WHAT'S WRONG WITH CALVINISM?
Copied from the Sermon Notes of Pastor Don Elmore
March 17, 2019
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:4, 5:
4) “According as He [Almighty God] hath chosen us [who are the us? it is not everyone] in Him before the foundation of the world [when was this?], that we [who are the we? it is not everyone] should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
5) Having predestinated us [who are the us? it is not everyone] unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His [God Almighty’s] will.”
In yesterday’s Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper, there was a story entitled, “Student: I was disciplined for posting Bible verses”. The story was about a Lebanon High School student who says she was punished for her religious views. Her school says it didn’t have anything to do with religion. The school says that the Genders and Sexualities Alliance is a national organization with an approved student chapter at their high school. The student says that after she saw some gay pride flags at her school, she posted Bible verses in her schools’ hallway and on some lockers.
It is a conflict between the two seed lines. One says that the behavior is okay, the other says that if they don’t repent of the behavior; then they should be killed. God’s law or man’s? That is the battle.
There can be a lot of sermons taken from these two verses that are in our introductory Scripture. When was “before the foundation of the world”? One popular commentary, Dake Bible, says in its notes on this verse that it was when “Lucifer ruled before Adam.” Who did he rule? And if he ruled before Adam, he would have ruled over pre-Adamites.
But then this same Bible Commentary says about “predestination” in verse 5, that “God has predestined all children of God to be adopted into His family, but who becomes a child of God is left up to each individual.” But as Christian-Identity scholars say, “If the Bible commentators forget about the blood of the everlasting covenant that God made with Abram, they will wind up with a universal theology that is difficult to comprehend; like it is in the explanation of this verse.”
In the past two sermons I have explained why I am not a Roman Catholic, a Judeo-Christian, or a Hindu-Judeo-Christian. Most Christians are now a member of one of these three rotten branches of false Christianity, even though they could be unaware of the latter one. Christianity has left its roots and has joined the world’s religions—so that it will not be offensive to anyone’s religious group.
When America was founded in the late 1700s, very few of its citizens were of one of these three offshoots. There were very few Roman Catholics in the new, mostly White Anglo-Saxon Protestant nation, and Judeo-Christianity was just about to be started as a foreign missionary endeavor as well as Hindu-Christianity.
Roman Catholics were forbidden to hold political offices and vote. They were devoid of any power in the government and their main holidays—the Mass of Christ and Easter were not kept by anyone except them. Most of the Catholics lived in Maryland and Pennsylvania and they numbered less than 1% of the population of the new nation. The state of Maryland was named to honor queen Henrietta Maria (1609-1669), the wife of England’s King Charles I.
Henrietta Maria of France (November 25, 1609 – September 10, 1669) was queen consort of England, Scotland, and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I. She was mother of his two immediate successors, Charles II and James II/VII.
She was known in England as Queen Mary but did not like this name and signed her personal letters “Henriette R”. Her Roman Catholicism made her unpopular in England and prohibited her from being crowned in a Church of England service; therefore, she never had a coronation.
She began to immerse herself in national affairs as civil war loomed on the horizon, and was compelled to seek refuge in France in 1644, following the birth of her youngest daughter, Henrietta, during the height of the First English Civil War. The execution of King Charles in 1649 left her impoverished. She settled in Paris, and then returned to England after the Restoration of her eldest son, Charles, to the throne. In 1665, she moved back to Paris, where she died four years later.
In the state that was named after her (land of Mary or Maryland), there lived only one individual who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His name was Charles Carroll. He was not just a Catholic, but a Jesuit Catholic. He founded the first Catholic university in the United States—Georgetown University. It was a Jesuit university. He was one of the wealthiest persons in the United States. By the end of the Revolutionary War, in 1793, there were only about 25,000 Catholics out of a population of 3,000,000.
Protestant Reformers, including John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer, John Thomas, John Knox, Roger Williams, Cotton Mather, and John Wesley, as well as most Protestants of the 16th-18th centuries, identified the Papacy with the Antichrist. Doctrinal works of literature published by the Lutherans, the Reformed churches, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Anabaptists, and the Methodists were equating the Pope as being the arch enemy of their Savior. What did these groups believe about the organization that the Pope led? Since the head was the antichrist, wouldn’t his church be antichristian too? So, if over one hundred years ago Catholics were considered antichrists, then why are they now considered as being Christian?
There have been millions of Protestants who have been massacred by the Catholics. There have been multitudes of Catholics killed by the Protestants. There have been many Protestants killed by other Protestants. But have the Catholics ever massacred the enemy of the Christian faith? Have the Catholics ever murdered the Jews? No. Why?
Institutional anti-Catholicism in Britain and Ireland began with the English Reformation under Henry VIII. The Act of Supremacy of 1534 declared the English crown to be “the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England” in place of the pope. Any act of allegiance to the latter was considered treasonous because the papacy claimed both spiritual and political power over its followers.
Thomas More (named for the university just a few miles from where we meet) supported the Catholic Church and saw the Protestant Reformation as heresy; a threat to the unity of both church and society. Thomas More believed in the theology, argumentation, and ecclesiastical laws of the Catholic Church, and “heard Luther’s call to destroy the Catholic Church as a call to war”, Gerard B. Wegemer, Portrait of Courage, page 136.
His early actions against the Protestant Reformation included:
Aiding Thomas Wolsey in preventing Lutheran books from being imported into England,
Spying on and investigating suspected Protestants, especially publishers,
Arresting anyone holding in his possession, transporting, or selling the books of the Protestant Reformation, and
Suppressed Tyndale’s English translation of the New Testament.
It was under the Act of Supremacy of 1534 that Roman Catholic saint Thomas More was executed and became a martyr to the Catholic faith. If you are a Protestant, are you sympathetic to Thomas More and are you in agreement that he should be a saint in the Catholic Church? Would he have arrested you as being a traitor, that is having any books and literature written by one of the Reformers, if you lived in the days that he lived? Thomas More was an enemy of the Protestant Reformation and tried to do everything he could to prevent it.
Most churches in America in the 1600s and up to the late 1700s were Calvinistic and Protestant. The Presbyterians, the Lutherans, many of the Baptists, the Puritans, the Pilgrims, the Congregationalists, and others were Calvinistic-Christian churches. They believed that God was sovereign and that:
All humankind is born in a state of being totally depraved. Having come out of Catholicism, the Reformers held that all of humankind could be saved. The idea of the “blood of the everlasting covenant” was not mentioned by them. Calvin believed all men were so intensively depraved that they could not seek God and were spiritually dead, incapable of repentance on their own. God must regenerate them before they could exercise faith and repent. Thus, they have no free-will or natural ability to respond to God’s grace.
It was God only who elected unconditionally who was to be saved. Calvin believed that God arbitrarily elected some to salvation apart from any repentance or faith on their part. None of the Reformers took into consideration that God had made a covenant with a particular family that had something to do with this. They believed that salvation was separate from this everlasting covenant.
It was a limited atonement. Christ’s atonement is limited to the Elect only. Who they are is unknown; but it is not everyone in the world. It could be anyone of any race: Black, Oriental, Polynesian, native Indian, Jew, Indian, Chinese, New Guinea natives, etc. God made random choices of any one, of any race, of any culture in the world. The “gospel of salvation” message must be preached to everyone in the world.
It was the Spirit of God that would enter anyone who was elected. God’s grace to save a person cannot be resisted; it is irresistible. Because the Elect are chosen by God, the Holy Spirit draws them to a place of repentance and faith. Thus, they become saved. The sovereignty of God is stressed.
Once saved, they are eternally saved. The Elect are presently and eternally saved in the mind of God and can never lose their salvation. To do so would make Christ’s death void and unnecessary. If God unconditionally chose them, the Holy Spirit is irresistible to them, the saints are guaranteed to be preserved forever.
Calvinism was an incomplete view of the sovereignty of God. The Calvinist were correct in their view that God was the Potter but were incorrect as to who were the clay. How can the vessel made by the potter, complain to the potter as to what He made? God was the Potter, but Israel, the people of the covenant--not everyone-- was the clay. This is the part that the Calvinists failed to distinguish.
The clay was divided into two kingdoms—the House of Judah and the House of Israel. Most of them eventually became in a state of divorcement from God and were in a condition of “having no hope” (Ephesians 2:12b). It was this group who were totally depraved—not all the peoples of the earth. It was the lost tribes of Israel, or the “Gentiles”, who were scattered throughout mainly Europe. It was both them and the “Judeans”, the House of Judah, who were saved by their LORD God. God saved them from the Dharma of the Hindus that had infiltrated their belief system.
Very few churches in America are now in existence that believe these five TULIP doctrines. Not even the Presbyterians or the Lutherans, who very strongly followed the tenants of John Calvin and Martin Luther early in their church’s history, are now Calvinistic. Most Lutherans haven’t even heard about Luther’s last book, “The Jews and Their Lies!” The leaders of that church just say he was “senile” when he wrote it and totally ignore the fact that the book was written. Most of the Lutherans do not even know that Luther wrote the last book, even though their enemies claim that Luther’s book was the origin of Nazism’s hatred of the Jews.
Calvinistic churches are very small in number. They have very few members. I was a member of several of these small churches for almost 14 years.
Most churches in America are now Arminian. They believe that man is sovereign—he is the deciding vote in his own salvation as both God and Satan cast opposing votes. God wants everyone in the world saved, Satan wants everyone in the world to remain unsaved, so, it is up to man himself to cast the deciding vote. The person casts his deciding vote; either for God or for Satan. And the final vote is either 2-1 for or 1-2 against.
Arminians counter the five points of Calvinism by believing the opposite view:
Arminius taught that depravity was extensive rather than intensive. At this point the wedge of disagreement between the Reformers begins to widen. The followers of Arminius believed enough of the image of God remained in man so that he could respond when aided by the Spirit. This he called “prevenient grace.” Upon repentance, faith naturally arose, and man was regenerated. In this system of theology free-will was stressed. Arminianism recognizes the fall of Adam is responsible for man’s sinful state, but humanity is not incapable of choosing between good and evil. They believe in Partial Depravity.
Arminius further departed from Calvin and taught that election was conditional and based on foreknowledge. When man repents and exercises faith he become Elect. Predestination is simply a pre-plan to be like Christ. They believe in Conditional Election.
Arminius believed the atonement was unlimited. It is only limited by man’s individual faith. The Elect are those who become Christians. They believe in Unlimited Atonement.
Prevenient Grace worked to bring a man to the place of repentance and faith, but salvation could be rejected. They believe in Resistible Grace.
“Eternal life” is viewed to mean salvation’s quality rather than its duration God provides overcoming grace, but man may neglect this provision and fall from grace. Security is conditional. Arminianism proposes man is in control of his eternal destiny and that God has foreseen those who will accept His grace. They believe that there is conditional life.
There are major differences between the “five pointers” of Calvinism and Arminians, follower of Arminius. Jacobus Arminius, a 16th century reformist, was instrumental in advancing Christian theology beyond the restrictive view espoused by Calvinism. Arminianism clearly deviates from the five key points of Calvinism referenced by the acronym TULIP.
These two schools of theology believe the opposite on all five points of salvation. Calvinist believe that God determines who will be saved. He chose them from before the foundation of the earth, He died for only them, the Holy Spirit resides in them, and thus, they are saved forever. Arminianism believes that man determines who will be saved. They can reject the Holy Spirit and thus can lose the state of their salvation many times.
How can both schools, Calvinistic or Aminianism be correct? Now, how can these two schools of thought produce the same result. They can’t.
One says that God alone saves an individual; while the other says that the person, himself, must have a part in his own decision of salvation. What if they are both wrong? They can’t both be right.
Advocates of both Arminianism and Calvinism find a home in many Protestant denominations, and sometimes both exist within the same denomination. Faiths leaning, at least in part, in the Arminian direction include:
Churches of Christ,
The Seventh-day Adventist Church,
Church of the Nazarene,
The Wesleyan Church,
The Salvation Army,
Old Order Mennonites,
And many others.
Denominations leaning in the Calvinist direction are grouped as the Reformed churches and include:
A few others.
But even most of these, in more recent times, have switched to a form of Arminianism and ecumenicalism.
Let us ask a few hard questions:
Were both Spurgeon and Wesley saved?
What about A. W. Pink and Jack Van Impe?
What about John Gill and John Hagee?
What about Martin Luther and Thomas More?
What about Thomas Cranmer and the present-day Pope?
And were they saved from what? That would be the better question. What were they saved from, if they are saved at all? I leave these questions to be answered by the Judeo-Christians.
I started out in an Arminian church. When I was nineteen-years-old I knew that I didn’t understand the Bible. My parents were charter members of the Baptist Church that I grew-up in and we went to church practically every Sunday. We attended both the church service and Sunday School on Sunday, but I had never heard much of what was true and relevant.
When I say that I didn’t understand the Bible, I didn’t understand the first thing about it. I was still in the batter’s box; I wasn’t anywhere near first base.
At thirteen-years-old, I took a few classes at church, that were required, and then was baptized; and after the baptism I was entitled to take Communion. Communion was held every first Sunday of the month. It was like a bar-mitzva. It was required of everyone who reached the age of the beginning of adulthood. I know of no one who failed the class. But if a person did fail, no big problem—all he had to do was to go up when they had the call for salvation at the end of Sunday morning’s sermon, say the sinner’s prayer, and he was a candidate for baptism. After baptism, he was ready to take Communion. And Communion consisted of small leavened bread chunks and grape juice, served in multiple mini-glasses. There had to be more than this that the Bible was teaching to their listeners.
And it was a partly-ecumenical church. If a person had been a Roman Catholic, his infant baptism was okay with this denomination. He could join our church and take Communion. Same with the Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Pentecostal, etc. churches. If one belonged to any “Christian” church, it didn’t matter if it was Arminian or Calvinistic; if they called themselves “Christian”, then they were accepted as members of our Arminian church.
But “Christian” churches hold opposing views on important issues with other “Christian” churches. Some preach “free-will”, while others preach “predestination.” Some hold “open communion”, while others hold “closed communion”. Some serve unleavened bread and wine, while other serve leavened bread with grape juice. Some teach “universalism”, while others teach “exclusiveness”. Some instruct their followers that they can “lose their salvation”, while other instruct that “once saved, they are always saved.” Some baptize infants; others baptize only believers. Some sprinkle for baptism, others must immerse in water. Some believe that they must be born again, others that they can become a god. And so on, and so on.
Who is correct? And the more a person studies, the more problems he faces. For example, should Christians celebrate Christmas or the Mass of Christ, and Easter. They were not celebrated in the early days of our nation as there were very few Catholics in our nation at that time. It wasn’t until the Catholic immigrated in greater numbers that these two main holidays came to be celebrated by the Protestants. Who was correct on this question: “Should Christians celebrate these pagan holidays?”
When I was in my early twenty’s, I discovered the Calvinistic viewpoint. I found it in a weekly religious newspaper, called the Baptist Examiner. The paper contained a weekly sermon delivered by its pastor, plus a series of articles from prominent Calvinistic preachers and authors. Spurgeon, A. W. Pink, John Gill, A. W. Tozer, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Walter Martin, and others have written books that still fill my library.
But I am getting a little ahead of myself. After reading about twenty of the Baptist Examiner newsletter papers, I decided to ask my Arminian pastor about them. I wanted answers to the questions that they raised. For example, what does our introductory verse mean?
We had a visiting preacher at our church, so I asked him first. After his sermon, and while we were alone; it was just him, the pastor and me, I asked him the question, “Does God save us, or do we have a choice in our salvation?”
It has been so long ago that I don’t remember exactly what he answered, but my pastor got very upset and eventually told the church board about what had happened. I was soon gone from that church. I quit my teaching job and moved to the location of the church that taught Calvinism and was the sponsor and printer of the newsletter.
My first visit to that church was an experience. I couldn’t find the address of the church from the newspaper, (it wasn’t given there) but I had the address of the pastor. I later found out that the church was meeting in one of the local hotel conference rooms.
I got in town around 12:30 am and decided to go to the pastor’s house. It was a cold evening, around 20 degrees. So, I drove to where the pastor was living and parked my car outside of his house. I was going to wait until it got light outside and then follow them church in my car. But it was so cold. At around 2 am I decided I had to knock on their door and see if they would take me in. If they didn’t…I didn’t know what my next step would be…I was young and foolish.
I knocked on the door. Soon a light came on in the house and the pastor’s wife came to the door. She opened it and I told her my situation. She immediately welcomed me in, gave me an empty bed to sleep in, and told me when breakfast would be served. What a wonderful beginning.
I continued going to that church for almost nine months. It was about a 4-hour drive, one way, on Sunday. I would get there in time for the morning service, stay and fellowship with them, and then proceed to the evening service. I would then drive home, arriving at about 1 am. I was young back then and could operate under this schedule.
So, the next school year--that is where I lived. I spent the next seven years going to Calvinistic churches in that area. There were the yearly revival meetings, with the two services on Sunday, and a few had a Wednesday night service too.
I then moved to Eastern Tennessee to go to another Calvinistic church. I spent another seven years in that area, before I returned to the Cincinnati area. I had began hearing about the Christian-Identity message and was trying to find a church that taught these truths.
For almost 14 years, I was a TULIP Calvinist. The church that I was a member of when I moved to Tennessee was a small church in the hills of western Virginia. It was near the end of a road that ended at a former large coal mine. It had a deserted small town that was a reminder of better times. The church was located next to the parsonage, and it had an outhouse and a pot-belly stove. Average attendance was around 20 a service.
This was the time that I grew in the knowledge of the Scriptures. A strong friendship had developed between a retired, disabled coal miner, the man who first gave me the Baptist Examiner, and myself. Each Saturday I would drive the 50 miles to his home and we would study the Bible for about six hours eating soup beans and corn bread while asking each other questions about what the verses of Scripture meant.
After a good night’s sleep, we would get up and he, and his wife and children, and myself would drive about 40 miles to church. We would attend the morning service, stay and have a large dinner, rest, and then attend the evening service. We would then drive back to his house, where I would get in my car and drive back home. We did this every weekend for almost seven years.
This independent Baptist Church did not celebrate Christmas or Easter, had a dress code for both women and men, taught the TULIP message of salvation, practiced one cup communion, and was very, very pro-Israeli.
It was the fact that the church was very pro-Israeli that began to cause me some thought of leaving. I was reading the Bible, the entire Bible, once a month. And I noticed something in the New Testament. It was that the Jews were the individuals attempting to instigate the death of Jesus the Christ; no one else. It wasn’t the Blacks, Orientals, Browns, or the other races. It was the Jews.
Why were the individuals who were considered to be the covenant people of God by our church, the ones that hated Him the most of all the people in the world? I didn’t know about the Ashkenazi Jews at that time, I just thought there was just one kind of Jew. I didn’t know that there were different kinds of Jews. I knew very little about the life time enemy of true Israel. I was unaware that they were descended from Esau.
I didn’t know about what the Talmud, their “holy” book said: that Jesus was a mongrel, the offspring of a Roman soldier and Mary, the prostitute; who was now dwelling in hell. They depict my Savior as being what they are—mongrels whose destiny is in hell. So, what is wrong if I repeat what the Bible says about them, especially since they say the same thing about Our Savior?
Blacks don’t think that way about Jesus. Orientals don’t think that way about Jesus. Muslims don’t think that way about Jesus. Most of the Blacks and Orientals and Muslims say that Jesus was a good man, some even consider Him to be a prophet of God. Why then did the Jews, the supposed covenant people of God, think that way? They hate Him and His followers the most of any religion in the world—and these are supposed to be the covenant people of God? And the people that accepted the Savior, were not of the covenant? Something was very strange and wrong in this way of thinking!
And when I learned about Genesis 3:15, there were more questions that I didn’t know the answer too.
Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
There are two seeds that are discussed in this verse of Scripture. The Dake Bible says regarding this verse, that “there is a natural enmity between snakes and men, as well as between children of Satan and God.” This leads to another question: Who are the children of Satan and who are the children of God?
Christian denominations have had many very different view and are still very dissimilar from each other. But all agree that if they say that everyone who is alive in the world today could be chosen by God or can choose God, then they are saying that even the children of Satan can become children of God? Or vice-versa, the children of God can become children of Satan.
Is every denomination that calls itself “Christian”, really Christian? But there are a remnant of Christian believers who say that the children of Satan and the children of God cannot become the other; they are born that way.
And they say that Christian-Identity is wrong….
To be continued.
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel.