And I was thinking about what precautions I might take to make sure we didn't end up in another Calvinist church (that is, when we feel like searching again, which we don't for now). What signs would I look for?
And I figured I'd post my ideas here, in case they might help someone else too. (Be aware that some of the links I provide are for pro-Calvinist sites and some are for anti-Calvinist sites and some are for Arminian sites, though I am not an Arminian. I try to note the Calvinist ones so that you are not misled by them, thinking that I am linking to only anti-Calvinist sites.)
Because it teaches the opposite of what the Bible teaches!
(FYI: If you only read one Anti-Calvinism post of mine, I think it should be this one. But I'm warning you that this post is long. Very long. So pack a lunch and bring a sleeping bag. But it has to be long because Calvinism is so deceptively convoluted that it takes time to peel off the layers so that you can see it for what it really is. My hope is that with this one post, I can demonstrate the deceptiveness of Calvinism and show you how it contradicts the Word. Of course, this is only scratching the surface, but I want to give enough that you can learn to identify where and how Calvinism goes wrong, and the damage it does to God's character and truth. That's why this post is so "full." And for fun, I added a bunch of meme links. Because they're too good to not share. And you can find lots more by clicking on the "meme links" label on this blog. For the original, non-updated versio…
(Part of the "Predestination vs. Free-Will" series)
As I pointed out in the last post, I
have noticed some “techniques” that Calvinists (predestination-believers) use to manipulate
people into agreeing with them (or at least into not vocally disagreeing with them), such as claiming that predestination is “just
what the Bible says and so you have to accept it, even though we can't understand it.”(Maybe free-will-believers have
similar techniques, too, but I am only looking at the other side right
now.) And I am sure that while some of the
people do this on purpose, as a sort of “power play,” I am also sure that many
are not doing it on purpose, that they are not trying to manipulate others as
much as they just want to honor God by being true to what they think Scripture
teaches. (Personally, I think a lot of Calvinists haven't really studied Calvinism. And if they did, they wouldn't be Calvinists anymore. I think they stop at the idea that Calvinism teaches "…
We just left our home church of almost 20 years because of
the dogmatic Calvinist pastor who recently came on board. Unfortunately, our church was one of the best around, with some of the most biblical teaching. WAS! And so now we are struggling with where to go next.
(I just heard that, apparently, the elders were aware of how dogmatic he was before they hired him. And so even if he left the church, I would have a hard time going back until I saw who they hired next. Because I don't think I can trust their judgment. It seems that basically all of the elders and other pastors are Calvinists too. We had no clue because Calvinism never came up with the previous pastor. No one ever pushed their Calvinist views on anyone else ... until this new pastor. Read my "Letter to Our Elders Regarding Calvinism Growing in Our Church" here.)
Anyway, for years, this church was the best around - best programs, best people, best size, …
The inevitable has finally happened, the day we hoped would never come: The day we officially resigned from our church because of our pastor's dogmatic Calvinist preaching (May 20, 2019). (From now on, I will be calling him our "ex-pastor.")
It's been a long road. He came on board about 6 years ago, and began introducing his Calvinist views here and there. Just a little bit at a time, never really exposing the ugly parts of Calvinism. Just subtle points that didn't really alarm us.
And he's not a mean guy or bad guy or anything. He seems genuinely nice and like he desperately wants to honor God. And he's got a good "leader-type" personality: strong, confident, bold, forthright, well-educated, great speaker, enthusiastic. But he does seem a little bit on the domineering side, in a "this is MY church" and "my ways are best" and "I always know best" way. But at first, he just seemed bold and enthusiastic. A st…
Below is the letter my husband and I wrote to our elders regarding the Calvinism that's growing in our church. I am including it here (omitting any identifying details) in case I need to share it with anyone in our church. And I am posting it to help anyone else who might be disturbed about Calvinism growing in their church.
[And if the elders and pastor get upset about this and start wondering "How could she do this!?! And what should we do about her and the stuff she's writing?", I would suggest this:
The first thing you should really be asking yourself is "What if she's right? What if Calvinism is wrong? What is the Truth?" And then take off the Calvinist glasses and spend a lot of time with the Bible, before the Lord, asking God to show You His Truth, telling Him that You want to know the truth, even if it means He has to show you that you've been wrong this whole time. Read my posts on it. And see what God says and what you learn. I&…
Calvinism ... I'm just gonna come
right out and say it ... is built on bad logic. Really, really bad
Calvinism is not build solidly on
Scripture as it was written; it's built on their own presumptions,
assumptions, and misconceptions about who God is and how they think He has
to act in order to be the kind of "sovereign" God they think He
is. It's built on their own ideas of what verses must mean if they
perceive God to be a certain way, totally missing what the verse is really
saying because God is really not the way they think He is.
Calvinism is about as stable as
building a house of cards on a foundation of Jell-O.
But ... Calvinism is so convincing
because no one stops to question the bad logic that it's built on - the
presumptions, assumptions, misconcep…
Before we left our home church because of Calvinism, we sent a long letter to the elders, expressing our concerns. However, none of the elders cared enough or were concerned enough to do anything about it. And so we left our home church, the place we had been at and loved for almost 20 years, the church we raised our kids in.
After awhile, I became concerned that maybe the Evangelical Free Church, in general, didn't realize that there were dogmatic Calvinist pastors taking over their churches, blocking other views, manipulating people into agreeing with them. And I thought maybe they would want to know this, especially since it seemed to contradict their "official stance" about this issue, which I believed was supposed to be a middle-of-the-road approach, falling under the heading of "significance of silence" (where they don't let the small controversial issues become big divisive issues). I figured that if a pastor in one of their churches was manipulat…
According to Calvinism, God is ultimately the sole cause of everything that happens. Therefore, if we sin or don't believe in Him, it's because He made us do it. But then, Calvi-god turns around and punishes mankind for their sin and unbelief. Even though He caused it. But Calvinists will continue to insist that Calvi-god is fair and just, and that we deserve what we get because we still "chose."
Calvinists will try to explain away the obvious contradiction by using words like "primary cause" and "secondary cause." (They go by other names too.) They'll say that God is the "primary cause" (that He ultimately wills th…