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Deciphering a Calvinist Church's Statement of Faith

(This is taken from How to Tell if a Church, Pastor, or Website is Calvinist, with some additions.  Remember that this is only my opinion, my assessment, and my suggestions, based of what I've learned about Calvinism so far.)

A church's Statement of Faith tells you a lot about the theology of that church.  But some Calvinist churches are careful to hide their Calvinist views because they know it's controversial and might scare people off.  So they might be very careful with their wording and will not clearly identify themselves as "Calvinist" or "Reformed."  Sometimes it takes reading between the lines - being able to identify the "covert Calvinism" - to know if the church is Calvinist or not. 


1.First off, pay attention for one or more of these kinds of words and phrases: 

election, predestination, decree, ordains or fore-ordains, sovereignty or sovereign control, "doctrines of grace," covenant theology, reformed theology

"Man is u…

The Evans Family Discusses Faith and Loss

This is a bit off the topic of Calvinism, but oh well ...

I have been feeling fragile lately.  Too many heartbreaks.  Too many losses.  Too many feelings of "Bad things always happen.  Where is the hope?  Where is the peace and joy?"  I wake up with anxiety in my stomach (and I have for years), and it takes time and lots of conscientious, biblical thought and prayer to subdue it.  And because of this mental and emotional overload, I have been unable to write much.  I know I need to write less for now, even to think less, and to instead just spend time in the Lord's presence and in the Word, being filled instead of trying to fill others.  (So bear with me as I repost things and share links to other people's writing.  I just can't write new stuff myself right now.)  I am working on wrestling my anxious mind, to take my thoughts captive (long-term, ingrained, negative thoughts and fears) and to replace them with God's Truth.  It's a slow process.  But I'…

If Calvinism is true, then God is a liar! (Updated)

Calvinism includes the belief that God has ordained everything (as in He pre-plans and causes everything that happens, even sin and unbelief and, yes, even things like child abuse), that He predestined from the beginning of time whether we will go to heaven or hell (and there's nothing we can do to change it because He ultimately controls our beliefs and decisions), that Jesus only died for the "elect," and that the non-elect were never truly offered salvation because God willed them to go to hell for His purposes and glory.  

(Yet they will cover up their ugly, unbiblical beliefs with many biblical-sounding layers, to rationalize them and disguise them.  See "Why Is Calvinism So Dangerous?" and "When Calvinism's 'Bad Logic' Traps Good Christians." And the worst part is, most of them don't even realize they are doing it.  Also see "Does God Cause Childhood Abuse?" and "Do Calvinists Really Believe God Causes Sin?  Let The…