Tract for the Committed Calvinist

The Committed Calvinist – Religious, but Lost

Dear Friend, I’ve given this to you because you’re committed to doctrines that lead you away from salvation. The following plea is based on the assumptions that you have a love for truth, have a love for God, and are willing to make Scripture your authority – not the teachings of men, no matter how eloquent they are or how big the crowds they attract. I’ll use an outline that you’re familiar with, using the letters T U L I P S.

“T”: Believing that you are totally depraved, including the inability to choose to repent and believe, leads your heart away from the awesome accountability you have for your thousands of willful, wicked sins. You cannot repent from a so-called (and unscriptural) “sin nature”, but must repent from your own willful transgressions of the law (1 John 3:4). Consider the repeated commandments from God for you to willfully turn from your own sins and unbelief. For example: Is 55:6-7, Ez 18:30-31, Mk 1:15, Mk 16:16, Lk 5:32, Lk 13:1-5, Acts 3:19, Acts 17:30, etc.

“U”: Unconditional election is one side of the coin. The other is unconditional damnation. From Matt 7:13-14 we see that multitudes are damned compared to few that are saved. And this unconditionally? What a blasphemous accusation against God! 1 Jn 4:8 and Jn 3:16 insist that God IS love and acts on it. 1 Tim 2:4 and 2 Pe 3:9 teach that God desires ALL to repent and be saved. All have sinned and so God grieves when men don’t repent – see Ez 33:11 and Matt 23:37. Would God grieve over the lost if it was His perfect will for them to be damned? But Calvinists have to create competing “wills” of God to avoid the plain meaning of Scripture. Furthermore, your belief in your election leads you away from recognition of your LOST condition and need to willfully repent and believe. If you are “elect”, then how could you be “lost”? Jesus came to save the lost: Luke 19:10. Do you qualify?

“L”: Did God have so little love and Jesus such tainted blood that the atonement was limited to a tiny percentage of the human race? How do you dismiss Jn 12:32, Jn 3:16, and 1 Jn 2:2 so easily? I don’t want to hear your pitiful arguments about how “all” doesn’t mean “all” and “world” doesn’t mean “world”. Those arguments won’t stand up at the Great White Throne judgment. Your devout belief in limited atonement ultimately destroys your compassion for the multitudes of lost people around you. Why should you care about their salvation if God doesn’t? Are you more loving than God? And if unconditional election AND damnation are true, there is NOTHING you can do about the salvation of anyone, including yourself. And that’s why honest Calvinists tend to be ice cold on evangelism, proving that they don’t know or love the Lord Jesus at all.

“I”: Of course if you were totally unable to repent then God’s grace would have to be irresistible. Thus multitudes of Protestants and “reformed” Baptists have died and gone to hell waiting for regeneration. Salvation is a gift, an offer of grace, and the Bible makes clear our choice – grace is resistible (Eph 2:8-9 – salvation is a gift, Deut 30:19, Joshua 24:15, Mark 16:16, John 3:36).

“P”: Many Calvinists, when doubting their “election”, tend to examine their lives to see if there is enough evidence of persevering in good works. Now indeed, a born again Christian is a new creature (2 Cor 5:17), and his faith results in good works (Eph 2:8-10, Titus 2:11-14 and 3:5-8). But salvation doesn’t depend on such works. If you have deceived yourself about your “election” (as John Calvin said happens with many), there is nothing you can do about it in your religion, because “election” or damnation was supposedly settled in eternity past. So naturally the only place you have to go is an examination of your works. Thus your heart is in the same place as those that subscribe to a works-based salvation, like Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, etc. If a born again Christian doubts his salvation, he clings to the cross, repenting from sin and trusting Christ to save – a willful act within his power.

“S”: God is so sovereign that He lets the human race make billions of willful decisions and still gets His will done – the incarnation, the cross, the resurrection, the second coming, etc. The Calvinist view of God’s sovereignty is that everything in history is foreordained. Every thought, word, and action has been decreed in the eternal plan of the Calvinist god, including every kindness & unkindness, every blasphemy, every murder, every rape, and every vile deed ever performed. What a terrible accusation to levy against God! This is worse than the atheist’s mechanistic universe. At least he doesn’t blame God! The Bible is clear about real human choice and the consequences, from Adam’s sin to the condemnation in Rev 22:18-19 on those who would pervert Scripture. If you view murder and rape as part of God’s perfect plan, you have much to repent from!

BOTTOM LINE: Dear friend, please repent from your unbelief, your willful sins, and your false doctrines. Willfully trust the Saviour and serve Him with all your heart. In serving Him, your very choices and actions will make the difference between heaven and hell for those you share the Gospel with . . . or neglect to do so. I would be glad to answer questions you have – if they are sincere and not simply argumentative. My concern is that you are lost and on your way to hell. This is not about a theological disagreement, but rather about your salvation or damnation – for which you alone are accountable.

For more reading I recommend the following two books: What Love is This? by Dave Hunt, and The Other Side of Calvinism by Laurence Vance.

– Dr. Dave

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