Bob (Bobbylee7) said...
bob>It is salvational
No. It is not. Our Salvation does not hinge on what we believe about Predestination.
Bob (Bobbylee7) said...
life long calvinists get sick of it and God and turn from God in the process. Mark Twain is a good example. At the end, he completely turned away from God and spoke harshly about Him, thinking calvinism was what the bible taught and his quotes about God showed he became an atheist. So, it was salvational as in rejecting calvinsim he had to reject God.
The same can be said for belief in Biblical Inerrancy and Literalism. Fundamentalism has created more Atheists than Calvinism ever did. (For this example, YOU would be considered Fundamentalist as well). Are you going to tell me that you think it is dangerous and "salvational" to believe the Bible is 100% inerrant and should be taken literally, especially regarding Creationism?
Talk to 100 Atheists and 90+ will be from a Fundamentalist background. Fundamentalism creates more Atheists than Liberalism even. Because it is an ALL-OR-NOTHING belief system. If any single thing of a Literal Interpretation of the Bible can be demonstrated to be false, or if the slightest doubt enters the mind, the whole faith shatters. It is a very Brittle kind of faith that leads many to assume that if any little thing they were taught isn't true, the WHOLE THING isn't true.
Would you call THAT a "Salvational issue"? It fits the bill far better than Calvinism does.
No one is saved or condemned because of what they believe regarding Predestination.
And those who DO believe in it are every bit as much saved as you and me.
It CAN be taken to an unhealthy extreme, and THAT IS harmful. But in general, Calvinists are good, godly people. I just happen to believe that their belief in Calvinist views of Election and Predestination are mistaken.
I don't see it being taught by ANYONE prior to John Calvin. Not even St Augustine of Hippo would have agreed with many of Calvin's teachings.
Bob (Bobbylee7) said...
bob>If you talk to those who are calvinist and actually know enough about it to make decisions on it, they will vary on how many points they accept, it's very hard to find a 5 pointer. I have spoken to presbyterians who didn't even know what calvainsm is.
Laypeople are often uninformed about the Bible and about Theology.
If you ask most Evangelical Christians to explain the Trinity, most of them won't be able to or will get it completely wrong.
Does that mean the Trinity isn't true? No. It just means they are ignorant and often poorly instructed.
I know MANY full 5-point Calvinists who understand their Doctrines VERY well. But you and I tend to have different circles. Many in my sphere of influence and in my circle of friends are far better educated Theologically than the average Christian. And the number of full Calvinist who know their stuff in the SBC are growing because moretmore Baptist preachers are going to Seminary and the Baptist Seminaries are very Calvinist these days.
Presbyterian ministers DEFINITELY understand Calvinism, and most are full 5-point Calvinists. They are all REQUIRED to go to Seminary, and ALL of their Seminaries are Calvinist.
Most Presbyterian churches teach Calvinism from the pulpit, though they may not call it "Calvinism", they will just call it "Biblical teaching". But laypeople often don't understand or listen closely to what ANY preacher says from the pulpit. Layperson ignorance is not a basis for evaluating any doctrine.
Laypeople often don't know or read their Bible. Does that make the Bible wrong? No. It just means they are ignorant.
Most if your arguments against Calvinism could be used against your OWN beliefs as well.
The REAL reason Calvinism is wrong us that it is Unbiblical and it was completely ABSENT from Christian beliefs for 1,500 yrs.
"All that is old may not be gold, but if it is NEW then it CANNOT be true!" - old saying in theological circles.
If nobody before Calvin ever taught Calvinism, then it was a NEW belief that was NOT taught by the Apostles or their disciples or anyone else before Calvin. Therefore, it cannot be said to be "Apostolic doctrine".
They will say, "But the Apostles wrote it in the Scriptures!" No. They have INTERPRETED the Scriptures to mean what no one in 1,500 yrs of Christian History and belief ever taught.
An unprecedented Interpretation means it was NOT Apostolic teaching....unless they want to say that the Apostles were BAD TEACHERS and were completely unable to pass on these teachings to their own disciples, and that EVERYONE before Calvin got it wrong. Which would make John Calvin, in effect, a PROPHET OF GOD, who has "restores" a "lost Apostolic teaching" to the Church.
But no Calvinist I have ever met wants to make any of those claims.