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Why I am Not a Calvinist
Predestined a Messianic Evangelical!
Over the years I have discussed Calvinism and Arminianism in a number of articles (which you can see listed at the end of this article) but never devoted an article exclusively to the subject. This is my attempt at remedying this omission without turning this into a long theological treatise. So this will be a summary of the main reasons why I am not a Calvinist and why I now reject all of his Five Points (or 'TULIP').
I Do Not Believe...
I do not believe, as Calvinists do, that before the foundation of the world, Yahweh unilaterally, sovereignly and (in my view) arbitrarily, chose some people to be eternally saved and all the rest to be eternally damned or lost. I do not believe, as Calvinists do, that when the Bible commends ahavah (love), Elohim (God) is making us an offer we can't refuse. Indeed, I do not believe, using these two Calvinistic theses alone, that the character of Yahweh-Elohim is at all represented correctly. How could it with a theology that suggests that before anyone was ever created, Elohim (God) decided that some were going to be eternally lost and burn forever?  That kind of theology does not at all match with the representation of Yahweh as found in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek-translated texts of the Bible. Calvinism paints a picture of the character of the Most High that is totally at variance with the total witness of Scripture. I would go so far as to say that it utterly perverts the true nature of His heart.
The Three Elohim Nouns or Three L's
In the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) there are only three nouns used of Elohim (God):
Everything else is an adjective: Elohim (God) is righteous, qadosh (holy, set-apart), sovereign, and so on. So it has to be significant that when we are talking about Elohim (God) and using another noun in an intransitive sense, it is love, life and light - the 3 L's.
- 1. Elohim (God) is ahavah (love);
- 2. Elohim (God) is chayim (life); and
- 3. Elohim (God) is ohr (light).
Freely Received, Freely Given
My understanding of ahavah (love) is that is has got to be freely received and freely given. This is the heart of the Besorah (Gospel) as proven by Scripture:
The Heart of the Gospel Disproved Calvinism
"'You shall love Yahweh your Elohim (God) with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind'. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' On these two mitzvot (commandments) hang all the Torah (Law) and the Nevi'im (Prophets)" (Matt.22:37-40, NKJV).
If this is the heart of the Besorah (Gospel), as is plain that it is, then that has got to be freely received by man from Elohim (God) and freely returned by man to Him. For me, as a born-again Torah-obedient believer, that is the heart of the matter.
How Many People Did Yah'shua Die For?
Never mind the exegesis of little things like, 'How many people did Yah'shua (Jesus) die for?' The Scriptures are in any case perfectly clear:
All is All
"Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) ... gave himself as a ransom for all men" (1 Tim.2:6, NIV).
'What does "all" mean?', I ask the Calvinists. Well, "all" means ALL. What else can it mean?! He didn't just die for some, He died for all human beings.
Understanding the Ransom For Many
So here is my question for Calvinists: why would Elohim (God), in a really ineffecient manner, send His Son to die for some (according to Calvin) when, in fact (according to Scripture), His sins atoned for all? It doesn't make any sense, does it? What, then, does Mark 10:45 mean?
One vs. Many (All)
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45, NIV).
The contrast it between the One who died and the "many" - that's everybody else - who were ransomed per pro 1 Timothy 2:6. In other words, the constrast is '1 vs. Many', not 'Many vs. All'.
The Deadly Calvinist TULIP
How can Calvin's 'TULIP' be correct? To remind those who may have forgotten what that acronym means:
- 1. Total depravity - but not, as Scripture teaches, if you believe in prevenient grace that gives everyone the opportunity to respond to the grace of Elohim (God)
- 2. Unconditional election - not what the Bible teaches which says that Israel is the elect people of Elohim (God) which in the New Covenant is whose who are in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) ... and as far as individuals are concerned, you can, by choice, either be 'in' or 'out';
- 3. Limited Atonement - yes, atonement is limited, but who limits it? Is it Elohim (God) before the foundation of the world or is it our response that decides whether we benefit from the Atonement or not? The Bible says the latter;
- 4. Irresistable Grace - no, that would be Elohim (God) making us an offer we can't refuse, a denial of free agency ... grace is resistable and people resist it all the time; and
- 5. Perseverence of the Saints - in other words, 'once saved, always saved'. However, Scripture teaches that you are not eternally secure until you are secure in eternity. Scripture is full of examples of those who "have shipwrecked their faith" (1 Tim.1:19, NIV). As John Wesley correctly pointed out, "You cannot make shipwreck of something you never had in the first place." If you're not sailing on the boat (because Elohim (God) didn't predestine you), how can you shipwreck the boat? You are, by Calvinistic definition, already shipwrecked because the Calvinist god already decided you would be even before you were born. The truth is, there are scriptures about committing apostacy which is a willful rebellion against the emunah (faith) which you have had and did trust Yahweh with. Therefore you can choose salvation and choose to walk away from it.
Calvinism Blasphemes the Character of Elohim
Those Five Points of Calvinism do not exegetically or theologically summarise the character of Elohim (God), the nature of Salvation or the way we should approach
these issues. This is why I do not believe or accept the Reformed faith or those Reformed Baptists  and others, including many of my heroes like Charles Spurgeon, Ian Paisley, John Piper and James White who were, or are, unapologetic Calvinists.
I do believe there are many good and loving Calvinistic Christians who have not thought their theology through and who, in consequence, live split lives, their hearts being unconsciously committed to Arminianism while their brains tout dead Calvinism. For a thorough study of this subject, please get hold of a copy of Dave Hunt's, What Love is This? Calvinism's Misrepresentation of God which explains the case against Calvinism's error in layman's terms.
Calvinists Burned Arminians at the Stake
Calvin's god was as eager to burn 'heretics' at the stake as the Catholics and Lutherans were during the days of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Calvinists murdered plenty of Arminians this way because they wouldn't accept their dark TULIP. They may not do so today, because the law of the land will not allow them, but sometimes listening to some of them them I wonder how far the more extremist among them might go were the restraints imposed on them by the prevailing societal norms suddenly be released and the spirit that drives TULIP take a full hold of them. They may get their opportunity as society collapses.
There are the main reasons is why I am not a Calvinist. I was 'predestined' to be a Torah-obedient Arminian (Free-Will) Evangelical - a Messianic Evangelical!
 I do not believe in an eternal hell either even though I do absolutely believe hell exists. For more on why I believe hell only lasts a fixed period of time based on the biblical principle of the Cosmic Jubilee, please see the series of articles on the Hell website
 As opposed to Free-Will Baptists, Six-Principle Baptists, New Connexion Baptists, the Church of the Nazarene, Church of the United Brethren in Christ, and others who reject Calvinism
Ben Witherington III, Why I am Not a Calvinist: Seven Minute Seminary (2013)
 How the Festivals Disprove Calvinism
 Articles on Free Agency/Will
 Articles on the Calvinistic doctrine of Once Saved, Always Saved
 Free to Choose: Between Liberty and Totalitarianism
 Is Human Pre-Existence Biblical? A Critique of Calvinism
 Dave Hunt, What Love is This? Calvinism's Misrepresentation of God (The Berean Call, Bend, OR: 2006)