I occasionally check out the “recommended blogs” on my reader. It’s brought to my attention more than once fellow truth-warriors, doing a bang up job of contending for the faith.
It’s also brought to my attention the struggles of an autistic Christian, who not only has to contend with the bewildering struggle of going through life with autism, but the struggle of dealing with some of the most hurtful people in the world, your fellow Christians. Reading that blog has been sobering, the outright descriptions of hurt and pain.
But more often then not, it provides food and fuel for rants. Today I discovered a recommended blog “followed by people you’ve liked” or however wordpress puts that statement.
I kind of doubt that anyone whose blogs I read liked ANY posts on that blog. The first article was “Why I created a Twitter account for John Calvin.”
Okay, right away I know where you’re coming from. Immediately. You’re a MacArthurite, who also has found some R. C. Sproul and C. S. Lewis and doesn’t see the conflicts AT ALL between what they preach and what you believe, you’re just in love with their eloquence and fiery passion for the Bible, whether incorrect or not.
I’ll state that when I got well and truly saved a few years ago (wow, I can’t believe it was that many years ago…) I had a Christian recommend John MacArthur. I think I ended up downloading probably 300 sermons right away, and we began listening to them every night, for quite some time. It was good to hear Johnny Mac rebuking false teachers, because heaven knows, there’s so many of them.
It was Good to hear Johnny Mac urge people to learn sound doctrine, and to criticize people who did not care at all about what sound doctrine was.
At the time, I had no idea that to a Calvinist, the term “Sound doctrine” means an in depth study of TULIP theology, and to discover whether you were a supralapsarianist or not. You know, those things that only Calvinists seem to care about – the issue of whether Adam was predestined to sin or not? bottom line, he sinned.
I thank God that He brought me to a standard Evangelical church first. It opened my eyes to the sleepwalk-iness of the average Christian church. Then the Lord brought me to an independent Baptist Ruckmanite-Pearlite-Riplingerite church, where I discovered that A). Independent Baptist is not a denomination and B). Many IFB churches are secret cults and that some of the pastors in it are cult leaders.
I went to the Southern Baptist Convention church because I almost felt driven there, but I keep seeing news items from the SBC where I must come to the conclusion that a large number of the movers and shakers of that convention are wolves.
I say all this to set the stage for the fact that I’ve attended an IFB seminary, and like the Pastor who taught there, I am dedicated to the Biblical truth, no matter where it leads.
I discovered very early on in my listening to John Macarthur that predestination is based upon foreknowledge. John Calvin DOES believe in Double Predestination, because he says so – but he also believed in the free will to choose salvation. The two stands contradict each other.
David Cloud has spent a GREAT DEAL of time trying to understand Calvinism. David Cloud has honestly spent a great deal of time investigating Calvinism AND Pentecostalism. He too vowed to follow the LORD wherever the Biblical truth led. He intensely investigated both, and concluded that both Pentecostalism and Calvinism contradict the Bible.
David Cloud reports that Calvin contradicts himself over and over again in his Institutes.
It’s like this – you are predestined, or you are not. You cannot be predestined to heaven, and still need to obey the Gospel. If predestination as taught in the TULIP theology is what it is, then you’d be predestined and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’d be predestined to heaven or hell.
R. C. Sproul goes so far as to say God delights in His predestination of sinners to Hell.
That’s not what I read in my Bible. My Bible makes it clear that you must CHOOSE to accept Jesus Christ. In Seminary, we did everything but rip the pages from our Bibles, we were so deep in study on it. This issue of predestination was something we were required to examine, and ask ourselves if this is what the Bible says. The classes made it abundantly clear that it was not what the Bible said. I am forever free of any doubts or questioning on Calvinism. It is not Biblical. If it was Biblical, then… what are we to do with the Romans Road? With john 3:16 and John 3:3? What are we to do with all the “If any man” or “whosoever” or “choose life” or…. there’s so many verses that speak to this, that we must CHOOSE – and nobody will be rejected.
I think the last moment for me, before Seminary, was a Q&A with John Macarthur where someone had asked if anyone will pray to God for Eternal LIfe and be told no? That’s the kind of question that can only be found in a Lordship salvation, 4.5 count Calvinist church. You’d NEVER hear that question in a Baptist church.
There are some Calvinist churches that have joined the Southern Baptist Convention. And the 5Marks ministry is dedicated to subverting Southern Baptist churches to become Calvinist. Once they become Calvinist, they cease to be Baptist. The TULIP theology was never preached or believed on by the Waldenses, Albigenses, Donatists, Catharists, or other ancient Baptists. It did not become an issue until Calvinists left the Calvinist denominations and joined Baptist churches, and began the process of subverting. Then they practice historic revisionism by attempting to portray Calvinism as if it’s something that Baptists have always held to.
I know, I got into that argument (while desperately trying to avoid it) with the same Christian who recommended MacArthur to me. He attempted to portray my theology as Armenian, which I patiently explained time and again I was not Armenian, nor Calvinist- I was Baptist in theology. The words made absolutely no sense to him, When I protested that the Waldenses and Albigenses did not teach ANY points of TULIP, his response was an immediate “Well, they also practiced Paedo-Baptism, which I despise.”
Huh. with that one objection, he made it clear he’d never studied the Waldensians or the Albigensians, or the Petro-Brussians or the Catharists, or the Donatists, or… He was just arguing.
Friends, there is an unbroken chain going from the Baptist to the Anabaptists to the Waldenses to the Albigenses to the Catharists to the Donatists to the 1st century churches to the Apostles to Jesus Christ. Individual movements are destroyed by persecution, the survivors scatter to other areas to survive, and new groups arise. Sometimes some of the groups slide into apostasy, as did one of the groups of Donatists. But the others did not, and it continues.
The point is, there have been people since 95 AD who have sworn to follow the Bible as their only rule of faith and practice, to follow God wherever He leads us. So that dismisses the claims of Calvinists that Baptists have “always believed in predestination.”
Getting back to the blog, the second article that blew my mind was a letter to the false teacher of Mars Hill, Mark Driscoll. He is a foul mouthed preacher. He followed corrupt business practices. All through his ministry, claims arose of his temper, his greed, and even allegations of sexual misconduct. To my knowledge, many of these allegations have not been proven, but the few allegations of financial misconduct destroyed an empire. Considering who set up that empire in the first place (Rob Bell), I think we needed to seriously question ANYTHING to do with Mark Driscoll.
The blog had an open letter to Driscoll praising him for what he’d done.
Really. Think about that. You’re praising a man that had a foul mouth, and preached on things best left out of the pulpit of God. If Driscoll is saved, then he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do for many of his sermons.
I think as I read that “open letter”, I had to plug my ears to keep my brain from exploding out of my head.
This is the New Calvinism. You like who the New Calvinist teachers like, without question. One New Calvinist teacher preaches C. S. Lewis nonstop, and so, New Calvinists fondly read and quote the teachings of a pagan Roman Catholic who questioned the Bible and did not believe that Jesus Christ’s death atoned for sin.
The New Calvinist embraces every teacher that calls themself New Calvinist, like R. C. Sproul, whether or not they’re 5 point, 4 point, or even 7 point like one New Calvinist teacher jokes that he is.
Whatever happened to discernment? Whatever happened to reading the Bible for yourself? Whatever happened to “thus sayeth the Lord?”
If I can read my Bible and find that it plainly does not teach Calvinism, why can’t you?
Throw away your Reform books. Throw away your C. S. Lewis. Throw away your “Institutes”.
Read your Bible for ONE YEAR without resorting to Calvinist crutches, and tell me at the end if you still believe in Calvinism or not?