John Calvin (1509 – 1564) was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was the key figure in the development of the system of Christian theology bearing his namesake called Calvinism. He broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. In 1536 he published the first edition of his well known work Institutes of the Christian Religion when he was a mere 27 years old.
MAC views Calvin almost on par with the New Testament Apostles. Many brag about how they agree with all five main points of Calvinism (acronym of T-U-L-I-P) as though they were quoting Scripture. The reality is that Calvin was a human being like anyone else and his interpretation of Scripture is no holier or inspired than anyone else's. Many Calvinists act like Calvin was an early church father but his brand of Christianity has only been around for less than 500 years and has never been embraced by the Church as a whole. Calvinism is simply just one man's interpretation of Scripture. Many Calvinist don't like being accused of following "a man" so they sherk the title of "Calvinist" and embrace the movement rather than the man and prefer the name "Reformer" or "Reformed Theology."
Some see Calvinism as more of a philosophy than it is a theology, because many believe that it starts out with an incorrect assumption, then sees all things spiritual through that wrong assumption. What is the wrong assumption? The unlimited Sovereignty of God. I think I hear the Calvinists screaming, "HERETIC!!!" "OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!"
In reality, God IS absolutely sovereign, but, in one area, He does not impose His Will.
I Timothy 2:4 says, "God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth"
II Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance."
That is God's will, in black and white. End of discussion. He does not want ANYONE to perish. You would expect nothing less from a loving God...but, He is also a God of Justice. So although His Sovereign Will is that NO ONE would perish, He allows man to make the decision of his own destiny.
How do we know this? There are many verses that testify of man's free will, but the last words Jesus spoke in Scripture was, "The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him that hears say, "Come!" And let him that is thirsty come. And whosoever will, let him freely drink of the water of life." Rev 22:17.
In other words, whosoever wills (wants to) may come and receive eternal life.
In the Luke 14 parable of the Great Banquet, Jesus says "a certain man" invites many to come to his banquet but they refuse to come, so the owner (the Sovereign God) says, "Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full." Notice that He doesn't say, "Go out and force those that I had originally invited to come in, so that my house will be full." No, He INVITES, He even COMPELS, but He does NOT FORCE anyone to come.
So God INVITES all to be saved, He WANTS all to be saved, but alas, we all know that some will perish, thereby revealing God's limited Sovereignty. WE don't limit God, He limits His own Sovereignty. God loves you with His whole Heart, but He will not force you to love Him back. He wants our love to be genuine and sincere, not a shot gun wedding where we were forced to marry Him or else.
But the Calvinist insists that, "God decides who get saved and who does not. Man has no part in the process. Even if you wanted to be saved, you cannot be saved if God did not invite you." That would not only be unfair and illogical, it's unbiblical. But that's the false premise upon which the Calvinist build their doctrine: "Since God invokes His unlimited sovereignty in all decisions, that means He decides who gets saved and who does not, so 'logically' He would not invite someone that He knows is a backslider."
Hence the "P" in T-U-L-I-P; the doctrine of "Perseverance Of The Saints" (POTS)
POTS asserts that since God is sovereign and His Will cannot be frustrated by humans or anything else, those whom God has called into communion with Himself will continue in faith until the end. Those who "apparently" fall away either never had true faith to begin with, or, if they are saved but not presently walking in the Spirit, they will be divinely chastened and will repent. This theology is sometimes referred to as "Once Saved, Always Saved," or "Unconditional Eternal Security."
Many Calvinists, like MAC, literally use POTS as a litmus test. If you embrace POTS, you are all right in their book. If you reject POTS, then you are fool or a heretic. Most Charismatics reject POTS because it is not logical or Biblical. Like the McCoys and the Hatfields, this theological feud has been the biggest point of contention amongst Evangelicals for centuries and may actually be the root of MAC's bitter attack against Charismatics.
But Isaiah 29:13 warns, "The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught."
Many believe that because Calvinists/MAC reject the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit, they end up teaching the doctrines of men. Coming up with erroneous conclusions is bound to happen when you reject the Author's help to decifer His Word.