John Calvin and missions

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Luke2427, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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    Some of the most impressive mission work ever done was carried out by John Calvin. This flies in the face of accusations that Calvinism is incompatible with missions.

    History has shown that nothing has been a greater boon to missions than real Calvinism.

    Fred Klooster said, “The mission activity that emanated from Geneva under Calvin’s inspiration was itself of monumental proportions. It was perhaps the greatest home missions project that history has yet seen since the time of the apostles.” This is no exaggeration. Due to Calvin’s sending missionaries from Geneva to France, from 1555 to 1559 the number of reformed churches there sky rocketed from 5 to nearly 100. By 1562, there was an amazing 2,150 reformed churches in France due to the missionary zeal of John Calvin. The membership of these churches in 1562 is estimated at three million of the total population in France of twenty million.
     
  2. Herald

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    When you truly understand that the Gospel is the means of salvation it rouses an unquenching desire to proclaim it in many venues. Missions work is just one of those venues. Men like William Carey, Adoniram Judson, and John Eliot were prolific Calvinist evangelists and missionaries.

    What should the Arminian response be to this FACT? "I disagree with your theology, but I praise God that Calvinist missionaries preach the Gospel."
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    I hope this does not turn into a Calvinism thread but a chance for ALL of us to focus on the mandate for missions.

    Other good quotations?
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    Some of the most passionate missionaries who reach people with the Gospel I have ever known have been Calvinists.
     
  5. Rippon

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    John Calvin sent a few missionaries to Brazil as well. That in the mid-16th century. He didn't have the attitude that "If the Lord will save them. They will be saved regardless if we send them or not."
     
  6. clark thompson

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    The problem occurs when they don't do missions because people are predestined and this does happen.
     
  7. psalms109:31

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    God has the end result, He knows all that will be saved. If we don't send them someone else will and they will be the one to receive treasures in heaven people God used us to reach.

    Since we are regenerated through the faith given to us by God through His word, no one will be saved if no one is sent. So we are to praise God for the feet that bring the good news.

    I love these quote's from John Calvin about the good Samaritan

    "The meaning of the parable for Calvin was, instead, that "compassion, which an enemy showed to a Jew, demonstrates that the guidance and teaching of nature are sufficient to show that man was created for the sake of man. Hence it is inferred that there is a mutual obligation between all men."[29] In other writings, Calvin pointed out that people are not born merely for themselves, but rather "mankind is knit together with a holy knot ... we must not live for ourselves, but for our neighbors."[32] Earlier, Cyril of Alexandria had written that "a crown of love is being twined for him who loves his neighbour."[33]"

    John Calvin believed it was the Holy Spirit work in their heart.

    Since we who believe are filled by the Holy Spirit and His temple, the Holy Spirit through us can work on other hearts and we all know a good Shepherd uses other sheep to bring in the lost. It is a shame sometimes to use a quote from another for our own agenda. Someone needs to be sent.
     
    #7 psalms109:31, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2013
  8. Luke2427

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    Examples?

    Calvinists have been the greatest missionaries in history.

    The "Modern Missions Movement" is a result of Calvinist William Carey.

    What you condemn is "hyper-Calvinism."

    Nobody hates hyperCalvinism as much as Calvinists.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    Many here do know the background of Carey's mission work and the obstacles he faced with some hyper-Calvinist/fatalists.

    A famous ifb pastor said he wanted his SS teachers to all be Calvinists and teach sound doctrine, but he wanted the Superintendent and workers who brought in the children to be Arminian and fearful of losing salvation if they didn't work their tails off.

    Always got a big laugh. Sadly.
     
  10. Skandelon

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    When I was a Calvinist I too hated the idea of hyperism, however if I was completely honest there were times I remember not continuing to pursue or 'go that extra mile' to reach someone because I figured that if God wanted them they would come around eventually anyway. It gave me the excuse I needed to 'let it go and let God.' I guess that could a be a form of semi-hyperism? Oh great, another label! ;)
     
  11. Luke2427

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    It is the difference between John Gill and Andrew Fuller.

    Good warm, evangelical Calvinism drives the Christian into missions.

    I think this is especially true if that Calvinism is accompanied by the postmillennialism of the founders of the Modern Missions Movement.
     
  12. Inspector Javert

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    I'm nothing close to a Calvinist...but, there is no question both that "Calvinism" and those who commonly claim the moniker are consistently missionary-minded.

    Even if they WEREN'T...it wouldn't disprove Calvinism's fundamental Soteriology anyway inasmuch as that would merely constitute an argument from results.

    MY OPINION...would be that a strict Calvinism should result in a policy which does restrict Missions, in that, I would perceive "hyper-Calvinism" as the logically sound form of Calvinism...In other words...IF I were a "Calvinist", I would only be the "hyper-type".

    Nonetheless. Most modern Calvinists anyway do not see it as I do, and their arguments FOR Missions are perfectly valid. And, (much as it pains me to say it) ;) Their ACTIONS in recent history bear out their beliefs.
    The argument Calvinists (generally) use that God has foreordained BOTH the means and the END of the gospel, and that he is to be glorified in his saints' being active IN those "MEANS" is perfectly sound. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with that argument.

    I wouldn't pretend that Calvinist Soteriology has been the sole driving force behind the sum-toto of Baptist Missionary efforts in the last 200 years or anything, and I suspect there are those who would wish to suggest as much.
    But, Calvinists have indeed (at least in MANY instances) in the last 400-years been quite the Missions-minded type. There have, of course, been examples wherein a Calvinist Soteriology has been USED to refuse to engage in missions. But EVERY viewpoint is capable of abuse. We do not judge the truth of a view based upon it's abuse but on it's logical necessity. Calvinism (as commonly expressed today, as a compatibilist form) does not necessitate a refusal to engage in Missions. I wish it did....it'd be easier to eradicate if it did. :laugh:

    There are plenty of "Arminian" arguments IMO which defeat Calvinism...but, the idea that "Calvinism" MUST imply a failure to engage in aggressive missions (or that it does) is not, IMO a valid one. Neither logic nor History supports that argument.
     
  13. saturneptune

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    That shows a lack of understanding of Calvinism. We are told by the Lord to go, teach, and disciple. That fact does not change regardless if one is Arminian or Calvinist. Only the most extreme of Calvinists advocate such ideas as no missions, evangelism, etc. Even the PCA, a conservative Presbyterian church, spends millions a year for support of missionaries. Missions are mandated regardless of which side one is on.

    That is why hypers believing election is on auto pilot is a theory from the depths of hell.
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Would you care to explain that last sentence in more detail?
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Isnt your theology summed up like this "do whatever ya wanna do cause God aint a gonna do nothing about it"
     
  16. Inspector Javert

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    Um, it would be more accurate to say my Theology says:
    "Do whatever ya wanna do 'cause God's gonna burn your bum in hell eternally for it except you repent"....

    But, yes, I guess you're close if negative propositions can be randomly substituted for positive ones, sure...whatever you want man. :wavey:
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

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  18. Luke2427

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    I commend you for a very measured and honest response.

    You sound like me two years before I became a Calvinist.

    I stated out in my exposure to Calvinism thinking Calvinism was heresy that made God out to be a monster.

    Then I learned history and found so many great men like Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, William Carey, etc... who were dyed-in-the-wool Calvinists and I concluded that God blessed their wrong theology because it was "God centered"- they erred, but they erred on the right side. That was me two years before I became a Calvinist.

    Then, I had to write a paper in Bible College answering a renowned atheist's arguments against the existence of God wherein he contended that God cannot both be good and all-powerful and since he is obviously not good due to the fact that there is human suffering in the world he must not exist. I began to write and said, in essence, "Hold on, Doc. You don't get to define "good" and then force God to fit into YOUR definition and then say that since he is not good as YOU define good, then he must not exist."

    Then a light went off. By the time I submitted that paper, I was a Calvinist.

    Warning: if you ever start seeing Calvinism as anything other than terrible error- if you ever see it as an effort to bring more glory to God- its going to get you!

    HAHAHAHA!

    God bless, and thanks for your level headedness.
     
    #18 Luke2427, Aug 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2013
  19. DrJamesAch

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    And yet it was turned into a Calvinist thread not only by the suggestive title, but the second Harold offered what he thought Arminians should say about this, but of course, as usual, when a Calvinist posts a thread about Calvinism it doesn't get moved.

    You can go ahead and ban me any day now because this forum is a joke.
     
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Please....I'm begging you, give him his wish!!! Do us all a big favor.:praying:
     

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