CALVINISM & TULIP
Calvinist tenets are oftentimes summarized by the acronymn TULIP.
Perseverance of the saints.
Today, 1-15-01, one of my "oldest" cyberfriends (a 10th grader who started writing when he was 12 years old) asked me my position on the tenets of Calvinism. I answered on this wise--
Interesting you should write to me concerning Calvinism. Yesterday, I was just compiling some scriptures to refute limited atonement and irresistable grace. I quite enjoy old time Calvinistic preachers and even some modern ones like Ian Paisley but I do not agree with all of their theology.
"Calvinist" comes from following the theological line of John Calvin. I don't like that. I am a...disciple of Jesus Christ, not man. Paul addresses this issue with the Corinthians who were bragging about who baptized them. No man died for me but Jesus and I will only be called by His name. I do not delve into a denomination and just embrace whatever they say. This is not to say that I have not found names useful to let me know where I can get some reasonably good writings.
I love the Calvinist emphasis on the sovereignty of God and on holiness. However I must take exception to a number of their beliefs. For instance, the Bible makes it quite clear that Christ died for ALL, not just the elect. VERY clear. It makes it very clear that God would have ALL men to be saved. It says it in no uncertain terms...
Q. What about predestination? God has already selected the ones He wants to be saved so He predestinates them to be saved. Doesn't the Bible say that God predestinates people?
A. God foreknew who would respond to the gospel call and predestinated them based on FOREKNOWLEDGE--not that He selected some to be saved and some for burning. God allows wicked people to exist in order to accomplish His purposes. Every man is an evil creature--we need affliction that we may learn to fear the Lord (see Psalm 107 in its entirety). The vessels of wrath accomplish that purpose.
Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Psalms 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
Q. What about unconditional election? Doesn't our sovereign God select who He wants to go to heaven just because He feels like it?
A. No. It is God's will that ALL men should be saved. He strives with men. A man has to climb over heavenly obstacles in order to go to hell--
1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have ALL men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
Ezekiel 18:30-32 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to ALL men,
Q. What about "limited atonement"? Jesus only died for the sins of the elect, right?
A. Wrong. Jesus did not just die for the sins of the elect, He died for the sins of ALL--
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the WHOLE world.
Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for EVERY man.
2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for ALL, then were all dead:
2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
1 Timothy 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for ALL, to be testified in due time.
Q. What about "freewill"? Is there a such thing?
A. Yes, there is a such thing as freewill notwithstanding the sneers of those who say there is no freewill. In fact, "freewill" is a Bible word (anybody that tells you "the original doesn't say that" is blaspheming the scriptures and trying to take your Bible away from you in order to prove their false doctrine)--
Leviticus 22:18 Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering; Leviticus 22:21 And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. Leviticus 22:23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted. Leviticus 23:38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD. Numbers 15:3 And will make an offering by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savour unto the LORD, of the herd, or of the flock: Numbers 29:39 These things ye shall do unto the LORD in your set feasts, beside your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meat offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings. Deuteronomy 12:6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: Deuteronomy 12:17 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand: Deuteronomy 16:10 And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Deuteronomy 23:23 That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth. 2 Chronicles 31:14 And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter toward the east, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the oblations of the LORD, and the most holy things. Ezra 1:4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem. Ezra 3:5 And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD. Ezra 7:13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. Ezra 7:16 And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem: Ezra 8:28 And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers. Psalms 119:108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.