I just attended (digitally) a meeting for a youth conference (Generation of Youth for Christ, Houston Texas) from my kitchen in Montreal, Quebec. I “sat next to” (digitally) two friends from Saskatchewan, who also happened to be my prayer partners at the end of the meeting when you were supposed to turn to the person next to you and pray. That was simply a matter of un-muting Skype when we wanted to hear each other. Is God good or what?!
Praise the Lord for Christian fellowship. And the internet.
Dear family who recently ‘adopted’ me because I live with your daughter/sister/aunt, but whom I won’t name because after all this is the Internet,
If you read this, you will know who you are. Thank you for opening your home to me when I was sick with pneumonia. Thank you, sister of my roommate, for letting me come to your clinic and diagnosing me and opening a file on me for no charge when I didn’t yet have provincial healthcare to cover the cost. Thank you for inviting me back to the house for Christmas, for visiting us, and for all in all making me feel like part of the family. Thank you, other sister of my roommate for adopting my bird when our neighbors started to complain about him. Thank you also for the presents and fellowship this Christmas, and for inviting me to your New Years family get together this coming weekend. This Thursday, I am truly thankful to God for putting you into my life.
- your newest family member
And to my friends on Tumblr: I challenge you to take five minutes, right now, to reflect on someone or something that you are thankful for this Tursday. GO!
Calvinism, though gaining recent popularity, is not biblical and comes from a misunderstanding of scriptures. Calvinist teachings generally follow TULIP, which I’ll talk about further down in my response. There is also four-point Calvinism which I’ll also discuss.
One of the biggest problems I have with reformed teaching is the improper teaching of the sovereignty of God. They stress that God is sovereign in all things. They say that everything that happens is God’s will. This isn’t biblical. For time’s sake and to limit the length of this reply I’ll provide a link to a great article against sovereign in the form that has been becoming popular. http://www.awmi.net/extra/article/sovereignty_god
The doctrine of Total Depravity I’ll accept, to an extent. It is that man is born into sin due to the fall of man back in Genesis and is unable to follow God other than through salvation.
Unconditional Election, the U in TULIP, is really bad. It’s actually heresy in my book. They believe God has chosen to extend mercy to those he has chosen to have mercy on and has chosen to withhold mercy from others. The ones who he has not chosen receive the “just wrath” for their sins against God. If this were true then Christ did not die for all but for some. This is absolutely false. 1 Peter 3:18 says he died for the just and the unjust. 1 Timothy 2:4-6 says of Jesus [emphasis mine] “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” John 1:29 “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” 2 Peter 3:9 says God wants all to come to repentance, not be destroyed.
This connects to the I in TULIP, which is irresistible grace, which says that those who God has chosen to have mercy on can not resist his grace.
Last is P, preservation of the saints. This belief exists outside of Calvinism as well which means that someone who has come to faith in Jesus Christ will be in faith until the end and that if one falls away they never came to faith to begin with.
That’s mostly the Calvinist/reformed theology.
Arminianism and Calvinism are similar when it comes to total depravity before salvation, the Catholic church rejects this saying that the will of man is wounded but man is not totally depraved.
As earlier explained Arminianists believe Christ died for all. This payment for sin completely satisfies God’s justice and is received by grace through faith, not of works (but unto good works, note mine).
Jesus poured out grace for all and we have a free will to accept it or not. We can resist God’s grace.
Election, what Calvinists believe to be God deciding who he will show mercy to, is actually God’s decision and purpose to save all who come to faith in Christ. Ephesians 1:4 says he chose us in Christ. We are in Christ when we receive Christ as Lord. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us, and our sins are no longer imputed to us, 2 Cor 5:21 says that Christ died that we become righteous in his righteousness.
Last, eternal security is conditional upon faith in Christ.
James Cardinal Gibbons, in Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893 (via crushedglass)
Amen and Happy Sabbath my friends.