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Calvinist Thought Seasoned with Christian Clarity

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

A recent blog post (here) started with the comment:

  • Quick: for the preservation of history, count all the Calvinists in Haiti that are looting or how many are in government there.”  Note: A previous post from this site regarding the earthquake in Haiti is (here).

Upon seeing this, my “Calvinometer” radar detector turned “on”.  There’s something about the wording and the overall tone in these posts that strikes me as, well, harsh.  A question came to mind: could the basis for this mindset and interpretation of scripture emanate from the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election wherein:

  • God intentionally deceives some into a lie.
  • God hasn’t chosen someone to be saved.
  • Therefore, that non-elected person is not worthy of an elected person’s time and effort.
  • Therefore, that non-elected person should just go away, die, and be done with so that those whom God will have with him for all eternity can get about the Lord’s heavenly business and blessings.

I commented on these posts from Christian Clarity Review in essence asking:

  • What’s the point of “piling on” the misery that many Haitians are currently experiencing?
  • How is the love of God portrayed within these posts?
  • Have you no heart to ache for people – even if you believe God brings about calamity?
  • Where in the New Testament does Jesus turns away his love and compassion from the hurting and suffering?

The response I received was, well, surprising.  Regrettably, I misidentified Timothy (my sincere apologies to Charles) in my initial comments to his post on the Haitian earthquake.  Nevertheless, here are some Christian Clarity Review responses to my comments and questions:

  • [Christ haters] [don’t want] to hear God caused the earthquake in Haiti.
  • True Christianity is not at all about picking Christianity over other religions [as one] can’t decide to do so.
  • Jesus Christ went 40 days without food or water.  Moses as well.  [One] gets the impression that a few days without food are a cause for worry and a health-crisis.
  • [The earthquake] is the honesty of what happens to those who hate Jesus Christ and have made open, unapologetic pacts with Satan.
  • You post for political and theological pretense.
  • God sent Haiti the earthquake.  Before that He sent them a deception
  • You want to cover over what God has done.
  • The lie of free will is your bread and butter [and always sucking off your soul].
  • You are a fake Christian and have the spirit of Balaam.
  • I read your response Bozo.
  • [Your] phrasing of etiquette [is] surely a shield to hide the fact you’ve lied about Christ.
  • You put up the emotional shield as if that were a standard part of God’s discourse.
  • I’m absolutely certain God has deceived you.
  • You’ve received more truth than most people [and] have subtly laughed it off.
  • You preach a different gospel in the guise of searching for the pure one.

I don’t doubt that Timothy’s abject starkness and callousness is heart-felt.  I’m not sure why – maybe it’s his mother’s fault!  And I don’t doubt that I may have “tweaked” him with my questions and comments.  But where does Jesus respond to hurting and suffering people in need of a savior in such a way as Timothy does?

First of all, my apologies to Bozo.  I did watch him as a child and can fully attest to everyone that I’m not Bozo.

Timothy stated that God has “sent me a deception” and therefore, it’s impossible for me to see the truth because I have no free-will in this matter.  Yet, Timothy’s responses to posts on this blog (here) and (here) would seem to have indicated that (at least at one time) he thought that there was a potential for me to see the truth (at least the truth as he portends it)?  As such, is Timothy really convinced that God intentionally deceived me?  I don’t think he is.

There were a number of scripture verses Timothy used to justify his stated beliefs.  My understanding of those verses in context is, well, different.  Perhaps I’ll provide my understanding to those verses in the comment section of this post.

So, what is one who admittedly struggles with Calvinism in general and the concept of unconditional election in particular to think about what is contained within Christian Clarity Review?  The truth is, not much.  I have personally experienced a lot of love and grace from proponents of Calvinism (CH, NM, MB, PP, WC and many others).  I am ever grateful to those who will walk alongside, explain, and even question my foundations of faith.  I don’t think I’m elect but (sorry, Timothy) I do believe I am saved (Rom 10:10).  Based on my own ’empirical’ evidence, Timothy’s opinions, writings and ad hock attacks represent a very small percentage of Calvinists.  Still, might there be a logical extension for one to ‘discover’ election and ‘create’ the Calvinist-oriented views as expressed within Christian Clarity Review?  I hope not – but how else is Timothy’s perception explained?  Perhaps those with affinity towards Calvinism are in a better position to state (what I believe to be) the error of Timothy’s approach and methodologies he uses in defending his faith.

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  1. January 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Bob,
    I read most of the post and responses. Sorry but I just could not continue to read the vitriol that was in the original post and some of the blogger’s responses. I am afraid that most of this sort have not taken many courses in logic or followed their thoughts to their necessary end. I spent about a year on a Calvinist message board and saw my share of similar sentiments. The unbelievable self righteousness of many Calvinists makes me wonder if they have read James 4:6.

    I will explain to you what I mean rather briefly. If God is the cause of everything (good and bad) then He is the cause of my thoughts as well. I therefore have no way of knowing if anything I believe is true. For God could be deceiving me into believing that He is the cause of everything. Not only that, but I can not argue that I have support in scripture for how can I trust scripture if God is the author of all evil as well? This is nothing more than fideism which flies directly in the face of Acts 17. Additionally I must also argue that you can not see the truth in the message until you believe it first.

    No. We must hold equally to the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. To elevate man reduces God to not knowing what is going to happen from one minute to the next. To make God the cause of everything relegates Romans 1:20 to being meaningless.

    The doctrines held to as presuppositions by the Calvinist have necessary implications. Unfortunately for the Calvinist, absence of any standard of truth is one of the key implications of his system. You see, if his logic is based on reason then it is not caused directly by God. Conversely, if it is caused directly by God then it is not based on reason.

    Blessings

    • Bob
      January 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks for your insight and input, Bruce. And also for the described logical extensions. I’ve always found it beneficial to follow an argument, thought or comment to a logical conclusion. Truth holds fast and doesn’t vacillate with respect to input. Take care // Bob

  1. July 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm

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