Despite what some in the religious world thinks or teaches, there are doctrines that are false and dangerous and Calvinism is one of them. Calvinism fundamentally changes the way one must view the entire gospel of Jesus Christ from beginning to end. It changes the meaning of why Jesus had to die, it changes the meaning of what the cross stands for and it changes the invitation to man given by God!
Calvinism begins with Total Hereditary Depravity. It teaches that people are born completely wicked and so spiritually depraved and separated from God that we deserve hell the moment we’re born. Other than the obvious, another result of the doctrine teaches that we can’t do anything good spiritually or choose to love God and come to him in faith. So how can a person ever be saved if there’s no way that we can choose to do good, choose to believe or choose to come to God? What’s the solution???
The solution to that situation (according the Calvinism), whether we’re lost or saved, is that when it comes to salvation the decision has already been made for us and there’s nothing anyone can do about it! From that point on, the unconditionally conditional doctrine of Calvinism’s Unconditional Election walks in the door as a welcome or unwelcome guest; it all depends on what position you find yourself placed in spiritually.
When you get past all the “pleasant talk” Unconditional Election says that God doesn’t ask a sinner to do anything when it comes to responding to his offer of salvation through grace. This goes for both salvation and damnation! The real issue with unconditional election isn’t whether or not God has an elect people (because he does), it’s whether or not that election is unconditional.
There’s an inconvenient flip-side to Unconditional Election that’s not very logical much less scriptural. If a person is unconditionally chosen for salvation by no choice of their own, then the flip-side is that another person is unconditionally chosen for damnation by no choice of their own. To put it more plainly – the flip-side of being unconditionally elected is being unconditionally rejected!!!
Unconditional Election destroys the fundamental foundation of the gospel that says “whosoever believes should not perish” in John 3:16. Calvinism says “whosoever” doesn’t mean “whosoever” because “whosoever” means a choice; and unconditional election gives a person no choice when it comes to salvation or condemnation!!! The doctrine of Unconditional Election says “wait, we do have a choice – the choice we made when Adam sinned.” Talk about being disingenuous with words! What kind of choice is choice if it’s chosen for us?
A huge question is: If a person is unconditionally elected or unconditionally rejected without any consideration for personal response or responsibility then why did Jesus act a like a person is personally responsible? Think about it for a minute…
Matthew 28:19 doesn’t say anything about making disciples of the unconditionally elected sorts!
Mark 16:15-16 doesn’t have an ounce of unconditional salvation in any of it – and it’s definitely talking about salvation and damnation!
Does John 8:24 say unless you believe in Him you will die in your sins…or does it say unless you’re unconditionally elected???
Try figuring this one out without taking off the unconditionally elected glasses: Mark 6:6 says when Jesus came in to Nazareth, “And he marvelled because of their unbelief.” Why would Jesus marvel at an unbelief that couldn’t be helped because of unconditional rejection??? Surely He would know who was unconditionally elected and rejected, right?
When you read about Jesus’ interactions with people you won’t find anything about “unconditional election.” You will find Jesus saying if we (meaning any persons) want to come after Him, then we will have to deny our self daily and take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). There must be a difference between unconditional discipleship and unconditional election that I don’t know about!!! Try finding that between the lines.
Unconditional Election says there are no commands to be obeyed, no lifestyle to live, and no ability to choose Heaven over Hell! But to the contrary, all throughout the Bible you have God telling people to choose, to repent and to obey!
Read Deuteronomy 30:15-20. Did Moses say anything about them not being able to choose??? To the contrary, he said Heaven and Earth knows you have a choice!!! Doesn’t sound like unconditional salvation to me.
Acts 17:30 says, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,.” Who does God command to repent? The unconditionally elect? To the contrary, he says ALL people! Now, how can God command all people to repent if they can’t??? Doesn’t sound like unconditional salvation to me.
In Acts 2:37 when lost souls asked Peter what they should do to be reconciled to God, Peter didn’t answer, “NOTHING – IT’S ALL BEEN DONE FOR YOU.” No my friend, Peter (a Holy Spirit inspired and baptized preacher) said, “repent and be baptized every one of you” in verse 38! He said, “save yourselves from this perverse generation” in verse 40! Doesn’t sound like unconditional salvation to me.
God’s word teaches that there’s such a thing as being a part of God’s elect – BUT it does not teach that it’s unconditional!
God’s grace has appeared to all of mankind, both Jews and Gentiles (Titus 2:11-12), but not all men chose to accept that grace and the salvation that follows it. That’s why Peter said, “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:34-35) This is a principle that’s repeated six times in the New Testament, and it’s repeated for a reason!
Election is a very biblical principle, which we’ll look at next time – it’s the unconditional salvation doctrine that’s lacking the votes in God’s word! EA