Archive for the ‘Calvinism’ Category

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.

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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.

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* 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’

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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

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

God hates sinners” Paul Washer

 STOP LYING!!!!!!!

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*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.

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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, and Dr. James A., PhD

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.

By Dr. James Ach and J/A

Tony Miano is a Calvinist among the crowd of Calvinists that I usually pick on, but he is an inconsistent Calvinist that does not act like the majority of his cohorts, so I don’t pick on him very much. He is not a bully and tends to avoid much of the vitriolic confrontations initiated by the likes of Fred Butler, JD Hall and that crowd [UPDATE: this has recently began to change. Since Miano has become more cozy with the likes of JD Hall, his attitude has become increasingly vitriolic]. I appreciate that Tony is one of the few professing believers-Calvinist or not-that actually preaches in the streets (and was actually erroneously detained in England for taking a Biblical stand against homosexuality, or rather, for simply answering a question about it [Considering Cameron’s recent UN speech, don’t expect England to change on this anytime soon]) and even though I disagree with his doctrine,  he is one of the few that anyone could use to prove that there are at least SOME evangelistic Calvinists.

But, public preaching of heresy is still heresy, and I can’t compliment someone’s efforts if they are holding to a false gospel, and while Miano may not have intended for his article to be taken that way, that’s the only conclusion that one can leave with, and hence the necessity to refute it.

Miano wrote an article about Christians Hating Adoption by comparing the attitude that some earthly parents have toward adoption as an alternative to abortion, to Christians who also despise God’s work in Biblical adoption. It was this Twitter comment describing his article that caught my attention:

“Christians who despise God’s monergistic work in #adoption should examine themselves to see if they are in the faith.”

In other words, if a person does not believe the Calvinistic explanation of HOW God saves people, they are not really saved. It is not enough to simply repent and believe the gospel, but you must also understand the mechanics of how it works in order to be saved. Now despite the fact that even Calvinist theologians themselves have argued for centuries about predestination, preterition, election, whether or not God actively chooses some to heaven and simply “passes over” the non-elect, or whether he purposely selected those damned to hell (see differences between infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism), Miano would have to take sides against some of his favorite Reformed theologians and declare that one of them is not saved if having a thorough understanding of how God works is a prerequisite to receiving grace.

There are a number of problems with this. First of all, how does an unregenerate person who can not, as Calvinists admit, “receive the things of the Spirit of God” according to 1 Cor 2:14 and be expected to understand the dynamics of salvation BEFORE HE IS SAVED? Miano puts a condition on salvation that according to even his own theology is impossible for the sinner to achieve.

Secondly,  Tony uses the term “Christian” in the present tense. If the person is in fact a Christian, then it is not possible that he can lose his salvation at some later point because he has not come to a thorough understand of how salvation works. Of course, if Tony is an Arminian then we’d have to argue about his views of conditional security (which in reality, all Calvinism leads to conditional security anyway if you understand the Reformed view of perseverance, but we’ve addressed that problem elsewhere).

Now I would agree with Tony that a person could have believed in vain (1 Cor 15:2), but that’s not the impression that Tony gives. Although I do note that Tony added “professing” Christian at the end of his article, and there is no Scriptural evidence that believing in vain had anything to do with failure to understand the dynamics of the doctrines of soteriology, but about a person’s unwillingness to accept the narrative of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as the sufficient payment of our sin that satisfied the wrath of God, and is obtained by repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 26:20 (And the very fact that in Acts 26, Paul mentions doing “works meet FOR repentance” shows that repentance and works are not the same thing. Thus in God’s eyes, the command to repent is not viewed as a “work” that has salvific value. Romans 11:6, Titus 3:5, Romans 4:2-7).

LIFE PRESERVER ANALOGY

Tony takes exception to the “life preserver” analogy, which was made popular by Norman Geisler in describing the free will of the person to respond to the gospel. Miano, as most Calvinists, reject this analogy on the grounds that a dead person can’t reach out to grab a rope so the analogy is fundamentally flawed on its premise  according to their view of Ephesians 2. The problem with that critique is that it is equating spiritual death with the physical, a subject we have dealt with in refuting James White’s message about Lazarus (See, Could Lazarus Have Said No?)

If a dead man can’t reach out for the rope, than a dead man can’t call upon the name of the LORD either to satisfy Romans 10:9-13 either. Neither can dead men hear the gospel. If the Calvinist argues that God wakes him up to call upon him, then you have God waking up the person to reach for the rope, but then if the person in the pool is dead, and has been revived by God, why then would he even need to grab the rope at all? He’d be saved before he was saved…AH…but Calvinists actually believe this point-that a person can be regenerated prior to salvation. This is the Reformed way of getting around verses in Acts (e.g. Acts 10-11) where a person demonstrates seeking God (a premise that Calvinists reject is possible according to their view of Romans 3 and Ephesians 2 on Total Inability resulting from God-ordained depravity) prior to being saved.

THE FREE WILL OF THE PREACHER CONUNDRUM [J/A]

Tony’s theology (and really, most Calvinists) ignore the fact that there is still something required of the sinner to be saved, he preaches it all the time: repent and believe. Now here’s what Tony and all Calvinists miss;  Can God save the person without your command for them to repent? Not normally according to Romans 10:14-17  because that’s just not how God chose to do it . Calvinists readily admit this fact and confess that God uses human instruments as the means to gather his elect. But then that still brings you back to square one. If man is used as an instrument in gathering the elect which is necessary for the sinner to hear the words that save (John 6:63), then it’s STILL NOT MONERGISTIC. Although the Calvinists will argue that the sinner himself was made to repent and believe (a whole other heresy) they can not account for the synergistic acts of the preacher which is a requirement for that person to hear the gospel and be saved.

If you disagree, then read Ezekiel chapters 3 and 18 and see what happens to the sinner when the watchman DOES NOT give them God’s message, and then ask yourself this question: If the sinner’s destiny is determined, then why does God hold the watchman accountable at all?

 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him [notice that the stumbling block comes AFTER the sinner’s refusal to turn, not based on some decree made in eternity before the world began], he shall die: BECAUSE thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezekiel 3:18-20

[*This is in reference to Israel, but the means of salvation should be consistent with eternity if Calvinist soteriology is to be taken seriously. Although you will quickly see the Calvinist who is normally Covenant Theology oriented become a Dispensationalist when trying to explain this passage as it relates to the free will of the watchman]

Furthermore, Calvinists often contend that God controls even the means of the salvation process (that’s the whole point of monergism), but they have overlooked something crucial: does God control the preacher? For a Calvinist to be consistent, they would HAVE to say yes, otherwise they breach the golden chain of redemption because if God uses the preacher as the means of bringing the gospel to the sinner, then for the entire process to be truly monergistic, God must also control the preacher as well as the sinner and the sinner’s reactions. But here’s the problem, PAUL SAID THE PREACHER HAS FREE WILL:

 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 1 Corinthians 9:16-17

Thus, Paul gives 2 different scenarios, each of which he can freely choose from. Yet this is contrary to what Calvinism teaches. Paul makes it clear that God does not control the means of salvation which means that even if the relationship between the sinner and God were solely monergistic, without any counterfactual conditionals, the relationship between God and the preacher IS NOT and since that is a necessary step in the sinner hearing the gospel (Romans  10:14-17) the entire Calvinist house of monergist cards falls apart at the free will of the preacher. Regardless of whether you believe the sinner’s fate is predetermined or he actually has the ability to reject the gospel of his own volition, any Calvinist explanation must answer this conundrum. (We will address the Reformed heresy of the secondary causation fallacy when someone brings it up, although this somewhat scratches the surface.) The autonomy of the preacher/watchmen is a death blow to monergism.

SORRY- INSUFFICIENT CREDIT

The statements made by Miano are actually a classic strawman that Reformers use against non Calvinists, i.e., that we think we are actually taking credit for our own salvation if we confess that we called upon the name of the Lord for salvation and willingly choose to repent and believe the gospel as an obedient libertarian free will act. In other words, Calvinists think that a person who is rescued from a heart attack goes around town bragging that he saved himself from his infarction instead of giving credit to the heart surgeon that saved his life.

Was Paul taking credit for his salvation when he said “I was NOT DISOBEDIENT unto the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19), or when he said ” I know whom **I** have believed”? 2 Tim 1:12.  One can not be both determined to act and describe their actions as being freely committed and be true at the same time. To be obedient unto the gospel is both a command (2 Thess 1:8) and a decision one must make of his own volition (John 8:24-the Bible is FULL OF “if” statements regardless of how much Calvinists reject them, “if” you do not believe, you die in your sin, etc..).

Furthermore, if, as Miano says, that the person is not saved who believes this way, does he all of a sudden forget about his monergism when he admonishes that sinner to EXAMINE HIMSELF? If the person is merely a professing Christian, and not “a possessor” then isn’t that person in the same boat as the sinner Miano preaches to on the street? still in his sin and unregenerate? How then can that person “examine himself”? It seems that along the way, Miano has forgotten to be consistent with his monergism! (And yes, I am aware of 2 Cor 13:5 which has nothing to do with this context, and is an often misquoted verse. Focus!)

MIANO’S MISUSE OF ADOPTION

The problem with using adoption to support Tony’s story is that he is comparing physical adoption of INFANTS not yet born to spiritual adoption which can occur at any age of a person’s life. Does Paul use physical adoption as an analogy in Galatians 3 and Romans 8? Yes, of course, but not how Miano is using it to prove that since an infant has no say so in who his physical parents are that it automatically follows that the subject of adoption in Galatians has no choice in who is spiritual Father is, and if Tony (and any Calvinist) were aware of the requirements for adoption used in Paul’s analogy of the schoolmaster, they would see how erroneous this analogy is. The synergistic relationship between the pupil and the schoolmaster debunks any theory that the adoption process was one of a determined and irresistible status.

Adoption is a beautiful concept that guarantees the believer’s salvation and security, but it is no more ordained against the persons will than a Jew was saved because he was an Israelite (John 1:11-13, Matt 3:9, John 8:39). Like the prodigal, the son can waste away his inheritance willingly (1 Cor 3:11-15), but can not jeopardize his parent/child relationship, the father will always be his father. The New Testament does not use adoption to emphasize the “how” of the salvation process, but the why of salvation’s permanency. 

Although Tony seems to equate disagreeing with despise, I DO despise any ‘doctrine’ that adds to the not only Paul’s clear explanation of the gospel in 1 Cor 15, but also it’s simplicity  (2 Cor 11:3). I also despise strawmen that are erected to mischaracterize the beliefs of many born again soul winners. If this is what Miano preaches on the streets to lost sinners, then it is a false gospel, or at least displays a gross inconsistency on what is required to be saved, and what is expected to be secure.

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.

CALVINIST DISHONESTY ON VIDEO & “DECISIONISM” THE REFORMED STRAW MAN AGAINST FUNDAMENTAL BAPTIST SOUL WINNERS

443700176_PantsOnFire1_answer_1_xlarge - CopyOne of the greatest condemnations against Calvinism aside from all of the great books, sermons, and lectures refuting it, is the Calvinists themselves “in action”. It is my contention that no person can truly be saved under the following examples of Calvinistic “evangelism”, and if this is what Calvinists cling to in order to prove that Calvinism does not destroy meaningful evangelism, then I feel sorry for any of their “converts”. We are going to watch some Calvinism in action by 2 notable Calvinists: Rhology and JD Hall, and show you how what they do in these videos is completely different from what they preach. As Dr. Jerry Walls says, that Calvinists maintain credibility by using misleading and dishonest rhetoric that their theology does not support, we are going to watch this sad-but-true FACT in action.

But first…

Calvinists often accuse fundamental Baptists of offering hearers a less than Biblical gospel presentation by claiming that we merely tell a person to “ask Jesus into your heart” and “just pray a prayer” to be saved and THAT’S IT. We then confirm them, baptize them (perhaps) and then shout “glory” for their salvation. It’s as if they think Baptists never explain the problem of sin, repentance, salvation not being by works, the death-burial-resurrection of Christ and the need for faith in Christ alone, and simply tell a potential convert, “here, pray this magical mantra, repeat after me, and call me in the morning” and wallah, that’s IFB soul winning in a nut shell. This is quite possibly the worst straw man fallacy ever brought against the fundamental Baptists.

Calvinist Paul Washer calls it “Decisionism” because in Reformed theology a person “totally depraved” does not have the ability to make a decision for Christ, thus it is not a valid confession for a person to profess that they have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved since that is a theological impossibility within Reformed soteriology.

Reformer Tony Miano utters a similar sentiment, “No person was ever saved by praying a prayer-ever” (Although Scripture says otherwise*).  Again, these accusations are primarily directed at independent fundamental Baptists whom the Calvinists are in competition with because it is the IFBs that have built their churches “from scratch” while the Calvinists merely steal their church members with VERY FEW exceptions among Calvinists (like Tony Miano) who actually “take it to the street” and preach. Although I do admire the “open air” preaching of men like Miano, a false gospel -x- the valiant effort of a public sermon still equals a false gospel, and it’s not rightly called “evangelism” if the message does not lead to the salvation of a person’s soul, and the Scriptures are emphatic about the fact that if you do not CHOOSE Christ and MAKE A DECISION for Him, you are NOT SAVED. John 8:24, Isaiah 65:12, 1 Kings 18:21, Matthew 23:39.

We are at this point going to assume that our readers are either educated Calvinists or knowledgeable Non Calvinists or Arminians so that we don’t need to include all of the arguments about whether repentance comes before faith and salvation, whether God grants it apart from the freedom of the individual or a lengthy debate on the flaws of compatibilism and how it always leads to hard determinism proving there is no difference between Hyper Calvinism and all other forms. Why make this point now? Because these are going to be the first objections Calvinists reading this are going to send  me: “Why didn’t you cover this or that?” (you know, the ones that tell the officer, “Why didn’t you get the guy ahead of me?) so I’m getting it out-of-the-way now that this is intended to be a short article that points out some of the hypocritical and dishonest measures used by Calvinists when they actually attempt to put their beliefs into action. Now let’s watch!

VIDEO ONE-RHOLOGY

Our first video comes from “Rhology”, a notable Reformed blogger that gets a few frequent mentions from James White, JD Hall and other popular Calvinist authors, posted this video debating some protesters at Hobby Lobby. We brought the video time stamp to about the 24:34 minute mark so the watcher doesn’t get bored with a professing Christian trying to force an unsaved person to make sense of their moral depravity. I’m sure his objection will be that it was for documentary purposes so any harm done to a few in failing to raise the gospel question first is just collateral damage to ensure a proper documentary.

Notice that the male subject, after being insulted by Rhology at the 14:00 minute mark, states something about God giving us “free will”. Now any Calvinist who is thoroughly steeped in their theology ON PAPER and AMONG THEIR FELLOWS would NEVER say what comes next out of Rhology’s mouth:

“Well, God gives us free volition [????], there’s a little bit of a debate on that BUT THAT’S NOT IMPORTANT”.

First of all, what is FREE volition? Isn’t volition itself a voluntary act of the will? and if it’s a voluntary act of the will isn’t it by definition free? So either Rhology is completely ignorant of the very terminology that he demands others get right, or he got nervous and fell into redundancy by accident. We’ll let the professional grammar Nazi himself explain that.

Secondly, since when is the debate about free will not important to a Calvinist? There’s not one single forum or debate group ANYWHERE where the subject of free will is NOT THEE NUMBER ONE debate issue among Calvinists and their opponents aside from the question of God’s responsibility and authorship of sin and evil. HE JUST LIED TO THAT PERSON. Not only did Rhology claim that it wasn’t important, but he began AGREEING WITH HIM that we all had “choices” which Rhology knows good and well is NOT what he truly believes. Rhology theologically speaking would only believe that any choice that man has is based upon whatever nature God has determined him to have, but he knows good and well that the man he is talking to doesn’t speak that language (Farse-ic), so he capitulates to rhetoric that he himself does not truly believe. And if you quote Paul “I became all things to all men” I will web-slap you.

This is just one classic example among many of a Calvinist being dishonest by not being forthright about what they really believe in with others.

VIDEO TWO-JD HALL 

Our second video comes from JD Hall where Hall has made a “come to Montana” video in just under 7 minutes, and shows us fundamental Baptists the “right way” to give a gospel presentation. What is really sad and frustrating is so much of what JD Hall says about the poor standards and lack of morality and discernment among other professing churches is dead on. There’s times I’ve listened to Hall and was cheering him on “Get em JD, get em”, and then shaking my head at the rest. There’s nothing like digging into a good piece of meat only to find it hasn’t been cooked all the way through.

Now JD Hall recently stated,

JD Hall ‏@PulpitAndPen 3h

@MosesModel If we count as public profession answering “What did you do” with “I invited Jesus in my heart” to congregational applause. 😉

So what does Hall consider a valid public profession then? Well, fortunately we have it on video and from his own mouth. The first man on the left simply says, “I got my salvation today” and NOT ONCE does Hall make any reasonable effort to confirm this or probe further. Hall simply asks, “So you THINK you got your salvation today, so now what do you need to DO?” REALLY? How is this any less effective than JD accusing Baptists of “just praying a prayer”? This man never once called upon the name of the Lord to be saved which **IS** in the Bible (Romans 10:9-13), and never confessed that he believes Jesus died, was buried and rose again from the grave and that He is God in the flesh: things that are BASIC fundamentals in the gospel presentation (1 Cor 15:1-3).

The second person Hall makes a very brief reference to (the gentlemen in the Nike sweater) and simply says the man is a sinner saved by Jesus and not once did this man ever agree with anything other than that he violated some of the ten commandments. Simply confessing that you have sinned isn’t saving faith. Now some might point to Luke 18 where that’s all the publican said, but there’s one huge difference: the publican said “God be merciful to me a sinner”.  Not only did the publican CALL, but there was an obvious Subject to his call:  God.

Thus, Hall confirmed these man’s salvation in less than 7 minutes, who made no real profession of faith, AND HE HAS THE NERVE TO CRITICIZE FUNDAMENTAL BAPTIST SOUL WINNERS? Even a person who is limited in their soul winning practice to the “Romans Road” gives a sinner 3x more information than what was given to these people by Hall. Perhaps Hall should contact a local independent fundamental Baptist church and tag along some night to see how a TEENAGER gives a more thorough presentation of the gospel than he did.

CONCLUSION

This is Calvinist dishonesty in action. Many a Calvinist (like J.I. Packer) will tell their listeners “OF COURSE I tell them God loves them” knowing that they don’t really believe that; knowing that what they really mean is that God providentially loves them, but does not love them in any sense that the person’s they are speaking to understand the term “love”. And so too, here, Rhology simply agrees with the man’s definition of free will knowing that not only is that an important distinction between Calvinism and all other forms of theology-of which he lied to this man about its importance-but is a demonstration of Calvinism utilizing the “accommodation theory” -the theory popularized by the anti-King James ‘scholars’ Semler and Greisbach that it is OK to lie to your congregation if you don’t think they will understand you due to their perceived lack of ability to comprehend any technicalities of your theology or philosophy. (Both of these men rejected the deity of Christ but their textual criticism theories are still followed by men like James White, Daniel Wallace, et al, but that’s another article!). This is a practice that is CLEARLY utilized by Calvinists today.

It is NEVER OK to lie to a person in presenting the gospel to them. Romans 9:1,James 3:14, 1 Tim 2:7, Col 3:9, 2 Cor 11:31. The ironic thing about this “accommodation” practice among Calvinists is that Calvinists are the first to rail against using “means” in salvation presentations. The famous quote by John Ryland to William Carey resounds here, “Young man sit down, If God be pleased to convert the heathen He will do so without your help or mine”. Carey was bucking against the Calvinist belief that means could not be used in attracting converts, which shows William Carey was not really a Calvinist though he adopted SOME of the Calvinist beliefs. But isn’t the use of restraint from explaining the full context of what you believe to a potential convert a “means”? If it is “not important” for you to tell the sinner what you really believe, are you not using a “means” to accommodate him and his “level” of understanding? If the Calvinists were consistent on this point, they would not judge the man’s level of understanding  giving their view that so long he God has not yet “granted him repentance” he remains incapable of comprehending the gospel anyway, so  that again begs the question(?): what difference does it make how honest you are with the person? If God has “chosen” this person to salvation, then God’s truth will not abound more or less through your lie. Romans 3:7.

But these are  perfect examples of why Calvinism is an unfaithful, and untrustworthy, and dishonest theology, and today we have seen it on video. Calvinists regularly interact with others using rhetoric and language that their theology does not support and of which they themselves do not believe, but they do so to maintain their credibility as apparent professing believers.

___________________________________________________

*The following are verses that show clearly people who PRAYED or were TOLD TO PRAY to obtain salvation.

Pray from Websters 1828 Dictionary:

42212 pray PRAY, v. i. [L. precor; proco; this word belongs to the same family as preach and reproach; Heb. to bless, to reproach; rendered in Job 2. 9, to curse;
42213 prayer PRA’YER, n. In a general sense, the act of asking for a favor, and particularly with earnestness. 1. In worship, a solemn address to the Supreme Being,

The very first message that Jesus told the UNSAVED MASSES on proper communication with the Father was called PRAYER. Matthew 6:9-13.

Luke 18:13-“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Acts 8:21-22-“Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”

Acts 10:2-4– “A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.

Now Cornelius prayer did not result in immediate salvation, for it still required that the truth of the gospel be told to him , and Acts 11:13-14 is clear that he was not saved until AFTER he had met with Peter. So this not only shows that a sinner had the ability to call on God before he was saved, but that God heard his PRAYER contrary to all Calvinist contentions otherwise.

Now for our Greek Onlyism readers, you will search in vain trying to parse a fundamental semantic difference between epikaleo and proseuchomai in any attempt to make ‘prayer’ appear different than ‘to call’. The Calvinists petty arguments on these points actually serve to PREVENT a person from coming to Christ because they eliminate the necessity of CALLING ON GOD for salvation.