The BASIC Difference between Arminians and Calvinists

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crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
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#1
The Armenians come loaded with the "man does" verses while the Calvinists come loaded with the"God does" verses.
I believe the truth lies in the middle with both true but God as the first Mover.
 

AndyMaleh

Well-known member
Jun 26, 2020
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#2
There is no difference. They both come from God. Emphasize oneness with other Christians, not differences. Cover up differences by not giving them any attention. They're all our brothers and sisters in Christ. Better treat them well and skip over differences in conversations with them while affirming commonalities instead. That's what Jesus Christ would like to see once he comes back.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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#3
The Armenians come loaded with the "man does" verses while the Calvinists come loaded with the"God does" verses.
I believe the truth lies in the middle with both true but God as the first Mover.
The Armenians come loaded with the "man does" verses while the Calvinists come loaded with the"God does" verses.
I believe the truth lies in the middle with both true but God as the first Mover.
I think that they BOTH faced a tough question. Both had scriptures to back their arguments. Both had to somehow ignore the scriptures of the other. The solution lay somewhere else, but it flies in the face of 1,200 years of Roman Catholic theology. If we take a journey through the whole Bible, only sticking to scripture and not prejudged doctrines, one thing stands out. Starting from Genesis 1:26-28, through Noah, through Abraham, through Israel and finally through Christ and the Church till Revelation 20 and 22:5, it is apparent that the battle and promises in this vast and grand Book concern THE EARTH. Christians in the first 200 years after Christ never dreamed of any doctrine that man's destiny was heaven. In 313, Constantine, Emperor of the Roman Empire, declared Christianity a State Religion. And because Rome, like all the five great world powers before it, embraced the worship of the heavenly host, introduced this doctrine of going to heven, but with Christian names.

The doctrine was; At the end of a man's life he was judged by the scales of justice (to be seen in many court-rooms around the world). If his GOOD works were found to be in the majority, he was entitled to spend the afterlife in a "celestial lodge". If his EVIL works were found to be in the majority he sent the afterlife in a place of torment. By the time Calvin came along, the battle was not over this doctrine. The battle with Rome was whether a man was justified by his WORKS or his FAITH. The destination, and/or reward, was not at the top of the list for contending with, and so both Calvin and Arminius, and millions of other Christians, still pointed their doctrines at the final destination of heaven. If you are not sure that men of such stature and learning can still be so influenced by Roman doctrine, just page to Acts 12:4 in a King James Bible and you you will find that over 40 of the best Hebrew and Greek students of their time, all agreed to translate "Pascha" as "Easter". They are worlds apart. "Pascha" is the Jewish Passover which occurs on a specific day each year, and only shifts slightly because of the Jewish Calendar.

"Easter" on the other hand needs only cursory research to show that it is a High Pagan Feast to the goddess of fertility - Ishtar. It changes date vastly every years because it is based on the heavenly host. It falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, and is a decidely debauched affair with much drinking, eating and sex in adoration of the fertility goddess. It's symbol is the rabbit because of its accelerated breeding rate. This day of Ishtar is celebrated by millions of Christians all over the world every years - just with different names. Whether we think we should serve Ishtar or not, one thing is certain. The Roman Doctrine is very prevailing.

So, with the Roman Doctrine of men going to heaven at death, Both Calvin and Arminius were driven into a corner. They BOTH had to direct their scriptures in this direction. If they had lived another 250 years until the Plymouth Brethren came along, they, no doubt, would have re-considered their positions. For the record, I am not "Brethren", but do admit that their re-examination of the Bible led to some enlightening positions and doctrines - many of them still controversial today. They had Christ RETURNING to earth and setting up His Rule ON EARTH. The Brethren, and some independent scholars around them, shunned the allegorical approach to scripture that Rome so readily embraced. And if one is diligent to seek FIRST the literal meaning of scripture, and only revert to allegory if absolutely necessary to avoid an absurdity, then Rome's doctrines crumble and the picture is very different. They were easily able to divide Christ's Works and the Christian's works. If heaven was no longer the goal, but the Kingdom ON EARTH, as prophesied by Daniel, it changed everything.

  • If the RESULTS of FAITH were that one's sins were forgiven, that this man would not go to the Lake of Fire, that a man was justified, that a man was born again, that a man was born into God's household and became a son of God, that this man became "partaker of the divine nature" and that this man received a body in resurrection with "celestial glory", ALL Calvin's scriptures were satisfied.
  • But if the RESULTS of WORKS after conversion were REWARDED with a place in this Kingdom that Christ would establish on EARTH, and were REWARDED with a position of co-king with Jesus over the Nations (Lk.19:17-19; Rev.2:27, 20:4), and were REWARDED with a place at the Wedding Feast of Christ, the ALL of Arminius's doctrine are valid.

If we would swing our view of man's destiny from heaven to earth, Calvin and Arminius remain "half right", but their two doctrines are easily RECONCILED. FAITH ends in man's POSITION BEFORE GOD. WORKS end in man's REWARD in Christ's everlasting Kingdom ON EARTH. It just needs a few hours of study with a good concordance to find that a man HAS his sins forgiven, HAS eternal life, HAS justification and sanctification and reconciliation, HAS sonship to God and HAS the position of HEIR to the world by FAITH. But an HEIR is not guaranteed his inheritance. He could be disowned for evil against his father. In this case, he still remains the son of that father because you cannot become "unborn", BUT he does NOT INHERIT.

If the INHERITANCE is the Kingdom OUT OF Heaven and established on EARTH, a Christian can LOSE HIS INHERITANCE. Esau is a prime example. But if one insists, with the Roman Church, that a Christian's INHERITANCE is heaven ..... Well then, back to Calvin and Arminius!
 

SoulWeaver

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2014
4,891
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#4
I'd say there's no basic difference.
They are both manmade terms and theories, -isms, and as such not taught in the Bible.
They are both derived from the Scripture, but not successfully explaining all of the Scripture.
They both tell half of the truth, and ignore the other half of the truth instead of correcting their teaching.
So both do not rightfully divide the Word of truth.
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
29,009
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#6
There is no difference. They both come from God. Emphasize oneness with other Christians, not differences. Cover up differences by not giving them any attention. They're all our brothers and sisters in Christ. Better treat them well and skip over differences in conversations with them while affirming commonalities instead. That's what Jesus Christ would like to see once he comes back.
"There is no difference"..."Cover up differences"...
So which is it?
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
29,009
2,815
113
#7
I'd say there's no basic difference.
They are both manmade terms and theories, -isms, and as such not taught in the Bible.
They are both derived from the Scripture, but not successfully explaining all of the Scripture.
They both tell half of the truth, and ignore the other half of the truth instead of correcting their teaching.
So both do not rightfully divide the Word of truth.
This thread has more to do with where should the emphasis lie...on man's doing or God's?
I find many debates (esp OSAS) always gravitate to this issue..
This is not a matter of who has the perfect doctrine (Calvin/Arminius etc.), but where should the emphasis lie?
 

SoulWeaver

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2014
4,891
2,521
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#8
This thread has more to do with where should the emphasis lie...on man's doing or God's?
I find many debates (esp OSAS) always gravitate to this issue..
This is not a matter of who has the perfect doctrine (Calvin/Arminius etc.), but where should the emphasis lie?
I believe we just see these things as opposites because of our limited perspective, it appears like opposite to us now.
The two probably go hand in hand if they are not outright the same thing before God. Jmo.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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#9
This thread has more to do with where should the emphasis lie...on man's doing or God's?
I find many debates (esp OSAS) always gravitate to this issue..
This is not a matter of who has the perfect doctrine (Calvin/Arminius etc.), but where should the emphasis lie?
If we have a problem of harmony, and it is as profound as Calvin versus Arminius, and many express interest in its solution, I think we should address it. If we have a debate as to the consequences of our actions, with one party saying there are none, and another party saying it is spiritually deadly, even if the the sides are divided 70/30%, it needs to be sorted out.

In Hebrews Chapter 5 the Holy Spirit accuses Christians, who should have been mature, of being "childish" in the faith because they still have problems with the beginning, or fundamental things of the faith. Going into Chapter 6 He lists 6 things that should have been under our belts. Baptism is one of them. Have you seen anybody on this Forum who can address the five or six aspects of Baptism that scripture shows? Maybe we are "childish spiritually" because we duck complex issues?

Brother Arminius used scriptures and came to a conclusion that the approved Work of Christ can be undone by a man's works. He seems to have an argument. Either it is true and we all have have to amend our "eternal salvation", or Calvin is right and the logical end of his argument is that a Christian can behave as he wishes without consequences. In that case we have explain how being rich will most probably preclude us from the Kingdom, and this is equivalent to not being "saved" (Matt.19:22-25). And then you still have to explain why the young rich man had gained his wealth by following a Law that promised wealth BY GOD (Deut.8:18), but it is about to be confounded in his attempts to enter the Kingdom of God by that same wealth. And he has not even sinned yet.

Do we need "Emphasis" or a "Solution"?
 

Blain

The Word Weaver
Aug 28, 2012
17,208
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#10
The Armenians come loaded with the "man does" verses while the Calvinists come loaded with the"God does" verses.
I believe the truth lies in the middle with both true but God as the first Mover.
I would have to agree. God can open doors but we have to be willing to walk through it, the spirit guides but we have to have the faith to move according to it.
After all a good soldier doesn't act on his own he waits for the command from his commander
 
Jun 11, 2020
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#11
Supplementary to my posting # 3, I would like to point out the following.
  • Having your sin and sins atoned for is by FAITH (Jn.8:24)
  • Sonship to God by rebirth is by FAITH (Jn.1:12-13)
  • Salvation is by FAITH (Eph.2:8)
  • Eternal Life is by FAITH (Jn.3:14-16)
That is, when a man BELIEVES and CONFESSES that belief, something happens to him based on Christ's work. The Father has approved of Christ's Work and its EFFECTIVENESS. Who, or what can undo what Christ has done and which has been approved by the Father. Can a mere man overturn this?

But then we have the following emphatic statements
  • A rich man can hardly enter the Kingdom of God, and the disciples understood this to be "not saved" (Matt.19:25)
  • A Christian who gets drunk cannot enter the Kingdom of God (Gal.5:21)
  • A Christian who "jests" cannot enter the Kingdom of God (Eph.5:4-5)
Now, in what way can wealth in itself, enjoying your son's wedding with a half a bottle of whiskey* and having a sense of humor (as many on this Forum have), cause the Work of Christ to be overturned, especially as (i) it is designated by God as "eternal" (Heb.5:9), and (ii) Romans 8:32-39 gives a list of powerful things that cannot (i) accuse us before God, or (ii) remove us from God's grasp?

I think we had better sort this out because the first four points base salvation on FAITH and the second three show a Christian losing it for relatively mundane WORKS. Or are we talking about two different things?


* I will have you note that in the Law of Moses, which is "good", "holy", "spiritual" and from God (Rom.7:12-14) urges the Israelite to enjoy God's Feasts with "strong drink" (Deut.14:26).
 
L

lenna

Guest
#12
This thread has more to do with where should the emphasis lie...on man's doing or God's?
I find many debates (esp OSAS) always gravitate to this issue..
This is not a matter of who has the perfect doctrine (Calvin/Arminius etc.), but where should the emphasis lie?

hmmm

but that is not the proposal you made in your title to this thread

The BASIC Difference between Arminians and Calvinists

you are apparently interested in BASIC differences between the 2

now you are talking emphasis which I'm sorry, I don't know what you are getting at
 
L

lenna

Guest
#13
I believe we just see these things as opposites because of our limited perspective, it appears like opposite to us now.
The two probably go hand in hand if they are not outright the same thing before God. Jmo.

which I have held to low these many debates ;)
 

SoulWeaver

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2014
4,891
2,521
113
#14
This thread has more to do with where should the emphasis lie...on man's doing or God's?
I find many debates (esp OSAS) always gravitate to this issue..
This is not a matter of who has the perfect doctrine (Calvin/Arminius etc.), but where should the emphasis lie?
I seriously rethought your question again. Got me again like on that other thread... :)
I remembered this Scripture.

Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

What I gather from this passage (while I agree with you on what you said in the OP that the message needs to be balanced and capture full truth), is that emphasis when we preach, if there is any, should depend upon what is most spiritually beneficial for the hearer in that moment.
Per example, we're not going to emphasize mercy to the lawless and complacent. Or emphasize fire and brimstone to a fresh babe in Christ.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
13,460
6,131
113
#15
I believe the truth lies in the middle with both true but God as the first Mover.
The best way to see the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism is through the Five Articles of the Remonstrants, which set forth the Arminian views in opposition to Calvinism. Christians who are neither Calvinist not Arminian will not agree with most of the Five Articles (presented by Dennis Bratcher with his comments). Only that on Unlimited Atonement is biblical and acceptable. The Notes in red are my comments.

The Five Articles of the Remonstrants, 1610

Article 1. [Note: this Article still supports election for salvation, rather than election for perfection and glorification]
[Conditional Election - corresponds to the second of TULIP’s five points, Unconditional Election]
That God, by an eternal and unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son before the foundation of the world, has determined that out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who through the grace of the Holy Spirit shall believe on this his son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath and to condemn them as alienated from Christ, according to the word of the Gospel in John 3:36: “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that does not believe the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also.

********************************
Article 2. [Note: This is perfectly biblical]
[Unlimited Atonement - corresponds to the third of TULIP’s five points, Limited Atonement]
That, accordingly, Jesus Christ the Savior of the world, died for all men and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins except the believer, according to the word of the Gospel of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And in the First Epistle of John 2:2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

********************************
Article 3. [Note: this is almost exactly like Calvinism, which ignores the impact of the Gospel under the convincing and conviction of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith comes from the hearing of the Gospel (Rom 10:17)]
[Deprivation - corresponds to the first of TULIP’s five points, Total Depravity]
That man does not posses saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as in his state of apostasy and sin he can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is); but that it is necessary that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, and will, and all his faculties, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, “Without me you can do nothing.”

**************************
Article 4. [Note: this Article does not properly address Irresistible Grace as applied to salvation. Scripture says that men can and do resist the Holy Spirit]
[Resistible Grace - corresponds to the fourth of TULIP’s five points, Irresistible Grace]
That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to the extent that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can neither think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements that can be conceived must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But with respect to the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, since it is written concerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7, and elsewhere in many places).

********************************
Article 5. [Note: this Article does not properly address the issue of the eternal security of the believer, but neither does it say that believers can lose their salvation]
[Assurance and Security - corresponds to the fifth of TULIP’s five points, Perseverance of the Saints]
That those who are incorporated into Christ by true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, as a result have full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well understood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no deceit or power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ’s hands, according to the Word of Christ, John 10:28: “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginning of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of neglecting grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scripture, before we ourselves can teach it with the full confidence of our mind.

**************************
These Articles, thus set forth and taught, the Remonstrants deem agreeable to the Word of God, tending to edification, and, as regards this argument, sufficient for salvation, so that it is not necessary or edifying to rise higher or to descend deeper.

"The Articles of the Remonstrants" are adapted from Phillip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, Volume 3, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 1996, pp 545ff.
-Dennis Bratcher, ed. Copyright © 2018, Dennis Bratcher, All Rights Reserved
(No copyright claims are made for the text of the original document.)
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
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#16
or Calvin is right and the logical end of his argument is that a Christian can behave as he wishes without consequences.
I believe this is a mischaracterization of Calvin.
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
29,009
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#17
But then we have the following emphatic statements
  • A rich man can hardly enter the Kingdom of God, and the disciples understood this to be "not saved" (Matt.19:25)
  • A Christian who gets drunk cannot enter the Kingdom of God (Gal.5:21)
  • A Christian who "jests" cannot enter the Kingdom of God (Eph.5:4-5)
I would double check the context of those references.
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
29,009
2,815
113
#18
hmmm

but that is not the proposal you made in your title to this thread

The BASIC Difference between Arminians and Calvinists

you are apparently interested in BASIC differences between the 2

now you are talking emphasis which I'm sorry, I don't know what you are getting at
I thought I was quite clear (IMHO) of the basic difference...
The Armenians come loaded with the "man does" verses while the Calvinists come loaded with the"God does" verses.
I believe the truth lies in the middle with both true but God as the first Mover.
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
29,009
2,815
113
#19
The best way to see the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism is through the Five Articles of the Remonstrants, which set forth the Arminian views in opposition to Calvinism. Christians who are neither Calvinist not Arminian will not agree with most of the Five Articles (presented by Dennis Bratcher with his comments). Only that on Unlimited Atonement is biblical and acceptable. The Notes in red are my comments.

The Five Articles of the Remonstrants, 1610

Article 1. [Note: this Article still supports election for salvation, rather than election for perfection and glorification]
[Conditional Election - corresponds to the second of TULIP’s five points, Unconditional Election]
That God, by an eternal and unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son before the foundation of the world, has determined that out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who through the grace of the Holy Spirit shall believe on this his son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath and to condemn them as alienated from Christ, according to the word of the Gospel in John 3:36: “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that does not believe the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also.

********************************
Article 2. [Note: This is perfectly biblical]
[Unlimited Atonement - corresponds to the third of TULIP’s five points, Limited Atonement]
That, accordingly, Jesus Christ the Savior of the world, died for all men and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins except the believer, according to the word of the Gospel of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And in the First Epistle of John 2:2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

********************************
Article 3. [Note: this is almost exactly like Calvinism, which ignores the impact of the Gospel under the convincing and conviction of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith comes from the hearing of the Gospel (Rom 10:17)]
[Deprivation - corresponds to the first of TULIP’s five points, Total Depravity]
That man does not posses saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as in his state of apostasy and sin he can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is); but that it is necessary that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, and will, and all his faculties, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, “Without me you can do nothing.”

**************************
Article 4. [Note: this Article does not properly address Irresistible Grace as applied to salvation. Scripture says that men can and do resist the Holy Spirit]
[Resistible Grace - corresponds to the fourth of TULIP’s five points, Irresistible Grace]
That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to the extent that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can neither think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements that can be conceived must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But with respect to the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, since it is written concerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7, and elsewhere in many places).

********************************
Article 5. [Note: this Article does not properly address the issue of the eternal security of the believer, but neither does it say that believers can lose their salvation]
[Assurance and Security - corresponds to the fifth of TULIP’s five points, Perseverance of the Saints]
That those who are incorporated into Christ by true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, as a result have full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well understood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no deceit or power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ’s hands, according to the Word of Christ, John 10:28: “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginning of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of neglecting grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scripture, before we ourselves can teach it with the full confidence of our mind.

**************************
These Articles, thus set forth and taught, the Remonstrants deem agreeable to the Word of God, tending to edification, and, as regards this argument, sufficient for salvation, so that it is not necessary or edifying to rise higher or to descend deeper.

"The Articles of the Remonstrants" are adapted from Phillip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, Volume 3, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 1996, pp 545ff.
-Dennis Bratcher, ed. Copyright © 2018, Dennis Bratcher, All Rights Reserved
(No copyright claims are made for the text of the original document.)
So would you say that
The Armenians come loaded with the "man does" verses while the Calvinists come loaded with the"God does" verses?
 

Blain

The Word Weaver
Aug 28, 2012
17,208
1,729
113
#20
I thought I was quite clear (IMHO) of the basic difference...
The Armenians come loaded with the "man does" verses while the Calvinists come loaded with the"God does" verses.
I believe the truth lies in the middle with both true but God as the first Mover.
Balance is key, if man acts without God moving first his endeavors fail if God moves but man fails to act then again their endeavors fail.