Calvinist Pastor Turns from Calvinism After 20 Years

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by InTheLight, Aug 12, 2014.

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  1. InTheLight

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    The third thing that set me on the course to reject RT was the thing that had led me into it – Scripture itself. As a pastor I preached through books of the Bible verse by verse. Occasionally I would encounter a common Calvinistic proof text and realize that it did not necessarily say what I had thought it said. John 3 does not necessarily teach that regeneration precedes faith; John 10 does not necessarily teach that Jesus died only for the elect; Eph 1 does not necessarily teach that God ordained whatever happens; 1 Pet 1 does not necessarily teach that God elected individuals for salvation – unconditionally, effectually, exclusively. Once again, these discoveries did not shake my confidence in RT. There were too many passages that clearly taught it; I considered Romans 9 impregnable to Arminian assault. But I realized that the quantity of verses used to support my view did not matter if, upon closer scrutiny, they could not bear the weight that we Calvinists were putting on them on a case-by-case basis.


    Complete article here:

    http://evangelicalarminians.org/cal...-20-years-as-a-calvinist-and-intensive-study/
     
  2. Aaron

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    woop dee doo.

    As if there weren't those who rejected even the direct teaching of the apostles, after abiding in it for a time.
     
  3. InTheLight

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    I see that you responded in less than 3 minutes to an extensive article that could not be read in that amount of time.
     
  4. matt wade

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    Not a Calvinist here, but I think his point was that you can't build an argument on what 1 guy did somewhere.
     
  5. InTheLight

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    Hmmm...OK, how many guys would it take?

    Also, it seems odd that someone's personal testimony would carry little weight, especially someone that was steeped in Reformed theology. Would you like your personal testimony to be rejected so quickly and thoroughly with scarcely an examination of it?
     
  6. matt wade

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    I can find 1 guy somewhere that had done just about anything.

    No, I don't expect anyone to change their mind on something based upon just my single experience.
     
  7. InTheLight

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    I wasn't talking about anyone changing their mind, I was talking about not even giving your testimony any consideration. Aaron obviously didn't read the article, he just dismissed it out of hand.
     
  8. Rolfe

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    I would bet that for every person who turns from Calvinism, there is someone who turns to it.

    As for personal testimonies, too much importance can be placed on individual experience. Word of Faith types are a good example of what I mean.
     
  9. Winman

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    I read that article yesterday, and even listened to his short address to his congregation explaining his resignation. He seems like a very sincere man who loved his church and fellow believers, but he had to follow his conscience. He no longer believed Calvinism was scriptural.

    That said, he doesn't really explain what isn't scriptural about Calvinism in his article, so no Calvinist is going to swear off Calvinism after reading it. He simply explains that he discovered many Calvinist proof texts could have alternate interpretations that in the end he came to believe were much better interpretations, but he doesn't give explicit examples of those proof texts or the "better" interpretations he discovered.

    The article might encourage a Calvinist to re-examine his views at best. What is most impressive is the way this pastor had the courage to change his views and give up his very livelihood, which is not easy. At the same time, he tried to show his congregation that he sincerely loved them, and I think he proved this.

    No, I think you would have to go over Calvinist proof texts one by one and show these alternate interpretations to sway them. And even that is no guarantee. Whether folks like to admit it or not, they have a lot riding on what they believe, and they are not going to give this up easily. Many a pastor on either side would have stayed right where he was because he would not be willing to give up his job. That takes a whole lot of conviction, faith, and courage.
     
  10. preacher4truth

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    Yep.

    :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs:
     
  11. JamesL

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    What ITL linked to is a blog, and the words quoted are found in the comments section.

    From what I gathered from the blog, they encouraged ex-Calvinists to write about coming out of Calvinists.

    Not so much to convince anyone that Calvinism is wrong, but to encourage others Calvinists who are questioning. Encourage them to search the scriptures for themselves, to know that there are other interpretive systems, that Arminians aren't ignorant buffoons, that defecting from Calvinism is not on par with defecting from the faith....

    But that could go both ways.
    All one has to do is traipse through the Calvinism/Arminianism forum to see that those on both sides hurl unfounded accusations at each other. And both sides are doubting the reality of saving faith in their opponents.

    It would be worse here, were it not for a heavy handed mod

    I remember when I moved from Arminianism to Calvinism, while I was teaching children's Sunday School at an Assemblies of God. WOW!! Can you say hatred?

    I can now proudly say I detest both positions.
     
  12. preacher4truth

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    This guy makes numerous mistakes.

    One is going to study at a place because one of his favorite preachers taught their (or whatever he called him).

    One glaring mistake is his attack on interpretations of Ephesians 1:4 as if that one verse represented nearly the whole of Reformed truth, and as if he, a newcomer who had no foundation other than following a favored preacher, suddenly had a true rebuttal to this truth using one verse of Scripture as a rebuttal of all things Reformed.

    He also states 'We are called to believe what we think Scripture teaches' which is subjective and emotional nonsense.

    Uh, no we are not.

    We aren't called to believe what we think Scripture teaches, but what Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura) teaches regardless of what we think.

    This fellow, by his own witness testifies to his own wishy-washy path, and whilst on said path makes bogus, sentimental and emotional conclusions; a la 'What he believes Scripture says'.

    No wonder he departed from the faith. The departure began and ended with his own subjective error and naivete.

    He then further proves his subjectivity with admitting his journey was not about 'having the right answers' but 'following Jesus' as if following Jesus is equated to not having the right answers, but is instead pure emotional reason.

    Paul rejects this via the Holy Spirit that we are to pay attention to ourselves and our doctrine 1 Timothy 4:16, and in that, truth outweighs our own emotional protocols and that a statement of 'following Jesus' v 'having the right answers' is a total misnomer as they are one in the same.

    The bottom line is this guy was never a Calvinist by his own testimony. His testimony is bogus from the get go.
     
  13. preacher4truth

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    You're absolutely correct. Error is easily discernable, Hebrews 5:12-14, and one does not need to delve into an entire article in order to understand immediately that the entire premise is wrong.
     
  14. Winman

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    Translation- You are not allowed to think for yourself and interpret scripture as the Word of God and the Holy Spirit speaks to you, but you must conform to Calvinist dogma.
     
  15. Winman

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    There's no way you could ever be wrong is there?
     
  16. JamesL

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    I agree wholeheartedly.



    Yup. Just like I said. An accusation that just because he defected from Calvinism, he defected from the faith.

    But it's not only you, the Arminians do it, too.
     
  17. preacher4truth

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    I'm glad you see this as well JamesL. :thumbs:
     
  18. Winman

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    I think if you understood what he really means you would disagree. He really means you must conform to Calvinist "orthodox" dogma, even if the scriptures seem to clearly be saying something quite different.

    Well, if you can't refute them with real arguments, slam them.
     
  19. quantumfaith

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    Of course not Winman.....need you even ask?
     
  20. JamesL

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    I'm not ready to assign him there. I know he's firmly established in a position I disagree with, but a valid point still stands.

    I've said before - if God is a sadist, so what? Or if God is subservient to man, so what?

    The issue should never be how it makes us feel, or whether we like the notion. The issue of utmost importance is what do the scriptures say?

    He made the world and everything in it, not us. And His word is truth, not ours. If His word clashes with our thinking, then our thinking needs to change
     
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