Questions about Calvinism and John MacArthur

Having failed to reform the Catholic Church, reformers like Calvin inspired men to make churches in their image, and they have been reforming ever since, still getting nowhere. They refuse to acknowledge or follow the Head of the True Church of God.

Questions about Calvinism and John MacArthur

Postby Bob » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:46 pm



(This is an archived correspondence at The Path of Truth. We have sent notification to the correspondent.)

Dear Mr. Hafichuk,

I have stumbled upon several websites with impressive lists of well known individuals placed under the category of "false teachers". I was handed a book by a friend authored by Henry Blackaby and I searched on the internet apparently indiscriminately and stumbled upon your website. I would like to believe that I am a seeker of truth and would perhaps hope that you are as well.

I decided to search the list of names which contained a colorful variety to say the least. I never considered Oprah Winfrey much of a teacher of anything, let alone biblical Christianity. Regardless, I have been blessed by Jesus Christ through the ministries of John Macarthur and Dr. R.C. Sproul (who I noticed was and was not on the list respectively) and so I decided to see what your assessment of their message content is. I noticed fairly quickly that your disdain for Macarthur in particular is his adherence to what you no doubt conclude as the unblical theological framework of Calvinism. As a matter of fact, this is your concluding statement concerning Dr. Macarthur:

John MacArthur is yet another false teacher, a Calvinist disciple, who is impressive and quite capable of deceiving many simple and unstable souls. Our part is to shine the light and warn all of prevailing error, illuminating their path and steering them clear of the pitfalls in their spiritual pilgrimage.


I am emailing you in particular because I wanted to determine just how hostile the sorts of people who form your websites to expose people you disagree with are. I am being as respectful as anyone could expect and I hope you can both recognize and appreciate that.

Given that preface, I am not trying to put words in your mouth, I simply am asking for an honest answer to the following questions if you would be so generous. I know you may consider many things damnable heresy but I would like to focus primarily upon the theology of Calvinism. Some of these questions may be redundant depending on how you interpret them.

1. Do you think all people who would consider themselves Calvinists are going to hell, so long as they maintain that persepective until the day they die? In other words, is it the mere positive association with the theology of John Calvin or the man himself that makes one unable to enter Heaven?

2. What soteriological concepts must one understand and believe in order to inherit eternal life? Do you believe anything is necessary to believe or is it about what sort of life we lead?

3. Are you condemning the theological perspective, those who hold it, or specifically those who teach it and might lead others astray in your hopes that people who listen to you might find the real truth, disregarding for the moment whether or not having what you perceive as the truth allows for the possibility of salvation?

4. If a person believed in something John Calvin would have agreed with, do you believe they are Hell-bound? For example, if I believe that Jesus is God and John Calvin would have agreed with that, would I go to Hell?

5. You have a page on your domain which indicates a list of your beliefs which you obviously regard as the truth even though for a variety of reasons you were reluctant to include them. Must an individual believe in all of the things listed here in order to receive salvation? Perhaps, are there any eschatological heresies you consider inexcusable and damnable or the lack of knowledge thereof which is considered grounds for God rejecting eternal life?

I wish in general to distinguish between what I perceive to be a rational reason to combat a theology which you believe is dangerous or unbiblical for one reason or another, and an irrational condemnation for those who don't immediately find it appropriate to pop a vein in righteous anger at the very mention of the name John Calvin. I would hope that you believe one can believe in the concepts one teaches while not worshiping the man who teaches them, as well as the fact that guilt by association reflects a very prevalent and easy to commit logical fallacy. Again, I am seeking truth here and I want to demonstrate my respect for what I hope is the aim of your heart to glorify God and let His truth be known.

Finally, what is your stance on homosexuality and transgenderism as those have each entered the spotlight in our society in recent years?

Thank you for taking the time to read this email and respond to it. Please be fair and do not assume that I believe anything in particular which you may be inclined to believe I do.

Sincerely,
Maximus
Bob
 

Questions about Calvinism and John MacArthur

Postby Victor Hafichuk » Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:47 am



Hi Bob,

I would like to believe that I am a seeker of truth and would perhaps hope that you are as well.

With boast only in the Lord, I'm no longer a seeker of truth as I once was because I've found Him:

“One of the two who heard John and followed Him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, We have found the Messiah (which is, being translated, the Christ)” (John 1:40-41 MKJV).

More accurately, Jesus Christ the Truth has revealed Himself to us.

That said - we do give ourselves to growing in the Truth by His grace.

I noticed fairly quickly that your disdain for Macarthur in particular is his adherence to what you no doubt conclude as the unblical theological framework of Calvinism.

I have no disdain for Macarthur at all; in fact, in the flesh, I rather admire the man, but I do have disdain for Calvinism; you're definitely right there, though I can understand jumping to the conclusion that you do by the statement you quote.

This is not to say I don't have disdain for some men; rightly or wrongly, I certainly do. Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff instantly come to mind.

(By the way, to readily eliminate the background color when quoting from our site, you can use Firefox instead of Chrome as your browser.)

I am being as respectful as anyone could expect and I hope you can both recognize and appreciate that.

I do, and I thank you.

1. Do you think all people who would consider themselves Calvinists are going to hell, so long as they maintain that persepective until the day they die?

Most of those who are “Calvinists,” depending on the definition, are already in hell (that state of darkness) or they wouldn't be Calvinists believing his outrageous doctrines and being succored by his murderous, self-righteous spirit.

You are in error about hell (read The State and Fate of Hell and The Great Promise of the Lake of Fire and the Second Death). As well, one doesn't damn himself by ignorance unless it is willful, though he suffers the consequences until enlightened.

In other words, is it the mere positive association with the theology of John Calvin or the man himself that makes one unable to enter Heaven?

A man and his doctrine are one.

John 7:16-18 MKJV
(16) Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me.
(17) If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of God, or I speak from Myself.
(18) He who speaks of himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of Him Who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

2. What soteriological concepts must one understand and believe in order to inherit eternal life? Do you believe anything is necessary to believe or is it about what sort of life we lead?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 MKJV)

John 6:53-57 MKJV
(53) Then Jesus says to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.
(54) Whoever partakes of My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
(55) For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
(56) He who partakes of My flesh and drinks My blood dwells in Me, and I in him.
(57) As the living Father has sent Me, and I live through the Father, so he who partakes of Me, even he shall live by Me.

Romans 10:5-11 MKJV
(5) For Moses writes of the righteousness which is of the Law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”
(6) But the righteousness of faith says this: “Do not say in your heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven?” that is, to bring Christ down;
(7) or “Who shall descend into the deep?”; that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.
(8) But what does it say? “The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart”; that is, the Word of Faith which we proclaim;
(9) Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
(10) For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation.
(11) For the Scripture says, “Everyone believing on Him shall not be put to shame.”
“And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3 MKJV).

3. Are you condemning the theological perspective, those who hold it, or specifically those who teach it and might lead others astray in your hopes that people who listen to you might find the real truth, disregarding for the moment whether or not having what you perceive as the truth allows for the possibility of salvation?

We naturally condemn false doctrine, which is ever anti-Christ. We don't necessarily condemn those who teach it, though by God's grace, we declare what the teachers are, and rightly so.

And yes, we do hope people will receive the truth and be made free to whatever degree, in whatever way; that is our sole desire and agenda. We do recognize that partial truth isn't enough. One must endure to the end believing and come forth in perfection:

“Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 MKJV).

4. If a person believed in something John Calvin would have agreed with, do you believe they are Hell-bound? For example, if I believe that Jesus is God and John Calvin would have agreed with that, would I go to Hell?

No, not necessarily so. It depends on what is believed. Calvin had truths like almost all false teachers do. Why would you ask such a question, Bob? And again, this “Hell-bound” thing is not what we teach at all. You need to read our links on the subject of hell, its nature, time, and purpose.

5. You have a page on your domain which indicates a list of your beliefs which you obviously regard as the truth even though for a variety of reasons you were reluctant to include them.

I don't understand where you get your notion that we're reluctant to include
anywhere what we believe. In our Statement of Doctrine you should note that while we said we were reluctant to have a “Statement of Faith” for various reasons, we also stated that we have never been reluctant to declare what we believe (because of Whom we believe):

Our entire website declares what we believe; our doctrine is everywhere in our site, fully available for sincere investigators. While there are many who would want it spelled out to them, we recognize that if they were seeking truth, they would receive a spiritual witness as to whether our doctrine is of men or of God. Those who demand a doctrinal statement are faultfinders, at worst, or only seeking agreement on their own doctrines and perhaps some association with like-minded people. In such cases, they serve themselves, wittingly or otherwise; they are not after truth and do not love the Lord Jesus Christ as professed.

Must an individual believe in all of the things listed here in order to receive salvation? Perhaps, are there any eschatological heresies you consider inexcusable and damnable or the lack of knowledge thereof which is considered grounds for God rejecting eternal life?

Salvation is about knowing the Lord and not about getting all doctrine straight, Bob. However, when one comes to know the Lord, the doctrine will take care of itself. He's the Truth and His doctrine ever sure.

Finally, what is your stance on homosexuality and transgenderism as those have each entered the spotlight in our society in recent years?

Homosexuality is confusion and abomination to God. The Scriptures and nature are clear on that point.

As for transgenderism, I believe there are 2 major causes for this major anomaly. One, it is the deception of devils leading one to have such foolish feelings and thoughts that they somehow weren't meant to be who they are sexually. Now we have people thinking they were really meant to be dogs or cats! What a tragic and revolting end this world has come to! Who could have imagined? This is certainly a demonic, deceptive influence at work.

The second major cause, I believe, yet still under the judgment of God's wrath, is imbalance of hormones. Estrogens are impacting the sexuality of fish and amphibians, perhaps and likely other species. Why then wouldn't it happen to human beings?

And where is this phenomenon to be found in past history? To my knowledge these things haven't been happening nearly as much in the past because mankind wasn't bombarded with the chemicals used in all areas of activity as today. Everything is going wacky.

Shall transgender victims be therefore counted as innocent? No, God says He visits the iniquity of the forefathers to the third and fourth generations. My certain conviction is that if one repents of sin, the Lord will take care of the consequences and remove them in due time. Therefore, whether it's devils or hormonal balance due to environmental, dietary, or any other agents, transgenderism is not to be excused or regarded as innocent.

We have had conversations with transgenders. These are very troubled people. Read - Revelation on Transsexuality: We Are Assaulted by a Man Posing as a Christian Woman

Do we condemn people because of sin's consequences? God forbid! We are accused of doing so because we make known to people that those things they think to be right or natural are not justified before God. The Truth testifies against them and for that, we, as witnesses of the Truth, are blamed. “If you don't like the message, shoot the messenger.”

Finally, you write, “Again, I am seeking truth here and I want to demonstrate my respect for what I hope is the aim of your heart to glorify God and let His truth be known.

Seeking the Lord as He IS and receiving Him, you'll have found the Truth. I can solemnly declare to you that the aim of my heart, and Paul's, is to glorify God and let His truth be known, even as you say. Jesus Christ has blessed us with this desire. We love Him because He first loved us.

Victor
Victor Hafichuk
 
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