John Calvin EXPOSED!
Compiled and edited by David J. Stewart
Just as Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a heretic for teachings the necessity of the sacraments (including water baptism) for salvation, John Calvin (1509-1564) was also a heretic. Calvin taught infant baptism, and also that the Sacraments were EQUAL with the Word of God. Calvin and Luther BOTH taught baptismal regeneration.
Calvin even had people killed for disagreeing with his heresy on infant baptism. So many people today are naive of such men. I've been reading Christian books for years that quote Martin Luther and John Calvin—come to find out they both endorsed the heretical sacraments and infant baptism. Sacraments are NOT taught in the Bible.
There is NO way that such men could have been saved because they ADDED works to faith, which is no faith at all. Calvin taught that believers must persevere to the end to be saved. This is works salvation. The reformation was plagued with the remnants of Catholicism, perverting the simple plan of salvation (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4).
Martin Luther came out of Catholicism, but Catholicism didn't come out of Martin Luther. Luther simply started his own demonic cult as a surrogate religion for frustrated Catholics. Mr. Luther was a heretic. The same can definitely be said of John Calvin. Why is it that so many people feel compelled to join manmade religions rather than study the Word of God for themselves? Jesus told us in John 5:39 to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!
Calvin Taught Baptismal Regeneration
Listen to the heretic John Calvin teach baptismal regeneration (i.e., the unbiblical teaching that a person must be water baptized in order to go to Heaven). John Calvin was very Catholic in his doctrines...
"Consider Calvin: “But as baptism is a solemn recognition by which God introduces his children into the possession of life [e.g., regeneration], a true and effectual sealing of the promise, a pledge of sacred union with Christ, it is justly said to be the entrance and reception into the church. And as the instruments of the Holy Spirit are not dead, God truly performs and effects by baptism what he figures.” Elsewhere, Calvin wrote, “There is a union complementary with the thing figured, lest the sign be empty, because that which the Lord represents in sign he effects at the same time, and executes in us by the power of the Spirit . . . What indeed do we abrogate or take away from God when we teach that he acts through his instruments, indeed, he alone . . . God works . . . through the sacraments as instruments… The Spirit is the author, the sacrament is truly the instrument used.” —SOURCE
The Bible does NOT teach the lie of Baptismal Regeneration. Baptism will just get you wet, it has NO saving power.
Calvin Taught Limited Atonement
John Calvin errantly taught that Jesus only died for the saved. Sadly, Charles Spurgeon bought into this lie of Calvin. Although I fully understand the viewpoint, it is unbiblical. The Bible teaches universal atonement. Like it or not, the Word of God is our Final Authority, NOT Spurgeon or any other man. 1st John 2:2 reads, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 2nd Corinthians 5:15, “And that he died for all...” We read in 1st Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” The Word of God proclaims that Christ came to save sinners, not just certain sinners.
Listen to the plain teaching of 2nd peter 3:9, “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.” This Scripture clearly reveals that it is possible for ALL men to repent. God is NOT willing for any to perish. If Calvinism is correct, then how can you reconcile God's desire for all men to repent if He only predestinates certain of them to salvation? Calvinism makes no sense at all.
Calvinism is NOT Biblical Doctrine
Calvin was a heretic who taught that God predestines men to salvation. Calvin taught “selective salvation” (or “unconditional election”) where God selects who will be saved and who will not. These are Satanic heresies. Calvin also taught “irresistible grace” (the lie that God forces a person to be saved).
I once heard a New Evangelical pastor tell me that there is no need to go soulwinning because God decides who gets saved or not. That pastor is an utter fool. He was so lazy and far from God that he adopted Calvin's heresies to justify his carnality and unwillingness to preach the Gospel. Proverb 11:30 tells us that a wise Christian wins souls to Christ. The unscriptural attitude of Calvinists is: “If God predestinates men to salvation, then why should we go soulwinning?”
Why did Paul go door-to-door soul-winning in Acts 20:20? Why did Jesus give the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20? Why did Jesus try to convert the wicked Scribes and Pharisees? Why did Stephen continue preaching to the angry mob? Why did the early Christians continue preaching the gospel, after James was killed by Herod for preaching the gospel? It is because there is hope for every sinner to come to Christ. It is because God has given to mankind a free will, and the choice is ours individually to make. God does NOT choose who will be saved or lost. The choice is yours alone to make!
Clearly, Calvin was somewhat of a Catholic. Here's some of what John Calvin believed...
"God's church and the sacraments are also given in God's grace for the edification of the elect and the good of the world. The church, one through all time, can be known by the preaching and hearing of God's Word and the proper administration of the sacraments. Although the true church is known only to God, the visible church is thoroughly related to it on earth. Officers and leaders in the church should be those individuals who try responsibly to follow in Christian discipleship, but their authority cannot depend on their righteousness. The offices should be only those designated in the New Testament. Sacraments (baptism and the Eucharist) should be celebrated as mysteries in which Christ is spiritually present; in the Eucharist he believed that Christ is present both symbolically and by his spiritual power, which is imparted by his body in heaven to the souls of believers as they partake of the Eucharist. This position, which has been called "dynamic presence," occupies a middle ground between the doctrines of Luther and Zwingli"
SOURCE: 1996 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Copyright 1996 Grolier Interactive, Inc. and Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, Copyright 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation.
Calvinism is NOT a Bible doctrine, but a system of human philosophy (humanism) appealing to the proud mind. Calvinism goes into the realm of human philosophy. Consider first that what we are discussing is called "Calvin-ISM." It is only the opinions of one man.
Dr. Loraine Boettner says, “It was Calvin who wrought out this system of theological thought with such logical clearness and emphasis that it has ever since borne his name.” That's a big lie. Are you going to tell me that believers were ignorant of the Word of God for 1,500 years until Calvin arrived? How strange that after 1,500 years of Christianity, practically no one had understood the Bible to teach Calvin's doctrine of predestination until he introduced the philosophy. What a strangely hidden doctrine... that New Testament Christians somehow survived for nearly for 1500 years since Christ without Calvin's teachings; until the days of the reformers when Calvin developed the doctrine fully. That's insane! Dr. Boettner idolizes Mr. Calvin; but the Bible calls Calvin a liar and a heretic.
The Bible has always been clear on doctrine. No one had any problems finding the truth about salvation before Calvin arrived. The Bible is also clear on Biblical doctrine. God put the cookies of truth on the bottom shelf for us to reach; we don't need Calvin's stepladder (or anyone else's).
Heretics always try to convince us that the truth is way above our heads, out of our reach, and that we need them to help us obtain the truth. 1st John 2:27 reads, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” All we need is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to teach us.
Calvin was a Tyrant Monster
Let God Be True, but Every Man a Liar
Romans 3:4 declares, “...let God be true, but every man a liar...” It is woefully tragic that so many professed believers are making the same mistake which the Apostle Paul rebuked the believers at Corinth of making, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name” (1st Corinthians 1:10-15). I am NOT an Arminian or a Calvinist, nor a Lutheran, I am a born-again Christian!
Spurgeon and Calvinism
Although Spurgeon claimed to be a Calvinist, it appears that Spurgeon did NOT fully understand the doctrine of “unconditional election” as taught by John Calvin. I agree with Charles Spurgeon's words in the preceding paragraph, but Spurgeon is speaking about works verses grace, and not predestination as Calvin taught.
Spurgeon simply believed that man could NOT save himself, but that Salvation was 100% of God. This is Biblical (Mark 10:25-27, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible).
Yet, Spurgeon clearly also believed that "whosoever will" (anyone) could get saved, a view that Calvinists and Hyper-Calvinists do NOT hold. Romans 10:13 plainly teaches, "For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Spurgeon believed that God absolutely needed to be involved in man's salvation, and this is Biblical. We read in John 6:44, "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." But for Calvinists and Hyper-Calvinists to teach that God is "selective" in choosing who will or won't be saved is certainly NOT Biblical. Titus 2:11 clearly teaches, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men." Did you read that...ALL men? Spurgeon didn't believe that only certain sinners of God's choosing would be saved.
Romans 10:13 plainly teaches that "WHOSOEVER" will may come to be saved (and Spurgeon believed this). John 3:16 proclaims that God loved the WORLD enough to send His only begotten Son to pay for our sins. Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism are wrong to teach that God chooses who will be saved. I think Spurgeon jumped-the-gun on this issue before fully investigating it because Spurgeon clearly did NOT believe that anyone is predestined to salvation.
John Calvin taught heresy when he taught that God chooses people to be saved. There is NOT one Scripture in the entire Word of God which teaches that God chooses anyone to be saved. The Bible teaches that all believers were predestined to "be conformed to the image of His Son," NOT predestined to salvation ("For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" -Romans 8:29). This is exactly what Spurgeon believed. In contrast, Calvinism DOES teach predestination unto salvation. God NEVER chooses anyone for salvation, Scriptures such as Acts 17:30 make this abundantly clear ("...but now commandeth all men every where to repent").
Why would God command ALL men to repent if only certain men have been chosen for salvation. There really is NO debate concerning Arminianism, Calvinism, and Hyper-Calvinism if you simply take the Word of God at face value...they're all messed up! The Bible is so clear on all these matters. There are problems with all three views. Arminianism is wrong to teach that a person can lose salvation. Romans 5:15 declares that eternal life is a "FREE GIFT." A gift CANNOT be taken back if it is freely given. Salvation is God's gift to man, paid for by the blood of Jesus (Romans 6:23; Colossians 1:14). Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism teach "limited atonement" and "selective salvation," which are both Satanic lies. 1st John 2:2 couldn't be any clearer, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Calvinism is unbiblical heresy!
Salvation is by grace through faith based upon the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus took upon Himself the sins of all mankind in His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead provides salvation to all who believe. All who receive the Lord Jesus Christ through faith are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become the children of God. It is apparent that Spurgeon was only a one-point Calvinist. Spurgeon believed that "whosoever will" can come to Christ to be saved. This eliminates three points of Calvinism. Spurgeon also believed in eternal security, which eliminates the last point of Calvinism. The only Calvinist heresy that Spurgeon bought into, and horribly so, was the unbiblical heresy of limited atonement.
Although I fully understand Spurgeon's viewpoint, it is unbiblical. The Bible teaches universal atonement. Clearly, Christ died and shed His blood for ALL humanity. Like it or not, the Word of God is our Final Authority, NOT Spurgeon, Calvin or any other man. 1st John 2:2 reads, ""And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 2nd Corinthians 5:15, "And that he died for all..." We read in 1st Timothy 1:15, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. The Word of God proclaims that Christ came to save sinners, not just certain sinners. Listen to the plain teaching of 2nd peter 3:9, "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." This Scripture clearly reveals that it is possible for ALL men to repent. God is NOT willing for any to perish. If Calvinism is correct, then how can you reconcile God's desire for all men to repent if He only predestinates certain of them to salvation? Calvinism makes no sense at all.
Calvin wrote the "Institute's of Christian Religion" when only 27 years old at an impressionable time in history when an organized theology was needed. Calvin has misled so many people that many still consider the writing of the "Institute's" the single most influential book on theology in church history. One wonders what his writing could have achieved in the hearts and minds of men if only he truly had the love of Jesus. His insistent stress upon the awful majesty and righteousness of God drove him to emphasize with equal severity the utter worthlessness of fallen and sinful man. He taught the belief that we are powerless in the salvation act, the belief that man's salvation rests solely upon grace, but only for the elect.
Because man is fallen and the human intellect is distorted and has become the instrument of his sin, the consequences of natural theology are idolatrous. The followers of Calvin lived in the delusion that the spirit of Christ worked within them, drawing them toward the perfection that God had called them. Calvin's doctrines had a tendency toward perfectionism and demanded rigorous control over private and social behavior. Calvin never had the humility to acknowledge that those like him who seek to be justified by the law have fallen from grace. Certainly, Calvin was not saved.
In all essentials, Calvin's state was a theocratic dictatorship. Contrary to the teachings of Jesus, he assumed the existence of a capitalist economic system for society and set up his ethics on that basis. Like the lukewarm church of today, he identified good works with the accumulation of riches. According to this perverse logic, God dispenses riches and poverty as He wills. It is not man's merit, or man's toil that gets a person riches, rather it is God's grace and riches are given as an evidence of God's favor.
On the Perseverance of the Saints
Contrary to what most people think, John Calvin didn't teach eternal security at all. Calvin insisted that believers must persevere in faith if they are to remain in grace. He believed that the elect will persevere in faith and continue in grace to ultimate final salvation. These damnable heresies are far from the teachings of the Bible. The very fact that Calvinism requires a saint to "persevere" to the end is damnable heresy. Eternal security is the preservation of the saints, NOT the perseverance of the saints. To "persevere" is works salvation. The cult of Seventh-Day Adventism similarly teaches that a person cannot KNOW they're saved until the final judgment. Biblical salvation is instant and forever, NOT pending of anything. Sadly, even the Salvation Army teaches this damnable heresy (belief # 9 on their official statement of faith).
This is a dangerous heresy because it eliminates the FREE GIFT of eternal life. A gift is completely free with NO strings attached. There is NO delay period, or testing period before we get it. We receive eternal life the very moment we trust Christ as our Personal Saviour to forgive our sins. Romans 5:15 and Romans 6:23 declare that eternal life is a "gift" from God. Romans 5:15 even calls it a "free gift." Man's works and efforts have absolutely NOTHING to do with God's salvation. Whether a believer continues in the faith is irrelevant. Either they are saved and can never lose it, or else they aren't saved now and never had it to begin with. You cannot undo your spiritual birth, just as you cannot undo your physical birth. John 3:16 is so clear on the matter of salvation, "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." If a lost sinner simply believes upon Christ, they will never perish.
Arminius didn't really teach anything, he simply refuted the heresies of Calvinism. Although I do agree with the first four refutes of Calvinism by Arminius, I certainly cannot accept his heresy that the believer can lose salvation. Calvin wasn't correct on this issue either. Although I DO agree that a believer can never lose their salvation, NO matter what depth of sin they choose to go into, I do NOT accept the unbiblical heresy by Calvin that we should "persevere" to the end to be saved. In Calvin's commentary on 1st John 3:9, he uses the word "perseverance", clearly stating:
"the hearts of the godly are so effectually governed by the Spirit of God, that through an inflexible disposition they follow his guidance." (John Calvin)
"the power of the Spirit is so effectual, that it necessarily retains us in continual obedience to righteousness." (John Calvin)
This is not eternal security. Rather Perseverance of the Saints is a perseverance in a behavior consistent with that expected of a child of God. However, Calvin failed to accept the FACT that believers DO sin, sometimes horribly so. Sometimes believers go into a life of sin and never get right with God. Their fellowship with God is broken, but their relationship is not. David committed adultery and then killed the woman's husband. David was unrepentant for one year. If David would have died in that unrepentant state, he would have gone straight to Heaven, NOT Hell as Calvin taught. Fortunately for David, he did repent. However, Solomon lived a wicked life of rebellion against God until the end. Calvin's teachings are nonsense.
Calvin's teachings are indeed a form of Lordship Salvation. There is much confusion on the last point of Calvinism. Some people believe that Calvin taught unconditional eternal security. Others believe that Calvin taught eternal security conditioned upon the perseverance of the believer. Clearly, from Calvin's own statements, he believed in Lordship Salvation, that a believer cannot simply trust Christ to be saved, but that a life of commitment and perseverance was also necessary as proof of conversion. These are damnable heresies. Although the Bible does teach that a man becomes a new creature in Christ when he is regenerated at Salvation, we cannot always judge that salvation from the outward appearance. Lot by all appearances was an unsaved heathen, but God called Him a righteous man (2nd peter 2:7). There are many believers who willfully live in sin, but that DOESN'T mean that they aren't saved. The critics who deny this truth are adding works to salvation.
The Truth of the Matter
John Calvin was a heretic! Yes, it is true that a person cannot be saved unless God the Holy Spirit is working in their heart, but the Bible plainly teaches that it's the Holy Spirit's task to convict THE WORLD of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Yes, God knew in advance (before the world began) who would one day trust Him, and He predestinated them to be conformed TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, but NOT to salvation. God NEVER chooses anyone to be saved. He did predestinate them before the world began, but only because He saw that those people would one day choose of their own free will to be saved. God NEVER forces anyone to be saved, nor does God ever choose anyone to be saved. It is easy to go astray in one's doctrines if we fail to realize that God lives in eternity where there is NO time. Thus, there is NO chronology in God's world, only man's.
This is why Revelation speaks of "the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. This is why the Bible teaches that "a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day with the Lord (2nd Peter 3:8)." Predestination simply means that God was making plans for those whom He knew would one day be saved. The Bible teaches once saved, always saved. How can a man be "unborn" physically or spiritually? Once you've been "born again" (John 3:3), it is irreversible. If a man departs from the faith, it is simply because he never had it to begin with, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" -1st John 2:19. There is nothing taught in the Bible about "perseverance." Christians are all Hell-deserving sinners saved by God's grace. Eternal life is a FREE GIFT paid for in-full by the blood of Jesus. John Calvin was an unsaved heretic and a cruel tyrant, who perverted the Gospel of Christ into a false gospel.
We are NOT supposed to allow men's doctrines to steer us away from the Truth of God's Word. A good Bible teaching or preacher will always steer us towards Christ and the Word of God, NOT away from It. The Apostle Paul was a mature man of God. The carnal believers in the church of Corinth were in a similar situation as many of today's believers, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name" -1st Corinthians 1:10-15. I am NOT an Arminian or a Calvinist, I am a born again Christian! Let this be our stand!
Please read the best explanation I've ever read concerning the Gospel and repentance, by Pastor Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951). Clearly, Ironside taught a Free Grace view of the Gospel...
What a Mess!
Was Spurgeon a Calvinist?
Introduction to Calvinism
Calvinism and Baptists
Why I Disagree with All 5 Points of Calvinism