Wednesday, January 18, 2017

COMMANDS, ADMONITIONS, AND WARNINGS: CALVIN'S FACADERY, Dan Mayfield

What purpose is an admonition or command if God's sovereignty has ordained everything? Why warn against sinning if being holy or unholy is pre-ordained?
What Calvinists say. Calvinists preachers establish that God's sovereignty is absolute because man has zero choice. Not since the first sin of Adam does man have the ability to do anything but that which God has decreed for him to do. That's what they say.
But when you listen to Calvinist's preaching by MacArthur or Piper and others, there are many
admonitions and warnings in their messages. The people being warned and the people being condemned in these sermons could say, "Are you suggesting I could do anything other than what I'm doing?" As long as you don't ask them that question, the answer is yes. But if you ask them the question, the answer is no. It's a contradiction.
Why is there always the contradiction in Calvinist's preaching? These admonitions, warnings and commands which fill Calvinst's preaching are a facade and what the facade says is that you have free will. Calvinists are always contradicting their own position. If they are true to Reformed Theology, they say God is entirely Sovereign and they say that man from the moment of conception is utterly unable to do anything but be born depraved, stay depraved, and go to hell. The only way off of that one way course to hell is if God specially selects individuals here and there to be awoken from the depraved state to be born again. These few specially selected people are now on an irreversible course to heaven and there's no way for this person to go anyway since God's in absolute sovereignty decreed this new course. So all such admonitions, warnings, and commands to all people, on the course to hell or on the course to heaven are merely an exercise in facadery. There is always the contradiction in Calvinism between the facade of free will and the foundation principles that undergird the theology.
Calvinist will answer, replying that God accomplishes his divine will through the preaching of the Gospel with it's commands, admonitions, and warnings. Still it's just window dressing facadery. The outcome is already determined because God is sovereign and man has no free will but to do exactly what God decrees.
What do I believe? Calvinists will say that I don't believe in God and that my criticism of Calvinism shows I'm still in the utterly sinful and hostile condition of rebellion. No, I believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is King of kings, and Lord of lords. I believe in the Sovereign God who works out His salvation through Jesus Christ. I believe that God loves every soul enough to offer the free gift to them all (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4,6; 4:10; Titus 2:11; Heb. 2:9; 1 Jn 2:1,2). I believe that promises like "if you believe you will live" are Jesus' open appeals to every person. I believe that every person can hear those words and make a full volitional choice to accept or reject God. I believe that heaven awaits those who in faith and love obey the Gospel of Christ (Acts 2:38; 22:16) and those who do not believe in God and do not obey the Gospel will pay the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord (2 Thess 1:6-9).
What I do not believe? I do not believe Calvinists preach correct on sovereignty. I do not believe they understand what was lost and what was not lost when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. I do not believe that the God preached by Calvinists is the God of the Bible. I do not believe that Calvinists do justice to God's love and wrath when they use those words. If what a person does is already decreed by God, how can a righteous and justice God send these people to hell if they had no say/free will in the matter?
Calvinists are locked deep into a system of belief that is many levels deep. It's nearly impossible to be extracted from it. They use the words of the Bible and the Gospel. They talk of grace, faith, sin, forgiveness, hope, heaven, and hell. But it all sets on top of not the foundation bedrock of Jesus Christ. But instead it rest upon a distorted view of God's will and how He accomplishes that will. The Calvinists God does not trust the power of the cross to reach the heart of an individual. It does not trust in man to spread the Gospel. It is a God that leaves anything to chance. To the Calvinists, His God decrees every step of man and decrees before the man came into the world if he would go to heaven or hell.
Because Calvinism is utterly fatalistic, a hopeless message for the masses going to hell (for what Adam did and for what God did not do: foreordain their salvation) all of the admonitions, appeals, warnings and commands are nothing but facadery. If you are a Calvinist and want to study your way out of this terrible place you find yourself, we can talk. Ask questions. Don't fall back on the thing always said, "It's a mystery." There are answers and the truth is beautiful.
One last word to Christians who don't believe in Calvinism. Be careful that you don't betray the truth by adopting unscriptural terms like "sin nature". When Paul says to the Ephesians they "were by nature, children of wrath", it does not mean that the innate, inborn nature of a baby is to sin. That's Calvinism interpreting. The "children" in this Ephesians 2 reference are grownups and all of us are God's children gone astray. And the nature is the nature developed in us by the practice of sin. The truth is not that we are born with a nature to sin; we aren't pre-disposed to sin. But the truth is that we are born with the nature to learn, to exercise free will, to see the beauty of God and to choose to do His will or our will. We are pre-disoposed to choose. We are pre-disposed to seek God which is why we are "incurably" religious. The soul knows there's more than meets the eye. So be careful, dear Christians, that you do not use terminology that is wrong. And don't fall into the error or explaining behavior of little children as evidence of a "sinful nature". God's watching out for these little ones. They are precious to Him. And it is you and I who had better become like them if we wish to go to heaven.
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CANDY BARS: MAKING CALVINISM UNDERSTANDABLE, Dan Mayfield
Let's say that God wants everybody to give Him a candy bar or they go to hell but no one has a candy bar, everyone is candy bar-less, and they have no way to get or make one. So God gives them the candy bar to give back to Him: that's Calvinism.
Let's say that God only gives the candy bar to certain people with no choice of their own, who then give it back to Him with no choice of their own: that's Calvinism.
And let's say that God doesn't give the candy bar to the majority of people and so they have no candy bar to give back and so they go to hell because they were born without a candy bar and never could possibly give Him one: that's Calvinism.
Let's say that the blessed people, who won the lottery and were the select few who were given the candy bar to give back to God, sit around talking about how blessed they are to have such a gracious and fair God: that's Calvinism.

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