Gray Dog Ponders . . . John Calvin's America
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. . .
John Calvin was the virtual founder of America.
Leopold Van Ranke, German historian
It is estimated that at the time of the American Revolution:
*75% of the colonists were Calvinists;
*50% of the soldiers in Washington's army were Presbyterians;
*when the war ended, all but one of the colonels in the Continental Army were Presbyterian elders;
*the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence was a Presbyterian, John Witherspoon.
There is no good crying about it the matter, Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian Parson, and that is the end of it.
Horace Walpole, Member of Parliament
America was meant to be a Christian Nation
'"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."'
America, As Our
Forefathers Envisioned it
Our vision controls the way we think and, therefore, the way we act. . .
What was the vision of our Calvinists Forefathers?
God is sovereign, and the Bible is right.
At the Synod of Dordt, 1618, this simple statement of fact was systematized in the now famous, if overlooked and forgotten, doctrines of TULIP;
is sin-dead, and incapable of contributing anything
toward salvation (Ps. 14:1-3; 51:5,
Rom. 3:10, 23; Jer. 17:9; Eph. 2:8-9)
Unconditional Election: God chose to save us despite our complete unworthiness (Eph. 1:4, 2:8-9; John 1:12-13; 15:16,
Rom. 8:28-30, 9:11)
Limited Atonement: Christ sacrifice secured salvation for all the elect. It did not make salvation possible for all who might choose to accept it. (Col. 1:21-22; John 6:37, 44, 64; 10:26;
Irresistible Grace: God will draw all the elect to Himself and none will be lost (John 6:37, 39; 10:28; 18:9;
Rom. 8:31-39; Eph. 2:8-9)
Perseverance of the Saints: As Christians, we are eternally secure; none of the elect can ever lose the gift
of salvation (John 5:24; 6:39; 10:28; Rom. 3:29;
II Tim. 4:18; Heb. 7:23-25; 10:14; I Peter 1:4-5;
II Cor. 1:21-22; Eph 1:13-14; 4:30)
Because Calvinists knew that their God was sovereign, and that their salvation was a gift, and that they were eternally secure, they had the courage to be free.
Spheres of Calvin's Influence
England, the moral result of Calvin's teaching was
Puritanism. The first Puritans actually studied with
Calvin in Geneva, where they published the Geneva Bible,
whose marginal notes infuriated Queen Elizabeth.
When the Puritans returned home, they launched a campaign to end corruption in government; vulgarity in the theater; worldliness in the clergy; and vagrancy and idleness in society.
The Puritan influence spread so quickly that within 50 years, historian Richard Green observed: "England became a people of a book, and that book was the Bible."
Another historian said, "It may be doubted if all history can furnish another instance of such victory of moral force,"
Macaulay called those Puritans "the most remarkable body of men the world has ever produced."
These were the people who came to America and laid the foundation for our freedom today.
Capitalism is the direct result of Calvinism. Capitalism is the only economic system that is not founded on an assumption of the basic goodness of humanity.
*Socialism/communism: You have two coats; your neighbor has no coat. You give him one of yours.
You have two coats; your neighbor has no coat. You work
out a deal whereby he gives you in money, goods, or services
fair value for your coat. This is called enlightened
Enlightened self-interest, the product of the Calvinist doctrine of Total Depravity, has made the United States of America the wealthiest, most productive nation the world has ever known.
The meanest peasant, once called of God, felt within him a strength stronger than the might of kings. In that mighty elevation of the masses embodied in the Calvinistic doctrines of election and grace, lay the germs of the modern principles of human equality.
John Richard Green
His [Calvin's] was the only system that the Reformation produced that could organize itself powerfully in the face of government hostility. It trained strong men, confident in their election to be fellow workers with God in the accomplishment of His will, courageous to do battle, insistent on character, and confident that God has given in the Scriptures the guide of all right human conduct and proper worship. This was Calvin's work.
Because our nation was founded on Calvinist principles, our government was established with checks and balances. Our leaders are chosen competitively. Where the Calvinist influence is strong, democracies flourish.
Apostasy in America
Where there is no vision, the people perish. . .
Proverbs 29: 18a
Helen Keller asked, "What could be worse than being born without sight?
She answered, "Being born without sight and no vision."
America has lost the vision of our forefathers
Reformed faith, Calvinism
exemplified by the
doctrines of TULIP, systematized Protestant theology, tamed
Europe, reformed England, established the principles upon
which America was founded, and has given spiritual
confidence to millions of Christians. . . What happened to
it; and how did America’s churches get so far off course?
Two reasons: A loose-leaf Bible and the theology of accommodation.
*The loose-leaf Bible deprives the Church of the infallible tool it needs to equip the saints.
*The theology of accommodation dilutes the Gospel so that it becomes meaningless.
First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation.
II Peter 1:20
Truth isn't a matter of your personal viewpoint. Learn to see things as they really are, not as you imagine they are. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it. No matter what you believe, it never changes the facts. If they are there, the facts always speak for themselves. The truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of people. If sixty-million people say a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing.
Compare the vow I took when I became a PCA pastor with the one I took as a PCUSA pastor:
Do you believe the
Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, as originally
given, to be the inerrant Word of God, the only infallible
rule of faith and practice?
PCUSA: Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God's Word to you?
The difference is vitally important to every saint these pastors teach. Without a clear, unequivocal commitment to the authority of the Bible:
1. The Scriptures lose their independent authority, and the denomination loses its final arbiter in all disputes.
2. Mainline Presbyterians have institutionalized the "loose-leaf" Bible. Now each pastor chooses what is "God's Word" and what is not.
3. Churches who do not commit to the authority of Scripture have lost the best tool they have for equipping the saints: The Bible as the infallible rule of faith and practice.
Let me give you an example. I received a letter this week from a member of a large, “evangelical” church in KC area. He told me his pastor had preached on “predestination.” I asked if he was “pro” or “con.”
How appropriate that you would use the word "con", as I feel I'm being conned whenever I hear him speak. He always starts out skimming the surface of accepted reform theology, but as he goes along he interjects subtle little errors that finally lead him to a non-reformed conclusion.
As regards TULIP, he did put it on the overhead screen, and he did say it is biblical. But he stated that most PCUSA pastors don't subscribe to it and neither does he.
TULIP is Biblical . . . but most pastors don’t subscribe to it . . .and neither does he. Pastors are choosing which parts of the Bible are “God’s Word” to them. This is only possible when one practices the theology of accommodation and uses a loose-leaf Bible.
Let me give you one more example:
By a vote of 436-280-11 last Thursday, the 218th
General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) approved a
recommendation to “correct” translation problems it sees in
the historic Heidelberg Catechism, created in 1563 by the
Synod of Heidelberg
The major change is the answer to Question 87, "Can those who do not turn to God from their ungrateful, impenitent life be saved?" The recommended strike-out and added language reads:
Certainly not! Scripture says, 'Surely you know that
the unjust will never come into possession of the kingdom of
God. Make no mistake: no fornicator or idolater, none who
are guilty either of adultery or of homosexual perversion,
no thieves or grabbers or drunkards or slanderers or
swindlers, will possess the kingdom of God.' [9Do
you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of
God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor
idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual
offenders 10nor thieves nor the
greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will
inherit the kingdom of God. I Cor. 6: 9-10]
Certainly not; for as Scripture says no
unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, greedy person,
drunkard, slanderer, robber or anyone like that shall
inherit the kingdom of God."
In order to accommodate one group, they recommend using their loose-leaf Bible to remove the offensive language.
We do not have the option to pick and chose the parts of the Bible we want to be "God's Word" to us.
gotten accustomed to the blurred puffs of gray fog that pass
for doctrine in churches and expect nothing better. From
some previously unimpeachable sources are now coming vague
statements consisting of a milky admixture of Scripture,
science, and human sentiment that is true to none of its
ingredients because each one works to cancel the others out.
Little by little Christians these days are being
brainwashed. One evidence is that increasing numbers of them
are becoming ashamed to be found unequivocally on the side
of truth. They say they believe, but their beliefs have been
so diluted as to be impossible of clear definition. Moral
power has always accompanied definite beliefs. Great saints
have always been dogmatic. We need a return to a gentle
dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on
the Word of God that lives and abides forever.
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
II Tim. 2: 2
The Gospel has been entrusted to us. We are trustees of the Word. The Gospel is ours to share; it is not ours to “correct,” modify, update, or re-image. The Church is the Body of Christ. He is the head. We don't get to make the rules; we don't get to change the rules. We don't get to accommodate our friends, or our culture. The Gospel is ours to use to equip God's people and to bring hope to a decaying world. Fears of offending must never cause us to dilute the Gospel.
your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a
workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly
handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because
those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
Their teaching will spread like gangrene."
II Tim. 2:15-17
the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've
been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence
of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out
the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too
painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've
been so credulous.
The Mainline American denominations have been bamboozled by the Theology of Accommodation.
For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed--God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.
I Thessalonians 2: 3-6
know, that God is forsaken as soon as men turn aside from
His pure Word, and that all are apostates who turn here and
there, and do not follow what God approves.
The theology of accommodation is a cruel hoax. It appears to be tolerant and inclusive, but in reality it denies the sinner constructive care at his point of need. By accepting sinful behavior as an alternate lifestyle, people are denied help at their point of need. This is like an AA chapter attempting to attract new members with an open bar.
we keep from God, keeps us from God.
The Promise of Christ is New Life
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect
the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness
with everincreasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is
2 Corinthians 3:18
The good news of the Gospel is that all Christians are being transformed by the Holy Spirit into the very likeness of Christ. God does not leave us as we were. There is room in Christ's Church for all repentant sinners, no matter how vile, or mundane the sin. The goal of the Church should be to offer constructive, practical help in a loving and supportive atmosphere. The Church ought to be the one place where we can go and confront our sinfulness and find compassion and encouragement, and healing. How will that happen if religious institutions accommodate our self-deception by making excuses for our sinfulness?
important thing is that in those early days the pagans saw
in Christianity and in the Church a power that could cope
with and mend the human situation. They saw in Christianity
a power which they did possess -- and they wanted it. It
will always be true that the outsider will have no use for
an alleged faith which is demonstrably ineffective. Long
ago, Nietzsche, the atheist philosopher, issued the
challenge: 'Show me that you are redeemed and then I will
believe in your Redeemer.' The greatest converting
influence of all is a life which clearly and obviously is
possessed of a power which can cope with the human situation
in all its problems, in all its tragedy, and in all its
William Barclay, Turning to God
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
I John 1: 8-10
You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind.
He who wants to keep his garden tidy doesn't reserve a plot for weeds.
God forgives and cleanses and heals. God does not accommodate.
America’s mainline denominations are apostate. They have fallen away from the beliefs upon which this country was founded..
Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is still remembered for his words, '"Give me liberty or give me death."' But in current textbooks the context of these words is deleted. Here is what he actually said:
appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us.
But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God
that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle sir,
is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so
sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
it almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death."'
[These first sentences have been erased from our textbooks. This is the theology of accommodation applied to history]
In 1776, as America was declaring her independence, Patrick Henry wrote this '"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here."'
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
II Tim. 3: 16-17
are not attracted to churches that do not know what they
James Montgomery Boice
The PCA is one of the fastest growing denominations in the country. But most Mainline denominations have been experiencing membership declines for decades.
Too many saints do not know what they believe. Too many of God’s children are spiritually starving.
We who know the Truth must stand up for the Truth. We must teach the Truth. We must not allow those who dilute and pollute the Gospel to do so without rebuke and correction.
TULIP is God's plan of salvation. It teaches with Biblical and intellectual integrity how lost sinners become eternally secure in Jesus Christ. Throughout history, these doctrines have equipped saints with the vision we need to do the work God created us to do.
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
John 14: 1-3
All Christians deserve to KNOW that this promise is for them. Every Christian is entitled to the confidence and assurance which are ours in Christ. When saints are equipped with the sound doctrines of TULIP, they have the vision to do great things for Christ. They have the vision of America’s founding fathers.
Too many Christians today are afraid to issue a word of reproof, or correction.
I believe it is the responsibility of every saint who knows the truth to share it with those who lack knowledge or have been misinformed. The need is urgent.
Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
But it does persuade the ignorant.
updated 4:49 p.m. CT, Mon., June. 23, 2008
America remains a nation of believers, but a new survey finds most Americans don't feel their religion is the only way to eternal life — even if their faith tradition teaches otherwise.
In all, 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation shared that view, and 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion.
We are not Christians at all unless we have fully surrendered to and "received Christ Jesus the Lord" (Col. 2:6). We would plead with you to ponder that statement diligently. Satan is deceiving many today by leading them to suppose that they are savingly trusting in "the finished work" of Christ while their hearts remain unchanged and self still rules their lives. Listen to God’s Word: "Salvation is far from the wicked; for they seek not thy statutes" (Psa. 119:155). Do you really seek His statutes? Do you diligently search His Word to discover what He has commanded? "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (I John 2:4). What could be plainer than that?
A. W. Pink
Is Christianity a matter of fact or a matter of opinion?
Those of us who know that the Bible is the inspired Word of
God must find the courage to use Scripture for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
It is time to say No! to the loose-leaf
Bible; No! to the theology of accommodation.
Apostasy costs too much --
* senior church members are deprived of the hope and confidence which is theirs as eternally secure Christians.
* parents are deprived of the support and encouragement they need to raise their children in the care and nurture of the Lord.
* the young are deprived of the guidance and discipline they need to resist the temptations of the Evil One.
. If sixty-million people say a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing.
Christians must know what Christianity means, and not only in the safety of Sunday morning with other like-minded folks, but in every day living.
not in detail what will take place when the great revival
comes, the great revival for which we long, when the Spirit of God will
sweep over the church like a mighty flood. But one thing we do know --
when that great day comes, the present feeble aversion to
`controversy,' the present cowardly unwillingness to take sides in the
age-long issue between faith and unbelief in the Church -- will at once
be swept aside. There is not a trace of such an attitude in God's holy
Word. That attitude is just Satan's way of trying to deceive the
people of God. . .
May God send us men who are not deceived, men who will respond to the
forces of unbelief and compromise now so largely dominant in the
visible Church with a brave and unqualified `No'!
J. Gresham Machen
Presbyterians were once a mighty Christian army which attacked society's ills and made this world a better place for all. Because of The theology of accommodation and the loose-leaf Bible, the Mainline denominations have been turned it into a dissipating institutions whose very existence is doubtful.
is up to us who know the Truth to fulfill the trust handed
down to us by our pilgrim forefathers.
The kind of people [Calvin] produced made the American experience possible. Of Calvin, we may say that he was a stern, intolerant, and in many ways, unattractive person; yet he cannot be faulted for what [his followers] did; and he certainly built better than he knew. In America, some of us, at least, are grateful.
Sherwood Elliot Wirt
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders [ like the loose-leaf Bible] and the sin that so easily entangles [like the theology of accommodation], and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. . .
May the Gospel be preached
May Thy kingdom be extended and strengthened;
and may all Thy people grow up into Him who is the Head of the Church,
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Teach us to seek after Truth and enable us to gain it;
But grant that we may ever speak Thy Truth in love.
Make us humble, brave, and compassionate; make us ready for the work Thou hast created us to do.
We do not ask that Thou
wilt keep us safe, but that Thou will keep us ever faithful
to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
in whose name we pray.