Calvinists Are After Your Church

Posted: December 20, 2014 in Calvinism
Tags: ,

By Dr. James Ach and Dr. Elisha Weismann

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I think this picture says 4: We. Want. Your. Church.

washerhall - Copy

Hyper Calvinist* JD Hall creates a meme of a Paul Washer quote that claims that greatest mission field is the church. It probably never occurred to Hall or Washer that Jesus told His followers to go into the HIGHWAYS and HEDGES. Luke 14:23. True, that Paul argue with Jews in the synagogues, but only a Calvinist would think that another gospel preaching church is an appropriate “ripe field” because they oppose Calvinism. Ironically, the photo used as the background is of Bellevue Baptist Church. The reason that this is unique is that just a couple of months ago, JD Hall had conspired with a leading member of the Abolish Human Abortion (“AHA”) radical anti-abortion group to stage a protest inside of this church. Even though some of Hall’s peers such as Fred Butler, Tony Miano, et al, had opposed his antics, it didn’t stop Hall from sending his chief editor Dustin Germain from Canada, and an AHA leader also Pulpit and Pen staff writer, Alan Maricle (a/k/a “Rhology”) with the group to Bellevue, even though Bellevue is anti-abortion (not simply pro-life but actively opposes abortion as well as supports and promotes anti-abortion legislation and hosts numerous speakers on this very subject).

The other members that attended with the AHA group were clearly not aware of the actual purpose of the visit, it certainly had nothing to do with abortion. And, the little tidbit about this that makes this point perfectly clear is that JD Hall had announced the visit of AHA to Bellevue pastor, Steve Gaines (@bellevuepastor, below). For the year preceding this “visit”, Hall has complained about Steve Gaines, a lot; but never about his stance on abortion. So then why else would Hall announce such a visit from a radical anti-abortion group? And how did Hall know in advance before any of the other AHA members even knew? The answer to that is in the picture, and speaks for most of today’s Calvinists: their means of evangelism is accusing anyone who holds to a Non Calvinist view of soteriology as lost men, and therefore their church becomes a field for “evangelism”. JD Hall even told a college professor at Dallas Baptist University, Leighton Flowers of Soteriology 101, that to debate him about Calvinism would be “casting pearls before swine“.**

Dear , I have some friends visiting Bellevue tomorrow. I hope y’all have a mutually edifying time 😉

Eagerly watching Twitter feeds of and to await news from in Memphis. This should be interesting.

What would be interesting about their visit? Why would THIS particular visit be any different from the other churches that AHA goes to? Because the reason and motive were different this time, that’s why.

“The greatest opponents to Calvinism are lost men and the Christians who follow them.” – JD Hall

Now one has to wonder,  if those who oppose Calvinism are all “lost men” then how can there be any “Christians who follow them”? Nevertheless, the motivation and agenda behind these new radical Calvinists is obvious: YOUR CHURCH IS THEIR MISSION FIELD.

The sad, sad part about this is that we agree with much of what Hall has said about matters in the SBC, but there’s just no excuse for the kind of bully tactics and “theological thuggery” being utilized for the purpose of converting Non Calvinists to Calvinism.

________________________________

* We use the term “Hyper” Calvinist here to separate Hall from other Calvinists who are not as obnoxious as Hall,  However, theologically we do not believe that there is any real difference between the so-called “hypers” and whatever is considered “normal” Calvinism, and believe that the differences between the infralapsarian and supralapsarian systems (with all of their variations including modified sublapsarianism) is only minor yet all of which arrive at the same conclusions with the same consequences. The term ‘hyper’ has become a convenient cop-out for Calvinists to blame for anyone who hammers on the inconsistencies of Calvinism. Calvinists themselves can’t even agree to a definition of hyper Calvinist, and Calvinist James White, though rejecting Phil Johnson’s definition of hyper Calvinism, will not himself define the term. So as far as we are concerned, the term “hyper Calvinist” is really an imaginary scapegoat.

**. Here’s the 3 screenshots of JD Hall referencing his contention with Leighton Flowers as casting pearls before swine’

jdhallpearls - Copy

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Comments
  1. vincent says:

    Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Interesting Article.

  2. DaveW says:

    Personally, I have found this is a common motive found amongst Calvinists.
    They seem to be more intent on converting Christians to calvinism, than the lost to salvation.

  3. DaveG says:

    What I find most interesting is not the fact that “Calvinists” are attempting to convert “non-Calvinist” churches to their way of thinking, but that most professing believers still are unable to determine the difference between what the Bible says about election, and what men say about it.

    “Calvinist” = term often applied to those who read the Bible and believe that election pertains to the individual…chosen by God to salvation through sanctification and belief of the truth. Salvation then is all of God and none of man. God does all the work, even giving the elect the ability and desire to believe.

    “Arminian” = term often applied to those who read the Bible and believe that election only pertains to someone AFTER they believe. Election then applies to the group, not the individual. Salvation is then partly of God and partly of man. God does part of the work, not all of it.

    At the end of the day, who really cares what John Calvin said 500 years ago? We have God’s word, so that is all that matters. The real understanding of God’s word cannot be found in seminaries and theologies…it can only be found where God’s people are taught of God…not of men.

    Most alarming? That most of today’s “churches” resemble self-righteous, self-promoting and carnal “temples” to other gods…and that the Holy Spirit is even anywhere to be found inside their walls.

    • drjamesa says:

      What I find interesting is that the majority of Calvinists that make comments on our articles on Calvinism can’t quite GET that we are not Arminians, and yet never cease to make the connection. You would think that if the Calvinists did at least SOME modicum of homework on what an independent fundamental Baptist believes about eternal security, election, predestination, rejection of Open Theism, etc..that they would get the hint by now that there’s more than just “Calvinist vs Arminian”.

      So whatever distinctions you made about what Calvinsits are and believe, and what Arminians are and believe (albeit you got BOTH of their descriptions wrong), NEITHER of those distinctions are relevant to the content of the article, and frankly, neither is anything else you said.

      What I find interesting is that you claim “At the end of the day, who really cares” but then proceed to tell us exactly how much you care about what you think are idolatrous churches. Fantastic! I think racism is against Jews is still a huge problem, but am I going to discuss that on an article I wrote about Paul Washer’s comments of evangelizing other churches? If you want to vent about a grievance, find an article that deals with that subject, and if there isn’t one, start a blog like everyone else and invite me 🙂

      If you like to see what else we’ve said about Calvinism, there’s plenty on the left column, and at our other website CalvinismsOtherSide.Freeforums.Net as well as a description as to “What Is Calvinism?” But there’s no denying that radical Calvinists like Washer and Hall choose to focus more on other churches then on ACTUAL soul winning and witnessing. Could we have addressed other concerns? Of course we could have. If we did would you or anyone else be satisfied? Of course not because regardless of what we write, there will ALWAYS be something we left out. Even John and Solomon knew when there was enough to a writing (Eccl 12:12, John 21:25). But unless we include an addendum on how to cook sunny-side up eggs vs scrambled we’ll always get complaints about what was NOT mentioned rather than what IS mentioned.

      • DaveG says:

        Sir,

        I can see I’ve managed to stir up some hard feelings on this matter…perhaps it would be advantageous for me to familiarize myself on the articles you have written about “Calvinism”, since you seem to be so adamantly against its teachings. I’m not a “Calvinist”, but I am very familiar with it as far as the “TULIP” goes, as well as some of the other details of historical “Reformed” doctrines.

        How I got here: I followed a link from another site to get here and have been reading some of your content with a mixture of amazement and dismay. From what I can see, there is some truth here, and some error.

        As for my definitions…I’ll admit that to most people, I would have thought they would suffice; However, I can see that to you, either or both of the “isms” are complicated and undoubtedly consist of various truths mixed with various errors, Biblically.

        As for me “venting”…I’m not sure where you’re getting this, but from your reply above it seems to me as if you spend your day waiting for “pro-Calvinists” to come on your website just so you can vent back at them…or am I wrong? I hope so sir. 🙂 In the end, it IS your website and you can do as you see fit.

        As for my statement about most of today’s visible churches…I stand by it. I intended the statement to read more like this: “Most of today’s visible churches would be severely hard-pressed to have any more than a very few genuine, Spirit-led believers in them ( if the actual Gospel is even preached ) and I seriously doubt that the Holy Ghost is anywhere to be found, except in them”. This is my studied opinion, but there it is.

        The article you have written, from my vantage point, is one akin to lamenting about carrion birds picking over the dead corpse of something that was left lying on the side of the road ages ago…observations about “Calvinists” trying to infiltrate and take over these entities you call “churches”…that are mostly nothing more than bastions of false teaching, religion, carnality and tradition…from those who are opposed to their efforts, seems to be like shutting the barn door after the horses have already left.

        I’m sorry, but to be frank, I see your article as just another in a long series of such articles I have seen on other sites from other people who appear to be somehow trying to salvage the total disaster that is the “visible church”. Those of us who understand the current mess are outside the camp, and with good reason.

        What these so-called “churches” do to one another is none of my personal concern, and it seems to me that you are wasting your time and effort addressing the problems.

        Finally, I see that you use the title of doctor…what exactly is it that you are a doctor of?

        Thanks,

        Dave.

      • drjamesa says:

        Here’s your article in a much more cognizant and concise format:

        Dave G:
        “I hate your stupid car because…well just because.”
        “You don’t know what you’re talking about on that subject. Don’t ask me what subject I just know that you don’t know anything about it.”
        “The Bible says your wrong. Don’t ask me about what or what verse, you just are and the Bible says so (somewhere)”
        “I am familiar with Calvinism and a little bit of Reformed Theology and TULIP. Don’t ask me why I’m familiar with Calvinism or ask me to prove why your wrong about it. I just know a lot about TULIP and because of that, you’re just wrong.”
        “I’ve read a few of your articles. Don’t ask me which ones, they just have errors (whichever ones I’m referring to are the ones that have errors).

        That about sums it up. Generalizations and snarky pious rhetoric with no specific details or grounds, no specific rebuttals to anything and no substantive argument raised. Just a bunch of Pee Wee Herman “I know you are but what am I” logic.

        Dave then says, “What these so-called “churches” do to one another is none of my personal concern, and it seems to me that you are wasting your time and effort addressing the problems.”

        What churches do to each other is none of your concern, but what other Christian bloggers say about other churches IS??

        Come back when you learn how to make Biblical, logical and consistent statements and actually argue a case, but get permission from your parents first.

  4. Jessica says:

    I find it interesting as to why Dave would comment on this article if it is no concern. Almost like he is standing on a mountain top looking down on all the churches and musing out loud how outside/above he is over the current problems of The Church. Or he is pointing out to the readers how trivial the subject of the article is…
    anyhoo, I think discussing issues within the Church is important. I thought the Church, Christians as a whole, should be like a lighthouse to a dark and lost world. The Church is so fragmented with this fundamental and that fundamental and condemnation… no wonder at the way things go in our country.
    I am nondenominational, not Calvinist or Arminian, just Bible believing Christian. I kinda agree with Dave in regards to his comment about not putting all your stock on the teachings of men. But since I am no expert in original languages of the Bible, Hebrew-Aramaic-Greek, then I have to rely on the versions of the Bible we have and good teachers. I know I’ve got a quote from Martin Luther somewhere, not that I agree with everything he taught, about people not putting all their trust in him and raising him up too high. He didn’t like the idea of followers calling themselves, Lutherans. I understand the frustration Dr James expressed in the conversation getting off topic.
    I found this blog doing research on Calvinism. I’ve known for a few years that I was neither Calvinist nor Arminian, but didn’t realize how heated a subject it was until a few months ago. I made a comment on Facebook about disagreeing with something John Piper said. Oh my…. the heat I received from such a comment.
    I then reached out to someone I trusted at the time, because the argument that ensued was so heated and it was public. I wanted to get this person’s input. This trusted person then sent me a link from Piper’s website about the “history” of Arminianism and Calvinism and TULIP. Talk about dismay! I was slightly horrified that this trusted person was apparently a Calvinist and seemed to believe me an Arminian. Obviously, none of this topic had ever come up before. I did learn from Piper’s history about the Dutch Reformed Church, and I think I made the connection. This person I had reached out to had spent a good chunk of their life in Holland and met his wife there. His father-in-law back in Holland is a pastor. I wasn’t too familiar with the history of Calvinism, and because I wasn’t familiar with Piper, I had no idea of the huge fan base he has. After becoming aware, I had to dive in to this subject matter to see how much of an influence he has, Calvinism as a whole, and issues discussed in this blog.
    I apologize if this rambling isn’t totally relevant to the above article. I wanted to share my experience and view that these topics are important, that what happens in the churches are important, and I appreciate the time and research spent on this blog.
    Thank you
    Jessica

  5. Geoff Dick says:

    Oh… you mean the Gospel wants to get back into church? Yes. That’s correct.

    • James A, PhD says:

      Is that an argument? More like the begging-the-question fallacy.
      And here’s the question I ask everyone that claims Calvinism is THE gospel:
      1) How did anyone get saved before they knew what Calvinism was?
      2) What was the gospel before John Calvin came along?
      3) Since Calvinism “IS” the gospel, does that mean one must agree with Calvinism in order to be saved? I mean, after all, only the gospel of the death and resurrection of Christ saves a person, and if that gospel is called Calvinism, then a rejection of Calvinism is ultimately a rejection of the gospel.

      If you’d like to debate a particular point of Calvinism, I’d be glad to discuss it. But it’s a little hard to have an actual argument when you fail to define your case. Until then, I have another forum with rebuttals to virtually any Calvinist objection you think supports your view. http://calvinismsotherside.freeforums.net/

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