Sunday, July 20, 2008


Those who hold to the five points of the TULIP of Calvinism - Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistable Grace, and the Perseverance of the Saints believe that because of the total depravity (sinful helplessness) of man, God unconditionally elects some to be saved, for whom only Christ died, who then can't resist his grace, and once "saved," persevere in good behavior and works (because those who don't obviously weren't "elect"!).

Those of us who believe God has given man the free will to either accept or reject his word need to be able to defend his character by proving Calvinist doctrine to be in such error as to be heretical. The "god" of Calvinism is not the Almighty God of the inspired word of Scripture! Their "jesus" is not the Lord Jesus Christ who gave his life as a "ransom for all."

There are countless scriptures that make it obvious that God not only gave man the ability to choose between good and evil, right and wrong, salvation or hell, but that he expects us to use it. Joshua 24:15's "choose you this day whom ye will serve" is a good "choice" (pun intended)! Many Calvinists are surprised when it's pointed out to them that Christ believed in "chance." In Luke 10:31, in the story of the "good Samaritan," the Lord said, "And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side."

But by far the best scripture passage to refute Calvinism, and one that you'll want to commit to memory for use when under attack by a Calvinist, is 2 Peter 2:1: "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." The verses following, 2-4, expand on the idea even more, that these false prophets, who were bought by the Lord (and how could they be "bought," if it wasn't by his death, burial, and resurrection?), are slated for damnation. Now, we ask Calvinists, "In what way are these false prophets the 'elect,' which they must be if they were bought by the Lord in a limited atonement?" Doesn't look like they're persevering in the faith to me! Let a five-pointer work his way around that one!

In case you're thinking that we should be loving and nice and not offend a person who's caught up in Calvinism, I'd like you to know that strong words of truth were necessary to get me out of Catholicism; and then, when I, too, had wandered into partial Calvinism, I'm glad there were those who didn't shy away from helping me see the truth for fear of offending me!

I have to agree with this axiom: "Truth without love is too harsh; but love without truth is too soft!" If someone you love is caught in the net of Calvinism, don't just stand there, start ripping it away so they can be free!

For a glimpse into how John Calvin ruled the city of Geneva, click here.


Anonymous said...

Hey Deb;

Would it be correct/fair to say that we were ALL bought,(propitiation) but there were/are may who did not/will not choose to accept the gift they were/are offered.
Like being told by your lawyer, that he will not only waive court costs for his time on your case, but he will also do your time, only for you to turn around and say, "Thanks for the offer, but I'll take my chances."

I've heard that illustration used. Does it fit this context?


Deborah L. Kuzenski Collins said...

Hi, Jo!

I would agree with you that that's exactly how it works! The gift is offered to all, but we may or may not accept it at our will. Most would rather trust in themselves rather than in Christ.

Thanks for commenting!


Scott said...

I think three of the best verses that seem to suggest something quite opposite from a "God always getting his way" point of view are:

1. Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Sounds like Israel got their way despite what God wanted.

2. Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

You mean the Holy Spirit can be resisted? Of course! But, if you are a Calvinist, you can't accept this verse.

And, finally,

3. I John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Christ wasn't just the sacrifice for "our sins" (the saved), but for the whole world (the lost).

Frankly, I think a Calvinist has his doctrine because he is taking verses that relate to Israel and National Election and applying them, as so many do, to Christianity. Just because it says Matthew 1:1 doesn't mean that Christianity has started!...which is ultimately why it is so important to understand the message, the mystery, that Paul lays out.

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Scott, and THANK YOU! Thank you for laying out additional proof from God's word that he gave us free will to decide our actions for ourselves, including whether to be lost or saved.

I totally agree that it's due to a failure to rightly divide God's word between Israel and the new creature, the body of Christ, that enables Calvinists to appropriate some verses for their damnable viewpoint. In my recent debate with a Preterist, I brought up the interesting fact that Matthew & Mark declare Christ as a "ransom for many" and that he died for the "sins of many." This idea is repeated in Hebrews, but Paul declares that Christ died as a "ransom for all." This indicates that Paul was speaking of another dispensation entirely. John in his letter later obviously learned that fact from Paul!

Calvinists are missing out on the adult sonship God bestows on us who are "in Christ," that allows us to make our own decisions based on his revealed will for today.

Thank you so much for weighing in.


Anonymous said...

This is the reasoning of those who hate scripture. Have you forgotten to quote the Lord Himself; who emphatically lays the guilt at their feet in not coming to Him. You are missing the point once again arminians. Your will is in bondage to a nature that loves sin! and hates Christ. Christ frees His people to obey and come to Him as their alone hope. Why do you hate calvinists and the God of scripture who says He kills and makes alive?

Anonymous said...

Faith does not come out a corrupt and self-centered proud heart. It is not a dispensational issue at all to tell men they are in bondage to themselves. Did not Christ say to His detractors they were children of the Devil? Could they free themselves? Does not Paul say to Timothy 2tim.2.25 these men are in bondage and perchance thay may be granted repentance? What has free will gained anyone? You will be complaining in the fatal day that God ever gave you your sinful choices. But most of you believe the damnable lie of conditional immortality. And that you will suffer less than the Lord you claim to believe in.

kathy monahan said...

The meaning of the word "world" has to determined by the context. In greek it means an ordered collection-cosmos.
In Paul's latter epistles, when he is talking to the ones of the heavenly hope, he tells them they were dead in their trespasses and sins and were made alive by Christ-Eph 2:1,5
Overwhelmingly the scriptures speaks of our salvation by the will of God-from our being made alive all the way into the glory.
The 2Peter 2 passage-will study this-but in the overall context, these were false believers all along-the claim they would have made of being saved was to lure the others into heresy and "many following their pernicious ways"-v2

Deborah Collins said...

To Frankie: I'm flattered by your attention, sir, especially as it appears you don't believe I am one of God's elect, although I most certainly am, as are all who join themselves to the church which is Christ's body by trusting him. It is the church which is elect, not the individuals themselves before believing. Calvinists are drawn to the prideful notion that they are somehow special from the start.

You have not addressed the scripture in question and the quandary of having those whom the Lord "bought" subsequently lost, in contradiction to your doctrine of perseverance. Please write again and give us your explanation of it.
Perhaps it is you who does not believe or love scripture?


Deborah Collins said...

To Kathy: Thank you for writing. I'll look forward to your further explanation of 2 Peter 2:1 in regard to your doctrine of perseverance. What you've written so far demonstrates a lack of belief on your part in the inspiration of scripture as it nowhere states these false prophets "claimed" they were saved; but the scripture does say that the Lord "bought them."

Paul writes that Christ died as a "ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:6), so in preaching a Christ that only died for the sins of the elect, Calvinists trust in "another Jesus," thereby risking their own salvation, for faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed, amen?


Deborah Collins said...

Note to all Calvinists:

Those who reject Calvinism are not necessarily then to be classified as "Arminians." Arminians are known for their belief in eternal insecurity, that a person who has trusted Christ is still in danger of losing his salvation. Most dispensationalists understand from Paul's writings that believers are eternally secure in Christ, "sealed unto the day of redemption."

Labeling all those who would disagree with you as "Arminian" displays a lack of scholarship that leads to presumptive pejoratives.