Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Biblical Predestination is NOT Calvinism

The Spirit of God does not hold to any particular Statement of Faith or Confessional, but what He does do is enlighten us to the truth of His Word.
What does the word "Predestination" mean when studied etymologically?

The etymology of the English word "predestine" or "predestinate" is that it comes from the Latin word praedestino which meant "to determine beforehand", "to provide beforehand". The Latin word prae meant such things as "before", "in front of", "in advance of"; the word destino meant "to make fast", "to make firm", "to bind", "to establish", "to determine", "to resolve", "to consider"; "to design", "to intend", "to devote", "to appoint", "to choose", "to elect", and so on. The meaning of the relevant Greek words in the NT text are explained below.

In the New Testament text, the Greek word proorizô (Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:5 and 11), combines the preposition pro and the verb horizô which had to do with "marking out" and "separating" and also with "boundaries". The word horizô also had the meanings "to take possession of", "to take to oneself" and "to mark out for oneself". That is very similar to the meaning of the related Greek word horizôn which really meant "limits", "a separating circle". The Greek preposition pro, when used with verbs, meant such things as "forth", "forwards", "before" (in preference), and also, regarding time, "before" or "beforehand".

Calvinism is distinguished by the basic principle of the sovereignty of God. There is a weak interpretation of Scripture in reference to Calvin’s Institutes seems to detour God's attributes of love, justice, mercy and grace. His definitions of sovereignty and sin have given a perversion of the truth of God’s Word.

Calvinism teaches that God "elects" some folks to be saved while damning the pitiful others to Hell with no hope salvation. This doctrine directly opposes God who is "not willing that any should perish." If salvation is dependent on the sovereignty of God as Calvin writes then none of us would perish. God’s Word teaches us that our salvation is given freely for everyone to believe what Christ provides on the Cross.

“But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.

Yes, I understand that God is sovereign. But I also see that Calvin incorporates His sovereignty in teaching opposition to God's many other attributes. Unconditional Election and Limited Atonement as presented by Calvin direct souls to eternal separation from God whose attributes of love, justice, mercy and grace are ignored.

According to the definition in any dictionary God is sovereign. God is the Most High and He does not use a remote control to direct movements of people as if they are androids. Such is the suggestion of Calvinism.

The Psalmist demonstrates the compassion of Yaweh for Israel in the wilderness as they rejected His extended hand of love. According to Calvin, God cannot be limited in His judgment or in capacity to love. Scripture suggests that does place some limitations upon himself. God did not secure the entry of the Children of Israel into the promised land as He desired because they would not cooperate with him. Therefore, God allowed them to wander for 40 years because of their unbelief, arrogance and rebellion.

“For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant. But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; and often He restrained His anger and did not arouse all His wrath. Thus He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and does not return. How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! Again and again they tempted God, and pained the Holy One of Israel.” Psalms 78:37-41.

Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:4-8, ”First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.”

Calvinism presents a god who decides which people will spend eternity in hell by withholding faith from them. This god taunts the unbeliever with the verse "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9) while withholding faith to do so. Calvin’s false gospel offers no eternal life for those who believe in the Son of God who comes to us in truth.

For this reason alone, the fallacy of those who follow Calvinism gives no validity to the numerous demands upon the Believer to proclaim the Gospel Message to a lost world.

Jesus is Lord

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