If my pastor is a Calvinist and I'm not, should I change churches?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by willowdee, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. willowdee

    willowdee
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    I'm not sure this is the right forum for this question, but since this is my first post here, I thought I'd give it a try.

    I am a member of a Southern Baptist church, and just recently realized my pastor is a Calvinist. I believe he is sincere, and he may even be correct. However, I disagree. Should I seek another church? And, if I stay, how do I deal with this fundamental disagreement regarding doctrine?

    I should add: I really don't want to leave, but I'm not sure staying is the right thing to do.

    I appreciate any guidance you can give me. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. StefanM

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    I think you have to do what you think is right. I don't think it's automatically necessary for you to leave, but if you feel you could better serve in a different church, then seek another congregation.
     
  3. Gold Dragon

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    It is rare that we agree 100% with everything our pastor believes. Most of the time we will stay despite those differences but sometimes there are deal breaker doctrines. The Calvinism/Arminianism debate is not one of those for me. I currently attend an entire church and pastoral staff that is strongly Calvinistic and anti-Arminian. I personally am more middle of the road on the issue and tolerate the strong views of my community.

    I guess the question for me is less about the minutiae of doctrine and more on how that doctrine affects the church's ministry to others including myself and my ministry to others including the church. Another way of saying it is: what impact does orthodoxy have on orthopraxy for the church and myself.
     
    #3 Gold Dragon, Dec 29, 2007
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  4. Martin

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    ==I am in the opposite situation. I am Calvinistic, my pastor is not. However it is not that big of an issue. I have no problem with his sermons/teachings.

    I guess it just depends upon your personal situation.
     
  5. webdog

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    I am in the same boat, but would not consider leaving due to that one thing. My pastor is a calvinist, and I do not agree, but the church as a whole is very outreach focused, discipleship focused, loves each other and the Lord, and is an overall wonderful church to be a member of.

    Don't let one person's view determine whether you stay or go, but the big picture.
     
  6. JerryL

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    I more of the calvinistic slant and my Pastor is also. We disagree on other things though, and as yet it is not a problem. Our Church is very outreach/missional oriented and very loving, so for now I feel very at home and consider my Pastor one of my very close friends, despite our doctrinal differences.
     
  7. donnA

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    Unless the pastor required you to become a calvinist, or said people who weren't calvinist were not saved or were going to hell, then no I wouldn't change churches over it.
     
  8. JerryL

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    I had a pastor once say " People that don't tithe, are going to wake up in hell and wonder "What happened?".

    PS. Yea, I left.
     
  9. Frogman

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    One of you must be earnestly contending for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.

    INMHO, this is a vital issue. If you disagree with the pastoral stance, then in your mind he is preaching error. If the body of believers agree with him, and you cannot change this body to what you believe scripture teaches, then you should consider whether your interpretation is correct, if you still believe it is you and the body are out of fellowship. Being out of fellowship, you and this body cannot observe the Lord's Supper.

    Or you could continue to ignore the differences, make no stand and rejoice because of the feigned love and outreach of the body, despite their opposition to the Word of God.

    bro. Dallas:wavey:
     
  10. webdog

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    Huh?!?

    It's the mechanics of the truth that is in disagreement, not the truth itself. One can believe the mechanics of that which is Truth to be in error and still be in fellowship, as the Truth itself remains..

    Do you only allow members of your church who are calvinists? In addition, what pastor preaches 100% truth? Are any without error? Wow.

    Willowdee, this is the worst advice you can receive here.
     
  11. JerryL

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    In total agreement with you dog.
     
  12. Amy.G

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    I agree WD. :eek: :laugh:

    We're never going to agree 100% with any pastor. I would imagine that Cals and non Cals are side by side in most churches, but that's just MHO.
     
  13. stevewm

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    Since I consider Calvinism to be an aberrant doctrine I would either leave or seek the removal of the pastor. We are called not only to know the truth but to live the truth. Since Calvinists reject that God has given us a choice in matters of salvation or condemnation that particular teaching is a Biblical Heresy. Calvinists want to claim they believe in the sovereignty of God but reject that God can be sovereign and still give us a choice. The actual teaching of Scripture is that God is so sovereign that in His wisdom and love He gives us the opportunity to choose to worship Him or reject. We cannot and should not make the mistake of believing that foreknowledge is foreordination. In the end God is a just God and always makes righteous judgements. A God that foreordained people just to send them to Hell is neither a just God nor a God that is revealed to us in nature, in scripture, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit.
     
  14. Jarthur001

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    Or better yet....

    Go to his house...and burn it down...and run him out of town. If he will not leave town...burn him too. Burn the Bibles too..for they teach Calvinism. Burn the schools... Not sure what you can do to God for it is His Bible.......but I'm sure you can think of something.

    For those that talk about Gods love so much, I hardly see it come from them. pitiful
     
    #14 Jarthur001, Dec 29, 2007
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  15. webdog

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    ...and Frogman's (calvinist, btw) advice was one of love...dis-fellowship?
     
    #15 webdog, Dec 29, 2007
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  16. willowdee

    willowdee
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    Thank you all for your responses. However, I really didn't post this question to spark a debate on Calvinism.

    I am pretty sure that at least 95% of the congregation wouldn't know what Calvinism meant if you mentioned the word to them, but I am also 95% positive they don't agree with it. They probably would understand if you used the word predestination, however, and since free will is emphasized so strongly in Sunday School and other Bible study, I feel quite sure they would disagree with Calvinism if they were familiar with all that it means.

    There is a history of the congregation disagreeing with the pastor, but for whatever reason, he has been there for 6 years and has no plans to leave. My husband and I have only been at this church (this time) for about 3 years. This is the home church of my youth, where I was baptised 40+ years ago.

    I do not want to leave my beloved church family, many of whom I have known for most of my life. We are a very small church, with only about 50 members actually active. This is down from about 125 when the pastor was first called to our church.

    However, as much as I love my church family, my first allegiance is, of course, to God. I go to church to worship, to fellowship, and to be educated about the Word. The first two opportunities are definitely there, but the last is lacking, at least for me.

    Someone mentioned outreach, but for some reason our pastor is not particularly interested in outreach. His basic stance is that we are here and our doors are open.

    I don't know if I've made myself clear, and if not, I do apologize. This is something that is so heavy on my heart that I have a hard time even discussing it. I have discussed it with my pastor, but apparently I am the only member who has asked him directly if he is a Calvinist. I understand that he is a theologian and I'm not, but the doctrine of Calvinism is so difficult for me that I simply cannot, at least at this point in my Christian walk, accept it.

    I am still praying and asking the Holy Spirit to guide me. My husband is not interested in leaving the church, at least at this point, because of the bond we have forged with our church family. As his wife, it is my responsibility to follow his lead, but he does care how I feel so it's possible he will feel differently at some point in the future.

    I apologize for the ramble. I have been holding this inside for quite some time now and I just don't know what to do. Any other suggestions are more than welcome.

    In Christ,
    Dee
     
  17. webdog

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    This attitude by your pastor would make me second guess whether I would stay or not, too.
     
  18. Jarthur001

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    Yes I know Frogman is a Calvinist.

    what did you dislike about his post? Was it option 1 or option 2?



    .

    Which did you dislike???????????
     
  19. webdog

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    Not agreeing with a calvinist does not disqualify one from observing Lords Supper, nor is it being out of fellowship. Stating such is done from a point of superiority, IMO, not love and allowing for the priesthood of the believer.
     
  20. Jarthur001

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    in other words you feel he should take option 2?

    Nothing wrong with that.

    However to say this...

    Is Calvinism a heresy?
     

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