Warning to Calvinists

All Scripture quotations are from the 1901 American Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

I’ve done a lot of biblical studies and written a lot of messages, but never one with such a profound sense of the grave nature of the subject matter. It’s my sincere prayer that those who hold to a deterministic view of God’s sovereignty, will be awakened with that same sense of gravity as they read these words.


Matthew 12:22-37

22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a demon, blind and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the dumb man spake and saw.

23 And all the multitudes were amazed, and said, Can this be the son of David?

24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons.
25 And knowing their thoughts he said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 and if Satan casteth out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you.
29 Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
31 Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
32 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.
Mark 3:30 – 30 because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
33 Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.
34 Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35 The good man out of his good treasure bringeth forth good things: and the evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
36 And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.


This is a significant passage regarding the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. These two kingdoms are literally as different as night and day. One is a kingdom of light, and the other is a kingdom of darkness. The two are completely incompatible, as Paul said:


2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
14 Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you,
18 And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters,
7 saith the Lord Almighty. 1 Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us
cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.


There is a distinct line of division between them that can’t be crossed. This is especially true regarding the attributes of God and His Sovereignty.


This is where Calvinist theology is all mixed up. I believe this passage in Matthew (and here in 2 Corinthians) reveals the falseness of their deterministic position regarding God’s sovereignty. Perhaps without realizing it, their view of God’s sovereignty has God ruling both kingdoms. However, in this passage, Jesus makes it clear that it’s Satan who rules his own kingdom. While it’s true that in God’s sovereignty, He rules over the universe as the Supreme authority, it’s not true that He rules the kingdom of Satan. There is a difference, a difference that Calvinism fails to see.


The implications of Calvinism’s view of God’s sovereignty is frightening. They believe that God has predetermined all things, and that all things are orchestrated by Him, including all sin and evil in the world. This includes the rape of children, torture,  murder, incest, hatred, false religion, Satan worship, demon possession, all the evil acts of ISIS, and every other unspeakable evil in the world.  


Since Calvinists don’t believe that man has a free will, they don’t believe anything happens that is not ultimately by the hand of God. While some Calvinists are not so bold with their claims, and are quick to say that God is not the author of sin, others are quite bold and make no attempt to soften the reality of their theology. If you have any doubts about their position on this, I think the following articles are convincing:






Calvinists generally don’t want to be understood as attributing sin to God, so they try to explain their deterministic view in a way that does not make God responsible for it. But no matter how they attempt to do this, there’s no way of escaping the fact that if God predetermines all things, if nothing happens apart from His eternal decree, if God has meticulous control of all things, if man does not have a free will to be or do anything apart from what God has preordained for each individual (including God’s pre-choice of specific individuals for salvation), then God cannot be any less than the cause of all things that occur in the world, including all sin and evil acts of the world. There’s no reasonable way around this conclusion, no matter how one tries to dress it up.


If determinism is true, if every event, if every act of every individual is according to God’s sovereign decree, then how is God not the instigator of such? There is no sense to the idea that He is not. It’s like someone programing a plane to shut down its power at a certain altitude, and then the investigators attributing the cause of the crash to the program. It would be senseless not to recognize the programer as the true cause of the crash. Such is Calvinism’s view of God’s sovereignty. While it’s a lot more dangerous to flatly and boldly state that God is the cause of all the sin and events of the world, at least Calvinists who do, are being consistent. I believe those who try to explain why God is not, are simply in denial.


Calvinists who are not in denial, realize that their deterministic view of God’s sovereignty requires Him to be the planner and implementer of all things. They really believe that God micro-manages all things – every thought, word and act. They’re not fooling themselves about the logical conclusions of their deterministic theology, so they don’t try to hide behind some explanation that attempts to exonerate God from from being the author of sin. While I respect their honesty, I fear for them. The remainder of this study will reveal why.


24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons.


“Beelzebub”  (Beelzebul)


The Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul, which is a reference to Satan. Instead of recognizing the power of God at work in Jesus, they accused Him of being in league with the devil. Jesus identified this as “blasphemy against the Spirit” (vs. 31).


In other words, they failed to make the proper distinction between the works of God and the works of Satan – in this case, in the person of Jesus. I believe that Calvinists who attribute the sin and evil of the world to God, are guilty of doing the very same thing – they’re not making a proper distinction between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan:


25 And knowing their thoughts he said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 and if Satan casteth out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you.


In verse 26, Jesus refers to the kingdom of Satan, and in verse 28 He refers to the Kingdom of God – two separate kingdoms that we as Christians must identify and understand. In verse 25, Jesus reveals that neither kingdom nor house can stand if it’s divided against itself.


Therefore when considering the sovereignty of God, it’s necessary to do so in the context of these two kingdoms. In order to properly understand God’s sovereignty, we must properly identify the two kingdoms, and be careful not to allow the border between them to be crossed. We can’t allow the two kingdoms to merge, nor can we allow co-rulership of the Satan’s kingdom.


What are the two kingdoms characterized by? The passages below reveal that the Kingdom of God is characterized by light, righteousness, goodness, truth, peace, joy, etc., because that is who God is.


The kingdom of Satan is characterized by darkness, sin, evil, wickedness, lies, falsehood, etc., because that is who Satan is.


As Christians, we know these things are true of each kingdom, but reading it in the following passages gives us a fresh and clear picture of distinction between them. I encourage you to read these verses carefully.


John 12:31
31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.


Colossians 1;13
13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;


John 8:44
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and standeth not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.


John 1:4-5
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not.


John 3:19-21
19 And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, that they have been wrought in God.


Acts 26:18
18 to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me.


Romans 14:17
17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.


Ephesians 5:7-11
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them;
8 for ye were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord: walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
10 proving what is well-pleasing unto the Lord;
11 and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them;


Ephesians 6:10-12
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness,
against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.


2 Peter 3:13
13 But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.


1 John 1:5-7
5 And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin.


1 John 3:2-10
2 Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is.
3 And every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4 Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither knoweth him.
7 My little children, let no man lead you astray: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous:
8 he that doeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. To this end was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is begotten of God doeth no sin, because his seed abideth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is begotten of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.


God is the Ruler of light and righteousness and truth, while Satan is the ruler of darkness and evil and falsehood. As Sovereign God, He rules Supreme over the universe, but He does not rule the kingdom of darkness. What’s the difference? The Bible is clear that God is the all-powerful Creator of the universe. He governs all things that take place in His universe, and that of course, includes the things in our world. However, He does so within the sphere man’s free will. God isn’t limited by man’s free will. On the contrary, it reveals how great and mighty His sovereignty really is.


We have to understand that God is not only sovereign and all-powerful, He is also a God of love and holiness and righteousness and mercy and grace and compassion and goodness and light. This is who God is inherently. Thus our view of God’s sovereignty must be viewed through the lens of who He is in all His inherent attributes. Because of God’s holy character, He is, and must be, completely separate from sin and evil. He hates it – and He requires us as His children to also hate it and to separate ourselves from it. For God to have any kind of role in bringing about the sin and evil acts of mankind, would be contrary to who He is in all of His glorious attributes.


Therefore a theology that makes God the originator and instigator of sin and evil – directly or indirectly – is completely inconsistent with who God is. It makes Him something that He is not. It’s a theology that has God working against Himself, just as Jesus said, and again I quote:


“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:” (vs 25)


How can God on the one hand rule the Kingdom of light, while on the other hand rule the kingdom of darkness? How can God be working righteousness and truth in the Kingdom of light, while working evil and falsehood in the kingdom of darkness? Furthermore, where is Satan in all this if God is ruling his kingdom for him? If you say that God puts it into his mind to do His will – which couldn’t be anything but evil and every false way – then you still make God the true ruler of Satan’s kingdom and the cause of all evil. In that case, we’re all just a bunch of puppets playing a role in a Divine play, or in a novel – as one Calvinist put it:


Quote:
One reason God elects some people and reprobates others is because God has a particular plan for the world. It’s like a novel with a plot and characters. The characters drive the plot. If you had different characters, that would change the plot. If the novelist wants the story to go one way, he creates characters who move events in that direction.


Abraham has a role to play in God’s story: a role that requires Abraham to be saved. Paul has a role to play: a role that requires Paul to be saved.


Pilate has a role to play: a role that requires Pilate to be unsaved. If Pilate had been a God-fearer, he would have acquitted Jesus. But then, the plan of salvation would come to a screeching halt. The crucifixion had to be authorized by a Roman official. So Pilate’s reprobation serves a purpose.


God doesn’t reprobate Pilate because of something he sees in Pilate. Rather, Pilate is a reprobate character. God created a villain to play the part of a villain. Reprobation is a character trait, just as saving Paul or saving Abraham is part of the package. They have a mission in God’s plan which requires them to be saved.


It’s analogous to the organic theory of inspiration, where God providentially creates individuals with just the right personality, aptitude, education, and experience to become apostles, prophets, and/or Bible writers. God isn’t picking some people for salvation and others for damnation at random.


Moreover, it’s not as if humans preexist in a neutral state (like Schrödinger’s cat) before God either elects or reprobates them. Rather, God conceives of them with a particular destiny in mind.


God is not a casting director, talent scout, or army recruiter who’s on the lookout for what’s needed. Rather, God creates the means as well as the ends….


….In Calvinism, by contrast, how much we cooperate with God is up to God. He controls the degree of cooperation. Sanctification can be deterministic without being monergistic.
Unquote


Here’s the link to the above quote:  Despicable Calvinists


Such is the deterministic position of Calvinists. They believe that God chooses how a person is going to be, how they’re going to turn out, what kind of life they’re going to live. But is that true? Is it biblical? The answer is an emphatic no! Nowhere in the Bible do we see any reference to God being the ruler of the kingdom of darkness, and the Bible makes it clear that all the sin and evil of the world belong to that kingdom. I believe that Jesus, in our Matthew text, reveals this deterministic notion to be absolutely false and contradictory to the holy character of God, who rules the Kingdom of light. God does not rule the kingdom of darkness, nor does He co-rule with Satan.


According to the Apostle Paul, our warfare is against the rulers of darkness (Satan and his demons). What we have here is the kingdom of light against the kingdom of darkness. Are we really to believe that God empowers both kingdoms, as determinism implies? Would this not have God working against Himself? Would this not have God’s attributes working against each other? I believe the answer is an absolute yes! I don’t see how it can be any other way.


If God is bringing everything to pass in both kingdoms, then this would be like what Jesus said about a “kingdom divided against itself.” For a holy and pure and sinless God to have anything to do with the implementation of sin or the evil acts of mankind, would require God to work against Himself, to be someone He is not. He would be “divided” against Himself. You can’t have it both ways.


If God is working out His will in the kingdom of darkness, just as He is working out His will in the Kingdom of light, does this not require God to be in league with Satan, since he’s the ruler of that kingdom? I don’t see how we can come to any other conclusion. But that’s contradictory to the the character of God, “in whom is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Paul makes it clear that light and darkness are polar opposites, and that there is no fellowship between the two. Jesus confirms this in our Matthew text.


Listen again to what Jesus says here:


28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you.


This statement, this  truth, completely destroys the deterministic view of God’s sovereignty. Casting out demons is the casting out of evil. Satan and his demons represent and personify evil. This clearly reveals God’s true place in relation to the sin and evil of the world. It reveals Him as One who casts out evil, not One who brings it to pass!!! Indeed, the “kingdom of God” rules over the kingdom of Satan. Thus as Ruler of the kingdom of light, it’s entirely contradictory that He be both actively carrying out the goodness of His kingdom, while actively carrying out the evils of the kingdom of darkness.


There may be Calvinists reading this who may react by saying, “that’s not how I view determinism!” Perhaps not, but that’s the biblical implications of that position regarding the sovereignty of God.


29 Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.


Jesus continues to elaborate on the subject of casting out demons by the Spirit of God. He likens it to “binding the strong man,” in order to “spoil his house.” This is a clear reference to binding Satan in order to “spoil his goods.” In other words, it reveals the Holy Spirit “binding” Satan in order to plunder his kingdom, which is seen in the demon possession of this man. Casting out the demon was proof that the Kingdom of God had come in authority over Satan’s kingdom. The two kingdoms cannot co-exist, neither can God be working in favor of both kingdoms. How can God be casting out evil on the one hand, while advancing it on the other? The kingdom of Satan gives way to the Kingdom of God. Evil gives way to the power and goodness of God.


Let’s think about this some more. In this incident, when did the Kingdom of God come? Was it not when Jesus cast out the demon? Of course. Jesus states that plainly. That means the Kingdom of God displaced the kingdom of Satan. How then, could God bring about the demon possession of this man, when Jesus says that it was the Kingdom of God that came in place of the kingdom of Satan? Here Jesus makes it clear that God does not rule the kingdom of Satan! That distinction belongs to Satan alone.


Therefore, it’s absolutely certain that God cannot be working His will in both kingdoms. The only will that God exerts in relation to the kingdom of darkness, is in defeat of it, not in advancing it! The idea that God is involved in advancing sin and evil in the world, completely contradicts what Jesus Himself reveals to us in this passage. Jesus gives us a totally different picture of God’s sovereignty than the picture that determinism presents.


If you’re a Calvinist, your viewpoint on determinism may not be as blatant as others, but determinism – in whatever form it comes in –  is a 180 from the way Arminians view God’s sovereignty. We don’t believe that God advances sin or the acts of evil in any way – directly or indirectly. We believe that God carries out His Divine plan for the world in total opposition to sin and evil, and within the sphere of man’s free will.


24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons.
31 Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
32 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.
Mark 3:30 – 30 because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.


The Pharisees attributed the power and works of the “Spirit of God” (Jesus casting out the demon) to Satan. We see in the book of Mark that they also charged Jesus of having “an unclean spirit.” Jesus revealed this to be “blasphemy against the Spirit.”


Calvinist determinism is guilty of doing something similar – actually, the reverse of what we see in this passage. In that situation we see the Pharisees attributing the works of the Spirit of God to Satan. Determinism, necessarily, attributes the works of Satan to God, for if God has preordained all things and brings to pass all things that He preordained, then that obviously must include all the sin and evil acts of the world – things that characterize the kingdom of darkness.


Are the two the same thing? Is attributing the power and works of Satan to God, the equivalent of attributing the power and works of God to Satan? Is it too “blasphemy against the Spirit?” Is the one worse than the other? Can “blasphemy against the Spirit” be committed today? To all those questions, I’m not sure. But I am sure of the gravity of mistaking one for the other. The seriousness of this can’t be overstated, as this passage makes clear. It’s critical that we distinguish between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, between the works of God and the works of Satan, between light and darkness. Here’s where Calvinism is not very careful. Indeed, I believe their deterministic view of God’s sovereignty is very dangerous, and Christians should avoid it like the plague.


33 Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.
34 Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35 The good man out of his good treasure bringeth forth good things: and the evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.


The fruit of one’s life identifies the person, of what sort he or she really is. Likewise, God is known by His fruit, and Satan is known by his fruit. God is good, therefore His fruit can only be good. Satan is evil, therefore his fruit can only be evil. God can only “bring forth good things,” while Satan can only “bring forth evil things.” We need to be able to distinguish between the two. Jesus reveals the seriousness of attributing fruit to the wrong one. Essentially, determinism has God (“good tree”) producing “corrupt fruit,” fruit that doesn’t belong to Him.


36 And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.


Again, I believe that Calvinists, with their deterministic doctrine, are on very dangerous ground. I believe they will give an account for the “words” their doctrine uses to describe God in His sovereignty. As I noted before, not all Calvinists are so bold as to attribute the sin and evil of the world to God. At least they try to explain their position in a manner that, in their view, doesn’t make God the author of sin.


While they’re still dead wrong, I’m not quite as concerned for them, as I am for others who have no qualms about attributing sin and all the unspeakable events of the world to God. They boldly – if not proudly – proclaim their belief that God is the one who brings these things about, and all “for His glory.” In their minds, their view of God’s sovereignty leaves no room for any other conclusion. They believe God’s sovereignty requires Him to govern the universe as a micro-manager – which includes every thought and word and act of every individual, and every event that takes place.


Those who believe this way, need to consider carefully what Jesus reveals in this passage about God and the kingdom He rules. They need to consider carefully the possible consequences of attributing things to God and His Kingdom, that should be attributed to Satan and his kingdom. The importance of making the proper distinction between the two can’t be stated too strongly. What Jesus reveals serves as a grave warning to those who insist on teaching a viewpoint of God that Jesus Himself exposes as false.


We may not understand how God governs the universe. We may not understand how God governs the world in which we live. We may not have God completely figured out. We may not understand certain passages of the Bible. But that’s ok, because there are many things that God has chosen not to reveal about Himself.


What’s important is to recognize God for who He is in all of His holy and glorious attributes. What’s important is to realize that God can do nothing in violation of who He is. What’s important is that we keep the Kingdom of light separate from the kingdom of darkness. The terms “light” and “darkness” themselves reveal the incompatibility of the two. Just as it is impossible for light and darkness to co-exist at the same place and time, so it is impossible for the God of light to have anything to do with bringing about the works of darkness. Obviously, God does permit sin and evil in the world – Arminians acknowledge that. But I think it very unwise to go any further than that.


Isaiah 5:20-21
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!


True Theology Must Have the Right Foundation


The fundamental difference between Calvinism and Arminianism, is that Calvinists interpret God’s character according to their view of God’s sovereignty. Arminians interpret God’s sovereignty according to His good and holy character.


Calvinist theology is based on their understanding of God’s sovereignty. That’s where they place the emphasis. All the doctrinal positions they hold dear, spring from the way they view God’s sovereignty. But that is completely backwards. Our theology must begin with God and His inherent attributes. If your starting point is wrong, it will have a domino effect from that point on. A structure is only as strong as its foundation.


Arminian theology, on the other hand, is built upon the foundation of God’s glorious character. It’s built upon the understanding that God is always consistent and true to Himself – that He can do nothing contrary to who He is as a holy and pure and sinless and loving and merciful and compassionate and gracious and righteous and just God… a God who is completely light, “in whom is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).


A theology of truth must begin with a proper understanding of God. God Himself in all of His holy and righteous attributes must serve as the foundation of biblical theology. If our view of God is wrong, then we will certainly find ourselves on the wrong side of truth in regard to the most important doctrines of the Christian faith.


In conclusion, if you’re a determinist, I implore you to consider carefully what God Himself has revealed about Himself in this passage of Matthew. I implore you to keep your focus on His holy character and build your theology on that foundation. Don’t be fooled by a theology that defines God’s character according to a certain view of God’s sovereignty. It’s God’s character that defines His sovereignty. Everything must be placed in its proper order, and God Himself must be considered first as we interpret the doctrines of the Christian faith. That includes the doctrine of election.


Jesus indicates that there’s nothing more serious than misrepresenting and mischaracterizing God. Thus there’s only one safe way to view God and His sovereignty, and that is according to the way that He has revealed in Matthew. If you believe that you may be guilty of promoting a wrong view of God, then it’s a sin that needs to be repented of. It’s a sin that needs to be confessed and forsaken. If you’ve fallen victim to this type of theology, then it needs to be completely abandoned.


I have nothing but compassion for Christians who have been deceived by a false theology. Most Christians – especially new believers – depend greatly upon the teaching of their pastors, and upon the teaching of the leaders their pastors identify with – and of course they should. But in order to guard ourselves from false teaching, we must become diligent students of God’s Word. That begins with learning how to interpret the Bible. The Holy Spirit will lead us in the way of truth, but we must learn proper rules of interpretation.


As I’ve already talked about, a proper interpretation of Scripture begins with a clear understanding of God and His attributes. That’s our foundation. Everything must flow from there. Below is a link to the first study I ever posted to my website: