Many pastors are closet Calvinists who know that their congregations are not yet ready to understand Reformed doctrine, that is, until they can instill certain half-truths that must be accepted before a church becomes Calvinistic.
It is certainly inevitable that any pastor who reads theology, who has connections, who has a theological degree, will have become aware of Calvinism at some point along the way. At the very least every pastor will be asked at some time, by someone, somewhere, “What is Calvinism?”or will be given a little booklet by an advocate for Calvinism. In fact, any pastor or elder who is unfamiliar with the threat of Calvinism is dangerously ignorant and is not adequate to defend the flock against error.
Calvinism or Reformed theology is very popular. All popular systematic theologies and commentaries on Romans are written by Calvinists.
Here are some signs that your pastor or church is adopting Reformed doctrines regarding salvation.
An emphasis is made in the preaching and teaching on:
- sinners are not able to believe unless God causes it
- faith is a gift from God
- the grace of God is the gospel
- people are unable to hear God’s Word
- God is not God unless His will is done/ God cannot fail to save all that He purposes to save
- avoiding a man-centered gospel for a God-centered gospel
- the marvel is that God loved Jacob, not that He hated Esau
- the ultimate purpose of God is to glorify Himself or the greatest attribute is His sovereignty
There is the neglect of the following from the pulpit. The pastor avoids saying specifically to the congregation:
- “God loves you”
- “Jesus died for you”
- “Believe in Jesus and you will become born again”
- “Calvinism is wrong”
Ask these questions:
- Did Jesus die for everyone?
- Is Regeneration necessary before a person can have faith?
- Are sinners able to resist the will of God?
- Is election conditional or unconditional?
This web site is by a former Calvinist, Steven L. Hitchcock, who is passionate about equipping Christians against the error of Calvinism.
Steven has written a book entitled Recanting Calvinism, which provides numerous counter arguments to the Reformed position.
Here are some helpful links on this web site:
- An introductory page by Steven
- Videos by Steven regarding his book Recanting Calvinism
- The Table of Contents