Calvinism is OK until it gets stupid: Part II

February 25, 2001

Something wonderful happens when we finally break away from Puritan ignorance, this truth sets us free. Christian freedom arrives when we come to the cross, before that, we are all slaves to our own desires. God draws us to the cross and Jesus is there. He comes off of that cross and knocks at the door of our heart. Once there, we have to make a choice. Without faith it is impossible to please God so the choice made will be in faith or no faith. The simple answer is of faith in the redemptive work of the cross and we have the promise of God that he will give us that gift of faith if we ask Him for it. What choice do we make? It only takes that mustard grain of affirmative action and as soon as we take the first step we enter into eternity and know God. More importantly, He now knows us.

Puritans need to understand Christian freedom too. The way of love is in choosing the holiness of God's power to love something other than ourselves. God has given us the grace to operate under His power. Repentance draws us near to God because it leaves us with a clean heart that is acceptable to God for service. Calvinism is only a state of mind and not a particular denomination but false prophets will try to suppress the truths of the holiness doctrine every time. Without a responsibility of love and humility that is needed to become the Bride of Christ, the remnant seed will not grow; demon forces want to kill the manchild. We not only leave it up to God's will, we become God's will and turn the world right side up in the name of Jesus.

Elijah put the false prophets to shame and asked the people to make a choice. If you do not want to be consumed, you must choose to serve the Lord. The heirs and servants of Calvinism may not be worshipping Baal but they do eat at the tables of Jezebel and that's a fact. If you want to cross the Jordan then choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served or the Lord God. For me and my house, I choose Jesus.



I have a problem with the idea of Calvinism being alright in any way. If you can show me in scripture where it is sound to believe in predestination, I will accept it. But, considering Jesus died on the cross in order for ALL to have life and to have life more abundantly, I don't quite think you will find anything. John Calvin, in my opinion, was a bit off his rocker when it came to sound doctrine. Scripture tells us that it is not the will of the Father for ANY to perish. This means that He sent Jesus to die for all. Not just a select group of people. The Jehovah's Witness's have close to the same faction of things.

Jay, I strongly agree with you. Calvinism is Cu-Cu and very cult-like in it's theology. I don't see where John Calvin could even base his findings on scripture.

In Christ's faithful service,


Dear Jay,

I really had a good laugh at your posting yesterday regarding this subject. I remember the years of debate regarding Calvinism. Remember thinking how cruel Calvinists were. Being an evangelist I wondered how they approached witnessing. Ever want to share war stories I've got some great ones. Remember the very powerful, influential people that I used to argue with regarding Calvinism. Boy the old days. But I never laid it down the way you did, so you must be getting some interesting mail:-))))) Some things that you attribute to Calvinism might be more the good old flesh. Just a thought.
I thought you did a good job.

Lord you are his shield, he is your vessel, protect and comfort him spiritually and physically.

Peace to you,

Calvinism is just as partial as any man's perception concerning the will of the Almighty.

Predestination however is a truth that cannot be taken out of the bible, or explained away in hopes that God will be defended by man's righteous choice and actions. For our righteousness is filthy.

Man's choice is evident in that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So we know what we all chose.

But it is God who chose to shine the light out of the darkness, and we who were dead....were quickened.

Dead men can't choose anything.

The bible does not contradict itself, there is no other way of explaining it, than having the knowledge that truth is manifold.

Balance is the key here. I made a choice when I bowed the knee, but I will never place the crown of my conversion on my own head. For if it was ultimately left up to me, I would be dead by now. And if it weren't for His grace, I could have never made it by work or choice.

Who can say that they chose God without the influence of His Holy Spirit?

Who can say that they came to Christ without the Father drawing them?

Who can say that God doesn't make vessels of wrath, such as Pharaoh, and vessels of mercy, such as we that are saved?

Who can say that the word elect has no meaning?

Who can say that Jesus was not predestined to be betrayed?

And if betrayed, then the traitor was foreknown to this cause, or was it circumstance?

And when was the Lamb slain? Before the foundations of the world. Was He partial then? Or was the seventh day completed? What work should we rest in? A completed work? But what if our destiny is up for grabs? Might as well throw prophecy in the toilet if that is the case. Because How can God decree something that man can choose His way out of? That is what is really stupid. To think that God was created for man, instead of man being created for God. Who will question Him who hardens whom He will?

So then every man in Christ has been in Him, chosen in Him before the foundations of the world.

God is not up there, biting His almighty nails, hoping people will get saved. According to Christ God the Father has GIVEN to Christ all that will come to Him. And therefore all of those that the Father has not given Christ will not come. And this truth in no way contradicts.. "whosoever will".

Do you think the reprobate care whether or not they are predestined? Who will stand and defend those that curse God?

Jesus said of Capernaum, that if the works would have been done in Sodom, then they would have repented. Why then did Capernaum become graced with the demonstration, if there were others who would have received it more? Did God not know the hearts?

But God rained fire on Sodom, without giving the works, that Jesus testified of, that they would have repented with !

But it was in Capernaum that the works were done, even those who would not repent. Does He not shut the ears and open them? Did He not blind the Pharisees where they couldn't see?

IS God naive? Did He make a wrong move? Does He make mistakes?

Our calling and election must be sure. But the doctrine must not be based upon what Calvin says.. but what the bible says.

Is anything I just wrote unbiblical?

Manifold truth does not contradict. God is one, yet He is three in one. Both is true. God chooses, yet man chooses...both is true.


Yes, they have made grace another form of legalism.

Funny thing, I read some stuff on Calvin and Wesley and find they agreed on much, but looked from different perspectives. The Calvinism today, just as Wesley's Methodism have been perverted from their first truths. In between the extremes of the two lies a greater truth.


I approached the Calvinism dialogue a little differently this time wanting to find a balance between the two sides of this issue and not be so hard on them. There is no balance. Each view is hopelessly at odds with the other. Calvinism in its entirety is to be thrown out; there are no redeeming features whatsoever aside from going through the Passover experience.
Yeah, I know I am supposed to write to another address. I 'm not looking to enter into a " Calvinist " discussion. Waste of time.

This sounds nice, and even like you are going to intellectually blow Calvinists out of the water. But, the truth is that you would not be able to. They will take what you have written so far and make you look like a school child, according to scriptural exegesis.

The fact is that for many of us that have spent years in the ongoing argument, there is balance. Many have even gone back and forth in belief but the need is for simple balance. Christianity is balance. It always has been. What do you think took place with Paul and Peter and the rest of the elders at Jerusalem ? They came to a " balance " in their " opinions " of truth. When I read the passages , I could easily take sides, but they apparently chose not to. Must have been more intelligent than today's church, huh ? Guess that is why they were apostles and there are none today. ( Plenty call themselves such, but are they ? )

One truth remains after the smoke of the guns die down. That is that God is way beyond Calvinism and Arminianism, and any other " ism " there is. Why do men continue to think that they can put God in a doctrinal box ?


jim rapalje / fayetteville, nc

Dear Jay, I can tell you put a lot of thought into what you wrote. I would like to go over some of these things point by point. You are leaving the impression here that people who believe what you call "Calvinism" have learned what they have learned from the teachings of man. I have studied the subject of the doctrines of grace for several months, and my conclusions were reached by Scripture and Scripture alone. Since reaching the belief I now hold, I have read some books by RC Sproul, but I DID NOT read them prior to deciding whether what I believe is true or not. I am going to share some Scripture with you to try and answer you point by point. I pray you will also post this message so others can read it, and not read only what you have written.

  1. Predestination: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." Eph. 1:4-6.

  2. Elected-A Certain Number of People: " And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." Acts 13:48. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:44. "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him". John 17:3. "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word" John 17: 6. "I pray for them. I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine." John 17:9. "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Rom. 8:30.

  3. Irresistable Grace: You said," Now there must be a doctrine to explain how we become Christians. Well, it is called irresistible grace and since we have no will of our own to come to the Lord, He must draw us to Him. I say, Jesus said this: " No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:44. " And he said, Therefore say I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father." John 6: 65. " But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1: 12-13.

  4. You said:" Since the influence of God is no longer necessary in a system that cannot be perfected further, the Bible is used to replace the power of the Holy Spirit as to the final authority in people's lives." ARE YOU SAYING THE BIBLE IS NOT THE FINAL AUTHORITY???? If we see something in the Bible we don't believe balances with what OUR EXPERIENCE has been through what we believe to be the Holy Spirit, then we should cast aside the teachings of Scripture?

How then do we test the spirits? If the Bible isn't the final authority, then why can't some of the cults be right in what they believe. Dear Brother Jay, the Bible is the infallible word of God. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
By His Grace, Joan

What is wrong here can best be described by the word "counterfeit" Not the Scriptures but the Calvinists use of them. The definition of the word "counterfeit" is really quite simple. Get as close to the real or correct thing as possible without ever having the real thing

Joan said she has read some books. Excellent, May I suggest one more. "The Other Side of Calvinism" by Laurence M. Vance Phd. It is available through the "Bible Baptist Bookstore" P.O. Box 7135, Pensacola.FL 32534 Phone (850) 477-8812. An excerpt of it can be found at "Http://

I too would like to give you an excerpt from the "Preface"

"A shortage of works against Calvinism is not an adequate reason to begin an undertaking of this magnitude unless there be an underlying cause. The salient determinate is the tremendously damaging nature of the Calvinistic system. The doctrines of Calvinism if really believed and consistently practiced are detrimental to evangelism, personal soul winning, prayer, preaching, and practical Christianity in general."

Strong language indeed. One would think it is a collection of Non- Calvinist speaking against Calvinism. But this is not so. Again from the "Preface"

The format of the book is exactly as the Calvinist have desired. One Calvinist says: "It is high time that we open our hearts to an honest appraisal of Calvin and Calvinism." Exactly. And the only way to make an honest appraisal of Calvin and Calvinism is to do in the words of another Calvinist, "let Calvinism speak for itself" Therefore, the amassing of statements by non Calvinists against Calvinism as proof that Calvinism is false will not be found in this book. In order to let Calvinism speak for itself, the procedure to be followed will be a simple one, and one employed by the Calvinist themselves. Just as one Calvinist says he has quoted his opponents "at length that there might be no mistake about what they believe," so the Calvinists themselves will be extensively and eclectically cited that there might be no mistake about what they believe. This is both to prevent the cry of misrepresentation and to demonstrate the numerous contradictions that exist among the Calvinist themselves. Anything that could possibly be damaging to Calvinism will be documented from Calvinist or neutral sources. All quotations including the use of bold, italics and capitals, as well as spelling, grammar, and punctuation, appear exactly as in the original source."

This preface I believe gives us a lot of insight on how to look into this matter of Calvinism. And may I humbly summit that it could be used as a method to approach this problem. All and any of my comments on Calvinism will come from Vance's book. Also there will be some from Loraine Boettner's book "The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination"

God bless


Hi Joan,

Thanks for all these scriptures, they are all really good and of course we agree. The points that we should discuss here are the ones that you seem to be emphasizing. Your greatest emphasis is

"ARE YOU SAYING THE BIBLE IS NOT THE FINAL AUTHORITY???? If we see something in the Bible we don't believe balances with what OUR EXPERIENCE has been through what we believe to be the Holy Spirit, then we should cast aside the teachings of Scripture?"

My point exactly but you are saying it in a different way. The answer is no, of course not. The Holy Spirit MUST be the final say in the interpretation of scripture. If the scripture is interpreted without the leading of the Holy Spirit and rests upon the authority of scripture alone, it will lead to the present condition of incompatible doctrine and a myriad of different biblical interpretations. They cannot be all right just because they all take their authority from scripture.

The Calvinist interpretation of predestination is upon the scriptures but misunderstands that God is not limited to our time. He is above time and just because He knows the beginning and end of our temporal existence does not mean that they are predetermined from our perspective. God knew us from before time just as He will know us when time is over, because we are also eternal. Eternity not only goes into the limitless and boundless future, it also includes the past which is just as timeless. We do not however enter into eternity until we receive the gift of eternal life. Until then, it is if God does not yet know us even though we have been with Him in eternity, we are still under the curse of Adam and have not yet been regenerated. Trying to understand these mysteries may not be easy but there are certain things that will keep us from it and one of them is the doctrine of predestination taken to the extreme that we are not able to choose from our own free will. As far as I am concerned, Jesus is constantly knocking at the door of my heart and I want to come to the door and let Him in. He is not forcing it on my irresistably. If it sounds like I resent those that would teach otherwise that's good. I am not going to give into a false system when there is nothing that can be agreed upon except one-sided scriptures. This is about the doctrine of grace, it is also about the doctrine of holiness. My bible tells me that if we seek to be justified by the law, we have fallen from grace. Grace fulfilled the law through Jesus dying on the cross to give us that Christian freedom to be able to live a holy life. Any other system of grace is another gospel.


Dear Jay, You have said a lot of things in this post that we are in absolute agreement on. God is certainly not limited to our time, as you said. He is from eternity, and He tells us His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are our ways His ways. I do not believe, nor do you, that the law saves us in any way. I guess that has been my point in this whole discussion. God is the one who gets the glory. It was the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, which made salvation possible for anyone. Since I have come to believe that salvation is by God alone, I have come to a greater state of holiness, as that is what He has given to me. I give Him all the honor, glory, and praise. I am watching Him move both in my home and in my church. My 11-year-old son got up this morning and told me God spent part of the night dealing with his heart, and he knows now he is a child of God and has assurance of his salvation. If we believe salvation is because of a choice we make with our own "free will", how can we have assurance? Our wills are fickle indeed. God has promised He would save me through the gift of His dear Son on the cross, and He would keep me and continue doing a work in my life until it is completed. Because I know He is faithful and cannot lie, I can have assurance in His promises to me. As an "Arminian," since we are using the terms in this discussion, I was never sure of my own salvation, since I believed it to be my work and not that of God. You see, I believe I was in a "works-based" faith back then, being justified by the law, as you stated. But now I am free. Praise God!! By His Grace, Joan

Election and predestination belong to the purpose of grace cherished in the Divine mind from all eternity : and as far as salvation is concerned they are the expression of the entire dependence of sinful man upon the grace of God from the beginning to the end. They are included together by St. Paul among the spiritual blessings bestowed upon believers; and the two transactions are regarded as taking place before the foundation of the world [Eph. 1:4,5]. Election has in view the persons who are to be the objects of Divine blessing; predestination the privileges and blessings which are to be their portion [Rom. 8:29,30; Eph. 1:4,5]. Foreknowledge [1 Pet. 1:2 ; Rom. 8:29 ; 1 Pet. 1:20] belongs to the same purpose of grace, and is spoken of by St. Paul as the first step in the Divine plan of salvation, for it is those God 'foreknew' whom He also 'foreordainded' to be conformed to the image of His Son. The word 'chose' in 1 Thess. 2:13 includes 'foreknew' and 'foreordained' of Rom. 8:29 and has itself apparently the force of 'elected'.

The doctrine of predestination [please bear with the size of the paragraph for it is one thought; kisses, hugs, puns, etc....] has practical applications full of comfort and encouragement. A reasonable assurance of salvation finds in the eternal decree, whose sole cause is the good pleasure and eternal will of God, tis most certain and abiding ground. To have a well-grounded persuasion, through the fruit of the Sprit and the evidences of the new life, that one is of the number of those whom God foreknew and foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son, cannot fail on the one hand to fill one with gratitude and humility, and on the other to stimulate one to the pursuit of holiness and all the graces of the Christian life. The belief that God in His predestinating purpose has His elect-known to Him when unknown to man-in every community and every congregation where Christ is preached, is an encouragement to faithful ministry, as it was to St. Paul when in a vision of the night the Lord said to him : 'I have much people in this city' [Acts 18:10]. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending to the will of God revealed in His word, and yielding obedience thereunto may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.

In Christ,

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