Calvinist Critiques of Mark Cahill; Calvinism Weighed and Found Wanting

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By: Brenda Nickel

Recently, Calvinist bloggers have been less than charitable to their one time friend in evangelism, Mark Cahill.  Having thoroughly embraced the belief system of Calvinism, and feeling strong obligation to defend its understanding of God and the gospel, these men put out an ‘all points bulletin’ throughout the blogosphere warning of disagreement among the brethren. Completely offended that someone could possibly disagree with them, they’ve posted Mark’s private email correspondence on the internet to make their sentiments about him widely known.  Apparently, he has now become their ‘enemy for telling them the truth’ (Gal 4:16).  Somebody needs to tell them their doctrine doesn’t make biblical sense.  While they meant this for harm, God has worked it ‘together for good’ (Ro 8:28) so they and many others might understand what Calvinism is really all about.

So why are the normally stoic Calvinists falling to pieces?  Someone has dared to expose their “doctrines of grace” for what they are; doctrines that disgrace both the character of God and the true gospel of Christ.  Mark Cahill accurately warns that Calvinism is a different plan of salvation and Calvinists are heading into Galatians 1 territory.  Even within their own ranks “TULIP” is considered a different gospel than that of non-Calvinists.  So what’s the issue?  In short, Calvinists think Mark is accusing them of not being saved; an accusation they freely apply to others I might add.  Perhaps some aren’t saved, but we don’t know that and neither does Mark.  Only God knows the heart.  For all their scholarly pursuits, did they miss that both Peter and Barnabas were carried away by the Judaizers’ for a time?  Nobody’s calling these esteemed men of the Bible unsaved.  It seems Calvinists feel justified calling others out, but can’t handle accusations coming back their way.  Guess they’re used to doing the inspecting rather than being the inspected.

Misunderstanding

Consequently, these Calvinist bloggers have completely misunderstood Mark’s position, mounting their attack through a veritable army of straw men.  Their defense of sovereign election has blinded them to their treatment of not only of him, but of anyone who dares defect from their camp.  Opposition simply cannot be tolerated, especially from someone as formidable as Mark Cahill.  It’s been said that the threat one poses is measured by the attack mounted against them.  In light of this, consider Shane Dodson’s comments about Mark’s Statement on Calvinism Statement on Calvinism,


“Let me say at the onset that if this ‘statement’ were written by anybody other than a respected leader/teacher in the body of Christ, I wouldn’t be responding to this.” 

“Simply put, when Mark Cahill speaks, people listen.”

 

In Mark’s case, they have marshaled all their forces and then some, revealing their desperate attempt to bolster an indefensible belief system.  In doing so, the foolishness of Calvinism has been put on full display.

Different God, Jesus, and Gospel

Obviously, Calvinism is a different gospel purchased by a different jesus, that is offered by a different god.  To avoid any confusion let me be crystal clear; this is exactly a Galatians 1 issue!  My strong statement is intended to delineate truth from error without judging individuals; merely the doctrine.  So ask yourself who your God is; absolutely sovereign, or sovereignly giving man choice?  Does He sovereignly elect without reference to faith, or on the basis of faith?  Does God choose who will be saved, or does man choose to believe to be saved?  Both characters of God can’t be true at the same time.  The same could be asked of Jesus.  Did He die for all men, or just the preselected?  Is His blood applied before belief, or after belief?  Both atonements can’t be true at the same time either. And finally, consider which gospel you’re trusting in; unconditional election or election conditioned on faith in the cross?  Are only some enabled to believe, or are all able to believe? Is faith from the heart, or is faith supernaturally gifted from God?  Are sinners born again before belief, or born again after belief?  Both gospels cannot be true at the same time as well.  Once impacted by the notion of election, the mesmerized Christian is shifted from the biblical view of God, Jesus and the gospel to the unbiblical view.

Worldly Philosophy

Therefore, there is no middle ground when it comes to Calvinism, no matter how some try to convince us otherwise.  You’re either all in or all out. Hedging is just making friends with its worldly philosophy, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). In case some doubt that election/reprobation is worldly thinking, consider that Augustine, the Catholic neo-Platonist philosopher, brought election forward from his days in the dualistic Manichean cult. Dualism, the coexistence of opposites, and election expressed as elitism, both have histories firmly rooted in ancient ideologies. Unaware of these origins, Calvinists blend two mutually exclusive belief systems through the union of opposites under the banner of “mystery.”  Interesting dialectic that neutralizes truth to establish error.  Paul told the Galatians, 11But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  12For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal 1:11-12).

Recant

While claiming the historic high ground of orthodox Christianity, sadly these men act more like the Catholics they swear off than the Christ they lay claim to. Coincidentally, neither group tolerates dissent. Complete compliance is required or it’s the funeral pyre for rebels!  Now, wasn’t it the Inquisition that forced recantations at the threat of death?  Wasn’t it their hero John Calvin who essentially did the same?  Didn’t I read that today’s Calvinists brazenly call for Mark’s recantation as well?   No room for acting according to conscience.  Guess we should be thankful that discrediting is all the Calvinists can attempt these days.  Yes, the reformed Catholics are acting just like their father Augustine, who instituted such practices in the name of God!  Mark Cahill and other Calvinist casualties apparently don’t recognize such “gestures” as the love of Christ extended to them for their good!

Spiritual Fathers

Jesus had a few words to say to those who attempted to silence the message of truth by killing the messenger.  The Pharisees followed spiritual fathers who put God’s prophets to death, 29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,  30And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets” (Matt 23:29-30). The Pharisees insisted they weren’t doing what their fathers did but Jesus, leaving no room for equivocation, hit this hard saying, 31Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Fill up then the measure of their guilt” (Matt 23:31-32). The take home message is don’t claim manslayers as your spiritual fathers, for fear of doing the same.  Hmmm…interesting that Calvinists have Augustine, Luther, Calvin and Zwingli as their fathers, all of whom have blood on their hands either directly or indirectly. I for one will never claim Catholics nor reformed Catholics as my spiritual fathers, lest I swerve from the truth and imitate their ways, “31Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods” (Dt 12:31a).

Revering men

Ever noticed how many men are revered within Calvinism?  Does this strike anyone as odd?  Now let’s see, there is John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, Francis Schaeffer, Martin Lloyd-Jones, James Boyce, J. I. Packer D. A. Carson, James Kennedy, R. C. Sproul, John MacArthur, John Piper, Paul Washer, Al Mohler, James White, Mark Driscoll, Todd Friel and Phil Johnson just to name a few.  Whatever happened to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?  What about James or Peter or Jude?  Why take instruction from men?  Paul explains the company of super apostles did the same in his day, 12For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12 ).  Guess we’ll choose who we want our teachers to be; men or the Holy Spirit, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth“(John 16:13a).

Trusting Scholarship

Interestingly, Calvinists vest much credibility in scholarship, which has led them into the realm of logical and syllogistic reasoning, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Col 2:8). To make Calvinism viable, it must be buttressed by out of context scriptures strung together to give the strong impression it’s true.  Do people realize that biases are cleverly disguised and presented as fact through the wisdom of scholarship? “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”(1 Cor 1:21). The deadly fusion of truth mixed with error deeply embeds, and then protects the lie thus constructing a nearly impregnable fortress of falsehoods. The average Christian never suspects there is a problem as they trust their favorite theologians, who are part of a larger community of academics presenting a unified front that Calvinism is true. Perhaps the captives promoting these philosophies don’t realize the deceptive games, although at times I have my doubts.  God simply warns us that depending on men, rather than on the Spirit of Truth, leaves us ripe for deception.  “8It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Ps 118:8). Never should we listen to any teaching without an open Bible present to keep context and God’s character firmly in view.

Once sovereign election is inserted into the Calvinists’ spreadsheet of theology, other doctrines must be adjusted to make their system “add up.”  Consequently, endless hours of scholarship, dependence on logic, reliance on rules of interpretation, seeking after men’s teachings, consulting creeds and confessions, reading the early church fathers, and revering the great Calvinists of history come into play as devotees try to make sense of this senseless system. Calvinism is an intellectual man’s heresy confirming the well-known fact that the intelligent are quite susceptible to deception since they can follow all the twists and turns of false doctrines. 27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Cor 1:27). Amusingly, those who don’t understand Calvinism run the risk of being labeled non-elect!  How conveniently self-regulating is that?

Tradition Nullifies

The battle for hearts and minds, waged through the interpretation of the Word, is nothing new.  If the Pharisees arrogantly challenged Jesus over whose teachings were correct, then it shouldn’t surprise us to see the same things go on today with reformed Calvinists.  Pharisaism nullified the Word for the sake its tradition, and Calvinism additionally nullifies the cross for its tradition, while loudly declaring the opposite.  More about that below.  Completely astounded by this accusation, Calvinists howl “insult” through rebuttals that defend their positions to the bitter end, not realizing the powerful deception they’re under.

Delusion

What is the strong delusion Calvinists have been captured by? The absolute, sovereign, predestining, unknowable, and mysterious purposes of God. It escapes their notice that God has sovereignly given mankind the responsibility and ability to believe.  Apparently, granting this ability is the one thing their sovereign god cannot do.  For all intents and purposes, absolute sovereignty becomes the idol to be honored for fear that man has any sovereignty in himself.  Everything must bow to this exaggerated view of sovereignty; the character of God bows to it, the gospel bows to it and ultimately men must bow to it.

For instance, consider the attribute of God’s justice that bends to this type of sovereignty. Calvinists trumpet long and loud that God is altogether “moral” and “just,” for preselecting some but not all, to salvation. They wouldn’t have to repeat this so often if it were indeed true.  How can a judge be moral or just when he’s tampered with the evidence and fixed the verdict before the case even goes to trial?  This turns the legal proceedings into a kangaroo court!  If such injustice isn’t tolerated in earthly courts, how can it be valid in God’s heavenly courts?

Wanting to make God responsible for salvation rather than man, Calvinists say if we have faith from our hearts, we’re “saving ourselves.” If we do the believing, it’s “human merit.” If we come to the cross, it’s a “false conversion.” Ever notice how Calvinism attaches the vital components of the gospel to pride or works?  Christians run from these every time and in doing so, they run from the gospel they’re attached to. Clever scheme of the evil one to keep men from placing faith in the cross.  And we play right into his hands!  What a shrewd strategy to discredit the true gospel in exchange for the false gospel of monergism, where the Calvinist god alone expends the effort in drawing, providing faith for, and saving the elect.

To justify this redefined gospel and ascribe all responsibility for salvation to God, Calvinist captives begin studying the Bible through the prism of unconditional election. In practice, hyperbolized sovereignty becomes their hermeneutic. Every verse becomes an opportunity, a fork in the road so to speak, to interpret scriptures according to personal choice or sovereign predestination. The path we travel down speaks volumes about who we believe God to be, thus answering the ultimate question; “But whom do you say that I am?”(Mk 8:29). They cannot fathom that sovereign election isn’t true, because after all it’s in the Bible isn’t it, or is it?  Generally speaking, when comparing the Bible’s mention of “election” and “predestination” against the mention of “faith” and “belief,” the imbalance becomes obvious.  However, Calvinists want us to believe the real linchpin in salvation is election to minimize the overwhelming evidence for personal faith.

Foolishness

Honestly, do these men really expect us to believe the foolishness that God preselects and saves sinners apart from meeting the condition of faith?  The whole Bible is filled with the necessity of belief!  Of course they have that base covered saying man is too dead in sins to believe. Claiming atheism proves their point, they overlook that man knows he’s accountable to God, 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom 1:20-21). It’s not that man can’t believe, it’s that he won’t believe. True depravity, biblically speaking, comes through suppressing the knowledge of God (Romans 1:18-32). Calvinism’s depravity confuses physical death where the person can’t reason, with spiritual death where the sinner can reason through the truth claims of scripture.  Curious how the “dead” prodigal son reasoned his way back to his father whom he was merely separated from, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:24).

Predictably, at this point Calvinists start agreeing that men do need to believe and that men will be held accountable, but conveniently leave out that men can’t do so unless God regenerates them first.  Read that as born again before belief!  Then follows a seemingly endless barrage of senseless double talk such as Christ’s death was “potential” for all, but “actual” only for some.  Sounds close enough to back off their opposition, until it’s discovered that Christ “actually” died only for the elect.  As expected, there’s no possibility for a “potential” atonement for all.  They just say that to pass “potential atonement” off as potentially true. Or perhaps they’ll float the “payment of wrath” argument followed by the “double indemnity” accusation if some for whom Christ died end up in hell.  A double payment for sin in hell?  Now think that through for a moment.  Can a sinner offer anything, including suffering, as payment for sin? The Bible teaches that only Christ’s sinless blood atones for sin.  Therefore, a sinful man can’t pay for his sins, even in hell.  I thought this purgatorial issue was settled long ago through Christian apologetics.

This whole system hinges on the empowerment of grace, that ineffable driving force behind sovereign election.  Irresistible grace not only “regenerates” the elect apart from their consent, it also “grants” the elect repentance, “gifts” the elect with faith, “calls” the elect to believe, “draws” the elect to the Son, and causes the elect to “persevere” in obedience. So nuanced is “grace” in this system that John Calvin even claimed God’s grace purposely ascribes a false faith to the reprobate to better condemn them with!  He called it evanescent grace.  I call it cruel.  Isn’t it time we fess up to who this god of Calvinism might really be?

Who is this god?

Consider the words of Jesus when He bluntly told the Pharisees, who never trusted Him in belief, whom they were following, 44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” When Calvinist doctrines teach that God loves all men but not enough to provide for their greatest need, salvation, it portrays Him as a liar. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). If God purposely reprobates men to hell through either omission or commission, this portrays Him as a manslayer. The Bible says, “The Lord is not….willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Contradicting scripture, Calvinism says God predestines everything for His good pleasure, including the destinies of men, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Eze 33:11). Thus, the teachings of Calvinism ascribe the attributes of the evil one to the God of the Bible.  Strong language that should get our attention.

Contradictions

Undaunted, Calvinists work tirelessly around these contradictions rather than allow themselves to be alarmed by the hypocrisy assigned to God’s character.  Unmoved, they redefine inconvenient words that get in the way their theology.  For instance, when God “so loved the world,” they say He doesn’t really mean the “whole world.” Didn’t sin enter the whole world?  And while “all” men obviously aren’t saved they say “the many,” meaning the elect, are saved.  What will they do when “the many” are on the broad road to destruction, while it is “the few” who find the narrow way leading to life?

Additionally, consider some of their favorite biblical campsites.  Take John 6 for example.  They boast that John 6:44 is proof positive for sovereign election, not reading one word beyond this cherished verse to see that in John 6:45 those brought to the Son are the ones who have heard and listened to the Father. The necessity to listen and believe God’s teachings is backed up in Luke, 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31). Those who trust the Father, rather than unconditional election, are the ones that come to Christ because they want and believe truth.

However Calvinists must, and I mean must, read absolute sovereignty into nearly every verse. Think about Ephesians 1 where blessings, not individuals, are predestined. The blessings are purposed “in Him,” 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). If they read to Eph 1:12-13, they’ll see those who believe are the ones placed “in Christ” and who receive the predestined blessings.

And finally think through Romans 9 where God foreknows, chooses and shows mercy to those who believe His promises (Ro 9:11-13).  God doesn’t play favorites by pre-choosing individuals or foreordaining belief.  Paul warned the Romans, as he warns us today, against ascribing injustice or unrighteousness to the character of God by letting our minds gravitate toward determinism, 14What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid!” (Rom 9:14).  Yet Calvinists stubbornly resist any interpretation that disagrees with their “particular” redemption.  Reasoning with them is like arguing with an unyielding teenager where truth merely launches their privately held viewpoint, and yet they accuse us of controversy and unsound doctrine!

Instead of immersing themselves in these academic exercises, Calvinists should be asking, “Why the equivocation, why the double speak and why the scholarly gymnastics?” They should wonder, “Could the Holy Spirit be convicting me of error?” and “Why does so much of the Bible need to be redefined to give TULIP traction?” I thought the gospel was simple enough for a child to understand.  God’s truth is solid and straightforward, not needing such devices to make His truth known.  God has spoken openly and plainly.  Should we tolerate semantics imposed on the scriptures?  The apostle John tells us, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The bottom line is making adjustments in the message of Word is making adjustments both in the character of God and the gospel. Ask yourself, isn’t this what false religions do with the Bible?

Perseverance of the Saints

Given enough time, Calvinism unavoidably shifts its disciples’ focus away from the cross and toward works, while adamantly declaring otherwise.  Perseverance of the saints isn’t merely persevering in faith as most understand it. Perseverance is more accurately placed in works-obedience masquerading as repentance.  As long as the debate cycles around Lordship salvation, the debilitating double-bind of Calvinism goes completely unaddressed.  See, the Calvinist follows the subtle example of leaders who judge the faith of others as either true or false. The real question behind this exercise is whether the person in question has a supernaturally gifted faith, or a human false faith. How would anyone know the difference?  In a word, obedience.

Once the Calvinist judges others, he can’t help but notice the same shortcomings in his own walk. Doubt creeps into the Calvinist’s thinking causing him to distrust his own election.  He wonders if perhaps he is one to whom God has ascribed a false faith.  To prove to himself and others that he’s indeed elect, he strives to live the model Christian life, thus exchanging obedience for works. The smallest sin panics him into wondering if he was truly saved in the first placed.  No surprise since Reformed theology denies the carnal nature.  Without his awareness, he has been stealthily brought under the condemnation of a works-based gospel.

Voicing his concern to others would likely confirm his worst fears; reprobation. Therefore he suffers in silence, receiving no assurance from scripture or the cross since both have been nullified according to the tradition of Calvinism.  Hopeless, he wonders how he could have believed the gospel any more than he has.  Sadly election, rather than faith in the cross, has become his gospel.  If he was never elected, he knows there’s no way to become elect, even though he throws himself on the mercies of God.  The Calvinist never suspects his treasured “doctrines of grace” are the problem.  He’s bought the lie and lives as his own prisoner, though freedom is only a hand’s breadth away.  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

Two-part Salvation

To drive their works-based theology home further, the Calvinist eventually learns salvation is really a two step process separated by perhaps years; regeneration provided before belief and the righteousness of Christ given after belief.  Rather than correctly teach the righteousness of God given to believers sacrifices self and not others, as Christ did on the cross, Calvinists misunderstand the righteousness credited to them as law-keeping obedience. Paul refutes this saying, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Rom 3:21-22). Since when does obedience count for salvation anyway?  Paul teaches salvation is by faith, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5).

Promoting the falsehood of law-based righteousness not only empowers Lordship salvation’s obedience motif, it also moves the Calvinist toward Reformed theology’s Covenant of Works with Adam.  Never mind that this “covenant” can’t be located with chapter and verse on the pages of scripture!  Reformed theology validates this non-existent covenant as if it’s completely true saying Christ, the second Adam, graciously provided the necessary obedience for the elect’s salvation. The obedience they have in mind is Christ’s obedience to the Law.  Therefore, obedience in the life of the elect testifies to whether this transaction from the second Adam has taken place or not.  Sadly, no amount of obedience can give assurance of salvation because true assurance comes through faith in Christ’s payment for all sins on the cross!   Again Paul says law-keeping righteousness nullifies the cross, 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain”(Gal 2:21). The Calvinist has no idea his TULIP gospel is the entry point into Covenant theology; one of many dangers introduced through this system.  Reformed theology with its Law keeping, Supersessionism, Sacramentalism, Reconstructionism, Preterism and Kingdom Now worldview follows close on the heels of Calvinism.  No surprise since Calvinism is the gospel of Reformed theology.

Evangelism

With all the evidence proving Calvinism false, more people should be standing against this serious faction that threatens to redefine biblical Christianity from the inside out.  We must protect others from thinking Calvinism is just a benign sect within Christendom that we can share ministry and evangelism with.  While the words used in witnessing by Calvinists and non-Calvinists are generally the same, the real danger comes when the young believer who trusts those who gave him the gospel he was saved by, later trusts them for sound doctrine to grow by. The Calvinist, who is completely captivated and enthralled by sovereign predestination, can’t help but taint others with his spiritual viewpoint that if adopted, wreaks havoc in the lives of believers.  The mature and immature alike must be protected from its insidious and detrimental influences.

Additionally, the Calvinist doesn’t understand he witnesses to the lost with dubious intentions.  Since his god didn’t elect and die for “all,” he isn’t alarmed if salvation isn’t accepted by “all.” Since his god feigns love for “all,” he feigns concern for “all.” The Calvinist simply shakes the dust off his feet and moves on to search for the “lost” who he hopes are really the “elect.” Of course the Calvinist insists this isn’t the case, and maintains he truly does care about the lost, but this superficial concern masks his real motivation; persevering in obedience and doing “all for the glory of God.” God is not glorified for sending multitudes to hell who have no genuine chance to believe.  Therefore, we should be careful who we partner with in evangelism lest we endorse teachers and support ministries that promote Calvinism’s harmful message and practices.

Closet Calvinists

Foolishly, closet Calvinists play both sides of the fence pretending to be the friend of each until push comes to shove; then their true colors show. You know, the ones who call themselves biblicists, attend Calvinist churches, share close fellowship with Calvinists, revere Calvinist authors, promote Calvinist studies, endorse Calvinist books, put Calvinists in leadership or on staff, give Calvinists platforms to speak in their churches, and invite Calvinists to speak at their conferences, yet won’t divulge their personal stance on the subject?  “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Their fear of stepping into the light speaks volumes about their embarrassment over this theology.  If they believed it to be truth they would say so without hesitation, 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:20-21). Without a doubt peer acceptance, notoriety, prestige, accolades, money and the like are found in Calvinist quarters and men who pursue such things risk the shipwrecking of their faith.  It takes courage and boldness to stand against these doctrines, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all” (Isa 7:9b). Imagine what Paul would say about such widespread acceptance of, and indifference toward Calvinist teachings today.

Conclusion

We all face trials and tests of faith in this life for which we will give account before the Lord at the Bema seat judgment.  One such trial is the same Peter faced when asked who he loved more; men or Christ, “Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” (John 21:15b). Building our lives around Calvinism makes it doubly hard to leave, but the Lord is worth it,13Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach” (Heb 13:13). Not only will we give account for whether we love Christ more than men, we’ll also answer for whether we are substituting evil for good?  “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa 5:20). Calvinism is sweet in the mouth at the onset as it pumps up pride for believing one is specifically preselected, but in the end it produces deep bitterness and shame for having misunderstood the character of God and participated in spreading its false gospel.

Having personally lived through the nightmare of Calvinism, I know the instrumental role men, scholarship, redefined scriptures, the “mysterious” purposes of God, and more played in my indoctrination.  Never again will I trust men, their teaching or leadership unless they square solidly with the Bible and demonstrate God’s character. There are many such men in Christendom, one of whom is Mark Cahill who Calvinists have made their latest target.  Do they realize what is done to God’s children is being done to the Lord?  Their attacks have given Mark the privilege of sharing in the sufferings of Christ, who too was wounded in the house of His friends (Zech 13:6).  Tell me again, what is that 6th commandment we use when witnessing?   Notice Mark has not retaliated.  So who is actually going after whom?  I’d think some shred of conviction would prompt these bloggers to remove their blog posts so the work of evangelism they say they care so much about continues unhindered.  I for one would not want to stand before Christ and answer for attacking a fruitful ministry obviously blessed by God, nor for going after one of His devoted servants.  20Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness” (Pro 30:20).

Knowing we will answer for our actions in life, is it wise to ascribe to God this gospel that excludes men from the very salvation His Son paid so dearly to provide?  This should give Calvinists serious pause.  Will we all hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” as we stand before the throne or do we think God hands rewards out like soccer trophies to every kid on the team?  Calvinists would do well to take a hard look at their doctrine and the damage it causes before that sobering day of reckoning arrives on their doorstep unannounced.

In conclusion, should we relegate Calvinism to a minor doctrinal difference not worth dividing over?  Do Christians care enough to educate themselves about this teaching that ruins fellowship and splits churches?   As Mark Cahill has said, Jesus stood up for you on that cross 2000 years ago.  Shouldn’t we stand up for Him?  Isn’t truth worth defending?  “15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh 24:15).

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  1. Brenda says:

    Thank you for your kind endorsement and spreading the word about Calvinism. Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike need to be warned about the pitfalls of this doctrine. Many thanks! Brenda

  2. John Gregory says:

    WOW!!! One of, if not the, best short version arguments that I have ever read! Thank You Brenda!
    This from a 65 year old Biblicist who has been fighting Calvinism for 35 years. I will share this with
    many others. God bless, John Gregory

  3. Brenda says:

    Hi John,
    Thank you for your comments about how this article helped you!! I’m thrilled to join the ranks of those who’ve been standing guard against this heresy for years! It’s encouraging to know believers such as yourself stand strong against it! Thanks for passing the article along!
    Many blessings! Brenda

  4. I just want to tell you that I am just new to blogging and actually savored your web blog. Almost certainly I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You absolutely come with superb article content. Thanks a lot for sharing your blog site.

  5. Brenda says:

    Hi Roseanne,
    So glad to hear that your first experiences with blogging are so positive! Check out the other articles on the site about Calvinism….they’re all good!
    Praying for your stand for truth! Brenda

  6. Nic says:

    Hi Brenda, I just read Shane Dodson’s critique of Mark Cahill’s statement – are you going to comment on any of his comments? Or any of the other comments by Calvinists re Mark’s statement?

  7. Tagg 91 says:

    Hello! WOW, thank you so much for rightly dividing the word of truth! This has blessed me greatly! I believed the Gospel when I was 17 and a few years later I became friends with some Christians that I counted as my brothers. I was not long until I met the beast. I was shocked and abhorred by the teachings of Calvin, and even more so that my friends believed it! So, I began a journey (self-righteously I might add) to disprove it. However, I did not know the Word enough to do so, and to only interpretation of the scriptures I knew were through the eyes of Calvin. I made a vow, that if God was the god of Calvin that I would forsake Him for I determined if Calvinism is true then I am more righteous than God. What happened however was that I feared death and Hades and could not counter the intellectual giants I faced on a daily basis. I continued in fellowship with the Calvinists and read their doctrines and attempted to believe it. I prayed that God would allow me to believe it! I could not. For as long as I was with the Calvinists I doubted my salvation, and like you said I doubted that I could ever be saved for how could I come to Christ any more than I already have? How could I believe and be saved if God had chosen before the foundation of the world for me to be a reprobate? Why would God bring me this far, and not deliver me? How could He be so cruel? I grew bitter and hated God. The god that does not love all men and did not die for their sins. The god that has predestined for all of my family to be damned for aside from me and one uncle, all are currently lost. I was driven half mad by endless philosophies and vain deceits of men. Then, one fine day, a week and a day ago to be exact, I watched a youtube video in which Bible4Truth clearly explained the Gospel and denounced the false gospel of Calvin. It was as though I heard the Gospel for the first time! I was relieved that I still believed that which I believed before. I was a saved sinner who had descended into error. I have since stopped attending the Calvinist Baptist church I have been going to for the last 5 months. They do not yet know why but I will surely soon tell them. Maybe God has a small ministry for me there for many of them love and respect me. They may hear the words that God would have me to say.
    So that is my story. For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. (psalm 96:4) I now understand why God is great, and greatly to be praised! Under Calvin, I could not reconcile this truth. May God bless you richly and prosper your ministry!

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