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Reasons to Remain a Calvinist

Discussion in 'Debate with a Calvinist' started by gmm4Jesus, May 4, 2014.

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  1. gmm4Jesus

    gmm4Jesus Guest

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    Reasons to Remain a Calvinist

    As much as I disagree with Calvinism as an interpretive scheme for understanding soteriology, there are worse errors to fall into. As an olive branch to my brothers and sisters in Christ, I'd like to offer some valid reasons I can think of to remain within the Calvinist camp.

    1. If becoming an Arminian would really be a temptation to boast for you, then please remain a Calvinist.

    Arminians are typically accused of holding to a view that allows us to boast, because we chose to receive God's gift when others did not. Now, most people are grateful to receive gifts, and thank those who give them to us. But perhaps you're the type who, on Christmas morning, jumps up after unwrapping presents and starts gloating about the great gifts you were smart enough to receive. Maybe you compare yourself to those who scorn gifts, and brag about how much better you are than they are. If this describes you, then I heartily recommend that you hang on to your Calvinism. It is protecting you against a temptation to vainglory that you evidently would fall into otherwise.

    2. If you think that God empowering people to accept or reject Jesus somehow makes Him weak, impotent, or powerless, then you really should continue in your Calvinism.

    Most of us consider it a sign of strength and confidence to give someone else the opportunity to accept or reject something--love, a job, a gift, whatever. In God's case, it would be the offer of salvation. Giving us the power to accept or reject that gift shows us that He is sovereign regardless of what our choice is. His deity does not depend on controlling our response. He is God whether we acknowledge Him or not; He just graciously invites us into His family. But if giving us the opportunity to respond would somehow diminish God in your eyes--if God can't be God without predetermining the individual response of each person--then by all means, hold tight to Calvinism.

    3. If you actually think that God cannot remain sovereign without dictating the minutia of every event that occurs, then by all means, remain a Calvinist.

    Some--not all--Calvinists believe that God's sovereignty necessitates an absolute determinism in which He predetermines every event that has occurred or will occur. We Arminians believe that God remains sovereign--that His reign will be established and His will will be accomplished--despite allowing room for creaturely freedom, or even rebellion against His plan. He is so great that creaturely rebellion against Him cannot possibly have any impact on His final plan--He is so great that He doesn't need to directly control every event in the universe. But if you can't get your head around this--if your view of God is so small that He must micromanage His creation in order to get His will done, then by all means, cling to Calvinism.

    4. If you actually believe that accepting a freely-given gift of salvation somehow would make you your own "co-savior," then please don't abandon your Calvinism.

    Personally, I can't fathom this. I can't imagine thinking, "Yes, God became flesh and Jesus lived a sinless life and sacrificed Himself, dying a brutal, torturous death, all the while restraining Himself from calling a legion of angels to rescue him; He died and then rose, conquering death and the grave, showed Himself to His disciples and empowered them through the Holy Spirit to share this gospel and pass it down the generations; God did all this--but I get credit too, because I accepted the invitation! I'm my own co-savior!" But since this charge is thrown against Arminians as the "logical consequence" of our soteriology, I can only conclude that that is precisely how many Calvinists would view their own salvation if they adopted the Arminian view. If that's you, then please grab hold of your Calvinism and don't let go.

    5. If adopting an Arminian view of salvation would somehow make you really feel that salvation is "man-centered" rather than "God-centered," then for God's sake, hold on to your Calvinism.

    If you can take a plan of salvation that was chosen before the foundations of the world by God, provision for that plan made by God, an offer based on that plan made available by God, our own ability to respond positively to it graciously granted to us by God--if you can take this whole thing and somehow make it "man-centered," just because human beings are empowered to accept it and be included, or reject it and exclude themselves--if you don't see how salvation is, from beginning to end, Christ-centered, then whatever you do, please do not abandon the Calvinism that cuts you out of any active participation in the process whatever. Better to think that salvation has nothing to do with you than to believe that somehow you place yourself in the center of the process simply by virtue of your acceptance or rejection of it.
    So basically, if Calvinism would make you into the stereotype of an Arminian that you seem to believe us to be, then please don't become an Arminian. You'll only make us look ridiculous. - by Keith Schooley
     
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  2. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    Reasons to remain a Calvinist:

    Because you give a rip about what the Bible teaches.
     
  3. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    But there are NO verses that teach that Christ died ONLY for some, whatever you'd like to call that group.

    There are NO verses that teach that God chooses who will believe, which is logical foundation and conclusion of Calvinist election.

    When these 2 points are considered, just how strong is Calvinism?

    The Bible plainly SAYS that Jesus tasted death for all, and the vast majority of English translations renders it everyone or such that it clearly means all of humanity.

    The Bible plainly SAYS that God chooses who to save, but NEVER who will believe.

    So, if one really does "give a rip" about what the Bible teaches, one would not have any support for being a Calvinist.
     
  4. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    :thumbsup:
     
  5. BBAS 64

    BBAS 64 Contributor Supporter

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    I am with the prince of preachers on this one....

    Calvinism is a nickname for the gospel.... and a good nickname at that.
     
  6. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    I'm not.

    Paul's preaching was to go where the name of Christ had not been named, per Rom 15:20.

    He summarized what he preached to the people of Corinth, which they believed in 1 Cor 15:3, which was this:
    "Christ died for our sins". That was spoken to those who had never heard the name of Christ before.

    Calvinism denies that Christ died for everyone. That's not the gospel.
     
  7. Keachian

    Keachian On Sabbatical

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    Yeah, your false understanding of Calvinist evangelism has meant that you have conflated us with hypers and so you're not representing our missiology fairly either.
     
  8. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Really? Do you believe that Christ died for everyone, and offers the free gift of eternal life to everyone? That would be great! If you don't believe that, nothing I posted was false.
     
  9. Keachian

    Keachian On Sabbatical

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    The proclamation of the Gospel to all has little to no bearing on the effectual atonement of Christ for the Elect, you should know this if you wanted to accurately refute our beliefs, but you're more concerned with making yourself feel better than actually wrestling with theology aren't you?
     
  10. BBAS 64

    BBAS 64 Contributor Supporter

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    Good Day,

    Indeed and with in the historical context of great evanglelistic precahers Calvinist are the cream of the crop bar none.

    Judson, brought the gospel to Burma strong Calvinist they did not have the Gospel until him.


    The letter you refer was written to a church.....

    15:1
    Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

    Written to brothers, about Brotheres (ye stand) to Brothers,

    2

    By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

    Ye - brothers are the saved

    3
    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures

    Delivered to You, our sins (Paul's and their's)

    4

    And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:


    True to the nick name:

    The Resurrection of the Dead




    In Him,

    Bill
     
  11. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    I said this:
    Really? Do you believe that Christ died for everyone, and offers the free gift of eternal life to everyone? That would be great! If you don't believe that, nothing I posted was false.
    Your response is a dodge of my question. Why wouldn't you answer it?

    Of course the gospel is good news for everyone, not just for "some". It's interesting that you just don't seem to want to admit it.

    btw, the "proclamation of the Gospel" has EVERYTHING to do with effectual atonement of Christ. He atoned for the sins of everyone.

    It is the POWER of the gospel to EVERYONE who BELIEVES for SALVATION.

    It couldn't be said any more clearly.

    God's choice in who to save is found in 1 Cor 1:21. He is pleased to save those who believe.
     
  12. Keachian

    Keachian On Sabbatical

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    Also of note is that 15:3 marks the start of an early creedal statement on Christ's resurrection and appearances, due to this nature the 'our sins' is even more limited only to those who actually believe.

    FreeGrace I think your answers are very telling in that you don't understand our position, on the one hand you say that salvation is for everyone then you say it is for those who believe, surely not everyone is in the category of those who believe. Indeed how can the two groups of 'everyone' and 'believers' be synonymous when belief is a gift from God as per Eph 2:8-10 and other such passages. I can certainly assert that all the believing ones will not perish but have eternal life because such is not a statement on who has the propensity for belief but rather what those with that propensity have been given in addition to their faith.
     
  13. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    Nothin' new. He's been doing it for months.
     
  14. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    This proves to me that many if not all of his (and others like him) arguments are only intended to "sound good" on paper, but the actual words have no meaning. It is logically contradictory to say both 1) salvation is for all and 2) salvation is for believers.

    But, as long as it sounds good, let's just toss logic and reasoning out the window.
     
  15. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Your statement here clearly demonstrates how MUCH you don't understand what I say. I will state it for you again:
    1. Salvation is offered to everyone.
    2. Salvation is given (received) to ONLY those who believe.

    Your statement about what you thought I believe is wrong.

    I never ever said that "everyone" and "believers" were synonymous. That's what the Calvinists seem to believe, not me.

    If you're still not clear on my position, just read and re-read #1 and 2 above until it becomes clear.

    So do I assert that. But that is not the issue. It is always deeper than that. It is about who Christ died for, and Scripture plainly SAYS He died for all, not for some/elect/believers/etc only.
     
  16. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Ha! Then why haven't you or anyone else refuted my points? I know many have claimed to have, but none actually have.

    Not to mention that you cannot find verses that actually support your claims that Christ died ONLY for the elect/believers/some/etc.

    Nor can you find any verses that SAY that God chooses who will believe.

    Yet, you all continue to believe those things that are not found in Scripture.

    This isn't about sounding good. It's about the truth.
     
  17. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    Your theology is refuted by Genesis and Revelation and everything in between.

    That leaves little actual work for me to have to do.

    Also, logic refutes your theology. And that's a biggy too.

    Which is it? Is salvation for everyone, or is salvation for believers?
     
  18. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Such a kidder!! How about if I say the same thing about Calvinism?

    I'm still looking for any verse that actually SAYS what you believe.

    I'd look to see your logic. I'll bet it is fuzzy.

    So, you didn't understand what I posted, huh.

    Salvation is offered to everyone, and given to those who believe.

    Is that clear enough?
     
  19. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    Then you'd be wrong of course! Duh!

    I've given them to you billions of times. You ignore them.

    There is no such thing as subjective logic. There is no such thing as my logic or your logic. There is just logic, period.

    So, you didn't understand what I posted, huh.

    Oh ok. What a coincidence, that is what I believe too.

    Now let's go a step further and ask the next obvious question: Why do some believe but not others?

    What is your answer to this question?
    My answer is; "Because of Grace".
    What is your answer?
     
  20. FreeGrace2

    FreeGrace2 Senior Veteran

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    Nope. Not yet.

    Really?
    World English Dictionary
    fuzzy logic
    — n
    a branch of logic designed to allow degrees of imprecision in reasoning and knowledge, typified by terms such as `very', `quite possibly', and `unlikely', to be represented in such a way that the information can be processed by computer. Fuzzy logic | Define Fuzzy logic at Dictionary.com

    Since grace is given to mankind in general, and not specifically to only certain ones, your answer doesn't really answer the question.

    The difference is that you think God's grace is ONLY given so SOME.

    Yet, there is Scripture which soundly refutes your answer:

    Romans 11:32
    For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

    Please notice that God's Word didn't say "some", or "just the elect" here. It SAYS ALL. And grace and mercy go together.
     
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