Thursday, March 04, 2010
Why I am not a Calvinist
First have some humor about the pictures will ya? It is not my fault how Calvinists are perceived!
Giving credit where it is due http://thedissidentblog.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/motivational-poster-calvinism/
I was a hard core Arminian, but when I found Grace (or God showed me His Grace) it screwed me up. I was told I was "Calvinist" in my ideas (Except for free will) and so I did some research on it. Of all people, James White convinced me I could not be a Calvinist... LOL! I think that is funny. It is not the gymnastics to make John 3:16 fit the theology that convinced me, it was that when I read the teachings of Calvinists... such as one is spiritually dead so they cannot hear God, and I read in Genesis where Adam not only hears God after eating the fruit, but (being spiritually dead) interacts with God... as well as Cain and many other "spiritually dead" individuals. I also could not get past how, if we are totally depraved, that God hands us over to a depraved mind as Romans teaches... How can a totally depraved person be more depraved? I ask these questions and get numerous answers, but all of them miss the point or are answered in a "double speak" that rivals Mormonism.
Now, don't get me wrong, I read Calvin and have gained some great insight, yet what I see in his teachings see remote from modern day "TULIP" that defines Calvinism today.
I hold theology like water. Water does it job, it seeps in to place it should and should not go. It flows sweetly at times and at times is a tsunami... yet, I do not hold to theology like a brick wall that must be built to keep others out or myself restrained. That is religion... God wants a flowing relationship not a static reading to the living word. God wants to wrestle, fight, hate, argue, love, struggle, doubt, have certainty, trust, question, and most of all be honest with Him and in turn ourselves. To me, if a theology keeps God at bay or makes God too small then it may not be a good theology. Likewise though, there are some things I see that are straightforward in scripture... but then even those are up to debate by others... In a way, our relationship with God is like any other relationship... it has ups and downs but do be alive and to learn how to be fully human, to me, that is what it takes to learn how to love and trust God. The final thing about my theology is this. I am the sick one in need of a Dr. while God knows what is going on. He is God and I am not... and to me that is the start of understanding what the relationship is about.
As far as some "good" Calvinists... check out Steve Brown... for all my griping about Calvinists, there are a couple left out there who give me hope for the rest...