Gnosticism And John Calvin

It is written:

“”You must say to them, ‘The Lord GOD says: By my life, I swear that I don’t enjoy seeing people die—not even evil people! I don’t want them to die. I want them to come back to me. I want them to change their lives so that they can really live. So come back to me! Stop doing bad things! Why must you die, family of Israel?’ (Ezekiel 33:11)

God reveals through His Word that He desires all sinners-even the most wicked-to come to Him to be saved.

However, the teachings of Calvinism affirm that God wants to damn the vast majority of mankind, and that this decision was made by God before the foundation of the world.

Where did John Calvin come up with his beliefs?

John Calvin was a religious reformer, who was deeply indebted to a third century disciple named Augustine for much of his teaching.

Augustine had been a member of a Gnostic sect (the Gnostics were early heretics in the church who attempted to combine Christianity with paganism). Bercot tells us:

“You may be wondering: if the early Church didn’t believe in unconditional eternal security, and if that doctrine originated with the Gnostics, then when and how did it come into the church? The answer is that it came in with Augustine. Interestingly, Augustine came from a Gnostic background. He had belonged to a group called the Manichaeans. They lived in the 300s and 400s, and they represented a revived form of Gnosticism. Augustine was the person who introduced the doctrine of predestination into the orthodox church. He taught that the elect can never be lost. At the same time, Augustine taught that you can never be sure that you are of the elect. So even his unconditional security didn’t make you very secure. That’s because you couldn’t know for certain that you are of the elect. Augustine’s doctrine of predestination never became a formal dogma of the Roman Catholic Church. And the eastern church rejected it entirely….However, at the time of the Reformation, Augustine’s doctrine of predestination was revived by Luther and was promulgated by Calvin. Their doctrine was a little more palatable. They took what Augustine said and changed one little thing. They said that you can know positively that you are of the elect. So with Luther and Calvin, everything is wrapped up.” (David Bercot, What The Early Christians Believed About Eternal Security, 428-443 (Kindle Edition); Amberson, PA; Scroll Publishing Company)

The Manichaeans were highly influenced by a Gnostic named Valentinus. What were some of the teachings of this gentleman?

“Valentinus said saving faith comes from your spirit, if you are one of the chosen (men are born saved),[ xvi] and some are not predestined to be saved but are predestined for hell. The rest might be saved through works.[ xvii] Only those whose spirits are an emanation from Sophia are predestined to be saved. All others are predestined to hell (double predestination),[ xviii] and those predestined for salvation do not need to practice good works.[ xix]…About AD 252, Manes formed a sect called the Manicheans. They mixed Christianity with Valentinian Gnosticism and other Persian elements. He stated his teaching came from Christ and the Persian Magi. Mani taught that there are two gods, one evil and one good.[ xx] He taught Jesus came to reconcile man to Satan, the dark god,[ xxi] but Jesus did not undergo punishment on the cross.[ xxii] He said Satan is the god of Moses and the prophets.[ xxiii] Man does not have free will,[ xxiv] and some are born with their nature totally depraved,[ xxv] while others are born nearly perfect.[ xxvi] Mani said he was the Comforter (Paraclete) and also the “that which is perfect” of 1 Corinthians 13: 3. Mani taught that vegetarianism, marriage, and having children are sins, [xxvii] and that there was a purgatory for purifying souls.[ xxviii] The church listened to Manes and concluded that he was a heretic. Since Manes denied the Scriptural teaching of the free will of man, he could not be sinless and therefore not an emanation from God.” (Ken Johnson, The Gnostic Origins Of Calvinism, 198-228 (Kindle Edition))

The primary teachings of Calvinism (total hereditary depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints) were borrowed from Augustine, who held to heretical teachings.

Calvinism is rooted and steeped-not in Scripture-but in pagan religion.

2 thoughts on “Gnosticism And John Calvin

Add yours

  1. Are you sure about Valentinus? Does not help when one understands Valentinus died in 160 AD where as Mani was born in 216, can we really say that Valentinus influenced Mani when there is a 56 year gap between death and birth. We can say for sure, it was not Valentinus himself that influenced Mani. Whether in his own writings or the writings of someone else-I do believe one would need to show that it was an adherent of Valentinus theology or some work by Valentinus that influenced Mani.

    1. Excellent question! Many of Valentius’s teachings were preserved in the church fathers. Johnson has this in his excellent study of Calvinism:

      “Valentinus said saving faith comes from your spirit, if you are one of the chosen (men are born saved),[ xvi] and some are not predestined to be saved but are predestined for hell. The rest might be saved through works.[ xvii] Only those whose spirits are an emanation from Sophia are predestined to be saved. All others are predestined to hell (double predestination),[ xviii] and those predestined for salvation do not need to practice good works.[ xix] So we can see that affirming predestination based on emanation, double predestination, denying original sin, and denying the need for holiness are all Gnostic ideas that Paul would classify as a “doctrine of demons.””

      — The Gnostic Origins of Calvinism by Ken Johnson
      https://a.co/fNMWBur

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: