Pentecostal Apologetics

Beware of Calvinism

Beware of Calvinism:

Calvinism teaches that there is a God way out there somewhere, who is getting people saved. He does not need our help bringing people to salvation, and therefore; He doesn’t want our help.

True Christianity teaches that God is a Father who wants His children to join with Him in His work.

Calvinism teaches that above all else, God wants us to live comfortably, and to be faithful to vote in public elections.

True Christianity teaches that voting is easy, but that God really wants to see what we will give up in order to promote His gospel.

Calvinism teaches that God is trying to bring people back to the Old Covenant that He had with the nation of Israel; namely, that we are to have a good government, and that we are to buy nice houses.

True Christianity teaches that “Calvinism” is just a worldly phase to grow out of. God is not interested in the Old Covenant, but the New Covenant. Under the New Covenant we may give our money away to support missionaries.

Calvinism teaches the “Name It, Claim It” gospel. They change the title to “Seek It, Get It.” They want money, they seek money, and they get money.

Ebenezer Scrooge reminds me of a Calvinist who wakes up and realizes that he can do great things for God. He wakes up in the morning after realizing what a wasted life of greed he lived. Now he begins spending his money to promote the gospel, and he feels the thrill of knowing that he is joining the Lord in His work.

The Calvinists dilemma:

The apostles lived as if they had to preach in order for people to get saved.

Calvinism teaches that God will save whom He will, “If God wants them saved, they will get saved.”

True Christianity teaches that we have free will; if we decide to preach to people in town “X” then people in town X will get saved. If we decide not preach in that town then those people will not get saved.

Both Calvinism and true Christianity seems to be correct.; however, here is the dilemma:

TC: “We preach to people in town X and some of them will get saved; otherwise they won't get saved because their hearts are concerned with the things of this world. We go to awaken them.

Calvin: “God already predestined who will get saved. If God wants them saved they will get saved”

TC: “If God already predestined who will get saved  Then God also predestined who it is that  will bring them to the Lord. Let us preach in town X and when people get saved we will know that it was God’s will that we preached there. We will also find out that it was you and I who were predestined to bring them to the Lord”

Calvin: “God did not lay it on my heart to preach in town X”

TC: “That’s because you are not a super-prophet who hears perfectly from God at all times. The bible is clear, we can preach in season and out of season.”

Calvin: “Even so, if God wants them saved, they will get saved.”

TC: “Why don’t we preach to town X and watch people get saved and say that it was God’s will that they get saved; instead of not preaching, and not seeing anyone get saved, and saying that it was God’s will that no one from town X is predestined for salvation”

The apostles have made it perfectly clear in the scriptures, that if we preach to town X people will get saved in town X, or if we preach to town “Y” instead, then people will get saved in town Y instead. God allows His children to decide where they will preach.

The logical (or illogical) conclusion of Calvinism is as follows:

God, before time began, knew which town “Joe” would preach in. He then predestined people to get saved from that town. If Joe preaches in town X people from X will get saved (Having been predestined), If Joe preaches in town Y, then people from Y will get saved (Having been predestined). If Joe preaches to neither town, then only few will wake up and repent (Having been predestined) without hearing Joe’s preaching. But in the 21st century, Joe will use his own free will to pick whether to preach in town X or in Town Y, or whether or not he will preach at all.

I do not know how to reconcile free will with predestination, but beware of Calvinism or any other theology that says, “If God wants it done, let Him do it Himself.”

Somewhere within the pages of the Holy Gospel is the message that if we pick a town to preach in, or if we pick a missionary to send money to, then as a result, people will get saved (Because of our decision to be faithful and to actually do something)

God: “Do My work”

Calvin: “No. You have all the power, you don’t need my help”

God: “Give up your beloved money and preach”

Calvin: “No, you’re omnipotent, you can do it yourself.”

God says He will save people, but how? By brainwashing them? No. The apostles seemed to teach that While we preach, God  will soften the hearts and they will get saved.

Calvinists (reformists) are saved of course, because they choose to believe in Christ's saving power to keep them saved, rather than believing that their own good works can keep them saved. Calvinists wisely avoid the pentecostal error of trying to maintain their salvation by good works.

Dr. Barnhouse said, "Many Christians mistakingly think that when they become born-again, that all of their sins up to that point are forgiven, but after that they have to work it out on their own" (Maybe not an exact quote, but the general idea)

A problem with Calvinism (and reformation theology) is that the adherents don't prepare themselves for the judgment seat of Christ (They think we will be judged to see if we accepted Christ's sacrifice, and if we have, then God will look at us as though we have Christ's righteousness imparted to us).

It might be instead, that the judgment seat of Christ is only for believers whom God sees as having Christ's righteousness imputed to them (per the emboldened words below); therefore, it is a celebration judgment, where God gives us some kind of rewards for being faithful

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor 5: 10)

"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is if any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (1 Cor 3: 13-15) 

Calvinists (at least some of them) think that we are not worthy of rewards for any good that we may have done, ultimately comes from God's goodness working through us, and therefore;  we should not receive rewards. But there is something that parents do: They give their children rewards for "helping," (cleaning or cooking or something) even though the children may have done more damage than good. The reward is for their attempt--It is the thought that counts.

God will give us rewards in some form, because we decided to work with Him and support evangelical work. When you are standing in line at the judgment seat of Christ, and see the joy on Christ's face, and on the little one's face (the face of child who got saved because you sent money to a missionary), you will then realize that you are on easy street, because God appreciates your work, and you will be glad that you did not listen to Calvinist teaching that says, "We don't have to give sacrificially to God's work because, If God wants them saved, they will get saved anyway...somehow...with someone else's money."