So this weekend, someone whom I’ve never met sent me an impassioned (and somewhat mean-spirited) comment railing against the hellish origins of Calvinism, to which she’d been enslaved for 18 years. Specifically, she objected to the doctrine of Election, which she believes breeds pride.
I felt a bit amused be her diatribe after being recently criticized by a hyper-Calvinist for posting a video that she thought put too much emphasis on human responsibility in salvation. Talk about being hit by two extremes! Since I’ve always heard that upsetting people from both sides of an argument generally indicates that you’re doing something right, I feel strangely comforted by these assaults on my theology.
The juxtaposition of opinions has made me think a bit, though. Not about changing my beliefs, but about how tightly I should self-identify as a Calvinist. To be sure, I’ve come to accept the five points that T.U.L.I.P. represents, though I still struggle a little with Perseverance of the Saints. And really, I’ve still got much to learn. As yet, I’ve only read snippets of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. (Gotta do that!)
On the whole, however, coming to Reformed Theology has been a homecoming for me. Throughout most of my Christian life, I traveled mostly in Armimian circles, always feeling a vague sense that what I believed and what I was being taught didn’t quite line up with Scripture. I couldn’t exactly put my finger on why I felt a discrepancy, but something told me that we interpreted Scripture though experience, and that doing so operated from a faulty hermeneutic.
Since marrying John, I’ve enjoyed greater exposure to Reformed Theology, and so much of it fit with what I saw in the Bible. Passages that I’d always have to reconcile with personal experience and/or whatever teaching happened to be in vogue suddenly made sense in their own contexts.
Therefore, I pretty much embrace Reformed Theology. But only as far as it aligns with God’s Word. I obviously can’t claim to understand Scripture perfectly, but neither can my two critics. I can, however, say that, to the best of my ability, I will follow the clear teachings of Scripture before I follow Calvinism. Furthermore, I will do my best to measure any teaching I hear or read against God’s Word. And you should too!
I do appreciate comments on what I write. I welcome you to use my Comments Section, The Outspoken TULIP Facebook page or DebbieLynne_7@yahoo.com to let me know your perspective on the issues I address. And if you write to express disagreement, that’s wonderful! I ask only that you disagree respectfully, and that you use Scripture (in proper context) to demonstrate your point. Each of us must seek to bring our opinions under the authority of Scripture.