Some of Calvin's Contradicting Nonsense

(This is from the post "Problems in John Calvin's Institutes ..."  I am breaking it up into smaller posts, with some additions.  This is a little long and rambling ... but then again, so is John Calvin!)



This first part is from point #1 on that post:

One of the big problems I have with John Calvin's theology (with Calvinism) is that he contradicts himself.  

In Book 1, Chapter 15, section 1, Calvin is basically saying that we can't blame God for mankind's problems or try to excuse ourselves for the problems we cause.  He says we must "diligently guard" against the "depraved procedure" of blaming God and trying to excuse ourselves.  (Totally true!)  

Yet later, Calvin clearly teaches that humans have no free-will, that God controls everything, even all evil, even our wills, and that we can't make any choices or even any utterances on our own.  Calvin clearly believes that there is only one operating force in the world, only one thing that affects anything: God.

Calvin's own words:


Man
"cannot even give utterance except in so far as God pleases..." (Book 1, Chapter 16, section 6).  
            [So then, did God cause Moses to argue with Him in Exodus 4, to the point that God's anger burned against him?  Did God cause the Israelites, when they were being led by Moses out of Egypt, to complain about His care for them, to worship the golden calf, to anger Him so much that He punished them with death in the desert?  So God, for His pleasure, causes people to argue and rebel, and then He gets angry about it and punishes them!?!  Interesting!  Sounds more like the actions of an irrational mythological Greek god than the God of the Bible.]  


"... everything done in the world is according to His decree..."  (Book 1, Chapter 16, section 6).  
            [So I am going to have to assume then that Calvin never read Hosea 8:4:  “They [Israel] set up kings without my [God’s] consent; they choose princes without my approval.”  And that he never heard of Isaiah 30:1:  “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine.”]



"... the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as [God] permits - nay, unless in so far as he commands ..."  (Book 1, Chapter 17, section 11)  
            [I could agree that Satan and the ungodly are reigned in by God, that God gives them boundaries and decides what to allow them to do and what to not allow.  And yes, sometimes God does use them to carry out His plans, by letting them be evil and working their evilness into His plans.  But Calvin pushes it further by saying that God "commands" everything they do.  It's one thing to say He allows it or that He uses their wickedness for His plans; it's quite another to say He commands/causes them to be wicked and to act wickedly.  This would mean that God commands demons and wicked people to kill, steal, and destroy, etc., that He commands people to cheat on their spouses, abuse their children, worship other gods, spread lies, etc.  This would mean God commands us to do the very things He told us not to do.  How contradictory!  At this point, Calvin's gone too far past what Scripture says about God and His character and about who's responsible for what.  He adds his own ideas to the Bible and, in doing so, disqualifies himself from being a trustworthy presenter of the Gospel Truth!]  


"The counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined" (Book 1, Chapter 16, section 8).  
            [Funny, 'cuz Jeremiah 19:4-5 says “They have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods … They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offering to Baal – something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.”  
            If God directs all men's actions and wills, then God must have directed these people to sacrifice their children.  Interesting how He can cause something He never commanded, nor mentioned, nor even thought about!  I'm very curious how that works!  Or maybe it's that God simply wrote His Word down wrong, that He didn't really mean what He said.  Silly God!  He really should have checked with John Calvin first, before writing these Scriptures down.  Because it kinda contradicts Calvin's theology, which, as we all know, is THE GOSPEL, of course!!!
            Now, yes, I agree that God has over-all, long-term plans for mankind that He is working towards, in general.  He is building His eternal family right now, calling as many people as possible to join Him, to accept eternal life.  And we are all on the path to the ultimate ending He has planned, when He will get rid of all evil, do away with death, separate the sheep from the goats, renew all things and make everything right again, etc.  But He doesn't dictate if we walk that path obediently or disobediently.  He doesn't decide for us if we will choose Him or reject Him.  He leaves that up to us.  And we will reap the consequences of our choices.  
            But He can and does use our obedience or disobedience to accomplish His short-term plans, the things He wants to have happen on earth.  He is wise enough and sovereign enough to know how to work our choices into His plans, how to put them to good use, how to make something good out of them.  
            But if we do disobey, it's not because He caused it.  It's because we chose to disobey.  And we will justly reap the consequences of it.  Consequences He never wanted for us.  
            Think of when God took the Israelites into the Promised Land.  His plan was to use Moses to lead them from Egypt into Canaan.  But they chose to rebel in the desert.  So God let them die off in the desert as a result of their resistance.  But He ultimately did accomplish His plans, by taking the next generation into Canaan, those who were willing to obey.  God had a plan.  He ultimately accomplished His plan.  But He allowed the people to choose whether they would obey or resist His plans.  And they reaped the consequences.]


"... it is certain that not a drop of rains falls without the express command of God" (Book 1, Chapter 16, section 5).  And "... no wind ever rises or rages without His special command" (section 7).  
            [Really?  So in Job 1, God sent the sky fire to burn up the sheep and servants, and He directed the wind to knock down the house on Job's children?  I suggest reading it again more closely.
            It's one thing to say God "allowed" it; it's quite a different thing to say He "caused" it!  And this is where Calvinism goes wrong!  It attributes everything to "God caused it," instead of realizing that God works in different ways: sometimes by causing things, but many other times simply by allowing things, such as allowing us to makes decisions, allowing us to sin, allowing nature to stir up disasters, allowing Satan and demons to interfere and cause trouble.  
            Calvinists do not correctly understand what "sovereignty" means, how a sovereign God acts.  He doesn't have to control every little thing in order to be "in control."  But Calvinism assumes that an "in-control" God has to control everything.  This then naturally leads to huge theological problems and contradictions.  Because then they have to explain how a good, righteous God can cause people to sin and cause people to be unbelievers, and how He can then punish them for something He caused.  They have to try to find "reasonable" answers for why God causes every single tragedy, for His purposes and pleasure, even childhood abuse and child rape.  
            But their answers are always round-and-round, nonsensical ramblings, doing their best to make sense out of nonsense.  "God causes all things but isn't responsible for our sin.  God causes us to sin but we are still responsible for it.  We don't know how this works, but we just have to accept it.  Blah, blah, blah..."  Trying to shove square pegs in round holes.  They just can't accept that a sovereign God can - and has - chosen to allow people to make choices, to allow things to happen that He didn't want or cause, but that in His sovereignty, He will work it all into good.
            I guess their God is not powerful enough or wise enough to grant men free-will and yet to still be sovereign.]


Calvin goes on and on about how we have no control, no ability to act or even speak on our own.  That God controls every action of His creation, even all the tragedies.  But then he contradicts himself by admonishing us to "diligently guard" against blaming God for the bad things that we cause ... as if we have any power, influence, or control over ourselves or our circumstances ... as if God is not fully in control over everything, including the bad things we cause ... as if we can "diligently" do anything on our own.  And later in Book 1, Chapter 17, section 3, he says that we should "inquire and learn from Scripture what is pleasing to God, and then, under the guidance of the Spirit, endeavor to attain it."  As if we can choose to "endeavor to attain" anything for ourselves, apart from God causing us to.  As if the Holy Spirit needs our efforts to get something done.  Totally contradicting his own theology!

So, which is it?  Is God responsible or not?  Are we responsible or not?  Does God fully control us ... or do we have some sort of choice, responsibility, and influence in life?  

Calvin talks out of both sides of his mouth and expects us to accept it.  

Make up your mind, Calvin!



I also love how in Book, 2, Chapter 2, section 8, Calvin is condemning the use of the term "free-will."  And he says, "If any one, then, chooses to make use of this term ... but I am unwilling to use it myself; and others if they will take my advice, will do well to abstain from it."

Hmm!?!  So let me see here: God controls and causes everything, even our utterances, and so therefore there can be no free-will.  BUT Calvin has the freedom to will himself to not use the term "free-will"!?! 

Ha-ha-ha!  What irony!  

And he says that others could "choose to make use of this term," but that they would do well to take his advice and not use it.  AS IF they had any control over themselves, or any ability to use their free-will to make decisions about their free-will!  Something Calvin totally denies is possible.  

Ha-ha-ha!  You can't have it both ways, Calvin.  Make up your mind!  



[The only way Calvin affirms the idea of free-will is to use it to make us responsible for sin, as if we somehow willingly sin, even though, as Calvin claims, God is really the one who controls all sin and wickedness and rebellion and unbelief.  

Calvinists still deal with this messy contradiction - believing that God causes all evil and unbelief but that He is not responsible for it, that we are still somehow responsible for our sin and unbelief even though God caused it and created us that way.  And the only answer they can come up with is "Well, the Bible teaches both God's sovereignty and mankind's responsibility, so we have to believe both, even if we can't understand it."  

But the problem - as I said - is that Calvinists misunderstand what sovereignty means, how God works sovereignly in the world.  They say it has to mean He causes all things ... but then they run into the problem of who's responsible for evil.  

But if they would just view it properly - that God works in various ways, sometimes by causing things (but never sin) and sometimes by just allowing things (such as sin, unbelief, disobedience, nature problems, etc.), and that He knows how to weave it all into His plans - then it's not hard to understand at all.  

God lets us choose to sin and to disobey ... because He made it that way, giving us the power of choice, voluntarily restraining His own use of all-controlling power over us, choosing to work with and through mankind to a degree ... and so we are responsible for our sins and disobedience and unbelief because we chose it.  But in His wisdom and sovereignty, He knows how to weave our sins and disobedience into His plans, to make something good out of it.  There!  See how easy that was!  If you view it rightly, you have no trouble understanding it and making it fit with Scripture and God's character.

But no, this is simply too straightforward for Calvinists!  They can't accept something that is so simple that even a child or a seeker could understand it.  They love their "superior theological intelligence" too much.  And those with "superior intellect" want confusing and difficult teachings, a challenge, a workout for their brains, something that normal people can't grasp with their tiny brains.  And so they have to twist the basic truths of the Bible, and complicate and alter God's character and how He acts, and add secret and hidden meanings to words and verses in order to make it all more complex, so that it's something only they can truly understand with their superior intelligence.  So that it's something that's so unpleasant sounding - teaching things that sound so repulsive to us, like God predetermines who goes to hell and we have no ability to make any choices and everything that happens is because God caused it - that we have to be "super-humble" (like them!) in order to be able to accept it.  (Because otherwise we would rebel against that kind of teaching and that view of God ... and then John Calvin and other dogmatic Calvinists would be ashamed of us and accuse us of being bad Christians, of rebelling against God and dishonoring Him.)  

Calvinists turn God's simple, straightforward, hope-filled Word into a difficult, distasteful, confusing theology that only the "smartest and humblest" Christians can accept. 

Hooray for the Calvinist and their superior intelligence and ultra-humility!  The best kind of Christian!


FYI, I believe most average Calvinists are good, godly, humble people just trying to do their best to live out their theology as they've been taught.  But they haven't really explored Calvinism enough to see the problems in it.  They don't stop to think it might be nonsense because there are so many Calvinists out there that it must be true, right!?!  They don't stop to consider it might be wrong because they've been taught that it's unhumble to question it, as if they are questioning God Himself.  They've been taught that if they have any trouble accepting Calvinism, the problem is not with Calvinism but with them, with their tiny brains, with their level of pride and their lack of humility.  

It's sad.  

Calvinism is not too different from a cult or a false religion.  It traps people with fear, telling them they can't understand the Bible without Calvinist theologians telling them what to think, making them feel ashamed if they question it, and mocking or silencing any view that opposes it.  (My Calvinist pastor - or at least someone in the church office - deleted a very biblically-based comment I left on the pastor's post on predestination.  It was there for a few hours, and then it wasn't.  That was a last straw for me, to have someone at church deliberately block biblically-based opposing views on highly debatable subjects.  So wrong.  So cult-like.)  

I have great respect for the average, well-meaning, unaware Calvinist who is just trying their best to honor God as they've been taught to, but I have almost zero respect for Calvinism!  Because it destroys the Gospel, God's grace, God's love, Jesus's sacrifice, people's hope, our view of God, etc.  And honestly, with as much as it twists Scripture and God's character and Jesus's sacrifice ... I can't imagine God has any respect for Calvinism either!]




New stuff for this post:
Now with all this in mind - all the things Calvin says about how God controls everything we do, even our wills, so that there is no free-will, there is nothing we can do that He doesn't cause us to do, even wicked things - let's look at the theology Calvin teaches in the first 4 or 5 chapters of his Institutes... book 1. 

Honestly, I had almost no problems with what Calvin wrote in the first four chapters of his first book, other than he paints with very broad brushstrokes about how all people respond to God the same way.  But other than that, it all was pretty much right on track.  Basically, the following quotes are on-track biblically, referring to mankind's responsibility over his choices and his accountability to God.  

But then Calvin goes and ruins it at the end of Book 1, chapter 5 section 14, when he begins to talk about how the evidence of God in His creation is insufficient to lead us to God, how our own minds can't perceive it, and how it is by faith (from God) that we understand there is a Creator behind creation.  (I'll show what he says later.)  This is when he slowly starts to alter the Bible's truth and his own theology.  And it totally negates everything he just said, all the truth he just shared.  

So here is his (rather accurate) theology from the first several chapters.  Now, ask yourself how all this squares with his later teaching that God controls everything we do and that we have no free-will to do anything on our own?

You can't have it both ways, Calvin!     


From Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1:

#1:  Chapter 2, Section 1:  "For, until men feel that they owe everything to God ... they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience ..."  
            [Voluntary obedience?  How is that possible when "The counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined"?  "Voluntary" is a result of free-will choice.  But ... "I am unwilling to use [the term 'free-will] myself; and others if they will take my advice, will do well to abstain from it."  So free-will doesn't exist but we can still do something "voluntarily"!?!  Ha-ha-ha, that's a good joke!]  



#2:  Chapter 2, Section 2:  Calvin says that the pious man stands in awe of God's justness and thereby "curbs himself."  
            [He "curbs himself," his behavior and such.  Sounds like the pious man has some sort of control over himself.  Gasp!  I thought God alone controlled everything.  Right, Calvin!?!]



#3:  Chapter 3, Section 1:  Calvin says that the primitive man "chooses to worship wood and stone..."  (emphasis added)  
            [What is this 'choice' you speak of, Calvin?  Do today's Calvinists know you taught here that men get to choose their own gods?  Because, boy, would they be mad!  And confused!]



#4:  Chapter 3, Section 3:  "When the stupid hardness of heart, which the wicked eagerly court as a means of despising God ..."  
            [Wicked men "eagerly court" a "hardness of heart"?  Hmm?  Once again, do today's Calvinists know about this?  Because they staunchly believe - thanks to your theology, Calvin - that God deliberately causes people's hardness of heart without any influence or choice from them.  How confusing to now say that wicked men eagerly court hardness of heart, with the goal of despising God.  That men choose to despise God.  Interesting!  Very interesting!]   



#5:  Chapter 4, Section 1:  "When miserable men do seek after God ..."  
            [Oh my goodness!  Calvin said it!  He actually said that men seek God!!!  Do Calvinists know this!?!  Because they'd be horrified.  I can't tell you how many times I hear Calvinists say that men absolutely cannot seek after God, that they can't even think about God unless God has chosen them and makes them seek.  But now ... wow! ... Calvin himself says that men seek after God!  And not just the elected men, but miserable men.  
            You know who else says that men can seek God, that men should seek God?  God!  In His Word!  And yet Calvinists deny that this is possible unless God has chosen you and causes you to seek.  Totally flipping Scripture on its head!]  

In this section, he also says that men who define God as they want to because of their vanity and pride are "deservedly blinded, because, not contented with sober inquiry, because, arrogating to themselves more than they have any title to do, they of their own accord court darkness, nay, bewitch themselves with perverse, empty show.  Hence it is that their folly, the result of not only vain curiosity, but of licentious desire and overweaning confidence in the pursuit of forbidden knowledge, cannot be excused."  
            [Well, I guess if anyone would know what happens to men who define God as they want to because of their vanity and pride, it would be John Calvin!
            So ... let me get this straight ... "The counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined" ... but now ... men "of their own accord court darkness"!?!  And because of their vain curiosity and licentious desire and overweaning confidence in pursuing forbidden knowledge, they deserve the blindness they get!?!  So which is it?  Is it or is it not that God chooses whom to blind all on His own, with no influence from people?  Is it or is it not that men are ultimately responsible for their own blindness and hardness of heart?]  


#6:
  Chapter 4, Section 2:  "The expression of David 'The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God,' is primarily applied to those who ... stifle the light of nature, and intentionally stupefy themselves."  And "... As a just punishment of the wicked, after they have closed their own eyes, God makes their hearts dull and heavy, and hence, seeing, they see not."  
            [So rebellious men "intentionally stupefy themselves"?  And "close their own eyes"?  And that's why they deserve the blindness God afflicts them with?  Yes, I agree, men choose to rebel and to not see God, and so God blinds them as punishment.  But I'd be interested to see how Calvinists today incorporate this little gem into their theological view that God alone causes blindness and hardness of heart, that He has picked from the beginning of time who will not believe, and that we can do nothing to affect that either way!  And I'd be interested to see how Calvin meshes this with his later view that God alone is the sole cause of all things.  Actually, no, I'm not interested.  Because I read it already, and it's just a jumble of rambling nonsense, trying to harmonize opposing ideas that can't be harmonized.  If Calvin had just stopped at these first few chapters, I could have agreed with his views.]


#7:  Chapter 4, Section 3:  ... men "choosing rather to indulge their carnal propensities than to curb them ..."
            [Once again, "choose"!?!  Hey Calvin, I thought you later said that God was the cause of all things, even wickedness, even sin?  Let me see, where was it again?  Oh, yes, here it is:
            "... the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as [God] permits - nay, unless in so far as he commands ..."  
            And ... "... everything done in the world is according to His decree..."  
            And man "cannot even give utterance except in so far as God pleases..."  
            And yet now, here in Book 1 Chapter 4, men "choose" to indulge their carnal desires?  As opposed to your later idea that God causes all we do?  How, Calvin, can you say both things as if they are both true?  They are opposite ideas: God causes vs. man causes.  How can you say they are both true?  I don't get it.  And from the sound of it, you don't either!  
            And yet somehow, with all your discrepancies and contradictions and illogical reasoning and all the changes you made to God's Word and His character and Jesus's sacrifice, you still managed to get a huge movement going, causing a huge mass of intelligent people to identify themselves by your name instead of simply by Christ's name (Calvinists instead of simply Christian), to hang onto your every word, to filter the Bible through what you believe, and to spread it all like it's the Gospel Truth, in spite of the fact that it ultimately teaches the opposite of the clear truth of God's Word!  How did you do it?  It's incredible!  It's almost ... dare I say? ... wickedly supernatural!  Evil genius!]



Not only does Calvin, in these first chapters, highlight mankind's responsibility for his own choices, but he goes on to highlight how God makes Himself clear to all men through nature so that all might have the chance to find Him.  Something I can totally agree with.

#8:  Chapter 5, Section 1:  "since the perfection of blessedness consists in the knowledge of God, he has been pleased, in order that none might be excluded from the means of obtaining felicity [happiness]..." 
            [God was pleased to exclude no one from finding felicity, which I assume means eternal and true happiness in Him.  But how can it be that God makes it so that all have a chance to obtain happiness, but yet He predestines people for hell with no choice, according to Calvinism?  With no chance to find Him, even though He made Himself clear in nature so that people could find Him?  Why make light available to all yet not make all able to see it?  More contradictions from Calvin and Calvinism!]

Calvin says that the impression of God is so bright that "none, however dull and illiterate, can plead ignorance as their excuse" for not believing in God.  
            [Of course no one can plead ignorance as their excuse for not believing in God ... because (thanks to Calvinism) their real excuses are that God never gave them a choice, that He predestined them to hell, that He didn't even send Jesus to die for them, and that He caused them to be unbelievers!]


#9:  Chapter 5, Section 2:  All of us can see God in His creation.  It's clear to all.  "It is plain that the Lord has furnished every man with abundant proofs of his wisdom."  
            [Funny how God furnishes abundant proof of His existence to people He predestined to hell, who had no chance to believe in Him anyway!  What a waste of effort and proof!  And what a farce, acting like He gave all men the chance to see Him, but then blinding most men so they couldn't see.  But that is the Calvinist-God.  Nonsensical, irrational, and contradictory!  
            "But, hey, you don't have to understand it.  It's a mystery.  You just have to accept it!"  
            Hooogwaaash!]



#10:  Chapter 5, Section 3:  Calvin says that "Paul, accordingly, after reminding the Athenians that they "might feel after [seek] God and find him,"  immediately adds that 'he is not far from every one of us,' every man having within himself undoubted evidence of the heavenly graces by which he lives, and moves, and has his being."  And he also says, "No one, indeed, will voluntarily and willingly devote himself to the service of God unless he has previously tasted his paternal love, and been thereby allured to love and reverence Him."
            [So true!  Really!  Once again, Calvin acknowledges that men can seek God and that God has provided enough evidence to all of us so that we can all find Him.  He says we choose to "voluntarily and willingly" devote ourselves to God, that we are drawn to Him because of His love.  Calvin said things so correctly in these first several chapters.  
            But then, like a bad horror movie that starts out deceptively sweet and innocent, he goes on to create a terrible theology where men cannot seek God unless God makes them seek, where God randomly blinds and hardens men, and where men have no control over whether they find God or not.  
            You know what Calvinism ultimately amounts to?  Hogwash!  Yep, that's right, I said it again!  The filthy polluted water of pigs!
            (Excuse me, but I am throwing up in my mouth a little!)]



And he goes on with more of the same:

#11:
  Chapter 5, Section 8:  When talking about God being seen in all things, and how few there are who acknowledge it ... "Still, neither his power nor his wisdom is shrouded in darkness."  
            [So God's power and wisdom is not a mystery, huh!  Yet later Calvin - and Calvinism - clearly teaches that God's sovereign Will regarding salvation is a mystery to us, that it's unclear and we can't understand it.  We can't understand why He chooses some and not others, and we can't understand how He can cause evil and unbelief yet hold us responsible for it.  
            Yet here, in this section, Calvin says that God's power and wisdom are not shrouded in darkness, that we can all readily see Him at work in the world, enough to find Him.  
            So which is it?  Is He or is He not shrouded in darkness?  Is He or is He not clear to all?  
            Also in this section, "The excellence of divine wisdom is manifested in distributing everything in its due season, confounding the wisdom of the world, and taking the wise in their own craftiness; in short, conducting all things in perfect accordance to reason."  
            Really!?!  So it's reasonable to say God causes all wickedness but is not responsible for it!?!  To say men are controlled by God yet responsible for their actions!?!  To say God commands us not to sin, but He causes us to sin!?!  To say God expects us to believe in Him, but He makes it impossible for most people to believe!?!  To say God wants all people to be saved, but He predestines most people to hell!?!  To say He makes Himself clear to all through His creation so that we can find Him, but He blinds most people from seeing Him!?!  To say God didn't really mean "the world" when He said He loved the world, but He simply meant the few elected people!?!  To say Jesus didn't die for all people when the Bible tells us over and over again that He did!?!  Etc.!?!  

            Yep, totally in perfect accordance to reason!


            But if that's "reasonable" ... I'd hate to see "unreasonable"!


            For the record: God is totally reasonable.  Calvinism is not!]




#12:  Chapter 5, Section 9 is about how we can all see and seek and find God.  "The knowledge of God which we are invited to cultivate ..."  [Invited?  Not forced?  What is this un-Calvinist nonsense you're speaking!?!]  

"Hence it is obvious, that in seeking God ..."  [Once again, we seek God!?!  His own followers might just burn him at the stake for this kind of un-Calvinist teaching!  But Calvin's theology would have been accurate and consistent had he just stopped here.] 


#13:  Chapter 5, Section 15:  "It were, indeed, a strange defence for man to pretend he has no ears to hear [to hear God], while dumb creatures have voices loud enough to declare it."  
            [I say it's even stranger to say that God gives all people ears to hear but then deliberately prevents most of them from hearing.  And then He punishes them for it, as if they had a choice!]  


"Wherefore, when we wander and go astray, we are justly shut out from every species of excuse, because all things point to the right path."  
            [So we choose to wander and go astray, huh!?!  What about Calvinism's "God causes all things, and He decides if we are obedient or disobedient, if we believe or don't believe."
            And all things point to the right path, huh!?!  Except, of course, the Holy Spirit, who (according to Calvinism) refuses to point to the right path for most people ... right, Calvin!?!
            And what good is it for God to make all things point to the right path if He's already predestined where everyone will go?  There's no need to show the way if you've already planned the ending and there's nothing we can do about it!

            Calvinism bases its whole belief system on the idea that men are so utterly, totally depraved inside that there is no way we can see or even want God in our lives, unless God makes us do it.  (And He only does this for those He has prechosen to go to heaven.)  According to Calvinism, man does not control his own decisions.  God controls them.  "... everything done in the world is according to his decree..."
            So God preplans and causes everything that happens, and nothing can happen that God doesn't cause.  If you are predestined to heaven, you will be saved for sure because God will make it happen, and you can never lose your salvation because God controls it.  
            However, from Book 1, Chapter 14, Section 1:  "... yet so sluggish and grovelling is our intellect, that it was necessary he [God] should be more clearly depicted [in creation], in order that the faithful might not fall away to Gentile fictions.... So that we might not wander to and fro in uncertainty."
            Hmm?  How can this be?  How is it possible for the prechosen, predestined people to "fall away to Gentile fictions" if God Himself controls their wills, their decisions, as Calvin (and Calvinism) says?  How can anything else (such as our perception of God in creation) have an effect on us or our salvation, when God has already predecided it and will surely cause it to happen?  How can Calvin say that everything happens as God wants it to, yet now make it sound like if God is clear enough in His creation then the faithful won't fall away, but if He is not clear enough then they might fall away?  Where is God's sovereign, micromanaging control now, if our perceptions can cause the faithful to fall away?  How is this any different from us having the choice of believing or not believing in God?  
            And previously, Calvin said that God puts enough evidence of Himself in creation so that all men may see Him and seek Him.  Yet now, he says that God puts enough evidence of Himself in creation so that the faithful might not fall away.  Which is it?  Did God do it so that all men could see Him and seek Him?  Or did He do it to make it impossible for the faithful to fall away, which is a contradiction of Calvinism anyway because nothing except God can affect one's eternity?  If you are predestined to heaven, you will be saved and never fall away.  If you are predestined to hell, you never even had the chance to be saved because God caused you to be an unbeliever ... so says that glorious, God-honoring, super-spiritual, ultra-humble cult of Calvinism!

            Strangely, Calvinists still consider God "just" for causing unelected people to go to hell, for punishing them for their unbelief and wickedness, even though God Himself caused it, according to them.
            "In every part of Scripture we meet with descriptions of his paternal kindness and readiness to do good, and we also meet with examples of severity which show that he is the just punisher of the wicked, especially when they continue obstinate notwithstanding of all his forbearance."  (Chapter 10, section 1)
            So ... God is a "just punisher of the wicked," even though they say God Himself is the controller of that wickedness!?!  And God patiently bears with people - with people He Himself caused to be wicked and whom He predestined to be unbelievers and to go to hell, according to them!?!  So God patiently (and fruitlessly) bears with ... what? ... Himself?  Since He's the determiner of all things anyway? Interesting!  Irrational!  Nutso!
            According to them, Jesus didn't even die for the unelect, God predestined them for hell, and God caused them to be unbelievers, and then He punishes them for their unbelief ... and they call that "just"?  They say the unelect have no excuse for not believing in God even though God Himself caused them to not believe in Him!?!
            Yep, that's a "just" God indeed!  (Hogwash!)
            The God of the Bible is just!  But the Calvinist version of God is not!  He is an irrational monster whom they will defend with every bit of nonsense and illogical reasoning they can come up with!]



According to Calvin, we are guilty of "corrupting the seed of divine knowledge so wonderously deposited in [our] minds" and we "prevent it from bearing good and genuine fruit."  
            [Hmm?  WE corrupt the truth and WE prevent it from bearing fruit.  That sounds quite biblical (2 Thess 2:10, Romans 1:21-24, Romans 11:20,23)  ... but ...
            "... the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as [God] permits - nay, unless in so far as he commands ..."
            And ... "... everything done in the world is according to His decree..."
            And man "cannot even give utterance except in so far as God pleases..."
            Oh my goodness, am I tired of Calvin's nonsense!  I don't know how Calvinists put up with it!  I'd check what's in the water at Calvinist churches.  Do they serve Kool-Aid?]


Yes, I'm covering a bunch - maybe too many - of Calvin's little inconsistencies and contradictions.  But I want it to be abundantly clear that there are lots of reasons to disagree with him, to believe that his theology is messed up, that he's too inconsistent to be reliable.  The more we see how he contradicts his own stuff, the more we see that he can't be trusted.  Once again, this early stuff he wrote is biblically on-track, for the most part.  But it's important to read his early stuff in light of his later bad theology, because it contradicts his early stuff and makes him unreliable in his theological understanding.  

Calvinism in general will say some good things, some accurate things.  (But Calvinists can be very sneaky and slippery about their true beliefs, using the same words as the Bible but changing the meaning, hiding the bad parts while focusing only on the good, etc.  And most of the garden-variety Calvinists probably haven't even studied Calvinism thoroughly.  They haven't reasoned out their own theology, to see where it inevitably leads to.  So they aren't even aware of how bad it is!)  But if you view Calvinism's good stuff through the lens of its overall bad theology, it pretty much negates all the good things and makes it completely unreliable.  

Don't let its good points fool you into believing that it's an accurate theology.  Its ultimate conclusion that God causes all evil, that Jesus didn't die for everyone, and that God Himself determines who goes to heaven and who goes to hell and there's nothing we can do about it ought to be enough for you to throw out the whole thing.  It's a horrible, horrible theology that destroys God's truth, God's character, God's grace, Jesus's sacrifice, people's hope and faith, etc.! 



Where it all starts to go wrong:
Okay, so now here is where I think Calvin starts altering things and getting it wrong, adding in his own assumptions and then basing his theology on it.

#14:  Book 1, Chapter 5 section 14:  "Wherefore, the apostle, in the very place where he says that the worlds are images of invisible things, adds that it is by faith we understand that they were framed by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3); thereby intimating that the invisible Godhead is indeed represented by such displays, but that we have no eyes to perceive it until they are enlightened through faith by internal revelation from God.  When Paul says that that which may be known of God is manifested by the creation of the world, he does not mean such a manifestation as may be comprehended by the wit of man (Romans 1:19); on the contrary he shows that it has no further effect than to render us inexcusable (Acts 17:27)." 


So all this time, Calvin has been saying that God is clear in His creation, that He is near to all of us, in order that we might see Him and seek Him and find Him.  And there is no excuse for not seeing or seeking Him because He is so clear in His creation.  

But now he adds "Oh, but He is only clear to us if God gives us the faith to comprehend what our eyes are seeing.  So creation and a general knowledge of Him is not enough because we, on our own, cannot possibly understand that God is behind all of His creation.  He has to open the eyes (of the elect, of course) to make them see Him so that they can find Him."

So eyes to see are not enough.  Now you have to be given the faith to believe, which only comes from God.  Man cannot really perceive that there's a Creator of creation, until and unless God enlightens his mind.  And Calvin claims that Paul says God is visible in His creation simply so that God can make not seeing Him inexcusable.  So that He can condemn us.

Chapter 6, Section 1:  God gave revelation of Himself in nature (paraphrased) "in order to bring the whole human race under the same condemnation."

Huh!?!  God has put evidence of Himself in creation not to draw us to Him but to condemn us for not seeing Him!?!  But you can't see Him unless God gives you the faith to believe in Him!?!  And if you don't believe, you are accountable for it, even though God didn't give you the faith to believe!?!

It's friggin' nonsense!

But so goes the theology of Calvin from this point on!


And it's weird, 'cuz I thought God made Himself clear in creation not to condemn us, but exactly so that we would know there is a Creator and seek Him and find Him.  If you look up the verses in the quote above, that's exactly what they say and what they intend to say.  

(This is another one of Calvin's huge theological blunders which I will look at soon: He assumes things that shouldn't be assumed, like assuming that God made Himself clear in nature in order to condemn us for not seeing (find me one verse that says this!) and that Hebrews 11:3 means we can't see unless God gives us eyes to see and that Paul meant that man cannot use his own mind to perceive God in creation.  The verses don't say those things!  Calvin assumes them!  And it taints his theology from here on out.  Much of his theology is built on a foundation of his own assumptions.)



God didn't make Himself evident in creation for the purpose of making us inexcusable for not seeing Him.  God made Himself clear in creation to draw us to Him.  And because He is so evident in His creation, we have no excuse for not seeing Him.

Can you see the distinction?  The subtle twists that Calvin added to the verses? 



"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them.  For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."  (Romans 1:18-20)


"God did this [created nations and men and the earth] so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us."  (Acts 17:27)

These verses very clearly say that God can be seen by human "wit" in His creation.  That He expects us to see Him in His creation and to seek Him and find Him.  That's why He made Himself so clear in creation.  There is no special "faith" that God needs to provide to cause us to see Him or seek Him.  He is evident in His creation, and so we have no excuse for not knowing that He exists.  

And notice that it's not God who blinds those who don't see Him; it's that they "suppress the truth by their wickedness."  How can they suppress truth if God never gave them truth?  The truth was available to them, right in front of them, but they choose to suppress truth, to cling to their own wickedness instead of embracing the clear truth of God.  And this is why God can condemn them.  

How can Calvin use these verses to say that the only reason God made Himself clear in creation was to hold us inexcusable, to condemn us, even though He alone decides whom to enlighten and whom to not enlighten, according to Calvin?  It's nonsense!


And Hebrews 11:3 simply says that "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command ..."  It intimates nothing about us being unable to perceive God in His creation on our own.  It says nothing about how we get the faith to believe, nor does it say that God has to be the one to enlighten our minds, to cause us to believe and have faith.  That's reading into the verse things that are not there.  It simply says that it's by faith we understand that God created the world.  This means we can't know it by empirical evidence.  We have to choose to believe that there is a Creator, based on the evidence we see of Him in His creation.  

It's that it takes faith to believe in God.  NOT that God has to give us faith to believe in Him and that He chooses who to give it to.  


I simply don't see how Calvin can interpret those verses the way he does!  (But I guess that's what happens when you read Scripture while wearing your super-special Calvinist glasses!)

God is not an unfair, unreasonable God, revealing Himself in creation supposedly so that all can find Him, but then not giving everyone the chance to find Him because He only enlightens the elect.

He has given everyone ample evidence of Him and opportunity to believe in Him.  He has made Himself clear to all because He wants all men to find Him and be saved.  But if we refuse to see it, then it's on us, and He is just in holding us accountable for it because we all have the chance to know He is real.    



And More Examples of His Contradictory Nonsense:
(Back to what I wrote in "Problems In John Calvin's Institutes ...", point #6)

In Book 1, Chapter 17 and Chapter 18 are about Calvin trying to make sense out of how God can be the "cause" of evil yet not be held accountable for evil, how we are "controlled" by God yet can be held accountable for what we do.  



In Chapter 17, section 5, Calvin addresses the dilemma of "If God controls us and we do the evil He wills us to do, why is He not accountable for it?  Why are we?"  As I said before, Calvin's problem is his view of sovereignty and God's control.  Calvin causes his own theological problems by assuming that God causes all things - even sin - and so he has to then try to explain how we can be held accountable for the things God causes and how God cannot be held accountable for the sin/evil/unbelief He causes.

But you can't make sense out of nonsense!  So it's just ends up being a bunch of rambling, round-and-round nonsense, trying to rationalize a belief that shouldn't be rationalized.

Calvin also flops back and forth in what he teaches.  He teaches that God controls all we do and that everything happens according to God's Will and by God's divine decree.  Therefore, as Calvin acknowledges, we have to conclude that those who commit crimes are simply operating in God's Will.  But then he tries to explain how we can punish those who are simply doing the evil that God has predestined them to do by saying that they are not really doing God's Will after all.  

About the actions of wicked people, Calvin says (still Chapter 17, section 5) "I deny that they serve the will of God."  He says that we cannot say that "he who has been carried away by a wicked mind are performing service on the order of God" because the evil person is "only following his own malignant desires," not acting in obedience.

Wait just a second, Calvin!  You say that everything - even our utterances, every bad natural disaster, all evil, everything we do - is controlled by and ordained by God, according to His Will and purposes and pleasure.  You even say in section 4 that "prudence and folly are instruments of divine dispensation," that God either causes us to be prudent and safe or to be foolish and to bring disaster on ourselves.  

But now you are going to say that wicked men doing wicked things are not controlled by God!?!

Basically, Calvin's theology is "Everything that happens is done by the Will of God, by the hand of God.  We can't do anything, even evil things, unless God wills it to happen.  But if we do evil, it's not God's Will because only obedience to the Word is God's Will, even though God controls all we do and we can't do any evil unless God wills it.  And if you don't agree with me then you are a bad, unhumble Christian who dishonors God, and I will burn you at the stake with green wood that takes longer to burn."



"Hi, my name's John Calvin.  And I'm a schizophrenic megalomaniac with irrational thinking, delusions of grandeur, and a messianic complex.  Would you be my disciples?"


Calvin says that "Obedience is when we are instructed in his will and hasten in the direction he calls" (Chapter 17, Section 5).  But that if we act wickedly, God didn't commanded it.  

First of all, doesn't needing to be "instructed in his will" imply that there are things that happen outside of His Will?  Hmm, let's see what Calvin says about this elsewhere ...

  -- God completely controls and causes every little thing that happens, "down to the minutest detail, down even to a sparrow."  (Book 1, Chapter 16, Section 5)

  -- "it is certain that not a drop of rains falls without the express command of God"  (Book 1, Chapter 16, Section 5)

  -- "Therefore, since God claims for himself the right of governing the world, a right unknown to us, let it be our law of modesty and soberness to acquiesce in his supreme authority regarding his will as our only rule of justice, and the most perfect cause of all things..."  (Book 1, Chapter 17, Section 2) 

  -- And according to Calvin, Solomon "derides the stupidity of those who presume to undertake anything without God, as if they were not ruled by his hand..."  (Book 1, Chapter 17, Section 4)  

  -- And we commit blasphemy if we "refuse to admit that every event which happens in the world is governed by the incomprehensible counsel of God."  (Book 1, Chapter 17, Section 2)

  -- And it is "insipid" to say God is just the originator of all things, but not the controller of all things.  (Book 1, Chapter 16, Section 3)

  -- "The counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined"  (Book 1, Chapter 16, Section 8) 

  -- "everything done in the world is according to His decree"  (Book 1, Chapter 16, Section 6)  

  -- and "the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetuate, unless in so far as he permits - nay, unless in so far as he commands(Book 1,  Chapter 17, Section 11) 



So ... everything that happens in this world is "by His Will," yet there is still some need to be "instructed in his will," as if anything can happen outside His Will!  

Ha-ha-ha!  Oh, that's rich!  Calvin (Calvinists) constantly contradicts himself and expects us not to notice.

And how exactly can we "hasten in the direction" of anything if God controls the direction we take?  How can we choose obedience if, as Calvin says, God controls everything we do?  How can Calvin say that everything happens by God's command except wickedness, after already stating that God controls all evil?  



In Chapter 18, section 2, Calvin says, "The sum of the whole is this, - since the will of God is said to be the cause of all things, all the counsels and actions of men must be held to be governed by his providence; so that he not only exerts his power in the elect, who are guided by the Holy Spirit, but also forces the reprobate to do him service."


Hold your horses there, mister ... 

"I deny that [wicked men] serve the will of God.  For we cannot say that he who is carried away by a wicked mind performs service on the order of God ..."  

But now you say "the reprobate do him service"!?!

Hmm?  Which one is it?  



Calvin says God controls all evil when he's trying to uphold God's "sovereignty" (by that, he means "micromanaging control"), but he denies that God controls all evil when he's trying to figure out who to "blame" for it.

"Confused, inconsistent theologian, table of one!"

Make up your mind, Calvin!  You can't have it both ways!  God either does cause everything or He doesn't cause everything!


If God is so "in control" (as Calvin says) then how come He's only in control of the obedient people and not the wicked people?  So we are responsible for our disobedience, as if we ourselves choose disobedience ... but if we are obedient, it's because God caused us to be?  Wouldn't us having some sort of responsibility for our disobedience somehow negate God's "sovereign, micromanaging, control," as Calvin defines it?  Didn't Calvin himself say in Book 1, Chapter 18, Section 3 "what greater arrogance can be imagined than to utter one word in opposition to the authority of God"?  Didn't we just see that he said even Solomon would call us stupid for presuming to undertake anything without God, as if we are not fully ruled by God?  Aren't we "defrauding God of His glory" if we say there is something He doesn't control (Book 1, Chapter 16, Section 3)?

And yet now Calvin is going to say that those who are carried away by a wicked mind are not doing the will of God?

Round-and-round, nonsensical, rambling hogwash!  

(It would be comical, laughable even ... if it wasn't such a destructive, widespread, faith-damaging theology.)  



Of course, God doesn't command that we do evil, and doing evil is not obedience to God.  Calvin is right about that.  It's what we should believe, based on the Bible.  But Calvin cannot make that truth mesh with his belief that God is the cause of all things and that God controls the course of everything.  And that's why these are such rambling, nonsensical chapters.





And yet more new stuff for this post, adding them as I find them:  



Additionally, in Book 1, Chapter 11, Section 4, Calvin states "Whence had idols their origin, but from the will of man?"  Interesting, because (as we saw earlier) Calvin also says that "the will of God is said to be the cause of all things" and that "the counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined" and that "everything done in the world is according to His decree"
and that Calvin himself is unwilling to use the term "free-will," believing instead that there is no such thing.  But now ... when it comes to who created idols ... now we have a Will that has the power to cause things and make decisions.  Interesting!  Where is that Will when it comes to making a decision about Jesus?  According to Calvin (Calvinism), we don't have the ability.  Yet ... we have the ability to make idols.  Very interesting!  So where exactly does that Will go when it comes to making other decisions!?!

And also in Chapter 11 (Section 3), he cautions us about idols, saying, "let us learn how prone our nature is to idolatry, that we may not ... be led away by vain and sinful enticements..."  Hmm!?!  Is he implying that our natures have some sort of effect on our lives, that something in us or around us can cause us to be led astray, that sin can entice us away from God!?!  So where is God's sovereign control then?  And why can't it prevent us from being led astray by sinful enticements?  And why do we need Calvin's warnings to help us stay on the right path if God alone controls the path we take, if everything happens according to His Will?

And in Chapter 11, section 1, he warns about the dangers of "clinging to [our] own speculations."  So ... we can have our own speculations!?!  We can choose to cling to our own ideas and thoughts!?!  Ideas and thoughts that were not planted there by God!?!  Interesting!  And contradictory!  We can "cling to our own speculations," but everything we do and say is governed by God, done according to His decree.  So then, God must be the one who gives us those dangerous speculations, right!  

(Honestly, if God truly controls all, to the point that nothing else has an effect but Him, then Calvin wasted a lot of time writing down over 1000 pages of instructions, warnings, admonishments, etc.  Because his book can have no effect on us if God controls everything.  And if his book can effect us - if we can choose to heed his warnings or not - then that means God isn't totally controlling us.  It means we have a choice of how to respond.  If Calvin truly believed what he said he did about God controlling all, he could have written a much shorter book: "God controls us completely.  Nothing else matters.  The End")


And from Book 1, Chapter 12, Section 1: God "binds the faithful in allegiance to him as their only Lawgiver, and then prescribes a rule for worshipping him in accordance with his will."  Hmm?  Why would God prescribe a rule for worship in accordance with His Will if His Will is the only thing that ever happens?  Wouldn't that imply that something other than God's Will can happen, and so that's why God has to make rules?  Gasp!  That would mean Calvin is contradicting his own made-up theology!  And who would trust someone who contradicts his own beliefs?  I ask you, who?  (Amazing enough ... many, many well-meaning Christians!)

And from the same chapter, regarding the Law God gives:  The Law "is designed as a bridle to curb men."  I thought Calvin said God Himself was the bridle that curbed - controlled - all things, all men, all evil, etc. 

"the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetuate, unless in so far as he permits - nay, unless in so far as he commands."

Why make a Law to curb men - to keep men in line - when God Himself controls all men?  Doesn't making a Law mean that God expects us to obey Him?  Doesn't being expected to obey Him mean that we have the option of disobeying?  Doesn't having to choose between obeying the Law or disobeying the Law bring us right back to free-will?  But maybe I just don't get it because my brain is too small compared to Calvin's.


And how about a couple things from Chapter 14?  Just for fun!  (Don't worry, we're almost done.  Well, not really, but almost.)  

In section 13, Calvin says "... let us invoke the help of God, and attempt nothing without trusting in him ..."  I tell ya, Calvin would sound quite on-track and wise if he left it at this kind of stuff, instead of contradicting it and ruining it all with his "God causes everything" stuff.  I mean, just a little bit ago, we read how he said that Solomon "derides the stupidity of those who presume to undertake anything without God, as if they were not ruled by his hand..."  And yet now, he himself is saying that we should not attempt to do anything without God ... AS IF we can do something without God.  So then, Calvin is doing the very thing that he informs us that Solomon calls stupid: He's cautioning us to "attempt nothing without trusting in him," implying that we can do things apart from God's Will, that we are not truly ruled by His hand, which contradicts his own view that nothing happens without God causing it.  His theology is utter nonsense!  And if God truly controls all, it's utterly useless!

(Don't get me wrong, God does work everything in accordance with His Will and plans, meaning that He can work the things He causes, the things we cause, the things Satan causes, etc. into His plans.  He just doesn't cause all the things that happen.  And He can't be the cause of all things - sin and evil and unbelief - if He is truly the loving, just, righteous God the Bible says He is.  But Calvinism will still insist that He is the controller and causer of all, even if it turns God into an irrational, illogical, contradictory, unreliable Monster!  No!  God doesn't cause sin and evil and unbelief, but He can and will use our self-chosen sins and choices for His plans and work something good out of them.  That's a BIG Sovereign God!  Not Calvin's God who must be so tiny, easily-stumped, and easily-thwarted that He can't handle or manage anything other than what He causes.)


And on a different note, in section 15 (still chapter 14), Calvin calls Satan the "adversary of God," saying that Satan aims at the extinction of God's glory, and he says that Satan is the "author, leader, and contriver of all malice and wickedness."

That's funny, because according to Calvin, Satan is also God's agent, totally controlled by God to carry out God's Will.  And it's not just that God allows Satan to do wicked things and that God uses his self-chosen wickedness for His purposes (which is biblical), it's that Satan does nothing that God hasn't commanded him to do.  Everything happens because God causes it to happen!

"...nay, unless in so far as he commands."  

"Therefore, since God claims for himself the right of governing the world, a right unknown to us, let it be our law of modesty and soberness to acquiesce in his supreme authority regarding his will as our only rule of justice, and the most perfect cause of all things..."

"everything done in the world is according to His decree"

So therefore, if Satan is trying to extinguish God's glory, then God is causing him to try to extinguish His glory.  And this is a huge theological conundrum because if God causes everything for His glory then how could causing Satan to try to extinguish His glory actually help glorify Him more?  

What was it that Jesus said in Matthew 12:25 about a kingdom or a home divided against itself?  That it cannot stand!  That it will be laid waste!  And yet Calvi-God actively works against Himself and contradicts Himself all the time - saying He wants all people to come to Him but causing most to go to hell, saying He is glorified when men trust in Him but causing most to reject Him, saying He wants men to seek Him but making it impossible for most men to seek Him, saying He does everything for His glory but then using Satan to try to extinguish His glory.

SO ... FULL ... OF ... NONSENSE ... AND ... HOGWASH!!!

And yet most Calvinists eat it up with a spoon because they think Calvinism is simply about upholding God's sovereignty.  And yet in attempting to uphold their messed-up, unbiblical view of God's sovereignty, they are doing damage to the Gospel, Jesus's sacrifice, God's character, His love and grace and justice, people's hope and salvation and faith, etc.  

Yep, way to glorify God, Calvinists!  Big pat on the back for you!


One thing we learned in my graduate school psychology classes was that the more words people use, the less truthful they are.  And I think Calvin's 1000+ pages of trying to describe his theology are 1000+ pages of trying to make nonsense into sense.  And since that's not possible, he has to constantly add more words and ideas to try to make his errors and inconsistencies sound reasonable and biblical.  By comparison, the Bible's book of John - which pretty much contains the foundational things we need to know about mankind and Jesus and the path of salvation - is only about a couple dozen pages long.  Interesting!




This mixture of truth and error is why it's so hard to fight Calvinism and to detect the heresy of it.  They say enough truth to get you to think they are accurately teaching the Word of God and they make you feel humble for accepting it.  But you have to always view their "truth" through the lens of their fundamental theological errors, which completely discredits even the "true" things they say.




Conclusion
John Calvin is full of contradictions that he expects us to believe simply because he said it's the truth.  This is one of the favorite tactics of Calvinists today, saying things like "Calvinism is what the Bible says; you don't have to like it or understand it, but you do have to accept it.  Because it's what the Bible says.  If you argue with this, you are arguing with God's Word."

No!  Calvinism is not what the Bible says.  It's what John Calvin says.  And I am not arguing with God's Word; I am arguing with the flawed, contradictory, illogical theology of one man who used his own assumptions and ideas to build the foundation of his theological beliefs.

Calvin teaches one thing in these first several chapters.  But then he completely alters it in later chapters, contradicting Scripture and completely destroying God's character and Jesus's sacrifice.  John Calvin cannot be trusted!  


Contrary to Calvinism, the Bible says that salvation is available for all, that Jesus died for all, that we are to seek Him and by seeking we find, that God is not far from any one of us, and that it's up to us to choose between obeying or disobeying, between belief or unbelief.  And that's why we have no excuse!  God gave us all the chance to come to Him, to choose salvation and obedience ... and if we reject His offer, He will hold us accountable for it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  If you do not see the grave theological errors in Calvinism, then you either don't really understand Calvinism or you don't really understand the Bible!





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