Is Calvinism Biblical?

calvinist

Now that I have asked that, did you go to feelings or to Scriptrue? To logic or to personal preference?

Calvinism has been on the surge, as have its opponents. Here is a short article with some good thoughts. Yes, some Calvinists make the ‘emotive’ (emotional based) arguments too, and can turn off people about it, when in fact both sides rarely use and know the Bible in, especially online.

If properly examined, Calvinism, as John Calvin taught, is Biblical, because it is just the logical inverse of Scripture in context by inductive reason. Or just read Romans and if you do not like Paul, read 1 Peter chp 1, if you do not like Peter, then read John chps 14-15. If you do not like John, well you have bigger problems. That is, if one would look to the Book, not to feelings, ideas, personal philosophy, what my pastor said or musings…. You would be ‘Reformed.’

Personally, I do not use the term ‘Clavinisim’ much, as it has too much baggage, because most people never have read Calvin and make assumptions that are not true. And some Calvinists are ‘A holes’ (the main problem with Christianity is a lack of Fruit, Gal 5) as this article points out. I have read Calvin, all of him, and found him passionately powerful and true. Talks more about prayer and devotion to God and personal responsibility over all else. I personally prefer the term ‘Reformed’ and if there is a disagreement, I will not quote Calvin, instead, “let us go to Scripture and reason together, look to contexts and see for yourself….”

Always base theology of God’s Word, not of mens or your feelings…. I am not an apologist for Calvin, I am an apologist to proper reason, logic, when look to Scripture, using proper rules of Induction and Hermeneutics.

What is the main contention point? Calvin placed the emphases on God’s purpose. The Armenians place the emphasis on our choosing and God’s foreknowledge.

I certainly will not solve this debate. Both points are valid to a degree, so we can agree to disagree. But, I challenge you to carefully read and study these Scriptures. I grew up in Reformed churches (Episcopal, Lutheran and Presbyterian) and went to a Reformed Seminary, yet for years I rejected four of the five points. The reason was that I refused to see the evidence, instead, choosing to believe my feelings, what my mentors stated, and interpretation along with popular Evangelical thinking. I also did not read Calvin myself. I knew only what others said of him, and, as we will see, most people do a very good job of misrepresenting Calvin! It wasn’t until through a Seminary buddy (Michael Horton), who kept pestering me to examine the evidence, did I finally and surely come to the logical and clear reformed perspective.

My presumptions were in the way, as were my sources, which were plainly wrong. 

So let us focus on God’s Word. Look at it carefully in its context and lift up the blood of Christ as our final Lord and Mediator.

What to know about Calvinism and where it comes from and why it is Biblical? Here is an article that does not quote Clavin; rather, just takes you to Scripture, shows both arguments and you can see for yourself…>

http://www.churchleadership.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=44056&columnid=4541

And here http://theresurgence.com/2012/07/25/5-myths-about-reformed-theology

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Beware of Reading in our Feelings and Desires as His Word!

In Matthew 21:18-32, Jesus gave a seemingly weird illustration and example to get our attention and get us out of our complacency and pride when He cursed a fig tree. Why did He do that?

This has always perplexed me and as a youth pastor, I sometimes used it as a joke to make a point. But, in the ten years it took me to research and write an inductive commentary on Matthew, I delved into this fig tree and the answer was easy to find and quite simple and inspirational. This time of year, figs would be just forming leaves and have small, green, uneatable fruit. Apparently, this tree had nothing but leaves, displaying only self-interest. The readiness of the fruit was not the issue; it was the willingness to make the fruit, which is a very profound mirror to us and our churches. A tree that has leaves at that time of year should also have fruit, even though it would not be ready to eat. It was cursed because it refused to produce. This tree promised, but did not deliver; it was just a display having no real intention, impact, or worth.

In this passage, the emphasis is for us not to doubt or to hold back, lest we lose out on what is best for us and those around us!

This is exactly what Jesus wants us to get for our lives; we must be fruitful; and we do this by immersing ourselves in His Word.

Consider this: making leaves is essential for a tree, especially an evergreen; but, unless it also produces fruit, a fruit tree is useless. We are meant to be fruit trees for our Lord! The fig tree only cared about itself, whereas the other fig trees produced fruit before their leaves. We need to take a deep look into our lives and see ourselves as God sees us.

Perhaps you can consider yourself as a tree; are your roots strong and healthy? That is, are you being fed, then carrying His nutrients to all the parts of your being? Is your trunk strong?

That is, how is your relationship with Christ? Are your branches supporting the nests of birds? That is, are you nurturing and exhibiting good character, being useful to others? Are your leaves healthy and strong? That is, how is your personality and disposition? Do you attract people or are you revolting to them? And, are you producing fruit or just leaves? If you are not in the Word, none of this will work (Matt. 7:15-20; 1 Pet. 4: 1-11; 2 Pet. 1:1-11)!

Leaves are essential, but the leaves are only good for that plant, not for others. Fruit is to be harvested and shared. Is your faith real so it makes a difference to you and others around you?

We must make sure that our lives are not just about the care of ourselves, but the care of others as well. If you think this is too hard, consider and take comfort in the fact that He will not give us anything we cannot handle! So, let us live with excellence, being our best for His glory! We can be a good tree or a bad one. Your church can produce fruit to nourish and impact others, or give out rotten fruit that will discourage and repulse all those in your neighborhood. Faith is the key to allow your determination and His call to move you. Be willing to be led by the truth of His Word, and by your faith and trust in Him (Phil 2:10-13; 4:8-9; Heb. 2:10; 11:1).