Testimonies Please, with a twist

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    CLICK FOR THREAD

    In the above linked thread, a couple of us mentioned how we came to know Christ.

    It's struck me on a number of occasions that the testimonies of people who lean towards Calvinism tend be somewhat different from the testimonies of those who lean in the other direction.

    This isn't an attempt to invalidate anyone's testimony, simply something I've noticed and found interesting.

    I'd like to hear people's testimonies. They don't have to be long, but I request that those who participate be able to clearly state that they're Cal or Arm. If you refuse to call yourself one or the other but believe one is all evil and responsible for the depletion of the ozone or whatever, pick the one WE would call you. :D

    Please don't post without doing so.

    I want to see how correct this theory in my head is. [​IMG]
     
  2. eloidalmanutha

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    interesting perspective. I am only replying cause I think I know where you are heading, but will play along for now [​IMG]

    I was raised calvinistic. I asked Jesus into my heart at 16 [influenced by Baptists where I went to school and heard about this new twist - "getting saved" stuff], but I do not believe I was saved, although I did ask for forgiveness of my sin. For me, salvation is a continuing process in that one lives repentantly and never ceases to love God and with all their heart, soul, and mind in a most consistent way - may I say "hard driving" ?

    Anyway, at the age of 46 I "discovered" that salvation meant that one must give all to Jesus. If He is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all. From there I dumped my roots and began my search to find Truth. I got fully dunked in a very nice Baptist way in a God forsaken pond full of flies and life has never been the same.

    Oh, I will concur with some of the testimonies that repentance at first was a deep grieving process which lasted about 3 months for me. I had a lot of junk to go over [​IMG] Not that Jesus did not forgive all of it when I cried out to Him, but I still had to review my life in order for the Holy Spirit to discipline and refine it.
     
  3. bapmom

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    I must admit, the whole idea of salvation being a "process" is foreign to me, and Im not so sure Id agree with it.

    But for me, I was saved when I was about 9 years old. My mom had always told me I had prayed when I was 4 yrs old, but I could not remember that at all. I realized that I needed to trust Jesus for myself, not rely on what someone else told me. And I trusted Christ as my personal saviour right then and there. All I did was tell Jesus I believed in Him, and I wanted Him to be my saviour and for me to belong to Him now.

    Before that point I remember lying in bed each night and racking my brain for all the sins I might have committed during the day. I was so afraid that I would forget and not ask for forgiveness and God would be angry. When I finally put my trust in Christ, all that fear went away....unless I really did something wrong! [​IMG]

    As a teen I had some serious doubts, I think mainly because what was taught at church was not always backed up in my home, and I was not very well grounded in my Bible. But in college I had a real struggle in my own mind and reasserted my belief in Christ. From that time on Ive not had doubts, although the devil has tried to slip a few in sometimes.

    Gina, I don't know if this makes me a Calvinist or Arminian. I disagree with the extremes of both. I think perhaps I lean more towards Calvinism on some of the "points".
     
  4. Frogman

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    Dear Sister Gina,
    I have already stated my experience; Your post here is an attempt to learn whether I am Calvinist or Arminian?

    That which I feared most has come upon me; yet I know my redeemer lives and I shall see him at the last day with mine own eyes and not the eyes of another.

    Before my repentance I argued that I had not done anything wrong and if I repented people would think that I had. I mean I had not murdered, I had not committed adultery; but you see the flesh was drawing a list of things I had not done; while the Spirit was showing both, what I had and had not done for the praise of the Glory of His Grace.

    A Calvinist, do they have points BapMom?

    Then I want to be on the winning side, o please choose me, please, please. In school yard games I was always the last chosen, but hey the Lord says the last shall be first;

    I actually had an argument with some fellow baptists not long ago, we were at a conference and preparing to eat a meal, I was a 'guest' at the host church. I was at the back of the line; the fellows in front of me admonished each other that a guest would be in the back and tried to maneuver around me. I began to back up, out the fellowship room and down the hall; when they asked me why I answered have you never read the last shall be first. Then they began to likewise jockey for position. When it was all over there was nothing left for us to satisfy our hunger.

    But it was a good show, three devout baptists all wanting to be last...and they say Americans don't cue up...huuum.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  5. Gina B

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    Frogman,
    The thread itself is simply meant for people to give their testimony, and then state if they're calvinist or not.
    There's at least one distinct difference I've THOUGHT I've noticed in testimonies of both, so I'm hoping a good number of people will give their statements, and then say whether they're Cal or Arm.

    Besides that, I just enjoy testimonies so it's as good an excuse as any to get some, right? [​IMG]

    Gina
     
  6. eloidalmanutha

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    bapmom wrote:
    "I must admit, the whole idea of salvation being a "process" is foreign to me, and Im not so sure Id agree with it."


    Phl 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    Rom 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

    Gal 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

    Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

    1Jo 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

    Jude 1:3 ¶ Having made all haste to write to you about the common salvation, beloved, I had need to write to you to exhort you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.

    Heb 12:1 ¶ So therefore we also, having so great a cloud of witnesses lying around us, having laid aside every weight and the easily surrounding sin, through patience let us also run the race set before us, 2 looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith, Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, "and sat down at the right" of the throne of God. Psa. 110:1 3 For consider Him who had endured such gainsaying of sinners against Himself, that you do not grow weary, fainting in your souls.


    that's just a few, there are a lot more ;)
     
  7. Frogman

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    Dear Sister Gina,
    You are very much a liberal :D

    I am sorry, I really didnt mean to hijack the thread.

    It is difficult for me to give a short synopsis of my salvation experience. The drawing of God seems to have been upon me as far back as I can remember. I know some people reject such as nonsensical. But it is true. That drawing is not an indication that I think or believe that simply because I am elect that I have always been saved. The truth is that drawing has always made me to distinctly be aware of my depravity.

    I use to sit awake all night for nights in a row with nothing but my Bible, trying to read and make sense of the OT, then the NT especially the Words of Christ.

    I felt guilt if as a young child I missed attending worship services; even to the point that if it was a Sunday I could not 'play' with my brothers or neighbor children because of the guilt.

    I was blessed to have been in several different denominational bodies of believers and in some of them as a teen ager even allowed to teach Bible lessons to my age group and in one Cumberland Presbyterian Church on occassion was permitted to speak to the congregation.

    All of this however made me to wonder at the how and what of faith to receive. I count it as a dear experience to have been drawn as such in order that having come to the knowledge and rest in Grace alone I am aware I came by a way I knew not and certainly would not have chosen.

    I turned away from the Lord shortly after a conversion experience that worked on me for a week. Having been taught among free-willers really and not Arminians, that I could be lost again, I seemed to want to try God.

    It is then that issued the beginning of that which I greatly feared was brought upon me for my continual disobedience.

    In seeking bodies of like faith I seemed to not find any, but always heard of a body named only 'hardshell' Baptists. When finally I found the MB's I thought I was submitting to a Baptism into a body of faith and practice that I could find rest and continue in hope in this world.

    In all of my experience I have learned one thing, there is only one who is a Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.

    When He calls there is no rejection, there is no turning, though by the flesh I certainly did give many times the impression of being bound to a devil's hell, I was continually visited upon by His Rod and continually felt His Staff in my life.

    If one were to classify me it would be Calvinistic, but that is not altogether true because the common calvinist holds a hope of redemption for those who hear a flesh and blood gospel preacher, I, having weighed my experiences of grace and mercy find no such hope, but that hope of redemption being in Christ Alone is certain, and not dependent upon the obedience of the flesh bound gospel minister.

    But if it needs to be that I am tagged a calvinist in agreement with your thread, that is what I would be tagged by most who hear my testimony and the reason for the hope that is in me.

    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Mine has oft appeared here. Raised in a mix of Christian and Jewish culture. Found no satisfaction at synagogue or talmud-torah school. Shifted to Catholicism and still no satisfaction. Then to Baptist Sunday school down the street.

    I heard the Gospel week by week. Memorized verses and studied. Nothing. Then one night as I went to bed, God gripped my heart and shook me to the core. I was a doomed sinner without hope and without a leg to stand on.

    I fell beside my bed in abject repentance of all my sin and cried for mercy from my Lord. I remember it like it was yesterday - March 17, 1957. The "light" came in and my life radically changed.

    And if I were NOT a calvinist, I'd be ashamed! [​IMG]
     
  9. Frogman

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    Dr Bob,
    I have read your testimony several times on the board and I always enjoy reading it anytime you want to give it.

    It is a beautiful evidence of His child not finding rest until He reveals that rest.

    We may differ dear brother in some of our understandings, well, no we do differ, but still the true living God does not and in Him is no turning.

    When He opens the Lamb's Book of Life to the page with our name on it and reads it, we do hear.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  10. Benjamin

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    I refuse to call myself either and if you call me one you’ll be WRONG especially if you call me a no choice CAVINIST or heck for that matter a could lose your salvation ARMINIAN. These are flawed philosophies of men that the Word says not to be carried away with or spoiled by, that’s clear enough for me!

    I only remember going to church one time as a kid, probably at 5 or 6 years old. I didn’t want to be in the Sunday school class, didn’t know how long it would be and as soon as they let us go out I left to be in the service and find my parents, but when I got in there I couldn’t find them and sat to wait, lots of people were moving about and then they closed the door behind me and put a guard in front of it. The preacher started preaching, he went on and on he even looked at me. I saw another door and started inconspicuously working my way towards it sliding down the benches and getting up taking a few steps forward and quickly taking a seat in a bench closer to the door. Finally, I was close enough and made my move BUT a man suddenly stood in front of me and asked me where I was going or if I needed something. I started yelling and screaming, LET ME GO! As I pushed and even hit at him, would have bit him too if he hadn’t moved his hand off me! He opened the door and I heard the preacher say something like he got that kind of reaction sometimes and the people laughed AT MY TROUBLES!

    My mother taught me the prayer, “Now I layme down to sleep” and I liked saying it before bed but the part about “if I should die before I wake” had me always asking about dying. I was told if I did I would be with Jesus and I liked the thought of being with Him; I would lie in bed and would just talk to Him for a long time, I just knew He loved me and it felt good and calmed me before sleep. As I got older I thought of Him a lot, especially about Him always watching me, and still liked to talk to Him on many occasions before going to sleep. It wasn’t until 11 years ago that seeing my life had been a shamble, all the regrets, failures, my heart was broke and hardened, I hated this world that I didn’t understand and it always did me wrong and I could see that I was going to lose the most precious thing I ever had (my 2 year old daughter) if things didn’t change. I cried out to God in despair that only He could guide me through this and from the bottom of my heart I asked Him to know Him better. The next day I picked up a Bible and everywhere I opened it to it spoke to my heart and instructed me how to live my life, His Word showed me a peace that I’d never known and I was amazed at the truths in His Words. I felt rather ashamed and stupid that I hadn’t asked Him sooner to guide me and wondered why I never heard anyone tell me about this along with why thee wasn’t a church on every corner.

    Anyway, forgive the rambling and to be frank I don’t know when I really got to know Him, whether it was when I was a child praying to a loving God or as a man asking a loving God for change and guidance. I do think I loved Him and He was in my life from the beginning, I also think I had a choice from free will and changing circumstances but then again He made me and gave me my heart along with allowing the circumstances to change or maybe Him changing the circumstances along the way. Only God knows.
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    I have 'known' about Christ all my life. Born and raised a Roman Catholic in a heavily Roman Catholic country.
    In fact, the inconsistencies of established religion of any sort is what drove me to atheism then Marxism and underground armed struggle agains the ruling dictatorship in my country of the early 70's.
    Then I heard a fire and brimstone, spittle spewing, foot stomping, pulpit smashing Bible Baptist preacher.
    He was preaching about a Christ totally different from a Christ I came to know. A Christ above all else, no one beside Him, merciful but mighty, graceful but wrathful, and they were giving away Bibles at the end of the service to all who would come and 'accept' Christ as Savior, and I thought, I want that: the Bible, which was actually the New Testament.
    And I read it through in one day, then again, then again, then the following Sunday my wife, my two daughters and I were in church.
    We were Arminians. The pastor was Arminian. The church was Arminian.
    And we were content with the thought that we were going to heaven because we made the right choice.
    Of course, many years later, I would learn that I was going to heaven because God was merciful to me, a sinner, because He is a merciful God, not because I am a right thinking, choice making sinner.
    That salvation is all about the LORD God, and about His love for His own, and not vice versa.
    That salvation is not an offered gift, but a given gift, with the recipient totally unworthy and that salvation is independent of any consciousness on the part of the sinner, or of his geographical location, or theological position, such as CS Lewis who is being judged unworthy of eternal life by some who think they're going to heaven because of themselves.
     
  12. Ed Edwards

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    General Baptist Discussions
    Testimonies Please, with a twist


    Good question, Sister Gina L!

    I'm a 4-point Calvinist (AKA: Amninist).
    I do not believe in Calvin's Irrestable Grace.
    When I was 8-years old I was resisting God's Grace.
    Then in April 1952 I gave up myself, Believed that
    God raised Jesus from the dead, and Declared for the
    first time that Jesus was my Lord. And true to God's
    written Word in Romans 10:9 Jesus became not
    only my Lord but also my Savior.

    Now 53 years later I still declare:
    Messiah Jesus is my Lord and Savior.
     
  13. Paul of Eugene

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    I was raised by Christian Baptist parents and taken to church all my life; my brother and I were required by our parents to tithe the allowance they gave us, so I can truthfully say that I have tithed every cent I have had come my way all my life! But that's not my salvation experience.

    Having heard the preaching of the word all my life it began to come to me as a child of about nine that this salvation stuff even applied to me. for many weeks I resisted the moving of the spirit to accept Christ as my savior. In that sense, I can certainly say I know that the calling of God's spirit is resistable, so don't count me as a Calvanist! In the end, I made a conscious decision to go ahead. First, I walked over to my mother who was playing the invitation. I told her I was going to go forward. "Well, go on then", she said, never missing a note of the hymn. I went on towards the preacher - and right there, between one step and another, I felt such a tremendous lifting of the burden of guilt, the acceptance by God, I knew that at that moment I was saved.

    And so it has been for me the rest of my life.
     
  14. Frogman

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    Dear Brother Paul,
    How did you resist the Grace of God? You resisted for how long?

    Why did you resist? Was it by the flesh?

    I am thankful you have such a wonderful experience in Grace; but I don't see where you resisted, obviously you didn't.

    And you too brother Ed, you never resisted the irresistable grace of God.

    I am so thankful for both of you reject only the point of irresistable grace, but not the True Drawing, Everlasting Grace of God,

    praise the Lord, for His mercy endureth forever. [​IMG]

    Bro. Dallas
     
  15. whatever

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    I was raised in a missionary Baptist church. I was taught the gospel from an early age and first felt conviction for my sins around the age of 9. As I look back it is difficult to believe how stubborn and prideful a 9 year old can be. I resisted for a while, and just short of 12 years old God won, as He always does. That Thursday night some preacher was preaching some revival sermon, none of which I remember. I only remember the awful conviction that if I had died right then none of the good things that I had done, like teaching or witnessing or whatever, would impress God at all. I had not done enough and I could never do enough. Either I could rely on what Jesus had done, or I would die forever. I gave in.

    That church was a mixture of the two (total depravity, eternal security, sort-of election, resistible grace, general atonement); but I am now decidedly Calvinistic.
     
  16. PastorSBC1303

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    My mother and some godly Sunday School teachers introduced me to Jesus as a young boy. He saved me at the age of 9 years old as I repented of my sins and surrendered my life to His control.

    I do not call myself a calvinist as I am not big on labels--everyone has their own definition of what it means and does not mean. But my theology is calvinistic.
     
  17. menageriekeeper

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    Well I was raised in a missionary baptist church as well. I can remember church, but church was like school, it was just another place my parents drug me out of my nice house to go to every week and I would have been perfectly happy to have never stepped foot out the front door. You see I was very shy and sensitive and it took some pushing to get me moving.

    I was so shy in fact that I can remember hiding behind my parents hoping and praying that no one would notice me. Dad had a very good friend at this church named Mr. Vincent. He was an older gentleman and one of the nicest guys in the church, but to me he was huge(he really was a big man, bigger than my skinney 6ft dad) and even though I KNEW he was nice, there was no way I was going to talk to him. Money was a big motivator for me, since us kids rarely got any of our own so when I was about 6, dad said he would pay me a whole dollar if I would shake this man's hand. So I did.

    Yes there is a point to all this so bear with me.

    Now, dad somewhere along the line got the idea that church just wasn't doing it for me. He began paying me a dime a verse to memorize Bible verses. He also talked to me every chance he got about Jesus and the sacrifice he made. Now this made a difference. Motivated to learn what God's word had to say and one on one conversation with someone I wasn't afraid of led to my salvation in the front seat of the car in Hudson's parking lot. I was 7. I knew from that moment on that I was His.

    Sometime later, I presented myself for baptism(I have no idea how much later). I walked down the aisle and the preacher met me and asked me in his bit booming preacher voice WHERE I had been saved. Now I wasn't expecting questions, not in front of that many people(even one person more than my own family would have been that many people). I must have looked blankly at him cause he repeated his question and this time gave me choices, at church or at home. Well, the front seat of the car was either one! I stood there for a second, wondering if it would be rude and embarassing to contadict the preacher, before choosing the closest answer and telling him I was saved at home. Then I wondered for years if I had lied to the preacher.

    But, even not knowing the answer to that I was joyfully baptised with my brother(who had also accepted Christ about the same time) on what I remember as a bright spring morning. It could have been pouring snow outside for all I know. I don't even remember what time of year I was baptised. But it was spring in my heart and that is what I remember.

    (I was so small at the time that my head barely cleared the top of the water)

    As for whether I'm Calvinistic or Arminian, [​IMG] someone else will have to tell me. These are two classifications I didn't know existed until I came here and I still get confused.

    I believe that God draws us all. That all have the same chance to accept or reject Christ. Some because of the hardness of their own heart refuse. Other's because our hearts are more open to the urgings of the Spirit accept. I believe that God knows who will from who will not, but I still believe he stands at the door of everyone's heart and knocks.

    I do not believe that anyone ever loses thier salvation. Once we are God's we stay God's. Our sins in their entirety were paid for by Christ. That includes past, present and future sins. Remember, all of our sins today were future sins for Christ on the cross.
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    The effectual call of the Spirit is irresistible to all thus called. To say it is resistable is to deny that the effectual prayer of a righteous man (one in Christ) availeth much.
    However, once having brought into the fold of Christ, and now having the choice between the pull of the natural man, his old nature, and the new man, the new nature, the child of God can and does grieve and quench the Spirit when he yields to his natural desires over the direction and leading of the Spirit, a direction and leading which the Spirit does not do to those not His own.
     
  19. Frogman

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    Dear Brother pinoybaptist,
    Let me say Amen to your post. The most clear and concise statement I have heard in a long time showing what the apostle meant when he exhorted Timothy to 'rightly divide the word of truth'.

    The word is to be divided according to the precepts found throughout and not according to any predisposition of thought or action of man.

    I do love the old truth set forth plainly and simply from the Word of God. I do love these things being brought to our remembrance, I do love the mercies of a Covenant God who despite the times I do despite and grieve that Spirit of Grace that it works that experience of the Psalmist and makes me to say "thy rod and thy staff, they do comfort me".
    May God Richly Bless,

    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  20. TaterTot

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    I accepted Christ when I was 12. I grew up in a non-Christian home, and went to church with a friend. Realized the void in my life was reserved for God, and asked Him to fill it.

    i am not a 5 pointer, but lean toward Calvinism
     

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