Time Magazine:

predestination: the belief that before time's dawn, God decided whom he would save (or not), unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision.

(See: "10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now, What's Next 2009, 3 of 10, 3. 'The New Calvinism,'" by David van Biema. Time.)

"...unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision." Okay, so Calvinists call themselves Christians, which by definition means followers of Jesus Christ. So, what did Jesus say?

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:21-23 KJVR)

According to Calvinism, Jesus was wasting his breath there. Not only was Jesus wasting his breath there, he was wasting his breath all the time. Absolutely nothing he ever told anyone that he or she ought to do ever amounted to anything or ever will because whether anyone did or does what Jesus said, that one is going to Heaven or Hell as preordained by God. Jesus's message to change is wrong according to Calvin.

Now, if you can't see that Calvin was a buffoon, what can anyone do for you?

I read all this stuff online about Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill Church in Seattle teaching Calvinism. I read that the Baptist seminaries are loading up with young people looking to Calvinism.

Calvin was a dictator. He had a theological rival burned at the stake. Well, the Calvinists say Calvin asked for him to be beheaded rather than burned. They burned him anyway — so much for being their spiritual leader.

What else? The poor are lazy and deserve it. Wealth is a sign of predestined salvation. It's called the Protestant Work Ethic and encouraged capitalism. What did Jesus say above? A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

How can people be so stupid as to be New or old Calvinists? How can Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill Church in Seattle have some 7,000 members while the Christian Commons Project has one? Is it because Mark Driscoll knows better the message of Christ? Hardly.

No, what's going on is avoidance and twisting. The Calvinist Puritans fought the English Civil War against the religious and state hierarchy (bishops and king). The Levelers among the Calvinist army wanted greater fairness in society. Oliver Cromwell, the Puritan's military and political leader, said no. The Diggers wanted something very close to the Christian Commons only the Christian Commons won't just plop down on the land, even though it truly does belong to the Church as the rightful inheritance of all as our shared gift. The Diggers were driven from the land. The Puritans ended up sailing to America to escape persecution but couldn't make communism work. They weren't willing to work as hard for each other as they were for themselves. Now that says it all.

Look at the Radical Reformationists though. Many of the Anabaptists were pacifists and nonresistant, just as was Jesus. The Anabaptist Hutterites, unlike the Puritans, were very able to live the Acts-communist life. That says it all too.

Why are there so many Baptists (often of the Reformed/Calvinist theological persuasion) in the U.S.? They had a lot of children. Why aren't there more Hutterites? They were nearly persecuted into extinction — down to about 1,000 from tens of thousands. They were orderd exterminated. Now they are back up to some 50,000.

(See: "Hutterites: An Historical Overview," by Tamara Berger-Prößdorf. Foreign Languages and Literature. Eastern Montana College. 1993.)

Published by Tom Usher

Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.


  1. I really didn't realize there were that many godly Bible-believing Calvinists out there; I've been feeling depressed. Thank you for your encouraging blog post - much appreciated.

  2. Romans 9 and Ephesians 1 are both in your Bible? Yes? If you can read those, and come away thinking the Scriptures don't teach predestination - my Q then is, what are those passages talking about?

    Calvin was a pastor in Geneva, not a magistrate. It was the magistrates who sentenced Servetus and decided the method (which by the way, was originally requested by the Catholics) - he didn't protest the sentencing (Servetus did indeed publicly break the first 3 commandments); he did protest the method to something more humane - it was (then as now) up to the magistrates whether or not to heed a particular citizen's protest, and in this case they didn't. However here is a quote I think both of us can agree with: "Let us then that have riches . . . consider that their abundance was not intended to be laid out in intemperance or excess, but in relieving the necessities of the brethren." Um, that was said by a Mr John Calvin - you know, he who preached oppression?

    1. Hello Christian,

      Why are you defending, excusing, apologizing for Calvin? Why aren't you using Jesus's standard rather than lowering yourself to Calvin's level?

      As for Predestination, the issue is with its application claiming that the poor are poor because they aren't saved – that mammon is (at least in some cases) an outward manifestation of the work ethic from faith and grace and in that sense, a facilitator of capitalism versus Acts 2:44-45, etc., and the logical conclusion that is Christian communism as with the Christian Commons Project?

      Calvin was not a magistrate in the sense you have used the term, but he was the chief priest, as it were, who did not resign and did not severely rebuke the magistrates for grievously erring. Where does Jesus tell you to kill people?

      "Let us then that have riches . . . consider that their abundance was not intended to be laid out in intemperance or excess, but in relieving the necessities of the brethren." That though falls far short because in the first place, it supports the means by which some have more than others do. Was Calvin saying to all the rich to give it all, as Jesus did? Who owns the means? Calvin, by falling short in his own teaching, and Calvinists, for following that shortfall, left and still leave the door open for Marx and his violent atheists.

      Damning the poor can be too subtle to one not on the lookout for hypocrisy; otherwise, Calvin stands in stark contrast. Where did Calvin draw the line concerning excess? He didn't draw it where Jesus did.

      Raise your standard. Stop being a Calvinist. Be better than that. Wherever Calvin doesn't jibe with Jesus, reject Calvin's teachings. Are you a Christian or a Calvinist? Is ego concerning your current Calvinism going to block you?

      If Calvin was a Christian, meaning an Acts-communist, why aren't all Calvinists Acts-communist or more so holders of the very Earth in common?


  3. I was going to going to answer this - then I read some of your other articles.

    Christ Himself said the Scriptures (when He was speaking this was synonymous w/ OT) were about Him. Jesus is who directed the ministry of Paul. The Holy Spirit inspired Genesis through Revelation. So rather then debate issues that may be of interest to a true brother - I decided to present to you what you do need.

    1. God Made You - Gen 1,2

    2. Adam sinned, plunging all of mankind into sin - Gen 3, 1 Cor 15:22, Rom 3:23

    3. The wages of sin is death and hell Rom 6:23 (if you're interested Jesus mentions hell A LOT)

    4. We all deserve death and hell, out of love, God sent His Son to take our punishment for us - Rom. 5:8, John 3:16, 10:11-18

    5. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved - Acts 16:31 (cf. Rom 10:9,10)

    I thought I was merely teasing a brother and then getting into an interesting theolog-

    ical discussion. That's not what you need. You need the BAD news - you've sinned (we all have), and YHWH cannot allow sin in His presence. You need the GOOD news, there is a Saviour who died to take away sins - JESUS!

    I will pray for you and my fervent hope is that you will come to saving faith.

    Love you and praying for you,


    1. Oh Christian, come off it. You don't love me, not even close. You were going to answer, then....

      Weak Christian, very weak

      You need to start working at living up to your name.

      Jesus would never do what you've done here.

  4. Marc Driscoll is a mixed bag isn't he? I like a few of the things he says and I like how he has a heart for men...Lord knows men need help. But he is full of himself and needs to be full of Jesus. Jesus needs to be about every 3rd work that proceeds from a pastors mouth. I just feel like the church has flipped it's lid! I would say to Marc Driscoll and to all...Preach Jesus!!! Preach his finished work on the cross and quit worrying if God predestined anyone. Let God be the judge of that, right? Assume that God wants everyone to be saved (Which I think he does) and preach salvation through Jesus.

    My 2 cents...

    1. The following may or may not appear to you to address your comment, Georgiana.

      There are people who will split a hair until the hair is gone. It does end up being a waste of time.

      I've been contemplating the Creation, Satan, God, procreation, faith, grace, and deeds today. I still am reconciled that deeds are required.

      It is true that a nonbeliever can do many of the deeds Jesus called upon us to do. Some deeds require faith in God and Jesus.

      I don't claim to know where each soul will end up. I don't claim to know the full mind of God. When I do know the full mind of God, I'll be 100% one with God.

      It will be God's decision. God will have let me. I can't see how that would be bad.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I do see where you're coming from, so to speak.

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