Five Point Calvinism
The Position of Fundamental Baptist World -Wide Mission
The theory which is today commonly known by the name Calvinism was first introduced by Augustine in the fourth century. He taught that Christ did not die for all men, but for a chosen few whom God had chosen and predestinated to become His children. He taught that all others were created to go to Hell. He taught that all those who were chosen to go to Heaven were as good as in Heaven and all those whom God chose to go to Hell were as good as in Hell. Augustine was later given sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church.
Over 1000 years later, John Calvin, an ex-Catholic, revived this teaching which had been forgotten since the death of Augustine. It is from Calvin that the teaching received its name, Calvinism.
Augustine, the father of the teaching, also taught that infant baptism was necessary in order to go to Heaven. He taught that a person could have genuine regeneration, genuine piety, and even genuine faith, but without membership in the Catholic Church, these would avail him nothing and he would go to Hell. He is also responsible for the teaching of sinless perfection. Many of the errors in the Catholic Church today can be traced to the writings of Augustine.
As for John Calvin, he was not a Baptist. He was a Reformer. He was not Christian in his attitude and behavior. He was a tyrant who cast those who disagreed with him into prison. In 1553, Micheal Servetus, a Spaniard, a scholar, a physician, a scientist of originality, and a man who was deeply religious and devoted to Christ, vigorously opposed Calvin on the doctrines of predestination and infant baptism [Bible Believers Resource Page note: while Servetus is to be commended for opposing predestination and infant baptism, some resources note that he also taught against the essential Christian doctrine of the Trinity which is heresy].
The following is a matter of record,
“While passing through Geneva, Servetus was recognized and arrested, certainly at Calvin’s insistence. Servetus was tried and condemned by the civil authorities as a heretic, an offense punishable by death under the Justinian Code. In spite of Calvin’s plea for a more merciful form of execution (emphasis mine), Servetus was burned at the stake on October 27, 1553, crying through the flames, ‘O Jesus, thou Son of the eternal God, have pity on me.”‘ (History of Christianity, Latourette, Chapter XXX, iii, Page 759).
Today, people are taught by some that a Christian must be either a Calvinist or an Arminian. This is not true. A Christian can and should be a Biblicist. We do not claim to fully understand the mind of God concerning sovereignty and free will. However, we do understand clearly the teaching of the Word of God concerning man’s having a God-given free will to choose between good and evil and a free will to accept or reject Christ as Savior.
The Heresy of John Calvin
1. Total Depravity (a term used by John Calvin).
The Biblical interpretation of Total Depravity is that all people are sinners by birth, by choice, and by practice. They have a sin nature. Total Depravity does not mean that all people are as bad as possible. It does not mean that all men are as totally bad as humanly possible in their earthly actions, as they would be, if left as Calvin would have us believe. It does not mean that all men are equally bad. If man has no free will to choose between good and evil, to what can the vast difference between the habitual criminal on death row and the morally good, yet lost person, who is a leader in civil and social affairs in his community, be contributed? There are good and commendable things in the lives of many people who do not claim to be Christians (not good in the sight of God, but in earthly actions). Total Depravity means that every part of every person’s nature has been touched, tainted, affected, defiled, perverted, or influenced by sin. All men are capable of being totally bad, yet, by their free will, choose not to be.
The above is the true Biblical interpretation of Total Depravity. This position is gladly accepted by the Fundamental Baptist World-Wide Mission.
John Calvin added to the Word of God by taking the Biblical doctrine of Total Depravity and expanding it to an ultra-extreme, totally unBiblical position. John Calvin called his doctrine Total Depravity; however, that which Calvin taught is and should be branded heresy. Under the name of Total Depravity Calvin believed, taught, and insisted on Total Inability. He taught that man had/has no free win in the matter of salvation, no choice whatsoever, but that salvation was predetermined by God alone and man acts as mechanically as a robot. In response to questions, John Calvin wrote:
“Who then shall be saved? That is what His sovereign will decides and nothing else. It is purely a matter of the divine sovereign will which, doubtless for good reasons known to God Himself but none of them relative to anything distinguishing one man morally from another, chooses some and rejects the rest. God’s election has nothing to do with foreknowledge except in so far as he foreknows who are to be members of the human race” (Calvin’s Institutes III, xxiii, page 10).
From Genesis 2:16 through Revelation 22:17, God has always given man the freedom of choice. In relation to Genesis 2:16-17, John Calvin exercised double talk. The verses read:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:16-16
Note that God commanded Adam that he should not eat of the tree of good and evil. John Calvin would have us believe that God commanded Adam not to do such and such a thing, but that God had already decreed that Adam would violate His command. That would make God the author of willful disobedience. John Calvin wrote,
“The only time free will might be reasonably asserted to have existed was in Adam before the fall . Adam could have resisted if he would, since he fell merely by his own will. In this integrity man was endowed with free will, by which, if he had chosen, he might have obtained eternal life. Nevertheless, there is no reality in the free will thus attributed to man, in as much as God had decreed the fall, and therefore must have in some wise already biased Adam’s will. It was not left in neutral equilibrium, nor was his future ever in suspense or uncertainty. It was certain that sooner or later Adam would fall into evil, and with that inevitable fall there disappeared every trace of the free will which man may have had. From that time the will became corrupt along with the whole of nature . Man no longer possessed the capacity to choose between good and evil” (Calvin’s Institutes II, iv, Page 8).
The belief that man has no capacity to choose between good and evil, places the responsibility of man’s sin upon God. Calvin would have us believe that we are robots and our actions are decreed by the sovereign will of God. The belief that man has no capacity to choose between good and evil, yet does evil, places the responsibility of man’s sin upon God. In Calvin’s own statement above, he again double talks. He said Adam could have resisted; Adam fell by his own free will; that the fall was decreed by God. John Calvin, which position do you hold? All three statements cannot be true.
The Bible clearly teaches that God enlightens sinners (John 1:9, 12:32, and 16:8). The Bible also teaches the free will and free exercise of that will by man. This will be covered more completely in the point titled Irresistible Grace. For now, let it simply be noted that throughout the Bible, God sets forth the free will of man to choose for himself (John 1:12, 3:16, 5:24, Acts 2:21, 16:30-31. This is only a short list of verses which set forth man’s free will to choose).
Fundamental Baptist World-Wide Mission totally rejects the teaching of John Calvin concerning Total Inability. We believe and teach that man is totally depraved, but that God, in His sovereign will, endowed man with the ability to choose between good and evil, Christ and the Devil, and Heaven and Hell.
2. Unconditional Election.
Calvin taught that God elected, chose, or predetermined that certain people would be saved and go to Heaven. Many modern day Calvinists declare that they do not believe in double predestination, which means they claim that they do not believe that God elected or predestined people to go to Hell, only those who are going to Heaven. If you believe that God did indeed predetermine that certain people would go to Heaven, that demands that you must also believe that all others were predetermined to go to Hell. Concerning this matter, John Calvin wrote:
“The reprobate like the elect are appointed to be so by the secret counsel of God’s will and by nothing else” (Calvin’s Institutes II, xxii, Page 11).
In a letter to Christopher Liertet, Calvin wrote,
“You are much deceived if you think that the eternal decrees of God can be so mutilated as that he shall have chosen some to salvation but destined none to destruction. There must be a mutual relation between the elect and the reprobate” (The Teaching of Calvin, Chapter Vl, Page 109).
Again Calvin wrote,
“Their fate was the direct immediate appointment of God, justified indeed by their life but not in necessary consequence. He might have saved them from their doom as He did in the case of the elect who were no more worthy in themselves to be saved; but that doom was fixed from all eternity and nothing in them could transfer them to the contrary class, any more than anything in the elect could result in their becoming reprobate…” (Calvin’s Institute III, iii, page 4).
This is totally contrary to the Word of God ( 1 Timothy 2:3-4, II Peter 3:9, Acts 17:30, John 3:16-17, Ezekiel 33:11). From the time of Genesis 2:11 through Revelation 22:17, God has always given man the right to choose . God has always said, “Whosoever will…” (Mark 8:34). Did God mean what he said? If we interpret the Word of God consistently and literally, it must be concluded that God meant what He said. To teach the doctrine of “Unconditional Election” is to add to the Scripture things which God did not teach and never intended on men teaching.
As John Calvin taught Unconditional Election, it is not election at all. It is “selection.” If God did indeed select some, as Calvin taught, but did not choose them relative to anything distinguishing one man morally from another, then God is a respecter of persons. The Bible says, “For there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11 and Acts 10:34).
Fundamental Baptist World-Wide Mission does not accept Calvin’s teaching of Unconditional Election and Unconditional Damnation, but rather believes and teaches that whosoever will may come to Christ by the exercise of his own will. It is our responsibility to give people the Gospel message, thus giving them the opportunity to choose Christ and be saved or reject Christ and be lost.
The word predestination is found in only two books of the Bible, Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:5,11. In both texts predestination speaks not of people being lost or saved, but rather of position or privilege to be shared in the future by those who are already saved.
3. Limited Atonement.
Calvin taught that the blood of Jesus Christ was shed only for the elect. He taught that it was not for the non-elect. The Calvinist of today, in order to disguise his belief, has changed the third point of Calvinism to Particular Redemption. Another name, but the same heresy. Regardless of what name is put on the teaching, it remains false doctrine.
The Bible is as clear on this point as on any point of doctrine. Hebrews 2:9 declares that Christ tasted death for every man. 1 Peter 2:1 reads as follows,
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
I John 2:2 says,
“And he (Christ) is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
This verse does not say or imply that Christ tasted death for only the elect, or that He was the propitiation for only the elect. Such teaching is heresy. It is a damnable doctrine to teach that the blood of Jesus Christ was not shed for all mankind since the beginning of the creation.
There are some who would tell us they accept the other four points of Calvin’s teaching, but do not accept Limited Atonement. If a person accepts the teaching of John Calvin concerning Total Inability and Unconditional Election then he has no choice but to accept the teaching of Limited Atonement. It is impossible to accept one without accepting the other.
It could not be said that the blood of Christ was shed for all men in the light of Calvin’s statement,
“The reprobate like the elect are appointed to be so by the secret counsel of God’s will” (Calvin’s Institutes III, xxii, Page 11) and ” . . .their doom was fixed from all eternity and nothing in them could transfer them to the contrary class…” (Calvin’s Institutes III, iii, Page 4).
Fundamental Baptist World-Wide Mission does not accept the teaching of John Calvin concerning Limited Atonement. We believe and teach that the blood of Christ was shed for all men and that it is effective for the cleansing of sin for whosoever will come to Christ.
4. Irresistible Grace.
Following Unconditional Election, John Calvin taught that if a person was one of the elect for salvation, when God was/is ready for that person to become a Christian, the person would/will come to Christ (not by choice, but as a robot who cannot resist the grace of God.). Again, as in the case of Limited Atonement, we find the modem day Calvinist trying to disguise or hide his doctrine. They have changed the name of this teaching from Irresistible Grace to a different name, but it is the same heresy.
God is a sovereign God. We believe, embrace, rejoice in, and glory in that truth. However, God in His sovereignty, chose to give man a free will and the ability to choose or reject the Gospel. God did not create a robot which would come to Christ mechanically. Ephesians 1:12 says,
“That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
What glory and what praise would the fact that we trusted Christ be if we had no will in the matter?
What would it mean if we could not have possibly resisted His grace? Nothing
Calvin often referred to John 6:44-45 as a proof text (Election and Conversion, pp 37, 67, 133). This verse says,
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
These very verses refute John Calvin’s teaching of Irresistible Grace. The word draw does not mean “force.” According to other texts in the Word of God, it cannot possibly mean “an irresistible drawing”. The same Greek word helkuo which is used for draw in verse 44 is found in John 12:32 which says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. “ If the word draw in John 6:44 teaches an irresistible drawing, then the Bible would be teaching in John 12:32 that all men would be irresistibly drawn. We acknowledge that this is certainly not happening. The word draw in both texts means that Christ will attract all men. This is in agreement with the entire Word of God.
God enlightens every man (John 1:9). God convicts every man (John 16:8). God draws every man (John 12:32). God leaves the choice to every man (John 3:16).
Irresistible Grace, within itself, is a phrase of contradiction. If it is irresistible, it is not grace at all. An irresistible grace would destroy the personal quality of the relationship between God and man which is established by grace and involves the free response of will to God’s love and grace.
We see God’s grace being rejected by man in Proverbs 1:24-25. “…I have called and ye refused….”. In Matthew 23:37 Christ said, “How often would I have gathered…and ye would not.” In John 5:40 Christ said, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” In Acts 7:51 Stephen says, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” (See Matthew 22:3 and Isaiah 65:12.)
Fundamental Baptist World-Wide Mission believes that God enlightens every man and draws every man . However, we believe and teach that God’s grace can be refused or rejected as well as accepted. We do not accept John Calvin’s teaching that God’s grace is irresistible. There is not one passage of Scripture that teaches that grace is irresistibly bestowed.
5. Perseverance of the Saints.
Many confuse this with the doctrine of Eternal Security. Calvin’s teaching on this point was totally different from the Bible doctrine of Security. Calvin taught that a person who is of the elect will persevere. His teaching had nothing whatsoever to do with the keeping power of God. It was “matter of fact” in the sense that it was settled because you have been elected. He taught that if a person did not persevere to the end, he was not of the elect and he had been only a false professor. His emphasis was according to the above title: it was perseverance of the saints and not the saints being sealed by the Holy Spirit and kept by the power of God. Calvin’s teaching was totally different from eternal security and totally foreign to the Bible. Verses which teach that we are kept by the power of God include, but are not limited to, John 10:28,29; Romans 8:35-39; Ephesians 4:30; and I Peter 1:4,5.
Conclusion. I would like to make several observations in reference to the matter of the sovereignty of God, the free will of man, and the strange teaching of John Calvin.
1. The Sovereignty of God. We believe in the sovereignty of God, but we believe that in the matter of salvation God leaves the final decision to man. God has elected a plan of salvation. He has given man the free will to accept or reject that plan.
We believe that without question God knew, before the foundations of the world, who would choose to accept Christ and who would choose to reject Christ. I Peter 1:2 says, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father….” We do not believe that God decided, determined, elected, or selected who would and who would not receive Christ.
2. Confusing Terms. In reference to modem-day Calvinist terms, there is much confusion and misunderstanding. We hear the term Calvinist, Hyper Calvinist, Five-point Calvinist, and then we hear terms One-point, Two-point, Three-point, Four-point Calvinist, along with terms like Two and-a-half-point Calvinist. I fail to find room for these terms, if we are talking about the doctrine which Calvin embraced and taught.
The five points which identify Calvin’s teaching (outlined above and commonly called “TULIP”) are like dominos; they stand or fall together. If a person claims to be a One-Point (Total Depravity) Calvinist, if he believes the doctrine taught as Calvin taught it, then the person must accept the other four points. If the person believes in Total Inability (without ability to choose “yes” or “no”), then he has to accept the teaching that God unconditionally elected some to go to Heaven and others to go to Hell. If man has no will to decide, then you must also accept the teaching that someone apart from man made the decision.
Someone had to decide. In Calvin’s teaching, that someone was God. You must accept that God selected, in eternity past, who would be saved and who would not be saved, and that the decision by God was not relative to anything which distinguished one man morally from another. There can be no other explanation, as there are no other alternatives.
The next domino in line is Irresistible Grace. If a person believes in Total Inability, that belief demands that he accept Unconditional Election. The two together require that he also believe Irresistible Grace. If you have no part in the decision, then the only way remaining for a person to come to Christ is mechanically.
What is the next domino? It is Calvin’s teaching of Limited Atonement. If you believe that God did indeed elect or select that certain ones would be saved and all the rest of the human race would go to Hell, then you must accept the doctrine of Limited Atonement. How can a person say that he/ she believes the Blood of Christ was shed for the entire world, when he/ she believes that only the elect have any opportunity to be saved and the non-elect have no opportunity, no chance, no way to be saved? In Calvin’s words, “…but their doom was fixed from all eternity and nothing in them could transfer them to the contrary class, any more than anything in the elect could result in their becoming reprobate…” (Calvin’s Institute III, iii, Page 4).
You cannot accept one and reject the other. That would be double talk.
The doctrine of Perseverance, as taught by John Calvin, falls in the same line. It must be accepted along with the first four. If it is rejected in favor of the doctrine of Eternal Security, as taught and believed by Bible believing people, then the other four have no foundation on which to stand.
I see no room for a one-, two-, two-and-a-half-, three, three-and-a-half-, or four-point Calvinism. I see no difference between a Calvinist and a Hyper-Calvinist, or a Calvinist and a five-point Calvinist.
Fundamental Baptist World-Wide Mission rejects all five points of the doctrine called Calvinism which was founded in Hell; surfaced by the teaching of Augustine, a Catholic saint in the Fourth Century; and has been made famous and caused much confusion by John Calvin of the Reformed Church in the Fifteenth Century. John Calvin wrote commentaries on most of the books of the Bible, commentaries which received the endorsement of being “better than most” by the infamous Karl Barth.
3. Contradictions. While on II Peter 2:1, concerning “Damnable Heresies.” Pastor Charles Britt said, “There is one way to spot a heretic” (or those who teach false doctrine)- He said, “Ask them ‘What must a person do to be saved?” If the question is directed to a person who believes and preaches the doctrine of John Calvin and he answers, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved,” then that involves man’s will and his answer is contradicting his doctrine. He should answer, “In order for you to be saved, you must be one of the elect and then you can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. If you are not one of the elect, then there is nothing that you can possibly do to be saved.”
He might also answer, “You must wait until there is a ‘drawing’ which you cannot resist; then you will be saved because you will automatically be saved if you are one of the elect.”
I have never read material written by a Calvinist or a so called Calvinist, when his statements did not continually contradict his doctrine.
The teaching of the doctrine of John Calvin, the Reformer, causes confusion everywhere it is discussed, leaves unanswerable questions, and creates strife and division. We have seen works and entire mission fields divided and destroyed by the doctrine of John Calvin. God keep us from this heresy.
4. Bible verses concerning a heretic.
“A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinter, being condemned of himself” (Titus 3:10-11).
5. Attempts at Justification. Men, speaking of other men (generally their friends) who are admitted Calvinists, in an attempt to justify them, have said, “Yes, he is a Calvinist, but he wins as many souls as any one I know. ” Winning souls will not justify teaching false doctrine any more than a preacher, by winning souls, can build up enough merits with God to offset the results of falling into sin, as some would have us to believe.
6. Additional False Doctrine. Two other false doctrines which John Calvin, the Reformer, taught fall in the same category, heresy.
Calvin believed and taught that church membership was necessary for salvation. His position is clearly expressed in the Westminster Confession,
“According to which out of the visible church there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.”
“The church is no amorphous, vaguely defined body, a haphazard collection of individuals accidentally, temporarily, and loosely associated by reason of common beliefs or sympathies. It is not an institution toward which one might adopt an attitude of indifference, or with which professing Christians might decline to enter into relations. To stand outside of the church is to cut oneself off from God’s storehouse of the bread of life, for the Church is the sphere within which the grace of God exclusively operates. It is the sole reservoir and distributor of the blessings of the Gospel otherwise unattainable. Only by the forgiveness of sins was entrance into it to be gained, for without pardon we can have no union with God. But that benefit is so peculiar to the Church that we cannot enjoy it unless we continue in communion with the Church” (Calvin’s Institutes IV, i, page 20; iv, page 10; Comm. Romans xiii, 8; (Institute IV, i, page 22).
Calvin also taught that infant baptism was acceptable. He said,
“By infant baptism, regeneration is begun though sin remains, but condemnation ceases because guilt is no longer charged. It is like a sealed charter by which God gives confirmation that all our sins are so erased, canceled, and blotted out, that they may never come in His sight nor be rehearsed or imputed” (The Teaching of John Calvin, Chapter IX, part Vl, page 175).
7. The Deadening Effect. Let me quote again from The Teachings; of John Calvin, Chapter VIII part III, page 159,
“It may be that the larger hope which Calvin countenanced was to some extent responsible for his attitude of indifference to heathen peoples. He left them to the tender mercies of God and displayed no trace of missionary enthusiasm.”
How totally contrary to all that the Holy Spirit of God emphasized in the Word of God.
The Word of God says,
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).
The Bible closes by saying,
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will (emphasis mine) let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
Fundamental Baptist World-Wide Mission rejects all five points of the doctrine taught by John Calvin which is commonly called TULIP.
8. Summary. In reality the doctrine of Calvinism is diametrically opposed to and is an attack on the true and simple Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is indeed heretical to teach that God, in eternity past, without respect to any decision which He foreknew that we would make, appointed some people to go to Heaven and predestined others to go to Hell. In I John 2:2 the Bible says, “He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (emphasis mine).
Man’s Free Will And Responsibility
We have been told on a number of occasions that there are two great doctrines in the Word of God; the sovereignty of God and the free will and responsibility of man. We have been told that we must accept both doctrines, even though we cannot, in our finite minds, reconcile the two. By saying God is sovereign, if one means that God is 100% dominate in 100% of the affairs of man beginning with salvation, then we must reject the above statement.
We accept the fact that God could be sovereign in all the affairs of men and that He could decree every minute detail of man’s life. That God could do so is not debatable. He is God. However, we believe that God, in His sovereignty, purposely limited Himself, in that He gave man a free will. This in no way discredits or dishonors the sovereignty of God. We believe that God knows/knew before the foundation of the world, every decision man would make and every detail of man’s life (1 Peter 1:2). We do not accept the teaching that says God decreed all of those decisions, details, and actions.
If God’s sovereignty extends past the free will of man, or if it is said that man’s free will always acts in harmony with God’s sovereign decrees, then the so-called sovereign decrees of God, carried out in the daily life of man, are in continual conflict with God’s Word, nature, character, and holiness. It would present thousands of theological problems which are unacceptable in light of divine revelation. Man fulfilling God’s preordained decrees would create a mechanical existence which would leave no room for real human responsibility or accountability or grounds for the righteous judgment of God.
In Exodus 20:34a God said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” Could the same God that said the above be charged with decreeing, before the foundation of the world, that the Israelites under the guidance of Aaron would with an engraving tool make a molten calf of gold and declare, “…These be thy gods…” (Exodus 32:4a)? Then in Exodus 32:7 God said, “…thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves…” To teach that God commanded one thing and decreed that people would do the opposite is totally inconsistent and unacceptable.
There are millions of people who have “other gods” today. Can God be blamed with decreeing that men would have other gods when He had previously commanded them not to have other gods? No. That is impossible.
In Exodus 20:14 God said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery. “ To teach that King David, by the decree of God (along with many men, some of them preachers whom we can name), would commit adultery is blasphemy. The same God who said, “I am Holy,” cannot be charged with decreeing David’s sin nor the sins of whomever. That type of theology is an attack on the character and holiness of God (l Peter 1:15-16).
The Bible says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He cannot change. He does not change (Malachi 3:6). He is never inconsistent. He never lays aside His holiness.
We could continue and make an unending list of such things as the above, but this clearly illustrates the point. Man has a free will and acts independently of God’s sovereignty (not knowledge) because God decreed and granted that man would have that privilege. Man is responsible for his actions.
If we accept the teaching that God is sovereign in all things, we must stop preaching that no man in Hell will point his finger at God and say, “You are to blame.” Certainly it would be said that God is to blame if eternal destiny is appointed and settled before the foundation of the world, and not based on any decision that God foreknew that man would make.
We must stop being hard on people who commit adultery. They can simply say, “I could not help myself. God had already decreed that I would commit adultery. ” We must stop preaching against all sin if we believe that God is 100% sovereign in the affairs of men and has decreed all things. Again, I am not speaking of foreknowledge; I am speaking of designing/ decreeing all things. To teach that God decreed all the sins that mankind is committing is unacceptable and constitutes blasphemy.
We believe that God foreknows every dotting of the “i” and every crossing of the “t” but we do not believe that He decreed all of the dotting and the crossing. We believe that God is sovereign and could have decreed all things, but chose not to do so. We believe He chose, in His sovereignty, to give man a free will. Therefore, we believe that man has a free will, which God draws, enlightens, attracts, convicts, impresses, but does not dominate; and man is totally responsible for his actions, sins, thoughts, words, and all he does. We do not believe that the sovereignty of God and the free will and responsibility of man are two doctrines in the Word of God which cannot be reconciled by our finite minds but must be accepted.
We believe in the free will and the responsibility of man. We believe in the sovereignty of God. We believe that God, in His sovereignty, limited that sovereignty and gave man a free will and made him responsible. We believe that God foreknows every detail of all that has happened and will happen on the earth.