Calvinism: Important? or not?

Just thinking……..

I am a Christian. Absolutely and unabashedly so.

Now there seem to be many stripes of Christians. So just in care you are wondering, here’s my stripe:
1. I’m Baptist…. Southern Baptist, to be exact.
2. I believe God is creator of all that is, and is sovereign and omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.
3. I believe that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit make up the Trinity.
4. I believe that the Bible is the word of God and that it is true. I also believe that I can use various translations to help me in understanding the Bible. My personal favorite is the NKJV.
5. I believe John 3:16. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, died for my sins, and resurrected after 3 days. He ascended to Heaven and He will come again.
6. I believe that I must accept the truth of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and that I must repent of my sins in order to be saved.
7. I believe in missions, whether personal, local or foreign.
8. I believe in tithing joyfully and then giving beyond that.
9. I believe in reaching out to the community around me, meeting needs that are physical, emotional, and spiritual.
10. I believe that when I die, that I will go to Heaven.

There are probably a lot more things that I believe, but this quick list pretty well sums it. So what’s with the Calvinist stuff?

Admittedly, I am not an expert on this. But my take on Calvinism is that they believe God only chooses certain people for Heaven and salvation, and the rest have no chance. Those who were not chosen can believe all that I believe, they can live an exemplary life, but if God didn’t put them on His list, then it’s for nothing. They were created to go to hell.

I have a problem with this.
1. John 3:16 says that “God so loved the world…..” It doesn’t say that He loved part of the world only.
2. If God has already determined who He wants in Heaven, then why missions at all? With the Calvinist view, it’s all taken care of. Those who are to be saved, will be saved. Those who are not, will not. Cut and dried! Don’t waste your time evangelizing. But I can’t reconcile the Great Commission at the end of Matthew with that. Seems to me that we are instructed to go out, tell the world the good news, and make disciples.
3. Everyone who is Calvinist seems to think that they are one of the chosen. I’ve never met a Calvinist who believes that others are chosen, but not himself. How exactly does one know if he is one of the predestined?

Now if you are a Calvinist and you think that I am misunderstanding your position, I’d like to hear it. Just make it simple enough that I can understand.

But from my little corner, it just seems wrong and egotistical. Because God is God, He can do as He wishes, and needs no affirmation or permission from me. If He so chooses to create some people destined for Heaven and some for Hell, He can do it. So I’m not arguing the sovereignty at all. I’m arguing that God doesn’t retract on His own Word. And the Word does not seem to support Calvinism.

To God be the glory………

Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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