So are you a Calvinist or an Arminian? Better make up your mind quick because your eternal salvation is at stake! Now we know that is not true but I think a discussion on these viewpoints is worthwhile. While most of us “rank and file” Christians don’t think about this debate much I have seen some Pastors elevate this issue to one of incredible importance. “Hey, that Pastor John is a nice guy, but you know he’s a Calvinist…”
The days in which we live call for us to be discerning and wise. There is no shortage of issues that seem to challenge or even divide us. Some are worth going to the mat over and some just should not be all that important. This argument over Calvinism and Arminianism is one of those disagreements that I believe is useful for one thing—we can sharpen and challenge one another to be in God’s Word. And honestly, we need a lot more of that these days when biblical illiteracy seems to be at an all time high.
There are issues worth going to the mat over—issues like the movement toward Chrislam, where too many Christian leaders are looking to find common ground between Christianity and Islam when none can truly exist. The central teaching of Christianity—the litmus test if you will—is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God—that he is God. Islam denies that,, claiming he was a mere human. Islam teaches that when the Islamic messiah returns, Jesus will stand before Allah and deny that he ever claimed to be God’s Son. He will be angry and help the Muslim messiah break every cross and kill every Christian and Jew.
Yet I see a few Christian leaders willing to break communion with another because he is a Calvinist or an Arminian. Yet we often stand by silently as Korans are held up as sacred books, and Muslims are called children of God.
Folks, things are only going to get more dicey as we move forward. There will be no shortage of controversies and disagreements. Some will be important and others distractions—and the wise Christians will know how to discern the difference. So every day let us pray for the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit. God give us the courage to stand up and defend your Word against heresy, apostasy and dangerous false teachings from wolves in sheep’s clothing. Lord also grant us the peace to know that some issues just are not worth fighting over and throwing well intentioned Christians under the bus. And Father, grant us the wisdom to know the difference.
- Wrestling Against God (gospelline.net)
- Angry Arminians. (defendingcontending.com)
- How to Call for a Gospel Response Like a Calvinist (thegospelcoalition.org)
- Calvinism vs. Arminianism: a Debate on Faith and Freewill (prweb.com)