The False Doctrine of Calvinsim
here are not as many people in
the religious world today who identify themselves as ďCalvinists,Ē yet the
system of theology formulated by John Calvin (and his followers) has permeated
most Protestant denominations.
each of the five points which define Calvinism are clearly refuted in
Scripture, most denominationalists accept one or more of the five.† Letís
briefly examine these points in the light of Scripture.
††††† For ease of memory and
explanation Calvinism is referred to (even by its own proponents) as the TULIP
Doctrine, from the acronym formed from the first letter of each of its five
HEREDITARY DEPRAVITY. Definition:
†Calvinism argues that as a result of Adamís sin, man has inherited a
sinful nature from birth.† This nature is depraved to such a degree that man
can do nothing good unless God empowers him to do so.† According to the
Calvinist, man cannot choose good, cannot obey, cannot believe, but can only
choose and do evil.
††††† The Bible teaches
something quite different about human nature and the consequences of Adamís
Sin cannot be inherited (Ezekiel 18:20).
Men die spiritually as Adam died because they imitate his example
of disobedience (Romans 5:12).
Adamís sin leads all men to physical death because it deprived
all men after him of access to the tree of life (1 Corinthians 15:22, Genesis
Children possess a nature that exemplifies subjects of the
kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:14). And, finallyÖ
Jesus, although a descendent of Adam (according to the flesh) was
free of sin (Luke 3:23-38; Hebrews 2:14; 4:15).
These things show that human
beings do not inherit a nature that is sinful, nor do they inherit the guilt of
ELECTION. †Definition: According to Calvinism, since
man is depraved the only way that anyone can do good, is if God elects
some whom He chooses to save (and thus empower to do good).† It is
argued that this election is unconditional, in that it is not based upon
anything that man does but purely upon Godís choice.† If God is the one who
chooses those whom He will save, then (it is argued) He is also the one who
chooses those whom He will condemn.† Man has no role in this election.
††††† Salvation is a matter of
Godís choice, but the Bible teaches that God has set terms and conditions by
which God will choose:
God accepts those who fear Him and work righteousness (Acts
God desires that all men to be saved and come to obedience (2
God has chosen to save all those who are in Christ (Ephesians
Only those who choose to obey the gospel are in Christ (2
ATONEMENT. Definition:† Since salvation is based upon Godís
predetermined unconditional election, the Calvinist is forced to conclude that
Christís death was only for the elect.† He did not die for all men (since some
God predestined to condemn).† Calvinism teaches that the atonement of Christ
was limited to the elect in both its purpose and potential.
††††† It is clear
that not all men will be saved, but the Bible teaches that Christís atonement
was offered for all people.
Christ tasted death for all
men† (Heb. 2:9).
He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1 John
Though not all will be saved, all could be saved if they would
turn to Christ† (Mark 16:15,16, Acts 17:30).
Jesusí atonement was not limited
in that anyone and everyone who accepts it can benefit from its saving power.
GRACE. Definition:† If men can do good only because God makes
them do good through the empowerment of His grace, Calvinism next argues that
once this grace has been bestowed upon someone it cannot be resisted.† Man
cannot do evil to the point that he rejects the grace of God.
††††† Salvation is by the grace
of God, but the Bible defines the nature of this grace.
Godís grace is something in which one must continue (Acts 13:43).
Godís grace can be received in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1).
Godís grace is something from which one may fall. (Galatians
Godís grace is something in which one can choose to be strong (2
Godís grace empowers only in the sense that it teaches man how to
live (Titus 2:11).
AND PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS. Definition: †Since
God has already unconditionally chosen all the elect whom He will save, and
since the elect can in no way resist the influence of His empowering grace upon
them, the Calvinist finally must argue that God will do whatever is necessary
to preserve the elect unto the Day of Judgment.
††††† God can, and does help His
people, but this does not mean they cannot fall away.†††
† Those who are in Christ can be
lost (Acts 8:12-22; 2 Peter 2:20-22).
One who stands in Christ can fall if they do not take heed (1
The elect will be saved if they hold fast the word of truth (1
God preserves through His word (Acts 20:32).