Verses against Calvinism: Introduction
By Pastor-Missionary David Cox(Note: This post is a work in progress, and I will be adding to it over time, so please check back regularly to see if I have added new “chapters”.)
In this post, I am simply listing and examining different verses that in my opinion teach doctrine directly against Calvinism.
I grew up in a church environment that was Calvinist. I loved our pastor, but I did not agree with his doctrine of Calvinism. As I watched him over the years, his personal testimony was a man of God that truly desired to see men saved. I noted as someone in the church asked him to visit a family member or friend in the hospital 5-8 hours away, and he dutifully went and witnessed to that person.
Over the years since then, I have met many Calvinists of different “colors and flavours”, and I note very keenly that the doctrine of Calvinism leads all that follow it into a common destiny, but many Calvinists seem to be truly saved people who refuse this destiny.
Calvinism is a theological system “that leads” people, or “takes them” to someplace. The final destiny of Calvinism is spiritual apathy. The conclusion given beforehand, and to which all its doctrines, teachings, and conclusion have to do obessiance, is spiritual apathy.
Simply put, the main focus of Calvinism is its own view of election, i.e. God has chosen beforehand those who will be saved, without any view or consideration of any action or character or moral element within that person. The doctrine of total depravity insists that man cannot act morally (nor react to the gospel) without God totally regenerating that individual. Within man’s self, there is no “ability to decide” to accept God’s offer of salvation, and yet, Calvinist purists even deny the concept of an offer in salvation because God does not “offer”, He pre-installs salvation in the election, and damnation to hell is pre-installed in all the rest. This conclusion leaves us with one-sided view of salvation which Calvinism teaches, it is all of God, and man in no way participates except to passively receive it, and even refusal of that salvation is impossible (Irresistible Grace).
As such, if all of this poppy cock is any way true and biblical, then the general drift of all biblical statements, doctrine, Scriptures entirely considered, should support Calvinism, (which they don’t). We should not see any presentation of man’s salvation “conditioned” on man’s receiving, but rather on God’s foreknowledge, God’s electing. This just doesn’t “jive” (harmonize) with the vast drift of Scripture.
Calvinists try to be “cute” by opening up all the acts and workings of God, and explaining all this to us in their great intelligence and superior understanding of Scriptures. But wait a minute, God is not schizophrenic (working completely different, as two different people in two vastly different ways). God is not a liar either, so what God presents to us has to be explained in harmony through Scripture, or it is just simply wrong.
The issue here is what saves a person, his faith in Jesus Christ, or God’s electing him completely separate and independent of anything he is or does? The Calvinist’s position when clearly understood, simply steals the “ability” (they teach Total Depravity, but they explain it as Total Inability) of deciding or exercising faith from the individual. God has to create that faith before and independent of the individual according to the Calvinist.
God does inspire faith in Him. God is a faithful person. God’s Word and promises are faithful, and do and should inspire faith in all that see or hear these things. But there is an individual element in each person that makes that individual responsible before God. The Bible no where commands us “to be elect”, because as understood by Calvinists, that would be absurd. You cannot place election as an action on man, he is passive in it.
But Scripture full and abounding with exhortations from God to men to “do something” to be saved. The presentation of Scripture is one that if you, individually, do not “do such-and-such”, then you will not be saved. This constant forcing upon man a decision, an action, a change in his being or he will suffer eternal perdition is in itself a clear teaching of Scripture, and goes against all that Calvinism stands for.
At this point, I will vent my dislike for Calvinism (which I have been measuring and muting it up to this point). Satan wants us to NOT MAKE THAT DECISION, NOT TAKE THAT ACTION. This is Satan’s handiwork clear and simple. When a doctrinal philosophical system like Calvinism aligns itself so clearly and simply, pressing upon all its followers the issue of spiritual apathy, inactivity, and senselessness if they even try, then we see a demonic element in the system of Calvinism. I am against those who hinder the work of God. Calvinism cannot be taken as biblical nor good in any way, shape, or form, not even 2 or 3 of the points, because the whole system, whether you personally accept all of it or not, the whole system leads its followers to the same destiny, spiritual apathy. While you may refrain from “going all the way” into hyper-Calvinism, if you are on the road, you are on the road, and the destiny is not where you want to go.
In this post, I will make quick observations about verses that obviously present a different truth from Calvinism. These verses “ride” on the element of what is salvation? what gives a person salvation.