Infectious Errors of CalvinismPosted: August 12, 2011
Calvinism truly has spawned great errors, many of which have even infected Pentecostalism.
You have heard people say, “God is in control”? Where does the Bible say that? It says God withdrew himself from Adam & Eve, & the devil is now “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). God is in the process of “putting all things under [Christ’s] feet,” the last enemy of which will be death (1 Corinthians 15:26). Till then, the Church is in a spiritual war. We have to pray pray pray, and walk in the power and revelation of the Holy Spirit, to not be deceived but walk in truth, to not fall away but to “endure to the end.”
You have heard that God knows the future? Is God reading tea leaves or a road map? No, He MAKES the future, according to his Plan.
You have heard people say that God has determined who will be saved (the Elect)? How better for the devil to sap the impetus for evangelism than to convince us that people will be saved, even if we do not share the Gospel with them — or that prompts us to try to predict who will get saved when they hear the Gospel, so we think we ought not waste our time on people with spiked hair and piercings, or the wrong clothing or speech? Jesus showed us the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13 & par.), in which the seed was to be broad-cast, without assurance which seed would ultimately prosper.
Calvinists stumble over words like elect, predestined, and foreknowledge, which they have theologically loaded till they are blinded by doctrine. The Elect, the chosen (like Jacob over Esau, Romans 9:13), are still constituted of Israel, because of Abraham’s faith & God’s promise. Followers of Christ have been grafted into Israel. The Elect is a class of people whom God has chosen by his predeterminate counsel (foreknowledge), as a people, a remnant, whom God has predestined to be redeemed and glorified in Christ (1 Chronicles 16:17-22; Romans 8:29 f., 9:11, 11:7, 28; 1 Peter 1:2).
Moreover, if God has predetermined who will be saved, why is the Bible chock full of choices — to obey God in the Garden (Genesis 3:12 f.), to obey Moses in the Wilderness (Exodus 32:26), to serve God under Joshua (24:15), all the way to John the Baptist’s call to repent, and Jesus’ further call to believe the Gospel, and Paul’s declaration, “whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10), and Jesus’ command to “preach the Gospel to every creature”?
Calvinists have said that man has no free will, but these choices, which have no meaning in the case of predetermination, on the contrary, presuppose freedom of the will.
Calvinists say that a God who does not know the future (which He must then have predetermined) is not sovereign, and therefore not God. In this, they impose upon God the requirement to predetermine everything in order to be God. Thus, in their minds, God has no free will in the matter, but is compelled to predetermine — which is faulty logic by which their whole system falls. (How misguided they are in their zeal to “protect” the sovereignty of God! They are like the Pharisees in their concern to protect God from blasphemy.) If God is sovereign, is He not free to predetermine that which He chooses to predetermine, and equally free to withhold determination in order to allow free will in his Creation?
The genius of God is that He can predetermine the bounds of Creation, yet allow for self-determination of creatures within those bounds, while bringing his ultimate Plan to fruition. He has planned his work, and now works his Plan.
© 2011 Paul A. Hughes