The Tulip Refuted
The Unbiblical Teaching of All 5 Points of Calvinism
This article is to provide a single reference source for those looking for a single place to reference the unbiblical teachings of all five points of Calvinism.
The T of Tulip
By Total Inability, Calvin meant that a lost person cannot come to Jesus and trust Him as Saviour unless he is foreordained to come to Christ. Calvin meant that no man has the ability to come to Christ. God must provide that ability, and if God does not that person is helplessly lost forever.
I believe the heart of man is totally depraved
The Bible teaches we have a depraved heart but nowhere does it teach total inability. The exact language that Jesus uses is this – John 5:40 (KJB) “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Jesus does not say it is a matter of IF you can come to Christ; rather it is a matter of whether you WILL come to Christ.
Revelation 22:17 (KJB) 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, let him take the water of life freely.
The last invitation in the Bible is still calling for you to come. Why would Jesus write this if it were not true? If it were true that we could not come to Jesus why didn’t He say in John 5:40 and in many other places “You cannot come to me?” What stands between the sinner and salvation is the sinner’s will. God made every man a free moral individual.
Here is a Calvinist proof text – John 6:44 (KJB) “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.” The Bible makes it clear in John 12:32 that Jesus Christ will draw all men to Himself. John 12:32 (KJB) “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” All men are drawn to Christ, but not all will trust Him as savior. Every man makes his own decision to trust or reject Him. All men have the light.
John 1:9 (KJB) That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Every sinner in creation has been called and has the knowledge of salvation.
Romans 1:19-20 (KJB) “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”
Every sinner is called by their conscience, even if they have not been made aware of the Word of God.
Romans 2:11-16 (KJB) “For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”
In conclusion, men go to Hell simply because they WILL NOT come to Christ, not because they CAN NOT come to Christ.
The T of the Tulip – Total Inability is simply not a scriptural doctrine.
U – Unconditional Election – The U of the Tulip
Calvin meant that some are elected to Heaven, while others are elected to Hell, and that this election is unconditional, you have no choice. It is entirely of God’s part and without condition. Calvin meant that God has already decided who will be saved and who will be lost, and you have absolutely nothing to say in this matter. Imagine, if your still young and having a family your unborn child may be doomed to Hell with no other choice. You can only hope that you are elected….
This obviously disagrees with the multitude of invitations on the bible for sinners to come to Christ and be saved.
Calvin stated in His Institutes, Book 3, chapter 23, “not all men are created with similar destiny but eternal life is foreordained for some, and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say, he is predestined either to life or to death.”
The Bible does not teach that God wills some to go to Heaven and others to Hell. The Bible in fact teaches:
2 Peter 3:9 (KJB) 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.
1 Timothy 2:4 (KJB) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Those who teach that God would only have some get saved, and others to be lost are misrepresenting God and His Word. Does God really predestine some people to be saved and others to go to Hell, with on choice? Absolutely not! Nobody is predestined to be saved, except as we choose by our free will to come to Christ and trust in Him. Nobody is predestined to go to Hell, except as you choose of your own free will to reject Christ and refuse to trust Him as Savior. Nothing, in fact, could be more clear. We have a choice. Choose Jesus and go to Heaven. Choose to reject Him and go to Hell.
The U of the Tulip – Unconditional Election is simply not a scriptural doctrine.
L – Limited Atonement – The L of the Tulip
The intent of Limited Atonement for Calvin was that Christ died only for the elect, those who would be saved and go to Heaven. Jesus did not die for those who were going to Hell. Nowhere in the Bible do we find a verse that supports this teaching. Actually, there are many verses that completely contradict this teaching.
1 John 2:2 (KJB) “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
The teaching of Calvinism on Limited Atonement clearly contradicts scripture.
1 Timothy 2:5-6 (KJB) “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
Scripture teaches that Jesus, our savior, is the savior of the world.
John 4:42 (KJB) “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
1 John 4:14 (KJB) “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
There is no person on earth that can say that Jesus Christ didn’t want to be their savior.
1 Timothy 4:10 (KJB) “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”
If we look back at the Old Testament it also teaches that Jesus Christ died for all men.
Isaiah 53:6 (KJB) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Notice in the above verse the first “all” speaks of the universal fact of sin and the second “all” speaks of universal atonement. These “alls” have you covered…
Hebrews 2:9 (KJB) “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
This seems to be very clear in scripture that the fact Jesus Christ died for every man.
Romans 8:32 (KJB) “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
John 3:16 has been called the Bible in miniature.
God loved all, He gave His Son for all, He died for whosoever that believeth in Him. The death of Jesus Christ was sufficient for all, but it is efficient only to those who believe. His death made it possible for every man to be saved. But in His love, He forces, nor abandoned no man. The atonement is not limited it is as universal as sin.
Romans 5:20 (KJB) “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:”
For all those who doubt find Isaiah 53:6, read it carefully. Go in at the first all, and come out at the last all, and you can be saved.
The L of the Tulip – Limited Atonement is simply not a scriptural doctrine.
I – Irresistible Grace – The I of the Tulip
Calvin meant that God simply forces people to be saved. Again, there is no such thing as irresistible grace in the Bible. Nowhere does the word irresistible appear before the word grace. It is a philosophy of John Calvin, not a biblical doctrine. Grace is “God’s unmerited favor.” God’s riches at Christ’s expense. If Calvin had talked about the irresistible drawing power of God, that would be more logical. However, Calvin represents grace as the irresistible act of God compelling a man to be saved who does not want to be saved, so that a man has no choice in the matter, except as God forcibly puts a choice in his mind. However, scripture clearly shows that men do resist God.
Proverbs 29:1 (KJB) “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”
Notice the word “often” in this verse? If God only provided one opportunity to be saved, then we could not complain. But scripture says we are often reproved.
Proverbs 1:24-26 (KJB) “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;”
Does that sound like irresistible grace? God calls and men refuse His call.
John 5:40 (KJB) “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”
This verse teaches that men can and do resist God and refuse to come to Him.
Stephen spoke of the hard-hearted men in Acts.
Acts 7:51 (KJB) “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”
In this verse, we see people who had seen Jesus and heard Him preach; others had heard Peter at Pentecost; others had heard Stephen and other Spirit-filled men preaching with great power. But yet they resisted the Holy Ghost. Notice Stephen says that these Jewish leaders resisted the Holy Ghost and so had their fathers.
God doesn’t force anyone to accept Him. Imagine if you had no choice and were forced to do something beyond your control, how much love does that require?
Titus 2:11 (KJB) “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,”
John 1:12 (KJB) “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
God would have gathered them together, but they would not. That certainly demonstrates that they could and did reject and resist Jesus Christ. People do refuse the Holy Ghost and refuse to come to Jesus Christ. That clearly shows that those who are not saved could have been. God offers salvation to those who by faith accept it, as a free gift, but does not force it upon anyone who rejects Him.
The I of the Tulip – Irresistible Grace is simply not a scriptural doctrine.
P – Perseverance of the Saints – The P in the Tulip.
The Bible teaches eternal security for the born again believer. When we trust Jesus we have everlasting life and will never perish. But our eternal security does not depend on perseverance. I know of no Bible verse that supports this faulty teaching. There are many verses that teach we are preserved. Perseverance and Preservation are two mutually exclusive thoughts.
Jude 1 (KJB) “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (KJB) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
When we can fruits and vegetables in jars they are preserved. When later the jar is opened and we eat the preserves they are as good as the day they are canned. But did the contents have anything to do with the process? Were the contents preserved, or did they persevere?
Scripture makes it clear that we are kept, preserved.
1 Peter 1:4-5 (KJB) “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
John 10:27-29 (KJB) “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
Does this sound like the perseverance of the sheep or the saints? The saints are in the Father’s hand, and they are safe – not because they persevere, because they are in the Father’s hand.
Ephesians 4:30 (KJB) “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
The P of the Tulip – Perseverance of the Saints is simply not a scriptural doctrine.
The above descriptions are the Biblical explanations of all five points of Calvinism and why each of the five is false teachings.
Calvinism, or the teachings as such, by any name is not a biblical doctrine, but a system of human philosophy, especially appealing to some, who have self-sufficient and proud minds. Many have been misled by this false doctrine. With a humble heart, Bible-believing Christians will not be fooled by this unbiblical teaching.