Why did you become a Calvinist?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ReformedBaptist, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Since this is the hot topic of the century, I thought I would ask why those who have come to understand the doctrines of grace to be biblical doctrines, what was it that opened your eyes?

    What got me thinking about these areas of doctrine was the controversy. I spent time reading both sides of the argument and frankly was frustated by it. I decided to stop listening to debates and arguments and turned to the Lord and asked His help.

    I prayed that as I read through the Bible, if it seemed good to God to show me one way or the other, I asked that He would. My plan was to start in Genesis and read the BIble through again. If He didn't show me anything, then so be it. But if He did, I would accept the truth of His Word no matter what the outcome.

    I didn't get past Exodus. I saw in God's dealings with Pharoah and the Apostle Paul's commentary on the same the absolute sovereignty of God.

    The only other thing that I wrestled with was the extent of the atonement. What convinced me completely that the atonement was limited to believers only was John 17:9 "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."

    I knew that Christ's sacrifice could not be separated from His intercession. John 17 also showed me that the ones He was praying for was the elect only:

    "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word." verse 6

    There was no fighting this anymore. My 1 John and 2 Peter arguments could not stand. Here in the Gospel of John the Holy Spirit clearly showed that Christ does not intercede for those who are not given to the Son by the Father, but "for them which thous hast given me, for they are thine."

    I still needed to reconcile what seemed to my mind to be a contradiction with some other verses.

    I merely had to look at 2 Peter in context and the illusion disappeared immediately. Brethren, if 2 Peter is teaching anything at all, it is teaching that the longsuffering of our Lord is the salvation of His elect, for He is not willing for any of them to perish.

    When 1 John 2:2 is understood to be exegetically sound with regard to Jews and Gentiles, then that illusion disappeared as well.
     
  2. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,434
    Likes Received:
    73
    Total Depravity is what sealed it for me.

    I am regrettably quite aware of the depths of human depravity through personal experience.
     
  3. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Back in the day, as an analytical type, it was the intellectual stimulation it caused, coupled with the fact the "proof texts" used (out of context, I might add) seemed to support the doctrine. I also saw the many current and past famous pastors and authors that hold to the doctrine and thought they could not all be wrong.

    I have since come to the conclusion they were :)
     
  4. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,972
    Likes Received:
    97
    This helped spell it out....from G. Whitefields "Method Of Grace"

    before you can speak peace to your souls, there is one particular sin you must be greatly troubled for, and yet I fear there are few of you think what it is; it is the reigning, the damning sin of the Christian world, and yet the Christian world seldom or never think of it. And pray what is that? It is what most of you think you are not guilty of _ and that is, the sin of unbelief. Before you can speak peace to your heart, you must be troubled for the unbelief of you heart. But, can it be supposed that any of you are unbelievers here in this church-yard, that are born in Scotland, in a reformed country, that go to church every Sabbath? Can any of you that receive the sacrament once a year _ O that it were administered oftener! — can it be supposed that you who had tokens for the sacrament, that you who keep up family prayer, that any of you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? I appeal to your own hearts, if you would not think me uncharitable, if I doubted whether any of you believed in Christ; and yet, I fear upon examination, we should find that most of you have not so much faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the devil himself. I am persuaded the devil believes more of the Bible than most of us do. He believes the divinity of Jesus Christ; that is more than many who call themselves Christians do; nay, he believes and trembles, and that is more than thousands amongst us do. My friends, we mistake a historical faith for a true faith, wrought in the heart by the Spirit of God. You fancy you believe, because you believe there is such a book as we call the Bible _ because you go to church; all this you may do, and have no true faith in Christ. Merely to believe there was such a person as Christ, merely to believe there is a book called the Bible, will do you no good, more than to believe there was such a man a Caesar or Alexander the Great. The Bible is a sacred depository. What thanks have we to give to God for these lively oracles! But yet we may have these, and not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. My dear friends, there must be a principle wrought in the heart by the Spirit of the living God. Did I ask you how long it is since you believed in Jesus Christ, I suppose most of you would tell me, you believed in Jesus Christ as long as ever you remember _ you never did misbelieve. Then, you could not give me a better proof that you never yet believed in Jesus Christ, unless you were sanctified early, as from the womb; for, they that otherwise believer in Christ know there was a time when they did not believe in Jesus Christ. You say you love God with all your heart, soul, and strength. If I were to ask you how long it is since you loved God, you would say, As long as you can remember; you never hated God, you know no time when there was enmity in your heart against God. Then, unless you were sanctified very early, you never loved God in your life. My dear friends, I am more particular in this, because it is a most deceitful delusion, whereby so many people are carried away, that they believe already. Therefore, it is remarked of Mr. Marshall, giving account of his experiences, that he had been working for life, and he had ranged all his sins under the ten commandments, and then coming to a minister, asked him the reason why he could not get peace. The minister looked at his catalogue, Away, says he, I do not find one word of the sin of unbelief in all your catalogue. It is the peculiar work of the Spirit of God to convince us of our unbelief _ that we have got no faith. Says Jesus Christ, `I will send the Comforter; and when he is come, he will reprove the world' of the sin of unbelief; `of sin,' says Christ, `because they believe not on me.' Now, my dear friends, did God ever show you that you had no faith? Were you ever made to bewail a hard heart of unbelief? Was it ever the language of your heart, Lord, give me faith; Lord, enable me to lay hold on thee; Lord, enable me to call thee MY Lord and MY God? Did Jesus Christ ever convince you in this manner? Did he ever convince you of your inability to close with Christ, and make you to cry out to God to give you faith? If not, do not speak peace to your heart. May the Lord awaken you, and give you true, solid peace before you go hence and be no more!
     
  5. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Awesome. Gonna use this tonight with the middle-school group.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,972
    Likes Received:
    97
    you can get both Audio & text on line....Its worth buying Max McLeans CD "Method of Grace"....Fellowship of the Performing Arts.

    My Arminian Pastor Brother bought it for me as a Christmas Present.....:thumbs:
     
  7. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,198
    Likes Received:
    376
    Honestly, it was just me reading the Bible and then beginning to question all the things I had learned growing up. I studied more and began to see more and more God's sovereignty - and then I discovered there was a name for this!! :)
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,972
    Likes Received:
    97
    Two of our strongest Calvinists are out of Long Island!:thumbs:
     
  9. jbh28

    jbh28
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why did you become a Calvinist?

    I read my Bible :)

    Actually, that's what happened. I used to be strongly opposed to the position. I would scream "whosoever! whosoever!" As I kept reading the Scriptures, I began to see more and more on the sovereignty of God in all aspects of life including our salvation.
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,972
    Likes Received:
    97
    good answer :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Interesting responses. For many, it was seeing the sovereignty of God in the Scriptures that opened our eyes.
     
  12. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had borrowed a book from my pastor on Systematic Theology. The book was written in 1935. It covered everything, including Calvinism. It resonated immediately with me.
     
  13. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    That has never changed in leaving it. Calvinism doesn't own the corner on sovereignty.
     
  14. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Reading The bible[romans8, eph1,jn6]..seeing who God is...seeing what God does...
    Always knew that God is in complete control.predestination demands complete control by God.
    Then upon hearing and reading solid materials ,learning about the history it was not difficult at all. When you see the best arguments against it are weak ,and glorify man and his ability, rather than give glory to God...it becomes very plain.
    Seeing the frustration and futility of those who oppose these truths,further highlights the truth of the teaching.
     
  15. JesusFan

    JesusFan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just curious, how that you were able to prove that all of those past Scholars and Theologians were all wrong in regards to this, but you can hold to views about nature of man like not truine being, or that Jesus was born in Flesh JUST like ours, that he did not sin not because he had a sinless nature?
     
  16. JesusFan

    JesusFan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just kept reading thru the Bible, and it became more and more 'real" to me just how much God was directly involved from start to finish in the process of saving first israel, and than His Church...
    that salvation was of the Lord, and that God would have His will done, by bringing a chosen remnant of saints to present to His Son jesus Christ!
     
  17. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's what it was for me. No other way to explain many scriptures unless God is absolutely sovereign.
     
  18. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I eat the cherry and spit out the pits regardless of "party line". For the record I never said thats Jesus had a sin nature, but based on Scripture stating He was human in every manner we (not Adam) are, with our limited understanding I lean that way. I don't see how that would limit His deity or contradict anything either as I do not hold to Augustinianism. If you believe a sin nature makes you spiritually dead and not trespasses and sins you would have an issue, but I don't have that problem in my understanding.
     
  19. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was born again into a God-sovereign faith. God broke into my life (and yes, I WAS kicking and screaming against Him!) and broke my heart. It was child's play for Him to overcome my opposition, my hatred, and my sin. After my salvation, I read the New Testament, beginning to end, and I finally understood what God was doing, and for the most part, why He was doing it. I saw a God who was in control, and I saw man in rebellion against God. It was plainly everywhere, even in most of the churches I had ever known.

    Two years after my salvation experience (which happened apart from any face-to-face human involvement!) I joined a little Baptist church in my town because the preacher sounded like some of what I had read or heard (and was very different from the dead religion of my youth). I didn't know Baptist from Adam, and had no idea what I was walking into, so there is no way I did that phase on purpose. It was quite co-incidental, in fact. A mere process of elimination.

    I would not return to one of the several Lutheran congregations in my area. I wouldn't return to a Methodist congregation, but there was none anyway (they were where I attended when we left God and the church 7 years before I was saved). I had no interest in the Worldwide Church of God -- they were freaks and cultish, as was the 7th Day Adventist group, the Mormons, and the Jehovah's Witnesses in my area. I certainly was not going to unite with the Catholic Church. My mother and her entire family were Catholics and I had my fill of them very early on! What a brutal bunch of backstabbing and evil men I ran into with that group! That left the Baptist and the Assembly of God. The people at the Assembly of God were all about speaking in tongues and that was too "twilight zone" for me, so, by process of default, I entered the Baptist church.

    Once there, I was exposed to a very Arminian (the new pastor was actually Wesleyan, not Baptist like the taped sermons I heard on the radio!) doctrine that did not seem to square with what I had experience or read of in the Word. That pastor left and a Baptist pastor was called who was also Arminian. His sermons were okay, but he only had 3 different sermons that he re-hashed with different verses and names. Over and over we heard the same stuff, a plea to salvation that seldom ever made a dent in the way the church operated. In fact, we became a very human-centered church that fought a lot like the guys and gals on this board. Imagine that! Remove God from the central focus, place that focus on man's need to come to God on their own power, and what is left? Yup... Rebellious man.

    I began a more intensive study and processed somewhere around 100 books, all of which began to cement in my mind just how far off the mark the preaching of our pastor was, and when I assumed the pulpit of that church, I began teaching in accordance with the Word, not catch phrases and bumper-sticker theology for the passer-by. We saw many come to know Christ under my ministry, until I left to pursue my seminary career, when a wolf came into the church and utterly destroyed it. It only took 5 years until he was living in the church as his own personal apartment and the membership (now converted to KJV only, legalism, Landmarkism, etc., etc., etc.) was broken and gone. The church building was sold to get the pastor out of debt (he kept the proceeds as he figured it was his!) and it is now an apartment building.

    I, meanwhile, was solidified in my view of God's sovereignty as I began to work through important documents and theological views, both historical and modern. I drifted far right for a bit, then modified my stance to Infralapsarian, as I found that my drift to Supralapsarianism was bound up more by false thinking than by direction or revelation from Scripture. It was more directed by the idea that if good was good, then all the way off the scale was best, but that was not directed by the revelation of Scripture, but rather by the will of men -- an error directly in correspondence to the alternative views that also favored the will of men.

    I am now of a mind that it is time to set aside terms like Calvinism and Arminianism, not because the theological positions are not valid -- they are -- but rather because biblical theology has moved in some new, and more biblical directions, where placing a framework over the text of Scripture and (as so many here argue) working toward that framework instead of toward God is an error. Don't get me wrong, I am as fully as ever in support of the utter and absolute sovereignty of God. He is God and I (we) are not -- period. He is holy, and imputes to us righteousness that allows us life in Him based on the work of Christ alone!
     
  20. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    You should be very pleased that you live in this era of theological softness. In former eras, you would either be run out of town or killed for what it is that you just offered. God's grace toward you is indeed amazing!
     

Share This Page

Loading...