Calvinists' Conversions

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jerome, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Jerome

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    Are there many Calvinists here who were saved while under the preaching/ministry of other Calvinists? It seems to be a common refrain that Calvinism is a later independent discovery ("Yes, I used to be Arminian/go to an Arminian church, but now I am very Reform/have gone beyond all that", etc.).
     
  2. Havensdad

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    I was saved on the jobsite (well, technically it started there, and ended at my apartment), not under the ministry of anyone except the Holy Spirit.

    Though we cannot be sure if anyone is saved (except for ourselves), I do know several people who have made credible confessions of faith under a Calvinists ministry.
     
  3. Andy T.

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    Probably not - at least, that is my guess (with the word "here" being operative). I think the Cals you see posting on here are more likely to be ones who came to the DoG's after they were saved, and since it was such a seismic shift in their understanding, they are the ones who probably have more desire to go on internet boards and debtate/argue this issue. Whereas, a person who was saved in a Calvinistic church probably doesn't have as much desire to do so, since they never left non-Calvinism in the first place.
     
  4. annsni

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    Our church is more calvinistic and we definitely see many come to faith in Christ.

    I think the reason people do not necessarily believe in the DoG in the beginning of their walk with the Lord is that they don't understand God's sovereignty and it takes some time to learn about that. They just know that they were called and they responded. No matter what side you fall on, that is fact. We're called and we respond. It's just the mechanics behind it that differ.
     
  5. OldRegular

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    You are exactly right. The Doctrines of Grace are not going to be understood by the unsaved. In fact very little of the Bible will be truly understood by the unsaved.

    I certainly did not understand the Sovereignty of GOD when HE saved me. However, I have always believed that Salvation is a supernatural act in which GOD makes one who is lost [separated from GOD] spiritually alive. It is not just mental assent to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
     
  6. Winman

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    The problem with your doctrine is that you have God making insincere invitations to men that he never intends to save. I simply do not believe a God of perfect truth would make misleading and insincere invitations like this.

    A non-Cal believes God called him, so salvation originates with God. We do not believe there is this insincere and misleading "general call" to all mankind, and another "effectual call" to only those few elect.

    If a man must be regenerated by God to have the ability to believe to be saved, then it is God's fault when a man is not saved. You have God punishing a man for something he is unable to do, and it was God's curse (by your doctrine) that caused this inability.

    However, if every man has the God-given ability to believe, then the man himself is responsible if he refuses to trust in Christ.

    You can twist logic and argue any way you want, but if God cursed man so that he cannot believe, then God is the cause and author of unbelief and sin.
     
  7. Jerome

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    To clarify, my OP question concerns whether Calvinists here were saved under the preaching/ministry of other Calvinists. I am not inquiring about your own Calvinism, but that of those who led you to the Lord.
     
  8. annsni

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    Well, personally, my mom was saved only one week before she led me to the Lord so I don't think she understood a ton herself. :)

    However, like I said, our church pastors are mostly DoGs and many have been brought to faith through them.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    You're question seems to imply that Calvinists aren't leading many people to the Lord and even I, an adamant opponent of the thelogical system, disagree with that assertion. While it is true that in this time in history there are many more non-Calvinistic baptist ministers and congregations I don't think it is fair to categorize modern Calvinistic ministers as being less evangelistic. One only needs to look at the ministries of men like Piper to see this. He is a champion of making God's glory known throughout this world and his fellowship does much to put feet behind that message. This is true of most prominent Baptist Calvinists I know. Al Mohler, JI Packer, Matt Chandler and the list could go on and on all emphasize the need for missions and evangelism and have ministries that are leading countless souls to Christ. Just my two cents worth...
     
  10. Winman

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    Skandelon, I do not doubt that Calvinists preach the gospel and fund missionaries, but I cannot help but believe they must feel a little awkward when giving out a gospel invitation.

    I mean, how can you honestly encourage someone to accept Christ if you are not sure they will ever be able to do so?

    It's like Amway. Years ago I had a friend who tried repeatedly to get me to join this organization, promising that I could become wealthy. Well, first of all, money does not mean much to me, so that was of no great appeal, but secondly, I in no way could go out and promise people that they were going to get rich through selling these products and enlisting new members. And the truth is, it is possible to get rich selling Amway, although only a very few do. But there is no way I could heartily encourage people and promise them wealth knowing that their chances of getting rich through this system are very slim. So, I never joined.

    I could not preach to a large congregation and tell them to accept Christ if I believed the vast majority were determined from the foundation of the world to be lost. I honestly do not know how anybody could do this, I certainly couldn't.
     
  11. Andy T.

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    Yes, tsk tsk on those bad Calvinists.

    Do you know how prideful your statement comes across?
     
  12. OldRegular

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    The "elect" are not born with a cross tattooed on their forehead! Those who believe the Doctrines of Grace are simply being obedient to their Savior!
     
  13. Winman

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    Prideful? All I am saying is that I could not in good conscience promise anyone eternal life through Christ if I believed the vast majority of mankind absolutely unable to accept Christ.

    Maybe that wouldn't bother you, but that would bother me a great deal. I do not go around giving empty promises to people.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    Perhaps that is the reason most of the early Baptist missionaries were those who believed in the Doctrines of Grace!
     
  15. Winman

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    Yes, and some of them expressed this very problem. I read a sermon by Spurgeon where he struggled with this, I will try to find it and post it here. He admitted in this sermon that he did not know who chould actually trust Christ or would be able.

    I'll look for it and post it back. You will see that it caused him some difficulty.
     
  16. Winman

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    OK, here is a portion of Spurgeon's sermon #279. Note that he admits that he feels an anxiety in inviting all to accept Christ.

    Note that Spurgeon says he always felt a certain anxiety in inviting people to Christ and still does! He also says that other ministers have this same problem.

    That is good, that shows Spurgeon was a good honest man who did not want to lead a person on, give them an empty promise.

    Now, it is true that he seemed to find a way to work through this, but in this sermon he admits an anxiety in inviting all to come to Christ.
    And notice that Spurgeon seems to think the "elect" who accept Christ "sensible", and calls those who do not accept Christ "stupid sinners". That contradicts Calvinism, because Calvinism teaches that God chose who he would be elect unconditionally.
     
    #16 Winman, Mar 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2010
  17. annsni

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    It's easy. We're not God. We're commanded of God to present the Gospel to all men. We're obedient to that. The big difference is that we're not hung up on numbers and feeling discouraged when we don't have huge numbers coming to the Lord. We know that when we're faithful in what we're to do, that's all that we can do and the rest is up to God. There's no difference in the Gospel presentation between an Arminian and a Calvinist. There's no difference in the results. The only difference that I can see are those who are saying "We went soul winning and saved 70 people this weekend." That is from a "pastor" who is an Arminian. Yeah, I know I don't save anyone. It's God who does it.
     
  18. Winman

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    I am not hung up on numbers either.

    That is not the question. The question is how can a Calvinist say, "whosoever will may take the water of life freely" when they do not believe whosoever can?

    I showed you where Spurgeon himself had a problem with this, it created a contradiction within himself, and he said that many other ministers had this same problem.

    Now, for us non-Cals it is not a problem whatsoever. We believe any man can freely choose to accept Christ if he so desires. When we say "whosoever will", we mean it whole-heartedly. There is no contradiction in our doctrine, no anxiety created.
     
  19. pinoybaptist

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    all I can say is the ship has gotten off-course and is about to hit the rocks.
    ahoy, mates !
    sound the alarm !!
     
  20. Skandelon

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    As stated, Calvinists don't know who is and who is not elect. They preach to everyone as if they might be elect. At least that is what I did as a Calvinist.

    Well, as a Calvinist, I would have thought that the very fact they came to hear a sermon would give much indication that God was "drawing" them to himself, so that wasn't a problem for me when I preached. I preached with the same evangelistic fervor I do now. I'm just being honest.

    The only real difference between now and then is that I find myself wanting to be more persistent and persuasive in my evangelism. I do think that model's Paul's example in Acts where it speaks of his "persuasion" in appealing to the OT texts and every kind of appeal that he might save his fellow countryman. The love he expresses for his Jewish brethren who have become hardened in the first few verses of Romans 9 is amazing to me. It's just hard for me to imagine that Paul loved and desired the salvation of his fellow countrymen more than our merciful God did.

    God has given me more of that passion to "become all things to all men that I may win one." I am less likely to think, "Aww, he must not be elect"...or... "if he is elect God will get Him eventually anyway, so I can go on my way." I wouldn't have admitted thinking that as a Calvinist and I really didn't even recognize that I was doing it until I "converted" back. That is not to imply that all Calvinists made that mistake, I'm just testifying to my own experience.
     
    #20 Skandelon, Mar 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2010

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