How does this Debate affect us practically?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Hardsheller, Jul 18, 2003.

  1. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    What are the Practical Ramifications of the Calvinistic/Arminian Debate in Local Church Ministry in the following Areas?

    1. Worship
    2. Evangelism
    3. Discipleship
    4. Fellowship (Caring and Nuture of the Body)
    5. Ministry/Missions

    In other words What is it that Arminians or Calvinists DO WEEKLY that is SO DIFFERENT because of their THEOLOGY?
     
  2. ScottEmerson

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    1. Worship, I see no differently. Perhaps there may be a mischaracterization that Arminians cnanot completely worship since they do not believe that their salvation is completely from God, but I assure you, this is not the case. In general (and I do not think this is BECAUSE of Calvinism, but it tends to occur), Calvinists seem to prefer more traditional forms of worship, whereas Arminians prefer more contemporary types.

    2. Evangelism - The only difference that I understand (and I'm taking Spurgeon's word that Calvinists still preach the gospel to all mankind), is that I have found that Arminians or more willing to make the gospel culturally relevant to the people they are preaching to. Calvinists will use more traditional, standard forms of evangelism, whereas Arminians have more of a tendency to "meet the sinners where they are."

    3. Discipleship - While it would make sense that the Arminians who believe that it is possible to lose salvation would devote a lot more time to discipleship (making sure the new convert is grounded in faith), I have not found this to be true. Both camps place discipleship at a high priority, although I do believe that more church resources should be placed into the process of discipleship.

    4. Fellowship - I don't know of any difference, either doctrinally or in real life.

    5. Ministry/Missions - This is probably answered in #2. Both place mission work at a high level.
     
  3. William C

    William C
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    Scott,

    I think I would pretty much agree with everything you have said except I would probably add something on #4, fellowship.

    Being a member of a "reformed" fellowship I do notice that Calvinists have a bit more of a tendency to be exclusionary. The "essentials" of the faith are much more specific and defined for Calvinists, which can be a good thing in some regards, but it has a tendency to make some feel left out if they don't agree with their views on less essential matters. The dogmatic tendency of Calvinists often gives an air of arrogance and causes many to shy away from it. I noticed this even when I was a Calvinist myself.
     
  4. Gina B

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    I'm gonna get in trouble on this one, but here goes.

    1. Worship: Calvinists tend to be more focused on theologically sound songs that honor God and are solely intended to praise God rather than used to console ourselves or guilt others to come to the alter.

    2. Evangelism: Calvinists tend to place much more value on the impact of lifestyle evangelism, example by action instead combined with word of mouth, as opposed to handing out a chick tract telling a perfect stranger they're going to hell and then never seeing them again.
    Also, tend to be more sensitive in the presentation of the gospel, more friendship and sharing than beating over the head or setting up hell houses on halloween.

    3. Discipleship: it exists! A calvinist is more likely to continue in nurturing someone he has been dealing with, or set him up appropriate measure to ensure they are not left in the cold or just told to go find a church in the yellow pages in their area.

    4. Fellowship (Caring and Nuture of the Body): I think I kinda just answered this. Older teaching newer is more common, friendships seem to run deeper.

    5. Ministry/Missions: Not a lot of difference, although there are a FEW who don't think it's much neccessary, those who will believe will believe. That attitude disgusts me, and I wish I wish I wish that all Arminians wouldn't point to those few and call them the majority. ANYONE who refuses to fulfill the command to GO needs slapped upside the head in the hopes some common sense will tranfer from your hand into their brain.

    In other words What is it that Arminians or Calvinists DO WEEKLY that is SO DIFFERENT because of their THEOLOGY? : All of the above add up to a somewhat different lifestyle, but basically there's not a WHOLE lot of difference. I've found calvinists to be more honest about themselves, not just words on Sundays but practicing what they believe on a regular basis. And not hiding things for appearances sake. There's kinda just a whole attitude difference going on when you give God 100% credit for everything in your life.

    Now, calm down. I'm not saying Cals are holier or better. They excel in different areas of their lives, arms excel in other areas of the Christian life. Otay?
    Gina
     
  5. Yelsew

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    Gina,
    Your bias certainly shows through in what you posted.

    There is absolutely no difference in the people, God made them all the same...in his image! We do behave in accordance with what we believe.

    There is no difference in any of the areas listed, Cal/Arm wise, but there is a difference in the listed areas that is demographics driven. </font>
    • The older established vs the newer congregations.</font>
    • The older age groups vs the younger age groups.</font>
    • The inner city vs the suburbs.</font>
    • The longevity of the pastor greatly influences the persuasion of the congregation.</font>
    • The Pastor and his Staff's persuasion greatly influences the demographics of the congregation. You know, "we are what we feed on".</font>
    • Congregational persuasion does change with pastoral changes</font>
     
  6. Gina B

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    I'm sure it is showing. Why shouldn't it?
    We all hold to our beliefs because we feel them to be at the least equal to other beliefs, but in most cases superior. "More correct". If we didn't think so they wouldn't matter to us and we wouldn't talk about them. We wouldn't care what anyone else believed and try to persuade them to the correctness of our own if we didn't think it was better than what they believed already. [​IMG]
    That doesn't mean we think we're better as people overall or dearer to God as individuals though.
    Gina
     
  7. ScottEmerson

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    I'm confused at why you would believe this. The Arminians that I know do tend to use more contemporary songs, but they are quite theologically sound.

    From what I have seen on the board (and not just in the C/A board), Calvinists don't really buy into lifestyle evangelism. Many of them believe in separation of such things. In fact, the only people I have seen who would tell a perfect stranger they are going to hell have been Calvinists - some even on baptistboard. I think that the passing out of chick tracks is what those who never bothered to grow spiritually do - this isn't an Arminian thing.

    Why do you believe that Arminianism does not do this?

    Again, why do you believe that Arminianism does not do this?

    What do you mean by 'hiding things?' How does that relate to Arminianism?

    Personally, it sounds to me as if instead of defining Arminians, you are describing babes in Christ.
     
  8. Monergist

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    Not with me... I liked it
    :cool:
     
  9. Eric B

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    It's probably somewhat divided, as many Arminians are of the "revivalist" type of old-line separatist fundamentalist, and not only prefer, but also mandate older forms, and condemn almost everything contemporary. This would include people like most of your KJVO's. Some Calvinists, such as ACE, speak against such world-hating separatism, even though they criticize shallowness in worship and ignorance of doctrine.
     
  10. tyndale1946

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    It effects me practically this way... There is more of God and less of Man... The same as the natural Sun is the center of our universe and everything revolves around it... So the Son Of God... God the Son... God the Father... And God the Holy Spirit is the center and entire complete universe for the Christian believer... And we all live... believe and have our being in him... We revolve around him... My religion is Christology!... Without him I am nothing and less than nothing... In Eternal and Timely Salvation!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  11. DanielFive

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    In my experience Arminians have a tendency to use more emotional hymns, particularly in Gospel services. I attended a church where the arminian preacher made an 'altar call' and asked the Christians in the congregation to softly sing 'Just As I Am'.

    It was a very emotional ending to the meeting, this tactic wouldn't be used by Calvinists who rely on the Gospel to bring sinners under conviction.
     
  12. Yelsew

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    Like the sun being the center of the solar system, there would still be no life if the planet did not have the right ingredients for the light, and life sustaining power of the sun to work upon and bring forth and sustain life. The Sun which is the center cannot do it all, when it was made in the beginning to be a partnership.
     
  13. computerjunkie

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    So Billy Graham is Arminian? [​IMG]
     
  14. ScottEmerson

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    A good number of Calvinist-based churches use the altar call as well...
     
  15. DanielFive

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    Yes.
     
  16. Felix

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    Two major points come to my mind. Both touch pretty much all the five areas and can not be isolated:

    1.Prayer/Evangelism. When praying/witnessing for/to the lost (friend, family member, etc.), obviously both camps (arminians, calvinists) pray to God to intervene in their lives with a saving power.
    a.In the arminian system, salvation is basicaly dependent on the person; what or how would they pray to God? What can God do in a person's life that He already has not done? They surely can not ask God to grant repentance or to change/soften a person's heart since all of these are up to the individual. Their hope is in the person that he/she would change his/her mind and believe....
    b.In the calvinistic system, salvation is dependent fully upon God, hence when they pray/witness they place their hope in God the Holy Spirit that He intervenes and grants repentance to the unsaved individual.
    -If a friend or relative dies unsaved, who is to blame than: God for not electing or the person for not believing? Certainly God is not to be blamed for anything!
    I believe the above case is equally painful for both sides. Regardless, it is clear that someone's prayer life/witnessing is greatly affected by his/her beliefs.

    2.Fellowship/Revival.
    a.Arminians define Revival as a group of people deciding/believing in the Gospel- or when believers rededicate their lives- at the same time and at the same place. It is the Holy Spirit who brings conviction when hearing the Gospel, but according to them Revival should not be expected from God directly but from a group of people. If they pray for Revival, what exactly they expect God to do? Intervene? How?
    b.Calvinists define Revival as a sovereign act of God in people's lives. It is sent directly by God through the Holy Spirit by the Word of God. He decides when, where, and why send a Revival to a group of people. Certainly prayer plays a major role in this issue again.

    All of these therefore: Worship, Evangelism, Discipleship, Fellowship, Ministry/Missions are greatly affected by our beliefs. The difference is not so much outwordly, but inwordly.

    I am still working on my English, so forgive me for all the errors I made in this post (and all the others too [​IMG] ), but I sure hope you all understand what I was trying to say.

    Serving Him together

    Felix [​IMG]
     
  17. BobRyan

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    A "huge difference" is in what each model "Says about God" as the 4pt and 5pt Calvinist future scenario points out the "contrast" between the wo C vs A models in graphic detail.

    Thank God The Calvinist "model" is NOT followed BY Calvinists WHEN they evangelize - and so there is no real difference in evangelism.

    INSTEAD of the Calvinist giving real calvinism in evangelism - they use Arminian methods and then say "this is because the congregation is not ready yet to hear Calvinism".

    Indeed - the congregation is only going to be "persuaded" by Arminian appeals JUST as you see them in scripture "IF perhaps I might MOVE some of my fellow countrymen to jealousy and SAVE some of them" Rom 11:14.

    INSTEAD of the 4 and 5pt Calvinist speach "God only cares about the FEW here tonight and nothing you say/do and nothing I say/do will change what He has predestined in the LEAST. So instead of an Arminian style message and appeal, I am just going to sit down and we will all watch and see what happens. This will be Calvinism working in real life right here in front of your eyes. Not that that can change anything of course".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. Gina B

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    Bob, Calvinists still believe the bible, which commands us to go and tell all nations about Jesus. Whatever means God ordained to fulfill what he has predestined is not to be ignored!

    I would much prefer a gentle teaching of Jesus Christ and watch the results. When the Lord truly works repentance in someone's heart nothing is going to stop that, and it won't "not" happen because the pianist only played 5 stanzas of "Just as I am" instead of eight.
    In fact, I see great danger in the typical arminian methods of persuasion that evoke strong reaction borne of guilt instead of belief. Anyone can feel bad for sins committed, without belief in Jesus a confession means zip and was only the result of their mental state at the moment. That type of conviction goes away soon enough, and you still don't have any growing Christians in your church as a result.
    Gina
     
  19. ScottEmerson

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    I'm still trying to figure out why you mischaracterize Arminianism so.

    Old-school evangelists will use guilt quite often, but that is not the Arminian way.

    From your own perspective, so what? They weren't going to be saved anyway, right?

    The fact is that you are mischaracterizing Arminianism. Period. Perhaps you should understand the Arminian side before saying such things. Arminians insist that a person must believe that Jesus died and was risen again and must place Him is Lord over their life. Unless they have placed Christ as Lord, the person is not saved. Lordship is very important in Arminian theology. What you describe seems to be more a product of, well, something else that Arminianism.
     
  20. Jacob

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    b.In the calvinistic system, salvation is dependent fully upon God, hence when they pray/witness they place their hope in God the Holy Spirit that He intervenes and grants repentance to the unsaved individual.
    </font>[/QUOTE]This makes no sense to me considering Calvinism believes that God has already cemented who is going to believe, who is going to receive an effectual call and who isn't long ago before the beginning of time.

    As I read quotes from different Calvinists in this forum, time and time again it seems that they want to have their cake and eat it too. Then when non-Calvinists point out the contradictions the response is always "...you just don't understand Calvinism...pay more attention". Often I think the non-Calvinists are actually paying more attention as they seem to notice these types of inconsistent statements.

    Jacob.
     

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