Church Matters

> Refuting Errors <

1. Calvinism/Reformed Theology
Our rating: Extremely dangerous, heretical
Who practices?: Many Christians
What others say?:
Why I am not a Calvinist?
Why Calvinism is unbiblical
Why do many think Calvinists are arrogant jerks?
How to deal with Calvinists
Why are some Reformed people such jerks?
Calvinism destroyed my friendships
Five points that led me out of Calvinism
A lead pastor leaves Calvinism
Exceptionalism and racism manifest in Southern Baptist politics

Question Nr. 1: If God is sovereign, why can't He or doesn't He save everyone? The simple answer is that God does not save anyone against their will to be saved.

Does God save anyone against their will or choice to be saved?  If some are already saved before they were born and made a choice to be saved, what is there to repent of?  Repent and be saved it says in the Bible. Can those elect or select saved before they made a choice to be saved be "eternally secure" no matter what they do in life?  If the answer is a yes to these questions, it is not salvation but subjugation to some grand cosmic scheme and this is not Christianity but total insanity.

Central Teaching: The doctrine of "Predestination".  Key texts used to support this belief: Romans 8:28-30, Cross references of Romans 8:29, Eph. 1:4
Note: The supreme attribute of God is LOVE and not SOVEREIGNTY as Calvinism promotes.  God is Love most of all and all other attributes fall under this single attribute including His "Sovereignty".  God is sovereign of course and has control over all things but God's sovereignty does not extend to override man's choices regarding issues of personal salvation.

Simple explanations to refute this error:

Romans 8:28
"A
ll things work together for good to them that love God,.." (choice has to be made first to love God and all men have an inner ability to respond one way or the other.)

Romans 8:29
"
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed.." (God foreknows or foreknew those who will love Him and therefore predestined all those who believe and repent to be saved). 

Can God fix or orchestrate events or things in advance? YES.  It depends on what they are.  Creation itself was created in a certain fixed way in the beginning.  Other things are not fixed or orchestrated in advance like the choices that man may make.  God did not orchestrate Lucifer's fall from heaven or Adam and Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden.  If God created man in His own image, then it can very well be concluded that man by his own nature does not fix everything in advance but some things he can and does fix in advance because of the creative nature that was given to him or her.

Calvinists believe that before the Creation of the world, God already selected/elected/predestined those who will be saved no matter what and those who will be lost no matter what.  Those select saved will supposedly go to heaven no matter what immediately after death, and those select to be lost will go to hell immediately after death and burn forever no matter what, all because God is sovereign.

This belief sounds like a fantasy horror doctrine of man who thinks that for God to be sovereign, He has to be a puppet master playing on both sides of good and evil engaged thus in a giant cosmic puppet show.  This means that God is the author of both good and evil and therefore, His creatures are in reality stuck in between like pawns and lacking any personal choice as their fates are predetermined in eternity.  This theological position then gives rise to the question of if there can be any personal responsibility taken by any person for good or bad choices made in life.  Further, why would God reward good works and bad works if He is the author of both good and and bad and therefore should take the responsibility of those acts fully?  This kind of theology is at best contradictory not only to itself but to the Bible.  According to John 3:16, God is portrayed as not just a sovereign being but also a God who is supremely loving and gives a choice to all those who wish to be saved and forsake sin or wrong doing.  God is therefore LOVE, JUST, COMPASSIONATE and MORE and not just an authoritarian SOVEREIGN who orchestrated everything in the minutest of detail everything that would ever happen long before the Creation of the world.  

Simple questions to answer:
If God is sovereign, why didn't He predestine all to be saved by overriding the individual choice of all?
Did God predestine some to be lost? If so, isn't this cruel and unusual for God to do this?
If God already fixed your fate to be saved or lost, why repent or go to church to do anything?

Consider the parable of the prodigal son:
At one time the son was not lost.  He then chose to be lost and then later chose to come back on His own to His father as he had a sense or conscience of right and wrong which is in every human being implanted by God Himself.  This is in essence the story of mankind.  Free choice is involved to be lost or saved till the very end of each person's life.

Refuting the five points of Calvinism's T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity: Man is so depraved that on his own, he cannot respond to God.
Answer: If man is so depraved after sin, mankind could have self annihilated pretty quick right in the beginning.  The Bible says that even though all have come short of the glory of God according to Romans 3:23, mankind did not die immediately physically or spiritually.  A gradual dying started taking place.  God has by His grace from the very beginning did not let man be totally depraved and devoid of any sense of right and wrong, and unable to distinguish between good and evil.  If there was total depravity the minute sin was committed, (a black and white understanding of sin or anything else for that matter) then there would not have been a sense of guilt or shame or remorse for man to even understand what has happened.  Therefore, the position of "total depravity" is totally unbiblical and a false teaching at best and is best to be forsaken.

Romans 2 (KJV)

14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Romans 12:14-15 (TLB)
He will punish sin wherever it is found. He will punish the heathen when they sin, even though they never had God's written laws, for down in their hearts they know right from wrong. God's laws are written within them; their own conscience accuses them, or sometimes excuses them.

Unconditional Election: God chose some or elected some to be saved and therefore their salvation is not based on their personal choices to be saved. 
Answer: This position runs counter to the nature of man which is that he or she is a free moral agent.  God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOEVER believes will be saved.  The Bible does not say that whoever GOD chose before Creation will be saved and consequently whoever He does not choose will be lost.  It is God's supreme will that no one is lost and that all will come to repentance and be saved.  The opportunity to be saved has been extended to all.  2 Peter 3:9.  Besides, if God is sovereign as the Calvinists claim, why would He choose only some before they were even born to be saved no matter their own individual choices? 

Once saved are you always saved?

Once saved, you can always be saved or even lost because you do not lose your power to choose right or wrong after you are saved.  Salvation is not a single event but a series of events consisting of Justification, Sanctification and Glorification.  As far is God is concerned your salvation is eternally secure but as far as you are concerned, you still have the choice to be unsaved as God does not override your free choices once you are saved.  Check the verses below:

Gen. 2:17 -"...for when you eat of it [if you disobey Me] you will surely die."

Ezek. 33:18 -"If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it."

Luke 8:13 -"They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away."

Other points to be discussed later.  This is a work in progress.  Feel free to point out any errors.