Calvinism is heretical
First, my thanks to Acvavra for originally initiating the debate and his willingness to continue from the it. Discussing Calvinism and Arminianism is one of my favorite topics. I hope that God will be glorified in our exchange and that we will leave satisfied.
To rebuild a debate that was initiated earlier:
Round 1, acceptance, details the majority of the debate will cover
Round 2-3, cross examination
Round 4, final defenses & closing remarks
-Respond in a systematic manner
-Cite sourse(s) of quotes
-Insults and the such ARE permitted
-All points of the TULIP are open for discussion
-Arminianism is also open for discussion
-We will to our best degree avoid ambiguous terminology and when it is used we will endeavor to more specifically detail what we are intending to say
-Since the debate entails Calvinism it is expected that both parties are familiar with other modes of soteriology such as Arminianism, Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism, etc.
-PRO must demonstrate that 1 or more points of the TULIP is heretical
I will be taking the CON position namely that Calvinism is consistent with scripture. Acvavra will be taking the PRO position namely that Calvinism is heretical in atleast 1 of its 5 points often described by the acronym TULIP. To begin, I will quote my initial response in the previous debate that briefly details the first 4 points in the TULIP. Acvavra will respond with his argument on why any of those points are heretical.
To the points!
1 Total Depravity
The first thing to note about Total Depravity is that neither side of the debate disagrees with it. Historically Arminianism has always upheld the doctrine of Total Depravity just as Calvinism has. Total depravity basically teaches that all of the human being is tainted with sin to the extent that without the grace of God man left to his own devices would never initiate faith from within himself. The only circles that reject Total Dipravity are Pelagianists and Semi-Pelagianists. Arminians (free-willers) are not semi-pelagianists.
The dividing point is actually a point between behind the TULIP as a whole. Its particular placement would not fit between any particular letter but it does fit with the whole. It is the issue of how God effectually remediates the fallen nature of man. This is called Prevenient Grace by both sides. To the Calvinist, Prevenient Grace is accomplished by Regeneration of the elect by the Holy Spirit which inevitably results is the saving of that person. For the Arminian, Prevenient Grace is in some manner bestowed to all of humanity that to some form and degree restrains the sinful fallen nature of man so that when presented with the gospel message they have the possibility of accepting or rejecting it. The scope, degree, and time of the Arminian mode of Prevenient Grace seems to differ person to person.
2 Unconditional Election
When discussing Election it is important to note that again neither side rejects electtion or predestining. The argument is whether God elects unconditionally as the Calvinists believe or if God predestines by foreknowing that man would first choose Him and then electing them based on that foreknowledge as the Arminians do.
3 Limited Atonement
Probably the most debated point. It is more of a logical necessity of the other points. Limited Atonement deals with the efficacy of the atonement. For whom was the atonement accomplished for. There are essentially only three possible results of the atonement scenario:
1 (Calvinism) The atonement was for the elect only and accomplished it for the elect definitely
2 (Arminianism) The atonement was for the whole of humanity and is only effectual for only those who believe
3 (Universalism) The atonement was for the whole of humanity and is effectual for all
The Calvinist view and Arminian view are extremely similar. The difference is in the defining and operations of the elect. Limited Atonement was established to simply state that if Christ had effectually atoned for all people then either he A) succeeded thus all people are saved or B) failed thus having its own theological implications of God failing to accomplish something. So, Limited Atonement is necessary to show that only the elect (Calvinism), or those who believe (Arminianism, also considered elect) receive the effect of the atonement as opposed to all of humanity.
4 Irresistible Grace
Irresistible Grace, like all of the point in the acronym can be misleading. It teaches that the elect cannot reject the call of salvation. This is accomplished because after regeneration the person is compelled not just by God but also by their changed nature and thus there is nothing resisting their confession. What is misleading about this point is that many people take it and erringly conclude that the God in all ways cannot be resisted. That is not what the point teaches. Calvinists very much do believe that God can be resisted. Calvinists see two modes of will in scripture with regard to God. A Decretive will and a Revealed will. The decretive will is that which cannot be resisted and must come to pass. Examples of Gods decretive will would be: Creation, the crucifixion of Christ, the predestining of the elect, Regeneration. Gods Revealed will can be resisted. Examples of Gods revealed will would be: the commandments (not just the ten), Gods desire that none should perish, etc. More often than not most Arminians also share the same view on the different wills of God that Calvinists do and may use different terms such as Permissive will and the such. Point being, when examined, Irresistible Grace differs from Arminianism in that Regeneration is not in Gods decretive will, and thus may be resisted.
5 Perseverance of the Saints
I will not go into detail on this point as you said we are debating the first four points. I would like to note that I find it inconsistent to believe in point 5 and yet not points 2, 3, and 4 along with the manner of which God accomplishes Prevenient Grace.
However, the burden of proof is on me to show why the first 4 points are heretical. May the better debater win.
Left blank for PRO to substantiate his claim
Heresy- anything not in line with orthodox Biblical doctrine
Now, Calvinism uses an acronym to describe their five major points or doctrines. Its called TULIP. T-Total Depravity of Man, U-Unconditional Election, L-Limited Atonement I-Irrisitable Grace
P-Perseverance of the saints(not to be discussed)
Now, Calvinism is all about definitions. I agree with Total Depravity, man is so wicked that he is depraved. However, Calvinism defines it as Total Inability. This means that man is so depraved that he cannot repent and accept the Gospel by his own free will. God has to regenerate you and only if your one of the elect. This contradicts Ephesians 1:13 where we believe first, then are saved, John 1:12 because we receive Christ first, and John 3:16 where God saves those who believe, not who He chooses. Further, when God told Adam to not eat from the tree, God was really willing it for Adam to eat from the tree. It wasn't Adam's free will that did it, God willed it to happen and then punished Adam for it afterwards! Why would God say, "that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH" when He already chose the elect before the foundation of the world? It wasn't really "whosoever" if it was JUST the elect, now is it? Ephesians 1:13 says "ye believed" AFTER "ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise." You BELIEVE FIRST, THEN get saved. John 1:12 says God gave power to "as many as received Him" FIRST. You must receive Him before you get power.
2 Peter 3:9 contradicts Unconditional Election because, "God is NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH" which includes the non-elect. If God was not willing that "the elect should perish" as the calvinist interprets it, then what would be the point of the verse. God already knew that the elect would not perish before the foundation of the world. The verse is nonsensical according to Calvinist theology. The idea of God creating some people to be saved and others not to be saved is BLASPHEMOUS. Calvinism is saying God created some people to be saved and others to ,"Fuel the fires of Hell"(R. C. Sproul- Calvinist).
I am not exaggerating one bit. Calvinists admit that man has no free will to receive Christ and God arbitrarily chose some to be saved and others to fuel the fires of Hell. Doesn't this border on the definition of a cult?
Further, 1 Peter 1:2, IT DESTROYS UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION because ELECTION is based on God's foreknowledge of a person appropriating Christ's blood atonement for sin and sanctification of the Spirit. IT IS NOT based on God's sovereign pleasure.
Now with Limited Atonement, my opponent is going to have to ignore a plethera of verses. Consider 1 Timothy 2:4, [God] "who will have ALL MEN TO BE SAVED." Verse 6, "Who gave himself a ransom for ALL." 2 Peter 2:1 says false prophets were BOUGHT by the Lord. To be bought, means God atoned for their sins. Limited Atonement is refuted by 1 John 2:2,"And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Let me stop and say that if this point were true that God did not die for the sins of the unelect, thus God created them just to fuel the fires of Hell! Do you really think that is Biblical? Hebrews 10:29 destroys Limited Atonement. It says, "how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and HATH COUNTED THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHEREWITH HE WAS SANCTIFIED, AN UNHOLY THING,(God ATONED for his sins), AND HATH DONE DESPITE UNTO THE SPIRIT OF GRACE? There also goes Irrisistable Grace out the window because someone resisted the Spirit of grace.
Irrisistable Grace basically says that God regenerates or saves a sinner against the sinners will because he is too "corrupt"(Total Inability) to receive Christ on his own. Its irrisistable because the elect cannot refuse it. Yet Christ said to Jerusalem, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem...how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT! That looks like they refused God to me. My opponent claims that men just cant refuse the Gospel if they are elect, but they can refuse other things. Well, the Jews were God's chosen people(elect), and they refused their Saviour who brought the Gospel.
Further, heretical doctrine has to defend itself by means of violence, which Calvin resorted to. He burned Michael Servetus to the stake. Why? Because Servetus disagreed with him on doctrine. That's why. Nice guy, right? Arminius never killed anyone and showed respect to his enemy-John Calvin. Further let me mention that John Calvin grew up as a Roman Catholic and kept many of their traditions: infant baptism, transubstantion, the sacraments, amillenial(my opponent is a Baptist and most Baptists are premillenial!) and killed those who disagreed with him. Jacob Arminius was much more Protestant than Calvin, after all, Arminius rejected the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Moreover, John Calvin burned people to the stake for the crime of "witchcraft" when plagues occured in Geneva. He beheaded a little girl in Geneva for disobeying her parents. Evidently, John Calvin resorted to the Old Testament a lot. Now, remember, this is the guy that Calvinists say fully expounded upon the doctrines of grace. Some founder. Even if Calvinists go and say, "Augustine was the actual founder" they are still confronted with a problem. Augustine believed in the same Roman Catholic dogma a Calvin. He was a Catholic before Catholicism started.
This should be good for now.
Thank you Acvara, I will begin by systematically addressing each of my oponents points with the exception of Limited Atonement and Irresistable Grace.
1) Total Depravity
Acvarva begins his attack on the doctrines of grace by claiming that Total Depravity and Total Innability are separate and distinct from each other. He specifies this difference by saying “This (Total Inability) means that man is so depraved that he cannot repent and accept the Gospel by his own free will.”. Effectually what Acvara is saying is that dispite mans corrupt nature there is a bastion of righteousness and hope in the nature of man the permits him to freely choose to believe in the gospel.
***Total Depravity/Total Inability
Here is a quote from Jacobus Arminius describing the condition of human will:
Arminius effectually is saying that man left by himself without any form of grace form God is ‘unable’ to begin and spiritual good. His depiction of the human will is to effect the exact same result detailed in Total Dipravity:
“The doctrine of total depravity asserts that people are by nature not inclined or even able to love God wholly with heart, mind, and strength, but rather all are inclined by nature to serve their own will and desires and to reject the rule of God.”
Notice how man is not inclined only but also not ‘able’. Hence, Total Inability is synonomous to Total Depravity.
***Verses used by Acvara
None of these verses say that man has the ability in himself to choose God. None of these veres refute the notion that one is regenerated, believes, and is saved and recieves the gift of the Holy Spirit.
***Adam in the garden
“The differences between the solutions to the problem of total depravity revolve around the relation between divine grace and human free will – namely, whether it is efficacious grace that human free will cannot resist, as in Calvinism, or prevenient grace enabling the human will to choose to follow God, as in Arminianism and Molinism.”
2) Unconditional Election
1 Peter 1:2
“For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”
Please note, “it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God”
***Other verses concerning predestining and choosing
3 + 4) Limited Atonement + Irresistable Grace
5) Ad Homonim
I thank my opponent for his arguments. I will not go on with Limited Atonement and Irrristable Grace as that is as light as I can make those points. I will now continue with Total Depravity and Unconditional Election.
Wikipedia is not a reliable source to use to defend Calvinism on Total Depravity for a formal debate. I would like to remind my opponent that ugustine is not a good person to use either, since his beliefs(Eucharist, black robes, infant baptism, etc.) ultimately led to the Roman Catholic Church, and Calvinism is supposed to be Protestant.
My opponent quotes Arminius as if this matters. Arminius and Calvin were very similar to each other. I understand that. But I'm not an Arminian or a Calvinist. Both were wrong on many things, I'm a Bible Believer. This debate is not on Arminius, though, its on Calvinism and John Calvin. My opponent needs to be defending John Calvin, forget Arminius. Again, my opponent constantly references wikipedia which is not a reliable source.
My opponent believes that for man to choose to accept Christ on his own free will is a works salvation, which is why he brings up semi-pelagianism. It is not. If I ask someone for a glass of water, and they give it to me, how much work did I do? I, by my own free will, chose to accept the glass of water. Why would the Gospel be any different? My verses(Eph 1:13, John 1:12, John 3:16) do indeed show that man can choose to accept the Gospel. They say that YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE TO GET ETERNAL LIFE,(that's free will, Con) THEY DID NOT SAY THAT YOU WAIT FOR GOD TO REGENERATE YOU!
My opponent skirts my argument about Adam in the garden. How many debates do you plan to have? I don't care if Arminians and Calvinists agree on Total Depravity, I care about what the Scriptures say!
Concerning 2 Peter 3:9, it is nonsensical to say God is not willing that any should perish if the people He was referring to(Elect), He already MADE IT SO THAT THEY WOULD NEVER PERISH!
Now if the Calvinist is right on Unconditional Election, then God is the author of sin. God has decreed, according to his sovereign pleasure, that the non-elect are going to burn in Hell, and anything they do on earth God has willed it to happen. God FORCED Adam to eat from the tree, because He willed for it to happen. John Calvin writes: "We also note that we should consider the creation of the world so that we may realize that everything is subject to God and ruled by his will and that when the world has done what it may, nothing happens other than what God decrees." (Acts: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.66, emphasis mine)
Calvin writes: "First, the eternal predestination of God, by which before the fall of Adam He decreed what should take place concerning the whole human race and every individual, was fixed and determined." (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.121, emphasis mine)
Calvin explains: "God had no doubt decreed before the foundation of the world what He would do with every one of us and had assigned to everyone by His secret counsel his part in life." (Calvin's New Testament Commentaries: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, p.20, emphasis mine)
Calvin writes: "…the reason why God elects some and rejects others is to be found in His purpose alone. … before men are born their lot is assigned to each of them by the secret will of God. … the salvation or the destruction of men depends on His free election." (Calvin's New Testament Commentaries: Romans and Thessalonians, p.203, emphasis mine)
Calvin writes: "But it is quite frivolous refuge to say that God otiosely permits them, when Scripture shows Him not only willing but the AUTHOR of them." (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.176, emphasis mine)
Is Calvinism Not Heretical? These are the words of John Calvin himself. God is the author of sin according to him.
Further, why did God create the non-elect? Well, CALVINIST R.C. Sproul said they were created to, "Fuel the fires of Hell"(R. C. Sproul, Chosen by God Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1987, pp. 142-145). Isn't God just loving? He created some people just to burn in Hell and they have no way out of it. Calvinism is heretical!
Romans 9:15 says man cannot force God to have mercy on him apart from the conditions God has given, which is receiving Christ as Saviour.
Matt 22:14- "few are chosen" because few are willing to take the wedding garment in the context(verses 12-13).
Mark 4:10-12-Simply, the OT explains this, God blinded them so that they couldn't see and understand because their hearts were set to be wicked. And God took advantage of that in order to have the crucifixion happen so that THE WHOLE WORLD could be saved, even the gentiles. If they had beleived then they wouldn't have crucified Him, and guess where that would leave you and me and the billions of other souls that have come to faith in Christ since that time. It is my belief however that they were forgiven for this, because Jesus said "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." If Jesus said it, then it must be that they were forgiven. After all, Jesus is God in the flesh, right?
Eph 1:3-5-election is conditioned upon being in Christ. The Calvinist would have you believe you were in Christ "before the foundation of the world." NONSENSE! If you were, you fell out of Christ into Adam, and then fell out of Adam and back into Christ! NO MAN is in Christ UNTIL he TRUSTS CHRIST(Eph 1:13).
Why is my opponent against using Ad Homonim on Servetus? In round 1, which you set up the rules, you said "-Insults and the such ARE permitted." Are you contradicting your own rules now? Further, I"m glad Servetus believed infant baptism to be heretical. I reject it also. Now Servetus may have been wrong about the Trinity, but does he deserve to die over it? Servetus was also condemed by Catholics for saying the Mass was a Satanic monstrosity and an invention of demons. Why didn't Calvin believe that? Servetus said the Pope was "O vilest of all beasts, most brazen of harlots"(Banton, Hunted Heretic, p.20). Could it be Servetus was more Protestant than Calvin? Further, Con to say, "He was burnt at the stake to prevent his heresy from spreading" brings your morality into question. Do you believe that its okay to murder people who disagree with you? Are you going to hunt me down now and murder me? Further, "Calvin requesting that he be beheaded" doesn't mean anything. Its still murder! Further, it doesn't matter if murder was common during the time, surely Calvin would know better if he was as Biblical as you claim. The Christian martyrs of the 1st through 3rd centuries willingly died by being eaten by lions. Murder was rampant during the Roman Empire. The Anabaptists, against whom Calvin wrote Against the Anabaptists in 1544 did not believe in persecuting their opponents.
Now, I admit, I made a mistake. My opponent is not a Baptist, he is a Presbyterian. However, if you reject infant baptism, I'm not sure why you are a Presbyterian.
As to Calvin burning people for 'witchcraft" that can be found The Other Side of Calvinism by Laurence Vance. As to beheading a little girl, that can be found in History of the New Testament Church, Vol. 1, by Peter Ruckman.
I thank my opponent for his arguments.
Thank you Acvavra. My original rebuttal is tool long to post so I
Romans 9:15 the grace you speak of in Romans 9 is the mercy given to
those 'before they had done any good or bad',
election might stand'
other parables. Its about the Jews rejection
ingrafting of the Gentiles. Does God still
Romans 9, Numbers 16:5.
It is my belief however that they were forgiven for this, because Jesus said
Here you claim God will forgive them because they were ignorant of
Acvara has not substantiated that man is 1)
I leave the last word to you bud!
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