THE CALVINIST DEBATE

Personal Observation of the Editor:
Steve Van Nattan

 

 THE SOWER

There is a parable given by Jesus that destroys the Calvinist notions of soul winning and how the believer should respond to the Great Commission.

First, the Great Commission:

Mark 16:15 (KJV) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Notice please that EVERY creature is to hear the Gospel.

We are fools to sit around trying to figure out who will believe and who will not. Verse 16 also makes it very clear that "he that believeth" and "he that believeth not" are not discussed here in terms of predestination or election.

We are simply told that we are to preach, "every creature" gives a verdict, and God has the last word about who is saved and who is not.

All he asks you to do is preach.

The Parable of the Sower:

Mark 4:1 (KJV) And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

In the days of Jesus Christ here on earth, farmers did not bring around a John Deere tractor and a seed drill to plant their wheat. They broke up the ground, probably with a chisel point plow and a ox, and they got a cloth bag of seed, and they broadcast the seed by hand. I have seen this done in Ethiopia where we were missionaries.

The farmer does not fret and worry a lot about sowing seed in the uncultivated area-- he is more concerned about missing a cultivated area. So, to make sure he covers all his field, he will cast seed beyond the edges of his field onto paths, and he will cast seed in shallow soil, and he will cast seed into rocky areas.

Any farmer who goes home and frets as to whether he wasted seed is an idiot. A responsible farmer simply wants to know that all the fertile soil got seed.

Most Calvinists reading this will groan here. They want me to join a theological club, have long discussions, read Gill and Calvin and Pink, and then stand in front of an abortion clinic and save babies from death. That is Calvinist evangelism in 2011.

I had a Dutch Reformed pastor come around to see me in Michigan when I was pastoring a church there. He invited me to come to a American Family Association meeting and get motivated to fight abortion. Abortion is murder, and I certainly say so when the topic comes up. But, I asked the pastor a question: "After you convince a young woman to have a baby instead of killing it, do you make sure to get around to her home and give her the Gospel, and do you get the kid out to Sunday School later?" The pastor went blank and stared at me in shock. I guess no one had ever brought up that idea in his good godly Calvinist fellowship. He turned and walked away speechless.

As a side note, our Bible Church used to get a $300 donation once a year from that pastor's church. After I asked the heretic question of him that day out on the lawn, we never again got the donation. Strangely though, our Lord caused our local church to flourish without the annual $300. Hmmmm

Sow seed, the Gospel, in the world.

That is your job, dear Christian saint. If you can stand in front of an abortion clinic and use the issue of abortion to find your way to Jesus, that is great. That is what Philip did with the Eunuch in Acts 8. But, to save a baby from being murdered without giving the mother, and if possible the baby later, the Gospel, is like making sure the baby is born to be damned. God reserved judgment on Nineveh because of the babies (Jonah 4:11), and there is reason to believe he will do the same for the unborn who die in the womb.

If this happens to be the case, then the abortion clinics are sending more babies to heaven than most churches are winning by giving out the Gospel. Doing social good without the Gospel is rebellion against Christ's Great Commission.

Acts 1:8 (KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The seed is the Word, and you are to cast it into every direction where there could possibly be fertile soil. How much area are you responsible for? "The field is the world," said Jesus. You have not cast too much seed, or wasted your time and zeal, until you go to the moon or Jupiter and start preaching.

Pity the silly Calvinist who worries that he is wasting his time or the Lord's time in casting the seed of the Word, the Gospel, ANYWHERE.

Do you see how utterly silly this all is? Will you ever again let a Calvinist scholar intimidate you with his high toned yard long theological words and his intricate philosophical logic?

Considering Spurgeon and his fiery zeal-- with his fierce proclamation of the Gospel, and comparing him to the dull cautious pedantic theologians of the Reformed Movement-- I would rather be guilty of preaching too much Gospel than thinking and thinking and thinking until the Lord returns.

I can be sure that if I preach the Gospel, I will be participating in the will of God EVERY TIME!

Why?

2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

After I have preached to "all," maybe I can slack off a bit, but I have a long way to go yet. So do you.

There is a Primitive Baptists church near us in Texas which is a flaming Calvinist hot spot. It is very curious though, that if you ask them if they support any missionaries, they get a look of horror on their faces. They then make it VERY clear to you that missions and witnessing outside the pulpit in their church house is heresy, and they will shoulder you to the door if you do not recant of talking about soul winning and missions. This, dear reader, is the foul fruit of John Calvin after is has rotted to full nauseous rankness for five hundred years.

Here is the Gospel at this site.

 

REAL LIFE SITUATION

Here are the qualifications of a pastor:

Titus 1:5 (KJV) For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Here is the situation many saints today find themselves in-- Their pastor meets all the life issues (practical theology) qualifications in verses 6-8. But their pastor, as to verse 9, teaches like this:

9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine and philosophy of great theologians both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

David Cloud talked about this in his article above.

Now, what should the Bible believer do next?

The pastor is so godly in his life issues, he controls his temper, his children are obedient and orderly, and he is famous for hospitality and manliness. Must I leave him simply because he quotes John Calvin or CH Spurgeon to finish many of his apologetics for truth. He always starts with the Bible. Is that not enough?

John 17:17 (KJV) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Jesus is praying in the garden the evening before his resurrection. If Jesus knew that there was a human source needed to add to the truth, to complete the message, he would have added it to the end of that prayer request.

He did NOT! There is absolutely NOTHING needed, from any source since Adam, to sanctify the believer in the faith once delivered TO YOU.

Revelation 22:18 (KJV) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

There is no other truth before or after the Word of God. Nor is any needed:

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The revelation text above makes it absolutely clear that nothing can be added to the Word of God, nor can anything be removed from the Word of God, without invoking the wrath of God on the perpetrator.

The 2 Timothy text makes it doubly clear that there is NO need for adding the best and highest thoughts, of any man who ever lived, to the 66 books of the Word of God.

If this "good godly man of God" of yours is adding even the most exalting and reasonable notions OF "great theologians" to finish teaching ANY truth, he is a heretic.

You have no choice-- you must leave him.

Romans 16:17 (KJV) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

"The doctrine" is NOT your church's creed, it is NOT your church's doctrinal statement, and it is NOT Calvin's Institutes. "The doctrine" is the Word of God plus nothing-- "Sola Scriptura," cries Luther. I gather that, over in Geneva, John Calvin did not hear the preacher from Wittenberg.

Are YOU listening?

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"BY THEIR FRUITS....."

I was recently told by a committed Calvinist that the murder of Servetus is too long ago to be sure we know the facts. Well, that is a lie. The volume of writings from his day about the whole drama is great, and it has been well researched.

The reverse is almost always the case with history and famous characters. Only about thirty years ago, very little was known about the ancient kingdom of Sumer. There is no known world kingdom before Sumer from any digs around the world. Because of recent archaeology and research, more is known about Sumer than almost any other empire. This is because of their clay tablets they produced by the millions. Millions have been read, and millions remain in the British Museum yet to be read. The fact is, the longer the time from an historic event, the more we learn about it. The more comes to light. So, this hog wash about Calvin's day being too far back to accurately judge is just that-- hog slop.

I was also told that we should not judge John Calvin by his life-- we should judge him by his writings only. BAH! People do NOT judge Adolph Hitler for his book, Mein Kamf-- Hitler is judged for his massacre of the Jews in Germany.

Thus, it most certainly IS appropriate to examine the acts of John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli, for they massacred, between them, hundreds of innocent people, especially the Anabaptists who believed the same Gospel Calvin preached.

Revelation 22:14 (KJV) Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Calvin murdered Servetus, and he rabidly justified it and institutionalized murder of heretics in his later writings.

If the burning of Servetus was not murder, pray tell, give me a Bible verse that gives it another definition, for it was done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Meanwhile, until I hear from you, I will assume, based on a literal interpretation of the Bible text above, that John Calvin is now in hell screaming for water.

And, YOU are a fool for justifying him.

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FINAL VERDICT

My official opinion is thus:

I am a judge-- I am commanded to judge all things:

Ezekiel 44:23 (KJV) And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.

Romans 16:17 (KJV) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

John 7:24 (KJV) Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Thus:

1. The act of worshipful hate:

Psalms 139:19 (KJV) Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I have presented at this journal all the information and resources for you to understand this-- John Calvin was a murderer and a projection of the Augustinian view that heretics needed some physical punishment for their own good. In this, Calvin was WORSE than his godfather, Augustine. I have also proven from the Scriptures that all unrepentant murderers will go to hell. Calvin is now in hell, for he set out to murder Servetus while claiming the act was evil, and he did NOT repent. He justified himself and threatened to murder anyone who disagreed with him.

So, I agree with God. I HATE CALVIN.

2. To the degree that you or anyone else gives place to Calvin's teachings in their theology, or daily application of that theology, that is the degree in which that person is a deadly enemy of mine. I would do well to avoid them at all costs.

1 Corinthians 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Romans 1:28 (KJV) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them
.

It is not possible to believe every word of the above text in Romans 1 is inspired of God while overlooking murder in an alleged servant of God. I am convinced that Reformed people, by and large, take pleasure in Calvin's brutal nature. I have seen it myself in Reformed fellowships as they brutalized some of the own members who were weak in some way, or just too plain and poor for their materialistic standards.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

To be entirely right with God, I believe that the Anabaptist practice of taking a vow regarding the Reformed Movement is in order. This vow must be to leave and avoid the company of Reformed heretics in order to find fellowship in the Lord's true Church.

Steve Van Nattan

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