You know what happens when you assume things! A look at John Calvin's theological assumptions

This is from my post, "Problems in John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion".  Since that is such a long post, I'm breaking it down into smaller ones.  I already wrote one that looks at Calvin's Contradicting Nonsense.  (Some of this is taken from there, too.)  But now I want to look at the assumptions that Calvin makes.  Assumptions he bases his theology on.

It amazes how many times I read people absolutely praising Calvin's Institutes.  They think he's brilliant, humble, righteous, and all about God's glory.  I agree that the first several chapters of Book 1 are on-track.  They sound great.  But when it all starts to go wrong, it goes wrong.  I think Calvin's Institutes is full of contradictions, manipulation, self-delusion, pride, self-elevation, and assumptions that he makes about how God has to act in order to be considered God, even though it flies in the face of God's Word.  

Basically, I think it's full of heresy that looks so close to the truth that people don't realize how wrong it is!  (Satan's best schemes do this.)

So let's dive in and look at some of the assumptions Calvin makes in Book 1 of his Institutes.  (I am working on reading Books 2-4.  But it's taking me awhile to get back to it, after getting so disgusted and exhausted with his nonsense in Book 1 alone.)

From my "Problems in ..." post, Point #2 (but farther down, I add things from other points in that post and things from other posts):


#2:  
Calvin "infers" things he shouldn't be inferring, like when he infers that no wind ever blows without God's special command (referred to in the "Problems in ..." post).  He didn't find this in a verse in the Bible; he "inferred" it.  Calvin makes a lot of assumptions about God and about how God should act, based on one example in the Bible or only on his own reasoning of how things should work.  He makes these assumptions, and then he bases his theology on his assumptions.  

Basically, Calvinism is mankind telling God how God has to act in order to be God.

Book 1, Chapter 16, sections 1-3 is where everything goes really wrong.  (It goes wrong earlier than this, at the end of chapter 5, but this is when it really goes wrong!)  It epitomizes the problems with Calvin's theology.  (Read his Institutes for yourself.  With open eyes.  You might be surprised at how much of his theology is based on his assumptions.  As you read, don't just assume he's theologically on-track or accurately representing Scripture.  Ask yourself, "Where did he get that idea?  What is he basing it on?"  Look up the verses he refers to and read them for yourself, in context.  Think critically about what he says.  I will only look at several of his assumptions here.)





False Assumption #1:  In Book 1, Chapter 16, Section 1, he says that we can't believe that God just set creation in motion and then stopped being an active part of it.  He says we "must forthwith infer" that God is also the Governor and Preserver of all of His creation.  But the problem is that Calvin assumes that being "governor and preserver" means God controls every detail of life, every movement of His creation, including us.   


We must be very careful about "inferring" anything about God, especially if it contradicts Scripture, muddles Scripture, and alters the character of God!  

Which is exactly what Calvinism does!


But, yes, I agree that God governs things and preserves things, that He didn't just create the world and then "check out."  But my idea of "govern and preserve" is different than Calvin's.  I think there is a degree to which God sits back and lets things happen.  Such as sometimes He waits for the people to cry out to Him before He acts, as seen in Exodus 3:7 and 16:12 and 22:23, Genesis 18:20-21, etc.  And in the book of Job, He sat back and watched what Satan would do to Job, and He watched how Job would respond.

It's not that He didn't know what would happen; it's just that He didn't cause what happened.  He let Satan and people make choices, and He waited for it to happen and watched it happen and responded accordingly.  

God is aware of all that happens and of all that will happen.  He chooses what to allow and what not to allow.  He is working, over all, to bring about His ultimate plans for humanity.  He can and does intervene when called upon.  

But He's not always intervening in everything, all the time.  He doesn't micromanage everything.  Many times, He works in response to men, to whether or not we cry out to Him, pray to Him, obey Him, invite Him into our lives.  In the Bible, God works in a variety of ways: sometimes by causing things (but never sin), sometimes by just allowing things, sometimes by incorporating our self-chosen sins into His plans, sometimes by stepping in on His own, sometimes by waiting to intervene until and unless we call on Him.  This is my idea of "govern," which I believe is supported by numerous biblical examples of how God works in the world.  

However, as I said, Calvin assumes that "govern" means "micromanaging," that God completely controls and causes every little thing that happens, "down to the minutest detail, down to even a sparrow."  


Calvin uses Psalm 33 (verses 6 and 13) to support this, saying that "God created the heavens, He beholdeth the children of men."  He assumes that since God caused/controlled the creation of the heavens, He must also necessarily cause/control every detail of His creation, including us.  And if He controls every detail of His creation, there can be no free-will, no human ability to make choices or to cause anything to happen that He hasn't caused through us. 


Let me ask, why does "creating the heavens" necessarily have to lead to "controlling all of mankind"?  Just because a verse about mankind is in the same chapter as a verse about God creating the heavens?  

What
verse 13 (NASB) says is "The Lord looks from heaven; he sees all the sons of men."  Explain to me how "looking at/seeing" all men has to mean "controlling all men"!

And Calvin clearly ignores verse 10"The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples."  If, as Calvin says, God controls all men's wills, even down to the things we say, then how can we have any "counsel" or "plans" that contradict God, to the point that He needs to nullify or frustrate them?  Aren't all "counsels" and "plans" from Him, if He causes all things and controls all men?  Is He not then nullifying His own counsel and frustrating His own plans?  

Calvin's God, Calvin's theology, doesn't make sense!

"We must forthwith infer" is where Calvin goes wrong - horribly wrong - from the very beginning.  He is using his own logic and reasoning as the basis for his theology.  And that is dangerous, ungodly, and wrong!





False Assumption #2:  (Book 1, Chapter 16, Section 3) Calvin determines for himself what "omnipotence" means.  He says that for God to be truly omnipotent, it means God has to control everything.  He claims that it wouldn't be omnipotence if God simply created nature with natural laws and boundaries and then let nature run its course within those boundaries.  Calvin assumes that in order for God to be omnipotent, it means God has to control every detail of His creation.  (Oh boy, does this sound like Calvinists today, too!)

Calvinism is mankind telling God how God has to act in order to be God!

Such as, Calvin states that it wouldn't be omnipotence if God simply created a stream with boundaries that it can't go past.  No!  For Him to be truly be omnipotent, He has to control every action of that stream, every tiny wave.  


Calvin says God is considered omnipotent not because of the fact that He can act whenever He wants to, but He can only be considered omnipotent if He does act, all the time, in every detail, by controlling all things.


Who is Calvin to tell God how God has to act in order to be God!?!


This is Calvin's own logic about how God must act in order to be considered an omnipotent God.  It's as if Calvin says "This is how an all-powerful God should act.  And anything less than this means He is not all-powerful.  And since we all know He is all-powerful, then He has to act the way I say an all-powerful God should act."  

First of all, find me one verse that says "omnipotence" means "controlling every detail and causing everything that happens."  That if God doesn't control/cause everything, it means He is not all-powerful.


This is purely John Calvin's own reasoning.  But he states it as biblical truth.


(Calvinists do this today with "If you say that there is something God doesn't control then you are saying there are things He can't control, that He is not in control and not all-powerful.  If He doesn't control everything then He doesn't anything!"  But that's bad logic!  It's manipulative hogwash!  I am not saying God can't control everything, just that He has chosen to not always control everything.  Because this is the way He wants it to be.  Yet He will work everything into His plans or work something good out of it, showing just how sovereign He really is.)


In both of these two assumptions above, Calvin states the very things that are true - that God has set boundaries and natural laws that govern how nature runs, that He generally lets things run within those boundaries and natural laws without necessarily causing everything that happens within those boundaries, that in His sovereignty He can act whenever He wants to but doesn't necessarily have to act all the time - and yet Calvin says that these things can't be true!  That we must infer the opposite thing.  And then he formulates his theology based on his own ideas.  

Basically, Calvin states the truth, says it can't be the truth, and then makes up his own truth and bases his theology on it!  


Yep, sounds Holy Spirit-inspired to me!


But ... biblically, there are times when God does indeed set boundaries and let things run within those boundaries.  Consider Job in the Bible.  God set certain boundaries around Job's life that Satan couldn't go past, but God let Satan do to Job what Satan wanted to do, within those boundaries.  God didn't cause the tragedies that happened to Job; He let Satan choose what to do, within boundaries.

Also consider Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  God put all these trees in the garden and then told Adam and Eve that they may eat from any tree except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  God set up a boundary, but gave Adam and Eve freedom of choice within those boundaries.


Job 38:10-11 says that God "fixed the limits for [the sea] and set its doors and bars in place, then I said 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt.'"  

Sounds like boundaries to me!  (Why "fix limits" for the sea if He controls every wave of the sea anyway?  Limits are only needed when there is freedom to move within those limits.)



And don't forget what God said when He made Adam and Eve!  In Genesis 1:26, He said "Let them rule ..."  God Himself decided to give mankind a certain dominion over the earth.  He decided to voluntarily limit His own power and control, granting mankind the right to make decisions, to have an effect, to cause consequences.  And, ultimately, He allows mankind to make a decision about Him, to obey or disobey, to accept Him or reject Him.


The only way for Calvinism to be true is to alter, ignore, or toss out almost all of the Bible and examples of how God acts in the Bible.  


Calvin's theology has problems from the very beginning because he states what is true but denies that it's the truth.  And when you deny what's actually true from the start, you then have to formulate your theology based on falsehood, on your own ideas of truth.  (The fact that he stated the truth to begin with, before denying it, shows me that he knows it but is choosing not to believe it.  And this is far worse than plain old ignorance!)  And Calvin decides for himself how God should act and what God should do and what it means to be God.  

"We must forthwith infer" is a dangerous way to formulate your theology, especially when it contradicts Scripture and destroys God's character and ruins Jesus's sacrifice on the cross for all men!




False Assumption #3:  Along the same lines as the other two, Calvin turns the truth of "God created everything" and "God cares for and provides for His creation" (Psalm 104:27-30) into "God controls everything."  He says that nothing happens without God's counsel (Book 1, Chapter 16, Sections 2 and 3).  

(I say that nothing happens without His knowledge and without Him allowing it, but this is far different than Calvin's idea that God controls and causes everything that happens.)

Creating things and caring for things doesn't have to mean controlling everything!  And, hmm, let me think ... didn't we just read (in the full "Problems in ..." post) about things that happened without God's counsel, without Him causing it?


Hosea 8:4:  “They [Israel] set up kings without my [God’s] consent; they choose princes without my approval.” 

Isaiah 30:1:  “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine.”

Jeremiah 19:4-5:  “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.”


And how about one more:  Acts 14:16:  “In the past, [God] let all nations go their own way.”  (How can we "go our own way" when it's all God's way?  How can God "let" anyone do anything if He Himself controls it all?  If God is really controlling it all for His glory, as Calvinists would say, then why is God "giving credit" to the nations for what happens in them?  Wouldn't this then amount to Him "sharing His glory with the nations"?) 

I'm not sure what Bible Calvin read, but it's not the one I'm reading.


Here are few examples of how God works in the world, showing that He doesn't always tightly control all things, that we have the right and responsibility to make choices, to choose to obey Him or disobey Him, that we have an effect on things:


1.  During Passover, God was going to kill all the first-born of the Egyptians.  But He told the Israelites that they had to put the blood of a sacrificed lamb on their doorframes if they wanted the Angel of Death to pass over them, to not kill their first-born.  God told them what His Will for them was - to spare their first-born.  He told them how to stay safe in His Will - to put the blood on the doorframe.  But it was up to them to obey.


2.  When the Israelites were in the desert, God sent poisonous snakes among the people as punishment for complaining against Him.  But when they repented, God had Moses create a bronze serpent (Numbers 21) and place it where it could be seen so that anyone who was bitten by a poisonous snake could look up at it and be healed.  God offered all the people the chance to be healed, to be saved from the punishment they deserved.  And He gave them instructions on how to obtain that healing.  But in order to be healed, they had to obey and do it the way God said.  (This is a foreshadowing of Jesus's death on the cross.  He came to pay the penalty for our sins so that we don't have to face eternal punishment, so that we can be healed.  But it's up to us whether we will "look up" to Jesus or not.  God doesn't make us do it or prevent us from doing it.  He makes salvation possible for all.  But to obtain it, we have to do it the way He told us to do it.  Look up and be healed.)


3.  When Paul was sailing on a boat as a prisoner, a huge storm came up, threatening to sink the ship and kill all on board.  Paul told the people that God was going to spare everyone on board,.  But later, when some of the people were trying to get off the ship during the storm, he told them that they would live ... but only if they stayed with the ship. God had a Will, a plan to spare the people.  But the people had to obey Him, to follow His plan - to stay on the ship - if they wanted to be safe in the center of His Will for them.


4.  Saul lost his kingship and died because he was unfaithful to the Lord and because he "did not inquire of the Lord."  (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)  But if Saul had stayed faithful, God would have established Saul's kingdom (1 Samuel 13:13).  Was God lying when He made it sound like Saul had an effect on what happened?  Does this sound like God caused Saul to be unfaithful, to not inquire of Him?


5.  When Job's friends gave all their religious lectures about what Job must have done to deserve the tragedies he got, God tells them that they spoke wrongly of Him.  And He says that He will have Job pray for them and then He will forgive them.  (Job 42)  God had a plan to forgive the friends.  But first, Job had to pray for it.  God expected Job to do his part before God would do His.


6.  God had a plan to get the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.  And I believe God would have taken that first group right into the Promised Land if they had just done what God wanted, if they had obediently, willingly followed Moses without complaining or rebelling.  But they chose to rebel and complain.  And this earned them death in the desert.  But then God took the next generation into the Promised Land, the ones who were willing to follow Him.  God had a Will, a plan for the Israelites.  But they had to choose to follow Him in it.  But even though the first group earned themselves death, God still accomplished His plan ... but it was just with the next generation, those who were willing to follow Him.


What we do has an effect on our lives because God has given us the right and responsibility to make decisions.  For good or bad.




False Assumption #4:  According to Calvin's theology, the way God acts in one biblical example is the way He must act in everything.  It's like "If an apple is a fruit, then all fruits must be apples."  So if God causes one hail storm in the Bible, it means all hail storms are caused by Him.  If He sent a storm once to accomplish something, then every storm must be sent by God for a reason.  If God actively causes one thing to happen in the Bible, it means all things are actively caused by Him.  

Calvin often refers to one specific thing God did in the Bible, and then he applies it to all of life, assuming that this is how God always acts in everything.  Yet he ignores the multitudes of examples that contradict him or that show a different side of God.  

In Chapter 16 section 3 and chapter 18 section 1, Calvin uses Psalm 115:3 - about God doing whatever He pleases - to "prove" that everything that happens does so only because God was pleased to cause it to happen.  (Today's Calvinists totally do this too.)  Since Psalm 115 says God does whatever He pleases, it must mean - according to Calvin - that everything that happens is because God was pleased to do it.

"What we formerly quoted from the Psalms, to the effect that he does whatever pleases him, certainly extends to all the actions of men."  (Book 1, Chapter 18, Section 1)

He's saying that since the Bible says God does whatever pleases Him, it must "certainly" mean that everything man does is caused by God because God was pleased to cause it.

Since all apples are fruit, all fruits must be apples, right!?!

However, couldn't "doing whatever pleases him" simply mean that when God has something in particular He wants to do ... He does it (such as freeing His people from Egypt or sending Jesus to die for us)?  That whenever God thinks up a plan that pleases Him, He does it?  

Not that everything that happens is because He was pleased to cause it?

A
ssuming that one thing should "certainly extend" to another is where Calvin goes wrong left and right.

"Certainly extends" is like "forthwith infers" - code words that Calvin is making assumptions.  

It is wrong to assume that God causes everything for His pleasure just because a verse says that God does what He pleases.  Because this then makes God the cause, the author, of evil.  And if God causes all evil things for His glory, then it ultimately makes all evil things good.  And so then if we object to those evil things and try to fight against them - abortion, murder, abuse, addictions, etc. - then we are really just opposing God's plans and His efforts to get glory.  (Yet, according to Calvinism, God Himself would be causing us to fight against Him because everything we do has been planned by Him.  What a conundrum!  It really doesn't matter what we should do or think or stand up for or stand up against because it doesn't matter what we think or do because we have no control over what we think or do because God controls everything we think or do, for His glory!  So why bother trying to figure out what we believe or what we value or what our morals are!  It's already been predestined anyway.  According to Calvinism.)  

What a mess Calvinism makes of morality - of evil and goodness!  What a sneaky, clever way that Satan has turned evil into good!  Using God's Word against Him ... and yet no one notices, because they've been convinced that they are "honoring" God to hold to such "truths"!  Incredible!  Sinister!  And so effective!   

"He does what He pleases" simply means that if God has something He wants to do, a specific plan He wants to carry out, He will cause it, one way or another.  It doesn't mean that everything is caused by God, that everything that happens is because He is pleased to cause it to happen.  This is going above and beyond what Scripture says, and it flies in the face of many biblical examples where God didn't cause something to happen, where God gave men a choice.  God does indeed cause things, but this doesn't mean everything happens because He caused it.  As seen in the above examples.


You know, if Calvin wants to use one biblical example to decide how God works in everything, why not apply these verses to everything:

"Then the Lord said, 'The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me.  If not, I will know."  (Genesis 18:20-21)  Why doesn't Calvin use this verse to say that God never knows what's going on unless people tell Him, that He can't know what's happening unless and until He comes down to earth to see for Himself, and that He won't do anything unless people cry out to Him.

Why not use “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine.” (Isaiah 30:1) to "prove" that God never has any control over plans, over what happens in this world, over His people?  If He didn't have control over the people's plans that one time, then He never has control over anyone's plans ever!  Right, Calvin!?!

Why not use the verse about God looking for Adam and Eve in the Garden after they sinned - "Where are you?" - to show that God never knows where His people are or what they are doing?

Why not use the verse where God tells Satan that he can do whatever he wants to Job, except for touching Job himself, to show that God always lets Satan do whatever Satan wants, that God never protects His people, that He never decides what should happen but always lets Satan or others decide what should happen?


Why not use the example of Nineveh - when God told them they would be destroyed in 40 days but then they repented and so He didn't destroy them - to show that God always lies to get people to repent?  (If Calvinism is true, then God predestined that they wouldn't be destroyed and He caused them to repent, which then means that - since destruction was never in His predestined plans - He lied to them when He told them they would be destroyed if they didn't repent.)  Why not use that example to show that God always makes blank threats and never carries out the punishments He said He's going to dish out?

And why not use one of the other verses in Psalm 115 to "prove" man's control over the earth:  "The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to men" (verse 16)?  Why not use this to say that men own the earth?  That God has no authority over the earth?  That everything that happens here is because of us, not God? 


Do you see how dangerous is it to apply one verse, one example of how God works, to everything?  To compartmentalize Scripture and God?  To make assumptions based on one tiny glimpse of God in one verse?

But this is what Calvin does!  It's how he formulates his view of God and his theology.  

Calvin's view of God and of how God works is simply too narrow.  Calvin's God is a one-dimensional God.  

But God is actually much bigger than that!  Much more amazing and complex than Calvin gives Him credit for.  According to Calvin, God has to cause everything, for His plans ... as though God can only use what God causes.  There can be no other factors at play, no one else who causes anything.  As though God simply can't handle anything other than what He actively causes.  

But God's wisdom and power and sovereignty is so much greater than that.  He can work all things into His plans, even the things He doesn't cause, even the things He lets us choose to do, even our sins and disobedience and Satan's actions.  The God of the Bible is so much bigger and smarter than Calvin's micromanaging "God" who can only handle what He causes, who can manage no other factors but Himself.  


(Honestly, his writing makes me very disturbed and sick to my stomach!  And I haven't even finished reading Book 1 Chapter 17 yet!  I was going to make this post a "part 1" about Calvin's Institutes, with more to follow, but I am not sure I can take much more.  But even if I don't go on, there is more than enough here to show how twisted and off-track Calvin is.  When someone is this off-track, they show how little they know about Scripture as a whole and how NOT Spirit-led they are, and so there really is no reason to address all that they write.)




False Assumption #5:  Calvin says (Chapter 16, section 3) that believing God is fully in charge of evil (controlling/causing every little thing that happens) should be comforting to us, for then we know that nothing can happen to us unless God causes it.  

Yes, I understand that it's comforting to trust that God is so in-control that nothing can happen to us unless He allows it, that He knows about everything that happens to us, and that He can and will bring something good out of the bad things He allows.  And this is biblical!

But this is far different than saying God causes all the bad things, such as sin and abuse and rebellion and all diseases and all natural disasters, etc.  How does believing that God caused it comfort someone who was abused as a child?  Who lost their friends or their limbs in a war?  Who lost a loved one to cancer?  Who lost a home to a tornado or wildfire?  Whose child was born with a terminal problem or a severe handicap?  How does it comfort them to be told that God Himself deliberately caused it, for His pleasure and glory?


Calvin agrees with Augustine (section 8) that if anything is left to "chance" then the world would move at random.  Basically, if every detail is not fully controlled by God, then it all happens by chance and everything moves at random.

But this is NOT true!  It's another false assumption.

Just because God doesn't actively cause/control something doesn't mean it's left fully to chance.  Just because God didn't actively cause some natural disaster doesn't mean it happened "by chance," outside of God's control and sovereignty.

God is still over and above all things, knowing what will happen, choosing what to allow to happen and what to block, pleading with people to obey and to do things His way because He knows what's best, working all things into something good, even the things He doesn't deliberately cause.  Just how is that "randomness"?  How can God knowing what will happen, choosing to allow or not allow what will happen, and using what happens for good be called "chance"?  Just because He didn't actively cause it!?!

Being "in control" doesn't have to mean "predestining, causing, controlling everything" ... because God can and does work in many various ways.  He's set up boundaries that we can't go outside of.  He sees everything that happens.  He decides what to cause, what to simply allow, what to block, what to override, etc.  He decides when to step in, and when to sit back and watch.  He can and does weave everything into His plans, into good, even the bad things, our disobedience, our sins, natural disasters, etc.  He works in many different ways, sometimes more directly and sometimes more indirectly.  But just because this isn't "actively controlling everything" doesn't mean the world is left to move at random.  It just means it's not as actively-controlled and predestinationally-caused as Calvin assumes it is or has to be.   

Calvin (Calvinists!) doesn't give God enough credit for the many different, amazing ways He works in the world!  Calvin limits God to "He must cause it all, or else He's not God and not in control of things."  He tries to make it sound like he is elevating God's sovereignty and power ... but he's actually shrinking God, turning God into little more than a solitary child in a sandbox playing with toys, acting out little dramas with his toys, controlling everything that happens, and kicking out anyone who tries to join in and play too.  Calvin's God is not big enough to handle anything other than what He causes.  

But the God of the Bible is much bigger than that and can weave everything - even our self-chosen sins, our decisions, our disobedience, our obedience, Satan's actions, nature's actions, etc. - into His plans. 


[I am not saying that God doesn't sometimes cause things we consider "bad" (but He never causes sin), but who are we to know which problems/tragedies God caused and which He just allowed?  Who are we to say that God surely causes all the bad things, when it's more likely that God simply allowed them to happen?  That He allowed people to make bad choices and to hurt others, that He allowed fallen nature to run its course to a degree, that He allowed Satan to interfere and cause trouble, etc.?  

I know this might not bring much comfort to someone who knows that God could have stopped a tragedy but didn't.  But it is about truth, about who is really the cause of tragedies and sin and unbelief.  Saying that God is only and always the one who causes these things is biblically wrong.  

The truth is that sometimes God causes things (never sin!) ... but then, with God's knowledge and because He allows it, there are times when we cause things or Satan causes things or nature causes things, etc.  And God allows it because He can use it and bring good out of it.  This is the biblically-accurate way to view it.  

And it helps us properly understand who is responsible for what happens, who is responsible for sin and unbelief, and why God can hold us accountable for sin and unbelief.  He can hold us accountable for the sins we commit and for our unbelief because He didn't cause it.  He lets us decide if we want to be obedient or disobedient, if we want to accept Him or reject Him.  And so He can justly hold us accountable for our choices.]

Calvinism does not allow for any other operating, active force than God alone.  But this is not biblical.  There are other factors at work, all under the watchful eye of God, all within His general care and overarching plans.  And in no way can life be considered "random," just because God isn't an all-controlling,  micromanaging God.
  



False Assumption #6:  Calvin assumes (Chapter 16, sections 5-8) that God always causes good natural events as blessings, and bad natural events as judgments, as punishment.   

Yes, God often blesses or punishes through nature, by providing a good harvest or by bringing a famine.  But we cannot apply this to every natural instance.  Was God punishing Job when He allowed all of his animals and children to be killed in freak "accidents" of nature?  No!  Job was actually highly favored by God, and Job would be blessed for his faithfulness through the painful trial.



We cannot assume that we always know why God does what He does, or why He allows what He allows.  Assuming things about God and His nature and His actions is Calvin's biggest theological blunder.  And we all know what happens when we ass-u-me things!




False Assumption #7:  (Chapter 16, section 3)  Calvin also - along with deciding for himself what "omnipotence" means - decides for himself what brings God glory.

Calvin basically says that we deprive God of His glory and we dishonor Him if we say He doesn't control every detail, every action.  


But who are we to decide how God gets glory?  Who are we to decide that He couldn't possible get glory through men freely choosing to obey Him and love Him and worship Him?  To decide that He can only get glory and be honored if He controls our decisions about Him?


Could you imagine God saying to Satan, "Look at all these people that worship Me!"

And Satan says, "Big whoop, God!  You created them to worship You.  You gave them no choice.  They are not worshipping You because they want to, but because they have to.  And You're also controlling my response to You, so big whoop there too.  None of it means or accomplishes anything!"


Where is the glory in that!?!


I mean, isn't that what the whole book of Job is about - that God would get glory when Job still chose to worship Him despite all the tragedies!  


If God causes us to choose Him or to reject Him, Satan would simply say, "Big deal, God!  Job had to worship You because You controlled him."


How would that bring God glory!?!  Yet this is what Calvinists believe, that God controls all things - even our decisions about Him - for His glory.


But wouldn't it be more glorifying for people to willingly choose to love and worship God than to be forced to?  Isn't it more honoring and meaningful to you to be in a relationship with people who want to be with you, not who have to be with you?  Maybe God allowed us to have a choice about Him because it delights Him when people willingly choose to love Him, because it brings Him glory to be able to tell Satan - who rebelled against God and has been trying to steal as many people as possible from Him - "Look at all these people who still chose Me, despite all the pain and trials in life.  Despite not being able to physically see Me, to stand in My throne room, like you have, Satan.  These humans have it worse than you do.  They have physical bodies with limitations and problems.  They have more obstacles to faith than you do because they are human while you are a spirit.  And yet they still chose Me over you."


Now doesn't that sound glorifying to God!     




Additionally, in then same section, Calvin further emphasizes how God causes all things for His pleasure by using a horrifying example, one that should make Calvinists sit up and take notice about what Calvin really teaches about God and how Calvinism really views God.  

Calvin says that even nursing babies bring God glory when they are nourished through breastfeeding.  But, Calvin says, we can't close our eyes to the fact that some mothers have full provision for their babies (I am guessing he means an ample milk supply) and that some have almost none.  And then Calvin says that this happens because it is the pleasure of God to nourish one child more liberally and another more sparingly.



What!?!  WHAT!?!



It is for God's pleasure that He causes some babies to virtually starve to death by causing their mothers to not have enough milk!?!



Hear it from Calvin himself:  "Indeed, if we do not shut our eyes and senses to the fact, we must see that some mothers have full provision for their infants, and others almost none, according as it is the pleasure of God to nourish one child more liberally, and another more sparingly."
  
What kind of frickin' nonsense is that!?!



Calvin assumes God causes everything, therefore if a mother can't provide enough milk for her baby, it's because God caused it to be that way, for His glory and pleasure.  

But why can it not be that when Adam and Eve fell, they lost the perfect world they had, that nature was cursed and is now fallen and broken too, and that it leads to problems in our world, such as storms and diseases and bodies that don't function properly?  Why can't the bad things simply be consequences of the Fall - consequences that happened because we ushered them into the world through sin, because Satan was allowed a certain dominion over the earth when we chose to listen to him instead of God, because God allowed these bad consequences but didn't necessarily cause them?  


Not glorifying enough to God for the Calvinist, I guess!


No ... it's much more glorifying for God to cause all the tragedies and sins and wickedness!  It's much more glorifying to God to deliberately starve some babies to death, to take away the ability of certain mothers to breastfeed their babies!  And how dare we try to take His glory or downplay His glory by saying that there are any other factors at work in the world, that He doesn't deliberately cause each and every tragedy, heartbreak, and disaster!


Calvin states that the only way we can be calm and secure is if we believe that all good and evil are caused by God.  


"This rather is the solace of the faithful, in their adversity, that every thing which they endure is by the ordination and command of God..."  (Not just that He allowed it and will work it into good, but that He commanded it to happen!)


What comfort does this bring a mother who is watching her children die of starvation?  What comfort does this bring someone who was neglected or abused as a child, or a woman who was raped?  What comfort does this bring children who watched their family get slaughtered in a bloody civil war?  What comfort does this bring a parent who is watching their child slowly kill themselves with drugs?  What comfort does it bring a prisoner of war in an enemy camp?  What comfort does it bring someone whose loved one committed suicide?  What comfort does it bring people to be told that God causes people to be unbelievers and then sends them to hell for their unbelief, for His glory?


What comfort does it bring us to be told that God caused all this to happen for His pleasure, and that it should make us feel calm and secure?  Oh, yeah!  That's a God people are going to want to trust and worship and love!

Hogwash!!!  Frickin' nonsense!  Just where is Calvin's head!?!  (I'll tell you where it is!)  What glory does all this bring God?  To portray Him as a God who causes all evil and sin, but who then punishes people for the evil and sin He causes?  A God who causes all tragedies for His plans and pleasure ... when actually His original plan was a perfect world, when He promises to heal all wrongs and to fix all the bad things in the end, to return everything to perfection, to bring good things out of bad, to get rid of all death and tears?  

Calvinists say God purposely damns most people to hell ... when, in reality, God sent Jesus to the cross to save people from hell!  Do you see how wicked this theology is!?!  Denying salvation for most people by saying that Jesus only died for the elect and that God Himself decides who gets to be one of the elect and that there's nothing you can do about it.    

Calvin completely misrepresents God, and then uses "God gets glory from it" to excuse it, to keep us from questioning it.  (I'll be looking at his manipulative techniques later.  But here's a post on how today's Calvinists do it.  And here's one on "Confronting Calvinism's Deceptive Nonsense."  Just for fun!)  And Calvinists today do this too, saying that God is glorified by predestining people for hell and causing all the bad things.  

And who's going to argue with it when we are told that it's "all for God's glory"?  Who's going to question God's right to get glory?

And so we just accept what we are told.  Like good, little Calvinists.

FRICKIN' HOGWASH!!!  

(Oh yes, I did ... and I'll say it again ... frickin' hogwash!  In fact, I'll sing it too, along with a little dance.  I'm cabbage-patching right now while I sing "It's frickin' ho-og-waaash!  Oh yeah!  It is!  It really truly is!"  

Ahh, just crackin' myself up here.  And I'd be using the real four-letter words here if I wasn't concerned about offending young, innocent eyes that might be reading.  I think Calvinism deserves the harshest four-letter words!  I really do!)







Other Things To Consider:
Okay, so all the above stuff was a chunk taken from the "Problems in ..." post.  But there are more things to consider, taken from other places in the "Problems in..." post and from other posts.

I will simply list these new points in no particular order.

1.  (From "Some of John Calvin's Contradicting Nonsense")  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.

But then he 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 (given directly from God to only the elect people, of course) that we understand there is a Creator behind creation.  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.


"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 [code words for "Now I'm going to add my own assumptions as biblical truth"] 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)." 

Up until this point, 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.  

Where does he get this nonsense from!?!

Chapter 6, Section 1:  God revealed Himself in nature to (paraphrased) "make men's ingratitude (denial of Him) inexcusable, 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 simply so that He could condemn us for not seeing Him!?!  

And yet we can't see Him unless God gives us (the lucky few who are "elected") the faith to believe in Him!?!  And if we don't believe in Him, we are accountable for it, even though God didn't give us the faith to believe in Him!?!

It's friggin' nonsense!

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

Calvin is assuming 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.  

But the verses don't say those things!  Calvin assumes them!  And it taints his theology from here on out.  Most all 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, to cause us to seek Him and find Him.  And because He is so evident in His creation, we have no excuse for not seeing Him.  That's what those verses in the quote mean.

"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 it, 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.

Can you see the subtle twists Calvin adds to the verses to make them say what he wants?

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.  (For those right now who are saying "But faith is a gift that God has to give us," see "Is Faith A Gift God Gives (Or Forces On) Us?"




2.  Calvin assumes that we are totally unable to have any inkling of God or truth unless we are diligent disciples of Scripture.  (How convenient!  Seeing as how he is a "diligent disciple" of Scripture!)

Book 1, Chapter 6, Section 2:  "If true religion is to beam upon us, our principle must be, that it is necessary to begin with heavenly teaching, and that it is impossible for any man to obtain even the minutest portion of right and sound doctrine without being a disciple of Scripture."  

Really, so God didn't write His law on people's hearts, like Romans 2:15 says?  So He didn't put eternity in the hearts of men, as Ecclesiastes 3:11 says?  So Romans 1:18-20 is lying when it says that God is plainly evident in creation, enough to cause us to know He's there, to seek Him, and to find Him?  So people who don't have the Word have no chance of learning anything about God or truth?  

Book 1, Chapter 6, Section 3:  "We should consider that the brightness of the Divine Countenance, which even an apostle declares to be inaccessible (1 Tim 6:16), is a kind of labyrinth - a labyrinth to us inextricable, if the Word do not serve us as a thread to guide our paths ..."  

I didn't realize the path to truth, to God, was so hidden, so messy, so complicated.  I thought God made Himself clear to everyone through creation, the simplest form He could put it in, so that all could know and believe.  I guess all this time I thought God made salvation easy to obtain.  Because He wanted us to find Him.

Silly me!

Just wondering ... Did excessive study of the Word help the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law in Jesus's day?  And why would God reveal Himself in nature to draw men to Him if that revelation is insufficient to draw men to Him?

How is it that the thief on the cross was able to recognize Jesus for who He was and be saved?  I don't read that he was a serious student of the Word.  In fact, they wouldn't have had the New Testament back then.  

Calvin totally limits God here, making it so that only serious Bible students, like himself, can have any knowledge of God and faith.  

It's prideful, that's what it is!  It sounds godly and all, but it's really self-elevating.  Because it blocks the common man from having any knowledge of God.  (And it denies that God can reach the common man in other ways, especially in creation, which God Himself said was enough, at a bare minimum, to draw men to Him.)  It's saying that only the highly educated men can have any real knowledge of God or truth.  It's the Pharisees banding together in their little religious "holy huddle," hoarding "truth" for themselves!  That's what it is!  

If Calvin had simply said that our faith and knowledge of truth is filled-in and completed with the Word then I could agree, that Scripture fully explains the impressions of God and truth that nature gives us.  I don't disagree that we need the Word to show the way more clearly, to answer the questions we have, to give us a full picture of what's going on, of who God is, of how we got here, of where things are going.  

But I disagree that God made the truth so hard to find.  That's not the God I read about in the Bible.  If we don't see the truth He so clearly put in creation and in our hearts, it's because we don't want to see it.  Not because He made it so hard to find.  (I think a sign of a cult leader is that they make the truth hard to find, hard to understand, inaccessible to the common man.  That way, they keep the people coming to them for "truth.") 

I cannot agree with "it is impossible for any man to obtain even the minutest portion of right and sound doctrine without being a disciple of Scripture."  Because this blocks many people from truth, from finding God, and it limits God's work in the world.  

O
nce again... what Bible verse did he get this from?  (Hint: It's not from a Bible verse; it's from his own assumptions of how things are.)

[And, incidentally, he is contradicting his own theology that says that people are "saved" before they can even read the Scriptures.  According to Calvinism, people are "chosen/elected/saved" from way before the beginning of time, and then they are regenerated by the Holy Spirit so that they can want God and seek God and understand the Scriptures, and then they understand the Scriptures and believe in Jesus.

How important is it to be a "disciple of Scripture" if the elect are saved anyway before they hear or can understand Scripture?  If - as Calvinism says - understanding Scripture/Truth is a result of being "elected/saved," not something that leads to being saved?

Contradictory nonsense!

But that's what Calvinism is!]    




3.  The last line of Book 1, Chapter 6 gives one of Calvinism's greatest - most damaging - assumptions, that mankind is unable to come to God unless God causes him to.

"Since the human mind, through its weakness, was altogether unable to come to God if not aided and upheld by his sacred word, it necessarily followed that all mankind, the Jews excepted, insomuch as they sought God without the Word, were laboring under vanity and error."

According to Calvin, to Calvinism, mankind is so depraved that we cannot even think about, want, or seek God ... unless God causes us to do it.  And He only does this for the elect people.

Notice in the quote above how Calvin states an assumption as fact - that man is so weak that we are unable to come to God unless God causes us to.  And then Calvin infers something based on his assumption - that anyone who seeks God without the Word is doomed to fail.  (Which is a contradiction of Calvinism anyway because Calvinism states that it's impossible to seek God unless God causes you to do it and that God causes the elect to seek Him.  And so if you are seeking God, it would have to be because you have been elected and because God is causing you to seek Him.  And so then how can that fail if God can't fail?)  

Assumption based on assumption.  But this is how Calvin formulates his theology!




4.  On a different note, Calvin makes various assumptions to explain how Adam fell and how he could be held accountable for falling and how we no longer have free-will (so he says).

In Book 1, Chapter 15, section 8, Calvin says that at creation, Adam had a perfect nature and the power to choose.  So that when he fell, it was by choice, by Adam's will.  (This is to ensure that Adam deserved the penalty he got, because he "chose to sin.")  But then after the Fall, he says we became so depraved that we lost our free-will.

You see, Adam had free-will to sin because God had given him an "intermediate and even transient will" - a temporary right to make real, free-will choices.  Total assumption!  Absolutely unsupported by Scripture!

Calvin says that Adam "spontaneously brought death upon himself" by using his "transient will" to sin, and that all this happened so that God could "extract materials for his own glory."  


So basically, God gave Adam a temporary right to make choices so that Adam could sin and bring death on himself because God would be glorified by it!



Interesting!  

And silly me, but I thought that if God told people not to do something (not to eat from the forbidden tree), it's because He didn't want them to do it!  Not that He wanted them to do it so that they could bring death on themselves so that God could be glorified!


But all of this "temporary will" stuff is Calvin's way of trying to explain why Adam got to "choose" to eat the forbidden fruit (and be held accountable for his choice), but why nowadays we don't get to "choose" anything.  God gave Adam a temporary will, a temporary ability to make decisions, but we lost that right when Adam sinned.



And Calvin says, in the same section, that we are under a delusion if we think mankind still has free-will:  "But those who, while they profess to be the disciples of Christ, still seek for free-will in man, withstanding his being lost and drowned in spiritual destruction, labour under manifold delusion..."

First off, notice that Calvin insults anyone who claims that mankind has free-will.  He says "while they profess to be disciples of Christ," meaning that since they disagree with him, they are not really disciples but just "so-called disciples."

Also notice that Calvin says we ignore/deny the idea of "being lost and drowned in spiritual destruction" if we claim we still have free-will.  He is making it sound like we are disagreeing with Scriptural truths, when we are really just disagreeing with his incorrect ideas of Scriptural truths.  (Such a Calvinist tactic!)


But Calvinism's view of "lost and drowned in spiritual destruction" is far different than the Bible's view.  The Bible shows that because of sin, we are lost and separated from God.  But it also shows that God wants us all to come to Him, and so He has made Himself clear in nature and in our hearts so that we can seek Him and find Him.  It shows that salvation is available to all because Jesus paid the penalty of sin for all.  And it places on us the responsibility to seek Him and find Him and believe in Him.  We will be held accountable for our response to Him because He calls to each and every one of us, offering all of us the chance to find Him.



But Calvinism assumes that the Fall made us so depraved that there is nothing good in us, no ability to even think about God or want God or seek God unless God makes us (the elect only) do it.  They assume that if we had free-will, it would mean that God wouldn't be all-powerful and all-controlling, as they view His sovereignty.  They assume that being able to think about God, seek God, or "ask Jesus into our hearts" is us trying to "take credit" for our salvation, to work our way to being saved.

To them, being "lost and drowned in spiritual destruction" means that we are all helplessly unable to come to God unless God causes us to do it.  The elect, that is.  And everyone else is out of luck.

But once again, this is all their own assumptions about what faith is and about how God has to be in order to be God.



Show me in the Bible where it says that losing free-will was an effect of the Fall!  Show me where it says that being "depraved" means we can't make choices or even think about God!  Show me where it says that salvation is denied to most people!

Guess what!?!  There aren't any verses like that!

And yet to state that we lost free-will as a result of the Fall blatently goes against Scripture after Scripture that talks about our responsibility to choose, to obey.

Let's see a little of what the Bible says about whether mankind has free-will or not, whether we can make decisions apart from God or not (emphasis added to these verses):

Hosea 8:4:  “They [Israel] set up kings without my [God’s] consent; they choose princes without my approval.”


Acts 14:16:  “In the past, [God] let all nations go their own way.”


Isaiah 30:1:  “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine.”

Jeremiah 19:4-5:  “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.”

Romans 1:21, 28:  "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened... Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind ..."  


Romans 10:3:  "Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness."  

Romans 11:20, 23:  "But they were broken off because of unbelief ... And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in..."  

James 1:13-15:  "When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.'  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."  

Matthew 23:37:  "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."  

John 7:17 "If anyone chooses to do God's will ..."

Joshua 24:15:  "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve ..."


Hmm ... yep, no free-will here!  No choice!  God controls all, just like Calvin said!  

(You know, if God had just consulted Calvin before He wrote the Scriptures, we wouldn't have this confusion or these verses that seem to teach that people make choices.  But thankfully Calvin came along 1500 years later to clarify what God really meant to say in His Word.  How lost and confused we'd be without the great John Calvin and his superior theological intelligence!)
 


Calvinists Today:  
Here are some assumptions that today's Calvinists build their theology on.  It's so important, as you listen to them, to listen critically, to never assume that what they are saying is biblical truth.  Always question where they got their ideas, which Bible verses support them, which contradicts them, etc.  So much of their theology is built on misunderstandings of Scripture or assumptions they make about God, faith, and the Word.  But you'll miss it if you don't listen critically.  

This is taken from my "Problems in..." post:


And Calvinists don't just build their theology around misunderstandings of words but also around their own preconceptions and misconceptions of how things must work.  And if you start with misconceptions, you are building a house of cards on a foundation of Jell-o.  But they never think to question the foundation of misconceptions.  They just keep trying to make the building on top more stable.


1.  Such as, they start with the idea that "For God to really be in control means He has to control everything.  If you believe He doesn't control everything, that He gives people a choice, then you are saying He is not an all-powerful, sovereign God.  You are reducing Him and elevating humans."  That's a big fat presumption on their part, equating "in control" with "must control and cause everything."  God is much bigger than that and can work all things, even our self-chosen sins, into His plans.  And it's not reducing God at all if God Himself decided to allow mankind the right and responsibility to make choices, to have an effect on things that happen.



2.  "Well," they say, "if you believe we can makes decisions, that God responds to what we do or what we pray, then you're saying we are controlling God."  No!  I am simply saying that God gave us the right to make choices, that He responds to the choices we make.  Because He wanted it to be this way!  


3.  "But if we can 'believe' in Jesus or 'accept' Jesus, then that means we are working for our salvation.  So we can't believe in or accept Jesus because we can't work for salvation.  That's why God has to do it all.  If He doesn't do it all, then He's not really in control or fully sovereign."  But equating "accepting/believing in Jesus" with "working for our salvation" is a wrong premise to start with.  That's their own illogical reasoning.  You find me ONE VERSE in the Bible that warns us against "working for our salvation" by accepting, believing in, or agreeing with Jesus.  Here's a tip:  There isn't one.  They are simply starting with their own definition of "working for salvation," including things that are clearly not "good works to earn salvation."  Accepting a free gift that someone made available, that someone else sacrificed for, is not "working to earn it."  It's simply accepting it in humble thankfulness.  It's letting them give it to you, acknowledging their sacrifice and their gift, knowing that you did nothing to earn it, create it, or deserve it.  Calvinist reasoning is pure nonsense!  And yet they build their theological views around that kind of illogical, nonsensical garbage!  And how wicked is it - how very wicked it is - to tell people that they can't accept Jesus's sacrifice on their behalf when the very reason He died was so that they could accept His sacrifice on their behalf!  


4.  They also like to say "Well, if God really loved everyone, He would save everyone; but since He didn't save everyone, it must mean He doesn't love everyone the same."  They assume God's saving love necessarily ends in saved people, when what it really does is make salvation possible for all people.  And then they go and redefine God's love and "whosoever" and "all men" to fit with this idea.



5.  They say "God didn't send Jesus to die for everyone and He can't give people a choice to accept or reject Jesus ... because if people could reject Jesus, it would be a waste of Jesus's blood.  And God won't waste Jesus's blood on those who won't believe."  FIND ME ONE VERSE THAT SAYS THIS!!!  You'll be looking forever because THERE ISN'T ONE!  This is purely man-made reasoning.  



6.  They say "God has to be the one to cause evil to happen, or else there is no real purpose for it.  There's only purpose in things that happen if God deliberately causes them."  This is how Calvinist James White justified the existence of child rapeIf God doesn't cause it, then it has no purpose.  It's just senseless violence then.  

So, let me get this straight ... then you're saying that, for some reason, child rape makes justifiable sense as long as God causes it!?!  What the %&$#!!!  And maybe to Calvinists it does make more sense of evil, but at what expense?  At the expense of Truth and God's character!  They turn God into a monster - into the causer of all evil acts, all horrible sins, the very things He commands us not to do - simply so they can sound like they have a "good reason" for evil.  

(And yet it is so much easier and more understandable and more biblically-accurate to simply believe that God works sovereignly in two ways: sometimes He causes things that happen (but never sin and rebellion, the things He warns us against), and sometimes He simply allows things to happen, even the bad things we choose to do, but He promises to work it all into good.  This is the biblical way to mesh God's sovereignty with mankind's responsibility, while still representing God's character correctly.)  

And aren't Calvinists actually limiting God's abilities when they say He has to be the causer of all bad things for there to be reasons for them or good that comes out of them?  Is God not omniscient enough and wise enough and powerful enough and good enough to take the bad things that people choose to do, and work them into His plans?  To make something good out of the evil we choose to do?  Is He only able to use what He causes?  

To say that God has to cause it for it to have a purpose, some value, some use to Him, is using man-made logic to justify it.  Find me the verse that says this!  There isn't one.  Instead I see "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God ..." (Romans 8:28, KJV).  NOT "God causes all evil for good."  God is big enough to allow people to make decisions, and to work those decisions into His plans, to turn them around for good.     



7.  They also start with the assumption of "When Adam and Eve fell, it totally destroyed any good in us.  It made us 'totally depraved.'  And being totally depraved means we are so wicked and fallen inside that we can't even want God in our lives or think about God or seek God or understand the Word, unless God makes us do it."  They manipulate your desire to be humble by making you feel like the only way to be truly humble is to admit that humans are "totally depraved."  And that because we are totally depraved, we are totally incapable of wanting or seeking or believing in God, and so God has to do that in us.  God has to choose who to "force" into believing in Him.  Because our depraved nature makes it impossible for us to do it ourselves.  Once again, this is completely from their own imagination, their own reasoning and misconceptions.  You find me ONE VERSE that supports this idea, this conclusion.  Yes, the idea that we are totally fallen is in the Word, as in mankind is now filled with wickedness and as in we are fully separated from God because of our sinful nature.  But NOWHERE does it say that this fallenness has led to a complete inability to think about, desire, or seek God.  Calvinists made this up!  And then they built their whole theology on this false assumption.  In fact, the exact opposite is in the Word - God expects us to seek Him and calls us to seek Him over and over again and He gave us the ability to reason, to think, to desire, to make decisions.  My goodness, how wicked Calvinism is!  

(Notice I said "Calvinism" not "Calvinists."  You have to remember to separate the people from the bad theology.  Many Anti-Calvinists hate Calvinism so much that they throw out the people with their views.  They hate them both.  Do not do that!  You can hate the view but love and respect the person.  That person is deeply loved by God, Jesus died for them, and God wants them to come to a proper understanding of the Gospel and salvation.  Help them, don't hate them!)  


(And of course, Calvinists will use Romans 3:10-11 to support their idea of "total depravity/inability," saying that "There is no one righteous, not even one.  There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God" means that we are so depraved that we CANNOT seek God or understand.  But the verses don't say that.  It's simply a commentary on general human nature, how selfish and self-centered we are, how much we love our sin, how all humans are fallen, how we have no righteousness of our own to earn our salvation.  This is why God had to make it possible, to pay the price for our sins, and to offer salvation to us.  Because we couldn't do it ourselves.  It's not saying we CAN'T seek God or understand, just that in general we don't, we choose not to.  Besides, this "there is no one righteous" verse would contradict Calvinism's whole idea of God electing some to salvation before the beginning of time.  If someone is elected, they are born elected.  Righteousness was already bestowed on them by God before they were born.  How then can they say that no one is righteous, when supposedly the elect are born with this righteousness already credited to them?  The elect are born in a different condition than the unelect.  So how can they be lumped in with everyone else?)
    


A lot of Calvinist theology is based on their own ideas of how they think things should work, instead of basing it on the Bible.  So listen carefully for the assumptions, misconceptions, illogical human reasoning, and misunderstood words that they base their theology on.


(These are just some of Calvin's and Calvinism's assumptions.  And like I said, I only read the first book so far!)  




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