Thursday, February 19, 2009

To be, or not to be: that is the question

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

I am pretty sure that Shakespeare was talking about being a Calvinist. I have suffered no greater attack than I have since moving to Iowa and having the audacity to call myself a Calvinist. In the SBC, I have discovered there are Calvinists and Non-Calvinists in the SBC. The alternative is Arminianism, which is Semi-Pelagianism which has already been condemned as a heresy. So we have the advent of the 2, 3 and 4 point Calvinist.

I agree with Piper. In one of his messages he makes the statement that Calvinism is a system and goes on to say "I give a hoot about systems". I don't care if you call in Calvinism, Augustinianism, Paulinism, whatever. I need a doctrinal system of Theology that can reconcile the full cannon of scripture, Peter, Paul, John, James and the writers of Hebrews, and both extremes of High Calvinism and Arminiamism (low Calvinism?) don't cover it. I need a system that can answer the questions about God's love, His sovereignty, how sin and grace and suffering all happen.

I struggle with those who would say that evangelism is based upon my ability to talk someone into heaven. Dr Reid said something about pleading for people to get saved. If I am responsible for pleading people into Heaven and I fail, what does that mean? How do I carry around the weight of my own deficiency? How do I rectify the fact that I am responsible for doing something that I can't seem to do. I have tried to plead, argue, fight, coerce, and manipulate people into the kingdom, and it is an unsuccessful venture. So, my non-Calvinist friends, what does that mean? Is God responsible for salvation? If so, at what point did He decide when you bring someone to faith? How does this happen? Do we make a choice that God is unaware of, and then they are brought to Salvation?

So, after these years, I am no longer going to call myself a Calvinist. I am tried of the attacking. I'll just settle on Christian. Most people don't have the desire to really try to understand anything past that level anyway.


  1. I think it is enough to call ourselves Christ follower. It is important to study and show ourselves approved, but is more important to love God, to do our best to serve him, to stumble, fall and get back up. Tell me who attacks you. I'll whip em in the parking lot!!!

  2. Well Kay, you missed the huge issue that was on Facebook, but I closed the notes. Here is where I am on the whole deal. It is important to love God and call ourselves Christians, but I am not sure if most people are aware of the flat out heresy that is out there, that is calling itself "Christian". You may be aware of it, because I know you are fond of Mark Driscoll. Mars Hill had to seperated himself from the "Emergent Church", who uses the same lingo, some bible and has done some bad things. They deny that Christ is the only way, the deny hell and eternal separation from God. Many Christians today are so complacent to read a modern English translation in their own vernacular and never get enough root to stand against this type of heresy.

    All heresies in history have begun with the Bible. Modality, gnosticism, Arianism, and the likes. People mean well, but are not grounded and are led astray. I have seen a lot of people in recent years fall prey to strange ideas and beliefs because they were not grounded and did not study. I am grieved, I am concerned, and if I speak up, I am usually marginalized or flat out attacked. It's troubling to me to listen to people use scripture out of context, to contradict scripture with other scripture, to attack other believers under the guise of "not wanting division". It troubles me.

  3. Dan, you are absolutely right. The statistics on what "born again believers" think must leave Jesus deeply sad and grieving. But God has called you to be a voice in the void. People don't like accountability nor are they particularly warm and fuzzy about those who call them to it. It doesn't matter. To you belongs the obedience, to Jesus belongs the fruit.

    You know . . .Jesus wasn't such a popular guy either. He was a peculiar guy to boot. He told it like it was period. You have to do that too. When you see junk in the temple, you call it by its name. You never know when the seeds you plant will bring fruit.

    I know about the emergent church. I know about the stadium church. I see the money changers on Christian TV selling miracles. Jesus was called out and separated from the cosmopolitan church. Would we be any less. In all of history, there were only a few faithful remnant in the big picture at any given time. What matters is that we are willing to be a remnant kind of Christian.

    I did miss the face book issue. I don't do facebook very well. That's okay. I get my fair share of dings too, Dan, but I don't care. All I care about is that I am accountable to Him who loves me and positions me for purpose. I rather rejoice in my peculiarity.

    I read a scripture once that said, God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind! You've got that too! You just keep being true to what Holy Spirit quickens. God has something incredible ahead for you Dan. I know . . . He told me. . . Yup, talk about peculiar, I hear God speak. But then haven't all of us who respond to His call!!

    Go get em fella!! Can I be your adopted mom????