Creation Today Eric Hovind and doctrinal issues
While on FaceBook the other day another creationist contacted me and told me that Eric Hovind of Creation Today (link) has decided to add a person to his ministry that believes in Calvinism (link). Normally I would not care except this person cannot keep his Calvinist belief to himself. In other words he uses his affiliation with Creation Today as a platform. And Eric Hovind backs him up. In fact in our conversation I was challenged to a live debate and since Eric does do videos I figured it was tv. Sye TenBruggencate (link), the person who believes in Calvinism, never did make that clear. He was hoping the fear of being on TV, when I have never appeared on before, would make me back out. And I told him I was not interested in debating him on live tv.
It was not until Eric got involved that Sye finally said it was a live debate on Skype that he wanted then tried to make me look like a fool for thinking it was live tv when all he had to do was correct that the first time I brought that up. Like saying: It’s not live tv it’s a debate on Skype. But not doing so means he knowingly lead me astray which is what Calvinists are well-known in doing. After Sye made me out to be the bad guy Eric then proceeded to tell me and the other creationist in that debate that if we ever mentioned Calvinism again he would block us from posting on any of his subjects or FaceBook page. At this point I really do not care.
Side note: Why does this matter to me? Because Eric claims to be YEC (young earth creationist) and my ministry is also YEC. So what he does effects my ministry as well as every other YEC ministry. So Eric Hovind compromising his ministry like this means I will have to explain this to everyone whom asks and I have to say things I don’t like to say but I’m not going to compromise my belief to go along to get along. And that also means that not only do I have to take sides but so does everyone else. How do I know that I will have to explain to people what Eric has done? Because whenever one YEC steps out from the normal YEC stance I always get e-mails, phone calls, and instant messaging on why they did this. And I have to choose whether to defend them and compromise if it’s wrong, or tell everyone it’s wrong and why.
Eric’s excuse for having a Calvinist as part of the Creation Today ministry is laid out on this page called Secondary Doctrinal Issues: http://www.creationtoday.org/about/secondary-doctrinal-issues/
The idea Eric Hovind is trying to convey here is that theology is a secondary issue with his ministry and creation, the flood etc… is first.
YEC (Young Earth Creation) has a foundation that is set in the literal word of God. In other words the Bible is believed and taught as literal truth. Saying that any part of it is secondary is an absolute compromise and a cop-out on all issues concerning the Word of God. Because you cannot teach God’s Alpha without His Omega and everything that’s in between. We are the representation of Christ and through Christ we are ambassadors to a lost and dying world.
Saying that theology is secondary and denominational beliefs are secondary is nothing short of compromising the Word of God. And accepting any belief as part of a ministry because the ministry does not think it’s important, is teaching compromise because through false beliefs people get led astray. Accepting any and all beliefs is the way of the New World Religion. Where everyone is right regardless of what they believe. Even Satanists.
Eric says it’s all secondary because this is not a church. There is very little difference between a church and a ministry. Eric may not have pews and a pulpit, but he does go to churches where such things exist, correct? The last time I was at Dinosaur Adventure land they had a room where chairs were and a pulpit to stand behind so they could preach creation to the visitors that came. Not much difference. Does Eric actually think that a church requires a church building, pews, and alter, and a pulpit? A church is anywhere you preach the Word of God.
What is wrong with Calvinism? Calvinism has 5 main points in which the whole belief stands on. These point are also known as the Calvinist Tulip. They are:
- Total Depravity (original sin).
- Unconditional Election (God’s election).
- Limited Atonement (Particular redemption).
- Irresistible Grace (Effectual calling).
- Perseverance of the Saints. Also known as: once saved always saved (osas), eternal security, unconditional salvation, etc….
- You can read more about this here:
I left the link because I will not be addressing all of these. Only the ones that are more than clearly wrong.
- Unconditional Election aka Predestination. What his means is that each person has a predetermined life and no freewill. That even before you were born it was determined whether you would go to Heaven or Hell and there is nothing you can do about it. That God runs a matrix of sorts.
If what we do is predetermined then our sin is not our own. To be judged correctly and in all fairness all that we do has to be our own freewill to do it or we are not responsible for our actions. Example: If a thief holds a person at gun point and straps bombs to his body. Then tells him if he does not rob that bank he will make those bombs go off killing him and everyone in the bank as well. Then shows him a picture of his family held hostage and tells him he will kill them also. What choice does he really have? Today’s court system would not even find him guilty. And that’s only fair because it was not by his “will” the bank got robbed but by the will of another.
Also is the free gift of salvation a predetermined gift? Predetermination of salvation would also mean that people are born saved or born damned, right? But the Bible says we are “all” born into sin. When Jesus approached the disciples He did not ever say: You are predetermined to follow me. He instead gave them the choice to follow.
- Limited Atonement means only the elect (predetermined sheep) are forgiven. The rest, pray as they may are never forgiven. Neither can they be saved.
The Bible never says that Christ came to save or forgive the elect only. In fact here are some verses that clearly contradict that.
jn 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
jn 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
1cor 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.1tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
The Bible never says things like: God so loved the world that He sent His Son to save the elect. Nope what it says is that all you have to do is believe, and unsaved sinners that believe are saved. A cult that is based more on man always has it to where they can exalt themselves above others which is a form of humanism (I am God, or I am better than the rest of the human creation because I can have something others cannot). In God’s eyes there are only 2 groups of people. The Jews and the Gentiles. Not the elect and the damned. And the gospel shall be preached to both so that they shall know Jesus. If the shed blood of Christ is not strong enough to save everyone whom wants it, then the shed blood is not all-powerful which gives Satan the power to always be able to block salvation. Is Satan more powerful than the shed blood of Christ? It is if all sins cannot be forgiven to give salvation to the unsaved sinner. For Jesus cannot save the world if some of the unsaved are not savable. So this belief goes against what is said in God’s Word.
How does one tell who is not savable? Do we preach to congregations where a certain percentage is not savable? Do we as Christians waste our time on many who are not savable? If such men in the creation existed then God would have had a way to tell us whom they are. So even though Calvinists claim these people exist they cannot tell you who they are so by example they cannot even prove their claims. For I would like to see a Calvinist stand in front of a crowd of people and let everyone know who is predetermined for salvation and who is predetermined for damnation. For we know who the Jews and Gentiles are so not being able to show this other claim shows it was made up and is not Biblical.
Side note: The problem with Calvinism and beliefs like it is that they love to use certain verses from certain parts of the Bible while ignoring the rest to make their beliefs “sound” true. They treat the Bible vs their belief as an elimination verse game. I like this verse so this verse eliminates all other verses that do not agree. So when you point out their mistake by showing the verses that do not agree they will ignore them as if they do not exist. Basically taking a mental black magic marker and running through them. Real truth in the Word of God is found when you make the Bible as a whole work, not cherry pick.
- Perseverance of the Saints. Also known as: once saved always saved (osas), eternal security, unconditional salvation, etc….
This is the belief that once you are predetermined to be saved, you can never undo it. This effectively makes salvation not only something you don’t have the freewill to choose, but once in, it becomes a covenant of bondage. Christ came to set the captives free, not to move them from one bondage unto another. And since you can never lose salvation, salvation also becomes a temptation to use it as a ticket to sin. True salvation from our Lord Jesus Christ can never be a temptation unto the flesh.
Unconditional salvation is one of the names that they love to preach under. This is where they make any work, even kingdom works to bring souls into the kingdom, sound like sin (you cannot work your way to Heaven so nothing is required). What they call works are actually conditions. In order to be saved you have to believe. Belief = a condition. This unconditional salvation is one of the main reasons the church congregation of today does not get involved. and they also preach something that is totally UN-Biblical. And that is: If you give money to a certain cause like missions, it’s like you did it yourself. It’s like you were there yourself. Now when crowns are handed out is God going to say: Here Bill, here is your crown for paying Mike to do the work for my kingdom you were supposed to do. Not going to happen.
What this doctrine is basically does is to make sure that the person whom does this, thinking it’s the same as doing it themselves, that they will have no rewards in Heaven. What the unconditional salvation people won’t tell you is that the condition for being purified by the blood and enter Heaven is that you do the kingdom works. Because if your works (ones you paid for and thought you would get credit) burn up then the purification process transfer from blood to fire. This is why this verse says what it does: 1cor 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire….. Saved by fire means you get burned. And since no one gets burned in Heaven where do they go? Where the fire is where else?
What are the conditions of kingdom works for salvation that goes beyond just getting saved? This is all coming from Matthew 25:
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
What we forget a lot of times is that when Christ speaks we have to convert it into spiritual things not physical things. Here are the conditions:
- I was thirsty ye gave me no drink = the milk of the word for the new in Christ.
- I was hungry and ye gave me no meat = the meat of the word for those who are able to discern it.
- I was a stranger and ye did not take me in = a stranger is a unsaved sinner. Taking them in is showing them the good news of the gospel.
- Naked and ye clothed me not = A saved person without the Word of God is naked. Clothing them is giving them the Word of God so they can put on the full armor of God.
- Sick and in prison and ye visit me not = Afflicted and in bondage to sin. Visiting is to give hope through the power of prayer to show there is a way out and to shine a light unto a dark world.
The first point to be made about Matthew 25 judgment is that this is what’s called the saved throne. No one here is pulled from Hell to be judged. To prove this even more so. The once saved always saved teachers like to claim that the “goats” in this judgment are unsaved sinners. So I have a few questions that will some it up that they are wrong about this.
- Where in the Bible does it ever refer to unsaved sinners as goats? I have yet to find even one verse. This is an example of how they make the Bible conform to their belief. Even make stuff up.
- Having the saved and unsaved judged by the same kingdom works shows that if the goats did these things they could have been saved too (works for salvation). The reason they were judged by the same criteria is because they were both saved. That is why salvation is never mentioned here nor part of the judgment. Salvation is not an issue if all that stand before Christ are already saved.
- Why did Christ have to divide them? It’s because the goats blend in with the sheep and they were sheep but had no kingdom works. Sheep minus kingdom works = goats that get thrown into the fire. If not then someone who believes goats are unsaved sinners needs to show that verse where it says goats are unsaved sinners. Anyone? If a believer in this cannot prove this with God’s Word then it’s not true which makes the whole belief fall on it’s face.
In fact the challenge is: If Sye TenBruggencate can find the verse that says unsaved sinners are goats I will post it here and recant the rest and apologize. I can say this because I have no problem being corrected by the Word of God so there is no pride issue to deal with here. So Sye if you have the Biblical evidence that the goats are unsaved sinners I’m all ears. And if you cannot prove this with the Word of God, then what does that tell you about what you believe?
You see Sye, this one thing on the goats can disprove your whole Calvinism belief. You see how I approach something to prove it right or wrong is that I don’t say to myself: I already have it right. So what I’m looking at has to be wrong. I actually try to prove it right first. And if I cannot then by default of not being able to prove it right it becomes wrong. In this way I am not taking sides and don’t have a bias view when researching it. I am allowing the Bible to make my decision for me. This is how you test things by the Word of God. This is how I know the goats idea is wrong. I already tried to prove it right and could not. Of course you may find something I could not so I am open-minded to it if you do. But also remember I don’t go by words of man but the Word of God. So what you find has to be in the Bible. Now why did I try to prove the goat thing right? Not only to test it but because I was taught this as well in the Baptist belief where they also believe in once saved always saved (osas), I just had to know. It’s a salvation issue so I knew I had to have it right before I could continue.
What verse clearly states you can lose your salvation? James 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Brethren if any of “you”… It does not say unsaved sinners, the damned, etc…. It says: Brethren. So it’s speaking to all believers (sheep). If you err from the truth you can err so far that you need to be converted again. And this conversion shall save your soul from death (second death which is the Lake of Fire), and hide a multitude of sins. This is why we are responsible for what we believe as an individual. For once we are able to discern the truth on our own the teachings of others no longer applies 100% of the time. We are to correct what we were taught to get closer to the truth. Not making an effort in this area means you trust the teachings of man and therefore refuse to use what the Holy Spirit is there to do, which is to guide you to more truth.
Why are we allowed to come back after we lose our salvation? Because God knows we are imperfect and that we can be led astray without knowing. There is a difference between being deceived, and choosing to go down the wrong path when you know better. One is not the will of your own, while the other is. choosing or allowing yourself to be deceived is choosing evil over good. Being deceived unwillingly is not having a choice. So God allows a way back from both.
How easy is it to lose salvation? Once saved always saved teachers and preachers like to say that those who believe in being able to lose salvation also believe that every time you sin you lose it (a scare tactic). Salvation is a condition of the heart. Your heart has to harden towards God and that does not happen at the snap of a finger. So it’s a process just like erring from the truth is a process of deception, or the decision to choose evil over good. In other words you have to be fully committed to losing salvation before it will happen. God always leaves a way back if it does happen.
What makes losing salvation more Biblically logical as how it would apply to God’s Word? Not being able to lose salvation takes away the fear of God. Why fear God if your salvation cannot be taken away? So live how you want sin all you want. And that is why so many Christians do just that and set a bad example for all those looking at them as a representation of God. It basically allows the Christian to use salvation to mock God and what Christ did on the cross. Christ died to forgive sin not condone sin. Once saved always saved says Christ died to condone sin for what sin can make you lose it under that teaching? Making salvation a temptation to sin is wrong. Being able to lose salvation makes the Christian fear God and want to do right because of that. So the Christian cannot use salvation to mock God or as a ticket to sin. Being able to lose salvation for such actions eliminates all that. Not being able to lose salvation makes God into a Genie. This is because God has to accept how you want to live instead of telling you how you should live.
How do the unforgiven sins work with both teachings?
- Once saved always saved: To make once saved always saved work the unforgiven sins always has to apply to the unsaved only. This gives Satan a tool to block salvation before it is even given. The shed blood of Christ through this belief makes it to were it can no longer forgive all sins for the unsaved sinner and therefore will dam many to Hell. Giving Satan a way to block salvation also makes Satan stronger than Christ. For anything stronger than the shed blood is stronger than Christ. Just to show how this teaching can be used by Satan to make people think they can never be saved, there is a group of atheists that are using this teaching to commit the unforgiven sins so you can make sure you are damned for hell. Giving even them power over the shed blood of Christ: http://www.blasphemychallenge.com/ The unsaved are already damned for hell, under this teaching they would become double damned. That does not even make sense.
- Being able to lose salvation:Makes it to where only the saved can commit the unforgiven sins. This gives the forgiving power back to the blood of Christ to forgive all sins of the unsaved sinner. Takes away the tool Satan has to block salvation under the other teaching and gives everyone, not just the elect, a chance to be saved.
- What about if you commit a
unforgiven sin unknowingly? As stated before, God leaves leeway for our imperfections: James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin….Knoweth or knowing is whole key in that verse to if a sin counts against you. So if you commit a sin and did not know it was a sin then that sin does not count against you. Otherwise that verse saying if you knew better but did it anyway would not apply because sin would be sin regardless. So adding that leeway clause makes judgment fair for everyone. Examples: If when you are saved you were responsible for every sin known then salvation would condemn us instead of save us. Example: Lets say a person saved for 6 months and a person saved for 40 years is standing before God to be judged. Would it be fair to judge the 6 month Christian by the same standard the 40 year Christian is going to be judged by? Of course not. God is only going to judge you on what you know, was able to discern and overcome. Because if one standard fits all then we would all have to be as perfect as God. That’s impossible. So each judgment standard will be set up for each individual not everyone as a whole. In this way the judgment is totally fair, Holy, and Righteous.
- What do you exactly mean by a sin not being a sin until you know about it?Ever said or heard someone say: I did not know that was a sin? What that means is that once they know and understand it as sin it then becomes something they can be responsible in making a decision over. In other words good has to be discerned and understood before evil can be defined and the line drawn where a person needs to stop. And until that knowledge is obtained and understood that saved person is not responsible. This allows the new in Christ to grow and make mistakes and keep learning while still being in the will of God.
So basically what Eric Hovind has done by allowing a Calvinist to work with his ministry and preach his Calvinism from the Creation Today platform is make it harder for the rest of the YEC ministries by not towing the line. By compromising which is not what YEC belief is about. If a Mormon or a Jehovah Witness came to Eric and wanted to join his ministry, because he has already compromised with a Calvinist he cannot just say: Because you are a Mormon Or Jehovah Witness I cannot hire you or allow you to do this. Because they could say: You already have a Calvinist working with you so tell us why we are not allowed? And what could Eric say? And if Eric allowed them he would also have to allow them to use Creation Today as their platform to preach their theology because that is what he allows the Calvinist to do.
I know the Eric will eventually read this, so what should I tell other YECs when they ask me why you allow this Eric? Should I take your side and compromise my ministry also, or should I do what I know supports the Word of God and speak out against your decision? When you have to answer that question you see the dilemma you put me and other YEC ministries to even have to answer this question? I know you may not like to live in your fathers shadow. But what you father Ken Hovind did was set an example on how a YEC should be. What a YEC ministry is and how it should stand up to everything else. And regardless of where he is now he was basically my mentor in the ministry I now run. So I take this compromise personal for 2 reasons, not one. I think you can figure out the rest.
But if this is the way you are going to run your ministry, put it at the front door and not the back door. In this way you are up front about this so everyone knows. Because if you cannot do this, then indirectly you are actually showing that you know it’s wrong. Because I think you know exactly what would happen if you were up front with this. In fact I have a challenge for you and your ministry if this is so right. Put what you have done on the front page. Tell your supporters that you openly work with a Calvinist and will defend his teachings. If you cannot do this then you are only deceiving yourself into thinking it’s okay. Because any hesitation to do this should tell you it’s the Holy spirit trying to stop you. A truthful ministry is always up front with all that it does as an example to everyone else. A ministry that has to hide things in the back and only explain things when found out is not setting that example for everyone else.