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Andy and Melissa Beshore

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Response To A Comment Posted About Calvinism

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Since posting this blog entry, some confusion has aroused about the intent of the person we responded to. The original title was, "Are Calvinists Unloving? - Response to A Comment Posted." We titled it this because of the response that was given to us by this person that included statements such as, "Calvinism does not regard Love for One another", "One problem I have with Calvinism, is there is no understanding given as to the importance of having love for one another. Love for one another is what would be required to be considered holy, or sanctified.", "The Calvinistic view sees it as something that is suggested.", and "Second, Calvinism does not regard Love for One another, the law of the New Testament as something we must do." We came to the conclusion he was saying Calvinists were unloving because of the comments he kept making. We're sorry if we misreprented him. You can read the entire discourse yourself and make up your own mind. We have now changed it to the above title, to hopefully clear up the misunderstanding.
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This is a comment that was posted about the Election Pure And Simple sermon we posted by Jeff Noblit. Andy made a lengthy response and we figured others might benefit from this response, so we posted it for everyone to read. We left the user's name anonymous.

Here is the original comment written:

Hi thanks for the reply. I'm not hostile toward Calvinism. I'm also not Arminean. I developed my Faith from the understanding of the Greek words for Righteousness and Holiness. In Romans Six, Paul finishes a run on a pattern that ends in 'everlasting life' following holiness, which follows 'righteousness'. In the verse I am refering to, 19, I believe, Paul says, "The benefit we reap". This is "Righteousness". However, if there is any doubt, it is identified earlier in the chapter.I did not need to listen to the entire audio to understand what the minister was saying. In fact, you clarified this for me when you stated what Armenians believe.One problem I have with Calvinism, is there is no understanding given as to the importance of having love for one another. Love for one another is what would be required to be considered holy, or sanctified. This is an act and it is involved in the last part of the formulat Paul lays out for us in Romans six. The Calvinistic view sees it as something that is suggested. Because, 'I'm chosen and God is taking me to Heaven even if I will not to go' type theology.Anyway, I can understand why you don't understand what I am saying. First, I did not care to write very much. Second, Calvinism does not regard Love for One another, the law of the New Testament as something we must do. And third, getting saved does not mean a person will go to Heaven.I do not have a harsh tone in writing this. I am just running through it.I wrote a manuscript at link Love One Another .It may take some time for us to understand what each of us believes. However, if the two of you (I'm not sure who I am writing to) would like to discuss it, I will take the time to correspond with you. J-

This is Andy's response:

Hello, J-. This is Andy, Melissa’s husband. From your comment, “there is no understanding given as to the importance of having love for one another,” I must disagree with your opinion. In your opinion, what is it that makes Calvinists unloving? If you would ever hang around with a group of Calvinists like we do Sunday after Sunday, I feel as if your opinion would change. When Melissa and I began attending our current church, we were both amazed at just how loving and welcoming each member of the congregation was toward us and each other. By comparison, our prior church, an Assemblies of God church, people were in their own cliques and did not talk to us much. We kept to ourselves. At this current Calvinist/Reformed church, strangers approach us and welcome us all the time. As far as they are concerned, we might not even be saved, yet they continue to welcome us, invite us over to get to know us better, and go out of their way to make us feel welcome.

Before service, we hear stories in our evangelism class, how members befriend coworkers or total strangers, build relationships over extensive amounts of time, and eventually share the Gospel with them. When Calvinists are the ones who take the time to do this, how is it they can still be unloving? The only possible explanation I can see for your rationale is that you have had some bad experiences with people you think are Calvinists. That is a shame. I am sorry that has happened to you.

In reality, there are people who are like you describe as Calvinists. People who you call “Calvinists” are actually more like “Hyper-Calvinists” or “Fundamentalists.” I can totally see where someone would say that a hyper-Calvinist would be unloving. But I assure you that true Calvinists are among the most loving people you will meet. If you come away with an encounter with a professing Calvinist thinking the way you currently do, you probably did not meet with a true Calvinist.

Maybe people think Calvinists are unloving because they talk about sin. Most people in this country do not understand sin’s relationship to the Gospel. Calvinists understand that we need to have a proper understanding of our sin and how it offends a holy God in order to be convicted of sin and brought to repentance from sin. How can we repent of sin and be saved from sin’s penalty, eternal hell, if we remove references to it from the gospel?

As far as Jeff Noblit (the one who you listened to briefly) is concerned, I can tell you that we have met him personally and he is a very nice man. The last thing you would ever think about him is that he is unloving. Same for Paul Washer. We have met him personally as well and came away from meeting Paul that he was one of the nicest guys we have ever met. We can say that about both Paul and Jeff. Keep in mind, in these meetings we met these men for the first time. They had no idea we were truly saved. They could have thought we were unsaved, professing Christians because they were meeting us for the first time and most people in this country have a incorrect understanding of the Gospel because we have removed references to sin and hell from it largely. They were so nice to us. In fact, Jeff invited us to lunch with him when we take our trip to visit his church. Isn’t that a loving thing to do?

Again, for anyone to think a Calvinist is unloving, they would have to do exactly what you did: only listen to them for a few minutes, form an opinion based on those few minutes and stick to it. In fact, it sounds to me like you may have formed a quick, uninformed opinion based on a brief experience with one Calvinist, from which you made blanket statements about all Calvinists. That sounds to me like what many people today call being “judgmental,” something which the Bible condemns. If you would give them a chance, you would see your assessment is not accurate. I hope this will encourage you to give us Calvinists more of a chance in the future.

Another point, if we get upset at religious hypocrisy, is that unloving? Many times hypocrisy upsets Calvinists. Hypocrites hear upset Calvinists and call Calvinists unloving. Washer talks frequently about the differences between hypocritical professing Christians and Biblical Christians. I ask you to refer to Matthew 21 when Jesus cleared the temple of the religious hypocrites who were running businesses from inside God’s house. Was that an unloving thing Jesus did? When Jesus repeatedly got frustrated with the Pharisees because of their attempts to try to trap him with their hypocrisy, was he unloving as He revealed their error to them. When Jesus shared the Gospel with the woman at the well, he told her she was an adulterer. Was that an unloving thing to do? When Jesus called the Pharisees “Hypocrites” at least seven times in Matthew 23, was that an unloving thing to do? He pointed out the hypocrisy in their lives.

Calvinists do the same thing to the professing Christians who have the incorrect understanding of man and God (I refer here to the Arminian versus Calvinist view of man’s inherent nature and God’s view of that same nature). Are Calvinists any different when they try to lovingly correct people’s misunderstandings about themselves and God? When people tell you signs that accompany genuine conversion and encourage people to examine themselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) to see if their faith is genuine, don’t they do that because they want to see them genuinely converted? Isn’t that a loving thing to do? Would it be unloving for them to let people with incorrect understandings of the Gospel to continue in those incorrect understandings and ultimately perish in eternal hell as a result?

Calvinists instill fear in people sometimes because that contributes to saving faith (Proverbs 16:6). In the book of Romans, Paul repeatedly alludes to the Law’s role in salvation. Is sharing Commandments with people unloving? Paul says it is necessary to bring knowledge of sin (Romans 7). Jesus did it personally (Matthew 5, Matthew 15, Matthew 19). Jesus brought the knowledge of sin. Is it okay for Him to do, but unloving for us to do? Aren’t Christians supposed to imitate Christ? These are all things Calvinists do? Are Calvinists unloving because they interpret the Bible more strictly than other groups who justify how so many things the Bible clearly says “do not apply today”?

It’s funny to me how whenever someone actually tries to do what the Bible actually says and point it out to other people they are legalistic or unloving. I hope you do not think I am being unloving here. I am not trying to be unloving at all. Rather I am trying to illustrate how the Bible supports my stance, that we need to talk about sin in order to see people genuinely saved. However, there are other people I know who would probably say I was being unloving or intolerant by supporting my opinions with the Bible. I am sure my tone sounds unloving or preachy, but I am really trying to be as nice as possible. All you see is words. You could not get a gauge on my calm tone from reading this. Hope this helps, and God bless!

Andy

Click on the comment section on this post and the post called, "Election Pure and Simple" for the rest of the dialogue between us and J-.

12 comments:

jeleasure said...

In what I wrote, I can not see where I said Calvinist are "unloving". Or, I do not see that I wrote anything about your minister being "unloving".

What I said is, Calvinist do not teach that love is a requirement. I attended a Baptist Church 19 years ago. The Pastor said, "you are saved now. What you have done or will do sinfully will not be seen by God and you will be in heaven when you die".
Some years later, I had an opportunity to speak to this minister about the importance of love. I stated that people who do not understand the importance of love will fall pray to their own lustful, greedy desires. He agreed. Then I said, "So, these people would be the ones Jesus says of "not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven".
The pastors response was, "Once saved, always saved".
My response was, "What about holiness?" The scripture says, "Without holiness, noone will see the Lord". The pastor just annoyingly said, "when you get saved, you go to Heaven".
This is when I understood that not Calvinism is a 'Fineist' view.
From what this minister said to me, I conclude that Calvinism believes that going to Heaven is the prize, when it should be, having a relationship with God. Which comes through Christ, which is met out in Faith in christ and love for one another.
Paul says, the only thing that matters is faith, expressing itself in love. James calls it a 'royal law' in James ch. 2. And further clarifies the importance of love by stating, "How can you say you love God, when you hate your brother?".
Jesus says, 'a new command I give you, Love one another. As I have loved you, so you MUST love one another. All people will know you are my disciples (students) if you love one another".
I have not said, Calvinist are not loving. Or, I have not said your pastor is unloving. That was your interpretation without regard to what my actual words are. I said there is no understanding (that comes from being taught) as to what the importance of love is. In other words, getting saved does not result in an automatic admission into Heaven. Salvation is to be free from the condemnation of the law. Then, without the law, we are free to have the relationship with God that Christ made availble to us. And this is done by Faith (in Jesus Christ) as it is expressed in love (love for one another).
I've given a good amount of my time to listening to the sermon and interacting with you. (I did finish the audio) I have not learned anything that persuades me in changing my mind in listening to the rest of the audio.
We can continue to discuss this. However, would you be fair with me and understand my perspective on salvation by reading this article on perspective as I understand it. This will allow you to understand how I view salvation. Then if you would like to continue to discuss this, you will have something to hinge your answers on. I can not see that you can do this if you know nothing of what I understand.

jeleasure said...

Here is a comment I left with another blogger on a similar topic that touches some Calvinistic beliefs. (Which by the way, the minister on the audio is an extreme Calvinist. That evidenced by his attack on Armenian's and his misunderstanding of Romans 8:29.
"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that the Son might be the firstborn among many brothers".

I get to explaining myself in the last paragraph).

For now, here is my comment to another blogger on a similar issue.
" Salvation is by faith alone.
If you look at the Greek word for "Righteousness" as used in Romans 6:13, is δικαιοσύνης (dikiasune).
The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, by William Mounce says dikiasune is "investiture with what causes one to be in a right relationship with God".

Salvation, as used in Romans 6:13 is our investiture with Christ to have a right relationship with God.

Paul follows the idea of Righteousness, with holiness in Romans 6:19. The Greek word ἁγιασμόν Hagiasmon - the accusative, singular, masculine form of hagiasmos = 'sanctification, moral purity, sanctity.
Look what is at the root of 'hagiasmos'. Hagios - separate from common condition and use; dedicated. Hallowed; used of things, the sanctuary; and of persons, saints, e.g., members of the first Christian communities; pure, righteous, ceremonially or morally; holy. (These definitions are also from Mounce's Analytical Lexicon).

Let's plug this in, and look at it in context of scripture. Romans 6:19-22

" 19I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life".

First, Get saved. Then live a life of holiness. Holiness in the way of fulfilling Christ command to love one another. To meet out what Paul says is the only thing that matters; that is faith (in Christ) expressing itself in love (love for one another). And James, he does not say that when you get saved, you will evidence your salvation by love for one another. He writes "how can you say you love God, and you hate your brother?".
People need to have the correct perspective on salvation and holiness or they go about believing that when they are saved they are going to Heaven. And the fact that remains is that they "Must" love one another as Christ ordered. I wrote about all of this in Chapter Four, "Righteousness Unto Holiness" of my manuscript "Love One Another". It is love for one another that signs the signature of God's family. This is what is meant of holiness in the New Testament. James calls it a "Royal Law" in James ch. 2.
When written in the context displayed in your article, people develope the idea that love for one another is a suggestion. Because, after all, "I, the Calvinist am foreknown before the foundations of the world and I am predestined...".
That is another issue entirely screwey. Foreknown. Every person who has ever walked or has not walked this world is foreknown by God. It is not as if, God, turned His back and when he was paying attention, my wife had a child in her womb. God authored the soul that lives in that child. And you as well. All of us are foreknown by God. He predestined, meaning he chose to offer a plan of salvation to all whom He foreknew before the foundation of the world. There is noone who lives exclusively among us. If God chose all of His favorites before the foundation of the world, then Christ did not have to die for them. It would not matter".

I am not convinced of Calvinism. I honestly believe I counter the doctrine better than anyone I have met or heard attempt to counter it. I had to. I had a pastor attempting to convince me that my current and future sins did not matter since I was 'predestined'.
What I am convinced of in the Calvinist doctrine, is that it hardens the heart and conscience of the Calvinist. It gives rise to the very thing they claim it prevents; pride. Calvinist are constantly preaching that salvation is a gift of God. Not earned by works lest any man shall boast. But what about Ephesians 2:10? This was also a "predestined" plan of God. That we would do good works. And what would those good works manifest themselves in? This is not a riddle. You have already read the answer.
Like Paul, I care to not be harsh for your sake. But for the sake of Jesus Christ, I hope that I will be perceived as harsh. At least then, the message will have been heard.

Our family said...

Hello, J-. This is Andy, Melissa’s husband. From your comment, “there is no understanding given as to the importance of having love for one another,” I must disagree with your opinion. In your opinion, what is it that makes Calvinists unloving? If you would ever hang around with a group of Calvinists like we do Sunday after Sunday, I feel as if your opinion would change. When Melissa and I began attending our current church, we were both amazed at just how loving and welcoming each member of the congregation was toward us and each other. By comparison, our prior church, an Assemblies of God church, people were in their own cliques and did not talk to us much. We kept to ourselves. At this current Calvinist/Reformed church, strangers approach us and welcome us all the time. As far as they are concerned, we might not even be saved, yet they continue to welcome us, invite us over to get to know us better, and go out of their way to make us feel welcome.

Before service, we hear stories in our evangelism class, how members befriend coworkers or total strangers, build relationships over extensive amounts of time, and eventually share the Gospel with them. When Calvinists are the ones who take the time to do this, how is it they can still be unloving? The only possible explanation I can see for your rationale is that you have had some bad experiences with people you think are Calvinists. That is a shame. I am sorry that has happened to you.

In reality, there are people who are like you describe as Calvinists. People who you call “Calvinists” are actually more like “Hyper-Calvinists” or “Fundamentalists.” I can totally see where someone would say that a hyper-Calvinist would be unloving. But I assure you that true Calvinists are among the most loving people you will meet. If you come away with an encounter with a professing Calvinist thinking the way you currently do, you probably did not meet with a true Calvinist.

Maybe people think Calvinists are unloving because they talk about sin. Most people in this country do not understand sin’s relationship to the Gospel. Calvinists understand that we need to have a proper understanding of our sin and how it offends a holy God in order to be convicted of sin and brought to repentance from sin. How can we repent of sin and be saved from sin’s penalty, eternal hell, if we remove references to it from the gospel?

As far as Jeff Noblit (the one who you listened to briefly) is concerned, I can tell you that we have met him personally and he is a very nice man. The last thing you would ever think about him is that he is unloving. Same for Paul Washer. We have met him personally as well and came away from meeting Paul that he was one of the nicest guys we have ever met. We can say that about both Paul and Jeff. Keep in mind, in these meetings we met these men for the first time. They had no idea we were truly saved. They could have thought we were unsaved, professing Christians because they were meeting us for the first time and most people in this country have a incorrect understanding of the Gospel because we have removed references to sin and hell from it largely. They were so nice to us. In fact, Jeff invited us to lunch with him when we take our trip to visit his church. Isn’t that a loving thing to do?

Again, for anyone to think a Calvinist is unloving, they would have to do exactly what you did: only listen to them for a few minutes, form an opinion based on those few minutes and stick to it. In fact, it sounds to me like you may have formed a quick, uninformed opinion based on a brief experience with one Calvinist, from which you made blanket statements about all Calvinists. That sounds to me like what many people today call being “judgmental,” something which the Bible condemns. If you would give them a chance, you would see your assessment is not accurate. I hope this will encourage you to give us Calvinists more of a chance in the future.

Another point, if we get upset at religious hypocrisy, is that unloving? Many times hypocrisy upsets Calvinists. Hypocrites hear upset Calvinists and call Calvinists unloving. Washer talks frequently about the differences between hypocritical professing Christians and Biblical Christians. I ask you to refer to Matthew 21 when Jesus cleared the temple of the religious hypocrites who were running businesses from inside God’s house. Was that an unloving thing Jesus did? When Jesus repeatedly got frustrated with the Pharisees because of their attempts to try to trap him with their hypocrisy, was he unloving as He revealed their error to them. When Jesus shared the Gospel with the woman at the well, he told her she was an adulterer. Was that an unloving thing to do? When Jesus called the Pharisees “Hypocrites” at least seven times in Matthew 23, was that an unloving thing to do? He pointed out the hypocrisy in their lives.

Calvinists do the same thing to the professing Christians who have the incorrect understanding of man and God (I refer here to the Arminian versus Calvinist view of man’s inherent nature and God’s view of that same nature). Are Calvinists any different when they try to lovingly correct people’s misunderstandings about themselves and God? When people tell you signs that accompany genuine conversion and encourage people to examine themselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) to see if their faith is genuine, don’t they do that because they want to see them genuinely converted? Isn’t that a loving thing to do? Would it be unloving for them to let people with incorrect understandings of the Gospel to continue in those incorrect understandings and ultimately perish in eternal hell as a result?

Calvinists instill fear in people sometimes because that contributes to saving faith (Proverbs 16:6). In the book of Romans, Paul repeatedly alludes to the Law’s role in salvation. Is sharing Commandments with people unloving? Paul says it is necessary to bring knowledge of sin (Romans 7). Jesus did it personally (Matthew 5, Matthew 15, Matthew 19). Jesus brought the knowledge of sin. Is it okay for Him to do, but unloving for us to do? Aren’t Christians supposed to imitate Christ? These are all things Calvinists do? Are Calvinists unloving because they interpret the Bible more strictly than other groups who justify how so many things the Bible clearly says “do not apply today”?

It’s funny to me how whenever someone actually tries to do what the Bible actually says and point it out to other people they are legalistic or unloving. I hope you do not think I am being unloving here. I am not trying to be unloving at all. Rather I am trying to illustrate how the Bible supports my stance, that we need to talk about sin in order to see people genuinely saved. However, there are other people I know who would probably say I was being unloving or intolerant by supporting my opinions with the Bible. I am sure my tone sounds unloving or preachy, but I am really trying to be as nice as possible. All you see is words. You could not get a gauge on my calm tone from reading this. Hope this helps, and God bless!

Andy

Our family said...

Hi Jim.

I did read the blog you said to read. I also notice that other people commented on your blog that agree with the way I think and seem to think that you are in error. First I commend you on your dedication to the long post you created. It obviously took a lot of time and energy on your part and it looks as if it was a labor of love for you. However, I have to disagree with your stance on God and man.

You seem to think that man has free will and can choose to be saved when the prevailing theme in Scripture actually teaches the very opposite. Man has nothing good in him that would make him seek God. In fact, according to Ephesians 2:1, we are DEAD in tresspasses and sins. How then, if we are DEAD, can we possibly choose God? How can DEAD people exercise faith? We can't! God has to give us life (a.k.a "born again") before He saves us. Yes, I said that we are "born again" before we are saved. When we are born again we can then be sensitive to God, His calling, our sin, His holiness and righteousness. At that point, God (not us) convicts us of our sins,and produces Godly sorrow and repentance (2 Cor 7:10). God takes out our hard God-hating hearts and puts in a new soft, God-loving heart and He causes us to keep His commandments (see Ezekiel 36:24-32 for a thorough explanation of what salvation should look like).

Salvation is all God and has nothing to do with us. Without this understood correctly, I am afraid that you put yourself on the throne, when only God will ever be there. If we are in control, we are on the throne. If God is in control, God is on the throne. My Bible says God is on the throne and nobody will ever kick Him off. God has set aside a people from the foundation of the world that would be vessels of mercy and others who would be vessels of wrath. God chooses to save the vessels of mercy and harden the vessels of wrath. God controls the salvation process, from beginning to end. We take no steps ourself. Every step that we grow with God He is in control of. Your language seems to imply the opposite viewpoint.

While you claim to not be Arminian, your language indicates that you are Arminian. May I suggest a resource that would do a thorough job of explaining this much better than I can at this time? Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism. This DVD will more than adequately explain why you or I do not possess the capacity to choose God. It will explain that God chooses us and why. It will clear up much of the error that I am afraid I find in your theology. You could say to me, "But this is just one resource." True, but it has loads of verifiable church history and Scripture (in context) to validate its claims. If you do not have Arminian versus Calvinist correctly solved, you cannot have a correct understanding of who we are as mere men. And, you cannot have a correct understanding of Who God is, without which a person can never be saved. I greatly encourage you to get a copy of this. Please. I really think you will find it extremely beneficial. Hope this helps.

In regards to the letter you sent me, you said, "Calvinist do not teach that love is a requirement." It seems to me that love is not a requirement for SALVATION, rather it is a fruit of genuine conversion (salvation). You also said, "The Pastor said, "you are saved now. What you have done or will do sinfully will not be seen by God and you will be in heaven when you die"." I may have cringed when I read this statement from your Pastor. This it almost textbook modern evangelism. The evidence that a person is genuinely converted (saved) is that they believe not only at the time of their profession, but that they CONTINUE to bear fruits worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:8). If our style of life does not conform to God's nature and will ON A WHOLE (not talking about perfection here) we have no legitimate reason to call ourselves Christians (See 1 John 1:6).

You also said, "This is when I understood that not Calvinism is a 'Fineist' view. From what this minister said to me, I conclude that Calvinism believes that going to Heaven is the prize, when it should be, having a relationship with God. Which comes through Christ, which is met out in Faith in christ and love for one another." Sorry, but I do not understand what you are saying here. What does "Fineist" mean?

Again, I agree that loving others is important, but your language implies that love for others supercedes all else in the salvation process. For reasons I have already discussed, I cannot agree with that stance. Your point of view implies a works-based righteousness that does not seem to ascribe to the overarching theme of the Bible, which would be that we are enemies of God in need of a Savior (See Romans 3:10-18).

Not sure if you are God's enemy? Here are a few questions to see if you are. Have you ever lied? Stolen anything? Used His name in vain? Lusted after someone who you were not currently married to? Hated anyone? Desired anything that belonged to someone else? If you thought "yes" to these six questions, then by your own admission God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterous, murderous, covetous person at heart. The Bible warns that all liars will have thier part in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8). No thief or adulterer, or covetous person can enter heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). No blasphemer will be held guiltless by God (Exodus 20:7). Can you see your danger? This is not about a better life. You and I are sinners. As such, God's wrath abides upon us (John 3:36). It is a fearful thing to fall into God's hands (Hebrews 10:31).

Now, briefly imagine for just a moment you found yourself in a courtroom guilty of crimes that required you to pay a $10 million fine or go to jail until you can. The problem is that you do not have two pennies to rub together. You will never be able to pay your own fine. This is analagous to our sin against God. Our sin is so grievious, there could never be enough good works in any of us to balance the scales against God because we all fall so short of His standard: perfection (10 Commandments). See Romans 3:23.

Now imagine that as you are being led out of the back of the courtroom to jail for the rest of your life, a stranger whom you do not even know breaks into the back of the courtroom and runs to the judge with a check, saying "Judge. I am here on behalf of Jim. He does not know me, but I sold everthing I own to pay Jim's fine. How would you feel toward that stranger, Jim? Grateful, I am sure. Well, that is the equivalent to what God did for you and I 2000 years ago. The good news is that despite the fact that you and I are enemies of God despite our sin, God loves us so much that He made a way for us to be forgiven. He sent His Son, born of a virgin to live on the earth like you and I do.

Jesus Christ was different from you and I, though. Where you and I broke God's law too many times to have any righteousness of our own, Christ perfectly obeyed the law for us (See 2 Corinthians 5:21). He was brutally beaten and murdered on a cross (According to Isaiah 53). He took your and my punishment upon Himself. He died for your sins, my sins, and the sins of all the elect. Three days later He rose from the grave defeating death! If you repent (confess and forsake your sins by God's control, to God) and trust in Christ with God's strength, God will give you a new heart (Exekel 36) and will forgive you. Over time, after you get saved by God, you should notice some evidences of conversion. 1 John is a good book that shows some evidences of true conversion. I hope this helps. Sorry this is not as well explained as I would like it to be, but we have to go to bed soon. We'll pray for you.

Andy

NewJerseyJesus said...

Calvinists have been the most loving, friendly and social-justice orientated people I've ever met.

Our family said...

I agree wholeheartedly with you NewJerseyJesus!

jeleasure said...

I think your post is slanderous. I would appreciate it if you amend it to reflect what you want to address.
I stated:"One problem I have with Calvinism, is there is no understanding given as to the importance of having love for one another".

This does not say that Calvinist are unloving. What I have referred to in the following line after the quoted text, referes to a doctrin that Jesus said is the most important command.

Calvinist put more weight on election and depravity. I know. I grew up Baptist.

I believe I do have a recourse if you refuse to amend your misunderstanding of what I clearly wrote. You have twisted my statement for the purpose of having something to post on your blog.
I told you weeks ago that I did not say what I am being accused of saying. And now, you are causing other bloggers to respond in defense of their character as if I stated something offensive. In fact, directly across from this edit window, is where I told you the first time you did not understand. And you apparently chose to ignor it.

jeleasure said...

Also, You said that you read the article I wrote on my blog.
My stat counter shows that your visit was 27 seconds long. You stated that you viewed the comments. So, again, I would say there is a bit of a problem with your honesty.

Our family said...

I'm not sure why your stat counter would say that we were on your site for 27 seconds. I (Melissa) spent about 20 minutes reading your stuff at one time and a few other times I scanned other blog posts on your various blogs for at least several minutes each time. I am in no way being dishonest.

I also had my husband check out the blog you requested us to read and I'm almost positive he read the entire thing (he was on there a long time) and I know he probably spent at least 20 minutes reading your blog entry and the comments like I did. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding but we are in no way being dishonest.

Our family said...

We are going to respond to the entirety of your comment and are quoting you, not taking you out of context.

You said, "I think your post is slanderous. I would appreciate it if you amend it to reflect what you want to address." We're sorry you think our post is slanderous and that you think we are twisting your words. We merely posted what you wrote and didn't alter anything.

You also said, "I stated:"One problem I have with Calvinism, is there is no understanding given as to the importance of having love for one another". This does not say that Calvinist are unloving. What I have referred to in the following line after the quoted text, referes to a doctrin that Jesus said is the most important command. Calvinist put more weight on election and depravity. I know. I grew up Baptist."

In a past comment you said, "I said there is no understanding (that comes from being taught) as to what the importance of love is. In other words, getting saved does not result in an automatic admission into Heaven."

We believe you are misunderstanding TRUE Calvinistic doctrine and have a misunderstanding about the preacher Jeff Noblit as well. This seems to be based on your old pastor who didn't have his theology correct. TRUE Calvinism DOES teach the importance of loving one another. Yes, they do put a lot of weight on election and depravity, but not at the expense of love which you seem to imply. They teach about a lot of things as well besides love, election, and depravity. The WHOLE Bible actually.

You said in a past comment that Jeff Noblit's an extreme calvinist. He's not. We've met him personally and have listened to him for almost a year via the internet and will be a member of his church shortly because we're moving to go to that church.

You insist that you're not saying that Calvinists are unloving, but the consistent tone of your comments seems to indicate otherwise.

You also said, "I believe I do have a recourse if you refuse to amend your misunderstanding of what I clearly wrote. You have twisted my statement for the purpose of having something to post on your blog."

We're not sure what you mean you exactly by having a recourse with us. Like we said earlier, we merely quoted you verbatim and didn't twist your words.

You also said, "I told you weeks ago that I did not say what I am being accused of saying. And now, you are causing other bloggers to respond in defense of their character as if I stated something offensive."

We're sorry if people are reading what you wrote verbatim and coming to the conclusion that you said Calvinists are unloving. That's the impression we got as well. You seem to be misunderstanding us to a great deal as well and we aren't accusing you of being slanderous. We haven't said anything negative to you at all, but we're saying what we say out of love and concern for you. We are not responsible for what other bloggers respond to you about any more than you're responsible for people that respond to us about what we wrote you.

The only reason we posted the blog with your response (which we kept anonymous) was so others could benefit from the discussion and learn something. We have a ton of things we could easily post on and we weren't posting it just for the sake of it.

You said that you told us that we didn't understand you. We know, and you don't seem to understand us either. We're sorry for that.

You also said, "In fact, directly across from this edit window, is where I told you the first time you did not understand. And you apparently chose to ignor it."

Actually, we responded to you last and you just now responded to us. We didn't ignore you. Our whole reason for responding to you in the first place was because we believed you were misunderstanding us and Calvinist doctrine SO MUCH that we didn't want to ignore it, which is why we wrote you so many times and still continue to do so. How is this ignoring you?

In love,
Andy and Melissa

jeleasure said...

Again,
Your title asks, "Are Calvinists Unloving?"

You are implying that this is what I am stating.

Yes, you clearly did quote what I have said. However, your title is designed to misrepresent my beliefs. It is absolutely impossible for Calvinists as a whole to be labeled "unloving". This is your statement, not mine.

This is the last time I will request that you fix the problem so it does not imply that I have stated Calvinist are unloving.
Weeks ago, I denounced your blog post. I explained myself. I represented my own thoughts aside from what you would have people believe about me. And yet you still have not stated that you misunderstood. You have not acknowledged that I do not hold the belief you are promoting. And I am still requesting that you amend your post.
I will not be commenting on your blog again. I will check back this evening to see if you have fixed the problem.

Our family said...

We have since changed the title for you. You have accused us of being slanderous and dishonest in your past comments and we don't appreciate the wrong accusations made against us and we haven't gotten upset. It's a free world and you can think what you want to. We're sorry if we have apparently misunderstood you, but we believe you continue to misundertand us too.