Calvinism and Arminianism:
Myths & Realities

One member of The Society of Evangelical Arminians states: Calvinists have practically hi-jacked two terms, Doctrines of Grace and Sovereignty of God. They imply that they are the only ones who believe in those concepts. We as Reformation Arminians really need to take those terms back. This reminds me of something similar the Charismatics have done. They have tried to take over the term ‘Gifts of the spirit.’” (SEA)

In terms of the Doctrines of Grace, if a Calvinist was more fair, they would call it the Doctrines of Particular Grace, as in Particular Redemption, or the Doctrines of Limited Grace, but that would only reinforce the negative connotations already associated with Calvinism, undermining the Calvinist’s attempt to better market themselves. Also, what Calvinists really believe about the Sovereignty of God is not a matter of God being in control of everything (like 1st Corinthians 10:13), but God scripting everything, that is, being the driving force behind whatsoever comes to pass, both holy and sinful.

One member of The Society of Evangelical Arminians states: One of the things that I have found is that much of Calvinism is based on obfuscation, where they invent their own jargon using common words. To Calvinists, ‘free will’ means determining the will instead of opposing the will, ‘sovereignty’ means complete meticulous determinism, and ‘permission’ means God causing something indirectly instead of directly. For instance, according to Calvinist language, if I drive my car into a tree, I caused the car to hit the tree. However, if I instead simply put the car in neutral, and push the car down a hill directly into a tree, I have ‘permitted’ the car to hit the tree. Basic Calvinist double talk.”  (SEA)

Now witness the conclusions that Calvinists draw, concerning Christians who reject Calvinism:

Calvinist, Erwin Lutzer, writes:Human nature resists the idea that God makes the choice as to who will be saved and who will be lost.” (The Doctrines That Divide, p.160, emphasis mine)

One Calvinists relates: “My transition to Calvinism was somewhat reluctant, but the inevitable result of Christian maturity....”  (Sovereign Grace Church, emphasis mine)

Another Calvinist writes: “There are many who are averse and detest the freedom of God and his absolute sovereignty.” (The Calvinist Gadfly, emphasis mine)

Calvinist, Charles Spurgeon, states: “...there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as; the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except upon His throne.”  (Divine Sovereignty)

Calvinist, William MacDonald, writes:No one should quarrel with God over the doctrine of election. This doctrine simply allows God to be God, the Sovereign of the universe, who deals in grace, justice, righteousness, and love. He never does anything unfair or unkind, but He often shows favor that is completely unmerited.” (Believer’s Bible Commentary, p.2116, emphasis mine)

Calvin concludes:No one can disprove the doctrine I have expounded except he who pretends to be wiser than the Spirit of God.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.161, emphasis mine)

John Calvin writes: “ one unless deprived of sense and judgment can believe that salvation is ordained in the secret counsel of God equally for all.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.109, emphasis mine)

John Calvin writes:They will say that the doctrine of predestination is hostile to preaching and renders it useless. As if this objection could tell against the apostle and his preaching! Did not this doctor to the Gentiles commend predestination times without number and never cease to preach the word of God?” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.135, emphasis mine)

Calvinist, R.C. Sproul, writes: When I teach the doctrine of predestination I am often frustrated by those who obstinately refuse to submit to it. I want to scream, ‘Don’t you realize you are resisting the Word of God?” (Chosen by God, p.14, emphasis mine)

Calvinist, James White, writes: “Those who are in rebellion against Him fight against this divine truth.”  (Debating Calvinism, p.36, emphasis mine)

Sovereign Grace Church explains: “Because God’s election and God’s grace cannot be separated, to believe in God’s grace in the biblical sense is to believe in the ‘doctrine of election’. If ‘the doctrine of election’ is not ‘truth essential to salvation’, then the ‘doctrine of grace’ is not truth essential to salvation.” (Sovereign Grace Church, emphasis mine)

One Calvinist explains: “The world in John 3:16 means the elect from all over the world, not just Israel. That is a major theological development and a great mystery that the apostles wrote about again and again. In no way does it mean that Christ died for every human that ever lived. If that were the case then Hell would be empty and the Bible would teach Universalism.”

One Calvinist states: “A wonderful friend of our family once commented that coming to understand the Doctrines of Grace was akin to a type of salvation within salvation.” (, emphasis mine)

Calvinist, William MacDonald, writes:We do not know who the elect are, and so we should carry the gospel to all the world.” (Believer’s Bible Commentary, p.2024, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “For the man who honestly and soberly reflects on these things, there can be no doubt that the will of God is the chief and principal cause of all things. It is fitting to restrain our minds by this knowledge, lest we pursue our investigation beyond what is lawful.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, pp.177-178, emphasis mine)

Tommy Nelson states: “The Reformation is a reforming of Pauline thought as articulated by Augustine.” (Church History: The Age of Imperial Christianity, emphasis mine)

In Calvinist circles, the hard truths” and the whole counsel of God” are simply treated as synonymous with Calvinism, just as “grace” is invoked as a synonym for Calvinism (as in The Doctrines of Grace). There is an entire vocabulary for the Calvinist, which the average Christian may not be aware of, when reading Calvinist literature, filled with buzz-words. That a Calvinist would adopt the term Reformed as a signature for Calvinism is simply consistent with the common Calvinist attempt to monopolize terms in order define itself into orthodoxy.

The old Calvinist circular reasoning: “If you truly understood Calvinism you would be a Calvinist. But since you are not a Calvinist, then you dont understand Calvinism.”

The truth is that many of us do understand Calvinism and Reformed thought. Thats why we reject it.

While obviously the discussion of Calvinism and Arminianism is not a game, an analogy of a cheater does emerge when you consider how Calvinists often pre-load Biblical terms with Calvinism, and then insist that everyone accept their definitions. Obvious examples include sovereignty, predestination, election, the elect, grace, maturity, meat, ect. Of course, Calvinists will also complain that Arminians have pre-loaded foreknowledge and free will.
So if you reject Calvinism, it is because you have not overcome your “human nature.”
So if you are not a Calvinist, it’s because you lack “Christian maturity.”
So if you reject Calvinism, you “detest the freedom of God and his absolute sovereignty.”
So if you reject Calvinism, then you quarrel with God, refusing to allow “God to be God.
So if you reject Calvinism, you reject any sense of “predestination.
If you reject the Calvinist “doctrine of election,” then you reject “grace” altogether.
If you reject Calvinism, the only alterative is Universalism.
So if you reject Calvinism, then you claim to be wiser than the Spirit of God.
So if you point out Calvinistic double-talk, then you are going “beyond what is lawful.”
So if you reject Calvinism, you are obstinately “resisting the Word of God.
So if you reject Calvinism, you are a “worldling” who forbids God to sit upon His “throne.”
So if you reject Calvinism, then you reject the entire Reformation.
If you reject Calvinism, then you reject that some are secretly elect.
Arminian Charge:  Calvinists use marketing terms to declare victory, such as with the labels, Reformed and “The Doctrines of Grace.”

Myth or Reality:  This is true. The term Reformed” accomplishes just that. They are reformed, and consequently, you are not. The concept of being Reformed reflects upon the Protestant Reformation, as if Calvinists owned the entire Protestant Reformation. There are many other expressions that Calvinists also use to define themselves to victory. It should be noted that the cults often do the same thing. The Jehovahs Witness catch-phrase is being “in the truth.”
So if you reject Calvinism, you are “deprived of sense and judgment.”
If you reject Calvinism, then you’ve missed out on a salvation within salvation.
So if you reject Calvinism, you are “in rebellion” against God.
Let’s do the math. If you reject Calvinism....

If you reject Calvinism, you have not yet overcome your “human nature” and have not yet reached “Christian maturity,” and have missed out on a salvation within salvation. You are “deprived of sense and judgment.” You reject “predestination,” and obstinately “resist the Word of God.You reject the “doctrine of election,” and “grace” altogether. Your only alternative is Universalism. You claim to be wiser than the Spirit of God and are “in rebellion” against God. You quarrel with God, refusing to allow “God to be God.You are a “worldling” who forbids God to sit upon His “throne.” You “detest the freedom of God and his absolute sovereignty.” 
Question:  What is a Calvinist’s favorite game?

Answer:  Coin flip. This way a Calvinist can play heads-I-win, tails-you-lose. Calvinists love to set the rules so that only they can win. For instance, a Calvinist will state that they believe in the “sovereignty of God, and you do not, and since the Bible teaches that God is sovereign, therefore, you lose. Thanks for playing.