Calvinism and Arminianism are debated all the time. The SBC is grappling with it like never before. The recent John 3:16 conference proves that the growing Founders Movement is a threat to the majority SBC churches. But what's the real purpose of Calvinism? Does anyone think that Calvinists seek to divide and sow discord? Calvinism is rooted in the biblical doctrine of predestination. Arminians and Calvinists alike agree the bible teaches predestination. The schism is over what predestination means. Calvinism seeks to recognize God's holiness and His sovereignty over all things, including those whom He predestines for eternal life. Calvinists do not know who the elect are, and any attempt to claim that they do is heretical hyper-Calvinism. Only God knows the number of sand on the seashore. He knows them because He put them there. The Calvinist believe that only God knows who the elect are because He personally chose them by His will of decree. The Calvinist also believes that God has ordained the means by which the elect are called: the preaching of the gospel. Each and every Calvinist pastor and evangelist should proclaim the gospel in power knowing that it is the means by which God will convict His elect of sin and bring them to repentance and faith in Christ for salvation. It is for this reason that Calvinists generally avoid modern methods of evangelism that began with Charles Finney and are alive and well today in the seeker sensitive movement. The Calvinist understands the danger of elitism that comes with an unbalanced view of predestination. It is for that reason that the Calvinist needs to remind Himself that he was saved by grace alone from the vile mire of sin in which he was formerly trapped. This is what Paul reminded the Ephesians of in Ephesians 2:1 when he told them, "Therefore, you were once dead in your trespasses and sin." Lastly the Calvinist Baptist understands that he will never have full and complete unity with the general Baptist population. He will attempt to persuade from the peronderance of scripture, but he must remember that the same God who who works repentance and faith in the heart of the sinner is the same God who gives understanding of the scriptures. And lest the Calvinist become proud, He must remember that there is much He does not know. Predestination is still a mystery. God does not reveal why He chooses one over the other. We know it is in order to glorify Himself, but He doesn't reveal His reason for electing a specific individual. In the end we must trust in His goodness and perfect will. What would I like my non-Calvinist brethren to understand about Calvinists? I would like them to understand that we love the Lord Jesus Christ and desire to see His kingdom expanded through more sinners being converted and discipled into mature believers. Our differences are real and they may prevent us from ministering together, but we are not enemies of the cross.