What A Calvinist Is, And Is Not

john-calvinI 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.

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3 comments on “What A Calvinist Is, And Is Not

  1. Searching says:

    Amen.
    Blessings Ron!

  2. Harold Brown says:

    Greetings,

    It is obvious you have never been given a “Revelation” from above ! You say you believe both in free will and Predestination . It is obvious from Scripture that Predestination means the will of God determines things, not the will of man ! Jesus said, “No man can come unto me except it were given unto him of my Father .” John 6:65 So there is no “free will” of man in the doctrine Jesus taught ! It must be given of the Father for any man to come to Jesus ! Everything you need to come to Jesus must be given . The will, the desire, the faith, must come from above !

    If all boasting is to be excluded, as the Scriptures teach . And God is to get all the glory for the salvation of sinners . Then He must choose who he saves ! From what you say, the will of man must co-operate with the will of God for a man to be saved ! Which makes it obvious to me you fail to realize that God is jealous of His glory and will have no partner in the way of salvation ! “Salvation is of the Lord” ! Jonah 2:9

    “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Romans 9:18 My friend, you are in great need to go and learn what that verse is teaching ! My friend, have you never read that God, “Worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” ? Ephesians 1:11

    And what about, “And will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy .” Exodus 33:19 God told this to Moses . And Paul repeats what God told to Moses in Romans 9:15 .

    In this world you have some that have been given a “Revelation” from above . Then you have the “rest”, that have not been given a “Revelation” from above . As John teaches, “A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven .” John 3:27 Jesus even tells us that the Son (Jesus), quickens into spiritual life whom “He Will” ! John 5:21 So those that have not been given a Revelation, only have their own reasoning and logic by which to interpret the Scriptures . So they interpret the Scriptures the way that seems right to them . See Proverbs 14:12 .

    So I realize that no matter how many verses of Scripture I use to teach Predestination the right way, you will never agree with me . Unless it is given to you from heaven ! John 3:27 ! For your own reasoning and logic will always interpret Scripture the way that seems right to it . And the more you resist the Truth, the more hardened you will become ! And the more right you will think you are . And that I’m foolish and ignorant and don’t understand what I’m saying . So now do you see how God has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth ?

    You will think that I’m not teaching a God of mercy ! But I am . The big difference between your “god” and my God is, your “god” can only have mercy on those that will let him, by using their “free will” to make a “decision” for him . Whereas my God has mercy and compassion on whom “He Will” have mercy and compassion ! Which is the same God Paul is teaching in Romans 9:15 ! If you were given eyes to see it . Read and study closely Romans 9, 11–23 .

    God is merciful ! But what you “free-willers” leave out, He is also “Sovereign” ! “Even at this present time there is a “remnant” according to the “Election of Grace” ! There you have it my friend . Election itself is of “Grace” ! Romans 11:5 If it wasn’t for the grace of God, He would not have “elected” to save any ! And it is only the Elect that obtain it, while the “rest” are blinded ! Romans 11:7

    God blinds them so they can’t see the truth and be converted ! I believe that is in John 12:40,41, or it could be Romans 12:40,41 . Either John or Romans . And I believe it is either 1 or 2 Timothy 2:25, where the man of God is instructed, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, lest God peradventure will grant them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth .”

    So you see friends, God must grant you repentance, you cannot repent of yourself ! And if He doesn’t, you will just continue to oppose yourself, or oppose what is for your own good, the Truth !

    By Sovereign Grace,
    Harold Brown

    • pastorron7 says:

      Harold,

      If I desired to be mean spirited and pugnacious I would say that your comments are completely devoid of grace. I would also say that it is obvious that you haven’t read Paul much from 1 Cor 13 because you certaintly don’t communicate one iota of love… no matter how right you may be. But I will refrain from ascerbic comments.

      Now more to the point. My dear friend… there is one thing I have found to be true and that is that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Somewhere I have also read that a soft answer turns away wrath. In another place I’ve read that it is best to answer a fool according to his folly. Then I think it was Jesus who said that we aren’t to cast our pearls before swine and I believe it was Paul said arguing is useless.

      Sir, with all due respect, you have spent so much time spinning your own overwhelming attack on what you think I believe that you have completely forgotten what is written in 1 Corinthians 8:1… which is a verse I STRONGLY suggest you spend a few weeks dwelling on before you post a comment on anyone else’s blog OR discuss anything with anyone regarding the Scripture. To save you the time, here is what Paul wrote as recorded in 1 Corinthians 8:1… Knowledge puffs up but love builds up. You sir are puffed up.

      In Christ,

      Ron

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