24 Dec The Crafty Calvinist
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; ” (Ephesians 4:14)
I am amused at the comments I have received in response to an earlier post on the False Doctrine of Calvinism. I have received some (which I had to remove) on the blog, some emails, and phone calls by those trying to defend their Calvinistic positions or to criticize me for mine. Many of the arguments are sad distortions of Biblical truth with a cult-like twisting of context and an ignoring of the whole counsel of God. But to be quite frank, much of what has been said has been silly at best. I have chosen not to respond to the comments for many reasons, but do want to let all of you know that the intention of my post was to warn the people that I pastor, some pastor friends, and some churches (all who I dearly love), about the resurgence of Calvinism and Reformed Theology in fundamentalism. I will not engage in debate, regardless of how tempting it may be to do so. If I personally know you…I will try to help you with the questions you may have.
However, I will say a couple of things, since I am sitting at the computer already. One of the statements made over and over again by those who where “inspired” by my post was that I am ignorant because I have not read Calvin’s works. That is an assumption on their part to begin with, so I will assume that many of them have not read all of Calvin’s works either. I would assume that many of them read books on Calvinism, by Calvin, about Calvin, in support of Calvin, etc., but have perhaps not read their Bibles through completely…once. I have been in the ministry for a long time and have read plenty enough of Calvin’s theology to draw my conclusions about it. I wonder how many times they have read The Institutes of the Christian Religion and other works, with a pen in their hands to mark up the errors in their Bible? I, on the other hand will read my Bible, mark the errors in Calvin’s writings and criticize him. I might have to add, that with modern technology, Bible software like “Logos”, and many other tools, what Augustine, Calvin, Martin Luther, Boettner, Melanchthon, Warfield, and countless others have said…are only a keyboard click away. When necessary then, I will study, research, find, explore these men, but will read, study, and preach my Bible. The “reformers” can continue to read, study, and preach their commentaries and can research their Bibles if it doesn’t get in the way.
Also, why do many of you ask if I have read these people, and then when they are quoted, excuse away what they have said? Why do you have to constantly “repackage” their writings and restate what they have said in “modern terms”? Why do you not want to refer to your beliefs as “Calvinism”? I have to admit, when I discuss the topic I almost feel dirty and look for something to get the taste out of my mouth…but you bathe in it every day…why the disguise? The contemporary Calvinist can, with all of the sleight and craftiness of this world, try to influence Christians, repackage, and market their philosophies. They can sneak their reformed theology into family and homeschool conferences…They can write books, use keynote addresses, wear trendy clothes and mask it contemporary verbiage, and manipulate hurting families (see Paul Washer’s, “How to reform a church and not be a coward” on YouTube)…but a pig is still a pig…no matter how much lipstick you put on it.
When it comes to Calvinism, many Christians continue to be “tossed to and fro”. This is not because the Bible is somehow unclear on the subject. The Bible clearly and emphatically denies Calvinism. If God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, “ then Calvinism simply cannot be true. There is no excuse for getting caught up in the error of Calvinism, none except the ignorance of God’s Word.