While going about reading some blogs and all-the-while still thinking on what I posted Saturday, I realize that there is a bit more I want to clarify regarding the previous posting, hence the part 2....and it may go on to part 3 and part 4 because there is so much that is jumbling about in my head that I hope I can convey it in such a way where I can take it point by point rather than jumping all around it and making it more confusing for everyone, including myself, as I often tend to do.
I'll begin with what happened recently on my Facebook page with an ardent ANTI-Calvinist who was set on converting me to seeing how evil John Calvin was, and how all Calvinists today do not follow Jesus but have John Calvin and their leader and pope. We went round and round, I brought up the scriptures that "prove my point" and as he got uglier and uglier in his accusations against me, someone he doesn't know except for what he sees on Facebook, and against my husband when I would bring up something he has said to me, our conversation never came to our agreeing on anything. I hoped the best for him as I "unfriended" him because I just didn't want to continue such a dialogue, and even to myself my words of "I hope someday you get it, that the Lord will open your eyes" sounded mean and condescending.
Is this Anti-Calvinist misled on the topic of Calvinism? Truly he is, I saw it from everything that he said that he didn't do his own research and has only gathered information from those who are rabidly set against it so much so they have exaggerated and distorted pretty much everything they say about it. Was John Calvin perfect? No. He was a human being and therefore just as prone to error as any of us are. There are things that I have learned about John Calvin that I disagree with him on 100% such as his position that he had on the death penalty.
John Calvin was a product of his time. In his day it was legal to be sentenced to death for heresy. John Calvin supported that legislation, and had Servetus (a Semi-Pelagian -- he held to several unBiblical heresies that would even today raise the eyebrows of anyone who knows their Bible) captured and it led to Servetus being executed by being burned on the stake. It would be the equivalent of today's Christians who support the death penalty for unrepentant murderers, because in John Calvin's day they viewed the murdering of souls more terrible than the murder of a mortal body. I don't support the death penalty, the Lord will end each life at the time appointed to him or her, so I don't agree with John Calvin on this point and neither do I agree with Christians today who want to see anyone executed for their crimes against humanity.
This futile conversation was just another example to me of the futility of arguing over these things. Neither of us was convincing the other of the truth and superiority of our position, and in fact, only brought a sense of further mistrust and dislike of the opposing position. My husband rightly pointed out that I only wanted to prove I was right, and then proved nothing to those who might have been following that conversation and who knew nothing of "Calvinism" or "Arminianism" or "Semi-Pelagianism", and if anything, might have thought less of Christianity if they were indeed unsaved and looking at us Christians fighting over.....who knows what. He pointed out that we have Catholic and unsaved family members who would give up on listening to anything about Jesus from my husband and I, who would simply look at us with an eye of suspicion, if not confusion.
My husband's final nail in my coffin was this fact:
There are probably MANY Arminians that are saved but just are a little confused or misled on the sovereignty of God issues, and my arguing with them won't convince them, only the Lord opening their eyes will convince them....exactly my words to my Arminian antagonist on Facebook that was said by me in condescension, yes of course it is true we know nothing unless the Lord reveals it, but my saying so was wrong. At this time we still see through a glass darkly. None of us have a perfect understanding of how all of this fits together, and the Calvinist issue of who chose whom"chicken or the egg" argument we know that God created both the chicken and the egg, and that is the point the Calvinist will make, yet the argument still is one that the answer can only come from God Himself showing us the answer, so why do I have to "Lord it over" others who do not quite understand it? If the Lord revealed it to me, can He not reveal it to them IN HIS TIME? If He revealed it, why do I act as though it was something I in my wisdom was able to gain and now have to try to pound it into other people who don't "get it"?
So, like I said in part 1, my husband reminded me: "Just point people to Jesus, Susan, He will bring them into all true understanding".
Amen, so true.
In Part 3 I want to touch on the topic of the Charismatic movement...and that might be divided into a Part 4 as well, we'll see how it goes....