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Arminianism vs. Calvinism Controversy 5 of 5


Bible knowledge is a tool not a trophy

Bible knowledge is not enough, we need to understand how to study the Scriptures so we understand through solid Bible interpretation.


(Continued from The ARMINIANISM vs. CALVINISM Controversy page 4)


The first four letters T, U, L and I of TULIP and the D, A, I and S of DAISY were discussed in the earlier parts of this article.

Calvin’s TULIP and DAISY

The acronym TULIP stands for the five pillars of Calvinism:


T

Total depravity of man (man is totally unable to love God)

U

Unconditional election (God chooses whom He wishes)

L

Limited atonement (Christ died only for the elect)

I

Irresistible grace (those God chooses cannot resist the calling)

P

Perseverance of the saints (those God chose, God is faithful to keep until the end)


Then there is the Calvinist’s version of the Arminianist view, the DAISY:


D

Diminished Depravity (Free Will or Human Ability)

A

Abolition of true Grace (election is conditional)

I

Impersonal Atonement (Universal Redemption or General Atonement)

S

Sovereignty of the sinner (man’s will can turn away from God)

Y

Yielding eternal uncertainty (God doesn’t preserve us)


This page of the article covers last petals in the war of the flowers, the TULIP vs. the DAISY. The Calvinist’s brings out the next petal:


P

Perseverance of the saints (those God chose, God is faithful to keep until the end)


This is probably the most serious petal. There are many, both Calvinists and non Calvinists, who are deluded in thinking they are Christ’s, but have no relationship with Christ, and so are, in fact, not Christ’s. Assurance of salvation comes from a real day-to-day relationship with God.


Jesus said in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”


Peter wrote in 1 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 fades 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.”


These are great verses we can turn to when we feel weak.


The “Y” of the DAISY, from the Calvinists’ misinterpretation of Arminianism, that non-Calvinists are uncertain of their place with God if they do not believe in the Calvinists doctrine of assurance of salvation, is incorrect.


If this reflects modern Arminianism, then Arminius was not an Arminianist, because Arminius believed in assurance of salvation.


The Arminianist who agrees with the Calvinist view of Arminianism, must surely be a modernist and therefore, not believing in the fundamentals of the Christian Faith in the first place. An Arminianist who is firm in God’s loving Grace should know with an assurance that he or she is preserved by God, but still able of his or her own free will to turn away from Christ, but will not do so, because they are living in an intimate relationship with Christ and are assuredly His, and know it, with a deep and sure conviction.


Agreeing to the possibility of losing one’s salvation is not remotely near to having uncertainty.


Assurance of salvation is a knowledge from within the person’s own soul and spirit, through an ongoing, intimate relationship with our Lord and Saviour. It is not something one can be assured of from a pulpit. The pastors’ duty is leading the sheep to the water. The sheep must partake of the living water themselves. If a person has doubts and is in a state of uncertainty, then the pastor/priest is doing a great disservice by assuring that person that they have Salvation. They would do better service by leading that person to the Lord.


A person can of their own free will, burn their hand on a hot stove, but no one in their right mind would do such aninsane thing. In the same way, it is possible for one of God’s children, because the sin nature is still intact, to turn away from God, but no child of God would normally contemplate such an insane act. The ability to leave is there, but the desire is to stay with God. No man can pluck us out of Christ’s hand, but we are free to leave of our own free will.


Why would Peter write about falling from steadfastness, if it were not possible to lose one’s salvation?




                                        



In 2 Peter 3:13-17, Peter wrote, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that You look for such things, be diligent that You may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, seeing You know these things before, beware lest You also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.


Every Christian needs to have such a personal relationship with God that we will never want to fall from our own steadfastness. That is true assurance of salvation.


As Jesus himself said in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, You that work iniquity.”


In the Calvinist denominations, there are many deluded people, who have been assured by their pastor/priest that they are eternally saved for certain, when they do not even know Christ, but merely the rituals of a ‘Christian’ lifestyle. Too few Calvinist pastors casts doubt on the flocks’ salvation.


This being the most serious issue in the inane “War of the Petals,” should we not leave the last word to John Calvin himself?


In his commentary on Hebrews, referring to chapter 3 verse 13, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”


Calvin wrote thus(*), “For as by nature we are inclined to evil, we have need of various helps to retain us in the fear of God. Unless our faith be now and then raised up, it will lie prostrate; unless it be warmed, it will be frozen; unless it be roused, it will grow torpid. He would have us then to stimulate one another by mutual exhortations, so that Satan may not creep into our hearts, and by his fallacies draw us away from God. And this is a way of speaking that ought to be especially observed; for we fall not immediately by the first assault into this madness of striving against God; but Satan by degrees accosts us artfully by indirect means, until he holds us ensnared in his delusions. Then indeed being blinded, we break forth into open rebellion.”


It appears, Calvin was not a “Calvinist” after all.


(*) John Calvin's Commentaries On St. Paul’s Epistle To The Hebrews - Chapter 3: verse 13.



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