Why Is Calvinism So Dangerous? (updated heavily)

Because it teaches the opposite of what the Bible teaches!

(FYI: If you only read one Anti-Calvinism post of mine, I think it should be this one.  But I'm warning you that this post is long.  Very long.  So pack a lunch and bring a sleeping bag.  But it has to be long because Calvinism is so deceptively convoluted that it takes time to peel off the layers so that you can see it for what it really is.  My hope is that with this one post, I can demonstrate the deceptiveness of Calvinism and show you how it contradicts the Word. Of course, this is only scratching the surface, but I want to give enough that you can learn to identify where and how Calvinism goes wrong, and the damage it does to God's character and truth.  That's why this post is so "full."  And for fun, I added a bunch of meme links.  Because they're too good to not share.  And you can find lots more by clicking on the "meme links" label on this blog.  For the original, non-updated version of this post, click here.)

Calvinism thinks it correctly understands the Word.  But what it does is twist each verse until it supports its view of predestination (that God has predetermined from the beginning of time whether we go to heaven or hell, and there's nothing we can do about it), of God micromanaging and causing everything (their definition of "sovereignty," which contradicts how God has actually chosen to exercise His sovereignty, as seen in His Word), and of "total human depravity" where people are supposedly so "depraved" that no one can think about, want, or seek God unless God makes them do it, which is absolutely not in the Bible.  (In fact, the exact opposite is in the Bible.  God calls us over and over again to seek Him, and He says He will hold us accountable if we resist Him or ignore Him.  For fun, see the "All you need to do..." and "How do we get them to believe ..." memes.)  

Do not let Calvinists convince you that they believe in the "depravity" of man, which is a biblical concept, as in "we are all separated from God, we all sin, and we cannot save ourselves."  What they actually believe in is "Total Inability," that man is "so dead" spiritually that we can't do anything but sin all the time, that we can't ever think any good thoughts or want to do right, and that we can't even want God or seek God unless God gives us life and causes us to seek Him.  Well, the "elect" only, that is.  God will only cause the elect to want Him, seek Him, and find Him.  And everyone else is predestined to remain dead.  To go to hell.  Because God predetermined it to be that way.  Because apparently Calvi-god (my name for Calvinism's god, which is NOT the God of the Bible) gets glory by deliberately putting people in hell, with no chance of salvation.

It's garbage!  It really is.  And it's all based on their own presuppositions and ideas of how God works and on Scripture that's pulled from here and there, taken out of context.  Don't buy into this nonsense!  We may be spiritually dead, but we still have living brains that God expects us to use to seek Him and find Him.  

The more you read God's Word without your super-special Calvinist glasses on, the more you'll see that Calvinism completely contradicts the Word and destroys God's truth and character.  

But Calvinists have very clever ways - dare I say "demonically-clever ways"! - of trying to explain away their contradictions, of trying to force Calvinism into the Bible, and of trying to smooth over the damage their view does to God's character and the Gospel.

alvinism is not a theological system, where they build their theology on the Bible.  It's a philosophical system, where they start with assumptions, presumptions, and misconceptions about God and faith, and they build their theology on those, forcing the Bible to fit their own ideas.

I sum it up this way: Calvinism is mankind telling God how God has to be in order to be God!  

(For more on that, see this post about some of the assumptions John Calvin built his theology around.  And for other looks at what Calvinism is and what others say about it, click on the links under the heading of "What Others Say About Calvinism" in the post Links to Other Anti-Calvinism Posts.)

Calvinists will look right at Bible verses that clearly say one thing, and they'll go, "Yes, it says that, but what God really means is ..."  

[Actually, dogmatic Calvinists will say "I am only teaching right from Scripture!  We have to always go right to Scripture to see what the text says."  

But then they will look right at a verse like "Jesus died for all men" and say "But it doesn't really mean 'all men'.  It means 'all kinds of men.'"  

What the heck!?!  That's NOT what the verse says!  

But we're lulled into trusting them because they told us they were teaching right from Scripture, and since they said it then it must be true.  Right!?!  And so we shut off our critical-thinking discernment skills and let them tell us what to think.  

Never shut off your critical-thinking discernment skills!  Always run what people say (even what I say!) through Scripture, even if they tell you they are only preaching Scripture!]

Let me ask you a question:  If you have to read Scripture with a "Yes, but ..." approach - trying to clarify what God really meant to say, while contradicting what God clearly and repeatedly said - who do you think is wrong?  You or God?

But Calvinists use this "Yes, but ..." approach for the basic truths of the Gospel.  Because they believe God has blessed them with superior insight into some sort of "hidden truths" of His that help them see what He really meant to say.  Even though it totally contradicts the simple truth of the Gospel!  

The Gospel is a simple message which is meant to be understood by all people, for the salvation of all people, of any who choose to put their faith in Jesus.  It's meant to be good news for all!  

Want an example of the twisted word-games they play?  Of how sneaky their theology is, that you miss what they really believe?  

Calvinists will verbally agree with what I just said.  They'll say "Yes, the Gospel should be preached to all.  God wants all men to be saved.  And any who put their faith in Jesus will be saved."  

And you'll end up thinking "Wow, I guess they really do believe the Gospel is for all and that anyone can be saved."  

But what they hide is "The Gospel should be preached to all, but that doesn't mean that all can respond to it.  Only the elect will respond because God makes them respond.  And the non-elect can never respond because the Holy Spirit won't regenerate them (won't give them spiritual life) because they were predestined to hell from the beginning of time.  But since we don't know who the elect are or who the non-elect are, we have to preach it to all.  And of course God wants all to be saved, but that doesn't mean that all can be saved.  On one hand, He says He wants all men to be saved; but on the other hand, He has a second 'secret will' where He's predetermined that only the elect will be saved and that all others are predestined to hell for His glory."  

If this doesn't make you deep-down-in-your-soul angry, then you don't get what's at stake here.  The damage this does to God's character and truth.  

And it's my hope that this post will help you see more clearly, so that you don't get suckered into Calvinism and so that you too will take a stand against it before it seeps into more churches.  

It's already spreading like the cancer that it is.  Silently.  Aggressively.  Unopposed.  (If you haven't encountered it yet, you will.  Or maybe you already have, you just don't know it yet because they are sneaky.)  And if people don't wake up and notice what it's teaching and what it says about God, and if they don't start researching for themselves what the Bible really says, and if they don't start speaking against Calvinism and calling it out for what it is, it's going to infect more and more people, until no one even remembers anymore who God really is and what the simple, basic truth of the Gospel really is. 

(I get into this more in this post, but Calvinists are masters at playing word games, deceptively hiding what they really mean in order to look like they believe what you believe, what the Bible says.  For more examples of this, see "Confronting Calvinism's Deceptive Nonsense."  Also, I highly recommend these two websites: Beyond The Fundamentals and Soteriology 101.  These guys really know their stuff because they were into Calvinism before.  My husband is currently addicted to Kevin's videos at Beyond The Fundamentals because of how thoroughly he understands Calvinism and how completely he destroys it using the Bible.)   

Calvinism turns the Gospel into a convoluted, contradictory, "hidden truth," multiple-layers message which is good news for only a few preselected people, those God predestined to save because He really loves only them and sent Jesus to die for only them.  The super-special "elect."

But if we can't take God at His word, according to the things He clearly said in His Word, then how can we ever trust Him!?!  If we have to add "yes, but ..." to everything He says - if we can't trust that He's saying what He means and that He means what He says - then how can we ever really know what the truth is!?!

Calvinism damages the simple, basic truths of the Gospel.  It destroys God's character.  It uses God's Word against God.  It causes us to look at Scripture and say "But did God really say ...?  He doesn't really mean that!"  And it gets us to cling to its lies by convincing us that it's the best way to honor God, to glorify Him.

This is nothing short of satanic!

[Hey, Calvinists ... Do you want a test to see what's driving your view of this issue?  Pray and ask God to reveal to you if you are wrong in your understanding of this issue, if you are reading the Word wrong, trying to make it fit your own ideas of what it says.  Tell God that you want to know the truth and give Him permission to open your eyes to truth, even if it means finding out you've been wrong this whole time.

Now ... how did it make you feel to think about doing that?  Did you get offended at the suggestion that Calvinism is wrong?  Did you bristle and stiffen your neck, as in "I'm not praying that!  I know I'm right!"?  Did you scoff?  Do you want to throw away everything I am saying - and going to say - because you've predetermined that I don't know what I'm talking about, simply because I disagree with your view?  Did you start coming up with all sorts of reasons for why you're right and rehearsing all the theological arguments that "support" Calvinism?  

(I have challenged a dogmatic Calvinist I met online to pray this, to ask God to tell him if he's wrong in the way he's reading the Bible.  I have challenged him to do this a few times.  But instead of just doing it, he keeps coming up with excuses for why he doesn't have to.  That right there is very telling!  If he's so sure that he's not wrong in his theology, it should be no problem to give God permission to correct him if he's wrong.  And no ... asking for wisdom is not the same thing as asking God to correct you if you're wrong.  Because Satan also has and gives "wisdom."  Satan also knows and quotes Scripture.  And you could be listening to Satan but think you're listening to God - because Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and packages his lies to look so much like truth that some people can hardly tell the difference.  So do not just pray for wisdom and then listen to whatever voice you hear.  Pray sincerely for correction and for God's wisdom.  And keep praying for this until you mean it and until God answers.)  

Are you more concerned with protecting and defending your view than you are with God's opinion of it?  How much is your pride driving your theology?  Are you willing for God to correct you if you are wrong?  Do you want to know His truth more than you want to cling to your pride and your feelings of intellectual and theological "superiority"?

What's in your heart?  Who's on throne in your life?

So now, pray and ask God to reveal truth to you, to show you if you've been wrong.  Determine in your heart that you really do want to know the truth, no matter the cost.  And don't just think about praying it.  Do it!  It's not the thought that counts when it comes to prayer.]


Many Christians don't want to get into this issue.  It's messy and uncomfortable and confusing.  And so we straddle the fence, saying "Oh, it doesn't really matter what we think about this as long as the Gospel is preached and people come to Jesus.  Can't we all just be unified?  God likes unity!"

But does it really "not matter"?  Does it "not matter" what Gospel you're preaching or unifying around?  Does it "not matter" what version of God you're preaching or unifying around?  

But hey ... at least we're unified, right!

How's that saying go again ... "All that's required for evil to spread is for good men to do nothing."

Well, Calvinism's spreading!  And I can't sit back and do nothing, acting like unity is more important than truth.     

[Of course Calvinists will stress "unity" (I've seen several articles written by Calvinists stressing unity in the church) ... because they are trying to get you to compromise the clear truths of the Bible to incorporate their twisted views!  (Sadly, they don't realize their views are twisted.)  They want you to capitulate to them.  And they know that people will push back against them because Calvinism makes a mess of the Bible and reflects very badly on God.  And so they have to use "unity" to get you to capitulate, to fall in line.  Because they know that no good, humble Christian wants to be divisive, to rock the boat, to look like they don't see the "truth" that the Calvinists see.  

But could you imagine the apostle Paul walking into the compromising churches of his day and saying "Hey, it doesn't really matter what we all believe about the Gospel, does it!  Let's not make a fuss about all the little details about what's true and what's not.  Can't we all just put our arms around each other and sing Kumbaya around the campfire?  After all, God just wants us to be unified more than anything, right!?!"  

Umm ... no!]

Many Christians also don't want to get into this issue because Calvinists have made it seem like Calvinism is absolutely "what the Bible says."  That's how my Calvi-pastor (ex-pastor) pushed it:  "You don't have to like it, but you do have to accept it.  Because it's what the Bible says."  

No ... it's manipulation, that's what it is!

We've been fed that line so many times by the multitudes of popular Calvinist preachers and authors that we don't even think to doubt it.  We don't even realize that they could possibly be wrong.    

We just keep drinking the Kool-Aid they give us.

And instead of ever questioning what's in the cup, we convince ourselves that there must just be something wrong with us, that we have an overblown sense of pride or that we don't have the ability to grasp the "truths" they're teaching.  

And Calvinists use this against us too, to manipulate us into agreeing with them.  They say things like "God's understanding is far above our tiny, limited, human understanding.  So we can't understand how all of this works together anyway, and we shouldn't really try to understand it all because God has chosen to keep some things to Himself.  And so we just have to trust that He knows how it all works together.  It's unhumble to question God or doubt God, to look too deeply into the things He's decided to keep for Himself."  

And so we shut up and fall in line, like good little Calvinists.  (For more on this, check out Predestination Manipulation.  And here's a "Calvinist preachers be like" meme and an "If you want people..." meme.)

But I think it's definitely worth doubting.  Worth thinking about deeply.  Worth researching.  And worth fighting against with every bit of righteous anger you've got!

We are not questioning God or His Word.  We are questioning their misrepresentation of God and His Word!  And that's a big difference! 

[FYI:  Just because there's lots of highly-educated, Big-Name theologians teaching Calvinism and writing Calvinist theology books doesn't mean they're right.  It just means that people are easily trusting of Big Names.  And so those Big Name Theologians have an easy time getting their Calvinism into the seminaries, where they indoctrinate the next generation of Big Names.  And then Calvinism ends up looking more reliable and accurate than it really is, because "everybody's doing it."  

You know who else were highly-educated Big-Names?  

The Pharisees and Teachers of the Law in Jesus's day.  

hey were so popular and highly-educated that they were blinded by their own intelligence and fame ... and they ended up missing the Truth, even when He was standing right in front of them.  

But the Gospel is not meant to be highly-academic stuff that only the highly-educated can understand.  It's meant to be a simple message of hope and salvation for everyone.  For adults and for children.  For the educated and the uneducated.  For the seminary student who spends his day studying all the best resources and for the farmer who works all day in the fields with his hands.  For everyone!  

Hear me loud and clear: You don't need any highly-educated theologian or pastor to tell you what God meant to say when He wrote His Word.  To "clarify" God's truth for Him.  And just because someone has a Big Name doesn't mean they are right.  

Do they really think God was that confused when He wrote His Word, that He couldn't get His point across clearly and correctly, and so He needed some Calvinist theologian to clarify it for Him?  Or maybe He obscured the truth on purpose so that only the highly-intelligent Calvinists could find it, right?  Because He didn't want the simple people to have the truth!?!  

No!  The truth is there for all to see.  It is clearly written the way God wants it to be read.  

"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."  (John 20:31)

God wants us to find the truth.  He wants us to know the truth.  Because He wants us to find salvation and life in Jesus.  And that's why He made the truth clear and easy to see.  That's why He made Himself easy to find.  

God means what He says and He says what He means.  There are no "hidden layers" that only Calvinists can understand which contradict what God wrote.  

Be wary about any highly-educated pastor or theologian who tells you that you need them and their "superior understanding of what God meant to say" to tell you how to read the Bible.  That has the makings of a cult!

Now to be fair, most Calvinists do not have some sinister plan to lead people astray.  Yes, some of them are smug and dogmatic and condescending and rude.  But most are truly good, humble people who are simply trying their best to honor God and His Word.  Some of our favorite church-friends are Calvinists.  They are some of the best, most kind-hearted, godly people we know.  And it was never an issue between us or between others in the congregation because no one ever pushed their views excessively and dogmatically.  (Not until our new pastor came along.)     

So I'm not necessarily speaking against the average Calvinist, but against Calvinism and the dogmatic Calvinist teachers.  

In fact, I think most Calvinists in the congregation are "Calvinists" (in quotes).  They are just good people doing their best to honor God and to be true to the Word, the way they've been taught (misled) to do.  It's just that they've been taught a theology that's added little twists and tweaks to Scripture until it "fits so nicely" with Calvinism that they don't even know to question it.  They've been taught only the easily-accepted parts of Calvinism, not the dark side.  And so they don't even know enough about it to know that that they aren't really Calvinists at all.

And they've been manipulated into swallowing Calvinism whole, being taught that "good, God-honoring, humble Christians accept what's being taught without question, without looking too deeply into Calvinism's many contradictions and the ways it damages God's character."  They're taught it would "offend God" if you question Calvinism, that it's the same as "talking back" to God.  And besides, "Who are we anyway that we think we can fully understand the deep mysteries of God, to think we have a right to peer into these mysteries that belong only to Him!?!"  

It's cult-like manipulation!  

It's brilliant, satanic, brain-washing, cult-like manipulation!  (See the "WRONG!" meme.)

(That's how I started to get sucked into Calvinism in my high-school/college years.  We were taught that Calvinism is just the way it is and that to be a good humble Christian meant accepting it.  And so I humbly, faithfully did.  For that week at least.  And then I went on with my life and basically forgot all about it, until the new Calvinist pastor showed up at our church and started preaching things that just didn't sound right.)    

But if you take off the "Calvinist glasses" and read the Bible as it is written (without some Calvinist theologian whispering their little twists and tweaks into your ear, telling you what God "meant" to say), it all falls apart.  

I do not believe you'd find very much support at all for Calvinism in the Bible if you read the Bible as it is, without the help of Calvinist theologians telling you what to think.   I believe that Calvinism needs Calvinist theologians to help "find" Calvinism in the Bible.  Because without their "help," you wouldn't find Calvinism in the Bible!

(Watch "Calvinist Tactics Exposed" from Beyond the Fundamentals.  In this video, Kevin says the same thing I do, that you won't find Calvinism in the Bible unless you've got Calvinists convincing you it's there. 

Question for Calvinists:  Have any of you come to Calvinism by reading the Bible on your own?  Or did you only come to Calvinism through the influence of other Calvinists?  

Here's a "Where do you get your theology from?" meme and a "When a Calvinist tries ..." meme and a "One does not simply..." meme.)]

So let's see some of what Calvinism says and how different it is from what the Bible teaches.  (I'll add verses where appropriate.  You'll have to look up some of them on your own.)  And ask yourself if it really "doesn't matter."  

[Notice:  Calvinists will disagree with how I've presented their views here.  They will say "We don't believe that!" or "You don't understand Calvinism!"  

But what I've done here is simply get to the heart of what they really believe, stripping off the many layers they wrap their beliefs in as they try to make them sound more biblical, to explain away contradictions, and to hide what they're really teaching.  And this is another reason why Calvinism is so dangerous: It hides the hook in a nice fat worm!  But just so you can learn to identify these "disguises," I added some of what they say to cover up what they really mean.     

Sadly, dealing with dogmatic Calvinists is like dealing with pathological liars who always spin everything they say.  You must listen to everything they say very carefully, questioning every term they use and every verse they refer to.  It's maddening, but it's critical.  Because it's not what they say that's usually the problem; it's what they don't say.  It's what they hide that makes all the difference!  

(However, though, Calvinists are not "lying," as in "trying to deceive you."  They truly believe that their theology is the truth, and they've been trained to defend it in all sorts of ways.  So they are not deliberately lying; they just don't realize that they've bought into a package of cleverly-disguised lies.  A false doctrine that they've been led to believe is the Truth.  It's sad.)  

Fyi: This post will contain some redundancy (and you thought the introduction was long!), but it's so important to hear some of this over and over again, in different ways, so that you can know what Calvinism is really teaching behind what it says it's teaching.]

The Bible says ... Jesus died for all, loves all, and wants all men to be saved.

But Calvinism says ... Jesus died only for the elect, loves only the elect, and only wanted the elect to be saved.

John 3:16-17: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."  (Calvinist version:  "The world" and "whoever" mean "the elect.")

John 5:24"... whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned ..."  (Calvinist version: Only those predestined to believe will believe, and only they will be given eternal life.)

Titus 2:11"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."  (Calvinist version:  But only the elected people will be able to see and accept that salvation.  It "appears" to the non-elect, but they can't see it because they are predestined to hell.)

1 Corinthians 15:22"For as in Adam all die, so as in Christ all will be made alive."  (Calvinist version: The first "all" means all people, but the second "all" means only all the elect.)

1 Timothy 2:3-6"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all men ..."  (Calvinist version:  Just because God wants all men to be saved doesn't mean that all men can be saved.  And "a ransom for all men" really just means "for all kinds of men" or "for all of the elect.")

1 Timothy 4:10"... that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe."  (Calvinist version:  Once again, "all men" doesn't mean that salvation is actually available to all people, just to all kinds of people, people from all nations.)

Romans 5:18"Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men."  (Once again, Calvi-Jesus didn't die for "all men," just for "all kinds of men, from every nation.")

Romans 10:13"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  (Calvinist version:  "Everyone who calls" doesn't mean everyone can call, just that only the elect will call on God.  The elect are the "everyone.")

This first point alone is all you need to see how twisted and destructive Calvinism is.

To make Scripture fit their view, Calvinists say that "all men" and "whosoever" and "the world" really mean "just the elect" or "all KINDS of men" ... but not ALL men.  Lots of verses to twist.  (For fun, the "Confused Calvinist" meme.)  

(My Calvinist ex-pastor even tried saying that the "world" in John 3:16 meant "cosmos," as in the general "universe."  So ... God so loved the cosmos that He sent Jesus to die to save the cosmos!?!  Yeah, that makes sense!  I'll guess they'll say anything, just so they don't have to say that "God so loves all people and Jesus died for all people.")

Actually, they'll agree that "all" means "all" when they say that "all people are sinners."  But somehow their definition of "all" changes when it comes to Jesus dying for all men.  And now - abracadabra - "all" really just means "all the elect" or "the elect from ALL different cultures."  How cool to be able to change the definitions of words whenever you feel like it, to validate your views!  

Dogmatic Calvinist theologians have literally said, "Jesus does not love everybody and did not die for everyone.  And since God hates sin, then He hates those who are eternal sinners, the non-elect whom He predestined to be sinners.  God chose to hate the non-elect before He even created them."  (HOW IN THE WORLD does this NOT cause people to reject Calvinism instantly!?!  To turn on it viciously for the heresy that it is!?!  For fun, the "I'm sorry, Sally" meme.)  

But look at the verses above for what God says about "all people."  Does "all" sound like "only some" in these verses?  Or does it only sound like "only some" when read with the presupposition that only the elect can be saved?

o hide their belief that Calvi-god only loves the elect, Calvinists will say that God loves everybody ... but they hide their belief that He actually has two kinds of love.  He has a "save your soul" love for the elect, and a "gives you food and water for 80 years" love (before they're sent to hell for the rest of eternity!) for the non-elect.  

(Wow ... if that's "love," I'm afraid to see what hate looks like!)

So don't trust them when they say "God loves all people."  They do not believe God loves all people the same way.  They believe that when God says He shows His love by sending Jesus to save sinners, He meant ONLY the elected sinners.  Not all sinners.  (A "Who does God love?" meme)

And they'll say that "Jesus died for all people," but they mean "all of HIS people - the elected people."  

You'll see something like this in the Statements of Faith for Calvinist churches.  And for churches that are trying to hide their Calvinism.  They'll say something like "From the beginning of time, God decreed to save for Himself a group of people to bring to heaven with Him."  

We might read this and think they're saying that God planned to have people in heaven with Him, to offer salvation to all people so that anyone can be part of the group that goes to heaven.  But what they really mean is that God prepicked the specific people who would be in the saved group ... and no one else can be part of that group because they were not elected.  They've been predestined for hell.  

(Calvinists love to shift the focus from the non-elect that are predestined for hell to the elect that are predestined for heaven.  My ex-pastor gave a sermon once where he was like "Let's not focus on those predestined for hell or on how confusing it is that God can be fully sovereign (read: that He causes the non-elect to sin and be unbelievers) and yet He holds people accountable for their actions.  Instead, let's focus on God's great love for the elect, for His incredible mercy and grace in choosing to save anyone when we all deserve hell!"  

OH MY GOODNESS, don't make me pull out the four-letter words!!!) 

The thing is, Calvinists do not believe that Jesus's gift of salvation can be rejected by anyone because that would be a disgrace to Jesus and a waste of His blood.  And so then Jesus couldn't possibly have died for those who would reject Him, for the non-elect.  Therefore, Calvi-Jesus must have died only for the elect.  

But find me one verse that says this!  Just one!  

Guess what?  You can't.  This is purely from their own reasoning and philosophizing, and it's contrary to God's Word which says clearly, without any word games, that Jesus died for all so that all may be saved.  (Here's an "Umm ... yeah" meme about that.)  

(Actually, to be fair, they will find verses to support their idea of this, like verses about Jesus praying for His people, taken to mean His prechosen, elected people, and only them!  They have verses to support every "lie" of theirs, because Satan knows how to use Scripture against God.  So study each and every verse they use to "support" their theology.)

If you have to play word games and add different layers of meaning to make the Bible fit into your theology, it's because your theology is WRONG!

Let's consider for a moment one particular verse that shows that "all" means "all," not just the elect.  2 Peter 2:1"But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.  They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves."  

This verse says that Jesus's death even bought "the false teachers," the very ones who deny Him.  Jesus's death paid for all men's sins, even those who "bring destruction on themselves."  

If Calvinism is correct, then either God is lying about Jesus's death "buying" the false teachers because Calvi-Jesus didn't die for those "on their way to destruction," the non-elect ... or Calvi-god "elects" false teachers, because Calvi-Jesus only bought the "elect" with His blood and those false teachers were "bought" by Jesus, so therefore they must be part of the "elect."  (And then, of course, the "destruction" they brought on themselves would have to be something other than hell, because the elect can't go to hell).  

So which is it:  Lying God or Elected False Teachers?

And if Calvinism is correct, then God is also lying about whatever destruction they "brought on themselves."  They didn't do it; God did.  For His glory ... right, Calvinists!?!  

So why would He give them credit for saying they "brought destruction on themselves," making it sound like they have power over their choices and some sort of effect over their eternal lives?  Where's His "totally sovereign and omnipotent control" now (according to Calvinism's definition of these things)?  And wouldn't this be like "stealing God's glory," giving people credit for what God supposedly caused for His own glory?   

You know, I kinda wish Calvinists would stop "sneaking" their theology into churches, softening it up to make it more palatable, to infiltrate deeper and deeper without being noticed until it's too late.  Have the guts and integrity to honestly tell hurting people and God-seekers what you really believe:  "Well, I don't know if God loves you or if Jesus died for you or if you are one of the elect.  He only loves and died for and saves a few select people.  But there's nothing you can do about it anyway.  Your eternity is already sealed.  And none of us will truly know who's elected and who's not until eternity.  So best of luck to you.  May you win the 'salvation lottery'!"  (An "I don't know..." and "May the odds ..." meme.)  

It would be a lot easier to identify them if they just said it like they really think it is.  Like this Except for you ... meme.  And this "A Calvinist song: Jesus loves ..." meme.

The Bible says ... God is not willing that any man should perish, and no one is beyond God's saving grace.

But Calvinism says ... God predestined most people for hell, and they were never offered grace.

2 Peter 3:9"... He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."  (So even though Calvi-god predestines most people to perish "for his glory," he's gonna say here that he doesn't really want anyone to perish!?!  Wow, that's not misleading or anything, is it!  But if Calvi-god really doesn't want people to perish even though he gets glory by predestining people to perish, then isn't he saying he doesn't really want the "glory" he would get for making people perish!?!  So much for the Calvinist's claim that Calvi-god only and always wants more glory!  Because if predestining people to hell truly was glorifying to him, then he wouldn't be saying he doesn't want anyone to perish.  He would be celebrating putting people in hell because that would be celebrating his "glory"!)

Ezekiel 33:11"Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.  Turn!  Turn from your evil ways!  Why will you die, O house of Israel?'"  ("Why will they die!?!"  Well - duh, Calvi-god - don't you remember that it's because you predestined them to die and there's nothing they can do about it!?!)

Romans 11:32"For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all."  (Calvinists will say the first "all" means "all," but the second "all" means "only the elect."  Calvi-god only truly has mercy on the elect.  But to be even more deceptive, Calvinism will also say that God gives daily mercies to the non-elect, like food and water and sunshine.  Therefore, he has "mercy" on everyone, even if he predestines most to hell.  That's some wonderful mercy, isn't it!?!  Like feeding a pig good food, fattening it up, just so you can "kill" it and eat it bit by bit later - for all of eternity, while it's still conscious and fully aware of its torment!  But hey, at least it was treated nicely while it was "alive"!)

Acts 2:38"Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you ...'"  (Calvinists say that only the elect can repent ... that even though Peter calls everyone to repent, he knows that only the elect can repent.  But he "calls to all" because he doesn't know who's elected and who's not.)

Mark 16:16"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."  (Once again, in Calvinism, only the elect are destined to believe.  The non-elect are destined to be condemned.  So why this superfluous warning that can have no effect on anyone's destiny anyway!?!  Calvi-god really wasted a lot of people's time and paper and efforts, writing and printing Bibles that really have no effect on people's lives or destinies, on the things that Calvi-god predestined to happen before time began!)

Romans 3:23-24"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ."  (Once again, Calvinists will say that "all" have sinned but that "not all" are justified, that not everyone's sin has been paid for by Jesus, but only the sins of the elect.  But is this what the verse says!?!)

Titus 2:11"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."

Calvinism will try to weasel out of this "predestined for hell" thing by saying that God doesn't really predestine the non-elect for hell; He just doesn't elect them for heaven, which means they end up in hell by default.  


It's the same thing.  

It's just trying to soften up a terrible belief, to make it seem like Calvi-god's not really a bad, unfair god who predestines people for hell.  He just doesn't choose them for heaven.

But it's nonsense!  If Calvi-god is the one who pre-decides who goes to heaven and the rest have to go to hell, then he does indeed predestine who goes to hell.

I wonder, does Calvi-god only have a limited number of spaces available in heaven or something, that he has to be so stingy with salvation?  

Do you know why they say that Calvi-god had to predestine people to hell?

It's so that he could show off his wonderful attributes of love, glory, and justice!  Apparently, Calvi-god's unconditional love and merciful grace towards the elect and his justice/righteous anger against sin couldn't be displayed and celebrated unless he deliberately created people to go to hell because of their sin.  

But since Calvi-god did predestine most people to go to hell (for sins he caused them to do!) - phew! - now we can truly see and celebrate his wonderful love (for the elect), his amazing grace (for the elect), and his righteous justice (for punishing the sin/unbelief that he caused) for the rest of eternity!  

Glory be to our wonderful, holy, loving, righteous, trustworthy Calvi-god!!!  Without predestining people to hell, we might never have realized how great he is!

Oh wait, let me rephrase that:  Without predestining certain people to go to heaven, while passing over the rest and simply "allowing" them to go to hell by default, we might never have realized how great he is!  (Gotta hide that "Calvi-god causes people to go to hell" idea!  'Cuz that would sound bad!)

Imagine something with me for a moment.  Imagine that you are at a busy park, and there's children and adults all around you.  And someone walks up to you and says, "I love you so much.  I'm taking you for my own.  And now watch what I do to show you how much I love you."  And then he takes out a sword and starts slicing up people, left and right, indiscriminately hacking away at whoever he can reach, randomly, arbitrarily, killing people for nothing they did wrong.  And after he's done and there's bodies everywhere, he turns to you and says "See how much I love you!  See how gracious I am to you!  I spared you so that I could take you to live with me.  Doesn't that make you feel grateful and humbled and loved!  And I destroyed them because I chose to hate them and reject them before they were born, simply so that my love and grace towards you would be more evident and so that I could show you how seriously I take the sins of those I didn't choose to love and spare."  (Even though Calvi-god himself predestined their sins.)

Do you know what we would call someone like that?

A psychopath!  A dangerous, deranged, unstable lunatic!

And yet, the Calvinists call him "God."  And since they say he's "God," they tell us that we have to be okay with this.  That we have to humbly bow down before a "God" like this because He's God and we're not, and He can do whatever He wants, and He's only doing it to show off His love and grace and justice anyway.  And so even if it seems evil to us, it's really actually "good" because it's all about God's plans and His pleasure and His "glory"  So if He wants to cause people to sin and reject Him, and if He wants to punish them in hell for the things He caused, then we have to be okay with that.  We just have to trust Him, that He really is good and loving and righteous, even when He seems evil and unloving and unrighteous.  So don't question it.  Don't be unhumble.  Don't talk back to "God." 

Oh yeah, well, don't buy into Calvinism's frickin' nonsense and double-talk.  They talk out of both sides of their mouth and expect people to accept it.  They destroy God's character and Jesus's sacrifice.  They turn evil into good, darkness into light, lies into truth, and they expect us to swallow it whole, without any push-back.  Like good little Calvinists!  (A "What do you call..." meme.)

Let's look at another way they try to fit the Bible into Calvinism, which I touched on earlier:  To squeeze the "God wants all men to be saved and wills that none perish" verses into Calvinism, they'll say that God (Calvi-god) wants all men to be saved, but that he still predestines most for hell.  They'll say that he doesn't always cause the things he wants.  That it hurts his heart to punish the non-elect in hell (for the sins he caused them to commit and for being the unbelievers he caused them to be!).  That he doesn't delight in their destruction, but that he still has to punish them because of his "justice."  

Umm ... yeah ... Putting someone in hell because of something he caused them to do!?!  Because of something they had no control over, having had no chance to do the right thing or to have faith because Calvi-god predestined them for hell and never sent Calvi-Jesus to die for their sins anyway!?!  

Yep, sounds like justice to me!!!

If that's justice, I'd hate to see injustice!  (I love this "Injustice" meme.  And how about a  "You call that loving and just!?!" meme!)

They will agree that God wills that no one perishes, but they'll hide their belief that He has two wills.  They believe He has an expressed Will in His Word where He doesn't want anyone to go to hell, but that He also has a "secret" Will where He predestines most people to hell for His glory.  (And who are the only people God told this secret to?  That's right ... the Calvinists!)

Do not trust them when they say that Calvi-god wants all people to be saved, that he wills that no one perishes.  They say this to make it sound like the Bible fits with Calvinism, when in reality they believe the exact opposite but cover it up with layers of biblically-accurate truths.

The Bible says ... We are responsible for our choices, sins, and unbelief.  The Bible calls us to make choices.

But Calvinism says ... God ultimately controls our choices.  He has predestined every thought we have, every choice we make, and every action we do.  He causes all sin and unbelief, but we are still held accountable for it.

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."  (How can they seek to establish anything of their own if God controls everything they do!?!  And how can they "seek" anything if "dead men can't seek"!?!  (I'll look at this more in #5 below, so remember it.)  So they are so dead that they can't seek God but they can seek their own righteousness!?!  I guess we are not "so dead" after all!)

Romans 11:20-23"... But they were broken off because Calvi-god predestined it because of unbelief ... And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, however, they can never really be grafted in because Calvi-god predestined them to persist in unbelief so that he could send them to hell ..."  (They gotta cross out what Calvinism really teaches so that it can sound more biblical!)

Joshua 24:15"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose yourselves this day whom you will serve (but - ha ha, sucker - you don't actually get a choice) ... but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (because we have no choice about it since Calvi-god predestined us to serve him)."  (Altered slightly to fit Calvinism.  But what's a little rewrite matter when it comes to the Gospel!  Can't we all just be unified!?!)

Matthew 23:37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you (because Calvi-god caused you to do it), how often I have longed to gather your children together (even though I predestined you for hell), as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing (because Calvi-god caused you to be unwilling)."  (Once again, what did a little Scripture-tweaking ever hurt!?!  Calvinists are just trying to help God say what He meant to say when He clumsily wrote the Scriptures down, right!?!)

2 Thessalonians 2:10"... They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved."  (Never mind that Calvi-god predestined them to refuse the truth and predestined them to hell, never even giving them the chance to be saved.  It's still all their fault!)

Calvinism expects you to accept the absurd, illogical idea that God causes sin and unbelief but is not responsible for it, and that even though we don't choose to be unbelievers, according to them, we can still be "justly" held accountable for our unbelief.  It's more double-talk and nonsense.  If God preplanned it and causes it, He's responsible for it.  And there would be nothing just or righteous about holding us responsible for something He causes.  It's nonsense.  (A few good memes: "Calvinism" and "Tell me again".  And I love this one: "Stop Hitting Yourself"!)  

But when you question Calvinists on this, on how God can punish us for what He causes, they'll say, "Well, we can't really understand how it all works.  And even if we don't like how it sounds, we still have to believe it because it's what the Bible says.  Who are we to question God!?!"  

They shame you into not disagreeing with them, making you feel unhumble if you do.  (Can you say "cult"!)

But you know what?  If you hear of a theology that turns God into the cause of all sin and evil and into an unjust monster who punishes people for the things He makes them do, then you'd better question it!  You'd better study it and the Word until you see clearly, because you will have to give an account to God for any heresy you spread.  Whether you meant to or not!

[And FYI, whenever a Calvinist uses these words or phrases about God, what they're really saying is that "God causes everything that happens": ordains, decrees, foreknowledge, foresight, plans, wills/willed, omnipotence, omniscience, sovereign, sovereignty, controls, God "agrees" to it, God "allows" it, God "knew" it would happen, etc.  

Everything always comes back to "God causes everything that happens," even if they're trying to make it sound like they're saying that God simply "allows" what happens.  They never mean that He just "allows" something to happen (because then He wouldn't fit their view of "sovereign").  They always mean that He predestined it to happen and caused it to happen exactly the way it happened, and that nothing different could have happened.]  

Wanna hear how twisted and convoluted their theology is?  

Calvinists will say that we can be justly held accountable for our "choices" (even though Calvi-god predestined our decisions for us).  They'll say that we "freely make our own choices, real choices", according to our natures and our desires.  And so if a sinner sins, it's NOT because Calvi-god caused them to sin or to desire to sin.  It's because they wanted to sin and chose to sin, according to their sinful desires and natures.  And therefore, Calvi-god is not responsible for the sinful decisions that the person made according to their sinful desires and natures.

But what they hide is that Calvi-god himself decides which nature a person gets.  He decides if someone gets the "saved, repentant nature" that he gives to only the elect, or if they get the "sinner, unrepentant nature" of the non-elect.  And if you get the "unrepentant sinner nature" then you will only always sin and only always want to sin.  

(And they dare to call this "freely making our own choices"!)

So Calvi-god doesn't give you the desire to sin; he just gives you the nature that contains the desire to sin.  (And only the desire to sin.  All the time.  Never being able to do right or to want to do right.)

Let's incorporate Calvinism into James 1:13-14 to see how it twists Scripture:  "When tempted, no one should say 'God is tempting me.'  For God cannot be tempted by evil (but Calvi-god does cause all sin and evil - for his glory, of course, so it's all good), nor does he tempt anyone (but Calvi-god has fore-ordained your sins, and you couldn't do anything differently even if you could want to); but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire (that came with the "sinner nature" that Calvi-god predetermined you would have), he is dragged away and enticed."  

So if you sin, it's still all your fault, even if Calvi-god predestined your "sinner nature," fore-ordained all your sins, and controls everything you do!  

You see, Calvi-god himself might not tempt you to sin; but he just gets Satan to do it for him, to cause you to commit the sins that he fore-ordained you to commit.  And you had no choice.  You couldn't not commit those sins.  

Yep, totally gets Calvi-god off the hook, doesn't it!?!  

And actually, to be even more deceptively twisted, they'll say that Calvi-god doesn't "give" anyone the sinner nature or "force" the sinner nature on anyone, but that he simply withholds the saved/repentant nature from non-elected people, and therefore they remain an unrepentant sinner by default.

Layers and layers of demonic lies to cover up the fact that Calvi-god causes our sins and unbelief, and therefore he is ultimately responsible for our sins and unbelief.

But since Calvi-god supposedly didn't actively give you the sinful desires of your sinner nature (even though he predetermined you'd have the sinner nature, denying you the "saved, repentant" nature) and because you wanted to sin and chose to sin according to the sinful desires that go with your sinner nature (even though all the non-elected person can do is sin and want to sin all the time), you are still somehow deserving of your punishment in hell because you are somehow responsible for your sin, and not Calvi-god!

And I say "WHAT THE ****!?!"  

(Fill it in with the four-letter word of your choice!  "Poop" works well!)

This is the incredible, convoluted nonsense they use to try to get their precious Calvi-god off the hook for "causing sin" and "causing people to go to hell."  It is deceptive hogwash!  

And it does such damage to God's good, holy character and His loving grace and Jesus's sacrifice for all sin!

Oh, but that's not all.  

To further distance Calvi-god from being the cause of sin, they'll also use the idea that there are two causes of sin: that God is the ultimate cause but that we are the secondary cause.  (They also go by other names too, such as proximate/primary cause and remote cause.)

They'll say that as the ultimate cause, God ordains everything that happens, even our sins.  (When they say "ordains" they mean "causes," not simply "allows.")  But they'll say that as the secondary cause, we "willingly" carry out that sin.  Much like how a robot carries out the actions that the programmer tells it to do.  But because we carried out the actions, it somehow makes us responsible for our sins, and not Calvi-god, even though Calvi-god predetermined everything we'd do and we had no choice to do it any differently. 

Once again I say "Hogwash!"  

Do not trust them when they say that they believe we freely make our own choices, that Calvi-god doesn't cause or force anyone to sin or to be an unbeliever.  They believe the exact opposite but cover it up in twisted, irrational, contradictory nonsense.  

It is God-dishonoring hogwash!  

(Get used to this word!  When you hear "Calvinism" from now on, I want you to instantly think "hogwash"!  No, wait ... I want you to think "frickin' demonic hogwash!"  That's more like it!)

Here's a "God causes everything, right?" meme!

[Additional note:  One thing to watch out for with Calvinists is that they will say one thing in one place but the opposite thing in another place.  So never trust a quote from a Calvinist author or theologian.  Because there will be another quote you didn't hear where they said the exact opposite.  Or they will simply add a bunch of qualifiers to what they first said which will change the meaning completely.  (It's like I say: It's what they hide that makes all the difference!).  

Here are a couple examples from John Calvin himself:

In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 2, Section 1, he says:  "For, until men feel that they owe everything to God ... they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience ..."  

This makes it sound like men have the free-will to choose to obey or disobey God.

But how is "voluntary obedience" possible when, according to Calvin, ...

"... 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 perpetrate, unless in so far as [God] permits - nay, unless in so far as he commands ..."  (Book 1, Chapter 17, section 11) and ...

"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)?

Additionally, in Book, 2, Chapter 2, section 8, he scolds people for believing in free-will and says that they should not believe in it, saying, "If any one, then, chooses to make use of this term [free-will] ... but I am unwilling to use it myself; and others if they will take my advice, will do well to abstain from it."  

Never mind the fact that Calvin just said he is "unwilling" to use the term "free-will" - that he wills himself to not believe in free-will (ha ha ha, what a joke!) - but this contradicts his view that we can obey God voluntarily, of our own free-will choice.  (And ... just wondering ... but how can he reason with people to not believe in free-will when he believes that God makes all of our choices for us?  Talk about nonsense!)

Another example:  In Book 1, Chapter 17, Section 5, Calvin says this about wicked people:  "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.

And yet ... just a couple sections later, as we see above ... he says that all the ungodly are held in the hand of God so tightly that they cannot even conceive a thought unless God commands it.  And a chapter earlier, he said that everything happens according to God's decree (according to how God planned it to happen), that God controls our wills in order to move us in exactly the course He predestined us to go in.

But now ... in this section ... he dares to say that wicked men are acting on their own, outside of God's control, that God doesn't cause them to do the wicked things they do!?!

And a chapter later, 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."

So ... he denies that wicked men serve the will of God and he says that they are "not performing service on the order of God" ... but then he says that "the reprobate do him service"!?!

Which is it, Calvin!?!  Make up your mind!!!

Is Calvi-god in control of evil or not!?!  Does he control everything or not!?!  Do we have free-will or not!?!

Do not trust what a Calvinist says in one place ... because they will say the opposite somewhere else or simply be hiding what they really believe!  And they usually do this to hide the fact that Calvi-god is the cause of evil.  They try to say he controls everything and that there's no free-will, but then they struggle with how to hide the fact that this makes him responsible for evil.  For more on this, see "Do Calvinists Really Believe God Causes Sin?  Let Them Speak For Themselves!"]  

The Bible says ... When we hear the Gospel, we choose to believe it and to repent, and then we become saved and receive the Holy Spirit.

But Calvinism says ... The "elect" are prechosen to be saved before time began.  Then later the Holy Spirit fills the "elected" person to regenerate their hearts to make them want God and seek God.  And only then are they equipped to understand/respond to the Gospel, to repent/believe.

Acts 2:38"... Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Ephesians 1:13"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit."

Basically, Calvinists believe that being chosen for salvation comes before receiving the Holy Spirit, and that receiving the Holy Spirit comes before being able to want/seek God, understand the Gospel, repent and believe.  

But the non-elect can never understand or respond to the Gospel because the Holy Spirit does not and will not wake them up from their spiritual death.  Because they weren't chosen and Calvi-Jesus never even died for their sins anyway.  

(And did you know that Calvi-god actually "tricks" some non-elected people into thinking they are really saved, just so he has more reason to damn them to hell.  And they won't know they were tricked - that they weren't really saved - until they die.  How then can any elected person ever be sure they are truly saved?  Here's a post that talks about that: "Can You Lose Your Salvation?"  And a "Definitely 'Elected'" meme.)

However, God's Word clearly says that we believe by hearing the Word.  That we hear the Word (understand the Gospel and are able to respond to it) ... then we choose to believe and put our faith in Jesus ... then we are saved ... and then we get the Holy Spirit to help us grow as believers.

But Calvinism flips that on its head!  For them, it's saved first (elected) ... then the Holy Spirit causes only the elect to be able to understand the Gospel and believe.  

But ... I wonder ... if the elect cannot respond to the Gospel until after they are chosen and regenerated (brought to new life by the Holy Spirit), if their salvation is secure before they ever heard the Gospel or could respond to it, then what good is the Gospel anyway?  

It doesn't lead to the salvation of the elect, for they are elected before they ever heard the Word and they can only understand/respond to the Gospel after they get Calvi-Holy-Spirit.  And the Gospel cannot lead to the salvation of the non-elect because they are predestined for hell and so Calvi-Holy-Spirit will never wake them up.

So ... what good is the Gospel?  What does it accomplish?

Calvinism makes the Gospel superfluous and completely unnecessary and ineffective!  And yet, people are still drawn to it ... like flies to a steaming pile of poop!  

Additionally, not to confuse you more, but Calvinists say that the elect are born as reprobates, just like everyone else.  How exactly does that work!?!  So they are elected/saved before time began, then they turn back into a reprobate when they are born, and then they turn back into one of the elect when Calvi-Holy-Spirit regenerates them!?!  So what happened to the supposed "eternal security of the elect" that they got back before time began when God elected them, if they were turned back into reprobates when they were born?  

Reprobates are those who are born non-elected, rejecting God, predestined for hell.  How can the elect go from being predestined for heaven before time began to being born as a reprobate who is destined for hell?  How can a reprobate ever change from being predestined for hell when they're born ... to being destined for heaven later?  So when exactly does a person's "election" kick in?  And do Calvinists even know what "predestination" means, according to their own theology?  Strange!  

(FYI:  As seen in my "Can You Lose Your Salvation?" post, I believe that true, Spirit-filled Christians cannot lose their salvation, but I see this whole issue very differently than the Calvinist sees it.)

In so many areas, Calvinists ignore or explain away the verses that clearly contradict them.  And they build their theology on a collection of vague verses or on verses taken out of context, trying to make their view sound legitimate.  And in the process, they do incredible damage to the Gospel!

Leave it to Satan to come up with a theology that uses God's Word to destroy the need for God's Word!  Brilliantly demonic and demonically brilliant!

[And don't be fooled by their use of lots and lots of verses.  They always have lots of verses to "back them up."  In fact, they might even "verse bomb" you with oodles of them, one after the next, so that you get so overwhelmed that you just give in and trust that they must know what they're talking about.  They might even throw in a little Greek.  Because surely anyone who knows that many verses and some Greek words must be accurately preaching Scripture, right!?!  

But Satan knows Scripture too.  He knows how to use verses to "support" his lies.  He knows how to twist them so slightly that they seem like truth.  

Always go back and look up the verses for yourself, in context, without filtering it through Calvinist presuppositions and assumptions first.  Read the whole section to see what/who is being talked about and what is being taught.  If you do this regularly, you'll see how often they twist Scripture and take it out of context.]  

The Bible says ... God expects us to seek Him in order to find Him and to find new life in Him.

But Calvinism says ... No one can seek God unless God makes them seek (and God will only make the elect seek/find/believe in Him).

Amos 5:4"... 'Seek me and live.'"

Isaiah 55:6"Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near."

Deuteronomy 4:29"But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him, if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul."

Hebrews 11:6"... anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Acts 17:27"God did this 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."

Those verses seem pretty simple and straight-forward, right!

But not for the Calvinist!  They can't do "simple and straight-forward."  It's not "spiritually elite" enough for them!

The "Dead Men Don't Seek" fallacy:  Calvinists "prove" their idea that no one can seek God by saying we are "dead people," that we are like dead bodies who can't do anything unless God makes us do it.  And so "dead people" can't seek God.  They can't even want God or think about God, unless He makes us do it.  (And Calvi-god will only make the elect do it!  "Calvinist Theology - dead men" meme)  

But this is simply a ridiculously bad and wrong analogy.  We are not physically dead, just spiritually dead, which means we are separated from God.  But our brains still work, and God expects us to use our brains to seek Him.

Calvinists did not get this "being spiritually dead is the same thing as being a physical dead body" anywhere from Scripture.  They assume it.  They decide for themselves that spiritual death is the same as physical death.  And so since "dead bodies" can't do anything but lay there all dead, then a "spiritually dead" person must not be able to do anything but lay there all dead too, to the point that someone (Calvi-god) has to do everything for them, even cause them to think about Him, want Him, seek Him, and believe in Him.  (But if you aren't one of the few lucky elect, then you remain "dead" and can never seek or believe in God.)  

Yeah, well, if we're so totally dead (unable to do anything, even think or believe) before Calvi-god brings us to life, then we can't reject God or rebel against Him or be disobedient either!  So then "dead people" (those not woken up yet) are not God-haters who are in rebellion against Him, as Calvinists say.  Because they cannot hate, they cannot rebel, they cannot be disobedient.  They cannot do anything, remember?  Because dead people can't do anything!  And therefore, when Calvi-god sends the reprobate to hell, they are being punished for doing nothing.  Because "dead people" can only do nothing.  

Oh yeah, what a righteous and just "god" that Calvi-god is!?!

Calvinists start with their analogy of "spiritual death is just like physical death" ... and so they conclude that "dead people" can't seek God, which is why God has to "bring them to life" before they can believe in Him.  

But you know what?  Sure, they're right that dead men can't seek God.  But since God tells us to seek Him, it must mean that we can seek Him, which means that we are not "so totally dead, like a dead body," as the Calvinist believes.  

Dead people can't seek.  But God tells us to seek.  So we cannot be that dead.  

We are only mostly dead.  ;)    

We are fallen souls who cannot save ourselves, but we have living brains that God expects us to use to seek and find Him.

Maybe Calvinists want to change the meaning of "seek Me."  But I'm going to take God at His Word.  If God says "seek Me" then I am going to trust that He means "seek Me"!  Unlike the Calvinist who thinks "seek Me" means "you can't seek Me unless I cause you to seek Me."  (Or they'll say that God tells everyone to seek Him, knowing that only the elect can do it.  Or that He is only telling the elect to seek Him.)

But you show me where it says this in the Bible!  And show me where God, at the Fall, cursed man by taking away his ability to make decisions or to even think on his own!

There is no verse like that!  Anywhere!

Instead, Calvinists have to create that idea by reading into verses and taking them out of context, such as Romans 3:10-11"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God."  They say it means that we are so "depraved," so "dead," that we can't possibly want, seek, or believe in God, unless He makes us do it.

But ... the verses don't say that.  Calvinists read into Scripture things that aren't there!  Repeatedly!

Those verses say that we don't seek God, not that it's impossible to seek God.  They are simply saying that we are self-centered by nature and don't generally desire or seek the things of God, and that we can't do anything to save ourselves.  We have no righteousness of our own to earn our salvation, and neither can our bloodline save us.  

And this is why God has to be the one to get our attention, to make Himself known, and to make salvation possible.  He wants us to see what's missing in our lives, to desire Him, to seek Him, and to accept the gift of salvation He made possible.  And if we refuse Him, He can hold us accountable because He has made Himself abundantly clear through His creation - Romans 1:20.

Another twist Calvinists make:  Calvinists will agree that God calls "all people" to believe in Him.  But they believe that God gives two different kinds of calls to people: an irresistible "save your soul" call for the elect, and a general call to the non-elect that they are predestined to resist.  But because they refused to answer this "general call," they somehow "earn" their punishment of eternity in hell.  Even though Calvi-god predestined them to refuse His call!  

It's frickin' nonsense!  Absolute demonic hogwash!  (And yes, this is the nice version of what I want to call it!)

Do not believe them when they say they believe that God calls all people to repent and to have faith.  The average person will hear this and think it means that they're saying it's possible for all people to hear the call of God and to respond to it, to repent, and to have faith (which is biblical).  

But what the Calvinist is really saying is that God calls to all, but that only the elect will answer that call because Calvi-god makes them do it.  But the non-elect will resist the call because they "want" to resist the call, according to the sinner-nature God gave them which can only always resist Him.  But since they "wanted" to resist Him, they are still somehow responsible for their unbelief, thereby "earning" their punishment in hell.  (Because they chose to reject the gift of salvation that was never really and truly offered to them to begin with!?!  Hogwash!  A "Surely that must mean ..." meme.)

If you have to make up two of everything to make the Bible fit your view - two loves, two wills, two sources of sin, two different calls, etc. - then it's because your view is wrong and it contradicts the clear, simple teaching of Scripture.

Are you sick to your stomach yet!?!  Yeah, me too!  And there's still more to go.

The Bible says ... Satan blinds eyes, but Jesus takes the veil away when we turn to Him.  And "receive" and "believe" (in the concordance) are active, not passive.  We do them.  "Receive" means to reach out and grab ahold of what is being offered to you (salvation).  And "believe" is to let yourself be persuaded by something (the truth) and to commit to it.

But Calvinism says ... God blinds eyes (prevents the non-elect from believing in Him) and opens eyes (causes the elect to believe in Him).  If He doesn't open your eyes, you can't find Him.  He causes the elect to believe in and receive Jesus.  It's done to us, not by us.

2 Corinthians 4:4"The god of this age had blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."  (Calvinist version: Calvi-god causes Satan to blind the non-elect so that they can never see the Truth, so that they go to hell for Calvi-god's glory.)
2 Corinthians 3:16"But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."  (But only the elect will turn to the Lord, so says the Calvinist!  Also keep in mind that Calvinism actually reverses this verse.  This verse says that first we turn to the Lord and then the veil is taken away.  But in Calvinism, it's that the veil has to be taken away first by the Holy Spirit so that you can turn to the Lord.  And only the elect will have the veil taken away.)

Romans ...   
1:5:  "Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship..."  (In the concordance, "received" is active, not passive - the person reaches out and grabs what is offered to them.  It's not forced on them or instilled in them while they wait passively.)

5:11:  "... but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation" (We actively grab onto the reconciliation that Jesus makes possible.)

5:17:  "... how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness" (active, not passive, reach out and grab it)

8:15:  "... but you received the Spirit of sonship ..."  (active, not passive)

10:4:  "... Christ is the end of the law, so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes."  (In the concordance, "believes" is to let yourself be persuaded by something and, consequently, to commit to it.  It's NOT "to have someone else cause you to believe.")

Ephesians 1:13"... Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit."  (Having let yourself be convinced of the truth and choosing to commit to it, you were saved and received the Holy Spirit.)

John 1:12:  "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God"  (To all who reach out and grab onto Him, to the salvation He offers.  To all who allow themselves to be persuaded that He is the way, the truth, and the life.  To all who choose to commit to Him.  They are given the right to become children of God.  For more on what the concordance says, click here.)

Calvinists believe that "faith" is a gift that Calvi-god has to give to the elect, and that he will only give to the elect.  Because, they say, if we could "accept salvation" or "accept Jesus" then that would be the same as us "working" for our salvation.  (But there is no work in accepting.  It's actually acknowledging and accepting the work that someone else did for you.)  And so to keep us from bragging that we "worked for/earned" salvation, they say it has to be that God causes the elect to believe and to accept Jesus.  

And they base this, in part, on Ephesians 2:8-9"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves but it is the gift of God, so that no one can boast."

I used to think faith was the "gift" in this verse too.  Until I dug deeper.  And now I believe that "salvation" is the gift spoken of in this verse, not faith.  (See "Is Faith A Gift God Gives (or forces on) Us?")

But Calvinists believe that the gift is faith, and God "forces" it on the elect but withholds it from everyone else.  

And they also use verses like Acts 16:14 and Luke 24:45 to support their view that God "forces" the elect to see the Truth, that He gives certain selected people the "gift of faith."  

Acts 16:14 talks about God opening Lydia's heart to believe Paul's message.  Calvinists say this means that God caused her to believe.  They assume that the message she heard was the Gospel and that God opened her eyes to the truth of the Gospel and that she was saved because of it.  But this isn't in the text.  They assume it.  The text simply says that her eyes were opened to the message that Paul gave.  And I believe that it could very well be that his message was about the need to be baptized if you're a believer, because the very next thing she does is get her family baptized.  

Besides, if you look at that verses before, you'll see that she was already a worshipper of God, a believer.  So this is probably a case of God helping a believer take the next step, and not one of God regenerating an "elected" person or causing a non-believer to believe.  

(After I pointed this out to my ex-pastor who loves using the Lydia example as "proof" of predestination and election, he made sure to add something like this to his next sermon about it:  "Yeah, it says here that Lydia was a worshipper of God, but she wasn't really saved.  Not until God opened her eyes."  

What the heck!?!  Once again, that's not what the text says!  And it's a blatant attempt to mess with Scripture to shove Calvinism into the Bible.  Truly brazen and screwed up!)    

And Calvinists will point to Luke 24:45, about God opening the minds of the disciples to understand the Scriptures.  But once again, this isn't causing unbelievers to believe.  It's opening the minds of those who already believe to help them grow in their wisdom and faith.

The thing is, Calvinists read into verses things that are not there.  So if a verse talks about God opening someone's eyes, they think it must mean that He blinds those whose eyes He doesn't open.  That if He gives information to someone, it must mean He withholds it from others, preventing them from seeing the truth.  But that is reading into the verses things that aren't there.

Have you ever met someone that you know you met before, but you can't remember who they are or where you know them from, but then someone says something that suddenly makes you remember everything?  Was the information you needed withheld from you before that?  Were you being deliberately kept in the dark by some mysterious force?  Or did you have all the details you needed somewhere in your head to figure out who it was, but you just weren't able to figure it out without a little help?

Just because a verse says that God prompts someone or "opens their minds" to help them understand a truth doesn't mean that He has deliberately blinded everyone else or that He keeps people blind until He opens their minds.  (That's something the Calvinist infers from the verses, making a judgment about what must be true based on something that's not in the verse or based on the opposite of what's in the verse.)  It might just be that God sees that someone isn't figuring out something they should be able to figure out, and so He gives them a little prompt to help them see what they should have been able to see all along.    

Inferring "truths" based on something Scripture doesn't say, reading into Scripture things that aren't there, and philosophizing about how God MUST BE AND ACT in order to be the God you think He should be are terrible ways to build your theology.  

But that is how Calvinism was built.  

A house of cards on a foundation of Jell-O!

(A "Makes perfect sense" meme)

The Bible (and the concordance) says ... That when God "hardens" hearts, it is retribution for first hardening your own heart, for resisting God for so long even after He's been patient and long-suffering with you.

But Calvinism says ... God arbitrarily chooses whose hearts to harden and whose to turn to Him, with no input/responsibility on our parts.

Romans 9:18:  "Therefore, God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden."  (Calvinists say "See, God hardens whomever He wants.  We have nothing to do with His choice of whom to harden and whom to elect."  But in the concordance, "hardens" is retribution for first hardening your own heart, for resisting God.  And so, yes, we do have something to do with whether we are hardened or not!  God hardens those who choose to harden their hearts and to resist Him!)

And notice the order of unbelief in John 12:37-39 - "they would not believe" resulted in "they could not believe."  Because they would not believe in Jesus, God hardened them so that they could not believe.  They got what they wanted, what they chose - a hard heart.  

And in Ezekiel 20:21-25 and Romans 1:21-24the people rebel against God, so He lets them become hardened and defiled, handing them over to their own sinful rebellion.  They earned their hard-heart by choosing first to rebel against God.

A simple study of what the Bible says and of what the concordance says about many of the words Calvinists hinge Calvinism on will defeat Calvinism.

Calvinists always use God hardening Pharaoh's heart as "evidence" that God chooses whom to harden, without any influence on our parts.  But ... a simple reading of the early chapters of Exodus shows that for the first several plagues, Pharaoh hardened his own heart.  And then God made Pharaoh's self-chosen hardness permanent.  God knew Pharaoh would harden his heart, and so God made a way to incorporate Pharaoh's hard heart into His plans.  But God did not harden Pharaoh's heart apart from Pharaoh choosing to willingly harden his own heart first.  

(My ex-pastor tried to explain it this way:  "Yeah, I know it says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart, but it was really that God hardened it first, before Pharaoh hardened his own heart."  And I say "Huh!?!  That's not what the Bible says!!!"  The Bible shows us that God knew that Pharaoh would harden his own heart, and that God planned to make Pharaoh's choice permanent and to work it into His plans.  But it does not say that God hardened Pharaoh's heart before Pharaoh chose to be hard-hearted.)  

On a different note, let's consider 2 Peter 3:9 for a moment.  This verse says that God is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish but wanting all to come to repentance. But what's patience for, if He's already predestined who goes to heaven and if He controls when we get saved?  Who is He patient with?  Himself?  Does this make sense!?!

And notice in Romans 11:4-5 how God chooses His people.  "... 'I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.' So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace."  The people chose whether they would serve Baal or not.  Then God chose those who did not worship Baal.  The people's choice of whom they worshipped affected whether God chose them or not.  And God says that He has likewise chosen a remnant by grace at the present time.  He chooses those who choose Him, who do not choose against Him.  

And for further biblical proof that WE choose to harden our hearts, see Zechariah 7:11-13"But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears.  They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through earlier prophets.  So the Lord Almighty was very angry.  'When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the Lord Almighty."

Umm, yeah, does anyone else hear "God controls/causes everything people do" in these verses?  

I didn't think so!

And why would God get angry with them if He caused them to resist Him?  He must like making Himself angry!  Because according to Calvinism, Calvi-god is the only one responsible for anything and everything in this world, and so if something makes him angry or hurt, it's because he's doing it to himself then.  

And we're supposed to trust an masochistic, sadistic, unstable god like that!?!

In order to be a Calvinist, you have to look right at a Bible verse that clearly, plainly says one thing and go, "Oh, but it doesn't really mean that!  There's a secret layer of meaning that only we Calvinists know, and it changes what the verse is really saying."

Yep, sounds legit to me!  Sign me up for this "knowledge of the secret layers" so that I too can understand what God meant to say when He wrote the words that He didn't really mean!

(No, I am not nice and tolerant about Calvinism!  Not at all!  How can we be nice and tolerant about a theology that does such damage to God's character and truth while it tries to appear like it actually upholds God's character and truth!?!  If Calvinism is a lie, like I believe it is, then who is the father of those lies?  That's right: Satan!  May we never be nice and tolerant about a satanic lie infiltrating our churches and destroying God's Truth and character!  Tolerating it just leads to more of it, and it will destroy the church from the inside out!  Be nice and tolerant with Calvinist people, but not with Calvinism!)


The Bible says ... We are to evangelize because it's how people will hear the Gospel so that they can believe.  That by hearing the Gospel, we can believe, and by believing, we inherit eternal life.

Romans 10:14"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"

John 20:31"But these are written that you may believe ..."

But Calvinism says ... Evangelize because God told you to, even though God's already decided where everyone will go. The elect will be saved and the non-elect will be damned, no matter what.  But we still have to obey God's command to spread the Gospel.

Makes no sense!  Calvinism says that we are elected before we can even respond to the Gospel, and that we can't respond to the Gospel or believe in Jesus unless God first regenerates us and gives us the Holy Spirit.  And they say that the elect need people to evangelize to them so that they can believe and become the elect that they are predestined to be.  

How predestined can they be if they cannot become one of the elect unless someone evangelizes to them?  What happens if we don't evangelize to them?  Do they lose that election and fail to go to heaven, which they were supposedly "predestined" for?  What is "predestination" anyway then if it hinges on whether we evangelize or not?  And if we really can have no influence over a person's eternal destiny because their eternities have already been predestined ... and if a person cannot believe in or even understand the Gospel until the Holy Spirit regenerates them (activating their "election," their "salvation") ... then why share the Gospel or evangelize?

But once again the Bible says, "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."  (John 20:31)

So according to the Bible, the very reason God gave us the Scriptures was so that we could learn about Jesus and believe in Him, and that by believing, we could inherit eternal life.  Biblically, it's "learn about Jesus in the Gospels, want Jesus as your Lord and Savior, believe in Jesus and put your faith in Him, get the Holy Spirit and inherit eternal life."  

But as I pointed out earlier, Calvinism flips that all around.  It's "get chosen for eternal life before you ever encounter Jesus or the Gospels, then God gives you the Holy Spirit to regenerate you and make you believe in Jesus, and now you can understand the Gospel, which really had no effect on your salvation anyway because you were elected/saved before you could understand or respond to the Gospel."  

In Calvinism, there is no "choosing" to believe in Jesus.  You believe because God made you believe.  And you inherit eternal life even before God makes you believe in Jesus.

So why evangelize, if you're a Calvinist?  

My ex-pastor - a die-hard dogmatic Calvinist - was really big into missions.  And I couldn't figure out why ... until I read some articles he wrote.   And from the sound of it, his whole reason for missions (besides the fact that God told us to do it) is to "make God famous."  He believes that God's greatest and basically only goal is to be famous among the people.  And so when he evangelizes, it's not to spread Jesus's love or to call people to accept Jesus or to spread the good news about how we can have a relationship with Him.  It's to "make God famous."  

I am saddened to think about the pathetic half-version that the people are getting of God and the Gospel, about how God is only about Himself and not about truly loving us or wanting a relationship with us.  (Anyone can be famous ... for all the wrong reasons!)

Now to be fair, my ex-pastor believes in calling people to repent of their sins.  But he doesn't do "altar calls," asking people if they want to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  He says it's because he doesn't want people to think they're saved just because they "walked the aisle."  

But I bet that's not the reason at all.  I bet the real reason is because he doesn't want people thinking that they have a choice about salvation, about Jesus.  Because that goes against the very heart of Calvinism!  

But how can you challenge people to repent without giving them the opportunity to express their willingness to make Jesus their Lord and Savior?  (Oh wait, that's right ... you can't will to make Calvi-Jesus your Lord and Savior.  Calvi-god has to do it for you!  And what's my favorite word for Calvinism?  Yep ... HOGWASH!!!)  

So Calvinists believe in calling people to repent (without calling them to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior).  But why would they even bother to do that if we supposedly have no effect over what Calvi-god has predetermined for people, or even for ourselves?

They talk like they are so humble for thinking they have absolutely no control over their salvation, that "it's all God's doing" ... but then they go and live like they have some sort of control/influence over other people's eternal souls, like "We have to evangelize, spread the Gospel, and call people to repent so that the elect can become the elect."  As if God needs them to make sure the preselected "elect" get saved.  

Once again, what happens if they don't evangelize or tell people to repent?  Will the "elected" people who are predestined for heaven from the beginning of time NOT get saved then?  

It's nonsense!  It's "Alice in Wonderland"-type nonsense!  (A Me, waiting... meme)

And here's something else for Calvinists to consider:  If we have to obey God's command to evangelize, it means we can disobey.  And if we have to choose between obeying and disobeying, we are right back to free-will, to us having to make a choice.

On a different but similar note: I also think Calvinism affects our prayer life.  If Calvinists believe that God causes everything that happens, they will not see prayer accurately.  After all, why pray if everything's already been planned and if prayer doesn't make any difference because humans can't affect anything that happens anyway?    

Calvinists will say that prayer is about showing our dependence on God, about humbling ourselves before Him, about connecting with Him.  And yes, that's all a part of it.  But I also believe that the Bible clearly shows that prayer does have an effect on what happens.  I believe God has chosen to work through and with mankind's cooperation and prayers, to a degree.  Prayer is what activates God to do His Will.  And without it, God doesn't always intervene.  Prayer is not just for show; it really does matter and makes a difference and affects what happens.  

(For more on this, see my Bible Study lesson on Prayer and see "Prayer, Faith, and God's Will", about the times prayer doesn't seem to "work."  And here's a "Confused Gandalf" meme about how Calvinists say God's predestined everything that happens and we can't affect it, but that there are some things we have to pray for because God has decided to only give them to us if we pray for them.  Say what!?!  I mean, really, seriously ... think that over for a few moments and you'll see what's wrong with it!) 

The Bible says ... God shows His love and His justice by sending Jesus to the cross to pay for our sins.

But Calvinism says ... God shows His love by saving the elect (and by caring for the non-elect on earth) and He shows His justice by damning the non-elect to hell.

Calvinists change God's love from one kind to another for two different groups of people:  He shows His love to the elect by saving them and to the non-elect by caring for them while they're on earth.  

But God Himself says He shows His love by sending Jesus to the cross to pay for our sins.  

Romans 5:8"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  

Now unless only the elect are sinners and unrighteous (1 Peter 3:18), then Jesus died for all!  For "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).  All are sinners!  And Jesus died for sinners!  

But for Calvinism to work, there has to be two kinds of sinners: those Jesus died for and those He didn't.  But I don't see any verses like that in the Bible.  The Calvinist has to infer it!  And it's their inferences that lead them astray!    

And contrary to Calvinism, God doesn't say He shows His justice by sending the non-elect to hell.  

He says He shows His justice by sending Jesus to the cross to pay for our sins.  

Romans 3:25-26: "God predestined him [Jesus] as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood ... he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."  

He shows His justice by sending Jesus to the cross for sin, NOT by predestining people to hell.

Why is this so hard to understand!?!  

The problem here is that Calvinists believe that God's love necessarily leads to saved people.  Basically, if He loves you, He WILL save you.  And so according to them, He only really loves those He saves and He only saves those He loves.  But this is purely from their own reasoning and philosophizing.  It has no basis in Scripture!  

God Himself said that in His love, He sent Jesus to die for our sins, to buy salvation for all men.  His loves makes salvation possible for all men, available to all men.  But we have to decide whether we will accept His gift or reject it.  

Titus 2:11"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."  

Calvinists will twist this to say that it appears to all men, but that not all men can respond to it.  And since they believe that salvation was never intended for the non-elect - that Calvi-god doesn't love them with a saving love and that he predestines them for hell - they have to come up with a "godly-sounding" excuse to make it seem like Calvi-god is not really an irrational, contradictory, unloving, unjust Monster God for sending people to hell for something they had no control over.  

And they think "Calvi-god predestines the non-elect to hell to demonstrate his justice" is a good excuse.  

Yet, as the verses above show us, God does not show off His justice by predestining people to hell.  He demonstrated His justice by sending Jesus to the cross to pay the penalty that we owe for our sins.

And according to Scripture, He paid the penalty for all people!  Everyone's got a ticket to heaven available for them.  And if they don't get it, it's not because God predestined them to hell to show off His justice.  It's simply because they rejected the free gift of eternal life that Jesus's death made possible for all people.  If we reject the payment that Jesus made on our behalf, then we end up in hell by default, paying the price for their own sins.  A price we don't have to pay because it's already been paid with Jesus's blood!

Leave it to Satan to come up with a theology where you can't accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, where you are not really responsible for your own sins, where you can't do anything about your sins and unbelief because they've been predestined by God, and where the reason you go to hell is because it glorifies God and gives Him a chance to show off His "wonderful attributes"!


(A "You see, Woody..." meme)

The Bible shows that ... "Sovereignty" means that God is the highest authority there is.  

There is no one above Him and no one He is accountable to.  He has the power to do whatever He wants.  But I believe part of what He wants is to allow us to make decisions, within any boundaries He sets up.  And, being sovereign, He knows what we will choose to do and how to work it for good.  He also knows how to "manipulate" circumstances to encourage us to get on the path He wants us on, but He doesn't over-ride our free-will.  He calls us to obey and believe, He leads us in the paths He wants us to take, but the final choice is ours.  Such as when He blinded Saul on the road to Damascus, calling Saul to become Paul.  He didn't override Saul's right to decide, He just made a very strong case for why Saul should believe in Him, making Himself so clear that Saul was self-compelled to become a believer.  

He holds all things in His hands, is aware of everything, and knows how to work everything into His plans.  Sometimes He works out His will by causing things to happen (but never by causing sin), and sometimes He works out His will by just allowing things to happen, such as letting us choose to sin/disobey and then working it into His plans.  But He can and will work everything - even the things He lets us choose to do - into something good(Remember that in Job's story, God didn't cause the tragedies that hit Job.  God let Satan pick the tragedies, within boundaries.  God doesn't always "cause."  Many times, He simply "allows.")

But Calvinism says ... "Sovereignty" means that God preplans and causes everything that happens, even sin and unbelief, for His plans and glory.

So God causes the very sin that He died to save us from ... and He causes unbelief, even though He calls us to believe in Him over and over again ... and then He punishes us for the sin and unbelief He caused!?!

Yep, makes perfect sense!  ("The Clueless Calvinist" meme)  

Did you know that the NIV has the word "sovereign" in it almost 300 times, but it's not in the KJV anywhere?  Where the NIV says "Sovereign Lord," the KJV simply says "Lord."  For some reason they felt the need to add it to Scripture.  And keep in mind that the definition of "sovereign" refers to the position a person is in - it's being the highest authority/ruler there is - but it doesn't specify how the person uses their authority.  

Calvinists build their whole theological framework on the belief that "sovereignty" has to mean "micromanaging everything, controlling and causing everything that happens," that since God is "all powerful," He has to always use His power all the time to control everything.  Or else He's not God.  

But "sovereign" basically just means "the one who is in ultimate control over all," not that "He has to use His power to control/cause everything that happens all the time."  This is adding things to the definition of sovereignty.  This is Calvinists telling God how He has to use His sovereignty in order to be God.  

Part of the problem is the Calvinist's "either/or" mentality.  Watch out for this, because this is how they trap people.  They'll say things like "Either God is sovereign or we are" ... "Either God is in control or we are"  And because you know that we are not sovereign or fully in control, you automatically (and rightly) side with "God is sovereign and in-control."  

But the problem is - the thing that gets you - is that you never question their definition of "sovereign" or "in-control/omnipotent".  Being sovereign and omnipotent does not necessarily mean "controlling/causing everything".  But most people don't realize this, and they end up letting the Calvinists manipulate them into their idea of how God has to act in order to be a sovereign God.  

Calvi-god is considered "sovereign" only if he controls and causes everything, even sin and unbelief.  

But the God of the Bible, as seen all throughout His Word, has chosen to exercise His sovereignty by not always forcing everything to go the way He wants it to.  He has chosen to work with and through mankind to a degree, to give people the right to make real choices.  Of course, He eventually works out whatever plans He has, because He knows how to work everything for good and for His plans and glory.  But He does this by incorporating mankind's free-will choices into His plans (our obedience and our disobedience), not by creating us as robots whom He completely controls.  (The "What is it again ..." meme)

I, for one, would rather build my theology on what I read in the Bible than on my own definition of "sovereign" and on my own ideas of how God has to act in order to be God.   

When you misunderstand "sovereignty," your whole theological view will be wrong from the very beginning because you are trying to force Scripture to fit your view of sovereignty, instead of simply correcting your view of sovereignty to fit Scripture.  

Essentially, I think most Calvinists are trying to be humble when they view "sovereignty" as "God controls and causes everything."  They are trying to lift God up as high as they can and to lower humans as low as they can.  

But if their view of "sovereignty" and of how God acts is contradicting Scripture and turns Him into a monster - and they refuse to consider if they're wrong and to correct it - then how humble are they really?

(See "What Does 'God Is Sovereign' Mean?"  And see Tony Evan's sermon on God's sovereignty, which says that sometimes God causes things and sometimes He just allows things, but that He holds all things in His hands and works it all out for good.  Also see "Connecting With God For A Breakthrough" - a good biblical view of man's responsibility and God's actions.)

The Bible says ... God is glorified when people praise Him, trust Him, believe in Him, preach the good news, obey Him, etc.
(Psalm 29:1-2, 86:12, 96, 115:1- glorify God for His lovingkindness and truth, Isaiah 42:12, Matthew 5:16, John 15:8, Romans 15:9- glorify Him for His mercy, 1 Cor. 10:31, 2 Cor. 4:15- spreading grace and thanksgiving glorifies God, 2 Cor. 9:13, 2 Thess. 1:11-12)

But Calvinism says ... It glorifies God to cause sin and send people to hell.  
(Find me one verse that says this!!!  Just one!!!)

This is simply Calvinists trying to find a "good" explanation for why Calvi-god causes sin and "predestines" people to hell.  They say everything Calvi-god does is for His glory, so if he causes people to sin and go to hell then it must be for his glory.  And they think this justifies their erroneous beliefs.  (In fact, they start with their erroneous beliefs, build their view of God on top of it, and then find ways to make their erroneous beliefs sound good.)

But find me the verse that says this!  It's simply more convoluted reasoning to try to make their view sound legitimate.

But if God causes everything for His glory - even sin, unbelief, and "predestining" people for hell - Calvinists would have to conclude that murder glorifies God ... and abortion and child abuse and suicide and rape and every other sin out there.

Because, after all, God "causes" everything that happens for His glory.  Right!?!

[And they actually do conclude that these things are ultimately for good, for God's glory.  Listen to this clip of Calvinist James White defending his belief that child-rape is caused by God, because if it wasn't caused by God then there would be no purpose in it.  

So ... it's so much better to have a God who causes child-rape than for Him to simply allow someone to make that evil decision on their own, because at least we can know it has a purpose then!?!  

Yeah, that makes Calvi-god worth trusting and loving, now doesn't it!?!  Here's a "We Calvinists say" meme and an "Early Christian martyrs" meme.  And a "James White" limerick.]

Why then should we take a stand against any of this?  Why be concerned for those going to hell, for those struggling with addictions, for those being abused?  Wouldn't fighting against those things be fighting against the things that God is "causing" to bring Himself "glory"?  How dare we interfere with God's right to get glory however He wants to!?!

(One dogmatic Calvinist said it this way about why God causes evil: "Because it glorifies Him to cause evil."  And so I asked, "But if it glorifies Him to cause evil, then why should we fight against it?"  And he said "Because it glorifies Him when we fight against evil."  Say what!?!  But he didn't see anything wrong with this contradictory nonsense!)

ltimately, with Calvinism, you would have to conclude that all evils are really good and God-glorifying!  Because Calvi-god causes all those evils for His glory!  ("Only if you're elected" and "It's been nice ..." and "I told you" memes)

Leave it to Satan to use God's glory against God!  To use humility against Christians, convincing us that we should "humbly" accept this nonsense!  To turn evil into good!  Darkness into light!  And to get a bunch of well-meaning Christians to fight for and spread the idea that God is the kind of God who causes evil, sin, and unbelief for His glory!  

Brilliant!  Absolutely brilliant!

(For more on their views that God causes sin, see this post: "Do Calvinists Really Believe God Causes Sin?  Let Them Speak For Themselves!")

The Bible says ... Jesus's death accomplished what it was supposed to, buying salvation for all men so that we can believe and be saved.  Salvation is a gift, bought by Jesus's blood, that we choose to accept or reject.

1 Timothy 2:6"... [Jesus Christ] gave himself as a ransom for all men ..."

1 Timothy 4:10"... we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men ..."

Romans 5:18"... so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men." 

Romans 10:13:  "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."          

Calvinism says ... God didn't give people the choice to accept or reject Jesus, because if people could reject Him, it would be a waste of His blood.  And if we claim we can "accept Jesus," then we are "working for our salvation," unhumbly believing we can earn salvation.  The only way it can be all God's doing is if we do nothing to get it, not even "accept it."  The only way for Him to be in "total control" is for Him to be the one who chooses the elect and causes them to believe.

I touched on this already, but ...

There is not one verse in the Bible that teaches any of that garbage.  It's purely man-made reasoning to support a flawed theology.  Jesus's blood was never wasted.  It did exactly what it was supposed to do.  It bought salvation for all, paying the penalty for all sins.  

And how can accepting a free gift that was made available to us because God planned for it and sacrificed His life for it be considered "working for/earning salvation"?  On the contrary, willingly accepting a gift we know we could never create or earn for ourselves - eternal life in heaven - is an act of humility, of thankfulness, of love.

Leave it to Satan to convince people that it's unhumble to accept Jesus's death on our behalf ... when the very reason Jesus died for us was so that we could accept His death on our behalf!

Absolutely brilliant!  Absolutely evil!

(See "The Bookcase" meme and the "Calvinist Lunatic" meme.)

The Bible shows ... Some "predestination" verses are actually about God predestining believers to grow to be more like Christ and to bring God glory (not about God predestining "the elect" for heaven).

[Ephesians 1:11-12.  And Romans 8:28-30 says that those God foreknows - those whom He foreknows will become believers - are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus.  

I believe that every verse that sounds like "predestined to heaven or hell" is actually a verse about God predestining other things, such as Israel's destiny, the details of the lives of specific biblical people, the path a believer takes after they are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, God's general plans for mankind, God choosing which generation would be the first to have Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and God predestining the means of salvation (forgiveness of sins through Jesus's death on the cross).  

You have to look at each verse in context. to see what's really being predestined.  And hint:  It's never "predestined to heaven or hell."  Every verse that sounds like "predestined to heaven or hell" can and should be read in one of these other ways.]

But Calvinism says ... "Predestination" verses are always about God predestining us to heaven or hell.

No wonder they have so much support for their view.  

But I wonder ... how can Calvinists ignore all the verses that say Jesus died for all, God loves all, salvation is available to all, God wants us to seek Him, we have to choose between obedience and disobedience, etc. (all those many verses that clearly contradict Calvinism), and they zero in on a just a couple verses about predestination and election that seem to support Calvinism, building their whole theology on a misunderstanding of those verses?  It's strange.  

Instead of questioning those few "Calvinist" verses and studying what they really mean until it falls in line with the rest of the Word (and upholds God's holy character, instead of destroying it), they alter what the rest of the Bible says to uphold their misunderstanding of those few verses.  Really, it's amazing!  

Do not let them sucker you into Calvinism when they go "See, the Bible has the word 'predestined' in it.  And 'elect."  So you have to believe in Calvinism."  

Predestination and election are biblical concepts, but not the way they view them.  Read the Bible in context to see exactly what has been predestined.  Ask yourself if the way you're reading it upholds God's holy, just, loving character and if it keeps the rest of Scripture intact (without having to do a bunch of word gymnastics, re-defining, or "secondary secret meanings" to make it work).  

If it doesn't - if it calls God's character and the Bible's overall Truth into question - then keep reading and researching and praying for wisdom, until you find the best way to understand it, a way that fits the context AND upholds God's character and the overall message of the Bible.

When you finally figure it out, it all makes sense.  The pieces all fit together nicely.

Unlike Calvinism!

(See this post for more on that.  And this one: "According to the concordance, it's NOT predestination.")

[For example, a big Calvinist "predestined for salvation" verse is Ephesians 1:5"he predestined us to be adopted as his son through Jesus Christ."  Calvinists use this to say that God predestined who would be "adopted," who would be saved and become God's children.

But the concordance says "adoption" is NOT about being brought into God's family by spiritual birth (not about who gains eternal life), but it's about God promising to "adopt" anyone who believes into His family.  It's about believers being put into the position of sons, about the kind of relationship believers will have with God as His children.  Anyone who believes in Jesus, who accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior (and this offer is open to all) is predestined to experience the "dignity" of being a child of God, the full benefits that come with having a relationship with Him.

And this "adoption" will be fully realized at the redemption of our bodies: "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Romans 8:23).  (Notice that Paul defines "adoption as sons" as being "the redemption of our bodies," not something like "the salvation of our souls" which Calvinists would claim.  Therefore, it's the redemption of our bodies that's been predestined for the believer, not whether or not you get eternal life.)

If adoption meant "chosen for eternal life," then Romans 8:23 would mean that Paul is saying we are still waiting for it, that we won't be chosen for eternal life until the redemption of our bodies.  But that's not what adoption means.  It basically means to experience the full benefits of being in a relationship with God, of being His child.  God has predestined the kind of relationship believers will have with Him, as His children, not whether we go to heaven or hell.  And we will experience the fullness of that adoption at the redemption of our bodies.]

The Bible says ... Some verses about "salvation," according to the concordance, are not about eternal salvation at all.  They are about God planning to spare believers from the wrath that He will pour out on the ungodly in the end times.             

1 Thessalonians 5:8-9, Romans 13:11, Hebrews 9:28, 1 Peter 1:5.  Particularly of note is 2 Thessalonians 2:13, which says "God chose you to be saved."  This sounds very "predestined to heaven," until you see that the concordance doesn't say this "saved" is about eternal salvation.  It says this "saved" is about God promising to spare believers from the upcoming, end-times wrath.

But Calvinism says ... Verses about "chosen to be saved" are always used to prove that God chooses/predestines who gets eternal salvation and who doesn't.  

As I said, if you research carefully, you'll see that the so-called "predestined to heaven or hell" verses are not really "predestined to heaven or hell" verses at all.

The Bible calls us to search the Scriptures, to be discerning about what we are taught, to carefully and correctly handle the Word.              
(2 Timothy 2:15, Acts 17:11)                    

But Calvinists tell us that we don't have to understand predestination or Calvinism, but that we need to simply accept it because it's "what the Bible says."  And they will make you feel like an unhumble Christian if you question this view, accusing you of rebelling against God and His Word.

As I pointed out earlier, watch out for their double-talk.  They speak out of both sides of their mouth and expect you to accept it without question.  They'll say "I'm not saying God predestines people to hell.  I'm just saying He doesn't predestine them for heaven."  And "I'm not saying God is responsible for sin.  I'm saying that the Bible teaches both God's sovereignty (read: that God pre-ordained/causes everything, even our sins) and that yet mankind is still responsible for our choices.  And we don't have to know how it all goes together; we just have to accept it because the Bible teaches it."  And "I'm not saying that God doesn't love everyone, just that God has chosen to show His love to the elect in a special way, by saving them."  Lots and lots of nonsense.  

Calvinism is poison that's made to taste good and sweet and easy to swallow!

(The Pro-Calvinism Meme.  And for some childish memes that made me giggle:  "Of course Calvinism is true" #1, #2, and, my favorite, #3)

The Bible can be read and understood by all, and it's quite clear and consistent in its teachings.  It makes sense.

But Calvinists believe that only Calvinists can really understand the Bible because they "know the code" (my own wording, not theirs), like that "whoever" and "all" and "world" really mean "the elect."  

But their views only seem valid by building their theology around the few Bible verses that sound "predestination" at first, and then by explaining away or twisting the multitudes of verses that contradict Calvinism.  

But their theological view falls apart in the face of Scripture as a whole and in light of how God acts in the rest of the Bible.

In the end, Calvinism creates many more questions (unanswerable questions) than it answers, and it creates tons of illogical contradictions about Scripture and God's character.  This is why they have to always come back to "You don't have to understand it.  You just have to accept it because it's what the Bible says."

Umm ... No! It's not!  

And lastly, I think Calvinism overemphasizes God's wrath/glory, while underemphasizing His love.  As I said, they believe God doesn't even really love all people, only the elect.  They believe it brings God glory to predestined most people to hell.  And since it's about His glory, we just have to accept this teaching.  Because we are too tiny to understand it.  

But of course we can't understand it.  

You can't understand an unbiblical, imbalanced, illogical, contradictory view.  ("Y U No Love" meme and "Y U No Trust" meme)

Yes, God's glory should be held up high.  The highest.  But to do this, Calvinists reduce humans too low.  They base our value only on the glory we bring God.  

But ... God Himself believes we have value and He loves us tremendously, enough to send Jesus to die for all of our sins, no matter how "low and insignificant" we are in comparison to Him.  Just so we could have a relationship with Him in heaven.  Because, I believe, He wanted it.  He wanted us!  

If God Himself says that we matter greatly to Him, then how much does it glorify Him for Calvinists to spread the idea that God only really cares about Himself and His glory, and that we have no value other than the glory God can squeeze from us?

(See my posts "Are We Only Here For God's Glory?  What About His Love?" and "Is God Only Concerned About His Glory and Being Famous?")

Here is an excerpt from my "Letter To Our Elders" post regarding this kind of teaching:

Another reason I don't care for our pastor's preaching is that it's all information for the head, theological academic stuff.  It's not preaching for the heart, for the hurting heart, for life.  There's no encouragement in there, no "God loves you and you matter to Him," no "let's figure out how to get through these hard trials of life together," etc.  It's always just more theological and academic information for the mind.

Calvinist teaching is always loaded with how depraved we are, how insignificant we should feel before God, how virtually worthless we are apart from the glory God gets through us, about how God has predetermined everything, about how we have no effect on God or on our lives, about how our choices are not really our choices because we are just acting out the parts God's already written for us, about how our eternity has already been decided for us and we can't change it, and about how God causes everything but we are still accountable.  And how we don't have to understand how that works, we just have to accept it!  Or else we'll be dishonoring God.  (Which is kinda ironic because if we bring God dishonor it would have to be because He caused us to bring Him dishonor.  Because, according to Calvinism, God causes everything.)

But sometimes, we just need to be reminded of how much God loves us, how valuable we are to Him, how He can and will help us through this hard life.  But when the sermons are all about God being so far above us, about how low in the dirt we should view ourselves, about God only being concerned with His own glory and how we should only be concerned with that too ... well, it's really hard to connect with a God like that, to want a relationship with a God like that, to feel like He wants a relationship with us.

Sometimes we don't need another theological beating.  Sometimes we just need a heavenly hug.

And it's interesting because in this link, the writer tells us that a Calvinist pastor usually avoids messages about how God loves you and Jesus died for you.  They have to avoid these because they don't know, according to their Calvinism, if God loves everyone in the audience or if Jesus died for everyone in the audience.  Because, according to Calvinists, God only loved the elect and Jesus only died for the elect.  So you won't hear those general "God loves you" kinds of messages from them.

And Calvinists are not about God's love.  They're all about God's glory, our insignificance, His ultimate control, our complete inability to do anything.  And I kinda see that it's true.  Calvinists like to remind us regularly about how we are only here for God's glory, so that He can glorify Himself through us.  I have no problem with God being glorified and with bringing Himself glory in what He does (that's only appropriate), but sometimes it's nice to hear that He made us because He loves us, because He wants a relationship with us, not just because He is looking for another way to bring Himself glory.

I don't think God made us just for His glory.  I think He also made us for His enjoyment.  Because He wants people to love, and He wants people to love Him.  Because it brings Him joy.  I found a verse - 2 Corinthians 5:4-5 - about one of the reasons why God made us, and this passage doesn't say it's only all about His glory:  "... we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  Now it is God who made us for this very purpose ..."

To me, this sounds like the very reason God made us was so that we could have eternal life in heaven with Him.  He wants us in heaven with Him.  And that is the reason He made us.  Even though He is glorified through everything, I think one reason He made us is because He wanted us, not just because He needed to glorify Himself by creating us.  And a God who truly loves us and wants a relationship with us is a God I want to get close to and to love too.

What is it that Paul prayed about for the Ephesians?

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  (Ephesians 3:17-19)

God is not just about using us to get more glory.  God was completely complete in Himself before we ever came along.  He needs nothing from us.

But He does want us!  He wants us to know His love fully, deeply.  Knowing His love is what will fill us completely with the fullness of God.  Not reducing ourselves to such tiny, insignificant worms who are only here because God wanted to bring Himself more glory.

God made us out of love!  God wants us to come to Him, to spend eternity with Him, because of love!

My heart is aching for some good, godly encouragement about God's love.  For some practical messages about how He'll carry us through the hard times and how His love for us spurs us on to love Him more, etc.  I don't need more academic information, especially when it's loaded with Calvinism.  My soul is drying up at this church.  Ugh!  But that's my own personal thoughts about this.  And yet, I know I'm not the only one thinking it.  Ugh!  Ugh!  Ugh!

Calvinism is dangerous because it draws people away from the heart of God, from the Truth about His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, Jesus's sacrifice, etc.  It withholds salvation from a great multitude of people, saying that Jesus never even died for them and that there's nothing they can do about it.  It says that God is glorified for causing sin and causing people to go to hell, when actually Jesus died to save us from sin and hell.  It uses God's Word against Him.  It uses the Gospel to destroy His truth and character.  It causes us to question what God says in His Word.  (After all, if God told Adam and Eve that He didn't want them to eat the forbidden fruit, but then He caused them to eat the fruit because it was His "secret Will" that they sinned, then how can we ever trust what God commands us to do?  When His real Will might actually be the opposite of what He commands?  Another great meme.)  

Calvinism destroys God's integrity, trustworthiness, love, grace, Gospel, etc.

How can we ever trust a God like that!?! 

And this is just a little bit of the damage Calvinism does to God's character, God's Truth, and people's faith and hearts!    

Calvinists believe they are being true to the Word and that those who disagree with them are not.  They say that we are ignoring the "hard truths" taught in Scripture (such as their ideas that "God controls everything" and "God predestines people to hell" and "we are not in control"), that we refuse to accept them because we are unhumble and prideful and because we worship "free-will" and like to be independent and "in control."  

They accuse us of twisting Scripture in order to give us more control.  

But as you can see, I haven't twisted Scripture at all.  In fact, I am simply stating it just as it is, no twists, no changing the meanings of words (like "all" and "whoever"), no contradictory conclusions that force me to say "But you don't have to understand it; you just have to accept it."

It's Calvinism that twists Scripture, that reads into it things that aren't there, that has double meaning for everything, that uses confusing double-talk and circular reasoning, that ignores the verses that clearly contradict it, that changes the meanings of words, that takes verses out of context, that comes up with convoluted reasoning for its views (such as "If people could reject Jesus, it would be a waste of His blood" and "It glorifies God to put people in hell"), etc.  

Instead of being able to point to Bible verses that clearly teach their views, they have to create biblical support by mashing together various verses, taken out of context or slightly altered to fit what they want it to say. 
(A "There once was a young man who taught ..." meme.)  

I wonder if Calvinists fail to see the clear teachings of Scripture because they want it be "complicated," because it makes them feel more intelligent to have figured out the "secret teachings" of God and more humble to accept these "distasteful, difficult teachings."  (Here's a "What drew you to Calvinism" meme.  And an "I love being a Calvinist" meme.)  

I wonder if Calvinist theologians unconsciously think, "Scripture can't really be that clear and simple and straightforward, can it?  That even a child or the most simple-minded, common person can understand it?  No ... it has to be more complicated than that, and so it takes us super-minds to understand it, to tell the simple people what God's really trying to say."  

But sometimes, God uses the foolish things, the simple things, to shame the wise (1 Cor. 1:27).  The "wise" can't see the simple things - the plain truth of Scripture - because they are too busy being "wise."  And so the plain truth of Scripture sounds like foolishness to them.  And they actually unconsciously elevate their intellect and humility, while all along talking about how tiny, low, and insignificant they are and how humble they are to accept the confusing, illogical things they believe. 

Once again, if all this doesn't make you deep-down-in-your-soul angry, if you don't see how Calvinism twists what Scripture really says and the damage it does to God's character, then you either don't really understand Calvinism or you don't really understand the Gospel.  

(I'm not saying this condescendingly, but matter-of-factly.  There's just really no other way to say it.)

Now, considering all the differences I've shown you - about how differently they view Jesus's sacrifice, God's character, salvation, man's responsibility, etc. - can anyone really say that it "doesn't matter" what we believe about this?

It matters.  

It matters greatly!  

Our view of God and faith and salvation and the Gospel will be greatly affected by our view of this.  And it's worth really studying until you come to an answer on it.  

Don't ever let a Calvinist church or preacher or author make you feel like a bad Christian if you doubt or disagree with Calvinism.

You should doubt and disagree with any theology that turns God into an unjust, illogical, contradictory, unloving, untrustworthy, deceptive monster!  ("Yes!" meme)  

(Honestly, the more I learn about how twisted Calvinism is, the more angry I get and the more I want to cry - to literally sit down and weep - about how it's destroying the Gospel Truth, the character of God, and people's faith.  That's why it was time for me to stop tolerating it at my church, to finally speak up, and to eventually quit our church of almost 20 years.  I can't support our pastor's view of Scripture and God and salvation.  It breaks my heart to hear God and the Gospel preached this way!  To see the grace of God limited so much.  To see Jesus's precious sacrifice reduced to a "gift" that's only available to a special few.  And I won't have my name on that church's membership list anymore!)  

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  Calvinism makes a mess of the Gospel.  But once you get rid of Calvinism and predestination, it all makes sense. 

(Now, you'll have to excuse me while I go sit down and cry for awhile.)

[And for the record, there is one thing Calvinism and I agree on, and it's that a true believer can't lose their salvation.  I believe that a true believer who has the Holy Spirit will not be able to "lose their salvation," even if it might seem like it for a time, such as during a tragedy or a particularly hard season of life.  If you are truly a believer but have drifted from the Lord, you will always feel the pull of the Holy Spirit, trying to call you back.  And if anyone does "leave the faith," they were never really a Christian to begin with.  The information might have been in their head, but not in their heart.  (Here is a post on that.)  

However, where I disagree with Calvinism is that they say God makes someone a believer, that no one can ever really be sure that they are one of the elect until heaven, and that sometimes God causes the non-elect to feel secure in their "fake salvation" so that He can solidify their damnation in hell more.

Wretched, wretched teaching!

But I believe that we can know we are saved if we did what God requires of us in the Bible: believed in the Lord Jesus and accepted His sacrifice on our behalf.  And if we have the Holy Spirit, He will guide us in our faith and godly wisdom and help us grow to be more like Christ, even though we won't do it perfectly and we will stumble and fall and struggle along the way.  We grow to reflect Christ more because we are saved, not to "prove" or " earn" or "secure" our salvation.  It's just the natural result of a true believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit and abiding in God, through prayer and His Word.]       

And finally, an excerpt from another post:

If you are so sure about your Calvinism, then how about taking my challenge:  

Read my blog posts on this issue (find them in "Links To Other Anti-Calvinism posts"), and then do your best to defend your Calvinism against what I say, to find loopholes in what I say, to try to defeat what I say.  (Defend it in your own head, not to me.  This is between you and God.)  If I am wrong and you are right, you should be able to do this.  And it should only help to strengthen your position.  (How about giving my blog posts to your church and making it a church-wide study?  Challenge the people to seriously study this issue to figure out what the Bible says.)  

BUT ... you can only do it using the Bible and a good concordance.  That's basically the way I did it.  I didn't quote commentaries or theologians or authors or use my own reasoning as a foundation for my beliefs.  I formulated my view, specifically and first-and-foremost, from the Bible and a good concordance.  So no referencing Calvinist authors or theologians to see what they say or how they interpret a verse.  Study this issue using a Bible and concordance only.  

But it has to be more of a "word for word" translation of the Bible, such as RSV, NASB, KJV.  And I would use a couple different ones to cross-reference because each version has its own "issues" - such as where the NIV says "elect" in one verse (sounding Calvinistic), the RSV says "exiles" (sounding like it's talking about the Jewish exiles at that time).  Big difference!  

DO NOT use one of those recent, conversational-style Bibles like The Message or The Living Bible or The New Living Translation.  The way they write, you won't be able to look up words in the concordance.  Those translations were not trying to be true to the original words.  They are simply trying to get across the general thoughts of the Bible verses.  It makes it hard to do a serious study.  Click here for a quick comparison of Bible Translations (this is only one person's review, you can find more online), to see which versions are going for word accuracy and which are just trying to get across the general thoughts of the authors.    

Just found this, still thinking about it.  But it shares some concerns about the ESV and the NIV, about how they are Calvinist-leaning.  Apparently, it seems most Calvinists prefer the ESV.  Must be a reason why.  Also be careful with the ESV Study Bible, because its general editor, Wayne Grudem, and its theological editor, JI Packer, are both huge Calvinists ... and with the MacArthur Study Bible, as in John MacArthur, Calvinist hero to many ... and with the HCSB Study Bible (updated to CSB), a Study Bible meant for those in the "reformed" tradition, a code word for "Calvinist."  

Be careful about where you get your theology from.  

So, what will it be?  The red or blue pill?

I am challenging you, right now, to take the red pill, even if it makes you feel sick to your stomach at first!  Open your eyes to the truth of what Calvinism teaches and what the Bible teaches, and see if you can really reconcile the two!  ("Freedom" meme)

A few tips on how to read Scripture critically:

... Read each verse you look up IN CONTEXT.  Read the entire section, not just the supposed "Calvinist" verse.  Who is speaking?  Who are they speaking to?  Are they talking to Jews or Gentiles, about Jews or Gentiles, about all believers, about mankind in general, etc.?  What is the message they are trying to get across, for the people they are speaking to, in their time period?  (And only after this should you try to figure out what it means for us today.)

...  Read more of the book (or read the whole book) that the verse is from.  See what else the author says about the issue you are studying.  This gives a fuller picture of what the author is really trying to say.  (In fact, read other books in the Bible by that author.  Or read books by other authors, taking note of the times they refer to what you are researching, to see what the Bible in general says about it.)

... Look up the verses in other translations of the Bible.  Cross-reference other translations to get a better idea of which one is the most accurate.

... Look up words, especially those that supposedly confirm Calvinism, in the concordance, even words you assume you know the meaning to.  [For example, as I said above, one version will say "elect," but another says "exiles."  But when you look up the word that's in the concordance, it's talking about strangers who are wandering in a strange land.  And metaphorically it's about Christians, whose true home is in heaven, being residents on this earth.  In the world, but not of the world.  It says nothing of being "chosen" for salvation.  Another example is 2 Thess. 2:13 which says that we were chosen to be "saved," which could sound very much like predestination.  But when you look up "saved" in the concordance, it's not talking about eternal salvation in the "heaven or hell" sense, but it's basically about God promising to spare believers from the end-times wrath He will pour out on staunch unbelievers.

... In the concordance, find other verses that have the same word meaning (the same number assigned to them) so that you can cross-reference the verse you are considering with others that use the same word.  (When I did this, the "whosoever believes" in John 3:16 couldn't possibly mean "just the elect" or "the believers," as Calvinists like to say.  Because the use of this same word in other verses can't mean "the believers."  See near the bottom of this post.)

... If you have to, I suggest after studying it on your own, look up other people's interpretations of the verse online.  But do not put too much weight on them.  It's just what others think the verse means.  But it might shed some light on a verse, especially when you are stumped.

... Always ask yourself if there is anything about the verse that you are assuming, if you are reading it with some sort of preconceived interpretation (of your own or from someone else, like a Calvinist theologian).  And then reread the verse (and the whole passage) AS IF you are reading it for the first time, as if you have no previous assumption of what it means, as if you were in the audience while the author was preaching it for the first time.  How would you interpret it if you had no previous ideas of what it should mean?

... When reading Calvinist interpretations of verses, look for the things they are assuming.  Always ask yourself, "What verse confirms this?"  
      Such as, Calvinists says that when Adam ate the fruit, mankind became "totally depraved," which, to Calvinists, means that humans can't possibly think about God on their own, want God in their life unless God makes them do it, and that they can't seek God unless He causes them to seek.  Where is this in the Bible?  Where is the verse that says this was a consequence of the Fall?  
      Calvinists also say that if God really loved all people then He would save all people.  But since He doesn't save all people, it must mean He doesn't love them all in the same way.  They say this because they assume that God's true love has to always end in saved people.  Where is the verse that says this?  God's saving love doesn't always end in everyone being saved.  What it did was buy salvation for everyone - it paid for everyone's sin - but it's up to us to accept or reject it.
      They also so that if anyone could reject Jesus then it means His blood was wasted, that it would be a disgrace to Him and His sacrifice.  And so therefore, they conclude, people cannot reject Jesus, which means that Jesus only really died for those who would surely be saved, that Jesus only died for the elect.  Where is this in the Bible?
      Pay careful attention to the assumptions and misconceptions that Calvinists start with, that they build their whole theology on.  This, I believe, is the essence of Calvinism.  It's all built on their own ideas of who God is and how He has to act, in order to be considered the sovereign God they think He is, according to their definition of "sovereign".  (See also "Problems in John Calvin's Institutes ...".)

... Also pay attention to the contradictions in their theology.  See "Some of Calvin's Contradictory Nonsense."  DO NOT allow them to convince you that these contradictions are not real or that they don't matter.  It's these contradictions that turn God into an illogical, untrustworthy monster.  
      Such as they say "God is not the cause of sin, but He controls everything we do and everything that happens is because He planned it to happen that way."  "But," they say, "God is not really the cause of sin.  We are still responsible for our sins because ..." and then they come up with all sorts of confusing, rambling, nonsensical ideas to try to make man the cause of sin while still holding to the idea that God causes everything that happens.  And when you try to dig deeper, they say, "Well, you don't have to understand it because it's a mystery.  So you just have to accept it.  Because it's what the Bible teaches."  
      NO, IT'S NOT!!!  It's what THEY SAY the Bible teaches because they are basing their interpretation of the Bible on their own ideas of how God has to be.  (See this post for more on that.)  
        These contradictions can't be brushed away so easily.  And they cannot be meshed into one seamless, reliable, accurate theology.  Do not accept these contradictions and the Calvinist's twisted efforts to weasel out of them.  If something doesn't make sense and doesn't seem to fit with God's character and the rest of the Bible, research it more deeply, until you find a way to read it that does fit, that keeps everything in harmony.
      The Bible makes sense and God's character makes sense and it's all consistent ... when you throw Calvinism out!

... Also, when reading or listening to Calvinist theologians, authors, and pastors, take careful notice of the ways they try to manipulate you into agreeing with them, into not questioning them, into feeling unhumble if you dig too deeply into this issue or if you disagree with it.  See "Predestination Manipulation" for more of this.  Don't let Calvinists bully you into agreeing with them, into making you feel like a "less than" Christian because you disagree with them or want to look into it more.

These are just a few ways to critically research this issue and read the Bible.  If you do this, it will open your eyes in ways you didn't even know they needed to be opened.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  From the contradictory, nonsensical prison of Calvinism.

You do not need Calvinist theologians to tell you what God meant to say in His Word.  Let God tell you what He says, right from His Word!

Most Popular Posts Of The Week:

List of Calvinist Preachers, Authors, Theologians, etc.

How to Tell if a Church, Pastor, or Website is Calvinist (simplified version)

Leaving You with the Links to Anti-Calvinism Posts

Calvinism in the Evangelical Free Church

A Random Verse That Destroys Calvinism (And "Is The ESV a Calvinist Bible?")

We Left Our Church Because of Calvinism (Things My Calvinist Pastor Said)

Why I Hate Calvinism So Much!

How to Tell if a Church, Pastor, or Website is Calvinist (extended version)

Links to Other Anti-Calvinism Posts