Conversations with a .....gulp.... Calvinist
Before you assume that you are not Calvinistic in your doctrine., I would ask you what do you do when your child dies?
I say this, not to provoke sympathy, since I know my God reigns......I only ask to see where our doctrine comes into play?
One sunny fall evening after church at Bethlehem, and after wrestling for a few months about a guy that I had been dating - who was a phenomenal man, a wonderful brother in Christ, who happened to have a strong belief in keeping faith simple and believed that free will was the only explanation to evil in this world.
But, if I remember right, Jesus COMMANDED the demons who possessed people and they OBEYED the living God. Natural evil like weather - "who is this that the wind and the waves OBEY him???"
Anycrux, yeah, I was wrestling - because why date someone if you can't marry them ?
So.....back to the story....after church service, Pastor Piper always invites people forward if they should need to pray. I felt like I couldn't resolve this, and so I got in line.
He is the most kind man I've ever met......the depth of love for the flock in this pastor's eyes is what I will never forget.....I FELT like a sheep!
I explained my dilemma about dating a Godly, yet doctrinally different fellow - and his counsel was so straight forward and so ambiguous that I felt comforted and knew what to do, but he didn't tell me explicitly......
I broke it off with the guy......(and by God's grace married the wonderful man who is pretty much IDENTICALLY minded - scripture and values wise - what a blessing!)
What was the counsel from my pastor?
That I consider 2 things:
1) That the true believers talk very much like calvinists when trials come........
2) To consider if I could submit to a man as the head of the house with the strong conviction that I had of the things I see in the Word.
I didn't get what he was saying about the 'true believers talk like calvinists thing' till one day I met a dear sister in Christ for coffee. She is a true believer if I've ever met one.....we have the same heart beat for Jesus practically. (one of those kind of solid where you KNOW and feel the other persons affections for God)
Anyhow, she is an arminian, not because she calls herself one, she just doesn't accept that God is ALL Sovereign and ALL powerful. She main argument is that "God could, but doesn't control every little detail, because then he would be to blame for evil and he is not the author of evil"
I can see her desire to get God off the hook, but God doesn't take Himself off the hook.
The talking like a calvinist thing comes into play when she expressed to me, in tears, how she was doing spiritually. She was praying that God would let her glorify Him and obey Him with a cheerful heart at work, but she was not able to do so.
So, from my calvinistic view of God's Sovereignty over ALL things, including my friend's ability to OBEY God.......I offered up a few suggestions for her consideration:
God lets his children go on a skid....for their own good, the source of humility is evangelical humiliation....ie...true repentance. Since, if you do not fail from time to time, you could be in danger of living on your own righteousness and not trusting in Christ as your only hope......as Edwards would say "glistering in your own eyes and thinking that God is impressed with you too" a deadly pharisee way to think.....God Almighty knows you better than you know yourself - and he knows how to keep you until the day of Salvation.......if "He needs to give you cancer, he'll give you cancer." Since God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble, let us not scoff at those things which come into our lives which are humbling. No obedience, no faith, no devotion, NO GOOD ever comes from man, but only from God.....that no human being may boast in His sight.
Soooo many texts to put up for this point I'm trying to make.........
but it is very late.....
I'll proof read, edit and add all the texts floating around in my little mind tomorrow.