Where is the love of God in Calvinism? Part 5
Total Depravity: Sinfulness or Incapability to Believe?
The errors incumbent in the five points of Calvinism are easily recognized when one compares the teachings of Calvinists to the teaching of scripture. While some of the five points may appear to have a scriptural foundation, it will be demonstrated that all of the five points—as taught by leading Calvinists—lack scriptural merit. We commence our “tiptoeing through the tulips” with the letter “T” Total Depravity.
The biblical doctrine of the sinfulness of man.
- The Bible teaches that man has been a fallen creature since Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:6-21). The New Testament declares that Adam’s sin passed upon all men, ensuring that all are sinners by nature and are subsequently subject to death. Romans 5:12 (KJB) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
- In spite of any apparent goodness in individuals, the Bible declares that “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) and there are, in reality, no naturally righteous people. Romans 3:10 (KJB) “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.”
The nature of sin as defined by the Bible.
- Sin is the transgression of the law.
- 1 John 3:4 (KJB) “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
- James 2:9-10 (KJB) “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
- Sin is falling short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23).
- Romans 3:23 (KJB) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
- Sin involves turning from God’s way to your own
- 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.”
- Sin includes all
- 1 John 5:17 (KJB) “All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.”
- Sin involves a lack of faith.
- Romans 14:23 (KJB) “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
Summarized, man is sinful by nature as a result of Adam’s fall, and man is sinful by choice as a result of willfully sinning whether sins of commission or sins of omission.
This biblical view of man’s sinfulness is only the beginning of Calvin’s teaching. Undeniably, Calvinism teaches not only man’s sinfulness but also our complete powerlessness to do anything right – as well as to believe the gospel!
Calvinism’s view of total depravity—TOTAL INABILITY TO BELIEVE.
The Cannons of Dort—“Therefore all men…without the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit…are neither able nor willing to return to God…nor to dispose themselves to reformation.”
- It is unreasonable to state that a person is unwilling to do what he is not able to do.
According to Dave Hunt: “Calvinism is guilty of both absurdity and injustice by declaring man to be incapable of repentance and faith, then condemning him for failing to repent and believe.”
Calvinist Frank Beck says of man, “He is free to turn to Christ, but not able.
Although the Bible never says that man is “unable” to believe the gospel, leading Calvinists Talbot and Crampton have written, “The Bible stresses the total inability of fallen man to respond to the things of God….”
Because of man’s hypothetical inability to believe the gospel, Calvinism teaches that regeneration comes first before salvation!
- Edwin Palmer asserts, “Once he (the sinner) is born again; he can for the first time turn to Jesus…asking Jesus to save him.”
- Calvinist Bible teacher R. C. Sproul says, “A cardinal point of Reformed theology is the maxim, ‘Regeneration precedes faith.’”
- Since Total Depravity requires regeneration before faith and salvation, some Calvinists assume it takes place in infancy! The Bible unequivocally says no such thing!
- C. Sproul writes, “The Reformed view of predestination teaches that before a person can choose Christ…he must be born again…one does not first believe, then become reborn….”
According to Jesus, however, man’s refusal to turn to God is a result of man’s unwillingness, not inability. Jesus said, “…ye will not come to me that ye might have life.” Note, “ye will not,” NOT “ye can not!” John 5:40 (KJB) “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”
If, as Calvinism explains, one cannot believe apart from being regenerated and God regenerates certain individuals in order that they might believe, why doesn’t a loving and compassionate God regenerate ALL people that ALL might believe?
- C. Sproul makes a shocking admission: “If some people are not elected unto salvation, then it would seem that God is not at all that loving toward them. Further, it appears that it would have been more loving of God not to have allowed them to be born. That may indeed be the case.”
- The gospel is, by definition, “good news.” However, the “gospel” of Calvinism is only “good news” to the elect. To all others, it is a sentence of death and eternal condemnation in the fires of hell.
- According to John 12:32, where the gospel is preached all men are drawn to Christ. Although some will resist, all who are drawn will have the opportunity and ability to believe! John 12:32 (KJB) “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
- Acts 17:24-28 plainly teaches that God desires all to be saved and that God has so ordered history that men might “seek the Lord.”
Acts 17:24-28 (KJB) “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”
Total Depravity the first pedal of the Calvinist Tulip as demonstrated does not hold any truth as demonstrated by God’s Word – The Holy Bible.
Read the previous articles here
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