In this article, we try to shed some light into the centuries old Christian theological debate centering around Calvinism through the explanation given in the Sant Mat teachings, which is the Light and Sound meditation tradition. Now since Sant Mat contributes two important concepts which are crucial to unravel the mysteries of Calvinism, namely the concept of reincarnation and the law of karma, it is important for people trying to understand the debate of Calvinism to first embrace these two concepts. Since Christians subscribe to Sola Scriptura they would have to find authoritative biblical scriptures proving that these two concepts exist even in the Bible itself. We leave such an intellectual search and exercise as a homework for the many Biblical scholars around, which are a dime a dozen..;-)
So, to get down to the 5 points of Calvinism, which is easily remembered by the acronym Tulip, we have the first point: T for Total Depravity. Well, what this means is that human nature is so rotten that we are far from God, being covered in sin since birth.
From the Sant Mat point of view, if you look at the term sin as the "karma" then everything will make sense. So Sant Mat is in agreement with the Total Depravity. We are so covered with "karma" that we become far away from God, and when we were born as an infant even, we came to this world with karma.
U for Unconditional Election. The Calvinist believe that God choses an elect few for salvation, leaving the rest of humanity to the fate of the unsaved for all eternity.
This may sound a bit harsh for the rest of the people left out in the cold, not being listed in God's plan of salvation. In fact it made God appears almost cruel. However from the Sant Mat point of view, this is easily understood as the concept of "marked souls" which a Perfect Living Master (PLM) is destined to deliver from the world of illusion (salvation). Sant Mat also embraces the concept of reincarnation, so the PLM is sent down to earth time and time again by God, so those who are unmarked in the lifetime of a particular PLM will have another chance to meet another PLM, and achieve salvation eventually.
L for Limited Atonement. Calvinist believe that Jesus atonement for the believer's sin is limited instead of universal. This makes perfect sense with the Unconditional Election, thus Jesus saves only the few disciples he had and atoned for their sins. This is the most troubling concept for Armenian Christians.
From the Sant Mat point of view, there is nothing contradictory here, since a PLM like Jesus is destined to save the marked souls alloted to Him, therefore only those disciples initiated by a PLM when He is alive will attain salvation. Jesus Himself states that as long as He is alive, He is the Light of the World, so that means as long as He is alive, He is the PLM that can lead marked souls to God, and He is the only way to God, as long as He is alive. Once Jesus is dead, He is no longer a PLM, and salvation in the name of Jesus does not apply any more. Another Living Master will have to be sought out by sincere spiritual seekers.
I for Irresistible Grace. This concept the Calvinist believe that God eventually will succeed in taking in the believers to salvation, and therefore the Grace of God cannot be resisted by believers.
From the Sant Mat point of view, this concept can be stated very clearly from the point of the spiritual seeker as this "When a student is ready, the PLM will appear".
P for Perseverance of the Saints. This concept the Calvinist tried to say that God never abandons the saved, elected souls, even if there will be episodes of back sliding Christians, the elected will eventually merged with the God head.
From Sant Mat point of view, there is no contradiction with Calvinism. Once a PLM initiates a disciple, He will be responsible for him until he reaches the goal of merging with God. A PLM never forsakes His marked souls, always there to guide him.