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TULIP

Mormonism is Far More Biblical: 

Reformed Evangelism’s Fatal Errors Compared to LDS Doctrine

By Robert Vukich

Is it really just a Divine crapshoot to be saved?  Reformed Christians, also commonly called Calvinists, adhere to a belief that there are 5 basic tenants of their faith, represented by the acrostic (fancy word for a beefy acronym) TULIP.  The most fatal error is that it is unscriptural.  We will see that in a moment.  It is also based on the false Trinitarian concept of God.

Before we address TULIP and its stark contrast to Mormonism, here is what the parts stand for and some related scriptures:

T is for the total depravity of mankind. No way for man to find his way out of the sinful nature he has.  Romans 7:18; Romans 3:9-10, 18;  Romans 8:7-8; Eph 2:3,  

U is for Unconditional Election.  God chose whom he will save, and absolutely nothing we do can change that determination. Because of total depravity, you can do no good worthy of salvation.  John 6:37,39, 44, 63-65; John 3:3,6; Romans 8:28-32; Eph 1:4-6, 11; Eph 2:1, 5, 8; Romans 9:11-26; 1 Cor 4:7.

L is for Limited Atonement or Particular Redemption.  Christ only died for those he will save, not all mankind.  Mt 25:33; Mt 7:22-23; Luke 10:20; Col 3:1-6; Acts 20:28; John 17:9; Eph 5:25. 

 

I is for Irresistible Grace.  Even if you don’t want to be saved, and when you are depraved you really don’t, God will drag you into salvation and you will respond when you hear the message of salvation.  1 Cor 4:6; Daniel 4:35; Ps 115:3; Romans 9:14-20; Jn 6:44, 64-65; 2 Cor 4:4-6; Acts 16:14.

P is for the Perseverance of the Saints. Once you are saved, there is no way to lose your salvation.  Romans 8:30-39; Philippians 1:1-6; Hebrews 9:11-15; John 6:35-40; John 10: 22-30.  

 

There is no Free Will or Choice in Calvinism!

The first problem, which is totally fatal to Calvinism, is the lack of Free Will or Choice.  They have argued this since Calvin cooked up this idea, and it was affirmed at the Synod of Dordt.  But mankind is free.  It is a scriptural position:  1 Pet 2:16;

Matt. 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Galatians 5:1 STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Paul is talking about our freedom to chose to be righteous or sinful.  Even if he is talking about “saved” people, it would mean men could choose to sin and fall away. 

Luke 10: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

The Spirit had not come yet.  So how did Mary choose the good part, if corrupt mankind is incapable of choosing good? 

This is too silly in some ways to even argue.  Calvinists don’t really believe people are totally depraved and incapable of doing good, or they would not be able to actually participate in legal processes, elections or believe in punishing their children.

 

God is Sovereign

Evangelicals believe God is so powerful, he will overwhelm mankind’s freewill to complete his ends.  Thus, he always gets what he wants.  The problem is the tie-in to Free Will:  God wants everyone to be saved: 

1 Timothy 2:4 [God] will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

 

Not All Men Are Saved

Calvinists admit that all men are obviously not saved.  They are unable to explain Paul’s statement in 1 Tim 2:4, but assert the rest of scripture supports their position, so it must just be accepted on faith that we are incapable of fully understanding. 

 Here is an illustrative quote:  “We should never give the unsaved the idea that God loves them savingly or redemptively—for that would imply that He gave Christ to die in vain for the sins of the non-elect, or that He is powerless to save those He wishes to save.” (by Mitch Cervinka, a Calvinist explaining 1 Tim 2:4) http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/Articles/1Timothy2_4.htm   Mr. Cervinka tries to force an interpretation to the Greek words which effectively means the phrase “all men” really means some men. Oy.

 More devastating to this non-Christian approach is the fact there is so very much scriptural support of God’s desire to save all people.  Aside from 1 Tim 2:4, there are similar passages in almost every book of the New Testament:

2 Peter 2: 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Romans 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Also Rev. 22:17 and Deut. 30:19

Faith is Offered to All Men Through Preaching the Gospel

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

For Paul, belief meant obedience. 

Romans 10: 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

 Election is Because God Knows Who will respond, Not because he does not want everyone saved:

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Did Christ Only Die For a Few People?

The idea that men are free to choose, but they will always choose evil because of their natures is the same as not having a choice.  The Bible actually taught about this condition at some length.  It is the argument of MANSLAUGHTER.  In the Pentateuch, Moses taught that if a man accidentally killed another man, he could run to a designated safe city called a city of refuge.  There he could wait until the death of the High Priest, and emerge without penalty.  If he were to leave before the death of the high priest, and he were caught outside by the family of the dead person, the family had the right to kill him. (Numbers 35).  It is clear from the passage that motives matter.  And if there is no ability to sin, or in TULIP’s case, not sin, then there can be no punishment.  This is why Mormons hold that little children are saved (Moroni 8:22).  If you cannot comprehend the act you perform, you cannot be held accountable.  Jehova says in Num 35:29 that these are “statute[s] of judgment” for all generations.  Did God’s Judgment change?

 Mormons hold that Christ died for all mankind.  First, he died to provide the resurrection for all men (1 Cor 15:21-22).  This act on Christ’s part justified all mankind into God’s presence.  Let’s examine two critical passages:

Romans 3:22-25

 22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Notice that because all have sinned, all have Christ’s sacrifice extended to them.  It is unto all AND all that believe.  Two classes are clearly taught here.

Paul follows this up by explicitly stating who is JUSTIFIED by the atonement of Christ:

Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Are Mormons Universalists?

No.  But this is where the false constructs of the Sovereignty of God and Pre-destination just conceptually collapse.  God absolutely wants all men to be saved.  But he honors mankind’s agency.  This goes back to the purpose of the Fall: 

Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…

Calvinists would have you believe that the ability to choose was lost after God said it was what made us like Him.  Of course God knows who will be saved.  But knowledge of the future is not forcing it upon us.  Mankind must be free to choose, and able to be saved, or God is a partial God, and a respecter of persons.   

So Who Were Those Given to Christ?

Calvinists often quote John 6:44 which reads:

44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 

The problem is they fail to note that this passage is very limited in scope, and is fulfilled.  Let us read a little further on in John: 

John 17: 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

Christ leaves no doubt here.  He was with those God gave him.  He asks God to keep them.  And he acknowledges he saved all of them, except Judas.  His comments in John 6:44 are about his Earthly ministry.  He considered everyone his sheep (Matt 9:36), and yet also realized that they would someday be separated, like sheep and goats (Matt 25:32-33).  His teachings in Luke 15:1-7 on finding the lost sheep, and especially on sinners repenting cannot be construed as salvation to a certain prescribed class.  All have sinned.  A sinner repents, and the angels and God rejoice.  It is an open call.  In one of the most moving and prophetic passages in all scripture about Christ, Isaiah 53 describes all of us as sheep who have gone astray, and Christ suffered for us who esteemed him as nothing. 

We Can Lose Our Salvation

Because of mankind’s free will, men can lose their salvation.  This is taught all throughout scripture. (Ezek. 18:25-28; Matt 5:13; Luke 8:13; 1 Cor 10:12-13; Gal. 5:4; 1 Tim 4:10; Heb 6:4-6;10:26;  James 5:19-20; 2 Pet. 1:10; 3:17; Rev. 2:5) 

Calvin was a control freak.  Thus we see him advocating a Control Freak God.  Calvin found justification in the control freak mentality of God, as he saw him, for committing mass murders and torturing and hurting untotaled numbers of people.  So of course God takes vengeance against the wicked.  They were unsaved, and not really people anyway.  He never really loved them or wanted to save them.  But just in case, even if Calvin did a bad thing, his eternal security was assured, in his mind, so he could in fact murder, but it was OK.  Paul teaches that all have fallen short.  We are saved from our sins, as we apply our will with the will of God.  President Spencer W. Kimball made this awesome observation: 

“... However good a person's works, he could not be saved had Jesus not died for his and everyone else's sins. And however powerful the saving grace of Christ, it brings exaltation to no man who does not comply with the works of the gospel.”—Spencer W. Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, 206-208.

The Mormons get it right with three verses of scripture:

2 Nephi 25: 23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

Alma 24: 11it has been all that we could do, (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts…

Moroni 10:33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot. (This verse also explains perfection in vs. 32).

 Contact rvukich@hotmail.com with questions.  This is a private work, and not authorized or approved by the LDS Church.

 

 
     
All material developed and placed on this page and associated subsections is copyrighted by Robert B. Vukich. Reasonable efforts will be made to properly attribute copyright ownership for material reviewed or quoted on these pages.