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 Why I Left Calvinism

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TomL
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Posts : 455
Join date : 2010-03-25
Age : 61
Location : Lebanon, PA

PostSubject: Why I Left Calvinism   Fri May 16, 2014 5:35 pm

WHY I LEFT CALVINISM

First I should clarify, I was just learning. But I believed enough of Calvinism to consider myself a Calvinism. So, what is the impetus for me to question Calvinism?

One day as I was visiting the pastor, some door knockers knocked on his door. I don't remember if they were Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons. After the pastor's discussion with these door knockers, he came and said to me, "Tom, I am convinced that if your not a Calvinist, you can't be a Christian." What went through my mind then was that John Calvin did not die for my sins. That I was no baptized in the name of John Calvin. I couldn't understand where pastor came up with that. I went home and studied the Bible to answer my questions I then had about Calvinism. And that study delivered me from Calvinism.

What I did is do a word study on the words elect, chose and chosen in the New Testament. In every case, I found that those words either referred to Christ, the apostles, or the church. The only individual those words pointed to was Christ. That told me that individual election was not Biblical. And that was enough for me. I thought if one point of Calvinism was untrue, there might be others. Had my pastor never said what he did, I would have probably become a staunch Calvinist.

Calvinism, for a time made sense to me. For example, total depravity. That is hard to refute when you look at the condition of mankind. At least that is what I thought. And since man was totally depraved, the rest of the TULIP made sense. And it is what I believed for a time. And I was growing stronger in Calvinism. But pastor made that statement. It indicated that he considered John Calvin on par with Christ. That is something I could not accept.

At first, I saw Calvinism as magnifying Christ. All of salvation is totally the work of God through His Christ. That is something that I still believe. And Calvinism magnified that truth. And it made sense that man's will was enslaved to sin. That is how man is totally depraved. But, through experience and observation I have seen that man is not totally depraved. Someone that is totally depraved cannot do any good. But I observed that even those that claim to be atheists were able to do good.

As years gone by, every part of Calvinism was removed from my belief system because of personal observation and continued Bible study. But, at one time, I saw Calvinism as something that made total sense. But Calvinism is not supported by the Bible. And since I am more concerned about Biblical truth than any system of theology, I left Calvinism. All because of what pastor said.

I will admit there are some Scriptures that do seem to support Calvinism, if you take them out of context. And that's the problem with many systems of theology. Not just Calvinism. They take a verse here and a verse there and come up with false doctrine. And that is what I see that Calvin did, or at least his contemporary followers do.

Let's consider Romans 9.21. "Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?" Calvinism teaches that shows God's total sovereignty, that he makes all of us, and he does with us what he wills. Alone, that does seem to be the truth. But, when you take it in context, it's not quite what is being said. Verse 14 says, "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!" What Paul is establishing here is that there is no unrighteousness with God. That whatever he does is right and he has the right to do. Verse 21 is simply an example of that. And, by the way, since Paul established that there is no unrighteousness with God, how can he then decree unrighteousness? (Scripture quotes from the NKJV; biblegateway.com)

With this kind of improper interpretation, how can anyone, who cares about truth still be a Calvinist. I studied my way out of it, and if you are a Calvinist that also cares about the truth, you can study yourself out of it too.

It is completely wrong to put anyone on par with Christ, whether it be John Calvin, or Jacob Arminius, or Menno Simons, or Martin Luther. I believe in Christ centered Christianity, not man centered Christianity. And John Calvin was just a man, and a very imperfect man from all I hear.

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study - Do your best to present yourself to God as an approved worker who has nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of truth with precision. - 2 Timothy 2.15; ISV, isv.com
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