I’m posting this in hopes of clarifying some misconceptions of what some people may think that I believe. Not only that, for some reason when you mention the name “Calvin”, some people that have never or  never intend on studying doctrine, theology, or church history, make judgement calls that are based on a lack of knowledge, or that are based on “opinions” they have heard from others. So instead of assuming you know me and what I believe, I hope and pray that this will shed a better light 0n me. My desire is for conversations to take place on these issues, but I am slowly losing faith in that happening. I AM NOT A HYPER-CALVINIST!! I adhere to the Doctrine’s of Grace, because and only because, I believe that the Word of God puts these beautiful doctrines on display throughout scripture. I do not, and will not, place these doctrines over Christ or the authority of scripture either. Christ and scripture are what led me to them. I found this short article over at Monergism Books. They have one of the best web-sites on the internet. I highly recommend you check them out.

 

Most Calvinists reject as deplorable the following hyper-Calvinistic and destructive beliefs:

– that God is the author of sin and of evil
– that men have no will of their own, and secondary causes are of no effect
– that the number of the elect at any time may be known by men
– that it is wrong to evangelize
– that assurance of election must be sought prior to repentance and faith
– that men who have once sincerely professed belief are saved regardless of what they later do
– that God has chosen some races of men and has rejected others
– that the children of unbelievers dying in infancy are certainly damned
– that God does not command everyone to repent
– that the sacraments are not means of grace, but obstacles to salvation by faith alone.
– that the true church is only invisible, and salvation is not connected with the visible church
– that the Scriptures are intended to be interpreted by individuals only and not by the church.
– that no government is to be obeyed which does not acknowledge that Jesus is the Lord, or that Biblical Law is its source of authority
– that the grace of God does not work for the betterment of all men
– that saving faith is equivalent to belief in the doctrine of predestination
– that only Calvinists are Christians (Neo-gnostic Calvinism

 

Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinism were both among the historical errors battled by Charles Spurgeon, who was himself a 5-point Calvinist. He vigilantly fought these twin errors on both sides of the spectrum. One of Hyper-Calvinism’s main errors is to declare that, because of God’s sovereignty, we should not evangelize the lost. Spurgeon rejected such nonsense as do the large majority of people who would call themselves Calvinists today (such as R.C. Sproul, John Piper, John MacArthur, Alistair Begg and many others) We believe the doctrine of election should be declared strongly because the Bible does and because man’s affections are enslaved to sin. He cannot save himself but needs the effectual working of the Holy Spirit if he is to have ears to hear when we preach the gospel. The preacher casts forth the seed of the gospel (the command to believe) indiscriminately but the Holy Spirit germinates the Word (so to speak) in the hearts of those he intends to save; i.e. those given to the Son by the Father in the eternal covenant made before time (John 6:37, 39, Eph 1, 4). Many Christian missionaries whom most would consider heroes held to the five point of Calvinism: William Carrey (he was opposed by a Hyper-Calvinist), Jonathan Edwards & David Brainard (missionaries to native Americans) just to name 3.

 

In the love of Christ,

    Bill

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Comments
  1. Angel says:

    This is GREAT Bill. I know you are missunderstood ALOT. I have misunderstand you sometimes myself. I know you would not lie to me on something that important and you have a HUGE desire to make sure the truth is being told and that I study the Word for myself. You always say don’t listen to man cause man will steer you wrong, study the Word. All I can say is that NOONE should be able to missunderstand you after this. If people are judging you then shame on them. Maybe they need to search their hearts and look into what sin is in their lives and repent. I really think that is the whole problem with people today is they can’t handle the truth cause then they would have to make some serious changes and stop being lazy. They might have to start sacrificing some things for God and mess their comfort up. People don’t like to do things for God they are sitting on their lazy bottoms waiting for God to do something for them. I hope that wasn’t too ugly to say. O well I am a very simple person.I don’t have the elaborate big words but I think you understand what I’m saying.

  2. Bill says:

    Thank you. For everything.

  3. Matt says:

    Excellent post Bill…I too have been misunderstood, so much so that I have even been called everything from a legalist to an occultist…nothing could be further from what I believe, thank you for posting this.

  4. Angel says:

    O that is misunderstood in the first sentence not misunderstand.LOL! Sorry

  5. Phil says:

    Bill, Though we disagree on some issues, we are brothers in Christ and let’s not forget that Calvinism is a “Family” discourse.

  6. Phil says:

    Okay, I wasn’t going to say anything but I can’t hold back my frustration…

    To all my reformed friends and I say this with love, you are in error if you think it’s “deplorable” to say,

    “that men who have once sincerely professed belief are saved regardless of what they later do”

    I mean either a person is eternally saved or not. And if anyone comes to Christ with sincere faith the Bible says that God “will by no means cast out” – John 6:37.

    My reformed brethren, I know you believe in eternal security, so either salvation is secure or not which is it? You can’t have salvation by grace through faith and salvation by grace through works both, so which is true?

    By the way I looked up the dictionary meaning to “sincere” on dictionary.com. It means:

    “free of deceit, hypocrisy, or falseness; earnest, genuine; real, pure; unmixed; unadulterated”

    It seems to me that a sincere faith in Christ is a true faith in Christ!

  7. charles says:

    phil said: “My reformed brethren, I know you believe in eternal security…”

    technically, we call it “perseverance of the saints”…and that for a reason. (or would it help if bill just said “apparently sincere.”)

    1John2:19They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

    they went out from the church…which showed their faith ultimately was not sincere at all.

    1cor5:9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
    12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

    this man had joined the church…by making a (presumably “sincere”) profession of faith and being baptized. yet here is paul commanding them to cut him off from the table of fellowship. he was not to be encouraged to think of himself as a saved believer who was their brother in the faith.

    offering him a false sense of security as you suggest based on the faith he once professed but didn’t live out is simply unbiblical.

    Mark13:13All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

    1Cor1:8He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

    2Pet1:3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
    5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
    10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    a true faith in Christ is demonstrated by how you live – whether you accept Christ as your true Lord and live a life marked by repentance – not by a well-intended (i-was-being-honest-at-the-time) verbal profession, which is worthless.

    • Phil says:

      Hi Charles,

      Thanks for responding!

      If Bill said “apparently sincere” then I would have agreed with that statement. But I think he did not mean “apparently sincere”, but “sincere”.

      I do believe in Eternal Security, but I believe it’s faith alone that is the criteria for salvation not faith plus living a righteous life (Hebrews 11:6).

      Don’t get me wrong, I believ a mature christian will show fruit, but an undiscipled new believer may not act much differently than an unsaved lost person. And I do believe there is a “sin unto death” (1 John 5:16) , whereby the christian is saved “yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:15).

      Thanks,
      Phil

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