You will love my newest post (see below…written today, just before this comment).
Anyway…I sense your struggle, and I am grieved for you. I pray that you continue to approach the light of truth and love and true Christian understanding, and reject the darkness and abyss of Calvinism. It is truly a wide road. I pray that you NEVER again find an exit ramp back on to it.
Stay strong. You are dearly loved. Yes YOU are dearly loved. In Christ, YOU, all of you, in your body and mind, are affirmed as GOOD.
Now a few words from our sponsor.
That would be me. 🙂
I understand that my topics, discursive style, arcane language, and rambling prose can be confusing. I greatly apologize for that. I am a wordy person, and it translates into my writing. I always have like a million great points I want to make, and so I try to stuff them in, in as organized a way as possible. Sometimes, it is an epic fail. But…it’s the way I write. I’ve tried to change. And…at least its “epic”.
But, apart from my literary flaws, understand that Calvinism is exceedingly systematized. It proceeds from demonstrably false assumptions and metaphysically/logically impossible contradictions, but it hides them with great finesse and intricate nuances of semantics (see how Wade Burleson concedes “free will”, without ever ACTUALLY conceding it at all; it is pretty impressive. They often use euphemism, and outright shameless re-defining of words and concepts so that they fit nicely into the orthodoxy. It is complete, concise, VERY organized, and extremely comprehensive. Do not get down on yourself for feeling confused. But remember…
Do you know what else it is?
It is FALSE. You need to understand this: the assumptions which drive the Calvinist doctrines cannot POSSIBLY be true. They are wholly irrational. Determinism is impossible. There is NO non-contradictory construct or paradigm of existence where it can work. It can no more be true than the sun can be made of buffalo hide.
In order for you to exist and God to exist and for relationship to occur and for all the promises of God and salvation and peace and love and pardon and redemtion to ACTUALLY be real, you MUST have unfettered access to your own volition, and you must at your core physical being be GOOD (rationally worth saving, because you have INHERENT worth), and your senses MUST be effective for apprehending your environment so that you CAN have a real and pragmatic and efficacious understanding of TRUTH.
And if there was a time you could concede the farce that is reformation theology, then you CAN concede this. 🙂
You need to vet EVERY Calvinist/reformed assumption by this idea before you ever, ever concede it and…hmm, you know what? Just NEVER concede their premises, ever. Just flat out refuse. They LOVE to define the terms of the debate. Don’t let them. Force them to rationalize the contradictions according to reason first.
Anyway, vet the assumptions/doctrines according to this: does what I’m being told result in the functional expulsion of myself from myself? Am I being asked to believe that I, in order for this to work, must not actually be myself? If the answer to that is “yes”, then it is a false doctrine. It denies not only YOU, but it must deny God. Because if YOU don’t exist, then there is no way you can possibly argue for the existence of God.
Are you most affirmed by membership in a local church (i.e. a “collective”)? You are removed from YOU, YOU are nothing more than the local church. This is a false doctrine.
Are you a slave to your sinful will (Total Depravity)? Can you NEVER please God by “your own strength”; can you never do good before salvation? After salvation? You are removed from YOU. This is a false doctrine.
Are you told that the “best” way to please God is to fulfill your “biblical role” as a wife, mother, child-bearer (quiver full) homegroup leader, father, husband, missionary, tither, etc., etc.? You are nothing more than the abstraction of “role”. You are not YOU. It is a false doctrine.
Does the pastor preach “free will”, but then declare that God is not obligated to save any “sinner”? (This is the Calvinist notion of limited atonement). “What this means is that YOUR will, even choosing Christ is irrelevant. The only will that matters is God’s. This means that YOU are irrelevant. As such, YOU cannot exist in the equation at all. You are removed from the salvation construct. It is a false doctrine.
Has your outcome been “predestined”? Meaning, nothing you do can change where God has said you will go before you were born (which is an utterly irrational concept)? Meaning all your works are moot; your will is moot? (This is the Calvinist notion of “unconditional election”). This means that you are irrelevant. Meaning that in the salvation construct you do not exist. You are removed from YOU. It is a false interpretation of “predestination”.
Are “works in your own strength” ubiquitously and consistently condemned?
Are you told that “you only deserve hell”, because all YOU can do is “filthy rags” before God in your own strength (what I call the Transference of Depravity as Identity)?
Are you told that “God doesn’t need you”?
Are you told that all you have really belongs to God and you are merely a steward…meaning the product of YOUR work doesn’t belong to you, it is a direct function of God’s “grace”? Meaning you cannot own your work and its produce, meaning you don’t own your work, meaning you don’t own the means to your work (body and mind)?
Yes, yes, and more yeses?
All of these doctrines you will notice do the EXACT same thing. At the root of them is the idea that YOU are the problem. That YOU are not really YOU at all. That you both DON’T really exist, and that the “false” you that THINKS it exists is the problem (I tell you, the insanity will make your head spin). That YOUR (false) existence is at the heart of sin and evil and why God had to send Christ to die? That the ONLY way to truly know good is to spend your life rejecting YOU, in favor of some external abstract “role” or “doctrine” or “standard” or “obligation” or external “will” or force?
If the idea takes you out of the equation, it is false.
Get that down, and you will see just how easy it is to rip off the lofty and pseudo-piety and see the evil underneath.
Stay strong! Don’t fret. Jesus loves YOU, because YOU ARE YOU.
(Oh…and check out John Immel’s site, “spritualtyranny.com”. A LOT of great information their. It will help you immensely.)