CG7-Denver has confusion over Calvinism and scripture

John Calvin, 16th Century Portrait


Tonight at sunset begins ‘the Last Great Day’–something that Protestants tend not to observe or understand.

John Calvin was an influential French pastor during the Reformation–he did not keep it. His views still affect Protestants until this day. His followers are known for something called the TULIP theory of salvation. It is a theory with many flaws.

In an edition of its Bible Advocate magazine, CG7-Denver’s former president, Calvin Burrell had the following written about it:

Q What does the Bible teach about God’s sovereignty (predestination) and human freewill? Can you shed any light on the TULIP theory?

A The Bible teaches both the sovereignty of God and the freewill of persons, even if harmonizing the two is beyond our grasp. (Burrell C. Questions and Answers. Bible Advocate. May-June 2010, p. 7)

Calvin Burrell includes the following in his answer:

The fifteenth century Protestant theologian John Calvin stressed the divine side of this mysterious equation. The acrostic TULIP was later applied to his teachings:

T – Total depravity: All men fell in Adam, leaving them dead in sins and incapable of responding positively to God.

U – Unconditional election: From eternity past, God chose certain men to be saved by His grace, without regard to any merit foreseen in them.

L – Limited atonement: God sent His Son to make full and effective payment only for the sins of the elect, those He had predestined for salvation.

I – Irresistible grace: Those God elected to salvation and for whom Christ died He effectively calls by regeneration from spiritual death, thus rendering them capable of expressing saving faith.

P – Perseverance of saints: Those God elected in Christ, called in regeneration, and justified by faith He continually quickens so they will never fall from His grace but only enter eternal glory.

This emphasis on God’s sovereignty, predestination, and election of some to salvation (thus, others are predestined to damnation) is commonly called Calvinism. It is heard most often in churches of the Reformed persuasion, along with some Presbyterian and Baptist groups. Calvinists do not deny that man has a modicum of free will; they see it as some of the means by which God carries out His eternal decrees.

Those of us who resist one or more of the TULIP points above do not deny the control of God over human history. But we believe that, in matters of trusting Jesus and persevering in faith, God enables the free will of man and yields to it.

Like other disputes, several Bible texts may be listed in support of either side of this classic discussion. Each position champions truths that should help to shape and inform the other. As one wise man remarked when asked how he would resolve the debate between God’s sovereignty and human freedom, “I never try to reconcile friends.” Elder Calvin Burrell

The reality is that although in the 19th century, some associated with CG7-D once taught what has been called “the age to come” doctrine (and we in the Continuing Church of God still do), it no longer does. Because it no longer does, CG7-D is confused about Calvinism, predestination, and many aspects of God’s plan of salvation. (Calvin Burrell also confused centuries as John Calvin is from the 16th, not 15th, century–but minor typos happen.) Humans certainly can resist the will of God regarding their own salvation (see also John Calvin, Calvinism, TULIP, and What is Predestination?), and all need to realize this.

The day of Pentecost, for one example, does not only picture the granting of the Holy Spirit and the start of the New Testament church, it also shows that there are some predestined in this age to be firstfruits (cf. Romans 8:23). And the idea of firstfruits includes the idea of a later and larger harvest. A time when salvation will be offered to all who never really had that opportunity in the “age to come” (Matthew 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 10:11-12).

Jesus warned the Sardis Church to be careful not to lose doctrine (Revelation 3:1-2), but sadly this is another one that seems to have been lost by most among them. And the idea of firstfruits in this age with others being called in “the age to come” is part of the message of Pentecost, that groups like the Continuing Church of God still understand to this day.

Tomorrow is a Holy Day, known as the Last Great Day, that better explains God’s plan of salvation. But since CG7-Denver does not keep it, they do not understand the plan as they should.

Perhaps I should mention that I have spoken to Calvin Burrell about some of this and, with his concurrence, sent him a copy of the book Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation. It is free to read at that link.

Here is some of what that book has related to Calvinism:

Did Jesus come only to save the relatively few elect, like Calvinists and most other Protestants believe or nearly all who ever lived?

Certain Calvinist beliefs suggest (to this author at least) that no more than 2% of humans will be saved and since none deserved this salvation, that this shows that God is love. The Calvinists consign the rest of humanity to eternal torture which they feel is deserved, despite the fact that they teach that humans have no choice in getting or not getting saved.

Calvinists teach a concept called ‘limited atonement’. Here are statements from some Calvinists related to that:

Rev. John Sladen informs his hearers, “All that God designed to save he saves; but he actually saves some only, therefore, he designed to save only some of fallen Adam’s children, for, if we consider God as infinite in wisdom, and of almighty power, there can not be a more rational way of arguing than from his acts to his designs.” This is similar to Symimgton’s argument, who says in behalf of a limited atonement, “The event is the best interpreter of the divine intention.” Dr. Nehemiah Adams says, “Not one more, not one less will be saved than God purposes” “God never designed to save every individual; since, if he had, every individual would and must be saved; for his counsel shall stand and he will do all his pleasure.” (Harris DF. CALVINISM: CONTRARY TO GOD’S WORD AND MAN’S MORAL NATURE. Harris, 1890)

So, some believe that God did not intend that most would be saved.

Yet, Jesus said:

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Doesn’t that sound like Jesus has a plan to offer salvation to more than a ‘limited atonement’ of the elect of this age?

If Calvinists would keep God’s Holy Days, they would realize that the Passover and Day of Atonement show that Jesus was sacrificed for more than a “limited atonement.” For details, check out the free online book: Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?

Of course, it is not just strict Calvinists that misunderstand. Here is something Protestant writers Bert Thompson and Jim Estabrook wrote (bolding in source):

Paul wrote in Romans 2:12: “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the law.” …

When people are lost, it is due to their having sinned against God. … Man is lost as a result of being afflicted with the horrible “disease” of sin—a condition that, unless treated, always is fatal (Romans 6:23). …

Those who never have heard—and thus never have obeyed—the truth of the gospel message will be lost! (Will Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel Be Lost? Apologetics Press. Accessed 01/09/19)

The Bible shows that it is appointed for all to die once, and after this will come the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Yet, the Bible also shows that those judged can attain mercy upon repentance (cf. James 2:13) and even those lost can be found (cf. Matthew 10:6-13).

Perhaps it should be pointed out that babies who die are not lost for sinning against God. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that those who never heard the truth of the gospel message will be lost. …

2 Corinthians 4:3 teaches:

3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost (KJV).

While Calvinists and others misunderstand this verse, consider that just because someone is lost does NOT mean that they cannot be found! …

Infants and Protestants

What about babies?

The 16th century Protestant Reformer John Calvin taught the following about babies:

And so INFANTS THEMSELVES, as they bring their DAMNATION with them from their mothers’ womb, are bound, not by the sin of another, but by their own. For they have not produced the fruits of iniquity, they have the seed of it inclosed within them; nay their whole nature is, as it were, a seed of sin; so that it cannot but be odious and abominable to God. (Calvin J. Institut. Lib. II. c. ii, as cited in Palfrey EJ, et al. The Christian Examiner and Theological Review, Volume 4. 1827, p. 432)

This seems to be the basis of John Calvin condemning babies who die to everlasting torment with no chance of reprieve. This is not something a loving God would do.

Jesus did not condemn infants and little children like the Calvinist have. Instead He taught:

3 … Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

But John Calvin said, no. Infants are full of the seed of sin and bring condemnation against themselves as soon as they are born. Calvinist theology is contrary to Jesus’ words.

John Calvin’s statements were condemned by Church of God pastor John Mauldin who also wrote that God was not condemning babies to eternal torment (Philotheos. A Threefold Dialogue, Concerning the Three Chief Points in Controversy amongst Protestants in our Day. London, 1708, pp. 30-32).

Now, here is something from Protestant Pastor John Wellman:

If a baby, infant, young child, or toddler dies before they can know Jesus Christ, where do they go? We are all born into sin but can babies go into the presence of the Lord since Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved (Acts 4:12)? …

The Bible does not clearly specify what the age of accountability is. … we see from Scripture that young children, babies, infants, and toddlers are not held accountable for their being born into sin, where do they go if they die at a young age? … Someone with a severe mental retardation may have the mind of a child, even into adulthood, and so the same principle of being unable to comprehend the gospel and their realization that they are presently separated from God by their sin can not be understood. …

There appears to be a special dispensation of God’s grace and mercy for those who die young and before the age of being held responsible for their salvation (an accountability). … those who die in infancy, those who are still-born, those who’ve been aborted, those toddlers, babies, and young children who die before the age of accountability are not condemned but will be in the Kingdom. (Wellman J. Where Do Babies Go if they Die? Do They Go To Heaven or Hell? CreateSpace, updated 2014)

As the above points out, the Bible does not actually teach a physical age of accountability. However, God does have a plan for the uncalled, babies, mentally disabled, and otherwise, but all must accept God’s way to be saved (which they will be able to understand after they are resurrected). There is no “special dispensation of God’s grace” around that.

But it is true that God overlooks the time of ignorance (Acts 17:30) and spiritual blindness (cf. John 9:41).

Somewhat similar to Pastor Wellman, Pastor Dr. Sam Storms wrote:

I do believe in the salvation of those dying in infancy. I affirm their salvation, though, neither because they are innocent nor because they have merited forgiveness, but solely because God has sovereignly chosen them for eternal life, regenerated their souls, and applied the saving benefits of the blood of Christ to them apart from conscious faith. (Storms S. Do All Infants Go to Heaven? The Gospel Coalition, August 20, 2015)

But how can babies be saved without being taught (Romans 10:13-15)? How can they without accepting Jesus (Acts 4:10-12)?

Well, biblically they cannot.

But God has a plan for them.

John Calvin, John Wellman, Sam Storms, and many others have not understood God’s great plan.

Sadly, like the Protestants, CG7-D still does not understand God’s plan either.

But you, if you are willing to consider hundreds of scriptures, can. Check out our free online book: Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation.

For more information about CG7 and other subjects in this post, please prayerfully study the following:

John Calvin, Calvinism, TULIP, and What is Predestination? Who was John Calvin? Did he believe in sola Scriptura or did he hold to unbiblical doctines? TULIP analyzed.
The Last Great Day: Shemini ‘Azeret What is the ‘eighth day’ of the Feast? What does it help picture? A sermon on this topic is also available: Shemini Azaret: The Last Great Day.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed?
God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
The Last Great Day: Shemini ‘Azeret What is the ‘eighth day’ of the Feast? What does it help picture? A sermon on this topic is also available: Shemini Azaret: The Last Great Day.
Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? Many “Christians” somewhat observe Pentecost. Do they know what it means? It is also called the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks, and the day of firstfruits. What about “speaking in tongues”?
Church of God, Seventh Day: History and Teachings Nearly all COG’s I am aware of trace their history through this group. Whaid Rose is the president of the largest CG7 group (Denver). Do you know much about them?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. There is also a YouTube video: The Seven Church Eras of Revelation. There is also a version in the Spanish language: Las Siete Iglesias de Apocalipsis 2 & 3.
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses some early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, CG7-Salem, Jerusalem 7DCG, and COG-7th Day-Denver. Here are two historical sermons: Sardis Church Era: Beginnings, Doctrines, and Leaders and Sardis: SDBs, SDAs, & CG7s.
CG7.ORG This is a website for those interested in the Sabbath and churches that observe the seventh day Sabbath.
CG7-D: Church of God, (Seventh Day): History and Teachings Nearly all COG’s I am aware of trace part of their history through some affiliation with this group. Loren Stacy is the president of the largest CG7 USA group (Denver). Do you know much about them?
CG7-S: Church of God 7th Day, Salem (West Virginia) This group formed by A.N. Dugger in 1933 when he split from the CG7 group he was once president of.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
All the Prophets Spoke of Apocatastasis The Apostle Peter said all the prophets spoke about “apokatastasis. Do you know what that is? Watch also ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.

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