Friday, July 3, 2009

Response to Comments from Camden

I had some great comments on my blog I would like to respond to. They're from a guy named Camden who has a couple blogs of his own. I'll have to be checking those out.
However, I think that saying 'Satan did this' and 'Satan did that' distracts us from who ALLOWS Satan to do the things he does. It's God. You seem to point out that things like cars and planes distract us in our 'high-speed' world from Christ, but I agrue that Jesus has given us equal oppritunity to use these things to pursue him. Missionary travel, having a weekly Bible study at a person's house, or just meeting with another believer to encourage them is entirly more possible now with these modern inventives.
I absolutely agree! I wrote that previous post in a spurt of literary imagination late one night, and I meant it to be purely literary. It has the marks of an overdose of writerly creativity all over it.

Plus, I think we think a lot about God in the modern times and maybe not enough about Satan. We should be aware that there is demonic and satanic activity out there, and it is dangerous! That was basically the worldview of my post.

I do think I was wrong (not just creative) in the way I insinuated that those things (cars, etc.) are evil, not that they can be used for the wrong reasons. I agree that technology can be extremely useful. I personally have learned a great deal researching Greek root words on the internet, and my use of vehicles allows me to connect with other believers I could not have the chance of meeting without them.

I had a lot of fun writing the post and let things slide too much. Thanks for the corrections, I appreciate it!
Another point that you seem to be making (in which I would disagree) is this sense of arrogence in the Church. Yes, I know that many 'churches' have fallen in their beliefs, and in fact, more churches than ever before are accepting things like evolution, or their 'happy compromise.'
Yeah, that's definitely true. I should not have portrayed that sense of arrogance at all. I do get frustrated with how the church operates, though. It's a lot different from the biblical model, and I just wish it worked more. But I guess tearing them down is not exactly a good idea.

I guess I really have to apologize for the way I presented some of the stuff in that post. I think I had good points about what was wrong, but should not have been so immature about presenting it. Thanks a lot for setting me straight.
I noticed in some of your previous posts, you strongly refuted Calvinism. Why do you feel the need to do so?
Well, I have been in a Calvinist church for the last two years, and I ended up absorbing way too much TULIP. I quit believing that man's faith has anything to do with the salvation process. I quit believing in any aspect of free will. I believed that giving man any part in the salvation process was poisonous and Arminian (a synonym for heretical, I believed).

I realized my error when I read the Bible. I would come to verses that talked about free will and the faith of man and go, "this is wrong... this is poison... this is Arminian..." Then it hit me that I was thinking those thoughts about the Word of God. Wrong thoughts to be thinking while reading Scripture.

So I began to search for truth, and after a month of spending pretty much all of my free time on the internet looking up different scriptural arguments for and against Calvinism, I decided it wasn't true.

I don't want to go back to the point where I was rejecting parts of the Bible because of my beliefs, and I don't want anyone else to be there either. I just don't believe in full, authentic Calvinism, and I want to shine some light on the issue. It is also my current debate-related interest. I used to primarily do the creation/evolution thing, now I do the election/free will thing. Who knows what I will get into next. I just rather like debate.
Two last (short!) things. First, I was wondering what church group you claim to belong to, and second, reguarding your claim against Calvinism. I realize that there are many things wrong with people saying "Don't be a missionary, because God has already chosen people to hear his Word," but honestly, I don't think Calvinism is that much of a problem.
I claim to belong to the Body of Christ, the church Paul and Peter belong to. By this I really just mean that I don't want to affiliate myself with a particular denomination; I'm just a believer in Christ. This is for a few reasons:
1. I think the separation of believers over the less important issues (Calvinism, for example) makes them less viable to correction. If they're in a church where everyone believes the same thing (and some of it happens to be wrong), then no one person will ever sharpen another in truth. If I differ in beliefs with someone else, I'd really just like to sit down and talk with them, not form a separate church over it.

2. The lack of unity leaves the unbelievers confused over what is the true doctrine. Is it Reformed, Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian? Most of the people of those denominations will tell you that the important thing is that they all agree on Christ! And if we would stop being Reformers, Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians, I think we could show nonbelievers that more clearly.
However, I can see where you're going on the Calvinist thing. I admit that it would be tough for me to stick to a church where extreme Calvinism is openly taught. However, I have to ask myself the question: would I rather Calvinists evangelize and spread Christ and Calvinism, or would I rather they be quiet and spread no Christ and no Calvinism? It is tough to answer the question this way, but I have to say I prefer the first. And I will (and am going to) evangelize side-by-side with my Calvinist (although not extreme Calvinist) friends.

Whatever denominations we box ourselves into, we're still just the Body of Christ. I guess I can't say that I think denominations are necessarily evil, but if the Church were functioning ideally, they would not exist. They didn't exist in the very early church, and I wish they wouldn't exist any more.
I believe that all Calvin meant when he spoke of Predestination is that God looks into the future, sees the people who will choose him, and those are the people he chooses.
Actually, Calvin believed in "unconditional election", meaning that people are chosen based on "God's will", not on their own merit or anything they do (including accepting Christ).

You might want to check out the Five Points of Calvinism, the acronymn TULIP.

You'll notice how extreme this school of thought really is, although many people subscribe to it (or at least claim to).

The school of thought you referred to there is called "Arminianism", a concept created by Jacobus Arminius. My theology is rather close to Arminian, however, I don't really go for election at all. Most of the verses that seem to point to Calvinism are really Greek mistranslations and misunderstandings, or entirely taken out of context.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the comments, Camden, I appreciate it! Good to hear from you. May God bless you.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks for the responce! You sound like a real seeker of Christ, and I appreciate your responce!