are naturally skeptical of a salesman that we think is hiding something about the product he’s trying to sell, and we hope that people use the same critical thinking with their Biblical knowledge and common sense when it comes to evaluating Calvinism.

J/A

 

See also Calvinist Dishonesty In Action & A Word About Decisionism

UPDATES: 

9/20/2014

Following this article, Gene Clyatt responded on Twitter with:

, I would be overjoyed if both & repented & believed the Gospel. With God all things are possible.

So in other words, Gene just admitted that we in fact do believe in different gospels, otherwise he would not assume our need to repent and believe the gospel because we disagree with Calvinism.

What is strangely hysterical about Gene’s comment is this comment he made around the same time:

Gene Clyatt @Shinar_Squirrel · 22h

By the way, the “Evangelical Mugging” method is not the suggested method of evangelism, but it is superior to NO method of evangelism

Gene Clyatt @Shinar_Squirrel · 22h

The “Evangelical Mugging” method; Grab ’em by the coat, slam ’em into the wall, yell “TURN OR BURN!”, & stuff Chick Tracts into their pocket

We promote Chick Tracts among other KJVO materials published by Jack Chick. You would think that seeing the side of our website with the plethora of KJVO Baptist links, our re-posts of Chick articles, would be obvious. And yet, at least Clyatt while not giving full faith and credit to the “evangelical muggery” followed by a Jack tract, the question would be how could it be considered better than “no evangelism at all” if it’s a different gospel (according to his comments to us that he desires to see us “repent and believe the gospel”)? In other words, if our beliefs are pretty similar to Jack Chick’s, to which Clyatt still refers to as evangelistic, albeit not the greatest presentation of it, then how can he  in the same breath claim we need to “repent and believe the gospel”?

Just more fine examples of Calvinist sleight-of-hand.

 

**ONE FINAL NOTE ON COMMENTS**

We are NOT going to approve any comments from Calvinists that do not deal with the specific subject matter of the article. This article isn’t to debate your view of election, predestination, preterition, infralapsarian, sublapsarian, supralapsarianism, limited atonement or total inability, but why the Calvinist refuses to be forthright about what he/she believes in. There are plenty of other articles that deal with all of the other Calvinist/Reformed doctrines, so if you want to argue something, find it in one of the other articles.

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Comments
  1. Dee says:

    Gene Clyatt ‏@Shinar_Squirrel 21h
    @Matt_Estes_, I would be overjoyed if both @BrianCHouston & @DrJamesAch repented & believed the Gospel. With God all things are possible.

    Did Gene Clyatt delete this comment from his twitter account? I cannot find it…

  2. Dee says:

    I did find the other two comments though.

  3. @Branny says:

    Serious question: do you consider Calvinists to be Christians?

    • drjamesa says:

      Some are, many are not. I will get back to this later because it is a good question that I think probably deserves its own article because there’s some criteria that shows why we believe that many of them are not saved because repentance -in part-involves a turning from idolatrous and incorrect views about God and salvation, and when a person is convinced and so teaches that salvation is based on election instead of a free will choice to be obedient to the gospel, that person has not demonstrated true Biblical repentance. They may be sincere and moral, but so are Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and they are sincerely wrong.

      There are many whom I believe are genuinely saved that didn’t get duped into Calvinism until long after their salvation. But, you really don’t see much Christ likeness in the militant neo-Calvinism on display today, and no evangelism. Those who do have a modicum of evangelistic practices (and they are VERY FEW) are actually not consistent with the Calvinist beliefs they profess, and aren’t really Calvinists. It is one things to be truly saved and yet inconsistent in expressing your beliefs, and another to know the truth and deliberately ignore what Holy Spirit telling you that’s a wrong interpretation and you are misleading people about the nature of God, repentance, and obedience to the gospel.

      There’s more to this, and we will try and write more later.

  4. Dee says:

    Thanks Dr. Ach for the link.

  5. “For example, a Jehovah’s Witness will claim to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”

    Well in New Testament parlance, “Son of God” = “Messiah.” Check Mark 14:61 “Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’”

    Son of the Blessed = Son of God = the Christ = the Messiah.

    Son of God in the Bible doesn’t mean “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God.”

    So the JWs are not lying in saying they believe Jesus is the Son of God. They do believe he is he Messiah, and that’s all they mean by it…and its also (Whether you want to hear it or not) all the New Testament means by the term.

    Yes, John 1:1….etc…etc….but the doctrine of the deity of Christ is something extra BEYOND saying he’s the Son of God. Son of God = Messiah, PERIOD. Son of God does not equal God the Son, which is a wholly different concept.

    • I would add that Calvinists are very credal, so certainly they accept the Nicene Creed. In fact, I’d imagine most Baptist denominations officially accept the Nicene Creed, right?

      Yet it says plain as day: “We acknowledge one baptism FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS.”

      What a bunch of liars, worse than the JWs on any issue! No Baptist believes that baptism is for the remission of sins,” but fights against it tooth and nail despite it being explicitly stated in Scripture (Acts 2:38) and despite their lying recital of it in the Nicene Creed!!!

      And, I might add, that truly accepting baptism for the remission of sins for real is the antidote to Calvinism. No Calvinism will stick around in a church that teaches that foregiveness of sins is first received in baptism (credobaptism) and that just believing doesn’t save until you get baptized. You don’t meet Calvinist Campbellites. Because if anyone in the “churches of Christ” becomes a Calvinist they are instantly kicked out for denying that baptism is for the remission of sins and essential to salvation. Faith alone = Calvinism. You can say all you want you aren’t a Calvinist, but as long as you deny the necessity of baptism, you are, especially if you pair faith alone with OSAS. All Baptists are Calvinists, PERIOD.

      • drjamesa says:

        Most IFB do not accept any of the so-called church creeds. Every single one of them were borne out of Rome. So your entire criticism depends on the truth of you claiming that ALL Baptists are hypocrites for rejecting Baptismal regeneration according to these creeds when not all Baptists accept them. It is unscriptural to allow the doctrines of men to be the authority with greater or equal value with the Bible and that’s exactly what credal Christianity has done with Confessions, Catechisms, Creeds and Cookie Dough.

        And furthermore, your final analysis is that those with beliefs in common means that having part of the whole equals the whole. Classic guilt by association fallacy. So if you don’t believe in faith alone, you’re a Muslim right? Not believing in faith alone is also a Muslim characteristic. Also being accepted before God by works is a Muslim trait, so all who reject OSAS and believe you must maintain your own salvation are Muslims because they too believe that. So then if you believe in conditional security, you are a Muslim, PERIOD.

        There is also the problem that OSAS is actually a Calvinist doctrine. OSAS and Perseverance of the Saints (POS) are not the same thing. POS is actually more consistent with Arminianism than it is with Calvinism. OSAS does not make the claim that one must persevere to the end in order to be saved, but POS does, it merely holds that God causes the perseverance but nevertheless still depends on the perseverance of the saint. This is why fundamental Baptists reject all 5 points of TULIP, and why some modern day Calvinist began changing the POS of TULIP from perseverance to preservation. Nevertheless, the doctrine of eternal security OSAS is not the same as preservation of the saints, at least not in regards to the final outcome of the saved person and how that person is kept by the power of God.

    • drjamesa says:

      But the Scripture does call Jesus God in several different places, and the plurality of the godhead is something that is not only embedded in the Hebrew language, but a concept taught from the very beginning of the description of creation (let “us” make man in “our” image, elohim Gen 1)

      Even those who crucified Jesus understood this concept, they just didn’t agree that it applied to Jesus when they accused him of making Himself God in John 10:28-35. So the Pharisees were not denying that a human Messiah couldn’t be God, but that the things that Jesus said about Himself needed to be true in order for His claim to be valid. So then it falls on whether the Pharisees believed Him or not, but it does show that they understood Christ in fact claimed to be God, and if everything He said about Himself was true, then He is God. To deny that is to deny the claims that Jesus not only said about Himself, but also the fact that even his enemies understood what He was claiming.

      And yes, Son of God as applied to Christ means exactly God of God, according to John 1:18.

      • “But the Scripture does call Jesus God in several different places” — that is beside the point.

        “And yes, Son of God as applied to Christ means exactly God of God” — no it doesn’t. Nobody knew anything about Jesus being God when he walked the earth, and yet people proclaim faith that he is the son of God. Nathaniel, for instance, “thou art the son of God; thou art the king of Israel” — he meant nothing by this than that he was the Messiah. The same with the high priest asking the question.

        Catholic doctrine has imported the notion of Jesus being God into the phrase “son of God” but that is NOT its meaning. Notice, I’m not saying Jesus is not God, but merely that is not the meaning of this phrase.

      • drjamesa says:

        The prophets that foretold hundreds of prophecies knew the Messiah would be God in the flesh. How do you explain Isaiah 7:14 predicting that His name would be called GOD WITH US (not God IS WITH us). How do you explain Isaiah’s proclamation in Isa 40:3 fulfilled by John the Baptist that clearly explains Jesus as God? (Prepare the way of the Lord make his paths straight) How do you explain Mary’s declaration when referring to her Son as “God my Savior? (Luke 1:46-47).

        How can God the Father say in the OT that He will not give His glory to another and there is none like Him (Isa 42:8) and then Paul says that every knee will bow to Christ and confess that He is Lord?

        When Thomas saw Christ after His resurrection, he said “My Lord AND MY GOD” (John 20:27-29).

        So I have no idea where you are getting that nobody understood what it meant for Christ to be God while He was here on earth.

        The argument that “son of God” means He is God is just silly considering that wasn’t your original contention, and that you know very well that THE Son of God very well means Christ is God. Scripture says He gives us power to become the sons of God in John 1, so nobody was arguing that the particular wording of “son of God” without context meant Jesus is God in every place where Jesus is not the subject, but THE son of God when Christ is the subject means He is God, and that is why John 10 is relevant and the trial of Christ because it was that very phrase that they understood to be a claim to deity and of which they deemed blasphemy worthy of death:

        “Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.” Luke 22:70-71. “The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” John 19:7

        They understood that being THE Son of God meant having the power to come down from the cross (Matt 27:40)

        Just because a Catholic hijacks something doesn’t always mean that the term itself should be thrown out. Yes, most of anything that comes from a Papal bull is…well..Papal bull. But sometimes (often, actually) the devil uses others to mimic the original so that others lose trust in it by its association with the evil that mimicked it.

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