Posts Tagged ‘Calvinism’

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A Question for Calvinists

Monday, August 11th, 2014

In the Scripture the following account is given of an interaction between the Lord Jesus Christ and a young man:

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. (Matthew 19:16-21)

In light of the Calvinist doctrine of predestination, please answer the following questions:

  1. If Calvinism is true, why did the Lord Jesus Christ lie to the young man?
  2. Why did he not tell him that he was not ordained to eternal life, and there was no point in trying?
  3. Surely Jesus knew the young man would not believe. Why did he string him along with a promise he had no intention of fulfilling?
  4. In fact, what he told the young man couldn’t be fulfilled as the man was obviously not ordained to life. Why did Jesus do this?

Why did the Calvinist Jesus deceive the man (and everyone else who has knowledge of this incident) and lie to him? How is this righteous?

Here’s the short answer: It isn’t.

Moreover, no amount of logic twisting and distorting the words of Scripture are going to make it so. How can it be acceptable for the Lord Jesus to not tell the man the truth of his predicament? After all, in Matthew 23, he told the Pharisees the truth of their predicament? What would be the difference here?

If you tell one, you have to tell the other. That is the only righteous way to deal with both situations. That is the only way that is equal.

Don’t be like the Catholics and tell me “It’s a mystery.” That is a cop out and a dodge. Besides, it is obvious that there can only be one answer under Calvinist doctrine:

This ‘Jesus’ committed iniquity.

And, since the Calvinist Jesus committed iniquity, how does he pay for the sins of anyone else? How is he that “perfect sacrifice” which is necessary for the payment of the sins of those he ‘saves?’

I would like an honest answer. Unfortunately, based upon all my interaction with those holding Calvinist/Reformed doctrine, I am not going to hold my breath waiting for it. I have yet to meet one that is intellectually honest.

Still, it would be good to see the explanation.

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An Interesting Conclusion

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

While working on responses to the claims of  the Calvinist/Reformed that the Scripture supports their doctrine that (for unknown reasons) God picked and choose, in eternity past, who would be saved and who would be condemned without regard to any criteria, I happened to again examine the heading to one section of their “evidence” from Scripture and it struck me as to what was wrong with it. Now, it is very plain that the Calvinist/Reformed adherents engage in a lot of presumption and frame statements and challenges in such a way as to lead one to an inevitable conclusion. In short, they bias any answering by the very way the statement or challenge is framed. However, the framing of statements in this way is not without it’s problems, as the following statement demonstrates. Below a brief statement is made that I am certain is meant to say that when “God” determines that someone will believe, they will believe. However, it does not turn out quite that way when seriously examined.

God is sovereign over unbelief. John 12:37-41; 10:26 Romans 9:18-19; 11:7-8, 25, 32 Matthew 13:11-17; 24:22 Mark 4:10-13 1 Peter 2:8 Proverbs 16:4 Jude 4

Before starting to examine the above statement, there are a couple of brief definitions which are required to be understood:

sovereign1 sov·er·eign [sov-rin, sov-er-in, suhv-] –noun 1. a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler. 2. a person who has sovereign power or authority. 3. a group or body of persons or a state having sovereign authority. –adjective 5. belonging to or characteristic of a sovereign or sovereignty;  royal. 6. having supreme rank, power, or authority. 7. supreme; preeminent; indisputable: a sovereign right. unbelief2 un·be·lief [uhn-bi-leef] –noun the state or quality of not believing; incredulity or skepticism, especially in matters of doctrine or religious faith.

Knowing then the above definitions, we should also perceive that by Biblical standards, the definition for “unbelief” falls a bit short in that it does not address the issue of the truth at all as the following verse demonstrates:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

Hence, “unbelief” in the Biblical sense is to not believe the truth, or to believe a lie. After all, if you are not believing the truth, you are believing a lie — there is no middle ground. Thus, in the Calvinist/Reformed view: “God” rules over the non-acceptance of that which is valid and true (the holding to a lie). “God” rules over (is sovereign over) the lie. Since Calvinist/Reformed adherents also believe that “God” is the first cause of everything, it follows that the Calvinist “God” is the first cause of the lie. Hence, the Calvinist/Reformed god is the father of lies. To which the Scripture answers:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Which means that the Calvinist/Reformed god could not be the LORD God of the Bible, as the LORD God wants EVERYONE to abide in the truth. But, the Calvinist/Reformed god only wants certain people to abide in the truth, and everyone else he holds in unbelief, not allowing them to come to the truth. I John 8:44 above, the Lord Jesus Christ plainly identifies who that god is: the Devil or Satan – the father of lies. The sad fact is, even the “truth” the Devil wants those individuals to come to, isn’t the truth at all, but a cleverly crafted deceit, designed to keep them from ever coming to the actual truth.

  1. Definition taken from Dictionary.com
  2. ibid
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A Question for Calvinists and Reformed Devotees – Updated and Reposted

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

OK, so God never commanded them to burn their children, and he never considered commanding them to burn their children. Where’s the dilemma here? Surely you aren’t suggesting God was caught off-guard, or that it’s possible for us to override his will.1

The Reformed/Calvinist adherents claim that everything done is God’s will, whether it be good or evil. There is no sense in which they do not dispute this as many Calvinist/Reformed writers and theologians have confirmed. Thus what we are given is a near – to fatalistic view of our existence, in which all actions are willed of God.

If that is so, and the majority of Calvinists say it is, then they need to answer this passage:

29Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.
30For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.
31And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. (Jeremiah 7:29-31)

Notice what the LORD states here:

And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

The LORD is VERY express here that the concept and idea of burning children in the fire “NEITHER came it into my heart.”

If then, God decrees (wills) everything, then how can this statement be in Scripture?

How can it be that God willed the Jews in Jerusalem to sacrifice their children in the fire, but it was not in His heart, and didn’t enter into His heart?

Since the will stems from the heart, how can God will something, yet the thing willed not be in the heart of God?

The adherents of Calvinist/Reformed doctrine cannot have it both ways.

Update . . .

I find this amazing: That individuals can plainly look at clear Scripture, and then misconstrue what the words plainly state. So it is with this challenge. There are two things touched upon, and the Calvinists who have replied have obviously, deliberately misconstrued what was said. This is plain because of what they attempt to accuse me of saying, such as Stan’s comment:

This is actually a terrifying concept you’re offering here. So … as you read it, the passage in Jeremiah 7 is saying that human beings thought up things that God never thought of? Human beings exceeded God’s knowledge? I would have to assume that you necessarily deny that God is omniscient then as well, right?2

And Lee Shelton’s comment:

OK, so God never commanded them to burn their children, and he never considered commanding them to burn their children. Where’s the dilemma here? Surely you aren’t suggesting God was caught off-guard, or that it’s possible for us to override his will.3

Both of these comments willfully ignore the very common Calvinist doctrine of “foreordination” of all things, which is stated by one Calvinist the following way (emphasis mine):

The first objection is that God’s Providence means that our choices are not real and that they do not make a difference. But our choices are real and genuine because God says they are. And they make a difference because God brings about His will by means of our choices, not in spite of our choices. Our choices are important, they make a difference, and therefore we should always seek to make good, holy, and wise choices.4 The second objection is that, since God often commands us to do things in Scripture and calls us to make choices, He cannot be ultimately in control of our decisions. This objection, however, cannot account for all of the verses we have seen that God does control all things–including our decisions. The Bible views commands–and the crucial importance of us to obey them–as perfectly consistent with God’s control over our choices. For example, in 1 Chronicles 28:9 David commands Solomon to serve God with a whole heart and a willing mind. This shows his responsibility to choose to follow God. But does this mean that God has ultimately left it up to Solomon to follow Him or not? No, because in the next chapter we see David acknowledging that it is ultimately God who gives a person a heart to obey, for He prays “give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Thy commandments” (29:19). There would be no use in asking God to cause Solomon to obey if God had ultimately left the choice up to Solomon. In light of all that we have seen, it seems best to conclude that since God controls all things, He causes us to make willing choices so that His will is always done, yet these choices are genuine, and we are accountable for them. Again, we do not need to necessarily see how these truths fit together, but if we are going to believe the Bible, it seems that we must believe them.56

And, Aaron Curry plainly echoed this doctrine with the statement:

Ok, Good. Every decision a person makes good or evil fulfills God’s will. GOD IS BEHIND EVERY DECISION A HUMAN BEING MAKES.7

So when they state what they believe concerning God’s sovereignty and fore-ordaining of all things, they are saying that God wills everything. Moreover, despite the attempt to explain that the fore-ordained choices we make are our responsibility and ordaining sin is not virtually the same as being the “author of sin;” that cannot stand as the word “ordain” is defined as follows:

or·dain (ôr-dn)2
tr.v. or·dained, or·dain·ing, or·dains

1. a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on..
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
2. To order by virtue of superior authority; decree or enact.
3. To prearrange unalterably; predestine: by fate ordained.

See Synonyms at dictate.
[Middle English ordeinen, from Old French ordener, ordein-, from Latin rdinre, to organize, appoint to office, from rd, rdin-, order; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]
or·dainer n.
or·dainment n.8

And from Strong’s Concordance:

1299 diatasso { dee-at-as’-so}
from 1223 and 5021; TDNT – 8:34,1156; v
AV – command 7, appoint 4, ordain 3, set in order 1, give order 1; 16
GK – 1411 { διατάσσω }
1) to arrange, appoint, ordain, prescribe, give order9

And the underlying word for “ordained” means:

3724 horizo { hor-id’-zo}
from 3725; TDNT – 5:452,728; v
AV – determine 2, ordain 2, as it was determined + 2596 + 3588 1, declare 1, limit 1, determine 1; 8
GK – 3988 { ὁρίζω }
1) to define
1a) to mark out the boundaries or limits (of any place or thing) 1b to determine, appoint
1b1) that which has been determined, acc. to appointment, decree
1b2) to ordain, determine, appoint10

Hence, by the above definitions, to say that everything we do, good or evil, is God’s will and God ordained it, is to say that God ordained both good and evil, and it is “God’s will” that we commit evil deeds. Hence, it necessarily follows that God ordained (willed) our “evil deeds” and thus “ordained sin” which is to say that “God” is the author of sin, the author of the fall, and the author of all wickedness and iniquity. This cannot be excused or explained away. Moreover, to say that we are responsible for the decisions we make that were scripted for us to make, is, on its face, utter nonsense.

The fact that Calvinists believe in the “fore-ordaining” of all things, makes the accusations of the Calvinists who posted comments, baseless and pure hokum. One would have to utterly ignorant of the English language to miss what is being stated in the original post. Moreover, they are ignoring what certain other verses clearly state . ..

Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter. (Jeremiah 19:4-6)

And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (Jeremiah 32:35)

Now, it is not I that say it, but the LORD God: The sin of burning one’s children in the fire was never in the LORD’s heart and/or mind that such a thing be done. Does this mean that the LORD did not know people would do such things? Not hardly. Rather it is to state that, though the LORD God knew, but this was not His will — not the will of His heart, nor of His mind. Plainly, that is what is meant, and is well within the meaning of the words “mind” and “heart”

3820 leb { labe}
a form of 3824; TWOT – 1071a; n m
AV – heart 508, mind 12, midst 11, understanding 10, hearted 7, wisdom 6, comfortably 4, well 4, considered 2, friendly 2, kindly 2, stouthearted + 47 2, care + 7760 2, misc 20; ; 592
GK – 4213 { לֵב }
GK – together with 06965 4214 { לֵב קָמָי }
1) inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding
1a) inner part, midst
1a1) midst (of things)
1a2) heart (of man)
1a3) soul, heart (of man)
1a4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
1a5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will)
1a6) conscience
1a7) heart (of moral character)
1a8) as seat of appetites
1a9) as seat of emotions and passions
1a10) as seat of courage11

And the meaning of the word “will,” for purposes of illustration:

6634 ts^eba’ (Aramaic) { tseb-aw’}
corresponding to 6623 in the fig. sense of summoning one’s wishes; TWOT – 2953; v
AV – will 9, his will 1; 10
GK – 10605 { צְבָה }
1) to desire, be inclined, be willing, be pleased
1a) (P’al)
1a1) to desire
1a2) to be pleased
1a3) to will (without hindrance) (of God)12

What this undoubtably means that it was never the inclination of the heart and mind of God that children be burnt in the fire.

So, again I ask:

If then, God decrees (wills) everything as the Calvinists believe and purport, then how can these statements be in Scripture?

How can it be that God willed the Jews in Jerusalem to sacrifice their children in the fire, but it was not in His heart and mind, and didn’t enter into His heart and mind?

Since the will stems from the heart/mind, how can God will something, yet the thing willed not be in the heart/mind of God?

If there is such a thing as an intellectually and Biblically honest Calvinist, I would like an answer.

  1. Comment by Lee Shelton, IV, contemporarycalvinist.blogspot.com
  2. Stan’s comment on original posting
  3. Lee Shelton’s comment on original posting
  4. In light of Calvinist doctrine, this is utter nonsense. Our choices are scripted and any choice we make is going to be the will of God, no matter what we think or what logic we use to arrive at the choice. According to what the author declared, any route we take to arrive at a choice was already fore-ordained by God, and we will be making the choice God determined we should make to fulfill His will – whether the choice is for good or evil.
  5. So much for “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” I Thessalonians 5:21
  6. The Amazing Providence of God, Author not cited on page
  7. E-mail from Aaron dated 26/11/2008
  8. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
  9. Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Test of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurence of Each Word in Regular Order. Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
  10. ibid
  11. Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Test of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurence of Each Word in Regular Order. Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
  12. ibid
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An Inconceivable Thought

Friday, April 24th, 2009

The Calvinists love to accuse others of taking verses out of context anytime a verse is quoted or explained that demonstrates their doctrine to be not Scriptural. Moreover, they love to quote the following verse as “proof” that God is sovereign, and foreordained everything:

. . .In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: . . . (Ephesians 1:11)

Notice the leading and trailing periods? They are there for a very good reason — Ephesians 1:11 is only a part of a complex sentence. How interesting? Accusing others of taking Scripture out of context, and then violently pulling a phrase out of a sentence, just to “prove” their point.

The problem is not that I and others who are not Calvinist/Reformed don’t believe that God is sovereign. Rather, where we disagree with Calvinists centers around how that sovereignty is defined and executed. Additionally, I agree that the LORD God does His will and no one will change that, and He works everything after His own counsel.

Where I so strongly disagree is in what “the will of God is.” You see, verse 11 cited above only tells us that God does according to His will. It simply does not tell us what that will is.

Here then is an inconceivable thought for Calvinists:

What if it was and still is, the will of God that man, the pinnacle of the creatures made by Him, be allowed to exercise free choice?

What if it is the express will of the LORD God that man, once granted faith and repentance, is allowed to freely choose the path he will follow — either accepting Christ, and subsequently being born again; or rejecting Christ and remaining dead in sins and trespasses?

Why is this so inconceivable to Calvinists?

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A Question for Calvinists and Reformed Devotees

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

The Reformed/Calvinist adherents claim that everything done is God’s will, whether it be good or evil. There is no sense in which they do not dispute this as many Calvinist/Reformed writers and theologians have confirmed. Thus what we are given is a near – to fatalistic view of our existence, in which all actions are willed of God.

If that is so, and the majority of Calvinists say it is, then they need to answer this passage:

Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.
For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.
And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. (Jeremiah 7:29-31)

Notice what the LORD states here:

And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. (Jeremiah 7:31)

The LORD is VERY express here that the concept and idea of burning children in the fire “NEITHER came it into my heart.”

If then, God decrees (wills) everything, then how can this statement be in Scripture?

How can it be that God willed the Jews in Jerusalem to sacrifice their children in the fire, but it was not in His heart, and didn’t enter into His heart?

Since the will stems from the heart, how can God will something, yet the thing willed not be in the heart of God?

The adherents of Calvinist/Reformed doctrine cannot have it both ways.

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Playing a Game – Part 3

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

So then, Not only do we find that the Calvinists/Reformed adherents believe that God intended for evil and sin to exist, but that He intentionally created a person who is highly intelligent, beautiful, powerful, very capable in music, with an unparalleled ability to persuade: for the express purpose of rebelling against God. Moreover, this was done so that the glory of God, His holiness, righteousness, mercy, longsuffering, lovingkindness and grace would be glorious in its contrast to the wickedness and evil of the creature(s) who rebelled.

So are we here to understand that God cannot be glorious without some wicked, evil thing to contrast His Righteousness and Holiness against?

Are we also to understand, as Jonathan Edwards tells us:

So evil is necessary, in order to the highest happiness of the creature, and the completeness of that communication of God, for which he made the world; because the creature’s happiness consists in the knowledge of God, and the sense of his love. And if the knowledge of him be imperfect, the happiness of the creature must be proportionably imperfect.

And as Joseph Smith confirmed, concerning man:

2 Nephi, Chapter 2 (Book of Mormon)
22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

If we compare the thought pattern of Jonathan Edwards (and John Piper, for he agrees fully with Edwards) to that of Joseph Smith, the author of the Book of Mormon, we can plainly see that both men believe that it is not possible for knowledge of righteousness and holiness to exist and be understood, (and even going so far as stating righteousness and holiness cannot exist) without the existence of evil and wickedness. Both men plainly state that “evil is necessary” either by direct statement or by reasoning, like Smith’s “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” in which it is plain that we could never know, nor appreciate the righteousness and holiness of God, and the joy such knowledge imparts — except we become evil wicked creatures, upon which “God” could bestow “his” mercy. Indeed, both men also acknowledge that man was innocent, but without comprehension of the happiness and joy of the knowledge of “God’s mercy.”

However, the most egregious part comes from the statements of both men, in which they say all this was accomplished:

“in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.”

And:

Thus it is necessary, that God’s awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested. But this could not be, unless sin and punishment had been decreed;”.

This John Piper agrees to totally by stating:

“Rather he “wills that evil come to pass . . . that good may come of it.””

Which is also no different that Baal Shem Tov’s:

“Nevertheless, evil that exists has an inner power giving it life. And this [inner power] is total goodness. So if you look at the inner aspect of evil, you will only see the good in it.”

This is really no more that the philosophy of Unity of Opposites and is expressed in various different ways, with artificial distinction, depending upon the perspective of the person. Under one philosophy it is called Taoism and is expressed thus:

Taoism
The Yin Yang symbol:
This is a well known Taoist symbol. “It represents the balance of opposites in the universe. When they are equally present, all is calm. When one is outweighed by the other, there is confusion and disarray.”1

And if the person’s point of view is materialistic, then it is expressed this way:

Dialectical Materialism (the root of Communism)
Fredrick Engels — Dialectics of Nature2
“Motion is the mode of existence of matter. Never anywhere has there been matter without motion, or motion without matter, nor can there be.”

Though the words may vary, and the focus different, all that has been done with Augustinian/Calvinist/Reformed/Sovereign Grace/Primitive Baptist doctrine is take the idea and thought processes of the ancient philosophy of “unity of opposites” and try to make the Scripture conform to it.

Should we be so surprised? After all, Augustine, though raised to be a “Christian” chose a heathen system of belief as his own (underlining and emphasis mine):

Unfortunately, his faith, as well as his morals, was to pass though a terrible crisis. In this same year, 373, Augustine and his friend Honoratus fell into the snares of the Manichæans. It seems strange that so great a mind should have been victimized by Oriental vapourings, synthesized by the Persian Mani (215-276) into coarse, material dualism, and introduced into Africa scarcely fifty years previously. Augustine himself tells us that he was enticed by the promises of a free philosophy unbridled by faith; by the boasts of the Manichæans, who claimed to have discovered contradictions in Holy Writ; and, above all, by the hope of finding in their doctrine a scientific explanation of nature and its most mysterious phenomena. Augustine’s inquiring mind was enthusiastic for the natural sciences, and the Manichæans declared that nature withheld no secrets from Faustus, their doctor. Moreover, being tortured by the problem of the origin of evil, Augustine, in default of solving it, acknowledged a conflict of two principles. And then, again, there was a very powerful charm in the moral irresponsibility resulting from a doctrine which denied liberty and attributed the commission of crime to a foreign principle.

Once won over to this sect, Augustine devoted himself to it with all the ardour of his character; he read all its books, adopted and defended all its opinions. His furious proselytism drew into error his friend Alypius and Romanianus, his Mæcenas of Tagaste, the friend of his father who was defraying the expenses of Augustine’s studies. It was during this Manichæan period that Augustine’s literary faculties reached their full development, and he was still a student at Carthage when he embraced error.

His studies ended, he should in due course have entered the forum litigiosum, but he preferred the career of letters, and Possidius tells us that he returned to Tagaste to “teach grammar.” The young professor captivated his pupils, one of whom, Alypius, hardly younger than his master, loath to leave him after following him into error, was afterwards baptized with him at Milan, eventually becoming Bishop of Tagaste, his native city. But Monica deeply deplored Augustine’s heresy and would not have received him into her home or at her table but for the advice of a saintly bishop, who declared that “the son of so many tears could not perish.” Soon afterwards Augustine went to Carthage, where he continued to teach rhetoric. His talents shone to even better advantage on this wider stage, and by an indefatigable pursuit of the liberal arts his intellect attained its full maturity. Having taken part in a poetic tournament, he carried off the prize, and the Proconsul Vindicianus publicly conferred upon him the corona agonistica.3

And of course, when converted, his “conversion” was to utterly corrupt Catholicism. But even the Catholics admit:

Augustine gradually became acquainted with Christian doctrine, and in his mind the fusion of Platonic philosophy with revealed dogmas was taking place.4

To be continued . . .

  1. Taoism
  2. Dialectical Materialism
  3. St. Augustine of Hippo, From his birth to his conversion (354-386)
  4. St. Augustine of Hippo, From his conversion to his episcopate (386-395)
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Playing a Game – Part 2

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Here then we have it plainly stated by the those holding to Calvinist doctrine: that absolutely nothing is done, no act ever committed, and no thought ever made that God does not directly, actively control by way of causing it to be, or giving permission and causing “agents of His will” to perform His exact will. For they, the Calvinist/Reformed scholars and adherents, said:

In Genesis 45:5 and 50:20, God plans the attempted murder and enslavement of Joseph so that God can eventually save millions of people from famine. Joseph tells his brothers that their paln(sic) was wicked, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.1

“Ok, Good. Every decision a person makes good or evil fulfills God’s will.”2

“WHO DECIDES? GOD DOES, AND HE DOESN’T CARE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT.”3

Due to the above quoted admissions of Calvinists, we can now apply the Calvinist/Reformed doctrine of the sovereignty of God to the fall of Lucifer and see what the ramifications of that doctrine are.

In beginning to examine this, the relevant portions of the passages from Scripture are excerpted to specifically show Satan and his fall from his position as covering cherub of the throne of God.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14)

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. (Ezekiel 28:15-17)

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (Revelation 12:3-4)

As we can see in the particular excerpts, Lucifer was a covering cherub of the throne of God, and was made highly intelligent, very beautiful, very talented, and very powerful. Unfortunately, all this ability and beauty got to him and Lucifer became proud of who and what he was, forgetting who made him: he then set about to turn all Heaven against the LORD God. As a result, a full third of the angelic host believed Lucifer over the LORD God and chose to follow him. They were summarily cut off and cast down, eternally condemned awaiting the Lake of Fire. For the fallen angels, there is no hope of reconciliation with the LORD God, they are forever lost, bound for destruction.

If we are to believe the Calvinist/Reformed theologian and advocate, we must then believe that the LORD God “ordained” Lucifer’s rebellion to take place, and that Lucifer really had no choice in the matter. Before Lucifer was ever created, he was ordained to rebel and fall, introducing evil and sin into creation, and in the process, taking a full third of all the angels with him.

Thus, the LORD God ordained evil and sin to enter into His perfectly righteous and sin-free creation through the rebellion of Lucifer, where no sin existed before.

Surely there would have to be a purpose to this? After all, if the LORD God exercises sovereignty the way the Calvinist/Reformed adherent believes He does, then the LORD God intended for Lucifer to bring evil into a perfect heaven, which was the only creation that existed at the time, corrupting a perfectly righteous place, and committing a third of the LORD’s created angels to follow rebellion and destruction. After all, it was “ordained” of God, otherwise it could not happen.

So then, the Calvinist/Reformed advocate is asking you and I to believe that the LORD God intended to corrupt His perfect and righteous creation through the agent of Lucifer.

Can this be true?

To answer that, we need only go back to one of the more famous Calvinists: Jonathan Edwards. The following is an excerpt from an on-line article by John Piper in which he quotes Jonathan Edwards extensively and approvingly:

2.2 Why Does God Ordain that there Be Evil?

It is evident from what has been said that it is not because he delights in evil as evil. Rather he “wills that evil come to pass . . . that good may come of it.” What good? And how does the existence of evil serve this good end? Here is Edwards’ stunning answer:

It is a proper and excellent thing for infinite glory to shine forth; and for the same reason, it is proper that the shining forth of God’s glory should be complete; that is, that all parts of his glory should shine forth, that every beauty should be proportionably effulgent, that the beholder may have a proper notion of God. It is not proper that one glory should be exceedingly manifested, and another not at all. . . .

Thus it is necessary, that God’s awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested. But this could not be, unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God’s glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all.

If it were not right that God should decree and permit and punish sin, there could be no manifestation of God’s holiness in hatred of sin, or in showing any preference, in his providence, of godliness before it. There would be no manifestation of God’s grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from. How much happiness soever he bestowed, his goodness would not be so much prized and admired. . . .

So evil is necessary, in order to the highest happiness of the creature, and the completeness of that communication of God, for which he made the world; because the creature’s happiness consists in the knowledge of God, and the sense of his love. And if the knowledge of him be imperfect, the happiness of the creature must be proportionably imperfect.

So the answer to the question in the title of this message, “Is God less glorious because he ordained that evil be?” is no, just the opposite. God is more glorious for having conceived and created and governed a world like this with all its evil. The effort to absolve him by denying his foreknowledge of sin (as we saw this afternoon) or by denying his control of sin (which we have seen this evening) is fatal, and a great dishonor to his word and his wisdom. Evangelicals who are seeking the glory of God, look well to the teaching of your churches and your schools. But most of all, look well to your souls.4

Now, if you read carefully, you should have noted that Edwards stated:

Thus it is necessary, that God’s awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested. But this could not be, unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God’s glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all.

If it were not right that God should decree and permit and punish sin, there could be no manifestation of God’s holiness in hatred of sin, or in showing any preference, in his providence, of godliness before it. There would be no manifestation of God’s grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from.

Meaning that the LORD God’s glorious righteousness and holiness cannot be really glorious unless there is some evil to contrast it against. Else, the glory is just not that glorious, and the righteousness isn’t really all that spectacular. After all Edwards did also state:

Thus it is necessary, that God’s awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested.

And this simply was not possible without some wickedness and evil to set it against:

But this could not be, unless sin and punishment had been decreed; . . .

And Edwards justification for this follows:

So evil is necessary, in order to the highest happiness of the creature, and the completeness of that communication of God, for which he made the world; because the creature’s happiness consists in the knowledge of God, and the sense of his love. And if the knowledge of him be imperfect, the happiness of the creature must be proportionably imperfect.

Hence, righteousness is not really righteousness, and we could not perceive it so, unless evil exists.

To this, John Piper agrees:

So the answer to the question in the title of this message, “Is God less glorious because he ordained that evil be?” is no, just the opposite. God is more glorious for having conceived and created and governed a world like this with all its evil. The effort to absolve him by denying his foreknowledge of sin (as we saw this afternoon) or by denying his control of sin (which we have seen this evening) is fatal, and a great dishonor to his word and his wisdom.

So then, ultimately, evil becomes NECESSARY, and serves a good end as everyone ultimately does the will of God, to the glory of God.

So, now I ask:

Does the logic of Jonathan Edwards seem strangely familiar? Does it have a “ring” to it which seems just too familiar?

It should:

From the Book of Mormon:

2 Nephi 2:10-12
10 And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement–

11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.

And again from Baal Shem Tov:

Hasidic Judaism (Founded by Baal Shem Tov)
4. Having no [divine] source, evil does not come down from heaven. Nevertheless, evil that exists has an inner power giving it life. And this [inner power] is total goodness. So if you look at the inner aspect of evil, you will only see the good in it.5

Here we see a commonality of thought process – a logic borne of a way of thinking. That way of thinking states that righteousness and holiness cannot really exist, or be really perceived to exist without some oppositional process occurring. Hence, righteousness and holiness cannot really exist, except wickedness and sin exist. Otherwise, there is no real perception of just how glorious righteousness and holiness are.

After all, the language is plain, whether it is Jonathan Edwards “necessary” existence of evil, or Joseph Smith’s “must needs be an opposition”, or Hasidic Judaism’s “evil that exists has an inner power giving it life. And this [inner power] is total goodness.”, all speak plainly to the belief that God “ORDAINED” evil to exist and ultimately controls evil, causing it to be, or holding it back as He sees fit.

And, we are told by the Calvinist/Reformed theologian, God is doing all this to obtain glory by and through His creation and the triumph over the evil he ordained.

In short, it’s all a monstrous game, in which God will be glorified, and to hell with all the rest. After all, Aaron Curry’s statement is not out of line with Calvinist thinking:

“WHO DECIDES? GOD DOES, AND HE DOESN’T CARE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT.”6

To be continued . . .

  1. We’re Pagans I Tell You, Rev. John Samson, quoted by Aaron Curry, unattributed.
  2. E-mail from Aaron Curry, dated 26 November, 2008
  3. ibid
  4. Is God Less Glorious Because He Ordained that Evil Be?, Jonathan Edwards on the Decrees of God, John Piper – Desiring God Ministries.
  5. The Ten Principles Of The Baal Shem Tov
  6. E-mail from Aaron Curry, dated 26 November, 2008
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Playing a Game – Part 1

Monday, April 13th, 2009

One of the most prominent features of Calvinist doctrine is their view of the “Sovereignty of God.” It is an interesting view that is best described in their own words, and then carried out to its logical conclusion using the express statements of Scripture, if we are to truly understand the full ramifications of who they declare God to be. Those holding Calvinist/Reformed theology are not shy concerning their view of the Sovereignty of God, and spare no opportunity to put it in your face. The problem is, their view of sovereignty and how it relates to God raises some troubling issues.

In addressing this, the following quotes from Calvinists themselves are used so there is no mistake about what they believe.

That Calvin regards everything that occurs as embraced in the eternal decree of God lies on the face of his teaching at every point where he finds occasion to reflect on this subject. While repudiating the Stoic doctrine of necessity, arising from a perpetual intertwining and confused series of causes contained in nature, he is insistent that God is the arbiter and governor of all things “who, of his own wisdom, from the remotest eternity, decreed what he would do, and now by his own power executes what he has decreed. Whence we assert, that, not only the heaven and the earth and inanimate creatures, but also the deliberations and volitions of men are so governed by his providence that they are directed exactly to their destined end”3 and thus nothing happens fortuitously or contingently. “The will of God is the supreme and first cause of all things, because nothing happens but by his command or permission.” And in his extensive tract on The Eternal Predestination of God, dedicated on January 1, 1552, he says to the same effect that “the hand of God no less rules the internal affections than it precedes the external acts, and that God does not perform by the hand of men those things which he has decreed without first working in their hearts the very will which precedes their acts.”1

We should note from Calvin, quoted by John Murray, the following:

and that God does not perform by the hand of men those things which he has decreed without first working in their hearts the very will which precedes their acts.

And again from Aaron Curry:

Aaron: Ok Paul, I’m going to answer this one last time, then maybe you can stop avoiding my prior emails and answer them. People make decisions for themselves. OK Paul, Good. People are responsible for the decisions they make, Ok, Good. Every decision a person makes good or evil fulfills God’s will. GOD IS BEHIND EVERY DECISION A HUMAN BEING MAKES. IT IS LIKE SLIPPING A GLOVE OVER YOUR HAND.
THE GREATEST IDOL IN AMERICAN CULTURE IS THE IDOL OF PERSONAL SELF-DETERMINATION. PERSONAL CHOICE IS CHERISED ABOVE GOD. PERHAPS THE REASON IT IS SO HARD TO TEACH THE BIBLICAL DOCRTINE OF PREDESTINATION IS BECAUSE TO PREACH THIS DOCTRINE IS TO PIERCE THE VERY HEART OF MAN’S REBELLION. ” IN WE WERE CHOSEN, HAVING BEEN PREDESTINED ACCORDING TO THE PLAN OF HIM WHO WORKS OUT EVERYTHING IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PURPOSE OD HIS WILL” (EPHESIANS 1;11) WHO DECIDES? GOD DOES, AND HE DOESN’T CARE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT. GOD IS HOLY. GOD IS SOVEREIGN. GOD IS GOD. BOW THE KNEE AND FEAR THE LORD. FALL BEFORE HIM AND WORSHIP.2

We should note the following statements

“People make decisions for themselves. OK Paul, Good. People are responsible for the decisions they make,”

And:

“WHO DECIDES? GOD DOES, AND HE DOESN’T CARE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT.”

And again:

“Ok, Good. Every decision a person makes good or evil fulfills God’s will.”

Now, I could go on and quote literally dozens of other Reformed/Calvinist theologians, writers and adherents, but it would be utterly repetitious. They all say the same thing concerning the Sovereignty of God. Thus, this is a settled doctrine and accepted by all Calvinists.

So then, we must accept that the adherents of Calvinist/Reformed doctrine believe God ordained, commanded and controlled all the following:

Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. (Isaiah 14:9-20)

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. (Ezekiel 28:11-19)

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:1-9)

All three of the passages above are about Lucifer and his fall from the position of covering cherub. In so doing, Lucifer took with him a third of the host of angels. Moreover, according to the Calvinists, the following also was ordained of God:

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea , hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons . And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:1-8)

And, let us fully consider the foregoing along with these statements:

Aaron: God is sovereign over all things and decisions.(Ephesians 1:11) Did you know that God has ordained every step and decision of our life? (Psalm 139:16)3

In Genesis 45:5 and 50:20, God plans the attempted murder and enslavement of Joseph so that God can eventually save millions of people from famine. Joseph tells his brothers that their paln was wicked, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.4

God has ordained every step of your life Paul, every bad and good decision, everything. He has your life written in a book.5

Aaron: Yes, God ordained sin, he is not the author of it, but he let it happen. Let me ask you this Paul. Before the fall, Adam and Eve did not have the ability to sin, but Adam and Eve chose to rebell(sic) and sin against God. They had no sinful nature, they were perfect. How did they have the ability to sin if they do not have the abilty to do so?(No sinful natures)6

And let us consider the meaning of the word “ordain”:

4309 proorizo { pro-or-id’-zo}
from 4253 and 3724; TDNT – 5:456,728; v
AV – predestinate 4, determine before 1, ordain 1; 6
GK – 4633 { προορίζω }
1) to predetermine, decide beforehand
2) in the NT of God decreeing from eternity
3) to foreordain, appoint beforehand

Let us now consider the ramifications of what the Calvinists claim about the sovereignty of God, and its impact upon the above passages of Scripture that deal directly with the fall of Lucifer, who became Satan. . . and all events subsequent to that.

To be continued . . .

  1. Calvin on the Sovereignty of God, John Murray
  2. E-mail from Aaron dated 26/11/2008
  3. e-mail from Aaron dated 26/11/2008
  4. ibid
  5. ibid
  6. ibid
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Falsely Accused

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

This post comes about because the man I have been dealing with, and had to cut off contact with, falsely accused me of being an Arminian and holding Arminian theology. The fact is that over the last 6 months, I made it abundantly clear that I did not agree with Calvinist doctrine, Arminian doctrine, or Universalist doctrine. When Aaron Curry first encountered this, he stated:

I do not like labels, but there are 3 different types of theology. 1) Calvinism 2) Arminianism 3) Universalism. One of these is biblical Christianity. I believe Calvinism to be biblical Christianity. Your theology runs into one of these, unless you are creating new theology to confuse more people.1

To which I replied:

Howsoever, I will make note of one of the things you just stated:

“I do not like labels, but there are 3 different types of theology. 1) Calvinism 2) Arminianism 3) Universalism. One of these is biblical Christianity. I believe Calvinism to be biblical Christianity. Your theology runs into one of these, unless you are creating new theology to confuse more people.”

I would have to strongly disagree with your assessment of the types of theology. I do not find any of the three “types of theology” to be biblically correct. I find that all suffer deficiencies in explaining the nature and character of the LORD God, in interpretation of the Scripture, and in the “whys and wherefores” of salvation. The fact that you have “pigeonholed” Scripture into one of the three types, and then claim that one must be “creating new theology to confuse more people” if they don’t agree with any of them, goes a long way to pointing to you considering yourself to be the judge of all that Scripture can be about, and leaves no room for any possibility of error on your part. Need I say that is not very humble, and not very wise.

My doctrine is very clear, and published for all to see. I have a Statement of Faith page, in which I went through the entirety of Scripture and proved out what I believe. It is extensive, and more extensive than most everyone else’s out there. If you want to try to pigeonhole me, then you are free to. However, you will find that my doctrine matches the doctrine of those Baptist churches that were never under Roman Catholic rule, and preceded the Reformation by about 15 centuries. Thus, before you start to lay an accusation about what I believe, go through what I have written first. You may find that I have already stated my belief an another article elsewhere.2

So what happened? I was accused of holding Arminian doctrine!

Your salvation doctrine is Arminian. You believe man is in control of his salvation as the Arminians do.That man chooses or rejects Jesus by his own free-will. So do Arminians. That God elects people to salvation based on his foreknowledge of people choosing Him. That is Arminian. The only thing you don’t share with the Arminians, is losing your salvation.( Not all Arminians believe you can lose your salvation.)3

What a crock! The reason for his accusation?

I’m not really sure, but everything Mr. Curry has done over the last 6 months points only to the desire to “win” the argument. There is nothing in his demeanor and conduct that indicates he is interested in the truth, only in “winning.” So I sent him back a copy of The Remonstrance I found at Wikipedia. By the above e-mail reply to Aaron, and the annotation of The Remonstrance, it should be plain that I am NOT an Arminian, and I do not hold Arminian doctrine.

Here are the five points of Arminian theology. My answers are in BLUE interlinear, with red strikethrough on what I disagree with. It is plain, I do not agree with Arminian doctrine.

  • Article I – That God, by an eternal, unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ, his Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his Son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ, according to the word of the Gospel in John iii. 36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also.
  • DISAGREE
  • Article II – That, agreeably thereto, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, died for all men and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption, and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins, except the believer, according to the word of the Gospel of John iii. 16: “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”; and in the First Epistle of John ii. 2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
  • LACKING THE “HOW” AND “WHY.” NOT DEFINED ENOUGH TO AGREE OR DISAGREE
  • Article IIIThat man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free-will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do anything that is truly good (such as having faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the word of Christ, John xv. 5: “Without me ye can do nothing.”
  • THE ENTIRETY OF THIS IS WRONG
  • Article IV — That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of an good, even to this extent, that the regenerate man himself, without that prevenient or assisting; awakening, following, and co-operative grace, can neither think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements that can be conceived must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But, as respects the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, inasmuch as it is written concerning many that they have resisted the Holy Ghost,—Acts vii, and elsewhere in many places.
  • DISAGREE
  • Article V — That those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving spirit, have thereby full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory, it being well understood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Ghost; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand; and if only they are ready for the conflict, and desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no craft or power of Satan, can be misled, nor plucked out of Christ’s hands, according to the word of Christ, John x. 28: “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginnings of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of becoming devoid of grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scriptures before they can teach it with the full persuasion of their minds.
  • DISAGREE

Now how in the WORLD can I be an Arminian, when I disagree with 4 of 5 points, and question the basis of the only point I was neutral on?

Of course, that is irrelevant to Aaron Curry. All he cares about is “winning,” never mind that my doctrine is fully published, and it is NOT Arminian. He rejected my annotated Remonstrance, and insisted he knows more of what I believe than I do!

His reply:

“Mr. Davis you share every Arminian doctrine below. I have emails to prove your Arminian language of these doctrines.”4

At that point I cut him off. It is pointless to put the truth in front of someone who doesn’t care about anything except “winning.” No, all I “share” is some common language, and none of the reasoning, none of “prevenient grace,” and none of a host of other Arminian concepts that Calvinists actually do share with them. Perhaps I should have accused Aaron Curry of being a closet Arminian. It would be just as ridiculous as his accusation that I am an Arminian.

No, what it is, is the “Bull in a China Shop” approach. Aaron Curry’s approach to Scripture and doctrine is so clumsy and unrefined that he stumbles over and misses very important principles and precepts in Scripture. Thus, he makes lame accusations in an attempt to “win,” not perceiving right doctrine at all.

  1. E-mail from Aaron Curry dated 11/11/2008
  2. E-mail reply to Aaron Curry dated 11/11/2008 – minor typographical errors corrected
  3. E-mail from Aaron Curry, dated 04/11/2009
  4. E-mail from Aaron Curry dated 04/11/2008
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Ephesians 1:3-12, William Tyndale’s New Testament

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

The following is extracted from William Tyndale’s 1534 New Testament1

It is posted so that rabid Calvinists can read it and get bent trying to warp it into “unconditional, sovereign election.” I am not worried as the language will stand. Though the language and grammar are very plain that the predestination pertains to what the born-again believer will be AFTER they are saved, those holding Calvinist/Reformed doctrine are always intellectually dishonest enough to throw out the rules of English grammar and sentence structure, and contort the passage into saying “predestined to salvation.

How do I know? I have dealt with several Calvinists, with the last “conversation” abruptly ending after about 6 months. During this time I found him to be more dishonest and unstable than most who hold Calvinist doctrine (he is a “charismatic Calvinist” (Extreme emotionalism plus hateful doctrine — what a combination!)), but right along the same lines as the rest of them. He used the same intellectually disingenuous arguments, and pulled the same shenanigans they all pull. He acted utterly superior, condescending, arrogant, bullying, and lied through his teeth, contradicting himself several times. When called on it, he changed subjects, bullied, and brought up questions that had nothing to do with the current discussion, and tried to seize control of the discussion. In short, typical Calvinist/Reformed behavior.

If you have been so abused by a Calvinist, you could drop a comment. I will gladly post it. The wickedness of Calvinist doctrine and the behavior it engenders needs to be seriously exposed.

With that, I leave you to the most excellent William Tyndale, the father of modern English and originator of the lineage of Bibles which culminated in the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures.

Ephesians, Chapter One:

Blessed be God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which hath blessed us with all manner of spiritual blessing in heavenly things by Christ, according as he had chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world was laid, that we should be saints, and without blame before him, through love. And ordained us before through Jesus Christ to be heirs unto himself, according to the pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace wherewith he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

By whom we have redemption through his blood even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace, which grace he shed on us abundantly in all wisdom, and perceivance. And hath opened unto us the mystery of his will according to his pleasure, and purposed the same in himself to have it declared when the time were full come, that all things, both the things which are in heaven, and also the things which are in earth, should be gathered together, even in Christ: that is to say, in him in whom we are made heirs, and were thereto predestinate according to the purpose of him which worketh all things after the purpose of his own will: that we which before believed in Christ should be unto the praise of his glory.

  1. Modern Spelling Edition, edited by David Daniell, Yale University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-300-04419-4, pg. 282
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