Moving Right Along - Calvinism - Arminianism debate.

February 18, 2000

(Parts of this was deleted to ignore a hatemonger concerning the rapture question)

Hi group,

We can in fact move on. I hate division but I thrive on controversy and this is all a lesson in love. Wow, something new to discuss about what we have already discussed. The rapture and the millennial question will not divide us, it is as simple as that, even though we may not come to complete agreement. The lesson learned is that we agree on loving each other being more important than coming on agreement with things that do not matter either way. So we do agree if we separate ourselves from the ones who cause the offense. The only better way is to convince the man. No time, no inclination, not led to and won't do it. I need to put my energies toward the love, not the hate.

The more these things come up the more we are strengthened. This is what I brought up: "For those that want to make a contention out of the issue, it would seem that they will not be part of the restoration process or the final unity anyway because that will take love and humility." The man in question ... broke the rules of love and humility and I do not feel bad about it but encouraged by a renewed strength. Of the letters received, several mentioned that it was not for the group but for me so I have just taken a sentence or two from each and put them together as one to make it really short. At the end of that are some new discussions on the rapture. If there is more comment, especially in the new information, feel free to contribute more. As I have the time, I still want to get through all that was discussed and put together a lengthy article on it.

I have received one response already on the Calvinism and Arminianism debate from Dean which is at the very end. Again, the pages that I have done on them myself are at: and For discussion we should think of a few things. First of all, this has been debated for centuries and this group I would think are generally Arminian in that we believe in free will over pure Calvinism, but there is much more to Calvinism. This is a spirit-filled, full gospel group or at least moving in that direction. That brings us through the traditions of God's leading through Erasmus, Luther and Wesley, not Calvin. But what of the Calvinists? They are not heretics like Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons, they believe in the same nature of the God-head that we do. But they oppose us, they despise prophecy, thinking that it has been done away with, they oppose latter rain concepts and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Each group are off on their own particular denomination, saying different things, and opposing unity. From what I have seen, they oppose anything catholic, anything progressive, thinks that liberality is a nasty concept and feel that they are the chosen saints to the exclusion of others. They may have progressed a little over the years but I believe that Puritan ignorance has made the church the luke-warm mess that it is. Am I right or wrong? Partially right, partially wrong? I take a real hard stand against Calvinism on my site and make no apologies for it.



If I was to offer my 'partial understanding' on the Rapture issue I would teach it as follows. My source of information would mainly be Mat. 24 and 25-all other verses in the Bible relating to the rapture can be tied in with these key chapters. These chapters tell me that there are seven periods of time that we should be clear about.

Period 1 This is the past and present time when the Church has done and is doing its best to worship God and to bring as many as possible into a knowledge of God.

Period 2 This is the pre tribulation period that is sandwiched between the present age and the Tribulation itself During this period everything will seem 'natural' There will be deceptions, wars, famines and persecution of true Christians. But the Church will ensure that the whole world will hear the Gospel

Period 3 The End of the Age. This will be a short period to mark the closing of Periods 1 and Periods 2. During this period the depths of depravity that man is capable of will be exposed as never before to the same extent.

Period 4 This is the seven year tribulation during which the Earth will be subjected to a series of seemingly natural and man made disasters in which billions of people both Christian and non Christian will die. But man will not be wiped off the Earth completely during this period.

Period 5 This will be at the end of the Tribulation when Jesus appears to gather His harvest and separate the wheat from the chaff. The rapture is part of this gathering process.

Period 6 The Millennium which will last for a thousand years and the world will be ruled by King Jesus together with all those who accepted Him during periods 1 to 3. The world will be repopulated by these people together with all those (many unsaved and unrepentant) who survived the Great Tribulation and their numerous descendants. This period will end by the End of the World itself.

Period 7 This period will last for all eternity. It will only be for those who were declared righteous on the last day of the Millennium before the End of the World. The righteous go on to a new Earth and a New Heaven for all eternity and will live with God forever. With this framework I can fit in most scriptures. But this is my framework. If someone can point out the errors of my thinking (in love please) I will be eternally grateful.


I have been reading the rapture discussion over the past weeks and have learned a lot but not enough to convince me against a pre trib rapture. i was surprised to see that some of the biblical proofs of the rapture were not even touched on (unless I missed them and I apologize if I did.) I know you want to close this discussion and I agree with your last letter of unity and love for the brethren. I have always taught my teens the "pan theory" when it comes to end time discussion, and that is "put all your hope and faith in King Jesus and the rest will PAN OUT". They love it ,but they do eventually want to know more about there destiny because its exciting! Here are the 10 biblical proofs that I believe support a pre-trib rapture, I just learned this year. I didn't even believe in the rapture before I saw it explained this way.

1.Jesus said the things of Rev.4-22 MUST BE hereafter, that is after the churches, see (Rev 1:19) If this is true then the church is raptured before Rev.4-22 and after Rev 2-3.

2. The word church or churches is found 19 times in rev 1-3 and not one time in the third division of revelation which is the things that MUST BE after the churches. It is found again at the conclusion of the book, after the things have been revealed! If the church were on the earth during the tribulation surely it would be mentioned.

3. The enthroned elders are representatives of the raptured saints and they are always seen in heaven after Rev. 4:1

4. The 70 th week of Daniel will be the last seven years of this age, during wich time of Rev 4-19 and MT. 24-25 will be fulfilled, this week concerns Israel not the church, therefore the church must be raptured before this week.

5.There is no place for the rapture of the church and O.T. saints other than in Rev 4:1. The manchild and the great tribulation saints are the only companies to be saved and raptured during Daniels 70th week and these are distinct companies from the church and O.T. saints. The church could not be the manchild or the tribulation saints as proved in Rev 7,12 and 14.

6. In Lk 21:34-36 we have the promise of Jesus that the saved will be counted worthy to escape all these things, and stand before the Son of Man. the things they will escape are those of Mt.24:4-26, Lk 21:4-19, Rev 6-19.

7. In 1 Th. 5:1-11 we have another definite promise assuring us that saints will escape the wrath of God of Rev.6-19 also 1 Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.(v13-17). How could saints comfort one another with these great words if the only hope they had was the coming wrath of God in the future tribulation? also Tit.2:13

8.In Th. 2:6-8 it is definitely shown that the rapture takes place before the revelation of the Antichrist and before the 70 th week of Daniel. This is the most astounding set of scriptures I was ever shown that proved the pre trib rapture to me. The "he" that hinders lawlessness. The "he" is one of three things 1.government 2. Holy Spirit

3. the church. The "he" must be removed before the Antichrist can be revealed(v6-8) Government, NO because the antichrist reigns over many kingdoms and the governments are of this world of things. Holy Spirit, NO for He will be here all through the tribulation and forever, multitudes will be saved during the tribulation by the Holy Spirit. that leaves the church that will be the hinder of lawlessness that will be removed from the earth. The church does and will continue to hinder lawlessness until the rapture then the Antichrist will be revealed.

9.There is a marked change in God's attitude towards humanity in general from that of mercy (Rev 1-3) to that of judgment(Rev 4-19)The seals, vials and trumpets are throughout Daniels 70th week. If the church does not go through these things as proved already, then the rapture must have taken place in Rev 4:1.

10. If the church is to be on earth and is the subject of Rev 4-19 then its earmarks should be seen, but such is not found. On the other hand the earmarks of Israel are seen throughout the book after Rev 4:1. The church is seen up to this point only. Proving two different institutions are dealt with, first the church until its rapture, second Israel after the rapture until the second advent of Christ !!

Well Jay there it is, in short form. I pray that this would help any with questions and I'm sure it will raise many. This study of God's word was prayerfully done by Finnis Dake and is printed in my study bible that his family still publishes. Be led of the Holy Spirit and He will lead you into truth!!

Jesus is KING !!!!!!!!!

Darrell Garrett
Hoover Alabama

So here we are 'The great Calvinism versus Arminianism Debate'. Awesome. Well historical sketches of these men will tell you that Calvin was a very harsh man and Arminius was a very godly and humble man. There is pretty much an agreement there. Calvin followed the scholastic tradition and enthroned human reasoning as the basis for interpreting scripture. If a scripture did not fit his system of theology than he would simply use crafty reasoning to try and alter the meaning of the text. His Institutes are full of vindictive and malicious feelings toward the true Christians of the day; the Anabaptists. Calvin was unable to accept differences of theology and was totally convinced of his own correctness. Anybody who challenged that was silenced. Now to be more balanced, we cannot judge his motives, and I am sure that he felt that his behaviour was necessary for the survival of the Reformation. At the same time the Catholic Inquisition was going on and it seems that the only 'enlightened' countries at the time were Holland and parts of Germany. However Calvin introduced things into Christianity that we still contend with today. The philosophical, intellectual approach to Scripture. It is not unusual for a Calvinistic theologian to totally disregard the context and history of a text. It seems that they set themselves the task of proving a certain doctrine and it then becomes an intellectual ego thing and any kind of reasoning will be brought to bare on the text, faulty or not. A quick look at some of the major Calvinistic theologians or just buying a 'Banner of Truth' book will bare that out. Not that all Calvinists have been bad. John Bunyan, Jonathon Edwards, George Whitefield and C H Spurgeon were all Calvinists. But we must also be aware of the role it has played in resisting the work of God and releasing the religious spirit into the Christian community. False humility and religious observance is another. Linked with legalism, Calvinists have taught Covenant theology; the belief that the Church is pretty much like Israel of old only with different rituals which they call the two sacraments or the 'means of grace'. We are still under the law, including the sabbath command, which although written in stone as the seventh day…has somehow changed to the first day (the truth is we are under neither command). Sanctification is still by an effort of the will to keep the commands. When Finney challenged the Princeton theologians on this they took up their pens and the attack began. Their egos had been insulted. Calvinism in Geneva was simply a change of churches. Instead of belonging to the Roman church you became a member of the Reformed church, but still based upon baby sprinkling and geographical location. The idea of a gathering of baptised believers was rejected by the Swiss reformers (and all too often they persecuted those who believed it, even to the point of drowning them to death). So conversion was changed to a judicial thing; something 'legal' rather than an actual transformation of nature which we call being born again. No one could know who in the state church was really the elect and who was a reprobate, because it was 'God's sovereign work' of regeneration. Later under the Puritans in England they began to elaborate on this, especially the theologian John Owen. This was partly done to accommodate conversion in the church. They began teaching that regeneration or being born again was a secret work of a sovereign God who just kinda 'zaps' people, and that this work is then evidenced by faith and repentance. Calvinism in England has been characterized by a lack of assurance of salvation (because of the false view of regeneration and the legalism) and by a belief that it is wrong to evangelize. Over the past few years though these more extreme elements are dying. It was Owen who constructed the doctrinal edifice of the 'doctrine of Justification', including the fiction of 'imputation of Christ's righteousness' which is the false doctrine that Jesus' perfect keeping of the law is reckoned to the believers account, when the scriptures clearly teach that 'faith is counted as righteousness' and that by dying in Christ we have died to the demands of the law. According to the Calvinist you can't have faith unless God does the invisible work so you cannot tell people to believe. It was Owen who hacked the law of Moses into judicial, ceremonial and moral, in order to bring people under bondage. Arminius protested against the fatalism of Calvinism. He rejected it's view of a secret act of regeneration (called passive regeneration) and taught instead that we co operate with the grace of God in faith and repentance. The perseverance of the saints was not directly dealt with, but it is important to note that nobody at the time taught 'once saved always saved' as taught by later dispensationalists. Another point of conflict the Arminians(called Remonstrants) had was over Calvin's doctrine of the Trinity. Calvin denied the Creed of Nicaea which has taught that Jesus is the Son of God, God from God, Light from Light, Very God from Very God. Falling into semi Sabellianism, he taught that the Son is not God by eternal generation from the Father, but is equally God with the Father. He denied all subordination of person within the Godhead, effectively falling into a form of modalism. When Gentiles asked Calvin to sign the Nicene Creed he refused because of this. Calvin was soon accused of Sabellianism which is the teaching of one God manifested in three modes of existence, and came into conflict with the Jesuit Petavius over it. In response to Calvin's heresy Arminius said "[The Calvinists say] that the essence of the Father could not be said to be communicated to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, in any other than in an improper sense; but that it was in perfect correctness and strict propriety common alike to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. To these observations I answered, "that this opinion was at variance with the word of God, and with the whole of the ancient Church, both Greek and Latin, which had always taught, that the Son had His Deity from the Father by eternal generation." To these remarks I subjoined, "that from such an opinion as this, necessarily followed the two mutually conflicting errors, Tri-theism and Sabellianism" (Complete Works)I would suggest that this, coupled with their impersonal conception of God (because the Father has not revealed himself through the Son in Calvinistic theology as they all equally reveal the one divine nature…if you don't believe me I can prove it) and the failure to understand Jesus as the anointed one (instead believing he did his works as God and not as the anointed servant…you won't find a mention of the anointing of Jesus in any Reformed systematic theology), is the reason that Calvinism has always very quickly degenerated into Socinianism where ever it has been dominant in influence (Geneva, Scotland, New England). Calvinism has historically been the enemy of revival and the move of the Spirit. Some of the greatest critics of Wesley and Finney (and even Edwards) were Calvinists. The greatest opposers to divine healing, revival, and baptism of the Spirit, are also Calvinist.


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