Calvinism

It’s Calvinism Free-For-All: Off the Top of Your Head, Part 1

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ADMIN NOTE:  The comments are closed on this thread and a new one has opened here:

It’s Calvinism Free-For-All:  Off the Top of Your Head, Part 2 

The other record-breaking thread is getting really long with comments and so I thought it might be good to let Brian’s new comment have its own thread since it’s on one topic. I’m doing something I’ve never done before. We’re going to let this post be an open post on Calvinism. Many of the people I cover in abuse stories come from either Calvinist or Neo-Calvinist background. That’s not to say there are not abuse issues within Arminian churches (i.e., Calvary Chapel). I’ve mentioned before that I have friends who are Calvinist who certainly are not abusive. In fact, they  defend the oppressed/abused. We have to be careful about those kinds of blanket statements. But there may be some truth to the idea that some doctrines may be a better “breeding” ground for abusive-type leaders.

So, in light of Brian’s comment below, let’s go for it. And okay, I give up . . . go ahead and spell out that “C” word if you want – LOL  🙂

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Ed said: “Don’t call yourself a Calvinist if you don’t support everything about John Calvin.”

Ed, Calvinism and John Calvin are not synonymous, regardless of what you say.

Holding to the tenets of what is commonly called Calvinism does NOT equate to agreeing with everything Calvin did or taught.

I am curious…does anyone on here even know what they are talking about when they use the term “Calvinism”? I’d be interested to see some responses. What is Calvinism? You’ve all been railing against it, so I expect you can describe it without having to look it up. If you have to look it up, then why are you so against something about which you actually do not know the details?

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1,143 thoughts on “It’s Calvinism Free-For-All: Off the Top of Your Head, Part 1”

  1. “If theology drives abuse, then it drives abuse in ALL churches, not just ones that hold to calvinistic theology.”

    It is the proportionality of the matter. And there are different levels of abuse. Your tweets about submitting to elders was a mild form of abusive behavior that is totally acceptable in your world even though you have NO spiritual relationship to Julie Anne.

    It was a red flag that you would think it normal to tweet such a thing to her in the first place.

    Like

  2. Do the hyper-Calvinists believe themselves to be totally depraved because their doctrine says they are, or have they adopted the doctrine of total depravity because, for them in particular (as opposed to the rest of us), they live totally depraved lives?

    Either way, once one comes to see themselves as being totally depraved, is it possible to live lives that do not reflect the self-perception?

    Once somebody adopts the view that all people are totally depraved, why would they submit themselves to the authority of any pastor, elder or overseer who, by definition, is totally depraved?

    If those of you who are still responding to Brian are totally depraved, why is he playing the fool by continuing to expend time and effort trying to lead you into the glorious truth of your supposed not-worth-fecal-matter value?

    If Brian is as totally depraved as Calvinist doctrine would make him out to be (and I am not saying he is), then why would anybody pay any attention to anything he has to say.

    If anybody is promoting the doctrines of a man who was as demonstrably depraved as John Calvin, why would we pay any attention to them?

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  3. Lydia said:

    The absolute horror I have seen with teens is them going around saying they are worthless worms (teens love movements and mantras) and nothing good in them.

    And this above and the end result of teens living with this corrupt teaching: abandoning faith, acting out spiritually or in other ways, not caring about life because it doesn’t really matter whether one sins, they can never measure up – – – THIS INSANITY is why I posted my Google review and eventual blog. How ironic that CON et all are pretty much calling me a porn distributor to minors and yet I wrote my google review thinking of the kids who were sexually wayward and acting out in other ways, completely defeated spiritually and dying inside (and many remain in that state today). And at the time I wrote that Google review, I never knew it was this form of radical Calvinism. I had no clue.

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  4. Never mind you were set up for it because you played into their hands. They are never rude for how they approached you with their rebuke or nasty question. After all, that is love because it is (their) truth. At the point you actually pushback, then you are “angry” and are sinning.

    oh my, I 100% ^^^^^^^ agree. And isn’t it funny how only they get to define love and anger – always on their terms – – they always have it right and you are wrong. They of course don’t have anger and it is tough love that caused them to respond to you that way.

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  5. It was a red flag that you would think it normal to tweet such a thing to her in the first place.

    It’s now the dead giveaway for me. Christians who do not know each other simply do not ask that question. It’s obnoxious. It’s interesting that so many ask that question – as if they went to Calvin Indoctrination School (CIS). Aren’t these patterns crazy? Brian does it and maybe doesn’t even know he behaves the same way.

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  6. “So I guess you refuse to let your kids sing hymns like:

    Alas and Did My Savior Bleed – contains the phrase “for such a worm as I”
    Amazing Grace: contains the phrase “that saved a wretch like me”
    How Deep the Father’s Love – contains the phrase “to make a wretch his treasure”

    Hee Hee. I don’t operate that way with my children. We try to take the time to discuss what things mean. We love our old hymn books at home. And I have just about everyone one of them that was ever published from my mom’s music library I inherited. We are always singing out of them. I love old hymns. It is such a joy to sing and discover you are singing Lamentations! Who reads Lamentations anymore?

    I am such a stick in the mud, I will take Fanny Crosby over the new stuff uncreative stuff any day. Guess it was because I just grew up with it at home all the time. Not one day went by my mom was not on the piano at some point. We just sang all the time. It is a joy that at my age I remember the words of so many hymns and can ponder their meaning and what the writer was communicating.

    My goal is not to shelter my children from different interpretations or views of God but for us to discuss them. They are old enough and well aware that no one can be their Holy Spirit for them. I have drilled priesthood of believer and the concept of soul competency in to their heads for a while now. I hope they follow Christ and not man. But I will say, our view of God almost always determines our view of life and others. So, it is important.

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  7. “We cannot respond. We cannot seek, etc. God has to force us too.”

    Another untruth. God doesn not have to force us to respond and seek. When he awakens the soul with new life by the Spirit through the hearing of the gospel, a person does nothing else BUT respond and seek. The person who has ben made alive in Christ needs no forcing.

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  8. “Do the hyper-Calvinists believe themselves to be totally depraved because their doctrine says they are, or have they adopted the doctrine of total depravity because, for them in particular (as opposed to the rest of us), they live totally depraved lives?”

    Don’t know…never met a hyper-calvinist.

    Like

  9. “Brian does it and maybe doesn’t even know he behaves the same way.”

    Julie Anne,

    I a little confused by your remarks about me concerning my question to you on Twitter about submitting to elders in a lcoal church. You know full well that I explained my reasons for asking that. It wasn’t devious, it wasn’t a power play, or any other evil reason that someone like this CON person you refer to might ask the same question.

    You know I explained the reason why I asked the question. You were making extremely negative statements about church leaders in general, and I was trying to get a handle on how you viewed the local church.

    Now, you can choose to ignore my reasons and not believe me, but that is being quite disingenuous. I am not a “submit to authority above all else” person that I have been made out to be on here. I have posted comments on here showing that truth, agreeing with others about when a person should not submit to their church authority, and when they should leave that church and find a healthy one.

    I would appreciate it if you didn’t group me in with CON and others when you agree with someone’s comment on here. From what I have discerned from your remarks about CON, Tony Miano and others, I would never stand with them, no matter what their theology is.

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  10. “We cannot respond. We cannot seek, etc. God has to force us too.”

    Another untruth. God doesn not have to force us to respond and seek. When he awakens the soul with new life by the Spirit through the hearing of the gospel, a person does nothing else BUT respond and seek. The person who has ben made alive in Christ needs no forcing.

    That is just softer gentler way to rephrase what I said.

    In your determinist construct I have great sorrow for those He did not choose to “awaken their soul” and…. by implication ….damns them to eternal torment…no choice in the matter. There is no other way around the implications of your doctrine, Brian. You can use sweet sounding words but the determinism/dualism is obvious to those who really analyze it and for those who know this comes from Augustine’s Mani/Plato paradigm. You call that grace. I call it Allah.

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  11. “In your determinist construct I have great sorrow for those He did not choose to “awaken their soul” and…. by implication ….damns them to eternal torment…no choice in the matter.”

    Lydia,

    You have essentially the same problem with your understanding of God (unless you are willing to embrace the heresy of open theism).

    Your God knows all things, and yet he still allows people to be born whom he knows are headed nowhere but straight to hell.

    This is why open theism (a damnable heresy) is the only logical conclusion that many people who believe like you end up at, because they can’t stand the idea that their God knows all things and then still allows the people who will never be saved to be born and spend eternal torment in hell.

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  12. “Your God knows all things, and yet he still allows people to be born whom he knows are headed nowhere but straight to hell.”

    Brian, I know exactly what choices my daughter is going to make because I know her that well. That does not mean I force her to make those choices. That does not mean I manipulate her to make that choice. I can put things in front of her to influence her but that does not mean she does not make the choice.

    The irony of your ST is if earthly parents are anything like the Calvinist God, they are tyrants who love some of their children more than others. And chose some of them to live before they were even born. We would consider that barbarian if human fathers acted that way. Yet that is the god of Calvin.

    I am not real educated on Open Theism as a doctrine but I get the feeling that there are some out there who would not mind if they were burned at the stake. Who knows, if they believe we are responsible for our own behavior, that not all sins are the same making the child molester on par with the victim sin wise, and believe we can choose to respond to Christ or not, then I might just see what they are about. And then, I will praise God that some Deists decided to put forth ‘self determinism” instead of the divine right of kings and to make burning heretics illegal.

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  13. The basics of Open Theism is that God actually responds to prayer, and that prayer can actually change what happens, because God listens and chooses to respond to the importuning of his child. Jesus taught us to pray “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” which at least implies that God’s will is not always done on earth. Jesus also taught that earnest prayer does receive an response from God. It would be a cruel God (or parent) that did not listen and respond to the importuning of their child. Otherwise, there is no reason to pray at all, since, according to Brian, it has no effect at all on what will or will not happen.

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  14. Brian said:
    “Your God knows all things, and yet he still allows people to be born whom he knows are headed nowhere but straight to hell.”

    My response:
    How do you know that he knows?

    After sin is forgiven, does he know your sin anymore? Or is the Bible false when he states that he will remember your sin no more?

    You are assuming too much.

    Ed

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  15. Be serious, Ed.

    Scripture is saturated with the declaration of God’s omniscience.

    You don’t have one iota of support for the absurdity that God doesn’t know all things.

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  16. Brian,

    I am serious. The word omniscience is not in the scriptures. We have a FORGETFUL God. I have 4 iota’s.

    Isaiah 43:25
    I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

    Jeremiah 31:34
    And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    Hebrews 8:12
    For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

    Hebrews 10:17
    And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

    Like

  17. Do you not understand a figure of speech when you see one? Good saying he will remember someone’s sin no more is the same thing as him “not counting their trespasses against them” in 2 Cor.5:19.

    Like

  18. It’s not a figure of speech. Cults, like the one that you are in, consider it a figure of speech. They say the same thing about hell fire, too. Hell fire, to them, is just a figure of speech. So, anything that you don’t believe in, becomes a figure of speech.

    Like

  19. If mere humans can work in cooperation with unpredictable quantum phenomena on a subatomic level to achieve fully predictable results at the levels of classical and relativistic physics, I see no reason why the God Who created the universe and Who knows the end from the beginning should be thought to be impotent to achieve His infinitely loving purposes, while at the same time conferring the gift of human free will. No, a god who so weak that he must withhold human free will in order to achieve his own will simply cannot be said to be omnipotent. A god who is not intelligent enough to achieve His own will in the presence of Human free will cannot be said to be omniscient.

    Therefore, John Calvin’s god is not God.

    Like

  20. Ed,

    God remembering or not remembering something is what is called an anthropomorphism. It is attributing a human characteristic to God the Father. The Father has no physical brain with which to actually forget or remember something. Therefore, it is a way of communicating to us that, for those who repent and believe the gospel, he does not count our sins against us.

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  21. Ed,

    It’s the same thing as God saying as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us. It’s a metaphor to help give our finite minds some understanding that for sinners who have been forgiven, they will not be judged for their sins because Jesus has already been judged for them.

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  22. Brian,
    Trying to justify your goofy beliefs, Brian? Ain’t gonna work. We are made in the image and likeness of God, and now you are saying that he doesn’t have a physical brain? Is Jesus God? Does Jesus have a physical brain? You say that God has blood, but no brain?

    You are funny.

    Ed

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  23. Brian,

    No matter how much you try to justify your goofy beliefs, God is forgetful about our sins. He does not remember them.

    So, there are things that God does NOT know. You just want to chalk it up to a figure of speech.

    You are funny.

    Ed

    Like

  24. “If mere humans can work in cooperation with unpredictable quantum phenomena on a subatomic level to achieve fully predictable results at the levels of classical and relativistic physics, I see no reason why the God Who created the universe and Who knows the end from the beginning should be thought to be impotent to achieve His infinitely loving purposes, while at the same time conferring the gift of human free will. No, a god who so weak that he must withhold human free will in order to achieve his own will simply cannot be said to be omnipotent. A god who is not intelligent enough to achieve His own will in the presence of Human free will cannot be said to be omniscient.”

    EXACTLY! Bravo!

    In fact, one of the red flags early on for me was their insistence that my view of God made him into a wimpy grandpa shaking his head over the humans. It dawned on me one day, they do not really view Jesus Christ as truly God in the Flesh. (Therefore-ESS)

    Jesus is too nice and loving. Jesus Christ mainly rebuked the religious leaders of the day who were controlling people.

    There are a few Calvinists who are against ESS but their view of God does not really map well to Jesus Christ.

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  25. If the comments in this thread aren’t convincing enough that people cherry-pick what they choose to give emphasis to in the Bible, then nothing will convince you.

    The fact that everyone cherry-picks the Bible isn’t the problem; it the fact that the people who wish to claim authority from the Bible refuse to allow other people the freedom to choose their own concept of God. But as soon as people disagree with them, they love to whine about how they’re being oppressed and persecuted. Hypocritical crybabies is what they are, and nothing more.

    If someone feels that it’s necessary to convince people to believe exactly as they do in order to be a Christian, then that person has missed the point entirely. They’ve done nothing more than build an idol to worship on the altar of their own certitude.

    I wouldn’t listen to an idolater, were I to be you…

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  26. “You do realize, don’t you, that man plans his way, but God directs his steps?”

    When you make a statement like that included are such steps directed FOR Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Terrorists, murderers, child rapists to Augustine stealing peaches from his neighbors tree.

    You cannot get around it without some fancy mumbo jumbo verbal gymnastics of a mystery “we” cannot understand. (Piper is the master of this) Only people who follow Calvin and his guru’s can understand this complicated “mystery”

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  27. All (except Brian),

    Brian says, “You do realize, don’t you, that man plans his way, but God directs his steps?”

    Once again Brian shades what Scripture SAYS in order to convey what he wants us to believe it MEANS. Once again the difference is subtle, but significant. The actual verse to which Brian appears to be alluding, in his usual twisted sort of way, is:

    The HEART of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9, ESV, emphasis added)

    In what way are a man’s steps “established?” Well, look at the immediate context:

    Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:3, ESV)

    And don’t neglect:

    Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4, ESV)

    The obvious import of all of this is that God responds to our wills, granting us the desires of our hearts, but on condition that we CHOOSE to delight in and commit our work to Him. While conditions are imposed, in these verses it is God responding to our wills, not us responding to God’s will. Brian’s misrepresentation of the content of Scripture, to achieve his desired meaning, has it exactly backwards.

    I suppose one’s reading of these passages will depend on whether they start with the notion that God is Love, or whether they start with the notion that god is narcissistically, even psychopathically, obsessed with his own glory. A god that is obsessed with his own glory looks an awful lot like a monster created in the image of John Calvin, who was a murderer. I will go with the God of whom Jesus is the image and only begotten Son.

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  28. Oh, and here is another sense in which Brian is not being completely up front with us. Brian has typically expected us to accept his use of the Grudem/Piper sponsored and approved ESV. Now, however, without so much as mentioning he is doing so, Brian must switch translations to find “directs” in place of “establishes.” Well, it is easier to twist “directs” to mean something other than “leads” than it is to twist “establishes” as in “gives effect to,” but either way, it is God responding to give effect to man’s will and not the other way around.

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  29. But Julie Anne! I don’t expect anybody is expecting Brian to actually respond and change his mind about anything. It’s just that he is such a useful foil (that’s foil, not fool) to give the rest of us good practice in responding to the monstrous doctrines that flowed from the mind of John Calvin. Have I mentioned yet that John Calvin had the mind of a murderer?

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  30. “You do realize, don’t you, that man plans his way, but God directs his steps?”

    Brian has drunk Calvin’s Kool-Aid and digested it. Christ is now just a front for
    Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin,
    TULIP, TULIP, TULIP, TULIP, TULIP,
    Predestination, Predestination, Predestination, Predestination, Predestination,
    Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin.

    Like

  31. JA, Too funny!

    Gary, I am off the hook with Proverbs anyway as it was written to young men. (wink) However the “wisdom” is female. Ha!

    This was CJ Mahaney’s favorite proverb which one constantly heard him quote:

    17 The one who states his case first seems right,
    until the other comes and examines him.

    The PDI/SGM pastors LOVED to examine people. The scripture as a club to beat with.

    Kind of backfired on him when people finally stopped thinking that talking about their molestation was “gossip” and they were just as big of a sinner as the pervert who molested them.

    And read around NC/YRR blogs and they quote that proverb all the time.

    But I appreciate your pointing out the proof texting and why in a larger context it can mean exactly the opposite. We see this all the time with their quoting Psalms to affirm determinism. Or the proof texting that has to take place in order to make people believe God has 2 wills. Revealed and Secretive. The bait and switch god of Calvinism.

    If you want to see how the master manipulator teaches it, check this out:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/are-there-two-wills-in-god

    I have come to the conclusion that if they can make it confusing with lots of passionate verbosity and quote many “experts” they can just about make people believe anything. Because people need the guru to explain God to them because they obviously cannot really “know” Him like the guru does.

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  32. This aspect of forcing Calvinism on survivors is so important. Is it really worth subjecting survivors to something that is so incomprehensible to them that it messes with their heads and can lead to such spiritual and emotional confusion?

    The issue for me is this: why can’t they just let it go? Why must they force their doctrine on people and look down on them so harshly?

    Because forcing you to accept their Perfect Doctrine means They Are RIGHT and You Are WRONG, Haw Haw Haw.

    “In the Devil’s theology, the most important thing is to prove yourself absolutely right and everyone else absolutely wrong.”
    — Thomas Merton, “Moral Theology of the Devil”

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  33. This was CJ Mahaney’s favorite proverb which one constantly heard him quote:

    HUMBLY, of course (chuckle chuckle).

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  34. This convo is not for Brian to change his mind but for every poor soul who has been taught the false premise of the determinist god. A god who controls everything 24/7 and was watching while they were being molested or beaten but determined it good for HIS glory. And the poor child beaten or molested are just as bad of sinners as the abuser. This is vile and they will tell you that is not how it works but their own words state different they are just using more flowery speech. The conclusion is the same.

    A god they claim allows free will for the evil yet is in control of it the whole time. The contradictory god. Calvin’s idea of “free will”

    The reason it took me so long to see it is that it is considered “mean” for the Non Calvinist to take on disagreement. And that is understandable as they get very mean or their feelings hurt so to take it further makes everyone very uncomfortable and you end up looking mean because you decided to stay with it because it takes a while to see how circular their thinking really is.

    Therefore it is never really thought through. The NC/YRR Calvinist wins converts through sheer verbosity, slogans on Sovereignty, boldness and pseudo intellectualism. Or they use ” don’t hurt my feelings”. And at that point, it makes people look “unloving” to point out the contradictions. Personally, I am over that. I just stay away from serious convos on Calvinism on those type of blogs. They don’t want them anyway. And I have to admit there are quite a few tenants of Augustinianism in the entire Protestant tradition–mainly dualism. The Calvinists just do it better and more intently with the determinist god part.

    When Calvinism is carefully analyzed by the peasants, it does not come off so good. Grace for some. But not all. Why? Because man has no volition…and the master puppeteer did not choose them before they were born or even before Adam sinned. But that is not evil? That is “grace” to them. Because they are in the exclusive club?

    If we are chosen before Adam sinned then why the need for a Savior? believe me they have very crafty and verbose explanations for this one. God determined the fall, you know.

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  35. Lydia,

    Piper’s article you link to at 8:49 has Piper saying that “It is possible that careful exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:4 would lead us to believe that ‘God’s willing all persons to be saved’ does not refer to every individual person in the world, but rather to all sorts of persons . . .” At least Piper, unlike Brian, informs us when he, Piper, is taking the position that Scripture MEANS something other than what it SAYS. Still, Piper is rewriting Scripture. Strike 1.

    Than Piper goes on and one to make the case, essentially, that God can simultaneously possess two self contradictory Wills, or so I understand Piper’s position. Probably this is an example of what NT Wright (and Bonhoeffer?) refer to as the invocation of the intellectual crutch that goes by the name of deus ex machina. In other words, Piper really can’t explain this one, but god is god, and is not bound by logic, so just take Piper’s word for it. Strike 2.

    Finally, Piper gets around to saying “God’s emotional life is infinitely complex beyond our ability to fully comprehend.” It is like Piper is admitting he can’t explain what he is saying, so he retreats into “mystery,” but take Piper’s word for it because he is the expert, and the burden is on those who would disagree with him to prove that Piper is wrong, end of discussion. Strike 3.

    No wonder they can’t open their blogs up to unmoderated discussion.

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  36. “If we are chosen before Adam sinned then why the need for a Savior? believe me they have very crafty and verbose explanations for this one. God determined the fall, you know.”

    This kind of thing makes my mind spin. Very good question, Lydia.

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  37. “No wonder they can’t open their blogs up to unmoderated discussion.”

    Bingo. I thought you would get it. (It took a while for me to cut through their thinking processes as I kept looking for truth in their explanations instead of admitting the chaos and confusion inherent in them.)

    It does not have to be so complicated but it is when you insist on the foundational premise of determinism/dualism. That requires some circular and contradictory thinking processes. It is cognitive dissonance in full bloom. One has to believe two totally contradictory characteristics about God and appeal to mystery.

    They could simply look to Jesus Christ.

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  38. “They could simply look to Jesus Christ.” Concerning Whom:

    He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
    or make it heard in the street;
    a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
    He will not grow faint or be discouraged
    till he has established justice in the earth;
    and the coastlands wait for his law. (Isaiah 42:2-4, ESV)

    While the followers of a murdering lawyer turned theologian and politician must scream from their pulpits and condemn those who would contest their will, as well as accuse, exclude, shame, slander, sue, and generally set out to destroy “the least of these” who happen to have noticed that these emperors are stark raving naked.

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  39. That requires some circular and contradictory thinking processes. It is cognitive dissonance in full bloom. One has to believe two totally contradictory characteristics about God and appeal to mystery.

    Circular and contradictory thinking processes as described in “Principles of Newspeak” by G.Orwell, specifically “doublethink”. When you describe Christ and the Kingdom of God in terms of THE totalitarian dystopia (itself a hyped-up version of Stalinist Russia and a not-so-hyped-up version of North Korea), something has gone seriously WRONG.

    And its advocates would resemble the totalitarian dictators and/or Party propaganda apparitchiki of Stalin’s Russia and/or North Korea:

    While the followers of a murdering lawyer turned theologian and politician must scream from their pulpits and condemn those who would contest their will, as well as accuse, exclude, shame, slander, sue, and generally set out to destroy “the least of these” who happen to have noticed that these emperors are stark raving naked.

    The System is Perfect; All Dissidents Must Be Liquidated.
    “Accuse, Exclude, Shame, Slander, Sue, Destroy!”
    Sounds a lot like “Penetrate! Colonize! Conquer! Plant!”

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  40. Lydia said, “This convo is not for Brian to change his mind but for every poor soul who has been taught the false premise of the determinist god.”

    I probably shouldn’t be reading this thread anymore. But I’m glad I clicked on it today, because you, Gary and Unicorn lifted me right up. This constant battle against confusion and despair is a tough one, but your words gave me strength, and helped me focus and think clearly again. I guess this is a weird comment, but I cannot thank you all enough for your input on this matter.

    And because I know how destructive this false teaching is to an abused person, how crushing it is, how it kills…if anyone ever reads this and needs to cry with someone who understands the pain and harm it causes, or needs hope and wants to talk to someone who actually cares and will not ignore you, please feel free to ask Julie Anne for my e-mail. You are not alone and I want to talk to you.

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  41. You are right this is very important to discuss and help others who may have been hurt by this distortion of God. I’m so glad you were vulnerable here.Oasis – – another idea is that this is a perfect item for discussion on the new SSB Forum.

    The forum is a very safe place to discuss this kind of topic which messes with those of us who have gone through abuse.

    (to join forum, contact spiritualsbforum@ gmail dot com)

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  42. Glad you said that, Julie Anne. I was afraid to bring it up there, didn’t want to annoy anyone. So good to know that such a safe place exists! 😀

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  43. [Julie Anne, please choose to read this web bit that I chose to send. LOL]

    Just wondering if Dr. Patterson and other dispy SBC leaders have ever Googled “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Rapture Pride,” and “Pretrib Rapture Stealth.” The last item has enough passages from Acts etc. to blow the pretrib rapture all the way back to 1830 and to the doorstep in Scotland of Margaret Macdonald!

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  44. Oasis – Oh, the forum is intended to be the perfect place for any discussion like that. As we know there are Calvinists who have been abused and may not feel the same way we feel. Their beliefs does not negate our experience and the hell we have gone through. We MUST have a safe place to share that kind of thing and realize that everyone will process things differently – there is no right or wrong way – it just is.

    We will make sure that it stays safe at the forum. BTW, Fiat Pax is a very good moderator and has great understanding of processing things like this. I am a bit of a control freak (most abuse survivors are) and for me to let loose of the reigns to someone should say something about how much I trust him.

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  45. “this distortion of God”

    Perhaps the most arrogant and biased comment in all of this thread. Sadly, this is the epitome of the disengenousness that exists on this blog.

    *************

    Brian:

    I spoke from my heart about the extreme spiritual conflict I get when applying your view of Calvinism to my life/abuse and you call it the “most arrogant and biased comment in all of the thread?” You also call it the epitome of the disingenuousness on this blog? Whoa, Brian!

    I was speaking from my heart. I don’t see you even trying to understand the conflict some of us have had. There is no love of Christ in your rude comment. It really makes me sick that you could be so heartless. Can you not see how you just slammed a whole lot of people with that comment?

    If I had to fully believe what was told me about God and abuse, I would not be here to talk about it. It is that serious.

    For some reason this Calvinist interpretation of God makes sense to you and provides comfort to you. I don’t understand that, but whatever. But for me, it sends me on a spiral to spiritual and emotional death – and if I’m not grounded, could send me to physical death because I can’t make sense of the crazy.

    Is God not big enough to allow us both of differing opinions on Calvinism to be saved? I’m pretty sure we both believe that Christ came to earth to pay the penalty for our sins and that if we confess our sins and believe in Him, we both can be saved. Right? Is that not the bottom line? Why do you make Calvinism the bottom line? What/who exactly do you serve, God or Calvin doctrine?

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  46. “This distortion of God”

    Look Mr. Thornton, you need to understand that the god you worship is a false god. Were you to describe the attributes you attribute to God, without mentioning the being your were purporting to describe, it would be beyond clear that you were describing the devil himself. Now there is distortion for you. Your own arrogance here has been quite beyond the pale.

    I do find a certain satisfaction as I watch you flounder. Every time you point the finger of accusation at somebody, you have 3 more fingers pointing right back at yourself.

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  47. I have a confession to make. Were Mr. Thornton to treat my Wife, nay any woman, with the rudeness he just exhibited to Julie Anne, and were I present to do something about it, there is a good chance that somebody would end up having to call the law. Call me sexist, but my father and grandfather taught me that nobody who treats a woman badly deserves to be called a man.

    Mr. Thornton, are you a pastor?

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  48. ” I am a bit of a control freak (most abuse survivors are) …”

    There is another little bit of insight into what I am learning are the long term effects.

    Oasis, If I can lift you up any little bit, I praise God. Jesus Christ is HOPE for the oppressed and those cast down. May we all strive to “be” the kingdom right now for one another. To love justice, to have mercy for those overlooked or treated as nothings.

    I have not seen A Mom around in a while but she made a comment on another blog that really resonated with me. I edited out some names that were relevant to the convo there but not for here. She really nails an important distinction in how we view evil/wrong:

    “All sin is not the same. That’s a Calvinistic belief.

    Evil and wrong must never be put into the same category. They are different. And need to be dealt with differently. We do not treat them the same, ever, in any situation, right?

    There is a difference between evil and wrong. I was wrong at one time. You were wrong at one time. We are not evil. Our actions attest to that.

    There is to be NO discussion with evil. Ever. Evil needs to be stopped & answered with swift justice.

    Victims need our voices right now. They need help. They will not get it from evil doers. They are looking for answers, just like you and me (& I still am). Who is willing and able to help them? Any ideas?”

    There is to be no discussion with evil, Ever. I could not say it better myself. yet we see it excused and even defended all around us in the stratosphere of Celebrity Christian leadership. We have to stop rationalizing it because we like some of the gurus who also happen to be defending what are essentially evil actions done by their buddies. We have to stop rationalizing it because they have “correct doctrine”. Or the right connections. If they promote or defend those who have done evil, then they are enablers and we must say so. We must call it what it is: Evil. And they have no right to teach us anything. And we must tell them that.

    JA, I think your forum will be a big help and I so appreciate your attitude to keep it a safe place for people to share their stories, their fears their triumphs and seek community in love. May God bless the work of your heart and hands

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  49. Lydia,

    From what you have said above, I am suspecting our precious Brian is going to come back an try to use my strong reaction against me. Well, if he does, to the abyss with it. Brian is the one that needs to come forward an apology–and maybe appropriate restitution. I say Julie Anne is the one who gets to set the terms of restitution.

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  50. Brian may not be a pastor but sadly many YRR types are staff pastors and pastors in many churches now. And yes, it is exactly like this in person, too, if you EVER dare disagree or dissent with their doctrine. They are wonderful as long as you blindly agree.

    It is one reason I am so strong in my stance concerning this doctrine. I have seen the arrogance and cruelty up close and personal done to so many people over the last 8 years or so. I have seen the chaos and confusion it causes especially for teens and those who come from abuse. I hear story after story from people and not only churches but families split apart over the defense of this doctrine.

    They think they are defending God but they are blaspheming the very thing they profess to defend. “Love” is an action not a doctrine. We are to “be” the kingdom here and now. Christianity is all about love relationships with Christ and each other. That is it’s true “doctrine”.

    Gary, Treating women as “perpetually deceived” is all over that movement with their salvic “roles”. They have NO respect for women at all. And it shows. Piper is most ridiculous with it. After all that has been discussed on the threads here about people’s heinous experiences with childhood abuse and that is Brian’s response to our disagreement with a dead guy. I think that sums up what is the rotten fruit of this movement: Doctrine over person. And that, my friend, is a cult tactic.

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  51. “They have NO respect for women at all.” Well then, they are sniveling cowards, not men.

    And their fruits would tend to show that they are wholly owned by the powers of darkness, although I suppose I would do well to find strength to hope and pray that it might not be so. First, though, I think I will pray, I do pray, that they might do no more harm. Praise be that our loving Lord is rescuing so many. My hope and prayer is that those who have found their way here are but the tiniest tip of a very large iceberg.

    As to the charge of women being perpetually deceived, I say if you want somebody with knowledge, search among either men or women. If you want understanding and wisdom, start with women (with thanks to you for reminding me that Wisdom is female).

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  52. “Well, if he does, to the abyss with it. Brian is the one that needs to come forward an apology–and maybe appropriate restitution. ”

    to the abyss – lol

    Well, my experience with these types is that an apology is not and will not be forthcoming. They believe they are being loving in the way they confront their dissenters.

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  53. Julie Anne, it’s amazing, just knowing the forum is there. I hope people will feel free to start talking if they need/want to. Thank you for creating it. Fiat Pax sounds perfect for the job, good to know you trust him so much. I want to trust him, too.

    I understand the control freak bit. Kinda the opposite, myself…prone to anxiety, and therefore always trying to maintain a stress-free, carefree, relaxed/happy mood/environment. Maybe that just describes another form of control freak, haha…

    Lydia, thank you for reminding me that Jesus Christ is HOPE for the oppressed and those cast down. That is a beautiful, healing image! And I always love it when you talk about being the kingdom now, you really inspire me.

    A Mom, she is another heroine. I love her words that you quoted, and what you said after. “There is to be NO discussion with evil. Ever.” The love/support/help that you and others give on this blog and some others stuns me. Never realized there was so much of it out there. I love you all so much.

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  54. “They believe they are being loving in the way they confront their dissenters.”

    Well, then, I’m confident these cowardly accusers of the saints will be feeling the love when I fan their own oral flatulence back in their faces.

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  55. “Well, then, I’m confident these cowardly accusers of the saints will be feeling the love when I fan their own oral flatulence back in their faces.”

    Gary, I think I LOLed for a solid minute wishing I could conjure up the words to talk so sophisticatedly about farts as you 😉

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  56. Creatures are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed.
    John Calvin Institutes Book 1 chp 16

    The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should
    Institutes
    John Calvin, Institutes Book 3 chp 23

    God did from all eternity will or decree the commission of all the sins of the world, because his permissive will is his true and real will.
    Jonathan Edwards
    On the Decrees Chp 3 pg, 104

    This is the highest degree of faith-to believe that He is merciful, the very ONE who saves so few and damns so many. To believe that He is just, the One according to His own will, makes us necessarily damnable.
    Martin Luther- The Bondage of the Will

    But those who deny Our verses are deaf and dumb within darknesses. Whomever Allah wills – He leaves astray; and whomever He wills – He puts him on a straight path.
    Quran 6:39

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  57. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (1 Peter 2:16, ESV)

    I am free to participate in a church congregation of my choice, or none at all. If I choose to participate in a congregation wherein it is preached that God is the sovereign author of all that is and all that happens, am I not contributing to the cover-up of a doctrine that blasphemously makes God the author of evil?

    Can one simultaneously live as a servant of God and as a servant of men? No, we cannot serve two masters. While I will endeavor to give honor to whom honor is due, I will not submit to the mastery of “pastors” or “elders.” Rather, I will endeavor to turn only to the Shepherd and Overseer of my soul. 1 Peter 2:25.

    To the abyss with any doctrine that would blaspheme the one true and Loving God. To the eternal pit with any suggestion or demand that we yield our obedience to any pastor, elder or overseer, for we cannot serve both man and God.

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  58. Gary said, “… am I not contributing to the cover-up of a doctrine that blasphemously makes God the author of evil?”

    A Calvinist at another blog today or last night, (who sometimes posts here), says that Calvinism does not teach that God is the author of evil.

    IMO, it seems that Calvinism viewpoints logically leads there, though. And on that score, even some Calvinists still get upset.

    I just found a blog today where the Cal started it by saying something like, “People don’t start out arguing against Cal proper but where they say it logically leads.”

    My mind boggles that guys like that don’t see that as a problem.

    If your view of God/ Scripture can lead you down a path where it can be said God is the author of evil, and other views that are distasteful to most, wouldn’t that cause you to pause and reconsider?

    It’s also interesting to see the number of Cals who try to distinguish between “regular” Cal and Hyper Calvinism. I think it’s a semantics game.

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  59. I think what has happened is a straw man of free will was set up by Augustine (dualism/determinism of his gnostic background) and Calvin systematized it. If we have free will to choose good or evil then it follows to them that God is not in control. Why? Because they start with dualism where everything material is evil (including us) and only spiritual good. (Greek Philosophy) The gods “determine” everything and are the only good. That is why arguing proof texts does NO GOOD. It is a waste of time because they read every word with dualism/determinism into the text. That is what was so obvious in that testimony Shannon shared of the woman talking about how she got sucked into and how hard it was to get out of it.

    This is why Calvinism ebbs and flows throughout history. People figure it out and it is so damning they fall away then what is left turns softer then it resurges again. Remember the descendants of the Puritans for the most part became Unitarians. The PCAUSA is into social justice.

    As to creation, I do not read anywhere that God WANTED that sort of control over His creation. In fact, we see God GIVING the humans the control over the creation. God wanted relationship with His human creation. Not puppets.To be in relationship with Him. I think we see this played out in the Genesis account. A true relationship of love is not coercion or decreetal.

    They do not see how their doctrine logically leads to making God more like Satan! With is secret and revealed wills. With His choosing some for damnation and others for paradise. It is Allah. And there are very nice Calvinists who would not hurt a fly. And there are nice Muslims who would not hurt a fly. And there are Free will folks who murder.

    With God decreeing everything and controlling molecules there is little left for us to do as the kingdom here and now. And we are seeing the fruit of that.

    Freely giving us free will does not mean God does not have Sovereignty. It makes Him MORE Sovereign. He is secure in Himself and even intervenes for us at times. We see parents do this all the time with teens. Let them suffer the consequences for their behavior they know is wrong even though the parent could intervene. What is different about Calvinism is that it is basically saying the parent decreed the bad behavior. If not, it means the parent was not in control. That is basically what they are saying even though they claim there is no problem saying there is Free Will and Decrees at the same time.

    At some point, we have to deal with evil in our midst…we have to grow up. We have to say, that is wrong and you are out. But guess who is stopping us? The institutional church and para church organizations. The church says, Oh sinners sin. Expect it because we have defined sin as your very existence. They show up in court begging the judge for leniency because the pervert repented. They hide molestations and then call it gossip to discuss it. They use deception and mental beatings on their followers to get more money out of them. They have a “form” (Plato!!!) of godliness but no power of the Holy Spirit. No substance. It is a front…an image game and we play right into it. We love our gurus.

    We are not exactly a great example of salt and light. We love to hide our evil too much. Just mention Calvin’s Geneva to a historically educated agnostic and see what sort of response you get. The only thing missing is state power.

    I do not think Calvinists really understand their own doctrine. And that comes from YEARS of them telling me I cannot understand it and am misrepresenting them. Well, I have studied it from every angle for about 7 or so years now and I can tell you it is nothing but chaos, confusion and damnation to the soul. You have to live in a cognitive dissonance and appeal to mystery while believing in a God who has a secret will!

    But to say this every Calvinist reading it will think I hate them. That is how they are taught to think. Yet, they could trust me with their most valuable possessions….because I believe in truth, justice, mercy….doing right and striving for righteousness. I think we are not only commanded for that but are equipped if we so desire. I think God loves it when we come to this realization. Does anyone think that those people following Jesus around thought, “Oh, I could never be like Him”? Or do you think they thought, I want to be like Him? He was not some mushy wishy washy God-human. He told the religious leaders of the day like it was and showed major mercy and compassion to the oppressed.

    So we must go and do likewise!

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  60. Lydia, I agree with about everything you said in the post right above mine here. I do find that while many Calvinists claim we (who don’t believe in Calvinism) don’t understand it or misrepresent it that maybe they’re the ones who don’t understand it.

    As I said to the Calvinists at the other blog, one of whom was saying, “but in all my years, I’ve never known a Calvinist to act like thus and so or to teach or believe blah blah blah,” maybe they personally do not act like that or believe in X, but I’ve seen other Cals who do.

    Even in the debates in the two or three Cal threads on this blog, I’ve seen one Cal deny that Cals believe “X” but another one will a mere three or four posts later agree with X and defend it. I’ve seen this happen on other forums, blogs and sites over the years.

    There’s also the tricky way they define words and topics. “Free will” doesn’t mean the same thing to a Cal as it does to a Non Cal. They will say they believe in it, but they only define it as people are only free to sin and to choose sin, and mankind, left to their own devices will only chose only to sin. That is not quite how I or the average person understand “free will.”

    It reminds me of the apologetics sites I used to visit that would caution not to agree with everything a Mormon or JW said upfront, since such groups do not define “grace” and other terms that way most Christians do. I find that true with Calvinists.

    Anyway, that some Cals cannot agree with each other on Calvinism, or that they have the tendency to define terms differently from Non Cals, and that even if you quote famous Calvinist quotes at them to make a point, they will still say “you are misrepresenting Calvinism,” makes talking with them very frustrating and tiring.

    That’s why I hardly ever get too involved in these debates. I might dabble a bit here and there, but I mostly just stay out, but I enjoy reading the back and forth by others.

    Lydia said, “Freely giving us free will does not mean God does not have Sovereignty. It makes Him MORE Sovereign. He is secure in Himself and even intervenes for us at times. ”

    I agree, and I think that view grants God even more glory. If there’s one topic Calvinists like to go on about as much as Sovereignty, it’s probably the ‘glory of God.’ I honestly don’t find the Calvinist view as bringing Him much glory.

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  61. missdaisy,

    The “hyper Calvinist” thing has become a big deal in the SBC so many are trying to understand it. And I am taking the YRR pastor blogs at their word in describing what they are doing and why it is NOT hyper Calvinism. Here is how it works. The YRR example is that a hyper Calvinist does affirm the 5pts but does not evangelize. Period. That is the big difference. However, the YRR are big time into evangelizing, therefore they cannot be hyper Calvinists.

    BUT, that is a misnomer because they evangelize their brand of Calvin.. Their “evangelism” basically consists of planting churches where there are plenty of churches already and usually in decent neighborhoods. You can check this out with examples from Acts 29, NAMB, Sojourn and SGM.

    In the places they have planted churches in lower income areas, they have the suburban folks driving in. They have plenty of money thrown at them for the planting of these churches from institutions like the SBC. That is considered “evangelizing” and “missions” these days. Many times these church plants are started with 5 or 6 staff pastors all paid full time. They are seriously looking to build more Calvinist churches. And this is because it was becoming too hard to make non Calvinist churches into Calvinist ones as “Quiet Revolution” taught because too many were catching on.

    In other words, they ARE hyper Calvinists. As are Piper, Sproul Sr, Mohler, Dever, etc, etc, etc. And believe it or not, doctrine is not nearly as important to the men above as it is to their followers. That is the irony! What is important to the men I mention is influence, power, a stage, etc.

    To give you an example. When some fleeced donors and those outraged at his stealing Kistlers business at Ligonier sought to take their case before the ecclesiastical court of the Presbyterians that ordained Sproul, they found out to their astonishment that Sproul’s church, St Andrews was independent! He answered to NO ONE. But he had led folks who donated to Ligonier believe for years he was accountable to them. (By the way, Ligon Duncan’s brother James was running Ligonier in those days. It IS a family affair with these guys)

    But hey, no big deal as long as he has correct doctrine.

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  62. miss daisy,

    The biggest hurdle is the redefining of concepts and words. They do not have the same definition for “grace”(for some) or even atonement, Justification, sanctification, etc. It is a DIFFERENT RELIGION.. Even the “Gospel” is redefined because it is NOT potentially Good News for all. Total depravity means total inability. Sin is redefined to mean your very existence is sin. The P, if you really study it in depth basically leads you to see that they won’t know if they “persevered” until the end!!! Imputation of righteousness is a form of “Jesus obeyed for you on the cross because you remain a vile sinner”. And so on. That is why I refuse to play the machine gun proof text game.

    We are basically speaking different languages and talking about a different God. Not sure unity is possible unless we are willing to say it does not matter. And as far as rights are concerned, it doesn’t. My goal is to help those who are struggling with the teaching see that is NOT the One True God of Abraham. Especially teens and those who have been abused. The Calvin god is damning to their souls.

    Those who believe it strongly, that is ok with me, too. I just wish they would stop calling me a heretic and keep trying to take over churches rebuking everyone in sight. Or trying to make me shut up with why I have a problem with it. I am not out to hurt their feelings. If Calvinism is so loving a doctrine that should not be possible anyway. But trying to explain a god with secret wills who controls molecules but then doesn’t is not something everyone can agree with. And rightly so.

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  63. BTW, Even Roger Olson, the professed Arminian, called the SBC Trad statement (to respond to the growing Calvinism in the SBC) “Pelagian” as in heresy. He is not exactly the go to guy to understand all of this stuff. Arminius was Calvin lite, btw, in my opinion.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/06/thoughts-about-%e2%80%9ca-statement-of-the-traditional-southern-baptist-understanding-of-gods-plan-of-salvation-%e2%80%9d/

    He splits as many hairs as the Calvinists do when it comes to free will, responding to the Gospel, etc.

    What folks have to realize about guys like Olson and others who make their living in ministry or theology is that they really have to be careful. That is why I love to hear opinions of those who have really studied but have no allegiance or accountability to any ministry, university or para church organization. There is no money or peer pressure involved. I like Olson and find him interesting to read sometimes but don’t think he is the go to guy on the subject.

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  64. Lydia, Ed, anybody else (except Brian),

    Brian is not the first who has come to Julianne’s blog promoting their hyper-deterministic views with a single minded resolve to only be heard, never listen, and generally enforce their doctrine, come hell or high water. Brian is actually to be complimented in that he was has not been so quick to resort to personal insults, as was the regular M.O. of another disciple of the TULIP pentagram. However, in the end, though he was quick to scream at the slightest hint of perceived insult to himself, he just could not resist the temptation to beat up on our hostess–and that after she had taken the great risk of sharing, with great vulnerability, from the depths of her heart.

    These people, including Brian, are intent on controlling the conversation, demanding answers to questions while largely ignoring the questions put to them, and basically presenting themselves as being the final incontestable arbiters of all truth for all time. Only their ideas count. It is almost as though they expect God Himself to sit up and take notice.

    There does not appear to be any indication that they have even the slightest ability to meet people as people, to feel what the other person feels, to join in their grief, to enter into even the smallest degree of their pain. They will presume on our Hostess’s open invitation to participate without restriction (well, she eventually draws the line at ongoing personal attacks), while they themselves are very controlling of who can say what on their own blogs.

    Now, I know that there are people who are just simply intent on having their own way. Some of them seem to feed off of being able to dominate other people’s wills. However, I am thinking that there may be more than this when it comes to this crusade to impose–yes, impose–the doctrines of the murder John Calvin.

    Am I right? Is it something more than just the urge to have one’s way, to dominate another human’s conscience and will? If so, what might it be? I am at a loss.

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  65. Gary said, “If those of you who are still responding to Brian are totally depraved, why is he playing the fool by continuing to expend time and effort trying to lead you into the glorious truth of your supposed not-worth-fecal-matter value?”

    When I was looking into Calvinism about ten years ago and thinking about becoming one, I started reading their sites and forums, and I e mailed them to ask them more to learn about Calvinism.

    One thing many of them are not clear on is “who are the elect,” and I don’t mean a dictionary definition.

    I would ask, “How do I become part of the elect? Am I already one of the elect? Are you the elect?”

    The answers I got ranged from, “God chooses the elect” (and I would reply, “That still does not answer my question. How do you know if you are the elect or not?”), to, “Golly gee, I dunno, but sure hope I am to,” “well, I’m pretty sure me and my family are, but I don’t think most others are.”

    Please remember I was not arguing with these guys. I was sincerely trying to understand their views/Calvinism and to find out how I could be assured if I was “the elect” because I did not want to go to Hell when I died and to find out if Cal churches would be a good place to attend.

    I was not e- mailing them these questions to play games, be a pest, or to challenge them. These were people who had web pages devoted to Calvinism, defending it, saying they were Cal themselves. I still got vague answers or odd answers (such as “the fact you are concerned at all about any of this is proof you are the elect”), or one Cal would conflict with the answer another previous Cal had given me.

    The bottom line is, they don’t really know if they are the elect or not. They don’t seem to know who else is or is not the elect.

    They don’t know how, with certainty, a person can be saved from Hell, or who can be, which is so sad, because I think the Bible is pretty clear that trusting in Christ, regardless of who you are, takes care of your eternal destination.

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  66. lydiasellerofpurple,

    You had said:
    “Imputation of righteousness is a form of “Jesus obeyed for you on the cross because you remain a vile sinner”.”

    I’ve heard that one before, a few times from Calvinists.

    What they fail to realize, that is totally and completely false. He was lamb without spot/blemish to take our sins upon him, yes. But that is only 1/2 of the story. The other half is being missed or ignored.

    He was judged for our sins, and was sentenced to “death”. It is appointed unto man once to die, THEN (after he died) judgment. (Hebrews 9:27). Death is a place, in spiritual terms, for Hell Fire. Judgment is after death, not before death. If we think that his suffering was ONLY on the cross, we are wrong.

    Jesus did NOT obey FOR us. He obeyed to be punished in our stead. He was the scapegoat, aka, the transfer of sins from us to him.

    Do they not mourn the punishment that Jesus took for them? Did Jesus deserve what he got? Do they ever shed a tear for each of the stripes, the crown of thorns, the holes in his hands and feet, the sword in his side, the mocking, spitting, etc.

    But that punishment was just the beginning. There was more to follow after he died.

    Ed

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  67. “Am I right? Is it something more than just the urge to have one’s way, to dominate another human’s conscience and will? If so, what might it be? I am at a loss.”

    When you read Luther, Calvin (especially his letters), the Puritans some of the discourses from the councils, etc, etc etc. You see exactly where it comes from. Want to be vulgar? Luther is your man. Want to be a despotic intellectual? Try Calvin, and so on. They are only emulating their gurus. It is tradition which is why it dies out or goes liberal then you will see resurgences over history.

    Have you ever read anything concerning Ann Hutchinson’s trail before the Puritan tribunal? They were despots! Read some of the stuff said and done to Roger Williams. Some of the leaders were so deceitful it is hard to think of them as believers!

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  68. “They are only emulating their gurus.” Yes, there must be an element of learned behavior. And maybe it isn’t just copying their guru idols. Maybe there is a desire, possibly even an unconscious desire, to win the acceptance, admiration and approval of, not only their superiors, but also their peers. It is so easy for all of us to seek love or love substitutes from all the wrong places. Plus, it can all become such a competition for bragging rights.

    Maybe also this will to dominate, this will to conquer, this will to impose one’s views, comes with having joined a cause. It is akin to revolutionary fervor. This isn’t something that is unique to the movement associated with YRR/NC/TGC/T4G etc., but it becomes a factor. Trouble is, revolutionary fervor is a poor substitute for loving others as our Lord and God loves us.

    If they could just figure out how to live in love, then it would be incumbent upon me to sit down and listen, and stand up and observe.

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  69. “Well, if God wrote the play, that makes him the author. If he ordained it, he authored it. For some reason, they don’t see the connection.”

    Yeah, sure…not the author of evil, some say…yet, the “orchestrator” of every second of every evil event, the “designer” of every second of every evil event, and the one either permitting or choosing not to prevent every second of every evil event, because every single second of every evil event is of God and happens according to plan, and nothing that happens is a mistake and should not have happened. Cue twisting of Romans 8:28 to apply to tragedies in life instead of our personal struggle with sin.

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  70. The 4 C’s of Calvinism’s reform movement:

    Cling to the Comfort of Calvinistic Control

    Not self-control. There is no such thing as self-control, the theory goes. Self-control (free-will) is a lie in Calvinism. You must pray & wait for God to change you. But it is even better to say with pride (as Brian’s teacher of “Jesus + nothing = everything” says) that you can’t remember one good thing you’ve ever done, which they says glorifies God. Doing anything good yourself takes away from God’s glory, the reformed believe. Better to stay broken at the foot of the cross in your sinful state for the rest of your life. Make sure your kids know never to leave the foot of the cross & never do one good thing in their life either.

    Regardless of what you do, think or believe about Calvinism & reformed theology, this is what’s being preached. Audio sermon it up for yourself. And listen closely.

    In the meantime, their conferences, books, churches are raking it in.

    I’ve come to my senses thank the Lord. Guess I just couldn’t buy I don’t have self-control. I make choices, countless ones, each day.

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  71. BTW, I could have said 5 C’s of Calvinism & added another C for Cult.

    The reason is whenever you teach or preach or deny individual self-control, while at the same time require actionable control of a few over many, you are exercising cult-like control & influence.

    In these churches, control & influence is utilized through what’s called “church discipline”, shunning, blackmail, etc. It is not a gospel of individual empowerment to do good & be set free through Christ, it’s a gospel of authority chain of control.

    Which is why the main focus is on who’s reporting to whom, as Brian and many Calvinists can’t help but declare it out the gate & then run you around the race track with. Miano has to declare to everyone who he’s reporting to right now. The reason why you must be a member at a church? You need to report to another somebody in control who has AUTHORITY OVER you. Sound like the body of Christ where all are equally important?

    I’m sure there are more cult-like controlling behaviors / actions to add to this list.

    All you have to do is watch, listen & read closely.

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  72. “The reason is whenever you teach or preach or deny individual self-control, while at the same time require actionable control of a few over many, you are exercising cult-like control & influence.”

    A friend of mine, whose church had become infiltrated with Calvinist thinking, once mused on how these NC/YRR Calvinists can be Americans at the same time since our entire construct is based upon individual “self” determinism. I think it is an interesting question to ponder. Is it the contradiction thing again?

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  73. From here:
    http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2013/09/calvinists-and-pelagius-agreed-on-the-status-of-infants-dying-in-infancy-.html

    “My deepest sympathies for your loss, Aaron. A decade ago, my wife and I had three miscarriages in a 2+ year span, one of which was 5 months along. That was painful beyond words.

    I cannot comfort your loss, but I can say this with 100% confidence. Your babies are safe in Jesus’ arms. Why? Because the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ does not need to be convinced to love them. They have always been his, even in the short period of time when they were yours. They are as much his as you are and as I am.

    Now, to the larger conversation in general. The fact that we are even having the discussion about infant damnation means it is sackcloth and ashes time. We’ve completely lost the vision of the Father of the Son. He has been replaced by the terrible, aloof idol of the pagan philosophers and of our darkened hearts. This idol is the Platonic, Aristotelian, Manichean, nominalist, voluntarist deus absconditus hiding behind the curtain like the Wizard of Oz. He is so untrustworthy and disdainful of human beings that not even the unborn are safe from his violent fury. And what is worse, we have taken a smattering of Bible verses and baptized this idol and put it into the temple of our hearts – an idol for whom we can never do enough, be good enough, or ever know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he gives a gnat’s nose about us.

    How do I know this is an idol? Because he doesn’t look a thing like Jesus. And Jesus said if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. The idol is not the Father. It’s time to take a hammer to it as Hezekiah did the idols in his day.”

    All I can say is Amen to this comment.

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  74. lydiasellerofpurple,

    I am certainly not a fan of Peter Lumpkins, and I am at odds with why he is all for the Calvinists and Southern Baptists joining forces together.

    I am in total disagreement with his mindset that babies need to be “saved”, as I do not believe that they are lost to begin with. There is a spiritual death date for humans. We are not born spiritually dead, we die a spiritual death, based on knowledge of good and evil.

    Peter takes the stand of the belief in original sin, if he believes that babies need a savior. Although he tries to distance himself from it by explaining that they do not hold the guilt of Adams sin, he contradicts himself by saying that babies need a savior.

    But, what I find with Peter, is that he is more interested in philosophy of beliefs more than quoting scripture to back up his statements.

    Besides, there is division in that church, and God frowns on division. Not only that, it’s been about 2000 years, and they are still trying to figure out the status of babies? They are still debating this after all this time? How come some of these so called experts haven’t figured this out yet? Why do some say that the Bible is silent on this issue? Why do I see more than they do, and I don’t have a college degree in theology.

    Ed

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  75. Ed,

    Jim G wrote the comment. He is not Peter. He is a theology professor, though and and a great resource on Augustine and the early councils. Peter is a good resource for Baptist history–does not mean you have to agree with everything he says.

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  76. Ed, I also think there needs to be a huge discussion on “original sin”. Most folks have no idea this concept came from Augustine and he defined it for us. It is so ingrained most people even learned theologians are loathe not to use because of the outcry.

    I doubt you and I are even on the same page but I lean toward “original death” myself and sin as something that attaches itself to us like a tick as we grow in knowledge. But I am not dogmatic on it like I am about Calvin’s cruel arbitrary god who gets glory from throwing infants into hell.

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  77. Arce on TWW said:
    To me the difference is in two definitions of sovereignty. Sovereignty does not mean that what you chose happens, it is the ability to make decisions about consequences. So in the U.S., the Congress has sovereignty to make laws, the President and his appointees have the sovereignty to enforce laws, and the courts the sovereignty to decide whether the laws have been broken and to impose penalties, and in civil cases, award reparations. But none have the sovereignty to make choices on behalf of the members of the public to follow or not follow the law.
    To me, the sovereignty of God is like the sovereignty of all three branches of government. But we retain the freedom to choose whether to follow God’s laws or not. The most important commands came from Jesus, which I paraphrase as: Love the Lord God with all of your being and love everyone you encounter as you love yourself. So in everyday activities we make choices that have consequences, and, while some of those consequences are the natural result of our choice (due to the laws of nature that God, in his sovereignty, put in place to begin with) and some are under God’s sovereignly created law, and thus, under his sovereign power to decide. One of those laws is that we are to believe in, love and follow Jesus, and choosing not to do so carries the ultimate penalty.
    All of this is why I do not believe that young children and those who are mentally incapable of making the choice to follow Jesus, are doomed. They do not have the ability to make the choice to love and follow Jesus. As in our legal system, they are not held responsible for what they cannot do.

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  78. Lydia,

    No, I was discussing Peter, tho.  He is the author of the blog.  Ya, I was aware that the post that you quoted was not Peter. 

    But what upsets me about original sin, is that it is widely accepted.  And for those who do not believe in it, they have no scripture to back their opinions up.  It’s one thing to say “I don’t believe that babies go to hell”, but it’s another thing to PROVE IT. 

    I believe that I have proven it.  No knowledge, no sin is imputed, no spiritual death, until WE EAT of the tree of KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil. 

    Why can’t these people just break out their Bibles discussing this issue, instead of telling us that Joe Blow wrote a book; Joe Schmuckitelly said blah, blah; Pope so and so wrote blah, Calvin said this, Augustine said that.  Who the blank blank gives a rip what those people said? 

    I know…Peter gives a rip.  But me, I only care what the Logos said.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  79. Lydia,

    A long while ago, I knew that I needed to look at scripture using spiritual lenses, and just for a moment ditch the carnal exegesis, of a man (Job) in despair. There is so much that Job states about various spiritual topics, that most people don’t even see. Psalms is the same way, and when we get right down to it, the whole Bible. But what I see of the Calvinists, they talk a ton about exegesis, but their exegesis is all in the realm of carnal interpretations. There is a wealth of spiritual information in Job. Treasure galore.

    Ed

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  80. Lydia,

    One more thing about spiritual interpretations.

    I so often hear the word, “Poetry” when people discuss Psalms. I am not a fan of that word when discussing the Bible. I replace that word with the word “spiritual”, because it is discussing things that are of the spiritual realm.

    When I hear the word “poetry”, I am reminded of the Folk music from the early 70’s during the hippie days of the Vietnam War era, who were high on LSD. Not a pretty sight. I cringe at that word because of that era. Religious folks dressed in white robes passing out flowers at the airports.

    I think these folks are still around, receding hair line with a long grey pony tail.

    Ed

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  81. Moved from another comment thread.

    Whoever puts their trust in this Jesus alone, “forsaking all others”, for the purpose of being reconciled to the one true God, is saved

    And so, to the real question… Since it has been pointed out repeatedly in the previous threads about Calvinism that the logical extension of Calvinist doctrine posits a god that is a moral monstrosity…Can a Calvinist actually be a Christian by following what many of us believe is not the true concept of God? The similar claim has been made by the Calvinists towards non-Calvinists, but I’d like to know if the non-Calvs will step out into that direction.

    And if someone is not worshiping the one true God, then what exactly are they worshiping? To hold to Christian orthodoxy, the answer has to be something demonic in nature; to claim that they worship an error or a psychological construct gives credence to the claims of atheists.

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  82. Ah, there you are, Eric. Since you quoted me I thought maybe I should respond.

    What any professing Christian has to start with is the identity of the one true God, regardless of the topic. The Bible identifies God as love; all other attributes are what God *has* or *does*, but love is what God *is*. His other attributes, including sovereignty, do not operate in a vacuum, but are governed and bounded by love. Therefore, any God that by definition is not love cannot be the true one.

    I’m leaving out a lot here in the interest of focusing on Calvinism. But if indeed the God of Calvinism is not love but instead exercises raw sovereignty in a moral vacuum, then Calvinism does not have the one true God. It is Satan who exercises sovereignty in a moral vacuum; it is Satan who has no compassion, who cares nothing for justice or mercy, who delights in sending sinners to hell “for his good pleasure”. The real God, in contrast, “has no pleasure in the death of the wicked” and “is not willing that anyone perish but that all come to repentance”.

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  83. “Can a Calvinist actually be a Christian by following what many of us believe is not the true concept of God?”

    I have thought about this tons. And I think there are two different groups of Calvinists….those who deceive on purpose and those who are deceived out of ignorance. 1 Tim 1 actualy speaks to this dilemma. God has much mercy for those deceived out of ignorance.

    If you read that testimony Shannon shared with us way up in the thread, that woman explains almost to a T how I have seen people become so ensnared in it. It is almost like a veil comes over their minds and they read determinism in every passage. It is so hard to shake it once it is ingrained. Many leave the faith over it.

    Those who deceive on purpose might actually believe it after so long but they have an agenda and are usually in ministry. You can tell. It is about garnering followers after themselves. And being right. If you have read about Calvin they remind me of him.

    But I agree with boatrocker concerning what Calvinism really is. Her description is right on. Just look at the resurgence of Calvinism and what is has brought. Many are fanatical and lacking in any real love or compassion. The focus on church discipline, control, etc. And they call it love. It is how satan operates. They call evil good and good evil. That is basically what it boils down to. And I think some really decent people have fallen for it. My heart grieves over it.

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  84. so often hear the word, “Poetry” when people discuss Psalms. I am not a fan of that word when discussing the Bible. I replace that word with the word “spiritual”, because it is discussing things that are of the spiritual realm. ”

    Hee Hee. Ed, forgive me if I use poetry, Ok? Just think “Hebrew” poetry. Manly men slaying giants and gathering wives everywhere he goes.

    NT Wright once said that trying to put poetry into a computer program to get a literal meaning is impossible.

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  85. “I have thought about this tons. And I think there are two different groups of Calvinists….those who deceive on purpose and those who are deceived out of ignorance. 1 Tim 1 actualy speaks to this dilemma. God has much mercy for those deceived out of ignorance.”

    Lydia, this is a perfect explanation. There are those who consider themselves Calvinists, who don’t know what Calvinism is all about, and some of them are content to be that way. We’re not saying that an elderly Dutch grandmother who attended a Dutch Reformed church all her life, loved her family and exhibited good fruits is not a Christian. There are some self-identified Calvinists that have shown good fruits and worshiped the true God IN SPITE OF the doctrines their churches espouse. There are those who believe in Calvinism, but thankfully they don’t live out those chilling doctrines in real life.

    What we are saying is that Calvinism (when taken to its logical conclusions and lived out as Calvin explained) is a recipe for tyranny, persecution, torture and murder, as clearly evidenced by history. These are not good fruits. Also, the god of Calvinism is not the God of the Holy Scriptures, just as the jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the Jesus of the Holy Scriptures.

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  86. Boatrocker wrote:What any professing Christian has to start with is the identity of the one true God, regardless of the topic. The Bible identifies God as love; all other attributes are what God *has* or *does*, but love is what God *is*. His other attributes, including sovereignty, do not operate in a vacuum, but are governed and bounded by love. Therefore, any God that by definition is not love cannot be the true one.

    Yes! It’s essence vs attribute or in grammatical terms, noun vs. adjective. I had a very strong inkling that you would be thinking along these lines. Lots of people I speak with say that it’s just a nuance; if so, it’s the most important nuance in all of theology.

    Lydia brings up a good point about deceivers vs. deceived. It applies to the JW’s and Mormons as well. Most of them are well-meaning people who truly love God as best they can; they’ve simply been deceived in some very egregious ways.

    When it comes to Calvinists, there are obviously some that hold loosely to their doctrine and set it aside when it conflicts with the God=love paradigm. With doctrinarians (of any kind) it becomes difficult to see where they accept the God=love paradigm as the supreme example of God and His essence; their focus shifts towards the attributes.

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  87. “Just think “Hebrew” poetry. Manly men slaying giants and gathering wives everywhere he goes.”

    Haha…sounds like Hansel and Gretal, or Jack and the Bean Stalk!!

    My idea of poetry is “roses are red, violets are blue”.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  88. Eric, it is this very cognitive dissonance between Calvinist theology and the practical living of the Christian life which has, ironically, led many Calvinists to Universalism (see http://www.fether.net/2011/11/04/calvinism-and-universalism-separated-at-birth/). When one faces this crossroad, one chooses (!) to either embrace nonsense (if it doesn’t make sense, it’s a mystery) or reject reason. But both stem from the core belief that God must choose for us because we are born dead (well, “only mostly dead”).

    But I agree with the issue of knowledge: God holds us responsible for what we can grasp; yet of course no one can beg off with the excuse if they had the ability but were too lazy to try. And where there is responsibility, there must also be choice. Therefore, since we are held responsible for either accepting or rejecting God, we must have the free will to so choose. It violates both love and logic to teach that God withholds free will (because he is apparently intimidated by other free beings) yet holds us guilty for being sinners. It is both insane and evil.

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