When Calvinism's "Bad Logic" Traps Good Christians!

(Part of this - altered, though - comes from the post "12 Tips on How to Critically Think about Calvinism".  And I will be breaking these down into smaller points in separate posts soon.)

Calvinism ... I'm just gonna come right out and say it ... is built on bad logic.  Really, really bad logic!

Calvinism is not build solidly on Scripture as it was written; it's built on their own presumptions, assumptions, and misconceptions about who God is and how they think He has to act in order to be the kind of "sovereign" God they think He is.  It's built on their own ideas of what verses must mean if they perceive God to be a certain way, totally missing what the verse is really saying because God is really not the way they think He is.

Calvinism is about as stable as building a house of cards on a foundation of Jell-O.

But ... Calvinism is so convincing because no one stops to question the bad logic that it's built on - the presumptions, assumptions, misconceptions, and twisted Scripture.

And if you buy into the foundational "bad logic" then you're lost already!

You see, people trust that a Calvinist who seems so educated must be right.  People trust Big Names, feeling like they can't dare question what a Big Name, Highly-Educated Theologian says, even if it doesn't seem to fit with Scripture.  And if people do question what the theologian or pastor is saying, they simply convince themselves that they themselves must be misunderstanding something, that they are not smart enough, that they "just don't get it."  (You know who else were "Highly-Educated, Big Name Theologians"?  The Pharisees and Teachers of the Law.  And look how blind they were to the Truth.  Even when He was standing right in front of them.)

In fact, baby Calvinists are taught that it's humble to accept the illogical inconsistencies and contradictions of Calvinism, to not question them or look too deeply into them because that would be like questioning God Himself and doubting His Word.  They're taught that "truth is truth, and you don't have to like it but you do have to accept it."  They're taught that these illogical inconsistencies and contradictions are "mysteries" that belong to God, and "Who are we to try to understand the deep mysteries of God that He alone has the right to know!?!"  They're told that questioning Calvinism shows that you don't want to submit to God, that you want to be in control.  But that accepting this nonsense without qualms, without "talking back" to God ... well ... that shows you are humble and trusting and submitting to God's sovereignty.

And this traps so many good Christians who just want to honor God and do right by Him.

It's satanically brilliant!  It really is!

How else can you get a whole bunch of God-fearing, well-meaning Christians to buy into a completely backwards theology that twists Scripture, flips the Gospel on its head, and destroys God's character, convincing them that it's humble to "simply accept it without question," to defend it, and to spread it to others!

Satanically-inspired garbage!

(I know what you're thinking, "Gee, Heather, tell me how you really feel!")

Anyway, what I want to do in this post is look at some of the bad logic Calvinists use to manipulate good Christians.  How they trap others, sucking them into their philosophical views of God and faith and the Bible.  (Their views really shouldn't be called "theological."  They should be called "philosophical" - because it's all built on their own ideas and reasonings, on their own thoughts of how things "should be" when their own beliefs are used as the foundation for their theological views.)  

[I'm not saying the Calvinist is consciously trying to trap others.  Sadly, the Calvinists themselves fully believe the garbage they're teaching.  And they think they are being "good, obedient, God-glorifying Christians" to spread it to others.  And that's almost scarier than if they were deliberately lying.  Because people can generally tell when they are being lied to, and they resist it because they know it's a lie.  But if someone truly, passionately believes the falsehoods they're spreading ... well, that can be convincing to a lot of people.  

FYI: I will not cover the other ways they trap Christians, such as blocking opposing views, forming small group studies of Calvinist theology books (Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology), shaming and manipulating people into not disagreeing with them, convincing you that their beliefs are all about upholding God's glory, etc.  (How glorifying is it to God to believe that Jesus didn't really die for everyone, that God doesn't really love everyone, that God causes sin but punishes us for it, and that He created most people specifically so that He could hate them and send them to hell because it "brings Him glory"?  Yep, sounds pretty glorious and God-honoring to me!)  But if you want, you can find out more about this in these posts: Predestination Manipulation and Why Is Calvinism So Dangerous? and What's The Best Way To Make People Agree With Your Calvinist Views?]

(Also, I want to highlight a post from Hoppers Crossing Christian Church which I think is excellent:  Why Are Calvinists Afraid To Answer Simple, Straightforward Questions?  Read these slowly and thoughtfully.  It gives a great look into Calvinism's illogical nonsense and how it can't fit with Scripture.)

(Also here is a great 6-minute "satire" video we just found: "The Candid Calvinist", giving you a good idea of what Calvinists say vs. what they really mean.)

But first, I want to share an important warning when talking with Calvinists.  And I'll do this by giving you an example, calling it "Bad Logic #1 (Numbers are in no particular order, though):

Bad Logic #1:  Calvinists say that when Adam ate the fruit, mankind became "totally depraved," which, to Calvinists, means that humans can't possibly think about God, seek God, want God, or believe in God on their own, unless God makes them do it.

(And they say He will only do it for the "elect."  And the non-elect can NEVER find Him because He won't cause them to find Him because He predestined them for hell.)

They compare spiritual death to physical death, saying that a spiritually-dead person is as dead as a dead body, and that since a dead body can't do anything but helplessly lay there all dead then God has to be the one to cause the dead person to seek Him and believe in Him.  Because "dead bodies" can't do anything on their own.

(Yeah, well, if they can't do anything, then they can't sin or rebel against God either.  And so Calvi-god – my name for Calvinism’s god - is really punishing them in hell for doing nothing!)

And they say that since He is "sovereign," God is in control of who gets saved and who doesn't, and everything that happens is the way God planned it to happen and caused it to happen.  (Because, according to them, a "sovereign God" HAS TO control everything ... or else He's not God.)

Warning:  If Calvinists can convince you to agree to their definitions of "depraved" and "dead" and "sovereign" - if you don't question them - then they've already got you beat!

But what you should be asking yourself is:  Where is this in the Bible?  Where is the verse which says that losing the ability to make decisions was a consequence of the Fall?  Where is the verse that says "dead" means you can't think on your own, or seek God, or want God?  Where are the verses that confirm their definitions of "depraved" and "spiritually dead" and "sovereign"?

(They will find verses here and there, taken out of context and mis-applied, to support their views.  Sometimes they will even “verse bomb” you with many verses, causing you to be so overwhelmed that you simply give up, shut down, and fall in line.  But you need to always look at the verses in context, look up words in the concordance, find the assumptions and presumptions they are basing their interpretation on, and ask yourself "Is this what the verse really, clearly, plainly says?  Or are they inferring things from what the verse says?")

Never let a Calvinist define the terms or convince you of their definitions of things.

Whoever defines the terms dominates the conversation!

You MUST question every term and every verse a Calvinist uses.

You MUST look for the "hidden layers" that are underneath what they say, the things they really mean but that they hide under more acceptable-sounding ideas.

You MUST compare it all to what the Bible plainly says.  (Which do you really think is the more accurate one: What God plainly says … or what the Calvinist tells you God meant to say?  Does God mean what He says or not?  Does God say what He means or not?)

And you MUST take Calvinist teachings to their logical and natural conclusions to see how wrong they are, how damaging it is to Truth and to God's character.

(But Calvinists will try to stop you from looking into it more deeply by accusing you of questioning God or the Bible, of "talking back" to God, of being unhumble, of worshipping free-will, of wanting to be in control over God, etc.  They are very cult-like in their attempts to manipulate and control you.  But you won't notice it as manipulation, because it comes across as simply helping you be a better, more God-honoring, more intelligent Christian.  And what good Christian doesn't want that?  And therefore, many will want to be convinced of this stuff, and they'll never see the need to question what they're being taught.  But you must question it.  You must consider where their teachings lead to, in order to find out what they're really saying.  And ... just wondering ... but if Calvi-god supposedly controls everything we do, then how can we "talk back" to him anyway?)

Okay, so let's examine some more "bad logic" from Calvinists (and this is just a taste of it).  The kinds of things that trap good Christians.  The Calvinist ideas that, if you accept them, have already defeated you and sealed your fate in becoming a Calvinist.  (Some I'll explain more fully than others.)

One of my greatest goals in writing about Calvinism is to expose their bad logic, where their bad logic leads (the damage it does to truth and God's character), and the ways they manipulate people, so that you can know when and how you're being manipulated.  And knowing ... as they say ... is half the battle.  (But Calvinists won’t see it as manipulation.  They’ll just see it as “boldly speaking the Truth” and “being true to the Word”.)

Bad Logic #2:  A Calvinist will use the word "ordains" to say something like "God ordains everything that happens in your life."  Many of us will hear that and think they're saying that God knew what would happen and chose to allow it, even if it was a bad thing.

But what a Calvinist really means by "ordains" is "preplanned and causes," that God preplans and causes everything to happen the way it does ... that He even "ordains" any childhood abuse you went through, for His glory and for your good and because He knew what it would take to keep you humble.  That it was God's “Plan A” for your life!

This is what my Calvinist pastor preached one day.  This is Calvinist theology!

Now replace "ordains" with "preplanned and caused" to see what Calvinists really believe: That God caused any childhood abuse you went through, for His glory and for your good and to keep you humble.  That it was His “Plan A” for your life, meaning that you never had any other life in store for you than abuse, because He deliberately planned your abuse from the beginning.

And now carry all that out to its logical, natural conclusions - the idea that God plans child abuse from the very beginning, that He actively causes someone to abuse a child, that He causes the sin that He commands us not to do (and that He will eventually punish us for), that the abuser could not have chosen to do any differently, and that He does all this for your good and, apparently, because child abuse glorifies Calvi-god.

Can you see how damaging this is to God's character, to our faith, to truth, to our ability to trust Him and His Word?  What kind of a "God" is that?  How can a God like that be trusted?

The Bible says that God is love, but if that's what "love" looks like then I'd hate to see hate!  And why would anyone want that kind of "love" anyway?

And ... if we are supposed to grow to be more like God and to bring Him glory in all we do, then what kind of people is that going to make us, if God is the kind of God who first forbids sin but then causes sin, for His glory?

And yet they hide all this behind the easily-overlooked, easily-misunderstood word "ordains."

This is why a Calvinist can say something like "God was the author of these events [Joseph's brother's selling him into slavery] in that He works all things according to the counsel of His will, but God did not originate the evil desires in the brother's hearts ..." but then follow it up a short time later with "There is nothing outside of God's sovereign causation and control, such as mankind's desires" (actual words from a dogmatic Calvinist in the comment section of a Soteriology 101 post).

They are constantly trying to make it sound like Calvi-god merely "allows" certain bad things to happen when they actually believe that he preplans, controls, and causes all the bad things to happen the way they do.

"God 'ordains' sin but is not the author of sin."

Hogwash!  If God preplanned it and caused it ("ordains," as they say) then He is most definitely the author of it.  Because if He didn't author it, it never would have happened.  But they can see no contradiction in what they say.

And if you think I'm making this up, the idea that Calvinists believe God "causes" child abuse, listen to this clip by James White, a weasely Calvinist who's defending the idea that God causes child-rape by saying that if God didn't cause it then it would have no purpose.  Calvinists say that if something can happen that God didn't actively cause then we can't trust Him because He wouldn't be "in control."  But we can supposedly trust Him, even when bad things happen, as long as we know He caused it for our good and for His glory.

So ... we can rejoice knowing that God Himself caused our abuse for a reason!?!  We can trust a God who deliberately causes the sin He commands people not to do (and who then punishes us for it)!?!  We can trust a God who gets glory by causing children to be abused!?!

“Hey, so what if you were abused as a child … or your family was slaughtered in front of you … or you were beaten up by a gang of thugs!  Take comfort, because Calvi-god himself caused those things for your good and for his glory.  So it’s all good.  Don’t you just love our wonderful, trustworthy, compassionate Calvi-god!”

It's sick!  It's lunacy!  And it's a complete affront to God's holy, good character!

(For more on the idea of God causing abuse, see "Does God Cause Childhood Abuse?"  Also see "Do Calvinists Really Believe God Causes Sin?  Let Them Speak For Themselves!")

[Added 11/16/19 (This explains the "volcano" from the post "When The Volcano Blows"):  

I just have a question ... How can Calvinists be truly compassionate and empathic when something bad happens to someone?  Seriously!  Think about it.  If they believe that every bad thing happens because Calvi-god preplanned it and caused it for his glory, how can they truly be compassionate when someone goes through a tragedy or hard time?  Wouldn't they then be "feeling bad" about something Calvi-god wanted for his glory?  

Of course, they might be able to be like "Oh, it's too bad you're going through this.  Sucks to be you!"  But they genuinely can't be like "Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry.  How tragic!  My heart is breaking for you.  What a horrible thing!"  

How can they think any tragedy is tragic or horrible if they believe it was caused specifically by Calvi-god for his glory?  Regardless of what they say to a hurting person, at the end of the day all they can do is shrug their shoulders about tragedies and say "Well, it's what Calvi-god wanted.  So who are we to feel bad about it!?!  Let's praise him for this so-called 'horrible' thing he caused.  Isn't he good!"  

The reason I am bringing this up is because my family has gone through a serious tragedy recently, which includes someone I knew ending up dead, my mother being arrested for it, my testimony against her helping lead to her arrest, and with people sending death threats to people who are close to her.  (You people are sick!  Truly sick!  To take out your pathetic anger on people who had nothing to do with this and who were traumatized themselves through everything that happened!  Sick, pathetic, ignorant psychos!  Thankfully, I myself didn't get any death threats, but we did buy blackout curtains and lock ourselves in our house for a few weeks, just in case.)  And at the same time the arrest happened, I found out that my ex-step-father - the man who was the most dad I ever had, whom I haven't seen in 14 years - is in prison for drug trafficking.   

And I am waiting for the day that someone like our dogmatic Calvinist pastor from our ex-church hears about it and then calls us up to express their sympathy.  

And I am going to have to bite my tongue so hard.  Because what I'm going to want to say is "But why would you feel bad about this for me?  I thought your Calvi-god caused this to happen.  As a Calvinist, you believe your Calvi-god predestined that the person died in this horrible way, that it was Calvi-god's 'Plan A' for that person's life, that he never had anything else in store for them than this tragedy.  You believe that your Calvi-god caused my mother to do what she did, exactly the way she did it.  For his glory.  You believe that Calvi-god caused all this to happen exactly as it did, ruining so many people's lives, because he wanted it to happen for his glory, for our good, and to keep us humble.  You should be praising Calvi-god for all of this, not feeling sorry for me.  So you can take your sympathy and shove it where the sun don't shine!"  

Of course, I wouldn't say this, but I would want to.  And that's why my tongue would be bleeding from biting it so hard.  I would just so badly want for them to realize the real-world implications of their beliefs, when seen in light of extreme, real-world circumstances, of a horrible situation that has horrible consequences.  To be a Calvinist means to believe Calvi-god deliberately causes all of this for his glory, that nothing different could have happened, that he never wanted anything other than a tragic death for that young person, that he planned for and caused my mother to do what she did and she couldn't have done anything differently, and that all of the pain this inflicted on my family was preplanned and caused by Calvi-god, for his glory, for our good, and to keep us humble.  

So, Calvinists ... praise Calvi-god that he's in control and that he gets glory through it all.

(If that's God "in control," I'd hate to see God out of control!  If that's what God's care looks like, I'd hate to see when He's uncaring!)

Save your freakin' sympathy, Calvinists!  It means nothing!  

(Instead of feeling sorry for me, maybe you should take some time to examine your frickin' destructive, satanic theology, and what you believe about our holy, righteous, good God.  Are you willing to stand before Him and defend your sick, twisted Calvinist view of Him?  

That's enough of my story for now.  I might not speak of this ever again.  But it's very fitting right now, when looking at this issue.]

And it's not just "ordains."  Whenever a Calvinist uses these words or phrases about God, what they're really saying is that "God preplans and causes everything that happens": ordains, determined, decrees, foreknowledge, foresight, plans, wills/willed, omnipotence, omniscience, sovereign, sovereignty, controls, God "agrees" to it, God "allows" it, God "knew" it would happen, God "understood" what would happen, God is "in control," etc.

They never mean that He just "allows" something to happen (because then He wouldn't fit their view of "sovereign," which is "He has to actively control all things or else He's not God.").

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.

(Can you see, though, how a verse like 1 Kings 20:42"He said to the king, 'This is what the Lord says: 'You have set free a man I [God] had determined should die''" would defeat their theology!)

Everything always comes back to "God preplans/causes everything that happens," even if they're trying to make it sound like they're saying that God simply "allows" what happens.  

A classic Calvinist tactic, which I will come back to again and again to cement it in your mind because it's foundational to their theology, is to say "God allows us to sin, to carry out the evil desires that are in our hearts."  But what they really mean is "God allows us to do the sins He predestined for us (and we could never choose anything differently), to carry out the evil desires that are in our hearts - evil desires that came with the 'sin nature' He predetermined we would have.  The 'sin nature' comes only with the desire to do evil and to sin all the time, and you cannot change the nature you have because God Himself predestines which nature we get, and so if He gave you the 'sin nature' you will only have sinful desires and you can only act according to those sinful desires.  God 'allows' you to do the sins that result from the sinful desires that came with the sin-nature He predestined you to have, just as He preplanned everything to happen long ago.  And if you get the 'sin nature' you can never want to obey Him or do good because you weren't given the nature that comes with those good desires."  And yet Calvinists will insist that this is truly mankind "having a choice, making their own decisions, being accountable for their sins."  It's messed up!  It really is!  But this is what Calvinists mean when they say that God 'allows' us to sin and make decisions, that we are 'responsible' for our choices!   

In fact, they will do their best to hide their belief that God causes sin (to the point of even convincing themselves that it’s not what they’re really saying) by wrapping it in layers of “truth,” saying things like “There are two causes of sin.  God is the proximate/ultimate source of sin, but we are the remote/secondary source of sin.  And we willingly choose to carry out the sin that God ordains for us.  And so therefore, we are really responsible for our sin, and so God is totally just in punishing us for it.”  (Even though Calvi-god preplanned our sin long ago and we couldn’t have done it any differently!)

"We don't have to know how it all works out, but we have to believe it because the Bible teaches both God's sovereignty and mankind's responsibility.  We don’t have to like or understand this teaching; we just have to accept it."  This is how my Calvinist pastor puts it.  (And yet no one stops to question his definition of sovereignty.)

They go to great lengths to hide the fact that Calvi-god causes sin, to make it sound like he's not really responsible for our sin when he really is, because they know they can't accuse God of sin.  And so they come up with all sorts of convoluted ways to put the blame on us and not on Him.

(You could sit under a Calvinist pastor for years and not really know it.  Because they are so good at disguising their beliefs and appearing to back up everything they say with Scripture.  And they are usually powerful, dynamic, bold speakers who sway the congregation with their zeal and knowledge and confidence.  See "How to Tell if a Church, Pastor, or Website is Calvinist.")

Calvinism is nothing less than a slippery, slithery, evil theology!

To tell you the truth:  It's exhausting.  It really is.  Figuring out what a Calvinist is really saying behind the layers they cover it up with.

But you have to realize that talking with dogmatic, educated Calvinists is like talking with pathological liars who spin everything they say, who never really mean what they say or say what they mean, who tell you what you want to hear to suck you in more and make you believe them, who have many different tactics to manipulate you (from “This IS what the Bible says” to “I’m just teaching right from Scripture” to “Humble people have no trouble accepting what I’m teaching” to “Who are you to talk back to God or to try to understand these mysteries?”, etc.), who are really good at the old "bait and switch" routine to get you to bite onto one small truth so that you swallow whole the enormous lie hidden inside, who can backpedal out of almost any jam, and who know how to skillfully weave together bits of Scripture (always taken out of context) to "support" their views, etc.

This is why I say “DO NOT go to a Calvinist for answers to your concerns about Calvinism!”  If you are not prepared with your own research into Scripture and if you are not aware of their tactics, you WILL come out the other end a Calvinist!

[See this post and that post and one more for more on that.  And check out the comment section of just about any post from Soteriology 101 - try this one and that one and this other one and one more - to see how this plays out in conversations between Calvinists and non-Calvinists.  FYI, a couple of the dogmatic Calvinists are rhutchin and jtleosala.  It's eye-opening!  And yes, the Heather in the comment section is me.  Unless there's another one I don't know about.]

Bad Logic #3:  And this brings us to the next bit of bad logic.  To support their idea that God causes all things, even sin, they'll bring up verses about God causing bad events, such as a natural disaster or famine, "proving" that God also causes sin.

But this is bad logic because causing a natural disaster is nothing like causing sin.  If God causes a natural disaster, He is not causing something that He commanded us not to do.  But if He causes sin, then He is causing us to do something He commands us not to do.  And this is illogical and inconsistent with His character, and it turns Him into the cause of all sin, and it makes Him unjust for causing the sins He then punishes us for.  You cannot put causing natural disasters on the same level as causing sin.  Two totally different things!

They’ll also bring up God causing wars (such as when He used Assyria to war against Israel as punishment, but then He turned around and punished Assyria for warring against Israel) to say “See, God causes all things that happen, even wars and sin, and then He punishes the ones who sinned.  We don’t have to understand how God can do this and still be considered good and righteous; we just have to trust, because He is God.”

But the easy answer here (which they refuse to see) is that God didn’t cause Assyria to be wicked people and to do wicked things; He just worked their self-chosen wickedness into His plans, almost like saying “You want to be wicked?  Fine!  Then go be wicked over there by Israel for awhile, to punish them for their waywardness.  And then when you’re done, I can punish you for being the wicked people you chose to be.”  And He can rightly do this because He didn’t make them wicked; He just worked their wicked choices into His plans.

But the Calvinist will always use this example to “prove” that Calvi-god causes sin but then punishes people for the sin he causes, and that it’s okay because he is “sovereign.”

[To emphasize a point: Calvinists try to convince us that God punished Assyria for attacking Israel after first "causing" Assyria to attack Israel.  They use this to "prove" that God can cause us to do bad things but hold us accountable for it.  However, this throws major doubt on God's goodness and justice, and it can't be fixed by Calvinists saying "Oh, well, we just have to believe it because it's what the Bible says."  No!  It's not what the Bible says.  As I already pointed out, God doesn't cause us to sin or be wicked; He just works our self-chosen sins into His plans.  And since we chose to be who we are and to sin, He can justly punish us for it.  And additionally, notice in Isaiah 10:12-14 that, technically, Assyria was punished for being arrogant and prideful, for thinking that they conquered Israel all in their own power.  Big difference!  They weren't necessarily punished for attacking Israel, as Calvinists teach.  They were punished for being prideful, for thinking they won in their own power, for not giving God the credit for their victory.  So in this point, Calvinism falls apart even more.]  

Bad Logic #4:  They believe that God foreknowing that something bad would happen but choosing not to stop it is basically the same thing as Him preplanning, ordaining, causing it to happen.

So to them, it's not that a person made their own choice to murder, that God knew it would happen, allowed it to happen, and worked their bad choice into His plans.  It's that because God foreknew the person would murder and He didn't stop them from doing it, then He "ordained" it to happen (He wanted it to happen, He preplanned that it would happen, locked it in so that nothing else could happen) and the person had no choice but to do what God "ordained."

They believe God basically works the circumstances out to cause us to sin the way He planned/wants us to sin, by giving us the sinning nature that has the sinful desires He wants us to have and by surrounding us with the circumstances that cause us to carry out the sin He planned for us to do.  It all happens just as God "planned," even our sins.  Therefore, there really is no such thing as "choice."

They are putting the cart before the horse, saying that since God’s foreknowledge comes first then it means He preplanned it all, which means that we don’t really make “choices,” that we just carry out the plans God made.

When in reality, our choices are real choices.  And God, in His foreknowledge, knew how to incorporate our choices into His plans and to work His plans (to a degree) around our choices.  We were never “locked in” to the path God planned, because God planned His path (to a degree) around the choices He knew we’d make.

[Here is how dogmatic Calvinists view "choices" (this is a comment from a Soteriology 101 post):

"That's the distinction between [non-Calvinists] and Calvinists.  Calvinists say that people do not have real choices; they can only do what they desire."

But here’s the thing about our “desires” (this is another bit of their deception, making it sound like they are saying that “desires” means that we choose what we want, that we make choices based on our feelings):

Calvi-god is the one who gives people their natures - the “sin nature” that the non-elect get or the “saved/repentant nature” that the elect get.  And the nature he gives us determines the desires we have.  Each nature has its own set of built-in desires, and you can never desire something that is outside your Calvi-god-given nature.

Therefore, the non-elect who get the “sin nature” can only always want to sin and choose to sin because the desire to sin and to rebel against God comes with the “sin nature.”  In fact, the “sin nature” contains only the desire to sin and rebel against God, never the desire to obey or do good or want God.  (Only the elected people who were given the “saved/repentant nature” can want to obey God and do good and seek God, because that’s the only nature that contains those desires.)

How is that a choice!?!  When Calvi-god gives you the nature he predestined for you, and you can only operate according to the desires that the nature contains!?!

“But,” the Calvinist says, “because the sinner ‘wanted’ to sin and ‘chose’ to sin, according to their desires, they are accountable for their sin!”

What the ****!?!  (Insert four-letter word of your choice!  Or whatever Calvi-god "ordained" you to put in there.  Seriously, Calvinists, think about it.  What four-letter word did you first think of?  Do you not realize that your theology says that God Himself caused you to think of that word?  What does that say about Him?  And that's just a tiny, little, microscopic "sin," compared to other bigger sins, that your Calvi-god caused!)

So never trust when a Calvinist says "Of course we can make choices, according to our desires."  That’s a deceptive cover-up for the fact that Calvi-god causes people to sin and to be unbelievers.  It’s meant to make it sound like sinners really do “deserve” the punishment they get, that Calvi-god is not unfair or unjust for putting people in hell even though he caused them to be sinners and unbelievers.

It’s hogwash!!!]

Okay now, back to choices and God’s plans.  I say that just because God knew what we'd do and allowed us to do it and worked it into His plans doesn't mean He preplanned it to happen and caused it to happen that way, or that we don't really have real choices and that nothing different could have happened.  What happened is based on our choices, not what God preplanned for us.

And yes, I believe God works circumstances into His plans and He can "encourage" us to act out the sin that's in our hearts (to expose it and to use it for His plans), but that doesn't mean that He put that sin in our hearts to begin with or that we had no choice.  We sin because we want to sin, not because God “ordained” it.

But that is a big difference between Calvinists and non-Calvinists.

Non-Calvinists (anti-Calvinists) say that the person themselves is responsible for the sinful desires and that God does not want us to sin or preplan for us to sin or cause us to be sinful (but He does let us act out the sin that's in our hearts and He can put it to good use, for His plans).

Whereas Calvinists say (but hide it carefully) that God Himself plans our sins from the very beginning.  He basically puts the sinful desires in our heart (by giving us the sin nature that will always only want to sin and by working out the conditions around us just right so that we will inevitably choose the sin He preplanned), and He causes us to carry it out.  And the person could NEVER have chosen NOT to sin because God ordained the sin from the very beginning and made sure it would happen.

And then they’ll say something stupid like "God 'ordained' the sin but He is not the author of the sin."  To cover for their view that God causes sin.

It’s rambling, deceptive nonsense, meant to trap unsuspecting people who aren’t really sure what they’re saying about God.

[And of course, it’s not that they are deliberately trying to “trap” people; but they have convinced themselves that it’s true and that it’s their job to spread this “truth” to others.  Like a good, faithful, “God-honoring” Calvinist!

And for the record, I have a lot of respect for the average, unaware, misled “Calvinist” who is simply doing their best to be faithful and to honor God, as instructed by the Calvinist preachers.  For the trusting, deceived, misled ones who don’t really know enough about what Calvinism really teaches to know that it's not biblical.  But I have almost zero respect for the dogmatic Calvinists who are leading others astray, for the ones who see that the Bible says one thing but then they substitute in their own ideas instead, who skillfully twist Scripture to fit their views despite the incredible damage it does to God’s character, to Jesus’s sacrifice, and to the Gospel.

The teachers of Calvinism will have a lot to answer for, for leading astray the many good-hearted, godly Christians who trust them.  But these good-hearted, godly, trusting Christians need to wake up and learn to search the Scriptures for themselves, to see if what they’re being told is true or not.  Because they will be accountable for allowing themselves to be led astray, for not knowing Scripture well enough to be discerning, and for encouraging the spread of this garbage by going along with it.

I’m just sayin’.]

Bad Logic #5:  Calvinists 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 love has to ALWAYS end in saved people.  And so therefore, according to them, God only really loves those He saves and only really saves those He truly loves.  (Can you see the philosophizing going on here?)

And so then to make the verses about God "loving everyone" fit with Calvinism, they redefine "God's love" by breaking it into two types of love: a "save your soul" kind for the elect and a "gives you food and water while you're alive" kind for the non-elect.  (And God's grace is along the same lines.  Calvinists LOVE the idea of grace.  They talk about it all the time.  But they don't mean that God gives grace to all people.  They mean that God gives grace - saving grace - to only a few people.  The elect.  So don't be fooled by their "God's grace is so good" bit.  They simply mean that "God's grace - which is poured out only on us, the elect - is so good!") 

And then, to make sure Jesus's blood wasn't "wasted" on those who would inevitably reject it, Calvinists say that Jesus couldn't really have died for those who would reject Him anyway, for the non-elect.  So, they say, Jesus only really died for the elect.

But ... where is any of this clearly stated in the Bible?  What verses teaches any of this nonsense?  It's all based on their own assumptions of what God's love is and how He shows it.  They have formulated their theology using philosophy, not the Bible.

Because if you go to the Bible, you'll see that God's love sent Jesus to the cross to pay for all men's sins.  God's love is what made salvation available and possible for all men.  But it's up to us to accept or reject that gift of salvation.  God's love doesn't mean you WILL BE saved; it means we all can be saved because all of our sins were paid for on the cross, because God loves us all and wants us all with Him in heaven.  But He will not force it on anyone.  You have to want it and accept it.

This is what God's love did for us, according to the Bible!

But according to the Calvinist, His love is only for the elect and Jesus's sacrifice was only for the elect.  And Calvi-god decides who’s elected and who’s not, and there's nothing you can do about it.  And you have no part in "having faith" or "believing in Jesus"; it's something that’s done to you by Calvi-god.

This is why I say that Calvinism is a whole different Gospel than what the Bible teaches.  Calvi-god, Calvi-Jesus, Calvi-Holy-Spirit, and that Calvinist way to salvation are VERY DIFFERENT from what the Bible teaches.

Calvinism isn't just a deeper way to understand the Bible or a better way to understand the Bible; it's a completely different, false way of understanding the Bible!

The true Gospel is good news to all people.  But Calvinism's Gospel is good news for a few people who may or may not really be saved because Calvi-god might be tricking them into thinking they're saved when they're not, but they won't know for sure till they're dead.  (See under "Evanescent Grace" in this post: "Can You Lose Your Salvation?")

Yep!  Sounds like trustworthy "good news" to me!

Bad Logic #6:  Calvinists often operate by an "if all monkeys are animals then all animals are monkeys" logic.  (Illogic!)

Such as, if the Bible shows God controlling one thing then they say that all things are controlled by Him.  Since God caused and controlled the creation of the heavens, then they say it proves that all things are created (read: controlled and caused) by Him.  If the Bible shows that God actively carried out a plan that He made, then they say it proves that all things that happen are because God preplanned them and caused them.  If God predestined the ministry of one person in the Bible (such as calling one to be a prophet), then they say it shows that God predestined the future of every person, including whether we go to heaven or hell.

But just because there's an example in the Bible of one thing happening a certain way, doesn't mean this is the way it always happens.  To think this means we have to throw out all the parts in the Bible that show God operating in a different way.

And this is what Calvinists do.  They highlight the verses that show God operating in the way that matches their view of "sovereignty" (of God controlling/causing something), but they toss out or twist the verses that show God acting in a different way (such as verses about things happening that God never thought of and didn't have a part of: Hosea 8:4, Isaiah 30:1, Jeremiah 19:3-5.  God Himself says He didn’t cause these things, but Calvinists insist He causes everything that happens.  So … who’s wrong?)

And just because something is true in one direction doesn't mean it's true in the reverse.  If so, then all fruit would be apples because all apples are fruit.  Just because something is true for one situation doesn’t mean it’s true in all situations.  If so, then - for example - if God let Joseph languish in prison for a crime he didn’t commit before He used him to fulfill His plans then God would also have to make us all languish in prison for something we didn’t do before He used us for any of His plans.

But Calvinists still insist that "If God planned/willed/wanted/caused one thing to happen in the Bible then all things happen because God planned/willed/wanted/caused them."

But this is bad logic that the Bible doesn't support.  All fruit are not apples.  All animals are not monkeys!

Bad Logic #7:  Calvinists attempt to trap you by setting up false dichotomies (false dilemmas) and telling you that you must pick one.  Or by accusing you of saying something that you're not saying.

"Either God is sovereign or you are sovereign."  Or maybe they'll say "God or Satan."  (Well, of course no decent Christian is going to say that humans are sovereign or that Satan is sovereign.  And so we are trapped into saying "God is sovereign."  Which is true, of course.  But the problem is ... no one questions their definition of "sovereign," and we unwittingly agree with the definition they set up.  "Sovereign" has to do with the position of authority someone holds; it's not about how they exercise their authority.  But Calvinism is all about telling God how God has to be/act, in order to be considered "sovereign."  And getting people to agree with them in the obvious truths, like "God is sovereign," is how they reel us in bit by bit into their paradigm of falsehoods, starting with their faulty definition of sovereign.)

"Either He is in control or you are."  (And yet, no one questions what they mean by "in control."  Of course, God is "in control," in that He is over all things, knows all things, sees all things, holds all things in His hands, chooses what to cause and what to allow and what to block, and will work all things together for good.  But a Calvinist believes that "in control" means "actively preplanning, controlling, and causing all things that happen, even sin and unbelief."  Big difference!  But they trap you by getting you to agree to their definition of "in control," and yet you never realize that you're both talking about two different things.  Every time they get you to agree with them about one truth or idea, they reel you one step deeper into Calvinism.)

"Either He controls everything or He controls nothing."  (Calvinists want you to think the only two choices are that God is totally "in control," which to them means "preplans/controls/causes everything, or that He is totally out of control, meaning that He is up there helplessly watching everything that goes on down here, anxiously wringing His hands as He waits to see what people will choose.  And of course, no Christian will say that He is helpless or that He controls nothing.  And so we're trapped into "He controls everything," without being aware of their definition of "control."  But how about thinking outside the dichotomy?  How about realizing that neither of their options are biblical?  How about ... God chooses to NOT actively control everything, even though He could, because He wanted to give people real choices that come with real consequences?  How about He controls/causes some things but simply allows other things to happen, but will work all things together for good?  This is biblical.  But a Calvinist can't allow that, the idea that God doesn't actively control all things.  Because it doesn't fit their idea of "sovereign."  It always comes back to their idea of how they think a sovereign God MUST ACT in order to be the kind of sovereign God they think He is.)

"If you say there's one thing He doesn't control then you're saying there are things He can't control, and then you're calling Him powerless."  (No!  I'm saying there's things He chooses to not actively control even though He could if He wanted to.  And there's examples of this all throughout the Bible!)

"If you say that we can make choices then you're saying that there's something outside of God's control, that He's not fully sovereign."  (No, I'm saying that your definition of "sovereign" is wrong and unbiblical!)

"If you say that God doesn't elect certain people to save then you're saying that God has to choose to save everybody.  But clearly everybody isn't saved, so it must be that God chooses to save certain people."  (Very weak, pathetic attempt and bad reasoning.  And it's clearly based on the faulty assumption that God actively chooses whom to save: either everybody or only specific people!)

"If you disagree with Calvinism then you are disagreeing with God and the Bible."  (No!  I am disagreeing with your interpretation of the Bible.  Big difference!)

These are false dichotomies and false accusations - built on their own philosophical reasoning, NOT on Scripture - meant to lure you into accepting their way of thinking, their bad logic.  And it completely ignores what the Scriptures show about God's true, complex nature and the different ways He operates.

Bad Logic #8:  To make their "theology" fit with the Bible, Calvinists break many biblical concepts into two types.  Something NOT supported by the Bible.  Because, once again, this comes from their own philosophical reasoning.

Two Loves: Calvinism believes Calvi-god only really loves the "elect," which is why he saves them and only them.  But the Bible says God loves all people, right?  So how do they mesh this?  By saying God has two kinds of love - a "save your soul" love for the elect and a "give you food and water" love for the non-elect (before sending them to hell for eternity!).

Two Wills:  The Bible says that God wills that no one perishes, that He wants all people to be saved.  But Calvinists believe that God predestines most people for hell.  So how do they mesh these two?  By claiming that God has two wills: a "revealed" one, where He says He wants one thing to happen, and a "hidden" one, where He really wants the opposite to happen.  (They go by other names too.)  This is how Calvi-god can say one thing but cause the opposite thing to happen.  Because he's got two Wills, you see.  Two opposing Wills.  There!  Problem solved!  And "It's a mystery!  You can't understand how it all works, so just accept it, okay!"

Two Calls:  The Bible shows God calling all men to believe.  But Calvinists believe that the only people who can respond to God's calls are the "elect," those whom God predestined to believe and causes to believe.  So then, how do they mesh that with the fact that God "calls" to all?  Well, with two different calls, of course.  

There's a special, irresistible call for the elect that Calvi-Holy-Spirit causes them to respond to, and a "call" for the non-elect that they can never respond to because they are predestined to hell.  BUT the fact that they were "called" and that they rejected the call makes them punishable (even though they could never respond to the call anyway).  And it makes Calvi-god appear righteous for punishing them for rejecting him, which apparently was why Calvi-god “called” them in the first place (so that they would reject the call, so that he could have a reason to send them to hell, even though that’s what he predestined for them from the beginning anyway for no reason at all).  

Oh, and Calvi-god also did it so that he could “show off” his holiness, justice, and love.  He needed sinners so that he could have people to punish in order to show off how holy he is, how seriously he takes sin, how just he is in punishing sin, and in order to show the elect how loved they are, compared to the non-elect!  It’s frickin’ lunacy!

And you know what?  They say that God shows off His justice by predestining people for hell.  But you know what God says about how He shows off His justice?  By sending Jesus to the cross to pay for our sins.  (Romans 3:25-26)  

Seriously, they do say that God needed sin and sinners in order to fully display all of His attributes, like His wrath and justice, etc.  So then, I'm just wondering, how incomplete was God all that time before humans came along?  If He "needed" sin and sinners so that He could display all of His "God-ness" then He must have been severely lacking before we came along.  In fact, He couldn't really have been fully "God" before we came along then, could He?  

Calvinism acts like it shrinks people and elevates God, but what it really does in so many subtle ways is shrink God and elevate humans.  (Calvinists: "Look how humble I am to accept such difficult teachings that I can't understand and don't like!")

My ex-pastor (a dogmatic Calvinist) has a grown son who is a missionary to Muslim nations and who is a dogmatic Calvinist too.  (Big surprise, huh.  I'll call him "Bob."  Bob is creepy when he preaches!  He seems all about intimidating the audience and strong-arming them into siding with him, staring them down and pointing his finger at them, basically warning us that we should NEVER question [his dad's view of] God's sovereignty.  Like some sort of a domineering power-play.)

Bob once wrote a post on the church blog where he wondered why God (Calvi-god) would deliberately blind people from knowing the truth, from finding God and salvation.  He was contemplating this after an encounter with a Muslim man who just wouldn't listen to or accept anything Bob told him about the Gospel.  (It's clear that Bob assumes - due to his Calvinist upbringing - that God is responsible for this man's blindness, that it couldn't possibly be because of the man himself.  And I bet Bob never stopped to wonder if maybe the man doesn't believe him because of the Calvinist garbage he's preaching.  I wouldn't accept that stuff either.)

Anyway, on the church blog, Bob contemplated why Calvi-god (I have to call him "Calvi-god" because he is NOT the God of the Bible!) deliberately blinds some people.  And his conclusion is this (paraphrased):

Calvi-god's highest goal is to be worshipped.  But worship is impossible without a love-relationship.  And since the greatest commandment is "Love the Lord your God," then this must be Calvi-god's greatest commandment for himself too, to love himself.  

Therefore, says Bob, Calvi-god's greatest concern isn't our salvation; it's his self-love and self-worship.  (Bob makes the classic Calvinist assumption of, paraphrased, "If God was really concerned with our salvation, then we'd surely all be saved.  But since we are not, it shows that our salvation isn't a top goal of his.")  So Calvi-god doesn't really care about our salvation; he really just wants to be known and to be worshipped.  (However, if God's greatest goal is to be known and worshipped, isn't "blinding people" and "causing them to reject Him" the very opposite of that!?!)

So because of Calvi-god's self-love, he wants to worship himself for all of eternity.  And this is why he blinds some people and hardens their hearts - so that he can send them to hell for their sins so that he can eternally worship himself for his strong sense of justice against sin.  But he saves some people (the super-special elect!) so that he can eternally worship himself for his sense of love and goodness.  And we should all be singing his praises because of how great he is!!!

It's sick.  It really is.  To turn "God causes sin and unbelief, but then punishes us for the sin and unbelief that He causes" into the reason to praise God, into something that makes Him more just, more loving, more holy, righteous, and glorious.  To squash any opposition to this with "Well, God can do whatever He wants because it's all about His self-love and self-worship and self-glorification.  And you'd better just accept it!"  

Turning evil into good!  It's satanic.  And there are no verses to support this garbage.  (He calls this stuff "his reflections."  And you know what?  That's exactly what it is - his reflections.  Because it's not in the Bible!)

What a horrible assault this is on the character of the God of the Bible!  And how satanic to make it sound like it's all for God's glory!

Two types of sinner:  The Bible says that Jesus died for sinners (Romans 5:8), for the unrighteous (1 Peter 3:18), that God loved us and Jesus died for us while we were ungodly and His enemies (Romans 5:6, 10).

Now, most of us would read this to mean that we are all sinners, unrighteous, and enemies of God at first, but that Jesus died for us all.  Because He died for sinners.  And all of us are sinners.

But Calvinists believe that Jesus died only for the elect.  (And how good Christians can get sucked into Calvinism after hearing this I'll never understand!)  So if Calvinism is true, then either the elect alone are "sinners, unrighteous, ungodly enemies of God" … or there has to be two different types of sinners (the “sinning, unrighteous, ungodly enemies” that Jesus died for and the “sinning, unrighteous, ungodly enemies” that Jesus didn't die for).  But does this sound like what the Bible's saying when it talks about sinners?  Seriously!?!

Two Sources of Sin:  Calvinists believe that God causes/controls all things - ALL THINGS, which includes sin - but they know they can't accuse God of sin, so they have to make it sound like man is really responsible for his sin even though Calvi-god controls all that we think and do.  And how do they do this?  With two sources of sin!  Two sources of causation!

To them, God is the ultimate source of everything that happens, ordaining from the very beginning everything we think and do ... but down here, we are the secondary source, the ones who "choose" to carry out our desires and actions, our sins.  Much like a robot carries out the commands that the programmer programmed it to do.

However, unlike a robot, they say that if we sin it's because we wanted to sin, according to our desires (irresistible desires that came with the sin-nature Calvi-god gave us!), and so we are really responsible for our sin, and so we deserve the punishment we get.  And they think this gets Calvi-god off the hook for being the ultimate cause/programmer of sin, that it makes man responsible for his sin, even though Calvi-god preprogrammed him to do it and he could never choose to do anything differently.

[Here's something you need to know about Calvinism, for when you ask them "If God predestines everything, then can the non-elect choose not to sin?  Can they choose to believe and obey?" and they answer with "Well, of course.  If they wanted to, they could choose to not sin or choose to believe!":

What they're really saying by "if they wanted to" is "if they could want to, but they will never want to, because they have the 'sinner nature,' and the 'sinner nature' will always only want to sin and always only choose to sin and to reject God."

As I pointed out earlier, they believe that Calvi-god determines the nature we get, that he chooses whom to give the "saved" nature to and whom to give the "sinner" nature to.  

(Or, to better hide Calvi-god's role in causing sin, they'll say that Calvi-god doesn't "give" the sinner nature to anyone but that he simply leaves them as the sinners they start out as, refusing to give them the "saved" nature.  This way, they can say “See, God doesn’t force anyone to be a sinner.”  Yeah, Calvi-god just leaves them the sinner they started out as, refusing to turn them into a repentant person.  But either way, this is still Calvi-god determining who's a sinner and who's not.)

And, as I said, according to them, the "sinner nature" comes only with the desire to sin and to reject God.  And so those who get the "sinner nature" will always only want to sin and always only choose to sin.  But, says the Calvinist, because they "wanted" and "chose" to sin (even though that's all their "sinner nature" could choose), they are accountable for their sin.  Not Calvi-god!

A Calvinist's desperate, convoluted attempt to get Calvi-god off the hook for causing people to be sinning unbelievers, hiding it under layers and layers of deceptive nonsense!  If this doesn't make you angry, then you don't really understand what's at stake!]

If you have to break many biblical concepts into two different types (whereas the Bible doesn’t) in order to make your theology fit with Scripture, then your theology is WRONG!

Bad Logic #9:  Calvinists love to change "God causes all things to work together for good" to "God causes all things."  Big difference!  To work all things together means to take whatever happens and turn it into good and work it into His plans.

When I looked up "works" in the concordance online, I see that it means "to be active, efficient."  To be active in working things together.  To be efficient in using circumstances for good.  NOT "determining or causing what happens."

Why would God need to "work all things together for good" if He “causes all things to be just the way He wanted/planned” to begin with?


And it's changing the meaning of the verse.  And this has huge implications when it comes to who we think is responsible for sin and when it comes to our view of God's character and our responsibilities.

Bad Logic #10:  Calvinism also tricks and traps people with "negative inferences" about what a verse says.  (Kevin from Beyond the Fundamentals goes over this.  See "Calvinist Tactics Exposed" - a must watch video! - for an excellent look at how Calvinists go wrong and how they mislead people.)

Calvinists read a verse like (hypothetical example) "God loves those who obey."  And then they make a negative inference, inferring that the opposite must also be true, that if God says He loves the obedient then it MUST MEAN He doesn't love the disobedient.

They read a verse that says something like (hypothetical example) "Jesus came to save those who believe," and then they assume it MUST MEAN that Jesus ONLY came to save believers.  And since they define believers as "the elect," those predestined by Calvi-god for salvation, they say that Jesus came to save only the elect and that salvation isn't available to anyone else.  Calvi-Jesus died only for the elect.

But is that what the verse says?  If I tell you that I went to the store and bought carrots does that necessarily mean that I ONLY bought carrots?  That I didn't also buy potatoes?  Does saying "I love chocolate ice cream" necessarily mean that I hate vanilla ice cream?

But Calvinists assume certain things MUST BE true based on what they think the verse is implying about something it doesn't say.  And this is a dangerous way to formulate your theology.

(And can you see how easy it is to manipulate people about what verses are saying?  Sometimes all they have to do is tell you how they read it and then - abracadabra - suddenly you see it that way too, even though you never read it that way before.)

When Calvinists tell you what a verse means, you always have to ask yourself "Is that what the verse is really, clearly saying?  Or is it an inference?"

Bad Logic #11:  To explain how the "God wants all men to be saved, He doesn't want anyone to perish" verses fit with their idea of God predestining people for hell, they'll say "God doesn't always get what He wants.  He can want things to happen, but this doesn't mean He has to cause them to happen.  Such as God can want all people to be saved, but not cause all people to be saved.  And even if He predestines people to hell, He’s still sad about it.  He didn’t want it to happen."

The thing is, this is fine logic (except for the “He predestined it but is still sad about it” nonsense).  It's true that God doesn't always cause the things He wants to happen.  He wants all people to be saved, but He doesn't cause all people to be saved.

That is true!

But that's not what's going on here with Calvinism's belief about God predestining people for hell.  In their example and theology, it's not just that God doesn't force what He wants; it's that He actively causes the opposite of what He says He wants.  This is totally different!

The God of the Bible wants all people to be saved and doesn't want anyone to perish.  But He doesn't force all people to be saved.  He lets us choose.

But Calvi-god says that he wants all people to be saved … but then he causes the opposite to happen, deliberately predestining most people to hell.  This is a whole different thing than just "not forcing what you want."  It's "causing the opposite of what you 'want' because you really want the opposite of what you said you want."  Illogical and contradictory.

I can say that I want my husband to fix a broken chair, and yet not force him to.  Logical.

But I can't say that I want him to fix a broken chair and then force him to hold an ax and chop the chair up into tiny shards of wood.  Illogical and contradictory!

But this is what Calvinism does with the Gospel and God's character.  It turns it into illogical, contradictory nonsense, but it hides it under layers of logical, biblical-sounding truths.  It's "bait and switch," presenting you with a logical, biblical idea that you agree with but then slipping in their incorrect garbage.  But you aren't aware of it.  All you are aware of is the logical, biblical truth you first agreed to, making everything else they say seem logical and biblical to you.

(And if it doesn't, you simply figure there must be something wrong with you.  Not with them or their theology.  And to get you to do this – to think there’s something wrong with you, and not Calvinism – they’ll say things like “I know this stuff about predestination and God’s 'sovereign' control over all and how He can ordain sin but still hold us accountable for it is hard to understand.  Most people have trouble understanding all this stuff.  But just give it time.  You have to humbly accept it in faith because it’s what the Bible says.  And even if you can’t understand it and don’t like it, God can be trusted.  He knows how it all works together, and that’s all that matters.”  You see how they spin it from the very beginning to make it about your inability to understand it or about your feelings of not liking it, never considering that the real problem is that there might be something wrong with their theology.  And if you “just give it time” – when you mature in the faith and put “what the Bible says” over your own feelings – then you’ll accept it, like a good, humble Christian.  Yes, this stuff would be good advice … if Calvinism was true.  But since it’s not, all of this stuff is just manipulation!)

If it's for Calvi-god's glory and pleasure that he predestines people to hell, then he really does want people in hell.  And so he is lying when he says he wants all to be saved, that he wants none to perish.

(Just wondering … but if predestining people for hell is what Calvi-god decided to do because it supposedly brings him the most glory, why say he "wants" all people to be saved if that would bring him less glory?  How could he desire something that would bring him less glory?  Calvinists will be the first to tell you that Calvi-god is all about his glory, and almost nothing else.  So why not just boldly proclaim then that predestining people to hell is Calvi-god-glorifying and it's what he really wants!  After all, Calvi-god cares only about himself and his glory, so why should he care about our feelings, how we view him or if we like him or if we think he’s fair, trustworthy, loving, just, etc.?)

Bad Logic #12:  People ask Calvinists "How can God call all people to repent and to believe in Him if He predestines most people to hell, knowing that they can NEVER repent or believe in Him because He won't cause them to?  How can He call us to do things He knows we can’t do?"

To trap people with this one, they will say "Well, God calls us to be holy too, knowing that we can never reach holiness."

Yes, it's true that He calls us to be holy knowing we can never actually be holy, but that is the goal we are aiming for, that we can and should aim for, constantly pursuing holiness, even if we fall short.

But Calvinist predestination is a whole different ballgame!  Once again, it's Calvi-god calling people to repent and believe, but then actively preventing them from repenting and believing, creating them from the very beginning to be unrepentant non-believers who can NEVER repent or believe because he made it impossible for them, because Calvi-Jesus never even died for them.

Calvinism is Calvi-god calling people to be holy but then causing them to be unholy!  Totally backwards!

I can command my kids to clean their room thoroughly, putting everything away and cleaning every nook and cranny, knowing that they never can clean perfectly because they can't suck up the dirt that's trapped under the carpet or find a place for all their toys because they have too many toys and not enough storage space.  But I challenge them to try, to keep working towards it as best they can.

But Calvinism would be like me commanding them to clean their room perfectly while I lock the door so that they can't even get into their rooms.  And then I punish them for not cleaning their room!  Illogical and contradictory!

Calvinism isn't just "we can't do what God commands perfectly."  It's "Calvi-god actively prevents us from doing what he commands, he causes us to do the opposite of what he commands, and then he punishes us for it."  Huge difference!

They also like to use the example of 10 murderers on death row, and God walks into the room, points to one of the men, and says "I'll spare this person."  And He saves that one person but leaves the other 9 to face the fate they deserve.

They'll say "Is it wrong or unfair of God to choose to spare some people but to let others face their fate?  Can He not choose to spare some people in His gracious love, but allow others, in His justice and wrath, to face the punishment they deserve for their sins?  After all, we all deserve hell.  He didn't have to save anyone.  So the fact that He chose to save anyone - when we all deserve death - shows how gracious He is."  (If you bring up “How can God send people to hell for the things He predestined, never giving them a chance,” they’ll switch it to “Let’s look instead at how great God is for saving anyone at all!”)

But ... that's not what's happening here in Calvi-land!

Calvi-god isn't stepping in and graciously rescuing sinners who brought their own consequences on themselves.  In Calvi-land, Calvi-god first created those 10 men to be murderers.  He caused those men to conceive of the murders and to commit the murders.  And they never had a choice to do anything differently!  And that’s why they are on death row to begin with.

And so Calvi-god stepping in to save one of them isn't gracious, not when he's the very cause and reason they are all there in the first place.  Not when they were never really responsible for their crimes, when they never had a choice.  (Yet Calvinists, as I said, find all sorts of ways to get their precious Calvi-god off the hook for sin.  But it's always contradictory garbage!)

Nonsense and hogwash!

Do not let them trap you with their examples.  The examples are usually good examples with some logical truth in them.  But it's not representative of what Calvinism is really saying!  Always examine their examples and "reasoning" for the things that are inconsistent with their theology.  Always!

Bad Logic #13:  I don't get this one, but Calvinists assume that if free-will was real (and it is!), then we would all want and choose the same things if given the same options.

"And so," they say, "if all people really had the choice between choosing eternal life or choosing eternal death, all people would obviously choose eternal life.  No one would willingly choose eternal death.  So therefore, since all people don’t choose eternal life in Jesus, this proves that we don't really have a choice about it.  Because if we did, we'd all choose eternal life."

And they use this strange, philosophical reasoning to accuse non-Calvinists of boasting, as if non-Calvinists think there must be something innately “better" or "smarter" about them that would make them "choose Jesus" whereas others don’t.  They say “Are you saying there’s something better about you that makes you more capable of choosing Jesus than those who don’t?”

And I say, "Huh!?!"

So because there are people who don’t choose Jesus, it must mean that salvation is not a choice because if it was then all would inevitably choose Jesus!?!

To them, we are all exactly the same, and so if we had the same choices, we would all choose the same thing.  And so therefore since we don't all choose the same thing (some choose Jesus, some don't) then this must mean we don't really have a real choice about the matter.  Which must mean that Calvi-god makes the choice for us.

What a strange belief to have about humans and choices!  And even stranger to build your theology on it!

Bad Logic #14:  I read a quote from a Calvinist once where they said something like "We have to pray because there are some things God has determined to give us only when we pray for them."

Think about this one for just a moment.

A Calvinist believes that Calvi-god controls and causes everything that happens, down to our thoughts.  Everything that happens is his Will, which was predestined from before time began.  And nothing differently can happen than what he willed.

But ... your prayer makes a difference!?!  There are things Calvi-god willed for you that you won't get if you don't pray for them!?!

Do you hear how contradictory that is!?!

Of course, I can believe that prayer makes a difference because I believe that God responds to us, that we make real choices that have real consequences, that God is in control over everything (holding it all in His hands) but that He has chosen to not actively control everything, including our decisions and thoughts and actions, and that He works His Will out in cooperation with mankind, through our obedience and prayers.

So I can believe that our prayers matter and make a difference and that we won't get certain things if we don't pray for them and that God's Will doesn't always get done if we don't seek it, pray for it, obey in it, etc.

(To be clear, the things He Wills - His plans - will eventually get done through obedient people, but we can refuse to be part of it and we can choose to disobey.  We can miss out on it.  But He will eventually find someone else to be part of getting His Will done.  So His Will does get done, but it’s our choice to be part of it or not.  Our choices are ours, and they have a real effect on our lives, with real consequences.)

But a Calvinist cannot say that prayer makes a difference without contradicting their theology.  Because if God wills you to get something, you'll get it.  If He doesn't, you won't.  And if He wills you don't get something, no amount of prayer will change that.  If He wills you to get something, your lack of prayer won't change it.  In fact, if you don’t pray, it would have to be because Calvi-god willed that you don’t pray.  So how could he have something he wanted to give you if you had prayed when he is the very reason you didn’t pray?

Do you see what a tangled web this is?

If it’s all been predetermined from before time began and if everything that happens does so exactly the way that Calvi-god planned it and causes it to happen, then there is no “alternative, could-have-happened” plan.  Not in Calvinism.  Because then that would be Calvi-god making plans against his plans.

So then why this warning about the necessity of prayer?  From a Calvinist?

If a Calvinist believes that prayer makes a difference, they are essentially denying their view of God's sovereignty (that Calvi-god predestines, controls, causes everything that happens).  To say that his Will could fail to get done because of our failure to pray is a denial of Calvi-god's sovereign control and predestined Will.  To say that we affect what happens with our prayers is to say that we have some sort of influence over what happens, apart from Calvi-god's control/Will.  And this is a clear, horrible violation of Calvinism's fundamental beliefs.

"Oh, but God ordained that prayer is how we get the things He willed for us," they say.  Basically, that God preplanned that we would pray in order to get the things He willed for us.

Okay, but then why bother warning us of the need to pray if God's already predestined it?  As if we have a choice?  If it is certain to happen, regardless of what we think or do or our efforts to obey, then it will happen, regardless of what we think or do or our efforts to obey!

When a Calvinist - who believes everything's been predestined and that God controls all that happens - warns you of the need to pray, try replying like this, "So then what happens if I don't pray?"  And see what they say.

Honestly, the only answer they can give to be consistent with Calvinism is "Then I guess it's God's Will that you don't pray, for His glory and plans."

If they try to convince you of the need to pray, as if it has some effect on what happens, then they are contradicting their view of God’s “sovereignty” and of everything being predetermined by God.

(If a Calvinist preacher tells you that you need to tithe or join a small group or help in a ministry, wouldn’t it be fun to answer “I can’t.  God predestined that I wouldn’t do it, for His glory and for your good”?  And watch how they reply.  If a Calvinist complains about you questioning or disagreeing with Calvinism, simply tell them "God 'ordained' that I fight against Calvinism, for His glory and for your good.  I have no control over it."  And see how non-Calvinistic they can be!)

Bad Logic #15:  I've talked about this already, but in Calvinism, contradictions don't matter.  They will state clear contradictions, and then say "Oh, but we don't have to understand how it all works together.  We just have to accept that this is how things are.  And God can do whatever He wants because He is God."

ANY group that tells you to accept something without understanding it should be viewed as a cult!

Christianity itself is a reasonable faith that makes sense.  God is a reasonable God that makes sense.  The Bible is reasonable and makes sense.

That is, when you understand it all the way it really is.  The way it's supposed to be understood (as much as we can understand anything).

And the Bible tells us to know Scripture deeply, thoroughly, and accurately so that we can handle it properly and have real answers for real questions.

And yet Calvinism tells you "You don't have to understand it.  And you shouldn't look too deeply into these things because they are mysteries that belong to God.  So just believe what we tell you to believe."

It's a cult!  And the more I study it, the more I believe it.

Warning:  Never trust a quote from a Calvinist author or theologian that sounds like they are saying that we make choices or that all people can be saved or that Calvi-god doesn’t really cause sin, etc.  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 what he said about us obeying 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, when Calvi-god himself would be the one who decides if we believe in free-will or not?  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 (as in the planner/causer of it)!?!  Does he control everything or not!?!  Do we have free-will or not!?!

And this is exactly how Calvinists operate today!  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!")

Bad Logic #16:  In Calvinism, "accepting Jesus" is works.  They believe that God has to do everything for our salvation, even deciding who believes and who doesn't and causing the believers to believe, or else He's not really a "sovereign" God.  (Once again, it's all based on their faulty view of sovereignty.)

And so they believe that we cannot "accept Jesus as Lord and Savior" because "accepting" is an action we do which would be us working for our salvation, instead of it being all God's doing.  According to them.

And to get you to believe this, they accuse us - those who believe we decide whether to accept Jesus or not - of "taking credit for our salvation."  They mock us for acting like we "saved ourselves."

But this is just manipulation!  Getting you to feel ashamed of the idea that we can accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

The fact is, the Bible is full of calls to believe in Jesus (which mean nothing to a Calvinist because Calvi-god controls whether you believe or not) and to choose whom you will serve and to choose obedience, etc.

I think it's very wicked indeed to deny that people can choose Jesus as Lord and Savior when the very reason He came and died for us was so that we could choose Him as Lord and Savior!

And besides, if someone planted a tree, grew the tree, cut the tree down, sawed the tree into boards, made the boards into a beautiful bookcase, and painted it … and then they lovingly offered it to you because they wanted to do something special for you ... and you accepted it in thankfulness and gratitude ... would someone accuse you of "working for" that bookcase, of "trying to earn it," of "taking credit" for it?

No, of course not!  That would be ridiculous!  You are simply humbly and thankfully accepting a free gift that someone made for you.

So then why would Calvinists say that accepting all the work that Jesus did for us is "taking credit" for our salvation or "trying to earn it/work for it"?

Do you know why they do this?

Because of their faulty view of how "dead" we are (that we can't do anything at all unless God causes us to do it) and of God's "sovereignty" (that God isn't God unless He controls all things that happen).  And so if He doesn't control our thoughts, our decisions, our actions, whether we get saved or not, then He isn't God, according to Calvinists.  If we get to make any choices, then He isn't God!

They twist the whole Bible - what God clearly, plainly tells us in His Word and the examples of how He has chosen to act and how He responds to men, etc. - to fit their faulty view of His sovereignty.  They are so busy telling God how God has to act in order to be God that they fail to see how He tells us He is, as evident all throughout the Word.

And what damage it does to Truth and to His character and to our view of man's responsibilities!

Denying that we can choose Jesus as our Lord and Savior and making people feel ashamed for thinking that we can choose Jesus as our Lord and Savior will stop people from choosing Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Do you not see how satanically-brilliant this is!?!

Kevin from Beyond the Fundamentals (in “Calvinist Tactics Exposed”) points out that one problem with Calvinism is that they take a biblical idea and then they expand it or shrink it, beyond what Scripture says.  Such as, if it's good to say God is "sovereign" then they'll expand it to say God is so sovereign that He causes and controls everything, going beyond what Scripture shows about how God exercises His sovereignty.  And they convince you it honors and glorifies Him to see it this way.

Or if it's good to be humble, to be dependent on God, then they shrink humans so low to say that we are so helpless that we are dependent on Him for everything, even for the thoughts we think and the decisions we make.

But ... is it humble and God-glorifying to twist what the Bible says in order to fit your views?  To add secondary "secret" layers to verses to fit your views, contradicting what God clearly, plainly said?

Pay careful attention to the assumptions, presumptions, and misconceptions that Calvinists start with, that they build their whole theology on.  This, I believe, is the essence of Calvinism.  It's not a biblical theology.  It's a philosophical belief system built on their own ideas.  And then they find and twist Bible verses to "support" their views.

But if you look past all the twisted, out-of-context verses that supposedly "support" their views, you'll see that their theology is actually built on their own ideas of who God has to be in order to be God and how He has to act in order to be the kind of "sovereign" God they think He is, according to their definition of "sovereign".  (See also "Problems in John Calvin's Institutes ...".  A very, very long post.)

Bad Logic #17:  This is from a book review I did of someone who left their church over Calvinism too.  She was talking about Calvinism with one of the dogmatic Calvinist pastors at her church, when he asked a really stupid question.  And this is what I said in my book review about the question he asked:

[As I read about her experience with Calvinism taking over her church,] I was particularly struck by the nonsensical question the pastor asked:

"I want to ask you one last question," Joshua focuses on the issue of moral responsibility. "Why do you so strongly insist that ‘one must have a free choice in order to be morally responsible’?" (pg 144)

Oh my goodness … where do I start with this one!?!  Umm … let’s see … why do we believe that in order to be justly held accountable for our decisions, we have to have the right to make decisions?  Umm … DUH! … because it makes sense!  Because it’s logical!  Because it’s the only way it can be if God is a truly just God!

If we had no choice about sinning, if God caused us to make the choices we do but then held us accountable for them, punishing us for the things He caused … it would make God an unjust, irrational tyrant.  Not the loving, righteous, holy, just God of the Bible.

But Calvinism would rather have us accept the nonsense that we have no freedom to make choices, that God causes us to sin and to be unbelievers, but that it’s perfectly fine and just for Him to punish us for it anyway.

This is the kind of nonsensical thinking and irrational reasoning that Calvinists have!

Honestly, if I was Amanda [the author of the book I reviewed] standing there talking to Joshua, and he asked me that question, I would probably stare at him in absolute disbelief that he would think that we can be held morally accountable for our choices even if we never had the right to make choices, and I would have to say, "I can't talk to you anymore.  There's no point.  Not when you're choosing to be this stupid!"  And I would turn and walk away.  

Seriously, if they will adamantly cling to such irrational, illogical, nonsensical garbage then there is no point in trying to reason with them.  Not when they insist on clinging to an unreasonable theology!

Bad Logic #18:  I read a comment by a Calvinist once who said something basically exactly like this:  "God is love.  So everything He does is love.  When He causes (note "causes") natural disasters, abuse, murder, cancer, wars, and when He causes people to reject Him so that they go to hell ... it's all out of love.  Because He is love.  So we should see everything that happens as a sign of God's love."

Umm ... yeah ...

Would this comfort those burning in hell for eternity because of the unbelief God forced on them!?!  Oh, don't worry!  Don't be upset!  Take heart!  This happened because God is love, and He did this to you out of love!

Would this comfort someone abused as a child!?!  Oh, it's all okay.  You should be delighted because God caused that person to abuse you in order to show you how much He loves you!

What kind of a wretched god does Calvinism turn God into!?!

A mentally-deranged, psychopathic murderer might "love" his victims with a very sick kind of "love," even while he binds-and-gags them, tortures them, and then cuts them up into tiny pieces to preserve them in his refrigerator.

Would we call that love!?!  Yet we are supposed to consider it "loving" when Calvi-god "tortures his victims" with violence and abuse!?!  When he binds them in sin and unbelief and puts them in hell for it!?!  When he gags those he's predestined to hell, preventing them from calling on him, from wanting him!?!

What is the Bible's definition of love anyway?  Is it not laying down your life for your brothers?  Being a servant-leader?  Putting the good of others ahead of ourselves, helping them find the way, the truth, and the life, in order to save their souls?  Is this not the kind of love that Jesus came to demonstrate for us?

Yet Calvinism would dare say that God shows His love by causing sin and wickedness and rebellion, by causing people to be unbelievers so that they go to hell!?!

Oh my goodness, the damage they do to God's holy, righteous, loving character, accusing Him of the worst things while excusing it with some sort of frickin' nonsense like "It's all because of love!  It's all for His glory!"

Jesus came to save us from hell.  But Calvi-god is glorified by sending most people to hell.

Oh, don't get me started!  My blood is boiling!

Calvinists say: "Calvi-god is love, and therefore every disease, tragedy, and sin he causes, he does so out of love, and therefore we can trust him.... For Calvi-god so loved a few people - the elect - enough to save them, but the rest he sends to hell so that the elect can see how loved they really are, by comparison.... Calvi-god even loves those he predestined to hell.  It's just that he shows his love to them not by saving them but by giving them food and water while they are alive on earth, before sending them to hell for the sins he caused them to commit.  Now let's give Calvi-god some glory for being so wonderful, trustworthy, and loving!" 

But the Bible says:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."  (John 3:16 - His love is for all, and salvation is available for all.  But we have to choose to believe, to accept that gift.)

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  (Romans 5:8 - God's love does not send people to hell, nor only provide them with food and water while they are alive on earth.  God Himself tells us that His love sent Jesus to the cross for us, to die for the sins of all sinners, so that we could believe in Him.  God, out of love, seeks to save us, not destroy us.  Oh, what a twisted view of God Calvinists have!)

Bad Logic #19:  They say one thing but mean another.  They do this by presenting biblical truths but hiding how Calvinism really interprets it.  Or by simply presenting their own ideas, telling you it's biblical truth, but hiding the worst parts of it so that you don't see how wrong they really are.  Or they will tell you one thing but contradict it in the very next sentence, expecting you not to notice or question it.  (And I'm sure there are other ways too.)

Here's an example of "what they say vs. what they hide":

"God predetermined you to choose that which you desired to choose.  That which you did choose in the course of time was based on your desires at that time and was made without any prompting from God.  So, you were free to choose.  That God knew the choice you would make before you made that choice did not affect the freedom of your choice ..."  (Quote from a Calvinist in the comment section of a Soteriology 101 post)

(And I say: "Huh!?!  'You were free to choose.  That God knew the choice you would make before you made that choice did not affect the freedom of your choice' ... but ... 'God predetermined you to choose that which you desired to choose'!?!"  Nonsense and hogwash!)

But now let's see what a Calvinist should say if they are truly honest and not trying to disguise what they believe to make it sound more "free will" than it is:

"God predetermined you to choose that which you desired to choose.  (So God gave you the desires you have.)  That which you did choose in the course of time was based on your desires at that time (which are really not "your" desires because God fore-ordained everything about you - including your desires, choices, and eternal destiny - from before you were born) and was made without any prompting from God (which is a total lie because I just said that God "PRE-DETERMINED" what you would desire.  According to Calvinism, God creates our every impulse and thought so that we can think nothing that God hasn't put in our heads.  But I have to say "God doesn't prompt us" or else it will sound like I'm saying God prompts us to sin.  And so I'll just spin it to say that "God doesn't prompt us in the moment we sin, but He has predestined our desire to sin and what we will choose from before we were born."  God doesn't "cause" us to sin; He just causes us to have the "unrepentant sinner" nature and our desires to choose sin.).  So, you were free to choose (only that which God predestined you to desire to choose).  That God knew (I'll say "knew," even though I really mean "predetermined and caused," but if I said "predetermined and caused" then it would make God accountable for our evil choices) the choice you would make before you made that choice did not affect the freedom of your choice (even though you are only free to make the choices God predetermined you to make, according to the nature that God determined you would have)..."

Do you see how sneaky Calvinists can be, trying to say that God controls all that we do but that we - not He - are responsible for our choices?

You have to be so careful when listening to dogmatic Calvinists ... because they will always only give you half of half the picture, the part that we can all agree on.  And if you don't press them and challenge what they're saying, you'll be left thinking that their theology sounds pretty accurate and biblically-based.  (They are like pathological liars who only tell you the part of the story they want you to know so that you come to the conclusions they want you to have.  Do you know that old joke "How do you know a politician is lying?  His lips are moving."  Yeah, it's like that.  But the scary part is, they don't think they're lying.  They truly believe what they're saying.  They can so easily deceive others because they're so thoroughly deceived themselves.)

More examples of their contradictions and nonsense, for your information (some of it is review):

1.  Calvinists will say, "Of course God loves all people."  But what they believe but don't say is "But God loves the elect and the non-elect differently.  He shows love to the elect by saving them, and He shows love to the non-elect by caring for them while they are on earth."

2.  They'll say "Of course God calls all people to Him."  But what they believe but don't say is "God gives a general call to everyone that the non-elect can never respond to because God didn't give them the ability to respond to it, and He gave a special call to the elect that they are predestined to respond to."

3.  They'll say "Of course Jesus died for all and salvation is available to all."  But what they believe but don't say is "ALL of the elect, that is.  From ALL kinds of people groups.  Not ALL individual people everywhere."

4.  They'll say "Of course God wants all men to be saved and wills that no one perishes."  But what they believe but don't say is "But God has two wills, you see.  A revealed one where He said He wills that all men would be saved and that no one would perish.  But He also has a secondary 'secret' will (known by us Calvinists) where He has predestined that most men will be unsaved, for His glory and plans and pleasure."  (So God wills one thing but then actively causes the opposite!?!  Yep, makes perfect sense!)

5.  They'll say "Of course God commands everyone to repent" and "Of course God offers salvation to anyone who wants it."  But what they believe but don't say is "But only the elect will/can want salvation and repentance.  The non-elect will/can never want salvation or repentance.”

6.  They'll say "Of course I believe in evangelizing."  (However, some Calvinists don't, due to the fact that they believe God's already chosen who will believe, and there's nothing anyone can do to change it).  But what they believe but don't say is "I don't evangelize to tell others Jesus loves them enough to die for them (because Calvinists say He only died for the elect, and they don't know who the elect are) and I don't believe in challenging them to 'accept Jesus into their hearts' (because that would make it sound like we can 'choose' Jesus, and Calvinists don't believe we can do that).  But I do believe in evangelizing because God told us to, plain and simple.  And I believe God's greatest goal is to be famous among the people, and so I evangelize to spread His fame, not His love for people or His desire for a relationship with people or to call people to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior."

7.  They'll say "Of course our choices to sin are real, not forced by God.  They come from our desires, and so we can be held accountable for them."  But what they believe but don't say is "But we will only desire what God predestined us to desire.  And those who get the 'sinner nature' can only want to sin."

8.  They'll say "If people reject God, it's because they wanted to reject Him."  But what they believe but don't say is "But God determines the thoughts and desires a person has."

9.  They might even say "Of course God doesn't predestine people to hell."  But what they believe but don't say is "He just picks who goes to heaven, and so everyone else goes to hell by default."

[Or if they do admit that God predestines people to hell, and you ask "why?" ... they'll say "The question isn't 'why does God predestine anyone to hell'; it's 'why does He predestine anyone to heaven when we all deserve hell to begin with.'"

They will try to shift focus from the bad to the "good," so that you won't get distressed by thinking of God as a God who would deliberately create people for hell, giving them no chance for heaven.  And of course, since they are so sure that they themselves are elected, they don't have to give too much thought to the fate of the non-elected, not when it's so much easier to ignore it or sweep it under the rug - like those on the outside of concentration camps going about their business, acting like nothing is wrong, while the ovens and gas chambers continue to kill.

If they just ignore the fact that Calvi-god predestines people to hell, they don't have to deal with the uncomfortable questions that come up.  And of course, if more questions do come up, they simply resort to "Well, God can do whatever He wants because He is sovereign.  He is the Potter and we are the clay.  His ways are above our ways.  Who are we to talk back to Him anyway?"  (As if we can "talk back" to a God who supposedly controls everything we do, according to them!)

Does anyone else see anything wrong with a theology that covers up and brushes off the uncomfortable, difficult, very-important questions - the kind of questions that strike at the very heart of salvation, of our eternal souls, of the character of God, of what Jesus' death accomplished, etc.?  (That's a mighty big elephant under that rug!)  And then when that doesn't work, they try to shame you into not looking into these things too deeply, to convince you that it's unhumble to question their views and that you're dishonoring God.

Anyone else see anything wrong with this?]

Calvinism is convoluted, deceptive nonsense.  And it turns God into a wicked God - the cause of all our sins and then the unjust punisher of those He caused to sin.

Do not let their convoluted, deceptive nonsense trap you.  Their "logic" is completely illogical when compared to the Bible and who God really is.  Question everything they say and believe, figure out what they're really saying behind what they say, and find out what the Bible really says instead!

When your eyes are opened to the depth, completeness, and strategic sneakiness of Calvinism's deception, you'll understand why I call it "satanically brilliant".

And lastly, here are some comments (altered only slightly for clarity) from Calvinists and non-Calvinists from the comment section of Soteriology 101 posts (mostly from "Romans 8:29-30, or How Can We Trust God at His Word?"):

1.  A dogmatic Calvinist says:  "That God predetermined Adam to eat the fruit did not prevent Adam from freely accepting the fruit from Eve and eating it.  God did not have to coerce, force, or compel Adam to eat the fruit - he made the decision to eat the fruit and he ate the fruit.  That God knew all that Adam would do before Adam knew what he would do and determined all this by creating the universe did not mean that Adam did not act freely.  In the same way, God knows every decision that TS00 will make in the next 24 hours and TS00 will make those decisions freely for reasons unique to him."

[My note: Notice how he uses "God knows" to cover for "God predetermines and causes."]

TS00 (anti-Calvinist) replies:
How's this for one of [Calvinism's] twisted, illogical pretzels?

Of course God predetermining Adam to eat the fruit did not prevent Adam from eating the fruit.  What it did prevent was his "freely accepting the fruit" as he had no other choice than to do what was predetermined by Calvi-god.  The Calvinist can twist all he wants to, but no amount of tortured logic can negate that if God irresistibly predetermined something then no man ever has a 'free choice.'

"That God knew all that Adam would do before Adam knew what he would do ..."

This is an example not only of pretzel logic, but of the Calvinist sneaking in "mere permission" (as if Calvi-god only foreknew what Adam would do, and didn’t plan it and cause it), which, of course, is forbidden under the divine determinism of Calvinism.

Ya can't have it both ways - either God works by meticulous determinism and decreed whatsoever comes to pass, or he created human beings with genuine freedom, meaning that they have the ability to resist his will.  Which means he cannot have predetermined their desires and actions.  Which means all things are not predetermined, and men actually have the freedom to make genuine choices, not unavoidably carry out the secretly decreed plan of an irresistible outside power.

My reply (to a similar quote from the same Calvinist):
The Calvinist’s quote:  "Yet, in all that, God does not coerce, compel, or force, either Adam or Eve to eat the fruit.  They are able to act in line with their desires - desires unique to each one and not coerced, compelled, or forced on them by God."

Hmm ... he says that God "does not coerce, compel, or force" Adam and Eve to sin?  But that they are simply acting out their own desires, which are "not coerced, compelled, or forced on them by God" in any way?

So ... here he says that sinful desires are not put on people by God in any way, but let's see what comments he's made on other posts (emphasis is mine):

"God CONTROLS ALL THINGS because He is sovereign over His creation.  God ORIGINIATES ALL THINGS because He created in Genesis 1, God specified and enforced the penalty of Adam's sin, and God then CAUSES each person born to Adam TO HAVE A CORRUPTED HEART and to lack faith ... NOTHING originates outside of God and NOTHING is outside of God's control."

"That which originates people's thoughts, desires, actions is the sin nature combined with a lack of faith.  That condition WAS DETERMINED BY GOD and enforced when He creates each person."

"And God DETERMINES all outside AND INSIDE factors by creating the system in the first place."

"God MADE PEOPLE IMPERFECT, and people's imperfection produces false perceptions."

"God ... enforces the decree that all people are born with a sin nature and without faith."

"God predetermined you to choose that which you desired to choose."

"Had God not decreed it, Satan could not have entered the garden, Eve could not have been tempted to eat the fruit and would not have offered the fruit to Adam, and Adam would not have eaten the fruit.  IT ALL BEGINS WITH GOD'S DECREE."

"God CANNOT BE PASSIVE IN ANYTHING simply because He is God.  There is no difference between actively ordaining and actively permitting."

"It is God who creates man with a sin nature that desires nothing of God's plan."

Let's hear that again: "It is God who creates man with a sin nature that desires nothing of God's plan."

Let's hear that again: "It is God who creates man with a sin nature that desires nothing of God's plan."

"The corrupted nature of man dictates neurological impulses and guarantees the certainty of those impulses that God decreed.  People's desires come from their sin nature and their lack of faith."  [My note: It comes from the "sin nature" which, according to Calvinism, was predetermined by Calvi-god!]

"More simply, God gives people a sin nature and withholds faith from them."

My reply:  Oh, I get it now!  Calvi-god doesn't really give people their "sinful desires."  He just gives them the "sin nature" that is full of ONLY SINFUL DESIRES, that leads to them ONLY being able to "choose" sin, and that can NEVER lead to them choosing to do right unless Calvi-god causes it to happen.

Yep, this is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than Calvi-god “coercing, compelling, or forcing” people to sin!  I can see now how Calvi-god doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with people choosing to sin!

Calvi-god doesn’t “compel” them to sin; he just gives them the “sin nature” that can only always want to sin.

I get it now!  Totally gets Calvi-god off the hook for sin, doesn’t it!?!

Another non-Calvinist, Br.d., adds:
"In one place, that Calvinist says Calvin’s god ENFORCES his decree – and in another place says “yes” Calvin’s god’s decree is FORCE-LESS.

I think this can be stated as:

Calvin’s god uses a force that forces without forcing – by enforcing a decree which is force-less."

2.  The Calvinist says:  "Under Calvinism evil comes from the sinful nature of man that resulted from Adam's sin.  Evil actions are subordinate to God and always under God's authority and control.  Anything that happens (even the rape of a child, the hideous act of Hitler) could have been prevented had God wanted to do so, as God has the power and authority to do what He wants ... God's sovereign over all things, even evil things."

My (Heather's) note before I look at a reply:  Notice the truths that he stated here: that evil resulted from the Fall, that evil is subordinate to God and under His control, that God has the power to prevent bad things if He doesn't want them to happen, etc.  All of this is true.  But you must remember that in Calvinism, God isn't just "in control" over all things; He controls (causes) all things.  Therefore, those evil things (child rape, Hitler's actions) were not just allowed by Calvi-god (it's not just that he chose not to stop them); it's that he preplanned those events and caused them to happen just the way he planned, and nothing different could have happened.  Big, big difference!  But Calvinists will constantly try to hide their idea that "God controls/causes all things" in a cloak of "God allows things, He is 'in control' over all things."  But that's not what they believe!

TS00 (anti-Calvinist) replies:
“Under Calvinism evil comes from the sinful nature of man that resulted from Adam’s sin.”  (quote from the Calvinist)

This is such a silly, evasive statement.  More accurately, under Calvinism, ‘Evil comes from Calvi-god, who supposedly cursed men with a twisted nature that could do nothing but sin, as punishment for the sin of their father, which was determined by Calvi-god as well, presumably so he could have an excuse to introduce the ‘sin nature’.  This would cause endless sin and suffering, but, hey, it will all bring Calvi-god some kind of sick, twisted glory in the end, so what’s a few million people cast into eternal perdition?

Round and round the Calvinist goes, pretending like Adam’s sin was not predetemined, that the so-called ‘sin nature’ was not predetermined and forced upon man by Calvi-god and on and on.  If evil comes from the ‘sinful nature’, guess who came up with that little beauty (in Calvinism)?  It sure wasn’t Adam, who had no power to force anything upon his progeny, or to do anything that had not been decreed before he was created.

All this silly talk.  There are really only two possibilities: evil was God’s intentional plan or it wasn’t.

If God predetermines all things, evil came from him, was his idea, desire, will, etc. Period.

If God does not predetermine all things, but gave humans the freedom to make choices, then evil could arise, apart from God’s will (but not knowledge), upon the free choice of humans to rebel against God’s will.

Any talk of various ‘means’ is simply blowing smoke.  Either God deliberately came up with evil, or he allowed the possibility that free men might.  Which, no, is not the same thing.  One is deterministic and the other is that dratted ‘mere permission’ Calvin so despised.

It is futile to try and distance a deterministic Calvi-god from the sin of Adam, the curse of the sin nature, or ANYTHING that occurs within his meticulousy controlled creation.  Remember ‘whatsoever comes to pass’?  What lies outside of that?  Nothing, absolutely nothing.  It is time we stop letting Calvinists pretend otherwise.  If they don’t like God being the author of evil, they are going to have to step outside of their deterministic paradigm.

3.  The Calvinist says:  “How does God do this [getting people to 'choose' what He willed them to do]?  By giving a person a specific set of attributes and then putting that person into an environment to which those attributes react.  Our desires reflect the attributes God gave us interacting with the environment into which God placed us.  Even you harp on this but never attempt to dispute it as even you know it is true.  You know that you have attributes with which you were born and you inhabit an environment that you did not create.  Your attributes interacting with your environment determine your desires and your desires determine what you do.  Who decided all this – God did.  Everything you [do] is what you want to do.”

[My note:  Look at the great lengths they go to instead of simply saying "God controls all you do, and you have no choice about it."]

My reply to the Calvinist:
"Everything you [do] is what you want to do.”

This is so deceptive!  It’s worded in such a way to sound like people choose how they want to react to situations, that their behavior is affected by their personality and their environment and self-chosen desires, AS IF they really have a choice.

But Calvi-god doesn’t just give people “attributes,” as in personality characteristics which affect what we choose.

NO!  Calvi-god gives people the natures they have which determines what they will desire, which determines what they will choose.  And there’s only TWO possible natures Calvi-god can give you, either the “repentant, saved” nature which comes with the desire to do right or the “unrepentant sinner” nature which comes ONLY with the desire to ALWAYS do wrong.  Those who have been predestined to get the sinner-nature can ONLY ALWAYS want to sin, and so they will ONLY ALWAYS choose to sin.  Choosing to do right was NEVER an option for them because Calvi-god predetermined they would be unrepentant sinners.

And Calvinists act like this is actually “making real choices” … and “being responsible for your choices” …. simply because they say the sinner “wanted” to sin.  Calvinists talk like “doing right” is actually a real option for the sinner … that the sinner could have chosen to do right IF they had WANTED to do right.  But since they never wanted to do right, then their sin is on them.

But … once again … the sinner is only sinning because Calvi-god predestined them to have the sinner-nature which can ONLY want to sin and NEVER want to do right.

Some choice, huh!?!

Imagine we are all in a burning building that has two doors, one to safety and one to death.  And there’s a leader who walks around handing out instruction cards to each person, and we all HAVE TO follow whatever’s on the card we get.  Let’s even say that whatever is on our card dictates which desires we will have.  We will end up desiring to do whatever’s on our card, no matter what it is, simply because the leader gets to decide for us what we will desire.  Some people get the card that causes them to desire to be saved and that tells them which door leads to safety, and so they desire to be saved and walk through the door that leads to safety.  But everyone else gets the card that tells them they HAVE TO desire death and that they HAVE TO “choose” the door that leads to death … and so, big surprise, they walk through the door that leads to death because they “desired” to go through the door that leads to death.

And Calvinists will say that those who chose death are really responsible for their choice to die because they “wanted” death, totally ignoring the fact that the leader forced them, from the very beginning, to have the death-desiring nature that can only ever desire death.  They were never able to desire to be saved.  Because of Calvi-god!

It’s insane!

We don’t dispute that we are all born with attributes and born in environments that affect us.  We dispute the part where Calvi-god predetermines our natures for us (saved, which desires to do right … or sinner, which can only desire to do wrong), thereby boxing us in to only one set of desires and only one way of responding to our circumstances.

Stop acting like this is really “having a choice”!

It’s pathetic!  A desperate attempt to get Calvi-god off the hook for sin and to twist the Bible to fit Calvinism!

(And trying to get people to concede that we are born merely with attributes and an environment that affects us is an attempt to get us to agree with the “truth” layer that you wrap around the lies.  It’s bait-and-switch, reel in the people with a small layer of truth that can’t be denied to get them to bite onto and swallow whole the huge lie that’s underneath it all.)

It’s absolute nonsense to try to reason that Calvi-god is NOT responsible for sin, that the sinner is responsible for their own sin when NOT SINNING was NEVER an option for them because Calvi-god gave them the sinner-nature that can ONLY DESIRE TO SIN.

The depth of brainwashing and self-deception in Calvinism is astounding!  How they twist Scripture so completely to fit their theology so that Christians can’t see what’s wrong with it, and so that they actually defend it fiercely!

I agree with TS00 that it’s one of the most dangerous false theologies out there (I can’t remember exactly how you said it, though), simply because it has the appearance of being so biblically-sound to those who are not aware of what it really says.  (As infuriating as it is, I appreciate that Calvinists keep sharing their views on this blog.  It gives people more opportunity to see what’s wrong with Calvinism and how they hide what they really believe.)

The Calvinist's reply, somewhere in the comment section:  "That's the distinction between you and Calvinists.  Calvinists say that people do not have real choices; they can only do what they desire."

[My clarification:  And they can only desire, according to Calvinism, that which their Calvi-god-given nature tells them to desire.  

So remember this important point:  When Calvinists say that we do what we desire, they mean "We don't really make real and free choices; we just 'choose' what God causes us to desire to choose."  AND ... just as crucial ... they believe that God then punishes us for our "free, real choices" to sin, when He is the very cause of them, according to them.  

What does this say about the character of God!?!  About His trustworthiness, justice, goodness, etc.!?!  About the Gospel message and our chances for salvation!?!  About our own responsibilities as we live a life of faith!?!]

4.  A Calvinist says:  “What is impossible to explain – on the basis of free will – is why some will reject Christ when others, who are no different, accept Christ. If free will is valid, then one person accepting Christ should mean that all accept Christ as all are equally capable of understanding the gospel and their need for Christ.”

My reply  (First, notice how they think all people are the same and so they would all have to choose the same thing if free-will is real.  Yet, in "Comment #1," note that a different Calvinist says that in Calvinism - where Calvi-god controls us - we all have different desires, unique to us.  Interesting!  So having free-will means we would all make the exact same choices, but if free-will isn't real, then we all have different, unique desires!?!  Where do they get this garbage from!?!):

It’s impossible to explain why some people reject Christ and others accept Him!?!

Wow, that’s sad!  Do you really think people are all identical automatons or something?  That we’re all part of the Borg, and so if we don’t all do the same thing then something must have gone haywire?

Hmm … yeah … I guess it’s “impossible” to explain how people can make different “free-will” choices if one doesn’t really believe that free-will means we can make different choices.

If you misunderstand/misrepresent what free-will really is while acting like you are properly understanding/representing free-will then, yeah, it’s pretty “impossible” to explain how people can have the “free-will” to make different choices!

But this would explain why you conclude that if all people were capable of freely choosing to accept Christ, it must necessarily mean that all WOULD accept Christ.  Therefore, the Calvinist conclusion is that since all people don’t accept Christ then it must mean that all are not capable of accepting Christ.  Which therefore must mean that some people must have been predestined by Calvi-god to accept Christ and the rest were predestined to never be able to accept Him.  Which means there is really no such thing as true free-will.

All of this stems from the bizarre idea that having the free-will to accept Christ MUST MEAN that everybody WOULD accept Christ … because, apparently, “free-will” means that we would all do everything exactly the same because there is “no difference” between any of us.  Which actually would be the exact opposite of free-will.  Being locked into making only one choice is NOT free-will!

Oh my goodness, this is too funny!  It’s like if Lewis Carroll wrote an episode of The Twilight Zone!

The Calvinist replies to me:
"Do you really think people are all identical automatons or something?  That we’re all part of the Borg, and so if we don’t all do the same thing then something must have gone haywire?”

You are arguing that people are not the same and that some are more able to accept Christ while some are less able.  That goes against free will that says that every person has the same opportunity to accept Christ.  It’s a simple decision: eternal life vs eternal death.  We can easily understand why a person would choose eternal life, but why would a person choose eternal death.  That an illogical decision but free will conveys to people the ability to think logically.

[My note:  Notice how he accuses me of saying that those who accept Christ are "more able" to accept Him.  Notice how he says that having the same opportunity/ability to accept Him should mean that we all inevitably would accept Him.  (Therefore, since all don't accept Him then "free-will" can't be real, according to him.)

And I say "Huh!?!"

But it's not about ability; it's about if we want Jesus as Lord and Savior or not.  

If I bought apples for everyone in a room and put them on a table and told everyone that they can come take an apple if they want one, does this mean that all people will inevitably take one?  They all have the same opportunity/ability to take one.  But does "having the same opportunity" have to mean that they will all take one?  And if some don't, does it mean that they did not really all have the opportunity/ability to take one?  If some don't choose to accept my offer of an apple, does this mean that I didn't really give them a real choice?

Calvinists believe that if all people really did have the free-will to choose Jesus, then all would have to choose Jesus.  But how is that "free-will"?  How can "all people are forced to make the same decision and only that decision" be considered "free-will"?

It's the opposite of free-will!  But they call it free-will and then say "See, so free-will can't be real because all people did not accept Jesus."

Once again, "Huh!?!"

It's nonsense!

We all have the ability to accept Jesus because all our sins have been paid for and the offer of salvation is given to all.  This doesn't mean we will all have the same amount of ease in finding Jesus, based on how we grew up and the influences around us.  But that doesn't change the fact that the offer is available to all, and that if you really want to find God, He will help you.

But a Calvinist thinks that since all don't choose Jesus when choosing Jesus is obviously the "best choice," then it must mean there is no such thing as free will.  Because, they believe, no one in their right mind would willingly choose eternal death.  (It's not that they necessarily 'choose death'; it's that they refuse to make Jesus their Lord, which comes with the consequence of eternal death.)  Do you see how Calvinists base their theology on their own philosophizing and ideas?]

5.  A Calvinist says:  
“That being said why would anyone trust in God who isn’t in control of all things that come to pass, the only way to have unreserved faith without doubt is to pray, hope and believe in God who is on the throne.”

[My note:  Of course, all Christians believe that God is on the throne.  But what he means - what Calvinists mean - is "Why would anyone trust a God who isn't actively controlling all things?"  Like Calvinist James White basically said in this clip, we supposedly can trust and have faith only if we know that God is controlling all those evil things, such as child rape.  But if they happen without God causing them, then they are supposedly meaningless evils and we would be left in despair knowing that meaningless evils can happen outside of God's "control."

Umm ... yeah ... so instead it's SO MUCH BETTER to believe that we have a God who actively causes us to sin in ways He forbids and that He punishes us for those sins He causes than to think that He simply allows people to make their own bad choices!?!  And that's the kind of God we are supposed to trust, love, and want to spend eternity with!?!  Frickin' insane!

Calvinism: "I know there's horrible abuses going on this world and murders and evil, but at least you can take comfort in knowing that God caused them to happen.  But that He'll punish them for it.  We don’t have to understand it or like it; we just have to accept it.  Now, let's praise Him for His goodness and faithfulness, and let’s go out there and try to be more like Him!"

Not to mention that, ironically, in Calvinism, the only way a person can have "unreserved faith without doubt" is if God causes them to have it.  In Calvinism, nothing we do can affect the level or kind of faith we have - or even whether or not we have faith to begin with - because only God decides and controls that.  If we have doubts or weak faith, it's because God causes us to have doubts and weak faith, and there's nothing we can do about it.  If we fail to pray, it's because God preplanned and caused it.  Calvinism shoots itself in the foot, negating or compromising every instruction or bit of advice it gives.]

My reply:
I would say “How can anyone trust Calvi-god when he lies about what his true will is, causes people to sin and to do the opposite of what he commands, gives some people evanescent grace (fake salvation) so that he can more strongly damn them to hell, pretends to offer salvation to all and to give us a choice about it but then denies most people the chance to be saved, makes it sound like Jesus’s death paid for all sins when Calvi-Jesus really just died for a few people, tells us to seek him and believe in him when he knows we can’t seek him or believe in him unless he causes us to, creates most people specifically for hell because it somehow highlights his justice, grace, and love, etc.?”

If that’s God “in control,” I’d hate to see God out of control!

The problem is not with God and His sovereignty.  The problem is with the Calvinist view of God’s control, of His sovereignty.  The Calvinist assumes that in order for God to be in control, He has to always be controlling/causing everything all the time.  Or else He’s not God, according to their ideas of how God should be.

But it’s they who put their own presuppositions on God, who box Him in to how they think He has to be in order to be God.

But the Bible shows us a God who is “in control” and sovereign in a very different way.  The God of the Bible has chosen to work in cooperation with mankind in various ways.  He has chosen to give us real choices and to work our real decisions into His plans.  He sometimes causes things to happen and sometimes simply allows things to happen, but He is over and above it all, knowing how to work all things (even our choices, our self-chosen obedience or disobedience) into His plans.

Calvi-god is a small, weak god who can’t handle any other factors than what he himself causes.  But the God of the Bible is a very BIG, wise God who can work all things together for good, even things He doesn’t cause, the things He allows us to do.

6.  A Calvinist says:
"In the absence of faith, any exhortation to believe the Gospel would be fruitless.  In the presence of faith, the preaching of the Gospel results in salvation."

[My note: Calvinism teaches that the "elect" can only respond to the Gospel because God first gives them the faith to believe, that the Holy Spirit indwells them before they hear the Gospel in order to wake them up to spiritual things so that they can understand the Gospel, and all because they were "chosen" for salvation before time began.  Therefore, faith and "being saved" and getting the Holy Spirit all come before hearing and responding to the Gospel.  But then Calvinists will try to say that the Gospel is necessary for and leads to faith and salvation.  Think about this for a moment.  Seriously.]

Someone (Aiden) then asks him:  "If faith in the gospel can only come by hearing the gospel, how pray tell, do you [Calvinists] have faith coming before a person even hears the gospel?"

My reply to the Calvinist:  
"The Calvinist said: 'In the absence of faith, any exhortation to believe the gospel would be fruitless. In the presence of faith, the preaching of the gospel results in salvation.'

Interesting!  Because Calvinists believe that faith is given to elected people because they were predestined to be saved before time began.  Election/salvation came first.

So basically, the elect are saved first, but then they are supposedly given faith to believe the Gospel so that they can be saved!?!  Even though they were already counted as saved before time began!?!

Yep, that totally makes sense!

So then, what good is the Gospel?  If the non-elect CANNOT respond to it because they aren’t given the faith to believe and if the elect have the faith to believe only because they were already saved before they ever heard the Gospel?  

[My note:  They will have ways to try to weasel out of this conundrum, to try to make it sound logical.  But all it does is muddy the waters and make your head spin until you give up and fall in line with them.

But they can't get away from the fact that, according to their own theology, faith (given to the elect from Calvi-god) is required first, in order to understand and respond to the Gospel.

The "elect" are supposedly chosen/saved first, then given the faith to understand the Gospel when the Holy Spirit wakes them up and indwells them (regenerates them), and only then can they understand the Gospel and respond to it.

So then, what good is the Gospel in leading people to faith and bringing about salvation if the "elected" person was already given faith and already saved before hearing the Gospel?  (FYI: Calvinists totally misunderstand who the "elect" are, and it screws up their theology from the very beginning.)

(Also, to further complicate it, this Calvinist has also said that all people, even the elect, are born as reprobates.  So ... the elect are saved in eternity past, then they lose their salvation at birth so that they can be born as reprobates, then they are given the faith to believe the Gospel, then they hear the Gospel, and then they believe and become "saved" again!?!  Interesting.)

But then, Calvinists go and talk like "The Gospel is crucial because it's how people get saved.  People come to faith through hearing the Gospel," even though they say that faith was required beforehand, to be able to understand and respond to the Gospel.  

It's nonsense.  

It's a satanically-brilliant way to make it sound like you are upholding the importance of the Gospel while actually making the Gospel completely unneccessary and ineffectual!  

And it's satanically-brilliant to put the responsibility for our faith/belief on someone else (on God), instead of on us.  I mean, seriously, think about the implications of this!  Think about the consequences of believing that faith just happens to you, that you don't have to do anything about it.  That you can't and shouldn't do anything about it.  It's brilliant!  Especially when they convince you that you are honoring God and His sovereignty by believing this garbage!

But they will try to trap you with things like "It takes faith to believe in spiritual things, doesn't it?  Faith is a spiritual thing, and we are born dead to spiritual things.  So how can we create faith in ourselves?  Do you think you can save yourself?  Are you taking credit for your salvation?  Faith has to come from God.  And He only gives it to those He's chosen to save because faith means nothing to those on their way to hell, to those who will never believe.  They don't believe because God never gave them the faith to understand spiritual things.  Because if God wanted them to believe, they would.  Etc."

And they'll try to make it sound like they believe that "everyone has the chance to hear/respond to the Gospel."  But what they really believe is that the only ones who can respond to the Gospel are the elected ones to whom God gives the faith to believe.  Everyone else is out of luck.

Here's is the muddled reasoning of one Calvinist commenter, taken from various comments of his [with my notes in brackets]:

"Calvinists conclude that no one can have faith until they hear the word of God (primarily the gospel) ... God saves us by the gospel ... We get faith by hearing the gospel and then exercise that faith to respond to the gospel."

[Okay, so it sounds fine so far, like he believes the Gospel is crucial to leading people to faith in God, that we come to faith by hearing the Gospel and choosing to believe because of it, and that we have some sort of influence over "exercising" our faith.  But then in different comments ...]

... "A person must be born again (regenerated) in order to see and enter the kingdom of heaven.  When a person is enabled [by Calvi-god, who regenerates them and gives them faith!] to see and enter the kingdom of God, he then is able to hear the gospel, the good news about the kingdom."  

[So first he says that "we get faith by hearing the Gospel," but now he says that we get faith in order to hear the Gospel.  See how they change "people are saved when they hear the Gospel and put their faith in it" into "you can only hear the Gospel if Calvi-god first enables you to, by giving you faith before you can hear/respond to/believe in the Gospel."  

And so I ask, how necessary is the Gospel if the elect are given faith (saved, regenerated, filled with the Spirit) before they can even understand the Gospel ... if they have to be given faith in order to understand the Gospel and respond to it ... and if the only ones who can respond to it are the elect, those prechosen for salvation and apparently "saved" before they ever heard the Gospel?]  

And then he goes on to say ... 

... "Not everyone who physically hears the gospel preached responds to that gospel in faith.  [Of course not everyone responds, but what they really mean is not everyone is able to respond.]  Why not?  Because faith is a gift of God and God chooses (or elects) those to whom He gives faith."  

[And so there you have it!  Calvi-god decides whom to give faith to and whom to withhold it from, and only those who get faith can hear/respond to the Gospel!  (Never listen to the first layer of what Calvinists say.  The things that sound clear-cut and scriptural.  There is always a deeper layer that muddies up and contradicts the clear-cut, scriptural layer.)   

And yet, even though only the elect are given the ability (faith) to respond to the Gospel, Calvinists will still try to act like the Gospel and salvation is legitimately offered to all people, as if Calvinism believes that all people could respond to it.  

And how do they try to rationalize this?  By saying that all people really could respond to it, if they wanted to.  But of course, the non-elect won't want to and can't want to ... because Calvi-god gave them the "sinner/unrepentant nature" that can only want to sin and rebel against him.  It's like a magic spell in a fairy tale that causes a person to "desire" to do something.  But because they "desired" to sin/reject the Gospel (even though they could ONLY want to sin/reject), Calvinists say that the unelected person "deserves" the punishment they get.  

Some choice, huh!?!  Being forced to desire only one thing, then getting punished for choosing to do that one thing, and then having people try to convince you that you deserved your punishment because you "wanted" to do that one thing, even though you were created to only want that one thing.  Oh, don't get me started!!!]

If they can trap you into their idea of faith and where it comes from and how we get it and when we get it and who gets it, then you are lost already.

But they are simply philosophizing about faith.  About what it is and about how, when, and who.  (And for those who want to say, "But doesn't Ephesians 2:8-9 say that faith is a gift that God gives us?", read this.)

But the Bible (and the concordance) shows us that faith is the conviction of truth.  It's believing that something is true and choosing to put our trust in it.  It's not something that God plants in us, like some sort of computer chip that causes us to think and do certain things.  It's an act of the will, being convicted that something is true and choosing to commit to it.

Just wondering, but if faith is given by God only to the elect (who are saved because God gave them the faith to believe in Him), why would believers be told to "Stand firm in the faith" (1 Corinthians 16:13), if we have no control over the faith we have, according to Calvinists?  This word is the same Greek word used in other "faith" verses in the New Testament.  So if Calvinism is right and we have no control over having faith or not, why would this verse make it sound like we do?

Contrary to Calvinism, the Bible doesn't say that we are saved before we believe or that we are saved because God forced faith on us.  It says that we are saved when we choose to believe that the Word is true and to commit to it.

"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 21:31)

Why tell us that we need to believe in Jesus to be saved if God has predestined who will be saved before we ever had the chance to hear about Jesus?  If it doesn't matter what we think or do because it's all been predestined for us anyway?

And biblically, the Holy Spirit comes to us after we believe, not before in order to make us believers.

"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 ..."  (Ephesians 1:13.  Question: How can anyone "also be included" after hearing/believing the truth, if all the elect are chosen for salvation at the same time, before time began?  And does this sound like the Holy Spirit comes to people first, in order to cause them to believe?)

I wonder how many Calvinists are truly saved if they "came to faith" by simply believing that God "elected" them, without them deciding to put their faith in Him, to commit to Him, to consciously choose Jesus as their Lord and Savior?  If they believe faith/salvation happens to them, that they don't have to do anything to get it, how many are deceived into thinking they are saved when they aren't?  Because they haven't done anything and haven't taken any responsibility for their choice to believe.]

7.  A self-proclaimed 10-point Calvinist (I guess being a 7-point Calvinist is so last year!) says (from the post “Are Calvinist’s Rebukes Rational?”):

“You ask: ‘Why do self-proclaimed Calvinists, like John MacArthur, rebuke others, like Beth Moore, and express disapproval and indignation against that which they believe God has unchangeably brought to pass for His own self-glorification?’

Simple answer (and this long article could have been concluded with it quickly): Because they believe their rebukes and expressions of concern are also ordained by God and glorifying to Him.  They do not separate the two.

As Calvinists, they love to glorify God and do what pleases Him.

Next …”

[My note: If Calvinists can trap you with "Everything glorifies God, even sin and evil," then they can get you to agree with their idea that a good God can cause evil.  Because, after all, "He does everything for His glory!  He is the Potter and we are the clay.  And so who are we to disagree with His efforts to get glory however He wants to!?!"  But just because God can turn bad things into good and get glory out of it somehow doesn't mean that He preplanned it and caused it to happen the way it did.  It just means He's wise enough to make something good out of the bad things we do.]

My reply:
Yes, just like Calvi-god “ordains” murder and abuse for his glory, and then he “ordains” that others are horrified by and fight against murder and abuse for his glory.  So therefore, both the evil and the actions against evil are equally glorifying to Calvi-god.  So then, what really is the difference between evil and good in Calvinism?

Answer: Nothing!

Isaiah 5:20: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

John 8:44: You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15: For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.

Also, you say “As Calvinists, they love to glorify God and do what pleases Him.”

I wouldn’t be too proud of that if I was a Calvinist because a Calvinist, according to their own theology, has no control over glorifying or pleasing Calvi-god.  They are only doing what Puppet-Master Calvi-god made his Calvinist-puppets do.  So they can’t really be said to “love it,” since they are only doing it and only loving it because they were “forced” to.

Besides, wouldn’t the actions of evil people who reject Calvi-god and fight against him also be equally glorifying to him and pleasing to him, since Calvi-god himself “ordained” their choices and actions for his glory?

You yourself said that Calvinists “do not separate the two,” that they see no difference between evil and the rebuke of evil [the opposite of evil].  Therefore, in Calvi-god’s eyes, there would also be no difference between the Calvinist who “loves” to glorify/please him and the wicked person who does not.  Because either way, Calvi-god is glorified, because he ordained it all to happen – for his pleasure and glory – just the way he wanted it to.

Next …

Graceadict (a fellow non-Calvinist) says:
Heather you hit the bulls eye when you posted this verse:

Isaiah 5:20: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

Calvinism does this day and night but then they think if they just declare “God is glorified by All this” it covers over the evil declarations they have made against Holy, Loving God.  They profane the Holy name of God day and night but think their declaration that it “Glorifies God” absolves them of blasphemy.  It does not.

Isaiah 5:20: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

CHAPMANED24 (non-Calvinist) says:
Does God get angry?  Yes.  In the Calvin world, why?  How can God get angry if both evil and good are for his own pleasure?  You’d think that God is ALWAYS HAPPY, and pleased, and satisfied, never angry, let alone being SLOW TO ANGER.

Nothing should get a Calvinist god angry.  The evil that happens was ordained by God to happen, right?  You’d think that the Calvin God would pat that evil person on the back, and say, “GOOD JOB MY FAITHFUL SERVANT, you murdered those people JUST LIKE I WROTE that you would!  I’m gonna nominate you for an academy award for your performance!  Thank you for not adlibbing!”

(This part is long, but I want to include it anyway.  I took out a section of the Calvinist’s comment because it’s unnecessary for the point I’m making.  And I made minor corrections for clarity.)

The 10-point Calvinist then responds to our comments:

The counter-arguments that are being presented here seem to be missing the point.  As a kind reminder (just assuming you have never been told, or have perhaps forgotten), mainstream Calvinism presents *both* of the following claims:

1. All events are determined by God.

2. Human decisions are made with a voluntary freedom that is both genuine and compatible with God’s determinations.

That is pretty simple and balanced, and represents an attempt to take all of Scripture seriously.

All of your counter-arguments are ignoring claim #2 and acting as if it is not a core component of Calvinism, and this results in repetitive “straw-man” argumentation, which, while certainly “fun” for you all to banter about (and hilarious for me to observe), FAILS to interact seriously with the *FULL* claims of Calvinism. …

As a very important side note: you may notice that I used the capital “G” when referring to God (and not to “Calvin’s god,” as has been oddly stated throughout the comments here).  He is the ONE AND ONLY GOD, in whom all true Christians believe, and who made everything that exists, period.

Calvinism claims HE, and not another, did something that only HE can do; if your “god” cannot do such things, I will happily return the favor and assign “him” (your god) a small “g,” since “he” does not actually exist.  My two cents: it would be better to interact charitably than to go further down that road.  Please give it some thought.

Along this line: Does Dr. Flowers believe, as the moderator here apparently does, that Calvinists worship a different God than Traditionalists?  If that is the case, he will essentially be saying Calvinists are not true believers.  It would be nice to have this point clarified because I will not want to waste any more time interacting with people who assume I am an unbeliever merely because I affirm the two points outlined above.  On the other hand, I will readily admit that your “straw-man” Calvinist “god” truly does not exist (not in mainstream Calvinist theology, not in the Bible, and certainly not in reality).

Again, though, is Soteriology 101 about open conversations between brothers and sisters (as Leighton led me to believe in our private email conversation long ago), or is it a launch pad for ungrounded assumptions and divisive attacks against fellow believers?  I would like to know.

My reply:
The 10-point Calvinist says:  “2. Human decisions are made with a voluntary freedom that is both genuine and compatible with God’s determinations. … All of your counter-arguments are ignoring claim #2 and acting as if it is not a core component of Calvinism …”

I say:  Ahh, yes, we know well this disingenuous claim by Calvinists.  I won’t ignore it; I’ll address it.  We know that Calvinists call it “voluntary freedom” when, in reality (in Calvinism), a person can only “freely” make the choices that go with the nature that CALVI-gOD gave them.

(I will NOT call Calvi-god “God,” because that would be a terrible character assault on the true God of the Bible!  The two should NEVER be mixed, thus the reason I call him “Calvi-god,” to make sure that is abundantly clear.  You can disagree with me if you want, but you cannot force me to call him otherwise.  Besides, Calvi-god himself “ordained” that I do this for his glory, so take up your grievance with him!  In fact, praise him for it, because it brings him glory!)

In Calvinism, you are “free” to make the choices that Calvi-god predetermined you would make!

In Calvinism, Calvi-god predetermines who gets the “sinner/unrepentant nature” (the non-elect) and who gets the “saved/repentant nature” (the elect).  And these natures come with built-in desires.  Those who get the sinner-nature will/can only always want to sin and only always choose to sin, because the desire to sin is the only thing that comes with the sinner-nature, NEVER the desire to do good or to obey or to seek God.  (And you know it’s true!)  And so if you are one of the unlucky ones who got assigned the sinner-nature, you can only always want to and choose to sin.

But Calvinists say that you “freely make your own decisions, according to your nature.”  That you “choose what you want, according to your nature.”

According to your Calvi-god-given nature, a nature that you didn’t choose and can’t change!

Some freedom!  Some choice!  Being locked into only one kind of desire, and only being able to “choose” that which your Calvi-god-given nature predestined you to choose.

Also you say: “Again, though, is Soteriology 101 about open conversations between brothers and sisters (as Leighton led me to believe in our private email conversation long ago), or is it a launch pad for ungrounded assumptions and divisive attacks against fellow believers?  I would like to know.”

Leighton [Dr. Flowers] is not forcing me to respond the way I do, so don’t hold him responsible for it.  (If anyone, blame Calvi-god for it, who – as you should know – gets glory by forcing me to respond the way I do.)  This is still an open conversation, is it not?  You are able to respond to us, and we can respond to you.  But this issue gets messy because it’s about deep, irreconcilable disagreements about truth, about what is biblical and who God is, etc.  And unfortunately, there is little common ground between Calvinism and anti-Calvinism.  So don’t be surprised or shocked by the division.  The division is a natural consequence of the deeply different beliefs we hold.

Also, I would like to point out that it sounds to me like you are okay with launching thinly-veiled, condescending attacks at other people [… while certainly “fun” for you all to banter about (and hilarious for me to observe) … reinforcing the fact that you have no real arguments to present against the actual claims of Calvinism … I will happily return the favor and assign “him” (your god) a small “g,” since “he” does not actually exist…. ), but that you yourself get offended when someone does so back to you.  People can tell when someone is feigning politeness.  And I have to wonder if you are not really here to genuinely “converse” anyway, but instead are here to “teach.”

However, I will say this, while I believe that Calvi-god is not the God of the Bible, I do believe that there are many good, God-fearing Christians who are truly saved but who have merely gotten suckered into Calvinism.  The sad thing is that they don’t really know enough about what Calvinism really teaches to know that they don’t really agree with it or think it’s biblical.

And you’ll have to forgive any overly-angry tone I have against Calvinism right now.  (It’s not directed to you, but to Calvinism itself.)

For starters, I am sick of Calvinism’s nonsense and how it deceptively hides its lies behind layers of biblical-truth.  A big hook in a nice, fat worm!  Poison in a shiny, juicy apple!  And I will not “play nice” when it comes to an unbiblical theology that sneaks into churches through deception and manipulation.  (We recently left our church because of it.)

But also, I am dealing right now with a huge mess that, if Calvinism were true, has been deliberately preplanned and caused by Calvi-god.  Someone I knew is dead (a tragic death), a relative has been arrested, my testimony against them is a big part of why that relative got arrested, people have sent death threats to anyone who is connected to the person who caused the death, there will be ongoing legal things to deal with, and my extended family is shattered because of it.  (Add to this the fact that, as I said, we left our church recently. The church we attended for almost 20 years.)

And Calvinists would dare to say that all of this was preplanned and caused by God.  That He had nothing else in store for the person who died than a tragic, too-young death.  That He controlled the person who caused the death, and so nothing different could have happened.  That all of this trauma caused to my extended family was His “Plan A” for our lives - for His glory, for our good, and to keep us humble (as my Calvinist pastor once said about all the bad things that happen in our lives, even childhood abuse).

So forgive me if I get worked up about this.  Calvinism is not just a theological talking-point to me, some fanciful idea way out there somewhere, something to simply debate or wonder about.  It hits close to home, to be involved in a horrible situation that Calvinists would say was preplanned and caused by God.  To have also lost my home church over it.

And I will NOT politely tolerate the God-dishonoring nonsense that God Himself caused all this to happen.  (He allowed it and knew it would happen, but didn’t cause it).  That He causes evil for His glory.  That He does not love all people enough to die for them and offer salvation to them.  That He never had anything in mind for the people I know but a tragic death, prison, turmoil, years of pain, brokenness, dysfunction, etc.  And that He predestines most people for hell because He wanted it, because it brings Him glory.

What a horrible assault on the good, holy character of God!  My God doesn’t cause evil, cause sin, or send people to hell for His glory!  My God seeks to save the lost, He offers salvation to all, and He is glorified when people obey Him and choose to love Him and follow Him to heaven.

[Note:  I hope it comes across exactly how I meant it: a blistering rebuke against satanic lies!]

8.  That same 10-point Calvinist (Derek) tried to say that John Calvin affirms that we freely make our own choices.  He said, "You may be surprised to learn that Calvin affirms our “innate liberty” and uses the term “voluntary” to describe the freedom of will that we exercise ... Calvin’s conceptions of human freedom cannot be flattened out into mere robotic determinism.  His views are far more nuanced and complex than he is given credit for.  Yes, Calvin believes that God determines all; yet he also clearly affirms that man’s will is genuinely free and voluntary (back to the two claims I outlined, which are attested over and over by all of the mainstream Calvinistic theologians).  Thus, Calvin and his best proponents hold to a compatibilism that is more than mere “culpability despite having been forced,” as non-Calvinists consistently misrepresent."

My reply:
You keep using phrases like “You may be surprised to learn …” and “assuming you have never been told, or have perhaps forgotten” and “If you [do X,Y, or Z] … then Calvinism will begin to make more sense to you (assuming you are willing to consider it thoughtfully and charitably).”  

With all due respect, this isn’t our first rodeo.  And you’re not the only educated one here.

You also say: “You may be surprised to learn that Calvin affirms our “innate liberty” and uses the term “voluntary” to describe the freedom of will that we exercise, even after the fall.”

Well, you may be surprised to learn that just because someone says they affirm something doesn’t mean their theology does.  I don’t care what Calvin says he affirms or what Calvinists say they affirm; I care what their theology fundamentally and undeniably teaches.  And in Calvinism, we do nothing “freely,” because that would mean that there is something that God isn’t in active control of.  And Calvinism’s faulty view of God’s sovereignty can’t allow that.  

Calvin can claim whatever he wants to, but to claim that we are “free” in any real, genuine, meaningful way contradicts his theology.

Also from his Institutes, in Calvin's own words:  

Man "cannot even give utterance except in so far as God pleases..." (Book 1, Chapter 16, section 6).

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

"... 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)

"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).

"... it is certain that not a drop of rains falls without the express command of God" (Book 1, Chapter 16, section 5).  And "... no wind ever rises or rages without His special command" (section 7).

How someone doesn’t call that determinism, I can’t understand!  How someone thinks this coincides with some sort of “freedom to act on our own,” is a “mystery”!

But Calvinists have to keep telling themselves that Calvi-god’s sovereign, deterministic control makes room for mankind’s free-will.  Because if they didn’t, they know they would be saying that God is responsible for all evil and all sin.  And then they might have to rethink their whole theology.

Calvinists can say it all they want, but it doesn’t make it true.  Not with their definition of “sovereign control.”

And yet how does my Calvinist pastor explain it all?  Like this:  “I don’t know how it works, how it all fits together.  But the Bible teaches it [his view of Calvinism, that is, which it doesn't], and so I have to believe it.  Even if I can’t understand it.  It’s a mystery.  We don’t have to like it or understand it; we just have to accept it.”  (Translation:  “Look how humble I am to accept something that doesn’t make sense.  You should be so humble too!”)

One thing I warn people about is to not put any faith in one quote from a Calvinist which sounds like they affirm free-will, because they will contradict it later (or add so many qualifiers that it changes what they originally said).

Here’s a little gem from Calvin, Book, 2, Chapter 2, section 8:  In this section, Calvin is condemning the use of the term "free-will."  And he says, "If any one, then, chooses to make use of this term ... but I am unwilling to use it myself; and others if they will take my advice, will do well to abstain from it."

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

Ha-ha-ha!  What irony!

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

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

How about this one:  In his Institutes, Book 1, Chapter 4, Section 1, he also says that men who define God as they want to because of their vanity and pride are "deservedly blinded, because, not contented with sober inquiry, because, arrogating to themselves more than they have any title to do, they of their own accord court darkness, nay, bewitch themselves with perverse, empty show.  Hence it is that their folly, the result of not only vain curiosity, but of licentious desire and overweaning confidence in the pursuit of forbidden knowledge, cannot be excused."

So ... let me get this straight ... "The counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined" ... but now ... men "of their own accord court darkness"!?!  And because of their vain curiosity and licentious desire (the sinful desire that came with their Calvi-god-given "sinner nature"!) and overweaning confidence in pursuing forbidden knowledge, they deserve the blindness they get!?!

So which is it?  Is it or is it not that God chooses whom to blind all on His own, with no influence from people?  Is it or is it not that men are ultimately responsible for their own blindness and hardness of heart?

Also in Chapter 4, Section 3, he says that men "choosing rather to indulge their carnal propensities than to curb them ..."

Once again, "choose"!?!  Hey Calvin, I thought you later said that God was the cause of all things, even wickedness, even sin?  Let me see, where was it again?  Oh, yes, here it is:

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

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

And man "cannot even give utterance except in so far as God pleases..."

And yet now, here in Book 1 Chapter 4, men "choose" to indulge their carnal desires?  As opposed to his later idea that God causes all we do?

How, Calvin, can you say both things as if they are both true?  They are opposite ideas: God causes vs. man causes.  How can you say they are both true?  I don't get it.  And from the sound of it, you don't either!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- "Therefore, since God claims for himself the right of governing the world, a right unknown to us, let it be our law of modesty and soberness to acquiesce in his supreme authority regarding his will as our only rule of justice, and the most perfect CAUSE OF ALL THINGS..."  (Book 1, Chapter 17, Section 2.  Hmm ... if God is the "cause of all things," then we don't have to worry about if we "acquiesce in his supreme authority" or not.  Because He should be the one to "cause" it.)

-- And according to Calvin, Solomon "derides the stupidity of those who presume to undertake anything without God, as if they were not ruled by his hand..."  (Book 1, Chapter 17, Section 4.  If we are truly "ruled hy his hand," then isn't God the one causing us to be stupid, causing us to "presume to undertake anything without [Him]"?  How can doing what God caused us to do be considered "stupid"?  Isn't it simply being obedient and bringing God glory in the way He planned for us to bring Him glory?  If Calvinism is true, then Solomon and Calvin would be the stupid ones for blaming people for what God caused for His glory and for suggesting that people can do anything without God, when God Himself - according to Calvin's theology - is controlling people, causing them to act like they can do anything without Him.)

-- And we commit blasphemy if we "refuse to admit that every event which happens in the world is governed by the incomprehensible counsel of God."  (Book 1, Chapter 17, Section 2.  Umm ... how can we "refuse" to admit that God controls everything if our refusal itself is controlled by God?  Isn't "refusing" because God caused us to refuse simply doing what He "ordained" for us to do, what He caused us to do?  Isn't "refusing Him" actually then being obedient to Him?  What a conundrum!)

-- And it is "insipid" to say God is just the originator of all things, but not the controller of all things.  (Book 1, Chapter 16, Section 3.  Once again, Calvi-god would be the reason for that insipidness, if he is controlling us.  So ... I guess Calvi-god likes to cause people to deny that he controls all things, huh?  Must give him some sort of sick, twisted pleasure to cause people to deny his "sovereign" control.  And then to punish them for their denial.  Yep, definitely a god worth trusting!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hold your horses there, mister ...

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

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

Hmm?  Which one is it?

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

"Confused, inconsistent theologian, table of one!"

I could go on.  But you get the idea!

Just because someone claims they affirm something doesn’t mean their theology does.  It just means they are being inconsistent and contradictory and deceptive.

And the other non-/anti-Calvinists weren’t falling for it either:

TS00 says:
It is not that we are ignorant of, nor that we ‘misrepresent’ what Calvin taught – we simply view it as inconsistent, illogical doublespeak.  And yes, many who were suckered into going along with Calvinism based on that inconsistent, illogical doublespeak called Compatibilism seek to spare others from falling victim to the same trap.

We are fully aware that Calvin, and many other Calvinists, try to have their cake and eat it too.  But just because someone states ‘Both A and non-A are equally true’ does not make it so, no matter how many multi-syllable words they string together in its defense.

If all things were predetermined before we were even conceived, then we do not have any degree of meaningful freedom or choice.  Period.  We know all of your arguments, and all of your word-thuggery, but we simply refuse to be intimidated by it anymore.  ‘Irresistibly predetermined by God’ and ‘freely chosen’ are directly opposite and contradictory, however you wish to disguise it.  I’ll grant you ‘pre-known’ and ‘freely chosen’, but foreknowledge is an entirely different matter from predetermination.

I will never again be bullied, shamed or conned into rejecting common sense and logic and embracing a man-made, illogical and unbiblical system.  And I will do everything I can to protect others from the same.

Graceadict says:
Affirming contradictory points is illogical and is unbiblical.  "The Car is Red" and "The Car is NOT Red."  If spoken about the same car and in the same way… is bad logic, and the Bible never does that kind of illogical teaching.

“Man is Free, however God has predetermined his every move before time began, so that there is 0 left over for him to ‘adlib’.”  These two statements are what Calvinism tries to prove as both true.  But only those people who are drinking the Kool-aid of John Piper, John MacArthur, and John Calvin are going to believe it.  A careful study of the Word shows that one of those statements is FALSE.

TS00 you stated: “foreknowledge is an entirely different matter from predetermination.  I will never again be bullied, shamed or conned into rejecting common sense and logic and embracing a man-made, illogical and unbiblical system.  And I will do everything I can to protect others from the same.”

Agreed!  We have been there.  And the likes of James White are great examples of what you are talking about… and then they cover it with “mystery” to make people unsuspecting, even while they smuggle error into the church.  They have done more to bring in error into the church through their systematic than any other systematic.  And it starts with this faulty understanding of Sovereign.

Br.d. says (snippets of his comments):
I don’t think Derek realizes how dangerously close he is to a form of idolatry – when he raises the word of John Calvin up and makes it infallible.

The Catholic church teaches Mary was born without sin and the Catholic takes that as the infallible word of god.

Not much difference between that and holding John Calvin’s word as infallible.

Just because someone claims something doesn’t make it TRUE and doesn’t make it LOGICALLY valid.  Therefore just because John Calvin calls something “voluntary” doesn’t make it TRUE.

Everyone who understands compatiblistic freedom knows it is the exact same freedom that robots have.  A robot engineer can claim his robots do what they do “voluntarily,” exactly the same as Calvin claims.  But using that term to describe compatibilistic freedom is dishonest.

Derek says that “Calvin’s conceptions of human freedom cannot be flattened out into mere robotic determinism.”

Sorry – but that is LOGICALLY fallacious – either something is TRUE or it is FALSE.  Christian Philosophers simply understand the LOGICAL consequences of Compatiblisitic freedom.

It is exactly as I have stated:

1. The THEOS does NOT PERMIT the creature to falsify or negate the divine decree

2. The THEOS does NOT PERMIT the creature to be/do otherwise than what the THEOS determines

3. The creature has no say in the matter of what is determined.

All of the above = Compatiblistic freedomAnd Compatiblistic freedom is the exact same freedom found with robots.

Again we are not saying in Calvinism people are robots ONTOLOGICALLY – but it LOGICALLY follows that in Calvinism, humans FUNCTION ROBOTICALLY.

Additionally we understand that most Calvinists embrace a form of DOUBLE-THINK in this regard.

9.  When it comes to the idea of God preplanning (predestining) everything that happens, Calvinists love to accuse non-Calvinists of being in the same boat as them.

They'll say, "Well, you believe that God is omniscient, right?  That He knew everything that would happen, right?  And so since He didn't stop the bad things even though He knew they'd happen, then you also have to believe that God 'ordained' these bad things to happen, unless you are going to deny His omniscience.  If, in His omniscience, He knew it would happen and didn’t stop it, it’s the same thing as wanting it to happen and planning it to happen, right!?!  Besides, what's the difference whether God planned the bad things to happen or simply knew the bad things would happen but didn't stop them?  Due to His omniscience, the end results are still the same.  So we are in the same boat, essentially believing the same thing!"

But I say … Nonsense and hogwash!

And notice how they accuse you of denying God’s omniscience if you don’t see things their way!  Calvinists classically resort to “Well, Calvinism is the Gospel!  And so if you disagree with Calvinism, it’s because you don’t like Truth and can’t stand the idea of God being sovereign over all.”

(Really!?!  Because I thought that if I disagreed with Calvinism it was because Calvi-god caused me to disagree with Calvinism, for his glory!  I thought that he causes everything that happens for his glory, and that me disagreeing with Calvinism is as equally glorifying to him as you agreeing with Calvinism.  So we are both doing exactly what Calvi-god wanted/preplanned/caused us to do, for his glory!  So, yeah, I guess you're right ... we are in the same boat!)

A comment someone made at Soteriology 101:  “If God destines something to an end or permits it and sustains it to the same end, what is the difference?”

My reply:  

What’s the difference between a God who allows someone to make their own decision to rape and kill, and who punishes them for their choice … and a God who causes someone to rape and kill, with no option to do anything different, but who then punishes that person for raping and killing?

What’s the difference between a God who genuinely offers salvation to all people, who lets us make our choice about if we want Him in our lives or not, and allows us to face the consequences of our choice … and a God who predestines our eternities and choices, who causes unbelievers to be unbelievers, who never gives unbelievers a chance to seek/find Him or to find salvation, and who then punishes unbelievers in hell for being the unbelievers He caused them to be?

If you can’t see a difference, what does that say about your view of God and the Gospel?  Either that, or you’re just not thinking about it carefully enough.

On a slightly different note, focusing on the elect’s response to the “offer” of salvation, a dogmatic Calvinist says this:  “The offer becomes irresistible to the elect because even though there could be a possibility for them to resist for a time using the will, but the final end result is that the Elect cannot really resist.”

My reply:  

“Does this make sense to anyone?  The elect can resist, but not really!?!  The “irresistible” offer is resistible for a time, but not really!?!

The more Calvinists try to defend their theology, the more nonsense they come up with that they need to defend!  The only way out of that ever-deepening hole is to toss out the Calvinism, take off the Calvinist glasses, and read the Word, as it was written, in context, as God intended it.”

TS00 (a fellow anti-Calvinist whose comments I love) says this:  

“Just in case anyone missed the obvious reasons Calvinists need to smuggle human autonomy into their belief system when no one is looking, I thought I would spell out the most obvious one: because their system does not hold up under actual reality.

The so-called ‘elect’ can and do resist God’s call upon them at various times. They may resist his call and continue to live in sin for years before becoming saved.  Or they may continue to dabble in their favorite sins, despite the obvious fact that God would prefer that his elect not sin.

As much as Calvinists like to claim that God ordains and predetermines whatsoever comes to pass, they don’t much like to get into the details.  Like, why God predetermined this elect pastor to cheat on his elect wife, or that elect parent’s child to get cancer, or some elect child’s father to sexually abuse her.  It gets pretty dicey when it comes to specifically spelling out the horrific sins and crimes God supposedly ordained and predetermined to come to pass.

‘Well, non-Calvinists have the same problem’, Calvinists claim, ‘as they also have to answer for why God allows evil to happen.’  While I admit that I hate the evil that happens in this world, and I often weep and wail to God over it, there is an enormous difference between God merely permitting men to reject his will (to do that which he does not will, which is evil) and God deliberately predetermining that man must irresistibly perform said evil acts.

A great, big, enormous, immeasurable difference.

One scenario leaves God innocent of evil-doing, while allowing men the freedom to make their own choices, even when they lead to really bad things happening. Things which God would never desire for them to choose. The other scenario has God planning, ordaining, and ensuring that evil comes into existence, long before the individual who will irresistibly perform it even exists. Whatever ‘means’ the Calvinist asserts his god uses to bring evil to pass, it still sprung from Calvi-god’s mind, his will and his predetermination, like whatsoever comes to pass must, under Calvinism, unfailingly do.

Calvinists do not like to face this unpleasant reality.  Even less do they like admitting it to others.  They will turn on a dime from proclaiming God’s sovereignty and control of all people and events to suggesting that man has the freedom to pursue his own desires, making him, supposedly, the source of evil.  But what is it that men are really choosing?  Do they have the freedom to resist doing the evil that God has preordained in eternity past?

Can they reprobate repent of wickedness and live a life of righteous obedience?  No and no.

Under Calvinism, all things – and ‘all’ means ‘all’ – are predetermined, not merely foreknown, by God.  This is the key distinction between Calvinist and most other believers, who acknowledge that God foreknows, but does not irresistibly bring to pass sin and evil.  Most Calvinists do not have the stomach to face this reality, or if they do, they know that most people in the pews do not.  As my former Calvinist pastor, who claimed to unflinchingly preach whatever scripture says, said to me: ‘If I said that from the pulpit everyone would leave’.  There are very, very few Calvinist pastors who will teach what their theology genuinely demands, because they know that everyone would reject such a God, them and their church.”

10.  Lastly, here is a common way that Calvinists spin the idea of "predestination" to make it sound good…

A Calvinist says:  "Because of His Love to the elect and Mercy extended to the Gentiles, He picked out some for Himself while passing [over] the rest.”

My reply:
Totally misleading!  Calvi-god did not “pass over the rest.”  He created them specifically so he could hate them and send them to hell.  That’s not “passing over them.”

And that’s not a “loving and merciful God.”

That’s a monster!  That’s a psychopathic lunatic who walks up to someone at a park, says “I am claiming you for my own because I love you so much” and then he runs around slaughtering everyone else around them, and then he tells the “chosen” person, “See how much I love you and how merciful I am to you. I spared you when I could have destroyed you too.”

Any logical, rational person would call that a “dangerous psychopathic lunatic.”

But Calvinists call him “God.” A “loving, merciful, just God.”

And worse yet is that Calvi-god doesn’t just slaughter those people, he makes them specifically so that he can slaughter them.  He causes them to be the unbelieving sinners they are just so he can put them in hell, punishing them for the things he causes.

I've said this before, but I shudder to think of how Calvinists will feel when they stand before God, trying to explain their tragically incorrect theology and the horrible misrepresentation they spread of God and His truth!

A fellow anti-Calvinist (TS00) gave this reply:
"How can anyone refrain from laughing out loud at a definition of grace that says ‘I will save you from the horrible fate I alone dreamed up’?  Hello?  God ‘graciously’ saves a select few from an unthinkable hell, after first cursing them with a ‘sin nature’ that prevents them from doing anything but sin?

‘Gee, thanks, Calvi-god, for saving me from the monster that you are and the monster you made me be.  Too bad about the others, eh?  Somebody has to burn, just glad it’s not me.’

Yes, I do and will always call your [Calvinism's] false and blasphemous characterization of God as monstrous, narcissistic, egotistical, tyrannical and evil.  Heather’s frightening picture of the psychopathic killer is not at all farfetched as a description of Calvi-god.  It is he alone who determines whatsoever comes to pass, then exhibits a violent, murderous wrath against those helpless puppets who simply do as he ordained them to do in some eternity past.  He chose to make all mankind sinful.  He randomly selected a few to rescue from himself, then acts as if his anger against the other helpless God-created ‘sinners’ is justifiable, glorifying even.

I do not hesitate to declare loudly that I see no glory in such a monster.  Nor to state that I see no such monster taught in the written word or exhibited in the life of The Living Word.  If Calvinists look forward to hanging out for eternity with the psychopath they have manufactured, I don’t even want to think about what that says about them.

And another non/anti-Calvinist, Graceadict, comments:
Calvinist terminology hides at least as much as it reveals.  We must be ready to unmask what is being hidden by their statements.  What they hide is more revealing than almost everything they say.

The Calvinist tries to paint a picture of their Calvi-god being loving, kind and compassionate when it is not the case from what they actually believe about their Calvi-god.  They make it sound like the Calvi-god is just passing through the Universe and just happens to come upon a community of poor miserable creatures who have nothing good about them, plus they are all drowning without hope … and then their Calvi-god, who is just passing by, decides out of his kindness to pluck some of those miserable souls from the ocean that would certainly destroy all of them.  The Calvi-god who was just passing by is sooo good he saved some of them.  He didn’t need to save any but he saved some for his Glory.  Isn’t he Good?

That is the picture that they try to leave the unsuspecting with … BUT we know better.  And Heather, you hit the nail on the head saying: “Totally misleading!  Calvi-god did not “pass over the rest.”  He created them specifically so he could hate them and send them to hell.  That’s not “passing over them.””

Well said, TS00 and Graceadict!

My goal in writing this is to open your eyes to the ways they hide what they really mean, how they manipulate you and strong-arm you into “agreeing” with them, and how they trap you in their twisted, philosophical paradigm.

Calvinism survives on trapping unsuspecting people who don’t know what they’re really teaching.  But the more you can recognize the hidden traps, the more you can avoid them.

[But please understand that I don't think the average Calvinist is maliciously, deliberately trying to trick and trap people.  I think they themselves are trapped, and they think they are being faithful Christians to share the "truth" as they've been taught by dogmatic Calvinists.  It's just that they themselves don't even know enough about Calvinism and/or the Bible to see how wrong it is.  They aren't digging deep enough to uncover the errors.  Remember to BE A BEREAN!

Acts 17:11"Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day [for themselves] to see if what Paul said was true."]

(And once again, check out Why Are Calvinists Afraid To Answer Simple, Straightforward Questions?, if you haven't already.)

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