Do Calvinists act like Arminians?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by David Ekstrom, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. David Ekstrom

    David Ekstrom
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    I saw on a recent thread the charge that Calvinists must act like Arminians to evangelize because Calvinism doesn't work. I recall a similar claim on the Four Views book on predestination and free will.
    The charge is a straw man. If you grant predestination, you also must grant that you and me are predestined to be who we are. We act like the people we are. By it's very nature, predestination is not something you can be aware of happening. If Jones is among the Elect, then the means of Jones' conversion has been predestined. Who knows? That just might be me! I'm not acting like an Arminian when I go soul-winning.
    BTW, I'm not a dyed in the wool Calvinist. But passages like Eph. 1-2 and Rom. 8-11 force me to accept predestination. But I love my Arminian brothers and sisters who love my Lord. You guys aren't the bad guys.
     
  2. Monergist

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    Yes, the charge is a straw man. It would be similiar to you saying "I do not like rap music" and then for me to go and tell others "David doesn't like music." Which would be nonsense, of course, but thats what the charge against Calvinism regarding evangelism amounts too.

    Calvinists preach the gospel and call people to repentance and faith. That is real evangelism, its biblical evangelism. And to the degree that Arminians do the same, then we pracice the same type of evangelism (which, by the way does not mean that calvinists are acting like armininians, it means both are being biblical in their practice).

    But what really becomes the issue is when calvinists do not rely on manipulative altar calls, watering down the gospel to make it attracive, quick and easy repeat a sinners prayer and sign this card and you're "forever saved and don't you ever doubt it and if you go back into the world next month and have five divorces and never support your kids live your life pretty much as a drunk, the preacher will still tell everybody at your funeral that you are in heaven because on such and such day you gave your heart to the Lord."

    So the real isssue isn't evangelism, the real issue is a cheap and shoddy version of evangelism which is not evangelism at all, just like rap music is not music at all. Yet the peddlers of this cheap and shoddy stuff, when we Calvinists do not partake, charge us with being against evangelism. But its our love for true evangelism that causes us to reject the imitation.
     
  3. Kiffen

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    The greatest Revival this country ever had (The Great Awakening) was a Calvinist revival. Calvinists from the very beginning were the leaders in Evangelism and Missions.

    I think much of the confusion for modern Arminians is their lack of knowledge of Calvinism.
     
  4. Hardsheller

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    Hear, Hear!
     
  5. whatever

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    Uh-oh, that is going to make them angry. They do not like to hear about what they do not know. One thing that I have "learned" is that the Arminians here know more about Calvinism than Calvinists do.

    Seriously yours is a good post, as is the OP.
     
  6. Bob Krajcik

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    That has been shown over and over again. Great point. [​IMG]
     
  7. 4His_glory

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    The greatest missionary movements have been started by Calvinists. The great missionaries of the past where Calvinists (Carrey, Judson etc.).

    Calvinism does not kill evangelism and missions, some of the fasted growing churches I know were are Calvinistic.

    I am a missionary I am moderatly Calvinistic, in fact I don't know how I could be a missionary and not believe in election! It would be greatly discouraging to have to win people to Christ by myself and hope that I did a good job persauding their wills to trust Christ. I am glad I just give the Gosple and Christ does the rest! Plus I have assurance that there are those who will respond.
     
  8. OCC

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    Well I am deeply saddened by the rhetoric here and so-called "knowledge" of what Arminians believe.

    It is funny how you say we don't understand Calvinism yet you show your lack of understanding by saying we support "shoddy evangelism". Maybe some do but I don't. I think you had better learn that you should qualify your sentences with the word "some" and refrain from the use of the word "all" or from implying that you mean all.

    Arminians that I know do not believe in shoddy evangelism, however, they do believe in sincere evangelism. They don't offer a gospel to someone that they don't even know God loves or hates. We offer a gospel to everyone because we believe God loves them all. Please, tell me how that is shoddy?

    And I am against altar calls as well because I don't believe in putting people under pressure to repent but we also have to balance that out by "compelling" them to come to Christ.

    It is posts like these that make people think Calvinists are full of arrogance and have absolutely no love. Calvinist "BROTHERS AND SISTERS"...the way your Arminian "BROTHERS AND SISTERS" respond to you is in direct correlation to the way you come across. Check yourselves and realize that...don't blame it on hard-hearted Arminians, who afterall, are your CHRISTIAN brothers and sisters. And don't blame it on God's sovereignty.

    "I am glad I just give the Gosple and Christ does the rest!" We do the same...you just don't realize it. :(

    KJ out...
     
  9. whatever

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    Wait a minute - where did I say that all Arminians support "shoddy evangelism"? Maybe some Calvinists say that but I don't. I think you had better learn that you should qualify your sentences with the word "some" and refrain from the use of the word "all" or from implying that you mean all.

    You posted in another thread something about people being "saved from the foundation of the world". It is claims like that on which I base my claim that many Arminians do not understand Calvinism enough to argue against it.
     
  10. OCC

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    I don't recall saying anything about being saved from the foundation of the world. What was the context?

    I never said that you said anything. I was going by the fact that someone on this thread believed that and nobody pointed it out that they disagreed. Silence tends to mean approval.

    I understand Calvinism pretty well. I was one. Why do you think I hate it so much?
     
  11. whatever

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    Here's what you said just this morning on the other active thread in this forum:

    The other point - you chided us for not saying "some" instead of "all", and you didn't say "some" instead of "all" when you chided us, so I thought you meant all of us. I just thought the irony was too much.

    God can help you with that hatred problem of yours.
     
  12. dianetavegia

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    MAYBE we should all just start to act like sinners, saved by grace through the blood sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior and consider the rest of this fussing moot.

    Like Billy Graham said this week:

    “At my age, I have one message and that is that Jesus Christ came, he died on the cross, he rose again and he asks us to repent of our sins,” he said. “We don’t have any possibility of solving our problems today except through Jesus.”
     
  13. Monergist

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    Since I made the post about 'shoddy' evangelism, I assume you're referring to me.

    But since I did not use the word 'all' (as in 'all' Arminians) I believe that you must have me confused with someone else.

    Furthermore, my second paragraph recognizes that some Arminians evangelize in an appropriately biblical manner. But, my friend, I have seen far to much of the cheap and shoddy stuff-- far too much to ignore.
     
  14. OCC

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    Monergist, yes I was referring to you. I didn't have you confused with anyone else.

    I did write out of frustration with Calvinists and therefore didn't practice what I preached about "all". Well..I guess I am too dumb to argue therefore I shouldn't. God didn't predestine me to be a debater I guess.

    I have seen shoddy stuff too. I have also seen some Calvinists not believe in evangelizing and even thinking they don't have to love.
     
  15. dianetavegia

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    Ephesians 3:18-21 NLT:

    "May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God."

    "Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen."
     
  16. Monergist

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    Let's talk about that. I see an unwillingness to evangelize to be a sinful problem that effects calvinists and arminians alike.

    From my personal experience, for what that is worth, I see a difference of emphasis. My first 20 years or so was spent in a Freewill Baptist environment- strictly Arminian. Did these people have a heart for evangelism? No. Quite frankly, I saw less love for the lost there than anywhere I have been. Then came several years in a large SBC church. There was a lot of talk about evangelism, but the 'gospel' that was preached was very truncated, and out of the 2500 that might show up on Sunday morning, maybe 5 would show up once a month to go out into the community knocking doors.

    Now I attend a very Calvinistic PCA church. My pastor faithfully preaches the whole word of God in an expository style. Most sermons are not distinctly 'evangelistic' by a modern understanding of the term, yet week after week he issues a call for repentance and obedience to God. The text is handled accurrately and the word is preached. And we are encouraged to evangelize in the context of our homes, workplaces, communities, etc.

    My point is again, that there is a diffence of emphasis among Christians who desire to be faithful to the call to evangelize, but that we all struggle to be faithful to the task God has given us. Calvinists and Arminians alike.

    I've expressed my frustration at those who seek shortcut our task by manipulating people and softening the message to make it more palatable. I sense that you agree and I won't add further to that. What I see that Arminians and Calvinists could do together is twofold; 1) repent of our unwillingness to obey the Great Commission and 2) Stand together against those who abuse and misuse the gospel.
     
  17. icthus

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  18. icthus

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    And the problem with you Calvinists, is that you forget the names of John Wesley and Charles Finney. Both of whom were used to a greater extent than Whitfield or Edwards. The Revival under Wesley in the UK and USA, has not been equalled by any other preacher.
     
  19. OCC

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    "I've expressed my frustration at those who seek shortcut our task by manipulating people and softening the message to make it more palatable. I sense that you agree and I won't add further to that. What I see that Arminians and Calvinists could do together is twofold; 1) repent of our unwillingness to obey the Great Commission and 2) Stand together against those who abuse and misuse the gospel."

    Monergist [​IMG]

    It's good to talk about these things because we've both experienced very different situations. For me, it has been the Arminians who loved and shared the gospel...the Calvinists just liked to sit around and argue about it. I was a Calvinist and still go to a Calvinist church. It is hard. lol

    I am not accusing the people at my church of not loving others but it does come across like that. They come across as very cold and I just fight against that. I don't want to be told how much God hates every Tom, Rick, Harry, or me. The more I hear it the more I believe...maybe God does hate me.

    Is my hatred for Calvinism a little more clearly understood now? I don't say all that I say just to be a punk. I have reasons.

    Anyways...I agree with you Monergist.
     
  20. Kiffen

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    Actually I have great respect for John Wesley as well as Charles Wesley. The Revival of the Great Awakening was not under any preacher though Whitefield was the most prominent. I am not going to play Wesley vs. Whitefield. That would be a disrespect to both great evangelists. I am sure they would attribute the conversions soley to God and not to themselves. The fact is God uses both Arminians and Calvinists to advance His Gospel.


    As for Charles Finney I can't say I care for him or his human centered evangelism.
     

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