by Jay McMullan
  
More than 1500 years after the death of Christ there arose an argument over Biblical doctrine between what had been taught late in the previous century by John Calvin. Calvin, pastor of the church in Geneva taught the precepts that we will examine later in this study. Shortly after Calvin’s death in 1564, Jacob Arminius, a theologian whom had studied under a devoted Calvinist, Theodore Beza in Geneva and whom became a professor of theology at the University of Leydon in 1603, began to question the Biblical foundation of Calvin’s theology. Thus, there arose a controversy in the Reformed Church in Holland and it became widespread. The followers of the theology of Arminius, Arminians as they were called, drew up their creed in Five Articles and presented them to the state authorities of Holland in 1610. The creed, signed by forty-six ministers, was called the Remonstrance.
Eighty-four members of the Synod of Dort and eighteen secular commissioners met to discuss and answer the Five Articles, from November 1618 to May 1619. Their response, called the Canons of Dort, answered the Five Articles with the Five Points of Calvinism, easily referred to the acronym of TULIP.
I have seen an increased spread in the Five Points of Calvinism in the last few years and I consider Calvin’s “new” theology to be poison to true Biblical Christianity and doctrine. Let us take each point individually and examine what our true authority, the Bible, has to say about each.
You may find some people who believe in a hybrid type of Calvinism or even Arminianism. In this study, I will give the five points of Calvinism as pointed out in the acrostic TULIP. The points below are taken from PRCA.org (Protestant Reformed Churches of America) web site.
Calvinist Point #1
The Calvinists or Reformists believe that man’s state is so totally void of God that he is totally lost and cannot, on his own, make a decision to turn his life to God. Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”. The Calvinists go to the extreme to believe that man cannot believe upon God until they have been regenerated. This means that a man must be born-again, or regenerated, before he can have belief (actually “saving faith”) in God. This is in complete contrast to the Word of God. The Bible teaches in many scriptures that a man must believe (again, “saving faith”) and then he is born-again or regenerated as the Calvinists would say. Let us examine several scriptures to prove this very important Biblical doctrine: (Notes in Italics are that of the author)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
At what point do these that 1. Receive Him and 2. Believe on His name receive the power to become sons of God? It is clearly AFTER they believe and receive HIM!
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
What is the qualifying factor in this verse for a man to receive eternal life? It is clearly “belief”.
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.
Again, Christ did not say, “Whoever receiveth everlasting life shall believe” but rather He qualified the pattern for receiving eternal life and that is through first believing, which every man is capable of doing.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Here again we see that man, in his unregenerated, unborn-again state first believes (has saving faith in Christ) and then he receives eternal life.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
The scriptures simply cannot be more clear than this.
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
1 Cor. 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
While it is true that man is in a fallen state without being born-again, it is clearly evident from the many scriptures listed above that God has placed in every man a “measure” (Romans 12:3) of faith in which a man can cry out to God, believing on Him and receive eternal life! Every human being that is born into this earth, has a "Jesus shaped vacuum" that only Christ can fill. People will seek to fill this void in theif life with everything imaginable until they finally cry out to the Lord and the Holy Spirit comes in to dwell in them and their spirits are regenerated.That is when they finally realize they have found what they have been searching for.
No matter how horrible a person may seem and no matter what their background is like, their sins can still be forgiven! "Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25.