Calvinism vs. Arminianism - Does any of it really matter?

Is Calvinism taught in the Bible? Does man have free-will? Can a Christian apostatize? Discuss all related questions here.

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Calvinism vs. Arminianism - Does any of it really matter?

Post by email » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:18 am

What does it matter whether one believes we are "chosen" or we choose? Ultimately, God is the final judge; He knows our hearts and whether we genuinely accepted Jesus as our Lord & Savior or not. Whether we believe that we are chosen or we choose, does that make a difference how we live out our lives? Either way, wouldn't we choose to be like Christ?

How do you know whether you're chosen or not? Calvinism doesn't leave me with any hope in salvation, b/c I'll never know that I'm chosen, whereas if I believe that I accepted Christ as my Lord & Savior, and if I follow Christ daily, I have the assurance of salvation which gives me hope.
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Calvinism vs. Arminianism

Post by m273p15c » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:29 pm

Does Calvinism matter? Yes, I believe it matters tremendously. What we believe directly affects how we act, feel, and live. Different doctrines and theologies produce different people. Paul spoke of several sins that proceeded directly from teaching that was "contrary to sound doctrine" (I Timothy 1:3-11). Consequently, it is no surprise that correcting false doctrine is a major theme of most New Testament epistles (Romans, I Corinthians 15, II Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, I-II Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, James, I-III John, and Jude). Clinging to some false doctrines can even lead to direct condemnation of its teachers and followers (Galatians 5:1-4; I Corinthians 12:12, 33-34; II Timothy 2:16-18; Romans 16:17-18; Philippians 2:1-2, 17-19). Passages abound that relate to the real dangers of false doctrine, which lead to weakening of Christians, sinful behavior, and even outright condemnation. Our God-given responsibilities are to study the Scriptures, cling to the truth, and fend off error (II Timothy 2:14-19; II Peter 3:14-18; Jude 1:3-ff; I Thessalonians 5:21; I John 4:1, 6; Ephesians 6:10-18; II Corinthians 10:3-5), while trusting in God all the while (Philippians 3:12-16).

In the following article, which is a personal conclusion on our series about Calvinism: ... inism.html

Calvinism is shown to maintain blasphemous beliefs against God. Of course, Calvinists would deny such harsh conclusions, but these conclusions are logically inescapable. The only way Calvinists can avoid these dead-ends is to confess that the matter is incomprehensible or that the Bible is irrational and illogical! Beside abandoning the fundamental belief that God reasons with us, using words and logic (Isaiah 1:18; 41:21), this assertion ignores the fact that God deliberately set up the cross as a teaching demonstration to His justice and righteousness (Romans 3:24-26). If we cannot see God's fairness and justice in our own justification, then either God failed, or we have refused to open our eyes to our own inconsistencies. But, we should know that God intended for us to understand His means of justification! "When we read, we can understand..." (Ephesians 3:3-5).

So, does it matter? Yes! It matters greatly. Calvinism will lead to sinful behavior, as do all false doctrines. ... If for no other point than that of conversion, Calvinism leads us astray. Even in conversion, Calvinism removes all responsibility from the listener. It completely confuses and destroys the idea of baptism for many people (Acts 2:37-38; Hebrews 6:1-3, baptism should be an easy matter). Please read these articles for more info on this side-point:

Finally, long ago, Job and his three friends were engaged in a length argument about the nature of God and His justice. Although Job retracted his concerns when faced with God's abundant "qualifications", Job did more accurately portray God in some respects. So much so, that God condemned Job's friends and demanded their repentance to remove their sin:
And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has." (Job 42:7-8).
We greatly underestimate the "terror of our Lord" (II Corinthians 5:10-11), when we hastily throw out judgments against God, ultimately rooted in man's philosophy and tradition, and expect God not to notice or care.

In summary, resolution over over the divisive matters included in Calvinism is essential for these reasons:
  1. Personal sin and liability before God for "not speaking of Me what is right".
  2. Getting the plan of salvation "right" - baptism, for example. Is there any matter more essential than salvation?
  3. Error increases one's vulnerability to Satan and immorality. If we are not using "God's armor", how successful will we be, when try to "resist Satan"?
  4. Practical matters of fellowship and seeking unity among those who wear the name of Christ (John 17:20-23). (Much more could be said here.)
I hope you find these thoughts helpful as you meditate on the quoted and other relevant Scriptures and pray for yourself, your friends, and the Lord's church. If you have any feedback, thoughts, concerns, or questions, please feel free to send them to me. There is no other matter more important than those addressed by God's Word.

Incidentally, if any of your friends would like to discuss this together via email, that would be great too. The best place for them to start may be with our article series: ... #calvinism

You and your friends will be in my prayers.

(Incidentally, I would not consider myself an Arminian. Jacobus missed a few points too - not nearly as many as Calvin, but he did miss some too. Plus, our allegiance should be to God, His Word, and Christ - no mere man (I Corinthians 1:10-13). :-)

May God help us to have a sincere love of truth,

May God help us to love truth sincerely and supremely (II Thessalonians 2:11-12)

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