Need some advice and prayers

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ashleysdad, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. ashleysdad

    ashleysdad
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    As the title says I am in need of alot of prayers and some advice. When I first came to the BB I was completely against Calvinism or DOG. I considered it heresy and denied it vehemently. In the time I have been here I have read the vast majority of the threads regarding the debate between C/A, and though I post little I do follow them intently. At first it was to try to learn different arguments against the Calvinist position, but about 6 months ago I started to see things in a different light. Now, though I admit there are many things I do not understand and I cannot always adequately explain what I think, I believe that the position commonly referred to as "Calvinism" to be the more correct view. Still studying and still praying but coming more and more to that conclusion. Here is my problem. My wife is ardently opposed to this view and sees it as "unfair" and not right. Which is exactly where I was before. Ther problem is that it is starting to cause some turmoil in my family. I have been able to avoid a direct confrontation until last night. One of my kids asked me a question concerning how God saves people and when I started to answer a small war broke out. This is not what I want in my family. At the same time I don't want to teach something that I no longer believe to be true. Again I freely admit that I am new to this and as a result still struggle with adequate explanations which probably escalated the problem. Any advice and especially prayers will be appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. Amy.G

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    As head of your home it's imperative that you make sure no wars break out.
    When asked how God saves, simply tell the gospel of the death burial and resurrection of Christ which He did to forgive sins and defeat death in order to reconcile us to God and that ANY who believe WILL be saved.

    Continue in prayer and study and let God do the leading.
     
  3. Benjamin

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    If you are in consideration of buying into the doctrine of determinism then I suggest you honestly and prayerfully ask yourself (a loving father) the following question concerning the Gospel: When I put my children to bed at night am I going to tell lies to them and tell them that Jesus loves them and died for them or am I going to tell them that I hope that they are one of the pre-selected few?
     
    #3 Benjamin, Jan 3, 2012
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  4. annsni

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    It's time for a sit-down with your wife, IMO. It's time to tell her that you won't always agree on things and while this doctrine may not seem fair to her, there is enough in the Bible to make you consider it as a good possibility to be truth.

    To me, there are two views of salvation - the earthly view and the heavenly view. It's looking at the same thing and as humans, we can't see the heavenly work that is going on before someone is saved and so we can't say for sure that the Spirit is not working in someone before they are saved or not. Yes, it seems mean to think that God chooses some for salvation and some for destruction - but when we see it from our side, each person IS choosing - and going with the "door number they choose". No one goes to heaven who doesn't want to go there and no one goes to hell without choosing it over God. But I totally believe there is more behind the scenes than we will ever know.

    But speak to your wife and tell her that while you may not agree on this situation, you absolutely cannot have a doctrine war in your home and it's OK to even tell the kids "There are two thoughts on this and both are supported in Scripture so I think we will never know this side of eternity. It doesn't affect how we tell others about Jesus so it's not something to argue over and get angry over." Show them how to live together in unity even when there is not agreement on something like that. Heaven knows that in marriage, there are going to be LOTS of disagreements and it's important to know how to handle them and handle them well.
     
  5. annsni

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    You would tell them that you will pray for them and that some day they will walk with the Lord. It is fact that Jesus loves them. There is no question about that. Jesus died to save. That is fact. You would tell them that you will pray that the Spirit will work on their hearts and draw them to Him. You can't "teach" a child to be saved. You can't "make" a child be saved. Bottom line is that it has to come from a hear that is quickened to spiritual things. I've seen it firsthand with my own 4 kids and it's incredible.
     
  6. Mexdeaf

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    1. Ignore the foolish prating of those that say to believe Calvinism teaches pre-determinism. It does not.

    2. Read Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer with her. It will help you both.

    Blessings.
     
  7. Greektim

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    Kinda there but not totally in your shoes. When I left the fundamentalist camp and became more and more reformed, I found that it was a struggle for my wife. Her background was staunch fundamentalism. I was a fundie (just not kjvo). I felt that time, brief conversation, and directing her Bible study (with intent prayer) helped her to come to the beginning steps of the DoG. I'm not forcing it down her neck, I am letter her discover it for herself. I find this to be a good opportunity to share thoughts from Scripture when she asks questions.

    My best friend has a similar background. He was a little more direct w/ his wife, but all the while patient when he explained that he was leaving the system of theology that had been indoctrinated since their Bible college days. He gently explained his thinking from the Bible. It took time, but it worked.

    My advice to you as one who is moving to the DoG is that you are now realizing that it is all a work of God anyways. Allow him to give her the measure of faith that is needed.

    I would never advise going against conscience or conviction. If you feel the Scriptures teaching something, then you have the right and responsibility to teach it and pass it down to your family. How you do that is a totally different matter altogether.
     
  8. Benjamin

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    And how is this "choice" truthful and consistent with the Calvinist’ Doctrine of Pre-selected Grace? Total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace???

    Like the truth of God's love for all His creation and the promise of grace and light to appear to all.

    And exactly how will "your hope" make any difference in something that has already been determined according to the doctrines of Calvinism?

    Please do tell how you know this.
     
    #8 Benjamin, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2012
  9. Mexdeaf

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    It is as entirely consistent and true as your second statement is. Your confusion about the issue is not God's error, it is your own.
     
  10. Benjamin

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    Please do tell how determinism is consistent with the voilition of man and his ability to choose to respond to that light.
     
  11. Darrell C

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    Hello AD, my advice would be to stop focusing on terms that can apply to a diversity of different beliefs all placed under a general title, and rely on God's word.

    What I mean by that is that if you and your wife spend time in the word of God looking at scripture itself, the answers that you need will be provided for you both.

    In coming to understand scripture, and knowing the truth taught there, you will be able to discern where every theology system may not be in agreement with God's word.

    Unless of course, you believe such a group exists...lol.

    As those that make a living identifying counterfeit money discern what is fake, by studying real currency, even we, led by God and putting forth diligence to learn of Him, will by studying scripture learn to discern what is false concerning doctrine.

    It need not be a "I'm right/You're wrong" environment in your home, but a "Let's consider what the word of God has to say" environment.

    It has been given to man to lead in spiritual matters, and as we grow in knowledge we are better able to contend with issues of contention, even with our wives. It is certain that there are issues that seem to be gray areas, but continual study leads to understanding, and understanding is the foundation of both teaching and leading.

    Hope that makes sense.

    God bless.
     
  12. JesusFan

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    Just what happened to make you so adament against the Bible though?
    It just seems that you are so reactive against God being the One
    who saves, that the basis of Divine Election was based upon His elective Will, NOT based upon our response to Him?
     
  13. annsni

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    How about you deal with the OP's question rather than making this an issue of CvA? He has a true issue. Do you have anything regarding the original issue here?
     
  14. Benjamin

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    That's why I ask him to discern the truth of the matter.

    I would advise the OP to stick to truth and full disclosure in all matters with his wife and children and prayerfully consider the Nature of God as seen through the scriptures while he is getting caught up in these doctrines of men. Further, I would not come here looking for rhetorical arguments, which you can see by the examples, that would use tactics to avoid these important issues between the doctrines of determinism and the volition of men (ability to respond to the truth of God's love and genuine offer given to all). If you are going to come here for outside input then I would either include your wife by showing her this tread and then calmly discuss these matter at home or avoid coming here altogether because you do not want to be using arguments designed to avoid the truths in the matter and do this behind your wife's back. Doing so is sure to give rise to more conflict.

    You have my prayer.
     
  15. 12strings

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    Ashley's dad,

    While This has not caused problems in my immediate family, I have taught about election in several settings (Sunday-School class, Christian school Sr. High bible class). (I am speaking as a Calvinistic Music and youth pastor in an SBC church that has members accross all spectrums on this issue, but we have discussed it in SS. classes and had civil disagreements about it and are able to move forward and work together for the gospel anyway.)

    1. Recognize this is an in-house debate among fellow-Christians, and that if you wife lives the rest of her life as a non-Calvinist, that will be fine.

    2. Work very hard to be as gracious as possible, work very hard not to become a militant Calvinist. When you hear people on this board say things like "Armenians don't believe in the sovereignty of God...teach a works-based salvation...think men can save themselves..." DON'T REPEAT THESE TO YOUR WIFE. They usually aren't true anyway.

    3. I would approach it this way when I know there are differing views: I explain multiple positions and recognize valid points that both have. I would then point to a small number of verses that the most clear on election and say something like this: "Honey, I really would love to agree with you, but it seems from these verses that God does chose who will be saved...that doesn't mean we don't make real choices, or that we don't have to also choose God...but because of these verses, I can't simply stop believing what they seem to say.

    4. I have found it helpful in a teaching context to compare Pelagianism, Arminianism, Calvinism, and Hyper-Calvinism. I then Point to the errors of hyper-calvinism and be clear on what I reject from them. I then point out that both Calvinism and Arminianism have been orthadox accepted views by baptists for hundreds of years, while pointing out that the Pelagians and Hypers have generally been considered outside of orthadox belief.

    5. Most of all I would focus on the many truths that you do share in common, and when pressed on predestination, simply say that there are verses in the bible that seem to say God chooses people, and I don't know any other way to explain those.

    6. When teaching your children for now, you may need to take it slowly, and again focus on the doctrines like sin, our helplessness, the Holy Spirit's help, and the belief that IS NECESSARY for them to be saved. I remember my own father who is fairly Calvinistic did not really press me on these ideas until my senior year of high-school, when it came up as to why I believed and many people who were smarter than me rejected the gospel. That's what really got me thinking.

    7. Again, be gracious and patient with your wife, love her, do not exasperate her. Do not become a single-issue christian. Don't say patronizing things to her (like "I'm willing to be patient since I believe God will convince you of your mistakes someday."). Make your #1 goal be to Lead her to find joy in the Gospel, whether or not she ever agrees with you about election.

    8. (added after reading the rest of this thread) Ignore Benjamin. Listen to Ann.


    ***If you would really like some first-hand advice, I used to know a man who was calvinistic who married a nazarene woman (arminian) He told me that it caused some disagreements early in their marragie, but they have since been married 10 years I think, and seem very happy together...if you would like me to try to get his e-mail; I might be able to do that.
     
  16. Mexdeaf

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    I doubt that my wife even knows what "Calvinism" or "soteriology" are but we have been happily married for over 33 years.
     
  17. Darrell C

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    Great post.

    God bless.
     
  18. Benjamin

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    Thanks for providing a perfect example of the rhetorical and meaningless type of argument I spoke of and warned him about of not doing with his wife while you tell him to ignore the advice I gave him to honestly focus on the truths in the matter including: the Nature of God, the genuineness of His offer to all, to be honest with himself about the conclusions to this doctrine he has been leaning toward, to speak the truth to his children, and to grow together with his wife rather than avoiding the truth of how he comes to his reasoning (this board) and to openly address the important issues that arise from such a doctrine that he is bringing into his house through sitting down with his wife (with full disclosure of where he gets his information and advice) and to search the scriptures together with her for the truth.

    Quote:
    And how is this "choice" truthful and consistent with the Calvinist’ Doctrine of Pre-selected Grace? Total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace???
    Quote:
    Like the truth of God's love for all His creation and the promise of grace and light to appear to all.
    Quote:
    And exactly how will "your hope" make any difference in something that has already been determined according to the doctrines of Calvinism?
    Quote:
    Please do tell how you know this.



    Ann totally avoided addressing how she would tell her children the truth in the matter, or not. As a matter of fact it appears to me she "cleaverly" gave advise how to avoid telling one's children the truth. In her reply there is not a bit of concern for the truth that I asked the OP to consider.


    The tactics of the people on this board to support their man made doctrines are a joke, and trying to reason with them is a waste of my time!
     
    #18 Benjamin, Jan 3, 2012
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  19. Mexdeaf

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    Remove the the foot from your mouth and put this shoe on it.
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    Most of all is right. This is crucial.

    I would suggest that Ashleysdad and Mrs. AD go through an exercise to find the points on which they agree on soteriology.

    I would be quite surprised if they both did not agree on these points:
    All are sinners and all need to be saved.
    The way to come into a right relationship with God is through repentance and faith.
    The work of the Holy Spirit in salvation includes opening eyes and hearts to the truth, and convicting of sin.
    It pleases God to save through the foolishness of preaching. None of will be saved independently of the gospel.
    God is able to keep those who commit to Him.

    And one more thing: AD and Mrs. AD should make Calvinism off-limits for discussion for the time being.

    Do not let this create division in the family. Concentrate on common ground.

    There may come a time when they can have a dispassionate discussion about Calvinism. Now is not it.
     
    #20 Tom Butler, Jan 3, 2012
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