November 18, 2011
Are Calvinists claim-jumpers?
From the beginning of the conference, “Reclaiming Grace: A Biblical Response to Calvinism”, the tone is set and the tenor (the progressive thought throughout) is established. The title of the conference itself asserts that Calvinism has wrongly laid claim to the Biblical teaching on grace (salvation by grace through faith) and the speakers intend to lay claim on the Biblical teaching. The speakers, then, are set to oppose Calvinism’s teaching on grace by proving from the Bible that it is wrong. So we have from the beginning an anti-Calvinistic tone and tenor established for the conference. What could be plainer? Listening to the speakers confirm this. To them, Calvinists are claim-jumpers?
Yet the speakers tell their listeners that they are not providing ammunition to fire against the Calvinist brothers. They love them. Calvinism is not a cult. Christians are to love one another. Unity is to be sought. A right understanding and experience of grace will cause us to love one another. Others who are not saved will see how much we love one another and will be influenced to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. The speakers have good friends who are Calvinists and have discussed with them their disagreements concerning Calvinism. Such disclaimers are made throughout the conference. To borrow from Shakespeare, “Methinks he doth protest too much.”
Telling me you love me while continually punching me in the stomach hardly softens the blows. Your words don’t match your deeds. No! Let’s be clear. The speakers believe, rightly or wrongly, that Calvinism (whatever it is) is a bad thing. And if you believe it and promote it, that is a bad thing. Let us say that if we understood Calvinism as they do, and if we believed the Bible disproved Calvinism, we would agree wholeheartedly that Calvinism is a bad thing too. But is what they call Calvinism really Calvinism? Do they really offer a “Biblical Response” to it? We hope by God’s grace to continue to look into this because TRUTH MATTERS.
David K. Curtis
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