I have noticed recently how often I hear and read Calvinist remarks on God’s sovereignty, and even more often, on their own depravity. It occurred to me that this theology has in itself become the object of worship for many Calvinists. They proudly tout their ideas of God’s sovereignty and their willing acceptance of it stands boldly in the face of any “less spiritual” who do not accept their theology.
Constantly bewailing their own worthlessness, they often describe themselves as depraved wretches. This practice of self-abasement is, at least initially, attractive for many and appears to be glorifying to God until of course it is beaten to death, and then continues to be beaten. This self-righteous false humility ultimately becomes a badge of honor, proudly displayed much like the hypocrite’s public fast.
Matthew 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Of course, all who are truly saved, recognize that they are completely undeserving of salvation, and view their past sins as wicked and depraved. Yet, it does not seem to fit with scripture to remain in such a state of depraved wretchedness, endlessly drawing attention to self. Should we not instead be drawing attention to Christ and his saving power, through the transformation of our salvation?
Have we not become “new creatures”? Are we not now sons of God? And children of the king? Are we not freed from the condemnation of sin and its power over our lives? Are we not “more than conquerors through him that loved us”? (Romans 8:37)
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we are indeed forgiven and cleansed, why should we live in such defeat, condemning ourselves when God himself says we are no longer condemned? Are we not then making him a liar?
What soldier would go to battle with such defeatism in his heart and on his lips?
The answer is far more disturbing than even this. Calvinism is not going to battle against the evil of this world at all, but against Christ himself. Now that may sound like a pretty harsh accusation, but please bear with me.
First, let’s look at what the bible says about Christ.
Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Notice that God is glorified through the worship of Christ, not through the worship of sovereignty.
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. It is through faith in what Christ has done that we are saved. This is what draws all men.
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
It is all about Jesus! We are followers of Christ, not followers of John Calvin. We are Christians, not Calvinists. Christ is to have preeminence. While biblical Christianity recognizes that Christ is to have preeminence, Calvinism instead gives its theology that position.
Christ is not exalted , but sovereignty is. Calvinists are not saved by faith in Christ, but by divine election. The Calvinist (who by the way, claims to have been individually chosen for salvation from the foundation of the world) is regenerated prior to faith in Christ, not through faith in Christ. Faith along with repentance are said to be given after regeneration.
What purpose then did Christ serve? Is he dead in vain as the Catholic Christ? According to this teaching Christ is almost unnecessary. He is relegated to a mere technicality.
Though Calvinism may claim to glorify God, its teachings do not agree with what God has said in his word. Can you see the sinister nature of this teaching?
I would have to also ask: Who would usurp the place of Christ? You see, the Devil is so very clever. Never will he come right out and suggest that Christ’s death was in vain or an unnecessary technicality, but if he can construct a very elaborate and seemingly God-honoring theology to distract you away from Christ, he has done that very thing.
I stumbled upon this site recently that is an excellent example of Calvinist deception and double-talk. https://www.monergism.com/blog/why-faith-not-mentioned-five-points-calvinism The subtleties alone are astounding.
The question is asked: Why is Faith Not Mentioned in the Five Points of Calvinism?
Visitor: It is interesting that faith is not mentioned in the five points of Calvinism. Faith is actually downplayed and not considered necessary to salvation in Calvinism, because it is instead based on unconditional election and irresistible grace! If regeneration precedes faith then the formula would be regeneration, then faith, then justification! Illogical!
Response: this statement of yours is simply disinformation. Reformed theology is much broader than simply the five points of Calvinism. Among other things, of equal importance, the Five Solas also find their source in Reformed theology (Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Sola Scriptura and Soli Deo Gloria). Those of us who are Reformed in theology affirm that when we declare the gospel that we must call all men to faith and repentance in the message. It is a summons to repent and believe:
"Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent." -Acts 17:30
"And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ..." - 1 John 3:23
I would encourage you to factually represent your theological opponents. Without the Spirit opening our heart and uniting us to Christ through faith no man is justified.
Furthermore... your critique against regeneration appears to be saying that a person can believe the gospel apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that unless the Spirit opens your eyes, ears and heart to the gospel no one will believe (see Deut 29:4, 30:6, John 6:63, 65)
You said, "illogical" Our gospel is not based on human logic, but logic which aligns with God's. Is it really illogical for a farmer who plants a seed in the ground to also need water/germination for the seed to grow. Likewise, simply casting the seed of the gospel into a man's heart is not enough on its own. The blessing of the Spirit from heaven is also needed to germinate the seed. "he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you NOT ONLY in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." (1 Thess 1:4, 5) We plant and water but God causes the growth. What is impossible with man (faith and repentance) is possible with God.
Wed, 04/01/2015 - 19:50 -- john_hendryx
The answer is actually brilliant, and I believe the Author should be commended.
Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
He was extremely successful at dodging the question entirely, by attempting to make the gospel complicated and confusing, only to be understood in light of Theologians, creeds, and confessions.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
He then accuses the visitor of unfairly misrepresenting the Calvinist position, suggesting they become more educated, with the guise of genuine concern. Then, as most good Calvinists, he erects his own straw man argument, suggesting that the visitor meant what he nowhere stated. “your critique against regeneration appears to be saying that a person can believe the gospel apart from the work of the Holy Spirit.” This is somewhat worse than even the pot calling the kettle black, as there was no foundation whatsoever for such a statement. The visitor implied no such thing and never mentioned the Holy Spirit or even his own views. And… Critique against regeneration? Really? That’s quite a stretch.
He then states that Calvinism is not based on logic. (Probably the truest thing he said.) It is not based on logic, because logic would be forced to reject such contradiction of scriptures. Calvinism is instead based on philosophies of men, which are used very often to explain away the natural meaning of scripture. Any normal interpretation of scripture and understanding of salvation is rejected in favor of Calvinist principles. Any attempt to recognize truth is buried under layer after layer of yet another philosophy, making even their own beliefs difficult to explain without of course, the aide of theological works, and confessions. Again, considering the simplicity of Christ must be at the very least, a red flag. This veiling of the truth is how so many are deceived.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
When you peel away layer after layer of deceit, you are left with exactly what the visitor asked:
“It is interesting that faith is not mentioned in the five points of Calvinism. Faith is actually downplayed and not considered necessary to salvation in Calvinism, because it is instead based on unconditional election and irresistible grace! If regeneration precedes faith then the formula would be regeneration, then faith, then justification! Illogical!”
That truly is the essence of the Calvinist message minus the candy coating. I would have to agree emphatically with the visitor!
i invite your sincere questions and comments, and will do my best to answer according to God's word. While i do not claim to be without error; I will try to be as true to His word as I know.
is a Fundamental, Bible Believing Christian with a passion for His word and a desire to earnestly contend for the faith.