Calvinism and missions/evangelism

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by 4His_glory, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. 4His_glory

    4His_glory
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    I am starting this thread because several have said that Calvinism kills missions and evangelism. Histoically this simply is not true. Today this simply is not true.

    It is ture that hyper-calvinists do not see the need for missions/evangelism, however they are a small sector of the theological universe. Calvinists in general are very evangelistic.

    We can see from the testimony of history that most early missionary efforts were more or less the work of Calvinists. Names like Carey and Judson come to mind, unfortunalty history is often not told as the way it was, but the way others wish it to be, so men like the aforementioned (we could add Spurgeon for sake of discussion) are often not seen as the Cavlnists they really were.

    In early America the majority of Baptist Church planting efforts were done by Calvinistic Baptists. The First Baptist Church of Providence, RI is a classic example. Under the leadership of pastor James Manning, this church started many others across NE.

    Stanley Lemons rights in The First Bapitst Church in America:

    "It is ironic that most of the old [Amrminian] Baptist Churches of New England were feeble in their outreach. They believed in general atonment, that salvation was possible for all people; but they tended to look inward. On the other hand the expansion of Baptist in the eighteenth century arose through the Calvinist or Particular Baptist and came as a consequence of the fervor of the Great Awakening."

    One may disgaree with the theology of the early American Baptists and that was prevelent during the Great Awakening, but they should not deny the obvious truth the Calvinists are in fact fervently evangelistic and missions minded.
     
  2. 4His_glory

    4His_glory
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  3. russell55

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    I've been told by my PCA missionary friends that their denomination--conservative and calvinistic--has the most missionaries per membership of any denomination.
     
  4. Monergist

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    I know of a very Calvinist PCA church in my hometown which has stated a goal of over 50% of the total annual budget to go to support missionaries. They are almost to 40% now.
     
  5. RandR

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    If Calvinism kills evangelism, then somebody should tell D. James Kennedy and John Piper. Seems they didn't get the memo. ;)
     
  6. BobRyan

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    First of all - do "Hypercalvinists say they exist"?? Does any call "himself" a "Hypercalvinist"???

    (Does anyone call themselves a "legalist"??)

    Are these just pejorative terms tossed back and forth against those with whom we differ -- or does someone actually CLAIM the title.

    For example I differ with the doctrines of the Catholic Church - AND guess what? There are people out there that call the selves Catholics. The Catholic church HAS doctrines IT will admit to -- and that I differ with.

    That is VERY different than say the denomination of "Hypercalvinists" or the "institutes of hypercalvinism" etc. Is it not??

    So lets zero in on THE issue --

    Some Calvinists claim the sovereignty of God MEANS THAT " The elect cannot avoid being saved. The damned cannot turn away from hell."

    Here is my challenge to every 4 and 5 point Calvinist here - what part of that statement do you object to??

    CAN you spell it out "in detail"??

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. BobRyan

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    And they all use ARMINIAN methods to evangelize since Calvinism doesn't work where the rubber meets the road.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. Hardsheller

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    So you are saying that John Piper and James Kennedy use Arminian methods?

    I'm sure they would be surprised to learn that.

    As far as your question - "Do Hyper-Calvinists say they exist?" Of course they don't - They justify their erroneous doctrines and practices just like your denomination and my denomination - by claiming to be correct in their beliefs.

    I see you're a Seventh Day Adventist.

    I'm a Southern Baptist.

    Your denomination and my denomination are in disagreement about a lot of teachings. Either one is right and one is wrong or they are both wrong.

    I tend to belive it is the latter.

    As far as you and me personally. I feel just like you - I'm obviously more right than you. :D
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Without a doubt!!

    EAch time they make an altar call and refuse to shout out "NOTHING you decide today will CHANGE what God has planned for you according to Calvinism" -- they are REFUSING to use what they believe and are instead using what Arminians teach!!

    Then when speaking of group-X lets use a term that Group-X would admit to rather than just any old pejorative term we can think of.

    The advantage is that we can KEEP using it when talking directly to them - and who knows - maybe have dialoge.

    BTW - I see you did not step up to the plate on that "test question" for 4 or 5 point calvinists as it relates to "hypercalvinism".

    I could have sworn you were in the 4 or 5 point camp. Did I miss that?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. BobRyan

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    See! We do agree on something!

    Actually more than that. The Southern Baptist church was the first non-SDA church I began to attend regularly after getting married and starting a family. I tried the Methodist church next door first - but the format of the service was so different from what I was used to with Adventists I did not go back. The Southern Baptist church on the other hand - was right on the money -- so to speak.

    That was back in the days when Charles Stanley was leading out.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. Hardsheller

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    Some Calvinists claim the sovereignty of God MEANS THAT " The elect cannot avoid being saved. The damned cannot turn away from hell."

    Here is my challenge to every 4 and 5 point Calvinist here - what part of that statement do you object to??

    I object to all of it. The Sovereignty of God means that He Rules the Universe, in the manner he has chosen, according to his Will and his Character.

    As Rick Warren puts it - He's God and He makes the rules, we don't.
     
  12. BobRyan

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    Fine he makes the rules - makes the rules - makes the rules.

    That does not answer the question.

    What part (and show some kind of detail) - of this Calvinist statement to you object to --

    " The elect cannot avoid being saved. The damned cannot turn away from hell."

    Notice that the statement IS BASED ON the Sovereignty of God.

    So simply saying "I object because I THINK God is Sovereign" does not actually answer the challenge.

    How is it that "God is sovereign" DOES NOT argue FOR The statement as it is pointing out that MAN is not in control - God is!!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. russell55

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    No, they use Calvinistic methods to evangelize: giving the message "repent and believe."

    I don't know if I'd say that. The apostle Peter's Calvinism seemed to work just fine at Pentecost.
     
  14. Hardsheller

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    Don't you see your dilemma.

    You say this is about the Sovereignty of God and then you attempt to interject the "cannots" of man into the equation.

    If your question is about the Sovereignty of God then say so plainly. If it's about the Doctrine of man then say so.

    The Elect want to be saved.
    The NonElect do not want to be saved.

    It is the Calvinistic System above all other theological systems that allows a man to have exactly what he wants to have.

    At the end of time no one is in Hell who did not choose to go there. At the same time no one will be in heaven who did not choose to go there.

    Bob, You must have John Calvin nightmares when you sleep.
     
  15. Hardsheller

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    Bob,

    Are you sure that Piper and Kennedy have altar calls?

    I don't believe they do......
     
  16. FriendofSpurgeon

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    And don't forget that Evangelism Explosion was started by Calvinists.
     
  17. Kiffen

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    Yes, and I have never known D. James Kennedy to use Arminian methods. Just that Arminians perceive through their own misunderstanding of Calvinism.
     
  18. RandR

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    When Billy Graham went to Kentucky a few years back, Al Mohler was very involved. In fact, he gave the invitation one night. "God is calling sinners to respond." What's Arminian about that?

    Further, who says altar calls are "Arminian"? Did Arminius use them? Silly me...I always thought they were a 20th century revivalist invention.
     
  19. RandR

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  20. RandR

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    Don't consider myself to be a four-pointer or a five-pointer or an any-pointer. I prefer to read Calvin's theology from Calvin and not through the lenses of Beza or Dort.

    That being said, I'll try to answer the question by saying that I don't agree with either statement the way they're written. Is that a satisfactory answer?

    But here are a few statements I can say that I do agree with. Can't claim they're original to me, though.
    1)All have sinned and fall short of the glory of god.
    2)The wages of sin is death.
    3)It is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
    4)The potter has power over the clay. From the same lump to make one vessell for honor and the other for dishonor.

    We all DESERVE hell because we are ALL born with a sinful nature. That God chose some to be saved in spite of our sinful fallen condition is entirley an act of HIS WILL and done out of grace. Is it arbitrary? Maybe. But maybe its possible that I just don't fully understand it all in my current unglorified state. Since He's God and I'm not, and since they're HIS words and not mine, then I think I'll extend to Him the benefit of the doubt.

    Why do I share the gospel in spite of the fact that I know He already chose some form before the foundation of the world? Because He's told me to do it in His Word. So even though I can't harmonize it perfectly in my humanity, I'll give Him the benefit of the doubt on that one too.
     

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