Archive for October, 2014

Calvinists are known for inventing theological definitions that are not in Scripture, but it seems James White is now inventing terms that are neither Scriptural nor sociologically supported, at least not in the way he attempted to define (or lack of defining thereof) “culturally black church” on his October 23, 2014 podcast from the Alpha & Omega Ministries. We did not jump on this  until we heard  both sides of the issue. But after discussing the matter with “Fresh Word” we decided this needed to be published.

Most of White’s followers didn’t blink an eye, but one follower noticed the faux pas, and said something to White about it. In response, James White brushed this black man off as being “hyper-sensitive”.

I might have listened to my last DL. “you’re not likely to hear the gospel at culturally black Baptist Church” -Dr James White

What’s unique about this is that “Fresh Word” is not a James White critic, but an avid supporter of White’s ministry.

White defended his remarks by claiming that:

And what passes for the “black church” is more often a social club and a political base than it is anything else.

White followed this conversation up on October 27, with a podcast on his website, and the clean up is MUCH DIFFERENT than the first time he discussed it and had his “Freudian Slip”.

PROBLEM WITH WHITE’S EXPLANATION

White attempted to clarify that what he was referring to was the kind of “black church” that is politically motivated and not gospel motivated.  Although he didn’t mention Al Sharpton, or Jessie Jackson, in which we would AGREE that such “ministers” use the “race card” as a political and social tool disguised in religious rhetoric, White did nothing to prove that such was the case with the subject (Shadid Lewis) in which he was referring to. White’s ONLY criteria was that the church was black, and that an apostate man left the church because the preacher picked up a saxophone.

I described what Shadid experienced—if you want to take offense and identify with some guy breaking out a sax during his….sermon” and jamming with the band as a fine example of the Christian church…hey, I can’t stop you!

So in other words, if the church is predominately black, then it’s CULTURALLY BIASED. I wonder what he says about the churches that his Calvinist friend Voddie Bauchum speaks at (See photo below). Apparently, White doesn’t know that much about black churches. It is not uncommon for black preachers to “break out” in song in the middle of a service or play along with a choir, even in black Baptist churches. Whether White likes or agrees with it or not, there ARE cultural differences between blacks and whites (thanks to the restrictions that white Calvinist slave owners-among many others- imposed on them, and their treatment in America where they were not allowed to identify with American culture), and just because a black implements something in their church that is CULTURALLY DIFFERENT from a white church doesn’t mean you use that difference to distinguish what is or is not a gospel-preaching church.

What James White did was broadbrushed ALL black churches as culturally biased based on the testimony of one man that he deemed an apostate, and the only evidence White offered to identify even THAT church as a non-gospel church was….the preacher picking up a saxophone. Now, as odd as that may be, to someone who doesn’t understand the climate of that church or culture, that does not prove that it is not a gospel believing or preaching church. At most, it would cast credibility on the church/pastor’s ability to conduct their service “decently and in order” according to 1 Cor 14:40, but by no means is an indicator that the church is not gospel-oriented. As White himself even admitted, it may be a bad EXAMPLE of a Christian church, but that doesn’t mean that the church itself was not Christian-at least White never proved otherwise.

Again, James White’s ONLY TWO CRITERIA for identifying this particular black church as a non-gospel church was that:

1. It was black (clarified by the fact that he repeatedly referred to these churches as BLACK churches).

2. The preacher used a saxophone in the middle of the service.

Yes, James White attempted to add criteria for clarification SEVERAL DAYS LATER, but the problem is that he never used his follow up criteria and linked any evidence that such was the case with his initial description of black churches. White did not prove that the initial church he was referring to was a race-based church, nor did he prove that even Shadid Lewis description of that church was meant to convey that -although we would have to expect a professing Christian turned Muslim would not necessarily offer a fair description of ANY church, let alone any black church. But then again, it was White that made it a racial issue. Shadid Lewis’ perspective was not color vs color, but Bible vs Quran.

Considering that Genevan Calvinists and their Dutch East India Company made  enormous profits off of the slave trade for hundreds of years (two notorious Calvinist slave owners were Jonathon Edwards and George Whitefield-and please spare us the bogus “indentured slaves” rebuttal nonsense), in cooperation with Freemasons (Anderson) churches built in Africa for these Calvinists to capitalize on the Masonic/Calvinist sponsored apartheid, and their bragging that God gave them providence over the blacks, is it any wonder that we would see such staunch Calvinists reflecting that same sentiment today? We saw just a little bit more into what James White really believes with this slip of the tongue October 23.

Part of the congregation listening to Dr Voddie Baucham. 

Not only is this a predominantly black crowd, but it is specifically

African themed.

African Christian University

Dr James Ach and J/A

In a few recent articles*, we have exposed Calvinists for using dishonest rhetoric to maintain credibility among churches and the Christian community at large. James White, of Alpha & Omega Ministry, shows us again how Reformers-as many modern Calvinists refer to themselves as-employ the use of misleading lingo in order to stay relevant in a culture already blown about with every wind of doctrine.

White often claims to have coined a term “Theology Matters”, and we would certainly agree with that. So far so good. But the problem is that theology is not the only important thing to God, and we doubt White would disagree with that; in fact, he would probably retort that if one’s theology is right then a proper character should follow, and we would agree with that, too. However, we must emphasize that character is important because Calvinists don’t seem to think that they need to tell the truth about what they really believe in, or risk being viewed as mean, unloving, cultish, as well as expressing a view of God and “love” that most people find detestable and unacceptable.

White posted the following quote on his website with a picture of what presumably is a man who attacked four police officers in New York.

Theology Matters: Graphic Example

Callisto1947_2014-Oct-24Combine a wrathful God, a strict law, capricious forgiveness, no emphasis upon justice and equity and the fulfillment of God’s law as reflected in His nature, with the fatal exclusion of a Mediator who can show us God’s mercy and love and grace in perfection, and here is the result. Few things prove the truth of this more clearly: THEOLOGY MATTERS.

At face value, the above quote seems innocuous and theologically sound. The problem is, is does this reflect what Calvinists and James White actually believe? And if not, then why continue using rhetoric that is unsupported by Calvinist theology? Let us explain some points here that support our accusation.

Justice and Equity?

Equity (meyshar, Prov 1:3) is  a legal term. When Roman and English jurisprudence was developed, judges sometimes ran into problems in the court room of deciding an issue of law where there was no clearly established rule or governing principle. The Hebrew concept of meyshar was the wisdom of a mediator to bring justice that made the parties involved whole or “leveled the playing field”. Solomon demonstrated this kind of wisdom in suggesting to divide a disputed child in two (1 Kings 3:25). In American jurisprudence there is a federal statute  at 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that allows for legal actions “at law AND EQUITY [action in law, suit in equity]” that permits a court to grant relief using discretion that the strict letter of the law may not cover.

Applying this principle theologically, however, is problematic for Calvinism because equity is used to exercise discretion in “gray areas” or adiaphora (matters in Scripture that have no clearly defined rule where morality can not be proscribed by simply pointing to a verse on “that” specific issue).  If God had “determined all things whatsoever come to pass” as the Calvinists confessions claim, equitable discretion is not possible. Calvinism is not known for claiming to color outside of the lines of moral responsibility; it’s either black or white. It’s a governing principle behind much the Calvinists who employ Nouthetic counseling.

Yet I don’t believe that Calvinists themselves have really thought it through when they claim to believe in justice and equity. They can usually “defend” the justice of God-in their own way-but I’m not sure if Calvinists really understand the inconsistency between Calvinist determinism and the principles of equity. The concept of equity is completely incongruent with Calvinism because it permits God to “change His mind” as He did with the Ninevites in Jonah 3:8-10. Calvinists assume that God doing anything differently than what they perceive has already been determined would be an adherence to Open Theism. Although this is an absurd claim, it’s one that shows that Calvinists develop their Biblical views around their philosophy, instead of developing their philosophy around the Bible. If Jonah said God did something other then what He said He would do, and did so because of a response that depended upon human repentance, then the serious Bible student has to begin with what Scripture says, and build on that, not what some creed or confession claims and then interpret Scripture based upon said traditions.

White also explains theodicy in terms of “permission”. God restrains evil and permits a certain amount of evil for His glory. However, it is erroneous to hold that God determines all events and yet at some point in time grants permission for event to take place. Permission implies that an event in time COULD HAVE happened differently had it not been for God’s permitting it to happen otherwise. Yet if all events have already been determined, then the concept of permission would be redundant to Calvinist theology, and gives the Calvinist the same problem as equity.

With The Fatal EXCLUSION of a Mediator

Do not Calvinists claim that sinners are determined to live in and by the nature that God has given them? Why then expect sinners to act differently? If God determined that Cain would kill Abel, why should anyone be surprised that Cain committed murder? Why not thank God and rejoice for causing these sinful creatures to do His will! These murderers are doing exactly what God wants them to do because He determined them to do so, or at least (if you don’t claim to be “hyper Calvinist”) He gave them a nature that He never intended on saving, and of which will never be able to do anything other than the evil it has been programmed to carry out (this compatibilist explanation for human responsibility is how Calvinists avoid the so-called [and quite imaginary] “hyper” Calvinist label, although the results inevitably still leads to exhaustive determinism. The “hyper” term is a sleight-of-hand trick to make you stop looking at the inconsistency, if you stop thinking about the contradiction and focus instead on the imaginary scarecrow called “Hyper” then presto, problem solved!).

So yes, we certainly agree with White, that when Christ is excluded, men do heinous things. But, according to Reformed theology, these sinners are really acting in perfect obedience to God because they are doing precisely what He has fitted them to do. So why do Calvinists complain so much when sinners are being obedient to God? In fact, I’d say sinners are far more obedient to God than most Christians. At least Flip Wilson can honestly say that God gave him the nature and desires that he has if Calvinism is true. What’s the Christians excuse? If God determines the blasphemy of the sinner, does He also determine the recalcitrance of the saints? I mean, after- all, doesn’t Eph 2:10 say that the believers works are ORDAINED?

..Who Can Show Us His Love And Mercy

And now we arrive at the pet peeve I have against Calvinism. STOP TELLING SINNERS ABOUT GOD’S LOVE WHEN YOU DON’T MEAN IT OR BELIEVE IT. No honest and consistent Calvinist believes that God loves everybody. Consistent Calvinism maintains that Christ died ONLY for the elect (particular redemption or limited atonement). James White debated Dr. Michael Brown on this very issue. White has plainly stated that God does not love everyone, and admitted that it was the question of Christ’ intention on the cross after reading Palmer’s “Five Points of Calvinism” that led him to become a “full 5 pointer”, in the which if Christ’s intention was to save everyone, then everyone would be saved, but since everyone isn’t saved, then Christ must not have intended to save everyone. Although his reasoning here is backwards (not to mention fails to distinguish provision from application) because it forces Christ’s intentions to be based on an a posteriori hypothesis making the outcome prescriptive, it provides insight into White’s mens rea in committing the spiritual felony of uttering false information to prospective converts.

Of course, when the Calvinists are cornered on the issue of God’s love, they will use misleading rhetoric by spelling out that God loves people differently (an argument that White used against Dave Hunt***). But if even that is what they believe, then why not just say so instead of mixing the love of God in general terms with the wrath of God as if the contrast has a salvific meaning to a sinner?. When you see “love of God” used in contexts like what you see above, and in such general terms, it sure doesn’t sound like the Calvinist is trying to tell the sinner ” Oh by the way, God doesn’t love every one …..equally”. Why don’t they just be honest and tell them that God merely sends a gardener to water their lawn (“rain on the just and the unjust” **). Now I personally have a problem with someone that tells me that they love me even as a friend or “providentially” or hate me, and then waters my garden, but that’s the non sense Calvinists expect us to swallow when they attempt to explain Limited Atonement and Unconditional Election. They expect you to believe that God hates the sinner but shows love at the same time by watering his garden. That’s not love, that’s Bipolar Disorder. But, they know that most of the world has a common understanding of what love is, so to accommodate the listeners they use dishonest rhetoric to avoid having their motives questioned for using “funny language”.

We can debate the theology of preterition or atonement ’til the cows come home, and neither of us will budge. So we don’t expect White or other Calvinists to change their views, we are just simply asking them TO BE HONEST IN THEIR PRESENTATIONS. Tell people what you REALLY believe first and forthright instead of using dishonest and misleading rhetoric that you think and believe they will understand only to later on send them an April Fool’s post card with a map to the golden chain of redemption on the back.

This is probably a big reason why Calvinists ALWAYS claim they are misrepresented and misunderstood. It’s partly because they can’t be honest about what they really believe. One has to wonder is this part of the Calvinist ploy to take over Baptist churches and colleges? Conquer by deceit? It certainly smacks of just more similarities between Calvinism and Islam (in addition to Islamic views on sovereignty, determinism, election, love and responsibility). But if Calvinists genuinely expect to have meaningful dialogue with their opponents, then they need to start being forthright and honest about what they truly  believe about their theology, because as much as theology matters, so does character:

Ye are our epistles written in our hearts, known and read of all men. 2 Cor 3:2

_____________________________________________

God loves sinners and desires that they be saved.  ~Paul Washer”

God hates sinners” Paul Washer

 STOP LYING!!!!!!!

_____________________________________________________________________________

*Watch The Language-Recognizing Cultic Rhetoric Used By Calvinists

**Calvinists claim that this (Matthew 5:45) is an example of “providential” love, that God provides love for sinners in His “providence” for them. However, Jesus used this story to explain a REDEMPTIVE love-“that YE MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN”. Christ does not speak of a different kind of rain. Jesus didn’t say that the “elect” get fresh mountain water but the unelect get rust water. THE WATER THAT BOTH JUST AND UNJUST GET IS THE SAME, JUST AS THE LOVE HE SHOWS IN HIS OFFER OF REDEMPTION IS THE SAME. The Calvinists have focused on the analogy as if Jesus was giving farming lessons, instead of examining this passage in the actual context of which Jesus was trying to express; why a person needs to offer forgiveness beyond what is expected (like the publicans).  Given the context of WHY Jesus said what He did about the rain, there’s just no excuse for the kind of bad “exegesis” that Calvinists force on this passage to impose a philosophy upon the text that is simply isn’t there. Christ is not speaking of any so-called ‘providential love” here, and Calvinists need to stop acting like that’s what this verse means.

*** “And the love God has for His own people, the elect, is different than the love He shows to the creation in general or to rebel sinners outside of His grace in particular.” (James White/Dave Hunt: Debating Calvinism, p.268)

“There is no basis in the Bible for asserting that God’s love knows no levels, kinds, or types.” (ibid, p.267).

 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

One of the most hideous aspects of Calvinism is the conclusion that it makes God responsible for sin and evil. One of our DRC members who runs the Laurence Vance tribute page forced the wife of Westboro Baptist Church Fred Phelps, Jr., to admit that God created evil.

evilgood - Copy

Here’s the syllogism that puts Calvinism’s view of the character of God in peril, and is the prima facie case against the evil of Reformed Theology,  as follows:

*In the beginning, all that God created He said was good [Gen 1:31]

*God created evil

*Therefore if all that God created is good, and God created evil, then evil is good

The debate was over a conversation we’d posted with a Calvinist asking him to prove how his belief was any different from that of Westboro Baptist Church. Apparently, WBC got the impression that we condoned homosexuality. When we pointed out to them that it is actually their view of God that is responsible for gays being the way they are- since after all, He “controls men’s hearts” and determines all their actions-the WBC began picketing the Vance twitter feed with memes. However, the WBC members never responded to the contention that their theology actually pins the responsibility for homosexual behavior squarely on God’s shoulders and yet the WBC members demand that homosexuals be sorry for something they can’t change if they wanted to (but they will never actually want to because God won’t ever give them the desire or want-to).  See our article on Westboro Baptist Calvinists for a more thorough discussion of this problem.

We appreciate how honest Westboro is about their Calvinism. Much like AW Pink and Gordon Clark, they are well aware of what Calvinism actually leads to and they embrace it with open arms with no shame, unlike the majority of Reformers who are dishonest about what they really believe and therefore couch their theology in deceitful  and misleading rhetoric. Nevertheless, the problem here is that God said He’s got an issue with people that call evil good, and good evil, and it appears that WBC and many other Calvinists have been predestined to think that there’s no conflict with their theology and the truth.

Those who follow Twitter know there is a little troll who spams the IFB #oldpaths hashtag trying to unsuccessfully convert KJVO fundamental Baptists to Calvinism. “Wee Calvin” or Colin Maxwell (Wee, I assume, because of his small theology). He follows IFB members comments on this popular IFB hashtag, and then expounds on them on his blog, adding his own twist and fantasy to the tweeted material.

He’s targeted us a few times, but never responds after we take the time to thoroughly sink his paddle boat. He’s obnoxious, rude, foul-mouthed, and so we treat his responses to the IFB with the same courtesy minus some of the rhetoric (Prov 26:4-5, Titus 1:9-12).

Wee Calvin chose to pick on “L. Ivey” (Twitter.com/liveyneckwear) who quoted his opinion that Matthew 25:41 debunks Calvinism since hell was initially created for the devil and his angels, then the obvious conclusion is that God could not have intended to predetermine anyone to hell. Although this is not a new argument against Calvinism, it is still a goodie, because it’s true. But, Wee Calvin made an effort to defend Calvinism and did probably one of the most eisegetical hack jobs to Scripture I’ve ever seen.

Matthew 25:41 (KJV) reads:

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

And for additional analysis, we are going to throw in Isaiah 5:14:

 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

I guess we could also cite Genesis chapter 1 to show that hell was NOT one of the things created in God’s six days of creation. Since Lucifer did not fall until AFTER creation, then hell being prepared for Lucifer and his angels could not have existed BEFORE creation.

Wee Calvin first attempts to state the “old argument”, and then offers his first rebuttal,

Well, to state the pretty obvious, it does not say that Hell was prepared only for the Devil and his rebellious angels.That is the gist of the old argument, but it is not what the Saviour said.

Seriously? Now just think of how much grammatical sense it would make for Jesus to have said, “depart ye into everlasting fire prepared ONLY for the devil and his angels”? Of course it doesn’t say “only” because Jesus is speaking of a PRESENT warning based on a place that was prepared for Satan. Wee Calvin’s argument is IRRELEVANT. That text does not HAVE to include the word “only” in order to convey that hell was initially created ONLY for Satan and his angels.

The reason that hell was created for ONLY the devil and his angels is obvious: because Lucifer and the angels were CREATED BEFORE HUMANS and BEFORE HUMAN SIN. There was no need to include humanity in hell because Lucifer fell before Adam did. Hence, hell was prepared for Satan, but not for any of humanity. The only reason that Calvinists need to this to not be true is because Calvinism would have to claim that God DID create hell for humans in order to prove that He intended on sending the majority of His creation to hell by a predestinated eternal decree of reprobation. If the Calvinist can’t show in Scripture that God did not INTEND on including humans in hell PRIOR TO THE FALL OF ADAM, then that alone destroys the entire concept of Calvinist preterition.

Point 2 of Wee Calvin’s horrific response goes:

If such were the case i.e. that the everlasting fire of Hell was prepared only for the Devil and the angels, then does God deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13) when He bids the wicked above to depart as curséd to that dread place? Is God indeed a man that He should repent i.e. change His mind, after all? (1 Samuel 15:29)

What on earth does this have to do with whether or not hell was or wasn’t created for ONLY the devil and his angels? It’s based on a question-begging fallacy and circular reasoning, i.e., it must not be true because my warped theology says it isn’t true, and therefore God can not deny Himself and therefore it’s not true.

Furthermore, Wee Calvin has a disturbed view of God’s repentance, because Scripture is FULL of examples where God in fact DOES change a course of action that HE SAID HE WOULD DO, and the story of Jonah is a PERFECT example of this no matter how much Calvinists would like to change the narrative around to fit their awful presuppositions.

 8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, THAT HE SAID THAT HE WOULD DO unto them; and he did it not.” Jonah 3:8-10

Now this passage ALONE should settle the debate as to whether or not the Bible contains counter-factual conditionals. As Brother Ruckman says, the Bible isn’t hard to understand IT’S HARD FOR PEOPLE TO BELIEVE. Notice that “repent” in vs 8-9 show God TURNING AWAY from something He SAID HE WOULD DO. So Jonah himself answers Wee’s hypothetical unbiblical NONSENSE and shoots #2 down in 3 verses.

On to point #3, Wee Calvin argues that:

Since God turns and will continue to turn the wicked into Hell (Psalm 9:17) then He has always purposed to do so. There was never a time in the mind of God when His hatred did not burn against sin and His justice demand that the perpetrators (if chronically unrepentant) of it be banished forever from His presence. (emphasis added).

Notice the highlighted part: God was ALWAYS purposed to do so??  SCRIPTURE??? Zero. None. Notta. Zilch. Nolo Contendere. NOWHERE does the Bible state anything near what Wee just claimed. IT IS PURELY A FICTIONAL SUPPOSITION BASED ON PHILOSOPHICAL SPECULATION. 

There are a number of other problems with this speculation as well:

*How can Wee Calvin claim “there was never a TIME…when God” when God exists OUTSIDE OF TIME? In order for Wee Calvin’s argument to even BEGIN to have substance, it would require that God’s emotions be bound to future events before time was even created.

*This is the equivalent of confirming dialectical materialism which maintains a premise of matter being eternally existent. In order for sin to be a reality in the mind of God for Him to be eternally angry about it, sin would have to coexist with God. Now the Calvinist will typically dress up a straw man and label it Open Theism by accusing anyone who would raise such an argument that God must not know the future if this isn’t possible, but notice the Calvinist does so without addressing the argument of dialectical materialism, and forces God to be bound by what He knows. In other words, God is not free to create, the future has a mind of its own that binds God to act according to His perfect knowledge of future events, and therefore the future is actually equal with God (the concept behind much Yin & Yang [Shintoism], or panentheism). So while Open Theism deprives God of being omniscient, Calvinism deprives God of being omnipotent.

*What perpetrators? In Wee Calvin’s rush to sound convincing, he claimed that God’s justice demands eternal punishment against “chronically unrepentent..perpetrators”. Where did these “perpetrators” come from in eternity? Are there some eternal perpetrators that God is mad at that we don’t know about? Maybe these eternal perpetrators are the ones who caused the devil to fall. WHO KNOWS. With Wee Calvin’s speculation, the sky is definitely NOT the limit.

Wee Calvin adds that:

This being the case, we read of ungodly men who were before of old ordained to this condemnation (Jude 4) and verses of a similar nature. Since God always determined to cast the wicked into Hell, then He determined that there would always be a Hell for wicked sinners to be cast into. One logically follows the other.

Jude 4 reads:

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

One problem that Calvinists have is always interpreting “ordained” as “determined”. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. A pastor can be ordained for a certain ministry doesn’t mean he was DETERMINED to do so. See Titus 1:5, Acts 16:4, Gal 3:19, Eph 2:10 (Ephesians 2:10 is especially critical, an argument we have raised called the “Calvinist Uniformity Conundrum”. If ordained always meant determined, then how can believers ever backslide EVEN FOR A MOMENT if their works were determined? Unless God determines that believer’s sin, Eph 2:10 is VERY problematic for Reformed Theology).

But several things to note about Jude 4:

1) It doesn’t say these men were condemned from eternity, but “before OF OLD”. That means, the judgment was something proposed IN TIME, NOT eternity.

2) It was the CONDEMNATION that was ordained, not the particular group of men. In other words, the CONSEQUENCE for rejecting Christ is what is ordained.

3) Three above is further supported by the fact that the ordained destruction WAS IN RESPONSE to those who “turned the grace of God” into something evil. For God to have eternally reprobated these men would require the ABSENCE of any reason for doing so. Thus, God can not eternally reprobate men while Jude claims that their condemnation WAS BECAUSE OF their reaction to the grace of God IN TIME. Notice moreoever in verse 7 how that those of Sodom and Gomorrah GAVE THEMSELVES OVER to their own lusts and sinfulness.

The same “decree” that God gives for life- whosoever believes in Him shall not perish- He also gives for death, that whosoever believes not shall suffer eternal punishment. The Calvinist must read their own twisted eisegesis into the text to come out with eternal reprobation because that’s NOT what Jude 4 says.

And finally, we will end with the most contradictory babbling you will ever see or hear among most Calvinists, and the greatest examples of philosophical flip-flopping of common sense and Scripture twisting extant.

First of all, the “kingdom” that is being discussed in Matthew 25:34 has absolutely NOTHING to do with any Gentile Christian believer or non believer during the Church Age. It is based on a judgment of men that occurs as a result of their obedience during the millennial reign of Christ when the sheep and the goats are separated AT THE END OF THE THOUSAND YEARS. Although we won’t go into the differences between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God here, it’s well worth the study.

Now notice that things that Jesus condemns those men of which He damns to eternal fire in Matthew 25: 42-45 because this is just as important as verse 41:

42  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Notice the list “FOR” which here means “BECAUSE OF”. Now here’s a hint: you can’t have a BECAUSE OF and an ETERNAL DECREE AT THE SAME TIME AGAINST THE SAME EVENT. “Because of” implies causation. Every single act mentioned by Christ is something that these men COULD HAVE done differently, BUT FOR or BECAUSE OF their action or inaction, they are condemned. They are condemned FOR WHAT THEY DID, NOT CONDEMNED FROM ETERNITY, and Christ spends 5 verses on this subject to prove that.

The sinner, as a fully responsible creature, should ever seek the Lord and rest not until he is found of Him, not having his own righteousness etc. The free gospel offer of salvation is addressed to the ‘whosoever will.’ Calvinist evangelists have always rejoiced in the preaching of it.

The sinner is hardly a responsible creature if his destiny as well as his punishment has already been determined. The Calvinist would say that he is free to choose out of the compatibilistic nature that God gave him, even though he can’t ever choose good because of it, nevertheless he is still held responsible. But the problem with even that view is that his judgment was determined before any of his choices were made, so that alone would serve to prove that the sinner is not responsible for his sin because he was damned to eternal fire before he even sinned. (See our article “Would God Have Reprobated Perfect Human Beings?)

According to Calvinism’s view of Total Depravity, the sinner has Total Inability to seek God, and for Wee Calvin to suggest otherwise is blatantly dishonest. In addition to the non elect sinner not ever having the ability to respond to the offer, it is certainly, moreover, not a “FREE gospel offer”. A free offer implies that it can actually be accepted by anyone. But if ONLY the elect can receive and respond to it, then how is it a “free offer” to “whosoever will”? IT ISN’T!! That’s how Calvinism maintains credibility by LYING to you about what they really believe.  Wee Calvin had just clarified his position by claiming that those headed for hell are going there because God determined it to be so. How then can anyone be DETERMINED to go to hell, and yet have the actual ability to FREELY respond to the gospel?  That is utter nonsense and is the most patent example of a logical contradiction if there ever existed one. These are two extremes that CAN NOT both be true at the same. The gospel can not possibly be addressed to whosoever will without any meaningful opportunity for those among the whosoever to respond to it FREELY. If you mean that “whosoever” is ONLY the elect, then be honest and say so, and stop appealing to “whosoevers” as if anybody can actually read your rubbish.

Now remember when we started, we cited Isaiah 5:14! This is very simple logic and Bible. If hell was initially created for BOTH the devil, and sinful human beings, IT WOULD HAVE A PREDETERMINED PARAMETER. Would God make a place knowing exactly how many people were going to occupy it ONLY TO HAVE TO GO TO HOME DEPOT FOR MORE BUILDING SUPPLIES TO EXPAND IT LATER?? “Hell hath ENLARGED HERSELF”. The fact that hell GETS BIGGER shows that it was not intended to hold more than it was initially designed to hold.

Hence, Calvinism is NOT safe as Wee Calvin claims, and yes, hell was created initially for ONLY the devil and his angels which proves Biblically and logically that man was never predetermined to burn in hell.

Hell and destruction are NEVER FULL. Proverbs 27:20

 

 

Dr. James Ach

WARNING: In this series I am going to show as much “grace” in this response as others have shown to these two pastors who are the subjects of the video being discussed below. I do not agree with all of their theology or standards, but it gets old watching how the Servetus Klans attack those who disagree with Calvinism.

A few days ago, Phil Johnson tweeted out the link to a video by 2 pastors, Jim Crews and Ron Vietti, that addressed the heresies of Calvinism. From what I understood, the video has been temporarily removed due to the vitriolic response the Servetus Klan has given these 2 pastors. We were asked to respond to a letter however, from a pastor who opposes them in their own hometown, so our response will be limited to the Open Letter by pastor Chad Vegas, and then later we will address some of the other websites that have tackled this video, although we have addressed at least one contention regarding Pulpit & Pen’s pervert pastor and internet bully JD Hall’s response calling it propaganda when anyone raises the issue of infant damnation. See our short response Infant Damnation, Babies Elected To Hell.

We are responding not because we know these 2 pastors or anything about their church, but because it has become common for Calvinists these days to cherry pick what they consider “the worst evah” opponents of Calvinism and use them to not only paint strawmen on the backs of all Non Calvinists, but as springboards to explain how they are being misrepresented.  However, Calvinists rarely accept the implications of their theology which is why they always think they are being misrepresented.

For example, the most simple polemic against Reformed Theology is that it makes God the author of sin and evil. The Calvinist cries “foul play, we never said that”. Nobody said you did. But when you claim that God has determined all things whatsoever comes to pass, you can not add an exclusionary clause in a footnote (as the Westminster Confession does) that exonerates Him from evil. Either EVERYTHING is determined and caused by God including so-called secondary causation, or only SOME things are caused by God.  What this does is permits the Calvinist to pick and choose when God determines an event. If it’s good, then God determined it, if it’s evil, He did not determine it (unless the evil served his purpose such as in the case of Joseph being sold into slavery) although at some point down the chain of events that lead to the evil event God did determine the event that eventually caused the evil event Calvinists claim God did not determine.

What the Calvinist does here is plays bait and switch with their opponents. What the opponent of Calvinism did here was drew a conclusion based on what Calvinists say about God. When the Calvinist doesn’t like or agree with the conclusion, they accuse the opponent of misrepresenting the premise. Here, the premise was that God determines all things whatsoever comes to pass. Naturally, if that’s true, it means God determines evil which is the conclusion and ultimate implication. But what the Calvinist does is make you feel guilty about changing the premise when that’s not what happened. And this is just one of the ways Calvinists weasel their way out of responsibility for an irresponsible doctrine.

We have discussed this dilemma in Free Will Proves the Sovereignty of God

We will start with #4 of Chad Vegas’ response the first three appear based on personal interactions between them, and we don’t have nearly enough room in one article to discuss whether or not John Calvin understood Biblical predestination and election although we do find it a little odd that Vegas ascribed ‘particular redemption’ to Calvin considering this was 17th century rhetoric and differs significantly from Calvin to Spurgeon on what was believed about Limited Atonement. But one HUGE problem that Calvinists have to deal with in election is that God would have had to guarantee that Adam sinned in order to ensure that election came to fruition. We prove this in our article Calvinism and Reprobation: Would God Have Reprobated Perfect Human Beings?

Have You Read….

Vegas name drops a few Calvinists he’s read, Calvin, Turretin, Hodge, Shedd, Spurgeon, Warfield, Machen, Sproul, Piper, as authorities on the issue of Calvinism. The problem with using this approach is that many among these Calvinists disagree with each other. Some are infralapsarians and some are supralapsarians (a contention on which Calvinists attempt to make the imaginary  distinction between “hyper” Calvinists and normal Calvinism).  So before Vegas attempted to ridicule these men’s views on Calvinism, it would have helped if he would clarify what HIS position is on Calvinism since some of the most popular Calvinist authors actually AGREE with some of the things that these 2 pastors covered.

Can You Show Me…

Vegas states that, “I have never read any Calvinist theologian who denies man has a real choice, nor that God loves all people.”

Yes, I had to read that twice and ask myself, ‘are you kidding me???’ Man having a total inability to respond to the gospel is the hallmark of Total Depravity taught by Calvinists. Calvinists have embraced the most absurd explanation for human responsibility called soft-determinism or compatibilism which essentially says man does not have free will other than within the ability to act freely out of the predisposed will that he has been given. And on the love of God, Arthur Pink wrote an article that SPECIFICALLY says “God does not love everybody”(also espoused in his book, Sovereignty of God), and in this video by John Piper, Piper adamantly claims that “Jesus doesn’t love everybody”.

Now keep in mind, that Vegas cited a certain list of authors, so lets just take a moment to see what these authors say about ‘free will’ (although you should take note here that Vegas made no attempt to define what he considers “freedom”, another Calvinist sleight- of -hand trick).  What  is interesting is that right after Vegas claims to not know anyone that denies free will, he cites Martin Luther’s Bondage of the Will as an example of a Reformer who taught the same doctrines as Calvin and Augustine. Bondage of the Will was Luther’s response to Erasmus that man in fact does not have free will, but that the will is in bondage to the nature that God determined that person to have.

A.A. Hodge on Free Will : “Man has a fixed character which determines all in a certain track, and yet that man is free” While Hodge affirmed that Calvinists should subscribe to the “doctrine of free-will” he, as most Calvinists, can’t seem to “GET” that you can not be free and determined at the same time. If your character is FIXED then there is no freedom to choose among the same options that any other human is given an obligation to respond to. If your character is fixed so that it never responds to the gospel, then it is not freedom to be confined to respond within the fixed character that God has determined you to have. That is utter non-sense, and nowhere in Scripture.

WGT SHEDD on Free Will: “The non-elect man, then, like the elect, being already in the state of sin and guilt by the free fall in Adam, nothing is requisite in order to make it certain that he will for ever remain in this state but the purpose of God not to restrain and change the action of his free will and self-will in sin by regenerating it”. Shedd, Double Predestination To Holiness and Sin.

In other words, if you are not elect, then you will never have the free will to call upon Christ. You are forever doomed in your state of non-choice with the predetermined inability to never seek Christ or repent.

John Piper: ” Now notice the implication this has for the meaning of foreknowledge in [Romans 8]verse 29. When Paul says in verse 29,..Those whom he foreknew he also predestined,” he can’t mean (as so many try to make him mean) that God knows in advance who will use their free will to come to faith, so that he can predestine them to sonship because they made that free choice on their own. It can’t mean that because we have seen from verse 30 that people do not come to faith on their own. They are called irresistibly. God does not foreknow the free decisions of people to believe in him because there aren’t any such free decisions to know.” (Emphasis added.)

RC Sproul: Has Vegas ever read Sproul’s “Willing to Believe” or “Chosen By God”? I could fill this page with nothing but quotes from Sproul’s position against free will as well as his often inconsistent scribblings on double predestination.

For space, I will spare quoting other Calvinists. But, what I think Vegas really means is that Calvinists affirm SOME FORM of “free will” they just don’t tell you what they really mean by that; you have to know something about Calvinism to understand that freedom to a Calvinist doesn’t carry the same connotations the way  most people understand freedom which is generally a libertarian view (unless you’re an atheist or Muslim who typically holds the same fatalist view of freedom as the Calvinists with some Calvinists like Gordon Clark actually affirming absolute determinism).  Needless to say, neither Crews or Vietti misrepresented the Reformed view of free will or the love of God.

Point 2 of 4

Next, Vegas states,

Second, when you spoke about election and monergistic regeneration you spoke as if these doctrines arose from Calvin. Luther taught these same doctrines more often than Calvin did (see Bondage of the Will). He was before Calvin. Aquinas taught this nearly 5 centuries before Calvin. Augustine taught the same 11 centuries before Calvin. I would argue Paul and Jesus taught them as well, but that’s the real debate, isn’t it?

What tickles me immediately about this quote is how often Calvinists blame the controversy of free will on either Pelagius or the Roman Catholic Church (primarily because of Erasmus) and then cite Aquinas to bolster their claims of Calvin’s doctrines being taught prior to Calvin himself teaching them; not to mention that there are few Calvinists that today would wholeheartedly subscribe to what Aquinas taught about free will and human responsibility.

Most opponents of Calvinism are well aware that John Calvin relied heavily on Augustine for his theology  (I have personally counted over 300 quotes from Calvin’s Institutes), so much that we could really call Calvinism “Augustinianism”. But is it described as ‘Calvinism’ because of doctrines that were popularized by Calvin and subscribed to  in the Lambeth Articles and the Synod of Dort, not necessarily invented by him. But really, what difference does it make? If John Calvin taught the same thing as Augustine, and it’s still called Calvinism anyway (as evidenced by Vegas’ response to a video about CALVINISM), then who cares who started it? It’s what Calvinists themselves answer to. Besides, how often have you ever seen a Calvinist accusing an opponent of being an Arminian actually quote from the Remonstrants or something written by Arminius as proof that the opponent has espoused to a belief actually held by classical Arminians? Next time a Calvinist accuses you of being Arminian, tell them to prove it!

Deferring to Augustine or (mistakenly) to Aquinas as the actual originator of “Calvinism” is a rather silly objection. And certainly whether Paul taught it can be immediately dismissed by the fact that Paul was premillennial, did not teach baptismal regeneration or infant baptism, or that Christ was spiritually present in the Eucharist, and he recommended the removal of backslidden Christians from the church for discipline that did not include burning them at the stake (See Paul’s treatment of such sinners in 1 Corinthians 5 followed by his response to the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians ch 7).

Point 3 of 4. Servetus

Vegas next attempts to defend John Calvin’s treatment of Michael Servetus who was burned to death on October 27, 1553 in Geneva for heresy. We have covered this attempt at history revision in our article on Calvinists Defense of John Calvin in the Michael Servetus Ordeal But just to quickly recap, it is a HISTORICAL FACT that John Calvin sought Servetus’ death before he was captured,  discussed how he should die after he was captured, and bragged about it after he was murdered.

Vegas contends that Servetus wanted to flee to Geneva because “far less people were put to death there than the rest of Europe”. That’s hardly supported by ANY historical documentation, and it defies common sense. Servetus went DISGUISED to Geneva. That’s hardly the sentiment of someone who is not expecting persecution. Moreover, it was John Calvin’s release of private correspondence between him and Servetus given to the Arnyes, Trie and Ory ,that prompted Rome’s heated search of Servetus in the first place, and it was the 39 charges written by John Calvin himself that lead to Servetus indictment, conviction and death. The very fact that Castellio put up such a fuss about how Calvin had treated Servetus using the Genevan arm of justice in his letters Concerning Heretics in 1554 should forever silence the Reformed history revisionists that Calvin was innocent of the blood of Michael Servetus.

Another contention I’d have with Vegas is that Geneva wasn’t really much of the safe-haven that he makes it out to be. From Philip Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, the following is a VERY  BRIEF summary given about life in Geneva under John Calvin’s theocracy:

*During the ravages of the pestilence in 1545 more than twenty men and women were burnt alive for witchcraft.

*One man who was tired out on a hot summer day, went to sleep during a sermon and went to prison.

*A burgher smiled while attending a baptism and received three days imprisonment.

*A man who publicly protested  the doctrine of predestination was flogged at all the cross ways of the city and then expelled

*A book printer who in his cups [columns] had railed at Calvin, was sentenced to have his tongue perforated with a red-hot iron before being expelled from the city

*Jacques Gruent was racked and then executed for calling Calvin a hypocrite

Martin Luther said of John Calvin, “With a death sentence they solve all argumentation” Juergan L. Neve, A History of Christian Thought, vol. I, p. 285)

The death of Michael Servetus is the POPULAR case that many KNOW OF. Most people are not aware of all of the other atrocities that Calvin committed in Geneva as well as those done in his name with his full approval. You don’t see this discussed very much by Calvinists because they have a hard enough time trying to explain away the Servertus ordeal, let alone the remaining documented history of Geneva’s evils.

Point 4 of 4 Evangelism and Babies Elect For Hell

As stated, supra, we have already addressed the issue of infant damnation. We have also addressed the issues about Calvinism and evangelism in a few other sections so we will refer to those articles which show gross inconsistencies in Calvinist claims to be evangelistic. It is however ironic that Calvinists always default to men like Carey, Whitefield, Spurgeon, et al, as evidence that they are evangelistic, when their churches are nowhere near patterned after the same evangelistic practices that these men were notorious for. In fact, my brother, Elisha, once posted in a Calvinist debate group a quote from Spurgeon on evangelism, but did not say who the quote was from. Every Calvinist in the group denounced it as Arminian heresy until it was revealed that the quote was from a professing Calvinist. Calvinists will often cherry pick the inconsistent parts of men like Carey which does nothing to prove how THEIR CHURCH is evangelistic or whether or not the doctrines of Calvinism as a whole when their full implications are realized and implemented does not lead to the death of evangelism. Today’s Calvinist would call William Carey a heretic for using “means” in evangelism.

We have explained in the following articles why the excuses some Calvinists use to argue that they are evangelistic prove that they are dishonest and inconsistent with what they believe. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses both pass out tracts and “Bible” studies, that doesn’t make them evangelistic. What is preached is as important as the “go”, although we contend that Calvinists altogether have a problem with the what, and a majority have a problem with the go. Today’s Calvinist would rather steal the sheep from existing churches and colleges rather than do the footwork that soul winners did to start and build churches.

Refuting Tony Miano’s Adoption Strawman

Watch the Language Dishonest Rhetoric of Calvinists

Muslims Can Not Be  Saved According To Calvinist Theology

Calvinist Dishonesty In Action & A Word About “Decisionism”

Finally, Vegas demands that Crews and Vietti apologize for their misrepresentations of Calvinism even after claiming in Point 3 that:

“I want to commend you for attempting to protect the flock from what you consider a false gospel and blasphemy against the character of God. In a cultural moment when so many are afraid to love others by speaking against false doctrine, I am thankful you reject this kind of modernistic sentimentality and relativism. I am thankful you desire to refute those who contradict and to silence false teachers”

So if Crews and Vietti opined on what they genuinely believe to be rank heresy, so much they call it doctrine of demons (which is rather cordial and an understatement),  then why should they apologize? Either they were doing what Vegas admits they would be permitted to do according to the dictates of their firmly held convictions, or Vegas is being patronizingly dishonest in his commendation.  If Vegas’ intent was that they apologize after he’s “proved them wrong”, then he shouldn’t have tried the condescending routine first when or if he actually believed it to be a lie. It’s a little counter-productive to tell someone they have a right to call you a heretic and then criticize them for calling you one.

We do give Vegas a little credit for the tone in which he did address his contentions. It wasn’t dripping with the typical venomous vitriol spewed from the Servetus Klan, but overall it was the average boilerplate response that we see from most Calvinists. Hopefully, Vegas doesn’t follow in the footsteps of some of the other people who have re-blogged his open letter.

Parts 3 Coming Soon

We also have a forum we archive articles or short missives we or friends of ours have written about Calvinism. Calvinisms Other Side.

Dr. James Ach

It has always been tragic listening to Calvinists explain their evangelism while also maintaining that God saves only those whom He has predetermined to irresistibly choose Him after He regenerates them first and then monergistically causes their belief. This debate is not new, however. It was even one shared between famous Baptist evangelist William Carey and one of his pastors who told Carey that if God be pleased to convert the heathen he will do so without any of the means that Carey employed. It is still a fantastic conundrum how the Calvinist who believes that God has determined all things whatsoever come to pass, that any such persuasion or debate or manner of preaching has any real impact on a potential convert. Calvinists like Paul Washer, Phil Johnson, JD Hall, Tony Miano, et al, often complain about the altar calls and “manipulations” used by pastors to bring forth converts, but if that person isn’t elect, what difference does it make? Is the Calvinist conceding that somehow the preacher can interfere with God’s election by botching the method and message? What’s the point on criticizing how a preacher delivers his message if the person he is preaching at isn’t elect? Interesting though how Calvinists believe that God controls the means of salvation, just not the delivery of the preacher (who is part of the means process)!**

For the Calvinist who actually does attempt to evangelize, it is done out of duty, not compassion (Jude 22-24). Ask a Calvinist why they evangelize if they don’t know who the elect are and they will tell you, “because it’s commanded”. The reason for this kind of response is simple: you can’t really claim to love someone and consistently tell people that God doesn’t love everyone, and be an honest Calvinist. J.I. Packer claimed that “of course” he tells people God loves them even though he doesn’t really  believe that.  If you tell a sinner you love them, you could be lying to them if they are not elect. So duty compels the Calvinist, not compassion like Paul (Romans 9:1-3  Acts 20:31).

So far we have explained the conundrum (although not the most problematic) for the Calvinist who evangelizes when he does NOT know who the elect and nonelect are. But what about those whom they KNOW are not elect, like say, Muslims!

I’m going to show you a huge problem that Calvinists face if they are consistent with their view of God hating Esau in Romans chapter 9.

Muslims among the Arabs are the children of Edom.  I will even cite a Calvinist source to explain the history of Esau for our critics. You can also read the future of the nations of these people in Psalm 83. Calvinists use Romans 9:13 to prove that God hates the unelect because, as Rom 9 says, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated”. We have explained the proper interpretation of Romans 9 in our article on Not All Israel Are Of Israel? Calvinists don’t like hearing evangelistic Non Calvinists claim that God loves everybody. God is angry with the wicked all day long, and when He sends rain on the unjust, that’s just providential love, not the kind of unconditional love He shows to the elect. To prove this the Calvinist show you how God in fact, does eternally reprobate people because there it is in Romans 9: He hated Esau and loved Jacob.
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Now here’s the problem with that, and why it proves that debaters like James White are either egotistical maniacs for bragging about how many moderated debates he’s had with Muslims, and that Calvinists who evangelize Muslims don’t believe their own theology, or they are just that ignorant of the Scriptures.
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If the Calvinists actually stuck to their view of Romans 9:13 consistently, it would mean that God hates ALL of the offspring of Edom which makes up ALL of the Arabic Muslims. If Calvinists were consistent with Romans 9:13, then genetically, all of the children of Edom are cursed, eternally reprobated and can NEVER be saved.
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I pointed this out to a person in a forum some time ago and he declared, “Well God was only talking about hating the brother of Jacob from the womb”. If true, then why did he just attempt to use it to prove the reprobation of anyone not deemed elect? If it only applies to Esau, then it can’t be used to prove the reprobation of anyone else. If it includes Esau’s children, then Calvinists can’t justify wasting time in which they are supposed to redeem properly (Eph 5:16) by witnessing to a group that their theology clearly demonstrates has  ZERO chances of ever getting saved because God hates them eternally if Reformed interpretations or Romans 9:13 are to be taken seriously and consistently. If a Calvinist is aware of this, and continues to debate Muslims, it can’t be because he believes there is a chance that they may be saved, but to inflate the ego. He can’t claim it’s out of duty because as stated above, this is not a situation in which he is unaware of who the elect and nonelect are because if his theology is true, then he at least knows that this particular group of people can never be saved.
Just one of the many, many inconsistencies within Calvinist/Reformed theology.
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Another irony are the Calvinists who subscribe to Covenant Theology that think the current Jews living in Israel are not the proper inhabitants of the land of Israel, and that God has apparently given His land to a people that He has eternally hated instead!
**For a brief and brutal treatment of how the free will of the preacher destroys the Calvinist concept of monergism, see our article on Refuting Tony Miano’s Adoption Strawman, section on The Free Will Of the Preacher.