76 Comments

  1. Angela

    Sorry I can’t figure out how to reply to a reply anymore! 🙃

    Chris,

    That is WONDERFUL news and you are so very welcome! There are also notes on Kevin’s website to go along with some of his videos. They may help if he is moving quickly through a certain topic. I’m so encouraged that you will be watching more of them.

    Robin,

    Thank you so much for the resource. I’m looking very forward to watching it!

    John J, E.J., Heidi and everyone else,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the thought provoking and passionate conversation on this topic. It is a subject that my husband and I feel very strongly about and have worked hard to educate ourselves in to prepare for battle!

    Have a great day all!

    • John J

      Angela,
      It’s a passion for the truth and seeing loved ones (strangers) come to know the God of the Bible, which, in the end, is not hard as Jesus died (past tense) and reconciled us to God. There’s no more condemnation for him/her who is in Christ.
      Sometimes, I come across as harsh, but it’s never the intention. I have covered and worked (personally) this specific topic for 20 years and know the utter destruction it brings; it has nothing else to offer.
      Thank you for contributing; bless you too.

  2. Heidi Lavoie

    To all Calvinist adherents, of every shade and stripe and intensity. Please read Dave Hunt’s “What Love Is This”.
    It is research saturated, he quotes many prominent Calvinists and cites many Scriptures that Calvinists take out of context and/or completely change the meaning of to force the Word of God to fit their heretical views. They disparage God himself. The God they present is not the God of the Bible. John Calvin himself was a murderer. It is alarming to see how many people blindly adhere to this false religion called Calvinism. It is a sign of our times, the falling away in the last days. It seems that people want their idols of false doctrine and their icons whether it be Calvin, Luther, or even any prominent evangelical (apostate) leader of today, over obeying and following the Truth, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    • John J

      Yep; easy as that, Heidi. And they go to great lengths to justify the murderer Calvin’s deeds. Don’t forget that God had ordained his murders, etc. You see? I mean, they can’t go against their own little fable.

      • You still haven’t explained these verses to me John J.:

        “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. “

        • John J

          Chris, your obvious controlling Calvinist ways and condescending stripes are showing; it’s rather irritating. This is Not Calvin’s failed geneva; no one is going to jump at your commands and hints. FYI, I replied in good time, but my reply was marked as spam (length, content, who knows?), and so I sent an email to Lighthouse, and asked them to edit it should they want to publish it.
          In short: even a child from a biblical household can answer your Calvinist textproof; however, if one is indoctrinated and lives in a state of fear, well…

        • FROM JOHN J (His reply went to spam because of its length. At his request, we have shortened it and placed it here):

          Hi, Chris. [shortened version]:

          2) “God’s ways are not our ways,” etc. is another favorite Calvinist excuse to justify their way of believing something (the Paris attacks happened to show God’s glory; the 2004 tsunami showed God’s glory for His pleasure”; the 9/11 terrorist attacks were for the Christian God’s glory.; He has predestined child molestation,” “God, according to the mentally disturbed Calvin, sends babies and children to hell because he knows they were/are not of the elect. [So why create them in the first place? And that’s God? Not a chance]. . . . When Calvinists and the like can’t logically explain a verse within context, grammatically, then “God’s ways are higher than ours,” etc. I mean, if “God” says so, then who are we to speak against him or his holy and earthy self-appointed spokesmen like Spurgeon, MacArthur, the late Sproul?

          3) I had to look up Shapiro, as I had never heard of him. I watched and listened to him a bit but he talks way too fast, but he seems intelligent and his statements are logical and his reasoning is well constructed. And he is funny. He values and ethics seem solid. Being a Jew and therefore not an automatic elected Calvinist, are you going to tell Shapiro that God decided (for His “pleasure”), long before anything had been created, that old Ben has been doomed before he was even conceived and that old Ben is simply playing a little role in an absurd, sadistic play that God had written long before He created the universe and all that beautiful stuff up there? (Even atheists like Richard Dawkins and agnostics get this sadistic, rather blunt part of “god” right.)
          I’ll tell Shapiro that Jesus died for him too and that the gift is there, and it’s Shapiro’s choice to take it or leave it, Jew or Gentile, black or Chinese, thin or slightly wobbly.

          4) Calvinists/Reformed sheep like to feel important because they are the “elect.” Satan knows the Bible better than most born-again Christians. And it is indeed of no importance that some of your friends are theologians and “know” the Bible, but they don’t even know the simple gospel that saves? I know children who know the gospel, who spread the gospel that saves…once and for all, past tense, the same gospel that Lighthouse Trails proclaim. There is no other gospel. Let him be accursed who preaches another gospel, even if it’s an angel from heaven! Is that not clear? . . Rather face the truth now than face God at the wrong judgment seat/throne. Like the God of the Bible, my heart is also that everyone comes to know Jesus Christ. The new eyes He gives us at the very time of conversion are out of this world!

          5) Yes, it’s bold to take on Calvinism. For too long, people were scared because of indoctrination to speak out against the “celebrity personalities” like MacArthur, Sproul, Washer, James White, Platt, Mohler, Spurgeon, The Puritans, Jonathan Edwards, John Piper (oh, my), etc. I am so proud of Lighthouse Trails for slicing open this worm and let the world see its rotten intestines. The bad-mouthed, uncultivated backlash that followed (and the boycott; sigh) will not and cannot stop the truth that Lighthouse shares in love. As I’ve said: truth does not please; it exposes falsehood. God bless Lighthouse Trails. How sweet was it when that late Caryl Matrisciana called Calvinism out for what it is?

          6) You want me to exegete one of the big three Calvinist prooftexts? Ephesians, Chapter One? And this from someone (you) who pretends not to be a Calvinist? I will list some links for people to read themselves. The elect is such a simple concept that children understand it, Chris. Learn this: the father of lies and confusion is Satan, Chris, and he may just be the one whose hand you’re going to shake tomorrow or the day thereafter. Who knows? The Holy Spirit does . . . A while back, a Calvinist was trying his uttermost confusing best to try to explain the role of the Holy Spirit to a young woman who was sharing a table with him where I have coffee in the mornings. I was listening, as they were at the table right next to mine, merely inches away. “The Holy Spirit,” he said, sounding oh-so-pompous and righteous, “will grow in you.” I could not let it continue, and so I leaned over and said to him: “The Holy Spirit is not a fetus. He does not need to grow; He will teach this young lady about truth. What will grow once she has accepted God’s gift of salvation is her knowledge of God.” Man, did she jump up and flee after saying to me that people had warned her about Calvinism but she did not want to listen! I know that lady, by the way; very well.

          And Chris, I am not naïve; I know there are born-again Christians in Calvinist “churches,” but I also know that they don’t know where they are. If they did, they’d flee right now. Such is the devil’s blinding light. May they come to their senses and split.

          Being called a member of a cult does not sit well with most people. . . . These links are here for research purposes only, and I’ve tried to steer clear from the more well-known ones simply to show that this problem lies deep and wide, like cancer. As always; I don’t endorse a single site. I endorse only the Bible and most of all, our Savior Jesus Christ, The Father, and the Holy Spirit.

          https://bjorkbloggen.com/2016/01/06/10-common-calvinist-proof-text-arguments-debunked-like-john-6-acts-1348-and-john-1028-29/

          https://redeeminggod.com/3-tactics-calvinists/

          https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ae0b/1ccc253cac2a1658b0faa69be1c9728219a0.pdf

          https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=28224 (in fact, read any/all of Lighthouse’s articles on Calvinism. The comments are revealing too.)

          http://greatlightstudios.com/answering-calvinism

          https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/784-ephesians-1-4-predestination

          https://radicallychristian.com/reasons-why-i-am-not-a-calvinist

          https://thomastaylorministries.org/blog/calvinism-refuted-unconditional-election/

          http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Paul/Eph1_4.html

          https://soteriology101.com/2016/03/16/answering-calvinistic-proof-texts/

          https://soteriology101.com/2015/03/14/ephesians-1-he-chose-us-to-be-in-him-or-he-chose-us-in-him/

          http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles/responses_to_calvinism.html#ephesians_1_5_6

          http://www.bible.ca/cal-U-calvinist-prooftexts.htm

          https://jackcottrell.com/?s=calvinism

          https://reknew.org/2018/12/how-do-you-respond-to-ephesians-14-5/

          https://freethinkingministries.com/ephesians-14-how-calvinistic-exegesis-is-logically-impossible/ This one is for the serious brainiacs who do not have chocolate to nibble on!

        • Angela

          Chris,

          I would like to add just one more resource for you to research. Please go to YouTube and search
          “Beyond the Fundamentals”

          Kevin Thompson has several videos, dissecting the very scriptures you’ve asked about. His delivery is sharp and direct, something I happen to appreciate. I pray you see the light and realize that the god of Calvinism is NOT the TRUE God of the Bible.

          God bless you

        • John J

          Angela,
          Ha! Thompson was on my original list too, but I had to shorten my list. Good call, Angela, and your last sentence is the most important. Thanks for contributing!
          Blessings,

        • robin

          John J and Angela,

          I admire the efforts and patience you’ve put into your replies to Chris.

          There is an additional source I highly recommend that will provide further clarity toward the mind-blowing intellectual contortions Calvinists manage with a straight face: from youtube’s search window, enter “TANC 2017 John Immel” and settle in to a humorous and incredibly enlightening 4 part series called “How to Debate a Calvinist”.

          Keep fighting the good fight.

        • criley

          Chris Reimers: I have found that just about every Calvinist that quotes Eph 1 by memory (instead of a cut and paste) leaves out “in him.” Usually it’s “chosen before the foundation of the world.” God’s salvation is for those IN CHRIST and THAT PLAN was preordained. But, individual souls were not preordained for heaven or hell. Individuals are IN CHRIST when THEY have trusted Jesus as Saviour, not before. When a system (like Calvinism) is a person’s final authority, then the person who subscribes to the system has to “interpret” the Bible so that the system suffers no damage.

        • John J

          Robin,
          Yeah, that Immel guy shakes ’em up! Thanks for the tip. Immel is way ahead of any of their tricks.

      • Heidi Lavoie

        I remember recently reading ( and I cannot remember the source) that John MacArthur stated that “if you are not Calvinist you are irrelevant”.
        Also, Dave Hunt does quote Spurgeon in his book too, Dave says that he was kind of like a schizophrenic on the issue of Calvinism vs. Biblical truth about salvation. He seemed to waffle from one side to the other in things he said. I read Spurgeon’s tract , about how he was saved and in it he said that all he did, while listening to a humble Methodist preacher, was to “look and live” (at the cross of Jesus). And instantly he was saved and knew it. He has also said that “he came all by himself to Christ”. (not a Calvinist statement at all).

  3. wisdomwon

    Professing themselves to be wise they became fools.
    Spiritual formation is the business of God,. It is not a career path, nor to be other man directed. Buyer beware the colleges.
    Profs are, in the end, in business to further their careers. Remember story is THE oldest strategy to sell a vision and lead souls away from God. The wife came close to the truth in commenting on authority…either it was because some people had read more of the bible or maybe they were just in authority, or maybe both. Do read. Learn to discern.
    Be led of God. He is pleased to help you.

  4. So many of my Christian friends are reformed so I suppose they take some form of Calvinism to heart. I have always respected Lighthouse Trails for its informative articles and sound advise. That will not change. I have now learned that you disagree with so many of my Christian friends and that’s not a good thing. I know that there are the elect and I know that God is not willing that any should perish. I wish Christians would stop arguing about things that none of us completely understand.
    We can agree on this. What has happened in this situation is very sad. The man has made bad choices. Is he redeemable? I think so even though his choices will have lasting consequences.

    • John J

      Chris, it is irrelevant whether Lighthouse’s stances and biblical views clash with those of your friends. Truth does not please; it exposes. Calvinism is a cult; I suggest you start enlightening your friends and tell them about the God of the bible.
      “Things we don’t understand”? That’s a favorite Calvinist/Reformed line to defend their diabolical heresies. Light has nothing to do with darkness, and nothing is darker than the evil man-made cult of Calvinism and its branches. Your statement “Christians arguing about things we don’t understand.” is broad. I repeat: Light has nothing to do with darkness (Calvinism). The best thing you can do is to share the biblical gospel with your lost friends; they will thank you one day.
      But to blame Lighthouse for how your friends may “feel” is inconsequential. Facts don’t care about feelings. There’s too much at stake to worry about your Calvinist friends’ “feelings.” Instead, rather worry about their eternal destination and thank Lighthouse to be bold and brave enough to take on the evil of Calvinism.

      • So, Calvinism is a cult and ““Things we don’t understand”? are a defense for diabolical heresies.

        Oh, my.

        “Facts don’t care about feelings.” I agree with this statement and it appears you have been listening to Ben Shapiro, not an altogether bad thing.

        Here is where we disagree:

        I am to “worry about their (my friends’) eternal destination because of the “evil of Calvinism.”

        The reason I mentioned my friends is because many know their Bibles much better than I and some of them are Calvinists. I believe that they are just as Christian as you are. Many of them are theologians (which I know is probably inconsequential to you).

        I do agree with you that it is quite bold to take on Calvinism.

        I have only one request of you. Please exegete the following verses:

        “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. “

        • EJ

          I assume your request for exegesis is seeking clarification on “chose us” and “predestined us”. The answer is right in the text, four times over: “in Christ” (v3); “in Him” (v4); “through Jesus Christ” (v5); “in the Beloved” (v6).

          God has a pre-arranged plan and guaranteed outcome for all those who are found (i.e. whosoever expresses faith) in Christ. This passage teaches the gracious and glorious plan of the sovereign God for all believers, not the specific determination of individual destiny. It is saying that those who are in Christ (which we know from elsewhere is by faith, whosoever will)… 1) are blessed with spiritual gifts (and nothing is withheld)… 2) are to be holy (walking in the light in fellowship with Him)… 3) are adopted as sons (heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ!)… 4) enjoy all this by His grace freely bestowed (no reimbursement). All this God determined beforehand would be accomplished, but no where in that passage does He indicate a limitation to the beneficiaries of His grace other than they must be “in Christ”. The election and predestination mentioned here is not for individual souls to be placed into Christ, but for “us” who are “in Him” to be placed into certain blessings.

          If you want to study the biblical doctrine of grace, this passage is an excellent place to start, just be careful not to read into it ideas that are not there.

        • Interesting, EJ.

          Please explain to me how you have come to this conclusion through these verses.

          I agree with this:

          “If you want to study the biblical doctrine of grace, this passage is an excellent place to start.”

          Just curious, do you, like John J, feel that those who take the reformed view are members of a cult? Am I to “worry about the(ir) eternal destination” of my Calvinist friends? Are they heretics?

        • Also, EJ, would you give me the verse(s) you have found that:

          “God has a pre-arranged plan and guaranteed outcome for all those who are found (i.e. whosoever expresses faith) in Christ. ”

          That sounds kinda Calvinist to me.

        • chiming-in

          Just a few whosoever’s (from KJV)

          And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
          That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
          For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
          For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
          He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
          And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
          For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
          But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
          John 3:14-21
          ~*~

          Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
          But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
          John 4:13-14
          ~*~

          Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
          And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
          If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed
          John 8:34-36
          ~*~

          Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
          And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
          She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
          John 11:25-27
          ~*~

          idk: Jesus asked Martha if she believe what He said about resurrection and eternal life and she said she did. Done.
          ~*~

          Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
          And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
          I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
          And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
          He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
          For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
          And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
          John 12:44-50
          ~*~

          Sounds like God has commanded a prearranged plan of “life everlasting” for whosoever believes.

          The decision is: does one believe God keeps His promises or not?

          For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
          Romans 4:3

          Do Calvin’s explanations equal Jesus’ words and promises?

          Who ya gonna believe?
          ~*~

          just my $.02

          God’s joy and peace to you

        • EJ

          Hi Chris,

          I’m not entirely sure how to respond to your request for clarification on my interpretation, because I’m not clear on what you are confused about or where you agree/disagree. Perhaps you can explain why you made reference to that scripture in the first place?

          You quoted Ephesians 1:3-6. The whole first chapter of Ephesians is saying similar things… namely that God has/is/will accomplish His will “in Him” or “in Christ” and we—as many as believe on Christ—are participants in that eternal purpose, by grace.

          I’m not sure about “sounding kinda Calvinist.” I definitely do not subscribe to that theological viewpoint myself. That “God has a pre-arranged plan and guaranteed outcome for all those who are found (i.e. whosoever expresses faith) in Christ” is, in my opinion, a fair interpretation not only of the quoted passage, but of the verses that follow:

          [Eph 1:7-10 NKJV] 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth–in Him.

          That, to me, sounds like God has a pre-arranged plan—one that centers around His Son.

          Likewise, the outcome—or to use the biblical concept, the inheritance—is predestined:

          [Eph 1:11-12 NKJV] 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

          And how do I know this inheritance is guaranteed, will happen? Because as a believer in Christ, I have been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.

          [Eph 1:13-14 NKJV] 13 In Him you also [trusted], after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

          Notice though, how one becomes a recipient of the inheritance: hearing the gospel, and believing. In other words, the recipients aren’t predestined; the inheritance is predestined. As “chiming-in” pointed out, “whosoever believes” may become an inheritor. The sacrifice of Christ made propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and God is willing that none should perish. His offer of salvation is genuine, and non-exclusive. But all who take Him up on his offer are sealed with Spirit and are guaranteed to receive the predestined inheritance of the saints, because they are in Christ.

          Unfortunately Calvinism generally distorts these concepts and introduces confusion at its best, and possible blindness to the gospel at its worst. Like anything, there is a wide spectrum and it is difficult to characterize specifically without exceptions. Can a Calvinist be saved and assured a place with the Lord in glory? Sure. If they have trusted in Christ alone for their salvation. Anyone, in any theological camp, who has believed the gospel, is sealed with the Holy Spirit and will receive their inheritance and redemption. That is salvation by grace, plain and simple.

          The question is, does Calvinism promote a clear and biblical understanding of the gospel, the responsibility of mankind, the character of God and the riches of His grace, etc.? If it does not—and many, including myself, believe that to be the case—the danger can be an ineffectual or crippled evangelism, or “Christians” who have the wrong basis for believing themselves to be saved; or true believers who are not enjoying the more abundant life and the grace in which we now stand, but instead are often plagued by doubt and enslaved by legalistic “holiness” or conversely, think more highly of themselves than they ought.

          Thankfully the Lord does not save and keep us based on the accuracy of our systematic theology, but by His grace. That said, I believe the Lord expects us to grow in understanding of the truth as a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

          To go back to the original point of the article, the danger of Neo-Calvinism, or New Calvinism—that is, the tenets of historic Calvinism inter-mixed with post-modern emergent philosophy—is that a faulty (IMO) theological system is becoming completely unmoored from needing plausible scriptural basis altogether. In historic Calvinism, good works become “proof” that one is saved. It seems that in Neo-Calvinism, emotional experiences become “proof” that one is saved. Neither are the proper basis on which to be assured of your salvation, but the over-emphasis on emotions just exacerbates the problem. Nowadays, if one doesn’t “feel” like a Christian, their “faith” is rocked to the core. Add to that the American “Evangelical Industrial Complex” that creates a church environment far removed from New Testament principles and it is no wonder people—leaders included—can feel lost and doubting.

          Josh is obviously confused about the gospel of the grace of God in my opinion. He admits to falling away from “Christianity” but open to “a different way to practice faith”. There is only one way to be saved: faith in Christ and in Him alone. Whether or not Josh has trusted Christ is between him and the Lord. But there is definitely another way of practicing faith, and if he is truly saved, I pray that he finds it.

        • Thank you for getting back to me E.J. even though are are right that there was really nothing to get back to.

          I left these sentences out of my comment accidentally and thought I had them posted:

          “In Christ” (v3); “in Him” (v4); “through Jesus Christ” (v5); “in the Beloved” (v6) is, indeed, clarification, but it has nothing to do with election.

          I think you have done what you accuse me of doing.

          “just be careful not to read into it ideas that are not there.”

          It seems to me you have done this with your statement:

          “The election and predestination mentioned here is not for individual souls to be placed into Christ, but for “us” who are “in Him” to be placed into certain blessings.”

          I do not see this in the verse at all.

        • I would love to continue this “conversation,” E.J. but several of my comments keep appearing and disappearing including a correction of my last statement to you that I can’t see now.

          It is probably a glitch of some kind. I have already apologized to LHT for thinking that it might have been someone messing with my comments after they reappeared (and now they are gone again).

          See you in heaven, brother.

        • criley

          Chris Reimers: Calvinism claims they preach salvation by grace. They do not. They actually preach arbitrary salvation. Calvinists admit that salvation is not meritorious, so God does not choose a soul to be saved because they deserve it. All of us are in the same sinful state. All of us are unrighteous, all of us in need of God’s grace. God is gracious… that’s His nature. One who is gracious by nature treats all people graciously. Calvinism’s god is not gracious – he is arbitrary. The God of the Bible IS gracious and He DOES offer grace to all, just as the Bible says in Titus 2:11.

    • criley

      Chris Reimers: Just as Catholics don’t understand Biblical truth about Jesus’ flesh and blood, and Campbellites don’t understand baptism, Calvinists do not understand election;. There are elect nations, elect angels, and most importantly, Jesus Christ is the elect of God (Isa 42:1; 1 Pet 2:6). Individuals are not “born elect.” They become elect only when they are IN “the elect” – Jesus Christ. That only occurs when they are baptized into the body of Christ through the baptism that Jesus performs with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:13). That does not occur until they turn to God and trust Christ as Saviour.

  5. Elizabeth Bennett

    Question: Was there child abuse going on at Joshua Harris’ church? What part of the equation was that? Was he involved or was there a cover-up of these crimes? There are so many things we do not know.

    • chimin-in

      fwiw
      available online information and timeline about
      ~ Sovereign Grace Ministries lawsuit involving child sex abuse ~
      might include facts about Josh’s involvement

  6. John J

    Calvinism/Reformed theology . . . straight from Satan, and it’s so sad when people are so blinded to this diabolical nonsense. Sigh, when they talk of the “reformation” as an “act of God,” their man-worship shows. As I’ve said repeatedly. This cult is the same as any other cult: JWs, Mormonism, Scientology, you name it . . . unholy, unbiblical, and it has nothing, nothing, nothing, to do with the God of the Bible. If Lighthouse is “pushing drivel” as someone has suggested, well, I’m pushing with you, Lighthouse.

    • John J

      Fantastic, Heather. That’s why people like Richard Dawkins and friends are doing so well. They are attacking the false god of Calvinism. And they are right, believe it or not. Because that man-made god is just as Dawkins and friends describe him to be.

  7. Lauren St. Vincent

    It is very disturbing to read yet another article that gives a totally wrong picture/understanding of the truth of Calvinism which is the true pure gospel….and that is what it is. Calvinism is the gospel explained in detail. Maybe it would be wise to publish an article which explains the true Calvinism from someone who is qualified to explain and defend against those who have a warped idea about it. All these sound bite type descriptions of Calvinism do so much damage. Lauren
    Is this site going to stop me from saying this? This is a new article and it is necessary to speak up for the truth.

    • Ming

      No, they kind of hit the nail on the head. It’s only fair to Calvinism to follow its ideas to their logical conclusions, since it’s based on conjectures from conjectures from scriptures which are arguably out of context. It may be easier to practice cognitive dissonance and just punt to “mystery,” but that’s really just dodging things. It always seems like they know exactly what is in the “secret will of God.”

      • John J

        …and Calvinism is not biblical nor the gospel, no matter how Spurgeon (who spoke out of 12 corners of his mouth, this so-called “prince of preachers” ) spun it. There has only been one who can rightly be called the “prince” of preaching, and that was Jesus Christ. Calvinists are so deep into idolatry that it’s weird they can’t see it. I mean, cults are named after people, yes? So, I asked a Calvinist about a week ago, “So, are you a Christian?” The answer, “I’m a Calvinist.” Well, there you have it. Light and darkness can’t mix; it’s a simple scientific (and spiritual) fact.

        And, James, Calvinists are the spin kings, as you’ve pointed out correctly. Who else, in history, was a spin king? Who else, today, is still the spin king? Oh, yes…

    • criley

      Hi Lauren! Calvinism isn’t the gospel. In Mark 16:15 Jesus told His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature – not just the elect. The gospel that is to be preached to EVERYONE is found in 1 Cor 15: “Christ died for OUR sins according to the scriptures… was buried … and rose again the third day.” That Bible truth can be preached to every man (Heb 2:9). Since Calvinism denies Bible truth and says Jesus only died for the elect, 1 Cor 15 – THE GOSPEL – cannot be preached to every man, because according to the false doctrine of Calvinism, Jesus didn’t die for every man and therefor it would be a lie to preach the gospel to all.

  8. Lauren St. Vincent

    It is very disturbing to read yet another article that gives a totally wrong picture/understanding of the truth of Calvinism which is the true pure gospel….and that is what it is. Calvinism is the gospel explained in detail. Maybe it would be wise to publish an article which explains the true Calvinism from someone who is qualified to explain and defend against those who have a warped idea about it. All these sound bite type descriptions of Calvinism do so much damage. Lauren

    • browsing

      This website offers two books for sale which are much more than soundbites in their Scriptural critique of Calvinism. Perhaps you might read them.

      A joke is attributed to Abraham Lincoln which goes like this: How many legs does a dog have, if you call a tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg does not make it so.

      You don’t seem aware of it, but your comment contains these phrases which constitute informal logical fallacies:

      truth of Calvinism
      true pure gospel
      and that is what it is
      Calvinism is the gospel
      true Calvinism from someone qualified to explain

      Not being God, you cannot declare something is so merely because you want it to be. We are to be of noble character like the Bereans, searching the Scriptures carefully to see if something is true. People here have searched the Scriptures and based on the them, and not their personal opinion, have decided that Calvinism is not true. You do not get to declare who is and is not qualified to examine Calvinism; your duty is to urge all Christians to examine everything they are presented with by searching the Scriptures.

      A quick perusal of Belgic Confession article 13 shows contradictions with Jesus having “appeared to destroy the devil’s work.” When people attribute everything they experience to God’s hand, it leads to a neglect to discern rightly how to love their neighbor, speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, cry out to God during persecution, pray for the sick, heal the lame, cast out evil spirits, visit the prisoners, feed the hungry, etc. They attribute evil to God, fail to worship him in spirit and truth, and fail to intercede for their families, neighbors and their countries.

      I am not the only one who has paid a heavy personal price for this kind of hard-hearted attitude from Calvinists and those who have been influenced by reformed theology. They have a terrible view of all who are suffering, and a much more terrible view of God.

      • John J

        Browsing, please don’t start with fallacies and Calvinism/reformed “theology.” You’ll only confuse them more. They love the “appeal to faith” fallacy, and it’s a fallacy every time when they use it to try to “justify” a conclusion in the absence of a reason. You see, and I think you know it, using fallacies make them appear to be morally superior. I said, “appear.”

        Browsing, I like your comments, and I love reasoning and fallacies too. It’s cool to see your commenting.

  9. T. I. Miller

    You wrote;
    “There, students become indoctrinated with the social-justice “Gospel,” contemplative spirituality (i.e., spiritual formation), and emergent ideology. If Joshua Harris had not already gone in this direction, attending Regent would accomplish this easily, and as we have learned at Lighthouse Trails from 17 years of research and study, the “fruit” of these unbiblical teachings is departure from biblical faith to believing in the god of this world and what he has to offer.”
    For every effect there is a cause. Massive numbers or evangelicals and fundamentalists and Charismatics and Pentecostals and no surprise liberal progressive church members have been seduced by this emergent contemplative spiritual formation heresy. The advocates for Jesus Calling are just as foolish.
    The real problem is the ignorance or the cowardice of church leaders. Heresy can only take root and spread like a cancer when it is allowed to by the clergy. When any heresy is not immediately exposed and denounced it will spread and corrupt the flock. Good shepherds slay the wolves of deception . Hirelings on the other hand do not. Pastoral neglect is the root cause of the spread of apostasy.

    • Lauren St. Vincent

      You have said the truth very precisely. There is such a flood of lies, leaven in the churches and the churches have their doors wide open to the world. Lauren

    • Diana Nickel

      Yes. Yes. And yes. After warning a pastor about error in his church he said to me “no one pays as much attention to that stuff as you do”. Couple of weeks later he used a quote from the ODD ‘church’. That’s when I quit.

  10. anne

    Wow! I want to say that I heard of him the first time yesterday in another article. I never heard of him before or of his book. He was quite young to write such a book. He said he was home schooled. I found that there are Catholics who left the church for Calvinism, Seventh day Adventists as well. Once you leave wrong doctrine to more wrong doctrine it leads to failure. I visited a church because of a funeral of a friend. While sitting there not knowing anyone at a table alone the pastor of the church came to the table and sat down with his deacon. He wanted to know why I was there and what church I attended. I told him I use to go to this church but it’s Calvinist and I left. I opened the door to a conversation of how I was wrong. In the conversation he said that God created Satan evil, and that the angels had free will and 1/3 of them followed him in rebellion. He said, “where is that in the Bible!?” I said in Revelation. Later I went home and wrote him a letter using scripture to reason with what we had spoken about. He left the church abruptly soon after. They don’t know scripture, they only know talking points just like in politics. It’s very sad to see how many people have been led astray by this false doctrine. “And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up” Matthew 13:4. I look in revelation, “And he cried mightily with strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every unclean and hateful bird.” Rev. 18:2. I have heard this before by someone else who fell away, who said he was Jewish, but he lied. He said it that he was Jewish so he could get followers and make money, though he is still preaching and teaching. How many will follow this Josh Harris in the destruction of their faith? He is responsible for what he had done to people. It’s quite satanic

    • CW

      He was not raised Catholic. He was homeschooled, and he was raised in an evangelical faith. I don’t know if his family was Calvinist or not — I never got the impression that they were.

      The enemy has obviously had a field day in Josh Harris’ life. I am so grieved for all that has happened in his life, and I am praying for him and his family.

      • In Josh Harris’ book, Dug Down Deep, he states:

        I grew up in an evangelical Christian family. One that was on the more conservative end of the spectrum. I’m the oldest of seven children. Our parents homeschooled us, raised us without television, and believed that old-fashioned courtship was better than modern dating.Harris, Joshua. Dug Down Deep (p. 4). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

        Later, he indicates that growing up, he attended “an evangelical mega-church,” and says nothing to indicate it was Calvinist.

    • Joyce

      I found that there are Catholics who left the church for Calvinism, Seventh day Adventists as well. Once you leave wrong doctrine to more wrong doctrine it leads to failure.

      • John J

        From the fire into the fire; I have seen it countless times, Joyce. From one extreme to another. Why people don’t stop and think, I don’t know. You’re right; it’s simply leaving one deadly poison for another. That’s one of the gifts of being born-again: we can see these things so clearly!

  11. Glenn

    Hello Everyone,

    Sorry for my long response but there are several commenters that have made statements that need to be addressed. First off it is a standard claim by Calvinists that their system is misunderstood by every non-Calvinist. Do you realize what this implies? It implies that the Holy Spirit has given Calvinists special spiritual insight that He hasn’t given to other Christians. This claim is closer to Gnosticism than it is biblical Christianity.

    Do you Calvinists realize that John Calvin based his system on the works of Augustine of Hippo? In fact, Calvin claimed that he wrote nothing that Augustine would have disagreed with. This is the same Augustine who claimed that scripture must be interpreted using a Platonic framework and even called Plato a pre-Christian Christian. Plato was a pagan pure and simple. Augustine’s writings are blatant syncretism and so is any system based on Augustine.

    It is fairly simple to understand Calvinism by reading Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. A really instructive exercise is to take the allegory and “Christianize” it by changing some of the vocabulary so it sounds biblical. The prisoners become the “unregenerate” the sunlight becomes “illumination of the Holy Spirit.” The parallels are not some Augustinian accident but very much on purpose.

    No one has ever denied that there are many Calvinists who are faithful to the Lord. Their faithfulness is in spite of the Calvinist philosophy not because of it.

    Thank you.

  12. Craig Giddens

    I would say the spiritual formation and emergent ideology were the primary factors in his “departure from the faith”. However it is adding fuel to the fire when you mix in Calvinsim with its unBiblical view of election (i.e. even though He could save all, God instead elects certain individuals and damns the rest). Even the “elect” don’t kow for sure if they are one of the “elect” so they have to perseverve to the end to prove they are actually one of the “elect”.

  13. dee gats

    i see it differently. Is it possible the truths of true reformed biblical principals actually unmasked his unbelief and revealed to us the false prophet that he is? i think so. As the end times near us, the division of the sheep and goats will be more evident. come quickly LORD JESUS.

  14. Jeff

    Sorry but I think you got it really wrong on the Calvinism thing . The Emergent thing we’ll you might have something there but no Calvinism does not make people go the way Josh Harris went. I think your caricature of Calvinism was an example of oversimplification that you really don’t have the “ real thing” Just saying!

  15. Patrick Morrissey

    This article grossly misrepresents the Doctrines of Grace and the Sovereignty of God in salvation a.k.a. Calvinism. The authors inability to comprehend Calvinism does not negate the truth of what the Word of God actually says.. His (Josh Harris) lack of salvation, as well as dabbling in the Emergent church movement, is what REVEALED his apostasy, not what caused it..

  16. I do believe you misrepresent Calvinism. They do not normally believe that God plans and makes men sin.

    They believe that man is utterly sinful and depraved and that man can do nothing but sin and that all good things of the world are because of God’s general grace.

    Furthermore, man is, according to their beliefs, so depraved that he cannot even choose that which is good (i e believing in Christ). To solve this problem God has to intervene and give the grace of saving faith to some. The rest will, because of their sinful and rebellious nature, not turn to Christ and will therefore perish.

    Their view is that if God would not elect some, none would be saved.

    Yours sincerely,
    Martin Book 📖

    • Browsing

      “They do not normally believe God plans and makes men sin.”

      You might find that they do actually believe it, but usually find other words to say so. In my conversations with them regarding suffering they usually point to BC 13, and say “God designs” everything. In their view of “providence,” they make no distinctions between God allowing/permitting us to disobey him, genetic disease from a fallen world and what he purposely orchestrates.

      They have told me God orchestrates rape to bring about teachable moments, God gave their mom cancer and that’s a good thing, God caused the girl they purchased out of sexual slavery to be sold by her parents into the brothel in India just so Christians could buy her and witness to her, and that those who are mutilating and raping and starving Christians in North Korea will not hear Jesus confront them and say, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

      In short, they have a serious problem acknowledging evil, and in their reaction against “chance,” they wrongly make no distinction between God working all things for good, and God’s orchestration.

      It’s been my observation that the humble and sensitive are afraid and feel condemned by such a God, and the prideful and hard-hearted revel in that sadistic theology. The prideful are certain that they have God’s approval in their hard-heartedness. The worst case of this I ever witnessed was a woman berating someone who was asking for prayer for the recent death of their newborn. She told the grieving person that they just needed more faith, and she didn’t even cry when her own baby died because she had such faith in God’s sovereignty, yada yada yada. In all caps, no less. Such is the outworking of belief in “orderly arrangement.”

      We know from Job that Satan must get permission from God for everything with which he would afflict us, but woe to those who make no distinction between God and Satan, and who deny Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and set captives free.

      “Should not this woman, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years, be set free?” It’s been my experience that Calvinists join the Pharisees in believing not, and then find fault with Jesus for mentioning Satan. They prefer to chastise the woman for not submitting to “God’s providential design in the orderly arrangement of her affliction according to his holy will.”

  17. CW

    I just googled Josh Harris and saw where he said this at his website: “I’m more than a fan of Donald Miller—he’s one of my oldest friends and I’m a Certified Guide for his StoryBrand marketing framework.”

    This explains a lot. 🙁

  18. CW

    As a Christian homeschooling parent for years, I met Josh Harris at a homeschool event when my children were young. I shook his hand, chatted with him a few minutes, and got a strong sense that an unholy spirit of perversion had attacked his life. This was quite some time before he married his wife. At the time I really felt that I must have been mistaken. Now I believe that was insight from the Lord, and I should have been interceding for him. I’m so grieved about that.

    I read his own statements about why he married his wife, and realized he had actually gone against his own teaching in his book IKDG (and the teaching in which he was raised). Looking back on that, I realize that he was already “departing from the faith” he had grown up in.

    I believe it was after that that he began seeking after various churches and belief systems within what was popularly deemed Christianity. It is clear to me now that he was lost, at sea, seeking something/Someone bigger than himself to give a strong, solid foundation to his life. I am truly sorry that he thought he had found it in Calvinism.

    But of course popular ungodly media will twist this for their own ends, for their own agenda. Only those who truly know the Lord, who are rooted and grounded in His Word and filled continually with the Holy Spirit, will comprehend what really happened even if they don’t know the details I mentioned above (and I realize there’s a lot I don’t know). I can’t begin to imagine how grieved his Christian friends and loved ones must be.

    • CW

      Only one good thing I can see in this: At least he says he is recanting his Christian faith. So many claim to be Christians while they also support LGBT perversion. Jesus said He would rather us be hot or cold, not lukewarm, that lukewarmness nauseates Him.

  19. Chas

    I haven’t read IKDG, but the self-centered title tells me it’s just another “Look what I did to be really spiritual and you should do it too!” books. Christian bookstores had shelves full of them when I began going to CCCM back in the mid-1970s. It’s even worse now.

    “Let us pray that he and others like him will someday find the true simple Gospel that Jesus Christ offers. Christ died for the sins of the world, and whosoever believeth on Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

    Amen to that!

    It’s a free gift, offered to all who put their trust in Him.

    Uh, at the risk of nit-picking, I must point out that eternal life is offered as a free gift to everyone. It is received by all who put their trust in Christ without trying to pay or reimburse God for the gift.

    But, in order for people to “find the true simple Gospel that Jesus Christ offers”, it will be necessary for Christian pastors and teachers to teach diligently the proper definition of “repentance” in salvation. Of course I can’t be certain, but from the info about Harris presented in the article above I ‘d bet you dollars to doughnuts that the “gospel” that Harris first heard, believed and then gave up on was the “you must turn from sins to be saved” false gospel of Lordship Salvation. His slide into Calvinism would be consistent with that. His preoccupation with his own perceived “purity”–or lack of it–betrays the self-obsessed outlook of someone who was taught that they had to “turn from sins” to be saved, and was never sure that they’d “repented enough” to have been “truly saved.”

    Look for this kind of “falling away” to happen more often as the fallout from Lordship Salvation teaching bears its inevitable rotten fruit.

  20. Someone once said they think Calvinism is responsible for much of the atheism out there today. And I would agree. I think that many people who reject God are really rejecting the false god of Calvinism. They just don’t realize there’s a difference.

    • John J

      Fantastic, Heather. That’s why people like Richard Dawkins and friends are doing so well. They are attacking the false god of Calvinism. And they are right, believe it or not. Because that man-made god is just as Dawkins and friends describe him to be.

  21. Valerie

    Having homeschooled our now adult sons in the same era in which Josh grew up, we have many memories of the legalism too common in the Church at that time. The legalism was even stronger with many of us homeschoolers. We have personally seen the falling away of numerous homeschooled “kids” from that time. Often Calvinism became the natural home for those raised under this strict legalism. The whole courtship movement especially marked out an elite type of legalism. We have been deeply saddened over and over as one after another of these young people have walked away. Josh, sadly, may take many with him. Heartbreaking…

  22. Ed

    You are pushing drivel. There are thousands upon thousands – if not millions – of Calvinists faithful to the Lord. You cannot associate all Calvinists with Harris anymore than all Arminians can be associated with Joel Osteen.

    You should recant this. If not, I doubt any of your opinions can be trusted.

  23. Patricia

    Circumstances like this are exactly why we need to stop creating “Christian” celebrities (whether authors, pastors, conference speakers, or musicians). American merchandising of the faith has brought forth very bitter fruit, of which this is just one awful example.

  24. Shawn Croninger

    He was a charismatic who needed a God to wield at his becon call. Works based salvation runs deep and wide in their camp even if you slap a tulip sticker on the side of it. He was a novice elevated to grand status and he is a liar. Hiding sexual abuse of children while promoting purity. Hypocrite of the grandest order.

  25. browsing

    He speaks of his self-righteousness and fear-based approach to life in his decision to no longer identify as a Christian. It’s possible he’s never really understood what it means to be one.

    I was in my late 30’s when I encountered IKDG, and when I read it I was struck by the absence of teaching and understanding for the marriage covenant, and God’s reasons for the importance of our sexuality. God seemed to be a bit player in the whole thing. It seemed like methodology for conservative values, more than a testimony of being led by the Holy Spirit in a daily walk with God as pertaining to interacting with the opposite sex in a respectful way. I feel like this is evident when IKDG enthusiasts talk about “purity.” In truth, Jesus’ blood is the sole source, and we should not sin all the more that grace may abound, but I don’t think we should be equating purity with an absence of extramarital sexual behavior when Jesus makes clear that LOOKING at someone lustfully constitutes sexual sin. There are a tremendous number of adulterous virgins out there. We need to understand the source of righteousness to Jesus’ glory, and then teach appropriately how to handle our sexuality and treat others, without the heavy-handed fear mongering and crushing shame.

    Harris spoke in IKDG about input from his Dad. I have so many acquaintances from Christian homes who were raised with conservative values who get confused into thinking that’s what constitutes Christianity, and holding to them is what makes them pleasing to God. They give an intellectual assent to the facts of the creeds, but they’ve never really entered into a relationship with God who is love. They know some things about Jesus, but they don’t know him. Some are self-congratulatory and look down on others who’ve sinned in areas they never have; some are depressed over a value system that has never brought them the joy they’ve longed for, and have never understood what it means to worship God in spirit and truth and to find Jesus their first love.

    Harris has always needed to love Jesus and know and be known by him. Lifestyle changes should follow from that relationship. We can only wonder what was emphasized in his upbringing, and if any discerning people ever gave him good direction in all his searching. God’s holiness and our need to abide in Christ need to be taught about appropriately, but often aren’t.

    You don’t make a clear line between the false, dark, unloving God of Calvinism and his sudden desire to adopt the world’s definition of love toward the LGBT community, but it’s probably a factor. Love is something sensitive people know is important, and if they feel their only choice is between an unloving God of Calvinism, and their desire to show love to their neighbor, you’re right that they’ll sometimes throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    The whole thing is grievous.

  26. Elizabeth Bennett

    I guess Satan is very happy with what he has accomplished with the lives of those he has destroyed. I will be praying for his wife and family. This is the product of emergent theology and Calvinism. So sad! This makes all true believers look very bad in the eyes of the world. What a stain on Jesus’ Name!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *