Thursday, June 27, 2013

Funny sign

OK, so it was in the mens' restroom at a restaurant in Cleveland, TN, and not on the side of the road.

Funny still:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Special Set Up

Ude Garami is one of the most common arm locks utilized in mixed martial arts (MMA), as well as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Judo. The arm lock is performed with a corkscrew motion against an arm bent at a 90-degree angle. There are multiple methods of applying ude garami - some from the top, and some from the bottom.

For this installation, let's discuss a common situation in MMA, submission grappling, BJJ, and also in Judo. You have attempted a triangle choke, sankaku jime. However, the opponent is well versed, and knows better than to have his posture broken: once the posture is broken, the choke can be set in.

While the opponent is held in the triangular position, there is an opportunity to switch to ude garami. Observe Sarah in just this situation -

Picture 1:

To begin this setup, Sarah will circle her left hand in an inside-out motion.
Please note that Sarah will maintain a closed guard from the triangular position throughout the entire movement.

Picture 2:

Sarah continues the circular motion.

Picture 3:

Sarah grips the wrist in a standard ude garami style grip. 

Picture 4:

Sarah completes the ude garami grip. Note how she maintained the triangular guard throughout the entire process. 
Picture 5:

Sarah applies pressure by rotating her body, while keeping the opponent's elbow glued to her sternum. Her "objective" is to attempt to place the opponent's thumb into the opponent's ear. The opponent will tap long before the thumb is ever placed into the ear!

Picture 6:

 Here is the final submission from a different camera angle.

Picture 7:

As an interesting side note, this particular setup combines well with juji gatame, sankaku jime (of course!), and sankaku garami. Also, if the opponent resists by straightening the arm, Sarah could switch the arm over her head into an arm drag position, or even apply ude gatame.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Favorite Chain

A few days back, I was reading a thread on a martial arts forum which asked for the readers' favorite submission chain.

I did not reply there, but are mine:

Start from mounted position: 
1. --> Americana arm lock
2. --> Straight arm lock attempt (two options - A & B)
    A) Spider web position --> arm crush --> Kimura arm lock from top wedge - Part (4) below
    B) Take back to immediate RNC (or collar choke) attempt.
3. -->  Straight arm lock from back
4. --> T-grip to Kimura arm lock from top wegde
5. --> Straight arm lock from top wedge position
6. --> Spider Web position (A) above.
(Repeat as necessary)

Start from side position phase 1:
7. --> Americana arm lock
8. --> Spinning straight arm lock
9. --> Part (5) above.

Start from side position phase 2:
10. --> Kimura arm lock
    C) Spinning arm lock attempt (Part 5 above)
    D) Kimura arm lock from top wedge - Part (4) above

Start from Guard
11. --> Attempt to "floor" hands for Kimura arm lock attempt
12. --> Attempt arm drag for straight arm lock attempt
13. --> Attempt triangular guard for triangle choke
14. --> Attempt sweep to mount then to Part (1)
15. --> Attempt sweep to back, then to Part (B)

It is actually a very simple chain that I follow. What about you?


Monday, June 24, 2013

Calvinist Lies 4

I know, I know - redundant title is redundant.

In this series, I will not debate Calvinism vs. Arminianism. After all, the majority of the people who use the term "Arminian" are Calvinists - a very small micro-sect of Christianity. The other 6-billion people on the planet refer to "Arminians" as Christians. I also like the term "Biblicist," when it comes to matters of doctrine.

Limited Atonement
Limited atonement - the "L" in TULIP - is easily the most controversial of the Five Points of Calvinism. So much so that many classic Calvinists will rename this to "particular redemption," instead. The meaning of Limited Atonement is that Christ's sacrifice was only for certain people - not all of mankind.

So much scripture refutes this concept, that many Calvinists will gloss over it altogether and rename it particular redemption. Nevertheless, the concept is false. Further, Limited Atonement must be the way Calvin described it if one believes in Total Depravity (including Total Inability) and Unconditional Election.

At this point, Calvinists will start reaching and twisting words (they always do).
"But Christ died for all of us, but knew that only some would accept Him." True statement, but it is completely in contrast to the idea of predestination. So which way is it?
"Well, if you don't believe in Limited Atonement, then you believe in General Atonement." (the idea of General Atonement is that Christ died for and saved all mankind, regardless of choice - Universalism) This is clearly a 4th-grade attempt at twisting a definition of a multiple-option referendum point into an either-or position. Doesn't work. Word-twisting and by definition, heretical.

Christ died for all mankind.
Some accept the gift purchased by Christ's death.
Some reject the gift purchased by Christ's death.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Funny Thoughts in Martial Arts

Saw this the other day. Just had to copy & paste here:

New guy at the dojo, please:
Stop saying that you "trained UFC before." UFC is not a sport. MMA is.
No, your old karate uniform won’t do the job, bro. Get yourself a BJJ or Judo gi.
Stop saying you would do better if strikes were allowed. Actually that would probably be even worse.
Stop saying stuffs like: "He choked me with my own gi, that is unfair!" You are embarrassing yourself.
You know what? Stop talking unless you have a question.  A real one, these are always welcome.
When, asked by the professor, a blue belt is showing you the very basics of jiu-jitsu, don’t argue. The guy is doing you a favor.
Don’t get too excited when a purple belt gives you his back. He is toying with you.
Stop struggling to get out of that arm bar, you are going to hurt yourself. In fact, tapping is the first move you should learn.
Next time you twist my fingers, I will twist your spine.
Don’t bully white belt girls so you can claim you beat someone on your first class. Remember they are our friends.
It is a jiu-jitsu school, not a fight club. That is the reason why I didn’t break your shoulder earlier.  So calm down.
And finally shut up during challenge matches.  Watch and learn.
Oh, I almost forgot. Yes BJ Penn got his black belt in three years. But you won’t.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


The word "quota" might be the single word most despised by police officers. The fact is, they have them. I am not aware of any police department that does not have a quota system. Of course, if you say they have quotas, they argue back - often with great vigor!

For example, when I posted the following picture via Facebook,

I got 23 replies. Most get a handful - 5 or 10 replies at most.
This one got 23 replies, most of them from two people.

One said:
"Police do not have quotas!"
"I don't really even think the idea is there.. at least in my mind... If you are doing your job you will produce results. If you aren't you don't. That applies to any job including police work."

Another said: 
"Every job that I know of has performance evaluations in one form or fashion. If you're not performing like the other employees of the company then of course actions will be taken. That is not a "quota" by any means, it's making sure the company is getting the best employees for the job."

To which I say -

Definition Time:
Check out defintion #2, here: 
"2. A production assignment." 
For those who are not comfortable with things defined (jeesh, sounds like we are dealing with liberals or Calvinists!), let me put it simply: 


The "quota" is what they expect you to do. 
Often, the word can also bear the meaning of how much of "X" they want you to do. 

Roof builders have a quota - often measured in having to build roofs - how much and how fast. 
Salespeople have quotas - often measured in how much product is sold. 
Firefighters have quotas - often measured in how many fires they put out. 
Police have quotas - always measured in how many tickets they write. 

I'm comfortable with the term.
Having forged a distinguished career in sales, I am perfectly comfortable with the fact that I have a quota. Most of my employers have not even called it a quota, but that is what it was / is. This year, I am ahead of quota by about 23%. Last year, I beat quota by 10.7%. It is a good tool for measuring.   

Police aren't comfortable with the term.
"Cops need quotas, says NYPD brass"

“When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you’re a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues. That’s just the reality nowadays.” - Police Chief Michael Reaves of Utica, Michigan

Post edit addition: cop fired for speaking out against quotas. 

Why it matters:
What better way to increase the power of the government than to increase the enforcing power of the government's enforcement agencies? Police forces top that list. 





Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Improvised Sitting II

I was able to get to the range the other day. I got a chance to practice a bit with the Improvised Sitting position I had written about last year. To be sure, I have used the position a bit here and there since I first wrote that article, however, this trip, I made an effort to make extensive use of the position.

Took the ol' M16A4 clone -

The only difference was, I was using the detachable carry handle as iron sights, and not the ACOG you see in the picture above. I alternated with an optic - a Primary Arms PAC3X.

Ammo - Federal American Eagle 556 (55 gr)
Distance - 100 yards.

Groups fired with the optic were 2.5" - 3" on average, with 3.5" being the extreme. I was able to sneak out some groups under 2" from magazine rested prone. 

Groups fired with the carry handle were fairly consistent at 5" from 100 yards.

In my previous article, I stated I'd be comfortable out to 400 with the improvised sitting. I have shot this particular ammo at 400 yards before - ironically enough, it was from the improvised sitting position!

My actual distance shooting last fall at 400 yards resulted in a group under 12" - which represents a sub 3 MOA performance (3 MOA at 400 yards would be ~12.5"). My shooting more recently was on par with that result - ~3.1" at 100 yards is approximately 3 MOA.

Next Steps
With really good ammo, a free floated barrel, and a bipod, I am able to shoot groups out of an AR15 that measure well under 1 inch at 100 yards.

The really good barrel is a stainless steel HBAR. It weighs much more. The trade off is accuracy vs. weight. Since the A4 platform is already heavier than most carbines, even more weight is not necessarily a good thing.

As a trade off, I have decided that a LaRue quad rail on this A4 clone would likely be a good investment. It is my opinion that I might be able to squeeze another MOA of accuracy from the barrel. At the same time, I would no longer have to factor in barrel deflection from the occasional bipod use or sling use. Also, the LaRue rail is lightweight - easily as light as the KAC that is currently on the rifle.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Calvinist Lies 3

I know, I know - redundant title is redundant.

In this series, I will not debate Calvinism vs. Arminianism. After all, the majority of the people who use the term "Arminian" are Calvinists - a very small micro-sect of Christianity. The other 6-billion people on the planet refer to "Arminians" as Christians. I also like the term "Biblicist," when it comes to matters of doctrine.

Unconditional Election
The "U" from TULIP. At its core, Unconditional Election contains a major heretical position and an instance of Calvinist double-speak. This is an interesting one. The concept of Unconditional Election, simply put, is that God selects those who will be saved - predestination.

Predestination is only mentioned in the Bible twice - Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:5-11. In both instances, the question is what is predestined, not whom. What is predestined of God is that those who put their faith in Him shall be saved, and thus sanctified and glorified. 

At this point, Calvinists will start reaching and twisting words (they always do).
They will use terms like "elect," "God chose," and even stretch the meaning of the word foreknew (prognosko) to mean that He fore-determined. This is in clear contradiction to many Bible verses, which state "whosoever will..." - among them Mark 8:34 and John 3:16.

What's more, if God chose whom will be saved, then by default, He chose whom will be condemned. If you believe that God predetermined that certain people would go to Heaven, that requires that you must also believe that all others were predetermined to go to Hell.

At this point, Calvinists will start reaching and twisting words (they always do) again.
They will say that there can somehow be predestination of some to salvation without predestination of others to damnation. HOW SO???

Unconditional Election is totally false on all counts.
Predestination is true - in that, God determines what is going to happen to believers.
Predestination is false - in that, God does not determine whom shall be saved.
Predestination of some without others being predestined is double-speak.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Calvinist Corner - June 2013

Calvinism is not Biblical Doctrine. It's a human philosophy that appeals to proud-minded individuals.

The "ultimate" verbal gymnastics
I have actually seen places online that talk about the false doctrine of predestination, and the concept they say was that God, by His foreknowledge, created the plan of Salvation such that the people who chose it would actually choose it of their free will. That's how they say we were predestined.

This is the ultimate in verbal gymnastics: God didn't manipulate our minds or wills, but He manipulated the plan so that we would choose it. Of course, then that goes contrary to the concept of free will itself. And it is contrary to anything mentioned in the Bible.

Of course, it outright claims that the choice is ours - FREE WILL at its most elemental.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Study on Exegesis

As I enjoy debating the merits of Calvinism and Arminianism with Calvinists, occasionally, some like to question my exegesis (fancy word for translation and/or interpretation) of Biblical verses or passages. Sometimes I humor them and sometimes I do not have the time. I cannot claim to be any sort of expert - especially since I do not speak Greek and must rely on online sources. Nevertheless, I exegete as accurately as possible at all times.

Some people, though, are more renown than others. Here is a link to a 12-page document on the Biblical meaning of predestination - particularly as it relates to Calvinist claims of God predestining whom will be saved vs. "Arminian" claims of God predestining eternal life to those who choose Him.

The author, F. Furman Kearley, follows the five basic principles of exegesis in his work. Not surprisingly, the result is not favorable to the Calvinist viewpoint. Ironically, the methods used are extremely similar to those of John Wesley, as he converted his belief system to Biblical "Arminianism" from Calvinist.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Bit More on Adult Bullying

This article details several ways to tell if a man's behavior is alpha-male behavior or bully behavior. Not going to outline them here, but give highlights instead. Also note, the article takes a few liberties and sometimes portrays effective leader characteristics instead of true alpha-male characteristics, but that only because of the scope of the true concept of the alpha-male.

How they are similar:
[Alpha-males] - They see a situation, make an assessment that is logical and will usually work, based on prior experience -- although this process is often lightning fast -- and act.

[Bully] - also assertive, decisive, direct, not afraid to express himself, and often gets things done on his own terms.

Differentiating by traits
Bullies are grandstanders. They love to have people see them vanquish the person they are attacking.
A true Alpha Male is strong, smart and a pack builder. He leads, provides for and protects his pack. And he has fun doing it.

Very fascinating read.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Alabama BJJ Tournament

My student, Sarah, competed on Saturday at the Alabama BJJ Tournament.

Sarah had been winning at a very good clip in the white belt division at NAGA and other venues. She was of the opinion, as was I, that she should challenge herself by competing at the BJJ blue belt level. To be perfectly clear: I do not teach BJJ. Our grappling is more Judo-based. However, grappling is grappling. 

On Saturday, Sarah won:
Gold in Blue Belt - gi division.
Gold in open weight - gi division.
Silver in open weight - no gi division.
(There was not a blue belt no gi division)

Here is a run down from Sarah herself.
Here is an analysis from a coaching perspective of each match:

Match 1:
Funny side note: Sarah was momentarily unavailable when her name was called for match scheduling. I went to the main table and advised the coordinator of such. He thanked me, and made the matches. I met Sarah's competitor for Blue Belt Gi division - Kirsten. As we exchanged information, she naturally inquired about our school. She seemed surprised that we were Judo-based, and that Sarah only has minimal BJJ training. I advised her that Sarah had done well at NAGA and other venues. It did not seem she took that advice to heart.

As the match began, Sarah looked for grips to set up a takedown and hopefully the top position. Kirsten, with a look that indicated her respect for the Judo based arts, pulled guard quickly. Sarah put up defenses so the guard was not closed, and worked a pass. At the moment of passing, Kirsten secured a sweep. Sarah scrambled and closed a guard from bottom.

Kirsten attempted to posture, but fell victim to Sarah's insanely efficient arm traps in so doing. Sarah spun and applied juji gatame to Kirsten's left arm. The referee was not sure of the tap, but Kirsten was a superb sport and admitted quickly to tapping.

This was the only match, so it determined Gold and Silver.

Match 2:
This was the opening round in the gi, open weight division. Sarah's opponent was Kay, a woman with similar experience, though not yet a blue belt in BJJ. Sarah and Kay knew each other from prior tournaments.

They fought for grips, and as soon as they established preferred holds, Sarah changed levels and picked a single leg. Kay was hopping a bit, and Sarah noticed an opening for a double leg, and quickly caught the second leg, too. Sarah lifted Kay up to shoulder level, turned her, and secured a clean takedown. Sarah let Kay down easily, and completely devoid of a slamming motion.

Kay had snagged a front headlock (arm-in guillotine) in the process, and held on for dear life. Sarah calmly passed guard - to be fair, it was only "1/4 guard." Sarah was mounted, and Kay had the front headlock, mistakenly believing she had guillotine choke pressure. This is rarely the case when the arm is trapped, too.

After a moment or so, Kay's arms tired, and Sarah was able to pressure her way out. Immediately, Sarah capitalized on her opponent's tirred arms and moved to secure juji gatame on Kay's right arm. Kay knows Sarah well, and knows that is her favorite technique, so as Sarah moved to the spider web position, Kay yanked her shoulder down and half out of the attack. Sarah immediately secured a T-grip (David Avellan calls this a "Kimura Trap") on Kay's left arm, as it was still inside the spider web.

Sarah moved to top, and realized her grip was reverse from what she needed to finish with an ude garami. OK, maybe she realized this because I was yelling loudly for her to switch grips. Sarah smoothly switched her grip, and finished in total control with ude garami from a wedge position. If you are unsure of what this is, no fear, I'll do a blog post on it soon!

Match 3
This was a rematch against Kirsten, again for gold. This time, of course, it was the open weight class. Sarah sought grips for a takedown, and Kirsten pulled guard even faster this time, having seen the high double leg against Kay. In the ensuing scramble, Sarah passed the guard, and moved to kamishiho gatame (sometimes called "North-South"). Our school specializes in this type of attack. Sarah worked and arm free and attacked with juji gatame.

Kirsten turned, and Sarah locked on with ushiro sankaku jime position, without the choking pressure. Kirsten tried to sit up and out of it, which gave Sarah the angle to apply the juji gatame from inside the triangular position. This tap was also light, but the referee saw it immediately.

Match 4
This was for gold in the no-gi division. Sarah faced an opponent whose name we did not catch. She trained at a 10th planet gym in Colorado. She had beaten Kay with a quick guard pull-rubber guard-triangle attack. She attempted the same on Sarah. Sarah's guard posture was stronger than Kay's but the opponent's patience paid off. She eventually worked the rubber guard and the triangle choke (sankaku jime), securing the tap and the gold for no gi.

I have advised Sarah that if she has this much success in her next tournament, I will mandate she compete in the purple belt division.

For those who ask, yes, Sarah does have a purple belt rank in our school, but our belt ranking is substantially different than BJJ.


Calvinist Lies 2

I know, I know - redundant title is redundant.

In this series, I will not debate Calvinism vs. Arminianism. After all, the majority of the people who use the term "Arminian" are Calvinists - a very small micro-sect of Christianity. The other 6-billion people on the planet refer to "Arminians" as Christians. I also like the term "Biblicist," when it comes to matters of doctrine.

Total Depravity

The famous "T" from TULIP. In its most fundamental state, the doctrine of total depravity is agreed upon by most church denominations. So let's cut to the meat of the matter - what is what, and what is Biblical, and what do Calvinists believe?

Total Depravity, at its most basic, means that all men and women have sinned. This much is true, and is not argued by Calvinist or "Arminian." There are multitudes of Bible verses that agree directly and indirectly with this point of view.

At this point, Calvinists will start reaching and twisting words (they always do). 
Calvinists will take things a step further and promote the concept of Total Inability. That is to say: man is completely incapable of good deeds, and that man is completely incapable of choosing God. They still call it "Total Depravity," but this is clearly a separate and heretical viewpoint.

From this link:
The belief that man has no capacity to choose between good and evil, places the responsibility of man's sin upon God. Calvin would have us believe that we are robots and our actions are decreed by the sovereign will of God. The belief that man has no capacity to choose between good and evil, yet does evil, places the responsibility of man's sin upon God. In Calvin's own statement above, he double talks.

All men and women have sinned.
Men and women have the choice to accept or reject God.
Men and women have the ability to make that choice independent of God's manufacture.
God allowing men and women to choose does not reduce His sovereignty.
Total Depravity =/= Total Inability

To introduce confusing terms that equate Total Depravity to Total Inability is to twist scripture, and is typical of Calvinist double-talk.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Definitions Are Correct

Conversation via text between Pops and myself recently:

Me: "What are you up to?"

Pops: "Laxing."

Me: "Relaxing, huh?"

Pops: "Nope. Laxing. You have to Lax before you can Re-lax."

Me: "Basic English, I get it."


Thursday, June 6, 2013

June Pants Wetting

Cricket .22LR rifle - pink edition
Calista Megan - age 5
Disney Princess shirt - size 5T
No eye and ear pro because this was just a picture, not actual firing range


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What to Do

Recently, a client was talking about having the opportunity to leading a friend to the Lord. This is certainly to be celebrated. Our conversation turned to what to teach a fledgling Christian as far as to how to live a Godly life. My client mentioned confusion in what to tell a person in such a situation. Her confusion came from the fact that so many Christians subscribe to some form of "Cafe Christianity."

And there it is again, "Cafe Christianity." 

Which of the Jewish laws must a Christian adhere to?
Where are the commands of Christ listed?
What is the ultimate goal?
Is there a simple list of guiding principles?

Here is the ultimate guiding principle, according to Jesus Christ (Matt. 22:35-40):
One of them, a legal expert, tested him. “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourselfAll the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
Pretty Simple. But pretty complicated. That's a pretty broad spectrum. Still, these should be the guiding principles in all you do. Sometimes, though, there are situations where things are not so clear. Are there more specific instructions, without having 613 commandments?


There is a list, far fewer than 613 codes, that guides righteous living.
There is a list, similar to the 10-Commandments (which was for Jews), for all mankind.
There is a simple answer to what one needs to do, and needs to avoid.

Here is the quintessential guide to morality for mankind. Link to a great article on it.

Believe in God - the Creator of all Heaven and Earth.
Do not place other gods or people or things before Him.

Respect God.
Do not blaspheme (curse God).

Respect human life.
Do not harm other people.
Do not murder.

Respect your body and others, and promises you have made.
Do not engage in adultery (breaking marriage vows).
Do not engage in rape, incest, or bestiality.
Do not engage in sexual relations with a minor, or with a person unable to consent.

Respect the property of others.
Do not steal or cheat others out of their property.
Be fair and honest in business dealings.

Respect God's creatures - be humane.
Do not cause unnecessary suffering.

Keep with a spirit of justice. 

If you examine this code, you will find that it encompasses all areas of moral behavior. If a person wishes to have more personal restrictions, then that is between him and God. However, these seven will provide a complete foundation upon which to live a moral life.

Also interesting is the fact that all Ten Commandments are contained within these seven.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Better than Tulips

Better than ROSES.

Better than TULIP. What isn't?

I present the best flower to describe Christian Theology: DAISY

Deliberate Sin
Though all have sinned (total depravity), each sin is deliberate.
Man is capable of good deeds. Though only one man lived a perfect life - Jesus.

All-Encompassing Call
God draws all mankind to Himself..
God bases His election on those who freely choose Him
Salvation is available to everyone who seeks or desires it.

Infinite Love
God desires everyone to be saved, not just some "elect."
Christ died for everyone, making salvation possible for everyone.

Spontaneous Faith
God calls everyone to salvation, but many freely reject it.
Faith, while a gift of God, is brought about by a human choice.

Yieldedness of the Saints
The saved cannot fall from Grace - but can later reject it.
Those saved will have a God-given drive to demonstrate good works as a result of their salvation.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Last in the Nation

Illinois has become the last in the nation to adopt a citizen gun carry permit system. Under orders from a Federal Court, the state of IL had until June 9 to enact a law allowing carry, or else carry would be permitted without government oversight.

The bill is far from perfect, and far from normal, but it has been voted into place. Now, the people of IL await only the governor's signature. If there is a veto, the vote margin in IL indicates an over ride is well within reach. The alternative, if no law is agreed on, is much less desirable in the eyes of the gun-grabbers. Therefore, my prediction is that the governor will either sign it, or he will let it become law without a signature.

In the unlikely even that Governor Pat Quinn vetoes the bill, I foresee the state legislature over riding the veto poste haste - the liberals really DO NOT WANT the government to not be in control of something.


Calvinist Lies 1

I know, I know - redundant title is redundant.

However, I felt the urge to expand more into this after the conclusion of my "Calvinist or Christian" series. In this series, I will not debate Calvinism vs. Arminianism. After all, the majority of the people who use the term "Arminian" are Calvinists - a very small micro-sect of Christianity. The other 6-billion people on the planet refer to "Arminians" as Christians. I also like the term "Biblicist."

Funny thing, even a number of Calvinists often dislike the term Calvinist. They often tout being "reformed," and embrace the term. This is somewhat of a misnomer, as the most fundamental concept of "reformed" is by essence that of salvation being by God's grace and not of man's works.

Calvinists will claim that "Arminians" are not reformed, as they do not believe salvation comes through grace. That is completely false. Even John Wesley - the quintessential "Arminian" - had an entire sermon about salvation by Grace through faith.

At this point, Calvinists will start reaching and twisting words (they always do). 
They will claim that man's mere demonstration of faith is a "work" in itself, and therefore, not possible to cause salvation - despite the dozens of the verses in the Bible which refute their Calvinistic heretical claim. They actually say that the choice man makes is comparable to doing some sort of good deed.

Sometimes, the most die-hard Calvinists will say that man cannot come to accept God, unless God supplies the desire. They completely remove and disregard man's choice in the matter. God always draws us to Him, and that much is clear in the Bible. However, militant Calvinists take this (as with many other topics) to an extreme that is not found in the Bible.

God clearly gives us a choice.
God did all the work for salvation.
We simply accept or reject.


Calvinism and Christianity 10

If you are a Calvinist, you may or may not be a Christian. 

Do you believe in the sovereignty of God?
• If you answered yes, then you might be a Christian.
• All Calvinists and all "Arminians" affirm the sovereignty of God, but they differ on God’s endowment of freedom to human beings.
• Some Calvinists define sovereignty as God ordaining and predetermining all things and events, so that human choice is merely an illusion. This definition does not match the definition of the word "sovereignty" from any other known source.
• Most Calvinists don’t explicitly deny human freedom, but attempt to redefine it to fit their view of sovereignty.
• Christians affirm basic free will and that humans really do make genuine choices, undeniably affirming human culpability in sin.
• The Biblical view of Sovereignty is that God has the power and authority to do anything he wants, and nothing can happen unless he does it or allows it.
• Christians believe that God is sovereign enough to endow his creatures with free will.
• The Biblical view of Sovereignty and human freedom is motivated by its understanding of the character of God as being holy so that 1) God is not the author of evil; and 2) humans are culpable for their sins.

Doctrine does not affect one's salvation - belief in Christ does. However, there exists a distinct possibility that if your doctrine is false, as is the case with Calvinism, then you may never have asked Jesus' forgiveness and as a result, you may not have received salvation.

Material borrowed from this site. All edits are mine.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Calvinist or Not?

Some people claim to adhere to "reformed theology" but they do not defend the most extreme Calvinist points. Some people ardently oppose the concept that they espouse "Arminian" doctrine, but they really do. Now, I'm not talking about terms like "Semi-Pelagian" (only used by Calvinists), Amyraldism (4-point Calvinism, for those who CANNOT justify the unscriptural position of"Limited Atonement"), or even Molonism.

I'm talking about truly reformed thinking...
that happens to be in line with scripture...
that also happens to be completely "Arminian" in nature.

Total Depravity
If you believe Total Depravity means that all men (and women) have sinned... YOU ARE CORRECT!
If you have issues with the concept of Total Inability... YOU ARE CORRECT!
If you think total depravity = total inability... you are Calvinist. Please go back to the Bible and read.

Unconditional Election
If you believe that God predestines those that accept Him to salvation... YOU ARE CORRECT!
If you believe that God predestines whom will be saved... you might be a Calvinist. Please go back to the Bible and read.

Limited Atonement
If you believe that Christ's sacrifice was enough to pay for the sins of all mankind... YOU ARE CORRECT!
If you believe that not all people will accept the gift of salvation... YOU ARE CORRECT!
If you believe in particular atonement instead of Limited atonement... YOU ARE CORRECT!
If you believe that Christ's salvation was only for a few "elect" ... you might be a Calvinist. Please go back to the Bible and read.

Irresistible Grace
If you believe that God draws all men and women to Him... YOU ARE CORRECT!
If you believe that God does it all... YOU ARE CORRECT!
If you believe that God's Grace, when He applies it, cannot be resisted... You might a Calvinist. Please go back to the Bible and read.

Perseverance of the Saints
If you believe that once a person is saved, they cannot lose that salvation... YOU ARE CORRECT!
If you believe that works neither secure salvation, nor do works undo salvation... YOU ARE CORRECT!
If you believe that a person who lapses into sin might not have been saved... you might be correct.
If you believe that a saved person will persevere in their works... You might be either a Calvinist, or an Arminian, or simply have not read the Bible much. Please go back to the Bible and read.   

How to score it:
Count the number of points you chose that ended with "YOU ARE CORRECT!" - goal is 5 or more.
Count the number of points you chose that end with "Please go back to the Bible and read" - goal is as few as possible.

Make two columns, and keep track:
B) "Please go back to the Bible" column

So how did you do?
How many points did you get in the "YOU ARE CORRECT" column?
If you got 0 points, I'm not sure you are even Christian.
If you got 1 or more points in the "YOU ARE CORRECT" column, then good job. Ideally, you would want to agree with all these points, as they are Biblical, and agreed on by most Christians, including Calvinists and "Arminians."

How many points did you get in the "Please go back to the Bible" column?
0 - Congratulations. You might call yourself Reformed - and you wouldn't be wrong. Calvinists call this
1-3 - Not bad. You would be called either a Molinist or moderate Calvinist.
4 - Not great. You would be called an Amyraldist or 4-point Calvinist.
Specific Interpretations  
If your only disagreement was on predestination, you are not Calvinist, just a bit misguided. Go back to the Bible and read Romans 8:28-30 and Ephesians 1:5-11. Neither passage speaks of whom will be predestined, but what has been predestined for believers.

If your only disagreement was on Perseverance of the Saints, you are certainly not Calvinist. In fact, most Calvinists would either refer to you as a "1-point Calvinist" (a derogatory term in their circles) or "Arminian."

If your only disagreement was Irresistible Grace, you are certainly not Calvinist. There are plenty who feel this way. In fact, in isolation, I am not sure it is entirely unscriptural. The problem comes at the point of does God's suggestion overwhelm our God-given ability to choose? Here's a hint: God allows us to have a sin nature; just the same as He allows us to have a free will; just the same as He imparts in us a strong desire to seek Him.

If your only disagreement was Total Depravity or Limited Atonement - you are drunk. Go home. 

If you only missed a couple of issues, you still have quite a bit of hope left. In fact, you are probably more Molinist than Calvinist. Even if one of these points is Total Inability (which must be held if you hold any of the other extreme views). Keep up the Bible study.

If you missed all but limited atonement, you are Amyraldist (4-point Calvinist). Understand, then, for the same reason you reject Limited Atonement, the other five points are easily rejected. Please take note.

If you are a true 5-pointer, I am sorry. I hope you get over yourself, get honest with yourself, and get back to scriptural teaching. I also pray for your salvation. In my mind, it would be hard to be saved and be a 5-pointer, though the two are not mutually exclusive.