Are there any Calvinists on this forum?


#1

From what I have been told a Calvinist believes that a person is either elect or non elect and they have no control over the issue. I conclude that no one would become a Calvinist unless they assumed they were elect because why join a group where you knew you were going to hell no matter what? My question is, how do Calvinists know that they are elect?

MP


#2

[quote=Michael Paul]From what I have been told a Calvinist believes that a person is either elect or non elect and they have no control over the issue. I conclude that no one would become a Calvinist unless they assumed they were elect because why join a group where you knew you were going to hell no matter what? My question is, how do Calvinists know that they are elect?

MP

[/quote]

One way is that one of the marks of a true believer, Scripture says, is he continuously comes and continuously believes (has faith) in Christ.


#3

[quote=sandusky]One way is that one of the marks of a true believer, Scripture says, is he continuously comes and continuously believes (has faith) in Christ.
[/quote]

Hi Sandusky,
Are you a Calvinist? I ask this because I would qualify if that is one of the tests and Calvinists don’t believe that Catholics are of the elect. That means that they think that we are reprobate. That is the reason btw, that people like James White, Eric Svendsen and the rest feel free to be uncharitable to Catholics. We are reprobate after all. Having said that, I have noticed lately White isn’t as uncharitable as he was in the past.

MP


#4

[quote=Michael Paul]Hi Sandusky,
Are you a Calvinist? I ask this because I would qualify if that is one of the tests and Calvinists don’t believe that Catholics are of the elect. That means that they think that we are reprobate. That is the reason btw, that people like James White, Eric Svendsen and the rest feel free to be uncharitable to Catholics. We are reprobate after all. Having said that, I have noticed lately White isn’t as uncharitable as he was in the past.

MP
[/quote]

Yes I am.

I would never say that Catholics are not among the elect. I am also certain that neither White, nor Svendsen would say that either.


#5

[quote=sandusky]Yes I am.

I would never say that Catholics are not among the elect. I am also certain that neither White, nor Svendsen would say that either.
[/quote]

Ask 'em.

MP


#6

[quote=Michael Paul]Ask 'em.

MP
[/quote]

I don’t have to. I have read enough of both of them to know that they would not say that there are no Catholics among the elect.

To say that Catholics are rebrobate is much different from saying that there are no Catholics among the elect.

All of the elect begin life as rebrobates.


#7

[quote=sandusky]I don’t have to. I have read enough of both of them to know that they would not say that there are no Catholics among the elect.

To say that Catholics are rebrobate is much different from saying that there are no Catholics among the elect.

I could argue this point but I won’t. I would rather hear from other Calvinists’ comments on my first question.

Sandusky, with God’s grace I will remain Catholic till the day I die. I might ask you , if this be true. Do you believe that I am not “elect”? If not, why not?

MP
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#8

[quote=sandusky]One way is that one of the marks of a true believer, Scripture says, is he continuously comes and continuously believes (has faith) in Christ.
[/quote]

So, if a person has doubts then he/she would not be one of the elect?


#9

The problem with Calvinism is that it denies that men have free will. This is the fundamental error upon which all the other heresies within Calvinism rest. Knock down the ludicrous proposition that men are without free will, and Calvinism collapses in upon itself.

To deny that a man has free will is to deny that a man has a human nature. The truth is that human beings are not totally depraved meat robots. Non-Christians have the freedom to avoid committing acts of total depravity. It is obvious that not every non-Christian is a serial killer or a child molesting Satan worshipper.

Calvinism teaches that irresistible grace forces a God hating, totally depraved “man” into becoming one of the elect. Once a totally depraved man is forced to be one of the elect, he would be incapable of turning back into one of the damned because the elect have no free will. According to Calvinism, the elect are incapable or resisting irresistible grace and the damned are never given irresistible grace.

Irresistible grace is yet another one of the considerable number of the heresies taught within Calvinism.


#10

[quote=deb1]So, if a person has doubts then he/she would not be one of the elect?
[/quote]

I believe that someone can be plagued with doubts their whole life and be among the elect. Scripture tells us that there are weaker brothers and sisters.

It is not the amount of faith, but the object of that faith that counts.


#11

[quote=Matt16_18]The problem with Calvinism is that it denies that men have free will. This is the fundamental error upon which all the other heresies within Calvinism rest. Knock down the ludicrous proposition that men are without free will, and Calvinism collapses in upon itself.

To deny that a man has free will is to deny that a man has a human nature. The truth is that human beings are not totally depraved meat robots. Non-Christians have the freedom to avoid committing acts of total depravity. It is obvious that not every non-Christian is a serial killer or a child molesting Satan worshipper.

Calvinism teaches that irresistible grace forces a God hating, totally depraved “man” into becoming one of the elect. Once a totally depraved man is forced to be one of the elect, he would be incapable of turning back into one of the damned because the elect have no free will. According to Calvinism, the elect are incapable or resisting irresistible grace and the damned are never given irresistible grace.

Irresistible grace is yet another one of the considerable number of the heresies taught within Calvinism.
[/quote]

That’s all true Matt. Thank you for that analysis. I’m still waiting for other Calvinists besides Sandusky to weigh in on why they believe that they are members of the elect.

MP


#12

The Calvinists claim that those that are not among the elect are totally depraved monsters that have within their hearts a seething hatred of God. Anyone that isn’t a God hater would have reason to believe that they are among the elect.

The question that I wonder is why *wouldn’t * most Calvinsts think that they are among the elect? :rolleyes:


#13

One of the problems with Calanism is this:

A person who goes faithfully to church every Sunday and lives a good life is considered to be among the elect, and considers himself to. But then if that fellow runs off and kills a man, or starts going to strip clubs, well then this means he was never among the elect in the first place, regardless of how long he lived well.

So if I am a Calvanist, how do I know that 50 years from now I am not gonna start beating my wife or something and prove to myself and everyone I am not a member of the elect? This is especially problematic when you try to reconcile it with the Calvanist teching of assurance of salvation.

Right now I am absolutely sure of my salvation. I have assurance! But when I start sinning and it turns out I’m not one of the elect, what does that have to say about the assurance? It just flat out doesn’t make sense.


#14

Calvinists come in a variety of flavors. If you really want to understand the core of Calvinistic theology, a good starting point is to become familiar with the Westminster Standards:

Westminster Shorter Catechism
Westminster Longer Catechism
Westminster Confession of Faith

opc.org/documents/standards.html

As a former Calvinist, I can say that they are wrongly maligned on many points. Calvinism is probably the only Protestant system of belief that is intellectually comprehensive and rigorous.


#15

Hi! Well, I’m a Calvinist. This is my first post, so be gentle with me! I trust that I am elect because I desire Christ (which the “natural man” does not), I seek to live a holy life and I want to have communion with Christ. I do not live a completely sinless life, but when I do sin I have remorse and I pray for forgiveness and desire to be reconciled.

I believe that there are elect who are Catholic, and Catholic who are not elect. I believe the same of any Protestant church too. Only God knows for sure who are His. I don’t know anything about the authors you mention, but as you Catholics say, we Protestants are a mixed bag!

“To deny that a man has free will is to deny that a man has a human nature. The truth is that human beings are not totally depraved meat robots. Non-Christians have the freedom to avoid committing acts of total depravity. It is obvious that not every non-Christian is a serial killer or a child molesting Satan worshipper.”

I think there is a misconception here. Calvinists hold that man has “total depravity” but that is not “utter depravity”. We do hold that man has some free will, but not total free will. Natural man can chose a lot of things, but with out God’s drawing grace, he cannot chose Christ. That is different from saying that he can never chose to do anything “good”.


#16

So do Calvinist believe that God gace is given to all men and women or that God only draws a few to him?


#17

[quote=deb1]So do Calvinist believe that God gace is given to all men and women or that God only draws a few to him?
[/quote]

All men live under God’s grace. As to saving grace, the scripture says that He will save some, but not all (Rom 8:29-30; Eph 1:4ff).


#18

[quote=Lazerlike42]One of the problems with Calanism is this:

A person who goes faithfully to church every Sunday and lives a good life is considered to be among the elect, and considers himself to. But then if that fellow runs off and kills a man, or starts going to strip clubs, well then this means he was never among the elect in the first place, regardless of how long he lived well.

So if I am a Calvanist, how do I know that 50 years from now I am not gonna start beating my wife or something and prove to myself and everyone I am not a member of the elect? This is especially problematic when you try to reconcile it with the Calvanist teching of assurance of salvation.

Right now I am absolutely sure of my salvation. I have assurance! But when I start sinning and it turns out I’m not one of the elect, what does that have to say about the assurance? It just flat out doesn’t make sense.
[/quote]

Hypotheticals like those above, point out a lack of faith in the one who saves. The Catholic faces the same dilemmas. The difference between the Catholic, and the Calvinist, is that the Catholic, though he will deny it, relies upon himself and external rituals for his salvation, while the Calvinist knows that it is God who saves to the uttermost.


#19

The 5 points of Calvinism are:

T-Total depravity-Man is dead in his trespasses and sins
U-Unmerited grace-We have nothing w/in ourselves that merits God’s favor
L-Limited Atonement-This is the one to answer your question. The crucifiction does not apply to all men generally, but to all the Father would call.
I-Irrsesistable grace-When the Father does draw someone, it will be effective
P-Perseverence of the saints-One who is chosen by the Father will persevere in salvation to the end.


#20

From the Westminster Larger Catechism
opc.org/documents/WLC_text.html

Q. 12. What are the decrees of God?
A. God’s decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will, whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time, especially concerning angels and men.

Q. 13. What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men?
A. God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory; and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof: and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will (whereby he extendeth or withholdeth favor as he pleaseth), hath passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonor and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice.

**. . . **

Q. 20. What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?
A. The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth; putting the creatures under his dominion, and ordaining marriage for his help; affording him communion with himself; instituting the Sabbath; entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience, of which the tree of life was a pledge; and forbidding to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.

Q. 21. Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created him?
A. Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the commandment of God in eating the forbidden fruit; and thereby fell from the estate of innocency wherein they were created.

Q. 22. Did all mankind fall in that first transgression?
A. The covenant being made with Adam as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression.

Q. 23. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.

Q. 24. What is sin?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.

Q. 25. Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of that righteousness wherein he was created, and the corruption of his nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually; which is commonly called original sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions.

Q. 26. How is original sin conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity?
A. Original sin is conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity by natural generation, so as all that proceed from them in that way are conceived and born in sin.

Q. 27. What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?
A. The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God, his displeasure and curse; so as we are by nature children of wrath, bond slaves to Satan, and justly liable to all punishments in this world, and that which is to come.


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