Paul's Passing Thoughts

American Christians Are All Calvinists

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 11, 2013

ppt-jpeg4“Calvin didn’t believe in election. The assumed absurdity of the statement testifies to the traditions of men that saturate the American church.”

There is no new thing under the sun. When Christ came and began His ministry with the proclamation of the kingdom gospel, Israel was steeped in the traditions of men. And Christ didn’t call it “legalism,” He called it antinomianism. Whether Arminian or Calvinist, both came from that same stock. They claim to be different, but both celebrate their parents as heroes of the faith: the Pilgrims. The unregenerate even get in on the act during the holiday season of Thanks Giving and Christmas.

But the Pilgrims were Puritans. And the Puritans were rabid Calvinists. They brought with them the first Bible to ever see American soil: the Geneva Bible which included Calvin’s play by play commentary. They came to start a theocracy modeled after Calvin’s Geneva, and succeeded. And what followed was the same heartless brutality they brought with them from Europe. The Pilgrims were merciless tyrants and were put out of business because they hung too many Quakers for disagreeing with them. Like Calvin and Luther, they were endowed with superstition and mysticism clothed in European orthodoxy.

The reverence of Puritans as spiritual giants and pioneers is grounded on pure myth. They were communistic, and lacked the rugged individualism that founded this nation. Regardless of the vast, unmolested resources they found when they arrived here, Indians had to teach them how to survive. The Puritans were not innovators, and invented little to overcome the environment they found themselves in. Their presuppositions concerning man and mystical approach to life did not serve them well. These same presuppositions run deep and wide in the American church.

But what about Calvinism versus Arminianism and the election issue? There is no disagreement there either. Calvin didn’t believe in election. The assumed absurdity of the statement testifies to the traditions of men that saturate the American church. Calvin believed that we are sanctified the same way we were saved, by faith and repentance alone. He also believed that this saving duo of faith and repentance were necessarily perpetual, and could only be received in the formal church institution. Luther believed this as well. You keep your salvation by being faithful to the local church, or “new covenant.” One must remain “faithful to the covenant” by seeking perpetual reconciliation in the church. So-called election is being elected to be in the covenant, but then you have to keep yourself in the covenant. You run the “race of faith” by “faith alone” in order to stay justified in sanctification.

God then sorts out who was able to do that at a single, last judgment. Hence, Augustine, a forefather of the Reformation, believed that eternal life wasn’t determined until the final judgment. I document these assertions in “False Reformation” and the mini-booklet “New Calvinism for Dummies” (tancpublishing.com).  However, this may be helpful as well: https://paulspassingthoughts.com/2012/10/31/mutable-justification-not-shocking-just-reformed/

The fact that Reformed theology rejects election can also be seen in Supersessionism. This is the belief that though the nation of Israel was elected, they lost their election because they didn’t stay faithful to the covenant. So, once elected doesn’t necessarily mean always elected. Though Revelation makes it clear that God will dwell with man ON EARTH for eternity, the American emphasis is eternity in heaven. Why? Because God tabernacling with man on earth =’s Israel. That’s why. The very purpose of election cannot be denied as stated by Paul in Romans 9—anything at all that we do is separated from justification. Therefore, Calvinists deny the purpose of election.

Arminians are no different because they come from the same stock. They also deny election, and seek comfort in church membership. I can’t even tell you how many Southern Baptists that I have visited who trust in their church membership for salvation. To suggest they be removed from the church roles because they have not attended in several years is tantamount to removing them from the book of life. This is a common mentality in Baptist churches and I have witnessed it first hand on many occasions. Also throw in the obvious overemphasis on salvation in Arminian Baptist churches because like their Calvinist counterparts, the same gospel that saved you also sanctifies you.

Because of the traditions of men, we are all Calvinists. And we are so steeped in tradition that we don’t even know it. There is no new thing under the sun.

paul

12 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on April 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.

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  2. Andy said, on April 11, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    “He also believed that this saving duo of faith and repentance were necessarily perpetual, and could only be received in the formal church institution. Luther believed this as well. You keep your salvation by being faithful to the local church…”

    I am seeing this same scenario being played out in “fundamentalist” churches today with the increasingly popular “shepherding groups” movement. This is taken right out of CJ Mahaney’s playbook “Why Small Groups”. One particular church I know of has replaced the evening service with “shepherd group” meetings on the 5th Sunday in months with 5 Sundays. The members are divided up into these shepherd groups and assigned an elder who is the shepherd group leader. All matters of accountability must be filtered through the care elder first. You have a problem with something the preacher said in the morning service? Gotta bring it to the care elder first. Miss a couple of consecutive “shepherd group” meetings? you might find yourself under RDC. See that’s because attending the shepherd group meeting is needed for your sanctification to happen. In fact, it is NECESSARY for your sanctification. So if you miss a meeting, you endanger your sanctification, ergo your justification, ergo you might not really be saved. As you say, it’s all about control!

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on April 11, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      Andy,

      Have you seen our control chart? The particular church you speak of is following Calvin’s protocol to a T. The small groups keep tabs of any disagreements and they are dealt with at that level one way or the other.

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  3. trust4himonly said, on April 11, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    My goodness Paul are you wanting to get lynched?

    Actually, I am standing here with you on this one. I watched a wonderful documentary on Indians with my boys several months ago and this was brought out about how the Indians helped the Pilgrims to survive; then turned around to abuse the Indians and force Calvinism (Puritanism) down their throats. These Indians that were “converted” were forced to give up their Indian families to live a life of lonely existence, for the Puritans did not even accept them fully into their folds. Wheres the love of Christ I tell you?

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  4. paulspassingthoughts said, on April 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    T4H,

    I wouldn’t fare well without laws protecting free speech.

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  5. Argo said, on April 11, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    I don’t think they really deny election…what I mean is, they believe in it (they believe in the common understanding of it; predestination, limited atonement, blah blah), but they cannot even seem to keep a perfectly straight forward contradiction consistent. LOL You work for your elect status. If you don’t, it isn’t because they deny election, it is because “you weren’t really saved”.

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on April 11, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      Argo,

      They believe that you are elected to a race of faith and that you can be disqualified from the race if you don’t participate properly. And, you won’t know for certain if you made it until the judgement….But if you play nice in the local church your chances are better than good.

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  6. Lydia said, on April 11, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Pilgrim/Puritan…a rewriting of American History.

    My absolute favorite is when “scholars” write about how Calvin is the true father of capitalism and freedom.

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on April 11, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      Lydia,

      Surely you jest. Calvin was clearly a pre-communist as was Plato.

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  7. descriptivegrace said, on May 19, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Anyone who accepts the canonicity of Romans, Galatians, or the gospel of John is of necessity going to be a Calvinist, that is, a Gnostic, because these texts were written by Gnostic heretics and only slightly revised before being shoved into the canon. Calvinism cannot be defeated by reinterpretation but only by a change in the very canon of the New Testament itself.

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on May 19, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      DG,

      Well, this past year has been quite a journey for me, so not much would surprise me, but I would part with you on this for several reasons. Nevertheless, I will check out your blog to see what you have to say.

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  8. descriptivegrace said, on May 20, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    My concern is the concept of predestination, which is certainly not found in the synoptics. Predestination by foreseen faith is pointless: because in that case the faith is what matters, and the freewill that chose it, the predestination only being an afterthought. Only Calvinism requires predestination; predestination is only required if predestination is the determining factor. If we deny Calvinsm, we deny that predestination is the determining factor. Rather than re-interpreting the passages that teach predestination we should reject them for the Gnostic nonsense they are. Then we wouldn’t have to put up with churches divided constantly by influxes of Calvinist insurgents, because no Calvinist would have any authority to stand on in a church that rejects the passages these parasites need to lead people onto the path to hell.

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