Heresies of Calvinism

While Calvinists view Calvinism as the standard by which the Bible is to be interpreted rather than allowing the tenets of Calvinism to be scrutinized by the Bible, such is not the case for many of us Christians who are of a Berean mindset, who scrutize everything in light of scripture. For "the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11 All opinions and alleged inspirational ideas are to be subject to scrutiny. "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge." 1Cor 14:29 God called us not to show favoritism as some do, sacrificing truth for the sake of institutional allegiance. Regardless of the celebrity status that some post-Biblical theologians of the past or present hold, regardless of one's popularity or the popularity of certain theological concepts, "Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1John 4:1

I have studied Calvinism and its basis in Augustinian theology. I have discussed these ideas and debated with Calvinists. I believe I am representing Calvinism accurately in this article. But if there are Calvinists who think otherwise let them say so. And I also challenge Calvinists to prove their theological heresies, which I'll present, to be scripturally sound.

The Unjust god of Calvinism

Now one of the main assumptions of Calvinism is that God holds people accountable for things over which they have no control, imputing guilt to the innocent, which is unjust and in contrast to what the Bible says of God's character, "God is just" 2Th 1:6

Example #1: Calvinists hold that God reckons the guilt of Adam's sin to everyone. If it is unjust to impute the guilt of a crime to those who didn't actually commit the crime, then Calvinists portray God as being unjust, for such a thing is not just but prejudice.
Supporting Evidence: Augustine largely originated the Calvinist concept of Original Sin. Augustine speaks of this for example in his book 1 chapter 46 entitled, "it is probable that children are involved in the guilt not only of the first pair, but of their own immediate parents." whereas the Bible says, "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin." Deut 24:16 And likewise for a more modern Calvinist, take John Gill for example, says concerning Rom 5:18,19, "though the posterity of Adam are habitually sinners, that is, derive corrupt nature from Adam, yet this is not meant here; but that they are become guilty, through the imputation of his sin to them; for it is by the disobedience of another they are made sinners, which must be by the imputation of that disobedience to them; he sinned, and they sinned in him, when they had as yet no actual existence; which could be no other way, than by imputation, as he was reckoned and accounted their head and representative, and they reckoned and accounted in him, and so have sinned in him."
An Alternate Interpretation: a non-Calvinistic viewpoint in this matter is that people are not born with the guilt of Adam's sin, but with a sinful nature, a nature inclined to sin. People are not held accountable for their human nature, but for their actions. While the sinful human nature encloses a person in an environment of temptation to sin, a person is not guilty unless they act upon that nature.
Example #2: Calvinists hold that God imputed the guilt of sins to Jesus Christ, sins of which Jesus Christ didn't actually commit.
Supporting Evidence: John Gill (Calvinist) on 2Cor 5:21 "he was made sin itself by imputation; the sins of all his people were transferred unto him,  laid upon him,  and placed to his account; he sustained  their persons,  and bore their sins; and having them upon him,  and being chargeable with,  and answerable for them,  he was treated by the justice of God as if he had been not only a sinner,  but a mass of sin". Thus, in their misreading of that verse and others, they portray God as crucifying Christ as if reckoning Christ to be actually guilty of sins he didn't actually commit. This despite the fact that the Bible portrays those who crucified Christ as wicked men in doing so, "you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross." Acts 2:23 But why were they characterized as wicked if it was a just act to put Christ to death? Calvinists portray God as playing the role of the wicked man torturing the innocent man to death.

An Alternate Interpretation: God is just and as such compensates innocent victims of unjustified suffering. "God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled" 2Th 1:6,7a "If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." 1Peter 2:20-21 Though Christ was publicly reckoned a sinner by the wicked, he was an innocent victim of unjustified suffering and as such justice demanded he be compensated, and with that compensation paid our debt. For he "gave His life a ransom for many". Mt 20:28

The Logical Irrelevance of Christ's Death under Calvinism

Now since God is unjust under Calvinism, Christ didn't have to die. For if Christ's death had to do with satisfying God's judicial nature, as the Bible indicates, what's up with that, seeing as under Calvinism God doesn't have a judicial nature as has been proven above.

A Puppet theology - Calvinist denial of Free Will

Under Calvinism people are essentially puppets.  Calvinism teaches, "Total Depravity without free will permanently due to divine sovereignty" It's a hard form of theological determinism. "Perhaps the most prominent theologian to espouse hard theological determinism was John Calvin" ... " It claims that free will does not exist, and God has absolute control over a person's actions." To the Calvinist for people to do anything from their free will takes away God's sovereignty, and thus they deny free will. Their "god" is incapable of creating free will creatures. He just doesn't have the capacity to do so. Now because their "god" is unjust, they of course have no problem with the idea of god imputing guilt to these puppets and throwing them into hell. Truly the god of Calvinism is a sadistic monster. Under Calvinism people cannot but sin. They have no choice but to sin. And where there is only one choice that is the same as saying there is no choice.

The god of Calvinism is rather peculiar. He speaks in the imperative, giving lots of commands to his puppets who apparently have no ability with which to act upon such commands. And then he holds them accountable for what they have done or failed to do. The god of Calvinism is pretty much nuts. But it would seem the Calvinist is likewise nuts. Have they taken any thought to the implications of their doctrines? Are they just a bunch of mindless denominational zombies (or might I say "puppets"?) so indoctrinated into their heresies? Consider, if people are just puppets as the Calvinists propose, then who is doing the sinning? Would the Calvinists deny their god's sovereignty in that realm?

Calvinistic Heresies of Election

Concerning election, one of the heresies of Calvinism is that God doesn't want all men to be saved but rather only wishes a variety of men be saved, as He has chosen in puppet-like fashion. According to their doctrines, when they preach the gospel they cannot say that "God loves you and wants you to have eternal life". In fact under Calvinism they should say, "God may hate you and may have predestined you to eternal damnation and there's nothing that can be done about it." For example Mark Driscoll co-founder of the Acts 29 Calvinist organization speaking for God says, "God looks down and says 'I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you" Funny how the Bible commands us to love our enemies without prejudice while Calvinists view that same God as hating people prejudicially. Indeed under Calvinism God prejudges people before they are even born. Not suprising how Calvinists often turn out, given their concepts of God.

Also under Calvinism Christ didn't die for the sins of the world, but only for the sins of the elect. In contrast the Bible says, "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1John 2:2

The Calvinistic Heresy of Regeneration

According to the Bible, "to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of Godó". John 1:12b That is, people are not given the right to become children of God until they believe in Christ. Gal 3:26 "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus," But Calvinists have it backwards. Under Calvinism a person cannot believe until he's been born of God. They get the order of faith and regeneration backwards.

Infant Baptism and the Trivialization of Faith

Now while some will argue that the heresy of infant baptism is not a part of Calvinism, in fact it was very much a part of Calvin's theology. In fact in Calvin's day Calvinists would put Christians to death who didn't believe in infant baptism. Today many so called "Calvinists" would have have been murdered by their own theological forefathers, had they gone back in time for a visit!

Padeobaptism is an application of Calvinism. Babies, who have yet to believe in Christ, are baptized into the faith and reckoned members of the Church apart from faith in Christ. This heresy is NO DIFFERENT than what Paul wrote to the Galatians concerning the heresy of the circumcision. Indeed Calvinism, drawing on Augustine's writings, likens baptism to circumcision, which was done to infants when they were just 8 days old. So this ceremony in which some ceremony is performed on the flesh of an infant is construed as reflecting his righteous status with God, regardless of the faith of the infant.

These examples of putting regeneration and election prior to faith, and this heresy of padeobaptism reflect the Calvinist's trivialization of saving faith. Indeed "faith" to the Calvinist is merely a gift, merely a byproduct of salvation rather than the means to be saved. For the Bible says, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" Rom 5:1

Furthermore, to quote a Calvinist "For Calvin, covenant infants are baptized on largely the grounds that adults are baptized-we assume they are believers. In other words, infant baptism is, as it were, believers' baptism." Calvin had a ravenous hatred of those opposed his opinion concerning infant baptism, declaring a curse on those who didn't baptize their infants. "God will take vengeance on every one who despises to impress the symbol of  the covenant on his child, (Genesis 17: 15) such contempt being a rejection, and, as it were, abjuration of the offered grace." And he exercises such contempt rather violently as he says, "God furnishes us with other weapons to repress their stupidity." Cutting people's heads off and burning alleged heretics with fire - these were the weapons God furnished him with.

The Calvinistic Heresy of non-Salvation

Under Calvinism people are not saved or unsaved. They are either elect or non-elect, and their elect status is assigned to them before they are born. Thus even from their birth, the elect are never really not saved. Under Calvinism the salvation status of the elect has no correlation to their faith.

The Calvinistic Heresy of Double Predestination

Institutes of the Christian Religion Chapter 21.

Of the eternal election, by which god has predestinated some to salvation, and others to destruction. (title is Calvin's)

"All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation"

"The predestination by which God adopts some to the hope of life, and adjudges others to eternal death, no man who would be thought pious ventures simply to deny; but it is greatly caviled at, especially by those who make prescience its cause."

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources