Archive for the ‘Is Calvinism sound doctrine?’ Category


The following study is in regards to the Calvinistic teaching known as T.U.L.I.P.” (The famous acronym associated with Calvinism). I will examine some of the doctrines and beliefs held by Calvinists in regards to T.U.L.I.P., and search the Bible to see if these doctrines and beliefs are in agreement with the Holy Scriptures. Following the Introduction, the study will examine each of the Five Parts of T.U.L.I.P.

#1. Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)

#2. Unconditional Election

#3. Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)

#4. Irresistible Grace

#5. Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

Doctrinal matters (or differences between Christians) cannot be settled by a just couple of Scripture verses and a few comments. Although much of the Bible is "plain to him that understandeth", there "are some things hard to be understood". There is the "milk of the word" and then there is the "strong meat". When dealing with John Calvin's Doctrines, or those of his followers, it is necessary to get into some "strong meat" and those who delve into this issue must "have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil".

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T.U.L.I.P. {the famous acronym associated with Calvinistic beliefs}

T = Total Depravity” (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)

Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.      

The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, "In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?" The answer is, "He cannot. Therefore God must predestine."    

Calvinism also maintains that because of our fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph.

1:1-11; Rom.8:29; 9:9-23). `

The very first thing to note is: The wordsDEPRAVE”, “DEPRAVED”, orDEPRAVITYcannot be found in the Holy Bible. This is always a Red Flag for me, since so much of False Doctrine (Psychiatry/Psychology for example) is associated with “wordsnot found in the Bible.

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T.U.L.I.P. {the famous acronym associated with Calvinistic beliefs}

U = Unconditional Election”

{The word “election” is Scriptural – The Phrase “Unconditional Election” cannot be found in the Bible! As a matter of fact – the words “conditional” and/or “unconditional” do not appear one time in Scripture!}

Calvinists state:

“God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual.”

I do not agree with the statement: God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual.” If the statement is in reference to “works”, I will agree, but if it is in reference to “BELIEF”, then I CANNOT agree. “ANYTHING” would include “BELIEF” – can you see the confusion (again) of thinking that “BELIEF” (an operation of the heart) is a “WORK” (an operation of the flesh)?

No one can argue with: He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual.All genuine Bible believers would go along with this statement {since MERIT = WORKS}, unless someone lumps in “MERIT” = “BELIEF”! You see how it goes? Can you see how vitally important WORDS are? IF “MERIT” equals “WORKS”, then we can agree with the statement, without any reservations, for all true Bible believers know that God has not chosen the “elect” because of their “WORKS” – that would nullify BELIEF & FAITH & SALVATION by GRACE! But, IF “MERIT” includes “BELIEF”, that would nullify the separate purposes of the heart and the flesh, making them both THE SAME which they are NOT; which would ultimately make “BELIEF” a “WORK” which it is NOT!

Let’s examine the verses cited [Ephesians 1:4-8] in context and “rightly divide” God’s words:

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T.U.L.I.P. {the famous acronym associated with Calvinistic beliefs}

L = Limited Atonement” (also known as Particular Atonement)

Calvinists state: Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many'; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).

The fact that the word “LIMITED” only shows up once in the Scriptures, and the only use of the word in that one single verse being peculiarly anti-Calvinistic [Psalms 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.] should have given John Calvin (or some of his followers) at least pause in using it to describe the “Atonement”.

Before I begin my comments on the third “pillar” (premise) of Calvinistic doctrine – “Limited Atonement”, I believe it is necessary to determine, as best we can, what the Scriptural word “Atonement” is about.

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T.U.L.I.P. {the famous acronym associated with Calvinistic beliefs}

I = “Irresistible Grace”

Calvinists state: “When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that "it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy"; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.”

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T.U.L.I.P. {the famous acronym associated with Calvinistic beliefs}

P = “Perseverance of the Saints

Calvinists state: 

“You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.”

To begin with, the words “persevere” and “persevered” cannot be found in the Holy Bible. The word “perseverance” shows up only once in the Bible [Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;] and has absolutely nothing to do with the Calvinist doctrine of the so-called “Perseverance of the Saints”.

WHY do all of the main tenets (premises) of Calvinism either misuse Biblical words (take them out of context or misapply them) or use words which cannot be found in the Holy Bible to bolster their doctrines? [1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.]

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The following short condensed biography of John Calvin was gleaned from Philip Schaff’s “History of the Christian church” and various other books and sources on the net.

John Calvin

John Calvin was born on July 10, 1509 in Noyon, Picardy, France. Calvin was the son of a lawyer, and developed a love for scholarship and literature at a very young age.

Jean (John) Calvin was raised in a staunch Roman Catholic family. The local bishop employed Calvin's father as an administrator in the town's cathedral. The father, in turn, wanted John to become a priest. Because of close ties with the bishop and his noble family, John's playmates and classmates in Noyon (and later in Paris) were aristocratic and culturally influential in his early life.

His father, Gérard Cauvin, had a prosperous career as the cathedral notary and registrar to the ecclesiastical court. Gérard intended his three sons—Charles, Jean (John), and Antoine—for the priesthood. Jean (John) was particularly precocious; by the age of twelve, he was employed by the bishop as a clerk and received the tonsure, cutting his hair to symbolize his dedication to the (Roman Catholic) Church.

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ADDENDUM – Compiled by Jack Moorman

" Calvin and Persecution "

Why the Silence!

{Compiled by Jack Moorman}

"…that an end could be put to their machinations in no other way than cutting them off by an ignominious death" (John Calvin).

The great declaration of the Reformation was "Sola Scriptura," Scripture Alone. To this we give a hearty amen. But for John Calvin it clearly was not Scripture alone. It was Scripture plus some key leftovers of the Roman Catholic Church: notably: infant baptism, a state church, and persecution of those who did not fall into line. As H.R Pike writes, "It was Scripture plus the sword of the state, hangings, burning at the stake, prison, tortures…" (The Other Side of John Calvin, p. 54).


Below is evidence that this is not overstatement!

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