How to become a Calvinist in 5 easy steps

zoidar

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Zoidar, you say, "But if an unbeliever asks: "Did Jesus die for me?" [Calvinists] can't say anything".
But they most definitely can say something. From my point of view, and, of course, depending on how much they know about God and his Gospel, the first answer is, "do you want him?".

You could, but could not say "yes" or "no". Does it have to be a problem? No! Can it be a problem? Most certainly.
 
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GodsGrace101

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The Gospel according to Jesus is that those who believe and are baptized will be saved per Mark 16:16 - It is that simple. I don't understand all the Calvinist double-think - as they challenge such simplicity with unanswerable questions like whether you were predestined to be chosen. Instead of the simplicity of Mark 16:16. Calvinism obfuscates with arguments against man's free will (which challenges other people;s ability to conduct rational thought), God's sovereignty (which they confuse with determism), God's decrees (which is a wild card as outside of the word, it is unknowable), and man's potential self-delusion (somehow they don't acccept that maybe they are the deluded). For denominations Calvinists really hate like WOF, they accuse them of following a different Gospel, a different Jesus as seen in the American Gospel flick, which was formerly published on Netflix.
Speaking of self-delusion...have you ever run across this teaching of Calvin?:
(I don't know how any Calvinist can be secure in their salvation).


there are two species of calling: for there is an universal call, by which God, through the external preaching of the word, invites all men alike, even those for whom he designs the call to be a savor of death, and the ground of a severer condemnation. Besides this there is a special call which, for the most part, God bestows on believers only, when by the internal illumination of the Spirit he causes the word preached to take deep root in their hearts. Sometimes, however, he communicates it also to those whom he enlightens only for a time, and whom afterwards, in just punishment for their ingratitude, he abandons and smites with greater blindness.

Source:
Calvin's Institutes
Book 3
Chapter 24
Paragraph 8
 
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GodsGrace101

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I doubt very much you accept ONLY the use of Scripture*. But that statement is not applicable to mine, that neither of us accepts the use of Scripture texts that the opponent uses to support his argument. To make it more plain, I mean, that neither of us accepts the use the other puts to the texts he uses. —I don't like your use, you don't like my use. You don't like my interpretation and application, I don't like your interpretation and application. 'Use'.

*By this I intend no disparagement. Like all of us, you also accept logic, certain natural law, cosmically true principles, even reality itself.
The bible is our authority.
But there are other writings that could clear all this up.
But, unfortunately, not many Christians like to study Christian history...
so on we go.
 
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Mark Quayle

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Speaking of self-delusion...have you ever run across this teaching of Calvin?:
(I don't know how any Calvinist can be secure in their salvation).


there are two species of calling: for there is an universal call, by which God, through the external preaching of the word, invites all men alike, even those for whom he designs the call to be a savor of death, and the ground of a severer condemnation. Besides this there is a special call which, for the most part, God bestows on believers only, when by the internal illumination of the Spirit he causes the word preached to take deep root in their hearts. Sometimes, however, he communicates it also to those whom he enlightens only for a time, and whom afterwards, in just punishment for their ingratitude, he abandons and smites with greater blindness.

Source:
Calvin's Institutes
Book 3
Chapter 24
Paragraph 8
Continually, I see this, that the mind of self-determination considers how everything affects the person, and everything relates to what the person can do —is he secure?, what he decides, how he accomplishes what God has for him to do, what does God think of him?, does he measure up?, what is his heart after?, etc.

But Calvin wants to talk about what God is doing.
 
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GodsGrace101

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Continually, I see this, that the mind of self-determination considers how everything affects the person, and everything relates to what the person can do —is he secure?, what he decides, how he accomplishes what God has for him to do, what does God think of him?, does he measure up?, what is his heart after?, etc.

But Calvin wants to talk about what God is doing.
Everything does affect the person.

The bible is about the relationship between God and man.

Relationship.

We're not His playthings.
 
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GodsGrace101

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Continually, I see this, that the mind of self-determination considers how everything affects the person, and everything relates to what the person can do —is he secure?, what he decides, how he accomplishes what God has for him to do, what does God think of him?, does he measure up?, what is his heart after?, etc.

But Calvin wants to talk about what God is doing.
I wonder why you see this continually.
Maybe because it's true.
 
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Mark Quayle

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Everything does affect the person.

The bible is about the relationship between God and man.

Relationship.

We're not His playthings.
Did you find me implying we're his playthings?
 
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Mark Quayle

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I wonder why you see this continually.
Maybe because it's true.
True that I see it? Or true that Calvin wants to talk about what God is doing, and the self-determining want to talk about what man can do? Both?
 
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GodsGrace101

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True that I see it? Or true that Calvin wants to talk about what God is doing, and the self-determining want to talk about what man can do? Both?
We can do nothing apart from the Holy Spirit.
 
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GodsGrace101

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True that I see it? Or true that Calvin wants to talk about what God is doing, and the self-determining want to talk about what man can do? Both?
I meant what posters tell you.
If so many told me I was wrong,
I'd sit up and take notice.
But we all think we're right.
 
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Mark Quayle

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I meant what posters tell you.
If so many told me I was wrong,
I'd sit up and take notice.
But we all think we're right.
How many is that? (Not that numbers have any relevance to the matter, but...)
 
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zoidar

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I meant what posters tell you.
If so many told me I was wrong,
I'd sit up and take notice.
But we all think we're right.
How many is that? (Not that numbers have any relevance to the matter, but...)

On this forum posters tell me all the time I'm wrong. There seems to be all kinds of Christians on this ship. ^_^
 
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Brother-Mike

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Zoidar, you say, "But if an unbeliever asks: "Did Jesus die for me?" [Calvinists] can't say anything".
But they most definitely can say something. From my point of view, and, of course, depending on how much they know about God and his Gospel, the first answer is, "do you want him?".





Mike you are exactly right. The argument so many have claimed, that 'whosoever' believes, (or calls upon the name, and other phrases) rules out predestination of the elect, is not only useless, but the same fact that renders it useless also applies to the question of evangelism by those who believe in Election —"WHO is it that believes?" If God does not love everyone, (and I'm not denying that in some form God does love everyone, but that's beside the point), there is nothing to be gained by fooling all in order that the elect might believe.

I've seen much effort in sowing seed, as if it was also harvest. I've watched churches making sure of the 'most effective' use of money in Evangelism, without the slightest concept that 'most hearers' or 'most needy' does not necessarily translate to most converts, and 'most converts' doesn't translate to most Redeemed. I thank God for the 'hit and run evangelist', but man, I don't enjoy listening to their mindset.

So, to the question of whether the Reformed can evangelize effectively, without compromising their theology: Most, even Arminian, believers are otherwise adamant that the TRUTH be told, regardless of the consequences or apparent efficacy, yet somehow I keep running into this mindset that we must sell the Gospel. OF COURSE, there is a place for doing as Paul did, to be all things to all people that he might win some. Nevertheless, in Paul's evangelism I don't see ANYTHING that goes against what has become known as Calvinism or Reformed teaching, nor do I see him backing off of telling the facts. "22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."" (Acts 2)

It's better to say, "Listen to what God says", than to say, "God is a sweet old man who wants you so badly that he died for you, but it's up to you!"

The Word of God never returns to him void. If God uses the truth to harden someone's heart, what is the problem? I want GOD to change a heart; the intellect and emotions can't do it.

What do these who water down the Gospel say, when the agnostic says, "If God loves me, then why was I abused?"? "Well, God didn't really mean for you to be abused, but, see, we have freewill." Doesn't even sound close to, "Fear him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell".

There is no useless evangelism, but if anything ever came close to it, it would be through the preaching of a 'winsome' gospel that ignores the truth.
Thanks for the kind words Mark - I'm aiming to more properly reply to your comments here, but as a brief aside I do note:
  1. How vociferous many of these responses in this thread are.
  2. The gross and liberal usage of straw-men against anything resembling a Reformed or Calvinist position.
  3. A lack of exegesis in these responses, nor traction with most counter-questions asked.
  4. That given these points, I'm curious what's the motivation and psychology behind them. I don't seem to recall any contra-"How do Arminians explain X" posts droning on into nearly 100 pages. Nor any spat-out disparagement of the Arminian position.
Maybe it's just me :)
 
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Brother-Mike

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If God does not love everyone, (and I'm not denying that in some form God does love everyone, but that's beside the point), there is nothing to be gained by fooling all in order that the elect might believe.

somehow I keep running into this mindset that we must sell the Gospel

Agreed. I'm all for careful analysis (at our creaturely-level) that might shed light on how we are preaching the Gospel, the uptake rate of the curious/converts, etc. This to me sounds like prudent, using-our-noggins wisdom that would please God. But of course I know that at the Divine-Plan level we're simply fulfilling our part of the dance, and it's in God's hands how the seeds might scatter and grow days, maybe years beyond the initial sharing.

It's better to say, "Listen to what God says", than to say, "God is a sweet old man who wants you so badly that he died for you, but it's up to you!"

I know that you're not necessarily putting it in terms of "hard-truth" versus "warm and fuzzy", but to me I'm not even sure this dichotomy exists: "God has created you and showered you with his Providence. The plan all along was for you to come to this truth and the sacrifice of his Son for your sins. If you simply believe then you gain an afterlife of eternal union with God in the New Earth".

If I was street-corner preaching to a crowd of 100, I would not be thinking "Hmm... I hope maybe there's 3 or 4 elect out there." I would play my part, hoping that the script called for all 100 to be born again.

I want GOD to change a heart; the intellect and emotions can't do it.

I would say that the intellect and emotions might be PART of the heart change - but still Divinely Planned. In my own case, I came to Jesus through Chinese philosophy and Taoism. Lots of reading, slowly getting exposure to Piper, Sproul, MacArthur, et al. It was slow motion, through a ton of books and lectures - and of course not one subatomic particle during the whole process not out of God's hand.

What do these who water down the Gospel say, when the agnostic says, "If God loves me, then why was I abused?"? "Well, God didn't really mean for you to be abused, but, see, we have freewill."

Right. Is a reality where God's subject to the free will intentions of 8 billion people any consolation?

There is no useless evangelism, but if anything ever came close to it, it would be through the preaching of a 'winsome' gospel that ignores the truth.

Or at least a strange path: converted into Arminianism, and either graced with a deeper-understanding of God's nature or at least enough to meet God's approval at Judgement. To me it all falls under the category of "I trust God has planned the judgement of each and every elect to the glory of his Plan." I'm just here to serve happily and (ideally ;)) without judgement" whatever God has decreed for me.
 
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JAL

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Thanks for the kind words Mark - I'm aiming to more properly reply to your comments here, but as a brief aside I do note:
  1. How vociferous many of these responses in this thread are.
  2. The gross and liberal usage of straw-men against anything resembling a Reformed or Calvinist position.
  3. A lack of exegesis in these responses, nor traction with most counter-questions asked.
  4. That given these points, I'm curious what's the motivation and psychology behind them. I don't seem to recall any contra-"How do Arminians explain X" posts droning on into nearly 100 pages. Nor any spat-out disparagement of the Arminian position.
Maybe it's just me :)
Please. When you define God as the evil monster of Calvinism, expect some backlash.
 
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Brother-Mike

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1669342696476.jpeg
 
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GodsGrace101

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Thanks for the kind words Mark - I'm aiming to more properly reply to your comments here, but as a brief aside I do note:
  1. How vociferous many of these responses in this thread are.
  2. The gross and liberal usage of straw-men against anything resembling a Reformed or Calvinist position.
  3. A lack of exegesis in these responses, nor traction with most counter-questions asked.
  4. That given these points, I'm curious what's the motivation and psychology behind them. I don't seem to recall any contra-"How do Arminians explain X" posts droning on into nearly 100 pages. Nor any spat-out disparagement of the Arminian position.
Maybe it's just me :)
Wow.
All I do is explain scripture .
I find, instead, that mine is ignored and instead long posts about what the poster believes follow.

Then I get tired of it all.
I don't mean you.
 
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