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Calvinists Sometimes Make the Worst Calvinists

Labels are a postmodern taboo. This is understandable. Once you are labeled something, you live under the presumptions of a system that has been typified by others. This representation may or may not be accurate. Unfortunately, the inaccuracies inevitably rule the label.

Republican: War lover. Does not care about the environment. Apathetic to social issues.

Democrat: Liberal. Godless. Weak. Immoral. Baby-killers.

Roman Catholic: Worships Mary. Drones. Ignorant.

Evangelical: Fundamentalist. Gay hater. Supports the killing of abortion doctors. Republican (see above).

Baptist: Can’t drink, dance, or smoke. Prideful.

Dispensationalist: Believes in two ways of salvation, one for the Old Testament and one for the New. Cares only about eschatology.

DTS Grads: Dispensationalist (see above). :)

OU Sooners: The best ever. Supernatural. Incredible. (Oh, wait . . . this is all true)

Emerging Christianity: Cursing. Compromise doctrine. Nose rings. Disrespectful.

Arminian: Humanistic. Denies God’s sovereignty. Pelagian.

Calvinist: Follower of a man. Believes God hates the non-elect. Denies free will. Denies responsibility. Believes God created evil.

Unfortunately, there are reasons why people have stereotypical assumptions about systems, and the reasons are often valid. Not because the system itself demands it (although this is sometimes the case), but because of two things: 1) There will always be those radical outspoken representatives who live for the spotlight and focus upon non-essentials within the system, thereby giving outsiders a skewed perspective of what the system is all about; 2) There are those outside the system who seek to distort the “opponent” by creating straw-man arguments.

It is the first about which I would like to speak. Specifically, I would like to speak with regards to Calvinism (since I am a Calvinist). There are many out there who call themselves Calvinists who make very bad Calvinists. In other words, the way they portray their own system lacks understanding and perspective concerning the system.

When I am around some Calvinists, I often want to become an Arminian! There are many reasons I say this, but first and foremost is that many Calvinists lack balance. They act as if the doctrines of grace are the only issues in theology. It does not matter what you are talking about, with these people it somehow always turns into a discussion about the importance of Calvinism. Further, they will strongly demean any who disagrees with Calvinism to the point where they deny them the grace that is so irresistible in their own system. In other words, there are many Calvinists who act like Calvinism is the central core of the Gospel. With this attitude of smugness, arrogance, and disrespect demonstrated by so many, who would want to be a Calvinist?

I will be the first to admit that there are many who are not Calvinists who love the Lord more, are smarter, and who live the Christian life better than myself (none of which is a great feat :) ). Who can deny the scholarship of the likes of men like Roger Olson, Thomas Oden, Paul Copan, J.P. Moreland, Gregory Boyd, I. Howard Marshall, and Scott McKnight? I can personally attest to the Christian character of Paul Copan and J.P. Moreland. They demand my respect even if we disagree.

Unfortunately, in some Calvinists’ zeal to proclaim the sovereignty of God, they present a very unbalanced portrayal of Calvinism. They often fail to give proper credence to the love of God and the responsibility of man. Now, to be fair, I don’t know of many respected Calvinist scholars who do so, but I have found this tendency continually among the laity and lay teachers. Progressing mightily in the triumph of the glory of God, they often make God so sovereign that He must, by virtue of their definition of sovereignty, be the author of all things, including evil. Now, I do recognize that Zwingli and Beza, who are part of magisterial Calvinism, did go this direction, but this is certainly not a necessary belief for Calvinists. In fact, some Calvinists, such as myself, would say that making God directly responsible for evil is such a way does not dignify His sovereignty, but, frankly, borders on blasphemy.

Further, there are many Calvinists who will deny the title Calvinism to any who don’t believe as they do on the non-essential elements of Calvinism. These non-essential elements of Calvinism include double predestination (retributionism), an affirmation of meticulous sovereignty, the absolute and unqualified denial of man’s free will and responsibility, a belief that God hates the non-elect, a demand to see the atonement as limited in the way that they believe it to be limited, and a firm adherence to supralapsarianism. Some even deny that we have the responsibility to share the Gospel. Their circle becomes so thin, it is no wonder that pride abounds. They become the elect within the elect!

I remember a Calvinist who owned a local bookstore where I used to study. Every time I entered the door, he would start nagging me about some non-essential issues of Calvinism. His primary argument was that I was not really a Calvinist because I believed that God, in spite of His unconditional election, still loved the non-elect. This was the discussion every time. I came to the point where I thought that he was not going to welcome me in the doors any longer because I did not agree that God hated the non-elect. The last words I remember saying to him were, “What does God want us to do with our enemies?” He said, “Love them.” I asked, “Do you think God would expect us to do something that He Himself cannot do?” He did not respond.

I am a Calvinist. I am a five-point Calvinist. I don’t mind being labeled as such. But sadly, I have to greatly qualify what I mean by this so people don’t label me according to the massive misrepresentation of Calvinism by some Calvinists.

In short, it is sad to say, but I would rather go to a party with a humble Arminian than some passionate Calvinists. While I don’t know how someone can be “against Calvinism” I do know how they can be against Calvinists. Calvinists sometimes make the worst Calvinists.

46 Responses to “Calvinists Sometimes Make the Worst Calvinists”

  1. Yes, I feel exactly the same way.

  2. The next thing you know, other Calvinists will point to this post and say that you’re not a “real” Calvinist or not truly “reformed” even…

    I love Calvinists!

  3. BTW, sometimes I feel like this when even being labeled a “Christian” because then you have to specify which kind of Christian.

  4. Any time you want to kick the habit the Arminians would be happy to have you. :-)

  5. I agree. The question is, how can those of us who have walked in Calvinism longer help to better train/mentor new Calvinists so that we avoid arrogance that tends to come with the misunderstanding of Reformed Theology and Calvinism?

  6. My experience is that the longer people are Calvinists the greater their arrogance grows but your experience may be different.

    I think that it arises as a logical conclusion of the belief system. Nominally the Calvinist believes that the elect are chosen for no particular reason, it is God’s arbitrary choice that determines which vessels are made for salvation and which for destruction.

    However the human mind has a great deal of difficulty accepting that, and some start to believe that God chose for a reason. Now for the Arminian the “reason” is simply that some accept God’s offer of salvation, and God’s grace in turn makes it possible for them to do so.

    The Calvinist has no such “out” so some, not all, start to believe it’s because they are in some way better than the reprobates that God chose for destruction. Hence the arrogance when dealing with people who don’t reach their exulted level.

  7. I agree with the points of your article. In the same vein, Christians can say also that “Some Christians make the worse Christians.” Also, Armenians can say the same thing: “Some Armenians make the worse Armenians.” Just about any system has their own “misrepresenters.” After all some Atheists make the worse Atheists!

  8. Michael, can you change my mistake in the sentence “Just about any system have…” from “have” to “has” Thank you

  9. Thank you for this article! You have helpled me understand your position much better.

    I once tried a discussion on Facebook with an arrogant Calvinist. He had seemingly no understanding that the elect would, as true Christians, exhibit the fruit of the Spirit such as love. Not suprisingly, I got dropped as a friend.

    If we sat down and talked together, we would probably come to a lot of agreement!

  10. I love Calvinists! (some of my best friends are Calvinists)

    If they could just manage to shed their love of ‘reason’, then they could better understand the clear words of Scripture that Christ died for the sins of the whole world.

    And they might be able to understand that Christ can be both sitting at the right hand of the Father, and be fully present in the bread and wine.

  11. I knew there was a reason I liked you. You’re a Sooner fan! Maybe Sooner fans make the best Calvinists? ; )

  12. I fully understand this feeling. I went to Seminary as a Calvinist and came away talking about “them”. I am still a Calvinist but sometimes wish there were a clear distinction to be made between me and the kind of Calvinism that makes me very uncomfortable. But I think there is a principle here. Often any given theological position even the wrong ones see an aspect of truth. It is when them press this aspect to extremes that they end up with a distortion.

  13. I’m a Mormon, and I sometimes say the same thing about Mormons!

  14. Good words. I understand how easy it can be to take a path to its ultimate conclusion. Thankfully, the Bible doesn’t take use there :)

  15. Just a couple of quick thoughts from a Christian who happens to agree with the five points of Calvinism. (Notice how I avoided the label Calvinist?)

    1. When we Christians talk, let’s talk first about how we love Jesus and how great God is. I have talked to other Calvinists who feel intent on telling me, very quickly, that they are Calvinists or Reformed, even before they tell me they are Christians.

    2. Calvinists should be the most humble people. If we recognize that we are saved by grace through faith, and that even our faith is a gift from God, we must realize we are no better than others. Yes, we are no better than those not elected to salvation. We should never look down on “sinners,” but have compassion for them. (After all, they may be among the elect.)

    3. (Didn’t think I’ve have a third point.) I would rather trust in God’s sovereignty over all things and put my faith in him than trying to figure out who is elect and who isn’t. My real concern when speaking to people as a pastor is to affirm that salvation/conversion is a supernatural experience. To be born again is something that requires God’s work. We don’t pull ourselves up by our bootstraps to become a Christian. My great concern about American Christianity (I can’t speak for how Christianity is doing in other countries) is that we have a an environment in which a lot of people think they are Christians because they prayed a prayer, walked an aisle, made a decision, or had some emotional or mystical experience. We all need to emphasize that being born again means we are changed and should produce fruit in keeping with our new status as God’s children.

  16. I often wonder if many Calvinists are arrogant because though they strongly state that God selected them for no reason, in and of themselves, they will avoid using the term arbitrary. Some think that God’s choice was not arbitrarty, but God has a reason for selecting them over someone else. This reasoning may lead to arrogance. They also tend to feel that they are the only defenders of faith in a Christian world full of heretics. Many Arminians become arrogant because of their supposed monopoly on the gifts of the Spirit. On another note, I do find it difficult to believe that a 5 point Calvinist can claim God loves everyone equally. How can excluding someone from being able to take advantage of the fruits of the greatest act of love be loving? I am not looking for a response since both sides have gone back and forth forever answering each others charges. I am just making and observation. I find deterministic Calvinists to be so much more consistent, but that is just my opinion.

  17. Thanks for this article. I’ve had the conversation you did with your bookstore owner friend with one of the pastors at my church and a couple other of my hard C friends. And gotten about the same response.

    It’s nice to know that not every Calvinist believes that the only reason we shouldn’t hate the non-elect personally and individually is because God hasn’t chosen to reveal their identities to us.

  18. Maybe it’s because I live in a country (Canada) and a city (Toronto) where there aren’t a whole lot of Calvinists, but I have yet to encounter this so-called “arrogant Calvinist” (though I am sure they are out there). What I have encountered, however, are a lot of people who tell me Calvinists are arrogant people. In fact, as soon as I became a Calvinist I was immediately warned NOT to be arrogant about it. And everywhere I go on the net, I read of non-Calvinists complaining about Calvinist arrogance and Calvinists hand-wringing about other Calvinists being arrogant. Is maybe the whole thing a little overblown? We do live in a world where anyone who has firm beliefs on any issue can be construed as arrogant. Maybe much of this sort of resolve is mistaken for arrogance.

  19. Patton says that a bookstore owner’s “argument was that I was not really a Calvinist because I believed that God, in spite of His unconditional election, still loved the non-elect.”

    It seems Patton is attempting to moderate the attitude of “radical” Calvinists. However, from my perspective, Calvinists, in their attempts at being more theologically cordial and less extreme so as not to offend God’s character, actually engage in double-think.

    For example, lets take Patton’s affirmation that God loves the non-elect. My question would be, how can that be? The idea of unconditional election leaves out any notions of a genuine divine love for the non-elect. Okay, maybe it does not show he hates them, but it certainly cannot be shown that he loves them; at the least, God is indifferent.

    If Patton affirms the Calvinistic notion that God has chosen which particular persons are to be save and if such a choice is based only on God’s decision, nothing more, where does that leave the non-elect? “Ahh, but they deserve to be damned eternally.” So do the elect. “But God has shown mercy to the elect.” And the non-elect? Again, where does that leave them? Does God genuinely love them so as to make every effort to obtain their salvation?

    “God’s Son died for them.”

    What God is the sacrifice of the Son if God had already decided who would be chosen for salvation and who would be “passed over”? Did Jesus die for the non-elect theoretically or actually?

    “Nevertheless, God shows His kindness everday to the non-elect everyday.”

    Yes, God may show kindness to the non-elect everyday, if you can call it “kindness” when, in the end, His every intention from the beginning was to damn you forever.

    If Patton is hoping to encourage Calvinists to be of a more gentle attitude, he’ll need to revise his theology to reflect a more accurate Biblical basis that affirms the genuineness of God’s love for all men, elect and “non-elect”, (which would most likely entail the repudiation of certain petals in TULIP, especially the “U”).

    I can applaud his courage to criticize attitudes of his own comrades, however, he’ll need to go farther than that and criticize the teachings of his own theological system.

  20. Thank you. A helpful post for me. Over the past five years since graduating from college, I have come to intellectually accept Calvinism. I find it nearly impossible to embrace it emotionally, as most of the fellow Calvinists I’ve known or come in contact with were as you described. Thus I avoid the label like the plague! The Sunday School class in the Baptist church in which my wife and I serve is full of Arminians (though they don’t call themselves that and most wouldn’t know it if you told them)- all of whom bear Fruit. When we encounter passages that undergird the points of Calvinism, I try to humbly teach the passage without being “Calvinistic”. In other words, we can faithfully teach Scripture without being arrogant, or explicitly relating every conversation to one of the five points. My wife is the only person who knows I call myself a Calvinist, because I don’t want to immediately turn people off. Wish it didn’t have to be.

  21. Should one being a Calvinist and claiming to uphold the “doctrines of grace” be ashamed to call himself a Calvinist?

    If the shoe, so to speak, fits, why avoid a “label” that aptly (unless it does not) describe one’s position, at least, in general.

    We all know we are Christians (I hope), but I think “labels” – anathema though they are to some – are helpful in understanding, at least, fundamentally where one is coming from.

    It seems to me that the apostle Paul was not that believers had labelled themselves but that they had done so at the expense of Christian unity and peace; they were defending not so much the truths of grace but their own theological position or cultic practice to the extent of dismissing the legitimacy of another’s Christian orientated stance.

    No?

  22. This posting has renewed my faith in the Calvinist character. Cheerio!

  23. Robert eaglestone November 11, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    CMP,

    You hit the mark, although I see the same kind of arrogance with my “home” denomination. You see, we think we’re the Most Correct, and all other denoms need to line up and get with the program.

    With me, the doctrines of grace lifted a huge burden from me during college. I had become wracked with guilt and the knowledge that there was No Way I could manage to purge sinfulness from myself. That there is not one single corner of me that does not have sin in it. Thus my best, highest motives were as filthy rags, unacceptable to qualify as true repentance or a true desire for God. When I understood that God had paid it all, and He is the one who gave life to my dead soul, that’s when i could relax and let my heart fill with joy, gratitude, and love.

  24. Last paragraph of comment #22 should’ve read:

    “It seems to me that the apostle Paul was not so much against that believers took sides and had labelled themselves but that they had done so at the expense of Christian unity and peace…”

  25. I have met very few Calvinists personally. Nearly every Christian I know falls somewhere under Arminianism, although that’s just my personal assessment. There’s this strange belief among most of the Christians I’m acquainted with, even pastors and highly-educated people, that Calvinism necessarily entails 1) a complete denial of free will and 2) “God created people in order to damn them,” i.e. a strong double predestination/God hates the non-elect. I dislike the way people trash Calvinism without a second thought because I know there are lots of reasonable Calvinists out there, and that Calvinism certainly doesn’t entail (1) and needn’t entail (2). And it’s not, imo, a very important issue in the sense that one’s soteriology doesn’t (shouldn’t) have any impact on one’s behavior or core theology. I guess the Calvinists on the extreme end are a lot louder than the reasonable and thoughtful ones, hence the negative stereotypes. It’s a shame because many people are not even willing to discuss reasonable interpretations of Scripture if they seem to be Calvinist.

  26. Great Article. I have had thoughts about this so much and you articulated those thought. Excellent!

  27. Calvinist is alright (too muich relying on reason).

    Lutheran is better (not all strains, of course)

    Much more Chrisitian freedom.

  28. I have noticed that most southern evangelicals are cypto-Calvinists but don’t want to admit it. They one way you can arrive at their theology of un-loosable salvation is through Calvinism and its predestination theology. And yet they typically hate the idea of predestination in its pure, cold, form. Americans in general don’t like to think of certain people as being destined to ultimate failure by virtue of their birth, and that is pretty much what you get from Calvinism. But they are so enamored by the never-lose-salvation theology that they can’t give it up and so engage in some sort of crude cognitive dissonance. The simple fact of the matter is that if you think salvation is unlosable, you are a Calvinist of some sort and have to take the bad as well as the good. If you think you are guaranteed a place in heaven and nothing you could ever do, even renouncing your faith, could lose you that, then you must think that most people are predestined for eternal hell (or whatever postmodern equivilant to hell you can come up with).

  29. While it is true that genuine Calvinists may be arrogant and can practically make “the worst calvinists”, we need to make sure that we do not include primitive baptists or hyper-calvinists in the discussion of bad representatives of Calvinism. They are not Calvinists. Genuine Calvinists have problems morally with pride although they believe correctly. Hyper’s don’t believe correctly and therefore have problems morally. You may be a legit Calvinist who has problems with pride, but it is what you believe that makes you a Calvinist. Consequently, those who go too far doctrinally (i.e hyper’s) have departed from Calvinism proper. They do not represent true, historic, evangelical, Calvinism. We should be quick to point out this distinction. In the same way we would want to distinguish ourselves from the “Crusaders” as viable representatives of Christianity. Those who do not evangelize or affirm man’s free agency/responsibility are as far from true Calvinism as the “Christian” soldier slaying Muslims is from Biblical Christianity.

  30. “The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;
    the LORD is avenging and wrathful;
    the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries
    and keeps wrath for his enemies.”
    -Nahum 1:2

  31. In the end, the only label that will matter is the whether we are “in Christ,” a member of his body. Speaking as a five-point Arminian (or is that a zero-point Calvinist?) I appreciate the dilemma you raise. It is often the extremists who make a position so reprehensible to others.

    If we are to mdel Christ, we must exhibit the humility of Christ.

    As theist, our goal is to show that God is actively involved in our world and judges us in equity.

    The discussion between Arminians and Calvinists, and the extremists on both sides, will be on-going as always.

    “The cross is the medicine for the world” has been part of my signature line for years. It here that I would hope we could both agree. You do not have to hold to a particular tradition to affirm that.

  32. Truth Unites... and Divides November 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    This was an interesting observation:

    (Roger Olson) “He asked: “If it was revealed to you in a way you couldn’t question or deny that the true God actually is as Calvinism says and rules as Calvinism affirms, would you still worship him?” I knew the only possible answer without a moment’s thought, even though I knew it would shock many people. I said no, that I would not because I could not. Such a God would be a moral monster.”

    (James White) “The fact is the answer given to the question as it was asked flowed from the heart of a person unwilling to submit to the final authority of Scripture. Roger Olson has authorities outside of the divine revelation found in Scripture, and he has told God just how far he is willing to go for God to be worthy of his worship, and no farther. If he cannot see how God can decree that Joseph be sold into slavery in Egypt so as to save many people alive, establish the very heart and soul of the Jewish nation, its laws, and its prophetic witness to the coming Messiah, all because he cannot differentiate between a God who sovereignly acts in time with pure motives in the same actions wherein sinful men act upon impure motives, well then, so much for Roger Olson worshipping THAT God! Take that, Sovereign King! That’ll teach You!”

    Read it all: Here.

  33. Calvinists remind me of the dwarves in the last book of the Narnia series (The Last Battle). They are in the Kingdom, yet are sitting in a circle at the “foyer” arguing amongst themselves while everyone else is heeding the call to move up and on. Come on, who cares how we are saved? we are, now lets go find Jesus in this new Kingdom – his throne is reachable for those who continue “up and on”. Could a dwarf “fall out” of the gates back into the now dark Narnia? Who knows, I don’t want to find out, I will continue up and on. The better things in the Kingdom come from the Holy Spirit.

  34. Sorry, edit function not working.

    And there are many more interpretations of “what you intended for evil, God intended for good” than “God decreed that Joseph should be sold into slavery,” including the pretty obvious, God, knowing what would happen, turned the evil to good and made his plans in perfect knowledge of what people would do given a specific set of circumstances.

    A friend recently pointed me towards Jewish literature on determinism and they’re far less set in stone on the matter. Yes, God is in control, and yes, man can still make choices. If there is a tension between the two they live with the tension and don’t try to force God to be one or the other. All in all, it’s probably a healthier position to be in.

  35. Don Sartain, I’m not sure how to fix it.

    It comes down to human nature, and even God has problems with that.

  36. I was thinking about the difference in comments between what Roger Olson said and what James White said in th post above. I do not think Olson is suggesting that Scripture is not authoritative in our lives. What is posed to him really does not ask that question. Rather the question is about the God of Calvinism. There are really two issues at stake here. One is whether the Bible reveals that God is deterministic as the Calvinists suggests. I would say “no” to this part of the issue, although I believe God is always active in our world. The second issue is as follows – if the Calvinist God is truly as they depict him (not as Olson or others believe the Bible depicts him), then is he worthy of worship? What most theologians are concerned with is not what the Bible declares good (such as the story of Joseph), but what the Bible declares as bad, sinful, and destructive, like the Holocaust.

    I also think White really misses the point of the Joseph story in Genesis. The text does not say that what the brothers of Joseph did was good. Rather, what God did was intended for good for a multitude of people. We all know the story of Joseph, but consider a few things. The man walking in a field who redirects Joseph in trying to find his brothers. Joseph is sold into slavery when a caravan arrives, redirecting an evil intent of the brothers to kill him. We do not see God’s providence in the brothers, but in the delivery of Joseph for a greater purpose. Potiphar under normal circumstances probably would have had Joseph killed for violating his wife (whether true or not, the accusation stands). Instead, Joseph is rescued again and cast into prison instead, where he encounters a cupbearer and a baker. And of course the rest of the story we know. We see God’s intervention not just for Joseph, but for others as well, since Joseph’s actions rescue a multitude of people from starvation. The brothers certainly were not working the whole picture, but to suggest that God somehow put the idea of murdering their brother in their hearts is abominable. Such a God would be despotic and while we might worship such a god out of fear, the question remains as to whether such a god would be worthy of worship.

    The underlying reason for worship is that we are attributing worth to the someone or something. And underneath all the arguments is an implicit assumption that God is good and worthy of our praise and worship because he has done good things, not bad things. We say with the psalmist – “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long (Psalm 23:6 NRS). We desire God because he is good, not because he is powerful.

  37. Hi Katie,

    Re: your comments on Nov. 11, where you say, “There’s this strange belief among most of the Christians I’m acquainted with, even pastors and highly-educated people, that Calvinism necessarily entails 1) a complete denial of free will and 2) “God created people in order to damn them…”

    As far as (1) is concerned, Calvinists, I agree, do not deny free will but they do understand it in terms that do not seem warranted.

    With respect to (2), note what Calvin said: “”Not all men are created with a similar destiny but eternal life is foreordained for some, and eternal damnation for others. EVERY MAN, therefore, BEING CREATED FOR ONE OR THE OTHER of these ends, we say, he is predestinated either to life or death” (Institutes, Book 3.23; my emphasis).

    So, especially with (2), these beliefs belonging to Calvinism are not necessarily as strange as it is suggested.

  38. Bob Anderson, your comments were on point.

    White, unfortunately, does miss the point (and from my perspective, he seems to have a habit of doing that).

    And I wholly agree when you say, “We desire God because he is good, not because he is powerful.”

  39. White might be right. I don’t know. But the tone of his post — and I read the full post — seems to be just the kind of thing Patton is talking about.

  40. This is one of the nice things about being an Anglican Calvinist, especially since the 21st century … no one really knows how to define it, and you! But then I use the more American term: Federal Vision, and I am really labeled! (Though I am only somewhat FV friendly).

  41. Hard to know where Mt Patton stands. Are there parts of the WCF that MR. Patton disagrees with? The Confession states that God has decreed all events that come to pass. Mr. Patton’s comment about not believing in a meticulous Sovereignty appears to deny this. It is said God is not the Author of evil. Well,may I quote Issiah 45-7. “I make peace and create evil.”God loves the non-elect? Does this mean He loves all the reprobates in hell. They might disagree with that. Truth unites is correct on MR Olson’s statements. He clearly states that if Jesus were a Calvinist He would deem Him to be a monster. Something you would expect from Richard Dawkins. There seems to be an animosity on this blog that God determines. Please explain how God could have a plan and not determine.Did God plan 9-11? He knew it was certain when Cain killed Abel. If God did not plan to make it certain then who did? “Does disaster come to a City unless the Lord has done it?” Amos 3-6..

  42. I appreciate this post, as it touches on an obvious problem in Reformed culture. J is a perfect example of this constant effort to derail every conversation in order to engage in coercive argument about The Doctrines of Grace. You can just see the angry confusion on his face as he bangs out a long-form version of “Duh!” J, it’s time to talk about something else for a little bit.

  43. This question is not a comment on any post that I’ve read rather it’s a question about odd behavior from a pastor.

    A pastor of a very small covenant church in northern minnesota has taken to wearing jewish garb in his services and calling himself Rabbi. He seems to think that he can be both jewish and christian. Even if that is true, this man was not a jew before his conversion.

    My understanding of the new testament is that one never needed to become a jew before becoming a christian and that we can, at best, remain in the state during which we were saved.

    Although I’m not a member of this church, many of my relatives are. No one in the congregation seems to mind.

    I’ve known this man for over 20 years and he has a questionable background – for what it’s worth.

    Am I missing something? If I am, point me in the right direction.

    Sincerely,
    Ron Nolette

  44. Theodore A. Jones December 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Yes Ron N. you are missing something. Belief in the doctrines of little lord Johnny Calvin do not produce a product that is twice a son of hell instead it is a product that is about ten thousand times a son of hell. Believe it or not I do fully agree that a Calvinist has truly been elected by God. It’s just not what a Calvinist thinks and pontificates what he has been elected for. Note 1 Pt. 2:8b and you can read for yourself what God’s wise choice is for the Calvinist.
    Little lord Johnny reconized that the doctrine of substitutionary atonement has an aggravating fly in its concept and if the fly is killed the whole so called “Reformation” went down the tubes. If it were true that Jesus’ died in anybody’s place he died in everybody’s place including those awful horrible RCs. So rather than being hung out on a limb that was already sawn off little lord Johnny elected, as God knew he would, to come up with a get around of substitutionary atonement’s aggravating fly and made things worse than they were before. So now we have two flies in the doctrine or a double error. But it gets worse. Some where along, as the clock ticts. And a bit, little bit, of reasoning was applied to little lord Johnny’s predictment. Of the false assumption that it is God who has already decided who is and who is not saved even before they are naturally born. Some wisenhimer theologian’s evil thinking was, “Since they are preseledted they are also preregenerated by God’s Holy Spirit to be saved too.” So whamo, but it gets even worse. To save the game of all this foolish thinking and supress their guilt a fuge called total depravity crawled to the forefront. “Well these wisenhimer theologians reasoned since every body else is totally depraved God ‘s Holy Spirit must regenerate us first to even be saved.” However it is only false teachers that the Bible refers to as depraved. And the Bible says every natural born person because of natural birth is not a child of God. The Bible also says that it is first necessary for a person to hear and obey a sacred command before the natural born person can be born again of God.
    Ron what you saw is simillar to what I’ve heard and seen in clergymen who have inculcated the doctrines of little lord Johnny Calvin. The one I saw and heard said,”I am a Jew. When I became a Christian I also became a Jew” and holds an M.Div. and if still around is in the hierarchy of the PCA. But the Lord Jesus has made a comment about the religious people who call themselves Jews when they are not. He tells us what they are and what has produced them. See Rev. 2:9 & 3:9.

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