Below is a rough outline of the things I discuss in the video lesson.
Calvinism – What is it?
Subtitle, “The reason why I am not a Calvinist.”
In summary, Calvinism is the Christian version of Fatalism.
One of the most significant events that crystalized my beliefs concerning Calvinism was the shooting at Sandyhook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children between six and seven years old, and six adult staff members. Before driving to the school, he shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home.
I heard Calvinists declare and read that they justified this event as God’s will and that it was all a part of God’s plan.
The fallacy of such a declaration created a deep conviction that this worldview was harmful, and we must do what we can to help people not live in this fatalistic worldview.
Calvinism teaches that everything is predetermined and directly controlled by God with no influence of human will. No doubt there are millions of words, maybe billions of words to explain it in longer form, but in summation, that is Calvinism.
I reject Calvinism because I understand from scripture from Genesis chapter 3, where the exercise of free will is plainly demonstrated was given to mankind by God. I have said it, it bears repeating, the greatest act of God’s sovereignty is demonstrated in that he gave humanity the ability to choose life and death, blessing and cursing.
From Genesis to the book of revelation, this theme of God dealing with individuals to repent. If they would repent and seek to do right, mercy was received and if they did not repent, they would be cursed. We see this in Genesis chapter four and the theme is woven throughout the whole of scripture.
In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ himself exhorts the seven churches to repent or they will be judged. Jesus declares that he would vomit them out of his body, fight against them with the sword of His mouth, remove their candlestick, and states he can blot them out of the lamb’s book of life.
Calvinism rejects human agency to affect the world around us.
Calvinism rejects the doctrine of universal availability to salvation.
Calvinism dictates that God only died for those he chose and the rest he rejects to be eternally damned.
The saved can do nothing to be unsaved.
The lost can do nothing to be saved.
Jesus died only for those he chose.
Every catastrophe, tragedy, and mass murder is a part of God’s divine plan.
Calvinism teaches that there is nothing that a person can do to affect the will of God.
If it happens, it was ordained.
These are just a few of the big ideas of Calvinism.
There are five points to Calvinism, and I recognize that many Calvinist reject different points even to the extent that they only believe one or two points.
Sadly, many people believe from their heart principles of Calvinism, not knowing the reasoning that created them.
“By predestination, we mean the eternal decree of God, by which He determined with Himself whatever He wished to happen with regard to every man.” John Calvin
“All events whatsoever are governed by the secret counsel of God.” John Calvin
I was asked, “What is Calvinism?”
This is what google told me.
“The Protestant theological system of John Calvin and his successors, which develops Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith alone and emphasizes the grace of God and the doctrine of predestination.”
I am going to focus on the doctrine of predestination specifically.
If one believes in the full scope of Calvinist concepts of predestination, we are not saved at faith alone, but by God’s choice alone.
I recognize that those who actually believe all Five-Point Calvinists are just a tiny percentage of those that accept different degrees of Calvinism.
There is an adage, “Tiptoeing through the tulips.”
There have been waging debates and divisions since the days of Calvin, which parts of Calvinism are accepted and rejected. In the Baptist world in particular.
I want to be clear, I reject all five points of the TULIP. I will explain why as we progress.
However, I can summarize in stating.
I reject this form of Christian Fatalism.
I think you should as well.
Do I believe in predestination?
I believe the church is predestinated. However, our participation in the church is what makes us a part of that predestined number.
As Noah and his family were saved by being in the Ark, we save ourselves by moving with fear to the saving of ourselves.