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Old 03-27-2009, 01:02 PM
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George George is offline
 
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Default Re: "CALVINISM: Sound Doctrine?"

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Originally Posted by CKG View Post
I was saved in 1983 and early on in my Christian walk I became aware of Calvinism, but it didn't seem to be that big of an issue back then. It seems like in the last 10 to 12 years (especially in the last 5 years) it has become quite a contentious issue and I'm wondering if this is due to a surge in Calvinistic theology during this time frame or has Calvinism always been prevalent, but now more people are starting to question it?

Along those same lines it seems there is more emphasis on rightly dividing Scripture. I rarely heard that term in my early days as a Christian, but now its become quite common. Maybe as people learn to rightly divide God's Word one of the results is it exposes long held teachings and doctrines such as Calvinism. I'm sure the advent of the internet is also responsible as people are now able to share the truth of God's Word in a way that was not possible before.

Aloha brother CKG,

I personally believe that Calvinism appeals to those people who are "academically inclined"; the "scholarly type”; or the "intellectual". Calvinism, as "a SYSTEM of biblical interpretation and theological formulations", appeals to the mind of man and is based on the "intellect", i.e. human knowledge, discernment, understanding, and wisdom - and NOT on the Holy Scriptures and spiritual knowledge, discernment, understanding, and wisdom.

Calvin and the Reformers lived in the age when the “University System” was becoming the center of learning and influence in the Western world. All of the Protestant Churches (as the Catholic Church before them) established Universities – ostensibly to teach Christian values and further whatever Denominational beliefs the churches held. And every single one of them (without exception) became corrupt; and then apostate; and eventually reprobate!

There is something about the nature of “SCHOOLING” (no matter WHO does it, or for WHAT motive) that eventually corrupts those involved in it - regardless of the purest and very best of intentions! {Harvard, Yale, & Princeton being the prime examples in the U.S.A. – and there are literally dozens more now}

I believe part of it has to do with people (teachers), who have had little or no practical experience in life, and who live in an academic world (the world of the “mind”) and apart from ordinary people, and who, because of KNOWLEDGE, get puffed-up and full of PRIDE, and “think of themselves more highly than they ought”, and who are honored and revered by many because of their “learning”. Remember - it was the desire for KNOWLEDGE that was the cause of Eve’s downfall, and which (after she received it) corrupted her “mind”!

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, AS the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

In our Humanistic culture, SECULAR SCHOOLING has become the predominate way of obtaining knowledge (and practically the only “acceptable” way). As a matter of fact, if a person (in our society) has not gone to college and obtained a college "degree", they are considered (by society) "ignorant" and can therefore be ignored. {Peter, Andrew, James, and John wouldn’t even get "a hearing" in Western Society today, and neither would the Lord Jesus Christ – none of them were “schooled”, none of them held “degrees”!}

SCHOOLING (Scholasticism & Philosophy) was the downfall (or undoing) of Origen, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin (and countless others since). A School (College, University, or Seminary) CANNOT teach spiritual discernment, understanding, or wisdom; ONLY the Holy Spirit can teach those things [
1 Corinthians Chapter 2]. Schools can only teach the kind of "knowledge" that is directed at the MIND, with an emphasis on a "curriculum" {pre-determined subjects, pre-determined courses of study, modules, syllabus, etc.; i.e. educational programs - all with built in biases.}

On the other hand, when a person studies the Holy Scriptures (without the "guidance" of a School, or a pre-determined course of study) the Holy Spirit can teach SPIRITUAL knowledge, discernment, understanding, and wisdom which is directed at the HEART; and the SPIRIT; and the CONSCIENCE of a man - not only the MIND. [
Deuteronomy 32:46; 1Samuel 21:12; 1 Kings 3:12; Job 22:22; Proverbs 4:4, 22:17; Isaiah 59:13]

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine HEART, that I might not sin against thee.

Proverbs 23:12 Apply thine HEART unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine HEART: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine HEART as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

Ezekiel 3:10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine HEART, and hear with thine ears.

How can I (or a school) teach the HEART, or the SPIRIT, or the CONSCIENCE of a person? I can’t, and neither can a school (i.e. teachers). We CAN only teach to the MIND - it’s up to each individual to “apply thine HEART unto instruction”. I may appeal to a person’s heart with the Holy Scriptures, but they must “receive in thine HEART” – “ALL MY (GOD’S) WORDS”, I cannot “receive” for them. When it comes to sin – it’s up to each individual to “hide” God’s word in the heart – I cannot do these things for them (and neither can schools (or teachers), although many think they can; or that rules, regulations, and ordinances can.

What happens to a child if the courses, subjects, and educational programs that are being taught to him (or her) are not centered on God and His Holy word? What if the curriculum is centered on the values, beliefs, ideals, and morals of the predominate “Culture” in which we live? I will guarantee you, if that child’s mind, heart, spirit, and conscience is not firmly rooted and grounded in the Holy Scriptures, his or her mind will become “corrupt”.

People are born with a heart that is naturally “deceitful” [Jeremiah 17:9], but their minds are a “clean slate” (so to speak). Whereas a child’s heart is naturally deceitful, their minds are not naturally corrupt – this is where our culture, entertainment, the media, and “schooling” come in; especially SCHOOLING!

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, AS the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

How many Christian parents are there (who raised their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” and who trained them up according to the Bible as best they could) have sent their children off to SCHOOL (Secular or “Christian”) only to see their sons (and daughters) turn their backs on God and His Holy word and become reprobates? The number is in the thousands! Just what is going on? The schools (Secular or “Christian”) have become the repository of a Philosophy (Religion) - HUMANISM that is so subtle and perverse, that most of today’s Christians don’t even recognize it for what it is.

Along with whatever subject matter is being taught within these schools (Secular or “Christian”) – Humanistic VALUES are unknowingly being inculcated into the MINDS of Christian children. That is - their minds are being “corrupted” by a godless, atheistic philosophy (“belief system”, i.e. religion) while at the same time they are acquiring a secular or religious “education”!

The Scriptures state: “Knowledge puffeth up” [1Corinthians 8:1]. You would think that would be warning enough for Christians (especially Bible believing Christians) to beware of Schooling.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches DECEIVE the HEARTS of the simple.

But sadly, most of today’s Christians are so ignorant of the Bible, (God’s words) they cannot discern between good and evil. John Calvin was raised and educated a Roman Catholic. He went to Catholic schools and Universities; and much of his personal philosophy and “belief system” was shaped by the men he studied under (all Catholics); and the written works of the “fathers” (Augustine foremost - Catholic); and without doubt (because of “similarities”) Thomas Aquinas (the greatest Roman Catholic “Theologian”).

John Calvin is a perfect example of WHAT & WHO a Bible believing Christian should avoid. We should avoid the kind of “education” he received, and we should avoid the kind of works that he produced - a Persecuting Theocratic Dictatorship! The Apostles are our examples of who we must follow, and ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; We don’t need to follow John Calvin or his writings.
 

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