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.