I recently read this about Calvinism and thought it interesting…
If a Calvinist is a person who follows strictly the teachings of John Calvin, then in three important respects Baptists are not, and have never been, Calvinists. Calvin was a pedobaptist (practicing infant baptism); Baptists are credobaptists (believers’ baptism only). Calvin believed in a presbyterian form of church government; Baptists are congregationalists. Calvin believed that the civil magistrate should enforce both tables of the law (moral responsibilities towards God and towards one’s neighbor), suppressing heresy and blasphemy by force if necessary. Baptists believe in religious liberty for all persons (Click here to read the whole article).
If being a Calvinist means those things… that’s not me. But we both know there are other elements of Calvinism and those are the things some fuss over. If being a Calvinist means I hold to these additional things… then I’m not a Calvinist.
Man cannot make his own decisions about anything since everything is completely determined by God in all areas and in every respect.
God sends some people to hell and others are saved without them having any participation in which decision they make.
God will save who he wants to save and so there is no need for evangelism of any kind.
However, there are people who say they don’t believe in Calvinism while in reality they are hyper-Calvinists… and most of them sit in the pew every Sunday! Let me explain…
About fifteen years ago I came to the conclusion there are two kinds of believers: Those who are theological predestanarians and practical Arminians. Then there are those who are theological Arminians and practical hyper-Calvinists. Now I need to explain those terms…
A Theological Predestinarian and Practical Arminian is a person who believes God is sovereign in salvation, but shares the Gospel with passion and hope. They pray for the lost and do all they can to bring people to Jesus.
A Theological Arminian and Practical Hyper-Calvinist is a person who believes the Gospel must be proclaimed to all people to give them a chance to be saved… but does not share the Gospel, they do not pray for the lost to be saved, by their actions they believe God will save who He’s going to save and so they don’t do anything.
The greatest majority of people in our churches are in the second camp… and they hotly criticize those who don’t believe the way they do.
So let’s look at our conduct. Let’s examine how many times we’ve shared the Gospel with a lost person in the last month and let THAT determine which camp we’re in.
Note: As for me… I believe man is completely free in salvation AND God is completely sovereign in salvation… at the same time! How do I reconcile those? I don’t. Both are in Scripture… both are true… both are to be believed… and both are to be proclaimed.