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#44641 Sun May 09, 2010 11:09 PM
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I have never understood the utter intensity of hatred wrought up in some non-Calvinist Christians against Calvinists and the Reformers in general. With statements like "How can you as a Calvinist tell anyone with a straight face that God loves them?" Where does this come from?

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Originally Posted by AllToHim
I have never understood the utter intensity of hatred wrought up in some non-Calvinist Christians against Calvinists and the Reformers in general. With statements like "How can you as a Calvinist tell anyone with a straight face that God loves them?" Where does this come from?
Methinks I might need more coffee? [Linked Image]

I'm having a difficult time, it seems, comprehending questions/statements here this morning. stupidme So, I am going to have to ask for clarification once again. I am privy to the type of angst that some non-Calvinists express toward Calvinists. But what I'm not able to grasp is your question; rhetorical perhaps? Are you wanting to know how a non-Calvinist isn't able to understand why a Calvinist can't tell people indiscriminately, "God loves you!"? OR, are you perplexed because that question isn't valid because you believe that a Calvinist can tell everyone indiscriminately, "God loves you!"? scratch1


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Originally Posted by AllToHim
I have never understood the utter intensity of hatred wrought up in some non-Calvinist Christians against Calvinists and the Reformers in general. With statements like "How can you as a Calvinist tell anyone with a straight face that God loves them?" Where does this come from?

Greetings.

Calvinism was a part of my spiritual journey that found its destination in the holy Catholic Church. I don't regret any part of this journey, even my Calvinist days, though I thoroughly reject Calvinism today. My understanding of 5 point Calvinism was profound and I could explain to any skeptic exactly why God loves EVERYONE and how this does not conflict in the least with TULIP or the golden chain.

I have a friend who has recently become Calvinist and we've had some serious debates on the merits of this teaching, but none of it I have argued out of ignorance of what Calvinists really believe. The answer to your question is, they've never been Calvinist, so they speak from ignorance. They have never felt the exhilaration of understanding God's sovereignty; that God chooses, based on nothing we deserve or offer, redeems those He's chosen, and brings them infallibly to eternal life without violating the freewill of man. Apart from this understanding, Christians will assail and pillory what they don't know. How do I debate Calvinists? With understanding and all the love in my heart.

And why am I even on this discussion board? Because Pilgrim is a very tolerant individual and I keep my presence respectful of the Highway's theological platform and rules.

In Christ's most Sacred Heart.


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Quite simply, I am wondering where the hatred comes from, i.e., what the basis of it is One who is on the receiving end of it might understand my question perhaps better than you seem to. I do not personally understand some of the vociferous hatred I have seen and experienced of Calvinists by non-Calvinists. That's all.

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Very interesting post....thank you.

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Having been on the receiving end of some of this Calvinism hatred; at least in my particular case, it basically had to do with the other person's concept of God.
He sees the Calvinist understanding of "Limited Atonement" to be a very cruel and mean and vindictive God, who picks and chooses who goes to hell and who doesn't.
It really doesn't matter if a Calvinist tries to correct this misinformation, because their mind is already made up.
I got the idea that if they found out Calvinists were correct concerning "Limited Atonement"; they would no longer want to serve a God like this.

I can sort of understand this line of thinking, mainly because although I was never closed to "Limited Atonement", never the less I lost a lot of sleep over trying to understand what I was seeing Scripture teach concerning this matter.
After a while, I embraced this doctrine, but didn't understand it. It was about 2 years as a Calvinist that I realized I had been thinking this issue through the lens of my own eyes, rather than through the lens of my sovereign God.
I can honestly say that this new way of thinking was very freeing and it brought new prospective in such areas as evangelism and every day life.
God is sovereign in every area of life. BigThumbUp
This isn’t to say that “Limited Atonement” is the only area that causes “Calvinist hatred”, but I have found that it probably causes the most hatred.

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Originally Posted by AllToHim
Quite simply, I am wondering where the hatred comes from, i.e., what the basis of it is. One who is on the receiving end of it might understand my question perhaps better than you seem to. I do not personally understand some of the vociferous hatred I have seen and experienced of Calvinists by non-Calvinists. That's all.
ok So, you are perplexed over the hatred expressed by non-Calvinists toward Calvinists; if I have understood you right this time. grin

Personally, I think this hatred, to which I have been the recipient on more than one occasion wink ... comes from unregenerate hearts for the most part. For the minority that are regenerate the basis for their hatred is the same as the unregenerate due to the fact that one isn't instantly made perfect when the new nature is created by the Holy Spirit. There is that "old man", remaining sin with which one must war against while living on this present earth.

Specifically, although "Limited Atonement" is one doctrine that many rail against, the hatred is initially stirred up due to the Calvinist's doctrine of God. We believe that God is absolutely sovereign in BOTH power AND authority. It is the authority part which really raises the angst. Non-calvinists have little objection to a God who can be said to be "all-powerful". But when it comes to this all powerful God using that power according to His own will, then the rage appears. Now, I did say "initially" this doctrine of God brings out the hatred. But I do believe that the actual source of the hatred people have for Calvinism/Calvinists is over the doctrine of "Total Depravity". This doctrine removes any and all ideas concerning man's autonomy; aka: 'free-will'. It also disallows any idea(s) that would have man possess some kind of innate moral goodness, be it ever so small. So, the hatred flows most vehemently when you speak of man being totally destitute of anything good, that man is filled with nothing but evil and hatred for God and all that is good. And, when you speak of man as having no moral ability to do anything good; even to seek after that which is good, including God, this fans the flames. Finally, additional fuel is thrown on the fire when you insist that despite the fact that the fallen, natural man is born with a sin nature, he is not only wholly culpable for every sinful thought, word and deed, he stands guilty before God who is wroth with him, and that he is under God's judgment and destined to eternal hell unless God has mercy upon him.

Non-Calvinists have an insatiable desire to hold fast to their fallacy, "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul". They desire to have a "god" that is under their power, although they usually don't come right out and state it that way. giggle But at the end of the day, their "god" does cater to man's will. As I've stated here so many times, there is an old adage which describes this all too well:

In the beginning, God created man in His own image. And every since that time, man has been trying to return the favor.


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Great points to ponder...thanks....

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It's really too bad that such hatred exists amongst those who read the same scriptures...

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Pilgrim

You are so right that when one comes right down to the crux of the matter, "Total Depravity" is the main reason for Calvinism/ist hatred. Although I believe "Limited Atonement" is probably the most attacked doctrine in TULIP, it basically stems from "Total Depravity".
You did an excellent job of showing this truth. cheers2

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My understanding of 5 point Calvinism was profound

Not profound enough if you became a papist. Instead I have a feeling that it was merely surface level and you could parrot the responses that other who indeed knew Calvinism's teachings in response to heresy. Such as your papist beliefs. I'm sure that you merely operated a paddle boat in the Tiber.

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dear Pilgrim, I've just read a few of these letters on Calvinism, and your response here is so right, in a nutshell! My husband and I have experienced much against "Calvinism" and one does not get the opportunity even to explain that it is not necessarily "Calvinism" but exactly what the scriptures teach! They just do not see it, because they want a god of their own making! We are blessed indeed to see these precious truths. One Elder, when I tried to explain what we believed, said "Oh thats far too complicated!" and walked away. Another said, "Your God is not MY God!"
My own (American) sister-in-law said many years ago, that she would not want to worship a God like ours!" So the separation exists, even within our own family.

Yours, in Christ, by His grace and mercy, English Rose

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I guess I've led a sheltered life, I'm 68, because I have debated/discussed this subject many times and have never encountered hatred on either side. Frustration? Yes! But, not hatred. I think it is good for both sides to realize that this debate has been going on for centuries and none of us are going to solve it now. I have never seen anyone on either side switch to the other side from a discussion on this either! Both sides have their favorite verses and both sides, more or less, refuse to consider the verses presented by the other side as being germane to the subject, other than to say they are misinterpreting them.:)


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Originally Posted by Don Andersen
I guess I've led a sheltered life, I'm 68, because I have debated/discussed this subject many times and have never encountered hatred on either side. Frustration? Yes! But, not hatred. I think it is good for both sides to realize that this debate has been going on for centuries and none of us are going to solve it now. I have never seen anyone on either side switch to the other side from a discussion on this either! Both sides have their favorite verses and both sides, more or less, refuse to consider the verses presented by the other side as being germane to the subject, other than to say they are misinterpreting them.:)

First of all, welcome to the Highway grin

Thank you for sharing your perspective on the issue. But I am interested in what you think of the experience that English Rose had.
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One Elder, when I tried to explain what we believed, said "Oh thats far too complicated!" and walked away. Another said, "Your God is not MY God!"

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Originally Posted by Don Andersen
I guess I've led a sheltered life, I'm 68, because I have debated/discussed this subject many times and have never encountered hatred on either side. Frustration? Yes! But, not hatred. I think it is good for both sides to realize that this debate has been going on for centuries and none of us are going to solve it now. I have never seen anyone on either side switch to the other side from a discussion on this either! Both sides have their favorite verses and both sides, more or less, refuse to consider the verses presented by the other side as being germane to the subject, other than to say they are misinterpreting them.:)
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1. You are fortunate in your experience that you haven't encountered hatred. Of course, your experience is limited and thus it is not only possible but a reality that hatred does exists and is expressed sometimes even to the point of violence.

2. Again, in your experience you have never seen anyone "switch sides", but in fact there have been many who have "gone over" on both sides. Here, on this board, there are several individuals who have come to embrace and love the Doctrines of Grace which they beforehand rejected.

3. Yes, this debate has been going on since the time of the Apostles. Even a cursory reading of the epistles of Romans and Galatians will reveal that there were those who wanted to add something to grace in order to be saved. Aside from Rome's adherence to semi-Pelagianism this matter came to a head in 1618 at the great Synod of Dordt. There the Arminians submitted a Remonstrance (grievance) consisting of five points of doctrine which were objections to the doctrines found in the Belgic Confession, which was the official statement of faith of the Dutch Reformed Churches written in 1561. As you can see, the Belgic Confession was prepared not long after the Protestant Reformation. But there were those who wanted to return to some of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church, particularly those that had to do with salvation. The short of all this was that after many months of searching the Scriptures and in-depth consultation among representatives from across the globe, the conclusion was that Arminianism was damnable heresy and unanimously rejected. And so, until recently all the major denominations embraced these doctrines of free sovereign grace in salvation and even included them in their official statements of faith, aka: confessions. For example, the Presbyterians have the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. The Dutch have the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt. The Baptists have the London Baptist Confession of 1689. The Congregationalists have the Savoy Declaration. The Swiss have the Helvetic Confession. The Anglicans have the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. ALL are in full agreement in regard to the doctrines of salvation and ALL without exception reject any form of "synergism" which Arminianism and semi-Pelagianism espouse.

So, I guess to me it doesn't matter whether anyone accepts these incorruptible fundamental biblical truths and embraces Arminianism/semi-Pelagianism, other than if they REALLY and TRULY believe those doctrines that they are destined to eternal damnation, for of a truth, they then believe in another gospel, another Jesus, another Spirit and another God. And for the masses that have embraced the lie, I mourn and pray for their souls and that God would have mercy upon them and open their eyes to see the truth and that they would be saved. Of course, there are those who call themselves Arminian but really don't understand and/or don't really believe what it teaches. Sin has a way of corrupting our minds and hearts. wink There can be no meeting of the two sides since they are diametrically opposed. One is right and embraces biblical truth and the other is wrong and embraces serious error.

That's why I have labored for over 14 years to keep The Highway online... to make available good solid biblical literature from authors who have held firm to the truth once delivered unto the saints. They were and are true Protestants vs. all other religions including most of the modern church which has chosen to not enter through the strait gate nor walk on the narrow path. And, of course, we have this discussion board where everyone is free to discuss, debate, ask questions, etc., about doctrine, its application to life and just about anything else.

Glad you chose to join here for whatever reason you did. grin


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