Why I am not a Calvinist: How Reformed Theology contradicts Scripture

For edification of the body of Christ – and not out of laziness – I’ve copied a blog post of Jesse Morrell to this website and I have added my own links, [between brackets], within each section. I have also made the article a bit shorter.

My advice is that you first read this article, after which you return to these links.

‘Calvinism, also known as Reformed Theology or the so called “Doctrines of Grace,” has had some resurgence in recent years. This has deeply disturbed and troubled me as Calvinism is a very heretical and dangerous theology that believers can be deceived into. Still, many believers have never even heard of Calvinism. For that reason, I find it necessary to post what it is that Calvinism teaches and how these false doctrines are in contradiction to the Holy Scriptures.

These are some of the major theological problems with Calvinism:

1. Calvinism denies man’s free will to obey or disobey God, which is the basis of man’s responsibility and accountability, as taught by the Bible: (Gen. 4:6-7; Deut. 11:26-28; 30:11-15, 19; Josh. 24:15; Jer. 38:20; Eze. 18:30; Acts 17:30-31);

Augustine said, “By Adam’s transgression, the freedom of’ the human will has been completely lost.”

Augustine said, “By the greatness of the first sin, we have lost the freewill to love God.”

Augustine said, “by subverting the rectitude in which he was created, he is followed with the punishment of not being able to do right” and “the freedom to abstain from sin has been lost as a punishment of sin.”

Martin Luther said that “the law demands of men what they cannot do…”

Martin Luther said, “For if man has lost his freedom, and is forced to serve sin, and cannot will good, what conclusion can more justly be drawn concerning him, than that he sins and wills evil necessarily?”

[Read/listen to my sermon God’s Lordship and Man’s Free Will“.]

[Read also my article “Sinful Nature“.]

[Read also “The Nobody is Perfect Myth“.]

2. Calvinism denies that each individual is responsible and accountable for their own sins committed in their own life, and will not be damned for the sins of anyone else, as the Bible teaches: (Lev. 18:29; Deut. 24:16; 2 Kng. 14:6; 2 Chron. 25:4; Eze. 18:2-6; Eze. 18:20; Jer. 17:10; Matt. 16:27; Rom. 2:5-6; Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Cor. 11:15; 1 Pet. 1:17; Rev. 20:11-12; Rev. 22:12);

John Calvin stated, “Adam drew all his posterity with himself, by his fall, into eternal damnation.”

[Read “Augustinian Original Sin Attacked“.]

 3. Calvinism denies that Christ died for everyone (Heb. 2:9; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; 1 Jn. 2:2), and His unlimited atonement does not make salvation automatic for anyone, but available for everyone (Jn. 3:14-17; 12:46; Acts 10:43; Rom. 10:11; Rev. 22:17), and that those for whom Christ died can still perish (Rom. 14:15; 1 Cor. 8:11; 2 Pet. 2:1); as the Bible teaches.

Custance said, “No man can be held accountable for a debt that has already been paid for on his behalf to the satisfaction of the offended party. But a double jeopardy, a duplication of indebtedness, is indeed involved if the non-elect are to be punished for sins which the Lord Jesus Christ has already endured punishment.”

Boettner said, “For God to have laid the sins of all men on Christ would mean that as regards to the lost He would be punishing their sins twice, once in Christ, and then again in them.”

Wayne Grudem said, “Reformed people argue that if Christ’s death actually paid for the sins of every person who ever lived, then there is no penalty left for anyone to pay, and it necessarily follows that all people will be saved, without exception. For God could not condemn to eternal punishment anyone whose sins are already paid for: that would be demanding double payment, and it would therefore be unjust.”

Joshua Williamson said, “If Christ died for everyone, everyone would be saved.”

[Read: “Limited Atonement“.]

4. Calvinism denies the universal benevolence or love of God, which wants all sinners to repent and be saved as taught by the Bible: (Eze. 33:11; John 3:14-17; 2 Pet. 3:19);

John Calvin said, “not only was the destruction of the ungodly foreknown, but the ungodly themselves have been created for the specific purpose of perishing.”

John Calvin said, “First, the eternal predestination of God, by which before the fall of Adam He decreed what should take place concerning the whole human race and every individual, was fixed and determined.”

John Calvin said, “At this point in particular the flesh rages when it hears that the predestination to death of those who perish is referred to the will of God.”

Alan Kurschner said, “God desires that his sheep are saved. God desires that his people are saved. He does not desire that every single individual who has ever lived, live in glory with him forever. If that were the case, we have an incompetent, unhappy, and impotent God.”

Matthew McMahon said, “I reject anything which makes God a cosmic bell-hop tending to the commands and demands of sinful men as another gospel. I reject anything which removes God’s sovereignty to place man as the Sovereign as another gospel. I reject anything which denies the sovereign decrees of God and His electing grace to put salvation into the hands of sinful men as another gospel. I reject anything which denies man’s total depravity and exalts his fictitious free will as another gospel. I reject anything which places the perseverance of man to glory in the incapable hands of a sinful man as another gospel. I reject anything which endeavors to treat God as the great Grandfather in the sky beckoning and pleading with man to be saved as changing the true God into a pitiable wimp.”

Erwin Lutzer said, “The revealed will was that all men be saved, but the hidden will was that the greater part of mankind be damned.”

John Calvin said, “His secret counsel, by which He determined to convert none but His elect.”

John MacArthur, comments: “His patience is not so He can save all of them, but so that He can receive all of His own…”

[Read: “The Hidden Will of The Father concerning Predestination“.]

5. Calvinism denies the conditional security of believers or the possibility of falling away from the faith as taught by the Bible (Matt. 24:13; Jn. 15:6; Acts 11:23; Acts 13:43; Acts 14:22; Rom. 8:13; Rom. 11:20-21; 1 Cor. 9:27; Heb. 2:1-3; Heb. 10:26-31; 2 Pet. 2:20-21);

Martin Luther said, “Be a sinner and sin boldly… No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.”

Westminster Confession of Faith said, “They whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.”

[Read: “Conditional Security“.]

6. Calvinism denies man’s role, responsibility, and choice to cooperate with God in regeneration or in the changing of his heart as taught by the Bible(Deut. 10:16; Eze. 18:30-32; Ps. 78:8; Ps. 95:8; Heb. 3:15; Act 7:51; 17:30-31; Jas. 4:8; Col. 3:9-10; Eph. 4:22, 24; 1 Tim. 4:16);

Martin Luther said, “I say that man… when he is re-created does and endeavors nothing towards his perseverance in that kingdom; but the Spirit alone works both blessings in us, regenerating us, and preserving us when regenerate, without ourselves…”

 A. W. Pink said, “The new birth is solely the work of God the Spirit and man has no part in it.”

[I have not yet solved this detail in my theology, but I do agree with Tim Conway in this preaching. (he is a Calvinist but he sounds very uncalvinist there!)]

7. Calvinism denies that there is deliverance available from all sin in Jesus Christ, or the possibility of overcoming sin in this life by the grace of God as taught by the Bible (Matt. 1:21; Jn. 8:36; Rom. 6:18, 20, 22; 8:2; 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Thes. 3:13; 1 Thes. 5:23; Titus 2:11-12; Jude 1:24; 1 Tim. 6:14; 1 Jn. 1:9; 3:9).

The Westminster Catechism says, “No man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but does daily break them in word, thought, and deed.”

[Read also “The Nobody is Perfect Myth“.]

8. Calvinism denies that man’s choice to repent of all his sins is a necessary condition of forgiveness, but rather teaches that justification by grace through faith is nothing more than justification in sin and impenitence (Antinomianism), as opposed to what the Bible teaches: (Isa. 55:7; Eze. 18:30; Prov. 28:13; Matt. 7:21; 19:17; Lk. 13:3; Acts 8:22; Rom. 2:5; 6:1-2; Titus 2:11-12; Jude 1:4; Rev. 22:14).

Charles Spurgeon said, “You must not expect that you will be perfect in ‘repentance’ before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. “Repentance” is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself…”

Harry Ironside said, “The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past … Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”

[Not all calvinists are antinomians, when confronting unbelievers with the Gospel, as can be seen in Tim Conway’s preaching but many will teach antinomianism to believers, by using unorthodox doctrines like “once saved always saved”, and “monergism”. The use of such teachings leads many away from their responsibility and will lead them into disobedience, which will eventually make them lose their salvation. Read also “Synergism“.]

9. Calvinism denies that God is not the author of sin, nor the sovereign cause of its entrance into the world, as taught by the Bible (Gen. 1:31; 6:5-6; 1 Sam. 15:22; Jer. 19:5, 32:35; Isa. 5:4; Zeph. 3:5; Ecc. 7:29; Matt. 6:10; Lk. 7:30; 1 Cor. 14:33; Heb. 1:9, James 1:13).

Martin Luther said, “Since, therefore, God moves and does all in all, He necessarily moves and does all in Satan and the wicked man…”

Martin Luther said, “God worketh all things in all men even wickedness in the wicked…”

John Calvin said, “Whatever things are done wrongly and unjustly by man, these very things are the right and just works of God.”

[I talk on this subject in the beginning of my sermon God’s Lordship and Man’s Free Will“.]

There are many other orthodox doctrines which are taught in the Scriptures and which were held by all of the Early Church which are denied by Augustinian and Reformed Theology, but the above is sufficient for this article.

As much as Calvinism claims to be orthodox, its doctrines are utterly opposed to the doctrines of the Early Church Fathers before Augustine, and they have more in common with the heretical teachings of the Gnostics and Manicheans.

[See also Jesse Morrell’s excellent documentary Did Augustine Corrupt The Church With Gnostic Doctrine? Beyond Augustine“.]

Sadly, many Calvinist groups function as a cult today, claiming exclusively that Calvinism is Christianity, that their doctrine of T.U.L.I.P. is the gospel itself, and that anyone who disagrees with their doctrine is a “heretic,” “false teacher,” or “false convert.” They are quick to break fellowship with, and falsely accuse, any Christian that contradicts their own theology.’

[I can affirm this statement (and this whole document by the way). I have had my share of “hate-crimes” by calvinists]

Source: Jesse Morrell, “Why I Am Not A Calvinist: How Reformed Theology Contradicts Scripture” (biblicaltruthresources).

[Ps. I love calvinists. I just don’t like their doctrine(s).]

[You can scroll up to check out the links.]


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