The Cage for the Calvinist

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Cage-SA24It is an emotional rollercoaster ride when one begins dealing with the subject of God’s Sovereignty in Salvation. When we attempt to meditate upon the scriptural evidence pointing to the God’s purpose of election, we cannot help but experience at least some initial confusion. We need to ask ourselves if we are going to continue working through this whole topic or if we are going to simply brush it aside. I have done both! I was being confronted with texts such as John 6, Romans 8,9, Ephesians 1, Acts 13, John 10,12,17 and so forth and the first time I tried to address these issues I wholeheartedly backed away. I felt that perhaps I didn’t have the maturity to properly exegete these texts. The problem is however that these texts are in the bible hence shortly after this episode I was once again confronted with them. I have told the story of this part of my life on other forums and blogs… hencevery briefly; I took a long time in reading numerous books for the monergistic position and even more for the synergistic position. I listened to debates and consulted with many brethren in order to get some sense of what exactly I was seeing. The result, as can be obviously seen from this blog, was that I embraced the biblical doctrine of a monergistic salvation. It became tremendously clear to me that this is the biblical doctrine of salvation!

This is not the main point of this post however. I am not writing to share my road in acknowledging the doctrines of grace but I want to simply offer a small suggestion for those who have newly received these truths. I remember how riled up I was to get these new found doctrines out there to my brothers & sisters who had perhaps not seen these scriptures. I didn’t start in my church right away because I didn’t feel comfortable enough to really address them as I would have liked. I decided to dialogue with other brethren  in an online message forum. Let me just say that the amount of animosity I received was amazing. I had received more respect from those in pseudo-christianity that I had debated in the past than those who would refer to me as “brother”. Once this occured I decided that I was going to debate this issue but all that happened was more and more insults and emotionalism. It was never one on one but many against me duking it out tooth and nail. The problem was that even though I didn’t show my “emotionalism”, I did have way too much zeal to which caused them to retaliate. Yes, I should have been put in a cage and let out only when I had calmed down! I did realize after time that this topic, no matter how wonderful it is and how many blessings have come from understanding God’s elective purposes, produced more heat than light. Shortly after this I read an article by a man by the name of James McGuire entitled “A Kinder, Gentler Calvinism“. This is what I would like to present to you today…read this article especially if you are a newby to the doctrines of grace. I realized after reading this that my efforts shouldn’t be trying to convert everyone to this view but to show the love of Christ as a representative of this wonderful theology. In other words, I can understand and be blessed by these things but my main attitude should be a loving one; mainly I should just be first and foremost a Christian! I should be showing love to these individuals who are my brothers and sisters in Christ primarily. The reason why we have received such a bad name is simply because we tend to get emotional as well about these issues and an emotionalism that lacks reasoning and respect leaves nothing but a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

So…if you are a new Calvinist and you want to go around beating everyone on the head with the Soverignty of God by A.W.Pink, then perhaps prior to this take a deep breath, read Mr. McGuire’s article and think about the best method in being a good testimony to others in light of these biblical truths. If you absolutely can’t help yourself then perhaps a cage might not be a bad idea! Why not simply make people know your position if it comes up rather than being over-enthusiastic in going after everyone with it. I have personally found it is the best means by which we can honour Christ in a loving manner while keeping with the doctrines of Grace.


Written by shawnkjmcgrath

July 12, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Calvinism

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