Closet-Calvinism. Is John Calvin's heretical theology hanging in the back of your closet? What about your Bible study group, homeschool curriculum or even your church? No? I think you might just be surprised...
Just recently my husband and I discovered that the church we had been attending for the last year is Calvinistic. We has no idea and were incredibly surprised and upset by this discovery. Nowhere on the churches constitution does it mention Calvinism, TULIP or any of it's other deceptive descriptions..."Doctrines of Grace"...etc) It would seem that the Bible is right, when it points out that false teachers do seek to "privily" deceive us. "Closet-Calvinism" is everywhere!
On the last day we attended service there, my husband and I near about died, when the pastor told us he was going to preach on the first point of Calvinism. At that stage we didn't know a lot about Calvin's theology, but we were already alarmed by what we did know.
On the way home we discussed this topic together, and made a decision to research it thoroughly; which we did over the next two weeks. We read the Bible passages that Calvinists claim "prove" their theology, and ones that completely refute, it in context, over and over. We also read other articles online and watched sermons on this topic, then we checked and re-checked everything we read/heard back with the Bible.
Often when speaking with others, researching pro-Calvin sites or articles, we became aware that not one solid scripture can be given to "prove" that this theology is biblical. A lot of what seemed to be given as "proof" was really only the relaying of supposed denominational history. Just because a group of Baptists way-back-then, held to this false doctrine doesn't mean they were right. Often also the person relaying this "history" was way off the mark...Baptists were not "formed" out of the Reformation! Other times to find "proof" an author or speaker would take out his modern paraphrased Bible and/or go "back to the Greek" and try very hard to make it fit...but it never did. This last thing really irked my husband and I. At one time we were told by another in person that, "even though the Bible says Jesus died for all men...it doesn't really mean all men!" Oh right, silly us for taking the Bible (perfect, preserved, KJV) word for word *slaps forehead*
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
~ 1 Timothy 2:6
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because
we trust in the living God,who is the Saviour of all men,
specially of those that believe. ~ 1 Timothy 4:14
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only,
but also for the sins of the whole world. ~ 1 John 2:2
And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying:
for we have heard him ourselves, and know
that this is indeed the Christ,
the Saviour of the world. ~ John 4:42
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
~ Romans 8:32
...And On, And On, And On...
Needless to say, my husband decided that we would not be returning to a church that preaches false doctrine. It can be hard as relatively new believers, to navigate our way through all of man's false teachings, but we feel that when we take a teaching and examine it next to the Bible...God's word makes light work of sorting out who the wolves are! We are so thankful for it!
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly they are ravening wolves. ~ Matthew 7:15
A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject;
knowing that he that is such is subverted,
and sinter, being condemned of himself ~ Titus 3:10-11
Our family have now found a new church to attend! We are thankful to have found another so quickly, and hope that we will gain instruction, knowledge, enjoy fellowship and win people to Christ. God truly has been directing our steps in this area, and we feel sure that we are where He wants us to be.