Its nice to see a critique of Calvinism on your website. Its becoming more and more difficult to find people who speak out against it.
I have a ministry, where we witness to the lost. I am not a Calvinist and for the last year its been bothering me how Calvinistic teachings are creeping into our group.
A friend of mine considered himself to be a "three pointer", but then a few months ago someone else spoke some Calvinistic sermons at the Southern Baptist Convention conference and the SBC blocked his sermons. My friend thought this was rather strange so he decided to investigate why...He is now no longer a Calvinist.
As a result he decided to start posting messages on facebook asking questions about God's fairness, justice, things like "Is God more Sovereighn than His nature?" These sorts of questions to intice debate.
What he has found is the Christians we speak with and witness with believe Calvinism is not an essential issue. "We all preach the same Gospel."
I have had major concerns over this for a year now and I am now convinced 5 point Calvinism is another Jesus and another Gospel. I do understand many Calvinists are not really 5 point Calvinists, or they really don't understand it.
In addition I noticed something else that disturbed me even more. I decided to look up the word "world" in the greek. So I went to blueletterbible.org and pulled up the greek for the word "world". Here is the link
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lex ... 889&t=NKJV
You will notice something strange in the different definitions...notice the last one which includes verses as examples:
"b) of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16; 3:17; 6:33; 12:47 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19"
I didn't realize John 3:16 and 17 was referring to the elect only? "Is this a Calvinist GREEK website?" I wondered.
I told my friend this and he went to Barnes and Noble, Mardel, Family Christian stores and looked at every Greek dictionary, lexicon, and concordance he could find and it wasn't there.
I emailed the website and asked them, they said this might be found in Lockmans concordance, so my friend found one and it wasn't there either. Someone else told me it might be in Thayers concordance so I found the original one online and looked there. That interpretation was not there.
Finally blueletterbible.org admitted to me that they have a certain theological perspective and that "use" of the word was added!
I was shocked and still am. They are making it look as if this is in the greek when in reality, its not.
Now go to the youtube link below...go to 4:00 minutes into it and you will notice this popular Calvinist speaker doing the same thing, claiming this is part of the greek when it is not. Either he is lying or he is ignorant. And if he is ignorant he has no business teaching.
Who is "email"?
I agree with your assessment that Calvinism is so far removed from the Scriptures' depiction of God, that they indeed worship a different god. I don't know if you found this particular article, but you can read more about my concluding assessment here:
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... inism.html
I checked out the blueletterbible reference, and you are correct! They have certainly added their "commentary" to the definition. ... Admittedly, Thayer indeed lists as the least frequent usage, "8. any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort". However, he does not break down possible applications, as the BLB people have done, limiting John 3:16 and God's love only for the elect. This is shameful, but not surprising. Calvinists must interpret all references to God's love, patience, and mercy as pertaining only to the elect; otherwise, their entire theology collapses, and they must give up being Calvinists!
FWIW, Thayer assigns the following meaning to world (kosmos) in John 3:16:
Calvinism has infused confusion on so many points: requirements for salvation, work of the Holy Spirit, distortion of God's love and justice, possibility of apostasy, and so on. We have a few more articles on these points:5. the inhabitants of the world: (... Greek wording...) I Cor. 4:9 (Winer's Grammar, 127 (121)); particularly the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human race (first so in Sap. (e. g. 1Co 10:1)): Matt. 13:38; 18:7; Mark 14:9; John 1:10, 29 (36 L in brackets); 3:16f; 6:33, 51; 8:26; 12:47; 13:1; 14:31; 16:28; 17:6, 21, 23 ...
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... ptism.html
Thanks again for your encouragement!
If you have any questions about anything you find on the web-site, please let me know. I am always thrilled to honestly study the Bible with others, even if we disagree, because I have hope in the power of God's Word (II Timothy 3:16-17; Ephesians 3:3-5).
May God help us to have a sincere love of the truth,
Thanks for the response. I do have a question. Many of my friends think this is not a non-essential issue because we "preach the same Gospel." I am trying to tell them that if you change something about God's character you have "another Jesus", and therefore, the Gospel you tell a sinner is "another Gospel."
Not to mention I am lying to the nonelect, telling them Christ died for them when He didn't…but that is another topic
So the question I am going to ask them is ...how much of God's character needs to change before a person can say this is a different God? In other words, is it one thing? Or many things? Whats the magic number? Does God love all or just some? Does He get angry at people who know the truth and reject it, or at people who cannot believe, punishing them further for not believing? I appeal to 2 Cor 11:4 where Paul mentions the Gospel only once, and a different Jesus and another Spirit twice. If he mentions it twice it must be important.
Who is "email"?
The answer I believe is a resounding, "Yes!".
Statements of indifference, similar to those you have received, have been offered to us as well. However, these points should be considered:
- Blasphemy is a sin, and Calvinism is an extreme form of blasphemy. - The injustice, cruelty, shallowness, and smallness of Calvin's god is "ungetoverable". ;-) Calvinism teaches that God is completely sovereign. Therefore, man sins because this God wills it; however, it is man who is punished, not God. This is not fair! Anyone can see it. People attempt to dodge the matter by quoting passages, like Romans 9:19-21; however, such statements exhibit a complete misunderstanding of Romans 9. Furthermore, God purposely used the cross to demonstrate His righteousness (Romans 3:25-26). If we cannot see God's justice in the gospel, then either God failed, or we are looking at the wrong gospel! ... Like Job's friends, those who had not "spoken rightly" concerning God, Calvinists have blasphemed God, accusing Him of the most heinous injustices known to man, and therefore need to recognize their sin and repent (Job 42:7-9)!
- Difference in plan of salvation, gospel message - The Calvinist' message, in essence, is this: "Listen and obey!" If you can, then according to them, you are one of the elect, who were saved before time began, and you have no worries or real need to do anything more. Of course, they would encourage you to continue to obey, since you are one of the elect, but there is no real reason, because your actions are not your own.
However, the gospel offers five points unto salvation: Hear the gospel, believe it, repent of your sins, confess Jesus, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. These two messages are completely different! The news is different and the requirements are completely different:
- Difference of fellowship - Because baptism teach a different message, gospel, and baptism, there can be no unity with them according to Ephesians 4:4-6. However, we are commanded to "strive earnestly" for this unity (Ephesians 4:1-3). Therefore, we must seek to resolve these differences.
- Danger of Presumption - I can think of few things scarier than facing the Lord in judgment under the condemnation of presumption. Whenever people have thought that some matter was small in their eyes, that God would not mind, and presumed to violate God's law or speak differently than God has spoken, the results have generally been disastrous. This presumptuous, haphazard approach to God is neither diligent nor reverential. He is a holy God and will not tolerate such disrespect:
I believe the charge of blasphemy, buoyed by either Romans 3:25-26 or Job 42:7-9, is sufficient to provoke an honest heart to study, instead of dismissing the matter. Points regarding baptism and the plan of salvation are practical, which when highlighted by Jesus' prayer for unity and our obligation to it, should be compelling. Reminding people of the danger of presumption is essential, because I fear it is one of our greatest downfalls. A Christian should not be trying to meet a minimum standard. Instead, he should be moving as close as possible to God. If he is possibly wrong on a matter of such theological, moral, and practical significance, then he will want to clearly identify the truth and adhere strictly to it. Anything less betrays his heart.
Much more could be said. I have wanted to write an article on this for some time. I pray you find these "Cliff's notes" to be helpful.
May God help us to have a sincere love of truth, first pulling the beams out of our own eyes (Matthew 7:1-5),