Must we be calvinists?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by 12strings, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. 12strings

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    This thread was motivated by (1) comments in the "let the best theology win" thread about calvinist pastors hiding thier beliefs, and (2) the recent threads attacking John Calvin and assuming that calvinists are simply the cult-followers of a murderous man.

    Which leads me to my primary question, with a few corollary questions:

    PRIMARY: Must a Baptist person who believes that 4 or 5 of the soteriological points of calvinism are correct, then identify himself/herself as a calvinist?

    1. If a church asks a potential pastor, "are you a calvinist," would it be acceptable to the arminians who fear calvinist take-overs if the man said, "no, but I believe Calvin go some things righ; specifically, that there are scripture that lead me to believe that God did Elect those who would be saved before the foundation of the world. I also believe men must repent and believe in Christ." Would you say this man is being deceptive.

    2. What if the man is a 4-point calvinist?

    3. What if the man is not sure, but does believe in unconditional election because the divine foreknowledge views and the corporate election views do not hold water in his view?

    4. What if the man is full-on 7 pointer, double-predestination, supralapsarian, covenant theology...but does not baptize babies...and does not believe Calvin to be a good role model...must HE take the title calvinist?
     
  2. InTheLight

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    Must we use the term Calvinist? Yes, because it is an effective way to communicate a theological position in shorthand.

    1. Yes, this person should admit to bring a Calvinist, and yes, if he doesn't he is being deceitful.

    2. Yes, this person is a Calvinist.

    3. Whether or not this person is a Calvinist is unknown with only this tidbit of information.

    4. Yes, this person is a Calvinist.
     
  3. Mexdeaf

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    The whole problem here are the loaded words "Calvinist" and "Calvinism". For years I was fed the untruths that to be a Calvinist one must be anti-evangelism and anti-missions. I was taught that all Calvinists baptized babies and believed in a board of elders.

    Then as I investigated the claims for myself, I found none of those things to be true.

    Too many people have placed their stock in caricatures of Calvinism and run screaming in horror when someone says they are one. (The same could be said if you insert the word "Arminianism" in the previous sentence.)
     
  4. saturneptune

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    Any reasonable Christian on this board or anywhere else has got to be on their last nerve of the continuing third grade temper tantrum between Calvinists and Arminians. There is nothing positive or edifying in any of the threads. Personally, I am sick to the point of throwing up at seminary graduates and other theological genuises declaring their side of the debate as inspired. None of you, either side, has a clue as to the inner mind of the Lord. You cherry pick verses to support your theories. Nothing is accomplished, nothing is learned.

    I would urge the Baptist Board Administrators to ban any discussion of the subject, until supposed leaders of the Christian church grow up.

    Realizing part of the problem is the life Calvin lead, and we have had threads ad nauseum over this subject, does not mean that those that choose to believe in God's sovereignty are murderers or thugs. It does not mean that those who believe in God's sovereignty agree with infant baptism, or a theocracy. It is a tragedy that such a man was given the name of the doctrine, but that is the way it is. No one on this board is going to change that.

    It is quite obvious that both sides are not interested in learning or debating, as things like Calvins name or insults from the other side are being attached to the individual posters. Names like heretic, heresy, false doctrine, supporters of false doctrine are thrown around like baseballs.

    The only purpose of these endless threads could be nothing but pure meanness and evil. From the outside, it appears the posts are made by, as said above, third graders that are not being monitered by their parents. Just the type of people we need leading local New Testement churches.
     
  5. Arbo

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    Excellent post!:applause:
     
  6. Van

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    Calvinism must be hidden in double meanings.

    1) To attack Calvinism by disparaging John Calvin is without merit. Calvinism cannot be defended scripturally, no matter how many false claims to the contrary are posted.

    2) Yes any Pastor who hides his understanding of scripture from those he is pastoring is a hypocrite.

    3) The issue is not whether it is acceptable to Arminians, but to God, as to avoiding full disclosure of one's core beliefs.

    4)
    This is a typical evasion of truth. What Calvinism teaches is that Ephesians 1:4 says God chose individuals for salvation before creation. Not what it says, simply an assumption that requires nullification of all the verses that say God chooses individuals for salvation through faith in the truth.

    5) What does it mean to repent and believe in Christ? You mean no one can unless compelled by irresistible grace. So again and again, Calvinism is presented in half truths, sounding like scripture by meaning what scripture denies.
     
  7. Old Union Brother

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    Hatred

    These continuing post border on out right hatred, remember brothern:
    Pro 10:12    Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
     
  8. convicted1

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  9. convicted1

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    To answer the OP's question:

    It depends. Did you choose or were you foreordained to be a Calvinist.....:D :laugh: :love2: :tongue3:
     
  10. convicted1

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    And this coming from someone who has an eighth grade diploma hanging on the wall over their bed.

    BTW, I agree with this most excellence post! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  11. Thomas Helwys

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    I agree completely with your post. I actually think some good could come from discussing Calvinism and Arminianism, if it could be kept objective, calm, mature, and non-accusatory. I have questions I'd like to ask, but I am reluctant to after reading some of the threads here.

    Besides that, I have also decided that I will not respond anymore to people who are belligerent and have a chip on their shoulder. People like this are already headed for being taught some manners someday, and it won't be pleasant for them.

    I'll read this thread for a while, and if it is mostly civil and informative, I might ask my questions.

    Thank you for your post. You seem like one of the sensible members here.
     
  12. Crabtownboy

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    Thanks for a very good post. I agree.

    It is way past time to stop arguing about theological positions and to be more concerned about what kind of people we are, how we view others, how we treat others. It is out actions that show our faith.

    Jesus, as far as I can determine, was much more interested in how people viewed, loved and treated other people. He did not ask the rich young ruler, the woman at the well, the woman taken in adultery, Zacchaeus , ... etc. what they believed. He did not teach theology in an abstract sense. Rather he was concerned, as I said above, how they viewed, loved and treated each other.

    I see nothing no questions about belief in the judgment scene in Matthew. Rather I see questions on how we treated each other.

    Time we dwelt on how we show our love and adherence to Christ's teachings by how we treat one another.

    Remember the admonition to treat others are we want to be treated. This golden rule does not say "believe correctly and beat others into submission to my pet beliefs.

    Blessings to all.
     
  13. 12strings

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    I think you have made a great point. I do wonder why you chose this thread to make it, as I am simply asking about the labels we use and if those who hold to more sovereign grace vs. free will must necessarily use the title calvinists to describe ourselves...I think you have described your beliefs this way, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I realize the line about arminians calvin-hunting could be seen as inflamatory, but that was not my intent. I simply wonder if those who are not calvinists in soteriology would allow those they call calvinists to not use the title.

    Thanks to all for your replies...I will try to address each in turn.
     
  14. 12strings

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    So would you also say that most, if not all non-calvinists should adopt the title "Arminian", since it is possible to be an arminian and believe in eternal security? (Arminius himself was undecided on that point)

    And if not, what would you say is the difference?

    #3. What i'm basically asking is if a person agrees with the calvinists on the Election issue...but is unsure about the rest...is he/she a calvinist based on that one fact?
     
  15. 12strings

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    So you would agree with ITL that we should retain the title, but allow those who hold to Calvinism or aminianism to not be judged for the sins of their beleif system's namesake?

    What would you say to the question of "is one by default either a calvinist or arminian"? Or can you be neither?
     
  16. Bronconagurski

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    1 Corinthians 3:1-4 (HCSB)
    1 Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ.
    2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready,
    3 because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers?
    4 For whenever someone says, “I’m with Paul,” and another, “I’m with Apollos,” are you not ⌊unspiritual⌋ people?

    I don't mind seeing debate on this subject on a scholarly level, but most it seems that the debate has been reduced to the one Paul had to deal with:
    Substitute Calvin and Arminius for Paul and Apollos.
     
  17. 12strings

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    Thanks, I'm glad you see what some others don't.

    But if someone believes that it can, they should say so, correct?

    My point was not a pastor hiding his beleifs...but stating them...but a man who, because of associations, has determined that he is not a calvinist...but rather someone who agrees with calvinism on some issues.

    Agreed.

    Rather than call it an evasion of truth, could you not assume the best and call it our "missinterpretation"? Again the point is is this person a calvinist based on agreeing with calvin on the single point of Election?


    Well, since most calvinists DO believe one must repent and believe to be saved...and that repentance and belief are a gift of God to his elect...I was simply stating it that way so as to no misrepresent anyone's beliefs.
     
    #17 12strings, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2013
  18. 12strings

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    I tend to agree with Helwys that SOME discussion of beliefs is with merit, and even necessary...but that it can easily turn ugly.

    Correct beliefs are important...you yourself even said "adherance to Christ's teachings." how could we adhere to them if we don't understand them?

    Further, Adherance to Jesus' teachings includes his theological teachings, that many who cast out demons in his name would hear at the judgment: "I never knew you." That he who has the son has life.

    Some basic beliefs in Who Christ is and what he has done are put forward as the basis of salvation...not how nice we `were to our neighbor.

    God gave us a book to be believed and acted on...but wrong beliefs will inevitably lead to wrong actions.

    And finally, even you in this post are attempting to cause us to believe something different about what is most important in our discussions...which I generally agree with...However, I would say that the most important thing is not simply to be nice and civil, but to in a respectful and humble and bold way, point each other continually to Christ....Here I'll start:


    ----> CHRIST :thumbsup:
     
  19. Mexdeaf

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    I do not call myself a Calvinist. As a matter of fact, I have read very little of what John Calvin wrote.

    I prefer to say that I believe in the "Doctrines of Grace".

    I do think that linking our doctrine to a man's name is a bad idea- all of the baggage and none of the benefits.
     
  20. Mexdeaf

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    So you would throw out the teaching of good doctrine and replace it with ... what, exactly???
     
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