Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The dangerous world of junk email

You have to be careful checking into your bulk email folder. Nestled amongst spam for Irish lottery winners and cheap pharmaceuticals, I came across an even more odious email. The subject line of the email said it all....

The Fruit of Cain Multiplied: The Murderer John Calvin

WOW! So I read the text of the email, being a glutton for punishment...

The following paper will be of interest and pertinence to you for possibly several reasons among many. It has been our great honor to discern and identify the error and spirit of John Calvin, whose rule is yet propagated in the hearts of men with evil consequences for all. The Lord Jesus Christ has visited us with the Light of His countenance to put an end to this evil, justifying His servants whom Calvin murdered, and His Name in the sight of all.

The Fruit of Cain Multiplied: The Murderer John Calvin

Show me whom you follow, and I will know what manner of person you are or will become. If you do not know whom you are following, don't you think it is time to find out how and where you are being led? Do you think you will altogether escape the consequences because ignorant? Think again. You already suffer them.

John Calvin was one of the most vicious of wolves ever to pose as a lamb of God. His supremely self-righteous spirit lives on in those who lionize and follow him, even unbeknownst to themselves. Truly, "that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."

Paul Cohen & Victor Hafichuk

Spurred on by some morbid fascination, I went to the webpage. Who knew that I had the blood of martyred saints throughout the ages on my hands! And who knew that heretic Michael Servetus is one of God's saints and servants, while John Calvin is not! The entire article really deals strictly with Calvin and Servetus. Mr. Cohen rather cavalierly claims the ability to refute Calvin's doctrines, but makes no real attempt to do so in his treatise (and given the juvenile quality of their writings, I doubt he could even articulate what Calvin taught much less refute it).

Aside from any discussion of doctrines, by this criterion alone John Calvin was a false prophet of the first order. How do we know? Because he condoned and excused, when not initiating it himself, the persecution and murder of those who opposed his doctrines and position. These are not the good fruits of a man of God.

We need not even prove the falsehood of Calvin’s doctrines to identify him as preeminent among the many false teachers professing Christ, though we can do that too. What the Lord gave us in this one simple directive is more than sufficient for judging this man by his fruits. One such as Calvin who kills others because they differ with his beliefs is a murderer.

Two issues jump out at me, one with whether complicity with the killing of Servetus makes Calvin a non-Christian and the other with whether or not the failings of Calvin the man negate the teachings of Calvin the theologian.

On the first. True, Servetus was a heretic and was killed and Calvin was in part at fault. It is also true that Servetus was a heretic who denied the Trinity. Calvin was right that Servetus held to a false philosophy but was wrong to have any part in his death. Does that mean that he is cut off from Christ? Are there any Christians who have committed sins, including murder? You better believe it. I seem to remember a fellow, a man after God's heart, who had a man killed so he could have his wife. Was David not a believer?

On the second, holding to Calvinism does NOT mean slavishly following Calvin in everything he taught or believed. I think that Calvin was completely wrong about infant baptism. Does that mean I am not a Calvinist? Hardly. We follow Christ and the teachings of the Bible, and Calvinism as a system is the system that best compiles and systematizes the various doctrines of the Bible into a coherent system. We follow Calvinism not because of Calvin, but because of Christ. Are there Christians who do not buy into Calvinism? Sure, and that doesn't mean that they aren't Christians.

Mr. Cohen and associates seem to paint with a pretty broad brush across the spectrum of Christianity in their list of false teachers, ranging from men like John Piper and Billy Graham to Rick Warren and Benny Hinn. Like so many groups, it seems that anyone who doesn't walk in lockstep with them falls into the false teacher category. I mean, John Piper is a false teacher? And the reason given that Piper is a false teacher in the subtly titled "Piping a Most Hideous Melody"? Because he teaches the doctrine of an eternal, real hell which is a radical idea held by...well every Christian for the last two thousand years.

I will now give you something specific to read there, after having had a chance to look over the site you sent me,

What did I find? A desert, a nuclear waste desert. I see the kind of death and destruction that only man can perform. I know this seems like hyperbole to you, exaggerating something you do not even believe to be true in the first place. You have found inspiration at John’s site, a little oasis perhaps. I do know, however, that truth can be found everywhere in men’s churches and religious works, and that it is the subtle and hidden error lacing the truth in those things that kills, as when Satan tempted Eve with lies couched in godly terms.

One of the biggest and worst lies ever told in man-made Christianity, one that John Piper subscribes to and teaches, is that there is a place of interminable torment and punishment for sinners. Men think to find this doctrine in the Bible, but while it is something the carnal man would wish on others, it is surely not something God has ever said or that ever entered into His mind. He made creation as an act of His love. He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son for it. We are His, bought and paid for by His blood. Would you make something in your own image, let us say conceive a son, knowing and purposing in advance that you would be consigning a sentient being, your very own flesh and blood, to torment that will never cease? What did Jesus say on the cross? “Father, burn them all in hell forever”? Or did He say, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”? Do you think His prayer was heard and honored? Jesus said that the Father always hears Him because He does that which pleases the Father.

Mr. Cohen and company apparently subscribe into a doctrine of eventual universalism, that all men will eventually be saved, that hell in only temporary. That is one of their many un-Biblical beliefs that they list that comes dangerously close to cult territory (they even try to respond to the question of whether they are a cult, and their response does little to deflect that question)

The Good News is not that everyone gets into heaven without exception, but that in a world of men doomed by their own rebellion and sin Jesus Christ came to save some from eternal hell and give them eternal life. Universalism is any form does violence to the mercy and grace of Christ and His effectual sacrifice for His sheep.

The webpage of "The Path of Truth" is a disturbing look into the world of those who claim "secret" knowledge of the things of God, in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Bible. Everyone who holds to a view that doesn't jive with this "secret" knowledge is of necessity a heretic and false teacher. I pray that Mr. Cohen and Mr. Hafichuk and their followers come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, repent of their false condemnation of Christians and humbly submit to Jesus Christ as Lord.

Beware the emails in your spam file, they are probably there for a reason.


Lee Shelton said...

You too? It's nice to know I wasn't the only one targeted. Paul and Victor posted the exact same thing on my blog.

Unknown said...

As I read their posts I could almost here the theme to the Twilight Zone playing in the background. I also fought off the urge to chant "Wackos" as I was reading.

Your a better man than I for wading through the nonsense of these haters of biblical christianity.

Arthur Sido said...

It gets crazier the deeper you get into their webpage, just nutty stuff. The guy claims to be hearing the Spirit, I think he is hearing voices alright but I am equally sure it ain't the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

That is strange. The Twilight Zone music would indeed make for good background music.

It seems you have knack for finding bizarre and heterodox personages on the web. I will have to check out the site for a little amusement.

Arthur Sido said...

In my defense, they emailed me but I do seem to wander into wacky stuff on a regular basis. I should stick to and I wouldn't get into so much trouble!

4given said...

Oh dear... I took the bait too.

I wrote the following over at Shelton's:

I bit also... ugh.

Here is a direct quote from Paul Cohen on my blog directed at the fact that I have multiple sclerosis: "...The Lord promises that no good thing would He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Obviously with MS we can hardly say you walk uprightly.

When we tell you about a better way in the Lord Jesus Christ, you cry foul and insist the will of God for health regarding those that call on His Name is wrong and evil. It is no wonder you are sick. What wicked liars you all are."

Just hit delete and pray for them if they contact you.

Ex Animo,
Lisa Nunley

Ephemeral Mortal said...

Mine too...these guys are nut cases.

Anonymous said...

if you know of a way to stop these guys..please let me know! they have stolen our mom away from us!!

Unknown said...

Yes, I have been attacked by Paul Cohen and Victor Hafichuk. I call them the Cranky False Prophets of the Cult of Condemnation. I have blocked all their calls and e-mails and I frankly don't care much what they think about me. I am actually on their site as a heretic and am with some cool people I respect. What a joy to be attacked by the devil, it tells me I am on the right track.
Evan Wiggs

margova said...

I've dealt with these characters and they're wolves from Hell. Praying for them may be a good thing for us to do but, God can only work with willing hearts and these stooges hearts are not willing to listen to real truth.. as their reprobate minds are already made up. They seem to think they have something to do with their own salvation, righteousness, justification and holiness... not attributing these things solely as the work of Jesus Christ for us and in us. All they do it throw scripture at people.. and their interpretation of it seems devoid of the Holy Spirit.

One Christian Dad said...

Thank you for this post - 4 years later! Yesterday I received an email from someone who was from my denomination who now belongs to this cult. I don't know him at all, but we have mutual friends and i guess that is how he found my blog. He took with him his wife and kids, and I am concerned for them and him. I think he is a pastors kid as well. but i might be mistaken. I would normally just ignore such an email but I feel obligated to do somthing becaue it hits so close to home... even though I do not know him personally. He contacted me and now I am stuck, I have gone to my elder and some pastor friends for advice on how to deal with this. Id he reaching out for help? is he trying to justify his move? Is he trying to recruit me? It is surreal - I am just a blogger lol. I never expected to have to deal with something of this magnitude. I am so concerned for him. Please pray for him and me while we deal with this.

Anonymous said...

How do i stop them from sending me emails?

John said...

I actually came to believe in Ultimate Reconciliation after studying the Bible and the original word for word translations for myself over a couple year period. It was actually God Himself who convinced me through an intense scripture study. I was a 110% eternal hell-fire believer for my entire life previously, so I wasn't going "new age" or anything like that!

Frankly, I was actually shocked (a good shocker though) that I was finding I didn't have the "full story" to many things, but regardless of my new-found expanded understanding of God's Holy Word, I have to say these grossly deceived people do a HUGE disservice to true faith (irregardless of whether or not someone believes in UR or eternal burnings).

They absolutely DO NOT speak the truth "in love" as the Bible commands, but instead are full of hate and judgement. The truth is I (along with every other human) do not truly know what may be going on in someone's life, never mind their HEART (which is far more important). How can you constantly be yelling, screaming and barking at certain people YOU personally deem as "false prophets" to repent, when you don't even provide any true BIBLICAL points against them?

Instead it's just hateful ranting and raving in false humility and pride. I'm sorry, but I wish these guys would be quiet as they give a terrible representation of those who truly understand and believe in Biblical UR and Christ who is reconciling the world to Himself. God Bless All!

Anonymous said...

RE Victor Hafichuk and Path of Truth abuse and name calling.. Please not that if you are a person that shows any compassion at all for the human race, and do not believe in Armageddon or killing to support Armageddon... you will be severely name called.. this practice of severe judeo-christian ideology is extremely dangerous and please be warned..

Here is an example found online:

Samantha said...

I read the string of posts at LegacyTalkTV. Crazy! These people are insane! REBUKE in the name of GOD.

Some even stated they are dangerously threatening.

I also have reason to fear based on email attacks of huge length.

Stay away from insanity!

Anonymous said...

I guess these posts were from 2008. Jump to the future, it's 2014 and I landed on your website today. Thank God! I was searching for 'false prophets' and that deceptive website was quick to 'reveal' all of the false prophets of our time. Why are they false? Because they speak the truth of the Bible. No sugar coating like all of the messages of today. I was ready to throw away all of my books written by these people who I look to for clarity. Yes, some listed are etchy, but come on! Anyway, thanks for your clear thinking and thanks to all of those who posted comments.

Cathy said...

I found your website because I had stumbled upon Victor's website, and on his list of "false teachers" was George Muller. The page was unbelieveable. And it is clear that this person did not read George Muller's autobiography, or much else written on this incredible man. I just read Muller's autobiography, and why he did what he did, why he wrote. He wanted to live a life, and prove to to others, that God was alive, could be trusted, and it is amazing what he did. It is clear that he was not self-righteous (as Victor) charged, and not "doing works" to please God. He felt a calling to do what he did, and what he did was truly amazing.

I was raised a cradle Catholic, and I was taught a lot of things, but never I was taught faith and trust in God. Muller's work has been the latest in a journey for myself.

Even before I read this book, and only knew of the concept of letting go and letting God -- thanks to Al-Anon and later reading Emmett Fox -- that I understood on even a small scale, that turning to God, rather than man when you have no answers, works. We know that God works through people, places and things.

All my life I have turned to people first, wrongly thinking that God didn't care about my everyday life at all, and it's been a very bad experience.

But whenever I have turned to God I have found that the help might come from the same person who had given me grief, but boy had the tone changed.

Muller wanted to show people, first and foremost, that putting God first and into every aspect of their lives, they could trust God for everything, big and small. He even writes one sentence of even looking for a key that is lost. Wow!! I have trusted God to find keys, my phone, anything that I've misplaced, and many other things, and where I used to rant and get upset I calm down and remember that I can turn to God for everything -- everything.

I could write lengthy on this topic. When I saw George Muller on that list it really, really rankled.

When Victor and his pal Paul do the kind of work, and have the impact on lives, that George Muller had, then maybe they can write. Oh, but then they'd be doing works.

Muller makes it very clear that when you desire to do something it must be for God's glory, and to give God all the credit. And that's exactly what Muller did, and his message was that there was nothing special about him.

I tend to love sites where people talk about how God has worked in their lives. When I come across sites that judge and point fingers I am out of there. It seems to be a big thing today for so-called Christians to do.

And the calling people who don't agree with their point of view as heretics and blashemers, and what not, that frankly terrifies me when I consider my own cradle-religion's history, and well as all the other institutions that started as a result of Reformation.

For me the words of Jesus I now use as my bedrock, and since Jesus said everything he did and said came from the Father, I take Him at his word, period. Jesus was also called a heretic and a blasphemer.

Whenever I read my Bible I ask for God's help in guiding me. I may be stupid, being a non-Bible-raised Catholic, but the conclusion I come to every time I open the Bible, is that this is God's love letter to us, and if you're ever at a loss for a prayer turn to the Psalms.

Cathy said...

I should say prayer, too, for these folks, and I do that. I am also reminded of this, from Paul. In one of my Emmett Fox books, he has a short essay entitled "Have You Realized These Facts?" and it's a list of short scriptures for meditation to use as a prayer, and one that I used, whenever I might be attacked by judgment, or even a smidge of self-righteousness (whether expressed or just thinking), is this:

"Resist not evil, but overcome evil with good." "Matthew 45:39; Romans 12:21.

And here's another good one:

"The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." 2 Corinthians 3:6

Arthur Sido said...

Cathy, it is ironic that I get a ton of traffic from their webpage even years later.