Calvinism vs Free Will/Arminism, should they be in different denominations?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by saturneptune, May 2, 2006.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    More time has been spent on this board both in reading and typing posts on the above debate. It seems to be at the center of theological differences in Baptist circles nowdays, more than communion, end times, and others.

    It is also fair to note that the debate arouses more passion and feelings than any other on the board unless it is the worldly political debates.

    My question is, with all the sharp differences, and the inability to change anyone's mind who has decided, would we be better off to have Calvinists in one denomination and "free-willers"
    (for lack of a better term) in a seperate denomination, OR, is having both camps in one denomination with all the differences better? Any thoughts appreciated.

    [ May 02, 2006, 10:36 PM: Message edited by: saturneptune ]
     
  2. doulous

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    Baptists are already fractured. Missionary Baptists, GARB, SBC, Free Will Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Old Regular Baptist, Conservative Baptist, Independent Baptist etc. What you are questioning has already happened. Baptists have split before over this issue. I actually believe the debate is worthwhile for it has to with issues of eternal consequence.
     
  3. JohnB

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    I started a smart alecky post, but let me answer seriously.

    By and large, Calvinists and Arminians are already divided into denominations.

    Calvinists are mostly Presbyterian.
    Arminians are mostly Methodist, Church of Christ or Catholic.

    The "problem" we have here on this board is that Baptists are divided. A small percentage of Baptists are 5 point Calvinists. There are also a small number of Baptists who are fully Arminian in that they deny eternal security.

    However, the vast majority of Baptists are 3 or 4 point Calvinists or Calminians (believing in free will but also in eternal security.)

    Though Baptists may not agree on the mechanics of election, I think most would agree with A. T. Roberson when he said, "Give a man an open Bible, an open mind, a conscience in good working order, and he will have a hard time to keep from being a Baptist."
     
  4. saturneptune

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    John B,
    I really like that last quote. Doulous, I agree with you for the most part, except that the debate rages within the SBC.
     
  5. doulous

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    I agree. That is why I said Baptists are fractured.
     
  6. Andy T.

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    Most Baptists are 1-pointers ('P'), not 3 or 4-pointers. And even some of the 1-pointers don't really hold to 'P', but to "once saved always saved" antinomianism.
     
  7. lgpruitt

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    how on earth does anyone "know" which way to go???
     
  8. saturneptune

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    lg,
    With this amount of diverse belief, only the Holy Spirit in you can lead you where to go. I am where the Lord would have me to serve, and feel its beliefs reflect the Bible. Which of all these denominations mentioned above will end up being closest to what God considers correct, who knows? I do know one thing, when a sinful man has so much pride he thinks he is right to the exclusion of others, I dont walk, I run.
     
  9. doulous

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    how on earth does anyone "know" which way to go??? </font>[/QUOTE]Depends. Do you have a firm theological belief system? If so, find a church that you are in agreement with theologically. You may have to do some research.
     
  10. doulous

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    I think I know what you mean. Is your emphasis on the sinful man or is the man sinful because he claims to think he is right?

    I don't believe it is sinful to have studied a point of doctrine and be totally convinced it is the correct biblical view. In fact, that IS the reason we have so many different types of Baptist churches.
     
  11. saturneptune

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    Doulous,
    Which type of baptist is your church, and are most of them calvinist?
     
  12. doulous

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    We are an independent Baptist church that is not affiliated with any conference or association. The pastor and both elders (of which I am one) are Calvinists.
     
  13. saturneptune

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    Thats interesting, elders. I grew up in a Presbyterian Church of America, and we had elders, but I was only a kid.

    Ok, when you said, there are eternal consequences to this debate, would you elaborate? Are you talking about a matter of salvation?
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    Uh, Saturneneptune, the reason such ideas as Calvinism are hotly debated on this board and in our denominations is that those who line up on each side appeal to the Scripture as the basis for their belief, and believe that their interpretation of the relevant scriptures is the true one By definition, any other view is false.

    Although none of us belongs to a perfect church, I do believe that historic Baptist distinctives are closer to the original church Jesus founded than any other denomination. I believe that as a general proposition, the Baptist interpretation of scripture is the correct one. Those which teach otherwise cannot be right.

    Further, those who teach a false gospel, a works salvation, baptismal regeneration, falling from grace are not New Testament churches. That is not to say that there are no believers in those congregation; only that they do not resemble the church that Jesus founded and purchased with His blood.

    The fact that one believes he is right and others are wrong is not a matter of pride. One should always approach the search for truth and the discovery of what he believes to be truth in an attitude of awe and humility. There is no place for pride, for any understanding we have of spiritual truth is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Now, with regard to the OP, dividing up the denominations into Calvinist and non-Calvinist won't solve any problems. We Baptists pulled outselves together under that name, then promptly divided again. There are at least 30 kinds of Baptists, a potful of pentecostal, holiness and charismatic groups.

    This won't change until the Lord Jesus returns and sets us all straight.
     
  15. saturneptune

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    Our Constitution, which I believe was another thread somewhere, is my statement of faith, listed by Brother Tom above, plus of course inerency of Scripture, the Trinity, and Jesus as Lord and King, He Himself being God. Oh and Priesthood of the Believer. Without the church I am in now, God only knows what would have happened to me. It is my hope that everyone out there has as unified and Christ centered church as the one I have been blessed with.
     
  16. npetreley

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    I think I know what you mean. But there is an opposite extreme where one keeps such an open mind that one's brains fall out.

    Let me put it this way. Do you believe that Jesus is your Lord and Savior? Do you believe that is the truth? Are you going to "admit" to the possibility that Jesus is NOT your Lord and Savior because you don't want to seem proud? No. Because you know it is the truth.

    Now, when it comes to the Calvinistm/Free-willism debate, both sides think they know the truth. I believe in election as strongly as I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. So I'm not going to pretend to waffle on it just to avoid coming across as prideful. I'm simply THAT confident that this is what scripture says.

    I don't blame free-willers for being just as confident. They're just wrong, that's all. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. doulous

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    I really don't want your thread to degenerate into a Calvinist/Arminian debate. It's too easy to hijack each thread into that debate.
     
  18. saturneptune

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    Well, I can understand it turning to that given other threads. If one believes that salvation is an issue between the two sides, then IMHO, its time to move on to another church or denomination. If one can look at the debate as a difference of opinion, not affecting salvation, then, its probably ok as long as it does not affect the Christian of a local church.

    Npet, I do agree that we need to have truth revealed to us and stand by it. For instance, there is no compromise who Jesus Christ is, so therefore, walking arm in arm with Mormons is not what is appropriate. Salvation is by grace alone through faith, so I am not going to run to the Catholic Church. These are spiritual life and death ideas. (I was going to say decisions, but there goes the Calvin thing again). I guess what I am trying to say is that people who exclude others from non salvation differences of opinion I avoid.
     
  19. saturneptune

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    Well, I can understand it turning to that given other threads. If one believes that salvation is an issue between the two sides, then IMHO, its time to move on to another church or denomination. If one can look at the debate as a difference of opinion, not affecting salvation, then, its probably ok as long as it does not affect the Christian of a local church.

    Npet, I do agree that we need to have truth revealed to us and stand by it. For instance, there is no compromise who Jesus Christ is, so therefore, walking arm in arm with Mormons is not what is appropriate. Salvation is by grace alone through faith, so I am not going to run to the Catholic Church. These are spiritual life and death ideas. (I was going to say decisions, but there goes the Calvin thing again). I guess what I am trying to say is that people who exclude others from non salvation differences of opinion I avoid.
     
  20. Rev. Lowery

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    I know a few things are absolute

    1. I will die someday

    2. I will always pay taxes

    3. Jesus Died for all of Mankind

    4. Not everyone will go to Heaven

    5. I am going to Heaven

    6. If you don't believe in Jesus you are condemned (John 3:18)

    7. I am a sinner saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)

    So we can know absolutely 100% that,

    We are saved by grace through faith in Christ and that faith comes from hearing the word of God.

    Because of my hearing the word of God I see the grace He has by giving His Son as a sacrifice for my sins that brings faith which by my faith in Christ I see Gods grace and it is that grace which saves me. I didn't earn it but I had to accept it. Accepting doesn't diminish the grace one bit nor does it take from Gods sovereignty.
    Calvinist and Armenians are both wrong just plain wrong they both contradict the word of God and I will have no part of either.
     

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