What kinds of mercy do we as Christians have? Do we condemn those we disagree with or that disagree with us, or do we show love and mercy to them? It is of historical record that Calvin and the early Calvinists showed no grace or mercy. If anyone disagreed with their deterministic exclusivism under the guise of "reformed" theology, they were accused of denying grace and the sovereignty of God. Dissenters were imprisoned, cast out of the churches, yanked from the pulpit and many died for their faith. Modern day Calvinists may have mellowed somewhat but the condemning spirit is still there and there is little mercy or tolerance for others outside of Calvin's five points.

I have taken a hard stand against Calvinism but it took some time. First I had to be condemned for choosing life over death as if it was a false doctrine. I had to be criticized as if it was a "work," for teaching that we have a responsibility to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and live holy. I had to be called a heretic for believing that God has given mankind the freedom to accept Him or reject Him. I had to suffer many insults for understanding that my depraved nature was redeemed at the cross. I had to have many accusations from Calvinists that I was denying the scriptures for believing that God is not so prejudiced that He brings certain people in the world already condemned to hell without the ability or even the opportunity to repent. Not all Calvinists are this hateful, but the "hyper-Calvinists" that have come to me are quite fond of reminding me how wrong and heretical I am.

So I had to follow His love and seek His Spirit. It is easy to love others who agree with your personal brand of thinking but it is quite another feat to be able to love the ones that criticize and condemn you. This I must do. So to approach the division that these two systems of thought have produced, Calvinists are not to be condemned, they must be shown love and mercy. What must be challenged however is the false authority of Calvinism itself as a demonic system that quenches the power of the Holy Spirit, produces a hateful schism and denies the love due to all children of God.

Calvinism is the religious system of John Calvin and his followers. Calvin's system of doctrine is more Hebraic than Christian and rests more on Old Testament legalism than the grace and Christian freedom of the New Testament. Old school Calvinists believed that only God's elect can find salvation, that God damns most people for His own glory and that you cannot reject salvation unless God wants you to.

All Christians can come unto some common ground but with the Calvinists, the influence of a false premise has developed a series of doctrines to quench the spirit and stunt their growth. Calvinism is predicated upon the notion of the doctrine of predestination and taken further to extremes to bolster the position. Calvinism falls on every point. It may be disallowed intellectually by believing in free will but the influence is still lurking and still taught. This false premise has inflicted great ineffectiveness upon the church as a united force.

The Calvinist interpretation of predestination is upon the scriptures but misunderstands that God is not limited to our concept of time. He is above time and just because He knows the beginning and end of our temporal existence does not mean that mankind is predetermined from our perspective. God knew us from before time just as He will know us when time is over, because we are also eternal. Eternity not only goes into the limitless and boundless future, it also includes the past, which is just as timeless. From our perspective in time, we do not enter into eternity until we receive the gift of eternal life. Until then, it is if God does not yet know us even though we have been with Him in eternity, we are still under the curse of Adam and have not yet been regenerated. Trying to understand these mysteries may not be easy but there are certain things that will keep us from it and one of them is the doctrine of predestination taken to the extreme that we are not able to choose or reject God from our own free will.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. Deuteronomy 30:19.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15.

God chooses us through His good mercy but has given us the free will to choose Him or reject Him. Many are called but few are chosen. Repentance is key but not necessary for the many who are deluded into an automatic doctrine of election. There is no need for deliverance ministries or the power of the Holy Spirit in effective Christian witness.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
James 4:8.

Martin Luther got the ideas of saving grace and the priesthood of all believers right but made a mistake concerning determinism. John Calvin took the error of determinism, the omniscient nature and foreknowledge of God and made a codified theology upon the foundation of predestination and persecution of those that disagreed. Because God already knew beforehand who was of the elect, there are a predetermined number of those that will be saved and damned so there is nothing that we can do that makes any difference. Here's where it really gets stupid. By following this absurd reasoning, man no longer has the responsibility to repent or have the power to do anything to change the will of God or alter these predetermined circumstances. The Bible however, says different.

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. II Peter 3:9.
Now they must come up with a doctrine to explain how we become Christians. Well, it is called irresistible grace and since we have no chance on our own to come to the Lord, He must draw us to Him. There is nothing that we can do to refuse that grace because it is already a predetermined number. If it didn't happen to another, it is because it was not God's will and they were not foreordained to salvation.

It gets worse. The reason that we cannot come to the Lord ourselves is because we are all depraved through the fall of Adam and stay in that evil condition for there is nothing good enough in us to want to better ourselves. Jesus did not die for the whole world but only for the elect so their election is sure because they do not have the ability to fall away. Because we are unable to draw near to God, a mechanism has to be in place for us to be the righteous people that Christians are supposed to be. The Bible is thought of then, not only as the Word of God, but the completion of revelation and followed to the letter. Since the influence of God is no longer necessary in a system that cannot be perfected further, the Bible is used to replace the power of the Holy Spirit as to the final authority in people's lives. Prophetic gifts, revelation and inspiration are no longer needed and since faith is only given from God, reason is also thrown out. Because righteousness is then based upon the letter and not the spirit, only the appearance of righteousness remains and the misplaced gratitude through the work of the cross by misunderstanding grace thereby gives them the confidence that they need to know that they are among the chosen elect and to hell with the rest.

We do not need to blow Calvinists out of the water; we need to get them onto the boat through the fire of purification. Love does not say there is no fire, love warns of the fire. As Jesus pours His spirit upon all flesh, He has the final say in the church, not Calvin. The apostolic message is the same, humble yourselves and repent to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Pride in one's own false doctrine keeps those that are lost from taking that step of faith and coming to the truth. Too many come to the altar, make an intellectual decision to follow Christ and then proceed in one's own power to repent thinking that God has already forgiven them. It is a whitewash and without the power of the Holy Spirit according to sound doctrine, the false doctrine and legalism will continue.

Not all Calvinists are this bad but there is something very common to hard-core Calvinists and that is the way that they approach the Holy Spirit. In that they believe that we do not have the will power to choose what is right, the influence of the Holy Spirit in their lives is flawed. God can of course do anything through us and without Him nothing can be done but without our being willing to follow Him in the Spirit, the power isn't manifested to the point of our being all that we can be. He often times will not because it takes affirmative faith to be able to choose rightly and an unclean vessel is unfit for service. This is why the scriptures are so misinterpreted - the Holy Spirit is not the final authority. This is why so many of them cannot believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a separate experience because they have never experienced it. The idea of bearing witness to the Spirit is quenched because that involves our feelings, which is subjective. I sometimes wonder if any Calvinist truly has a spiritual life or if it is all in the flesh. There have been those to approach me in love but only to tell me how wrong I am.

Any doctrine of grace that destroys liberty and Christian freedom is a false doctrine of grace. We have discussed predestination and free will and find them both to be true; any doctrine that tries to do away with either of them is a false doctrine. Jesus died to give us Christian freedom, liberty in Him. Paul especially teaches on this liberty. Any gospel that preaches differently is a false gospel.

I have to tell you that prayer changes things and we can approach God with boldness and make our requests known. We do not have to accept things the way that they are and can do the works of Jesus. Hear me now end-time church, Jesus died for you to give you that freedom to choose holiness. The Calvinists may be right in a way, they are depraved, incapable of coming to Jesus themselves but that's just plain stupid. God wants you to know that you are His children and He has made you into new creatures and we can boldly come to the throne of grace. He has given you the gift of the Holy Spirit but a gift must be received and that puts the responsibility on you to accept Him.

Remember what Forrest Gump's Mama said? "Stupid is as stupid does." It's only a bit of simple advice and I mean no harm but it's time for many in the church to get out from under the covering of stupid.

As far as I am concerned, Jesus is constantly knocking at the door of my heart and I want to come to the door and let Him in. He is not forcing Himself on me irresistibly. If it sounds like I resent those that would teach otherwise that's good. I am not going to give into a false system when there is nothing that can be agreed upon except one-sided scriptures and half-truths. This is about the doctrine of grace; it is also about the doctrine of holiness. My Bible tells me that if we seek to be justified by the law, we have fallen from grace. Grace fulfilled the law through Jesus dying on the cross to give us that Christian freedom to be able to live a holy life. Any other system of grace is another gospel.

From 1542 to 1546, 76 persons were banished from Geneva and executed for heresy, adultery, blasphemy, and witchcraft, which were capital crimes in most of Europe. Though not identical, puritan ignorance is revealed most among the Calvinists. It is the heritage of Calvinists that sees in a certain behavior not the cause but the sign of salvation, of being among the elect. The Calvinist terror of nature and instinct immediately stifles whatever would strive to be original, and substitutes it for meaningless slogans. The conviction of the absolute and final authority of the sovereign will and Word of God is used to do away with the Christian freedom that Jesus died to give us. Calvin was an extreme fundamentalist, and present day fundamentalists who want historical authority are fully justified in claiming him. Methodists are not Calvinist.

Jesus died for the whole world, not just for the elect. God is not wishing any should perish and draws all men to Him, we have the freedom to choose or reject. The spirit will be poured upon all flesh in the last days, not just the remnant. There is a big difference between Christ in us and us in Christ. God does draw all men unto Him but if we were to think that God does all the attracting but only to the elect, it would only give us the idea that we would not have to spread the gospel. Responsibility is the key issue here, if all are predestined and God does all the work and we have nothing to do with it, God would have nothing for us to do. To me, this kind of thinking does not lend well to actually walking in the spirit. For any of this to be true it must be God working in us and through us, not detached and doing it all without us.

The prophecies that were given in the Bible were given because God does know the beginning and end but this does not mean that it was God's will for certain things to happen. He simply knew that we were going to sometimes take matters into our own hands according to the imperfect will of man. This is the biggest mistake of those that leave everything in God's hands in that they do not accept any responsibility to get God's ultimate will done. Others will do it.

Just because God knows everything that happens does not mean that everything that happens is in God's will, disobedience for example. God's ultimate will, in the total scheme of things, cannot be overridden but all we have to do to override God's will in our own personal lives is to disobey Him. For us to disobey God is not God's will but we do it all the time because He has given us the freedom to choose to obey or disobey. Predestination is true but so is free will. If we want to be in the will of God, we do as He says. To say that it is God's will for us to disobey is saying that God is the author of disobedience and sin.

Man can and does go against God's will, it is stupid and dangerous to teach otherwise. He acts through us, yes but only as we make the choice to follow Him. We make the choice to follow the righteousness of Jesus or disobey what is required of us. When we make that choice to follow Him, He gives us a helper so that we can have the power over sin that we did not have before. We cannot do right on our own without God's help but we can disobey on our own if we so choose.

If you want to think that we cannot come to God unless He draws us, fine, but I would rather be like David who says "But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works." And the writer of Hebrews, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Don't wait for God to move you to action, draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. How can we repent and get holy if we are waiting for God to do it? Have you ever considered that He is waiting for you to respond to Him? Most Christians think it is enough for Christ to be in them, never really understanding what it is to be in Christ and to dwell in the secret place. When you do make that choice, God gives you the wisdom and the spiritual insight and the discernment to reason within yourself with the God given faculties that have been given you as being in His image to reject false doctrines like Calvinism. Peter would never have been able to walk on the water if he hadn't taken that first step out of the boat. Jesus says come, He also says go and go is an action verb, not passive.

Calvin was a theologian, his system was exact, precise and authoritarian. Wesley was a practical mystic, with a great evangelistic zeal and a theological attitude of "think and let think." Calvin stressed education, Wesley stressed education and experience. Calvin's emphasis on the universal priesthood and salvation only for the elect put his followers into a self-righteous attitude of spiritual pride. The sense of sin was deep in the 16th century and Calvinism became an active and radical force. Calvinist dogma was among the most terrifying versions of Christian other worldly reality in the emphasis that it laid upon the predestination of most individuals to damnation. It was a creed that sought, not merely to purify the individual, but to reconstruct Church and State, and to renew society by penetrating every department of life, public as well as private, with the influence of religion. They have done much to try to take the kingdom by force.

Max Weber and others have concluded that Calvinism exerted a powerful influence on the growth of capitalism. Success in business came to be looked upon as an evidence of self-denial and hard work to the glory of God; accompanied by a growing materialism and secularism, which eventually tended to relegate religion to a secondary role. Since it is natural to assume that the chosen would succeed in whatever they undertake while the damned would fail, one was spurred to strive with all one's might for worldly success as proof of one's salvation. The emphasis on predestination and the virtues of industry and thrift, justified business leadership and legitimized business prosperity, exploiting the poor because of misguided superior election and self-righteousness above the rest. It became quite popular with the middle class bourgeoisie. The materialistic luke-warm church of today historically stems from Calvinism.

Calvinists will always bring up the same one-sided scriptures to defend predestination but cannot explain grace without destroying Christian freedom. This is why grace is emphasized so much in that they have not understood it and it is their way of perpetuating the deception. Grace is certainly paramount but they have destroyed it and put Jesus back upon the cross every time they deny Christian freedom. Predestination or the sovereignty of God is not the issue here for it is certainly a biblical truth and what we should all be agreeing on. The issue is a false doctrine that uses a bible truth to do away with another bible truth, that of our Christian freedom. Other churches that try to destroy Christian freedom are the Jehovah witnesses and Mormons. It is hard to convince these people about Christian freedom because they have already been so misled by people they trust. The Calvinists presented a false gospel of grace and millions fell for it because it appealed to their pride and self-righteousness and they do not need to get holy.
[51, 59, 69, 75, 195, 206, 269, 271, 177]

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