From “Total Depravity” right down to “Perseverance of the Saints” each doctrine of Calvinism bears all six scriptural marks of fables!
(1) Calvinists teach TOTAL DEPRAVITY: “The theologians of the Reformation and those who formulated the Reformed teaching into these Five Points at the Synod of Dort…pronounced that man’s natural state is a state of total depravity and therefore, there was total inability on the part of man to gain, or contribute to, his own salvation….What reformers mean is that when man fell in the Garden of Eden he fell in his ‘totality’. The whole personality of man has been affected by the FALL..” From “The Five Points of Calvinism” by W.J. Seaton, pages 9 & 10.
It must be noted that scripture never once speaks of “depravity”! Websters’ Dictionary tells us that the root of the verb “to deprave” means “to make crooked” or “to bend”!
Nor does scripture ever teach that Adam and Eve “fell” into sin! “Falls” are usually accidental, but their sin was a conscious choice! Most people recover from “falls“. But sin is ALWAYS fatal, it brings DEATH, not crookedness!
The Bible never once speaks of “total depravity” but does speak of the TERRORS OF DEATH
Psalm 55:4: “My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.”
Concerning eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the Lord did not warn Adam with these words: “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely fall“, nor did He say, “thou shalt surely be depraved (crooked/bent)“! Rather, He said, “Thou shalt surely die.” Death, not depravity is the consequence of sin! “Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:14,15
(2) Calvinists teach UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION: “Those of mankind who are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel of and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him thereunto.” Chapter 3, Article 5 of The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 quoted in W.J Seaton’s “The Five Points of Calvinism“, page 11.
It must be noted that there is no statement in all the Word of God which teaches this idea! In fact it is an impossibility for either God or man to make an “unconditional choice”! Every choice has a purpose and the purpose of the choice determines the condition(s) that must be found in the object(s) of the choice!
To maintain that God’s election is “unconditional” is to say that election has no purpose! Every purpose establishes conditions necessary for its own fulfilment.
The Bible teaches that God calls sinners to repentance, that He resists the proud and gives His grace to the humble, that He has chosen the foolish, the weak, the base, the despised, those who are nothing, those who are ungodly and that He saves the humble! When God chose people to salvation, He had a purpose in view, i.e. to save! ( I Tim.1:15) So one condition that must be true of every one that God saves is that they must be a sinner! God never has and never will save a righteous person.(Matt.9:13)
Another purpose of God that places conditions on His election is that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. God never has and never will save a proud man and every one whom God saves must be humble for this is the kind to whom God has purposed to give His grace! (James 4:6 and I Peter 5:5)
Everything that God does is for His own pleasure (Rev.4:11) and for His own glory (I Cor.1:29-31). So God’s election to save people must be governed by certain conditions that God may be pleased and glorified by such election. Since God has determined that no flesh should glory in His presence, there are many kinds of sinners which God could not choose to save! If He chose to save self-righteous, wise, mighty, noble people, His own purposes would not be fulfilled as these kinds of people would have something in which to boast! So His choice to save sinners demanded certain conditions that must be true IN THEM! In the longest scriptural sentence on the subject of election (God’s choosing) i.e. in I Corinthians 1:26-29, and also in Romans 5:6-8 we find the kind of people whom God chose to save: that is sinners who are foolish, who are weak, who are base, who are despised, who are nothing, who are ungodly so “that no flesh should glory in His presence”.
(3) Calvinists teach LIMITED ATONEMENT: “Christ died positively and effectually to save a certain number of hell-deserving sinners on whom the Father had already set His free electing love. The Son pays the debt for those elect ones, makes satisfaction for them to the Father’s justice, and imputes His own righteousness to them so that they are complete in Him.” W.J. Seaton’s “The Five points of Calvinism” page 15.
Every Calvinist that I have every read on “Atonement” has failed to do his homework! Not one of them seems to know what “atonement” is! They all assume that it is synonymous with “salvation, “imputation of righteousness” etc. It is none of these things!
Furthermore, Calvinists also make a number of fatal assumptions as they state their doctrine of “limited atonement”.
(1)Scripture NEVER says that God has chosen a “certain number” to be saved! Rather I Cor.1:26-29 clearly describes the KIND which God has elected to save.
(2)Scripture NEVER says anything about Christ “paying a debt” which we owed! Who would He pay it to???
(3)Scripture never says that satisfaction was made to God for a limited number! In fact it says the exact opposite! Atonement was made for ALL Israel on the Day of Atonement as the blood was sprinkled before and upon the mercy seat in the most holy. Because of that, God was satisfied to withhold His judgment for the sin of the entire nation for another year. In the New Testament, the word translated “mercy seat” and the word translated “propitiation” (satisfaction for sin) are the same word! See Hebrews 9:5 and Romans 3:25). Furthermore, I John 2:2 plainly declares that “He (Christ) is the propitiation for our sins:and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
The Bible teaches atonement for all which avails only until death: Atonement is “a covering”. The Hebrew word is KAPHAR. On the Day of Atonement (Lev.16:17,21,22,30,33,34) ) every person in Israel was atoned for, but not one was thereby “saved”, “justified”, or made “righteous”. The purpose of atonement by sacrifice is always to provide a righteous means whereby a Holy God can be longsuffering toward guilty sinners and not pour out His wrath upon them immediately.
In like manner, the entire nation of Israel was redeemed (delivered from Egyptian bondage) and reconciled (brought near to God from far) as God took up His dwelling in the Tabernacle in the wilderness. But redemption, reconciliation and atonement did not make one Israelite righteous before God!
Atonement (for Israel on the Day of Atonement, Lev.16 and for the world which the Lord Jesus accomplished at Calvary) involves two aspects. (That is why two goats were necessary in Lev.16.) One goat died as the sin offering and its blood was carried into the holiest of all for sin. The other goat (the scapegoat) was the sin bearer. The sins of the people were confessed and, with Aaron’s hands were placed upon its’ head. (Lev.16:21) Then that goat was taken out into the uninhabited desert and abandoned. The Lord Jesus was both the sin offering (the propitiation) “for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” and the sin bearer, “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29
While Christ’s atonement is not limited in scope (it is for the whole world), the time is certainly limited in which atonement is effective for any individual! Atonement is only effectual and God is only longsuffering toward a sinner while the sinner lives! The wrath of God “abides” on unbelievers, but it has not yet fallen on those who are still alive. But the moment a sinner dies, the wrath of God falls upon his head.See 1 Samuel 25:39 “And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. ” See also Psalm 7:16 “His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.” See also John 8:21 “…ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.”
(4) Calvinists teach IRRESISTIBLE GRACE: “There are two calls. There is not only an outward call; there is also an inward call. The outward call may be described as ‘words of the preacher’, and this call, when it goes forth, may work a score of different ways in a score of different hearts producing a score of different results. One thing it will not do, however; it will not work a work of salvation in a sinner’s soul. For a work of salvation to be wrought the outward call must be accompanied by the inward call of God’s Holy Spirit, for He it is who ‘convinces of sin, and righteousness and judgment.’ And when the Holy Spirit calls a man, or a woman, or a young person by His grace, that call is irresistible: it cannot be frustrated; it is the manifestation of God’s irresistible grace.” W.J. Seaton’s “The Five Points of Calvinism” page 18.
Because none of the five points of Calvinism are stated in scripture, Calvinists lean very heavily on human logic and human invention and thus are fond of quoting liberally from the writings of men but are comparatively very short on quotations from scripture! No such calls as “the outward call” and “the inward call” are ever spoken of in scripture! Neither are Calvinists’ designations of “common grace” or “saving grace“!
The Bible teaches that GOD GIVES HIS GRACE TO THE HUMBLE: While Titus 2:11 tells us “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men…” it is also true that God never gives His grace in an indiscriminate fashion! No proud, rebellious, wise, or mighty man ever experiences the grace of God! The explicit teaching of scripture is that no humble person has ever lived who did not receive the grace of God in salvation! Psalms 149:4 declares, “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek (or “glorify the humble”) with salvation.”
In Proverbs 3:34 we find the following: “Surely He scorneth the scorners: But he giveth grace unto the lowly.” And James 4:6 and I Peter 5:5 reiterate the same: “God resisteth the proud but giveth grace unto the humble.”
The truth of scripture is not that the elect cannot resist the grace of God, but rather that God cannot resist freely pouring out His grace upon the humble! The opposite is also true: God always resists the proud!
(5) Calvinists teach PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS: “Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, and given the precious faith of His elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance…” From the Baptist Confession of 1689 quoted from W.J. Seaton’s book, :The Five Points of Calvinism”, page 20 & 21.
As in all of their statements, Calvinists here use another invention of men, God’s “effectual call“. This infers that there is a call of God that is not effectual! But their main error in this doctrine is the matter of perseverance! Perseverance is always self-effort! Scripture never speaks of saints persevering!
The Bible teaches THE PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS! While perseverance is something which one does themselves, preservation is always what another does for us! Here we simply need to quote the scripture: Psalms 37:28 “For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I Peter 1:3-5: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Jude 1:1 “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:”
This is obviously not a work of self-effort on the part of the child of God, but rather the work of God on our behalf!