Clarity To An Age-Old Divide

1 Corinthians NKJV

and this…

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…”

Romans 1:22

Attaching oneself to a thinker does not automatically make one a thinker. One does not only inherit the good but also the flawed parts of their reasoning. Some go as far as saying those Christians who do not attach themselves to these men’s theology has something to do with thinking about knowing more than the scholars. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reason is plainly written in the bible. You will not see the schism originating among the simple but rather from those who claim they are learned.

If this is you and you feel distant from God, maybe the sectarian mentality is catching up to you.

Repent and He will restore you.

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18 thoughts on “Clarity To An Age-Old Divide

  1. Great post. The problem with some “Christians” is that they do not depend on the Holy Spirit for understanding but on human beings. The question is why? Because their focus has been taken away from Jesus Christ and is on those who they deem “worthy” of having supreme knowledge. Not knowing that the simple who are humble and seek after Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will make them wise.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One last thought. To be honest it seems that when a “Christian” chooses to depend on teachers rather than the Spirit of God it is a rejection of the power of God. I think this verse below says it plainly and clearly.

    2 Timothy 3:5
    holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “To be honest it seems that when a “Christian” chooses to depend on teachers rather than the Spirit of God it is a rejection of the power of God.”

      You remind me of the sons of Sceva doing spiritual warfare, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Substitute Paul with the theologian of choice, it equates defeat. Scary to think about what happened to them…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Caeli and Spaniardviii, as we’ve talked about before, the Lord gives teachers to His Church and His Holy Spirit works through them to build us up to serve. But it’s necessary to test everything they teach by the Word of God – we’re commanded to test everything. The Holy Spirit also teaches us and leads us through His Word directly, though no prophecy is of private interpretation. We should never cling to teachers who are human and err, but only to Jesus Christ. However we can err by believing only in the Holy Spirit to guide us. Iron sharpens iron. I know a man who trusts only for the Spirit to guide him who teaches that Christians don’t need to ask the Lord for forgiveness when we sin because forgiveness is a done deal. We need each other. Christians can also stumble badly by following a mere man because, as you said, Caeli, following a person gets you his mistakes too. We can trust the Lord to rescue us from stumbling either way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “as you said, Caeli, following a person gets you his mistakes too.”

      I was very specific… flawed reasoning… To word it the way you did is making the statement go beyond what was stated. You only get the person’s mistakes if you put yourself in a position to defend your teacher’s mistakes which makes you condone something that is against Scripture.

      The same people who get out of Roman Catholicism come out of the system only to adopt one very similar to it. Why do you think there is cohesion in the Catholic Church? Because people follow blindly. Same with Calvinism, pushed in institutions and people embrace Christianity by intellectual assent. Not trying to paint a broad brush but definitely applicable to most people. The only difference I see in Calvinism and RCC really is that they don’t bow to idols but nevertheless, they exalt that man and sad to say I’ve personally heard Calvinists use the excuse of desperate times called for desperate measures to make excuses for their teacher, Calvin. You must forget that man still had heavy residue of Catholicism that he employed the same practices even getting out of the church.

      The Scriptures speak loudly to me regarding sectarianism. If the Scriptures I highlighted does not convict you and you still want to defend what Scripture condemns, that’s your choice.

      “We can trust the Lord to rescue us from stumbling either way.”

      Indeed. Rationalizing stances clearly going against Scripture is a recipe for a prolonged state of carnality which leads to spiritual stagnation, sad to say. But, God knows the exact things which can make the person give up their presuppositions.

      Regarding your example on the person who believes his teacher is the Holy Spirit and claims there’s no more need for repentance, that is why Scripture is clear to line up a person’s belief with Scripture, by their fruits you will know them. People who defend one whom they know is in the wrong is no better.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. @Maria
      You said-” However we can err by believing only in the Holy Spirit to guide us.”

      This by far is the most disturbing thing that came out of a professing Christians mouth. Your example of this statement is because you know a man who mistranslated the Scripture and because of that you completely discount that the Holy Spirit has the ability to correctly instruct a man/woman of God in the truth? I’m sorry but that is ridiculous and unBiblical, to say the least.

      John 14:26
      26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

      The Holy Spirit’s job besides convicting the world of sin is to teach and who do you think opens the mind of understanding so that they can be convicted? The Holy Spirit.

      Luke 24:45
      Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

      Here Jesus had to open their minds to understand scripture which after His ascension into heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of believers to continue helping them understand Scripture and also for life application.

      I’m sorry but you sound so much like a Catholic that depends highly on man’s interpretation than God. It is sad to see a believer who is made free in Christ to enslave themselves once again in another theological system which frankly I will come out and say it, “Calvin murdered false teachers which he had no right to do under the new covenant.” Jesus, the 12 Apostle, and Paul didn’t kill or murder anyone who opposed the gospel and even heretics or false teachers. How can a Christian follow the teachings of a man who did exactly as the Catholics, burn people at the stake. He was no different from the Roman Catholics. Even some Christians of his contemporaries said that Calvin had blood in his hands which means that he was guilty of murder. Those killings are not sanctioned by Jesus Christ and the Apostles or the New Testament for that matter.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. “However we can err by believing only in the Holy Spirit to guide us.”

      This is an indirect assertion that people must rely on teachers other than the Holy Spirit. If you “DO NOT” follow a man, I suppose you can unequivocally say you are NOT a Calvinist. You don’t have to do that though.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Dear Caeli and Spaniardviii, this what I believe: we must be like the Bereans and check everything that is said using God’s Word, whether they’re someone in history or on a blog, and ourselves too.

      I don’t follow Luther, Calvin, Scofield, Spurgeon, Bunyan, MacArthur, or anyone else – only the Lord. I’m grateful that things have changed so that the church and the state are not married. That led to persecution and murder and corrupt doctrine. Because the Word of God alone has convinced me of the doctrine of election I believe it – if it didn’t teach this in so many places I wouldn’t believe it. Here is just one:

      Acts 13:48  Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

      Please remember that the Lord gave various offices to the Church: pastors, teachers, evangelists. That doesn’t mean we should elevate the people who hold these offices, except to give honor where honor is right to give. And it certainly doesn’t mean that there should be the clergy and laity distinction, I hate that distinction among the brethren.

      Ephesians 4
      11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

      Caeli and Spaniardviii, we are sometimes mistaken in our understanding and need one another. We don’t always understand the word all on our own. Eventually we will, I believe, but there are difficult things. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, wrote about this:

      2 Peter 3:15-17
      15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
      17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

      Liked by 1 person

    3. “I don’t follow Luther, Calvin, Scofield, Spurgeon, Bunyan, MacArthur, or anyone else – only the Lord.”

      I think this statement contradicts what you have previously said, “However we can err by believing only in the Holy Spirit to guide us.”

      You thinking believing only in the Holy Spirit to guide us could cause people to err translates that a person needs man to explain what God (Holy Spirit) can’t.

      The Holy Spirit leads one to the right human teacher. But to say “However we can err by believing only in the Holy Spirit to guide us.” is truly egregious.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Caeli, what I should have said is that we can misunderstand God’s Word sometimes and need others and have been given others – teachers and brothers and sisters – to help us. You wrote this: “The Holy Spirit leads one to the right human teacher.” I agree.

      About Calvinism, I’ve stopped using labels but will accept it. I believe in election instead of free will – I believe in God doing His good pleasure as Biblical. Calvin didn’t invent this.

      Liked by 2 people

    5. “I believe in election instead of free will.”

      Both happen to be in the bible. They need to be reconciled. There are things in the bible which are hard to understand and this is one of those things. To choose one and discard the other is still unbiblical. What Calvin did was pick one over the other and people adopted it. I can’t possibly believe in something that contradicts something as basic as John 3:16.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really don’t know why Maria bothered with you two. You both hate Calvin and mistakenly think him too much like a Roman Catholic and you accuse him of being a murderer. Perhaps you need to pull out an encyclopedia off the library’s bookshelf and learn the truth. Calvin’s father was excommunicated and his younger brother and two half sisters adopted the Protestant faith of Calvin. Here is his quote:

    “Since I was more stubbornly addicted to the superstitions of the Papacy than to be easily drawn out of so deep a mire, God subdued my heart-too stubborn for my age-to docility by a sudden conversion.”

    He grew up in the Roman Catholic faith; his mother died a Roman Catholic but after his father was excommunicated he left it for the Protestant faith. His change he simply ascribed to God. Calvin then became a traveling Evangelist. “Calvin’s theology rests closely upon the Bible and is everywhere supported by scriptures.”* Perhaps you two could also read his Institutes before condemning him and those who hold to Calvinism, which is just a nick name for the doctrine of election as opposed to the heresies that were believed as truth in his day. Calvin had to, out of necessity, put together his doctrine and get people focused back on the Scriptures. I don’t know that there is anyone who quoted scriptures as much as he did in their written teachings!

    His doctrine centers on the sovereignty of God and on divine election as shown throughout scriptures. And you two want to be divisive and argumentative about it with Maria because you feel so superior to dare be called a sectarian. And look who changes the Word of God? Wow. Believing the doctrine of Calvin will get you scolded by those so uppity they can’t see the forest of doctrinal truth for the trees of Calvinism! Sadly, he gets blamed for much that he would have abhorred in his day-mainly, that today’s Calvinists are leaders in the ecumenical movement. Read his quote above and you cannot come away thinking he would, in any way, approve!

    Was he a murderer? Oh, some say he was but they have not done anything but slander him because they did not do their research. Many like to besmirch the man because they hate his doctrine! Can YOU imagine that? What sectarians they are! With such snobbery they say, “I am NOT of Calvin!” So nice to see the intent of the Author in this post’s quoted scripture used to demean Calvin AND scold Maria! You two made her mean what she didn’t mean and kept at it with her as if you both know everything there is to know about Calvin and Calvinism! You don’t. You slandered a brother in Christ because he is just a bit too Roman Catholic for you and you believe him to be a murderer! I won’t get into that false accusation, but I sure could! Here is a scripture from the Amplified Bible for you two attacking Maria and Calvin:

    …nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers [whose words are used as weapons to abuse, insult, humiliate, intimidate, or slander], nor swindlers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:10

    *All of the info on Calvin taken from the Encyclopedia Americana (1970), pp. 237-241

    I really can’t believe the unnecessary abuse Maria received here…Maria, I understood you fully and heartily agree with all that you have said. A cult group called The Last Reformation is a fine example of following the “Holy Spirit” without other teachers to help in knowing if it is, in truth, the Holy Spirit doing the teaching. Discernment is an exercise which requires much study in the Word of God and by commentaries through His gift of godly learned men. No need of teachers? Then we need not bother with Bible studies and sermons!

    BTW, Paul was against the elitism being produced by saying “I am of Apollo…” not so much the following of the teachings. It is just as much elitism to say, “I am NOT of Calvin…” The snobbery here was thick-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have addressed your comment almost line by line.

      “You both hate Calvin”

      I have not lived during his time obviously so I can’t say I hate the man but what I do hate is the fact that he promulgated doctrine that directly contradicts John 3:16. You would literally have to rewrite the bible to say Jesus died for the “elect” which we know to be twisting it.

      and mistakenly think him too much like a Roman Catholic”

      He might have severed ties with Catholicism but had too much residue that it didn’t bother him to become exactly what he despised.

      “Calvin’s theology rests closely upon the Bible and is everywhere supported by scriptures.”

      Apparently he had no problem casting other Scriptures aside that does not support his theology. This is very problematic and could lead to damning false doctrine, one that can contradict even the very words of Jesus Himself.

      “Calvin had to, out of necessity, put together his doctrine and get people focused back on the Scriptures.”

      Right, that he went out of length to enforce it. Can you compare and contrast Paul with John Calvin? Paul was zealous and had people stoned to death before his conversion. What happened after he got converted? Now, contrast what Calvin’s practice was after his conversion. What did he do? What did Jesus advise his apostles if someone didn’t accept their teaching? Shake the dust off their feet, not go after them. What did Jesus tell the apostles who wanted to strike them with a lightning? Jesus rebuked them.

      “His doctrine centers on the sovereignty of God and on divine election as shown throughout scriptures. And you two want to be divisive and argumentative about it with Maria because you feel so superior to dare be called a sectarian.”

      I highlighted what was in Scripture. If you have a problem with the clarity of those verses, you take that up with God. There should only be one body, Christian, of Christ. If asserting that people should drop the labels so people can all be Christians and you attribute that to me feeling superior, then you’re the one with the problem.

      “I am NOT of Calvin!”

      I got saved without knowing who Calvin was and I had a relationship with Jesus apart from knowing of Calvin and will continue to apart from adopting his TULIP. He may have been instrumental in the Reformation but God used even pagan kings in the past. I am better off not attaching myself to his theology. I believe in what the bible says and the Holy Spirit of God who dwells in me, I cannot in good conscience accept the theology he promulgated as I line his fruit with Scripture.

      “So nice to see the intent of the Author in this post’s quoted scripture used to demean Calvin AND scold Maria!”

      I addressed it to a general audience. It was for everyone when I wrote it. When I read those verses in 1 Corinthians, I was compelled to share it.

      “You two made her mean what she didn’t mean and kept at it with her as if you both know everything there is to know about Calvin and Calvinism! You don’t.”

      I did not tell her what to say actually. I can do with the Bible just fine. Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you will be my disciple.”

      “You slandered a brother in Christ because he is just a bit too Roman Catholic for you”

      Line up his fruit with Scripture and the continuing fruit of his teachings. It brings to nothing but dissension even until now. People should get a clue from this.

      “Discernment is an exercise which requires much study in the Word of God and by commentaries through His gift of godly learned men.”

      If your discernment is through the lens of John Calvin, good luck. Also, discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Jehovah’s witnesses study their bible with Watchtower commentaries and they have no discernment whatsoever.

      “No need of teachers? Then we need not bother with Bible studies and sermons!”
      “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”
      1 John 2:27

      How do you translate this verse 1 John 2:27 Sherry? Is God’s Word lying then? Please don’t go look it up in some commentary.

      “BTW, Paul was against the elitism being produced by saying “I am of Apollo…” not so much the following of the teachings. It is just as much elitism to say, “I am NOT of Calvin…” The snobbery here was thick-”

      My non-desire to be tied to the Calvinist brand is simply because the bible is clear there is only one true Spiritual teacher and that is the Holy Spirit. Sure God desires to use people to partake in ministry but would you condemn both Spaniard and myself because we found Calvin’s fruit to contradict Scripture? Of course you don’t think this since you adhere to his teachings. I think people who stay in the middle like myself and even Arminians would agree the followers of Calvin give an aura of arrogance. It is ironic you brought up the concept of elitism since people who think they are educated from Calvin condescend on free-ranging Christians. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It’s easier to point fingers, I guess.

      P.S. Your very first statement “I really don’t know why Maria bothered with you two” is one that actually goes against you and shows who really has the elitist mentality.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Wow, so you don’t know why Maria bothered with us. Truly spoken by a true disciple of Mr. John Calvin who has joined in for the defense of another of his disciple, you are a true warrior for your dead leader. You defend the man like if he was the one who died for your sins. It is so sad to see those who claim to follow Jesus Christ but instead your actions speaks very clearly who you have put your hopes in. You can worship the MAN Calvin through his teachings like the Mormons did with Joseph Smith but as for me and my family we worship and defend Jesus Christ. Nowhere in the new testament did the apostles kill false teachers. You are defending a murderer. My allegiance is to Christ and to defend the truth which is holy Scripture. What’s the difference between a disciple of Calvin and a Jehovah Witness? They both follow a MAN, one has been dead for awhile and the other is in the Watchtower. Calvinist and Catholics have one thing in common, they both exalt their leader’s teachings above the Holy Spirit’s. Claiming that their leader is more knowledgeable than God Himself. Calvin had hatred to put those people to death by burning them. That is who you defend but I only defend Jesus Christ who died for my sins and the the third day rose from the grave.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When a Christian defends someone other than Jesus Christ when referring to spiritual matters what does that tell you? What the mouth speaks reveals what’s in the heart. You want to know who you truly love? Examine yourself and see who do you always defend. I thought we as Christians are supposed to put above Jesus Christ and live for Him? What’s going on that a Christian no longer likes to be called a Christian but rather would like to be called a Calvinist. What’s wrong with that picture? That’s why Jesus said only few will find the narrow road. How can you know when someone has found the narrow road? When they take the name of Jesus as “Christian”, when they constantly read holy scripture, when they defend Jesus alone, when they preach only Jesus and when they rely on God not men to reveal holy Scripture. A true Christian is one who solely relies on Jesus Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

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