When I first got back into serving the Lord, I started looking for sermons to watch on YouTube. I was living in a foreign country and finding an English speaking church was not easy. I kept coming across this guy who seemed to preach a pretty good message, his name was John MacArthur. I would some times just let his sermons play in the background. Then one day I heard him say something that didn't strike me the right way. Something was off about this guy. The bible says beware of false teachers, so I did some snooping. I started looking up John MacArthur to see his stance on salvation. It turned out that he was a Calvinist. I had no idea at the time what a Calvinist even was. After further investigation it turns out that John MacArthur and Calvinism are not Christian at all. Let me do a simple break down of what Calvinism is and how it is destroying the church today.
Calvinism was started by a man named John Calvin. That should raise some flags right off the bat, cults are usually named after their founders. He was a protestant reformer. He and other reformationists broke from the Catholic church in the 1600's. Apparently the catholic church was not ungodly enough for them, so they went on to form their own religions. The corner stone of Calvinism is predestination. Which means a select group of people were predestined, before the earth was formed, to go to heaven. Here are some of the scriptures used to justify this theology.
Ephesians 1:4 - According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Ephesians 1:5 - Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
John 15:16 - Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Romans 8:29 - For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
This teaching is in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Bible. The Bible teaches that all people can go to heaven if they just believe that Jesus paid for their sins on the cross. Even though the above scriptures can be used to support the Calvinist's argument, they are taken out of context. All the major cults will take a verse or two of scripture and form a religion around it, Calvinism is no different. If you look at the first two scriptures listed Ephesians 1:4-5, it talks about being chosen and predestined. This just speaks of Gods all knowing omnipotence. God knew from before the world began who would believe and who would not. The chosen part I believe, also has to do with the indwelling of the holy spirit. Once indwelt you are no longer apart of the world, but part of God's family. You receive the holy spirit upon believing in Christ for salvation. Later in Ephesians 1:7, it states, In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Again in verse 13: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. The whole chapter speaks of God's grace yet, all the Calvinists focus on is the predestination parts. There are several verses in the chapter that talk about predestination, yet the whole Bible speaks about God's grace to all people. The bible has many verses that mention predestination. These all have to be taken in context. As soon as anyone believes on Christ for their salvation, they are predestinated to go to heaven. The predestination, is the plan not the people. The plan is in place and anyone can have it, if they believe. Calvinism, makes itself very exclusive, it is only for the select few. It speaks to peoples elitism. This goes directly against the bible. There was a time when God called out a select people for his name, they were the Jews. It was the Jews job to eventually bring Jesus Christ to the whole world. They sadly rejected their messiah, and now people like me bring Christ to the world.
Calvinists say that if you commit sins than you were never predestined. This is how people know that they are chosen, they are sinless. If they do sin, I think they can repent and be forgiven. They just can't "practice" sinning. Let's see what the Bile says about sinless perfection.
I John 1
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
The Calvinists will acknowledge these verses and many others, but they have a way to explain this away. They call it TULIP theology. TULIP means: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints. Lets look into what this means. Total Depravity means, we are totally depraved as people and in rebellion toward God. This I only partly agree with. Christians can live in obedience to God, even though they are still sinners. Unconditional Election, was mentioned above, God's predestination. This religion reduces salvation to works. They say that because of our total depravity, we can never earn heaven, we have to be chosen by God. This seems very unfair of God. That means everyone not chosen, has no hope and will go to hell, no matter what. Why then did God tell the apostles to go into the the world and preach the gospel? Calvinists make no mention of the true gospel 1 Corinthians 1-4, how strange. Limited Atonement, means that Christ shed his blood for only the chosen ones. Again, an utterly hopeless theology. Irresistible Grace, says that gods calling can not be resisted. So, everyone who becomes a Calvinist was called by God. This contradicts grace, it is suppose to be for everyone. Perseverance of the Saints, this means that if you "habitually" commit sins you were never saved to begin with. This is utter heresy. Unfortunately the modern church takes many of its teachings from Calvinism. This is destroying peoples chances of hearing the true gospel at church.
Jesus came into this world to save all of us from all of our sins. All anyone has to do is put their faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, to wash away their sins and they are saved.
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
I Corinthians 15
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: