Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Anti-calvinists

It is a humbling and awesome thing to believe that God is absolutely sovereign over everything in the universe including our salvation. It is like throwing yourself off a high cliff with no reason to think that anything will catch you except God ... and knowing ... KNOWING ... that He will. It is knowing that in yourself there is nothing but sin ... black and repulsive to the holy light of God .. that God sees when He looks at you ... and knowing that He loves you anyway. It is knowing that if you are going to be saved from God's wrath that He is going to have to be the one to save you ... that you cannot do it yourself.

But this is not a popular teaching today. People love to believe they are in charge of their own lives and that God has given them opportunities and possibilities to do things for themselves. Their Christianity is built around this idea that God cannot do anything to them unless they allow it because He is all about giving them chances to do it all for themselves. Consider the modern gospel. In it, Jesus died to remove the barriers between God and man and provide a way for man to save himself if he wants to choose to use it.

That is a popular idea today. But reformed theology ... Calvinism ... is not. Now, don't misunderstand me. There are many non-calvinists who don't buy into Calvinistic theology. Of course, that is why they are non-calvinists. But there are people who hate Calvinism. I mean ... hate it. There are people who will spit on you. They will hit you. They will attempt to cause all manner of unhappiness to you if they know you are a Calvinist. These are the anti-calvinists.

There is not much you can do with an anti-calvinist except to shake the dust off your feet and press on. Their hearts are far too filled with black hatred to be able to share Christian fellowship with. Beware these people. They will hurt you and hurt your Christianity. Paul asks "Can two walk together unless they be agreed?" There is no agreement with these people. Indeed, even other Arminians are troubled by them.

A Christian leader, among other Christians, is to edify the saints. His call is to show Christians a higher way on the narrow road to glory. We are called to be different from the world. Beware of those who would glory in seeing you crawling in the mud.

14 Comments:

Blogger G. Alford said...

Brother John,

You have spoken what many of us "Calvinist" in the SBC have learned the hard way!

What is troubling to me is that these ANTI-CALVINIST in the SBC get a pass from their non-Calvinist peers when attacking Calvinist and all things Calvinistic in the SBC...

Those who stand silently by in the SBC while their Calvinist peers are attacked by these enemies of the Gospel (Anti-Calvinist) are no more innocent than those who stand by and watch a man beaten to death on the street, and lift not a finger or word, are innocent of the blood that was spilled while they looked on... God will not hold them innocent.

Grace Always,
Greg Alford

4:02 PM  
Blogger Dave Miller said...

Look at Greg's comments below, and you may see why people are a little upset with some in the Calvinist movement.

"enemies of the Gospel (Anti-Calvinist)"

Those who are not Calvinists are enemies of the gospel?

That kind of vicious rhetoric does nothing to bring unity.

By the way, I believe in the sovereignty of God in salvation, so I am not an "anti-Calvinist."

7:33 PM  
Blogger G. Alford said...

David,

There is a BIG difference between someone who is a Non-Calvinist and someone who is an Anti-Calvinist.

Anti-Calvinist Loath the Biblical Gospel known today as the “Doctrines of Grace” or “Calvinism” with a Burning Hatred… just as they did in Calvin’s day.

The Roman Catholic Church did not hate Calvin because of his race, status, or talents as a preacher… No, they hated Calvin because of his Gospel. If the Roman Catholic Church was an enemy of the Gospel back then because they hated it… then it is not “incendiary” to call those who hate the same Gospel today its enemies.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt. 7:21-23)

If any man love not the Gospel of Christ, but considers it a loath-full thing upon which to heap contempt and scorn, then how can he know and love the Lord who’s Gospel he hate-eth?

Brother David it is one thing to be in ignorance of the Gospel, it is entirely another to make yourself its enemy. There are many who know not what great things God has done for them in salvation… there are many who are confused… there are many who are misinformed… I do not call any of these enemies of the Gospel.

However, my brother, there are some who know what the Scriptures teach… there are some who are not confused… there are some who are not misinformed… and yet they hate the Gospel all the more. It is these whom I flinch not to call “Enemies of the Gospel”.

Grace Always,

9:53 AM  
Anonymous James said...

I share many of Dr. Sneed's concerns, but as a Christian who doesn't fit neatly into either category, I have seen this sort of demagoguery from Calvinists and Arminians alike, and have, in fact, been on the recieving end of it. There are bigots on both sides who are ruining all hope of meaningful dialogue.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Paul W. Foltz DD said...

Brother Sneed,
An excellent post

Paul W. Foltz DD

3:30 PM  
Blogger WatchingHISstory said...

John

I sat through the anti-Calvinist messages at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis. First Adrian Rogers then his sucessor Steve Gaines. Adrian Rogers has an impressive voice to belittle a doctrine including a deep chuckle that spoke volumes. The congregation left with the clear implication that Calvinism was not biblical at all. It should be avoided by all Bible-believing sincere believers. His preaching was not mean-spirited but perhaps it was worst than that.
It is like the nicest person in the world misrepresenting you and there is not much you can retort without being revengeful.

Steve Gaines is a "bull in a china shop" with his anti-Calvinism. "There are people who say you cannot resist grace, you just can't believe that stuff!"

As in all things there are good anti-Calvinist and bad anti-Calvinist. They are all enemies of grace.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Paul W. Foltz DD said...

I WOULD SAY TO, CHARLES, A RAVENOUS WOLF AND ONE IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING ARE EQUAL IN THEIR RESULTS. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A GOOD ANTI-CALVINIST AND A BAD ONE.

LIKE GREG, I SAY A NON-CALVINIST AND A ANTI-CALVINIST ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

6:13 PM  
Blogger WatchingHISstory said...

Paul

I, too, agree with Greg. My parents are non-Calvinist and they are good people.

My point is that there are different anti-Calvinistic messengers, some nicer than others. The message is the same, a devisive and destructive one. They are enemies of grace while being friends of a gospel!

The message of grace is like a six-pack package. You can't pull one can from the bunch and buy the other five. You buy all six or not have anything to drink.

There is not a good way to dispose of even a "itty bitty" bit of God's sovereignty.

Also, you can't take one can (eternal security) from the six pack and leave the other five.

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bro. Charles.
The Gospel they are friends of is Not
The gospel of God's Grace, but that of Free Will, which saves no one.

I agree with you, it's not pick or choose, but all or nothing, when it comes to The Gospel, of Which The Doctrines of Grace form the heart.

I'm so glad that God's people are made willing in the day of his power [Psalm 110;3]

as to differences in Anti-Calvinists, a rattle snake is deadly in its old skin, when it is shedding, and in its new skin.

Also things equal to the same thing, are equal to each other.

Ever Your Friend,
Paul W. Foltz DD

3:43 PM  
Blogger IeuanSant@aol.com said...

The problem we have today especially in America (USA) is that of Hyper Calvinism. An extreme view of scripture that denies human repsonsibity to answer the call of the Gospel, the denial that the gospel must be preached to all people, a denial that there is a gunuine and gracious offer made by God to all men that if they repent they will be saved. A denial that God's grace extendeds even to the wicked, God's grace is seen in His providence to all creatures. God's grace to the wicked is called sometimes as 'Common Grace' or 'General Grace', a benefit to mankind without actually saving men.

Some Christians get angry at this teaching, what benefit is it they say to have these mercies given to wicked men when they will end up in hell? Well, mercy is mercy whatever the end result, to deny that God extends His mercy to a fallen world in general seems to me to be trite teaching, yet many preachers teach this way.

It is an error to call Baptists Calvinists, it would be true to call them Calvinistic. But if they resent Common Grace then they should look at their own standard the Batist Confession fo Faith 1689in the UK.

God bless

Ieaun Sant

1:46 PM  
Blogger Paul W. Foltz DD said...

The Resposibility of Man and The
Sovereignty of God are two parallel truths of God's Word.

THEY ARE LIKE THE TWO RAILS OF A RAILROAD TRACK. tHEY RUN PARALLEL TO ONE ANOTHER, NEVER CROSS, NOR TWHWART THE OTHER.
In preaching to lost sinners, we must have a balance of these truths.
yes God is sovereign and chooses men to Salvation, yet man is still held responsible to repent and bellieve, even though he can't, without the aid of The Holy Ghost.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Paul W. Foltz DD said...

The Resposibility of Man and The
Sovereignty of God are two parallel truths of God's Word.

THEY ARE LIKE THE TWO RAILS OF A RAILROAD TRACK. tHEY RUN PARALLEL TO ONE ANOTHER, NEVER CROSS, NOR TWHWART THE OTHER.
In preaching to lost sinners, we must have a balance of these truths.
yes God is sovereign and chooses men to Salvation, yet man is still held responsible to repent and bellieve, even though he can't, without the aid of The Holy Ghost.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Paul W. Foltz DD said...

The Resposibility of Man and The
Sovereignty of God are two parallel truths of God's Word.

THEY ARE LIKE THE TWO RAILS OF A RAILROAD TRACK. tHEY RUN PARALLEL TO ONE ANOTHER, NEVER CROSS, NOR TWHWART THE OTHER.
In preaching to lost sinners, we must have a balance of these truths.
yes God is sovereign and chooses men to Salvation, yet man is still held responsible to repent and bellieve, even though he can't, without the aid of The Holy Ghost.

2:49 PM  
Blogger WatchingHISstory said...

Does this mean WE hold sinners responsible or do we hold the regenerate responsible.

On one hand we are preaching a universal offer if we are preaching to all sinners or we are preaching to the elect, exclusive.

My distinction is the difference between witnessing and soul winning. Our witness is toward Christ, we are his witnesses. Everyman hears. But we want to avoid leading an unregenerate to make a decision and go thru the+ motions of being saved. (this is how our Churches are filled today)

Since we can't see the tracks over the horizon we don't want to make any assumptions. Lord only knows what happens when we act on assumption.

7:35 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home