In our last newsletter, Ã¢â‚¬Å“God Is Not a Fraud,Ã¢â‚¬Â we took a brief look at Dave HuntÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s book, CalvinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Dilemma: GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sovereignty vs. ManÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Free Will. There is so much valuable information in this book that I have decided to add a Part 2! I like a challenging book that makes me think. Any book that puts God in His rightful place and keeps man in his, is a good book. Since we are living in a day when there is so much fake news and there are lies upon lies being told everywhere we turn, it is refreshing to settle into a book that is loaded with truth.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“CalvinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s God plays into the hands of atheists who justly charge that an all-powerful Ã¢â‚¬ËœGodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ who causes men to sin and then condemns them for doing so is a monster. Will Durant was not a Christian, but one must take his complaint about Calvin seriously: Ã¢â‚¬ËœÃ¢â‚¬Â¦we will agree that even error lives because it serves some vital need. But we shall always find it hard to love the man who darkened the human soul with most absurd and blasphemous conception of God in all the long and honored history of nonsense.Ã¢â‚¬Â1
Have you ever stopped to think about how this false teaching could impact a lost person who is earnestly seeking truth? If he reads about a god who causes evil, why would he want to believe in him? If this god caused Hitler to do what he did, what is the point of anyone committing their life to Him? If every person in prison is behind bars because this god ordained them to carry out their evil act and punishes them for doing so, then no one would want to follow that god. Yet, there are non-believers today who will not follow the God of the Bible precisely because of this blasphemous misconception of Him.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Evaluating a very popular Calvinist author, Zane Hodges writes,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The result of [Michael S.] HortonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s theology is that non-elect people are hopelessly bound for hell because God declines to regenerate them. Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ The picture of God that emerges from this is a hideous distortion of His loving character and nature. It is not surprising, therefore, to find Horton also writing: Ã¢â‚¬ËœHe [God] cannot love us directly because of our sinfulness, but he can love us in union with Christ, because Christ is the one the Father loves.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ What this amounts to is that God does not Ã¢â‚¬ËœdirectlyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ love anyone unless first He regenerates him or her, since Ã¢â‚¬Ëœregeneration is the commencement of union.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ In other words, God does not love the elect until they are regenerated, and He never loves the non-elect at all.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â2
This is one of the true absurdities of Calvinism.
1 John 4:16-19
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
We love him, because he first loved us.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Either God loves us or He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. If He is not a loving God, then he is not worthy to be followed.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“[T]here is no contradiction between GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sovereignty and manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s free will. That God can be sovereign and man be free to choose is not an unfathomable mystery. But Calvinism denies free will by its definition of sovereignty, making God the cause of all, including sinÃ¢â‚¬â€yet man is accountable for what God causes him to do. That proposition is irrational. The confusion here should be obvious.Ã¢â‚¬Â3
God punishes sin, yet He does not punish Himself. That means that He did not cause the sin.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Christ asks us to pray, Ã¢â‚¬ËœThy kingdom come Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heavenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2). Why would Christ suggest such a prayer if everything is already according to GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s will and His eternal decreeÃ¢â‚¬â€and if we are already in the kingdom of God with Satan bound, as both Calvin and Augustine taught?Ã¢â‚¬Â 4
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬ËœSo are you suggesting,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ they object, Ã¢â‚¬â„¢that God wants to save all mankind but lacks the power to do so? It is a denial of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s omnipotence and sovereignty if there is anything He desires but canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t accomplish.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Yet John Macarthur, J.I. Packer, John Piper, and others say that God desires the salvation of all yet doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t decree it. This is a real contradiction, whereas it is no contradiction at all to say that God has given man the free choice of whether to receive Christ or not.Ã¢â‚¬Â 5
The twinge of conscience that contradictions like these create is the Holy SpiritÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s warning that deception is afoot. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ignore those warnings.
But deception is a pesky thing. It uses twisted truth and half-truths to convince someone of whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not actually true. Once a personÃ‚Â buys in, they have a very difficult time letting go of those false convictions. Instead, they hold tenaciously to the party line, not unlike what we see with politicians when the facts are right in front of them.
There are so many false teachers out there. Even the Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board installed someone as President who does not believe that everyÃ‚Â person on earth can repent of their sins and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. International Ã¢â‚¬Å“MissionÃ¢â‚¬Â Board? Not exactly the kind of missionary I want showing up on my doorstep when I need to find eternal truth.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬ËœHeresy!Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ cries someone. Ã¢â‚¬ËœGod is infinite in power; there is nothing He cannot do.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Really? The very fact that He is infinite in power means He cannot fail. There is much else that finite beings routinely do but that the infinite, absolutely sovereign God cannot do because He is God. He cannot travel because He is omnipresent. He cannot lie, cheat, steal, be mistaken, contradict Himself, act contrary to His character, etc. Nor did God will any of this in man. To will sin in others would be the same as to practice it HimselfÃ¢â‚¬â€a fact Calvinists overlook.Ã¢â‚¬Â6
God does not practice evil, and God cannot go against His character. God is not going to force anyone to love Him or get saved. He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe for us, which is essentially what Calvinism teaches. He leaves that up to you. He actually made it that simple. And, all of this goes along with His holy, loving character, not against it.
QEQE: Question Everything and Question Everybody. You want to make sure that the God you believe in is the same God found in the Bible whose throne you will stand before after exiting this life. Keep yourself grounded in GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Word. Soak your mind in it. Put those false teachers to the side. Trust books 1 through 66 more than any teachers we have right now.
Until the Nets are Full,
P.S. Dave Hunt did a great job explaining the false teachings of Calvinism as well as many other topics. He did something that is still needed in these days. He pointed people to the Scriptures. He tried to get s trying to get his readers and listeners to not trust him but to trust Him. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth. Trust Him.
1 Dave Hunt, CalvinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Dilemma: GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sovereignty vs. ManÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Free Will (Bend, OR: The Berean Call, 2014), 21.
2 Ibid., 23
3 Ibid., 25
4 Ibid., 29
5 Ibid., 31
6 Ibid., 33