Paul's Passing Thoughts

Calvinism’s Get Out of Election Free Card

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 17, 2014

ppt-jpeg4We will begin this post by reviewing the abysmal belief system that is Calvinism, but in the final analysis, there is good news for those who embrace it; at least in their own minds.

Calvinism is a hopeless belief system. Plainly, there is no assurance of salvation, and it completely devalues life. It posits God as a god that created mankind so that his wrath against sin could bring him glory. He created abject failure in order to bring himself glory. The heroes among the Calvinists are those who eloquently plunge the debts of how evil we are. That would be the Puritans. All of life’s energies are focused on realizing how worthless we are in God’s eyes. The code phrase is “giving all the glory to God.”

Then, at the one last final judgment, you find out if you hated yourself enough to get into heaven by faith alone in sanctification. And if you don’t make it, oh well, you are merely getting what you deserve anyway. The logic follows:

1. God predestined man to sin according to his sovereign design and will.

2. God is glorified by the astounding reality that he would save anybody.

3. God is glorified by the eternal destruction of mankind.

4. Our struggle with the righteousness of this is evidence in and of itself of our wickedness.

The basic logic leads to an inevitable worldview.

It’s right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases. God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die.

God is taking life every day. He will take 50,000 lives today. Life is in God’s hand. God decides when your last heartbeat will be, and whether it ends through cancer or a bullet wound. God governs.

So God is God! He rules and governs everything. And everything he does is just and right and good. God owes us nothing.

If I were to drop dead right now, or a suicide bomber downstairs were to blow this building up and I were blown into smithereens, God would have done me no wrong. He does no wrong to anybody when he takes their life, whether at 2 weeks or at age 92.

God is not beholden to us at all. He doesn’t owe us anything.

~ John Piper

Likewise, Pastor Steve Lawson, one of the who’s who of the Calvinist resurgence of our day, suggests that Christ himself will personally torture people in hell for all of eternity. Plainly, the Bible states otherwise. Eternal judgment is separation from God. Critical to understanding the Bible is a vast dichotomy between justification and sanctification. There is to be no fear of a future judgment for those who trust Christ, but the Bible does call on believers to fear present consequences for actions contrary to God’s counsel. Calvinism calls for a fear in regard to future eternal judgment among Christians because a dissuasion of security is a Reformed tenet starting with Augustine. No distinction is made between fear in justification (which lacks love and therefore fears judgment) and fear of present consequences in sanctification.

It all looks pretty grim, but membership has colossal benefits for this present life. First, you do not have to take any personal responsibility for what you do. Sinners will be sinners, and we are already damned accordingly. Secondly, it supplies an answer for every question of life: good things that happen are grace; bad things happen because we are evil; and we deserve it. Thirdly, it enables us to detach ourselves from the emotional rigors of this life. We can stand back and observe our own life from a distance. Death, failure, injustice, etc. only serve to show us more of our own depravity as “set against God’s holiness.” The only difference between a lost person and a saved person is the saved person knows of their own depravity. The unregenerate are defined by “Phariseeism,” i.e., they think there is some good within them.

So, how can Calvinists be so happy in all of this? Well, they get the benefit of all of the aforementioned, plus a get out of election free card. The key is the Reformed tenet of the power of the keys. Whatever Reformed elders bind on earth, will be bound in heaven, and whatever they loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Reformed elders are mediators between God and man. Yes, fear is a wonderful thing and we can’t be sure we are going to heaven to stay, wink, wink, unless the elders like us. If the elders like us, we are probably in. Membership has its privileges.

I am utterly convinced that this is why there is a church every two miles on the interstate with a 500,000 dollar budget. Listen carefully to what we say: “Such and such is a member in good standing.” Good standing for what? Well, for one, Calvin believed, like all in the authentic Reformed tradition that sins committed in the Christian life “separate us from grace,” viz, salvation. And, forgiveness for that sin can only be obtained through membership in the local church, and by elders who have the authority to forgive that sin. And, only water baptism joins us to the local church. This speaks for itself.

Calvinism is spreading in our culture like wildfire. Any questions as to why? Basically, live by faith alone, and support your local Reformed mediator while living anyway you want to. The fact is, in most Neo-Calvinist churches of our day, people are living in open sin while those who ask questions are the only ones being brought up on “church discipline.” Come now, look around, that’s what is going on. No? This mindset is also responsible for the wildly successful contemporary biblical counseling movement; the good news is that Jesus does everything for you, and if you think you can do anything—you are a Pharisee. A successful marriage is defined as two totally depraved people living together who are on a journey to discover how evil they both are. That was easy!

I believe that we will see huge ecumenical movements in the future that find common ground on the total depravity issue. It will be a common belief that people really don’t change, and that grace defines all of man’s existence. I believe this is the last day’s antinomian blitzkrieg predicted in the Bible, and I believe the hallmark of it will be a reuniting of Protestantism and Catholicism.

Both came from Augustine, and that’s where they will return. The get out of election free membership card will seal the deal. From there, with at least 2 billion votes at its disposal, governments will agree to once again enforce the institutional church’s orthodoxy. This is just a mere repeating of history, and it looks a lot like the book of Revelation. Granted, because of the Enlightenment era and the liberty it exposed humanity to, the final tyranny will not be as ironclad as pax romana, it will be “iron mixed with clay.”

Nevertheless, the freedom offered in antinomianism and its wide easy road will lead to the same bondage experienced throughout human history.


21 Responses

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  1. lydiasellerofpurple said, on April 20, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    “As you know well, many modern Calvinists depart from Calvin’s views in several areas. The ones you mentioned are some I would take exception with. I have no problem with you stating that Calvin believed a particular idea and then quoting him in context to authenticate your contention. To say Calvinists believe a doctrine simply because Calvin taught it is another matter altogether.”

    LOL!!! There is no such thing as quoting Calvin in context. The man was all over the place and contradicted himself constantly. He is a black hole. The Institutes are a lawyers screed.

    So how can falling asleep during one of his sermons be a punishable sin but burning a supposed heretic is glorifying to God? That sums up Calvin “in context”.

    The man was a tyrannical cult leader. The only thing he can teach us is what Christianity does NOT look like. Calvin has no redeeming virtues for us to learn from. He was evil.


  2. lydiasellerofpurple said, on April 21, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    “These proselytes of evil oppression are so used to people recoiling in fear at their threats to sue and blackmail and hound and torment and excommunicate…proof of their fear of the truth”

    Well it is no longer a secret how they take over churches., They are not honest about what they believe when hired and over time people become increasingly uncomfortable as tidbits come out. They question then are told they do not understand. The pew sitter obviously wants to be fair and would never consider the guy they hired and pay would be dishonest or had an agenda so they carry on with good intentions of “being fair”. And by the time they figure out he is teaching another Gospel, it is too late. The Calvinista has his yes men and “the true Gospel”.

    And they can accomplish this using other people’s money. there is a word for them: Charlatans.

    And Al Mohler is their Fagan in my neck of the woods.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on April 21, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      And Lydia here hits on the crux of this ministry: if churches want this, fine, but let the people who pay the bills do it with eyes wide open. really, even though this is a hard ministry and I complain at times, the few churches who have nailed an incoming pastor with our information makes it all worth it. Secondly, people now at least know WHY they are leaving a church. Before, many were leaving these churches because they knew something was terribly wrong, but they couldn’t define it which added to their distress. There is at least some solace in the knowing of the why. Thirdly, they know what to look for when they search for a new church. Fourthly, people are discovering that this movement is so deceptive that they join a new church while looking for the error, and then discovering later that they were lied to. This leads to where our ministry is heading even though we will never stop researching and defining: Christ’s real assembly; the lay home fellowship.


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