In my previous post, I referred to a belief that some people have, which is that before creation GOD chose only some people (that would end up being created/born) to love and save. Therefore that means GOD planned before creation that all people ever born besides those people HE predetermined to be HIS, would be born without hope. This belief system is called Calvinism or Reformed Theology (it may have other names but I believe these two are the most common. This belief is explained in an acronym called the TULIP.
- T = Total Inherited Depravity of Man (Man is born depraved because of Adam’s sin, man can’t do anything but sin cause that is his very nature, man can’t seek GOD, comprehend the gospel or respond to GOD unless they are one of the people GOD predetermined to save)
- U = Unconditional Election- (Before GOD created anything or anyone, HE predetermined HE would only love and save some, HE predetermined who those some are, HE will save these elect no matter what, and they actually have no say in it)
- L = Limited Atonement-(JESUS only died for the ones GOD elected to salvation, therefore HIS shed blood only covers the sin of the elect.)
- I = Irresistible Grace-(GOD throws HIS elect HIS extra powerful grace to make HIS elect believe, and actually they have no choice in the matter.)
- P = Perseverance of the Saints-(Once the Elect are saved, they remain saved no matter what.)
If you happen to read this blog post and you hold to Calvinism (or even part of it); know that in writing about it, I mean you no offense!!! My blog has always been a place to write down in one place all my thoughts on a particular subject that is heavy on my heart at any given time. Since I started my blog I have written about many different subjects. I know everyone that might read my post will not agree with me and that is o.k.!! I don’t kid myself into thinking that I am right about everything in GOD’s word. I know GOD has so much more to reveal to me and teach me and I want to learn!! My heart and prayer is always that GOD continue to reveal HIMSELF and HIS ways, and correct me when it’s needed!! I do not want to disagree with anyone in the body of CHRIST but that is not reality. The reality is that there are many, many different sets of beliefs with-in Christianity. We may not all agree but we can choose to love each other, and pray for each other. So even if I do disagree with you on something; know that I love you in Christ and I want nothing but GOD’s best for you!!
I have been intensely researching Calvinism since being introduced to this subject back in I believe May of 2012. I was actually shocked and very distressed that some people actually believe it. I still do not agree with this belief system even after much prayer, researching, studying, reading, and talking with people I spiritually trust (those that believe it and those that do not). I just have to be honest and say that I simply do not think this belief system is biblical, and to me it distorts the true nature and character of GOD.
What I understand from the Calvinistic TULIP or Reformed Theology (from my research and study) ………….
Calvinism has a GOD that before HE created anyone or thing decided HE would create people and HE would tell them to be fruitful and multiply. This GOD also decided HE only wanted to have a relationship with; to love, and to eternally save some of the people who would ever be created. He knew people would multiply in the earth, and that babies would be born every moment of everyday with no hope here in this life and no hope for eternity, because HE didn’t choose them to be one of HIS own. HE knew Adam (and everyone else) would sin. HE decided there had to be a penalty for that sin. He also decided because of Adam’s sin everyone would be born Totally Depraved. HE decided because everyone was totally depraved they would have no choice but to sin. They wouldn’t be able to reject or accept HIM; they can’t even hear, or understand the message of the gospel, and they can’t respond to HIM in any way. Of course it doesn’t matter that many people can’t respond since the good news of the gospel isn’t for them since GOD didn’t choose them to be HIS elect. HE didn’t have to worry about them catching on to HIM or the gospel because the only ones that would be able to do that are those HE chose to be HIS elect. Before HIS elect can be permanently HIS HE has to place HIS irresistible grace (an extra powerful grace) onto them and make them believe because amazingly HIS regular or common grace just isn’t enough. Scripture does state that people are condemned since they disobeyed HIM and rejected HIM (which according to this belief system, they can’t even help but do). It also states they are condemned because they didn’t believe in JESUS. Though really they were condemned long before. They were condemned the moment GOD didn’t choose them to be HIS elect. They can’t help but sin and disobey GOD’s commands since they are totally depraved, and they have no hope of changing since HE didn’t choose them. How can the bible clearly say they are condemned for rejecting JESUS when you can’t reject what you’ve never known, heard of or made aware of. This Calvinistic GOD says that people are sinning, disobeying HIM and rejecting HIM but they are only doing what they have been destined to do, since they are not HIS elect. HE also decided that on top of them not being chosen by HIM, HE would also punish them for all eternity.
What it also means to me if Calvinism is true; my boys were brought into this world because GOD ordained it. It means I could teach them about GOD and the gospel every single day, take them to church, pray for them, cry over their salvation, their relationship with GOD, and for them to be men after GOD’s own heart. I could do all those things yet none of that would matter if GOD did not choose them to be HIS elect. This seriously breaks my heart and changes the very nature of the GOD I have always believed in, loved, worshiped and served.
My problem with Calvinism has nothing to do with me thinking that according to the TULIP GOD is not fair. It is actually so much more than a “fair” or “not fair” issue! In this post I will share some of the problems I have with this belief system. My first problem is that in Calvinism I see a GOD that is only loving and just with ‘some’ people. The second problem is that I just do not see the TULIP in scripture. The third problem is that I could never be compelled to worship or even want to worship a GOD of this nature. The fourth problem is that even though GOD called me to “go tell” my heart wouldn’t be in it because if I shared HIM with others I wouldn’t know if it was the truth or a lie when I said that GOD loves them and wants to save them. Yes, there is a big difference between the concept I just shared and telling someone GOD loves them, wants to save them and being confident of that very thing, but still knowing they might not accept. Knowing that their acceptance or rejection of HIM and HIS gift would be all on them not because GOD didn’t choose them to be HIS. The fifth problem is that I think this belief system actually makes so much in the bible out to be a lie; such as: for GOD so loved the WORLD, that EVERYONE that believes in HIS son can be saved, that it HIS will is NONE perish, HE did what HE did to show mercy to ALL, and HE wanted to gather the people but they would not let HIM. The sixth problem is that I see a GOD that tells HIS people to love their enemies, turn the other cheek, and forgive over, over and over even though HE doesn’t do the same. The seventh problem is that I see a GOD that created people capable of sin, yet HE was only willing to provide a way for some people to be saved, and to ‘hell’ with the rest of them that HE didn’t choose. The eighth problem is I see a GOD that will choose you, make you come to HIM with an extra powerful grace and then pull back this extra powerful grace and leave you with HIS common grace that obviously isn’t as powerful so therefore HIS elect will continue to struggle with sin, and struggle to obey HIM the rest of their lives. The ninth problem is that the bible says we must believe, we must repent, without faith it’s impossible to please GOD, yet, none of this is possible unless HE has already chosen someone and that if HE has chosen them, it isn’t their own response to HIM but it is HIM making them have, do or believe these things. The tenth problem and the last one I will share in this post is that I have always believed I should have a heart for the lost; I should be grieved over the fact that they are lost, but I say why should I grieve for all the lost when GOD HIMSELF according to this belief system isn’t heartbroken or grieved for the lost. IF HE chose them they will be saved no matter what, and for the rest HE doesn’t concern HIMSELF with them until it is time to eternally condemn them to hell.
The way I see salvation through this belief system is that it is not in CHRIST and through CHRIST as I have always understood it to be. Salvation is through a choice GOD made before creation that HE would only love and save some!!
So Is GOD only willing to save some people? I do believe the answer is NO! He is willing to save ALL; HE has provided salvation for all, but as HIS word says “HE will only save those that believe” !!
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