Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the author of lies. (John 8:44, NASB)
The Message “Bible” is the unholy gift that keeps on giving the gift of spiritual deception. Millions of copies have been sold, and many in the visible church use The Message as their primary “Bible.”
And so we come to Romans 10:13. Let’s first look at the KJV and NASB translations:
For whosover shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (KJV)
for “whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (capitalized in NASB)
Here is The Message version of Romans 10:13:
“Everyone who calls ‘help God!’ gets help.” (The Message)
There is a vast difference between being helped and being saved. The Message “Bible” strikes again.
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Joyce Meyer turned Jesus into the invalid scolder. She had to restructure the story of the the sick man at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5: 1-16. It’s clear from verse nine that Jesus healed the guy because it says he became well. Glossing over that point is what makes her restructuring look valid, in my opinion.
Joyce frames the sick man as someone who was well enough to take up his mat on his own and get in the water to get healed. She portrays his statement about not being able to get to the water before others, as a whiny excuse from a man who is too lazy to want to get well. Joyce implies that Jesus was simply telling the guy to quit being lazy when he told him to pick up his mat and walk. From there she pivots and turns the story into an…
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The Jesus being presented in many churches today is different because He is not the One we find in the Bible. The popular Jesus being presented is the one who fills churches to the rafters with fans and not disciples. People are following a genie in a bottle that will grant them all of their hopes and dreams. He is a Hallmark card version of Jesus who is willing to overlook sin and just be a good friend to pal around with. He never makes us feel bad or consider ourselves less than number one.
Many of our modern churches focus on self-improvement instead of dying to self. This is works based nonsense and basically, the same thing practiced among many pseudo-Christian cults including Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormonism. The logic is if you work hard enough and be good enough, you can earn eternal life.
Instead of lovingly warning people about fleeing the wrath to come, we decide we know a better approach. We attempt to woo people into the Christian life by presenting its features and benefits much like a good salesman. This isn’t the biblical model of how to present the gospel and it is certainly not the way to make disciples.
The local church’s main purpose isn’t to help people improve their financial planning skills, have a better marriage, or to get them connected into activities galore for the whole family. What people desperately need is to hear the gospel to come to the end of themselves and be truly born again. We don’t want to present a different Jesus who is a cosmic genie who caters to our felt needs and desires.
Trouble begins when seeker-sensitive hirelings who are not shepherds water down the gospel. They present a different Jesus and this is a deception plaguing many churches today. These preachers may want to improve their image, popularity, or ministry numbers, so they make coming to Jesus about life enhancement, not dying to oneself.
I feel the uneasy tension when [speaking] to people about heaven, hell, eternity, sin, and repentance. The Lord never promised it would be easy to be His disciple but he promised to be with us always and give us the words to say when we testify about Him. It’s my deep desire and prayer for each of us to renew our commitment to speak the truth, with love as the motive and do it with boldness as the Holy Spirit directs us. While many are compromising and presenting a different Jesus, I pray the faithful remnant will continue to make Him known.
A variety of psychotherapies masquerading under Christian terminology are devastating the church by turning Christians from God to self. Among the most deadly are regressive therapies designed to probe the unconscious for buried memories which are allegedly causing everything from depression to fits of anger and sexual misconduct and must be uncovered and “healed.” These offshoots of Freudian and Jungian theories rooted in the occult and which have destructively impacted society for decades are taking their toll within the church.
One popular variety of regression therapy is called “inner healing” and was brought into the church by occultist Agnes Sanford (see The Seduction of Christianity). It was carried on after her death by those she influenced, such as lay therapists Ruth Carter Stapleton, Rosalind Rinker, John and Paula Sandford, William Vaswig, Rita Bennett and others. At first most prevalent among charismatics and liberal churches, inner healing has spread widely in evangelical circles. There it is practiced in a more sophisticated form by psychologists such as David Seamands, H. Norman Wright and James G. Friesen as well as a number of lay therapists like Fred and Florence Littauer. The Littauers’ extreme insistence that rare is the person “who can say he truly had a happy childhood” would seem to condition their counselees to recover unhappy and traumatic memories.
Even if it were safely and accurately possible, should one probe into the past in order to dredge up forgotten memories? Memory is notoriously deceitful and self-serving. One is easily talked into “remembering” something which may never have happened. Inner healing, like other forms of psychotherapy, creates, by its very nature, false memories. Furthermore, why must one uncover memories of past abuse in order to have a right relationship with God? Where does the Bible say so? And if parts of the past must be “remembered,” why not every detail? That task would be hopeless. Yet once the theory is accepted one can never be certain that some trauma is not still hidden in the unconscious—a trauma holding the key to emotional and spiritual well-being!
In contrast, Paul forgot the past and pressed on toward the prize (Philippians 3:13-14) promised to all those who love Christ’s appearing (2 Tim 4:7-8). The past is of little consequence if Christians truly are new creations for whom “old things are passed away [and] all things are become new” (2 Cor 5:17). Searching the past in order to find an “explanation” for one’s present behavior conflicts with the entire teaching of Scripture. Though it may seem to help for a time, it actually robs one of the biblical solution through Christ. What matters is not the past, but one’s personal relationship to Christ now.
Yet many people claim to have been helped by regressive therapy. Finding the “reason” in a past trauma (whether real or a “memory” implanted by suggestion in the therapy process) can bring a change in attitude and behavior for a time. Sooner or later, however, depression or anger or frustration or temptation returns, leaving one to renew the search into the past to find that “key” trauma, the memory of which has not yet been uncovered. And so it goes.
In keeping with the Freudian foundation of all “inner healing,” Fred and Florence Littauer’s book, Freeing Your Mind from Memories that Bind, presents the thesis that uncovering hidden memories is the key to emotional and spiritual well-being. They suggest that any “memory gaps” from childhood indicate one has probably been abused (and very likely, sexually). By that definition we’ve all been abused. Most of us can’t remember each house we’ve lived in, each school attended, every teacher and classmate, every family vacation when we were children. To teach, as the Littauers do, that these “memory gaps” indicate periods of abuse that have been covered up by the mind is contrary to common sense and is without scientific verification or biblical support.
The Littauers, like so many others in this field, base their approach upon the so-called four temperaments. This long-discredited personality theory evolved from the ancient Greek belief that the physical realm was composed of four elements: earth, air, fire and water. Empedocles related these to four pagan deities, while Hippocrates tied them to what were considered at that time to be the four bodily humors: blood (sanguine), phlegm (phlegmatic), yellow bile (choleric) and black bile (melancholy). These characteristics were connected to the signs of the zodiac.
There never was any scientific basis for the four temperaments. Yet many Christian psychologists and lay “healers” swear by them today, making them the basis of “personality classification” and the key to behavioral insights. As the Bobgans point out, however, in their excellent latest book,“Four Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing“:
The word temperament itself comes from the Latin word temperamentum which meant “proper mixing.” The idea was that if the bodily fluids were tempered, that is, reduced in their intensity by balancing the humors with each other, then healing would occur….
Even the positions of various planets were thought to alter the fluids for better or worse….
The four temperaments had virtually been discarded after the Middle Ages …until a few lone souls discovered them among relics of the past and marketed them in twentieth-century language…. [Recently], the temperaments have been enjoying a revival…among astrologers and evangelical Christians….[T]he four temperaments are that feature of astrology made palatable to Christians.
Like other Christian psychologists and lay inner healers, the Littauers do not derive their theory and practice from a careful exegesis of Scripture, but quote an isolated verse now and then in an attempt to give the appearance of biblical support. For example, they quote part of a verse “I, the Lord, search the minds and test the hearts of men” (Jer 17:10, TEV)—beneath their second chapter title, “Searching Ourselves.” In fact, this scripture opposes the idea of searching ourselves. It declares that only God can search and understand our hearts: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart…to give every man according to…the fruit of his doings” (17:9-10, KJV).
The context of these two verses gives the lie to the application made not only by the Littauers but by other well-meaning “inner healers.” God curses those who trust in anything else and blesses those who trust only in Him. He promises that those who trust in Him “shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that [never shall] cease from yielding fruit”(Jer 17:8). A fruitful life (love, joy, peace, etc.) is produced by the working of the Spirit of God in the lives of those who surrender their otherwise deceitful hearts to Him! And nowhere does the Bible say that taking personality tests and learning one’s “temperament” aids His work in us.
The Littauers have extreme difficulty finding scriptures even remotely appropriate and thus are forced to misapply the Bible. As a further example, the chapter titled “Earliest Memories” (p 141) is headed by the verse, “My heart breaks when I remember the past” (Ps 42:4, TEV). In fact, David is not referring at all to “earliest memories” but to the current ridicule and criticism he is receiving from those who “say daily [i.e., presently] unto me, Where is thy God?” The verse, “Write down in a book everything that I have told you” (Jer 30:2, TEV), is quoted directly under the chapter heading “Ready, Aim, Write.” That chapter is about taking a “thorough look into your past” and “writing down one’s feelings”—about as far from Jeremiah recording Scripture under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as one could get!
The Littauers are only one example among a host of inner healers, whether licensed Christian psychologists or lay persons, who, though they may be sincere, are leading Christians astray by the millions. Best-selling pop-psychology authors Gary Smalley and John Trent, heavily promoted by James Dobson, came up with their own four temperaments based upon animal types: lion, beaver, otter, and golden retriever!
One’s “personality type” or “temperament” is allegedly discovered through a personality profile test such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis (TJTA), Personal Profile System (PPS), Personality Profile Test (PPT), Biblical Personal Profiles (BPP), etc. Though popular, personality tests are unreliable. Human personality with its power to choose and a heart that God says is “deceitful above all things” defy predictive formulas and are far too complex to neatly categorize. Even the once-promising classifications of persons as Type A Personalities, (susceptible to heart attack), Type B (less susceptible) and Cancer Personalities, etc. are being discarded because no scientific correlation can be found between disease and “personality type.”
These inaccurate and destructive tests are promoted by a host of popular Christian authors and speakers such as psychologist H. Norman Wright and financial analyst Larry Burkett. Four-temperament and personality-classification theories trivialize the human soul and spirit and provide excuses for un-Christian behavior. The focus is on self, analyzing one’s feelings, personality, childhood, and trying to find out why one thinks and does what one does.
In contrast, the focus in the Bible is upon God and Christ and His Word, turning from ourselves to Him, turning from the past to present service, and the hope of His return. Instead of seeking to identify one’s personality and temperament by reference to speculative systems related to psychology, astrology and the occult, one’s thoughts and actions need to be governed by God’s inerrant and sufficient Word. God promises that if we heed the doctrine in His Word, He will by “reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness” direct our lives (2 Tim 3:16). As a result, men and women of God become mature, perfected and prepared unto every good work (v 17). Peter assures us that God “hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Pt 1:3). Jesus declared that those who continue in obedience to His Word are His true disciples who “know the truth” and whom the truth makes free (Jn 8:31-32). Only those who doubt such promises or are unwilling to take the way of the Cross turn to manmade theories and therapies.
The Bible never even hints at personality types, nor does it categorize individuals as to strengths and weaknesses as a means of identifying their abilities and predicting their success or failure in God’s service. Rejecting Saul’s armor, with a sling and five stones David went up against the heavily armed Goliath who had terrorized the entire army of Israel. What was his secret? “I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts….This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand” (1 Sam 17:45-46). David’s confidence was in the Lord, not in himself. Even had David not been an expert with the sling, God would have enabled him to hit the mark. Paul went so far as to state that God told him that His strength was perfected in Paul’s weakness. Thus Paul declared, “…when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor 12:10). Such statements refute the entire rationale of personality testing, temperament identification, and self-esteem and self-worth enhancement.
The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who were hated, abused and cast out by their own families––men and women who were loners, friendless, lacking in talents or abilities, yet who triumphed over the greatest adversity because of their trust in God. These heroes and heroines of the faith give the lie to the unbiblical and humanistic focus upon self that underlies all of the pop psychologies of inner healing. Moses is but one example among many.
When God called Moses to go to Egypt to deliver His people, Moses pleaded that he was incapable of such a mission and asked God to choose someone else (Ex 3:11, 4:10-13). Did God administer a personality test to show Moses that he was well suited? Did he deal with Moses’ poor self-image or abysmal self-worth? Did he prescribe inner healing to deliver Moses from those buried memories of being abandoned by his parents and raised in a foster home and the lack of self-identity that resulted? Did he give him a course in self-improvement, self-confidence and success? On the contrary, God made this promise: “I will be with you!”
The well-meaning “counsel” of those who attempt to help Christians understand themselves, by focusing upon self, actually robs counselees of the divine presence and power which Moses knew. Human strengths and weaknesses are beside the point. What matters is whether or not the power of God’s Holy Spirit is manifest in one’s life. Many if not most of the great Bible characters as well as the more recent heroes of the faith, from the early martyrs to the great missionary pioneers of the nineteenth century, would probably fail today’s personality profile tests.
In fact, God did not choose Moses because he was highly qualified. He was chosen because he was the meekest man on the face of the earth (Num 12:3). Why would God choose such a person to confront the mightiest emperor of the day on his turf, in his palace, to deliver Israel from his grip? He did so to teach the Israelites to trust in Him rather than man for their deliverance!
Never is there a hint that Joseph, David, Daniel or any other hero of the faith needed the therapies which are considered to be so vital and effective today. It was when Job got such a glimpse of God that he said, “I abhor [hate] myself” and repented in ashes (Jb 42:5-6) that he was restored by the Lord. It was when Isaiah also had a vision of God and cried, “Woe is me! for I am undone” (Isa 6:1-8) that God was able to use him. We need to turn from self-analysis to look at the Lord.
Thirst for God! Get to know Him! The fruit of the Spirit does not come as the result of understanding ourselves through the use of humanistic analyses or techniques (though clothed in biblical language), but through the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit in our weakness. Be weak enough for Him to use you! TBC
From Berean Call, Psychology and Psychotherapy (part 1), January 6, 2018: – Question: You emphasize that salvation is based on the fact that Christ “paid the penalty for our sins.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance has no entry for “penalty,” nor did Jesus or the apostles ever mention that a penalty for our sins was paid. If I ask fellow […]
Mark Cahill’s Response to Calvinism
On October 10th, 2010 Mark Cahill, an American author, speaker, and evangelist, wrote a response to his beliefs about Calvinism. You can read it for yourself here.
His response caused some ruffled feathers among some Christian circles, mostly from Calvinists, who object to Mark Cahill’s stance on the issue. The reason they object is because Calvinists told me we believe the “essentials” of the faith such as Christ alone for salvation, the Trinity, Christ is God, the Bible is God’s Word, the resurrection of Jesus, Christ died for our sins, therefore we are in “unity.” Any attempt at discrediting Calvinism amounts to “causing division” among “Christians” who all believe in the “essentials.” We should stop arguing about this “non-essential” issue because unbelievers are watching Christians argue with each other, and thats not a “good” witness for the body of Christ, they say.
Unfortunately these ideas are a smokescreen to hide the fact that most of the Calvinists I have debated within the last 8 years believe Calvinism really IS essential when they first told me it wasn’t. I witnessed this first hand when the evangelism team I started years ago was taken over by the doctrines of Calvinism and I experienced the contradictory nature, the change in attitude, and the subsequent descent into error of the lives of those who believe in it.
The issue is not about Calvinism? Or is it?
Calvinists tell me “Calvinism is not the issue, its about causing division on non-essentials.” Ok, this sounds reasonable on the surface. However, as I debate Calvinists on the issues what comes to surface is the exact opposite.
Eventually I will hear from them that “Calvinism is the gospel” or if I don’t believe in the “doctrines of grace” or “Gods sovereignty” (as Calvinists define these terms) than I believe in a “false gospel” and a “different god”, or I’m a “free willer” or some other name that shows “I am trusting in my works for salvation” which throws the idea of “we all believe in the essentials” right out the window!
Sometimes Calvinists tell me things like “When I was an Arminian I wasn’t saved, but when I became a Calvinist I was soundly saved.” This statement implies any non-Calvinist, Arminian or not, isn’t saved (I’m not an Arminian by the way).
So…I guess the issues ARE about Calvinism! But you know what, this is what Calvinists should say if they really believe in the doctrine. Lets not beat around the bush.
Isn’t the gospel about WHO God is? What if you have ideas about what God does or how God acts that is different than the bible? Are these ideas simply misunderstandings or heresy?
At my old church years ago I attended a systematic theology class and in the very first lesson we listened from a CD of a sermon about God’s sovereignty. In the sermon the speaker said if you don’t believe in God’s sovereignty (as he was defining it by TULIP) I’m an idolator. Yes, he actually said that.
The strange thing was the person running the class was a 5 point Calvinist and he thought we shouldn’t divide over Calvinism because “we all believe in the essentials.” So then why is the classroom teacher showing a sermon to the class where anyone who doesn’t believe in the Calvinist version of sovereignty is an idolator? Because thats what the teacher really believes and isn’t honest enough to tell others the truth!
So out of one side of his mouth the teacher says “we all believe the essentials” and out of the other side he believes those who aren’t Calvinists are idolators. Calvinists may use the same words as non-Calvinists such as “predestination”, “regeneration”, “ordained”, “grace” or “sovereignty” but they are defined differently by each non-Calvinsts. Different definitions for the same words can mean only one thing…somebody is lying and teaching falsely about the Creator of the universe.
Its this sort of deception, confusion and hypocrisy that permeates the Calvinism circles I’ve been involved with over the years. The Calvinists I have spoken with who believe this is not an essential issue inevitably proclaim the opposite when debating them on the subject. It happens in almost every debate I have had in 8 years.
Charles Spurgeon, a preacher whom Calvinists usually quote said “Calvinism is the gospel.” Spurgeon also says Calvinism is not an essential issue. So which is it? Lets be honest shall we and not confuse others! The issues are about Calvinism because the doctrine defines who God is, not about Mark Cahill causing “division.”
IF you have a different god you have a different gospel and thats all Mark Cahill is saying. Mark Cahill is not saying every Calvinist isn’t saved or has a different god, or is saying all reformers have a different god. Primarily because he has no idea who believes what and why. Mark Cahill IS saying the doctrines of Calvinism point at the very heart of WHO God is and that is what the gospel is all about, therefore, its of the utmost importance we have a belief system that ACCURATELY represents the God of Heaven.
Am I saved?
During debates with Calvinists they will inevitably tell me I’m not a Christian by saying I believe in a “false gospel of free will.” Hyper-Calvinists and moderate Calvinists say this to me. You see, if I “believed” in Christ of my “own free will”…if God “persuaded” me to believe instead of “irresistibly” drawing me I am adding “works” to salvation. I’m no different than a Roman Catholic Calvinists say, which means I’m a heretic, idolator, or blasphemer according to many Calvinists I speak with….yes, they actually use those words!
The obvious conclusion to these ideas is that if I have a “false gospel of free will” then of course I am not saved and their claims of “division among Christians between Calvinists and non-Calvinists” makes no sense. After all, if I believe in “works plus faith” as some Calvinists suggest Mark Cahill and I believe in then we aren’t Christians, and therefore there are no “divisions” among “Christians.” When I tell them this they respond with “Mark Cahill is saved.” This causes more confusion. “I thought you just told me Mark Cahill and I believe in a ‘mancentered gospel’ that saves no one?”
Calvinists respond with “I did say that but since you believe in the essentials you are saved.”
Huh? (No, I am not making this up).
Then at some point in the conversation they will tell me “No one knows who the elect are but God.” If only God knows who the “elect” are then you can’t tell me Mark Cahill’s disagreements with you are causing “division” among “Christians.”
You don’t know if Mark Cahill is a Christian or me, or even yourself, only God does. So the idea that Mark Cahill is causing “division” among “Christians” is something you cannot know as a Calvinist. For all you know one of us isn’t saved or none of us are. Only God knows… remember?
I spoke with a Calvinist pastor at a church I was visiting a few years back and he said “No one knows who the elect are, even if they have faith. Only God knows.”
Is Mark Cahill really causing “division?”
A verse many Calvinists use when speaking of Mark Cahill is Romans 16:17 which says:
17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
Calvinists tell me Mark Cahill is causing division by arguing against Calvinism therefore he should be avoided. This sounds very holy and biblical but it isn’t. Does the verse say to avoid people BECAUSE they are causing division? No, it doesn’t. It says to avoid people who have contrary doctrines than what you learned because the DOCTRINE IS CAUSING DIVISION.
Calvinists tell me their doctrine on salvation and who God is completely changed when they learned Calvinism. Perhaps they should have listened to Romans 16:17 and avoided those Calvinist teachers who preach a contrary doctrine to what they originally believed. How ironic Calvinists blast Mark Cahill for not succumbing to the teachings that changed their view of who God is. Teachings which are contrary to what many Calvinists originally believed when they were saved.
Mark Cahill has free will to believe the truth or no?
What I find even more puzzling is how Calvinists emotions range from being annoyed at Mark, to downright angry at his “decision” to “believe” Calvinism is false. If Mark doesn’t believe in Calvinism perhaps its because “he isn’t one of the elect” some say. Perhaps Mark Cahill is
saved so a Calvinist could say “God hasn’t opened Mark’s eyes to the truth.” So why get mad at Mark Cahill? Don’t Calvinists believe in their own doctrines like total depravity, which says sinners are “unable” to believe the truth or the doctrine that God ordains all things, including what someone believes?
A Calvinist on facebook months ago sent me an email. Here is what the email said:
Calvinist: “any time you say Calvinism is not true I will rebuke you extremely severely in the name of Jesus Christ! Calvinism is the gospel, you heretic! I read your stupid post even though you are not on my friends list.”
Me: “I am unable to believe in Calvinism because God has decided I don’t believe it. Why are you getting mad at me? I cannot help it.”
Calvinist: “you are blinded by the devil. Do not blame God for your inability to believe the gospel.”
Me: “Are the unelect ‘unable’ to believe the truth?”
Calvinist: “No one is able to believe the truth unless God opens their eyes…”
First she tells me I am responsible for believing and then tells me God is responsible for me believing. If I am “blinded by the devil” as she says thats because the sovereign god of calvin decided it. I would like to point out her ideas are Calvinistic, they contradict each other and yet she thinks they are both true. This is the product of a deluded mind. It takes many years of training and indoctrination to believe contradictory ideas are…true.
Does the bible teach sinners are unable to believe the gospel? Nope. The bible teaches sinners are unwilling to believe the gospel.
If the unregenerate are unable to believe the truth and if God is responsible for giving faith, as Calvinists believe, then its not Mark’s fault he is trashing Calvinism. He is only doing what God has ordained. After all, Calvinists interpret the bible as saying God is the potter, we are the clay and therefore God makes some for heaven and some for hell. If God wants to make Mark Cahill into a “vessel of destruction” from the foundation of the world thats His business. Why get annoyed at his decision to say Calvinism is wrong?
Calvinists act as if Mark Cahill…can believe on his own.
What difference does it make anyway if Mark tells the whole world Calvinism is false? Do you suppose his statement will drive totally “unable” sinners “further” away from the truth of God? Sinners cannot believe the truth, remember? If the gospel were broadcasted to all 6.5 billion people it is up to God to decide whether they will believe it, isn’t that right Calvinist?
Oh sure the gospel “quickens the elect” as Calvinists say, but ONLY IF GOD DECIDES IT WILL.
I have also noticed Calvinists spend a great deal of time calling out certain preachers and denominations as false teachers with false gospels. While this is not necessarily a bad thing the irony of it is Calvinists, hypocritically, do not adhere to their own standards of what is an “essential” doctrine. Especially with those like Mark Cahill who openly oppose their doctrines.
Many of the false teachers Calvinists talk about believe in the same “essentials” they do. Many believe “Jesus is God”, “Grace alone”, “Faith alone”, the “Trinity” and so forth. So then why are you going after other pastors who believe in the same essentials you do? Doesn’t Mark believe in those same essentials? Perhaps the Calvinist list of “essentials” is longer than what they lead us to believe.
It should be obvious when a Calvinist goes after a false teacher its because…(drum roll) the false teacher is preaching about a different god. When Mark Cahill goes after Calvinism… its for the same reason. Which proves something out…there is something HIGHER than the gospel…its the God behind the gospel being preached! If someone has a different god than the one in the bible, it doesn’t matter if someone says “faith alone” or “Christ alone” or “grace alone” because the meanings behind those terms may be different.
This is really the crux of the matter. Do you personally know the god someone is describing to you? Is the same spirit telling Mark and Calvinists the same things?
Ephesians 4 says
“4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all”
The same spirit cannot be telling Mark “God died for all men because He loves all eternally” and Calvinists that “God died for some men because He only loves some eternally.” Something is very wrong here.
These are different spirits!
Another argument I hear against Mark Cahill is “emotionalism.” The idea is “Mark Cahill is reacting emotionally from pride because he wants to be in charge of his salvation and not put God in charge.” This is an an unrighteous judgement of Mark Cahill based on appearance.
If a Calvinist were to simply ask Mark “Are you trying to save yourself?” or “Are you trying to be in charge of your salvation” he would gladly tell you faith in Christ is an admission that “I cannot save myself.”
I have had on countless occasions been accused of “adding works to salvation” because I dared suggest that “I” believed the gospel. When I tell a Calvinist faith in Christ is an admission of “I cannot save myself” and the bible teaches personal faith is required to be
saved they continue to insist “I have pride and I want myself to be on the throne instead of God.”
It takes an indoctrinated mind to ignore the conversation at hand and repeat what they have told, regardless of what the other person says. But thats what happens when Calvinists listen to Calvinist preachers, read reformed books and spend their time studying church history instead of the bible.
Hyper vs Non-Hyper?
Some Calvinsts say Mark is mixing hyper-Calvinism and Calvinism together in some of his arguments. I have noticed the only people who mix the two together are Calvinists!
Many times a I have heard Calvinists say “God doesn’t predestine people for hell from birth, thats ‘hyper-Calvinism’, He simply passes them over so they go to hell” and then later these same people will quote a verse to me which “proves” God does indeed create people for hell…things such as “before they did anything good or bad God hated Esau” or “God creates vessels for destruction” or God “made” unbelievers to be destroyed.
There is no distinction between God predestining someone for hell and God passing a sinner over so they go to hell.
Who decided to create someone for hell before they were born? God. Who decided to pass a sinner over so they will be destroyed? God….and the difference is…what?
I suspect Calvinists try to make this distinction because it makes God “look better” to suggest God passes over a sinner because of their sin, instead of predestining someone for hell from birth. But the distinction is meaninglesss since these same Calvinists also believe God hated Esau before he was born or the potter can do whatever he wants with the clay.
Another aspect of this idea is if God does whatever He wants and isn’t moved by what men do, then logically God isn’t moved by a sinners sin either. If God is as “sovereign” as Calvinists say than He isn’t moved by a person having faith nor is God moved by a sinners sin. “God isn’t controlled by what men do” they say, but I guess that standard only applies to people responding to the gospel.
Its no wonder people turn away from Calvinism. Its a confusing mess of contradictory ideas masquerading as truth. Some people become atheists after believing in it for a time.
Contradictions are “mysteries?”
The only “division” Mark is causing is discerning a false doctrine from a true one, rightly “dividing” the word of truth! You see, true biblical doctrines do not contradict each other. True doctrines glorify God in all His attributes, not just one of them. True doctrines are sound and make logical sense because God is logical and true, Calvin and TULIP are not.
The tragic part is Calvinists KNOW their doctrines are contradictory!
This is how they get around them. They either IGNORE them or use the word “mystery” to “solve” the dilemma. “These ideas are ‘mysteries’ we cannot solve with our finite minds” I hear Calvinists say. No, the “mystery” is why you believe in it! The “mystery” is why Calvinists embrace contradictions as truth. The “mystery” is why Calvinists are not “willing” to give up their Calvinism. The “mystery” is why seemingly intelligent people make stupid comments that are illogical and irrational. Calvinists are smart people, but the doctrine of Calvinism is dumb.
The arguments Calvinists use against Mark Cahill are so contradictory to their own beliefs and sound logic I am convinced they are blinded by the doctrine. They cannot see past it. All interpretations must bow to its precepts, and they do.
I applaud Mark for telling the truth.
Are Calvinists Saved?
Speaking for myself only my opinion is if someone grew up in the faith of Calvin, being fed its doctrines from the very beginning, I find it difficult to imagine that person is saved, such as Thomas Dickerson. If however a person believed the doctrine AFTER their conversion then I believe that person is saved but deceived.
There are many sincere seemingly God-fearing people who believe in Calvinism, but of course that doesn’t make Calvinism true, nor does it make them saved. I cannot judge a doctrine by the people who believe in it, no matter how Godly they may seem in public. I have no idea how they are in private or in their thought life!
While it is true Jesus said “I will know them by their fruits” it is not “fruitful” to say things about God’s character and nature that are lies. It is not “fruitful” to depict God as Allah who predestines sinners to hell by passing them over because he enjoys torturing them to prove he is the boss! It is not “fruitful” to depict God as unholy, sadistic, insane, contradictory and unloving to most of the people made in His image. It is not “fruitful” to believe God hates people because they hated Him first, which is not perfect divine love but imperfect human love. It is not “fruitful” when Calvinists say God punishes sinners for not believing the gospel… a gospel never meant for them in the first place. Its difficult to reject an invitation to a party when the invitation was never mean’t for you! The god of calvin says “I am angry at sinners for not believing my Son died for them so I will punish them with more condemnation the more they reject my offer”…but…according to Calvinists…Christ DID NOT die for them…so God’s offer of salvation is not an offer, and their “rejection” of the gospel is not a rejection at all! God is actually LYING to them by preaching the gospel to them suggesting a forgiveness He has no intention of giving them!
Its no wonder some people become atheists after hearing these things about God. Its a confusing mess.
I think the solution to all these problems is simple. Calvinism is false.
I pray all Calvinists will reexamine what they believe, and I hope they do this by ignoring the writings of men so they can focus on the writings of God. Most of the Calvinists I have met over the years spend far more time reading reformed titles then they do the bible. The truth of who God is cannot be revealed by following what someone else says God says. If you spend more time reading what men say its no wonder you have been led astray. Their ideas permeate your brain before you read the verse!
If you seek the Lord in spirit and in truth you will find Him.
My husband and I live in Maryland. Covens of witches, Wicca members and Pagans are no strangers to our State.
But there is a town in Maryland which has made national news twice in the last two years – with the same story. Ellicott City, MD was pounded and destroyed by torrential downpours which resulted in disastrous fast moving floods in July of 2016; and just two days ago, this town was once again raveged by raging floods which carried away cars and debris from stores on Main Street.
People were stranded in stores, hurrying to the second floor to avoid being carried away by flood waters. They watched in horror from second story windows.
The rebuilding from the 2016 flood event was still going on when shop owners watched in disbelief as the waters once again decimated their town.
After a three hour downpour, the Patapsco River swelled over…
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