Smokin Out the Calvinists
After a tough weekend reading about the lack of moral and ethical accountability in some Calvary Chapels, I have found out what the unforgivable sin is to Costa Mesa.
According to George Bryson, “While some “closet” Calvinists may be Calvary Chapel pastors, those who openly promote Calvinism in Calvary Chapel are given “the left foot of fellowship”.”
So that’s what it takes…
Instead of documenting the moral and ethical failures of some leaders, I should have just planted a couple hot copies of the ‘Institutes of the Christian Religion” on them and saved myself the grief.
Adultery, ethical violations, beating the hell out of your kids or abusing your spouse is forgivable…just don’t let us catch you with an R.C. Sproul tape next to Chuck’s in the car console.
George wants all you Reformed leaning “cowards” to “come out of the Calvinist closet”.
By golly, George & Co are going to clean house of all those damned Reformers, emergents, post tribbers and anyone with the audacity to think differently than they do.
They list 16 “behaviors” to be on the lookout for…my favorites;
“Use of the ESV Study Bible”
“Moving the church under elder rule.”
“They love to write and blog about their reform theology and can form a theological swarm on the internet “blogging” against anyone who speaks or writes about their reform theology.”
That’s right… we are masters of all media…we have special training centers underneath St. Pierres where we can create “blogging” swarms online that overwhelm semi-Pelagians before they can lift a mouse.
We have plans to kidnap all Calvary Chapel pastors and replace them with a hologram of John Piper…don’t tell anyone.
We have cloned James White…we’re hoping you clone Bryson.
We are so subversive and so stealthy that even I don’t know any Calvinists among Calvary Chapel clergy.
No, not one.
I understand the desire to have CC be what it’s founder and the majority of it’s clergy want it to be theologically.
Every denomination wants subscription to it’s standards.
What I can’t understand is why dividing from brethren is more important and worthy of greater effort than cleaning up the messes that are hurting both the organization and it’s congregations.
I can’t understand why theological disagreements have to be places of scorn and reproach instead of growth and learning.
Let me show you a model of how these relationships can work without the mockery and misrepresentation.
This is a dialog between the Calvinist Charles Simeon and the uber Arminian John Wesley:
Charles: Sir, I understand that you are called an Arminian; and I have been sometimes called a Calvinist; and therefore I suppose we are to draw daggers. But before I consent to begin the combat, with your permission I will ask you a few questions. Pray, Sir, do you feel yourself a depraved creature, so depraved that you would never have thought of turning to God, if God had not first put it into your heart?
John: Yes, I do indeed.
Charles: And do you utterly despair of recommending yourself to God by anything you can do; and look for salvation solely through the blood and righteousness of Christ?
John: Yes, solely through Christ.
Charles: But, Sir, supposing you were at first saved by Christ, are you not somehow or other to save yourself afterwards by your own works?
John: No, I must be saved by Christ from first to last.
Charles: Allowing, then, that you were first turned by the grace of God, are you not in some way or other to keep yourself by your own power?
Charles: What then, are you to be upheld every hour and every moment by God, as much as an infant in its mother’s arms?
John: Yes, altogether.
Charles: And is all your hope in the grace and mercy of God to preserve you unto His heavenly kingdom?
John: Yes, I have no hope but in Him.
Charles: Then, Sir, with your leave I will put up my dagger again; for this is all my Calvinism; this is my election, my justification by faith, my final perseverance: it is in substance all that I hold, and as I hold it; and therefore, if you please, instead of searching out terms and phrases to be a ground of contention between us, we will cordially unite in those things wherein we agree.
Sounds good to me…